Friday, January 1, 2010

December in Review

What shall I do, what shall I do?  Should this be a year in review post, or my usual month in review? The peanut gallery says, "Month."  All right then, month it is.

December is the month in which my husband and my FIL are bearing down on the finish line in their annual bicycling miles competition.  FIL is a road rider, and he doesn't mind racking up the miles on his indoor trainer when their eastern seacoast weather doesn't allow outdoor riding.  His big advantage is the fact that he is retired.  Pete Falcon here, pastor and resident superhero  , doesn't have quite as much time to ride.  He finds road riding to be quite dull, but he loves riding the dirt. However, we live in a wind tunnel, and that really makes riding hard, especially in the dirt. The contest isn't exactly even, and as a result, the rules are quite complicated. I'm not sure I even know them.  I think that in order for my husband to win the 2009 contest, he had to do better than his dad's total outdoor miles minus 100 miles for each year his dad has on him.  Translate: Pete Falcon has a 2300 mile handicap, and FIL's trainer miles don't count.  Simple, you say.  His dad must be near seventy years old!  Yep, he is.  Last year FIL rode 10,500-some miles total, about 6900 of them outdoors. His goal is to ride 100,000 miles (on his bicycle, not motorcycle) by his 80th birthday, in the next ten and a half years!  So Pete Falcon had to ride at least 4600 miles to beat his dad this year.  Or something like that.  (We can be certain that if I have the facts wrong, Bicycle Truth Man will be here with a comment to correct me. ) And that is why, early in December, I dropped him off on a mountain in the middle of nowhere, to do an exploratory ride.  If he got lost he would have to ride more miles, right?   He took a camera along this time, so he could show us girls how "beautiful" it is out there. Ahem.


Not too many days after that, we took a family trip to Boulder City.  (Amy wrote a nice post on this trip -- see it here.) Pete Falcon had more riding to do, this time approximately 40 miles, and we ladies wanted to visit both the Boulder City Library and the Boulder City Hotel.  Whenever I search for a book in our library system, the book I want is at Boulder City.  They have all the good  old books!  We thought a morning spent at the BC Library would be well worth our time, and it was.  We left with all our cards up to the limit, some 60+ items checked out.  By the way, one of the gems I found there in the biography section is The Cage, by Ruth Minsky Sender, who was a rare young survivor of the Holocaust.  Ever since listening to an audio drama of The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom, my girls have been interested in WWII, so this was a good find.  I found out our local school district not only does NOT teach about the Holocaust, some teachers here are denying that it ever happened!  And furthermore, they are instructing the students to refer to Adolf Hitler as MR. Hitler.  Indeed.  As I told a friend, that's just reason #148396 to homeschool. Or something like that.  I lost count.



This neat quilt hangs in the library foyer.  Wouldn't it be neat to make something like this an eighteen year project, and embroider your child's favorite book titles on it before quilting and binding it?  What a keepsake that would be!





From there we girls went to the little Hoover Dam museum at the Boulder City Hotel.  See Amy's post.  It was very interesting and was good stop before seeing the Hoover Dam, which was also on our list of destinations for the day.  Alison was worried that she would live here most of her life and never get to see it. 

So, we went to pick up Pete Falcon at the trail head.  We waited.  And waited. 

We ate our lunches. And some M&M's. We read our library books.  And finally, Pete Falcon showed up!  He had had a flat lost his way. *Correction. Guess I had flat on the brain.*  We fed him (even saved him a few M&M's) and took off for the Hoover Dam (also called Boulder Dam).

I think the new bridge is just awesome and amazing, and I had more fun looking at that than I did the dam.  But I've seen the dam a few times... Daddy waited for us in the van with his good friend, Shirley Surly (that's the bike), while we girls did some people-watching and listening, took some photos, and scared Mom by leaning over the edge of the dam. What an international crowd was there that day!  There were people  there from all over the world. 









 


December was an exceedingly crafty month.  Amy is always traveling the www in search of another sewing project. Last month she created more felt folk,



a patchwork pillowcase,

and Molly Monkey.






A while ago I saw a tutorial for these boxy little lined fabric bags, and had to try my hand at them.  I have no idea how to get the size I have in mind -- one of them is perfect for cosmetics, and the other one turned out big enough for a loaf of bread, or maybe three rolls of toilet paper.  Ha ha!  Etsy price, $15-20.
















These drawstring jewelry cases make nice gifts.  I had to try one of these, too.  Etsy price, $15.  No, not my store. I was just looking to see what they are worth to someone who doesn't sew.  They are sooo easy to whip together!  Anybody can do it. Even me.














In keeping with the winter tradition, we have kept the oven on a lot lately.  Elisabeth made a deeelishus lemon cake:

And after making aprons and chef's hats for her little sister and herself, Amy baked brownies with Emily.  You never saw a happier six-year-old chef!


We brought in the new year with a late night pizza and some of the best carmel corn ever, an episode of Little House on the Prairie, and a bit of chocolate.  Of course.

Oh, and Pete Falcon won the cycling contest for this year. Barely.   The goal for the 2010 Johnson and Johnson cycling contest is to ride at least one half of FIL's total miles.  Can he do it?  Yes, he could... but I think he has already conceded. 

And that about wraps it up.  I know, our Christmas celebration is conspicuously missing.  That is because our family chose many years ago not to observe Christmas.  We just know too much about its history and tradition, and we can't take part in it with a clean conscience before the Lord.  If you want to know more, you can do the research.  Look it up at any public library, in the Catholic Encyclopedia.  I can hear you now -- "But, but, but Sally!  Don't you believe Luke Chapter 2??!!  I thought you were a CHRISTIAN!"  Yes, we certainly do believe it, and yes, I am a Christian -- the born again, blood-bought, Bible-believing kind.  Every word of God is pure. Proverbs 30:5.  The birth of my Saviour was wonderful and amazing and miraculous!  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!

Happy New Year to you all!


The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Proverbs 10:22

Thou crownest the year with goodness

Psalm 65:11














8 comments:

  1. Several things -- could you point me to a pattern for the drawstring jewelry case? I have one and would like to make some. Second -- wasn't that new bridge awesome??? We were there in September. Third -- thanks for stopping by and I really don't cook all that much (or there would be more recipes on my site!) and when I do, it's usually just for four people, max. But I'd like to introduce you to: http://www.5dollardinners.com/. She's made a home-grown business and I like her sample recipes. I'll look for others, too. Fourth -- Wow, I love that bookcase quilt!! And, finally for today's post -- I, too, rely on II Corinthians 9:15.

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  2. Pete Falcon did not have a flat on the Boulder City ride. He got off the trail a couple of times, and added more miles to the ride than expected. Just wanted to clear that up, in case any of your readers really care, which I doubt. They probably aren't even reading this comment.

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  3. Wow, that's a lot of bike miles. Jeff usually gets in over 2,000/yr., but not this past year - too busy at work & with home projects.


    I LOVE the quilt idea. Amber would love one of those, but we are about 16 yrs. too late with the idea. Too bad.


    The bridge is neat - looks scary to me.


    Great crafts this month - I really like Amy's patchwork pillowcase!


    Nice, I like how Betsy greases the pan, lol.


    LOL on the last comment - yes, I read them. Jeff likes to explore "new" areas too.

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  4. So, will you also do a year in review? Oh my? Your husband is ambitious! My husband loves his bike too. He, Jane's Jeff and your husband would do well together, I think. We ladies would too! How far is Boulder City? It sounds like a wonderful place. Libraries are my passion. I had no clue schools were not teaching the truth about WWII. Amazing. What a day you all had. I love the color of the water under that bridge. It is so beautiful. Amy is so talented! I love her felt folk. You are all very talented. All we make over here is a mess.

    Happy New Year,

    Jenn

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  5. Final totals for your readers


    FIL - 7005

    Pete Falcon - 4720.5


    With the 2300 handicap given, Pete Falcon wins by 15.5 miles.

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  6. diamondsintheroughJanuary 6, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    So who told me he rode 10,500? Sorry, bad news source here. Always check you facts, people. Don't believe everything you read!

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  7. Those miles are the outdoor totals. They are the only miles that mattered for the contest.

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  8. I love these posts, whole month at once. I miss you! Your pictures are gorgeous!

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