Friday, December 18, 2009

A day in the kitchen with my best friend...

Today Kent and I created some goodies from the kitchen. We enjoyed a relaxed afternoon of baking and visiting, listening and singing along to Christmas music, and of course, sampling our seasonal treats.
Such as Peanut Buster Parfait candy. Tastes just like the DQ namesake. This cookie sheet of tastiness includes a 12 ounce bag of butterscotch chips, a 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips, an entire 18 oz jar of peanut butter, 1 cup of butter, pudding, 2 pounds confectioners sugar, and a jar of dry roasted peanuts. Yum.

Then there were three batches of Kent's favorite Christmas treat... mom's Caramel Corn. He was in charge of this and did a wonderful job creating crunchy caramel corn with sliced almonds and walnut pieces. Super addictive!

And we can't forget the Pizzelle cookies. What would Christmas baking be without this tradition? I do like to change it up a little though. Since Kent doesn't care for anise flavoring, I have tried many variations over the years. We agree that this may be the best one yet... Lemon Coconut! Light, tasty, crunchy. Bet you can't eat just one.

And now our sugar rushes are wearing off and I'm glad to sit down for the evening. Tomorrow I'll be in the sewing room making special gifts for my family. I'm excited about that. And Kent gave me one of my Christmas gifts early. I was cleaning my old Black and Decker iron up with some steel wool prior to ironing yards and yards of fabric for Christmas gifts when he came to my sewing room with a beautiful Rowenta Pro iron. Yippee!! I gave it a real workout and it's wonderful. It will be super nice for my quilting, too.
Well, I'd better rest up for the next Santa's Workshop project.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Part Done

Hooray! Today we finished the parts. Steph was a great help and very speedy. We took turns which also helped alot with fatigue issues. Here's Steph at the bending machine. Whoever was bending parts did just that. The other person filled the trays, making sure the parts were all lined up the same and prepared boxes and sealed them when they were filled.

Here's the slot where the parts get dropped in and bent.

And here are just a couple dozen of the 140 boxes we filled, 500 parts per box.

So now I'm going to focus on preparing for Christmas with a sense of accomplishment for a project well done.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Heavy Metal

So what have I been doing with my time? Why aren't there any groovy pictures on my blog? I can assure you that it isn't because I've been sitting around playing on my laptop. Kent and I have been working in his shop. He got an order for 70,000 parts and the only way to get them done is to work together. Even though it isn't exciting stuff, bending and boxing parts all day, I sure enjoy the company of my best friend. We work so well together and even boring things are pleasant when we work as a team. Now he is off to work his three long days at Purina and Stephanie has come to help in hopes of wrapping this up by Monday. I look forward to working with her, as well. She has done these parts in the past to earn money between jobs and help Kent out. She hadn't been in the shop for more than five minutes when I learned something from her. She can load parts trays faster than Kent or I. Now I'm worried about keeping up with the bending. I'm still the fastest bender with the least jams. And only Kent can cut the pieces on the punch press. So we have jobs at which we can be most effective. But I think Steph and I will try and switch jobs from time to time just so we aren't in the same position all day. Working at top speed without problems we can put out about 1,750 parts an hour. We've got half the order delivered and another 8,500 parts undelivered from today, so Steph and I are going to challenge ourselves to get at least 15,000 done tomorrow. Then maybe we'll only have to work a half day on Sunday.

Instead of feeling put out that this has interrupted our advent and holiday preparations, I have chosen to be grateful for God's provision in giving us income and some extra to share with Steph. (Thanks for letting me vent the other morning Val.)

God is good! Now if I could just get back to sleep for an hour or two... I've been awake since 3:00 am.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Late Night

for a good cause.

I've got my very first laptop! Yeah! Kent has a friend who sold us two used Dell laptops at an amazing price. I didn't know how much I'd like one until it became a reality. So I've been loading software, configuring things, moving files. Now I can blog, browse, study and write to my heart's content while enjoying Kent's company. I'm so excited!

It's super chilly here. Has been for about a week and projected for another week. I'm finding that a laptop on my lap is just about as cozy as a cat.

A laptop? Why yes, I'm posting with it now. (If you're old enough, you might get that reference.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

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Just a quick post to document why Stephanie and I are going to bed at midnight. We baked cookies today. Not just any cookies, the cookies that I always meant to make with her and never, in 23 years, had gotten around to. We made cut-out sugar cookies and then decorated them with colorful icing. I can't say they are all Christmas themed. But they are all festive.We put the icings in bags with fine tips. We had some sprinkles handy and even a tube of Wilton glitter frosting. (I can't even think about what I might be ingesting when I eat it.)

Steph noted that the snowflake cookies could also be poinsettias. Nice observation. We had bears and Christmas trees and, to fill in the smaller portions of dough, a cat and several small people. I wasn't too imaginative as the night wore on. There's a striped bear. A plaid bear. Steph did a psychedelic swirl bear. And I realized that the cookie also begged for the question, "Got milk?"

Meanwhile, we celebrated the second Sunday of advent and it seems like business as usual around the stable. Joseph and Mary are making progress toward Bethlehem while the wise men are still stumbling around my kitchen.

Blessings to you as we light the prophecy and Bethlehem candles and continue to meditate on this season of waiting. O come, O come, Emmanuel.