You Decide 2008: Cookies or Donuts?

When making reference to spinning in circles in your car, do you say doing donuts, cutting cookies, or something else entirely?

Kyle is convinced that I am the world's only person who says "cuttin' cookies."


Merry Christmas

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

A hobby for 2009, I hope.

I am very often taking on new projects and hobbies. I scrapbook (when I can afford it), paint, sew (a little), knit, crochet, garden, and blog. For the last several years, I've just been dying to take on photography. So many of my friends take excellent photos, and I really enjoy reading blogs full of beautiful pictures. My current favorite photo blog, and one that I've followed for quite some time is written by a woman named Toni Weber. Her blog, Simple Sparrow, is warm and full of life. She is uber-crafty, and an excellent photographer of her crafts, her kids, and all the life around her. I go there to get inspired.

Just recently, she launched a website dedicated to her photography. As I understand it, she took up photography as a hobby, but has no formal training. Now she takes beautiful and whimsical pictures like the one you see here. You can check out her official website here, or see her Flickr photostream here. Her middle son, Micah, is also a photographer, and you can see some of his great work here.

Okay, I'm not getting anything out of promoting these people, I just really like their work. All of it is leading up to me saying that in 2009, I would really like to secure a good camera and start taking pictures. I am sincerely hoping that we can save up some money for a Nikon D60 or a Canon 40D. I would probably even settle for a Nikon D40. I've seen all of these on eBay for a (relatively) reasonable price. I feel like I have an artistic eye (thanks, Mom), and I could be good at it.

Who knows, maybe I'll be the world's greatest speech language pathologist/photographer. Ha!

**I sincerely hope Toni will not mind that I used her pictures here.


106 Books

These are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread." As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded, but not to be read. A $ for the ones you own, * for the ones you've read, ** for the ones you read for a class, *** the ones you started but did not finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina $ ***
Crime and Punishment $
Catch-22 $ *
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights $ ***
The Silmarillion $
Life of Pi
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick $
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice $ *
Jane Eyre ***
A Tale of Two Cities $ **
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace $
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Iliad **
Emma $ *
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations **
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Quicksilver Exposition
Wicked $ *
The Canterbury Tales $
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead ***
Foucault's Pendulum
Frankenstein $
The Count of Monte Cristo $
Dracula $
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath $ **
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility $ *
The Picture of Dorian Gray $ *
Mansfield Park $ *
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver's Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune $
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela's Ashes
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter $ ***
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Persuasion $
Northanger Abbey $ *
The Catcher in the Rye $
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit $ *
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield $
The Three Musketeers $

I feel pretty awful about all the ones we own, but I have not read. At least Kyle has read most of them. I'm such a poser.

I'll tag Kyle because he's read more than just about anyone I know "just because," and Bonnie, who's practically a reading major (hooray for English), and Jon, because he's always asking people "Whatcha been readin' these days, brother?"


A Dinner Time Hit

This recipe was a big success at my house recently, and it was very simple to make. Give it a try!

Chicken and Dressing Casserole
3 cooked chicken breasts, diced
1 cup of milk
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 box of Stovetop Stuffing

Combine Stovetop, milk, and soup until thoroughly mixed, then stir in chopped chicken breast. Bake at 350 in a 9x13 pan for 40 minutes. Enjoy the deliciousness.

Serves about 4 people.


The greatest Christmas movie ever

Love, romance, adventure, comedy, and whimsy- ELF has it all.

"O Holy Night" is my favorite Christmas song about Jesus. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is my favorite Christmas song not about Jesus.

What are your favorite Christmas movies and songs?