Sunday, March 28, 2010

Traditional Felt Christmas Stockings

In my spare time and while traveling, I listened to Amy's suggestion to make extra Christmas stockings for future family members...hopefully, they'll each like their special, one of a kind CANDRIAN traditional felt stocking.

DC Half Marathon

For a grandpa, Mike is amazingly a fast runner. Last weekend, he ran the D.C. Half Marathon with Amy and both of them ran it in under 2 hours...Mike' time was 1:51 and Amy ran it in 1:58. Good job Amy & Mike!

On Friday, Amy found out that she's allergic to a ton of different trees along with a variety of foods. No wonder she gets out of breath when she runs outside. Please keep her in your prayers as the food allergist conducts more tests this Friday. Poor girl...the doctors use to tell her she was a hypochondriac...oops, looks like they weren't smart enough to think about the possibility of food allergies.

Sock Puppets

Sock puppets and Sunbeams are a perfect match. Sunday's lesson was on birds and insects. I made a sock puppet for each child and let the children act out the story of the pioneers and how the seagulls ate the crickets (the white and grey socks became seagulls). I also told the story of wicked King Ahab and how the prophet Elijah was told to hide and the ravens feed Elijah bread and meat by the brook day and night (the black socks were the ravens). The stripped socks became caterpillers with a lot of little pom pom legs!  For directions on making these sock puppets go to
So, whenever you have mismatched socks, or socks that no one will wear anymore and your children are not living at home and you decide to clean out their drawers... why not make sock puppets? My Mom use to make these for her little children a long time ago. For more tips on making these go to:

(Mike modeling the raven puppet).

Yes, birds have tongues. Did you know that they have 5 bones in their tongues to crunch nuts, seeds and insects?
Some birds have a tongue like a straw...guess which kind of bird has that kind of tongue.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shivery Sweden

No matter the season, no matter the place, we love to spend time with our children and grandchildren. Sweden in March had a very different look than it did in October. We relished seeing the blue sky and enjoyed the warmth of the sun several of the days while we were there but the outside temperature was still shivery cold. A week ago on Saturday, Rob treated Joy to an early birthday gift; brunch at on old country home situated off of the Nortic Sea. After brunch, as we were taking photos of this gorgeous spot, we heard a crunching sound and saw this cruise ship making it's way toward Stockholm...the ship was crushing the ice incrusted waterway. It was a really "COOL" thing to watch and hear.
Of course, our hearts were melted whenever we could get this little guy to smile or talk to us! At almost 6 months, he was a wiggly, fun, energetic baby.
Below is what March looked like at the marina area looking back toward their home. Notice how the boats are frozen in the water.
Mike and I took our grandson out for a few walks to the local grocery store; seriously, everyone does this in Sweden...I believe the weather might have been a balmy 20 degrees but they bundle our little grandson in his snowsuit and put him in their stroller along with a warm fleece wrap and away we go...happy and quite toasty with a heavy acrylic cover to keep the cold air out.
We got to celebrate Rob's birthday while we were there.

Sweden doesn't have graham crackers or shortening but never fear, Joy planned ahead and packed these important ingredients in our bags so Rob could enjoy his favorite cake. . .a YUMMY traditional graham cracker cake.

Here's the recipe just in case you don't have's wonderfully moist and reminds us of Grandma Virginia Candrian.

1/3 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
3 egg yolks
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. real vanilla
3/4 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 2/3 c. crushed graham crackers
3 stiffly beaten egg whites
Beat the egg whites and set aside. Cream the shortening and sugar until light. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternating with the graham cracker crumbs and the milk. Fold in the whipped egg whites. Line two round 9" cake pans with waxed paper or baking parchment paper. Next spray or grease the sides of the pans. Pour in the batter and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Beat 2 egg whites until stiff. Set aside. In a small saucepan, cook 1 c. brown sugar with 1/4 c. water to a hard ball stage. (Drop a little of the boiled sugar into ice cold water to test for doneness). Quickly beat the boiled brown sugar into the stiffly beaten egg whites. Beat for several minutes until the frosting is spreadable.

GRANDMA ALWAYS DECORATED THE CAKE WITH PECAN HALVES... (Rob likes his cake without the pecans).