Monday, December 19, 2011

Children's Christmas video

My kids love kid history!! If you haven't seen it you must check them out on YouTube. My kids love these videos and can quote them word for word!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Printables

I am a bit embarrassed to admit, I have had picture frames up in the front entrance way for well over six months now waiting for pictures to be put in them. I just never got around to ordering the right pictures to fill them up. That has changed. The first thing you see as you walk into my house will no longer be six empty frames and two side ways pictures hanging on the wall!
(Sorry for the crappy pictures I keep forgetting to take pictures during the day)
I did not fill them with pictures, because ours are now outdated and I just refuse to hang the old ones, as cute as they are... I really need to get new family photos in the new year!!
But for the temporary fix this will do. I removed two of the frames which made a difference in the lay out. I love it! (I really need to start taking befor and after pictures.)

I found these printables here
1. Jones Design Company love that I could add a few scriptural Christ centered ones to the wall
2. Polkadots on Parade
3. For the life of me I can't find the link. UGH! Really thought I bookmarked them all.
4. Betty Crocker Wannabe
1. & 2. Love from home
I used the making a list and sleigh bells ones

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Teachers Christmas gifts

This year I decided to let the kids help with teacher gifts. I tried to think of something they could make and be proud of yet something the teacher would like (coming from a 5, 6, and 10yr old).

After a bit of discussion they all picked something to add to the teacher bags.

They wanted my simple nativity, faux nog (since all their teachers and their aides loved it last year. My favorite is 1-2Tbsp Faux nog, 1/2 crushed ice and 1cp milk blended with the magic bullet. It is so frothy and delicious), flavored hot cocoa, and dipped pretzels, Oreos, and marshmallows in a mug.
Lil' Mr Emo mixing some faux nog
The kids loved dipping their pretzels, marshmallows and Oreos on a stick in chocolate and almond bark then decorating them with sprinkles! We had a few neighborhood kids that joined in on the fun
I am not sure if there is more sprinkles on the pretzels or my floor at the moment, but they make some good memories and a slight sugar high.
Every counter in my kitchen is a staging area for some part of tomorrow. This counter is being used to assemble goodie bags for a class party tomorrow. Best be off to bed so I can wake a bit earlier than normal to clean up after all this mess and get these things all packed up and ready to deliver tomorrow AM.

Monday, December 12, 2011

We seek after these things...

Our youths theme for this past year was

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

At the end of every year several of the congregations in the area get together and celebrate all the things the girls have accomplished. Each congregation is given a table to display some of their girls accomplishments or to spotlight the girls.This year we put some of our humanitarian quilts and then we made a craft to display that went along with this years theme. I found this on a blog someone shared with me.
the girls personalized them. They turned out so cute!
(sorry just couldn't get these two photos to turn!)
I cut some vinyl and then printed some swirls clipart I found. We transferred the swirls by scribbling with a pencil all over the back of the page and then tracing them onto the wood. We colored them in with sharpies and then added the vinyl.
We adhered the pictures with spray adhesive (WAY EASIER THAN MOD PODGE!! and there were no bubbles.) then we applied to coats of Mod Podge.

Side note- have you seen this before? It's my new favorite thing!! SPRAY MOD PODGE (glossy, not a big fan of the matte) coupled with spray adhesive of course! Thinking of buying Wal-mart out and giving it to everyone I know for Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Butternut Squash soup

It has cold off something fierce here. I love fall/winter and the excuse to make yummy warm soups.

Last week we made Butternut squash soup. I love butternut squash! I was so excited this morning to find butternut squash in my bountiful basket. I had this post scheduled for Monday, but decided this was a wonderful excuse to rearrange posts and share now.

I found this recipe last year, I altered it a bit. Last week I made enough to freeze for three family meals and a half dozen lunch size portions. I'll scale the recipe down for I family size serving (5-6cps).

1 Butternut squash (the ones we got in our basket were a bit smaller than the ones I usually use, I used two big ones when I tripled the recipe)
2.5-3cps chicken broth (depends on how thick you like it, the thicker then better in my opinion)
1/3-1/2cup onions, chopped (or 1/3cps dehydrated onions reconstituted)
2cloves of garlic
2-3tsp curry powder ( I love curry so the more the better for me)
1tsp nutmeg
1tsp ginger
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to garnish

Cut squash lengthwise in half and remove the seeds
Bake squash at 400F until you can push a fork thru easily (about 60-75min)
Cool and Peel the baked squash. We found this works well with a simple pairing knife. We turned the squash flat side down and used my handy little pampered chef pairing knife.
Cut the squash into 2" chunks
Put everything into your a large pot and use your hand plunge blender thingy to blend it all together (or carefully use a blender. I never have any luck using a blender and hot items I always get burned).
Heat thru on the stove top and garnish to taste with sour cream or yogurt.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christ centered Christmas

It is quite the topic this year-Christ centered Christmas!

I am not ready to "kill" Santa Claus for my kids, but I like the idea of educating them about the original St Nikolaus. I only have one Santa decoration and it reminds me of our days in Germany so I am not going to put it away.

I love to give. I love to give my kids gifts, but Christmas isn't about gifts. I need to be more focused on educating my kids on where gift giving started, and remind my kids it isn't about getting it is all about receiving. We have decided to let each kid pick a random act of kindness and spend the week befor Christmas serving others to better remind them its all about giving.

I own quite a few nativities (something I inherited from my mother). Every year we add another one to our collection. Some big, some breakable others are small or durable enough to survive being played with daily. Christ is well represented in out home around this season. They know the story of Jesus and have daily reminders of his humble beginning.

This year I have wanted to make this craft since I first saw it back in November sometime, but have yet the energy to focus on it. I had no really connection with the word JOY so I kind of put it off as a "if I have time" project. I think I will be making it this weekend with the kids!
Our youth group had an assignment to do a service project tonight that wouldn't take too long and I was looking for a lesson to teach the girls on the importance of service and let them know how proud I was of them for all they have done this past month in service. As I trolled the internet I came across this site and found a lesson on J.O.Y. (its the fifth little dot down). I loved it! I think the girls enjoyed it. And I am thinking I am talking to my kids about it come family night!
Here's the idea...
J is for Jesus. He had a purpose here on earth no one else could fill! He lived and died for us. I went into a little more detail then we watched this video clip

O is for others. It is a time for service and time to focus on others. There never is an easier time to find ways to serve. A time to give back. Give Christ the gift of service, find every possible way to do small random acts of kindness this holiday season. I spoke of how they more than willingly spend money on making holiday meals tonight for shut ins and elderly people in our congregation, how they made 90 quilts for a homeless shelter for Christmas, how they jump to serve every time I ask them to. It is that service that builds up and strengthens others, that makes a difference in the world, that is the Saviors work here on this earth.

Y is for you. "YOU?" you ask. Yes YOU! Not you as in what you want, not as in you time but You as in taking the time to reflect on your own testimony of the Savior. Recommit. Accept his message and build up your personal understanding of who Christ was/is and what his teachings are. Accept him into your life, not just when you are going thru a trial or are extremely overjoyed, but everyday in everything good or bad or just because.

After our lesson I had the girls cut out some of these to hang as a banner or as Christmas decorations to remind them of the true reason for the season. We cut out the balls and hung them with grosgrain ribbon.
I printed off these ones and hung them in my kitchen as my own personal reminder.
I may not have it all together but I am certainly going to focus more on educating and talking about Christ with my little ones this year. I am going to find every opportunity to serve others big or small. I am going to recommit myself to being a better disciple of Christ. I am going to find JOY this year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My sisters visit

Been MIA but definitely not idle! Moving from one project to another befor finishing any of them up. Hopefully I will have more to report in the near future. I certainly have a Honey-help-me-do list a mile long!

My baby sister came to celebrate my birthday with me this year. She and her little man spent three fabulous weeks with us. As always I put her to work ;-) It's how we bond.
She sewed several quilts for me and my Young Woman's youth group. We are up to 66 of 80! WAHOO! Hope to complete the last 14 this week.
Thanks Baby Sis!

Side Note:
So bountiful baskets is pretty new in our area. I had to try them out. AWESOME! Look them up if you dont know what they are
While my lil sis was here I ordered 90Lbs of apples and 25Lbs of Tomatoes thru them. Once again I put her to work.
We made apple pie filling, apple sauce, apple butter, frozen apple crisp, apple chips, and salsa
This little gadget was my best friend!!
Having never made salsa befor and wanting it chunky was rather interesting. It took us two batches and we still didn't get it right. But add a little hot sauce and it is perfect for me, my kids like it as is. It is definitely better than anything bought at the store.
Because I over estimated on the number of onions we would need for salsa (yes 5-3Lb bags is too much LOL), my Little Sis found ways to use them up. As I cut and froze a few bags, she diced a few for some yummy french onion soup. Delicious!!
My lil ape baby got in on helping out.
Yup she is playing with a knife! Mother of the year award, right?!
And this lil man Hi-Tek warmed his way into each of our hearts.
The kids loved having a baby around! He is such a funny little guy!

Thanks Baby Sis! I love you!
Plan to do it again next year! I'll need it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My sons fall party

I love Pinterest! Thank you whoever thought of and implemented this site! If you haven't heard of it, it is a great resource! I found this site there and had to make these for my sons grade school fall party.

Our school mascot is an owl.
How perfect for a school party that can't be too Halloween-ish.
I did find pulling the oreos apart and sticking them on the cupcake didn't look as cute as the ones on the website! I had to dip my handy little pampered chef pairing knife in water and scrape off the top layer of icing to get the whites to look cleaner.
Can you see the difference?
I also found double stuffed oreos work better or the cheap generic oroes as the icing is easier to manipulate.
These were super easy and fun for all.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Festival

Today is the fall festival at school. Each class is having a fall party.
I was so eager to sign up for snacks and do something super fun, but by the time I spoke to the mom in charge of my oldests class party all she had left was drinks. I found this link for juice boxes and knew what I was going to do. When I talked to the teacher she suggested making a few for those who may not like/celebrate Halloween so I found this link and very poorly attempted to create something neutral.
Here are our final results.
I had the kids help create these treats. My little Emo boy wanted to do his mummy in black, I wasn't in the mood to fight. In the end we decided to turn him into a bat instead. I think it turned out rather cute.
I couldn't find white electrical tape so I used white duct tape. I snipped the first piece in half and started tearing which you can't see very well but it leaves little raw edges giving it a more torn material look.
Here's a pic of my tape roll
(I was able to do 20 with this roll and this is whats left could probably do another 10 easily)
The black mummy gone batty
We wrapped these boxes with black electrical tape then cut out some bat wings out of card stock, folded over a small piece of the wing to hot glued them on, followed by our googly eyes.I carefully pulled all the straws off, making sure the plastic didn't tare before we started, then we hot glued then all back on to finish up our project.
What a fun project! Sad we spent the better part of 2hrs wrapping , and gluing 40+boxes and they will only be enjoyed for a few minutes then trashed, but my kids loved helping and spending time working together (Ok so it wasn't all fun and games, they fought a little, but they talked fondly about their evening over breakfast).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bows bows bows!

I don't sell a whole lot of bows. I am not the best business woman! I love to craft but hate marketing, and putting myself out there. From time to time by word of mouth I get a few orders. Some know exactly what they want, others just give me freedom with a color scheme. This month I had a few back to back orders that took me a few weeks to complete. I tried out a lot of new bow tutorials. It was so fun and challenging! My girls were thrilled as they got a few new bows in the process.
I will give credit where due, linking to the tutorials I used. Some of these flowers I found tutorials for long ago and have no idea who to give credit.
These are some from my first order. MK has two girls. She wanted a few neutral, and then pink and purples to match her girls outfits.I recently discovered covered buttons. I love them!Here is another variation of the burnt edge flower. I also made these in pink and white satinThese are my favorite Sunday barrettes. They are time consuming but its worth the effort. I found if I hold the middle of each petal over the flame it gives it a little extra dimension.
These are my new favorite barrettes! A mindless sort of activity, I can sit in front of the TV hand stitching and gathering ribbon then get to assembling them later. I learned from this one fish line works really well and hides well on multicolored ribbon.
I found this tutorial here
Another variation These ones took me a few tries to get right. I was too lazy to use a needle and thread so I used a little hot glue. Once again a covered button really finishes it off.
This tutorial I found here

Order #2 was for homecoming. Ks Mom wanted "big" cheer bows
I don't normally make big bows. This was definitely a first for me. Please she wanted them on the snap clips not the alligator type clips. I learned when using the snap clips, glue the bow on while the clip is open, then after a few minutes close it and then open it a few times. Otherwise it is rather stiff.
I definitely need to work on my big bow making ability.

Order #3 was for the big OU game this weekend. Ms. G needed a few "little" clips for her baby. I forgot to take picture before delivering them. But I am sure she wore them proudly after their big win!!

My girls were so excited to get a few new bows of their own. These babies are so super easy and super cute!!
I found the tutorial hereThis is Ape Babies favorite. She wore it all last week! Another covered buttonI made this for my flittering butterfly. She loves Zebras.

It was fun putting my bow making skills to work. A friend dropped by one day and kept me company while she made a few of her own. Another friend dropped by the most delicious spring rolls so I didn't have to break for lunch. My little Mr. Emo made me a few bows of his own.My living room is grateful to be rid of all evidence of a week of no cleaning, neglect and the brimming boxes of craft supplies decorating every empty corner.
Back to life as normal.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Goals-humanitarian quilts and running

Sorry ladies and gent I have been preoccupied. I have been working on completing a few goals.

The Young Girls at church are working on putting 80 quilts together for a local homeless Shelter for Christmas. A tall order for 4 girls!
There was a lady at church who passed and had a lot of fabric. Her sister was so kind as to donate it to us to help us accomplish our goals.
We have 9 completed, 9 more ready to tie, and 9 out with other ladies from church hopefully being sewn as we speak.
As well as a meeting with another lady from church who has connections to have a whole lot more tops quilted for us for free.
Anyways, I wanted to make my own contribution. When we have our quilting nights I am running around employing the girls and keeping everyone on task. I never get to sit behind a machine. So when I found some adorable material at Joann's a few weeks ago I decided I was going to make a simple top of my own. Here is my completed topMy iron broke so I couldn't take out all the wrinkles. I am so happy to have some leftover material to make the girls something with.

Next is a goal I had to pass an Air Force PT test (it was easier than the Army PT test). I started back in June just running 3-4times a week, slowly increasing my speed, by alternating from walking to running and then eventually running the entire 1.5miles.
Last Friday I accomplished it with 4 seconds to spare on my run! WAHOO!I had plateaued for a few weeks and couldn't seem to take anytime off my run no matter what I did. After a little discussion with my soldier boy, he suggested I started running intervals (one min at a jog, one min at a much faster pace). It worked!! In one week I took off a minute plus!! I simply just found at what pace was easy to run at and what pace I could tolerate for one minute alternating back and forth. I have decided to coast here for the next two weeks and then on the 15th I will start working on passing an Army PT run (2miles) by December 15th. I already have the pace just need to work on the distance.
Now I need to get back into crafting. SO many fun ideas to decorate the house with for Halloween!
This months goal is to blog more!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rather slow week

With it being the first week of school I have been rather slow at getting around to things this week. I finished this shirt last week for back to school. It is a bigger slightly modified version of this one I made for my ape baby here. I love the material. On top of it being the first week of school the Young Ladies in our youth group started back at making quilts for the Jesus House (a local homeless shelter). So I had to get refocused on putting quilts together and making sure we had enough stuff to keep everyone busy. They have 80beds and are usually packed come Christmas time. We are trying to finish as many as possible and are hopeful to give everyone a quilt. Last night was our refocus night. We organized our quilt took stock and started a few more. We have 9 completed and another 6 just needing the binding done, three quilt tops and another four tops out with some of the ladies from church helping us out. They are turning out quite cute. All of our material has been donated by church ladies with the exception of a few backs. I will be spending a few nights working on this project each month to help contribute a few more tops for the girls to tie.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I am looking forward to sleeping in and doing some crafting this weekend. Hopefully I will have some fun things for next week. Need to create something that will help clean out a few inches of my fabric/craft area. It has exploded!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back to school blunder- cleaning shoes

My flittering butterfly has really wanted to get a pair of these. Blue is her favorite color.
My husband has a pair, my MIL has a pair, so naturally she wanted a pair. I wasn't about to spent $60 on a pair of kids shoes for back to school! She will have grown out of them in a few weeks/month and need new ones. My husband made her a deal. We would pay half if she paid half- that way if she really wanted them she would have to work for them. Sure enough the girl announced last week she had enough money and wanted to go pick some out. We made a trip into the city and found out no one in a four hour radius sells or will even order them in kids sizes! UGH!

We went home with a crushed little girl! So we immediately ordered some online. Unfortunately, they won't be here in time for the first day of school- you know the day you have to look your best, wear your favorite new outfit, sporting your new back pack, style your hair just the right way, and run around in your new SHOES. My fashion conscious girl voiced this concern. I am not about to go buy her another pair of shoes right now! She has several other gently worn used that will suffice for the first few day of school, she will most likely wear them sooner or later anyways. So last night I googled ways to clean-up and enhance her old shoes. I came across this link PERFECT!!!
With a little of this
I got this
The lighting is bad, i know! Its midnight and under my energy saving light bulbs that cast a yellowish hue, its hard to get a good picture.
I had to adjust the recipe a little. I couldn't get a good paste consistency that stayed mixed so I doubled the baking soda.

1Tbsp Vinegar
1Tbsp hot water
2Tbsp baking soda

It took less than 4minutes to run the water, scrub the shoe and rinse it. What a difference! Hope my fashion conscious flittering butterfly will accept these until her new shoes arrive next week.