Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Clematis

I noticed over the weekend that my Clematis is starting to bloom. It is full of buds so it should be simply beautiful this year.


What I really wanted to show all of you is what we used as a trellis... a screen door!


I knew that I really wanted to use a screen door. The only problem we had was how. The solution was to take two metal pipes that we drove into the ground. We spray painted them to match the door (I see they are in need of a new coat of paint this year) and then put the screen door in the middle. Then using u brackets the door and the pipes were attached together. It is functional, keeps an old door out of the landfill and added that little bit of country charm that I love!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vanilla Cream Fruit Tart

On Saturday we attended a Memorial Day cookout. This was my contribution.





3/4 cup butter; softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
10 oz vanilla or white chocolate chips melted & cooled
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese; soft
1 pt fresh strawberries; sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Cream butter & powdered sugar. Beat in flour (will be crumbly). Pat into bottom of greased 12 in pizza pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 25-28 minutes. Cool. Beat chips & cream. Add cream cheese until smooth. Spread over crust. Chill for 30 minutes. Arrange berries. In sauce pan combine pineapple juice, sugar, cornstarch & lemon juice. Bring to boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir constantly. Cool. Brush over fruit. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

We are a very patriotic family and many members of my family have served their country. During Desert Storm I lost a distant cousin, Brian Lane. He was killed in the line of duty while at the Kuwait airport. His hometown is a small town in southern Indiana. There is a street named in his honor. Each time I visit my dad's hometown I think of Brian.

So as we have our extended weekend with cookouts and department store sales, please remember the reason for the weekend. We are home of the free because of the brave!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bedtime for Mom

Mom and Dad were watching TV when Mom said, "I'm tired, and it's getting late. I think I'll go to bed."

So she went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day's lunches, rinsed out the popcorn bowls and took meat out to the freezer for supper the following evening.

She filled the sugar bowl, put spoons and bowls on the table and prepared the coffee pot for brewing the next morning.

She then put some wet clothes in the dryer, put a load of clothes into the washer, ironed a shirt and sewed a loose button.

She picked up the game pieces left on the table, put the phone back on the charger and returned the telephone book to the drawer.

She watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket and hung up a towel to dry.

She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom.

She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted out some cash for the field trip and pulled a textbook out from hiding under the chair.

She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped an envelope and wrote a quick list for the grocery store. She put both near her purse.

Dad called out, "I thought you were going to bed." "I'm on my way," she said. She put some water in the dog's dish and put the cat outside, then made sure the doors were locked and the patio light was on.

She looked in on each of the kids, turned out their bedside lamps, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks into the hamper, and had a brief conversation with the one who was still up doing homework.

In her own room, she set the alarm, laid out clothing for the next day, and straightened up the shoe rack. She then washed her face with 3-in-1 cleanser, put on her age-defying moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth and filed her nails.

She got into bed and said her prayers.

About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced to no one in particular. "I'm going to bed"

And he did.

Anything extraordinary here? Wonder why women live longer?
Because they are made for the long haul!

Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Magnetic Picture Collage

Yesterday was a busy day running errands. While out and about I went into a store that has country crafts. I love going into this store. I find inspiration there. A purchase I made was this:



After getting home and taking a long look at this I know that this can be easily made. All you would need is a magnetic sheet (available at craft stores) and then you could top it off with wallpaper, contact paper or even scrapbook paper. Then all you would need to do is use a knife to cut out the areas for pictures and to round off the corners.

I think making something like this would make a wonderful gift, especially if you included the pictures!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Peony



Peony is the state flower for the great State of Indiana. Mine are in full bloom. Unfortunately the blooms do not last long. I clipped some and they are now gracing my outside dining table.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread

I found this recipe in this months Country Woman magazine. I was up early the other morning so I decided to greet Chuck with this.



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking soda and salt. Combine buttermilk, egg and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and remaining sugar.

Grease the bottom only of an 9-in loaf pan. Pour half of the batter into pan; sprinkle with half of the cinnamon-sugar. Carefully spread with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar; cut through batter with a knife to swirl.

Bake at 350 degrees 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over loaf.

My loaf was darker than normal. I accidentally added some cinnamon to the batter. Oops! This made the house smell wonderful!

Mama's Little Helper




Megan has decided that she does not like it when I go to do laundry. Since she has come home I find that I am spending much of my time doing laundry. To solve the problem I take her with me. Since I can't fold laundry and hold her at the same time I place her in the laundry basket. She loves this! Now if I could only get her to fold a load!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Busy Day

I have been playing catch up all day. I went to bed early last night with a migraine and woke up late this morning. Megan and I sleep in until 8:30 this morning. Wow! I guess she knew that Mama really needed the rest. A migraine just wipes me out.

I went to the store yesterday and when I was putting things away I noticed how the frig needed cleaned. The area where the milk goes is always the worse area. And to think I set that milk carton on my counter and table... yuck! While Megan napped today I took everything out to wash and organize. This is the finished product.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Flower Pot Cookies

Since the cookie basket I made for our adoption agency was so well received I decided to make a different version for Mother's Day. This is how I presented my mother-in-law's gift.



I spray painted a terra cotta pot white. I added the "flowers" using Styrofoam to keep them straight. I then glued on some ribbon and a bow. Making this cost me nothing. I used items that I had on hand. I then tucked in a gift card for Bath & Body Works. She was pleased with her gift. She keep saying "so cute." It made me feel so good seeing how happy it made her.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a fantastic Mother's Day! I know I did. We had brunch with my parents and then went to Chuck's grandma's house for the afternoon. After that we headed over to see Chuck's stepmom. A very busy day, but a lot of fun.

Here is what was waiting for me when I walked into the kitchen yesterday morning.



This cute little wheelbarrow had silk flowers in it. In the middle there was a card that had a gift certificate for a greenhouse. The card said "so you can go get the real things" and then there was a small wrapped package. It contained a small photo album that had pictures of Megan from the day we received her up until now. Just precious! What made it so great is that the album was definately from the heart and I found out that Chuck arranged the flowers himself. Daddy and Megan you really surprised me!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Michael's Kids Craft Club

Did you know that Michael's has a kids club? I can't remember the age range, but they have a craft workshop one Saturday a month. The cost of the workshop is $2. The session is 30 minutes. The cost of the class includes all materials. Check it out at Michael's website.

Aunt Amber is Home!

My sister-in-law, Amber came home yesterday. She works on a cruise ship in Hawaii. I know, life is rough!! She cruises for 20 weeks and then they fly her home for 5 weeks of leave.




Megan and I meet a group for lunch at Olive Garden. Yum! I was so excited that Megan let her Auntie Am hold her. That made Amber so happy!

After lunch we headed off the Michaels. While there I checked out the Martha Stewart new craft line. I did purchase some of her markers for scrapbooking. I saw lots of great stuff!

What a great way to spend the afternoon!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pancake Mix



Here is how I made this mix:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
9 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

I packaged it up in one of my favorite things... A Mason jar. I LOVE Mason jars!

I then added a tag with the the rest of the ingredients. I printed the tag on cardstock and attached it using a rubberband looped through a punched hole.

Use 1 1/2 cups of mix. Add 1 egg and 3/4 cup milk.(you may need to add a touch more milk depending on how thin you like your batter) and if desired 1/2 cup fresh/frozen fruit. We like blueberries! You will get 3 batches out of this jar.

With Mother's Day around the corner I thought this could make a nice gift. Add a fabric topper to the jar. Put in a basket with maple syrup. You could add a dishtowel, pancake flipper, cute shaped cookie cutter. Let your imagination go wild!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Spring Fun

We have been having fantastic weather! We have been spending lots of time outdoors. Just a couple of pictures of the fun Megan has been having.





I hope you have been able to get out and enjoy Spring!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Gardening

Here is my little garden spot. Friday Chuck tilled it and we did some planting this weekend.



So far this is what has been planted:

3 rows of green beans
3 rows of corn
1 row of leaf lettuce
1 row of head lettuce
3 cabbage plants (pictured below)




I have 2 zucchini and 2 cucumber plants to get in the ground. There will also be a row of carrots and that will be it for this year. Now the challenge is how to keep those pesky rabbits out of the garden!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mitford Series



I have been on several blogs that talk about how great the Mitford Series is. I decided to find out for myself.

I started reading the first book Saturday afternoon. We were at my parents. Chuck and my dad were putting the pool filter together, mom was planting in her garden. Megan was quietly enjoying the playpen and I was sitting in the shade reading this delightful book. Such a pleasant way to spend the afternoon! I love to read and so far this book is living up to it's reputation.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Happy Anniversary!



Today Chuck & I have been married 6 years. Six of the greatest years of my life!
Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mini Banana Bread



Tomorrow is our 6th anniversary. One of Chuck's favorite treats is Banana Bread. I made 6 mini loaves. I packaged one up as a surprise for Chuck's lunch box tomorrow. I saved back a second loaf to snack on this weekend and the others are going into the freezer.

This is the first time I have used this recipe. It is from my Betty Crocker cookbook.

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 c margarine or butter; softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (I omitted)

Place oven rack in lowest position. Heat oven to 350. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans. Mix sugar and margarine in large bowl. Sir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans. Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award

The other day I was checking out my favorite blogs and saw that Magi has awarded me a Thinking Blogger Award. Wow!! Magi and I adopted our daughters at the same time. We were together on the first and last part of our trip to China. After months of reading her blog it was a pleasure to meet her in person. I am very flattered by the things you said about me. Thank you.

Here are five blogs that I love and make me think.

1) Monica at The Homespun Heart is the first blog I read everyday. If it takes place in the home you will find it here. From reading her blog it is evident that she is organized, crafty, kind, caring, and very giving. She definately knows how to follow through on a theme! She inspires me to be a better wife, mother, homekeeper and most importantly a better Christian.


2) Christy at The Abundant Life is a very deep thinker. I don't comment on her blog as often as I should, but she really makes me think about the bigger things in life.


3) Sandra at Jazzie and Tahlia. She a mom to two beautiful little girls. Both of her daughters happen to be from China. She has shared very personal things. Her older daughter Jazzie is deaf. They had no idea she as deaf until she was placed with them. She also shares her post-adoption struggles she has had with Tally. Just amazing that she is willing to open up and share some really personal things.

4) MaryAnn at Mrs. MaryAnn's House. MaryAnn shares tidbits about her daily life. She has opened up about her struggles with living on one income and ways she budgets, especially on groceries.

5)Meredith at Like Merchant Ships. This is one frugal lady. She has a good eye for bargains and thrifting. She has been able to decorate her home on mainly thrift items and it looks great! She inspires think about how I spend my money.

Congratulations, you won a Thinking Blogger Award!

Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. I thought it would be appropriate to include them with the meme.The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

One Month Ago Today....

One month ago today the most precious little thing was placed in my arms. I had been told that I would feel love for my little one like never before. Everyone who said this is so right!!



What a difference a month has made. Megan has changed so much that I am just amazed. She had gone from the little thing that could hardly hold her head up to an active little thing! She rolls over, sits up and loves to jump. She has even started to wave Bye Bye. The smiles and giggles just fill me up with joy!



What a blessing!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Megan's Announcement

This is the announcement that was mailed out this morning for Megan.



I had a terrible time getting a clear picture of the announcement. This is what it says:

Dreams Do Come True!

In all of life there comes a time when dreams do come true. This comes to let you know we have someone new.

Megan Li Xxxxxxxx
Born: July 1. 2006
Hengfeng, China
Adopted: April 3, 2007
Age: 9 Months
Proud Parents: Chuck & Wendi
Who never stopped dreaming!



The inside of card contains a picture and the scripture:

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted what I asked of Him."
1 Sam 1:27