Thursday, January 31, 2008

Heart "Flower" Pots

Every Wednesday I keep my nephew, Ethan (6 mos), and my niece, Jamie (age 2). I am trying to think of fun things for the girls to do. Today I had them color on hearts that were glued to popsicle sticks.

Scribbling is the first step to writing and it is good for developing fine motor skills. This is something we will be doing more often since I found out today that Jamie doesn't really know how to hold her crayon and to scribble.

To finish off the project I placed the girls colored heart into a soup can that had been wrapped in scrapbook paper.
Megan would hand me her finished heart and then say "more." (Her project is on the right.) The girls had so much fun that I need to find some more ideas for crafts with toddlers. If you have any suggestions or know of a good resource please let me know.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Unwanted Catalogs

Do you have magazines and catalogs clogging your mailbox? We must be on "the list" because we receive lots of catalogs. Especially from October through Christmas. I admit that I like to browse through some of them. A great place to get ideas. With that said there are many that I have no interest in. You can go to http://www.catalogchoice.org/ and there is list of magazines and catalogs and you can decline the ones you have no interest in. What a great way to get rid of some of our clutter and it helps the environment!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lemon Pound Cake



2 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp lemon extract
5 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup evaporated milk

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour (or sugar) 12 cup bundt cake pan. Beat sugar, butter, extract and eggs on low speed for 3o seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 5 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Beat in alternately with milk on low speed. Spread in pan. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes - 1 hour 20 minutes or until wooden tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

For glaze:

mix powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice. (sorry no exact measurements I just mix in milk and lemon juice a little at a time to get the correct consistency) Drizzle over cake. Enjoy!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Valentine Crafting

I had some wonderful quite time yesterday afternoon. Megan was napping and even Chuck took a rare nap. I usually don't decorate for Valentine's Day until February 1st, but since I had a little time I decided to get a head start.

I have been seeing some really cute banners in Blog land and decided to make one for myself. This is what it looks like:

I know it is hard to see in detail. I wrote 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 on each heart.

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love does not envy
Love does not boast
Love is not proud
Love is not rude
Love always trust
Love always hopes
Love never fails

I decided to hang it at the kitchen window. It was looking a little bear after all of the Fall and Christmas decorations had been put away.

Another thing I did was change out my Mason Jar candle holders.


I removed the corn and the candles and ribbon that match my kitchen. I added Conversation Hearts, pink polka dot ribbon and pink candles. They are so versatile and use two things that I love, mason jars and candles! The best thing about these is that come the first of March I can leave in the pink candle and ribbon and just add jelly beans to the bottom! I am so glad that I stumble onto this idea.

I have been working on a few more things for Valentine's Day. I am hopeful that I will have them complete before Valentine's Day. If not, I guess there is always next year!




Thursday, January 24, 2008

Greenworks

Using cleaners that are better for the environment and my family has been on my mind for sometime. I have been looking into the cleaners available and had never made up my mind. While shopping yesterday I was excited to see the store is carrying a new line of products, Greenworks by Clorox. Yeah! Now I will be able to buy a product that is more friendly at my local store. I did not purchase any, but I will be adding some of these cleaner as I use up what I have. If anyone has used these products I would love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

7 Random Things

My eyes are feeling much better. Thank you for all of your sweet comments.

Carrie tagged me to share 7 random things about myself.

Lets see...

1. I always wanted to marry a farmer. I did not and do not regret it. I still have a desire to live in the country and hope that becomes a reality some day.


2. I am legally blind in my left eye. It is due to a birth defect. It does not affect my quality of life. I wore a patch over my right eye, which is referred to as my good eye, to strengthen my left eye. It didn't work and saying I hated the eye patch is an understatement! I wore the patch pre-kindergarten and I remember it vividly.

3. I love breakfast food, especially when I go to a restaurant and don't have to cook it myself.

4. I do not like any kind of sausage. I like the smell, but not the taste.

5. I love a good thunderstorm. I like to watch it roll in and the fresh way it smells after it passes.

6. My favorite flower is a tulip.

7. My favorite kind of ice cream is chocolate. Well, maybe anything chocolate is my favorite!

I don't know who to tag that hasn't already participated. So, if you want to play along leave a comment when you are done and I will stop by.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Happy Monday!

On my trip to the doctor on Friday found out that my eye problem is an eye stye. Yes, on both of my eyes! My doctor said that he had never seen it on two eyes at the same time. Leave it to me to be different. They are not great, but feeling much better then Friday morning.

We were basicly homebound for the weekend. We didn't do much. We rented the last few episodes of Lost. (We missed them while in China.) We did venture out Sunday morning. On the coldest day of the year so far! As we pulled out of the garage we watched the temperature gage drop from double digits to -2. Brr it's cold here! It is winter in Indiana, so I guess I can't complain about that.

Such a wonderful, restful weekend. I plan to take it easy this week. It seems that when my eyes hurt that rest is the one thing that makes them feel better. The plan for this week is rest, rest, rest. Depending on how my eyes feel will determine how much posting I do this week. Have a great day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Eye, Eye, Eye

This post is all about..... well eyes! Sunday I keep telling Chuck that my left eye hurt. He keep saying I don't see anything. I woke up on Monday to an eye that was sore, swollen and just plain irritated. It is still partly swollen and irritated, but better. Then I wake up Thursday morning and it has moved into the other eye. Ouch! I am heading off for a visit with the doctor this morning. Hopefully a little medicine and lots of rest this weekend and I will back to full speed come Monday morning. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cookie Time


Remember this post? I am so glad that I tried this. This has been a great time saver for me and has prevented me from making an entire batch of cookies and eating them all!

Yesterday I utilized nap time and made Chocolate Chip Cookies and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are by far the best oatmeal cookie! They are moist, flavorful and just enough chocolate to make you say, Oh Yes! I baked some to snack on and some for Chuck's lunch for the rest of the week. The rest went into the freezer for evening snacks or for a last minute pitch in.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Organizing: Coat/Craft Closet

I am on my way to organizing my closets and such. This closet is in our living room entry area.

Here are the before pictures:


I received several picture boxes for Christmas last year and never utilized them! They had been sitting on the shelf for the last year. I know, shame on me!
Here are the after pictures:


It was such a mess that every time I went searching for something things just fell out. I can't believe I am admitting this! Now everything is put away and labeled. This area is always a thorn for me. I am only 5 foot and need a stool to reach most anything on the shelves. I admit that I am just lazy and don't want to take the time to get the stool out! One of my goals is the maintain order in this closet.


I know it is silly, but I am so happy with the results that I have opened the closet door several times since it has been cleaned out!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Birthday Goodies

Saturday was birthday. It was a great day. Chuck took us out for lunch and then we joined my sister's family at my parents for dinner, cake and a game of Trivia Pursuit. I received some wonderful gifts.

This is from my sister:


I love it! I really want to hang it up, but I am going to hold off. (If I can!) I plan to hang wallpaper in my living room as soon as I get the ceiling painted. I will post pictures once I get it hung.


My 14 year old niece gave me this:


She drew this! She used a picture that was taken not long after we came home. The Chinese lettering says Megan. I am blown away by this!


One of my gifts from Chuck was 2 containers of floor adhesive! I was so excited when I opened it. I have been wanting a new floor in the bathroom and Chuck wasn't so keen on putting it in. This was his way of telling me that I could have the new flooring! I don't need diamonds to make me happy, new flooring or should I say floor adhesive is just fine!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Best Part of Baking...

Is when Mama lets me lick the beater!




I was doing some baking yesterday evening and decided to let Megan lick the beater. It was a huge hit, maybe even better then the cookie!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Kraft Food Magazine

I receive the free Kraft Food & Family magazine. It is a delight each time it comes in the mail. I received the winter issue today and there is a new magazine, Kraft Good Eating, Good Living. This magazine is also free! You can go to their website or call 1-888-Kraft 4U to sign up. I can't wait to receive my first copy!

Thank You Cards



These are the thank you cards that I recently made. I am almost ready to send out the last of my Christmas thank you cards. Yikes! I have never been this late in sending them out, but it seems like time just gets away from me lately. I enjoy receiving and sending homemade cards. I can just feel the time, energy and care that went into making them. There is just something so homey about them!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Snow Cones



I am sure some of you are asking... snow cones in January? We have been breaking records for warm weather and even have had a thunderstorm. I am sure that the cold and snow of winter will be returning soon. In the mean time we are making the most of the unseasonable warm weather.

I found this snow cone syrup on clearance. I was able to pick it up for .25 cents! Just too good to pass up! I used my blender to crush the ice. I was able to make it using the chop and blend buttons. The next time I make it I will make more ice. The glasses were full but once I started to pour the syrup it really compacted.

It was a wonderful treat and you just can't beat the price!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

CVS Deals

I have been so encouraged by many of you to try and strech my dollar as far as I can. I walked away with some really great deals this week.


5 Pill Containers (they were on the pharmacy counter) = FREE
2 Johnson & Johnson Buddies $1.98 - 1.98 (2 $1.00 coupons) = FREE
1 Fructis Shampoo $2.99 - $2.00 ECB = .99 - $1.00 coupon = FREE
4 Hersey Brand Candy Bars 2/$4.00 - $1.00 ECB = $3.00
2 Colgate Toothpaste $4.98 - $4.00 ECB = .98 - $1.50 (2 .75 coupons = .52 overage
1 Colgate Toothbrush $2.49 - $2.00 ECB = .49 - .75 coupon = .26 overage
4 32 ct Bayer Aspirin $3.98 - $4.00 (2 $2.00 coupons) = .02 overage
1 24 ct Excedrin $1.99 - $1.00 ECB = .99 - $1.00 coupon = FREE
2 20 ct Christmas tissue paper = .38
7 Rolls Christmas paper = $2.43

After using a $1.00 ECB and a $4.00 off $20.00 purchase coupon my total was $8.10. I paid using a $25 gift card I had for transferring a prescription. So I used no out of pocket money and left with $10 in ECB for my next transaction!

I am learning ladies, thanks for the encouragement!

Clean Heart, Clean Home

Has anyone else been following Monica's series Clean Heart? If not, you should check it out. Really makes you think!

I really been thinking about this. One thing I've realized is if my home is cluttered and disorganized it definitely effects my heart. From the outside my home might look together, but if you take a peek in some of my closets and cabinets, oh my!

My plan is to start removing the clutter and organizing the hidden areas in my home. My hope is that once I have a clean home it will clear the way for me to work at cleaning the hidden areas of my heart.

I will share with you as I work on clearing out the clutter. Monica, thank you for giving me the little nudge I needed to get it together!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Chuck E. Cheese

Over the weekend we had a parent initiation... a trip to Chuck E Cheese! Megan's cousin was having her second birthday party there. I wasn't sure how fun it would be for Megan. I was worried that she might be overstimulated and the play area would be to old for her. She did really well and enjoyed some of the rides.

Chuck and I were able to play Skee Ball with Megan's remaining tokens. We hadn't played that in a really long time. It was actually a fun time. Thanks Eric and Angie for pizza, cake and fun!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Pesky Squirrel!

The area where we live has lots of squirrels. Generally I like having them around. It is fun to look out the window and see them chasing each other or getting a drink out of the birdbath. The bad part is that they tear up our trash cans trying to get in. They bite on the lids so much that we end up replacing them. Then yesterday this happened.


Yes, that is a squirrel helping himself to a piece of cake! It is not uncommon for me set something outside to cool. I guess that yesterday the smell of a fresh baked chocolate cake was just too much for this squirrel!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Easy Cinnamon Rolls


We had these for breakfast recently. They are not as good as yeast cinnamon rolls, but not bad considering they were quick and easy.

Butter a 9 in square pan. In a small bowl complete the following ingredients, set aside.


2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 t cinnamon
1 T unsalted butter, melted

For batter:

2 cup flour
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
2 T sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c whole milk

Combine dry ingredients. Then stir in milk and butter. Mix for 1 minute or just until it forms a smooth dough. Turn onto floured surface and roll into a rectangle about 9x16. Spread filling leaving a 1/2 inch border. Roll up dough on long side and press to seal. Cut into 12 equal parts. Bake 25 minutes at 375.

Icing: 2 T whole milk 1 c powder sugar, sifted

Turn rolls onto a plate and drizzle with icing. Serve while still warm. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year!

"When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James 1:2-3

This really speaks to my heart as the new year begins. 2007 started as a year of uncertainty, but ended up being the greatest year! I have a husband who I love dearly, and is so good to me. I finally can say that I am a Mama! Oh, what that little girl does to my heart and bring to my life. I start 2008 feeling "complete, needing nothing."

Wishing all of you a Happy New Year!

Christmas Fun

Our Christmas was so much fun! With three sets of grandparents there was plenty of excitement.

The Little People Farm was a big hit!

Look I can vacuum just like Mama.

This ribbon is a little tricky!

I received a couple of thoughtful gifts. A Willow Tree figure, "Child of My Heart" and a binder that contained our blog Journey to Megan. I teared up a little as I opened these two gifts.

I hope that your Christmas was merry! I am looking forward to catching up with with everyone.