Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thinking About...

This quote...

Make "someday" today.

Guess where I found this quote? On the wrapper of a Dove chocolate!

I found it about a week ago and it has been on my mind often. I started thinking about all of the things I have been planning to do. And not doing. I started ticking things off of my list today.

Today I cleaned the outside of my kitchen cabinets. I didn't realize how bad they really were until I started cleaning them. That is something I need to add to my routine. Even hubby noticed the difference.

I sewed the ties back onto a couple of the kitchen chair cushions. It takes no time to do this. I keep thinking I needed to do this, I just keep putting it off.

The freezer in the garage was gone through. I made a list of everything in there and brought food in to fill up the kitchen freezer. I am so glad that is complete. We were both getting tired of searching for things in there.

I have some other task that I plan to complete very soon. I need to paint the living room ceiling so I can hang wallpaper. Wallpaper I receive for Christmas over a year ago! I just keep saying "someday" I will get to that!

I also want to touch up a couple of spots in the bathroom and re-decorate it. I want to stencil some wording around the top and make some things to have a more primitive style.

I plan to stop putting things off until someday and actually start doing things!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Green Beans

I went to restock my kitchen pantry today and this is all of the green beans that were left in my stash!

Three jars! We are huge green bean eaters. We only like fresh or home canned. I can tell a huge difference between beans in a can or in a jar. Even Megan can tell the difference. A couple of weeks ago she had some out of a can and said "icky" and pulled in out of her mouth when she took a bite.

I hope for a wonderful growing season so that I can tons of home grown beans.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Busy, Busy

This weekend flew by. I was very bad and took no pictures this weekend!

My brother-in-law was able to come home for the weekend. We were able to catch up with them on Friday night. We went to Chuck's cousins for a cookout. Brian had lots of family and friends anxious to see him so we were only able to connect on Friday night.

Saturday I began the seasonal clothes sort. It actually turned into more than the seasonal sort. My sister has been giving me hand me downs and I had just been stashing them in the garage. (Remind me not to do that again!) I ended up sorting all of the hand me downs and getting them into the shed for storage. I am in the process of washing all of Megan's summer clothes. This task should be complete today.

While sorting clothes we also started getting our garage sale boxes together. With all of Megan's out grown clothes and the junk, I mean stuff, we have gathered from the garage it looks to be a large sale. Hopefully I can get it all ready within the next month.

Sunday afternoon we ended up at my parents. It was by sister's birthday, so we all gathered to celebrate.

On top of all of this we worked on some household chores. The grass is cut, the dandelions are sprayed and I was able to get the living room carpet cleaned. Whew!

I told Chuck that I feel like I have been going 100 miles an hour and am ready to slow down, relax and do some fun projects. He whole heartily agreed, especially to the relax part!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sister's Swap - Bloom


This is the package that I sent to my swap partner Amy.

I hand stamped brown paper and tied the box off with some pretty ribbon.

When Amy opens the box she will be greeted this saying:
"Any friendship blooms if it's tended to with style..."

This is what I included in her box:

2 Flower dishtowels
Magnetic shopping list
Devotional: 31 Days For A Mothers Heart
Note cards in a cute cigar style box that says "Blessings" The cards each have a beautiful picture along with scripture.
Blank note cards that match the shopping list.
Post Its along with a holder. The holder has butterflies on it.
Seeds for a butterfly garden.
Flowerpot picture frame.

I included a saying on each of the "packages." They says things such as: "Always follow your heart." and "Bloom where you are planted."

Sorry I don't have more pictures of the items I sent. I got all excited about getting everything packaged up that at first I forgot to take pictures. Oops!

I haven't received my package yet. Amy is having a difficult pregnancy. Please be sure to stop by and visit Amy. I am sure she could use a kind word and lots of prayer!

You can visit Carrie to take a peek at all of the wonderful swap boxes.

A huge thanks to Carrie and Monica for hosting this swap!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fudge Pudding Pops

One of the ways we have decided to reduce our grocery budget is to start making our own popsicles. Premade ice cream pops and sandwiches are expensive!

I had popsicle molds on my thrift/garage sale list, but when I saw these and the price at Cracker Barrel I went ahead and purchased them. I thought the patriotic handles were really cute!

For my first try I made Fudge Pudding Pops. The recipe is from May/June Taste of Home Simple & Delicious magazine.


1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
Popsicle molds

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Stir in brown sugar, coca and salt. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool for 20 minutes, stirring several times.

Pour into popsicle molds insert popsicle sticks. Freeze until firm.

These are very tasty, although very rich. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day Chuck's company sent each employee home with a tree. Not just any tree, but the Indiana state tree... Tulip.

Megan is our outside girl so she loved planting the tree. Especially digging in the dirt!


Watering was also a hit.

She keep saying "I help tree." What a sweet memory I will have as I watch this tree grow!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jean Pocket Napkin/Silverware Holder


I have been cutting old jeans into scraps. Once I was finished this is all that was left of the jeans.


I have several projects planned and the first one used the back pockets. This was such an easy project. No sewing involved! I cut out the jean pockets following the stitching.


This is how I cut the top of the pocket. I used pinking shears to cut the top and cut low enough so that the cut line would not be seen from the front of the pocket.


I decided to us bandannas as napkins. I folded them into fourths to create a square and then placed the silverware at an angle.


I then folded the bandanna from one side until I rolled past the silverware. I then rolled the rest of the bandanna from the other side. I basically made the bandanna into a burrito.


I then folded up the bottom half of the bandanna and slid it into the jean pocket.



I thought these would be really cute to use on our outdoor table.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grillin' Time

One of the things that we love about the change in season is that it is grillin' time! For Sunday dinner we had Hobo Grill Packets. This is the first time that we had tried these. They were given the thumbs up!

Very easy to make.

On foil place a hamburger patty, a diced potato, carrots and corn on the cob. Really the combinations are endless.


Fold over the foil to make a packet. Just remember not to make your packet too tight. There needs to be some room in there. Grill over medium heat for 15 minutes. Turn packet over and then grill until potatoes are tender. It was left on for an additional 15 minutes, but we decided to remove it after 10 minutes next time. As you can tell some of our potatoes were a little toasty!


We finished off the weekend with a little ice cream cone... and I do mean little.


The box said kid size cones, but I never imagined they would be that small. There was maybe a tablespoon of ice cream on Megan's cone. Perfect for her and isn't the cone the cutest!?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Toy "Garage"

We have been pondering what to do with this space:



This is the area under the platform for the slide. We thought about making it into a sandbox. Then I thought do I really want to climb under there with the kids? Not really. We have been blessed with lots of hand me down outside toys and started putting the toys under there. It worked perfect!


Well, except for when it had rained. Because of the lack of sunlight the soil would stay wet for a long time. Our solution was to line the area with landscape fabric and then put rocks into the area.


Now the toys can be "parked" in what we lovingly refer to as the "garage." I no longer have to worry about Megan stepping in mud when she gets her car out of the "garage."

When playtime is over and I tell Megan and friends that it is time to clean up and put the cars in the "garage" they know exactly where I mean. I love that everything has a spot is not all over the back porch or strewn about the yard.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Welcome Home!


My brother-in law finally made it home from Afghanistan! He arrived at Ft Bragg very late last night. His new bride has been waiting anxiously for him to arrive. I don't have a picture with his bride, Brooke. The above picture is of Brian and his mom Karen (Chuck's step-mom).

The last month has been very hard for him. Their barracks came under fire and they lost two men. Brian was very close to one of the soldiers. This is a bittersweet homecoming. As happy as we are to have Brian home we also have a heavy heart for the families with love ones that made the ultimate sacrifice.

We love you Brian and are thankful you are home. We can't wait to see you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Suzy Q


At a family gathering Chuck's aunt brought homemade Suzy Q. It was so delicious that I asked for the recipe.

Bake a chocolate cake in a 13x9 pan. Allow to cool and then cut cake in half.

For filling:

5 TBS flour
1 cup milk

Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Refrigerate until completely cool.

Beat together:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Add milk & flour mixture. Whip well. The more you whip the fluffier it gets.

Spread mixture on half of the cake and then top with the remaining half. I wasn't thinking when I cut the cake in half. I should have cut it in half by cutting off the top! I am not sure what I was thinking when I did that. Oh well, it still tasted great, it just didn'quite have the Suzy Q look. Enjoy!

Lazy Day Update

Yesterday was fantastic! I wasn't quite as lazy as I thought I might be, but I just did what I felt like. After showering Megan and I went outside to remove the covering from the plants. There have been freeze warnings the last two nights. We chatted with a couple of neighbors and then headed back inside. It was much to cool to stay out for long.

I ended up doing three loads of laundry, cleaned the bathtub, sink and toilet. I still need to do some more cleaning in there, but that was all I felt like doing yesterday.

My swap package is almost ready to go. I have a few finishing touches to put on the goodies and then it will be ready to mail. If not late today then it should go out tomorrow. It is always so much fun getting my package together.

For dinner I made something simple. Scrambled eggs with ham & cheese along with biscuits. Pillsbury. I have not found a wonderful from scratch biscuit recipe yet. I made biscuits for years at Chick-fil-A, but I was young and didn't hang on to the recipe. I was there in the "old" days when everything was from scratch. Now they use mixes. If you have a tried and true recipe that you would like to share....

After dinner we ended back out to re-cover all of the plants. There is suppose to be a warm up today so we shouldn't have to do that task tonight. Hopefully not again until fall.

I went to bed last night feeling refreshed and am still feeling that way this morning. I have a huge list of things to do today so I need to get busy. Hope everyone had a great Monday!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lazy Morning

This is how we spent our morning:


Nice and cozy in bed! We had a very busy weekend and when I went to bed last night I was exhausted and had a headache.

Instead of getting up and starting my day like normal I grabbed Megan and we headed back to bed. Oh... it was so nice. I got lots of snuggles and kisses this morning. Who wouldn't love that?!

I am now off to shower and dress for the day. I think I just might make it a lazy day. Instead of cleaning and laundry I just might straighten up and then work on something fun. Like getting my swap package ready. Now that would be fun and beats dusting, vacuuming and laundry any day!

Friday, April 11, 2008

This and That

Spring has finally arrived and I couldn't be happier. The last few days have been great! We have been able to go outside and play. Megan has decided that she likes the big girl swing more then the baby swing. She is growing up way to fast!


I was able to get some cabbage planted. I put in four plants. I planted them in the flower bed at the back of the house. We have put cages around the cabbage to keep out the rabbits and depending on the day to keep out the kids! We are working on a tighter budget this year so they will fill in some of the area where annuals are normally planted.


Speaking of budget. Yuck! We have been working on a new budget this week. Hopefully it will be finished this weekend. With the rising cost of gas and groceries we are needing to tweak and tighten the budget. Not fun!

My brother-in-law, Brian is on his way home from Afghanistan! It is a four day trip so he should be arriving at Ft. Bragg sometime around the 12th. We are anxious to hear that he has arrived safely.

We have a full weekend. My niece and nephew will be spending the day with us on Saturday and then Sunday we will be attending a memorial party for Chuck's great aunt. Her wishes were to have no funeral, but a party to celebrate her life.

Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

HengFeng 11 Celebration

Over the weekend we got together with our adoption group. There were eleven girls adopted from Megan's social welfare institution. Eight of the families were able to attend the celebration.

Our friends that hosted this celebration did a fantastic job! The hit of the day was the jumping area. All of the kids had a great time jumping around.

Wendy went the extra mile to make everything so special. Each of the girls had a cupcake that said "Gotcha" with their name. All that mattered to the girls was that they got a cupcake, but us mom's were a little choked up about it.

This is a photo of the girls taken while in China. (Megan is 2nd from the right on the couch.)

This was taken this past Saturday. (Megan is again 2nd from the right on the couch.)



We had some unhappy ladies as we were trying to take this picture. I am sure you can imagine the fun we had with nine children two and under! We plan to take this photo each year to document how much our little ladies have changed.

A huge thanks to Paul, Wendy & Reagan for opening your home to all of us. We can't wait to see all of you again in July!





Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sickness

Not us, but my laptop. During nap time on Monday it would not start. Not even a flicker of life. Chuck thinks that the power cord might have a short so he ordered a new one. It will be here late today or sometime tomorrow. In the meantime I am able to use our dinosaur computer to at least visit my favorite blogs. It is so slow that uploading a picture would take years. (Okay, maybe not years, but a long time anyway!)

As soon as I am up and running I will be back to posting. Take care!