Friday, April 30, 2010

Rain Barrel

Remember this post where I said we were working on a project using fencing? We used the fencing to cover a rain barrel.

I have been wanting one for a long time. A nice barrel is pricey. Our solution was to make our own.


There is a downspout at the back of our house in one of my flower beds. A perfect place for our rain barrel.

Chuck bought a barrel from a landscaper off of Craigslist for $15. He cut the top off and scrubbed it out.


After the ground was level the barrel was put up on blocks. I wanted to be able to put a watering can under the spout. Chuck then did some fancy stuff that I don't really get. He drilled holes added pipe and a hole in the lid for the down spout. Routed the downspout into the barrel and then was ready to enclose it.

He then built panels with the fence to cover the pretty green barrel. Drilled a hole in fence and added this pretty little spout.

I plan to paint this a beige using some leftover house paint. Most of the barrels we saw online were $100+ we were able to complete this little project for about $45. Rain is in the forecast for the weekend and I am excited to see this fill up!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Special Moment


Watching Megan and Daddy saying a bedtime prayer is such a special moment for me. It warms my heart every time I see this!

Just in case you are curious this is Megan's nighttime prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
May the Angels watch me through the night
and keep me in their blessed sight.
Please bless,
She then names some very special people and sometimes even Miss Bunny, Baby and Hippo are named too!
Oh, and I don't normally have a camera with me as we pray, but really wanted to capture this special moment!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A New Treasure

While at my father-in-law's Chuck spotted this scale in her dad's barn. He let it be know that it was something I would love and was told to take it. Yes!


It is a grocery store produce scale. I don't have a spot for it, but will hang on to it for my dream pantry.


Thanks for thinking of me Chuck!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Whipped Cream

For a long time I was under the impression that making whipped cream from scratch would be time consuming. Not so. It is fast and super easy.


2 cups heavy whipping cream (approx 2 cups in a one pint container)
3 tbs sugar
3 tsp vanilla

Start mixing on slow and gradually go to the fasted speed. Whip until peaks form.

I used this for a fruit salad I took to a pitch in on Sunday. I added half a pint of blueberries, 2 lbs sliced strawberries, 2 cans drained mandarin oranges, 2 apples diced. I placed the apples in lemon juice as I diced them to prevent browning. After mixed together I added 3/4 of the fruit into a dish. Added 3/4 of the whipped cream and repeated. I saved out some of the fruit for garnish.


If you have left over whipped cream you can use your cake decorating tip to freeze dollops. These are good to pull out and use on the top of hot chocolate or warm pie. Just don't thaw before using because it loses it's texture. I have also heard that the next day you can whip the whipped cream again to bring back the light, fluffy texture. I haven't tried this.

The taste of homemade whipped cream does not even compare to the store bought stuff. This is the only whipped cream that Megan will eat. Do you make your own whipped cream?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Best Buttermilk Pancakes


I made these pancakes over the weekend. They certainly deserve the name Best Buttermilk Pancakes because they are by far the best pancakes I have ever made. Light, fluffy and delicious! Let me know if you give these a try.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Family Fun: Tin Can Bowling

I have been saving soup cans and we finally had enough for tin can bowling. After cleaning out the cans Megan and I painted them.



I had hoped for this to be an activity we could do on our back porch. The weather had turned cooler so it was moved into the hall.



There was certainly some family fun happening. Chuck accidentally hit Megan in the face with the ball not once but twice. Two times in a roll! She wasn't hurt and was actually laughing.


We were really laughing once she put on her hard hat!

After bowling we had a meal with a snack bar feel to it.


Hot dogs, chips and even some fun leftover ketchup packets served in a basket.

All three of us had fun and are already looking forward to our next family fun event.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Labeling Leftovers

While browsing the latest issue of Parents Magazine I saw a tip for labeling food containers. It suggested using a dry erase maker. It works wonderful and wipes right off.


I hate to admit this but there was quite a bit of food waste before I started doing this. I would have to guess low long that half can of peaches had been in the refrigerator. When I wasn't sure I played it better safe then sorry and tossed the items. No more guessing and when I clean out the frig on Thursday's I know exactly what items need tossed. It certainly works for me!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lilacs


My lilac bushes are starting to bloom. I have them planted as a privacy block between our home and a neighbors driveway. I can smell them when I have the windows open in my bedroom. Pure bliss!

My bushes come from shoots from plants on my grandparents old farm. Mom tells me that the deep purple lilac is an old variety. That growing up my grandmother always told her that they are hard to come by. That most lilacs are of the lighter lilac color. It means so much to know that these plants have been in my family for generations.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Finally Finished!

Laundry and ironing that is. I didn't meet my goal of having it done by Friday, but I am just happy it is done.


My laundry area hasn't been this empty in a long time. I know that it won't stay this way for long. My goal is to try to keep up and not let it get out of control again.

Yesterday afternoon was so nice that I moved the ironing board outside.



Fresh air certainly made it a more pleasant task!

While ironing I was able to keep an eye on the kids.

Megan and her friend, Conner played on the slide platform all afternoon. They had sticks, bubble wands and Megan's dog, Baby. I watched the platform become the doctor's office. A safe place from the alligators and their workplace. They had to go to work to fix things. I love it when kids have great imaginations!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Monday!

I hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend! Saturday was a day on the go for us. We attended a party to celebrate our third Gotcha day. On the way there we were stuck on the interstate in traffic for a very long time. On the way home we opted to skip the interstate and take a long drive through the country.


We passed farm after farm and I loved seeing this round barn.

There are eleven girls in our adoption group. All but three were able to attend the party. We try to take a yearly picture of the girls together. No easy task!


It is a pleasure to see our girls grow!

It is also project time around here. After a trip to Lowe's we came home with these.


No, we are not putting a fence around our yard. When we finish I will share what we do with these. How is that for vague!

Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

This and That

The weather has been beyond fantastic here! The great weather means that we have been spending most of our time outside. Yesterday we worked through dinner and then ran out to Cracker Barrel. They have a Country Chef Salad that I love!

While there I picked up a copy of This book. I don't think I will be turning my front yard into a wheat field, but I do like the idea of being more self sufficient. I want to make the most of my garden and be able to cut my grocery bill and start making more things from scratch.

I was asked for direction for the cinnamon sugar bunny biscuits we had for Easter. I got the idea here.

I don't know why but for the last couple of months I feel like I have been drowning in laundry. I am usually good about keeping up with it. My goal is to tackle Mt. Laundry and have it all washed, ironed and put away by Friday. If I get nothing but this done this week I will be a happy girl.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tulips

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that my favorite flower is a tulip. All around the perimeter of the landscaping in the front of my home I have tulips planted.



I love the way they look with the green of the lillies as their backdrop. While out walking or when pulling into the driveway they bring a smile to my face.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter Weekend

I hope that everyone had a Happy Easter! Our Easter was great! We made a decision to make this a meaningful weekend and not to let it get overrun with stress and to many activities. Here is glimpse into our weekend.

Good Friday the weather was beautiful. We had some family over for a cookout and then colored some eggs.




Saturday afternoon it was off to church for an egg hunt. Unfortunately it rained and it had to be moved inside.



The rain made for a lighter crowd. Megan had a blast!

The Easter Bunny stopped by early Sunday morning to share the joy that Jesus Lives!



A traditional breakfast of cinnamon sugar bunny biscuits was made.

We were then dressed and ready to hit the road.


Part of removing stress from the weekend was only going to one place for Easter dinner. This year it was to my parents. After a delicious meal it was time for a family egg hunt.



Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living home through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... 1 Peter 1:3

Friday, April 02, 2010

Three Years Ago


The first glimpse of my baby girl. I knew right away that it was Megan.


Smiling at each other the first moment we were together.

It feels like yesterday this was all taking place. There is more love, joy, and sometimes chaos in my life then I ever imagined possible. I wouldn't have it any other way!