Saturday, October 31, 2009

happy birthday sister

look at that sweet, adorable, face!
who could that golden haired darling be?
surely that isn't the same little girl i wanted to strangle
every single day while growing up!
i'm so glad i never went through with it
cause then i wouldn't have met her older, dark haired, alter-ego...
i really like her!
happy birthday sister!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

chefin' it: homemade apple sauce for baby boy

made homemade applesauce for boy last night.
it is really easy, really yummy, and all natural.
what you need:
*fuji apples
(i used 8 large apples and made about 3 cups)
a food processor
and well that's about it
peel, core, and cut
(i'm not fancy enough for a corer or peeler, so a good old knife was used)
i sliced my apples into eighths.
baked for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
stirred once to keep the apples on top from drying out.
(put a baking sheet under them just in case they bubble over)

dumped into the food processor, juice and all,
and ran until the apples were a good smooth consistency.

i poured the apple sauce into ice trays and froze.
then just pop them out, put in freezer bags and i have
fresh apple sauce in perfect boy portions any time.

*fuji apples are very sweet and crisp. they bake well, not turning mushy.
no need to add sugar to the sauce.

i have even used them in apple pies,

cut the sugar from the recipe,
and it's still sweet and delicious!

Monday, October 26, 2009

i'm giving water

one of my eighth grade students came to class today and told me about a project her church was doing to give water to a village in India through The Water Project. she wanted to find someone in school to do it with her and i jumped at the chance. we ended up having six kids who wanted to join in within a matter of minutes.
here is how it works.
  • Give it Up make water your only beverage...for 2 weeks.
  • Collect Your Savings take the money you would have spent on soda, juice, sports drinks, bottled water etc., and put it aside to give clean water. collect your savings in a cup wrapped with a "The Water Challenge" label.
  • Wear Your Wristband it'll help you remember to choose water and to spread the word.
  • Continue Your Sacrifice for 2 Weeks if you are heading toward the soda machine, head for the water fountain instead. if your family goes out to dinner and you usually order iced tea, ask for water. it's free. you'll be amazed at how the savings add up. encourage your whole family to participate.
  • Give it Away after 2 weeks, calculate the amount of money saved by your sacrifice and give water through The Water Project, Inc. it will be used to drill new water wells in Kenya, Sudan or choose

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

answered prayer

i have to take a moment and share. i have had a remarkably stressful start to the school year. i have been pushed and pulled in so many ways. i tried to look at it all as an opportunity to grow... i kept thinking about the potter working the clay to remove the impurities to make it useful... beautiful. despite trying to have a positive outlook my attitude was poor and getting worse by the day. i prayed that i would be able to handle it all, that God would give me strength and i would get through it. every day something else would happen to add to the stress. every day i would wonder how much further God would ask me to bend and stretch. i was in tears every day. i was looking for a new job... contacting online schools about training for career changes, i even started reading the classified adds. there seemed to be no relief in sight. and i kept praying that God would get me through it...

God is so much bigger than we are. here i was praying to have the strength just to get through and God was working to change the situation so that it wasn't something to struggle through. i received an e-mail from an acquaintance at a neighboring district. she is a wonderful woman who is great at her job. she had contacted my superintendent and offered her services to help me in any way she could to get through all the challenges i had been presented with this year.

suddenly, there is help for meeting all the deadlines. good, quality help. there is someone else to share the burden with. then today i find out that one of the BIG projects that i had less than a month to accomplish was pushed back and i now have til may.

thank you Lord, that you know me so well, know what i am capable of and just how to help. even when i don't know what to pray, how to pray, you know my needs and take care of it all. it will still be a challenge and certainly will provide plenty of opportunity to grow... thank you for the bite sized pieces that i can swallow, for taking it slow and giving me time to become all that you have planned for me to be.

gettin' crafty: vinyl guttering book shelves

it finally stopped raining long enough to get my craft on and that blank wall in boy's room is gettin' filled!
i have seen these book shelves made out of vinyl guttering all over the web. they are really cute and a great way to display books for little ones to see and reach.
what you need:
vinyl guttering
the brackets to hang the guttering
and two end caps per piece
(be careful, they come in lefts and rights)
spray paint, the kind for plastic
(if your crazy like me *see below)
wood screws
stud finder (you know, for the walls?)
the guttering comes in 10 foot sections. i sweet talked the guy at lowe's into cutting mine into three even pieces. he used a hack saw and it was pretty quick and easy.
i had only seen the shelves made in white and that seems to be the standard color the guttering is sold in, but i didn't let that stop me. boy's needed to be red!
*a word about spray painting:
the plastic spraypaint (*i used krylon) was tomato red not the barn red i wanted.
vinyl guttering is very static-y so it's hard to keep clean while painting.
i ended up using regular spray paint for a third and fourth coat instead of the plastic stuff and that greatly improved the color.
while hanging the shelves i found that the color scrapes off pretty easily so all that hard work will probably be regretted later...
once all the pieces were dry, i marked where i wanted them on the wall, checking that they were level and spaced far enough apart for the bigger books. marked where the studs were and adjusted the mounting brackets to make sure they were spaced to hit said studs. used my honey's electric drill to attach and walla...
i only used two of the shelves because the third would have been too high for boy to reach... maybe i'll hang it when he is older?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"THE" craft fair: a weekend of craftyness

fall in nwa equals a weekend (okay, really it's almost a full week) of craft fairs. every town has one. every convention center, hotel ballroom, open field, is full of crafts and crafters. people come from all over the country to sell their wares or buy them...
sister flew up for a long weekend and we did our part to contribute to the madness that is "THE" craft fair...
we started at a few smaller fairs had some lunch then headed for the grand daddy of them all... war eagle.
sister, moo (baby sister), little lady, boy, and i having lunch
we were not the only insane folk heading to war eagle... the rest of the world decided to go too! FIFTY MINUTES it took to go the 1 mile from the turn off to war eagle mill.

it's a beautiful setting. war eagle is a farm and mill (still used to stone grind grains) set in the ozark mountains near beaver lake.

there was lots to see, some good, some bad, some that i just didn't understand, and some that i couldn't wait to get home and try myself.

we ended the day with a corn dog at the fair. boy thought it was quite yummy and he really liked dipping stuff in the ketchup.

"THE" craft fair: the best and the well, um...

trying to catch up on some blogging...
more on the war eagle craft fair sister came up for.
creativity abounds...

every year this booth is one of my favorite.
this man takes piles of junk and turns it into
the coolest models of plains, trains, automobiles...
i lost his card, he has a website, i'll link it as soon as i find it :o(

then there is creativity?
well, we will say there is plenty that is unique...

then of course there are always those things
that you want to take home but they won't fit in the car...
oh, and you can't afford to pay for them!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

gettin' crafty: men's t-shirt refashion

browsing through the local helping hands i found an old, very worn, large men's t-shirt and i LOVED the front of it. it would be perfect for my little farm boy. so i bought it for next to nothing, took it home, cut it to pieces, and put it all back together again.i zig-zag stitched with a mustard yellow thread across the shoulders, around the top of the sleeve (where i attached them, leaving the unfinished edge showing) and around the hem, using a variety of stitch lengths to give it some character. i used the original hem of the sleeves so they didn't have to be restitched.

it came out SO CUTE. i'm in love... ahhh... a sweet, one of a kind shirt for boy for about a buck and thirty minutes of cutting and sewing!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

gettin' crafty: fabric scraps paper dolls

christmas times a comin' and that means gettin' crafty with some gifts.
one of my most favorite crafty bloggers makes these really cute
fabric scraps paper dolls for birthdays and special occasions
and they would be perfect for two little girls i know.
what you need:
a container of some sort
(i found these wooden boxes with latches and handles at hobby lobby)
fabric scraps
ribbon, rickrack, or other notions
good children's scissors
i also used paint, scrap booking paper, and good old mod podge to decorate my boxes

draw your "dolls" and make copies on card stock.
you can find outlines online if drawing isn't your thing.
i drew mine to look like the girls.
i painted the sides of my boxes pink and mod podged
coordinating paper on the front and back.
you can sand the edges of the paper once dried if you don't get it cut exact.

fill ziplock bags with scraps and such to decorate the dolls with.

add in the scissors and glue so the little designer has everything she needs.

i can't wait to give these away!

Monday, October 12, 2009

gettin' crafty: super easy onesie refashion

i am personally opposed to onesies for little ones over a year. once they can walk i don't want additional snaps and such to deal with... especially when working on pottying like a big boy.
however, boy had some onesies in his current size that had been given to us. i didn't want them to go to waist... especially since we are participating in the 2 month wardrobe refashion and can't buy new clothes. so here is what i did.
cut the bottom of the onesie off. didn't hem or anything... the jersey fabric won't fray. easy peasy done!
check out boy in his use to be a onesie thermal.

not me monday

boy had trouble actually going to sleep during nap time this weekend.
during on of his "naps" that consisted of him wallering around in his crib...
i did not go back to check on him only to find that he had stripped off all his clothes, except socks.
i did not find a little boy who had then done some business in the crib.
i did not find a little boy who was using said business as finger paint.
he had not painted himself, the sheets, the crib, and he was not starting on the walls when i did not walk in.
i don't think i can express enough that this was not me. no way!
i have been reassured by family and friends that this is a pretty common nap activity for little ones boy's age.
i will be sure to pass that on to the momma that this happened to cause it WAS NOT me...
*no pictures were included with this post because some things just don't need to be with commemorated with a picture.

Friday, October 9, 2009

chefin' it: my favorite fall meal

the rules are simple... the first cold night you make a big pot of stew.
it's really easy and really yummy.
what you will need:

a pound or so of stew meat
(any cut of meat cubed will work)
half an onion diced
a large clove of garlic minced
(about 1/2 tsp of garlic powder will work)
about 2 cups of frozen veggies mix
(any flavor you like, mine has green beans, carrots, peas, and corn)
about 5 potatoes cubed
an 8oz can of tomato sauce
a little worcestershire
a tbs of beef base
(or a couple beef boullon cubes)
saute onions and garlic in a bit of oil
brown meat (the house is already smelling yummy)
add veggies and potatoes and stir
add can of tomato sauce and enough water to cover meat and veggies well
add beef base, cover and let simmer
when potatoes are done i add a splash of worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
(if it is too tomato-y add a bit of brown sugar, you can also thicken it a bit by combining a tbs of flower and with water and mixing well then stirring the mixture into the stew)

now i know some people would say your potatoes need to cook for a while before you add the rest of the veggies blah, blah, blah... i am here to tell you that it does not matter. when the potatoes are done (you can smash'em with a fork) it's cooked long enough. now it will be better if you let it keep cooking over a low heat a little longer and it will be EVEN BETTER heated up tomorrow.

add a big slab of sweet cornbread from grandma's recipe and its
pure, soul-warming, goodness in a bowl...

there's a little bit of redneck in the family gene pool

there was not a lot going on at our house last night. we had a big storm come through with LOTS of rain; over 5 inches just over night and it's still coming down. when i got home the power was out. this was nice because i got taken out to dinner. not so great when we got home because we were sitting in a dark quiet house.
do not fear though. no one at my house died of boredom. my ingenious husband brought in a lamp and the laptop. He rigged them up to the ac converter on his diesel truck and WALLA! we sat in the chair by the door and watched movies on the laptop all night.
you can't tell me there isn't a little bit of redneck in his family gene pool.

i heart me some fall

i heart me some fall... and it is here!
we have had a cool wet start to the season and trees are changing EVERYWHERE. it is going to be a beautiful fall.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

things yet to be seen

our home has a pretty neutral palate. even though we are in northwest arkansas, which is the most developed area of the state, we live in a rural little corner of the world. our home reflects that; rustic, western, what have you...
sticking to neutrals when we bought our house allowed me to come back later, after i decided what i wanted to do, and build on that...
four years later... no changes!
but i now have a plan for this space...
and this chair...
oh, and this empty space in boy's room...

what is my plan you ask? color... and hopefully sooner than later.
check back for things yet to be seen...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

a baby brag...

okay, so i am a pretty new little baby blogger, so for many this isn't that big of a deal... but it is for me so...

i signed up to put my blog on blogville, a blog directory. i think they pretty much accept anyone who asks to be on it. BUT my blog was chosen for the editors choice... yippee!

i think that may mean someone would actually enjoy my blog... i feel so loved... sigh...

gettin' crafty: a little mod podge is an amazing thing

mod podge is a pretty amazing thing.
it dries quick...
it is easy to paint with...
it is water soluble...
this makes mod podge the perfect choice
for making your own screen prints.
what you need:
a shirt to make wonderful
a bit of creative inspiration
an embroidery hoop
sheer fabric (a sheer curtain works really well)
a pencil
a decent paint brush
screen printing ink (i got mine at hobby lobby)
mod podge, of course
a cheap, stiff paint brush
draw out your design
put fabric in the hoop

trace design on fabric
*you might check to see how big
it will be on your shirt first

flip the hoop over
if you don't your hoop with glue down to your work surface

mod podge the parts you don't
want the ink to go through,
let dry

when the design is completely dry flip it over and position it on your shirt
hold it down and apply screen printing ink liberally with a stiff brush

*it's a good idea to put something between the layers of your shirt

you are working to push the ink through the screen
you can get a more "worn" effect by
working the ink into the screen less
pull up the screen and check out your results
when shirt is completely dry,
heat set with an iron according to ink directions
you can wash out and reuse the screen.
i've made up to 25 shirts with the same screen,
just wash it off every few shirts.

here's my "new" screen printed shirt for boy...
i'd love to see yours...

here are a few more of the many i've made...
i love this project!

for boy's first rockin' pirate birthday party...

race for the cure team shirts, including one for boy...
they have a little 80's punk vibe, very fun to make.

told you mod podge was pretty amazing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

learnin' an growin' an growin' and learnin'

we've been learnin'
*how to climb the rails of the pipe fence around the pasture...
(probably not a skill you should encourage a 15 month old to perfect, but he is so excited to do it)
*how to slurp spaghetti...
(he spits it out instead of slurping it up, but he thinks its really funny when momma does it)
*how to tinkle on the potty...

*how to go down the slide by himself like a big boy...
*how to sign "please" and "thank you"...
(and finally sign "more" correctly)

*how to spit acorns across the drive...
(should he already be involved in spitting contests? it that a boy gene they are born with?)