Friday, May 29, 2009

Adoption Announcement

I am sorry that I have not posted sooner this week. We've had some big news and I am afraid it has left me so excited that I don't even know where to begin in writing a post about it. It doesn't seem like I can write a post about some little craft project or anything with this sort of news rolling around and around in my head. So, I have been thinking of the best way to tell everyone what we have to tell everyone and the only way I could come up with is just to say it. So, I am going to say it.

We have made the decision to proceed with adoption as a way to grow our family.

Everything else in that upstairs brain of mine is in a muddle right now and I can't even process information to tell you anything further. I've researched a bit this week and we will be praying for the next 7 days as to whether we should go through the state for adoption or use Bethany Christian Services for our adoption agency.

I will definitely be keeping everyone updated on our journey. Please, if you could, say a prayer for us as we have some major decisions to make. Please, also pray for unity of mind between James and myself and that we would be open to the Lord's direction in this process. He has someone in mind for our home and our love and we want to make sure that we hear His voice and follow His guiding.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Camping Menu

We are packing up the car and in less than an hour headed off on our camping adventure. Before we vacate the premises, I thought I had better follow through and give you our camping menu. I am trying something new this time and will be able to tell you how it goes when we get back Monday night. (with loads of pictures and possibly even some video)

And now....our four day menu in which I have almost eliminated the use of a cooler altogether. (we need a small one for our frozen meat and cheese but that's it)

DAY 1 - Today
Breakfast - cereal and powdered milk in a ziplock bag. Add 1 cup of water for cereal. (Chloe and I will be having oatmeal and boiling water)
Lunch - crackers and cheese with pepperoni and tuna (not mixed together, mind you)
Dinner - Steaks and canned veggies (the steaks are frozen in a ziplock baggie with a marinade. They will marinate as they thaw today in the cooler.
Snacks - S'MORES! Trail mix, granola bars

DAY 2 - Saturday
Breakfast - same with bananas
Lunch - Soup (its a pre-made chicken noodle in a package and all you do is add boiling water)
Dinner - Hot Dogs, mac and cheese,
Snacks - S'MORES!

DAY 3 - Sunday
Breakfast - same with apples
Lunch - Oriental Noodles (again, the kind you just add water to for a full meal) and beef jerky
Dinner - Pita Pizza (pita bread filled with pizza sauce, mozerella cheese and leftover pepperoni, cooked over the grill. YUM!)
Snacks - S'MORES! (yes...we are bringing a LOT of s'more supplies)

DAY 4 - Monday
Breakfast - same with leftover fruit if still fresh
Lunch - crackers with canned chicken and cheese if still fresh

We have some additional supplies as well. Tang, powdered drink mix (the kind that is added to a water bottle for instant drink) coffee, trail mix, some Oreo fudge cookies. I really tried to pack light. I struggle with the notion that we won't have enough food but in times past I usually packed so much food that we carried home more than half of what I took. Seems kind of silly, right? But I am having the hardest time believing that the above foods will not leave us starving. The good thing is the river we are going to has a camp store. I know, I know. Not really roughing it, but hey. Its the only spot we found on the internet that was available this weekend. We didn't really want to take the chance of heading out somewhere three hours away only to be told they are booked up.

Well, I had better sign off the computer and start packing up the car. Have a wonderful weekend everyone. I will chat at you all on the other side of the weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eclectic Trail Mix

I have created a "lightweight" menu plan for our four days in the wilderness this weekend. This go round I am aiming for "lightness". Things that don't require much preparation but that are light and will travel easily. But first let me tell you of my eclectic trail mix I whipped up today. Mind you, not the healthiest mix on the planet but seeing as how I included whatever I found buried in the back of my cupboard I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

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I dumped in...

3 box shakes of Cheerios
Half a bag of whole Almonds
3/4 a bag of Heath toffee bits
3/4 bag mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup Yankee colored M&M's
1/2 box golden raisins
1 cup raisins
1 bag chopped walnuts
1 cup dried goji berries
1 cup raw sunflower seeds

Yummy! I think even Chloe will find some things in here that she likes. Hooray! My next post will be all about our menu plan and the things I will be doing to make the food load lighter. Have a fabulous afternoon everyone.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rubber Duckie Cake

I have the exciting privilege of co-hosting a baby shower tomorrow for a dear friend of mine with a dear friend of mine. The theme? Ducks. Rubber ones. These things are so cute. I don't think anyone on the planet can look at a rubber duck and not think "awww...how cute."

So, the first thing I needed to do was find a rubber duck. Not such an easy task, or so I thought. I had not a clue where to begin on my hunt, but I was determined I would find, not one, but an entire family of rubber ducks. I headed to the dollar store first but no luck. I thought I might as well venture into Kmart next door before I began searching down my long list of possible stores that might carry a family of rubber ducks. Lo and behold, I found it at Kmart! A bag of 16 rubber ducks for $10. I couldn't have done better. 5 of them for the cake and the other 11 for Chloe. (you shall see what happened with a few of hers on another day. They had quite an adventure.) I needed 5 duckies because this is her fourth child. And of course I needed the Mama, right? Here is the cake I came up with using the 5 rubber duckies.

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I am very pleased with how the cake turned out. I will give it the grade of B. I got the consistency spot on this time. It was perfect. What I could not do was get the icing smooth and without a bunch of chocolate crumbs in it. I am getting better though. The thing I am most proud of though are the shells. I mastered them on this cake. They are about as perfect as I can get. I can't wait for my dear friend to see her cake tomorrow after church. She also decorates cake so she will be the true judge of my B grade. I hope she likes it.

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Our Girly Trip

Last I left you we were heading out the door to visit Karen who moved an hour away from me. I must first tell you about the drive. Although I was driving and could not look about as much as I would have wished, I did see that the drive was gorgeous. Very much so. Bright green trees. Dark green trees. Most of the time you don't even realize that you are in a major city. Amazing. This area is growing on me as we are prepping ourselves for possible orders. Sad, isn't it? It took me three years to enjoy the area and now we will probably leave.

Oh well. That's life in the military. So...about the time with Karen. It was fantastic. We shopped to our hearts content. Chloe was so excited to sleep in her sleeping bag. I thought she would have trouble with the whole thing but she didn't. I put her on the floor so she wouldn't get used to sleeping in my bed and she did wonderful. (the cool sleeping bag helped quite a bit too. It was given to us by a friend)

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Day two we did a bit more shopping. We found a fantastic Organic food store near Karen filled to the brim with delightful goodies. Ever heard of organic soda? I hadn't until this week. Its carbonated juice, basically. Without the corn syrup and junk. It was quite yummy. For the afternoon we just hung around her "house". She taught Chloe how to make a puppet on her hand with a scarf.

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I will miss my friend who used to live about 3 minutes down the road. Now we shall just have to have more adventures in her new location. All that we need now is to find a nice tea room near her and we are set.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Feeling Partly Good

Apart from the fact that I am STILL sick, we have been doing fairly good around here. Mother's day was a huge success, if I do say so myself. Breakfast in bed (pancakes), coffee (that I didn't have to make), 3 Jack Johnson cd's and a dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. We even had time to hit a camping store and dream of the time when we could afford all those gidgets and gadgets to make camping easier. I love being a mother. It is truly one of the best gifts God could have given me.

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Monday I hit the thrift store near me to pick up some camping clothes. I spent $29 and got two pairs of jeans for Chloe, four shirts for Chloe, four shirts for myself, one pair of jeans for myself and a pair of sandals for Chloe. Not bad...not bad at all. I noticed a bicycle in front of the store which was the perfect size for Chloe. I told James about it before dinner and so we headed back out that evening to pick it up. I had priced some bikes at Kmart for $50 and $70. The thrift store bike is the $70 bike from Kmart and we only paid $7 for it. Of course it didn't come with training wheels so we had to buy those and then dear little Chloe absolutely needed a basket on her bike, so we bought her one of those too. Sooo...this bike cost us a total of $20. Alot cheaper than the $70 one from Kmart.

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And what else are baskets for but to put your entire collection of rubber duckies in to ride along with you?

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And now we are packed up and ready to head out of town to visit my dear friend Karen. I shall take lots of pictures and will be back tomorrow evening. She has up and left me and moved an hour away and I simply MUST see her before I wither away from missing her. (she's only been gone for a little over a week, but that is entirely beside the point...plus she has a gigantic fabric store near her that she has promised to take me to) So, it shall be a fun two days for me and I will be back with pictures. Have a great day everyone. I leave you with one of my favorite Jack Johnson songs.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Big Trips Coming Soon

After two days of leaving you hanging, I thought I had better let you in on our big news. Well, the first isn't so big really...unless you are me. Then its fabulous. James promised to take me camping for Memorial weekend. He has an extra day off (gotta love those military "family" days) so we get a whole four days to be gallivanting off in the woods. He is even going to get me a fishing license so I can fish too. Woo Hooo. I can almost smell those smores already.

But that's not the BIG news! Oh no. Nothing can compare with what I am about to tell you. (unless, of course, I told you I was dead and writing to you from heaven...but seeing as how that hasn't happened, this comes next in line)

James is taking me to Disneyworld in August or September! My goodness. I can't believe it. I am so excited I can hardly contain it. We are two overgrown kids with a young kidlet on our hands...so I don't doubt that we will have a blast. You see...military gets in free this year (I believe its a five day pass) and we plan to stay at the Shades of Green Resort (the military's resort within the Disneyworld resort) so that means we can do this for relatively cheap. All that's left is airfare. We found tickets for the three of us for around $350 total. Not bad, not bad at all.

I have compiled a little list of things I simply MUST do while in Disneyworld. Here you go...

1. get picture with Mickey (and autograph)
2. ride in the teacups
3. tour Mickey and Minnie's country houses
4. Ride the Disney Railroad
5. Ride Dumbo
6. Eat Mickey Mouse pancakes
7. Explore the Swiss Family Robinson tree house (should probably watch the movie before we go to as a refresher course...haven't seen it since I was a kid)
8. Find Jack Sparrow (on the Pirates of the Caribbean Cruise)

That's all I can think of for now. I am sure as the time approaches for us to go that list will lengthen dramatically. I am off now to prepare for an evening of scrapbooking away. Have a fantastic weekend everyone.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I Think That's Enough

This is the phrase I heard a few times yesterday. Granted, each time in a slightly different manner but that was the gist of what was implied. My dear husband had seen quite enough cards for the week. He even mentioned a couple of times this week that he hopes I "will use all those cards". So, after yesterday's card making session I think its time to call it quits for a little while.

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What else can a girl do when she has declutteration on the brain? I guess its back to the sewing projects we must go. Yes...and maybe this next week I should begin to think about decluttering that overflowing fabric scrap tote. Today I will try to work on that brown shirt dress that has been cut out since before Thanksgiving. Before I do though I will show you something NOT card related at all. I figure if I have suffered you through a weeks worth of cards this is the least I can do. I made these cozies this past weekend.

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A 4-pot teapot cozy made from some scrap yarn I had leftovers of. I think I might list it sometime next week in my Etsy shop. We will see.

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And these are for a girlfriend of mine who is in the process of buying her first home with her hubby. They will be a housewarming gift. I have enough of that yarn leftover that I might whip her up a tea cozy as well and just make it a complete set.

Well, its time for me to run. The big news I have to tell you will have to wait another day. It needs a post all by itself. I hope you all have a wonderful day. We finally have some glorious sunshine and bright blue skies around here so I will mow the yard and weed the front flower garden at some point during the day. Probably when I need a break from sewing that brown dress. Then we have a 7-8 hour babysitting job this evening during which I will most likely begin crocheting a dress for my new niece I will be obtaining this summer. More on that topic at another date. Have a fabulous day.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Scrappiness Happiness

I am in scrappiness heaven, if there is such a place. I am quite sure there is. I dragged all of my stuff out so I might as well use it up while its sitting all over my basement family room. No point in putting it all back away for the next few years.

I am pleased to say that I have used up almost all my random sticker stash. WOOO HOO. These are the stickers that are left in onesies, twosies, threesies and sometimes foursies and fivesies. I still have another sticker stash of those that only have one or two missing from the entire sheet. That's a completely different story though. I have yet to even look in that stash and will most likely save those for a scrapbook page. The amazing thing is though that I have yet to even make a dent in the scrap paper stash. I aim to work on that today but before I head down to the dungeon I thought I would show you the cards I finished yesterday. I brought the tripod down today so the pictures should be a bit better than yesterday.

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I have a couple of confessions to make. First of all, I love pop dots. I LOVE them. I adore them. They are the single, most brilliant invention for card-making on the planet. I also love glue dots. I learned about those brilliant little things this past weekend and I have no idea how I survived before without them. Its amazing that I could even breath or sleep without knowledge of such an idea as glue dots. Little dots of glue that you pick off the roll and place where you need them. These things are amazing when it comes to gluing down ribbon or other smaller items. Yes, a truly ingenious invention.

And I wanted to tell you that I have found the perfect way for attaching random stickers to my cards without them being "sticker-like". (don't particularly like that kindergarten look to my cards) I place them on a piece of cardstock (preferably neutral colored) and then cut around the sticker. Wa-la! Instant die cut. Then I add the pop dots to the ones that need to pop and perfection. I love it. Well, now...I must be off if I want to get more cards done today. I have some sort of exciting news to tell you all but I think I will wait for another post. Have a fabulous day all day long.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Scrap Happy Cards

I collect scraps. You may already know this about me, or this may be coming as a complete shock. I don't know. I don't even know why I do this aside from the fact that I buy into that line "waste not, want not." So, I collect scraps. Paper scraps. Stickers. Even ribbon scraps. I can't being myself to throw away anything that could potentially be used for something in the future.(yes...I evevn have a bucket full of yarn scraps, but that is another craft)

Now since I began scrapbooking 8 years ago I have kept every single little piece of scrap paper and scrap sticker I have ever touched and have amassed such a scrap stash that I am drowning in pieces of paper and random stickers. Its time to do something about this problem. And since I am on a major declutterization kick at the moment, what better time to go through my scraps and make cards? Here is what I made this past weekend...all from scraps, mind you. (sorry for the blurriness of some of these pictures...I am too lazy today to get out my tripod and do this right)

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So, now I am off to fold some laundry and make more cards while the child sleeps. I haven't even touched half of the scraps yet. And the point of this is to declutter them down to almost nothing. Be prepared to see more cards in the next day or two. I am on a mission this week. A mission to get rid of as many scraps of paper as possible.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Two New Dresses

Ack! Why is it that whenever I set a goal, no matter how small, something always prevents me from attaining said goal? So, I knew on Tuesday that I might be getting a little bit sick. Boy...a little bit was an understatement. James ended up taking me to the doctor's yesterday for fear that I might have contracted that pig flu. I politely informed him that I did NOT have the pig flu and they would only tell me I had a little cold and to "go home and get over it". Sure enough, that is what the doctor said. Oh...he said it in a much nicer way. "You have a upper body virus" which is just a nicer way of saying "you have a cold." That way you don't feel so silly going to the doctor for something so trivial.

Anyways, I did manage to get two things on my list finished this week. Tuesday I finished Chloe's Easter dress.

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Chloe is going to look like a little doll...next Easter. I guess the good thing about not finishing this dress on time was the fact that it is slightly HUGE on her. No...actually VERY huge on her. The sleeves fall off her shoulders. I think this might fit her next year, and if not then the year after that. LOL. This dress was made using a pattern called The Princess Dress by Primrose Lane. I bought it from the website Heirloom Sewing for Children. Beautiful site with beautiful patterns and fabric.

Now the Tutti Frutti dress. Why do I call it my Tutti Frutti dress? Well, simply because that is the name of the line of fabric. Tutti Frutti. And they have the brightest colors for little girls. So cute. So sweet. I loved it and knew I wanted to make a pillowcase dress with it. Here is what I came up with. (on my second attempt)

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The first attempt at designing my own sewn dress came out looking like a mermaid costume. I am afraid that my second attempt fared no better. I added a bit of bright green rick rack (love that stuff) to the hem area and across the bodice just to take away from the "boxy" look of the dress. The rick rack tied into bows helps out in that regard as well. While I am not entirely pleased with this dress, at least I tried. And as soon as Chloe wakes up from her nap I shall try it on her and see if it looks any better that way. I am off now to begin sewing on my brown shirt dress. Have a wonderful afternoon everyone.