Thursday, December 10, 2009

It truly is THE MOST wonderful time of the year!

It's no secret that I LOVE Christmas! I love the decorations, I love the smell of a fresh cut tree in my house, I love the beautiful white lights and getting to enjoy my snowbabies that decorate the mantle! I love decorating the house, I love picking the perfect tree, I love decorating it and I LOVE how the kids go thru their own ornament box and reminisce about when they got each ornament and lovingly place in on the tree. This year was a bit different, I got to decorate the house but while I was visiting with my mom, my dear sweet husband and kiddos went and picked the tree, put on the lights and some sparkly red beads (thanks to Hannah)! All before I came home. I thought I'd be sad, but it was just beautiful! The tree is much fuller than any other year but it's a Frasier fir, three of the five strings of Christmas lights were burnt out so we have only two sets on the tree, and it is the most beautiful tree we have ever had!!! I Love it,and most importantly I love my husband who thought to do this to surprise me...I truly am blessed! P.S. He even took photos for me to scrapbook! I am a lucky, lucky lady!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A memory...

I watched Good Morning America today and they had a “Recipe Club” where women got together and talked about a recipe that meant something to them, whether it was an apple cake made on a first date where they picked apples together to a fond memory of mom making bread pudding. I began to think about my culinary skills and where my love for all things food began!

My mother was a stay at home mom, raising four girls on a mechanics salary. I remember a big deal was going to the grocery store with mom on a Friday night (and then coming home to watch Dallas) and maybe, if you were on your best behavior, getting to pick a treat, my favorites were Oreos and Doritos! I can’t say my mom loved to cook, but she did. I can’t say my mom was a Julia Child either, I can’t imagine Julia ever using “straight bologna” as the main ingredient in a meal, what is straight bologna anyway?? Yet, when I got married I had that recipe tucked away! We always had our straight bologna stew with sliced fried potatoes, just thinking about it makes me smile because I can see us sitting at the dinner table enjoying our meal together!! My mom made sure we had a homemade meal each night, and we always sat together as a family, we didn’t need super nanny telling us to eat our meals as a family, it was unheard of to eat in front of the TV, even now when I visit my parents I find it hard to eat in the living room, I don’t even like to take a drink in there, it’s like holy ground!

My mom didn’t stop at just the main meal, she liked to make us a sweet treat every once in a while. I look at photos growing up and at birthday celebrations there was always a lopsided square cake with our names in piping gel across the top, my mom was no Sylvia Winestock when it came to baking, but when I look at those photos we were all smiling, it just didn’t matter!! Mom liked to bake, Texas Sheet cake, which I still have not perfected, I’ve been known to make a mean Texas hockey puck cake!! And when we were going camping we always had tandycakes! Ohh I’m making myself hungry just writing this!

So why am I writing this, well because I desire to leave a legacy for my kids, I’d like them to know who inspired me to cook and what recipes reminded me of my childhood and I wonder what would my kids pick as their favorite? Their choices probably won’t include ‘Spam’ or straight bologna, but I hope they will include lot’s of smiles and recollections of happy family times sitting at the dinner table together…

Thank you mom, for inspiring me

Incase your feeling like trying out that recipe for
Straight Bologna Stew here it is. I'm pretty sure you couldn't google this thing!lol

1 lb. hunk of straight bologna (cut into cubes)
sm. onion chopped
celery chopped
1 can stewed tomatos
*brown bologna, onion, celery in pan with a little oil.
add can of stewed tomatos and heat to a boil.
thicken with flour/water.
Serve over thin sliced fried potatos.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Webster’s Dictionary defines Quirk as: a peculiar trait

I have been called many things, but never peculiar, at least not to my face!! But I just realized something, I have a quirk!! OK so I’m sure I have many, many quirks but this one just hit me tonight. It’s not a big deal really, sorta silly but it’s what I do, every time. So here is my big quirk, when I get a new scrappin magazine I first go thru it quickly, just breeze thru and pull out all the lil postcard thingies. Then I let it sit for a few days, then I go thru it slower and look at the layouts. Then it’s sits for a few more days, and then finally I read it word for word , cover to cover!! After that, well I rip pages out and do whatever and pass it on to the next crazy scrapper!!

So why am I so inclined to write this down? Well I don’t know exactly, but it made me think, what else do I do, all the time, without fail? I make lists, ohhhh I love making lists. Grocery lists, birthday gift lists, Christmas lists, daily chore lists etc… If there is a need to write something down, I make a list. There is something about crossing things off a list! I feel so, I don’t know, accomplished?? And if I should make a list, say a grocery list, and I have to cross something off before I go to the grocery store, well I make a totally new list. AND if I go to the store and come home and cross stuff off and still have other stores to go to, then I have to make another new list!

And coupons, oh my don’t even get me started with coupons!! I have this crazy thing that I cannot buy something without a coupon! Now if it’s a life and death situation (like bath and body works hand soap) then I will give some wiggle room, it at least has to be on SALE! It drives my Josh crazy! But I think he’s learning how to be frugal and thrifty. Either that or when he’s on his own he’s going to go hog wild and buy everything he’s ever wanted regardless of coupons or sales!! Ohhh I hope not! That’s all I have for now!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And more thoughts...

Last evening I found myself unable to sleep, weighed with the burden of dear friends of ours who have just recently welcomed a baby into the world, a baby that at the very minute I am typing this, is fighting for his life. Sometimes I think as humans we want to control, we have it figured out and we have a back up plan if the first plan should fail, but my question then is, where does faith come in to play?? Is our faith something that we carry around like a helium balloon, it’s happy and fun and it’s there and we glance at it as we carry it along smiling, but when something serious happens we let that balloon go in order to free up OUR hands so We can get to work. When God’s hands already have it in control.. In scripture it tells us that we should “fix our eyes, not on what is SEEN, but on what is unseen.(2cor 4:17-18) So our faith needs to be a blind trust with our Heavenly Father. And as humans, it’s scary! Sometimes the places we are taken are cold and lonely and frightening but no matter where we go, no matter what the circumstances we face we are NEVER Alone!! When we face trials, it’s so important to cry out the Jesus, Psalm 143:6 I spread out my hands to you, my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” I love that “My soul THIRSTS” for you, I know there have been a few times in my life when I felt that physical thirst, that if I didn't get a drink I was going to lose my mind, that thirst was a need that I would do anything to quench and it was all I could think about. That's what Jesus wants from us, He wants us to desire him more than anything and drink of the living water, and when we do we need never thirst! Praise God! Do I think after we drink of this living water that we are never going to have burdens in life? No way, however, I am saying that during those times we need to keep seeking, keep knocking and be persistent in our prayers!! Drawing near to Him and HE will draw near to us. Psalm 73:26 says that “my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” HE is with us, when we weep, HE is weeping and wrapping his gently loving arms around us and even though we cannot physically feel his touch, we fix our eyes on the unseen, knowing that He is our refuge and strength!
Join with me in lifting up this young couple and their baby son. We are asking for nothing less than a miracle in his life. And pray that this couple will continue to trust and obey, to be deliberately obedient and intentionally trust!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Lately I have been feeling a bit like a chicken running around with it's head cut off. I have this crazy "to do" list a mile long and I feel like I can't do anything else until those 'things' get checked off. Only here is the problem, life is going on around me and I'm standing still while my family whirls around me. I want to engage but that 'list' keeps pulling me back! UGH! So this morning God woke me up extra early, 6:24a.m. to be exact! I layed there and tried to fall back asleep to no avail so I popped out of bed and started a load of laundry, only that's not what God wanted me to do. He wanted me to grab His word and my coffee and park myself on the patio and be refreshed. I didn't listen. I couldn't find 'my' bible, I had left it in the pew at church. And when I decided to get my back up bible, I realized that my husband shared that one with someone. Instead of grabbing one of my husbands (many) bibles, I sat down and sulked. It went something like this, "see, i can't even have my own quiet time, I am so unorganized and now my bible is not where it needs to be and I don't want to read someone else's bible, I wanted my bible." Ewe as I type this Willie Wonka is playing in my head..."I want a golden egg daddy, why can't I have a golden egg" and with that SELFISH ran through my head. I have been allowing my own selfishness to sabotage myself! Silly right? Yet as I sit and reflect that happens a lot! I get in my own way!
John 10:10 says the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life and have it to the full."
In my selfishness of my self imposed "to do" list I have allowed the thief to steal my JOY! UGH So for the rest of this morning, if you need me, I'll be on the patio with my husband's bible and my coffee, Join me!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How Hannah became a true princess...

We recently came home from a family vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida. We had a wonderful time, can't say I have the desire to ever go again, but I'm glad we did go. Especially for Hannah, because in another year I don't think the Princess Breakfast would have had quite the "magical-ness"! I found this mini book idea on a scrap site that I frequent and I knew that I had to make one for my princess too. Here is the story as it is journaled in the album:

Once upon a time, not so very long ago in a far far away land there lived a beautiful maiden named Hannah. Her only fairy dream was to become an enchanting Princess. Her fairy God mother (mommy) always called her princess but she never really felt like a "true" princess.

Then one day, Hannah went on an adventure to the "Kingdom of Magic" in Walt Disney World.

One night while she slept, Cinderella came to her room in her magical carriage and left the beautiful maiden a wonderful gift.

Hannah awoke from her slumber to find a beautiful gown, a crown and some fairy dust.

Then fairy God "mommy" got right to work and transformed her into a beautiful princess.

And then she received a royal proclamation by Her Highness the queen to attend a celebration at the Akerhus Royal Banquet Hall.

Princess Hannah was extremely busy but she made time to enjoy breakfast with her fellow princesses.

Belle even found time away from the Beast to laugh and spend time with the new Princess Hannah.

Ariel was enchanted by Princess Hannah and stopped by to say Hello!

Aurora was passing thru and wished the new Princess well.

To end the day Snow White came by and joined the royal welcome.

And just like her friend Cinderella, Hannah also learned that "A dream is a wish your heart makes when your fast asleep" And Princess Hannah lived Happily Ever After.

*I want her always to remember this story, it was a lot of fun!! Now here is the 'real' story about how the outfit 'magically' appeared! Sooooo everyone that knows me knows that I am frugal. If not, you do now. When we were planning this trip to Disney many people told me that my daughter HAS to go to the Bippity Bobbidi boutique, so I checked it out. After I pulled myself back up off the floor (the prices are crazy!) I got to thinking, now, how can I make Hannah feel like a princess, and be cost effective in the process??? Bingo, I made my way to the Disney outlet where they had High School Musical gowns on clearance. Next was the crown head piece, again on clearance and no respectable princess would be without shoes, or in this case flip flops!! Wheeeee and then to Claire's where they had the hair extensions, with beads, and a pretty star necklace. And walmart had the fairy dust! DONE! Packed it in our suitcases and the evening before the breakfast, after Miss Hannah fell asleep, I got out all the items and displayed them in our room. Her reaction was priceless and when she asked where it came from her big brother stepped in and said, "how else Hannah, Cinderella brought it, in her carriage" And thus the fairy "tale" began. The best part was, on our way to the bus, we saw a horse drawn carriage!! Yep, that was the cherry on top!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Let's do the basket weave...

I learned something new!!! I love baking cakes and decorating them, I'm not a professional by any means but I love a challenge. My sister asked me to make a baby shower cake for her so is started looking for ideas. Several hundred photos later I settled on this design, it reminds me of the old style baby carriages, (a pram?) and I loved it. Only one problem, I had no idea how to basket weave! So I placed a phone call to *T* from church and she was more than happy to teach me! Yay! I love that women! She rocks! And so here is the finished result... A strawberry cream filled cake with butter cream icing and a fondant baby face with it's own itty bitty binky!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We have been cleaning out my mam mam’s house recently. And as I went thru each cupboard and each drawer I was feeling sad, not because she’s no longer with us, but because of the things I was finding.

You see in her closets hung coats and clothes with tags on them, she was always waiting for a “special occasion” to wear them. In the kitchen were special serving dishes that had rusted new in the box and I thought “what good are these to her now?” Isn’t every day special, simply because God made it? Why then do we hold back on using things or wearing things for that ‘special’ time, that perfect moment?

I say get up and wear that special dress to do your simple every day errands, make a meal and serve it to your family on those beautiful dishes! Why wait? Scripture tells us that our life is but a “breath” Psalm 144:4 and it also tells us not to “store up treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy” Matthew 6:19

It was a good life lesson for me, and a very teachable moment for the kids. Live everyday as if it were your last...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Aren't they just the cutest 'lil things!!!

Look at these cute 'lil cake bites!! I just think they are the cutest things!! I got the recipe from another blog Bakarella. Only hers are way prettier! I think for the first time they turned out cute!! I think I was a bit impatient and the chocolate was not quite set or I just have really hot hands, but when I went to dip the top of the cute 'lil cake the chocolate would begin to melt and then I had to move real quickly so I didn't drop them. These treats are for my son's school, they are having a meal for the teachers tomorrow and I love to try new things. As an added bonus I'm also sending the butterbrickle cream cheese ball from Tastefully simple!! The cake bites are really sweet and yummy!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Like Father...Like daughter

Every night before bedtime we gather the kids for prayer. It's a nice time for us to unwind from the day and take time to review. Each night we ask What made you happy today? Sad? and Thankful! We never know what responses we will get. Now lately Dave has been calling on the kids to start the prayer and then he or I will close the prayer. Josh doesn't seem to mind, but Hannah not so much! Last night after our happy/sad/thankful she randomly said "OK guys I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100" So of course we all made our guesses. She proudly announced that daddy had won and his prize was that He was going to pray tonight!! LOL Didn't see that coming! So why did I title this "like father like daughter"?? Dave can be pretty tricky sometimes, and every so often he hits me with, "I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 5" when I guess he automatically says "yep, now your getting up with the kids tomorrow" Nice!!! I think the best part is that Hannah has never heard Dave do that, she's in bed!! So for her to play the same card is pretty interesting!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ready for the runway...

I have no photos, yet, but I had to write this down! Yesterday I went shopping, by myself, for clothes.

A. I hate to shop for clothes
B. I generally don't have a good fashion sense
C. I almost never go alone.

Those things in mind, I went to the Dress Barn outlet. I was searching for an outfit for an upcoming wedding and my closet is seriously lacking in "nice" outfits. After much trying on and all that fun stuff I found an outfit that I liked!! I loved the feel of the material and the pants are flowy and I felt so pretty! DONE mission accomplished! Came home and my husband gave me a thumbs up as well, actually his eyes said it all, then the smile and head tilt, I know he liked it. I had one more hurdle to conquer, Hannah! When she came home I said Hannah I found an outfit for the wedding and immediately she ran to her room got a pad and a pencil and said, "OK I'm ready, try it on." Odd I thought, paper, pencil?? So I did the runway once again, she scanned me up and down and said, "turn" and then she wrote something in the notebook and held it up, a number 3! I said what's that for, and she said she rated it a 3!! I said well is it 3 out of 5? She said "actually it's out of 10, sorry mommy, I don't like the black socks" LOL I'm not wearing socks with the outfit silly girl, now re-calculate! Life in my house is never dull with the Diva of style!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's going to be a Happy Birthday!

I'm so excited to share these photos! It's my daughter's 9th birthday March 8th and she has been asking for a bed for her doll she got for Christmas. The "original" bed that is part of "Julie's" collection is $118 not including shipping and most likely you have to put it together, are they crazy??!! So I found an alternative and I got to be crafty!! My friends husband (Thanks Duane) made the bed frame for me, cost $30. I then headed to Joann Fabrics and purchased the fabric & bling, cost $12. Then I went to work and here are the finished results! I do believe we are going to have one Happy birthday girl on our hands!! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Valentine's date for the record books!

We decided to attend the “Weekend to remember” conference this year at the Hershey Lodge. Since we were so close we commuted and decided to go some place really nice for our “date” nite! I had noticed the Quentin Tavern one evening, the parking lot was full (always a good sign) and several friends said it was really good food and a nice atmosphere! So I went to the web site and checked out all the details, the menu looked great and I called and made reservations for Saturday evening, Valentine’s Day! We had plenty of time to get ready for our evening and decided we better leave early, you never know what traffic would be like and it had started to snow. I love when snow is just beginning to fall, it’s so beautiful and just the thought that no two snowflakes are alike is just amazing. And I gazed into the eyes of the man I love and share this crazy life with…ahhhhhh We pulled into the Tavern, and we were a bit early but decided we’d go in and relax a bit before being seated. Yeah… that didn’t happen, the Host (a grumpy older gentleman) said “well your early and your table is not ready but…” as he grabs two menus, “follow me” and proceeds to weave us thru the first dining area (a quaint room with beautiful antiques) , thru the back of the bar area and seats us in the most lovely area, NOT!!! We were seated at the opening of two major traffic areas in the establishment; I had the lovely view of the back of the bar and to my right the bathroom and common area for all the wait staff to congregate! Deep breath…..and I once again gazed into the eyes of the man I love, who by this time was drooling over the menu…. Which I’m not sure how he held as the wind picked up with all the staff rushing by!! I got the attention of the host and asked very politely, “ Had we have waited, where would we be sitting?” and he said “Ohhh, over there” as he pointed to an even more quaint room with large windows, flickering lights and antiques…sigh…. Once again I gazed into the eyes…. All right that’s it with all the gushy stuff, by now I’m ready to cry and he’s just hungry and its Valentine’s evening and we are here and well we might as well just turn that frown upside down and enjoy the evening! OK OK it’s funny, and probably a classic evening for us so I order my meal and try and relax (and stop shivering) and then…………a party of eight are seated right next to us! Ummmm yeah, four couples and the ring leader is a dead ringer for Ray Romano’s mother on “Everybody loves Raymond”, ….no need to elaborate… Our meals came along with even more laughter. See Dave ordered a steak and coleslaw as a side. Only when his plate arrived the waiter said, “Sir, we are out of coleslaw so we gave you macaroni salad instead” word for word I kid you not!! There was no discussion allowed, no other choices offered! We smiled and burst into laughter, here is the irony, Dave hates macaroni salad!! But I will add that in his hunger, he did eat it and said it was not bad. My meal was pretty good, a seafood mixture in a cream sauce over penne pasta. We finished our meal and quickly made our way out the door, yes we paid! LOL We did have a wonderful evening and lot’s of laughter!! God is good and I’m thankful he chose to bless me with Dave!!

The photos:
1. The Tavern, built in the 1700's
2. Exhibit A; where they sat us
3. Exhibit B; Where we could have been sitting!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Scrap time...

Today was the first day in a VERY long time that I sat down to scrapbook actual photos! Lately I've been making mini albums for gifts but not my own pages. So today I was thrilled to get a few layouts completed. Plus, I have my own OCD's about how I scrapbook example, each kid has their own Birthday;School;Holiday & Misc. albums. To make it even more OCD, they are all color coordinated in the WE R Memory Keepers leather albums (I love those albums) It feels so good to have Hannah's School & Birthday up to date as well as Josh's School album! I feel like i've accomplished something and that my friend, feels good! Sigh... As I look behind me and see the ginormous container of photos (all organized by date and child) I know, can you say OCD!! Enjoy

Note: On the "A Year in Review" page there is a mini file folder album on the page which has lot's more photos and journaling inside!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

WAY outside my "box"

I was faced with a challenge of making a gift for an extreme teenager!! I'm not a skull and crossbones kind of girl, and I had to stretch myself a bit to make this accordion album but after all is said and done, I kinda like it!! I used the BoBunny "x-treme Teen" line, card stock, black ink, staples and some leather & ric rac! Check it out!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

my Diva daughter

It seems I always have much to say about my son Josh, but tonight it's all Hannah, my Diva child. I'm not sure where she got her Diva style, totally more nature than nurture 'cause anyone who knows me knows that I'm no fashion plate! LOL Hannah has a style all her own! It's no joke that Hannah loves shoes, I mean LOVES shoes. She is known to trade shoes in church, school pretty much wherever! And now I can add makes her own shoes to the list! Yep, tonight I walked in on Gheppeto's shoe shop in my kitchen. Cardstock...check Tape...check Staples...check a little girl with a creative imagination...CHECK! I'm not sure I should be worried quite yet at the size of the heels she was attempting to create! Who knows maybe someday people will wear her original designs, but for now it's just a prototype and she may have to rethink the cardstock...Patent Pending

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Son of a scrapper....

I am so proud of Josh tonight, even though earlier I wanted to ring his neck!!! Here is why: the kids have been on break from school, and there were days when Josh was "bored out of his mind" and we asked him..."do you have any homework?" Nooooo was his reply. So to my delight (inject sarcasm) he came to me yesterday and said, "Um mom, I have a project due on Monday" And I smiled and hugged him and...NOT I was so mad at him, I refused to help him! He was on his own! So today after church I took a nap,Dave went to work and Josh started working on his project. Oh he did try and wake me several times but I was not helping.... Imagine my delight when I woke up and he had most of the game board finished, complete with rules and cards!! So I softened a little bit and let him use my Cricut Expression to cut out the letters. I think it turned out pretty good!! He is a Son of a Scrapper!!! So proud!!