Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Sew Halloween Costume

We have made it to my favorite season of all: FALL! And we love Halloween time. Each year we look forward to deciding what to be for Halloween. My kids always have their own ideas and we work on the costumes throughout the month ready for October Thirty-One!!!
Recently I created a no sew costume for Fiskars. Ella was my model and she had a wonderful time trying on the headbands and loves the tutu! Here are a few more photos of my little Halloween model.
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{This headband actually has a mini witch hat! Can't see it very well in the photo.}

Ella has decided to wear the Little Miss Muffet {spider princess} costume. We have added black lace gloves and spider rings! Are we missing anything you can think of to put this costume over the top??

Read the rest of the article HERE.

This post is sponsored by Fiskars, Inc.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th

I went through all of my September posts from the past 7 years & I have never written about my 9/11/2001 experience.
We had just moved into our first home over Labor Day weekend. I was 8 months pregnant & Christian was almost 3 years old. It had been an exhausting week of moving & getting settled in. Christian had slept later than usual, so I also slept in with him. When we woke up is was just before 9 am MST. I was getting him breakfast and he turned on the TV to watch cartoons. We didn't have any furniture down in our family room, since this was our first house & had a baby on the way. Just before I turned the channel to PBS, I saw that there was something interesting on the Today show. And then I saw it. The planes crash into the building. They kept showing it over and over again.
I immediately called Craig. He had heard about it on the way to work & they had been watching it on TV from the break room.
I sat on the floor of the family room, and just sobbed. What kind of world were we bringing this precious child into??
That kept going through my mind.
Every time I would look into Christian's sweet innocent eyes, I would cry.
We spent the rest of the day at home, watching the news. I had a list of errands and home projects to start, but going to Home Depot just didn't seem very important on that day.
Craig came home from work & I cried again. I checked on my brother, who was in the Navy; and we talked to many family members on the phone.
It was a quiet night.
I knew that for our children, life would be different. Changed. Forever.
Ella's soccer practice tonight...this is my life. 
Overall people are good. 
Grateful for this day.
Tonight as I put my kids to bed we talked again about this story. We didn't know anyone who had to go through the personal tragedy of losing someone on that day. But I think for all of us it was a day that the country we all knew was different now and would be for every day going forward. But we would go forward and we will continue to move forward & live every day with gratitude, joy, happiness, and probably some heartache. I am grateful for those people who continue to protect our country & for their families you also make sacrifices for our freedom. I will always remember.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Carmel Dumplings

A few weeks ago I was going through my recipe box and looking to resurrect a few favorite recipes. I came across this one which was still written on a 3x5 card I am sure I used while studying at Snow College. My roommate gave me this recipe & it was one of our Sunday night traditions during those 2 years. I remember even after my roommate got married, she made it for us 'single girls' a few times when we were feeling down about college stress, boyfriends, tests, etc. It was such a comfort food.
I made it tonight for dessert. It was a cooler weekend so it felt like Fall was coming. Not sure if that will really happen here in Texas, but I can only hope.

Carmel Dumplings
By Rochelle Kjar
Put in large skillet/sauce pan:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. margarine (or I used butter)
Mix together in separate bowl:
6 heaping Tbsp. Bisquick
3 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Milk - until it is thicker than pancake batter
Bring sauce to a boil. Drop spoonfuls of doling batter into sauce pan. Turn down heat to simmer. Cover & simmer 15-20 minutes
Top with ice cream or whip cream.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Summer Reading Part 2

Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram,* “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere. {from goodreads} 
This was a great book! I loved the word play & the characters. I think that this was a great lesson in taking something too far or too literal, and what the consequences are. 

Alright, if I didn't have this book on my Kindle app, I would lend it to everyone I know. Of course, since this book is about 4 friends & a scrapbook, I fell in love. But I also have followed this author in the scrapbooking community for many years & she has written a wonderful book. I have read a few other fiction novels about scrapbooking and they have been pretty cheesy. This one definitely isn't like those other books. It is a beautiful story of long lasting friendships & the chance for healing. There are 2 other books in the series, A Sweethaven Homecoming is out now.

I have read this book before. But this summer when we went to see Rock of Ages, they had a preview for the movie that is coming out this Christmas season with Leonardo DeCaprio as Jay Gatsby. It looks amazing. So I read it again. It is very short, but was happy that I read it again. It is a classic! Such a rich, engaging story. I am also excited to see Tobey Macguire as Nick Carraway. Such a good character for him.

I received this book for my birthday from a good friend. Wow! It was a thriller. I don't usually go looking for these types of books but I am glad I read this in the daytime & near the pool. It was an intense story and has a shocking twist at the end. Loved it!

As I was reading this, I felt that I have actually read this story before. Maybe I started it with the kids and we never finished it. But this time we did. I love Katie Dicamillo's writing. It is so soothing. She had me at Because of Winn-Dixie & I have been a fan every since. This story has wonderful lessons learned throughout. It is almost like a fable. Expect miracles. Always have a hope & desire for good. It was a beautiful read.

I am actually finishing this one right now. I had it from the library on my Kindle, but after 3 weeks it expired and someone else had it on their waiting list so I couldn't download it to finish. I went on a hunt for another copy & 2 airports later I found it! It is a book that you think about when you are not reading it. I love author's that can write that well. This also has many medical situations that he writes in full detail, so if you have a weak stomach - be ready! It is about twin brothers, and one tries to break free from the tradition of his family to make a better life for himself & the childhood stories that brought him to where he is today through heartache, anger, sadness, joy, and hope! Good, good read! *If you are on please find me from the link on the left side of this blog. I have a long list of books I want to read, but I am always interested in what others have found fascinating.
 What did you read this summer? Please share!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer Reading

I love reading and in the summer I feel I have more time to enjoy it. I have several books that I suggest to people they must read in the summer. It just feels right. The Poisonwood Bible being my all-time favorite summer read. Barbara Kingsolver gives amazing descriptions of Africa & just sitting in the heat of a summer day, makes you feel like you are there.
Any who....this is what I read this summer. Hope you find something you are interested in.
A Thousand Splendid Suns.
On the last day of school we jumped in the car and drove to Iowa, and then on to Utah. Since I was driving 100% of the time, I did not have time to read. When I got to Utah I had the chance to see a friend that I hadn't seen in years. She had a 3 year-old daughter that I had only seen in pictures. We are kindred spirits, and we especially like to share our favorite books that we have read lately. She had this book, and I have wanted to read it for awhile now. I loved The Kite Runner, and this was the same author. I started it that night, but with all the late nights during the rest of our trip, I devoured it on the drive home. {My husband met us in Utah & then drove us home to Texas. I read every moment that he drove the looooong way home.} This story is intense, yet real. It was beautifully written, yet sad. The characters were strong, especially the women. I came away from the book with gratitude for the privledges I have had as a woman my entire life. These woman fought for their respect throughout the story & their lives. Great read.

Safe Haven
After the first day of reading & riding (in the van); this book was perfect. Since A Thousand Splendid Suns was intense & thoughtful, it was nice to jump into a fairly easy book. I have not read many Nicholas Sparks books. Sometimes they feel full of fluff and the characters are unrealistic. But for this book, it was perfect for a  road trip. It is a great story about a woman who starts a new life, trying to forget her past. It kept me reading for the entire second day of riding in the van. By this time my kids & husband were feeling ignored. {I really wasn't ignoring them!}I enjoyed spending hours upon hours reading. I absolutely loved it.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
This was the first book I read as an ebook. I figured out how to check out books through my local library and read them on my Kindle app. I love reading books this way, even though it took me a little getting use to it. I am not 100% reading ebooks now; I still love the old-fashioned way. It is a nice change and I have had access to books that are sometimes more difficult to get in paperback.
This was a lovely story. Since this references a history of our country that I didn't know much about, it was a reminder to see the good, the best, in all people. It has a love story that I wished at the end of the book would have continued. The ending was not my favorite, but sometimes those are the best books if it doesn't end perfectly.

I will be back tomorrow with a few more of the books I read this summer. I don't want this post to be too long & boring. On the left side of my blog I have a link to my goodreads. I keep track of all the books I have read,  what I am reading, and what want to read in the future. If you love reading too or are interested in books, check it out. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I just can't wait for next Tuesday. This has been my favorite TV show since the beginning. There haven't been any TV shows I have watched this religiously. I laugh & cry during each episode.

A few weeks ago I was in Santa Clara and we walked from our hotel near Santa Clara University to a restaurant closeby. I felt like I was walking through the Braverman's neighborhood. Even though I don't live in Northern California, I feel like I can relate in some aspects of the show.
 Set your DVR! It is going to be good. {guest star: Ray Ramano!!}

Quick Fall Decor

Photobucket While it is still 100 degrees in Texas, I am longing for Fall. It is my most favorite time of year. I updated my summer frame with this Fall saying. {Perfect for Texas, right?} Photobucket
Happy Fall Y'all!
Patterned Paper: Imaginisce
Autumn Calendar: The Paper Loft
Pumpkin Die Cut: American Crafts
Letter Stickers: Sassafrass Lass/Studio Calico

Two Page Layouts: Iowa Opus Choir & Maren's Wedding

One of the bittersweet memories of the move. Our last night in Iowa. So happy this was how we finished it!
 {This kit is by Amber Packer for My Mind's Eye from Inspiration Unlimited Sept. 2011} Photobucket
 I know they are not popular, but I still love a good 2-pager when I have lots of photos. And who doesn't have too many photos?? {This is another kit by Amber Packer for My Mind's Eye. I didn't attend Teresa Collins' event last September because of the move; but I did receive my class kits. Just trying to use what I have...}

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

School Memories

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Still catching up on the school layouts. I mostly used a Studio Calico kit from last year & a few other embellishments. And of course.....wait for it.....
washi tape!

First Day, Last Day



This year, I decided to create a scrapbook page that showed the kids' first & last day of school this past year. With the huge move we made in the middle of the year, this is a very good visual of changes the kids made & how well they finished the school year.
I enjoyed creating over this past weekend. And have a few more projects to show you over the next couple of days. Happy Tuesday!

Back to School Celebration

I surprised the kids with a special dinner on the night before school started. I had been out of town and arrived home a couple of hours before they came home from church. It was fun to see them and sit down to a nice, simple dinner.
We started a kindness journal. My hope is to write experiences of kindness & lessons learned throughout this school year.
Here is to a great school year!
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