Wednesday, August 26, 2009

i've been makin' stuff


Goodness! I have lots of stuff to post about today! I've started trying to catch up on my scrapbooking :) This is my now two-and-a-half year old, so that tells you just how behind I am. I at least want each kiddo to have their first year in an album. After that, I will scrapbook without obligation :)

Natalie and I made some cookies today. I mentioned last week that we seriously limit the refined sugar around here, but since I don't want my poor kids to be totally deprived of sweet treats and baked goods, I bought some Agave syrup and found this awesome recipe online. These taste GREAT and they are super healthy. They even have ground almonds (you can buy almond meal, but I just stuck some raw almonds in my food processor) and coconut flakes for some healthy fat! Try it, you'll love it.

I finished Natalie's hat! I put a pom-pom on this one. Super cute. I bought some yarn to make Kelby one too. Yay, boy colors! :)

ANNNNDDD, I finished quilting this baby!!! My free-motion is improving, I didn't have to do any unsewing on this one, since I was extra careful in making the quilt sandwich. The binding just needs sewn down. Hopefully, I'll get to that tonight, in between going into the girls' room to tell them to be quite, get in their beds and go to sleep. Bedtime has NOT been fun since Layla got a big-girl bed! Oh, and isn't the striped green monster on the quilt a cutie?? He blends right in :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the parentals


These are my parents! I've mentioned before that they live overseas in Mongolia, but my mom has been here since Casey left to help me out and keep me company. The last three weeks, my dad has also been here to visit and it really was a great time. I love this photo of the three of us.

So, my mom and I have really been going through the junk in our house, trying to weed out, since we'll be moving out and they will have their house all to themselves when they're here. Let me tell ya, two households in 2000 square feet can realllly accumulate the junk :) Anyway, I scored these little owl guys and froggie that were my mom's when she was young. I LOVE them.

Then, since she knows I'm a sucker for vintage books and such, she gave me this little cutie that was my Aunt Carol's when she was young, so from the 40's maybe? She said it was in perfect condition before the fire we had in our basement when I was 11. The water damaged it. But I still love it. Thanks, Mom! Mom says everyone needs a good fire, since it really weeded out the junk FOR her from that house :)

And, I absolutely love this one of my parents. I love that they're both laughing and I'm glad I snapped this one at just the right moment.

Speaking of parenting, I picked up an excellent book called Don't Make Me Count to Three and I highly recommend it! A very biblical approach and encouraging as well. Lots of practical application and advice on how to use Scripture to train your children.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More of the Birthday!











Photo Credit: Thanks SO much Angela, they are all great, I can't wait to get them printed :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Progress...


I think "hour by hour" would be an acceptable name for this quilt, because not only is it made of 80 double hourglass squares, those squares took HOURS to make. I made them until I could make no more and, thrilled that I had enough for 20 blocks, I sewed those suckers together and made it work :) And I really think it's beautiful. I can't wait to bat, back and bind this baby!

As a side note, if you want to read something seriously funny about FreeCycle, click here. Actually, most of her blog is seriously funny, so plan to stay awhile.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the birthday boy


Here he is! My baby boy turned one on Friday. We let him open some family gifts here at home after breakfast and then had a party at the park for him in the late afternoon. I think he enjoyed himself :) Angela took all the pictures at the park, so after I get them from her, I'll have more to post. With Angela behind the camera, they're sure to be stellar!! :)
So, I made him these monster cupcakes and since we seriously limit the refined sugar around here (the kids and I are pretty sugar-sensitive), I wanted to make something tasty that would not hype all these poor little ones up. SO, I found this banana bunt cake recipe in an old Martha Stewart kids magazine. They are sweetened with pure maple syrup and have cream cheese frosting (sweetened the same way). I thought they were great and everyone else seemed to think so too. The kids thought they were having a cupcake, but there were NO sugar crashes!!! :) Here's the recipe, altered slightly ;)

Banana Bundt Cake
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 Tbl salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup canola oil (actually a tiny bit less)
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbl pure vanilla extract
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4)
  1. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk oil, yolks, syrup, and vanilla in medium bowl. Stir in bananas until smooth. Stir into flour mixture.
  2. Spoon batter into 24 cupcake molds (with papers) just over halfway. Bake on 350 until toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes. (If you cook both pans together, you'll want to turn them half-way through cooking.
  3. Cool on wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting (8oz. softened cream cheese, blended with 2 Tbl pure maple syrup.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Crochet away...


I recently decided I am just not a knitter. And what a relief it was, let me tell ya! It takes FOREVER, uses a TON of EXPENSIVE yarn and if you mess up, FORGET IT. There, have I made my feelings clear??? Anyway, since I decided that I don't have to like every new hobby I try my hand at, I have felt free to crochet away. I started this hat in one evening and finished it the next. Wow, accomplishment. Something to show for myself after just a few hours.

Layla is thrilled with it. In fact, yesterday we went to Hobby Lobby and Natalie picked some yarn out so I can make her one...and some more yarn so I can make a boy version for Kelby :)

Oh, and if you want to see pics of my new nephew, you can go here! Congratulations, Alexanders!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Magoo


My little guy is turning one (!!!) on Friday, so I made him this monkey :) He is a very affectionate and cuddly baby (in fact, he loved cuddling my bag of stuffing I bought to make this with) so I know he will just love it. I've made each of my kids a lovey now, I think it's sweet how much they love them because they were made by my hands, with them in mind. (The pattern is the Magoo pattern by Melly & Me.) Hopefully I'll have a crochet project ready to share in the next few days and my big sis is in labor now with her fifth baby, a little boy! so I'll definitely be posting some pics of our new little family member pretty soon!! Yay!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hair Pretties


We went to a little cousin's birthday party on Sunday afternoon and halfway through church, I realized I didn't have a gift! What was I thinkin'?? So when we got home, I whipped up some little hair things for Zoe. When we got there, I noticed she was wearing a few pretty hair clips, which means she must like things like this, which means I did good :)

Here's Natalie in the pink one. It's from Heather Bailey's tutorial and it's a good one, I've used it lots. (I tried to post a link, but it's no longer on her sidebar. Hmmmm. But if you google "hooray for headbands", the pdf comes right up.)

And this one is from this book, although I used Ric Rac instead of twill tape. Pretty cute. Now if I could just find time to make some for my own girls!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

*sigh*


Daddy went back to Officer Training School today. We had him home for six days and now he'll be gone another eleven weeks. My parents gifted us with a hotel suite last night, since our eighth anniversary is in two days. Casey took the shuttle to the airport this morning so I have had a few hours of solitude here and it's been a nice time with the Lord.


Some encouraging words:

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14