Thursday, December 27, 2012

You've Got Mail!

After seeing some cute mailboxes attached to children's doors on Pinterest (where else?) I decided I too wanted my girls to have mailboxes on their doors.  I didn't have a specific plan, but figured I would fill them from time to time with notes, little treats, or trinkets they've left lying around the house.  Imagine their surprise when they find a pair of dirty socks inside their mailbox?!

After giving it a bit of thought, I decided I REALLY wanted the mailboxes because they would be adorable to use for Advent.  In previous years I've tucked their Advent treats inside a small pocket-calendar that hung on my wall, but this year I wanted to go big.  As the girls age, a small piece of chocolate doesn't have the same significance it used to, so I knew I wanted to find them some fun, and possibly large, Advent treats.

I looked online everywhere I could imagine trying to find just the right mailboxes, to no avail.  The ones I found were either too big, too small, oddly shaped, or too ridiculously expensive!  Then, just before Thanksgiving I thought to ask my talented Father in Law if he would be willing to make the mailboxes.  He readily agreed and within just a few days I had these adorable boxes hanging on the girls' doors.

They loved them, and they loved lifting the lid each morning in December to see what special item had been left for them to find.  Some of the treats were small, like bottles of nail polish, candy bars, or earrings, and some treats were bigger.......boxes of Goldfish crackers, notepads with pens, and of course their Christmas Eve pajamas.

Thank you Poppy Jim for making the perfect mailboxes!  We love them!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Case for a Kindle!

A couple months ago I noticed my niece was carrying her Kindle in her purse withOUT protecting it.  I was shocked!  Aghast!  Befuddled!  HOW could she keep it in her purse where it could get knocked around, scratched by a key, a nail file, a pack of Tic-Tacs?  Oh, no no no, it would not do for this OCD person.

So I sought to rectify the situation by crafting her a quick slip-in cover.  I scanned my fabric and settled on a quilted fabric I already owned.  I loved this blue and yellow and often looked at it longingly wondering how I should use it - problem solved.  There really was nothing to it.  I wrapped the fabric around my own Kindle for measurements (yeah, that's how I measure stuff) and pinned it.  I quickly stitched up the sides and sewed some gold fabric ribbon around the top as a binding.  Tada!

Since she wasn't using a case/cover at all, I didn't want her to have to deal with any type of closure, so buttons, Velcro, snaps and the like were all out.  I crafted the cover so the Kindle fits snugly inside and doesn't have much of a chance to slip out or escape.  It must have worked, because she's still using it today.  I'm glad she's keeping her little device safe and snug, wrapped in it's own 'blanket' in her purse :)     

Skip To My Lou

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Feeling Like Fall!

Even though we have a little snow on the ground, it still feels more like fall than winter.  Maybe it's because I've seen the forecast and I know it's supposed to warm up next week.  Anyhow, this afternoon I was in the "autumn" spirit and wanted to be all domestic and homey (no, not like the gangster, more like the house wife :)

Yesterday at JoAnn fabrics I picked up this adorable pumpkin print on sale for about $3 a yard, and made some festive cases for the little throw pillows on my couch.  I always make holiday appropriate cases for the small pillows for some reason and never for the large ones behind it.  Hmmmm, I'll have to work on that.

I thought they turned out really cute and they add just the right amount of 'Thanksgiving' to my couch!

Pumpkin Pillow Cases - just right for Thanksgiving!

I love my Crock Pot.  Let me say it again, I LOVE my Crock Pot.  And you know how I hate to cook, which is why I love the slow cooker.  I especially love dishes where you throw everything in and just leave it 'til it's done.  That's what this was, and it was E-A-S-Y peasy, lemon squeezy.  Let me assure you, if I post a recipe, it's gonna be a snap!

I found the recipe on Pinterest and admittedly I rushed it a bit because I wanted dinner to be ready when Cory came back from hunting.

I cooked it for about 2.5 hours total.  About 1 hour on high and then the remainder on low.  It was still just a smidge soupy, but none of us minded because it had a great flavor.  I have to be honest, it's not quite as good as my mom's oven baked mac 'n cheese, but it's a pretty close 2nd.  Oh, and it has fewer ingredients, and takes less effort since the noodles don't have to be pre-cooked.  BONUS!!!!  I garnished mine with a little cheddar on top and it was the perfect fall-comfort-food!  Maybe next time I'll spice it up with some ham.  Yum!  The recipe is posted below the photo.

Slow Cooker Mac 'n Cheese!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

3/4 bag of uncooked macaroni or hearty pasta (9 oz. or so - I had a 17.5 oz. bag and I dumped 1/2 in)
4 cups of milk (I used 1%) 
2 eggs
4 cups shredded cheese (I used all cheddar)
1/2 t kosher salt (I guess I used Gentile salt, 'cause mine wasn't Kosher) 
1/2 t black pepper  (really?  I just sprinkled some in - it's pepper for pete's sake.  How can you go wrong?)
1 tsp dried mustard (OK, I totally omitted this step because....just NO!)

The Directions. 

Spray crock well with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, whip egg and milk together. Stir in spices.

Add cheese and noodles, and stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into the crockpot.

It will be very liquidy.

Cover and cook on low for 2-5 hours, or on high for 1-3.

*Makes about 5-6 generous servings.  I don't think my crock would have let me double the recipe, but I know I could have done 1.5 recipes and if I needed more than that I would have to break out my other crock pot. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Since our church started an AWANA program this fall, I've wanted to make a bag for Autumn to keep her Awana book and Bible in.  She likes having different bags for each activity, so she needed one for Wednesday nights.

There is NOTHING fancy about this bag, but the main point is, I made it and Autumn loves it.  I made one for her, and one for her cousin Mark.  Simple, yellow bags embellished with dog bones (because that's the award they win in T&T for saying verses) and the first initial of their name, along with coordinating handles.

Last week my mother in law explained to me verbally how to complete an embroidery stitch and I was determined to give it a shot.  Even though it looks like a drunk did it, trust me, it looks a LOT better than just stitching a straight stitch around the letters.  And hey, it was my first try, so I really should cut myself some slack!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

Monday was the perfect day to visit the pumpkin patch!

Cayla, Lisa, Luke, Autumn, Mark & Kelly
Cayla and Luke on the tractor headed to the apple orchards!

Autumn and Mark ready to pick apples!

Autumn with a Red Delicious!
Leo the big, black Newfoundland who lives on site, came out to the orchard to eat apples.

Cayla in the orchard!

Mark and Autumn!

My sister was delirious about picking apples!

Can you see the little spider on the pumpkin?  How very Halloween!

I just liked these!

Autumn posing with her pumpkin!

Cayla and Autumn!

Mark and Autumn!

Me with my pumpkin pick!

The kids had a blast on the huge tire swing.  Since it was Monday  we had the place to ourselves and it was awesome!

Kelly and her pumpkin!

Autumn and the sheep!

Autumn and Mark

Apple options.  All the Granny Smith were gone :(

Kelly and Lisa paying for their produce!

Autumn eating a grape honey stick.

Mark, on the cow!
We brought hot chocolate for the kids to have afterwards.  It was still so hot they could hardly drink it!

Trying to cool down the hot cocoa, before heading home!  Great day at the pumpkin patch.  Definitely one of my favorite fall activities!1!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Shirt Cuff Pockets!

After seeing some of the cutest shirt-sleeve pockets on the Internet a few weeks ago I was determined to make my own.  I love a case, a pocket, a bag, whatever.  Anything that compartmentalizes another thing is right up my alley.

So I headed out to my local thrift store and snagged 5 long-sleeved shirts for about $6.  They sat in the bag for about a week, then I washed and folded them, and set them in the chair in my computer room, where they sat for several days.  Until tonight.  Feeling inspired, I cut the cuff off one of the sleeves, squirted the cut-edge with a little Fray Check, stitched up the sides and folded the flap down.  And that's it.  Now I have 5 adorable little pockets.  I should slip one in my purse and use it to hold chap stick, money, gum, my bluetooth, or any number of small items that always seem to work themselves to the bottom of my bag.

Pockets will vary according to the shirt's cut, style, and size.  A man's large or XL shirt will usually make a much larger pocket than a woman's small.  The pocket on the far right is a woman's shirt with a slight french cuff and it's my least favorite because not only is it quite narrow, it also has a slanted flap.

I slipped a gift card into each pocket and it fit perfectly except for the woman's shirt cuff which was, as I said, too narrow.  But I love the idea of using them for gift cards because it's like getting two gifts in one :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Zucchini Season!

It's zucchini season and I have been abundantly blessed with plenty of it from family and friends.  In an effort to not let it go to waste, I whipped up some mini zucchini loaves.  I think they turned out delicious, even if they are a bit uneasy on the eyes :) 

Zucchini Bread Recipe

1-1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teasp. salt
2-1/2 teasp. cinnamon
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 teasp. baking powder
3/4 teaspon. baking soda
1-1/2 cups grated zucchini

In a small bowl, combine sugars, oil, and egg.  Mix together.  In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Mix wet and dry ingredients together; fold in zucchini.  Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans, or use mini loaf pans or muffins cups.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes (for large loaves), 30-35 minutes (for small loaves).  Adjust accordingly for muffins!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

IndoctriNation Film Trailer!

The above trailer is from a film titled, "IndoctriNation" and while I have not watched the whole film I cannot wait to order it and see it.  We often complain that government has too much involvement in our lives, and that government is broken, yet we send our children off to be educated in and by this broken system.  What?!

"Everything exists to proclaim the glory of God, and the one place where we send our kids seven hours a day, is a place where God's name can't be mentioned.  It's not indoctrination, it's insanity."  R.C. Sproul Jr.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I finally got around to doing another craft and this one was E-A-S-Y!!!
Using medium sized binder clips I cut pieces of fabric to fit, and then mod-podged the fabric to the clip.  Done!

I think these would also be cute using ribbon or scrapbook paper, but with the paper I would definitely want to mod-podge the outside of the paper as well and not just secure it to the clip.

These are the tiny binder clips and they weren't quite as easy, but they're definitely as cute :)

Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Autumn's Birthday!

One post a month is pretty pathetic, but with the busy summer we've had it seems to be about all I can manage.  In August we celebrated Autumn's 9th birthday with a "Hello Kitty" party.  She had a blast, as you can see from the photos below:

The smiley birthday girl opening her gifts!

Grammy and Poppy gave her a bag full of mis-matched socks filled with money.  Midas had a great time counting her 'gold'.

What can I say? Except that this picture has my favorite 9 year old, my favorite dog and my gorgeous man all in one shot.

Hello Kitty was a beautifully decorated white cake with white frosting.  Super, sickeningly sweet frosting I might add :)

She received an iPod Touch with a new Perry the Platypus cover and she was over the moon.  I should have gotten a video of the happy dance she performed when she opened her gift!

Making a wish and blowing out the candles!

My beautiful niece, Caitlin and her dad Kevin are completely engrossed in the conversation!

My favorite little people in the whole wide world.  I love you both more than you will ever know!  Thanks for being an amazing big sister Cayla!
Happy Birthday Autumn!