Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Fond Farewell

I've been struggling with this decision for quite a while now.  Back and forth, back and forth, should I quit, should I just scale back, yes it was even included in prayers (which seems a little silly.)  So I've come to the decision that I need to stop blogging for now anyway, maybe things will change sometime in the future.  I just feel like I need to be doing other things with my life right now and blogging isn't the best use of my talents, time, or abilities.  So with that, I want to thank my family for all their support, thanks to the new friends I've made, and thank you to all my readers for all the nice comments you've made and for sticking with me.  Thanks especially to my sister, Leslie, for all her great posts and for all her support and advice.  I'll keep the blog open because you'll all want Leslie's great party ideas still.  :)

Name the movie quote I thought was fitting here:

"So, your adventures are over."

"Oh, no. To live, to live would be an awfully big adventure."  

(P.S. If you can't remember and it's on the tip of your tongue, edge of your brain and driving you nuts (like movie quotes do to me all the time, it's from the movie Hook. :)  )

Friday, August 3, 2012

Super Simple and Yummy Dessert

This is a really quick, really yummy, really simple recipe to have on hand, especially when company calls and are headed over and you want to make something to share with them.  It's very easy to keep the ingredients on hand for just such an occasion as well.  

Three ingredients is all you need for this yummy treat - a cake mix, pie filling, and butter, that's it, really!

Dump pie filling into a 9x13" pan.

Melt butter and stir into cake mix.

Crumble cake mixture on top of pie filling.  Bake.  It pretty much looks the same before it bakes as it does after.  Spoon it onto a plate and top with whipped cream (or ice cream) if you like.  Enjoy!  Really, that's all there is to it, the easiest dessert ever.  And you can change up the cake mix and the pie filling for different tastes.

The cat snuck up on me while I was outside taking pictures and popped into the picture.  Don't worry, he didn't eat any of it, just sniffed around it a little. :)

Easiest Dessert Ever
2 cans pie filling (I've used cherry and blueberry, our favorites)
1 cake mix (I've done chocolate and white)
1/2 c. butter, melted

Dump pie filling into 9x13" pan.  Melt butter and stir into cake mix.  Crumble cake mix on top of pie filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

4th of July Wreath

Did you see Leslie's super cute Stars and Stripes Wreath a couple days ago?  When we both made our wreaths months ago, she didn't have the stars on yet so I didn't get to see the finished awesomeness.  I love it!  Well, I was going to make the same flag wreath like Leslie, but when I got ready to start inspiration hit (lightning has struck my brain . . . name the movie!)  So I changed things up a little.

Basically, I made it the same as I did here, only I tried a 16" green styrofoam wreath instead.  My suggestion, stick with the straw, wrapped wreath, so much easier.  I had to be careful not to smash any of the foam, and ended up with little flecks of green foam all over me by the time I was done.  It also didn't wrap as smoothly, the foam grabs the yarn making it take a little longer to get everything in the right place. 

So pop in a movie or catch up on your tv shows, and start wrapping.  An episode of "The Unit" and my wreath looked like this:

I did carefully measure and mark my wreath to divide up the sections and colors this time.  And yes, I do realize I'm missing a red section at the bottom, but I knew it would mostly be covered up so I didn't worry about it.

Then to make the pinwheels, I followed these instructions here:  Pinwheel Instructions  I just used some scrapbook paper I had in my stash.  The big pinwheel started with a 6" sq. and the little ones were 3".  Just remember both sides will show, so keep that in mind when you're selecting what paper to use.  Also, I did a test with a piece of cardstock, and I liked these papers better.  The cardstock was a little stiff.  However, my big pinwheel was paper that is slightly heavier than most paper and not as heavy as cardstock.  Does that make sense?  I glued down the centers with a tape runner or any glue that holds and then really kept it down with a brad.

So that's it, a fun festive wreath for my front door.

Now to agree on what we're doing to celebrate the 4th is a whole other post.  Cheyenne and Natalie are going to be in the parade helping Bill's brother with his business "float".  But Bill is adamant about NOT going to the parade - he hates it!  It's hot, boring - there're hardly any floats, it's all businesses, and it's long.  Yes, but it's tradition - that's my only argument. :)  He wants to go to a movie again like we did last year, which I'll admit was fun and so much cooler.  Either way, I'm sure we'll have a BBQ later at some point and of course fireworks later.  It'll all be good whatever we do.  I love the 4th!  How do you celebrate our nations independance?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Firework Burst Earrings

 My daughters, Cheyenne and Natalie, and I have really been having fun making jewelry for the past couple of days.  We haven't done that for quite a while.  I learned some new skills, I introduced them to the fun of "Clue" the movie (they didn't find it that fun), and we escaped the heat while making super cute things.  I love summer!

Last week Cheyenne and I (oh, and Billy, he was in it for the Sonic for lunch) went shopping.  While we were in Shopko, Cheyenne found some really cute earrings and at the same time we both said, "We could so make those!"  So we came home started looking through the beads we have deciding what colors to make when I thought they would be perfect 4th of July earrings.  So our Firework Burst earrings were born.

Okay, so I had a little fun editing this picture, too. :)

Here's what you need to make your own:

You can make these as long or as short as you like.  We held the chain up to a pair we like and guesstimated that way.  Remember when you add the beads to the bottom link it will be longer.  1.  Attach the chain to the hooks.  2.  Put the beads on a head pin.  Using the wire cutters, cut of the excess of the pin, leaving about 1/8-1/4" above the beads.  3.  Then using the round end pliers, curl that extra 1/8-1/4" making a loop at the top and then use the loop to attach it to the chain.  This was the new technique I learned, I've never done this before.  It was kind of fun. lol  And I promise, it get's easier with practice and you'll see for yourself how much extra to leave depending on how tight you roll, etc.  The first pair I made it took me about 30 min. per earring.  By the second pair, I could make the pair in 30 min. and by the time she was done making several pairs, Cheyenne was pretty fast at it.

We started by putting one pin in each link of chain and then filling in "holes" when we were done.  You can make them as full or sparse as you like.

Cheyenne's pair are less full than mine are, it's just preference.  Finish by cutting off any excess chain links you have.

Give it a try, it's really kind of addicting.  I think we ended up each making 3 different pairs.  I'll show you our other pairs later.

Me and my beading buddy in our matching earrings - sorry it's a little blurry.

Stars and Stripes Wreath

Leslie here today:  I love the Fourth of July.  I also love to spend it with my sister Kimberly and her family, in nice, cool, Idaho.  Alas, we won't be visiting this year, but I will be thinking of the traditional, hometown parade, a ride on the carousel, and waving sparklers in your backyard at night, Kim!  (Looking forward to a late July visit, perhaps?)

A few months ago, Kim and I were together for a family get together and we decided we needed a craft day.  So, we both tried out yarn wreaths.  She posted her cute spring version here and I went for a patriotic theme (I was inspired here.) 

Kim gave a good description of how to make these.  Basically, I started out with a straw wreath form (I left the plastic on).  I drew an outline on the wreath of each stripe so they would be even.  Then, I started wrapping a portion of red yarn around (tucking the ends under and adding a little hot glue so they would stay in place), and then wrapping a portion of white, repeat, repeat, and last blue. 

I couldn't find medium-sized wooden stars so I ended up using some larger ones that I had from a previous project.

It feels festive to come home to this on our door.

  One thing I know for sure, after taking pictures of my front door, my next project is to give it a much needed paint job!  Funny how it is something I hadn't really noticed until now!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Father's Day Printable

 As I promised in yesterday's post, I made a Father's day printable to use as a decoration (would be really cute as a centerpiece for your father's day bbq), or for a card, just print and fold.

Paper and banner from Persnickety Prints

The quality of the print is much higher if you download here in stead of just copying straight from my site.

I saw this quote in our church newsletter this month and just loved it.  It's just how I feel about my dad.  He's just the best!  I have very fond memories of going fishing with him in my younger days, stopping at the gas station on the way to get a treat and pop, making up stories on the way, and him being very patient with my sister and I as we stood up in the canoe (that only took once) or our enthusiasm for fishing wavered and we started leaving lilly pad trails for the fish to follow (that was mostly Leslie.) :)  He was always my number one supporter whether it was just playing church basketball, then on the school team, or even when he snuck in the back of the auditorium when I was trying out for cheerleader - how many dad's are there for cheer tryouts?  My dad was!  When I was in high school, his office or room was always a place to hide or regroup when needed.  He relearned geometry with me and painstakingly tried to teach me every night my freshman year.  He was there to comfort and reassure me when I barely nicked a senior boy's pickup while backing out one day, and the senior boy yelled and cussed at me, again while I was a freshman.  When I was a junior, my favorite year, I took 2 classes from him and was his teacher's aid (where I met my future husband :) )  I was in his class every day for the entire year, and two hours one trimester.  While I was his TA, I remember being enthralled by his lectures in class (history), and then loving the time we sat and talked while the class worked.  Then after I was married, I have loved watching him teach and play with my kids now.  My kids love going to Grandpa's house and the highlight of the summer is "Grandpa's Campout."  I'm so glad  we live so close to them and they are such a big part of my life still and in the life of my children.

Here's my mom and dad, aren't they so cute!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

P.S.  Don't be too jealous, but my mom is equally as awesome.  I'm so blessed!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Simple, Fun, Father's Day Gift

Hey everyone, time flies when you're having fun, and we're really enjoying our summer so far.  Sorry for the lack of posts, I've just been enjoying my kids being home.

Anyway, here's fun, quick, little gift my kid's had a lot of fun making for their dad.  

We bought the bottled root beers along with a bunch of his favorite snacks.  Then Billy, Cheyenne, and I made the sacrifice (while no one else was around) and drank three of the bottles.  Cheyenne was hilarious.  Every time she took a drink she'd start grinning and giggling because she was feeling like such a rebel drinking her "beer".   I washed out the three bottles and let them dry really well, you don't want sticky candy later.  I just made the little tags with my scrapbook software, or just type it out and print on scrapbook paper.  The kids (with some help) came up with ideas for each candy of why they love their dad.  Of course their favorite part was filling the bottles, a few treats might have ended up in their mouths along the way.  Then they cut all the circles out and we tied them with twine onto the bottles.  We left three of the bottles full, because he really likes this root beer, too, and instructed him to take it all to work for some afternoon pick-me-ups.  Easy peesy! 

See how much we were having! :)  Oh, and we actually made this for Bill's birthday a month ago, and he loved the gift.

P.S. Come back tomorrow for a Father's Day printable to display or use on a card!  

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