Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Plans of the Heart...

"Mommy I peed (long pause)... on the floor!" My eyes were forced open, my focus not kicking in. "Mommy... I peed on your floor!" Oh yes reality, well good morning to you! So my day may not have started out the way I had hoped or even planed. Cleaning up pee off my bathroom floor and re bathing a child that was just bathed hours before at bedtime. Was not how I saw my day play out when my weary head hit the pillow. I just may have heard that same little voice mid afternoon informing me that once again she drenched the floor. Other mishaps surprised me. A kitchen was cleaned only to have dinner time hit. A kitchen re cleaned. A little voice calling from the bathroom for yet a third time. "Mommy, I  peed... in the toilette."  Well at long last something went as planned! 
Do you ever just feel...

Here are some Bible verses that encourage me when things just don't go as I had planned. Hope you find encouragement too.

Proverbs 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

Philippians 4:6-7  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Proverbs 16:9  In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.


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Saturday, September 24, 2011

{Cookie} Cutters

I bought a big box of cookie cutters and it is shaping up to be a fun purchase! Turning our sandwiches into different shapes has been so exciting for the girls. Today I decided to surprise them with pancakes dusted with powdered sugar!
 A football surprise for daddy form his girls!

Now all we need to do is make cookies with our {cookie} cutters!

Note: Because these cookie cutters are plastic, I cut the shapes after I make the pancakes. Just covering my bases. Lol!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Little Something Painted

I confess I love painting! I love taking an object and seeing what I come up with. Here are a few things I have painted for my girls' rooms.  (The frames can be found at Jo Ann Fabric. They are scrapbook size.)

 These book ends were in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby. They were a black, white and pink zebra pattern. I really liked the $1.36 clearance price, but they were not the color or theme I wanted. Paint! Lovely, wonderful paint... oh how I love thee!

Okay I know... I really NEED to get pictures in them! I am not even going to tell you just how long they have sat empty.

 This was also in the clearance section and formerly matched the book ends.
From this... to these...

So keep your eye out!  Something inexpensive slathered with a bit of paint, can turn  into exactly what you desire!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crock Pot Corn Chowder

One of my favorite things on a crisp fall or cold winter day is a bowl of my yummy corn chowder. Often times I like to serve it in a bread bowl to add to the YUM factor!
Here is my recipe. You can find many other versions... this just happens to be what I threw together one day and was so glad I did!


Onion- Diced (I use half an onion)
Carrots- Chopped
Celery- Chopped (about 3-4 stalks)
(2) Cans Whole (or diced) Potatoes
(2) Cans Whole Kernel Corn
(2) Cans Cream Corn
Cooked Ham- Chopped (I buy Ham Steaks at Costco and keep them in my freezer HINT: if frozen I defrost it in a sink or bowl of hot water while still in the package.)
 (one ham steak is enough)
Flour 1/2 cup
Milk (1-2 cups depending on the consistency of your chowder base)
Butter (1 stick)
Chicken Stock (3 Cups) (I buy the 32oz box so I have a little extra if I need to thin down the chowder)
Grated Cheese (Sharp or a Cheddar, Monterey Jack mix)

What I do:

In a stock pot, melt the butter. Then add the onion, celery and carrots and saute. Salt and pepper to your preference. When the veggies begin to soften a bit, add the flour and let it cook (careful not to burn it). Once that mixture turns to paste, slowly add the chicken stock  and then the milk (making sure you keep the chowder consistency and not that of soup. So you many not need all the milk or stock.)  Keep stirring to keep from lumping. Once you have a good consistency for the base of your chowder add the corn, cream corn, ham and potatoes. Stir. At this point I pour the chowder in my crock pot so it can cook all day on low. Just before serving I add the grated cheese. You can choose to add it to the entire batch or per bowl. I chose to do it per bowl.

Note: If you did not prefer to use the crock pot,  just add some saute time to your veggies in the beginning. Let the chowder simmer on the stove for about 20- 30 minuets.

Fall is in the air and Corn Chowder soon in my Crock Pot!
Hope you enjoy!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Menu Monday #1

 I know it is Sunday not Monday...but this is in hopes to help you and I both on Monday!

I am not a foodie! I don't often think in terms of food. I don't feel I am naturally creative when it comes to food. The grocery store is a "have to do" not a "YAY it is grocery shopping day!" I repeat my recipes over and over again... but not to the point of boredom. I seriously lack consistency when it comes to planning out a menu. Though when I do... when I do plan out a menu it does make the grocery store more appealing. It is not such a dreaded place when I go with a plan. Some of you can relate while others of you I know will jump at the chance to want to bless me with all your great recipes! Hint! Hint!
Here is my hope... I hope to help or bless any of you who face the same struggle as I do. Menu planning! Or what to plan on the menu??? I also hope you will share with me what you have on your menu. Let's help each other out. What do you say?  Here are somethings I have planed for this week.

But first let us pause and take a moment of silence to thank the inventor of the Crock Pot!
Seriously a fantastic invention!

Crock Pot Chili with Cornbread Muffins topped with creamy, delicious, honey butter.

Crock Pot Corn Chowder served in a  bread bowl.

Chicken Quesadillas

Breakfast item: Peanut butter and jelly waffle sandwiches with a yogurt (not frozen), orange juice banana smoothie. 

That is it for now. My hope is to once again have a more organized planed out approach in place. The way it used to be before baby number five. An effort is a great re-entry step to planning my menu. Don't you agree?

I leave you with this...
  Easy Crock Pot Chili
Green Bell Pepper Chopped
Onion Chopped
Can of Dark Red Kidney Beans
Can of Chili Beans in Chili Sauce
Can of Stewed Tomatoes (I use my kitchen scissors to cut them smaller while still in the can)
Ground Beef
Package of Chili Seasoning Mix
Ground Cumin (optional) 
Diced Onion
Sour Cream
Grated Cheese

Saute the Pepper and the onion while browning the meat.  This is when I add ground cumin.
Then dump all the ingredients (except the toppings) in the crock pot. Cook on low all day or on high for a 2-3 hours.

For the honey butter I soften the butter first in the microwave. Then add honey to taste. Mix or whip together.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Desk and Chair Beautified

A while back my nine year old daughter asked me if she could have a desk in her room. Being that we homeschool and she is now at the point of working more independently, I said, "absolutely!" I knew the trick was going to be, finding a desk that was small enough for her room.
When I came across this desk on craigslist  I knew it was the perfect size! My darling husband set out to pick it up for me. Based on the color of the desk I knew I would be refinishing it. Based on the Craiglist add it was supposed to be wood. Well it was laminate. Oh well because it truly is the PERFECT size!
Now I had a new adventure ahead of me... painting laminate! Here is what I learned... even though the primer (Zinsser water based) said no need to sand... I sanded! What I would have done differently... paint a second or thicker coat of the primer before beginning to paint!
The chair is solid wood but did have some scratches. I sanded it a bit, painted it with primer and transformed it into pink perfection!
The desk was missing a drawer handle, but that was fine by me, since I was going to replace them anyway. Here is what I replaced them with.
 Sweet, glass flower knobs! I wanted the knobs to really be the personality of the desk. Especially since I chose to paint it a creamy white (Winter White by Olympic). Having the three different colors really adds personality, don't you think? Not so matchy, matchy.

Next to my daughter's bed is this custom made castle piece. It was left by it's creator in a natural wood finish. I decided to give it a more finished look and painted it the color I used on the chair.
 I now have a very overjoyed nine year old with a darling little desk and perfectly pink chair!
On to the next project... a chair cushion for her chair! The fabric I found is just adorable! Can't wait for you to see it!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tooth {Fairy} Pillow

I am the world's worst tooth fairy. My girls don't believe in the tooth fairy, but we still have fun with it. I am notorious to forget to take the tooth and leave the money, night after night. I tell my girls, "I am just keeping them in suspense!"  Finally when I do remember, most times I leave the money and forget to take the tooth. My girls laugh at me and we are making fun memories of me as a horrible tooth fairy!
I have recently been forced asked to share what I came up with for my daughter who lost her tooth. Oh the things we do for friends (I love you friend!) I have to say this idea needs some improvements. I literally, no joke threw it together in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. I made a promise to my daughter that I would make something special for her and then the days day got away from me. So I could not have another moment go by with out keeping my promise. So in advance my disclaimer is made... this is a very ROUGH version of what you could improve upon.

All I did was cut out two pieces of felt in the shape of a heart. You could do a tooth, truck, star, circle for a baseball or any shape you desire. The basic idea behind this non pillow, tooth"pillow" is that it can either go under the child's bed pillow, hang on a door knob or hang on a bed post. Whatever the child chooses.
I even created a secret pocket for the tooth. See it there in the side?
The front pocket is for the money. Here is where this tooth pillow needs an improvement. I used a single ribbon on the front to create the pocket. It is not quite high enough to really do a good job holding the money. Either use two ribbons sewn together or make a pocket out of fabric.

Here is what I did:
To one of the hearts you need to sew on your front pocket.
Placing the two hearts back together (pocket facing out) I  sewed a Zig Zag stitch around the heart (I folded the ribbon handle in half and inserted it between the two hearts) 
Make sure you leave an opening for the secret pocket. 
I then sewed on another ribbon just under the secret pocket this will keep the tooth from falling all the way inside the pillow.
Lastly I sewed down the two sides of the secret pocket. So it ended up creating a  square pocket.
Or you could use the secret pocket for money.
You could stuff this and actually make it into a pillow.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Curtains Dressed Up

The curtains in my dinning room were just a tad too short. Using coordinating fabric that I have in the adjoining living room. I decided to make a ruffle at the bottom. This way it added some length as well as a bit of somethin' extra to the room.

Too short!

I first cut the fabric to the size of ruffle I wanted needed. I went with 12" because that was all the fabric I had left. So that seemed the perfect size to me!
I hemmed the edges.  Then I pinned the soon to be ruffle on the curtain. I placed my pins where I wanted to sew my stitch to make the ruffle. Then using the box pleat method I sewed the fabric to the bottom of the curtain. So basically you fold the fabric one way and then the opposite direction the next time. Keep repeating and you end up with a understated ruffle effect.
If you look closely you can see where the pins are.

So much better! Especially considering it did not coast me anything!
My daughter thinks they look like dresses now! See how happy they are to be beautiful? They are dancing in the wind! Don't you just love easy changes?

Now I just need to get my craft dinning room back in order!

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