Monday, January 31, 2011

Freezer Paper Stencil t-shirts!

Here are the tutorials I used to get started: MADE, Erin Noel Designs, and Cricut video tutorial.
This was my first time so bear with me during my learning experience. ;-) I used my friend's Cricut machine at our church craft night and cut out our church initials and some phrases out of freezer paper. I was not careful enough and lost some pieces (the inside of the Os, etc.) and it made my options limited.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chicken Fiesta Recipe

One of my favorite crock pot recipes is Chicken Fiesta. Its basically a dip but its hearty enough to be a meal.
1 can cr chicken soup
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can diced tomatoes & chilis (my hubby doesn’t eat tomatoes so we usually use 1 can gr chilis & 1 can pimentos)
2-3 cups shredded cheese
1 cup sour cream (another thing my hubby won’t eat so I usually replace with Velveeta cubes)
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach
2-4 cups diced chicken or turkey
Mix together and let it chill on high in the crockpot for a couple of hours until bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips. YUM!!

**I can never remember to take a pix when I make my favorite foods - hhmmm... I think I'm usually too busy stuffing my face! ;-) The photo above I found online - it looks very similar to Chicken Fiesta - its from this Kraft recipe.

Joining in the fun at Show and Tell Saturday:

Sunday, January 23, 2011


So, after all my worry and stress trying to get things sorted out I actually was able to get in touch with First Steps and arrange for an evaluation without having to wait for the insurance situation to be resolved. Thank you God! I am relieved but also feel a little sheepish because I found out that I do not have to have a doctor's referral to get a FS eval for Christine. I must have misunderstood when our old coordinator said I needed a referral. I think I just assumed that the referral had to be from a doc. So, the First Steps intake coordinator is coming next week and then we'll schedule the eval. I'm having mixed feelings about it all. I had hoped to never have to deal with First Steps again. And while I am eager to get Christine help I am dreading confirmation that she has problems. At least its just been suspicions until now. I am not sure if this is easier or harder because we have been through it all already. Not something that we wanted to repeat. But like it or not, here we are again.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Easy Mexican Rice Soup

We have had a lot of snow around here this winter already. One those blustery, snowy days you just want to curl up with a good book and a bowl of hearty hot soup. Just the other night I made this yummy stoup (according to Rachael Ray its a cross between a soup and a stew). I was going for a tortilla soup but improvised with the ingredients I had on hand and this is what I came up with.

Mexican Rice Soup

3 cups cooked rice (I like to use brown)
1 can cr. Chicken soup
1 can black beans drained
1 can corn drained
1-2 cup shredded cooked chicken
1 can diced gr chilis (I'd have loved to put a can of diced tomatoes and chilis but my boys, er husband, won't eat tomatoes)
2 cups broth/stock
2-3 cups water (depends on how thick/thin you want your soup)
1 taco or chili seasoning packet (or season to taste with chili powder, garlic powder, etc)

Mix all together in a big pot and bring to a steady simmer or until warm and toasty. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, etc. YUM-O!! ;-) By the way... we used the leftovers to make enchiladas the next night! I love it when one meal can double as two! So good!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rocket Applique

I got a few crafting books for Christmas. There are so many fun project ideas! I can't wait to try them out!

Here are details from Nate's first sewing project. We started out with a rocket template I found HERE, a plain white Tshirt, fusible webbing and some felt (not pictured here).
Then we cut out the shapes for the rocket and ironed the fusible webbing onto them. I used small scraps of webbing I had leftover from a previous project.
We placed the various pieces onto the t-shirt in position and ironed them on (mostly to hold them in place while we sewed them into place.We just did a straight stitch around each piece. Nate even helped with some of it. He was pretty excited.And boy was he excited to wear it! He actually kept telling me he wanted to add Saturn and the moon, etc. But I had to stop him before he got carried away. It was fun to do it together. I'm looking forward to more projects with Nate and I know he is too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ten on Tues

1. What’s your favorite color to paint your nails?
I like to have a basic clear or cream coat on my fingernails (and the occasional french tip) but I like to play with different colors on my toes.

2. Do you like to sneeze?
Not that I can think of. Never really thought about it much.

3. How often do you fill up your car with gas?
Whenever the tank is almost empty.

4. Were you named after anyone?

My mom got my name from a friend in high school. Apparently this girl had beautiful penmanship and my mom loved how she wrote her name. I on the other hand have mediocre hand writing and do not do it justice. ;-)

5. Have you made any good recipes lately?
I made these yummy oatmeal banana bread/muffins last week... yum! I had them for breakfast nearly every day!

6. What’s an easy money-saving tip that you use regularly?
One thing that I think we do well is wait on big purchases. Prayerfully consider large purchases with your spouse before making them. And then save up and make those purchases with cash.

7. Would you rather have a sore throat or an ear ache?
neither thanks.

8. Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have one on my knee from falling off a bridge in San Francisco. I have one from chicken pox. I have a couple of kitchen scars from burning myself getting stuff out of the oven. And of course my c-section scar. yuck.

9. What are you “known for” in your circle of friends/family?
I’m the mothering one. I am a typical oldest child and try to take care of everyone.

10. How do you like to eat your pancakes?
I love peanut butter on my pancakes! And a little butter and syrup on the side. Oh and also with a side of sausage links. I love breakfast!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Another Delay

A couple of Sundays ago at church we had a sharing time. A middle aged woman shared about how years ago she'd had trouble with her basement flooding and she prayed daily that God not let her basement get flooded again. She prayed faithfully for that. And one day she came home from work to find the whole basement under water. She said she lost it. She couldn't even deal with it. She just went to bed and waited until the next day before she went through the motions of getting things taken care of. In the end insurance paid for everything and she got her basement fixed, new carpet, etc. What was a terribly frustrating and exhausting experience ended up being a blessing in disguise.
I share her story because it really hit home with me - brought me to tears. I feel like seeing Christine's delays is like watching my basement flood. We've been through all this with Joe and I know how hard it is. I just want to crawl in bed and not deal with it. And right now I just cannot see what good could come of this. Why is this happening? How does any of it glorify Him?
And I just found out that because of insurance issues I cannot even get Christine in to see a doctor (which needs to happen before First Steps will come and evaluate her for services) until next month probably. The doctors that I am interested in seeing are not under the plan that Christine was under and the process to get her switched to another plan takes a ridiculous 2-4weeks. I am so tired and frustrated. But in spite of all that is going on that is causing me to worry and stress out Christine is a bright ray of sunshine in my day. Her smiles and giggles never cease to make me smile. She is good natured and is a great sleeper. I could not ask for a better baby. Even now she is laying on the floor next to me batting at her toys and jabbering away. I can only hope and pray that her delays will be just a minor thing and that she will catch up in time and that it will not be a lifelong struggle for her and for me.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Five Fave - pom-pom projects

I thought I'd join in the fun with Living to Tell the Story's Friday Fave Five.

So I decided to share with you five posts on pom-pom projects. They are so cute! I can't wait to try them. Check 'em out!

First: Domestifluff shows us how to make a basic yarn pom-pom and then turn it into an elegant and adorable flower. Ok, this is so simple but I am so tickled by how much this looks like a dandelion! I love it!

Little Miss Momma made an awesome Anthropology inspired pom-pom necklace that I'm dying to try to make. Its so cute! Check out her tutorial here.

If you want to go Martha Stewart style when decorating for a party check out her tutorial on making tissue paper pom-poms.

Craftaholics Anonymous creatively used some simple t-shirts and a picture frame to create this great Valentine wreath.

Check out the cute Tulle Pom-Pom headband tutorial at mommy creations. I might have to make one for my baby girl!

There you go... that's my FridayFaveFive. Let me know if you have any other great pom-pom projects! ;-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Made to Crave

I'm a part of an online prayer/accountability group. It started with the Good Morning Girls website that my friend Toni suggested to all her facebook friends. I sent out a message looking for a few girls to join together with and our little group was formed. It is a small group of three - but that works for us. We message one another daily(ish) and share what we have been reading and learning in the bible as well as any prayer requests that we have. While we got a little out of the groove over the holidays we are eager to get back on track together.

We decided to read a book together. I got Lysa TerKeurst's book Made to Crave for Christmas and thought it would be a good one to read and discuss together. Then we found out that Lysa will be doing a webcast every Monday through February 14th.

I've struggled with a love-hate relationship with food basically my entire life. I like to cook, I love to eat, but I hate the scale!! Food issues are not like smoking or drinking - those things you can cut out completely. But we need food to sustain us... so we have to eat... but what do we eat? And why do we choose the things we eat? Am I eating because I am hungry or because I am bored? There are so many questions I have asked myself about my food choices and what I can or should be doing to become a healthier person - both for myself and for my husband and children. I have lots of examples around me in friends and family members - both good and bad examples.
In Lysa's book she talks about how for so many of us its more of a heart issue than a food issue. Instead of turning to God for comfort and strength we turn to food to meet those needs. But it is a vicious cycle to be on because my eating often hurts my body, causing me to be lethargic, tired, and eventually overweight and unhappy.
I hope that through reading this book with my girlfriends I can regain control of my eating habits, refocus my attention on Him and build my relationship first with God and then with my Good Morning Girls as well.

Pinktastic Swap


Once again Mamarazzi is hosting a sweet swap! I have had fun with the swaps I have participated in before and I'm excited to do another one! Especially since the swap will be taking place in February - a.k.a. near my birthday. :-) Besides, who doesn't love getting goodies in the mail?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

8 years

On this day... eight years ago... I married my wonderful, loving, adoring husband. We could hardly have known all that these eight years have held. The ups and downs. The good times and the bad. We have seen each other through moments of strength and times of weakness. Through it all we have grown closer and stronger together and in Christ our Lord. It is through Him that we are able to love and support one another daily.
Irish Wedding Song

He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts, rest assured this troubadour is acting on His part.

The union of your spirits here has caused you to remain, for wherever two or more of you are gathered in His name, there is love.

Well a man shall leave his mother and a woman leave her home, then shall travel on to where the two shall be as one.

As it was in the beginning, is now and till the end, woman draws her life from man and gives it back again, there is love.

Well then what's to be the reason for becoming man and wife, Is it love that brings you here, or love that brings you life?

For if loving is the answer, then who's the giving force? Do you believe in something you've never seen before, there is love.

The marriage of your spirits here has caused Him to remain, for wherever two or more of you are gathered in His name, there is love ~ yes, there is love.

Based on Genesis 2:22-24

You are my best friend, my husband, father to our beautiful children. I love you and can't think of anyone I would rather share this life with. Happy Anniversary.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year News

Our Christmas recap:

It seems like every year my MIL says that things are tight and she didn't get to buy as much as she wanted to and I always think there was more than enough. I will never be able to figure her out. She is still trying to "make up for" the fact that they were not able to do big gifts and stuff when their boys were young. My family has never been "wealthy" in the monetary sense. But we never felt deprived. Even though Isaac and I are financially comfortable we choose not to overspend for Christmas and birthdays. Sometimes during our over-commercialized culture we need to be reminded that there are more important things in life than things! Jesus is the reason for the season, people! ;-)

Nate got lots of fun new toys of course. He loved going to all the family gatherings and spending time with friends and cousins. Nate got to be Joseph in a pageant at a friends' party. He was so cute! Nate especially enjoyed our advent activity calendar. He reminded me nearly every day to open the envelope and find out what activity we got to do each day. He was very interested in doing crafts and wrapping gifts with me. He really got into the Christmas spirit.

Joe was very social over the holidays. He has gotten more brave about bouncing around and exploring when we are at other people's houses. We've had to keep a closer eye on him than we had to in the past. We had several people comment on how much progress they noticed since the last time they saw Joe. It is good for us to be reminded how far he has come.

Christine was the belle of the ball wherever we went. She has been all smiles lately which is such a fun stage! She enjoyed playing with paper and watching everyone else tear into their gifts. She was soaking in all the Christmas merriment. I enjoyed helping her open all her "girly" gifts! And her Christmas dress!! So adorable! I got it on clearance for under $4! Can't beat that! ;-)

Isaac and are happy to have celebrated another Christmas season together. We have had some ups and downs but I am thankful that we have been in a good place recently and were really able to enjoy one another during the holidays. Isaac got some nice gifts but all were overshadowed by the custom guitar that he got. He had been saving for it for awhile now and was very excited that it was completed just before Christmas. I got several books on crafts and sewing that I am eager to put to good use very soon. :-)

Coming up for us in 2011:
Isaac and I are looking forward to celebrating our 8th anniversary in a few days. Its hard to believe its been 8 years!
We are discussing a family road trip in the spring. We have never done a long trip like this together at all, much less with three kids and possibly some extra family members. I am praying that all the planning and executing of this trip goes smoothly! ;-)
I will be starting a new curriculum with Nate and we will be continuing to be a part of our homeschool group. He is so smart - sometimes I am not sure if I should be doing kindergarten with him or 3rd grade!
Joe is going to be getting sized for a new wheelchair. We are definitely working on getting him to walk but in order for him to ride the bus he has to have a wheelchair. Praying for that process to go smoothly.
Christine is developmentally behind where she "should" be. We've been trying to be patient and hoping that she would catch up on her own. But we are going to be arranging to have First Steps come out soon and do a developmental evaluation and see what therapy services she qualifies for. I am hoping that we will be able to use the same coordinator and therapists that we had with Joe. We are praying that she is just a little delayed, she will benefit from some therapy, catch up and it will not be a serious issue like it is with Joe.
I have really been enjoying sewing and the other crafts that I have been able to tinker with. I am considering creating an Etsy store online to sell some handcrafted wares to make a little money on the side... basically to fund my hobbies! ;-)