Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Teacher's Gift

This week Anthony's class is studying the letter "A" and they are using apples as their theme. I had actually started this project before school starts and was going to save it for teacher appreciation, but decided to give it to Anthony's teacher this week (since my theme was apples also).

I made a reusable lunch tote with an apple print with navy background on front and back and then for interest, I used navy and tan gingham for the sides (and the inside lining). I embroidered the teacher's name on it in white.

Then I decided to fill the bag with apple items. I got some hand soap from Bath & Body Works (apple scented), I found some apple print typing paper (not shown), a book of prayers for teachers (the cover has an apple on it), I crocheted an apple slice tawashi and an spiral apple tawashi and a regular dishcloth to match the tawashis, I added the apple that I crocheted here, some stickers with apples and pencils and A+'s, and some post cards with apples (the front of the post card said 'A Note from Your Teacher').

Anthony took it to his teacher today (the first day back from fall break).

Monday, October 18, 2010

There really are no words for this

We have a rule at our house when it comes to supper. You have to TRY it. If you don't like it, you don't have to eat it - but you do have to try it.

This is the way Rance feels about trying a piece of chicken (it was not breaded, home cooked real chicken nuggets - I guess it doesn't look enough like McDonald's). Frank even put some ketchup on it to try to get him to try it.

Is this considered torture? (Don't ask Rance.) Surely this would not come under the heading of cruel and unusual punishment would it? (Don't ask Rance.)

This really is a case of a picture is worth a thousand words.

Can you just imagine in 12 years or so, when he brings his girlfriend home?

Me: "Hi! It is so nice to meet you. Rance has told us so much about you. Would you like to see some of his baby pictures?"

(O.k. that might be torture, but it's allowed right?)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Apron for Lee

Lee wants to be a chef when he grows up so he helps me in the kitchen a lot. He has been ruining his pants by wiping his hands on them so I made him an apron.

It is made out of red duck canvas (should be very durable) and it is adjustable (will allow for some growth). The pattern is McCall's M5551. I embroidered his initials on the bib part of the apron (at his request). It called for 2 other pockets, but I left them out. I didn't feel it needed it - it still has 3 pockets (plus one was supposed to be on the bib part of the apron and I wouldn't have been able to embroider on it).

Now I expect lots of goodies from him and the kitchen.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Have you ever had a friend that only called you when they wanted something? You know the one. You haven't heard from her in ages, when the phone rings and you hear her voice, you immediately think to yourself, "What does she want this time?" You do a little small talk and then she asks to borrow (you fill in the blank) or ask you to help her with (fill in the blank here also). Then you don't hear from her again until she needs another favor.

Have you ever had a friend that didn't really care about you (or at least it felt that way)? When she talks to you she goes on and on about what's going on in her life, about her problems, her new job, her (fill in the blank). When you try to talk about something important to you, she cuts you short and says "Great! Now listen to what happened to me."

Have you ever had a friend that didn't open up to you? You ask her questions, but her responses are short and curt (with as little information as possible). You tell her something personal about you, but she never tells you anything about herself. You wonder if she's shy, if she'll open up someday, does she even like me & want to by my friend?

All of these friendships feel one sided don't they? Do you feel renewed after talking to one of the above friends?

How's your relationship with God?

Is it like the first friendship? Do you only pray and talk to God when you need or want something? Do you only talk to him when things are going bad in your life asking for His help, then when things are going great you don't even give him a second thought?

Is it like the second friendship? Do you pray often? Do you pray on a regular basis, but then don't take the time to hear what God has to say by reading your Bible?

Or is it like the third friendship? You read your Bible daily, several times a day even, but don't take the time to pray and talk to God?

Relationships (whether it be friendships, marriages, etc.) are two sided. One person cannot make a relationship work by his/herself. It takes both parties of any relationship to be successful. Can you take the time to talk to God on a regular basis? Can you take the time to listen to God on a regular basis? His is the most important relationship you can have.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mad Libs

Did you ever play Mad Libs when you were growing up? My brother & I did and I loved them. Well, I had forgotten about them, until Champ said they played them in Language as a fun activity. I think that is fantastic! It is a fun way to teach (or reinforce) nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. Kids think they are playing a game and they are really learning!

You can purchase them (I've seen them at Books A Million) or you can play them on-line or download them. It's also really funny to make up your own. Just take a well-know children's story (like Jack and the Bean Stalk) and take out your own noun, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.

Here are a few links for you and your kids. (Some are play on-line and some are printable.)

It's a Mad Libs World
Class Room Jr.
Rink Works
Mad Glibs
Wacky Web Tales
Mad Lits

There are lots more.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Bread (that has absolutely no pumpkin in it whatsoever)

I saw this and was just dying to try it, but didn't have enough yeast. I couldn't wait to get to the store and get some yeast.

The pumpkin bread is supposed to become a bread bowl for dips and such. I just made it to see if I could and to see how hard it would be. I will make spinach dip next time to put in it.

I think it is so cute and I will use it to decorate my table (and of course to eat) for Halloween, Thanksgiving and possibly Christmas (we eat pumpkin pie at Christmas).

I also think it would be cute to give as a teacher or hostess gift for the holidays.

I will have to tweak the recipe slightly. I followed it exactly as the recipe calls for, but it was too dry. I also adjusted the heat on my oven (my oven cooks hot) and took it out before the alloted time, but the stems still got a little too done. All in all, not bad for my first try. Can't wait to do it again.

Want to come over and help me eat all this yummy bread?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Dose of Attitude

When we went to visit my Aunt the other day, I took the boys to Portrait Innovations (I really wish we had one here) and this is the picture I picked out (as part of my $9.95 package).

Why that picture do you ask? No smiles? No real poses? Well, all but Rance are in school and I get the smiling posed pictures then, but I don't very often get a picture of all 4 of them (not near as often as I should) and when I saw this picture, it was...well...it was them. I saw each of their personalities in it and so I chose this picture out of all the good pictures they took of my boys.

Also, if you know me - you know that I march to the beat of a different drum. I have my own way of doing things (which is usually just a little bit different than everyone else's). So, in a way - that picture was me too (or at least choosing that picture was me).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Something Smells Good

I just made my first batch of homemade sour dough bread for this fall. The house smells so good when I bake homemade bread. I usually start making it around the first of November and make it through Christmas (I'm usually tired of it by then and stop making it). I decided to start a little earlier this year (it just seemed right).

My kids are so excited. They love this stuff.

The recipe is supposed to make 3 large loaves, but I have a Pampered Chef loaf pan (stoneware) and a 4 mini-loaves pan (stoneware) and 1 batch of bread fills up both of those pans. I love doing it like that, that way we can eat a loaf (yes the large loaf - there are 6 of us and my kids go to town on it) and then I can wrap up each of the 4 smaller loaves and share. It's great to give as teacher gifts or to a friend as a happy (or simply just because). It makes me happy to share.

You can also freeze it for later.

Smelling the bread is making my mouth water. I need to go make some homemade honey butter to go on it. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Homemade Honey Butter Recipe:
Butter softened

Take equal amounts of softened butter and honey and mix well, keep chilled. Serve over warm bread or yeast rolls.

Candy Corn Cake

Hello, everyone. How have you been? I am so sorry to be so sporadic in blogging, but that's just the way my life is right now.

I just wanted to show you my candy corn cake (since Halloween is just around the corner). I meant to do this last year and never go around to making one, therefore I couldn't blog about it (well, I could - but it would be so hard to explain without pictures).

I hate to admit that I'm not creative enough to come up with this idea on my own (it came from here), but I wish I was.

It takes a checker board cake pan (mine is from Pampered Chef, from when I was a consultant years ago - not sure if they still have it or not), you can get one from Wilton and possibly other places.

I took a white cake mix and mixed it according to package directions (plus added 1/4 C all purpose flour to dry ingredients). I kept some of white, then tinted some yellow and some orange. I then filled in the checker board insert as follows: circle in center white, middle ring orange and outer ring yellow - yes, I did get the yellow and orange in my cake mixed up by mistake, but it was too much trouble to fix and it was just for my family and I decided it wasn't critical enough to try to correct, I thought that you would still know what it was supposed to look like).

After you do this, remove the insert before you bake it. While it was baking I washed and dried the insert (important step).

After it cooled, I removed it from the pan and let it cool completely. Then I covered it in white icing (homemade butter cream - yum!) and let it crust over. I took the insert (washed and dried) and gently pressed it into the white frosting on the cake. I made another batch of homemade butter cream frosting and tinted it as follows: left some white, tinted some yellow and tinted some orange.

Then using star tip #16, I did the inner circle with white stars, the middle ring with yellow (you would do orange if you didn't get your cake colors mixed up like I did) and the outer ring with orange (again here you would do yellow). However you do it, the icing needs to match your cake.

I know, what's the big deal? It just looks like a target. Well, wait for it...

Wait for it...

Now once you slice it, do you see what the slices look like? Candy corn. Isn't that cute? Now it's your turn.
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