Friday, July 24, 2009

Whew, What a Week!!!!

Gosh, I can't believe that it's been a week already!!! Where has July gone?

Amy and I had a super fun time at the fiber fair, although I only took one picture of fiber!!!! (this was me teaching Amy how to spin in our hotel room!) I got 8 ounces of this green wool and a package of blue and tanish colored silk hankies. We laughed, we ate and we had some crazy's the run down!
The Crystal Lake Fiber Fair was was good, but nothing I absolutely HAD to have (in fact, if I would have known we'd be stopping at IKEA I wouldn't have spent a dime!!!!). We stayed at a Haaammmpton....sorry, Amy sings it and it is sooooo funny!!!! I feel sorry for the poor maids the next day who wondered what kind of crazy green dog left it's fuzz on the pretty white spreads!
On Saturday, Amy had wanted to swing by a suburb and pick up a chicken coup...yes, chickens!!!! The guys were total scammers and didn't have it even ready! At first they said was 11:30! What could 2 wild and crazy girls do for 4 hours in the burbs???? IKEA!!!! Amy had a previous bad ikea experience so it was my mission to change her mind!
Why would anyone need a million and one chip thingies? Who knows, but it was only a buck!!!! (Stuffmaaaaart!....if you've never seen Madame Blueberry from Veggie Tales, you got a try it!)
I LOVE this shower curtain! It would tie in so nicely with my green wall going up my stairs...ahhh, but I restrained myself even though it was $12!
Here's my stash: $10 for 3 pairs of scissors, a cute ice cube tray thing, a lemon juicer and a battery powered whisk to make my fake lattes :) Heaven!!!!
So, we head back to pick up the chick coup....only they weren't'll be 30 min...went and got some coffee...they called back...45 more there only to stand around for another hour!!!!! And they didn't even finish the whole thing! Don't ever order a chicken coup from some guys from Woodstock!!!!!
Finally, we got the thing loaded in the back of her truck!
We totally went down the tollway with this!!! I bet we got lots of laughs....especially when it felt like the whole thing was going to tip over on the off ramp to the Oasis! (chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot Piiiiiieee....again, another one of Amy's songs....Jim was so annoyed by me when I got home and started singing EVERYThing!!!)

On a side note, this was a house across from the goofy chicken people! LOVE the color! Tried to convince Jim that we needed to switch our house paint to this color....he's almost halfway through it and didn't really appreciate my suggestion :) But it's soooo pretty!!!!
On Sunday, I spotted this couch on Craig's List for FREEEEEE! OH YEAH!
I've found super cute plaid love seat, but I'm negotiating when we can get it....this weekend ended up not working for Jim :( If we get it, that means our living room furniture cost $50....Sweeetttt!
Jim found out on Wednesday that he passed his State Paramedic Test!! Watch out world here comes Jim (cue hero music from footloose!)
Today I totally turned Amber into a junker! We went to this awesome shop called re-store (all its profits go to Habitat for Humanity)....definitely going back with the hubbies and measurements!!!!!
This light fixtures were all between $5 and $20.....all they needed was a little spray paint on the brass and lights!!!!
We also stopped by a Good Will.....debated over a very cute, definitely shabby end table, but held off! I spent a whole $5 on a metal tree that I'm planning on hanging black and white pictures of the boys on with little black clothes pins and a metal tray for a whopping $.99! I'm going to paint some chalk board paint into the center and make it a little message board for some place!!!!!

It's been a great week, except for dinging a guy's bumper in a parking lot....but all in all it was so cool to finally have Jim be done with school, finding great deals and hanging out with 2 VERY cool friends!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Light in the Darkness

This weekend I've been blessed with the opportunity to go with my cousin to a fiber fair...yeah!!!! (I'll be sure to post some pictures when I get back...I know we are going to have a great time!)

I got a 30 min break between when my grandparents picked up the boys and when Amy should be I cracked open my Bible for a little quiet time.

I turned to Micah 7. I'm sure that I've posted this verse before, but with all that's been going on this week it was so life giving to be reminded of God's faithfulness!

Micah 7: 7-9

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my savior;
my God will hear me.

Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I sit in the darkness,
the Lord will be my light.
Because I have sinned against him,
I will bear the Lord's wrath,
until he pleads my case
and establishes my right.
He will bring me out into the light;
I will see his righteousness.

Have a wonderful weekend...find peace knowing that the darkness lasts but a moment... but morning always comes!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Strawberry Muffins

For dad's birthday party I had made a Strawberry Shortcake Cake from The Pioneer Woman. Her site is AWESOME....unfortunately, my cake abilities weren't for this cake!!! I was so disgusted with the whole thing that I didn't take any tasted amazing!!!! Very soon I'll try tackling this one was THAT good....and then I'll post the pictures!!!

So, what do you do with leftover mushed up strawberries and some cream cheese frosting? Make muffins!
I didn't really have the foresight to actually take pictures before I made the batter....I know....sorry...but it was 11 and the kids were starving!!

Strawberry Muffins:

1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup strawberries (use frozen, microwave until soft and smoosh away!)
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsps Vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour (I used cake flour, but really all purpose would be fine)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Mix the wet ingredients together. Sift the dry ingredients onto a piece of wax paper and then add to the wet mixture. (got this tip off of the PW site...ingenious!!!) Mix just until not over mix muffin batter!

2. Grease muffin tin. I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill the tin...had a bit leftover so I just fudged it and add the rest evenly :)

3. Bake 350 for about 20-25 min.

4. These would be perfect without the frosting...but if you have some laying around, microwave a small dish of cream cheese frosting for about 35 seconds (until it is smooth like a glaze). Then just top each muffin with about 1/4 tsp and frost the tops.

The boys seriously ate through the whole thing! (so glad that I had grabbed one before the frosting to see if they were edible!)

Happy Birthday Dad

Corey drew this for Grandpa's birthday card....Grandpa Bionicle...pretty funny considering with his new leg, he's kind of like the Bionic Man :)
This one is of the boys and Grandpa.

And then Grandma down at the bottom (notice Corey's little logo...too funny)!
Happy Birthday Dad!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fried Rice and Egg Rolls

This was my thrown together supper for last night. Chicken fried rice and homemade egg rolls.

Chicken Fried Rice:
(makes enough for 5 of us and then lunch the next day)

4 Chicken breasts
soy sauce
rice wine
3 cups rice, cooked
1/2 bag frozen peas and carrots
1/2 bag frozen corn
2 eggs
1. Cook up the chicken and then cut into small pieces. Return them to the pan, adding 2 Tbs each of soy sauce and rice wine. Reserve 1 cup back for the egg rolls.
2. Add rice, garlic and frozen veggies.

3. Once the veggies are warmed through, make a well in the middle of the pan. add the eggs and scramble (being careful not to incorporate the rice in just yet). Once the eggs are pretty firm, then you can stir into the rest of the pan.
Egg Rolls:
1 pkg egg roll wrappers
1 cup chicken (from the fried rice)
1 bag cole slaw
soy sauce
1. Microwave cole slaw for 5 min.
2. In a bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients...I didn't measure the soy sauce, maybe a spoonful. Mix in cole slaw.
3. Put about 2 spoonfuls into middle of wrapper.
4. Fold in 2 corners and roll up. Once you get to the last edge, use your finger to dab some water around the edge so that it will stick.
5. Put on a greased pan, lightly grease the tops of the egg rolls too (use spray or I did olive oil and a brush).
6. Bake 375 until golden brown (about 10 min per side, flipping halfway through).

Plastic and Perfect

I try so hard to be the good cheerleader in our house, but sometimes I just can't do it. Who cheers for the cheerleaders? Are they expected to just always "be on"...smiling faces, pom poms waiving? Is it possible to be real and supportive at the same time?

Keith had mentioned today in the Crossroads Newsletter about how true intimacy doesn't happen in the dark, but in the light. That got me thinking....why is it that we try so hard to put up these perfect plastic facades, all the while keeping the true self hidden in the dark?

I couldn't sleep tonight so I came down stairs and started reading my Bible. It flipped open to Lamentations...pretty fitting for my mood, lamenting over jobs or lack thereof, frustrated with life and how everything seems so out of whack.

Anyway...Lamentations 3:19-26

I remember my afflictions and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every mourning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

God wants us to be real. He wants us to come to him, not with our perfectly memorized prayers and shined shoes...but the real deal, afflicted, bitter, downcast, yet still hoping in the fact that his compassions never fail. He wants to shine his healing light into the deepest depths of our heart...the places where we cram all our junk when company's coming!

I guess my questions before got answered...there is a place where cheerleaders can turn to...a place to be real...a place to get renewed. God can wipe your tears, fluff your pom poms and send you on your way with wings like eagles! The only catch is that we have to let go of plastic perfection.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Redecorating Dilemma

So, I've been bit by the decorating bug. Once upon a time I was very into how my home looked, but then the boys came and I'm lucky if my clothes somewhat match....let alone my house properly decorated!!!

I'm thinking of painting my living room green...not army green...more of a khaki green (similar, but lighter then the green in the blue stripe fabric). Three walls will be that color and then I'm painting my terrible fake brick wall either an off white, or a light brown. Sounds odd, but I think it will work...hopefully.

Now that my walls are getting spruced up, my furniture really needs something...the boys have given it quiet the beating! I've looked on Craigslist. But really for what I'd be spending on a couch that I'm not 100% on, I could really buy fabric and reupholster the old ones...maybe!

So here are my choices from today's fabric store trip:

This is actually a ton darker in person. The middle fabric is called patriotic cherry and is woven. The plaid, which I LOVE, has the dark red, plus a very similar green....not sure how I would work it. The plaid is a thinner fabric. Maybe do the main part of the couch red and then add the plaid as the back pillows?

This was another set that caught my eye. The brown and blue solids have a diamond pattern.
Then I saw this! Way to expensive for an entire couch, but maybe an ottoman!

There you have it, my craftiness for the day!
ETA: The Nesting Place is a huge inspiration! She is going through her top 5 decorating must haves....the tutorial on fabric is awesome!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blueberry Oat Scones

Whipped up some scones for the boys' breakfast this morning...turned out pleasantly better then expected (especially for a dump whatever ya got in the kitchen recipe!).
Blueberry Oat Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup butter
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (or whatever you have)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk together egg, yogurt and vanilla.
Add blueberries and oats to the dry ingredients, lightly mix by hand.
Stir in yogurt mixture until just combined.
Lightly knead on floured surface (or if you're lazy like me, just do it in the bowl!!!).
The proper scone would then be rolled out into a circle until about 1 1/2 inches thick....but who has time for that!!!! So I just eyeballed 6 servings and blopped them onto a parchment covered pan. Then I flattened the "circles" until they were around 1 1/2 inches thick :)
Again, technically it could have used an egg wash of 1 egg and 1 Tbs milk, but you can probably guess that I skipped it!
Bake 375 for about 20 min. I added powdered sugar to the tops, but really it didn't add anything.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for a cookout this afternoon. They were quiet the hit!
I started out with a basic white cake mix (yes, I cheated and used a box....sue me!)
I took half of the mix and divided into 2 separate bowls. I added gel food coloring to each bowl until it was bright. (there are some really cute rainbow cupcakes on the web, but unfortunately I don't see a Rainbow Bright party in my future!)
Then I just layered by spoonfuls into cupcake liners. White, then blue....
and white, then red (separated the blue and red so I didn't end up with purple!).
Here's the finished cupcake (sorry, forgot to take a picture with frosting and red, white, and blue sprinkles!).