Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Life as we know it....

has been pretty crazy here for the past few weeks. We've had a lot of ups and downs (when I say we, I mean mostly me, but thankfully I have a very supportive, loving husband who has been very patient with me). Now slowly but surely things are returning to "normal". Here's what we've been up to....

Beefing up security:

We added window locks to all of our windows, padlocks on the gate, new locks on the doors, and a security system. I think we are as secure as we can be at this point.

Cleaning: Yes, we finally cleaned up the third car garage! Now we can pull another car in here! Trust me, this is clean!

We also got a jump start on rearranging bedrooms to accomodate boy #4.

Thank you Jed and Kathy, we couldn't have done it without you! And just in case you were wondering, it is still clean!

Suffered through a sinus infection (me). Sorry no pics for this one.

And finshed a few crafts too:

I made a spring wreath for my welcome board using a wreath and moss from the dollar store, speckled eggs from Michaels and some ribbon from my stash.

Still working on my spring runner....better hurry!

And here are the spring pictures for my little frames:

I love my dollar store, butterfly, welcome sign! So cute on my spring wreath!

My home is reclaimed and now I am ready to get back to work making it our own! Lots more projects and crafts in the works! Thank you all for your thoughts and concern for us, and for those of you that I have not responded to, I haven't forgotten you and will as soon as possible!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reclaiming my home...

I have to laugh now when I look back on my last post about Friday the 13th. Yeah, the day started off rough, but it was nothing compared to what would happen later in the day. Rather than go into a lot of detail, our home was broken into while I was out running a couple of errands and I came home to find that my home had been ransacked. Thankfully, we are all physically OK. Emotionally I am taking that day by day and I am sure that in time all will be well. It is difficult, because we work so hard to make our homes sanctuaries, places that we can come as families to escape the evils and dangers of the world, and when that sacred place is invaded, it just doesn't feel like it should. I don't know if that makes sense, but needless to say, it has been difficult for me to view my home as I did before. I have had no desire to decorate and take pride in as I did prior (except I have cleaned like crazy, just something gross and disturbing about some stranger in your home touching all your personal stuff), but I am determined to get that back. The thief can't take everything from us can he? So with that, when things calm down, I have plans for a few projects, and yes, I will finish my spring runner. I will fall in love with my home again.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th...

I am not a superstitious person, but my Friday the 13th is off to a crazy start! I couldn't sleep last night (due to pregnancy and an oncoming cold and sore throat), woke up grumpy, Cameron came in early this morning first to tell me that he had a stuffy nose and second to inform me that he burst Erik's sticky, gooey ball (filled with who knows what) that he got at a birthday party and it was all over him and Erik's bed. So I dragged myself out of bed, bathed Cameron, threw Erik's sheets in the wash, packed lunches, fed Austin breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen, sent the boys off to school, and ate a cookie (never a good sign when you're eating cookies before 9:00am). Next, I picked up the toys left lying around from the night before and was about to start my daily chores, when I decided that I needed some "crafty" down time. So.... I took all my spring fabric squares (that I cut out yesterday for my runner) and I layed them out the way I wanted them (with a little help from my assitant, Austin) and now I am ready to sew! But now it will have to wait until I finish my chores! But at least it's a start and a good little break from my hectic morning.

Sneak Peek: Here is all my fabric layed out, ready to sew.
**all fabric is from my "stash". I think I can create the entire runner with what I have on hand aside from the ric rac!

My Most Helpful Assistant:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Using up my stash...

I am trying hard to craft using "things" that I've accumulated over the years instead of buying more to add to my ever expanding stash. So as you may have noticed the last few crafts were created with supplies that I just had lying around begging to be put to use. Here is one more Spring decor project created (partially) from my "stash"

Items from my stash:
Wood, pinwheel flowers. I finally got around to painting these. (I've literally had these lying around for years)
Bits of greenery (that I almost gave to D.I.)

Now I have to confess, I did buy a few things from the dollar store to help me complete this project...

The cute planter tin
The cute birdhouse (lots of cute styles for you to paint)
The moss
The craft foam.

So here is my challenge...go create something fabulous from your stash and if you feel like sharing, put a link to it in my comment section. If you're anything like me, I know you have a stash of craft items just waiting to be used to create something amazing!

Up next...a spring quilted runner using fabric from my stash. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bath time fun...

The boys were having their Sunday bath before church and Brett called me in to check out this little cutie...

Apparently Austin decided to comb his own hair with a body scrub brush. We think he did a pretty good job!

Then I looked over at Cameron and had to chuckle when I saw this cute face...

Seriously, who doesn't bathe with their goggles on?

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I made this bread yesterday and Erik told me that it was so good that I should open a bakery! Well, since that's not going to happen, here is the recipe so you can make some for yourself!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
1 cup warm milk (70 to 80 degrees F)
1/4 cup water (70 to 80 degrees F)
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
5 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

**Next time I make this I am planning to double the filling.

1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

**This glaze was a little thin and I like my glaze to fall somewhere between a glaze and a frosting, so I added about 1T butter and about another 1/2 C of powdered sugar and it came out just right!

In bread machine pan, place the first eight ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or flour if needed).
When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Brush with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place seam side down in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Cover with foil; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove form pans to wire racks to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; spoon over loaves.

You can also view this recipe here www.allrecipes.com

**I didn't make this in my bread maker, I used my kitchenaid and it really was easy! Once the dough was made, I let it rise for an hour and then when I formed the loaves, I let it rise for another hour.

**It makes awesome toast too (Not that I ate 2 slices this morning slathered in butter and I would know first hand or anything...)


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Crafting bliss...

Friday was a good day! The boys came home from school and went upstairs to play. It was quiet (an unusual phenomenon at our house), the house was clean and I was ready to work on a little project. So I turned on Pandora(*If you haven't checked this out, you should...I love it!) I set my station to play some Jim Brickman and I got busy. First I cut my wood from some scrap board we had in the garage. (Yep, that's right I cut my own wood with the jigsaw that Brett bought me 10+ years ago and this was the first time I've used it. Don't tell him I cut my own wood though or he may not be so willing to help me out next time). Next I sanded, painted and distressed each block...looking cute already, but there was more. I dug out my chipboard letters from my scrapbooking stash and some cute, spring paper. I traced and cut each letter from the paper, then I mod podged a chipboard letter onto each block, applied another coat of mod podge and adhered the paper, when that dried I applied one more coat to make sure that it was really adhered...looking much cuter. Finally (and the funnest part of all) I was ready to decorate them. I found some cute ribbon, my craft wire, a large daisy and a wooden flower pot and birdhouse (which I painted) and this is how it looks all put together.

Happy Spring!

On a side note, Brett came home and saw me in all my glory sitting at the table with my music on crafting away while the boys were off playing rather peacefully together and he said "Wow! You are in the zone...all you need now is a bubble bath and candles and you'd be set!" "Don't forget the chocolate I added" Aaaah, it was a great day!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring is in the air.

Every day I look out in my backyard and see my little peach tree in full bloom and it makes me happy...even on cold, gray, rainy days (which I am very grateful for) these pink blossoms shine through. Just a simple reminder that spring is on it's way. So with that, I am ready and inspired to start decorating my home for Easter and spring. I finished my first couple of projects yesterday and I am well on my way to welcoming spring into my home.

I had this idea in my head to create this fat,little bunny and I created it without a pattern (which at times was quite frustrating) It didn't turn out exactly like I had pictured it, she's not perfect (darn perfectionist in me), but it's OK, she's growing on me. And the Easter eggs...I have soooo many plastic eggs lying around that I decided I needed to come up with a way to re-use them. So, I decoupaged them with craft and wrapping paper and added a little ribbon and now they look pretty cute sitting in my little, brown basket. The whole project cost me $1.50(for the basket). Everything else was used from my stash of craft supplies! So here is my kick off to spring...many more fun spring crafts to come!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Feeling Lucky...

I updated my little frames. And now, we are officially ready for St. Patricks Day. This is about all the decorating that I am going to do for this fun little holiday. By the way, how are your frames turning out?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My creative boys...

Erik came to me before church this morning and said "Mom, I think that we should do something fun today." To which I replied "What did you have in mind?" Erik went on to say that he thought that it would be fun to have a family Lego night where everyone would build their own car out of Legos and then we would race them Pinewood Derby style. So, that's just what we did. Erik was in charge of the activity and he got everyone involved creating their own Lego racer. Except for me, as I was stuck in the kitchen doing dishes and making Texas sheet cake for our Sunday dessert, but Erik didn't want me to be left out, so he made me a car that he knew I would love. After everyone had their cars assembled, it was time to race. Erik decided that my ironing board would make a great ramp (who knew that it would be good for more than just crafts?!). So after several rounds of racing, it turns out that Cameron and I won first place. Erik won 2nd place and Brett did pretty good winning 3rd place. (I have to add that Brett spent A LOT of time on his car getting it just right!) It was a fun activity and I am so proud of Erik for using his creativity to create such a fun family activity!

The "Cazy Creations Grand Prix"

On your mark, get set, GO!!!


"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty." --President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I just watched this video clip by President Uchtdorf on www.LDS.org and I loved it! I believe that it is so important for us to develop and use our creativity and I am a big believer in cultivating creativity in our children. It truly can bring joy to our lives and to others around us when we use our talents and energy to create something.

So here's to using our talents to
Improve Beautify Extend Smile Cultivate Develop Create.

You can also read President Uchtdorf's talk here.