Thursday, December 10, 2009

remember me?

so apparently i took a unannounced hiatus from blogging. nothing terrible abnormal has been going on, i've just been busy. and when i sit myself down on the couch for the night i have rarely been taking my trusty laptop with me. no, instead i have a glass of wine in my hand and am vegging to the west wing (yes, we are still working our way through, and by working our way through i mean that we started at season 1 again.... it's just so awesome).
and maybe there isn't much to blog about. my life isn't as exciting as i may make it seem through this internet exposure (hard to believe, right?) i went on a massive baking explosion (a couple of pictures to share at some time- no commitments here) and spent most of my evenings trying recipes and tasting lots of things.
oh, and the craft fair. yeah, that took up way to much of my time, and i am incredibly relieved that it is over. perhaps if i had true, dedicated time to sew for profit it would be more enjoyable, but right now i don't, and i would rather sew for pleasure and for fun.
and i was sick. on my birthday. and the kids have been sick (again).
and yes, i had a birthday- i am old.
and behind, i am so so so so behind. why? because for some reason i can only function to the best of my ability when the pressure is on. procrastination is my middle name. i have many gifts that still, 2 weeks before Christmas, are un-done.
--as i was blogging i had to pause to feed the baby. and while feeding him i was able to let my mind wander over EVERYTHING that i have decided to make for Christmas, and suddenly i realize that i must be thinking that someone else is going to be sewing these gifts (that or someone else is going to be feeding, playing with and disciplining my children while i sew).
seriously, i must be crazy.
and shouldn't be blogging, sorry, but i am sure i will be much more interesting on december 26th.
till then, a picture of what my life is truly like:


during times of extreme busyness this is often how you will find our dishwasher.
that's 6 coffee cups on top, and 6 cups on bottom (plus my milk pitcher for my latte's).

i hope to return soon.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

b is for baking

and then c is for cooking. and d is for dinner, and then e is eating and exercise.
yes- i have been sewing (i won't go all the way down the alphabet to get to s) and i have actually started some christmas gifts (please no one search back through my posts where i foolishly mention all the christmas gifts i was going to finish in september. oh well. next september- next september.
but- i have been sewing for the craft fair (huge sigh right now) and for a little fun.
but what i have been doing a lot of is experimenting in the kitchen.
now, i have zero pictures. but great kitchen wonderings to share. try not not get to hungry.
i've made: homemade creamy harvest soup, pumpkin oat muffins, pumpkin ice cream torte, and a fairly good chicken florentine, and chocolate peanut scrumpets.
and no, i haven't gained a ton of weight- i exercise while most of these are baking (well i've been exercising the last few times sam's made cookies- that is pretty much torture. try to perform lunges when the sweet smell of cookies are circling around you)

so on to the good stuff:
homemade creamy harvest soup. i based my version from this recipe.
what i did: i roasted a whole butternut squash (sliced in half, seeds removed, placed face down in a pyrex with a little bit of water) for 45 minutes at 425 degrees. while that was cooking, i had 3 carrots cut up in circles, with 2 celery stocks diced up cooking in 2 cups of chicken broth (i think i seasoned with salt and pepper). when all of that was a nice soft texture, i moved it all to the blender and pureed, pureed, pureed. i added a little bit (about 1/2 cup) of non fat milk to help it mix well. i then returned this to the pot on my stove, added a little bit of half and half (about 1/4 cup) and then tasted it- it was really sweet, so i added lemon juice (2 T?) and a couple of dashes of tabasco sauce and salt and pepper.
this soup was served with light sour cream.
it was fantastic!

ok- the pumpkin oat muffins and the chocolate peanut scrumpets were from a little quaker oats recipe magazine that sam and i picked up at the grocery store last week. the muffins were so moist and delicious- and gone very quickly. i highly recommend them.

the scrumpets i made quickly this morning when i wanted sam to have something to take to a meeting today. i didn't have all the honey for this recipe- but they were still pretty tasty. the one thing i would say- you should really add a little bit of salt to this recipe. i didn't do the glaze, and wished i would have sprinkled a little bit of sugar on top, but they were delicious as well.

everything is delicious.

my 3-cheese chicken penne florentine was based off of this recipe from cooking light. now, sam hates mushrooms- so i didn't put them in this recipe. so- i put in 1 can of artichoke hearts (for a yummy result). i didn't use the the whole 1 cup of red bell pepper- it was really more like 1/4 cup (cause sam isn't a huge fan) and i didn't put in onion (which i hate). i used a mexican reduced fat cheese blend that was already shredded (to save time) and while this dinner baked in the oven i was able to get all of my dishes done.
totally awesome. and so was the dish. tender penne with chicken, artichoke, and cheese? with healthy spinach in as well? sam went back for seconds and then ate the rest today. not something i can always say.

and the great pumpkin ice cream torte. another cooking light recipe- from this month's magazine, but the recipe can be found here. i followed the recipe almost exactly, the only things i didn't do was to add allspice to the pumpkin ( i substituted nutmeg) and i didn't put pecans on top (i didn't have enough after putting some in the crust, and pecans are expensive). i even put caramel on the bottom of everyone's plates and then set the pie on top.
this was incredible. i actually saw sam licking his plate.
so good.
after all of this goodness- i leave you with a link for the goodness i just found, another pumpkin torte recipe that i have to figure out just when i can make it: pumpkin ice cream torte with ginger crust.
pumpkin ice cream torte with ginger crust- you have a date with my tummy, soon.
again, sorry about no pictures. however, i do think that would have made this post simply painful.



Sunday, November 15, 2009

you are not forgotten.




i just have been busy- very, very busy. and why wouldn't i be? see the above picture. my hands are full, my heart is full, my life is full.
and i am very blessed.
and obviously busy.
which is why i have been a little absent from my blogging world. i have been trying to get my priorities in line- not that i don't love to blog, it's just i have been trying to spend my free time getting stuff sewn for the craft fair (which really has been 50% sewing and 50% in the fetal position, rocking back and forth wondering why i signed up for this) and rest of my time has been spent with friends and my family.
and sleeping. i've been tired, and now it seems i have caught some kind of cold which pleases me not, because it has literally zapped me of my energy.
and starting tomorrow i must turn my attention to my children and my home. both of which feel in utter disarray. my children's tongues have become quite unpleasant and my inconsistency and lack of schedule with them is really paying a toll on all of us.
and we are living in a pretty big mess right now- not garbage, but not order.
with so much coming up, holidays and birthdays and- well everything else that life brings out.
there is just a lot.
so if i am absent for the next few weeks, that is why.
i do hope to check in though, with sewing pictures, children stories and any other random encouragement i might come up with.

Monday, November 9, 2009

and another rendition

again i slacked on the soup. only because today was crazy busy- i was gone from 9:30-12 with the Early Nester's ministry, and then at Wic from 2:30-3:30, and then decided that this afternoon would be a great time to clean out my overloaded back pantry (i would have taken a picture, but to quote a friend- i do have a reputation to maintain).
so what does one do when her husband is going back to work from 5-9pm? and her kids have had their naps and schedules interrupted?
an easy pleaser- pancakes.
no pictures this time, but i did change up my recipe, and i must admit- they were even better.
seriously, i just sat and ate one cold before i started to type.

start with your snoqualmie falls pancake mix or whatever pancake mix you love to cook with.

2 cups pancake mix
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 cups water (i put in one cup and then continued to add water as i mixed it up- to my desired consistency)
and again- chocolate chips are totally optional (for this batch i used mini chocolate chips- but seriously only like 5 per pancake- and yes, they rock with the chocolate, and they equally rock without.)
mix, mix, mix.
i grab my 1/4 cup measuring cup and drop the batter onto a heated pan coated with pam.
these were tasty with my sugar free syrup, but even better just cold.
well, i am off to- wait for it:
sew.
well and exercise.
and wait a sec- isn't how i met your mother on tonight?
hmmmmm......

Sunday, November 8, 2009

rugby blanket!



Christina, the Sometimes Crafter (in my opinion "sometimes" is really the wrong word here) has a fantastic Rugby Blanket pattern and ebook. i absolutely love creating from what she has created! now, i have crocheted before and after reading through her book i wish that i had had her book before i had ever picked up a crochet hook. her instructions and pictures are pretty much unlike anything i have ever seen before.



if you are looking to learn how to crochet i highly recommend getting her book. i would not say that i am an experienced crocheter by any means (and i did make some noticeable mistakes in this blanket) however the best thing about buying a pattern from the sometimes crafter is that she will not abandon you when you need help! which is quite unlike buying books from craft or book stores.
i really loved the brown in her blanket, however i was generously given an enormous amount of yarn:
from sam's parents, and well- when you have all of this yarn just lying around it is really a better idea to use what you have then buy new stuff.
of course, i won't be applying that principal to fabric.
so back to the blanket- if you are looking to learn, or looking for a new pattern- check her out. you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

sewing inspiration.




with cute new fabrics like this shouldn't i be glued to my sewing machine? you would like so! i am just slightly addicted to clearance fabric, and all of this (minus the fat quarters) was less than 5 dollars a yard, which is a pretty good deal (or so i tell myself).
however as i add it to the growing pile of fabric loot that i have i do wonder when and if this fabric will be sewed. i believe it will, perhaps this is just the season of my life to collect all my fabric and then i will move into a new stage of sew, sew, sew.
i can dream right?
hopefully i won't turn into the woman that my father-in-law just told me about. apparently there is an older woman here in town who has rooms and rooms of fabric that she can't seem to deal with anymore, so she is having private selling times to try and unload some of it.
so, i have 40 years to burn through my fabric. i can do it.
side note. my local fabric store is now up and running online! visit their website here. the sisters who own this place are truly wonderful. i really appreciate that they visit sam at his store (starbucks) every day.
maybe they do it because they feel bad for him- seeing that they know how much his wife drops on fabric when she walks through their door.
but remember- i successfully avoided buying fabric for almost 2 months!
well, i had better get organized for sewing stuff for the craft fair (how thrilled i will be when this is over). i have decided that i am only going to sew stuff for it up until sunday night. whatever i have completed (how little it may be) is all i am going to do.
as i have so many other things i have a hankering to sew.
like this, and this, and this and maybe this.
and of course my christmas list.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

using up scraps


i am quite the fabric squirrel. i have this adage that says once the fabric is gone, its GONE. forever, never coming back. ever. and what if i wasted that beautiful fabric on something not worthy of it?
needless to say, i spend a lot (okay a ton) of time folding and stretching and flipping and sliding, trying to make more fabric appear out of scraps of fabric than humanly possible.
i have issues.
so as i get ready for a craft fair, oh what? did i forget to mention that i have a deluded myself into believing i have enough time that with my husband, my children, and all the Christmas gifts that i haven't yet started on (didn't i mention somewhere back in august that september was gift making time) that i have "free" time to be making things to sell.
my utter procrastination is what has me sitting on the couch, searching for good low fat crock pot recipes, waiting for sam to come home so we can watch west wing. absolutely ignoring my sewing machine (as i literally guiltily look back towards it) and the endless projects that are piling up around it.
oh, and don't even get me started on the disaster that is and always will be my house.
however. i have found a fun thing to do with some of my scraps, something that i think i can quickly make and sell at the craft fair.





these were actually made for a birthday gift for a friend (she enjoyed them) and they were fun and quick to make, and i have another idea that will make them a tad more seasonal and a little more unique.
so stay tuned, if i ever get back into a routine of sewing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

a yummy easy dinner.


i've been cooking and baking up a storm. my sewing has been completely neglected because i have been having to much fun making huge messes and delicious treats in the kitchen. earlier last week i made pancakes for myself and the kids for dinner and it had been so long since i had actually had a pancake that i had almost forgotten how yummy they are! the main reason i haven't been making pancakes is because how bad the syrup you put on them is for you.
however....
the pancakes i made were surprisingly low in points (which is how i basically determine if a food item is worth being eaten on a regular basis). to have 2 of the pancakes from the mix i made is only 3 points.
but plain? nope. i don't need butter on bread or pancakes (really, i don't) so i've been using this syrup. and it is just delicious! it's not as yummy as regular syrup- but it is a wonderful alternative.
so pancakes are my new go to dinner when i really don't want to cook and i want everyone to magically eat what i have made. when i have eggs (i currently don't- again- all the crazy baking) i'll add them to the meal, or i'll make homemade hash browns (with either grated apple or grated zucchini added). lately sam's been requesting some bacon and i just learned (not a brain scientist here) that you can buy it in the grocery deli, which is perfect for us because we really only use about 5 slices and then the rest goes bad.
so. are you ready for these really yummy pancakes?

my special pumpkin pancakes.

i start with snoqualmie falls lodge pancake mix. i know what you are thinking, i am a complete cheater. please hear me out. i have made pancakes from scratch before- from several different recipes and nothing quite compares to the awesomeness that comes from this mix. and i finally decided to branch out and mix up my pancakes (you know other than adding blueberries or chocolate chips).
my recipe:
2 cups of snoqualmie falls pancake mix
1 cup of water
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tsps of cinnamon
*chocolate chips are optional.
*add extra water if you need

the chocolate chips were for the kids.

look how perfect those are (and were).
yummy in my tummy.

i can't wait to tell you all the wondrous things i have been baking and eating. i did use the last of my eggs today, so maybe now i will actually get some sewing done.
wait, aren't i blogging instead of sewing.
hmmmm.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thanksgiving is on its way!

as the last few hours of October dwindle away, i wanted to share a special Thanksgiving calendar that i made today, and teach anyone who would like to make one, how to make one.
yup, a tutorial. my first tutorial.


A Thanksgiving Countdown Calendar.
I wanted to have a special way to mark down each day before Thanksgiving with the kids, but more than just a paper chain, I wanted to have something that could be used to connect my kids to focusing on having a thankful heart as we approach the holiday. i decided to use a tree because Thanksgiving and Fall go hand and hand. How my calendar works is that you have a leaf stick for every day counting down for Thanksgiving. Each day you take one leaf down to mark that you are getting one day closer to Thanksgiving (in case anyone didn't understand how a countdown or advent calendar works) however, with the blank end of the popsicle stick write down something or someone you are thankful for.
You can choose to review the fallen leaves everyday, or on Thanksgiving. I am super excited for a way to teach my young ones about who and what we are thankful for.
You can reuse this calendar each year- you might want to make a couple of extra leaf sticks (for years where there are more days to countdown) and for each year you can either paint your stick, or add construction paper to cover what you wrote the year before- or keep them and talk about them each year!


For this project you need:
Various colors of felt- i used orange, red, brown, and yellow.
Fabric for your calendar (you could really use anything- even felt if you so desire)
Ribbon (to hang the calendar)
Popsicle sticks
Cardboard, Canvas, or Poster board for the back of you calendar (in the tutorial i used poster board)
Glue (i used and recommend a hot glue gun)
Scissors
your sewing machine
Step 1: Lay your Calendar Fabric over Poster board (or whatever you are using for backing) and determine the size you want your calendar to be.


Step 2: trim off any extra cardboard or poster board (obvisously you won't need to trim the canvas)
it is a very good idea at this point to iron your fabric (i really should have down that a bit more)

Step 3: now that you have the backing for your calendar let's make the leaves! this is really, really easy.
Cut out your leaves:
i did:
7 red, 7 six, 7 orange, and 5 brown (since my tree was brown)
i just cut this little petal leaf- you can use whatever leaf that you fancy.

attach your leaves to your sticks:

Assemble your materials.
Apply a little glue to the end of a stick.
Lay your leaf on the glue and press, do this for all of your leafs.

Step 4: Make and attach the tree to the fabric for your calendar.

It helps to fold your fabric lengthwise and press, and then fold again and press- this will give you a cross in the middle of the fabric, giving you a way to center your tree.

Assemble your tree on the fabric.
keep your baby away from your sewing project.
pin your branches in place.
you want to sew the branches first so that you can slip your popsicles into the branches. make sure you leave the tops of the branches open so the leaves have a place to go. here is where i made my first error- my branches needed to be a little wider so that the leaves would fit more securely. my brances were 1 1/2 inches by 5 inches- i recommend at least 2 by 5.
lay your trunk over the branches and sew it in place, not sewing the top of the trunk.
my trunk was 2 1/2 by 7 inches.
sew a line 2 inches down on the top of the trunk, creating a pocket for more leaves.
Step 5: Attach your calendar to your backing- either your canvas, cardboard or poster board. Pull the edges tightly around your backing and use your glue to secure the fabric to your board.
It is really important that you pull the calendar very tightly to the back of the board to avoid any pillowing of your fabric.

Step 6: Add ribbon to the top of the calendar so you can hang it proudly.

Step 7: Arrange your leaves in a pleasing manner.
Step 8: An optional step- I created a little pocket on my calendar so that i could have a place to put the fallen leaves. I took a small piece of felt and sewed up 3 of the sides and added a couple of my extra leaves to it.
Step 9: Hang and enjoy!

up and running.

that's right, my trusty old laptop is currently on, running and perched on my lap. how is that possible? because my wonderful, smart, outstanding, talented and fantastic sister in law worked her magic and did what her brother (that would be sam) could not and made it start.
she and i were laughing at some mac vs. pc jokes... seeing how now sam is a mac user and suddenly could no longer work my pc.
oh well. crisis is over and my computer has been returned to me. until sam realizes that it is working again and wants to continue his windows 7 install, further frustrating me and changing up parts to my computer that i don't need changed.
he sure does like to help.
thank you jess! i am happy to be back on.

Monday, October 26, 2009

soup tonight!

i really wish i could get the picture uploaded for all of you to see, but for some reason i can't send the picture from my phone to my email. so everyone needs to use their imagination as i paint you a very beautiful soup picture....

disclaimer:
i did not make this soup, instead if was my dinner last night.
also- when i was told the title of this soup, and what was going in it, i thought "disgusting" and i was trying to figure out how i was going to best disguise my disgust and navigate around the bowl to give the impression of eating.
without actually eating.
but believe it or not (well believe it, because it's true) i took a spoonful and....
amazing.
i cannot believe i haven't had this soup before. it is so easy, and unbelievably tasty. i haven't done the nutritional information on it, but this must be low in calories and fat and high in fiber- which means an amazing find for anyone on weight watchers.
are you ready? i mean, you really have to be ready for this.

pumpkin lentil soup.
ok, those of you who just gagged in your mouth, come back to your computer and read the recipe- which might make you gag a little more, but trust me, this is amazing.

you will need:
an open mind
and a crock pot.

**you can chop up 1 large onion and saute it in butter and then add it to the soup with the rest of the ingredients- but that is disgusting, well at least- i think onions are disgusting.

ok, onion discretion aside, here we go:
1 large can pumpkin
5-8 (really more like 8) low sodium chicken broth cans
1 c. lentils
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/8 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 -1 jar La Victoria Salsa
**that's how mine was made, you can also you 1 jar of Green Chile Salsa if you'd prefer
salt to taste.

Put all of that into a crock pot and give it a stir.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours (turning to hot if you get towards the end of 5 hours and it's not quite ready)
oh, it's ready when it's hot.
serve with:
bacon bits (yup)
and homemade croutons (2 ways: take french bread and cube it, cook it in a pan with butter, salt, pepper and maybe a little garlic; or turn your oven to broil, slice up a baguette sliver style and lay on a baking sheet- broil until toasted- don't burn.)
drop the bacon bits and croutons into your bowl, add the soup, little salt and pepper and enjoy.

really- you will enjoy this.
**this was made in a big crock pot- if you have a smaller one, i'd reduce the ingredients by 1/3.

let me know if you make this and what you think....

and now to make you hungry, you will soon be reading posts about:
frozen peppermint cookie bites
oh yeah
and the best pumpkin cookies i have yet (Ashley W. this is a different recipe).
also, i made pancakes last week, and after remembering how yummy and quick they are, have decided to find 7 new pancake recipes and share them with you.
tonight i am making Spiced Apple Pancakes, served with Potato and Apple Pancakes.
pictures, recipes, and feedback to come....


Friday, October 23, 2009

bummer man, he delivers.

i am a little frustrated, not a lot frustrated- just a little. why? last night (thursday) while i was out shopping and enjoying a great dinner at cheesecake factory (my mouth is watering just remembering) sam decided it was the perfect time to install (or rather update) my computer with the brand new windows 7 (which he was able to get for just 30 bucks through his school).
great right? my husband is so sweet to make sure i've got the best and smoothest processing system.
sure.
now if only my computer would work.
it doesn't. sam did everything right, but when you go to do basic stuff (like, turning on the computer) it loads up, goes to my desktop and immediately crashes and restarts.
windows is really helpful- we need to go into the computer and uninstall the problem.
ummm- how do you do that when your computer turns on and then immediately locks up.
windows 7 was just so helpful too.
wait. nope they weren't.
it was like a mac commerical. but more frustrating because it was real.
so, i am without my laptop, my faithful companion. it rests incapable of anything more than telling me it doesn't work.
so for the mean time i am using sam's mac (which i don't really like that much) or i have our old desktop (which is really just a glorified stereo).
but i am nervous. we are waiting for the windows 7 disc (as opposed to the download sam did- apparently we downloaded a "corrupt file") and i am just holding my breath that when my computer turns back on that everything will be there.
for instance- all pictures i have taken since i received the laptop.
and oh, all my family budget info, and my stories.
tomorrow we are buying an external hard drive.
hopefully it won't be purchased in vain.
so i have been sewing. the little light from my sewing machine is on right now. but i am a little tired, and have a major sugar high (which is now causing me to crash) because my good friend krystin makes killer homemade caramel corn.
so stick with me while i wait for this problem to be solved.
i'll be around.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

everything's okay.

i think my last post made things sound worse than they really are. really, i am not about to fall apart at the seams. don't get me wrong- there have been days like that, but my last post was really just exasperation over a small little task that was thwarting my smooth suave abilities.
which, i did eventually master- and all baby shower invitations were done.
only to find out that because i had such a strong desire to make my invitations personable and slightly fun (and trust me, they are actually rather lame) with a little ribbon, well that extra creativity cost me an extra .20 cents per envelope.
and there were 25 to mail.

i almost took all the envelopes back from the post office worker. well, i actually did grab them back and stuffed them in my purse. i mean an extra 5 whole dollars?
and then i thought about the work of opening up all 25 envelopes, and removing all 25 ribbons, and then figuring out how i was going to secure the invitations to the paper without the ribbon for all 25 and then considering i had to then tape or sticker close every opened invitation.
needless to say i handed the invites back and mailed them off.
i have another baby shower to plan for the month after this one, and that friend's invitations will be printed on the finest dollar store stationary i can find, placed in high quality business type envelopes and for an extra touch sealed with a stamp or sticker.
i am learning.

but when it comes to the mess of life and the work my kids bring, well that is just life. and every so often i have to just temporarily freak out in my brain and then bring myself back to reality.
and back to the Lord.
and when i turn myself over to my weakness and ask for Someone else to be my strength, i find that i can do better.
and a big part has been prioritizing at night. for the last couple of weeks even though we don't have tv i've been sucked into my laptop watching shows online.
nothing wrong with that.
or i've been watching movies on the tv.
again- nothing wrong with that.
but i have been super frustrated that due to my absolute brain shut off i am absolutely behind on everything i would love to be doing.
don't even ask how gift making is going.
but for the last 3 night, i've put the computer down, turned off the tv (i mean, after sam and i have watched our alloted episodes of the west wing- we are a tad behind in time) and turn up the music.
and then i try to create.
and i've actually been motivated to stay up till 1 am every night.
i should have pictures to post soon. i mean anyone who crafts at all knows that the prep work required for any project 85% longer than the actual creating.
so don't worry about me, i mean please still pray for me, i do have 3 little one's that are 3 and under (and for today and the next 2 days i am watching little anna) and they constantly knock on the door to my sanity, trying to coax it out and then run a wild crazed muck with it.
and then when i drag my poor sanity back, try and dust it off, mend any wounds and slowly heave it back into place....
well, i get pretty tired.
well, back to my last episode of west wing for the evening, then a little yoga (to burn off the cookie in my tummy and the half cookie i will be eating when i put my computer down) and then sewing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

a moment of weakness

i will admit to almost having a full on meltdown about an hour ago. almost being the key word. i stopped myself. i felt my face start to get hot and the tears begging to come, and i stopped myself.
why oh why you ask?
just the same old. the fact that it's after 12 and i am up blogging should say something.
i am just finding myself frustrated by the same things, basically the fact that nothing is getting done.
now wait a second mary, aren't you raising 3 little children?
yes.
and trying to home-school two of them?
yes.
and trying to start up a mom's ministry at church?
yes.
and cooking, cleaning (ummmm....), exercising, and all the many other things?
yes.
but it just doesn't feel like it matters. starting across from me is a rotting pumpkin. it's been rotting for days. but can i move it the 15 feet from my table to the garbage? or the 30 feet to the outside? sure if you got off the blog and did that.
the printer's in our living room on my coffee table because i was going to print out baby shower invitations. well the printer is out of black ink. we bought black ink. suddenly it is my fault because mason took our ink and left it somewhere (most likely the trash) regardless of the fact that when sam bought it he could (should) have put it straight into the printer.
there's paper everywhere. i screwed up the invitations about 6 times.
and the shoddy attempt i did at them is sitting in a pile on the table.
i only did the 14 that have to be handed out at church tomorrow.
and all i want to do after a 2 plus hour debacle of baby shower invitations? sew. only so i can feel like i have accomplished something for myself today. so why am i blogging and not sewing. for the simple fact that the time it would take me to clean up the mess that has somehow grown around my sewing table (which was recently moved) would take so long and take all the fun out of it.
sigh. and yet still here i sit, wasting time- and wasting all of your time.
and my house is just a mess. and i can hear someone making noise.
i am tempted to simply close my eyes, and ignore the mess around me. i have all day tomorrow. everyone but me is sick, so we will be staying in tomorrow.
and yes, the baby is crying.
i'm back. even though you didn't know i was gone. it was very tempting to fall asleep, i mean- the room is dark, our wondrous fan is on, it's 12:30 am, and my sweet cuddly boy was purring next to my body.
but i left every light on in rest of the house, and had to make sure there aren't to many bad things for campbell to get into when he wakes up in just a few hours.
i guess the moral of this little story isn't really known.
i am frustrated. mainly because my days start great, and end not great. i can't keep my mojo moving throughout the day. i try so hard to focus on the kids all throughout the day, and just try and coast till dinner time- and then all the crazy comes out, and between getting everyone fed and to bed- the house comes completely undone. sam wants to watch tv, which pulls me in (and we don't even have tv) and then i become completely useless.
i really wish i had something profoundly encouraging to share.
but i don't.
i just have to try again tomorrow.
and i am leaving out a ton. there are bunch of other things making me frustrated right now.
i'm trying to not bore everyone.
trying.

Friday, October 16, 2009

uh-oh.

the five things going through my mind wednesday night when i was being pulled over.
-yup, getting pulled over.

1) oh my goodness, i'm getting pulled over and sam is following me in the van. yup, i'm getting pulled over by a cop and sam is driving the kids home in the van behind me. i've given him nothing but pain and grief for 7 years over the number of speeding tickets he's had, and he is going to witness me getting a speeding ticket because...

2) oh holy crap, was i just going 45 in a 35? yes, i was going 45 in a 35... oh for how long?

3) and how much of driving was in the shoulder? it's been rainy and windy here and i was trying to avoid all the fallen leaves and might have been hugging the shoulder.

4) oh dear, just how long had the cop been following me with his lights on? because my rear-view mirror was messed up and when i finally went to switch it that is when i noticed the terrifying blue and red lights behind me.

5) how long was this going to take? my mcflurry's were melting the cup holder.

oh man. what a disaster. we had just left Bible study and had picked up our kids from sam's parents. sam was generous enough to let me drive the cool car (our camry) and i took off- because our special treats of mcflurry's were melting and i needed to get them in the freezer.
i was speeding, i am sure of it. and i was driving into the shoulder. and i was paying no attention to what was happening behind me.
it was just the worst feeling, and i was so flabbergasted when i got pulled over- mainly because i knew that sam was going to see all of this in just a few minutes.
imagine my relief when the officer came to my window, smiled at me, and asked if i knew why he pulled me over.
i totally played dumb and flabbergasted and confused.
because i was dumb, flabbergasted and confused.
and i told the officer just how confused i was, flashing a smile of course.
he reassured me that i was driving just fine (what???) and that i had a headlight out.
oh thank the Lord.
i cannot believe i didn't get a ticket. and neither could sam, because he said he saw how fast i was going- and he saw just how quickly the officer flipped around to go after me.
i don't know how or why or what, but thankfully the officer told me to get the headlight fixed and sent me on my way.
much to my multiple speeding ticket husband's chagrin.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

doing nothing.

if you ever wonder why i might not have a post for all of you everyday, or why i don't post about more fun projects and creations:

it's because i usually have a couple of messes to clean up.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

hitting home.

life. every day i feel like my brain gets overloaded. i think there is a chance that i have shared that once or twice. so many ideas pool into this space that i call my brain. ideas, thoughts, hopes, fears- you name it is there.
for the last week i have really felt an absolute restlessness to my spirit. this is a way the enemy attacks me- and i know it. i am not a decisive person, because i like to see options, try things out, and get a general feel for most things (you might say i generally wonder). mainly my indecisiveness comes out as doubt.
today i hosted a mom's play date. but it really is so much more than that. at the church i attend we have a pretty decent women's ministry- but nothing directly for us stay at home moms who are rearing young children. and we need it. we go through so many challenges every day, and need each other for the encouragement to face another day that will most likely be the same as the previous day and know that we can do it.
that what we are doing has eternal purpose. that our children are important, and that staying home matters even when it feels like it doesn't.
so over the last couple of months i have been planning (in my mind) different ways i see this ministry going.
i've even named it:
the early nesters.
we have an "empty nesters" group at our church, and i thought this seemed the most fitting- seeing that we are all starting our nests right now.
well for the last week i had been feeling mountains of stress and anxiety. i did not want to host this group, i didn't want to be involved in this ministry, i wanted to just throw the towel in.
this was crazy. i am usually the one who hosts things like this- for fun and random things. and now, that i am going at this for a purpose i suddenly don't want to?
your house is to small, the enemy whispers to me.
your children won't behave.
no one will come.
utter frustration. and absolute unrest of my spirit. it was honestly crippling. to the point that i couldn't even make a decision of what i would eat when out to lunch with sam at a fun restaurant. i was literally in tears, ready to pack up and go.
and the whole day (sunday) felt like someone was pushing me down, refusing to let me do what i needed to do.
haven't i said before that when we listen to lie we are ineffective for God?
thank you Lord for my husband. at about 9pm the night before my group, my husband stood in the kitchen with me and prayed for me, prayed that this anxiety and ineffectiveness would simply be gone.
and by the grace of God it was.
not that today (monday) went off without a few hiccups, but i see the potential of what God can do with this group of women. and i can see how i can be used for Him.
and how i want to serve Him with my arms open wide, despite my inadequacies and fears, but instead with Him and with His Grace and Love.
and tonight, as i try and wind down (and really wish that with each sip of my coffee it made me feel energized and not more sleepy) and do my study for tomorrow, i come across a passage that i am sure i have read many times.
but tonight, God's Living Word calls out to me in a brand new energizing way. i sure do love that about the Bible. in fact, i love that i will probably read this passage about 20 years from now and will have it change my heart in a completely new way.
Philippians 4:6-7
don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. if you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.
awesome. just awesome.
worry? nope. prayer. its so simple. and yet i forget and fail in it everyday.
but if i tell God my needs, and thank Him for the answers, what happens? experiencing God's peace- a peace, mind you that is more wonderful than the human mind can understand. and is this peace a maybe? nope- its a given. and this restless spirit that i constantly have can be restful. my heart that constantly bounces and stresses and strives for perfection?
it will be quiet.
the beginning and new realization of this passage is giving me a small taste of God's peace.
oh Lord, let this be my prayer, let your Peace keep my thoughts and heart quiet and at rest as i trust in You.



Monday, October 12, 2009

a soup without pictures.

i did make soup tonight, and really, as odd as it is to say- it was the small accountability to this blog that made me make it. i was going to go with simple chicken and black bean burritos- but no! i promised you soup.
my apologizes that there are no pictures. can you imagine a big black pot full of a creamy substance? close your eyes and picture it.

yummy creamy baked potato soup.
this recipe is kinda derived from Deceptively Delicious, a cookbook that i own and really enjoy. now, my good (great) friend becky made a unbelievable baked potato soup for a soup night i hosted last winter.... hmmmm.... we need to have another night like that (imagine a kitchen full of 7 different types of soup and yummy bread to dip into it). anyways- becky's soup was truly divine, and i must get that recipe from her (hint, hint.)
anyhoo.
the recipe for the soup i made tonight:
ingredients-
2 lbs potatoes
1 onion (gross. i don't cook with onions, if you like them- use them)
2 cans chicken broth
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree
3/4 cup cauliflower puree
1 cup non fat milk
dash of nutmeg
dash of cayenne
salt and pepper

heat your soup pan to medium. spray it with some cooking spray. when it is warm, add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil ( i kinda just eyeballed it). add your garlic- one clove cut in half (but i used 2) and gross onion if you want. cook until brown. then add the 2lbs of potatoes (washed and grated and cut into halves (and then halves again- don't cut them to small) and the 2 cans of chicken broth. bring to a boil. once boiling, reduce to a simmer and partially cover the pan. cook for 20-25 minutes, until your potatoes are tender.
move this concoction to your blender (or use a fancy pancy hand held blender) add the butternut squash puree and the cauliflower puree. and add the non-fat milk.
blend baby blend (it was during this process i seriously doubted my blender blade- i hadn't used my blender in awhile, and it sounded awfully loud- mysteriously loud. like, is this glass going to shatter while blending?)
return to soup pan, and heat through- adding your salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.
this soup is really, really, really best served with some sort of bread. and i prefer this bread to be toasted with some sort of cheese. dip into soup and savor.
yummy.
now picture a smiling red head with warm soup belly.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

exciting news!


and many random thoughts.
first- nope, the announcement of a pregnancy is not my exciting news. sorry to disappoint.
this morning i had an email waiting from Sleepy Wrap

in my inbox. it turns out that the creators of my favorite method of baby wearing has designed a new product:
well, i was instantly interested. i mean- a new way to wear my babies? and my little mason? very intriguing indeed.
the price is a bit steep for me. not outrageous- and if i didn't already have 3 method's of baby wearing i would have picked a color and dropped it in the online shopping cart.
so i thought to myself this:
i have bought many sleepy wraps over the last 18 months (i've bought about 15-20)
i did tell my local WIC office about the Sleepy Wrap, and they decided to buy Sleepy Wrap- instead of the Moby Wrap.
i think that because WIC started getting them our local baby boutique started carrying them.
i tell EVERYONE about the Sleepy Wrap, and answer many questions while wearing my kids.
hmmmm.... sounds like i could sell for them, right?
well- if i have given them such great business, i wonder if they would like to me to sample their new product and give it my full endorsement.
so, i decided to email the company, gave them my little speech on how much i love Sleepy Wrap, and all i have done to promote their company. and i asked if maybe i could get a free Boba (or buy one at a reduced price).
it never hurts to ask, right?
well... they said YES!
that's right. i'm getting a free Boba from the Sleepy Wrap company. i am beyond excited (i mean these things cost $100) and just really proud of myself for having the guts to email and ask.
as soon as it gets here expect a full review from me.

some short random news from me:
i feel oddly full of stress, and i don't really know why. i have a lot of great, fun things going on in the next 4 days, but for some reason having a lot going on makes me feel slightly overwhelmed. its really stupid.
the stress i've been feeling over the last 8 days has really caused ugly things in me. in the form of nail biting. i've lost 4 nails to this stress. and after a chronic episode of sitting and biting, these 4 little fingers are hurting me tonight.
i haven't touched my sewing machine in weeks. and it really bums me out. but i feel so behind in so many things that i just don't know how to get back on track.
and i'm worried that sewing is starting to become one of those things that starts to get put off so long that i eventually stop doing it.
and i've absolutely lost my mojo. sam and i both have an idea why that has happened.
and it sucks.
maybe i should have started with my random thoughts- and ended with my free Boba.
well, the smells of tortilla soup are filling my kitchen. i like cooking in the evening, because it forces me to stay up late. i'm committed to at least another hour (as i really should debone a chicken, which isn't going to feel great with my sore fingers- but don't feel sorry for me at all) perhaps i will get on the sewing machine, and sew.
or open up my story and write.
hopefully i won't "waste" this quite time cleaning.
because that i can do tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

maybe for tonight?

i did make enchiladas last night, and i honestly feel like i should be given an award for it. i defrosted the ground turkey (recipe to follow) and was prepped to cook, but then the wonderful idea of yummy fish tacos, rice, beans and the greatest lime flavored chips popped into my mind. and i know that all i have to do is look at sam with a certain eye expression and he will run out to Tortilla Grill and grab us dinner.
but. i honestly can cook all my meals this week. and i am spending all day saturday (yippppeeee) with my sis-in-law jess, and i know we won't be cooking- but instead, eating yummy food all day long.
side-bar: jess, i found a couple of nearby parks in vacaville- we could always go for a walk in the middle of the day if we want? or find froyo....
back to the dinner.
after sam and i talked it out, we decided to make our meal, not buy it.
this is seriously the quickest dinner ever- in fact, it probably was cooked and eaten in the same amount of time as my great fish tacos.
so- if you are questioning what to make for dinner, i recommend this- it is incredibly healthy, easy and really tastes great.
or that's what i've been told. i have made this for several of you.

Fantastic Enchiladas
1 lb ground turkey
1 package block form chopped frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
1 package of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese
cumin
whole wheat tortillas- 10-12
grated cheddar cheese- 1/4 cup or more
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
**salsa- i jar

oven at 350
cook up the ground turkey (medium- to medium high heat) in a big frying pan, while it is cooking add as much cumin as your taste likes. when the turkey is browned add the frozen spinach and warm all the way through. remove from the heat and add the block of cream cheese. (sometimes i cut it up in cubes to speed the melting process) stir until it all melts.
** now, if you like salsa (sam and i like it sparingly- and not in stuff) add 1/2 jar of salsa to everything in the pan.
spoon turkey mix into tortillas (about 1 1/2 T per tortilla- I just eyeball it) and roll the tortilla and place in a 9 x 13 pan. Do this until all your tortilla's are filled.
Add the can of diced tomatoes over the top of all the enchiladas (and if you like it- add the remaining salsa over the top)
place your pan in the oven, and cook for 25 minutes.
remove from the oven, top with grated cheese- return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Done.
now, you can make the enchiladas in the morning (which i sometimes do) and cook later that night- just bake them for 35 minutes- to make sure everything is warmed all the way through.

you might be thinking, ground turkey and spinach equals yuk.
but they are really good.

and to round off this post, a little wednesday why:
why on earth did the designer of pack and plays make the velcro strap so stinking small? the "mattress" part of the pack n play is supposed to fold around your broken down pack n play, and the straps pull through and velcro in place.
so why are these straps SO small- it takes great force, and perfect placement of your pack n play to make this work, and it is a big stretch.
would it have killed the designers to make the strap bigger? i mean, they are under the mattress- this isn't a choking hazard.
argh.

Monday, October 5, 2009

i am not a poet.

a constant flurry of mind wandering chaos.
and utter avoidance.
surrounded my mess and obstacles of my own making, both literal and figurative.
i sit and listen to quiet.
and noise.
but a repetitive drumming of sound.
and it isn't noise.
but the utter avoidance, of all that i need to do.
and the things that i won't.
although i am seated and still, my mind is dancing a terrible jig.
and i cannot dance.
as i sit and search my heart.
and wonder what i am afraid of, and why i am choosing avoidance.
confusion tops the list of everything.
but peace is found in the knowledge of knowing.
i am loved.


no soup for you.

sorry to disappoint, but there was no soup made either yesterday or today. promises, promises and i already let you all down.
but, its a good thing (for me at least).
yesterday we spent the day at the awesome Bishops Pumpkin Farm. if any of you live even remotely to this- you must go. in fact, we are going to go again (it's that cool) in a few weeks. Sunday we went with sam's parents (always nice to have the extra hands and help, and even better when the extra hands are extra generous and pay for the fun stuff!) and then nana and papa happily took our over tired campbell and mason home with them. sam and i took the free time to go shopping. and no- not the boring grocery shopping that we usually do (and actually should have done) but fun clothes shopping!





sam found some good finds at the banana republic sale, and i found a couple of tops- but what i am really looking for are so great jeans that fit well. and because of my weight fluctuation, none of my jeans fit great (the jeans i just bought with you jess, are already to baggy.... a nice kind of bummer- but i love them) however, i may instead look for a good pair of brown boots (to give me and the pants some height) and some nifty belts.
way off topic.
so- sam and i went to our favorite chinese restaurant for dinner (the wii fit balance board this morning was not impressed, and i am making on monitoring my points- after a gleeful abandonment) and came home with tons of leftovers.
so leftovers for dinner.
nope. this morning, sam's mom called to invite us over for Monday Night Football.
Suck it Packers, Brett Farve and the Vikings are going to kick your butts.
i kinda like Farve.
so we will be eating tacos (we'll i'll be having taco salad- back on track, remember) and i won't need to be cooking tonight.
and i already promised sam enchilida's for tomorrow....
so, no soup for you.
but i will share a pretty good enchilida recipe tomorrow.
and.... maybe some more sewing news.

coasting on quilting




these little coasters were made as a wedding present for sam's best friend justin and his new bride baha. these little coasters are still sitting with the rest of their wedding gift, as it was not brought to the wedding, and we haven't given them their gift.
there are a lot of tutorials out there for really fantastic coasters, however- i opted to simply cut and sew. something i've been doing a lot of lately.
i didn't want a project that would require me to think more than, "pin and sew". so i simply cut strips of fabric (from a free charm pack i got when i was in Bolts in Portland 2 years ago) and put them in a pattern that i liked, tried to make sure they were all roughly the same size and width, and then pinned and sewed.
i used fusible fleece instead of a batting (so easy) and then i had a lot of fun with my "quilting".
i'm getting better. way less sharp turns and points. which makes me really excited to whip out some more coffee sleeves, because i think the quilting will flow much better.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

its pumpkin time.


i love the fall season. i am a little hooked on cooking with pumpkin. i will probably be making a lot of pumpkin goodies this month. call me a big dork, but i can't think october without thinking of beautiful pumpkins!
these little pumpkin scones were quite delicious. i made them for campbell's little seeds class, and then again for our young married's bonfire night.
i have another wonderful scone recipe (one's i made for katie's birthday) and i have to say that they do taste a little bit yummier. so my next project is to combine the two recipes and see if i can't create a wonderful tasty scone.
these really weren't bad though, i mean- i did more than 4 (they are kinda small), so if you feel the urge go here and make them.