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Friday, August 31, 2012

Cherishing these last summer days

Hubby goes back to school here in little over a week, and soon the leaves will be a glowing gold. I'm looking forward to fall: cozy sweaters, all things apple and pumpkin, the blissful weeks when the electric bill is low because we're between air conditioning and heating needs... But, while it is still here, we need to be outside enjoying these last summer days. This little cutie pie sure loves exploring, so we need to be taking advantage while the creepy- crawly bugs are still out and the water isn't yet frozen and makes a good splash when rocks are tossed in...
 The gardens up on campus on breath taking!
 And the apple orchards are just now starting to share their fruit.
 Dad is a whole lot of fun!
 And then they found a Gardner snake! See it bottom left?
And the view can be so hopeful, so peaceful.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Little Man Rag Quilt

With third trimester well under way, preparing for baby is in full swing. I went back and forth a lot in choosing a baby boy nursery theme, but finally decided on doing all things little man style in browns and blues. I wanted to start with his quilt so I could decorate the rest of his space around it.

To make this rag quilt, I hit up the local thrift store and came home with a blue bed sheet, a huge- fuzzy blue blanket, and a couple of plaid and flannel mens button up shirts. I combined this with all things brown and blue, including jean scraps, from my fabric scrap bin and set to work. In the end, this whole quilt cost me 10 dollars and 3 nap times. That's a great deal! Just the fuzzy backing alone would have cost near 30 dollars if purchased at a fabric store!
My finished quilt measures slightly larger than 36" by 48".

I cut 48 squares 7 1/2" by 7 1/2" and sewed them together, wrong sides together, with a 3/4" seam.

I decided to add a boarder and cut it 4" wide out of the bed sheet.  I attached it both to the quilt squares, and to the blue, fuzzy blanket I was using for a backing, with wrong sides together and a 3/4" seam.The blanket I bought was incredibly soft, but also quite thin so I ended up doubling up on it for the back.

I worried that attaching both backs to the quilt front only on the perimeter wouldn't hold the quilt together very well, so I top stitched (on the squares seams) a few lines through all the layers. Nothing fancy. Just something subtle to make the blanket more durable. When the quilt was all pieced together, I cut snips in all of the seams and threw it in the washing machine/ dryer. This helped make the raggedy look I was hoping for.

Of course, over time with snuggles and more washings the quilt will grow more and more raggedy at the seams and so it will look even better with age. Can't wait to snuggle my newborn in it this fall!

Thank you for the feature!

Jessi featured my easy bathroom shelving decor as one of her favorites from her last link party. Always brightens up my day to have an admirable blogger pay me such a compliment!

Practically Functional Link

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Joyful Finds: Love Language

Brought to you every Monday;
Beginning the Week with a Little Happiness

My husband showed me this video and I promise you it is worth watching 'till the very end. It only takes five minutes of your time and I am confident that you will find this love story to be very touching. I actually tear up every time I see it, though I try not to let the hubby notice! Spoiler alert!!! Watch this video BEFORE coming back to read about the video producers and the non profit organization this video was created for.

This video was produced by the Jubilee Project, and here is what they have to say about it:

"There are moments in life when we feel a connection so deep words can hardly describe it. But how do we know that it's real? This is the story of a boy who meets a girl and falls in love. (Please do not continue reading until after you watch the video!)

The Jubilee Project makes films for good causes. This film was produced to raise awareness and support for the American Society for Deaf Children...

The American Society for Deaf Children is a non-profit organization started in 1967 that supports and educates families of deaf and hard of hearing children and advocates for high quality programs and services."

To show your support, please go to:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crafts, Home making and Children

My very best friend has decided to try her hand at blogging and I already love what she has posted! Her blog, A Pocket Full of Elephants, got its name from an encounter with a mysterious man who gave her an elephant and a promise of fertility in exchange for money to buy a soda. Little did she know then that she was with child and would soon find herself pregnant again and now again- expecting twins and faced with the challenging blessing of raising four kids ages three and under! I do hope you stop by and visit her blog, follow along if you'd like too. Recently she's been up to these great crafts:
The adorable long, yellow, maternity skirt.
Putting a picture to canvas.

Little girl tutus
And, a whole lot more. So here is the link, check out: A Pocket Full of Elephants and show her some love!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Adding Color to a Bathroom Cabinet

I snagged this idea off of pinterest and absolutely love how it turned out! Such an easy way to go from this:
 To this:
Just by doing this!
Add a splash of color, or a cutesie pattern that helps tie in mismatched towels and decor, without having to paint or wall paper (i.e. commit to loving something long term.) Simply cut a piece of cardboard the size of the space you wish to fill and cover it in fabric. I kept it simple by folding the fabric edges around the back of the cardboard and securing it with tape. The best part is that I already had the cardboard (hello huge diaper box) and the fabric was a piece my grandma donated to my scrap bin!
Oh, and by the way... I painted this vase once upon a time at a pottery studio. 
It has our last name and the year we were married.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Food Blog Make Over

I just spent a big chunk of time updating my food blog, 
but it was worth it because it is a whole lot easier to navigate now! 
Go see for yourself! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

We love grandpa!

Ok, so our daughter didn't exactly know how to handle Grandpa at first. He is so ornery, and she's not used to being picked on. Sometimes she stared at him with those big, blue eyes like she couldn't decide if she wanted to laugh or cry, other times she did a little of both. In the end, she seemed to decide he was funny though. She sure laughs a lot whenever he scares her or tickles her!

Getting some help putting her socks on.
Someones hip bones are ticklish!
I don't care what he says, rocks are not candy!
Playing piano at the outdoor mall
Who is getting who?
It's a tickle war!

Thank you so much for letting us stay at your place and for spending so much time with her. Obviously, she loved all the walks and time spent at the mail box, park and dog watching. See you for Christmas! Love you.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dealing with Loss

[Joyful Finds Series]
Brought to you every Monday;
Beginning the Week with a Little Happiness

My mom holding my one week old daughter, March 2011.
A year ago this summer my mom passed away. What a painful time for our family! I felt all the emotions that accompany a life lost so suddenly: Sorrow, confusion, grief, regret, anger... But, at the same time, I felt so many other, more comfortable emotions. Gratitude for all of those who reached out to our family in countless acts of kindness was one of those, but another- more resounding emotion- was that of peace. A calmness that overwhelmed me and allowed me to smile and refrain from bitterness. A calmness that allowed me to move on and rejoice in this beautiful life. My attitude did not mean I didn't miss Mom. It didn't mean I wasn't heart broken over her death! But, how can I explain why I feel such happiness amidst such sorrow? I came across this short article today and was overjoyed because the author expressed everything I have felt, and yet have been unable to put into words, so eloquently. 
Picture courtesy of Jacob Myers
 If I were to highlight every piece that I can completely relate to in this article, the whole page would be smeared yellow! If I have to pick though, my favorite paragraph is the last, and my favorite line reads this: "Our mourning is a result of our love, but our hearts don’t have to be troubled." I have mourned, but I have not been troubled, nor do I believe that my mom would wish that upon me. 

 A River of Peace, by Lanise Heaton.

The day our oldest son died in an accident, the loss opened a piercing wound in my soul. Yet I knew I could count on the Savior’s atoning power to help carry my heavy burden of sorrow and pain. My husband and I asked our home teachers to give each of us a blessing. We knew strength would come to us beyond our own. Our Savior has promised He will not leave us comfortless (see John 14:18). I have clung with an iron grip to that promise and testify that so has He.

Isaiah teaches that the Savior was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). If anyone could succor us, I knew He could, on a very personal level. Yet I also knew that if He instantly snatched our grief from us, there would be no growth, no dawn of understanding.

Despite the heartache, I have experienced a constant underlying river of peace that flows from the Savior (see 1 Nephi 20:18). At particularly hard moments, days, or even weeks, His peace has carried away my sadness. I have but to ask for it. Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to go through mortality alone.
As I reflect on the accident that took my son’s life, an Old Testament account comes to mind:
“Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods” (Daniel 3:17–18; emphasis added).

The important part is “But if not.” We must keep the faith no matter what happens. Heavenly Father could have sent angels to carry my son out of harm’s way, but He didn’t. He knows what it will take to sanctify us so we can be prepared to come home to Him. Everything will turn out OK. But that doesn’t mean we will never mourn or cry again. Our mourning is a result of our love, but our hearts don’t have to be troubled.The greatest gift we can give those on both sides of the veil is to move forward with our heads held up in faith and hope in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, even if each step is taken with tears streaming down our faces. For we are promised that “the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ” (Mosiah 16:8). One day “the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces” (Isaiah 25:8).

We love Grandma!

We've been blessed to spend a relaxing week at Grandmas house. I'm especially grateful for all the delicious food and little one is especially enthralled with all the fun toys! We had fun playing games together, especially the hangman/ scrabble type game Probe where Grandma stumped us with the word meticulous and hubby taught us oryxes (large African antelopes). I on the other hand, was a bit too obvious choosing words I saw around the room! Check out poor Grandmas ankle as a result of a nasty wasp sting!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Moms Apple Dumplings

I have a very clear memory of sitting on top of the kitchen island counter stuffing apples with butter and cinnamon and sugar with my mom while our family was staying at Grandpas for a time. This would place me stuffing apples at the age of four. Something this yummy sticks in ones memory! I made moms recipe last night with fresh picked apples and thought I'd share the recipe here.

1 pie crust (I used my gluten free flour blend to make my own, mom always used store bought)
3 large apples, cored
5 T cold butter, divided
3 T cinnamon sugar
1 cups water
1 T corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 t cinnamon

**Instead of corn syrup, mom used hard cinnamon candies (red hots, I believe). This made the dumplings a bit sweeter and a pretty red color, unfortunately I don't think red hots are gluten free?Ah well, the corn syrup instead makes for a deliciously sweet thick sauce.

Preheat oven to 425

Divide the pie crust dough into 3 equal parts and roll each out into a circle. Set each apple in the center of a crust and stuff the hallowed core with 1 T butter and 1 generous tablespoon of cinnamon and sugar. Wrap the dough around the apples and set them in a greased 8 x 8 baking dish.

In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, cinnamon, corn syrup or red hots, and remaining 2 T of butter and bring to a boil. Pour hot liquid into the dish with the apples and bake for 40 to 45 minutes covered.Then bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered. Apples should be soft and crust should be cooked through.

I liked eating mine right out of the oven in a bowl with milk when I was a kid... or left over for a yummy breakfast. Last night we served them over vanilla ice cream and drizzled with home made caramel. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Kisses, Giggles and Horses

We were able to spend some time with my mom's side of the family and I am kicking myself for not having my camera out sooner. As it is, a lot of my relatives faces have escaped the blogs attention. I hope they know though that it was nice to see them all, and I really appreciate all of their doting on my daughter. She is so social, and nothing makes her happier than one on one attention! All the fun took place at my grandparents home; food, toys, goofiness, smooches and horses!