Thursday, September 29, 2011

Craft Day

Back in February,  Meg Duerksen, who is one of my favorite bloggers, held a craft weekend. She invited her crafty friends to her home for a weekend of craft making, antique/junk shopping and yummy food. I wished that I was one of her crafty friends.

There were no kids, no hubbies, only Waffle the Wonder Dog was allowed to stay home for craft weekend.

Waffle and Mandie would be such good friends. They both lay on furniture with children, have birthday parties, get dressed in various articles of clothing, and ride around with their people in vehicles.

Meg's Waffle:



Our Mandie:

I forgot this was a post about craft day...

After school started in August, I scheduled a craft day with some of my crafty friends, so that I could have fun like Meg Duerksen. We didn't spend the weekend together...just the day. We didn't get to go junk/antique shopping. We didn't stay up late into the night sewing. But we had a great time enjoying our crafts, a pot-luck lunch, and great fellowship. It was like therapy to me. I can't tell you how it felt to see my friends walking up my driveway carrying bags full of crafty goodness in one hand and sewing machines in the other! I wish I had a photo of it, but it is only a snapshot in my mind. Pure happiness!

My friends, Mindy of  Best Energies Best Affections and Nicole of Farmgirl Chaos, blogged about our August craft day in a more timely manner than I. Just click here to read and see more pictures: Mindy's Craft Day and Nicole's craft day post

We made fabric flower brooches, tile coasters, and gift tags hand-written in my friend Mary's beautiful font.

We just had our second craft day this week. (I am trying to host craft day once a month.) 
It was just as fun and therapeutic. If it weren't for craft day, I don't think I'd be making anything creative.  I had so much fun, that I only took time to snap one picture:

So far, our craft days have used a lot of chalk board paint. : )
These gals in the photo above are painting antique trays with chalkboard paint. 

Here is a picture of my final products. New pillows for fall, tile coasters (didn't get time to make any last time) and another flower brooche.  I started the white scarf prior to craft day...  a tiny bit more trim and it will be finished.

Please go to Nicole's blog and check out her pictures. You must see the adorable button bracelet she on my list!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

JJ Heller - Love Me

It's so hard to listen to this without a tear slipping onto my cheek.
I am so grateful for the love of my Jesus!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's have a party-- a scavenger hunt

This week, I am continuing to write about our summer parties. These should have been written about weeks or even months ago, but I am just now getting to it.

The last weekend before school started in August, we held a photo scavenger hunt.  It was our second time to host a scavenger hunt, and I was very excited to have another one! It is such a fun way to usher out the summer by gathering a bunch of friends together for some fun. I am going to explain how I put it together, so that you can host one if you want. Everyone has a great time!
Scavenger Hunt 2009

2-3 weeks prior to the party...

Pick a date and send out some type of invitation/text/email.

The guest list needs to include an adult driver for each team, so I keep that in mind as I make the list. Each team needs a digital camera, so I usually include that on the invitation information and ask everyone to bring a snack to share.

A week or so before the party, my friend Lisa, from Running Towards Love, and I drive around a take lots of pictures of random things in our area. Two years ago, we only took pictures of things in our town. This year we included photos from five small towns that are all within 5-10 miles of each other to make it harder.

Make sure you don't take a picture of anything that is likely to change by the time of your scavenger hunt or anything on property where you don't want a bunch of crazies taking pictures.
Yes, we learned by our mistakes. Sometimes big RV campers get driven away for the weekend.
This hair salon was open when we took the pictures, but the sign was gone on Sunday evening of our party:

These are a few of my favorites from this year:

Preparing the photo packets...
We pick 20-30 of the best shots and print duplicate sets of photos for how many teams there will be. We usually have about 5 teams, and they all have the same set of photos in their packet. Once we have the printed packets of pictures divided up into matching sets, we analyze the order we want the teams to travel. We arrange each team's packet of photos differently, giving each team a different starting point so that they don't all end up at the same places at the same time. This takes the most time.

We put a sticker on the start location-photo for each packet to help us keep things organized. To keep the pictures in order, I punched a hole in the corner and used a metal ring. (Ziplock baggie also works, but they get out of order in the chaos of the hunt.) Somewhere with each team packet, include your cell phone number, so that they can call if they need help with something, need more time, etc.

When the guests arrive...
Choose an adult as each team's captain and driver.
*this game gets soooo competitive that even the adults find it hard to obey traffic rules!
Divide up teams however you want.
Make sure your drivers have their vehicles gassed up. :)

Get a cell phone number from a non-driver team member in order to be able to reach each team during the hunt. (In case you want to change the ending time of the hunt...which is a bad idea if you can't reach every team.)

Set an ending time for everyone to be back. Our first hunt took an hour and this year's needed more than 90 minutes, since we included 5 little towns.
Have everyone grab a drink for the road if it is hot weather.

Hand out the photo packets and watch them race to be the first out of the driveway. (Still haven't mastered a plan for that... my hubby's team has been blocked in the garage both years and he gets very agitated about being last on the road!)

Each team must identify what's in each photo, determine its location, travel to the spot,  take a picture of their team at the spot, be the first team back with the most points. We determine a point system, in case the teams don't reach every location. We gave each photo 10 points and 4 "super hard" photos were worth 25 points.   Like this picture of the nearby batting cage:

Once everyone returns, there is some work involved. Perfect time to eat a bunch of snacks!
While everyone snacks, someone needs to add up all the points and someone needs to load all the images from each team onto a computer. Thanks Becky and Lisa:

One of our favorite aspects of the party is finishing the evening by hooking the laptop up to a projector and showing every team's photos on the "big screen" (garage door).
Talk about hilarious! Some teams are very dramatic:
Some teams are in a big hurry:
But they didn't hurry enough to win...and it had nothing to do with me changing the ending time in the middle of the game. Just sayin'.
Some teams are very creative:
This team wasn't in a hurry at all. They were making phone calls and stopping for food:

It's really important to make time for play. Which is why I love to have these parties:

Becky's winning teams...yes, she won both years!

big prize: a Casey's cup and a $ for a drink
Scavenger hunt 2011


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Let's have a mini-food birthday party

For Meggan's birthday in June, she wanted to have a mini-food baking party. She has always loved tiny things and loves to bake, so it was a great combination. We invited a few friends over and made a giant mess in the kitchen. It was so much fun!
Here are some pictures:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Let's Have a Party--BINGO

I love to think of an excuse to gather a bunch of people in my house or yard for a party. Sometimes my family tires of my party ideas...other times they enjoy the fun I scheme up. This summer we had a chance to host a few parties and I am finally going to blog about each of them this week.

In June we had our third BINGO party in the back yard. You can read about another one we had by clicking here: BINGO party.
We pulled out the BINGO cards, buttons for marking the numbers, all the tables and chairs, and some cheesy prizes. We had root beer floats to finish off the evening.

You can tell by the faces in these pictures that everyone had a great time...
and that they LOVED their awesome prizes. : )

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Roasted Tomatoes with Shrimp and Feta

I tried this recipe for supper tonight. Definitely a keeper...if you love tomatoes and shrimp.
I found it via on the RealSimple website. Click HERE to see it.

Roasted Tomatoes with Shrimp and Feta
5 large tomatoes, cut into 1/8ths
3 T. olive oil
2 T. minced garlic
kosher salt and pepper

1.5 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 c. fresh chopped parsley
2 T. lemon juice
1 c. Feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place the tomatoes in a baking dish and pour oil/garlic over them, toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast on the top rack for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add shrimp, parsley, lemon juice and Feta cheese.
Return to the oven for approximately 10-15 more minutes, until shrimp are done.

Next time I might consider serving it over pasta. Definitely delicous with a loaf of french bread.