Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ryan's birthday

Catching up ...

Ryan turned fourteen last week. He has grown a ton in the last year and has a new wardrobe to show for it. He is taller than all the girls in the family now--standing 5'5".

He is a good student and likes to learn. He made honor band (clarinet) this fall and has been learning the pieces in his favorite place to practice--the basement storage room. (Maybe it has really good acoustics???)

He isn't a picky eater anymore, because he is too hungry. My teenage boys lose their picky eating habits at age 13 when their high-speed growth overtakes their ability to consume enough calories--they begin to eat whatever I put in front of them. Anything. Anytime.

My proudest moment as Ryan's mom was when I received an email from his youth leader at church who had a conversation with one of Ryan's friend that he wanted us to know about.
Ryan's friend:
 "You know, I had been going to confirmation class in my old church for the past two years but I've learned more about knowing Jesus from Ryan in the week during xtreme connect than my old church taught me in years."

Ryan doesn't like to get his picture taken, but he finally indulged me, and I'm so glad!
We love you, Ryan! 
Ryan - age 14     October 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kate's Pumpkin/Cream Cheese Muffins

My friend, Kate, brought delicious pumpkin muffins to share on our road trip to the flea market that I wrote about here. They tasted so good! I am going to share the recipe here, since she doesn't have a blog. If she did have a blog it would be a great one, because she does fabulous house projects, decorates beautifully, and is one of my most creative friends. I mean, really...who buys a shopping cart at a flea market to use for supplies in their craft/work room??? Yeah, Kate does. That's how she thinks. Genius idea.

So here is her recipe for pumpkin muffins. I think they are even better the 2nd day--if you have any left! This recipe makes 24 muffins.

Kate's Pumpkin/Cream Cheese Muffins
8 oz cream cheese
1 egg
3 T. sugar
Mix above ingredients and set aside.

5 T. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. chopped pecans
3 T. melted butter
1/2 t. cinnamon
Mix above ingredients and set aside.

muffin batter:
2 c. flour
2 1/4. c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
Mix above ingredients and set aside.

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can pumpkin
1/3 c. oil
1/2 t. vanilla
Mix above ingredients and set aside.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the well and mix with a fork until just moistened. Evenly divide HALF the batter among 24 (sprayed) muffin cups. Place 2 t. of cream cheese filling in the center of each cup, then fill with remaining batter. Sprinkle the pecan topping over the top of each muffin and bake 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool on wire racks.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pillow Love

Last fall I started collecting ideas for pillows on Pinterest. I was determined to sew some new pillows for my couch for fall/winter, since my other pillows were a floral print. In March, I gave up on the idea and just got the flower pillows  back out.

So...fall arrived again, and so did my need for new pillows.

I wanted to make some cute ruffled pillows like this one from the Better Homes and Gardens website.

Make a Ruffle Pillow

Or this one from the etsy store Jilly Bean Things:

Ruffles Pillow in Mustard Yellow Linen  15"

But when I found these mustard, ruffled pillows at Target, my urge to sew was replaced by the urge for instant gratification. I threw two in my cart and brought them home. They satisfied my need for ruffles and the color was exactly what I wanted. Score!
Decorative Pillow Target Gold DECO PILLOW

The pillow I couldn't quit thinking about was this one (also from Better Homes & Gardens)

Winter Warmth Pillow

How easy-- a fleece throw with cute fringe wrapped around a bolster pillow form and tied on each end.

I didn't have any luck finding the perfect fringed, striped, throw, but I did find some striped fabric in fall colors on the clearance rack at Hobby Lobby.  I decided it was finally time to sew a fall pillow.  I went searching the blog world for a simple tutorial. 

The thing I loved about this bolster pillow tutorial on the blog DIY by Design is that it doesn't have round ends to sew, no zipper, no cording, and the cover can be removed to switch out seasonally or to launder.

My pillow took about 30 minutes.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Craftiness--leaf banner

I enjoyed making a quick fall craft last week.
I saw the idea on Rebecca Cooper's blog Simple As That.
You can see her post HERE.

It was such a simple project and motivated me to collect some pretty leaves. (I pressed them in the phone book for a few days before doing the project.)

The paper is torn from an old dictionary. I allowed extra space to fold over the top edge and staple onto a length of twine. I used glue dots to stick the leaves to the paper.
Sorry for the blurry phone photo:

It was fun to hang the banner from my new/old shutter purchased at the flea market and a great way to  bring nature into my home.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Flea Market Fun

Last Saturday, I was invited to go with some friends to a giant flea market in What Cheer, Iowa. We drove 1 1/2 hours to get there, on a cold blustery day. I wore long-johns and my winter coat and was really glad to have that much warm clothing on. I also packed a thermos of hot chocolate.

I was pretty overwhelmed when we arrived, because there was a LOT of stuff to see. The junk went on forever! We shopped for a few hours and then took a break for lunch. By this time our group had accumulated a dresser, an antique hymnal, a set of green antique books, a wire basket and a sweatshirt!

We enjoyed a potluck lunch sitting in the truck with the heater running and then drank hot chocolate to get warmed up before heading out again.

For four more hours we walked, talked, laughed, a shopped for junk. I bought a sewing machine for $15, an antique shutter, a long narrow wooden box (planning to use it for a table centerpiece), a brown jug, and an old metal lunch box.

My friend Kate bought this adorable little shopping cart at the end of the day, and we piled all our little stuff in it for the walk back to the truck.

What a fun day with friends! The What Cheer flea market is a 3-day event each year in April and October, and I am definitely planning to go again next year.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ellyn's Homecoming 2012

My senior daughter and nine of her friends were voted onto the homecoming court.
Ellyn (center front)  homecoming court 2012
She felt so honored to have been chosen by her classmates.  The other students on the court were some of Ellyn's best friends throughout junior high and high school. I think that made her experience even more special.

They had a great time participating in all the homecoming activities for the week.
Like "twin day"...
It was a busy week, made busier by finding dresses, getting hair fixed, locating a car for the parade and making posters to hang on the car.

Some of the Missouri relatives made the drive up for the big evening of the parade and coronation.
Ellyn was feeling the love! She even got roses delivered to her at the hair salon while she was getting her "up-do". They were from the grandparents who couldn't make the trip. I think she enjoyed getting them at the salon more than if they had been dropped off at home--more girls were present to share the moment with her!
Jessie, Aunt Julie, and Gramma with Ellyn

All ten, ready for the parade...

Throwing candy and waving to all the friends and families...

Coronation was in the gym following the parade. We would have loved for Ellyn to win but were thrilled for any of the girls, since they were all friends.
The boys were also good friends--I'm glad I didn't have to vote!

Siblings :)
Jacob and Ellyn -- Homecoming 2012

Ready for the dance...

What a great memory for Ellyn's senior year!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Five

1. Last week was homecoming week at our school, and I have some great pictures of my beautiful senior daughter and her friends. She was on homecoming court with nine other amazing kids. I am planning to do a separate post...soon, very soon.

2. Fall is definitely in full bloom...the view outside my window is breathtaking. This fall has more vibrant color than we've had in years.

3. We have been babysitting Halena's kids again recently. She has a new job as a CNA and works a lot of evenings, nights, and weekends.
This kiddo isn't much of a morning person:
  4. Check out the rows of ruffles on my new Target pillow. I am loving the home decor stuff at target right now! (I would have lost my mind sewing all those ruffles.)

5.  The past week has included doctors appointments, honor band auditions (Ryan-clarinet), volleyball games (Meg), haircuts, work, school/homework, church, and TELEVISION. Too many hours of television! I barely watch television, but I absolutely LOVE watching The Voice. The problem...its on two nights in a row and I am parked in front of the tv the entire time! Have you watched it? There is so much talent! Watch it...Monday and Tuesday nights on NBC.