November 17, 2010

A Burst of Creativity- Embellished Headbands

Since my baby has decided to take it's time in making his or her arrival, I go from no energy to bursts of energy.  On one of my high energy days, I made these embellished headbands.  Some of the supplies I already had:  the headbands were just plain bands that I probably got from Walmart or Target.  I got the gold ribbon, the turquoise circles, and the gold scroll on the big brown headband from JoAnn's.  Some of the jewels I pulled off hairbands or haircombs that I never made use of. The gold and turquoise earring is from Pier One, and the gold and pearl earring is from Macy's.  I had a lot of fun making these, and made all four in an hour with just a hot glue gun! I'd guess that the four of these cost me $20, because of the earrings I bought.  I'll have to post a picture of my sister wearing one...I gave her two for her birthday, and she is always doing pretty braids in her hair.  

Linking up to: Toot Your Horn Tuesday at A Silly Little Sparrow;Show and Tell @ Blue Cricket Design; Hoo's Got Talent at Night Owl Crafting; Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog; Under $100 at Beyond the Picket Fence; Transformation Thursdays at The Shabby Chic Cottage; Strut Your Stuff Thursdays at Somewhat Simple; Show Off Your Stuff at Fireflies and Jellybeans; Show and Tell at ABC & 123;Pinkapotamus PartyWhatever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts;

November 14, 2010

A Fruitful Tree

 I just finished reading another chapter from Alexander Whyte's Bible Characters from the Old and New Testament, which I previously mentioned here.

This time I was reading a chapter titled, The Man Who Sowed a Mustard Seed.  I had to share this except below with the parents and grandparents who might be taking a moment to stop by my page.  It is such an encouragement!

"...Among ourselves that small mustard seed is eminently a parable for all parents. For every little word that a parent speaks to his child : every little action of a parent in the sight of his child: every little attitude even, and movement of his: every glance of his eye, and every accent of his voice—are all so many mustard seeds sown in the little garden of his child's mind and heart.

Every little Scripture lesson learned together: every little prayer offered together: and, especially, alone together: every little occasional word to explain, and to make interesting, his child's little lesson and little prayer every wise little word spoken to his child about his own and his child's Saviour—every such small seed dropped by a parent's hand will yet spring up to his everlasting surprise, and to his everlasting harvest. 

Let all parents... lay this little parable well home to their imagination and to their heart. Let them not despise the day of small things. Let them have a great faith, and a great assurance of faith, in such small things as these. 

Let them have a great faith in Him, and in His wisdom, and His love, and in His faithfulness, who is continually, both in nature and in grace, folding up the greatest trees in the smallest seeds. And never more so than in the way He folds up your child's whole future in your little acts of faith, and prayer, and love, and wisdom, and patience, and hopefulness, done at home. 

Despise it not, for a great tree is in it. A great, a fragrant, and a fruitful tree, under which you will one day sit rejoicing in the shelter of it, and in the sweet fruitfulness of it."


I was unable to locate a credit to give for the photo of the mustard tree, which I found on a Google Image Search.

November 4, 2010

A Butterfly Birthday Cake

We recently had a small birthday party for my youngest, and my children's favorite thing is to pick the kind of cake that they want me to make.  A butterfly cake was the choice for my little one, and after searching butterfly cake pictures on Google, here is what I came up with...

That is made from one 9" round cake, cut in half, with a little notch taken out of each half. M&M's are the candy decorating the top and sides, along with large gumdrops, and decorating crystal sprinkles. Some inspiration was found at the M& M ideas page, and Bake, Decorate, Celebrate.  I had to get ready after I made that one, so I asked my husband to decorate the other however he wanted.  Here is his decorated cake....

Isn't that neat?  The kids liked his as much as mine, but both were greatly enjoyed!

October 21, 2010

Delicious & Easy Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I have been taking advantage of much needed opportunities to rest before baby's arrival, and so have been sleeping in, rather than blogging.  But, I wanted to share a delicious peanut butter cookie recipe that I made yesterday, and several times before.  They are so good and so simple...the hardest part is not eating 5 at once!  I found the recipe in my Taste of Home magazine.


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda


1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon shortening
1 package (13 ounces) miniature peanut butter cups


In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
Roll into 1-1/4-in. balls. Press a miniature peanut butter cup into each; reshape balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

For drizzle, in a microwave, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Yield: about 3 dozen.

October 12, 2010

Hearts for Home This Week

Last week, I joined in with Cherished Hearts at Home for the weekly Hearts for Home link up, and I'm joining in again.  First of all, I was pleased to accomplish much off last weeks list.  As you see above, I made my fudge--and ate it, too! It makes so much I was able to send that plateful to my husband's coworkers to enjoy.

About three out of five days, I got an early the end of the week I lost motivation and energy...for those of you who don't know, I am quite far along in pregnancy.

We went to the pumpkin patch, see the pictures here.  It was a gray day, nice and cool, and since people thought it might rain that day, it was much less crowded. We had a lovely time.

We read and snuggled on the cloudy days, particularly Laura Ingalls' Little House in the Big Woods...which has to be the best snuggling book ever.  We were inspired to make pancake men...

And, lastly, we had our Daddy Day...emailed pictures of our pumpkin patch visit, called him several times, made him some loving cards...

This week, I want to:
  1. Take advantage of my "nesting" urge to organize the kitchen and kid's armoire.  We have already gone through all the children's clothes, and all our books...eliminating and decluttering.  It feels great.
  2. Make mini-books with the children...they enjoy looking through them for months afterwards.  My oldest wants to make one about owls today. She keeps saying Twoowhittoohoo!
  3. Really enjoy the family dynamics as they are right now, before the new baby changes things up.  I saw a comment about this by Gae (Cherished Hearts at Home), and I realized I have been wanting to hurry this pregnancy, and could make better use of it by appreciating the way things are now.
  4. Spend some good time in biblestudy...again, while things are still quiet.
I'm sure there is plenty more I need to do, but that is all I can think of right now...I hope you are having a great week too!

October 11, 2010

Remember to Notice All the Good Behaviour!

Marjorie and Lettice Wormald, by Arthur Hughes
I found this poem in a book of childhood verses I have, and it struck a chord with me. I notice that there are days when my kids are playing wonderfully together for 30-45 minutes, but at the end of that time, trouble happens.  It can become a bad habit to notice the five minutes of trouble, and not praise the half-hour of kind and happy play.  This is something I have been trying to change lately. Here's the poem, from a child's point of view.

If Mother Knew
(From " In This Our World", Charlotte Perkins Gilman)

If mother knew the way I felt, 
And I 'm sure a mother should, 
She wouldn't make it quite so hard
For a person to be good!

I want to do the way she says;
I try to all day long; 
And then she just skips all the right,
And pounces on the wrong!

A dozen times I do a thing,
And one time I forget;
And then she looks at me and asks
If I can't remember yet? 

She 'll tell me to do something,
And I 'll really start to go;
But she 'll keep right on telling it
As if I didn't know. 

Till it seems as if I couldn't —
It makes me kind of wild;
And then she says she never saw
Such a disobliging child.

I go to bed all sorry,
And say my prayers, and cry,
And mean next day to be so good,
I just can't wait to try. 

And I get up next morning,
And mean to do just right;
But mother's sure to scold me
About something, before night 

I wonder if she really thinks
A child could go so far,
As to be perfect all the time
As the grown up people are 

If she only knew I tried to, 
And I 'm sure a mother should, 
She wouldn't make it quite so hard
For a person to be good!

October 5, 2010

Hearts for Home

Today I want to join in with Gae at Cherished Hearts at Home.  Here are her words about her weekly link-up:

"In today’s busy and aggressive society mothers at home are not given much encouragement to be committed to their role in being home.

In my weekly 'Hearts for Home' post I am encouraging myself and others to commit to thinking about what 4-6 things we can do each week to bring our thoughts, prayers and actions to keeping our 'Hearts for Home'."

So my list for the remainder of the week is as follows:
  1. Get started on my mornings earlier, and keep plugging other words, make the most of the morning time.  I did yesterday, and everything went that much smoother!
  2. Read to the children a lot this week; it's a cooler, grayer week, perfect for snuggling up with books.
  3. Have a "Daddy Day" which we email pictures of what's going on in our day, call him more frequently, greet him with a treat or craft for him when he gets home...make him feel special and involved.
  4. Get to a pumpkin patch to add to the children's pleasant fall memories.
  5. Make fudge for me for the family.  :-)
  6. Don't get on the computer too much!  (Which means I must go now!)
How are you keeping your hearts for home?

October 1, 2010

12 New Things - Flaky, Fluffy Biscuits!

Here's my September update for the 12 New Things Challenge that I joined up with. For those who haven't heard about it yet, Sarah Mae at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee started this to encourage herself and others to learn new skills. For August, I started doll quilts for my daughters.  I have now finished one of them.... 

I still have to finish the second with my older daughter, but since we are doing it together, it takes longer. Here is the link for the original 12 new things post.
And here is a link to August's post about the doll quilts

And now, onto September's New Thing....I decided to go with making flaky biscuits for the first time.  I used the recipe and instructions that I found here.  And it worked! They were tasty, and flaky, and fluffy.  The only thing I would change next time would be to add a bit of butter flavoring, and to keep them a little taller when I roll them.  By the way, I didn't use the food processor as the recipe states, but just hand mixed it.  We had these the first night, hot and buttered, along with beef stew.  The next morning, before we headed off to the local mountains to pick apples, we had them with an apple topping and caramel sauce I made.  Mmmm, what a breakfast!

Check back in with me next month, and I might have started or completed my next skill: A fall dress....The pattern and fabric are in the picture below. 

Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to!  Visit Sarah Mae's latest 12 Things post, and everyone else linking up here.

September 30, 2010

Fall Rain Fun and & Dollar Store Wreath Creation

We had an unexpected off-and-on rain shower today, with thunder, lightning, the whole works! It doesn't happen very often here, so it is a real treat. Of course, the kids had to go splash in the puddles...they loved that!  My oldest discovered that two of the kernels she had planted from a ear of corn we had grown have sprouted, in spite of very random waterings...

And we followed up our puddle play time with a warm cup of delicious hot cocoa and marshmallows, and a few candy corn besides.  :-)

Yesterday, I got around to making a wreath from a dollar store wreath, leaves, and flowers.  First, I painted it a brilliant red....

and then, hot glued on the flowers, leaves, and acorns. 

In the process, I got very low on glue, and so I stuck a pen behind the glue in the glue gun to push the remainder forward...I forgot to take the pen out before it cooled. No amount of pulling will get that pen out of  that glue gun now! ;-)

Linking up to Spotlight Yourself at It's So Very Cheri
Linking up to Get Your Craft On Thursday @ Life as Lori
Linking up to Home & Family Friday at Home is Where My Story Begins
Linking up to The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday

September 28, 2010

A Simple Fall Craft & A Great Blog

Here's a little art project we did last week when the weather felt like fall...this week it feels like summer in the desert. :-(

My daughter watercolored the background, we added foodcoloring to some rice for grass, glued on cotton ball clouds, and glued on a variety of colored punched leaves.  The kids really liked this craft.  Today, we are going to do the sheep we found on Just Next Door.

I love all the blog homeschool resources that are out there! I just recently discovered Confessions of a Homeschooler, and it is amazing!! There is enough valuable resources on that one site to keep you busy for a long time.  It is hard to believe the creativity and organization that one person can have! Check it out if you get a chance!

Linking up to

Also Linking up to Red Ted Art's Blog for Kids Get Crafty!
And, Linking up to Homeschool Creations Preschool Corner.

September 27, 2010

Black & White Portrait Challenge

I am entering a couple older black and white portraits that I took into The Aspire Photo Challenge. You can find their page with the button at the bottom of this post.

I'm not tired!

Aspire Photo Challenge

September 23, 2010

Simple, Savory, Soothing Soup

One of my favorite dinners that is so easy, and yet so satisfying is potato leek soup.  Probably you have had it before, or even have made it...but if you haven't, I didn't want to keep such a good thing to myself!
It is also a healthy, inexpensive dinner; it's particularly delightful if you are sick.
A few ingredients is all you need: leeks, potatoes, chicken broth, butter, and a bit of cream or milk.

Recipe for four:

3-4 large leeks, washed, dark green portion removed
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
32 oz. box of chicken broth, or 2 15 oz cans
3 tbsp. butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup cream, half and half, or milk
salt and pepper to taste

Slice, rinse, and drain leeks.  Heat butter in a 6 qt saucepan, and add leeks. Saute at medium heat, until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.  Pour in chicken broth, and add potatoes.  Turn heat up to medium high, and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Remove from heat, let cool a little.  Pour half of the soup into your blender or food processor - but be careful!! If the soup is too hot, the steam can make the lid come up, and you might get burned!

(This happened to me last time...splatters of boiling hot soup landed on my hand! It was going to be a bad blistery burn, and so I Googled around and found putting aluminum foil on a burn helps...I put it around my hand until bedtime, and had no blisters or scarring.  Pretty neat, huh? Check out this article about it in Time Magazine.) 

Puree the soup.  If you like your soup more chunky, only puree half.  Puree the remaining soup for a creamy texture.  Add in the milk or cream for your preferred consistency, and add salt and pepper to taste.  

Serve with toast for an extra easy meal, or with crispy-sweet honey corn muffins.  Want the recipe? Here it is! This is an adaption from Grandma's Honey Muffins on Taste of Home.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cormeal
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup honey


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine the egg, milk, butter and honey. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.


September 21, 2010

A Visit to My Garden

Mums are in full bloom!
Only one rose...we never have very many, it's too shady where they are.
We still have some cherry tomatoes, as well as regular size.
Pretty and sweet rattlesnake beans, flowering and producing for the second time!
The three big pumpkins we harvested this year...only the biggest remains...I've been baking!

September 20, 2010

Luscious Lemon Loaf

Yesterday I made this yummy lemon yogurt sweet bread...I was inspired when I saw Starbuck's Lemon Loaf looking so delicious in their display.  The recipe I chose to use was actually the Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Yogurt Cake. It is so easy to make, you don't even need to get your mixer out! It is light and fluffy and has a vivid lemon flavor. You can make it without the extra glaze if you like; that's what I decided to do, as my husband doesn't have a mouth full of sweet teeth like I do.  :-)

Here's the recipe:


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Recipe Link: Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Yogurt Cake
Linking up to It's So Very Cheri
Linking up to Mingle Monday @ Our Homeschool Home 
Linking up to Tasty Tuesday @ Beauty & Bedlam

September 16, 2010

Frugal Friday - Vintage Wall Art

When my sister visited recently, we headed out to some little antique stores, and I found some cute vintage photos and postcards that I am going to make into wall art or door hangings. The one that I have finished is this neat photograph which was already on a long hard piece of cardboard, originally.
I added pretty scrapbook paper, some stickers, rub-ons, lace and pearls......ta-da!
Linking up to The Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday!
Also joining the Look at Me Party @ Fun to Craft;

Guest Post - A Peace Within

Today, for a Thoughtful Thursday, we have a guest post from Noellen, of Comfort and Conversation.  I so enjoyed her post the other day, that I asked her if I could share it with you.
Peace from God is not just an emotion that is with you when times are good, when life is calm.  His peace is always in you, even when times are rough.  It's easy to "feel" peaceful when everything is in order in your life.  But not so easy when life brings you challenges.  It's during these times that you need to stop and reflect and ask yourself, "Is the peace of God with me now?"

In my study recently, I have been reading A Woman's Walk with God by Elizabeth George and I quote the following passage from her book:

Are you in turmoil, or are you trusting and at peace? Are you running around in circles, or are you resting in the Lord? Are your words revealing a sense of panic and pressure, or are they words that edify and encourage, that minister grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29)? Are your actions reflecting the priorities God would have you set? Is your relationship with Him first, or are you too busy to sit at His feet and enjoy His presence? The woman who wrote the following words knew busyness...until the Lord interrupted.  Let's learn from her.

I'm Busy Lord!
I'm busy Lord. Surely You can see
The thousand things that wait for me!
The dishes still lie in the sink - 
I cannot stop to pray and think.

Lord, I know you understand,
For You gave these children to my hand;
And now they cry and need me so,
Lord, You understand. I'd better go.

Now I've got them all to sleep,
I'd better dust and mop and sweep.
I must thaw out the meat for stew,
And the ironing is long overdue!

And kindly my Lord answered me,
"Why do you from My presence flee?
I have so much for you today.
My child, I want to hear you pray.

"I love you, child, I want you here
To rest and listen-to shed a tear.
What if Paul had stopped to say,
"Lord, I'm too busy to write letters today!"?

"No, my child, I'm what you need,
Through household duties you can speed,
Yet when you're through, there's emptiness
If this quiet time you miss."

Oh, thank You, Lord, for showing me
How much I need to wait on Thee.
For what's an undone dish or two
Compared with sharing time with You?!

May the peace of God be with you today!
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Design © 2011 Laura Jane Designs