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Monday, January 31, 2011

saving and giving

So no update on the job front for William. We're praying that a company he's been doing some contract work will come through and offer him a job in the next week or two. Until then, we're just sitting tight, packing a few boxes here and there and reworking our budget to save every penny we can.

Around Christmas time, I found out about this thing called Grocery University. It's a 2 hour, 19 minute audio course that's supposed to teach me everything about saving money on my grocery bill. It's usually $24.99, but if you watch for a sale, I downloaded it for $5. I'm only through the first couple sections, but I'm looking forward to learning how to save and being able to pass on some tips.

Despite the fact that we're feeling pretty pinched. . .God has still been very faithful to take care of all our needs. And I'm still hearing that we're supposed to continue giving what we normally do. And we've had a few other opportunities to give lately. I'm pretty excited this first one. Our church is collecting old prom/bridesmaid dresses to give to high school girls in our community who could not afford to buy them. I love this. I have tons of dresses that have just been hanging out in my closet. No offense to any of you whose wedding I have been in and have hoped that I'd wear the dress again. Who ever wears bridesmaid dresses again? Doesn't happen. So here is a sample of some of the dresses I dropped off at church this week. I think I took 8 of them. I really loved all these dresses and the memories that came with them. I hope the next gal who wears them love them too. If you have any dresses you want to give, just let me know and I'll take them off your hands for a good cause.
Another small thing I've been prompted to do this week is give (a small amount from my Etsy earnings) to 1000 Cloth Diapers for Ethiopian Orphans. I follow multiple adoption blogs which always have a way of bringing me to tears. One that I love is Lauren at Poppie Lane. Her and her husband are bringing home their baby Tucker soon and when I read her post about the need for diapers, I had to give something. Read that particular post here:

PS - Like the polaroids? I downloaded this quick software. You might be seeing a few more of these.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

rolled fabric necklace

A few weekends ago we hung out with the M's and C's before the C's made their big move to Tennessee. I was wanting to make something small for Becky and Summer and since I've been on a rolled flower making roll (pun intended). Thought I'd share a small tutorial on how I made them. Please excuse the terrible pictures. It was late and dark. So first, gather your supplies. You will need a glue gun, scissors, some random fabric you have laying around, a small piece of felt, and a necklace/chain (I got mine from Hobby Lobby for $2).A great way to get fabric is to take an old t-shirt that you're never going to wear anymore and cut away. I know a few people will enjoy the shirt I chose to use:Cut a strip about 1.5" by 12" long. Start on one end and hot glue it in half.
Start by rolling the end super tight a couple times.
Then put a dot of hot glue on one edge. Then taking the fabric, roll it clockwise or away from the middle of the flower. Secure it with the hot glue dot.

Continue this process around and around.
As you go, there will be a "stem" of sorts that makes it easy to hold onto.Continue until you have the size of flower you want. Cut the fabric so you have about and inch left.Then turn the flower over and cut off the "stem" (for lack of a better word).Then, cover the back of the flower with hot glue.Put the piece of fabric over the hot glue.Cut off the excess fabric.Make some more. Lots more. Then pick out 3 and place them onto a piece of felt. Hot glue them down once you like their position.
Cut around the excess of the felt. You don't want it to show, it's just to add stability.I bought an actual necklace that was on one piece as opposed to 2 pieces of chain. So I had to cut my necklace in half. It was actually pretty easy; must have been a cheap necklace. Glue one end to each end of the back of the felt. I them glued another piece of small felt over the chain so it wouldn't scratch a neck.
And there you go. A little rolled fabric necklace. I'm off to make a few more in different colors.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

random thoughts

- Last week, Owen was getting up every 40 min-1 hour all night, every night. So since William is home this week (see Owen's 7 month post if you don't know why he's home) we decided we better get back to crying it out. That way he can help during some of the cry sessions. Tonight Owen has slept from 7ish until now as I'm typing this (11:15). He must have know his mom had procrastinated on finishing her talk for Mom2Mom tomorrow morning and needed the time.

- Since we're on a very strict spending freeze right now, I've been forced to cook from the pantry. This is actually something I should make myself to do more often because I forget all the things I stock in there. Last night, I made this Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup (minus the spinach which I didn't have). It was fabulous!

- Thanks for all the prayers about William's job and well, the chaos of our life right now. I have no update for you. So just keep us in your prayers for awhile longer.

- I am currently obsessed with Grey's Anatomy. How have I not watched this show from the beginning?!? Thanks to Netflix Streaming, I'm now moving on to season 3 and can. not. stop.

- Owen has found out how to blow bubbles/spit. It's adorable until he finds out how to do it with prunes in his mouth as he did tonight.

-I was at my mom's getting a few pictures for my powerpoint for tomorrow's talk. I found this picture of me. Maybe Owen looks a little more like me than people give me credit for. :)
That's it. Night Night.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

first time in nursery

Sunday, the 9th was a big day for the O-man. It was his first time in the church nusery. He is still so good during church and usually just takes a little nap in my arms. But I knew that at 7 months, it was time to start some socializing. So after praying that he woudlnt' catch any germs, we dropped him off in the nursery for 2nd service. I defeinitely think it was harder on me than on him. Ms. Gwynn (and other helpers) took good care of him, although she said he was only happy about 60% of the time. Why didn't they call me?! He was pretty red faced when I picked him up because he wasn't able to fall asleep. I'm sure this will get easier right?

Mom likes to dress me in ridiculous things sometimes.
I got my name tag!
I'm ready to go in!
Thanks Ms. Gwynn for taking good care of me!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy 7 Months!

7 months! Wow. That means we're on the downhill slope to 1 year. So hard to believe.

At our seven month appointment, he measured 20 pounds even, which puts him in the 76th percentile. He was 27 1/4" which is the 41th percentile. His head is still on the smaller side at 43.6 cm which is the 30th percentile. His bucket seat only goes to 22 pounds so I'm glad we went ahead and bought the bigger car seat. I think he likes being a little higher up and able to see more.

New Things He's Learning/DoingThere's so much I'm sure I'll leave something out. We're starting to hear more consonant sounds in his talk. Won't be long before we hopefully hear those mamas/dadas. He sits up great and loves to reach for toys. He's great at scooping up what he wants and I really have to watch now where I sit him down at, especially when he's hanging out with me in the kitchen in the bumbo. He can switch a toy to the other hand and he's starting to bang toys together (clapping soon?). He loves his puppets, especially the cow one he got for Christmas. He loves to grab his toes and eat them.He loves to touch/pinch people's noses. When he gets excited to see you, he'll burrow into your neck. One of my all time favorite things right now is when he looks at things, he'll tip his head to the right side. We ask him if it's easier to see things when he looks at them sideways. It's adorable.Other tidbits:
When does separation anxiety start? Because I think we're there. I mean, I've always been his favorite, but now he'll cry HARD if he sees me, but then go in a different room. Or for example, I was at church and Pam was holding him while Aubrey and I were visiting. He looked over at me and started crying. But the minute he got in my arms, he broke into a huge smile. Stinker.

I don't want to jinx myself but as of now, we don't have a picky eater on our hands. Thankfully. He'll eat pretty much every food we give him, although anything with texture he isn't a huge fan of. A few of the foods I made I couldn't get very smooth (carrots, green beans, sweet peas) so I've had to do store bought ones for those. He loves to help hold the spoon and bring it to his mouth. This results in quite the mess but I guess you've gotta learn somehow.
As of now, here's his list of foods he's tried in order of how much he likes them:
apples, pears, peaches
plums - loved these but holy cow we had some major blow outs, so he won't be getting those again for awhile
avocado, butternut squash, sweet potato
beans & peas
rice cereal
oatmeal cereal
See months 1-6.


I'm doing pretty good. I've had some brutal times with God lately. Just getting really scared about asking him where we're supposed to live at. I've enjoyed knitting and crafting and am even going to speak at our Mom2Mom group about the chapter in our book about hobbies. I hope that someday Owen will take a longer than 30 minute nap so I can actually get some things knit for my Etsy store!


Well, William got let go from his job on Friday. Yep, I think he was more upset that he didn't get to quit. Lack of work, blah, blah, blah. He's never liked this job, but it was paying our bills. And getting us cheap rent because we're staying in his boss' condo. So just pray for us that 1) William gets a new job quick and 2) we can find a new place to live quick.

More pictures of month 7:

Mom. . .I'm too big for this thing now!
He loves to play airplane with daddy!
Go Illini!
A few of his 7 month shots

Sunday, January 9, 2011

breaking in the Kitchen Aid

I'm loving my new Kitchen Aid. I'm not a great cookie maker. Don't know why but they never turn out right. And I have ADD when it comes to cookies, so something that take multiple checks to the oven isn't my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. But I thought it would be a simple things to break in the new mixer. When I asked William what kind of cookies he wanted, he immediately said snickerdoodles. I've used this recipe many times before and these are one type of cookie that can get right. Yes, this is a picture of my first batch. I must admit that these cookies were gone in a few days flat. Maybe it's a good thing I don't usually make cookies.
Mrs. Sigg’s Snickdoodles (whoever Mrs. Sigg is :)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


A few people have asked how I took pictures of Sara's hair bows. I knew that if I wanted to get this Etsy shop actually up and running, I needed to be able to take some decent pictures, even though I just have a point and shoot camera. Photoboxes start at $100. Yeah, not on my budget.

So after some searching around and looking at a few people who made their own, I set out to do the same. Finding a box was no problem as I have a husband who is a box hoarder saver. I actually wish I had chosen one a bit bigger, but this one works for now.

If I was being perfect about it, I would have drawn lines with a ruler about an inch all the way around, like a border. But I wasn't being perfect about it. Using a box cutter, I just winged it and cut out the front and both sides. I found it easier to leave the front flaps on for extra stability and cut them off at the end.
Then, cut a section of tissue paper large enough to fit over the openings. I just taped them on using scotch tape. You may need more than one layer of tissue paper depending on what kind of lighting you need.
Cut a piece of white poster board to fit the inside of your box. The piece of a paper should not be folded, and should be a bit longer than the box. Find some good light. Since I only have one good "spotlight" lamp I just waited until a good amount of sunlight coming through my front door sparing me having to drag out lights or go outside in the cold.
Even my Canon point and shoot can take this:
Hope this helps anyone who needs to take close up pictures of anything! :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year! A day like 1.1.11 is just begging to be blogged on. Especially since I doubt I'll around on Jan 1, 2111. I love this time of year. I know nothing changes from yesterday to today. But I feel like my system gets “reset” during this time of year. Our home has new gadgets and toys, requiring some dejunking and rearranging. Although I don't usually make resolutions (because I don't keep them) I thought I'd make a list of a few things that I hope this next year includes:

1. More fun reading - I love to read. But this year has been bogged down with books for VLI and baby books. While those have taught me a lot, I have quite the list of good "God" books, fun chick lit, and some NY Bestsellers that I'm looking forward to getting to this year.

2. More green. Meaning I want to do better about being green. Maybe a garden, maybe actually using my cloth bags when I grocery shop, maybe healthier cleaning products. Hmm.

3. Healthier foods (more whole foods, less sugar). More menu planning. More coupon clipping.

4. More exercise. Period.

5. More money saved. Stick to the budget. Think of the mini van. And the house. And the babies that will fill that house.

6. Less stuff. Get rid of things we don't need or use. Don't buy things to fill their place.

7. More creations. Knit, scrapbook, take pictures, blog, craft. Take time to enjoy the things I like to do.

8. Enjoy life more. Laugh more. Lighten up. Turn off the computer. Have more people over for dinner. Have more sex. Haha, did I really just type that for everyone to see?

9. 1 more baby. Guess #8 will come in handy.

10. Love God and Love Other better. Be passionate about my relationships, with God, family, and friends. Enjoy every day with William and Owen. Be a better daughter, sister, and friend.

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