I have entered the world of blogging! My purpose? To stay connected to friends and family and invite you into my world. A world filled with fun, tears, laughter, excitement, elation, disappointment and all the blessings of being a mother and wife.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cupcake Flags: New Years 2012

To be honest, I struggle with new years. Time goes by so fast that each year seems like a blink of an eye. I find myself reflecting on the year gone by and sad that it is all over...already. This year, I'm hoping to have a little more fun with new years. And what is more fun than cute cupcakes?! Hmm..not much!

My sister and her family are coming for a visit and I'm going to bake red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Yum! I just adore cute cupcake toppers and flags. I thought I would give it a go creating my own (side note: I'm not a graphics designer, that's my sister) but I think these came out pretty cute. What do you think?

You can download them HERE. I left several flags blank so you can add your own personal touch.

Three basic materials are needed: toothpicks, glue dots and scissors (and the printed flags, of course!)

Roll the tip of each toothpick over one glue dot.

After cutting out the flags, fold closed on the tip of toothpick covered in glue dot. Simple!

I hope you have a wonderful New Year filled with God's glorious Peace and Joy!

Homemade Herb Dip

The dip:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
Garlic powder and pepper taste

Mix all together and refrigerate until ready to use. The longer it sits, the better it will taste.

The bread bowl:

You can purchase a round loaf of bread at the store. Cut out the center, pour the dip in the wall. Cut the center piece into cubes for dipping. You can also make the bread from scratch using your favorite bread recipe. Instead of placing the bread dough in a loaf pan, form into a round loaf and bake on a cookie sheet.

Enjoy!! ;-)

For fun...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Simple and easy monogrammed blanket

For Christmas this year I made my two nephrews monogrammed blankets. These are super easy to make and fast too!

I cut a large piece of blue fleece, approximately 1.5 yards.

Next I took two strips of red felt to create my "T" monogram. For another a more difficult letter print out a letter in Word at about 300% to use as a pattern.

Wonder Under is AWESOME! And makes projects like this SO much easier! Follow the directions on the packaging to iron your letter to the fleece. Surprisingly felt and fleece can hold up to an iron, just don't keep the heat on their too long.

I cut out a train from some fabric I had on hand to make my embellishment and also used Wonder Under to adhere it to the fleece.

Once the monogram and train were ironed on I machine stitched around the edges.

Ta Da! That is all! Fleece doesn't fray so you don't have to hem it unless you would like to.

Linking up to...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our visit with Santa and the girls Christmas skirts

Last weekend we went to our favorite Christmas shop to visit Santa Claus, Sleighbells. It is such a wonderful place to visit with Santa. You might wait a total of 5 minutes to see him and get to take as much time as you like visiting with him. We've been going there since Grace was four and each year it is the "same" Santa Claus so now we get to see the the girls growing up in each picture.

I've shared before that each year I make the girls a matching Christmas outfit. I started with Grace's first Christmas with a dress. Then Jilian came along and I made matching Christmas dresses. It was fun but a lot of work! So last year I switched to Christmas skirts! Match faster! Here's this year's, red and white velvet with a red velvet flower accent and matching red velvet flower hair accessory.

For fun I'm sharing at...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mini Banner "Let It Snow"

I've been involved with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) for several years. It has been such a blessing in my life! Some of my closest friends I have met because of MOPS....I'll get to the banner....at MOPS we have Mystery Moms, kind of like secret sisters, we bring surprise treats each month to our meeting. This month it was to be an ornament or holiday inspired treat of some kind. I made my Mystery Mom (who just so happens to be my good friend Heidi) this mini banner that reads "Let It Snow". She's a fan of snowmen so I thought it was fitting. :-) I had SO much fun making it!!

I'm sharing it for the Holly Bloggy Christmas party. Just Sew Sassy is hosting a linky party for Christmas Crafts. Be sure to visit for some festive ideas!

To give Heidi her banner I tucked it inside this tinsel filled green trimmed pail.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Handmade Gifts


I love blog land and all it's inspiration, especially this time of year! There is SO much talent and creativity out there it is mind blowing sometimes! One of the fun things of blog land this time of year is the annual Holly Bloggy Party hosted by Simply Sweet Home. Each day this week there will be a different holiday topic. Monday's is handmade gifts. You can head on over to Tater Tots and Jello for some great gift ideas!

Today I'm sharing one of the felt dolls I created for my girls this Christmas. I can't wait for them to each find one of these dolls tucked inside their Christmas stockings! I was inspired by the Russian Matryoshka Dolls, the sweet little wooden nesting dolls. I had a set as a little girl (which we recently found & now Jilian plays with it) and I thought I would utilize my love of felt and fabric to create a soft version. I hope they love them as much as I do! :-)

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's a little frosty outside!

The last couple weeks it has been such a treat to have clear blue skies and the SUN! But with that comes frost. This morning it is a warm 24 outside! I know for some that really is warm but for us here in Oregon, it's cold! Wanted to share a few pictures of the frostness (yes, that is a word!) around my house. The bright circle in the sky is the sun peeking through the fog... :-)

It's been a l-o-n-g week around here so for a treat I'm doing some blog hopping, you should join in the fun! Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Thanksgiving

This year we went up to Renton Washington to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family. We had a very relaxing day and ate some yummy food, of course!

While waiting for the turkey I got an idea to make a family of hand turkeys. The girls have made them over the years but Jeremy and I never had. It was fun to see all our hands together. Much to my surprise Jeremy really got in to it and even colored his own turkey!

Grace also drew a great turkey and wiped out this poem in a matter of minutes! I was impressed, creative writing has never been my strength!

November 24, 1621

Oh the Mayflower looking so great,
Ready to float with us like a freight.

As the Indians cover their mouths for a noise,
'Cause we're getting to rejoice!

What are we going to rejoice?
What are we going to rejoice?

This great Thanksgiving Day,
To the Lord that we pray!

Mashed potatoes with gravy,
Buttered corn so nice and glazy!

Warm apple and pumpkin pie fresh from the oven,
Then you push yourself back from the table and say
I can't take nothin'!

Nice warm delicious stuffing,

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

25 Names of God

I think I might seriously go into shock when I wake tomorrow morning to the fact that it is DECEMBER 1st!! I've said it a million times but time sure does fly!

With December first comes the count down to Christmas. Over the last few years we have celebrated the anticipation with various advent activities, crafts, outings, stories etc. But last year I felt very convicted that our focus was not on Christ as much as it should be. Not that Christmas crafts or outings are bad but I just felt the tug to make this Christmas even more about anticipating the birth of Christ, our greatest gift of all.

Instead of putting slips of paper with our daily advent activity inside our advent calendar doors, tucked inside will be a different name of God. Now try limiting it to 25 names, it was hard! Below is the list of names and Scripture references that we will be reading each day. I'm excited to see how this will bring us closer to Him and expand our knowledge of who He is. Not just for my girls to learn but for Jeremy and I as well.

25 Names of God

TEACHER: John 13:13

TRUE LIGHT: John 1:9

JEHOVAH-SHALOM: Judges 6:24 meaning: "The Lord is peace"


BREAD OF LIFE: John 6:35

COMFORTER: John 14:26

COUNSELOR: Isaiah 9:6

CREATOR: 1 Peter 4:19

DELIVERER: Romans 11:26


FOUNDATION: 1 Cor. 3:11

FRIEND: Matthew 11:19

GENTLE WHISPER: 1 Kings 19:12

GOD WHO SEES ME: Genesis 16:13


GUIDE: Psalm 48:14

HOLY ONE: Acts 2:27

HOPE: Titus 2:13

KING OF KINGS: 1 Timothy 6:15


MESSIAH: John 4:25, Redeemer

OUR PEACE & PRINCE OF PEACE: Ephesians 2:14 & Isaiah 9:6

POTTER: Isaiah 64:8

REDEEMER: Job 19:25

SAVIOR: Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas

Just for fun...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Greetings

Wishing you and yours a wonderful day of giving Thanks! Today I'm so very grateful for a God that never stops pursuing me, for my husband, my girls and my family, friends and my country.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Super Yummy & Comforting Baked Oatmeal

I just love this baked oatmeal! It is filling and delicious. It is yummy served warm or cold over plain yogurt.

Mix 1/2 cup oil, 1 cup brown sugar and 2 eggs. Add 3 cups oatmeal, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 cup milk.

If you desire add 1 cup of fruit. I've tried blueberries, dried cranberries and chopped fresh apple (with the apple I added a touch of cinnamon), all have tasted great.

Bake in 8x8 dish for 35 to 40 minutes at 350. Recipe easily doubles for a larger crowd.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Creating Traditions Part Two of Three: Celebrating Thanksgiving

Last year I decided that I wanted Thanksgiving to be more than just eating too much food. I want it to be a time of reflection, to be thankful for all my blessings. To encourage my girls to stop, think and be thankful. I'm still learning how to do this but I wanted to share some ideas I have come up with and have learned from others as well.

Share the Bounty of the Holiday: Invite someone to your home for the Thanksgiving meal, a friend, college student etc.

Yearly Thanksgiving Scrapbook: Bring a scrapbook to the family gathering and have each person write one thing they are thankful for on a sheet of scrapbook paper and include a group photo. OR you can have each person write on paper what they are thankful, then have them hold it up and snap a photo.

Cozy Book Nook: Create a cozy corner with a basket of books about Thanksgiving, the history, special stories or poems about being thankful. A great teaching moment for your children about being thankful for what they have. Also, provides the opportunity to learn why we celebrate Thanksgiving in the first place.

Skip Shopping and Have a Family Fun Friday: Turn off the computer, cell phones and the TV. Spend the day as a family playing games, reading books, eating leftovers and just enjoying each other.

Art Table: Embrace the idea of the kid table, cover a table with white paper and at each place setting have a box of crayons with the child’s name on it. They can draw while they eat!

This is our first ever kid table (2009). Grace traced a turkey cookie cutter, I cut out the turkeys and she finished them with hand stamped names.

Thankful Jar, Garland or Tree: Cut out some paper leaves and have each family member write what they are thankful for on the leaves. Put them in a decorated jar, hang them on a tree or string them together as a garland.

We created our first Thankful Tree just this afternoon and we love it! Using a large brown piece of butcher paper I drew a tree. I then cut it out a taped it to the wall in our front room. I had some paper leaves from a long time ago that we used to write out what we are thankful for. It was a simple way to talk about thankfulness. The girls really enjoyed doing it! I had to stop them so we had leaves for daddy to use!

*Recycled post from last year* :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My One Thousand Blessings

Almost a year ago already I discovered an amazing book that has seriously changed my perspective on life. The book "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" written by Ann Voskamp. It is a must read for everyone especially moms and those bogged down by the daily routines and the struggles that life often dishes out. Ann's style of writing is AMAZING to say the least. It is poetic. She shares her story of breaking through the darkness and truly living in the joy that God has promised. I know for myself personally I have struggled, as a Christian, wondering where the joy in my life is. God has promised us joy but honestly, I couldn't find it. I shared once that our joy is in Christ, yes, but Ann has reminded me that I must continually seek Him, give Thanks to Him and then I will fully experience His joy.

It is simple really and so true. If you look within Scripture you will find that before the miracle has taken place, before the feelings of contentment and joy (even in the worst of circumstances) THANKSGIVING has taken place. Philippians 4:6 reads, "in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to the Lord" and also in 1 Timothy 2:1 "First I tell you to pray for all people, asking God for what they need and being thankful to Him". Paul writes, in Philippians 4:11-12, "I have learned how to be content with whatever I have". The key word here is learned, it takes practice and it is a choice to choose joy and to give Thanks. To take time each day, multiple times a day, to give Thanks to the Lord for all blessings. David took time, three times a day to stop, pray and give Thanks. Everything is a blessing. Even the difficult things. Even the dirty dishes, the piles of laundry, the whining children, the rain....are all blessings. We must take the time to re-frame our thinking and see the blessings. We can only feel one emotion at a time. We can choose to be annoyed and let our thoughts fester on the moment OR we can choose to give Thanks. For example (one I'm teaching myself) "Thank you Lord for two girls that have strong wills and are learning to work out things with each other" (my girls fight frequently!).

Ann was challenged by a friend to write out one thousand blessings. The simple act of writing out the blessings she saw each day taught her to seek out the blessings in ALL circumstances. I was inspired by Ann and have started my own journal of blessings. I leave it on my kitchen counter so I don't forget to use it. I'm still learning (very much so!) but do take time and write down my blessings. It truely has changed my perspective. Knowing that I want to write something down, encourages me to look for the blessings. And remembering that each and every moment is a blessing, helps me to choose Joy. We do have a choice in how we will live each moment. The Lord does not say there will not be difficult times. In fact He says there will be but He promises to be with us through those times. If I can remember this and remember that the irritating things in life are not that big of a deal, then I am SO much more JOYful!

You can visit Ann's blog A Holy Experience by clicking HERE. You can sign up for daily emails and I highly recommend it. It is SO encouraging! She's real and struggles too but she's learning to choose JOY. She takes awesome pictures too!

Here is the beginning of my list:

1. Clear blue skies
2. Cool morning breezes
3. Fresh hot coffee
4. Gentleness between my girls
5. Many shades of green (Oregon is GREEN!)
6. A warm bed to sleep in
7. The color red
8. Park playdates with friends
9. Fresh berries
10. Keeping Jeremy safe (he had an accident at work)
11. Healthy children!
12. Camping trips
13. Running water
14. Fresh water
15. Big imaginations and creativity
16. Friends to call on when you need prayer
17. Healthy children (added by Jeremy)
18. Dance
19. Clean floors
20. Experiencing nature

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Colors of Fall

This last week it was such a wonderful treat here in Oregon...there was NO rain...it was clear and crisp. Jilian and I went for a walk around the neighborhood in search of fall things. The colors were amazing!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin patch field trip with Grace

Field trips are so much fun and the pumpkin patch is probably my favorite one!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh, how I love Halloween!

Just for fun I'm linking up to: