Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gospel ABC Book

My sister has a friend named Rosie that came up with a really great idea for a little quiet book to take to church. It is a poem that uses each of the letters in the alphabet to relate a gospel principle. You can find the poem is very sweet and clever.

Because we can access the church magazines so easily online now, I don't keep mine in hard copy for more than a year. So I sorted through all my old Ensigns and Friends to find the appropriate pictures, came up with a design for the pages (mine are an 8 1/2" by 11" piece of paper cut in quarters) and laminated the pages. Then I punched a hole in each corner and held them all together with a binder ring. Make sure that the rhyming lines face each other!

It has been a huge hit with Josh...he loves to find the picture of his daddy especially. Thanks for the great idea, Rosie!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tony's 14 Days of Valentines, Take Two

I've done something like this several times in the past, but because Tony and I won't be together for Valentine's Day this year (sigh of self-pity), I wanted to do it again this year so that he had a little something to open each day of the 14 days leading up to Valentine's Day. The trick was finding 14 NEW things to send, but also making them something that he could use or that he could enjoy while he is deployed or share with his office. So this is what I came up with:

Day 1: I "chews" you for my Valentine. (big 12 pack box of gum)
Day 2: I'm stuck on you. (a sheet of heart stickers)
Day 3: I love to "tissue"...get it? Kiss you? Okay, work with me here... (mini tissue box)
Day 4: You make my world go 'round. (a package of his favorite round cookies)
Day 5: You knock my socks off! (a pair of new socks)
Day 6: You're my King of Hearts! (new pack of playing cards)
Day 7: You've been hugged. (bag of chocolate Hugs candies)
Day 8: You're hot. (a box of Hot Tamales)
Day 9: Your love hits the right note with me. (notepad)
Day 10: Our love is better than any Hollywood story. (box of New Moon candy)
Day 11: You've been kissed. (bag of chocolate Kiss candies)
Day 12: 'Nuff said. (I found the ugliest foil wrapped chocolate fish that said "You're a Keeper" on it. It was so bizarre that it was perfect.)
Day 13: I've got you under my skin. (favorite aftershave OR you can take the "under" part and run with it...:-) I'm just sayin'...
Day 14: Happy Valentine's Day! (you're on your own for this one!)

I wrapped each gift individually with the tag inside. Then I wet embossed a number on 14 tags with silver powder and attached them to each gift. I found some of the coolest silver tokens for "time gifts" (hugs, kisses, massages, etc.) and got 5 different ones and attached them to each of the bagged items as well as the final gift. And the best part is that they fit comfortably in large flat rate box.

It's on it's way!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Krista's Peanut Butter Squares

My friend Jenny shared this recipe with me many years ago and it is a family favorite...we also love to makes these to share. Not really sure who Krista is, but I know I like her!

Krista's Peanut Butter Squares

Mix together in a bowl:

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 pound graham crackers, crushed
1 cup peanut butter
2 sticks of melted butter

Spread in a greased 9" x 13" pan and chill until set. Melt 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave (stirring frequently) and spread over chilled peanut butter mixture. Use the back of a butter knife to score the chocolate into serving-sized squares to make cutting easier and then chill until set.

And if that isn't enough chocolate/peanut butter goodness to make you crazy, try this recipe from Cocoa over at Chocolate on my Cranium. Wowsa.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cross-Stitched Heart Cards

Just a bit of good news camera is fixed and on it's way home! I didn't realize how much I used it until it was snatched away from my cold, sweaty hands...

I've been putting together Tony's Valentine's box (more on that to come shortly) so I have been very much in the Valentine's mood. So when I came across these cute heart cross-stitch patterns I had squirreled away, I knew I wanted to stitch some up. Now, my very first memories of sewing were of my mom setting me up with a hoop with gingham fabric in it, practicing cross-stitching a little snail pattern. I have been in love ever since. But because it is a little time intensive (versus stitching which is almost instant gratification) I don't do I near as often as I used to. But after the last few nights, I realize I love it just as much as I ever did.

I used this pattern and the DMC floss colors 335, 775, 818, and 815. I then trimmed the hearts, unraveled a few of the lines, and adhered them to a 5" by 5" card. Lovely.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Despite the challenges of having Tony away, I have found myself really enjoying a few new things over the past weeks. So, here are a few of my current favorite things:

1. My black Bare Trap boots. LOVE these things. And since there is no snow, they haven't even gotten all icky yet.

2. I'm proud to say that I have been a member of the Train fan club from almost the beginning. And it always makes me so happy when a hit of theirs makes it mainstream because they finally get a little of the notice I think they so richly deserve. Who out there hasn't caught themselves humming this one sometime over the past few months?? Anyone? Anyone?? If you need further evidence that these guys have mad skills, check out this cover the did of my favorite Aerosmith song on MTV's Icon in 2002.

3. Puzzles. The harder the better.

4. My sweet friend Jeni sent me a little care package with these candle oils and the are wonderful. In fact, right now my house smells like carrot cake. And I didn't even have to make one. Love you, Jeni!

Have you discovered something fab lately that makes you happy??

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Snowflakes Everywhere But On the Ground

I love to decorate with snowflakes and snowmen for January so they seemed the perfect theme for visiting teaching gifts this month. Except for the fact that we have no snow. Period. Anywhere. So hopefully, these bring a little snow happiness to the ladies we visit this month. I hung this one from a knob on the sofa table in my entry.

This is how they look all packaged up.

I love the quote:

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together."

Let's all stick together out there, ladies!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stitch Therapy & Physical Therapy

Now that the Holidays are put away, I've had some time in the evenings to start stitching again while I'm watching TV. I just finished the HBO mini-series John Adams...anyone else seen it?? A.Mazing. Anyway, I forgot how much I enjoyed stitching and how it helped me relax. I love to see all the floss bobbins all organized by color and the feeling of accomplishment when I complete a project. This January pattern is from Buttermilk Basin.

And about a year ago, I stated having problems with my left shoulder that got so bad that I actually had to stop running. After we moved here in July, I had them take x-rays to see if there was anything wrong that they could see on film. But when they didn't call back, I didn't think they found anything. So being the trusting dummy that I am, I let it go. But it didn't get any better. So when I was in for a quick visit last Friday, I asked my real doctor to look at the films again. When he came back in the room, he told me that he wasn't surprised I was in pain...I had a huge calcium deposit on one of the tendons in my shoulder. Hmm. Still wondering why I never got a call...Anyway, I went to my first physical therapy appointment today and they started ultrasound therapy hoping to break up the deposit so that hopefully, life will be a little less painful for me.

An answer to a prayer, my friends.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mini Ornament Wreath

First of all, sorry for the odd-colored horrible's what I could manage until my SLR (which is all fixed, HOORAY!) makes it home early next week.

A couple weeks before Christmas I saw this post ad really, REALLY liked the way it looked. However, I don't live anywhere near a Tai Pan (sigh) so I had to make due with what I could find. In the week after Christmas, I found some boxes of these tiny glass ball ornaments at Target for 50% off and I bought what I hoped was enough to cover a floral foam wreath. First, I spray painted the foam wreath metallic gold so that any gaps between the ornaments wouldn't be as conspicuous. Next, I used a scewdriver to make a hole in the foam big enough to fit the top, column part of the ornament in, filled it up with hot glue, and held the ornament in until the glue had hardened a bit. I tried to stagger them a bit so that same colors weren't next to each other an that the maximum amount of wreath was covered. When it is hanging, almost one of the paint shows. I love how heavy it is...and how good it will look hanging from a big red ribbon next year...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sentimental About Sam

It was Sam's birthday today and because of a bizarre twist of military fate, we are stationed back in Spokane where Sam was born 9 years ago. So after delivering goodie bags to his class and a quick trip into town, Sam and I were talking in the car about the day he was excited his dad and I were to become parents, how nervous and anxious we were that the nurses were all going to see how inexperienced we were and refuse to let him come home with us, and those first precious days when we saw the sweetness that radiated from him, even then. We stopped at a red light and I looked over at a time & temperature sign on a bank on the corner of the street and it said:

Happy New Year!
January 6
3:52 p.m.

Almost exactly to the minute that Sam was born, not five miles away from where he was born, 9 years ago. And I was amazed how it seemed like just yesterday.

But then I realize Josh is wearing a pair of Sam's hand-me-down overalls and I can't believe Sam was EVER that small. I love him more and more each year, but I can't help but wish time would go a little slower.

Happy birthday, my Sam. You are loved. To infinity and beyond.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Think It's Me

I'm starting to get a complex.

Last year, I lived in Omaha and this happened in Spokane.

This year, I live in Spokane (where we have almost no snow) and this is happening in Omaha.

Makes a girl wonder.

My Nikon is in the shop and my old Coolpix won't let me upload pictures, so just *imagine* in your heads all the fun things we've been doing around here...organizing, making wreaths with mini glass ornaments and getting ready for Sam's birthday on Wednesday. Sorry to be a tease...we'll catch up with picures when I get my camera home again.

And in other news, I have a church calling! I am teaching the Sunbeams (3-4 year old children). Still having a hard time believing that they're entrusting the gentle future of the church in my hands, but so be it. I'm in HEAVEN!