Friday, July 30, 2010

Christmas in July?

I wrapped Christmas presents one afternoon this week!
My mom saw an idea that we have decided to try this Christmas. We are going to be doing a Christmas book countdown to Christmas during the month of December. My mom started buying cute Christmas books when she found them at thrift stores this past Spring. I had also gotten a few, and this week I wrapped them all.Each day during the month of December, we are going to let Drew pick a book for us to read to him. I think it will be a fun tradition for our family, and I think it would be something fun to do in a classroom too.
I thought I would share this idea now in case anyone else wants to do it. If you start collecting books now, you should be able to get enough for the month of December.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Scrapbooking About My Childhood

I've been scrapping a little about my childhood, and I have a few new layouts to share today.
This first layout documents a college memory. My dad is a French professor at Bob Jones University, and he has taught with the same two French colleagues - Dr. Byers and Mrs. Eaves - for years and years. One semester, each of the French teachers had a daughter taking the same French class - French Conversation. I found these pictures from that class, and I decided to scrap them. These pictures are from an Easter when Nora and I had matching eyelet dresses that my mom made for us.
This is a picture of my mom and me at a family reunion.
This is a page about the piano we had when I was growing up. My parents still have it. I wanted a piano, and my parents told me that we could pray for one. Someone found out that we were praying for one and offered us their old one. My parents just had to pay to move it. My brother, sister, and I all took lessons while we were growing up, and we all practiced on that piano.
My parents led the Bob Jones French Summer Mission Team every other summer for many years when I was growing up. I got to go on that team five different summers, and I have so many great memories of our summers there. This is a photo that was taken of my family at the top of the Arch of Triumph.
This last page is about some childhood visits from Santa. A man from our church would come to our house dressed as Santa at Christmas time.
All of these pages were done using sketches from Let's Scrap. I have been using their sketches and participating in challenges there for about a year. I love using sketches to get my pages started. I found out this week that I am going to be on the Let's Scrap design team from August through October! I am excited to be part of the design team there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Corn Hole

Jim was grilling the other night, and he let Drew go out with him to play. Jim got out one of his corn hole boards and his beanbags, and he let Drew play corn hole. If the beanbags didn't go in the hole , Drew wouldn't just leave them on the board like he was supposed to. If it was Jim's bag, Drew would go over and push it into the hole. If it was Drew's own bag, he would go pick it up and throw again.

Sometimes he would try to throw while holding his whole group of bags.
It was a hot night, so the guys had to stay hydrated!
Drew always loves playing out in the yard!
I took a little video of Drew playing corn hole.

Peach Shortcake

This past week, I had some fresh peaches, and I decided to look for a peach shortcake recipe. I found Paula Deen's recipe and made it. It was delicious! I made a few changes, so here is how I made it. Peach Shortcake
2 cups Bisquick - I used my mom's recipe, here
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 T melted butter
3/4 tsp. almond flavoring
2-3 peaches
2-3 T sugar
Splash of warm water
Cool Whip
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix Bisquick, sugar, milk, butter, and almond flavoring, and pour into 6 muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes until done and remove from oven. Cool for five minutes and pop out of pans.
Peel, core, and slice the peaches. Sprinkle them with a little bit of sugar, and add a splash of warm water. Stir the sugar into the peaches.
To assemble, split the biscuit in half and place bottom half on a plate. Top with sliced peaches and Cool Whip. Place top half of biscuit over peaches and Cool Whip. Enjoy - we sure did!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Car Rug

Drew's latest obsession has been his car rug. I found this rug at a thrift store a few years ago for $5.00, and it has been in our hallway ever since. Drew has recently started playing there with his Matchbox cars several times a day. He loves it!
His tool bench is also kept in the hall, and we have been storing the little cars under the tool bench.

We enjoy watching Drew play with his cars and make up little scenes and stories with them.
I love great thrift store finds!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Scrapbooking

I have been scrapbooking a little bit this summer, and I have a few new layouts to share. These layouts were all done using sketches from Let's Scrap.
This first layout is about this year's Fourth of July fireworks at the golf course. I scrapped this pretty quickly after the Fourth, but this sketch was perfect for my pictures!
This layout is about our putt-putting afternoon a few months ago.
This page is about a t-ball game we went to several weeks ago. Our friends' son, Nathan, is playing t-ball this summer, and we went to see one of his games. Drew loved watching Nathan play, and he can't wait to play on a team himself.
This last layout is about our most recent trip to Carl Sandburg's home when Drew and I were down visiting my parents last month. Drew loves to see the goats, and there were a few baby goats there that day.
I have a die-cutting machine, called a Slice, that I use to cut most of my titles and lots of other little embellishments. My machine stopped cutting this past week, and I had to send it back to the company for repairs. I am hoping it can be fixed! I am already missing it!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ice Cream

It has been hot here this week! Jim's work is not air-conditioned, so when he came home the other night, he told me that he wanted me to go buy and ice cream maker. We had been given one as a wedding gift, but after a few years, something cracked, and salt was getting into the ice cream, so we had to throw it out. I started checking prices and realized that I could get an ice cream maker that didn't require ice and rock salt if I spent just a little more money. Some of them were actually cheaper! After thinking about my options and reading reviews, I decided to buy the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker. I liked that it was not another whole machine - just a bowl and a few small pieces. The bowl has liquid in its walls, and it has to go in the freezer for at least 15 hours before it is used. There is a small adapter piece that fits on the motor head, and then there is the dasher, which stands upright in the bottom of the bowl. The adapter clicks into the top of the dasher, when the mixer head is lowered. Once the mixer is running, I just had to pour my prepared ice cream mixture into the bowl, and about 10-20 minutes later, the ice cream was done!
We have used our new ice cream maker twice already this week! On Wednesday, I made Nutella ice cream. It froze up very quickly, and it had a good taste, but Jim and I thought it had a waxy texture.
Yesterday, I made strawberry sorbet. It was delicious! This is the recipe I used.
Strawberry Sorbet
2 1/2 cups strawberries (I used frozen.)
2 T water
1 T lime juice
3/4 cup simple syrup - see below
Using a food processor or blender, puree strawberries and water. Add lime juice to the strawberry puree and refrigerate several hours, until chilled.
Make simple syrup. In a small saucepan, place 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Over medium high heat, stir sugar and water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar completely. Remove pan from heat and place in an ice bath. Chill in refrigerator.
After both mixtures are completely chilled, mix them together. Start the ice cream maker, and pour mixture into the bowl. (It is much easier to do this neatly if your container has a spout!) Mix for 7-10 minutes. This sorbet can be eaten immediately or frozen for a couple of hours to harden, depending on your preference. This recipe makes about 1 quart of sorbet.
If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, and you are wanting an ice cream maker, I highly recommend this one. We are enjoying it, and it is very easy to use!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth of July

We had a nice little Fourth of July. It was the first year in several years that my parents weren't here, so it felt strange not to be cooking a birthday dinner (my mom's birthday is July 4th) and spending the day with them. The Fourth is always a busy day at work for Jim, because the city of Huntington Woods does the city fireworks at Rackham, so Jim is always busy getting everything set up for that. He was able to take the morning off and go to church with us, though, so that was nice.
That evening, Drew and I had a little photo shoot in the backyard. I only took a few pictures because it was so hot! I took his annual picture by the shed with his flag. He looks so tall here to me! Then we drove out to the golf course. Jim's employees gave us some treats, and then one of the girls (a scrapbooker) took some family pictures for us.
Drew enjoyed this Icee pop, but he spilled a lot of it, and it stained up his belly, side, and back! He was a mess!
He also had some popcorn.
He had a great time playing with Nathan and Jocelyn and their cousin, Ian, while we waited for the sun to go down. Here are Drew and Nathan, ready for the fireworks.
Jim ended up surprising us and coming to get us right before the fireworks started. He took us out in a cart so we could watch the fireworks together. We don't usually get to see the fireworks with Jim, so it was nice!
They were beautiful, as usual!
We had a great Fourth of July, and I hope you all did too!

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Purse

A few weekends ago, Jim was gone overnight playing in a golf tournament. I wanted a fun little project that I could do while he was gone, and I remembered a purse pattern I had bought a while ago when Simplicity patterns were on sale at Joann's for $1 each. The pattern I used was Simplicity 2685. I wanted something that would be fun and casual for the summer, so I chose this plaid patchwork and denim. The purse came together very quickly, and the instructions were easy to follow. I was nervous to do the inside welt pocket, so I skipped it, and I wish that I had put a snap in the band (the pattern didn't call for one), but other than those things, I followed the pattern and am happy with the results.
I am enjoying this new purse and am looking forward to making another one some time.