Friday, April 29, 2011

Camera Strap Slipcover

My friend, Kristen, celebrated her birthday a couple weeks ago, and since she loves photography and has a nice camera, I decided to make her a camera strap slipcover. I had seen lots of examples of slipcovers on-line, but my favorites had ruffles, and I decided to make a ruffled one for Kristen. I found this tutorial, and then I added the ruffle myself. I used knit fabric for the ruffle to make it feel soft and so it wouldn't ravel.

It is just a long tube that slides right onto the strap and can be easily removed.

This was a very east project, and Kristen said that the cover fit her Nikon strap well.

I am saving for a nicer, dslr camera, and when I get one, I will be making a cute strap cover of my own! One of the ways I am trying to save money for a camera is by using my Swagbucks to buy Amazon gift cards. If you haven't tried Swagbucks, I would encourage you to try it. It is a search engine (similar to Google), and you are randomly rewarded "swagbucks" when you do internet searches. You can redeem you swagbucks for prizes. I like to use mine to get Amazon gift cards, and in the past couple years, Jim and I have probably earned about $200 worth of Amazon gift cards by using Swagbucks. It is free to use, and it is so easy! If you would like to sign up for Swagbucks, I have a link on the sidebar of my blog. We love Swagbucks (and the rewards)!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Our family had a very nice Easter. We started the morning with Easter baskets. I put Jim's and Drew's on the kitchen table for them to find when they got up, and they gave me mine a little later. Drew got some fun Toy Story things and some candy in his basket.

Then, we got ready for church. Drew wore this little striped suit, and Jim and I thought he looked like Ben Matlock from the old TV show.

Drew was in a new class this week (the 4 and 5 year old class!). We asked him what his lesson was about, and he told us that it was about when Jesus got the nails on his hands cut - he was a little confused about the story of Christ's crucifixion!

Drew's friends, Joseph and Grant had the same suit that Drew had, so we took a few pictures after church.

After church, we went out to Jim's sister and brother-in-law's house for Easter dinner and an Easter egg hunt. Drew had a fun time at the kids' table with the cousins.

After lunch, some of the adults went out to the front yard to hide the eggs. I loved this hiding place!

Here they are searching.

Drew was supposed to look for the little blue eggs.

Some of the older kids had some very difficult hiding spots!

A little hug for Aunt Sharon.

We had a great Easter, and I hope you did too!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Coloring Easter Eggs

Our family colored Easter eggs after dinner Friday evening. Drew was much more involved in the process this year. He did a great job of lowering the eggs into the cups of dye.

Once they were done, he switched them over to the carton to dry.

These guys are so much fun!

They decided to peel and egg and eat it.

Drew doesn't like the taste of hard boiled eggs any better this year than he did last year!

We are looking forward to Easter Sunday at church tomorrow and then Easter dinner at Jim's sister Sharon's house after church.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What's New With Drew

I've been posting about a lot of projects recently, so I thought I would do a little post about what Drew has been up to lately. We have found him lying on the floor on his belly behind Jim's recliner watching movies on his little portable DVD player several times recently. He is getting to be very independent. He loves to choose what he wants to watch and put in movies all by himself. He still loves his cars, and he especially enjoys lining them all up to drive in traffic and in races.
He has been displaying a bit of a temper lately, and he exhibits it with a very "cross" (to use a Thomas word) facial expression and his hands on his hips.
He loves to help us with anything we are doing. The other day, I was making a meal for some friends who recently had a baby, and Drew wanted to wash some dishes. I let him stand on my little step ladder and play in the dish water. He played there for about 20 minutes!
He is on a big Thomas kick again. He had been very interested in Toy Story before our trip to South Carolina, but since he has been home, everything has been all about Thomas. We've built a few sets on track on the train table, and we've watched a lot of Thomas movies. Drew has also been struggling a lot with his allergies. He was sick during most of our time in South Carolina, and now, the pollen is starting here in Michigan, and he has been coughing quite a bit again. We have been trying to keep him indoors as much as possible. He goes to see his pediatrician on Monday for an ear check and for his 4 year-old well-visit.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bridal Shower Gift Idea

One of the pastors at our church is getting remarried this month after losing his first wife to cancer a few years ago. Our church had a shower for the bride this week. When I went to look at her registry, I was amazed to see that just about everything had been purchased already. I was trying to figure out what I could give her, and I remembered this glass etching tutorial I had seen. I have been wanting to etch our last name on one of my glass dishes for a while, and I thought that maybe the new bride might like to have a personalized dish too. I bought a Pyrex casserole dish with a lid, some contact paper, and some etching cream. I used my Cricut to cut out their last name on a piece of contact paper. (My letters were 1 1/4 inch.) Then, I stuck the contact paper "stencil" on the side of the dish, brushed on the etching cream, and let it sit for 10 minutes. I was a little nervous as I rinsed off the etching cream, but when I peeled away the contact paper, there was their name! This was a very simple project, and I will probably do this again in the future.
The new bride is all ready for her first church potluck, and she probably won't lose her dish!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Drew, The Bell Ringer

Jim pulled the wedding videos off our video camera last night, and I thought I would share the part with Drew in action as a bell ringer. He was so cute!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A New Nephew

After Nora and Topher's wedding, we were all exhausted, but we had one more stop to make that evening after everything was cleaned up. My brother, Mark, had called my dad very early the morning of the wedding to tell him that he and his wife, Katie, were at the hospital. Katie was in labor! Their baby's due date was April 6, and while we knew that he could be born on the day of the wedding, we hadn't really thought it would actually happen. All day long, we kept checking for updates from Mark. Things were progressing through the morning, and by 11:00 that morning, she seemed pretty close. We hadn't heard anything new by 2:00 that afternoon when the wedding began, and we heard nothing during the reception either. Katie's parents and sisters were at the wedding, and no one knew anything. We were all getting a bit concerned. Finally, around 5:00 that evening, Mark called to tell us that Ryan David was here and that all was well. Ryan was born face-up, and it was a difficult delivery. The doctor ended up having to use a vacuum to help in the delivery, and the vacuum caused a cut on Ryan's forehead. Other than the cut, Ryan is perfectly healthy, and he has a full head of dark, curly hair! Proud grandparents. Baby Ryan.
Three generations of Loach men.
I was so happy to get to hold my new nephew! I didn't think I was going to get to see him on this trip, so I was thrilled to get to meet him before we left the next morning to go home to Michigan.
The new family.
Ryan is adorable, and I'm so happy for my brother and sister-in-law! April 2, 2011 was probably the most exciting day yet in the lives of each of my siblings, and I feel so blessed to have been able to be there! Sometimes, living so far away from my family, I feel sad that I have to miss things, and God was very good to me in allowing me to be part of both of these exciting events!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nora and Topher's Wedding

Hardly any of these photos are my own (and the same applies to the previous post). Being in the wedding made it difficult to take pictures myself, and since Jim was videotaping, he wasn't able to take any. The happy couple outside the church. Nora looked so pretty that day! The back of her dress and her veil.
My dad giving Nora away.
The bridesmaids.
The vows.
The kiss.
Nora and Topher with my parents.
The parents of the bride and groom.
The wedding cake. My mom made the cake, and Nora painted the little cake toppers.
Cutting the cake. Nora's flowers were so pretty! She has a childhood friend who works at the Biltmore House, and she did all the flowers. They were gorgeous!
Drew wandered through the reception eating cookies. He was a bell ringer in the wedding. He came down the aisle ringing a little bell, and then he sat with Jim for the ceremony. He looked so cute in his little suit!
Signing the marriage license.
The groom's cake.
The door monograms.
Instead of a guest book, Nora did a thumbprint tree. Guests inked their thumbs, and put their prints on the tree. Nora, our family still owes you our prints - we were too busy to do them!
The reception tent before all the food arrived. Nora and Topher had a dessert reception with two cakes, lots of cookies, chocolate dipped pretzel rods, fruit, punch, and coffee.
The wish tree. Guests could write wishes for the couple on little tags and hang them on the branches.
Going away. Guests threw chocolate coins at Nora and Topher as they went down the steps.
They went away in this rickshaw. So fun! Nora and Topher's house is near the church, so the rickshaw drove them home!
Nora and Topher had a beautiful day, and we were so happy to be able to be there and be part of it!