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Friday, December 14, 2012

The Kind of Mom I Want To Be

Every now and then I stop to think about the kind of mom I want to be, the kind of mom I hope I am and the kind of mom that I want to change.  Life can get crazy and we make mistakes.  My prayer is that my mistakes are far and few in between, but honestly sometimes they are close and too many for my liking.  I fail. I struggle with the balance of household chores, school, and just being and enjoying my kids.  Maybe I stress a little too much sometimes. I will never be the perfect mom that I want to be, but I will never give up trying.  I have an awesome God who stands by me and gives me strength when I need it and forgives when I need it. I have a husband who encourages me to stand up and try again when I fail. I have loving kids that forgive in a heartbeat, they show me God's love in their quick and unconditional forgiveness and love.

So what do I imagine when I think of the mom I want to be?  I think of snuggles, lots and lots of snuggles.  Have I snuggled my kids enough today?  I think of hugs and kisses, an over abundance of hugs and kisses.  Have I hugged and kissed my kids enough today?  I think of play, inside, outside, silly, good old fashioned fun play. Have I played enough with my kids today?  Have I played with my kids at all?  I think of crafts and baking. Have I been creative with my kids today?  I think of laughter.  Have I laughed with my kids today?  Can we laugh more? I think of smiles.  Have I smiled at my kids today? I imagine one day when my kids are grown and they're looking back on life's memories, they will have more happy memories than they can count.  I imagine they will remember the Christmas cookies we baked and decorated, yes it was messy and they may not have been the 'prettiest' Christmas cookies, but they were our Christmas cookies and so much more. They were our memories.  I imagine they will remember climbing trees and Mama taking pictures and saying how strong they were.  I imagine they will remember all those silly stories we made up that were so funny we would crack up together.  I imagine they will remember hide-and-seek, telling jokes, walks, bike rides, dolphin cruises and so much more.  I imagine that when they remember; a smile will sneak it's way onto their face, they will feel warm, happy, content and loved. 

We don't know how long we have. "Life is but a vapor". We need to live this way everyday, not in going places and doing things, making checks off our bucket lists. But in loving, being and giving.  So I'm off to take some of my own advice and live this day loving, being and giving to the fullest.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Craftiness

I am not the best blogger, but you probably already know that.  I am one of those people who always have to have at least one project in the works and a million  ideas floating around in my head at all times. I may be a little ADD when it comes to things, because sometimes my projects tend to sit especially if I get frustrated with them or I'm just not really inspired by them.  I love to love what I am working on and if I don't love it I just don't enjoy it.  That is why I would rather sew an entire new outfit than sew a button on. :-P
I absolutely love my latest projects and I couldn't wait to share.  I made these for a dear friend's soon to be little man.  Her husband recently joined the Marine Corp so that became my theme.

First up the car seat cover.  I love how sharp this turned out.  It looks even better in person.
 And next the Marine Corp cover and cocoon. All that's missing is the globe and anchor button for the front of the cover.

Patterns used:
Car seat cover is my own design with ideas I picked up from several blog tutorials out there.

Marine Corp Cover pattern can be found and purchased at Penguin Place Props on etsy.
I will be honest this pattern was a bit confusing, but once I figured it out worked up easily and quickly. 

Cocoon pattern can be found at Melody Crochet blog for free.
This pattern was super easy and quick.  No confusion here. ;-)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Five Minute Friday- Wonder

Five Minute Friday 
 
 
 Well time comes and and time goes.  We are here for another Friday.  If you want to join in just click the link to head on over for all the rules and details.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
 
Today's topic is Wonder and I think its a wonderful topic. ;-)
 
There are so many ways I could take this topic, so many things to talk about. Hmmm...
 
The wonder of childhood.  I love my kids.  I love the way they look at life and new things.  I love the wonder and magic the world holds for them.  If you look at the world through a child's eyes, you might think it would be a scarier place, but in actuality it is a much more magical, happy place.  Many times I find it is the adults who are grouchy, scared and mean.   Now I know its because we aren't as innocent as our children, we know the dangers in life, but do we have to let that take the wonder and magic out of everything?  Can we not discover things all over again with our sweet little ones? And do we have to corrupt them so young?  I believe God gave this gift of wonder to everyone, especially children.  If we open our eyes to this wonderful gift, we will see the wonder of our God's Creation, a testimony to his truth, love and existence. The devil, the great deceiver would rob us of this truth.  In fact that is his number one goal, to keep us from our Wonderful Creator!  Look to the heavens and see the wonder of Christ.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Roots

It's Friday again and I thought I would join this Friday's Five Minute Friday.  Why? Well I haven't done one in a while and honestly I just might be procrastinating on some other things that need to get done.

Join in on Five Minute Friday
 
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..


Five Minute Friday

Roots...
Roots are important.  They determine how strong a plant is and how well it will grow.  Roots are also important for people.  They tell us who we are and where we came from. They are able to make us stand tall and strong.  What is more important than being rooted in family?  Don't get me wrong, family is very important and a big part of our lives, but there are some of us that for whatever our reasons or circumstances family just isn't an option.  Family is still dreamed about, wished for and prayed for, but they are not a part of our daily lives.  So  let me ask again.  What is more important than family? The answer Christ. I am remembering a little chorus that I've sung so many times over the years, but hold more and more true to my heart the older I get.  'Christ Is ALL I Need'.  What a wonderful thought!  When life is tough and not how we dreamed it would be, Christ is all I need.  When my heart is aching, Christ is all I need.  When my babies are sick, Christ is all I need. What does this have to do with roots? In order to be able to sing this chorus and to have this faith and trust, I need to be rooted in Christ.  I want my roots to be strong.  I would rather have strong spiritual roots than strong family roots any day.  I would rather be physically weak and spiritually strong.  These words are true, but dangerous because in order to have strong spiritual roots there will be trials and testing that is meant to make those roots grow and reach further into Christ.  My prayer is for strong roots, that are rooted deep in Christ.

Christ Is All I Need
1. Christ is all I need, Christ is all I need, All, all I need. Christ is all I need, Christ is all I need, All all I need. 
2. He was crucified, For me He died, On Calvary. That He loved me so, This is why I know Christ is all I need. 


Friday, October 5, 2012

Better Than _____ Cookies a.k.a. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

When I told The Man I was in the mood to bake something sweet and I mentioned trying  something new like Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies.  He came back with White Chocolate Macadamia Pumpkin Snickerdoodles and we planned a trip to the store to get our ingredients. These cookies are soooo delicious.  I don't know why we haven't done this before. YUM! just doesn't seem enough to describe just how yummy they are.

Just in case you need a closer look. ;-)

Okay, now that I've got you drooling I'll share my yummy recipe.

Ingredients:
2 sticks of butter (1cup)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts
1 12oz package white chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Mix together the butter, sugars, pumpkin and egg, beat well. 
Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and cinnamon. 
Mix until blended well. 
Stir in nuts and white chocolate chips.
Chill dough for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator or if you're impatient like me throw it in the freezer and keep checking every couple of minutes. ;-)
Roll into balls about the size of walnuts.
In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of ginger and 1/4 tsp of allspice.
Roll dough balls in the sugar mixture until completely covered.
Place dough balls about 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 7-9 minutes until lightly browned, but still soft. 7 minutes was perfect for a chewy cookie.
Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies give or take.

Now go bake some cookies! Seriously, these are so good I couldn't wait to share this recipe.  =-)

Five Minute Friday- Welcome!

Join in on Five Minute Friday
 
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..



Five Minute Friday

Welcome...
Welcome begins with an attitude and ends in action.  What welcome looks like on the outside. A stranger for the first time walks through the doors. They are greeted with a smile and "hello", but it doesn't end there because they are welcomed, they are engaged in small talk and thanked for being there.  They are made to feel that their presence is appreciated and desired.  They find a seat and sit quietly waiting for the service to begin.  They don't know anybody and maybe are a little shy and not so quick to jump strangers with conversation.  Before they could think a full thought another smile comes up to them and introduces themselves, again engaging in small talk and questions that show their interest.  They are actually listening to the answers this stranger gives.  The stranger begins to soften and feel truly welcomed.  This is not the only smile that greets them or engages them in some conversation all the while making the stranger feel as if these smiles are truly interested in them as a person and it is not all a show like they have seen before.  The stranger begins to feel that maybe these smiles are different than other "smiles" they have met before.  Something seems so welcoming, kind and sincere about these smiles. What is the difference, the stranger wonders and then realizes that the difference is a true love for Christ and people.  The stranger feels welcomed and it isn't long before the stranger isn't a stranger anymore.
I hope that my attitude and actions are those that speak welcome.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bragging Rights!

This is my handsome Roochie.  He is 6 years old and I love him to pieces. The other day while I was out to a baby shower with my girls this is what my sweet boy did and my loving hubby, The Man posted on FB.

"Thought I'd brag on my little man... Stephanie and sisters are at a baby shower so I see Jaidon with the mop and he tells me that he wants to mop the whole house. I briefly show him how to use the squirt part of the swiffer jet and off he goes. After he is done, he brings me some construction paper and tells me he wants to make Steph a card and find her some flowers in the yard to put in a vase for her. Now he's ready to kill some bad guys on the Wii Tintin game!!! This may sound silly because he is so young, but I can't help but to think that if the Lord tarries, he is going to make one excellent husband =-)"

My heart melts at this.  I feel so cherished by my men.  Yes, he gets it from his Papi. I am so thankful for my men and that my son and daughters have a good example of what a father and husband should be. Love 'em to pieces.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Baby Shower Gifts

Here is my latest project.  I have a baby shower this weekend and so I whipped up these items for a gift.  I'm very pleased with how they turned out.




What I've Been Up To

My time is spent tending my babies.  It is amazing how fast time flies by.  It is hard to believe that my little baby girl is now 6 months old.  She has gone from this


to this











And my other two bundle of joys...















Five MInute Friday - Change


Five Minute Friday

It's time for Five Minute Friday.  To join in and to get the rules of the game hop on over to The Gypsy Mama.

I haven't joined in in a while.  It's amazing how even 5 minutes can be hard to find sometimes and sometimes honestly I'm just too busy enjoying my family and having fun to make the time to join in.  I'm up early, the kids are still sleeping and I got the urge, so here I am. 
Today's topic:

CHANGE-
When I read or hear the word change my mind automatically sees everything whirling and twirling around.  That is how it is.  Things are constantly moving and changing.  Even when we feel like life is at a stand still and we are going no where, before we know it our circumstances have changed yet once again.
Some things we wish would change faster. Other things we don't want to change. Sometimes I think we spend too much time being concerned with the change or not the change when really we should be enjoying the stage of life we are in because before we know it, it will change and if we aren't careful we are going to miss it.
My oldest is 7 1/2. WOW! Where did all the time go? When did my newborn change into a little girl who is ever changing so quickly into a young lady?  Don't get me wrong I don't want to keep my children babies, although I do love my babies. I simply want to enjoy them while I have them.  If I spend all my time wishing and dreaming and waiting for them to be in a different stage so that I can do other things I won't enjoy them in the stage they are in.  I will miss out on doing things with them now.  And I don't want to miss this!  Each day is a gift that I want to use to prepare my children to grow in the love of the Lord and to be used by him, not in the future but now.  Life is ever changing.  Don't fear the change, don't rush the change instead embrace the moment of change and go with the flow.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Taught Myself to Smock

For years I would dream and talk about learning to smock so that I could make my little girl all those cutesy dresses that I couldn't afford.  Well my little girl is now becoming a big girl and almost too big, but not quite yet for smocked dresses and I have another little girl to sew for too. I just never could seem to find that round -to-it and honestly is seemed a bit daunting and hard to learn or at least that's what I thought.  Thanks to my sister teaching herself and telling me I'd love it and it wasn't as hard as I thought I have finally done it.  No special equipment needed. The thought of needing a pleater was probably one of the biggest things holding me back. Do you know how expensive they are?

On to the goodies.  Here is a pic of my first smocked project.  I made a dress and sandals for my little girl.


I think I'm allergic to starting out simple. I did not have a smocked dress pattern so I adjusted a regular pattern I already had.  I made up the pattern for the sandals. If I get brave I may do up a tutorial for them shortly.

I taught myself to smock with google, pinterest and youtube.  Here are some of the links I used.
Mary Grace Designs: (click the picture)

Smocking plate that I used. I adjusted it to fit a smaller dress top.

Here is a link to my smocking board on pinterest.  My next smocked project will be matching dresses (maybe bishop style) for both of my girls.  I'm thinking Christmas or maybe Easter.  My projects take a lot longer with my little one. ;-)  I am so glad that I finally learned to smock and I wish I would have done it sooner.
And now for some more pics!
Ruffle Butt






Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July Fireworks

Who doesn't love fireworks?  These cupcakes were inspired by the fourth of July and fireworks.  The kids had a blast making and decorating the cupcakes for the church social.  



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Baby Crafts

I love crafting and sewing.  I wish I had more time for it, but then I remember that my babies are the passion behind my crafting and sewing.

I love pinterest! Don't we all?  I have pinned so many neat things I want to try to make and do.  I am slowly checking them off my list.  It seems that I add them faster than I can check them off.  Anyone else have this problem?  I love bows and shoes for my girls, so naturally those are the projects I add faster than I can check off.  Here are some of my bows and barefoot sandals inspired by pinterest. I can't wait to make more!



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Scream for Ice Cream!

Nothing says summertime better than ice cream and lemonade. But what about Raspberry Lemonade ice cream?

I had a yummy photo for you, but my computer swallowed it. :-(

I have been loving everything lemon lately and when I get it into my head that I want something I usually find a way to do it.  My love for lemon and a homemade ice cream social at church inspired me to come up with Raspberry Lemonade ice cream and boy is it good.  My son declared it the best ice cream ever and ate 3-4 times what he usually eats. My son usually only eats 2-3 kid bites of ice cream, yep you read that right. He just isn't that big into ice cream (usually).  The Man declared it the bomb!  This ice cream tastes true to its name.  I was a little nervous that the cream would mellow it out too much, but nope.  It is perfect. So now on to the recipe.

Finely grated zest of 3-4 lemons (I used 3, but mine were larger)
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (watch out for those seeds)
3/4 cup pureed raspberries

3/4 cup of sugar (or equivalent sweetener)
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthum gum (helps keep it creamy without ice crystals)
1 cup of milk
2 cups of heavy cream


Combine lemon zest, juice, raspberry puree and sugar in a non-reactive bowl. Refrigerate for at least one hour to blend flavors.

Slightly beat the egg yolks in a large bowl.  Pour milk into a sauce pan and heat to a bare boil.  Pour the milk into the bowl with the eggs, whisking while you pour.  Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan.  Heat gently, don't boil, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and whisk in the xanthum gum.  Stir in heavy cream.  Cool to at least room temperature, but it is best if you chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or over night.

Combine the milk, egg and cream mixture with the lemon mixture.  Mix well.  Now churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blessings

I know my posting has been a bit sporadic.  I am a wife and mom first so there are times when blogging is just not gonna happen.  I have had a busy past few months filled with many blessings and answered prayers.  The most wonderful of all being the birth of our third little one whom we call The Sleeper among other cute nick names.


Our sweet "little" girl was born on February 21, 2012 shortly before 11 a.m.  She weighed in at a measly 10 lbs 4oz and was 21 inches long.  The Sleeper was born at 36 weeks and 5 days, so she is technically a preemie. Her birth brought with it so many blessings and answers to prayer.  I have type 1 diabetes, which makes pregnancy high risk and could involve low blood sugar after delivery.  Our sweet little girl did not have low blood sugar.  I was able to nurse her after her initial check up, something I wasn't able to do with the other two and had been praying to be able to do with her.  Of all the babies born that day in our hospital my 10 lb preemie was the only one not in the NICU.  Even with her large size I was able to have a natural delivery! That's completely natural no pain meds or anything.  I had been praying for this also.  I am terrified of having a c-section and so am very grateful for this answer to prayer. I love hearing The Man tell this story, because I always come out sounding like a super hero. ;-)  Our other two had jaundice and had to be admitted into the hospital within a couple days of being released to go home.  Although The Sleeper had jaundice also, she did not have it near as bad and did not have to go back into the hospital, another answered prayer.  We have a beautiful, healthy baby girl and everyone is spoiling on her big time. The Princess and Roochie love her so much.  The Princess is like a little mommy and Roochie has been dubbed the protector.  Roochie kept a close eye on any nurses or doctors that would come to check on mom and baby while we were in the hospital and my sweet little man even wanted to stay over night just to keep an eye on me.  Enough rambling for now lets get to the pictures, because we all know it is all about the pictures. ;-)




I love this pic!


 My Mom


 
Proud Big Brother and Sister
 

Going Home




 P.S. I know this post is long in coming, but hey.  I will be trying to post a bit more often now that we are getting into the swing of things. 

A Giant Faith

This story begins about a year ago with a young boy on his way to becoming a man and an inspiration to many. This young boy, only 12 years old was living a normal life for a twelve year old. He loved his family, his mom, dad, older brother and best friend and his little sister.  He started having some puzzling health complications.  After several doctor appointments and tests, he was given the news that he had a rare form of skin cancer.  He went through surgery, chemo and special trial treatments during his sickness, but all of this is not what makes this a story of faith.  This young boy never once complained, fell to depression or asked God "why me?". No, instead while recovering from surgery in NICU, he is quiet, he can't talk, one can only wonder what he is feeling, what is going through his mind, until you check your facebook page and see he has just posted a joke.  Yes, he is still joking.  This young boy is becoming a man, a man of faith right before your very eyes.  He is standing strong. All this time his family is right there by his side.  You can imagine the heartache they felt.  His sweet mother tells him, "If God would let me, I would have this cancer instead of you."  What do you think this young man of faith's response was?  "No! Mom, don't say that.  God gave it to me, because he knew I could handle it."  Can you believe it? Such faith and strength for such a young person.

There came the day when he was given the news, the treatment is not working, the tumors are growing and more tumors were found.  Did he get mad and curse God?  No, he stood strong, hoped for a miracle and kept on. He said he was fine if God would cure him or take him home, either way.  He knew this world was not his home, his home is in Heaven.  He studied his Bible and excitedly told his mom of all that he was learning.  He cautioned his mom on cartoons that his little sister would watch and told her of some that she should not let her watch at all.  One last question, "Mom, when is Mother's Day?" This young man of faith passed away on Mother's Day, he was 13 years old.

This young man was my nephew through marriage and I count it a privilege to have met and known him.  His life of faith speaks to me. He didn't have the faith to move mountains. He had a greater faith, the faith to walk through them.  I wonder if I would have his faith.  He was right, God knew he could handle it, just like God knew Job could handle it. Never have I ever known anyone personally who has had the faith that this young man had.  It is like he is a modern day Bible story of a man of faith.  If I could tell him one last thing it would be "Thank you, for standing strong, thank you for keeping the faith, thank you.  I love you and I am humbled to have known you.'  My children will grow up hearing the story of the boy who became a man with a giant faith.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Breaking the Silence

I have been silent on here for a while.  I have been busy with our new baby and getting everything adjusted, more on our sweet princes later. 

My heart is aching for my sweet sister-in-law and her family.  My 13 year old nephew has cancer and doesn't have much longer. It has been a long year for him.  He has a sweet testimony.  He is saved by God's grace and he has God's grace every day and every hour.  He hasn't complained, he accepts what is and is ready for what God will do whether it be a miracle (only God can give) or he is taken home to live with our King.  His faith amazes me.  I wonder if my own faith is as strong as his, to not even complain, just simply accept. When I think of my amazing nephew I think of the hymn 'It Is Well With My Soul'.  My heart is aching for this family and I have been in constant prayer for them. I pray for God's sweet mercy and grace for this family in their time of need.  I can't fully understand how they are feeling and what they are going through.  I can only imagine what it would be like if I were in their place and I don't like what I imagine.  I am inspired by my sweet nephew to take a closer look at my walk with Christ. 

Christ is all I need.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day!

The best part about being married to cupid is that Valentine's Day is just like any other day!

Oh Love!
God Gave Me You

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Where Have I Been???

I've been missing in action around here for a while now.  I have been pregnant and busy and that about sums it up.  There is something with this pregnancy that has me adding things to my project list faster than ever before, so I have been knocking projects off a fast (which is not very fast in my very pregnant state, I move slower than a turtle these days) as I can.
Things I've been up to, let's see...
Freezer baking and cooking for after baby gets here
Lining for baby drawers
Disney Princess Belle dress for a friends daughter
Giraffe hat and diaper cover set for baby
Car seat cover for baby
Flower beanies for baby and baby gifts
Butterfly beanie for baby
Giraffe print blanket for baby
Big Sis/Lil Sis shirts
Doll clothes, diapers and other accessories
Organizer for back of car seat and trash bag
Working on Ariel inspired Princess dress for Princess' birthday
All of this while helping The Man finish off the bathroom and bedroom update.  Of course this doesn't include any of the cleaning, organizing and normal getting ready for baby stuff.
Still on my to-do list:
covered wipe box
nursing cover
and a few other small projects here and there.  I seriously doubt I will get them all done, but at least it helps to make these last few weeks/days go by a little faster.
Here are a few pics for now, more to come later.