Thursday, November 30, 2006

Love Thursday #13

I call this is a case of Desperate Love. The guys are so desperate for snow that when they awoke this morning and the ground was lightly dusted (and I mean LIGHTLY, as you can see from the green grass still peeking through) they got on their shoes and coats and went right out to "play" in it. This consisted of walking around in the little there was and wishing there was more. They'll likely not have to wait long as the forecast has actual snow in our near future.

Happy Love Thursday! Thanks to her and her we all have more love to go around on Thursdays.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WFMW - Christmas Edition 2

Works-For-Me Wednesday isn't necessarily Christmas-y again this week but my post is another Christmas idea.

There are always people that you'd like to give a little gift to - the baby-sitter, neighbor, co-worker, teacher, party host/hostess, etc. The list goes on and on and buying or baking for all these folks can get a little pricey!

Here's an inexpensive gift that is fun and easy to make. We took these to our church's Christmas Crafts Exchange and they were a hit. It's a bowl made out of an old vinyl record.


Here's how you make one. (We made about 13 in just about an hour.) I saw it done on The Rachael Ray Show and then I googled it and found these directions at Everything2.

If you don't have any vinyl albums that you want to part with, check your local Goodwill or Thrift store. We bought ours for less than a dollar per album.

  • Preheat your oven to 200° F., and remove all but the bottom rack.

  • Pull up a chair by the oven so you can sit and watch easily.

  • You'll need a coffee can. We used a smaller 13 oz. can. Although an oven safe bowl can work but will make a wider shallower bowl. Place said can on a cookie sheet on the bottom rack.

  • Put the LP centered on the can, close the oven door. Make sure to choose which side you want to show in the bottom of the bowl and pace that side facing downward.

  • Do not leave the kitchen! Watch the record droop over the coffee can. It only takes 1-2 minutes!

  • Open the oven, pull out the bottom rack as far as it will go. (We pulled the cookie sheet onto the oven door - don't worry, it's light.) Put on some oven mitts or work gloves, and start shaping your new bowl. It's a little like crimping the edge of a pie crust.

  • It'll be doing a clamshell wavey thing. You can make a new ridge by lightly grabbing a bulging out ridge between your thumb and fingers and slowly pushing. It helps if you have another person helping.

  • The bowl cools pretty quickly and won't be malleable forever - by pulling out that bottom rack, you're letting it slowly cool while you work it. This is a good thing! If you find that the bowl has cooled down too much and you don't yet like the shape, slide it back into the oven for a count of about five seconds. Put it out and shape again.

  • Once you start to have the shape you like, and the vinyl is hardening but still workable, you can lift it off the coffee can flip it over and work with it a little more.

  • Let the record cool for five minutes or so, and there you have it! A piece of nostalgia in bowl form.

Yes of course, it does have a hole in the middle, so you probably won't be using it to hold your salsa or ranch dip but it's great for popcorn, chips, Cheetos, Hersey's kisses, hard candies, keys, spare change, etc.. It also makes a great conversation piece. Fill it with peppermint candies and take it to the Christmas party to give to the hostess.

Here are some other things you need to know. LP bowls don't go in the dishwasher - you went to all that work to get it that shape, you don't want it to melt! ! And don't immerse them in water unless you want the label in the center of the LP to come off. However, as long as you don't put wet or harder to clean than buttered popcorn in the bowl (don't butter the popcorn in the bowl) a dishtowel with warm, soapy water on it run around the edges will keep your bowl clean.

At one of the website I found while looking for this, some guy was worried about fumes from the vinyl melting - hence the low oven temperature. Don't turn up the heat trying to speed the process, make sure your kitchen is well ventilated and run your oven fan. And skip this little project if you have someone in your home who is sensitive to stuff like that. Honestly, we had NO trouble with this at all, just wanted you all to be safe.

COOL bowls that are fun, cheap and quick to make - Works for me!

Don't forget to visit Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW ideas. What a good way to get through the middle of the week!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Time

Saturday's here again already!? Wow! The Thanksgiving holiday has me really messed up. I was thinking today was Monday already. (Bet I'm not the only one.) Sure glad it's not.

This week's Photo Scavenger Hunt theme is "time." What ??!!?? Taking a still picture of time is like trying to grab the wind.

Of course, there are pictures of watches or clocks. Sunrises or sunsets. Or the series of kindergarten through high school pictures. I decided however to use just two photos that show obviously that time has passed. And a big bonus is that I get to brag a little on someone what I love very very much.

S.P.S.H. - Time

Isn't he just the cutest little guy you've ever seen?
Yea, I thought so too.

I'll just call him Posh. And this is what he looked like when I "met" him. He's from Uganda and here he is just about five years old.

That was back in 1991. We had been matched up by Compassion International.

Here he is today.

Now I could go on and on about Compassion International. Really I could. But I'll save that for another post. If you're curious now, follow the link to a fantastic website and read all about them.

All I will say today is that I have been immeasurably indescribably blessed through getting to know and coming to love this young man, whom I call "son." I have watched in awe and wonder as he has grown up to be an amazing person. My love for him fills my heart. My pride in him is immense. I thank God for our connection. Our time "together" has richly blessed us both.


Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.

Photo Theme. Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Singing with Thankfulness

photo courtesy

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Ephesians 3:16

Here in the United States we're celebrating Thanksgiving today. So today at our house we're going to cook (well, mostly me) and eat and enjoy each other. (Some of us will nap.) I hope we laugh a lot. We're going to remember and talk about the wonderful things that we are thankful for, and perhaps even more importantly, we're going to focus on the One to whom we are most thankful. Our hearts will be singing with thankfulness.

I hope you'll be able to do the same.

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

By the way, Pastormac is blogging about Thanksgiving today too. Check out his Thanksgiving Day Poem over at his blog.

Love Thursday #12

I took this picture as part of my quest for a picture of "growth" for the Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt. I thought that a picture of all their feet lined up would fit the theme in a creative and funny way. It was bedtime and I even had to get Shorty back up out of bed to join the crew. He was not happy and I had to promise him Hersey's Kisses if he'd co-operate! (Hence the smile.) After I got the picture of their feet I made them sit through a couple MORE photos. (You can see from some of their faces, how thrilled they were.)

While I had them all lined up like this, how could I waste the opportunity to get a picture of them all together?

They fill up my life with love. All the way up to the top and overflowing!

Love Thursdayis a very good day.

My other Love Thursday posts: Love Thursday #1, Love Thursday #2, Love Thursday #3, Love Thursday #4, Love Thursday #5, Love Thursday #6, Love Thursday #7, Love Thursday #8, Love Thursday #9, Love Thursday #10 & Love Thursday #11.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Fruits Of Our Labor

Last month I posted a Works-for-Me Wednesday post about this nifty little gagdet.

The Knifty Knitter

Since Shannon is taking a Thanksgiving break (yay!) and isn't having WFMW today (awww!), I thought I'd share a picture of the fruits of our labor with the Knifty Knitter. I enlisted the help of my daughters and these are the scarves we took to our crafts exchange.

They were a very popular items at the crafts exchange. Sweetanlo even decided to make the scarves she's making as Christmas presents for her friends THIS way instead of the "real" way. Smart girl.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Plush


Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.

Photo Theme. Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

I'm feeling decidedly uncreative this week. If you want to know why you can read my previous post. This week's theme was "plush" and I wanted to come up with something clever, but I've got nothing. So I'm settling for this.

S.P.S.H. - Plush

If this doesn't say, "Plush!" I don't know what does.

I'd be lying if I said that these belong to my daughters. They're all mine. I know what you're thinking, but hush! Maturity does not equal no toys!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Production Notes - Not Just A Simple Fender-Bender.

**Update below**

Oh brother, sometimes it really is a production around here!!

This week's production notes go like this. Last Sunday afternoon, Pastormac and Joe Cool and Shorty were driving home from church and they were rear-ended. Totally the other person's fault. The little guys were fine - thank goodness everyone was buckled properly and they weren't hit too hard. The van's bumper got mushed, but since it's not exactly pristine being over 20 years old with nearly 400K miles on it, Pastormac wasn't too worried about it. All and all a pretty minor accident, so much so that the two drivers involved just exchanged names and phone numbers. No problem.

EXCEPT that after Pastormac arrived home he noticed that his left hand hurt a little and was a little swollen. Thinking back he figures that his hand probably got smushed against the steering wheel in a funny way. He puts ice on it and hopes for the best. (Ha ha! As if!) Next morning, it's not better, still not terribly painful but still swollen and in fact he can't touch his pinkie or ring fingers to his thumb. So Pastormac relunctantly goes to the doctor who sends him off to spend the next few hours getting X-rays. And how about that? His hand is broken! But a simple cast won't do. He has to spend most of the next day having the X-rays studied by an orthopedic who agrees that indeed it's broken. (After they cut his wedding band off because he finger is liable to swell.) But a simple cast won't do. So he spends another couple hours waiting for the orthopedic surgeon to take a look at the X-rays and conclude that the only way to fix his hand is surgery. (Oh yes!) Because his hand isn't just broken, it's broken at an angle and the upper piece has slipped down and to the side of the lower piece. So the bones have to be pushed back into place and then pinned. (Doesn't that sound pleasant? Good thing he'll be unconscious.) If that won't work they'll have to make an incision and put a plate in. (We're hoping for option A - the pins.) Then they'll put on a cast for 4 -6 weeks. It's an outpatient procedure. We should be home tonight. But as with any surgery, we're a little nervous.

Please if you're so inclined, we'd really appreciate your prayers today that all would go well and that his hand would heal quickly without too much pain.

That's a wrap!

**Update. Thank you all for praying for us today. We are home and Pastormac is resting. The surgeon did end up having to open up the hand to re-align the bone and put a plate in, which from the sound of it, was his plan anyway once he got a good look at the X-rays. We're very glad and relieved that it's over and all went well. It's painful, but the pain is manageable. Pastormac is hoping to be able to wean himself off the strong painkillers by Sunday morning - he's scheduled to give the teaching! Thank you all again for your well-wishes and prayers. I know they buoyed us up! And also for the reminders that we are very blessed that all we got was a broken hand, considering the precious ones that were in the van. **

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Love Thursday #11

I love listening to your laugh.

I love your cheerful spirit.

I love your infectious smile (missing tooth and all).

I love how easy it is to get you to giggle.

I love how ticklish you are.

I love that you let your baby brother follow you around 99.9% of the time.

I love catching you quietly reading a book.

I love how you can't stay mad even though you try.

I love how ask for more school to do.

I love that you're becoming your own person (even though somedays it makes me absolute crazy).

I love watching you sing in church on Sunday mornings.

I love that you like to read cookbooks just like me.

I love being your mom.

I love that we've had seven years together.

I love that Lord willing, we'll have many more.

I love you.

Happy Belated Birthday baby!

It's time forLove Thursday.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

WFMW - Christmas Edition

Today Shannon is hosting the First Annual Christmas Edition of Works-For-Me Wednesday. Guaranteed to provide you with hundreds of fantastic holiday ideas that will make your Christmas even more wonderful. I'm only too happy to oblige with a few ideas.

I'll start with a couple of recipes.

1. First, here's a great dip to take along when the hostess of that party you're attending has asked you to bring something for everyone to munch on while she gets dinner on the table. Or make it for your family or guests to eat while you finish making dinner or while you're watching the big game. It's super easy to make, doesn't require any cooking, doesn't have to be kept warm, it makes a lot, and it's pretty healthy.

Black Bean Salsa
2 (10 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes w/ green chilies, drained
2 (11 oz) cans yellow sweet corn, drained
2 (15.5 oz) cans black beans, drained
1 red onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Fresh chopped cilantro
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Tortilla chips or pita chips, to serve

Mix all ingredients, if possible refrigerate for an hour to let flavors develop and blend. Serve with chips.
Serves 10-12
**modified from Food that Says Welcome by Barbara Smith (Michael W. Smith's Mom)

2. Each year during the week leading up to Christmas my girls and I spend a day making pecan pies. We keep two for ourselves to eat after Christmas dinner which is a tradition that I brought to our family from my childhood. But mostly we make the pies to give away as very special Christmas gifts. (My mom used to do this.) They're great hostess gifts, teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, boss/co-worker gifts. We bake them, let them cool and then use a coloful wrapper to cover them. All that's left is affixing a card and giving them away. It is the best Pecan Pie evah!

Georgia-Style Spiced Pecan Pie

3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon flour
9-inch, unbaked 1-crust pie shell

Combine the first 4 ingredients. Mix next 4 ingredients and add. Blend pecans with flour and stir into the mixture. Turn into a 9-inch pie plate lined with unbaked pastry. Bake in a preheated hot oven (400F) for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate (350F) and bake 40 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. If needed, cover the edges of the crust with foil to keep it from browning too quickly.

Yield: One 9-inch pie.

from The Spice Cookbook by Avanelle Day & Lillie Stuckey

And finally an ornament idea. My parents started this when I was a kid and I brought it to our family the first year of our marriage. We have personalized ornaments. All you need is a box of plain ball ornaments in whatever colors you like, a bottle of white school glue and glitter. Just write the name on the ornament wih the glue and then shake on the glitter. Tap off the excess and allow to dry. Viola! Your very own personalized ornament! As our kids have gotten older, they have really enjoyed helping make ornaments for the newest sibling's first Christmas. When relatives or friends have visited at Chrismas, we've pulled this out and had them make ornaments. Then the next year when those ornaments were hung on the tree, we reminisced with joy about that visit. We have ornaments for kids we sponsor through Compassion International. They're members of our family too! We even have ornaments for our pets! (I know what you're thinking, but hush!) I know it's exciting for our kids when these ornaments come out and they get hang them on the tree. I can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices. I know too, because I remember what a thrill it was for me as a kid. Come to think of it. It's still a thrill.

Don't forget to visit Rocks in My Dryer for more Christmas WFMW ideas.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Eight at Seven by Joe Cool

Joe Cool turned seven years old today. So in following suit with what I did for #1 Son and Sweetanlo, I'm honoring him by giving him the blog to post a list of his own.(I helped a little bit.) Here's his list, one for each year and one to grow on.

Eight at Seven by Joe Cool

Hi all. Glad to be here. Let's get right to it.

  • 1. I like being homeschooled and math and grammar are my favorite subject. Really I like all the subjects.

  • 2. I like going places.

  • 3. I like games of all kinds - board games, video games, card games, games I make up, game shows.

  • 4. I love watching Survivor, American Idol and Amazing Race. (This picture is me dressed up like Jeff Probst, the host from Survivor.)

  • 5. I enjoy meeting people. Really I do.

  • 6. I really like going to eat at restaurants. Chicken is my favorite food.

  • 7. My favorite color is yellow.

  • 8. I collect duckies and I also like stuffed animals, especially bears and puppies.

That was fun. See you again next year!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank You

photo courtesy

To all the men and women who fought (and are fighting today) to protect all the freedoms I enjoy and take for granted,
I can't thank you enough.
You really are my heroes.

Today in the United States is Veteran's Day. Let's make it more than a day to get a great deal on a car or buy a mattress on sale, let's find a veteran and make sure he/she knows how much we appreciate his/her service and sacrifice.

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Growth


Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.

Photo Theme. Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

This week's theme was "growth" and once again it really stretched my brain. I mean, some of these are really challenging themes! So I wanted to show the progression of growth in just one picture. This is what I came up with. Good thing I have all the models I need right here at home with me!

S.P.S.H. - Growth

Thursday, November 09, 2006

An Award Winning Post!

I won! I can hardly believe it!

Each week Mary over at Owlhaven hosts an Opinion Saturday. She asks all of Bloggityville great questions and takes the answers in her comments section. Some bloggers choose to post their answers on their own blogs and then link back. Then on Wednesday morning, she awards the coveted Golden Keyboard Award to the best or well-written answer. You should stop by there this weekend and offer up an answer to the latest question. Really helps get the creative juices flowing.

Last Saturday she asked the question, "Who do you miss the most and why?" (A question suggested by one of her readers, by the way) Well, I knew immediately what my answer would be, but I waited until practically the last minute to submit my answer. Why do I do that? Anyway. My answer was my mom. I miss my mom the most, and I wrote about it in this post.

And....I won!! I am tickled pink!

So pardon me while I bask a little.

Love Thursday #10

Love is...

Rearranging your schedule.
Getting someone else to work for you.
Taking the night off.

So you can escort your princess to the ball.

Love is we need.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

WFMW - What's Your City Like? Game

Here's a fun little game I made up that's really easy to play. We played it while we were sitting around eating lunch but you could easily play it in the car to ease the time it takes you to get wherever you may be going. It's really simple and even my 14 year old played along.

Yesterday at lunch, my 4 year old son, Shorty, and I were talking about the United States and their capitals. (Shorty knows more US geography than a lot of adults I know, It's just a thing he likes. Some guys like trucks or dinosaurs. Shorty likes geography. I know - it's a little freaky to me too.) So out of the blue I just asked him what Shorty-ville would look like? For starters, he re-named it Shorty City. We started with things like what colors the houses would be and went on to discuss what types of stores and restaurants would be in "his" city. And how they would be placed - the playground would be right next to the church. Then we asked his older brother, #1 Son (He's 9 and is not a geography whiz.) what his city would be like. He jumped right in and had lots of ideas. Sweetanlo (14) helped by making suggestions of things or places that they hadn't thought of including. For the record, he'd place Shorty City in the great state of Texas. (His favorite state since his best friend moved there last winter.) Shorty had so much fun with this that he was still talking about it tonight at bedtime. Tonight he said that tomorrow we'd have to talk about our dog's city, which he cleverly named, Lucy Land, all on his own.

It was easy. It encouraged creativity and imagination. No small pieces to lose. Nothing to clean up or put away. It's portable and expandable. It didn't end in bickering or tears. This kind of game works-for-me!

Over at Rocks in My Dryeryou'll find tons of great ideas for making your life easier and more enjoyable. Stop by and check them out and don't forget to tell Shannon that you like her new look!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bake Sale!

On Sunday we had a bake sale at church to raise support for our adoption. (Just so happens that November is National Adoption Month. Although I didn't realize this when I picked this weekend, it was a cool little accident.) I really didn't feel like spending Saturday making stuff for a bake sale because I didn't have a lot of hope that we would make much money. But last month I signed up for a chance to win a "Bake Sale" package full of stuff from Reynolds Kitchens. I read about it on Mama Duck's blog. (Thanks Mama Duck!) I figured, Why not give it a try? So I emailed in my information which had to include the date of our upcoming bake and why we needed New Reynolds® FunShapes™ baking cups and cake pans to help make our bake sale more successful. And here's the clencher - if we held our bake sale and then sent pictures of it back to Reynolds Kitchens, we would be entered in a contest to win $500.00 for our organization, Christian World Adoption which they will apply toward our adoption fees.

Well imagine my surprise, when our kit arrived in the mail. Inside the box we found a table cloth, a cute "Fun Shapes" calculator, a camera for capturing our bake sale images, three sets fun shapes cupcake liners and a CD Rom of helpful information. So we were commited. Saturday afternoon we set to work mixing, baking and decorating. Eight hours later we had chocolate chip cookies, brownies and 85 cupcakes. It was a family effort. (As you can tell from the pictures.) On Sunday morning, we got to church early and set up our table, put up our sign, made our announcement and...

We had an incredible sale! Folks were so generous! (and hungry!) When we closed up after the second service we didn't have anything left to sell and our collection envelope was bursting with over $400.00!

Now we still have a way to go to get enough money to send off with our dossier, but we were so blessed by this fundraiser. We took plenty of pictures and will be sending them off for a chance at $500.00. We're also waiting to hear about whether Shaohannah’s Hope will be giving us a grant. If you're so inclined, could you say a pray for us? We're all impatient to progress in the journey to bring our Ethiopian babies home.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt - Window(s)


Grab the Scavenger Hunt code.

Photo Theme. Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

This week for Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt we're all proving that we "do windows." I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with since the theme leaves so much room for diversity and creativity.

I'm hosting a guest photographer this week. Since the moment I heard of the windows theme, I knew I needed to post this picture, taken by Rummy (my daughter) of #1 Son, a.k.a. Mr. Melancholy. She was shooting pictures for a new album cover. (He and Joe Cool have a rock band called "The Other Brothers.") #1 Son was doing he best to look the pensive and tortured artist. ( Not a stretch for him, really.) I think she did a really great job. I love the way she captured the reflection of his image in the window.

S.P.S.H. - Window(s)

by Rummy

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Love Thursday #9

Love Thursday

I've always loved this picture of Pastormac and Sweetanlo. We were in beautiful San Diego, California. She had just turned three years old and this was her first visit to the beach. There's just something about these two people who are so precious to me. Her, so small, holding his hand so tight. Him, there to guide her and keep her safe. The ocean crashing ahead. The sun shining on her golden hair. Their footprints in the sand. It still makes my heart want to burst today eleven years later. The perfect picture for Love Thursday. Don't you think?

Don't forget to go over to Chookooloonks for more pictures about love.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

WFMW - Wow that was a quick week!

Wow! Am I the only one who feels like lately time seems to be flying by in chunks? How can a week have past already?

Anyway, Works-for-Me Wednesday is here again.

Here's what you can do when you have a present that needs to be wrapped in a hurry, but discover that you're all out of appropriately-themed wrapping paper. Use the wrapping paper you have (be it Christmas or Birthday or Bridal Shower) to wrap the present, only wrap the present with the paper folded inside-out. (If the gift is small enough, you can use a sheet of white printer paper.) Then use the white as a blank canvas. Grab three or four crayons or markers (in complementary colors) all at once and scribble or doodle squiggles and loops all over the present. Or have one of your little Picassos decorate it for you. Either way, the present will be come out looking great.

Wrapping paper in a pinch - Works-for-Me!

Now head over to Rocks in My Dryer for very helpful Works-For-Me ideas. Go before another week flies by!