About Me

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I am a Christian. I am a loving wife to my Army-National-Guard-Recruiter-Husband of 15 years. I am a stay-at-home-mother to our four handsome sons. I am a photographer. My blog is about as erratic, eclectic and random as I am, painted with rainbows of photos and words that are hills and valleys you travel; so lovely sometimes that they hurt you. These are the stories of how far we've come in the last 15 years as Christians, as a family and as individuals.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How Far Garrett's Come

Garrett has lived in the shadows of his older brothers (acedimically) for years now.  Tristen and Seth have received a multitude of awards and accolades, Seth even wrote a book that got published when he was in First Grade!  Garrett is in the Second Grade and has always been very hard on himself, trying to fill his brothers' shoes I suppose.  He's never received an award... until now!  He received his first award a couple of weeks ago and has paraded around like a champion ever since! 
My husband, Brad, and I have always told him how bright he is and that not everyone gets rewarded for their hard work but let's face it... kids don't listen!  This little piece of paper has boosted this little one's ego so far!  Thank you Mrs. Broom for acknowledging Garrett's hard work and continued efforts.
Garrett, you are a super star!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Projects from the past two weeks

Let's not forget about the framed chalkboards and table:
Now the new stuff...
Bibs, burp cloths & a nursing blanket
(I will have to get a pic of the mom using it so you'll get the whole idea; stay tuned, baby's due May 11)
A pillowcase dress and a matching flower clip (inspiration from here) for my niece, Lily, for her March 11 birthday.  Happy Birthday baby girl!  I love & miss you!
My Bible study group passed out cute little wooden signs (Welcome, Easter or Spring) as a "going away" gift since the session is now over.  Fotima (my preggo bestie) picked the welcome sign with my promise to paint it to match her female bundle of joy's room before her arrival...
After the baby is born I'll paint her name and birth date across the bottom in festive green but for now, I'm enjoying it combined with my Spring sign!
> yeah, I need to go get some brilliant orange for that sad pastel pink flower <
(adorable new coffee cup I picked up at Starbucks; it makes me smile)

You may remember at Christmas I made some plain looking T-shirts look fabulous with Twilight iron-ons... well, better late than never, I finally made and sent Mom hers for her December 29th birthday!  (Love you Mom)
And speaking of Twilight; another bag has been born!  This one measures 17 x 12 inches (much more like a tote than a purse) with a removalbe matching zippered pouch for the smaller items.  Custom made for and bought by another dear Twilight fan friend for her birthday >yep!  she bought herself a one-of-a-kind Amanda-made Twilight tote!
She picked the fabric and designed it around my original design seen here (along with the other Twilight shirts).
De-ba-dee-da-ba-da-That's All Folks!

Tristen is 11, Seth is 9

Since the boys' birthdays are so close together and they share the same friends, I take advantage of being able to throw one party for the both of them. This year was different from all the rest! First, they had a sleep-over! Second, we had a movie theme! Third, we braved the theatre with a large group of young boys to watch the newly released book-turned-movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid!!! >> But I'm getting ahead of myself...

My little men have never really been into action figures and the like but they've always shown to be very capable of putting things together (such as puzzles) and they're also very creative so... LEGOS!  They are friends with an awesome young man who's father got him into LEGOS very young and have enjoyed them when they go visit but I thought it was time to get them their own set; the problem?  where will they build and store them? 

>> when Lauren was going to move in I found this picnic table at a thrift store (I really only needed the bench to add to our kitchen table to make more room but the whole set was cheaper than going out and getting just one bench so...) .  The table has been taking up space in our garage ever since, with no purpose to fulfil, just disabling my parking space! <<
So we repurposed it!  We painted it to make it look cool, then we added a solid flat surface to the top as well as a ledge so all those tiny little pieces wouldn't slip through the cracks or roll to their doom!  The best part is, the surface and ledge were also repurposed!  Their original purpose was a makeshift frame for Hayden's "big boy bed" so it was still low to the ground (he's very AP, you know?) but we recently got a real frame and box spring for his bed so it too was just wasting space in the garage!  >> two birds and all that!
OH!  Right, I almost forgot to say that the table top is painted in chalkboard black!  This table is fulfilling so many purposes now and the boys all love it! 
Since I was on a roll, I pulled out two frames (glass broke so, unusable?) that have been being stored > you guessed it <  in the garage and painted them to match the table & used the last two pieces of the flat surface from the makeshift bed frame as additional chalk boards for the wall!  That way, when the table is covered in LEGOS (or whatever) they can still have access to a chalk board.  >> clever, I know, right?
This is the "before" (the "after" is in the picture of the table above), I recycled these empty containers too!  They can put their chalk or tiny LEGO pieces in them & when they change their minds, they just rewrite in chalk on the label painted on the containers to keep track!
(After the party sharing and creating and enjoying their new table)
(in photo:  Elias, Hayden, Ian, Samuel, Tristen)

THE PARTY:
Started with a large spread of movie foods.  We had pizza rolls with ranch dip, cherry-filled and cream cheese-filled brownie bites, pigs-n-a-blanket, mandarin oranges (had to throw something healthy in there), sour apple candy rings, nachos & deviled eggs (Tristen's request) - - and let's not forget the cake!
At the request of the birthday boys, the cake says "Birthday of Some Wimpy Kids" >> are you laughing hysterically yet? No?  Well watch this video of them blowing out the candles!
video
How about now? ahahaha!  Trick candles rock!

>> All day long Hayden had waited for cake <<

The party went on...  They opened presents, played outside, played with their presents, ate tons of food and after the kids who couldn't spend the night went home... well, they continued on without them! 

>> Proof that they did get a some sleep <<
(in photo: Garrett, Hunter & David)

In the morning the boys wasted no time picking up where they'd left off while I made breakfast (ooops, attempted to make breakfast; burnt french toast sticks anyone?)
None of the boys seemed to notice, haha, they ate and kept playing until I announced that it was time to pack up their things, get dressed and head to the theatre!
(in photo:  Garrett, Hunter, David & Seth & Hayden with the sun in his sensitive eyes & Ian, Tristen & Max)
We provided the movie tickets for all (the b-day boys chose to treat their friends to the movie rather than get an extra gift), & each boy got their own movie-sized box of candy! 
(in photo: Ian, Tristen, Max, two empty seats for me & Brad, Hayden, Garrett, Hunter, Seth, David)

They were all so very well-behaved!  I would reccomend a party like this for "tweeners" - those kids who are still too young to be given money and set loose in the mall but are now too old for traditional birthday parties with games and prizes and goody bags!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hayden Rhys

Hayden tagged along on a photoshoot I did in early March... I couldn't help but to snap a couple of my baby boy!
I just had to add this photo... he eats his sandwiches just like his momma... all around the edges first; even ice cream sandwiches!

Peach Cobbler Bites

Start with these lovely ingredients:
Jiffy Pizza dough mix
Nutmeg
Ground Cinnamon
Non Stick Cooking Spray
Pilsbury Cressent Rolls
Peach Pie Filling

Mix dough according to the box, adding cinnamon & nutmeg to taste.
Using a muffin tin, spray with nonstick spray and fill each cup 1/3 with dough (basically just covering the bottom of the cups)
Bake for three minutes at 475*F
Remove from oven and using a rounded end of some other kitchen tool (I used the end of an ice cream scoop) press dough down in the center forming a "cupping crust"
Spoon in your peach pie filling (I chopped mine up a bit, the peaches were too big)
Roll out the cresent dough rolls into flat rectangles and cut into 1/2 inch strips.
Place on top of the pies.  You can make cute designs like Hayden and I tried to do.
Dust with a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 475*F (until top crust is a golden brown)
Serve warm (or cooled) topped with a dollop of cool whip or vanilla ice cream!
Enjoy!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Banana Bread {in the crock pot?}

I follow quite a few blogs, although I can't recall ever blogging a blog before.  When I came across this banana bread recipe by my new friend, Maggie, over at Smashed Peas and Carrots I just had to share it with all of you!  What makes this recipe so special?  It's made in the crock pot!  That's right!  My first question was if you can make a "low fat" version by using Splenda instead of sugar or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter instead of butter/margarine so I made some this morning using just that! 

Of course, you know me, I can't just follow a recipe, I added a tsp of vanilla extract, a tsp of nutmeg and 1/2 cup chopped cashews. 
I've never made bread outside of my bread maker or without a box mix to follow so imagine my delight when this bread was perfectly moist and delicious!  Another difference between mine and Maggie's is that mine took nearly 3 hours on high in my crock pot, I don't know why, maybe the changes I made to the recipe?  Nonetheless, it's worth a try!  Thank you, Maggie for sharing the recipe!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

He's ready... but am I?

Hayden will be four this Summer and is already expressing an intrest in going to school.  Every day when we drop off "his boys" he asks when will he get to go to school.  It breaks my heart not to be able to give him what he wants.  So one day last week we went to the local 99 cents only store and got some preschool books for him and I started having him watch the very same DVDs that helped the other boys learn their numbers and letters.  Actually, Leap Frog has come out with two new ones to add to our collection!  He has had a blast doing his "homework" and lights up when he shows "his boys" that he's "getting big too!"

I've started the preschool enrollment process for Hayden for this Fall, I'm really gonna miss having him aroundthe house all day!
*I'll think on that some other time*