Sunday, January 31, 2010

Do You Love a Good Mystery??

"Do you love a good mystery? Do you think of yourself as a wanna be amateur detective? Well then we have a mystery for you. Join Cookin Up Creations and Live Imagine Create for your ultimate scrapping mystery. The Mystery starts February 1, 2010. Visit either or for more details on how you can become a detective. Do you have what it takes to solve the crime??"

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Little This & A Little That...

Why am I having such a hard time keeping up with posting here. Sheesh.....whatever happened to my writing a page a day toward my novel? Oh yeah.....that was MAW'S idea. LOL And it was a good one too....I'm just not doing so well at keeping up with it. I got really inspired though after having lunch with Chris Friday & chatting about his different classes & such. In one class they are really concentrating on fonts.....drawing them to scale, recognizing different ones when you see them, etc. It surprises me to realize how much I already know about what he's talking about just from stuff I've learned over the years through scrapbooking. In my magazines & such I've read articles about fonts...which ones are easiest to read....choosing certain ones for specific effects & what-not. And then he got to talking about a Creative Writing class that he really wants to take next year. Not to mention his illustrative efforts for his art classes......for one class project he had to illustrate a literary work & he chose his room-mate's book that he's written. It's kind of a fantasy type book.....similar to the Chronicles of Narnia. Matt is looking toward getting his books published one day & I told Chris, he might just have his foot in the door......Author: Matt H & Illustrated by: Chris Bunner. Ya never know! Thought I'd share my latest creations. I whipped this little card up the other of my Magic Mesh projects for this month. Magic Mesh was one of our sponsors this month at Cookin' Up Creations.

This was done for the BOM challenge this week. 'Home Sweet Home' This is your chance to record your feelings about your home for future generations. You can take whatever angle you want with this your current house, talk about your childhood home, the town you live in, or your hometown...whatever you think is important to you! On the journaling tag I'm going to write about how this was my grandmother's home....the house my mom, her brother & sisters grew up in & that now I'm raising my family in.

We have more snow on the ground now. We actually still had some tiny piles here & yonder from the snow we got over a month ago in Dec! We have about a foot on the ground out here now. It started late Friday night/early Saturday morning & snowed most ALL day yesterday. Pastor Steve cancelled our church services for today for which I am very thankful....although we wouldn't have been going anywhere anyway....besides a foot of snow on the ground...Jon & Michael are chugged up & snotty. They do NOT need to get out in this. I hate it when they feel so bad. Alli & Ashley both had it too....but it seems like they had it & got over it in just a few days. These boys sound terrible & I can tell they feel pretty rotten too. Anyway....I'm just happy as a clam to be cozied up in here by the fire looking out at all the pretty snow. But you know what.........I sure am looking forward to Spring & some warm sunny days of sitting outside reading!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fabulous Forty-Five

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday this year! We started the celebrating on Friday (for Alli's BD & mine) with a Girly Lunch at O'Charley's. Maw, Sarah, Anna, Daniel, Ella, Cori, Taylor, Ashley & Alli were all there. We enjoyed yummy grilled chicken salad & a special BD dessert 'on the house'. Then Saturday Ashley proclaimed a 'Girly Day' at home. We stayed in our pj pants all day & had a chick flick marathon along with some scrapping. We watched 'While You Were Sleeping', 'The Kid' & then Saturday evening, we watched 'Julie & Julia'. What an awesome movie!! We now have a few Julia Child books on hold at the library.....her biography & some of her cook books. Isn't it fun how a 'Unit Study' can come out of watching a movie together. We may even cook up a Julia Child recipe to round out our impromptu study. ;-) And I must mention here that Ashley wouldn't allow me to wash a single dish ALL day on Saturday.....I tell ya, what a sweet, sweet girl! Clay brought me these beautiful roses when he came home from work Saturday evening. We will go out to eat & celebrate (just the two of us) one night soon since he was working Saturday.

Ashley also baked me these yummy Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Mmm-mmm! Oh & I can't forget all the sweet BD wishes that I received on my scrapping message board & also on facebook. I am SO blessed to have so many wonderful friends! The celebrating continued on yesterday. After church, we all gathered at Maw's house.....Sarah & family & Chris too....for BD lunch. Maw got chicken from Kroger & we had baked beans, tater salad, slaw, rolls & apple/cranberry crisp with whip cream for dessert. I don't know why folks always seem to make such a big deal about having birthdays & NOT wanting to celebrate. Not me, Honey......I say bring on the partying & let's celebrate another year in which God has blessed me beyond measure!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Little Catching Up....

This past Sunday Calvary Chapel Amherst celebrated their 10th anniversary. Hard to believe that we've been there almost that whole time ourselves......8 of those 10 years. We had a really nice time....Maw & Ella were able to join us. After church, we had a potluck dinner with lots of interviews/videos/pictures from over the years.
Some our 'Unschooling' activities from this past week. The boys have been making MAJOR headway on our wood supply! We have our whole usual row all filled & here they are putting in stakes for a whole 'nother row of wood alongside the original one. While the boys were out tending to the firewood, Alli & I had a class in paper flower making. She had seen the paper rose I made last week & was really wanting me to teach her how. Above are a few of her first attempts.....I think she's doing an awesome job!!

As we continue on in our BOM challenges......this week's challenge was to do a page about all the quirky, funky things we love. Whether it's chocolate (or in my case coffee), a favorite store, music, hobby, etc. Whatever it's your chance to document it.

Sarah's Family Christmas picture from 2009.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Blog Hop Creations

Pics from our garden last spring/summer. The spread together met Kimberly's challenge to do an outdoor layout using magic mesh & also Tammy's challenge to use mini brads.

More Paper Flowers

Just wanted to share this little BD card I made for Alli....especially the folded paper flower.I thought they were so pretty & really easy to make. You can find the directions for them HERE.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Birthday & Bird Houses

Happy 11th Birthday to my sweet Alli-Cat! Hope you have a super fun day! Love you big bunches!!
Alli got this adorable little birdhouse kit from Aunt Linda for Christmas (Maw just delivered the gifts yesterday). She put it together & painted it last night. Didn't it turn out cute? I sat it on the counter next to the birdhouse David made me for Christmas.....out of the old boards from the treehouse that Pop built for us when we were little.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Talented Girl!

OMG.....I snagged this off Sandee's blog! Totally made my day when I saw this!
Love you, Ashley-Girl!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Winterfest Pics & some Scrappy Challenges

I snitched some pics from Ashley......just a few they took the night they went to Winterfest up at LU. Mercy Me

Silly mom that I am.....I love it when little bro puts his arm around his big sis! Aren't they sweet together?! Anyone remember this......'We're twins, we're twins....we're really, really twins'? LOL That's what they used to go around saying all the time when they were about 3 & 4 years old & just look at 'em now.

Jon & Chris acting like Goof-Balls...well, at least Jon is....but that's pretty normal for him!

Week 3 for our Book of Me challenges...Reasons I Should Love Myself.

I made this paper rose today as part of our Blog Hop. This was Suzanne's challenge & the directions can be found HERE. It really wasn't hard at all once you get the hang of it. The girls are dying for me to teach them how to do these too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winter Wonderland of Embellishments Blog Hop

Hello & welcome to the first ever Cookin' up Creations Winter Wonderland of Embellishments Blog Hop. We at Cookin' up Creations thought it would be a great idea to focus on Embellishments this month, as we have had lots of generous "embellishment" sponsors ....and we want to share with you. Along the Hop, you'll come across Challenges, Questions & Tuturials on different ways to use embellishments. If a blog requires you to complete a challenge, then please upload your completed challenge into the Embellishment Blog Hop Album before the end of the Blog Hop on January 22nd, 2010. All participating "blog hoppers" must be registered members in the gallery! The Cookin' up Creations Blog was your 1st stop and You are now at the 3rd stop of the hop. All you need to do at this stop, is to create a layout incorporating ribbon somehow on your page. You can see some of my own examples in the layouts below...under the heading of May Arts Ribbon. Leave your comment on this post, as well as posting your creation in Cookin' Up Creations' gallery to be entered to win. After you have visited all the blogs and made a comment on each one, be sure to go back to the Cookin' up Creations Blog and post when you are finished. Your next stop is 'Wanda's World'. Thanks for hopping with us!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Chalk Technique

This week Jan, over at CUC chose to share with us a really simple technique using a Versamark pad and our chalks! First you want to stamp your image in Versamark. Using a cotton ball or sponge dauber, apply your chalk color to your stamped image, blowing off the excess as you go. When you're done, erase any undesired chalk residue with a white eraser. You can spray a fixative to set the chalk or hairspray which is what I used! Above is my example.....this was such a cool/fun technique. I LOVED it & will definitely be playing around my chalks some more!!

May Arts Ribbon

One of our sponsors this month at Cookin' Up Creations is May Arts Ribbon. They provided us with a bunch of awesome ribbons to work with & below are just a few of the creations I came up with.Ashley took this pic of us at the LU play 'Jane Eyre' back in Nov. I stitched along one edge of this really wide ribbon & gathered it up to make this cute flower accent. Just add a button center & voila!
Not an exceelent pic by any means, but it's the only one we got.....taken at our Thanksgiving dinner at church also back in Nov. I used some May Arts ribbon as a pretty accent on my journaling tag.

'Our Last Oath' when they performed for the first time back in August at church. I love how that spidery black ribbon just seemed to go with the papers that I used. Ashley also said it would be so cool on a Halloween would look like spider webs!

And last but not least......a cute little chipboard Valentine. I cut the heart shape out of cardboard & gave it a coat of modge podge & laid 3 lengths of ribbon across it. When it dried, I trimmed the excess ribbon off, added the tile letters, velvety rose & there you have a cute little Vday accent for a page or card or just use it as is.....write a little Vday message on the back & give it to your sweety!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Scrappy Fun Stuff

Over at Cookin' Up Creations we have started on a year long project called the 'Book of Me' album all about us.....the scrapper, who is usually behind the scenes so to speak in our scrapbooks. Each week I'm posting a different challenge & when we're all done in December, we will have an album with 52 layouts all about US & who we are. Below are my first two layouts for my album. Week 1- Portrait of Me: Who are you? What are your roles? What do you do? I lifted a LO from the cover of Memory Makers Feb 08 issue & 'borrowed' my friend's online screen name for my journaling.....I'm a daughter of the King.
Week 2-People I Love: Who are the most important people in your life? Tell about your relationship with them. This one is pretty self explanitory....these guys are my world! Pic was taken last year on Ashley's 15th birthday.

This layout was done using some of our January sponsor goodies at CUC...the deer brad on my journaling tag is from Eyelet Outlet & Brads. This was one of Jon's deer shot last year....the second week of muzzle load he called this guy in with the Primos Can....his biggest buck so far. Clay said these pics were good advertisement for Primos. ;-)

This is a quick layout I did with the photos I received in my Christmas cards this year.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Homemade Granola

Ashley made this for Maw for Christmas & she was asking if we would share the recipe. I figured I'd just post it here in case anyone else wanted to give it a try. Can't remember if I've posted this on here before or not, but it is again.

2 c. oats
1 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. honey
1 Tbs. butter
1/2 c. raisins
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking pan & set aside. Toast oats & almonds, (I just spread them out on a pizza pan) stirring occassionally for 15 mins. Remove & reduce heat to 300 degrees. While oats are toasting, combine honey & butter in small sauce pan & heat til butter is melted. When oasts come out of oven, transfer to lrg. bowl. Add honey, butter, raisins, brown sugar, salt & almond/vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Transfer to baking pan. Cut wax paper & place on top of granola mixture. Press firmly into pan. Remove wax paper & bake for 20 mins. Cool completely & cut into bars. Actually ours is more like breaking into pieces instead of cutting into bars, but whatever. It sure is yummy! Great topping for your yogurt. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Nothing is Impossible With God

The Old Testament book of Exodus shows, over and over again, that nothing is impossible with God. Nothing! Moses was an ordinary man who was chosen by God to do an extraordinary task.

God led His people through the desert with a pillar of clouds by day and a pillar of fire by night. It must have been an amazing sight. It must have been thrilling...up until the point where Pharaoh's army was closing in on them as they approached the Red Sea. Talk about being caught between faith and a hard place! Talk about being faced with a seemingly impossible situation! Moses and around two million of his closest Hebrew friends stood at the edge of the water with nowhere to go. They were trapped. "They were terrified and cried out to the LORD" (Exodus 14:10). BUT GOD! God was on time for the miracle show. He had a plan. He made a way. Nothing is too difficult for God!

"Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today...The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still" (Exodus 14:13).

The Israelites were saved, and Pharaoh's army was destroyed - all under the watchful eyes of the LORD. God wanted to be glorified through a seemingly impossible situation. He wants to be glorified through the difficult situations that you face, too. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) When we stand with Christ, we stand with power. What Red Sea are you facing? Nothing is impossible with God. When you set aside your doubts and call on the name of the LORD, you can face the waters of your circumstances with a strong confidence, knowing that God is able and willing to do great things in and through you.

Let's Pray
Dear God, like Moses, I often feel un-equipped to handle the assignments You have given me. You know exactly what waters I face today. As I stand at the water's edge, I commit to trusting Your strength. I will not give in to the fears, frustrations, and doubts that mock me. You are far more powerful than the circumstances of my life. Thank You for reminding me that nothing is too difficult for You.
In Jesus' Name,

~written by: Gwen Smith- Girlfriends in God

*I love the phrase in Exodus 14:13 that says 'you need only to be STILL.' How awesome. God has been teaching me alot here lately about being still, waiting on Him, resting in Him.....kinda something to think about in this FAST-paced world we live in.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Hotel Alpha Papa Papa Yankee Mike Oscar November Delta Alpha Yankee!

Official US Military Alphabet

A: Alpha
B: Bravo
C: Charlie
D: Delta
E: Echo
F: Foxtrot
G: Golf
H: Hotel
I: India
J: Juliet
K: Kilo
L: Lima
M: Mike
N: November
O: Oscar
P: Papa
Q: Quebec
R: Romeo
S: Sierra
T: Tango
U: Uniform
V: Victor
W: Whiskey
X: X-Ray
Y: Yankee
Z: Zulu

Just thought I'd post this here. I copied a phrase off a friend's facebook yesterday & it was written in military code. If you could read it, you were supposed to copy & paste it to your profile. Well, I read it, no problem. Called the kids in to see if they could get it (I knew they would) & of course they all could read it, no problem. I guess between watching NCIS & playing Battleship they knew most of the alphabet. So, we've been having fun writing stuff in military code & deciphering it. Thought maybe some of my Homeschool readers might be able to have some fun with this too. ;-)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

A Page a Day

Maw was telling me the other day that she heard somewhere if you wrote a page each day for a year, then by the end of the year, you'd have a book. goal for this year? Instead of a picture a day could I write a page a day? I do love going back & reading old journal/blog entries. I just might give it a go.......we'll see how it plays out. Let me back up a few days & recap here..... NYE~ the three oldest kiddos...Chris, Ashley & Jon got to go to Winterfest at LU. They had been so looking forward to this for months & they were so excited. They said they had an awesome time & are already planning on saving their money & going again next year. Since they were off partying, Clay decided to bring Bojangles home for supper as a treat for Michael & Alli. They were tickled. We ate supper while watching an episode of NCIS with Michael (Alli doesn't care for that at all). Then it was Alli's turn to pick....we watched 'Princess Diaries 2' while Michael played some video games. Clay had to go in to work 3rd we all headed up to bed around 11ish when he left. They fell on asleep & I managed to stay up reading until a little past midnight, so I rung the New Year in quietly in my bed. Aaaahhhh!
New Year's Day~I headed off to town to get groceries by myself. Trying to get back onto my normal Friday routine here. I've been so 'off' over the holidays. When I got home, they were all so excited telling me all about their evening & showing me pictures/video. Chris took up a whole dang memory card full of pics & video. I will definitely be snagging some of these for a scrapbook page.
Sat. 1/2~ The girls & I headed off to Anna's BD party at 11. I can't believe that she's 8 years old already! We had a really nice time....a quiet little pizza party.....with Mari & Katelyn, a little girl from Sunday School & one from piano lessons. The girls had a blast playing & the rest of us enjoyed a nice gab session around Sarah's dining room table.
Sun. 1/3~Dang cold here this mornig!!! It's a wonder in this world that our water wasn't frozen when we got up. I really was expecting it to be.....I had made sure to fix a pot of water so I could have coffee this morning. Gotta get your priorities straight, right?! We had also put a little heater out on the back porch near the pipes & also out in the pump house plus letting the water drip during the night. Guess it worked. ;-) Church & then home for lunch & a relaxing afternoon. Watched NCIS with Michael while crocheting some, then I did some laundry & piddled around until time for supper. I'm aiming to start back to school tomorrow.......I know Ashley will be at it. She's so close to finishing her math book right now...just a couple more lessons. I don't think the others share her enthusiasm about getting back at it. But the best thing to do is just jump in there & get going. Chris doesn't have to be back until the 18th.
And to finish off my's a LO I did this week. It scanned a little lop-sided so you'll just have to pretend that everything is really is IRL. Sarah did the coolest thing with her Thank You notes for Daniel's BD gifts.....she took a picture of him with each gift he recieved, printed them & pasted them onto the front of a plain white card & wrote her Thank You inside. What a cool & personal idea. I just cut the card in half & placed the pic & note side by side on my LO & & instant journaling.
Think I'm gonna go sit in here by the woodstove & corchet for a bit now before I head up to bed. Hope everyone stays warm tonight!!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Winter Wonderland of Embellishments Blog Hop

Cookin' up Creations will be having our very first Blog Hop this month, and would love for you to join us!! Our Sponsors for the month of January are numerous and each has provided us with an enormous supply of "Embellishments", hence the theme of the Blog sure to check out the site, as more details are still to come!