Friday, July 30, 2010

Fabric Covered Diaper Wipe Case

I love browsing Etsy shops to see the things that people create.

One of the items I've seen a lot of are fabric covered diaper wipe cases. For some reason I felt as though I just had to have one. I didn't want to order one because a) I'm cheap and b) I hate paying for shipping.

So...

I started looking up tutorials on YouTube and came across several and you know what? Covering a diaper wipe case with fabric isn't so hard.

And it's cheap!

I have had the supplies for this project for a few days now, and decided I'd try it out this afternoon while Jordan was napping.

Here are the two I made today. The pink one was first and I went a little hot glue happy or something.



Want to make one too?

Alrighty then, let me show you what I did.

You'll need some fabric, 3/8" grosgrain ribbon in a co-ordinating colour, a hot glue gun and the diaper wipe case.



I put the case on the fabric and cut around it.



Then I squeezed a thin line of hot glue along the length of the case, just above the lip, and pressed my fabric against it. Once that dried I did the same on the other side and pulled the fabric taut and pressed it against the glue.



Don't worry about your rough edge here. It will be covered up by the ribbon.

Flip it over and do the same on the bottom.



Pretty easy so far, isn't it?

Next, run a thin line of hot glue just above the lip of the case, then press your ribbon against it.

Watch your fingers! That glue is hot.



All done!

At this point you could hot glue on a bow or embellishments to fancy it up, or just leave it simple and sweet.



Side view...



And the finished product again...



This is a really inexpensive craft to do and the result is pretty cute.

Total cost to make: approximately $5.00
Total time to make: 30-40 minutes

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5QF ~ July 30

Yippee! It's Friday!!

And not only is it Friday, but it's the Friday of a long weekend. Monday is 'Civic Day' but I have no idea what the significance is. But it's an extra day that we get to have Ian at home with us and that's always a good thing.

I forgot that the window cleaners were coming today. Willow saw someone against our second floor window and charged towards the window barking. It scared the guy so much he almost fell off his ladder. I guess we're even now since they turned on our backyard faucet and left it running for over 20 minutes with no one around.

On to Five Question Friday hosted by my lovely friend Mama M at My Little Life.




1. Did you have a favorite blanket or toy as a kid? If so, do you still have it?

You betcha. It's a blue teddy bear I've had since I was a baby. His fur is all matted down from years of love, hugs and tears. His name is Blue Bear. Catchy, no? Ian named him ;-)

2. Do you dream in color?

Yes. I have very vivid and colourful dreams every single night. I thought everyone dreamed in colour. I feel sad for the black and white dreamers now.

3. How tall are you? Do you wish you were shorter or taller?

I'm 5'9" and have always wished I was 5'6".

4. If you could have anyone's (celeb or other) voice as the guide on your GPS, who would it be?

I'd love Matthew Macfayden to be the voice of my GPS. But not just any Matthew, he has to be all Mr. Darcy/Pride and Prejudice like.



Oh yes.

5. Do you return your shopping cart to the corral or leave it wherever in the parking lot?

I never leave my cart in the parking lot. I either return it to the store or take it to the corral. I think it's rude to just leave it for the next customer to move so they can park. It only takes a few moments to do.

And that's a wrap!

Want to play along? Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life and get in on the fun!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pretzel M&Ms

I have this lovely new friend.

Her name is Robyn and she's the owner of MixMingleGlow.

She's pretty awesome.

I guess she kinda likes me too because take a peek at what she sent me:



!!!

Pretzels and chocolate....salty and sweet... I was in heaven.

We don't have these kinds of M&Ms here in Canada, and knowing of my deep love and appreciation for this particular candy and my inability to score any of these new ones, she hooked a sister up.

The bag is huge.

I may or may not have hugged it. Just a little.

Two minutes after opening the bag for the first taste....the kids showed up out of nowhere, wanting to try them too.

Sharing is overrated.

I let them have two each because I'm loving like that.

Then I hid the rest of the bag.

Mine, mine, mine.

Thank you so much Robyn!! You are a sweetheart!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Words I Would Say

I'm taking another break from Tuesday's Treats this week because I've been busy! Between baking the cake for Sam's birthday party and then baking 60+ cupcakes for our church's VBS (Vacation Bible School) this week, I didn't get the chance to try out any new recipes.

I'll be baking and decorating lots of sugar cookies this week. A friend has ordered a dozen, and I need to make 120 sugar cookie men for VBS for Thursday. Plus I need to bake Sam's birthday cake for Saturday. So by the time the weekend rolls around I'm going to be totally baked.

Get it? Totally baked.

I think I might have been the only one who laughed just now.

So. I am sure you understand why I don't have a Tuesday's Treat for today ;-)

Besides, I wanted to share something with you.

A friend of mine sent me the lyrics to this song a week ago, and said that it made her think of me. As soon as I read them, I went straight to youtube to hear it and I just fell in love with the song.

Check it out.

Three in the morning,
And I'm still awake,
So I picked up a pen and a page,
And I started writing,
Just what I'd say,
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

Last time we spoke,
You said you were hurting,
And I felt your pain in my heart,
I want to tell you,
That I keep on praying,
Love will find you where you are,
I know cause I've already been there,
So please hear these simple truths,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

From one simple life to another,
I will say,
Come find peace in the Father,

Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
Thank God for each day,
His love will find a way,
These are the words I would say




Isn't it so encouraging and uplifting? I listen to it about a dozen times every single day and I feel emotional every time.

Thank you so much for sending this to me, Amanda. It has ministered to me more than I can say.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

I Survived Another Kiddie Birthday Party

I'm not a fan of children's birthday parties. I can't stand them, actually. I wouldn't even go to my own children's birthday parties except...well they're my children, and missing one would be a huge faux pas.

This past weekend was Sam's birthday party. Not his actual birth day - that's on the 31st - but the day he chose to celebrate with his friends. He wanted a pool party, so we booked a pool and party room at the community centre.

Sam requested a two layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. He wanted me to write "Happy Birthday Awesome Sam" on it, but I convinced him that a simple "Happy Birthday Sam" was much more modest, however true the "awesome" part may be.

I managed to convince myself to start working on the cake ahead of time. Usually I bake and decorate a cake on the same day and it's often a disaster. Sam baked the bottom layer, and I baked the top. I piped an edge around the bottom and wrote in blue icing.

See?



We picked up one of Sam's friends along the way. Turns out that it was that boy's actual birthday, and no one in his family was doing anything to celebrate his day. Isn't that so sad?? We don't know the details as to why, but we certainly felt sad for him, and glad he could be there all the same.

Despite the anxiety, stress and worry that settles in the week before my children's birthday parties, everything came together perfectly. Just as they always seem to.



I swam with Julie who chattered away, loving our "girl time", and Jordan, who screeched and carried on like I was going to drown her or something. She is not a fan of the water at all. She wrapped her arms and legs around me and held on for dear life. I'm not going to lie... I loved it. She is a busy little girl and cuddle time comes very rarely, so I just soaked up every moment. After a half hour she finally relaxed enough to splash the water with one hand and look around a bit. By the end of the hour she was sitting cross legged on this floatie thing like a princess, letting us pull her across the water.



After an hour in the pool, we moved to the party room for pizza, cake and gifts. Talk about noisy and messy. Did I mention noisy?

One of my biggest pet peeves about birthday parties is when a parent is late for pickup. If the invitation states that the party ends at 5:00, I need you to be there to pick your kid up at 5:00. Not 5:15...5:00. I have long given up on trying to convince Ian to put SHARP on the invitations. Apparently that's "rude".

Meh.

Ian made several trips to the van in the pouring rain while I waited with the kids, holding the leftover cake and pizza.

One mom came to pick up her son and said "Oh that cake looks GOOD! Can I have a piece to take home to my other son?"

I told her the knife and plates were already put in the van, so I had nothing to cut it with, or to put it on. (All true) Is it me....or is that an odd thing to ask?

Then another man who was standing nearby asked me if I was selling the leftover cake and pizza. I kind of laughed and said no. A couple of minutes later he said "Because if you're selling, I'm buying!" I didn't think he was serious and gave the food to Ian to take to the van, but after a few moments I wondered if the man was hungry and then felt sad for a missed opportunity to give him the leftovers.

We were all exhausted from our day by the time we got home at 7:00. The girls were in bed by 8:45 and I was in my bed by 9:00 watching New Moon, and asleep by 11:00.

So there you go. I survived another kiddie party! I can relax now until March :-)

Today we celebrated my favourite Aunt's (and Godmother!) birthday at my mom's, Thursday we'll be back at my mom's to celebrate my nephew's 18th birthday, then Sam's family birthday party on Saturday.

A busy week for sure, but I'm so thankful for so many loved ones to celebrate :-)

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Funny



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Friday, July 23, 2010

5QF ~ July 23

Happy Friday :-)

I was going to vlog today but that would have required washing and blow drying my hair and I just couldn't seem to find the motivation for that today. I'm sure you understand.

And well... let's be honest. I vlogged last time and I don't want to spoil you two weeks in a row.

Ha.

Before we get started on Mama M's Five Question Friday party, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments and emails in response to my last blog post. Knowing that I have you praying for me means more than I could adequately express right now.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Ok then.

Onward.



1. What were your school colors?

Bear with me... I have to think back twenty something a few years to remember.

Navy and white, I believe. I went to a Catholic high school and the girls wore light/dark blue kilts, with white blouses and navy pullovers. In recent years they have done away with the kilts because the girls were wearing them much too short and *ahem* forgetting to wear underwear.

::speechless::

If I am wrong, and anyone I went to high school with way, way, waaaay back in the day is still alive to correct me, please do.


2. What's the best compliment you ever received?

I've received some lovely compliments in my life. Best ones would be when I am complimented on my parenting, especially when it comes from Ian or my Mom.

Usually those compliments come right when I need a boost ;-)

3. Do you buy cheap or expensive toilet paper?

I can't stand cheap toilet paper! GAH! I hate it when it literally melts away in your hand while in use.

Grody.

I like Cottonelle, so I will buy it when it goes on sale for 16 rolls for under $4 or something. Then I buy a cart full of it and Ian never fails to crack a joke when I come home, lugging my purchases.

Toilet paper is something I cannot stand paying a lot of money for, considering what it's used for.

Can I get an amen?

4. Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you? Or have you had one for someone else?

I've had a few surprise parties thrown for me, two of them by Ian. He loves surprises. Me? Not so much. I need someone to leak the surprise to me so I can fake my shock at the time. I knew when my bridal shower was but pretended to be surprised. I knew when my shower was for Sam, but my showers for Julie and Jordan were surprises.

I attempted to throw Ian a surprise party for his 40th but got too excited and had too many questions, so I had to tell him about it.

I know...I know... my head is already hanging in shame.

5. What is one material possession that you "can't live without"?

I try not to place too much emphasis on my material things. I try not to ask for a lot or covet a lot. You can't take it with you, right?

That said, I enjoy my cell phone, laptop, camera and sewing machine very, very much.

There you go! Have a wonderful weekend everyone :-)

Thanks Mama M!

Want to play along? Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life and get in on the fun!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

All In

This past Spring I had the honour of studying Beth Moore's The Inheritance along with several of my Christian sisters. Each Wednesday morning we would gather together to watch the next DVD in the series and have our lives rocked.

Beth has a way of doing that...rocking lives.

Actually, God has a way of rocking lives through Beth, but isn't she a wonderful instrument? This study wrapped up several weeks ago and I'm still processing all that she taught.

Beth started out by asking the question "Do you believe God to be a giver or a taker?"

I remember how my heart started pounding, and how my eyes started burning as I tried to hold back my tears. Around me I could hear my sisters whispering "giver...giver.."

I knew how I would answer that question.

I thought of Him as a taker.

I have lived through some pretty devastating circumstances in my life. Some of which are so horrific that I simply cannot share them with you.

I know what pain feels like. I know hurt. I know loss.

I've felt so disconnected from God for some time now. I've shared here that my faith took a huge beating last year when Ian was laid off and how we struggled financially. It was like the final thing that broke me. I've shared with you how I almost let go of my relationship with Him.

Almost.

But not entirely. I have felt God's presence in my life many times. I've heard Him speak into my heart in ways that I knew without a doubt that it was Him speaking. I know He is real and I believe the Bible to be God-breathed. I had to choose to hold on, that His promises were true, and that He had a plan for me....even when I didn't see how He possibly could.

It's been a long, long road trying to get back to where I felt our relationship was. I don't hear Him talking to me. I don't feel Him near me. It's so hard to live like this.

It struck me during this study, as we pondered the question as to whether we viewed God as a giver or taker, that my view of Him as a taker has held me back from going all in.

All in?

What would that even look like for me? To give God complete control of my life and to not take it back. Just say "Whatever Lord!" and be thankful for His will in my life.

I don't know what it would look like. But I'll tell you what it would feel like. It would scare me to death.

I am terrified of what God will take from me to show His glory.

Who He may take from me to show His glory.

I don't have any strength left in me for more hurt or loss. None.

I don't know how to get Him from my head to my heart.

I feel like my life - my family's life - is on the threshold of major change, and I don't like it. I don't like feeling anxious or uncertain, yet that is exactly how I am feeling. I know what I want, what my my heart longs for, but I don't know if they are things that are in line with His will.

Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I wish I knew.

I just feel so unsettled. So unlike me.

I don't know where you stand when it comes to spiritual attack, or if you believe in such a thing. I sure do. And I'm under heavy attack these days. Satan is hard at work tormenting me. Whispering at me as I go about my day. Tormenting me in my dreams with all of my hurts and fears.

I am scared to death to click the publish button and expose myself like this. Scared that you will think I'm a fraud.

Maybe you won't. Maybe you'll pray for me.

I so need your prayers right now.

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Sisters



I think that one of the most precious relationships on this earth is that between sisters.

I love the relationship that is growing between my daughters. Jordan looks up to Julie in every way and follows her everywhere.

Julie dotes on her, plays with her, cuddles her and soothes her. It's beautiful to watch.

I have a sister of my own, but sadly we don't enjoy that close sister bond that other sisters do. Not from a lack of trying, I can assure you. We love one another as best we can.

Seeing my daughters together warms my heart in ways I just can't explain. I pray that their relationship will continue to grow and deepen as they grow older.

Thank you Lord, for the blessing of sisters!

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Book Review ~ Back On Murder



A missing girl.

A corrupt investigation.

They thought they could get away with it, but they forgot one thing:

Roland March is BACK ON MURDER


Houston homicide detective Roland March was once one of the best. Now he's disillusioned, cynical, and on his way out. His superiors farm him out on a variety of punishment details•until an unexpected break gives March one last chance to save his career. And his humanity.

All he has to do? Find the missing teenage daughter of a Houston evangelist that every cop in town is already looking for. But March has an inside track, a multiple murder nobody else thinks is connected. Battling a new partner, an old nemesis, and the demons of his past, getting to the truth could cost March everything. Even his life.


~*~ ~*~ ~*~


The story is told in the first person narrative, which I enjoy. I always prefer that method of storytelling as it reveals more of the character's personality and thought process. The characters are well developed and the suspense builds at a steady pace.

The main character, Roland March, is a detective on the fast track out the door but not by his choice. Back in the day he was quite the hot shot but eventually burned out. He's put on assignments with no value and feels demoralized.

When a teenaged girl goes missing at the same time as a gang shooting, March sees the two cases as connected and his ticket back into the chief's good graces. Once he gets an idea of what's really going on and the depths of those involved, he's in too deep to back out.

Just when I thought I'd figured out what was what, the story would shift and I'd be wrong. I love when that happens!

If you're looking for a suspense filled novel to read this summer, this is it. Just be warned - once you start reading it you won't be able to put it down!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday's Treats ~ Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

You know how a certain food can take you back in time?

Take Cheerios for instance. Whenever I smell them I remember my childhood.

Whenever I taste rhubarb pie, I think of my grandmother who passed away almost 11 years ago, just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday.

I don't know what season rhubarb comes in, but I wasn't able to find it anywhere and I've longing to try baking a strawberry rhubarb pie.

Then...my mother in law came to visit. I bet you'll never guess what she brought me.

Rhubarb! From her very own garden. She even chopped it up for me. Sweet!

And so... I made my first Strawberry Rhubarb Pie ever.



You'll Need:
3 cups of rhubarb, chopped
3 cups of strawberries, sliced
1-1/3 cups of white sugar
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 beaten egg, for glaze

Step One:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Step Two:
In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, white sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and cinnamon

Step Three:
Let sit uncovered for 20-30 minutes. (I don't know why, but I read it somewhere else and thought I should do it)

Step Four:
Pour into pie crust. (I used a store bought one because I haven't tried making my own crust before)Cover with another pie crust, pressing along the edges to seal. Make four slices in the top of the pie to let the heat escape.

Step Five:
Brush top of pie with the beaten egg. Slide pie onto a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the filling bubbles. Let sit for several hours before serving.

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, considering it's my first attempt at this. I made the mistake of buying a "flaky" crust and won't be doing that again.

Thanks again for the rhubarb, Mom B!

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's A Fork...But Not Just Any Fork

I love to tease my kids because they'll believe just about anything I tell them.

That makes things so fun.

I have a particular fork I really, really like.



It doesn't match my set, and I have no idea where it came from, but I have declared it mine.

Actually, I have declared it to be The Fork That Makes Everything Taste Better.

I won't tell them which fork it is, and they're always trying to find it to get it before I do. They have yet to figure out that I hide it from them.

I also have a favourite spoon that I may show you one day. But not today. I wouldn't want to overwhelm you with my weirdness.

:-)

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Friday, July 16, 2010

5QF ~ July 16






Want to play along? Head on over to Mama M's blog My Little Life and get in on the fun!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting A Head Start On My Christmas List

Ian and Sam are huge gamers.

Huge.

Me...not so much.

Ian has tried to teach me how to play those shooting games, but I can't seem to get my character game guy facing in the right direction, and he's always either staring up into the sky or on the ground. I get so frustrated and announce that my controller is broken.

It couldn't possibly be me and my lack of gaming skills.

Don't be silly.

However... there are two kinds of games I enjoy. Racing games, and boxing games.

Get a look at this one, Gran Turismo 5 from Playstation...



Oh yes...Mama wants that one. It releases on November 5th.

I can't wait.

Nor can I wait for this one, The Fight: Lights Out...



This one releases in October.

I go absolutely crazy when I box with the Wii. There was this one time when I was going on crazy boxing with my character when suddenly it took on the face of someone who will remain nameless. Ian was holding on the the back of my jeans so I wouldn't punch his precious 52" flat screen tv. I am no longer allowed to box without spousal supervision.

I can only imagine the damage and mayhem I will cause when I get my hands on this game.

{evil laugh}

I'll have to start leaving really clear hints the closer it gets to Christmas.

Which happens to be in 163 days.

Just sayin.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prayer Circle

When it comes to praying out loud, I'm not all that comfortable doing it as part of a big group.

I'm ok to pray one-on-one with someone, maybe with two other people, but more than that makes me sweat.

Sometimes I get all caught up in the comparison trap. Do I pray as eloquently as that person? Do I ramble like that one?

You get the idea.

I had to laugh when I came across this video today. I have certainly been in prayer circles when some of this stuff has happened. I just had to share it with you.



If you are having trouble viewing this video, click here.

Have a beautiful day :-)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday's Treats ~Vanilla Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting

I love cake. It makes my belly very, very happy.

The thing about cake is that there is just so much of it.

But cupcakes are a perfect size and I can eat one almost guilt free.

The other day I whipped up a batch of cupcakes for a friend of mine who is so encouraging and supportive of me and my baking endeavours. So, I thought she and her family would enjoy these.



You'll Need:
1 vanilla cake mix
1 cup of butter, softened
8 cups of confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 a cup of milk

Step One:
Prepare and bake cupcakes as per the instructions on the box

Step Two:
In a mixing bowl, cream butter. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency

Step Three:
Divide frosting into bowls. Add food colouring to each bowl. Fill decorating bags with coloured frosting. Using a 1M tip, pipe frosting onto cupcake

A super easy way to make pretty and delicious cupcakes!

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Making Hair Bows

Julie has been asking me to make her some hair bows recently, so I decided that yesterday was the day.

I waited until Jordan went down for her nap before I pulled out all my stuff and got to work.



I was watching tutorials on YouTube and tweeting on my laptop while I worked.

Just an FYI... people shouldn't use glue guns unless they know what they're doing. And by people I mean me.

I bought these letters with the intent to make bow holders for Julie and Jordan. I was pretty impressed that they worked out.



Not that it was a terribly difficult thing to try, but I was feeling mighty crafty at that point.

And here are the bows I made...

















Hardly perfect, but they'll do for what I need them for. The girls loved them.

And here are the bows on the girls' bow holders.



And now I can pack away my glue gun until my poor fingers heal!

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