Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The light is there....

For the last few weeks, I've felt I'm in a long tunnel and that light at the end...it's called summertime.  Don't get me wrong, I've been enjoying every day, it's just that we've been so busy I haven't had time to do anything other than enjoy what I'm doing that second and then prepare for the next thing we've got to do.  Short rundown since my last post:

--6 teeball games in a week (including 3 on a Saturday).  We took home the 2nd place trophies.

--Some big decisions to consider about our future (nothing serious or life-changing, just one of those parts of life when stuff comes up you've got to think about, and I mean really talk it out and think about.)

--Playing hooky from school with 2 kiddos on a trip to the big city to buy birthday party goodies.

--2 days spent in the school Book Fair running the cash register.  I don't even want to say how much we spent on books.  And Emma's already read everything we bought at least once!  That girl is a reading speed demon!

--Water Day at school for my little guy.  They got a BIG waterslide and down we went!  It was so fun.  And yes, I went too.  Who wouldn't want to go down a big waterslide when you're at school??

--A finished ruffle tunic for a giveaway winner and a sewing fail on a baby skirt for a friend...

--A birthday party for my favorite girl who is having a birthday tomorrow.  We went with a Rainbow Fairy theme (from the Scholastic book series) and I've got plenty of pictures to show later this week.  Imagine 15 kids aged 4-10 all swimming in our pool at one time.  CRAZINESS!!

--A visit from Grammy, Pa, and Uncle Jay for said party.  Aunt Carrie & Uncle Serge and Grandma 'Lena were there too but they live here so they didn't spend the night...

--Another swimming party with 15 crazy teeballers at our house (2 days after the bday party.)

--Celebrating the freedoms of our country because of the sacrifices of so many brave men and women in our armed forces.

--Making my Silhouette earn it's keep printing and cutting multiple decorations for both parties!

  School lets out next Thursday.  Until then I've got birthday cupcakes to make, a hair appointment for my favorite girl (more on that later), a pre-k graduation, a 1st grade awards ceremony, 2 end-of-the-year parties, and lots and lots of smiles!

  I could go crazy with all I've got going on, but I'd rather enjoy it all and be glad with the life God blessed me with.  I am eternally grateful for all that He has given me and I couldn't ask for more.  My cup runneth over...

P.S.  As school winds down, I'll have more sewing time to show off some ideas I've got in the works.  I'll also give more details on Emma's party...I feel that I am finally reaching the end of my creative drought and can see the light ahead.  This girl is ready to get out into that light and start creating again!

P.P.S.  My beautiful sister Carrie started her own blog about her life including recipes, things she finds interesting and the journey she and her wonderful husband are on to become parents.  Check it out here!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm alive!

Hey all,
  I promise I am still alive despite the lack of posts.  I've been going through a creative drought...not that I don't have a ton of things I want to make, I'm just lacking the drive to do them.  And I've learned that it's best to leave the creating till my drive comes back.  So I took a break from blogging, but not just my blog, reading blogs too.  I'm sure my Google Reader is so full I'll never get through them all and just start deleting, but sometimes living in the moment and letting creativity come back to me is what I need.  And then when blogger went down last week I used that as an excuse not to blog...didn't want to lose any important posts about nothing, right?
  But a lack of creative mojo hasn't slowed down life any...3 tee ball games, a field day, sewing lesson, a croupy-cough kid, one very important AP test Chris and his kids have been studying for, and Mothers Day to name a few things on my plate in the last week.
  I promise, I'll be back soon.  I've got a few things to finish up and then show off including a quilt top, clothing, birthday party to plan, and maybe a new quilt in the design stages...  Until then, I'll leave you with this:

   This boy right here is leading our team in outs (I mean getting them, not making them), but he always has a smile on his face and makes all of the parents laugh with his antics.  I think I'll keep him.  This may be the only picture from the whole season where he looks serious.  He got on base yesterday, and when he got there he put his arms up and yelled "Oh, yeah!  Oh, yeah!"  He's an all-star in his own mind and that's not such a bad thing!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday Munchies

Hey y'all, I'm finally back.  Between getting the phone line fixed and Mother's Day Weekend, I'm just now sitting down at my computer.
  I thought today I'd share the recipe I made for the kids' teachers last week for Teacher Appreciation Week.   I had some ricotta in the fridge I wanted to use up earlier in the week, so I made these awesome lemon muffins from Giada.  The kids LOVED them (and I did too), so I made them again, but added poppyseeds and baked them in loaf pans.  Then I just sliced them in thick slices and wrapped them up, coffeehouse style.  This bread is great because it's not too sweet but definitely very tasty.  It's excellent warmed just a little with a slather of butter.  And since I upped their nutrition a little by using whole wheat flour and cutting back on the sugars, I didn't figure that butter was all that bad!  ;)
I used my Silhouette to make labels for each gift.  The back was the same scalloped circle but said Thanks for being my teacher.  I couldn't come up with anything cute at 11:30 p.m.!  
So here's the recipe (with my changes in blue)...

Nonna's Lemon Ricotta Biscuits

From Giada de Laurentiis at Food Network


I doubled the the recipe to make 2 loaves.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ( I used half ap flour and half whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar or more as needed for sprinkling (I used about a cup and a half and used turbinado sugar for sprinkling--about a tablespoon or so, I didn't measure)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)  (I used 1 lemon, I don't have a nice zester and I was lazy!)
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese  (I used part-skim milk ricotta)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds  (I left these out since some people don't like nuts)


Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  (I used 2 loaf pans sprayed with Baker's Joy)
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended (the batter will be thick and fluffy).
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the almonds and then the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar over the muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes. (I baked my loaves for about an hour.) Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Like I said, these were delicious, so if you're in the mood from something light and yummy, give this a try!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

She sees...

**ETA:  I'm online until my phone line dies again, so I'm trying to edit the photos and make this look a little neater...you don't realize how much you depend on your phone and internet connection until you don't have them available.  Thank the Good Lord above for my smart phone or I'd be having withdrawls and be no fun to be around!! ;)  **

Hey, y'all.  I am having phone line issues (like no home phone service since Sunday) so blogging is out the window since my pics are all in my computer.  This is from my phone so it may be the only post you get from me till the problem is solved...so please excuse all of the formatting issues and pictures at the end instead of throughout the text.
Today's post is a personal one.  No crafty projects involved, but important nonetheless.  Its a letter to my daughter.  I wrote it to scrapbook, but I thought I'd share it here too since many of my readers know & care about Emma too...
Emma, you got your new glasses yesterday.  We’ve been waiting for about 3 weeks for them.  You’ve been hoping they’d take longer to come in because you’re anxious about what it will be like to wear them and how people will treat you regarding them.  We’ve been impatient because we know your quality of life will improve when you can see all that you’re looking at.  It’s easier to reach your goals, physically and metaphorically, when you can clearly see all that is in front of you.
You were taking a much needed nap yesterday afternoon when Daddy brought home the glasses.  We were headed to eat supper with Aunt Carrie so he woke you up and we put them on you.  I had tears of joy and took about 12 pictures.  Daddy was beaming with pride looking at your beautiful self.  You were grouchy and self conscious.  I posted this picture on facebook and immediately our friends and family started responding with comments on how beautiful you looked and are. 
The comments helped and time will too.  I walked you to class this morning and I was so proud of you.  You seemed much more confident today.  When we put them on this morning, you seemed to just straighten your shoulders, accept your new responsibility and move on.  I love that about you.  You seem so frail and fragile at times, but underneath, there is a core of steel inside of you determined to win in whatever you take on.  I saw you walk straight backed past all of your friends to the end of the line outside Mrs. P’s door.  Almost daring someone to say something to you in your kind & quiet way.
I keep looking at this picture and the one Aunt Carrie took of you smiling last night.  I keep thinking about you and wondering how your day is going.  Day one, in a journey that will last the rest of your life.  I smile a bittersweet smile each time I look at your beautiful face adorned with those cute glasses.  It is bittersweet because I am so proud of you and love you so much.  But to see you accepting what life gives you and moving forward means you are growing, and while that makes me proud, it also makes me a little sad that my sweet baby girl is no longer a baby.  My strong little girl is becoming a strong big girl and I fear that before I turn around twice, you will be a strong teenager and then adult.
Always remember to smile, baby girl.  Always remember that while every situation has both bad and good, it is so important to see the good.  And now that you can see clearly, I pray that you always see the good, just as we always see it in you.