Friday, May 27, 2011

Que Sera, Sera {& Friday Favorites}

Little Man's been fighting a fever since yesterday evening. Poor little guy-- it reached 102 today. It's been a trying 24 hours... one where he's gagged on medicine, spit up in my hair, I haven't slept or showered. Yuck! So, after an afternoon filled with non-stop crying; wanting to stay latched on while he sleeps; screaming whenever I came at him with a washcloth, I was at the end of my rope. At which point, Eliana decided to dump every toy in existence all over the floor for the umpteenth time today and I lost my cool. Not good, my friends. Jesse and Momma stepped into help with the kids this evening so I could collect myself and apologize where needed. Hopefully everyone forgives me by tomorrow and we can start anew.

So, in happier news... Making it lovely is offering a free downloadable print. (I think it may end up in my kitchen sometime soon.) Pretty, pretty!

And here's my Friday Favorites this week! It's been so long since I've done a treasury, but I sure love the stuffs in this one! In my imagination, this is the stuff I'd wear day after day... but then reality hits and I pull on the same old t-shirts I always do. I want to dress like I've stepped out of an Anthropologie catalog, but let's face it, when you get urped on 20 times a day, wearing an outfit that is equivalent to my weekly wage really isn't a good idea. Still, some of these are a bit more affordable and might be nice on those days where I hope not to get urped on 20 times.

Here's hoping for at least a rainbow tomorrow, if not day after day! Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eating our Veggies... and Liking It

I'll admit it. My kids don't eat veggies like they oughtta. I blame this solely on Jesse, who didn't even eat onions before I met him. (Weirdo.) Me, I love 'em all, brussel sprouts, spinach, green beans, eggplant. you name it! Anyway, it's a pain to get them to eat 'em and so there are plenty of days where we just don't get in all our five fruits 'n veggies... which when I was sleeping has been raised from five to seven or nine! What!?! When did that happen?

So in an effort to get more in what do I do? I cover em up with what ever will sell the kids (and hubby). In this case butter and sugar. :) It's a give and take right?

One of my favorites to find at the Farmer's market on Saturday mornings is Rhubarb. I love, LOVE it! And didn't realize until after I was married that not everyone was aware of this wonderfully tart veggie! (It really does have to be combined with sugar to make it edible.) Anyhoo... when Jesse and I moved to San Antonio it was nearly impossible to find and when I finally did find it, it took the grocer forever to figure up how to ring it up because not only did she not know what it was, it wasn't on her little fruits and veggie code list. Which made me sad for her because she's missing out on such a wonderfully beautiful veggie.

So, lest anyone else out there does not know about Rhubarb, here it is. Looks a lot like celery, except it often turns this beautiful bright red.

Which reminds me of this pretty Coral Bell I bought the other day- Crème Brûle. Pretty, huh? Okay, back to the subject at hand.

During the summer, Rhubarb Crisp is a staple. You need about a pound. Cut off the ends and then cut it into half-inch pieces. Then throw it in a pie plate.

Next, in a separate bowl add the following: a 1/2 cup of softened butter (I believe in using salted butter.)

Add a half cup of packed brown sugar and a quarter cup of sugar. (Or if you're like me and your pantry hasn't recovered from making sticky-buns, then use 3/4 cup of sugar. Oops!)

Next add a cup of oatmeal.

A 1/4 cup of flour.

And about 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

Cut with a pastry blender until mixed well.

Sprinkle over the top of your rhubarb.
 And...gasp! throw it in the microwave for 12-15 minutes... because who has time in the morning to wait for breakfast to bake?

We pour milk or (if I have it) whipping cream on top of ours. Yum!  So, for all you Rhubarb virgins out there... off to the market! (You have to try it at least once.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My kids waited in anticipation for their Yaya and Grandpa to pick them up...

they have a surprise in store. Only the grown-ups know their destination: the circus!

My almost 5-years-old has a circus themed room-- but has never been. Sad, I know. I'm a bad, bad momma. Pointing to the acrobats in his room: "What are these people, Mama?" How do you explain acrobats to a kid? It's much better to show him, I'm sure. So when my dad asked if they could take Diego and Eliana, I was glad... glad they'll finally understand his room.

After reading this post, I teased my parents that they were taking them to the same circus... I don't really think it's the same company. Hopefully there's more animals than a boston terrier. Oh my! that story made me laugh and cry. Either way, I'm sure they'll be thrilled... now freedom for me! (For a few hours at least.)

Hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Our dear friend Emily has come over to spend the day playing with the kids. Diego loves all the extra attention and is getting his share of chutes and ladders in... can I tell you how much I hate that game? So glad it's her and not me. And so glad that she loves my kiddos so much that this is the way she wants to spend her free time.

It gives me time to sort through emotions. The sadness of leaving my job and the kiddos I've come to love so much over the past three years... the joy of getting to be a full-time stay-at-home mom. The fear of all the what-ifs of having no stable income of my own... the excitement of getting to home-school next year.

We've also decided to step away from the church where I've been working. There are several reasons for doing so, but much of it lies in that's how Jesse and I believe that new ministers can work best... there's no fear of offending previous ministers (me, in this case) with changes, no awkwardness, no struggle to compete for the allegiance of the people in the church, and (for me) no struggle for independence from the position. It's what Jesse's and my parents have both modeled in their ministry jobs... and also what we feel God calling us to do. So after much prayer, we both feel confident that stepping away is the best thing to do, but it gives me yet another great amount of emotions to sort through. Sad to leave so many friends and family who attend our current church; anxious to find a new church that will be a good match for our little family. Prayer, people, we need lots of prayer right now. If you'd remember us.

Lots of crazy emotions. So what do I do? Sort. Sort through emotions. Sort through my kitchen. The spices are getting a new home on my walls... on these vintage trays I found at the flea market yesterday. (There's no longer room for them in their regular spot since the double oven went in.)

Sorting through coffee stuff and moving syrups into the basket that used to hold spices.

It'll go to the right on the wall once the battery for the drill is charged. And sorting through the coffee stuff to make room for the blender because it was displaced when we moved the microwave--which was also moved because of the double oven.

Sorting through my vintage finds.

Trying to decide what will go in my etsy shop when I open it in June. There's lots of fun stuff!

There's much sorting of things to be done.... the perfect time to sort my feelings and lay them at the feet of Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, for knowing our future and holding it in Your capable hands! You are good to me!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Whee! I found a new free sketch site I love lots... here's my first go:

Check it out-- Odosketch!

Happy Sketching!

Sticky-Bun Winner!

We have a winner! 
Congrats, cholley! Who said: "I follow your blog!!! And I love cinnamon rolls!!!" (And who's already been up and sending messages this morning to see if she'd won!) Cathy- I was still in bed... yesterday was long but good! I'll call you and arrange a drop off time today!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm in Love!

{This give-away is closed! Looking for the winner? Click here!}

With my husband... even though he tried to kill me last night by playing country music within my hearing range. I've forgiven him.

Because today he installed this! 

And what have I been up to tonight you might ask?

Bring it on! My new oven can hold 28!!! of these pans at once. But I didn't make that many, a girl should set limits!

Nope, I'm a reasonable girl, so I only made 24 pans.

But one of these pans doesn't have a name attached to it yet! So, if you live in the Wichita area (sorry out of town friends, I truly wish I had the gas allowance to deliver further away!) and would like your own pan delivered to you on Thursday-- register for a give away!

Here's how:
1- Follow me through blogger.
2- Like my facebook page.
3- Follow my blog through Networked Blogs.
4- Share this giveaway link through facebook or Twitter.

Then, leave me one comment below for each thing you do and you'll have up to 4 chances to win this gooey goodness delivered straight to your home! Yummo! I'll end the contest at 10 pm tomorrow night, good luck!

Now, if only I can find a bigger mixer...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Snapshots

Today is a beautiful day.

The kids are outside soaking in the sun.

Jesse's working on the jeep.

Cruz is in his exersaucer watching Jesse work on his Jeep.

And what am I doing? I'm stuck inside trying to figure out how to use QuickBooks. Boo.

My consolation is this double oven!!! that will go in sometime... not really sure when. But! can we say twice as many sticky-buns? Well, we'll see! Anyway. I guess that makes my day a little better... now, off to do more accounting. Bleh!

Have a Super Sunday, folks!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hedgehogs and Clean Nails

Ever been somewhere with three kids by yourself when one decides to get sick? Well, if you haven't, count yourself lucky. What was supposed to be a happy time at my friend's surprise party quickly turned sour when Diego told me he was going to puke.

We were at an office (so sorry, SHS!) so I quickly asked where the ladies room was, grabbed Diego by one hand, lugged Cruz with me in the crook of my arm and ditched Eliana. (Who fortunately was unaware that I had left the premises without telling her where I was going because she was wrapped up in the eating a cupcake.) We open the door to the ladies room and he spews... all over a 3-years-old girl who happened to be standing directly behind the door. Lovely.

A great deal of apologizing and cleaning ensued... fortunately 3-years-old girl's mom had a friend with a child with an extra set of clothing for her to wear. And she was immensely forgiving of the entire situation and volunteered to hold Cruz after her daughter had been cleaned so I could begin to clean Diego and the bathroom... well, clean as best as you can clean with out cleaning supplies.

Needless to say, our party stay was short-lived and I left feeling silly for thinking I could handle taking 3 kids to a party by myself. I'm a silly, foolish woman, I tell you. I came home tired, dirty, frustrated and with a sick boy. Boo.

Next day, I find Diego (who constantly has dirty nails no matter how hard I try--what is it about boys and their nails?) scrubbing away with his hedgehog nailbrush. I can't tell you how many times I've talked to him about cleaning his nails because germs in dirty nails can make you sick. Never has mattered to him. But here he was scrubbing away.

Me: What you doing?

Diego: Cleaning my nails so I feel better.

Me: It makes you feel better to clean your nails?

Diego: Yeah, after they're all clean, I won't feel sick anymore.

Me: Really? Okay. (I help him until the doorbell rings. We stop and answer the door. I begin to chat with my mom until Diego starts to whimper.)

Diego: I'm going to demp (his work for vomit) because these two nails are still dirty and making me sick!

Me: Okay, let's go finish up so you'll feel better.

He's been all better since. :) My mom tells me I'm going to make him OCD if I let him continue to believe he'll be sick if his nails aren't clean, but for the first time ever I have a boy that wants to keep his nails clean. So, what's a girl to do?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Diane's Sticky-Buns

My poor Aunt Diane received the nickname Nine when I was too small to speak correctly. And it stuck. It's one of the downfalls of being a beloved aunt with a terrific sense of humor... just ask my sister why my kids call her Biscuit. Anyway, Nine is a multi-talented woman who has a knack for baking, teaching, gifting, crafting, and loving on kids... and they love her right back!

Anyway, long before I was born :) my granny, Marilyn Gardner, took many of her old family recipes and made them into collections which she sold to earn some extra income for my great-grandmother, Carrie Black. Several of Nine's recipes also made it into the collection. Today, I'm going to share one of her recipes that I've used numerous times and always love. I promise you'll love it too!

Diane’s Sticky-Buns

1st Ingredients:
1            Yeast packet (or a scant tablespoon)
1            Cup water (not hot)
1/2         Cup scalded milk             
1/2         Teaspoon salt
5            Tablespoons sugar
3            Cups flour

Mix first two ingredients and set aside. 

Pour scalded milk over salt and 1 Tablespoon of sugar in a large bowl.  
(Scalded milk is frothy... it's the point it reaches just before it boils.)

Cool to lukewarm and add softened yeast.  Sift flour and remaining 4 Tablespoons of sugar into mixture, beating thoroughly until dough is smooth.  (Should fall from the spoon in sheets.)  Place in a large greased bowl, grease top of dough.

Cover with a dry towel and place in a warm place until dough doubles in bulk (30-60 minutes). Punch down.

2nd Ingredients:
1/2         Cup scalded milk
4            Tablespoons sugar
2            Well beaten eggs
1/2         Cup melted butter

Mix second set of ingredients and add to dough.  

Stir in approximately 3 cups of flour--enough to form a ball that does not stick to bowl.  Turn out on a floured surface and allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes.  Then, knead dough until elastic and smooth, with small blister evenly distributed under the surface.  Again, place in grease bowl with towel in warm place to rise.  While dough is rising prepare the next ingredients.

3rd Ingredients (Sprinkle mixture):
8             Tablespoons sugar
3             Teaspoons cinnamon
               Raisins (if you're so inclined)

Combine together.  This will be used to sprinkle on both portions of the rolled dough

4th Ingredients (Brown sugar mixture):
2             Cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2      Cups butter or margarine
1            Cup chopped pecans or Eng. walnuts (if you like that sorta thing)
4            Tablespoons granulated sugar
2            Tablespoons water
2            Teaspoons cinnamon

Stir over low heat and when melted pour into 2 rectangular pans large enough to hold 15 rolls each.  Set aside.  Set oven for 375° and adjust racks.
 (In this case, we used 6 bread pans... and make 18 large rolls with each recipe.)

When dough has risen again, divide into two portions.  On floured surface roll each portion into rectangles of 1/4” thickness.  Grease surface of each lightly with butter.  Then cover each lightly with butter.  Then cover each surface with the “sprinkle mixture.”  
(Here's our sprinkle mixture on the rolled out dough-- I usually leave out the raisins when I'm giving them as gifts because people either love 'em or hate 'em.)

Roll each rectangle into a log, lengthwise, and press edge to dough. 

Cut with sharp knife into 1 1/2” slices.  Each roll should give 15 slices.  Place cut side up on brown sugar mixture in pans.  Cover pans again and place in warm place to rise.  When double in bulk bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Invert pans immediately onto rectangles of aluminum foil or a platter.  
(9 inch cake rounds can be used instead of rectangular pans... just cut each dough roll into 9 rolls instead of 15.)

Let stand only a few seconds before lift pans.  If ever the pans on inverted foods will not come loose try rewarming the pans and usually they will slip right off.  
(Usually I don't add the nuts into the brown sugar mixture because I do one pan with and one with out... instead I pour the brown sugar mixture into the pan. add nuts then placed the sliced rolls into the pan to rise.)

"These freeze nicely when cooled.  If you are in a hurry, boxes of hot roll mix can be substituted, but if you want the “real thing” these can’t be beat.  When you make these it is a good idea to figure your needs and increase the quantity by half because people do eat more of them than usual." -Granny

Some tips: This recipe takes a while... it just does. So do yourself a favor and at least double it. I know, I know, who needs 60 Sticky-Buns?  Certainly not me and my thighs! But I can always think of someone to share with! Having a hard time finding a warm place in your home? I always warm my oven to about 200 and then shut it off... and then stick my dough bowl in the oven to rise. It also seems to speed the rising process a bit.

Alright, now you have it.... just for the weekend. So if you're not busy, now you'll have something to do! Have a Fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When Life Gives You Rhubarb

Never eat Rhubarb by itself. Unless you're a mean parent who likes to get a laugh out of your kids funny faces. (Ahem....Mom.)

But bake it with some other choice ingredients and you can turn something rather sour into something pretty sweet... Rhubarb Crisp! Yummo!

And that's just the reminder that I needed this morning.

Because this is what's in the forecast for the evening. Apparently the Weather Channel storm chasers are headed to our city right now. That's not a good sign, is it? And that, my friends, is what we call a dilemma.

Do I cancel our last night ministry night together or risk having to keep kids in a basement until 11pm?

How about making it into something more lovely... say, another week with (hopefully) better weather?

I'll add a latte in my favorite (new) cold cup to that. I'm going need it today. Rescheduling means more work. Calling parents and volunteers. Making new plans, creating new permission forms, chasing down parents and getting them to sign new forms. But still better than a tornado holding us all hostage in a basement tonight.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday and please keep us all in your prayers!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just Be Good

I met one last time with a group 4th and 5th graders this past week. We were supposed to be discussing our fears and how to turn them over to God. But one of the boys told me he was afraid he was going to hell. So I asked for volunteers to share with him what you needed to go to Heaven. The overwhelming answer (one out of 9 children) answered: "Be Good!"

Garhhh! Even the little girl who's grown up in the church, been baptized, and has a  grandfather who's a pastor answered incorrectly. We stopped the whole lesson and went back to the same basic that I've probably covered 10 times this year.

No one is good enough but Jesus. You have to be perfect in order to go to Heaven... and that leaves everyone out but Him. That's why He died. Our sins mean a debt of death. But when He died as us on the cross, He took our sins upon Him so that we can receive His free gift of grace (unmerited forgiveness). Then, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus' righteousness upon us. How do we receive his grace? Repent of our sins. And believe in Jesus as God's son and that He died on the cross for your sins and confess that He is Lord.

After that evening I was struck with how easy it is for them to believe that they have to do something to get to heaven. After most of the room responded that they need to be good, I asked them to dig deeper and try to remember what the Bible told us to do to become a Christian. They came up with a plethora of things to do: Worship, Obey the Ten Commandments, Go to Church, Read your Bible, etc. But again, these are good things you do. The world is constantly telling us that we need to earn our way to Heaven. All other religions give you a list of things to do to get into Heaven: Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, the list goes on... but that is what sets Christianity apart. It gets to the core of the matter. We can never attain a way to be sinless on our own... it's a futile endeavor.  But that's what the world tells us we must do and that's why it's so easy for those kids to believe it even though they've heard otherwise numerous times.

Even if you've been a Christian for years, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut of being good for all the wrong reasons. We have a list of things we must do because they are right and then we struggle to do them. That's because we're trying to live under Legal Mortification... instead we need to live under Gospel Mortification-- obedience to God out of response to our thankfulness for His grace. When we're doing good because that's what Christians do, then we're trying to do it on our own. (And we're going to fail... and be frustrated that we're failing in self-righteousness!) When we are obedient in response to God's love and grace, we may still fail. But we won't be as frustrated because it will be an opportunity to once again preach the Gospel to ourselves! Thank you, Jesus, for Your grace again and again.

(Just a random photo I've never shared... aren't they cute? I'm looking forward to not leaving them for 8 hours straight every Wed.)

One more Wednesday (tomorrow) until the Wednesday night ministry I've been directing wraps up. It'll be bitter-sweet. I'm looking forward to being a full-time SAHM and focusing my energy on my own kiddos but will miss the kiddos I've had a chance to love on this year. We'll have a pool party if the weather agrees... I do know how desperately everyone here needs rain, but if God would allow for a couple of hours of decent weather so the kids can splash in the pool, it'd sure be swell! Please pray for a few hours of calm weather if you remember. Thanks and love!