Thursday, December 31, 2015

More Family

I love having lots of siblings. It is so much fun to see everyone. 

Uncle Josh and Aunt Sarah came for dinner last night. As soon as Martin heard they were coming he ran to his closet and found "them". He set them at their places around the dinner table so they would know where to sit when they arrived. 

My sister made these for Martin this year so he would remember them while they are far away. Aren't they great?!? 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Street Sweeper

Why does the street sweeper always come the day before they collect the trash? 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


What do you do with lots of new homemade jelly to use? 
You make your husband's favorite Christmas cookies! 

Rainy Day Fun

I covered the boys' lamp with some fun ikea fabric. 

In used to look like this. It had a bunch of yellow stains on it. I am not sure where they came from. 

We collected all the trash, which you can see in that photo sitting by the back door waiting to go outside. 

I made grape jelly out of some purple grape juice that I had bought, but realized it was a terrible idea to let the boys drink. It leaks everywhere and stains everything. We only drink juice when we are sick (and I usually make their cups 2/3rds water). Recently, after they found out that Jared eats pb&js, they both have decided it is their favorite food. So, hopefully this jelly sets and I can use it for there lunches.  

Monday, December 14, 2015


This is one of our favorite dinners. It tastes better and is cheaper than a restaurant. Cooking makes me happy. It is science experiments you can eat! 
Also, notice the polish pottery! It adds so much to a meal. Lettuce
Sour cream
Pico de gallo
Mexican rice
Chicken Enchiladas

Yum. I will get around to posting the recipe for these eventually... 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bias Tape Maker

A sneak peak of an apron I am making for Christmas and some freshly made coordinating bias tape. 

This is one of my favorite sewing tools. 
Simply cut the matching fabric, feed it through this tool, iron it, iron it in half, and you have bias tape! This is so much cooler than the boring solid color bias tape they sell in stores. 

Also, Michelle should pick out fabrics for me all the time because these are awesome together. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

End of semester cleaning

During the semesters I let things pile up. This picture was taken after some decluttering had already happened, but you get the picture. You never know when you will need something. If I move it I usually forget where I put it. So, I just leave it for 16 weeks. I have done this since college. 

At the end of each semester it feels great to throw away all those papers that have been collecting and shelf the books. 

That makes me happy. 

Ps. It has so been two weeks since I cleaned my house due to a really busy week last week and illness. It really needed it. We have spent most of today cleaning (or taking books off the shelf...if you are the boy who knows better...but he has cleaned up every mess whe has made today). 

Boxes and books

Books and boxes - we love them both! And yes, that is my cabbage patch doll. The baby thinks it is hilarious to poke his eyes, nose, and mouth. 

I was just thinking that I have never taken the boys to the library... But when you own so many good books, what is the point when they are little? Should I take them? 

Monday, December 07, 2015

Sarlacc Cake

I ended all my cooking and baking this weekend with this beauty, a buttery cake smothered in caramel sauce (made with coconut milk) and some English cookie crumbs. It was incredibly rich. It happens to also look like the Sarlacc pit monster thing in episode VI in Star Wars, which we watched this weekend with our friends. :) 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Peppermint and Chocolate

Merry Christmas!! 

They are as good as they look. :) 

Wednesday, December 02, 2015


I am helping to throw a Christmas party for our ESL students this week. We are using:
51 pounds of green beans
4 pounds of bacon
12 pounds of Stuffing
40 pounds of turkey
50 pounds of sweet potato casserole
A few chocolate covered pretzels
24 Chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese peppermint frosting
And lots of Christmas cookies!!

Even with buying the turkey, cooked for us by a local restaurant, we are only spending about $3 a person on food. 

We are giving away various Christmas things as door prizes. The boys and I spent all of Monday morning searching for stars, Angels, mini Christmas trees, candy canes, etc. It is extremely hard to find Angels that don't look goofy. Why is that? And advent calendars, especially nativity advent calendars are nearly impossible to find. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

This isn't paper...

We have a rule in our house that you can only use scissor to cut paper, not books, not fabric, and not tape measures...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Little buddy

We hung out together just him and me while Jared was out a few nights ago. He's a jolly, sweet little baby. 

He is also a big fan of the magnetic blocks, trains, and Tinkertoys... When he gets a chance to touch them. :) It is a rough life being a younger child. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I was reading in 1 Thessalonians a few days ago and was convicted by something I had never noticed before. The letter is a pleasant one in contrast to Galatians (which I am reading in Bible Study). Paul commends the the Thessalonians for their example to other Christians. He thanks God for them. However, it struck me in chapter 4, that although they are doing a great job and setting an example for others, they still have work to do. Paul exhorts them twice in that chapter “to do so more and more”.

1 Thessalonians 4:1
“Finally, brothers we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that you received from us how you ought to love and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.”

How often I am satisfied with good enough. God calls me to holiness. Holiness is a high calling, one that I can never reach without the saving power of God. Yet, it is one that I am to strive for. I am so often happy that I am not as bad as _____. But that is not what Jesus is calling me to. He is calling me to be like Him. He is perfect. How easy it is for me to forget this.

I close with a few verses from chapter 5. It is full of action words, which means that I should be doing something. I have to seek holiness. I can't just live my life how I want and wait for holiness to find me. Seek to do good. Hold fast to what is good. Abstain from evil.
How are you doing? Be encouraged with the following verses. If you are like me, you know you need a lot of work, but God is faithful. He will bring us to completion in Him. Press on.

1 Thessalonians 5:11, 14 - 21
“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
And we urge you brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with then all.
Seek to do good to everyone.
Rejoice always.
Pray without ceasing.
Give thanks in all circumstances.
Hold fast to what is good.
Abstain from what is evil.”

And a verse from a hymn by Horatius Bonar:

This is not my place of resting,Mine’s a city yet to come;Onward to it I am hasting,On to my eternal home.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Look to Jesus!

Well, igrace has done it again. Their new album is amazing! It is challenging and encouraging. This is the title track. We have been listening to it on repeat today. 

Joseph Swain
Kevin Twit

1. Come ye souls by, sin afflicted,
Bowed with fruitless, sorrow down;
By the broken, law convicted,
Through the cross, behold the crown;
Look to Jesus; Look to Jesus; Look to Jesus; 
Mercy flows through Him alone.

2. Take His easy, yoke and wear it;
Love will make your, obedience sweet;
Christ will give you, strength to bear it,
While His grace, shall guide your feet
Safe to glory, Safe to glory, Safe to glory, 
Where His ransomed captives meet.

3. Blessèd are the, eyes that see Him,
Blest the ears that, hear His voice;
Blessèd are the, souls that trust Him,
And in Him, alone rejoice;
His commandments, His commandments, His commandments 
Then become their happy choice.

4. Sweet as home to, pilgrims weary,
Light to newly, opened eyes,
Like full springs in, deserts dreary,
Is the rest, the cross supplies;
All who taste it, All who taste it, All who taste it 
Shall to rest immortal rise.

Tag: Look to Jesus; Look to Jesus; Look to Jesus; 
Mercy flows through Him alone.

Monday, November 16, 2015


On the way home from the baby's checkup he fell asleep. So, Martin and I stopped to watch a crane.
And eat apples. 

Also, I love these new carseats that we bought a few months ago! They are the radian by diono. They feel so solid. And look at those straps; I want comfy straps on my seatbelt. We just moved Warren up to his. He loves it. 

Dinner, a hotel, and a movie

Jared and I had a weekend away thanks to some dear friends giving us a gift card to a local hotel. The weather was amazing! We spent much of it walking outside in little shops and along the beach. It was just gorgeous outside! 

We went to one of our favorite restaurants and played cards while we waited for our food. Jared beat me in rummy twice!! 

I love that their plates don't match. Last time we went they gave Jared a Christmas plate. 

And we also did a puzzle and started on our Christmas shopping. It was so relaxing and wonderful. Thanks to my parents for watching the boys. 

On the way back home redbox sent me a free movie code, so we finished off the   weekend by watching the new Sherlock film with Ian McKellon. It was a decent Sherlock movie. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The whole afternoon.

The boys played together and I read a book the entire afternoon yesterday! I don't remember the last time I have been able to do that. It was lovely. I am so thankful life is slowing down a bit. 

Sometime before dinner we stopped to make some applesauce to go with our leftovers. I may have just eaten a bowl of applesauce for dinner. Fresh applesauce is only around for so long. 

We only made a small batch. 
This one had so much fun peeling apples. 

I've been making up for reading all afternoon yesterday. I have already unloaded and loads the dishwasher, stuffed diapers, made yogurt, made dinner, washed all the pans, cleaned the kitchen floor and all the cupboards, ran a load of clothes, cleaned the bathroom, and vacuumed. 

Now if I could just learn to keep the surfaces in my house clutter free. How do they always accumulate stuff? 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nautical Baby Shower Gifts

I bought this set of clothes before my sister found out the gender of the baby. It is a girl. So, I added a bow to the hat but I made it so that it could be easily seam ripped off in the future. 

I added a sailboat to the pants from scraps from the quilt I am making. 

And I made a shirt to go with the onsie.

And once again, I didn't take any photos of the shower. One of our friends and I made hot air balloons out of Chinese lanterns and little white cups. 

I sewed together a bunch of clouds. 
Ignore my messy sewing room...

And there were cream puffs. 

And the boys climbed in and out of drawers while we decorated. 

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Chicken broth

Hi. We opened a container of chicken broth and we are sticking our fingers in it and shaking it all over the floor. 

Those two. I love them. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Lab Answers 2015

Here are three of my favorite answers from this year's labs. 

Question: Discuss the importance of insulating from an environmental perspective.  

To strive for higher insulation levels and better energy performance, keep a constant energy constant and consistent. 

With environmental you save more energy for the environment.  

The more the heater/air conditioner works the more energy it takes to keep te appropriate temperature. The energy it takes to heat or cool the house comes from another energy source and went to keep the energy low. 

Shower decorations

Today is the first day, in what feels like forever, that the boys and I don't have to be anywhere! A whole day at home is such a treat. We are going to be spending the day working on decorations for my sister's shower this weekend. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Jolly baby

Jared had this Monday and Tuesday off work because his aunt and uncle were in town. We spent wonderful time with them both days they were here. But mostly we stayed at the house and relaxed (as much as you can with tooth pain). 

 I am so thankful that Jared was home this weekend and Monday and Tuesday as I am battling an abscess tooth and the boys both have had digestive problems. When it rains it pours. I am so grateful for a husband that cheerfully handles whatever is thrown at him. It wasn't the best way to spend a vacation. :) 

This is a photo of the very moment that the lady at Chick-fil-A told us that, "she looks just like her older brother". 

I just love the baby's face in this one. 

We have ESL, a harvest party, helping someone move, and a baby shower in the near future. So, I won't be blogging much for the next two weeks. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sewing - nautical girls bibs

My sister had her first shower last night at church. I made two bibs and a teether doll (Both boys have loved munching on the legs of the one I made them). I didn't have time to quilt the bibs, so I embroidered some little details on them while Jared and I did devotions Tuesday evening. 

It is funny how the boat turned out to be the nose of the doll. 

It is so great to be sewing again! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A prototype - shoe rack

I plan to make a less rustic one from dowels in the future. I have been planning to make one for 4 or 5 years now. 
I like it. It helps clean up the space. 

I left enough space under it for the boys' shoes or my flats. 

As you can see we had a lot of sticks in the backyard. They are all from one tree. All those games of playing "Indians" in the backyard as a child came in handy.  It was a beautiful day to be outside this afternoon. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

A new recipe

I don't often have recipe fails and often I can repair a mistake easily. Not this one. I failed in so many areas yesterday with this cake: it didn't rise, it stuck to the pan, it was crumbly, the icing melted, I got crumbs In the icing, and the cake tried to split and slide off the plate (since it was made from broken pieces). A complete disaster. But it was too late to make anything else, so I brought it to Sunday evening dinner.  

The chocolate flavor was amazing! 

This picture was taken after we came home because I was in such a rush leaving for church. Poor three layered chocolate cake. 

Friday, October 09, 2015

Two hundred and forty

I have so many thought rolling around my head that could be blog posts, but they require a real keyboard to type up. It just doesn't work on a phone. 

So, instead you get a sneak peak of my latest quilt. 
I have had to cut and draw lines on 240 of these little squares. It was a daunting project that I finally finished today. Now I just have to sew all 240 of those squares to bigger squares. :) 

Happy Friday! We have company coming this weekend. I have been de cluttering my sewing room. It feels so good to put stuff away or throw it away. I also listed 19 books on that have been sitting in a pile for two years waiting to be sold. I am glad some of them were worth something. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Dear children,
Aren't you glad your mom is an engineer? :) 

P. S. Maybe we'll build a tree fort next summer. After we finish the chicken coop in the shed. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Random ramblings

I love days where we have nothing to do (nothing can include grocery shopping and cleaning). I guess I mean days where we don't have to see anyone or be anywhere at a certain time. If you had asked me several years ago if I enjoyed just hanging out at my house, the answer would have been, "no!" During college I loved going places and doing things. Not now. Give me a sewing project or a good book or a favorite recipe! However, on the other hand, too many day without people and I get antsy. But too many days with people and I am worn out. I am split, but not evenly. Maybe 70% introverted and 30% extroverted or maybe 80/20.  I feel like so much of my life doesn't fall evenly into a category. Does anyone? Or are we all odd mixes of a bit of this and that? 

Moving on. I am so thankful when we can have the windows open!

Martin is "cooking". As long as the food stays in the containers and he puts everything back I don't have a problem with that. 

We woke up early this morning, went to the grocery store, put away all the groceries, made chili, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, made a lasagna as a meal for someone, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, and put away clothes so far. 

Still to do:
Make bread dough
Work on my newest quilt 
Go outside and play
Cook dinner 
Grade labs (that is probably overly ambitious).