Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Figgy Pudding

Both of my children put "figgy pudding" on their Christmas wish lists. I thought it was pretty cute that they were both interested in this old fashioned, traditional treat. So, I told them I would make it for them. But, what the heck IS figgy pudding? I started my quest on the Internet and basically found out that Figgy Pudding is a sort of steamed fruity cake. I found several "traditional" and "original" recipes and kind of combined them to make my own version (minus the steaming - no clue how to steam a cake). It tasted like a rummy, fruity, dense bread pudding. My kids were thrilled and everyone enjoyed it. (Except for my sister who I almost killed when I forgot I put pineapple in it. Sorry, sis - you can barely see the hives now!) Can't wait for next Christmas to make it again! :)




Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

A very merry and blessed Christmas to you and your families!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Bench

My mother and her best friend purchased twin benches when I was probably around 8 years old. A while ago. My mom loved it and she covered that bench, recovered it, and it followed us around the country to all our different homes. When my sister bought her own house four years ago she got the bench and covered it. Then, it ended up in my garage about a year ago. Until Today. I got it in my head that since it was just sitting in MY garage I might as well do something with it. I wanted to use it in my kitchen along one side of our table so that I can fit more folks around and free up more chairs. I had a JoAnn's coupon (and Black Friday weekend sales), so I dashed on over this morning and picked out some pretty cute fabric. Then came the work. Work I hadn't really planned on. Not fun work.

Here is the bench as it looked this morning. Not very cute.



First, I ripped off that awful fabric. And found this:



Yikes! Flash back to the early 80s! So, I pulled it off. (And by "pulled it off" I mean painstakingly used a tack puller to remove 2 frillion staples from the underside for EACH layer of fabric!) Only to reveal this:



Huh? Okay... Well, I actually love that bright orange vinyl, so I saved it for some future as-of-yet-unknown project. I threw out the old (but not THAT old, right?) foam and tossed about 10 pounds of tacks. Seriously, that stuff was on there GOOD.



I cleaned the bench, added new foam, and used my own limitless supply of staples to add first the fabric and then a layer of clear vinyl to make clean-up easy. (Apologies in advance to anyone who wants to recover it sometime in the future.)

I think it's pretty cute.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pika Party!

Bradley is into Pokemon right now, so he just had to have a Pokemon birthday party. Here is what the invitation looks like inside and out:




Everything was done with Stampin' Up!. I did the large circles with the Circle Scissors, and used SU punches and card stock, as well. My husband actually helped me come up with how it should open (Go, Mike!). Bradley loves them, and I'm sure his friends had fun opening them to see their own name in it.

Here are the cupcakes I made. I wish someone would teach me how to properly frost cupcakes so they look all smooth! Oh well, the 6-year-old boys didn't care what they looked like! :)



It was a great party, but exhausting! Having eight 5 and 6-year-old boys running around felt like having twenty of them. I can wrangle 19 girl scouts without issue - but those boys, wow! Bradley is already planning his next party - he can't decide between Cars 2 or Star Wars. He has plenty of time to decide!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Shrinky Dinks!

I found some Shrinky Dink plastic the other day when I was cleaning out my craft room, so I let the kids play with it. They had SO much fun tracing pictures from their books and coloring them. When they first watched them in the oven it was like watching a magic show - they were really impressed at how fast they shrunk and how it they retained all the color and detail.


Did you know you can make your own shrink plastic and recycle at the same time? If you get plastic containers (like from a salad bar or take-out restaurant), check the bottom. It must be number 6 plastic and it will have this symbol on the bottom: . But, you can use it the same way - cut it out, draw on it with permanent markers (or rough it up with sand paper first to use colored pencils on it) and bake it at 300 degrees for about 3 minutes. Fun, huh?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wall Art from Designer Paper



When I saw this designer paper I just knew I was going to make these for Chloe's room. It's called "Hoot Hoot" and it has the most darling little owls in it. I just painted the 6x6 canvases green, cut out the paper, and used Modge Podge to glue them down and coat them. I started with the 3, but I think I'll probably add 6 more to have a big square on her wall. She loves them, and I really like how they came out.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thrift Store Table Face Lift

My kids have been begging for a Lego table, but those bad boys are expensive! So, I was looking through our local thrift store and I found a great table (that I didn't take "before" pictures of because I'm a dork and I always forget to). It was ugly, dirty, dark brown, with plastic casters. But, it had a raised edge on the top and a great slanted shelf on the bottom I figured could be used to hold the Lego bins.

I spray painted it white (with several coats), used craft paint for the top, glued the plates down with Gorilla Glue, and voilla! (Plates found on ebay for $12 for all of them, free shipping.)

Their bins fit perfectly beneath and now the kids can build to their hearts' content. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

All About Chloe

Chloe had to do a big "All About Me" poster for school this week. (Yes, they assigned it on Monday and it is due on Friday - I don't know if I'm ready for 2nd grade!!) I let her pick out the pictures herself and she cut most of them out and used a ton of stuff from my craft room to design her masterpiece. :) If you have school aged kids, every time Hobby Lobby has their stickers on sale for 50% off, buy some! Chloe goes through a ton of them every year. I think she did a great job.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

AKA Birthday Card

One of my friends at work is an AKA girl and her office has a ton of pink and green, so I had to make her birthday card in her favorite colors. :)


The card stock, ribbon, and glitter (Dazzling Diamonds) are Stampin' Up! and I cut the shapes and layers with my Cricut Straight From the Nest and Elegant Edges carts.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School 2011



I got this idea from Zoot and I love it! A new first day of school tradition has begun. The kids worked on them last week and were pretty excited to show them off. I still can't believe how big they are.


Daddy walking them to the building.


Chloe did great - she gets to sit at the same table as one of her Girl Scout sisters. She was all, "Mom, you can leave now." Whatever! But Bradley, on the other hand... I wasn't prepared for him to cry. He had been in private pre-school and pre-k, he knew his teacher (she was Chloe's kinder teacher and he wanted to be in her class badly), he had a friend in the class, too. But, he cried and whispered for me not to leave him. So, of course, I had to desperately fight back my own tears. We had quite the puddle of sadness going on before Daddy swooped in to make everything better. Then I had to rush off to my own campus all raccoon-eyed to welcome my own students back. Tomorrow will be better, right?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Boing!



I took this picture of Bradley bouncing in a moon walk and I just had to share. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Teacher Gift

I made a whole bunch of these to give to the kids' new teachers in a few weeks (still cannot believe the summer is nearly over). I used my Cricut and the Doodlecharms cart for the shapes (except for the pencil that's an original design). Card stock, ribbon, designer paper, and punches are all Stampin' Up!





Friday, August 12, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Today Chloe ran up to me all excited. She had been playing with my punches (which can keep her busy for over an hour) and she brought me this:



She exclaimed, "I made a Mexican hat with two heart punches!" Gotta love it! :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

How to Keep a 5-year-old Busy for 2 Hours

Today at Vacation Bible School the kids were all given a big ziplock bag full of bread mix to make at home. Bradley asked if he could play kitchen with it. This is what happened...





He totally played with that flour for over two hours. Yes, he made a colossal mess, but he cleaned every speck of it up on his own. He had a wonderful time that I'm sure he won't forget. Completely worth the lingering smell of bakery!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I had scheduled a Father's Day Card workshop several weeks ago, before my father passed away. I went ahead and held the workshop, but it was a bit surreal. The guests had a great time, though, and the cards were really fun to make. My kids made some for their daddy, too, after everyone else left.




I couldn't ask for a greater daddy for my children. He is a wonderful provider and loves them to pieces. :)


(kids are still in their jammies, sorry!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Today my sweet little boy "graduated" from pre-k. I seriously cannot believe he is going to be in Kinder in the fall. How the heck did I let this happen? The program was darling and Bradley got his little diploma and an award for being the Best Speaker (imagine that).




And this is him with his "girl friend" - they've been friends for over 2 years now and will be in the same school together next year. They adore each other and are hoping and praying they get to be in the same class for kindergarten. Her mom and I think it will be cute to take another one just like this when they graduate from high school together, but that is something I cannot even imagine right now!



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Loss

Galen Southwick of Missouri City, Texas went to be with our Lord on Sunday, May 15, 2011, at the age of 66.


He is survived by his wife of almost 42 years, Sylvia Southwick.

Daughters:

Abra Leah and her husband Michael Cross, of Missouri City, Texas

Erin and her husband Daryl Keith Nicholas of Missouri City, Texas

Son:

Matthew Southwick, of Missouri City, Texas

Grandchildren:

Alexis, Alec, and Alyssa Nicholas

Chloe and Bradley Cross

Brother:

Jack Southwick and his wife, Jan, of Overland Park, Kansas.

Several nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews, and other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Ethyl Joyce Southwick.

Galen was born in Cherokee, Iowa on May 18, 1944. He graduated from California State University with a degree in History. He married his wife, Sylvia on July 26, 1969. He was retired after working for Nielsen & Bainbridge for over 30 years. He worked closely with the group Young Life both in Southern California and Fort Bend County. He loved to play golf, watch football, and was an avid bowler. As a Level Two bowling coach, he spent many years coaching his son and then continued coaching numerous other kids at AMF Stafford Lanes. He was also a mentor and coach for adults with disabilities with The Arc of Fort Bend. He enjoyed countless hours fishing with both his children and grandchildren. Ever the proud grandfather, he was always ready to share news about his grandchildren who filled his life with joy.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Crafting for Camping

I attended an "outdoor training" weekend for Girl Scout leaders and it was my job to make the recipe cards, kaper chart, and name tags. I somehow forgot to take a picture of the recipe cards and name tags, but I'll track them down and post them later. But, I have to say, we had a darn cute kaper chart courtesy of SU! paper, ribbon, and punches. lol


Here's a bonus picture of someone who was waiting for us near our campsite.



Yikes! The joys of camping!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Berry Picking

My Girl Scout troop used some of their cookie money to take a field trip to a local strawberry patch today. They got a little tour, learned how they grow the berries, and then got to pick their own little buckets full. They ended the trip with delicious homemade strawberry pies and they made their friendship circle around a 200-year-old pecan tree. Another successful girl scout day!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Baby Booty

One of my friends is having a pirate themed baby shower - adorable, right? So I had to make her a card worthy of such a fun event.

All materials are Stampin' Up! except for the dotted paper and I used SU! punches to create the die cut pirate baby. :)






Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bluebonnets 2011

Instead of trekking all about the country this year, we found an amazing bluebonnet patch about 5 miles from our house! I scouted it every day to see when there was lots of blooms and we were able to get some fantastic pictures.













Monday, March 7, 2011

Girl Scout Week

In honor of Girl Scout Week and the 99th Birthday of Girl Scouting, my Girl Scout troop researched how many teachers at their school used to be girl scouts. Then, at our meeting they made each teacher a button to wear during Girl Scout week to celebrate "once a Girl Scout, ALWAYS a Girl Scout." We got a ton of positive comments from the teachers and many of them wrote us stories of their special Girl Scouting memories. It was really sweet - I can't wait for next year and the 100th Year celebrations!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Diva

My daughter spent the night with her cousins and my sister straightened her hair. Now she's flipping it all over and running her fingers through it like some shampoo commercial. She's also giving me a running monologue of how much she loves it and oh-my-goodness she NEEDS a straightener and I MUST do this to her hair from now on. Sorry to disappoint her, but she is so not getting a straightener until she is in high school! She is just going to have to reconcile herself to the fact that she has curls that God gave her and that's that. But, she does look cute...








Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Get your cookies here!

It's Girl Scout Cookie season again and I thought I'd make a cookie costume for Chloe to wear when she sells/delivers/etc. I just kind of sketched out my idea and went for it. I think it came out really cute. But, I'll have to see what she thinks! (I think I might be entering the era of "why, mom, why?" soon.)

I used my Cricut to cut the letters out of felt and the rest of it is a sateen material for that shiny chocolate coating. :)


Triple Chocolate Trifle

For my husband's birthday I made him a trifle. I always wondered why they are called trifles when "trifle" means a little bit of something and these bad boys are chock full of stuff. :)

This one has the following layers, from the bottom up:

fudge brownie
raspberries
fudge
cherries
dark chocolate pudding
German chocolate cake
chocolate mousse
strawberries




I can never keep my trifle layers all nice and defined, but I don't think anyone cares! :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!




I hope 2011 brings you blessings! Time to get this rowdy group to bed!
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