Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boo to You!






And just for comparison:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Look no hands!

This little stinker learned to sit up all by herself this week! She thinks she is as big as Anna Cate and seems so proud of herself to finally be "catching up."







Please let me take this opportunity to introduce you to our newest addition, "Lil troll." Ahem. As my grandmother likes to say, he's so ugly he's cute. He (or does the pink hair make it a she?) has been Anna Cate's constant companion since we found him last Sunday. When Anna Cate first introduces him, she will say, Daddy fall through the ceiling and white fuzz everywhere on the ploor (floor) and this lil troll fell down!

Translation: Will was up in the attic and accidently stepped off of the floor and through our laundry room ceiling. While we were sweeping up the pile of sheetrock and insulation, we found this little troll that must have been left behind by the previous owners.

I get tickled every time I hear her tell the story because she thinks it is some sort of miracle that this little troll fell from our ceiling and into our family. Needless to say, he is enjoying celebrity status right now. We'll see how long the infatuation lasts...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just a thought...

Practicing hospitality should not be based on the condition of our homes, but rather on the condition of our hearts.

Too many times I let the messes and unfinished projects keep me from opening my home up to others. I'm starting to realize that people care less that your home looks like the pages of a magazine and more about the way they feel when they are welcomed into your home.

I have a friend that is one of the most gracious people I know. Her door is always open and her home fragrant with homemade goodies and hospitality. (Seriously, I don't think I've ever been over to her house when some delicious bread or muffin isn't baking in the oven.) Funny thing is, I now live in the home where she grew up and one of the reasons I have always loved this house is the warm feeling I always got when over here as a child. She learned from the best because when I think of her mother, I think of a cozy quilt. I can remember eating fresh sourdough bread at the kitchen table and snuggling up to hear stories before bedtime. Thank you sweet friend for your example.

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

Disclaimer: I did not take these pictures (although I wish I had...can we say dream home?) However, I found them saved on my computer and cannot remember the source!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ruffle Apron Tutorial

DSC_0154She loved the apron. Clearly, she did not enjoy me asking her for a picture while wearing it!

While Will was away for the weekend doing manly things (like hunting and working on the cabin), the girls and I stayed home doing girly things (like baking and sewing). One of the projects we tackled was making Anna Cate her own apron to wear while she helps me in the kitchen. I don't know about everybody else, but I for one, LOVE to wear an apron while I'm cooking, washing dishes, cleaning the house, yes, and even doing laundry. There is something about wearing an apron that helps make housework fun and gets the job done a little faster.

Want to make one of these darling aprons for your favorite little helper?

Here's what you'll need:

- 2 pieces of fabric (ours were 10" x 14")
- 4 yards of ribbon

Yep! That's it! and it takes all of 30 minutes to put together so let's get started:

Step 1: Decide how wide and long you want your apron to be and add 1" to both measurements. Then cut 2 rectangles out of coordinating fabric using these dimensions.

Step 2: Take the width of the apron and multiply by 1.5. Whatever number you get will be the length of ribbon you need to cut to make the ruffle.
*Then take your lighter and singe the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying.*

Step 3: Now set your machine to the longest stitch (mine is 4) and run a stitch along the edge
of the ribbon.

Step 4: Gather the ribbon to make your ruffle until it measures the length of the apron.

Step 5: Pin the ruffle to the bottom part of the fabric that will be the front of the apron, making sure to pin RIGHT sides together. (Meaning, the polka dots on my ribbon should be facing the pattern on the fabric.)

Now change your machine back to the regular stitch (mine is 2) and sew the ruffle to the apron.

Step 6: Ok, now this step is important if you don't want your ruffle to get caught up in the side of the apron when you stitch it together. Fold the two ends of the ribbon up at a 45 degree angle away from the edge of the fabric and pin in place.

Step 7: Lay your back piece of fabric on top of the front piece and pin into place. Again, make sure that the right sides are facing each other.

Step 8: Once you've pinned the two pieces together, you should have an apron sandwich with the ruffle sandwhiched between the two pieces. Start sewing at the top of the rectangle, and continue all the way around the perimeter until you come about 2" from your starting point. You will want to leave this "hole" open at the top so that you can turn your apron inside out.

Step 9: Once your apron is turned inside out, find the center of the remaining length of ribbon and pin onto the top of the apron. Stitch the ribbon onto the front top of the apron and you are finished!

Easy peasy and cute as can be!

While I was working on the apron, Anna Cate would crawl up into my seat and try to "sew" on my machine. I dug out my grandmothers old machine that no longer works and removed the needle. We set it up at the other end of the table so she could work on an apron for her bear while I was finishing up hers.

Then this little munchkin woke up from her morning nap and joined in the fun. I love her crazy hair and it is starting to take on a reddish hue!

Anna Cate is explaining the safety precautions you must practice when you are using a sewing machine to Caroline who is listening very intently so that she too can sew with us one day.

Whew! Now I remember why it has been months since I've posted a tutorial on the Crafty Little Chick blog! I think that took me twice as long to type the tutorial as it did to make the apron!

Tiny ballerina costume...check.


I finished up Caroline's costume while watching football last night with Will after the girls were in bed. I found this great tutorial for the tutu and used this pattern to make the tiny ballerina shoes. The tutu took only 30 minutes to make and if you can tie a knot, you can make one too. It was that easy! The flower is actually a clip for her hair that I made using some remnant pieces of ribbon. I can't wait to take pictures of them in their outfits! Anna Cate was so excited when she woke up this morning and saw Caroline's costume sitting on the coffee table.

We've enjoyed a relaxing weekend of baking and sewing and I have some cute things to share! I'm off to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon, but will be back soon with a cute tutorial for something that Anna Cate and I worked on yesterday. ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One down & one to go.

While she did this...

I finished this.

Call me old fashioned, but I like homemade costumes the best. I tried to use what we already had at the house to create her Mini Mouse costume. The fabric and ribbon came from my ever growing stash. I used a fabulous (and easy I might add) tutorial to make the twirly skirt. The shoes were some from her closet that she no longer wears because of a scuffed toe. I used this tutorial to cover them with yellow fabric. The only thing I had to buy was the black headband to make the ears. She is going to make one cute mouse!

Now on to Caroline's costume. Anna Cate keeps asking if Caroline can be a mermaid, but I was hoping for a little ballerina. We'll see who wins out. ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Rock Me Mama

Today was just one of those days. Rush to get to all three of us dressed and to Bible study on time...then home for lunch and naps (which was no nap, by the way)...back off for a play date at the zoo...battling 5 o'clock traffic to get to the grocery store and then home in time to fix dinner. Not to mention all of the little things that take 3 times longer to do with a toddler like brushing teeth, going to the potty, changing clothes. Then to top it all off, Will wasn't going to be home until after 9 which means I was on my own for the evening routine of baths and bedtime.

I was frazzled to say the least. The house was falling down around me with dirty dishes piled up in the sink, dirty diapers overflowing the trash can, piles and piles of dirty laundry that needed to be washed, folded, and put away, and every possible toy my children own was scattered across the house. I was hoping for a good hour between putting the girls to bed and Will coming home so I could put a dent in the housework.

After hurrying Anna Cate with her bedtime routine, I was rocking Caroline in her room, mentally creating a list of chores to accomplish. I was totally drained- physically, mentally, and emotionally and feeling quite overwhelmed and consumed by the house and my responsibility.

As I shut the door to Caroline's room, I heard a tiny voice across the hall calling out from the dark. "Rock me mama, just rock me a minute." My world stopped as the tears welled up in my eyes and I felt a lump in my throat. In my rush to accomplish all on my to-do list, I had hurried her to bed, making her feel like just another item on that list. I had failed to do the most important thing I'm called to do each day. I opened her door and saw that sweet girl sitting up in her bed. "Rock me in daddy's chair mama."

I took her to the den and just held her in the dark. It only took a few minutes before her body was limp and her breathing slowed and I could tell she was already in dreamland, but I continued to rock her. We sat there in the dark, her little body heavy on my chest and I savored every precious moment. There will come a day when she is too big or too busy to sit in the quiet and be comforted by my presence. But not tonight. Tonight we sat there, she and I, and the longer we rocked, the longer everything else seemed so unimportant.

Thank you Lord for the gentle reminder of what is the most valuable use of my time and work of my hands. May I never squander the time I have to enjoy my "treasure" by making all of the other "stuff" so important and making light of the honor to be called mother.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34


Monday, October 19, 2009

Yummy 'Nola


My sister surprised us with a visit home this weekend and brought with her a yummy recipe for granola. Anna Cate loves to sprinkle some "nola" on her yogurt each morning and so we had to make a batch. It is really yummy and super easy to make!

Mix together:
-3 cups of oats
-1/3 cup water
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-1/3 cup of oil (but we substituted half of that with honey)

Then mix in any spice and/or other ingredients you want in the granola.

We added 1 tsp of cinnamon and a cup of dried berries.

Bake in oven at 250 degrees for 40 minutes. It's that easy!


And while I'm sharing recipes, this is one you HAVE TO TRY. I'm hooked on the lettuce wraps at Miyo's and I've finally found a recipe that is pretty darn close to the real thing. In fact, I don't know if you could tell the difference between the two in a taste test.

You'll need a little of this (1/4 cup of each to be exact):


And a little of that:


Plus a couple of chicken breasts, a head of iceburg lettuce, oil, and cornstarch. Oh, and about 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

1. Dice chicken (and I dice mine just about as small as I can get it) and coat with 1/2 Tbsp. oil and 1 tsp. cornstarch.

2. Heat a pan at high head and when hot, add 1 Tbsp oil and chicken. Sear for about 30 seconds.

3. Add red onions and red bell peppers. Let sear for 30 seconds.

4. Add bamboo shoots and water-chesnuts and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.

5. While this is cooking, mix in 1/4 cup of brown sugar to 1/2 cup of the Ginger Teriyaki Marinade.

6. Pour sauce into the pan and stir-fry another 2 minutes.

7. Remove from heat and add in the green onions.

8. Serve with the lettuce cups and teriyaki sauce.

Two words: OH YUM!

(You can find the bamboo shoots in the ethnic food section in a little can)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Little Photographer

So glad you found your way over to our new blog!

We all enjoyed the fall weather this weekend. Will hunted most of the weekend so the girls and I had to find to silly ways to keep ourselves entertained. Anna Cate has been pretending that her View Master is a camera and has been walking around the house taking "pictures" of Caroline and her stuffed animals. I put batteries in our old digital camera to let her try to take a real picture of me and Caroline. I explained that she had to see both of us in the little screen before she could push the button. These were the results:

OK, yes I guess we are both technically in this picture...

P1010026getting better...

CHEESE! Not too bad for a 2 year old!