Friday, May 29, 2009

Sam, my American hero...

Our son, Sam has been working very hard this last month on a project for the Biography Fair at school. All of the students in the 6th grade participated in this project and yesterday my husband and I were able to go and see the final projects.

The assignment the students were given was to read a biography, make a display board with information about the person, and they could even dress in character. We saw everyone from Tom Cruise to Princess Diana and from Charles Dickens to Muhammad Ali. There was no question or hesitation as to whom Sam would choose. It had to be someone in the military because that is what Sam loves.
After much searching, we found a biography about Scott O'Grady. He is the pilot who was shot down over Bosnia and evaded capture by the Serbians in 1995. Sam is one who, for the most part, really enjoys projects because he thrives on attention to detail. Over and over again we heard him tell us that this has been his favorite project.

One reason this was his favorite is because since Sam was 4 years old, he has had the dream to be a fighter pilot. Sam has this incredible love for his country and a desire to serve. He lives and breathes all things military related and has since he was very young. Knowing that he could dress in character, we quickly got into contact with some very special friends of ours. Our friend, Mike, is Sam's real-life American hero. Mike has served our country as a fighter pilot in the Air Force and even defended our country in the Persian Gulf War. Sam was able to borrow Mike's pilot suit, jacket, and even his boots and let me just say that I don't think I have ever seen Sam look more proud. There is something in the heart of every boy to be a hero, and I know in Sam's mind he was a fighter pilot yesterday.

We had the best time being with Sam yesterday and sharing this time with him. Sam, you make us so very proud and we know that there is a reason, purpose, and plan as to why God has placed these passions in your heart.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Recipes...

Summer days are here and one thing I love about summer is picnics, cook-outs, and being able to cook with all the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season. Here are some recipes I found that I would share with you that I found from the Better Homes & Gardens website. I know that I will be trying a few of these and hopefully they are as delicious as the pictures look.

Strawberry Iced Tea

Find the recipe here.

Pineapple Cooler

Find the recipe here.

Mock Sangria Drink

Find the recipe here.

Keylime Cheesecake Bars

Find the recipe here.

Raspberry Angel Food Cake Bruschetta

Find the recipe here.

Summer Peach Pie Twisters

Find the recipe here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Isaiah 43:1

"Fear not for I have redeemed you: I have summoned you by name; you are mine."
Isaiah 43:1

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Congratulations Banner...

Our daughter's graduation is now just a couple weeks away so it has been a busy time around our house lately. After making lists of things to do these past couple of months, the time is finally here when the shopping and finally preparations are being made. It is such an exciting time and it is a day that we look forward to with much anticipation.

The day after her graduation we are having an open house with friends and family. While trying to keep everything simple and within our budget, we also want this to be a very special party for Jessica. After deciding upon decorations and everything else, I am excited to see it all come together that day. Thank you Jessica for all your patience these last few weeks. I know that I have driven you crazy with all my questions, lists, and paying attention to all the little details. We love you so very much and are incredibly proud of you!

Jessica at Senior Prom last weekend... don't you just love the bare feet?

Some time ago, I saw paper banners on etsy that I thought were so cute and fun and could be used for any type of celebration. I thought I would give a try at making a "Congratulations" banner.

All I needed was a circle cutter, stencils, and decorative paper. I chose orange, black, and white since those are Jessica's school colors.

The first thing I did was to cut out a small white circle (2") and then stamped the letters I needed on each of them. I'm sure that you could also choose a font, enlarge it, and print it from your computer as well.

I then cut out two more circles. I think these were 4" and 6" in diameter.

Then just start gluing them together for each letter you have...

Then glue the letter on...

To tie them together I simply punched a hole on both sides of the circle and used three different patterns of ribbon and tied them together.

And then you will have this...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away...

It's raining... again. The forecast for the next few days is showing nothing but rain and more rain. Even though everything is so pretty and green, I am longing for the sunshine and the warmth it brings. So, I am going to sit inside and pout because all I want to do is go outside. Perhaps though I could have some fun playing in the puddles with boots like these... 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

All It Takes...

Since my children were very young we have read to them and have always kept their bookshelves full. While we may not always spend our money on the latest toy, my children know that Mom will always buy a book.

When they were little part of their bedtime routine was to read a book or two. When Jessica was asked to grab a book and cuddle up in bed it wasn't uncommon for her to come with a stack of them anxiously expecting each and everyone to be read. I can remember the afternoons that were spent as Jessica and I read our way through The American Girl books and the evenings where my husband and I would sit on the floor of the boys bedroom and read to them The Chronicles of Narnia. I hope that they remember those hours they way I do.

I have had more of a struggle getting our boys to read now that they are older. Perhaps once all the book reports were assigned and books not of their choosing had to be read, it was no longer fun. Sam is 12 1/2 years old and wrapping up his last days of his first year of middle school. In his reading class this year, each student was required to keep a reading log. Any kind of book can be read and the students are graded for the amount of time they read each month. Extra credit is even given to those that go above and beyond the required amount of time. As the children have gone through elementary school, they have always had some kind of reading log and up until this year, the reading log has been far from fun and certainly wasn't "encouraging" my boys to read. Last year, our son, Ben filled his reading logs with "Peanuts" and "Calvin and Hobbs" because they were the only books we could get him to read. Thankfully, the teacher agreed that this was okay because he was reading after all. For whatever reason though, the reading bug has gotten a hold of Sam lately...

All it has taken is for Sam to find some books that he has truly enjoyed reading and I also think that once he found some that he liked and actually finished, there was a sense of accomplishment for him. A couple of years ago, I found this book at our local Christian bookstore called Isle of Swords. It has sat on the bookshelf far too long- untouched and unread. Last week Sam pulled it from the shelf thinking that perhaps he should just give it a try.

He really hasn't put it down since.

As I sit here this morning finishing up this post, Sam has just come downstairs telling me that he finished his book last night when he went to bed. Guess what he is sitting on the sofa doing now... reading another book.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lemon Cookies...

I first posted about these Lemon Cookies last summer and I thought with the warm days just around the corner it would be a good recipe to share again. Whenever I make them they are always a favorite and surprisingly they are from a cake mix.

Make sure you have a glass of iced tea to go with them!

Lemon Cookies

1 package lemon cake mix
2 T. lemon juice plus enough vegetable oil to equal 1/2 cup
2 eggs
Lemon Frosting (store bought)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until dough forms. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until set. Remove to a wire rack. Cool and frost.

Make sure to visit Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for more delicious recipes and inspiring ideas!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Vase Wrapped In Twine...

Last week Kimba from A Soft Place To Land showed us all how to make a vase wrapped in twine that was originally inspired by these vases from Ballard Designs.

I thought I would give this a try as well and pass it onto my Mom for a little Mother's Day gift. So, I pulled out the glue gun, bought some twine/rope and found a vase to use.

I then just started gluing (I found it easiest to apply the glue directly to the vase) and wrapping.

Fill it with some flowers and you will have this...

We had a wonderful day yesterday. I absolutely treasure the days that we are all together as a family. I am blessed beyond measure to be the mother of these children.

Thank you for giving me such a special day.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Love This...

Need some inspiration for a window treatment? How about this...

For instructions go here

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Where I Am...

I seem to be at a loss for words lately so when that happens I suppose I resort to posts about food or decorating. It's easy, simple and I don't have to think too much. Our family has been busy these last few weeks and I am looking forward to the end of the school year coming to an end. I'm ready for the rest and relaxation that summer days bring. At the same time, the end of the school year means that Jessica's graduation is quickly approaching and her time here at home is getting less and less. As much as I want to hold on to her forever, letting go is just around the corner. As of today, she has only 19 days of school left. But who's counting?

I've also had some real heart to heart moments with God and many things are becoming a lot more clear to me. I'm sure once I am able to put all my thoughts into words I will do so here. He is making Himself known to me in the everyday moments and I am clinging to Him and allowing Him to make me into the woman He wants me to be. I have gotten involved at a local faith-based organization where I am serving breakfast to the homeless, poor, and those in need once a week as well. More on that later too I'm sure. I'm also beginning a new Bible study tonight and I always get excited about that. It's that first day of school feeling except I know that I am going to have friends to sit next to and what I'm wearing really doesn't matter. I'm going to be co-leading this study for the next six weeks with not only my mentor, but one of my dearest friends. All I can say is that it's been nothing other than God's perfect plan in bringing this group of women together. I couldn't be more excited to be spending time with these women and I am anticipating God to draw our hearts closer to Him and that we come away loving Him more.

So with that being said because remember I am at a loss for words, I thought I would share this simple and yummy treat with you...

photo from Better Homes & Gardens

All you need is a chocolate cupcake, butter pecan ice cream (or your favorite flavor), caramel sauce, and chopped pecans. Really, there are so many ways that you could serve this... the possibilities are endless. Be creative and enjoy!

Now you know that if my posts are random and few that I am still here. I'm just going to be a little more busy in the days to come and focusing on the things that matter the most to me.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Giveaway At The Lettered Cottage...

Layla from The Lettered Cottage is having a giveaway of this burlap table runner by Grace of Coastline.

Don't you just love it? I know I do and I really, really want to to win! You can enter as well just by visiting The Lettered Cottage and posting about the give away on your blog. 

Have a great day!