Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How to Make Powdered Sugar

Last night I wanted to make a strawberry tart, that called for powdered sugar. But, I didn't have any, so here is what I found out:

If I put 1/4 cup granulated sugar in my small coffee grinder....

I get this!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mr. Magoo & Mr. Magee

This weekend, I played around with dolls. Sewing them, that is. I found an old pattern idea (from when I was a kid) of Mr. Potato Head dolls to make. Finally, I got a chance to make them.

It's a great way to use up old towels and pillows!
I created the pattern on newspaper (the idea I had copied from a library book ages ago had it scaled down, and I had to blow it up to inches).
Then I cut the pieces, sewed, turned inside out, stuffed, and pleated feet.

Next, I cut face pieces and accesories out of felt, and hot-glued vecro on the backs so they have moveable faces!
The Many Faces of Mr. Magoo & Mr. Magee:

They turned out very huggable and loveable....just the faces fall off still. Ha ha. I guess the velcro/felt combination isn't as sturdy as I thought it would be.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hear O Lord and answer, I am poor and needy. Guide my life for I am devoted to You. Hear my prayer O Lord, and my cry for mercy. In the day of trouble I will call to You.

Teach me O Lord, I will walk in Your truth. Give me an undivided heart. Nations You made, will worship You; for You alone are the living God.

I will worship, Glorify Your name O Lord.

Psalm 86

Friday, May 15, 2009

Deep Dish Pizza

Last week we decided to try Chicago Style Pizza (deep dish pizza).

It turned out just fine....alot like regular pizza except...uh....deeper? Next time I would add more cheese and sauce...and no broccoli.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's Garden Time!

This year, I have been bitten by the gardening bug.

  • I started plants indoors.
  • I got lots of seeds.
  • I even bought some good dirt/compost for our little plot in the help my veggies do a little better than last year.

I hoed up a good chunk of the back troughs...enough to get blisters on my hands anyway. Then I mixed in the good dirt with the old-sandy-already-there dirt. It looked much healthier!

I stuck some poles in the dirt for peas and morning glories to grow on.

And I planted some flower seeds and onion sets. I'm still waiting for it to get warm enough to move my tomatoes outside, and plant beans and peppers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Not our favorite

I tried making Spring Rolls in my new handy-dandy steamer the other night. They didn't turn out good. In fact, they looked disgusting..... and didn't taste that great either. We normally have leftovers for lunch the next day, but this time .....
I threw it out.

Home Inspiration

I received the Better Homes and Garden e-newsletter...and it was time to check out their decorating ideas on a budget. I really like the above picture...a nice clean room, and the "canopy" is pretty neat too!

Another idea I liked was this bathroom towel rack, made out of a wine rack!

I have a couple projects in mind for our get things in order and de-clutter. Some of the things I'd like to work on are:
  • Make a serving tray (have 2 "collections" of memoriablia that are just taking up space)
  • Make cards and therefore clean out craft/scrap drawer
  • Clean off fridge & find a good place for all the pictures
  • Clean out display case
  • Clean/de-clutter living room and sitting room, including giving away unused books and magazines.
  • Clean out kitchen drawers of unused items (both food and utensils)
  • Sew apron and rag doll to use up material scraps
  • Clean out laundry room....I don't even know what is in there!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Heavy Heart

There are some things that weigh heavy on my heart, and there are some days there seem to be more of them than less.

Sometimes, when I see a towering tree in the sunlight, it makes my heart ache a little bit....just because it's so beautiful, and just because it's so tall, just because I know that Someone made it. It makes me long for knowing my Creator better, it makes me sigh for the beauty around me that some people never see, it makes me realize how little I see.

When I heard a new church was moving into town, I almost wanted to cry. Why are they adding ANOTHER church in a town already filled to overflowing with different congregations. It makes it so hard for people to be eager for the truth when they are so confused on "who is right" or "where to go." Why did we need another building, another name...did they truly visit EVERY church in town and find that they were all lacking in the truth?

It makes me sigh when I can't understand people and the choices they make. I want so badly to encourage and help but when I don't even understand why they made the choice they did, how can I help them out of their situation? And how do I truly show God's love to those people who could care less?

I pray everyday that God would help me in our marriage to trust Him, to let Him use it for good. There are so many hurting families out many ripped apart by selfishness and mistakes....that we all make....but that end up differently. I wish that we could set a better that would draw people UP to The One, and not over to "our way" of making things work. I wish that people would make marriage more than about "being in love" with each other, than "being in love" with the Holy One. I'm sure that there is more to modeling a good marriage than just affection....there is a loyalty that runs deep, a love that is bigger than I can grasp, a respect for other souls that humbles me, and a service that is shown in sincerity.

It weighs on my heart when I catch a glimpse of the "bigger picture." When someone is seriously hurt, and gets through it, and comes out with a calmer and more earnest outlook. I can't help but desire that sincerity and wisdom that only comes when we realize who really controls time and circumstances. Oh that I would use my time less caught up in frivolous less childish....have a quiet and gentle spirit.

Sometimes, when I hear about how much my generation, and the generation after me, is struggling to "find God" and find peace....and how longingly they really do seek to know Him, but they seem to look in the wrong places. Oh that I would be a better Christian....that they really would see Christ in me and not just me....that they would stand in awe of God and how close and how holy He is all at the same time....that they wouldn't be so disheartened at what "churches" and religion has becomes, and instead be able to really know God through His word and through believers to whom He is more than an old story about a person or a set of good works to live their life by....but Someone REAL.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Riches Untold

I was studying my Bible the other day, and read these couple verses:

"A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish." Psalm 49:20
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10
It made me stop and I rich without understanding? Maybe not in money, but there are certainly riches without $ value:
  • Health
  • Time
  • Job
  • Home
  • Husband
  • Close family
  • Sound mind
  • Friends
  • Creativeness
  • Piano/Music
  • Growing plants
  • Peacefulness

And if these are my riches... how am I using them? Do I have understanding? Do I ask God for wisdom on how to use these riches for His glory? Do I seek to know the Holy One so I can have understanding?

I have been so blessed...I just pray that I will be aware of what God HAS given me, thankful and wise, and generous enough to use them!

Have you "counted" your riches recently?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Interesting Parenting Articles

I just wanted to share with you this interesting site I was reading this morning, with parenting and teaching ideas.

I really enjoyed her tips and practical application of obedience and her fun stories and encouragement of the example we should set to those younger and under our authority.

I hope you find some helpful wisdom here too.

Bamboo Steamer

We went garage sale-ing last Saturday, just for fun. And it was fun. We found:
  1. A never-been-used Bamboo Steamer (for $2)
  2. A bunch of piano sheet music (for 10 cents each)
  3. 2 metal canning funnels (for $2)
I used the steamer for the first time on Monday and it was lots of fun! And it was QUICK too! Took only 12 minutes for supper:

Lemon Perch and Fresh Veggies
I looked up a bunch of recipes to try now.....

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I've been listening to the book on tape, Besty-Tacy, the first in a series of kids books that I really liked. It's about 2 (and then 3) best friends growing up in an old fashioned town. Listening to it, it brough back memories of things that I did as a kid too! Things like

  • Playing with paper dolls
  • Having tea parties and picnics
  • Making forts under trees
  • Dressing up
  • Playing pom-pom-pull-away

Now I want to go back and read the rest of the series!

I guess there's a lot of Betsy-Tacy stuff out this website dedicated to them!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Learning To Cook Korean

Our friend Suhyun is from Korea and was studying here for a semester. It's been really great to get to know her and her sweet temper. Her English has improved alot since being here, as well as her "slang " ("neat" and "okay-dokay" are common ones), and it's been fun playing music with her too (she plays violin).

But now it's time to go. And so we had her over to "finally" make Korean food (we've been wanting to do that all semester!). She showed us how to make Kim Pop and Beef. We had a lot of laughs and then a good meal, though we had to rush a bit.
Here we laid out sticky rice and cooked veggies, cheese, and hotdogs, on a seaweed wrap.
You're supposed to roll-and-squish....roll-and-squish. Mine fell apart, but her's were nice.

We also made the beef soaked in Korean Beef Sauce with mushrooms. Here is the final picture, but I guess you can't see the beef dish.
And this is the Kim Pop, which I liked, but the seaweed taste took some getting used to.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Free Food

I decided to use a coupon I got in the mail (randomly....not requested) for a free sub from Erberts and Gerberts. It worked perfectly for lunch today....Sweet Chili Chicken Salad on Wheat. It was a lot of food too, I've actually got two lunches out of it now! Basically, it was a sweet-chilli mayonaise based chicken salad, layerd with chopped lettuce, red onions sliced, and some bacon slices. I think I can make that at home. :)

Other free food coming up that I'd like to try is the free KFC meal (coupon print valid today, coupon is good till the 19th), and also the free iced tea at Arbys. These were mentioned on Hip2Save's site.

New Things

Today, for the first time, I got to find out if I'm alergic to bee stings.

Yes, I got stung by a wasp....for the first (and hopefully last) time.

You see, I was smart yesterday and washed a load of laundry and put it on the outside clothesline to dry...since it was sunny and breezy. In the evening, all the clothes was crisp and fresh and dry. I took it down and put it in my laundry basket. An hour later I got around to folding it up and putting it away.

This morning, I took out my pair of pants (freshly washed and dried and folded or course) and slipped them on. I yelped quickly and then slapped my leg. I'm sure Mathew thought I was crazy. I shook my leg and out tumbled a creepy crawly thing (I didn't have my glasses on yet). I jumped back and Mathew said, "A bee!"

I said, "Thank goodeness it's not a spider!" (I have a thing about spiders)

He then stomped on it and I put my glasses on to see that it was a wasp and not a bumblebee. I then found out why they call it "stinging" because it certainly continued to sting on my leg....even after I put baking soda paste on it.

But, I guess I'd be mad at being wrapped up in a pair of pants all night too.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)

Simple Cake

I made an angel food cake for Easter. I made it from a box mix, so no hassel there. But since it was easter, I wanted the table to look pretty, so I didn't want to just set the cake on plain (even though it's delicious), so here is what I did:

Easy. Simple. Delicious!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Doll Quilt

Thursday night I wasn't feeling good, so I stayed home in the evening while M. went out. I drank tea and snuggled under a warm blanket and looked at all my dream crafting lists. I decided to try my hand at a quilt, starting small, with a doll quilt. I cut the pieces and ironed them that night as my "relaxing" project. It ended up being pretty fun.

Well, last night I had some time, so decided to put it together. It turned out fine, though I wish I had made some not putting batting in it (it's really stiff now) and adding a better border. But, as a trial project and for dolls, it will work just fine!

Also, I whipped together a sachet I had been wanting to try with some potporri I had on will go in my linen closet.

And lastly, I picked out the materials I want to use for my next project.....a pretty to only find a pattern.......

Piano Teaching Idea

We had a little friend come over last week sometime, to play dolls and hide marbles and do things in the kitchen....we had a lot of fun (she and I) while her Daddy and Mathew visited.

While she was there, she decided she wanted to play the piano. "Sure," I said, and went to grab some of my kid piano books to play from (I play she sings). But to my surprise, she went and grabbed an actual kid's READING book to "play" from instead. It turned out to be a BRILLIANT idea.

I decided to use the book, and flipped to the first page (about frogs). I made up a cheesy song (but she's only 3 and doesn't care) about how frogs go hop hop hop, and as I sang, she and I went "hop hop hop" on the piano keys, from bottom to top. We continued to do this for each animal throughout the book, and it really was great work for her and her age.

Deer are soft and quiet, so we practiced playing soft and quietly.

Ants crawl along the ground in single we played one note at a time with one finger up and down the keyboard.

After finishing the book, here is what she learned (while not knowing anything about the piano)

  • You can play LOUD and soft (we had dogs - that barked loud and deer - that slept quietly)
  • There are high notes and low notes (we had birds- that twittered up high and elephants - that clumped down on the low notes)
  • You can play with all fingers or one finger (we had bears that growled -with our fists, and ants that crwaled - with one finger)
  • You can play smoothly or short (stacatto) (we had fish- that swam smoothly over all the keys, and we had rabbits- that went hop hop hop up and down the keyboard)
  • You can play quickly or slowly (we had foxes - that ran over the keys, and turtles - that played one note at a time r-e-a-l slow)
  • You can play on black or white keys (we had the dogs barking on the black keys -with our fists, and other animals on the white keys)

I really think this turned out to be a great and useful idea for teaching young beginning students about the piano. When they can't read yet, it's great to use this picture book to explore the keyboard, and enjoy music. I can see using this for teaching tempos and dynamics and hand position....and oh so many things, even before they start the "official" piano books!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Brown Paper Packages....

There is something about making and sending large, mysetrious, packages and bundles that makes me happy :)

Here is a stack I recently hauled over to the Post Office to mail. I don't think I've ever done so many at once, and it was quite fun setting the whole stack on the counter and getting them ready to mail!


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