Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fat Quarters Pinwheel Dress

There's an adorable fabric/quilting shop here in the tiny town we live in.  The lady who owns it is exceedingly friendly, like most people here.  She has a grandson about Gus's age who seems to just hang out there in the shop all day, so when I go in, he and Gus tear around and knock over displays.  Fun.
Anyway, this spring Maddy picked up this stack of bright fat quarters and asked me if I could make her something spinny with them.  Since fat quarters are pretty small, I thought it might look really cool as a circle skirt, with four panels, kind of like a pinwheel. 
If you've never made a circle skirt, it's pretty easy, but it does require some math.  I followed the tutorial at Made.  I liked her instructions and especially her pictures!
So I took Maddy's measurements, applied said math, and then cut out the eight panels thusly:

Two of the eight panels
 Then I sewed all eight pieces together, right sides together, and attache them to a Tshirt with a zigzag stitch to give it a little stretch at the waist.  I struggled a bit with the hem, since hemming a curve is a pain, but I found that the smaller the hem, the easier it was.  I had a little fabric left over to do a little rosette, and viola!
Not the best picture, but this was at her preschool Easter Egg Hunt, and I couldn't get her to hold still!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Deep Musings

Cole is my thoughtful, philosophical almost-third-grader.  I have enjoyed our chats this week on the long drive back and forth to VBS.  Some topics we have discussed include: immigration and racism, war, politics, and the economy (I kid you not.)
Then he went deep on me and said, "It seems to me that it is easier for a girl to make friends with a boy than it is for a boy to make friends with a girl."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Low-Sugar Granola

I've got 4 kids. I'm busy. We eat a LOT of cereal around here, but a few weeks ago, I noticed that on the mornings we eat cereal, my kids seem more cranky and my little one is just WILD. So while a protein-rich breakfast of, say, an omelet, would be best, I simply do not have the time to cook every morning.
So I decided to make my own breakfast cereal to limit the sugar and add some protein. I've been working on the recipe for a few weeks, and I finally got it where I want it! (Please note: While this granola is very yummy, and my family loves it, it is not very sweet--which was my goal! But if you want sweet granola, there are many excellent recipes out there. This ain't one of 'em!)
Bonus: Your house will smell FANTASTIC while it's cooking!!

Low-Sugar Granola
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix:
4 cups of Old-Fashioned Oats (or Rolled Oats)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups of chopped nuts (I used cashews, pecans, and sliced almonds)

In another bowl, mix:
1/4 cup oil
3 Tbs water
2 Tbs Honey
2 tsp vanilla

Then pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and mix with your hands, being sure to moisten everything. Then pour onto a large cookie sheet (or two regular ones) and spread evenly.
I then bake it on the convection setting at 250 degrees, stirring every ten minutes to make sure it is toasting evenly. I bake it a total of 45-50 minutes on convection, or until it looks evenly toasty. (Pecans are a good measure for judging the toastiness.) *I have also baked it on a regular bake setting at 250 degrees, flipping/stirring every 15 minutes. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

*You could swap out a cup of oats for a cup of coconut
*You could add raisins (I didn't want the extra sugar) AFTER it is done toasting
*You could swap dark brown for regular brown sugar
*You could swap maple syrup for the honey, but you may want to add a little more

It's really very versatile, so have fun with it!

We add it to greek yogurt with fruit, ice cream, dip a banana in it, or eat it right off the pan!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Time Has Wings

Two whole years has gone by since my last blog post!  It's been so long, in fact, that months have gone by since I decided I would pick it back up again.  But I've decided.  And no, I'm not going to start from scratch and try to pretend that I'm not a major slacker who took two years to repost.  No sense in denying who I am!

My last post was the Father/Daughter Dance 2010.  Since then, Maddy has gone to two more with her Daddy.  Here is a photo from this year:

In March of 2010, we brought home our newest family member!  His adoption was final 6 months later, and we may post our (amazing) adoption story at a later date.  In the meantime...

Gus, age 2

Somewhere in the middle of 2010, we began to feel the Lord stirring us to "downsize" and felt strongly that we would be entering a time of full-time ministry (I had left the workforce 9 years ago to work/minister full-time with His Hands.)   So we sold our big house in the city and half its contents and moved into the tiny trailer in my dad's backyard and waited for the next step.  (We had lots of adventures in the woods behind my daddy's house, living in 650 sq ft with four children. Maybe we'll share some of that later, too. )
The next step became clear in the spring of 2011, and Casey left his corporate position at the local mental hospital to work/minister at Penfield Christian Homes, a men's addiction-recovery residence.  So we bought a house Casey had never seen in an on-line auction (!!),  packed up and moved to the tiny town about an hour away from.....everything....And the adventure continues!  

The high school is right around the corner from our new house, so CJ walks to school and usually brings several extra kids home with him in the afternoons--we love it.  He played Varsity Soccer and got good grades:

Varsity Letter Award and Scholar Athlete Award (A average).  I can't get this picture to upload right....Grrrr....

Cole had a bumpy start to the school year, so we began home schooling in January.  He really enjoyed the freedom to study topics he enjoyed (and some he didn't so much, like multiplication!).  He particularly enjoyed "projects" such as research and reports, etc.  Among other things, we raised tadpoles from eggs, studied bugs (harmful vs. beneficial), Daniel Boone, and Brazil.  At International Night, he gave a report about Brazil.  He was the youngest participant, and the only student to present alone.  I was so very proud of him!

Casey is enjoying his new job, I love our new house.  This move has meant a 40% cut in income for our family, but God has been very faithful to care for not only our needs (from someone buying us a brand new stove, to another showing up at our door with cash!), as well as our desires (free tuition for preschool, brand new bikes, and that oven--yes, it is my dream oven!)
We are very blessed!