"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." ~Angela Schwindt~

Friday, October 29, 2010

$2.00 well spent - Happy Fall!

Well I have to give credit, where credit is due.  I kind of stole the idea of making a wreath out of corn husks from http://www.howdoesshe.com/corn-husk-wreath-tutorial website.  I thought this was a very cute clever way to make a very inexpensive wreath.  I knew it wouldn’t last year to year, but thought it would be a very inexpensive project.  I am very cheap person, always looking for a bargain and a way to save a dime, so instead of buying the corn husks as she recommends form the Mexican food store, we have a very good friend that is a farmer that said he would get me some corn husks.  He insistent that it would be no problem.  So the total cost for this wreath for me was $2.00!  I think that is a bargain, and to be honest I was going to follow the directions that were provided in the tutorial that I listed the link for, but as I started working, I liked the way that this turned out and looked better.  So, if you can get a hold of some corn husks, or if you want to buy some for about $5 at the Mexican food store, this is a must!  I can’t wait to put up my new wreath after the trick or theaters are done on Saturday.  Bring on Thanksgiving and Turkey!
I know that these corn husks look nasty, but they turned into a beautiful fall wreath!
These were the corn Husks we used.

You will Need to purchase a foam wreath, and some Floral Pins.  The wreath you can purchase these at the dollar store, and the Pins you can get in the floral part at Walmart for $1.00

You can get them other places too, but of course Walmart is the cheapest.

I put all the corn Husks in the sick and rinsed them in Cold water.  They are realy still until they soak in water for at least 30-45 seconds.  They start to give then.  I used just regular siccors to put the end of the corn husk off so that the pieces of the husk fell part.

This is one of the Husk sections.  I took one section and folded it in half from top to bottom, and then folded it over.  So it was folded into a quarter of the size.  You may have to trin the bottoms off, I did this after it was folded.

I used the floral pins and pined 2-3 husks onto the wreath.  I did the top of the wreath first.

I also pined them to the inside of the wreath so all the foam would be hidden.

I actually did the entire top before I did the inside, because I wanted to make sure I had enough husks, but it wouldn't matter which order you went in.

After I did the inside I did the outside of the wreath.

Wala!  I kinda made a little bow at the bottom right, just did the same pattern and circuled it all the way around.  I thought it turned out pretty!  We will be putting this on our door after the trick or treater's leave!  Happy Fall!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dear Abigail,

Dear Abbyroo,

I truly think you are one of the smartest kids I know; you pick up on stuff so quickly. We ask you what sound a cow makes and you go “moooooo”, we ask you to do your elephant and you put your little arm up by your ear and lift your hand, we ask you if you need a diaper change and you go back to your changing table; you do so many things that just amaze us. You are starting to put words together like, “good girl” and “bad no”. We ask you to get us a book and you pick out the same book every time, “That’s not my Penguin”… You love to be read to, you love to listen to us talk, you will sit and play with your shape sorter for 45 minutes at a time. It takes you a little while but you can put every shape where it belongs. It amazes me how hard you work at that, and when you are done you bring it to me to dump your shapes back out to do it all over again.

But, I don’t only think you one of the smartest kids because you learn so quickly but also because you have taught me so much!

Abigail you have taught me that laughter is the best medicine. Your smile can turn any bad day into the perfect day. As long as I know my baby girl is happy there is nothing better in the world. There are several ways that I can “no fail” make you laugh: Tickle you under your chin and say I’m getting ya getting ya getting ya… I will do This little piggy went to the market, this little piggy stayed home… When we go “we we we we we we” all the way home, you crack up! Other ways we make you laugh are by swinging you around, playing super girl, sticking our tongue out at your, making pooting noises, and acting like your feet stink. We are on the changing table and I will smell your feet and start coughing and go shewwww and you love this. You think this is so funny. Your laughter is the best sound in the world.

Abigail you have taught me a lot about patience. You started walking at 11 months old and you would fall over and over and over and over, you never cried you just got right back up again. You will bump into furniture and just turn around. When we started letting you feed yourself your own food you would miss your mouth a lot and you would just reach down and get another one. It takes you a while to eat your dinner, but you just sit there and enjoy the food and feed yourself. You are a patient little girl, and the way that you work your puzzles, you can sit there and work on one for 20 minutes before it is completed.

Abigail you have taught me that you shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help. For some reason you like to squeeze in small spaces, or go behind a chair that is up against the wall. You love to do this for some reason but then you can’t get out. You get stuck and you raise up your little arms and ask for mama or dada for help. Although you will ask for help you do so much independently. You like to brush your own hair, you have to use your own spoon now, you held your own bottle very early, you like to try and do most things by yourself.

Abigail you have helped me learn to go with the flow. Weather we are on our way to church, going out to eat, or on our way to daycare. Things usually don’t go as planned. This has been hard for me because I am a person of schedule, if I arrive on time I consider that late, I think that being 15 minutes early is being on time. However we will be buckling you in your car seat and you would spit up, throw up, we we would forget something. I have learned that this is ok; we didn’t have a reservation at cracker barrel, and just because it didn’t go as scheduled doesn’t make it a bad thing. It definitely takes more planning to leave the home, I feel like when we started out we carried a suitcase, now we have narrowed it down to your little preschool backpack.

Abigail you have made me fall in love with photography. You have grown up so fast and changed so much this last year and I never want to forget it. I’ve always had a love of taking pictures, but you have given me a desire to take better pictures and more creative pictures, but more than picutres I think the videos are more important. Its hard to capture that moment completely in a picture. You have grown and changed so much this past year! Someone who I hold close to my heart reminded me when we brought you home from the hospital about the things that matter. She said to me that the dishes can wait, sweeping the floor can wait, that I need to enjoy those awake moments with my little girl. You are so precious to me, I just want to inhale you! I love to hold you, hug you, smell you, just anything about you.

Abigail you have taught me that you are the most adorable child in the world. Hehe, there is nothing in this world like a mother’s love. Along with this love of course I think that you are cuter and sweeter than any other child. I can stare at your face all day all day long. Don’t get me wrong I think other kids are cute, but of course you will always be cuter to mommy.

Abigail you have taught me to take the time to listen to people. You listen to your mommy and daddy so well (as long as the tv isn’t on). It is amazing how you responded to my voice the 1st day that I held you in the hospital, you recognized me. I have always been amazed what kids come up with and will repeat what you say, and I know that you will be no exception. As much as you love to be read to, I know that you will have the best imagination.

I love you Abby! I hope that we can continue to learn from each other our whole lives!!!


Momma :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Big Sis

Dear Abigail,

I haven’t written you a letter since your 1st birthday and we are due! We told you on Wednesday that you are going to be a big sister, I know that you didn’t understand what this meant but you squealed and clapped when I told you. You seemed very excited and we know that you are going to be the best big sister in the world. You have been saying the word baby a lot this past month so I honestly think you knew I was pregnant before I did. I want you to know that you are the center of our world. We love you so much and couldn’t imagine the joy you have brought to our family. Every day I am amazed by you. I look forward to every moment with you.

I love everything about you. I love the way you pucker you lips and lick my cheek, I love the way you keep your little butt up in the air when you sleep, I love the way you run to your piano as soon as we walk into the door, I love the way you laugh when I stick my tongue out at you, I love your laugh, your smile, your toes, and everything about you. You bring so much joy to my day. My favorite part of my day is when I get to pick you up at daycare and I see you running towards me with your little noises “ah ah ah ah”. You don’t know it but I stand outside of your classroom window 2-3 minutes every day before I pick you up just to watch you. I love to see you play with other children. Today when I picked you up I saw you rolling a ball back and forth with a little boy. I’m not too concerned at this point since you are only 14 months, but I don’t want you to get interested in boys yet, you have your whole life for that.

You haven’t felt good this week. The past 2 nights you have woken up several times throughout the night. On Wednesday I was able to just sit there with you and rock you. I love just looking at your face, stroking your hair and singing to you my sweet child. I never want anything to hurt you or make you feel bad. Your daddy got up with you last night and he sat on the couch with you. He loves his time with his baby girl. I wish you were a mama’s girl, but you most definitely prefer your daddy over me right now. You will sit on his lap 1st, give him hugs first, and sit in the floor and play with puzzles with him for an hour. But I have to admit you think that I am the funniest person in the world. I can make you laugh and that laugh truly melts my heart. That laugh is the cure for a bad day; it makes everything in the world for that moment just perfect.

My precious Abbyroo I love you so much! I hope one day you read this and realize how much you are loved! I look forward to spending this weekend with you; we aren’t doing anything special, just spending every moment together. I look forward to rocking you to sleep tonight, it is one of the few times you will let me hold you these days!

Love you!
Your Mommy

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Giggles, smiles, and 80 degrees

What a wonderful afternoon in the park, giggles, smiles, and 80 degree afternoon in October…

Friday, October 08, 2010

Dulce de leche... aka very simple apple dip

This is a pretty fancy name for something we don’t consider that fancy. This is the Spanish word for caramelized milk. There are a lot of different ways to make Dulce de leche, and we made it a way, that I’m sure there is a warning – not to do! I’m sure if this was in a book, it would say; please do not try this at home. However I have made this for years, and I know friends and family that have and have never had any trouble. I think the concern is that your can will explode and you will be cleaning Carmel off of the ceiling.

We made this for Apple Dip every fall. It is so good, however oh not so good for you. That is why we only made it once a year, and go on a long walk after every time we eat it. It is so good! You need to try this!!! However if for some reason your can explodes, remember that I did put a disclaimer in the above paragraph.

What you will need: Eagle Brand can of sweetened condensed milk, deep pot, and water. This is it.

Take the wrapper off of your can, put it in a deep pot and make sure that it is covered completely with water.  This is so important that your can is covered completely with water.  Bring water to a boil.  I let this boil for 3 hours, checking it very frequently and adding more water to it.  I think the reason that there are disclaimers in making this is because if you start to dry boil the can, it will explode.  It is sooooo important to have the can covered completely with water throughout the whole process of boiling.

After the can had boiled for 3 hours I just turned off the water and let it sit in there until it was completely boil.  We actually went to the park and ate dinner and then it was cool, I would allow it to cool for at least an hour before trying to handle it.  If you choose to remove it before cooling use tongs and you will need to to let it cool completely before opening your can. 

So I opened my can and wa la, a can of oh so yummy Carmel! 

Very yummy thick Carmel.  This is perfect Apple Dip!

Indulge, I know I will :-)  it is even better the next day, when it has been in the fridge over night. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Our Halloween Wreath

Halloween is getting close!  Its funny because I never really cared anything about Halloween until I had a child.  Last year Abigail was a frog, we did trunk or treating at the church and stayed at home and passed out candy on Halloween.  She was the cutest frog ever.  This year she is gonna be a lady bug.  I can't wait to put her costume on her.  I even picked up some black creame face paint to put her a few dots on her face.  Were so excited about Halloween approaching this year!

Abigail and I made the above wreath this evening.  When I was a little girl, my mom and I made a very similar wreath out of white trash bags for Christmas and put a red bow on it.  However in this one, I used black fabric.  How a fun way to help decorate the house for Halloween.  This was a very easy project and something very easy you can do with your kids!

I purchased 2 yards of black fabric.  I bought the cheapest that I could find.  The above fabric was 2.50 a yard with 30% off, so I call that a good deal!  You will also need a wreath frame, I purchased the above one at Hobby Lobby for $1.99.  They have 3-4 different sizes.  This one was the 2nd largest one. 

I found this a lot easier to use my rotary cutter and rotary self healing board for this.  You will need to cut the fabric in 1 in strips.

After all the fabric is cut in one inch strips, you will then in turn cut them in 6 inch strips.  So your strips will be one inch by six inches.  It isn't important that your strips are all the same.  Some of my turned out an inch smaller because I didn't want any extra fabric.  I think the last one one each strip were about 5 inches, and they blend in quite well.

This is so simple it is crazy!  All you do is tye your strips of fabric onto the metal frame.  I did the 2 center strips first and then the outside edges. 

It was amazing how much fabric could fit on there.  It looked very full and then I was able to keep pushing the fabric around and tying more strips on there. 

I added the entire 2 yards of fabric.  You can kinda spread it out and fluff it a little.  We thought it was soooo cute!

I left the ends unfinished so it will unravel a little and look more "spooky"

This is the back of the wreath, I pushed all the ties so they came out on the front.

This was fun too, to make some spooky letters to add to the wreath.  You will need Mod Podge, a sponge brush, some news paper to lay your letters on, and some sand paper.

I purchased these letters, they came 2 to a pack for 99 cents.  So we thought we would spell the word BOO, so I only had to spend $2.00 because I got 2 Os and  2 Bs. 

These is all purpose acrylic paint, 99 cents - what a bargain.

I only put one coat of paint on my letters.  Once they tried, I turned them over and painted the back, ensuring that the sides were covered too.

I actually did this before I painted the letters, I traced them onto scrap booking paper that I wanted to line the letter with.

Cut the letters out

Used the sponge brush and Mod Podge to glue the paper to the letters.

Once the paper was dry, I used sand paper, and actually a nail file to sand the edges to ensure the paper blended with the letter well. 

Coated the top of the paper with Mod Podge.  I did 5 coats, waiting 15 minutes between coats.

Make sure that the letters dry all the way.

Once the letters were comply dried, I used a high gloss clear acryllic sealer to coat the letters.  This will need to be done outside - this stuff can stink up your house really fast!

I used jewelry string to tie the letters to the wreath.  I wasn't sure the best way to attach the letters to the wreath.

And lastly I hung it on our front door to welcome our trick or treaters!!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Preschool update!

Abby’s first week of preschool went wonderful. I meant to write about this over the weekend while it was fresh on my mind, but I’m happy I’m getting to it now. I think that I was a lot more nervous than Abigail was about changing classrooms at school. When I took the tour of her new room, I looked at the director and I asked her if she was sure Abby was ready for this? She looked so small compared to the other children in the room. I guess Abby is going to change just as much this upcoming year as she did her first year.

We enjoy her new preschool room; her teachers Ms. G and Ms. Jess are wonderful teachers and seem to just love my little angel to death. Her first full day in the room was last Tuesday. I called and talked to Ms. G about 12:30 to check on her and she said that she was doing just wonderful. Ms. G told me that she was asleep right then, but she has just fit right in. She told me that it usually takes the child several days to get use to their schedule, but Abby has just fit in. She said to me, “Now I’m not just saying this to you because you are Abigail’s mom, but she is really such a good baby.”

We were given a calendar for the month of October to show what the children will be learning about on a daily basis. They work on numbers, colors; have crafts and a lot of fun activities. Today they are gluing leaves to a basket and talking about leaves changing colors. I wish that I could be with her every minute of the day, but Abby loves going to her school and being with her friends. She still cries when we drop her off and runs to us at the end of the day, but during the day while she is there she loves it. I think there are a lot of educational benefits to daycare too, and I’m so happy that there isn’t a tv in the school.

Abby has taken a sudden interest in TV. She absolutely LOVES, and I can’t express the word LOVE enough, the opening credits to shows. She can be in the middle of working a puzzle, reading a book, playing with a toy, and as soon as those opening credits come on to a show she gets up, runs over to about 4 feet away from the TV and just stares. She has started to a little dance while the music is playing. As soon as those credits are over, she goes back to what she is doing. I wish it was possible buy a DVD of just “opening” scenes to TV shows. Sometimes when I am on the computer while she is awake I will go to YouTube and we will watch the opening scenes to: Wizards of Waverly place, Hannah Montana, Good Luck Charlie, Timmy Time, & Mickey Mouse Clubhouse all in one sitting. She loves it!

Yesterday I got to the daycare and I turned the corner to where her room was and I saw that the children in her class were sitting in a line against the wall. There is a window that you can look into the class and Abigail was just sitting there like such a big girl participating in the hand movements, I was a very proud mommy. So I guess they were right, she was ready to move up to her big girl class and she is doing very well.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Happy Birthday to you!

I think it is so funny how Jason and I are different. We were in the kitchen yesterday and I told him that it was the start of his birthday week! He just rolled his eyes, saying so….for my birthday, we celebrate all week long, for Abbyroo’s birthday we celebrated the whole month of July, and for Jason’s birthday he doesn’t even want to acknowledge that the day is special and set apart.

So this year, I am going to make a big deal of his birthday – everyday this week. When I left work today I stopped by gigi’s cupcakes and picked him up a carrot cake cupcake for him to enjoy. Abbyroo and I put a sweet letter on the cupcake to welcome the start of his birthday week and that his girls love him so much. I hope his birthday is special to him this year.  I need to think about what were going to do on Saturday and other special events leading up to the big day!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Halloween Cookie Suckers

I love to make chocolate candy. I have always looked forward to different occasions because it was time to pull out the candy making supplies. We usually use chocolate molds, however at Halloween we just make cookies suckers. I have a few Halloween molds (Witch, ghost & Pumpkin) but we aren’t going to pull them out this year. I posted a picture from my mobile uploads and have received several requests on my recipe for these wonderful tasty suckers. The great thing about these cookie suckers is that there is no cooking involved – we simply use items straight from the grocery store.

Shopping list: Double stuffed Oreos (only because I prefer all the extra icing inside these wonderful creations. White chocolate or while almond bark from the baking isle at the grocery store. You can also purchase melting chocolate from a store such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or even Wal-Mart. These work the same. I prefer when using white coloring to get the almond bark cubes. They work very nicely. You will need one pick of lollipop sticks and 1 jar of googly eye candy. I purchased both the eyes and the lollipop sticks at Hobby Lobby. I know you can find the lollipop sticks at Wal-Mart over with the specialty baking and icing stuff (usually near the scrap booking paper and party supplies), however I am not sure about the eyes. Also if you are going to give these as gifts it will be helpful to get the sucker bags and twist ties or ribbon to package your cookie sucker.

For this project you will also need a baking sheet lined with wax paper. (optional for other cookie suckers you will need colored melting chocolate and sprinkles)

I didn't get a picture of every step, I had a one year old helping me with this project, so as I'm sure you can see why we skipped some pics, however I'm positive you can follow this enough to make these cute suckers!   

Melt the chocolate according to package directions.  I usually use 3 cubes at a time.  If you are using the melting chocolate I would use about 1/3 of the bag. 

Gently pull your cookie lids off.  Dip the end of your stick into the melted chocolate and place the stick back onto the cooking. 

Put your cookie back together gently.  These will need to cool completely before proceeding, this will probably take about 10 minutes.  In the mean time you can go ahead and separate more cookies. 

This is what your cookie should look like put back together.

Dip all your cookies into the chocolate.  Make sure that they are completely coated and place them on the wax paper.  Immediately add your googly eyes to the suckers.

Place a couple spoonfulls of the melted chocolate into the corner of a sandwich bag.  You will cut off the tip of the bag and squeeze the chocolate through the bag and drizzle across the suckers to make them look like mummies

Let your Candy completely dry and then package them!  How fun and tasty!  We also use different colored chocolate and put Halloween colored sprinkles on them.

Enjoy!  I hope that you have as much fun as we do making these!!!
I must warn you to eat these at your own risk they are very addictive!  Happy Halloween!!!