rainbow {pudding} pops

Want to make some happy kids? 
These were a big hit...found via Jimaie Marie...who found it on Secrets of a Super Mommy.

Simple and fun...here is how we made them...
Make vanilla pudding according to directions on the box.  Be sure to buy the BIG box of INSTANT pudding...I accidentally got the kind you have to boil...still worked but an unnecessary step...once you have it mixed...divide evenly it between five or six bowls...depending on how many colors you want.  They taste more rainbowy if you make them in rainbow colored bowls...that's a fact right there. :)
Add yay amount of food coloring...
Mix to get the color all the way through...
Starting with red...evenly divide between your cups.  I purposely used small cups and lots...I wanted smaller pops that the boys could handle easily...these are dixie bathroom sized ones...
Continue through all the colors...remember ROY G BIV (red orange yellow green blue indigo and violet) if you want a true rainbow effect. :) 
Add a popsicle stick and freeze.  My sticks may look huge and my pops small...but they sizes were perfect for my kids...they could hold on well and it wasn't too much icy coldness. 
The boys loved them.  It was great that they were made from pudding because they were less drippy than normal popsicles.  However...if we make them again...I will probably add some sort of flavoring (pineapple?)...because to me they were just a tad bland...you know, like vanilla pudding. :) 
But like I said...the boys were happy.

I didn't finish sewing Nothing but Net squares yet...but I am getting close...I am up to having 38 squares!!!

A huge thank you to the Fabric Shoppe for stepping up to sponsor all of the fabric needs for the quilt!

Ok...go make rainbows...or quilt squares! :)

hoho takes on the water park...

and sigh...

I told you last week that we were going away for a couple of days.  What I didn't tell you was that we were going HOME!  At least for me, the New River Valley (Radford and Blacksburg) is the ONLY place that has ever felt like home...the only place on Earth that I truly love.

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned it since.  The truth is...I haven't recovered. 
At least not emotionally. 

You see...it wasn't just the physical location that we were going to see...it was the people that would be there.  Our family was going to be there...Doug's parents and some siblings.  Family that we love and don't get to see nearly enough.  It was a wonderful weekend.  Perfect.  Moses loved it.  Aaron loved it.  We all left happy and full.  

Now the recovery is still going on.  We (some me and some Doug) are absolutely heartsick to live closer to family.  I long to live close enough to see them more than a few times a year.  Outside of our family of four, Doug's family is everything to us...for reasons I won't discuss, my side of the family is out of the picture, and will remain there for long into the foreseeable future.  

We plan our lives around the trips we take to see them...we get there and love every minute.  And then we come home...to a place that we don't particularly love.  And there is always a great period of recovery and grief and homesickness.  Especially for me. 

It pains my heart when Moses asks if we can go play with his cousins...or go visit his grandma...or go see his aunts and uncles...and he doesn't understand the distance that separates us.  We can tell he feels the same as we do...he just has less words and ability to express it. 

Add to that...the fact that since it has been 3 1/2years almost since we left HOME...things have changed...people have changed and moved on...life is different there....we are different.  If could go back there...it wouldn't be the same.  Home has truly become wherever our family is.  

Which leaves me to wonder where God has in store for us?

Add to that also...the fact that so far...2010 has been a huge pruning year for me.  God has shown me areas in my life that need a good trimming...be it people (family, friends, etc) that need to be cut away....or things that are taking up too much time...or blogs that I need to cut out of my reading list, etc...it's been a year for cutting away the lifeless things to make room for the growing ones.  

I'm not saying that I had all these cancerous things in my life...I'm not talking about anything drastic like drugs or drinking or filth...but more like God showing me parts of my life and asking "Does this bring you Joy? or does this give the enemy a footstool?"  

Time and again He has cut.  And now I feel bare.  I am ready to move on from this place...to water and care for what is left and see what grows.  God knows that the desires of my heart (and Doug's too) is to be close enough to family to have REAL relationships with them...to see them even a couple of times a month would mean the world and then some...

And Doug is currently in a series of interviews that just may lead to our hearts desire.  And I know that God's plan and timing is pure and right and good. 

And the crazy thing...is that I have never felt closer to God.  I have never before RUN to read my Bible...or look forward to talking to Him...or felt His presence as closely as I have lately...I guess I needed that pruning to get to that place.  I guess its hard to hear the God that whispers when so many distractions are busy screaming things at you... 

And now I am ready to take that...and move forward (and closer!)...whenever God sees fit to send us.

For now...I'm still nursing homesickness...enjoying my two sweet boys...and praying for God to do what's best...

ice ice {baby} (painting with ice cubes!)

Does that title date me a little? I hope not.  But oh well if it does. :)
Here's a fun little something for you and your littles...I saw this idea over there at minieco.
Fun cold fun for the hot summer days.
Fill an ice tray with water...don't over fill...you don't want the water to run from one cube to the next. 
I added one drop of food coloring per cube...but I think two drops per cube would have been better.
Once it's frozen...head on outside.  
I taped some paper on some cardboard....and we worked on the grass.
It was fun...and kept his attention.
And it was free...we had everything on hand. My kind of entertainment. 
His hands did get a little stained.  But it was gone within a day or so.  And he's a kid...I think it's a right of passage to have stained hands...
Oh...and I made him work in and OLD bathing suit.  The food coloring will stain. 
Something fun and different.  Easy and cheap.
Have fun!! :)
This is my one and only goal this weekend....I really want to get the squares sewn for our Nothing but Net quilt...so I can trim them...and sew them together.  :) And we can get to our goal!
Have you been over to see OUR PAGE!

I'm so proud of us...I can't wait to see where we end up!

Thank YOU for helping!

why {bother} blogging. part 2.

I know I have been promising this for a while...but I really had to think about how I wanted to get it out there...what I have to say, that is.  WHY I bother blogging.  Why maybe you should too?  

It really all comes down to people.  The good, the bad and the ugly of it all.  

I'm an extrovert on the outside...an introvert on the inside.  My extrovert loves people and gatherings and being with others.  My introvert is controlled by my insecurities and lack of faith in self. 

   Blogging is my therapy.  My cookbook.  My boys baby books.  My spiritual journey.  My journal.  My way of sharing.  My way of encouraging.  My way of giving.  My way of using what I have for good.  My way of BEING the change that I want to see in others.  My way of learning what I need to change about myself. 

I have learned so much from blogging...and I have only been doing it for a little under three years.  Blogging makes me think.  Blogging makes me want to share...and share well.  Which makes me think...a lot.  And share and think and share and think. 

I want my boys to know me well.  For them to have a history of their lives.  I struggled to get their first year baby books filled in and complete (but I did it!).  I have tried to journal and scrapbook and do photo albums and all of that.  None of it has stuck...I still have and do tons of photo albums but they don't always share the whole story.  

Blogging allows me to interact with my history in a way that encourages me and moves me forward.  Like...if you make a scrapbook page...it sits in a book...sometimes people will see it...some times it just sits there.  With a blog you get instant, and often ongoing, feedback.     

I like the back and forth of a blog versus a scrapbook.  I like "meeting" people that I would never have in my real life.  I like making friends, yes REAL friends, with people all over the globe.  

I would have liked to live back in the day...you know...where you drove your little cart across the prairie, found a good spot, built a house and knew everyone in town within a few days.  You would swap favors and crops and take care of each other.  You knew each other well and watched out for each others kids.  

Instead I live in a neighborhood where I am pretty sure that we are the only people who open their blinds on a daily basis...where kids throw rocks at my house and then spit in my grass when I ask them to stop.  I try to be available and kind and friendly...but most of the people here are very guarded.  We do have a couple of good neighbors though...and we are thankful for those.  

Blogging expands my neighborhood.  

Blogging exposes my weaknesses and various issues.  This is usually through "the ugly" part of blogging...but I try and turn and work this for my GOOD.  Usually a negative comment IS a negative comment because it preys on something that I need to work on.  I use that as fuel to refine...to figure out WHY it bothers me and how I can use it to help myself grow as a person. 

Blogging shows me how far have I come.  

Blogging keeps me close to my family.  We don't live close to any of our family really...the closest is 2 1/2 hours away...we don't get to see them much (though we are praying for that to change soon!!)  This blog helps that family to know my kids a little better...to feel a little more like we live down the street...to keep in touch a little more...to hear some of the funny stories...to add another layer to our relationships...blogging knits my family closer together. 

And that...above all...is why I blog.  


this will have to do {and help please}

Well last night I was full of good intentions.  I was all set to sit down after the boys went to bed and write up all of my posts for the week and respond to all my emails...I had them all ready to go in my head...and then we had the worst thunderstorm that I have ever witnessed in my life...there is rumor that it may have been part tornado...and I believe it.  It was wicked bad and this morning sounds of chainsaws and hammers are filling the air as people try to clean up the mess that it made.  There are huge branches and trees down everywhere...we are blessed that there is not much damage.

But it did freak me out enough to throw me off my game, shut down our electricity and internet...and we are heading out of town for a couple of days...so this is all I can muster.  

Above hoho is showing off his new Sour Patch kids shirt...custom made for the biggest stinker that I know...cause generally...first he is sour...then he is sweet.

  And this is another fun new thing I am working on...this one will be available sometime next week...with more to come. :) 

And I need your help...I often get the same kinds of questions in emails...so I've been thinking...why not put together a collaboration that we all work on...

Here are the three main topics:

Blogging Etiquette. 
Advice for newly married.
a third topic that is currently eluding my cloudy brain at the moment. 

And this is where you come in...on this post...please leave your tid bits for blogging etiquette...and then I will compile them in one big post.  

I want to hear all of your do's and don't's...and you can leave them anonymously if that helps you.  When I compile the huge list I won't put any names to it...so you can forward it along to all those people in your life that may or may not need to freshen up their bloggy etiquette.  

Cause we all have those people in our lives right? 

So sorry this is all I have to give you for a few days...you still love me right? :)

Ok...love you...bye. :)

fresh things.

after many tries and mess ups...i think i have finally perfected my poppies...
I found that thin jersey material does well to mimic the delicate petals of a poppy...
And sadly...I only had enough of the red polka dot material to make four of them...so get them while you can...they are available as pins or barrettes...they are cute on a jacket or bag...
And some cute new signs...this on comes with your little ones name and date of birth...available in any color combo we can think of...
And these are the beginning of my {more} or {less} signs...I used some of the ideas for towels that you all offered up...
This one is one of my favorites...

You can find them (and others)in my Etsy shop in the top right hand corner...or in my new Big Cartel Shop...HERE
I'm giving it a go over there for a while...we will see how it goes. :)


mas random.

Can you stand a few more random things?
I know the last couple of posts have been super random...but I feel like they are loose ends that need to be tied in...and are things I want included...when I print this chunk of my blog.
I finally broke down and bought one of THESE...
And now I am working on ways to make it work for me...
like these cute "start of a {happy} family" signs...and some other happy simple signs that I have in mind...you can find this sign HERE...along with all other non sewn goods from here on out. 

I am also thinking of adding some DIY things...like a iron on/stencils, etc...
A new cute towel in the Etsy shop...
Aaron is learning how to use a fork...it's pretty entertaining to watch.  The fork he is holding was Doug's when he was little...it makes me happy to see my boys using it.
And thanks to Uncle B (who you can read more about HERE) the boys have a new little boy sized picnic table.
A couple of weeks ago I hinted to Uncle B that I wanted a simple picnic table for the boys...I was even nice enough to print him out this free pattern for him.
And today Uncle B came for a visit and let Moses help him put it together. 
It is the perfect size for them...and it is SO cute!  I want to paint it red eventually...but for now it is perfect for play doh...or eating lunch...or playing nicely together with your brother. :)

Ok...I think that is the end of my random...I really want to do another segment of "why bother {blogging}" so I will work on that...plus some other fun posts I have in mind...

Feel free to leave me a random comment...you know, to pay me back for all my random posts lately. :)

You guys are super.  And I mean that. Thank you thank you THANK YOU...for the head start on the quilt raffle...you are amazing!! I am so excited!!!

boys {this week}

I'm not a big schedule person...I like to plan...just not schedule.  I like to have days free to do whatever comes our way...these are just some snapshots of our week, that I want to document...
This cheap sprinkler is one of our favorite things...it makes an almost daily appearance.
We also like sidewalk chalk...hoho likes to eat it...
And this was the first time that I have seen Moses draw fingers!  Super cute that boy is...
He is filling in an outline that we did of him...
And here is me and hoho {eating chalk}
And this is a new favorite...we just got it a couple of days ago and it is already worth the eight bucks we paid for it.  He has a little trouble with the run then slide thing...so he would get on his stomach and I would slingshot him down the slide.  Every time he would shout something different...things like "superman lunchbox" and "watch out orcas" or "there's a shark"...I'd give anything to see into that little brain. 
This kid is awesome.  Earlier this week I asked him if he had a happy life.  He said yes.  I asked him why.  He said "Because Jesus loves me".  Ahhhh, yes.  I have to work at that kind of simple faith...he totally gets it at three. 
This is what you get when you ask for his serious face.
And this is hoho's mad face.  I got him to look at me by telling him I had a giggle.  I did not. 
FYI-in hoho language a giggle is anything furry or cuddly...fuzzy blankets...stuffed animals...minky blankets...cats...dogs...squirrels...any animal really.  He actually says the word giggle...which is super cute. :)

That's our week... 

made {this week}

Just some projects I have been working on this week...
This first one is a table runner...but shorter...and it is made with a layer of the heat resistant backing (like you use for pot holders) so it can sit in the middle of the table (out of reach of chubby hands) and act as a hot pad. I saw one on a blog that I can't find at the moment...and made one for myself using a random pattern...I made three 10in squares and home decor weight fabric for the trim.  The other side is a yummy orange fabric for when I need a change of scenery. 

I love having it in the center of the table...though I am sitting at the table right now and can't see it because it is covered...
I finally got around to adding another layer to Aaron's hand print...
Each year I outline the boys hands...and add the bigger one under the previous years...I am a couple of months behind with hoho's. :) 
They are one of my favorite things...like people tree rings. :) 
This I love...for a friends new baby girl.  Can you guess her name?
And a nice big custom order...all finished up and ready to go out. :) 

Just a few of my projects this week...there are a few more but not photographed. :)

I'd love to see what you have been working on this week...leave a link. :) 

And happy fathers day to my doug.  my boys have the best father.  the best.  and we all love him dearly! :)
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