September 28, 2011

Machines & Things.

So far this week I did a complete and thorough cleaning on some of our regular household items like our fan, swiffer, and vacuum. They had all gotten pretty dirty and I am working on being a better steward of the things we already have...And trust me, these items needed it!

My husband usually does the upkeep on a lot of things in our home, like the computers, kitchen gagets, anything electronic, an much more. But, since he's not here (he's deployed), I guess all of that falls to me unfortunately. I honestly don't like doing it all, and seeing all the stuff he used to do here to help me, makes me miss him even more! When are you coming home, honey?

And then I did some routine maintenance on this sewing machine my sister was given. It just needed a little cleaning, and oiling, and it runs so well now! I think the older machines are often more dependable an rugged. My mom has a Singer that's lasted her well over 30 years, while I only had a White machine last for about 8. A few years ago, I bought a Singer too.

And this is the yucky lint that was in the sewing machine, an a dull needle. Sorry to have pictured this....But perhaps, it will get you to clean out whatever item you've been putting off cleaning that needs your care.

It's amazing what can hold up for so much longer when you care or things routinely, instead of when it gets so bad or breaks (like I usually tend to do).
 Enough of that.....

So, then I made another diaper cake (its so fun now)!!!...

 And gave it to my friend, Savina (in the middle) for her baby shower. She loved it! She's due in 3 weeks with her first baby boy. I am standing here on the left with her and my friend, Phyllis, who I also got to work with at Barnes & Noble. Great ladies and friends!

 And yesterday I got to go to the zoo with my mom, sister, an her kids. I had an absolute blast with all of them!
 And at the end of the day, while the others looked for bats at the Asian Exhibit, Nathan fell asleep in his stroller and I tried to keep us both dry from the rain. What a fun day!

September 19, 2011

Homemade Pancakes, Crackers & Cookies

Today I made homemade pancakes. I usually use this delicious recipe HERE, but after my mini-cation last week visiting my Aunt, her recipe may be my new favorite. Below is my Aunt Tricia's recipe:

Combine these ingredients to make a shelf-stable pancake mix:
6 Cups flour (4 whole wheat, 2 white)
1 T salt
6 T baking powder
6 T sugar
2 Cups powdered milk
1-2 tsp cinnamon

To make Pancakes:
In a bowl, mix:
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 Cup water
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 Cups of above pancake mix

Makes about 8-10 pancakes per batch.

Then, I made some whole wheat crackers. My husband had made some last year that were delicious as well, but this time I used Rae's recipe HERE, and they turned out great! I follow Rae's sewing blog pretty regularly and just love it!

And I made cookies. I have never had very much success in making chocolate chip cookies, even though they are my favorite. Aunt Tricia came through for me again....and they are made with reduced sugar, but still yummy! I snuck some whole wheat flour into them too!

1/4 Cup milk
4 1/4 Cup flour
1  tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
6oz chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another. Blend wet ingredients with a mixer until creamy. Add in dry mixture slowly while continuing to mix. Toward the end it gets pretty difficult to stir in the remaining flour, but persist. Stir in chips with a wooden spoon. Drop 1/4 cup-fuls 2" apart on ungreased sheet. Bake 10-14 minutes. Allow to cool. Yield 26-30 cookies (mine made 29).

September 16, 2011

Our Family Heart

Inspiration above discovered in Amanda Blake Soule's book, Handmade Home. The purpose of the Family Heart, according to Soule, is to provide a way for a family member to carry the love of their family with them whenever they may be away from home.  The heart even has a pocket for family love notes that can be taken out and re-read, bringing comfort to the family member.
With my husband deployed at this time, I fell absolutely in love with this project! I couldn't wait to create my own to mail to Steven, as a reflection of our love for one another. I incorporated fabrics that we both associate with special life events,  and from previous crafts we've made for our home. 
The Hoover family heart.
3 years ago, Steven attended flight school in Florida and earned his commercial  flight  license.  He had always wanted to fly as a little boy, and his dream finally became a reality. 
Steven and I have done crafts our whole lives. Since we've been married, we have both  enjoyed the commonality of doing crafts in our home. Steven enjoys leather and paper craft, and I enjoy sewing and painting. We have a designated art area in our home, and we pretty much live there. 
A scrap from our wedding day...We have been married for 7 years now, and  still thoroughly enjoy and desperately love one another. We are such a compatible couple, and are strained when we have to be apart (like now during his deployment).  I sew quite a lot for our home and for others. For the past 2 years, sewing has been my main hobby. 
Steven has been in the Army since 1983 and has been a sniper, paratrooper, infantry man, and now is a civil affairs specialist. I am so proud of him and all he has accomplished for our country, and for helping other countries try to get back on their feet and thrive once again. 
Our biggest accomplishment, is our precious son, Nathan, born this year. He is a true gift from the Lord, and is an extension of the love that Steven and I have for one another. 
This is the love note that Nathan and I wrote  to place in the heart pocket for Steven. I know Steven will re-read it endlessly while he's away and treasure it as a gift from home. 
Here is the heart all put together and ready to get placed in Steven's next care package. I know he'll love it, and when he brings it home next year, we will look forward to adding to it in the coming years. 

September 7, 2011

Sweater Repurposed

What started off last night as this almost-headed-to-the-thrift-store sweater, became 3 new useful items within an hour...

A pair of longies for Nathan, a baby hat, and a mommy hat for the winter. 

My mind has changed perspective a little bit this last week about my resourcefulness of used items after reading this phenomenal craft book read. The book was called Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Seoule. Check it out from your local library...if you like to sew, or like crafts, you will fall in love with this one for sure! What can you re-purpose today, instead of throwing out or giving away?

September 4, 2011

Sunday Morning....

I woke up this morning, got me and my cute little man all ready for church. Then, a huge thunderstorm with sideways rain. And then the little man started screaming. Umm...., guess I'll watch church service online today instead. Thank you, Lord, for streaming video : ), and my Bible. So, Nathan took a nap and then was happy, we snapped a few photos together.
But then...., while Nathan slept, I ate a hot breakfast, watched service online, and then changed all of these....
to these below.... Ahh. Peace of mind.
And did I mention better safety now for the little one who will be crawling in a few short days/weeks no doubt. To change your own switches and receptacles, see my blog tutorial from last year HERE and HERE.
Adding safety plugs to all the receptacles in my Sunday best! Yes, flip flops are my Sunday Best : ). I painted that yellow color in his room last night. What do you think?
And, let me point out that I also happen to be modeling a wonderful birthday gift from my sister, Amy. With her creative skills she made me this shirred/smocked skirt out of a man's t-shirt. I just love it! Check out more of her creativity on her blog HERE. And now to clean up the rest of the paint mess in baby N's room..... Happy Sunday to you all!