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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Weekend (Part Three)

Last night, Dan, Callie and I dyed some Easter eggs.

We did it quickly with little fanfare, but the colors still turned out pretty and vibrant. (it seems that this took alot longer when I was a kid---and when the girls were kids)

Then, despite the fact that I have some really cool antique egg cups and pretty dyed eggs, I forgot all about them this morning. So, they are still sitting in a carton in my frig!

Dan had new Easter clothes to wear and he really looked nice!!

At Sunday schooI, I shared the Easter story and we talked about how the disciples and Mary might have felt when they found the empty tomb---what a mix of emotions there must have been!!! As a culminating activity, we enjoyed a snack of Resurrection Rolls. The idea behind them may have been lost, but they were quite tasty. And ONE of the rolls even looked like it was supposed to (despite this terribly fuzzy photo)!!

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Easter Weekend (Part Two)

Dan's favorite meal is steak and baked potato, so we invited Jordan and Callie over to eat dinner with us Saturday night. Since the weather was so nice, we ate outdoors on the deck. My miniature rose bush is in full bloom right now (this is one that came from my childhood home on Lincoln Drive), so I cut a few bunches for our table.

We fired up the grill and Jordan took over. Yummy!!! We had a wonderful meal of steaks, baked potatoes, grilled corn and grilled asparagus. Everything was so good!!! (sorry Jana, no black bean recipes this time---but I am really starting to like asparagus!!)

After dinner, we sat around outside and visited for a while. The weather was perfect!

Callie and I had already bought the ingredients to prepare a special treat for our Sunday School classes----a recipe that I'd found online the day before. Resurrection Rolls. I found my recipe here. But, they are all over the internet---here and here and here. Kim used freezer rolls rather than crescent rolls, so we did, too. In fact, perhaps I should show you how hers turned out first:

Because ours bear very little resemblance to them at all!!! Everything sounded easy enough when I read the recipe and it all went together pretty quickly.

But to say that things ended up messy would be a major understatement!! And while many people would try out a new recipe such as this with just one small batch ---to be sure it worked. Not us!!! No, that's not how we roll (no pun intended) We whipped up 64 of these little guys! (notice the baking sheet on the counter----I ended up just throwing that away!)

On the last batch, after discovering that the marshmallows seemed to be leaking out the bottom of the rolls and burning on the cookie sheets, we decided to try flipping them over before cooking. Let's just say----NOT A GOOD IDEA!!

They actually tasted really good---kind of like Monkey Bread---but I'm afraid the idea of the tomb being left empty, etc., etc. may have been completely lost on our version of these rolls.

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Easter Weekend Projects (Part One)

What a nice weekend it's been. Having Good Friday off from school, I drove down to Cheneyville to pick up Dan. As usual, he was waiting on the front porch for me with his bag just inside the door. I took some candy-filled carrots to the guys in his group home, and then we headed back to Shreveport for the weekend.

The weather was great---blue skies, lots of sunshine and wind. Lots of wind!! Thank goodness for that wind, though, because Friday set records for high temperatures around here. Dan helped me do a few things around the house once we got home---store away things in the storage building, hang a pegboard for my tools and paint a door for the laundry room (actually Dan watched me do many of those things, but he definitely helped reach high spots and hold things while I sawed or nailed). After dinner with Callie and a quick grocery shopping trip, I began sewing a faux Roman shade for the laundry room.

Saturday morning, we worked for a couple of hours in the food pantry. It was a really busy day and the time flew by!! Dan really enjoys meeting people and helping them carry their groceries, etc. He is so friendly to everyone. What a great way to help!

Back home, I recruited him to install the new door knobs on my cabinets in the laundry room as I drilled the holes. Those pesky knobs just wouldn't always slide in the way they were supposed to, so it wasn't as easy as it looks.

And here's the new window shade. I based mine on Fly Through My Window's tutorial found here----I really like the fabric I picked, but am certainly not wild about the fact that it seems to be hanging pretty crooked. What's up with that???
From Mommy's Treasures

It was great to spend time outdoors today. Dan helped me clean off the deck, washing down the furniture and storing away some of the things that had accumulated there over the past month or two. Initially, I'd had visions of working on a new walkway, but I quickly realized that was going to need to wait until another weekend---this one was already full enough!!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Pretty In Pink

Each spring, they return. First, the green stems peek through leaves and even snow. Then one day I awake to bright pink blooms in the back of my yard. I have never actually figured out what these flowers are, and while I know they are there, the day the blooms appear is always such a nice surprise.

These are the same bulbs that sprouted through the snow a couple of months ago, signaling that spring was indeed on its way.

So, I'll enjoy the pretty pink blossoms perched atop the slender green stems while I can and look forward to them reappearing again next year.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Green DIY

I certainly don't consider myself any sort of health nut----my diet and habits can definitely attest to that. But, while considering my word of the year, "Purpose", I have become more concerned about being more healthy and making small changes that can impact the environment in a positive way. I tackled one of those small changes this weekend.

With my laundry room "re-do" well underway, I decided that one change I could make is to switch to more natural laundry products. After seeing lots of different options for homemade laundry detergent, I settled on the recipe I found over on Go Green Street. This was an easy-peasy recipe, with only 3 ingredients needed (I love the packaging on that Dr. Bronner's soap). I found all of them at Drug Emporium and the total cost was about $9 for enough laundry powder to last me months! So, not only is it pretty and safe for the environment, but it is VERY cost-efficient, too. And did I mention that it smells good, too?!?! I chose the lavender soap, but Dr. Bronner's comes in lots of different scents.

First I grated the bar of soap into a large bowl. One bar makes over 2 cups once grated.

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Next, I measured out the Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)

and stirred them together really well.

Lastly, I poured it into a pretty jar that I found on the sale table at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago. The whole process only took about 15 minutes and my whole kitchen still smells really nice from the lavender soap!

I made one other little change---I really like to use dryer sheets but have been reading about how unhealthy they are, both for the environment and for our bodies. So, I made my own natural ones! I cut some plain terry washcloths in half, zig-zagged the edges, and placed them in a jar filled with a fabric softener mixture. (I used Mrs. Meyer's lavender fabric softener diluted with water) I can now take out a cloth, squeeze out the excess liquid and toss it in the dryer with my clothes. Normal dryer sheets are pretty cheap so I don't know if my homemade variety is that much cheaper, but it definitely is not any more expensive and will be much better for us. (that's the cloths in the square jar I found at Target)

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What a busy week I've had--so much to do at work right now and meetings, etc. in the evenings. How nice to finally make it to the weekend!

This morning I headed to the church for our annual Easter Meal. This is a great event that generally feeds over 1,000 people in our community a great lunch of barbecue chicken and the fixin's.

From Mommy's Treasures
I worked outdoors in the kids' area, where we had all kinds of crafts and games set up--carnival style. The weather was beautiful and the hours passed quickly.
From Mommy's Treasures
From Mommy's Treasures
The great weather provided the perfect setting for some work outdoors back at the house. Ron came down to help me get things ready for the new sidewalk that will be poured in a week or so. Since the new sidewalk will cut through my existing front flowerbed, the large Sasanqua tree had to go. Sasanquas are really nice, but this one had really gotten out of hand in regard to shape and size.
From Mommy's Treasures
The tree had been there a while though, and after cutting through the roots, we finally resorted to attaching a chain to the trunk and pulling with Ron's truck!
From Mommy's Treasures
Before ever beginning, I was careful to check that the nest perched deep in the branches was now unoccupied. It was situated too high for me to ever look inside, but I know that a mockingbird was sitting on the nest at one point.
From Mommy's Treasures
Once the branch was cut, I found this tiny treasure inside . . .
From Mommy's Treasures
Since the shell was cracked and empty (and this looks like a robin's egg to me), it makes me wonder if that mockingbird was a nest-robber instead of a sweet mama. :-(

With the most pressing yard work behind me (I could spend tons more time out in the yard, but not today), I came inside to begin putting my laundry room back together. Hopefully, I can show you pictures of that soon.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kindness Breeds Kindness


It's official. Kindness breeds kindness! In case you've ever wondered if tiny acts of kindness really make any difference at all, you can be assured that research has now proven that generosity is contagious. A single act can influence dozens more! Through a series of blog posts tonight, ( via A Year Of Giving via Kendra's blog ---thanks Kendra), I found a great article about kindness that is definitely worth a read. click here to read it

In "A Year Of Giving", this guy gave away $10 a day during 2010 to people he met in the Washington, DC area. In addition to fostering a more altruistic attitude in himself, he met many new people and hopes to have nurtured that spirit in others as well. While that year is now past, he has begun several other projects, one of which is the Worldwide Day Of Giving. The second annual event will be held on June 15 of this year and encourages people all over the world to participate by passing on $10 to someone they meet that day. How cool is that?!?!

I'm going to mark my calendar---sounds like a fun adventure!

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Round Robin - Collections

Round Robin's challenge this time is "Collections". Whether it's seashells, stamps, rocks, boyfriends(!), dolls, fountain pens or anything else, show us your collection or collections! It's as simple as that!

I have several collections. Some, I've been collecting for many years and others more recently. The one I've personally owned the longest is my doll collection.

Being the only daughter and only granddaughter for many years gave me the lovely advantage of inheriting the "girly" things. As a child, I spent many hours playing with these dolls, rearranging them and even naming them.

While some were simply gifts for Christmas or my birthday, others, such as this beautiful baby doll, belonged to my grandmother when she was a little girl.

The second collection is a small set of ironwork finials. Here is a portion of my collection which is on currently on my mantel.

The last collection I've pictured, begun a few years ago, is one of violin bottles. Inspired by my daughter's talent on the violin and an article I read in a Good Housekeeping magazine many years ago, I started looking for the bottles when I visited flea markets. Most likely produced in the 1930's and 40's, they come in a variety of colors and most range in size from 6"-10". My favorite? --the pair of tiny vintage bottles that I found in Canton, TX.

Be sure to take a look at the collections of the other Round Robins. The linking list is here.

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