Monday, February 7, 2011

A Valentine Package!

I was so excited on Friday when my husband came home from work and told me that I had a package on the front door step!  I had a huge box full of goodies from someone I have never even met :) 

I mentioned in an earlier post that I joined a group called Seasonal Swaperoos.  Well, I got my first package on Friday from a very creative girl.

She sent me a box with these in it:


In case you can't see everything, let me just tell you about it.  There is an adorable "Be Mine" sign made with vinyl, a cube with "love" words in vinyl another wooden decorative thing with a glitter heart...what girl doesn't just love glitter :)  Makes me smile!
Then, there is a pink heart dish with a bag a heart candies, 4 boxes of heart candies for my kids, an adorable wooden silver bird that is just precious!  Oh, and the fun heart mug :)  Not pictured is a package of craft items to create valentine doorknob hangers (my daughter snatched that right up and set out to make them for all of us).  I just loved my surprises!!!
And, my favorite of all....my new Valentine Door Hanger!!!
I assume that my new friend made this...


It immediately replaced the burlap wreath that I had hanging.  I think it is just adorable and it looks like she really put a lot of work into it.

This was a really fun swap.  If you are interested in joining, you can check the site out HERE.  If you do join, please make sure to let Kirsti know that you heard about it through me...huge grin.  Also, comment here letting me know that you are joining.  You really should do it, it is a lot of fun!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seasonal Swaperoos!!!

I an so excited!!!  I have joined a site called  "Seasonal Swaperoos".  You join for only $5 per year and you are eligible to participate in any and all "swaps" throughout the year.  When you commit to participating in a swap, you are asked to put a goodie basket together worth about $15 and send it to the person that you are assigned to.  When you are assigned a person, you receive an email with a little info about that person.
This time, I was assigned a girl in Arizona.  I have checked out her blog and read a little about her to know what she likes so that I can create a package for her. 
Here's a sneak peek at her special Valentine package:

Once she receives her package, I will show you exactly what I put in it :)  Some things were storebought and some were homemade.

This is really a fun thing to participate in!  If you would like to join in on the fun, check it out here:


swaperoos


Please let Kirsti know that I sent you :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

peanut butter granola

Are you ready for a quick and easy recipe?


I can't remember where I first saw this recipe, but here it is...

Ingredients:  Peanut Butter, Butter, Honey, Old Fashioned Oats



Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a large pot.  Add about 1/3 cup peanut butter and 1/3 cup honey.  Stir until all ingredients are melted together and smooth.



Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats.


Spread on a cookie sheet (I didn't grease mine) and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.  Keep watch so that the granola doesn't burn.

Let cool and break into chunks.  I mixed in chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  You can mix in whatever your family likes.  This is a great snack to keep on hand and pack up for your child's snack at school.

I'd love to know if you tried this recipe!
Oh, and I didn't use the EXACT measurements.  
I just eyeball until it looks like I want it to :)

Happy Cooking!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hair Bow making class!!

So, today I had a blast with some of my friends.  Every couple of months, I hold a sewing class in my home.  It is usually about 6 ladies, their machines, a fabric kit and a tutorial that I created.  We all sit down for a couple of hours and have a great time.

Well, this time, we decided to to a hair bow making class.  My friend Darlene (Designedbydarlene on FB) makes beautiful bows, so she taught the class.  She provided ribbon to practice with and the girls paid $5 to take the class (which included a kit to make a double bow).

Here are some photos of the class...

Here are the girls!  Darlene is the one in brown standing up, showing us all what to do :)


Here are two girls holding their ribbon "just so" in order to get the ribbon "peenched" (southern for pinched) just right to make the perfect hair bow.

Here's my table with all of the supplies laid out...of course, my coffee in the bottom left corner is a necessary "supply".

And one more time, in case we didn't get it the other 50 times, here's Darlene showing us exactly how to hold our ribbon to get the best bow.

In all seriousness, she is amazing!  She makes beautiful bows that she does sell and she makes beautiful dresses for little girls that she also sells.  Here is an example of her clothing:

Turn your head to the right and you will get the idea.  Again, she is designedbydarlene (all one word) on Facebook.  Let her know that It's Sew Fun sent you!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Remembering Ryan...

I have mentioned on this blog that I would share my journey with my precious baby boy Ryan...so...here goes...


On Friday, March 7, 2003, I was heading out for the day with my 2 year old.  We had plans of shopping a little and preparing for the delivery of our new baby.  I was not feeling so well that day, but headed out anyway.  I was 39 weeks pregnant with an extremely active baby...boy or girl?  We didn't know just yet.

That particular morning, the baby was slow moving.  I didn't think too much about it and went on shopping anyways.  While in the first store, my 2 year old touched my belly and said "NO"...that was very strange to me.  We went about our business and headed home.

I noticed on the way home that the baby wasn't moving.  This concerned me a little, but I went ahead and tried to eat something and drink water.  My 2 year old went down for a nap.  The baby still wasn't moving, so I called the doctor and they told me to head on into the office.  At this point, I had to find someone to come stay with Jackson while he was napping.  After about 45 minutes, my youngest brother came to stay at our house and I met my mom for her to drive me.  My husband was in meetings and I couldn't get in touch with him, so I left him a message telling him where I was going.

My mom and I got to the office and they immediately took me back to check on the baby.  The nurse put the baby monitor on my belly and there was no noise.  She immediately took it off and went to get the doctor.  (My regular doctor was out of town)  The doctor came in, turned on the ultra sound machine and went to work.

At that moment, I heard the words that every mother fears the most:  "I'm sorry, I don't have good news".  I was totally heart broken.  I knew what that meant, my baby had died before I even got to meet him or her.  My mom was in the room with me and came over to hold me.  I think 2 seconds later, my husband walked in the room to find out the bad news.

To make a long story a tad shorter, we went home to pack bags, get Jackson situated and head to the hospital to deliver the precious baby.  Two of our pastors beat us to our house and were waiting on us to pray with us and help in any way that they could.  They were wonderful!  Then, once we got into a room and I got situated, more friends and family were gathering in the waiting room ready to lend their support.

Early the next morning, March 8th, Ryan Thomas Lewis was stillborn.  He was beautiful and perfect, 7 lbs and 6 oz and was 21 1/4 inches long. He died because of a cord accident.

Yes, this story is very sad, but God had a plan and I can look back and see some of that plan.  Oh how I wish Ryan were here, but I have 2 other precious children who may not be here otherwise.  McKinsey Ryan was born exactly one year later on Ryan's due date.  Jonathan Carter came into this world 2 years after McKinsey.

Our family is complete and we look forward to the day that we get to meet Ryan in heaven. 

I kept a journal for the next year after Ryan's death.  Looking back on it, I am so glad that I did.  You see, a very dear friend of mine lost her first daughter at 40 weeks.  She too, was stillborn.  My husband and I walked that path with them and learned a lot from them.  They were at our side immediately when we found out about Ryan.  She suggested that I keep a journal and "look" for God's blessings, even when I don't want to.  Well, I did that and am so glad that I did.

Here is something that I wrote on April 20, 2003:  We held you in our arms for a short time, but we hold you in our hearts forever.  For nine months we anticipated your arrival and your newborn cry.  For the rest of our lives, we will anticipate your laughter in heaven. We miss you so very much, but we have joy in knowing that we will see you again one day!

As you rest in the arms of Jesus, so do we.


I tell you my story to ask for your help.  While I was in the hospital, the nurses took precious photos of Ryan with items that were donated to give to grieving parents.  We left the hospital with photos of him, a blanket that was made for him, stuffed animal, baby ring and lots of other items to help us remember him.

I have been making flannel 24 x 24 blankets to donate in memory of Ryan.  If you would like to help by donating blankets, please contact me at julieklewis@comcast.net   I will give you more detailed information on what is needed.

After going through my experience, I learned that the perinatal loss department runs out of donations for parents. They keep whatever they can on hand.  That weekend, they ran out of memory boxes.  I took my baby's things home in a ziploc bag.  They nurses were so sorry that they had to send them home that way, but didn't have a choice.  My wish is that every parent gets to take home a blanket that was made for their baby to keep forever. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and again, if you would like to help by donating blankets to "Remembering Ryan", please contact me.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Jam 2011

We have been "snowed-in" here in Atlanta for the last 3 days!  For us, 6 inches of snow plus 1 inch of ice is a major deal...EVERYTHING shuts down because we can't handle the ice.  Snow is not the problem, but ice is.
My kids are loving it...day 3 of no school.  BUT, I don't think that they realize that they will have to make it up later in the year.
We have been sledding every day and really taking advantage of the beautiful white stuff...it truly is gorgeous!  Here are a few pictures:



Those are my precious kiddos!  They have enjoyed the snow so much, however, I do believe that cabin fever is setting in.

Here are a few more pictures:


The backyard

The view from my deck looking up toward neighbors

Stella: the best dog in the world!

Home Sweet Home!

Now, on to a yummy recipe.  Since we haven't been able to go anywhere, so I have been cooking and baking like a mad woman.  Here is what I made for breakfast this morning:


Homemade cinnamon rolls with just a little cheating!

You will need:  
frozen bread dough (I used the Kroger brand with several loaves in one bag)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
cinnamon (close to 1 TBSP)
and flour to roll out your dough

Recipe:
Let your dough thaw out completely (about 1 hour)
Roll out on a floured surface to form a rectangle.  You may need to stretch it a little to get it going.  It should measure about 12 inches by 6 inches.  Then take 2 TBSP of your room temp butter and generously grease an 8 x 11 pan.  Mix the dark brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining butter together.  Spread that mixture over the rolled out dough.  Roll up your dough long-ways and cut into 1 inch rolls.  You should get 12 out of this.  Place in the buttered pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.  
Set out on the counter the next morning while your oven is heating up to 350 degrees.  Then, uncover and bake for about 15-20 minutes.


Of course, you can use your own bread dough recipe.  You can also let the rolls sit out for about an hour before baking instead of refrigerating overnight.

If you want to add an icing, you can mix some powdered sugar with some melted butter and a little cream cheese.  But, they are so good and buttery just like they are!
Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oh what fun it is!!!

I just purchased a new sewing machine today....sigh...I so needed one.
This is a Janome DC2010 and I really like absolutely love this machine!!!  I have been busy working on projects all day.

Here is one project.  I am going to commit to "couponing" every chance I get this year.  I really need to get organized when it comes to grocery shopping and meal planning.  Our goal is to eat out on Wednesday nights at church and then on Sunday afternoons.  That means that I'll be cooking A LOT this year.  I"ll be looking for new recipes too :)

With all of that said, I created a neat little organizer today that I hope will help me. 

I like the look of the button and ribbon closure.  You simply wrap the ribbon around the button and off you go...now for the inside...

It has a pocket on the right side for a small notepad, a pocket in the middle for your pen that you MUST have with you when you shop.  On the left side is a pocket for coupons or other papers.  I added the triangle in the corner for a little "whimsey".

I hope you like it.  I will work on a tutorial for this in the coming weeks...stay tuned!