Monthly Archives: April 2010

Flower Power! – How to Make Flower Hair Clips

When I started this blog, I didn’t think I would post lots of crafty things; I wanted to write about my struggles and joys in life, but being disabled, I try to find fun things to do that don’t require walking or standing. I only started crafting a couple of months ago, for the exception of sewing curtains and pillows (I’ve been doing that for years!). This is a major part of my life and I always wanted to be a teacher. I am praising the Lord that I have been able to teach you how to do some fun things! Below is my latest project.

Hair accessories are all the rage right now. I went to Kohl’s to buy a flower for my hair and I was surprised  disgusted at the price of these little clips. I knew I could make them for much cheaper so I went on a quest.

My mom, sister, and I went to Joann’s(store) for material for table runners for my mom’s upcoming birthday party. While we were there I looked for stuff to make my flower hair clips. BINGO!! Ding Ding Ding! We were winners!

I found flower petals and the clips. I think there were 14 flowers in each pack and 20 hair clips. I bought 2 packs of petals and one bag of clips. I spent about $5. I had a 40% off coupon for one item, so without it, it would have been about $7.

I went to Target today for a hot glue gun ($5), then when I got home, I went into my sewing box and grabbed some scrap fabric and my bag of buttons and set everything on the kitchen table.

The first thing I had to do was figure out what colors and shapes and buttons I wanted to put together. That took me the longest time!

The next thing I did was hot glue a small strip of fabric to the clip.

Then I glued the flower petals together and added the button to the center.

I attached the clip to the back of the flower.

Below are all of the clips I made today.

Don’t mind the bump in my hair!

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Paper Lanterns

I first saw these paper lanterns at a Tea Party I went to at a friend’s house. I thought they were so cute! Since we are doing a garden-themed party for my mom for her birthday, I sent my friend an email and asked how she made them. I thought doing a tutorial would be fun. Sorry some of the pictures are blurry. American Idol was coming on and I was trying to hurry. *Speaking of American Idol…. 🙂

Here’s what you need:

  1. Scrapbooking cardstock
  2. Empty 16.9 oz. water bottle
  3. 12 inch Piece of ribbon
  4. Ruler
  5. Scissors
  6. Tape

1. Cut the top off of a 16.9 ounce water bottle.

2. Cut a piece of cardstock into a 7.5 inch by 8 inch rectangle; it will almost look square. (I used scrapbooking card stock; it doesn’t work quite as well with the regular scrapbooking paper)

3. Fold the paper in half along the long side. It should now be 8 inches by 3.75 inches.

4.  Along the folded side, cut into the paper about 1 to 1.5 inches.

5. Next, unfold the paper and fold in the ends about 1.5 inches.

6. Cut into the folded side of the paper about 1 inch. Do not cut all the way through the paper.

7. Repeat on the other side.

8. Unfold the paper and set the cut water bottle on the paper. The lines you cut should run perpendicular to the  lines on the bottle.

9. Roll the paper around the bottle and tape the overlapping pieces together. Make sure you don’t tape on a cut part.

10. Grab the bottle around the non cut part and smush it together so the center flares.

11. Next, smush the outsides until the two outside cut parts flare also. This can be a little tricky with the bottle in there, but just move the bottle up and down so you can get it to smash really well.

12. Stand the lantern up. Take your 12 ribbon and fish it through one of the slits from the outside in.

13. Tie a knot in the top piece and wedge it in the slit, pulling the outside ribbon up.

14. Repeat on the other side of the lantern with the other end the ribbon.

And viola! You have a paper lantern.

 If you didn’t tape the paper tight enough around the bottle, you may need to secure it with some tape so it doesn’t fall out of the bottom. I was reading online about these lanterns, and someone said they fill the bottom with sand and burn a votive candle in it. Seems a little dangerous to me.  I am using mine as just a cute decoration. If you want them to glow I would recommend the battery powered flameless votives.  Below are pictures of more lanterns we made tonight.

When My Heart is Breaking I Never Leave His Hands

I am writing this with such a heavy heart.

Tomorrow we are going to the memorial service for our old Pastor’s 23-year-old son who died unexpectedly last week.

 I found out today that a family friend’s one-and-a-half  year old son was diagnosed with Leukemia and started chemo today.

 I received a call from my dad this afternoon that his wife went to the Emergency room with severe flu-like symptoms. A CAT scan was done and she ended up having a ruptured appendix and went in for emergency surgery.

My friend at church told me about her friend who has such bad arthritis that she lost her balance and fell into the oven and burned her torso badly.

My best friend is walking in the Great Stride walk to fight Cystic Fibrosis for a one year old little girl named Ginger fighting this horrible disease.

Sometimes I lay in bed and cry to the Lord to come quickly. Some days I can’t stand the evil and suffering in this world; I feel like my heart is breaking. Tonight is one of those nights. I have a huge knot in my chest and all I would have to do is blink and the tears would pour down my face.

At times like these, I find no comfort in the sovereignty of God, that He is in control, because let’s face it, He allows things that cause pain and leave us feeling confused. I do take comfort in the fact that He loves me. He loves us. He is the “God of all comfort.” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)  Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)

There are times however, when it seems that no comfort can be found.  In Psalm 119:82, David even says, “My eyes fail from searching Your word, Saying, “When will You comfort me?”. What do we do when we have searched the Word of God for comfort, but we still feel crushed by the burden we carry? What happens when we have layed ourselves at the feet of Jesus and we still don’t find rest for our souls? We keep searching His Word. We keep crying out for comfort. We keep trusting Him.

Tonight I was feeling so sad, I was crying out to God, asking for answers. No answers came. But, a song came on the radio and His comfort washed over me. I don’t understand any better why God has allows the things I mentioned above, but I do understand the love of my sweet Savior who gives me the gift of a song, a glimmer of hope and the promise of eternity when all will be made right.

Please watch and listen to the video below. I am praying it ministers to you like it ministered to me.

Unrealized Provision

Below is a little something my husband wrote today. I thought it was really good and decided to share.
I believe the entitlement mentality of American culture today has left too many of us unmoved by the provision God has made for us through the cross. May we remember that no one deserves heaven and only through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ have we escaped that which we all truly do deserve, eternal separation from God in hell. When I think on the sacrifice God made in giving His own Son so that all men may have a chance to be reconciled and be saved from the penalties they bring upon themselves, I am in awe. How could the creator of all things be moved to such compassion for sinners like us? How can we not live every moment in abundant thanksgiving and praise of God? May we meditate on this today and live for Christ, not because of fear of punishment, but instead out of the gratefulness of our hearts.

Apple Pocket Pie Recipe (With Pictures!)

Sometimes I get a little over zealous at the grocery store thinking we are going to eat 5 servings of fruit a day. We do our best, but sometimes I end up with lots of extra and this week it was green apples. Last night I was watching Good Eats with Alton Brown and he was making these pocket pies. His had Curried Mango and Chocolate filling, but like I said, I had apples. 🙂 Part of this recipe is indeed from Alton Brown, but the filling is from Paula Dean, revised a little by me because we have to cook the apples down before filling the pocket pies. This recipe yields about 20 pies. I got 21 out of it. I think they turned out really well. I just gave some to my sister and brother-in-law, so I will have her give a review! Hope you enjoy!

Apple Pocket Pies

Ingredients for pastry:

  • 9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 ounces shortening, approximately 6 tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 to 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Vegetable, canola oil or butter, for frying
  •  

    Ingredients for filling:

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Directions:

    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.

    2. Add the shortening and knead it into the flour with your hands until it is crumbly.

    3.  Add the milk all at once and mix in with a spatula until it begins to come together.

    4. Lightly flour your hands and the countertop and turn the dough out onto the countertop. Knead the dough ball, folding over 10 to 20 times.

    5. Using a rolling pin roll the dough to 1/3 to 1/2-inch thickness, then cut into rounds using a 2 1/4-inch ring.

    6. Roll each round as thinly as possible or to 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Lay the rounds out on a cookie sheet, with wax paper between the layers. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

    7. Meanwhile,  peel, core and dice 6 medium apples.

    8. Put diced apple into a large skillet. Add brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice and water. Stir together and cook on low heat for 30 minutes, stiring occasionally.

    9. Move cooked filling into a stainless steel bowl and refrigerate until filling is cool, about 30 minutes. The stainless steel is a good conductor of heat, so the apples will cool more quickly. If you don’t have a SS bowl, you can use any other kind, but cooling will take a little longer.

    10. Remove pastry rounds and cooled filling from refrigerator. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto the dough, brush the edges of half of the dough lightly with the egg wash, fold over and seal the edges together with the tines of a fork, dipping it into flour as needed.

    11. Gently press down to flatten and evenly distribute the filling and cut 3 slits in the top of the pie.

    12. Brush pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

     There are a couple of options for how to cook the pies. I baked them so the calories and fat would be less, but lets face it, they are going to be best deep-fried. Here are the directions for each method.

     13. To bake pies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place finished pies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

    14. To deep-fry pies, heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or a large heavy pot to 375 degrees F. Once hot, add 1 to 2 pies at a time and fry until golden brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

    Things I Miss

    The last few days I have been thinking a lot about how I lived my life before I was disabled. I was so active. I was a cheerleader, I played basketball, volleyball and I loved to run. I enjoyed bowling, tennis, miniature golf, and skating. Those things have now been replaced with writing, drawing, painting, reading, watching TV and surfing the internet, things that don’t require me to get out of my seat and into the real world.  I really miss doing the things I used to do.

    I make it a point not to feel sorry for myself, or complain, but tonight, I want to reminisce and say, “It’s just not fair!” The pain is so bad right now. My hip is so swollen and every step is starting to be excruciating. My back feels like it is on fire and I have to concentrate really hard to do the simplest task – the pain is so distracting. It could be the Tylenol with Codeine talking, but tonight I’m just going to let it!

    I miss the feeling of running down the basketball court and making a lay-up. I miss diving for a volleyball and skinning my knees on the hardwood floor. I miss holding hands with my sweetheart as we go round and round the roller skating rink. I miss playing miniature golf and having to fish my ball out of the pond next to the windmill. I miss running – feeling out of breath and pushing my body as far as it can go.

    I don’t think that I will ever be able to do those things again, not in this life. But I know my God and I know how much He loves me. I bet there is mini golf in Heaven. I bet running on the streets of gold is going to be so great. But for now, I ask “Why?”, I get tired of needing the wheel chair on every outing and hoping there is a handicap spot open. I hate relying on other people to clean my house and do my laundry. I just want to feel like myself – It’s been 10 years since I have felt carefree. I want to be pain-free. I want to be active and spend time doing sports and activities with my husband. I don’t want to wake up every morning and wonder if it is the last day I will be able to walk.

    Why do things have to be so hard? When will I get relief? Do I have to wait until Heaven?

    Low Fat Potato and Sausage Frittata

    Here is a recipe for a low-fat Frittata. I started with a recipe from Kraftfoods.com, but decided that it was far too many calories for me, so I made a few changes and it turned out great!

    Potato and Sausage Frittata

    Ingredients:

    • 1 large potato, cooked and diced (I cooked the potato into the microwave for 7 minutes on high – make sure you poke the potato with a fork so it doesn’t explode. Then I removed the skin and chopped it into bite sized pieces.
    • 3 breakfast sausage links
    • 3 eggs
    • 3 egg whites
    • 1/4 cup of milk – we use fat free
    • 1 Tablespoon Light Mayo
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme – you could use dried if that is all you have…use a little less though. It would also be yummy with rosemary.
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

    Directions:

    1. Cook and dice potato. 

    2. Cook sausage links according to package and chop into bite sized pieces.

    3. Combine potatoes and sausage; spoon into 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray.

    4. Beat eggs, egg whites and milk in small bowl with whisk until well blended. Whisk in Mayo, salt and pepper; pour over potato mixture.

    5. BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until center is set. Let stand 10 min. before cutting to serve. Serves 6. 108 Calories and 5.5 g. of fat per serving.

    This would be great served at a brunch with fresh fruit!

    Oh Come, Let Us Sing to the LORD!

    Psalm 95:1-2 – Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

    Some days I just don’t feel like singing to the Lord, especially joyfully and with thanksgiving. When things feel unfair or don’t go my way, I don’t have a song in my heart – I have grumbling and complaining. I am learning though, that if I stop focussing on myself, and I just do what Psalm 95 says to do, my heart turns around.

    There are days when I don’t want to do the laundry, or the dishes, or pick up the house, and I can usually go a day or two without doing those things, but after a while, the house is uncomfortable, I have to eat my cereal out of Rubbermaid storage containers and we don’t have clean clothes to wear, (so we have to wear what’s left in the closet – clothes that are too small or too big! Not fun at all!). So, I bite the bullet and do my chores, and you know what? I feel so much better! I may not like cleaning or laundry, but the house feels clean, it is comfortable and I can relax – and enjoy my Cocoa Pebbles from the big cereal bowl! 🙂

    I think it’s the same when we don’t want to praise the Lord with a song. We can go a few days, but our soul feels kinda cluttered, we are wearing our “old clothes” of anger, bitterness, envy, irritability (these are just a few of my “old clothes” that don’t fit my new body in Christ!). When I decide to turn on a worship CD and sing my heart out to the Lord, even when at first I’m not “feeling it”, the Holy Spirit begins to minister to me and all of my blessings come to mind. I feel refreshed, energized, thankful, and I don’t even mind picking up my hubby’s clothes!

    Just in case you need a little help, here is a video with the lyrics so you can sing along!  🙂

    Tommy Walker’s “Only a God Like You”

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    “But Honey, It Was on Sale!!!”

    I love to shop. I budget a small amount of money each month for me to clothes shop. But…some days I require a little retail therapy. Today was one of those days. My sister and mom grabbed my wheel chair, loaded it into mom’s car, and we were off!! I am always on the lookout for a sale (or better yet, CLEARANCE!). I won’t buy clothes full price – I can always tell Mike, “But Honey, it was on sale!” He always understands. Today I asked him if he was ok with me buying some clothes (of course this was after the fact, while I was modeling my new digs!) and he said, “If someday we can’t pay the house payment, I will blame it on this shopping trip.” 🙂 Oh, how I love him!

    Below are pictures of the clothes I bought today, along with 2 dresses, a pair of jeans and some gray slacks I picked up a few months ago. They were great deals so I decided to include them – and I needed them to finish off some looks with the new clothes I bought today. I have included the brand name, where I purchased the items, original price, price I paid and if there were any extra discounts. Enjoy!

    Outfit #1 –

    Julie’s Closet Tank Top with gold embellishments (Marshalls)  and Gap Straight Leg dark wash Jeans (Gap outlet in Primm, NV)

    Outfit #2 –

    Old Navy Floral Dress and Old Navy Tank Top (Old Navy)

    Outfit #3

    Sonoma Bathing Suit Tankini Top and Apt.9 Bathing Suit “Hip Hider” Bottoms (Kohl’s) These were both on sale and then Kohl’s was having a “No Sales Tax” sale, plus my mom had a 30% off coupon!!!!!

     

    Outfit #4

    Old Navy Cardigan (Old Navy) and Daisy Fuentes Dress Pants (Kohl’s)

     

    Outfit #5

    Ginger G. Tunic (Marshalls) and Vera Wang Leggings (Kohl’s) The leggings were part of the “No Sales Tax” sale and Mom’s 30% off coupon! Don’t worry, I WILL be wearing a black cami under that tunic!

     

    Outfit #6

    Old Navy Floral Dress (Old Navy) and Sweet and Sinful Vest (Marshalls) – I totally didn’t read the brand until I got home! LOL

    Original Prices Total: $349.50

    Prices I Paid Total: $165.45

    That’s a total savings of  $184.05!!!!!!!!

    I had so much fun sharing my deals with you! You also get a peek at my personal style. Keep looking for those Clearance racks and HAPPY SHOPPING!