Thursday, July 28, 2011

one of my favorite cookies

today i am going to share with you one of my very fav cookies!

this was always the one i would ask for growing up, and now i am trying to lovingly force it to be at least one of my kids favorites too:)

the official name of this recipe is called "easy party cookies"

but, really it is an m&m cookie recipe.

Easy Party Cookies

1 cup shortening *
1/2 cup granulated sugar*
2 eggs*
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar*
2 tsp. vanilla extract*
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups m&m candies ( i like the dark choc ones)

mix together ingredients with the * beside it first.

combine dry ingredients and add to dough.

most importantly: add 1 cup of m&m candies to dough and save the other 1/2 cup.

spoon out on cookie sheet and then use remaining m&ms to decorate the top of the cookies!

bake at 375 for 12 mins or so.


you are most welcome:)

and if you are very fortunate, you will have some help:

some days there is nothing sweeter than a whole bunch of flour on a black kitchen floor!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the door in the wall

i read to my children every day around the table at our breakfast/lunch times.  people, this is a joy! for everyone.  they often set the book at my "place" at the table while i am getting our food ready.

recently, we made a trip to our local library to pick up some new material, only to walk up to the automatic doors and find they wouldn't open!  our library has changed their hours to open at noon 2 days/week:( boo!

so with that, i took them to barnes&noble.  because i was now shelling out money for our reading material, i chose a couple of award-winners.  i bought a book called "The Door In The Wall" by Marguerite de Angeli, not really knowing what it was about.

now i need to shift gears and explain to you about my second son.  he was born with several vertibrae of his spine fused together on the right side only.  we didn't know until he was 3.  he looked perfect until he grew enough to cause curving in his back where the connected vertabrae wern't able to seperate.  we saw the very best doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital because his case was so complicated.  he told us our son would need surgeries later on, but for 4 years we went back to Hopkins every 6 months to monitor how it was progressing.

this february, we went up like normal and got the wind knocked out of us when the doctor said that we had to start his surgeries now.  like NOW. we had 1 month to be exact.  how do you prepare a 7 year old boy for something that you have never been through? we prayed. and prayed. and prayed.

every once in a while, i would get a glimpse into his little heart when he would blurt out a question that had been troubling him.  these weren't "i'm scared of the surgery, or scared of the pain" questions.  these were the questions that 100% of humanity has to graple with.  the difference is, most of us do it as adults.

he asked me why God made him this way.

how could God love him so much and make him go through this? (he will eventually have about 20+ surgeries over the next 10 yrs.)

if God was there when he was being formed inside me, why did he mess up on him?

i cried. and prayed. and cried.

i tried to answer him the best i could. God is good. he makes no mistakes. he works all things for your good.  mysterious as it is, this is part of his plan for you.

i prayed for the spiritual struggle that my 7 yr. old was going through.  isn't the physical hard enough for him to deal with???  eventually, the Lord gave him peace about all of his questions, doubts, and fears.

he is now limited somewhat as to the kinds of physical things he should be doing.  no contact sports.  no wrestling with daddy or big brother.  no tree climbing.  no tag, because he could get shoved to the ground accidentally...he forgets, i remind hime, and he comes down out of our tree.  we are looking for things that he can do instead.  he knows that his dream jof flying jets in the air force will never happen.  he knows that he will never be a star athelete. back to our book...

this book is about a 10 year old boy who is supposed to go off to train to be a squire and eventually, a knight.  he falls ill the day before departure, and his mother and father aren't around.  he loses the use of his legs. he is no longer able to play with the other children.  he is limited as to what he can do. he is bitter and in danger of despairing.  a monk from a nearby church hears of his plight and takes him to the church to care for him.  the monk encourages him saying "there is always a door in the wall".  over the course of the next few months, the monk shows him how to carve, read and write.  these are doors in the wall, he explains.  the friendly monk takes him swimming in the river to strengthen his upper body.  eventually he is strong enough to use crutches.  it's not like running on your own 2 feet, but it is indeed another door.

eventually, the boy, monk and a friendly minstrel make the journey to take the young boy to the household where he was supposed to be trained for knighthood.  he worries as he journeys what they will say about his being crippled.  when he is recieved, the great Sir of the castle tells him that everyone can do something with what God has given them.  that's all he is expecting from him.

in the end, it is because this little boy is a cripple that he is able to slip past the enemy of an invading army, he swims across a river and is able to get help.  he saves the town and castle under seige.

i kept choking back tears through the whole book.  as unpolite as it was, i read with big bites of sandwich in my mouth to disguise the emotion.  i am sooo easily brought to tears!  especially when it's children.  especially when they are disadvantaged.  especially when they are mine.

i am praying  that God will show us what my dear little ones "door in the wall" is and how we can help develop his strength in those areas.  perhaps through my sons physical weakness, God will chose to show Himself strong.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

bathroom remodel...

so, i picked up some added enthusiasm/inspiration this week from the following:

a) my husband is working on our master bath that we gutted 7 YEARS AGO!!
now, don't get the wrong idea, we are not the type of people who usually start projects and don't finish them.  in fact, we are both shocked that it has panned out this way! but that is how life goes sometimes.  anyway, here is what it looked like for 7 years:

(this is the shower, er... where the shower is supposed to be:)

and while, it may not look too different yet, there is about 2 days worth of plumbing that he did.
and that, my friends is supremely important!

viola! here are the eh-hem, "after" pics from this weekend:)

yes, there are pipes in now, and a shower base, and water-proof shower board to put my immaculate WHITE tile lovely, i think i just shed a tear imagining my kid-free bathroom!

my further inspiration/motivation comes from immersing myself in all kinds of art, design, and making!

b) did you know that michaels had a sale on that rediculously priced screen printer this weekend?

i bought it.  can't wait to get to drawing up some funky designs to do some hand-pulled screen printing:)  i know there are way easier methods around now, but i love the whole process of making (and baking).

c) i have once again picked up my painting and pen and ink very first art loves!  VERY inspiring!  hoping to have good stuff to share soon...


my sis and i both have very curly hair. like ringlet-ringlet curly hair.  she sent me this card just because:

i think this may perhaps be our great great aunt or something...

right now i am thanking God for hair products!

Monday, July 18, 2011

chevron love

i must tell you, i am lovin' some chevron stripes!

started out slow when i just happened across the perfect yellow/white chevron stripe...

and then i found some beautiful little chevron cottons...

finally it is snowballing into me hoarding sourcing out chevron in every imaginable color!

and you know what? i don't care, and i'm not ashamed! :)

there are a few more lovely things i've made using chevron recently, but i'm not really good about photographing everything yet, and also, one of those little chevron cuties is headed out to miss cuppakim and i so do want to surprise her!

Friday, July 15, 2011

praying the psalms...

a prayer for my children:

(psalm 119: 9-16)

how can those who are young keep their way pure?
by living according to your word.
i seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from you commands.
i have hidden your word in my heart that i might not sin against you.
praise be to you, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
with my lips i recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
i rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
i meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
i delight in your decrees;
i will not neglect your word.

actually, all of psalm 119 is a powerful prayer for our children.

how good of the Lord to know that sometimes we don't even know how/what to pray, so he put the perfect prayers in his word for us:)

it's all there, people...everything we need.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

fabric picture redo...

well, i had this old picture that was given to us by a family member who said it just didn't go in their house. 

the picture itself isn't bad in form or function, it's just that it kind of didn't go anywhere in my house either.

my house is full, i mean brimming full, of bright colors and this was the picture:

so i have been itching to do fabric wall art in a big way.  any kind will do, although i am extremely taken with many art quilting projects that i've seen.

i decided to dig in my fabric scrap bin and see if i could redo this picture.

yep, all of you die-hard puzzle peeps know exactly what this is and what it does.

for everyone else, mod podge is a lovely little coating that can act like a glue or like a waterproofer/stiffener.  i have recently been using this like crazy making all kinds of fabric items stiff and waterproof!  love it.  made some rings out of fabric...anyway, i'm getting off topic.

i started by cutting fabric pieces out to fit the larger areas of my picture:

i learned quickly that folding your fabric back to cut was more acurate than putting it on top and trying to guess.  then the magic mod podge glue/coating:

and here's how pretty the first piece is:

so, keep it going and here's what you get:

all my larger pieces are done, and now I decided to cut out individual pieces to form the flowers:

yeah, clearly there is no rhyme or reason to the way i chose where to begin. i am like that: lots of creativity and minimal planning.

you will also start to notice that there is no real color scheme developing: these are all scraps i had from other projects.  maybe next time...

i also learned that for the flower pieces, it was easier to apply the glue to the picture, lay my scrap down on it, and then gently cut away the extra.  much easier!

almost done...

(at this point, the middle of my back started killing me from bending over my table)

when all of my pieces were on, i added a top coat of mod podge.  this looks slightly opaque when you put it on, but dries clear.  also, it comes in a variety of finishes: gloss, satin, and matte, but i only had the satin, so low-sheen it is!

and this is my finished product:

no too bad, for my first run. and no color scheme.

what have you been crafting?
hey, i linked up with 30 handmade days:) go see more great ideas!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

bed time...

last night, like most nights, my husband and i were determined to get our darlings to bed at a decent time.   we let them in on the plan in advance so that they aren't ambushed by the idea...'what do you mean it's time to brush my teeth?! it's still light outside?!'
we are getting pretty darn good at dodging their maneuvers for dragging out getting ready for bed...but we weren't prepared for this one...
this would be my lovely little daughter asking her dazzled father for a cheesburger.  say what?  you need a cheeseburger before you go to bed?  it was about 20 seconds before he was asking me if we had any...
UGH!  how can little people be so amazingly cute and sincere and hilarious all at once?  not fair. i actually laughed so hard, i had tears in my eyes!

actually, no, we did not have any cheesburgers on hand. how about a yogurt and a couple of chicken nuggets?  great!  after that it is bed time for reals!

we got her all tanked up and tucked in and sat down on the sofa to watch a little of 'the office' together.  2 minutes later there was a 7 yr. old boy at the doorway asking us a question about yo-yos!  go to bed! we will answer your questions about yo-yos tomorrow.  and also, we love you-sleep good!

ah...the office, with my husband, on the sofa...and then we woke up when the ending music started playing!

God is good! bedtime can be hilarious! snoozing on the sofa with my love is great!

but tonight, we are sticking to bedtime. seriously.

Monday, July 11, 2011


i am really excited to have been a part of this giveaway!  i am also thrilled to send off the goods to cuppakim!  if you haven't met kim, you should.  what a lovely soul.  here's what she's gettin from me:

Congratulations cuppakim! thanks to everyone who donated for the Pucketts!

tidbits about me...

hi there!  just thought i'd share some randomness about who i am...

i am turning 30 next month (woo-hoo!! -not a scarry thing at all:)

i grew up in a house of ALL girls.  just momma and 3 older sisters. oh yeah, and only 1 bathroom!

i consider myself sort of a denominational "mutt".  i grew up in a charismatic church and now happily attend a presbyterian one. i don't really do the arguing theology thing.  i just love the Lord and love his church. i can see many facets of Gods personality in each denomination and it just blows my mind that if i were to compile all of the different kinds of churches, i could get a better glimpse of who God is.

coffee is...daily...delicious...delectable...dandy...and necessary. after you have children you just need a steady i.v. drip of coffee to keep up:)

i have 3 kids...oldest boy-9, second boy-7, and little spoiled princess girl, 2 1/2.

we homeschool.  yeah, that is like 10 seperate blog posts all together.

i run 2 at home businesses, but my family is absolutely my priority.  i believe in doing my God-given jobs to the best of my ability and then throwing the left-over scraps of time/energy to my business (hobby).

i seriously like all kinds of music!  as long as it's good.

we do not have cable or satellite, and haven't for 5 years now.  let me tell you peeps- one of the bestest things is that my kids have absolutely no idea what the newest/hottest/latest things are they otherwise might just have to have.  makes christmas/birthdays soooo great!

i come from a rough background and a broken home.  i am very thankful that pedigree has nothing to do with who you are.

i am an "old soul".  always have been.  my husband is too.  we never had wild or rebellious teenage years and we spent our 20's married and having i'm kind of figuring that when we hit our 40's and our kids are adults, my hubby and i will kind of "freak out" and embarass them.  (i can see a very pained look on a gorgeous teenage boys face pleading... 'mom and dad! you can't go to that concert!  my friends and i are going!)

i bake every day. breads, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, pie, whatever.  just need to bake.  this works out very conveniently for my coffee habit!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I give in...

so here i am warily testing the waters of social media.  after being asked about 1 million times if i had a website, i gave in last year with the creation of the worlds most humble and simple splash page imaginable.  there ya go, happy now?  nope.  then the questions started rolling in about how to keep up with, i have a phone and email, what more do you want?  sorry, i don't have time to blog and i have witnessed too many horrific facebook disasters to want to join that bunch.

the whole scenerio reminds me much of when you first get married and everyone asks when you will have babies.  then you do have a baby and everyone asks when/if you will have any more babies.  (there are so many witty, sharp responses to this one...just fill it in as you see fit)

so what happened to my stallwart resolve?  my lovely many awesome, inspiring, witty, creative, candid, beautiful bloggy creations!  and i thought, maybe it doesn't have to be the horrible thing i imagined it to be.  you know what i mean...the glaringly shameless self-promotion of being a small time business owner/operator.  or the meaningless babble of a stay-at-home blogger mom.  perhaps it could be something on a slightly different note.  well...we shall see! for now, i will simply say that i am caving yet again.  i suppose that i should thank all of my friends, family, and customers who refuse to leave me in the former century and continue to drag me kicking and arguing into this one:)