Saturday, June 30, 2012


I keep saying that I won't buy any more fabric until I use more of what I have. But then, I just can't resist a 50 cent bag of scrap fabrics.


Look at all the great stuff!

Think a scrap busting challenge may be in my near future!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Settling In

We moved into our new home last weekend.

Every day finds us a little more settled and a few more boxes unpacked.

My sister came on Monday and helped me get the kitchen and living room up and running, including some things on the walls already. Her help was greatly appreciated!

We are loving our new quiet neighborhood. Most folks have lived here for many years and are very friendly. We attended a cookout across the street soon after we closed on the house which allowed us to meet a few of the neighbors. Several have stopped by to welcome us to the neighborhood and one even brought over a plate of cookies!

We are also enjoying the extra space we've acquired. While the house is not huge (1450 sq.ft.), it is much bigger than what we've lived in in all our married life and is laid out well with a large eat-in kitchen and roomy living room. Having 2 bathrooms is also a perk and it's especially nice to have an extra for the little ones and guests.

Our lot is just over a half acre and includes a large fully fenced backyard. Rock is enjoying it so much and the children will too. We hope to begin gardening soon and as we learn, little by little, hopefully we will be able to grow more of our own fruits and veggies.

We are so grateful to God for leading us through the house buying process. We could truly see His hand each step of the way! And we pray that this home will be a place of rest and peace for those He brings our way.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Coming soon:
Mary Ann's "new" House!

Window Art With Foam and Water

Recently, I picked up a package of foam craft sheets for 50 cents thinking that surely we could use them for some summer crafting fun.

Then I saw this at Playing House and it just happened to be on a rainy day when we couldn't do the original outside activity I'd planned.

Out came the foam and scissors (for me and 6 yr.old) and paintbrushes and little cups of water for everyone. A couple old bath towels were placed on the floor in front of the window which turned out to be a good thing!

Big Brother and I cut out shapes and Toddler Girl painted on the window with her paintbrush and water. I think she would've been happy with just that as she really didn't do that much with the foam shapes. But Big Brother enjoyed making scenes and making elaborate foam drawings of shooting stars and Venus Fly traps. Seriously.
Sky, shooting star, Venus Fly Trap, grass

At any rate, this was definitely a hit and we'll be doing it again soon!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

I made a crockpot full of sweet potatoes to take to Sunday's fellowship.

This is something I take frequently. It's healthful and delicious plus easy and cost-effective!

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

Idea adapted from here.

Wash the sweet potatoes and prick each one with a fork or knife. Wrap in foil--at home I skip this step but they do get kind of gooey and messy so when I take them to a potluck, I wrap them. Pile in crockpot and cook on high for around 6 hours.  Your crockpot may vary so try it once and see how it turns out!

Serve with butter. Some folks also like cinnamon, brown sugar, cinnamon-sugar and/or marshmallows. I'm boring and really like a plain buttered sweet potato with salt and pepper the best! But do what you like!

**I usually use smallish sweet potatoes like those in the 3 pound bags from Aldi. Or I cut larger ones in half so they are closer to single serving size and also go further than just a few big ones! **

Monday, June 04, 2012

Trash-Picked Treasures: Child's Chair

Hit the trash-picking jackpot this morning when I spied this antique child's chair along the curb!

Needs a paint job and sports some signs of age but is sturdy and has a lot of life left to live.

The children took turns sitting in it and it's the perfect size for each one.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Hot Dog Saturday and Sweet Potato Fries

Recently, our Saturday dinner standby is hot dogs!

It is so nice to know exactly what to make each week.  Maybe not the healthiest option, although we typically use nitrate/nitrite free chicken hot dogs from Trader Joe's which make them somewhat better for us. But it's quick and easy and works for our current season. Having hot dogs on the menu regularly means one less meal to think about!

We eat our hot dogs bunless in keeping with our lower grain diet and serve with pickles and some kind of vegetables or salad. Tonight we had sweet potato fries. They are so yummy and make us feel like we are eating junk food, but really they are quite good for us!

Sweet Potato Fries

I first had these at my friend Abbie's house and she graciously shared her simple method for making them. 

Sweet potatoes-1 medium size potato per person
Olive oil
Sea salt

Peel and thinly slice sweet potatoes. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake them at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes then flip them over and cook 8 to 10 minutes more or until slightly browned and crispy.  

The thin slices will cook faster.  Watch the pan and try to get them crispy but not burnt.  They will crisp up more once removed from pan too so don't overcook!

Do you have a favorite weekend meal?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Green Beans With Bacon And Mushrooms

I discovered this recipe for green beans a few years ago in Southern Living magazine. We love it and eat it often! Of course, green beans are one of our favorite vegetables!

Depending on what I have on hand, sometimes I make it without the bacon or mushrooms. But I always include the green beans! :-) It is especially good with both the bacon and mushrooms!

I'll share my adaptation of the recipe with you today.

Green Beans With Bacon and Mushrooms

1 pound green beans, fresh or frozen
3-4 slices bacon, nitrate and nitrite free if possible
About a cup of sliced mushrooms--I have used different varieties and all are good, although we especially like Baby Bellas.
1/4 cup diced onion
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, reserving some of the bacon grease. Crumble cooked bacon.

Meanwhile, steam the green beans until crisp-tender.

Using reserved bacon grease, saute onions and mushrooms in skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When soft, add green beans and bacon, stirring to combine. Let cook together for a few minutes until everything is hot. Add salt and pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

**Sometimes I'll cook the beans and bacon ahead of time and then add everything together right before serving. This works really well for a company meal!