Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Maxine

 On Monday evening, my beloved Grandma, Maxine,
(AKA: Grandma Max), went to Heaven. 
She was 88 years old, and one of the most
wonderful women you could ever hope to meet.
I had the honor of being her grand-daughter.

She patiently taught me to knit and cross stitch.
Her love of sewing no doubt rubbed off on me.
 She was at my wedding and she has snuggled each and every one of my babies.
She always had her fingernails clipped short and painted with lilac nail polish.
She called me "Tiff".
I can still hear her voice..."Well, hi Tiff!".
 Christmas at her house is something I will never forget.
The food, the sweets, the tree, the gifts...but most of all...the people.
A big family...my grandma had 7 kids.  My dad was the oldest.
Whenever my grandma bought me clothes,
they were always at least a size too small.  (bless her heart!)
 My grandma taught me about marriage.
She had been a widow for 26 years,
but she loved my grandpa, and I knew that.
I learned that even when your husband is being a complete pill,
you work on it.

She loved her hutch and all the special treasures that it held. 
She could tell you who gave her each and every item in there.
 Sleepovers at her house were awesome!
My brother and I stayed up late and ate lots of junk.
The next day we would go to church
(feeling sick from lack of sleep and healthy food)
and she always had Double Mint gum
and butterscotch candies in her purse.
My brother and I always giggled uncontrollably during church
because one of the "special needs" attenders always did something
inappropriate during the service...like burp.
 One time I peed my pants on her carpet from laughing so hard.
When she told me to go and take a bath, I went in the bathroom
and ran the water in the tub, but never bathed.  (gross, right?)

She made the best dinner rolls, oatmeal, and divinity.
 She was a hard worker.
She was always busy, but never too busy.
She loved sweets and flowers and the Lord.
I am blessed to call her my grandma.
She loved unconditionally.
She raised my dad, who is one of the most outstanding
people that I know.
I miss her.
She was witty and quirky and cute.
She is in Heaven.
And for that, I couldn't be happier.
She is young and healthy and strong again.

Grandma Max...I love you!!!

Love!  Tiff

"We get one shot at living to expand the kingdom, fighting for justice.  We'll stand before Jesus once, and none of our luxuries will accompany us.  We'll have one moment to say, "This is how I lived" ".
Seven: an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker

Monday, February 25, 2013

Food Monday

 My food pictures from last week are a bit boring.
I know we ate some good stuff...
I think we ended up being too busy for photos.
Above is a snack of:
pears, apples, cheddar cheese, and whole wheat pretzels.
We enjoyed this during our quiet reading time.
  A plate of Buttermilk Pancakes.
 Banana Bread for Saturday morning...
a request from the kids.
 Yaya and Poppy brought these French croissants all the way from the
Caribbean and dropped them off at our place at 6:30am
on Sunday.  What a treat...and welcome home!
Lucy and I made a triple batch of whole wheat tortillas.
The girls were hosting their book club and we had
cheese quesadillas
with homemade salsa and guacamole.
 We made cupcakes for dessert.
This book is outstanding.
The first chapter on "food" was just OK for me.
The second chapter on clothing and the third chapter on possessions
is really affecting me.
An example...
I was all excited to drop the kids off at piano lessons today
and hit the local Goodwill to see what goodies I could find.
After reading a bit today, instead, I am going to come home 
and go through all the "goodies" (aka: junk) that I already have.
Hoping to fill a big bag that will leave this house
instead of bringing another big bag in.  (I think I just made Sweetie smile)
I'm kind of excited and I'm kind of bummed.

Have a great day!

Love!  Tiffany

"Maybe food simplification is a good idea for all of us, and for more than one reason."
Seven:  an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ruffled Chandelier Shades

 Good Morning!
The kids are just starting to stir after
their little sleepover in the basement last night.
(just the three of them)
I've got some banana bread in the oven and
I thought I'd take a minute to show you my new chandelier!
 Remember what I had on the fixture before?
Some nice green shades from Pottery Barn.
 A while back when I was de-cluttering...
I found that I had 3 different sets of shades for my kitchen light.
I thought that was excessive, so I was planning on donating
2 sets.  One was a beautiful red, and one was a red and white gingham.
As I was getting my Goodwill donation ready,
my shades got pulled back out of the pile.
I just couldn't part with them!  Even though I didn't know what I was going to do with them.

Then, (to make a short story long)
my parents moved into a cute little townhome and my mom
was doing a lot of red accents in her family room.
They salvaged an old chandelier from the thrift store and sprayed
it silver.  But they were left with these ugly pleather shades (above).
Short story long...I gave my mom my red shades
and she gave me the pleather shades.
I was going to donate them, but then I thought,
if I'm going to every play around with decorating some shades,
why not start with a shade that I wouldn't be too
dissapointed if I screwed it up?
So...that's what I did.
 I started this project on Friday after school (around 1pm).
I decided to go with a muslin ruffled look.
I cut (lots!) of strips of muslin in cream and white.
 I attached my new ruffle foot!
I actually bought it a month or two ago but haven't taken the time to play with it yet.
 I started making lots of ruffles!
20 strips of ruffles to be exact.
The strips were 2" x (roughly) 40" pre-ruffling.
 Then, my ruffler stopped working.
I called the shop...they couldn't help me over the phone
and wanted me to bring it in.  No time for that.
I YouTubed it...I Googled it...no help.
Then, I remembered...my serger makes ruffles!
So, I played with that for a bit and made a huge pile of ruffles.
 I broke out the hot glue gun.
 I made a sample and then gathered up some trims.

Then, it was time to make dinner.
I made a whole wheat pizza twist that I haven't made in a long time.
The kids loved it!
After dinner, Lucy had swim team practice and Daisy had soccer practice.
Daisy got a ride home and returned at 9pm.
I had made a big bowl of buttered popcorn
and some chocolate banana malts and
the kids headed downstairs for a movie night.
I usually join them, but I was wanting a movie night of my own.
I watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel...it was cute. 
Best of all...it was 2 hours long and I was able to get my project done while watching it!
 I usually watch my movies on my computer,
which is in my sewing room.
That way I can be productive and enjoy a movie all at the same time.

After I got the first row (bottom) of ruffles on...
I took a black sharpie and made two marks (1 1/2" apart)
along the vertical metal frame piece.
The distance from the top of the ruffle to the top of the shade
was 4 1/2 inches.  So, I made a mark at 1 1/2" and at 3"...
and then I put the final ruffle along the top edge.
 I put a completely different trim on the top of each of them.
I have so many trim scraps...I always hope they'll come in handy!
 I finished my project around 11pm.
It is not often that I see 11pm...or anything after 9pm for that matter.
My kids were like, "Mom!  I can't believe you're still up!".
Here it was all aglow last night.
A fun little project while Sweetie is up north
(Lake of the Woods on the Canada border)
ice fishing with his buddies!
Every time he comes home...our home gets a little more ruffly.
I'm thankful he's man enough not to mind.
He just says, "Oh, cute". 
Heehee.

Happy Saturday!!!

Love!  Tiffany

"See, a marriage needs love.  And God.  And a little money.  That's all.  The rest you can deal with".
The Color of Money by James McBride

A Week in Review...

 Another busy week has ended.  I'm so happy for the weekend.
Today, I want to:
finish and put away the laundry
blog
pay bills
sew a dress
go to Daisy's soccer game

The above photo shows the books that the kids and I are currently reading.
MJ is deep into Farmer Boy.
Daisy is finishing up Eight Cousins for book club.
Lucy is reading A Little Princess.
And I am finishing up The Color of Water.
 I did Sewing Monday this week because the kids had the day off.
I was in the mood for green!
March is coming after all.
 Made a cute little ruffled skirt.
 Auntie Nancy and kids came out for a visit on Wednesday!
I still got a little "sewing" in because she needed to make
an adult tutu for someone.
Isn't it yummy looking?
She has since added some sherbet colored ribbons throughout too.
 We took the kids to the sledding hill.
 5 tired sledders.
 Keepin' warm in my Uggs.
 Got my hair done!!! (finally)
I love being under the dryer.
#1...it's warm
#2...Lori brings me coffee
#3...I get to read
 Started a new book!
 The kids bought an iPad from my in-laws.
It's been a really great thing!
They've been great about taking turns.
And, if Lucy wants to use her shift (they get (4) 30 minute shifts a day)
YouTubing "how to draw" videos...all the better!
Have a fabulous weekend!!!

Love!  Tiffany

"Put yourself in God's hands and you can't go wrong."
The Color of Water by James McBride

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Food Day + 2 new recipes!!!

 It's always fun to plan a meal around a holiday.
Especially one like Valentine's Day.
On Valentines Eve...I made a homemade blueberry sauce.

Homemade Blueberry Sauce:
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine first 4 ingredients.
Stir frequently and bring to a low boil.
Slowly stir the cornstarch/water into the blueberries.  Simmer until sauce is thick.
Remove from heat and gently stir in vanilla.
Serve over ice cream, pound cake, waffles...
 We enjoyed it with our homemade ice cream and sliced bananas
during Movie Night.  We watched Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts.
Ummm...I LOVED this movie!
The costumes were outstanding and I loved the story line.
Could have done without the black magic...
 The next morning...Valentine's Day...we enjoyed the blueberry sauce over
 For lunch...I made Italian Dunkers with a homemade
vegetable marinara sauce.
 Valentine's Day ended up being a bit busy.
We had our homeschool coop from 1-4pm...
then the girls had theatre class from 4:30-6pm...
and Lucy had Swim Team from 6:15-7:30pm.
We opted for an 8pm candlelit dinner of Thai Take Out.
It was perfect!
 This was originally going to be our Valentine's Dinner...
Grilled cheese sammies cut into hearts with
Homemade Tomato Soup.
We had it for our Post Valentine's Day lunch instead.
 On Saturday morning...
I made a smoothie (yogurt, bananas, frozen pineapple, frozen mixed berry, 1 cup water)
and these Chocolate Oatmeal muffins.
Sweetie and I enjoyed the muffins, but the kids weren't crazy about them.
(Lucy was at a sleepover...hence the 4 smoothies)
 Saturday afternoon found me cleaning the house and cooking away
for our company on Sunday.
I got a little crazy with my carrot chopping and sent the measuring cup holding
my frozen veggies flying.  Ugg.
After sweeping /cleaning it all up...
 I got my veggies in the pot...
 ...and headed out to Marketplace for some more frozen corn
for my Corn Chowder.
 I also made this black bean dip.  The recipe:

Black Bean Dip:
2 avocados, diced
2 tbsp lime or lemon juice

2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Tortilla Chips

In a small bowl, combine the avocados and lime (or lemon) juice.
In a large bowl, combine the next 6 ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Drizzle over the corn mixture and toss to coat.
Gently fold in the avocados.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Serve with tortilla chips.

I made this the night before...and with the lemon or lime juice, the avocados
don't turn brown!
 I also made a big pan of Sugar Cookie Bars.
We had our Small Group from church over for lunch on Sunday...
I had Corn Chowder, warm bread, clementines, lemon water,
black bean dip and chips, and sugar cookie bars and coffee.

We had Sweetie's family over for dinner on Sunday to celebrate
his mom and his sisters birthdays.
I did a big Taco Salad Bar
and Sweetie's mom brought Strawberry Shortcake for dessert.

It was a wonderful day!

I'm hoping to sew some new spring skirts today...
Have a good President's Day!!!

Love!  Tiffany

"You have to choose between what the world expects of you and what you want for yourself".
The Color of Water by James McBride