Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Valentine Fun

Such a fun day celebrating love and friendship with important people in our lives! Fun breakfast, picnic lunch with friends at the park, and then family dinner together with steak, PW roasted garlic mashed potatoes, toasted bread, salad and chocolate pie!

Monday, February 20, 2017


Celebrating 13 years together! God is good! And, goodness, those flowers were beautiful!Thankful for lovely memories of our special day!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

DIY Letter Board

I've been enjoying all the letter board popularity right now! After searching and pondering for a month, I could not find any option cheaper than upwards of $50. One day, I finally thought to check Pinterest and see if there was a diy option out there.

Success! I came across a couple of posts where bloggers had made their own boards for a fraction of the price. Then I got in my head that I wanted to see how inexpensively I could make it - and this is the result!

I bought this primitive checkerboard probably close to two decades ago! I've only ever used it as a decoration but we were given a homemade checkerboard from some friends at Christmas - so I didn't feel the need to keep this one for possible use. I also liked the distressed edge and how it had a chunky frame around the outside which would suit my purposes.

If you want to try making a letter board, look around your house/thrift store for something with a deep edge. You'll see why in a minute. I made this with a friend and she used a 'thankful' sign turned around backwards for her base.

After gathering your supplies, cut the dowel rods to fit your frame. We each used 5/16" dowels - I used five that were 48" long cut into 8" segments. I'll just direct you to the tutorials we skimmed for doing this. Here is one and another option.

I used linen burlap for my sign and my friend used felt. We found that the felt {which she got at Hobby Lobby} was too thick and we struggled to figure her board out but finally did think of a workable solution though it is not ideal.

The linen was not thick and worked really well. I had the linen left from the fabric cuffs I made for my book last year.

David searched for a good deal on the letters and we found this set on Amazon, they are the 3/4" size and it comes with LOTS of letters! I spray painted mine black while they were still all attached so there is a teeny white dot at the bottom of each one from where I separated them. So far it isn't bugging me, but if it does, I can touch up with Sharpie.

I spent less than $15 to make my sign by only needing the letters and dowels! Yay!

Here are our two boards together! We loved how the two sizes looked next to each other!

Now I get to think of fun sayings to put on it!! Hooray - so excited to have been able to make a fun letter board that was within my budget and used supplies I had on hand.

What saying would you put on a letter board?!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Queen Isabella & a Recipe

Rachel was the lovely Queen Isabella of Spain for our CC Faces of History program last week. We fashioned her outfit from a thrifted dress and blouse and found the other things through what we had at home.

Each student prepared a food to serve after the program and we made Bunyols, which were so tasty that we made them again for a Sunday evening family treat!

Here is what Rachel wrote and presented - for those who aren't familiar with how this is set up, students write a five paragraph essay on their character and present it in the first-person asking the audience to guess who they are at the end:

Looking back on my life, I have seen many changes. A melancholy childhood. A secret wedding. A new world. Regarding my story, listen to it unfold and discover my hidden identity.

When I was only ten years old, a royal messenger hastily galloped from the maniacal King Henry, who was my half cousin. Ferociously, he sent messengers to tell me to get my thing and go to the vacant Bleak Castle at Arevalo because he did not like me. Remembering that time, my childhood was lonely and I was schooled by local teachers and church men. As I grew, King Henry viciously resolved to devise a plan for me to get married to someone twice my age. But at age 18, I chose my own prince.

When I married Ferdinand, it became one of the best and most splendid decisions I made for Spain. We were extraordinarily happy because we did not have to marry someone we did not love. However, I was worried because Ferdinand was my second cousin. Without permission from the Pope, I did not feel free to get married, but my father and the Arch Bishop, who found out about it, made a fake letter of permission which I presumed allowed me to get married. The next day we were married. Intriguingly, this was an amazing event because it brought Aragon and Castile together.

Longingly and amazingly, Columbus dreamed of adventure when he was just a boy. Little did he know he would be famous throughout history. Hearing of a new world, Columbus went looking for incredible mystery. He came to my husband and I and asked us to sponsor his journey by providing a ship, food, money and supplies. After we agreed, he departed August 3, 1492 and arrived at the new land October 13, 1492. He did find new land and eventually turned back to Spain where he arrived March 15, 1493.

A lonely childhood. A mysterious wedding. Pursuit of a new world. Among many experiences, these were three of the amazing things that happened during my lifetime. Although I was deserted during childhood, I chose my prince and together we ruled Spain. Happily our marriage joined two nations and our funding of Columbus, who was an explorer, brought the discovery of a new nation. I am the Jewel of Castille. Who am I?


This recipe is combined from one we found online and a white bread recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook. Yum!

3 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. oil
1 package yeast {or 2 1/4 tsp.}
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. warm water
1 egg
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
oil for cooking

In the bowl of a mixer, combine all of the ingredients except the oil and sugar listed last. Knead together or use a dough hook to combine. Let rise at least one hour.

After rising, shape dough into small balls {about the size of a golf ball} and cook in hot oil in a pan. Drain on paper towels and roll in sugar.

Ours made about 30.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine: Tea and Treat

It's that time of year when we are eager to make little goodies to share and let our friends know how much we love and appreciate them! I wanted to make something for my CC tutors and nursery helpers - but challenged myself to hunt around my house for what I had and not spend anything!

The biggest part of this challenge is that I wanted to do the same for everyone and I needed ten goodies to share! So I was limited in looking for things that I had ten or more of. 

Here is what I came up with. First, I found a package of cream envelopes that came from my Mom, she brought them home after cleaning out my Grandma's apartment last Fall. I gathered tea bags, cute straws, fun wooden spoons, fabric scraps, scrapbook paper, twine, washi tape and stamps.

Making customized, cheerful tea bags was easy enough and added such beauty! I tied fabric scraps onto the wooden spoons for stirring tea and made a little paper pennant for the straw. A fabric stamp sweetly adorns the corner.

In between giving spelling words and dictating sentences, I assembled and created!

Next, I wanted some sort of treat to go with this! I found a stack of brown kraft take out boxes that were left from my birthday farm picnic last year! The boxes were originally found here.

I made a batch of these yummy chocolate muffins and put a few Valentine sprinkles on top. Slipped two into a ziploc and placed it inside the box. Tying with twine and stamping with y-u-m were simple finishing touches!

I was so pleased to be able to give a sweet gift and also to use my resources. You will notice this as a theme in the near future as I have a couple of other projects where I've shopped my house for supplies.

Have you done any resourceful giving lately? Share your successes!

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Slow Day

Reading: Trailblazers - Romulo Saune
Peach Iced Tea
Hand Pies
Pizza Muffins

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