Thursday, March 7, 2013

easy fridge picker upper

I keep meaning to show you guys my fridge.  I gussied it up a while ago and it makes me smile whenever I peek inside it.  (Note: this is not a staged fridge hahahaha....this is real life and that's our leftover chicken noodle soup down on the bottom shelf that we're having for dinner)
Whoever thought of glass shelves in refrigerators had to be someone without kids and teens.  I know they are better than the wire rack shelves that used to be in refrigerators, but the milk circles and the smears show up so badly on them.  They look clean - never!  So...I bought some plastic placemats at Target and I used them to line my shelves and doors bins.  When they get icky, I can take them out and wipe them down.  But because they have a pattern on them, they look really good for a really long time.  (unlike my unlined glass shelves).
As a matter of fact, I've had these liners in for about 6 weeks and I haven't needed to wipe them down yet.  Well, I take that back...I may need to wipe them down, but I haven't - and see how good they still look!  I just cut them to the size I needed and used a bit of tape to hold them in place so they weren't sliding around with the in and out of milk jugs.  It's worked wonderfully! (I field tested this for you before I posted about it. :))
This is a fast and cheap picker upper that you can do for under $10.  It really will make you smile when you open your fridge!  Oh, and apparently we like pickles a lot!  My favorites are the hot and spicy....they are good on just about everything!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

just poppin in say "hello!"  We're deep in the throes of play offs...two teams down, one team to go!  Our Varsity Girls are headed to the state Semi exciting!  We wrapped up Middle School basketball last week and this weekend we finished off with Jammer's 10U team.  They both finished well....not quite what everyone wanted, but that doesn't take away from amazing seasons.
Jammer shooting free throws in round two of the playoffs.

I decided I'm done hoping for snow.  I packed away all my taunting snowmen.  They just sat there, reminding me of the fact that we haven't had any measurable snow since December.  Boo.  I've moved on.  I'm ready for daffodils and crocuses.
my old sled...on the front step....with no snow.  

My wonderful family threw me a surprise party over the weekend.  I knew about it.  (I know it's shameful)    Last week on the way to church, John asked me to send an email for him to his team.  When he handed me his iPad to send the email, and I opened up the app and there was a blank email right on top that read "Re: Lisa's Surprise Party".  Stink!  I didn't want to know that.  There is nothing harder than trying to figure out when you're going to be surprised and then how you're going to act surprised when it happens. ...but it was still an awesome party with all of my favorite people (minus a few that couldn't make it :)).  I really had a wonderful time catching up with everyone and enjoying my awesome friends and family.   My dad even made it.  He decided to skip the post game show and high tail it back to Maryland for the party.  He does the color commentary for the WVU men's basketball team and they had a game on Saturday.  He missed just for me.
flowers at the party from my mother in law....I only got pictures after the party of the decorations

Reflecting on the party, I thought I was a pretty laid back know, compliant, easy going, flexible.  But this surprise party made me realize that I'm not quite as flexible as I might like to believe.  After Jammer's morning basketball game, we came back to the house and my husband suggested that he and I go out and do some shopping.  Hello!  West Virginia was playing at 2 o'clock.  I did not want to go shopping.  I wanted to stay home and watch the game.  The girls suggested that I DVR the game.  Hello!  Who DVR's sporting events?  Not me.  Just as I was about to be stubborn, it dawned on me that it was all about getting me out of the house.  So I said "Sure!"  And off we went.  We had a great time - just the two of us.  We actually listened to the broadcast of the game as we traveled to the outlets.  It all was great (well not the game...they lost).  But I knew that if it hadn't been for my suspicion about the party, I would have been less likely to agree to this interruption in my agenda.  Ouch!  So, I'm working on know, being who I thought I was!  Trying to not hold onto my allow myself to be open to change.
party favors from my mom for everyone at the party

It's been a good week....lots of basketball, plenty of love and surprises and a bit of stretching and learning on my part!  Hope your days are filled with all that makes you smile and that along the way, you grow, learn and keep on enjoying the blessings around you!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Insta Friday

I'm linking up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged for Insta Friday.  Here's my last week in instagram/cellphone editing, just real life!
 My mom always takes the birthday grandchild out for lunch and shopping for their birthday.  Kenzie just turned 16 and she wanted to go to a mall down the road, so since my mom hadn't ever been there before, I got to drive!  Maggie came along and we all had a great time.  Kenzie found lots of great things...and I finally found a pair of black flats that I like!  I've been looking for quite a while!
 The middle school boys had a game the other night.  Jammer was taking a water break in between quarters.  It was a game where everyone got lots of minutes.  One of the boys looked over at Jammer and said, "This is so much fun!"  Gotta love that!
This is Sunny.  He showed up in our yard the other day...just wandering around looking so cold and hungry.  We brought him in, fed him and warmed him up.  He had a tag with a phone number on him so we called and he was returned to his owner.  We were sad to see him go, he was a sweet boy.  Molly wasn't so sure about the whole thing,  she kept sniffing and sniffing long after he was gone.  
 Jammer has been under the weather all week with a cold.  But even when he's sick he still finds some inner energy to create.  He made this fires of Modore (from Lord of the Rings) one day.  He rigged up some little lights to give it cool detail.  When he called me down to see it, the room lights were out and he had Lord of the Rings music playing!  He's pretty amazing.  
Molly kept looking for Sunny all week.  I also think she was trying to enjoy a bit of sunshine...the sun finally came out the other day!  I've bee missing it.  I want a big snow storm, but then I see the sun and I think I might be ready for spring!
 John gave me a bouquet of roses for Valentines day.  We had a game that night (so romantic) and I was keeping the score book.  Right before tip off, he walked over and presented me with the flowers and a kiss.  The middle school boys were all clapping and one of them said, "yeah!  That's the way a real man does it!" My son, told me later he was so embarrassed that daddy had kissed me in front of everyone!  Nothing like middle school boys for a good chuckle!
 My mom gave me this for Valentines day...she knows me so well!  It's my favorite coffee of all!
And finally, tulips from my wonderful mother in them too!  Hope your week was full of unexpected blessings and moments to give thanks!  It's really all the little things that make a life so full!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

on the other side of last week

Last week was jam packed.  If we weren't busy with a basketball game, we were hosting a party.  Out of the five games that we had, we had 4 wins and 1 loss.  Not bad for a week of basketball! Maggie hit her very first three point shot in a game last week....that was fun!  You can't really do an excessive amount of celebrating when it happens (unless you want to sit the bench) so we got this instagram shot in the car on the way home.
 In the middle of the week, Maggie invited the senior basketball players over for pizza and fun.  They worked on the banners that they'll run through on Senior night and they did some crazy skits that my John will incorporate into the end of the season video that he does for all 4 basketball teams.
  There was a lot of laughter! Some of the clips had to be done over several times.  But they were all good sports and made a lot of memories.  It poured all night and one of the girls who lives farther away, spent the night.  Nothing like getting rained in!
(instagram photo)
On Thursday, Mckenzie turned 16!!  I always call her Kenzie Love and so her birthday chalkboard had to reflect that as well.  We had classes on Thursday, but we celebrated with birthday pancakes and she got to open her gift before everyone headed out the door. 
 She'd been wanting these headphones for awhile...I think we were successful in surprising her!  They of course had to be pink so she was beyond excited about them.

On Saturday we had her sweet 16 party.  We had a photo scavenger hunt.  27 kids and 5 adults met in the parking lot of the local grocery store.  I think the manager of the store was a bit concerned about the number of kids who showed up.  (my mother in law has a picture of the group on her camera...I just can't figure out how to get it off)

 They were divided up into teams and off they went with their drivers to collect points by finding and documenting different tasks.  At the cut off time, everyone met back at the house and got to see everyone's photos on our TV screen.  It was so fun!  They got pictures with firemen on fire trucks, pictures doing a good deed for strangers, waddling across the street like a line of ducklings and tons of other crazy things.

(these girls won!  They joked that they were the under-dog team.  They were the only team without guys and they had a grandma driving them...) 
The winners ended up with the most points accumulated.  After that, the kids danced and ate and giggled their way through the evening.  We set up a candy bar and for their party favors, the kids got to fill a Chinese take out box full of candy to take home.
I made this bunting for Kenzie's party.  She wanted some zebra stripes, but since I didn't have any we went with all pinks and decided we'd leave it up for Valentine's day.  After that, she can put it in her room which is pink, pink and more pink.  It will go perfectly.
I also realized that I love how paper whites look, but I can't stand their smell.  My neighbor gave me the bulbs about a month ago and I've loved watching the progress of the plants as they were forced to life.
 But about a week ago I kept getting a whiff of something odd....I couldn't figure out what it was. As more and more blooms opened I finally realized it was the paper whites.  boo!  I guess everything can't be beautiful and smell good too...
Well, that's last week in a blur.  I hope you're enjoy the other side of last week as much as I am!  Welcome February!  Good bye paper whites!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

cabled headband

Our weather here has been crazy.  Just yesterday we had ice and freezing rain in the morning and today the high was 67!  So this new cabled headband that I knit will have to wait until Friday when the high temp is forecast to be 30. I originally saw it on Thimbleanna's blog and I loved it.  The pattern is a freebie and it is a quick and easy knit.   If you're new to cables, this would be a great pattern for learning how to cable.
You knit the entire piece flat and then sew the ends together to form the band.  I had some leftover yarn from my Diamond Cable Gilet so you could definitely knit this with some leftover yarn and use up some of your stash.
Thanks to Maggie for being my model....she's a sweetie!  She's eating a chocolate chip cookie in that picture....can you tell? Anyways, I hope your week is going along smoothly (weather aside) and that you have time to steal a chocolate chip cookie or two!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

january finish

Have you seen the Word Play stitcheries from Country Stitches?  They came out last year and there is one to correspond with every month of the year.  They are awesome!  (have I mentioned before that I love seasonal things!?)  I just finished the January one....and there's still some days in January left to enjoy it!  Yeah for that!!  Who knows, it may just stay up into February if we get some more snow.
These are stitched on Abecedarian Linen with one strand over two threads....makes my eyes go crossed if I don't sit in direct sunlight when I'm stitching.  But I like the primitive, natural look of the finished piece so much, that all the eye strain was worth it! I finished it off with a piece of cotton on the back and used two rusty safety pins to attach a hanger made from linen tape.
The only thing I would change if I were doing this piece again is to switch from the white floss that the pattern calls for to something that is a bit brighter and pops more on the fabric.  The Shaker White that the pattern calls for is subtle....maybe a bit too subtle.  (But not subtle enough for me to rip it out and re-do it!)
I tried using a lighted magnifier so I could stitch at night when I really have more 'free' time, but the magnifier took more getting used to than I had patience and it made me feel a bit granny-ish.  So, by the window I sat with my coffee and my stitching - just a bit in the mornings before the crowd got rolling.  It was a fun project to work on....I think I'd like to start one for the spring...maybe April or May?  Which one do you like the best?  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

both ends of the bench

My little guy is turning 11 on Saturday!  I can't believe it...he's growing up so fast.  I'm enjoying these sweet days where he still loves to snuggle on the coach and listen as I read The Hobbit to him.  { Side note:  What a great book it is!  I never read it growing up.  I think I was in some 'experimental' literature class in high school because we skipped all of the classics.  I've had to read Jane Eyre, Emma, To Kill a Mockingbird, and so many others all on my own.  The only book I remember reading in high school that qualifies as a classic was The Scarlet Letter.  Not sure what happened there.}  So, I am really enjoying reading Tolkien's adventure to my son.  While I read, he draws.  It's hard to keep my focus, because he is so good at drawing, I want to look up and watch him draw which makes reading tricky!
(here's on of his is the lonely mountain and Smaug) 

He's playing on two basketball teams and on one team, he is the 'big' guy.  When they line up the kids to see who they are going to guard, everyone moves away from Jammer (that's his nick-name), because he's so tall.   Parents of kids on the other team seem to question his age....(they really shouldn't question things so loudly...hello, I'm sitting right there!)

 But on his other team (the one his dad coaches) he's one of the little guys.  He's one of the youngest and it is obvious when he's out on the floor with the other guys.  I'm so thankful that he gets to experience both sides of the coin.  It helps build confidence and keeps him grounded all within a couple of days.  He likes both teams, loves both coaches and seems to genuinely enjoy being on both ends of the bench.
(here he is 'guarding' an opponent..with much trepidation!)

 Isn't that just like life?  In certain situations you find yourself as top dog and then you walk into another room and you're wondering whether or not you'll be able to manage.  I know I've got areas where I feel like the 'big guy'.  I have confidence and feel secure, and then there other places where I am definitely 'outplayed'.  It's those areas that keep me leaning on the Lord and looking to Him. I'm learning to give my successes to God as praise and with thanksgiving and to not shy away from them....because right around the corner, I find myself on my knees asking for courage and wisdom and direction.  Just like my guy and his two basketball teams.   I just wish I enjoyed both ends of the bench as much as he seems to!
(showing off his knee's cool to have extra gear!)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

jumping back in

I've been having a hard time getting to this space....obviously!  And after being gone for almost 2 months, I decided that I just needed to jump back in and start rolling with things again.  I have missed being here, and so my goal is to be a bit more purposeful about posting.  With that said though, I fully recognize that our family is in the middle of basketball season and things are just busy all around.  But if I'm being honest, they are always busy and I have realized that it's important for me to take some time here for reflection and sharing and recapping. (if for no one else but myself) So, I'm hoping to be back here more regularly.  I won't pigeon hole myself to a certain number of posts, but I know that as with everything in life, if you want something to happen you must be intentional about it.
 I've started back in with Project Life and my daily pictures are out on flickr.  The link is on the side bar.  I missed doing that last year, but I truly did need a change of pace and the year off from taking daily pictures was a good thing.  This is the year, my oldest graduates from high school and so big changes are on the horizon for her and for will be a grand year to document!
I've been working on some cross stitch projects.  The finished snowman was actually completed last year and I finally got around to 'framing' it.  I followed the awesome directions on this blog!  I love the felt around the edges.   I followed the directions for the Felt Mounted Ornament.
I also found out that you shouldn't put your plastic shower curtain liner in the dryer!  I'm not sure why I even thought that was a good idea...but lesson learned!  I laughed so hard and then called my husband..."honey can you stop by Target on your way home and pick up a shower curtain liner?...I sort of shrunk ours!"  Who knew that plastic could shrink!  What a great way to start off the new year...learning always!

I hope your new year is off to a great start!  It's always exciting to begin a new chapter in's to hoping this year is a page turner full of blessings and awesome memories!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas table runners

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We celebrated small here at our house.  It was was our first Thanksgiving without Baba (my grandma) and so it was nice to stay intimate and low key.  I did miss the craziness of lots of people, but it all worked out.  After the holiday our good friends made a stop over for the was so awesome to see soul needed it!
Before Thanksgiving I worked on some Christmas table runners.  I gifted one and so now I can share!  These are so fun to make.  Choosing all the different fabrics is so much fun.  I used holiday fabrics but I think they would be fun in winter fabrics too....guess I'll have to find time to try one of those for after Christmas.
I cut out 15 strips each 2 1/2 by 11 inches.  I sewed them together in a pleasing pattern without being too repetitive or symmetrical and after pressing all the seams, I ironed some fusible batting to the back of the strips.  After that, I created a frame with four strips of fabric that I wanted to look like binding.  From that point on, it's merely sewing it together like you'd do to make a pillow.
Once everything is turned right side out, I press really well and then stitch in the ditch on the inside of the frame.  Stitching in the ditch is when you stitch right in the crevice that the seam leaves.  This doesn't really show up, but it does do a nice job of anchoring the front to the back.
As soon as the table was cleared from Thanksgiving I had mine out!  It looks really pretty with an old black tray, some greenery and a jar candle.  Tis the Season!!!  Stay Jolly and enjoy all of your days!