Monday, November 30, 2009

our weekend

We spent Thanksgiving with good friends of ours in the Bay Area. They have two kids of their own and have been taking care of four other kids (relatives) for the past 15 months. Six girls ranging in age from 2-14. We added three more kids and two adults to the mix and we spent the night. It was slumber party city for everyone involved. Every bedroom and living room had someone in it. We had so much fun!

All the kiddos.

Two hours after we returned home on Friday, THIS happened! First time we've seen hail in the 5 years we've lived here. Our girls were very intrigued.

After the storm was over we took full advantage of the fun!

Decorating the tree.

I love this season!

Stay tuned this week for some September kit layouts!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy turkey day

Just wanted to say hello and I hope you all have a great time with family and friends today. We are headed to the Bay Area to visit good friends for two days--so excited! I'll leave you with a recent picture of my three cuties--I am so thankful for them!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

zucchini pizza crust

This past summer we grew our own zucchini. I found this awesome recipe for a gluten-free pizza crust here. I've changed the cheese to monterey jack since mozarella has lactose in it. I bake a big batch of these and freeze them in between wax sheets of paper. I like this crust better than a traditional pizza crust. SO  YUMMY!!

4 cups finely shredded zucchini
3/4 cup all-purpose flour gluten-free flour
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Once zucchini or summer squash has been shredded (I recommend a food processor) lightly salt the squash and transfer it to a strainer. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes and press all remaining liquid out of squash—very important to get out as much water as possible.

3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine squash, flour, Parmesan cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, eggs, pepper and salt. Mix well.

4. Spread individual size crusts onto a greased pan (I use my slip mat) and sprinkle with oregano. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven. The reason I don't do one large crust is that it is hard to flip.

5. Remove the crust from the oven and change the oven's temperature to broil. Brush the top of the crust with oil, and then broil the crust for 3 to 5 minutes until the top is lightly browned.

6. Allow the crust to cool slightly and slide spatula underneath all edges and flip the crust over so that the bottom of the crust is now facing upwards. If you want to omit the flipping stage, that is okay, but the crust won't be as crunchy.

7. Brush the top of the crust with oil and broil for another 3 to 5 minutes until the top is browned. Be sure and watch the crust closely so as not to burn the edges too much.

Smother this crust with your favorite pizza toppings, bake and enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

photography layouts

My grandpa was a photographer and my grandma did all the touch up work--an incredibly tedious job. (She would have loved Photoshop!) My grandpa took some amazing pictures--everything from the men on their ships during WWII to the Presidential election. He also had the only two 16mm motion picture cameras with sound in the entire state of Wyoming during his time.

On this layout I stictched a pocket onto the right-hand side to hold my grandpa's business brochure.

This layout showcases a copy of my grandpa's business card and two of his pictures taken during the Presidential campaign of Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

first job

My grandma had a twin. They both worked in retail after they graduated high school. Many people would get confused when they were shopping in one shop and then came to Woolworth's, where she worked and they saw "her" again. This is where her husband picked her up! This is the one picture she had taken inside of Woolworth's. She is the gal standing in the middle.

p.s. Mom and Dad--if you click on the pictures twice, you will be able to read the journaling. Or you can go to my flicker account (the side bar of pictures) and click on the heritage tab where you can view them on an even larger scale.

wedding day

My grandma had a very simple wedding. So simple in fact that they were married in a pastor's home on the same day as two other couples. There was not money to be tossed around in these days. She wore a simple dress and hat, not a big fancy gown. Funny how you are still married whether you have the big fancy ceremony or say your vows in someone's home.

first home

This was my grandma's first home. It was purchased 14 years into their marriage. They paid only $13, 450 back in 1954. She lived there until she needed to have someone checking on her more regularly. She sold her house for $109,500 in 2003 and moved to Iowa to live near my parents. It was a huge change for my grandma to move from Wyoming where she had lived most of her life, but I'm glad that my dad got to spend the last several years of her life getting to know her better.

game & fish

My grandpa was a photographer and my grandma helped him significantly in their business. They didn't always own a studio. He shot photos during WWII and this layout shows him working as a photographer for the Wyoming Game & Fish--his favorite job.

These layouts are more on the simple side compared to what I normally like to do. I felt that because they are old photos with much history behind them, I wanted to keep things simple and classic and focus on the story. I still love the way they turned out. I have many more stories to document, this is just the start! Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

my grandma

My grandma passed away this afternoon. She was 92. We went back to visit her and my parents in Iowa this past February. We knew it would probably be the last time we'd see her. I'm sad that she never got to meet Seth. She's lived near my parents for the last six years; before that she'd lived in Wyoming. My grandpa died 44 years ago and she has lived alone since that time. My parents are taking her back to Wyoming for a service and to be buried next to her husband.

I grew up in Minnesota, and every summer we would drive out to Wyoming to visit both of my grandmas. I remember her making us homeade pizza and occasionally letting us have one of her Pepsi's that she kept stashed under the kitchen sink--a real treat! I always felt special because she reserved the upstairs guest bedroom (my dad's old room) for me to sleep in. My brother and my parents slept in the downstairs rooms--and it smelled like a basement down there.

While in Iowa this past February I went through ALL of her boxes of photographs. My grandpa was a photographer so they had a ton! I have been working on a heritage album of both sides of grandparents. It will be a project that will take me several years, but I do have a few pages done. I was able to ask her some questions on this last visit; I love hearing stories about the lives people have lived. I believe everyone has an interesting story to tell. I will post of few of the pages in the coming week.

This was the last picture I took of my Grandma Fendley. This is a Cathedral quilt she is holding that her mother made. It is the one thing I asked my mom if I could inherit. My grandma also showed me a doll that she wanted me to have that her father gave to her when she was 11 years old, just a few months before he died. The doll was very special to her. My grandma passed in her sleep and she is at home with Jesus now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

my life right now . . . err, last year

This past week I had some layouts returned to me that the store had for the past 9+ months. I was so happy to get some of them back! My albums were looking bare. I'll share some of them here in the week ahead. This is one I particularly liked because it shows exactly what my life was like a year ago . . . messes and all.

This is a sketch that my friend Kristen put together for our design team. Love the simplicity of it! You can flip it too and it looks great.

I used rub-ons by Jenni Bowlin directly on the pictures.
Have a happy day!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

suddenly, I live on a farm

I'm not sure how it happened really . . . six weeks ago we were a normal family living in the middle of suburbia and now I live on a farm. We now have two chickens and one large rabbit. Cody, Sarah and Cottontail are their names. These have all been my husband's ideas of course. I sometimes wonder if my husband is going through a mid-life crisis, (he'll be 37 next month, a tad early) but then I look back upon our marriage and I realize that this is always the way he has been. He loves to have an extra hobby besides his biking.

Two years into our marriage it was a small fresh water fish tank in our master bedroom, then a 75-gallon fish tank in our living room, then a 90-gallon aquarium with salt water fish. He got rid of that when he realized how much time he spent cleaning it (and we had two children by this time). Then it was the go-cart phase . . . and by this I mean owning his own cart that reached 100mph that he had to drive on a special track. He got over that after a couple of years when he found out that you have to continually replace parts--got a tad expensive.

Next it was two geckos--which he brought to work. He said it was theraputic for him to watch them when he was having a stressful day. May I add that he ordered 250 LIVE crickets (gecko food) and had them sent to the office? I'm not sure how theraputic it was for one of his female co-workers to find a cricket crawling up her leg. (They had chewed through the plastic bin.) When one of the geckos escaped and was missing for a day, he quickly brought them home to our garage and a very happy 11-year old boy purchased them from us shortly thereafter.

Now we are onto chickens and rabbits. He is currently searching Craigslist (where he got Cottontail) for a female rabbit so he can start breeding them. WOW! How did we get here? One more thing . . . he's already promised the girls we would incubate and hatch duck eggs in the Spring. Duck eggs? Really? Like I said, suddenly I live on a farm. This post would not be complete without pictures . . . not sure if you'd believe me otherwise.

Cottontail hopping around in our backyard.

The rabbit hutch Tim built this weekend. He had to build it high off the ground so our neighbors cat that is always in our yard wouldn't torment the rabbit.

Cody and Sarah, the chickens. Still growing . . . they are 6 weeks old.

The chicken coop. Doesn't it add a bit of beauty to our backyard? It's complete with a net cover on it so the neighbors cat (again) doesn't jump in it and hurt the chickens.

Feel free to stop by our farm anytime for a visit!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

heart moment

I had put a movie on for the girls the other day while I was upstairs getting ready. I came downstairs to this:

Made my heart melt. I was able to snap a picture before they noticed me.
Have a great morning!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I went on a women's retreat this past weekend with my friend, Carrie. Bev Bradley was the speaker. If you ever get a chance to hear her, she is one of the most inspiring and transparent women I've heard. And she's funny to boot. She speaks at homeschool conferences and her husband writes books for the homeschooling family and for anyone just looking for a few tips on raising their children. If you are looking for encouragement, she has an array of topics she speaks on . . . everything from organizing your home to being a better wife--you can purchase the CD's on her website.

I had a great time relaxing and learning a few things about myself. Here is a picture of a little walk I went on just outside the retreat property. Everything was so quiet! Gotta love that once in a while.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, November 9, 2009

august kit cards

Here are a few cards I created with the Green Tangerines August kit. I just love all the Jillibean Soup paper included in this kit! So bright and cheerful!

Have a swell day!

Friday, November 6, 2009

august kit

I get to have fun every month designing some layouts for Green Tangerines Kit Club. Each month they give me a box packed with goodies and I put together a few double page layouts and cards. I thought I would show you what I did with the August kit--my favorite kit thus far! My favorite layout made with this kit I showed you here in my first ever post!

This is Christmas 2008. All of the photos on the top third of the page I put together in Photoshop Elements and printed them as a 12x12. Made my layout go together in a snap!

My parents came out right after Seth was born. My dad ended up only being able to stay a week because he had to rush home to take care of my grandma who fell and broke her hip. My mom stayed for a month and was such a HUGE help to us! I don't know how we would have survived without her!

Stay tuned for some cards made with the August kit.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

12 weeks of Christmas

Over at Green Tangerines they are doing the 12 weeks of Christmas. Four of us designed three one-page layouts to complete a calendar before Christmas. It's the perfect gift for someone you love. This week they released the November page which I designed. You can check out the sneak peak on their website here. You can scroll through the blog to see the other gals pages as well--super cute!

christmas card class

If you are local and want to get a jump start on your Christmas cards, join me for my class at Green Tangerines on Wednesday, November 18 from 6-8pm. You'll make 8 cards, 1 tag and 1 gift card holder. Cost is $24. Call the store to sign up today! 771-8010. Here is a sneak peak at what you'll be creating.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

getting rid of the candy

Instead of paying our children to hand over their candy, Tim thought of a more creative solution. A candy toss. Whatever candy you could toss into the bowl would be yours to keep. For every year old that the child is, that is how many feet away the bowl had to be. He got out the tape measure and measured 5ft for Paige and 3ft for Faith. I thought that maybe they'd each get 10 pieces of candy in the bowl . . . an acceptable amount of candy to keep. But no, they both got over 20 pieces of candy in their bowls. I think our solution may have backfired a bit. The rest of the candy they happily put in a bag that Tim is going to take to work tomorrow. Maybe next year we'll have to use smaller bowls to throw the candy into. Here are a couple of action shots.

Monday, November 2, 2009


We had a great weekend filled with friends, fun and SUGAR!!! I think we are going to have to come up with a plan to get rid of most of it. Maybe we'll pay our kids a certain amount of money per piece they give up and Tim can take it all to work. Hhmmmm . . . Here are a few pictures of our kids dressed up. We never did find a dog costume for Seth (the girls wanted him to be a dog), so he was a pumpkin that I had on hand. He slept through all the trick-or-treating anyway.

Have a great day!