Simply Put, "December"

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My goodness, this has been a crazy month! At the beginning of the month, the Craft Bazaar (which was an immense blessing for me!) and getting through several commission projects (also an immense blessing) then on to Christmas and soon New Years. It's been a very exhausting month and we are all feeling it. So thankful to be done with most of it! Just need to finish/start our families' Christmas gifts (sorry guys!) and I'll be done for awhile. But my crochet was much more popular than I anticipated this year. Nine commission projects in just this season alone. And I already have paid projects waiting for me at the end of January, plus another photo shoot booked. Crazy! But, like I said, it's a blessing. January is the hardest month for us financially, so the extra cash will be quite welcome. As long as I don't have to make any more bearded beanies or sock monkey cup cozies, I'll be just peachy.

On to the pictures. This is going to be quite the lengthy post, so sit tight.

Holiday Craft & Vendor Bazaar

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm taking the plunge. I'm being brave. I'm taking a chance.

I'm doing a craft show!

I wasn't expecting this at all, but God kind of just plopped it into my lap. I was perfectly fine with running my little Etsy shop, selling to church family, and taking on commissions. I would never dreamed to do a...craft show! I'm actually quite stoked about it. Revamped my logo, ordered some business cards to use as tags, and am trying to hurry and finish some more items before the big day(s). Between this, commissions, and Christmas gifts, I'm getting a tad burned out, but I just gotta keep stitchin' along. I hope to pick up a book in January. Or do the dishes on a regular basis. Here's hoping.

Thankfully, I've been gearing up for the Christmas shopping season to hit, so I have quite a few items on hand. But a few more items wouldn't hurt. I pray it is fruitful; we could really use the money. So, until after the bazaar is over, my shop will be closed. It will be open again with whatever didn't sell. Hopefully, I just won't have to open again! Ha! Wishful thinking!

So, if you live in the Magic Valley area, come and check it out - December 7th, 10am-8pm and December 8th, 10am-6pm in Downtown Twin Falls. I'll be at Magic Valley Bible Church (our home church), so come and say "hi"!

To our families: Expect your gifts to arrive sometime after the New Year. Sorry ahead of time.

Drew

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just to show I'm not playing favorites. This little cutie just happens to be quick and incredibly hard to photograph! =) 

Homeschool Thus Far

So...I've started homeschooling Rob.

I wasn't planning on homeschooling Rob this year.

Rob decided he wanted to be homeschooled this year.

So...I've started homeschooling Rob.

It all started with some books. A friend from church passed along some old pre-k workbooks her children had outgrown. The second they entered my house, Rob was drooling over them. "Can we look at them?! Can we do school?! PLEASE?!" So, I thought I'd let him just look at them.

Not enough for this kid. Within a week, he had blown through atleast a quarter of the comprehensive workbook - and it's a decent-sized book! Given, it was mainly review topics for him (i.e. colors, shapes, letters, etc.), but he never complained or grew bored. Just hungered for MORE.

We moved on to numbers in his workbook, which briefly introduced basic math in a round about way. Rob was fascinated and asked lots of questions about what he was doing. I explained that what he was doing was called math; basic addition and subtraction. He started salivating again. He wanted to learn MATH!

So, I found some very basic addition problems to print off and whipped out the brand new Unifix Cubes I had purchased awhile ago and we did MATH. I'm sitting there thinking, "This is going to be too hard for him, but that's okay - he's only four!"

I was quite mistaken.

He took to it VERY quickly and now LOVES math. We'll see if he's still saying that in junior high or high school...

(Rob also has started using the Unifix Cubes for pattern building and Drew likes to stack them and count them. Good buy!)

Much to his dismay, I put math on hold and moved on to reading. Thanks to Reading Eggs, he knows his phonics pretty well. Some friends recommended the BOB Books (I blogged about them here) and I'm happy to say that he is still LOVING the books and is progressing wonderfully with his reading. "The Old Truck" (pictured) happens to be one of his favorites, and one of the more challenging ones in his sets.

He is also able to comprehend and recall what he has read to you, which is something I struggled with greatly in school. We make sure to stop every page, look at the picture, and review what we just read to make sure he's tying it all together. I could not recommend these wonderful books any more than I already have. They are well worth the money.

I'm having lots of fun picking up these learning tools I had in school as a kid. Today, our Pattern Blocks arrived. You would have thought Christmas came early. I was fortunate enough to find some freebie printables of Pattern Block Mats (saving me atleast $5-$9), printed them off, and put them in plastic sleeves so they could be used and abused. The boys really enjoyed this activity!

Drew, who floats in and out of schooltime, putting in his two cents here and there, can participate, too. It's really great for his little brain, as he tries to match the shapes and colors. Or he just completely does his own thing and tries to count them. Whatever the case, he's earning those brain wrinkles, too!

I have another friend who stresses the importance of letting them do their own thing - especially with art and creativity. She once told me the story of her oldest daughter, the first in a line of eight, homeschooled children, who could write beautiful letters, but could not draw a stick figure to save her life. So, I make sure to give the boys time to "express themselves" artistically.

Rob's drawing skills have greatly improved over the last month or so (must be all that brain expanding going on) and he likes to write little messages on his pictures (with my help, of course). Drew has followed suit and tries to copy brother (as he's done since the beginning). He'll scribble a blue blob and say "firetruck!" He's using his imagination, right? It's really quite adorable.

Now. My disclaimer. 

I am not bragging. The Lord has blessed them with some brilliant minds (unlike their mother) and He gets all the credit and glory for anything they may achieve in that department. I just hope I can keep up with them before they're teaching me a thing or two! They never cease to amaze me.

I don't push them - they push ME. I don't think you all realize just how lazy I am (come look at my house on any given week day and I can prove that...on second thought, don't). They both are extremely curious about the world and are quite eager to learn more. It's all I can do to even keep up some days! I try my best to work at their pace, only encouraging (read: pushing) when I see a need to. I am merely a driving instructor in this vehicle.

I pray they always keep their curiosity for learning. And they don't realize that their mother is "slow" too soon.

BOB Books

Sunday, October 14, 2012

As recommended from some friends, I went and bought these books (Sight Words and Set 1, specifically) for Rob (and eventually Drew) at Costco today. I was a tad skeptical, judging them purely on their amateurish illustrations, but I am a believer, now! These books are AWESOME and Rob loves them! He is eating them up and picking up reading with ease. Thanks ladies!

Click the image to visit the BOB Books website.

My Very First Designs!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I finally got brave enough to take a whack at designing my own crochet patterns. Both have been through testing on Ravelry and are now available for purchase both on Ravelry and Etsy.

Winter Glory Cowl
Pattern: Etsy, Finished Project: Etsy

Last Leaves of Autumn Cowl
Pattern: Etsy, Finished Project: Etsy


**Patterns for personal use only. Items made from pattern may be sold, but credit and link must be included in listing. NO HARD COPIES - ONLY DIGITAL. NO REFUNDS ON DIGITAL PURCHASES WILL BE GIVEN.**

Pumpkin Festival

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012
Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012
Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012
Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival - Kimberly, Idaho - 2012

Had a great time with my boys at Rock Creek Growers' Pumpkin Festival in Kimberly yesterday. They played games for prizes, navigated mazes, and even got to pick their own pumpkins! LOTS of fun!

Click here to see the whole set in order.

Awana!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another year of Awana has begun! This will be Rob's second year of Cubbies (his last) and he was certainly excited to go tonight. The smile says it all.

I can't believe next year, Rob will be a Spark and Drew will be a Cubbie. Mind-blowing!

Church Camp

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Church Camp is always a blast. Stressful, but a blast. We were really bummed that we couldn't go last year; we had just bought the house and we were too busy and too broke. We almost didn't go this year, either, but I'm glad we did.

Here's our wonderful church family. I just love these people! Can't wait to spend an eternity laughing and making lots of racket with them. =)

More after the jump...

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, August 13, 2012

I've had baked goods that included pudding in their mixes before, such as Pillsbury's Moist Supreme Cake Mixes. The pudding makes the cake so soft and moist, so when I came across this recipe, I had to try it. I wasn't disappointed at all. These cookies are PERFECT!

- - -


Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3.4 oz. package vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside.

2. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slight golden and set. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Scarves

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

 Never too early to start thinking about the cooler days ahead! I can't wait for autumn!!!

I made this scarf specifically for my shop, so go check it out!

Sweet Eleanor Scarf, Sweet Eleanor by Quince Tart

This scarf, however, is mine. All mine. I used the lovely and soft Naturally Caron Spa bamboo blend yarn that I got on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics for only 97¢ a skein! I grabbed the last 6 they had and was thrilled. This stuff isn't cheap!

I'd love to put one up in my shop, but the pattern owner has requested that no items be sold from her pattern. Poo. =( So, go make one for yourself and be as tickled as I am!

Canned Biscuit Doughnuts

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This is another one of those "dangerously easy" recipes that you could whip up, say...when you're stumped for breakfast ideas and your kids are nipping at your heels for food and you have NOTHING to give them. Or something like that.

They're no Krispy Kremes, but they do the trick if you're in need of a doughnut fix!

Canned Biscuit Doughnuts
Derived from Paula Deen's Recipe

Ingredients:

- oil for frying
- canned biscuits (NOT FLAKY! I just used Walmart's brand of Buttermilk Biscuits and they were perfect.)
- icing, sugar and cinnamon, or whatever you wish to top or glaze with (I just use sugar and cinnamon. Still looking for a decent icing.)


Directions:

1. Heat your oil in a deep fryer, an electric skillet, a deep pan (like a wok), OR a Dutch oven to 350ยบ. A candy thermometer is very handy in this instance. (It's important to get the right temperature, otherwise you'll either end up with soggy, oily dough or a chunk of burnt bread.)

2. Take your biscuits out of the can (or cans - make as many or as few as you want) and cut a hole in the middle using a small, round cookie cutter or (my method) an opening of a 20 liter plastic bottle.

3. Prepare your icing/glaze/topping. Place paper towels onto a plate (or use a wire rack) to dry your doughnuts off when they come out of the pan.

4. When your oil is ready, carefully place your doughnuts into the oil, making sure not to "crowd" them too much so they will cook properly and thoroughly. (I like to start with the holes. It tests to make sure the oil is the right temperature and I get something to snack on while I'm cooking.) Cook until golden brown on each side. Remove from oil and onto paper towel/wire rack to dry for a minute or two.

5. Top and/or decorate your doughnuts. Enjoy your deep-fried delights. Feel no shame.

Blue Angels

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blue Angels - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012
Went to the Magic Valley Air Show last Saturday and saw the Blue Angels fly for the first time ever. Amazing! The boys were pretty impressed, too! It was hot and not cheap, but so worth it!

Click on any of these to view them larger.

 Blue Angels - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012 IMG_5827_rBlue Angels - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012t_w Blue Angels - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012 Blue Angels - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012 Blue Angels - Twin Falls, Idaho - 2012

eReader Cozies!

Well, I finally got around to stocking my shop a bit. I've been so swamped with commission projects and gifts that I haven't had time. I hope to include cozies for other devices, but I'm still in the process of perfecting a few other patterns. Go to my shop to snag one for yourself!

Sock Monkey Coffee Cozy

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A friend of mine requested two of these.

Practical? No.
Adorable? ABSOLUTELY!

Sock Monkey Coffee Cozy, Sock Monkey Coffee Cozy by Inner Hooker

Blackmail

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Will he hate me for it someday? Probably.
Was it worth it? Most definitely.
 
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