Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Madness & a Patchwork Quilt

Monday already? What an awesomely blessed weekend. Thank you Jesus - - you always know exactly what I need.

Today I've been busy with "projects." First on the list, addressing wedding invitations. I've done this in the past for other people's weddings (and got paid for it), but it sure does feel different addressing them for my own daughter's wedding.

I'm excited to share my next project with you. It's my animal print patchwork quilt. I've been sewing since I was about 9 years old, but quilting is something new for me.

I decided to purchase a package of squares already matched and ready to go from the local quilting store, with very easy to follow instructions (since this is my first quilt.) My husband helped me pick it out. I still had to do all of the cutting for the appropriate sizes, but it was an excellent experience.

Here is my "almost finished" product. I machine pieced all of it together. Don't look too closely for my mistakes. (My husband said that makes it look more homemade, instead of made in China. LOL)

Here is a little closer view. I love these prints.

I chose a rust colored backing fabric. It seemed to bring out the colors on the front better than any other color.

I am machine quilting this, and chose the stitch below. I hope it all turns out okay. I may have to put some straight quilting stitched across the squares as well.

This is what it will look like on the top.

Here is what is will look for on the bottom.

So.. I have to finish all of the quilting. I will post a photo when I have the finished product.

Have an amazingly blessed evening my friends!

Mamahugs for you all!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Super Sunday and Meaty Manicotti!!

What a beautiful Sunday! I'd like to give thanks to my Heavenly Father for the Joy that He provides in my life!

My most important message to you today would be to stop trying to find your happiness through all of the worldly things... turn your focus toward God. This is the only way to find pure joy.

Now.. I know I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to work on my "projects" today- - BUT, when hubby says "let's go to the beach," I am packed and into the car in a New York minute. (now that's fast). But, I did accomplish something yummy today, and I'd like to share it with you.

Who wants Meaty Manicotti?? I DO!

Here is your recipe:

1 lb. loose sausage (I bought 2 pounds to use some for breakfast and cook some ahead for homemade pizzas this week)
1 lb. ground beef
lg. jar of your favorite spagetti sauce (or homemade if your talented like that!)
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 c. ricotta cheese
1/2 t. salt
Dash Pepper
Parmesan Cheese
Manicotti Shells (I made two boxes)

1. Cook hamburger and sausage until browned.

2. Put meat in a bowl, and add remaining ingredients.

3. Mix well.

4. Cook Manicotti shells as directed on the box.

5. Spread sauce in the bottom of your casserole dish. (I am using a meat sauce I had leftover in the fridge.)

6. Once your shells are done, rinse in cool water for easier handling. Then stuff them with your meat/cheese mixture.

7. Once your pan is full of stuffed manicotti shells, pour sauce over the top, and sprinkle on parmesan cheese.

8. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 or 10 minutes.

**As you can see, I made two pans of manicotti. The men in our house love meat. The girls on the other hand, only like cheese. SO... I stuffed most of the smaller pan with cheese only manicotti. If you want to make some cheese only, here is how I made the cheese stuffing:

Mixed the remaining ricotta cheese from the container(about 16 oz.) with a half cup of cottage cheese and a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Add one egg, a dash of pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir and stuff into shells.

9. Serve with garlic toast and salad! (Hubby said he liked this better than lasagna!)

My audience approves...

(actually he's just hoping I drop something...)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wedding Planning and Other Things

This week has been full of wedding planning. Checking the guest list, AGAIN. On Thursday, Lacey and I drove to Orlando for her dress fitting for alterations. I still don't get tired of seeing her in that dress. I can't believe the Big Day is less than 2 months away. After the fitting, we made it back to Melbourne just in time for our Cake Appointment with my good friend Kathy (who I haven't seen in years). Not only was it great to catch up with her, but we feel so blessed to have her making Lacey and Evan's cake.

Today, I cleaned house and did laundry. All of my projects... well, I procrastinated on all of them. Boo.. I don't like when I do that. So tomorrow... I will get back to work so I can share what I've been up to.

I know I'm pretty much done homeschooling in this house, but I couldn't help but grab the camera and take some pictures of my son Mack putting a new motor in his truck. I think I just like to see the look on people's faces when they look out my back window and see a torn apart pick-up truck on my patio. Around here, that's schooling and a photographic moment to document progress. To others, it may just look like the rednecks have come to town. Well, maybe it's a little of both, but our home is a place of personal expression not impression. (I stole that from the movie "Yours, Mine and Ours".)

Seriously, with me, what you see is what you get. A simple sinner, covered in God's grace! How cool is that?!

I better get some rest. After all , my "projects" are staring at me, so I need my sleep to git 'er dun tomorrow. (that's me trying to sound redneck). My BFF should be proud! LOL

Mamahugs to all... and to all a good night!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where's Everybody Going??

Okay, so here I am... Mother of Four, thinking I have all these children to raise and suddenly POOF... they are adults and LEAVING the nest. Where does the time go I ask you? And what does a mother do now? I've been easing into the empty nest for about 6 years now. My oldest son Christopher is now 25 and lives 1200 miles from us. Our daughter Kelsey is 24, has already been out of the nest for several years, but she's back for a temporary stay. Lacey, our third child (19) is getting married in September. Although she assures me we will see each other all of the time, I'm sure that life will suck her up just as it did me, and she'll have her own life to live. Fine! And then there's my baby, Mack. I told him he'll always be my baby even though I have to look up at him. Mack will turn 18 at the end of this year and is already planning his escape into independantville. (because it sounds like so much fun... LOL)

Let me explain something about myself. Besides being a Christ follower and loving Jesus with all my heart and soul.... I absolutely LOVE being a Mom. My life, for the past 25 years has been wrapped up in raising four children and trying to find time to spend with my wonderful husband. Let's not mention the part about working, running businesses and making a few great friends along the way.

About ten years ago, we embarked on a brand new adventure called Homeschooling. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when we suddenly decided to pull our children out of the public school setting, but I knew it was exactly what God wanted me to do. In that time, I grew to realize what a gift Homeschooling was to our family. My only regret.... not doing it from DAY ONE!

A few years ago, as my children started getting older and a few were finished with learning at home. I began taking classes at the local community college. Better late than never, right? In fact, my oldest daughter Kelsey and I took some classes together and loved it. I am blessed to have children who are not ashamed to be seen with me in public!

So here I am today... homeschooling is coming to an end. My chillins are leaving the nest one by one. I sold my business (so I'm currently unemployed). I finished a two year degree and have just enrolled into the university to work on my bachelors degree. I literally have time on my hands for the first time in .. well.. EVER! So I've decided to start this blogspot.

Join me, won't you. My goal is to be a source of encouragement and resources for Moms of all ages and stages. Whether you are just starting out with a brand new bundle of joy. Or, are you in the thick of the house-wrecking, life sucking munchkins who you swear will never live to see 18? What about those pre-teen monsters who show up one day in the place of where your sweet child once stood? Oh and let's not forget those teenagers. Aren't they grand? Yes, yes they are, and I'm here to tell you.. both my children and my husband and I have come out alive on the other side.

So... tune in, hang on, and enjoy the ride. You only get one ticket to ride this rollercoaster Moms. Make the most of it. Let me, with God's help, encourage you along the way.

Thought for the day... "where God guides, He provides.." Remember, if you have God with you, even parenting is survivable!

Mama Hugs and Blessings to you my friends......