Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

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Dear blogging friends. I know I have been a bit MIA of late. Life got a bit out of hand there for a while but never fear I have great plans just around the corner. I let things slip a bit in the name of sanity preservation. Then Pinterest caught my attention. Now the holidays. I decided to relax until after the first of the year then return with a vengence. I also had to revisit why I started blogging. 

Some of my dear friends suggested that I start. It was for family but since I had so many other things to share and few of my family followed my blog it became a journal of my creative outlet. I sough ideas to make my house a home on a budget; tips for cooking, cleaning, sewing, and most of all crafting. I began to wonder if I wanted to continue blogging. Then I realized I have missed it. 4growingboys has become so much a part of me. I also realized it gave me an excuse, a reason if you will, to complete the projects and ideas I pinned or found on other blogs. Last year I amazed myself after posting all the 52 projects I had completed through the year. It was fun but even more amazing to see what I had accomplished through the year. So with all these things in mind I have lots of plans for the coming year. 

First off, I will be starting my 52 projects again. It's a goal to focus on one project a week. Whether big or small. I will most likely be posting them each Monday. Keep an eye out for that. 

I am also planning to scrap 365 pages. I usually do several pages at a time but I want to average a page a day. I will post the pages I have done each week as well. My pages are often simple by comparison, I'd rather the pictures speak for themselves but maybe someone will be inspired as well. We love to look back through our albums. The boys ooh and aah over their own faces. I have fallen a bit behind so hopefully I will be able to catch up this year. I also have a bit of paper scrapping to finish before tying it all into the digital scrapping.

So whether it be sewing, paper crafting, home decor, cooking, gardening, or scrapbooking you are sure to find lots of ideas in the coming weeks and months. For those of my followers that have stayed with me- THANK YOU! It fills my bucket each day to see new comments from all of you. You make my day just by saying hi.

So, for now MERRY CHRISTMAS to all. May you have the peace of the season in your hearts and home. I love this time of year. It is truely the BEST time of the year. Enjoy your holiday season. Keep your family close and love them like there is no tomorrow. I send all of you my love. 

Join me in January for new and exciting things!
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kitchen decor....

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I have struggled this past year with how to decorate above my cupboards.
I knew what I wanted in my mind but could never quite get that to come out.
When I put up my fall decor I think I came close.
I love how it turned out.
It's amazing how simple things make a big difference.
I still need to decide what to do with the large pail and star...
The flower arrangment came from the DI.
Can  you believe I didn't do much to it? Yep, I thought it looked great just the way it was.
Hmm, maybe I need a bit more fall garland there at the end too.
It's making the house feel more like Home.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Basement Progress: slowly but surely

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We managed to get the wiring done and frame in the window.
Now we just need to do the doors then start sheetrocking.
It is coming together and I am itching to decorate.
We are running out of time.
Soon. Soon, I will be able to enjoy this space.
(The black is from painting another project ;-))
 It is taking time.
It gets frustrating.
Thankfully we have google for when we run into a problems.
But we are getting there.
And we are doing it together and growing together.
We have great talks and take advantage of teaching moments with our oldest.
Dad and Son working side by side.
Building more than just a room.
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Dryer Vent Pumpkins

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I love getting together with friends to craft. This last week we made these pumpkins.
My mom had made some of these years ago but my puppy destroyed them.
It's just a dryer duct painted orange.
The harvest picks were on sale this last week at JoAnn's.
I love how they turned out. And I love how they look on my table.
So fun!
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

This weeks menu 10/23

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You know how life tends to get in the way of all our greatest plans...
Yeah, that's where we are.
We are still working on finishing my craft/guest room. I am uber impatient! I think I am actually having crafting withdrawls! I have loads of projects waiting for some attention. With the holidays creeping in the itch to make something is getting stronger by the second. And of course we have run into a couple of snags in getting my room finished. First of all we need it for a special 12th birthday on November 1; then again on Thanksgiving weekend with lots of family coming to town. We planned everything out and even with a few hicups were making progress toward our timeline. 
Then last week my darling husband was put in as 1st counselor in the Bishopric in our ward. For those of you who don't have a clue what this's...well, he's is basically the second one in charge of 300-400 people. It is a big responsibility accompanied with lots of meetings. He will be fantastic! He is a great leader and quite humble.
With all the changes and what-have-you we haven't gotten much done over the past 2 weeks. We are creeping along but I am worried we won't make our November 1 deadline. 
Hopefully we will make the Thanksgiving one. 
We just continue to work as much as we can (between DH meetings and my nights working).
Keep your fingers crossed for me.

In the meantime, I have fallen victom to another crafting hobby. 
Yes, I know, I am weak.
See I needed a new watch band and I did'nt want to spend $15-$20 on one so I thought I would just make one. Just enough beads for one little watch band. AHEM!? Uhmm, yeah. I will have a couple of projects to show you from this little dilema. I think it would have been cheaper to buy the band BUT not NEARLY as fun. hehehe. Thank Goodness! My dear hubby is supportive of my addictions. lol
So, this week I hope to post our progress on the basement and a couple of small projects. Just enough to tide me and you over til the big reveal and craft craze of my new craft room!
If you wanna stop by you are welcome to stay for dinner. This is what we will be enjoying this week.....

Oven Fried Chicken
Monte Cristo Delights
Baked Potatoe Soup
Strawberry Banana Omlets
Breakfast bake.

The end of the week will be filled with Halloween Carnivals and Chili cook-offs. I thought we could have an extra special breakfast before all the sweets hit the tummies.
I will also be making a couple of fun treats....
Pear Raisin Pie
Jack O' Lantern Pops
And probably a pumpkin pie. Dear Hubbies birthday is on Friday so he gets to decide. We are not big cake eaters so I suspect his birthday treat will be something pumpkin related. YUMMY!
Ohhh, and in case you were wondering.....
Only 63 days til Christmas! Horray!
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pinterest Addict!

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So sorry to have been MIA. I have had a couple of busy busy weeks. Then in my few moments of free time I just got sucked into Pinterest! 
Hello, My name is Shannon, and I am a Pinterest addict!
I love it.
All the great ideas.
The way I can organize them.
To come back to when it's time.
Some day I will do them all.
Each and Every one.

Never fear I have a couple of projects to post this week. We are inching closer to having my craft/guest room finished. I have so many ideas waiting to do. Projects I have supplies for but haven't started. Projects I have started but not finished. Right now they are all stacked in piles that get moved from one spot to another. 
I am dreaming of the day when I get to pull them out and organize it all nice and neat. 
Then Let the Fun Begin!
For now, we will start sheetrocking this week. I hope to finish that up by next weekend then start taping and texturing. I have already picked out my paint colors. I will try to find them online and share....hmm or maybe keep you all in suspense. hehehe!
I am also trying to get going on my scrapbooking. I have taken a bit of a leave from that but it's time to get a bit caught up, sort of. I am trying to do 1 page a day. We will see how well I do that.
Oh, and just on a personal note. 
Mr. M qualified for further speech therapy! Yeah!
After they turn 3 it is harder to qualify as the restrictions are so much tighter. There are just so many kids and they have to draw the line, in this case it's the 7th percentile. Well, he is not making enough progress so they qualified him. I know one day I will want less talking from him but for now I would just love to understand what he is saying. I am relieved to have this service through the school district. I hope to see some real progress soon. It's been nearly 2 years of therapy so far.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

This weeks menu 9/25/11

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I haven't posted my menu lately but managed to get it together earlier today so here you go....
Beef Stroganoff
Chicken and Rice Soup
Turkey Roast
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Homemade Pizza
Several of these have been on my menu but for whatever reason get bumped so they are back on for this week. Hopefully that will save some on the groceries since I know I already have the stuff.
I am hoping to do some baking this week and try some more yummy fall recipes. Anyone have some suggestions of their favs? There are so many to choose from!!
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spicing up the bathtub

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Small touches with big impact....
A plan bathtub....
Made inviting. 
I found the center of my swag and tied it around the rod.
Then I let it drape just right and tied it around the ends. It took a couple of tries but I loved the way it hung down without hanging into the tub.
Add the vase and towel rack I had and
A place to enjoy and relax....
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Friday, September 23, 2011

A girls room decor....

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I finally managed to get some good pictures of my friends daughters room. From plain to fab!
Madi loves her room. It is bright, cheery and perfect for a young lady! We added the wall color, chair, nightstand, lamp, wall art, and curtains.
It turned out great!
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The "T" Wall

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I wanted to make a wall of T's from all sorts of materials. Anything that Mr. Tyler plays with became fair game. Rocks, legos, and sticks were some of the first things that came to mind.
Each time I went into a store that had monograms I grabbed one. I wanted all different fonts and sizes. When I had several I just started creating....
This was the first monogram I made. At the time I didn't plan on a T wall but now it just goes right along with the others.
  A black T with letter beads down the side.....
Rocks and little boys just go hand in hand. How many times have I found rocks in the laundry? Or, "look at this COOL rock mom?" (I'm thinking of putting a frame around this one, it just looks unfinished)
This was one of my favorite letters. It's a bunch of washers glued together.
Moss and rocks wrapped around a wooden letter....
Lego's are a staple around our house. It only made sense that they be part of the wall. I let the boys come up with the design. I picked out the blocks I thought would work and told them to build me a T. Mr Ty added his lego guy.
Blue glass rocks....
Different fonts just painted blue- his favorite color.
Tyler loves his "T" wall. I have a couple of other ideas. I need to make a trip up the canyon for some twigs.
And, I keep wondering about something from the Home Depot. Surely there is something in the pipe section that can be worked into a T.....
I will share any others I add but for now I wanted to share what we have to far. All hung up with Command hook stickies (can you tell I love these things? and no one paid me to say that!)

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fun Coat hooks...

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I found some small railroad nails in a box of junk at the DI. I was thrilled but my dear friend thought I had a few loose nuts. She just stood back and smiled while I dug through "junk".
I hoped to find a 4th and use them in my bathroom as towel hooks but could not find another. I checked a couple of army surplus stores and still came up short, so on to plan B.
I picked up some square blocks and stars from Michaels.
Painted them, sanded the edges, and added the stars. I used black paint to dry brush the sides for an aged look.
I couldn't decide where to put them so I put them up with Command hook stickies. They are strong enough to hold the coats and backpacks but they are great for giving me an idea if a spot will work before I pound holes in my walls.
I think this spot works well, just behind the front door....
What do you think?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Making progess in the basement...

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Once upon a time there was a city boy and country girl who bought a house with plans to finish the basement.
There plans were grand.
But their knowledge was not.
Thankfully they had a great father who had taught the girl when she was young.
Now it came to teaching the city boy how to build wall after wall after wall.
Now we have 2 finished rooms and have 3 left to do; the bathroom, family room and guest/craft room.
We started framing the guest/craft room last weekend.
This weekend we finished framing the walls.
Josh was such a big help! 
Maybe through it all we will pass on to our boys how to frame a basement....
We have to move supplies from one side to another as we work our way around but it is sooo nice to see the progress being made. This will be a big room for a couple of reasons. We wanted to include the window for egress access. This way when we plan to sell we can claim this as a bedroom rather than just a storage room. It will also have a bunk bed and queen size bed in it for when family come to visit. Not to mention serving as my craft room all the other days of the year. Just call it your do it all room......
We put in a 5x5 closet. I plan to have most of my supplies stashed here. It will be great to close things up and keep them out of site of family and friends. No spying eyes! Christmas is on the way!
Looking back into what will eventually be the family/game room.
The view from the closet.....
We put plastic up to help control the dust. This is the door into the bedroom.
We are also hoping to get moving on the bathroom. Mr. K is waiting for the bathroom to move into his room. He sleep walks at night so the bathroom needs to be close. 
Can you believe it will cost $1500 just to have the rough plumbing done?! We have to move the drains a matter of inches! The toilet drain has to go back 5 inches! Why can't the builders just cement them in the right place to begin with?! Apparently this is a common problem. ARGH! 
In the meantime we are framing the bathroom ceiling around the ducting.
I guess Mr K couldn't get into his room right now anyway.....
We had to store the beds somewhere!!!!
See the stack of tile in the by the door? SCORE on that! We found a nice basic tile for $0.51 sq foot! Yeah, I haven't seen any that low. We bought enough for our floor and extra. We can return what we don't need but will have enough to cover any mistakes. The next week the same tile was $0.68. Still a good price but not as good! I put a piece down to see how it would look in the bathroom area, yep! It's gonna be nice! Now we just need to get tile for the shower. The boys just wanted a shower rather than a tub. Works for me. They always use my shower anyway.
All this means that for now my crafting stuff is piled up..... 
Left in the sacks with all my inspiration.....
Sewing projects, patterns, fabric, skirts, blouses....all on hold for now.
Paper crafts, vinyl, cricut, etc all in a pile.....hmmm, wonder if I can find a spot to do my "Spooky" sign?
Each weekend we are doing a little more.
Wiring, ductwork, insulation, sheetrock, mudding......
Hopefully by the end of October we will have this room finished!
Just in time for family to visit for a special 12 yr old birthday and the holidays!
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Harvest "Mantel"

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We don't really have a mantel but I use our bookshelf to decorate for each season. I love how a little change can go a long way.
I want to change the sign on the wall. I have a project in mind and hopefully will be able to get to it this week. Halloween is dear hubby's favorite holiday but I DON"T do scarey! I tend to beat spiders in my sleep and he wakes up with a couple of bruises. Really! I know it's crazy but I do. I used to sleep walk really bad too. My mom tells me I tried to walk out into a blizzard to find my dad. :-/
Needless to say around my house are the fun parts of fall and Halloween more than the spooky. 
I also have a couple of projects from last year that I need to finish. 
Keeping my fingers crossed I will get to some of them this week.
My list is growing longer. There are so many great ideas and just not enough time!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spiced Pear Dumplings and Fall cooking!

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Here are just some of the reasons I love fall....
Spiced Pear Dumplings..
 3 Tbs packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp grnd cardamom
1/4 tsp grnd cinnamon
1 Tbs butter or margarine softened
Dumpling pastry (see below)
2 large pears peeled and cut in half, cored
1 egg white
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup caramel sauce or topping.

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 Tbs water
Mix shortening and flour together until crumbly. Add salt, then add water 1 Tbs at a time until pastry almost cleans sides of bowl. Gather into a ball and roll out.

Mix br sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and butter together. Tuck a bit of mixture into center of pear. Wrap pear in pastry and seal edges slightly with cool water. Place seam side down in 9x13 greased pan.
Bake at 375 x 40-45 minutes.
Top with caramel sauce.
I didn't have caramel sauce so I mixed brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter together on low heat then poured over the dumplings. It was a hit at our house!

I had some small pears that needed to be used up. I offered several recipes and dear hubby choose this one. I haven't made it in a while. It calls for cardamon (kinda like cinnamon). I had boughten this spices way back when I first made this. I have not used it since so I had to chuckle when I came across the recipe to use some more of this spice.....
I haven't made bread for a while. I found the cost of heating my house and thus using my AC more was just not worth the savings. We are out of bread and I was so glad to have the cooler temps so I could make some more bread.
And chili with cornbread. Fall soups and chilis! Yum! It's a great way to use up all those vegis in the fridge from the garden. Just add whatever is left.
For my chili I usually add hamburger, tomatoes, corn and several cans of various beans. I add a bit of ketchup and brown sugar like when I make baked beans. You can also add a can of jalepenos but my boys don't like the heat so I have started leaving that out.
I have to make a double batch of cornbread and today still ended up making more.
 They devoured it! 
I enjoy the BBQ but I LOVE fall cooking!
The best part was how my house smelled of yummy spices when I was done. 
Home Sweet Home!
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