Friday, February 27, 2009

A Fun Giveaway!

The Farm Chicks are hosting a fun giveaway! Hop on over to enter yourself!

Tweet! Tweet!

I've had lots of inquiries about The Rusty Robin and WHEN do I plan to restock my shop?! You are all so sweet and encouraging and I have been working diligently on lots of new goodies this week!

I have a few more things to finish up and need to calculate the shipping, but am planning a shop update on Monday, March 9th at noon EST. (I did not forget you West Coasters!)

A few of you have sent me e-mails for special requests and I will be in touch with you and about how to get those orders placed and paid for!

Just to let everyone know, I will be using Etsy for my shop update - it will eliminate so much extra work for me and help streamline some things. Here is the link for my Etsy shop. A BIG thank you to Amber of Shabee Chick Designs for my cute header over there!

A quick note on shipping: if you live near me and want your item hand-delivered (!) I will refund your shipping cost. If you purchase more than one item, I will combine shipping and refund the difference in shipping savings to you as soon as possible.

I had a request for a look behind-the-scenes and how I create some of the items. You can be watching for that mid-late next week.

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement of this endeavor!

The Carrot Seed & Play With Me

I'm behind on sharing what we've been doing with Before Five in a Row - so here is a two week update in one!

First, we read The Carrot Seed. I've no doubt that you all remember the carrot cake incident - but here are the pictures of the little ladies helping shred the carrot:

We sort of redeemed the experience by frosting and decorating the cakes:

Cath pointed me to this idea for play-dough shaped into a carrot and we did this:

We planted bean seeds ~ see what they did! And, sprouted carrot tops (this took two full weeks to even get this far!) I was very skeptical that this would work, but it did!

We made a life-size carrot and marked our heights on it:

And, had an all-orange lunch:

The next week, we did Play With Me - we actually spent two weeks on this book since it was rainy and cold the first week and most of the things we wanted to do were outside!

We studied the Genesis account of Creation - and made these pictures as we read along. For example, the girls started with one piece of black paper each and then we added the sky, water, land, etc... in the order it was created. One side was day time and one side was night:

We hung a bird feeder and filled it with bird seed in hopes of seeing some feathered friends ~ we haven't seen a single one yet, but will keep watching!

We talked about some of the girls feelings in the story - but our favorite thing was walking to our neighborhood "lake" and taking a picnic lunch to eat on the small dock. The little ladies pretended to fish and we found a milkweed to blow along the way! We saw a squirrel, bird and cat - they wanted to see a fawn, but weren't too discouraged that we did not. Emily found a natural broom and had fun sweeping all the walk home!

I had also thought of making animal shaped sugar cookies and decorating some to deliver to a friend who is lonely. We did not get this done - and I remembered Rachel's terror at the friends dogs, so I decided it was best not to attempt this right now.

Homemade Play Dough (making this brought back immediate childhood memories!)

1/2 c. salt
1 c. flour
2 T. cream of tartar
1 c. water
1 T. cooking oil
food coloring

Mix all ingredients and cook over med. heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until it forms a ball. Store in plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator.

Carrot Cake (from Betty Crocker cookbook)

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 c. shredded carrots (about 5 medium)
1 c. coarsely chopped nuts

Combine ingredients and pour into one 9x13, two round or two 8x8 square pans, prepared. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes (rectangle) or 30-35 minutes (round) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hunger and Thirst

"Moooooom, I'm still hungry!"

Ever heard those words? I usually hear them after I've fixed dinner, served, eaten, cleaned up and moved on to something else!

But what about our hunger for God's Word?
Matthew 5:6,
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled."

This verse is a special one to me. I went to a Christian school from 8-12 grade and when we graduated, our principal picked out a verse for each of us and read it during the graduation ceremony. That moment wrote this verse on my heart and it has remained in a special place in my heart and mind since then.

This week, I watched Facing the Giants. This is my kind of movie - I love all three of the Sherwood Picture movies - they are quality and they really speak to a part of my heart. The one thing I've noticed in all three of their movies is the relationship they show with God. It is an all-out seeking of His face. Laying on the floor praying and worshiping and seeking Him. There is a depth to the need for God and the willingness to seek Him that beckons me every time I observe it.

And, it got me to thinking about this hunger and thirst for God. When we truly seek Him, it doesn't mean everything will go great or easy - but it does mean that we can be in the center of His will for us which is the best place to be.

Imagine God hearing us say we were still hungry for His Word and Him? Oh, Lord - that is where I want to be!

This also reminds me of a worship song I love by Passion:

Lord I want more of You
Living water rain down on me
Lord I need more of You
Living breath of life come fill me up

Lord I want more of You
Living water rain down on me
Lord I need more of You
Living breath of life come fill me up

We are hungry
We are hungry
We are hungry for the more of You
We are thirsty, oh Jesus
We are thirsty for the more of You

Lord I want more of you
Holy Spirit rain down on me
Lord I need more of you
Living breath of life come fill me up

More of You
We are hungry for the more of You
We are thirsty (thirsty)

We lift our holy hands up
We want to touch You
We lift our voices higher and higher and higher to You

We lift our holy hands up
We want to touch You
We lift our voices higher and higher and higher to You

We lift our holy hands up
We want to touch you (We are hungry for the more of You)
We lift our voices higher and higher and higher to you

We lift our holy hands up (More of You, more of You)
We want to touch you (More of You, more of You, more of You more of You, more of You, yeah)
We lift our voices higher and higher to You

We lift our holy hands up (We are hungry, We are thirsty
We want to touch you (We are hungry for the more of You)
We lift our voices higher and higher to You

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Farm Chicks Cookbook!

You know that I've long been a fan of The Farm Chicks and was so thrilled to receive an advance copy of their new cookbook coming out in April!

Whenever I agree to do a review of something - I always want to give it my very best. I apologized in advance to Teri and Serena for how long it took me to get around to doing this - but I wanted to have a great post to write on their book and experience it for myself!

One evening, we tried the Pumpkin Waffles!!! We all loved them!

I hadn't seen lots of friends in a while due to being gone so long for Christmas and most of January, so decided to host a little Open House for them to stop in and sample some goodies while catching up with one another! The plates were stacked and the kettle was on for tea:

I made mini chocolate chip shortbread, Oatmeal Cookies, Maple Oat Scones and Spicy Camp Bars (thanks for making these, Melissa!) and had a friend for lunch in the middle where we had Elaine's Chicken Salad and Bruschetta Salad!

Everything was delicious! The scones were the most popular and the shortbread was a close second! I like the Camp Bars as is, but a couple of friends mentioned they'd love them without the chocolate chips. Either way - it was such a yummy food day! We enjoyed visiting with friends in addition!

I love this cookbook because it is full of recipes I can't wait to try. I love homemade goodies and farmhouse cooking and this cookbook fills that bill! Not only that, but there are some wonderful craft projects included in the book that I can't wait to try. What a wonderful accomplishment, Teri and Serena! Thanks so much for sharing your book with me!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Growing Toward The Light!

As part of reading The Carrot Seed last week, we planted some seeds (not carrot, they take too long to germinate for little ones!)

Every time I look at this little sprout, I cannot help but see what eagerness it is reaching toward the light with. It's goal and mission is to grow close to the light. This plant knows that light means life, food, energy, surviving and thriving.

Hmmm, is that how I live my life? Growing upwards in full surrender of anything else except getting as close to The Light as I possibly can? With my full posture straining ahead to Him?

Thank You, Lord, for teaching me from Your creation about how to live for You! Always reaching, stretching, growing closer to Your precious light! I want to draw from, live, feed and thrive on Your Light and Your Word!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Our night out...

You all wanted to hear the details of our night out - so I'm happy to tell you all about it!

First of all, I must share the history:

When we got married, I said that every year on our anniversary I would wear my wedding dress. I never did - I always found some excuse or reason not to or wasn't confident enough to do it. Until this year, that is!

Yes, I did wear my wedding dress out for dinner - put a 3/4 sleeve sweater over it and it was really fun to wear it again! I still love this dress!!! It was quite snug when fully zipped - so perhaps in five more years I'll have to have it let out a bit?!

While I was nervous to wear my dress in some ways, when I walked in the restaurant - the hostesses realized that I was and that it was our anniversary and commented on how neat it was and how they want to do that! So, I was encouraged!

We went downtown to a neat newish restaurant that I'd never even heard of. I loved the name and how it was decorated! The walls were gray, burlap curtains, black and white and galvanized - loved the colors!

They served water in neat bottles with little flip glass top lids and their logo decal on the bottle:

And, bread was served in tin cans with waxed paper squares inside and olive oil dipping sauce on the side:

They had a neat candle on the table - I guess I did not get a picture of it. But, it was a small votive holder with a tall piece of waxy paper rolled up inside and tied with twine.

We had a delicious dinner of filet mignon, yummy garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus and crispy onions. I brought about half of mine home and had dessert - brownie torte! Yummy!

It was a wonderful night out and so much fun to be with my sweet hubby! You can see what I gave him here and what he gave me here. Maybe I will make it a tradition to wear my dress every five years!

Would you consider wearing your wedding dress again? Or, have you ever worn it again? I can't wait to hear!

Friday, February 20, 2009

5th! Happy Husband Style

Interloping Happy Husband here for my annual Homespun Heart Blog Hijacking! Well, my Pretty Little Lady has already shown you what she did for me, so all of ya'll out in blog land get to see what I did for her.

I somehow got the art teacher at school to do this amazing painting of our Ballerina Princess! (MANY, MANY , MANY thanks!)

I often tell people that my goal when giving my awesome bride a gift is to make her cry :) I think I might succeed this year... But, if it does not keep getting harder every year! It is always so hard to get her a gift that really shows her how much I love her and am SO thankful that God put her in my life.