Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flat Stanley Scrapbook

I may have told you that a friend of mine had her son mail us his Flat Stanely.

He is in the 4th grade, and his entire class was to mail someone the Flat Stanely they made in class.  Whoever received Flat Stanley in the mail was to journal all the adventures he had while on his visit with them.

I have finally gotten the photos back from Shutterfly and finished with our Flat Stanley's scrapbook journaling his adventures while here.

The pictures aren't that good - sorry.  The flash is showing up on the photos like a white starburst.  Oh well.  I think you get the idea behind each page.

Along with the scrapbook, I will be mailing a magnet with the hockey team ACES playing schedule; some info on Winter Snow Safety; a rock from the Talkeetna River; a poster of a snow machine; and lots of other little goodies.

I hope Dakota (the 4th grader who sent me his Flat Stanley) and his class enjoy getting Flat Stanley back and all the goodies he is bringing back with him!

I also have NO IDEA why some of the pictures are loading here sideways.  So frustrating.


Book Cover
  Pocket for Stanley says: "Flat Stanley Presents"
  "Thank you for sharing Flat Stanley with us in Anchorage, Alaska!  He said he was ready to go back to Lexington, South Carolina where it is a little warmer.  Plus he said he really misses Dakota! 
  Flat Stanley arrived at our house in Anchorage, Alaska on Friday, October 16, 2009.  He was so huntry that he jumped into the box of Rice Krispies Cereal!
  Since Flat Stanley had been in an envelope for several days, he really wanted to go outside and get some fresh air.  So we put on our coats and headed out.  We let Flat Stanley push the elevator button (he liked that).  He said the elevator made his tummy go "whoosh."
  At first walking on the wooden bridge made Flat Stanley afraid.  He was worried there may be TROLLS under the bridge. We let him look down between the boards to see for himself that there are no bridge trolls in Alaska.  (It's too cold for trolls here.)
  Flat Stanley liked watching the river flow under the bridge.  He also liked climbing on the side of the bridge.
  Flat Stanley had never seen trees before like we have here in Alaska.  He asked if he could climb one.  He thought that was really FUN!
  Flat Stanley had fun feeding bread to the ducks.  He even jumped in the lake to swim with them.  He said the water was very, very cold.
  Flat Stanley had so much fun at the hockey game!  He ate French fries and drank coke.  His favorite part was the Zamboni!  Oh, and that our team WON!
  Flat Stanley had a ton of fun at the Winter Sports Expo.  He even got to sit on a snow machine!
  Flat Stanley went on lots of hikes while he was here and visited lots of parks.  One park he liked a lot was "Earthquake Park."

  Flat Stanley made friends with lots of animals in Alaska.  One friend he made was in downtown Anchorage.  His name was "Carhartt the Moose."
  Here is Flat Stanley by the Talkeetna River.  The rocks here were so special that he brought one home with him to share with Dakota.

Help From Spacial Thinkers & Math Smart

Hey, guys!  I can follow directions pretty well, but give me a piece of paper and tell me to make a 3-D oject with no directions / instructions and you can forget it! 

So I need some help from all of you spacial thinkers and math smart people.

I need to make a pocket for a scrapbook page.  The pocket finished size needs to be 7.5" x 9". 

Can someone please tell me how to cut, score and fold?

I know, I'm helpless.



Guess What?!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Tuesday Morning To You!

I know I've really dropped the ball on keeping crafts on my blog.  I guess that's why I didn't give my blog a crafty name though so I could write about whatever... and I do love to write!

I've had some emails asking about Mama.  Thank you all so much for caring. 

Mama was released from rehab last week and was able to go home.  Yeah!  You know her and Daddy were so very happy about that. 

She still has to go to therapy, but that's minor.

She was actually able to go to church Sunday.  It must have felt so good to get back in touch with her friends and get back on a routine again.

Daddy posted some pictures on Facebook I wanted to share with you.  I have such a fun family.

Our church (and when I say "our" I simply mean the church I grew up in - started by my grandfather 6 generations ago) must have had some sort of Fall Festival from the looks of the pictures Daddy posted.  They really made me smile, and I wanted to share them with you too.

This is my Daddy dressed like a cowboy for the church festival.  He's such a fun guy.

This is my brother, Eddie, and one of his daughters, Aubrey.  You may not be able to tell, but yes, my Daddy has red hair, Aubrey has red hair, and my brother has a red beard.  No, I don't have red hair, but our daughter, Kati, does (when it's not chemically enhanced.)

This is a covered wagon they had in the church parking lot.  Don't know what the story is here.  I guess they were letting little darlings Trick or Treat.

This is part of the front of our church.  Looks like they were having a Magic Show or something.  Do you see that little Bumblebee?  So cute!


I'm not going to mention any names, because I don't want to embarass anyone, but I do want to ask you to be in prayer for a precious family who is expecting their first child.  They are really struggling financially.  I know they are going this week to apply for Food Stamps to get some help with that. 


Our son, James, is currently on a mission in Iraq.  That's all we know.  Of course he can't give us any details.  I ask that you continue to pray for him and all our military whether they are overseas or not.  They are risking their lives every day and every night.  They don't just talk about America and Freedom and what they believe in... they live it and fight for it.


I'm so thankful for all of you and all our friends.  God has blessed us in many ways.  He is faithful even when we are not.  He knows how to give good gifts to His children.  He gives us healing and mercy even though we disappoint Him so often.

Today I just want to be thankful.  I want to be thankful for the food in our pantry and frig. 

I want to be thankful that we have four strong, healthy children and we have a relationship with them.  We know where they live.  We keep in touch.

Today I want to praise God that He has never abandoned me even when I searched for Him and couldn't see where He was in the midst of struggle, pain, and turmoil.... but looking back I have more understanding.

I'm so thankful that all of our family - extended cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. - all of us are blessed enough to have clothes, and shelter, and income.  None of us are run-aways and lost.  None of us are homeless.

Do we realize how blessed we are?  All God would have to do is say, "Enough! I've had it with you.  No oxygen for 5 minutes."  But He's not like that.  He is full of mercy and full of grace.

I pray for you.  I pray you have food; an income; shelter; clothes; family relationships; and healing in all areas that you need it.

May God pour out His blessings on you this day and you remember to tell Him thank you.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Beautiful Music

A friend posted this video on Facebook today.  I love singing with such awesome harmony.  This is beautiful.  You can find the YouTube post here:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Update From Home

I talked with Mama on the phone today.  Last Friday, she fell in her room.  Today she said her ribs are still really sore and all bruised up.  BUT, she is doing so well.  She is making progress; her body is healing and adjusting.

I got a letter from her today.  I just have to share with you part of what she said:

"Dear Janis & family - I'm doing great!.... P.S. I Praise God!  Only He and prayers have brought me this far - not me myself."

For everyone who has prayed for Mama and is still praying for her, thank you so much.  God hears you and is honoring your prayers with answers of healing.  Mama goes to the doctor on Tuesday to see when he is going to release her to go home.  She really, really wants to go home.  She's been away for so many weeks.  And Daddy really, really wants her back home too.  It's been hard on him as well.  He's been man of the house cooking, cleaning, taking care of the dog, the bills.... and he misses his wife being there.


Today is Tom's birthday!  We don't usually do a lot of celebrating around here for birthdays and Valentine's Day and stuff like that, but I hope he is having a good day.  He came home for lunch, and I made lasagna.  (I just love that he works close enough to come home for lunch each day. Before we moved, he was driving 1 hour 10 minutes every day just to get to work and driving that again to get home at night.)

This weekend, we are planning on going to our first hockey game!  I'm so excited.  Of course that depends on if we can get tickets or not, but doesn't that just sounds like too much fun!  I've always wanted to go to a hockey game.  And now we live somewhere that has their very own hockey team.  Too cool.

We are also planning on going to the Oxygen & Octane Expo Saturday.  Never been to anything like this before, but they will have venders there for all sorts of winter sports equipment and apparel, Can-Can dancers from the Yukon performing, concessions, information booths..... Sounds like something we could spend hours at.  I've always loved to watch Can-Can dancers with their multi-colored lacy dresses ever since we visited Maggie Valley in the mountains as a little girl.  The dancing was always my favorite part.  I remember them kicking their legs up and yelling "woooo" and the pretty dresses swinging all over the place.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Mama Update

My sister texted this pic to me today of Mama and Daddy.  Today is Mama's first time learning to get in and out of a car with her new hip and leg.  Daddy took her to our church to see what was going on with the Bake Sale and Annual BBQ preparation.  Tomorrow is going to be a BUSY day there!  I wish I could get some of that BBQ! 

Yesterday I made a short video showing how to make a simple crochet pattern baby blanket.  Then I uploaded it to my computer and it said file format not recognized.  WHAT?  It's the same way I uploaded videos before we moved.  Although I am using a different computer now.  I wonder if that's the problem.  Urgh!  I'm going to have to figure this out.

And yes, Kisatrle, I was laying in bed this morning thinking, "I've got to get my Cricut out even if I use it on the floor."  :)  So seeing your comment on my post just made me laugh.  I love all you girls!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Warmed Heart

I just want you guys to know that I have missed you all so, so, so very much!  It just warms my heart to be back on line and able to chat with Sue, Mary, Lizzy, Catherine, Kisatrtle, Stamping Sam... oh my gosh, the list goes on and on. 

You guys have no idea how much I enjoy visiting your blogs and hearing comments from you!

If anyone ever wants to chat away from the blog, my email is


I'm making spaghetti for supper and homemade bread in the bread machine.  I like to make different flavors of bread, but today I'm making plain ole white bread.  The plan is to dip it in Olive Oil and spices while we're eating it.  The house (apartment - whatever) smells so good right now.

I wonder if our neighbors ever smell these food smells.  We haven't heard a peep through the walls from any of them.  And I haven't had any whiffs of smells when walking down the hall.


I still have not unboxed the Cricut since the move.  I have no idea where it's going.  We downsized from 2 computers, 2 computer desks, and a craft table to one computer, one computer desk and no craft table.  The Cricut used to sit on my computer desk, but now the printer is sitting there.  Still trying to figure this out.

I sent a Thank You card to Tom's new work Tuesday.  He said later in the day the HR person asked him if I had made that card. :)  They had pizza, salad, and cheese bread ordered, paid for, and delivered to us the day we moved in.  I thought that was so nice.  It took us 5 hours to unload.  Probably because I only helped Tom with the mattresses and he made all those trips up and down the elevator and out to the parking lot all by himself while I stayed up in the apartment (on the 4th floor) with Bonnie trying to unpack as quickly as possible.  He's such a good man.  I kept alternating between apologizing that he had to do all that work alone and thanking him profusely for all his hard work.  So when his work had pizza sent, it was such a blessing.  We hadn't even thought about supper.

OK, back to life now.  You girls have a GREAT night!  Know that you are LOVED!


Holiday Cake

I made Nannie's Lemon Sour Cream Pound cake yesterday.  Yummmm  Nannie was my Mama's Mama.

Nannie made this every Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It was always so good!

Here's the recipe:

3 cups sugar
2 sticks butter (room temperature)
6 eggs (room temperature)
3 tsp lemon extract
1 cup sour cream
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

1 - Cream together butter and sugar
2 - Add eggs one at a time, beating each time
3 - Add all other ingredients
4 - Pour into a greased and floured bunt pan
5 - Bake at 300 for 1 hour and then check every 5-10 minutes until done

Be careful of overflow.  I usually put something on the rack below to catch any batter than wants to overflow to save me from having a mess in my oven to clean up later.

Yesterday I made this but used 3, 9" round cake pans instead.  I've never made it with these pans before, but I gave my bundt pan to one of my girls and couldn't find one to buy at Walmart over the weekend.  My  hubby suggested using the round pans.

This was okay, but I like the bundt pan better.  Why?  Because I like to take the cake out when it's barely done.  This leaves a "mushy" area inside the cake that will stay moist.  With the round cake pans, I had 3 layers of "crust" from the tops.  It doesn't change the taste, just the texture.

For the icing, Nannie used to use powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk.  She just winged it "until it looks right".  Then she would pour the glaze over the cake which made pretty dripping designs down the sides.

I found a recipe on line that makes the same sort of icing, but makes it thicker and not like a glaze.  Here's that recipe:

2 lb. powdered sugar
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract

Blend it all together. Just note that this will make too much, so you'll have to decide what to do with the left overs.  I'd reduce it to make less, but I'm not that talented.  :)

Have a glorious day!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lunch Recipe - Mexican Bites

Okay, so this isn't a craft, but here's what I made for lunch today.  Just thought I'd share.

First I ground some hamburger meat. (I don't really know how much it was.  We had bought a large pack, and I had divided it up into meal serving sizes.)

I added some chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and seasoning salt.   Drain.

Then I bought some biscuits and put them in a cupcake pan.  I have this really neat thing from Pampered Chef I use to squish the biscuits down and roll the sides up a little so it becomes like a mini bowl.

In a bowl I mixed shredded cheddar cheese, a couple spoons of Kidney Beans, a couple spoons of diced tomatoes, poured a little Pace in, poured a little spaghetti sauce in and mixed it all up.  Once the hamburger meat was cooked and drained, I mixed that in the bowl too.  Oh yeah, and I almost forgot to tell you, I sprinkle a little bit of Olive Oil in the mix just to get in my daily good oils.  It doesn't add any flavor to the recipe or anything like that. 

I spooned the mixture into the biscuit cups and baked according to the biscuit directions.  Just be careful not to add too much of the mixture because remember your biscuits are going to rise a little while baking and you don't want everything dumping out into your stove.  That would make a terrible mess to clean up.

I make another recipe similar to this one except it's Pizza Bites and the mixture is hamburger, sausage, pepperonis, cheese and pizza sauce.  My hubby loves those!

Let me know if you try this.  It's not really something I crave, but Bonnie and Tom enjoy it, and it makes a lot and is easy.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Thank you all so much for being patient while we were traveling.  We have arrived now in Anchorage (it's gorgeous here). 

I have not been able to unpack my craft things yet, so give me a couple of days and then I hope to start posting craft videos again.

It's good to be back on line!  I can't wait to have the time to sit down and see what all you guys have been up to.  It's going to take me forever to get caught up with all of you.

Oh, by the way, Mama has received several cards from you guys.  She is saving them all for when she get's released from rehab so that she can put them in her scrapbook.  She just loves them all.  You really made her smile.  Thank you so much for that.

Also, Mama is doing GREAT!  God really answered our prayers (and your's too).  Thank you so much.  She is growing stronger everyday and has a great attitude.  I'm so proud of her and so thankful for her recovery.  She'll still be at the rehab place for a few weeks, but I think she's doing great from what I hear.

Hugs and kisses to you all!