Monday, July 28, 2008

2 New Bible Studies

I'm getting ready to start two new Bible Studies. I'm not sure which one I'm more excited about, because they're both going to be good for me in different ways.

Tonight, our Monday night Connection Group is starting Taking Care of Business: Finding God at Work by Andy Stanley. From what I understand, this study teaches you how to deal with people at work, how to balance work and family life, and boldly living out your Christian faith. Who doesn't need help with all those things?

Then, starting in August, a group of women are going to work through A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place by Beth Moore. I've never done a Beth Moore study before, but everyone always talks about how great her studies are. One thing I need to work really hard on is keeping up with the daily studies on my own.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finally, a Vacation!

It's official, I've been at my job for one year! It also means (drum roll please) that I have more vacation time!!! The sad thing is that I've already planned to use all five days. Here's what I'm doing:

Long weekend #1
July 28 - Taking Katie to Swissland Cheese for a tour. Tracy took some days off to spend time with her during her summer stay at our house, so I thought it would be fun for me to take time off to do something, too. I had never heard of Swissland Cheese before until I went to the Barr Street Market last week. Katie LOVES cheese, so I'm sure she'll get a kick out of seeing it made.
July 29 - Going to the Shipshewana Flea Market with Tammy and 2 of her other friends. I already went with Tracy on the 4th, but the girls only trip should be fun too!

Long weekend #2
August 8 - My mom and I are driving up to Michigan. Saturday we are going to Sandhill Crane Vineyards for their Pampering Day for Women. We've gone to this every year since the event started, and I think we travel farther than anyone to get there. This will be our third time, and we always have a blast.

Long weekend #3

September 25-26 - My mom has always wanted to go to Asheville, NC and see The Biltmore. I thought it would be fun to take a road trip with her, and what better time than this fall? There are some other reasons relating to her big birthday this year, but I don't think she would appreciate everyone knowing how old she is.

My goal is to take pictures of all these things, but I need to be better about remembering my camera!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More Giveaways!!!

I found some sites dedicated to blog giveaways that I thought I would share.

Bloggy Giveaways

An Island Review

The idea of the giveaways is to get the word out about handmade items, new products and various other goodies.

Sometimes you can just leave a comment to win, and other times you have to go to the website and drool over pick your favorite item before you post a comment. A few contests will have ways for you to enter multiple times - by posting about the giveaway on your blog or adding a button or widget to your blog.

I've never won a blog giveaway, but I love looking around at different websites, especially things that are handmade. I've found some great gift ideas from these giveaways, too! I can just feel my bank account shrinking...

Now, go win some stuff! And if you're nice, you'll share it with me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Don't Rain on My Parade...

We had an unusual thing happening in our back yard, and it started about a month ago. I wish I had some pictures of what we started with, but just imagine a very plain 17 foot flat-bed trailer. A blank canvas, just waiting to be turned into this masterpiece:

Our church men's group, under the direction of my very patient husband, Tracy, worked on this every Saturday for a month! They worked really hard, and I was impressed with their creativity. The decorations were created and attached by our church scrapbooking group. I think it turned out great.
John made the cake topper out of styrofoam and painted it. How cool is that! The cake decorations are tissue paper flowers.
also really glad I got Tracy that air compressor last Christmas, because it was used for every part of this project.

Tracy used our wedding runner to cover the seats. Sometimes I wonder why on earth he would save something like that and then it turns out to be exactly right for something else. I guess Maggie liked it too, because she hopped right up there just before I took the picture.

We finished decorating everything the night before the parade. Fortunately, we covered the entire thing with a boatload of plastic sheeting. Unfortunately, while everyone was waiting to ride in the parade, it started POURING. This was shortly after Tracy hopped on the motorcycle with Katie so that he could drop her off to ride in the parade. I saw a few pictures from the parade and I think the float held up pretty well--I think they just took off some streamers. Everyone was totally soaked, but they had a great time.

Note to self: No more float building! It's hard work! And it makes Tracy grumpy!

Thank You Note and Christmas in July!

I made these last weekend at my church's scrapbooking night. Not scrapbooking really, but I just wanted to make some cards. First, I made two thank-you notes. I used one of my Sizzix dies to cut the bookplate. The stamp is from the SU set Short and Sweet, and the paper is Confetti and Daisies by Creating Keepsakes. The ribbon is from Hobby Lobby. I used my edge distresser to make the layers stand out a little more.

Then, I did something really scary! I made some Christmas cards. Yes, I know it's only July, but Christmas will be here before we know it. I found this fantastic Cream & Green Holly Printed Paper by Die Cuts With a View at Jo-Ann, and I bought every sheet they had left because I loved it so much.

I had a holly stamp by Alias Smith & Rowe that was similar to the paper, so I stamped and embossed it in gold and colored it with my Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze pens to give it a little texture. I outlined the diamond with my gold Zig pen.

The gold stickers in the corners were from my stash.

The message inside is by Hero Arts, and it's embossed in gold, too.

I started using my scanner for these pictures and it's working a LOT better. I updated the pictures below, too.

Hope you enjoy these! Maybe I'll have time this weekend to work on some new creations, but no more Christmas cards for a while.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lemon Bars!

No, I haven't forgotten about my blog! I've been busy trying to win something on Tip Junkie's 20 Day Giveaway. I'm really getting some good gift ideas. If I don't win, at least I'll have a long list of places to do my Christmas shopping!

Oh, and I've also been working on our church's float for the Three Rivers Festival Parade. I'll post those pictures in a couple of days. The parade is on Saturday, and we just have a few days to finish up the details. The parade theme this year is "Happy 40th Birthday" because it's the 40th year for the festival. Our float is a piece of cake...and no, that's not meant to be a pun!

In the meantime, I'm posting a recipe I made for Bible Study this week. I found it on Allrecipes. I'm posting the recipe the way I made it, and they were yummy. I wasn't feeling well when I made them, so I got this picture from Allrecipes, too.

Lemon Square Bars


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (the original recipe said to sift the flour, but I skipped that part)
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons, and it was tart--just the way I like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups of flour and the confectioner's sugar. Blend in the melted butter. (Note: Apparently I wasn't paying attention, and I used softened butter instead. It worked out fine, because I made the dough in my KitchenAid mixer.) Press dough evenly into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden.

In a large bowl (I used the KitchenAid again), beat eggs until light. Stir white sugar and remaining 1/4 cup flour into the eggs, making sure there are no lumps. Finally, stir in the lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust and return pan to the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the lemon filling is set.

Cool completely (seriously, you have to wait!) before cutting into bars. Sprinkle with additional confectioner's sugar, if desired. Makes 24 bars.