Friday, January 28, 2011

Melted bead hearts

Love is in the air, hearts are everywhere...even in our house.

 Today I decided to make this old fashioned craft my mom used to make. She didn't make them so fancy, she would just use tin caps to melt the broken pieces of plastic in. But, with all the beads available nowadays and the broken cd cases and whatnot, you can make some real pretties. I put foil in a small pan, place a metal cookie cutter on top, and arrange the pieces and beads on it. Turn on heat, cover with a lid, and for the next few minutes check to see if they are melting. Sometimes you need to shift things a bit while melting, or press some pieces deeper down. But, you MUST have good air circulation. Please do it only if you can have your windows open so you don't inhale that fume-its bad.

 Once yo have melted them enough, take out the foil and hold it under the water to harden. Then you can easily remove it from the cutter. 

 With this one I got a little more creative. I scrunched up the foil to give it a rough background, which is seen in the above heart. Then I neatly arranged the beads into a flower shape.

 If you melt a hole into the top with a small nail, then you can make these into necklaces. 

A perfect gift!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homemade Napkins

When I visited another blog a while back, a mom explained how she had made her own napkins, and I knew I was making some. I had this fabric given to me by a friend, and it just needed to be put to good use, and this was it! The basket I picked up for free at a yard sale. When I serve food and have these cloth napkins on the table, people admire them. So many storebought ones are so cheap that you need several to do the job, but with these, you only need one. If you want quality disposable napkins, you have to pay lots of money, lots more than these homemade ones cost. Besides being a huge money saver, it is something people will enjoy using, and you are also going green---now that's a good thing!

(The size of the finished napkins are 12" by 12".)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Too Hot!

Last night was one of those interesting nights that every mom experiences now and then, and here's how it went: 

I decided we would have some escabeche for supper. I had, after all, bought some jalapenos for just such an occasion. I love to add one whole to the soup toward the end, it gives a wonderful flavor but no heat that way.

Soup is done and on the table, and I realize I had forgotten to add the pepper! I decide to still add it some to my soup...

I bite into a jalapeno, and declare that it is not a hot one. So, Jessica takes a bite as well, probably into the seeds, and ouch, is it hot! "mommy, mommy, what will stop the burning?!" I quickly get her some milk to soak her lip.

Meanwhile somebody is honking a horn outside, and I send Joseph out to see who it is. Sounds like he needs to talk to me so out I go, sending him away to see Daniel, who just happened not to be home from work yet. 

While I am trying to get Jessica calmed down, Timothy starts whimpering. I look at him and see he has gotten a hold of the habanero salsa and has put some in his soup and then he spits out the chunk of habanero that is not supposed to be eaten! O dear! I give him some milk too, he drinks it and is fine...tough little man.

But Jessica, her face red from crying, is not happy yet...I add some sugar to her milk and that seems to ease the burn a little.

Back to eating the escabeche; I finish my bowl and realize I forgot to heat up the corn tortillas that are supposed to go with the soup. I return about half of the thawed tortillas to the freezer because we probably won't need that many since the children are done with their soup...I turn the toaster oven on, in case someone will still want some and at least they will be hot when Daniel comes home. After the oven has clicked away for a while, I go to take them out, only to realize they are STILL COLD! I check and sure enough, the cord is unplugged...O well, plug it in and try again.

Daniel comes home, sits down to eat, and everything is back to normal, as if nothing had ever gone wrong....

...the end.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pasta - from scratch

Now and then I have to do a post on making things from scratch, just to prove that what my blog title states is in fact true, sometimes...

Joseph, thank goodness, is my muscle power around here. I get most of my wheat ground by him. Of course, there is a little incentive I came up with to get him to do it, and now I sometimes have to stop him from grinding too much, as it is hard work for a little guy.

Jessica gets the easier part, making the noodles. I love that pasta machine! And the homemade pasta. When we got married, two of hubby's sisters gave us cash to spend, and he said I could spend it, and I couldn't think of anything I'd rather buy than a pasta machine. Probably not one of the first things every bride thinks about, but my Grandma had one, so... I have never been sorry.

Ok, not that we eat only homemade pasta, but one of these days I am going to make a big batch to have some on hand.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Homeschool Update

 This photo has nothing to do with the post, but I just feel like posting it anyway. Tennessee wildflowers that we picked when we lived there. 

 Taken in Iowa when I took her out for a little mother/daughter time. I need to do that again...

Some of you may be wondering how or if Jessica is still learning anything at home. Sometimes I ask myself that, and I almost panic, thinking, what if I am missing something important or she is far behind other children her age? As little time each day as she spends in her books, (except in her story books!) I sometimes think, shouldn't she be doing more??? She has completed Gr. 2 Math and Reading, and was only left with Language Arts and an Animal Book to finish. I know it will not be enough to keep her busy till the end of the schoolyear, and she has to keep busy somehow, so yesterday I went to a bookstore in the city. And whew! I was surprised and happy to find such a collection of different books; for Belize, that is... I found a few Spectrum books, which I have found work really well for her, so I bought her two books, Math and Phonics. My sister had a science book that she let us use. Here is the exciting thing; I realized buying more grade 2 stuff is useless for her. I bought her Gr. 3 books. So, for a mere $20 spent on books and a little fun shopping trip, our girlie is entering Gr 3 today. I can't help but feel a little giddy about it. She is growing up so fast! Besides doing those few study books, she spends much time reading Little House books, and other good children's books. I feel that alone is very educational for her, plus piano class once weekly and practice daily.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jessica and Jennica

Jessica has one very good friend here in Belize. I gave her mom some fabric and she sewed two alike dresses for these two.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A bride for Uncle Henry

Yesterday we had a wedding for my uncle who has waited a really long time to get married. He fell in love with this lovely woman who was a widow with three small children. 

May they live happily ever after, or as long as they both shall live...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Teddybears and Teeth

Not that those two have anything in common, but they go together this time. Friday I was working in the kitchen and looked out the window when Daniel came home, and here come Jessica and Joseph tugging this huge box between them, and their faces all giggles. I recognized that box from the dentist, so I knew I had won the big old teddybear. 

You see, I had my teeth reworked a  lot last year. So, together with what all the rest of us had spent on teeth, it seems we were their most valued customer of the year. Not that I would fix one tooth to get a free teddybear, but so what, the children love it! I think I can put up with that.

And, here are some before and after pictures. I am quite happy with the looks. It took a while to adjust, and I had to learn how to say the F letter all over again, but by now I am quite used to the 'new' teeth. In the US we could have never afforded it, but dental work here costs a fraction of what it does there, so we thought it would be worth it, especially since my teeth are naturally very bad and I will be able to keep them longer if I have them crowned. It only took three appointments and a checkup. 
But it did take some pain to endure.

 Man, don't I look old. I sometimes have to take a look at these photos to remind myself how I looked before and tell myself it was actually worth the money.

This dentist tries hard to make the new teeth look natural. It might not be 'celebrity' perfect, but people do say it looks very natural.
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