Thursday, October 30, 2008

i heart pumpkin

growing up my favorite moment at thanksgiving was when aunt arla would unveil the pies. the apple one could fall on the floor for all i cared. my eyes (and salivary glands) were intent on the pumpkin. it was the one time a year i got to taste its sweet deliciousness and i savored it.
when i grew up, i started to become exposed to other pumpkiny goodness. a whole new world has been opened up and i intend to make good use of it. who knew there was more than pumpkin pie?! and who knew you didn't have to have just one slice a year?!
here's a few of the ways i've used pumpkin this fall. i have found MANY more recipes i want to try, but i thought i'd only bore you with the ones i've actually made...
pumpkin puree. this is what i use when a recipe calls for canned pumpkin. i just put oil on the outside of a whole pumpkin and stuck it in a 350 degree oven until it was soft. the skin peels right off and the goop in the middle scoops out with ease.
speaking of the goop...if you want to save those seeds, rinse them, salt them, and bake them they are an oh so yummy, crunchy treat.
pumpkin bread. mmmmm.....a classic. this recipe was great, even when i halved the sugar.
how did that picture get in there? my love for pumpkin is not just limited to their taste. they are SO CUTE!

this is a pumpkin cream cheese my friend nicolette was kind enough to share with me (she understands my pumpkin obsession). with fruit or on a bagel...delish!

and my personal favorite.
chocolate chip.
seriously. what could be better?

Cream: 1 1/2 C shortening, 4 C sugar, 4 eggs, 1 Large can libbys pumpkin, 3 tsp vanilla. Add to this: 6 - 6 1/2 cups flour (she said it's usually about 6 cups if she's using gold medal flour, and 6 1/2 cups for other brands...), 3 tsp soda, 3 tsp baking powder, 3 tsp cinnamon, 3 tsp nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 bag chocolate chips (or you could substitute raisins). Bake at 375 for 15 minutes

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

bless this nest

i found this urn stuffed with the most plastic, gaudy, ugly flowers ever. it was hard to see past them, but oh-so-easy to rip them out. then i hot glued some pom pom fring, slapped a nest with eggs on top and then found this precious little bird on clearance at joanne's fabrics. "tweet tweet...take me home" he said. over all i'm quite pleased with the results of this rescue mission.

Friday, October 24, 2008

you don't have to clean the mess...just hide it!

do you have lots of papers, bills, homework, business cards, receipts and stuff cluttering your regularly tidy and finely decorated home? me too:) i saw the idea of decorating clipboards and loved it, then i saw martha stuart living hang these boards on the wall. oooh! the only change i made was to hang the clipboards with the backs facing forward. martha's had the front facing out, which makes sense, of course, unless  your paperwork isn't cute and in the same color scheme of your room.

drumroll please

the winner is.....

True Random Number Service

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-10-24 12:00:25 UTC
number 15 is  Carmen from thrifty cottage dreams !  congratulations, Carmen and i can't wait to make two sweet tags for your princesses!!  (as a bonus carmen's blog is an incredible repurposing, thrifting, decor blog and i now have a new favorite!)

THANK YOU to ALL the entries, mostly from women i've never met.  i love blogging!  

if you are still wanting a tag or need one for a gift i am going to make a buy 4-get 1 free special for this holiday season.  that means 5 tags for $10 with no shipping charge!  just email me kristalbydesign{at}gmail{dot}com

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

win a tag!

remember these tags i made?  of course you was just two days ago:)  well, when i saw my favorite home decorator was hosting a handmade holiday shop hop i thought this was just the ticket!  who doesn't have kids, teens, teachers, grandparents, or moms that they need a cute, personalized, inexpensive gift for, right?  
so here's the deal.  you leave a comment telling me who you would like a tag for (can just be their gender and age if you like) and i will randomly select a winner who gets TWO custom made bag tags for the people they love!  your comment must be submitted by thursday, october 23rd at midnight and i will announce the winner!
if you would like to order a tag (or two) or one of my custom made tutus feel free to email me at kristalbydesign{at}gmail{dot}com or leave a comment.  to get things rolling i am going to charge $10 for the tutus and $2.50 for the shipping fee!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

been a long time since i rode in a school bus!

today was ari's kindergarten field trip and thanks to my wonderful friend erin, i was able to leave noah and spend the day with ari, his teachers, and friends at the botanical gardens. i even got to ride in a school bus!
the kids first went to a class all about plants. the presenter was discussing all the different plants we eat and how some are roots, some are leaves, some are flowers, some are fruit, etc. she asked what plants the kids like to eat and shouts of carrots, apples, even spinach were heard. except from ari. he yelled "peanut butter and jelly!" (not just jelly-like fruit, no, peanut butter and jelly). when the presenter didn't acknowledge his answer he tried again. and again. until finally she told him that was NOT a plant.
we then toured the gardens and they were spectacular.
the best part was spending time with my new 6-year-old and getting a glimpse into his day. he was the most special one there...even if he does think peanut butter and jelly is a plant:)

Monday, October 20, 2008

tag that bag

i saw this idea on one of the many mom blogs i frequent and thought it was too cute! i love having tags on the boys' stuff as it always seems to help it get back into our house rather than lost somewhere.
these are just id badge holders with some scrapbook paper, stickers and ribbon!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

kid swap

my friend nicolette and i have this great arrangement...
i take sawyer one day a week and she takes noah another day. one day a week with no children!? what do we do you ask? a day of all to ourselves? we clean. and we're so happy about it. it's amazing what you can get done without the pitter patter of little feet and a pair of little hands that just want to "help".
nicolette always does super fun things with the boys. this day they made tortillas...and then of course, ate them!
noah always comes home with great stories to tell in our fresh, clean, peaceful home. and i'm always so ready to get him back. it's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

our Father

we were in a restaurant with some guests and ari wanted to play a game called "blurt". he told us he would say "not standing", for example and then we would have to guess "sitting." the table full or adults played this game with vigor, leaving just enough time before they got the correct answer and congratulating ari all the while on his ideas.

sonny leaned over to me and said "isn't it amazing how all of us limit ourselves so we can have relationship with ari and it isn't a burden, it's a joy? think of how much God must limit himself to have relationship with us and how the way we relate to him is so inappropriate for who he is, but he doesn't burn with anger, rather he delights in us. "

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ever sauced an apple?

first you buy some apples. if you're buy A LOT of apples.
wash 'em up
if you have a sweet machine that separates the yuck from the good, then all you do is quarter the apples.
cook them in water 'til their good and soft.
stir and check on occasion...always smiling like vanna white.

then comes the separator -the cooked apples go in the funnel and while i wind the crank the yucks go into the bowl (pictured below)

the yummy comes down the slide
and there you have it! delicious applesauce ready for your baked goods, freezer, or directly to your tummy. you can use anything to sweeten it up if you like...sugar, agave necter, honey, anything that you fancy!
a power packed, pure, delicious, versatile food that will last in your freezer 'til apple season rolls around again!

Monday, October 13, 2008

beautiful boy

i recently finished beautiful boy by david sheff. it is the story of a father with a son who becomes an addict. common story these days. the difference is, this father is a journalist. he has an incredible gift at painting a picture as well as communicating insights he gained along the way.
addiction has touched my life in a profound way. something i never anticipated seeing as i've never tried drugs and have only had an alcoholic beverage a handful of times after i turned 21. my husband and my son are children of addicts and so drug addiction impacts me every day. something that can single handedly defy the instinct that God created in mothers, the instinct strongest in nature is one powerful substance. to pull a mother from her baby is a force i do not want to reckon with.
drugs are not the only thing we humans get addicted to, unfortunately. the patterns and principles found in the story of beautiful boy apply to so many lives. lives of people surrounding an alcoholic, a sex addict, a food addict, a workaholic, someone with mental illness, and the list goes on.
in the book david says something that will always ring in my least the addict gets a respite from the pain and torment (the time when he's using). those of us who love him, never do. (paraphrase)
i learned much from this story and the beauty of the writing of david sheff is i didn't feel like i was learning at all. i was simply watching his life from the moment he brought his baby boy home until now from a window into their home.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

under the sea celebration

my boys turn 6 and 3 this week and today we celebrated their lives. wonderful friends. tasty treats. thoughtful gifts. it could not have been better. (except of course if we could have flown in some of the other special people in our lives:)

Friday, October 10, 2008

it's almost time...

there's a reason...

God hates divorce.

it's hideous.

it's painful.

and it makes people do things that are downright stupid.

hurting your spouse is not a homicidal is suicidal.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

royalty has arrived!

today is the day we've all been waiting for...  oma is coming!
it's really hard to wait, but at least the airport has cool stuff like people movers...
and baggage carousel...
...and mommy's camera to experiment with (good shot, ari!)
she's finally here!
months of lovin' to catch up on...
"may we carry your bags, ma'am?"
only if i can tip you in icees and sprinkled doughnuts:)  ahhh...the joy of having grandma in town

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

high praise from a 1st grader

today while i was on the campus where sonny works, a mom came up to me and said "i just want you to know that when my son aaron sees sonny go up in front of chapel he says-
'i love that man'."

aaron...i would have to echo your sentiments precisely.