Thursday, September 30, 2010

Favorite things

Did you notice that Cath Kidston now has a US web-site? Yay!
Here are a few things I've been drooling over and would love to make space for.

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House Sewing Basket $55
Oh I just have to have this.

Did you hear that David?

*crickets*

It would fit perfectly on the little shelf I am painting red to go over my sewing desk.

*sigh*


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House Needle Case $14
Felt. Need I say more?

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Bouquet Felt Pin Cushion $10
L O V E!

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Mini Dot Tape Measure $8.00
Perfect for keeping in my purse.


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Wild Flowers Mini Starter Kit $18
Looks too pretty to open...almost.

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And how about these gorgeous cookies?
Hop over here for the great tutorial.

Brace yourselves for this next bit of eye candy.

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Ice cream cone growth charts!!! I know!

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These are completely adorable and you'll love reading where the idea came from.
Be sure to check out Sugar Cone.

And look how this Mama made her own version of Pottery Barn Kids cupcake costume.

Genius!

"Girrrrrrruls... wouldn't you rather be cupcakes for Halloween this year?"

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I am completely in love with this hutch transformation.
I had already been looking on craigslist for my own treasure to transform for our kitchen. And had been thinking I'd paint it black, but now maybe red would be cute after the walls get a coat of yellow. So many choices!

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Oh and in case you're wondering, Sam's dresser, my desk and shelf are still sitting in the garage waiting for coat #5 of red paint. I wish I had started with a tinted primer like Brooke did. And I should have used our paint sprayer because the brush strokes are very obvious, even though I bought an expensive brush. I think my dreams of being the next Miss Mustard Seed are further off than I had hoped. Hehe... Yeah, like I need anything else to do in the near future (don't worry Amy). But it's definitely a dream.

And check out these cute new ornaments from Hallmark. I'm totally buying a Green Eggs and Ham ornament for Sam's 3rd Birthday party. And love the Fisher Price vintage toy plane. I think Sam needs that one in his stocking this year.

Update on my dad

I can't even tell you how comforting it is to know that so many people are praying for dad and our family. I told my mom yesterday and she was so glad to hear it. So thank you all SO much!

Just found out for sure that my dad has "Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia." He starts chemo tomorrow and will be in the hospital for 6 weeks straight. They will also give him a small does of steroid with it, but he's extremely allergic to it (makes him bonkers, yes, that's the actual word his Dr. uses since he's never been able to handle them for treating his MS) so they may have to pull that at some point. Most patients get high doses of steroids with chemo as that's the best combo.

They are also doing a chromosome test but won't have results back for a week. Depending on what the markers are he could have anywhere from 5-25 years. Please pray it's the 25 year type! He's also having a full CT scan and brain MRI today to see if there is anything else of concern. Please pray that nothing else turns up.

And to make this even harder, Sam has had a head cold and the rest of us could be carriers so we haven't been able to get to the hospital to visit him. His immune system is impaired right now and will be for some time. Please pray that we get healthy quickly and stay that way so we can visit him regularly.

Also, I'm thankful that my dad has been retired for a couple of years now and that my mom will be able to retire this April. and that they only live one mile from us. What a blessing that it is!

Thank you for all your prayers. Keep 'em coming.

((HUGS))
~Angel

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Prayer Request {for my dad}

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Just got off the phone with my mom and dad and it's not good news. My dad has been feeling very run-down with little to no energy for the past 6 weeks or so. Thinking it was his MS, they waited it out hoping it was just a dip in the up and down cycle he's somewhat used to.

But, yesterday after feeling discomfort in his chest and having shortness of breath he went in. They admitted him to the hospital right away of course, given his history. Bloodwork showed that his platelet count was only 3 when it should have been 150. If he had gotten any cut he would likely have not stopped bleeding. They've noticed lots of bruising too. So after being transferred to a more capable hospital for platelet transufions, they took a bone marrow sample. The Dr. there is 99.9% sure he has cancer. *gasp* That's the last word I ever wanted to hear about my dad. I've already lost my first mom to that horrible disease. They also said that it's aggressive given how low his platelet count was. We'll know this afternoon what type exactly and tomorrow the severity and course of treatment.

I would greatly appreciate prayers for my dad, my mom and I and the Dr.'s treating him. God is in control and I'm doing my best not to worry.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Off on an adventure...

This little lady is on her way to the post office in a few.

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I'm pretty sure she will be well loved.

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And...just listed today.

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This little lady was forgotten a wee bit shy at our original photoshoot. ;)

You can find the Pop Garden Dollie and our Design-Your-Own Dollie and apron listings in our shop.

Amy and I are both working on new items for the shop which will make their debut in a week or so. I love watching golf while I cut and sew. It's so relaxing. What are you doing this week-end?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

God hears us when we pray

Do you remember my post about my friend Lisa? Many of you said you were praying so I wanted to give you an update on how God has answered our prayers thus far, in case you aren't following her Caring Bridge journal. By the way, you just need to create an account with Caring Bridge (super easy) to have access to her journal. You can also read her family blog here.

On August 29th, Jason wrote:

"Last Saturday morning we were at Abbott meeting with a Neurosurgeon who told Audrey and I the love of my life had 1-2 weeks to live. In the 24 hours following that meeting 2 more doctors told us high-does steroids may give her some minor movement in her left side but any significant improvement was not likely. One week later Lisa, Jack and I were enjoying the best eats in town at the state fair! Praise God and thank you Jesus for your finished work on the cross where you bore ALL sin, sickness and disease so we don't have too!!

...What we are experiencing is a miracle! It would be easy to simply say the steroids (or some other logical explanation) are why she is walking around; but the Glory belongs to God alone! Please stand with us in resisting the tendency to explain away this awesome miracle. God never promised anymore than today; but today I can take a walk with my bride - something the doctors said would never happen again!"

Lisa was at a Hospice care center from Friday August 27th to Wednesday Sept 1st. She continued to receive Hospice services at home. And she gradually regained her mobility. So much so that they were just able to take a trip to Orlando for Jack's 6th Birthday! Praise the Lord!

Here is what she wrote on her Caring Bridge this morning:

"Well, I got a call from my beloved oncologist, Dr. Steven Duane, last night at 9pm! He had talked with the Brain Tumor Specialist and both agreed that since I've been doing SO WELL, all of the changes they saw were likely only treatment-related (from chemo). They all want me to sign off of hospice! Praise God! :) Making great strides every day~ thank you Jesus"

She is still in a fight for her life, so please join with me in continuing to pray for Lisa and her family.

Lisa, we are so very thankful to God for answering our prayers and giving you more time with your precious family. May he continue to heal your body. Amen.

Just had to share...

This little lady will be finding her way home this week-end.

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Just an example of a what a custom Dollie can look like.

Isn't she sweet?


Naptime

Sam seems to think that naptime is optional. After an hour of putting him back in bed I finally found him like this. Lights were on and the door was open. I never know if I should put him back in bed one last time, for fear of waking him and having to start all over. So I left him.

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And just the other day, he fell asleep at 10am. We had just gotten home from dropping the girls off at school and he laid right down and fell asleep. He had a good 90 minute nap until the garbage trucks going by woke him up crying. Of course that meant no afternoon nap. But I'll take what I can get some days. We've been on the go a lot lately and we are all adjusting to the new school schedule.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dollie needs an apron too!

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I made this sweet Bunny Dollie for a little girls' Easter basket...um, for next year! Yes, she's a planner. LOL I loved the Dollie, but my favorite part of this order was making the adorable Dollie sized apron. I'd love to design one for your TaDa! Dollie. These would also fit American Girl dolls perfectly too.

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I've got a zillion (ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration) vintage embroidery designs at my disposal. I'm sure we can find just the right one for your Dollie.

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How sweet is this little Baby Duck in the corner? of course this is just an example. I'll make whatever your little heart fancies (with the exception of liscenced characters).

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I think I need to make two of these for my girls' Christmas stockings this year.

Shop for yourself right here.

Custom Dollie just listed!

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Love our Dollies, but wish you could choose your own hairstyle and color? And add a hand-embroidered inscription? For a limited time we are offering totally Custom TaDa! Dollies. These make the perfect Christmas gift for someone special.

Shop here.
**We will add more listings as each one sells.

Just call her Jack

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Jack-O-Lantern that is

On Sunday night Allison lost her first tooth! It looked like it was about to fall out so I told her she could just pull it out and she said "you do it Mama." And I did! She was a little shocked, but bounced right back. I'm surprised at how much her teeth moved over just to make room for her new teeth. It looks like she's lost one on both sides, but she's only lost one so far.

I thought that Emily was going to have a really hard time with this one, given the way she reacted to her sister having show-and-tell before her at pre-k this week. But she handled it really well. And just to make sure, the Tooth Fairy left her a little note too.

Here is what they said:

Dear Allison,

I'm so glad your first tooth finally came out today. You see I've been very busy lately. It seems that September is a popular month for kids to lose their teeth. And fortunately for me I already had several children to visit in xxxxxxxxx tonight.

Losing your first tooth is a very big deal. It means you are getting to be a BIG kid. And with that comes a lot of responsibility...like helping your mom and dad more at home and playing nicely with your sister and brother. I sure hope that you also know how important it is to brush your teeth twice a day and to start flossing too. And make sure you visit the dentist twice a year. He will give me updates on your dental health which of course is very important to me.

I also hear that you just had a Birthday. Happy Birthday! You are such a sweet girl and I know you are very loved by Jesus and your family. It made my heart so happy to hear you tell your daddy that you love Jesus more than anything else.

Sincerely,

MJ Tooth Fairy
SW Area Coordinator

...and...

Dear Emily,

My heart was so happy tonight to see how excited you were for your sister to lose her first tooth. It takes a very loving little girl to think of others before herself and you did a great job of showing love to your sister. Jesus is very proud of you too.

I'm sure it will be your turn to lose a tooth soon enough. Just know that I am patiently waiting until I can visit you again. Your teeth will start getting loose as soon as they are ready and not a moment before. Remember that God has a perfect plan for your life and He loves you very much.

Sincerely,

MJ Tooth Fairy
SW Area Coordinator

It was a lot of fun to write the letters. Growing up my mom wrote elaborate letters from my Tooth Fairy and they were always such a treat to read. I still have every one of them. Thanks mom for starting a fun tradition that I now get to carry on to my own children. Love you!

Mu Shu Chicken Wraps

Wow are these good! I'm going to start making these once a week because they are a no-brainer, easy crock-pot meal. Sam ate 3 "tacos" so I call them a HUGE success.

Mu Shu Chicken Wraps

2 lbs chicken thighs, skinned and boned (I subbed chicken breasts and only had one pound)
1 white onion, diced
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1 Tb sesame oil
3/4 C hoisin sauce
1 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp ginger, minced (I used a dash of ground, I'm not a fan)
6" flour tortillas
3 C Napa cabbage, shredded (lettuce would be fine too)
3 green onions, thinly sliced (I didn't bother)

Dice onion and put in bottom of crock pot.

Salt and pepper the chicken and heat oil in nonstick skillet on med-high heat. Brown chicken for 2-3 minutes per side and put in crock pot on top of the onions.

Whisk together hoisin, soy sauce, honey rice vinegar and ginger. Pour over the chicken and cover.

Cook on high for 1 hour, reduce to low for 5-6 hours. If you are going to be gone all day I'm sure you can just put it on low the whole time.

Place some chicken and cabbage on each tortilla and roll. Larger tortillas might be easier for kids since you can fold the bottom edge up first. I think these would also be good with a mild shredded cheese (maybe mozzarella) and even tomatoes.

Here are some other recipes I've been making lately in case you are want for ideas.
The bestest Chili ever. Period.
Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup. Yum!
Pumpkin Pancakes. THE best!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The party

The day they had been waiting for finally arrived.

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We got dressed up in party hats, Hello Kitty tees and pink tutus.

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Then we welcomed our guests. Ten kids in all! A great big thank you to my mom for coming over and helping everything to run smoothly.

The kids had a great time. We made Hello Kitty shrinky dinks, colored Hello Kitty coloring pages, played Red Light Green Light, ate pizza and cake and ended with a little time in the playroom.

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Thanks to all the great kids that came and helped Allison and Emily celebrate turning 5!

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And the next night the Tooth Fairy got to come for a visit!

It was a big BIG week-end.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pre-School

The girls started Pre-School last week. I forgot my camera for the drop-off, but remembered at pick-up time. I'll take some more this week in front of the gorgeous mural right outside their room.

They both had a wonderful time. No tears here, they love this stuff. They are both very independent and enjoy being with other kids.

I found Allison coloring a picture for me.

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And Emily was just finished with her project.

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I'm really looking forward to this year for them. They are in separate classrooms and so far are doing great. We thought it best to start them apart this year knowing we would have them in separate rooms for kindergarten next year. I love that they can come home and each have their own stories to share. No tears over their sister getting to tell all the good parts first. And yesterday they came home and played extremely well together. I think that couple hour break is going to do them a lot of good.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Twins

So, the MN Twins have a new, outdoor, fancy-schmancy stadium. You know, to replace the indoor Metrodome that they just had to have because you can't play outdoor baseball in MN. It's cold here people. Which of course replaced the old outdoor Met stadium that is now the Mall of America.

But I have to say, it's pretty awesome. David had free tickets through his work and we got to sit up on the Budweiser Deck where the view of the field and downtown was a-mazing. Actually there's not a bad seat in the house.

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This is the only photo of the night, from David's phone. I had my camera with me, but left the battery charging back home. That's a classic Angel move. Oh how I would have loved to snap a ton of pictures that night.

I'm happy to report that we beat Kansas City that night (Sept 8th). And when I suggested we leave at the beginning of the 9th inning (is that the bottom or the top? I can never remember), you know, to beat the crowd. David scoffed. It's a HUGE pet-peeve of his to leave any game before it's over. Well, this one didn't disappoint, it was worth staying. We haven't had this much fun in a long time. We need to go on "dates" more often.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Get your Christmas shopping started early!

TaDa! Dollies are on SALE!

Visit the shop right here.

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We are cleaning out the studio and each Dollie has been marked down $10 (priced as marked).

So snatch up these pretty ladies at a great price, before they are gone.

And starting next week we'll be offering design-your-own Dollies as well as add-on aprons to match. Here is an example of a past apron.

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36

A week ago, my sweet husband turned 36.
I'll be following suit in about 3 weeks.

We had a quiet evening at home. Dinner was Aussie Chicken, beets, asparagus and potatoes. Topped off with chocolate cake and Happy Birthday serenades from his little girls.

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Her teeth are still hanging in there (quite literally).
The Tooth Fairy better get ready quick.

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Enjoying Allison's impromptu song to him. Which included: "I love you Daddy, but I love Jesus more, but I still love you Daddy."

My sweet girl!

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How lucky am I that his only wish was for another Bible commentary by John MacArthur. He's got about half of them now.

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Happy Birthday David!
We love you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

And now they are five!

Get ready for an embarrassingly long post full of pictures from Emily and Allison's 5th Birthday day.

We had a great time celebrating them. David took half the day off and we got a chance to do all the fun things little girls love. The Mall of America has become a Birthday tradition for them. And this year we even found that the birthday child gets a free unlimited ride wristband on their birthday. But make sure you register on-line first. We were excited to take advantage of that, but first started the day off at Build A Bear.

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"I'm 5."

Doesn't that sound like such a big number? *sniff*sniff*

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There was one extra little guy that they let in without realizing that the cars were already taken. They picked the right lone driver to let him sit with . Allison loves making new friends. Here's she's saying "That's my mom."

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She is definitely a thrill seeker. She has gone down the flume water ride with her Daddy countless times and the real, I'm talking adult, roller coaster with me even more.

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Do you see where this ride goes straight up and then straight down? It's on the left side. That's insane. You will never find me on it.

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Emily has a more cautious nature. She says she'll ride the bumper cars when she is 7 and the roller coaster when she is a Mommy.

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Ok, so these guys are a bit creepy to me. And every time I see them all I can think is how dirty those costumes are and that my kids are going to hug them. Ewe! Just look at Patrick's belly...blech.

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But the kids sure love it. Even Sam, who thankfully has no idea who they are.

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My goofy girls!

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We ended our day at the Mall with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Famous Dave's. Isn't this just cozy?

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Then home for cake and present opening with all of the in-town Grandparents.

So have your kids been begging for a pillow pet? The first time I saw the commercial I thought "no way are we getting those." But Emily is so funny. She would ask and ask if she could have one for her Birthday and if I even hinted that maybe she wouldn't get one she would burst into tears. It was seriously the end of the world to her. So of course I caved and made 4 trips to the malls in search of the pink piggie that was selling out and not being made anymore. Finally, the day before their Birthday I found one. Whew! Can you just see her pure joy when she saw her sister's and realized that hers would be in her bag too?

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So worth it.

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Both girls declared this the best Birthday ever (you know, of the 3 they can remember).

Allison and Emily, we love you with all our might and are so thankful to have had 5 wonderful years with you. We are proud to be your parents and we are looking forward to what the years ahead hold for you. May God bless you my sweet babies.

Their friend party is coming up this Saturday. I'm feeling a wee bit overwhelmed with how much there is to get ready. I'm finishing up their tees later today and will share a sneak peek. But for now you can check out their Birthday hats that my fabulous friend Jessica made for all the kids. Thank you Jessica!

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