Easter Outfits - FIXED POST

I know you couldn't see the photos yesterday, so here is the updated post.  Sorry about that!  I was attempting to post this at my parents house, but it just wasn't working right.  

After lots of searching for fabrics that matched the dress I bought for Alanna, I gave up.  I couldn't find anything that matched well or that I liked.  So I started over and I'm so happy I did.  Check out my little show stoppers.

You know you have three boys when they turn around and pretend to "TART AT MOM!"  Nice.

The boys all had pants made out of linen.  I just made a very simple pant for Caden and Eli (the oldest and the youngest) and I used Dana's Flat front pants tutorial for Abram.  I liked his the best, but just didn't have time to draft a pattern for the other boys.  They were all adorable anyway!!!

The boys bowties were so cute, but a tad too puffy for my liking.  I used this tutorial, but next time, I'd skip the felt and just make a double bowtie.

(don't mind the crazy hair... lots of wind and in dire need of a hair cut!)
Caden wanted nothing to do with a bow tie.  He said they were too babyish.  Instead, I made him a tie from this tutorial.  It was adorable!

I also made one for my husband from this tutorial, but it was FAR TOO SHORT!!!  I was so mad!  All that time and it didn't work.  Before you make this one, make sure your husband has a midget small size torso!  ugh.

I made a pattern from the dress I bought Alanna and made a new one from some Heather Bailey fabrics.  I just might make a tutorial on this one... maybe even some pattern pieces.  We'll see.  The dress is identical to the bought one and it was so adorable!  Tulle and all!

The best part, I took back the dress I spent WAY too much on, and made the all of this for the cost of that dress.  Pathetic that I even bought it!

And just a few more pictures:

I ended up sewing for way too long, but when everyone stopped to say how cute they all were at church yesterday, it made it all worth it!


Chicken Soup - Recipe

When I was about 8 years old, my grandmother moved in with us.  One of my favorite things about having my grandmother with us was her chicken noodle soup when I was sick.  There is nothing else on earth as wonderful as her Chicken Noodle Soup.  Now that I have four children of my own, this recipe is the first thing we grab when someone is sick. 

When we picked up the kids from my parents house on Sunday night (they were there while Dan and I were in Chicago with his mom), Abram was so sick.  He ended up getting sick on Friday - His birthday.  We were so sad to be missing his birthday but even more so because he was so sick.  Today is his first day feeling mostly better.  It was nasty.  So, last night I pulled out the trusty recipe and made a HUGE pot of soup.  

Make a run to the store and get cooking.  Oh, and you might as well throw away your chicken soup recipe because once you try this, nothing will compare!!!

Note that this is for a double recipe.  I never make a single batch because we love the leftovers!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 carrots
4 celery ribs
1 medium to large onion
2 16oz packages sliced mushrooms
3 quarts chicken broth or stock
6-8 chicken breasts or 2 rotisserie chickens
1 bag kluski noodles
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper

I prefer to use cooked chicken breasts, but you can use whatever works for you.   If you are using a rotisserie (I've done this when I didn't have as much time) pull off the meat first.  Otherwise cook your chicken in the oven.  Don't cook it until it's dry.  Dry chicken doesn't taste good in anything!

 In a large stock pot, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Now you're going to chop your veggies.  I cut mine small so that when you take a spoonful, you're getting more than one large chunk of food.  It's more hearty to use a lot of small ingredients... I think.
Chop your onion.

 Chop the celery ribs.  I cut them in 3-4 long strips and then start chopping.  You don't want them too big.

 Peel and chop 4 of your carrots.

 Over medium heat, cook all of your veggies until soft, but not mushy.

 Add three quarts of chicken stock (or broth).

 Chop your chicken and add it to the pot.

 Wash your mushrooms and add them to the pot.

Add a whole 12 oz bag of kluski noodles.  If you prefer, you can use egg noodles, but I find them to be too big.

 You should now have this.  Don't worry, the mushrooms cook down.  It won't look like mushroom soup when we're done. Cook this until the mushrooms are soft and the noodles are tender.
 Now the spices.  I'm not one for measuring anything so I'm not exactly sure how much I put in my soup, but here is a picture of each in my hand before I added them.  Just add to taste.

 Turmeric.  This adds to the color.  Don't skip this one!

 Mace.  This is what makes the soup!  It's strong stuff, so go easy. 

 In a separate skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of butter.

 Grate one smaller carrot (about 4 tablespoons).

 Add 4 tablespoons of sugar.

 Stir continuously.  The butter will begin to turn orange and start to caramelize.  Remove from the heat.

 Add the carrot mix to the soup and stir it well.  Adjust any seasonings if you need.

Enjoy your warm bowl of medicine!  There's nothing better!


a long day...

It's been a long week and I really wanted to get some crafting done.  But, I have been haulted by family stuff.  This morning my father-in-law passed away.  

These were our last family portraits that we took over Christmas.  We knew they would be precious pictures, but today they are even more than we thought.

Please keep us all in your prayers.


Easter outfits - HELP!

Last year I had all of the kids in matching outfits for Easter.  It is something I had NEVER done before, but I ended up LOVING it!  

 I can't find a good picture, but you the idea.  They were adorable and I found it all at Children's Place.  This year, their easter line sucks.  The only thing I found that was decent was Hannah Andersson.
Adorable! So, I added everything to the cart (four vests for the boys and Dan and dresses for me and Alanna) and the total was nearly $300.  I have to admit, I did think about it for about 2 seconds.  But then an imaged flashed in my mind of Dan literally having a heart attack!  So, I passed.

I found this dress at Kohls for Alanna.  It looks absolutely beautiful on her, but they had NOTHING for the boys that would match nicely.  I bought it anyway, thinking, I can make the boys something to match.  Maybe some basic yellow shirts with some cute bow ties or something.  

So what do you think?  Make something to match this dress?  Or should I take this back and make something for all 4 of them?  Maybe you know of a cute matching line that looks fairly dressy that I can just buy?  I don't know what to do at this point and I really want to do the matching thing.  Suggestions?


busy, but oh so good

I miss crafting and I can't wait to get back into it this week.  Life has just been busy, but God really blessed me today!  I want to share with you just bit about that.

I am the coordinator for our local MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) group.  Tomorrow morning is our big Easter meeting, filled with testimonies and the amazing gift of salvation that God has given us.  I have spent my whole day in preparation for, hopefully, touching the hearts of the mothers in our group.  After I picked up my son from school I was explaining to him what a funeral was and what happens when we die.  My 5 year old, Alanna, was listening carefully.  I shared about the importance of receiving Christ as our Lord - dedicating our life to the ONE who created us.  I asked my Alanna if she had ever asked Jesus in her heart.  She shook her head no and I asked her if she would like to.  As I lead her through a simple prayer of salvation, I nearly started crying.  What a joyful moment to listen to my daughter utter those words to the One I love!  Amazing!  What a blessing that was after a long day of preparation!

As we enter the Easter season, may you experience the blessing of Gods great love for you!