Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MFD cannot win at softball

I don't want to sound too sappy, but this is just the sweetest and funniest thing to watch.  I love these games. 

I always come away reminded not to take parts of life too seriously.  It's okay to just have fun. 

Yay for Hannah!

We wrote your names down and Cambria pulled one out. . . Hannah! Yay! 

Hannah is somebody I know in real life which is fun. . . and she blogs, too.  My favorite part of going to Hannah's blog is checking out all of the amazing links she has on her sidebar.  I only go to her site if I have time cuz I always get distracted.

Well. . . that was fun pretending to be PW.

Back to my real life of lunch and reading aloud Farmer Boy and rescuing my phone from Jacob who has Voice Recognition going on my phone "Call Hayley."  Weird voice: "Command not recognized."

See ya.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Headbands

So here is what you need:

silk flowers

headbands. . . cheapest at dollar stores

hair clips (found at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. . . by the time you buy the package, they cost pennies per clip)

glue gun

ribbon to cover sharp edges
 You may need to cut off a little of the flower stem.  Then glue onto metal clip.
This part is optional and I don't always do it, but it's nice to cover the edges of the bottom clip with ribbon.  Just hot glue it on.
And then clip the flower onto the headband.  Total cost:  At the most, $2.  These headbands are so trendy right now and little girly boutiques sell them for at least $10.  I went looking at Walmart to see if I could just buy them readymade;  they are about $6 total there, and they only have pink flowers. 
So cute.  My nieces wear these all the time and they make me want to have another girl. 

So I am going to give one of these away. . .

Leave me a comment and link to your favorite mommy-blog (cuz I love finding  new ones)

and THEN email me your email. (Wow, that was redundant.)  hayley dot firefightersfam at gmail dot com (in case you missed the contact button up at the top.)

I will draw a random winner in the morning.  :-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Loren's Pumpkin Peanut Butter Bread

And yes. . . we know this sounds a little weird.

And it is totally stolen from Loren.

We didn't want to bother her for the recipe because she is one of those people who has a phone that rings literally 50 times a day, so we took the liberty to find a recipe online that worked and modified it a little and still named it after her.

Soooo good!

1 3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 t. soda

3/4 t. salt

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. nutmeg

1 t. vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup pumpkin

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup oil

1/4 + 1/8 cup water ( I know, weird measurement.  It works.)

Mix wet ingredients together (that's what Cambria is doing up there. . .) and then add dry ingredients.  Pour into two medium lightly greased loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes at 350.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yo-yo tutorial and Giveaway Winners


Hydrant girl, Liz, and Louise. I have three winners because I guess I had confusing rules.

I didn't publish any comments with addresses, either, because I'm not a fan of addresses and real last names floating out there in internet-land.

I actually thought that was kind of fun, and I have another really fun headband idea so I'll do another one next Monday. Check back.

But for now, here is how to make a fabric yo-yo . My sister Nancy got me started on these. Once you make one, you just can't stop.

Cut your circles about 4 1/2 - 3 inches in diameter. I used a vase turned upside down and marked around it with a magic marker.
You can carefully iron a tiny hem around the circle but I think its way easier to turn it with your fingers as you go. Your stitches do not need to be tiny and careful. Just get that needle and thread all the way around your circle.

It kind of takes shape as you go along.
When you get all the way around, pull your thread (gently) tight and tie another good knot. There's your yo-yo!
Then you can sew it onto any hairband you choose.
Or you can glue one onto a magnet.

Or sew buttons on the centers and make wall art out of them like my sister Nancy did:

I've made little note cards with them, too; the yo-yo is the flower and then you can draw on a stem.

I actually saw a Christmas tree garland made out of fabric yo-yos. Who has that kind of time?!?!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

kids riding a bus are probably schooled

JD to Daniel's dad tonight:
"I saw a bus today and the door was stuck open."
Grandpa: "Well that sounds strange. Were there kids on it?"
JD: "Yes. They are schooled. But I am not schooled. I am homeschooled."

Giveaway Pt. 2

Ummm. . .

There's a reason I'm not PW, because I'm not very good at this giveaway thing. So apparently I have two winners, but *still* no addresses.


On your mark get set go

email me your address and the first two ADDRESSES I receive will get the hairbands.

I promise not to stalk you, in fact I'll delete them as soon as I mail your little yellow envelopes.

Black hair bands in yellow envelopes. Yep, I'm an Iowa fan.

Monday, September 20, 2010

free inspiration, anyone?

Hands down, my favorite thing about blogs is that they are free sources of inspiration.

I love free stuff.

I love free ideas on how to decorate / design / enjoy my home.

So here's your free idea for the day:

Clean your kitchen window.

Clear your windowsill.

Line up some fruit or vegetable that you already have; I do this with limes, lemons, tomatoes, little squash . . . eggplant would look really cute too.

Today I did apples.

Okay, subject change.

Eleven - year -old Maddie and I made these hair bands this weekend out of a blouse that looked better on the hanger than it did on me. . . aren't they the cutest things ever?!
So because I love free stuff,

and mostly because I'm still disappointed I didn't win Pioneer Woman's Fiestaware giveaway,

if you leave me a comment of your favorite free home decor idea,

I will send the first two each one of our leftover hairbands.

Not a scientific random generator or anything -

And there won't be 34,700 entries.

{Why did I even bother Pioneer Woman?}

MFD Open House

I love this picture of the kids watching the controlled burn, which is always the highlight.
In other news, yesterday I learned the proper way to use a fire extinguisher. I'm not gonna lie, it was a little humiliating to be told to pull the pin out of it; you would sorta think after ten years with a firefighter I would know that.
Hey, it's just because we are so fire-safe around here that we've never had to use one.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Cambria thought they were good!
{adapted from Framed's muffins}
Cream together:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 t. vanilla
3 T instant coffee
2/3 cup Vanilla Caramel Creamer (or milk)
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup flour
1 T baking powder
Alternate adding wet and dry ingredients into butter mixture. Fold in chopped dark chocolate (or 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips) and 1 cup hazelnuts (or walnuts.)
Bake in muffin liners at 400 for about 12 minutes.
I have a couple left. . .
Come on over!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

things i did today

I didn't do my hair today.


I did clean and clean and clean.

I did take a picture of my bathroom but this isn't a photography blog, so it didn't look as good as in real life plus the flash made fingerprints show up on the mirrors that I thought were really clean. Sigh.

I did answer the door this morning at 7 to a neighbor who wanted Daniel to come help her move her dad. He's at work. Well, could I call him? He's on duty, ma'am. Did I have a phone? Yes. . .{retrieve phone} Now could I call him? Ma'am, he can't personally respond to you. You need to go through the channel of dispatch, and he may run this call, but you have to go through dispatch. After convincing her that she needed to call 911, I shut the door and laughed. She was so convinced that he would leave work to come help them. Those firefighters, always going beyond the call of duty. Back to my coffee.

I did make three meals. One meal involved pouring fake rice shaped pieces of high fructose corn syrup and malt flavoring into bowls with milk, but hey -

I have not been home at all this summer. It shows. I am forcing myself to kick it into gear and maybe some of the old Hayley will come wandering back.

I found a new favorite food blog. Check out Framed. . . you will drool for sure. I have some of these Coffee Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins assembled on the kitchen counter for breakfast. . . I will update you in the morning to see if my version (dark chocolate + hazelnuts) is any good.

I hung a bunch of pictures and rearranged furniture. This particular self help method, without fail, makes me really happy.

Jacob Daniel finished his math book today. As soon as I get done here I will be ordering more of these a.ma.zing books from Amazon. K-learning is going waaaaay better this week. {In case anyone besides me cares about that}

And just to keep myself accountable, here is a raw, untouched photo of the guestroom that needs to be cleared out by tomorrow night.

We took these little strawberry "shmarshshmellow" yummies to Miss Clare tonight. . .

Don't you wish we would have missed your birthday by a month?

Oh, wait, we probably did.

Almost Enough

$5.00 to go. . .

. . . and JD will be marching in to buy a bike with a very fat envelope full of dollar bills.

* Finding a $5.00 bill on the floor at Grandpa and Grandma's does not count toward the total. That "treasure" is waiting to be returned at the next visit. {Dilemmas of mommydom continue. Was that resourceful? Observant? Frugal? Stealing? }

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

dear little man,

Is it really just four short months since I held you one last time?
Seventeen aching Wednesday mornings?
I'm learning how to live without you; God has carried my heart and I know that He will keep holding us as we continue our little family without you, Gabe.
There's such a big hole without you, though, little man.
Your daddy says all the time that he misses your personality. (You know personalities are kinda a big deal with him.)
Jacob Daniel says often that he wishes you would sit on his lap; he cries a lot for you, now. . . the other night he asked to go see your little resting spot - he stood there and cried into my jeans. I think he wanted to tell you about the fish he caught, but he couldn't, so Cambria let you know, tipping her little face up to the stars: "Jacob caught his first fish, Gabe."
I think about life going on and I cringe because it seems so wrong to be happy without you. It doesn't feel right to have ice cream or go to parks or take the kids to Cubbies and Sparks and not have you. It doesn't feel right to put everybody to bed and not have you still up, fighting sleep and struggling to keep your little eyes open, laughing at your daddy and charming yourself out of bedtime.
But life does go on.
I have a love/hate relationship with that concept.
We have a lot of this life stuff to live before we get to see you, but the real thing is just getting started for you.
I can't see Heaven, buddy.
Is it really fun?
Do you talk to Jesus all the time?
Is it pretty awesome?
I bet you are having a blast.
I bet people get such a kick out of your three dimples.
I bet your Grandpa Jim thinks it's pretty cool that he gets to hold his little namesake more than us. He probably tells you about boats and trucks even more than Jacob would.
You don't have to have us read you Bible stories - you are gonna know the end from the beginning and more than Jacob and Cambria. You'll like that, cuz you were always trying to keep up with them.
You made it buddy. . .
You get to walk with Jesus.
You're good. You're okay. I know you are safe.
I loooooooove you, little man.
Always will.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

happy birthday, deeann!

I remember when I met you the very first time at our church. . . and found out we were neighbors! You had just had your third child and I was a little newlywed who didn't know a single person in town. I had no idea then how much our friendship would grow, or how much you would shape my life, (or how much sweet tea I would end up consuming).

I watched you be an incredible mom to {in turn} incredibly happy children.

I watched you love your man.

I watched you find joy in the ministry that your home has become.

I watched you balance community, children, husband, and ministry with grace and enthusiasm and boundless energy.

I admired you - looked up to you - yep, I copied you. {Sweet tea? Yum, it's so good. How do you make that? Ohhhhhhh. Life has never been the same}

I'm not sure at what point we became friends.

But we did.

And wow, am I thankful.

Not sure how to put into words how thankful I am.

(I know, I know, I'm off the charts emotional this summer. Can't help it.)

How do you describe the kind of friend who

a) jumps up and down when you tell her that you're pregnant (#1)

b) dies laughing when she finds out your husband's reaction to #2 {he ran around the block to relieve stress. And he's not a runner.}

c) suggests you get a pregnancy test for #3. (not kidding. Actual conversation: "I just feel so rotten. I just can't get better. I hope I don't have cancer." Deeann: "I think you should go get a pregnancy test.") Annnnnnd, you were right.

How do I describe the kind of friend you can call while you're bawling and say - " my marriage is really stinking right now" and she's there in twenty minutes, sitting on your couch and crying with you? Can't really describe it, but you've been that friend.

How do I describe the kind of friend who visits your babies in the hospital, strings balloons around your front porch, brings you dinner, and then throws you surprise baby showers? Umm. . . you again.

Countless movie nights.

Tons of carpooling.

Answering 10,000 baby questions about Jacob.

Answering 8,000 baby questions about Cambria.

Listening to endless questions without trying to answer as I miss our little Gabe.

Coffee breaks.

Sunday dinners.

Buying the swimsuit I needed for me - when I couldn't make it to Younkers, or Penney's, or wherever - with my credit card - and then enjoying Famous Dave's at my expense. (ha ha - never going to let you live that one down.)

Painting our houses together.

Driving Daniel's stick shift truck for me so I could pick up my Salvation Army finds.

Watching our children grow up.

Helping me navigate the murky waters of toddlerhood. {Biting. Bedwetting. Bad Attitudes}

Bible studies.

Visiting shut ins.

Teaching me how to practically bless the lives of those around me.

You've taught me so, so much about being a woman. About being a mom. About making a home. About being a wife.

So many things I've learned from you.

You were there for me at the darkest hour of my life; you knelt on the floor in front of me as I held our little man and pressed your forehead against mine and cried out in anguish with me. You didn't run from my pain - you ran to it, and I needed you so bad.

I hope you know how many people are blessed by your life.

especially me.

Love you, Deeann.

You are a forever kind of friend.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

shutting the world out. . .

. . . and remembering seven years ago. . .

choosing to spend our lives together. . .

and I'd do it all over again. . .

Happy Anniversary, babe. . . love you love you love you love you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

MFD Picnic - 2010

Strangely reminiscent of last year's union picnic, Cambria's modeling a cute bow. . . actually another self - haircut rescue. Can we all say deja vu?

{Lesson: Keep all scissors out of reach.}

I don't know why, but I was really scared to go to this event. I shouldn't have been. . . it was great and the kids and I even stayed after Daniel headed back to Station #2.

I think just seeing everybody all in one place reminds me of Gabe's funeral, and seeing the guys who were there that morning always makes my heart twist.

I'm not sure that will ever change for me. I see them now and flash back to standing in the street and being oddly aware of their horrified faces;

see them driving away in the ambulance with my husband and my son;

see the world go by again through those engine windows. . .

see them pacing in that trauma room with my husband, hanging onto him

feel them holding on to us

with their arms around our children

weeping with us

never leaving us alone

coming to our house on duty like a solemn rescue mission

to love us and make sure we had enough food and paperware to last til next year


and flowers

and flowers. . .

That was all within two hours.

When people say the fire service is a family - it's true.

We love you guys!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Don't be fooled

Look at those gorgeous brown eyes.

That angelic face.

Cool chalkboard bookshelf & globe. (shamelessly copied out of Better Homes & Gardens)

Just think of snuggling up next to your little people with a mug of Starbucks and teaching them in the peace {*eye-rolling*} of your own home.

Dontcha just wanna homeschool?

{*more eye-rolling*}

Our first week of Kindergarten has been a challenge, not gonna lie.

It will get better. {please}

Teaching your kids at home is NOT for the faint of heart.

Trust me, I have tons of experience. My first homeschooled child is on his 3rd day of Kindergarten.