Tuesday, July 29, 2008

a new face-lift

a friend of mine (andrea) has the cutest little header on her blog, and she said she got the stuff to do it at www.freedigitalscrapbooking.com.

i liked it so much i thought i would make one, too... so i did. i had a lot of fun working on it. it actually might end up becoming a bit of an obsession for me, this digital scrapbooking thing.

so, there it is... free digital scrapbooking...go check it out, download some stuff and "happy scrapbooking!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

friday fun!

emma and i have really been enjoying our days home together. i'm trying to find lots of fun, creative things for us to do, so we don't get burnt out on the "mundane-ness" of being at home all day.

on friday, we had a super fun day! we tried two different recipes: one for play-doh and one for banana bread. (i will post both recipes!) we also colored, ate lunch with daddy (jason), and played with duncan.

friday evening, we went over to have dinner with some sweet friends of ours: jerica & erik olson. their baby boy, jack, is a year younger than emma, but they have so much fun playing together. emma calls him, "jock!" :-) so cute.

here are some pictures of our day together (i'll post the recipes at the end):

emma is trying to figure out this stuff called "play-doh"

emma kept calling playing with play-doh "cooking"

helping mommy bake banana bread. she cleaned out the bowl!

yummy batter!

"peeze!" (what emma says for pictures)
banana bread batter is all over her face! :-)

ah! love that sweet face...

mommy & emma trying to take some pictures together...

take 2... obviously mommy hasn't showered yet, today! :-)

banana muffins before being baked...

banana muffins right out of the oven

this is the best, most moist banana bread i have ever tasted! i highly recommend this recipe.

emma walking duncan around the house... she says, "c'mon, dunkie!" and "whistles." (basically, she squeaks "wee! wee!" to sound like mommy & daddy whistling for duncan. it's SO cute.)

emma was watching sesame street this week, and zoe & abby-cadabby were wearing tu-tu's and dancing ballet. emma looked at me and said, "mommy! want toot-toot!" this is the tu-tu melody made for emma to wear on her 1st birthday, and it's been hanging on her wall ever since. but now wearing her "toot-toot" over her clothes is one of her favorite things to do!

coloring in her "toot-toot"... look at those little crossed feet!

pretty picture

yes, my daughter eats crayons... but she only ever eats the blue & purple ones! haha!


cooked play-doh from cooks.com

1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 c. water
2 tbsp. oil - solid (i used vegetable oil)
1 tsp. food coloring (any color)
(instead of food coloring, i used a small packet of kool-aid powdered mix. it added color and a great smell!)

Combine all ingredients, except water and oil, in a saucepan. Gradually stir in 1 cup water mixed with oil, add food coloring. Cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms. Remove from heat, place dough on table and knead until smooth.

banana banana bread (or muffins) from allrecipes.com

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • (you can add some vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and/or all spice to taste)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

  • For muffins, I baked in a 12-muffin pan at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, and they were perfect!

baby shower "bow-quet"

ok, so i really haven't been the best blogger, lately!! basically, i finally got out our digital camera (i've been taking pictures with my phone) to use during my days home with emma. so i have LOTS to blog about... BUT i couldn't figure out how to upload the pictures onto our computer - until tonight! SO now i have like, weeks of stuff to catch up on! :-) but i won't do that to you all at once. not only because it would be completely overwhelming for you, but also because i am up way too late (watching movies with jason) to want to bother with uploading tons of pictures... hence, it will be a gradual catching up...

so here's catch-up post #1:
last week, i had a baby shower for a friend of mine, renee, who's having a baby girl. my sweet friend, melody, has a custom bow-making business called "katie pie creations," and she had recently done a "bow-quet" for another shower gift. i loved the idea so much, that i decided to do the same thing for my friend! so, emma and i went over to melody's one day last week, and we made bows... well, melody made bows... i picked the ribbon! :-)
i took it all home and painted a box with renee's new baby's name on it and put it all together.

here's the final product:

here's the "bow-quet" put together. there are 4 different "stems" with several bows & clippies, and in the bottom is a sweet crocheted beanie hat & headband that can be used with the bows. so cute!

the box that i painted for renee & baby isabell

big flower clippie (so cute on the hat), 2 pink & brown clippies, and 3 solid bows: lavender, pink & white

big pink ruffle bow (again, so cute on the hat!), 1 dark pink & 1 light pink satin flower clippies, a pink & lavender polka dot clippie, lavender bow, pink & green flower stem clippie, lavender flower clippie and pink-cammo clippie

all wrapped-up & ready for giving

i was really excited about this gift, and it was so fun to make!

thanks so much, melody, for helping me and making our day so much fun!

(if you are interested in melody's "katie pie creations" bows, let me know and i can give you her information. she can even custom-make bows to match an outfit... and they make a great gift!) :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

kids make me giggle

happy friday!

i thought i'd start your weekend off with some videos that really made me smile. hopefully, they'll do the same for you!

the first one is of two cute little british boys. watch the older one's facial expressions! (doesn't having an accent make EVERYTHING cuter?!)

then there's this precious little girl, who has a plan if that pesky monster figures out how to come out of her TV. (she's using a word that's not too nice to say!) i love the innocence of it! so cute!

and, finally, this video has brought me & jason many bouts of laughter... our sweet friends naomi & matthew reyes showed this to us about 2 years ago, and we have watched it many times when we have needed a good laugh.

ok... so i thought that was the last one, BUT... i love that kid, so here's another one.

and really finally, one more. eat your 'spanish!' "we doin' business here." oh gosh! why don't they play these on TV?

hope you smiled at least once... have a great day!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

a new house for the rains family?

ok, so not really a new house... but we can dream, right? :-) jason and i recently drove through a new-build community in McKinney called Tucker Hill. they are all colonial-architecture homes with front porches, large front yards and tons of old trees. it was beautiful to say the least! the fun thing was, all the homes are available to walk through, so we were able to dream completely beyond our means!!! but these two houses are the ones we fell in love with. i have the pictures, and the floorplans of each house. they were both 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, media room, game room, 3 car garage, huge closets and laundry rooms, and porches all over the place! the second house even has a carriage house over the garage... our guests would be so well taken care of!:-) they are incredible! needless to say, these homes are something we would LOVE to dream towards, one day. we would never have to buy another house! but right now, we are completely content and happy to have the perfect house we do. we just thought you could admire our dreams for the moment! :-)

(the website is: http://www.tuckerhilltx.com if you want to take a peek!)

Monday, July 7, 2008

airplanes, two-year-olds & baby birds

james and lisa... this is for you!!! :-)

i know it's been a little bit since i've written, so i've got a few different updates!

emma's newest obsession: airplanes and helicopters! she's so funny! she is such a girl... loves pretty pink polish on her tiny toes and fingers, loves sparkly pink shoes and purses... and airplanes & helicopters! every sentence ends in "ah-pees" (airplane) and "ha-ca-tu" (helicopter).
jason bought her some little "matchbox" type figures: one of an airplane, and one of a helicopter. she slept with them the first night, and then carried them to the church nursery in her pink purse the next morning!

the "terrible two's" are in full swing at the rains' house! emma is still our super sweet, fun, happy baby, but she is definitely testing her boundaries and asserting her new-found independence!

we are having a bit of trouble trying to keep a straight face during discipline, too. when her "nonna" is being firm, and emma thinks its a game, "nonna" will point to her eyes and say, "see my eyes emma? i'm serious. nonna said no..." so, apparently emma's picked up on it. this evening, during dinner, while emma was trying to explore the joys of throwing corn off of her booster-seat tray to the floor, jason told her no. when she attempted it again, and jason firmly said "
emma kate..." (accompanied by "the look" that parents give when they're being serious), our almost-two-year-old looked him dead in the eyes and said, "see eyes? no!"

how the heck are you supposed to keep a straight face through that?!?

emma also just finished "lil tots" swim lessons. we went every day from 10:30 - 11:00 for two weeks. they were great... when she was cooperative. of course, the week swim lessons started, emma decided to change her morning nap-time to about, mmm, 5 minutes before swim lessons started. so, a tired toddler screaming for her lovie & paci the whole time equaled really interesting swim lessons! after a couple days mommy figured out that if lovie & paci came swimming
with us, the lessons went MUCH smoother! (i just had to wash lovie everyday to get out that strong public-pool chlorine smell.)

i'm going to attach some pictures of some fun emma had with kleenex on the way to swim lessons and some new additions to our household...

i looked into the backseat and saw some kleenex in emma's hands, and thought "where did that come from?" when i went around to get emma out of the car, this is what i found:
an entire box of kleenex was pulled out and spread around the backseat!

these pictures don't give you the full effect,
but goodness, what a mess!
she had fun, that's for sure!

this little nest is nestled (no pun intended) into the flower-bucket on our front door. this is the first baby bird, right after he hatched. there are 4 babies in the nest now, all about one-week-old. they are growing everyday, and now have some pretty good feathers! it's the coolest thing: if we look out our peep-hole, we can watch the mama-bird feeding the babies, and see their little wobbly heads wiggle around! such a precious thing to witness! we have more pictures and some video that i'll try to get up later.

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