Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spice Tea

We have a spice tea recipe that we really like ~ Greg drinks this instead of coffee daily.

Its taken some tweaking and experimenting to get it "safe" for us to drink on our diet/lifestyle change.

Our new recipe is ~

1 jar instant tea (I use decaf)
5 cups stevia, splenda, sweet n low, or equal (we are using splenda right now)
1 container lemonade packs
1 container 'tang' packs
4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves

Whisk/stir together, store in airtight containers.  Add 2 tsp. mix to 1 mug of hot water.  Adjust the mix added for smaller or larger mugs ~ we use 4 tsp. for the insulated, travel type mugs.

The lemonade & tang packs come in a container ~ each pack makes 2 qt. and already has the artificial sweetener in it.  The only place right now I can find the s.f. tang type mix is at Walmart ~ their brand is called Orange Rise N Shine.  Tang used to make a s.f. variety but I can't find it anywhere.  I mix it up in large batches because we drink so much of it ~ this is the 4th or 5th batch this winter!

The cute vegetable jar the mix is stored in is from my Aunts home.  The rubber seal for the lid desinigrated  several years ago and Amy made me one using craft fun foam ~ works great.  I usually buy the store brand of all the ingredients, but I can't find a store brand of the decaf tea.

One time when I couldn't find the 'tang' I substituted orange koolaid ~ not a good was just ok.  Much too orangey tasting.

Here is the original recipe :

1 tsp. cinnamon sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup instant tea (with sugar)
18 oz. jar Tang
2 packets lemonade
2 cups sugar

I am sharing this post on "Farmgirl Friday"

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Projects I've been working on ~

AG pillowcase top & capris for a gift

a bitty baby for a baby granddaughter gift (when the Lord so blesses)

AG pillowcase dress to sell (x3)

AG pillowcase top & capris to sell (x2)

machine embroidered jumper for the fair

hand smocked jumper for the fair

completed bishop for the fair

does Minnie need an introduction?

My first smocking design for a little friend!
I am rolling along on the AG doll clothes to sell ~ I've got 2 pillowcase tops & capris, 3 pillowcase dresses, and 5 bathrobes.  More to come!  I think I am going to list them on the AG facebook sites I am a member of & see if that is successful.  I also made a peasant dress that bitty baby is now wearing but I didn't have the camera upstairs for a picture.

I found a Mickey Head smocking pattern on pinterest, copied it and tried to smock it.  That was a very lopsided mouse head!  It probably didn't help that I was trying to picture smock in the car on the way home from St. Louis. (I ripped out the first house head after it was completed!  argh!)  Then I drew my own mickey head on graph paper & smocked it ~ its on the plaid jumper ~ 3 little mousey heads.  They turned out much smaller than I wanted.  I didn't want to toss that work so I put it on the front of the jumper ~ the ricrac covers the raw edges of the fabric insert.  Then I went through all my cross stitch books to find the mouse head above.  It was much easier to smock from a cross stitch pattern than I anticipated ~ the geometric smocking on the rest of the plate is my design.  I much prefer geometric smocking to picture smocking ~ but I know Lauren's face will light up and she will instantly know that is for her!  She will get the little purse too ~ but after its in the fair!

All my jumpers and the bishop need button holes & buttons added to be complete.  And the polka dot Minnie dress will need to be constructed. 

I've always got more than one project going ~ right now I've got a partially completed baby afghan in turquoise & white, another granny square afghan in the works in shades of purple (my favorite color), a cross stitch picture for my nephew who just made Eagle Scout, and some owl hand embroidery squares. 

I am linking up with "Farmgirl Friday" ~

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Coming of Spring

Slowly but surely Springtime is coming ~  we've had a very cold, unusual winter for Mississippi!  And I know that other parts of the country have experienced record breaking cold and snowfall ~ so just what did happen to all that global warming "theory"? 

Spring is one of my 4 favorite seasons!  With Summer, Fall, & Winter following in that order!  Seasons & planting & harvest are all discussed in the Bible ~ scriptures quoted are from the New King James translation.

Genesis 1:11
The God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose see is in itself on the earth." and it was so.

Genesis 8:22
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.

Song of Solomon 11-13 (or Song of Songs ~ depending on your translation)
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.  The flowers appear on the earth.  The time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.  The gif tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell.  Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!

Isaiah 61:11
For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Here are some signs of spring from my yard today ~

Winter isn't over yet ~ but our peach tree didn't get that memo!

in action

our new planter on the left ~ it was our pool box that we replaced this weekend

hot pink camellia

same bush ~ white with hot pink stripe flower

Its supposed to get colder later on this week ~ hope it doesn't kill all the peach blossoms!  Our .02 tulip bulbs from last year are emerging too~hopefully they will be just as gorgeous as they were last year!

Happy almost springtime!

I am sharing this post on "Farmgirl Friday"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Feelin' Better Than 25 years Ago at This Time!

25 years ago today ~ the Lord gave our family a precious, 9lb. 1/2 ounce bundle of blond headed baby boy. This little ones eyes were a non-descript color, but they developed into a beautiful brown, earning him the nickname ~ little chocolate eyes.  After 18 hours of labor, he arrived in this world via emergency C-section.  (that's why I am feeling better than I did 25 years ago today!) 

Now him & his beautiful wife are expecting their own precious bundle of joy.

A very HAPPY Birthday to my son, Allen.  Your first 25 years have been exciting, drama filled, loving, & energetic.  Can't wait to experience the next 25 with you!

I love you!

his height obviously didn't come from his mom!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Glimpse

Modern technology is a wonderful, awesome invention ~ yesterday I received a picture, a glimpse, of my 3rd grandchild ~~~~~~~~

introducing Baby Mac

Baby Mac has been growing for 14 weeks & 2 days.  Baby Mac will join our large, growing, crazy, loving family on or around August 18th.  The ultrasound showed mommy & daddy lots of important features ~ head, legs, arms, belly, spine, heartbeat, etc....but it was too early to tell if its a boy or girl!  Maybe next month we will know that little secret!

Can't wait for the little person pictured above to join these 2 little persons!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Budgets & Curveballs

We have a budget!   This budget gets the bills paid, get money saved, gives us some indulgences (like sewing & ceramics) and gets the job done.  We budget for vacations, mission trips, grandbabies (!), etc.

The savings account from that budgeted savings money is about to get a huge workout ~ this is where the curveball comes in ~  over the holidays we had, what we considered some pretty major car repairs on 3 vehicles ~ water pump, brakes, wheel spindle thingie, alternator, 2 batteries ~ so Greg tells folks he got me an alternator and battery for Christmas.  To which I just have to tell them about his brand new water pump.

Last week, while in St. Louis, the day before we were heading back home, came the curveball that will stretch the budget ~ the transmission went out on my van.  It wasn't a slow death ~ it was a sudden, irreversible, non repairable hit.  In technical terms, that thing is TOAST.  It did stop short of just falling out of the car!

We had to rent a car to get home.  Greg is driving Wills car, so that I can have his car to get around.  It should be fixed sometime next week.  Then we have to get it back home.

Here are the options ~ Greg could fly up there, get the car and drive back, we could get a rental car & drive up there, turn it in and drive our van back, or we could drive Wills car up there, rent a tow dolly & tow it back home.  We are leaning toward the first option.  The cost for 1 plane ticket & the cost for a one way rental car are close to the same price and would knock off 8 hours of driving.

This situation also involves some thankfulness ~ I am thankful the transmission died where it did, in a populated area and not on the bridge going over the Mississippi in St. Louis or one of the long, desolate stretches of nothingness in Missouri or Arkansas.  I am thankful for the AAA guy coming to get the van (and Greg & Bryant) and taking it to a garage he uses.  I am thankful for the rental car that got us home.  I am thankful for a savings account that will pay for this repair and not leave us "robbing Peter to pay Paul"  to get the thing fixed.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sometimes You Have to Keep a Secret!

Sometimes you just have to keep a secret ~ which means....shhhhh, its a secret ~ so I never could post pictures of something I was working on ~ because it was a secret, a surprise, a gift!

I made our #1 grandson a cross stitch quilt, so I decided to make his little brother one also ~

Katie holding the gift ~ cross stitched front & hand quilted

adorable baby more concerned with his empty tummy than Grandma's picture!

And what will be made for Little Mac (my name for Jennifer & Allens baby) ~ haha, I can't tell, its a surprise!  And, I will need to wait

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Little Surprise

First comes LOVE

Then comes MARRIAGE

You know the next part......

A Little McDaniel will come around the middle of August!

We were told this joyous news on Dec. 28.....and then told not to make it public yet ~ I was about to bust!  We did tell all the family!  And the above "2 feet" message was on facebook today ~ so I knew my silence could end.
Greg and I are thrilled to add another grandchild to the family!  And are more than excited to welcome all the blessings the Lord sends to our family through all of our children. 
Last year we had 2 weddings ~
This year we get 2 grandbabies!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A New Little Love!

We have a new little love ~ grandson #2 was born yesterday! 

Thomas & Grandma!

My 2 little loves!

Grandpa & Thomas!

Art Time with big brother goodies

Katie, Thomas, Robert & Bryant

Robert loved the Bubbles we brought for him!

Mommy & Baby

We are so excited & thankful for the birth of this new little love!  And Auntie Amy might be just a tad excited about the predicted 2 inches of snow for tomorrow!  More playing tomorrow with our little loves!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

More Crafting!

Greg and I found some cool cigar boxes this weekend with hinged lids ~ always on the look out for fair projects I got one to decoupage and make a little sewing box for my side table in the living room.  It could cut down on the clutter but sometimes there are just too many projects going on for neatness (at least that's my excuse!)

My Decoupaged Sewing Box ~ which was a cigar box in its previous life
Inside of my new sewing cushion is stuffed with steel wool

Top inside of my sewing box ~ can't cover the picture...beside being gorgeous its also Honduran~

Greg made this cool Map of Mississippi from pallet wood

my new Minnie Mouse watch from Greg!

Cute tool erasers that we found at Dollar Tree that will be the perfect size for my little buddies AG dolls.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Amys AG doll modeling the new bathrobe I sewed

finished the heirloom bonnet ~ now I need a grand daughter

its official~ I don't like entradeaux!

front of our house minus the bushes!
I started making doll clothes again (to sell) and bathrobes was my first project.  I now have 5 done.  Next is jammies, gowns & sleeping bags.  I know I will sell at some craft shows and maybe online too.  If anyone is interested in anything ~ leave a comment!