Mrs. Home Maker

Being a stay at home mom has been such a blessing! Aside from spending oodles of time with our little girl, I've finally been able to do all those fun "domesticated" tasks I've always wanted to try. Today, I'm making a big batch of Orange Marmalade. With a limited income, I'm making most of my gifts this year. I always like to give something to my girlfriends, aunts, grandmas, and other important ladies in my life. I think gifts that are made are so special. I'm sure I'll have to make about 3-4 batches.

I'll post pics later this week.

I've also taken on the huge task of Christmas Cookie baking. I HATE to bake. I'm trying to overcome this by baking and baking and baking, till I can't bake no more. Jeff is happy, but only until I slap his hand away from swiping all the goodies. I'm making all these danged cookies for our xmas parties, sheesh.

I love this little life of mine!



the Ketchup Man

My heart is sad today. Yesterday, while talking to my dad, I learned my Grandpa Norman passed away. He died a little over a month ago, and I just found out. My poor dad. He thought I already knew. He and my uncle went to visit my Grandma a few weeks back and he was telling me about the visit. I asked how Grandpa was doing and my dad paused then said "he died." I was shocked. I said "WHAT?" and he said well, he died. You didn't know?

No, I didn't know. But that's not too shocking. My dad's side of the family is funny like that. My Grandpa's health was getting worse and worse, and he was pretty miserable from a horrible skin infection he had. He itched and itched and itched all the time. I'm sad he's gone, but I realize it's probably for the best. It's also a relief to my Grandma Pat. Her health was starting to suffer from trying to care for my Grandpa. He spent his final two weeks of life at a nursting home.

What make me incrediably sad is this...

He never met Gwendalyn. Never even saw a picture. I'm not sure if he even knew her name, or that I had had a little girl. I will carry this regret forever. I had plenty of time to bring Gwen up for an introduction. I could have easily send a letter with some pictures. I didn't even send the birth announcements I made. I had one addressed to them, but was short a stamp. I set it aside, then it got lost in the shuffle when we moved. I had intended to mail it after I found it in early September, but I just figured I would bring it up when I went to visit. Again, intentions are nice, but...well, it's not enough. I meant to go up for a visit in late September, but hadn't gotten around to it. It would have been too late. He passed away on September 19th. If I had mailed the announcement when I found it, it would have arrived a day or two before he passed. I don't know if he would have been capable of understanding what he was looking at, but at least he would have seen a picture of Gwen, known her name. My heart hurts so much.

I'm trying to hold onto my memories, and tell myself that he is with us know, watching over Gwen and enjoying all the funny little things she does and learns each day.

When I was a kid, I always thought it was funny (and icky) that my Grandpa put ketchup on EVERYTHING! The one that really grossed me out was eggs. I almost couldn't sit at the table when he did that. I really don't like ketchup, never have, and I wonder if that's why. That makes me laugh. He loved me so much. It was no secret, I was his favorite. He was very protective of me when I came to visit. One time he walked down to the park which is along Lake Superior, about six blocks from the house to make sure I was ok. At the time I thought it was annoying. I was probably 13 and figured I was old enough to take care of myself. Now, I understand it was because he needed to make sure I was safe.

He always listened to WCCO radio. I remember hearing the chimes when they would break to do the news. To this day, I think of him when I hear that chime.

I also remember a time we went to Duluth to do some shopping, just me, Grandma Pat and Grandpa Norman. On the way home, we took old 61 and stopped at The Scenic Cafe. He ordered a frankfurter. I cracked up. Who calls a hot dog a frankfurter, and what grown up eats a hot dog for lunch?

He had a wonderful big smile, a booming deep voice, and a great heart. I will miss my Grandpa very much.


Norman Johnson, 81, of Two Harbors, passed away Sept. 19, 2010, in Sunrise Nursing Home in Two Harbors.

He was born Dec. 29, 1928, in Two Harbors to Mary and Ben Johnson.

Norman was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Elwood and Chester; and sisters Edith and Helen.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Patricia.

No services held, per Norman's request.



My lil punkin

Just a quick pic of Gweny at the pumpkin patch down by the cabin...



Creating a monster

What do you do with a little girl at a football party that says over and over "I'm BORED."

Unleash her in your craft room!

Yesterday we had the crew over to watch football and munch on some grub. Gracie was instantly bored. So, to please her, I decided to give her and Kiley each a craft project. I let them pick out a Thingamabobs and Doodads kit and gave them a premade paperbag mini album (thank you Crystal for having some already made and bound in our stash!).

Grace chose a Halloween theme and Kiley choose a girly theme. They were entertained for hours. I let them use stamps, ink, paper punches, fun scissors, and access to lot's of paper. I think Grace's favorite part were the paper punches. I can't tell you how many circles, flowers, and butterflies that kid punched out. She was having a ball. I think I may have created a monster, because Katy said, "well, I know where to drop you off from now on." Eh, what? Nah, Gracie is welcome anytime to come craft with me.

We also (yes all of us gals) worked on Kiley's VIP project for school. I even got Katy to do some craftin. I kept joking how happy I was (which I REALLY REALLY WAS) and said "hmmm....if you build it, they will come." HA!!!

I love my craft room.



Just how far?

I have AAA so I figure, what the heck, why not push it....

hope I can make it to the gas station tomorrow!




Four hours, Three test products, and $39.95 later.....

That's what it took to recover a few hundred photos from an SD card I had cleared and deleted. UGH! I downloaded all my photo's from one of my 4GB cards this past weekend and when I loaded my editing software I discovered that I was missing the pictures I wanted to edit. I hadn't realized how many pictures I was missing until I was able to perform a recovery scan today. I will NEVER EVER EVER delete photos from an SD card again until I have verified they made it to my PC. What a nightmare! I was near tears this afternoon once I was able to see the pictures I had lost. Not only the ones I really wanted, which are of Gweny in her Sioux gear, but photos of before and after in the new house, carpet install, general everyday Gweny pics, canning pickles with Mom and Crystal, and a few rare photos of me, my brother, our kids and my mom. I am so happy I was able to recover them.

Here's an example of what was lost....

I know...awwww....see why I was so upset!

But all is restored in the Anderson Kingdom.



Gweny's Room

This week I'm trying to finish up Gweny's room and maybe, just maybe, put her crib together. (poor kid)

Here's a project I made for her room. I hope someday my little girl finds as much enjoyment in art as I do.




Blog Heaven!

Must do morning task...blogging! That includes writing for two blogs (this-a-one and T&D), catch up on my favorites, and hunting for new ones.

This morning brought me a fun little surprise. I bopped over to The Girl Creative and found a post about a blog parade. A WHAT??? How fun! I'm excited to see how this parade works. If it is as neat as I expect, I'm hoping I can find a way to get T&D involved in one someday. After all, everyone loves a PARADE!!!

Want to check it out?

Here ya go...

Creative Chick Parade



time to enjoy

Over Labor Day Weekend, we spent time in Buffalo City with my family at our cabin. When I walked into my Grandparents home, sitting on the counter was this huge machine. When I examined closer, I found it to be a cappuccino machine! "Cool Gram! You got a fancy coffee machine!" She laughed and said yep, and it comes with a lot of directions. I started examining the lengthy document explaining how to use the machine. My Gram said they were actually giving it to us as a housewarming gift. SCORE!!! I gladly accepted. My Grandpa was happy because he wanted the corner portion of his kitchen counter back.

So, home came the DeLonghi Magnifica machine. And it is very MAGNIFICA! I am enjoying a lovely cup of cappuccino as I type. Sipping my fancy coffee, writing, and watching my daughter take a nap...I love having time to enjoy life!




With my new "job" comes some rules I've set for myself.

1) No sleeping in. Up by 8:00
2) Make hubby breakfast whenever possible
3) Post to at least one of my blogs each day
4) Keep caught up on housework and laundry
5) Bathe (LOL!)
6) Out of jammies by 10:00
7) Gwen out of jammies by noon
8) One nap for Gweny in her crib around noon
9) Work on Zip Zap at least 1-2 hours per day
10) Work on T&D at least 1-2 hours per day

I'm sure I'll come up with more, but so far these seem pretty good to me. Ofcourse it's 12:31 and I'm still in jammies, but I blame the Comcast guy. I know the minute I jump in the shower..."ding dong".



The next chapter

Somebody pinch me! I can't believe I get to write these words....

my new occupation: Stay at Home Mom...say it with me folks...STAY AT HOME MOM!!!

We are so blessed that we are able to make this work (well, at least here's hoping).

I feel such a tremendous weight off my shoulders today. I was so scared to go back to work. I have loved every minute of being home on maternity leave and I was having a very hard time imagining being away from Gweny and Jeff (and Frankie too.) Now I get to do what I love; raise my amazing daughter, love up my puppy, and create a happy and warm home for my wonderful husband to come home to every day.

I'm also excited to devote more time to my hobbies. I've already worked on T&D's blog today. I hadn't realized how much I missed blog writing until today. I'm also going to spend time working on Terese's bridal shower and wedding design, along with getting Zip Zap's office up and running. (more on Zip Zap Remodeling and Restoration to come...) 

my new boss!



Back to what I love....

Designing and creating!

I am incrediably sad that my maternity leave is coming to an end. I'm finally able to find time to work on long over due projects, and it's time to go back to reality...boo!

Here's what I worked on today:

Very special wedding invitations for my sister-in-law. Her impending nuptuals is coming fast (November 2010) and it's about time I finished up her invites. There is still some minor tweaking to do, but so far I am very pleased!

Her theme is Rustic Vintage.

I came across a similar invite design on the web, and after Terry's blessing, I set to work creating my own version. After all my work was done digitally, I played around with a little bit of distressing on the edges with ink. I love it! I think she will too.



A moment to breath

We're finally moved into our new home. Not entirely unpacked, but definetly in a livable situation. We absolutely love it! This house is slowly becoming our home.

With much of the large projects out of the way, I've found time to breath. I've also found a few moments to browse a few of my favorite blogs. One nice thing about being out of touch for over a month, there's lot's to catch up on! I found so many inspiring posts. I especially was interested in some of the photography posts I found. I finally found time to play around with my Nikon and had fun taking photo's of Gwen. I'm determined to learn more about my camera and how to use the many neat functions.

I also found some very cool creative projects to try out. I'm dying to get my office/craft room completed and unpacked so I can start working again. I miss scrapbooking. I saw a friend on Tuesday that I crop with and just laughing and being around her made me really miss scrapbooking. I also can't wait for my next scrapbooking retreat. I need to start Gwen's books otherwise next thing I know...she'll be two!



color color color

Have you ever had to pick out colors for every room in a house? It's daunting to say the least. But, that is my newest task. We need to pick colors for our FABULOUS NEW HOUSE!!!

We finally closed on our new home today. It was touch and go for a while, but thankfully it all came together.

I can't believe this day has finally come. I couldn't believe it until Jeff had the keys in his hand. I stayed home and he went to the closing. It was scheduled for 9AM. I waited until 10AM before I started staring at the clock. I was willing the phone to ring and when it finally did, I was afraid to answer it. When Jeff said "it's done." I had to make sure he meant the keys were in hand and not the deal was done, as in dead. So I said "you have the keys?" he said "wrapped around my finger." Then I cried. :)

After hanging up with Jeff, and crying again, I pulled myself together and Frankie and I celebrated with a little dance around the living room and a chewy stick for her. Gweny was sleeping, so we'll celebrate together later. HA!

So, here I am...a whole pile of paint swatches. Wish me luck!

taken when Gwen was 1 week old, during our inspection

my retreat! Can't wait!



I ain't scurred...

On July 4th, I enjoyed the Forest Lake carnival with a few gal pals. Katy and I couldn't wait to get on the Scrambler. We love to share the experience of rides. Last time we were at a carnival, we gave the Tilt-O-Whirl a whirl (ha ha...see what I did there? I used the name of the ride in my...ah nevermind).

Unlike last time we had a questionable carnival ride adventure, this time we had a camera and photographer ready. YIKES!

I know when I'm 60, I'll look back fondly on these memories.



The building of the bump

Thought it would be fun to see my belly progression in one post...

23 Weeks

27 Weeks

30 Weeks

33 Weeks

36 Weeks

40 Weeks



Sticky Bliss

These are the best sticky buns I have ever had! Oh, and they are dangerous!

find the recipe here