Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hot Cross Quilt

So I took a break from the larger quilt I'm working on (mainly because I ran out of fabric and didn't have enough money in my budget to get more fabric this month) and finished a smaller quilt that I had been wanting to try for a while.

This is a 30 inch square quilt and I really liked how intentionally scrappy it looks. I also love the way the blues and whites played off each other.

The pattern is called "Hot Cross Schnibbles Charm Pack" and is intended to be used with what's called Charm Packs (prepackaged 5inch fabric squares). I couldn't find any charm packs I liked so I just collected a bunch of blue and white fabric and cut them into 5 inch squares which are the size of the squares in the charm packs and used those.

I loved how fast this quilt came together and I'll probably keep this pattern around for a while.

The other fun part was I ran across an easy way to do quilt binding. It was so much easier than what I had been doing and it looks much nicer. You can find the instructions on how to do this easy binding here:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things

A few weekends ago while watching a 4 year old and an 8 year old, the following conversation ensued while driving past a church.

4 year old: "Look, look! There's a turch!"
8 year old: "Why do you keep saying turch!!! That's not how your say it. It's a church not a turch!!!"
4 year old attempting to repeat her brother: "Turch"
8 year old: "No, chuurrch. A "tuuurrrch" is something totally different."
My confused husband in the passenger seat turns and asks: "Wait a second, what do you mean a turch is something different? What's a turch?"
8 year old rolling his eyes: "It's a stick with fire at the end silly. Everyone knows that."

Ahhh...if only churches really were torches. That would solve so many problems or at least explain a lot of things.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Have You Ever Googled...

The other day I was amazed at what you can find on Google. For example, in a recent conversation the topic of belly button lint came up. More specifically why some people have more belly button lint than others.

We were stumped so we googled "why do some people have more belly button lint than others?" And since I'm sure all of you have been wondering the same thing but have been to embarrassed to ask, here's what we found: All You Ever Wanted To Know About Belly Button Lint:

What's sadder to me is that not only did Google turn up some great answers...but there's actually been scientific studies done on belly button lint.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Recipe of the Month: Mandarin Orange Salad

I have vivid memories of eating this at Easter when Grandma H. would make it. She would make a dressing with it but I usually don't because the oranges mix with the caramelized almonds and make a kind of dressing on their own:

1 bag of baby spinach
1 can (16 oz) of mandarin oranges drained
1/4 cup caramelized almonds (to caramelize almonds, heat up 2 Tablespoons of sugar and a Table spoon of water with the almonds and stir until the almonds are coated with sugar and the sugar turns to a caramel color. Make sure to watch the almonds as they burn easily.)

Mix all together right before you eat.

If you want to try the dressing it's (but I think it's better and lighter without):
1/2 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 c. salad oil
Few dashes Tabasco sauce
Dash Pepper

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Christian Seder Meal

In college I was introduced to a Christian version of the Seder meal. We don't do this every year, but I've found it informative to how I view the Last Supper.
I recently found a newer version of a Christian Seder meal online that I actually think is pretty good. You can probably adapt it to make it longer or shorter depending on what your need is. But if you have the chance, it's worth gathering some friends together and giving it a try next week:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Total Money Makeover

Our church recently started a group that is going through Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover". Now that we have the student loans paid off, it seemed like a good idea to spend some time focused on money and what our next steps are. So we decided to see what Dave Ramsey is all about.

Dave basically has seven steps that he encourages people to take: 1) Build a $1000 emergency fund, 2) Pay off all debts, 3) build 3-6 months worth of savings for if you lose your job, 4)start building retirement fund, 5) college fund for kids, 6) pay off house, 7) build wealth and give.

It was encouraging that somehow we had started doing the first 3 steps on our own without any of Dave's advice. It just seemed like regular common sense. In fact, that's one thing I've found pretty funny about Dave's books and advice: pure common sense. Dave keeps saying that what he says is advice "your grandma would give". The only difference I've found between him and my grandma is that Dave managed to market the advice and make money off it. I need to figure out a way to market common sense advice like that....hmmm....

His other big thing is creating a budget and then sticking to it. That's still one thing I'm so grateful that we started doing from the beginning of our marriage. So for all you soon to be married people out there...make a budget from the beginning!!! You'll be grateful after 3 or 4 months. So right now we're re-viewing our budget and trying to get a better handle on our problematic "miscellaneous" category. For some reason that category has a mind of it's own.

We need to get a better handle on our Grocery budget too. One woman in the group said that she actually takes a calculator to the grocery store and adds things up as she goes through the store. As silly as that sounds, I might actually give that one a try.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Vulcan High Court Wedding

While watching the new Star Trek movie the other day, we came to the scene when Spock was at the Vulcan High court and declined an offer to study at the Vulcan Academy when Matt says, "Hey, isn't that where Garrett got married?"

To which I thought, "What? We were just at the Vulcan High Court and didn't know it?"

The back story is that we were recently down in Arkansas at Thorncrown Chapel ( for a friends wedding and it was probably one of the most unique chapels architecturally I've ever been in. Very ethereal and open. When we were there, both of us commented that it looked like something out of Rivendale from Lord of the Rings.

We did some research and it turns out that the Vulcan Academy was actually filmed in a chapel in California. So we weren't really at the Vulcan High Academy. Sad. But the California chapel was designed by the same guy (Fay Jones) so it has very similar architecture. So it was kind of like we were at the Vulcan Academy. Kind of cool.

So in the end, it made for a night of interesting Internet research and we've come to the conclusion that Vuclans are actually related to elves.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Interview with David and Anne Grizzle

One of the random things I get to do for my job is interview various InterVarsity alumni. This past month I got to interview David and Anne Grizzle. David is currently the chief counsel for the Federal Aviation Administration and he used to be the senior vice president of Continental Airlines. Anne currently is an InterVarsity board member and is a family therapist.

They were fun to interview and do a story about mainly because of how open they were about their relationship with each other and about their faith in Christ. I particularly enjoyed the advice they gave about marriage towards the end of the interview.

You can read the full interview at: