Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Completed Projects :)

Almost every year, since Mark was in high school, several members of Mark's family and another family from church, along with other family and individuals depending on the year, travel up to Boyne Highlands in northern Michigan for a weekend of skiing and fun. I've had the pleasure of joining in on this awesome weekend now four times. This year being the second year in a row! With us living in Goshen now, and thus the trip easier to manage than when we were in Kansas, Mark and I both hope to continue the family tradition for our boys to grow up in. Last weekend was our Boyne trip. And prior to this trip I had a long list of things I wanted to complete. Really I was very proud of myself. In the two weeks leading up to the trip I got most of what I wanted to do accomplished. And I have to say I'm very pleased with all my efforts. 

Christmas 2009 my creative sister-in-law Rachel gave the boys a felt puppet theater and two felt puppets. She had seen a puppet theater held up by a tension rod in a store and thought "I could do that." We have enjoyed the theater, and enjoy the puppets even more.
Christmas 2009 

This last Christmas (2011) Rachel gave Cai two more puppets, an owl and a dragon, to go along with our frog and bear.
Christmas 2011

 Also this Christmas, Ian was giving The Frog and Toad Treasury. If you have never read Frog and Toad and have small kids you should. They are fun. Both Cai and Ian love the stories. So realizing that we have a frog puppet, I thought wouldn't it be great to have a toad puppet and then they could act out the stories from the books. So I set to work making them a toad puppet.
Toad front and back

 Being that my nephew also loves Frog and Toad, I made him a set as well.
set for Josiah

 Since I was making puppets I made a cat for Aiden cause he loves cats right now
after detailed glued on

. And a tree. Now this once might seem weird, but trust me there is a reason. Ever since Cai got the owl at Christmas the boys have used this puppet only with an odd green one (I think it looks like a green gingerbread man) and sing Owl in the Tree, a song they learned at the library storytime. Watching them I decided that maybe a tree would be fun for them.
owl in the tree says "hoo hoo hoo"

 All three new puppets were met with squeals of joy.
one of the boys took this

And I learned some thing in the process. Most importantly, if you use hot glue to attach any detail pieces, glut them on after you sew the puppet pieces together. You can not machine sew through hot glue. My poor cat puppet had to be hand sewed because I had already hot glued the stripes on. Still it seems to be holding together.

The next thing I wanted to complete before our Boyne trip was a car road made out of old jeans. Rachel had told me about this when I was telling her about all the old jeans I had. When she asked if she could have some, I told her I would be glad to make it. Rach had seen the idea on pinterest.
all our road pieces

 Of course it should be noted that I didn't finish it until the night before we left. Oh well, it was made and the boys all enjoyed it.

 I had meant for it to go home with Rach, but it ended up in our bag. I'll give it to her sometime this week. Since the boys were giving an awesome road area rug from their grandparents for Christmas we don't need the road pieces.

In addition to some new toys, I made several new snacks for our trip. Since Cai can't have peanut butter, I tried soy nut butter in puppy chow. It turned out really good. Sunflower butter (our normal peanut butter substitute) just isn't the same and can sometimes just make a recipe taste odd. But the soy nut butter worked great, no oddness at all.  I made strawberry fudge from a link my mother shared with me. Two ingredients- strawberry icing and white chocolate chips. It turned out ok, really sweet and soft. Not something I would make very often to be sure.

 The snack I'm most excited/proud about was the gluten free goldfish crackers I made.

My sister-in-law Andrea sent me the link to this recipe. I used my own flour mix in place of Bob's Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour. I also added a teaspoon of xanthan gum. The original recipe come from Chef Chloe. I didn't have a goldfish cutter. But when I was talking to Rachel she said something about using old aluminum pop cans. So that's what I used. I cut a strip out of an old coca-cola can, folded over the top edge so it wouldn't be sharp when I pressed down on it, and shaped it into a fish, Then I used scotch tape to tape it together. Simple.

 The downside to this type of cutter is that after only a few uses it would bend out of shape and I would have to reshape it.
Other than that it worked great.  Next time I make these I will add less onion powder and maybe less nutritional yeast. The flavor, while great for me, was alittle much for the kids.

one of the boys took this

The last completed project I want to share is this. I finished my sweater! Yes, the sweater I started last year. Here is the blog where I shared my goal of finishing within the year.  I'm alittle late, but not much. And mostly I'm just so excited to finish it. I don't have a picture of it completed yet. I'll try and take one soon. Next up is socks. We'll see how quickly I get a pair done. I haven't started yet. Spent most of my time up at Boyne reading when I wasn't skiing, playing with kids or playing games with everyone else.
Well that's it. I realize this isn't an update on our family or the kids. But that's what you get today. Boyne and skiing update to come soon. Any fun projects you've completed lately??

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