Sunday, July 27, 2008

July Jam 2008

Every year at First Christian Church, the children's department puts on an event called July Jam. It's for children from 1-6 grade and the younger ones have a separate event at the same time, but they aren't mixed in with the older kids. Last year was my first year helping out and I had so much fun that I volunteered again this year. This year the them was Carnival. They had t-shirts for the kids and adult volunteers with the Carnival theme on them and had the entire sanctuary decorated to look like a carnival. July Jam runs from Tues-Thurs nights from 6-8:30 and then Friday night is the big event for the whole family. Christie, the head of the children's department is so incredibly gifted. I cannot believe the amount of detail that goes into putting on an event like this. Each evening starts out with prayer for all of the volunteers and there are snacks and bottled water since we don't really have time to eat dinner after work before we have to be at the church. Then, the kids register at the ticket booth and get their bracelet (color coded for each grade) and a name badge. Then as they enter the sanctuary there is an obstacle course and this year they had a huge screened in tent filled with balloons and fans blowing the balloons around. Inside the sanctuary were 3 huge hay rings. The 1st and 2nd grade girls and boys were in one ring, separated by each grade and gender. The 2nd ring had the 3rd and 4th graders and then the last ring had the 5th and 6th graders. I was helping out with the 4th grade girls. The evening starts out with crazy worship, complete with lots of yelling and jumping up and down. Then we had a couple of group games (the 1-3 graders and 4-6 graders are on separate "teams" and competing for points throughout the event). After the games the lesson is taught. The first night Debi the "bearded lady" taught and Mr. Bramble taught on the 2nd night and Ms. Christie taught on the last night. After the lesson the kids pick up their snacks (carnival food in a cute little carnival container) and head out for team time where each group and their leader go through a little book and go over the memory verse and discuss questions. Then half the kids go to play games and the other half go to make a craft and then about 30 minutes later they all switch and then go back to the sanctuary for closing prayer and to wait for their parents. Then on Friday night there was a big carnival with hot dogs, cotton candy, a train, lots of games and more crafts, face painting, a guy making balloon animals, a big game of dodge ball, and lots more. Jay and I worked in the ticket booth on Friday night and it's always fun for me on the last night because we get to serve together. Although I am completely exhausted, it is very much worth it. I always get more out than I give and I had so much fun bonding with the girls and seeing the wisdom in them in the wonderful questions they asked during team time. I am already looking forward to July Jam '09!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


We are remodeling the girl's bathroom. It is cosmetically in need of some changes, but there is also mildew staining the walls that we can not get rid of (even with bleach) and the tub is faulty and does not drain properly, so the porcelain is cracking on the bottom. Jay and I spent last Sunday about half the day today shopping for a tub, shower, toilet, sink, vanity, cabinet, mirror, faucets, tile for the floor, tile for the shower, towel racks, hardware, light fixtures, paint, is going to look beautiful when we're done, but I had quite a bit of sticker shock today. The main reason we're doing it is because not only do the girls need a nicer bathroom, but when we eventually sell the house, we would have to remodel the bathroom in order to put the house on the market. I would rather do it now and get to enjoy it for a while, rather than putting all of this money into it later and then turning around and selling the house right away. I will post pictures along the way, demolition begins on Monday! We're having our good friend Ron do the work and we have seen his work before and he's wonderful. I'm starting to get excited now that most of the shopping is done. The last thing will be shopping for the accessories and that is going to be lots of fun!
Here are the before pictures

Card for my Punkin

Chrissi is turning 9 on Monday (yes, 9, the little rascal). I made this card for her to send with her gift. I sure wish we could celebrate with her in person, but we will call her and we will be together in our hearts, as we always are. We love you sweetie!

Nancy's off the Market

Last Saturday, Jay and I went to Nancy and Brian's wedding. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for an outdoor wedding. They had both the wedding and the reception at the Stagecoach Inn Museum in Newbury Park. I didn't even know that they had facilities for weddings there. It was a great setting. Nancy & Brian did an amazing job with the planning (of course!) They had a rock and roll theme with red, white and black decorations. Brian was wearing a very cool zoot suit and the bridesmaids looked like pin-up girls.
Scott (brother) and Toni (mother of the bride)

Brian with his Parents (Bill & Sue)
Nancy looked radiant (of course) and completely glowed. She bought her dress off the rack, but had it customized and she looked stunning. She walked down the aisle with Doug (her father) and Berkeley (her daughter) and everyone gasped as they started coming toward Brian (who was welling up with tears).

Nancy's brother Scott was the officiant and he did a great job. Nancy and Brian both held it together very well and they presented Berkeley with a heart-shaped necklace and included her in the ceremony. She was beaming as well and just loves her new step father.

First dance
Me and my Pal

Staci & Dom
Scott, Willow and Alison (our first time meeting Willow, she is so precious)
Doug & Toni
You know these folks
Paul, JoAnna and Griffin (our first time meeting Griffin, he's a looker!)
They had personalized wine bottles, I thought they were so beautiful
These were the favors, they were little gazebos filled with candies

Nancy's Mom decorated the cake. We didn't get a piece but it was gorgeous!

And they will live happily ever after.....

The beginning

Sunday, July 20, 2008

BLT Dip with Poppy Seed Chips

This makes a great dip for parties and super bowl. I brought this to a girls' weekend and it was a huge hit!

Points Value: 3
Servings: 8

5 medium flour tortilla(s), 6 inch (I use the 99% fat free)
1 large egg white(s), lightly beaten
2 tsp poppy seeds
4 slices uncooked turkey bacon
3/4 c reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 c reduced-calorie mayonnaise
3 Tbl onion(s), sweet-variety, finely chopped
1 tsp apple cider vinegar, or distilled white vinegar
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
3/4 c tomato(es), fresh diced
1 Tbl tomato(es), fresh, diced, for garnish
1/2 c arugula, thinly shredded
1 Tbl arugula, thinly shredded, for garnish

To make chips, place oven rack in middle position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Brush one side of each tortilla with egg white and then sprinkle with poppy seeds. Using a pizza slicer or a knife, cut each tortilla into 8 wedges. Spread tortilla wedges onto prepared baking sheet. Bake on middle oven rack until slightly golden and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove chips to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, to make dip, cook turkey bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels and then tear or chop into small pieces; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, mayonnaise, onion, vinegar, salt and pepper until blended. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon for garnish. Add remaining bacon, 3/4 cup of tomato and 1/2 cup of arugula to sour cream mixture; stir until combined. Transfer to a serving bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 15 minutes for flavors to blend.

Garnish and server!a

Creative Organizing - Stamping/Scrapbooking Supplies

Ok, I can't take full credit for the creative part of my stamping & scrapbooking organization scheme. I found these wonderful storage bins at Costco (I love bins!) and finally was able to find a way to organize all of my supplies with room to grow! I don't have a craft room in my house, nor do I want to clutter a corner in the living room for me to do my stamping and scrapbooking, so I needed to be able to organize my supplies so that I can easily move them from the closet to the dining room table and for them to be stackable so that I don't take up the entire tabletop with supplies and leave no room for me to work. These bins work perfectly! I can store stamps in two bins (and even categorize my "loose" stamps in smaller bins), store my punches and other tools in another bin, keep all of my scissors together, inks together, and even have smaller compartments for buttons, brads, etc. I have been looking for months and months and was very excited to find these little gems.

I also made some new cards but I am going to wait to post them until I have given them away ;).

Monday, July 7, 2008

Baby Ashton

On Saturday I drove down to the Antar's and finally got to meet baby Ashton. Well, when I say I got to meet him, what I mean is that I got to hold him while I watched him sleep for several hours. He is definitely a good sleeper but boy is he cuddly and he sure smells good! He has his big brother's lips and is just as sweet as can be. Everyone is doing really well. Kim is recovering and getting her strength back and Ron is back at work and Aiden is adjusting beautifully to having a new baby brother at home. It was so good to see them and get an opportunity to visit and catch up. We got a couple of new outfits for Ashton as his welcome to the world gift and I just know he is going to look so handsome in them!

The littlest Antar

Aiden loving on his little brother

The card I made for baby Ashton

Our 4th

We had a really nice 4th of July. We had a fairly quiet morning and then in the afternoon we hopped on the Harley and took a nice ride out to Lompoc for a BBQ. Some friends of Jay's from work just moved off base into an adorable house (just 2 weeks ago!) and wanted to show everyone the new pad and celebrate having space for entertaining. There were probably about 15 of us and they had burgers and brats and all the fixins. It was pretty windy outside so after we ate we all congregated inside to visit and get some shelter from the wind. I forgot my camera at home (that's what happens when you ride the motorcycle) so I don't have any photos. We had a really nice afternoon though. Jay works with some really great people and I always enjoy getting together with them. We tried to watch fireworks in the evening but it was so overcast that we couldn't see a thing! We finally gave up at around 9:30 and headed home on the bike. It was a COLD ride home, but we took the short route instead of the scenic route so I wasn't a complete popsicle :).

Happy birthday America!!!


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