Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Birthday Time!

December is a fairly busy birthday month for my side of the family. Well, there's three, so not that many I guess.
But today I'm wanna write about the first two birthdays that, funny enough, fall on the same day. December 12th to be exact...Dia de la Virgin, if you're familiar with Mexico you'll know all about that. It is also my Mom's and my niece's birthday. And I dedicate this post to them :)

My niece Savannah turned 8 this month. She is such a fun girl, with a very sweet spirit. She's a wonderful sister to her three other siblings, and acts as Mommy #2 in the house from what I hear ;)  She's responsible and dependable. Not to mention she's ADORABLE! She likes to talk on the phone, but mostly listen to the person she's talking to. Savannah makes for a great helper. She's always willing to help out by getting something for you, or going shopping with you. Sometimes she acts quiet, but don't let that fool you, she's got her eyes open and knows what's going on everywhere! She's very observant! From what I remember she likes to be tickled by her Dad, as most of my sister's kids do ;) And she has a smile that brightens up a room! Happy Birthday Savannah! I can't wait to see you when we finally make it out to KY. :D

Mom and Rowan. Just after Rowan as born.

Also a Happy Birthday to my Mom! I know everyone says it, but I'm still going to say it 'cause it's true: My Mom is the Best Mom!
I don't even know where to start. Mom has always been my very best friend. When I was younger we lived in Mexico, and she took the time to home school me. Let me just say that she has some SERIOUS P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E.  Putting up with me is something that I know has made her qualified for heaven on it's own. When I was in high school I was having a hard time keeping up with my assignments and getting the work done, (okay I was a slacker) but I was also on the Yearbook Staff. Well, there was a mandatory day when we would be putting inserts into the yearbooks, and I also had assignments I HAD to do in order to graduate. Needless to say Mom came to the rescue. She has always been willing to help in any way, and since she couldn't do my assignments for me, she went to the high school and sat with a bunch of teenagers putting in yearbook inserts on a Saturday. I'm sure she had many better things to do that day, but she put it all aside for me. And that's just one of a ZILL-EE-UN examples.
Mom is a complete angel and everyone knows it. When my Uncle got sick many years ago she went with my Grandparents to a special hospital in Texas to help. And when my Grandparents needed a new place to live she offered our home and has taken care of them so diligently all these years. My Grandma ended up getting cancer and my Mom became her nurse and my Grandpa's helper. When Grandma passed away she gave a talk at her funeral saying that she could only hope to be like her one day, because my Grandma was a complete angel herself. All I could think was "You are. You are just like her!" She is my everyday angel.
After the funeral my Mom spent a lot of time keeping my Grandpa company, as well as being a Mother to us all, a wonderful wife, Grandma to her own grandkids, and always fulfilling a calling in our church. Not to mention working as a translator and interpreter. I'm not sure if my Mom knows how to just sit and relax because it seems like she's always working on something. Another thing she took upon herself is the Taylor Talk. It's a family newsletter for all of our extended family, that my Grandma started, but since she got sick my Mom has been doing it, and keeping track of everyone's birthdays...she also puts that on there. One day we were talking about how some of us don't read the family letters that are written in the Taylor Talk in Spanish and she said "Maybe I should translate them all." We all just smiled and said "Don't you have enough to do?" She is amazing.
From her I learned selflessness, compassion, service, hard work, leadership, love, and so many other great qualities. If I am just the least bit like her as a mother, friend, daughter, neighbor, sister, aunt, or grandmother (eventually), then I will be able to die happy. Happy Birthday Mom, you're my hero.

~Love, Crystal

Monday, December 14, 2009

My New Ruffle Necklace

My first project with my sewing machine was an easy one, but I loved it!
A ruffle necklace! They're the latest rage all over blogland, and I wanted to try one. I used a tutorial from Happy Together.

I had some fabric I found that I bought on sale last year, It's like a brown/golden organza.  Very cute!
Cut a piece that is 20x3 inches. My edges weren't perfectly straight, but I didn't care 'cause once it was ruffled no one would be able to tell.

Fold it in half and sew a seam with a long stitch, and leave lots of excess string on both ends. The seam should leave a pocket just big enough for your chain to go through. Actually I pulled my chain through with a safety pin, so big enough for that, if you're going to use one.

Then grab one of the long strings from the end of the fabric and start scrunching the fabric down to ruffle it.
Pull a necklace chain through the pocket and there's a fancy new necklace! Since mine was made of organza I used the burn method to singe the edges to keep them from fraying. Here's the result:

I don't really like taking pictures of myself...but there you go. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Really Easy Recipes #1 - Easiest Taco Soup

I don't like to cook. I just don't. But I LOVE FOOD...see my dilemma.
Funny enough I love baking, but I don't like cooking. SO, in order for us to eat I use really (and I mean REALLY) easy recipes...and my husband cooks 1/2 the time too. I thought I'd share them with you 'cause it seems that when I'm with my girlfriends we're always talking about them, but we never write them down, so this way you can just refer to this blog and have an easy recipe on hand. Oh, and did I mention delicious? Yes, no worries there. They are delicious!

Here is one of my very favorite easy recipes and probably the easiest one I have:

Taco Soup

1 Can Corn
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
2 Cans Chili Beans
1/2 A packet of Taco Seasoning
Chili Powder
Garlic Salt

Dump in canned ingredients, stir in taco seasoning, and add chili powder and garlic salt to taste. Bring to a boil and you're done!

 I was going to put a really nice picture of the soup in my bowl topped with cheese and sour cream, but I forgot 'cause I was too hungry and I ate it...oops ;)

Optional toppings:
Sour Cream

You can add whatever you want, get creative!

I like to use Bush's Chili Beans in mild sauce, you can use any chili beans, but I like these best. And I'm not a fan of chili in a can (with the meat), IDK, something about canned meat doesn't seem right to me, but it's up to you. You can use it with the meat, or brown some meat and add it yourself. And I realized that it's super low in calories (depending on how much of the toppings you use). But it's so delicious! Try it and let me know how it goes :D