Monday, May 31, 2010

First Place Raspberry Riot Pie

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We've just returned from a really fun Memorial Day picnic.
The food was amazing and there was so much of it!  The kids had a massive 3-hour-long water fight while the parents all chilled.  (Guy can check that one off of his list of Summertime Fun activities.)

I entered this Raspberry dessert in the Pie bake-off and received First place!
Yay!  To be fair, it was 95 degrees, so anything frozen and fruity was bound to win!
But it is also an awesome recipe.  
My mom made it for us a lot growing up, 
but I had never made it, so I called her up this week to get the recipe.

She calls it Ritz Raspberry Dessert.
I call it Raspberry Riot Pie.
You will call it Delicious!

3 egg whites
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup of sugar
14 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
2/3 cup nuts, chopped (I used unsalted peanuts, mmm!)
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 package frozen raspberries
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
8 oz package of whipped topping

Beat egg whites and add baking powder.  Beat until stiff.
Gradually add sugar and vanilla.  Fold in crackers and nuts.
Place in a well-greased 10" pie-pan or spread on a greased pizza pan.
Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  Do no overcook.  Let cool completely.
Mix the frozen raspberry until fairly smooth using an electric mixer.
Add in egg whites, lemon juice, and sugar.
Fold in the cool whip.  Spread over crust and freeze.
You can also make a second layer of the crust to crumble over top of the pie.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why We Serve

I received this beautiful letter from my friend Cherry today.
Her words were so heartfelt about the service that we are doing here in Service Boot Camp, and I wanted to share them with all of you.

Service Boot Camp is made up of women of all different faiths and walks of life.
Each of us has our own reasons for making these journals for The Write It Out Project, our own motivations for serving others. Our common motivation is love.

Like Cherry, my motivation for serving is my love for the Savior, who set the example of service for us all to follow. I was specifically drawn to this project, because the death of a serviceman has also deeply affected my family for generations now.

My Grandma Gladys was a military widow. She was a strong woman. Her life was difficult. My grandfather Henry (pictured above) died when my mother Susan (the baby on the left) was just four months old. Luckily my grandma's family reached out and took care of them. The love that they showed and continue to show for my Mom and my family is amazing. I don't know what my family would be like, without the love and service that was shown to them by these friends and extended family members.

I wish I knew my Grandfather Henry Czekala. I have spent a great deal of time searching out his relatives and asking for their help in piecing together a story about his life and personality. By making journals for other military widows, I hope to at least lighten the load for other women who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. Hopefully they will each feel the love that was put into making these journals and internalize that love.

Love expressed can work miracles in the lives of others. Today, my mother and father are celebrating 38 years of wedded bliss. They are the happiest couple I have ever met. Also, my sister is expecting her first child...a boy...they will name him Henry.

To date we have 150 journals pledged to The Write It Out Project!

I originally set a goal of 50 journals, so you have all exceeded my expectations!

Awesome job!

Here are some journals that my friend Deb and her sewing group made over the weekend.

And these are some journals that my Mom made using fabric she used to make curtains from her own house! (I am told not THE curtains, but fabric left over!)
I think this is such a meaningful take something that brought joy to your own home and use it to comfort others. It makes me so happy seeing these familiar curtains used in this way.

And look! She added bookmarks!! They are actually sewn into the journal cover!
Great job, Mom!

Well, I hope that everyone has a safe and Happy Memorial Day!
Please remember to update me about the number of journals you complete by Monday.

The winners of our Service Boot Camp Giveaway will be announced on Tuesday, June 1st!

(Remember, you can still enter, even if you don't sew, by donation $5 to The Write It Out Project...simply click "donate" on the left side of their site. Please let me know if you do this so you can be entered in the Giveaway!)

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Guy's Summertime Fun List

Yesterday, my son needed a project (a.k.a. I needed to get something done, like cook dinner), so I asked him to write me a list of fun things he wanted to do this summer.

Here is his list.

Now, keep in mind, he is only four. I have taught him 60 of the 100 lessons in "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons". So he knows most letter sounds, but it's been six months since our last lesson.

Can you see what's on his list?
If you read it phonetically and think like a four-year-old boy, you should be able to figure out quite a few of them.

I think I'll give a prize to the person who can correctly guess the most items on his list.

(One of these awesome "pom-pom" pens that I found in the Target $1 isle, maybe?)

So, what's on your Summertime Fun List?

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More Beautiful Journals!


(Journals by Montserrat at Chocolate On My Cranium)

(...and this one by Elizabeth at Twelve Crafts till Christmas)

The awesome journals just keep coming!

Remember: Every single journal will mean something special to the recipient.
So don't wimp out just because you think that your contribution is too small or won't matter.
You matter.
You make a big difference in the lives of others!

Carry on Boot Campers...You've still got time to finish up your journals before Monday!

PS - To answer Melody's question about who Guy gets his left-handedness from, me or hubby...Well, neither of us is a lefty...Guy gets it from his paternal grandfather.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bandanna Shirt: No Sewing Required!

I took a small break from sewing journals for Service Boot Camp this afternoon to make these special no-sew bandanna shirts for my little G.I. Joe and G.I. Janes!

Here's how you make these No-Sew Bandanna Shirts.

(2) 20 inch bandannas per shirt
fabric scissors


Lay out two bandannas with wrong sides together.
Begin by cutting 2 1/2 inch squares out of the top right and left sides. (Cut through both layers.)
Discard the cuttings. Measure your child's neck area to determine how long your neckline should be. Next cut 2 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch strips (maybe 5 or so) and "scoop the neck" to the desired neckline length and depth. See picture below.

Leaving enough space for a sleeve, begin cutting 2 1/2 inch deep strips (3/4 wide) all the way down the length of the garment.

Proceed to double-knot the two pieces together, careful not to inadvertently miss a strip.

When you are finished, you should have something like this!

PS - My son complained that his shirt was itchy, but after I wash it, I don't expect that to be a problem! Just a heads up...

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Keep Going, going, going!

(Check out these journals by Misty at Creative Itch!)


I saw a lot of cute ideas on her site that I'd like to try...
I wonder if my kids will let me finish my last five journals today?

Need to finish up, so I can start officially tallying up all of your ENTRIES!

(Thanks to everyone for letting me know where to find that fabric yesterday!
You are all so helpful and in the know! Thank you!)

Continue reading... »

Sunday, May 23, 2010

One Week Until the Big Giveaway!

(These Journals by Kim at Good Muse. Nice job, Kim!)

There's just one week until the big Service Boot Camp Giveaway!
And I can hardly wait...sure wish I could win any one of the fabulous prizes...There are 20 prizes total~! (You guys are so lucky!!!)
Anywho, I need to get sewing. I've got five more journals to make.

Please remember to report back to me when your journals are finished.
Email me at to find out where to mail your journals!
Have a great week, everyone!

(PS - I'm on the hunt for some of the cool peace sign fabric used in the last prize on our list...If you know where to find it, please let me know!)

Peace, Man Shopping Bag

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's Our Anniversary!

We are celebrating our 6th Wedding Anniversary today!

The kids are calling it "our family birthday".

So, we are having a family birthday party today...beginning with waffles.

Guy created this family portrait for our special day.

(In the portrait from left to right: Jocelyn, Steve, Guy, Scarlett, and Autumn)
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Friday, May 21, 2010

125 Journals for The Write It Out Project

(Journals by Heidi)

We are now up to 125 Journals for the Write It Out Project!

Have a great weekend everyone!

(Sew, sew, sew!)
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

100 Journals for The Write It Out Project

We now have 100 journals pledged for the Write It Out Project!

Nice job, everyone!

Memorial Day is our goal to finish them all...and June 1st I will announce the winners of our Giveaway! Email me at, and I will tell you where to mail your journals.

(Thanks Monica for sharing this picture of your patriotic journals with us!)

I have another great development to share with you:

We received a very generous donation from Old Trail Fabric yesterday --enough fabric to make 100 more journals. My friend Marie has decided that when she is finished sewing for The Write It Out Project, she will start a similar project here locally for various great causes. So the donated fabric will be used to help people locally as well. Isn't it great how the good works of others multiplies and inspires more good?

Thank you, Old Trail Fabric!

To shop Old Trail Fabric online: Just Click Here.
You can also visit them at 3314 Old Trail (behind Aldi's) in Shamokin Dam.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Service Boot Camp: Show Me Your Stuff!

Here is a journal that my friend Cindy made for The Write It Out her choice of material. I'd love to see and showcase more of your finished journals. Drop me a line with a link so I can highlight your work.

We are up to 83 journals currently being made for the project.

100 is just around the corner...will you help me recruit more service boot campers?

Here is fellow Boot Camper Cindy working at her dining room table.
The Internet is amazing, isn't it?
To think of all of the good that we can do together, yet separately, in our own little homes.
It's wonderful.

I feel like saying, Cindy, please pass me the scissors!

(Now I feel like saying, Romper, stomper, bomper, boo!)

Also, in my highly-medicated haze yesterday (I have a pretty bad cold), I fell for a lame email phishing scam. If you happen to receive an email from "me" with an offer that is too good to be true...It is. Just delete!

Now what was I just saying about how awesome the WWW is???
So. Lame.

Oh, here are a few more finished journals:

I'm liking the batik fabric
by my friend Jenn.
She's majorly busy and still made time to sew for this great project!

And then there's my girl Marie,
who has made like a ton of these journals!
I was at her house last night, in fact, helping (a tiny bit)...tissues in hand.

Continue reading... »

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Three Cheers for the Three-Year-Old!!!

Happy Birthday to my sweet & spicy Scarlett!

We'll be making more of these balloon flip-flops with friends later today.

All you do to make them is double-knot water balloons to the "thong" of your flip-flops.

Hop on over to the Dollar Store, and you can make these for about $2 a pair!

Keep up the good work on the service project journals/GIVEAWAY.

We are now up to 71 journals for The Write It Out Project!


Continue reading... »

Monday, May 17, 2010

You Don't Sew? You Can Still Help!

Here is a bit of an update/progress report on how things are going at Service Boot Camp:

1. I did a guest post over at Or so she says hop on over there and show some comment love for The Write It Out Project, if you get a second!

2. Now you "non-sewers" can get in on the action (and earn Giveaway Entries too) by simply donating to help cover the cost of shipping journals to the women who will use them. Just see the updated details on the Giveaway Entry post if you are interested in giving in this way.

3. We now have 20 awesome PRIZES in our Giveaway...We added a few more over the check 'em out!

4. We now have 44 journals pledged toward our original goal of 50!!! Hopefully we will surpass that goal, because there is a great need for these journals

5. Thank you to all of you Boot Campers who did a blog post about the Write It Out Project over the weekend! XOXO!

It's going to be a busy week over here at my house...We've got a birthday and a wedding anniversary to celebrate and lots of other life stuff to take care of. So you might not hear from me too often this week, but just keep up the good work on the journals and getting the word out about Service Boot Camp! Remember, we need to get the journals finished by Memorial Day! The winners will be announced on June 1st!

Keep it up! You're all doing wonderfully!
Continue reading... »

Friday, May 14, 2010

Service Boot Camp Giveaway: The Write It Out Project

::Announcing a Service Boot Camp Giveaway::
--for the Write It Out Project--

As you know, every now and then I like to enlist you, my blog friends, in Service Boot Camp! Service Boot Camp is a call for women everywhere to come together in service to others. This Service Boot Camp is dedicated to making journals for women who are grieving the loss of their spouses to war through The Write It Out Project.

(Here is the tutorial for making these simple handmade journals.)
Update: If you "don't sew", you can still enter...see details below.

To get the word out and to thank all of you for participating in The Write It Out Project, I have put together this wonderful giveaway.

You may enter to win by doing any of the following:

(1 Entry per journal pledged) - Leave a comment indicating the number of journals that you intend to make.

(9 Entries per journal completed) - Email me when your journals are complete and ready to be mailed. I will send you the address for mailing, and you will earn an additional 9 entries per journal completed. (You can reach me at

(1 Entry) - Blog about and link to the Service Boot Camp Giveaway & Tutorial and tell others about The Write It Out Project. (You can also do this on Facebook.) You will also get an additional entry if you blog about the journals that you actually make...and link to the project website.

(1 Entry) - Display my Service Boot Camp Button on your blog.

(1 Entry total) - Visit all of the Etsy shops who donated to this giveaway. Leave a comment about the products you liked in each shop.

(1 Entry) - "Follow me" for one additional entry.

UPDATE - If you "don't sew": You can still Earn 5 Entries when you donate $5.00 to The Write It Out Project to cover the cost of shipping. Just click on the "Donate" button over at I Make Stuff. It's on the left side.

(Please leave a comment on this post for each entry that you complete.
Also, please include and email or blog address in your comment.)

Winners will be announced on June 1st, 2010.

Thanks to everyone for making journals for The Write It Out Project.
And thank you to our generous Etsy shop owners for their donations!
Please check out their shops by following the links below.

You may now proceed to drool over these lovely prizes.

Sweetheart Busy Bee on Blue Apron

Sweetheart Busy Bee Apron

Chunky Monkey Red Bead Macrame Cuff Bracelet

Chunky Monkey Red Bead Macrame Cuff Bracelet

Slim Tote with Patriotic Americana Prints

Slim Tote in Patriotic Print


Anchors Away Nautical Statement Bib Necklace
(Note from this seller: Mention this blog when you order and get free shipping. Also get a free headband when you order a necklace!)

NEW//LIBERTY Pillowcase dress//NEW Available in Sizes 0-6m to 8y LIMITED

Liberty Pillowcase Dress

Joy Mosaic

Yankee Doodle Sweetheart Patriotic Tutu SEWN

Yankee Doodle Sweetheart Tutu

Patriotic Log Cabin Table Runner

Patriotic Log Cabin Table Runner

Patriotic Cookies - Felt Play Food

Patriotic Felt Play Cookies

Americana Block Set with Star

Patriotic Block Set with Star
by Jody Leavitt at Woodn'Stitches

Funky Fireworks

Funky Fireworks Hairbow
by AddyKatesKloset at Pocket Full of Pigtails

Reserved for Write It Out Project - Whimsical Pot Holders - a Pair

Whimsical Pot Holders

LIBERTY Banner/Garland, patriotic, July 4<span class=

Liberty Garland

Unisex Americana Patriotic Wood Disc Necklace

Unisex Patriotic Wood Disc Necklace

Patriotic Red, White and Blue Quilted Ornament.

Patriotic Ornament

Stars and Stripes Large Pennants  Recycled Denim US shipping included

Stars and Stripes Pennants

SAMPLE SALE  Red, White and Blue Peace and Stars Clementine Skirt SIZE 2T - 4T

Peace & Stars Skirt

Army Wife Courage Strength Sacrifice Primitive Solid Pine Sign

Army Wife Solid Pine Sign


Patriotic Banner
Note: The winner of this prize will receive their choice of either a red-lettered banner that says "Proud" or a blue-lettered banner that says "Brave"-- similar to the "Freedom" banner shown here.

Peace, Man Shopping Bag

"Peace, Man" Shopping Bag

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