The Life of Jennifer Dawn: August 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Snapshots

Sometimes it's nice to take a look back and reminisce...
Too often it is so easy to dwell on the bad things...
Always we need to remember the good...
Here are some of the magical moments from this summer...
 Happy Memories!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gift Card Pocket

Yesterday on Making the World Cuter, I shared a tutorial for a Gift Card Pocket that can double as a cute business card holder...
This is a great way to dress up otherwise plain gift cards!  You can have fun with different fabric choices as you pick ones that reflect the theme of the gift.
Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh Boy!

You must be exceptionally tired when you can fall asleep during dinner...
My sweet boy, I know you are usually ready for bed by 7 in the evening, but this is a tad too early to be falling asleep.

A good eater and a good sleeper!  I guess knocking all of the DVD's out of their rack, throwing dirt out of mommy's potted houseplants, and getting into anything and everything but your toys really wears a baby out.

You are mommy's rambunctious but adorable sweetheart...
And I love you!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy Chocolate Mousse Dessert

This is the easiest dessert recipe ever!  Truly!  It only takes a few ingredients and five minutes of your time.

*Chocolate candies (I used white and milk chocolate chips, but Tolberone is my favorite thing to use for this recipe.  Sadly, the store was out of Tolberone at the time I went shopping.)
*Whipped topping (You can use Cool Whip, Dream Whip...any whipped topping.)
*Fruit and candy toppings (These are optional, but I think they add a nice touch to the mousse.  I used white chocolate pieces, raspberries, and strawberries.)

1. Gather your ingredients.
2. Melt the chocolate.  You can do this in a double boiler or in the microwave.  If you use the microwave, heat it up in thirty second intervals and stir between each heating.  
3.  Add the melted chocolate to the whipped topping and fold together.  Six ounces of chocolate blended with eight ounces of whipped topping is a perfect proportion to use.  Spoon the mousse into bowls and finish it off with fruit or chocolates.  You can serve it immediately or place in the refrigeration for later.

It sounds so simple, but it is so creamy and delicious.
Happy Eating!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I don't need to know where I'm going. I just need to know who's at the wheel.

The name of the blog is "The Life of Jennifer Dawn" and let me tell you A LOT has been happening in this little life during the last few weeks...actually the last few months of my life have been filled with a lot of twists and and downs.  You've seen the crafts and the pictures, but I've not shared a lot of what has been going on behind the scenes.  Through everything God has been a continued source of strength and guidance.  His presence has been undeniable.

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:8-10

I am the type of person who has always felt a strong need to be in complete control.  (I tend to be a bit of a control freak at times and also a tad OCD.  Sorry...that's a big understatement.  I am a huge control freak and very OCD.)  Lately I have felt like I am anything but in control.  And you know what?  THAT is finally okay.  I have felt strongly in the past few months that God has been leading me to step out in faith, fully trust him, and let him be in complete control.  Complete control!  Not..."Here, God, I will let you hold this side of the reins while I hold the other side."  But..."Here, God, I am handing the reins over to you."  He has been teaching me many lessons on faith and trust lately.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
Isaiah 30:21

  You know that whole, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" question.  For the first time I don't have an answer to that question.  I can't even begin to describe where I see myself one month from now much less one year or even five years from now.  I don't have a plan.  I had to steady my heart a bit when typing that because I always feel the need to have a plan.  Even if something unexpected happens, I always jump into action and immediately devise a plan.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

There seems little point in having a plan because all of my recent plans have been thrown to the wind.  I made plans and God intervened and had something so much better for me...

Many of you may remember that I resigned my teaching position towards the end of the last school year so that I could stay home with my two little ones.  It was a hard choice to make.  I felt torn because teaching is more than just a job to me.  It's a calling that I know God has placed on my heart.  Yet, here were these beautiful blessings in my life that I felt distraught to leave each day as I left for work.  After having L.G., I thought it was challenging to leave her, but I had know idea until after having Eli how doubly hard it would be to leave two babies in the care of someone else while I worked.  My calling or my sweet miracles?  My heart's cry was to have both, but I didn't feel like I was giving either the time or attention they needed.  I finally came to the conclusion that teaching would always be there, but my babies would grow up way too fast.  With that thought in mind, I turned in my resignation and made plans to watch a few other children in my home to make ends meet financially.  I'll be completely honest with you....
I was thrilled to be staying home with my kids...but it also felt like a piece of me was suddenly missing.  Being a teacher defines part of who I am.  Still I felt God reassuring me to step out in faith and trust him.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

 On one of my last days of work, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He has been fighting a hard battle ever since.  It has been heartbreaking to watch him have to go through this.  We are all just putting our hope in the Lord.  My dad's life and health are in HIS hands.  The amount of support from family and friends through this has been amazing.  I know my dad has felt so thankful for the prayers and support he has received.  Our God is BIGGER than cancer!  Please continue to keep my father in your prayers.  He is fighting the hardest battle of his life.  He will never fight alone though.  He has his family, friends, and faith.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
Psalm 46:1-4

In the midst of everything else, Tim and I dealt with another miscarriage this summer only to quickly discover that...
we were expecting again.  Things also looked pretty grim for this pregnancy though.  During the first ultrasound, we discovered that the heartbeat was only 103 (should be between 120 and 180) and there were subchorionic hemorrhages perhaps due to the coagulation disorders that have caused the previous miscarriages.  (You can read a bit about that here.)  We were told to just wait things out and see what would happen.  While we were waiting, we started to worry how I would watch the other children this year (necessary for income) while going through a high risk pregnancy with all of the necessary visits to the doctor.  God had a plan for us though.  An amazing new job literally fell into my lap.  I am not watching children in my home now.  Well, other than my own two sweeties.  I am now a teacher with my state's virtual academy.  I am teaching 4th grade virtually from a computer that my new job provided me with.  Wow!  God is amazing!  He made a way for me to teach and stay home with my babies.  I started my new job on Friday, August 17.  This job gives me the flexibility to be there for my kids and my family right now while still getting to teach.  I am now a teach from home momma.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

So you are probably wondering how things are going with the new baby...
A couple of days before I started my new job, I had a second appointment with the doctor.  The heart rate had increased from 103 to 164 and the hemorrhages were no longer visible on the ultrasound.  I have still had a little bleeding since then, but we are hoping for the best.  This little baby is a fighter!  I go back to the doctor soon.  There are times when I'm and bubbling with excitement and discussing baby names with the hubby.  Then there are other times when I'm afraid to let myself get too cozy with the idea of another baby entering our lives for fear that things might not work out with this pregnancy.  I can honestly say though that no matter what happens...
I know God will be there!

So that's it!  The ups and downs that have shaped my summer months and the reasons why there hasn't been as much blogging lately.  New job.  New baby.  A whole new future...
A future that is very different from what I had planned, but my plans are nothing compared to God's plans.
In the midst of this beautiful, crazy life, I am so glad that I know a God who sees my future and is there to lead and guide me.

I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

I'm pressing on, sweet friends.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pencil Pouch Tutorial

Want to make a little something special for your kiddo who is going back to school?  Here's a quick and easy option...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Product Review: The Tulle Box and Metallic Muse

Here's a playful little banter that often takes place between the hubby and me.
Maybe you can relate...

Hubby: Are the dishes in the dishwasher clean or dirty? 
Me: I don't know. Look at them and see if they look clean. I'm trying to {insert one--clean, dress, feed...} {insert one--Lydia Grace, Eli, or both}.
Hubby: Well, did you run the dishwasher recently?
Me: I don't remember.  Just try to figure out if they look clean.
 Hubby: I'm not sure...I'm just going to run it again.

Has anyone else ever had a similar conversation?  Are we alone in this prediciment?  Surely not...

I am guessing that similar conversation must have frequently taken place at Chrystal's house (Chrystal is the designer and owner of The Tulle Box on Etsy) because she designed one of these genius items...

It's a dishwasher magnet that not only adds a splash of color to an otherwise boring appliance, but it can be moved from "clean" to dirty" in order to specify the current state of the dishes.

Now I can just tell the hubby, "Look at the magnet!"

When I received mine in the mail, I was quite impressed with its quality and brightness.  Lydia Grace loved it too.  She has even learned to read the words dirty and clean and helps me move it accordingly.  Yep, it can help teach your preschooler two new words.  Eli also loves it and despite the fact that his little hands have grabbed it up many times, it has still held up.

Chrystal's shop The Tulle Box not only carries these brilliant dishwasher magnets, but lovely banners, baby mobiles, and other housewares.

Oh!  There's more.  Not only is Chrystal the very talented designer and owner of The Tulle Box, but she is also the creative mind behind two other Etsy shops--Metallic Muse and Chrystalyn.

Metallic Muse carries eye-catching jewelry items like the fabric wrapped bracelet I'm wearing here...

Don't you just love unique, fun accessories that add an extra pop of color to your outfit?!

Be sure to visit Chrystal's fabulous Etsy shops all of which carry colorful, quality, and truly unique items!
Happy Shopping!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Treats

This last stretch of summer is a great time to still enjoy a delicious cold treat.  Maybe a treat like...
Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches with Sprinkles!

Or one of these other tasty frozen treats...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sew a Bib, Blanket, and Burp Cloth

These baby items were made out of one of the blanket bundles from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and Trims.  With just two yards of vibrant, soft flannel, I was able to make a blanket, bib, and burp cloth.  For my most recent post on Making the World Cuter, I made another one of these baby bundle sets.  This one was for a friend's little girl.  Using a blanket bundle containing Robert Kaufman’s Pretty Paisley Retro Flower Flannel and Riley Blake’s Farm Fresh Brown Polka Dot Flannel--which coordinate beautifully together--I was able to make this baby bundle set...
Click here for the full tutorial!
You can also see a version of the tutorial on Making the World Cuter!
Happy sewing!