Thursday, June 30, 2011

Craftin' my Days Away

Since I don't have that much of a schedule or a daily routine right now, most of my days are filled with crafts, sewing, crafts or nothing (to be honest). It has been really fun to enjoy making things, completing projects that have been on my mind, and having the freedom to do these projects while I have the time. Another reason why I have been enjoying working on the projects is I have been including my mom and both of my grandmas in them. This has been especially fun because we not only do you get a person to help you, but it's bonding time that is very special, too. Love these ladies!

Both of the projects I have been working on are for Adam and I am revealing them to him this weekend, so I will update my blog as soon as I can. Speaking of Adam, I get to see him in 2 1/2 short hours away from now. Words cannot express how excited I am for this opportunity, as we are celebrating his 22nd birthday and our anniversary; so this definitely will be a very special weekend for us!! I got up at 5 am this morning because I couldn't sleep due to excitement. :D

This morning I had a longer Bible study due to my lake of sleep, and I was richly blessed by what I read. My goal is to read through the Gospels and I have already read through Mathew and am almost finished with Mark. Here is a passage from Mark 9:21-25, where Jesus heals a father's son who is demon-possessed. It says:

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

Verse 24 is specifically what stood out to me. This man thought he was doubting, but was honest enough to admit to Jesus that he believed in him amidst all his unbelief and years of seeing his son deteriorating by this demon. This encouraged me a lot. It also reminds me of song by Josh Wilson entitled They Just Believe, which you can listen to here. The bridge and the chorus of the song says:

"Because my faith feels just like doubt
I don't know what to pray right now

Oh I believe
Please help my unbelief
Jesus give me grace
To trust what I can't see
Your ways are not my own
Some things I'll never know
But you say blessed are the ones who never see
They just believe
"



I hope that you get something out of this passage in Mark and this song by Josh Wilson, because they have enriched my life. May you all have a blessed and safe Fourth of July weekend, too, because I sure will!





Monday, June 27, 2011

I Made it to the top....fortunately!!

Today my brother and I hiked the Garcia Trail. For those of you who are not familiar with the Azusa area, we hiked up to the "A" that you see on the mountains of Azusa Canyons when you are passing Citrus Avenue on the 210 Freeway:



I love this trail for many different reasons, mainly because

1. It's local
2. It has decent areas of shade throughout it (depending on what time of day)
3. It's hiker-friendly
4. The view is amazing throughout its entirety
5. It's doable

Although this is not a difficult trail to climb, it does have a very rapid incline that begins almost immediately upon starting the trail, which makes it harder if you are out of shape like me (whoops, did I admit to that online!). Yes, it was hard, but it is very doable, which is why I usually bring a friend with me when I hike the trail for encouragement. Adam and I hiked this trail all the time when I went to APU but we haven't hiked it in over a year, so yes it was hard given this fact!

A lot of time when hiking, it's hard to find actual trails and not some path that some random person created and you're risking your life if you choose to follow it. However, the Garcia Trail has a path all the way to the top. Also, the view of nature is really pretty. All of the wild flowers are in bloom, so it really made it enjoyable for me (admist my huffing and puffing)! :D





The Yucas were every where, and were very lovely!!




These wildflowers were lovely, and were throughout the trail, too.


It is good to know that since it is summertime, hike the trail in the early morning or around dusk. We went at 9am and it was already hot! I want to try to do it once a week because it is really good exercise, but we'll see how I feel. Today I'm pretty exhausted. Not because it was hard, but rather, the heat really gets to you after awhile.

We were so happy when we finally made it to the top!





Once you get to the top, the view is amazing, as you can see the Azusa Canyons and mountains.


In this picture you can see a creek of fresh water and it's such a tease to see! It really makes you want to go right down to it, jump in, and wash all your sweat away. Or at least I felt this way!






The length of the trail is 1.2 miles up and down, which totals to 2.4 miles. I think that is a decent length! Glad I made it to the top!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Congratulations Chris & Christine Fore!!!


On the birth of their third child, Josiah Douglas Tendai Fore
Born on Sunday June 26, at 1:58pm, weighing in at 7 lbs 5 oz,
18 inches long




Looking forward to meeting this cute little guy!!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Summertime

I always know it's summertime when:

1. Corn on the cob is on sale and we make any excuse to have it with a meal, even if it doesn't go together. Like the other night we had leftover Spaghetti and corn on the cob (I mean it was good, but who are we!?!). This goes the same for watermelon!

2. Spending time with your love becomes all the more fun when you can embark on adventures in the outdoors together!

3. I temporarily turn into a vegetarian, because all I feel like eating is fruit, salads, and cold vegetables. For instance, during the last four days, all I have had is fruit and vegetables for lunch and dinner; yummy!!

4. The swimming pool is calling my name in the distance, even while we speak I can hear it, and I can't seem to ignore its calling.

5. The beach is a common entity to weekend getaways and days when there's no plans. If only gas wasn't so darn expensive!

6. When you finally feel like something else besides fruit and vegetables, say meat, you barbecue it.

7. Taking the dog on long walks to the park is something that you do at night instead of during the day, so you don't die of dehydration on a walk.

8. You really do appreciate finding parking spots in the shade, so when you come back into the car you don't have a hot seat. Man, I sound like my mom right now ;D

9. Popsicles become a dessert after every meal, including breakfast!

10. Playing cards becomes more fun in the coolness of the indoors, on hot summer nights. No, we're not playing poker, rather Nertz!!! :D


We have already started to dig our way through this list and it sure is getting fun! However, is it really summer already? I can't believe how fast this year is just strolling by, taking the days and the seasons along with it. One day it's raining and there's snow on the mountains in the distance and the next day it's hot and humid with the sun shining it's hottest rays at 10 o'clock in the morning. Seriously?!?

This reminds me of a song by one of my favorite bands, Bon Jovi, called "Summertime." I love the era of classic rock and oldies; this is the only thing I envy my parents of! I so wish I could have lived during this time, watching some of the greatest music legends of all time perform live!! This is not my favorite song of them, but it is good none-the-less. You can watch them perform it live, here.


Cheers to summer and all it has to bring with it and cheers to spending time with all of our Valentine's, as mine is coming to spend the weekend with me in just 9 days!!! Can't wait!!!! ♥



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kids Say the Darnest Things

On Wednesday I got the great honor of spending the day with my good friend Christine and her two children, although I am getting excited for her third one to come join their lovely family very soon! We spent half the day together and we got the party started right away, not wanting to waste a single moment. Upon my arrival we both got to chat while watching the kids ride bikes, which ended pretty quickly as we wanted to build a fort. Since my brother and I built forts all the time when we were kids, with blankets, chairs, more blankets, and boards, I promised her son that I would love to help him build a fort the next time I visited. So, that was our next task. I built both kids a fort, and that was so fun! I experienced some sort of mild dejavu while crafting a good fort for them to play in, to days when my brother and I would beg my mom to sleep in our cool forts, since we thought it would be so cool to sleep in something other than our beds. And yes, it was cool! We then headed over to the beach to have a picnic lunch and to play in the water. It was so fun seeing the kids enjoy the water.




It was tough to leave the fun beach!




After we headed back to the house it was time for the kids' knap, which meant that my now second favorite part about visiting Christine could occur: our chats. One reason why I love my friendship with Christine, is her refreshing sense of wisdom that she provides. It's so easy to talk to her.

In a blog I wrote last week, I had stated the reason I got into sewing was for a baby gift I wanted to make for Christine's son-on-the-way, Josiah. But, I didn't want to just bring a gift for Josiah and not for the other kids, so I made a gift for her daughter, and bought a gift for her son. For Josiah, I made a bib and burp cloth for him, using the same patterns of my first project, but used really cute boy material I bought at Joann's.





The patterns for both a bib and a burp cloth






Isn't this fabric sooo cute!!??!!




For her daughter I decided to make a headband for her, since she has the right amount of girly attributes that I thought she would indeed wear them. :D There is no pattern for the headbands, but I did get them off of the same website I used for the bibs and burp cloths. The headbands were really easy to make. All you need is two scraps of fabric, preferably in two contrasting colors. You cut one strip 3 1/2 by 15 1/2 inches, and the second strip 2 by 10 inches, so that the smaller strip is 3/4 the length of the larger piece. Like this:


You then fold both strips in half, with the right side of the fabric facing each other, and sew each of them. Turn them both inside out. Cut/put 1/2 inch elastic in the smaller strip, so that the length of the entire headband equals 21 inches (for a baby/ small child); sew both ends close. Insert smaller strip a 1/2 inch into the larger strip and sew closed. Voula, your done!!




Aren't these fabrics so cute!?!





The elastic side of the headband






The front side of the headband





What's so nice about making things for people, is seeing their reactions when they open them. Fortunately for my own sake, Chrisitne loved Josiah's gift, Taylor loved the headbands, and Nate loved the bubbles I bought him. What a great day!!! :D Yeah for success #2 on my sewing projects!! And as if I couldn't get any happier, Christine's text that night made me so much more happy! It read:





"Taylor wore her green head band to dinner and told all her buddies about the cool girl Jasmine who made it for her. And tonight Nate thanked God for you in his prayer. You are very loved in Oceanside tonight!"


Isn't that so cute?!? That's the cutest thing I ever read. I just love her family so much! Her kids are a great addition to her already cute self, as well as her loving husband. Can't wait until I get to meet baby Josiah!




Monday, June 13, 2011

It All Started With a Click

Over three years ago this one guy messaged me on Myspace, you know back when Myspace was cool and all. Well I clicked on his message, read it, and decided to respond. His message wasn't cheesy or seductive, or even creepy, which is what people might think. Rather, it was him simply just asking to get to know me, about my faith, and my interests. That message turned into another, then the messaging turned into being every night, to twice a day, then to any time we both were free and were by a computer. Before we knew it we had exchanged phone numbers and we actually got to hear each others voices!!! We then talked on the phone for a month, literally whenever we got the chance to.

By this time, it had been two months since the initial first message. We both thought this to be appropriate for meeting each other in person, since we really had gotten to know each other pretty well via the computer and telephone. We decided to meet about half way (but closer to me :) at Legends in Upland. Just as a side note, I still get the goose bumps every time I go to the restaurant and see what we now call "our booth." Remember our second year dating Anniversary post when we reenacted our first date by going to Legends?? Believe it or not people, this was the only day in our relationship thus far that Adam has ever been late (and I still tease him about it) because he got lost (even though my directions were clear). So while I waited for him I kept looking at every guy who walked in and thought "Is that him" (because his profile picture was not a very clear picture and I had no real idea what he looked like). Honestly, this happened for 20 minutes until he arrived and I instantly knew it was him walking in. He sat down and oh boy I knew he was nervous (so was I, I mean this was a "stranger.") We started to talk and things were going smooth. We both ordered the same thing (as I was polite enough to wait for him) even though we both were too nervous to eat. After we somewhat picked at our food long enough, we decided to go to this park by my house. We walked around for awhile but I still was not sure about this guy. We said our good-byes and then I went off and went bowling with my friends. While I was bowling, I talked with my good friend Della about Adam. If it was not for our talk I would not have met Adam a second time. She told me that I needed to give him a better chance than the first initial meet (although I probably would have still meet him since I am not a mean person). So I did. We hung out for three more weeks. In the middle of the third week Adam and I talked on the phone for over 7 hours, and it was then that I knew that I wanted to be with him forever. I mean if you can talk on the phone for that long with someone and still not run out of anything to say, you know you have someone extra special!

So exactly three years ago today, Adam took me to his house to meet his parents and have dinner with them. We played some video games (where I knew he was trying to hold my hand ;) and then we went to Dos Lagos where we walked around for awhile. He sat me down by the lake and he asked me to date him. It's still is a running joke between us, because my response was "Well I can't put you first in my life right now. First is God, second is family, then school, then it will have to be you." He politely told me "I completely understand." If all of you are wondering, Adam has now moved up to spot #2!! :D The rest folks is history!

When we first started dating, it was hard to tell our families how we met. I mean, our parents already knew, but people like our Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, even some of our friends did not know how we had met. I always feared the question that you always get when you first are dating: "So, how did you guys meet?" I was always embarrassed to respond. I mean what was I really to say, "online?" But it was not even online. Online sounds a lot better than "On Myspace," which is how it actually was. Everyone thinks, "Really?" And then if you are talking to the older generation who does not even know what Myspace is, it gets even more complicated and embarrassing. But now that we have known each other for more than three years, and have had to answer this question far too many times to count, I have come to a great realization. Everyone has their story of how they have met their significant other. Some people first meet in a bar, others meet through a job, then there are still others who meet through friends or even go on a blind date. But others like us meet online. Correction, on Myspace. This is our story, and we embrace it, because we would have never met otherwise. God brought two people that were similar but had no connections to meet each other "in-person," together through Myspace; and I am so glad that He did! Adam has become my best friend, companion, as well as my one and only love and hubby! So glad he found me!

I have decided that every Monday I am going to share some sort of music with you, to let you know what inspires me, what gets me through my days, or what songs I just love to hear. In honor of our special memory day today, I have decided that the song by Rascal Flatts entitled "Love You Outloud" (you can watch them perform it live here) definitely relates to both Adam and I. It describes how we are now not ashamed of our love story. I love to love my now husband out loud so everyone knows it :D

The chorus is so true:

I'm gonna stand on a rooftop
Climb up a mountaintop
Baby, scream and shout
I wanna sing it on the radio
Show it on a video
Baby, leave no doubt
I want the whole world to know
Just what I'm all about

I love to love you out loud

So glad that I clicked open that message!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Busy Little Bee

Yes folks, the news on the streets is true, it has indeed happened: Jasmine Zickefoose is officially a sewer, as of June 5, 2011.

All joking aside, yes I have started to sew. I got a Singer sewing machine from my inlaws for Christmas (thanks again!!). Check it out:



I haven't started to use it until this last week, since I was still in school, and as everyone who truly knows me, knows I cannot have any distractions while I am studying or going to school. Therefore, my sewing machine was collecting dust in our storage. I got motivated to start sewing by accidently coming across my mom's old fabric and patterns while I was in search for something in the closet where she keeps them. When I came across all the beautiful fabric that my mom was keeping for a future-but-never-going-to-get-to quilt that she had in mind in her younger years or for future grandkids maybe (??), oh boy did I strike gold!! My mom told me that I could use most of the fabric as long as I did not waste any of it and as long as I got the most out of it. So I have taken on the challenge! This is not the first time that I have ever sewn, I have made pillow cases and have helped my mom complete some projects that she has worked on, but the key is that I have never actually enjoyed it. I always would get frustrated immediately at the sign of disaster. This time around, everything is different. I am allowing myself to be patient, calm, and collected and it has made all the difference in the world! I am allowing myself to make mistakes, calling in for backup when need be, ie. either one of my grandmas or my mom (now they are all good sewers). It has been fun working with them on my projects and I am loving the quality time I am getting to spend with them while sewing. It's more fun now, because I understand their language with no help with translations!!

For a beginners challenge I made a gift for my good friend Christine Fore's baby Josiah, who is due in early July. Isn't that perfect timing to start sewing?!? I'd say so! BUT...to prepare for the gift I made her, I practiced on other projects. I decided that a beginners project would be to make baby bibs and baby burp cloths that I got from this blog .
I used the patterns she provided, which look like this:


Believe me when I say that this D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) project is so easy! If I can do it, you can do it; it really is that easy. If you don't have enough fabric to use for either of these patterns, it is easy enough to adjust the pattern to fit the right size you need.

All you need is:

1. Fabric
2. Terry cloth to color coordinate
3. Matching thread
4. Velcrow

Instructions:
1. Pin both fabric and terry cloth to the pattern to cut it out. Pin both the fabric and the terry cloth with the right sides facing each other; sew together with a 1/2 inch seam, leaving a 3 inch space at the bottom of the bib. Turn the fabric with the right sides showing. Pin fabrics 1/2 inch around; sew a decorative stitch of your choice. Sew on Velcrow. Believe it or not, you're done!

After you get these steps down, it really should only take you less than 30 minutes; so easy! Here are some pictures of my outcomes. I have made mostly girl bibs, but have made 2 boy bibs (although I think those could be girl bibs, too).






I LOVE this fabric!! This is a boy bib I made, but I honestly feel as if a girl could wear it too (my mom used this fabric for an Indian outfit she made me in first or second grade. I didn't like the fabric then, but I really LOVE it now!!).





I added a pink, double zig-zag decorative stich to the blue checkered fabric; love it!! These are definitely for a girl.





These are two other girl bibs I made. The sunflower I did with a green, double zig-zag decorative stitch, and it really compliments it well. I love the white with blue flowers, so I did the same decorative stich in pink- which is my favorite!

I did the burp cloths the same way as the bibs, just using the different pattern; yes it is that easy. I made long cloths and shorter cloths, since I had less fabric in those materials to work with. Here are two examples (I actually made a matching long or short burp cloth to match each bib).






Total cost for the project:


1. Fabric: free


2. Terry Cloth: $5.99 per yard for 3 yards, however, I had a gift card, so it was free.


3. Thread: already on hand


4. Velcrow: already on hand


This project was free for me; yeah!




I hope that you like the tutorial/pictures of my new hobby; if not, oh well :) This really is a big step for me and I am proud of myself for achieving this challenge I have faced for years, head on! I already have more projects up my sleeve and can't wait to finish them and share them all with you! I should finish/post pictures of my second project tomorrow, and then will post pictures of Josiah's gift after I give it to Christine on Wednesday.

Happy beginning of the week everyone!!





Thursday, June 9, 2011

All Good Things Eventually Come to an End.

Unfortunately, the time that I have been at the preschool class at Danbury has come to an end. After a year of being there it was sad to have to say good-bye to the kids today. I really enjoyed actually being an aid as compared to a volunteer (even tough I loved just being in the classroom) because I saw a different side than what I had seen only being a volunteer. I really do believe that this is a good fit for me. It's funny how God puts things in your life to change the course of your life to better fit His plan for your life rather than the plan we have created on our own. Looking forward to seeing where He leads me.

It was hard to say good-bye, but all good things must eventually come to an end at some point or another; and today was the day. Yes, there were times when the kids drove me insane by the end of the day, but overall they are so cute, and their smiles are infectious! I will still get to see them as I am still on the subbing list for the district for the school's summer school, but it still won't be the same.

Here are two of my favorite pictures I took with the kids today for the end of the year party, where we had ice cream at the end of the day for dessert.





Aren't their smiles infectious??!!?? I did warn you that they are cute kids!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yummy Banana Bread!!!

My mom got a recipe for banana bread, that to put it simply, is amazing! Instead of using buttermilk you use 7-8 bananas for a richer banana flavor. Oh boy do I like it better this way! Here is the recipe if you are curious to try it out. If you try it out, I can assure you won't ever turn back; just be aware!

Banana Bread Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tsp. baking soda
1/4 Tsp. salt
1/2 Cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 Cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 Cup mashed overripe bananas (7-8 bananas)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9 X 5 loaf pan (I use 3 small loaf pans). In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter an brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well-blended. Stir in banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake for 1 hour. LEt bread cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!!







Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Best.Park.EVER!

Yesterday the preschool and kindergarten classes at Danbury went on a very fun field trip to Prado Regional Park in Chino. Let me tell you, this is the best park I've EVER seen!! There are two play grounds, a water area, swings, plenty of picnic tables and grass areas to run around on: and they are all SUPER FUN!! The teacher chose this park to go to for the end of the year since the playground and water area is handicap accessible. It was the perfect park. One can actually camp, ride boats, swim, fish, and hike all at this park. There is an entry fee, however, that depends on what you are going to do at the park, but it does not cost that much. I definitely will be seeing this park again!

Here are a few pictures of some of the boys I was watching during the day, who definitely enjoyed the water area to the maximum!



Here is on of the boys who LOVED the water.



No one was really brave enough to walk all the way through-I would have if I had worn my bathing suit!



Suprisingly this was the biggest hit: standing in front of the little spicket and filling up your cup with water. Silly kids.



See, he's super happy just standing in front of the spicket!

I'm loving this subbing position! :)