my part(s) of the benefit auction

In just 3 weekends, I will be auctioning off a custom made rag quilt as part of The Tarapchak Family Blog Auctions!! Details for this particular auction will be listed here on my blog February 14th and 15th, but I just wanted to give all my readers a sneak peak :)

I will also be hosting an auction over at the LBE Blog for Little Bean Embroidery!
AND... Dave will be hosting an auction too!! Check out the his little photo blog.

If you haven't already... please check out The Tarapchak Family Blog Auctions by clicking below. (You will also find a list of other auctions that will be held that day!)

Thank you :)


a challenge and some scrapping!


a challenge.
part 1 of the challenge.

grab a scrap of paper and something to write with...
jot down the FIRST person (friend/family/someone you know) that comes to mind for the following 3 prompts.

1. someone that doesn't have email
2. someone that you haven't seen (in person) in a very long time
3. that constant someone in your life. the person that is there for you all the time, for whatever reason (whether in real life, or via phone/email... )

...you'll have to keep on reading for part 2 of the challenge :)


You may never believe this.
I scrapped this weekend!!!!
It was so much fun. I always forget how much I enjoy this craft until I do it again :)

I got 6 pages done in a little under 6 hours! So, my journaling is not so great, er... not even there… lol… sorry erin! But I got 6 pages done!! I’m almost to the end of my stack of pictures I printed a loooong time ago, so I’ll be able to print out new (Nov 2007... ha!) ones to scrap!!

Next month I’m going to a weekend (yay!!!) crop fundraiser for Lilly’s preschool and I am VERY excited now that I have a little bit of the scrapbook fever back. Just think how much I’ll get done then :) Or not. I may be talking and eating too.

This year, I vowed to let myself scrap/go to a crop once a month this year. This will be so good for me.

most of these very fun (and very new to me) papers are from this awesome lady. she sent me a HUGE priority box filled with all kinds of scrapping goodies. let's just say it was like opening Hobby Lobby in a box :)

part 2 of the challenge.

Those 3 people you wrote down on that scratch paper?
I challenge you to mail them a note. A card. A letter.
The old fashioned way.

You know, with your own handwriting, some sort of paper, an envelope and a 42 cent stamp.
The kind of mail that you put in a real mailbox :)

(...and if #3 resides with you... send them a letter to their office building, or stick it in with the rest of your mail!)

(... and no one is stopping you if you have a few more people that you'd like to add to your list)

Have a great week everyone :)


Q&A, a big day, and unders :)

In attempts to make this blog of the more interactive sort, I have set up a little section where I will answer any questions left in my comments! It's off to the right in the side bar.... see it? It says...


Then you click "Find the answer here!"... and wallah!
Questions and their answers :)

I will do my best to answer questions sooner or later.
But I thought it would be nice of me to respond :) So, if you do leave a question... check back there for the answer!

I had the inauguration on all morning, then went to pick the kids up and turned the TV back on. The kids were a bit bummed that they weren't going to get to watch Full House today:)

The best part was when the 5 of us (including me holding Cohen and Bryce in the exersaucer... ha!) stood up for the swearing in of the new President. When it was over, the crowd on TV went wild, wild with those billions of little flags... Lilly and Brady automatically, unprompted, put their hands over their hearts and started reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. (Which still includes the Widgens.) That's what it's all about. Regardless of your politial stance. The future is what matters.

...and just because, what good is a blog post without pictures?
Check out the new unders.



Did you leave a question on one of my posts?
Find the answer here :)

3 questions are answered in their own post here...

a few people have asked about the destination of our 2009 vacation... the beach is called Atlantic Beach, NC.

in response to this post on 2.1.09
ok... so quite a few were interested in the teeth and the vents :)

TEETH: I already have trays that I wear to sleep as a follow up to my braces, so all I needed was the bleaching gel. I got it at my dentist. It was fairly affordable, since I didn't have to pay to have trays made just for the bleaching. Having the trays made is the costly part :) And since I spent a small fortune on braces to have my teeth and overbite corrected, I figured I could spend a tiny bit more to be even happier with my smile.

VENTS: Well, I'm not a vent expert, but I think 'they' say you are supposed to have your vents cleaned once a year. Just like you are supposed to have your hair cut every 6 weeks, your teeth cleaned every 6 months, your oil changed every 3,000 miles, etc. The vent bill was not cheap, but we did have 3 additional vents cleaned (on top of the 10 included in the initial price), and our furnace cleaned as well (and of course the furnace had an additional box to clean), since that had never been touched either. The inital 'coupon' price was $79.99 for 10 vents. But we all know that's just the price that drags us in. We really did need the vents and furnace cleaned though, so I didn't mind the overall price to make our house nicer. We need to find a better quality air filter now, to help keep things clean and out of the air a bit more. My sneezing is less, though still there. I think I need to change pillows :) What do they say?? Change them every year?? Something like that. I'm sure I'm well over that time limit.

And I'm glad to hear that others have the same issues with the ipod ear buds. Now I don't have to worry that I have weird ears :)

Lisa says… Just got the form for the crop in March for the PTA...will we see you there?
I won’t be making the March crop. It’s Lilly’s bday weekend and our neighbors are getting married that weekend as well!

Daphne asks… DO you Facebook?
NO!! I keep in touch with just who I want to via this blog :) No need to add to my already time consuming blogging.

Colleen asks… When you make your rag scarves, what type of batting do you like to use...cotton?
Hmmm. I use the same as in my rag quilts :) Which I guess is cotton? I never even looked to be honest! If it is something other than cotton, I will let you know!

Nicole of Nicole and Sanjay says… I'm curious, do you make T-shirt quilts?
I haven’t made one yet! Though they do seem neat, I haven’t made a ‘real’ quilt before. Just the rag quilts, which you ‘quilt’ as you go... rather than making the front, then quilting the back on real type of quilt.



it's cold.
but life is good.

my sister sent me new music in the mail today!!
2 of my favorite things. mail and music. thanks miss :)

it's a good TV night :)
earl. kath and kim. the office. grey's.
scratch earl. george W is on.
no k&k either. darn president.
that means I have time to finish this post ;)

hot chocolate sounds good.

no school tomorrow! Yay!
(loading and unloading 4 kids in carseats to go to preschool is not my favorite activity in the world. especially in the arctic tundra.)

the winners of the labels are.....

Rorie with a guess of 250 (i currently have 280 in my bloglines!! that isn't horrible right?)


Ali as the random winner (thanks to Dave who drew that!)

I have both your contact info, so I will email you sooner or later to get details on what you'd like :) Thanks to all who played :) I love knowing that there are really people out there reading this!

And if you haven't already, please click the link below... and even more so, please help me in spreading the word of this event.


blog sharing, a new game, a recipe and a give-away!

it's amazing how many wonderful ones are out there.

blogs about cooking, baking, recipes, scrapping, stamping, card making, sewing, crafting mommy-ing, families.... everything.

i saw one about meijer the other day.
i'm sure there is a blog about peanut butter.
i bet there is a blog about buttons too.
and maybe even one about seashells. and worms.

i have a little addiction to reading blogs. i admit it.
i get SO many ideas and so much inspiration from them.
you read one blog. it has a link to another blog. you click it and you find a new awesome blog to add to your list. that's just how it works!

i do follow quite a few blogs, but i use bloglines to tell me when they've been updated, so im not wasting hours on end seeing if my favorite blogs have been updated. (I highly recommend bloglines to anyone who isn's already using some sort of 'blog organizer'.)

Anywho... I just wanted to share a few things recently found while blog hopping.

This game... Don't Eat Pete!! (The link to the download gameboard is there)

SO SO cute. The kids LOVED it!!
When i read the directions it seemed too simple, and maybe even boring.

But i'm glad we tried it, because it's now one of our favorites!

We've used oyster crackers and M&Ms so far... Dave and the kids played it for dessert the other night. We only printed it black and white, so I'm anxious to print it in color and laminate it :) Cohen plays his own game with his own rules and drooly chocolate slobber fingers :)

Lilly and Brady even extended the game (all by themselves!) by choosing 2 Pete's during one game:)

Another blog find... i've always loved her recipes. but THIS Mac&Cheese recipe i believe is my new BEST mac&cheese!! i adapated it, as i dont have kosher salt, so i sprinkled the tiniest bit of regular salt in, and cut the butter to about half of what it called for. DELICIOUSNESS.

These next blogs are just fun.
They are in my bloglines, but often i go to them just to have background music on while i sew/embroidery/check email/whatever im doing. it's fun to find hand-selected playlists from someone whom you share a similar taste in music. though i love all kinds :)

Old Red Barn Co. (listening to this now!)

Allie Hoopes

Ain't Nothin' but an E Thang Baby

Speaking of music... thanks to Target's 75% and 90% holiday sales... we doubled (maybe even more than doubled) our Christmas CD collection!!

Enjoy this video of the new Cheetah Girls (and Boy).

Alright so if you are still reading... here are the give-away details!

I will be giving away personalized address labels. I have a thing for return address labels and I have the things to make them... so nothing fancy, just fun! They can be made for yourself or as a gift. half and half. Whatever you choose!

There will be 2 winners... one who gets the closest number and one random winner :)

The number I'm looking for... how many blogs do i have in my bloglines? That number will probably change from now till when i do the giveaway, so guess accordingly :) I will pick winners right before my next post... so in a few days i'd guess! Check back then to see if you've won :)

One hint :) I read a blog the other day, and she said she had over 600 blogs in her bloglines. That number made me feel better about the number I have ;)

Have a great week!!


every time i try to write, i just dont know what to.
you may have noticed a new little button off to the right.

here is the story.

dave met stef through church as a greeter.
stef held our hands as we had lilly's chubby lop-sided cheek tested.
we've crossed paths. not many. but just enough.
we have followed their story.
and we feel close to them, even though we may not be.

we feel them. we feel for them.
and i want to do something more for them.
something that i can't do all by myself.

i remember seeing benefit auctions on blogs.
to support people. and love them.
i am so inspired with what people do for each other in times of need.

i may not have the right words.
or the funds to make a difference.
or even that one thing that they need in that one moment.

i do have my prayers to give.
i do have my talents to share.
i do have a network of very amazing people in my life.

I am inviting you to join me in the Tarapchak Family Blog Auctions...
There are at least 4 ways you can participate...

1. Spread the word! (link a button to your blog, send on the blog auction link, send out an email...)

2. Host an auction on your blog (if you are interested, please email me for more details! jenfinh@yahoo.com)

3. Shop and bid on auction day!! Saturday, February 14th and Sunday February 15th. Mark your calendars now!

4. Send your thoughts and prayers to the Tarapchaks :)

Click the above button, or the button in the side bar, to go directly to the Taraphack Family Blog Auctions Blog for more details.

you know ill be reminding you about this one :)

xoxo, jen



thanks for all the sweet comments on my last post :)

so, when i was making those silhouettes, i thought to myself...
i should make a tutorial on this.

you know, take pictures step by step.
post them on my blog with directions.

good idea. but in the middle of december, that is the last thing i wanted to take the time to do.

i admire everyone out there who takes the time to make tutorials!!
i suppose it would be the right thing for me to do a few, since ive used so many tutotials that ive found online.

i'm just too lazy most of the time.
not to say i will never do tutorials :)

so anywho... here are the written 'directions'.
you'll have to make the pictures in your mind ;)
there may be much easier ways to do this.

im sure there are.
you know i cant make anything simple...

1. take a digital photo of the child's profile, facing right, your right (more like 15 photos, so you can find one decent one)

2. upload to photo program

3. using the cropping tool, crop at a size that will fit into frame/ornament (in my case 5x7 frames and tiny ornaments)

4. print out onto normal paper, whatever quality

5. draw on a little torso or whatever you'd like so it isn't a neck with a head :)

6. using a light box, or a window, trace the profile on the wrong/back side of the paper (the head will now face left)

7. using photo tabs, tape the printer paper to black cardstock (traced side facing up)

8. cut it out (i used my favorite microtip scissors)

9. peel off printer paper, and turn black paper over to have a clean sided right facing silhouette (with no leftover sticky tape or tears)

10. adhere to white cardstock or fun patterened paper

...or you can just try to get a 5 month old, a 20 month old, a 4 year old and a 5 year old to sit still for more than 10 seconds. i tried that first. didn't work :)


crafty gifts of christmas

i think it is safe to say that all the homemade gifts have been given, received, and can now be shared on the blog :) here are some of them, in no particular order....

first up... brady's quilt.
for his 5th bday back in november :)
he's so cute... he says he takes it on all his weekend trips :)

Pillowcases made as an order for my sister...

Silhouettes of the kids for both sets of grandparents.

a BIG rag quilt for Dave's parents.

A rag quilt scarf for Brady.

A ball for Bryce:)

Silhouette ornament's for the boys' parents.

Purses/bags for Lilly's teachers.

Star ornmanets for Lilly and Cohen.
I made a number of these for a few other people too :)
GREAT for using up scraps!

The next two were custom orders :)

For my sister and her boyfriend...

A Pottery Barn Stocking that I was very scared to stitch on, but finally did it!! And i didn't ruin it!
Another adorable custom item!
I just stitched the name, not the whole blanket.
Though I wish I could take credit for the entire thing!

door draft stoppers :)
Luke's rag quilt, which we took to him today :)
He smiled and hugged it as soon as it was out of the bag, which made each second of cutting and sewing and snipping all worth while!

I am hoping to auction off a custom rag quilt next month for a special event that I am trying to put together. I will keep you all posted on that as it hopefully progresses :)

I was busy crafting almost every single night starting in the month of November and all through December. Either for Little Bean orders, or gifts that I was making as gifts... I certainly had my hands full. I'll try to prepare better for next year ;)
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