March 30, 2009

March 28, 2009

Makenna's Mad Face

Here is proof for those of you out there that think Makenna always has a smile on her face.

Even when she's angry, she's still pretty darn cute.

March 20, 2009

Can't Fight This Feeling

What radio station do brick layers listen to?

Lite 104.1

Well the ones who are laying brick on the house next door listen to that station. I came outside to run a couple of errands today and noticed that the music from next door was extremely loud. My next thought was "is that Can't Fight This Feeling"? It was and I hopped in the car to see what station it was on and low and behold...Lite 104.1.

I guess those brick layers just can't fight the feeling anymore and are getting in touch with their softer side.

Needless to say I got a good chuckle. I just wish one of them would have been singing along. Maybe that will be my next post.

Oh, and be honest, I bet some of you reading this are now singing the song in your head. Or, if you are Jessica R. you are probably belting it out loud!

All Tuckered Out

Since the weather has been nice lately, Makenna and I have been going outside for an afternoon stroll. I'm not sure if she likes the outdoors. But I do know that most of the time she is asleep by the time we get home from our walks. All that walking must wear her out.

March 17, 2009

How-To Tuesday

How To Make A Diaper Holder

I'm no expert sewer. I taught myself with my Grandma Sigmund's sewing machine. (It took longer to figure out how to thread the machine than anything else) Here are some simple step-by-step directions on how to make a really cute and handy diaper holder.

You will need:
  • 2 - 18x28" pieces of fabric (in 1 or 2 patterns)
  • obviously tread that matches
  • some sort of clasp (button or velcro)


*Click on pictures to make them bigger if you want a closer look.*

Cut fabric so that you have an 8x11" piece and a 8x16" piece in each pattern or two of each size if just using one pattern.

If you are using 2 patterns decide which fabric you want to be on the outside of diaper holder. Once that is decided attach one side of clasp to the short piece in that pattern 1-1.5" from the top.

Using the long piece of the opposite pattern (if you are using two) attach the other side of clasp 1.5-2" from the top.

Pin together the matching size fabric pieces together pattern side facing each other.

Sew each pinned together piece leaving a small hole to pull fabric through so pattern shows.

Pull fabric trough the small hole and press and iron fabric so it lays flat.

Now that you have two pieces of fabric, sew a 1/8 edge around each of them.

Pin together the small piece and large piece together. Making sure the small pattern with clasp is facing the large piece with the same pattern. (Also, make sure the clasp on the long piece is at the same end as the short piece. They will be uneven.)

Sew the two long sides and the bottom together. Leaving the top/uneven side unsewn.

Once again pull fabric through and voila you have yourself a handmade diaper holder. Iron again if needed.

March 16, 2009

Guess what today is

Our anniversary!! Two years, can you believe it? Time sure has gone fast.

I love you babe!

March 13, 2009

Around The House

Here is a quick update about what is going on around the Willis House.
  • Jared brought home an old L-shaped desk and two used black book shelves that Ag Leader was throwing out. He refinished the top of the desk to update it a bit. And I used the book shelves to put the finishing touches in the office.
  • Makenna continues to show us her flexibility buy sticking her feet in her mouth.
  • I have started doing a monthly meal plan. This has enabled me to only grocery shop once a month. I do occasionally make a milk, bread, and banana run. Also, if i hear of a great deal I will make a trip so I can stock up on that item. I enjoy only grocery shopping once a month and it is saving us quite a bit of money.
  • I am anxiously awaiting spring so I can start my weekly trip to Aplington. Janelle has graciously let me take over a part of her veggie garden. I have been wanting to have a graden for a couple years now so this is very exciting for me. Plus she will get to see Makenna more this way.
  • Sticking anything and everything in her mouth is one of Makenna's favorite things to do. I have a feeling this habit will be around for quite a while.
  • We are waiting on pins and needles for both of Makenna's new cousins to be born. Hammie in late March and Jacob in mid-May.
  • Jared will soon be starting to build a new coffee table and end table for our living room.
  • I cannot wait for garage sale season to begin. I am looking forward to finding some really goods deals again this summer.
Thats all for now. I'm sure there will be many more updates to come as the weather is beginning to get nice enough to be outside and Makenna is finding her personality.

March 10, 2009

How-To Tuesday

How To Restore an Old Trunk

This week is a little different as I am asking for your help.

I would like to know how to restore an old trunk. Here are a few pictures of a trunk that we got from Jared's parents and we would like to restore it.

The inside is cedar and the outside is tin with wood banding.

We aren't sure how to go about doing this. We don't want it to look brand new, we like the older look. The problem is it has a lot of rust on it and we want to get rid of that so we can put it in our living room.

If you have any suggestions about how to restore an old trunk, I would love to hear from you. Thanks for letting me pick your brains.

March 9, 2009

March 8, 2009

March 7, 2009

Trip To Carlisle

Yesterday Makenna and I took a trip down to Carlisle to visit my parents for the day. It was a fun day. We took a walk and Makenna got to be spoiled by her grandparents.

March 6, 2009

My Birthday

This post is few weeks late. But I wanted to put up a couple pictures that we took on my birthday.

We went to Carlisle to spend the day with my parents. It was a great day! My mom made me my favorite meal, we played speed Scrabble, and Jared and Makenna took a much needed afternoon nap.

March 5, 2009

March 4, 2009

Makenna's First Blog

za?/niggmn ,./]?Xxxxx
xhtmt fntgn gdAw'/XDJ

We quickly had to stop as the puddle of drool on the computer was getting quite large.

(Thanks Todd for the idea. Yes. I stole it.)

Whatchu Talkin Bout Willis Wednesday

It's funny how times change. It wasn't long ago when people were fine with rolling up huge amounts of debt, buying vehicles whenever they thought they "needed" them, and going out to eat every day. Suddenly coupons are cool, frugal is the word of the day, and the driver of the Prius gets more street cred than that of a Hummer.

How do you get big returns on your money these days? Well, sometimes you have to spend to save. Here are some items I have sprung for which have paid for themselves over and over again. (not an inclusive list, just some off the top of my head, in no particular order)

The hair clippers. I bought them in college for about 19 bucks and haven't spent any money on them since. 10 years of free haircuts through all spring, summer, fall, and some winters at about 13 bucks each. Savings: well over 1,000 and growing.

The Snackster: I love this little machine. I bought it after college when my buddy Mark Arant raved about it. One sandwich and I was hooked. Cheap, tasty and simple. About 20 bucks to purchase, high quality sandwiches ever since.

Lasik surgery: While most places are quite expensive, I managed to find a place to get both eyes done for 600 dollars. Sure it was in a trailer in an abandoned parking lot, but I can't argue with the results. Savings: 5 years and counting of no glasses, contacts, and having the priceless ability to see perfectly.

An engagement ring: It looks neat, but the symbolism of the ring is where the true value lies. A lifetime of being with the person I love. The mother of our child. A friend forever... Plus excellent meals.

Anybody have any other really great things you have bought to save money???

March 3, 2009

T.V. shows

Allison and I barely used to ever watch television. It was on occasionally for maybe a show or two here and there, but nothing ever consistently.

Since having Makenna, and since the weather isn't all that conducive to being outside much, we have begun watching more shows. We're not proud of it, but at least for me, it's almost kinda fun sometimes to actually be able to join in a conversation about the latest and greatest shows.

Some of my favorite shows that I never watched much before:

American Idol. The previous 7 seasons, I had watched maybe 1 full show. Now I know why it is so popular. Semi-actual reality t.v. I say. It's fun watching the group get whittled down, and some of those young people have amazing talent.

24. An hour goes by so fast. It's so much better than most movies that come out. After this season is over though, maybe I'll begin watching old seasons of 24 the way they were meant to be watched.....5 sleepless nights in row because they are too good to stop.

Popular shows I don't watch

Lost. I know it's good. I hear about it all the time. I just have never gotten into it. Plus I would think it's a little tough to just start watching as there is so much going on.

Survivor. Another favorite of a lot of people. I've occasionally watched some of earlier seasons, but always come to the same conclusion of "who cares?"

Shows I don't understand

30 Rock. I gave this one a serious shot as it is bragged up to be the best show on t.v., but after watching probably 4 or 5 episodes, I have yet to laugh once. Smart comedy? I don't think so.

ISU basketball games. I used to watch, but seriously, why broadcast misery? It's horrible. I'd rather they show Ames High.

I'm looking forward to the time change and warmer weather so we can spend more time outside after I get home from work. Just simply sitting on the deck will be so nice.

How-To Tuesday

How to make Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies

If you like bacon and Little Smokies this recipe is for you.

- 1 package Little Smokies
- 1 pound bacon
- 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • Cut bacon slices into thirds.
  • Wrap one piece of bacon around each smokie. Stick with toothpick to hold together and place them in glass baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  • Bake at 350° for one hour or until they look done. (Sometimes I add more brown sugar if it looks like they need more as they are baking)
You can also wrap the smokies in bacon the day before and refrigerate overnight. Then add the brown sugar right before placing in the oven.