Archives for April 2014

The Music Man – Honoring a Man of Inspiration!

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Happy Monday Everyone!

I was sitting in church yesterday being led in a resounding chorus of Alleluia and started thinking about the man leading us in song. His name is Bob Stasiuk and I can’t image what our church would be like without him. I think of him as “Mr. Happy.” He is always walking around the church with a smile and a welcome to everyone. I’m pretty sure he greets every person who walks in the door as he weaves in and out the pews. Mr. Stasiuk, as many a student remembers him, was the school music director. While he retired from teaching by no means did the music stop. First of all he graces Sandusky First United Methodist Church every Sunday, except during the winter when some lucky church out in Nevada gets him! Of course, when summer comes we do have to share him with another Methodist Church on the lake. But I would like to lay claim to him as our music man!!

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Bob was married to a wonderful woman named Char….it is talking about her when you will see a gentle smile and maybe a little tear. She was the most wonderful, genuinely, kind, compassionate woman I have ever known. She died a few years ago and she is greatly missed. Sometimes though when I look at the choir I swear I still see her sitting there. They made a wonderful kind couple, and she is greatly missed. I can’t really say enough good things. Bob is well known in the community for spreading music wherever he goes. He is always trying to teach us a fun new song, or get the whole church singing in rounds. Bob played at the weddings of 3 of my 4 children, and he didn’t do the 4th because she lives in Georgia. He is a strong part of my church family! You can’t help but smile when Bob is leading a song. He is also a very Godly man who likes to share his love for God through story and song. He encourages us to do daily devotions and get to know our bibles. When it’s highway clean up time it is Bob that is standing up there recruiting volunteers. We are a blessed church.

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I’ve realized that many a pastor has come and gone, but one things has stayed consistent – the joy that Bob Stasiuk brings with his music and smile. If you had Mr. Stasiuk as a teacher, or have a story to share, please feel free to leave a comment, we would love to hear from you!!

Peace,

Julie

Crafting Inspiration!

I saw this project several months ago on Pinterest pinned from Crafts Unleashed. I bought all the materials and well, they have sat in my closet for months!! So today I tackled the project “Beach in a Box.” I used my own picture taken from one of my favorite places in the world, Lexington, Michigan. I spend many work breaks walking out on that harbor, so when I look at this box it brings me right back to summer!

Materials Needed:

Wooden Hinged Box

Mod Podge or Decoupage

Dark Brown Craft Paint

Light Grey Craft Paint

Foam Brushes

Miniature Garden Tools, Metal Pail, Flip Flops, Wagon, Bench (anything you want really…you can find these miniatures at Hobby Lobby by the doll house stuff.

Vacation Photo

Sand

Small Screwdriver

Paper Napkins

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I first removed all of the hardware to make it easier to paint. In order to make the box look a little bit more like driftwood I painted the entire box a dark brown color. Before it was completely dry I went over it with light gray. Before that dries take a paper napkin and rub paint off in different spots, especially on the edges where it would naturally be worn away. Let all dry.

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When the box is dry, start on the inside by giving the lid a coat of Mod Podge or decoupage. Make sure your picture has been trimmed to size first.

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Adhere your photo to the lid. Be sure and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles and allow to dry completely. (I missed this direction and immediately put a coat over the picture and got bubbles….so LET IT DRY FIRST!!

When dry, apply a coat over the top of the photo. Try to get the brushstrokes even. ( Don’t worry, that milky look disappears as it dries.)

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Allow the box to dry completely.

I sealed the rest of the box with decoupage as but this is optional.

Add your sand….as much as you like. I really like playing in the sand, so mine is deep.

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Final step is adding your miniatures, and there you have it!! A Beach in a Box. I plan on taking mine to my office for the times when I just need to relax a little.

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Have fun with this project, find some inspiration and most of all have fun!!

Julie!

 

Lemon Daisy Cupcakes

I hope everyone had a Blessed Easter!  We have a tradition in our family to have Easter dinner at my Aunt’s house.  We have been doing this since I was born and our clan has grown.  There were sixty-two of us this year!  I am so blessed to be able to spend time with this special bunch of people.

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One thing there is not a shortage of at this get together is food!  Everyone brings something to share and the table is overflowing with delicious treats!  This year, Little One and I decided to get creative and make daisy cupcakes.  I adapted a recipe from McCormick called Easy Lemon Daisy Cupcakes (see link for original recipe).

The recipe took some time and patience, but it was a great recipe for Little One to help with.  She was in charge of  the jelly beans and yellow sprinkles.

Lemon Daisy Cupcakes (adapted)

Cake:

1 pkg. white cake mix (I used french vanilla)

1 tbsp. pure lemon extract

Prepare cake mix according to directions adding 1 tbsp. lemon extract.  Spoon batter into 24 paper lined muffin cups filling 2/3 full.  Cool on wire rack.

Frosting:

The original recipe called for a cream cheese/sour cream frosting so if that is your preference, see the above link.  I went with a traditional vanilla frosting.  This is a recipe from my Mom.

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 c. butter softened

3-4 tbsp. milk

2 tsp. vanilla (or you could add lemon extract-I used vanilla)

yellow food coloring

Mix all ingredients together and frost cupcakes.

Decorations:

24 large marshmallows

decorating sugar

jelly beans

Cut marshmallows crosswise into 5 slices.  Sprinkle 1 side of each slice with yellow decorating sugar.  Arrange 5 marshmallow petals on top of each cupcake to resemble a daisy, press in the marshmallows into the frosting.  Place jelly beans in center.

I left some plain, without sugar sprinkles to mix it up (honestly-we ran out of sugar sprinkles!).  We also sprinkled the cupcake with green sugar before adding the daisy marshmallow petals.

Tips:

Sometimes it was hard to get 5 slices out of one marshmallow so you may need a few more than 24.  The scissors got very sticky!  Be careful! I had an injury trying to clean off the scissors.

You could use many different colors/flavors for the cake and a variety of candies for the middle.  I thought pink frosted, strawberry flavored cupcakes would be pretty for Mother’s Day.

Here is our final product!

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Happiness

Butterfly for blog

Looking to Summer

flowers for web

Inspirational Quote

I recently read this quote and I thought it interesting how is so thoroughly sums up the way I feel.  I thought I would share it with you, as well as a picture of a the sunrise on Amelia Island, which perfectly portrays the last line of this quote.

“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.  The longer I live, the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and the wonder of the world.”  

John Burroughs

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~Blessings,
Jen