Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pinning it Down~ Tub Paint and Dinner

Well I am here! I promise! I know that I have been posting less, but I m trying really hard to limit the computer time! I have however done a few things this week off my Pin boards! The first thing I did this week was make dinner! Yes....that isnt the most impressive thing ever, but I did try a new recipe that I found! It appealed to me because it took frozen chicken! I never manage to get the food out of the freezer before I need it! I tossed in frozen chicken, a block of crean cheese, some frozen corn (I didnt have canned corn), some salsa, and a can of beans (I only had white bean, not black). Then I let it cook! It smelled amazing and it was good! I think that I will make it again, but I will add more salt and some spicier salsa. It needed a bit more kick I think! ;) I managed to take a picture of it when I put it together, but hen I totally forgot to get one when I served it over rice! Today I took the leftovers (there was quite a bit) and wrapped them in tortillas. I poured some of the sauce over the top of them and sprinkled it with cheese and baked it for dinner. They tasted alot like enchilladas! Unfortunatly I forgot to get pictures of that too! So sorry! I always forget to snap pictures of food at dinner time. Here is a picture of it when I put it in the crock pot!

Another thing that we did, was make tub paint! I have seen this all over Pintrest and spur of the moment yesterday, my sister and wanted to make bath time super cool! So while she ran the bath, I got on pintrest and found a recipe for tub paint here. It was so easy and, best of all, fast! All I needed to do is was mix some body wash with some food coloring. The pin I have calls for clear body wash ( you know the kids stuff) and they mix it with cornstarch and fod color. The cornstarch thinkened it. I didnt have that, all I had was some super think moisterizing body wash! So I skipped the cornstarch and added water to thin it down! I made red, blue, yellow, and green! the girls LOVED it! It was a super simple way to make bath time special. Plus they got super clean after painting their bodies! However, the tub was a little slippery after all that soap! So beware if you try it! Here are a few pictures I took!

So that was our pinning fun today! I hope to have some more fun this week! I am linking this up with Pinning it Down at Everyday Snapshots! Join us there and see what other things people are making off their pin boards!!!! Happy Crafting! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday Thoughts

Oh I have been thinking and prepping for weeks about what I will do to live Lent this year. In the past few years I have forgotten about it until it was upon me and then I played very bad catch up the rest of the season. It was not lived well, and this year I am determined to do better. My plan this year was to be small. Not to make huge promises to God that I knew were destined to fail before I got to March. I wanted to have a chance at making a new habit that would be better for my family. The plan was to stay off the computer in the morning. This would allow me to devote time to my kiddos and get some things done that needed to be done. I will admit, I am an interent junkie! I love it! I love to blog, I love Pintrest, I love to see all the amazing things that other people have been up to. But I think I have taken it too far. I know that I cant stop blogging. I love to write, to record our memories and the thing that  I do with my kiddos. But I need to love them more. To find time for them and for God and my husband. So I started off my morning by making sure that I was not on the computer. And as the morning wore on I was dying to sit and get absorbed. So I justified and by lunch I was sitting and reading some blog posts from Elizabeth Foss. Now Elizabeth is a honest, holy, and completely amazing mom. Her thoughts force me to look deep at myself and to change. So I guess it was actually a very good thing for me read. She wrote a series of posts about the time she took to transform her own life. Time to see what she was doing wrong, to see what she needed to change, and time to do it. They made me think, they made me cry, and they changed my Lenten plan. I no longer think I need to stop being on the internet during the morning, but all day. Gulp! I don't want to. In fact the tears are still on my cheeks from me heartbroken prayer to God. I don't want to. I don't want to offer that much! I know that I will still have my evening, but it isn't enough. So here I am typing my thoughts out. I think that in my deep thinking and soul searching I will still have to stop by here and write when the thoughts are just too much to keep inside. Moments like now they will eat me alive! I have always journal my feeling out and this is no different. So I apologize in advance for the horrible grammar, spelling, and everything else. Short of a quick run though and a quick spell check, you are reading exactly what I am thinking.
In the series of posts that Elizabeth wrote, she started off with exercise, diet, and prayer. Then she began to see what she was doing that needed to be changed. I think that I am there. I have started to become more aware of what I am eating, and I know that I need to exercise. I am also seeing thing that need to change. Brutal honesty here, I am a mean mom.. I yell like a crazy woman and I am not emotionally available to my kids as I should be. I keep thinking that I am parenting wrong or I need a new tip, but I think that I literally need to get off the computer and just be with them. I know that I keep saying it, and now it is time to do just that! So my new Lenten plan is this: limited computer time during the day. That means, check emails (not every moment), read some inspirational blogs that make me better at what I do (I need to hear a pep talk sometimes), look up a recipe if I need one for dinner (my computer is my cook book) and maybe type an occasional blog post here if there is something that cant wait (like now). Other then that, nothing until night time, no Pintrest, no endless blogs I like to read, no Facebook. So what to do during all this time. Well I can cook, play, and clean. I want to have intentional time with each child each day! My hubbie too! I need to make sure that I take time each day for them individually. So....deep breath....this will be good for us. God is asking it of me and I know I will be better for it. But I know it will hurt like hell for a while! I guess, as I scan over this, I realize that I am not going small after all! ;) Wish me luck and send your prayers! Happy Lent!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pinning it Down~ A blog of my own!!!!

Well I have working on something that I pinned only the other day! In case you didnt notice, my blog is looking al pretty and super cute! I found a step by step guild to making your very own blog background using all my very sweet digital scrapbooking stuff ( if you have read any of my other posts, you know I am a scrapbooker!). I really searched and searched for a great blog background, and while there are so many really pretty ones out there, none of them were really quite me! ;) So I really wanted to make my own! So after HOURS and HOURS of work, I finally got it worked out! It really is very simple in therory, but I just couldnt get it to work out! I have NO idea what I'm doing when it comes to editing HTML code and it was a whole bunch of trial and error to get it to work! Sooo.....what do you think? If anyone wants to check out the tutorial I used, you can find it here! I am linking up to Pinning it Down over at Amongst Lovely Things and I hope you stop by and see some awesome pins come to life! Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pinning It Down~ Valentine's Day!

Well I am a little late this week with my Pinning it Down post, but I did do some fun things from my pinboards this week! It was of course Valentine's Day, so there were so many great idea and some of them needed to be done! :) The first thing that I knew we had to do this year was put Bunny's pigtails into the shape of hearts! I found this idea here and I knew this was the best thing I could have found! I am not very good at doing hair, even with two girls to help out! But this was EASY!!!!! Plus it was really cute! It just doesn't get better then that! ;)

Another thing I did was use a few of the free printable to jazz up the mini brownies that I made for our Homeschool Valentine's Day Party. It really made them really cute and Valentine-y! I found this set here! It was just too simple to print them off, cut them out and stick some toothpicks to the them!

Another thing that we did this year, was make valentines! I saw these ideas early in January and I knew that these would be perfect for Bunny to make this year! :) She drew a heart and made it an coloring page. Then we attached crayon to them! The message said, you color my heart! :) Here is a link to the pin!

For Pup's Valentine's we made some Butterflies with suckers! She loved them so much, she really didn't want to give them away! The ones we made were far simpler then the ones we saw on pintrest, but they were cute! Here is a link for these!

And as a final little bit of fun, we made these really beautiful sandwiches for lunch on Monday! The pin leads to a blog written in German (I think) but, with the wonder of Google Translator, I found out that they were butter and sprinkles! Not the healthiest, so I used peanut butter instead! :) They turned out so well! However, all the kids said that the it was too many sprinkles and kinda yucky! ;) Here is a link to the pin!

So that is what we did this week! It was sort of a lot! :) I hope that you all had a fabulous Valentine's Day! If you stick around the next few weeks, you will see all my Princess Party Birthday preparations for Pup's 3rd Birthday! I am linking this up to Pinning it Down! Pop on by to see some more amazing people doing awesome thing from Pintrest! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beautiful Towels!!!!

Well today, in between schooling, I managed to make a few towels for my brother in law and sister in law who are moving into a new house! I saw this idea on Pintrest here! They were just so cute I had to make them for her! They are the perfect house warming gift and so simple (in case you hadn't figured it out, I like simple!). I bought some simple white towels from the store and about a quarter yard of three different materials, and some coordinating ribbon! After washing and drying the material, Bunny ironed it for me! Then I cut it into 5 inch strips. These I folded in half, and ironed out flat. Then I used my ruffler foot ( awesome contraption) to ruffle the raw edges of the material! After that is was a simple matter of sewing the ruffles on the towel. I sewed one on the bottom edge, and them I added the other two a inch and a half above the next! Finally I cut and sewed the ribbon over the last raw edge of the ribbon! They turned out really well and so pretty! I hope that she likes them! Here are a few pictures I took before I wrapped them up!

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine's Crafts!!!!!

Well as promised, here are the crafts that we did yesterday! :) We all had a wonderful time with lunch, and after that we headed downstairs to make some crafts! I wanted to do something with buttons since last month the kids all loved them so much! So when I happened upon this craft on Pintrest, I knew that I needed to do that! So I found some really great raw wooden frames and I sprayed them white. I thought that they could decorate the frame too! So I had them draw some hearts on a piece of white tag board, and then fill them in with glue. Then, it was button time! They used a TON of buttons and they love it! When they finished that, it was time to break out the ribbon and more buttons for the frame! Each one of them turned out super differently and so cute! I love crafts like this that have a plan, but enough open-endness to make each project a work of all art unique to the artist! Here they are hard at work!

This one is by HM (age 3)

This one was made by Bunny

This one is Pups

This one is Bunny's Friend CM

Aren't they awesome! We also had another project for the kids, if they wanted to. They traced their hand and part of their are on some brown construction paper. They they cut it out and glued it to another paper. Then, they used some foam hearts as leaves to decorate their arm tree! I thought it would be a lot of fun to look back later and see how they grow!

Bunny made hers a Family Tree! :)

Here is HM's picture! I really loved how he made the dogs and his uncle in the picture!

So that is what we did for our monthly craft! I love this idea and the kids do too! I hope that you all have had a chance for a little bit of valentines fun! What do you have planned for this year's holiday?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pinning it Down~ Valentine's Party!

Well today we had some friends over for our Year of Crafts get together. My friend and I decided that instead of getting our kids gifts from each other this year, we would get together once a month for a craft instead! So far it has been super fun! This month it was my turn to host. Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I had to do something fun! And once again, with Pintrest in the picture I was inspired to do some extra to make our day fun! This awesome party was my jumping off point for planning! Since we do have lunch together, I thought I would have some fun with it! I set the table using some Pintrest inspired ideas! I found this awesome Leaf Runner made of felt and I changed it to hearts to put on the table. I thought it turned out really cute! Plus I was able to use some scraps of felt, so it was free! :) I also used some other scraps of felt to make some hearts to put in the vase that I have in the center of the table. On the hearts I put some Valentines seals to match the ones I put on the cups! These were a free printable that I found on Pintrest here! I loved them! They were so cute! There are also some really sweet printable that were free if you like their facebook page. These are the ones that I framed and put on my shelves! It was a very simple and easy bit that added a bit of pizazz! Here are a few pictures of what I had all set up!

For lunch I really had some fun figuring out how to make everything heart shaped! ;) I got the idea from someone's pin about making a Twinkies into a heart. So I thought that a hot dog would be able to do the same thing! So with a little diagonal cut and a flip, the ends of the hot met and it looked just like a heart! :) I also prepared more of the Valentine's Apples and I cut some carrots the same way I did the hot dogs to make hearts. I also added some cucumbers that I cut the edges off and a notch out of the top to make it look like a heart! They all were really fun and super healthy (to counter act the hot dogs which were not the healthiest choice! :). To finish it off, I made some cookies with the girls the day before! I used a sugar cookie recipe that I found on...you guessed it....Pintrest! They turned out ok, but I don't think that it is my favorite recipe. If anyone has an amazing cut out recipe, please share it!!!! I am about ready to give up finding the elusive recipe! Everything was really pretty and I think that the kids loved it (at least there was no more food)!

So that is what our lunch looked like today!!!! After lunch we moved on to some fun projects! I will post those tomorrow, so be sure to stop back!!!! I am linking up today with Sarah for Pinning It Down! To see some more awesome real life pinning, be sure to stop by and see what people have been up to! Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Healthy Valentine Snack!

Today I tried an super easy and super fun snack for the girls! Pup calls them Valentines apples!  You take an apple, slice it on the side into slices, and then use a small cookie cutter heart to cut out the core! See easy! Neither girls are really excited about eating apples, but they have eaten quite a few of these ! ;) I found this idea on Pintrest. I of course forgot to pin it, so I don't have a link for you. If someone has it, let me know and I will add the link! :) Here are some pictures of this awesome snack!!!!!

See Easy!!!!! If you try this, let me know how your kiddos like them!!!!
And Shhhh....dont tell them its healthy! ;)
Peace and Smiles!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thinking and Changing.

Yesterday we went for a nature walk together, just me and the girls. It was wonderful and full of special little moments. One thing that really stuck out to me was something Pup said to me. She had given me a stick and I asked her what it was for. She told me she didn't know. So I asked her if it was to poke her with and I gently poked her back. She turned around, and with all the  sternness of a two year old, told me
"No. You cant poke me, I am made by God. You have to be careful with me!"

Deary me it was too cute! But it also made me really think. Do I treat my kids with that kind of care? God made their little selves and do I respect them like that? How do my actions reflect the love of God to them? Not always so well I am afraid. There have been alot of moments of late that have made me cringe. So what does taking care look like?  What is it that I should do when things are making me insane and I feel like screaming my head off?

I have been reading quite a few articles in the archives of In the Heart of my Home. Elizabeth is such a gifted writer and a gifted mother. She brings things down to a real level for moms in day to day life. And in my reading and reflection I realize that there are  few main areas that need me to attend to now. One of those things is being able to grab at joy, even when there is no joy to see. As Elizabeth puts it to fight for the joy that lies just under the weight of the crosses. Faking it until I make it. I know that it is possible. I have experienced how a bad mood can disappear as soon as a friend walks through the door, or I am blessed with a timely phone call. All of a sudden the peace that was evading me shows up unexpectedly! I guess I never really thought about doing it on purpose! Faking it until I make it! Fake peace and joy when I feel like crying and screaming. Hmmm....its an interesting thought. What if I hold the crazy in and fake a smile when the little one pees in her pants after I told her to go potty not two minutes before. What if I change the criticizing tone of voice when a little one whines and declares that she just cant read that word and never will. What if I take a deep breath and sing along with the song that had been shouted through the house even though I want it to stop before I go mad! (I think you all see that ours is not a quite house). Maybe this will make our home a better, more loving, and peaceful space. I will try it out and see what happens. It may be just the right way of looking at things so that I can make some changes!

Another thing that really needs to be worked on is Discipline. I need to find a way that we are all going to work together to do what we need to do. I use time outs for a great many things, but they seem like they don't work for some things. So I yell. That however backfires when they yell back and we are all yelling at the same time! This isn't it. I have tried the gentle parenting type approach, where you don't tell them what to do or use any punishment at all, and that just lead to crazy, unhappy, mean kids. Sometimes things need happen because I said so! So how to work that out. What is the best way to work that? This Post really helped to put a bit of perspective to it all. I am in charge of life in this house, because God said I was. It is my job to make sure that you do what needs to be done and I'm not being mean telling you what to do. Yet, I shouldn't need to punish. They should do it because I told them too and they should have the discipline of self to do that. I think that I need to really take hold of my position of authority, and own it. It is my job to teach, observe, and guild, before I get to the point of explosion! In the post, Elizabeth mentions that a child who is acting out, need something, and that something usually more mom time. They need to be under a more watchful eye, and to have more guidance. Do I think I will do away with time outs? No, because sometimes I need to have time away for a moment to calm down, and so do they. But I think I need to place more effort into talking to them afterwards about their behavior. I need to teach so that I don't need to correct so often. Tapping into the Montessori method, I think that maybe we would all benefit from some Silence Exercises. Maria Montessori placed strong emphasis on silence for small children because it allowed them to practice self control. This self control would then permeate all their other work as well. This silence is a time to practice self control, but it also offers a chance to be quite with God. Its so simple and yet it seems so hard to work into the schedule. But with Lent coming, I think it is something that needs to be woven into the fabric of our days.

Oh this is such a long post! I really feel bad about how long it is. I even thought about deleting it. But this is how I really resolve such complicated thoughts that seem to run though my head, so I will leave it. :) I hope that it helps to remind me of the things that I am learning! If you have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to comment! Talking sometimes does a world of good! Thanks for popping by! Peace and Smiles!