Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Awesome Things Tuesday

Welcome to Awesome Things Tuesday! 


Our features from last week are:

1. Ashley's Pick - Crib Mobile by Playing with Paper
2. Krystal's Pick - Adult Valentine by The Moon and Me
3. Randi's Pick - Valentine's Day Pirate Ship by We Made That.com
4. Jessica's Pick - Valentine Rag Heart by Grandparents Plus
5. Victoria's Pick - Personalized Cutting Board by The Moon and Me  

 When you link up or if you were featured this week make sure to grab a button.
Awesome Things Tuesday

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Thursday, January 23, 2014


Adalyn started taking ballet classes a couple weeks ago at our local Community Center. Since she is a big 3 years old now, I thought it was only fair that she got to pick an activity to do while Shane was in school. Ballet was what she picked (though I'm not sure I gave her any other choices).

The week before she was over the moon excited about going. Twirling and spinning around the house "practicing her ballet". Though she did make me promise that I would be there to watch her the whole time.

Week 1: There were 10 little girls dressed in pink tutus. Mass Chaos! They were running around like crazy people. Not following directions at all. Adalyn wanted nothing to do with it. She pouted, whined and complained the whole time...all while sitting on my lap watching.

My little unhappy Ballerina.

Week 2: There was improvement! She went out to the circle and followed a couple of the exercises. She still spent most of the time on the side lines with me. She was quite happier about being there for the most part.

Two weeks down 9 more to go....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Canvas Workshop {Close To My Heart}

I've had this project floating around in my head for months...maybe even 6 months. I'm so excited and happy to have them completed and hanging on the wall.

There are 3 6x6 canvas sold by Close To My Heart.

I'll be offering this workshop up to a limited amount of people on Tuesday, February 18th at 7pm. 

Supplies will become unavailable to me as of January 31st, so all RSVP's for this event need to be into me before then.

Cost: $20
All supplies are prepped and ready to be put together.
This would make a great Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or Father's Day gift.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Awesome Things Tuesday

Welcome to Awesome Things Tuesday! 
Check out our features from last week.

1. Ashley's Pick - DIY Coat Rack 
2. Krystal's Pick Pinecone Wreath - Never Ending Decorating 
3. Jessica's Pick - Pom Pom Wreath - We Know Stuff 
4. Randi 's Pick - Strange Visions Acrylic Painting - Wesens Art 
5. Victoria's Pick - I-Spy Bag - Creative Passage

Now check out our wonderful hostess'.


Now link up your awesome things!

When you link up or if you were featured this week make sure to grab a button.
Awesome Things Tuesday

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Menu Monday

Monday -- Potato Soup leftovers from last night (Thanks Shonda for the yummy recipe)

I'm trying some "freezer cooking" this week for the first time ever. I've always been interested in trying it, but nervous about doing it. I am delivering a couple meals to some people in need the next couple weeks and this recipe will make 4 meals at once!! That means a bunch of cooking, but enough food for us to have dinner and 3 meals for friends. Win - win in my book.

Tuesday -- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

Wednesday -- leftovers

Thursday -- Gluten Free Pizza using Pillsbury's new GF pizza dough. The kids love it, Kenny likes it and I will eat my pizza on a tortilla.

Friday -- Baked White Cheddar Mac and Cheese 

Saturday -- leftovers

Sunday -- Breakfast for Dinner

Friday, January 17, 2014

Vaccinations {Immunity Community}

I've been a Parent Advocate for a non-profit organization called Immunity Community for about 4 months now. I've enjoyed learning that so many parents out there are vaccinating their children and that vaccination really is the "norm". I've also really enjoyed learning more about the world of vaccinations and becoming more and more comfortable with my decision to vaccinate my children.

What I'm discovering is that the risk to vaccinate is like so many other risks we take in life. When we get into a car we are risking the chance of an accident that could be fatal or harm our children. When we go out into public, grocery stores, on play dates, we are taking a risk that our children may contract germs, getting a cold or a stomach virus. When I allow my child to go to school, I'm risking that they may get bullied. When I let me children play sports I'm taking a risk that they could get harmed or break a bone.

There are risks in everything we do in life.

I understand that vaccinations are scary and overwhelming. I very much remember the feeling of being pregnant with Shane and trying to research and understand the world of vaccinations. I was terrified of Autism and having a son made me even more scared of the statistics. Who do I trust? What information is correct?

I knew deep down that vaccinations were important. That they have saved generations of lives and pain and suffering that so many went through before us. That they keep us healthy from illnesses that I certainly don't want to see my love ones go through.

Yes, there is a risk to vaccinations. I do believe that there is a small population that for genetic reasons react differently to vaccinations then others, but research after research has conclusively shone that vaccinations are not connected to Autism.

Yes, risks are scary. Yet, every day when you walk out the front door there are risks being thrown at you left and right.

I recently read this article about a pregnant Mom that lost her baby after getting sick with the flu. What a heartbreaking and maddening story. With a simple flu shot that family would have not lost their baby. The heartache they will have forever over a preventable illness. What a tragedy. 

What risks are you willing to put your family through?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

30 Day Plank Challenge

Earlier this month I joined a 30 day plank challenge on Facebook "hosted" by a friend of mine.  

When she posted this challenge I laughed and thought to myself NEVER. I disliked planks so much. Every time I have done them they hurt my wrists so bad and it was flat out painful to do and they are just plain hard. I happen to catch that the first day was just 20 seconds. With a little coaxing from Melanie, I decided to give it a try. I also noticed the picture and had never tried planks using that form before, which would allow the pressure to be taken off of my wrists. 
I've completed the first 11 days and am up to a 60 second plank. I'm so already impressed by that. Kenny has been doing them with me, but he doubles the amount (um, ya, overachiever) and is up to 120 seconds already.  

Wanna join in on the plank fun? The schedule is below. If you want in on the Facebook group, I can get you hooked up, too. 

Happy Planking!

Day 1 - 20 seconds
Day 2 - 20 seconds
Day 3 - 30 seconds
Day 4 - 30 seconds
Day 5 - 40 seconds
Day 6 - REST
Day 7 - 45 seconds
Day 8 - 45 seconds
Day 9 - 60 seconds
Day 10 - 60 seconds
Day 11 - 60 seconds
Day 12 - 90 seconds
Day 13 - REST
Day 14 - 90 seconds
Day 15 - 90 seconds
Day 16 - 120 seconds
Day 17 - 120 seconds
Day 18 - 150 seconds
Day 19 - REST
Day 20 - 150 seconds
Day 21 - 150 seconds
Day 22 - 180 seconds
Day 23 - 180 seconds
Day 24 - 210 seconds
Day 25 - 210 seconds
Day 26 - REST
Day 27 - 240 seconds
Day 28 - 240 seconds
Day 29 - 270 seconds

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Candy Cane Hearts

Do you have any candy canes laying? Gifted or purchased during the Christmas season. If you do or see some on clearance snag them up for this quick and easy Valentine's Day craft/decoration.

This year I had small candy canes left over, but a couple years ago we used large ones.

All you need to do is get your hot glue gun out and glue the tops and bottoms together and voila, you have a heart shape! I then take mine and hang them around the house with some sparkly ribbon (also left over from Christmas wrapping supplies).

 Here they are hanging from our dining room light.

And a few found themselves hanging from our kitchen cabinet knobs.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Almost Wordless Wednesday {A Girl, A Dog and A Bunny}

One morning, after I finished cleaning up the kitchen, I went to see what Adalyn was up to. I found her in the hallway "cuddling with Dodger" and taking a break with her much loved Bunny. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Awesome Things Tuesday

Welcome to Awesome Things Tuesday! Below are the features from last week's party.

1. Krystal's pick - Love Blooms by My Life in 52 Weeks
2. Randi's Pick - Aluminum Credit Card Holderby Crafty Journal
3. Victoria's Pick - Primary Colors Experiment by My Creative Days
4. Jessica's Pick - Handprint Heart Trees by i heart crafty things
5. Ashley's Pick - Bookshelf lockers by My Creative Days

I'm in love with i {heart} crafty things. With a title like that what is there not to love???

Adalyn and I made the Handprint Heart Tree together last week and Shane has been begging to make one, too.

It proudly hangs in our kitchen, as Valentine's Day is just around the corner.


When you link up or if you were featured this week make sure to grab a button.
Awesome Things Tuesday

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Menu Monday

We missed a couple items from our menu last week, but we'll be trying those *new recipes out this week.

Monday -- *Potato  Soup

Tuesday -- leftovers

Wednesday -- *Popcorn Soup (from The Toddler Cafe)

Thursday -- leftovers

Friday -- Tacos

Saturday -- Nachos

Sunday -- Breakfast for dinner

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book Review + Grammarly Check

I love reading. One of the things I miss from my life with out kids is sitting down to read a book and finishing it cover to cover in one day. I don't read much at all these days and if I am reading it's often a book on parenting. 

While in Mexico I read two books! Felt great to sit down and just read. One was called A Dog Named Boo by Lisa J. Edwards and the other was The Brave by Nicholas Evans.

A Dog Named Boo was true story about a dog with some health issues that ended up overcoming them and becoming a wonderful companion/service dog. There was a lot of information on the world of service dogs and some of that got a bit dry and slow. Overall it was a good read.

The Brave told the story of a boy growing up in boarding schools and how that effected his entire life, along with a family secret. The tales of the boarding schools were horrific at times and had my stomach in knots. Though this is fiction, I can only imagine that there is truth in those tales at many boarding schools around the world. I enjoyed how the book unfolded. It did wrap its self up nice and neat at the end which sometimes is just what a reader needs.

I've read many books in my time. One of my favorite things about reading is when I come across a misspelled word. I just find it funny and fascinating that a misspelled word gets by all those proofs, edits and editors. I remember recently reading one book that had at least 5 errors in it. It was a fun game to play while I was reading....find the misspelled word and you win a Grammarly Check. 

What books have you read lately? Found any grammar errors? 

*This post was sponsored by Grammarly Check. All opinions or thoughts are mine. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

My 2014 Plan

Resolutions aren't my thing. We all know that they don't last longer then a couple weeks and come the middle of the year who can even remember what their resolutions were.

But I am a planner. I think ahead a lot, probably too much. When I read Paula's "Thinking Ahead to 2014" post over at Mudpie Mamas, it struck a cord with me. Her 10 things that she wants to work on in the coming year shaking my head and thinking "yay, me, too!".

Here are my 10 things I want to focus on in the coming year.

1. Be Still
I am a doer, a mover and a to do list maker. I don't sit still well unless I'm working or doing something. I want to find time each day to just sit. To sit and listen or talk with my kiddos. To sit and watch them play. To sit and enjoy what I have and where I've been. I want to sit and be comfortable in knowing it is okay to sit and not do anything for awhile.

2. Give thoroughly and know there’s a limit.
Paula couldn't have said it any better. I felt like I was writing these words.
"I love to give. I love to give gifts, myself, my time, but I also need to remind myself there is a limit. I look at life like a pie…there are only so many pieces in my pie. I’m going to give and give and give and when the pie pieces are gone, I’m going to let someone else give."

3. Feel less frustrated
I'm an emotional person. I feel things deeply. I also find chaos annoying and hard to be around. I live with chaos right now and I'm constantly annoyed and frustrated by it (them). I want to feel less frustrated and work on letting things go.

4. Laugh more and feel happy
Those to do lists and that chaos that I live with don't make for laughing all that much. I'm not sure how but I need to find more humor in the little things and enjoy what I have.

5. Live hands free
There is this blog post called, The Important Thing About Yelling, that has been floating around for awhile now on the world wide web and I've read it a handful of times. I bawl every time I read it. I take many lessons and reminders away from it. This year I want to step away from the computer/phone and be more present.

6. Finances
We live a pretty balanced financial life. This year though we've decided to work a bit more on the spending area. We are implementing an envelope system with an allotted amount of money each month. That means all four of use only have so much money each month that can be spent on clothes, food, Starbucks, toys, etc. We want to be more present with our spending and this should accomplish that for sure.

7. Live Passionately
I want to live like there is no tomorrow. Easier send then done. But I want to put out into the world what I want to get back. That means I want to love, listen, learn, give, be patience, honest, be trustworthy and kind.

8. Exercise
I truly don't mind exercising, I just can't figure out when to do it. As we get into the year Adalyn will start preschool I hope to find more time to allow for exercise in my life.

9. Share the love of eating
I like food. I love fruits and vegetables. I love trying new foods and dining out. The other 3 members of my family don't feel quite the same way about food as I do. I want to share my enjoyment of food with them. I want to help teach them food is fun and so yummy. I want my family to feel comfortable around food and know how to make good food. This year I'm taking my family on a eating adventure.

10. Spend time outdoors (all year around)
I love nature and being outside. Riding a bike or going for a walk are the best activities....in the summer. I'm not fan of being outside if it's below 65 degrees. Which it is most of the time here in the Pacific Northwest. I need to contend with this cold monster and embrace the chill. I need to bundle up and step outside for some fresh air, even in the midst of winter and spring.

Those are my 10 focus' for 2014. What are yours?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Family Reflections

I saw this little questionnaire of sorts floating around the internet world and thought it would be fun to ask the family their thoughts.

This year: 
A place I'd like to visit: 
Shane: the jump place
Adalyn: a park
Kenny: Wallace Falls
Jessica: San Diego

A new food I'd like to try:
Shane: this food (we were eating dinner when I asked this question)
Adalyn: olives (one of her favorite foods already)
Jessica: sushi

A habit I'd like to break:
Shane: hitting and getting in time out
Adalyn: hitting and time out (copied from her big brother)
Kenny: picking my fingers
Jessica: saying whatever

A new skill I'd like to learn:
Shane: reading
Adalyn: reading
Kenny: chess
Jessica: feeling less annoyed and frustrated at others

A good deed I'm going to do:
Shane: make a card for Noah and Mazzy
Adalyn: make a card for Noah and Mazzy (monkey see...monkey do happens a lot at our house)
Kenny: helping Mommy
Jessica: 39 of them in support of a friend that is turning 40 this year. Deeds are still to be determined.

I'm going to do better at:
Shane: at school, math and reading quietly
Adalyn: toddler group
Kenny: eating
Jessica: sitting still

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Awesome Things Tuesday

Welcome to Awesome Things Tuesday! Myself along with these 4 other awesome ladies are your hostesses. Join the fun by visiting some awesome projects and by linking up your awesome things.


This weeks features:
1. Jessica's Pick: Maple Pecan Muffins by Sweet Bella Roos
2. Ashley's Pick: Creamy Cajun Shrimp dip by Lamberts Lately
3. Krystal's Pick: I Spy Quilt by de Jong Dream House
4. Randi's Pick: Thank You Card by Get Silvered
5. Victoria's Pick: Color block Nutcrackers by Delineate your Dwelling
When you link up or if you were featured this week make sure to grab a button.
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Menu Monday

It's a new year and I'm feeling inspired to try some new food. I stumbled upon a cookbook called The Toddler Cafe. There were a handful of recipes that seemed like things my family just might like. I love cookbooks. I can pick up a cookbook and read it cover to cover. A perfect cookbook has a picture of each recipe. If it doesn't have good pictures I want nothing to do with it. The Toddler Cafe has quite a few pictures, not one for every recipe, but still enough.

I'm also working on meal planning every two weeks again. That helps for the weeks that I don't get back to the grocery store right away. I also spend way less money when I go to the store every 2 weeks instead of every week. We end up eating what we have on hand instead of buying new snacks and filling up the pantry with unneeded items.

I started last week and this what we had....

Wednesday (Jan 1st) -- Twistin' Chicken (from The Toddler Cafe) basically it was chicken tenders, but with a kick of lemon. Kenny and I both thought they were really good, kids no so much.

Thursday -- leftovers

Friday -- Let Us Roll (from The Toddler Cafe). This was my first time making lettuce wraps, but have always enjoyed them at PF Chang's. They were so easy to make and I LOVEd them. I mean could eat them every day kind of love them. I was so excited about it I had to take a picture! The rest of the family never wants to eat them again.

Saturday -- Salmon with Lentils -- I've been meaning to make this dish for months now and finally got around to it. I can't say I've ever had lentils before. The dish was pretty darn good. Kenny loved the salmon. The kids, nope, nada, ate none of it. They devoured their apples and string cheese sides though.

Sunday -- Baked Ravoli -- I found some GF raviolis at the store recently. They aren't their best on their own, so I'm hoping baked with lots of sauce and cheese they'll be good.

Monday -- leftovers

Tuesday -- Popcorn Soup (from The Toddler Cafe)

Wednesday -- leftovers

Thursday -- Salmon with Hoisin Sauce
(aren't you happy Papa...salmon twice in two weeks!)

Friday -- leftovers

Saturday -- Potato Soup

Sunday -- leftovers

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Conversations With Shane

Recently Shane and I helped put Christmas decorations away at church. We were smack dab in the middle of Christmas vacation and Shane needed to get out of the house.

We were put on vacuuming up fake snow duty. Shane was over the moon happy to help. He gets more centered and balanced. The whiny and complaining stops. His sister wasn't around so there was no one to fight with. He was finally happy for awhile and did it ever feel good for both of us!

After our hour or so of vacuuming our duties were completed. All other tasks were completed and our help wan't needed any more. Shane literally begged me to stay and help more.

Shane: Mommy, lets go find Pastor Molly and see what else we can do to help.

(as we put the vacuum away in the storage closet)

Me: Ah, buddy, there just isn't any more to do. Everything is all done.

Shane: Can we vacuum in here? As he looks at the floor in the storage room, desperate to find another way to help.

As we exited the church and drove home we had the most amazing conversation.

Shane: I want to be a Pastor when I grow up.

Me: Oh, how come?

Shane: Because church is a place that helps people and I want to help people.

Me: Do you want to be a Pastor to kids or adults. Like Pastor Marcie or Pastor DJ?

Shane: For both because I want to help them and teach classes.

after a bit of silence...

Shane: We are lucky because we have food and clothes and a house and a car. Not all people have those things.

Me: Yes, we are very lucky and that is true not all people have those things.

Shane: We don't have to have all those things though. Love is the most important thing to have.

Me: Yes. I like to think that God is love, so the most important thing to have is God which gives us love for everyone and everything.

Shane: Love and God are first and then you need food and friends and family. The rest we don't need though. We don't have to have toys or a car.

Me: Yes, that is very true. Having toys and cars are extra. Things that we don't have to have in life.

He continued to ponder what things we have and need or don't need and what is the most important items to have.

This conversation will ring in my heart and mind forever. Shane, who drives me bonkers on a daily bases with his challenging/spirited self, has the kindest of hearts and a deep need to help and serve. I pray that we can continue to spark and grow that in him.