Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter - may you take time to celebrate the reason for this holiday - the fact that Jesus IS Risen for each of us!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Goals for April

Check out the progress in March HERE

Here are April's Goals:

1. Get an estimate on doing the kitchen Floors so I can save for it - we know what we want to do, just need to price it out- I have the estimate; now to save to get it done this summer
2. Get an estimate on doing the kitchen counters so I can save for it. - again, I know what we want to do, I just need to double check the price. Again, I have the estimate, hoping to also do this during the summer too
3. Purchase the first 3 gallons of paint for the house so we can start painting - we already know the color, etc., just need to purchase and start painting.I will be picking this up in May - April was very cold so there was no painting happening anyway :-)

1. Continue the Diaper boy challenge - no comment. Success !!!  Josh is almost 100% trained and Nate is about 50 %
2. Complete Lessons with the boys - the goal in April is to do D, E, F, and G.We completed lessons D, E and F :-)
3. We want to start taking walks! Hopefully the weather cooperates We actually got a few walks in amazingly enough!
4. Make one thing related to the birthday board I have a Too Cute idea to make but just haven't had the chance to make it yet .
5. Chore Chart I let this slide this month - we jumped into the potty training thing and I only want to "push" one thing at a time.
6. Begin taking the boys to the Library on Wednesdays- the plan is to go every other Wednesday, when Darryl has practice. We started this on the last Wednesday of April :-)
7. So confession is good for the soul, right?  I said I set up Nate's savings account last month - we'll  I MEANT to, but our scheduled changed so the day I planned to do it,well, we were busy.  So I want to do that this month and also make a small contribution to each of the boys accounts.Confession is still good for the soul - this isn't done yet.

1. Scrapbooking - My goals this month are to: A) Finish 2012 - I'm trying to do a two page spread every single day.  All that I have left is December so this is doable!   B) Put memorabilia in 2008 album - the albums have been done for well over a year but I have a whole envelope full of stuff that I need to add or throw out. C)Stick all pages in the 2009 Album- thanks to a sale I was able to order the last pages digitally for 2009.  D) Stick the pages in the boys baby books and finish them up -  it will take me a total of like an hour to do this project E) Do Josh's monthly pages for his second year.  Yes, lots of projects but other than the 2012 project - the rest are only 1-2 hour projects total.Got a few things done but need to do more!
2.Work on my step level - I've slacked off on this but want to pick it back up now that (hopefully) we can walk outside more. 
3. Read a book on my topic study
4. Learn to play 1 piano song
5.  Maybe this will be the month I go on a snack strike :-)
6. Get a radio for the kitchen - I have an idea how I can do this for free! I remembered our little Short Wave Radio that Darryl has had for YEARS . So I put in new batteries and it is now sitting in the kitchen.  I will say, that I just saw an under the cabinet Radio, CD player for only $34.00 - I'd love that so I can practice Soundtracks for church while in the kitchen so I might still upgrade :-)
7.  Last month I did my feet; this month, I'm working on my hands (and trying to keep up with my feet!) Both are done - it's kinda nice to have them painted again :-)

1. Dental Insurance
2. Begin "A Word da Day"
3. Have a movie night with the hubs
4. Plan May's budget before May 1st
5. Pay $25.00 towards the balance on our truck
6. Subscribe to the sentinel
7. Get our Will done - we found out about an organization through a college where we can get this done. 

1. Reserve the hotel for our family vacation in June
2. Go through camping stuff and make a list of what we need

Crafts/decor Photography
1. read "How to Photograph your baby and do it
2. Make a list of 100 things about me
3. Make Nate's John Deere Blanket
4. Do Pinterest and Too Cute Projects
5. Find racks to hold current Scrapbooks in the living room (a pinterest idea, actually)

1. Finish the basement
2. Organize manuals into three ring binders
3.Organize our tax documents into a file box
4. Organize DVD's - need to order system from Amazon
5. Get racks to hang under the cabinets in the kitchen to store recipe binders

1. Plan one family fun activity to do in May

Friday, March 29, 2013

Food Friday - Cherry Turnovers

Cherry Turnovers
Adapted from Lemon Sugar

There isn't a whole lot to say about these sweet, breakfast treats except they are fantastic.  Wow.  

  • 2 cans store-bought crescent rolls
  • 1-1.5 cups cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream (or milk or half & half)

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to temperature specified on crescent roll package. (Ours was 375 degrees F).
  2. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  3. Unroll the crescent roll dough and separate the triangles.
  4. Place a heaping tablespoon or so of cherry pie filling at the wide end of each crescent roll, and gently roll it up.
  5. Place on baking sheet, and bake according to package directions, 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. While baking, prepare the glaze.
  7. Combine confectioners sugar, cream and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  8. The glaze should be thin enough to coat and run off a spoon, so add more sugar or liquid as needed to achieve desired consistency.
  9. Generously pour glaze over hot rolls, and enjoy warm

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weekly Menu - Thursday is the new day!

As I mentioned last Saturday, I'm moving my weekly menu post to Thursday since that is now my shopping day.  I know, you are beyond excited, aren't you?  :-)

The past few days, I used up some things we had on hand - Tacos on Monday, Chicken and Dumplings on Tuesday, Mac and Cheese on Wednesday.  Super easy and cut down on the grocery bill too.  Now it is time to get back into the groove though !

Thursday - Chicken Noodle Soup and Homemade bread.  Anytime I make Chicken and Dumplings, I turn the "leftovers" into chicken noodle soup.  I really dislike cooking on grocery days so this is perfect - it is already done!

Friday - Tonight is the Good Friday Service with several churches in the area so to keep dinner easy, we are going to have a freezer meal - it is actually the leftover Chicken Taco's from a few weeks ago that I froze.  We'll add chips and salsa and maybe some rice if I feel like cooking it :-)

Saturday - I'm thinking the kids will have Mac and Cheese and Darryl and I will order in for a date night :-)

Sunday - EASTER! Our church hosts a breakfast in the morning - I'm going to make the Cherry Turnovers I posted on Friday.  For our Easter Dinner the plan is:  Maple Glazed ham, Cheesy Au-Gratin Potatoes, Classic Green Beans, Deviled Eggs and Rolls.  For Dessert will be Colorado Creme and Bunny Cupcakes.  I think we will have a Tid-Bit tray when we get home from church with Cheese, Crackers, Pickles, Salami and Grapes to hold us over for a couple of hours until I can get dinner cooked. 

Monday - I need to use up some Pasta Shells so I think we'll have stuffed shells and french bread..

Tuesday - To use up Ham From Easter we'll have Ham and Scalloped Potatoes, Garlic Bread and Asparagus

Wednesday - Either left overs or maybe a pizza :-)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Our Annual Trip

Twelve Years ago, My husband and I got engaged at a Metro Beach.  Yes, we went to a beach in March. In Michigan.  It's fitting since we both love the beach and the water.  Every year we head back to the beach sometime in March as a time to just go back to where it started and relive that fun memory.  It is even more fun now to take the kids.  Now, lets keep it real.  Some years it is so frigid we spend about 10 minutes there (Last year it was so unbelievably cold that we didn't even make it all the way down the boardwalk to the beach!).  This year, though, the weather was pretty nice - so nice that we spent about 1 and 1/2 hours playing there.  We have a basic "routine" that we do every year!

This year, we drove to my parents on Friday and stayed the weekend which was nice since it brought us an hour closer to the park. 

We always start out by eating lunch at National Coney Island - it is a resturant that is only in the Metro Detroit area and I just love one thing there - a Hani (and . .chili cheese fries!!).  From there, we head to the beach. 
 We always bundle up as we get ready to walk to the beach but, as we were putting on layers both Darryl and I said, "Wow, it is pretty nice out here today."

 My boys are really into making funny faces when I get the camera out lately.  Yes, Nate's tongue is blue - they boys got blue (gross) suckers at Coney Island.
 Isn't this an awesome photo - I want to blow it up into a canvas and hang it on my wall I love it so much!!!  I told Darryl that every year we will have to take this photo!

 It is in this spot that Darryl actually proposed so we always try to get a photo here.  It's fun to see how we have changed and how our family has grown.

 Another tradition - Darryl does a chin-up.  Some day he will have some competition I think :-)

 For the first time ever the boys were able to play in the huge playground area.  Nate even made a friend who he played soccer with and then played in the play-scape with also.  He is still talking about his new friend.

 When we got engaged, Darryl took a photo of me with my ring by the car so now, we always try to take the same photo but include Darryl with his wedding ring too!

Once we leave the park, we head to Morley Candy Factory to pick out chocolate.  Usually I take photos of us with our chocolate but, since it was the week before Easter, the store was a ZOO!!!!!  Wow!  It took all of our patience to help the boys pick out two types of candy, to pick out our own, and then get out of that store!!! 

Finally, we always do a third fun thing but it changes each year.  This year we decided to take the boys to see "The Croods".  It was the perfect choice - they, especially Josh, loved the movie and has already asked to see it again. Considering the fact that he always says he doesn't like movies :-)  We decided that it would be easier to eat dinner at the Mall (where the theatre was) but, boy, were we wrong.  First, we walked by Jeepers - which is like a Chuck-E-Cheese - we HAD to stop and play  . . .wow.  The food court was a zoo too.  Not to mention the Easter Bunny.  Next time we will leave the mall for dinner (lesson learned!) . 

Really, it was a great day with so much family fun.  Both boys were exhausted when we got back to Papa and Nana's house :-) 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Too Cute Not To Toot

The first idea comes from Two Little Banshees and is a great artwork piece.
My kids have seen some seatbelt "critters" on TV and "want them".  I feel bad for them when they fall asleep in the car and their heads roll around . .. . this idea from Simple Dimples might be just perfect.
I'm planning to start going to the library on the Wednesday's that Darryl works so we need library bags.  I love this simple idea from Literacy Launchpad.
One of the ideas I want to do in my laundry room is putting up favorite photos and just building a huge wall of photos.  How great would it be for a kid to go into the laundry room - a room no one else sees - and find it covered with their photos?  Well, I love this simple (and inexpensive) idea from literally inspired.
One last idea for this week - I'm always looking for creative storage especially for the boys room.  I love this idea from Upcycle 101 for putting a crate on wheels.
Happy Crafting!

Monday, March 25, 2013

March Preschool - The Kidless Version

So, this past week my boys were at Papa and Nana's again.  I'm taking full advantage of not babysitting right now and actually sending my kids "away" to give me some time "off".  Last month it was a very busy week and I really didn't get a chance to get things done here.  This time, I have fun AND work planned.

This is my plan (this was written a week ago as my plan):
Monday - Meet my mom for lunch to give her the kids :-); and then cleaning the boys room, doing a summer clothes inventory and moving Nate's clothes so he can reach them (they boys like to pick out their own clothes now) and make a quick run to the grocery store.
Tuesday - Scrapbooking; Clean the classroom - The closet is out of control as is my scrapbooking crafting stuff.  I want to finalize this project today.
Wednesday - Clean the living room and Steam Clean the carpets, head to town to do some shopping, and go furniture shopping with my husband
Thursday - Clean, Clean . . .print . . scrapbook :-)  The basement is on my hit list.  The plan is 30 minutes in the basement, 30 minutes working on lessons for the next few weeks, and then 30 minutes scrapbooking. (I only want 2 weeks worth of lessons so once done, I will just do the basement and scrapbook)
Friday - Scrapbook.  For real.  I do have to pack up some stuff for our weekend but for the most part I will just be Scrapbooking until my husband gets home. Oh, I also need to go to the store but without kids I can get that done in about an hour.

Now- here is what I accomplished (with photos this time!)

Monday - I met my mom at about noon with the boys for lunch then headed back towards home, stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things before heading home.  I'll be honest, I sat down and played facebook games for about an hour.  Darryl got home around 3:45 and we headed out to our favorite restaurant for dinner ( a rare treat!) .  I decided that when we got home I WOULD actually do a few things so I cleaned up the kitchen and then spent some time in the boys room.  Here is a before photos:

Let me note,  this is not normal. This morning, the boys decided to emptied every living toy onto Nate's bed.  I was not happy with them . . .So my first task was resorting toys.  I'll finish up this project on Tuesday.  Also, I included a picture from the living room on purpose since cleaning the boys room involves rearranging :-)

Tuesday - Despite some nasty winter weather, I went scrapbooking from 9-2 today and completed a goal - I finished October 2012 and actually almost finished November 2012.  When I got home I took time to switch my outside flag from St Patrick's Day to Easter since both Holidays fall in the same month this year.  And yes, I finished the boys room today as well.  I got out all of their summer clothes and I'm glad I did because Josh had a few pairs of summer PJ's I had forgotten about.  :-)

 I moved the rod that holds Nate's clothes to the left so it is now hanging low enough that he can pick out his own clothes. 

Everything is all nice and neat for a few days :-) 

Wednesday: I had decided that Tuesday and Wednesday were "alarm days". So I set my alarm for 8:00, got up, ate breakfast, took a shower and got busy.  I cleaned the living room (including move the couch to find the 3 million toys that got shoved under there HA) and steam cleaned the main traffic area carpet.  It always looks and smells so nice after cleaning them!  Then I tackled the classroom/my crafting space and finally really organized the bookshelf and closet areas so they are useful instead of a bunch of piles.  All of my scrapbooking stuff is organized and, thanks to some stuff my mom gave me, I was able to downsize a bag to reduce some clutter!.  Plus I finally have all of the kids activity books/coloring pages organized so each week I can grab something new to incorporate into our day.  Here are some before and after photos for you!
 One of the biggest thing I needed to conquer was that shelf!!!
Oh, and this bookshelf!!

 These two photos above show my crafting space.  The bookshelf holds only my stuff now and my lovely table is just perfect!!
The closet is awesome!  I picked up a couple more black bins to store school stuff, added a hanging rack (on the left hand side of the closet) to hold games and just really cleaned up the whole space.

Now, plans changed slightly back on Tuesday.  My husband said, "Check out priceline and see if you can get a room on Wednesday night for $40.00".  Why?  Because he has band practice on Wednesday - I had planned to drive him into work at 3:30 AM so that I could meet him in town for dinner and go to practice with him. . .instead we WERE able to get a room for that price and it saved us a trip so that saved $20.00 in gas.  I left home around 2:00 to run a couple of errands and then met him for dinner at Red Lobster.  We still had gift card money to use so that was a nice bonus.  Then, we headed to hotel (since we still had 3 hours before practice.  This is what we did:  1)Went to the pool area and sat in the hot tub, swam in the pool, got back in the hot tub and said "We need one of these.".  2) Went back to our room and each picked a bed (our room had 2 doubles) and promptly fell asleep HA!  WOW we are party animals, aren't we?  Luckily we woke up at 6:20 so had time to make it to practice. Staying in a hotel is one of my favorite things - if I'm at home there is ALWAYS something for me to do but when I go away to a hotel, I can finally relax. The best part?  I got to sleep in  . .. it was fabulous!

 Thursday: I totally slept in and enjoyed the hotel room (My husband actually got up at 4:00 am to go to work!!).  It was so nice to not be at home :-)  I did finally pack up and headed out to lunch at Culvers.  Do you know what I did next?  I shopped.  In a relaxed, take my time, no kids with me way :-)  I meandered my way through Target for a good hour, took my sweet time in Hobby Lobby, and then actually sat on a couch and read my Kindle while eating an Auntie Anne's pretzel in the mall.  Not to mentioned I stopped at the Christian Book Store to do some Easter shopping.  Oh, and I remembered that it was Happy Hour at Steak and Shake so I treated myself to a fantastic Chocolate Shake as I headed home HA!  What a great day!!

Friday: My main goal today was to scrapbook but before I could do that I did do a quick run through in the house to put everything away that was out of place.  THEN I scrapbooked.  I completed all of my goals for this month and then some - it was so fun.  Once my husband got home we headed out of town.

You may noticed that I did not get to the basement - no big surprise HA! 

It was a great week but, I'm glad my kids are back home :-)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

One Last "Snow" Post

Last December I posted an idea on a "Too Cute" Post for a great craft idea from Ten Kids and a Dog.  I planned to do it during out Christmas activities but then . .. the dreaded sickness hit our house and everything stopped.  My mom even was the one to pick up the supplies for me and mailed them since we were down to one vehicle and I couldn't get to town.  I was glad to finally be able to get this done and it was fun!

 The project was very simple.  Using Masking Tape, I created a simple snowflake on the canvas. Depending on the size of the canvas and the age of the child, you could get more creative and/or let your child create the snowflake.

 Then the boys got to paint . .. and paint . . and paint!  I had two different shades of blue and white for them to use.  Now, my kids love paint so by the time they were done I figured these would never dry HA!  (I will admit that when they weren't looking I spooned brushed some of the excess paint off !!)

The finish projects!!!  Once the paint had basically dried, I pulled the masking tape off the canvas - it came off super easy and left behind the awesome snowflakes.