Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Organization Projects Pt. 2

It's the moment you've been waiting for! Well maybe YOU haven't been waiting, but it's the moment I'VE been waiting for! I've been working for a couple of weeks organizing and finally decorating my bedroom. Partly because it was way overdue! My bedroom has been the same for many, many years. And unfortunately, it's always the last room that I get to. But I also wanted to redecorate the room as a surprise for Brian when he comes home 4th of July weekend. So I finished 3 days ahead of schedule. Go, Me! Did I mention that I did my little makeover for about $175?? Yes, I love Ikea!
Once again, I'm embarrassed to show you the before pics! I started tearing stuff out and almost forgot to take the pics.

And here's the after! I was going for a hotel-like feel. I got the white duvet and shams from Ikea for $50.

I love the blue and brown color scheme and it was super easy to find these colors in the stores.

We took down the worn out slatted closet doors and put up soft white curtains from Ikea. They slide open and closed really easily.

And of course, I organized the inside of the closet. I tried to put like colors together. I also put all of my shoes in clear plastic shoeboxes that I got at the dollar store. Then I labeled them all with my label maker.

The dark brown curtains are from Ikea as well. They are light blocking curtains, which enabled me to sleep until 9:15 this a.m.! This could be bad...
I was able to do the whole window including hardware for $50, in spite of this window being 145 inches!

My absolute favorite part of the room is the black and white pictures above the bed. I used my cricut to do the vinyl lettering. The wording is from Jer. 31:3. I got the frames from Michael's for $5 each. I used printed scrapbook paper in my color scheme to cover the plain white matting.

I have to thank my mom and dad for all of their help. I could not have finished so quickly without their help!

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Did Not Cry During Toy Story 3...

...though many of my friends said they did. Disclaimer-I do not cry at movies, so why would this one be any different?
Before we went to see the movie, I gave my kids a challenge to try to "see" God throughout the movie. I think this is a good way to help Dylan and Holly develop a Biblical worldview. Though my kids did not engage quite as enthusiastically in the dinner conversation as I had hoped, they each were able to articulate one "God moment" from the movie. Here's a list of their observations and mine:

1. After the Toys are separated from Andy, they realize that Andy wants them and is looking for them. This reminded me of how even when we feel distant from God, He wants us!
2. During this time of separation, the Toys thought being at Sunnyside was a better plan than Andy's plan for them. As a result they suffered. As we do when we are outside of God's will.
3. Lotso the bear made the Sunnyside Daycare seem so wonderful. But eventually the Toys ended up in boxes and baskets in captivity. In the same way, Satan makes sin look good and we end up in bondage to those same sins.
4. Lotso told the Toys lies-"It's better not to have owners. We're are our own masters here." Just as Satan tells us the lie that we are better off being our own master instead of relying on God.
5. Buzz Lightyear showed us what happens when we don't read the manual. We need to read the Manual! (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
6. Lotso told another lie to the Toys. "You're not worth anything to your owner." Satan tries to get us to believe that God doesn't care about us and that we are worthless.
7. Lotso tricks the Toys in the end sending them to the furnace to be separated from their owner eternally, like Satan's ultimate goal for us.
8. Once Sunnyside Daycare was free from Lotso, the Toys were able to experience real joy and lots of blessings. As we do when we are not in bondage to sin.
9. And lastly, (my favorite one), God has a place and a plan for us in this world and He will take care of us, just as Andy did for his toys.

I encourage you to try to look at movies and books on your own and with your children, through a "God shaped lens". I believe it's one of the ways we can keep our focus on God through our daily activities.

I'm linking up with Tidy Mom!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Have you ever felt distant from God?

I think we'd all lying if we said we haven't experienced this. Last month I finished reading the entire Bible. I spent on average an hour and a half a day reading God's Word. This month, since I haven't had a set reading schedule, I have seen a rapid decline in the amount of time I have been spending in Bible reading and prayer each day. Add summer vacation and a lack of structure to the mix and I have been a mess! And I hate it! I miss the intimacy I was experiencing with God over that 4 month period. I think I subconsciencely thought once I read my whole Bible I would have "arrived". HA HA. It just goes to show me how I NEED to stay in God's Word daily. After reading the Scriptures for an hour a day spending 5 minutes reading a little here and there each day just isn't cutting it! The solution for me is that I need to purpose with a plan for my Bible reading each day. I challenge you to do the same. If you're just starting to establish a daily Bible reading routine, start with Proverbs. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs-one for each day of the month. There's great practical truths in Proverbs that have helped me with my attitude, parenting, gossip, humility, friendship, how I treat others, giving and many, many other areas of my life. Start today with Proverbs 18!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Organization Projects Pt. 1

One of my favorite things to do over the summer is to organize! There's always many areas in my little house that have been neglected during the school year. Can my teacher friends relate?? My first project this summer is my scrapbook shelves. Unfortunately, I don't have a scrapbook room. Instead, I have shelves in my upstairs hallway to store my supplies. Some of the shelves also hold books, videos/dvd's, and family games. If you don't think an area in your house isn't "too messy", take a picture of it and then look at it. Something about seeing it in a picture will make you realize just how bad it looks! I'm embarrassed to show you the before pictures...(You can click on each picture to enlarge it)

Here's the after:

This is the shelf for my cricut and the family games. I hid the games in these canvas cubes I got from Walmart for $6.

This is the shelf with the videos and books. I took a garbage bag full of vcr tapes and books to Goodwill. You can also see the organizers that I put the paper in. I categorized them and labeled them by color.

These are the shelves with my scrapbook stuff. I also got rid of a ton of scrapbooking magazines and some odds and ends embellishments that I haven't used for years.

I labeled all the baskets with my handy dandy label maker.

These are my ribbons. My friend Cynthia gave me these rings when she reorganized her scrapbook room.

What an improvement! Now I'm ready to scrap!!
And I can cross off #5 of My Summer Must-Do's and Want to-do's!

Saturday Morning Breakfast

During the school year, it's instant oatmeal and frozen waffles for breakfast most days. But during the summer, I love to cook and experiment with new breakfast recipes. Here's one I've been wanting to try. It's french toast waffles.
Here's the ingredients:

Use 1 egg per 2 pieces of french toast. Whisk together 1/2 c. milk, 1 egg, and a tsp. of vanilla. Dip a piece of bread in the mixture just like french toast.

Put the bread in the waffle maker for about 5-6 minutes until golden brown. One of my pieces of bread broke when I took it out of the egg mixture, but when I put it in the waffle maker it fused back together!

I sprinkled the finished product with cinnamon sugar. Powdered sugar would be yummy too! Enjoy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Keepin' 'Em Busy!

I had an urge to make meatballs this week. Probably because Target had a pound of ground beef on sale for $1.49 and I bought as many as I could pack in my freezer! So I decided to kill two birds with one stone and give the kids something fun to do while I fed my meatball-makin' urge!
Holly had lots of fun making these simple meatballs.
Here's the ingredients:

I chopped the onions finely. Then Holly threw in the 3/4 c. of bread crumbs, one egg, 2 tbsp. worcheshire, and 1/4 cup. of onions, salt and pepper and a couple of shakes of garlic salt.

Then, she rolled the meatballs and put them on a greased cookie sheet. They baked for 20 minutes at 375. They smelled deliciouso as they were cooking!

Lastly, I put them in the little crock with some bbq sauce. We'll have them for dinner tonight with some salad and tater tots.

For their afternoon snack, we made homemade soft pretzels. They were super simple and fun to make. And even Dylan, who was "too cool" to make meatballs with us, couldn't resist joining in on this one! Here's the ingredients:

I bought bread dough in the freezer section of the grocery. I wanted to get whole wheat dough but they didn't have any. It was super cheap at 3 loaves for about 3 bucks. I put one frozen loaf covered in a bowl overnight so it could thaw and rise a bit.

I dumped some flour on the counter and they rolled out the dough and used a pizza cutter to cut strips. I showed them how to do the pretzel shape. But they also made some hearts, letters, and whatever else they wanted. Then, they brushed the egg on each pretzel and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on each one.

The pretzels baked for about 20 minutes at 350. When they came out of the oven we brushed melted butter on each one and sprinkled some more cinnamon sugar on them. While they may not look pretty, I promise you, they were yuuummmmmmyy!!

We definitely had fun and stayed busy without spending tons of money! Stay tuned for more posts on the topic of "Keepin' 'Em Busy!"

I'm linking up with Tidy Mom!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Reading

We are all ready for all our summer reading programs!

The first place we visited was Barnes & Noble. Here's the link for the info.
At Barnes and Noble if kids read any 8 books they get to pick a free book off their list.

We also are participating in the Lifeway Christian bookstore summer program. Here's the link to their info.

This one you have to actually purchase 5 books for the kids. Then they read those 5 books and the kids will get a prize-I have no idea what the prize is, but it doesn't matter! It's just another source of motivation! You get 15% off any of the books that you purchase. Dylans's books (age 11) are more pricey. But they had lots of books for Holly(age 6) for under $4. Like this one:

Lastly, we got the info for the public library summer program. It doesn't actually start until Sunday.

Each child gets a gameboard. The parents set the goal for each child. For instance, for Dylan each spot on the gameboard will be worth 20 minutes of reading. For Holly, each spot will be worth one book. When they reach certain spots they get to pick out of the treasure chest. They also are entered into drawings to win things like Miami Dolphins tickets, an IPod touch, passes to a Broward County waterpark and other cool stuff.

Now for Holly, motivation is not a problem. This is her first summer reading fluently on her own. She finished two of the books we bought/checked out in the car before we got home. But Dylan is another story! He is a good reader who reads above grade level, but he doesn't love it. So I have resorted to bribery. For every book he reads he'll get $5 from the First National Bank of Mom and Dad. While you might think this is a little extreme, remember, he reads longer chapter books. So I can get him to read 4 books over the summer, it will be $20 bucks well spent!

As not to be hypocritical, I am reading, reading, reading also!

This is one that I am reading now.

I am also simultaneously reading this one.
Loving both of them!
I hope you and your family will be reading this summer!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Random Blogging

1. School got out on Friday, and I am now (excitedly, I might add) gathering ideas for my new class in August. Yes, there's something wrong with me.
2. Be careful what you let your kids watch on t.v. Over the weekend we were watching a reality show on TLC called "Mall Cops-Mall of America". Now Dylan says he wants to be a mall cop when he grows up. At least that will save me from racking up college expenses...
3. I have this overwhelming urge to make meatballs. Anyone have a good recipe?
4. After my post about gossip, I feel like I've been bombarded by celebrity gossip. At the restaurant last night they had EXTRA on and I caught myself almost mesmerized by it! I had to snap out of it! Don't want the devil to get a foothold! However, I really want to see the new Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz movie...
5. Tomorrow is my toy poodle's 16th birthday. He is deaf and blind but still healthy and full of life. I bought him for my husband as a wedding present. Who knew 16 years later he'd still be kickin'?!

I'm linking up to Striving for 31. Check out her Random Blog Night.


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