Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Katie's Baptism Video

Wanted to share Katie's Baptism video with distant family and friends. It was a very emotional day for me. Enjoy!
What Was I Thinking? pt 1 from Northbrook Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Goals for Year - January in Review

I have several goals this new year, but I would like to focus on God and His Word. One other thing is try something new at least once a month. Whether it is a new recipe, craft, sport, type of food, etc.  Life is too short, I think it would be good for me to try new experiences and tastes.

As far as studying God's word, I always do real well until after 7 or 8 months. Life overloads and I become a slacker the rest of the year. Thankfully God is forgiving and He always gives me another chance. This time around it came to mind, how about keeping a journal. After reading my devotion or verses, write down my thoughts and what I feel God might be telling me. Remember the Bible is God's Living Word, ever changing.

This month has been a great start to the new year.  I've tried two different crafts for the kids, one new recipe and my journal is coming right along.  I would like to go back, type in the verses and do a few tweaks.

The kid crafts were fun to make and my kiddos just loved playing with them.  I made homemade play  dough with 4 different colors.  Do you remember THIS POST?

Colton got a Doggie Doo game from Santa this past year.  It lasted about 3 days before the putty that came with it began to get old.  Soon the putty wouldn't make it all the way through the dog.  I found a flubber recipe on Pinterest.  Yes, I'm one of very few that actually make the things that I repin on Pinterest.  LOL!  Honestly, I've found some pretty good recipes and crafts from there.  Anyway, I tried the recipe yesterday.  This recipe makes a lot.  Please note that it doesn't work well in the Doggie Doo. I think we are going to have to ditch the dog.  Just sayin' . . .  The instructions call for white glue and add food coloring, but it stains.  I used the Elmer's Glitter Glue.

Source: via Mirya on Pinterest

CLICK HERE  for step by step tutorial on how to make flubber from OMSI.  It also makes for a great Science experiment for young children.

Homemade Flubber
3 cups of very warm water
2 cups of Elmer's Glitter Glue
2 tsp 20 Mule Team Borax
White Vinegar (for cleaning)

(Do each step right down to the "T" and you'll have no problems. )

The Steps
In a large container, combine and mix:
1 1/2 cups of very warm water
2 cups of glue

Make sure this combination is completely mixed.

In a small container, combine and mix:
1 1/3 cups of very warm water
2 level tsp of 20 Mule Team Borax, (adults need to do this).

Make sure the Borax is completely dissolved. Be sure to read all warnings for Borax.  Keep out of the reach of children.  

Combine the Glue and Borax mixtures: 
Mix well using your hands until all the liquid is absorbed.  You may need to squish, mix or break up the flubber to get it fully combined.  Store the Flubber in an air-tight container at room temperature.  For best results, measure precisely and mix well as noted above.

If the Flubber gets in the carpet or clothing, vinegar will easily dissolve the Flubber.  It will keep for up to 2 weeks.  This recipe will make enough of Flubber for 6 children.

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Our little girl was baptized this past Sunday.  Most of our family was able to show up and support her.  We appreciate it so much to have our family to be there and hold us up.  It meant a lot to us.  I wished you could have seen the video of her confirmation.  It was absolutely precious!  I couldn't help it, but cry.  A few friends at church told me that we should be able to get a copy by the middle of this week.  I'm really hoping that I'll be able to put it on YouTube.  After church, everyone came over for dinner.  We had two crockpots full of Homemade Vegetable Soup and Chili.  My MIL brought her very good Mexican cornbread.  For dessert, I wanted to try a new recipe.  I needed something that would be simple and quick to make because I didn't have the time to make a very elaborate dessert.  I found this very simple recipe from {ta-da!} Pinterest.

Apple Dump Cake

2 cans apple pie filling
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 box yellow cake
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of pecans, chopped
Whipped cream or ice cream (to serve on top)

Dump 2 cans of pie filling in the bottom of 9x13" cake dish.  I used a glass dish.  Sprinkle cinnamon over apples.  Crumble dry cake mix over apple mixture.  Sprinkle pecans over the cake mix.  Slice each stick of butter into 12 equal pieces and place on top. Cook at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.  I would recommend putting a sheet of aluminum foil over the top because the pecans will burn.

Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013 Winter Storm Just For Kids

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My little snowman enjoying a rare event in these parts

It was projected that would get a few flurries and maybe an inch of snow on the ground.  I believe our local meteorologists have missed the ball this time.  During the day, Colton and I would go outside and take a few pictures for daddy.  It snowed so hard and fast that within minutes the ground was covered.  I think school couldn't decide if they wanted to shut down early or not.  Finally, a half an hour before schools closed I received a phone call stating that they would close at noon.  Wow!  Not much time to get my thoughts together and get a toddler ready for the drive.  

Katie absolutely loved it.  She told me, she was so happy that her wish came true and this was the happiest day.  We didn't stay outside all day.  Periodically, we'd take breaks inside to warm up.  Besides, Katie had to get her homework finished.  When I could see that the snow was letting up some, we went out one more time.  I wanted to measure the depth and the kids wanted to build a snowman/snow lady.  We measured 2-3 inches of snow in most areas.  

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Colton's Snowman
The only thing I could get my hands on for eyes were cherry tomatoes.  His eyes look evil.  Colton liked it though and that's what matters.  LOL! 

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Katie's Snow Lady
So fun to make, even with impatient children.

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I've enjoyed making memories with my children.  One day, I hope they will be able to look back and remember the happy moments.  Not long after we went back inside for the day, the sun came out and began to melt the snow.  There is still lots of snow on the ground, but most of the snow is out of the trees and off the bushes.  Family and friends going home tonight from work have been more than eventful for them, with wrecks and vehicles skid off the roadways.  Doug got stuck in traffic for a little bit because of the roads.  Tomorrow, most schools will be either closed or have a delay.  I get tickled at Katie and Colton, ever now and then they check on their snowman.  They want to make sure that he/she is going to make it.  (haha)  Colton was shocked that we still have snow.  "Mom, there's still snow on the ground!" he said.  

Just for Kids 
After Colton and I covered our lesson for today, he asked if he could play with play dough.  He did so well, I didn't see why not.  I pulled out the play dough and cutters, but our play dough was getting pretty old that it just crumbled.  I've always wanted to make my play dough and here was my chance.  I got on Pinterest, where I had bookmarked "DIY Play dough" and looked up the recipe.  I have to say that it wasn't has hard as I thought it would be.   
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Colton helped me out of course.  Children are so impatient or mine are anyways.  The entire time I was preparing the mixture, all Colton wanted to do was the finishing touches of food coloring.  Ugh!  At one point, he had the lid to one of my gel food coloring off.  One wrong move and he would have his hands dyed orange.  Luckily, I got there just in time to wisp it right out of his hands and the lid back on.  Shew!  The play dough recipe came from Skip To My Lou.  For a complete tutorial CLICK HERE

Play Dough
1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring

Mix all the ingredients together except for food coloring in a medium sauce pan. 
Stir over medium heat (on the stove) until smooth
Stir continuously until a dough ball forms (it won't look smooth yet) about 1-2 minutes.  
Remove from heat. 

When dough has cooled enough to handle, knead until smooth.
Form into a ball (might be a little sticky)
With a butter knife, divide the dough into how ever many different colors you want to use.  A single batch will make up to 4 different colors of equal portions.  

In order to protect your countertop and hands from food coloring stains, I suggest that you place the dough on wax paper.  Wear latex gloves, so your fingers and hands won't stain.  If you don't have gloves handy, you could use ziploc bags.  

Add food coloring to each portion and knead the color into the dough.  If you are using ziploc bags, the children could help knead.  
Put the dough in separate air tight containers.  I used old Play dough containers.  I only had 3 containers available, so the 4th dough was wrapped in wax paper and placed in a Ziploc sandwich bag.  Dough is suppose to keep for several weeks in an air tight container.

Colton was so excited that he got brand new play dough.  He couldn't wait to try it out.  I told him, first we have to gather up all the old play dough that just happened to be in several pieces all over the table and throw it away.  Like all kids, he hates having to pick up.  He just wasn't picking up all the old dough fast enough, to him, because he asked me to help him.  He wanted to get into his new so bad.  I got tickled at him, while picking up dough.  Absolutely disgusted, he told me "uhhh, mom this is freakin' me out."  He has never said this before.  I had to chuckle and ask him where he heard that word.  Then, I asked him if he heard it from me.  "Yes" he informed me.  LOL!  Got to watch what I say at all times.  

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I found these fun play dough sheets at Planet of the Apels.  

The complete set contains 20 sheets.  So far, Colton seems to have had a lot of fun using his new play dough, putting faces on boys and girls.  I placed the sheets in protectors, so they won't be damaged.  

Sensory Game
I haven't come up with a name for our new game.  I didn't know if Colton would be too old for a sensory game.  I've seen several different types, but I don't think there's anything out there like mine.  Colton and I both created this together. How did we do it?  I had a couple of bags of decorative stones. I put them in a plastic bowl along with a bag of different sized pom-poms.  Katie collects Mini Lalaloopsies, so we have several tiny characters that came with the dolls.  At times, we even use tiny Barbie and Polly Pocket accessories (purse, bottle of perfume, etc.)  Squinkies would also work well with this game.  To make it a little challenging, we use popsicle sticks to dig through the stones and pom-pons, looking for our missing treasure.  

- Mix up the treasure through the stones and pom-poms. 
- Change it around: 
   - How many squinkies are there? 
   - Who ever finds the monkey first wins!
   - Find all the butterflies.  How many butterflies are there? 

Add any sort of phonics are counting to fun is always a good thing. So far, Colton loves playing this game.  He will play up to 30 minutes at a time with this game.  At times, I have a hard time getting him to use the sticks.  He wants to go in at it with both hands, but it keeps him occupied.  Also don't be surprised to see pom-poms all over the table as well.  LOL! We created this game at the beginning of the week and he requests every day to play.  He tells me that he wants to go diggin'.  LOL!  

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup

We have not completely steered away from the surrounding sickness.  Katie had a terrible sore throat and cough a few days before New Year Day.  It seemed to be worse right before she went to bed for the night.  I figured she was having a lot of drainage.  It wasn't long before I was sharing her pain with the sinus headaches and sore throat.  Ugh!  No fun at all.  School went back in session January 2nd and she was not feeling any better.  The night before, she was up crying, coughing and complaining about her throat.  Me not feeling good either could not think at 12 o'clock at night as to what else to give her.  I felt so bad for her.  She kept saying that it hurts so bad to swallow.  I decided to keep her out of school on Wednesday and made an appointment for both Katie and myself with our family doctor.  We were automatically tested for Strep.  Thankfully, it came back negative.  I just knew we had a sinus infection because my face was throbbing and I could feel drainage in my ear.  Dr. L gave us a thorough examination and told me that I wouldn't like the results.  Every time he says that it means we have a cold or something very minor.  Ugh!  Sure enough, he told me that we just have a really bad cold.  I was glad that it wasn't anything serious, but we felt terrible for it to be just a COLD.  Come on!  Well, the only thing we can do is load up on Advil and he called me a prescription for Mucinex D.  He said it was better than the Mucus Relief that you find over the counter.  I won't go into detail,  I believe it's working.  We went home and began eating our Southern Style Chicken Noodle Soup and drinking lots of orange juice.  Katie went back to school the next day and I have to say, she had a couple of rough days of school.  Poor baby!  Thankfully, they really didn't do anything in class because Mrs. M said she could tell that Katie was a little out of it.  This morning is the first morning Katie hasn't had a sore throat for days.  I'm so glad.  I told Doug maybe that is a good sign for me.  Maybe I'll have another day or two and this mess will be gone.  The bad thing is Doug and Colt are now coughing and sneezing a little.

On a lighter note, I took Katie Friday to get measured for her recital costume.  This year's theme will be "La Bayadere," which means female dancer from India. We got to see pictures of all the costumes for the performance.  They are so pretty and Katie loves hers again this year.

Katie's recital costume

You'll need to mark on your calendar our Spring Recital is May 25th at WSCC Auditorium.  This is Katie's fourth year of ballet, which means that I've been to four recitals and I've never been disappointed.  I never knew that I would like ballet or theatrical arts, but it ROCKS!  Before Christmas break, I got to view Katie's ballet class with a little exercise dance.  Wow!  I can see the improvement in Katie's dancing this year.  Maybe it's the age, but she seems to want to do exactly what Mrs. A wants her to do to make her happy.  Yes, she is finally LISTENING.  I signed Katie up for ballet at this very little school when she was three years old to instill the skill of listening.  Minus last year because we were in gymnastics, it has taken her this long to finally get it.  Ahh!  FINALLY.  She did a lovely dance and she nailed all of the positions.  I believe our little ballerina has taken a growth spurt as well.  During practice this week, she was complaining about her tights riding up.  Well, it appears that the tights, I just bought this past August, are too short.  Here we go!  I was so hoping that the growth spurts would wait until closer to May.  I'm absolutely clothes poor when it comes to my kids.  They will grow one way and I have to buy more.  In no time, they are growing another way and I have to go back to the store.  Doug and I were talking last night about how we can't afford to buy underwear for ourselves.  LOL! Just joking, but it's nearly the truth.

On a side note for all of you proud relatives, Katie made another straights A's on her report card.  She is doing great in school.  There have been no complaints, but I'm hoping to work on her bossiness.  I suppose it's my fault.  Last year, I did tell her that if she noticed someone was acting like a bully to someone else or if she saw a problem, to tell her teacher.  The past couple of times, while I've been at school (helping or visiting), I noticed she likes to keep Mrs. M informed on all transactions and activities within the class.  Ugh!  This last time, she informed Mrs. M that one of the boys had one too many donuts.  Us, parents, were passing out the food and one of the boys ended up with one too many donuts.  He did tell his mom about having too many.  He had already touched it and I saw no problem with him eating it, if he wanted it.  Of course, he was all smiles.  My little monitor was a little late on hearing the conversation and alerted Mrs. M immediately.  I called her down and apologized to Mrs. M and to the boy's mother.  "She can be a little bossy," I told them.  Hopefully, she will grow out of it.

Tomorrow, our favorite team will face off Notre Dame at the 2013 BCS Championship in Miami, FL.  We are so excited for them.  They have worked so hard and have come a long way for another opportunity to win their 15th BCS Championship.  They are an awesome team and I wish them loads of luck (not luck of the Irish).  ;) Every since it was announced that Alabama would be playing against Notre Dame, the ads and cartoons have been cracking me up.
Posted The Birmingham News; cartoonist, J.D. Crowe

Posted by ESPN

Of course, I've seen Notre Dame's bashing on Bama.  For instance, "Catholics vs. Cousins" and calling Bama "Mobile Homers."  I have only one question.  Is that all you've got?  Honey, I've heard these ignorant name calling all my life.  There is also the interview that I saw on our local news.  One of reporters were interviewing a ND player (coming off the plane in Florida) and he said and I quote "it's like Rudy versus Forrest Gump."  I REALLY hope our players heard this comment.  Maybe it would be just enough to get them fired up.  If Notre Dame players and fans really think Alabamians are like Forrest Gump then all I can say on game day is "RUN, FORREST, RUN!!!"  Personally, I didn't marry my cousin nor do I live in a mobile home.   One thing about Alabamians, they are grateful for what they have and who they are.   Better LUCK next time on the so-called insults.  :)  

Meanwhile, we are ready for the BIG game.  Doug needed to take some time off and I'm glad he decided to take Tuesday off.  I knew he would want to stay up and watch the game tomorrow night.  He would have been a zombie the next morning, going into work.  On game day, Wholesale Foods (a grocery/restaurant) will be cooking Irish Stew and showing the game.  I think it's an awesome idea and if we lived a little closer, I would suggest us getting an order of it.