Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Missed beauty

Below is an article I find immensely interesting. It is about a bit of an experiment set up by Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten and world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell. Mr. Bell played his $3.5 million 18th century Stradivarius in a metro station in Washington D.C. during rush hour, dressed in street clothes. What happens says so much about what we perceive and how much we miss in terms of beauty, joy, and blessings on a day-to-day basis, because we are too busy or it doesn't look like we expect it to look. Enjoy.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sicko smoothies

OK, so Julius was vomiting yesterday and last night and had diarrhea this morning. (He'll be SO glad I posted that to my blog when he's a teen!) Things seemed to slow down this morning and he held down some cheerios - sans milk, so, at the suggestion of my clever husband, I made some Sicko Smoothies for the lot of us. I am a big proponent of probiotics.  Their expense is worth it and I prefer Culturelle. It seems to have more active cultures than the others.  Here is my recipe:

16oz Greek yogurt
3 VERY ripe bananas
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 c uncooked oats
1 tray of ice cubes
The contents of 3 Culturelle capsules
sweetener to taste, if desired

Place all of the items in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Makes 4 10oz smoothies

Valentine's Day

So, I decided that the best course of action on Valentine's Day was to pump my kids full of sugar and red dyes before taking them off to a preschool/grade school Valentine Party at the local inflatables joint - amazing idea!
Pink pancakes with strawberries & sugar, chocolate sauce, and PILES of whipped cream.


Our heart-shaped milk ice cubes (We ran out of red food coloring...)
IKEA ice cube trays - tons of fun! I put one drop of food coloring in each heart, filled it with milk, and froze it overnight. I'm not sure I would recommend doing this with a plastic ice cube tray, though.  I had to work pretty hard to get the hearts out of this silicone tray.

And, though a little late, here's an idea for a FREE (don't you love that word?) card or gift for your wife or hubby for next Valentine's Day.

Just use your wedding band in the valley of an open book and a bright source of light.  The shadow makes a heart!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Random fun & a craft

If you don't mind a lot of running around and laughing, this one is a hoot!  They are called Wobble Balls.  If you have kids, you probably already have way too many of the supplies on hand to make them.

I know, they just look like balloons.  Here's what you do. Take about a 1/4 - 1/2 inch ball of clay or 
Play-doh and roll it into a "snake." Put it into the opening of your uninflated balloon. Once it's completely inside, work it back into a ball and blow up & tie off the balloon.  The weight of the clay throws off the center of gravity of the balloon just enough that the thing goes all over the place!

Needless to say, it kept them occupied and happy for a bit!

This was just a fun craft that I wanted to try out from Pinterest. The link originally came from a blog called Cotton and Curls. This blogger claimed that you could cut out a cute design onto freezer paper, then iron the waxy side of the freezer paper onto a shirt. This supposedly sealed the edges of the design tightly enough that you could paint fabric paint onto the shirt with a sponge brush and it wouldn't bleed.  I had my doubts, so I tried it on a shirt that I was planning on donating anyway.

Guess what? It worked! I'm thinking that this may be the perfect remedy for all of the boys shirts that got past me and into the washing machine and dryer and now have stains forever set down the front of them.  I could paint on little ties or mini bodies with their regular-sized heads coming out of the necks! Awesome!

And, well, this was just a random shot, but it made me smile.  I hope it does you, too. Julius saw this and asked me to take a picture.  At first I didn't see it.  The tissue paper ball is making the shadow of a heart on the wall. :)

Home school History Fun

These are the pictures from our latest stop "Around the World." We are still in North America. As you can see, it is the Spirit of Saint Louis.  It is a construction paper-covered milk carton with cardboard and craft stick wings taped onto it.  It lasted for, oh, about 2 minutes after this photo was taken...which I expected.  I mean, who tells a 6-year-old boy the story of Charles Lindbergh, hands him an airplane and expects him not to see how far it can fly?!  Not me.  That's why I take pictures.

Here, we had just talked about the history of writing in the Mesopotamia.  They were supposed to be practicing their cuneiform writing - like the Sumerians.

Julius was MUCH more interested in the Egyptian style.

The twins, well....I...ummm...let's move on...

This was fun. We talked about the Old Kingdom in Egypt.  This is GREAT boy stuff! They put organs in jars - pulled out brains through your nose - there was buried treasure and thieves. I can't make up stuff this good! I told them each to go get one of their stuffed animals and we'd make it into a mummy.  The one on the right is just a doll that I'd sewn for them a few years ago. The one one the left  is a Rio Angry Bird - you can't make that stuff up, either.  This picture was taken immediately upon the completion of the wrapping, because I knew what was coming...

...this is what the "mummies" looked like before I even made it across the room to set the camera down. Mothers of boys, take heart. :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Some great quiet books

I'm kind of a sucker for things that keep my kids' interest and require little effort on my part. After reading a post over at All For the Boys (a great little blog, by the way), I decided that I'd write a post of low-effort, high-interest quiet books. Here is the one I saw over at All For the Boys this morning:
This one is no-sew!

This one at Homemade Holiday Gifts would take a bit longer, but is all hand-sewn and would keep an older child more engaged.

B-rilliant! A binder, sheet protectors, age-appropriate worksheets, and  dry-erase crayons. It couldn't be any easier than that! Thanks I Am Momma Hear Me Roar!
This one is SUPER cute and, again - no-sew! This would be a great one for doctor's offices and the like as the swish of the velcro may not be welcomed at church. Very cute Kojo designs!

Hope that gives you some good ideas! Interestingly, I learned a few things from this post, as well #1 - apparently some women define "quick and easy" as 3 hours of work.  Wow.  Now more commentary needed.  #2 - Quiet books are HUGE with the Mormons.  Seriously.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Dream Deferred? A post for single ladies and married ladies who feel cheated

      I was talking yesterday with a friend about how very much the Christian culture tends to not realize how very much we are influenced by the culture of the world around us.  We see this in various ways.  Christian parents let their kids date (more on this later) & date non-christian kids.  We put our kids on the big yellow bus when they are 5.  We sign them,and ourselves, up for umpteen activities, leaving little family time.  We buy them the latest and the greatest gizmos,gadgets,apps,and movies, letting them keep up with pop culture and idolize its heroes.  Now, am I saying that these are all sinful? No.  Am I saying that we should withdrawal our families from society, at large, and only allow them to interact with like-minded families? No.  Am I saying that we, in general, have tended to stop evaluating many of the choices we make for ourselves and our families based on biblical sources and more on what our friends, neighbors, and "the culture" at large are doing? Yes.
     As Christians, our choices matter. As the author of this article wisely quotes,But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." Romans 6:17-18 (NASB). We are slaves to righteousness.  We lay ourselves at the foot of the cross.  We die to ourselves - not as some martyr, because the death is not the end of the story.  The life on the other side is richer, fuller, and more amazing than we could have ever imagined or chosen for ourselves.

     This article is directed toward single christian young women, but I find it much more far-reaching than that.  It's for parents, daughters, sons, wives, maybe especially wives who have been fed the lie that being at home is "not living up to your potential" or that "you deserve more and so do your girls".
     Anyway, have a read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. A dream deferred.