Technology and spring time!

Hello! Happy Monday!
Technology is amazing. My work computer tanked last week. ( blue screen of death etc ) so I’m trying to figure out how to post today! I’m using my phone. How crazy is this?! Amazing!

Because of this though, I haven’t figured out how to upload pictures.

So my next topic is springtime!! It’s the end of February, which means here we have like 8 more months of winter. But I dream of green and gardening!! Pinterest has lots of interesting gardening ideas. I’d show you my favorites but see my note about pics currently. Ill try to update later. My favorite ones are where they teach you plants that are friends. Sounds silly, but it helps them grow. I’ve seen unfriendly plants and they try to kill each other off. Gardening isn’t for the weak hearted. ūüôā

One year chelsey and I enlarged her garden bed. We used old railroad logs and spikes to hammer. It was very very hard work. It didn’t look very good, but it worked. We did ok produce wise, but it was very hot and dry, so that never helps. This year hopefully we will do more research and plan ahead. We will keep you updated!!!

So tell me- do you garden? If yes, what’s your successes, what have you learned???

Alyssa

Pinterest Tuesday: Puffy Paint and Valentine’s Day Cards

As Valentine’s Day approached, I tried to think of a fun, easy craft to do with the girls.¬† Of course, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and found this.¬† It was perfect; easy, simple materials, and great for a variety of ages.

A cute handprint card idea... definitely doing this!!

So cute!! We added one twist-puffy paint! I found a recipe in a newsletter from my school district and we went to work.  Now, I saved the newsletter so I could share the recipe with you, and I put it in a really, really, really safe place. How do I know this? I cannot find it. Of course.  But all is not lost! I did find this post which explains how to make it and some fun projects using the puffy paint.

Puffy Paint

1/2 cups shaving cream

1/2 cup white glue

food coloring

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Measure out the shaving cream and glue and mix together. Add the food coloring and mix until you like the results.

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Transfer the puffy paint to empty condiment bottles or use a paintbrush and let the kids have fun!

 

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Yes, this one was mine.

We put our paint on really thick, and it took a long time to dry. Overnight, in fact.  But it was puffy, and the girls enjoyed it. Great for a snowy, cold day.

~Chelsey

 

Who is in the Driver’s Seat?

Whew. My small group just started a new Bible Study. It is Beth Moore’s The Inheritance.

Doesn’t the castle in this picture look¬†like¬†Downton Abbey?

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 Picture courtesy of  www.timberlinewomen.org

Beth does such a great job of bringing the Bible to life for me.¬† Although Beth is the one standing there teaching, it is God speaking through her.¬† How do I know this? Well, it is no coincidence when the sermon series at our church, the passages I read in my daily devotions, the book I’m reading before bed and Beth’s teachings all line up. Absolutely. No. Coincidence. God is teaching me something. And I love that He uses so many ways to get my attention, and confirm in my spirit His truths. So, what is it exactly¬†He is trying to teach me this time? Well, I’m not completely sure yet, but¬†I do know that the issue of “control” has come up several times.¬† I like to be in control. I like to be in the driver’s seat; I like to make the schedule; I like to be the one to make the final decision; I like to be the one in charge.¬† Then I wonder why my life seems kind of boring. Or why I can’t get a handle on all of the “things” I have assigned to myself. When I hear that quiet, gentle voice whispering, “It’s because I didn’t design you that way,” I pretend to be shocked. What? God didn’t design me to be in charge? ¬†Well, of course not! He designed me to be His child, to be an heiress right alongside Jesus,¬†His only son! He adopted me as¬†His daughter and longs to lavish me with all of the riches¬†He has stored up for me. But I have to¬†let go and let Him guide my every step.¬† He knows my past, He knows my future, and He has a plan greater than anything I could ever plan for myself. So why is it so hard to let go?¬† Because I’m human.¬† But, I am and will forever be a student and child of the King, and I know He will teach me how to let go and allow Him to be my every breath.

Beth told us today, “It’s only a wild ride if someone else is driving.” (The Inheritance DVD, session 1.)¬† So, I’ll leave you with the same question I am thinking about today. Do I want the life God has planned for me, or my own boring version?

~Chelsey

Snow Day!

Well, here in the northland we got a ton of snow again! Well, eight inches or so.  Surprisingly we have had school canceled again! Nice right?

So what does a teacher do on a snow day? Nothing.

 

You think I’m joking.

Ok, so I have a movie playing, I’m cutting fabric for some sewing projects, I am still in my jammies though. I have dishes and laundry to do.

 

But I’ve also been thinking over and over again about the sermon our pastor gave at church yesterday. ¬†I get very distracted at church, so I know I need to go back and re-listen, but the gist of it was that we always want to praise God for our blessings. ¬†Not that it’s wrong to do so- at all!! But, that we grab the wheel and only call for help when there’s a flat tire or engine failure. ¬†He used an illustration about Jesus after he was baptized by his cousin, John. After that whole scene, the Spirit sent Jesus out into the wilderness where he was tempted for 40 days. He didn’t seem to want to go. ¬†(based of the translation of some of the original language) He asked God to change his plan in several different stories. ¬†BUT he still went. ¬†He obeyed. Even though he was alone and tempted and had all the human emotions we have.

He obeyed.  He obeyed even though he knew he was entering a desert with killer animals, hunger and the devil. Fun right?

We sometimes know when we are about to walk into something scary and challenging. ¬†We sure try to convince God we don’t need the lessons hardships teach us. ¬†We are soooooo smart like that right?? But we also need to remember to praise and be blessed in the midst of the desert. ¬†We may not get to detour the desert. ¬†But look at the blessings that can come if we fully trust in God.

This is HARD. Life is hard, money is tight, families fight, we get ill, etc…etc…etc…etc…

The point? God is Good, and wants to see us grow. Even in the hard times. So remember that as we all sometimes get brought to the desert.  And that God should be praised.  No matter how hot the desert is.

 

Alyssa

Taylor Turns 3 Continued-the Good, the Bad, and the REALLY UGLY

The Good

Taylor had a great birthday yesterday! It was also a crafty birthday for me-I¬†appliqued the “3”¬†on this shirt to wear on her special day. I also made her a few outfits for her new doll-she loved them!

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The Bad

I am going to be¬†really honest¬†here-my older daughter is struggling with Taylor’s birthday present.¬† Taylor received a Saige American Girl doll, and it just so happens to be a doll that Emily really likes. Please note, Emily already HAS her own American Girl doll, Emily Bennett. Soooooo….. I knew there might be a little bit of jealousy, but I was not expecting her to cry all night. Looks like I have some intense parenting work to do.

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AND The Ugly

I made Taylor a Hello Kitty cake. I am NOT a cake decorator. I can bake them, but decorating them is a whole other story.¬† And that is okay. I think I have enough hobbies to keep me busy.¬† Here is a picture of my Hello Kitty cake. The girls told everyone that Hello Kitty had a runny nose…I think Hello Kitty has a few other problems as well…that is okay, she tasted good. ūüôā

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~Chelsey

Taylor Turns 3!

Three years ago today, February 7, 2010, Taylor made her way into the world.¬† She was born the morning of Super Bowl Sunday, a week earlier than her scheduled C-Section day. Her whole birth story is great-it involves me waking up and realizing my water had broken at 12 am; frantic phone calls to Josh’s parents, who were not answering their phone; a call to 911 to report a drunk driver;¬† and me looking at my stomach while walking into the hospital and wondering, “is the baby still in there?” Birth does weird things to a person’s brain, apparently! We watched the Super Bowl that night after having only two hours of sleep, and I remember Taylor crying through pretty much the whole thing. I cannot, however, tell you who played, who won, or what commercials were shown.

17362_10100156084841660_6053055_nSweet, sweet Taylor.

17362_10100156084836670_4321650_n Emily holding Taylor for the first time.

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Um, yeah. Car seats are not made for preemie-sized newborns!

Come back tomorrow to hear more about Taylor’s big day!

~Chelsey

Pinterest Tuesday: Taco Seasoning!

The chicken was cooking on the stove, homemade tortilla chips were in the oven. I reached into my cupboard for the taco seasoning, only to find an empty space. Uh-oh. I searched every nook and cranny of the cupboard for a hidden packet of taco seasoning only to come out empty handed. What was I going to do? Dinner was ruined! Without taco seasoning my chicken nachos wouldn’t be very nacho-y. Could I turn it into something else? Start over with something completely new? I was in a pickle. Then, I suddenly remembered a recipe for homemade taco seasoning I had pinned on Pinterest.¬† Did I have the right ingredients? Would it taste good? I decided to try it out-I had to save dinner!

After looking at my Favorite Recipes board on Pinterest, I came across this pin.

homemade taco seasoning Homemade Taco Seasoning

Picture courtesy of http://www.5dollardinners.com/homemade-taco-seasoning/

Well, it looked promising! I rummaged around for the ingredients and discovered I had them all! (That NEVER happens, by the way.)

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1 T chili powder, 1 T ground cumin, 1 T garlic powder, 1 T onion powder, 1/4‚Äď¬Ĺ T crushed red pepper. Mix it all together. It is that easy!

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I¬†threw¬†1/8 cup seasoning¬†in with my chicken along with 2/3 cup water, and continued on with my recipe.¬† And you know what? Our chicken nachos were excellent! They were slightly spicier than we usually make them, probably because of the red pepper flakes, but everything else tasted just like the taco seasoning I usually buy in bulk from Sam’s Club.¬† Guess who won’t be making that purchase again? ME!!!

Want to try it for yourself? Use the links above and check out the original recipe. Be a kitchen hero!

~Chelsey

Off to the Ball!

It seems almost every young girl longs to be a princess. They love the dresses, the shoes, the atmosphere of magical perfection that seems to accompany the life of a princess. In our area girls everywhere, both young and old(er), have the opportunity to be a princess for one night. And the handsome prince who accompanies them is none other than their own father! The Father Daughter Ball attracts hundreds of dads and daughters in our area-so many that several different venues have set up their own events, and tickets for multiple nights sell out quickly. It is a great way for dads and daughters to make memories together!

Last year my husband took our oldest daughter, Emily, who was four at the time. She enjoyed herself; although she didn’t want to take off her jacket!¬† This year, he took both of our daughters; Emily, now five, and Taylor, who is two. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall; watching their precious night! But, since I couldn’t be there, I decided to contribute to the fun the best way I know how-by making the girls’¬†dresses!

My daughter originally asked me for this dress before Christmas from the American Girl catalog priced at a whopping $68.00!!!

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Picture courtesy of www.AmericanGirl.com

Since I wasn’t about to spend that much on a dress, I decided to make a similar one. I purchased a pattern from Hancock Fabric, some pretty purple fabric, all of which totaled about $35.00,¬†and went to work. Emily’s dress was finished before Christmas, so she was able to wear it to her school program, and Christmas day. I didn’t get to Taylor’s until after Christmas-oh well.

And here is the proud dad and excited daughters before they departed! They had a wonderful time and cannot wait to go again next year!

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~Chelsey

Craftiness… Or…the lack-there-of.

So this last two weeks I have been trying to make this:
hat1

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/phannie

I love Ravelry.com! It’s a free website that has tons of knitting and crocheting patterns. Lots are free, some cost, all are so cool! You just have to sign up (like most websites) but the best part is that you don’t get emails! I’ve spent hours browsing.

So it didn’t work out. It was NOT the pattern. It was me. I am not as good as crocheting as I like to imagine. So I decided to try another pattern. This one, but in a larger size :
hat2

Cute right?! It’s clearly me. This is what my hat looks like right now:
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So…I am breaking what might be a cardinal rule in needlework… I’m starting at the brim and working my way in. I’ll let you know how it looks next week. Wish me luck!!

Alyssa

*This post was not sponsored by Ravelry. I just love the website and enjoy them! All opinions are my own!

Pinterest Tuesday: Clean Microwave!

 

 

EEWWW…my food goes in there?

I have a confession to make. I am a terrible “cleaner”. I don’t think I have a neat bone in my body. I can be organized when I have to be; I was very organized in my college years, especially during student teaching, and I am pretty organized at work, thanks to my ultra-organized mother-in-law (she’s my boss!) However, when it comes to my home, not so much.¬† And I know that organization and cleaning are two separate things, but, I am bad at both. I have a whole board on Pinterest called DIY Cleaning, and today I am going to demonstrate one of the pins I tried:

How to Clean Your Microwave
http://pinterest.com/pin/171207223306281787/

I’ll show you how I did it; prepare to be amazed!

Step 1: Examine your gross, disgusting microwave

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Step 2: Fill a microwave safe bowl with water, add a splash of vinegar (I used a really BIG splash) and microwave until the water boils. I let mine boil for a few minutes, just to be safe. Then,¬†wearing hot pads remove the bowl and using a cloth or paper towel, wipe down your microwave. The gunk should be pretty easy to clean-if some is still stuck on, use a little elbow grease, or, I found that the longer I microwaved the water and vinegar mixture, the easier it was to wipe off all my “crud”.

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Step 3: Admire your handiwork! And never microwave anything ever again. Just kidding, although I now use a cover to keep the really messy food from flying all around. See that nice little burn mark on the top of my microwave? Should I be worried about that? Hmm…

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Now, if I did this once a week, or once a month, I would always have a nice, clean microwave. Try it and see how it works for you!

~Chelsey