Monday, February 28, 2011

Mixer Makeover

Remember all the vinyl stickers I picked up at Dollar Tree
to add a little something to my toolbox camera holder?
Well, they have come in handy again.

And this will be so easy to change when I come
across something else that I love even more!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Teacher Tip

I want to share one of my favorite teacher tips today.
I used this trick a lot when I was teaching kindergarten
and it still comes in handy once in a while.

Here is a plastic container I picked up at Goodwill.
The words were written with permanent Sharpie.




Nope.  Just a little fingernail polish remover and elbow grease.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Camera Box

After three cameras, five memory cards, two instructions manuals and 
countless cords ended up on my little desk, I marched myself downstairs
to find a pretty little container (with a lid) to hide everything in.

Instead of a cute little cardboard box or basket, I found a red toolbox
screaming, "PICK ME, PICK ME!".   So I did.
It worked great!  My cameras fit perfectly in the bottom and the little
memory cards and cords found a home in the lift-out tray.  YAY!
But it wasn't very cute.  So I thought...and I thought...and I thought
VINYL STICKERS!  And off to Hobby Lobby I went.

I found lots of fun things at Hobby Lobby (I'll share later) but no vinyl
stickers that I loved.  My next stop was Dollar Tree to pick up some
containers and guess what I found there?   VINYL STICKERS.  FOR $1!

LOTS of vinyl stickers!

So here's my camera case.  Probably not the finished product.
I think the handle needs some ribbon or something, but I
like it better already.
I also want to cover up that brand label on the bottom corner.

I'm on the lookout for a super cute camera bag.  I've found a few on, but they were a little pricey.  I've seen some adorable
insulated lunch bags that I thought might work, but I think I'll keep looking.
McPherson has a new luggage store that had fun bags on display in their
front window - maybe I'll check there.  Any ideas?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Playing School & Cleaning Toilets

My kids LOVE to play school.  Kinda' makes a teacher mom proud.  
It was Hope's turn to be the teacher and she wanted to plan a field trip.
She made the cutest permission slips and let me help plan the activity.

We decided to use a book called "Make Me a Peanut Butter Sandwich
and a glass of milk".  I made little peanut butter sandwiches and filled little
canning jars with milk for the "students" to snack on after the story was read.
Hope took her supplies to the barn to lead her field trip.
BONUS: Grant talked the "students" into doing chores as part of the lesson.

I don't want my kids to grow up too soon, but sometimes it's fun to watch
them doing grown-up jobs.  It's fun to watch Hope be a teacher.

And it is REALLY fun watching Tate be a toilet scrubber.

And how does a 4-year-old unwind after scrubbing toilets?
Playing before he saw the camera.

Playing AFTER he saw the camera.  And after he looked at this picture, 
he wanted me to fix his "sticky-ups".  ie: his hair

Just Because:
This is Paige's favorite place to doze while waiting for the morning bus.
She's laying on top of a vent - a warm and snuggly place to be on a cold morning.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


A good friend celebrated her birthday on February 11th and I was out of town, 
so her gifts from me are coming in a three-part series.  #1 was a birthday card
mailed in a timely manner (NOT one of my gifts and talents).  #2 was a magazine
entitled "Life:Beautiful" and some pretty tulips.  #3 is yet to be determined.

"Life:Beautiful" is a magazine for Christian women filled with a variety of topics.
The winter issue contained essays from gifted Christian writers, craft ideas,
business success stories, recipes (I think) and lots of scripture.  But how does
one make a magazine a fun gift to receive?  It's all in the presentation:
I wrapped it in two pieces of tissue paper - a piece of light blue over a piece
with a pretty blue pattern.  Then I copied a quote out of a book, taped it on,
and topped it all off with a netting bow.

For a pretty vase for some simple tulips, I covered a clear glass vase with 
part of a sweater's sleeve.  I just cut the sleeve the same length as the vase
and slipped it over.  I hot glued the bottom edge of the sleeve to the vase
to hold it in place.  Then I decided it needed a little something more.
I printed out Ecclesiastes 3:11 on some pretty paper, glued the paper to 
some fun ribbon and tied the whole thing around the vase.  It was fun to 
find a verse to go along with my theme of "Beautiful".  
'God has made everything beautiful in its time'

Happy Birthday, beautiful friend!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Topeka Time

 I've spent the last couple of days in Topeka, learning about current education legislation and issues.  I traveled there with four other board of education members from my school district and was blessed with their conversation, ideas and knowledge.  We were able to do some lobbying that I pray will have a positive effect for students, teachers and staff in our district as well as across the state of Kansas.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mug Shots

I love cute mugs.  Almost as much as I love the coffee that I put in them.
  And doesn't coffee seem to taste even better in a cute mug?

Here are a few of my favorites.

I love my sheep mug - a good friend gave it to me. 
The verse on it is Ephesians 2:10.
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do"

LOVE a girly K-State mug, and the Dylan's mug
is from my first (but not last) trip to NYC.

The peacock mug reminds of a lady I loved dearly as a young child - I called her "Nanny"
and thought she was my grandma.  She had beautiful peacocks roaming around
her quiet Oklahoma property and I loved to treasure-hunt for their feathers.
  She used to rock me to sleep, even after I was way too big to rock to sleep.

Starbucks Christmas cup - 'nuff said.

I bought my Cinderella cup on a shopping trip with my dear friend Beth, who I miss so much.  It says "I dreamt that my whole castle was clean."
  You and me both, sister!

Pumpkins - Cuz, you know, we have a pumpkin patch.
  I carry that mug out to the barn every week day in October
so I can sip my coffee in between field trips.

 I gave this mug to Grant last year on Valentine's Day. 
We were at Winter Park and I fell in love with it at the Starbucks in the Village.
  The kids thought it was hilarious that I gave Grant this mug - because
they knew who it was really for. 
Grant felt bad (for a second) when I handed him a gift to unwrap,
because we had agreed not to exchange gifts.  I use it almost every day.
  It might be my favorite.

We happened to be at Winter Park for Valentine's Day this year too.  
So not to break tradition, I bought "Grant" another mug.
I think he had a clue what it was when he found it
wrapped up in front of the coffee maker that morning.
I'm breaking it in for him today.  What can I say?  I'm a giver!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Winter Park III

We have packing for Winter Park down to a science.  I thought I'd share three things that we always pack.
1. Roll-Out Piano

2.  Jammie Pants Pillow
These pillows are so easy to make.  Take one pair of soft pajama pants, turn wrong side out, sew the legs closed.  Turn the pants right side out, stuff with pillow stuffing and sew the waist closed.  My kids LOVE these!  If your jammie pants are too long, just trim them to the length you want before sewing the legs closed.  They're great to use in the car!  And a fun gift!  Now...where was I?
3.  A Strong Daddy 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Winter Park II

Want to make a mom's heart skip a beat?  No need to buy her flowers, or let her hug you in front of your friends, or tell her you love her.  Just do this....

  He's hard to see against the trees, but if you look closely
you'll see my baby (my 15-year-old baby) doing a 180 off a big jump.

Helloooooo down there!

How happy can a fresh, warm, chocolate chip cookie make a 4-year-old boy?
 THIS happy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Park

We're at Winter Park...again. We love it here.  We did some skiing, skating, playing and eating.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Snow Day

It's snowing...again.

So we are...

playing PS2,

watching cartoons,

playing I-Pod Touch,

practicing piano,

and eating.

All in all, not a bad day.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Snowball Makers

Grandma Viv blessed our kiddos with snowball makers while she was here to help us celebrate Hope's birthday.  And we still had one drift of snow left out front to try them out with.  I was also trying out a new little point and shoot camera so I apologize for the less than clear pictures.  Oh well!

By the time I made it out of the kitchen and onto the front porch with the camera we were down from five kids playing in the snow to two.  Paige and Hart were happy to give me a demo though.

Do you see Sophie at the edge of the pic?  She is our neighbor's dog and she LOVES to play catch.  See her eyeing Hart's snowball?  She knows what's coming!  I bet her mouth was frozen after catching all those snowballs.  She loves to be in the middle of a game of catch with a football and we've even seen her playing tetherball  with our kids.  It's a sight!  And where does a kiddo stick a snowball maker to keep the dogs from carrying it off?

In the little tiny pear tree, of course.  They are red - can I consider them Valentine's Day decor?

There was even a big enough patch of snow left out back to do a little bit of sledding.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

This Is The Day

This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

AND eat cake!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Crayons

My kids love getting a brand new box of crayons.  I do too.  But I always feel a little guilty for throwing away the old crayons that have a lot of color left in them, but they're just not fresh anymore.  I know just how they feel.  So I was so excited to pick up a Christmas cake pan in January (translation: cheap!) and recycle our tired, old crayons into fresh, new winter shaped colors.  It's so easy!

First we peeled the paper off the crayons.  Then we sprayed our Christmas pan with a little Pam, broke the crayons into smaller pieces and filled the shapes with the broken pieces.  The fuller, the better.  We mixed our colors a little bit for the fun of it.

Bake at 275* for 3-5 minutes and then CAREFULLY remove from the oven to cool.  Let them cool completely and then they'll pop right out of the pan.

Make sure EVERYONE in your household knows these pretty things are crayons (i.e. not edible).  My always-hungry teenage son almost ate one.  Even after he found out they were crayons, he was tempted.
I picked up a hearts pan last week and can't wait to make some Valentine crayons next.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Onion Goggles

I've tried EveRYthiNg to be able cut an onion without crying and nothing ever worked.  Until...I was desperate for chopped onion one day when Grant wasn't at home to chop, chop, chop for me.  One lonely pair of ski goggles had made it in from the Suburban from our December ski trip and landed in the mudroom instead of the goggle tub.  Yay for me!  I stuck them on, said a quick prayer and started chopping.  NO TEARS!  No burning eyes.  No running from the room like I was on fire to gulp non-oniony air.  Now my precious onion goggles rest on a shelf by my sink and I put onion in almost everything I cook right now...because I can.  :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

We are having our second snow day in a row in central Kansas.  And, brrrrrrrr, it's cold!  This is the view out our front door - a little bit of snow and LOTS of wind. 

Here's the view out the back door.  More cold and more wind.  Wonder if we'll be blessed with another snow day tomorrow?  Our family is enjoying being tucked in for this storm.  Keep warm out there!