Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our portable garden

Because of our upcoming move, our garden had to be made portable this year.  All that work that went into our raised vegetable garden last year....bummer.

With the help of my children (ha,ha), I planted four tomato plants, cilantro, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme and bell pepper.  The rosemary and oregano were transplants from our garden that somehow survived the frigid winter temperatures.  Later, we'll also dig up and transplant our two blueberry bushes, blackberry vine, artichoke and strawberry plants.   

I recycled a few pots I had laying around and then found some at my Grandpa's place.  I displaced a few spiders and did a little screaming, but it was worth it.  I love the rustic look of the terra cotta pots.

I found a neat idea here and used old bits of fabric I had hiding away in a craft box.  Low cost and cute, I think anyway.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pure bliss!

We're lovin' the warm weather!  The kids had some fun with the mister which I convinced them was just as fun as the water wasting sprinkler.  I believe they agreed, don't you think?

Friday, April 17, 2009

We're moving!

I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but we will be moving sometime before June 1st Lord willing.

We plan to rent out our place, so if you know of anyone looking to rent a home in Antioch, let me know.  We have a listing on Craig's list, but I re-list every few days, so there's not much point in posting a link here.  I can forward the link to anyone who might be interested though.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A cheap and easy Easter project

We made a few of the same cards last year, but I'm hoping everyone will just have a temporary case of memory lapse.
I found the idea in a MOPS magazine and I thought it was cute.  We don't do the Easter bunny thing, but who can pass up a thumb print bunny?!  Technically, its really a thumb print face and pinky print ears.  I used regular white paint and dusted the wet paint with some glitter that I had on hand.  The kids made the bunnies and I drew on the face after that paint had dried.  Inside printing and scribbling courtesy of the kids.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A girl and her blanket

My dad called and asked that I come by Grandpa's place sometime soon and pick-up all the belongings I requested.  A few weeks ago, I went to the house along with my sister and two cousins to sift through the place.  We were instructed to use post-it notes and label anything we wanted.  It was weird to do such a thing, but we had a nice time reminiscing.  Really, it couldn't have been more pleasant.

While I was at Grandpa's this afternoon, I decided to quickly look through a small box of handkerchiefs and such.  Among the small pile I saw my old pair of Raggedy Ann shorts I wore as pajama bottoms.  Of course I just had to pick those up for Mia.
At the bottom of the pile I found something I'd call a purse, but what do I know?  Anyways, I picked up the "purse" because I thought it was pretty.  I was looking at all the stitching when I noticed there was something inside.  I pulled out what I thought was a piece of fabric and immediately I recognized the cloth.  Initially, I believed it was familiar because my Grandma might have used the fabric for some sewing project that I vaguely remembered.  Then I pulled out the second piece of fabric just like the first except for a satin edging.  It was then I knew without a doubt that the tattered pieces of cloth I was holding were cut from my blankie.  I'm not sure how I acquired my blanket as a child, but when I was little I was never without it.  It became another appendage.  At times, a very stinky appendage.
At one point my then step-dad threatened to toss my blanket.  I was upset of course, and I told my Grandma about this.  More than likely she was just as tired of blankie, but she loved me enough to compromise.  I clearly remember her cutting a few small squares from my blanket for me to keep.  I'm not sure how these pieces eventually ended up in this purse, but my discovery was sweet.  
I called my dad and told him about finding pieces of my blanket tucked away in that little purse.  Without any prompting he said, "Your yellow blanket?".  Yep, I guess you'd call it yellow, or maybe yellowed, but we were talking about the very same blanket.  He thinks my Grandma may have placed the pieces of my blanket in the purse so I'd never find them.

I disagree.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dying eggs with the kids

Our last little project together before Alfonso gets home tonight was egg dying.  After five full days by myself I honestly am worn out, but I promised and the kids have great memories.  Except when I ask either of them to do their chores...hmmmm.  

We had fun and as with most projects, the clean-up always takes twice as long as the project itself.  Spencer wanted to do a little experimenting with the left over dye, which I okayed as long as he didn't spill.  I was in the other room and I heard him say, "Oops, sorry Mom.  I only spilled a little."  After he said this several times, I thought I should go check and see what his definition of "little" was.  Well, all the littles turned into one, big wet mess.  Thankfully, our table has seen worse and it appears it will survive alright.

Did I mention how excited I am to see my husband?!  Five days is just too long.  I hate to admit it, but I may have lost my patience once or twice the last few days.  I've heard many "hell (help) me, Mom" from Mia and Spencer's asked one too many times, "What's next?"  I swear the kid thinks I'm a part-time tour guide.  But I really do love my kids.  A lot.

I'll tell you what's next...BEDTIME!

Easter Story Cookies

We made these cookies last year after I received the recipe at MOPS.  We're going to make them again this year because I want our family to celebrate the real meaning behind Easter.  I'm so thankful I have a Savior who died for me; I certainly did nothing to deserve His grace, but He did it anyway.

Easter Story Cookies (make the night before Easter)
1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
zip lock bag
wooden spoon
duct tape or packing tape
parchment paper

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  For best results, make sure you begin with beaters and a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl that is free of grease and is dry.
2.  Place pecans in zip-lock plastic bag and let the children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him. Read John 19:1-3
3. Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put one teaspoon vinegar into the mixing bowl.  Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink.  Read John 19:28-30
4. Add egg whites that are at room temperature to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave his life to give us life.  Read John 10:10-11
5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers and the bitterness of our sin.  Read Luke 23:26-28
6. So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add one cup of sugar.  Explain that the sweet part of the story is that Jesus died because he loves us.  He wants us to know him and belong to him.  Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
7. Beat the ingredients with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.  Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
8. Fold in broken nuts and mini-chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoons onto the parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.  Read Matthew 27:57-60
9. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn off the oven.  Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.  Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.  Read Matthew 27:65-66
10. Tell the kids it's time to go to bed!  Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.  Read John 16: 20 and 22

On Easter morning
Open the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.  He has risen! Read Matthew 28:1-9

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spencer's awarded the coveted game ball!

The kid was beyond thrilled.  He did awesome and in my opinion, deserved the ball, but I'm very much partial.  

It looks like his coaches agreed with me, so there!