Alma 32:41

...Nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year...Again

I seem to write on this blog a few times every new year and then I stop.  Too many excuses and too little time.  No point wasting time on apologizing.  It's time for the New Year and the New Goals.  I realize that it is an arbitrary line.  Any good goal has a start date and an end date though and this is a convenient time for me to reevaluate.  When I have start and end dates I can continue to reevaluate and adjust my goals throughout the year.  While I have not been good at documenting my progress, I am slowly, oh so slowly, becoming better at my follow-through in real life.  
 My house is consistently cleaner than when I was younger, even though there are more people in the house to mess it up now.
Most days I do a load of dishes.
Most days I do a load of laundry.
Most days the kids papers and the mail are sorted immediately.
Most days lunches are packed and dinners are made. 
The TV is on less. 
My kids are great at entertaining themselves at home.
I have set up most of the rooms in my house the way that I want them.  My house is set up for my kids to easily access books, crafts, and toys.
Electronics are used by permission as rewards for limited amounts of time.

   I continue to make goals throughout the year and some I complete and some lose their importance. This year I want to do a lot of things.  We are in an odd stage where a lot of changes may occur.  To make the things happen that I want to happen, my word for the year is "Structure." While my personality is structure opposed I realize that this is the only way that I will accomplish the goals that I want to accomplish. I have always been a messy organized person, meaning that it looks like a mess to everyone else but I know where everything is.  I'm also naturally lazy.  These are two aspects of my personality that fight against structure and organization. They are two aspects of my personality that aren't working so well for me anymore.  A lot of structure is being imposed on us with school schedules and activities so I need to learn to work with it better.  As I searched websites for tips I came across this quote from Habit Hacker, " help us master the art of we have more time for the habit of art." I recognize that with more structure or more good habits, I will have more time and energy for what I truly want to do- enjoy my kids and create!

To make my goals I started by using this lovely printable from 30 handmade days.  I like that it made me think abstractedly about my goals before I then narrowed them to more focused goals.  She breaks it down into an overall theme word (which I have described above) and then into these four sections- I want, I need, I will share, I will succeed. 

I want
to make money for our family- specifically by substitute teaching or by selling things I make
to be creative- specifically write a children's book, write a blog, learn to draw
to be with my boys- quality time
I need 
to read my scriptures daily
to get my teaching license
to find my crafty business niche
to blog, network, and sell
to excercise
I will share
My process- learning to create, learning to market and sell, learning to write, learning to structure my structure resistant personality
My projects
My art
I will succeed at
building my craft business
being with my family

I have made quarterly goals in order to achieve my overall yearly goals.  First on the list are these six habits.
Blog everyday
Craft/write everyday
Read scriptures daily
Run/walk a mile everyday (yearly goal of walking/running 300 miles this year)
Maintain a cleaning schedule
Pass the NMTA (scheduled on Jan 11th for the first two parts in order to get my teaching license)

I think one of my first crafts will be new chore charts for my kids. :)  Actually. it will be thank you cards for the neighbors.  We have been truly spoiled by neighbor gifts this year!  There is no better way to start the New Year than giving thanks!

I give myself permission to change my goals as needed.
I give myself permission to fail some days and not feel guilty about it. 
I give myself permission to start over as needed.
I give myself permission to succeed in learning from the journey and not just the end goal.
It is o.k. to change my focus i.e.  I may need to worry more about substitute teaching than crafting as a way to help bring in money for our family.  Or I may need to focus more on the needs of my family.  My journey may give me new perspective on the direction my goals need to take as the year goes on.  That's allowed and encouraged!  Wish me luck on this New Year and please follow along! 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father's Day PIN success

  These are the tutorials/printables/ ideas that we are using for Father's day.

Salted Pretzel caramel brownies
 We decided to wait to make these because I made so many yummy Wookie cookies(just the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Chocolate chip bag). I'm excited to make these though so I'll leave the link here. :)

I will be using this chicken recipe to fill enchiladas per his request. I use2 TBS of a ranch recipe I found on pinterest instead of the packets you can buy at the store. It's nice to eliminate MSG when possible.
Cafe Rio Chicken
Here's an example of a Ranch Recipe that would work. There are many more and any of them should be fine for this recipe.
Homemade Ranch

I made a Monogrammed (MW) car kit to hold his sunglasses/glasses/contact solution. Matt's job travels around a bit so it will be nice for him to have these things easily handy. Hopefully he will find it thoughtful as it is useful. It's definitely not perfect but it is still functional. :)  If I had been less lazy and used the same color thread instead of black it would look better.  He appreciated the thought/usefulness of it and the Sunglasses the most.
Car kit

I also bought him a DVD and some new sunglasses(his have gone missing) I think he will like.

We decided to go with a Star Wars theme.  Instead of a medal we are giving Dada a freezer stencil Bounty Hunter shirt.  My boys helped me pick out the design and fill in the stencil with paint.  I used my silhouette and Dafont's Galaxy Far Far Way(Boba Fett) to cut it out but you can use an exacto knife or scissors I will update with photos. I found the bounty hunter symbol through a google search and traced it. We are using the Star Wars printables linked below. The boys helped me glue on the labels and helped me make cookies on Sunday morning for the Wookie Cookies.we left out some of the labels i.e. Hans Rolos and Leia's buns just cause I wasn't sure if Matt would like those treats as much. I switched the chocolate dipped pretzels for glow sticks for the Lightsabers.

Father's Day Star Wars printables
Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

I saw an idea on Dating Divas for making notes and hiding them around the house for Father's day.  They used fancy paper.  I just used my silhouette to cut out simple note cards and had the boys put down what they love most about Dada.  My 7 year old wrote his own and I wrote/translated for the 5 and 2 year old.  I made four notecards for each of us.  We hid them on Sunday morning while Dada slept in.
Here's where I got the idea that I simplified...
Why I Love You

I had the kids fill out this questionnaire and  draw a picture at the bottom.
Time to Celebrate Fathers

 I hope he feels appreciated and loved as we go through the day. :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Local Exploration and Summer Reading Programs

On Saturday we went to our Library's Summer Reading Kick Off.  We registered the kids and I and got our sheets to sign.  I expected them to have more going on but we missed the story time and were too early for Invention club.  They let us get out the legos and we borrowed a few more books too.  I think I have about 30 checked out currently. :) We'll stop by every Saturday to check off the books we've read and get prizes for the kids.  I can get a prize too for every ten hours I read and reading to my kids counts in my hours.  We've also downloaded the papers to do the Barnes and Noble summer reading program.  After the kids read 8 books they can pick a free one from the list provided.
Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program
 I found that link through this pin- Free Homeshool Deals
The boys had a great time putting together legos at the library and I think they all read about 3-4 books after we got home again. :)

Their fun lego creations- top two photos by Kaden, Middle two by Asher and the bottom photo is of Silas' creation.

Yesterday Matt felt like taking a drive to see something in the mountains.  We were hoping for it to be a little cooler and nice and scenic.  We decided to drive up the Turqouise Trail and go to the Old Coaltown Museum in Madrid.  The museum was a little over-priced but still worth it overall. We just wish they took care of it better since there was mouse poop on a lot of the displays.  We enjoyed learning about Madrid.  Madrid was a mining town that liked to throw a good party(lights and festival at Christmas time) and baseball game (one of the first lighted Ball fields in the U.S. thanks to Thomas Edison and the power plant he built there) until the late 1950s when the mine closed down.  With the closure of the mine the town turned into a ghost town. It was a ghost town until 1975 when the owner sold individual crumbling housing lots for 2-4k.  Local Artists jumped at the chance to renovate and now there are 300 residents and 40 business in the little town.  We had fun looking at the leftovers of the power plant that Edison built and at the remnants of the Christmas display(which helped inspire Disney to build Disneyland).  The boys' favorite part was climbing on the Steam Engine that used to export coal from the mine and bring potable water into the town.

After the museum we went to Jezebel Soda Fountain and Art Gallery.  Kaden and Silas chose chocolate ice cream, Asher chose an orange soda, and Matt and I shared a root beer float.  Yum!
 Silas loved this sculpture but was a little afraid to stand next to him.
 Getting his already dirty face covered in chocolate too.
 Kaden wouldn't look at me. He did not like being in the sun at all.  That may put a damper on our summer adventures...

 Silas chilling on the way home.
I love exploring local places and going to tiny museums.  It was fun supporting a local economy a little bit and learning more about the history of our area. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Twist on Watercolors

Kaden and I went through a bin of markers and took out all the ones that were dried out.  I couldn't let those go to waste so we used this pin to turn them into liquid watercolors.  Mr. Picasso's art room I didn't have as many markers to put in the water so the colors weren't too bright the first day. They worked even better the next day.  Or two of my sons used the markers themselves after they had soaked a bit and got some vibrant colors that way too.  I think just soaking the markers for a few minutes or putting a drop of vinegar on the tip as another pin suggested would revive a lot of dry markers. 

My kids are really loving drawing and painting.  I'm loving how simple it is to make them happy and creative. :)

 I think these two are using the revived markers too.
 These two are done using the liquid water color and paintbrushes only.

This last one is using the revived wet markers- a three headed dragon by my 5 year old.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fun Memorial Day weekend

We went on a little walk in the mountains behind our house.  Not exactly a pin though I'm sure it's included in many of the summer bucket lists. :) It is so awesome to live close to such a great resource for hiking. Because my husband is currently on a night work schedule we went later in the day than we should have and the boys got worn out quickly.  It was nice that we were so close to home that it didn't really matter.  It was a fun short walk.  K did a New Mexico unit at the end of school where he learned about plants and animals of New Mexico.  He was excited to see lots of Yucca on the trail.  He insisted on taking a picture of one.
A's reaction to the scenery was to say, "Those rocks look like poop!" and then a few moments later,"Wow! They look like really cool poop!"
I tried to get all three boys to look at the camera and smile at once....

 You can see that worked really well...

 Probably the best two photos of the day..

And lastly our view facing the city and the view facing the mountain.  Love it!

For Memorial day dinner we decided to start the grilling tradition.  We are still new to grilling but it went well.  I'm excited to eat the leftovers today.  I used this recipe by my favorite recipe guru Mel's Kitchen Cafe: Chipotle Chicken Skewers and Lime Cilantro dipping sauce .  It will be going from my recipes pin board to my recipes we liked pin board immediately. 

I am thankful for those who have served and continued to serve our country through military service.  I am thankful they are willing and able to protect our freedom.  I am thankful for the day off yesterday to remember and honor them.  We live near an air force base right now and the importance of giving our military families respect is even more obvious to us currently.  They make great sacrifices on our behalf.  Thank you! I hope that I can respect and support you more than these few words and those that were said on facebook yesterday. You are appreciated and your sacrifices do not go unnoticed.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Jellyfish in a bottle pin

Here's the resource: Bhoomplay's blog

So I thought the Jellyfish in a bottle looked pretty magical.  In reality it was a lot more work than I thought it would be and I'm not sure we were successful.  I need to experiment more with it to make it better.  Neither of my older boys, 7 and 5, are very comfortable with scissors.  My youngest, almost 3, isn't either but he thinks he is.  So my oldest two were crying for my help while the youngest was crying that I was helping too much.  It really turned into a craft I should have just made for them instead of had them help me.  I could have had them read about Jellyfish or draw jellyfish while I made the bottles so that we could have had together time but they and I might not have been so frustrated.  Or maybe I should have involved them more in the process to fix the problems we were having. 

I think our jelly fish were a little big for the containers at first. 
I missed the part about an air bubble in the head so I need to see if that helps fix things.
It just turned out kind of blah and I expected it to look more magical. 

Initially it just looked like a mess of plastic at the top of the bottle.  It moved when we tipped it but it just looked like a mess of plastic. So I cut off tentacles and tried to cut some skinnier to fix it and it sort of worked.  I think if I were to do it again I would  put the head in the top of the bottle and then cut the tentacles that were hanging down from there.  I think that would have spread the plastic out into a better pattern for the kids to see where to cut.  I think you need to tie a string around the neck a second time after you fill it with water.  This second string can be tied tighter since you have already filled it with water. Other than that I think just go for thin tentacles.  I was kind of lazy about this especially as I was trying to get my kids to cut themselves.

Here's our project.  I used to Dion's Ranch dressing bottles and one Simply Cranberry Drink for our bottles. I used a clear office trash bag for the jellyfish.

 What I gave the kids to cut.
 The finished product...

So to sum up  I would do this with older kids who are more familiar with scissors or just make the project myself while they watched or did other jellyfish activities; I would make the head a little bigger and the tentacles skinnier; I need to put an air bubble in; I would trouble shoot with the kids' ideas too; I would tie two strings around the head.  Maybe I will do some trouble shooting after the kids are in bed and see how it looks in the morning...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pin for today

I thought I had it pinned and then I couldn't find it.  We actually didn't do this really but it inspired me for today. We painted with watercolors and then drew in details with ink.

Bloesom kids watercolor craft

I guess I should have taken photos of the process too,  First day right. :)  I just set out paper, paint and tubs of water.  Kaden and Asher did two paintings each.  Silas did one. I helped Asher and Silas with their ink.

 Kaden's above and Asher's below
A little later Kaden found step by step drawing instructions in the back of a book he got from the library.  He followed the instructions really well! 
 Kaden following the instructions in his book.
 Asher doing his own thing.

 Ricky and his robot!
Yay for art time on the first day of summer!