A Lesson Learned Cleaning Out the Toy Box

cleaning out the toy box

Cleaning Out The Toy Box

Daunting chore?

I have spent days of my mother careering threatening, grumbling and complaining about toys everywhere. It only takes 2.3 seconds to undo any toy organization.

Somedays I just want to avoid the mess because of the many other things screaming for my attention. Often I just want to close the lid and forget about the glob of marshmallows hardening at the bottom.

I know cleaning out the toy box will take at least an hour of my time and a toll on my mental mind of keeping the boys focused on the task.

Chance to Listen?

Every now and then I like to sit on the floor surrounded by my kiddos and dump out the toys. Of course they get a little nervous when I do that. I have been known to throw things out rather quickly.

But sometimes I want to listen to the stories about their favorite toys. I want to share my favorite memories attached to certain toys. Sadly, there will come a day when they choose to throw out toys they no longer want. Cue the Toy Story theme music.

Yeah, for a brief moment you may notice how fast they are growing because their interest in toys has changed. For me, I no longer have cute baby or toddler toys. I actually packed a few of my favorite toys away. I am hoping they survive for the day when grandkids come to visit.

My boys were so excited to tell me about their toys that I don’t think they noticed we were actually cleaning.

What could have been a stressful day of cleaning turned into a chance to listen to what my boys love about their toys.

Yeah, reality says I can not walk down memory lane every time we need to clean out the toy box but I would encourage you occasionally to stop and listen.

 

DIY Resurrection Garden for Easter

Resurrection Garden

After seeing different versions of the Resurrection Garden on the Facebook and Pinterest, I really wanted to create one for my home.

The one I originally saw used a clay pot bottom but when I went to the store I could not find any clay pots so I came up with a plan B. I did find a blog that wrote up step by step directions for a  Mini DIY Resurrection Garden at wearethatfamily.com

Supplies for Resurrection Garden:

  • Potting Soil
  • Grass Seed
  • Pebbles
  • Plastic Liner
  • Coco Liner
  • Twigs
  • Wire
  • Rock
  • Small Clay Pot

Steps to Constructing Resurrection Garden:

  • For the base I used a 10 inch plastic drip liner and a cocoa liner. The plastic liner cost $1.96 and the cocoa liner cost $.077. I used scissors to cut off the hanging plastic piece to make a round bowl out of the plastic liner.
  • Using the potting soil I filled the bottom with some dirt, then placed the small pot in on its side and covered the back part of the pot with dirt. The goal is to create a hill with the back of the pot buried under the soil and front of the pot open.
  • I used aquarium rocks in front of the small pot. Then placed grass seed on the soil above the pot. Then I covered the grass seeds up with a small layer of soil.
  • My oldest son gathered some sticks from the yard and used green florist wire to make the 3 crosses
  • Stones could be found in the yard to save buying the aquarium rocks. I also shared the cost of grass seed with a few friends.

DO NOT FORGET TO SPRAY WITH WATER 3 to 5 TIMES A DAY!!!  (I use a spray bottle to mist the dirt)

About 4 days later our grass seeds began to sprout!

I used some nails to decorate the edge of the bowl. The nails pressed into the coco liner. I was thinking I could also hot glue some nickels around the edge and maybe add some other visuals reminders, like some cloth inside the small pot.

Do you have any suggestions for visual reminders to add to the garden?

Cupcakes and Social Media and a Mission

 

cupcakes

Cupcakes hold a special place in my heart, not because of their yummy sweetness, but how God used them to minister to my family.

My 13year old daughter signed up for a 3-week missions trip. We then knew we had to raise support for her trip. Now my daughter took a cake decorating class a few months back and had been practicing her technique on cupcakes.

So this mama thought I can put one post on Face Book to help put the word out on our new plan.

“Local Friends, Natalie needs to raise funds for her mission trip in April. Among other service projects, she will be spending a week at The Voice of the Martyrs. She will be selling cupcakes for Valentines Day at a $1 each. If you would like some yummy cupcakes please email me how many and we can work out the details. Thank you!”

Not only did we have a list for Valentine cupcakes, but also people started asking for Superbowl, Birthday and Baby shower cupcakes! Our family rallied with her and it became a team effort for some of her really large orders.

The amazing thing was I didn’t have to research clever ways to raise money, I noticed the talents my daughter had been given and focused on using them. She may not collect hundreds of books for charity or build wells in 3rd world countries, but God has given her gifts and I pray she always uses them for His glory.

 

Since she continues to bake and travel on trips, I have updated the post here.

Sea Glass U.S.A. Map

 

Sea Glass

Years and years have gone into the making of this project. Of course most of the years the glass was rolling around in the ocean. About a few times a year I take my kids to our special beach where you can hear the waves “clink” from the glass rolling in them. After looking on Pinterest and seeing a few mosaics done in sea glass we got excited to do one on the United States.

Sea Glass Map Materials:

  • Bags of different color sea glass (mad-made sea glass can be purchased at craft stores)
  • Super glue
  • Map of the U.S.A
  • Floating picture frame 16 x 12

Sea Glass Directions:

  • Place picture frame on top of the map, this allows the map to be a guide for glass placement.
  • Select pieces of sea glass to fill the size of each state. Some states need more then one piece.
  • Once the pieces have been placed begin gluing them.

I have a small window over my kitchen sink that receives the afternoon light; I placed the completed sea glass map leaning up against the window.

Sea glass mosaic

Now what to make with the rest of our sea glass…..I bet I can find some more ideas on Pinterest!

New Year’s Resolution, I wrote mine!

New Year

New Years Resolution!

I have finally made one. I don’t know if anyone else will have the same one as me, not the typical diet, exercise or get on a budget resolution.

I want to brush my teeth before I go to bed.  Yeah I know GROSS, she doesn’t brush her teeth, think of all those germs, bad breath,and cavities!

But you know not brushing my teeth is just a symptom of my problem. I could make myself reminders, set an alarm on my phone, or do a unit study on dental care but I have not addressed the reason why I am not brushing my teeth.

If you look at my crazy day of schooling, working and caring for my family by the time night comes I have pushed myself to the limit and find myself passed out late in the evening and not an ounce of energy to get up and brush my teeth.

I need rest; I need to leave myself that ounce of energy to take care of me. Really I need to stop working late into the evening.

I have joined the Inspired to Action, Hello Mornings on-line community. I know what does a morning group have to do with my nightly neglect, well if I plan to get up early; I have to plan to go to sleep! I will have to stop pushing myself to get one more thing completed on that never ending ‘to do list.’

Note to self: schedule a visit with the dentist

Gather Together, Give Thanks and Eat Pie!!

Give Thanks
Butterscotch, Chocolate Peanut butter and Pecan Pie

Give thanks for Pie Making, the Thanksgiving family tradition.

Every year my mom picks up my 4 children on Tuesday night. Then bright and early on Thanksgiving Eve pie making begins. Everyone has a job and everyone’s favorite pie is made, which means 6 different homemade pies are needed to be cooked.

I always find myself at home alone. I think I am left out because of my first Thanksgiving dinner I cooked. Let me set the scene. It was Thanksgiving of 1996, my first-born was 10 months old, and I the new wife and mother was attempting my first made from scratch meal.

I planned for weeks, got up bright and early to start the process.  About 2 hours in I was finishing up the cranberries. Now never in my life had I done fresh cranberries, but my husband promised me Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without them. Since I had no clue what they should taste like, I summoned my husband to the kitchen to taste them.

He loaded his spoon up and down the hatch went the cranberry sauce. His face twisted, turned and he spat back the cranberry sauce. Which immediately he followed with “OH something is wrong.”

After drinking down a large glass of water, we discovered I had grabbed the salt instead of the sugar! That means I just cooked cranberries with 2 cups of salt! It also meant the pumpkin pie in the oven would quickly find a new home in the compost pile.

Give Thanks 2

 

Final Salute

 

Al Lane

He was a volunteer fireman for 55 years, worked at the 911 Call Center for 18 years, and was Chief Emeritus. He lived his life serving his community and loving his neighbor.

On September 2, 2011,when my father-in-law passed away the fire department mourned his passing. The family was moved by the support of the brotherhood. I can still hear the sounding of the fire whistle that was sounded for him in honor of his service.

 

Thank you Pop-Pop, the grandchildren miss you.