Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Thing #1 - dress up and reading chapter books.  Our little princess.

Thing #4 - no words needed on this one!
Read Comments

Ice Cube Sun Catchers

The other day when the kids and I got home from school, we decided to do a little craft project slash science project.  So we made ice cube suncatchers.  It's easy to do and fun for the wee things to make.  They like to to see how the food coloring changes the color of the ice and how the water goes from liquid to slush to solid.  Plus, they look really pretty hanging outside in the snow, catching that late winter sunshine!

First you make some colored ice cubes.  I used my little round ice cube maker (perfect for water bottles!) and since I had four colors and four wee helpers, we each picked one color and made two rows.

The kids were very interested in how the food coloring changed the water color.

Next step is to freeze those colored cubes solid.

Then you make another ice cube block.  We used one of the old plastic Gladware containers for this.  I don't use them for food anymore, but we keep crayons and nails and buttons and such in them.  When you make the ice block, be sure to put a cup full of water inside it at one end.  That will make the hole so you can hang it later.

Let the ice cube block freeze - but only partially.  Once it is slushy, take it out and add some colored ice cubes to it.  They will start to melt a bit and the colors will mix, so choose colors wisely.  My boys helped, so our colors turned out kind of mushy.  *laugh*

Stick the ice cube block back into the freezer to finish freezing.  We left ours in overnight.

Once it's totally frozen, take it out and add a string or ribbon through the hanging hole.  I used an old scrap of fabric to make it look pretty.  =)

Hang it outside somewhere where it will catch that winter sunshine and enjoy the colors!
Read Comments

Valentine's Challenge #3 - Little Love Notes

The other day I wrote about the importance of saying "I Love You" and that often I find in our marriage that we just don't say it enough.  I mean, we know that it's true....but we aren't intentional enough about saying it.  And saying it often.

Today's challenge is to leave a little love note for your Valentine.  Maybe you make lunch for your husband every day and can sliip a little note in there. (I don't).  Maybe you can put some shaving cream on the bathroom  mirror and put a heart in it.  Maybe you want to leave post-it's all over the house with little love notes on them.  Something to make it fun.  Write it in frosting on a brownie heart.  Arrange his food in a heart shape. 

Maybe at first our husbands will look at us and think, what in the world are we doing?  But in the long run, being intentional about our loves will pay off.
Read Comments

Valentine's Challenge #2 - The way to a man's heart..... through his stomach!  I think there's an old wives tale that goes something like that.  But it's true, isn't it?  I know my husband is happier, healthier and often more loving and romantic when his tummy is full of his favorite dinner.  And happy husbands mean happy wives, right?  *wink*

My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.  He likes his meat...lots of it...medium rare and salted and peppered.  He likes a side of potatos of any kind in any style to go with it.  He loves meatloaf.  He loves roasts.  Well....really any kind of meat at all.  He's not big on soups and stews and crockpotted meals, however.  He loves to grill and cook over an open fire.  And he loves food.

Valentine's Challenge #2....cook a meal for your husband.  His favorite.  And be sure to eat some too, even if it's not your favorite.  Make enough for leftovers so he can take some to work tomorrow.

I love to be in the kitchen.  I'm not exactly Martha Stewart or Julia Childs, but I can make my way around pretty well.  Being all domestic-y makes me feel good.  And I'm a pretty good cook, if I do say so myself.  So I think this challenge is good for a two-some.  My husband will be well-fed and feel loved with his favorite meal.  And I'll feel good for being in the kitchen and being all domestic.
Read Comments

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine's Challenge

Valentine's Day is a week away.  If you're anything like our family, it isn't the biggest or bestest holiday around.  We might have a special dinner with heart shaped jello jigglers for dessert or make each other a handmade card.  We like to do nice things for each other, but don't go all out like we do on Christmas, birthdays and Easter.

However, I'd like to change that a bit.  Be more intentional with the holiday.  Do more loving, helping things for each other and to try to make it last more than just a few days in February.

So on this note, I'm issuing myself (and my kids) a challenge.  We're going to do one thing each day for our Valentine's.  For the kids this might include helping a brother or sister pick up some toys or reading them a book.  I know Thing #1 will enjoy that.  For Things #2 and #3, this is going to be a bigger challenge....they much more enjoy picking on their siblings.  *laugh*  And I'll probably have to help Thing #4 with this since she's still small enough to not really get the concept.

As for me and my Valentine....well if you're anything like us, sometimes the daily grind gets in the way of romance.  We don't always connect the way we used to or the way we should.  We don't sit and talk or touch or cuddle the way we used to.  So my challenge to myself (and you, if you choose to take it) is to be more intentional in the way I treat my husband.  To take a little time and think more about him and less about me.  To not let the daily grind get in the way.

So here's challenge #1....I'm going to attempt to post a new one each day this week, hopefully leading up to a romantic Valentine's Day.  Today, I challenge myself (and you) to tell your Valentine what he means to you.  Maybe that's just making an effort to say "I Love You" daily.  Or maybe you'll send a text to your husband telling him you love him and can't wait to see him after work.  Maybe it's even something more suggestive......

I know what I'm going to do about you?
Read Comments

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tomorrow is February 1st! And that means that Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Time to start thinking about the Valentine's the kids (or more likely I ) will be making for their friends, classmates and teachers.

So to get started with some motivation, I thought I'd post some great ideas I've found around the web.


Have any leftover mini candy canes from Christmas-time? Check out these cute Candy Cane Hearts from Pleasant Home. Super cute and super easy!


Or how about this supercute Valentine Countdown from Love Actually? I think my wee Things would totally get a kick out of this one - we do a Christmas countdown every year and they love it. Hmmm, maybe a countdown to every holiday? Craziness!

While you're there, check out all her other Valentine's Day ideas and links! Super fantastic!


If you're hosting a Valentine's dinner with a group of friends (as I am) or if you have a couple's group that gets together for dinner dates, how cute would this idea be?

An Amazing Race Amazing Valentine's Day dinner date!! Perfect for the adventurous!


There's a few great Valentine's Day ideas to get you started. Check back soon to see how I decorated our house for Valentine's and some more great ideas I've found around the web!
Read Comments

Intentional Living

Wikkipedia defines Intentional Living as: a term used in a variety of contexts including religious, ethical and values-oriented contexts as well as coaching, personal transformation, and leadership training practices and programs. In this sense, “intentional” is defined as “done with intention or on purpose; intended” and “living” as “a manner or style of life.” “Intentional life” is a related term used to describe an objective for personal change.

For the past few months, I've been addicted to listening to Family Life radio. The music is great, it's always positive, they have good messages and some great kids' old-fashioned radio shows. I do tend to tune out some of what I call the extreme conservative-ism in the host's comments, but overall I really enjoy it.

There is a show on this channel called Intentional Living. It's hosted by Dr. Randy Calson. Basically it's about taking each day and making it intentional. Living with and through God and letting him run your life. Not doing things just for the sake of doing them - but with purpose. I listen to it quite often and find it inspirational. Their website, Intentional Living, has a lot of great resources on family life, marriage, finances, and more.

Since I started listening to this show, I've been doing more to "live intentionally." To take charge of our lives instead of just watching them go by. Sometimes this is hard - we're so set in the grain of how society says our lives should be. But we're working on it. Doing things with purpose - not just doing them.

Join me on our journey to Intentional Living. I'll update on the movement as I can, but I'm hoping that most of the time, you'll see the intentions in our actions and words and pictures.
Read Comments

Welcome to our crazy little life blog!!

I've decided to jump into the blogging world! So welcome to our crazy life!! I know, I know...I stole the title from Jon & Kate Plus 8, but since they aren't using it anymore and it totally describes our life to a capital "T", I thought I'd go ahead and use it!

I'm Jenn, momma to four, work outside the home full-time, loving wife, sister and daughter and full-time craft and home-making enthusist. My four wee things are ages 6 (almost 7), 5, 3 1/2, and 23 months. Two girls (the oldest and youngest) and two boys (right in the middle). Both my husband and myself are teachers - he a high school science teacher and myself, an elementary music teacher. We keep busy outside of school as well - he doing woodworking and helping on a friend's farm and me, doing crafts, reading, sewing, scrapbooking and home-making. The kids keep busy with dance and church activities. They love dinosaurs, fairies, trucks and tractors, Polly Pockets and building blocks.

We try to live a natural life. We use "green" cleaners or even just vinegar and water. We eat and cook as organic as possible. Though that doesn't rule out the occasional trip to McDonald's! We keep a huge garden in the spring and summer and are looking at expanding that with cold frames for the late fall and early spring season. We keep chickens and rabbits for eggs and meat. We buy all our beef and pork straight off the farm. We're always on the lookout for those items that make our "green" life easier and better.

In this blog you will find some entries about our family life - things we like to do, places we like to go, and things like that. I'm also going to post some craft projects that I've done and probably link to a few that I find interesting and that will be on my "someday" list. I'll post recipes and share homemaking ideas with you. I've kept an online journal for over seven years on a private site and I'm finding that as my kids grow, I'm outgrowing that site. However, I still want to keep writing and journalling and sharing ideas. Hence, this blog!

So....welcome to our crazy life! I hope you find interesting posts here. Feel free to comment on anything that strikes you. I'm always looking for new ideas, new advice and suggestions and of course, I'm always looking to meet new friends!
Read Comments