Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Papercrafting w/ Kids

Last fall I used my crafting skills and taught papercrafting in one of Nate's classes in our homeschool co-op. Well, the papercrafting class was a hit with the Kindergarten/First Grade class in the fall so the group leaders asked me to teach it again - this time to the Second Graders. At first I was nervous but most of the planning was already out of the way. I just had to modify a few crafts to account for the change in seasons (I didn't think we should make paper pumpkins this semester!). I'm sorry to say that I did not get pictures of each and every project... a girl does what she can. ;-)

week 1 - I love you "This Much" hand card - pretty big hit with the class and used an adequate amount of the class time. We ended up playing one or two rounds of Telephone at the end to kill 5min.

week 2 - Fingerprint Art - About half the class liked this one. Most of them were not fans of having ink on their hands. And it seemed to finish too quickly. We played Giants, Wizards and Elves (a camp game my sister taught us) - which is an active modification of Paper, Rock Scissors. Unfortunately one of the boys said he couldn't play because it had "magic" in it. Sigh...

week 3 - Bunting Banner - After the mixed reviews about the finger print art I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was a real crowd pleaser! The kids really liked this craft and it seemed to fill the class time just right, we finished early enough for everyone to go wash their hands before the next class period.

week 4 - Tissue Paper Stained Glass Window -

week 5 - I had the kids decorate paper Easter Eggs using the leftover scrapbook paper from the bunting banner project. I'm pretty thrifty like that, even when it isn't my money I'm spending. ;-) The kids really enjoyed this one. We got a huge variety of styles in the end, some eggs looked like Humpty Dumpty with arms and legs, while others were colored and looked like stained glass windows. Its neat to see their personalities come out through their projects.

week 6 - Paper Covered Notebook (with silhouette) - This is always one of my favorites because its so personalized. The kids didn't really "get" the silhouette thing so half the kids glued theirs on backwards with their face showing. Oh, well.

Whew! Its been fun teaching the class but it makes me thankful that I am only homeschooling one right now! ;-) The semester went well. I had a good time getting to know the second graders better and I think they had a good time crafting with me.

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' " Matthew 25:23

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nate's Rating System

Nate has recently come up with his own rating system. Primarily he uses it at meal times but sometimes he'll break it out for other things too.

First one is obvious. Thumbs down. Not good.
Next is one thumb up. Not bad.
Two thumbs up is pretty good.
Two thumbs up crossed is very good.
And ironically (and contrary to the weird look on his face) the "no thumb" is actually the best rating.

That kid cracks me up. I don't know where he comes up with this stuff. I wish I was better at remembering and retelling some of the crazy stuff he says and does.
Gotta love it. ;-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WLW - Workouts?

I am a creature of habit. Good ones, bad ones... if I fall out of our usual routine then I'm far less likely to continue with the good habits that I have been working on creating. Last week I had the Hearts at Home conference, it was awesome but threw us out of whack. Then I was planning and executing Joe's birthday party which kept me pretty busy. And now we have spring break, Easter, Christine's birthday and the end of the school year all coming up pretty quickly. On top of that we have a lot going on in my family: two sisters expecting and another one getting married at the end of the summer. I am realizing that all of this is wreaking havoc on my carefully constructed routines.

Since I started this part of my weightloss journey several weeks ago I have been working out at the gym with my friend twice a week (with the exception of a couple of times when one or both of our schedules would not allow it). But I am realizing it is not enough. If I want to see results I need to suck it up and put in the time. I am going to start doing T-TAPP at home on the days that I do not go to the gym. I've had success with this workout before but fell out of the habit and have not gotten back into it since before Christine was born.

T-Tapp is a series of copyrighted, sequential movements designed to put the body in proper functional alignment. Its special sequence of comprehensive, compound muscle movement helps establish better alignment as well as increased strength and flexibility of the spine, better neuro-kinetic flow, lymphatic function, and increased metabolic rate. Its physical therapy approach to fitness makes it safe for those with shoulder, hip, knee, neck, and back concerns. Yet, it delivers a challenging workout for all fitness levels!

Here is a video of one of T-Tapp's signature moves:

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

I typically weigh myself every other day or so. In the last week its been up and down. Its an old school scale so no digital .2 lbs for me, its just the little dial that wobbles back and forth as I try to get it to lean in my favor. Today it read the same as last week.

Please pray that I will not allow the stress and disruption of routine to keep me from doing the things I need to do. I'm not just talking about working out. With all that has been going on the housework has fallen behind and laundry is piled up in my bedroom. I haven't kept my food journal in over a week. Not to mention that I have gotten lax in writing in my prayer journal. I need to reboot and get back to a place of sanity. ;-)

Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true and everyone should accept it. 1 Timothy 4:7-9 (NLT)

Monday, March 26, 2012

5 Years Old!

A couple of weeks ago we saw a new pediatrician. She was pretty good. Given our unique situation with Joe (particularly not having a complete diagnosis) she said we're on the right track, doing all the right things. The primary reason we went in for a visit was to get referrals to a couple new specialty doctors that we have been hearing good things about. She also recommended getting re-evaluated at Riley Developmental Center, specifically looking at the potential for an autism diagnosis. We are interested in getting a fresh take on things since its been awhile since Joe has been evaluated. It will be helpful to have a more definitive diagnosis in the future as Joe will need continued services indefinitely.
Lately Joe has been working hard on a few skills. He has been continuing to progress using his hand-me-down pediatric walker, and we are waiting for the arrival of his "Gator" gait trainer (similar to this one but with a few more bells and whistles) that the PT put an order in for a few weeks ago. During naptime Joe somehow figured out how to climb onto Nate's bed and pull the curtains off the window, pull Nate's covers off of him at night, etc. Not exactly a skill I'm excited about him learning. We're hoping to rearrange the bed to allow for them both to get a little more rest.

Now on to the birthday festivities:
After having so much fun making the Hunger Games shirts I decided it would be fun to stencil a train shirt for Joe. I was inspired by a train wall decal on this site. I borrowed that image and modified it to have Joe's name in it. Isn't he the cutest birthday boy ever? ;-)Early in the planning process I had aspirations of doing a fancy train cake but I decided my sanity was more important and I ended up printing out these cute train cupcake toppers instead. I copied and pasted images (some from this site) and cut them out with a 2in scalloped punch.

Decor: I kept the decor fairly simple. I made a couple of banners from some twine and and old pair of jeans that was in the scrap pile because it had a hole in the butt. I found some printable transportation signs and hung those and some dollar store balloons. And I had a few extra train symbols left over from the cupcakes and added those to the banners.
Goodies: In their goodie bags the kids got train foam craft kit, train whistle, train sucker, an engineer hat, and a bandana (all from Oriental Trading Co.). Also, each family got a Mason jar of hot cocoa. Who knew it was going to be so warm in March?
Also, I found these two great printables HERE and HERE for the mustaches and lips. The kids loved them! And the adults had a good time with them too. ;-)
Activities: While the guests were arriving the kids were able to color a train picture and put toilet paper tubes on it as the wheels. After we ate, Jess was the game maker and helped facilitate a few games for the kids. We did pin the hat (or pocket watch, or train ticket) on the conductor. Then we did a modified version of red light, green light using a train whistle.

Of course what would a train party be without a train? My parents rent out a train for company picnics, festivals, etc... and they were great enough to bring it over for the party. It was the highlight of the evening!
Of course we had to get pictures of each family all in their matching engineer hats! So cute!

Thanks to all our family and friends who were able to help make Joe's birthday special! What a blessing to be surrounded by loved ones!

"May you be blessed by the Lord,

the Maker of Heaven and earth."
(Psalm 115:15, NIV)

Poofy Cheeks

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sibu Beauty Review

I was approached recently to do a review on a Sibu Beauty product. The Sibu brand was new to me and I was curious. Plus I was running out of facial cream so it was a good time to try out something new.

Of course I went online and googled Sibu Beauty. I had to check them out if I was going to use their product. I was really interested to read the science behind the sea buckthorn.

So I have been using the All Natural "Sea Buckthorn" Facial Cream for a couple of weeks now. Its pretty good. I am a pretty low maintenance girl so I don't use a whole lot of beauty products. I think that the facial cream is smooth and refreshing. I haven't exactly had a "wow" experience with it, but I have been satisfied with it.

Hunger Games MockingJay shirt tutorial

In case you didn't know... I am really really into The Hunger Games. I read the books last summer and have been watching all the movie updates online and have been counting down til the release of the movie. I have been trying to talk everyone I know into reading the trilogy.

Jess and I decided to make T-shirts for the midnight show (yes, we're dorks). After seeing a tutorial on Dana MADE It I have used freezer paper stencils to paint shirts before and thought that would be a good method for this project.In the past I've used my friend's Cricut to cut out my stencil designs but this time I printed the Mockingjay emblem directly onto the freezer paper and used an Exacto knife to carefully cut out the design.Then we carefully ironed the freezer paper to our shirt making sure that each piece was in place (like a puzzle). Before we painted we put another piece of freezer paper inside the shirt to keep the paint from bleeding to the back of the shirt. You could substitute cardboard.
We used a foam brush and dabbed the paint on, doing our best to keep it even throughout. We gave it a 10-15min to dry before peeling the freezer paper off of the shirt. I kind of wish we would have waited longer, I was super paranoid about messing it up.If you are a visual learner HERE is a good video tutorial of this method.

After all that work cutting out the Mockingjay emblem I didn't want those freezer paper pieces to go to waste so even though the original plan was just to do a shirt for Jess and I, I ended up making one for my sister and a onesie for Christine. Then, my brother complained that he didn't get one, and my dad said my mom would feel left out if she didn't have one too. So I made a couple more. My other sister who was not attending the show with us also was offended that I didn't make one for her but I gotta draw the line somewhere! Here is all of us at we were getting ready to leave for the show. All of us girls wore our hair in a Katniss inspired braid!So... on to the Midnight showing on Thursday night... if you haven't been to a midnight show before you have no idea what you're missing! Its so cool to see a movie with a whole theater full of people who are just as excited about it as you are! I love it!
It was a lot less crowded than the Breaking Dawn midnight show that we went to last November. I think it helped that we went to a different theater. All of us that went had read the books so we were ready to critique the movie but found that we really had few complaints. There were a couple of key things that we hated to see cut (Katniss' inner monologues), but there were some scenes that were added that we thought were great additions to the story (behind the scenes with the game-makers). It had better acting than I had expected. And while we certainly are eager to see the next movie, we left the theater satisfied with seeing our beloved story come to life. Two thumbs up for Hunger Games!

The Southern Institute

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WLW - wk 5

As you may have seen, I had a fun weekend away with a few of my girlfriends. I'm sure you can imagine how faithful I was to my healthy eating while we were away. I was away from my safety zone where I have my kitchen and (usually) healthy food to prepare. We ate out the whole time we were gone... I kind of felt like at any given meal I would either make a fairly healthy choice but overeat, or I would choose something not healthy and have decent portion control. It wasn't all bad, I did keep from unhealthy snacking by bringing some things from home. But dining out killed me.
So... what I am trying to focus on this week is keeping on keeping on. I'm not going to let a slip up or set back ruin me. I am not going to drop out of this race I am running just because I made a few bad choices. I am doing what I can to refocus and regain the healthy patterns that I have been working so hard to implement. When a runner stumbles, do they quit? No, they get back up and they finish the race.

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

This weeks weigh-in: 0lb lost since last week - 6lbs total. Not great - but considering the change in routine with being out of town and all, I guess its better than gaining.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 1 Corinthians 9:24

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I'm Guest Posting!!

Us bloggers need to take a break once in awhile and Jenae at I Can Teach My Child is doing that now. So she has lined up several guest posts to fill in the gap while she takes time to spend with her family. I am very excited to say that I am one of those guest posts! Yay!

I Can Teach My Child

I'm sharing a bit about our homeschool co-op and how its structured, what we do and how we make it work. I'd love for you to check it out!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mom's Getaway Weekend!

I've been wanting to attend a Hearts at Home conference for several years now. It has been challenging because I've been either nursing or breastfeeding for nearly the last seven years. On top of that, our church's ladies' retreat is always either the same weekend or a weekend apart from the Hearts at Home conference, so I always have to choose between the two.
Well, this is the year. A couple of my gals and I finally decided to make it happen. We had a few hiccups in the planning process. Tried to get a big group to go and it is a difficult thing to coordinate with so many people. We ended up with a split group and our part dwindled down to four, which is a good number to travel with anyway. It all worked out... but I think we have decided to keep it simple next time. ;-)

Road Trippin' - Friday afternoon Sarah, Lehi, Mia and I set out from Central Indiana for Normal, Illinois, where the National Hearts at Home conference is held every year. We are all busy moms (are they any "not" busy moms?) and very excited to get a chance to have some grown up girl time! We all chatted together on the road, but after awhile Mia plugged in her Korean music (which I like to tease her about) and took a nap since she'd been up all night with a sit kiddo, and I broke out my half finished copy of The Lucky One and nearly finished it on the drive up. We did a bedbug check at our less than five star Super 8 hotel rooms and were relieved that there were none to be found. ;-) You can't be too careful!

Mom's Night Out - Friday evening was the Mom's Night Out event which included worship by Abide and entertainment by 321Improv. Those three guys were hilarious! We were laughing so hard our cheeks hurt! It was insane! Who would have thought they would have ended up doing skits about going on vacation to prison in the North Pole with a skunk breeder, Dora and a Barbie holding a dirty cloth diaper... or something like that. I guess you would have had to been there. ;-)
The next morning started off great thanks to a few of our girlfriends saving us some awesome seats in what was a very packed auditorium! The first main session kicked the day off with Michelle Duggar (of the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting) as the keynote speaker. I have watched their show a few times before and know a bit about them but still learned some things I didn't know about their journey. She and JimBob shared their testimonies and how they got together, and how they came to have 19kids and a "reality" show. They seem like such a sweet couple. It is great to see the way that the Lord is ministering to people through their unique family. In their workshop they shared some parenting tips that they have used over the years.

I opted for a short lunch and four workshops. There were so many good ones it was so hard to choose! In addition to the Duggar's Practical Parenting workshop (which it seemed nearly everyone attended) I ended up attending Julie Barnhill's Confessions of an Imperfect Mom. She is so great! She shared candid stories of her child-rearing years and the mistakes she has made. She spoke biblical truths, helped us realize we are not alone in our struggles as moms and also made us laugh at ourselves.
Then I went to Marianne Miller's Growing Grateful Kids in a Culture of Consumerism. She shared a lot about how our culture is all about more, more, more, and gave us tips on how to focus on teaching our kids what “enough” is. She shared humorous anecdotes about her four boys and practical ideas encourage us toward equipping our own kids to be grateful for what God has provided and find contentment in a world of excess.
My final workshop was the only one that I could have done without. Marla Cilley, a.k.a. The Fly Lady's workshop: If Momma Ain't Happy was a little lacking. I have been on her website before and I really like her tips for decluttering and creating good house cleaning routines but she was clearly not a professional speaker. She was disorganized and distracted most of the session.
The conference ended with the afternoon main session with Juli Slattery sharing about the importance of seeking wisdom.

Good times... We had unseasonably warm weather which was good. But the lack of air-conditioning was back once you had over 3000+ women crammed into an auditorium. But the weekend was very uplifting and encouraging. It was refreshing to share openly about struggles that we often try to sweep under the rug and convince ourselves that we're the only one who feels that way, or does that thing. We are not alone. Us moms need to stick together, show our true selves so that we can support one another throughout this very challenging journey that we are on!

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

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