Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cabbie Jr. Update

Cabbie is continuing to thrive. Every few weeks he gets a Dipel Dust treatment to ward off pesky cabbage lopers and fertilizer so he will continue to grow healthy and strong.

Have you ever seen a more perfect head forming?

 Even his girlfriend, Hermoine Grainger, is looking her best.

Here's to a few more weeks of big growth!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! Is it just me or is 2017 flying by?

Each year the DH and I hide eggs in the backyard for the kids. Most years its just Stinky and Blinky, but lately we've taken to inviting a few friends. Saturday evening, we invited a brother / sister duo, close in age whom my children adore.

I knew I wanted to decorate the yard a little and was excited to find these pieces at Target a few weeks ago:


We hid about 100 eggs. And since the kids' age range was 7-10, we didn't make it easy. {insert evil laugh here}


After the egg hunt, the kids were each given a Lowe's Build and Grow kit. The boys built bird houses, and the girls tackled a photo frame and bird feeder. I didn't think to get photos of the finished pieces Saturday night (shocking, I know!) so I quickly snapped these this morning.

We had an outdoor movie planned so the kids wrapped up their kits and snacks at dusk, just in time to watch. This is the second time we've used the screen & projector. It's a bit of a hassle setting everything up but very worth it.

On Sunday morning we went to Easter Sunday service. Per tradition, the children lay flowers at the cross at the start of the service. It is incredibly moving. I'm glad Stinky doesn't think he's too old for that...yet.

The plan Sunday afternoon was supposed to involve grilling out and relaxing in the backyard. Instead, the kids played while the DH and I rearranged furniture to accommodate this daybed we ordered from Wayfair. More on that later. Some five hours later the house was a wreck, the DH and I (mostly me) were frustrated because we hadn't purged enough junk and there was no dinner in sight. A quick run to Popeyes fixed our dinner dilemma while I will likely spend most of this week cleaning out and organizing 11 years of acquired crap.

We did salvage the evening by making resurrection rolls with the kids. The lesson was well received and the rolls were a hit.

I hope your Easter celebrations were as festive, sans the furniture fiasco of course. Let me know what traditions you share with your family!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

"Stained Glass" Crosses

I volunteer to teach Children's Church one Sunday a month. For April, we made "stained glass" crosses to give to residents at a local nursing home. It was a fun, easy project but it did require some home prep.

My home prep included:
  •  Printing cross templates on white card stock. I used {this} one from a Google search.
  • Cutting out the templates
  • Cutting lots and lots of strips of various colored tissue paper

In the classroom, I showed the  kids how to make a loose ball shape from a strip of tissue paper.

Then they were ready to glue the balled-up tissue paper to the crosses. The idea is to glue the pieces very close together to create a full look.Some kids used the colors to create scenes including sunrise, sky and grass. Others were more free form.

On the backside, they wrote their name, age and a bible verse pertaining to Easter. As the crosses hang and sway, the nursing home residents will have a two-sided view.

This project was a hit with the kids and I pray it will be a blessing to the recipients.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Why is it called Good Friday?

This is a question Stinky and Blinky have asked for several weeks now and this morning I finally had an opportunity to research the answer. Good Friday is the day Christ was crucified for our sins. While this day is cause for much sorrow, the focus is on the purpose of his crucifixion - our redemption. Christ rises from the dead two days later on Easter Sunday and this is the apex of the Christian celebration.

When the kids were younger, we kind of glossed over the details of Easter as the story is quite frightening for little minds. Now seven and nine, we've settled into quite a routine for reflection and celebration. Of course there are Easter Egg hunts but more meaningful traditions include Easter crafts, baking resurrection rolls and Easter Sunday service.

I learned about the resurrection rolls story a few years ago and rather liked it. The premise is to tell the Easter Story while preparing the rolls. You'll need marshmallows (the body of Christ), a butter, sugar and cinnamon mix (representing the oils and spices used in the burial process), and crescent rolls (the shroud that Jesus was wrapped in). Once prepared, they are placed in the oven (the tomb) for a short time. Once fully cooked, let the kids break open the rolls to find them empty inside, reminding them that Christ is risen. I found a wonderful retelling and full instructions {here}.

I would love to hear about your Easter traditions with family and friends!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

When Mother Nature extends Spring Break (better known as How to Occupy Your Kids during Weather Days)

If you've been watching the news, you know that we've been under severe weather threats in the southeast for the last few days. On Monday morning, the four of us were sitting down at breakfast, watching the thunderstorm, when a gust of wind blow down our back fence. Here are photos I snapped yesterday while the weather was cooperating:

My guava pineapple tree and bird feeder were pulverized, and my plum tree suffered severe trauma. The panels were too heavy for the DH and I to lift ourselves, so we have to wait on the fence company. Here's to hoping my poor plum tree will survive.

The weather threat cancelled school Monday and today. Because they've been stuck inside most of the time, Stinky and Blinky have been driving the DH and me mad experiencing cabin fever. So I've been searching for fun indoor activities to help pass the time. I came across this site for free coloring pages for every category under the sun.

Monday was fairly laid back but today required some catch up as they will still have exams on Friday. Not as much fun, but very necessary, were exercises in IXL and Spelling City. They are math and spelling apps respectively that we use to supplement their studies.

This afternoon, Blinky entertained herself with attribute blocks while Stinky read a children's biography about Anne Frank. They've been fairly good about having to catch up on work so maybe we'll round out the rest of today with a few video games and a movie.

Hope you're making good use of the extended Spring Break!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Break 2017

The kids were on Spring Break last week so we headed to Destin, FL for a few days of rest and relaxation. Most of our time was spent at the indoor pool watching the kids frolic in the water. Here are Stinky and Blinky water wrestling.

We did venture over to the beach to build sandcastles and wave hop, but as the water was still chilly in March, that didn't last too long. Same for the outdoor pool. Brrrrrrr!!!!!!

The day before we left, we stumbled upon The Boardwalk. It's a cultural hub of dining, shopping and entertainment dockside, with fisherman and and yacht repairs scattered throughout.We took in the sights, people watched and snacked on funnel cakes and volcano nachos (picture every topping ever!!). Perhaps the most memorable experience was watching the kids watch a fisherman clean and fillet fish and be wholly enamored by it. Reminded me of going to dockside markets with my parents when I was little.


On the drive home we couldn't decide what to eat. Think too many options, two determined youngsters and two adults with a hankering for seafood. Before we knew it, we were outside the city limits and hours away from the next city with decent lunch options. It was completely serendipitous that we spotted a hole in the wall called The Bay on Santa Rosa Beach. One sharp right later, we were seated outside with the most scenic view.

(From my observations, it seemed like The Bay was a former residence. Situated on a corner lot, right on the beach, it has the rest of the neighborhood on one side and the interstate on the other. Multiple additions later, it is a decent-quality restaurant / outdoor venue.)

After lunch we played in the sand and took in the sights. It was a lovely ending to a wonderful trip!


The kids should have returned to school today, but severe weather has extended their vacation by one more day. So we lounging on the sofa watching tv and doing our best not to be too productive.