Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Decorating for summer

Holy Cow! I am so behind in my life and I'm blaming swim team (any other swim mom's out there?).  I still had all my spring decor up and was rationalizing that summer doesn't technically start until June 21st.  But since it's now even a week past that, I thought I'd better figure something out.  Luckily, I scrounged around a found some stuff, so I didn't have to make or buy anything.
 Does this look familiar?  All I did was flip over my "S-P-R-I-N-G" blocks and I left up the pinwheels, b/c I heart pinwheels.
 Here's my mantel.

This is one of my very favorite things.  It's a picture of my grandpa w/ his plane during WWII.  He even signed it "Love, Eddie" in the bottom corner.  How cool is that?  He passed a few years ago and we all miss him, so it's fun to have at least a picture of him smiling at us.

I also have a wood flag that I picked up at JoAnn's in the unfinished wood section year's ago and a wood block that I stenciled "Land of the free, because of the brave". 
Here's a trio of birdhouses that I also bought @ JoAnn's and painted to look patriotic.

Happy Fourth!  They have outlawed fireworks and outdoor grilling around here due to our drought, so please eat a hot dog for me and give and extra "Ooh and Ahh" when watching those "bombs bursting in air."

Linking up here:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Run a Marathon-You Betcha

A few weeks ago my hubby and I traveled to Fargo to cross 2 items off his bucket list:
1. Visit Fargo, ND
2. Run a Marathon
(I only got to cross #1 off my list,  because I was only there for morale support.)
Here's me blogging in the Airport.

Check our my ginormous rental car.  Last time (and just about every other time) Scott was the designated driver and we got a VW Bug.  When it's my turn -I get the Dodge Ram-the universe must have a sense of humor. I am a notoriously bad driver and it's a miracle I didn't wreck this thing.

After picking up my new ride we drove across the street to the Fargodome to check in.  They had a bunch of vendors set up, so after he picked up his stuff we walked around for awhile. Then we headed back to the hotel to rest up for the big race. We spent a lot of time watching really bad reality TV.

The starting line.

This was the first time either of us had ever been to a marathon and we were so impressed and would recommend it to anyone and here's why:
1. Fargo: no traffic and nice people
2. The event was well run and organized
3. Super flat-no hills
4. The entire town shows up to cheer on the runners.  They dressed up and held signs.  Our favorites:
"Why 26.2?  Because 26.3 is crazy"
"Pain is temporary...Pride is forever"
 "Worst parade EVER"
 One guy even dressed up like the grim reaper holding a sickle and a sign that read "The end is near" and stood about a mile from the finish. My husbands admits it's silly, but having total strangers cheer you on, really helps and the signs were nice diversions.
5.  Officially, they had a band every mile, but lots of people played unofficial music as well.  Scott's favorite was a really old guy that keeping playing "Charge" on a trumpet. If you have to run for 26.2 miles, you might as well be entertained.
6.  Lots of drink and gel stations.
7. Lots of pacers to help you reach your time goal (Scott only had a "finish" goal and so didn't really take advantage of this-but it's there if you want it).
8.  It was easy for me to go and find him along the route and find a parking spot so I could cheer him on during the race. I found him 4 times.
9. The finish is inside the Fargodome, so spectators aren't dealing with the elements. Also when you run up you get to be on the jumbo tron which is always fun. 

Our only negative is that hotels book up fast, so make reservations way ahead (like yesterday).

I noticed people that lots of the runners looked way older or more out of shape than me, so I've set a goal to run one by the time I'm 40 (I'm 38). I haven't really run since my kid's stopped fitting in my double jogger so it's going to be a project.  I've declared our new family motto to be: "We can do hard things". So this will be mine.

To avoid injury, I'm building up super slow-which totally goes against my personality.  I'm only running 3x/week and started w/ 1 mile each time.  I'm adding a 1/2 mile a week until I'm running 15 miles/ week.   If I can handle that, then I'll start the marathon training. It seems a little silly to go and change into workout clothes, for such short runs, but so far I'm up to 2 miles and not sore at all, so I think it's working.

My husband recommends the book,  Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide, By Hall Higdon.  He followed the book and was able to run the entire 26.2 miles with out stopping. I think running is boring and reading about running would be worse, and  I wanted Scott just to make me up some sort of training plan, but he made me read the book too.  The book wasn't actually as boring as I feared and had lots of good advice.

Have you ever run a marathon?  Which one and do you recommend it? I'm looking for one that's organized, flat, and with nice weather.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mario Cake

My kid had so much fun hosting the blog last week.  A huge thank-you to everyone that left comments.  I like comments, but she LOVES them.

My multi-talented fellow trophy wife, Kiersten made the coolest "cake" for her son's Mario themed B-day. She used 143 mini-cupcakes to make this Nintendo masterpiece.  I am normally not a big fan of cupcake cakes and think most of them are a big frosting mess that belong on Cake Wrecks.  But this one is awesome-it's clean and simple and who doesn't love mini-cupcakes !  It makes me me want to bake up some batches of min-cupcakes and create my own piece of bake good art.
 It's like a Lite Brite you can eat.

How fun would it be to whip up some red, white, and blue ones and make a flag?
Linking up here.

Note: Attempting to give credit where credit's due-the original idea might have come from here

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day Four: Mothers Day Gifts

I know Mother's Day was a long time ago but I told my mom a long time ago I would post them. So what does a trophy daughter give her trophy mother? You're about to find out.

I couldn't find them but I gave her a card and two bookmarks (homemade of course!). I guess she never looked at it because a few weeks ago I was looking for something and I thought it might be on her night stand. While looking I found the card and bookmarks I had given her a few weeks previous. I didn't find what I was looking for but I left the card and bookmarks on top. That night she thanked me for the wonderful card she was so surprised to find. I should have said your welcome but I told her it was from Mother's Day.

The second thing I gave her was a wreath. She has been very into wreath creating this year so I decided to make  her one!

I didn't really do anything fancy with this one. I just used twine to tie three of them together and then attached paper rosettes with a hot glue gun. To make the paper rosettes I folded a long strip of paper and then used thread to tie the edge to keep it in that shape! Easy Peasy!
Visit thecsiproject.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day Three: Cute Gift Tags

Last night I went to a birthday party and was too lazy (or saving my energy for the swim meet that night, which does sound better) to make a card or find and then write in a card. So I made a label. It's pretty darn cute too! It's also extremely self explanatory as  all my posts are...

 Step 1:Make tag shapes. I used a punch I got at a garage sale. The cricut also works wonderfully but it takes longer. And I was saving my energy.

 Step 2: Stamp stamps on to tags.

 Step 3: If available use chalks to shade in the stamp.

 Step 4: Punch hole into top.
Check out my post tommorow!
 -Trophy Daughter

Linking up here.

Note from Trophy Wife:  She completely rocked the swim meet and came home w/ several blue ribbons so she made good use of all that saved up energy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Overcoming Opposition-YW Manual 3 #23

We tell the girls all the time that they are daughters of a Heavenly King and therefore princesses.  My very favorite princess story of all time is Fanny's Dream by Caralyn Buehner.  The artwork is amazing and I can't read it with out crying.  It's the story of of Fanny who isn't beautiful but is "sturdy".  She dreams of a life of fancy balls, but instead weds a farmer that isn't handsome or rich but at least is cheerful and pleasant.  When her Fairy Godmother finally shows up several years late, Fanny realizes that while her life has it's challenges, she wouldn't trade it for all the fancy balls in the world.  I'm sure you could get a copy at your local library if you didn't want to buy one, but it is a great way to start the lesson.

I love the talk by Elder Paul V. Johnson given in the April 2011 conference (found here) and will use it for this lesson.

I also loved Ezra T Benson's "12 Keys for Overcoming Sorrow, Disappointment, and Depression"  from the lesson manual (here) and we will discuss each of them as a class.

It is important to mention that there are some serious issues that we can not and should not face by ourselves and for these situations it is very important to involve  parent's, church leaders, and possibly professionals.

I made the following handout that uses both the 12 Keys and quotes from Elder Johnson's talk.

 Here's one that will print out 4 to a page

I just printed it our on white paper and mounted it on pretty cardstock.
Here's some more of my YW ideas HERE. 
Also my very favorite young woman in the entire world is hosting my blog this week, so if you're looking for some great projects for your YW please check her's out.

Day Two: Button Necklace

 The Trophy Daughter is back again for day two! This one is also very self explanatory but for the sake of posting I'll tell you how to do it!
1.) Find cute buttons(Should be the traditional kind with four or two boutton holes) and twine
2.) Sting a button on through two holes (even if there's only two holes)  and tie a double knot in the back.

3.) Repeat step two as long as you feel like.

4.) Tie it off and add bow if desired.

 I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Wow, I really don't have any idea how to end this so... bye? Read my next post? No ending?

By the way, while I'm writing this the ever so wonderful trophy mother is making a super cute necklace for my friends birthday even though I'm supposed to do it but I couldn't figure it out. That was a really bad run on sentence. Anyways, Thanks mom!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 1: Girls Camp Project

Hey there!  This is the infamous Trophy Daughter!Actually I think I'm just famous here... no, not even.  I'm more like a celebrity's daughter who is on a few bill boards but the bill boards always get vandalized and you can never see my face for "security" reasons.  My body (neck down most of the time), my hair, feet, and wrists occasionally, and once even my teeth! Yeah, that sounds right! Anyways, I, the soon to be infamous (yet faceless forever) trophy daughter, have a few posts to share! Camp was last week and we made a super cute craft that looks like this:

It was really easy and super fun! Although it's pretty self explanatory I'll give you steps anyway:

-Block of Wood
-Picture of any Temple (ours was vintaged)
-Modge Podge
-Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks

1.) Paint block of wood any color. Some girls did really cute patterns! I only put a hint of green in mine because I wanted to go swimming and when I try to do stuff like that it always looks like a two year old did it. :)
2.) Once dry, Modge Podge picture anywhere on the block of wood. I did not center mine because no matter how hard I try it's never centered...
3.) Hot Glue Ribbon on!

  -Trophy Daughter
            Linking up here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What to do if you wash and dry a tube of lipstick

First of all, I am so excited to announce that next week this blog will have a very special guest host-my talented and beautiful Trophy Daughter.  So come by next week to check out some fabulous ideas to keep your daughters busy this summer and even some fun ideas us old ladies will like as well.

The other day when I blogged about how to get rid of bees w/ dish soap, it reminded me of another helpful hint.   When we were poor newlyweds I once left a tube of dark red lipstick in a pair of light khaki pants. I threw the pants in the washer along with a full load of whites and then to completely ruin the load, threw everything  in the dryer. I was horrified when I removed the load from the dryer and noticed that everything was covered with dark red spots and stains.

My mother is the queen of laundry, she can get stains out of anything and so I called her in a panic.  Here's what she told me to do:

Step 1: Rub a little dish soap (not antibacterial-it will eat holes in your clothes) on each spot.  This took a very long time. I used and old toothbrush.  Dish soap will help get the "grease" from the lipstick out.
Step 2: Let the load soak overnight in the hottest water that won't shrink stuff. (I  figured everything was already ruined, so I put it on hot)
Step 3:  Wash with your normal detergent (By the way, my kid did a science project on the best laundry detergent on getting out grass, blood,  and dirt and Kirkland Powder detergent from Costco won-even beat Tide).  I threw in some stain fighters b/c I figured it couldn't hurt.
Step 4: Pray really hard (honestly I think this might have been the most important step and the biggest reason it work)
Step 5:  Line dry-just to make sure you got all the spots
Step 6: repeat steps 1-5 if needed (I didn't)

I was amazed and thrilled.  The lipstick came out of almost every piece of clothing except one t-shirt.  I'm not sure if knit just absorbed the lipstick more, but I was happy to only have to throw one thing out.

Of course, the easiest solution is to check everyone's pockets BEFORE sticking stuff in the wash.
What's the wierdest thing you've ever washed?


 More hints here.
Linking up here.

Wal-Mart is Giving away $10,000!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I am a former Wal-Mart employee and longtime customer.  I'm actually there several times a week doing everything from buying groceries to getting my oil changed.  Wal-mart makes raising families affordable and convenient. I love that I can buy just about what ever I want at the same place and for a good price.
For the past 13 years, Wal-mart's own brand of infant formula, Parent's Choice Infant Formula, has provided a quality product to parent's and a fraction of the cost of name brand formula. This formula is available only in Wal-mart stores and online at www.walmart.com.
Today, I learned that Wal-Mart could even help me send one of my kid's to college.  Parent's Choice Infant Formula is sponsoring a sweepstakes in partnership with PBM Products, LLC, a Perrigo Company.  One lucky family will receive a $10,000 college scholarship in the form of a College Savings 529 Plan.
The Sweepstakes was launched today, and will run through 11:59 p.m. on August 1, 2011, so hurry up and enter.
More information, rules and an entry from is available at Parent’s Choice Infant Formula Savings Sweepstakes.

Good luck everyone!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blogging Advice please?

Occasionally I have a good idea and someone will "Feature" my blog post.  It's fun to have someone appreciate your idea and it always makes my day.  At first, I was grabbing a button and sticking it on my sidebar, but then the longer I blogged, the more feature buttons I collected and it just started to look cluttered.  I already used up all my pages, so I stuck them all on my "me" page, but I'm not entirely happy w/ that either.  Would it be better to place them on my sidebar and leave them for a few weeks or place the featured button on the actually post it was featured on?

So what do you do and if you "featured" me what where would you like me to put your button?

UPDATE:  Thanks for all the advice.  Here's my solution for now.  I got rid of my "Me" page.  I'm not very interesting and I added a little more to my profile.  I want to add something to my sidebar that I can list blogs that feature me as well as some sort of list of top referring blogs. I'll work on that next week. Now I just need to come up w/ something feature worthy.

Have a Heart Attack on Father's Day-AKA Chicken Lasagna

 I got the recipe from my mom and it's hub's favorite meal.  We don't make it often, because I'm sure it's horrible for you, but it sure is yummy.  Not being a fan of cream-o-whatever in a can- it's the only casserole type thing I make, so I always bring it when I need to bring someone a meal.  I make it in one of those disposable pans, cover it w/ foil and then write instructions on top w/ a sharpie.  It can hang out in the fridge for a few days before baking and several weeks in the freezer.

9 lasagna noodles (cooked and drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 can cream of chicken soup (I use all chicken, b/c I hate mushrooms)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2-1 cup chopped green onion (any kind of onion works)
1/2 tsp garlic pwdr
1/2-3/4 cups sliced black olives
2-3 cups diced cooked chicken

Spread 1/4 of of mixture on the bottom of a 13x9 pan. Alternate layers of noodles and sauce 3 times. Top with:
2 cups cheddar cheese

Bake @ 350 for 40-45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

*You can also substitute broccoli for the olives
*I always serve it w/ green peas and it just doesn't taste as good w/out them.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Get rid of Bees and Wasps with Dish Soap

UPDATE:  It kills wasps as well-although not as fast.  I used "palmolive" and I'm not sure it that makes a difference or not. Another problem is that it lacks the chemical in commercial products that prevents them from coming back. In a pinch, I would use dish soap, but overall I just feel like the commercial stuff gets the job done better.

Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of bees-  They are a great way to pollinate all our plants, fruits and vegetables. If we killed all the bees we would also be killing all the fruits, veggies and plants. They make honey and beeswax to make candles etc. They are also very fashion forward in their black and yellow stripes. If they aren't bothering you, leave them alone. If at all possible, call beekeeper to see if he can remove the hive. Many of them will get them for free. Here's a link to the Texas Beekeepers. Only ever kill bees as a last resort.

2 Days after we moved into our 2nd home, my hubby and the kids walk out the garage and to the end of the block to get the mail.  In the very short minutes that it took, our garage turned into a National Geographic special.  A HUGE swarm of bees came into our garage.  We think the queen went up into a hole in the drywall of the corner by the garage door.  We shut the garage, trapping half of the swarm outside.  We hoped they'd go away, but the next morning, they were still there in full force and humming loudly-they sounded like a small engine and looked like a big black cloud.  If I was watching a nature special, I would have been fascinated, but since it was not on TV but in my garage, I was freaking out.

I started calling some exterminators, but we didn't have an extra $50, much less the several hundreds I was quoted.  Many told me that if the queen was setting up a hive in my walls, my grand  total could run into the thousands for honey removal.  This gave me nightmares of huge bee colonies producing ever increasing gallons of honey daily in my walls.

I called a few bee keepers to see if they would come and get them, but wasn't having any luck. Then I got the sweetest lady on the phone.  Her husband had passed away, but she told me that they best way to get rid of unwanted bees was to put Dawn dish soap in a garden sprayer, hook it up to the hose, and spray them down.

My husband thought it was too risky to battle a swarm of bees (he's allergic and I was 6 months pregnant). Disclaimer #2-bee swarms can be dangerous and so you should listen to my husband and call a pro too.

 I'm a cheap skate and thought it was worth the risk.  My dad (also a cheapskate and a big fan of DIY) volunteered to take one for the team. 

Dawn+Garden Sprayer=end of bee problem

I wish we had video.  I thought it would completely fail, or work like bug spray (kill some slowly, while the rest of them swarm you).  The entire swarm dropped to the ground less than second after the foam touched them. I don't know if other detergents work as well, the lady said to use Dawn and that's what we had. (I think it also might work on wasps and hornets, but I don't have any personal experience)

Here's a page from the family scrapbook:

I don't know much about bees, but once we got the queen, they rest died within a few hours.  Every inch of our garage was covered with bees. One dead bee doesn't stink, but this many bees smelled worse than awful.  We swept them all up. 
We wished that we could have somehow moved the bees to a safer location, but when that was no longer an option, we relieved to spend less than a dollar and w/out any toxic chemicals.

Linking up here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Curried Cranberry Chicken and Couscous (or C4)

I'm a little bit of a picky eater. One of the more benign things I don't care for is rice.  I know this is weird because it doesn't really even taste (I don't mind brown rice too much).  What's more weird is that I love Couscous. Here's one of my quick and easy favs that I based on one I found ont the Near East website.

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
2 tsp curry pwdr
1 tsp EVOO
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 16 ounce can chicken broth
1 cup broccoli
2 tsp brown sugar
1 cup couscous (I use the whole grain kind)
1/2 cup craisins

Sprinkle the chicken w/ 1 tsp curry powder and saute in large pan with EVOO until no longer pink inside.  Remove from pan.  Saute onion and garlic until tender. (sometimes I add a little red bell pepper too).  Add broth, broccoli, sugar, 1 tsp curry, and the chicken.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Stir in couscous.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.  Add craisins and toss lightly with a fork.

Quick, healthy and 2/3 of my kids don't think it's disgusting.

Linking up here.
More recipes here.

YW Manual 3 #22 Eternal Perspective

To supplement the lesson, I’m going to tell the following story from a talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf given in the April 2009 conference. Talk found here (http://lds.org/general-conference/2009/04/we-are-doing-a-great-work-and-cannot-come-down?lang=eng)

The Story of the Lightbulb, or Losing Sight of What Matters Most
On a dark December night 36 years ago, a Lockheed 1011 jumbo jet crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing over 100 people. This terrible accident was one of the deadliest crashes in the history of the United States.
A curious thing about this accident is that all vital parts and systems of the airplane were functioning perfectly—the plane could have easily landed safely at its destination in Miami, only 20 miles (32km) away.
During the final approach, however, the crew noticed that one green light had failed to illuminate—a light that indicates whether or not the nose landing gear has extended successfully. The pilots discontinued the approach, set the aircraft into a circling holding pattern over the pitch-black Everglades, and turned their attention toward investigating the problem.
They became so preoccupied with their search that they failed to realize the plane was gradually descending closer and closer toward the dark swamp below. By the time someone noticed what was happening, it was too late to avoid the disaster.
After the accident, investigators tried to determine the cause. The landing gear had indeed lowered properly. The plane was in perfect mechanical condition. Everything was working properly—all except one thing: a single burned-out lightbulb. That tiny bulb—worth about 20 cents—started the chain of events that ultimately led to the tragic death of over 100 people.
Of course, the malfunctioning lightbulb didn’t cause the accident; it happened because the crew placed its focus on something that seemed to matter at the moment while losing sight of what mattered most.

Then we will discuss things that can become our own personal “flashing green bulb” and ways that we can keep an eternal perspective.

I made the following handout. PDF here.
I cut out magnifying glasses using my Cricut Everyday Paper dolls cartridge (under the scientist –size 4 inch). If you don’t have a cricut you could easily cut one out, or find one in clip art. Then I used a small brad so that the lens can move over either the plane or the flashing green bulb. I wrote “EP” on the handle for “eternal perspective”.

Here are some other ideas for YW here.,

-And a whole bunch more here:

Wish Bracelet

One of the mom's, made these for all the kids in my son's class.  I thought it was so very clever and the kids loved it-even the boys.  She just used a star shaped button and a piece of twine and then placed each one on a printed piece of card stock.

More hints here.

UPDATE:  Look I just made some of my own HERE.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Make some Moola

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Save and Make Mooka, LLC for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I  love getting a good deal and I am never too proud to use a coupon.  I’ve just learned of SaveAndMake Moola.com. ( Save and Make Moola ) It makes saving money easy, by having all the great deals in one place.
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Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, June 10, 2011

Protecting our Boys

Ted Bundy's Last Interview by xxxchurch

Being the mother of boys, I worry about how easily accessible pornography is these days.  Several friends posted this video on Facebook and it really shows how pornography can change a nice boy from a nice home into a monster.  It makes me shudder that this was before the Internet.

We've always lived in areas w/ predominately government/military employees.  I can think of at least 4 women whose husbands have lost their security clearance and then their jobs b/c they were so addicted to pornography that they were watching it at work.  3 of the 4 stayed w/ their husbands and tried to support him overcome his problem.  One of my friends gave her husband the choice of her and the kids or the porn-he chose the porn.  It is heart-breakingly sad.

Sit coms  and movies portray porn as harmless fun and something men just do.  Ted Bundy is certainly an extreme, but a powerful testimony that porn isn't harmless. We've placed our computers in our living room-it doesn't go w/ the decor-but my kid's are safer.  When they are the right age, I'm sitting them down and showing them this video.

Stepping down off my soap box now and returning to our regularly scheduled crafts, recipes, tips and bad photograpy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Dreamcakes with Buttermilk Syrup

Are you looking for something to make for a special Father's Day breakfast?  The man of our house doesn't really like breakfast, but if yours does, he'll love these.

My mom makes the world's best pancakes. This is not an exaggeration.  Everyone that eats them agrees. She is the queen of all pancake making and I am not even biased b/c she is my mom.  She thinks she also makes the world's best potato salad and the world's best sugar cookies, but she is wrong. (My MIL makes the best sugar cookies and I think potato salad is nasty no matter who makes it).

 My kid's have decided that the term pancakes just doesn't do them justice and have renamed them "Dream Cakes".
We've all tried to make them, but somehow they just aren't the same as when she makes them.  She says it's b/c she cooks with love.  I think maybe stuff always tastes better when you didn't have to cook it. Even better if you escape the dishes too :)
We always at least double this.
In a bowl mix:
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup white flour
Sprinkle in a few Tb of  wheat germ

1 t bkg pwdr
1/2 t bkg soda
1/2 t salt
1 T sugar

In a separate bowl beat together:
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
4T oil

Mix wet and dry and pour on a greased skillet. Don't flip until tiny bubbles appear on the top of the pancake.Yummy!

My friend Kammy, posted a recipe of pumpkin waffles w/ buttermilk syrup a while ago.  The waffles were met w/ mixed reviews, but we all wanted to eat the syrup with a spoon. One of my kids even tried to pour the leftovers in a cup and drink it.

1 cube butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
1 t. Karo Syrup

Heat on Med. Till it comes to low boil and remove from heat and Add:

1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla

Use a large pan because once the baking soda is added it grows in the pan. I store any leftovers in the fridge.

Linking up here.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chore Chart

I spend EVERY morning asking: "Did you brush your teeth? Are you wearing deodorant? Are your toys and clothes picked up?" etc. In the future, I think someone will invent a robot that will follow kids around and repeatedly ask them these questions.  Since I'm fresh out of robots, I Used my Cricut and the Everyday Paper Dolls cartridge, to make a chore chart for each boy. I don't think it will solve my problem , but hopefully I can combine all of my nagging into one question: "Did you do you chore chart?"
I set it at size 5/12. Then I mounted each doll on a piece of scrapbook paper. I made each doll a pair of boxers, b/c I know that they could never get over it if the guy was naked. Just saying the word "naked" would bring on fits of hysterical laughter. It's probably even a little risky putting one out there is just boxers. Boys.

 Then I laminated the entire sheet and all the pieces..
 On the back of each shape, I wrote a job that they had to do:
Brush teeth
Make bed
Pick up clothes
Pick up toys
and for the older one Apply Deodorant

I also added a book, since I'd like them to read for 20 minutes/ day.  (school's been out a few days and I haven't seen anyone crack a book yet-but I have high hopes for July)

Each time a job is complete, they attach the piece to their guy. When all the jobs are complete, they get to score a point.  I cut out 7 each of both balls which they can cash in at the end of the week for their allowance.

If you want to learn a cute way to draw faces watch this video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fh_ScVfk24

(oops I forgot to put his book in the picture-but he has one)

I've gone back and forth basing allowance on chores.  I don't think it's right to pay them to pick up their toys.  But I do think allowance should be somewhat merit based  and cash is a good  motivator to get jobs done.  I'm going to try this.  I'll give them a set time to have all jobs completed.  If it's not done by that time, then I will do it and they will have to pay me and I am expensive.  Technically they're still getting paid to do their jobs.  I will also explain that sometimes I will just tell them do something and they have to do it b/c I am the Mom and they are the kid and that's just the way things are.  I do offer extra cash for extra jobs  like mowing the lawn or detailing my car etc. 
What do you do?

Linking up here.

Other handy hints here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Makes me want to have another one.

I had a lady ask me to sew up a custom outfit for her son's baptism.  This always makes me nervous and I keep telling myself that I'm going to stop doing it.  I worry that what she envisions in her head is different than the one in my head.    I was really pleased w/ how it turned out-hopefully she like it too, but she never left any feedback.  I love the piping-I had some leftover from a dress that I made my niece.  You can get it at Farmhouse Fabrics if you're interested.

Do any of you that have etsy stores, spend far too much time worrying that people will like what you send them or is it just me?
UPDATE:  She left me some very nice feedback and she loved it.  I think I stress more b/c I'm sewing for a baby's big day and I want it to be perfect for them. I treasure the pics of all my little ones on their blessing days.

  I could never sew wedding dresses-I would be a complete emotional wreck.

Got Warts? UPDATE

american toad

For some reason, my kids have got a ton of warts.  I've spent a small fortune on over-the-counter products.  The most expensive and least successful was the freeze off spray.  With all of my recent skin issues, I made my ex-lifeguard husband go in to get a skin check (he got a clean-bill of health) and told him to ask the doctor about warts. Besides products like Compound W, she recommends 2 other very surprising and practically free methods to remove warts. (it goes w/ out saying that you should check w/ your own doctor)

1. Duct Tape-no kidding.  Actually medical research has been done and it works. They aren't sure how it works-maybe it suffocates the wart-but she says it works.  Check it out (http://www.warts.org/duct-tape-wart-removal.html).  Does anyone else think it's hysterical that there's a site called warts.org?

2.  The Power of Suggestion-this sounds a little far-out to me, but she says it's been proven to work in small children. 

I promise something cute and crafty tomorrow.

UPDATE: I had a kid that had a hand covered in warts.  It looked nasty and it was fairly painful for him.  We made several trips to the dermatologist.  They tried to freeze them off.  Then they cut off the tops and then tried to freeze them off.  Then they painfully injected them with yeast infections to kick start his immune system.  Then they froze them and then injected them with yeast.  We battled those warts for almost 2 years and NOTHING worked.

Then my dermatologist told us that there was a link with the Gardasil vaccine and warts. I was skeptical, but he was behind on some vaccines and so I thought we'd try it.  

Within about 3 days, we started to notice a difference.  The warts started to fall off painlessly and didn't come back.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Patriotic Pinwheel Wreath

You'll need about a 1/3 a yard of fabric-cut into 2 inch wide strips.

 Then wrap the strips around a straw wreath form (I used stick pins to secure as I went along).
Then I cut out squares of various sizes and turned them into pinwheels and secured them on the wreath with a little hot glue and upholstery tacks.  Tadaa!

Todays photos are brought to you by Tropy Daughter, who thinks my photography skills stink and has decided to spend her summer taking and editing my pics.

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