Random Bible Verse

Food for the Moment
New Bible Verses

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 8/27/12-9/2/12



Monday
Breakfast: Yogurt, Cheese, Fruit, Crackers
Lunch: Dining out with friends
Dinner: P.F. Chang's Frozen Entrees
Tuesday
Breakfast: Smoothies
Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese and Broccoli
Dinner: Saucy Chicken and Green Beans (this one but subbing beans for asparagus)
Wednesday
Breakfast: Yogurt, Cheese, Fruit, Crackers
Lunch: Dining out with friends
Dinner: Sandwiches
Thursday
Breakfast: Yogurt, Cheese, Fruit, Crackers
Lunch: Ham, Cheese and Carrots
Dinner: Dining out after swimming class 
Friday
Breakfast: Yogurt, Cheese, Fruit, Crackers
Lunch: Grilled Cheese and Green Beans
Dinner: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Saturday
Breakfast: Yogurt, Cheese, Fruit, Crackers
Lunch: Ellie has a dance rehearsal, so we'll be dining out
Dinner: Hopefully we'll be dining with my parents
Sunday
Breakfast: Pancakes, Sausage, Eggs, Fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches (hubby usually has salami, kids usually have PB&J, and I have whatever tickles my fancy)
Dinner: Slow Cooker Sprite Roast (beef roast, packet onion soup mix, can cream of whatever soup, can lemon-lime soda), Mashed Potatoes, Buttered Green Beans

Friday, August 3, 2012

Breastfeeding Awareness Month: My Story

In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, our totally awesome Bradley instructors at Sweet Pea Births asked for breastfeeding story submissions.  Since my story touches on so many breastfeeding issues, I'm always happy to share so that it might help another mother.  My story was published today.  Go to their blog for my story and a lot of other great stories and information!

My story:
http://www.sweetpeabirths.com/blog/2012/08/03/In-Their-Own-Words-Katie.aspx

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Creation night

Most everyone has leftover night.  Some call it "clean-out-the-fridge night."  We rarely have enough of anything to have the same plate for everyone or even a cohesive plate.  Sometimes I have to use what I have to create new dishes.  Since I'm the only one who reliably eats my leftovers, I usually have nothing or very little in the fridge when leftover night rolls around, so I have to scrape together whatever I can and create something appetizing, hence "creation night."

I use this technique at lunchtime, too, most days.  I use this time to increase my intake of foods and seasonings that my family doesn't like.  I've been trying to increase my family's intake of anti-inflammatory foods, but they - my husband included - don't like the flavors of most.  I've been trying to find ways to include them in foods they like.  So far, I've been mostly unsuccessful.

I don't know the origin of this picture that has been floating around Facebook, but I linked it to another blog post that uses it and has some great links at the bottom.
Tonight I decided to try adding the seasonings to prepared foods that already have a lot of flavor.  I thought that if I could make them work in store-bought goods, I could carry my successes over to homemade goods.  To the leftover, store-bought potato salad I added generous amounts of turmeric, garlic powder and parsley.    To the store-bought ketchup, I added generous amounts of turmeric and garlic powder.  Someone what disappointing to me, but good for my experiment, I couldn't even taste them but for a slight garlic aftertaste.

Garlic and turmeric aren't listed in the chart above, so here are a couple of links:



I'm optimistic.  Homemade ketchup is on my short list.  Potato salad isn't even on my list, but it could be.  Certainly other dishes could take the same doctoring with the same results.

Feeling good about my success, I tried to save a sour plum.  It felt ripe, but it wasn't sweet.  I didn't want to waste it, so I threw it in the oven with a little brown sugar and some gingersnaps crumbled on top.  That stupid plum ended up more sour than before!  Explain to me the science behind this.

Anyway...I'd love to hear how you've made over your leftovers!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Father's Day!

I love Mother's Day and Father's Day.  I know they exist to make money and that they shouldn't be different from any other day, but they mean a lot to us anyway.  Being a parent is the best thing that's ever happened to us.

I dream of years of hand-made goodies from my kids.  So far, we haven't had much cooperation.  My mom has better luck, so most of our goodies come from time spent with Grandma.  Nevertheless, I do manage to get the kids to As You Wish Pottery for our yearly handprint/footprint frame.  (This is probably the last year I'll be able to do this unless they come out with a bigger frame...I'll have to switch to a larger matted frame!)


My mom helped the kids make "Daddy's Helper" toolboxes for my husband.  Each child dictated his/her contributions, and Mom wrote them on the tools.  All Mikey wanted to say was play catch and play cars, so Mom helped him a bit.  Ellie understood the concept a little better.




Mom had a good time with gifts this year.  She got all the men Whoppers for being "a Whopper of a dad."  Most of the men got chocolate candies for this play on words.  Not my dad...


Happy Father's Day!

Quick Gardening with Children

My kids love gardening, but their attention spans aren't too long, especially in this triple-digit heat.  I aim to get us outside every day to do something in the yard, like pull weeds or water the edibles.  Someday that will be our reality.

Around Mother's Day, Home Depot's kids workshop project was a small planter, in which a Home Depot employee planted a bell pepper plant.




The plants were too big for the planters to begin with, and, within a couple of weeks, the roots were pushing the plants up out of the dirt.  We finally had no choice but to replant.  Ellie got bored with the dirt scooping, but Mikey would have completely buried the plant had I given him the opportunity.  That night, he told his daddy he "played with dirt!"



I let both kids place the plants in the new pots, teaching them to grab the plants by the stems close to the roots.  They both did great.  Not a leaf was lost.


Finally, we couldn't find the watering can.  It really is a great mystery.  My best guess is it somehow flew out of the yard during a windstorm, but we haven't really had that good of a storm yet.  It'll probably resurface eventually.  In the meantime, I grabbed the tugboat (or crab boat, as Ellie says) pouring toy out of the bathtub.  Sadly, it was too shallow to effectively transport water in little, shaky hands.  I ended up taking the hose to the two plants.  Ellie was long gone by this time, and Mikey was too busy trying to keep adding dirt to his to notice he didn't get to use the water.



Mikey helped me place the plants back in their spot on the patio, and, impressively, did not spill any dirt in the process.

When we got back inside, I thought it was a good time to finally bust into the $1 plants I bought at Walgreens after Easter  They are eggs with faces that have seeds that grow into hair.  (No, they're not Chia Pets.)  The top cracks off when the shell is adequately wet, revealing the seeds inside.  I decided the best way to apply the water was using a custard dish and tablespoon.  Besides minimizing the mess and improving fine motor skills, watering took longer this way, making the task more fun.


One of these days, my kids will really be able to help in the garden.  Until then, we'll keep seeking out these quick gardening projects to keep them interested and learning!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Build a Monster

I joined a busy bag exchange group on Facebook.  I decided I wanted to finally start making the cloth quiet books for my kids that I've been planning, so I made pages for all my trades.  The first one I completed was for the preschool group.  The activity is a create-a-face monster made of felt.

I sewed the monster's head onto the page.  (I used muslin, but any cotton - any fabric, really - would work.)  I backed the page with a piece of felt and another piece of muslin.  I would like to have bound the edges, but the muslin I got was ridiculously thin and was trying to disintegrate.  Instead, I did a couple of messy zigzag stitches around the edge to hold it together and minimize fraying.  I made all the monster faces out of green or dark purple felt.  I used light purple thread for contrast.  I also did not take care placing the stitches because I wanted chaos to go with the monster theme.  (I apologize to the neat and orderly monsters out there.)

Since I was going for chaos, I picked a wacky, mustard-colored, animal-print fabric for the storage bag.  I put a button on the bag to keep the pieces in and attached it to the page with a sparkly orange ribbon.  The bag holds the three eyes (well, two sets and one single eyeball), three noses and three mouths I created to stick on the monster face.


Most of the members are not making cloth quiet books, so I added one or three buttonholes, whatever their preference, so that the page could be joined with other quiet book pages of other mediums on a ring or in a three-ring binder.

I also included directions:

In case you can't read that:

MONSTER FACES!

Includes: Monster Head, 3 Eyes, 3 Noses, 3 Mouths and Attached Storage Bag

Get creative and get scary!

Optional 2-person Game:
The first person designs a face with one of each part without telling the second person what it is.  The second person creates a face, trying to guess what the first person designed.  The first person tells the second person how many parts are correct and how many are wrong.  The second person tries to guess again, and the game continues until the second person guesses the correct combination of eyes, nose and mouth, counting how many tries it took.  The players switch roles, and the player who guessed with the fewest tries wins!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Many people believe Mother's Day is unnecessary for any number of reasons: it was created to sell stuff; mother's are/should be celebrated every day, so setting aside a special day is silly; it just doesn't matter to them.  There are many more, but those are the ones I've heard the most.  I don't agree with that sentiment.  I joke that I like any day that celebrates me.  I could justify my desire to celebrate by saying I don't insist on anything but love handmade trinkets that mark the day.

The truth is Mother's Day is one of the more special days of the year for me.  For me, Mother's Day exists to celebrate the most life-changing and life-enhancing part of my life: motherhood.  Motherhood is the greatest blessing God has given me, after salvation, of course.  I cannot put into words what being a mother feels like, what childbirth feels like, how the heart grows bigger with each passing day.

At times I think I don't want to leave this earth and go to Heaven because I will no longer experience being a mother.  But then I think - or the Holy Spirit reminds me - that Heaven is far greater than we can imagine, far greater than the experience of motherhood.  And then my head wants to explode trying to imagine that feeling.

I love being a mother, and this day is about celebrating that gift.

I can't possibly write this post without acknowledging the ache I feel for mothers that have lost or who never were.  Mothers who held their children and mothers who didn't because they were lost or were never made.  I wanted to acknowledge one friend who has lost and has tried for years to become a mother, but I didn't want to hurt her.  I feel like she needs to know she is a mother, even if she hasn't yet held a child in her arms.  I'm sad that she hasn't known this feeling, but I know God has greater plans for her.  It's hard to have faith in these situations, but that's exactly what faith is for, the faith that breeds hope.

Well, I don't want to end on a sad note, so let me share with you the wonderful gifts from my family.  Ellie painted a puzzle, Mikey colored a picture of an owl, and Mike cooked me breakfast and gave me a Willow Tree statue that I stared at during every prenatal appointment with Angela.

"Angel of Mine - So loved, so very loved"
"This piece is inspired by the memory of holding my children when they were really tiny … holding them so close that it involves all of your senses … the scent of the fuzzy head against your cheek, the skin-to-skin warmth, the realization that you can love another being so very, very much. I wanted to capture that sensory memory that every mother has from when she held her newborn infant — an innermost quiet joy. The sentiment has a lullaby feel to it. When I finished carving this piece, I liked that the composition and the form as a whole seemed to work from all viewpoints."
(from the Willow Tree website)

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tinkerlab Double Page Spread Challenge

A great blog I follow has issued a creativity challenge.  Here it is:

"I’m starting the week off with a little challenge to open up a sketchbook and create a double page spread every day. I find that my kids are more creative when they witness my own passion for creativity, and this strategy is a manageable and inspiring way to walk the talk."
I love this!  I'm sure, as with everything, I will forget...frequently.  Nevertheless, I want to give this challenge a go.  Journaling of any sort is very cathartic for me.

Yesterday I was reading a post about ways to help your children through strong emotions.  One of the tips is "Angry Art."  Once a child gets out all the aggression, s/he typically settles into calm(er) creation.  Why don't more adults try this?  It's cheaper than that punching bag for which I keep asking...

I definitely can't lose here.

So, here's day 1:

I have space on the brain
...and I love crayons

Sunday, May 6, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Starlight, Starbright

My new hobby is taking pictures of the stars and planets.  I recently discovered how to use the night-sky time-lapse function on my camera, and I'm going out just about every night.  Yes, I'm taking many of the same pictures over and over, but it thrills me anyway.

Top Right: Venus
Bottom Left: International Space Station as it passes through Orion, just under the "belt"
Tonight I was taking lovely pictures of the western sky with Orion on the left and Venus on the right.  I noticed one of many airplanes moving through my shot, only the path this aircraft was particularly smooth and the light wasn't blinking.  It dawned on me that it could be a satellite.  It stayed in view for a number of minutes, though, starting in the west, passing through Orion and over bright and sparkly Sirius, finally disappearing suddenly in the south.  It turns out it was the best display of the International Space Station that I've witnessed yet.  (I identified and confirmed the sighting here.)  Then I looked to the east and saw two satellites travelling north to south through Draco.  A third followed them a couple of minutes later.  The last time I saw that many satellites in that short of a time frame was when I was at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff in January of this year.  If you are ever in the area, be sure to stick around for some night viewing.  You can see so many stars and planets (we saw Jupiter in the big telescope!).  It's also dark enough to see the Milky Way, which is a fond memory of Lowell I've carried since childhood.

I discovered a website that lists satellite flybys.  I found it just in time to - in theory - spot the Hubble Space Telescope.  Unfortunately, I either missed it or couldn't see it.  I will be consulting this site in the future, though!

Another great site I found tonight is Tonight's Sky.  I recommend checking it out and discovering what you can see in your sky tonight.

A great resource for monthly viewing is SkyMaps.com.  Here is the May 2012 list.  They also have a free download each month.

On this last day of the month, I learned that April is Global Astronomy Month.  For more information, visit Astronomers Without Borders.

As the midnight hour approaches, I feel inclined to say, "Happy May Day!"

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Astronomy Day 2012

Saturday, April 28 was National Astronomy Day 2012.  As you probably have noticed, I have a habit of photographing the sky.  So, in the spirit of Astronomy Day, and celebrating the coinciding good views of Saturn, I'm sharing the exciting shot I captured with my little point and shoot.

But first, if you'd like to learn more about Astronomy Day and its events, some of which are still upcoming, visit http://www.astronomy.com/astronomyday2012.

For other clubs and events in your area, use the search function at http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/

For your daily dose of space, visit NASA's picture of the day: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/

Now...Saturn!

For more viewing information, visit
http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/three-planets-mars-saturn-venus-at-nightfall-late-april-and-may-2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


I am so forgetful!

Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week

This is the reason my brain missed a beat (or hundred) and this post is late

In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Monday, March 12, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


This has been a great month for skywatching!  Here I captured Saturn and Spica with the moonrise!
For more information, click here!

In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am so late on posting lately.  Since I just took down my decorations yesterday, I'll pretend that's the reason for the timing of this post.

I misplaced most of my Valentine's Day decorations from last year, so I had to buy new ones.  Fortunately, I realized this close enough to Christmas to take advantage of Christmas clearance and buy dozens of heart-shaped Christmas ornaments for $0.10-$0.30 each.  I also hit Jo-Ann, where I got last year's decorations, and picked up a few more.  My mom also got some of Jo-Ann's for Ellie's Minnie Mouse birthday party, so I ended up far from short on decorations this year.  Imagine next year after I find all the lost ones!  Scary!

I didn't really like how the decorations went up this year, but it was still fun to have hearts everywhere.  Plus,  to fill the space, the kids and I made a bunch of decorations that I laminated to reuse next year.  I didn't do anything fun for the kids, like the heart curtain in Ellie's doorway.  Still, the kids loved their goody bags - and the Hershey kisses within - enough that they didn't care.

Wall o' Hearts

Four Corners

Up close of Mikey's hand flowers

Up close of my bug garden, with contributions from Mikey
We drew grass and flower stems on the paper along with some flowers.  Then we stuck on foam flowers and bugs and some other cute bug stickers.

Our spring garden wall in its entirety
I added a few leftover Valentine postcards and the finger puppets the kids made

'365' one-a-day-challenge


Featured Photo of the Week


In case you missed my first post, here it is:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge

Featured Photo of the Week


Sometimes I don't like our no-identifying-pictures rule.  I have so many adorable pictures of my kids playing this month!  At least trying to capture postable pictures forces me to try different angles.

In case you missed my first post, here are the details:

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Monday, February 20, 2012

'365' one-a-day-challenge

Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning has issued a challenge: '365' one-a-day-challenge.  I took them up on it, starting today!  You can find my photo album on Kandid Katie's Facebook page.  There are a lot of fun albums linked on Irresistible's page, so check them out!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Love Crochet

I just realized I never shared my crochet projects from way back in 2010.

My late grandmother taught me to crochet rows. She tried to teach me more, but I was an unruly tween who didn’t have the patience. I dropped it and picked it up many times over the years, but I finally got serious in the fall of 2010. I can’t understand patterns to save my life, but I am - apparently - very good at improvising. :o)

That said, I tried to follow a pattern for a gnome rug on Wee Folk Art.  I messed up and ended up with a circle with what looked like a flower petal. I decided to make the mistake over and over again to see if I could make a flower, and I did!  I call it "Oopsy Daisy."


I tried again, but I messed up around the sixth row, so I improvised. This was my first round project, unless you count my oopsy daisy.


I gave up on patterns for a while.

I was messing around during Mikey's therapy one day, and I thought I’d see if could make a T-Rex, and I did! It took me a little over a half hour to create, no pattern.



Last year I signed up with a group called "A Square a Day in May" (facebook group and Ravelry group)  They offered a pattern to follow for each day in May 2011.  You can probably guess I chickened out and never did a one.  I did save the info, though, and I plan to give it a go this year as part of "A Granny a Day 2012" (facebook group and Ravelry group) where we have no patterns, just the simple goal of crocheting a single granny square each day of the 366-day year.  I haven't started that, either, partly because I didn't find it until several days ago and partly because I'm chicken.

At the end of last year, I thought it would be fun to follow a video tutorial each day from my favorite crochet teacher: http://www.youtube.com/crochet.  I have yet to start that, too, mostly because I feel like I have more important things to do, even though it keeps drawing me in like a Siren song.  Her instructions are so clear that I know I could sew anything she showed me.  (She also has a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Crochetmania)

I know I need to just rip off the bandage and pick up a hook already.  Keep your eyes open for my successes (and failures) as I stumble along, trying to channel my grandmother through my hook and yarn.