To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Time for Coconut-Pecan Cookies

When I started my holiday baking I had no idea what I was going to make. I still haven't established what my "tradition" cookies will be yet. I was flipping through a cookbook I haven't opened in years and found a recipe for Coconut-Pecan cookies. I happened to have everything I needed so decided to make them. They are the best cookie I have eaten in a long time and knew I needed to share the recipe with you all! Enjoy!

Coconut-Pecan Cookies (taken from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book)
1/4 C shortening
1/4 C butter or margarine
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C coconut
1C chopped pecans

1. In a medium mixing bowl beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugars, and baking soda. Beat till combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla till combined. Be in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in coconut and pecans.
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or till edges are golden. Cool cookies on cookie sheet one minute then transfer to a wire rack and let cool.  Makes about 36 cookies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Time for Crayons

Ever wondered what to do with the broken pieces of crayons you have? I know with my kids they are always breaking crayons. After seeing this idea I knew I had to try making some of my own.

Here's what you'll need:
Broken pieces of crayon
A silicon baker with shapes of your choice

Preheat your oven to 250*

First you need to decide what colors you want. If you use the darker crayons (black, purple, dark blue) it will melt and look black. If you want brighter colors keep out the darker ones. 
Next peel the paper off the crayons. This is a step the little ones can help you with. If you are having a hard time getting the paper off, soak the crayons in water first.

Now you will need to break the crayons into small pieces. My silicon baker was very small so I had to use a knife to chop the crayon to get pieces small enough to fit. I placed my silicone baker on an old metal cookie sheet to make moving it easier.

Once they are all cut up you can start filling your baker with the crayon pieces.I chose gingerbread men. Bake in the oven till the wax is melted. I had to leave mine in there for 20 mins. but you may need less time so keep an eye on it. Remove from oven and place in the freezer for 5-10 mins. or until it's set. Remove from freezer and pop the crayons out by inverting your silicone baker. 

How cute are these?! This will make a fun and adorable treat for our Good News Clubbers on Friday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Time to Be Organized: In the Kitchen

Last year I posted different things I do to stay organized with things like laundry and cleaning and menu planning. Now, I thought I would share a few things I do in the kitchen.
One thing that's important to do when you have a lot of little ones is to try and delegate some responsibilities to them when they are old enough to have some. Setting the table is one of these tasks that I was anxious to get the kids doing. When I started my dishes were in a cabinet up on the wall.  They couldn't reach them so I still had to get all the dishes down for them. I decided that as much as I hated the idea of having my dishes in a bottom cabinet, it was the best solution. This way they are all able to reach the dinner dishes and can set the table themselves. It's also a great way to practice counting! I thought I would hate this but I'm so glad I did it and the boys like being helpful in this way.

Another tip I have is to keep one drawer in the kitchen that is OK for the little ones to play in. I have one drawer dedicated to just plastic cups and each of my kids as a toddler loved going in there and playing. It keeps them out of the other drawers and gives them something to do while I'm busy cooking.

My last suggestion for the kitchen is a snack basket. With 4 boys who are constantly asking for food it often feels like all I'm doing is getting people food. I made up a basket of snacks that I don't mind them having so that when they are hungry and want a snack they know they can either go to the fruit drawer in the fridge, grab a yogurt or go to the snack cupboard in the cabinet. These are all options that are low enough for them to reach and since I am the one who chooses what goes in the snack basket I'm not worried about what they are choosing to's already "mom approved"! And they really like seeing what's in the basket that week. When they receive candy from grandparents, etc. I don't let them eat it all right away. I usually give them one piece then put the rest away. From time to time I will put candy in the snack basket as a treat and they love it when they are surprised with candy as an option!
I would love to hear the ideas your family uses to make things more efficient and organized in the kitchen!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Time for Cats

What's been going on with us? Well, we've "adopted" a family of cats. Usually we're writing to tell people that we're adding a new child to our family but not this year! This year it's a family of felines. The mom, dad and their 3 babies who were born under our shed this past spring. 

I have mixed emotions about this. Growing up we had cats always and most of time 4 at a time. I really loved cats. Notice the past tense? Since having children I wouldn't say my love has gone away I just no longer have a desire to have any as pets. I think the Lord has done this work in me because my husband is allergic and it would probably be really disappointing if I wanted one and couldn't have one.  All I think about are fleas or worse, ticks, which are in abundance here.  So watching this family from afar suits me just fine.

I admit that we've all had fun watching these little kittens grow. We feed them just about every day so they know they can get fed here, which means they are ALWAYS here. They are wild and very afraid of us. We can't get near them. At least now they will see us in the kitchen and still eat but if we move too fast or go to approach them they run away. Our hope is to be able to catch them and try to get them adopted by someone else before they become some animals next meal. The two you see in the picture are the only two that still come around regularly. I haven't seen the mom or the other yellow baby in a couple months but I did see the black baby last week. He ran into the woods when he saw me and hasn't been back that I've noticed. 

Growing up we had this tradition that all our cats names started with the letter "M". We had Maverick, Muffy, Merlin and Morgana. In keeping with tradition I've named the gray/brown one Mocha. I can't get the kids to understand the concept so the yellow one is not named yet...any suggestions?? 

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Time to Answer Question One: How are you able to stay home?

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches

in glory by Christ Jesus. ~ Phil.4:19

There are a few questions we get asked often. Whether by complete strangers in a store or people we know. One of the more popular questions is, "How do you manage to get by on one income and raise 5 kids?" We live in a time where the majority of families have both mom and dad working. The majority of families I know are this way. With the cost of just about everything rising I understand why people ask this question and there are many times when I look around at all we have and stand amazed at how God has provided for us. So in an effort to answer this question here are some things we do in order for me to have the blessing of staying home and taking care of my family.

1. No consumer debt. This is a big one. The only debt we have is our mortgage and Ben's student loan. If we want something we pay cash for it. If we can't pay cash for it then we save and buy it when we do have the cash. So far the Lord has allowed us to pay cash for all our vehicles. This is a huge blessing. We sacrifice having what we really want and having new vehicles but this sacrifice has prevented us from spending more than something is worth just for the sake of having it "now" or having it "new". When it came to buying our home we bought a home well below what we could afford. There are no guarantees in life and Ben may have a great job now but that might not always be the case in the future so we wanted to make sure that if anything did happen then we could afford our house on a smaller income.

2. We buy second-hand and are willing to take hand-me-downs from clothes to furniture to toys. We have been so blessed by other's "junk"! It's really quite unbelievable. I feel as though every time someone is at my house and says, "oh I love that" I am always saying, "Oh, so and so gave that to me". And almost all the clothes that my kids wear are hand me downs or from thrift stores. Is it because I don't care what they wear or what I have? No and just ask my husband. I have really expensive taste. But when I put things in perspective and look at what is really important in life, I realize that having the nicest of everything  is not at all important, especially if having those things would mean I would have to work outside the home. Remember too that when we die, we can't take it with us so how important are all of those things really?

3. Buy food on sale and in bulk when possible. The grocery bill is probably one of the hardest areas for us to stay in our budget and as the kids grow this will become even more challenging. We have two chest freezers in the basement. I generally only buy meat when it's on sale. I also buy extra of our staples like bread and freeze it so I'm not always running to the grocery store. The less time I spend at the store, the less I spend. We also don't eat out a lot or eat prepared foods a lot. Making your own meals can be a real money saver!

4. Don't get caught up with the latest & greatest. This can be one of the more challenging areas for me. In particular, cell phones. I think it is amazing what cell phones can do now. I still only have a tracphone for emergencies and Ben's phone came with his job. I definitely have days when I wish I had  a "cool" one but again I have to put things in perspective. The only thing I really NEED a cell phone for is when I am out in case the school needs to get a hold of me or when we're traveling. So to spend hundreds of dollars on a phone, and the plan seems really foolish. Yes we can afford it but that would mean that I would have to sacrifice in another area because let's face it...we can't have it all. At least I can't! In order for us to continue doing what we do we have to be willing to sacrifice some things and decide what things are really important and what things are not. Staying up to date on the latest and greatest is just not something we have categorized as important.

These are just a few things we do. When we have chosen to wait on God to provide something instead of running right out and buying an item we needed or wanted, He has always provided better than we imagined. I could fill a book with all the the things He has given us that we never thought we'd have. With God's help I really believe it's possible for just about any family to live on one income (there are of course situations that it's not possible) if it's something they really want to do. It just requires a willingness to make sacrifices-and as I think about it-I rarely feel I'm sacrificing because I'd give up just about anything to be able to stay home with my kids-it's just THAT great!

A Time to Organize Kids Art Supplies

This idea is the best one I've come across in a long time! We have a lot of art/craft supplies because it's great to have on hand for activities for the kids. The frustration I always have is how to keep it organized. I basically had a bin for all the paint stuff that I had in one spot, then a tin for all crayons and that was in another spot and a place for papers, etc. It was all organized but not in one place. This idea keeps it all in one place and I am just so happy with this system!
Ben bought me the tool caddy (I think that's what they call them) at Home Depot and we have dozens of 5-gallon buckets because that's how I buy my laundry detergent. Just  slide the caddy over the bucket and voila! Then you can start placing things in the many dividers and pockets. I did two, one for the kids drawing and card making stuff and another for their paint supplies. 

Inside the bucket for the drawing supplies are the tracing, drawing and construction papers, container of crayons and coloring books. On the outside I put markers, pencils, pens, tape, pipe cleaners, tape, stickers, rulers, etc. For the second bucket of paint supplies I put the painting smocks I make the younger ones wear and the paint cups (everyone with kids should own these! I love them!) with bottles of refill paint. On the outside I put the brushes, paper, more paint bottles and glitter paints. 

This had been working really well. I store the buckets in the bottom of the closet and then when it's time for one of these activities just pull out the bucket and it's all there. So easy, and so organized! I think the caddy cost about $6 so it's inexpensive too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Time for Thankfulness

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. ~Psalm 100:4

November is the time of year everybody (well most everybody) starts thinking of things they are thankful for, leading up to Thanksgiving. It's all over Facebook, with status' each day of something one is thankful for. So I decided because consistency is not my greatest strength that instead of each day posting one thing I'm thankful for (because I know after 10 days I'll forget, or lose track) I instead would just make a list of 30 for each day of the month!

I am thankful for:

1.First and foremost I'm thankful for Christ dying on the cross and forgiving me of my sins. I don't want to think of who I would be or where I would be without HIM. 

2. My husband. I am amazed every day that God gave me such a good man. He is my best friend and loves me unconditionally...good days AND bad days! I love him so much and am so thankful for him.

3. Five healthy children. WOW! With so many stories lately of children who are sick I am thankful each day for how God has blessed us in this area.

4. For Noah. Everyone needs a Noah. He is a love and could sit and chat and hug all day. He is  just so thoughtful. He is a good friend and so good to his siblings. He makes me laugh because he is as awkward as I am and he frustrates me because we are so much alike!! But I wouldn't change anything about him.

5. For Owen. He is so much like his dad, I love that. He's our goofball and always knows how to put a smile on my face. He is determined and hard working but loves making everything in life fun!

6. For Gabe. Gabe is all boy & all personality. He never stops thinking, or talking or moving. He's our most exhausting one but always makes life interesting with his unpredictable ways. He's a born leader & strong willed and so interested in the world around him.

7. For Will. He's my "sweet william". He is so kind and gentle. He is the first one to pick something up if you've dropped it. He's also very organized, always making sure things go where they belong. He loves to laugh ,even if he has no idea what he's laughing about! I can't imagine our family without him.

8. For Jena. I am so thankful to have a girl. She is everything I imagined a little girl being and I just can't get enough of her! (daddy can't either!) 

9. For the fact that I can be a stay at home mom. There are many challenging and tough days but there are more great and rewarding days and I'm thankful I'm able to be home with the kids.

10. For my husband having a job. In this economy the fact that he has a stable job cannot be taken for granted. 

11. For friends who are unbelievably loving and supportive. I'm so blessed with so many great women in my life. 

12. For family. My kids are blessed to have all their grandparents and 3 great-grandparents, lots of aunts & uncles and cousins. 

13. For coffee. It has to be said! I'm thankful for very, very strong (preferably Starbucks) coffee. 

14. To be an American. 

15. For the Bible and for the freedom to own as many as want, read it whenever I want without fear of being thrown in prison or losing my life.

16. For our home. It's warm and safe and full of love. It's a place where there is always an over abundance of all of life's necessities-Praise God!

17. That Ben and I are healthy. It sure makes taking care of this family a whole lot easier!

18. For modern conveniences! Life is a lot easier today with things like indoor plumbing, electricity, dishwashers, cell phones, computers, etc.! 

19. Believe it or not...our suburban. (This is for you Ben!). It's old, has no air conditioning or a cd player and I complain about it a lot. But when I put things in perspective I remember that there are a lot of people who can't afford to own a vehicle, even and old one, and it was paid in full without us having to go in debt for it, runs great and fits our whole family in it! 

20. For Facebook. That may seem like a strange thing to be thankful for but when you stay home taking care of a lot of little ones it's hard to get out and F/B has helped me feel connected to people. So many of my friends have been a huge source of encouragement.

21. For nature. Mountains to climb, trails to hike, lakes and oceans to swim in, animals to watch. God's creation is amazing!

22. My treadmill. With no "kid-free" time to go to the gym on a regular basis the fact that I can get on the treadmill each day is a huge blessing to me. And thankful for the friends who gave it to us when they moved! ;)

23. I'm thankful that Ben's parents give us beef each year! Sure helps our grocery budget!!!

24. I'm thankful for how God has gifted Ben with so many skills & talents-have I mentioned how just plain awesome I think my husband is??

25. I'm thankful I have eyes that see and ears that hear. This is definitely something I take for granted, and shouldn't!

26. I'm thankful for things like make-up, hair color, hair straighteners, and nail polish. These may be frivolous things but they  are things that are sure to put a smile on my face when I'm feeling frumpy and less than pretty!

27. Music!! I love that there is music for every mood and occasion. I especially love the way it can prepare our hearts to worship God and express our love to him.

28. Clocks and  calendars. I like to be organized and on-time (preferably early). These two items make doing these two things so much easier!

29. Fire. Not only because it heats a home and cooks food but because of the way it brings people together to talk and laugh around a campfire eating s'mores. This is one of my most favorite family times!

30. The fact that I woke up today and so did my most precious gifts, Ben and the kids. Each day is a gift and I'm thankful for each one of those we've all been given!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Time to Refinish a Desk

Remember these? I love these old desks. There was a time I wished I had been called to home school just so I could say I had a reason to buy 5! But thankfully God blesses me above and beyond what I deserve and provided this one to us for free! It was quite worn and ugly looking and it was only recently that I realized I could do something about that...paint it! (Remember from earlier posts my recent obsession with painting?). Since Gabe is so excited about preschool at home I knew I wanted it to go in his room so I began looking through old paint cans to see if I had any left over from when we painted he and Will's bedroom...and I did! I painted the metal blue and the wood white. I thought I had taken a picture of what it looked like before but I can't find it so am not sure what happened. I am really bummed about that because the difference a coat (or 4) of paint made is incredible! 

Since I am doing a patriotic/Sept.11 theme in their room I took a flag we had received at a birthday party and glued it on the back of the seat to make it fit the theme. I'm really happy with how it turned out and with the fact it cost me $0.00 to do this! 

***I thought it would be a good idea to embellish the front with some patriotic themed scrapbooking paper I had in a scalloped shape. I didn't think this through because it took them about 2 mins. to start picking it off. I think I am going to have to modge podge it on and am hoping that will work and not make it look awful. This is an idea that in hindsight wish I had abandoned!***

A Time for Painting

I have been introduced to a little thing called Pinterest and it has not only been a wonderful avenue to waste time but also of great inspiration. After one day of being on I had plans for just about every inch of space in our house. That is when I began painting everything in sight! My husband joked that he would come home one day to find I had spray painted our suburban.

The first thing I really wanted to do was from an idea I saw on a blog called Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss. I scoured my house and attic for frames I wasn't using. I then located as much leftover paint from various projects and got to work. I have also seen in "blog land" people doing different things with letters of the alphabet and  I really liked those ideas too so I decided to combine the two ideas. I found unfinished letters at Ocean State Job Lots for $1 each and just picked random letters. Then I painted...and I painted....and I painted. The end result was this
It's not quite finished as there is still about a foot or so of this wall left to fill and I still need to find some of the kids art work to hang in the frames. I don't know if you can tell but the larger frames have a nail on the top of the inside of the frame that I hung a butterfly clip from to hang the artwork. The smaller frames are too small to hang art work but I know one of these days I will find the perfect idea for them on Pinterest...yes, the website is just that good! The picture doesn't do this space justice. It's super adorable in person.

A Time for Rice

How cool does this rice look? I saw this idea  at Share & Remember and knew I had to make some. If you remember, awhile back I posted HERE how my kids love to play in beans so I knew they would love this too. 

All I did was take a clear "under the bed" storage bin that I had and wasn't using as my container to store it. It's big enough that 2 can play in it easily and it has a lid for when we are not using it. Then I measured 1 cup of rice and put it in a ziploc bag. Then I measured 1 tbs. of food coloring (I played around with the colors to get different shades) and dumped that in the plastic bag. Then I measured 2 tbs of rubbing alcohol and put it in the bag. I then sealed the bag and began coating the rice in the colored liquid. When we did this is was during a week we had no sun so I let in dry in the bags for about a day, then dumped it all in the bin and let it air out on the porch. The reason I did this is because I found the alcohol to smell really strong so before I let the kids play in it I wanted to get some of the smell out. 

I foresee a lot of our winter days consumed with playing in the rice! And since I am working on colors with Will (identifying and speaking) this is a great activity to make the "work" of that fun for him.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Time for Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies

Last week I made some pumpkin puree with the pumpkins we managed to grow in our garden. After a friend posted this recipe for Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies, I couldn't get the idea of them out of my mind. I really wanted to make her recipe but I didn't have everything I needed to make it so I searched online for one that I could make that night. I found one here and realized once they were made that they would make perfect whoopie pies! Since I was making chocolate ones for Ben today I decided to make these cookies again and have both kinds of whoopie pies. I then found a recipe for the filling that I like at this website. What I like about this filling recipe is that it's not too sweet and very light and does not use Fluff.

Make the filling while you let the cookies cool. Once it is ready, start filling the underside of one cookie with filling then place another cookie on top...then you're done!!

As you can see from the picture, everyone in our family, right down to the littlest one, loved them! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Time for Soccer Part II

I promised Owen I would put some pictures of him playing soccer too and since I finally remembered to bring my camera to one of his games, here are some pictures. 

A Time for Dehydrated Pears

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, 

and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself,

upon the earth: and it was so. Genesis 1:11

I was recently introduced to the cutest blog through a friend's blog. It's called Blissfully Content and there are some really great recipes and tips on it. She recently had a blog post about dehydrating pears and I decided I wanted to try this. So following her instructions here is what I did:

1. I bought pears at the store because I don't have access to anyone with a pear tree and I have no time to go pear picking (not even sure you still can around here). Then I washed them well.
2. Next I did core them, even though she didn't. I just used my apple corer and it was really easy and quick.

3. Then I sliced them into thin circles.

4. Now all you have to do is place them on your dehydrator. Mine can hold 6 pears, sliced so I did it in two batches.

5. Once you have your dehydrator filled put the cover on and set the temperature to 130-135. I dehydrated them for about 12 hours. Keep checking them every few hours till you get the texture you want. I don't think I would go more than 12 hours though unless you sliced them thick.

What you see in the jar
is 6 sliced pears, dehydrated
This is a really yummy and healthy snack. We are going apple picking this week and I plan to dehydrate some apples as well. I store them in a Ball canning jar. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Time for The Most Valuable Cookie

I found this recipe in one of my Southern Living cookbooks a few years ago and it has since been a family favorite. The kids, especially, love these cookies. What I love about this recipe is that one batch makes 5 dozen cookies and they freeze great! I have baked the cookies and frozen them and also just frozen the cookie batter and either way works well. This time I let my little helpers make the cookies since they are always asking me to help cook. I admit I'm one of those people who has a really hard time letting the kids help because it's just faster when I work alone! I let them help anyway but it's a definite test of my patience! 

Most Valuable Cookie
1/2 C butter or margarine, softened
1 C granulated sugar
1 C plus 2 T firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 C creamy peanut butter
1/4 t vanilla extract
4 1/2 C uncooked  regular oats
2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 C candy-coated chocolate pieces
1 C semisweet chocolate morsels

BEAT butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla, beating until blended. 
STIR in oats, soda, and salt. (dough will be stiff) Stir in chocolate pieces and chocolate morsels.
Pack dough into 1/4-cup measure. (I do not do this, I make them much smaller.) Drop 4" apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Lightly press each cookie into 3 1/2 " circles. 
BAKE at 350 for 12-15 minutes (cookie centers should be soft). Cool slightly on baking sheets; remove to wire racks, and let cool completely.

NOTE: When letting little ones help it might be necessary to put them in a time-out for dipping their fingers in the dough (repeatedly) when you are not looking! 

* This is the size I make my cookies and I yield 5 dozen cookies instead of the 2 1/2 the recipe says you will yield. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Time for Gabe Singing

Notice how Daniel prayed THREE times. This is the number Gabe and I were working on today during preschool. We thought this song tied in nicely with our lesson! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Time to Make a Spoon Necklace

This spoon necklace was a craft we did at our Bible study a couple weeks ago. We have a very talented artist in our church and she taught us how to do this. The spoons had already been cut and bent for us, we just needed to do the remainder of the work.

If you want to try this at home, here's what you'll need:

Silver spoon
Sand paper or rotary tool
Acrylic Paint (various colors)
Thin paintbrushes
2-part Epoxy Resin
1 measuring tsp
Clear disposable plastic cup
A few cups of rice
8X8 or larger dish or container
Embellishments (optional)

The first thing you do once you have selected your spoon is to cut of the handle using a hacksaw and leaving about 1 inch. Sand down the rough edge with a rotary tool (using wire attachment) or by hand with sandpaper. Next take a pair of pliers and bend the remainder of the handle to form a circle. You want the edge to touch the back of the spoon or get as close to it as you can. 

Using acrylic paint start by painting your spoon one solid color. This will take two coats. Let it dry completely in between coats of paint. We used a hairdryer to speed the process along and it took only a couple of minutes for it to dry. Now your spoon is ready for the art. Paint whatever you like. I love sunflowers so that's why I chose to do a sunflower. This is a delicate process so you want to use very little paint and a thin brush. Our teacher had some really nice gold embellishment's we could put on so I chose a dragonfly. If you choose to put embellishments on this is the time to do it...before the resin is poured on. Once you are finished your painting you want to let it dry. We did this project in two steps so I'm not exactly sure how long you would need to let the paint dry before adding the epoxy but I'd say a couple of hours to be on the safe side. 

While your spoon is drying take your tray or plate (we used a 9X11 plastic tupperware) and cover it with rice. You will use this to rest your spoon on once you have poured the resin into it.

Taking your 2-part epoxy resin you want to mix equal parts of each expoxy. We mixed 1 tsp. of the first kind with 1 tsp of the second kind (order does not matter) into the plastic cup. Take the toothpick and stir the mix gently for about 2 minutes. Very carefully pour the resin into the base of the spoon till it just meets the edge of the spoon. If you get any of the resin on the table or your hands wipe it immediately with nail polish remover. We covered the tables with newspaper to be on the safe side and I recommend you do the same. Hold your spoon and watch as air bubbles begin to rise to the surface. You want to gently blow on the spoon to pop them. Some of us had success with this process and others didn't. Joy mentioned that those who had more air bubbles than others most likely stirred the epoxy too fast when mixing. After about 5 minutes the bubbles should be done rising to the top. Then gently place the spoon onto the rice and cover the container. This is to avoid dust landing on the spoon before the resin has dried. Place the container in a place you know it won't be disturbed for 24-hrs. 

The next day check to make sure the resin is hardened. Take a piece of ribbon to put the spoon pendant on. You can use anything you like for the necklace part. 

This was a really neat project to do. I am not at all an artist but my sunflower didn't turn out half bad. If I can do it, then any of you can do it too!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Time to Make the Most of Small Spaces

“The children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in 

your ears,‘The place is too cramped for me; Make room

for me that I may live here.’

Sometimes, in this house, I feel like the city of Jerusalem in this passage. It was at one time desolate but then it became so full of people there was no room for the inhabitants. When you have a family on the big side (I hesitate to say big because there are hundreds of families with way more kids than we have) and live in a modest home, it's important to make the most of all the space you have. One way we have done this in our house was turning basically a storage room into our nursery. Four of our babies have called this room home at one time or another and now it belongs to Jena.

To me there is nothing sweeter in a little girl's room than an armoire. My aunt and uncle are moving and had a lot of furniture they were not taking with them. This piece is one we acquired from them and I'm so excited about it. I originally thought I'd use it in the playroom to store games and puzzles but once we realized that it would fit in Jena's room there was no question that was where it would go. It even matches her crib perfectly!
The adorable polka-dot baskets you see I picked up at The Christmas Tree Store and only paid $13 for all three and they come with each their own cover. In them I store all those little girl accessories (a problem I do NOT have with boys)like her bloomers, tights, socks and shoes. In the drawers I am able to put her more casual outfits. The bins under the dresses I use for her onesies and pj's. 

Here is one of the ways we made the most of a small space. There are stairs that lead to the attic in this room so Ben built a closet under them. It was a project that took him a day to complete and we used scrap wood someone had given us. This is where I used to put Jena's clothes but now can use the space for all those extras I was having a hard time making room for like extra bedding and hair accessories! 

When we first decided to use this room as the nursery the only dilema was where would we fit a changing station...the room is really small. After Ben thought about it for half a minute, he came up with this...

A built-in changing station that fits over the stairs but can also be removed when we need to access the attic or no longer need a changing station. I love this! It's the perfect height and very sturdy. The table goes in and out  easily and again, was simple and cheap to make. 

This room is just so perfect to sleep our babies since they don't need a lot of room anyway. I'm actually going to be really sad when we no longer need a nursery and have no idea what we'll use this space for when the time comes!       

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Time for Soccer

This is the first year we let the boys play soccer, mainly because this is the first year Ben and I have felt we could handle the added stress to our schedule. It's an understatement to say they are excited to be playing and are having a fun time. Whether mom and dad are having a fun time is yet to be seen. For Noah's first soccer game, since it was in the afternoon, we all went as a family. For the first 15 minutes we were having a great time but then out of the clear blue sky Gabe got sick to his stomach all over himself...AND Will, who was so freaked out by it all started screaming at the top of his lungs and this made Gabe think he had done something really bad so now he too was crying at the top of his lungs. Mom and Dad are speechless, among other things, and scrambling to figure out how we were going to clean up this mess AND watch Noah play soccer. As Ben and Owen are walking to the truck to find anything that would help the situation Owen throws up. When Ben gets back from the truck Gabe says he has to go to the bathroom so as he and Ben are walking to the bathroom Gabe gets sick again! Finally Noah's game is over and we are more then anxious to head home, get away from the awful smell that has become our family and get everyone cleaned up. I put Will in the stroller to head to the truck when all of a sudden...yup....him too.

He got to try goal...I think he's really
good in the goal but he doesn't
like it as much.
It wasn't the best start to something we have been hesitating doing but we are powering through! For our family who isn't near enough to come watch here are some pics of the boys. We keep forgetting to bring the camera to Owen's games but for now here are some of Noah at his. Oh yeah, and to my family, Noah's Team is "Boucher's Construction"!! How cool is that??

Go Boucher's!