Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Year Family Time Capsule

Tomorrow is Leap Day 2012!!! It's definitely a day worth celebrating since it only rolls around every four years!  So, besides leaping into a snow bank (since a big ol' blizzard is currently parked over SD) I've been racking my brain on how to celebrate this special occasion as a family. 

I've decided we are going to create a Leap Year Family Time Capsule!   I wrote up 29 questions and predictions that we are each (Rob, Josiah and I) going to answer or memorabilia we will need to gather.  Then, we'll compile all of our questionnaires and memorabilia together to create a Family Leap Year Time Capsule that we won't open until Leap Day 2016!  (Certainly the hardest part will be remembering where we put it in order to re-open it...ha ha :)

I've created a colored version and printer friendly version of the questions and predictions we will be making and answering.  Feel free to use these or adapt them to your family's needs...click here for the printer friendly version. 

At the end of the questionnaire I listed three things you'll need to do or gather to make your Family Leap Year Time Capsule complete--
1)  Take a picture of yourself and/or family on Leap Day 2012.
2)  Each member of the family should put some money, or a small toy, or a book, etc... in your family's time capsule that you think you might enjoy by Leap Day 2016. 
3)  Take a video of your neighborhood, house and/or surroundings.  Burn the video to a CD and included it in your Family Leap Year Time Capsule. 

We also will be celebrating Leap Day 2012 by: 
  • Going for a walk (either around our block four times or around the mall 2 times) in less than 29 minutes!
  • Capture photos of yourselves leaping (maybe include these in your Family Leap Year Time Capsule). 
  • Seeing how many different objects we can leap off of throughout the day (hopefully at least 29 of them!!)
  • Playing a game of Leap Frog. 
  • Going on a scavenger hunt to find four little surprises!  (Adaption suggestions:  Print out 29 little clip art frogs.  Or if you have a large family hide one frog and give each person four opportunities to find it). 
Whatever you do-- be intentional and have fun making memories on this special day that only comes around every four years! 

Happy Leap Year/Day 2012!

p.s. I would love to hear any other ideas or suggestions other families do! 

p.s.s. Happy Birthday Carson!!! (Yep, we really know a little boy who was born 8 years ago on Leap Day 2004!)  Speaking of such, that would be a great dinner time conversation starter to ask your kids how they would feel celebrating their true birthday once every four years? :)

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sharing the Love with Paper Crafts

This past week I was a paper crafting fool!  (And LOVIN' it...I might add).  :) 

First of all, our February Craft Club activity was a deluxe card making session!  It was really fun to dig through and dust off my stamping and accessory supplies to design some new cards for my girlfriends and I to make.  Thanks to Kim O'Connell at Paper Perfect Designs I also created a couple of all-occasion gift card holders, too! 

If want a closer look at the designs and details, you may view my slide show on You Tube, in which I featured each card individually. 

Of course, with Valentine's Day a mere two days away, we've also been busy creating Josiah's school valentine box and valentines!  I presented Josiah with several ideas from blogs I follow and Pinterest and he choose from there! 

We created his valentine box out of a Kleenex box with printables from HP Creative Studio.  In fact, you can find lots of other ADORABLE holiday/ special occasion printables here when creativity or time is lacking.  Just be forewarned you'll need lots of colored ink or send the images to a local print shop! 

And all three of us worked together to create his "smartie pants" Valentines using these printables from Tip Junkie

On Valentine's Day, we are looking forward to celebrating it with my sister and her 2 kids!  Per Josiah's request, we will be enjoying heart shaped pizzas from Papa Murphy's and homemade sugar cookies!  

I'd love to hear or see how are you spreading the love this Valentine's Day!  Share your comments below.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Honor, Karate and Paper Lanterns @ Kid's Church

As a mother, I feel one of my most important responsibilities (if not, THE most important one) is to train my child in the ways of the Lord.  I do this in many, many different ways throughout the day, weeks and our lives! 

Grandma Laurel praying with Josiah

Therefore, going to church on Sunday mornings is really important to our family!  We attend, The Ransom Church, in Sioux Falls, SD.  We (Rob, Josiah and I) all love our church deeply-- because of it's focus, values, people, pastors, etc...AND our church's kids curriculum! 

Ransom Kids Room/Wall

In December, our church transitioned to a new kid's curriculum, called 252 Basics!  Josiah loves it because of the live drama, fun dance songs, and fun games!  Rob and I love it because he learns important values and Bible stories, learns how to read and look up verses in his Bible, memorizes scripture, and learns how to treat others the way Jesus would want us to treat them!  Every week he comes home with devotions and meal time questions that further reinforce the values, scriptures and Bible stories he is learning. 

In fact, I love and enjoy the curriculum so much--- I help teach and plan all the activities, games, props, and skits that we present to the kids each week!  Rob also helps (running the sound, power point, and filling in any other gaps). 

Each month we focus on teaching the kids about a virtue!  This month our virtue is--HONOR.  We are focusing on teaching honor through Bible stories in 1 & 2 Samuel about the life of David.  And within our messages, skits, and games we have a karate theme woven in them. 

Each month we decorate our classroom/meeting space according to the theme!  So, given the karate theme and mental stimulation games Rob and I made the following the decorations: 

Paper Lanterns

Hanging paper lanterns
Honor Code:  Love each other deeply.  Honor others more than yourselves.  Romans 12:10
February's Memory Verse

Large view of our room
If you live near Sioux Falls and haven't yet found a church home--- we'd love for you to visit our church, The Ransom Church!  Service times are at 9 and 11 am with a Happy Hour between services!!! However, Kid's Church is only offered during the 11 am service at this time.  :)  We'd love to see you and worship with you! 

p.s. The paper lanterns are really easy and cheap to make! I'll post a quick tutorial about how to make them later this week! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012


From time to time I want to share what I am currently into, up to, and doing.  Maybe my ramblings will provide you with a new recipe, inspiration, new product to try, new book to read, etc... Or just simply catch you up on the days of my life. 

Books:  For Bible Study, I am currently reading and leading a group through Resolution For Women by Priscilla Shirer.  This book/study was written to coincide with the recently released movie, Courageous and Resolution for Men.  The book is challenging me to be more intentional and resolved.  It has been enlightening and I definitely recommend it. 

I'm in between books otherwise.  I just read The Help (5 stars!!), The Postmistress  (4 1/2 stars) and Hotel on the Corner of Bittersweet (4 1/2 stars)-- I loved all of them, but especially The Help.  And I am looking forward to reading Room and Hunger Games Trilogy next.  I LOVE to read!!!

Music:  My favorite listening music right now is Kari Jobe's latest album.  And I'm really excited that Mandisa will be at South Dakota Life light 2012.  Lately, I'm digging Mandisa's singing Good Morning.  I love to listen to it each morning when I check my Face book and email.  It would be a great upbeat song to add to your exercise play list!  I also like it because it resonates with my one word journey in 2012, restore

Color:  Green

Drink:  Iced tea (of course) or hot Chai Tea lattes

TV Show:  Downton Abbey.  I LOVE this PBS series!!!!  It was recommended to me by my friend, Megan Koch, who blogs at Life Everyday.  Right now Season Two episodes are being featured on Sunday nights on PBS.  But you can catch all of  all Season One's episodes streaming on Netflix. Rob hasn't gotten into them nearly as much as I have but tolerates my obsession with them!  The series is based on a high-class English family that lives in a GIGANTIC sprawling mansion with butlers, maids and footmen at a time when the aristocratic society is crumbling.  

Food Cravin':  Coconut Oatmeal Cookies and Queso Dip from Qdoba

Wishin' For:  a new bike (I really dig this one at Target, partly because it's named LuLu!!)

Needs:  a new computer (my monitor and laptop mouse are broken)

Recent Triumph:  Memorizing scripture. 

Blessing:  Having Rob home a little more often. 

Bane of my existence:  van repairs (front brakes just needed repaired). 

Super Bowl Team Rootin' for:  Neither.....I'm really disappointed about the match-up.  But, we are excited to be invited to Barby and Todd's to watch the game, eat and hang out! 

On our menu:  White Chicken Enchiladas and Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Movie(s) wanting to see or rent:  Courageous, Hugo, and Big Miracle

Weekend Projects:  Baking Valentine sugar cookies (since my Mom is taking the year off), making school valentines with Josiah, and putting up February Kid's Ministry decor at the church. 

My favorite new products:  Microfiber cleaning cloths that I bought at Sam's Club.  I LOVE them! They make cleaning so much easier-- they soak up lots of water, don't leave any streaks and just plain make it easier and more enjoyable to clean! 

I also love new-skin liquid bandage.  I bought it to help heal those dry cracks that develop around your fingernails and knuckles during the winter that band aids just won't stick to.  I was very skeptical when I found it on the shelf but decided I would try it and couldn't be more pleased.  When you initially apply the new- skin it does sting for about 20 seconds (because it contains antiseptic) and takes about 1 minute to dry but then works sooooo much better than a band aid--especially in those places where it is hard to keep a band aid in place! 

I would love to know if I provided you with any inspiration or if you have any books, shows, movies, foods, that you'd recommend soon trying! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

BBQ Meatball Recipe

I'm posting this recipe in honor of my twin sister, Barb (aka "Barby").  Although we are twins we are quite different from one another.  I like to describe our differences this way:  Barby reads the Wall Street Journal and I prefer to make pinatas out of the Wall Street Journal. 

Furthermore, she does not enjoy cooking or baking and I LOVE IT!  But in 2012 she made it her new year's resolution to start meal planning and cooking homemade meals for her family.  Last night she advised (via Face book) her family's favorite recipe during January was Rob's BBQ Meatball recipe so I'd thought I would pass it along to the rest of you. (I call them Rob's BBQ meatballs because he is the one that first made them when I discovered this recipe). 

Rob's BBQ Meatballs

Meatball Ingredients: 
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 5 ounce can of evaporated milk (the smallest can you can buy)
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Sauce Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (don't over do; sometimes we use instant onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all the meatball ingredients together (except the ground beef) in a medium mixing bowl.  Crumble beef over the mixture and mix well.  Shape into 1" balls; placed in a greased 9 X13 baking dish. 

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. 

Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Pour over the meatballs after they have cooked for 18 minutes.  Then bake meatballs covered with sauce for another 10-12 minutes longer. 

Yields:  4 dozen

Side Serving Suggestions:  hash brown casserole, tossed salad, any vegetable or spoon bread.  

Note:  These freeze well and they are a good meal to take to others, because it makes enough for 2 small/medium families.