Summer Project Ideas

Lovely readers, I need suggestions.  I don’t want the summer to just fizzle and burn away (although, we live in Kansas, so the fizzle and burn will probably turn into sizzle and burn!) .

I’d like to have at least a little bit of structure for the girls.

Please, vote…and then comment with your best, most wonderful, fantabulous ideas!


Easter 2013

Easter was early this year, but we were blessed with gorgeous weather
here in the Midwest. I can’t remember the last time we could wear
Easter dresses without sweaters and tights.


As a family, we keep the focus on Jesus’ death and resurrection
instead of the Easter Bunny. On occasion, however, a pretty darn cute bunny finds us.  Easter5

We decorate with eggs, though: lots and lots of eggs.
This was our Spring Break craft project this year.
(I HATE dying eggs…shhh…don’t tell my kids!)
I found cardboard eggs at Hobby Lobby, and we used almost 16 ounces of glue
to decoupage hundreds, maybe thousands of little pieces of colored tissue paper.
We also decorated a tray, a platter and wooden baskets. eggs9

I did bake the girls a bunny cake, using the Wilton Bunny Pan.
I took a plain white cake and turned it into a Jell-o Poke Cake,
which just adds such a yummy, summery taste.
Lizzie dove in before I could even decorate it. IMG_6377

We hosted Easter Lunch for Bob’s family this year
(and I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures!).
For dessert, Lauren and I made this cake.
The handle is folded aluminum foil covered with ribbon.

The most important part of Easter, though, is shown in Lauren’s contribution.
She spent a long time (and made a HUGE mess in the garage)
nailing and painting this cross.
She even wrote INRI on the placard and placed it by the rose bush
to represent Christ’s crown of thorns.


A Clean Face? A Shower Everyday? Luxuries, I tell you!

Having four children is one of the best parts of my life…it’s also one of the most frustrating.  If I don’t shower before my husband leaves for work, I generally have two options: take a shower with an audience (and this audience opens and closes the shower door, often tossing in non-water-resistant objects in the shower floor) or go stinky for the day.

I’m all about trying to expedite my routines.  To date, I’ve found that since I’ve cut my hair short, I can use a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner; I shave my legs with this, too (also, using Bob’s razor is quicker because he remembers to change his blade!  Shhhh…don’t tell him, please!); and now, I’ve found a way to wash my face morning and night that only takes a minute…at most!

I tripped over a website called the other day.  Not only did I find a lot of good ideas for cooking ahead (another post, dear friends!), but the author posted a recipe for facial cleanser/moisturizer.  I made some up, and I love it!!

Here’s the link to the original recipe (, but I, of course, had to tweak it just a bit.

6 T castor oil
(yes, the same stuff that does NOT bring on labor)
3 T olive oil
(I used cold-pressed extra-virgin because that’s what I already had)
10 drops lavender essential oil
(for stress-relieving properties)
(Thanks, Mom, for the lavender!!)

I use a cute bottle I found at Dillons, Wal-mart, Target, Aldi’s…take your pick because I can’t remember, and squeeze a little onto a cotton ball.


What Gardening Can Do For A Sick Kid

Lauren stayed home from school today with a sore throat.  I went out to work in the garden.  After peeking on me several times, she decided her throat would feel better outside.  Then, she decided she would feel even better if she helped me plant a few flowers.  Finally, she just couldn’t stand it any longer: she grabbed her little, pink gloves and dove into the mulch!











Playdough! Purple, grape-scented Playdough even…

Lizzie has been begging for playdough for several days. Today, since I have a to-do list a mile long, I took 15 minutes and made a batch for her.  (Fellow parents: stop buying the junk from the store–this recipe is SO much better! [I didn’t even modify it, which is quite a feat for me.])

It doesn’t start out very pretty–kind of sticky and glumpy.  But after adding the boiling water and kneading it for a few minutes, it starts to look better and smell fantastic!











Then, here comes the fun part: watching your kids play!!











When Mama gets into the game, it bring everything up (or down!) to a new level (Lizzie says it’s missing armpits):


Into Every Project a Little (ha!) Mess Must Fall

My girls had a playdate this week with another girl from school.  I try to find crafts for times like these that don’t require a lot of policing or helping from me.  This time, I thought I found the perfect activity.  Easy, breezy, right?

I should have never even blinked, much less walked away:


   The finished project, though, is pretty darn cute.  Worth the mess?  Yeah, I think so…this time…

Crafting a Garden, part 1

Last year, my front lawn was awful…brown, weedy, rough.  My flowers, though, were magnificent!Front of my home

I would direct people to my house by mentioning the lack of lawn and the profusion of roses and scarlet runner beans.

This year, I wanted to get a head start on my vines, so I gathered up the surprisingly beautiful bean seeds from last year’s plants.  Bob and the girls planted them in biodegradable pots…and we waited…and waited…and waited.

The excitement when they sprouted was infectious!  The girls measured the spindly stems, counted leaves and bragged on their green thumbs.  In truth, I’m rather astonished the seedlings managed to survive the loving.

Bob hooked up a grow light in the basement, and the girls (so far) are faithfully watering their pots.  I think it helps I found the cutest watering pot ever.  And, moms, please notice the little hole in the top makes for much less spilling!!So, here, after several weeks, are the scarlet runner bean plants.  Not too shabby for my school-girl gardeners!!

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