Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cooler Weather

It's finally here! You can tell around our house because the cat can be found on top of the vent.

He can also locate any little sliver of warm sun.

Sunday School — Queen Esther

Lately our Sunday school lessons have been on what I'll call the typical children's Bible stories. It's been a challenge to come up with an interesting way to teach the lesson since I'm sure they've heard the story and know it.

Sometimes the activities in the lesson book aren't conducive to second graders (the lesson plans cover both first and second grade ages), or they require lots of prior planning and work, collecting unusual materials and such. That means that I need to come up with some type of game or activity to help reinforce the lesson.

Last week our lesson was about Queen Esther. Of course since the lesson was for younger children, she had already been chosen Queen when the lesson picked up. I started out by asking the kids some questions to see what they knew about the story of Esther. I figured I'd get something just because there is a VeggieTales movie based on the story.

I was surprised I didn't get much. They couldn't even tell me the names of most of the main characters. Of course once I said the names they all remembered them, which I expected, but they couldn't come up with them on their own. This encourages me in teaching the lessons now — I want to make sure they get the story, even the ones I think they already know. I also want them to see God's hand in the story.

In the story of Esther, her uncle Mordecai raised her. At one point after she was crowned Queen, Mordecai found out about a plot to kill the King, he told Esther, she went before the King and told him (giving Mordecai credit in the record books), and the two men were put to death. Mordecai was not recognized for this good deed at this time.

Toward the end of the story, after the King and the evil Haman had dinner with the Queen the first night (she invited them the next night too), the King couldn't sleep. He had the scrolls brought in to be read, and part of the chronicles read to the King that night was the record of Mordecai saving his life by exposing the two men who wanted to kill him. He realized Mordecai hadn't been honored, and the story goes on from there.

So our activity was to make scrolls to record our Bible verse for the week, Proverbs 3:5,6. Esther trusted God and didn't lean on her own understanding.

We started out with straws. I only have bendy straws, so we cut off the bendy part.

We cut a regular piece of copy paper in half lengthwise.

We taped each end to one of the straws.

We wrote our verse. Some wrote it vertically and some wrote it horizontally.

Roll up one end halfway.

Roll up the other end halfway.

Hold it and twirl the straws to tighten it a little.

Swipe some of Chatty's tiny little black hair rubber bands and don't tell any of the kids what they are and use them to hold your scroll closed.

Quick and easy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Broccoli-Romaine Salad

Last night at small group I made something a little different for our not-dessert snack (we always have a dessert and a not-dessert, or a sweet and a salty, or whatever).

I've been running out of ideas for something new and different, so I made a salad for the grown-ups, and if the kids ate it, it would be good for them.

When you look at the picture, just remember that I doubled the recipe below.

Broccoli-Romaine Salad
from my mom

1 bunch of broccoli, chopped, or a package of broccoli wokly
1 bundle of romaine lettuce, chopped (I had one bunch of red and one bunch of green and chopped them up pretty good so they were smaller pieces)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (which you know would qualify as food in my food and was not included, because it's nuts)

Brown and cool:

1 package of ramen noodles in 2 tablespoons of butter, without the little seasoning package.


1/2 cup sugar (or Splenda my mom said)
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Shake or stir dressing and refrigerate. Add just before serving along with the browned ramen noodles. You'll have to shake or stir again.

None of the kids ate it, which is a good thing, because the grown-ups (including me!) were vultures. It's a good thing I doubled it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not Blue
Alternately Titled "The Room That's Glowing"

This is the bathroom that Sparky, Buddy, and Caboose share. I'm hoping that once the shower curtain goes back up it helps deflect the glare coming out into the hall.

Seriously. After one coat last night there was a definite green glow in the hall when the light was on in that bathroom.

I'm waiting for the second coat to dry today.

It appears to match the Garnier bottle. Could that be considered a plus?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Does this give you a better idea what was going on in these pictures?

It's a little more obvious here. The color and the in-progress mess.

That's one long wall in those two pictures. It's the length of a three-car garage. It took a full gallon of paint for that one wall. Two coats. Behr Ultra Paint plus Primer.

In the last week I've used nine gallons of paint...all by myself...Hubby's out of town.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Chatty got our old (as in previous) white bed skirt when we got our king-sized bed a couple of years ago. She's the only kid with a queen bed and the bed skirt has a scalloped trim, so it fits for her.

Then we have a single panel floor length drapery that the girls had when they shared a room back in Illinois. They had a walk-in closet, and we removed their closet door because they were able to have their dolls and toys in there and play with them there. It was a pretty big closet. We hung the panel on a simple spring-rod at the top of the door frame so you couldn't see into the closet and then it added a little cuteness to the room.

We haven't been able to use that drapery panel again, but it's moved with us. I almost got rid of it as well as the bed skirt. Then I saw an idea in a catalog or magazine using a white bedskirt with different colors of ribbon attached all the way around it. I decided I could use the sheer colored strips from the panel that had flowers attached to them, cut them into the lengths I needed, and then attach them to the bed skirt.

My favorite way to attach stuff when I can is hot glue. I used low-melt so I could touch it. I think hot glue guns are the girl version of guys and their duct tape.

When the cord reached, I put the glue directly on the bed skirt.

When the cord didn't reach I just put the glue on the strip and then stuck it on.

I pressed each one down.

Lots of cuteness.

I actually had the bed skirt out in my garage sale last year and it didn't sell. I kept it out when I took things to the Salvation Army a few months ago knowing I planned to do this. I'm so glad it didn't sell. And I usually don't say that after a garage sale.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This is the kind of cool gift a 14-year-old boy gets from his sister when she returns from Bolivia.

He's roughly as big as my hand. Or she. Look at those teeth!

Looks great as an accessory with little baseball helmets.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sneak Peek

Because I don't have time for words to go with the pictures right now.

Can you tell what's different?

Monday, October 11, 2010

A $7 Update

I wanted to add a little color to two of my fall wreaths from last year (the one that hangs on the front door and the one that hangs on the inside door that leads to the garage).

At Hobby Lobby the other day I picked up two fall sprigs that were originally $7.00, and since they always have good sales, were half price. I was able to cut about 14 little flowered sprigs off of each one. I picked one that had more yellow flowers and one that had more orange flowers, and then I mixed them between the two wreaths.

There was a weedy looking sprig on them along with the long grassy leaves. I was able to just stick everything in without having to anchor it with any wire.

Since it's night when I took the picture, I wasn't able to take one of the wreath on the front door. Suffice to say that it looks just like this one. I just took a closer picture of the inside wreath to get a better look.

Here are the before pictures from last year so you can see the transformation.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Felt Garland

I started a new craft project tonight. You know, because I don't have enough craft projects and other activities on my plate right now.

I saw a cute idea for a felt garland a while back on the Anna Maria Horner blog. Here's the link to the blog. I'm not going to make a straight link to the actual garland because a lot of the comments on that specific post were spam (like hundreds) and so I don't want to have that linked straight in here. But there's a link to the post on her sidebar once you get there.

The directions call for 60 sets of felt circles for a 5- to 6-foot garland. You can see that five of my circles are about 6", so 15 will be a foot and a half, and 60 will be 6 feet. So it's correct.

The diameter of my circles — just shy of 1 1/2". The stitching is about 1/4" around.

Do you know the little trick to cutting better shaped circles? Keep your scissors in place (of course squeeze them to cut), but move your felt, or paper, or whatever you happen to be cutting in a circular motion. Don't move the scissors around the object.

When I have more done I'll run more embroidery thread through the middles where you can't see it to attach them all together into a long garland. I think it will be darling on my whimsical Christmas tree this year.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meet The Kids: Part 4

I started the Meet the Kids series because I seemed to be posting a lot about Caboose. Then I realized I should actually do one on each of the kids that at least started in a similar fashion so you could compare apples to apples, as much as kids can be compared to each other.

Then I go and wait ridiculous amounts of time between each one. It's been about a year and a half since the last one. Caboose has asked occasionally when I'm going to do a post about him.

Caboose runs a close second to the child with the most nicknames. Why, I have no idea. He just seems to be nickname fodder. They come out of our mouths and stick. Caboose is only used on the blog.

Caboose doesn't care to have his picture made. He struggles with smiling naturally. We've worked on a secret code that helps him give a real smile. It's two words, but unless you're around us when we take a picture and happen to hear one of us whisper it, you'll just have to be in the dark. It's nothing life-altering, just silly. Except to him.

What would you like for people to know about you?

Hi! I like to play the wii. I like to play.

Do you think you're the best player on the wii?

It depends on what game. I can always beat Chatty. Sometimes I lose to you and Dad on Mario Kart.

I still think he goes easy on us, even though he won't admit it.

What do you like to play?

Legos and Imaginext.

What do you like to watch on tv?

Star Wars. It's on tv sometimes. I don't really know anything else.

He's now obsessed with Star Wars since we've watched them in the last couple of months.

What did you watch on tv when you were younger?

Thomas the Tank Engine, Barney, Arthur, Franklin, Dora, Blues Clues.

I just remembered while I was typing that list that when he was about 18 months old, he used to say, "Oh, man!" all the time like Swiper in Dora. There was another boy at church who was a late talker, and then his mom told us one Sunday that he started talking and was saying, "Oh, man!"

What do you think about having older twin sisters?


Both of them?

One of them.

She shall remain unnamed on the blog!

What do you think about having an older brother?

Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's not because he gets into my business.

Do you think you'll be taller than Sparky soon?

Yes. But I don't like being tall because then I have to make my own food.

He likes for people to wait on him hand and foot. He likes people to get his cereal for him, or his milk, and he has to get the stepstool to reach the bowls or cups. As he gets taller, he doesn't have the excuse. This boy is a bona fide stinker.

Do you think you are funny?


Do you think the other guys think you're funny?

Probably not. They don't laugh.

He doesn't realize we're doing every thing we can not to roll on the floor laughing.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Cheesecake Factory Worker. Either that or maybe a mailman. I'd get bored of being a mailman though.

Remember he's living at home forever. I don't know what his wife and four kids are doing. Oh, and I suppose if he's having his own kids, the nameless annoying sister won't have to have kids to keep him in his old age. (That story where the nameless annoying sister is not nameless can be found in the last half of this post.)

Why are you so afraid of needles?

They're scary and they hurt. I don't like tacks either. I can't watch anybody get shots.

What happens when you see a needle on tv?

I get queasy.

So I guess you won't be a doctor or nurse?

No, because it's creepy.

What do you like most about Michigan?

It's cold and I have a lot of friends.

What do you like least about Michigan?


You might also be interested in these posts:

Buddy — Meet The Kids: Part 1
Chatty — Meet The Kids: Part 2
Sparky — Meet The Kids: Part 3 and Meet The Kids: Part 3a

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

August and September Clutter Update

I'm not sure if Amy's going to have a link up, but since I didn't get my post up for August, I don't want to wait until the end of the month and be three months behind. So I'll just post my update and then be done with it!


37 items of clothing to Salvation Army (I'm not going to break them down, but I do have them separated on a list for itemized deductions)


53 items of clothing
1 coat
6 hats
1 pitcher
2 decorative boxes
Ice cream maker
Hand mixer
2 hanging shoe racks (because I reorganized my laundry room closet again, which caused me to organize about three other spaces)
3 toys
Bundle of posters
8 books
2 suitcases (returned to their rightful owner...finally)
1 bag of shredding

Total for both months: 119
Total for year (when I started over the second time): 389

I'm going to have to pick up the pace these last three months of the year to reach another 730 in 365. I have a bag of 32 books ready to leave the house, so I have a head start on October!

The 730 in 365 Declutter Challenge is hosted by Amy at The Finer Things in Life.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sunday School — Bartimaeus

I'm teaching 2nd grade Sunday school now.

Until promotion Sunday at the beginning of September the 1st and 2nd graders were combined. I started teaching in the month of August. The week before promotion Sunday I had 14 kids, and a set of twins wasn't there, so I'm happy they found a teacher so the class could be split.

I thought I'd occasionally share some of the lessons I'm doing with the kids. Maybe they'll be helpful for someone else or just for teaching a fun Bible lesson to your own kids.

A couple of weeks ago we studied Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52. Bar means 'son of' and he was the son of Timaeus. He was a blind man that was begging on the side of the road by Jericho.

When Bartimaeus heard Jesus was coming, he yelled for Him to hear since there was always a crowd around Jesus. People tried to shush him, but he just yelled louder. Jesus called Bartimaeus over and He healed him. That's the story in a nutshell.

We started out the class by sitting in the floor instead of in our chairs. We held out our hands like Bartimaeus would have done as if begging by the side of the road. We talked about how it would have been to have been blind and not able to work in those days to support yourself.

I took a little white drawstring bag of stuff to class. Here it is dumped out on my carpet.

I went around the circle and had the kids pick something and tell me what they thought it was before they took it out. Most of them couldn't. Even when they were able to pick something, like the card, I asked them what kind, so they could tell how important their sight would be for the details.

Then we yelled like Bartimaeus. We yelled, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Yes, we really yelled, and then we shushed, and then we yelled louder. Because I wanted them to get it and remember it.

We are very lucky we have a door to close.
Designed by Blogs by Sneaky Momma