Monday, December 31, 2012

Pinterest In A Blogshell

I couldn't help but take a screen shot. 

A specimen of physical perfection and a recipe for gooey cookies in the same shot.

This is Pinterest.

Unachievable "goal" images paired with the very cookie recipes that will keep you from it.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Jared and I just finished paying 3 months of ridiculous energy bills trying to make up for the summer months.  We got behind due to $500 plus electric bills.  We didn't even keep the house at an insane temp.  This summer it was 75 at night and 80 during the day.

Now that it's turned cold our house is frigid.  I assume the windows that were installed were "builder's grade."  They are drafty and seem to need at least some attention if not replacement.  That is ridiculous in a 6 year old home.

I've been reading online about how to make our home more efficient.

The first thing I did was flip the tiny switch on our ceiling fans to the winter setting.  Winter setting means it turns clockwise.  This alone can save you as much as 10% on your heating bills.  It simply pushes the warm air back down since warm air rises.

The next step was winterizing our drafty windows.  Several websites suggested plastic sheeting to seal the windows.  I purchased two of these at Wal-mart for $7 each.
 I started off downstairs in Graham and Elijah's room.  I had enough to do the coldest rooms but I will need one more package to finish.  The total spent will be $21 and I anticipate saving triple that on one month's bill.  The difference is dramatic and instant.

The sheeting goes on easily with clear double stick tape.  At first it looks like this:
 But wait!  Take out a blow dryer and slowly attack those wrinkles and in no time you can not tell it's there!  I was so impressed!!  I was worried it would be obvious from outside.  It is very discrete and the house is already remarkably warmer!  So thankful!!
Window on left has sheeting, window on right does not

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fun With NeNe

My mom moved to Topeka back in October.  We were used to seeing her at least once a week, but since she moved she's been getting settled, working, and watching my nephews.  She's been updating her house and spending a lot of time and energy making it home.

Today mom came to celebrate Christmas with the kids.  We had Christmas music playing and spent the day working on my Pinterest gifts for both sides of the family.  We chatted, drank coffee and watched the KU game. 

It was a lot of fun and a blessing to the kids and I.  The best part had to be Anneliese and Mom watching the KU game.  It's an understatement to say my mom is vocal during the games.  It was hilarious seeing Anneliese's response.  Too funny.

Merry Christmas NeNe!  We love you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How To Remove Temptation from your iPod/iPad

All children are curious, devious little sinners.

Yep, all.

Yours, mine, and all the rest.

With Christmas just days away, I want to give a quick heads up to anyone who already has or plans to purchase these devices for their young children.

Allow me to show you a quick and easy way to remove a serious temptation from your child's life.

Before we get to that, don't kid yourself.  Take the iPod/iPad, open Safari and click the little book icon down at the bottom.  Then touch history and see what your precious poopsie whoopsie has been searching for or looking at on the internet.

Now that you're eyes are good and open, lets get down to removing the internet from these tiny, easily hid, and oh so easily used devices.

This is how you do it:

1. At the iPod touch/iPad home screen go to 'Settings'.
2. Then go to 'General'
3. Go to 'Restrictions'
4. Then go to 'Enable Restrictions'
5. Create a 4 digit pass code. (Not 1234, make it difficult for them please)
6. After the pass code is created it will go back to the 'Restrictions' screen, where it says 'Allowed' slide the bar next to 'Safari' so that it says 'off'.
Now if they want to search for something they need your permission and pass code.  Easy peasy.  Let's make sure we are working diligently to set our kids up for success in a world where temptation is so prevalent.  Parenting has to be constant and preventative.  Don't sit idle by while your children poison their hearts and minds simply because you don't want to believe they would ever do such a thing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Wish

Jared and I received a phone call the other day letting us know that "someone" wanted to carpet a room in our basement. 

Just to fill you in on some details, part of the reason we were able to purchase this house for half price was because the flooring needed to be replaced.  We have really tried to make it work as long as we could.  We've had it professionally cleaned twice and I have a Rug Doctor that I've used on it multiple times with heavy cleansers. 

We have a large area rug down but on humid days there was still an odor.  I tried not to let it get the best of me, after all this house is a massive blessing in our lives and is incredibly beautiful.  I never wanted to come across as ungrateful or discontent.  Jared and I have known since we bought the house that at some point we would invest in new flooring.  It's just such a large investment and overhaul to remove the old and prepare the sub-flooring for the new.

So to find out that our living room downstairs was about to get a makeover makes my heart sing!  This kind of generosity allows Jared and I to spread our dollar further and make a bigger impact.  Those carpet tiles I mentioned in a previous blog are a wonderful option and now I can do the kids' bedrooms so much sooner. 

Just to give you an idea of what we were dealing with, this is the underside of the carpet we removed.  The top was deceiving.  If you were to just come over and look, it looks fine.  It's what lay beneath that now makes me want to tear out every last thread and live on sub-flooring until we can replace it all.

That is overlapping urine stains my friend.  That is disgusting and no longer in my house.  We have cleaned the sub-flooring and are about to paint it with a sealant to keep anything from affecting the new carpet.  The new stuff goes in on Friday!  I haven't even seen it yet, I have no idea what color it is and I don't care.  It could be hot pink and I'd be thrilled because it is CLEAN!

Thank you Lord for caring about the little things.  This brings my heart so much peace!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Count your Blessings

-Tanner turns 11 in 12 days.  Our little scavenger loves to find "treasures" wherever he goes.  He tries to keep everything he comes across and mom has to step in or we would have a hoarder in our basement.  He has jars of shiny things he has found here and there.  All he wanted for his birthday was a metal detector.  After a lot of discussion and searching, we found a "starter" metal detector that is for children.  I can't wait to see his face.  Today I told him we bought him something super cool for his birthday but he had to use it for me just once.  I have visions of finding long lost diamond rings and what ever would an 11 year old do with a ring?  When I told him it was neat and he could use it for me he immediately said, "You got me my very own pots and pans??!!"  At first I was taken aback, but as soon as we got home he started in on some homemade cinnamon rolls.  Such a sweet kid.

-I was sitting in the kitchen and Graham walked up behind me and placed his tiny paws on my shoulders and started to massage my neck.  He said, "ohhhh, you are looking text."  I assume he meant tense, either way it cracked me up and we were both giggling.  Goofy little guy.

-Have you heard Brennan speak lately?  I swear his voice gets deeper by the day.  He asked me yesterday if he could drive the van home.  I looked at him like he was half crazy and he said, "Can't I start driving at 14 with a permit?  That's not that far off."  YIKES STRIPES FRUIT STRIPED GUM!!!  He's right!  Smokes, where does the time go?

-Anneliese is starting to talk more and more like a young girl vs a toddler.  I know it's good, but it makes me kinda sad.  I love her little voice and the way she pieces things together.  If something has already happened it happened, "yesterdays" and if it has yet to come it's, "to later."  I'm going to miss her little turns of phrase as she matures past them.  She'll be 4 before we know it!  Those keeping track at home, this is the longest we've gone without a pregnancy since this whole show began.  It's a little strange honestly.

-Elijah is growing further away from the angry stage of his past and closer to a soft sweet charmer.  I am so thankful, and while it seems obvious his hormonal self will still have difficult stages, they're becoming rare.  Once in a while I get a hug and a kiss unsolicited.  They absolutely warm my heart.

God is so good and I'm so thankful for my 5 blessings.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Feeling A Lot Like Christmas!

The church is decorated, our home is decorated, the neighbors have lit their homes with beautiful lights.

Christmas music is in the air and even though it's 65 degrees outside, it's feeling a lot like Christmas!

This Saturday our church has our turn at the soup kitchen.  I highly recommend you contact John and go.  It's always a blessing and has made a great impact on our older two boys.  It just seems even more meaningful around the holidays.  We like to focus on Christmas cheer but the truth is, the holidays are very difficult for most.  It's a time of sadness and being reminded of those that have passed or sadness over what should be or could be with loved ones that are estranged.

While preparing for your festivities take time to pray for those who are struggling.  Those who are sad, those who are poor, those who are alone.  Remember that God is good regardless of our circumstances and He loves us so very much.

Reach out, try not to get "wrapped" up in your own little snow globe.  Share God's love with others.