Friday, April 27, 2012

Portable Flannel Board

I found this craft in a book called "The Preschooler's Busy Book" by:  Trish Kuffner
I also have one for toddlers.
Step 1: Get felt...
 Step 2: Get a large piece of Cardboard. (Or Shoebox, which the book recommends)
Step 3: Glue Felt onto cardboard.
 Step 4: Cut felt into shapes such as animals, cars, people, circles, squares, or triangles, or try letters and numbers if you feel ambitious.
Step 5: PLAY!  Your felt board is ready.
I made mine like this because I didn't have a shoebox but in the book it talks about how if you use the lid of the shoebox you can store the felt pieces inside the box and use it for the car.  I need to find a shoebox and make this again.
(overlook the one-eyed girl.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crossing off number 6! Bend, Oregon (part 2)

Well, the day has finally arrived when no longer lives so I had to find a new photo editing procedure and It's killing me!  I've been on for the past hour and not got anything done.  I know this will just take time...but if any of you have any other suggestions of websites where I can edit pictures let me know.
So today there aren't any picture collages and I hate it because I love them...but here goes...
We started the day off by driving up Pilot Butte.  From the top we could see SOOO many snow covered mountains. Mt Bachelor, Mt. Washington, the three sisters, 3 fingered jack, and Mt. Hood..I think...
 I forgot to add in the last post about the funny story about when I told Deci we needed to start packing for our trip.  It went something like this:
Me: "Deci, we need to start packing for our trip."
Deci: "But I hate packing!"
Me: "I'll pack for you."
Deci: big sigh, "Ok, but do we have to pack the table?"
Me: "No, we're only going for the weekend."
Deci: "Ok, but can I take my pink blanket, big dog, my elephant, and my bunny?" 
Me: "Sure."
I think the 3 moves we've made in the past year and 1/2 has made its toll on Deci....I mean, the table? really?  She honestly thought we were going to have to pack the whole house and move again! ha!

 I loved seeing all the big white puffy clouds!  When it's cloudy where we live, it's you-can't-see-the-sun cloudy!
 Journey decided to sleep though this adventure.
 Next, we went to go hike to a water fall and found a nice man on the way back to make this picture of us.  Notice Deci with No shoes...hiking with no shoes. yep.

 Deci started out with shoes on but remember when I talked about getting these boots for $3 at a thrift store...well thrift store shoes aren't always the best.  They wouldn't stay on her feet right and when she ran they started sliding was just easier to take them off.
 Lava Fields.

 We were talking with some married couples the other day about this hiking trip.  These married couples don't have kids yet and I guess Q and I feel it's our responsibility to warn them how hard it can be with kids...  This hike was 1/2 a mile (there and back) but felt like we hiked 10 miles.  This picture below was at the water fall and at this point we were both carrying kids and they weren't cooperating at all...
 After this we went back to the house and canceled our plans of going out to eat because we were exhausted.  It was very relaxing and we taught Deci how to play the board game Sorry.  Then when the girls went to bed we opened a bottle of wine and Q and I played the game Sequence. I LOVED not having television or internet.
We didn't go to bed so early and I regretted it later when Deci woke up screaming around 12ish and got in the bed with us.  I think around 1ish Journey woke up crying (which is weird because she's my kid that sleeps all night, every night).  I tried to put her in the bed with us but Deci was taking up 1/2 the king size and Q was taking up the other 1/2.  So we went to the bottom of the bunk bed where Deci started off sleeping.  Journey wouldn't go back to sleep.  I think she finally went back to sleep around 3 then I woke up hearing this beep...beep...beep...beep sound coming from downstairs.  At first I thought it was the house alarm but knew it would have been louder.  I went to wake up Q but when I got out of the bed Journey woke up.  Q went down stairs and it was just the kitchen timer going off...I'm not sure why...  We finally got back to sleep and woke up Sunday and headed home.  It was a very fun family weekend.  Just what we needed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crossing off Number 6! Bend, Oregon (part 1)

  I made a list (Here) of places and things I wanted to do in Oregon in 2012.
We are slowly, oh so slowly crossing them off our list.  Currently we've only crossed off 2.  Some of these things are expensive...mainly expensive to drive to some of them and frankly we just don't have the time or money BUT we were blessed this past weekend to be able to spend time in Bend, Oregon.
See, I don't know all the details (I wish I did) but there is a guy...(or a family) out there that built a house in Bend for pastors and their family to go to get away for FREE!  Crazy, I know! We found out about it because of the pastor at the Shift in Albany.  (Thanks Brad and Naomi!!)
On the road.

 The house we stayed in was BEAUTIFUL!  And the BEST part to me was how kid friendly it was.  The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the playroom.  Then they had a baby room with a baby bed! If you're a mom you know how hectic it can be going on vacation when you still have a baby sleeping in a baby bed.
 This isn't even half of it! 5 bedrooms.  The house was huge and we had it all to ourselves.  Oh and no internet or T.V.!  I just so happened to love that.  It was much needed family time.

We woke up to a little bit of snow on the ground the next morning and decided to drive out towards Mount Bachelor.
Look how blue that sky is!  Q told me on the way over that it's sunny in Bend 320 days out of the year! What? And why aren't we living in Bend?? seriously... 

We decided to stop on the way to play in the snow...but my feet kept sinking a foot into the snow...Deci was the only one who could walk on the snow without caving in so we decided to get a picture of me and the girls and get out of there...
It didn't work so well.  The sun was SO bright.  We're not so use to the sun where we're from.  Plus Deci just wanted to play and Journey was screaming.  Good times.
(I found deci's boots at a thrift store for $3.00! I love them...but not so good for hiking...more about that in part 2)
Next we went to the High Desert Museum.
Journey loved the turtles.
Watching the Otter.
Can I just tell you about this awesome stroller we just so happen to find at a yard sale this weekend in Bend???  Deci's friend's mom has one of these strollers and I was so envious of it.  It's like a double stroller but not as bulky.  Deci can either stand or sit.  It's such a perfect stroller for our girls age.  We forgot our stroller at home.  (we currently don't have a double stroller) We passed a yard sale sign.  Pulled in and found this stroller for $50! I think they sell at Target for $125 and this one is in perfect condition so I would say we got a really great deal!
And Deci loves it.  We used it all weekend.  Can you tell I'm proud of this find? ha! :)
Ok, well that's it for part 1.  I'll try to post part 2 tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I wanted to share a few pictures of whats been going on lately around here with our Oregon Family.  We meet every Monday to eat, hang out and celebrate Birthdays!  This past  month we had a lot!

 On Sundays, we meet in a basement of a church down town.  We are starting an outreach post there for our group to do "outreach" in the community...  It's called the Beautiful MessWe will be going out in the town looking for ways to serve the neighborhood.  So this past Sunday we started painting the basement we'll be meeting in.
This past Monday we met at McMenimens for Breanna's Surprise birthday party!  The singer, Shawn McDonald just so happened to show up....I just happen to take this picture before he got there.
If you haven't been to my husband's blog recently you really should go NOW.  He's doing this really cool thing where he is trying to get $3,000 to help a man get surgery to get his vision back. Last time I checked he is only about $900 short!  How awesome is that??  Go check it out now!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wednesday's...I hate em'

 So...the post below I wrote on Wednesday:

Wow, where do I start...  Today's been hectic.  I can not tell you very much productive stuff that's gone on in this house today.  I hate Wednesdays.  There I said it.  I actually say it a lot but there, I've made it public to you bloggers.  Wednesday's start whenever the girls feel like waking up but this morning I woke up at 7:30 and heard silence so I decided to sit in the den and read.  Low and behold Q woke up, then Journey, then Deci...all within 5minutes after I got up so I didn't get to read.  We ate breakfast and took showers then Q leaves for work at 10. So, we get 2 hours with him on Wednesdays. (ok, don't feel too sorry for me.  He has a long day also.) My friend, Kylee came by this morning, which I am SO grateful for.  She is such a blessing to me.  She's one of those friends who just wants to be around you to help and learn.  She doesn't judge me and there is freedom in this (me) over insecure girl. So, we had coffee and tried to have a conversation while Journey pitched a HUGE fit.  She's just now learning this and it's actually HILARIOUS! Just a few days ago Q and I sat laughing at her while she jumped up and down screaming because she didn't want to wear a shirt! HILARIOUS, I tell you.  So Journey was screaming and Deci was just wanting attention as always, bless her.  She can never get enough attention.  I might add that she is telling Kylee the story about how I got pulled over by a policeman on the way to Portland a few months ago! That girl has a great memory.  Kylee leaves at 12:30 and I am so grateful for our time because that means 2 hours less that I'm in this house alone with 2 mini me's. We talk about how it's hard having kids, especially living 2,800 miles away from family.  Kylee is married but they don't have kids yet.  She's from Ohio so she understands this life, living away from family.  She encourages me to blog more about this life away from family and life with kids.  She wants to learn...she wants to soak it up like a sponge. I love this and I wish before I had kids I would have spent more time with moms with kids.  Maybe I would know more about what in the world you do with kids everyday! ha!

  Anyways, so I laid Journey down.  Played Barbie's with Deci for seriously 5 minutes.  I honestly hate playing barbies.   Then it's ME time and Deci gets to watch T.V.  1/2 way through working on a blog post the internet goes out which means so does netflix that Deci is watching. :( So, Deci once again is begging me to play with her.  (seriously, people, I promise I play with the girl).  Today, I just didn't feel like playing with her.  I just wanted to sit and watch T.V. all day...I wanted to read.  To take a nap.  This is all a sign that I need a break because honestly, I'm not the perfect mom but I do play with them, I do usually clean something everyday,and I'm not always a couch potato.  Q and I had a conversation not too long ago about how I need a break at least once a week.  Gah, I know.  How selfish can I be?? I know that may seem like a lot but I just need me time.  So, today, I let the house go.  I let the kids go WILD.  I didn't clean...ok, maybe I did load the dishwasher and load the washing machine...but that's it.  I didn't "cook" food.  I just warmed up left overs for every meal.  I didn't play with my kids much today (eeeek, they played by their self?? What?).  I let them watch too much T.V.  (Even with netflix out we watched a DVD).  I feel like a horrible mom but it's ok.  I know I'm not "horrible" and I think one day like this every now and then will be okay... I think... :/

So, my internet is still out.  I'm currently typing this on a notepad on the computer and I will later copy and paste onto the blog.  I have been reading the 7 book (that I talked about before) today A LOT.  The funny thing is I'm currently reading the part where she gives up media for a month...she checks her email and a few things but not FB, Twitter, or her blogs. She's not watching T.V. etc..  It's funny
because it's killing me that I'm sitting home along and all I want to is blog or get on FaceBook!!!  AHHHH!  I guess I've become too attached.  I really should be reading, knitting, cleaning...(the kids are asleep)  But I'm learning so much through this 7 book.  It's exactly the book I needed right now.  I miss home, especially this past week when our close friends, Neal and April moved back to Alabama for their baby Knox. To be around long time friends and family for help as the prepare for the next surgery. I was actually working on a post about them when the internet went out. So, I'm here... being transparent...trying not to complain too much because I have SOOOOO much to be grateful for and so much God is doing in our lives.  He's changing us here.  I've heard it said before, but when you meet the homeless, when you put a name with a becomes real.  I want to make a difference.  I have this one life.  I'm so afraid I'm not living up to my potential.
Lord, keep changing me.  Keep making me more like you.  Don't let me become complacent in this world.  -A

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday's List: Alabama/Oregon (Part 3)

It's Wednesday!  That means it's time for Wednesday's List. Join me and write a post in list form, then leave a comment and let me know you are joining me so I (along with others) can check your list out! I LOVE LIST!
The difference between Alabama and Oregon (Part 3)

- The Weather: Yes, again! I know I'm a little annoying but I forgot the most important (besides the rain!) difference about the weather.  Humidity!  I've grew up in the South and just grew to deal with it.  I knew when I went to Florida the humidity was worse and my hair either did better at the beach or worse.  I didn't realize how humid it can be in Alabama until I lived here in Oregon for 6 months and then went back to Alabama for a visit in July.  Walking out of the airport I couldn't breath! It just takes your breath away.

- Recycling.  I know cities in Alabama have great recycling organizations but I've never seem recycling like I have here in Oregon.  I wanted to take a picture of our trash cans (yes cans with an S) because our "trash" can is the smallest.  We have a large recycling can and a yard debris can and also a small box for glass recycling.   Where we lived at in Alabama we only had one trash can and it was for everything.  If we wanted to recycle we had to take it somewhere.  Now, there were cities close by that picked up recycling but from what I remember, you just place a bag out by the road.  When you go in most restaurants here in OR, there is almost always a place to put recycling when you are finished.  Go Green or Go Home! :)

- Land.  I've taken Land forgranted.  When we lived in Alabama we lived on 13 acres on Q's dad's land.  We lived in a trailer beside his dad and his wife Hilde.  Here in OR land is very expensive.  Most people I know don't have a lot of land.  There is a lot of farm land here but most of the people I know here live in a neighborhood with a fenced-in backyard.  Now, I don't know a lot of people here in OR yet but it just seems like it's easier to come across land in AL and it's way cheaper.

- Housing.  It's more expensive to buy a house here.  (I'm sure this is connected with the expensive land)  I know at one point I was told that if you bought a house here you would pay 50% less in AL for that same house.  I don't think those statistics are the same now.  It's a little closer now but it shocked me how much houses were here.  The price of living is just higher here on the West coast.  

- The Coast/Beach.  Here in Oregon when you go to the Ocean, you say "I'm going to the coast."  In Alabama you say, "I'm going to the beach."  They are both beautiful.  Both part of my favorite things about the landscape about each state.  Both so VERY different.  In OR I've been to the coast ah, maybe 7 or 8 times and never been swimming in the water or even in my swimsuit for the matter.  It's almost always cold, windy, and sometimes raining.  I tell you though, It's absolutely some of the most amazing views.  I could just explore the Oregon coast all day.  In AL, it's tropical.  White sandy beaches where you wear a swimsuit and lay out on the sand to get a tan or swim in the water....without a wet suit.  It's flat.  It's my favorite vacation spot EVER and I miss it!  In OR, it's rocky and cliffs over the water.  Just totally different but both hold a special place in my heart. 

-BUGS!  I can't believe I almost forgot about bugs and snakes.  I don't see a lot of bugs here in OR but in Alabama, especially in the Summer, you see bugs everywhere!  Also there aren't any poisonous snakes here in Oregon, from what I hear, but I'm not so sure I believe it...  Even so, a snake is a snake.  I hate them all. ;) 

(Again, I do understand that some of these differences could be because I lived in a "smaller" town in Alabama and now I live in a "Bigger" city...that's my disclaimer for this post. ha! ;)  
Happy Listing! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

7. An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

I just started reading this book called 7 An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. By Jen Hatmaker.
I'm only on page 29 but I love it.
Watch this video below and it will tell you more about the book.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weight Watchers: Microwave Potato Nachos

I've recently found 2 Weight Watchers cookbooks at a thrift store and this recipe looked SO good in the book.
SEE!  (And it's so easy to make.)
So I decided to make them and I thought I would share the recipe with you guys.

What you need:
1 Large baking potato, scrubbed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/3 cup bottled chunky salsa
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 scallion, sliced

First, cut the potato into 3/8-inch-thick slices; arrange in a single layer in a microwavable dish.  Sprinkle the potatoes with the cumin, salt, and pepper.
Cover with plastic wrap, then prick a few holes in the plastic to vent.  Microwave on high until tender, 6 minutes.
Spoon the salsa over the potatoes; sprinkle with beans and cheese.  Microwave, uncovered, on Medium until the cheese is melted, 1 1/2 - 2
 minutes.  Sprinkle wit the scallion and serve at once.
This is what mine looked like:
Not as pretty...but very yummy!

PER SERVING (3 nachos): 95 Cal, 1 g Fat, 0 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 2 mg Chol, 416 mg Sod, 17 g Carb, 3 g Fib, 5 g Prot, 104 mg Calc. 
POINTS value: 1.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our Weekend

On Friday, Q went to weigh in at Weight Watchers and lost 3.8 more pounds!! I'm so proud of him! So, this below is what we did to waste time...take pictures. :)
 Saturday night Q and I went on a date.  Our friends Holleigh and Alec asked us a few weeks ago if they could babysit for us sometime.  It's such a HUGE blessing to us to have them and Breanna around to babysit for us.  I don't know what we would do for date nights if we didn't have these Crash members here. :)  Plus, Q's mom, and her husband, sent us "Easter Date" money. Yay for Date money and for wonderful in-laws!!! We went to The Vintage and it was Wonderful.  They are known for their Fondu.  YUM!
This morning Journey still had snot pouring from her nose so Q said he would stay home and let me and Deci go to church.  There was SO many people there this morning!  Hello Easter Sunday!
 Then we spent the afternoon at a local park.  Then Deci and Q went to go help feed the homeless downtown while I stayed home with Journey.  We played in the backyard for a little while and I saw our first flower!  Living in this new house I have no idea what all is planted in the back yard.  I'm a little over my head because I have no clue how to take care of plants...
I usually take pictures of the plants on my phone and sent them to my mom to ask if it's a weed or a plant...then I ask her how to trim things...  Today I sent her a picture of the ferns planted in the back yard and asked her what to do with them.  They are HUGE and 1/2 are brown and dying.  So I spent about 30 minutes trimming them and Journey played in the bird bath. The yucky, green water, bird bath!  Then the bad part is we went in to eat and I forgot to wash her hands!! GASP! I know, I know! I'm a horrible mom!  I remember 1/2 way thru but I'm guessing at that point the damage was done. :/  
   Happy Easter!  :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

This is how we make PIZZA around here...

First off Momma and Deci do the hard work.  Rolling down the pizza dough, putting on the pizza sauce and cheese.  Then little munchkin comes in and this is what happens.  Keep and eye on Journey.
 Big sister shows Journey what to do... take the peperoni...
 first one in the mouth!
One for the pizza...
 not too sure she's happy about that decision...
 humm... lookin' good, lookin' good...
 one for Journey...
 One for the pizza...

 ooooh, I'm caught!

Haha! Sweet girls!
 I love when we make homemade pizza! I love making these special memories with my girls.
(Sorry for the unedited pictures.  As much as I love to edit, and love the way they look, It does take so much time...time that I'm fighting for at the moment. *sigh) ;)