Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kiwi Crates

My mother in law has been gifting the boys with the most amazing monthly present. It's called Kiwi Crate and it's awesome!! The boys are literally giddy with excitement when the mail carrier delivers a special green box. Basically Kiwi Crate is a craft in a box sort of thing. It really takes the stress off of me of trying to come up with new and exciting crafts for the boys that doesn't involve crayons, paint or playdoh. (They are getting so sick of just coloring- lol)  They supply you with all of the items to complete that months 'themed craft'. And boy- are they fun!! Some examples have been-decorate your own robot, plant a window garden, kaleidoscopes, etc. From my understanding you choose how many children the gift is for and also some of them have been creative as to let you design things based on gender too. Ex. We got a 'Knight' kit and made a mask and also we dyed a scrap of fabric (that they provided) red (with dye they also provided) BUT- if you had a girl, you could cut the 'mask' into a princess hat and attach the 'red flag' to the top of the hat if your girl was more into that. Anyway- really fun! Thought I'd post some pics of the boys enjoying their Kiwi Crates! Thanks Mammy & Papalu~!



Monday, September 3, 2012

Play with your food

 I just came across some pictures on my camera from some time ago and remembered this awesome breakfast that I did with the kiddos one morning. I saw it online a while back (there are a zillion sites). So when the boys woke up I had plates, bread, paint brushes and my milk & food coloring mixtures all set up on the table. The excitement on their faces was priceless lol (I really need to let them to 'crafts' more!)  Simple instructions: Paint your bread :o) Little brother painted until his bread was totally sopped with liquid while big bro meticulously wanted to cover his bread with all the different colors without mixing them on the bread.  Once they were done, I popped them in the toaster, whipped up some scrambled eggs and served their masterpieces.


I was thinking that this would be fun to do on birthdays or father's day with special messages on the bread to serve breakfast in bed! Possibilities are really endless and 9 times outta 10 I'm guessing we all have these ingredients on hand. Now that I found this (from almost a year ago!) I think it's about time to pull this idea out of the bag again!

Monday, August 6, 2012

New England Aquarium

       Last month we went to the New England Aquarium with the boys for the second time and they loved it! Last year they were a little small and didn't fully soak up all the aquarium had to offer. It was neat to see the them stop at the posters and displays and want to touch them and have us read them. And little brother was more brave this year to touch a sting ray and man handle a star fish.
     

        This picture actually was snapped right before he picked it up and then threw it down out because of the texture. Oops!  Big brother was actually interested in the little Q&A stations that were set up throughout the aquarium where if you answered correctly you got a special stamp. It was cute to see him ask me if I could read the little story again so he could be sure he got the right answer. He is our cautious one. Always wants things to be right and perfect. Where or where does he get that from?! ;) 


         After we were done exploring for a couple hours we decided to walk around boston with the kiddos and show them all that the faneuil hall marketplace had to offer. Ahem...thebestcanolies....ahem! It was however 100 degrees outside and it was very short lived. I'm glad we explored a little though because I'd love to go back when the weather is a little nicer and take the kiddos on a little field trip. There is so much history in Boston.

                Well- that concludes our little family outing to Boston. Until next time....

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tball

This was the first season that Ty and I officially became sport parents. Both of us grew up playing sports ....ok 'playing' isn't really the right word for it. We both were pretty obsessed with sports and both played on school teams, private leagues, summer camps, all star travel teams, etc. Both of our parents were super involved in our silly little sports dreams from everything to carting us around to practices, scrimmages, games, and tournaments to actually coaching our teams. Basically our lives sort of revolved around sports and our parents fully supported the lifestyle.

I will never look back with regret on those years because I have nothing but fond memories of those days learning the basics of sportsmanship, dedication, hard-work, and self discipline but I don't want to be the crazy family where sports are the center. We want Jesus to be the center. Ty and I will evaluate from year to year by exploring the pros and cons of joining certain teams and ask God for direction in our decisions.

Well this year big brother played Tball! He had a blast and was so sad when the season was over.  Ty actually stepped up into the assistant coach role so me and little brother sat on the sidelines with water bottles, toys, and lawn chairs to cheer on #6! Big brother made some new friends that we will hopefully have the opportunity to set up some play dates with and one team member even lives right behind our house on the next street over! This is great because little brother made great friends with his little brother all season so it's a double score! I want to remember how enjoyable this season was to sit on the sidelines and only have to worry about 2 games a week with no practice and no carting little brother around to his games (if that's even an option next year). Remembering baseball gloves, scrubbing grass stains out of baseball pants, and rushing a quick bath before bedtime were all part of our routine this season :o)
Oh! Here are cute little favors that Big brother gave out to his teammates after the game! 


Friday, June 15, 2012

Mother's Day Pillow

Printing on fabric (using your printer!) with freezer paper

For mother's day I like to try and make or obtain some sort of creative gift to honor mom. Yes, it's easy to go to the local restaurant and grab a gift card or fancy a new shirt for mom, but this year I wanted to go for something more sentimental. I saw this on etsy and could instantly envision it on my parents couch. I wasn't however liking the $55 price. (Don't get me wrong- I think it's totally reasonable for something so intricately designed being hand drawn and hand stitched.) I just didn't have the luxury of $55 bones to spend on a pillow or time on my side.  So after researching how someone like me with ZERO stitching ability and a smaller budget could create something like this, I came along this pin on pocket full of whimsy's blog -which I love by the way- and the lightbulb went on!

It's totally tedious to re-type the step by step directions when you can just view them at the link above so I will just add that instead of a picture, I drew up a tree using photoshop and printed that out after saving as a jpeg. I think it came out really cute and mom sure loved it! I say it was a double score cause it was inexpensive and also only took me about 25 min from start to finish!! Hope you will give this a try with a favorite photo or similar technique using any phrase or design you choose cause I think it's super cool and unique!

Here's mine:

Oh, and you should know that I totally used the iron on adhesive to close this pillow! I'm serious when I say...not awesome at sewing ;o)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Road Trip Basket



Recently I was made aware that some friends were going out of town for a week and would be driving 6+ hours (each way!) with 2 young children.  Now I can't say that I've been in the car that long with my own fam but we do travel to Ty's mom & step dad's house from time to time and although it's less than 3 hours one way, we still get plenty of "are we there yet" and "I'm tired of the car!" complaints.


I started brainstorming on how I could make their trip more peaceful. I gathered the boys and we came up with some ideas together. We settled on a 'Road Trip Basket'! Now, I'm sure there are a zillion people that have made road trip baskets so this is obviously not a new idea, it's just I've never done one or even heard of one before but basically when I can't think of an appropriate gift I always resort to (fill in the blank) in a basket. Ty's dad got a Patriots game day basket for Christmas filled with football stuff, I've given new neighbors 'Welcome to the neighborhood baskets', etc. so a basket filled with road goodies sounded perfect to me! 





We stared out googling some road trip games online and re-worded some of them to be age appropriate for their 5 & 2 year old boys. We ended up finding some really awesome ways to pass the time that we will certainly be using for our boys in the car! Some of the games included; a bible quiz, who am i, pipe cleaner creatures (I included supplies), grocery store game, i spy, team storytelling, & aluminum foil fun (also included supplies). I typed the instructions for each game/activity so it was clearly explained and threw the 'cards' in the basket.  I also included, some non-messy snacks, books, crayons, inexpensive hand-held games, a chalkboard with chalk, & a road trip scavenger checklist.
Funny side note: When we were going to drop off our little surprise basket, my friend mentioned that they had to cancel their trip because her youngest boy was sick :( Okay...so it's not exactly a funny side note. She still was super grateful and has stored it away for the next road trip! I may actually make one of these puppies for our vehicles. Or even on a smaller scale of just grabbing some dollar store baskets and filling it with toys, games, books, etc. that stay in the car. I bet the items would keep their attention more if they didn't have access to it 24/7. 

Anyone else love putting baskets together? Anybody have any awesome ways that you keep your little ones entertained in the car? 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dandelion Bread Anyone?





So I came upon this recipe on drumroll please.....pinterest! Did you know that dandelions are full of potassium?! They also contain high levels of iron, boron, calcium, silicon, vitamin C and ounce for ounce have more betacarotene than carrots!! How's that for pesky yellow flowers that ruin your lawn and wilt no longer than 5 minutes after your child has picked them for you and placed them in a vase. So it was no shocker that as soon as I saw the pin I ran to my window to make sure those suckers were still in full swing in the backyard. Sure enough- the harvest was plentiful...oh and F-R-E-E! And you know I like me some free ;o)

When I asked the boys if they'd like to help me with a new recipe that would involve them picking flowers in the backyard, they jumped at the opportunity. So with buckets in hand, we went collecting! (Picture little brother screeching at every bee or fly that was within 20 feet of him) but he did collect a bunch! After we came inside, I carefully inspected every flower for little critters, pulled all the green leaves off, and rinsed them thoroughly. Once dry I got to mixing the ingredients. (Refer to the link above for the recipe) So after preparing the recipe and smelling the oven for 30 minutes, I was so excited to get that bread in my mouth. 
Well.....how was it you ask? BIG FAT FAIL! Just keeping it real people. I was so disappointed. Perhaps because I was picturing more of a banana bread-ish texture but it was so gross dense! Not airy at all.  Hey it looked pretty though! I'm totally not ready to throw in the dandelion bread towel and I'm making it my new mission to find a better recipe. There is one more out there that I found in internet land with a lot more ingredients but perhaps it's worth a try. I'll be sure to post when I've found the winner.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Testimonies

Tonight we had a home group meeting here at Grandmaison station and the theme was coffee & testimonies.  We went around the room and each shared about the way God had brought us all to himself. Can I just say that I LOVE hearing people's testimonies?! It's funny because you can know a person for years but sometimes not know how they became a Christian. I think it's really neat to see the unique ways that God reveals himself to us individually. If you are a Christian you have a story. Ty read about the blind man who Jesus healed by mixing his spit and dirt and rubbing it on his eyes. All that blind man could testify about was how once he was blind but now he sees. It's that way with us. We were blind and now we see. Jesus has removed the veil from my eyes & I have been made new! It's funny because there were a few people here tonight who have been raised in a Christian home their whole lives and some (including myself) who've lived our lives totally unreliant on God and even thought the testimonies of each person is so very diverse the main transformation is the same. God has hand picked us just the same whether he's revealed Himself to us when we were 7 or when we were 37 it's still powerful and the angels were rejoicing over us just the same :)
 God, thank you that you are mighty to save and you have given us each a story. It's more than 'theology' and more than 'religion'. Our testimony is something that goes undisputed. It's OUR story- You have made us anew in You and we are forever grateful that first we were blind, but now we see!

Friday, May 4, 2012

God 1st, Spouse 2nd, Kids 3rd




It isn't valentine's day and it's not my anniversary but I would like to post today a little about Loooove ;)
I haven't been posting much because we have been super busy with homeschool, t-ball, and sickness. Poor big brother has conjunctivitis and I'm under allergy attack but the blog must go on!

On valentine's day some friends of ours offered to babysit while Ty and I went on a date. Can I even tell you how special that was to us? Ty and I very rarely get out alone together and it stinks. Part of it is because we just feel bad asking anyone and the other part is most of our friends have little ones also and it just seems with bedtime and chaos- we just feel like it's too much to ask.  So yes, basically both parts involve us feeling bad lol. We do however know how important it is for us to be alone and to be intentional about 'dates' even if it's staying in so we definitely  make good use of the time we have when the boys go to bed @ 7:30 sharp! Some nights we will sit at the table and feed the kids dinner and when they go to bed, we will eat ours with music & candles (We actually do this a lot). Other nights we will rent a movie and cuddle on the couch together.  Last summer we actually had a fire in the fire pit in the backyard and sat out there with the video monitor peeking out the window so we could hear (and see!) if the kiddos needed us. 

All that to say, it's important for us to make time for each other without the kiddos to reconnect, communicate about the week/day, and just enjoy each others company. It's sad to me when I see couples focus all their time, attention, & energy on the kids and wonder why their marriage is rocky. It's a fact- kids need us for almost everything and we need to give them attention. A.LOT. but we need to be intentional about not making them the center of the family. Yes, it's counter-cultural but it works for us and we are okay with that. And trust me- our kiddos do not feel unloved or neglected! In fact, I believe it makes them feel more loved by us providing a healthy model for them to look up to. (Of coarse aside from the occasional bickering...we are human!!) ;o)  God first, Ty second, Kids 3rd.

Back to the valentine's date. I did mention in an earlier post that I was allergic to telling a short story, yes?!  So when out friends offered to babysit we knew that we'd put our kids to bed first and their little boy was going to be put down for bed in our guest room so they'd have a quiet house so we wanted to set up a little romantic vibe for them too. It was valentine's day after all! We placed out some valentines desserts, and a bottle of sparkling pomegranate bubbly (her fav plus- no wine, she's pregnant!) and made up a romantic 'question jar'. Super simple, we just thought up some questions relating to marriage and printed them up on small strips of paper and placed them in a jar. Both people had to answer the question. They said they went through the whole jar and had lots of fun. 




We realized a couple weeks ago that WE hadn't actually even touched the jar of questions. So we brought them upstairs and placed them on our nightstand. Each night before bed, we pull one out and both answer it. It's fun after 8 years of marriage to hear the answers and to still be learning about each other. I just want to encourage you if you are reading this and married- it doesn't have to be a big production to make time for your spouse. It's the little things that are consistent that will help build up your marriage. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Opposites Attract


  This is just another small example on how my boys couldn't be more different. This is a picture of their lunch yesterday. Same ingredients and same plates, just a different way of serving them. Big Bro (on the left) wanted his so that he could enjoy all the things separately and little bro wanted his in a inside the pita and his cheese stick whole so he could peel it.  I wanted to blog about this today because I don't want to forget these little things that make me see how my boys have their own little personalities.  

Big brother takes his legos and instantly grabs the directions to build the model exactly how it's 'supposed' to go. Little brother takes his legos and makes a trail with them or balances them on his head and walks down the hallway. Big brother likes to wear socks all the time and little will take his off 5 minutes after they are put on.  Little wants milk, big wants water. Big is sporty and athletic and little would prefer to throw on a costume and do a dance. Big loves bugs and little runs as fast as he can at the glance of a fruit fly.  It's these little differences that make me smile and realize that even though they are only a year apart and came from the same womb that their differences are what make them unique.

I can't wait to see see what they will be like even a few years from now. Will they still have lots of differences? Will they start showing interest in the same things? Either way, I think it's fun to see these small differences and enjoy the diversity :o)


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Family Movie Night


Monster's Inc.

We've started a family tradition to have a movie night once a month. The.Boys.Love.It.  This was the first of I'm sure many we will enjoy in the future! We chose a movie that we knew they love but hadn't seen in a while so it would captivate their attention. Ty took them in the playroom and they had a nice competitive game of basketball while I ran and got the decorations. ( And by decorations I mean some coloring pages I printed out and streamers- nothing fancy!) I also made some 'Monster Muffins' that took about 30 seconds to put together. No seriously- 30 seconds! HERE is the recipe from Hungry Girl's blog. Oh and disclaimer: she doesn't call hers monster muffins, lol.


The kids came out of the playroom and were giddy to see the transformed living room. I think family movie nights are going to be a big hit. Honestly I think the kids were so excited for the obvious reasons like treats, decorations, & movie but I think that they were just joyful that Ty and I sat with them and we all enjoyed the movie together. I have to admit that when we let the kids watch television it's usually because I have laundry to get in or I need to shower or clean the house, etc. so we all aren't usually plopped in front of the tv together. 




So there you have it, our first family movie night.  I'd like to continue them for as long as we can and I really hope that we can make fun memories for the boys to always cherish!!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Easter

   This year we got together with my sister & her fam and colored eggs together. Seven kids ages 7 and under...yup! :o) It was fun and probably a breath of fresh air for the boys to get messy for a change! Note to self: I need to let them get messy more often! They are boys!


So 4 dozen eggs later and a whole lot of dyed hands and fingers they were free to go wild and play! 


Next year I want to remember to do a fun little activity with them that involves learning more about the why we celebrate Easter.  I want to start collecting some items that are associated with the resurrection and have each kid select an item and explain how it fits into the story of the resurrection.  Some items that are on my list are: a tomb (made of rocks), a cross, a lamb, 30 pieces of silver (silver coins), a rooster, thorns, an angel, small piece of purple fabric, a spear, etc. I think it would be really educational for them to have a hands-on approach for the learning to sink in. Plus- it'd be fun!


Easter morning the boys woke up and each found 25 eggs (each) around the house and ate off their chocolate bunnies ears! This was a HUGE treat for them to have chocolate with their breakfast! I'm on a mission to find some crafty or educational ways to use up the empty eggs. I refuse to let them get broken and crushed up at the bottom of the toy box this year! If you have any awesome ideas- please comment at the bottom and share them! So far I've found this popsicle idea, this awesome tea-light stand, and this awesome bento-esque way of serving kiddos snacks or lunch! 


We then got ready for church (which I should mention was a 10am easter service!! SO MUCH BETTER than the yucky 1:30pm service we have normally) 


And easter night was complete with burgers on the grill and family a devotional at the table. It was by far the most laid-back easter that we've ever had and it was actually nice to just chill and not fuss over a big meal for dinner. Who likes ham anyway?! Not me!



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pop-Top Gifts

   



 Last summer I came along this super cute idea from Our Best Bites and was just waiting for the opportunity to make these little guys.  Let me tell you- it took about 15 minutes to complete and the ladies I made them for loved them! 


What you have here is just any ole' can you can find at your local grocery store with a pop top. What I bought were the cans with fruit so I could pop them in the blender for smoothies also a plus is that the inside of the can didn't smell like anything funky like olives, or soup ;o)  (note: you can always freeze the fruit and use it for later)  

  • Turn the can upside down and open the BOTTOM of the can with a can opener. This works much better if you use a smooth edge opener. Do not discard the bottom lid!
  • Empty contents into another container for later use.
  • Remove the label and wash and dry can thoroughly 
  • Fill with whatever goodies you want! Choices are endless- I filled mine with individually wrapped chocolates.
  • Take the bottom lid and hot glue it back onto the bottom of the can. Tip: I filled the chocolates in and then added a small square of tissue paper to the top just to make sure the hot glue didn't seep through to the chocolate.
  • Take any paper (scrapbook, wrapping, ribbon, etc.) and glue or tape it to the can and decorate as you wish! 





















These would make really cute teacher's gifts or party favors, etc. Hope you've been inspired for your next gift need!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Re-Do

At first you don't like it succeed, try try again. 


When we moved into our house I went a little nuts-o with the painting and decorating. Since my favorite color is yellow, naturally I wanted a yellow room. We picked out the color and I left Ty to paint the office while I took care of the kiddos away from the paint! When I went back to the house, I was so anxious to see the room. I walked in and my stomach dropped to the floor! It was BRIGHT yellow and by bright yellow, I mean double lines in the middle of the street- yellow.
CASE IN POINT!
I hated it. I wanted to repaint so bad but I knew Ty had put all that time and effort in all to please me with a pretty yellow room so we worked with it for about a year. It was loud, busy, and we never spend time in there. By the way- this picture doesn't even do it 
<------------ justice! It was brighter in person!  Long story short- (which I think I'm allergic to telling any story quickly) we purchased a new much needed bed and thought we'd put our extra one in the office. LIGHTBULB! We should obviously make the office into a guest room. Now is my chance! Let's re-paint this room and turn it into a nice guest room. Off to work we went.
Poor Ty!
White! The opposite of loud & obnoxious. And so we painted!
Once it was painted, it was like a blank canvas! It was love at first sight! Cozy guest room- here we come. 


Insert pinterest. Hello. my name is Melissa and I have an addiction to pinterest. I went looking for 'pinspiration' and right away I saw the wall stencil from here and knew I was up for the challenge. I should add that it was WAY harder and longer than I anticipated mostly because I have ants in my pants and want a project to be finished quickly. This took a couple months of on and off painting. At first it was therapeutic for me.....then just entirely annoying! You need to have lots of patients (all my friends can start laughing now because you know it's not one of my strong suits!) Anyway- here is a pic of the final guest room all ready for weekend visitors :o)
I lurrrrve it! Hands down my favorite room in our house. (Can you tell I like yellow & gray?!)

Guest room= 90% completed....so technically this is ALMOST done. ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

30 Day Shred

If the kiddos only knew what went on in their playroom when they were sleeping. Get your mind outta the gutter, I'm referring to my workouts!  I recently purchased the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred dvd. This was totally out of the ordinary for me because the last workout dvd I bought was 10 years ago and it was Billy Blanks Tae Bo. (I LOVE that dvd even if it is totally 90's!) So I am not a Jillian fan whatsoever. I dunno if it's the crazy eyes or the intensity or how she tries to dig into peoples emotional baggage but I just don't find her my cup of tea. However- when I signed up for MyFitnessPal.com (best website ever to help with tracking calories & weight loss in my humble opinion) there were so many posts up about the dvd and how people got incredible results that I had to go out and buy it! Now, I have to admit that I took the last 3 weeks off and pushed it at the gym instead and the truth is- I feel so much better when I do the dvd! When I do my weekly weigh-in, I lose mostly the same amounts if I do the dvd or if I go to the gym that week but my pants and clothes feel so much better after Jillian kicks my butt!! 






This post is a little weird but I think the lesson here is to not knock something or someone before you try it (them?) You know what I mean! 



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Heaven

We talk about heaven a lot in our family. The boys are always asking us new things like if they will be able to pet lions and give Jesus' real body a hug when we get there. We talk about what the bible says it will look like and what happens to our bodies when we die. 


Last night driving home, little brother asked if every single person on earth is going to be in heaven. We responded no and explained the bible says only those who accept Jesus as their Lord & Savior and repent of their sins and follow Him will be in heaven. Immediately big brother's eyes welled up with tears.  He started sobbing out names of his friends and family members asking if they followed Jesus. Some were yes and some were no and it was heart-wrenching to watch the tears stream down his little cheeks the whole way home. I love big brother's heart that he cares so much that it brought him to hears to know that a lot of people he loves here on earth will not be in heaven. 


The thing is- it's not us who make the rules but God that created us. As christians, we believe the bible is the written and inspired word of God. That Jesus came and lived a perfect life and died on the cross for our sins so that we wouldn't have to. It should've been us on that cross- but Jesus took that in our place because he loves us and wants us to be made clean through Him!


Believe us- it'd be a whole lot easier to tell big brother that everyone will be in heaven and it doesn't matter what people do here on earth, etc. but that's just simply not the truth. It made for a very good conversation about our time here on earth and how it is just a tiny speck compared to our eternal lives in heaven. How we should be sharing Jesus with our friends, and praying that God would reveal Himself to them.  When we pulled in the driveway, in typical fashion,  little brother shouted out down the street to our neighbor playing catch with another neighbor "Hey Caleb! Do you know that some people don't know about Jesus?!" 
It certainly gave us a little chuckle and if we're being totally honest, a little embarrassment. How pathetic that as a christian, my first reaction was to be embarrassed! It was right then that it struck me....that's why Jesus said that unless we turn and become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (matthew 18:3) 


In the book of isaiah it talks about how God is creating a new heaven & earth. It's very real my friend. When we all die- we are going somewhere. It's up to us here on earth to decide where. If my eternity depended on it, you better believe I'd be doing my research and not sleeping soundly until I was convinced & content on where I will be.



Monday, April 16, 2012

Just.Keep.Pushing



I started my weight loss journey in February. I've lost 15 pounds so far and I feel much better not to mention my pants are getting loose which is a MAJOR plus! Ty and I pulled the trigger after months of back and forth and got a membership to our local gym. It was hard for us because we both knew that it was going to be a major expense to our monthly bills but in the end we knew that we were both too stubborn and cheap to be spending all that money to not go so it would be a big push in getting our booties to the gym! 


I think it's been almost 2 years since I've worn a short sleeved shirt. You know, the regular length cute tops that everyone else wears when summer rolls around.  I make it my mission when shopping for summer clothes to find only the tops where the sleeve comes just above the elbow and then buy a bunch of different colors and don't even ask how long it's been since wearing a tank top! I'm so self conscious of my chunky arms. My mom always says to me "Be thankful that you even have arms" and she's right. I refuse to buy in to all the media hoopla that unless you are a size 8 or smaller than you are obese.  You are ugly. You are lazy. I want to lose weight because I believe that God created my body as a temple and not a garbage disposal and I need to exercise more self control. I don't want to be 'skinny' so I will feel more beautiful, I want to lose some of this access weight that my body just isn't supposed to be carrying around.  I want to feel healthy again and full of more energy. This is not a diet. I cringe when people say that word. I am not on a diet, I am just watching my calories and choosing to put nutrient-rich things in my body. I'm looking to make a lifestyle change. My boys deserve a mom that can chase them around the backyard without getting winded after 2 minutes.

I think especially in our culture food is a comfort thing and not a means to nourish our bodies.  Think about it. You get together with a friend and grab a coffee or go for dinner or drinks and appetizers. It's weird to invite others over and not have food & drinks all ready to serve. And I'm the first person to jump on that bandwagon! If I know someone is popping in, I will immediately go to the fridge or pantry and see what I can whip up. Our society revolves around food and don't get me started on what our society considers "food". ENTER--> Support local farmers rant: It's sickening what our culture accepts as nourishment when you can't pronounce most of the 'ingredients' on the packaging. I'm so excited that the farmers markets in our area are starting up again! I love that we can support local farmers and although the prices are *sometimes* more than we could pay at the supermarkets- it's hands down worth keeping it local and consuming FRESH foods! It's so much more than eating local cause it's trendy. If there were no farms- there would be no food! Many local growers don’t use the kinds of chemicals that big commercial farms use. What you’re eating is all natural, and when you purchase local organic, you don’t have to worry about the chemicals and pesticides that you’re putting into your body and into the bodies of family members – especially children who don’t need all those hormones & crap. -->END: Rant.


Anyway- I'll check in from time to time here and update you on my weight loss and really hoping I can look back at this post one day in the future and see that I've blown way past that 15lb. mark! 



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Aller-geez

Tis the season... Big brother gets hit hard with allergies when spring rolls around. First it's the puffy eyes and then comes the congestion, sneezing, & headaches.  I feel helpless as a parent when one of the kiddos is 'sick'. I literally cannot function. Last night he asked to go to bed at 4pm. & that's when you know without a doubt how miserable your child is! 


It's funny how when you become a parent the things that interest you change so much. For instance 5 years ago, I never would have thought I'd be checking the pollen count for the day to see if big brother needs a children's zyrtec before heading outdoors.  Last night after dinner we had to rent a movie so he could stay awake and the second he hit his pillow he was in dream-land.  


Hoping today is better than yesterday! Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Grilled Pizza Time!

Weather is getting warmer here at the station and that means grill-time!! Our grill broke last fall so we just recently sprung for a new one and Ty is using every opportunity to throw something on that thing! His specialty is grilled pizza and by specialty I mean 'holy moly the best thing ever'! It's fast, delicious, easy and totally wallet friendly if you're frugalistas like us! (Yes, I just said frugalistas


The guys get together once a year at a friend's house and have a grill off and Ty won first place last year with his grilled pizza so I now affectionately refer to it as his award-winning pizza ;) He blushes like a little girl every time I say it.

Here's how we and by 'we' I mean Ty does it:

Ingredients
Homemade pizza dough or a pre-bought one
Olive oil
Corn meal
Standard toppings of choice i.e.. tomato sauce, cheese, herbs, pepperoni, etc.

Directions:
  • Let dough rest at room temperature until easily spreadable. Ours is usually more of a rustic pizza so it doesn't necessarily need to be in a perfect circle shape. (Ours is a rectangle-ish shape)
  • Prepare the grill on a high heat.
  • Spread your dough and brush a good drizzle of olive oil over the top of the dough and sprinkle desired amount of corn meal.
  • Once the grill is hot, place the dough directly on the grates corn meal side up. Close the lid and let cook for approx. 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on the dough- it's a quick process and you don't want the bottom to burn! (The top of the pizza dough will start bubbling up with air pockets- this is normal)
  • Use your spatula and flip the dough.
  • Add your toppings, close the lid and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until melted.
  • Slice & Serve! Enjoy!


Most of the time we do half cheese for the kiddos and the other half something a little more interesting for us. Our favorite types of pizza to make on the grill are;  buffalo chicken (mozzarella cheese, chicken, buffalo sauce & blue cheese), salt pile  inspired by this awesome place (lightly brushed with olive oil & is loaded with sauteed onions & garlic & topped with swiss, ricotta, romano, and mozzarella cheese)- this is my personal favorite! Tomato, fresh mozzarella, & basil finished with a balsamic drizzle. really- the possibilities are endless!

What are you waiting for?! Go fire up that grill!!




Thursday, April 12, 2012

Little Brother



So as I've mentioned, little brother is quite the character. He is full of life, goofy, and high energy from sun up till sun down. This has been a bit of a tough week for him though. 
I've been self reflecting on how my parenting has molded this little guy. While at prayer group this week someone mentioned to me something that was quite refreshing. "Isn't it hard for us as parents not to take the credit when our child does something inappropriate or is having a bad day?" she said. It's that very thing that I wrestle with daily. When little brother is throwing a fit or having unacceptable behavior, I immediately look at myself. "Why doesn't he listen to me and his father when we tell him that's not okay." or " Am I not teaching him that it's wrong to behave that way in a fashion that he can understand" or "I can't believe that he just did that- I'm utterly mortified!"  I know that as a parent you child is going to do and say things that we are embarrassed about and it's not a direct reflection of our parenting or relationship with them that makes them do it. We've actually made up some family rules this week and at lunch time I have been bringing them out and giving the boys a thorough explanation of the rules and the importance of each one. It's funny to hear them give specific examples of what to do or not to do. (ie. "So if we are being generous, that means we should give some kids some of our toys?!" "Ohhhh so when we are jumping on the couch that means we shouldn't anymore?", etc.)





Jesus has made little brother to be full of passion about things, strong minded, outgoing, and have a great sense of humor. I know that God is going to use those very things that we see as 'challenging' characteristics now to grow him into the man that he will become.  God has hand-picked us to parent him and knows the challenges and adventures that we'll face together. I'm so thankful for little brother and the excitement that he brings to our family. Jesus would you use this season of our life to help mold him in to the respectful, caring, generous man that you want him to be. Thank you for the privilege of raising these two boys that we love so much! 



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Welcome To Blog World Grandmaison Station

I know that nowadays blogs are a dime a dozen or perhaps even a penny a dozen.... I even saw a title the other day that said 'blog is the new black'.  I guess you could say that I'm jumping on the blogging bandwagon.  I have no expectations of how this blog will go or if I will even write up a new post daily, but I do desire to use this internet space as my personal way of sharing the ups and downs of everyday life. I'm happy to have a place to look back upon to remember these years when the kiddos are growing like weeds. This time flies by so quickly and with the memory I have, I'd be lucky to remember the big things! I want to soak up all of our family memories and this is a great place to get started. 


We are a Jesus loving, homeschooling, dress up like superheroes everyday, untrained foodies, rule enforcing, full of 'crazy' family and would welcome you on our journey. 



  • (Melissa) ~ A stay at home mom and enjoys baking, play-dates, dinner parties, being hospitable, homeschooling our 2 boys, and enjoys fellowship with friends.
  • (Ty) ~ Dad to our 2 full of life boys and brings home the bacon :) The BEST most wonderful, more than any girl could ask for husband! Ty is the spiritual leader of our home and loves to be active, cook, microbrews, & photography.
  • ('Big Brother') ~ Is our 5 year old and loves his big brother role! He is a smarty pants who is growing up way too fast! He is enjoys homeschool and spiders and is super stoked about his recent transition out of taking naps! He is more reserved and has a kind & generous heart.
  • ('Little Brother') ~ Is the typical little brother who is a 3.5 year old spitfire! You will find little brother in the middle of the action and will 95% of the time be dressed up in some sort of costume.  He is witty and a character and certainly keeps us on our toes!

 Now that you've been introduced to our family I hope you will pop in from time to time.