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.