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.