Friday, February 28, 2014

This picture was selected for grand prize in Cherry Crest Farm 2013 photo contest!  i was so excited when i got the email.  The subject said "your photo was selected for grand prize" and of course i totally forgot i had entered a photo contest.  I didn't even crop it or try to make it look good.  Bless them for humoring me.

I've been taking the boys here once a year for the past 4 years, and we love it.  We prefer this place over amusement parks, which to me have a stressful atmosphere.  Cherry Crest is spacious, not loud or crowded, there's grass (i like grass), and lots of activities and games all farm/country themed.  It's just great for us.  I'm excited to have 4 free season passes for this year as our prize.  Maybe this year we'll actually do the corn maze, which is what they are known for.

Friday, February 21, 2014

bright spots

i always need to look for things in the winter to keep life exciting, since winter is so long and slow!  Last Friday i took the boys to Chocolate World.  Adam remembered being there before, the others didn't.  We took our neighbor girl with us, and since then she's come over twice.  That's been great, she plays with them and does things that Rod and i don't feel like doing, like freeze tag!  Since she's a teen now, she's busy and has not been over much at all.  We all missed her.

Clay and I started some seeds yesterday.  Just a few (hundred).

A month or so ago, i bought some popcorn cobs at Roots.  The lady told me to put them in a paper bag and microwave them for about 1.5 minutes.  They popped nicely and some even stayed on the cob!  We never did this before, it was so fun.  Guess what i'll be planting in the garden this year?!

On Monday, the boys didn't have school (shocking).  They were pretending to be WWF guys most of the day, at one point i said- take it outside!  so they did.....for a bit.

This is the neatest tunnel Rod came up with.  All 6 of us fit in here.  he made a fort out of our sliding board and pallets, BEFORE it snowed.  He then dumped snow on top of it, while plowing.  So we just had to dig a hole to get to it!  They can even stand in it. 

Well we are having a warm up this weekend, i really need to get back to running!  The hot pink sneakers have been taking a break.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Crystal Garden

It's been years since i've done a crystal garden w/ the boys.  Since they've been home so much this winter, i thought i really need to do it again this year.  With just a few household items you can form your own pretty crystals.
Here are the directions:

Place 2+ layers, slightly piled, of clean, wet coal in a glass dish.
Generously sprinkle wet coal with salt, (approx 2T)
Dot with food coloring (blue/green or blue/red work nicely).
Pour 2 T liquid blueing into pan at one side, NOT on coal.
Mix 2T ammonia with 2T water and add to pan, as you did the blueing, NOT on the salted coal.

Watch colored crystals form in the next 1-3 days.
*charcoal doesn't give as dramatic results.

It'll look like this initially:

You can experiment with colors, i used red and blue.  The following is the easiest explanation i found for how this works:

The garden is formed by the salt after the water and ammonia evaporate away.  The ammonia helps to speed the evaporation of the liquid from the mixture.  The laundry bluing helps to form crystal blooms instead of crystal chunks or plates.  The bluing solution is actually a colloidal suspension; it has very small particle that will not dissolve, but are held up and separated by the liquid.  As the water evaporates away, the salt forms crystals using the colloidal particles as a seed, or nucleus, for growth.  The liquid mixture and the salt are pulled away from the bottom of the container up to the tops of the porous material by capillary action, much the same way water spreads through a sponge.  This allows you to add more mixture to the bottom and have your garden bloom and grow forever.  You could experiment by leaving out the ammonia or bluing, or changing the ratios in the recipe.

After less then 48 hours:

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Oh Valentines Day, you are such a silly little holiday that I get myself all into.  I love doing Valentines with boys, baking heart cookies, decorating the kitchen table, and sharing verses about love.  Rod and I agreed years ago not to buy anything for each other.  We prefer to be spontaneous throughout the year. 

So I love creating boy valentines.  This year was Superman and rockets.

Superman was my favorite!  Isn't he great?

and the rockets (wrapped around a Mentos):

Happy Valentines Day.  Wonder if i will have all my lovies home again tomorrow like i did today :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Homemade Granola Bars

Hey these aren't bad.  If you like those pre-packaged granola bars (like me), try making a healthy version (plus chocolate :) 

Now the recipe says "best dang granola bars ever".  I would not go that far.  But the boys ate them all in nearly one sitting, so I think they liked them!

Click "HERE" for the recipe.  Tell me what you think.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

All things winter

It's been a tricky one this year, hasn't it!?  So many things getting cancelled, postponed, changed.  Just reminds me that our plans are not our own.  This season reminds me to live out these verses  (that's James 4: 13-15 if my link didn't work). 

BEFORE the last 2 storms this week, when we were starting to see grass, we were having a good time on the mini bike/sleds and snow board.  It was fun to watch the boys

i took rod snowboarding too, man he's good!

Then Sunday we had a fun evening at my parents for the super bowl/bday parties.  Adam started feeling sick that morning and by evening was feeling very rough.  He threw up loads when we got home Sunday night.  My kids very rarely throw up so i was surprised by how messy he was but figured it's normal to have it all over your face, eyes, and hair!  But actually a couple days later he told me he fell into his throw up and that's why it was all over him.  How gross is that.

Monday (snow day) he was still feeling ill but no messes (PTL!)  He was feeling good enough to bring down a mattress from upstairs and make himself a little bed for the day.  I thought this was cute.
By Tuesday he was all better and went to school.

Clay and i were outside yesterday playing and he said he's tired and laid down in the snow.  in minutes he was sleeping!  i called him a couple times to wake up and go in.  But truthfully i was glad for the break, since he doesn't usually nap :)  So i let him go and he woke up after 45 minutes and was quite happy with himself.

I have really lost track of days.  It was either monday or tuesday that our neighbors came over for some sledding.  The girls loved the tobaggon.

Then Wed. was our ice day.  and no electric for 11 hours day.  Which we actually enjoyed.  But i'm sure it would have gotten old (and cold), so i'm glad it's back on.  We do have a generator but weren't going to use it unless we were still out tomorrow.  We spent some time outside walking around, talking with neighbors.  We walked to Rod's shop and found a big snow pile on the way that they had to inspect.

Building around home..

Would really like to move on from this winter sometime soon!  Memories for the boys is the only thing keeping me going i think.