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Gettin Crafty! A gift EVERYONE can use!

Ok, maybe everyone is an over-statement…

How bout this, anyone with a few kids and maybe a few kids with kids. Or someone with like 12 sisters and/or brothers. No really.

I saw this pic on the famous Pinterest (ya, I mess around on there once in a while – Jenn Parke if ya want to follow my boards or whatever). I am TERRIBLE at following directions, so I often look at pictures and then figure out how to do it by looking at it.

Saw this. Pinned it. Then screen shot it and went shopping.

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From Michael’s, I purchased a 14″x4″ blank wall plaque ($3.99) and 2 packages of the little round wooden discs (3.49 each). From Ace Hardware, I purchased a 14 piece package of little silver eye screws (2.29) and a spool of wire (3.99).

I really wanted silver little S hooks, but those little guys are actually quite pricey, and I was considering making quite a few of these….

From Walmart, I purchased a can of Khaki colored spray pain ($3.00).

Total: $17.25, or $20.25 if I include the paint, which isn’t really fair because it will be used for MANY other things…..

I posted a pic of the finished project on Instagram (yep, I’m there too…) and people were all sorts of interested in HOW I DID IT! I went back to the original pic I found on Pinterest and the link no longer works…so I how no way to point people to it! So I thought…hey, I can at least tell people how I made it!

Step 1: Lay all the materials out and paint. Let dry.

Step 2: Apply a second coat. Let dry.

Step 3: Measure center and draw light pencil line for FAMILY text. Sponge paint the word FAMILY in all caps in center of plaque.

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I already had 2 inch letter stencils, so I used those. I also had a deep red paint and used an old sponge to paint the letters with.

Step 4: Once the FAMILY was painted and dry, I drew another light line in the center of that and free-hand wrote birthdays with a black permanent marker.

Step 5: Measure out and make center marks for the 12 months. Abbreviate each month above the center mark. This is the step I was least pleased with, and that was because of the plaque I chose. Because it had raised sides, I was unable to use a stencil or even write in a nice, fun font….

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Step 6: Screw in the eye thingys under each month. (I enlisted the help of my darling hubs for this job)

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Step 7: Write the names and days of birth of each family member on a wooden disc.

Step 8: Drill a small hole at the top and bottom of each disc. Big enough for the wire (or hook) to go through.

Step 9: Assemble and viola!

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The Happy Couple and their new family birthday chart! I think they like it!

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Canadian Hornish Game Hens for the WIN

It was Lexi’s (our 10yo) turn to make us dinner. She contemplated for days on what she was going to make. I told her to think of the main course and what type of meat she wanted. At first she decided baby back ribs. I talked her out of that because its such a lengthy process and I don’t want her BBQing yet….

Then she chose chicken legs. She didn’t care how she cooked them, she just wanted chicken legs. So, we go to the store to get her legs. She ponders the packages of legs and says “WAIT! What are those things called…you know….the little birds…they’re cute….little…” I finally realize she was talking about Cornish Game Hens.

SHE WAS SOOO EXCITED.

Her mind was made up.

A cornish game hen for each of us and Butterfinger ice cream for dessert.

I had to CONVINCE her that we needed a veggie to go with our own mini birds. She chose Corn on the Cob. I was hoping for something green, with a bit of nutrition, but hey, it’s her night.

Then I told her she should do some sort of starch…like a potato, noodle or rice side….she suggested “banana’s”. Ummm, no that’s a fruit. She suggested “corn”. Sure, a side of corn with our corn on the cob. UGH. This was going nowhere….I reminded her POTATO, NOODLE, RICE…..

She chose a side of mashed potatoes.

This meal was becoming more fattening by the second…with little nutrition….

But, all her choices where acceptable and I was not going to thwart her plans.

She prepared the birds…


She used a recipe for baked chicken that included lemon juice, oil, garlic, parsley & thyme.

She mashed up some red potatoes, by hand, adding a bit of sea salt, butter and milk.

She served us portions that could feed our entire neighborhood.

Cuz everyone needs their very own bird on a plate once in a while!

It was delicious. It was a HUGE learning experience for Lexi. She appreciated the flavor of the meat BECAUSE she made the seasoning. She kept asking if we could taste the lemon in the meat.

Brayden (7yo) gagged each time he dug into his bird to get a bite. He reminded Lexi that he liked the flavor, just not the greasy, gooey mess…. Made me laugh each time!

Great job Lex. Another successful Kids in the Kitchen experience.

And for the record, she called them Canadian Game Hens all night. But, that was better than what Brayden called them, Hornish Gain Hems.

Kid Night – Take 2!

Our second attempt at Kid Night was a HUGE success! Tonight Brayden chose everything from the pre-meal beverages to the dessert which included a shot of whip cream directly into mouths.

The Beverage: Pink Lemonade mixed with 7-Up
The meal: Dungeness Crab with Broccoli and a side of Clam Chowder
Dessert: Your choice – Coke Float or Banana Split each featuring whip cream

He is a 7 year old who knows what he wants. In this case, he wanted individual crabs for each of us, but I chose the more affordable route, and we each had half a crab.

The clam chowder was our only flop. Not because he messed it up, because it tasted terrible! It was out of a package…I should have known better…

Shortly after this moment he regretted his decision…but only for a few minutes. Cleaning crab is GROSS. They smell bad, they have lots of insides that we don’t eat, which means heavy cleaning. N. A. S. T. Y.

At this point he was asking if I would kindly help him with the disgusting part. I did. He’s only 7. I gagged.

Delish!

Now…the good stuff….

Whip cream is really the most important part of any meal.

My kids are super excited about this new tradition. They feel so important. I am trying to not be a complete control freak. They need this. I can’t wait for the day when I don’t have to be in the kitchen at all. I can tell that won’t be too far in the future!

Next Monday….Lexi’s back in the kitchen. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

I had a moment today that was a mix between heartache and amazement. It was over a trampoline.

No, I did not master the post-childbirth ability to bounce….

I was working in the back yard today, planting flowers and stuff. I went to a section to get some dirt and saw the trampoline sitting there in a pile. I decided right then to stop what I was doing and put the trampoline together.

You see, it was 2 years and 1 month ago that our lives where flipped upside down and I got on an airplane and NEVER went back to my home in Idaho. My husband and kids where left with everything to do and everything to take care of. It was April 2nd 2009, and my dad was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He lived in Florida.

Bry (the husband) had to make a bunch of decisions. He started packing He hired a moving truck and had our entire home in Idaho packed up and moved to a storage unit in California, where his mother and brother had just been diagnosed with cancer as well.

Just days before the moving truck arrived at the house, Bryan took apart the trampoline. The kids were very emotional about it. They realized at that moment how real everything was. They were being uprooted from everything they knew.

School, church, friends, life.

Since that day, we have lived in 5 different places and drug that pile of trampoline parts to each location… (except Florida)

Today I rebuilt that trampoline. (yes, all by MYSELF!)

These two were overflowing with joy today as they bounced. For hours.

They made it through the last 2 years barely asking any questions. Through the loss of 2 grandparents. Through 5 moves, 2 of those being in RV’s… Feeling like yo-yo’s, with no place to call home. No backyard to call their own. They made it through it, smiling almost the whole time.

We (hubs and I) were emotional roller coasters.

But today, 2 years and 1 month later….we have a new place to call home. We are together and stronger than ever.

*SIDE NOTE* This trampoline is the very same trampoline that I grew up jumping on here in Northern Cali. So, if you are one of those philosophical types…you might say…what goes around comes aroundor what goes up must come down…it has come full circle!

They don’t make trampolines like this anymore!

Every few years I fight with the whole family for a few weeks leading up to this event we dress nicely (or at least we match), comb our hair and put on our bestest smiles for a couple family pictures. This year, we spent a good 2.5 hours taking pictures in the FREEZING cold weather! It was SOOOO worth it.

We have a great new friend, who calls herself a ‘beginner’ photographer….well, if she’s a beginner, then she has a HUGE future! Her name is Roxie and her business name is Mueller Photography (please let me know if your interested in her contact info). She is in the Redding/Anderson, CA area.

Here are a few of our favorites!

She makes us look soooo PRETTY!!!  ;o)