Finger Paint and Crostini
Hi. It has been awhile since I have written here. I love blogs. I love to read blogs about what people are cooking, crafting, doing for school and doing in their everyday lives. I love to know people. I love that they let me into their life and show me the things they do. I, however, am not so great at letting you into my life. So, I have decided to do better at writing here. It won't be the most exciting news ever or the most beautiful pictures or gourmet recipes but I am going to document our life and I won't blame you if you don't want to read it!
This past week has flown faster than I could blink. We did science experiments, went on a science field trip, my kids helped me make homemade waffles, pizza, and challah bread. I wiped noses, and kissed ouchies. It has been one busy and fun week. I let Maya pick out some of her outfits and this is how it turned out.
We studied volcanoes in science and did two experiments to see how they work. I learned something. Volcanoes are messy.
We started with an experiment to see how the Magma (soft rock) pushes up through the earth's surface. We filled a cup with dirt and cut a hole in the bottom. We used a tube of toothpaste and inserted the top into the hole in the bottom of the cup. As she squeezed the toothpaste, it pushed the dirt up and oozed down the mound.

The second experiment was building a mound with clay and filling it with baking soda and vinegar. It bubbled and oozed and we all stood around amazed. "again! again! again!" we all yelled. Now I cannot bake until I buy more baking powder.
That's it for now. I am getting some food stuff and recipes ready to share with you soon. Thank you for reading!
Maya papaya. 10/19/2011
Miss Maya turned 2 at the end of August and I wanted to get a few pictures of her. Have you ever tried to photograph a two year old? It is nearly impossible. I found myself getting frustrated so I quit trying to do the cute poses or making her keep cute headbands in and went with it! I let her do her thing while I snapped away. Here is what I got.
Okay, so I did a few outfit changes. The last two pictures are special to me because the dress is actually a pinafore my grandmother made me when I was little. I wore it, Lily wore it ,Ava wore it and now Maya. Maya is the spitting image of her daddy and also has his personality. She loves, loves, loves to talk, is passionate about things and goes after them with her whole heart, and loves to make her mommy laugh. What a special blessing she is to our family!
Link love! 10/10/2011
So, yesterday was Sunday, the day of rest. Only, that was the last thing I wanted to do. My husband left for the afternoon to take our oldest daughter to play practice at church. During this time my younger two girls slept the day away. They are fighting colds and this always makes them take long naps. Fighting colds = not so much. Long naps = heck yes. I put on some of my favorite tunes and cleaned the day away and I was one happy woman! Two GLORIOUS hours all to myself to clean! So, I cleaned my house entirely and even had some time to mix up a few concoctions and want to share those links with you.

I started off by noticing my girls' bathroom was running low on hand soap and we had company coming over. So, I grabbed an empty bottle and made this foaming hand soap:

It worked beautiful!

Then, after doing 5 loads of laundry, I noticed that I was running a little low on laundry detergent. I tried this recipe for homemade laundry detergent last week. I went into it being VERY skeptical. My husband and I like our clothes smelling fresh and clean and I did not want to be disappointed. So, I figured I wasn't out much money (it costs like almost nothing to make this stuff!) and gave it a try. The verdict: I love it! My clothes come out smelling amazing and the whites turned out so bright and beautiful! Here is the link to the recipe:

After changing all of the sheets on the beds, I decided to make some homemade Febreeze to spray on them. Here is the recipe:

I can't believe I was able to clean my entire house, do all of that laundry and mix up all of these concoctions in like two hours, but I think maybe the Starbucks had something to do with it. = )

Also, I wanted to let you know that this week will be a giveaway on this blog! I am giving away a trip to Chicago paired with all of the Banh Mi to your heart's content!!!!!!! Just comment in the comment section and you will be entered to win! (This is a JOKE since my only readers are my brother in law Andrew and his wife Bethany)

    **********Me Waving!*******************

Arm/Leg Warmers 09/28/2011
These are the easiest thing in the world to make. If you are a beginner sewer, this is a perfect project to start with. (so cute, too!) I love these arm/leg warmers. You start with a pair of ladies knee socks. I snagged these beauties up at  Target on the clearance rack for $1.25 a pair.
You start by cutting off at the ankle, the heel and the toes.

Discard the heel and toe parts. Take the leftover foot section and fold it in half to make a cuff.

Match the raw edges up with the raw edges from the long part of the sock and sew.

Fold up and voila! Easy peasy!
Field Day 09/25/2011
It is Sunday, a lazy Sunday and Fall is definately in the air! I love cold, rainy days like this! Especially when I don't have anywhere to go! Yesterday, I did have a place to go. We (my husband, me, his sister and her husband, his brother and his wife) planned our homeschool field day. I love field day. I am fascinated by all of the families that come out and display awesome sportsmanship, christian attitudes and fellowship while their kids compete. The forecast called for a 30 percent chance of rain. We were hopeful. My husband left really early that morning to set things up. The girls and I got in the van at 7:50 am to head to Milford school. (that is a challenge for me! With homeschooling comes the comfort of not having to be completely dressed and or have your kids completely dressed and out the door until AFTER I have had a full cup of coffee in me!) I get in the van, it's pouring! I call my husband and he says it's not even raining in Milford! The rain followed me there. I kept wondering where the spot was where I was supposed to drive out of it. I got there and it was exactly the way it was when I left my house. Parents and kids trickled in one by one and signed in. I looked around and saw very serious faces. I felt grateful they came. Not only a few, but a lot! My husband checked the radar and we weren't even in the worst of it. We gathered everyone to make the vote. I was thinking to myself "I am sure everyone will vote no and we can pack this joint up and go home!" Bob tells everyone that the rain was not going to let up. By then we were already drenched, head to toe and had only been there for 30 minutes. He asks for a show of hands from people that think we should go on as scheduled. Every hand was raised, parent and child. I was thinking to myself "are they crazy? We are going to not only be standing in cold, wet rain the entire day but also, running!" I then gathered my thoughts and came to the conclusion that yes, homeschool parents are crazy and I can say that because I am one! So, here we go, let's do this. They want a field day, they've got it! We start the events, I continue signing people into a very soaked piece of paper on a clipboard and hand out packets with info. We start the races and pretty soon, I didn't even notice the rain anymore! It was a blast! I totally forgot my camera, so here is a pic I snagged with my phone.
That's right! Track suits and rain boots. That's how we roll!
I am not sure what Lily's expression is for in the pic. Maybe she is embarrassed that I am taking her picture right before she is about to take off for the 10 yard dash? Maybe she can't believe I have HUGE raindrops falling from the hood pulled over my head? Anyhow, we had a great day, despite the rain! And I am so thankful to those wonderful/(crazy?) parents that decided to go on with the day. I will leave you with a great memory I have of us cleaning up and laughing about the day. "Hey, Dave! I think you dropped something off of that tent when you tore it down! It may have been an end cap! Oh, was rain." 
If you are anything like me, you fall in love with a recipe that is so so healthy while your kids have no idea! I love this one. All of the healthiness inside is hidden by a little turbinado sugar on top. My kids think they are eating something sooooo bad because they see sugar on the top and they think they are getting a huge treat, Mwuhaha! So, here it is!

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

3 large frozen bananas (thawed and mashed)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 TBS oil
1/3 cup applesauce
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Add the oil, brown sugar, applesauce and egg to the mashed bananas and stir thoroughly.

3. In a second bowl sift the flour, baking soda, and powder, and salt together. Fold these ingredients into the wet mix.

4. To the batter, add the oats, flax, and chocolate chips and fold evenly into the batter.

5. Put desired amount of batter into the lined muffin tins, sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes.

I came across the idea of the workbox system about a year ago. I knew I wanted to do it but thought it might be a little more work. I have used it for a week now and love love love it. Like totally. Here's how it works. You buy any kind of organization system with various drawers in it. I did my research and discovered that this one which is made for scrapbooking supplies works best.
You start by placing each school subject for your child in a drawer. (I do this the night before or the morning of before we start school) One reason why I love this system is because it helps me feel organized (which I totally love!) and it also helps Lily see what she has accomplished and also what she has left to do. No more "how soon til I am done for the day?" She can simply take a look at how many drawers she has left to do. She also knows that once she has finished the third drawer, she can have a snack, and a break! It helps her work faster and focus for sure! The set I bought has six drawers and here is a little peak into what I might put into each drawer.



Part of a book she is working on for writing along with supplies for illustrations.




Math worksheets.


A word recognition game we can play together.


Math game.

Some days I fill the drawers with art supplies. Some days I fill them with supplies to bake something together. It just depends on our lesson plans for the day. I also plan on buying these for Ava and Maya. I want to fill them with educational toys and preschool-ish things they can work on while I work with Lily so they can feel like big girls and keep busy while we work. So, here is a peak into what we do everyday!
Today. 08/29/2011
Today, my baby turned two. I have mixed emotions about it. While I have so much fun with her as she learns more grown up things, I am dreading the day she doesn't talk with this cute little voice. Maya started talking around 13 months and once she started, she went crazy! She started speaking in full sentences and told me things I had no idea she knew already and had no idea who taught them to her. (I guess that happens with the third child) Some of our favorites are: Bob, walking in the door from work "Hi baby" "no, I'm Maya!" and the way she walks around the house with twelve bracelets on her arm, a purse slung over her shoulder and her play cell phone held up with one shoulder. (the result of having two older sisters) I love that she grabs my cheeks and squeezes them and gives me 1 million kisses a day. She also tells me she loves me 1 million times a day. She gives the most amazing hugs. When she hugs you with those cute little toddler arms, she makes a grunt noise to make it sound like she is giving you the biggest, tightest hug she possibly can. Tonight, she ditched her binky and fell asleep singing "Happy Birthday to Maya". She has me in stitches all of the time and laughs at herself with a little wrinkle in her nose. So, those are just a few reasons why I want to freeze her at this age. I don't want her to go back to being a baby. I just want her to stay like this, how she is now, forever. But, alas I know that is not possible. Sigh.
One of the beautiful things about the "My Father's World" curriculum is that one day a week is called "Exploration Day". You spend a good portion of the day outside, enjoying God's beautiful creation. It's relaxing and laid back and educational all in one and I love it! Yesterday, we spent a lot of time drawing nature. Lily picked one of the crab apple trees in our back yard. I like how she made the tree super mature looking and flourishing. (It's really a baby tree)
We took a nature walk and gathered flowers and pressed them into a huge book to laminate and make book marks out of. Speaking of huge books, I have decided that Jamie Oliver cookbooks are the best for this! From now on, I will forever reach for my Jamie Oliver cookbooks when pressing flowers. = )  And, yes, Jamie Oliver called me personally and paid me to advertise his cookbooks for this.
We gathered tomatoes and mint from our garden. We steeped the mint for awhile and made fresh mint tea. We added a few orange slices to the steeping process and it turned out so good! I am a huge fan of Metro Mint flavored water and it tasted a lot like it!
The girls made the easiest cookies in the world and they were so so so good. And, no, I am not showing a picture of my kitchen after they made them. I am still recovering from that one. Here are the ingredients for the cookies:   1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup brown sugar & 1 egg. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. That's it! I talked them into adding a little chocolate to them. They didn't argue.
Our theme for this exploration day was how things grow. We read 101 books about flowers and seeds and then spent the day eating cookies and watching our bellies grow. I thought it was only fitting. 
So, I was in my beloved Dollar Tree the other day picking up some school supplies and I noticed a bin of plain T shirts. I grabbed one sized 3XL with no plan of what to do with it. I keep seeing really cool upcycle ideas for T shirts on the net and am ready to jump on board. So, that T shirt had been sitting on my desk for far too long. It was staring me down today during naptime so I grabbed it and started cutting, with no plan. (scary, yes.)
I first cut under the the arms, straight across the armpits. I then basted (loose stitched) across the top. (5/8 inch) Then, I pulled the basted string and gathered the skirt.

Now, don't let the top part of the shirt go to waste! Cut a good sized rectangle. Sew both short sides of the rectangle together to make a waistband. Once, you have done this, pin it to the top have of the skirt (inside out) and sew together. (bottom of the rectangle to the top of the skirt.)

Once that is finished, you can remove your basting stich and voila! Finished! I love the stretchable waistband in this skirt. It would be great for wearing to a buffet, haha! Great for a pregnant woman, or after you have the baby. Since it's made out of t shirt material, it is seriously the most comfortable skirt I have every worn! It seriously took me ten minutes and I am no expert seamstress! And the best part, $1!! I wish I would have discovered this at the beginning of the summer. Now I plan to make some for my girls! These are seriously fun to make. Make one. Now.


    Hey! It's me again. Who remembers that recipe blog I had called "One Handed Cook"? Well, that was back in the day when I had two babies on my hips and was laughing and crying my way through life as a mother to a toddler and two babies (14 months apart). Now, I can't say that life is the same even though it is still crazy! This blog is going to be a little of everything I love. Cooking, Homeschooling, Crafting, Hair, Jesus, Marriage, Saving Money, etc. (in no particular order) I like fine things and I like messy things. Hence the name, Finger Paint and Crostini. I am by no means an expert at any of these things but I invite you to join me in my journey as I laugh my way through life with sticky little finger painted hands and also some of the finer things of life. (like sticky little finger painted hands!)


    September 2011
    August 2011



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