Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nifty Thrifty & Fourth of July Fun!

One of my good friends recently helped me make curtains for the living room. Finally! And after only 2 1/2 years in this house, haha! But hey, they're done now and beautiful. And she made me a matching pillow case! I also repainted a wall to coordinate with the curtains, de-cluttered our built-in shelves and actually put some thought into arranging/decorating them.

I found a frame recently at a garage sale for 50 cents. I usually avoid buying new frames because I seem to always have some lying around the house. But this one was neat and I thought it had potential for that price. I brought it home and painted it with the leftover paint from the living room accent wall. Great remake of a brass frame if you ask me!

I also wanted to try something I saw on Pinterest. Imagine that! I asked around for an empty Crown Royal bottle and was able to get one from a friend for free. Everything else I used to make this project I had on hand, so it literally cost me nothing. Yay!

I spray painted the bottle with some metallic rustoleum spray paint we had leftover from the furniture remake I posted a few months ago. Then I painted the bottle with our living room accent wall color. After everything was good and dry, I grabbed some sandpaper and went to town. I loved the look of it, but decided it just needed something else. I have a Cricut machine, so I thought about cutting out an F (for our last name) and using mod podge to seal it on the bottle. After realizing that I didn't have any paper that I particularly liked for this project, I decided to just go ahead and print the F with my printer and sand it a little to make it look weathered. I just need to add a coat of mod podge to the top and we're good to go!

Gotta love some new living room decor for under $1.00!

Pictures from our 4th of July fun! Celebrated with some great friends this year!


Yes, my husband is awesome. He has also become more familiar with pink, Minnie Mouse and princesses than he ever dreamed he would. So the other day when our little princess got a big, bleeding scratch on her leg and couldn't even bare to walk (seriously, she wouldn't stop crying because she was too freaked out to look at the Band-Aid!), hubby did what any super Daddy would do. He got out the princesses favorite color of nail polish and painted a pink heart on her Band-Aid. She was in love! And magically, she was also able to suddenly walk again. :)


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happenings Around the House

My little has been quickly progressing lately with her fine motor skills. She is now able to draw cirlces, squares, spirals, squiggly lines and the number 1. Sometimes she even makes letters (I think by accident, but she's super proud either way). She still uses her left and right hands to draw and color so I have no idea where we'll end up with that.

Here is a sampling of her "work" lately:

She said, "I made a P, puh, puh!"

One of the more peaceful moments of our homeschool day...don't let it fool you!
 Lots of patience and hard work, but wow is it worth it - such a blessing!

We have also been busy in the garden lately and the kids are loving it, especially my oldest. He is excited every morning to go and see what is ready for harvest! We have picked lots of peppers, sugar snap peas and our first tomato and zucchini so far. He is beyond thrilled. It is even affecting his extreme pickiness. He is all of the sudden loving the produce department at the grocery, asking me to buy things so he can try them (crazy, I know!), and he is excited to at least try what we're growing. What a praise to the Lord!

And yesterday he was literally cracking me up with his antics...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Canning Peppers

We picked these beauties out of our garden recently...

We most often use jalapeno and banana peppers in cooking (i.e. nachos and pizza!), so I wanted to pickle and can small batches of these for us to use over the winter. The instructions below are assuming you know some basics about canning, such as cleaning jars and keeping them warm, wiping rims clean, etc. If you need more specific instructions about this, please comment below.

For the jalapenos:

Place one small clove of garlic in the bottom of a half-pint jar. On top of the garlic I squeezed in 4 sliced jalapeno peppers, it was a tight fit so you really have to pack them in. Heat 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup water on stove until simmering. Pour liquid over peppers, leaving 1/2in headspace. You will have some liquid leftover if you are only doing one half-pint at a time. Add 1/8t. pickling salt and follow the instructions for adding Ball Pickle Crisp Granules to help keep your peppers crunchy. Process for 10 minutes in waterbath canner.

For the banana peppers:

Place one small clove of garlic in the bottom of a half-pint jar. On top of the garlic I was able to fit in 2 sliced banana peppers. Heat 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup water and 1/8 cup sugar to a boil. Pour liquid over peppers, leaving 1/4in headspace. Add 1/2t. pickling salt and follow the instructions for adding Ball Pickle Crisp Granules to help keep your peppers crunchy. Process for 10 minutes in waterbath canner.  *Note: You can add turmeric for color, but it is not necessary for flavor.

My husband taste tested both peppers last night, after they had sat for over a week to let the flavors come together. He loved them both!

Last night we also had the chance to play outside in the rain! It was warm and sunny, but we had a rain shower with big, heavy rain drops that made it perfect for play!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Drawing Near Amidst the Chaos

I woke up in a house of cranky monkeys today. We are all tired from celebrating the 4th last night. My oldest has been whining pretty much all day. He is clearly exhausted. We finally made it out of the house to the store by the time they should've been taking their naps.
As soon as we got home, I carried them up the stairs (an hour past nap time). They were crying and trying to convince me that they didn't need a nap when I rounded the corner in the hallway and felt something wet and cold on my foot. Great, the dog has pooped on my carpet. Again. And I stepped in it. Gross. We have been forgetting to give her her thyroid medication off and on lately and this is what happens when we mess it up. So now I'm cleaning up poop and scrubbing carpets. And nap time is delayed yet again.
I finally got my littlest down and was rocking my oldest, contemplating getting rid of my beloved dog, when I remembered that I want to strive to do everything as unto Him. That He sees me frantically scrubbing my carpets and feeling more than overwhelmed today, even though no one else does. My eyes filled with warm tears as I realized that He loves me, even today, and He knows my heart. He knows the stresses I've had this week, the mistakes I've made, the times I could've done so much better. He sees all the things I do in a day, that no one else sees, to keep our household functioning smoothly.  He knows that even on the most stressful of days, I am more than grateful to be home with my children. I don't have to tell Him that because He knows my every thought. I don't have to explain that just because I feel a little overwhelmed today, doesn't mean I would change anything about my life. He knows my heart is full of gratitude. He sees me screw up all the time, but He knows I'm trying. He knows me. He loves me still. How comforting.  
Today He met me right where I was, in the rocking chair with my little boy. His peace washed over me and I felt His love & warmth surround me like a reassuring hug. 
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 4:8