Saturday, October 30, 2010

Days of Play--Pumpkin Fun

For children nation wide tomorrow night is the night where they get to dress in character and get candy for free. How's that for a recipe of punishment for parents fun?!?!

Spend today focusing on family with a little pumpkin fun.

Photo from Frontier Kitchen

If possible, go to a pumpkin patch (or the grocery store) and find a family pumpkin. Take it home and prepare for pumpkin fun.
  • Have your children guess how many seeds are inside.
  • Discuss how you will carve the pumpkin.
  • Read a pumpkin themed story.
Now, cut off the top.  Take out all the goo and seeds.  Count the seeds.  Whoever gets the closest gets a special treat.

Don't throw the seeds away!  Wash them and rid them from the stringy goo.  Put the seeds in a bowl with 1 cup of water and a LOT of salt.  Soak overnight.  On the 31st, put the seeds in a colander to drain the salt water.  Coat the seeds in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Put seeds on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.  Bake 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes--until golden and crunchy.  Want a recipe that doesn't have to soak over night?  Try these!

Carve your family pumpkin!

Now that your pumpkin is carved, spend some time on a cute pumpkin craft.  I loved this one!
Photo from A Little Tipsy
And of course if you haven't made these paper mache pumpkins, you should!

I hope you enjoy some quality family pumpkin time with your little pumpkins!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Frugal Fashion Friday--Winter Shoes

Sarah loves shoes.

Sarah doesn't like socks.

The problem:  Wyoming likes snow.

It is nearly impossible to wear cute ballet flats in three feet of snow in Wyoming during winter and through the snowy spring.  Forget heels--that's a near death-sentence in an icy Target parking lot.  So what's a girl to wear during winter in Wyoming?  (If you answered tennis shoes--that's the wrong answer. Click here to find out why!).

Option #1--BOOTS

I'm so happy boots are in style!  Over the knee, booties, suede, leather, cowboy-style, slouchy boots ... the options are endless!  With winter days looming ahead, tuck a pair (or two) away in your closet.  You can find all of these boots at Target.  (P.S.  I have 2 great pairs of boots I found at a thrift store for under $12 each).

Option #2--Loafers, Oxfords, and Moccasins

Talk about a warm and comfy option.  You can dress these up or dress them down.  And they can be worn with bare feet or with nice trouser socks. (P.S.  I got a pair of brown moccasins from the same thrift store for $3.85.  I'm doing a happy dance just thinking about it!).

Option #3--Snow and Rain Boots

I love to wear my dressy ballet flats and heels to teach because they make me feel taller and thinner really dress up my work slacks.  What do I do when it's subzero and there's a couple feet of powder on the ground?  I tuck my shoes into my bag, wear my snow and rain boots, and change shoes in my office. (See the cute grey/pink plaid pair?  Those are the ones I own. I heart them!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

{FALL} Things I Love--This Chai!

A few weeks ago I did a post stating that I loved hot drinks.  In that post I mentioned that Third Street Chai is one of my fave chai mixes.

Well, a great little Third Street representative contacted me and sent me a chai flavor I'd never tried before just as a "thank you" for being hopelessly devoted to their chai.  How awesome is that?!?! (Oh, and you can thank me later for getting "Hopelessly devoted to you" stuck in your head).

Suffice it to say I was beyond thrilled to receive my new chai in the mail.

The flavor is honey vanilla.  It is sweet, spicy, and warms you from the inside out.  This stuff is so good I had to do a Things I Love about it!

If you are looking for a chai, I highly recommend you check into Third Street Chai.

Disclaimer--Third Street Chai provided the chai reviewed in this post.  The goods received were a "thank you" and were not payment for a review.  The decision to review this item and all opinions about the item are the sole responsibility of the blogger. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What I Think About--Annoying Christians {Part I}

Our pastor has been doing a series called "Why Christians are Annoying."  (He originally wanted to call the series "Why I Hate Christians" but decided that was too strong and out there even for our modern church).
Can I just say I have NEVER been challenged by a series as much as I've been challenged by this one?  For the next few weeks I'll be sharing the ways in which our current series has convicted ME of being an annoying Christian.


Since voting season is upon us, I'm taking this series a bit out of order.  First up today--Christians are annoying because they are obsessed with politics (guilty).

Let me start by sharing a few things.
1.  I am politically "other".  Socially liberal, fiscally conservative.  I'm other.
2.  I think all citizens should exercise their constitutional right to vote and be active in politics.
3.  I do get irritated when people think that, because I am a Christian, I have no right to be interested in politics.  I can do both.
4.  I have strong opinions (there's a shocker, right?!?!).

But where is my hope?  Who do I rely on for change?

Pastor Jeff's sermon came from  1 Timothy 2:1-7 and asked the big question: How should Christians respond to politics?

Here are some of Pastor Jeff's thoughts on the subject:
  • Too many Christians are more fired up about the upcoming election and the change it could potentially bring to the political landscape than they are about the upcoming Sunday and the change it could potentially bring to the spiritual landscape in their hearts.  
  • Too many Christians spend more time studying the Drudge Report than they do the Word of God.
Ya, that kind of got me.  I am more concerned with politics than my relationship with Christ.

Convicted much?  Here's more, you know, in case you said, "No."
  • What if we were as passionate about our churches as we were our political parties?  
  • What if we quit complaining and started praying? 
  • What if we spent as much time serving as we did searching YouTube for the latest videos to prove Obama is wrong?  
  • What if we listened to the Holy Spirit as much as we did CNN, FOX News, Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh?
When it comes to politics, many Christians put more faith in the change their votes make than the change their God can make.

I want others to trust God, but do I? (Can you see how this sermon is making me think?)

Christians can be political without being annoying.  Here's how.

Pray for our leaders.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 is a command, not a suggestion.  Whether we "respect" our leaders or not--whether they "respect" their office of not, we should pray. For the LORD’S sake we should respect the authority.  We can do that by praying for our leaders.
Prioritize the issues
No matter who ends up in a position of authority after November 2, one thing will remain.  People will still need Jesus.  We can't vote for people to choose Christ, but we can show Him to them by being His hands and feet.

It's time to prioritize our issues.  1.  Jesus 2.  His church and way down the line…blogging politics.

Position yourself to preach
If I've got hope even in a sluggish economy, a ten-year war, and a foreclosure crisis, people will want to know why.

If I vote AND accept the results (whether you like them or not), people will respect my submission to authority.

If I live a life passionately pursing Christ, not debating with opponents, I'll be more helpful, more powerful, will glorify God more and will be less annoying.

Go to the polls on Tuesday.  Cast your vote the way you deem is best.

But know when it's all over--no matter who is in control of what seat, what house, or what committee, God is still God and God is still good.
And that's what I think about politically annoying Christians (stay tuned next Wednesday for Annoying Christians {Part II}

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's Too Clean Tip--Fluffy towels

I'm crazy. 

Just thought I'd get that out there.

I've done several posts about my {love} of fabric softener.  I use it to clean hair spray off walls and to make my carpet look fluffy and my house smell lovely.

Ironically, I don't love using fabric softener in my laundry.

Remember, I preempted this post by admitting I might not be "all there."

Anyhow, I really like soft fluffy towels but I started noticing the more I washed them, the more I used fabric softener, the LESS fluffy my towels actually felt. 


I got to thinking about Pax's cloth diapers and I remembered that detergent (and especially fabric softeners) can weigh fabrics down and actually make them look and feel crusty.

If this is where your towels are at, follow these tips to get some fluffy towels.
  1. Wash your towels alone.  Not with jeans--not with sheets.  Just towels.
  2. Reduce your detergent by half.
  3. After the wash, add 1/2 c. white vinegar to the load right before the rinse.
  4. Do an extra rinse.
  5. Dry in the dryer.  I know line drying is greener but dryers=soft and fluffy.
Hope this helps your towels return to their luxurious fluffiness!

Click HERE for photo source

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our Song

Every couple has a song that brings about instant memories of dating, weddings, and marriage.

I've always thought you can tell a lot about a couple from "their" song.

Our song is no Shania Twain love song.  It's nothing as mushy as some Celine Dion number.  It's not as classic (or classy) as Unchained Melody.

But it's our song.

The one that makes me think of one date that didn't end until 3 a.m. because we couldn't stop talking.

The one that reminds me of the Valentine I published in our college newspaper that was so good it won a prize.

The one that makes me declare, to this day, that my heart is in Matt's little black backpack.

What's "your" song?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What's Cookin'--10/25-10/31

Monday--Honey Sesame Pork Loin
Tuesday--Salsa Beef
Wednesday--Broccoli Cheese soup, crusty bread, and salad
Thursday--Orange Honey Teriyaki chicken and rice
Friday--Nachos (because I love my husband!)
Saturday--cheesy chicken bundles with steamed veggies
Sunday--lasagna and salad (unless we just eat candy!)