Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eat: Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

I promise, I'm getting close to the end of our Christmas craft posts! 
One other thing we made for Christmas gifts this year was cinnamon sugar roasted almonds. 
De-lish, these are. 

And easy peasy! 

I got the recipe here.

We started with Emma whisking an egg and water. The recipe says egg WHITE but I wasn't reading thoroughly that day and used the entire egg. 
They still tasted great! 

Add almonds and stir to coat. 
Mix together remaining ingredients then add to almond mixture. 

Stir to thoroughly coat. 

Pour almonds onto baking sheet lined with parchment. 

Roast at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Package and give away for tasty gifts or be selfish and just devour them yourself. 
Not that I would *ever* do that. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Crafts Galore continued ... again ...

Some other things that we made as gifts this year were finger paint, pumpkin spice body scrub, and brown sugar coffee body scrub. 

The finger paint was really fun and easy to make and looked like pudding! 
All you need to do is: 
3 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C corn starch
2 C water
in a small saucepan. 
Warm until mixture starts to thicken. (This took a lot longer than I thought it would. I started with the heat low but then moved it up to medium and whisked more frequently and that sped things up considerably. I recommend removing the mixture when it's a little thinner than you want for the paint because it thickens more as it cools.) 
Pour in containers. 
Add food coloring for desired colors. 

Our red looks a bit too pink because we ran out of red food coloring! 

Aren't they pretty though? I love them!
And they're safe to ingest so if you have little ones, like I do, that still test everything with their mouths than these are perfect for you. 

We also made Pumpkin Spice Scrub as well as Brown Sugar Coffee Scrub. 
Both also super easy but awesome to have around. 
The Pumpkin Spice smells amazing! 
The Brown Sugar Coffee scrub also smells amazing AND I love the oil content in this one. It feels amazing in the MN winter. 

Pumpkin Spice Scrub:
2 C Brown Sugar
1 C Granulated Sugar
2 Tb Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 C + 1 Tb Sunflower, Safflower, or Olive Oil {Almond Oil is also wonderful} 
I also added a little bit of Vitamin E Oil
Mix all but the oil and get the lumps out. 
Add oil and mix. 

Close up of the Pumpkin Spice

The next one was the Brown Sugar Coffee scrub.
This is a recipe that I adapted because I wanted to add the coffee. :) 
Me and my coffee. 
Gotta have it, even in my bath scrub. 

The basic recipe is: 
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 olive oil
1 tsp vitamin E oil
1 tsp essential oil {I used lavender}
1/4 C coffee grounds

I doubled this recipe to fill a pint size jar. 

We had great fun making these! Emma thought it was a splendid Christmas activity complete with "spectacular" Christmas music! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Character Counts: Self-Control

I'm trying to get my big bum in gear for January. 
January officially starts our homeschool adventure. 
January? Yes, January. 
Because I'm a slacker and have 4 very small children and worked an insane amount over the summer and fall and couldn't keep my head on straight, let alone my many ducks in a row. 

Sounds like a bunch of silly excuses doesn't it? 
I know. 
It partly is. And it's partly the raw truth. 

So, since I've fallen off ... er, dropped? Yes, dropped or thrown or completely lost the proverbial ball and have not been keeping us in routine and definitely have not kept up with daily Bible time or character training ... 
I am attempting to get those all back in swing. 

Today we studied Self-Control and will continue to for the rest of the week. 
I get my character training tools and tips from my wonderful friend
and mentor Kim D. 
She gave me all her character tools many years ago and believe me when I say,
they are invaluable. 
So, you being able to get her book now (it wasn't available back then) is a great deal! 
You can find it here
There is also a tab to order it through the mail. Or if you are a local here in our frozen (or not so frozen) tundra, just e-mail me and I can hook ya up. Boom baby! 

One of our every day ways of practicing self-control is blanket time. 

Controlling my actions, attitudes, and words so they do not control me. 

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. 
Proverbs 16:32

What the Bible says about self control:

Proverbs 25:28: Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

2 Peter 1:5-6: For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;

1 Thes 5:6: So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

1 Timothy 3:2: Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

Titus 2:12: It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

1 Peter 5:8: Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Thoughts on self-control: 

"As I read nearly twenty verses on self-control, I realized that self-control affects nearly every aspect of our lives. From eating to exercising, from working to entertainment, from shyness to boldness; everything is affected by our choosing to be self-controlled or self indulgence. In this world of comfort seeking and thinking we deserve the best, self-control is not honored, but God's ways are not man's ways and He highly values a man that practices self-control."

How to train your children in Self-Control: 

1) Practice sitting and not moving. Start with 15secs and slowly progress up to 5mins. 
- Leave the room but keep one eye looking. 
- Allow other children to make distractions without touching the child sitting. 
We practiced this one this morning. I had all 3 older children take a turn sitting on the chair. Then the rest of us (me included) ran around, jumped, danced, sang, yelled, whispered, talked in silly voices, and crinkled wrappers. The child in the chair had to remain sitting, paying attention to only the picture on the wall and not engaging with the others. 

2) Throughout the day have the child stop (freeze) and do it immediately. 
- May reward them at first and then just expect them to obey. 
- Goal is to stop without one more stop or them looking for reason. 
When we do this we make it fun and I let them run around and be super silly and then they need to listen for my voice very, very carefully. 

3) Eat in front of children, don't always have to let them eat what you're eating. Say no. 

4) Teach them to not ask for things that seem "normal": food at a friend's house, stickers at the Dr. office, sucker at the bank, treat from anyone, etc. Teach them that they may accept when it is offered but they are not allowed to EXPECT them. 
- Role play what is and isn't ok. 

5) Do not allow them to run in church, in parking lots, or in stores. 
- When you pull into mentioned places remind the children why they are not to run. 

6) Do not scream. Only for danger. 

7) Do not yell in anger. A quiet voice is a sign of emotions under control. 
- When child fails have them redo it correctly with self-control. 

8) Explain that some attitudes to control are: fussing (pouting), jealousy, sadness, pain, screaming, running, biting, and pinching. 
- Talk through scenarios and how they should act and how they can control themselves. 
- Teach them what TO DO, not just what not to do. 

9) When a child lacks self-control, think what does he/she hope to gain and make sure you do not give it to them. 

10) Be sure your own emotions and actions are in control when training and correcting children. Be quick to apologize and seek forgiveness when you blow it. 

11) Never change your mind if a child fusses. Tell them, "I may have reconsidered but now I can't because you fussed." OR "Because you received my 'No' with joy, I have the freedom to change my mind." 
We also make it really easy and tell them flat out: "You do not get what you fuss for."
It makes it simple and easy. 

12) Practice church, wedding, and funerals. Discuss what will be allowed and what won't. 
Tell them how to get your attention and why. Explain that we do not want to be a distraction to others and that talking, climbing, swinging legs, etc is pulling others attention away. 
Make a special way/sign for them to get your attention when in these situations and practice. 

13) Fussing sounds sour. Use a small squirt of apple cider vinegar to illustrate that they sound sour and tell them you want them to sound sweet like honey. 

14) Teach them to change their thinking, to fill their thoughts with something good. 

15) When teaching very little children "no touch" or "no throw" apply a swift sting to the hand to associate the word "no" with pain and something to stay away from. 

16) Praise, praise, praise, and praise some more when they do show self-control.

17) Prepare child for time when "everyone" else is doing something they shouldn't do. 
Ie: jumping on bed, running in church, eating treats, throwing rocks, watching certain movies. 

18) Talk about the Bible verses and how a person without self-control, (namely can control their anger) is better than the mighty! 
Everyone wants to be mighty in some way; relate to your children and how they want to be mighty and that self-control is more valuable to God then that mightyness. 
A mighty football player, a mighty soldier, a mighty pirate, a mighty dinosaur, a mighty princess, a mighty dancer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Manic Monday: Christmas Crafts Continued!

Alright, on to craft number two: salt.
Salt? You say.
Yes, salt. 
Seasoned salt and Italian Herb Salt.
Ohhhh the deliciousness. 
You can taste it can't you? 
It's glorious! 

This is Seasoned Salt. The original recipe I found here. It contains both salt recipes. 
Superbly easy and definitely tasty with no added fillers or gunk. At least, depending on where you get your spices! 

Seasoned Salt:
1/2 cup Kosher salt
1 Tbs. fresh ground pepper
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground red pepper

Stir all ingredients together.
Makes a 1/2 pint jar.

Exhausting and labor intensive right? Right. 
I know. 

Isn't it pretty?

Next up, Italian Herb Salt. This one, oh, it smells divine. 

Italian Herb Salt:
1/2 cup Kosher salt
4 Tbs. oregano
4 Tbs. basil
4 Tbs. thyme
1 Tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. fresh ground black pepper

Stir all ingredients together.
Makes 2 jars, 1/2 pint each.

Again, so labor intensive. How we will fit this into our day? 
This, this is the kind of recipe I love. 
Ingredients I always have on hand and 2 steps. 
Bada boom, bada bing. 

To take this to the next step, I added personalized labels to the top. 
Secured with my handy homemade modge podge. 

I got the labels free from a free printable website! Score. 

These will be modge podged onto the body of the jars themselves to label each salt. 
Also a score from aforementioned website. 

I will be sad to give these ones away because they are oh, so tasty! 

Manic Monday: Christmas Crafts Galore!

I have far too many blog posts in my head and far too little time to get them all out! So today's blog posts will just be about crafts I've taken on for this Christmas season.
Most of them Pinterest inspired, of course, because I am thoroughly addicted to Pinterest. 

Craft One: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix & cookies
We made these for our neighbors and plan to bring them over tonight along with homemade tags. 

Bags of cocoa and cookies ready to go! 

"We hope that you are able to experience the unconditional and unending love of Christ this Christmas." 

Very fun jar packaging. I'm in love with this. I want to keep it for myself and display it for all the world to see. 

From the Kitchen of The Kapala Family

This was a hybrid cocoa recipe of this recipe and this recipe. 

I also made this today to attach the homemade labels: 

I found this recipe here

I am thoroughly enjoying a time right now of having no photography projects or work because it means I have time to do all this! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Wise Woman Vision Forum Giveaway!

This is going to be something I am pretty ecstatic about! 
Vision forum is, by far, my favorire resource for Christian books, homeschooling resources, vintage and classic toys, as well as much, much more!

If you've never checked our Vision Forum you need to NOW. 
If you have children you NEED to check out the awesome toys they have! Seriously. We just ordered some fabulous stuff because they're running their Black Friday sale where you can buy 2 of anything and get 1 free of anything! 

So, the point ... 
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home blog is promoting a Vision Forum giveaway and I am spreading the word! 
The A Wise Woman blog is another amazing resource. Not only for giveaways and ideas and resources but for amazing, God-centered, Biblical encouragement for wives and mothers.
There always seems to be something in each post that speaks to me and hits me where I'm at. 

So ... needless to say, I am STOKED about this giveaway!
Go check it out!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings

It's a wonderful wandering type of Wednesday. 

A day to wander ...
through the Word

through some books

through some pictures

through some thoughts

Here are today's wandering thoughts ...
- I've been wondering the last two days about why, when I read aloud to my children and 10 in the morning, am I fighting nodding off in the middle of the story? I suppose I should probably go to bed before midnight if I insist on setting my alarm for 5:48am. Yes, that's the actual time it's set for.

- How do I go forth trying to organize and de-clutter when I feel like we just did that and yet we still have shelves overflowing with things and boxes and bins already full to the brim. And with so very little actual storage space to store necessary items?
I would very much like to throw everything outside and really see what we need and don't need.

- I have consistently had my carpets vacuumed once or twice daily for the last 3 weeks and I'm digging it.
A lot.

- I'd really be pleased if I could dress the way I imagine a 26 year old should dress.

- I very much miss my daily walks and the prayer time that they created.

- There's this amazing giveaway going on at Soulographer that you should definitely check out. Especially if you are a photographer and if you ever have a desire to photograph children - she (Skye Hardwick-Edmonds of Work of Heart Photography) has a beyond amazing workbook that she is giving away 3 copies of this week!

- I have this strong desire to paint my toes in bright orange and fuscia but then I look at the price of nail polish and say, "Forget it!"

- I'm struggling with mothering and it feels never ending. I feel like I can't get a handle on my own issues - impatience, inconsistency, and reactive parenting.
I don't want encouraging words or those, "this too shall pass" words of comfort.
I want a kick in the butt.
The kind of kick that comes from someone looking into the daily life you're living and being able to tell you what exactly you need to do and to be there to say, "Is that the right choice right now?"

- And lastly, to embody how I feel lately,
"I can't stop drinking the coffee. If I stop drinking the coffee I stop doing the standing and the walking and the words putting into sentence doing."

Happy Wednesday.
I hope you let yourself wander just a bit today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Wyatt Saga continues ... part 100?

Satan uses every opportunity he can. 
He's like the CEO shark of the underworld. 

He takes the little moments when we weren't watching all of our children and they creatively found something to occupy their time to pick at the wedges in our hearts and the rifts of insecurities in our mothering skills that are in our souls. 

Satan was at work in this house today,
and at work in my heart. 

While I had a productive conversation with my eldest my third child decided to creatively occupy his time with blue shampoo. 
An entire bottle of blue shampoo. 
All over the carpet. 

That's the blue shampoo. Can you see it? 

And that ^ is what happens when you try to clean it up. 

Days like toady make me question a lot of things. 
Things like:
 What is God's purpose for me in raising Super Wy?

Why do we continually go back to the same struggles?

How is it that I can be having a very fruitful conversation with one child while another is down the hall reeking all sorts of havoc? 

How is it that I can "know" the right way to do things and yet I act and react in all the wrong ways?

Where is God's joy and patience and calm when these incidents happen?

How does God continually give grace ... over and over and over ... ?
I can't even seem to muster it enough for my children. 

And this is why we are cautioned against the rulers and authorities of this world and warned that Satan is like a roaring lion, preying on us when he can. 

What a great schemer he is, using our weaknesses and our weakest moments to drive wedges between us and our Creator. 
The Creator who watches our every movement and thinks,
"I'm here, precious child. Right here. In the middle of this mess." 

Today He gently ... oh, who am I kidding? ... 
He smacked me over the head with a 2x4 and reminded me that: 

I need Him 
His life-breath, His joy, His patience, His strength, and His forgiveness
I need to be clothed in Him

He loves
He loves me. Oh, how He loves me. The depth, width, and breadth of His love are beyond all my human understanding so all I need to do is remember that I'm wrapped in it. I'm drowning in it. 

I have amazing friends. 
Friends that breathe grace into my life, reminding how God loves and forgives and wraps me in His arms 
Arms full of grace

Shampoo is really hard to get out of carpet
Seems like it should be really easy, right? It's not. 

I don't much enjoy days like today when it takes a smack in the face to be reminded of how desperately I need my Savior. It often leaves my face tear-streaked and my heart feeling a bit broken. 
But what a great relief it is to know that He picks up the pieces and bit by bit glues me back together. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lost in Loneliness

Standing on the brink of a rust colored abyss seeing above you a vast expanse of blue, below you straight rust walls that drop parallel, sharply crashing into one another miles beneath. 

Photo Credit

You hear rippling in your ear as the warm water washes over your body. 
Your hair swishes back and forth and the smell of salt tickles your nose. 
You are caught up, the boundless sea surrounds you and engulfs you in its emptiness. 

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

Your hair gets whipped by the crisp wind as your cheeks blush a soft shade of rose. 
You look out ahead of you and breathe in the essence of leaves, they've left their aroma all around. 
The snow laced road reaches out before you. 
Long. Winding. Desolate. 

Photo Credit

When life wraps you up in an empty hold, void of energy, of warmth, of breath, 
of life.

I find it hard to catch my breath. 
Hard to look beyond myself. 

My voice is booming within me but nothing resounds on the outside. 

I know this isn't the truth

I know His words pierce this place I've found myself in. 

But I can't see His light. 

I reach. 
I dig. 
I claw. 
I strain.

He whispers ... 
I am with you


I never leave


I never forsake


Come to Me


You are My treasured possession


I breathe. 
I listen.
I inhale His presence.
He fills me. 

And I pray,
Lord, meet me here tomorrow ... please. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Project 52: Week 14: Emotion of Life

Oh yeah! It's another self-portrait week!
I don't like selfies because I don't like me in pictures. 

But, I had great fun with this one. 
For starters I had amazing locations to work with!
Add to that awesome light, a favorite outfit, and a fantastic assistant (Eluwhoo) and it was so much fun. 

So the assignment was:
A self-portrait that somehow portrays the overall emotion that is characterizing your life right now. 

I'm going to show you the pictures first and see if you can guess what I'm feeling. 
What emotion do I have?

This was probably number 3 in the running. 

Runner up. I LOVE this location. Are you kidding me?
It's freaking fantastic!
And the winner is:

I'm in love with it.

How did you do? 

Can you see what I'm feeling?

Here's what I was going for:
Peacefully content in this beautiful mess. 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, April 11, 2011

Project 52: Week 13: Public Restrooms

Yes, you read that right. 
Our week 13 assignment was public restrooms. 
No restrictions, no guidelines, no boundaries. 

I had this idea almost the second I read the e-mail. 
But it would involved a lot. 
Models will to pose for one. 
Models willing to pose in formal wear for two. 
Models will to pose in formal wear in a public bathroom for three. 

Ohhhh yeah. 

Thankfully, I have stellar rock-star-esque friends. 

Here's what we did:

Second runner up

First runner up ... it's a little steamy ... 

Actual submission! 

It was definitely a fun shoot! 

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Project 52: Week 12: Up Close & Personal

With everyday life. 
The assignment:
take a picture of something you use/do/see everyday in a unique or different way

I had two ideas and because of the craziness of our life and 3 weeks of stomach viruses it was a quick snap with not a lot of creativity. 
Idea 1: washing machine because it's as exhausted as I am! 
Idea 2: crochet hook as I have been learning. 

Idea 1: actual submission: washing machine

Idea 2: crochet hook:

I know this is waaaaaaay late ... but I submitted it on time, lol! 
If you're wondering where week 11 is ... it's on my photography blog because that was better suited to the images from that week.
You can check it out HERE.

Stay tuned because this last week's assignment involved a suit, a formal gown, and a family restroom. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

So this is life ...

da de da daaaaaa
(m hmm m hmmm)

It is what runs through my head as I take in the scene around me:
The water running in the sink, washing out a jar;
a piece of French toast cooking on the stove, with 3 more on the plate;
2 tuna sandwiches on one counter;
4 sippy cups lined up on the other counter;

I fill 3 and go to put the lemonade away only to realize that I still need that lemonade for the 4th, so I prop the fridge door open with my foot, grab the lemonade, fill that last cup, and then throw it back into the fridge.
I laugh at myself and hum.

"so this is liiiiiiiiiiiiiife"
to the tune of that Cinderella song.
I don't even know why that is the song running through my mind,
I haven't heard it in years upon years.

Bread crust in the shape of a "u"

"so this is liiiiiiiiiiife"

letter trains made out of magnets across my bedroom floor
da de da daaaaaaaa
(mm hm mm hmmmmm)

Little toes and fingers that excitedly point to the letters,
proudly proclaiming,
"E, O, R, T, A!"
none of which is correct
"so thiiiiiiiis is liiiiiiiiiiiife"

And isn't this life grand?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sweet Saturday Mornings

For snuggles and smiles.
Sweetness and sighs. 

Breakfast and blessings. 
Blankets and basking in love.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Project 52: Week 10: Self - Freestyle

So, I'm extremely late on this. 
I even missed the deadline for getting to Sandi! 
I hadn't done that at all up until this last week. 
I had gotten every week in before the deadline. 
I did e-mail Sandi and got it to her the next day but she has a crazy life and didn't have time to throw it in the facebook album.
(Which I totally understand!)

But ... time escaped me. Life took over. 
Chaos ensued. 

This week's assignment was easy and hard. 
Self-portrait: freestyle. 
No guidelines
No restrictions
No restraints
No rules


My first and original idea and actual image were a little too scandalous for the eyes of the world! So, it's reserved for the eyes of my man. ;o)

Here are the others I came up with:

^Runner up!^

^Actual submission!^

I lub my books.