Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crayon Art

Ellie and I both liked the idea of Crayon Art that we found on Pinterest.  Then Ellie watched some youtube videos of Crayon Art.  After we showed Wyatt, he decided he would do a project, too.

So, here's how you do it:

We started by clearing out our crayon container.  All the broken crayons got pulled out and unwrapped. (We now all need manicures!)  Next we sorted the crayons into color piles. We could have used new crayons and left them wrapped for some of the art ideas, but we wanted to do something different.. and recycle!
These are actually our leftovers.  We do not need any crayons when I buy school supplies for this year.

Most of the tutorials will tell you to use a canvas.  I know that would be the most beautiful, artistic look, but I am cheap.  Ellie said that someone else who didn't want to spend a lot of money used card stock.  I had the idea to use some leftover poster size foam board and cut the foam board into two pieces with a utility knife; worked great!
This is our leftover "canvas".

Next, you use a hot glue gun to glue the crayons to foam board, or canvas, or card stock.
Here is Wyatt, crayons glued and starting to melt them with my hair dryer (which will never be the same!).

Last, you take a hair dryer, or heat gun, to the crayons and melt them until you have the look you are going for. Here are our before and afters:
This is the kind of stuff that I love to do!
I hope that we find the time to do much more like this in the years to come, Lord willing, of our homeschooling.

Mine is "Sun on the Water".

My art loving girl.

Her's is "Daisies in a Field".

My creative boy.

He calls his "Mask".

Tuesday was "Backwards Day" for our Homeschool Spirit Week.  We decided dressing backwards was uncomfortable... and we went all out for Crazy Hair Day.  Backwards talk and meals eat decided we.  Yoda like sounds us made that decided also we.

Ice Cream Date With My Sister

My sister was having a bad week, so I decided to take her out for ice cream.  I thought these pictures were neat because they show how much we all look alike.  There is the edge of my sister's youngest baby's car seat in the picture.  She is the only one of her four girls that we took with us; her three older girls stayed home with their Daddy.  I thought Ellie was going to go to the Car Show with her Dad and brother, but she thought ice cream with her Mom and Aunt sounded like more fun.  Dairy Queen had buy one get one free blizzards!  Yum!
Ellie and my sister at Dairy Queen.

Me and my sister at Dairy Queen.

Crazy Hair Day (School Spirit Week)


Our new church (as of August 2011) started a once a month homeschool get together this year.  For this month, my friend, and the spearhead behind the get togethers, decided to have School Spirit Week.  They had already done Spirit Week as a family, and thought it would be fun to do as a group.  So, last month, we discussed what each day should be.  We kicked off the week as a group with a Pizza Party.

Monday was Crazy Hair Day.

Since Wyatt's most recent, extra short, haircut, he has not been able to do anything to his hair, so he put a piece of duck tape in his hair.  Ellie put a bunch of pony tails on one side of her hair, and I crimped them for her. The other side of her head had a bow barrette and three braids, curled on each end, and held together with a pink pony tailer.  I had three high pony tails, going all different directions, each with a different hot iron... one crimped, one spiraled, and one flat ironed (like a spiral), and then I still had some straight hair in the back.  Thomas had a wig and a headband.  

I got the job of both making and handing out filers for this event, since the Mom who usually does it was out of town on Sunday.  I reminded them of the days we had picked:

Monday:  Crazy Hair Day
Tuesday:  Backwards Day
Wednesday:  Hat Day or Crazy Hat Day
Thursday:  Acts of Kindness and/or Pajama Day
Friday:  School Color Day

I encouraged them to use this week:

"All this, leading up to Friday's School Color Day.  If you don't want to do school colors, you could make it red/white/blue/ (patriotic day).  BUT I would strongly encourage you to use this week to talk to your kids and let them vote and decide on school colors.  If your homeschool doesn't have a name, come up with one... let everyone contribute, discuss what your school stands for... combine names... take a vote.  Another fun thing to do is to have a school verse, school song, mascot (we have a school crest), motto (we don't have one of these, but might by the end of the week!).  Take pride in your Home School.  Help your kids to own their Home School.  It's great fun to have a name for your school!"

I was pretty excited that one family took my advice and already came up with a school mascot... the scrappy chicken, aka Mrs. Whitey.  They even brought her to the party.  My kids decided that our new pony should be our mascot.  So, we are the Shetland Ponys.  I told them that was a good pick, since she will probably still be alive when they graduate and our dog and cat probably won't be.

P.S.- I forgot to add that Ellie and I tried chalking our hair.  Using wet sidewalk chalk and then heating it with the crimper.  The pink chalk worked the best.  Ellie had quite a bit of blue... and it turned out like little old lady hair color.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy is one of my favorite meals ever.  I will eat sausage gravy with bread, but my family likes biscuits.  My hubby grew up in Iowa, and didn't know what biscuits and gravy was until he went to a Hardee's in Missouri.

My kids are biscuit snobs now.  I grew up with biscuits out of a package (I'm sure Mom made them from scratch sometime, but I always remember popping open a package).  When I started reading labels, I stopped by package biscuits so often and started making them from scratch. Now my kids only like package biscuits for Monkey Bread and Empty Tomb Biscuits.

The biscuit recipe I like to use is from my Better Homes and Garden's cookbook.  That is the cookbook that I think every new wife needs... it has everything in it.  I bought my sister one when she got married, and I don't think she uses any other cookbook.

The sausage gravy is made just like my grandma or great-grandma probably made it... without a recipe, but I can put the basic instruction on here.

Sausage Gravy

1 lb sausage (our is mild, I believe... we usually get a half or whole hog processed each year from someone we know who raises them.)
Milk (probably 1 to 2 cups)
Flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
Pepper to taste... or see (I sprinkle until I can see it all over, even when I stir everything up)

Cook sausage into crumbles until fully cooked.
Our local sausage is usually pretty lean, so I don't have to pour any fat off... you will want just a little bity bit to make the gravy.  If it is swimming in fat (like hamburger is many times), then do drain the fat off.
Next, sprinkle flour over the sausage, start with about 1/4 of a cup, but usually not more than 1/2 a cup.  You can go ahead and stir the flour in with the sausage.  It will kind of coat the sausage like when you bread chicken.  Then add milk to cover the sausage and keep heating on med to high while stirring until thick and bubbly.  While heating the milk and flour, add pepper.  The more the better in my book.  I just keep adding pepper and stirring till it looks like a picture of country gravy.  Move off the burner and serve over biscuits.  

Monday, April 9, 2012


One of my nieces calls it "matchy-matchy" when people dress alike... hence the title for the story of my daughter and my's matching Easter outfits. Ellie had the idea for her Daddy to take a picture of us from the back.  I think it turned out cute.  I like the way you can see our pony tails and the flower I made for them. Also, I thought my hair was lighter than hers, but in this picture it looks like the exact same color.  Lately we have had quite a few people say how much she is looking like me.  I think it's fun to dress alike.  Actually, I still like to dress like my mother.
When we realized how cold it was going to be on Easter/Resurrection Sunday, we decided we would wear our brown leggings under our skirts.  The Saturday  before, I was at work and had the idea to add our cowboy boots and denim jackets to make the outfit warmer.  I had a stonewashed denim jacket, but Ellie didn't have one, and I knew her little brother's jackets were getting too small for him.  I decided to stop by the thrift store on the way home and see what I could find.  There is one less than a block away from my work.  I had about 45 minutes till the store closed when I got there.  The sign on the door said that blue tags were half off.  I spun down the blazer and jacket isles and found two, almost identical, dark denim jackets... with blue tags!!  I got both our jackets for a total of $4.70!  I really felt like God gave me the idea and provided the jackets.  Ellie picked the one that was a little bigger, even though she is smaller than me (though she will grow into it, I'm sure she will out grow me soon).

I got our t-shirts a Walmart.  Mine is from the ladies department, and has a v-neck, nice and high, which is the style of neck I like the best.  Ellie's is from the girls department, and has a high scoop neck, which is the style she likes the best.  The brown on the bottom of the skirt was a note from the author of the Angry Chicken blog on a repin on Pinterest on making a 5 minute skirt.  She has this great tutorial on how to hem with bias tape.  I believe it was real time saver and also added a nice little extra to the skirt.

This is the pattern I used.  I loved that the skirt has hidden pockets on both sides.  Ellie loved that the pattern had pleats. I added length beyond the pattern for my skirt and left the pattern length for Ellie's skirt.  Really, though, I added length to both skirts, because I hemmed with the bias tape, I didn't have to fold under any length of the skirt.  The pattern was only 97 cents!

These are the cute Walmart sandals that Ellie picked out to go with  her original  outfit.  Her Daddy talked her out of the other outfit because it had white leggings underneath it, which you could pretty much see through.  Then I remembered the material I had bought on clearance to make us skirts last year, but things happened... and I didn't get skirts made last year.

I made our flower pony tale holders and these flower pins the same way I did our flower headbands.
The difference was that I used a smaller pattern for the circles.  This time, I used the mouth of a shot glass (I don't drink alcohol, never have, but I have this cute little collection of shot glasses from different trips we've taken.  I like the pictures and how small and inexpensive they are as souvenirs.).  I used a lid of some sort at my friend's house to make the other pattern.

I stitched a safety pin on the back before I added the "petals".

I made us both matching "purses".  When I bought the material on clearance, I also bought the Hobo Tote Kits below for $2 a piece... I think that's actually what I paid for each piece of material, although the tag you can see on the package says five dollars.

I've already told Ellie I want to wear these again for Mother's Day, and hopefully the weather will be warm enough for us to wear our sandals.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Resurrection Sunday 2012

Matthew 28: 5,6 "The angel said to the woman, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen, just as he said.  Come and see the place where he lay."

The good news! Jesus Christ conquered death and we have the hope of our own resurrection!  I don't remember if I've said here, but we changed churches in the last year, so we have a different pastor than in my previous "my pastor said" comments.  This Sunday, part of our pastors sermon was why we can believe that Jesus really died on the cross and came back to life in bodily form...and one of those reasons is that his followers risked their lives on a daily basis to tell others about Jesus.  If Jesus resurrection was a hoax, they would not have risked being killed themselves to share about Jesus.

Resurrection Sunday is probably my favorite holiday...it's close with Christmas though, because if not for Christ's birth, then there would be no Resurrection.

This is our family pic for this year's holiday:

Ellie said I was "too excited" this year.  Well, I was excited because I finally got our matching skirts made (I was going to make them last year).  When I was growing up, my Mom made us matching dresses many years for Easter (Resurrection Sunday) and Christmas, and my little sister, too.  This is the first year that I have made Ellie and I matching anything.  She had picked out sandals to wear, but the day turned out too cold, so we decided to wear leggings... then I got the idea to wear our cowboy boots and jean jackets (which is a whole other story... for another post).

Anyway, I hope you all had a great holiday with your family and friends!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


My hair has grown quite a bit since the last time I got it cute.  Many times when my hair gets long I just put it up in my African Butterfly... or the boring old pony tail.  I decided that this year, I was going to do something with my long hair.  I recently discovered Pinterest and there were so many cute hairdos on there.  I would try some new things.  So, here are some of my new dos.
Pictures don't really do this hair do justice... or maybe I didn't.
It is two braids twisted together like a pretzel and pinned with bobby pins.

This was an outfit experiment inspired by Pinterest.
HERE is the website for the hair style.

I saw THIS cool double braid, but I couldn't manage to make it work with my hair.

I just braided from one ear to the other, across the top of my head, and ended with a regular braid from my other ear on.

This is actually how I wanted to fix my hair at my wedding... and go talked out of it.
It is NOT inspired by Pinterest, but by the movie Ever After.

This is just a small braid on each side, hooked in the back with a pony tailer.
I have done this starting out with a french  braid, too.

This is also NOT from Pinterest.  I had this crazy idea to braid my hair before I curled it.
Crazy, because the result was not much different than just curling it, but doing that took me twice as long as normal to curl my hair!

Here you can see the little braided curls I had to separate after taking out the curlers.
Which made the end job twice long, or more!

The result... curly, fluffy hair.  When I was in high school, I washed, dried, and  curled my hair every night.
I slept in foam rollers, just to have curls at the bottom of my hair, which was about down to my waist.

This style is from Pinterest.  It's called a Boho Braid.
It's two inside-out braids later secured as a pony tail.

I did this one with the inside out braid and with just regular braids...
I can't tell for sure whether this was the inside-out braid or not.

This is funny!  This is my "Breakfast at Tiffany's" inspired hair.
It is Audrey Hepburns hair style at the end of the movie.
I had not seen Breakfast at Tiffany's until this year.
I really wouldn't recommend the movie, but her hair and clothes are really cute.

I love the way she changes her hair and clothes really fast in the movie.
So, the front hair is pulled up and back in one barrette.
Then you separate the hair into two pony  tails.

It's so easy!  And I really like the result.  I can do this with my hair even if it is being non-cooperative.
My hair is often non-cooperative.

This is another good "non-cooperative" day hairstyle.
I got the idea from THIS, off of Pinterest, but I didn't go to so much work to get the look.

This is at the end of the day and my hair is kind of falling out and drooping.
So, it was a medium to high pony tail.
I did the upside down "topsy tail"... not up and down through the middle of the pony tail,
but under and through the middle underneath the pony tail.
Then I added an elastic headband and took the end of my topsy tail
and fluffed some hair up in front of the headband and behind.

This is the 2nd time of three times that I have worn this style.
I found it works really good when my hair is wet, and make it look like I care...
not like I left the house with a mass of wet hair stringing.
The original style can be found HERE, I found this link...  from Pinterest.

The front, just looks like my hair is in a bun.
Actually, my hair is divided in thirds, then the middle braid is left in a pony tail and braided.
The other two are supposed to be pony tailed and braided, but the top elastic for the pony tail is to be removed.
I decided it was easier just to braid it without the top pony tail on the outer two braids...
and worked just as well with wet hair.
Then each braid is twisted into a little bun and secured with bobby pins.
With dry hair, I could use ten bobby pins on each tiny bun and they would still give me trouble,
but with wet hair, I only need three bobby pins on each one... and they stay ALL DAY!!!