Beat the Summer Whining about being Bored

I like check lists. They help me feel like I’m actually accomplishing stuff. :D I also liked to make check lists for my kids when they were young, so that they knew what was expected of them and I didn’t have to repeat myself so many times. ;)

I loved this mom’s Summer Rules. You can print it off and put it in a page protector or laminate it like she did. (I love that Mardel’s has inexpensive laminator you can use and pay by the foot and it is about 2.5′-3′ wide.) Then the children can just use a dry erase or vis-a-vis marker on it each day. She even tells you how to edit it for your own use. Pretty cool! :)

I didn’t usually plan any activities for my kids for the summer. I was using that time to recharge myself. ;) But I found some pages with some great collection of ideas. This first one has 28 Dollar Store Activities. I think the hula hoop canopy is my favorite but the mess of colored bubbles looks cool too, as does the pool noodle lightsabers. I think a glow stick on the end of the pool noodle would bring it up a notch. ;) Oh and there is also a cute doll tree swing. Adorable!

And finally, this one has 20 Easy Summer Crafts. My favorite ones are the bubbles that bounce, confetti launcher, light up fireflies, and jellyfish in a bottle. For girls there is also the lip gloss. :)


I found these and sooo many more by searching on pinterest: summer kids. Just don’t over do it. It can get so overwhelming with too many ideas that it paralyzes you and you don’t do any of them. ;)

I hope these ideas help you and your kids enjoy the summer.

Michele ºÜº

Crescent Moon, Cubine, Diva Dance, and Meer

One day this past weekend I needed to do something. I couldn’t focus on what I was reading, didn’t want to be on the computer or internet, and didn’t want to color. So I picked up a tile and the pen I’d used that day to write in my bullet journal, which happened to be a metallic blue, and proceeded to just tangle away.

I my used comfort tangles of crescent moon, cadent, and meer. And surprisingly I added Diva Dance too. Diva Dance is not one of my usual tangles but I’d seen it recently and it just seemed to fit. Then I drew a few orbs along the top edge. Oh! I did switch pens halfway through, to a purple pen; I love purple ink.

So here is my unusual tile for the week before I did any shading.

The green corner tips are because I put a green piece of paper behind my tile when I scan it and the artist tiles I use have the corners snipped off.

Here it is in natural lighting before shading.

The metallic ink doesn’t want to show up very well. ;)

I scanned it in grayscale as well.

I toyed with using my watercolor pencils to shade but pulled out my Prismacolors first and just decided to stay with them. Ultimately I think I should have used a few more shades of pencils, but I’ll be honest, I just needed to get this tile finished so I could post it. ;)

So here it is after I shaded with my Prismacolor colored pencils.

I did use a tortillon but it didn’t blend very well. Here is the scan of the shaded tile in grayscale.

Here is the tile in natural light.

So, how do you blend Prismacolor pencils?

Thanks for stopping by,

Michele ºÜº

Baked Pancake Variation

So, I love the THM Giant Baked Blueberry Pancake from page 261 of the Trim Healthy Cookbook but unfortunately my daughter gets a headache if she eats them. :(

Recently I realized that I didn’t have to put the blueberries in it and we could just add fruit on individual servings. It worked like a charm and we actually all loved them. Michael and I had some cherries on ours. It was delicious.

We serve it with a little Sukrin Melis and sugar free pancake syrup on hand. I think it would be really good with peaches too. Hmmm, it kind of resembles some cobblers (yeah, the cakey kind, not the syrupy kind ;) ).

These pancakes are made with egg whites, low fat cottage cheese, and oats that you grind in your blender or a coffee grinder. Yeah, I broke down and bought the kind in a carton for this meal since our eggs had gone way up per dozen anyway. ;)

Do you modify recipes too?

Michele ºÜº

More Marriage Thoughts from a Book

Michael is opposed to long distance relationships. There have been very few times when we have been away from each other for more than a night or two (and even those have been pretty sparse) in our nearly 32 years of marriage. But in reading Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson recently, I realized that if you are stuck with a long distance relationship, now is a pretty good era to do so.

With Facetime, Google Duo, Skype, and the various social media platforms, you can really stay in touch much more easily than in past eras. In the book, they have a video chat on as they spend the evening together. It reminds me so much of how we spend our evenings. We are all in the same room together and we may have some video playing on the television but we are all doing our own thing, multitasking, if you will. Sometimes I knit or crochet while watching the show. Sometimes I do some art or play a game on my laptop. Other times Tiffany and I want to read books, so we don’t have anything playing on the tv.

The point is, it is important to spend time together in the same room. If doing that over a video chat you are getting a peek into the other person’s life. It can be vulnerable to open yourself up that way. People tend to be private individuals and sequester themselves in their own spaces/rooms. But spending time together in the same room and able to share something that sparks your interest or makes you laugh is relationship building.

I don’t really know what point I’m trying to make other than, if there is a will, there is a way to build your relationship, even if you are long distance. And if you are already married, I hope you are taking advantage of just being together, even if you are doing your own thing. Yes, there are times when it is good to get alone but when you are married, in my opinion, those times should be few. But even then, I guess it is vital to know what you need as both an individual and a couple and be sure to make those needs known (upfront if possible). But remember this too, needs change as we grow, mature, and situations change. Make sure that you keep the lines of communication open both to what you desire and what your spouse desires. And by all means, pray about the things you think you need and the things your spouse says they need/desire. Ask Him to help you to communicate well with your spouse and change each where change is needed. ;)

Well, that is enough rambling for today. Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

The Family that Works Together

It’s been a busy week, again. ;) Last weekend was painting weekend, getting my parents’ new house ready to move into.

Step number one was to remove the wainscoting in the living room.

Of course, that left a squiggly glue line which Michael mudded over. Then that left a smooth surface and the rest of the wall has a texture. Through a collaborative effort, we decided that I would ‘pounce’ on the mud and then Michael would do the ‘knock down’ to make it more like the texture on the rest of the wall. Here’s a close-up.

I ‘pounced’ so much that not only did I ruin the brush Michael gave me to use but broke a hole in my glove.

After the removal of the wainscoting, step two was to remove the borders that were on the walls in most of the rooms of the house. First off was the cherubs in what should be the dining room.

Here’s a close-up of that border.

Yeah, it had to go; not my parents’ taste at all. :D

Then there is the Pillsbury Doughboy border in the kitchen that had to go as well.

It’s cute but again, not my parents’ style.

Then there was this room with the bright green wall. It too had a wild border although this picture doesn’t show it.

There was also a border in the master bedroom . . . marble-ish lavender. In my sister’s words, totally useless. :D

So Day 1 the wainscoting and borders were removed.

The next day we started the painting, in nearly every room. And yes, it was a family affair. I love my family!

Mom did some of the dining room (notice there are no cherubs now ;) ). The professionals goofing around. :D Tiffany and and my niece working in the hallway. Sean and Tiffany in one of the bedrooms. My sister taping off the floor to protect the carpet in this room. Dad and Sean working in the living room. Mom likes to have an open area from the kitchen to the living room, so my brother-in-law created one. She had one in the first house they had in Oklahoma and when they moved, he made her one in their current house. So making one in this new house just seems right. :) The purple carpet had to go! As did the linoleum in the kitchen. They had tile put in the kitchen and the dining room and then new carpeting in the living room and hallway.

Yesterday Tiffany and I helped Mom pack up the kitchen. Today we are hoping to get the new kitchen mostly set up. If you have somewhere normal to sit, sleep, and cook it feels like you live there. ;)

Brian, Lauren, and Liam are coming this weekend. Haven’t seen them in soooo long; I’m so excited to see them. They will be helping us get my parents moved into the new house. It’s going to be a crazy busy weekend, once again, but a good one, filled with family and making memories.

I hope you have a great weekend,

Michele ºÜº

Summer Math Skills

Reading isn’t the only thing that needs to be kept up through the summer, although you might think it is by the posts I make about it. But math skills need to be kept sharp as well. This does not need to be a drudgery. Not at all. It can be quite fun and help encourage family togetherness, if you choose to do this together. ;)

A simple deck of cards is all you need to have to work on those math skills. You could probably even use Uno cards. :) Cards can be purchased, sometimes, two decks for $1 at Dollar Tree and generally a dollar a deck there otherwise. Generally, you can get a deck or two for under $5.

For the youngest set, they can merely sort the standard deck either into colors or shapes or numbers and letters. Slightly older children can add sequencing to their activities with the cards.

Those that can add, there are a lot of options. Many of those options can be adjusted for those that can multiply.

Here are some links with some wonderful ideas to keep math skills sharp throughout the summer without having to resort to worksheets. ;)

I encourage you to work on those math skills this summer, the fun way.

Michele ºÜº

Crescent Moon Knightsbridge

)I’m so glad I found the weekly prompts on the facebook group Today’s Tangles: Keeping it Classic. They have been fun to do and filling the gap that was left by the lack of the Diva Challenge.

It’s a bit busy around here right now (helping my parents pack, paint, and move) so I’m not taking much time to tangle or write blog posts. So this is going to be very short today. :D

I failed to take any in process pictures this week, so all I have is the scan and a picture I took outside during overcast skies.

As the title of this page suggests, I chose crescent moon and knightsbridge for tangling on my borderless tile. (#TTKICPrompt060319)

It looks better smaller…see.

Here’s the picture taken outside. It’s been raining so much here, I’m just glad it was only overcast and not raining. ;)

Tiffany likes it better rotated to look like a curtain valance. ;)

I added a couple of auras and two rows of perfs. Part of me wanted to do more but I decided it was done enough. Oh, I also used a bit of shading, which is another of the tangle enhancers; one which I use all the time.

Well, I’m going to run. Hope you have a great week.

Michele ºÜº

Cinnamon Trifle Cake

For Tiffany’s birthday last year she requested THM’s Tiramisu recipe for her birthday dessert. I don’t like coffee, so I made myself a smaller one using Cinnamon Cuffin mixes and eliminating the coffee extract from the pudding or cream, whichever it was in. She tasted both and loved both. So this year she made it easy on me and said I could just do the cinnamon version.

I used 5 cuffin cinnamon cuffin mixes for the cake. We’d gotten several boxes on sale and it is nice to have them for quick things or to make a longer recipe shorter. :)

I fixed up the pudding layer making it vanilla and then the cream layer adding vanilla and butter extracts following the directions in the THM Trim Healthy Table for tiramisu trifle cake on page 387.

Then I simply layered them in the bowl and added a few chocolate chips on top for decoration. Well, that and the fact that Tiffany loves chocolate chips and adds them to so many things. ;)

She loved it! Which is what is important, since it was her birthday dessert. I think I may use either cinnamon butter bundt cake or a pound cake next time though.

This is a nice, light, refreshing dessert. I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Interesting Marriage Advice from a Book

I mentioned on Friday that I read, and enjoyed, Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson. It seems to me that it should be a part of the O’Malley series, which I also enjoyed.

Now, I’m going to try to do this without spoilers, in case you want to read this.

Marriage Advice from Full Disclosure (my take on it):

  • Don’t bury hurt.
  • Risk talking about problems.
  • If you can’t find the words in conversation, write it down . . .
  • Write a letter every month including as much as you can about what is right and what is wrong and what needs to be talked about. This keeps the small things from getting larger.
  • Don’t ambush the other.
  • Be honest.

I really loved the part about writing a letter every month. It would be good to let it be something that is created throughout the month rather than at the last minute. It’s hard to remember things way after they happen. It could be done as just notes throughout the month (like on a collection page in a bullet journal) and then created into a thoughtful letter each month. This reminds me of the couples journal I read and wrote about before. Clearly I didn’t follow through with it and it was just over a year ago when I wrote that too. :( Maybe it will stick this time. ;)

I hope these ideas are an encouragement to you,

Michele ºÜº

Weather, Packing, Birthday, and Books

The weather has continued to top the news around here with severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding. They guys have had to take alternate routes into work on a couple of occasions because of the flooding.

We managed to get to my parents’ home for a couple of hours this week before the torrential downfalls we had mid-week. Mom was pleased with the progress we made even though I didn’t feel like it was much. Yeah, sorry; no pictures. Their walls are looking quite bare because Mom and I got most of the pictures and framed items off and packed away. Tiffany finished up some odds and ends in the living room and dining room and it was looking quite packed and ready to go by the time we left.

Sean hurt his big toe early this week and felt it was best not to go to work and stand on it all day. Thus he was available to go with us. He helped Dad with a repair and then getting up some fencing that he’d been wanting to get up. They finished their projects about the same time we were finished with ours. :)

For Tiffany’s birthday this week, I made the base cake for her birthday trifle, a couple of days in advance. Then made the pudding and the cream on her birthday, earlier in the day. By afternoon, all I had to do was put it all together. I think I’ll share that on Tuesday next week.

I finished reading Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson last weekend. I really enjoyed it! If you have read and enjoyed her O’Malley series, I think you will like it. It is the story of Ann Silver and Paul Falcon. Ann is, among other things, an author that writes her friends’ stories, upon their request. These friends just so happen to be the people we meet in the O’Malley series, so it feels like a homecoming of sorts. :) I had no idea this was the case when I picked it up! It was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed it so thoroughly that I bought it this week. :) I love her and Paul’s story.

Dee Henderson crafted this story so well that I wondered if it had any bearing from reality. Was it possible that she was telling her own story, like she claimed to tell her friends’ stories in previous books?

Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be the case, as Dee Henderson appears to still be single and this book was published in 2012. However, it was still a very good read for me. Like I said, it had that coziness of catching up with friends with a murder mystery, including 30 unsolved cases, and the falling in love story of two Christians, who have waited for the marital fit.

There was so much about this book I loved that I could not pick up another book all week. Seriously! I didn’t want to mess up the book euphoria I was experiencing. ;) Since this was a romance, I didn’t want to read a romance. Since this was also a murder mystery, I didn’t want to read one of those. It felt like an action/adventure to me, even though it probably wasn’t . . . I guess I was just totally immersed in the book. At any rate, I didn’t want to start an action/adventure right away either. I wasn’t in the mood for a historical fiction, so that left me with Peter Pan, which I was not in the mood for either. So, I didn’t read anything and played some of my computer games instead. ;) But the week is over and I’m ready to start a new book.

Of course, it is painting weekend, prepping for my parents’ move next weekend. So I’m going to be a bit busy but I may sneak in a few chapters of a new book this weekend.

Speaking of books, I got a deal on the Stormlight Archive Series by Brandon Sanderson. They are on sale right now on Amazon. Lots of books are on sale right now. So if you are wanting some books for the summer, you should go check it out. I basically got each one of the Stormlight Archive books half priced!!! Whoo hooo!!! This is awesome because I was wanting these books for my birthday earlier this month and got money to spend on them and then Tiffany found this sale the other day! Yay!!!

Well, we’ve got a full day and actually, a full weekend ahead. I hope you enjoy yours.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº