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Homemade Vanilla Extract

I have always considered myself creative.

I have never considered myself crafty.

Tonight I consider myself both. I am so pleased with how my Homemade Vanilla Extract came out. I will post a teaser picture now and give you the tell all tomorrow!!


Making Bouncy Balls

One weekend when Nate was gone hunting the kids and I made bouncy balls. It was a simple project I found on Pinterest. The recipe is here.

The project went very smooth because I had it all set up and organized before the kids were allowed to enter the kitchen!

They rolled and squished and smothered their little globs of yuck unti they started to stick together and become a ball.

Finally, they were done and could play with their new bouncy balls!

Kids Art on Canvas!

After creating my own masterpiece I needed something to balance out my living room wall. I wanted the kids to do a little project that was more formal than the everyday scribblings happy little pictures they hang in the art gallery. {Bob Ross is the bomb!} I digress, what I am trying to say is I combined a little of this and a little of that and the kids created some really quite cool artwork. On 12×12 canvas I drew a bare bones tree with my brown paint pen. The tree was on the straight and narrow for Javien, a little bit on the rebellious side for Jaylean, and all kinds of happy and crazy for Kobe. Fitting – yes. Then one color at a time they used the same five colors I chose for my original masterpiece and they decorated their bare bones tree with fingerprints. They turned out beautiful! I love them!

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Art Project Courtesy of Pinterest


Again, I am singing praises for Pinterest. I found this little diddy and *had* to make it immediately. And I did. It was so easy and it looks fantastic on my wall. I made a very large canvas but you could go as big or as small as you like. I think mine is 28×34 or 24×28? Something like that.

First, I created the branches –
Next, I added the poofs, balloons, or polka dots –

Ta-da! Lovely, work of art!

Mine is way simpler and does not have nearly as much going on as the tutorial and I like mine better but that’s what it is all about – you make it your own and you love yours the bestest and mostest. Love it!



Living off of Pinterest!

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Pinterest: A unique bulletin board style bookmarks list. It’s better than your average bookmark. It is a fantastic time sucker. It is just awesome. The new Facebook, only not really because it is nothing like Facebook other than it just sucks your time away. Now I am having to budget some of my Facebook time for Pinterest. It’s a crazy kind of awesome.

Follow Me on PinterestSo far I have created the “Mama’s Ransom Rubbage Bin” which as it turns out is working famously. The kids were *so* excited about it they didn’t even know it is a consequence. They will quickly figure out that it is not all that much fun. So far Javien has cleaned out my car, Jaylean has dusted and made her bed blindfolded, and Kobe has umm well nothing but he has several things in the bin. I added a rule. Once they are in there for a month the kids will go to school and the item just disappears. I figure if it is in lock up for an entire month they must not want it very badly. We did some role-playing {note to self: my kids love to role play} in one of the role plays Javien picked the job “Wipe down the front of the fridge and eat a tasty treat” which he translated as “Eat some candy and get your stuff out of the Ransom Rubbage Bin” – he was so sad when I pulled it back out and he read the job again. Interesting how his little brain translates things to what he wants to hear. Isn’t that how kids are? Too funny.

For dinner last night we had the Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken – I have lovingly renamed it Hawaiian Jerk Chicken – why? First, because if I cook I can call it what I want. Second, because I am going to Jamaica in 99 days and Jerk Chicken just sounds more tropical and fun. It was delicious and a big hit with the whole family! I did feel like I needed more to complete the meal but I am not sure what. Maybe some peaches?

Both of these things I found on Pinterest. I have created a new catch phrase for Pinterest. I say Pin it, Love it. I know it’s awesome. But it’s trademarked and copyrighted so you can’t have it.

Go on, get signed up for Pinterest. Beg for an invite on Facebook someone will come through. It’s fun! Who doesn’t have a little extra time to waste looking for more stuff to do?



A Little Bit of Love

I decided I needed a project to do with the kids. Something simple. Something that would make them happy. Something that they could give to someone else to make that person happy. Bingo – Jamie Ivey posted a blog and in it held the link to this great little lovely!

I separated out the ingredients with the proper measuring scoop. Then we passed them around each making our own delightful little mixture. I did all the edible ingredients first because let’s face it  if it’s in the kitchen kids want to taste it.

So first we put in a 1/2 cup of white sugar. And tasted it.

Second, we put in a 1/4 cup of brown sugar. And tasted it.

Third, we put 3 Tablespoons of oats in. And tasted it.


Fourth, we put in 3 Tablespoons of dish soap. And tasted it.

Last, we mixed it all up, added a little Eucalyptus oil, and put it in mini mason jars to give to the lovely ladies in our life.