Friday, April 22, 2011

Cupcake Kids

About a month ago I learned about via my awesomesauce friend Colleen over at  That connection lead us to signing up for a National Cupcake Sale to help the ministry  to help orphans in Africa. This spurred some great conversations with Emma & open her heart to things in this world that are even hard for us as adults to fully understand.

Now, my Emma LOVES to cook.  She loves to watch food network or TLC, particularly Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars, etc.  Plus she LOVES to play store, or play anything involving selling stuff.  She’s had 2 lemonade stands in her 7 years of life & talks about them frequently & begs to have another constantly.  PERFECT match.  Cupcake bake sale/lemonade stand with proceeds benefiting those in need!! YAY!!

This is where I should have just stirred up some regular.ole cupcakes, but NOOOO.  On a date night the week prior Emma & I ended up at Barnes & Noble browsing cupcake decorating books.  Wow….E.lab.O.rate stuff out there!!

We opted for a rainbow theme.  You know…the reminder of God’s promises.

Here we go. White cake mix + lots of of food coloring = crazy time consuming

Assistant Baker Extraordinaire



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Beater licker extraordinaire.


Layers upon layers of colors,  1 Tbls at a time.


Time consuming, but LOOOOVE the result!!!! A taste test was necessary to ensure quality of product. :)


We also did homemade primary colored funfetti cupcakes to go with our ROYGBIV theme.  They were so very, very simple!!


The sales table set up at our worthless attempt at a garage sale with the neighbor.


We printed the signs & she decorated them with markers. :)

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We also had literature on our upcoming sermon series at our church along with a flyer on the details of Sixty Feet.


Emma’s best customer.  The kid literally ate nothing but donuts for bfast & cupcakes every half-hour there after.  This is his “real men eat rainbow cupcakes shot” :)

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I wish I could say Emma had a fully giving heart in this experience.  She loves her some money to buy worthless cheap toys that break instantly shop with.  I think it has more to do with development & her spend spend spend mentality rather than a heart that doesn’t care for others.  Ultimately though she understood that the money was not for her. 

What a testament it was to Emma when a family with 3 young kids came & discussed in great detail with us about Sixty Feet & the plight that so many orphans face in this world.  How truly rich we are here in the ole U S of A.  They gave $10 for 3 mini cupcakes.  She was so excited & surprised. 

She didn’t even make $20 that day, but hopefully learned an valuable lesson. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bunk Beds

Well as I started in THIS post we (meaning Matt with minimal help from me) built the boys bunk beds. The process of picking boards at Lowes was simple.  They all seemed to have Matt’s name on them.  Each one with a lil’ tag that said “Select Stud”.  Just callin’ his name. :)  I therefore made him wear said name tag while building so when the neighbors came observing his skills (& they did) they could call him by “name”.


The beds turned out GRRRREAT!!  We are so pleased with the stain color & quality of the beds!!  A few mattresses, peeproof protectors, sheet sets, pillows, etc, etc & we are ready. Except for the ladder which is still a pile of wood in the garage :) Lumber, screws & finishing products were about $150.  Waaay better than the cheapo craptastic beds at the furniture stores around here!!  Of course my new miter saw, 2 twin mattresses & all bedding necessities added up, but still a great investment!!

First things first a shot of the boys’ room with freshly painted stripes.  We went all “non-thematic” with just solid colors pulled from the quilt set from Tarje (or however you spell the fancy pronunciation of Target).  With the help of a handy dandy lazer level & rolls of tape lines were formed….

New Bunks (5)

The walls are khaki, appleish green, navy & orange (Aidan’s FAV color). (GO TROJANS for all ya MdCV fans!!)

Here’s a few pics of  bed BEFORE yummy finishing.  It’s what I call  ala-bare-pine boards & 2x4’s….

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Yes our garage does have a bit of QT decor.  Yes we are QT gas snobs. I prefer anyone who sends us money each week in the form of a paycheck.

Here’s the AFTER pics. It’s what I like to call- ala yummy fabo dark walnut!!  New Bunks (6)

Sidenote- unintentional things that make my <3 sing??? See on the left of the photo how the bottom of the orange line perfectly hits the bottom of the board the length of the bed??  Then the bottom of the blue line runs perfectly at the top of the mattress??? TOTALLY unplanned!!!  We measured the height of the bed so the green line would be right above it, but the bottom lines we just randomly placed by what we thought might look good. Ah.  Happy little details.

New Bunks (4) New Bunks (2)

A close up to see the color on the “railing” to hopefully keep Aidan in the top bunk…once that pesky ladder gets completed.

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You will also see in above photo a hint of a white baby crib still up.  Yes, it’s there.  I had planned to sell the crib/toddler bed mattresses at a garage sale, but darn they didn’t sell….I think God’s telling us me something. :) hahaha.  {This is a TEST.  Only a TEST to see if Matt every reads my blog!! Matt are you reading?? Are you BREATHING????!!!} 

We are considering a removable ladder.  You know…get Aidan in bed…tuck him in then remove ladder so he DOESN’T find his way to our bed in the night. :) 

I did try Isaac in the bottom bunk one night last week…at 6 am I found him frustrated & fussing at the door downstairs leading out to the garage.  Either he thought we had all left him OR he was trying to escape.  When E & A were first in “big” beds they didn’t even try to get out the first few mornings.  They would just call for me.  Not Mr. Isaac!!! 

So since the top bunk isn’t usable & we still have all the crib components he’s back in there tonight, last night & until I have to take him out!! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

3 Things

In my boredom {shocking…seldom do I find myself bored} tonight I decided to stop blog stalking & use a blog prompter to make a post. Cause I felt like it.

3 Things I Am Grateful for…

1. Friends of old & new.  I’ve been incredible blessed with friends in my life. From high school, college, neighbor-friends, daycare families turned friends, teacher friends, church & small group friends, KS friends, AZ friends, family that’s like friends…& on.  The real blessing is that no matter how often we see one another I have a circle of friends that I can go to or call & pick up like no time has passed.  Those are true friends I am grateful for.

2. Kids.  Specifically MY kids…there are days I’d give anything to escape the craziness that is my life, but grateful to find humor at the same time.  Most times you gotta laugh or you’ll cry!!  On any given day they teach or test me in living a grace filled life, patience, self control, complete forgiveness, unconditional love, finding joy in all things & having earthly & eternal priorities in check. Over all make me strive to live more like Christ each day.  I’m also grateful for the blessing nieces, nephews, former students & daycare kids have brought to my life.  They all hold special places in my heart!

3. Last, but not least Dr Pepper. Ok not Dr Pepper, but my Dr Pepper provider…Matt!! He’s always willing when I’ve had a rough day to bring me some bubbly goodness on his way home from work.  I’m sure the last thing he wants to do is make a stop on his way home, but he does because he doesn’t want to suffer the wrath of me & he loves me. He’s understanding of my craziness & loves me when I barely love myself.  Although our food preferences could not be any more different we have found a nice balance in our life where our opposites work together to make a great partnership. :).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bunk Beds by my Handy Man!!

Aidan’s toddler bed broke in the move.  Like good parents we still have him sleeping in it.  Generally it’s ok smashed in the corner so the footboard stays on…but there might have been occasions where in the night I have found him sleeping on a slight…shall we say “incline”.  Of course I wake him and fix it…NOT.  I do NOT…repeat do NOT believe in waking sleeping children. It’s the 11th commandment. Thou shall not wake sleeping children. Honest.

After shopping local furniture stores we were highly disappointed in what we found.  Knowing Matt has the skills to something better than this…

bunk bed on movie

but then again time is worth something.  End result…we were NOT about to buy a POS bunk bed set to the tune of $1400 + when there’s great sites like where talented and generous folks make plans to ease the process of building & taking pride in constructing a FINE piece of furniture with your own.2.hands! Our set of bunk beds will cost a 1/4th of what they charge in the stores for cheaply assembled & particle board set of bunks. Yeehaw!

So we started at Lowes with a pile of lumber, box of screws, oh- & “my” new compound miter saw.  (Matt’s reward for projects are new power tools…which work great later on for me cause I’ve got a list of other “builds” for him!! ) After 10 hours of sanding & prep…


the building began…all the while Daddy had his Big Guy helper. Who helped hold boards (covering his eyes from the saw!!) & would try his darnedest to try his hand at all the tools.

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Each end is built.


Construction mostly done!!!


Disassembled, conditioned & ready for some saweeeeeet dark walnut stain!!


Here’s a sample of the stain. I LURV it!!! Matt really wanted to paint it, but now agrees with my stain color –!


Now it’s POLY time….then get mattresses, & waterproof mattress protectors & assembly in the boys’ room!!! Can’t wait…yet kinda dreading taking Isaac out of his cage…I mean crib. :)

Should have it all up & ready this time next week!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Westgate Fun

Emma was out of school today which worked well cause I was still feeling the guilt from her boooorrrrrring spring break.  Her & Isaac having a fever & illness kinda dampened the fun factor SOOO today I kinda made up for it.  We packed some SPF 1500, towels, lunch & took off to Glendale Westgate area.  It’s a shopping plaza area full of shops, restaurants, movie theater, Jobing Arena & the near by University of Phoenix Stadium.  Our target for the day was Fountain Center that has water squirting out of the ground for kiddos to play in. (*side note our neighborhood has 2 splash pads, but aren’t open yet!! Can’t wait till they open!)

It was sunny.  It was warm…but ONLY 99…not the 101 forecasted.  The kids played, splashed, fell & got hurt, ate, played & splashed some more. :)


Emma & Aidan


I wasn’t sure how he would do but….Isaac had so much fun!!

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Lunch time!!

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Buddies.  Chillin. Hiding from coyotes & MMA wresting.  ALL BOY!!

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We’re home.  We’re hot.  We’re tired….and probably burnt!! :)

Fun In the Mountains

On one of the last below 90 days here in the desert, thanks to a neighbor, we discovered the White Tanks Mountain park.  The White tanks are the view out the back of our house.  A nice range of mountains that separate our neighborhood from the city of Phoenix.  Makes for beautiful sunrises & also blocks out the city lights providing us a crystal clear night sky.

The park is on the East side of the mountains, as we are on the west, so about a 30 minute drive from the house.

Aidan was in heaven!! I think he would have climbed & climbed & climbed if I’d let him.  We did a small hike trail about 1/2 mile long at the foothills.  We got up close and personal with lots of different cacti.


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View back toward Phoenix.  The picture doesn’t show well but you could see parts of the city buildings & the University of Phoenix Stadium.


Out lil’ hikers….or “searchers” as Aidan call all the old folks walking with sticks.

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Me with my boys & my neighbor with her 2 “S” & “A”.  “S” (4) & Aidan (3)  are buds who love all things transformers, super heroes & power rangers!! “A” & Isaac (both 19 mo.) are more like an old married couple. ;)


This cactus was SOOOOO big.  That’s Aidan standing at the base & I chopped the top off in the picture!!


“A” & Isaac rock climbing ;)


Day concluded with picnic lunch & playing on the playground.

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This will definitely be a place to take future mid-west visitors who want to see the Arizona terrain. The park also has a library story time that we plan to go back to….& to take Emma who’s a bit sad she missed out due to school!! :)

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