I am Thankful Project

With my son in Kindergarten, I’ve been planning more projects that incorporate some writing and of course some messy art!  With all the academics that need to get covered in the short school day kids don’t often get the chance to get down and dirty with paint anymore.  This simple Indian Corn project kept my 4 and 6 year olds busy for about a half hour (just long enough for me to enjoy a cup of coffee!) and the writing piece will remain a special memory of what they were thankful for at this special time in their childhood.

If you are a teacher, this can be done as a whole class activity and it would make a fantastic bulletin board display!  Click on this link to print my free THANKFUL FOR tags and get your creative juices flowing!

photo 2

I cut out a corn shape out of cardstock and fabric and glued them together. You can just use cardstock, but I thought the fabric gave the project a rustic look!

The more fall colors the better!

photo 3

photo 1

I used burlap to make the dry corn leaves and attached the printable Thankful For cards!

photo 2

Happy Painting & Memory Making!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Holiday, Kid Stuff, RANDO•RAMA

Okay for ME, but NOT for YOU…

I am hard on my kids.  Too hard, a lot of times, which always makes me regret it once I stop and think about how I’m treating them.  Instead of choosing my battles, I decide to take on every battle!  That is what SUPERMOM is all about, right?  Keeping a tight leash on your kids and setting the bar super high?  After some ReFleCtioN this week, maybe I should start looking for a new role model…

As Christians, we know how miserably we fail at numerous tasks and actions throughout our day, yet when we glance up at God we are reassured that He forgives and loves us no matter how much we are being a disappointment.  It is so comforting to know that when I make mistakes, at least someone still has my back…because HE knows we are human and are far from pErfeCt.

Yet WHY do I hold my kids to a different standard?  When they don’t do what I ask, or spill a cup FULL of pop on the floor, I repeatedly get on to them and ask why they didn’t listen or be more careful!!  Not only that, but I bring it up AGAIN when their Dad comes home and maybe even AGAIN before they go to sleep, in hopes that I am getting my point across!Scolding

When I make the same exact mistakes (just in adult form!), does God TrEaT me like that?  Never.  I always feel Him looking at me in a calm way, his eyes telling me that I need to pick myself up and go on.  I know I let Him down but I also know that once I acknowledge my weaknesses to Him, He moves on and doesn’t keep throwing it in my face. I really appreciate that about Him.

So why is it okay for me to fail God but not okay for others to fail me? As cHalleNgiNg as it will be, I am going to try to be as understanding and calm with my children as He is to me.  Sure, I’ll still get on to them and discipline when needed, but then I need to let it go and hope they make a better decision next time.  We know that kids won’t always do the right thing, but thankfully God doesn’t give up on us adults either!  With every year I get under my belt, I can see I’m going to need all the help and forgiveness I can get!

-Lara

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Filed under Faith, Getting Real, God, Life, Parenthood, Relationships

Fall Handprint Crafts

I couldn’t let a season pass by without sharing my handprint and footprint ideas from this year and years past.  As my kids get older I am finding it harder to come up with projects that can fit both their hands and feet on one page so I’ve been letting them each do their own thing.  I’ve also been having fun adding their drawings to the handprint art!  The possibilities are endless!

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HaPpY PaiNtinG!

HaPpY MeMoRy MaKiNg!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Biggest Bang For Your Buck {This Burns Fat Like Lighting Fluid!}

Ever since I’ve been in junior high I have been a RuNnEr.  I started out doing it to get in shape for sports, but now I do it for a variety of reasons.  Of course there is the health/fitness benefit, but then there is the mental aspect.  It is good therapy for me.  Its my time to think, pray, or enjoy conversation with a friend or my husband.

It’s easy when you’ve been doing something so long to get in a rut.  My rut with running was thinking that I needed to run 4 miles Monday-Friday.  I don’t know where I every came up with that exercise schedule, but to me that was my “PeRfEcT” exercising scenario.

I had read on numerous occasions that InTeRvAlS (exercise where you alternate the intensity of your workout) were the best way to get in shape.  Because that didn’t fit into my “plan” I dismissed interval training until I read an article that claimed interval training “BuRnS fAt LiKe LiGhTiNg FlUiD.”  They had me, “hook, line, and sinker”, as I was experiencing a slump in the exercising category and wanted to drop some weight that wasn’t wanting to come off.

The fitness center I worked out at had an interval training schedule posted making the same claims as the ones I had read, so I enlisted.  It was a 6-week plan and I loved it.  Not only could I do it in 30 minutes (it actually takes less than 30 minutes, but I would walk/run the remaining time to make it a 30 minute workout) The results were FaBuLoUs, so much so that people I knew asked me for my fitness plan.  I therefore typed it up on a Word document and share it whenever asked.   So HeRe It iS. 

If you want to change up your exercise program or are looking to enlist in one, you may want to try this.  Never exercised before?  Try it with WaLkiNg.   Of course, make sure you talk to your physician anytime you start a new exercise program.  I have tailored this training schedule to running since that is the exercise I enjoy.  You may substitute running with walking, biking, elliptical, rowing, etc.

INTERVAL TRAINING SCHEDULE

WEEK

MAX EFFORT

REST

REPS

1

1 MIN

2 MIN

5

2

1 MIN

90 SEC

6

3

1 MIN

1 MIN

8

4

1 MIN

1 MIN

10

5

75 SEC

1 MIN

10

6

90 SEC

1 MIN

10

Warm-up 5 minutes before intervals with a light jog.  I always go for 30 minutes and use whatever time is left for easy jogging.   (Reps means the number of times you do that particular set.)

You can use the following as cheat sheets when you are on the treadmill so you don’t have to try to remember when you are suppose to be going your max effort and when you are suppose to be walking.

WEEK 2 – Begin with a jog ‘til 5:00
Begin running @ max effort: Begin walking @:

5:00

6:00

7:30

8:30

10:00

11:00

12:30

13:30

15:00

16:00

17:30

18:30 – 20:00

JOG ‘TIL 30:00

WEEK 5 – Begin with a jog ‘til 5:00
Begin running @ max effort: Begin walking @:

5:00

6:15

7:15

8:30

9:30

10:45

11:45

13:00

14:00

15:15

16:15

17:30

18:30

19:45

20:45

22:00

23:00

24:15

25:15

26:30 – 27:30

JOG ‘TIL 30:00

WEEK 6 – Begin with a jog ‘til 2:30
Begin running @ max effort: Begin walking @:

2:30

4:00

5:00

6:30

7:30

9:00

10:00

11:30

12:30

14:00

15:00

16:30

17:30

19:00

20:00

21:30

22:30

24:00

25:00

26:30 – 27:30

JOG ‘TIL 30:00

~Robynn

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“Before” and “During” Pictures of our House

It has been a while since I updated you on our HOuSe!  As most of you know, last summer we had our house lifted and moved to our new farm.  It traveled over 100 miles!  Here is a picture of what it looked like shortly after it was moved and set back down on a new basement foundation:July 2012

Over the past 16 months we have added on a new “front” to the house.  In August I began painting the exterior–which still needs to get finished–but already has helped improve the overall look.  We have many “phases” of the house we need to complete before it becomes our “dReaM” home.  Since our current garage is used as my office/woodshop, our next plan is to extend the garage and have a porch which will connect the new garage and current front door area.  Not sure how soon this will happen, but in the meantime I am enjoying each new phase of seeing it come together.

Sept 2013

Sept 2013

Many of you wonder how our house has held up after traveling such a long distance.  There were only a few hairline cracks in the sheetrock above the interior doors but besides that, you’d never know it went through such a haul!  We continue to feel blessed about the entire process of the move and are glad we stuck with our CrAzY idea ;)  We couldn’t be happier in our new location and look forward to making more memories in the first house we ever purchased (just with a different landscape)!

To read about the MOVING journey, click below in the following order:

read Why Move A House? , Demo Work , Moving Day, Moving Our House and Did We Make the Right Decision?

Cheers,

Lara

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Filed under At Home, RANDO•RAMA

How I Fixed Our LAUNDRY Situation in 15 Minutes

If you were to ask me what area of my household chores stresses me out the most, I would say “LAUNDRY”.  I feel like our laundry takes over my life and my mood!  Like most people, we have a small laundry room, which also serves as a mudroom next to our garage.  Since I don’t have much room in there, laundry always ends up in our bedroom.  Clean clothes, dirty clothes—you name it—ends up either folded or unfolded on our bed.  By the end of the day, I usually never get around to putting all of it away, so where does it end up?  On the floor!  Yep, we are always so tired at night that the easiest thing to do is throw it on a dresser or make a pile on the floor.

This makes me CRAZY because the very next morning I feel like I have to rewash or dry everything due to unwanted wrinkles or not knowing what is really clean.  What a waste of time, energy, and laundry soap!!

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when we noticed some of our clothes smelling bad, even after being washed.  Since I didn’t have a good laundry system all of our clothes, musty towels and kitchen washcloths would sometimes end up in the same load.  What happens when you don’t do a good job sorting?  Your shirt smells like the onion you made for dinner last night :-/

I couldn’t take it any longer.  One morning, I decided I had to make a major change.  I headed down to the basement and grabbed a couple old card tables and plastic tubs.  I cleared out the corner of my office (which once consisted of a comfy chair and lamp) and I set the tables up.  Sure, I was sad to see my “reading chair” go (which never got used—but “looked” nice!) but I knew this area could be better utilized for something more practical.DSC_0577

I labeled each tub “whites/colors/smelly stuff—washcloths/other” and slid them under the table.  Within 15 minutes I had a functional laundry area and my life has been drastically changed every since!  I now have room to fold and make piles for each person in our family.  I also decided that I needed a place to hang clean clothes, so I took the hanging rod out of one of my kids’ closets and hung in above the card tables!  It only took me about 10 minutes to move from their closet to the new spot, and now it saves me tons of time from walking back and forth to bedrooms to hang clothes!DSC_0571

If I don’t get around to putting clothes away, everyone knows that their clean piles are now in my office.  My entire family has done great making sure they put their dirty laundry in the correct tub (but I even have an “other/don’t know pile” tub in case someone gets confused!) and I am proud to say that we haven’t dealt with any onion-smelly clothes since! YAY!  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!DSC_0572

One more thing I want to add…as you can see, my laundry room does not look “pretty”.  In the past I would have put off making a makeshift laundry room due to feeling like I needed custom cabinets and a reconstructed room in order to have a functional laundry space.  Because I did it this way, I was able to create a better laundry situation within 15 minutes AND it will give me time to try it out before I decide when and if I should ever upgrade to something more permanent.

Is there an area of your daily routine that makes you CrAzY (like my laundry situation)?  If so, I encourage you to think outside the box and find a way to make it less stressful.  Sure, I am sacrificing looking at dirty laundry baskets in my office, but now my master bedroom is ALWAYS clean and laundry free.  I am also saving time this way!  Just remember, even though you want your home to look like something from Pottery Barn, you have to ask yourself, “Would I rather have a magazine-looking house, or eliminate DAILY stresses by making an area more functional?””

Good “looks” don’t always mean a HaPpY HeArt!  Make a change TODAY!!

Lara

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Filed under At Home, Getting Real, Life, RANDO•RAMA, Uncategorized

How I am avoiding a stressful Christmas this year…

I know…it is only September…but I already have half of my Christmas shopping DONE!  The motive for starting so early?  I’m tired of stressing out during the holidays!

christmas countdown makie

SOURCE

The reason I’m starting so early has to do with money.  If I began now, I could spread the cost of gifts over the course of several months, instead of spending a large sum of cash in November and December.  Since we do a monthly budget, I didn’t want to go WAY over in December (and throw the budget out the window), all because of Christmas.  I figure if I SpReAd OuT my spending, I could easily pay $50-$150 in Christmas gifts and it wouldn’t make much of an impact each month.

The last couple of weeks I started searching for a few gifts.  To my surprise, I was able to purchase several of my items half-off, just by shopping on eBay and Amazon!  If I would have purchased those same items in a couple months from now, I’d be bidding against NuMeRouS (stressed) Christmas shoppers, which would make the bidding prices go uP Up UP!!!  I have already saved significant cash on gifts, which allowed me to start working on the items I was planning to purchase next month.  Can’t beat that!

The other obvious advantage is avoiding to shop (and panic) at the last minute.  I feel less rushed doing it this way and can also make sure I get what I really want (since items are IN STOCK in September!  ha!)

Christmas can be the last thing on your mind since we haven’t even hit Halloween, but if your past experiences left you in financial ruins and stress, it might be worth considering!

Happy Shopping!

Lara

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Filed under Finances, Holiday, Life, RANDO•RAMA, Uncategorized