Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cute Valentine Door Decor

I love my friend Amanda's blog; My Heart's Desire. She has fabulous recipes, cute kids, and does a wonderful job of sharing her heart-plus she's a really sweet person : ) I just had to show you the adorable Valentine's Heart she made for her doors. It reminded me of a pumpkin door decor tutorial I did last year, and I had every intention at the time to make one for every holiday-Easter eggs, flowers, etc.... But of course, it never happened. Amanda's turned out so cute I think I'm inspired to make some more-better get started on my Easter eggs now!

Hop on over to My Heart's Desire to see the tutorial for this great Valentine's Door Decor.

Here's a couple of tips I found helpful in addition to Amanda's tutorial: Recycled plastic bags work great for stuffing; I stapled the edges for extra security (staples don't show) and you need to use a spray indoor/outdoor clear coat or your paper will get soggy when it rains. I've also got my tutorial here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Training My Children To Serve Others

"From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise."
Psalm 8:2

Today is a very special day for God! And for me too! I have been so blessed over the past three years to be connected with a group of families that are constantly pursuing the call to help those in need and instill service into the hearts of their children. They do more than just "tell" their children to love their neighbor, they show them. Or I guess I should remember, GOD is teaching them, how to train their children to love their neighbor.He has been so faithful to do just that for me through Kidz RAP-Kidz Reaching All People.

Our family started serving with Kidz RAP three years ago when I home-schooled my girls, then ages 3, 6 and 9. One of my prayers for that year was that God would allow me to teach my children about helping those in need by being able to serve "with" them on a regular basis.

Frustration entered as I searched for a program that was "kid friendly" for our age range. To my dismay, I could not find one place in our city that had a place for us to all serve together. "But God"..... After many phone calls, someone told me about a new program called Kidz RAP. Kidz RAP was helping set up a home school group to serve monthly at one of our local food banks, and all ages were welcome. Even as we re-entered school the following year, we were blessed that Kidz RAP was establishing a monthly after school program there too. How amazing God is to answer our prayers when we are truly seeking His will!

So over the past three years, through Kidz RAP, God continues to grow a strong desire in my heart for helping those in need. Teaching this truth to my children is becoming one of my greatest passions. Now, my prayer is that others will know the JOY of serving Him in this way. I am blessed to join a group of families who have created Now, where ever you may be, you can have access to hands-on, kid-friendly projects, plus the support you need to implement a Kidz RAP program in your area!

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
3 John 1:4

JOY!- Seeing my 8 year old and her friend eagerly drying dishes, serving food and offering kind words to the homeless at one of our homeless shelters.

JOY! Watching my 5 year old, eagerly race back and forth between me and her dad to wash and dry dishes.

JOY! Listening to my twelve year old and her friends compassionately talk about the homeless children she met while we served at the shelter.

Please check out the new website and blog at and share it with your friends!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Easy and Delicious White Chicken Chili

Easy and Delicious White Chicken Chili Recipe

My home has had a revolving door the past two days as we were covered with about 5 inches of snow. Our routine the past two days has been; drag out clothes; dress; go outside; come back in; dry clothes; drink hot chocolate; eat; re dress; outside again. Does that sound familiar to anyone else? I put my favorite White Chicken Chili recipe (from my mom) in the crock pot so we could eat on it all day long. It's really easy, but very tasty. And kids love it too! I've come across several recipes over the years but this is my favorite.

White Chicken Chili

2 pounds chicken breast tenders-boiled and cut in pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use the msg free kind found in the healthy/organic section of the grocery store)
2 cans chicken broth (msg free/fat free)
1 can diced green chilis
1 cup salsa (I use mild chunky)
1 bag frozen shoe peg corn
2 cans white beans, drained
1 cup chopped onion (I use the pre-cut frozen kind)
Garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup monterey jack cheese

Put everything except the sour cream and cheese into your crock pot. Cook on low until bubbly, stirring occasionally (about 2 hours?). Stir sour cream and cheese into crock pot mixture about 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish with chips, cheese, sour cream, avocado and green onions.
You can also cook this on the stove on low for about 30 minutes, but you will need to saute the onions first and stir frequently.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Furniture refinish and dining room redo

I undertook a huge project in March (see post here) and I was starting to think I'd never finish. We built our home over six years ago and I've never really done anything with my dining room. Unfortunately, it's the first thing you see when you come in my front door. For starters, I was very attached to the dining room furniture my husband and I bought together at an auction over 15 years ago. It was the first big purchase we ever made together as a newly married couple, and at that point in our life we thought it was such a large table that we didn't even care that the leaves were missing.

Secondly, when we moved in this house when I was pregnant with my third child and I just haven't had the time or energy since to care about shopping, decorating or making decisions. And I've just never really gotten an inspiration for my dining room. I knew I wanted it to be more comfortable and useful while still incorporating our traditional antique furniture that I'm so sentimentally attached to.

Now my third problem with "doing" my dining room was budget. I haven't really had the budget to work with. Seems like something higher on the priority list always comes first; you know like.... a bed for my toddler turning big girl, new tires, kids activities, vacation, etc...

Well, so I decided last spring I had to do something with my dining room. Last November (I'm talking 2009) I stopped in a store called Park Hill Home and fell in love. I finally had my inspiration but it involved a new table!

So after a year of saving my money, and persuading my hubs, we agreed to get a new table and keep the chairs, so I started refinishing them in March so they would be ready by the time I could afford to purchase the table. I also received a piece of furniture from my grandfather who passed away, and I decided to refinish it too. It was in pretty bad shape.

Luckily, I had some help : )

I still can't decide if I like the natural look or if I should paint it???

I finally purchased the table a year later (2010) and pulled it all together just in time for the holidays. I even finished two oil painting for the walls. I really like the way it is coming together. It's comfy but elegant, casual with a hint of formal, and eclectic. We even played bunko on it and I didn't have to worry about scratches! I love the old and some new mixed together. I ordered the parsons chairs online from Carrington Court Direct and they were very inexpensive. The mirror was a birthday present from hubs, and I found the lamps half price at Hobby Lobby. I wasn't real crazy about the color but I loved their shape (and I can always paint, right?). Sorry for the long post but this is what I've been up to the last couple of months and I had to share. So happy it's finally done!

Oh, and a extra big thank you to Clover Lane for the awesome tutorial that helped me make my new header! I'm so thankful for all you helpful ladies out there!

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