Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WFMW - What Works for You?

This week for WFMW, we are supposed to put a question out there for all the bloggers to answer. I have a great one!

We are mulling over allowances and chores for our 4 year old (when we get this one trained, we will start on the 2 year old). So, I want to know:
~do you give allowance?
~if so, how much?
~do your kids have regular assigned chores?
~if so, how old are they, and what are their chores?
~if you give allowance and chores, are they tied together (are they paid or penalized for their chores)?

~what do you consider age-appropriate chores for a 4 year old (almost 5)
~what do you consider an appropriate allowance for the same age?

Head over to Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT family for more problems to solve!

Hospitality Tuesday (Part 5)

I may have mentioned that hospitality isn't necessarily a gift I have naturally. It takes prayer and work for me. Joel actually probably has the desire and gift more naturally than I do. He has an ability to make anyone feel welcome, at home, and at ease no matter who or where you are! His mom is much the same way.

Something I remember and think about sometimes is a conversation Joel and I had when we were talking about getting married and our future together. We discussed having children, and whether or not I would stay home with our kids. He said he would love it for me to stay home if we were able, and I wanted to (ummm, yes!). He told me that he loved that his mom was always at their basketball games and 4H events while they were growing up ~ usually with a treat for them and their friends. Later, when they were older, he remembers their were always extra people at his house (especially on bread-baking day!). His mom welcomed the extra kids (even though she no doubt had enough cooking to do with 3 growing boys all over 6'4"!). Usually one or two would hang around for dinner, which she always stretched out to make sure there was enough for whoever was at the table.

Even now, many of Joel and his siblings friends love my Mother-in-law and father-in-law. I'm pretty sure it has to do with their open home and loving spirit towards them growing up.

Joel and I hope that our home will be buzzing with the activity of our children and their friends. We hope to have extra kids for dinner. We hope to have a happy place in the memories of our children and their friends! Mary Helen's best friend right now is a sweet little boy. We have him over to play a fair amount, and almost every time, the first place he goes is the cabinet where he knows I keep the snacks!

Speaking of Joel's mom, all of her children, their spouses, and their children were in town this weekend. Here are a few snapshots of the 17 of us!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Altered Jeans with Matching Shirts & a Sad Story

They are really cheesin' it up, huh?

Anyways, here are both pairs of jeans, and the matching shirts. The letters on the shirts were just heat and bond. I didn't sew anything on them.

Now for the sad story, my sewing machine is dieing a slow and painful death. I have no idea what may be going on, but I have so many things I want to do and she is letting me down. I don't know if it's fixable or if I should just go buy a new machine. My sewing skills are limited, so I thing the $100 Singer is all I'd need. If you have sewing experience, and think you might could help me figure out what's wrong, please let me know! I don't have a manual. . . this is my grandmother's machine.

So, Wednesday will be my 100th post! I was hoping for a giveaway, but it will all depend on my sewing machine. I was working on a little somethin'-somethin' for a giveaway!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I got an award!

Imagine my excitement when I read my comments the other day, and I had a sweet award from Sarah at I Blame My Mother!

Here's the award:

Here are the rules:

List 7 things that you love and then pass the award on to 7 people...
tagging them and letting them know they won!

You can copy the picture of the award and put it on your sideboard
letting the whole wide world know you are KREATIV!

So, seven things I love. . .
1. Date Night with the Dairy King :)
2. Crafts (of too many sorts!)
3. Homeschooling (most days)
4. Other Bloggers!
5. 3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate ~ YUMMY!!
6. Thrift Stores (even though we don't have enough in our little town)
7. Being a Dairy Queen is great, but I especially love being a princess (Don't you know my Father is the King of Kings?!)

And, I am passing my award along to...
1. Elise at Nest Sweet Nest (who knew, right?!)
2.. Monica at Homespun Heart
3. Katie at Katie's Nesting Spot
4. Sarah at Create Studio
5. Jennwa at Ramblings of a Crazy Woman

I'm sorry, but I'm stopping at 5 :) Be sure to check out these wonderful blogs if you haven't seen them before!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Homeschool Workboxes

Well, there's a new fad in homeschooling, and I'm going to give it a shot.

Here's the brain behind the whole phenomenom, Sue Patrick... http://www.workboxsystem.com/

Here are some bloggers who have posted about it...
Joyful Mother of 6
Our Life Song

So, I plan to implement this in my own way, of course...as we all do with each other's ideas ~ Make it work for our life!

Mary Helen is currently doing My Father's World Kindergarten. The wonderful thing about the curriculum is that it only takes 30-45 minutes most days. The bad thing about it is that it only takes 30-45 minutes most days! Very often she asks for more! So, she will be getting six boxes each day that will be completed after we do what we need to do together. Some days she will have MFW sheets in her box, sometimes not.

Some of the things I plan to put in her box are Bible crafts/coloring pages (we will do mostly Easter stuff for the next couple of weeks), things to extend our current letter and theme (right now we are on letter M and moon), math skills, and other misc. skills.

Here is a list of some ideas:
~piggy bank/penny counting game (I found it somewhere in blogland, if I find it again, I will post links. I'm quite sure it came from a yahoo!group) She will roll a die and put the corresponding number of pennies on the counting mat until she fills the mat.
~Next week, since we will be working on the letter M, we will have several M&M activities. See www.thevirutualvine.com under themes, then m&m for lots of ideas and printables. Also look here.
~Play doh
~dry erase books and placemats to practice handwriting (she loves these!)
~collage making - magazine, scissors, glue

For Anna, our 2 1/2 year old, I will also have 6 boxes each day. She likes to have her own things to do during school time. Her activities will also include Bible coloring and crafts. She will also have some of the ziplock activities in her boxes (See last Thursday's post).

Other things she will have:
~tearing and glueing construction paper
~cutting practice
~lacing cards
~tong transferring (pom poms, plastic ice cube things from $ Tree)
~m&m activities

I also have a book from Evan Moore (I think) of take it to your seat type center activities that I have for the boxes. I have a box with files for categories to pull ideas and activities from. It takes initial plannins, but I will be able to re-use many ideas and pull out stuff that we've long forgotten about or never get to. I *hope* to make a spreadsheet or some kind of system to keep up with what I've used to keep things rotated through.

*Montessori type activities are good for this as well. Here are a lot of ideas.

I am hoping this will be a good thing for us. I will take pictures of all the action next week, and make a post of how it's going for us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hospitality 4

I have been perusing the internet looking to see what other folks are saying about hospitality. Here's what Momstheword had to say about the topic.

That is what it is like to make our homes "sing." As homemakers, we have the ability to make our home a place of rest and beauty and welcome, or we can make it a place that people can't wait to get out of...including our own family.

She has lots of other great stuff on the topic as well. Please go check out her post.

One thing I want to touch on here, though, is the last bit of that excerpt..."including our own family".

We may make a fuss over details when we have guests, but what about for those who live in our home? I will admit to you that this is something I struggle with. It is easy to get lost in the mundane activities of day-to-day life. We are doing good to just get a meal on the table, never mind setting the table neatly, putting flowers on the table, or lighting candles.

Last week I did go out and cut lots of greenery and flowers and put all over the house to make it homey for us. We weren't expecting any company, just the four of us. (Now I won't mention that my sweet husband sat in the living room where there were 5 vases of stuff that weren't there the day before for probably an hour and didn't notice the first one!)

Here are a few suggestions for showing your hospitality to your family...making your home a haven...

~fresh flowers on the dinner table
~use cloth napkins
~light candles
~leave a note or special treat on each person's pillow
~tell your family how much you enjoy their company

What will you do this week to make your family feel special at home?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Altered Blue Jeans

I decided to try to make the girls matching blue jean outfits. Here is the first pair. I am also going to make matching shirts with each girl's first initial. Here's hoping they turn out!

Party Fun!

I've had too much fun blog-jogging this weekend! I hope to look at several more through the week as I get time. I've added several blogs that I will be visiting regularly!

I have decided to try to organize my blog posting a bit since there are so many things that I want to write about. Here's what I'm thinking:

Wednesday~Works for Me Wednesday
Friday~I will either take Friday off or post misc. stuff.

I hope you'll tag along for all the fun!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome to Life of a Dairy Queen!

***This was originally my post for the 5 minutes for mom blog party, and I am using it now for my ABC & 123 introduction post :) ***

If you already come to my blog regularly, welcome back! I am participating in The Ultimate Blog Party at 5 Minutes for Mom (you can get there from the button on the sidebar).

If you found me through the party, welcome! I hope you enjoy what you find! Be sure to leave a comment so I can come visit you!

I am married to a dairy farmer (hence, "Dairy Queen"), and we have two beautiful daughters. I am a stay-at-home, homeschool mom. Most days I love it! I enjoy crafts, decorating, and sometimes working in my yard. This blog is just like me, ADD! My sweet husband can watch tv, listen to something on the computer, and read another website at one time and keep up with it all! I start to twitch when there's too much going on! I do flutter back and forth between activities though, and so my blog is much that way!

I believe that hospitality is my true passion. I am not neccessarily gifted in the area, but God has taught and keeps teaching me about it! I am currently writing a series on the subject. I have posted several times on the topic, and plan to continue to do so on Tuesdays until I run out of things to say about it.

As for homeschooling, I have a kindergartener doing My Fathers World, and an almost three year old that I try to keep busy while we do school!

I enjoy crafting and am learning how to sew.

And, I am not so good at decorating,but I sure love to try!

Most importantly, I am a child of Christ. This, more than anything identifies me. It is truly why I am a wife, mother, and friend. I pray that my life and my blog may glorify Him.

Thanks for stopping by, come back soon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Keeping the Preschooler busy during school time

Note: I am planning to continue my hospitality series, but I keep thinking of so much stuff I want to say and ideas I want to pass along, so I am going to start blogging about hospitality every Tuesday until I run out of stuff to say!

You may remember me talking about doing a preschool activity swap recently. . . Well, we ended up with three ladies participating, and we did about 3 activities each for each other. I am going to share some of them with you, along with a few other things I have for my 2 year old (3 in July) to do during school time.

The first picture shows the goodies from the swap and the bucket I keep them corralled in.

This picture shows a wipe off alphabet practice activity. I downloaded the free font and put a clipart train on it, used a business card template, printed on cardstock and laminated. I put a wet erase marker with it, and a wet paper towel will wipe it right off. I made a set for my older daughter also.

The second activity in this picture is a counting game. One set of cards has numbers and you match each one to the card with the correct number of stickers.

Next up is a beading activity. She simply puts the beads on the pipe cleaners to make bracelets. She loves it! (My older daughter got in on this one too!)

This picture shows a fishing game. FUN! There are 26 paper fish, each with a letter of the alphabet on it. There are paper clips on each tail. The fishing pole is a dowel with a magnet on a string. The magnet makes it possible to catch the fish. I will let her play like this for a while, then we may add some flash cards for her to look at the flash card and catch the fish that matches the letter.

This bag has two sets of beads and two sets of medicine cups. Each cup has a bead glued in the bottom of it, and she sorts the loose beads into the appropriate cup. My daughter loved this one! As her skill progresses, I will add more beads so that she eventually is doing all 10 colors at one time.

Here are the girls during school time. Mary Helen is sorting her pictures by sound and anna is sorting her beads by color!

This is a patterning activity - she is to copy the pattern from a yellow pipe cleaner onto a blue pipe cleaner.

This is another one we've already been able to use ~ sandpaper and yarn. Anna enjoyed doing this one - she made designs and such on the sandpaper, and it stuck right to it!

The other activity in this picture is a playdouh letter and number activity. I have to work with her on this one, but she will roll the playdoh into "snakes" and then use short and long pieces to form the letters and numbers. This will be a great learning activity for her!

I have been adding some other things to our school area to entertain Anna and to help Mary Helen and me be more organized with all of our things. I will give a tour of our homeschool area next week!

I am linking this post up to Kid Friendly Friday at I Blame My Mother. Head on over for more great ideas to keep the kids entertained and busy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hospitality, Part 3

I wanted to offer some practical ideas for hosting get togethers in your home. I am all for cheap and easy. You don't want get togethers to be a burden, because then you're in no mood to be hospitable when your company arrives. Believe me, I've been in a huff when we have company planned and I'm still doing yesterday's dishes and Joel is running behind and our company is knocking on the door!

So, wether you're just starting to open your home, or you're looking for fresh, simple ideas. . . here you go!

Summer Time:
~grill hamburgers and hotdogs (family friendly or adults only) buy the frozen patties to keep it simple. All you really need is buns, condiments, chips, and drinks. You can jazz it up with a pineapple casserole (recipe at bottom of post) or baked beans (no recipe, I have no idea how to make them!). Homemade or store bought ice cream for dessert. If you're inviting a large(ish) number of people, you could ask each family or guest to bring their own meat, or a side dish or dessert.
~salad potluck - ask each guest to bring a salad. Encourage creativity and variety - "green" salads (lettuce base), pasta salads, fruit salads, coleslaw type salads. . . dessert salads too!
~campfire cookout - hot dogs and smores!

Winter Time:
~Chili - make a big crockpot of a simple recipe and serve with crackers, cheese, and sour cream. have a simple pie (from the frozen section) and ice cream for dessert.
~soup or chili potluck - along the same lines as the salad potluck.
~ice cream social - several churns of homemade ice cream with all the toppings!

~taco night - you do the meat mixture in the crockpot, and assign each guest to bring one or two of the "fixings" such as sour cream, lettuce, salsa, tortilla chips, etc. Make sure to assign a couple of desserts out!
~dessert potluck - yep, you guessed it!
~spaghetti bake - you can premake this and bake it just before company is expected. serve with a salad and garlic bread.

I have also been known to order bbq and a side or two from a restaraunt and serve it right from the styrofoam containers! We still had a great time!

There are so many more ideas! People don't mind bringing something along to contribute to the meal, and it often makes them feel good to contribute!

Be sure to have coffee or hot tea after dinner to encourage your guests to stay a while. I always turn the coffee pot on right after I finish eating so that when the table is cleared I can invite everyone to fix their coffee and move to the living room where we can visit. I like to serve dessert in the living room with coffee too.

If there is a lull in conversation, you could always suggest a board game or round of cards. In fact, we have often had game night get togethers.

Don't be afraid to use paper plates for meals that won't get too soggy and don't require cutting. Remember, people are there for a good time, not for a show!

Tomorrow we will discuss the myth of not having enough space in your house to have people over!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hospitality Take 2

Hebrews 13:1-2 says (Message paraphrase), "Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it's needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it!"

I feel a little series coming on! As I've been thinking about being hospitable, I've thought of so many things to share with you!

Today, I am going to tell you reasons you shouldn't wait to start opening your home.

So, you would like to invite some couples over to your house. . .but, you're going to wait until you have a nicer house? until your house is clean? until you have nicer furniture? until you have carpet without juice stains? until when?

I used to be that way. I used to want nicer everything before we entertained in our house. I wanted a nice collection of Southern Living at Home wares before I started having people over. I needed to learn how to cook fancy meals.

Thankfully, my husband just wanted to get to know people. He didn't care that some of them had to sit on the floor or that we had a 7 foot bright yellow courdoroy couch, or that his new wife's famous dish was three cheese hamburger helper!

Somewhere along the way I figured out that it was okay to keep things simple. . .I didn't even have to cook every time. I just needed to open my home. I had to change my mentality from "entertaining" to hosting or opening our home. I think it's something that's lost in our lives today...opening our homes to minister to others, fellowship with others, and form and strengthen friendships.

I want to offer some ideas to you to try to help you become more comfortable opening your home to friends...old and new...and enjoy the time!

One handy hint is to always have something in your freezer or pantry that you can pull out and prepare easily if you have unplanned company.

Our former neighbors were a perfect example of how this came in handy for me. These neighbors were wonderful...instant friend kind of people. The husband in the family had to travel from time to time for his job. Several times I was able to tell her and her son to please stay and have dinner with our family. Normally I have a spaghetti casserole in our freezer that can be thawed and baked within an hour. Simple, filling, and yummy!

I would challenge you to have a meal in your freezer, or the ingredients to make something simple when the opportunity presents itsself. It may not even be used for company, but for the lady at church or up the street who has just come home from having a baby, or for the family who has someone recovering from a hospital visit, or perhaps you talk to your friend across town and she's had a bad day. You can tell your friend that you'll have dinner for her so that's something she doesn't have to think about today. In our church, we've delivered meals to men taking care of their families while their wives are out of town. We generally have meals prepared for new moms.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about things you can do to make it easy and fun to have people in your home!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

About Hospitality

Note: This is the first of a series. Please check out the other posts in the series. There will be more coming too!

I've mentioned here before that I aim to be hospitable. I wish we had more people come for the night, but truth be told, Elise was our first houseguest other than my or Joel's mom when they babysit for us. I was so excited to put my guestroom to use for someone who would be staying with us! I hope we have the opportunity to have Elise again, and other in our home as well.

I found this great article from Simple Mom, that I think has great, easy pointers to make your guest feel at home. I had a lot of them in mind when Elise came last weekend.

Our guest room is a modge-podge of furniture, and the walls are lime green with color crayon accents, as it was our oldest daughter's room when we first moved here. We put the two girls together several months back, and made a guest room.

I am borrowing some pictures from Elise's blog to show you the things I did to try to make her feel special during her visit.

We have a chalkboard in our kitchen that we use for homeschool, and I wrote a simple welcome message for her. I have also used this to write congratulation messages for showers, and birthday wishes for family. You can paint a simple chalkboard on a piece of wood to make your own chalkboard and hang it on your porch to welcome guests into your home.

When Elise arrived, I had a tray on her bed with a couple of magazines that I knew she'd probably enjoy, along with a basket of goodies. I got a few small gifts that I hoped she would enjoy, and I also put toiletries that she may need in the basket. There were some hotel toiletries that I'd saved (that smell really good!) and a new toothbrush and toothpaste. I also put some fresh cut daffodils by her bed for an extra touch to let her know I was glad she was here.

I had her towels handy in her room so that she wouldn't have to search for them when she was ready to shower. I found some of my better towels (still not the greatest, but it's what we had :)) and put them in a basket with a new loofah sponge and a bottle of water.

I didn't do anything elaborate or expensive, I just opened up my home and took a little time to fluff things up a bit for her. I also sprayed her sheets that afternoon with linen spray to make her bed smell nice and fresh when she climbed in that evening.

Be sure to check out Simple Mom's tips for making houseguests feel welcome in your home.

Tomorrow, I'll share some tips for opening your home for guests just for fellowship.

This is my submission for Works for Me Wednesday. Check out more WFMW at We are THAT Family.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

John Deere Green Again

Cute John Deere Green

Not so cute John Deere Green

Some of you may remember when I showed you this horrible dresser that I was going to re-do. Well, it has actually been finished for several weeks, but I've never put up a picture. I don't have a great picture, but this is one from the baby shower that was hosted at my house last weekend. I put the dresser in my dining room to serve as a buffet. So far, I love it! I still have to work on decorating it and the wall above it (I'm working on a little something-something for the wall!).

It's sort of covered up with baby sweetness, but you can see the difference! Hopefully today I'll finish up my project for over it. Then sometime in the next several weeks (ha!) I'll put pictures of it!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Plant Holder Turned Organizing Center

I had this really cute planter that my grandma gave me. I just love it! Unfortunately, I do not have a green thumb. Well, really, I am not good at watering plants as often as they'd like to be watered.

SO...I wanted to do something with this planter, and this is what I came up with.

Normally, I have my weekly menu hanging at the top. I also have these pretty clothes pins to hang invitations, reminders, etc. The flower pot normally has the markers for our family calendar which is hanging near by.

Check out what's working for other bloggers at We are THAT Family's Works for Me Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Easy, Cheap, but not so Quick!

We are having a Women Missionary Union (WMU) Spring Banquet at our church tonight. There will be about half a dozen churches represented there. I was in charge of decorating. The thing about it is we had to do 20 tables, and while we have a budget for WMU, we'd rather spend our money on actual mission projects...so I had to decorate frugally! So, I took advantage of the church's cricut, construction paper, and hurricanes. Got Easter eggs, paper shreds, and tissue paper from the dollar store and a pack of Martha's scrapbook paper from WalMart. Here's the result:

20 tables for a total cost of around $30. Not to bad. Cutting all those letters from the cricut was rather time consuming, but thankfully my sweet friend Tracey spent those 4 hours helping me!

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Blog Home

Well, I decided to change up blogs so I could try to keep things a tad more secure. I don't want my last name to be all over the place, so I've decided to try to make myself a little less easy to find!

For some reason, all my posts got imported twice, and I don't want to spend all night deleting all the duplicates, but I'll get around to it eventually!

Thanks for stopping by!

Spring Swap!

I am participating in a swap hosted by Whitney at That Girl and Her Pug. I'm not sure how I stumbled on her blog, but am excited to participate in a swap. . .I've only done a couple, but they are SO much fun!

If you want to get in on the fun, you have to sign up by March 11. I have some ideas brewing in my mind already.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Crafty Fun with Elise!

Well, one thing I never thought would happen from having a blog, is making a new friend...that I would get to meet in real life!

Yesterday, I got to have Elise come to my house and craft away! She is just as precious as you would imagine after reading her blog. She is sweet and creative, and although we were both a little nervous about it, we hit it off right away!

We took her to our tiny town restaraunt for dinner, then we went to Wal-Mart for a few crafty supplies...then we got busy! We had too much junk food, too many plans, and not enough time together! Here are a few pictures, and I will post more of our finished projects later, but here are some of the "in process" pictures, and one of us from the baby shower I hosted today (bless her heart for staying and hanging out with a bunch of women she doesn't know!).

Our craft table (we agreed no pajama pictures!).

Elise made this yummy snack with pretzels, hershey kisses, and m&ms (pastels no less!). The rest of the junkfood...

We didn't go to bed until after 4 a.m., and then we had to get up early enough to get the house back together for the baby shower this afternoon. I'm worn out, and I know she is too. One thing I know for sure. . . I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What Would Your To-Do List Look Like...

If you were meeting a blog friend for the first time...and she was coming to spend the night?! Oh, and you were hosting a baby shower too?

Well, the main thing I'm doing is getting excited!! I get to meet Elise tomorrow! I am sending my kids to grandma's house, and she and I are going to craft like crazy! A friend and I are hosting a baby shower on Saturday, so Elise and I will be making some decorations for that, and I am grateful that she will be here to help me set up and decorate on Saturday.

As for my to-do list today... I have toilets to clean, floors to mop, junk food to buy, and pack my girls suitcases!

I can't wait for you to get here, Elise!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Clean Swap!

I recently participated in a swap with a clean theme. I had so much fun packing my box, and I had a great partner who put together a fabulous box for me! You can visit Carrie's blog here if you'd like to meet my great partner, and she will be hosting all us swappers to show what we got!

Here's a picture of all my loot!

I got a very cute apron (handmade!), a wonderful devotional book about finding God in our mundane day-to-day activities (written by someone Carrie knows!), colorful sponges, a handmade dishrag (that I still haven't got the heart to use), burts bees lip balm and foot lotion (for after the cleaning), a real simple notebook with 3 sections: agenda, to do, to buy, kleenex, the coolest oven scraper (that I've already found other wonderful uses for!), and several other goodies. It all came in a lovely blue and brown box. I love it all!

Thanks, Carrie!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Beginning Kindergarten!

We are starting My Father's World Kindergarten today. We are going to do it normally 3 days a week, taking breaks for family vacations and other times we need a break.

We did a very abbreviated Creation unit today, and will start with the main part of the curriculum tomorrow. I think we are going to have a great time with it!

Here she is on her first day with her creation time line that she colored and glued. The other picture is Anna doing her "school". Mary Helen joined in on her fun after she finished her stuff.