Living in the Mundane

Congratulations to the following CD winners: BeckyJoMama, Stonefox and reader (no blog) TallyMichelle!

*UPDATED* Here is Part 2 of the video.

My life is mundane.

It’s full of dirty laundry and stinky feet. Stains and spills. Unexpected bills and quarreling kids. (I’m asking about sibling rivalry here. Please, tell me how you handle it!)

There are no celebrity’s here. We’re just regular people with normal problems.

Average

Except for the occasional lice check, family nasal experiment, or paranoid freak-out session in a an MRI machine. 

(I’m still processing my doctor’s appointment today concerning my neck and back. I have some choices to make. I’ll tell you all about it soon).

I’ve always disliked the mundane. I still remember the girl who used to be me that was going to change the world. I grew up and now I only change the cat litter. 

I want you to meet someone who has challenged me to invite the glorious into the mundane.

Because it’s those monotonous moments that make up a day, a week, a life. 

And I want to capture them, rather than wish them away.

Christy Nockels is an up and coming Christian singer who’s album Light Life Up debuted on June 2. She accompanied Chris Tomlin in vocals in his recent tour.

She’s also a Mom. Just like us. And she struggles with the mundane too.

Would you listen to this and let it challenge you?

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5271209&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

Being A Mom {Part 1} from christy nockels on Vimeo.

After you listen, please let me know how you feel about being a Mom, mundane moments and all. Three commenters will win Christy’s new CD Light Life Up.

You can download her song here for free. 

This giveaway will end on Friday.

*UPDATED* Here is Part 2.

http://farm.sproutbuilder.com/load/nwCWTmr_FlDBYnQd.swf

And This is Where I Give Away Some Chicken

*UPDATE* Well, all you wild chicken fans, we have some winners! Congrats to Christi of In His Step, Christie O of Baby Tea Leaves and reader (no blog) Kate at kdmyzell@yahoo.com. 
So, when I was contacted about interviewing Food Network’s Robin Miller about her new cookbook Robin Rescues Dinner and her Tyson partnership, I asked this burning question, “Does it include free chicken?”
Because I’m all about the yard bird.
Hiding from my kids in my backyard at 7:15 AM in my pajamas to interview a TV star, well, that was just a bonus.
I’m not much of a foodie blogger, but I was really intrigued by this new cookbook because Robin has filled it with nearly 400 recipes (52 weeks) that focus on healthy, easy family-friendly recipes. She also uses a lot of the Tyson Frozen Chicken and Beef Strips in her recipes in an effort to not heat up her oven in the summer. 
And if you haven’t heard by now, it is hot in Texas. Our church actually prayed for rain on Sunday. And a rain dance my be next on the agenda.
Robin Rescues Dinner by Robin Miller: Book Cover
So, here’s what I asked Robin:
  1.   How did you go from the Mom cooking at home to the Mom cooking on TV? 
“I didn’t pursue it. I was on TV working for Family Circle magazine. I went from cranberry sauce, that I’d never made before on Tuesday, to making cookies with Al Roker on Sunday on The Today Show. Cooking came first and then my boys, who are 5 and 7 came next. So, my cooking style has changed. I used to carmelize and deglaze and spend hours in the kitchen. Now I try to get the same flavors in a shorter amount of time and that’s why I write the way I do.”
2.   Do you have a lot of no cook, oven-free recipes? 
“Yes. I have full meals including desserts that don’t require heating up the kitchen. There are so many ways to keep it cool in the kitchen and still have a healthy meal. I also like to use the early morning hours to boil rice and heat up the stove when it’s still cool.”    
3.   Do you have any healthy fun snack ideas for toddlers? 
“I try to think outside the box. I like to make sure my kids get a lot of protein throughout the day because my little boys are active. Why can’t you have whole grain cereal as a snack after school or breakfast for dinner? If my kids are starving at 4:30 pm, I give them dinner and a snack at 7:00 pm. I love using Tyson’s fully cooked chicken dipped in salsa or honey mustard. This is a great healthy snack. I like to make every snack count and not just feed them.”

And because I couldn’t resist:
4.  Have you had any THAT family moments in the kitchen? 
“We are always THAT family. In WalMart or the Supermarket, my kids are the ones running around. We drop eggs on the floor, too. Kitchen disasters happen once a week. It’s usually a spill or a mess. I like bringing my kids into the kitchen to cook with me. It’s a bonding moment and they like to cook with me. I like to turn those THAT family moments into I’m proud to be THAT family moments. There’s no shame.”
Today, I’m giving away 3 of her brand new cookbooks. They are fabulous. Each winner will also got 3 coupons for bags of Tyson chicken or beef strips! (These coupons retail at $9.99 each). Today’s total giveaway value: $150 
That’s a lot of chicken.
Just leave a comment and tell me how you keep your kitchen cool in the summer to be entered!
This giveaway will end on Thursday.

WFMW: Themed Edition Reminder

Don’t forget that this Wednesday is a themed edition of Works For Me Wednesday: Best Summer Recipes!
I’ve been trying out recipes with chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
It’s been terribly hard. 
But it’s the least I can do.
(You can link up a current or older post. Please remember that this is just a suggestion. If  you have a non-themed tip you want to share, please feel free!)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a spoon to lick.


The Magnetic Field

My son woke up the other day bright and early.
He had one thing on his mind and it consumed his thoughts the entire day: a magnetic field.
I have no idea why.
But for some unknown reason, he thought I would be a great source of information.
You can stop laughing now.
We were heading to the library for our weekly trip, so I encouraged him to find a book on the subject.
“Unless you like hearing me say, ‘I don’t know,'” over and over again.
Later during room time, he devised a plan. His goal: to create his own magnetic field.
By the afternoon, he had talked his big sister into joining his scientific research.
They spent two hours sitting side-by-side on his bed with a notebook. I could hear them brainstorming, debating and planning while I cooked dinner.
It was music to my ears.
They presented me with a shopping list:
  • lots and lots of tiny, super powerful magnets
  • zip lock baggies
  • tin foil
  • a toilet paper roll
  • rubber bands
  • candy (not for the experiment, but we will need a snack)
The team resumed their research after dinner.
After I tucked my toddler in bed, I peeked in my son’s room to check on them.
“Mom, we’re glad you’re here,” he said.
“Yes, Mom, we need to ask you an important question,” my daughter added.
I sat down on the edge of the bed and tried really hard to keep a straight face.
“We are going to make history. We are going to create the world’s first man-made super duper magnetic field out of everyday stuff,” they proclaimed proudly.
“And we need your help. It will take us years and years and you’ll be very old when we are done. We need you to test it out since you’ll have led a full life….ya know, in case something goes wrong.”
I bit my lip.
“But don’t worry Mom, when we’re famous, we’ll give you a little bit of credit.”
“Sign me up,” I said.
It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.


Summer Daycation: Balloon Yo-Yo’s

Water Balloon Yo-Yo’s
Supplies needed:
small balloon
water
rubber band
Fill the balloon with about 3/4 cup of water. You want it to be the size of a baseball so you might need to add a little air. Tie it and then tie off the rubber band on the knot. 
Bounce away!
My kids loved playing with these. It occupied them for an hour! Once the rubber bands broke, they wrapped up their balloons in a blanket and played baby. 
And then they smashed the balloons on the ground (but only after they were thru playing house with them!)


I’ve heard that these can be dangerous with the rubber bands popping kids or being tied around things. Please make sure you supervise your kids and then dispose of these homemade toys when they are done.


THAT Family Tree Society-Issue 46

Picture of the Week:


The Week in Review: My hubby and I enjoyed a couple of days away while my kids played. We had a great time, but I’m so happy for all of us to be together again. And I’ve decided that I’m terribly in love with these two guys.

Introduction into The Society: Help me welcome From the Desk of a Princess to the family tree!

1.    Tell us a little about your blog (name/reason why you blog): 

My blog is “From The Desk of a Princess”…and no, I don’t have a strong penchant for Disney princesses (except for my Cinderella nightgown…). I am a Daughter of the King, royalty of the Highest Order; I serve a King! The original purpose of my blog was to journal my faith walk, and to write devotions with the hopes of reaching anyone who would stumble upon my blog so I could share the joy of a relationship with Christ. It has become much more personal over this first year, but He remains the central focus.

2.    How long have you blogging? 
I’m coming up on my one year anniversary and can’t imagine not blogging! I’ve met so many wonderful Christian ladies along the way. Kim of Thoughts by Kim probably being my closest connection…hopefully I will get to meet her this side of heaven! 

3.    How would you define THAT family? 
They have a way of taking life, good, bad and in between, and making a memory out of it. THAT family has lots of laughter in their home. And it seems like the wackiest shenanigans happen to them! THAT family is pretty much The Brady Bunch..I mean, helloooo! Marcia getting her nose busted by a renegade football…the Hawaiian idol that causes Greg to have a surfing accident…Peter’s volcano that spews all over the snobby girls from Marcia’s high school! What family hasn’t experienced this?!? 

4.    When did you discover you were a part of THAT family? 
Ya know, I think I only became part of THAT family when I got married last year! My husband’s parents are so much fun! There is constant laughter when we’re together and they are just a spirited group of people! My husband has brought out the “Dorky Dorkenstein” in me (and I the “Nerdy Nerdikens” in him) which usually leads to some pretty memorable and fun moments! We enjoy our life, taking the good with the bad, laughing all the way, even if it’s laughter between tears… 

5.    Where can we find your blog? 
You can find me at http://paperphan.wordpress.com.

Watching Grass Grow

Her shoulders are sun-kissed from the blazing sun.
Her nose bares tiny new freckles.
The sparkle in her eyes speaks of stories I’ll never hear.
The new confidence in her stride declares a change.
I spent 84.5 hours away from my oldest child. The longest separation for both of us.
I wasn’t there to help her fix her hair. I wasn’t there to monitor her decisions. I wasn’t there.
But she didn’t need me to control every choice. She didn’t need me to parent every moment.
She grew in my absence. 
And this is just the beginning. 
Parenting is a lot like gardening. We prepare the soil purposefully. We tend the plants carefully. We watch prudently. We protect from weeds actively. 
But we don’t see the daily growth.
Until we step away.


DIY Disasters & A Magnetic Wall

For every good do-it-yourself project I share with you, there is at least one untold disaster.
I’m a Mom, not a renovator/artist.  I have three kids (one that is 2, so that raises the total even more). I have a limited budget and I’m messy.
So, disaster, is but a paint spill away.
I don’t want you guys to think that my weekly projects always go as planned. Because they don’t. I just don’t usually talk about the laminate bookshelf I spray painted three different times because the paint wouldn’t adhere to the laminate.
But it did adhere to my skin. For 3 days. I was blue, just like a Smurf.
Or remember my fancy pantry door? What I didn’t tell you is that I spray painted the door inside my garage. My hubby rigged up something so it could hang and I could get even coats. What I wasn’t counting on was the paint grabbing onto every dust particle in the air and covering everything in the garage with a fine red dust. It took weeks to clean it up.
Another example is the wall in my toddler’s room. I found a can of Magnetic Spray Paint on the clearance aisle at WalMart. This stuff is not cheap, except I found it for just a couple of dollars. My big idea: paint part of a wall and let my daughter use it to hold magnets.
Brilliant, right?
Um, no. Because it was spray paint. But I didn’t want to waste money, so I did it anyway. She couldn’t sleep in her room for two days due to fumes. The overspray was horrible and the bonus? It wasn’t magnetic (I would have been much better off with the roll on magnetic paint). Of course, I didn’t learn this until after I painted the yellow Latex room paint over the gray magnetic paint.
A disaster.  
But rather than give up, I decided to be creative and flexible. Here’s how I fixed it:
Rather than buy roll-on magnetic paint that runs about $20, I found two magnetic dry erase boards for less than $20 for both. I adhered those over the non-magnetic mess I’d created. I used some bright pink paint to create a border to cover up the overspray. 
The magnetic boards didn’t cover the entire area, so I used some leftover rub-on alphabet letters.
Not exactly what I had planned, but still good, and most importantly, useful.
When your DIY turns DISASTER:
  • Don’t panic.
  • Rethink your plan and lay out all your options.
  • Google-this is a great resource for stain removal ideas.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help,
  • Buy used items to redo from garage/thrift sales so if it does get ruined, you haven’t invested a lot.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Give yourself a break. Most DIY-selfer’s are trying to save money. It takes a lot of courage to paint your kitchen cabinets or rip out carpet. So, don’t be too  hard on yourself. Not everything always goes according to plan.
  • Be realistic. If you expect perfection on every project, you will be disappointed.
Go ahead, share one of your DIY disasters. There’s comfort in numbers.