Thursday, November 14, 2013

Public Figures, Role Models, and the Rules

Here in my home town, we bleed Red!  It's Chiefs Nation....NFL football is a big deal in our is MLB (specifically the Royals :)).  We live just aways east of Kansas City.  In my life times three major crimes have been committed by Chiefs players that I can recall.  Derrik Thomas wasn't wearing his seatbelt, got in a car accident and he lost his life in the prime of his football career.  Last year a player, in a fit of rage, killed his child's mother, drove to our stadium and took is own life.  Just a few days ago the beloved D. Bowe was caught speeding and had marijuana on his person.  Currently charges are pending against the football player and no action has been taken by the NFL or the Chiefs team.  Our head coach released a statement that he would be following the rules and nothing would happen until the case was closed and D. Bowe was either found guilty or not.

All of the news channels and their FB pages here, the story of a player being caught smoking weed and speeding is being shared and shared.  As a parent of football players who are still learning the ropes of life and member of the Chiefs Nation....I have found it very strange that the comments that have been left behind on the news stations web pages and their FB pages in regards to this matter.  There are a lot of "it's not a big deal, it's only pot" comments, some "he's a role model, he should have made better choices" and the reasoning for this post, comments in regards to "children shouldn't have famous people as their role models, only their parents."  Some of these comments have gone so far as to state that parents who allow their children to have role models outside of the child's parents are not doing their job correctly and should be ashamed and are raising the next generation of bad decision makers.

I wanted to share my take on this topic, who we "allow" our children to view as role models.  I think it starts with defining the term.  For me, as a parent, role model is a person who another person, typically younger and smaller, models behavior and decision making processes off of.  From where my child stands, it's a person that the child aspires to be like as an adult.  In no way shape or form can I control who my child deems to be a role model for them.  In my opinion, if your child doesn't have several role models to choose from, then you are not doing your job right!  My children will have a larger toolbox to use as adults because they will have witnessed the decisions, both good and bad, of people they love and care about and of people they want to be like when they grow up.

In my house, we don't do a lot of news watching.  There are too many sad and dumb things shared with the public that I just don't have the desire to have my children be exposed to.  However, my fiance and I catch up on the news via our local news aps and FB pages.  I pick and choose what information to share with my children, afterall, they get the world news at school (despite my dislike of such a thing as CNN student news).  As a Chiefs fans and the mother of one of Bowe's fans, this "news" was something I decided to share with my boys.  They needed to know that their favorite players, the guys they want to play exactly like when they get older, do in fact make stupid choices.  We did the same thing when Vick got into trouble.  What I loved most about Vick's story was the end result.  Vick did his time and paid the price.  He also made right by it and returned to the field.  This let my children know that a very bad choice has the potential to ruin your dreams, but if you are truly sorry and do what is needed to make it right, you can come back from that.  Bowe made a stupid choice, one that he will have to face up to at his court date.  It was important to me that my children see that he will have to answer for that choice.  

I want my children to have many role models in their lives.  Their teachers, coaches, classmates, older siblings, aunts, uncles, favorite TV star, and favorite football players alike are all good choices.  They all live different lives than I do.  They will show my children the right and wrong ways to handle the issues in their own lives as well as the right and wrong ways to be a good person.  I spend much time showing my children how the people they hold dear to their hearts make good and bad choices.  It is important to me that they understand what it means to be human.  I am lucky that my children practice making good choices and have chosen decent people to look up to so far. Role models are only a bad idea if there is not someone in the child's life showing them where that role model is doing good and where he or she is making mistakes.

This storm of claiming parents are not doing their jobs if their child or children have role models outside of the home is just breath-taking.  We will never parent our children the same as the next person....but for the love of them all, shouldn't we spend more time raising our own then putting down other parents?  It is our job as a community to support one another.  Offer advice when it is asked for, pick up the slack when it is needed, and do your job with your own children...ensure our future can be well trusted in their hands!

I would LOVE to hear your opinion on role models and children....maybe some experiences you've had with your kids and their role models...good or bad.  When we share our experiences with each other...we are giving our children a better chance.....with educated parents!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween Mantel!

Now that my children are older and my daughter LOVES zombies (thank you Walking Dead!), I can get a little more scary and spooky with my decor!

You can view my post on the jars here: My Jars!

The frames were made with my Cricut Cartridge "Happy Hauntings" and there are many more cuts I want to try!  

The 8x10 is the "graveyard" cut at 6" tall.

The tombstones are individuals at 3" and 4".  I had to hand write the lettering because the cuts just didn't work out for this.  I think I need to replace my blade...not sure tho.

I bought the crow and material hanging on the wall at Walmart.  I found the glitter foam bats at Micheal's.  

The spiderweb tea lights I found at Target in two packs for a dollar.  The "beware" sign also came from Target in their dollar section at the front of the store.

"Happy Halloween" is another Cricut cut from the "Happy Hauntings" cartridge.  This was manipulated in the Craft Room software to just under 8" wide.  I used vinyl I bought from Pick Your Plum and it comes 8" wide.

I hope you enjoy the mantel as much as my kids do....the boys like to take the jars down and pretend to make spells....quite humorous if you ask me :).

~Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Halloween Themed Ingrediant Jars!

I walked by the Micheal's display of Halloween stuff several weeks ago and I fell in LOVE with the little jars they had for decor.  I decided to make a set of my that I could curb my Halloween Jar desires!!

Here is what I came up with :)

I found free printables by searching on Google for the term I wanted on my labels.  I printed them out and turned them into stickers (like all time favorite thing to do...ever!)

Web of Spider

I lucked out one day when my local Hobby Lobby had ALL their glass on sale for 50% off!  I got all the jars that are shared here for next to nothing!

I filled this jar with faux spider web, easy peasy!!

Moon Dust

This one was fun to do!  It is flour and white glitter!!  I filled the jar about 1/4 fullwith flour and poured quite a bit of the glitter....then I shook it like crazy!!!

Dragon Bones

I don't have any actual bones in here yet....still struggling to find something to fit the concept without being a food item :(

Graveyard Dust

Potting soil.....that's it!

Earth Worms

What ingredient set is complete without worms??  Finding faux worms has proved to be very difficult!  They either have a smell to them for fishing or they are god-awful expensive!

Cobra Venom

Now we moved on to to do this??  I enlisted the other half....he chose corn syrup and food coloring!  Genius this man is sometimes!

I filled this jar about a quarter full with corn syrup and then added green food dye until I got the desired color!


Another staple for any "good" witch!  We used the corn syrup again and decided to go with a purple-ly color so I added purple paint to corn syrup in this jar for the effect.

Zombie Virus

Just in case you wanted to clear out a population, there is always Zombie Virus!  This is one more corn syrup mix with a yellow tint.  I was going to go green with it....but we already had the Venom so I didn't want to over do it.

Jar of Eyes!

I decided not to label this one....mainly because the jar is something that stay on my mantel with every season and what goes inside changes.  These eyes are bouncing balls I found at Micheal's in the Halloween trinket section of the store.  Think I picked them up for 2/$5.

I hope to add to these for next year, and to seriously find the ingredients I am missing!  I am almost done with my mantel as a whole and will be sharing that tomorrow!! YAY!

Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Front Door

I'm just in love with this door!  I used re-positional vinyl that bought over the summer from Pick Your Plum and my Happy Hauntings Cartridge for my Cricut machine. 

The bats and tombstones are the base cuts for their respected cuts.  I welded the three gravestones together to make one cut.  The tree and pumpkins are layer cuts for the details.

Enter if you Dare is a pre-cut phrase included in the cartridge.  

I just love this!!!

My mantel is coming soon....struggling to find the "right" worms ;)

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Custom Fashion Divas!!!

I have embarked on a new endeavor with my mom and we have created a new company called Custom Fashion Divas!  Currently we operate on Facebook and Etsy and sell items that are custom fit to our customers.

Recently I have added BLING to items and have been dappling in local mascot spirit wear!

I am beyond excited about this and super excited about our first "craft" show in December!!

Come check us out:

Hope to see you all over there!!!  We are running a special for the month of October.....for every 50 new likes we get, we will give away a FREE infinity scarf....share the page to entry per day :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Pre-teen and a Cell Phone

One of the hardest decisions I have made from a parent's perspective is getting my 11 year old son a cell phone.  My opinion on parenting is not of the norm and that concept fell right in line with my pre-teen child having a cell phone.

Here is where I stood before I made the decision:  I didn't need a cell phone until I was doing a lot of things away from my parents.  It was meant to be a way for me to get a hold of them when needed and to contact my friends in lieu of a home phone.  In my home, we have a home phone.  To keep up with the texting hype, I allowed my son to get a Facebook so that he may "text" via that ap on our iPad.  So far, that has worked out very well.  When ever he asked when he would get a cell phone like his friends, we always replied, when we felt he needed it.  My intentions were always when he would start staying after school or something along that nature.

Here's what happened to push me to considering a cell phone for an 11 year old!
6th Grade happened.  Apparently, I am the ONLY one that doesn't think it's normal for a pre-teen to have a cell phone permanently attacked to their hand...ugh!!  So, whatever, my kid doesn't have a cell phone....he understands I assume we are gonna make it.  His dad and I start talking about maybe getting one for his birthday in April...MAYBE! (we are running out of gift ideas for this one anyway!).  So, no trouble, right??  WRONG!  The STAFF at his school have decided that it's also normal for pre-teens to have cell they have decided to start using apps...for assignment notification....ones that my son will be required to check daily.  Well one of two things is about to happen....1-I am about to share my phone with my son (I already share a computer with him and intend to buy him one very very soon...because this sucks!)...or 2-I am going to have to get my son his own phone!

Here's where I ended up:  Getting my my pre-teen a cell phone!!!  I can't share my phone with him!  I already have some of his friends texting me....forgetting that it is my phone...ugh...I've hated it!  Same deal with my app games....Frankly, I am not a good sharer!  For a little while I felt like I was caving in.  Like I was giving into peer pressure about how to parent to my son.  That led to much research....and the asking of opinions from other parents I trust.

I decided...well, we decided that we give in and get the boy a cell phone.  He is the oldest and could use some real testing in the responsibility department.  We broke down and got him an iPhone 4s (he's cool...I know!).  We also made him sign a contract.  This contract strictly states what I expect out of him in regards to how he uses his cell phone.  I read up on several "contracts" shared in the internet world.  There was one I really like that talked about the parents not wanting the child to become addicted or reliant on the phone for social interaction.  I didn't add something like this in my son's because I intend to teach him this by example.  I truly believe that our children learn more from us then any one wants to admit.  Take my kids' sheer genius in sarcasm for example....these kids are hilarious and use terms above what should be their understanding...and they do so very correctly!  They get that from my witty example ;)

Here is a copy of the contract we had our son sign before handing him his cell phone.  It is short, sweet and I think very too the point!

By signing this contract I, NAME, agree to the following items:
1. I will not use my phone to search for inappropriate material
2. I will not use my phone to take inappropriate pictures or videos
3. I will not text inappropriate text messages or participate in "sexting"
4. I will not use my phone to bully, tease or other wise be meant to another person
5. I will not text, call or use my phone after 9 p.m. without permission from my mom or dad
6. If my mother, father, or grandparents call me I will answer immediately
7. This phone belongs to my parents and can be taken away if I break this contract
8. I will respect this phone by keeping it safe and free from harm's way
9. If I break this phone, I understand I will pay to fix it
10. If I lose this phone, I understand I will pay to replace it
11.  I will not download anything to my phone without permission from a parent
12. I understand this phone is a privilege and that privilege can be revoked

So far, everything is going okay.  We have not allowed him to take it outside of the home unless he is with us.  I am very nervous about it getting broken.  Just a couple of days ago he went to a MLB game with a friend of ours and I had him leave it at home.  I might let him take it next time...might!

This whole thing makes me a nervous wreck of a parent!

~Happy Parenting

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We are Back at School!!!

After the 4th of creative juices ran out!!!  Every single effort I had to get them FAIL!  It was horrible!!  My blog suffered tremendously from it and half finished ideas are not going to be me...or you....anywhere!!!

It is with great pleasure that I announce my children are back in school...I am starting to feel normal again!  The frat style housing we lived in for 6 weeks is starting to disperse and normalcy is setting back in!  The boys are at school all day and at football practice all is once again a steady beat of busy!  The sister finally started "school" where she peer models for the special ed pre-school within our district.  Fours day a week 3 hours a day of glorious QUITE!

6th grade with the oldest has been weird but not as scary as I thought it would be as the summer set it.  He is managing well and the mother unit (me!) is keeping her head up as her children grow.

Here are my lovies on the first day!!

The oldest...looking sharp and making his momma proud!

I just love this smile of his!!

The whole crew!

 Yep kids....he's going to middle school!!!  The younger boys were rather lost after school this day because big brother wasn't in line with them!

These guys are the reason I do what I do!  Couldn't imagine my life without them!!

And because we make a big deal out of school shoe's the kicks ;)

I am excited to see what they learn....and praying I can climb out of my slump!!  My house is a cluttered mess, my mantle is still rocking "Independence Day" decor, and I am pretty sure there is dust on my craft's to a new school year folks!!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Baseball Party Cupcake Toppers

I know that everyone is gearing up for their 4th of July Parties....and I am too!  However, on Saturday, we have one of our end of season parties for one of our baseball teams :)  In preparation for this party, I am going a little overboard with the things I have been left in charge of!

I have put my Cricut to work this afternoon as well as several of my cartridges!

Here are the cupcake toppers I made for Saturday's party!

In the Sports Mania Cartridge, I found these baseballs.  I cut them at 2.5 inches tall.  I then added Varsity Letters Cartridge Numbers cut at 1 inch tall.  The numbers coordinate with the teams numbers :)

Do you remember the Eagle Wall Art I did a while back?  Well I scaled down the eagle from Team Spirit and made a single cupcake topper out of him!

To bring it all together, I spelled out the team name in the Varsity Letters!

I am working on a few more projects for this party, including some cupcake wrappers and table decor! :))

~Happy Party Time!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

4th of July Cricut FREE CUTS!

I love these deals!  Especially when Cricut reaches out to their users and offers cuts that are relevant to the current holiday!

There are a TON of free cuts for the 4th of July....and here is what I made with them :)

Check out the free cuts in the Cricut Craft Room or go to Cricut's Website to learn more!

I cut out the three layer flag pendant (times 4) and then cut 4 of the bottom layer to make my string of pendants.  Here is an up close look at them.  Note that the stars on the firecracker and phrase cuts are the cut out of the flag pieces (I'm such a genius sometimes lol)!

 The American Flag in the top picture was also a featured free cut....and I love it!

I happen to own the "Stand and Salute" Cartridge (a must have if you have a loved one in the military!) and it has a few of these free cuts on it.  The "4th of July" phrase is free but it is only single layer....therefore I use the "Stand and Salute" phrase to do this sign.

Get your last minute decorating on for Thursday....or Friday if you are anything like us! ;)

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!! (and yes, I meant to "yell" that!)


Monday, July 1, 2013

...when it's too HOT to Cook!

It's summer time and cooking in the house makes a steamy home....steamier!  I have a "open" a town house where "open" means that the oven is less than 10 feet from my TV.  So, when it's hot enough to fry an egg outside, the oven getting turned on inside is just NOT going to happen!

I asked my Facebook followers what they did for dinner when cooking just wasn't an option....
....and this what I have compiled!

Homemade Sandwiches (about 10 different ideas)
Crock Pot Meals (good grief the list is so long!)
Grilling (any good man can make this work every day, right?!)
Take Out (I'll find some afordable and filling places to go)

Starting on July 5th, I will be posting a "Too Hot to Cook" recipe and will be doing this every 3 days until the end of summer!

I am giving you a sneak peak at what we are working with and sharing with you what we ate last night.....when it was just too hot to cook!

Grilled Cheeseburgers!
We buy a box of meat from MoKan Steaks every month.  It costs us just under $200 and I probably can get a better deal some where else....but their meat is "Oh my Gosh!" good!  In their box of beef is a ton of pre-made hamburger patties!!  Super duper easy!

My fiance thaws them out, throws some seasoning on them and slaps them on the grill!

We coupled the cheeseburgers with salads and fresh fruit....such a win!  It took less than 20 minutes start to finish on preparing this meal, and the fiance only broke a slight sweat standing in front of the grill ;)

If you have any recipes that fit to serve the needs of us that refuse to cook when it's hotter than hell....please feel free to comment or email me about it!  I would love to try your idea and share it on the blog!

~Happy Eating!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rose earrings!

I ordered tiny plastic roses from The Plaid Barn not too long ago....and I finally figured out what I wanted to do with them!

I bought earring pieces and E6000 glue (apparently the best thing ever....and I'm just finding out!) and here's what happened :)

I'm in love! These are totally going on the etsy way can I keep these to myself ;)

~Happy Crafting!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Heathly "Fried" Chicken!

My youngest son turned 8 yesterday.....and he of course, got to pick dinner! 

These are his favorite chicken I thought I would share them with you!!  They are a huge a hit in this house (even with the Daddy) and the kids can help make them.

I got the recipe years before Facebook ran our lives and I do believe that it came from a kid friendly book.

Here's what you need:
Cheese It's 
Club Crackers
Chicken Breast (boneless and skinless)
A Pre-heated Oven to 425
A cookie sheet (or other baking pan)
two bowls

You will pour a good amount of milk into one bowl and the other bowl you will smash up the cheese it's and club crackers.  There is no rhyme or reason for how much you use.  I use 5 club crackers for 1/3 cup of cheese-its.  I smash mine in the bowl with the back side of my ice cream scooper.  If the kids are helping, I put the crackers in a sealed baggie and them smash away.

Once your chicken is sliced the way you want, you will submerge the chicken in milk before coating them with the cracker mixture!

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Serve with ranch, BBQ sauce or whatever your crew like to dip chicken in :)

Hope you love these as much we do!!

~Happy Eating!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baseball Tank

Here is a Pinterest inspired piece :))

I asked my FB readers what they wanted to see on the blog this week.....this tank was one of them!  I am a crazy baseball mom so this tank is super fitting!

I used a matte fabric paint for this project....I won't again!  I have always used the Tulip Satin fabric paint for projects like this in the past and when I make another one, that is what I will buy!

My supplies:
Lace Template
Red Fabric Paint
Sponge Brush
Racer Back Tank

In the picture, you will see a glitter paint.....I decided not use it because I am not 100% happy with the matte paint.  I will be making more of these because they are going on the Etsy Shop....when I decide to use the glitter, I will post it!

The template is homemade.  It is an old plastic placemat from my table!  I use these these all the time for a lot of projects.  I played around with a piece of paper to decide how I wanted the laces to look.  Then I used it to trace the lace pattern onto the mat, then I cut it out.

Here is a close of the laces at the top of the tank:

And the finished product!!

There were ideas flying last night at the ball fields to dress her name down the back, football versions....and they will all happen :)  When they do, I will totally share!!

~Happy Baseball Season!

Monday, June 10, 2013

"Man of the House" Cricut Father's Day Card!

Cut it Free!  My favorite feature on Cricut's Craftroom!  They have been good to the Cricut owners and are offering a select few of their Father's Day Cards for free!

This one is my favorite!  Both my mother and I have made this one for the men in our houses!  (Let's just hope he doesn't read the blog anytime soon!!)

There are a few cute ones that are also free....but if you want something else, there are even more in the Cricut Single Images Library for $1.99 each!  There are a couple I have my eye on...might have a Father in this house that gets more cards for one day then he does for the whole year!!

~Happy Planning!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer School....and why my kids go!

Every single year my kids fight about whether or not they are going to go to summer school.  It's the same story every year:  "mom, I don't need, I know everything," "My friend so and so isn't going," and my all time favorite, "summer school is boring!"
Yet every year, my kids go.  Period, end of story, it is happening!  Day One this year was yesterday and my kids came home with stories of friends, both old and new, awesome teachers and exciting plans for the rest of the month.
Summer school isn't boring, their friends do go and by golly YES, they need it!

A couple of years back, I was pursuing my secondary education degree ((another story for another day about why I decided to stop)).  I took a psychology of education course, probably my favorite course of all time for several reasons, but today I will tell about the one reason that you need to hear.
In this class I was assigned a topic to research and write a 15 page paper on.  That topic was about the arguments both for and against year round schooling.  This topic was extremely intriguing because I live in a state that does not have any district that follows a year round calendar.  We still adhere to the standard 9 month calendar with a two and half month summer vacation.

There are good and bad points for both sides but if I had to choose one, if I was willing to pack up my whole family and their lives to reach the choice I wanted most for them....year round school would win every single time.

Retention, retention, retention!
It is my opinion that retention is the biggest goal that schools in this country can't seem to master.  Teachers will spend the entire first quarter reviewing what was learned the year before....when a week or two should be all that is needed.  For some subjects, students will spend the better part of the year re-learning what was taught the year before.
My children do not need a two and half month vacation!  They need to not forget their math!  They need encouragement from more than just me to read during the summer.  Also, our district adds curriculum they don't get during the school year.  Extra science and social studies lessons that they wouldn't get otherwise.  This has always been the driving motivation for them to go.  The numbers and stats I saw during my research on year round schooling have kept me up at night.  My kids aren't getting that!  My kids  need that!!  They may hate me for the first week of June...but 20 years from now...they'll thank me...probably silently, to themselves, but still they will!

A lot of parents have good reason not to send their kiddos to summer school; lack of busing, early hours, vacations, etc.  All I have to say is this:  Keep retention at the forefront of your summer vacation!

Review math with flash cards, keep them reading, and every once and while pull out a hand full of scientific facts or social studies fun info for them to learn about.  It's the best thing you can do when summer school is not an option for your family!