Door Decisions

This week has been an exciting, yet exhausting week with all of the little decisions about the little and big details of the home.  Jeff and I have the same style when it comes to homes so we thought this home building would be a bit of a breeze.  However, through this building process we’ve realized we’re not good decision makers.

For example, we knew right away we wanted a craftsman door with straight panels and a small window at the top.  Come to find out, there are lots of those and that’s where we struggle, determining what we like best and sticking to that decision.  We’ve probably debated about a front door for a month now and have changed it weekly.  What color?  First we wanted dark wood, then changed to light wood, and finally decided on medium wood.

deciding on a front door

This is what I started out with and narrowed it down to a light, medium and dark for us to choose from.

deciding on a front door

The light color option

deciding on a front door

The medium option

deciding on a front door

The dark option

 

We both like the look of a dark door the best, however, thought a lighter door would look better with the whole house because it would be more of a contrast.  Then we took into account the white molding and weren’t sure the light wood would look good against that.  So, that’s how we ended up deciding on the medium wood.  I’d ask you what color you would go with but I’m not sure I want to know because I would probably agree with you and want to switch again!  And this is just the first detail of choosing a front door.

We had wanted a dental shelf from the get go and then the last day I realized I wouldn’t be able to hang wreaths on the door, and well, if you’ve been following my blog you’re well aware I have a lot of wreaths I’ve made that need a home!  So, no shelf anymore.

deciding on a front door

Here’s an example with a dental shelf, definitely don’t like the window detail, at least that’s one thing we know!

Side lights were a given until we realized they added $2000 to the cost and we had to let those go.

Lastly, the window.  Gridlines or none?  Vertical and horizontal?  Just vertical?  We went with two vertical grid lines that will create three vertical rectangles.

deciding on a front door

Here’s our door without the shelf, but it will be a darker wood and will have two vertical grid lines in the window.

You see why we’re exhausted.  All of this for one door.  One door, out of a large house, so you do the math and you’ll see why we have become horrible decision makers.  It’s depressing to think about how much brain power we’ve wasted on deciding a front door, which has no eternal significance whatsoever.

Instead of feeling guilty and depressed though, we reminded ourselves that God’s still working on us.   We’re determined to get better at making decisions and moving on so we can find some balance and not be consumed by the things of this world!

What decisions do you struggle with?

Space Birthday Menu

CELEBRATE.

Planning a space themed birthday party?  If so, why not have your snacks and party food match the theme!  Here’s what we decided on doing:

Pizza- Rockets

Funyuns- Saturn’s Rings

Cookie Crisp- Asteroids

Green Grapes- Alien Eyes

Milky Way Bars- The Milky Way

Cheese Puff Balls- Meteors

Green Licorice- Alien Antennas

Berries Cereal- Space Rocks

space birthday party food ideasspace birthday party food ideas space birthday party food ideas space birthday party food ideas space birthday party food ideas

After you get the food figured out for the outer space birthday party, you might want to check out the outer space games we played at the party.

Space Birthday Party Activities

CELEBRATE.

Now that Rylan’s seven, he’s very into activities to do at his party, so we had to make sure to have plenty for him and his friends to do.  He is pretty crafty and artistic like both of his parents, so naturally, several of the activities fell into that category.

SPACE COLORING

We started the party off with space coloring pages and mazes for the kids to do while we waited on everyone to show up.  This activity helps everyone warm up to each other too.

outer space birthday party activities

outer space birthday party activities

FOAM ROCKETS

Next the kids made rockets using foam stickers.  I had gotten these for next to nothing one year after summer at Hobby Lobby because I figured at some point, one of the boys would have a space themed birthday party.

outer space birthday party activities

outer space birthday party activities

outer space birthday party activities

outer space birthday party activities

MOON ROCK HUNT

To let the kids burn off some energy, we had a moon rock hunt.  The moon rocks were easter eggs covered in tin foil.  They actually looked more like baked potatoes than moon rocks but the kids didn’t seem to mind.

outer space birthday party activities

outer space birthday party activities

outer space birthday party activities

outer space birthday party activities

 

GALAXY PLAYDOUGH

I found this recipe for galaxy play dough and made some up ahead of time.  I went ahead and put different colored glitter in it too so there wouldn’t be a huge mess at the party.  My kids helped me mix the glitter in with the play dough.  At the party, we passed out baggies with the galaxy play dough in it and then each kid could make a galaxy picking out different gems (planets) to put in their play dough.  They seemed to have a good time!

outer space birthday party activities space birthday party game ideas outer space birthday party activities

 

If you want to check out some other parties of mine, here you go:

Rainbow Birthday Party

rainbow party planning

Watermelon Birthday Party

birthday party ideas watermelon

Batman Birthday Party

batman birthday party shirts

Monster Birthday Party

monster cakes

Monster Truck Birthday Party

how to make a monster truck birthday cake

Caterpillar Birthday Party

caterpillar and bug theme birthday party

 

Rocket Big Cookie

CELEBRATE.
rocket big cookie space party

I have a lot of parties to catch up on and I’m working backwards on them, so next up is Rylan’s space themed birthday.  For his seventh birthday, he asked for a big cookie instead of a cake so we decided on a rocket because we thought it would be fairly easy and what boy doesn’t like a rocket?

Now, the M&Ms were a last minute thing.  We wanted the design to be a surprise, so when Rylan went down for rest time, we got to work.  I was planning on just making the rocket out of icing, but when I went to grab the icing, I noticed the large jar of M&Ms out of the corner of my eye and it was like they were speaking to me… within seconds an idea was born and the plan was changed.

Game Plan:

1. Make a batch of your favorite cookie dough.

2.  Spread the dough out onto a circular stone.

We’ve only used stones to cook our big cookies because they’re supposed to cook more evenly, but I’m sure a regular cookie sheet would work, just might be harder to get the center cooked without the edges getting really done.

3.  Using different colored M&Ms, outline the shapes first and then fill in with remaining M&Ms.

rocket big cookie space party

rocket big cookie space party

rocket big cookie space party

rocket big cookie space party

4.  Cooking time is obviously longer for a big cookie, somewhere probably between 20-35 minutes.  We just kept checking on it every five minutes.

5.  After the cookie cools, use icing to write out a message or add any details to the rocket.

Halfway through cooking, Jeff thought of putting yellow M&Ms around the rocket to represent stars, so we yanked the cookie out and pushed them in!  What a great idea!

rocket big cookie space party

Rylan was so surprised with his rocket.  He loved the M&Ms and I thought it was perfect because it gave it more of a metal look.  It was also way easier than using icing to make the rocket!  We might just use this technique again!

astronaut big cookie

 

Here are some other posts of mine on cakes:

Layered Rainbow Cake

layered rainbow cake

Watermelon Cake

watermelon cake tutorial

Batman Cake

batman birthday cake

Monster Cakes

monster cakes

Minnie Mouse Cake

minnie mouse purple fondant cake

Vintage Fondant Cake

classic bridal shower cake

Sprinkle & Skittle Cake

one year old birthday cake

Caterpillar Cake

caterpillar and bug theme birthday party

Polka Dot Fondant Cake

instructions for making a polka dot fondant cake

Ice Cream Cake Roll

recipe for ice cream cake roll

Monogrammed Bridal Shower Cake

making a fondant cake for a bridal shower

Monster Truck Cake

how to make a monster truck birthday cake

Rainbow Birthday Party

CELEBRATE.

In case you’re wanting to throw a rainbow party, here’s some of the things we did to put together a fun rainbow party for Emden’s third birthday.

 

Rainbow Invitation

I made this invitation using Photoshop and then saved it as a 4×6 .jpeg file and had it printed off as a picture for 9 cents at Walmart.

rainbow birthday party invite

Rainbow Decorations

Balloons are always a must at our parties, and luckily, the balloon fairy always brings balloons for the party the night before.  Somehow, she always knows the colors of the party too!

rainbow party planning

Rylan loves to decorate for the party, so he went the extra mile and drew some rainbows on balloons!

rainbow party planning

Again, it’s always great when you’re able to let the kids help.  Rylan made a LEGO rainbow so we put it on the table and he was so proud!

rainbow party planning rainbow party planning rainbow party planning

 

Rainbow Party Favors

I found these rainbow bags at a garage sale for fifty cents.  They worked perfectly for holding a rainbow of goodies for the kids including: Starbursts, Skittles, rainbow stickers, glow sticks, and fun dip.

rainbow party planning

Rainbow Themed Food

rainbow party planning

Use a color assortment of fruits and veggies to create a rainbow and clouds

rainbow party planning

We brought out the gumball machine for the party because kids have so much fun with it. Rainbow goldfish are a perfect salty snack for a rainbow party.

rainbow party planning

Rainbow Twizzlers, Veggie Straws, Rainbow Marshmallows, Skittles, and Fruity Pebbles mixed into Rice Krispie Treats helped continue the rainbow theme

rainbow party planning

Assorted fruit slices were another rainbow candy treat we added to the spread

rainbow party planning

Rainbow cupcakes were pretty easy to make and just looked adorable. I would have went with a blue icing to represent the sky, but I had a raspberry white chocolate mix I wanted to use up.

rainbow party planning

This is how the cupcakes looked on the inside with different colors of cake batter

 

Rainbow Cake

easy to make rainbow cake

layered rainbow cake

Rainbow Activities

rainbow birthday party activity ideas

 

Rainbow Tattoos

My kids are usually tatted up throughout the year, so when a special occasion comes around, we definitely go all out.  Emden loved sporting all her new rainbow tattoos.  We tat our kids up before the party and save some to put on the other kids during the party.

rainbow party planning

Rainbow Wrapping Paper

Carry the rainbow theme into the presents by finding rainbow wrapping paper or just brightly colored wrapping paper and gift bags.  It makes for more festive pictures!

rainbow party planning

 

Rainbow Colored Dress

I always try to match our clothes to the color scheme of the party.  I don’t tend to buy anything unless it’s only a couple of dollars.  Emden already had a rainbow shirt, which is how I decided her party theme and the rest of us just wore bright colors.  I found my shirt for just $5 and knew I would wear it afterwards since I love color!  Oh, and the headband for Emden I made!

rainbow party planning

What other rainbow party ideas do you have that I missed?

 

Here are some other parties of mine you might want to check out:

monster party

monster cakes

watermelon party

watermelon cake tutorial

monster truck party

how to make a monster truck birthday cake

caterpillar party

caterpillar and bug theme birthday party

Batman party

batman birthday party shirts

 

 

Rainbow Party Activity Ideas

CELEBRATE.

In case you’re thinking about throwing a rainbow themed party, here are some ideas for activities that we did at Emden’s recent three year birthday party.

RAINBOW COLORING

We usually start with coloring because it’s a nice activity for kids to do while waiting for everyone to show up.  Plus, it’s an activity that is great for letting kids warm up to everyone being there.  I printed off some rainbow pages, Rainbow Brite pages, and Rainbow Dash coloring pages.

games for rainbow birthday party rainbow birthday party activity ideas games for rainbow birthday party

 

RAINBOW BRACELETS

Kids had the option of making rainbow bracelets out of colorful pipe cleaners and rainbow beads.  I used pipe cleaners because they’re a lot easier for little ones to string beads onto.

rainbow birthday party activity ideas

 

RAINBOW HOT AIR BALLOON PLASTIC PERLER FUSE BEADS

I had found some perler bead sets on sale and got them for next to nothing.  The pattern was a hot air balloon and I thought it went well with the theme.  My kids who are 3, 4, and 7 love making these at home and will spend an hour sitting there making a shape.  However, it was a bit challenging for 3 year olds who had never done them before and even the older ones struggled.  It was also a bit more challenging for a party setting because there’s not as much time and some of them lost interest.  I think it would be a great activity for older kids or at a party where you had lots of time to do the activity.

rainbow birthday party activity ideas

rainbow birthday party activity ideas rainbow birthday party activity ideas rainbow birthday party activity ideas rainbow birthday party activity ideas rainbow birthday party activity ideas rainbow birthday party activity ideas rainbow birthday party activity ideas

 

Here are some other posts of mine on Emden’s rainbow party:

Rainbow Layered Cake

layered rainbow cake

DIY Rainbow Peeps

diy marshmallow peeps

 

Layered Rainbow Birthday Cake

SAVE MONEY.

Our kids will probably never know what it’s like to have a fancy store bought cake.  I just can’t bring myself to dish out the money to buy one, especially since I stay at home and have the time to make one.  It would most likely be a different story if I was working, because then it probably wouldn’t be worth my time.  Plus, my husband has a fond memory of his mom making all his cakes and so, thus far, we’ve opted for homemade as a way to save money and to offer to our kids as a labor of love.easy to make rainbow cake

Usually Jeff and I make the cakes together, but because of time constraints, that didn’t happen this year and I honestly think it suffered a bit, but hey, the kids didn’t notice and if the birthday girl loves it, then I’ve done my job!

I fell in love with this cake the first time I saw it because it’s just flat out fun!  I knew at some point, one of our kids would have to have a rainbow party.  Emden had a rainbow shirt that fit her this year, and so, a rainbow birthday party was decided on.  She has been looking forward to it this entire year, but I left the cake a surprise to her.

This cake ended up being easier than I anticipated because Wal-Mart had prepackaged color cake mixes I snatched up.  I gotta be honest, I hesitated pulling them off the shelf because I felt like I was cheating or something, then I came to my senses and figured why wouldn’t I want to save myself a step.

Supplies:

  • identical round  cake pans
  • colored cake mixes (or divide your own cake batter and color with food coloring)
  • white icing
  • skittles
  • rainbow sprinkles
  • miniature marshmallows
  • Airhead Rainbow Strips

Game Plan:

1.  Make the individual cakes. 

I didn’t have identical sizes of cake pans, so I had to do one at a time.  It didn’t take as long as I thought because after I stuck one in the oven, I started making the next cake batter so it would be ready to go.  I made all the cake layers a couple days ahead and froze the cakes to save me some time later.  I didn’t want really thick layers of cake because I didn’t want it to be a gigantically tall cake so I had cupcake liners ready to go and poured a small bit of batter into each of the 12 cupcakes.

2.  On party day, I pulled out the cakes around 10AM and the party was at 2:30.  Lay down one layer, ice on top of it, then place on the next layer, then ice on top of it, and repeat until you’re done with all of your layers.  Make sure to put the top layer of cake so that it is upside down because it will make for a smoother cake top.

easy to make rainbow cake

3.  Cover the entire cake with white icing and smooth the icing.

I actually didn’t have time to do this step this time!

easy to make rainbow cake

4.  Cover the top with rainbow sprinkles.

5.  Place Skittles around the bottom of the cake to create a nice border.

6.  Make a rainbow using Airhead Rainbow Strips and miniature marshmallows for clouds.

I made a triple rainbow since she was turning three.

7.  Pipe on a name or message.

8.  Take lots of pictures of everyone enjoying the cake at the party!  The real surprise is when you cut into it!

 

easy to make rainbow cake

layered rainbow cake

layered rainbow cake

layered rainbow cake

layered rainbow cake

layered rainbow cake

If you’re looking for ideas for some other cakes, here’s ones we’ve done:

Monster Cakes

monster cakes

Minnie Mouse Cake

minnie mouse purple fondant cake

Vintage Fondant Cake

classic bridal shower cake

Sprinkle & Skittle Cake

one year old birthday cake

Caterpillar Cake

caterpillar and bug theme birthday party

Polka Dot Fondant Cake

instructions for making a polka dot fondant cake

Ice Cream Cake Roll

recipe for ice cream cake roll

Monogrammed Bridal Shower Cake

making a fondant cake for a bridal shower

Monster Truck Cake

how to make a monster truck birthday cake

DIY Jello Peeps

SAVE MONEY.  DECORATE.

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted party details, but the parties still happened, I just didn’t blog about them.  Since we just recently had one for our little Emden who turned three, I thought I would share some of the things we did in case you were wanting to throw a rainbow party as well.  Do know, I stole most of these ideas off of pinterest so I take no credit for them!

Today I’m sharing on one treat that I almost didn’t end up doing because the day was so crazy.  However, I’m glad I did because lots of people commented on how good they were.  They’re basically Peeps, except they’re not in a cool shape but to make up for that, they are packed with way more flavor than your average Peep.  The process is really easy to do and would be fun to do with kids.  I unfortunately didn’t have enough time to let them help with the process because we all know things take longer with kids and frankly, we were down to minutes!

Supplies:

  • large marshamallows
  • jello in the flavors/colors you want
  • plastic bags for as many colors/flavors you want to do
  • platter
  • bowl of water

Game Plan:

1. Pour the jello powder into a plastic bag.

I used gallon size bags so I could do several marshmallows at the same time.

jello flavored marshmallows

2. Dip your marshmallow in the bowl of water so it gets completely wet.



jello flavored marshmallows

3. Toss the wet marshmallow into the plastic bag with the jello powder.

I chose to do 8-10 at a time with about half a bag of the powder, you could probably do more and you definitely could just do one at a time, but it would take longer.

jello flavored marshmallows

4. Seal the bag and then shake it until all marshmallows are coated.

5.  Take the marshmallows out and sit on a platter to let dry.

6.  If you want multiple colors/flavors, use a different bag for each.

7.  Once dry, toss the coated marshmallows in a bowl, on a platter, on a stick, whatever you think up!  

diy marshmallow peeps

These are so much fun- full of color and flavor!  I think the adults enjoyed them as much as the kids!

You’ll notice I had to move the pretty rainbow display of marshmallows into a bowl because I needed the platter for the fruit rainbow and all my other platters were packed up.  Oh well, still colorful in a bowl!

diy marshmallow peeps

 

 

If you’re looking for ideas on parties, here are some other posts you might want to check out:

Batman Birthday Party

batman birthday party shirts

Watermelon Birthday Party

watermelon birthday party

Caterpillar Birthday Party

caterpillar and bug theme birthday party

Monster Truck Birthday Party

how to make a monster truck birthday cake

Monster Birthday Party

monster cakes

Tuesday Tip: Store Kid Kitchenware Down Low

SAVE TIME.

I almost didn’t make this post today because of absentmindedness.  Even though the kids are down which signals I’m off the clock, I’m going to make an exception and work on this post so I don’t mess up my blogging streak.

kids in the kitchen

Since it’s Tuesday, I thought I’d throw a quick tip at you that could save you some time if you have little ones or even little grandkids.  Instead of placing the items kids use to eat with up high, find a drawer or cabinet to keep them in that’s down low where they can reach.  This simple relocation of items makes such a huge difference.

  1. Kids get the choice of picking out what plate, fork, cup, etc. they want and *bonus* you don’t have to stand there waiting on them to decide or have to say no when they change their mind from wanting a blue plate to an orange plate.
  2. Kids can easily set the table on their own.  All you have to do is put the adult plates and cups on the counter within their reach.
  3. Putting away the clean dishes from the dishwasher can almost be completed without any adult supervision

Yes, the drawer will not probably be as neat or organized as you may like, but it’s a great way to give them ownership and responsibility in the home, plus you can just shut the drawer and pretend like you didn’t see anything!

Now that you have a few less tasks on your hand, what are you going to do with all that time?

tips for teaching kids responsibility

House Plans

So with building a house, comes lots of planning.  I know this sounds dreadful to most, but planning excites me.  Today though, I’m not actually going to get into the nitty gritty of our house plans but in case that’s what you were hoping for, here’s a little something for you:one floor plan

 

Don’t get me wrong, the picture above does get me excited, but as Jeff and I continue to grow in Christ, we are spending more and more time asking God what His plans are for this home and our lives.  We feel God letting us in on a little secret that there’s more to this life than just having kids, doing the right thing, building a dream home, and living the good life.  All those things are great and blessings from Him, but we’re beginning to see that there’s so much more God wants for us.

Warning, if these next several paragraphs sound confusing and contradictory, they most likely are, that’s where we are right now.  We wonder how much should we spend on a home when it doesn’t come with us to Heaven.  Should we sell it after we build it and buy something smaller so we will have more money to be able to give to others?  Should we buy nice fixtures we’ll be happy with forever or go cheaper to save money?  So many questions and our answers to them seem to change daily.

Originally, our plan when starting the house planning was building a home we would grow old in together and fill with grandkids, etc.  A nice, perfectly fine thought and still a dream of mine, however, the dream seems pretty selfish now because it’s only about OUR family.  God is showing us there’s more He wants from us and more He wants to give us.  So, the real house planning has started.  If we’re going to spend a significant amount of God’s money on this home, how are we going to use it to glorify Him?  How will we use our home to grow God’s kingdom?

After much discussion and praying, we have decided to still build like it is our forever home and it would be wonderful if we could stay there next to our friends.  However, we want to remain open to God’s plans for our lives, and if he is calling us to a different home, we pray we can let go of it.  If we’re ineffective in reaching out to others in that location or find we’re spending too much time on maintaining the home or yard, we want to be willing to let it go.  We no longer want to live lives all about us, but ones that are all about Him.

As of right now, we hope to use our home to house missionaries on furlough who need a place to stay and call home.  We also hope to be able to reach out and help out individuals or families who need to get back on their feet and through that process show them God’s love and disciple them.  We also want our home to be a hub for our kids’ friends where God’s love is talked about and shown to them.  When our kids get older, we hope to have foreign exchange students stay with us for a year and through that, share Christ with them.  We will continue to use our home to fellowship with fellow believers and help the church body connect with one another.  We hope to invite new church attendees over for dinner so we can get to know them.  And maybe, just maybe, we will fill our home with more children, not because we want more children, but because God calls us to take care of the widows and orphans and this verse we’ve been wrestling with from James 1:27

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

What are all the logistics of those things.  NO IDEA!  We haven’t gotten that far and frankly, God has a lot of work to do on us before we can do those things successfully.  However, we won’t ever be perfectly ready to take this on, we just have to be willing.  We know God will fill in the gaps for us–He’s the one who does the real work, the work of saving.  We just have to be willing to take the jump!

What plans do you have for your home?

Are those the same plans God has for it?

What about your life?

Does your life plan align with God’s?

What ways might God be asking you to take a leap of faith?