Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Party

My husband is a self-proclaimed movie nerd so Oscar season is kind of his "March Madness" (except it's in February...and is not anywhere near as fun as college basketball - but that's a subject for another post).

Anyway, so Erik loves old films, foreign films, and critically-acclaimed dramas (with the occasional "Nacho Libre" thrown in). Any time I happen to be out in the evening, I can almost always guarantee that I'll come home and get to hear about the latest foreign "masterpiece" he's just viewed. I love watching most of these with him, but there are a few where I just have to draw the line of boredom. Plus I'm one of those multi-tasking movie-watchers...I can't just sit and watch. And it's very hard to craft and read subtitles at the same time.

So this year we decided to have an Oscar party with some of our college/work friends. And to make it a bit more fun, we asked people to dress up like characters from any of the nominated films. We kind of thought we'd get a lot of Mark Zuckerbergs in jeans and a hoodie, but were pleasantly surprised at the awesome costumes people showed up in:

Adam & Tara as "Ken" & "Barbie" from TS3

 Greta & Michael from "127 Hours" - Michael (as "Aron Ralston") sucked on some Mello Yello in his Camelback...just to keep it (almost) real

 Amanda & Tim as "Queen Elizabeth" and "King George VI"

Our costume winners: Debbie as "Alice in Wonderland" (in a dress she made!) and Jake as "Rooster Cogburn"

 Erik came as "Dicky Eklund" from The Fighter (which we haven't seen, but E thought he could pull off the emaciated Christian Bale character) and I was "Mol" from Inception

 The kids (who were up just long enough for Hootie to be scared of Rooster Cogburn) were supposed to be dressed as "Big Baby" and "Bonnie" from TS3, but we had some tears over having to wear a tutu, so neither dressed up and both looked shocked and confused about all these weird-looking people in our home.

We actually did see several of the movies nominated this year, and were so pleased that "The King's Speech" won Best Picture. It's a fantastic movie & Colin Firth (a.k.a. the TRUE "Mr. Darcy") was amazing in it.

And just a little plug here, although he hasn't done a lot of recent reviews, my husband has a fantastic movie blog where he reviews films from a Christian perspective here. Check it out!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Worship Note

Belsen Cross 2 b&wphoto © 2006 Jason | more info (via: Wylio)

We will gather this Sunday to worship the triune God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Our worship is made possible by the Son, Jesus Christ, who through His sacrifice has brought us into the presence of God (I Peter 3:18, Heb. 10:19-20). It is on that basis we will enter into worship. 

We also recognize Jesus is our great High Priest (Heb. 8:1-2, 10:21, and other verses in that letter). We worship God through Him. 

Among the many other biblical testimonies to Christ and His role in our lives and worship:
He is “our life” (Col. 3:4); 
He is our “all” (Col. 3:11); 
He is the “author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:2); 
He is our “Advocate with the Father” (I John 2:1).

As we worship God and seek to practice God-centeredness in corporate worship this Sunday, we will do so only because of our perfect Savior and His perfect work for us.
(written by my father)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baby Food Jar Recycling

Now that Mookie is eating lots of baby food, I have all these cute little jars sitting on my counters because I just can't bear to throw them away. So I've been looking for some fun ideas to recycle and reuse the jars. At the bottom of this post are some different tutorials from around the web, but first I wanted to share a little project I made last night.

Personalized Tea Light Holders

These are so super easy, and I had all the supplies on hand.

 You'll need:
small jar(s)
spray paint in desired color(s)
painter's tape
alphabet stickers
tea light candles

 First, put your stickers in the desire location on the jar. You could then paint the whole jar, or tape it off like I did so you just have one strip of paint in the middle.

Then spray jar with one or two coats of spray paint (thin coats - you don't want it to run & drip on the jar).

After it's very dry, remove tape and stickers. Super easy! If any paint got outside the lines under the tape, just scrape it w/ your fingernail.

I then put a little ribbon around the top and secured with double-sided tape (or you could use hot glue).
Insert tea light and you're done!
These would be fun for a luncheon or dinner party as place cards / favors.

Other Jar Ideas:

This is so adorable! I actually don't have a pin cushion, so this is definitely bookmarked in my "To Make" folder. Check out the tutorial at Craft Pudding.

These baby shower favors are so brilliant! They made their own cute labels to go on the jar - check it out at The Lacey Place.

I am totally in love with this Jar Light Strand by The Little Apartment. She painted the jars, then put them on a strand of lights. How do people think of this stuff? She also has a great Magnetic Spice Rack tutorial (also made from baby food jars).

Ashley at Make It and Love It made these sweet treat jars and has some great ideas & a tutorial here. Change the decor and candy a little and they would be great for any kind of party.

Rachel at Nest Full of Eggs made these cuties with a little chalkboard paint.

Rachel also made this super fun "I Spy Jar." This would be great for the Level 3 jars, and is a great way to use the many tiny toys you might find randomly lying around your house...I know it's not just me.

Finally, Janna and her daughter made these cute Teacher Vases. I love how she made a cute gift that also included a lot of hands-on involvement from the gift-giver.

Leave me a comment with other fun ideas for reusing jars!

Linking up at:

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


When Hootie turned 3 last year I made some star-shaped crayons for her and her BFF and LOVED the process of melting down the crayons and seeing them become a fun shape.

Sooo I decided to make a few sets for the shop. I have such crafting ADD - I don't know how people make the same thing over and over again. I guess that's the secret to success, but I just can't do it. So I make a little of this, a little of that. 

There are just a few sets, so be sure to check them out HERE.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ministry Update - Evance

Each Tuesday I'll be updating the blog with info from Royal Kids School, the school benefited by our support of E3 Kids International.

Today I wanted to highlight one of the students whose life has been changed by the opportunities afforded him at the school.

Name: Evance Otieno 
Gender: Male
Career Aspiration: Surgeon

When you look at Evance, you see a miracle child! When he first arrived at Royal Kids School three years ago they were not sure they would be able to keep him due to many sickness issues. He didn’t look as if he would last another month, but after feeding him well, showering him with tons of love, we’ve seen God revive this young man. He is called “Professor” because of his glasses. His parents both died of HIV. 

He is one of the eight upcoming high school students the school is sponsoring. Before leaving this month to go to high school, six of the eight were boarding at the school, and helped with its daily running. They helped the kitchen staff and also helped the current eighth grade students with their studies. 

Be sure to check out the shop - 100% of the profits go to benefit kids like Evance!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Make Your Own Calzone

When I was growing up my family would occasionally have "French Bread Pizza Night" when we would each make our own pizza on a large slice of bread and bake it. I still remember loving the opportunity to put just what I wanted on my pizza, so we do that in our family now, only we do it with calzones.

My college volleyball coach did this with us once, and I've loved it ever since. It's a great recipe for a large group - just have everyone bring a topping.
 Unless you're totally awesome and make your own dough, you'll want to pick up a bag of frozen loaves. We normally get 2 and 1/2 calzones (enough for 2 adults, 1 preschooler) out of 1 loaf. Put your loaf/loaves in the fridge overnight to thaw (or do it in the microwave according to pkg directions - this is the method employed by forgetful people like me).

Prepare toppings. Luckily the "Cheese Fairy" (aka my mom) had been to our house the week before, so we had every possibly variety of cheese on hand. I also put out bacon, ham, pepperoni, spinach, peppers, pesto, spaghetti sauce and some spices (other options include: pineapple, sausage, onion, tomato, mushrooms, etc).
You'll also want a small dish of water and one egg, lightly beaten.

Put out some foil, spread flour on top, then take a section of dough and work it w/ your hands until it's a thin rectangle (try not to work it so much that it starts to get holes in it).

 Once you have your rectangle, start placing toppings on one half. I like to spread a bit of sauce on both halves (don't overdo the sauce or it will make a mess).

Take a break to discuss with daughter why eating flour is not a good idea.

 Take picture of crazy husband.

 When you have your toppings on, spread a bit of water all around the edge of your dough, then fold one side over to meet edge of other side. Press down all around to seal edges. Then top with egg wash and spices. We make sure to be creative in topping ours so they are easily recognizable.

Bake for 20 minutes (or until a nice golden color) on 375 degrees.
Serve with warm spaghetti sauce.

Have any other fun recipes to share? I'd love to find more ideas that are hands-on for the whole family. Leave me a comment if you do!

Linking up at:

Show and Tell Green

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Worship Note

Each week my dad, a pastor in VA, sends a "Worship Note" to his congregation and also to our family. They are such an encouragement to me in preparing my heart for worshiping with other believers on Sunday, so I thought I'd share them on Saturdays here:
Devil's Tower at sunrisephoto © 2006 B D | more info (via: Wylio)

We will gather for joy this Sunday. 

Psalm 92:4 says, “For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.” 

We will join together in worship because our joy is in Christ and without Him there is no true joy. The greatest thing that our great God has done is to bring glory to Himself by reconciling enemies to Himself through His Son. 

Indeed, He has made us glad. 

We will gather as the body of Christ to express our joy to God and to encourage one another in that joy. 

We will worship as those who share with one another the joy of participating together in the gospel (Philippians 1:3-5). 

May we come rejoicing, prepared to express our joy to God for His glory.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Better Life Blog

Today I'm guest-posting over at Better Life Blog

Rebecca runs an Etsy shop (Better Life Bags) and makes the cutest custom bags, bibs, etc. I've never met her in person, but she has quickly become a sweet friend and a huge encouragement and inspiration to me.

If you take a couple of minutes to check out her blog, you'll definitely see what I mean.

I first discovered her through her tutorial for Photo Flip Book using some prayer cards she made to pray for her husband. She offers these for free to followers of her blog. Even if you're not going to make the charts, the cards are so great - packed w/ truths from Scripture, each of the 31 days has a different emphasis. They would make a great gift for a new bride, but have also been a great encouragement to me and the women I gave the calendars to for Christmas.

She also makes some great bags:

More than any of these things, though, I just really love her heart for the Lord. It's so evident in her desire to help others through her shop and blog. And her Christmas post will blow you away - such humility and service. 

She just had baby #2 a few weeks ago, so she isn't currently making bags, but will be starting up again soon. I encourage you to hop over there today, take a look around, and become a follower of Better Life Blog.

Thanks Rebecca!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Uncalendar, or How to Overcome "Mommy Brain"

After I had my first child 3+ years ago a midwife friend of mine told me that your brain shrinks during pregnancy and, although research indicates that you regain that lost brain function after a few months, I'm not so sure...

Now with 2 kids I feel like an important part of me is missing. Yes, my memory. It's virtually non-existent at times. And when talking to friends with young children, it's like a carousel of memory dysfunction. 

With a busy schedule, blogging, crafting, running a shop, meal-planning, church activities, birthdays, etc. to keep track of, it's a recipe for a perfect storm.

Enter the Uncalendar.

This calendar has been one of my best friends since college. It's a perfect combo of right/left brain organization. It's undated, so no matter when you start you still get a full year's use out of it.

It doesn't have times already written in, so you can adapt it to your own needs and your schedule.

 Each week has a page on the right for dates and events, and a page on the left for notes, graphs, lists, doodles, etc.

 The middle section has a year's worth of blank monthly calendars.

And the back has several more note sections, with lists, graph paper, etc.

I go back and forth each year between the full-size version (pictured above) and the 1/2-size. I like that the 1/2-size is more portable, but the extra space in the larger one is great to have as life gets busier.

Let me assure you, I'm getting nothing from the company for this post and they have no idea I'm writing this. I just really love my Uncalendar and love to share things that help me organize my life, thereby freeing me up to do the things I want to do. 

If you're interested, check them out here.

I'm linking up at:

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Sweet Valentines

This was a special Valentine's Day because I now have 3 sweet family members to share the day with. It was also a lot of fun to celebrate the holiday with Hootie, who could enjoy it a lot more this year.

 We started the day with a special breakfast - Nutella Croissants (we are HUGE Nutella fans around here).

The weather was gorgeous so Mookie sat in the doorway and watched his big sister play outside in the dirt (one of her favorite pastimes).

 Then we got the house and ourselves ready for Daddy to come home and have a special family Valentine's dinner. Hootie wore her tutu and helped me pick out a pretty "ballerina dress" to wear for Daddy.

 I'm still finding glitter all over the place, but she loved helping w/ the decorations.

At dinner we went around the table and told each other what we loved about each family member. The Mook mostly just smiled and gurgled, which we took as sounds of love. There are few things more precious than hearing a 3-yr-old tell you what she loves about her brother, her daddy, and you. 

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us." - 1 John 3:16

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Royal Kids School

Every Tuesday I'll be updating the blog with information about the ministry we're currently supporting. Right now that is Royal Kids School in Mombasa, Kenya. All profits from the sales in the Radical Crafts shop through the end of April will go to the fund to build the boarding students a new dormitory.
In order to know exactly what you're supporting, here's a bit more info from E3 Kids' website:

"The Vision of Royal Schools is to assist families, regardless of their ability to pay, in equipping students to develop their individual gifts, academically, spiritually, physically and socially, and to do so in a manner that brings honor and glory to God."

School Stats:
Founded:  January 2000
Enrolled Students:  400
Scholarship Students:  120
Full-Time Boarding Students:  22
High School Boarding Students:  16

Just a few months ago they finished raising money for a well and were able to complete the work so that the school could have clean water on the premises, instead of having to haul it. This has obviously made a huge difference in the operation of the school, and I'm confident that our work in raising money will also have a big impact.

In addition to the dorm, which I've already highlighted, the school is in need of finished classrooms. You can see the amazing difference between one of the old classrooms and a new one (both pictured below):



Please keep this school and their work in your prayers - the teachers and staff make huge sacrifices in order to be able to give these kids a chance at an education and to equip them to make a difference.