Spiders on Their Webs Snack

My husband currently does pest control. While studying for his different licenses, he would read our daughter his training materials (yeah, I know. There's a chance we may win the Nerdiest Parents of the Year award, but she really did like them... even beg to have them read to her). She in particular loves spiders. So, last year, for a preschool meet up that I hosted, the kids learned about the letter S and the number 8 and ate these delicious little treats. I thought now was a good time to share them with you.

Spiders on Their Webs Snack

Jumbo Marshmallows
White Chocolate Chips
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Pretzel Sticks

Will also need: 
Wax paper
2 Microwavable bowls

1. Melt Semi Sweet Chocolate
2. Place Marshmallow on skewer, dip in chocolate.
3. Put 8 pretzel sticks into chocolate-marshmallow spider body so they look like legs and place on wax paper while chocolate sets.
4. Melt White Chocolate.
5. Lay pretzel sticks on wax paper in the shape of giant astericks and drizzle white chocolate over sticks so they look like webs.
6. For fast enjoyment place snack in freezer for 3 minutes so chocolate will set faster.
7. Enjoy!

This was the messiest part of this snack... adding the pretzel sticks to the mallow.
This part was a little tricky... the chocolate wanted to fall much thicker than the thin web I had envisioned... But it still turned out looking like a web.
You know their good when your ham of a daughter is too into her snack to want to pose for the camera.
These were so good! Is it okay if I confess to grabbing a left-over marshmallow, a handful of chocolate chips and some pretzel sticks and eating them together just about every time I walked through the kitchen for the weeks following this snack?? Yep. I so did.

Mallow, chocolate chips, pretzels... I think we are onto something good here. Makes me think of sweet and salty s'mores... oh yeah!

I'd love to know:
What treats do you make around Halloween for your family?

Happy Snacking :)


Linking up at these wonderful places:


Holy Week: "Searching Our Hearts"...For Kids!

Today for our preschool time, Addy and I talked about searching our hearts for things that we need to get rid of. See the previous post.

Since we are on the letter "E," an egg can be used to represent our heart (spiritually), and egg hunts are just downright fun, I made some things that I thought Addy could understand and recognize as things that we need to get out of our hearts and put them in the eggs.
That's the "Preschool Wall" in my Cabinet of Awesome. Click if you want to check out the whole cabinet. I love it!

I just wrote on a super official piece of white paper using an even more official purple crayon, and, of course, that purple crayon was in the hand of a master drawer.  You like my angry face? Ha! Since she's 3, I just came up with 4 things.

I cut them out, folded them up and place one in each egg.

I added an extra egg into our hunt. I wanted one egg to represent having Jesus in your heart. Since having Jesus in your heart is pretty sweet and candy is sweet, I put a candy in one egg.

I hid the eggs.

Addy went out and found them.

Then we gathered them up and talked about our findings.

Sometimes we get bad stuff in our hearts. We need help to not be mean, jealous... We need Jesus to come in and empty our hearts of the bad stuff. Jesus will live in our heart if we ask Him to.

We prayed and asked for help. Mommy prayed for help too.


I love teaching Addy about Jesus.

DIY Cabinet of Awesome

As a warning, I have this love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I love being inspired. I love having a place to store my ideas.


I hate when I research how to do something, invest money to make it happen, spend hours of work on it, have to improvise because nothing is ever as simple as one picture makes it look, and then someone says, "Oh, you got that from Pinterest" as though I saw one picture, clicked it, and it magically appeared. No I did not get it from Pinterest. I got it from blood, sweat, and tears. And not that I think I am so wonderfully intelligent and unique that no one else can think up the same idea on their own or that I am spontaneously inspired without any originating ideas, but lots of my ideas formed in my own mind. My projects belong to inspiration, research, creativity and hard work. Pinterest can share ideas, Pinterest can inspire, but please don't give it all the credit. Okay, rant over. Apparently I felt the need to be raw and human and a little prideful. Please, tell me I am not the only one that feels this way.

So, you have been warned, don't look at this DIY and comment with a "Wow, you got this from Pinterest." I may just "rawr" at you. Ha!

That said, the idea for this project started from need. I needed somewhere to store my scrapbooking stuff, I had it spilling out from under my bed. I needed somewhere to put all my sewing and crafting stuff. What started out as 2 neat drawers in a plastic storage unit in the corner of my room, taking up a mere 2ish square feet, became piles of fabric, ribbon, craft stuff stuffed into paper bags and the now-crammed drawers and spilling out into my room... multiplying square footage of messiness exponentially. Michael, now in a schooling program full-time, needed to use our front closet for his uniforms... the closet where I placed all of Addy's games and preschool stuff. The place where I had hung our preschool cork boards was not my brightest moment.  It has push pins, and it is well within reach of a toddler's grasp. (I found this out at a preschool meet up at my house when 3 of my friends had toddlers and immediately 3 sets of chubby little baby hands were drawn to the cork boards and their push pins... a small nightmare. Sorry friends! But thanks for making me all the wiser.)

It needed to be large enough to house all of my stuff. Pretty enough to be located in my dining area. Functional enough to somehow hide preschool learning time and easily pull it back out. Also, it needed to be inexpensive. Could one piece of furniture really meet all these needs?!

Need made me begin to search the internet and, yes, Pinterest, in search of solutions.

Armed with an arsenal of ideas, I hit the thrift stores in search of the perfect cabinet unit.

I found this piece. (Sorry, I once again forgot to take a good "before" picture. I remembered after I had taken it apart.) I wasn't drawn to this piece because I thought it was pretty. I was drawn to it because it met my need of function. I knew I could add the pretty later.

It's a mission-style, dresser cabinet. It has a couple pieces of pressed wood, but the bulk of it is solid wood. It is well-made, though well-worn. Drawers and doors were sturdy built. My favorite part: the cabinet doors closing mechanism is a magnet grip that makes it hard to open... my kids are not going to be able to open this thing for a few years!

I started this project by cleaning the cabinet with a mild degreaser. I took out the drawer pulls. Since I knew I wanted knobs, I filled in the drawers that had 2 holes with wood filler.

I patch up the major dings with wood filler. I let the wood filler dry over night and then sanded it till it was smooth with wood surface. I scuffed up the cabinet with a sanding pad, but later found out the primer I purchased was good enough to not need to sand first (Look for Zinzer 1 2 3 Primer if you want to not have to sand too).

I primed the cabinet. It took two coats.

I enrolled my father-in-law to help me with the glazing. I wanted it to be a blue color that picked up the light and dark blue in my curtain fabric. It took more samples than I think I could count to get it right. The paint I picked out was the wrong color. I had in my head that my curtains had turquoise in them. Definitely not. It was a dulled blue. I think my dad spent 4 days and 4 hours each day trying to get the color right for me. Thank you Dad for being so patient with me!

I applied the glaze using a positive application (meaning I added some glaze and then used my brush to hit against the paint to move the glaze over the piece. I went back and lightly brushed it so there was subtle brush strokes in one direction. This took a little practice and some extender so the glaze didn't start to dry before I was done with a surface). I messed up the entire cabinet once because I didn't thin my glaze enough. It ended up clumpy looking and way darker than I wanted. I messed up my cabinet doors and had to repaint them when the glaze dried before I was done applying it to door and I ended up with lots of patches of heavy and light glazing. I definitely got to that point where I felt like, "I am just SO over this."

I made a very translucent glaze out of my green/gold paint that I used on this project. I applied it where I thought the sun might have faded the cabinet.

It was so worth it to try out glazing. I love the depth this cabinet has. This cabinet is not just a color like it would have been had I just picked one paint color I liked and slapped it on. It ended up being a work of art marked with my own signature brush strokes. The lighter color comes through. The darker color is subtle. The very faint patches of green/gold are barely visible but add the appearance of a sun-aged piece of furniture. The brush strokes are suggestive of wood grain.

Glazing was frustrating, but it was also fun. I felt like a painter and the cabinet was my canvas. I got to be creative and even daring without having to be a talented artist that can actually paint murals or even just a 8 by 10 canvas. I am so not that person. But glazing kind of let me be. I enjoyed that.

Glazing will require some research and some practice. (Check youtube for how to videos on making your own glaze, glazing application techniques and antiquing furniture... I didn't do this but my dad did and he said he found good information that reminded him how to do it... it had been a couple years for him.) It may even require that you re-prime and start over. But seriously, it is so doable. And I think... worth it.

Thank you SO much DAD! You were such a help! He helped me mask it off (one of the hardest parts of painting something is just prepping it to be painted... especially if you are painting it in your home.) He helped me make the new holes for the hardware. He spent a lot of hours fixing my bad paint color choice. Best of all, he gave me the gift of learning how to glaze. He did the first mix. After that I felt comfortable enough to make the green/gold and the antiquing glaze for my bench project. He made it accessible and let me try my own hand at it. Thank you Dad! I know you could have done this and it would have been seriously beautiful and intricately worked by a master technician, but you let me do it. And now I can take pride in my own handiwork and have a new skill under my belt. Time together and skill learned...priceless gift. 

I picked up some beautiful knobs from World Market. They have a great selection of quirky, antique, and unique knobs. I decided to do 2 different ones, mostly because I couldn't decide which one I like better, but also because it added to the aged-effect and uniqueness of the piece.

I think dressing up the cabinet was my favorite part. I got to shop!

I made one side of the cabinet my preschool side. I hot-glued corkboard squares down the middle of the door. I added ribbon detail to make it look more finished and to divide my board into sections.

It was as simple as cutting and folding ribbon over to keep edges from fraying and hot-glueing it on.

I made the other side of the cabinet my scrap-booking side. By the way I haven't finished putting all my stuff in. I promise it will fill up the entire of this cabinet. Ha! I made this side my chalkboard side for Addy to practice writing her letters, but mostly just for fun. Chalk is awesome... Why? Because it doesn't mark walls or stain clothes, and it is easy on mom and Addy. Having the chalkboard housed in a cabinet door keeps the potential chalk dust mess from being available for Addy to make whenever she wants. There is a "lip" on the cabinet door that catches most of the dust to keep it from getting everywhere. Major Win!

By the way...I went to purchase chalkboard paint from Lowes and it was $15 bucks and only came in quart size. So, I checked Walmart and found it in the acryllic paints section in a small bottle for $5. It would be cheaper to cover a large surface with Lowe's paint, but with such a small section, Walmart wins!

Can you tell I love my cabinet? Ha!

I love it. LOVE it!

My new peaceful view (well, when the house is clean anyways, ha!) from my kitchen sink.

$109- cabinet
$45- Paint: 1 qt of Zinzer 1 2 3 Primer in base color, 1 qt of Behr Eggshell in a dulled dark blue color, 1 qt of Behr Eggshell deep base (for glazing)
$15-drawer knobs @2.99 a piece
$10-door knobs @4.99 a piece
$5-chalkboard paint
Free-Wood filler, Roller, Brushes, extender, masking paper and tape were all on hand from my father-in-law. Cork board and ribbon I already owned (but cork board squares were super cheap at Walmart when I originally bought them... like $3 for 4 pack??). I counted the cost of the green/gold paint I used in glaze in cost of bench I made.

I don't think I could even buy something similar for twice as much if I wanted to. I saved a ton of money doing it myself. Perhaps, the style is a taste all my own, but this girl LOVES the way it turned out. I can't express the pride I have (you know, the good kind) from the hard work and creativity put into this thing. The function of it is AWESOME. I have been able to do preschool time so easy. If Addy is bored, I open up the chalkboard side and let her imagination go for at least a good 15 minutes. My sewing, scrap-booking, and craft stuff is conveniently located right next to the table I do all that stuff on, making set up and clean up much faster. I LOVE it!

Sorry if I appear to brag (and to be honest I so am bragging), but I suppose after 5 weeks of a tore up house and hard work, one should be allowed to gush a little. Thanks for letting me.

Bragging rights earned!

I hope I inspired you to go earn yours!

And promise I won't say "Oh, you got that from Pinterest." Ha!

I am linked up at 

Searching for Spring

Today, armed with a camera, magnifying glass and sunglasses, Me and the kiddos headed to the park in search of spring.

Addy and I had a nice little discussion earlier in the morning over Google images about seasons. We talked about some signs that would indicate spring was here.

Let's go find spring!

 We found it in little tiny white flowers sprinkled across the grass...
In pink daisies...
 In red and purple lilies...
 In sun-kissed periwinkle...
And fully opened tulips. (Mom loves bulb flowers! Who wants to visit Daffodil Hill with me?!)

We found spring in snowy blossoms--the dead of winter unable to keep new life from springing forth.

Spring is in freshly dressed willow trees wearing the bright greens of this season.

Spring is reflected on the canvas of water. I stand in awe of God because creating the world and breathing new life into it every spring simply wasn't creative enough for God, He also decided to leave paintings of beauty on the water's reflection. And we dub Claude Monet the Father of Impressionist Art??

 We discovered the culprit to the "rat-ta-tat" sound in the trees.

We were hoping to see some baby wildlife, but we still saw evidence that love is in the air.

 Spring is in the shimmering gold-haired little girl beside the glistening waters,
In wildflowers amongst the not-yet-awakened vineyards,
And in the the intoxicating aroma of mustard-flowered fields (ah-choo! Just kidding...).

Spring is the beautiful days that require the windows rolled down and I discover how natural it is to stretch out hands in worship to the Lord... to delight in each day... "This is the day that the Lord has made...
...I will rejoice...
...and be glad in it!"

 I will take off my socks and let my toes feel the sunshine...
I will take my Claritin and forget that it's allergy season, forget that I have a million things to do, forget that yesterday I kept getting frustrated and yelling at a child who refused to listen, forget that I got a grand total of 4 and a 1/2 hours of sleep because a baby's gums were swollen with moving teeth... I will rejoice in the day! I will be child-like and my hair will be wind-blown! I will discover new life and new days!

Happy Spring to you!
Do take a day off to enjoy it!

Pilgrims and Preschoolers

I suppose it has a lot to do with the way I am wired or the fact that I spent 3 years as a teacher and 5 years as a children's pastor, but something in me can never just allow a holiday to be a holiday. It's always an opportunity to teach my children!

Thanksgiving is no exception. I cannot just allow it to be about eating turkey and spending time with the family. We must learn about WHY we celebrate Thanksgiving.

For Thanksgiving, to me, is more than just a chance to list off our "Thankful For's" and enjoy family and eat. The first Thanksgiving involved a group of people who set off looking for a place to worship God as they wanted, an adventure, or an opportunity to make money. It also involved a group of people who out of the kindness of their heart became the answer to prayers by teaching the Pilgrims everything they knew about the Pilgrim's new home. The Pilgrims sacrificed much for the freedom they craved, they lost much, and at last they found their prayers answered. I love the story. Just a reminder from your 5th grade history books, the Pilgrims lost 1/2 their numbers to starvation and disease. In their bleakest hour, the Indians helped them, one of whom, Squanto, just happened to be able to speak English. They taught them how to work the soil, how to hunt, and how to survive America. The first Thanksgiving was a great big "thank-you" to the Indians by sharing from their bounty, and it was a chance to reflect that even in the face of great loss, God is still good and God still provides. I can be thankful for my abundance, but I can also stand in the face of loss and difficulty and know that God is my provider. With much or with less, I am thankful.

Alright, so I want to pass all that down in one preschool sized bite to my daughter. How do I do that?... Stick puppet show!

I happened to have a pilgrim foam craft set. Addy and I worked on the pieces last night.

Then this morning we made our puppet show back drop and "Mayflower" out of construction paper.

I happen to have metal slated chairs so I taped the backdrop the the chair and put my arms through the bottom opening. Addy watch my show from the other side of the table. Perfect!

I did the show for her. She demanded an encore: "Again! Again!" So I did it again. Then it was her turn. She didn't get the concept of putting the stick figures in front of the backdrop.

She got from my little Pilgrim Stick Puppet Play that they came in a boat for Jesus, the winter was cold, and they ate. They got in a boat, sang "Jesus Loves Me", said "Brrrr, it's cold," cooked, and then pounded their faces into the table as they scarfed their food. My version had much more to it and no "Jesus Loves Me" song in it, but I will watch Addy's re-telling any day... over and over again. (Good thing too, because I may have to watch it over and over again.) PRECIOUS! I am thinking she will be doing her encore for her grandparents and aunts and uncles tomorrow.

Here's my final thought for you:

Exploring Creation

I decided since I have been thinking about home-schooling as a serious option for my kids schooling and since I can't afford preschool anyways, why not try out home preschooling.

I keep it pretty simple. Two days a week and however long it takes between taking care of a baby and keeping my daughter's attention. Surprisingly it takes 1 hour if Jedidiah naps the whole time and Adelaide is captivated. We go over the calendar, pray and say something we want to ask Jesus for and something we are thankful for, go over a letter, go over a number, do some goofy songs/exercises, eat a snack, and do something extra (a shape, color, explore something...).

Yesterday we learned about the number 7. And since there are 7 days to the creation and it was a gorgeous day, I decided our "something extra" was learning about creation. I grabbed the kids, the camera, and the stroller and we headed to the local park. Addy's assignment was to find things that God made. I held the camera, she clicked the button. It was great fun.

I love those moments when you as a mom have what you think is a great idea, you try it out, and your kid loves it and gets what you were hoping they would out of it. In this case: God made everything, God made it good, and we can enjoy exploring what God made. Success!

God made Addy

God made "bebe brudder"

God made butterflies...

...and flowers...

...large rocks...

...and tiny ants (and since you can't see the ants, bark on trees)...


...huge trees that are great for looking at...

...and trees that are great for playing on...

...tiny little fishes

...and laugh-at-your-momma-while-she-freaks spiders...

...bugs that walk on water...

...and berries that your momma won't let you eat because they look dirty...

...more squirrels (because that is the most fascinating thing to my 3 year old)...

...and families of ducks (notice how they are swimming AWAY from us).

It was a super great time and a great way to do preschool yesterday, so I thought I would share.