A List Maker's Life: January 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stuck on You: Valentine Card How to #GlueNGlitter

You know how some people get crazy excited about shopping and decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween?  Well, that is not really my thing.  However, when it comes to Valentine's Day I am ready to start the preparations on December 26.  As soon as the tree is cleared out of the living room and the nativity packed away I would be happy to dig out my favorite angels of love, search for card ideas, and fill a dish with conversation hearts.

{the Valentine aisle in the store...how can you resist?}

{see. even Gabe "wants"}

Our family has a little Hidden Hearts tradition and this week I have been busy sewing new stuffed hearts so each person in our family now has their own pattern to search for on Valentine's Day. Anne Hope and I also enjoyed an afternoon with Steam-a-Seam making matching heart shirts for the four kids, similar to last year. Last night we put together a card to accompany a simple heart day surprise for Gavin and Anne Hope's teachers.

With my experience in the classroom I know that midway through the school year the markers aren't quite as bright and glue sticks are running low, if they haven't dried out all together because the caps are missing.  In putting together the teacher's cards I wanted to come up with a Valentine sentiment that worked to give with a new set of glue sticks for the class.

Before making my shopping list, I took inventory of the supplies I already had in my scrapbooking stash and what I might still need for this project.

{have I mentioned how much I enjoy list making}

~blank cards and/or cardstock to fold into cards {I used a 3.5x5 size card}
~blank envelopes 
~paper trimmer {I pulled out both of mine, but really I was able to do all of my cuts on the 12x12 trimmer}

~corner rounder
~heart punch {or you can freehand cut your heart}
~Elmer's CraftBond Tape Runner
~Elmer's Sparkle Glue - shimmer colors
~Elmer's doodling pen
~colored cardstock
{sorry for the terrible camera phone pictures}

Time to craft the card:

1. Begin by punching out a heart or two from the cardstock color of your choice.

2. Cut a black rectangle to fit the base of your card within approximately 1/4 inch off each side.

3. Cut a 1x3" rectangle for the message/title bar from a piece of which cardstock.

4. Cut a rectangle just a touch larger on each edge, to mount the title bar on, from the same color as the hearts.

{here is what you will have so far}

5. With a bottle of Elmer's standing in front of you for inspiration, or just a little imagination, free hand cut a tip out of orange cardstock and a swirl of glue from the white cardstock.

6. Cut  a 1.5x3" rectangle for the body of your glue bottle from a turquoise blue cardstock

7. Cut a 3/4x3" rectangle from a piece of dark blue cardstock.  Cut this piece again 1/3 of the way down to make the 2 dark blue pieces you see in the picture below.  I purposely left these a little uneven in hopes that it would look a bit more whimsical.

8. Use a corner rounding tool to round off the edges of all of the blue pieces cut to build the glue bottle.

Now it's time to get down to the #gluenglitter part of the project!

9. Arange and attach all of the pieces using the tape runner.  Add the glue to look like it is flowing out of the bottle and add the heart {or hearts} wherever you would like a little extra cute.

10. Use the black marking pen to add a message or title to the card.  {I always write on the white card before sticking it on in case of a mistake.  It is easy to flip it over and try again if it doesn't already have tape on it}

11. Use the same black pen to add stitching marks or dimension lines to the cut pieces of the design.

12. Embellish the streak of glue with a line of silver or white glitter glue.

{stuck on you}
{let's stick together}

13. Before delivering these cards to their teachers the kids are going to help me build a stack with the new glue sticks and tie it all together with a ribbon.

Now you are all ready to clean up your sticky not so sticky project.  Unless of course you have cardstock scraps you are anxious to use for another card...

Happy Heart Crafting,
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Disclosure: This Elmer's Walmart, Glue 'n Glitter {#GluenGlitter} shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias For an even more detailed explanation of the materials, our shopping trip, and the step by step directions you may enjoy the album I put together on Google+

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mission Tuition: an online resource

With four young children saving for college is no small feat.  Since Kevin works for a private college we are fortunate to have an amazing tuition reimbursement program to help with the cost.  Yet, it is always great to find other options for setting aside funds for higher education expenses.

I was interested in learning more about Mission Tuition when it was brought to my attention.  It appears to be an online service that allows families to earn college savings by shopping at participating online stores.
Restaurant.com, 1.800 Contacts, Groupon, Gap, and Overstock.com are just a few of the participating merchants that our family already shops with. It is free to participate and there is no limit to the amount of savings each family may earn.

It seems like a effective way to make the most of our online shopping money, so I was anxious to give it a try and pass the information on as well. To read more about the specific details of the program you will want to check out Mission Tuition's Frequently Asked Questions page.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Enough with that chilly slush business!
This weather calls for a yummy mug of hot cocoa.

This afternoon while it iced and snowed outside,  my kitchen helpers were busy inside stirring together a GIANT batch of chocolate goodness.

Here is our favorite homemade hot cocoa recipe:

1 box of powdered milk
1 6 oz. non dairy creamer
1/2 lb. powdered sugar
1 lb. Nesquik (we use a generic version)

Use 1/3 cup of dry mix for each 1-1/2 cup of hot water.

In quantities like this hopefully it lasts through Janaury the winter.

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Friday, January 13, 2012


It is January 13 and we are just getting our first significant winter event of the season {and I am NOT complaining about the delayed arrival}. In all the counties surrounding ours schools were closed today because of the icky roads.  Anne Hope's teacher jokingly commented that Ottawa County must have gotten newer, bigger plows so we won't get snow days anymore.

As Gavin and I talked about the weather on the way to school I told him I was really surprised he didn't get a snow day.  In the way only a second grader could he explained to me that it was because it wasn't a snow day it was a slush day. "See how the flakes are coming down quickly like rain and they are heavy?  They dissolve instantly on your windshield too.  That means it is not true snow.  It's sleet! When it hits the road it becomes slush."  Whether or not I agreed with him on that one as I drove through 5 inches of white stuff is up for debate. Thankfully we all made it safe and sound to our destination. Anne's teacher wrote me a quick email later in the morning to tell me that only 9! kids made it to school today and almost all of them called in "due to the sleet snow."

So, while a steamy mug of hot chocolate is my drink of choice this afternoon, I have a slush recipe to share with you {mostly because I promised to share it soon}.  Cheers to adding a little slush to your day...

Cherry Slush

3 small cherry jello packages 
4 cups of boiling water
Dissolve jello in water

2 1/2 cups sugar
10 cups cold water
1 can Hi-C cherry drink
1 1/2 cups lemon juice

Scrap it out and add 7-Up, Sprite, Squirt {or Diet Coke :) }

...and cheers to the weekend.
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This recipe is linked up this week at Sarah's Recipe Roundtable.


This week I've flown between appointments, classes, and meetings with a car full of supplies for changing clothes and diapers, entertaining babies in car seats, and feeding four on the go.  Occasionally throwing someone in or out of the car with a back pack, a piano bag, an afo, or a monster truck. {You get the picture, I'm certain you live it too.}

I can't help but think this isn't what I intended when assigning our life the tagline Make the Most of Every Moment.  Yes, every moment from 7AM-9PM was booked with commitments outside of our home.  Even a minute delay during transitions or traffic jams was reason to throw off the arrival times for the rest of the day. Surely, filling every moment with events - even good events that are intended to stretch, teach, and refresh - is not the same as making the most of every moment.

All the while I wished to drop it all and really make use of my moments by doing the things on my heart: saying yes to a simple request to play their new game, dropping everything to drive across the state to share a hug with someone whose pain is always on my mind, sending a card to a little sweetie {and his momma} who survived his first surgery, visiting Gram just to visit and talk about the good books I wish I had time to read right now, standing in support at the back of the memorial service for a brother who was loved and his sister who grieves, sitting in a coffee shop with friends encouraging one another in whatever stage of the journey we find ourselves on.  The intentions themselves just are not enough.

This morning, along with the snow delivered to slow us down, a friend delivered the perfect message to my facebook inbox.  In Kairos time. She shared a post titled Don't Carpe Diem. There were so many lines to love in the post, but the real lesson for me was in the difference between Chronos time and Kairos time.   I could never write it as eloquently as Glennon has, but basically are we living according to the time on the clock or according to the divinely appointed time we've been given? She explains Kairos time as the moments when time stands still.

The moments when you know you are doing just what you know to be right. Those are the "most moments" I want to make.

The true most moments of my week were those where I looked right into my childrens eyes as they told me about their newest lego creations. When I filled the spray bottles with food coloring for them to paint in the snow even though I knew it would require extra clean up, because as they squirted and giggled and built pink snowmen I couldn't help but hope those will be the moments they remember.  Like magic.

Not the magic that changes every light green to get us to one last appointment on time, but the magic that erases those hectic moments in our mind and makes room for remembering the moments where we really lived most.
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bringing Back the Date Night

2012 promises to be the year where we put the date night back into our agenda.

In the last two weeks Kevin was off work and we were able to enjoy some laid back time together at home.  We also had the chance to spend time with other couples, brushing up on our card playing {and holiday munching} skills. We discovered the game Wizard, kicked some Nick&Lisabooty in hands and feet, and learned how to golf thanks to a great visit with Scott and Rach.

We even kicked off our New Year on a double date, our first NYE without kids since January '05 {even then we didn't leave the house}.  This year we went to a Griffin's hockey game followed by the greatest indoor firework show in West Michigan. Since it was New Year's and all I figured the event could stand a bit of glitter.  Anne Hope helped me sparkle up a pair of shoes, following a tutorial found on Pinterest, for the occasion.

Today we are back into our routines, but the date nights don't end with this vacation.  As part of Kevin's Christmas gift I put together The 12 Dates of Christmas.  More appropriately named The 12 For Sure Dates of 2012.

There is one envelope for each month.  Each stuffed with all the goodies for a theme date as well as the gift cards to pay for whatever activities are suggested.  Many of the certificates are restaurants or entertainment venues I found on Groupon, Try It Local, and Daily Deals.  I also lined up the sitters ahead of time for some of the dates.  No excuses, right?
January's date is a bit of a remake of the night that Kevin proposed.
February we will enjoy an afternoon as tourists in our own town with a browse through the downtown bookstore, a treat from the candy store, and a college basketball game.
April's date, in honor of the Grand Rapid's LaughFest is our own 3 Act Laugh In.  This date is a spin off of the one on Love Actually.
In August, in celebration of our 12 anniversary, we will visit some of our favorite stops from our South Haven honeymoon.
This date is for November - a wacky bowling game where each throw will be determined by the color of the Skittle drawn from the bag.

We are both looking forward to more time together, more laughs, and more new memories!

Happy 2012!

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Our 2D Time Capsule

While blog hopping for holiday ideas I came across a New Year's Time Capsule I thought was great. Kelli and her family fill a jar with small momentos of their year to celebrate their memories.  I really like the option for including 3D items, but because of our lack of storage space I think we'll stick with the 2D version we have been creating together for the past 6 years on New Year's Eve.

We sit together, with a stack of old magazines from the year, and cut out any words or pictures that remind us of things that happened in the previous year for our family, in entertainment news, or in world news. I love the conversations that come out as we reminisce about our favorite - and not so favorite - moments from the year.
However, there are times that we have trouble finding just the right picture for some of our events.  So, on the suggestion from Kelli Crowe's time capsule I think I will leave out an empty jar this year to collect cut outs, pictures, and ticket stubs as they come in to the house so they can easily be added to our collage at the end of the year.

2011 Collage

On the back of each year we each write a Wish, a Hope, and a Dream for the new year.  This is one of my favorite traditions for sure.
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Predictions

~Kevin and I will take our first plane ride together
~Taking 2 more grad classes in 2012 will make me itchy to get back in the classroom.
~No Royal baby yet in 2012 for Will and Kate
~The price of gas will be over $5/gallon by late spring

~Much to everyone's surprise, the price of gas will go down
~There will still be snow on the ground at my birthday (April 13)
~The Packer's will win the Superbowl
~The book Unbroken should be made into a movie.

Joint Predictions:
~Obama will win a 2nd term, no contest
~Gabe will take his first steps before summer

~We will take a train trip to Chicago
~I will play baseball and soccer again
~We will get a pet goldfish
~I will meet more friends
~I will get a Wii game for my birthday in June

Anne Hope:
~I will learn something new in school
~I will go to American Girl again

Friends & Family:
~Matt Lauer will leave the Today show
~The Kardashians will finally go away

More Hope. More Courage. More Joy.
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