Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gettin Crafty! :)

2010 is quickly coming to an end and I am beyond excited to see what the Lord has in store for me and my family in 2011!  This past year has been full of great moments and also some pretty tough moments!  I wouldn't take back any of them, not even the tough stuff because the Lord has done some amazing things in my life and has shown me some awesome things that will help me get through any other hard stuff that I might face!  So I had been praying for a week about what the Lord wanted me to focus on next year and my answer... JOY!  More than just being joyful, it also means finding joy in the difficult situations or days.  The joy of the Lord is my strength!  Also, JOY can stand for Jesus, Others, Yourself...remembering my priorities!  I have a few other resolutions but that's for another posting!  :)

Now that all the Christmas decorations have been taken down and I have my dining room space back, I was able to put up a table and get my hands dirty with my crafting supplies!  I bought these letters (spelling my daughter's name) when I was pregnant with her like 3 years ago.  I originally painted them brown and hot pink and put glitter on them but I didn't like the way it turned out so they've been sitting in my garage for at least a year now.  Today I finally busted them out and slapped on some cute scrapbook paper and distressed the edges.  I'm really loving the way it turned out!

I didn't get my fill of craft time so I pulled out a box I had with these blocks that my amazingly handy hubby cut up for me.  I sanded down the edges and covered them with the same scrapbook paper as I did Tatym's name.  I think I'm going to turn these into picture holders (you know...drilling a hole and putting the wire in it and curving it to hold a picture).  So cute, simple and easy to make!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Clay Ornaments

My hubby made this family ornament for us this year!  He made one back in 2002 when our middle son was just a newborn so we needed an updated one with little Ms. Bitty on there!  I think it turned out cute!

I made these using white pearl sculpey clay and the blue is a pearl as well.  The red has glitter in it but is a different brand and the green & yellow are just plain colors.  I then used a sharpie marker to write on it after they had been baked and cooled.

My son, Keegan made this!  Such imagination!  It's a snowman throwing a snowball, standing behind a brick wall that has a splattered snowball on it and his pile of snowballs next to him!  LOVE IT!

He said the gingerbread man was Gingie from Shrek!  :)  And then he wanted to make a star ornament like mine!  So cute!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Ornament

While visiting with my hubby's grandparents last month, I saw a really cute Christmas ornament very similar to the one I made tonight.  I changed mine up a bit: I used bigger circle punches and used a white pen to make the border around each circle, added green & red ribbon for hanging up and viola...a cute, handmade Christmas ornament keepsake!  I made one for my mom-in-law and this one is for my grandma!  I may just have to make one for myself!  Super inexpensive and super fun!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Well, now that we've recovered from our Turkey hangover I can post our fun pictures!  :)  This year we had Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house and I took it upon myself to help entertain the kidlets!  I found a blog that had these oreo turkeys (sorry I can't remember which site it was...maybe Our Best Bites).  They used candy corn for the feathers but I couldn't find any at Walmart so I opted to use Mike & Ike's instead.  The kids had fun with these!!

Notice Keegan's turkey's eyes are bit on the bulgy side!  LOL 

My Itty Bitty got a little sleepy right before Thanksgiving dinner so she grabbed her binky and blanket and plopped down on the couch.

I'm pretty sure my sleepy little princess must have worn herself out taking part in the Oreo Turkey massacre that happened on the table!  LOL  This is the scene we discovered shortly after seeing her mouth full of whoppers and Mike & Ike's!  LOL 

I then took the boys outside for a Turkey Hunt!

Found this printable game on another blog (bad Christina for not taking notes on where I found them...I'll do better next time).  I printed out the turkeys and taped them to popsicle sticks then stuck them in the ground around my mom's property and sent the boys off and running!  They really liked it and it was good for them to get outside and moving!

Getting the table all set!  We were blessed to spend Thanksgiving with my grandparents, my mom & my sister Kimberly and her hubby, Chris! 

I hope you had an amazingly blessed Thanksgiving as well! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vacation Fun!

Well, my fabulous hubby has been on vacation this week and we've been enjoying every second of it!  We found this awesome stuff at Fred Meyer called Instant Snow!  I had never seen it before but thought it sounded fun!  You just put a teaspoon of the powder in a bowl or something and add 1/4 cup water and it starts to grow 100x it's size!  The bonus is that one bag will make 3 gallons of "snow" and you can let it dry out and reuse it!  I snatched up 3 bags of this stuff and the kids have already played with it for the past two days and LOVE it!

We were blessed to be able to make a road trip down to California to visit my hubby's grandparents!  They are two of the cutest and sweetest people ever!  We just love them to bits!
They have been married for over 70 years and have lived in the same house for the past 50+ years so I went around snapping pictures of their house and other buildings.  I love things with a history, especially history that brings back great memories for my family!

This is my family (minus my bonus son, Taylor) with Josh's grandparents! 

Since Fall is my favorite season, it's my favorite time to get pictures of my kiddos!  We stopped a few places on the way back home to get some pictures of the kids outside in the Fall colors!
Here's my little Bitty.  She's almost 2 1/2 years old now!  *sniffle*

Both my cutie pies!

Stopped at a state park with the Redwoods all around!  It was crazy to be in our van and feel so tiny next to these giant trees!  Absolutely amazing!

My handsome boy, Keegan is now 8 years old! 
He was so stoked for this road trip because he just turned 8 and no longer has to use a booster seat! 
Wahoo!!  He's growing up so darn fast!

Sadly, hubby's vacation is over on Monday then it's back to reality!
Thankfully we'll get another week vacation in January so I'll be counting down the days!  :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Who woulda thunk it? DELICIOUS!

My friend Theresa made this delicious cucumber water and I just HAD to have the recipe!  Lo & behold, it's a recipe from our Pampered Chef website!  AWESOME!  (FYI, I'm officially a Pampered Chef Consultant!  SOOOO EXCITING!  Who doesn't LOVE Pampered Chef???)  Anyways, this water is beyond delicious and SUPER refreshing so I thought I'd share the recipe!

All you need is:
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-3 lemons (PC listed limes but I used lemons)
1 medium cucumber (I only used about half)
7 cups cold water

Place sugar and salt into pitcher. Slice lemons in half and juice into pitcher (make sure seeds don't go in).  Add cucumber slices and water to pitcher; cover with lid. Mix until sugar is disolved.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Pour into ice-filled glasses.

Yield: 6 servings 

Nutrients per serving: (1 1/3 cups): Calories 70, Total Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 18 g, Protein 0 g, Sodium 55 mg, Fiber 0 g

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Perfect rainy day dinner!

It was a wonderfully stormy day here on the Oregon Coast and what better way to end the day than with some slow cooker taco chili!  I'll even be nice enough to share the recipe since it was so yummy!
2 lbs. ground beef
2-15oz. cans tomato sauce
2-15oz. cans diced tomatoes with onion & green peppers
2-15oz. cans whole kernel corn
2-15oz. cans chili beans w/ gravy
2 packets taco seasoning

Brown the ground beef on the stove.  Combine beef and everything else (undrained) in the crockpot and cook on High for 3-4 hours.
Top the chili with cheese and enjoy!
To top it all off, my hubby made a DELICIOUS batch of homemade cornbread!  It was a great dinner!

Candy Corn Bracelets

Today we made candy corn bracelets which took awhile to make and a mere 2 seconds for them to inhale!  LOL  I used a push-pin to make holes in the candy (less painful on my fingers than the regular needle I used at first) then thread fishing line through the holes just like you would a regular bead.  Be warned, about half of the candy will break in half as you are pushing the pin through but my hubby was stoked about that!  :)  He got to eat the broken ones! 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Messy-Clean Fun

Messy-Clean fun sounds like an oxymoron to me but that's what it is! Shaving cream is a lot like soap so I didn't mind busting some out to let the kids play with! If it got on the carpet it was easy to wipe off and same with the tables and chairs and their clothes...and their bodies (which is indeed where it all ended up)!

Started out with a small amount of shaving cream on the pan w/ some paintbrushes and that lasted for a little while.

Then Keegan came over...

Then we had to pile more shaving cream on to see how big we could get it which led to sticking hands in it! :)

Next was time to add some food coloring...

We had to end playtime with a bang...or should I say a smash?? Keegan (with a little help from me) smashed his face into the mess and loved every second of it! LOL

Bitty couldn't be left out and helped herself to a little face smashing as well! Thankfully she was a little more restrained and just dipped the bottom portion of her face in it!

This lasted for about an hour and the kids had a blast and I was able to relax because it was an easy clean-up! I wasn't worrying so much about if they were getting too wild with it (before the food coloring got added). Taking a mental note to use this on a rainy day when the kids are going stir-crazy inside!

Fun fall projects!

The other day the kids & I went on a walk around our neighborhood, collecting leaves of all shapes and colors and sizes. It was such a gorgeous morning and the perfect opportunity to talk to the kids about how the Lord put so much love and care into putting every detail into His creation, even down to the changing of the seasons, the colors of the leaves and the way they work! I reinforced to them that God loves us so much and cares about every aspect of our lives and how He created us. We are all different colors, different sizes and we all have our own personalities and that's ok because that's how God created us to be! We're all special to God!

After we got home we laid the leaves out on the counters to dry:

Then we used self-sealing laminating pouches (couldn't find contact paper at Walmart or Joann's) and added the leaves:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We've discoverd...LAPBOOKS!!

It never fails that I go out and get some new homeschool curriculum and think it's going to work out awesomely but after like 1-2 weeks I'm bored! I had a bit of a meltdown and questioned if I should even be homeschooling! The thought of sending my kids to public school terrifies me and christian private school is expensive and still would expose them to things that I don't want them to be exposed to so yes, homeschooling is what I'm supposed to be doing. I was still faced with the dilemma of being bored with the way we were doing it but needing to help my hubby feel comfortable with everything so I reached out to my fellow homeschool moms and asked for ideas. Several of them mentioned lapbooking so I dug in and figured I'd research it and go from there. Let me tell you, I am totally hooked and Keegan is LOVING it! We still do math & english out of our workbooks but we've changed how we're going to do everything else. Hubby & I asked Keegan what he wanted to learn about and he said space. My friend Tiffany pointed me to an awesome website that happened to have a space lapbook section so I printed off tons of pages and away we went! Keegan is a lot like me. He likes hands-on crafts and being able to show off his work! LOL This solves the problem with my hubby because he's able to see with his own eyes the things Keegan is learning and some of what we do during our homeschool time! It's like educational scrapbooking! AWESOME! So this is what we did day one on our lapbook. Gotta love that Keegan is all boy with his plastic toy gun! LOL

Apple Cupcakes...mmmmmmmm....

I made these yummy cupcakes on Monday for our homeschool co-op planning meeting! My son and the neighbor boys were drooling over them so I had to guard them with my life! LOL Lucky for them I had a few leftover so I was nice and shared! :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Team Courtright

I'm so excited! My stepson, Taylor has decided to play football again this year! Last year we were only able to make it to one of his games because of my hubby's crazy work schedule (only had Sundays off) so we made big signs to show off at the game and hold while we cheered for him. This year we wanted to get sweatshirts made and hubby chose TEAM COURTRIGHT to go across the back! We opted to go with black sweatshirts w/ white writing so we could wear them for all of our kids events and not have to worry so much about team colors. With as many battles and struggles as we've had in dealing with being a blended family, I LOVE looking at us like our family is a team and that we can work together and cheer one another on! They didn't have a sweatshirt in Bitty's size so we just got her a black tshirt and had Team Courtright written on the front so it could be seen. How cute is this?!

So yeah, we're excited to watch Taylor play football again. Can't believe he's in 8th grade and going on 14 years old!!! YIKES! Exciting thing is that means only 4 1/2 more years til he's an adult! WAHOOOOOOOO!! The Lord has been showing me some awesome things and I feel great in knowing that once he's out on his own things will be a million times better! I just have to continue to pray for peace and strength to endure the next few years and then I'll see the reward for my work...for not giving up and for continuing to stand strong in the Lord and what He wants me to do and how He wants me to act. I don't know how people can go through the trials and tribulations of life and not have a relationship with the Lord! He's my saving grace!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First day of school!

Well, yesterday kicked off our homeschool year! I made him this sign and hung streamers around the living room/dining room areas, just to give it a more festive feel. We started the day by surprising Keegan and taking him out for donuts and chocolate milk at our local bakery. He was so excited when we pulled up! I'm bummed that I spaced taking a picture of it but it was really fun for all of us to sit around the table munching on YUMMY donuts and sippin our chocolate! Then off daddy went to work and the kids & I headed home to get started. Mondays I have bible study from 12-2pm so I was really hoping we'd get all 6 subjects done by the time we had to leave and to my pleasant surprise Keegan finished all his work by 11:15am!! That's only 2 hours and 15 minutes!! Since he did so well and finished up so early I decided to take the kids out to McDonalds for lunch as a special treat before bible study!

So yeah, a pretty awesome first day of school! Keegan was able to come home and do his chores quickly and spend a few hours playing with his friends across the street and we ended the day with PIZZA! :) To top things off, our friend Dave is helping make Axe Cop episodes for our friend Ethan (he and his brother created the comic) and asked if Keegan would like to be one of the voices on this next episode which he was seriously stoked about! What a great first day of school!

On a side note, I'm not sure if you guys were aware of this or not but, I have the WORLD'S best and most amazing husband!! Yep, I do! I am so honored by that fact! :) Earlier this summer my hubby made a skate ramp for the kids and we've had a few slabs of leftover wood in our backyard. Sunday afternoon my hubby used that wood to make a super cool shield for Keegan!! We bought the dagger earlier that day and my hubby used his airbrush gun to paint it all nice. The neighbor kids thought the shield was so cool that they asked if Josh could make them one too but we didn't have enough wood! I am so excited for my kids to have such an awesome hands-on kind of dad! Everyday he plays with them and shows them how loved and special they are to him and he's always doing special things for them and he just blows me away on a daily basis! I didn't have much of a dad growing up so I am very thankful and excited that I am married to such an amazing man & father!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A new chapter...

Well, tomorrow starts off another year of homeschooling! YAY!! When I step back and look at my life it still amazes me that I'm a homeschooling mom and this will be our 4th year of homeschooling! When my son Keegan was 4 years old I was working full time as a CNA/unit secretary at our local hospital. I worked 3-11:30pm so that he wouldn't have to be in daycare very much and this meant that if he was going to attend a preschool, that would have meant less time for me to spend with him and more time of him being sent off to be cared for and taught by people that weren't my husband or I. The thought of that seriously made me sick. I opted to buy the same curriculum that his daycare used for their preschool program and started working on it at home during the mornings before I went to work. The longer I did it the more set I became on homeschooling. Before that I was so anti-homeschooling! I thought homeschooled kids were weird and that they'd turn out to be weird adults, unable to really socialize with the rest of the normal world. LOL It seriously cracks me up to think back to those days. I quickly came to realize that even kids sent off to public school could turn out to be outcasts or anti-social people, not able to really function in the real world. I'll skip all the other points of why I choose to homeschool and we'll just say that it's what the Lord placed on my heart and He made it VERY clear that I was to homeschool! So yeah, that was 4 years ago! We're still learning a lot as we go along. I'm learning what works best for Keegan and what works best for me and this year brings a whole new challenge...a younger sister full-on into her terrible-two's! LOL It's definitely going to be hard trying to balance keeping Tatym entertained and being able to help Keegan with his daily school work. This year I'm vowing to get up every morning before the rest of the family, get showered and dressed and ready for the day and sit down for some prayer & quiet time with the Lord before the rest of the family wakes up. Ideally I'd love to be getting up around 5:30am but I have a really hard time getting up earlier than 7am so it will take me awhile to build up to it. I'll be happy with 6am! :) This past week I managed to get up at 6:40 two mornings in a row! HOT DANG, that's awesome for me! LOL

Tomorrow we start a new tradition for the first day of school: we're going out for donuts and chocolate milk at the new bakery in our town! Keegan doesn't know about it yet but he does know that we've got something special planned and he's excited and anxious to find out what it is!

Tomorrow begins my new journey in scheduling our days more. Since I started homeschooling Keegan a year early (due to his birthday falling in November he missed the cut-off for starting school but since he could already read and knew so much we opted to go ahead and start kindergarten early) I used it as an excuse to be more relaxed with his schoolwork. I was lazy! So this year we're buckling down and getting serious! I also know that for both my son, and I, we do better with structure. We do good when we know what the plan is and have a schedule of what to do during the day.

So as I get ready to tuck my kids into bed tonight and say our prayers, I'm going to be saying a special prayer for the Lord to help us adapt to our new schedule and for Keegan to have a happy heart about his school work, for me to be more patient and understanding, for us to keep pretty close to the schedule (allowing God to still do as He wants with us day-to-day), for Tatym to not terrorize her brother while he's doing his work (LOL) and for this year to go smoothly! Here's to a new chapter in our lives! Thank you Lord for this amazing blessing you have given me, to be a homeschooling mom to two amazing and wonderful children and a stepmom to another homeschooled young man! Bless our school year Lord, we do it all for YOU!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sassy hair bows!

I recently was browsing the site and saw some adorable hair bows. As always I try to think about whether I could make some of my own so I started searching online for a video or blog on how to make these cute hair bows! Turns out, they are SUPER easy to make!!

Here is a video that I used to learn how:

Here I have some of the ribbon on the wooden dowels:

Here are 3 of my finished bows:

I looked all over town for some alligator clips to put these bows on but couldn't find any. I resorted to ordering wholesale from eBay so now I'm just waiting for my clips to arrive so I can hot glue the bow onto the clip! I'm so excited about these and my daughter kept saying how cute they were! LOVE IT! These would make great birthday/Christmas gifts too!

Completing Him Challenge!!

I recently discovered a new blogger that I just LOVE! Her name is Courtney and she seems like an amazing christian woman and she has youtube videos that she posts about being a christian wife and they are so encouraging and motivating! Anyways, check out her blog: Women Living Well, you'll be glad you did!

So as I was browsing around her blog I saw the Completing Him Challenge and knew I wanted to jump on the bandwagon! I've recently started a book study with a group of friends using the book Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl and along with that I've been posting the daily dares from the book, The Love Dare (seen in the movie Fireproof) on my Facebook page. So this weekly challenge totally goes with what I've been working on. My passion and heart is for women's ministry, particularly involving being christian wives and mothers so I can never get enough of this stuff!

Mind you, this challenge is running from June 7th-Aug. 9th so I'm a little late in the game but you know, it's never too late to start working on being a better wife to your husband! So late or not, I'm jumping in! :) Week one says to post that I'm joining in the challenge so here I am! Here is a vido of Courtney explaining about the challenge:

I really hope some of you feel led to join in as well!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


My stepson, Taylor was baptized this past week while he was away at church camp!! I just feel like shouting it from the rooftops! We have a complicated relationship to put it nicely. I do get glimmers of hope and I can see that God is fully working in the situation but as always, once things start getting good Satan jumps right in and does stuff to mess things up again. He's 13 now and as he's becoming a young man I can see that he's starting to see truth in things rather than the lies he's been constantly fed since I entered the picture almost 11 years ago. He is still blinded in a lot of ways but that's to be expected until he gets a few years older or even until he moves out on his own, away from the constant influence he gets where he's at. I just cherish the moments, however few and far between they are, that I get with him that are genuinely good and free from all the cruddola. I constantly pray for him because it has got to be so tough being in his position and bouncing from house to house and being put in situations that he's put in. I look forward to the day that God fully opens his eyes and when Taylor is free to love us the way he really wants to without shame or feeling like he's letting the other family down. I am just so beyond excited that he heard God calling him to step out and be baptized! I know that God is working in his heart and that just moves me to tears and makes me want to jump up and down and cheer!!! I still hold strong that God is going to mend my broken relationship with Taylor but even if He doesn't, I know that I'll be seeing Taylor in heaven where things are uncomplicated and perfect and there we will be free to have a perfect relationship without Satan's influence!! That in itself brings me peace!! So today I want to thank God for the work He is doing in Taylor's life and in our relationship! Thank you ABBA!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Some friends of ours have a food fight every summer and this is the first year we were able to make it out there and let me just say what a blast it was! We started out having a bbq at the house and then walked down to the lower field where they have their garden area. All the food is tilled into the ground to help fertilize so it's not a complete waste!
The kids running to the field, chanting, "FOOD FIGHT, FOOD FIGHT":

The food fight barely started and Keegan got plastered with butterscotch pudding! LOL

My friend Dea got Tatym with red jello! She didn't think it was too funny! LOL

Keegan had a blast and was picking food out of his ears the next morning! :)

Checking out her messy dress:

Showing me the mess LOL:

After the food fight the kids jumped into the pond to rinse off!

It was so much fun! Maybe next year I'll put the camera down and join in...maybe! LOL