Crafts

5 Things We’re Doing at Home

We now have reached two months staying home under the order in California. At first, it was really hard on us and I found myself having moments where I would cry, times I would need to sit and read my bible, and other days where I didn’t want to get out of bed. Fortunately, we slowly moved into what now is our new routine and have adjusted. And we have more time now to try new things.  So, here is the top 5 things we are doing together and may now be addicted to while staying at home. 

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Number 5.  Creating a YouTube Channel   

Vanessa has been watching a lot of YouTube videos and she kept asking to start her own channel. It was something I had to think about for awhile, and I decided maybe we could do a channel together. We have been planning on how we want it to look, and there is a plethora of information available online on how to customize your channel. We decided to focus on what we know best – DISNEY! We just finished designing our banner and intro video, so I’m excited to keep applying new tricks we are learning.  

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Number 4. Diamond Art 

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My aunt has been doing diamond art for awhile, and Vanessa always asked if she could do one too.  It looked tedious and I kept putting this off, but now was the perfect time to try it out. We bought a few from Amazon and found them easy to do. It is like a paint by number but with colorful diamonds, and the mats are sticky so no glue required. The kit comes with everything you need to complete one.  We typically will sit in the later afternoon and work on our individual mats and chat about things. I still love hearing her opinion on everything that’s important to her right now. The pictures we picked have a lot of detail so it is taking a little longer than I expected, but Vanessa was able to complete a more simpler one in a night.  Looking to make your own diamond art to hang on the wall? Check out all the different ones at Amazon. You can find different kinds for the holidays and some really cool Disney ones. 

 

 

 

Number 3. American Girl Dolls 

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Vanessa now owns three American Girl dolls and quite a bit of furniture and accessories. I have to give her credit for saving her money to buy a new doll she wanted. I had all the books, but never my own American Girl dolls as a young girl. I did want one though! But now I get to play with them as an adult. Vanessa sorta takes the lead on whether we are having a “pizza party” or “Mars mission”. Either way I’m grateful for this time to use my imagination again and make believe. We can all use a little bit more of that lately.  Need a doll? Check out American Girl Doll here. For more affordable options, Target has a lot of unique dolls as well. 

 

 

Number 2. Marvel Digital Comics

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My brother got me tuned on to the Marvel movies. It didn’t take long for me to watch all the movies and some  of them I rewatch over and over again – Hello Thor!!!  At some point I wanted to really know more about the characters and was interested in reading Marvel comics. I live right next to a comic book store, but since everything is closed I needed to find a different way to reading them. Marvel does offer a large amount of their comics digitally, and they all seem to be about $3.99 per issue. My favorite comic book characters – Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Widow. Check out their digital comics here

 

 

 

Number 1. Animal Crossing – Pocket Camp 

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And the top thing we are doing with our extra time right now is……Animal Crossing – Pocket Camp. Before we invested $60 in Animal Crossing – New Horizons, I wanted to make sure it would be a game we would enjoy and keep playing. Fortunately, there is Animal Crossing – Pocket Camp, which a free version was available for the iOS. And I will say we are addicted. We love catching fish in the river and ocean, planting and harvesting flowers, and designing and rearranging our campsite. Pocket Camp is less interactive than New Horizons and it does come with limitations, but it definitely won’t stop you from checking in with Tommy Nook in the morning for the latest fortune cookie or nighttime fishing at Saltwater Shores. The coolest part is the setting changes depending on the time of day and year. So, in the winter your campsite will be full of snow or the trees will look golden brown in the fall. In the evening time you will have a colorful purple and pink skies and rivers, and at night all the stars come out and the lights at the camp site turn on. We definitely are Animal Crossing fans now. 

Running, What Makes Me Smile

4th of July – Virtual Race

Happy 4th of July. This is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. Sweet berry pies, kids waving the flag during parades, hot dog competitions (Congrats Joey Chestnut on win #12), pool parties and bright, crackling fireworks. But the most special part of 4th of July is honoring the military that allows Americans to live in freedom and celebrate holidays like this with so much patriotism. I am extremely proud to be an American!!!

There was no better way to show my love for this country than with a 10k virtual race. As I have said in other posts, the Virtual Run Events powered by Moon Joggers allows runner enthusiasts to do self-motivated races and earn medals, and 15% of all registrations goes towards a worthy charity.

The 4th of July medal I received was the most beautiful I have seen. My alarm beeped extremely early this morning but I jumped right out of bed to get dressed and head out for my run. I kind of got sluggish mid-run (stayed up way too late watching Stranger Things) but I pushed harder and faster when I thought about what our veterans have sacrificed for America’s freedom.

The charity that this medal helped support was the Homes For Our Troops, an organization that builds homes for severely injured veterans. What an amazing cause and a charity that is doing God’s work.

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Crafts, Uncategorized

Easy Knit Shawl

I love knitting.  I learned fairly young and I’m glad my daughter is also picking up the hobby.  The rhythm of each stitch relaxes and calms me. And nothing better than having a finished product made by your own hands.

I bought this yarn by Fierce Fibers on our trip to Portland, Oregon last summer. It works so beautifully and I hope to make another trip to this year to spend more time in the city. It is a hand dyed yarn with a blend of Merino, Cashmere and Sterling.  Check out their bright and colorful yarns Here

I told Vanessa to pick the yarn and I would make her a shawl. The pattern I used was Simple Shawl by Jane at Hedgerow Yarns on Ravelry. I love Ravelry. Always so many fun patterns. CLICK HERE  for the free pattern.

She loves everything I make her and loves to tell her friends when I make her something. She is the hugest blessing in my life and things I make her is a large expression for my love for her.

Here is how the shawl ended up.

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Photo of the Day

Warming Up to Christmas

It was really chilly in Sacramento today making me cold to the core. Bundled with my blankie (yes, I’ve had my blanket since 3rd grade and will never part with it), I decided to watch the Pioneer Woman, my cooking idol and inspiration. She was making enchiladas and instantly I knew what tonight’s dinner was going to be.

I made my own enchiladas with Spanish rice. Nice thing about enchiladas is how you can throw a lot of your favorite in there and it will still be tasty. I might try some olives next time or use green enchilada salsa.

It warmed me up and was the perfect cozy dinner.

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Then, we spent time going over all the books Vanessa purchased at her school book fair this week. We are a big advocate of reading so we were okay with spending a little more. Take a look at her eclectic choices.

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We ended the night watching Christmas Vacation, one of my dad’s favorite Christmas movies. It was really nice watching a Christmas classic with our tree lit up, hearing Vanessa laugh, wrapped in a blanket.

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I’m starting to warm up to Christmas. It was never my favorite holiday and was always stressful, but my perspective changed when I decided to let the little things go and enjoy my time with my family.

Photo of the Day, What Makes Me Smile

Giving Back

My daughter continues to amaze me. She works hard, loves God and has a giving heart.  And I’m so grateful we have the opportunity to give back to so many other amazing kids and to let them know there are others that love them too.

Today we went to Shriners Children’s Hospital in Sacramento to deliver Girl Scout cookies that the little miss worked hard to donate. The person there to receive the cookies was so lovely. She told us how excited kids are to get the cookies every year and how the little miss should be so proud of herself.

Can’t deny the smile on her face!

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We made another stop today. We delivered 18 birthday bags to the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento. Our birthday bags included cake mix, icing, balloons, stickers, crayons, toys. etc.

The receiving home can house up to 80 children, and provides many programs and activities for the children during their stay. We hope these birthday bags will bring joy to each child, and we look forward to more volunteer opportunities here.

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Photo of the Day, Travel, What Makes Me Smile

California’s Gold

Things have been busy and I knew I needed to steal a little time to get away. So after we picked up the little one from her amazing VBS, we headed to the foothills to Coloma.

It’s a town famous for James Marshall finding gold along the river in 1848, and Troublemaker (infamous to Sacramento river rafters). Boasting a population of 529, there is a lot of charm packed into this micro-town. It includes a blacksmith, a post office, a handful of  places to grab food and listen to live music.

After parking, our first destination was the farm-to-fork restaurant, Argonaut Cafe. Our sandwiches were filling and the cookies sweet and warm. It was the perfect place to fuel before we headed for the Monument Trail.

I’m a huge Yelper, and here is a picture of us in the back room of the cafe.

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The Monument Trail leads you to the old jail, the catholic church from 18oos, the cemetery with gravestone markers going back to the time of the Gold Rush (I’m creepy like that), James Marshall’s cabin, and the monument erected in his honor in 1890.

Along the trail, we were greeted with this lovely little sign:

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We definitely kept our eyes out on this quiet trail. We didn’t see any other hikers, so we decided to sing John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt with the thought it would keep unwanted meetings from occurring.

After the hike, we crossed the Coloma bridge (my family is silly), built in 1915, to grab an ice cream at the Coloma Resort, the place I camped every year as a kid. IMG_0496

After putting our feet in the river to cool down, it was time to come home. It was a quick trip but enjoyable and full of history. Check out Coloma and lose yourself for a little while.

What Makes Me Smile

My Dad

I’m not one to talk about “feelings” and hugs and kisses make me nervous. I’ve never been one to say ‘I Love You’. Not that I don’t feel it, I just struggle to say it. I know my dad knew it, even if I didn’t say it much, but I loved him very much. And each day, I strive to be more like him as a parent, friend, sibling, spouse (one day).

Each passing year has not been made easier that my dad isn’t here to be praised for Father’s Day. I’m not sure it will ever get easier. You just get better at dealing with the pain. But today, on Father’s Day, I reflect on what made him such a great Dad!!

He showed up and participated in all our activities. He was there at every soccer game (even though I was sometimes cranky), every talent show, and every concert recital (where he had to sit through 4th graders on wind instruments). But he was there.  I never had to worry when I looked over in the stands during my rugby games, or the bleachers during band concerts if he would be there.

He wanted us to have great experiences as a family. We were always going on trips, big or small. We would camp, small trips to Solvang, and, of course, DisneyLand. In fact, my parents started taking me to Disneyland when I was a baby. Now it’s in my DNA.

The quality of our home life was important to him. Summers he bbq’d while we swam. Winters we would cut down trees and watch homes movies. When I wanted to redecorate my room, he was there to help me paint all my books shelves in crazy colors. My childhood sometimes feels like a dream.

He didn’t get much time with my daughter, but I know that if he was here, he would still be at all her cheer games, all the talent and fashion shows, and each trip we take to Disneyland.

I miss him a lot still, and I wish I spent more time telling him how much I appreciate everything he did for us.

There are thousands of pictures of my dad being an awesome dad. But I thought I would post some that really conveyed the kind of emotion he had for his kids. He did so much for us and never a complaint. He did it all with his heart.