Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Miss K's Volleyball KISS Story

I love reading what my children write, and sometimes even share their writings on my blog. After all this is a blog about living, laughing, LEARNING, and loving from our nest. As my second grader prepares to become a third grader, I am seeing more and more writing prompts come home with her. Miss K is my creative one, she would rather be making something than doing what has to be done. Anyone else have a child like that? Or on another note does anyone else have a child that is a mirror image of themselves? She is definitely my mirror.

I can only imagine what she was thinking when her teacher gave the class a Hershey's Kiss and told them to carefully peel off the wrapper. Told them that the Kiss that was being given was going to turn into something....

A Volleyball. It turned into a volleyball because I love volleyball. I am not in it yet but I get about a foot away from my closet and throw the ball and it bounces away from me and so the game is against the closet. My brothers girlfriend plays volleyball and she plays for the Tigers and my brother's school. And the ball always came toward me and my family. I tried to hit the ball but couldn't. I really love volleyball. I love it. I LOOOOOOOVVVVEE itttttttttttt.

Any guesses on which sport Miss K just signed up to play?

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P.S. I am really hoping I got every O, V, E and T accounted for in the rewrite of that story. She told me that her teacher said every line had to be filled up. Oh my.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Versona: Grand Opening

I was invited to be a guest at the February 26, 2015 grand opening of the Versona located in the Tulsa Hills Shopping Center. After the week I have had, I was in the need of some therapy, and personal retail therapy was calling my name.

From the moment you walk into this store you are in awe. It is so big. Everything is SO organized. Organized by colors. If you want a Cool Mint clothing item, the table behind it has a variety of mint colored accessories from earrings to purses to match. If you are Santa Fe inspired, there is a turquoise or rustic accessory to go with it. There wasn't an inch of this store that Miss K and I didn't explore. I believe she touched every single accessory. (She even told me that the restroom was nice, yes that is important to kids and Moma's. I would sure hate to leave my much desired merchandise behind due to a potty break.)

Oh, Black & White. How I love thee. Obviously Miss K does also. 

I will be returning for this dress! Only $34.99.

Verona prides itself in being, "An exclusive women's boutique offering apparel and accessories at exceptional prices every day!" It's prices range from $7.99-$54.99. Sizes 2-14 and XS-XL. Here are a few things that we tried on/bought. 

Marsha, the store manager even took a grand opening selfie with me. The entire staff is so nice. Especially Gabriel, the gentleman who greeted us at the door. Be sure to follow Versona on all their social media sites. Facebook, TwitterInstagram, the Tulsa Hills store even has its very own Instagram

If you are out and about this weekend, be sure to stop by the newest store in Tulsa Hills- Versona! Near Michael's, 7522 South Olympia Avenue. Be sure to tell them I sent you!

And if you are looking for a Versona in a city located close to you, click here.

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*I was sent a VIP gift card and an exclusive invitation to attend the grand opening. This post is 100% my own opinion. And of course I spent more than the gift card.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Valentine Let Your Light Shine Printable Card

One of my favorite sayings to my kids is "let your light shine". As a Christian this phrase serves as a reminder daily to us to let our words and actions be just like Christ's were. To also be a reflection that Christ is in our heart, and when our light shines brightly for other they will see and want to also know the love of Jesus.

Valentine's Day is all about the LOVE, right? Married couples, engaged couples, dating couples, etc...But what about the little kids who aren't "in love yet"? I find that it is so hard to find classmate Valentine cards that are just simply for FRIENDS. Do your kids ever go through those generic packs and say I can't give that to Jane because she may think I like her? Or that one is too girly for Sam. I often think that our children grow up way to fast with all this boyfriend/girlfriend, kissy kissy, dating, gift exchanging stuff. Why rush it? Let them be kids.

Miss K will be taking these to her friends at school this Valentine's Day.

I created them in PicMonkey, then I punched holes in the ends. I purchased glow bracelets at Michaels for $1- 12 in a package (price before my coupon). Here is the finished Valentine. 2nd graders love the glow bracelets. 

I made a blank one for my readers to use also. Feel free to download at this link

And now to move on to the 14 year old...What? Carnations for sale at his school for $1. What ever happened to candy grams? 

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Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

*This post contains affiliate links

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Miss K turns 8!

Miss K turned 8 on Saturday. I have an EIGHT year old daughter. Once again we hosted a Birthday Party on a Budget. Total spent on party- $55!

I made the invitation in PicMonkey. Had them printed at Wal-Mart as 4x6 prints and invited 9 friends.

I picked up canvases and acrylic paints from Michaels and ordered paint trays, brushes and aprons from Amazon. I then used masking tape and taped off each girl's first letter of their name. Letters like "R" and "S" are hard y'all!

The girls painted over their taped off initial. They painted their way. Girls are creative that way.

The birthday girl hard at work. 

The final masterpieces! So adorable!

For the "birthday cake", I made cake balls. 81 cake balls to be exacts. Only 79 ended up getting decorated, and 45 ended up on the cake plates for the girls to eat. I served Miss K's favorite Cherry Limeade in Mason jars and Cheddar Cheese Bugles.

Each guest got their picture taken with the birthday girl. I really should have thought and had a better background other than the garage door. I will print these pictures out and send as the thank you card. 

 My sweet little sassy, artsy dancer is EIGHT YEARS OLD! Yes, we butt heads- like mad, but each day it is like looking into a mirror of myself at that age. I often wonder aloud about where she gets her independence, about where she gets her energy, her constant need to be doing something. I find more often than not that her need to do something involves creativity, either through a craft or through dance. I mean really, what 8 year old asks for duct tape and rubber bands for her birthday? She truly is my mini-me. She reciprocates everything I do, yet still embraces her own individuality. She is growing into a beautiful young lady, and I thank God each day that He chose me to be her mother.

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P.S. Do you see the chalkboard easel in the first picture? My friend Glenna gave it to us. A huge shout of thank you goes out to her for that party decoration and toy. Also, what I didn't mention in the post was my trip to urgent care the morning of Miss K's party. My boy took over the heavy lifting and clean up of this party. I could never have pulled it off without him. My kids are AWESOME!

*This post contains affiliate links

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Memory of You

Several times over the past week, I have sit down to write my favorite memory of you. You can only imagine how many times I have backspaced and deleted this post. I chose to place my memory on here rather than the pieces of paper that I had prepared for everyone to write on and deposit in the memory jar that sit on your head table at the surprise 60th party we threw for you on Saturday. I chose to put it here, because just as I suspected you ended up reading the memories of your guest aloud in front of me. We laughed and we cried. Great memories. I choose to put my memory here because I cannot be in front of you when you read this.

My memory is not limited to just one. But two.

December 12. 2000
January 31, 2007

The two days I gave birth. First to B. Second to Miss K.

You were there. In the room both times. Both times with your oldest baby, me, as I gave birth and realized for the first time as I held my babies the love that only a mother can for her children. You understood the fear I felt when he wasn't allowed to cry immediately and the fear when she wouldn't cry. You understood both times when I cried from phone calls received not long after giving birth. One from a man who I longed to be a daddy and husband, the other from a screaming newborn baby girl. You fell in love with those babies as much as I did when you also first held them. What an awesome Nana you are.

My memories of those two days stand out above all other memories. Probably because you taught me everything I know about being a mother. About the sacrifices, the tears, the absolute joy of being called Moma. And hearing those words....

I love you Moma!!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Gourmet Lasagna with #RedGold

Today's dish of Classic Lasagna is brought to you by RedGold and Laura's Lean Beef. To kick off 2015, Red Gold is hosting a promotion that began January 13 during which twice a week they are giving away a Le Creuset Lasagna Pan, a Simple Gourmet Lasagna Kit, Red Gold spatula, Garfield Toy, coupons and an apron. Just go to this link to enter!

Perfect for any healthier eating resolutions in the New Year, Red Gold is hosting this promotion along with Laura's Lean Beef, and developed a delicious Skinny Lasagna recipe. And of course you can add all kinds of things to it to make it your own gourmet lasagna- but it might not be as skinny!

Now I am not very creative on lasagna and I think I have only made it twice in the almost ten years we have been married. Lasagna honestly scares me because of the calories, and prep time. And instead of making the complete low fat version, since I am the ONLY one in my family who will eat cottage cheese, I had to make their classic recipe using the low fat ricotta. I will tell you one secret that I did differently- mix your layer of ricotta, mozzarella, and sauce together. It spreads so much easier on top of those noodles. I highlighted this in the recipe below.

1/2 cup water
1 (28 ounce) can Red Gold® Crushed Tomatoes, or 2 (15 ounce) cans Red Gold Crushed Tomatoes
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Red Gold® Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano
Salt to taste
1 pound Laura's 92% Lean Ground Beef, or any ground beef or Italian sausage, cooked and drained
1 (16 ounce) box traditional lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 (15 ounce) carton low fat ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350° F. In large mixing bowl combine water, crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes,
salt and ground beef, stir to combine ingredients.
Cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan with 1½ cups of sauce mixture. Arrange 1/3 of noodles
on top of sauce, slightly overlapped. Top with ½ of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1
cup of sauce. (this is where I mix the layer of ricotta, mozzarella, and sauce together)
Repeat layers and top with last 1/3 of noodles and the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 to 1½ hours; until noodles are cooked.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

The recipe makes 12 servings, but you could divide the recipe into two 9x9 inch baking dishes and
freeze one for a wintry night supper.
I of course made only the one pan. We will see if there are any leftovers....

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Red Gold and Laura's Lean Beef for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a samples of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Today's Post: My 2015 Word For the Year: BELIEVE


This word and action has been popping out of my mouth a lot the past few months. It kind of hit me as a huge DUH when it came time to choose my one word to focus on for 2015.

Today I am guest posting at the Happy First blog. Be sure to visit me there today to read my thoughts about why I chose this word.

I would love to hear your Word for the Year and thoughts!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Love Canvas

During Christmas vacation we had a case of boredom. Imagine that. Miss K and I have a secret board on Pinterest titled 8th Birthday. We decided back in the summer that she needed to have a painting party. A what? Seriously? In January? In mine or her Grandma's house? Yep. We are. So, we have a few ideas brewing, still not completely decided on, but the supplies are bought and the invitations are ready to go out on Monday.

Once again. Birthday Party on a Budget. Party post coming soon.

So since boredom set in and I still had a few canvases left over from my A Very Pinteresting Christmas Party 2014, I sat her down and let her paint. This painting is inspired by this pin. And I apologize ahead of time. You can click on it, but it's one of those pins that is not pinned correctly and doesn't take you directly to the DIY post. People. Pin the post, not the blog.

Here is what we used:

Painters Tape (warning be sure your painters tape has not been left outside by your children. It might not stick well)
Acrylic Paint- we used Silver, Pink, Purple, Christmas Red, and White to touch up the letters where the paint bled under the painters tape.
A Paper Plate to put the paint on
Paint Brushes

Miss K painted the entire canvas- even over the painters tape to achieve the background color she wanted, then in strokes she went over in individual colors. Like I said the paint did bleed a bit, but white paint fixed it up with no problem. 

Isn't it just perfect for Valentine's Day? 

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Today's Post...Foodie Friday at OkWB: Cornbread Chicken Pot-Pie

Say what? Yes. Cornbread Chicken Pot-Pie. And I use the OVEN to make this recipe. Head over to OkWB today and read about this recipe.

(print recipe card)

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What's Cookin' in your Crockpot today?

It is cold outside today, and just going to get colder and windier as the day goes. I think I heard at one point 16 degrees with negative degree wind chills. So cold that I received two different phone calls via Parent Connect from two different Principals that basically said, "Parents, You are the BOSS. Dress your kids for Arctic weather." Yeah, right. I guess when my teen shows up in shorts, either I will be in the principals office or maybe even worse. I started picking my battles last year with his "style". Good grades, good kid. So, when you see his legs today, know that they were covered when he left my care.

So, What's Cookin' in MY Crockpot today?

Taco Soup. I really cannot believe I don't have this recipe on the blog. I guess maybe I thought everyone makes the same one. There are still a few variations you can do with this one. Like if you don't have a can of this you can add a can of that. If you like HOT, add a can of jalapeno pinto beans.

This is easy people. Enjoy.

(print recipe)

 What's Cookin' in your Crockpot today?
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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Nana's Christmas Gift: Bird Seed Wreaths

What did the greatest Moma and Nana in the world get for Christmas?

Bird Seed Wreaths. Yes, she is a bird fanatic. And since it's Winter in Oklahoma the birds need to eat and I can buy seed and make something pretty.

I found the idea on Pinterest of course. Here is my recipe, I ended up using more bird seed and flour than the ones on Pinterest, while mixing it up it just didn't seem thick enough.

What you need:

5 cups bird seed feed
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup water
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
4 envelopes of Knox gelatin
cooking spray
bundt pan

  1. Spray the bundt pan. 
  2. In a saucepan, add water and gelatin. Don't boil. Just make sure it is mixed well.  Pour into large bowl. 
  3. Add flour and corn syrup into the gelatin mixture. Use a whisk so there are no lumps.
  4. Add bird seeds and mix well. I used the whisk the first time to mix my bird seed and switched to a spoon the next time. 
  5. Press the seeds into the mold until it is good and firm. After about 20 minutes I flipped my wreath out of the pan using a butter knife onto paper towels. I only own one bundt pan and needed to make more wreaths. Be sure to allow adequate drying time on each side. I let mine dry about 48 hours before wrapping it up. 
  6. Place a ribbon through the wreath and hang. 

So far only her yellow finches like the wreaths, but she hasn't sent me pictures. Boo. She claims that she has too many sunflower seeds out right now and the rest of her birds love those more. I see how they are. Snobby birds. 

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014 & Word for the Year


Another fantabulous year of living, laughing, learning and loving at our nest. My word for 2014 was RESTORE. I can say with confidence by reflecting over the past 365 days that I achieved a full focus and emphasis on just that word- RESTORE. Did I get to restore everything I planned, no. But that is why there is a one word focus. 

With this blog post, our family blog wrote 101 posts this year. More than 10,601 people saw Pins from The 4-Crow's Blog on Pinterest in 2014.WOW!  Our year end link up's also received more activity than ever before. I cannot wait to see what is in store for next year. I also have guest posted at several other places including Oklahoma Women Bloggers and Happy First- this is where you can find why I chose my 2014 word..

We now have an 8th grader and a 2nd Grader! I just received the notification this month that I must enroll the 8th grader into high school in January- YIKES! Our lives are still full of sight words, reading, writing and arithmetic. Activities still include basketball, ballet, PTA, and church.

We have had a few uh oh's in our physical health, B has had a few sprains, and Jason a few broken ribs. I probably shouldn't tell everyone about his fight one morning with the shower curtain, tub and toilet. Evidently you don't heal well in your 40's. 

Speaking of 40's, that was a HUGE highlight of 2014. I turned 40 and Fabulous!

There are many words to choose from for 2015. I do have ONE word that stands out, but I am NOT sharing just yet.

As some of you may or may not know I am Happy First's assistant. For five years now Debbie Vinyard, the owner, has asked her readers/followers to come up with a word for the year. We have a group Pinterest board that we have invited people to pin those words/blog posts. In 2015, we would like to do that again, but would also like to feature more of those posts on the Happy First Blog. I would like to personally invite the you to send your Word Posts to us with links back to your own blogs & pages. You can email to: info@happyfirst.com. Here is last year's initial post which included Debbie's 2014 word- ZEN, be watching the Happy First blog tomorrow for her 2015 word.

What is your Word For 2015? Happy New Year from Our Nest to Yours!

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