Adventures of Home Life Finding ways to keep ourselves entertained and sane... most of the time. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 19:02:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Valentine’s Day Bookmarks Tue, 28 Jan 2014 19:01:31 +0000 Jenn While I’d like to take credit for these, I didn’t come up with the idea myself. I saw it on Pinterest, and all I can say is that I did go to the store myself and I punched the designs into the paint chip cards. Not much effort on my part, but I’m still impressed that I did it…


The Younger and I had a good time with these, after a lot of silent cursing and bruised thumbs because I bought the worst craft punches ever. She got to cut the ribbon and told me where to punch the hearts and stars, and then she did some “free” art with the cutouts.

I used the above supplies, but you don’t need anything other than the paint chip cards and the heart punch. I just prefer smooth corners, so I used my scrap-booking corner cutter.

When she lost interest, she moved on to her own artwork. Needless to say, she had a great time! I saved all the tiny hearts she didn’t use, because I’m sure we’ll come up with something fun to do with them!

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No Fireplace Mantel for Stockings? No Problem! Wed, 18 Dec 2013 12:00:32 +0000 Jenn

We don’t have a mantel, and it was frustrating when it came time to hang the stockings by the chimney with care. I looked around on the internet, but it turned out there was very little to choose from when it came to hanging things on brick! I ended up fashioning something out of what we had here at home, and I was pretty pleased with how it came out!

All I had to do to achieve this was secure one 3M hanger (with the adhesive backs) on either side of the brick face. I let that sit overnight, and then I strung some heavy Christmas-themed ribbon across and tied the ends around the hooks. I then used some leftover wire ornament hangers for the ‘hangers’, and voila! The stockings hung beautifully!

One word of caution: This is not ideal for stockings that are filled. I’d suggest leaving Santa a note and telling him to remove the stockings, fill them, and then place them somewhere else, like on a table or couch.


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Countdown to Christmas Calendar Mon, 16 Dec 2013 23:42:48 +0000 Jenn We have all sorts of calendars to help us count down to the Big Day. We have Santa with a cotton ball beard, an Advent calendar that was sent home from school that is complete with Bible verses, chocolate countdowns… But this one has turned out to be a favorite for the kids.

I got a simple calendar from the Dollar Store, and I found some ‘miniature’ ornaments. I had these tiny tress that I picked up some years ago (and I still see at places like Michael’s stores), and couldn’t find a good use for, so I decided that I’d fill the days with the ornaments, and the kids could decorate their own tress by removing ornaments from the corresponding day’s pocket.

I love this, because their tress are different every year, and unlike our family tree in the living room, I don’t cringe when they want to cluster the ornaments on one branch or shed a tear when they take the ornaments off and relocate them depending on their mood. They each have their own tree to decorate as they wish, and no one can tell them how it “should” be done; there’s absolutely no fighting about where specific things should go, and that’s wonderful! :-)


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Thankful Turkey Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:40:11 +0000 Jenn I’ve been promising The Younger that we would do our thankful turkeys, but we’ve been so busy getting everything ready for the Cub Scout camping weekend, I didn’t have time before today.

This was super easy to make, and both The Younger and The Older had so much fun making them! All you need is construction paper, paper bags (the lunch size ones), glue, a pen, old newspaper, and some googly eyes (if you want them).

First cut out the ‘feathers.’ I tried to keep them fall colored, but The Older made his with each color of the rainbow…

Once the ‘feathers’ are all cut out, have the kids think of what they’re thankful for this year. Have them (or you) write down each thing on one of the ‘feathers.’

After that, trace your child’s hand on a piece of construction paper to use at the turkey ‘feet,’ then cut that out.

Stuff the lunch bag with balled up newspaper halfway (bottom of the bag facing upwards with the flap  opening towards you). Fold the bottom half of the bag the opposite direction of the flap (away from you), and then glue the wrist section of the hand cutout to the bottom portion.

This gives the turkey its ‘feet’ from the fingers of the hand cutout. Have your child glue the filled out ‘feathers’ onto the back of the turkey, add a red wattle and a cutout orange triangle for a beak, glue on the googly eyes, and voila!

We’re going to use ours as the centerpiece this year :-)


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Friends Mon, 11 Nov 2013 18:27:09 +0000 Jenn We’ve been so caught up in everything here at home, I haven’t really had time to update this poor blog. Right now we’re working on having The Older and his possible service dog bond, and it’s a lot more work than I thought it would be. I’ll update more on that later, but for now:

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Amazing Wed, 06 Nov 2013 10:13:17 +0000 Jenn My son turns 10 today. I’ve been saying it out loud to let the words roll over my tongue in an effort to make them sound real and to get used to saying them. He’s a decade old. A fourth grader. A 10-year-old boy. A pre-teen. A fighter. A warrior. A hero.


I pulled out some e-mails that I don’t read very often. I was feeling nostalgic over things I couldn’t remember and wasn’t even sure I wanted to, and sometimes these glances into the past are as shocking to me as they would be to someone who hadn’t lived through what we did.

“Yesterday was a little rough… They promised me I could hold him and feed him after getting some blood from his feet.. he was crying… his head had swollen so much!… I was told I couldn’t hold him because his respiratory rate was too high… I got to hold his feeding tube so it was sort of like I was feeding him… They had to pump the remaining cc’s of milk into him since he couldn’t hold it…They’re going to try the open-air crib tomorrow and monitor him…”

Some of the memories come crashing back, but others I must have let go for fear they would crush me. I do remember the phone calls every shift to make sure nothing had happened to him in the time between visits, the long hours during the night where I’d lay awake and worry and cry and hope and pray, and then the crushing relief when the NICU would answer my 5 am call and tell me he had been stable all night. I know I made my way through life those 22 days (528 hours, 31,680 minutes), but I can’t remember much of anything. It’s sad in some ways, but in other ways I’m grateful that I was too numb to make memories.

My life had fallen into place with such a predictable pattern beforehand, it hadn’t even occurred to me that something might not happen they way it was supposed to. Move out of parents house, check. Get  full-time job, check. Meet fantastic guy, check. Get engaged, check. Get married, check. Get pregnant, check. Have healthy baby… That’s where there was a crimp in my blueprint, I guess, but I didn’t realize it. When my water broke 7 weeks early, I was stupidly excited that I would be the first of my “Expecting Club,” to have a baby. I assumed everything was going to be fine, because why shouldn’t it be? To this day I’m glad I was so blissfully ignorant, because if I could have seen into the future just a little bit, I would have been terror-stricken.

I have clear memories of his actual birth, and everything went smoothly. However, after the delivery, I didn’t understand why the doctor refused to take him out of the room before I kissed him (even though I kept saying no), nor did I grasp how dire the situation was when an entire NICU team swooped in, spent maybe a minute doing whatever it was they were doing, and then ran out the door with him in a plastic box. I didn’t know he was supposed to be crying, or that they usually let you hold your baby right after birth, or that all the weighing/bathing/dressing/cuddling takes place in the parent’s room. I thought what was going on was normal, and I’m glad to say I was clueless. I had no idea that they saved his life in the few minutes he had spent in the delivery room, and it was probably three years before The Daddy ever told me.

That was 10 years ago, and since that time we’ve had our share of  roller coaster rides. That being said, I couldn’t be happier or more proud of the young man he is today. He’s smart, loving, compassionate, and funny. He has the biggest heart of anyone I know, child or adult, and even when someone hurts him, his heart is open to forgive them and call them ‘friend’ again. His love for animals his heartwarming, and he is especially gentle and understanding toward children younger than he is. He can recognize when someone is hurting, and he’ll do anything he can to make them smile again. He’s fiercely competitive, amazingly committed to causes he believes in, and his family means everything to him. He will help people without them asking and never thinks to ask for anything in return; getting recognition for doing things never crosses his mind. His life is full of therapists, doctor appointments, specialists, procedures, and medication, but he faces it all with a determination and bravery that leaves me breathless sometimes.

He is my hero, and he is my angel on earth. I am beyond blessed that I have been given the gift of having him in my life, and I am eternally grateful that I am the one he calls Mommy.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!!!!!

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The Countdown Begins! Fri, 01 Nov 2013 15:34:56 +0000 Jenn This is my favorite time of year! Despite the fact it’s a balmy 82 degrees here, it is in fact November 1st! This means Halloween is over (thankfully), Thanksgiving is coming, Christmas is quickly approaching, and it’s time for doing fun, holiday-themed things with the kids! So, in between The Older’s birthday, working toward a 50,000 word goal for NaNoWriMo, prepping to host Thanksgiving, and volunteering at the kids’ schools, I’ll be doing tons of crafts and activities. The first one is scheduled for today, so stay tuned!


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My Miracle Turns 5 Today Thu, 24 Oct 2013 21:12:48 +0000 Jenn Happy birthday to my second miracle! She helped me find my Faith when I was lost and filled even the darkest, most bruised part of my heart when I had given up hope. With her dramatic arrival my soul was complete, my family whole, my love even more fierce. Thank you, God, for blessing me with such an amazing spirit and entrusting me with her journey through life. She is in every beat of my heart and in every breath I breathe, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Happy birthday, Reilly!

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NaNoWriMo Synopsis Tue, 22 Oct 2013 13:29:10 +0000 Jenn RELEASE ME

Sixteen-year-old Jordan Matthews is eagerly awaiting the start of her junior year of high school. She’s excited about getting her drivers license, happy to be an upperclassman, and thrilled that the end of her high school career is in sight.

Her future changes one summer night when the police arrive to take her mother away in handcuffs and Children’s Services sends her to live with her aunt in the prestigious town of Cooper’s Landing. Unfortunately, Jordan’s aunt isn’t one of the elite citizens; she lives in the outskirts of town and cleans the large mansions, and Jordan quickly learns that being the niece of a lowly housekeeper doesn’t help her achieve popularity with the other kids in town.

When her aunt gets sick and can’t keep up with her workload, Jordan is forced to help her even though she’s mortified at the thought. She manages to keep herself from getting noticed until she finds herself at the Holloway mansion, home of one of the most popular junior boys. While scrubbing the kitchen floor, Clayton Holloway comes home early from school with a group of friends, and Jordan knows her life going to fall apart.

Or is it? Although ashamed and embarrassed, Jordan begins to be accepted by the ‘inner circle’ and starts making friends. As she gets closer and the trust between them grows, Jordan discovers that these privileged kids aren’t at all what they seem, and some of them are hiding secrets even darker than her own. She starts to feel that maybe the move to Cooper’s Landing wasn’t such a bad thing, until the truth beneath her new friends’ motives rise to the surface and she’s left to question everything, including the relationship she has with her own mother and her growing feelings for Clayton Holloway himself.

Release Me is a tale of personal growth, family loyalty, and the tests of friendship and first love.

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Greekorian by Lacole Kinter Thu, 17 Oct 2013 17:01:39 +0000 Jenn I am excited to be one of the first people helping to promote my friend’s new book! It’s set to release on October 31, 2013, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Adrasteia Lakent is on the verge of her 18th birthday when she decides to take a chance and find her father, a man whom she knows nothing about apart from his first and last name. Driven by never having a father figure in her life, she devastates her mother with a planned trip to Oregon, her place of birth and the last place Derek Lakent was seen.

Before she can even pay for her plane ticket, things start going horrifically wrong. Soon her boyfriend is being accused of murders she knows he didn’t commit, and her mother is ushering her to the airport before she has the chance to graduate high school.

After arriving in Oregon, the truth is uncovered and it isn’t anything close to what she envisioned. Everything she’s ever been told has been part of an intricately spun deception. She finds herself wrapped up in a destiny she never fathomed. Will she embrace the fighter within or give in to her predetermined fate?

Greekorians: a world she never knew she was a part of.

  • Expected Release Date October 31st.

You can follow Lacole’s blog here: Lacole’s Affliction.

Don’t forget to add Greekorian it to your GoodReads account too! Greekorian on GoodReads

Happy reading!


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