Saturday, September 29, 2012

General Conference with kids!

It's almost time for General Conference! Saturday and Sunday, October 6th and 7th. Twice a year the leaders of the Mormon church speak. It's a wonderful event and all people of all religions are invited to participate. If you've ever wondered about what Mormons believe, this is a perfect opportunity.


We Mormons like to watch it together as families. 

It can be a little difficult for our littlest members to pay attention. 


This April we tried a "conference store". We played bingo (found in our General Conference packets). The words we listened for included, "Jesus, love, prayer, church, eternal, prophet, priesthood, and families. Anyone ever listened for how often families are mentioned in General Conference? A lot.

Most of our April store came from the Dollar Tree. Some treats. A couple bird houses to paint. Glow in the dark sticks for bathtime. They were very excited. Whenever Lydia got a bingo, Collin got a treat too. He mostly listened for the word Jesus. Also said a lot.

My October "conference store" isn't put together yet, but it came almost exclusively from the dollar section of Target when everything was 75% off.


Conference packets are awesome. I would have LOVED these as a kid.
Food Storage and Beyond is my personal pick and they just posted the October "issue".


We also set up a "Conference Reverence tent" in the living room to represent the story of King Benjamin. It was helpful since we've turned off our cable and had to watch it on my laptop.

The kids did great this last conference! Lydia learned so much. I loved to hear all of her thoughts on the words of our leaders. 

And, judge me if you want, but who doesn't like going to "church" in their pjs?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Book Giveaway - January First

Now that we are entering into Autumn, I'm putting away my fluff beach reads and looking for something a little more impactful. If you're on the same quest, I've got a doozy for you.

January First: A Child's Descent into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her by Michael Schofield.

Michael Schofield’s daughter January is at the mercy of her imaginary friends, except they aren’t the imaginary friends that most young children have; they are hallucinations. And January is caught in the conflict between our world and their world, a place she calls Calalini.  Some of these hallucinations, like “24 Hours,” are friendly and some, like “400 the Cat” and “Wednesday the Rat,” bite and scratch her until she does what they want.  They often tell her to scream at strangers, jump out of buildings, and attack her baby brother.

At six years old, January Schofield, “Janni,” to her family, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, one of the worst mental illnesses known to man.  What’s more, schizophrenia is 20 to 30 times more severe in children than in adults and in January’s case, doctors say, she is hallucinating 95 percent of the time that she is awake. Potent psychiatric drugs that would level most adults barely faze her.

A New York Times bestseller, January First captures Michael and his family's remarkable story in a narrative that forges new territory within books about mental illness. In the beginning, readers see Janni’s incredible early potential: her brilliance, and savant-like ability to learn extremely abstract concepts. Next, they witnesses early warning signs that something is not right, Michael’s attempts to rationalize what’s happening, and his descent alongside his daughter into the abyss of schizophrenia.  Their battle has included a two-year search for answers, countless medications and hospitalizations, allegations of abuse, despair that almost broke their family apart and, finally, victories against the illness and a new faith that they can create a life for Janni filled with moments of happiness. 

This book is amazing. The struggle of this father to find answers for his little girl is heart wrenching and beautiful. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I started it one night after the kids went to bed and read all night until I finished. This powerful father's memoir is a must read.


One natalie's sentiments will be receiving their own hardback copy of January First, compliments of Random House.

To enter:

Tell me in a comment what book has inspired you lately.

Randomly selected winner announced October 3rd.


Monday, September 24, 2012

The most adorable Halloween craft in the history of mankind.

Ever actually screamed when opening a gift? Well, I have. Last month when I opened my birthday gift from my sister Emily.


Seriously. You have to be kidding. This the the most ADORABLE thing I have ever seen. Emily said she saw clothespin families on Pinterest. Being the genius that she is, she thought to herself... "I bet I could make that with halloween characters". 

So with her permission I am sharing it with you so if you want to attempt to imitate her extreme talent, you can. 



She used a wooden plaque from a craft store and painted the edges black and center a minty green.
I love the glitter around the edge of the plaque. It's all about the details people.



And then of course the little clothespin people.
I think the cat women is my favorite. Or maybe the vampire. Or the bride of Frankenstein??? I don't know, they are all so cute!



I told her she should sell these on etsy, but she said it took her three nights to paint all the characters.

So that's probably not going to happen. Guess you will have to try it out for yourself!


If you have any questions for my sister regarding how she did this, leave them here on this post with your email and I will send them her way.

Thank you Emily!!!! This is the kind of thing my kids will fight over when I'm gone :)


Thursday, September 20, 2012

InstaFriday #17

Thursday night 10:30 PM - As I am at home in my sweats, compyling this blog post, this is where Shane is:


Why am I not with him? Here is a recent facebook update to explain:


"Shane calls me excitedly - "Natalie, I was just handed two box seat tickets to the BSU vs BYU game!"

me - "Oh my gosh! That will be so fun! Do you think I'll be killed if I wear my BYU shirt?"

Shane - Oh. You wanted to come? I already invited Matt."
___________

I guess that bros before hoes doesn't end at marriage.


So no, I'm not with him. He took Matt. 

And can I mention how annoyed I am that Shane choose to ignore his Alma mater and wear BSU gear? He says he likes both teams equally. Whatever. GO BYU!!!!!


I really can't complain since last Saturday I spent the entire afternoon at the spa as part of Shane's birthday gift to me. Massage, facial. Heaven. Then a mani pedi overlooking the Boise river while sipping sparkling pear juice. It was pretty much the best afternoon of all time.


Sparkle black polish just screams October to me.



I really needed that spa day after an entire week of the stomach flu going around my family. Poor little Collin got it the worse. He just laid in my bed miserable. I kind of loved the cuddle time though.


During this week of sick, Collin learned how to take photos of himself. Notice two when I'm still asleep. Then he woke me up to show me his new trick.



I got it last. 

I really wish my mommy lived closer at times like this. 

This lifesaver was the only piece of food I could stomach for 36 hours.



The kids picked me some cheery flowers.

My apologies to whichever neighbors yard these came from.



I got a pick me up when the sweetest little hair clip came from etsy shop leesaland
It's for Lydia, but I'm going to steal it.
 (Thank you Lisa, I love it!)



Shane and I totally rocked the elementary school carnival.


Snow cones and facepaint goes well with the weather that never seems to drop below 90.


I'm trying to be better with my meal planning so that I spend less.

Here's my menu for the week.

Sunday - 
Lentil soup with bread. Plum tart

Monday - Chicken and dumplings, roasted carrots, green salad

Tuesday - Spaghetti with homemade sauce, cut veggies, salad

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Broccoli soup with ham and rolls (at friend's house) - bring dessert

Friday - Grilled shrimp with broccoli and mashed potatoes

Saturday - Taco soup

Sunday - Eggplant Parmesan with mashed potatoes

Monday - midnight pasta

Tuesday - Grilled fish with steamed edamame and rice.




And of course, the potty training battle. 

I'm so over it. But Collin sure is cute in his efforts.


Lydia's best friend just moved to a farm house in the country. She loves it there. 

Do you think their farmer neighbor would mind if I snagged a couple pieces of corn? Probably. 


And lastly, I had the best hair day today! I followed this tutorial. The only difference was I used less hair product than recommended, though I used all the same brands. Just less of it. I wanted it to stay soft. I tried it with the amounts recommended and it was just too crunchy for me. I love it this way and it didn't even take too long. I think it will be my new "dress up" do. Now I just need some place to go.

Sure wish I was at the BYU game tonight.

Ok, enough, I'm over it.

*********

Follow me on instagram @natssentiments



life rearranged

P.S. Happy birthday to my baby sister Molly today!!!! The big 25!

Handmade Swap III


Update - All spots are full! If you really really really wanted to participate and didn't get a spot, email me and we can do a "mini swap". If you did get a spot, make sure to email me your address ASAP. Thanks!

It's time for the third annual handmade swap. Yay!  I have been busy for the last few weeks making some very cool homemade lovelies. I've got a little more work to do, but soon I will have 10 packages all made up for 10 of you.

Want one? This is how it works. Sign up to participate and I will send you a package full of  handmade goodies, and in exchange you send me a package with your handmade creations. This time around, I will be emailing participants a list of what my packages will contain. That way you will know if it's something you would like and also to make your package comparable. 

Just a hint, my packages will take care of at least 5 small Christmas gifts for you and still leave you a couple things for yourself.  Or keep everything! It's your package! (And yes, if you're wondering, you will definitely find something yellow to wear in there.)

Interested? Email me by Sunday night at nataliessentiments@gmail.com
. My only requirements are that you be a blogger (or at least have a blogger profile) or have an Etsy shop. And live in the USA. 

Ok - back to the craft table. I have a craft table now. It's right in my bedroom. Shane loves it. Oh wait no. It's the bane of his existence. I keep telling him, just a month or so more and I'll be totally done with it. But we all know that's a lie....



Gift wrap idea from Handmade Weddings.

Monday, September 17, 2012

School on the Go!

There are a few things I've been wanting to teach Lydia that aren't covered in first grade.
Telling time.
Tying shoes. 
Understanding money.

I've asked Shane to handle shoes and clocks.

Here's how I'm handling the money lesson....


Just a piece of cardboard or thin wood, some stickers, glue gun and change.



Now as we drive I ask her to figure out different ways to make certain amounts. 

She knows lot's of different ways to make $1.16. 
That's how much my (caffeine free) diet coke refills cost.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Up staging the Stage Mom



I have an acquaintance who really really (really) likes to talk about how her kids are models. They have been in a few catalogs and such. She's a bit of a stage mom. 

I knew she would be coming to my house, so as a joke I made this little fake "ad" with a photo my sister took of Collin. I framed it and put it in on a shelf in the living room behind a few trinkets. My friend walked around my house, commenting on a few things, then stopped short when she saw this. She stared for a moment, then walked past without a word, her face a little flushed.

I planned on telling her it was a fake, but she got all grumpy and had to leave soon after. 
He He. I'm terrible. 

He is cute though huh? 
(I would be the worst stage mom. That is just way too much effort for me. I mean have you seen Toddlers and Tiaras???)

___________

Winner!

The winner of the Betty Crocker® Shake-N-Pour Dessert Mixes giveaway is HillsRus!
Congrats! Email me and I will get you your prize.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

48 hour Giveaway - Betty Crocker® Shake-N-Pour Dessert Mixes


Have you guys tried the Betty Crocker® Shake-N-Pour Dessert Mixes? They are so yummy and convenient! Just add water, shake, pour in your pan and you have a treat. Love them for food storage, camping and emergency chocolate cravings. Brownies and chocolate cupcakes......

My kids think they are pretty cool too.


Lydia is demonstrating her shaking skills. 
"Look mom! I can shake it with my bum!"

I'm so proud.

In the theme of these fast and fun treats, I've got a fun-and fast! - giveaway for you this week.

One natalie's sentiments reader will be receiving a Betty Crocker® Shake-N-PourTM Dessert Mixes Gift pack.

Your gift pack will contain:


  • All three varieties of the Betty Crocker Shake-N-Pour Dessert Mixes
  • 60 minute baking timer
  • Treat stand - VERY CUTE!
  • Oven mitt
To enter- Let me know your favorite way to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Extra entry if you are a natalie's sentiments follower.
Extra entry if you're a natalie's sentiments facebook fan.

Winner announced this Friday. That only gives you 48 hours!
US addresses only.

Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The sweetest apology

Lydia got in big trouble the other night. She was playing with her friend Maya across the street and I went over to find her as it was getting late. The girls hid from us moms for quite a while. 
When we finally found them I was a little annoyed. 
"Let's go home Lydia, it's way past your bedtime."
"Ok, just let me get my shoes."
I turned to chat with my neighbor. Soon we realized they had run to hide again. After 15 minutes of yelling for them, we finally found them in a closet.
I was very mad.
Lydia was sent to bed with no stories and no "nighttime" routine.

When I went to check on her a few hours later, I found these notes.....






This is my favorite. There's me (marked with the N) and my neighbor Kim (marked with the K)
and Lydia and her friend Maya sneaking away while we talked.

This is the best apology I've ever seen.

I, of course, felt insanely guilty and gave her loves and kisses in her sleep.

Like I mentioned in last week's post, sometimes they are little monsters, but mostly I have the best kids. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

InstaFriday #16 - a vaca, pre-school and a birthday!


This week was pretty busy. 
We headed down to SLC for the long weekend to visit some of Shane's family.


Their house is amazing and made me want to paint my walls white and search for more milk glass.


Collin liked all the new toys to play with.

My little scientist likes a lot of light when looking under the microscope. And, again, pants would only stifle his powers of observation.


Shane and I stayed in the "guest loft" next door. It was so cozy and quiet!


We headed down to Provo to eat at El Salvador. Yummy Central American food.
We used to eat there all the time when we were newlyweds. 


Back then we didn't have little short people wiping beans on us and 
spilling pineapple soda on our pants.



The girls picked flowers for Uncle Garret. He's very pretty don't you think?


In the morning I helped with breakfast by picking grapes in the backyard "vineyard".


Perfect to go with our avocado, egg and sausage breakfast sandwiches with chipotle hollandaise sauce. My SIL is a very good cook.


We did go out to dinner once. In a crazy Utah rainstorm.


But mostly we just stayed home and partied.


These cousins are ridiculously darling.


Our last stop was to Temple Square. 
I love taking my family to see the temple.




We popped over to see the City Creek Center. 
We didn't even get inside, there was too much to do on the outside!


The next day was Collin's first day of pre-school!
I love his little monkey backpack. 
Soon I will have no say in what he wears, but for now, I can make him darling.


The day after that was my birthday! I'm 35! 

(I swear I felt my fertility drop at midnight)

I was sad Shane was leaving for work before I woke up this morning. But coming out to a huge cluster of yellow and gray birthday balloons cheered me considerably :)

And then......

THE WORST EATING DAY IN ALL HISTORY!


Some people have a special plate to use on birthdays. Me?
 I prefer a glittered sonic cup full of diet coke goodness.


As a nice birthday treat, I took Collin to the movies to see some crappy OggieLoves movie for toddlers. The treat was we were the only ones in the theater so I got to have 88 minutes to text and pin while eating popcorn, candy and (more) soda.

You can follow me on pinterest here and see some of the cool things I pinned. :)

Friends brought the sweetest goodies.


Some little boy tried to sneak a taste while I was distracted with my camera.


Sneak!


My friend Kristi sent me a rad new fedora to rock.
(I can rock it right?)


Flowers from my SLC fam.


That night, after a Mexican take-out feast, Shane and the kids went to work making this chocolate masterpiece. (MORE CAKE!)

They surprised me with a purse I once mentioned here on my blog 
and gift certificate to a day at the spa!


And this time Collin got all the frosting he wanted.


And in huge news.... Lydia lost her first tooth!!!!
YAY!


Her little note was my favorite part.

"Dear tooth fairy I lost my tooth. Please leave me a dollar."

Later she decided she needed to add more.

"Please don't take my tooth.
Tooth Fairy, my tooth looks like a whistle.
Dear tooth fairy, I got my first tooth but I still want my tooth. 
Money please"


awesome.
_________________________________________

life rearranged

You can follow me on instagram @natssentiments
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