Happy Easter!


Do you remember this TV commercial in 1984?  Thanks Easter Bunny,  Bok! Bok!  The last scene in this spot will forever be embedded in my childhood memory.  The kid in the chick suit saying, “Bok! Bok!”  Isn’t it funny the things you remember?

Here are some fun memory making crafts that you could do with your kids.

 Cute Food for Kids created this fun project that includes four simple ingredients: plastic spoons, chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles and cute pastel eggs.  Voila!  How fun is this?

Need a fun glitter project?  Sew in the City has this simple tutorial to sparkle up your Easter table decorations.

Don’t all eggs need a beanie to keep them warm? Absolutely.  Craft and Creativity offers a how-to tutorial on how to dress your eggs.  I wish I knew and had the patience and the time to learn how to crochet.  This is adorable.

Have a great Easter weekend! Bok! Bok!

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Do you have a leap list?

What in the world is a leap list? I have seen a few Honda commercials about completing your leap list. But what is it exactly?

According to Go Mom inc., The Leap list, ” is designed to help you focus on your dreams, be mindful of the milestones, and get out in front of any road blocks to take steps to make your goals a reality while living a lifestyle you truly love. ”

Here are some from Go Mom Inc.  practical tips to writing your own.

1. It’s all about choosing the next big milestone in your life. Whether its having kids, getting married, or buying a home, it works for us all. If you are older, you are working on sending your kids to college, buying a vacation home at a bargain price, maybe you are retiring, or moving to southern california to start a new career with Honda ~ it happens.

2. Choose 10 items that you really want to accomplish BEFORE you reach that milestone. So it can be little things or big things. Every day things that don’t actually happen every day, like landscaping yard, the garage, taking all that junk in the garage to the recycling center, taking the dogs to get professionally groomed every once in a while, or going on that trek to Mammoth.

3. Then get social. Sign onto Facebook to connect and there you can share and save your Leap List with your friends and family on your profile page and your news feed. You can also rally your community to work on their own list and learn more about how they can live the lifestyle that truly fits their goals.

Here is my local leap list for Northern California / San Francisco Bay Area.

1. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge – CHECK!

2. Take a ferry to Alcatraz

3. Eat at The French Laundry

4. Visit the Santa Cruz Boardwalk with Isabella and Parker

5. Visit Skywalker ranch and/or  Lucasfilm Studios

6. Ride a San Francisco trolley

7. Run a half marathon in San Francisco. Preferably the one where I get a Tiffany necklace at the end.

8. Take a family trip to the Russian river.

9. Write a play. Rent a theater. Direct a performance for a weekend showing.

10. Go on a weekend getaway with my man to the white sands of Carmel.

This would be ideal to accomplish before I turn 40 years old. What is your leap list?

Having a tough day?

There will be days where the magical joy of motherhood will be ruthlessly tested by your sweet and loving child. It will be one of those days that all the plans are tossed out the window due to the fact that your toddler is throwing an uncontrollable tantrum and leaving the house at the moment is not the best idea. Siblings are sparring so intensely you want to send them to different countries let alone different rooms. Up to this point in motherhood, you have repeated the same line at least five thousand times. Words like “gentle”,
“inside voice”, “potty” and especially “no” have found a regular rotation in your dialogue. It has been one of those days where you are counting your hours to bedtime.  This is it.  You are about to go NUCLEAR on everyone.   Here are a few disarming ideas to hopefully keep the volcano from exploding.

Take a Mommy Break

It could be as easy as taking a breath, taking a walk or quite possibly take a nap. A twenty-minute nap may be all you need to give you that extra boost to finish the challenging day. Maybe you need some alone time? Call up a girlfriend and go see a flick that will pull you away from the stress of the day. Maybe a little shopping therapy will rejuvenate you back into a happy mommy state. Mothering is more than a full-time job. It is seven days a week from the moment that your little one awakes with a few nap breaks or quiet time until they rest their little head one your shoulder. It is important to recharge your batteries so that you can be the best mommy to those amazing children.

You are not alone

It is so easy in the day-to-day to think that you are the only one whose child has not mastered potty training. The only one whose child has not walked, not talked or mastered the art of controlling their emotional land scape.  The only one who has children who act out beyond belief in public, have bad attitudes and display a huge amount of ungratefulness. But the truth is that you are not alone. Many times I have found when I open up with another mom,  I find that they are either going through the same thing or they have already gone through.  This conversation alone gives me the much-needed wisdom to get through the day. There is something completely comforting to know that you are not only one in the world.  So, pick up that phone and call a friend.  It could be your lifeline for the day.

Remember the good moments

Maybe it is time to pull out the old movies or pictures and remember that sweet one’s smile. A good reminder is inspiration to stop yourself from pulling out all the hair from your head. A friend of mine passed along this great article Don’t Carpe Diem.  My favorite part from the article is:

There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It’s regular time, it’s one minute at a time, it’s staring down the clock till bedtime time, it’s ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it’s four screaming minutes in time out time, it’s two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.

Then there’s Kairos time. Kairos is God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. It’s those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.

Like when I actually stop what I’m doing and really look at Tish. I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is. I notice the perfect curves of her teeny elf mouth and her asianish brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft Tishy smell. In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving but I can’t hear her because all I can think is — This is the first time I’ve really seen Tish all day, and my God — she is so beautiful. Kairos.

The author does a fantastic job in acknowledging the tough part of being a mom, but also inspires to look for those tiny moments that you want to freeze in time. If those moments do not happen on the day in question, pull out a video or a picture that reminds you of the joy of having such beautiful children.

Being a mom can be tough, but know this that even if you don’t feel like it.  You are doing a great job!

Be My Valentine. Great DIY Kids projects

Valentines Day is  peeking around the corner and here are some fun DIY Valentines projects that you can do with your kiddos.

with love from my crayon box

Do you have a million broken crayons lying around the house?  Here is a way to recycle them in a very simple and cute way.  Whipperberry  has a great tutorial on how to create this adorable valentine.

Seven days of sweet love

Who wouldn’t want to take these vitamins? Search and find the best treats and write tiny notes to be opened each day.  A great way to treat dad or grandpa or even grandma to seven days of sweet love.  The sweetest occasion gives a brief explanation on how to put it together.

stamp it with love

Any grammie would love to have a tea towel stamped by the cutest face of her beloved grandchild.  Valley and Co have easy instructions on how to make this fun kitchen towel to be cherished in the kitchen.

A slice of pizza love

Pizza! Did someone say pizza? Shaped in a heart?  Yes, please.  Cute food for kids gives fun and tasty ideas to make any kids valentines day filled with yummy love.

Happy heart projects!

MEET RUNAWAY MOMMA: KENNESHA

I met Kennesha a few years back through my sister-in-law. At the time, she had created these cute dresses, burp cloths and changing pads. She named her company PollyWog Togs. Aside from her creative gift, I discovered that she is such a warm and friendly person  that is so easy to talk to and be around. Three years ago, her husband got stationed on Oahu so the family moved from the rainy Washington skies to the tropical sunshine of Hawaii.  Recently, they moved back to Bellevue.  She is a mother of three, soon-to-be four and has quite the gift in working with her hands.  Be it creating children’s clothing to restoring furniture.  This lady is an amazing mom and friend.

MEET RUNAWAY MOMMA: KENNESHA

My name is Kennesha Buycks, momma to Caleb (7), Kendall (6), Logan (4) and Grayson. (2 weeks old)

I love, love, love being a mommy and wife and having the great opportunity and blessing to pour into my family each and every day. While being a mom is definitely a round -the-clock job that takes a ton of time, dedication and well, you moms get it…my life is also full of wonderful friendships and hobbies that enable me to express my” loves” and passions in life such as spending time with those whom God has placed in my life, decorating, crafting, furniture refinishing and writing. I am thankful for my life, family and friends. I attempt each day to make every moment and breath count!

What is your favorite part about being a mom?

Being a mom, is more than just raising children. It is about a Godly responsibility by effecting change in this world. I know if I do my part in mothering my four awesome children who in turn can make a difference around them. I truly see my children as a gift from God.

Knowing that I get to effect change in the world with God and the four awesome children that God has given us!

What is your favorite part of your typical day?

My favorite part of my day is snuggling up with my three year old, his favorite blanket and a few books in the morning after my older two have gone off to school. It’s really the only intimate and true one-on-one time we get throughout the day and it is very precious time.

What can you not go without in your everyday life?

Hmmmmm…I would say crafting. Since almost day one of my life, I have NEEDED to create with my hands. It’s kinda like a gift and a curse at the same time as my brain really never stops creating and thinking of ways to be creative!

What is one life lesson that you want to teach your sons and daughter?
First, I want to teach them to NEVER GIVE UP. No matter the challenge, obstacle or failure. Secondly, I want to teach them to always seek to serve others in life. Life is not all about living a self-serving existence and God will honor a giving heart. Thirdly, I want to teach them to keep a good attitude and to have a Godly perspective. The Bible is a reminder that His thoughts are always better than our own.

1. Never give up.
2. Seek to serve others in life. Always. God will honor a giving heart.
3. Keep a good attitude and a God perspective. His thoughts are always better than our own.

When you are having a tough day as a mom what helps you through it?

My very first thought is Jesus. My relationship with Him really helps me. Then my second thought is my husband. Both of them are my best friends and best friends help me get through those crazy days.

How did you make it work being a mom of three soon to be four and having a husband overseas on military leave?

It was absolutely amazing. At that time, we were in Hawaii and living thousands of miles from family. Honestly, we were blessed to have “adopted family” at our church who went above and beyond to make sure that the kids and I had everything we needed while Larry, my husband, was away in Kabul. From housekeeping to meals, they went above and beyond to ensure that the kids and I lacked nothing!

Not only did our family have everything that we PHYSICALLY needed to keep us going but, from a spiritual perspective, it was a time of growth and great maturity for me. While it was hard not having my helpmate with me for such a long time, God used that time to not strengthen my relationship with my husband (learning how to honor and value his place in our family and in my life) but it was also a great time of truly learning how deep God’s love is for me.

You have a creative passion for refurbishing antiques, how do you find time to do your hobby and be a momma?

Time is definitely a precious commodity for me right now as we prepare for the arrival of our fourth but because of my strong passion and desire for creating (it runs pretty deep), I make time for those things that are important to me and that allow me to express myself in ways that others do not.

Being a wife and mom will always be my first ministry and calling but in order to more effectively perform in that area of my life, I MUST create!

Hello, Twenty Dozen!

The holiday season had ended.  No more bustling around to fun parties. No more  dessert lurking around every corner.  All the beautiful moments with friends and family have been packed away very neatly like your ornaments resting in the decoration box.

Now it is time to get back to “normal” life.  In spite of all the wonderful festivities, it feels relatively nice to start with a nice, clean slate for 2012 or as Jimmy Fallon would put it Happy Twenty Dozen.

Sometimes you have to look back before you look forward

The time has come to say goodbye to 2011 and start a brand new chapter.  Reminiscing can be a good way to inspire you for the next year.  For our family, 2011 did not turn out the way that we initially thought it would.  Who knew that we would be moving in the middle of the year to a different state?  Who knew that in some ways, we would be starting from scratch?  So, many of the 2011 goals went along by the wayside and chalked up to good ideas based on the current circumstance rather than true attainable goals.  But when life offers  you a curve ball that you did not plan for and sometimes you have to swim with the current until you get your bearings and learn a few lessons long the way.

Are you ready to say farewell to yesteryear? Here is an amazing way to grab a latte, have some alone time and say goodbye to 2011.  It’s not too late.  It is still the first of the year.  Simplemom.net offers a great questionnaire and article for you to reminisce.

She also offers questions to help you set some goals for 2012.  Click here to read her blog article.

Let’s get this party started…

Now that the farewell has been accomplished.   It is time to look forward.   In some way, new years resolutions are not that resolute because by February the gym is less crowded and habit has not become a lifestyle.  But instead making a list of things you wish you could change.  What if you put together a clear vision or a beautiful  manifesto to keep reminding you to move forward and not give up even if you give into that box of cookies?  What if you had a picture or group of words that would be a constant reminder to train, practice  and ultimately cross the finish line?

For the past several years, I have had a vision board mounted on a cork board.  It is a board to remind me what I love and what I want to do.  Basically a visual road map for the year.   I had used the same format for quite a while and 2012 signaled it was time for a change. Here is what I came up with..

Instead of writing out a list of goals  for the year, I decided to do pictures of things to remind me.  Before I had a list of goals and separate pictures nicely tacked to the cork.  This year I decided to make a collage poster.  It is 22 by 35 inches.  The header decorated with pictures from the year prior.  A simple statement of the theme of the year, A Year to Flourish.   Then separate blocks to inspire action towards personal goals.   Let’s just say,  I am so in love with this new look.

After I completed this pictorial 2012 manifesto, a friend of mine told me about craftgawker.com.  Like Pinterest, with the exception it lends itself to DIY projects.  I found a few creative ways to set your goals as a visual reminder.  This 2012 manifesto is from creatingclever.com.

This one is from thirtyhandmadedays.com.

She also created one for kids.  What a fun way to remember together.

Remember, even though New Years Eve is long gone.  You still can take some proper time to say goodbye and say, “Hello, Twenty Dozen!”  Happy New Year!

MEET RUNAWAY MOMMA, ANNEMARIE WATERS

“I definitely feel that I’ve expanded as a human being. I have more empathy and more compassion, I think, because I feel so blessed on a level that I can’t even wrap my mind around really.” – Julia Roberts, actress about Motherhood

Thirteen years ago, I met Annemarie Feltman at my church. Each time I saw her she would flash a big smile and beam with effervescent joy. She had this contagious excitement that surrounded her. A year after I had met her, this fun and fearless lady moved to the Tri-Cities where she became a wife, mother and youth pastor.  A few years ago, she returned to Kirkland to be on the pastoral staff at The City Church. She is now a mother of four and a foster parent at the Rose Hill Cottages. She still has that same great smile, fun-loving heart and wonder about life. I love her for that.

MEET RUNAWAY MOMMA: ANNEMARIE WATERS

Hi, my name is Annemarie Waters.  I am a wife and a mom.  Those are my official titles. I have one primary goal each day. I wake up with a sincere anticipation about what the day will bring. I am always poised and ready for the next exciting adventure.  I love to laugh.  I love to have a lot of fun.  I love to enjoy each day of my life.

What is your favorite part about being a mom?

I love being able to view life through the eyes of children.

What is your favorite part of your typical day?

The answer is simple. Snuggle time is the best without question.

What can you not go without in your everyday life?

The given answer is coffee. I also HAVE TO get out of the house at least once, doesn’t matter for what, I just have to get out and be around people. Grocery store, Starbucks, bank, I can’t just stay in the house and be cooped up.

What is one life lesson that you want to teach your sons and daughters?

I want to teach them how to be givers in every area of their life. Give love. Give grace. Give friendship. Give money. Give forgiveness.

I want to teach them not to hold anything too closely. Life is too short and there is such freedom in being a giver! It feels so good to give. The reward is truly worth more than what was given.

When you are having a tough day as a mom what helps you through it?

I actually was inspired by Jen Benthin. She inspired me to be a runner. I so enjoy a good run. I used to go to the gym, but it was taking up so much time that I was getting discouraged and missing multiple days in a row because of my lack of time or a babysitter. Now I just try to do 20-25 min runs a day or every other day. It curbs my appetite, heightens my self-esteem, helps get aggression out (on those tough days) and its’ such a short amount of time I don’t worry about not being able to get it done!

How do you make it work being a mom and a pastor?

I can’t lie, I have amazing people around me who help me be both. I have always surrounded myself with people and believe in living life together. We have had someone live with us for the past 4 years who helps out with the kids when I work. It’s more than a nanny because she is really part of the family, and financially it has helped us keep the cost of outside child care down.

The kids don’t even skip a beat when I am working. In my opinion, being a pastor has really benefited my children. They have no choice but to love a loud, crazy- scheduled, filled with people life, and they do!

What inspired you to be a foster parent as well as a mom of four?

My husband, Elijah, and I had always talked about adoption. When our church opened up the foster care agency it was kind of a no brainer for us. We love kids and while our kids are young it has been pretty seamless to add one more child to the family! Our motto is “the bigger the better!” Our kids were all on board before we started foster care which was really important to us and with each child that comes through our home I watch my own kids minister to them (in their own loving way) and it blows me away.

Sometimes I am pretty sure they are better at it then I am. Even our 2 year old takes part in helping the newest addition to our family. For the first time we have someone younger than our youngest, (they are 11 months apart) and I was worried about how he would react to not being the baby, but he takes pride in giving him bottles and feeding him Cheerios and doing “big brother” stuff. It has been an incredible journey for our family.