Friday, March 28, 2014

Whole Different Level

One day Husband saw my work notebook open one day.  "Wow, hun, that is a WHOLE NEW LEVEL."  -- I look at him, "What do you mean?  I told you my work book is becoming more and more like a smash book everyday."

He then explains, "Not only do you love your Post Its, you use them, add them to your book ... and then make them look like they are supposed to be there!  You are at a whole different level babes."

So I figured I would share with you what is quickly becoming a "To Do List", Inspirations, Idea Generation, Production Tracking, smash/art/creative journal notebook - that I love more and more everyday.

The big picture:  That is the current project 'to do' list with the orange highlights meaning 'To Done!'.  Those Post Its are stuck onto an overview sheet that is actually taped into the notebook.  

Many times I don't have my notebook when inspiration hits, but I always have a pad of Post Its in my purse.  So I jot or in this case doodle the idea on the paper and stick it here.  If I love the picture it can be scanned and used as clip art.  Cupcake more than likely, owl - cute, but not yet.  

Then there are the little elfs.  I have found that when I am planning a unit I will name it one thing and totally know exactly what that means.  Then when I come back to it in a few days to keep working on it I am stuck on the title.  What did I want to do again?  SO these little guys were so useful!  I just put the basic of what the idea is supposed to look like and taped them in.  

I also just right in it.  There was a scripture that came over my phone one day and this word smacked me in the face like a ton of bricks.  So I did what everyone does. I wrote it down and looked up some passages where it is used to see why it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Oh and I looked up the definition and have been meditating on this word for 2 weeks or so now.  Everyone does that right... not just us nerds.  

Then there is room for my favorite things ... Top pink - Little Mister was working with me on Thursday.  He was writing his name.  Little Miss wanted to know how to draw squares and rectangles.  They will be made to look like they are meant to be there no doubt.  

Then I share pages like this on Twitter and get responses like "You need to make a coloring book and that spurs ideas.  Then I jot them in the white spaces.  

So yes, it is a whole new level ...  OF AWESOMENESS! (Please hear that in the best Rainbow Dash Pony voice you can muster!)

Okay back to work.  Looking forward to finishing our SPRING BUNDLE today!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Embracing Childhood

Sometimes it is so super easy to make your kids happy.  All it takes is embracing childhood

Spring Time Puddle Fun

First warm day in AGES plus the snowiest Winter EVER (literally by an inch) equals TONS of snow melt puddles.

Coffee Grounds Dirt 
Sometimes a little thinking ahead is required

I had been planning to do this for him for some time.  We had a decent amount of coffee grounds, but it wasn't quite enough.  We had such a stuck inside winter I had to start pulling out the big dogs.

Coffee Grounds, Flour and Graham Cracker Crumbs - Almost an hour of fun for Little Mister.  

Sand Construction Site
Sometimes you have to think outside the box ... literally the sandbox.

Sand from the sandbox because "dirt" was such a huge hit he asked for it again a few days later and I had no coffee grounds.  (Lesson for Coffee Grounds Construction site - play on top of something to make clean up easier.)

Barbie Beach
Separation is sometimes required.

When sharing is not an option.

Mani's at Salon Little Miss
Sometimes it just takes saying yes.  There is power in saying yes.

Peel off Barbie nail polish and waking up before Little Mister from nap leads to a VERY happy 4 year old.

Warning:  When you are working on this post and your 2 year old sees the construction site pictures you might need to pull them out again -- as both of mine are currently playing in sand construction sites.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Handling the BIG Questions

What is it with 4 years old and asking big tough questions already?

These are the questions/statements I have gotten in the last couple maybe 3 weeks.

About God:
  • God isn't real.  I can't see Him.
  • Where is Heaven?
  • When do we get to go there (Heaven)?
  • How is God here all the time if we can't see Him?
  • If God is in my heart how is He a person?
  • Why isn't God a person?
  • Why isn't Jesus a person anymore?
  • What is a Spirit? 
About Life:
  • Mommy, I want a baby sister.
  • When will my baby sister be here?
  • When my baby sister comes out of your tummy can I watch?
I can handle the baby sister questions.  Those are easy enough.  When will your baby sister be here?  - I don't know, there isn't a baby in Mommy's belly right now.  When will there be a baby in your belly Mommy? - When God puts one there.  Can I watch? - No, it's against the rules.  (That's not a lie since I have had c-sections she wouldn't be allowed in there.)

The God questions - I do my best, but dang those questions are hard!  You try to give simple answers since she is only 4.  Then it seems like those answers are not satisfying her because she keeps asking.  

How do you explain where Heaven is? -- Heaven is up in the sky, it's above the clouds.  When do I/we get to go there? {Dear Lord, not before me PLEASE!}  In a very, very, very long time.  - Thank you God she didn't then ask, "When I am 48?"  

Explaining these things to a 4 year old is amazingly difficult because you want to explain it in a way she understands, but yet some of it at 35 you still don't get.  I also don't want to use the excuse, "These are things you will understand when you are older."  I never want to give those answers.  I find myself having to go there when it comes to these questions.  Not because that is true, more because I don't know how to answer her.

So, I am seeking advise.  How do you explain God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Heaven and prayer to your kids?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sharing Our Love

We have been counting down days to big events in February, Valentine's Day, Nana's birthday and Mommy's birthday.  

For some reason this little one {Little Miss} is in LOVE with Valentine's Day.  Could be because she is my daughter?  Today is only like my favorite holiday!  I love everything about it.  Love, hearts, pink and glitter!  It is right up my alley!

Too many people hate Valentine's Day.  If you don't have your person then you are not loved.  If you don't have your person then you don't have a reason to celebrate.  Maybe it is because the person they love is gone - over seas or heaven.  Maybe they are just hurting and alone and today just hits that point home for them even harder.  Everyone has their reasons for loving or hating the day.  

Even though my husband and I are sacrificing this Valentine's Day for our long term goals.  I wasn't going to completely scrap it for the kids.  I didn't do the whole, Valentine's Day is time to buy the people you love presents!  There is enough of that stuff going around.  Nope, I went more with today is a day where we can shower people with love.  God loves us all, so let's show people that God loves them by saying Happy Valentine's Day.   I asked what she wanted to do.  "Hand out Valentines!"

So we set out and got two boxes of Valentines.  I wrote "You" in the To: and in the From: I wrote, "God loves you."  We taped them to Kit Kat bars.

Since I had two kids that went to bed like champs last night we headed to the mall.  

She started out by giving them to the Mommy, Grandma and Daddy playing with their kids at the play area.  When Little Mister and Little Miss were done playing we walked around the mall and she handed out around 25 valentines to 'strangers'.  Several employees said, "I wish we had something for her.  That is too sweet!"  I told them, "it's perfectly okay, we are just sharing our love today."  It didn't matter man, woman, old, young, black, white, shopper or employee.

After the first few she saw someone and said, "What about him/her Mommy?"  I only stopped her when it was a worker who was really busy (She wanted to go in the jewelry store - 8 shoppers and 3 workers) I just redirected her attention to someone else.  It was obvious that she was really getting into it.

Some she gave out were to men shopping for suits.  Women who were working.  People who were just shopping.  Some just took them and said, "Thank You".  Others looked at me with that look asking if it was okay/confusion.  One was an older lady sitting on a bench reading a book - she was almost brought to tears.  One worker looked at me and said, "She just made my day."  Then there was the mom with 5 or 6 kids - she just looked at her and said, "Happy Valentine's Day to you too Sweetheart."  Her oldest boy then found us later and gave them a stuffed animal he won in the claw game.

After I asked her how she felt about handing out valentines to strangers.  "It made me happy."  I then asked her how she thinks it made the other people feel.  "Happy and special."  I then asked her if she like making people feel special and happy.  She just nodded.

There was something in that simple nod.  With her simple nod I saw the fingerprint of God right there on my baby girl.

I prayed before I got out of the car.  "Lord, if I am supposed to pray for someone today that needs to be hit me with a semi-truck clear, because that is not a strong point of mine and I am not the most comfortable with it, but if you need me too I will."  All I did was facilitate what she wanted to do.  Yes, I bought 2 boxes of Valentines and a bag of candy.  I saw smiles that might not have been smiles today.  I saw twinkles in the eyes of strangers.  I saw a little girl who runs and hides behind my knee walk up to people and say "Happy Valentine's Day".

You can't tell me God is not alive.  I saw Him today.  I saw him in the heart of a 4 year old little girl.  I saw Him warm the hearts of strangers, even if it was just for those few seconds.  I am sure that for some of them they are going to see that little Doc McStuffins or Thomas Valentine and smile.

God doesn't need much space, He just needs to be invited in.  We might have storms raging all around us - but in the midst of it we can still be a blessing.  We can still pour out God's love in simple ways.  What can you do today to show a stranger love?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February Selfie Project - week one

 This picture has stirred up all sorts of stuff in me.  

What started it.  The night before I spent $5 on a curling wand.  I wanted to try it out and LOVED the results.  So, and I don't do it often, but I sent this picture to my husband via text with a "Hey look at this hottie!" type text.

Then ... I shared it on Facebook - "Best Beach Waves EVER!"  I rarely share the "selfie" on Facebook - usually it is more than just me.  Sharing this on Facebook got TONS of warranted comments, "wow, you look great" and the such.  Which usually would make me feel all sorts of uncomfortable.  With this picture they didn't though.  I just smiled inside and said thanks!

Well, then there was this ... "Mommy, will you put a clip and a pony in my hair so my hair looks pretty for Daddy."  -- Oh .. deflated.  Did my precious more beautiful than life 4 year old just think she needed to do something to herself to look pretty for someone else?  So what does any self-reflecting, self-respecting woman do?  Post my thought on Facebook.  {That is usually a mistake - just so you know.}

My thought was again, self-reflective.  In one of the million questions about why I was doing my hair did I answer, "I like to make my hair pretty for Daddy." too many times.  Well, this lead to - tell her not to worry about it because she is always going to be pretty comments, to teach self-confidence not beauty comments, to that is what princess movies and Barbies do to our little girls comments.

I am going to keep the princess thoughts to myself for now -- that will be another conversation at another time.

Then I decided that I was going to start a selfie project.  Basically, because I want to work on my self-confidence and finding the beauty in me that God has put there.  Finding the real reasons why I do what I do beauty wise.  Do I truly believe that no matter what I am good enough and pretty enough because God created me.  Yes, I have not treated my body the best, but I can start working on that.  First things first.  I have to realize where I am at.

Sunday 2/2/2014 - 15 minutes to pull together hair and makeup - not to bad if I do say so myself.  It must be the angle, but it looks like only 1/2 my face is working.  Why this work?  We were going to church and a woman who wants people to think she has it all together would look "put together".   

Monday 2/3/3014 - Fun messy sock bun for 2nd day hair.  It was early and it was cold.  Husband's robe is WARM!  Realized the importance of quiet time and how it affects our day Monday.  Why this look?  I wanted my hair out of my face and didn't want to use my quiet time getting a shower.  No one was going to see me except my family.  I cared, but wanted to be able to spend more time with God - and I could always put my face on later.

Tuesday - 2/4/2014  Okay, straight on pictures are not great for me.  The right side of my face squishes up more.  Strange.  I have a love hate relationship with the late shift.  Love I have time to get dressed / ready without worrying about the kids ... Hate Hubs will be gone until 8:30pm.  Why look?  If I don't dry my hair it ends up all over the place or tied up in a "I really don't care about anything, messy knot on the top of my head."  I do want to look nice for my husband.  No make up though because my face/eyes were really itching.
Wednesday - 2/5/2014  My clothes today totally reflect my emotions today.  I look cloudy, I feel cloudy.  My hair didn't stay like this long.  Messy, I don't care about my appearance hair showed up within minutes after taking this.  Why the look?  I am feeling cloudy - tried to do something with the hair, but it's not wanting to do anything and keeps falling out of whatever I do. -- At 4:30 I decided I would try to fix my mood by fixing my outward appearance.  Sometimes it helps.

Wednesday - Take 2.  So I stopped and got myself together.  Thinking pulling myself together would change my mood.  It wasn't the getting ready that changed it.  It was the praying and turning to the Father that changed my mood.  During my, "I am going to look better on the outside" time I was praying.  Praying for the cloud to be lifted and to have a clearer mind for the rest of the day.
Thursday - Bible Study Day. We hadn't been in 2 weeks and I was looking forward to going.  I took the time to "pull myself together."  Why the look:  Because unkept is unacceptable.  It's less the what other people would think of me and more what would I think of myself going out of the house seriously unkept.

Friday - I am getting sick.  Messy, I don't really care what I look like day and hair.  
What did I learn of week 1 of the selfie project?

1.  I use the term "pulled together" often.  What does that even mean?
2.  I like pictures from a side angle more than front on.
3.  It is true.  I still like to look nice for my man.  I have been very careful to say things like, "well I like my hair better when I do it." or "I don't like my hair looking super messy when we are going places."  Over "I want to look pretty for Daddy."
4.  I feel better about myself when I take the time to take care of myself.

What will the next week of the February Selfie Project bring?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pin-Tested Tuesday: Candy Cane Coffee Cake

New feature here at The Hickman Five. A place to talk about those pins that we see, love and actually try.

SO here is the original pin that I saw:

My thought was -- That would be AMAZING for our 2nd annual North Pole Breakfast.  {This is our breakfast on the Saturday after Thanksgiving where our elf arrives.}

This pin took me over to Shower of Roses.  Then to get the recipe I had to go over to Catholic Cuisine.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I get up before everyone does (around 6am) and get busy in the kitchen.  It was rather simple.  The first time I am making something I don't stray from the recipe.  It looked right.

While it was cooking I mixed up some hot cocoa.  Warm chocolate milk with the packets.  Marshmallows and a candy cane!  Perfection.

Christmas in a Cup!
Time! Looks good.  I didn't glaze ours, mainly because we were having TONS of other sweets.
Honestly, flavor wise I didn't think it really needed the glaze.

Table set ...
and picture photobombed by a hungry little boy.
Eddie our Elf brings presents, wraps our table, makes breakfast and is with us all Christmas season.  

Verdict on our tested pin:  Crescent rolls are probably not the best base for this.  Puffed pastry or pie dough might be a better idea.  Something that might stiffen up some more on the bottom.  Could be that I didn't bake it quite long enough.  I would make it again, but I might tweak the recipe next time.

Love to hear about your tested pins!

Monday, February 3, 2014

{My World Monday} Winter Play

First snowfall of many this year. Mommy can we play in it?!?

This was before we have the little bit of gear we do now.  But we layered them up and headed on out.  This day it was probably around 35.  So it wasn't frigid.

One very happy little girl.

Happy, but confused little boy.  Where my sandbox Mama?

First snow angel.  Before I could tell her you lay on your back to make the angel.  

Like the rest of the country it has been a cold, snowy winter.  It will be over soon.  It will be over soon.  I for one am thankful that it has been cold enough to kill all the allergens this winter.

What is your bright side of this cold, cold winter?


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