Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Tidbits

I promised awhile ago that I would show you all the newly made over boys' room. However since then; the organizer holding their stuffed animals fell down, Lucas dragged out every toy I had put away, and their crazy sleeping habits completely messed up their nicely made beds. So, after I clean their room up a bit and fix their organizer, I will show you a full room makeover. Until then, please enjoy the pictures I did get a chance to take.

Let's see if I can give you a full item list.

Book shelves - they're the Ikea spice racks
Desk - Target
Chairs - Target
Black magazine holder - Ikea
Metal magazine holders - Target
Lamp - Target
Curtains and rod - Walmart
Desk organizer - Walmart
P scrabble tile - Hobby Lobby
Stuffed animal organizer (on top of the doll house) - Ikea
Black floating shelves (four years old) - Target

The mini foosball table was a gift from my Mom. I'm not sure where she found it. The metal superhero signs were also gifts. They sell similar ones at Gordmans and Hobby Lobby, though. I bought two chairs for the desk, so that both boys could sit comfortably and draw together. They are also very light weight, so Luke can move them to the front of the t.v. when he watches movies in his room. We can also fold them up if needed. The best part is each chair only cost $10.

I put some Walmart organizers in each of the drawers to help keep their desk clutter organized. I don't allow markers or sharpies in there, because a certain little boy sees a blank wall as a canvas. So, those are stored downstairs in the craft room. I also removed the scissors after he decided to cut up his brother's Minecraft poster.

Eventually we will paint the room red, white, and blue to go with the superhero theme. Until then, they are pretty happy with the results and so am I. Now if I could just get Luke to keep his room clean....

In other Friday news, Luke and I are taking a much needed day off from cleaning and running errands.

I'm pretty sure my weekend is jam packed full of things to do, but for the moment I can't think of a single thing I have to do. So, if I made plans with you this weekend, please remind me. I do have a few wedding errands to run, but other than that it should be a nice relaxing weekend. Which is perfect because there is no way I'm staying out all weekend with all the snow we are supposed to be getting.

What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun?

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Granola Bars And Fruit Leather

Ah, to blog again. I've missed it so much. So, I've been home for over a month now. I've worked here and there training for my new job. I wish I could say that I've been extremely busy working on home projects, but actually I've just been doing some wedding planning. Less than four months to go. I'm trying to get everything planned and ready to go before my job picks up. I have no idea the hours I will be working yet and I don't want to fall behind on the wedding plans. I would hate to be doing things at the last minute.
With that being said, yesterday was recipe Wednesday. I wanted to have this posted then, but sadly I couldn't find the charge cable for the laptop. This is what happens when I decide to clean the house. Well, Jeremy found it this morning (my night in shining armor) so I'm posting it now. Just pretend that it's Wednesday.
Fruit Leather
All you need for this recipe is blueberries, strawberries, parchment paper, a baking pan, and a food processor (I used a blender).
Preheat your oven to the lowest setting possible. Ours will bake at 175 degrees. You'll want to bake this for 8 hours.  

Cut the tops of the strawberries, rinse off your fruit, and stick them in your food processor or blender. Pulse until all the chunks are out.

I used a whole carton of blueberries and two small cartons of strawberries.

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. I had enough to make two baking sheets worth of fruit leather. Now your going to have to use your best judgement here. Too thick and your leather will be too soft and kinda runny. Too thin and your leather will be really chewy and kinda crunchy in spots. (I have yet to perfect my pouring.) Jeremy preferred the too thin kind.

Now let this cook all day. If your oven setting is higher than 175 degrees, you should decrease your cooking time. Since ours went to 175 degrees, we let it cook for 8 hours. The thicker the mixture, the more time it needs. The thinner the mixture, the less time it needs. So continuously check on it after 6 hours.

Once it is done, lift the leather out of the pan by the parchment paper. Let your leather cool and set up for at least an hour before you cut it. Enjoy!

Granola Bars
I consider us very lucky to have a Hy-Vee grocery store that has a health food mart inside. They sell nuts, dried fruit, and oats by the pound. It was extremely helpful when making these bars.

My bars had oats, dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, melted butter, and honey. No peanuts. The first thing I did was chop the pecans and walnuts in my mini food processor. It's okay if they are still a little chunky.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, I melted about a cup of butter in the microwave.

I put the walnuts, pecans, seeds, cranberries, oats, and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. I tossed the mixture by hand until everything was incorporated together. Then I added about a cup of honey and the melted butter to the mixture. Stir the mixture well, until everything is coated with butter and honey.

Line your baking dish with parchment paper, then spray with cooking spray.

Pour your mixture onto the baking pan. Spread it evenly. I had so much that I had to use two pans (story of my life). Bake for thirty minutes. If you have a thicker bar, you might want to cook it longer. Just make sure that you keep an eye on it so you don't burn your nuts (yeah, I laughed at that).
Make sure your bars are a nice golden brown when you take them out of the oven.

Lift the bars out of the baking dish by the parchment paper and let cool at least two hours before cutting them.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. My kids sure have!

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Tidbits

I am so very happy today is Friday! We have a full weekend ahead of us, though.

Tidbit #1 - Two craft days...that's right TWO craft days this weekend! One with my Mom and one with Jeremy's Mom. It's going to be a momma filled weekend. 

I have several crafts I would like to start on this weekend. One is a Valentine's Day craft and the other two are just for fun. I would show you pictures, but that would ruin the surprise. You all know how much I love surprises. 

Tidbit #2 - There are a few organizational tasks that need to be completed this weekend, mainly for the sake of my sanity. They're driving me CRAZY! 

Number one is the hall closet. It's kind of a dumping ground for things that don't have a home or things that go downstairs, but I'm too lazy to take them down at that moment. 

Number two is the tupperware cabinet. If one more piece of tupperware falls on my head when I open the cabinet door I swear the whole lot is going in the trash.

Number three is the bathroom cabinet. It's a mess (that's all I have to say about that).

These three tasks will take me all of maybe thirty minutes to do. So why haven't I done them yet? Because I'm the biggest procrastinator to ever walk the earth.

Tidbit #3 - I would really like to get the basement stairs painted this weekend, but I might have to hold off until Monday. They are really worn and when I sit in my craft room, they bug the crap out of me. We might even be able to get another stair project done this weekend too...if I can convince Jeremy to help.

Tidbit #4 - Along with the stair project, I also have a table that is begging to be built. It's supposed to be really nice this weekend, so there is no reason why we can't knock out a couple of building projects.

We usually have to do all our projects outside, since we don't have a garage or any room in the house. 

That's about it. I would say let's add a few more things to the list, but then I would feel really overwhelmed and nothing would get done. So, let's just leave it to four tasks. Hopefully, all will get completed and I can share them with you next week!

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends.

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chore Chart For All Ages

I am a firm believer that if you live in our house, then you do your part to help keep it clean. My kids have their weekly chores that they do and they don't get paid for doing them. Instead we will buy them the occasional item from the store or will take them on fun outings. Jeremy and I don't get paid for keeping up the house, so why should the kiddos.

I thought I would write a post about age appropriate chores, just in case you are tired of picking up after your children like I was. Just to be clear, when I was a stay-at-home momma I did all the chores around the house. The kids were just responsible for their rooms. I figured it was my day time job to look after the house. When I started working out of the house is when we decided to make a chore chart.

I've have the rule that the cook never has to clean up after dinner. They did their part, now it's everyone else's turn to help out. When Jeremy cooks, I clean. If I cook, the kiddos help clean. Yes, I never make Jeremy do household chores...except for the occasion taking out the trash. His job is the house maintenance. If something breaks, he fixes it. If the law needs mowed, he mows it. If the vehicles need maintenance, he takes care of it. However, should he have the day off then he does the cooking. I cook the rest of the week. It's only fair. ;)

Now, to the chore chart.

For the actual chart, I use excel. I also make a detailed list of what I actually want cleaned in the rooms that are their responsibility.

Preston and Chey-Ann are responsible for their own laundry. They wash, dry, fold, and put away all their laundry. They have a specific day during the week to get it done. If they miss their day, due to forgetfulness, then they don't get to make it up on another day. They just have to wait until the next week. Preston's day is on Monday, Chey-Ann's day is on Tuesday, that gives me five days to do everyone else's laundry. Trust me when I say, I wish there were more days during the week so I could get it all done! I wash all the towels and bedding on top of the rest of the clothes. The summer before sixth grade is when they start being responsible for their own laundry. To make it easier for them, I put stickers next to the cycle, load size, and temperature they should be using for their clothes. Emily is responsible for folding and putting away her laundry. I wash and dry it, the rest is up to her.

I did have Emily (she's nine) washing dishes. She wasn't getting the job done, so now she just unloads the dish washer. If the kids are hand washing, she will dry and put the dishes away. Preston and Chey-Ann are responsible for loading the dishwasher or hand washing the dishes. Here's the best part though, each of the kids gets two days off where they don't have to do the dishes. They still complain, but at least they don't have to do them everyday. They also get every other weekend off from chores, because they aren't home. Everyone cleans off their place after dinner. Then, the kids are responsible for dishes, sweeping, wiping off counters, and wiping off the table/chairs. They take turns doing the after dinner chores.

The kids also take turns setting the table for dinner. We even let them help us cook, if they want.

Everyone is responsible for cleaning their rooms every Tuesday. All laundry is put away, toys picked up, and trash dumped. It feels good to have clean bedrooms, even if they don't stay that way for long.

Chey-Ann is responsible for cleaning the kitchen. She takes out the trash and recycling, wipes off cabinets and counters, cleans the appliances, sweeps and mops the floor, and wipes down the sink.

Preston is responsible for cleaning the bathroom. He cleans the toilet, sink, and shower. He wipes off the mirror and empties the trash. If there are dirty clothes in there, then he takes them down to the laundry room. Then he sweeps and mops.

Emily is responsible for the living room. She picks up trash, wipes down tables, picks up dirty dishes (mostly cups), and sweeps. Luke is responsible for picking up his toys in the living room, but he does this daily.

Lucas also helps wipe down the tables and chairs (when he feels like it). We don't make him do this yet, because we want him to feel like chores are fun. It's when they get older that they start to figure out that doing chores sucks (for lack of a better word). I also want him to get into the habit of making his bed every morning, but it hasn't happened...yet.

Everyone shares in the responsibility of taking care of the pets. Emily feeds the dog, Preston takes her outside/inside, and I or Jeremy bathe her. Everyone feeds the fish, but Jeremy cleans out their tank. He's the one who puts in the new decorations every month.

I am responsible for organizing, grocery shopping, doing yearly/monthly chores, and washing the rest of the laundry. I also do the chores when the kids aren't around. You would think my house is spotless, but think again. Six people in a tiny house means big clutter. We are getting better about keeping it clean and downsizing, but we still need a lot of work.

There you have it, our weekly chore list. Do you make your kids do chores? Am I leaving something out?

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings
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