Hippity Hop

March 27, 2013




Here comes Peter Cotton Tail! ;)

With Easter just around the corner there are a lot of moms posting pictures on Instagram and Facebook of their Easter egg decorating adventures with their little ones.

Mason was still a little young last year so we didn't do any decorating. So this year I’m extra excited to do something with him.

I started doing some searching on some toddler friendly ways to decorate Easter eggs. I wanted something that wouldn't bore Mason, but I also didn't want his fingers to end up all sorts of colors from dyeing eggs.

I found a several different fun decorating ideas. I’m not sure if we’ll use them all this weekend, but in case you haven’t done your Easter egg decorating here’s a couple ideas for you.

Sticker eggs
The easiest egg decorating idea that requires no dye is stickers. Simply use small round stickers in different colors to create a pattern like a flower or keep it simple with a few big dots. Toddlers love stickers and you may even have some spare from reward charts, calenders or children’s comics.

Glue and Glitter eggs
Polka dot glitter eggs are simple yet stunning! The eggs below in pretty polka dot blue and pink glitter are a great example. For young children you don’t have to be that neat. Just roll in glue or get ‘stick-happy’ with the glue stick and roll in glitter.

Tattoo eggs
Remember those pretend tattoo transfers when you were young? Well, they look great on eggs too. Just follow the instructions on the transfers.

Stencil eggs
This uses the same resources as the sticker eggs, but this time you put the stickers on before you dye the eggs and peel the stickers off once the eggs are dry.

Double sided sticky taped eggs
Strong geometric shapes work best. Cut the double sided sticky tape into strips that are 0.5 cm thick and attach to your egg. Use separate bowls for different colors of glitter. Remove the backing from one strip of double sided sticky tape and firmly roll the egg in the darkest color of glitter. Gently remove the extra glitter. Then repeat for your next color of glitter.

Here are some more in depth directions on a couple fun decorating ideas.

Sparkly Spots
Give your Easter eggs an eye-catching effect. Make glittery polka dots without the mess using glue dots and fine glitter.
What you'll need: Hardboiled or blown out egg, bottle cap, ½" glue dots, fine glitter, small plate, paintbrush
Make it: Rest the egg on bottle cap, then apply about 12 glue dots, about ½" apart. Pour glitter onto a small plate and press each glue dot into the glitter until completely covered. Repeat for each glue dot. When all of the dots are coated, use the paintbrush to wipe away any excess glitter.

Beautiful Blooms

For an Easter decoration you can use year after year, have kids cut flowers from paper napkins and decoupage them onto ceramic eggs.
What you'll need: Floral paper napkins, scissors, foam brush, Elmer's glue, blown-out or ceramic egg, small roll of tape
Make it: Cut flowers or desired design from paper napkins. If using 2-ply napkins, peel away the thin white paper backing from the cutout napkin pieces (this will make it easier to glue to the egg). Use a foam brush to apply glue to half of the egg, then press a napkin flower on top and cover with a thin layer of glue. Add more napkin flowers, one by one, making sure to brush the top of each with glue. Place the half covered egg on the roll of tape and let dry for about 15 minutes, then repeat for the other half of the egg. When completely covered, set the egg on roll of tape and let it dry overnight.
Happy decorating! Feel free to posts pictures on our Facebook page of your Easter Egg decorating fun!

xoxo,
Krista 
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Happy 4th Birthday Niley!

March 22, 2013












 



I don’t normally have to start blogs over and over again, however, when I started to write this blog to honor my beautiful little niece I didn't know where to begin.

It’s silly because there are so many emotions and feelings I have for this little girl, but when it comes down to writing them I just didn't know how to get them all out.

When this little princess came into the world 4 years ago my heart grew in a way that I didn't expect. She’s my first niece and at the time I hadn't become a mom so I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first held her in my arms. She stole a part my heart that first time I saw her sweet little face and she’s held on to that part of my heart ever since.

We all have a special place in our hearts for our nieces and nephews. It’s a kind of love that’s reserved just for them to spoil them in a special way. I’m blessed to be able to call myself an aunt to little Miss Niley Poo. I’m extra lucky because I not only have Niley to love, but I have another adorable niece and a stud of a nephew that have captured my heart in their own special way.

Today is Niley’s birthday and it’s so crazy to think how quickly these past 4 years have gone by. Life has its day to day routines and I feel like I don’t get to spend as much time with her as I’d like, but no matter where life leads us, she holds a special place in my heart that will always be hers; even though her Uncle Jordan has been her favorite since day one. ;)

I pray that as life continues on that I can be the kind of aunt she can look up to and trust, that Jordan can be an uncle she can always feel safe with, and that Mason and her will build a bond that only cousins have the opportunity to build.

Dear Niley,

Uncle Jordan, Mason, and I want to wish you very special “Happy Birthday”! You are a special little girl and we are so proud of the princess you are becoming. We love you very much and we pray you never forget how much you mean to us.

Love,
Uncle Jordan, Aunt Krista, & Mason

4 year photos by Memories by Helen
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Stop & Smell the Roses

March 18, 2013



Over the weekend I decided to watch an old favorite movie of mine; Stepmom. Some of you may wonder why I would even consider this movie a favorite, but for some reason it was just one of those movies I could watch over and over no matter how depressing it is. However, I haven’t seen it since I became a mom and let me tell you what; talk about even more depressing than it ever has been before! I finally had to turn it off so that I could stop crying and get a little nap in.

It got me thinking though; although at first it was more of me freaking out than actually thinking. That natural tendency for me to worry kicked into gear and I started imaging if I were like Susan Sarandon’s character and facing death as a mother. Sob sob sob…is exactly what I did. I can’t imagine not growing old with my best friend of a hubby or seeing my sweet little munchkin growing up to graduate, go to college, or get married.

Then, as I prayed in desperation to the Lord to always keep me healthy and strong so I can watch my family grow, He reminded me I have nothing to fear and there is no need to worry.

{Matthew 6:34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.}

Even though this verse is an instruction from the Lord, it’s still so very true even if choose not to look at as an instruction. There is so much going on each day in each of our lives that if we spent half the time focusing on the present as we do the future then I wonder how much more value we would add to our days.

So, of course that got me thinking more. {Thanks Lord.} He’s right though. If I would slow down and stop spending so much time each evening preparing for the next day I would have so much more time with my boys. Granted the things do spend time doing are necessary, but are they necessary at the times I do them? Probably not.

I then started to think about all things I don’t do {or don’t let Mason} do because I don’t want to have to clean up a mess later or the things I miss out on because I’m too preoccupied with cooking tomorrow’s dinner.. How ridiculous is that? Although I know it’s a true scenario not just for me. ;)

My motto for years has been “to live every moment as though it was your last before the Thief of Always steals tomorrow from your grasp”, but reflecting on it this weekend I realized that I haven’t been living that way at all.

I don’t want to wait until my time is limited before I really start to value my life and the time I have with the people I love. So, I’m going to stop sweating the small stuff and do more stopping to smell the roses.  {Cliché indeed, but I don’t care.}

I don’t want to take any more time for granted; or the people in my life for granted. So, tonight no matter what the agenda may have been I’m going to toss it out the window! I’ll let the dishes wait until after Mason is in bed, I’ll make a mess and clean it up later, and I’m going to enjoy the time I have with the two boys who mean the world to me.

Life is about living and it’s about living it to its fullest. Why do most of us wait until our life has a time limit before we really start living it in the way we’re meant to?

I encourage to live every moment is though it were your last. Be silly, have fun, travel, make yummy foods, eat dessert first, make messes, eat breakfast for dinner, stay up late just to cuddle, dream & dream big, smooch a lot….the list could go on. Cherish each day, love on those around you, make each day full of memories you’ll never forget, and don’t take any moment you have for granted.



xoxo,
Krista
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Pavlova {New Zealand Dessert}

March 15, 2013



Today I’m going to share a yummy dessert that a sweet friend of mine from New Zealand sent me. She reads my blog and offered me the opportunity to share this iconic New Zealand dessert with my readers.

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside and it’s named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova.The dessert is believed to have been created in honor of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source.

The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals. It is a dessert most identified with the summer time, but is eaten all year round in many Australian and New Zealand homes.

My dear friend said that one of her favorite chefs is Annabel Langbein and shared her Pavlova recipe for us to enjoy.

·         6 egg whites, at room temperature
·         pinch of salt
·         1½ cups caster sugar (fine sugar)
·         2 tsp cornflour
·         1 tsp vinegar
Topping:
·         1 cup Berry Compote
·         3 punnets fresh mixed berries, eg raspberries, blueberries and hulled and halved strawberries

To make a pavlova you really need an electric beater and egg whites that are not too fresh.
Heat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and mark a circle about 16cm diameter with a plate. Place the egg whites into the clean bowl of an electric beater. Add the salt and beat until stiff. Slowly add the sugar with the beater running. Beat for about 10 minutes at high speed until the meringue is thick and glossy – it should be thick enough not to fall from the beater.
Last of all, whisk in the corn flour and vinegar. Use a big spoon to drop dollops of meringue into the circled area of baking paper. Form into a circle of meringue, making swirls with the spoon on the top rather than flattening to a neat tidy disc.
Bake at 180°C (not fan bake) for 5 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 130°C and cook a further hour. Turn off oven and leave pavlova to cool in the oven.
Pavlova can be cooked a couple of days ahead and stored in an airtight container, or frozen.
To serve, spoon Berry Compote over pavlova and scatter over mixed berries.
For those of us not completely familiar with Celsius or other New Zealand measurements you can view a more Americanized version of the recipe here
Enjoy!

xoxo,
Krista
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A Dream Is Wish Your Heart Makes

March 13, 2013



In the typical chaos of life it’s important to sit back, take some time to reflect, pray, relax, etc. Last week during some alone quiet time (which is a rarity) I decided to do all of those things. As you realize by now when I think too much my mind starts to wander into areas that it probably shouldn’t. {I tend to overthink; anyone else do the same?}

As a child you have dreams that at the time seem reachable, but then as you grow up they start to seem out of reach. Are they really out of reach though?  I began to think about all the hopes and dreams I had for my life when I was younger; back when I had that “when I grow up” mind frame. Well, now that I’m grown up am I what I wanted to be? Surprisingly yes, but not in the way I originally imagined.

At first I started to feel a little sad that I wasn’t a singer touring the country or a nurse saving lives, and then I realized that I’m actually all the things I ever dreamed of being. Just in different ways.  I’m a wife married to my prince charming (dream 1), I’m a mom to the sweetest little boy my heart could know (dream 2),  I’m using my gift to sing by traveling locally and leading worship (dream 3), and I get to take care of my precious family with every boo-boo, booger, fall, or scrap (dream 4).

Even though it may seem that my dreams were in the distant, they really have been coming true right in front of my face. I just had to take the time to open up my eyes and realize it.

If you come to a point in your life where you begin to feel like you didn’t chase your dreams or that they haven’t come true; open up your eyes a little wider. I bet they really have come true and you just haven’t noticed yet.

Never give up. Keep on dreaming and believe they will come true.

Xoxo,
Krista
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Deliciousness x2

March 7, 2013




In my constant quest to find quick and easy recipes I tried 2 new yummy things this week. So, you lucky readers get 2 recipes today; that’s how simple they are.

The first one {Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken} I made for dinner and although I love garlic and the smell of sautéed garlic; I can’t stand the forever lingering scent it leaves in my home.  {The price you pay for such deliciousness.}

Preparation was simple and quick. Preheat your oven while you sauté your garlic. By the time you’re down sautéing and adding the brown sugar, your oven will be ready.

{A time saving quick trick: I wanted to cut back on as much time as I could because I had a hungry hubby to feed. So, I put the chicken in the baking dish and put it in the oven while it preheated. It cooked the chicken a little bit before I added the brown sugar mix.}

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
Directions
Preheat oven to 500°F and lightly grease a casserole dish.
In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.
Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes.


The second recipe I made for a snack. It would make a good appetizer, but I made it then refrigerated the leftovers and eating it cold is just as yummy as warm.

{A time saving quick trick: Instead of baking it I put everything in a microwavable dish and threw it in the microwave until the cream cheese was melted enough to mix.}

Rotel Corn Dip

Ingredients
3 (15 1/4 oz) cans of corn, drained
1 (8oz) packed of cream cheese, cubed
1 (10oz) can of Rotel tomatoes & chilies
Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F
Place all ingredients into a medium casserole dish.
Put in the oven for 10 minutes; remove and stir ingredients until mixed well.
Place back in the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

xoxo,
Krista

Winner of the Lovely Days Creative Giveaway listed here.
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Music Announcement {Finally!}

March 5, 2013





I finally have the privilege to announce a really exciting new journey that Jordan and I have been on! I’m not sure why we waited so long to announce it, but we did. Silly us. ;)

If you know Jordan and I you know we have a passion for music and we have a passion to use our gifts and abilities for the Lord.

We are a husband and wife duo of worship leaders that have been leading worship together since 2004.  We are currently traveling regionally leading worship and sharing our heart for ministry.

Shortly after we got married, Jordan took a worship position and a youth position in Elkhart, IN. After 2 years we felt God leading us into a different direction; to step out to pursue another career. However, our passion for music and worship continued to grow. In the fall of 2012 we began traveling locally to lead worship where there was a need. It was then we felt God tugging at our hearts and leading us to grow our ministry of helping local churches.


We learned a lot during our time on staff there in Elkhart. We understand that there are weeks as a worship leader you just want to step back, get off the platform, and worship with your congregation. However, not all churches have the resources or the people to step up and give the worship pastor a Sunday off or maybe it’s not easy for a worship pastor to take a Sunday off to spend with his family due to finances.


That’s where the ministry we have begun comes in. Our heart is to help worship leaders get that Sunday off, get that Sunday to enjoy worship off the platform while standing next to their spouses and children, and not have to worry about anything.


We have made ourselves available to churches that need us for a Sunday here and there to allow their worship pastor a Sunday off. It’s our heart to serve, to help, and to lead.


We also lead worship for local youth rallies and are available for any conventions, conferences, and rallies you may have coming up.


For information on how to book us please email us at jordanandkrista@hotmail.com.


To view our webpage please visit here.

Music can change the world because it can change people.Bono 

xoxo,
Krista

The winner of the Stacy Espinoza Giveaway listed here.
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My Mother

March 2, 2013



Lately as I wind down for the night I've been thinking about my day and just how crazy things have been with work and my personal life. Things are just busy right now and I know it’s only a season, but when you start to wear down physically sometimes you wear down emotionally.

When my mind wanders I start to think about all the “what ifs”. What if I could be a stay at home like several of my friends, would I be as drained? {90% of those friend s would tell me yes I’m sure.} What if there were more hours in a day so I could spend more time with my son? What if life were just less hectic? Silly “what ifs”, but it happens when you think too much. I’m sure many of you can attest to that.

Then I start comparing myself to others moms; trying to imagine if their lives are as hectic as mine, if they show any signs of being overwhelmed, if they seem tired and worn out, etc. I start to wonder if I have it the worst. {Although deep down I know that’s hardly the case.}

The other morning in my prayer time as I was begging for strength all around to get me through another day in the life of Krista, the Lord reminded me of one of the strongest women I know and just how amazing she is; my mother. If I’m honest I will admit that majority of the time I overlook the strength of this woman and it’s a shame. The Lord reminded me of all the things my mother did as we were growing up, especially when I was younger. I started to realize my supermom powers weren’t granted to me; they were inherited.

For the last 2 years I have focused on how to be an amazing mother with a physical disability. It’s been a challenge, but it’s been such a reward. Never have I thought about what my mother went through trying to be an amazing mother while raising a physically disabled child. I realize now just how special my mom is.

Life overall while being physically disabled is hard, but I’m pretty functional and can do a lot on my own. ;) I can’t imagine how it was for my mom to work, take me to doctor’s appointments, stay with me at Riley’s for almost 2 years, stay with me during each surgery and hospital stays, raise another daughter while tending to the medical needs I had, etc. Granted my mom and dad were an amazing team. My dad was just as involved and helpful; even more and more as I got older, but I know the weight you bear for your children as a mother. There’s nothing comparable.

Today is that amazing woman’s birthday and I want to honor her. Too often I take her for granted, but I love her more than she probably realizes. Though I’m a daddy’s girl through and through I have a special place in my heart for my mom. It may have taken almost 31 years for me to fully see through my mother’s eyes and it may have taken me becoming a mother before I fully realized her worth, but none the less I realize it now.

 Mom,

You are one of the finest and strongest women I know. Thank you for taking care of me, for loving me, and for raising me in only a way a mother could. You instilled in me an enormous amount of love. You showed me what it means to be a loving mother and I in turn am able to love my precious son in the most amazing way. I don’t think you’ll ever realize just how amazing you are, but know that no matter where life has brought us to this point, I admire you more today than I ever have. I’m sorry it took me so long to realize just how blessed I am to call you mom and how lucky I am to have a wonderful example to look up to. I will never take your love for granted again. I pray that Mason will someday admire my strength as I admire yours and I pray that I’m half the mother to him that you are to me.  You are special mom and I love you. May you find joy today in knowing that you have the world to celebrate and you are definitely worth celebrating!

Happy Birthday! J


Dear lovelies,

I pray each of you have a mother to admire. Today stop and take a minute to think about your mom. Think about how much she sacrificed for you, how much she gave you, and how much she loves you. Then go see her, call her, write her a letter; and let her know how thankful you are to have her in your life and tell her you love her.

xoxo,
Krista
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Lasagna Soup

March 1, 2013



It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a yummy recipe, but I promised myself I would do more of it as I found new recipes that I enjoy.

As a full time working mama I’m partial to crock pot recipes. It’s so easy to dump a bunch of stuff in the crockpot before you leave for work and then come home from work with nothing to do but serve what’s been cooking all day for you. I love easy stuff during the week; I NEED easy stuff during the week.

This week I decided to try the lasagna soup that I hear everyone talking about and see everyone pinning. The recipe I found was on Pinterest from Family Fresh Meals and it was so good!

Here is what you need:
1 lb. ground beef (or vegetarian crumble)
3 cups of beef broth (or vegetable broth to make vegetarian)
1 cup of water
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced (due to my lack of garlic I used garlic powder)
1 TB dried parsley
1 TB dried basil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1, 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1, 6oz can of tomato paste
1 cup V8 (or any vegetable drink)
2 cups uncooked shell pasta
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
Optional topping- shredded cheese

1. First mix together the can of tomatoes, and tomato paste in crockpot.

2. Next add broth, beef, garlic, parsley, basil, onion, V8 and salt/pepper.

3. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.

4. When 30 minutes are left of cook time, add in the 1 cup of water and noodles. Stir to combine. Put lid back on and continue cooking for 30 minutes. {I ended up just boiling the noodles right when I got home and when they were done I dumped them in the crockpot. It was a time saver for this mama.}

NOTE:
If you like your soup to have more liquid,  feel free to add some extra broth and or water when you add the noodles.

Serve with some bread and butter and voila! Quick and easy! Enjoy!

xoxo,
Krista
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