Wednesday, July 2, 2014

DIY Soccer Medal

Here's a little something my girl and I put together for her soccer mates a little while back.  I was the assistant coach and we wiped this up to give as gifts after the last game.  I can't claim the idea as my own, I just made it my own way.  The team mom on my son's team made these for the boys and I copied the idea.  Plus, it's all over the web and Pinterest.  Just search "washer jewelry" or something similar to that.

You don't get a view of this, since I'm not keen on showing names.  But I took my handy metal stamping kit and stamped the girls' names on the back of the washers.  You don't get much of a view of the steps of this project because I didn't take photos as I was actually doing this.  But I'll give you the quick run down on what I did.

I bought some 1 1/4 inch washers at Home Depot.  I needed 6 and there were 6 in the pack.  No room for error here.

Here's my steps:
1) Stamp the names on the back of the washer.  If I messed up, I just flipped it over and tried again. 

2) Print out soccer ball on cardstock.  I found a soccer ball in my clipart on Microsoft Word.  I sized it to 1 1/4 and printed it out on paper to try.  It fit.  I then printed out 8 soccer balls on white card stock.  I cut out 6 and left 2, just in case. 

3) Trace the washer hole on the cardstock soccer ball.  I placed the washer on my soccer ball and traced where the hole is. 

4) Punch out hole.  I used a hole punch to punch out where I traced the hole.

5) Glue soccer ball on washer.  I used regular white school glue.

6) Cover with a sealant.  I didn't have Modge Podge.  I used clear fingernail polish.  I made sure it covered the edges.

7) String up.  I had some pink craft sting laying around and used that to hang the medal on.  Fortunately my daughter was on the pink team!  Score!

Here's my girl in her "soccer portraits" that I took after the season was over.  She has her medal on.

Have you tried washer jewelry?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fighting Pinon Bark Beetles

I know, I haven't posted much here lately. Life is busy. And when I do get a chance to post, it's on my photography blog. I'd love to put more things here (the list in my head is long), but other things come first.

We've been busy with travel and housework. I've been busy with kids, photos, housework, preparing schoolwork, and three million other things. Biker Boy has been stressing about the destruction that the pinon bark beetles are causing this year. We lost a big stand of trees last year and this year is not looking any better. It's been so dry and we have quite a few old and large pinon trees. Biker Boy just felled another huge stand of dead trees that were covered in beetles. It was yucky.

The area look so barren now without those large trees. Imagine a few huge pinon in this photo.

Biker Boy uses an electric pole saw to cut the trees. He stacked the infected wood and sprayed it with an insect killer approved for beetles. Then he sprayed some of the young (and healthy?) trees nearby. I hope we don't lose our little Ponderosa tree that was a Christmas tree one year.

We're trying to water the trees that we can save. We're in a drought and water is limited. Our barrels have run dry, so we're having to use the well water now. I hate to use the well water for the plants, but sometimes it's necessary.

The kids found joy in stacking wood and helping to cover the cut wood. The earned chore points and a few scratches on their legs.


The pile of wood was sprayed and then we cover it with tarps or plastic to solarize the wood and kill any remaining beetles and their larva. We did that last year too.

I seem to have a keen eye for trees that are dealing with beetles. I pointed out 2 big ones, even closer to our house, that looked like they were beginning to brown. Biker Boy sees it now. Bummer. We're not going to have any big trees left. Well, at least now I'll have lots of space to put in that zip line I'm dreaming of.

What are your plans for the week?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Safety Supermom - Protecting the Noggin

Every mom is a supermom, whether we have one kid or many kids.  Being a supermom means we have superpowers.  Especially safety superpowers.  Some of us go a little more overboard than others with our hidden powers of safety  I'd wrap my kids in bubble wrap if I could, but then I'd be worried that they'd suffocate from the plastic.  

Some of my safety superpowers include security cameras (cause our house got broken into and I can watch my kids with it when they're teenagers), Internet filters, the computer in the main room of our house, no TV (we have a TV to watch DVDs), aggressive animal spray for our family runs, hikes, and bike rides (in case an evil dog or bear is loose), window latches (no one will get through that small opening in my kids' windows if they're open), radon evacuation system, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, a barking dog (I always know when the UPS guy is here), and on and on.  I'm sure you've got a few of those superpowers too and some additional ones. Power toothbrushes for clean teeth?  Check.  Never using the front burner on the stove with kids around?  Check.  All cleaning supplies out of my reach?  Check.

But do you have the supermom super power of Protective Equipment?  Cause all superheroes need a uniform or something they wear to protect them.  In my family we wear helmets.  Helmets for biking, helmets for scootering, helmets for snowboarding, helmets for lots of things.  I'd almost make my kids wear helmets while walking. Protecting heads is a big safety thing with me.  I speak from experience.

You need to properly wear your super equipment or it's going to fail you.  Nothing like putting your jetpack on backwards and only realizing it after you activate it.

Let my little minions give you some tips on how to wear the gear that protects your noggin while riding around on your wheeled getaway contraption.  Watch the big minion...he's doing it all wrong.

Wear Your Helmet.  You won't protect that noggin if it's not on.

Get a Properly Sized Helmet.  A too big head protector isn't going to save your brain cells.

Buckle that Helmet.  Just like you need to strap on a jet pack, the helmet won't do any good if it's not properly buckled.  Don't buckle it too loose.  It shouldn't come over your chin.  Ideally you can just slip a finger through.

Keep the Helmet Low.  Don't leave your forehead exposed.  The enemy's laser rays will get you there faster than you think.  The pavement will also get you there.  Protect that forehead.  A helmet doesn't do any good if you don't wear it properly.

Protect Your Eyes.  Eyes are part of your head.  Shield them from sun with some shades.  If it's dark or cloudy put on some clear lenses to protect from bugs.  No one likes getting a bug in their eye.  Or a stick.

Just Wear a Helmet.  But perhaps you should put in on properly.  Don't be like my minions.  Believe it or not, I have seen someone wearing a helmet backwards before.  At least they had a helmet on.

If you have no reason to wear a helmet, maybe you should just put your bear in it?  It's a good way to protect your favorite stuffed animal.

A good supermom always sets a good example for her kids.  If you make your kids wear a helmet to keep their head safe, why not wear one yourself?  Your super head needs super protection too.  A good supermom wears super protective equipment.  You buckle your kids in the car and buckle yourself in.  Why not do the same on a bike or skis?  A helmet is like a seatbelt for your head.  Repeat after me, "Helmets are cool."  Helmet were not cool when I was growing up in the 80's, but they're cool now.

What's your Safety Superpower?

*I'm happy to be participating in Dropcam's Safety Supermom Campaign by writing a post on how I keep my family safe.*

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring Break 2014

I am really lacking with posting here.  It's been a busy spring.  Soccer is taking up a lot of time.  Only 2 games left, woo hoo!  The kids are having fun.  With breaks in it for mountain biking and spring break.

The kids raced in a kids mountain bike race a couple of weeks ago and did awesome!  Their Daddy even cleaned up with a third place finish in his age group.  Those over 40 guys are competitive and there are tons of them in that age group, so I'm so proud of my guy for pedaling out there! 

This past weekend we did a half-century ride with the kids on the back of our tandems.  (That's 50 miles of biking!).  The kids did amazing!  Thankfully the weather was wonderful, which helped our spirits.  The kids never complained once and enjoyed the food stops.  That ate so much food!  We didn't see many kids out, so ours were getting lovely compliments all day.  They are great little bikers.  And I have no idea how they still had energy to jump on the trampoline when we got home!  Perhaps they should have pedaled a little harder. 

We took a spring break to Sedona, Arizona.  It was a fun time.  I won't recap it all.  It snowed on us while we were there, at the end of April!!  We stayed in the Oak Creek Canyon at Cave Springs Campground.  It was okay.  Not our ideal campground, but it was there.  We did a lot of mountain biking and hiking.  We even went to Slide Rock State Park.  It was 60 degrees, but sunny.  It was a Monday and there weren't too many people there.  We went down the slide rocks in the freezing cold water.  Scooter and I went down twice.  Biker Boy went 2 and a half times, he took Chewy down half of it.  I can see how that place would get busy on a hot summer day.  Overall, it was a lovely time with the family and wonderful memories were made. 

 Four more days of school for us!  We're looking forward to the summer!  I can't believe how fast this school year went by.  We'll be homeschooling again next  year, I think it's a really good fit for us right now.  Ohhh, they were filming a movie in our neighborhood the past 2 days.  Didn't see much, except for a lot of vehicles.  Apparently there's a big name movie star in it.  And in other news, we are now the owners of a decent sized tractor.  Some trees have been cut down and now the dirt moving can commence, once a hose gets fixed on the tractor.  Here's hoping we can clean up our driveway area!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Portraits of the Kids

I've been so busy I haven't had time to post what we've been up to.  School, soccer, biking, friends, gardening, and lots of other things. 

But I did get out with the kids the other day to do a portrait session.  We haven't done a "real" one with them in awhile. 

Here's a few that we came away with:

Grandparents....the photos will be on their way soon.

Happy Easter!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

My Baby Girl

My baby girl turned 7 not too long ago.

My sweet, sweet girl.

We wanted to do some birthday photos, but never really got around to them.

This was a super quick shoot (encouraged by Daddy) after church and before lunch.  The girl had been crying in my arms 2 minute before because her arm had gotten hurt.

As usual, she did her range of faces.  I captured a few.

I'll be using these photos for an editing tutorial on my photography blog later.  But they get first billing here.  And grandparents, give me a few days.  I'll get you a file of these!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Enjoying The Last of The Snow

We tried to enjoy what snow we had.  That meant traveling to snow.  We tried to utilize our free lift passes and buy one, get one free deals that we had.  Poor Biker Boy, he had 2 free tickets to a closer place that he never got to use because they never opened this winter.  Oh well. 

Here's some photos from a few of our winter excursions.  I'm so behind on everything and I haven't posted here in a bit, so this is it for now.

Chewy has taken to the snowboard pretty well.  The kids have to share a pair of skis, so someone has to use a snowboard while the other is skiing.  They each have a snowboard.  Chewy has progressed to doing the lifts on her snowboard and can heel edge down the hill like a pro.  She's been trying to learn her toe edge and doing a few turns.  Scooter will do turns when no one is looking.  He's a pro on his heel edge too and will go down stuff I won't.  Scooter will hike up the big peaks with Biker Boy and then they drop down the black diamonds and go in the woods.  I won't do that.  Chewy's not quite that advanced yet, so she'll hang with me and beat me down the hill.  Actually, both kids are faster than me now.  Everyone is waiting for mommy at the lift. 

We may be done boarding for the winter. Soccer practice starts this week.  We are now officially soccer parents and I'm an assistant coach.  I won't rant about how I feel about it.  Because in front of the kids I'm officially enthusiastic and excited!  It's going to be so much fun!  They each have new cleats....oh boy!  And one has a game in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Care to guess where all my Saturdays will be spent?  Plus 2 evenings a week.  On unfamiliar territory.  But in a mommy voice....."This is going to be so much fun!"  And it will be...once I get in there with the kids.  The adult part of it...not so fun...(which reminds me I need to finish my online training before tomorrow).  My lack of enthusiasm is probably due to the fact that I just don't have a passion for soccer.  Sorry, I don't.  I don't get it.  But probably in the same way that someone else doesn't get why I can swim back and forth in a pool and love it. 
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