Pucker Up 3

Swell & Good

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Our Sponsored Child through World Vision

Sponsoring a child is something I have wanted to do for awhile now. Travis and I decided to start doing so this month through World Vision! I thought it would be neat to find a child RC's age. In fact, I found one born the same day and year! How cool is that? We are now sponsoring Miguel Angel from Guatemala. I can't wait to start writing letters and have RC draw pictures for him! Maybe down the road we will sponsor a child that is older and can write back to us! For now, we'll stick with this cutie!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

iPhone/iPad Mail Signature Tutorial

I upgraded to an iPhone back in February of this year. I wonder how I lived without it before. One Christmas my mom had given me an iTouch and that ran my life. Now the iPhone does and in a better way now with the ios 6 release. Okay so really it's just the fact that when sending my business (Thirty-One and International Experience emails) I can now add a custom signature! About time Apple!

The downside when I went to sent them up for myself and my mom it wasn't accepting a photo. I was thinking they really blew that one. Well, with a little research and time, I found the solution and it is pretty easy and I am sharing that solution here with you!

1. First you will need to go to and create an account.

2. Once you have followed the steps to set up and verify your account you can log in and create your signature.

3. Fill out the various sections. You can play with some of the settings. I just chose the default settings for mine.

4. Once finished, click on email signature url. This will send an email with the link. You will need to open this on the device (iPhone, iPad, etc) that you want the signature on.

5. Open the email on your device and click the link. This should open an email automatically with the signature in place.

6. Copy all of the signature then open "settings" then "mail, calendar, contacts" and scroll down to "signatures."

7. Select "Per account" and paste into the signature block for the account you created it for!

It's as easy as that! The one drawback I have found is that you must be physically in the mailbox for that email address when you go to send an email or it will not add the signature. By this you cannot be in the "all mailboxes" but the individual account.

So far it has worked great and once I found this site, it took me a whole 5 minutes of my time.

Here is one I created. Super easy and it even has my Facebook button!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, September 24, 2012

When Harry Met Sally

Sitting at the table playing "Wipeout" on my iPhone. Thanks to KJ I found a new addicting game. It is also is a challenging game. Like the show Wipeout, your character gets hit a lot and falls down. When you fall there is pretty much just one thing your character does...uh uh uh over and over as you keep getting hit.

Mom says "turn the volume off all I can here is uh, uh and it sounds gross." Suddenly RC (who will be 18 months tomorrow) goes "uh uh." We both nearly fell off our chairs laughing so hard. Let's just say the diner scene from Harry Met Sally came into mind! LOL

Monday, September 17, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

RC loves yogurt, but it is one of those things that is a little on the expensive side. At least if you are looking for a full fat and preferably organic yogurt! So I decided to do a little research on how to make my own. It's actually pretty easy and so far both Travis and RC like it!

Here is what I use:
Stainless Steel Pot to heat milk
Candy Thermometer
Stainless Steel Thermos (+plus sometimes an old yogurt container if I'm making a big batch)
Stainless Steel Spoon
Heating Pad
Cooler (I use my Thirty-One Picnic Thermal!)

Milk (whole milk gets you the thickest yogurt)
Live Cultures (or just go by a small thing of yogurt with active live cultures for your starter!)

1. Heat milk to around 180℉. Stir to keep from burning.
2. Let cool to 110℉. 
3. Add your starter  yogurt. I usually add about 2 Tbsp when I am filling one thermos about 4 Tbsp if I am doing a bigger batch.
4. Stir and then pour into your containers.
5. Wrap your containers with a towel and place in cooler (in my case, my Picnic Tote!) with the heating pad. Zip up and turn on heating pad. *I have to keep an eye on my heating pad. I have yet to find one that will just stay on constantly so I have to check every couple of hours to make sure it is still on. I have made yogurt in just the thermos with no heat on it but it took a lot longer.
6. Leave for at least 8 hours. Let cool a little and place in fridge.

If you like thinner yogurt you are finished. If you prefer thicker Greek style you will need to continue on.

Greek Yogurt
Cheese Cloth
Bowl (if you want to catch the whey and use for something else)

1. Place strainer over/in your sink. If you wish to catch the whey place a bowl under strainer.
2. Place cheese cloth in strainer. I fold mine so it takes longer to strain but doesn't allow thicker parts through.
3. Leave for at least an hour. It is finished with no more whey is coming out.
4. If you leave for too long, you will get more of a cream cheese consistency which means you have yogurt cheese!

*Sorry I forgot to take picture of this part. I will try to do so the next time!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Early morning update

This week has been great with getting up early and doing my quiet time...until today. Today was a struggle. In fact, I didn't get out of bed early enough to get my quiet time done. How has today been different? Well, I just don't feel as great today. All week, even on nights I was up later, I felt great all day after getting up around 6 am and doing my quiet time. Today, I have been tired all day and have been more short tempered with Richard. Not really getting mad at him, just not being as patient with him today. 

Tomorrow I definitely have got to go back to an early morning quiet time. It really has been a great start to the day!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Long time coming

Today my husband took a HUGE step in life. He broke one of his rules he said he never would do, but it was something that had to be done. We bought a new (sorta new) van today!

It all began yesterday when we took our explorer to get it's state inspection. It failed. It needed some new ball joints and the emergency brake was not engaging. You're probably thinking...okay seriously your car failed inspection and you go buy a new car. Well yes, because this particular car also had an issue with the timing chain. Something we new about and were basically waiting for the day it would die.

Yesterday we began our search. We checked out a Mazda5 and they brought down a Chrysler Town & Country today for us to drive. While waiting on that to arrive for test drive, we had the explorer looked at again to ensure that the timing chain issue couldn't be fixed cheaper than first quoted (about $4,000 - $6,000) or that it wasn't a different issue. The place we took it to is great. They checked it for FREE (which most dealers won't) and they really are HONEST too. The news...about $5,000 total worth of work to get it to pass state inspection and fix the timing chain issue (was the front not the back). Still $5,000 for a vehicle that isn't worth that much...well it was time to invest that money into something else. It would be debt no matter what as we didn't have $5,000 in cash to fix it.

 After we found out that news we had a further chat with Lee (one of the head mechanic guys in the front office). He is a really great guy and will tell you how it is. We told him which vans we were thinking about and he flat out told us to stay away from the Ford Freestar we were just about to go see. He said they come with a lot of issues and we would be dumping money into it. Then we said we were thinking of the Town & Country. He said that is a great choice. It's a great van and we would love it.

We went out to the lot to see if they had any while we waited to see the one the other dealer had. They had several 2012's and a 2010 all for a bit more than we were originally thinking of going. We held out and waited for the other one.

Poor RC was a wreck. He had a rough two days dealing with car shopping, but considering he is 17 months old....he did GREAT! He drove Travis nuts, but he did pretty good. He wasn't having a great day today...until we got in the Town & Country. He LOVED the drive. Loved looking out all the windows as he could actually see out the vehicle!

We got back and started talking. Travis decided unless they came down a bit it was a no go. They wouldn't budge and he told them he wanted to compare a newer model first. After getting set up at the other dealer (which by the way we basically spent ALL day at since it is the first place we hit this morning) it came down to a 2010 and a 2012 with $700 between them. The only difference was 2 years, about 10,000 miles and the 2010 had a power lift gate (which I kinda wanted but wasn't necessary).

Are test driving the 2012, I was sold. Then I had to wait with RC as he napped in the Focus while Travis took his turn. I was praying that he would love it too....even though it is for mostly for me! LOL

When he got back it was a yes....if they came down in price. Uh oh. It of course had a sale price on it...blah blah blah. They wouldn't budge and wouldn't give us the same trade in value as across the street (well of course that's because this is the place that knew what issues the explorer had...sorta). The manager that does the trade in values actually had no idea his mechanic Lee had it looked at earlier this morning. Later Lee talked with him and said he got screwed with what he offered us! LOL 

Anyhow, after a SUPER LONG day of looking at our options, we finally got the new van. A 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan with only 26,611 miles on it! It's the first car my hubby has ever bought with a loan and at a dealership. I think he did pretty good negotiating and these guys surprisingly were not super pushy either. Of course they might have smelt the deal! LOL

at the dealership waiting for our paperwork to go through!
woo hoo...finally leaving the dealership. Travis had to take all the boys home so it was just me! Isn't that a funky key?
at home in it's new parking spot!
Inside view
Front seats and console (which has tons of storage space!
another view of back seats. Already doesn't look like this as RC's car seat is now installed!
tricked out light section. No DVD though the area is there for it. Perhaps down the road.
RC getting his turn to drive. He didn't get to check the van out as he was sleeping when we took it for a drive.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Who would have thought...

that waking up before the sun wouldn't be THAT bad!

Last night I began studying through Deep Convictions and Be Still My Soul for my quiet time. One thing that really hit me was that I really need to change my quiet time to the mornings. I need to begin my day with God and not just end it with God. I am not a morning person. So this is usually something that just doesn't work for me.

Last night after doing my reading, I forced myself to bed before 10 pm! That is early for me...usually it is midnight. Since KJ & Billy started school though it has been easier to get to bed earlier. The first few weeks of school starting, I tried getting up earlier. It just wasn't happen. I guess maybe it just wasn't in my heart yet. I wasn't seeing the point. 

Mark 1:35 (NIV) "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."

I thought I was getting my quiet time in, isn't that enough. Well there were days that excuses would come up. I ended up too tired in the end...we had other things going on...etc. etc. Well not too many excuses can happen at the crack of down if you just GET OUT of bed! So that's what I did this morning!

Ready for my quiet time. Bible on the iPad, note book and my two study books!
Last night I downloaded a sleep timer app. I don't feel that I sleep the greatest. If this app worked, I slept with 93% efficiency last night! The app help wakes you within a 30 minute window of your alarm. Mine was set for 6 am but because it detected me "awake" it was off almost 30 minutes early. Who am I to say this app doesn't work? Maybe it does maybe it doesn't but what matters is I actually feel really good. Even before my quiet time, I didn't feel that tired like I usually do in the morning.

We will see what the rest of the week brings for my morning quiet times. Will it be just as easy to get up? I don't know. But what I do know is that I don't feel horrible right now, my quiet time is finished and I feel good, I watched the sunrise (well sort of...I watched the sun stretch over the bridge as it came up opposite from where I am sitting) and I even was able to put a load of laundry in, run the dish washer, and write this blog post!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Finding out they're real

Today Travis and I took RC to the local Christian bookstore to meet Bob and Larry from Veggie Tales. At first I was thinking maybe we should wait as we are taking him later this month to the Veggie Tales Live show and my mom is flying out to go with us...well to really go with RC! I didn't want to ruin the first time he would see them in person.

After seeing his reaction today, it is probably good we took him. His first reaction was a facial expression of "their real? and huge!" Travis set him down and he went running off to meet Larry, until he got closer and diverted down an aisle scared. It took him awhile to warm up to Bob and Larry. Hopefully when we go to the live show and then do the meet and greet after, he isn't as scared.

After a bit, he finally came around and started interacting with them...mostly Larry. Larry is definitely his favorite character. Poor Bob only received a few hugs and no DVDs or toys! RC kept going up to Larry handing him Veggie Tale movies and toys. It was especially cute when he handed a stuffed Larry to Larry!

Poor Bob kept trying to get RC over to him but he just wouldn't go. He refers to Bob as "Bob Bob" and there is no Larry or any version of it yet. The only thing RC did with Bob was use him as a ball...that is a stuffed Bob. He kept throwing him around the store and even threw him to Larry.

 In a few weeks we'll see how he reacts to the show and meeting the characters again. I hope he has as much fun as he did at the Medieval Times we went to a few months back.

An all-time favorite dinner

 French Bread Loaf is one of my favorites. I don't know where my mom got the recipe from, but it was a childhood favorite and still is one of my favorites today. It reminds me of a sloppy joe, only in my eyes...better!


You will need the following:

1 lb turkey or beef (browned)
1 can each cheddar cheese soup and tomato soup
1 loaf French bread (can use a crusty bread Italian too) It's important to find one that is thick

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Brown the meat and drain. Add both cans of soups and simmer.
3. Cut loaf of bread in half and scoop out the middles of each half (you want to create little boats).
4. Add some of the chunks of bread to your meat mixture and stir.
5. Add the meat mixture to each 'boat' and put the two halves back together.
6. Wrap foil around loaf and bake until hot and crusty (usually about 10 - 15 minutes).

Cut into sections and enjoy! We eat it with a knife and fork or you can pick up a half and just bite right in!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blog Love

Well the August Great Cloth Diaper Hunt has ended. While I didn't get any sales for my Thirty-One business, I did however get a TON of new hits to my blog. In fact that number is somewhere over 10,000 and less than 14,000. That is just in ONE MONTH! Hopefully the person that wins the prize I donated loves it as much as I love mine! That would be the Casual Cargo Purse! I had fun hunting as well, but didn't hunt as much as I did the first time. Just not enough time to put to it.

Perhaps some of those might come back and follow my blog one day. I would like to get more blog love. For now though, I'll take what I get and continue working to make my blog something that others want to read about!

Why do we cloth diaper?

Today I walked into Target and saw a lady purchasing a GIANT box of disposable diapers. Each time I see that I am so thankful we chose to cloth diaper.

No emergency runs for diapers when you realize last minute you just used the last diaper.

No spending tons of money of diapers each year.

No looking in the diaper pail/trash and realizing RC just went through 10 diapers in an hour (especially when he was a newborn!).

No adding to the landfill with the thousands of diapers we would be contributing.

Instead, we always have diapers handy and can wash them at any moment to get more!

Instead, we have super cute diapers to show off when RC goes without shorts/pants.

Instead, we are keeping nasty chemicals off RC's tush.

Instead, we are reducing our Eco footprint.

Instead, we have a 17 month old (boy) that is already starting to understand when he is going potty.

Instead, we have more money in our pockets and can reuse all our diapers on future children!