Sunday, July 17, 2011

I challenge us...

Okay I admit. We are horrible at sitting at the table to eat our meals. Honestly I think a lot of it has to do with not having an eat-in kitchen. That and our dining room table almost always has at least two laptops and a pile of mail sitting on it.

But that's going to change. I hear by declare a challenge. The Kratzer family is going to eat EVERY meal at the table from now until the end of the year. (Because I think it'll be habit by that time... not we're going to suddenly not eat at the table on January 1st.) Of course, there will be exceptions for movie & pizza night or when company is over and we can't all fit around the table. But every normal meal will be at the table.

Can we do it??

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh the Places You'll Go!

In our family, we love road trips. My in-laws recently moved close to Cleveland and that opened up a new world of travel opportunity for us. The weekend before the fourth they treated us to a few days in Washington D.C. During that weekend, we managed to travel through six different states, as well as our nation's capital.

When we returned home, I thought about how cool it would be for Luke to see the progress on what states he's visited. My first thought was to get a smallish map and just mark it with star stickers. But that's not fun. Then I thought I could mount the smallish map on a bulletin board and pin the states. But that would double the project cost, which I didn't want to do. So I got creative.

This was my final project.

It was super easy to make. Here's how I did it.

A roll of self-adhesive cork board
16x20 backless frame (no glass)
16x20 presentation board
An overhead projector
An outline of the map
A transparency
Staple gun

What to do:
1. Measure & cut your cork board to 16x20.
2. Mount it on the presentation board.
3. Copy your map outline on a transparency. Place your mounted cork board on a wall securely and use the overhead projector & transparency to enlarge the map to the size you want it. (My board wasn't so secure and moved several times.)
4. Trace the map onto the cork board with a Sharpie. (Watch out for those New England states... they're tricky ones!)
5. Let dry for 15-20 minutes to avoid running.

6. Paint the states whatever colors you'd like. (I used the transparency to "map out" my colors so I didn't have any of the same colors next to each other.)
7. Once dry, put it in your frame. Use a staple gun (or nails would work, too) to secure the cork board in place.
8. Use pins to mark the states you or your family has visited. I found these cute stars (along with flowers, hearts, moons, & butterflies) at our local Meijer store.

I also found some clearance frames at Target for $1.32 each and clearance county maps at Borders for $.50 each and framed our city & surrounding cities to place around his room.

I'd say for a seven-year-old, he's travelled to quite a few states already!

And as an added bonus, here are some other ways to use a cork board map:
*Mark places you've been as a family- mom & dad in one color, each kid in another color.
*Mark the states as you "travel" to each one as a social studies unit throughout the school year.
*Mark where relatives live across the United States.
*Keep track of current events you hear about or study.
*As you study U.S. history, add a tag to each pin and mark where key events have happened.

I'd love to hear how else this board could be used! Leave a comment and share your ideas!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Saturdays from a Jar

Yesterday I posted about our Summer Bucket List.

On it it says, "Saturdays from a Jar."

I will explain.

Have you ever had one of those Saturdays? Where each one of you is itching to do something, but you're not sure what?

We do. A lot.

This is my solution to life's most perplexing question... "What do you want to do today?"

Saturdays in a Jar should actually be called Saturdays in 3 Jars.

One is labeled with a $. A second is labeled with $$ and the last, pretty obviously, labeled with $$$.

This is, of course, is so we can have something do to any Saturday, no matter our fundage situation. Surprisingly enough, I have a lot of $ activities and it was really hard for me to figure out the $$ and $$$ activities.

Let's fast forward to Saturday. This {very possible} scenario takes place...

"What do you want to do today?"

"I don't know what do you want to do?"

"I don't know, but I don't want to sit around all day."

"Luke, any ideas?"

"Buy Legos and have a Lego-putting-together-party?"

"Um, no."

{Cue the bright lights & angelic music}

So we pull from one of the jars- most likely the $ jar. And we may pull out "Create a sidewalk chalk city." or "Go to the splash pad." or "Wash the cars (and the bikes!)"

If we pulled from the $$ jar, we'd get to have friends over for an ice cream sundae party or go to the beach.

And, on the Saturdays when we saved up our cash during the week (ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh my. Sorry, fit of laughter there), we could pull from the $$$ jar and go to the drive-in theater or go to a Silverhawks game!

The fun thing is, if we think of other ideas that aren't in the jars already, we can always add them!

If you did Saturdays in a Jar, what activities would you add?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Our Summer Bucket List

Summer has arrived!!

And I've already heard, "I'm bored." several times from Little Mister's mouth.

So we created a list.

A list of all of the things we want to do this summer.

Of course we're not limited to this... I've already decided I want to go strawberry picking.

Maybe even tomorrow.

We're going to get this printed and put it in a pretty frame.

As we tackle each activity, we'll use a dry erase marker to cross it off our list.

What's on your summer to-do list?
Saturday, March 5, 2011

Giveaway on Born 2 Impress... a Kelly Moore bag!

Okay so I have birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. So I did a search for DSLR bags. I found some ADORABLE ones out there! AND I found a GIVEAWAY for one!!!

If I win, I'm fairly certain I'll be getting the b-hobo in mustard, which is pictured above. ADORABLE. Gosh I hope I win.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bringing a little warmth to my house today.

Tomorrow we celebrate Luke's 7th birthday for the last time. It's his celebration with my side of the family. He chose Spongebob decor and decided he wanted a Lemonade Layer Cake, because it's lemon and lemons are yellow... just like Spongebob.

This celebration is pretty low-key- we get together the 1st Sunday of the month for lunch at my mom & dad's anyway. This time we'll just throw in a lemon cake after lunch and end with opening gifts. Luke loves getting together with his cousins, no matter the occasion.

I'm glad he chose this cake, by the way. It's one of my favorites. I may or may not have encouraged this one over some of the other choices. Isn't it a mom's job to direct her children into making the right decisions?

The best part is that there was a little bit of frosting left in the bowl. And I may or may not have sneaked a few licks. Between the cupcakes last weekend, the dinners out through the week & the blizzard to keep me from the gym... no wonder I didn't lose any poundage this week.

Eh, at least I didn't gain.
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Day: Making Snow Ice Cream

Another fun thing we did on our snow day yesterday was making snow ice cream.

It was super easy & fun to make!

It was tasty, too. Although Luke disagreed. His first thought was that there was bird poop in it. When I finally convinced him there was no bird poop in it, he decided it tasted like coconut. I think he's the coconut.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day: Painting the Snow

Today we actually had a snow day! I think that's the first one in two years.

We're pretty diehard here in our town, but apparently a Blizzard Warning is cause enough to cancel.

We got a decent amount of snow, probably about 15 inches in the not drifted parts... and it was HEAVY to shovel!

Well, we made the most of our snow day. We bundled up- well, Luke did. I left all of my snow gear at school by accident. And I sent Luke outside to paint the snow!

What you need:
*food coloring
*empty spray or squirt bottles

Unfortunately for me, Luke was much more interested in building a snow castle with a moat than painting the snow. But I had a little fun with it!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow Buddy

The minute I heard that Pix-O-Sphere was having an animal photo contest, I knew immediately which photo I was going to enter.

Snow Buddy by kristink, on Pix-O-Sphere

It's perfect, is it not?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

We had Luke's 7th birthday celebration with his friends yesterday. There are only so many places we can have a fun birthday party in the middle of winter. So, we splurged and took him and ten of his friends to an indoor water park. They had a blast!

Last week, when we were talking about birthday cakes, he said he wanted rainbow cupcakes. I can do that! When I mentioned that I was going to make them, I had a lot of people asking how. So, without further ado, here's how.

You need: a white cake mix (or make your own if you're adventurous), any type of frosting (Luke chose white with funfetti sprinkles), food coloring, one bowl for each color you're going to make. Or course, you'll need a mixing bowl, several spoons, a cupcake tin, cupcake liners, and whatever else you need to make any kind of cupcake, too.

First, mix the cake as directed on the box. I like to use a whisk to mix because it breaks up all of the clumpies easier. (Side note: I use a whisk to mix everything... cake mixes, sauces, and even to mix my flour, salt, & baking powder for not-boxed things. Love my whisks!)

Next, divide up the cake batter into as many bowls as colors you want in your cake. I used six colors- red, orange, yellow, green, blue & purple. If I had thought about it before separating, I would have added turquoise to the mix, since it's Luke's favorite color.

Mix in the food coloring to desired brightness. (The yellow was NOT my desired brightness... however, that's how it turned out. So be it. It was a nasty, nasty yellow, though. Think Spongebob.)

Take a spoon and spoon one color at a time into a lined cupcake tin. The amount of each spoonful is dependent on how many colors you have. You will still want to have your liner about 2/3 of the way full when it's all said and done.

Once each cupcake tin is filled, I "stomp" it on the counter a bit to get out all of the air bubbles. I don't know if it's necessary, but it's kind of fun.

Bake according to the directions on the box.

Let cool completely before frosting.

Decorate to your liking. As noted above, we opted for white frosting & funfetti sprinkles. I think it was a nice touch. Good choice, Luke!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Show & tell time.

Oh my word! My designers have been CRAZY busy this week! They kept me on my toes, but check out all of the yummies that release tomorrow at Sweet Shoppe Designs!

Live in the Moment
Credits: Be Blessed by Libby Pritchett

Key to Change
Credits: Glass Half Full by Meghan Mullens & Eva Kipler

Adorable You
Credits: 12 Months: Mega Kit by Penny Springmann

I love you.
Credits: Love Letters by Heather Roselli

Up North, Down South
Credits: 12 Months: January by Penny Springmann & 12 Months: January Templates by Penny Springmann

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Check out my new look!

So do you like it? I won a giveaway at Tucker's Take Tennessee a week or two ago from Little Bitty Design Studio. Tracey rocked it. I said mod, gray & yellow & simple. This is what I got. It's like she read my mind. Isn't it fabulous? I love changing my blog up... it's kind of like spring cleaning. And I am so ready for spring. Like so ready.

And since I'm here, I might as well update you on my goal progression.

Be a healthier me.
I've lost a total of 7.5 pounds as of last Saturday. It's getting a million times easier to eat within my calorie range... actually it's hard- hard to get to my bottom range number!! I'm never that hungry anymore! I try to get the gym every night but Wednesday & Sunday. Last week was major fail, though- I skipped Wednesday through Sunday. It was such a busy week! I still managed to lose 3.5 pounds, though!

Be encouraging.
Big. Fat. Fail. This one is probably the trickiest goal of all for me. I'm not an encouraging person. That sounds really bad. But words are definitely NOT my love language. They may even be below physical touch, which is low. So I struggle to compliment & encourage people... probably because I hate it when people compliment & encourage me. I never know what to say. How bad is that? So I guess I need to make this a way bigger priority.

Live frugally.
Except for the birthday things I have purchased for Luke, I've been doing well. I still have $100 of my Christmas money, too... which I want to save for that one special thing. I don't know what that is yet, but I know it's out there. Somewhere.

Mmmm kay... what else? Oh right. Random ramblings.

Luke's 7th birthday is coming up. Gosh, seven? Really? Anyway, we're having his "friend" party at Splash Universe, an indoor water park about 30 minutes away. He is stoked. Things like this stress me out. I hate paying for spots that may or may not be filled by people who haven't RSVP'd. Fortunately, we over-invited by two. So all but one spot is filled. Whew! Oh and Luke wants rainbow cupcakes. I'll post pictures when they're done.

We ordered Dutch Maid cookies for Luke's school birthday celebration. They are ADORABLE. Little doggie faces. He had to get dog napkins to go along with them. He's celebrating at school on Tuesday, his actual birthday. That night we'll celebrate as a little family. We'll let him choose where we eat & then have a little cake of some kind. Or leftover rainbow cupcakes. And then he gets to open his presents, which I'm uber excited about.

He'll celebrate with his grandparents, great grandparents, cousins & aunt/uncle the following Sunday after church. He opted for Spongebob decor and a from-scratch Lemonade Layer Cake made by yours truly. I cannot wait for that cake.

We'll hopefully get to celebrate with his other grandparents in Ohio over Presidents' Day weekend. I'm still waiting for the Mister to see if he can take that Monday off. What company takes MLK, Jr. Day off but not Presidents' Day? So odd.

It's almost Friday!!!!
Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekend Update

Well, today is Day One of the family weight-loss challenge. Woooooooo-doggy am I hungry today! Saturday is not a good day to start. If it were a weekday, at least I'd have school to distract me. But here I sit with my bag of baby carrots (heh, heh... the ingredients are actually listed on the outside of the bag. It says, "Ingredients: Carrots") & 3rd refill on my 24-oz water bottle. I think I'm going to float away.

So my goals... how'm I doin'?

Be a healthier me.
1. I weighed in today. I gained 15 of the 40 pounds I lost last year at this time. I'm glad I'm jumping back on the wagon right now. Better late than never, no?

2. As dinner cooks, I'm still a good 700 calories below my range. And dinner smells soooooooo good right now.

3. I went to the gym this morning. They got four new elliptical machines. They are fancy-schmancy. (Note to self: Find those headphones! That was a looooong 30 minutes without them!)

Be encouraging.
This one has been EXTREMELY hard for me lately. I try. I really do. But I feel like I'm on a team by myself this week. It was hard to be encouraging. Oh and I was sick.

Live frugally.
I didn't spend much money at all this week, except for groceries. And I spent a lot on groceries. It's expensive to eat healthy! That said, I didn't waste money. So that's good. Right?

So that's my goal update. In other news, we had a dumping of snow last night. I totally was not expecting it. Like at all. It's pretty, though, in all of its deepness. We probably got a foot here.

And now it's time to take my buffalo chicken sandwich and watch the Colts beat the Jets.

About Me

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I'm Kristin. Married since 2002 to a super cool guy named Joel. We have a super amazing boy named Luke and a super cuddly pup named McCarthy. I'm not a very consistent blogger (at all) but I do go in spurts. I like to keep people on their edge of their seats. Ha!
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