Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring madness

Ooooohhhhh...With Spring here and Easter on it's way, it's only fitting that I share some fun ideas! We aren't fortunate enough to have craft stores at our finger tips, so the girls and I are always searching for creative ideas. Here are a few that I've found...hope you enjoy them as much as we will!

First up are the super yummy Rice Krispy Peep treats..YUM! Peeps don't last long in our house, in fact, we keep a secret stash for those times when you can't buy them. I thought these would be cute as class gifts, maybe your primary class, or treats for your co-workers (mine will LOVE me if I bring these in).

You can find them here:

This is a super fun version of a topiary! Krystina and I had made some topiary's for V-Day out of crate paper, super when we found this, it's a MUST have for our Easter decor.

You can find directions here:

If you love the whole new 'subway' printables art you can find them all over! I found this cute one, LOVE all the colors...makes me feel so happy and excited for Easter. And although we enjoy Easter for all it's treats and fun, we also remember Easter for it's true meaning of the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ). You can print this on your home printer, or have it printed at your favorite one-hour photo.

Find your printable here:

This egg photo is adorable! This will look great on any shelf, entry table or mantle...I even ADORE the felt rabbits. Super cute!

Egg picture found here:

Another great Spring printable-also comes in a array of colors to choose from!

Spring printable found here:

LOVE the color spray in this fabulous wreath (can also see this done up as a topiary). Imagine this hanging from your front door, or somewhere in your entryway.

Wreath found here:

Last but not least....these darling little bunnies! This is an actual craft online-follow along type thing, but if you are crafty, you can make these on your own. This is on my to-do list!

Bunnies & directions found here:

Hope these ideas spark your interest in creating something memorable for your family during this Spring time.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our new HOUSE

-Dan and Tucker summer 2010

Last summer coming home from church one day, I noticed this house that we had driven by week after week had gone up for sale. Dan and I had talked a little bit about the possibility of getting back into a house, but at THAT time we were also considering moving with a job promotion. Then one day he said to me "Hun, did you see that brick house on the way to church up for sale?" A smile welled up from deep down within...and I knew that our hearts were ready once again. Whether it was this house, or another house, we were ready. It was a super long process, and we were most patient and it paid off!

Our home was built in the 1920's...and then added on and bricked in the 1950's. Along with the house, we received a photo album of original photos and every bit of information ever done on the house-it's really cool! The house has true charm and character for this area and has only been owned by 5 families (none of which died in the house, thankfully). It's been very well maintained and cared for which is evident upon entering. And although there are things we are working on to make it our 'own'...we couldn't be happier. It's hard to compare my first home to this house because they are in two different categories, and YES, I still miss my first home, but this is where we are planting our feet for awhile and we feel so blessed.

Now that winter is winding down and the weather is warming up, Dan has been busy working hard getting a few spots updated. The first being the attic in the front garage. He and Kyle got up there and cleaned it out, re-wired it and laid a new floor and insulation so we could get boxes stored. They did such a great job! The second project in progress is our *NEW* food storage room in the basement...previously called the dungeon because it was dark and no one wanted to go in there. He and Kyle are just about finished with the drywall, and soon the shelving will begin! There are other projects, like the mud room, the utility room and the other 2 car garage that are in waiting-but one thing at a time! It's so nice to be able to work on home projects again, and I look so forward to getting in the yard this summer.

Front of the house: Lots of mature trees and lush green grass. Curb side appeal is great-especially here in Alliance, it's really hard to find a nice updated home that looks NICE as well...we really were blessed.

Part of the backyard...the whole yard is bricked in...LOVE THAT! Plenty of room for that ginormous trampoline of ours and still lots of room. We have lots of squirrels starting to come out-Tucker likes to chase them and they tease him through the windows...AND we have 3 neighbor dogs that like to jump the wall and come over for play time, it's funny and cute at the same time.

The patio area...although there is no sliding door to enter the yard, there is easy access through the mud room, and I LOVE the large window in the kitchen over looking the yard & garden.

This is the second 2 car garage-detached in the's cool to have a 4 car garage! For now this is the only garage that will house the truck & suburban during the summer hail seasons...the front garage doors are too narrow and we can barely get the burb in by maybe 4 inches!

The dining room...favorite feature is the floor to ceiling window overlooking the front drive...I can't wait to put shutters there! Yes, that is WHITE carpeting...yikes! It's beautiful lush carpet though :)

Kitchen. This is where we spent 90% of our time, just hanging's nice to have room to breathe again, AND I have a window above my sink!! Projects for kitchen are, darken cabinets, add new bronze fixtures, knobs and put granite with a nice back splash like my other kitchen.

The Family's long, so you aren't seeing the full scope of it. We LOVE the fireplace, mantle, book shelves and windows-this room is an actual add on to the original home.

We are still unpacking and hanging pictures. Both garages are full of boxes that need to be unpacked or stored, and we also have our storage unit full of items that have been there since we moved here almost 3 years, it's been that long! Sometimes it doesn't feel real, but reality is our life is here now, at least for the time being.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Mom, I'll meet you at the garden"

It was the first Saturday in several weeks that we didn't have any plans. I slept in a bit longer than usual. Kyle was walking out of his bedroom-he had been up earlier with Lyndsie. I mentioned that we should go up to our garden to water and I wanted to show him something. He got excited and said "I'll just ride my bike up and start watering, then you can meet me there". In my heart I wanted him to wait because I really wanted to see his face when I showed him that little something. So off he went. I jumped in the shower and waited for Dan so we could meet Kyle. We took a bit longer to get ready and then headed to the garden. When we got there, we didn't see Kyle so we thought we'd just back track to find him. We drove the normal route...but we never saw him. I called home a few times hoping he'd answer the phone, but he never answered. Dan and I headed back to the garden in hopes that Kyle was just riding around waiting for us...but he wasn't there. We admired the garden, picked some zucchini and figured we'd catch up with Kyle at home and go get some lunch. I knew he had his key, so we headed home to pick him up...but when we walked in the door, Kyle wasn't there, or any sign that he had been there. I saw messages on the phone so I pushed play...first two were from me to Kyle to call me, third message, "Hi this is so and so from Box Butte General Hospital". I didn't even finish the message and just hit redial. When someone answered I just asked "Do you have a Kyle Duitsman there"? She answered "yes", and then I asked what happened and she said she couldn't give me that information so I told her we'd be right there. Dan and I just didn't know what to think. He immediately got quiet and I was talking a mile a minute. As we were heading north I noticed a police car coming towards us going south and it looked as though the trunk was the police car passed by, I saw Kyle's bike. My heart literally dropped in my stomach! But then it hit me, as I was trying to keep my composure that the bike looked good-as in it wasn't all bent up. So I told Dan "That was Kyle's bike, oh no...but it looked ok, it's not bent up". I believe for Dan the world was in slow motion. We hurried out of the car and into the Emergency room and told the nurse we were Kyle's parents. I think I asked again "Is he OK, what happened" and she just said "come with me". That is not what a parent wants to hear! We walked in Kyle's room, pushed the curtain back and there he was. My boy, with a silly grin on his face. Our eyes met and I felt the biggest rush of relief. Dan and I went to his side to look at his injuries..all in all he looked pretty good. Some road rash on his face and his arm was pretty beat up. Kyle kind of chuckled about the whole thing and then he told us what had happened.

Kyle's version: I went to the garden to water and waited for awhile but you guys didn't show up so I went to get a soda and started riding home. Then I thought 'hey, I'll go do some jumps at the skate park'. I was going up one of the ramps when my front tire locked up and I fell and then I heard this 'pop'. I kind of slid a ways from the ramp and my bike went flying. I laid there for a second and then looked at my arm and it looked funny. I tried to stand up and picked up my bike but it wouldn't move, then my legs felt weird and I started to see white so I laid down and started to yell out for someone to help me. These people came over to me and tried to help me up and get me out of the sun but my legs went weak and I started to see white so they just helped me lay down and then they called 911. The ambulance came and they got me inside where they hooked up my IV, asked me lots of questions and then wrapped up my arm.

After waiting about an hour, Kyle finally got his x-ray which clearly showed his fracture. The ER Dr. advised us to take Kyle to the Regional Hospital where he would see a specialty Orthopedic Surgeon. This wasn't your typical fracture he told us, this one might need surgery. The Dr. prepared us for what might possibly take place, gave Kyle pain meds and told us we needed to travel by Ambulance or the helicopter. Wait, HELICOPTER?? Are you serious. Due to Kyle's swelling and possible artery damage, his hand was swelling and he wasn't able to feel all the tests they were performing on him. That was a huge concern that he might have some nerve damage. I mean, it just kept getting better and better. I opted to drive him, knowing that the other options would really scare him-he was already pretty upset thinking he might have surgery. We got him situated in the car and off we went. An hour drive felt like FOREVER. Thankfully the meds helped him sleep the entire way.

I couldn't help notice how beautiful of a day it had been... the sky was so blue and there were all these puffy little clouds. It was so much more than just that blue sky, it was gratitude for having my son be next to me and knowing that this wasn't over yet, but he was HERE. He was safe.

We got situated at the Regional Hospital while waiting for the Orthopedic surgeon. Once he arrived we got the 411-and it wasn't real good. Kyle had a pretty complicated fracture and they were going to try method #1 to see if He could set it up in a cast, but if that didn't work, they'd get him into the OR where they'd put some pins in it. Dan and I did pretty good, watching as they poked and prodded Kyle. They hooked him up to what seemed like every machine and ran an IV. The method they chose required an Anesthesiologist to perform what they called a 'block' in his arm pit that would put the entire left shoulder and arm asleep. He was super awesome during the whole procedure! We knew he was scared, but he did really well. Once he was numb, the Orthopedic surgeon came in and picked up Kyle's arm by his fingers and hooked them up to this contraption. Once hooked up, he put what seemed like 25lbs of weights hanging from his elbow-and Kyle felt NOTHING. It was quite painful to watch though. We were escorted out while the Orthopedic Dr. worked to put Kyle's bone back into place...we waited..and waited. The nurses and Anesthesiologist came in and out of the room updating us and at one point the Dr. just couldn't get the bone to stay put. They would work on it, then x-ray it over and over until finally he got it to stay put and quickly finished casting it up. I knew he was working hard because he was dripping with sweat, but I was so happy with the outcome. They monitored Kyle for sometime from the block. We were finally released around was a long day!

Kyle will see the Orthopedic Dr. this week where he will x-ray again to see if the bone stays put...if there is any slippage, they will need to take him in for surgery and put pins in his wrist. Hopefully, with faith and prayer, the bone will stay put and we can continue the healing process.

Last night was pretty rough. Kyle is in a lot of pain and his entire arm and shoulder are aching. His hand is swollen and if you happen to touch it he just cries out. So for now, I'm just trying to keep him medicated every 4 hours until I see signs of some relief. I have no doubt that the pulling and weights and all that have added to his pain, but it needed to be done. Kyle's been lifting all summer in preparation for his first year of High School football-I imagine that as practices start this week he will be sitting it out. We are pretty bummed that he might not get to play this season, but getting him healed is so much more important. Please keep him in your prayers for a speedy recovery and mostly for the pain to subside.

Hard lesson learned. Dan and I had many conversations with the boy yesterday about the incident. I'm pretty sure he's learned a very hard lesson early on. He told us he would be a bit wiser in his decisions from now on because he is not enjoying all this pain! Smart boy. Something we need to consider as well, when he said his brakes locked up, well they did. Dan picked up his bike from the Police Dept and said for no rhyme or reason his front brakes where straight up locked and he looked the bike over and the brake lines to see what was wrong and couldn't find a reason why. What we do know, is that Kyle was protected and we are so grateful, so very grateful.


Friday, July 30, 2010

4th of July

The day started out HOT HOT HOT. It got up over 100 degrees, and the clouds quickly started to move in towards the later part of the afternoon. By the looks of the sky, we thought for sure we were in for another scary storm. Luckily the clouds rolled in with lightning, thunder and a lot of rain! It felt a little like a 4th of July in WA state. Dan and the kids stocked up on the fireworks, and of course we went back for more just to make sure we were well stocked! Last year Dan missed the 4th altogether due to work, so he was super excited to get his pyro skills to work.

We have this awesome family in our Branch-they are large in numbers with extended family in the area. The jr. leader of the pack invited us to share the evening with them...we LOVE this family so it was an honor! With our fireworks, watermelon, cookies and cupcakes off we went. We were quickly greeted by the Elders, and several other friends. The food was so yummy...and it started to rain, and rain and rain. A little rain didn't stop the kids from the fireworks! From start to finish, it took us almost 5 hours to light off all the fireworks. Crazy. And for the handful that were washed out by the rain, well, those got doused with GASOLINE...Men .

Monday, November 16, 2009

Need help with your food storage...?

Food Storage Made Easy

When we lived in California, we were told over and over to prepare ourselves, get our food storage in order. It took some time, but I began to work at it monthly, using a list and sticking to one or two items (for each family member). It wasn't really all that hard, just time consuming and it could be costly at times. I'll admit, I was never really taught how to 'store' food, or what to start storing first. Sure, we had many lessons, over and over about wheat, how to cook it, how to store it...but I really never considered having it because it seemed like such a hassle. Besides, we had our spoiled conveniences like Costco and Sam's club, why did I need to store wheat? Our food storage was food we ate, and while not big is size, it would have sufficed for about 4 months or so. Honestly, I really didn't know what I was doing...and so I wasted a lot of time storing items that were not totally essential. Kind of sad. We never thought about wheat grinders, canning supplies, dehydrators...until we moved to Nebraska! The week before our move, when the moving company came to do our walk through, they took note of the large amount of canned food items we had and quickly told me that they COULD NOT move those items. What?? Are you serious? With our freezer chock full of food, and several floor to ceiling cabinets in our garage full, I was forced to either purge or give away. The Missionaries in our Ward scored big time, as did one of my dear sweet neighbors. The girls and I went through each and every can of food to determine if the shelf life was expired or if it was worthy to be given away. If you must know a small tidbit of information...the whole 6+ months Dan was out of work, we relied on that freezer and food from my so called 'food storage'. What a blessing it was, and trust me, we ate good! You would have never known. Sure, we bought groceries, but it was the food I so carefully stored (just in case).

After moving to Nebraska I soon discovered that food storage is a main staple of life here. From gardening, to knowing people who know people who are willing to share thier bounty. Last year it started with a truck that pulled into town loaded with Colorado peaches, to this year where I have been able to can 30+ cases of food. Not only that, I've learned from some of the best people how to use your wheat, like bread making, how to store it, how to grind it...and thanks to some really awesome food storage blogs, I've learned some pretty nifty tricks as well. You see, if you know me, you know that I'm a visual person, hands on, that is how I learn. Recently, we were given 50+ lbs of dry beans (white & kidney)..did you know that you can replace oil in your baking goods with pureed beans? Seriously, it's the best, and you don't even know it's beans! I'll share a bit about that in a later post.

I'm so grateful for the progress in which we're going. Food storage is so very important, something I will not take for granted any more. I'm so grateful for those who have taught me, and been there when I'm not sure what I'm doing...they've guided me along the way. I'm grateful for moving to Nebraska, and for the many things in which I 've learned...canning is A LOT of work, but so worth it when you can stand there and gaze at all the jars filled with bright colors of your favorite foods! And what's even better...when you can't keep your kids out of it because they say it's the best they've ever tasted! That's pay off in itself..I mean, we are supposed to eat what we store right?

One of the blogs I follow is FOOD STORAGE MADE EASY...Talk about information overload, but in a super good way! Most of us are confused about food storage, or just really don't know where to start. These great gals take you through food storage in baby steps, guiding you along the way. They've created easy to follow lists, and tools to help you get started. You could spend hours on their site, reading and learning. If you are eager to get started, or help you back on track with your food storage, this is the place to go.

One of the most important items you'll need in your food storage (or your kitchen) is a wheat grinder. Dan and I just bought our first betcha, I want to keep moving forward with my winter goal, which is to MASTER the art of making bread! Dan's always been the bread master, but I'm getting better! Anyways, we've been discussing the need to quickly get ourselves a wheat grinder. Then just today I got an email about a WONDER MILL giveaway from now until November 25th. Yes!! It's worth a shot, right?! This is an awesome wheat grinder, and I would be so honored to be the lucky recipient...What about you? Would you like to own one of these??

Along with the giveaway, you can also get a $30 rebate until November 25th!
That is on both, the electric grain mill or the hand grain mill...of course, we all love the convenience of electric power, but we also need to remember that at some point we could lose that electric power and would need something to get us through.

Good luck to all that enter, and a great big THANKS to Jodi & Julie, the girls who make this possible!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


We finally had a night together as a family (yeah, one night) so Dan and I were scouring the 'Red Box' movie trailers to see if there was anything worthy of a quality family movie night. I LOVE kid movies don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's nice to get a good chick flick or action (adult) movie (as in FAMILY ADULT). Yeah, so Dan clicked on Up and I quickly decided that was the movie we were going to watch. What an awesome choice it was! If you haven't seen this movie yet, you need to go and rent's a super cute movie-one that will be bought for our house. I won't give too much away..but I've added a clip from the trailer for you to see. And at the end of this post, I've added a coupon that I just found to save $10.00 when you buy the movie-so worth buying!! Enjoy.

Here's your chance to own this yourself, or give as a gift for Christmas... Go here: Disney-Pixar Up $10.00 off movie coupon


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Project Life....It's HERE!

It feels like Christmas...Do you know how excited I was this morning when I found this in my email box..?? I jumped up and did a HAPPY DANCE!! Shame on me, I ordered several...and in hopes that this is continuous, meaning you can order at anytime. What an awesome gift for your best girlfriend, sister, MOTHER, daugther, cousin, child's teacher at school, you decide. How great it will be to finally put 2009 in an album, even though it may not be a picture a day, it could be pictures by the's just that awesome that you can adapt it anyway you'd like! There are so many goodies in this kit, you've just got to go check it out for yourself! You'll be surprised just how much you'll get. Life gets busy, this is a way to simplify your life, and still have something that your children will cherish...your children could even put this album together, how great is that? Those are the things that mean the most, our children and I want my children to be a large part of our new year with this have them journal, or add photos that mean something to them. That is a treasure!

Don't hesitate, don't waste any time..hurry over to BECKY HIGGINS and order yours today!
P.s. Just for you, Becky Higgins has free digital Christmas cards..isn't she the best!!