Thursday, December 18, 2014

A new Christmas tradition that takes only 5 minutes!

While skimming through my Twitter feed I saw a tweet from Christy Wright about her favorite Christmas tradition that only takes 5 minutes. 

I won't lie, it was the "only 5 minutes" part that really sparked my interest in what her favorite Christmas tradition was. Here is the link to her blog post - She talks about each year when she packs up the Christmas ornaments she writes a letter to herself and talks about the past year and what she hopes for in the coming year. I thought this was a great idea not only for myself but to teach my kids more about journaling, being thankful, and setting goals. What a great way to look back to where you were a year ago and see how much God has blessed you in the past year. Also to see how you've grown and become stronger from the events of your life. 
I always wish that I was better at journaling. I write in my journal every so often throughout the year.   I also use my blog as a form of journaling. This tradition would provide me another moment to reflect and journal. 
Thanks for sharing Christy

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home

Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home
Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home by Lynne Truss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you want to learn how to use English manners in America, here is an introduction.

View all my reviews

Up-cycle a toddler bed - just in time for Christmas

My wife told me about this great idea of building a storage bench from a toddler bed headboard and footboard. We found a free toddler bed and then bought the supplies that I needed to get started. 

First was to cut the footboard in half and line it up with the headboard. 

Then I started building the bench seat/storage box. 

After putting the box on I framed out the seat. 

 With the seat and hinge on I was ready to stain and seal. 

I chose to use natural color stain and seal it with polyurethane.

 The boys seem to like it. I guess it won't be a surprise on Christmas morning. 

Now what should the kids keep in it?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nursery Project

In the spring my wife and I found out that we were going to have a baby. Just for fun we didn't tell very many people until the baby was born. Because of that, until now I haven't been able to share the work we did to remodel one of our bedrooms into a beautiful nursery for our new baby girl.


- The Nursery Project -

Inspiration came from the "Pink and gray nursery" picture on . 

The room started out with white trim and tan walls (with plenty of holes to patch).
Corbyn loves helping me build stuff so he was there helping most of the time. Here he decided to take a bacon break. 

You can see a lot of the holes that we had to patch.  Boys can be so rough on a bedroom. 

Painting the ceiling white. 

 We sprayed some texture to touchup the holes that we patched. 

We painted the bottom of the wall white and the top gray. 

With the paint finished we added some trim to separate the gray and white colors to give a clean finish. 

For an extra touch I measured and drew up an idea for these little frames. We had to go too two Home Depots to get enough sticks of trim to go around the whole room. After the boys and I got the pieces cut to size Carey painted them all with High Gloss White to match the rest of the trim and pop a little from the white on the wall. 

I love how they turned out. 

We found this rug at home depot. I think it really fits the room well. The colors go well with the walls and doesn't distract from the nursery decor that we planned. 

In the closet we added another shelf. We have done this in other rooms in our house and it helps a lot to give more space and keep the closets more organized. Plus with the baby being a girl I knew she'd need more room for all her clothes. 

Here is the beautiful crib that we got for her. We went with a soft pink for the crib set and other nursery accents. 

And all her brothers loved helping to build it. 

The changing table we got for a great deal online. While building it I discovered why. The drawer was about 1/4 inch to small for the rails to catch on the frame. So I got to use some creativity and parts from my shed to get the rails in to correct positions for the drawer to fit. To keep the nursery clean and organized we got these little gray, pink, and white baskets for the shelves. And we found a matching hamper to finish it off. 

The last furniture item we needed was a dresser. I wanted a nice wood dresser (so that the dresser drawers wouldn't have the same issues as the changing table drawer), but I didn't want to put out the extra money. After searching craigslist for weeks we found this cute little dresser. And it came with a matching nightstand!

We found a nice white lamp that came with a purple lampshade and bought it so that we could swap for our pink lamp shade. When we got home with the new lamp we discovered that the light socket was not the correct kind to be able to swap the lamp shades. Not a problem, I bought the correct light socket and swapped it on the lamp. 

Carey found this Scentsy warmer on eBay that matches the pink nursery nicely. And the "Newborn Nursery" Scentsy wax that smells like baby powder makes it the perfect addition to the nursery. 

We still have a little work to do. We need to add the curtains, some wall decor, and we are going to cut a vinyl tree to put on the wall behind the crib

Update 12/10/14 - Here is the vinyl tree that we put on the wall behind the crib. It is 3'x5'. We chose this design because it tied in with curves on the crib so well. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I need a Central Park.

All the time your hear people talking about a good work-life balance. How exactly do you achieve that work-life balance? The more I focus on one part of my life the more another is neglected. This past week I re-listened to Start by Jon Acuff. It is such a great book. In his book Jon gives great advice on this topic. One of the things that he talks about is how he took a vacation and didn't do what he normally does on vacation, like reading self-help books and coming up with new ideas. This vacation he read non-fiction books, and built sandcastles with his kids. He came home full of life. When telling his friend about how great it was, his friend ask "How do you do this next week?".  Essentially, how do you take a break from all the demands and enjoy life without being on vacation? His friend Al Andrews told him, "You need to build your own Central Park". What a great analogy. New York City has a massive park in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the city. A place where people can go to get away. That is what we need in our own lives, 10-15-30 minutes, each day that is dedicated to enjoying life and not accomplishing tasks. Time to just enjoy being alive. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Motorcycles are so much FUN!

I ride a motorcycle, and it is so much fun. It's funny to me that my wife has so many people ask her if she is ok with it, and so many of those same people won't allow their husband to ride a motorcycle. Yes, riding a motorcycle does have it's risks. So does driving a car. And in a car you can easily get a false sense of security because all the metal you are surrounded by and the number of airbags your car has. If you practice and ride smart it isn't scary like so many people think it is. I have been in one accident on my motorcycle. It happened when I was 18 and thought that everyone else on the road watched out for all other vehicles on the road, including motorcycles. A lady rolled through a stop sign and I hit the side of her car. Thankfully I wasn't injured. 

Today I saw some good reminders as to where some people get crazy ideas about motorcycles being so scary. Today in the news is a story of a motorcyclist that tried to pass a car and when he changed lanes he saw a truck coming head on toward him. He tried to go in-between the truck that was coming at him and the car that he was trying to pass. I wasn't there and can't judge. I can say, "know your surroundings". On a motorcycle you should always be aware of your surrounds and what the other vehicles around you are doing, I learned this from first hand experience. 

Also today, I took my wife and kids for ice cream. When we were driving home from Blazen Burgers I witnessed an unsafe motorcyclist. We pulled up to a red light and when the light went green a guy on a motorcycle went down the dotted white line in-between my vehicle and the car next to me and passed us in the intersection. It is guys that ride like that that give all of the motorcyclists a bad name.  

If you are new to riding and would like to get a motorcycle and start riding I would recommend that you take a motorcycle safety course like STAR. Even if you are experienced you can benefit from a course like this

To all of you that ride like idiots on public streets, stop it. Don't ruin what so many of us enjoy. 
Feel free to go crazy on private roads and race tracks. 
-Thank You-

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Teach your kids to work

I've always been a fan of teaching my kids to work and earn money. Several years ago my oldest boy started selling soda and water at the Idaho State Convention. It is a great opportunity for him to learn about customer service, counting back change, being polite, having patience, and so much more. This year my oldest boy was gone camping with his scout troop so the learning opportunity got passed to the next boy. He had a great time, mostly. It was a struggle for him to not count his money every five minutes. And he kept wanting to go do other things that distracted him from selling. I got a lot of comments from others that varied from "That is great what you are teaching him" to "Isn't there a child labor law?" I like the way Dave Ramsey says it. “As a parent, when you don’t teach your kids to work, you are not being kind or gracious; you are being irresponsible. It’s your responsibility to teach your kids about both money and work. It’s not the school’s responsibility. It’s not the church’s responsibility. It’s your responsibility. ” (Excerpt From: Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze. “Smart Money Smart Kids.” iBooks.) It really is your responsibility as the parent to teach you kids about work and money. Don't leave it to society to teach them. Based on the number of credit card offers I get a day, society won't set your kids up for success.

When the weekend was over and my son counted up the money he had earned he was very excited. He started talking about all the stuff he could buy and all the things he could continue to save for. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

When do you pray? #didyouthinktopray

Prayer is a powerful tool and often times it is so underused. I see a good number of posts on Facebook and Twitter of friends requesting prays to help them through certain situations. It is great to see that others are not afraid to ask for your prayers. And it is so great that people respond saying that they'll pray for them. How many times do we really go and pray for that friend though? Life gets busy and we forget. I would challenge you that the next time a friend asks for a prayer and you say that you'll pray for them, just do it, right then. Don't let life get in the way of you conversing with your loving God, and you asking Him to help your friend that He and you both care about. And you need help, go pray. Your Heavenly Father would love to hear from you, and would love to help you with through your stress, and hear a thank you for the things he has giving you.  
It is important to remember that prayer isn't restricted to one religion or another, God wants to hear from all of his children. We can all pray to our Heavenly Father. 

While surfing YouTube videos I found this great video on prayer that I wanted to share. 


When do you pray?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Computer Art

This past weekend our internet went down. I noticed Saturday morning when I was eating breakfast and trying to read some blogs. I didn't look into it because I had to go to work. The internet being down didn't affect anyone at home much because it was a busy day. Carey and the kids went on a cub scout activity in the morning and then they came out to my work and had lunch with me. It was Saturday evening before it became an issue. When I got home from work I tried trouble shooting it on my own. I didn't have much luck, so I left the modem and router unplugged all night. On Sunday morning when I plugged everything back in the modem wouldn't even come back on. I found a different plug and that got the modem to come on. Still no internet though. I gave up and called tech support. Wouldn't you know, they told me that my modem was toast. So Monday I got the pleasure of buying a new modem. 

Since my old modem was toast, I took it apart and recycled the parts. 
  1. The plastic casing went into the blue recycle bin. 
  2. And the circuit board became art for my boys' room. 

Feeling Artsy?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Girl Scout Cookies

If you are like me, you have to control yourself this time of year. I love Girl Scout cookies and they can easily cost me a lot of money. The cookies are delicious and I've been told that the money helps pay for their Scouting activities, so it is easily justified in my mind. 
This year I did something different. I read the stuff printed on the box. I was confused when I read this side. 
It states that "Selling Girl Scout Cookies helps girls develop 5 skills that they use throughout their lives". The part that I'm confused by is that this year like most I have purchased 6 boxes of cookies and haven't yet had a transaction involving a Girl Scout. It is almost always their parent or leader doing the selling. How does this help the Girl Scout learn "Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, or Business Ethics"? 
This might completely change who I'm buying Girl Scout Cookies from. 
If you are involved in Girl Scouts please clear this up for me.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Do you ever feel tired at Church?

You'd might as well admit it. There are days that you just can't seem to stay awake at church. 
As a good Christian you don't want to be rude to those speaking and sleep through their talk, but at the same time you have no idea what they are talking about because you are focused on staying awake. 

Her are some tips for those Sundays. 
  1. Get your kid to start crying so that you have a reason to take him/her out of the meeting so that you can roam the halls. 
  2. Bring some snacks. The sound of packing being torn open is far less disruptive that snoring.
  3. Pack a cooler chips, soda, and everything needed to make yourself a sandwich. Just bring enough to share, I might want some.  
  4. This one I got from observing the teens near by. You have to be smart with your tech devices to pull it off though. You can play games or text your friends on your smart phone, as long as you are sure the sound is off, you keep the phone on your seat next to your leg away from your parent's field of vision, and you look up at the speaker occasionally to pretend like you're listening. Be sure to glance at you parents to make sure that haven't caught on. 
  5. Use your scriptures as actual reading material and look up the scriptures that the speaker references. 
  6. If these don't work then follow the Scout Motto and "Be Prepared". Bring a travel pillow and go to sleep. Remember that the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Reading Goal 2014

Last year I set a goal on 2013 Reading Challenge to read 36 books. I ended the year with 20 books completed. Click here to see my 20 books. This year I decided that I would scale it back a little and set a goal of 24 books. I am happy to say that so far I have completed 5 books

You can join the 2014 Reading Challenge on and set your reading goal. Then track each book and watch as you close in on your goal.

Write down each of your goals. Remember, a goal not written is only a wish. 

Follow my progress.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hot Cocoa on a Cold Day

My little brother is such a talented artist. I love that he shares his art with me. This year for Christmas he sent me 2 mugs. I love the uniqueness of his work. I have shared a couple pictures below.

Being another cold Idaho winter day I made me some hot cocoa to have with lunch, and got to again use the mug that I got for Christmas. Delicious Hot Cocoa and Amazing Art that reminds me of my brother who loves me, the talents he has, and how he is chasing his dream.