Wisconsin Country Mom


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2014 teacher’s valentine’s day gift

i’ve been so focused on my valentine’s date with my husband (our first valentine’s day with no kids!) that i almost totally forgot about the kids. i ran to the dollar store and grabbed some cute animal ones for my little guy and some thor ones for my superhero stepson.  my little peanut gets to have all his “firsts” at school this year … which i think i’m way more excited about than he will ever be.  he’s at a wonderful christian daycare, so i wanted to do something very special for his fantastic teachers as well, so i searched pinterest and used [this] craft as a guide for his teachers.

here’s what you’ll need.

pink & red construction paper
hole punch
glue
black marker
pink ribbon
bottle of hand soap

step one.     cut the paper.

don’t be deceived by the tiny little hand … it was more like a wrestling match with my (almost) 9 month old to trace his little hand out.

step two.    add a heart.

soap2

glue or tape on the hand. make sure it’s upside down.

step three.    “you are hands down the best teacher!”

soap3

write it on and sign your name.

step four.    tie it on the soap.

soap4

and complete! cute valentine’s gift for your little ones teachers!

next week, i’ll share what i did for my husband for valentine’s day. i was “in charge” of planning it this year … let’s just say it involves a scavenger hunt to find his favorite things :)

enjoy blessing others with LOVE this valentine’s day!

– greta –


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2014 st. patrick party planning

this year, my stepchildren are at our home for st. patrick’s day … a holiday that we really don’t have any ties too, let’s be honest. somewhere in my blood line there’s some irish, but i’m probably like 1/64. the only thing i have to show for it is freckles and pale skin. valentine’s day isn’t even here yet, but my husband has already requested corned beef for dinner, so we decided to have a little party for the kids to celebrate st. patricks day. i think the decor can be minimal, but so easy! rainbows and green clovers!

DECOR

very easy and cute garland to hang up in your dining room or on your mantle. this tutorial is super easy to follow and you don’t need many supplies!

don’t have a lot of time? simply add a clover (whether real, fake or a paper cut out) to everyone’s napkins and tie with twine.

while you’re picking up your corned beef and cabbage, grab a bag of split peas and use them as a vase filler!

DESSERTS

super easy, but cute dipped and sprinkled oreos ... for the beginning decorator!

super easy, but cute dipped and sprinkled oreos … for the beginning decorator!

love the idea of using lucky charms to decorate these green cupcakes!

love the idea of using lucky charms to decorate these green cupcakes!

chocolate mint cookies ... easy to make and super tasty! one of my favorites.

chocolate mint cookies … easy to make and super tasty! one of my favorites.

FOOD

what a cute appetizer! kids will love this one too ... green fruit kabobs!

what a cute appetizer! kids will love this one too … green fruit kabobs!

and of course, the classic ... corned beef and cabbage. no st patricks day is complete without it!

and of course, the classic … corned beef and cabbage. no st patricks day is complete without it!

this is a fun version. green mac & cheese! trick your kids to eat spinach ;)

this is a fun version. green mac & cheese! trick your kids to eat spinach ;)

have any other fun ideas? for kids, anything with lucky charms or chocolate at the end of a rainbow will be a hit!

enjoy celebrating this irish holiday!

– greta –

photo sources :
decor : [1] [2] [3]
desserts : [1] [2] [3]
food : [1] [2] [3]


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kids. i have cabin fever.

i’m not sure what everyone else is up to this winter … in fact, i feel jealous when i’m watching kelly & michael in the morning and they’re complaining about it being 11 degrees. i’m not sure when the last time it was above zero here in wisconsin (well, yesterday it was about 20 … but we got 4″ of snow). i’m starting to crave gardening … take my baby on walks and just lay out in the sun. if you’re wondering, it’s currently zero degrees out … feels like -17. fantastic, right? only two-ish months to go of winter … we hope.

well anyways, school has been canceled four times this month (which is saying A LOT in wisconsin) because of the cold. the kids are going crazy! they get home from school and daycare and do laps around the house! so, i decided to do a wrap up of my favorite indoor activities for restless kids … for all ages. we range from 8months to 11 years in our house.

top 10 ideas for restless kids in winter.

birdfeeders from oranges! i love this idea because it’s super simple and our kiddos LOVE bird watching! we are planning this one for next weekend :)

this is a seriously fun one for the boys … they’d love this. i’d confine them to their bedrooms of course, but it would get some of that energy out for sure!

jt has been begging me to do this one … marshmallow towers! i think i would use toothpicks instead of spaghetti, but this is such a creative and fun idea! … plus, they get a snack while they’re building!

now, our snow days have all been for cold, but i’d say we have a solid 2 feet of snow (not to mention all the giant hills from plowing the drive way!). the kids LOVE making snowmen and this is a fun idea! dilute food coloring in spray bottles and spray your snowman!

have an indoor camping trip! love this idea … pitch a tent, make a fake fire, make smores, gather lots of flashlights and read stories and do nature crafts! i’d even get some fake bugs and frogs to play with (lots of boys in our house!).

make snowflake window clings with glitter glue! very fun to let them create their own designs that they can hang in their windows!

make snowflake window clings with glitter glue! very fun to let them create their own designs that they can hang in their windows!

this scavenger hunt is so cool! great for school age kids that can read … get them into scripture and running around the house to wear off some energy!

get out your party supplies! streamers and balloons … make an indoor volleyball court! this is such a fun idea!

here's another scavenger hunt ... this use a pirate theme! give them a map to figure out their clues ... could be fun for them to collect different materials and in the end it makes an art project or baking treat!

here’s another scavenger hunt … this use a pirate theme! give them a map to figure out their clues … could be fun for them to collect different materials and in the end it makes an art project or baking treat!

cooking with kids. get them involved whether it's stirring batter, decorating cookies or making jam!

cooking with kids. get them involved whether it’s stirring batter, decorating cookies or making jam!

 

enjoy your time home with your kids!

– greta –

link sources.  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]


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2014 super bowl party planning

in less than two weeks, the top two football teams in the country will be facing off. now, as a wisconsinite, i have to let you in on something … here in wisco, we typically don’t have big super bowl parties when the packers aren’t playing in it. in fact, i barely watch the game. however, this year we have a little incentive to watch because two former wisconsin badgers will be facing off — russell wilson (seattle) vs. monte ball (denver).

in our house, we’ll probably be cheering for seattle (they gave us the sweet revenge on the 49ers we were looking for …). we aren’t hosting a party because our baby is being dedicated at church in the morning and we’re having a party for that … so yummy leftovers and relaxing is on the menu for us! so, the party planning i’ve done was based on if the packers had made it to the super bowl (so pre-planning for next year ;) )

APPETIZERS

what super bowl party would be complete without finger foods, bacon and sausages!?

ok, you seriously have to eat these. my amazing cousin (who is the king of deviled eggs) made these for christmas this year. buffalo deviled eggs … sooo amazing! i could eat an entire batch (and i almost did a month ago!)

more finger foods … ham and cheese pretzel bites with cheese dip? hardly healthy … but no one cares on super bowl sunday, right? count it as your cheat day ;)

THE MENU

this is one of my favorite party ideas. for game time, you want something easy … something quick. no one wants a former dinner! try this “make your own nacho bar”! simple for you to create and easy for everyone to enjoy!

another easy option … sliders. the first variety is meatball sliders … these had me drooling!

another slider option that i LOVE is brisket with coleslaw sliders! bite size and so delicious!

TABLE SETTINGS

easy, easy, easy and basically free! such a fun idea for your table. making chili? just save the cans and slap on a little paint!

i love the simplicity of this … add the paper bags for a fun way to serve your appetizers and snacks!

ok, this table runner and coasters are from martha. go figure, right? look at the instructions and materials … so easy!

enjoy planning your party, cheer loud and eat great food!

– greta –

photo sources :
appetizers : [1] [2] [3]
menu : [1] [2] [3]
table settings : [1] [2] [3]


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2014 valentine’s day party planning

one thing that i’ve realized that i excel in over the years is creating true budget parties. with only one of five kids having a birthday sometime other than the spring, money gets a little tight when it comes to throwing a special party for each kid every year … but somehow, we manage! i love entertaining, and especially finding ways to use what we already have in order to throw a beautiful party. very shortly i’ll be sharing our baby’s dedication party. i’m very excited about some of the decorations and food we will be having.

today, i wanted to share some of my favorite pinterest ideas for valentine’s day party planning. almost every year, we’ve had my stepchildren for valentine’s day so i’ve always thown a mini-party for them and we’ve made a special dinner. i also think that some of these ideas would be great for a double date party or even for just the two of you!

THE MENU

i love this cranberry chicken recipe. my husband made this for me a few years ago and it’s my favorite valentine’s dinner recipe! plus, this one is amazing because you make it in the slow cooker!

ok, i know i’m not the only one that thinks of steak when you think of a romantic dinner, but i LOVE the idea of this alternative for valentine’s day. steak kabobs!

don’t these stuffed red peppers kind of resemble hearts? these would make a cute appetizer or side dish for sure!

DESSERT

i’ve loved wafer cookies for as long as i can remember. i love these because i think they are so cute and make a statement, but how easy?! just add chocolate and sprinkles!

another easy option for those who don’t consider themselves bakers … make rice krispie treats, cut them out and dip one side in pink (white) chocolate!

here’s one for those who are more “decorator savvy” (though it’s really easy). outline, flood and decorate to make cute, statement cookies!

TABLE SETTINGS

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how simple! cut out paper plates, get some doilies from the dollar store, personalize a napkin and decorate some jars. no have money for a fancy centerpiece? love this simple one in a pitcher.

this one is so simple, but really cute! you can easily get red napkins and a red tablecloth (plus those cute buckets!) at a dollar store and just use plates and utensils that you have!

now this one may take a little more creativity, but getting a little burlap and cutting out felt hearts could be a real simple craft for your valentine’s table. i love burlap!

DECORATIONS

well, in wisconsin, these wouldn’t last outside (we just got 9″ of snow and there’s more coming down!), but i love these. i have so much random scrapbook paper laying around. easy decorations!

the link below will take you to where you can purchase these, but i think you can diy! get some ribbon and that old deck of cards that’s missing a few cards (you know you’ll never use it again anyways). great way to recycle!

very simple, but makes a statement. how easy is it to collect branches in your backyard and add a few hearts?!

 

enjoy planning your party, whether it’s for a group of single friends or for the love of your life!

– greta –

photo sources :
menu : [1] [2] [3]
dessert : [1] [2] [3]
table settings : [1] [2] [3]
decorations : [1] [2] [3]


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looking back

today i found the journal that i began when i found out that i was pregnant and in which i wrote a few letters to our baby in. it’s amazing to look back at the emotions i was feeling last september compared to how i felt the moment i wrapped my arms around our son.

october 16, 2012
11 weeks, 4 days

hi baby — mommy and daddy went to your first doctor appointment today. they gave us a lot of information and we have lots of decisions to make to care for you. we’re so excited to meet you! right now, mommy is reading up on how to keep you healthy. hopefully the skies clear up and we can take a walk tonight to give you a little exercise. we will be praying every day that you stay healthy and that God will protect you! mommy had to give four tubes of blood today, which didn’t go very smoothly, but there’s only a few scars from it! in just six days, daddy and mommy get to hear your heartbeat.

love you.

october 22, 2012
12 weeks, 3 days

hi baby — today was your 12 week appointment. doctor keil says you are looking healthy! she said that mama is looking great and growing nice and big. daddy and mommy got to hear your heartbeat for the first time. you were at 169-171 which is very healthy! mama was trying really hard not to cry, but i’m so excited to meet you! this weekend oma, grandpa marc and aunt maddie get to find out when they get to meet you : may 3, 2013.  i bought lots of yummy fruit and cheerios for you to eat today. yum yum! your brothers and sister and daddy will be home very soon to eat grandma’s yummy rice casserole.

love you.

november 16, 2012
16 weeks

hi baby — yesterday was your 16 week appointment. oma and your big brother andrew came with me because daddy had to do deliveries for work. doctor said your heart sounded very healthy. 152 bpm. since i last wrote, daddy and mommy picked out names for you : jackson marcus and marietta elizabeth. i’ve been shopping like crazy for you! you are going to need a lot of stuff! tonight daddy, all your siblings and mommy are going to grandma and grandpa’s house for gun hunting, and then mommy is meeting grandpa marc at the larson cabin in the morning to shoot some deer!

love you.

november 28, 2012
17 weeks, 4 days

hi baby — mama has been so hungry and eating so much lately … yet not gaining weight. i hope you are very healthy! mommy has been doing my best and daddy has been making plenty of yummy foods for you. daddy and mommy spent the weekend picking out fun things for you to play in and with when you get here. mommy can’t wait to hold you and sad to still have to wait 5 months! hope you are enjoying your time in mama’s belly!

love you.

december 17, 2012
20 weeks, 3 days

hi baby — daddy and mommy got to see you today! you look so cute in your pictures! i bought daddy a little grame for you so we can see you every day until you get here. your 20 week appointment was on friday and doctor said you were growing nice and big and your heart sounded healthy. mommy bought you some t-shirts today. mommy will give them to daddy for his birthday, but might get too excited and give them to daddy tonight … or a little early. oh! and we found out … you’re a BOY! jackson marcus terrill.

love you.

december 25, 2012
21 weeks, 4 days

hi baby — today everyone got to finally find out about you! EVERYONE was SO excited! now mommy can’t wait to have you here. you have another ultrasound in january to check out a cpc — a little air bubble in your brain. it really scared mommy at first, but daddy did research and you are just fine! can’t wait to shop more for you and start your registry for your showers.

love you.
ps. happy 31st birthday daddy!

february 4, 2013
27 weeks, 3 days

hi baby — wow! mama has not been keeping you up to date! well, your second ultrasound came back 100% perfect! praise the Lord! mama is starting to get really uncomfortable though. if i sit down too long, my back hurts so bad! – not to mention that you are kicking ALL the time! every time you hear daddy talk or wake up, you get so active! your shower is getting planned for the weekend after justice’ birthday! (3rd weekend of march)

love you.

love you baby jackson so much – daddy.

february 17, 2013
29 weeks, 2 days

hi baby — you must be ready to meet mommy and daddy!! every time you hear daddy laugh, you get so happy and start kicking. it’s so cute! oma and your second cousin christina got your shower all planned – march 16th at 11a.

love you.

march 15, 2013
33 weeks

hi baby — well, baby jackson, tomorrow is your first big party at oma’s house. we are so excited to see everyone and see all the fun things they got to take care of you! at your last check up (monday), dr. keil said you are growing up 100% perfect! getting so excited for you to get here. daddy and i are looking at houses and vans and your siblings (especially andrew) keep buying you presents and wanting to feel you kick! we’ve been doing lots of cleaning and shopping to get ready for you too!

love you.

can’t believe he’s here already … all the excitement, love and anticipation … we are so blessed to be given such a beautiful gift!


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discharged

we are officially discharged from the hospital now … what a relief! i’ve been stuck here for almost 130 hours … i cannot wait to feel the fresh air on my skin …

we don’t have internet at home, so i will try to update baby’s accomplishments and growth as often as i can, along with parenting stories as we experience different circumstances.

we feel so blessed to be taken care of the way we have been at our hospital. the nurses and doctors were all so phenomenal here that i’ve forgotten why i was so afraid to go to the doctor’s office growing up …

we also feel so blessed by all the love and support of our friends and family members that have been rejoicing alongside of us as we celebrate our new bundle of pure joy. thank you …

Jackson_11_bwh

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