Friday, July 26, 2013

It's So Not Over Summertime, What I Know For Sure & #iPPP

Yeah, I've seen it happening--advertisements for back to school, Halloween decorations, bathing suits on the clearance rack (mostly mismatched bikinis).  It's happening.  It has to happen.  Fall is coming.  The sun may be setting on summertime, but I am not done.  Not yet anyway.

No, there is still summer fun to be had--lightening bugs to catch, pools to be jump in, beaches to roam, baseball to play.  No, summer I am not done with you yet, it is so not over.

I know for sure that Fall has to happen, so I am going to make the most of every single summertime moment I have.

Here's what else I know for sure (this week):

  • Marriage is hard, but I have a really good one and I feel so happy.  Tim and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this past week, lucky number 13, with a dance on our front porch.

  • People need to sing and dance a little more, everywhere.  To feel happier you should watch SoulPancake's YouTube videos.  They are full of joy.  Here's one with the most fun elevators evah.

  • Our world has been off the last week because Super Lucy was at camp.  Today is the day I pick her up and I.Can't.Wait.

We were all a little lost with out our wonder girl.  I mean, come on, every moment is an adventure with her.  You never know what she will dream up or even wear to dinner (here she is last week complete w/my old prom dress and many accessories).

  • I'm going to miss my front porch while I'm gone the next week and a half.  Here's the set up for a painting party Lucy had with friends before she went to camp.  So fun.

  • Traveling alone with four kids can be overwhelming.  If you missed it, here's how I prepare to take this circus on the's called denial.

What do you know for sure (this week)? C'mon, we're friends, share what you know. Are you enjoying summertime? Leave a comment here or on the Facebook page.

  Please come play with me on Instagram @jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.

I'm linking up today with my friends Greta from and Sarah from for the #iPPP link up.  They host a link up where they encourage people to share "your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite photos of the week" from our phones.  

Check them out.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Denial (A Vlog & A Mama Kat Link Up)

I haven't vlogged as much this summer, but I'm getting back in the game.  This week, I'm talking about prepping to go on my big ol' road trip in a little over 24 hours.  Check out what I'm doing to prepare and why I have crazy eyes below:

(If you're an email subscriber click here to watch.)

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here!

Follow us on our road trip on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.  The adventure begins this Thursday.

I also linked up with Mama Kat's Vlogging Prompts this week to give advice on how to apply false eyelashes.  It's an older video, but the advice is still good.  Yeah, it's advice on what not to do, but it's still good advice.  Check it out:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Family Road Trip T-shirts (Pinterest Poser Challenge)

One of my favorite things about summer is my annual road trip.  There is nothing better than the open road in my opinion.  Even if it's the open road in a minivan with four kids.  I seriously love it.  

Last year, I decorated the minivan.  It was a huge success.  But a year later, all the paint hasn't quite come off the minivan which we now refer to as "Daddy's polka dot car."  He loves that.  This year, we have a fancy new leased minivan.  While I'm happy it has working air conditioning (the polka dot car doesn't), I'm not happy we can't paint the hell out of it.  But it's probably best not to, I get it.

So in honor of this summer's road trip, I made T-shirts.  Yeah, that's right, family road trip shirts that must be worn (at least on the first day of our travels).  

In this week's Pinterest Poser Challenge** I look to Pinterest to live out a dream---matching t-shirts like we are a band traveling from gig to gig.

**In an attempt at not being a Pinterest Poser,* every week I  detail a new Pinterest challenge whether it be a new recipe or a craft.   
*My definition of a Pinterest Poser is someone who is all pins and no substance.

This craft is actually based on another Pinterest Poser project that I did last Christmas, based on a pin/project from

For our road trip, I took the kids to Michael's to pick out our T-shirts.  I envisioned all of us in the same color, but then one of the kids said something like "we're all individuals mom with our own minds" and my heart burst with pride.  So, I told them to get whatever color they wanted.  Instead of a family with matching road trip T-shirts we sort of look like a group traveling the southeastern United States to promote Skittles.
Not pictured: The purple Skittle rep 
who was away at camp at the time this picture was taken.
Figuring out what to put on our shirts was the next step.  Out of safety concerns I didn't put their names on their shirts.  Remember growing up in the early '80s and all those shirts we had with our names on the back?  Sparkly names, big and bold for anyone out there to read.  I'm not overly anxious about the world, but that just seems unsafe.  So, no names.  I wanted to list the cities we were going to just like a concert t-shirt, but that's a lot of letter cutting.  

We're heading down south for a family reunion this year, so I tried to use that to brainstorm ideas.  We are are on an extremely tight budget, Tim is not able to come with us because he has to work, I haven't started packing and we leave in a few days, we are loud, rowdy and a lot to handle....with that in mind it seemed perfect to put this on the front:

Ready or Not

And this on the back:

Here We Come

So if you are on the highway next week and you see a van with pink fuzzy dice and what looks like a band of kooky characters representing the rainbow, give us a wave or a honk.  Because ready or not, here we come.

How To Make Family Road Trip T-shirts
Supplies Needed:
Cheap T-shirts
Contact paper or Duct Tape paper (the second choice works better in my experience)

How To:
Step one and two and three: Pick your phrase.  Write it out and cut it out.
I just drew out my letters and traced them onto contact paper.   I cut out the letters on the way home from dropping Lucy off at camp.  Tim drove and I cut and cut and cut.  Depending on your phrase it can be pretty tedious work.

Step four: Place your letters onto the shirt.

Step five: Put a towel inside the shirt so the bleach doesn't bleed through to the other side.

Step six: Pour bleach into a bowl, dab a towel into the bleach and start dabbing the shirt over the spot you want the phrase.

Step seven: Let it dry.  Actually throw it in the dryer once the bleach is almost dry and this step will go faster.

Step eight: Wear it with pride you crafty person you.

Words of Warning:
Not all my shirts turned out perfectly, bleach can be pretty tricky.  I bleached parts I didn't mean too.  If you use too much on the towel when you dab, it will seep right through the contact paper, your towel and the shirt.  And well it can just be pretty messy.  Bleach with caution, people.

Have you made something from Pinterest lately?  Had any great successes? Or advice?  Or warning about a project that's a total waste of time? OR any family road trip stories? Do tell.

Please share whatever you're working on in the comments here or over on Facebook.  
And follow us on our road trip on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  The adventure begins this Thursday.

Come on over and follow my Pinterest boards.

Here are some of the projects I've already attempted, the good and the bad:

Front Porch Kid Art Display- click here
Door turned into Table- click here

Summer Wish List Chalkboard-click here
Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Sandwiches-click here
Painted Mason Jar Vases-click here
Cinco de Mayo Paper Flowersclick here
Earth Day CupcakesClick here
Nail Art-click here
Homemade Photo Booth Funclick here
Fake Bangs- click here
DIY Subway Art- click here
Furniture Painting and Bench/Chest Makeover- click here
Thanksgiving-y Project/Gratitude/Holiday Countdown- click here
The Smoothie-click here
The Free Printable Turned Artwork in a Boring Hallway- click here
The chalk board-click here
Seven Layer Dip in Individual Cups (my favorite so far!)-click here
The pumpkin address-click here
The Kitchen Dancing Sign--click here

Come play with me on Instagram @jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.

Oh yeah, and come follow me on Twitter @AngelaYBlood and subscribe to my MomPulse YouTube channel here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Silver Linings & Slip n' Slides

"You've broken the Golden Rule like 20 times already this morning!," screamed Lucy at her brother this morning.  

Upon hearing this, I didn't hear the screech in her scream or the utter annoyance with her brother.  No, I heard that she knows the Golden Rule.  Okay, okay, she wasn't using the rule, but she knows it.  And I think somewhere I get bonus points for that, right?

I'm not usually a half-full kind of person.  But sometimes on this wild ride of parenthood, I am forced to look at the silver lining to make me feel like a semi-successful mother.  

In other I-might-just-be-somewhat-of-a-decent-mom news, I bought a $20 Slip n' Slide for the kids and they loved it.  

Sure it destroyed large sections of our backyard and the slide was ripped and ruined after three days of use, but they had a blast.  And they played nicely with each other for hours.  See that?  Another half-full/silver lining moment.

Watch out folks, I'm on a roll.

This past weekend was a busy, summer weekend full of sliver linings and good times.
And painting rocks, playing dress up, a farmers' market, baseball, an outdoor movie (BRAVE) and more.

How was your weekend?  What were your silver linings?  Have any half-full parenting moments?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Beating the Heat, What I Know For Sure & #iPPP

I think the only thing I  know for sure this week is that it's been hot, really hot.  So hot that my brain feels foggy and all I want to do is be lazy, and I'm not normally a lazy kind of chick.  No worries, there was no way that was going to happen.  It's nearly impossible to be lazy when you have four kids waking up each morning asking "what fun and super amazing, exciting thing are we going to do today?"

The heat made it a little tricky because it was too hot to do a lot---riding bikes, playing in the park, going for nature walks.  So, we spent lots of time at the pool. 
The oldest two are driving me crazy recapping episodes of MADtv on Cartoon Network, but they find each other hilarious and I love that.
Our lack of extra money made it a little tricky because it was too expensive to go see movies.  So, we watched movies on Netflix and got some at the library (we rented The Parent Trap and man, Lindsey Lohan really was such a good little kid actor).

The library loves us because we aren't loud or rowdy at all.
It was so hot, we were together a lot.   The air conditioning on our second level doesn't work that great so the boys have a window air conditioner in their room.  Well, Lucy got the futon out and slept on the floor of their room.  Even more togetherness.  
They set up a fort in the basement and wanted to watch a movie together before bed.  Yeah, Peyton isn't so into the movie but I love how he stays with the group.

It was so hot, I wouldn't even get that mad if the kids fought all the time and were just piss-y about all the togetherness and the no movies and the not so super amazing, exciting things I had planned for them everyday.  But they didn't fight (that much) and they weren't mad (all the time).  More often than not, the kids were happy with all the togetherness.  It's like they know it's borrowed time, it won't last.  Things will change and right now, even though it's hot as hell, being together is pretty super amazing.  

So there, I know two things for sure this week, it's hot and I have some of the coolest kids on the planet.

Here's what else I know for sure (this week):

  • It's too soon Michael's, too soon. It's just too damn early to put out Halloween decorations and crafting supplies.

  • Feedback can sting.  I got a YouTube comment that said "you need to chill lady, get a counselor." Ouch.  But he's probably right. Waaaaa.  Help me fight off the pain of his insightful, yet mean spirited, comment by subscribing to my YouTube channel.  Yeah, I just turned a sad story into a shameless plug.  Mmm-hmmmm.

  • Cosi, the puppy, is still here.  Of course she is, I made it clear we aren't giving up on her, but some days, my god, I question my devotion.  Unless they are days when I find JT snuggling with her, then it's just all kinds of patting myself on the back for saving her from deportation.

  • I'm having fun on Instagram, come on over and play with me  at @jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.  I'm doing a whole hashtag series called #frontporchchronicles because I am still in love with my porch.

  • The latest parenting trend, the CTFD Method, is brilliant.  Have you heard of it?  Click here to read about the parenting trend that is for parents, that's why it stands for Calm The F*ck Down.  Like I said brilliant. 

What do you know for sure (this week)? C'mon, we're friends, share what you know. How are you beating the heat? Leave a comment here or on the Facebook page.

I'm linking up today with my friends Greta from and Sarah from for the #iPPP link up.  They host a link up where they encourage people to share "your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite photos of the week" from our phones.  
Check them out.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Impressionable Hearts

When I was little, my mother took me to restaurants and water fountains in her hometown in Alabama that she remembered having a "white only" sign.  She told me stories of what segregation looked like when she was a little girl.  She talked to me about things that seemed to have happened a million years in the past in my young, naive mind.  Her talks made an impression in my young mind and on my heart.  

In the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict--the outrage and heartache of so many--my first reaction was to protect my kids from the news and keep them in their bubble. And what could I say?  I'm a white woman, what can I really tell my sons?  But then I remembered my mother talking to me when I was much younger than my oldest son (who is 11).  Those talks that made that impression on my heart.  I wanted to do something like that for my son.  

Then I read my friend's Facebook post and I was so moved.  And I let my son read it and then we talked about injustice, prejudice, struggle, confusion, hate and love.

I'm sharing it with you (with my friend's gracious permission), because we all know it's not just the kids that need to hear important talks about racial injustice and prejudice.  I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around all of the hate and prejudice that exists in the world.  But I know that I will have the important talks to make impressions on my kids' hearts.  So that they will be more compassionate, empathetic and fight for good in the world.  So that they will be outraged at prejudice and know they need to have as many talks with as many people as they can until there is a change. 

Here's the very important and eye-opening story from my friend Geoff Walker.  I grew up with Geoff in the same elementary, middle and high schools.  I knew about some of the things that went on in his story, but so much of it surprised me.  I am so grateful for social media which made it possible for me to read his story and now share it.  I hope it opens eyes, minds and hearts and inspires talks with your children and your friends.

For more insight into this discussion, Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan and Rebecca at Girls Gone Child are starting some really good conversations.  Please let me know what you think in the comments.  How do you talk to your kids about race?