DIY Bubbles


How fun are bubbles? I love setting a bowl of bubbles out on the porch and letting the kids play with them. It can usually last for a good half hour before the bowl gets spilled and someone ends up covered in bubbles.  Bubbles are way too expensive (at least here) to have them being spilled every time we use them. So we decided to just start making our own. WAY cheaper and they actually work better than a lot of the store bought ones. We use pipe cleaners as our bubble wands which work pretty well, too!


Mix 1 cup warm water with 1/2 cup sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add 1/2 cup Dawn dish soap. We used the orange kind this time which works well but everything I read says blue works better. 

P.S. Don’t shake it up to combine the soap with the sugary water…it leaves a top layer of bubbles that don’t go down for a LONG time! (You can see that in the photo above).

Let me know if you try it. Do you have any DIY bubbles tips? Share them with me!

Still haven’t voted for your favorite birthday cake? 3 days left to vote! Vote now!

Banana Bread Pancakes


Anyone else craving pancakes? We have been experimenting with egg free pancake recipes for a while now. I made these last week and they truly taste like banana bread. We used honey instead of syrup, too. Mmmmmm. The kids ate these faster than I could cook them. Even Pepper was gobbling them up. Here’s our recipe!

 Banana Bread Pancakes (yields 12 mini pancakes)

  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cup water (could be water or milk or 3/4 of each)
  • 1 cup flour (we used gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more or less to your liking…we like things sweet!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large banana (about 1 cup mashed)

Let me know if you try them! Any suggestions to add to my recipe? Share them with me! Have you voted for your favorite birthday cake yet? One week left! Vote now!

Because He First Loved Me

I remember as a child we used to always sing in the car. One song that I remember the most is my mom or dad would sing, “oh Sandy, do you love Jesus?” I would reply, “Oh yes I love Jesus.” They’d sing, “Tell me why you love Jesus.” And I’d answer, “Because He first loved me.”

calvary blog post

I grew up knowing that God loves me. I grew up knowing that He died on the cross for me and because of this I am to love Him, too. I am so thankful to have been taught the Bible at a young age. But sometimes, when you never know what it is like to not have something, you don’t realize what you do have. There are wonderful Bible verses like, “But commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 10:9) This verse is so powerful stating that God loved me when I was against Him! I was His enemy and yet He died for me! But I can’t tell you how many times I have just skimmed over this verse. I already have it memorized so I don’t need to pay attention to it when I read it. And because we skim over it we miss out on the truth of that verse- that God first loved me. He doesn’t demand a love in return. He did this for us before we loved Him.

When you come to the realization that you are doomed for hell because of your sin it should bring awful grief and heartbreak.  I always teach my Sunday School class that as a sinner, I had a problem. I had sinned against God. My sin isn’t allowed in heaven. My sins would keep me from ever entering heaven. That’s the problem. But God, seeing my problem, offered a solution. He gave His Son to die and take on my sin. He would take away my sin! So, I have my sin as the problem and Christ as the solution. When I learn what God has done for me, that’s where that love begins. Then I need to make a decision: Take God’s free gift, believe in His Son and what He has done for me. Or continue on with my sin. When I accepted God’s gift of salvation- I remember that moment- I felt that deep, amazing love for God.

Now, 14 years later, why do I not feel that same amazing love for God that I felt that night at camp? Has God’s love changed? Of course not. Like the church of Ephesus, I have left my first love. I stopped dwelling on how amazing God is and on the love He showed for me when He gave me salvation. That’s my fault. I can’t say that it’s because I have a home now that I need to keep clean, or kids that take up so much of my attention. I can’t blame it on my being too busy in church ministries or facebook or anything else.

God’s command in Deuteronomy hasn’t changed: And thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:5. 

Consider now what you can do or change in your life in order to put God first again. How can you be dwelling on God and His love more? What will cause you to feel for God that love you felt when you accepted His great gift of salvation?

Do’s and Don’ts of Running a 5k

I made some goals for this summer. One of them was to run a 5k. I am NOT a runner. I am horribly slow and I get winded easily. But those are sort of the reasons why I run now. Anyway, I decided to sign up for the Midnight Sun Fun Run this year. It is to celebrate our first day of 24 hour daylight. After participating in my first 5k, I thought I’d share what I have learned.


DO carb up before the race. Carbs take longer for your body to digest, therefore giving you energy longer.

carbo load

DO NOT eat a bowl of alfredo minutes before the race. This just ends in disaster…disgusting disaster.


DO bring your dog. It’s always fun to run with your pup.

DO NOT let your dog pee on your friend’s bag. I stopped mine just in time 🙂


DO find a friend to run with. It’ great to have someone who can help push you along.

DO NOT talk the whole time. Apparently this can be annoying when your friend is trying to focus on the race. (Sorry, Kate!)


DO be a good cheerleader! Everyone loves a bit of encouragement!

DO NOT yell “keep running” to that old man on the sidewalk. I don’t think he was part of the race.


DO finish strong. Keep running right to the end!

DO NOT run around and point people’s faces yelling, “You lost!” Or in my son, William’s words: “I won you! I won you!”beat you

I encourage anyone to take part in a 5k. Even if you don’t run, walk! And don’t forget to go vote for your favorite cake at the Birthday Cake Battle!

My Favorite Things

What a beautiful time of year! The Arctic is truly beautiful anytime of the year but right now is the best time to be outside and enjoying the beauty! It is breezy, so the massive mosquitoes aren’t too bad. It’s sunny (24 hours right now!) so my mood is good. It’s dry so muddy footprints aren’t being painted all over my floor. I really love Inuvik summers 🙂

And while I am in this good mood I thought I’d share my Favorite Things list that I have been putting together for a couple of weeks. This isn’t meant to be some sort of ad for anyone but rather just a chance for me to share things that I love so that maybe some one else can enjoy them, too. So here they are in no particular order.

favorite things post

1. My Bible

I was so hesitant to put this on my list. It can’t be compared to anything else on my list. It is not just a favorite item. It is my most needed item. It is God’s Living Word and is not merely just a good thing to own. And at the same time, it is my favorite thing I own and should be on my favorites list. And I really believe everyone who reads it can be changed.

2. Water Bottle

You need to have a nice water bottle. You just do. If you don’t you will not drink nearly as much water as if you had one. I own a pretty pink Nalgene water bottle. It shows how much water it holds so I know how much I drink in a day. 

3. Magic Bullet

5 years ago, almost exactly, Shane and I stayed up way too late. We were watching those infomercials where if you “call right now you can get the second one for free!” Guess what, we called! I thought we were crazy and actually was a little embarrassed about owning a Magic Bullet for quite some time. But over the years it has become my favorite and most used kitchen appliance. We use it to make milkshakes on occasion, and I used to use it for chicken salad all the time. Then William was born and I used it to make his baby food. I used it to make Jenn and Pepper’s baby food, too. Now I use it for my smoothies at least 4 mornings a week. That poor little thing is slowly tuckering out (which is actually very sad). Good thing we called right away and got a second one, though 😉 I alternate mornings with them so they are lasting a little longer. Several times I thought that would be its last smoothie but then they keep going. I love my Magic Bullet.

4. Guitar

This had to be an obvious one. Of course my guitar has to be one of my favorite things. Me and that guitar have been through a lot together. We have played in 3 different nursing homes, at least 4 different churches, 2 summers at camp, 2 different countries, around countless bonfires and with the most talented ladies I know. With my guitar I enter before God’s throne with His praises and before long my songs turn to prayers to Him. 

5. Weights

Like I mentioned in a different post, weights really make a workout more fun. I was on the lookout for some for a while. Because they can be expensive I was searching every yard sale. Then Shane’s dad gave me his old ones so I got them for free! The ones I have you can add discs to make it heavier as you make progress. I really suggest that kind.

6. White Vinegar

This stuff is amazing. I use it to clean my sinks, bathroom, and Kuerig. But, I use it most often with the cloth diapers. If it weren’t for that white vinegar they would always smell like wet dog, even right after being washed. And then of course a splash of white vinegar makes my sloppy joes amazing. So so many uses for white vinegar. 

7. Perfume

Not just any perfume. My sister bought me perfume and I got it days before going into labor with Pepper. It has since been my favorite perfume, EVER. Of course, because my sister got it for me makes me want to wear it. But also, because it smells amazing I wear it all the time. It is Eau So Sexy from Victoria’s Secret. I love that stuff. 

8. Sneaks

My sister is seriously awesome. All of them are. They find things they love then buy some for me. I feel so blessed. My sister bought me my first pair of amazing sneakers. They are Nike and they are pictured in this post. They look awesome and feel awesome. Like I said in the other post, having a good pair of sneaks makes you want to exercise.

9. Day Planner

I have been using a day planner since I was given one at my high school graduation. Right now I use Brownline 14 Month Planner. It is my favorite so far. I babysit so it’s important for me to keep records of that. Also it contains all my notes for this blog and all my important to do lists and phone numbers. If you are trying to get more organized, start with a good day planner.

10. Spotify

Last but not least, is spotify. It is an app I have downloaded to my iPad. I discovered it months ago and I think I use it almost every day now. It works like a radio but with very little ads and you can make your own playlists. I have a lot of playlists but my favorites are: Steve Pettit and Piano Guys. Then for the kids I have Veggie Tales, Backyardigans, and Disney theme songs. But you can find just about anything on there. The best part- it’s free 🙂 You can upgrade to a premium package to get rid of the ads but you don’t have to. It can be glitchy at times but it’s worth it considering all it offers.

Ok, so there is my favorites list. Are some of these things on your favorites list? What is on your list? Share with me! And if you haven’t voted yet, check out the Birthday Cake Battle and vote for your favorite birthday cake!