Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mashup or MASH UP by TWO Princesses -Talent Show

I posted about the girls writing a mashup or mash up a while ago. They finally had their talent show and performed. 

The crowd loved the song and they got compliments all day on how well they did.

I wish I had taken a better video but I don't know how to upload the HD video as our internet is so slow so if I don't take it with a small camera, I can't upload it. 

The video is a little blurry but the sound is great and you can see how the girls did. There were a few small slips that didn't make it any less enjoyable. 

One of the teachers asked me how long it took the girls to write it and I told her it took less than an hour and she thought that was great. 

The part I think is great is that they are confident enough to perform it in front of the entire student body. I don't know many kids that would take that risk and have enough confidence in their talents and abilities to not care what others think. 

I was impressed with both girls and enjoyed going to watch them.

Here is a link to the video of them performing on stage for the entire school. 

They lowered the key so that they weren't singing so high and it sounds more like the actual songs. It was very fun to see. 
The songs in the mash up are: 

Journey -Don't Stop Believing
U2 - With or without You
Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
Pink - Perfect
Jessie J -Price Tag
Elton John - You Feel the Love Tonight
Shakira - Waka- waka
Miley Cyrus -Wrecking ball
Jason Derulo - In my head
Maroon 5 - She will be loved
Nicki Manaj - Starships
Jonas Brothers - Year 3,000
James Blunt - Your Beautiful it's True
Bowling for Soup - 1985
No Doubt - It's My Life
Train - Hey soul sister
Beyonce - If I were a boy
Katy Perry - Roar
Ke$ha - Tick Tock,
Aqua - Barbie Girl
Bowling for Soup - Stacy's Mom
Katy Perry - You're a Firework

Carly Rae Jepson - Call me Maybe
Taylor Swift - Love Story
Avril Lavigne - Skater Boy
Swedish House Mafia - Don't you worry
Imagine Dragons - Demons
Macklemore & John Lewis -Ceiling can't hold us
Ke$ha & Pit Bull - Timber
Idina Mendel - Let it go from Frozen
Passenger - Let her go
Katy Perry - Hot n cold
Taylor Swift - I knew you were Trouble
Taylor Swift - 22
One Direction - You Don't know you're Beautiful
Simple Minds - Don't you forget
Bruno Mars - Just the way your are  

Here is a link to the first post about the mashup. Glad the girls are using their talents and hope you all enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Invitations to Girls Preference Dance - Slinky Dance

Princess Four has done lots of dates this year but most of them were her "helping" out others. But, for this dance, she wanted to go on a date with a friend that she has known for most of her life. 
His family just moved out of town and he is just spending the last few months of his senior year staying with friends until he graduates.

She thought of some cute ways to ask him and then thought she would combine some of her ideas to invite him to the next girls preference dance.

Since the talent show was coming up and she was going to do a "Slinky" dance, she talked with the other girls about using it to ask him to the dance at the end of their performance.
Princess made up some posters with his name and the dance name and a question mark at the end and then had the announcers call him onto the stage. 
In order to get the bag that contained the information in it, he had to make up a dance with one of the slinky's and they put "What does the fox say?" song on and he made up a 30 second dance.
They then gave him an Easter egg with a note in it saying "I think we would have and "Egg" citing time dancing together at the Preference Dance." 
She filled eggs with grass and wrote out her middle name with one letter in each egg and had them in a gift bag with cadbury Easter eggs in it with some other Easter candy. 

She used his middle name when they called him up as they had this joke for years where they called each other by their middle names. 

You can see on the video I took (Click here) that he does a great job making up the dance and he got quite a few laughs as he worked on getting that bag full of candy. We will have to wait and see what his answer is.....

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sit and Spin for Teens - Fun for All

I broke my backside years ago snow boarding when the binding broke. Since then, I have a hard time sitting for long periods of time on a hard chair. 
Recently, I found this memory foam seat cushion that spins. I think it is meant for use in a car for the elderly to swivel their feet into the car. I however, have some hard dining room chairs so I purchased it for use at the dining table. 

Twice (that I saw)this past week while Princess Three was home on spring break, she took my cushion and started playing with it. I keep going through the family room and picking it up off the floor and putting it back on the hardwood chair where I eat. 

One time while she was playing on it, her sisters got into the act. They all commented on how "sit and spin" was one of their favorite childhood toys and they wished that someone would make a teen version as they would play with it. 

I couldn't believe how long they played on the cushion. They would take turns pushing each other and then trying out a new position to see how fast they could get themselves spinning etc.
Princess Three wanted to make some vines and send some on her snap chat as well so she took a few short videos and I took one of her whipping around with her hair flying. Here is that video. 

I love the picture of Princess Three in her blue shirt as her hair is whipping around in the video as well but it looks so funny having her hair almost reach the wood stove in this picture as her hair looks fake.

Here is a funny video of Princess Four laughing and spinning. She is a bit blurry as I used the little camera to video and started it before it was focused but it is still funny hearing her say "Whee" and then getting a leg cramp. 
I NEVER would have thought they would have so much fun with that but it was well worth the price just having it for a toy but I also enjoy using it while balancing my checkbook etc at the table. 

I think I should approach the "sit and spin" makers to make a larger version for teens. Perhaps they will see the videos on youtube and figure it out for themselves. I love that it is cushioned so they can be on it in all different positions and not just sitting.  For the next big holiday, forget getting the kids a present and buy them a seat cushion!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Moen Lifetime Warranty - Changing Out Tub or Sink Cartridges

We have a large whirlpool tub that is in a bathroom that doesn't get used much. It is such a blessing when we do want to use it and I am grateful for it but it doesn't often get used with how busy we have been. 

I went to take a bath the other night and noticed water in the tub and a trail of water minerals down the front of the tub. The faucet was leaking and by the look of the minerals in the bottom of the tub, it had been leaking for some time.

Make sure you go to a Moen Dealer or call Moen Directly to get your cartridges. They have a lifetime warranty so they are free. If you can't get one from a dealer, you can buy replacements at Ace but Moen can send you one also. 
Here is a video I made on youtube showing how to change it out quickly. Turn off the water to the house. Relieve the pressure on the faucet by turning on some other faucets and flushing a few toilets so there won't be a burst of water when you pull the cartridge out. 
You will need a screwdriver and some pliers and the new cartridge. It takes about ten minutes to fix. 

Pull off the plastic face cover on the handle. Then, use a screwdriver to take the center screw out to get the handle off. After the screw is out, pull the plastic handle off. Be aware that a little washer may come off as you pull off the handle. It may stay on the tip of the cartridge but just be aware there is one. 
Once you have the handle off, unscrew the two screws holding the face plate on. Take off the face plate and then there is a round shield on the outside of the cartridge that you can just pull off. If it is stiff, you can use pliers to get it off but use a cloth between the pliers and the metal so you don't scrape it. 
 There is a little "U" shaped clip that pulls out the top and will only go back in if the new cartridge is put in right. 

I show the clip close up so you can see what it looks like. It should slide in fairly easy when you replace it so make sure you don't force it, if it isn't going back in easily, make sure you twist the cartridge so the lips are up and down and it will slide in easily. 
Once you have that clip out, there is a white or clear plastic tool that you slide onto the end of the cartridge. Once it is on securely, use pliers to wiggle the cartridge around and around in the pipe and it will get loose. 
At this point, you use pliers to gently pull out the old cartridge. Many times, water comes out with the old cartridge and sometimes some hardened minerals will also come out. 

Slide the new cartridge in. You can use the plastic tool to push it in further if needed. Twist it with the lip up so you can slide the clip back in. 
Once the "U" clip is in place, you slide the metal sleeve back on, then put the face plate back on. Make sure at this point you put the washer back on and then screw the handle back on and replace the plastic cover on the center of the handle. 
Turn the water back on for the house and test out the faucet. Once, I had the handle on upside down and the hot came out where the cold should. 

If this happens, you can just take off the handle, use the tool leaving all the other stuff on. Put the tool on and rotate half way around and put the handle back on. You don't need to turn the water off again or take out the cartridge or anything. 
I also needed to clean out the mineral drips from the tub and the bottom of the tub where it had been dripping. 

The best cleaner I have found for minerals is "Tub and Tile" cleaner from Melaleuka. It has "tea tree" oil in it and I have used it for 25 years. It is wonderful on the shower doors for getting the water marks off.

I also use it on my windows where the sprinklers hit them and leave mineral marks. It is the best stuff I have ever used and many neighbors have asked what I use to clean my windows and have purchased some.   
I love the way the tub and tile makes the stainless steel look. I use it on my faucets all the time as well. 

I actually bought a case of the stuff a few years ago as I didn't want to have to pay handling over and over. 

I have had to replace these cartridges many times over the years. There are instructions in the case and if you watch the youtube video, you will see how easy it is. 

It has been nice to get a few things done lately around the house. In just a few weeks, I got the windows all washed, the front door painted, the garage door fixed, the cartridge changed out and cleaned out the front garden beds. 

You know how busy we have been with Princess Four doing so many things so for me to get any of that done during the same crazy weeks has been an accomplishment.          

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happily Ever After - Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

I pondered on the Snow White story line as you can tell by the posts this week but I really pondered on the Queen and her now famous question - "Mirror, Mirror, On the wall, Whose the Fairest one of all?"

I first started by thinking what "Fairest" means. In a game or contest, "fair" means both sides win equally. In the situation of a "Country fair" there is competition but it is usually a fun place where everyone's entries get judged "fairly." 

When you look at "fair" when talking about a person, it usually has something to do with their skin color or complexion. In other countries, especially where the skin of the people is darker toned, they really like "fair" complected people.

Fair complexion means white or lighter skinned. They are without blemish and are light or white skinned. When we look at Snow White, her name is "White" or as we discussed above, "fair." and Snow is white and pure when it falls from the sky. So, she was pure, white and clean without blemish or "mark."

The Queen never understood the meaning of the word. She looked only on the beauty of the outside but that isn't what "fairest" meant. Fairest was the cleanest, purest person in the land. When Snow White hit the age of maturity, she was still pure and kind. She held no malice for the Queen and her jealousy.

As I discussed in the introductory post about our camp theme, I shared that Snow didn't want revenge, she didn't get grumpy with "Grumpy" and she did all that she did to her best ability and when scared or lonely, she found ways to be positive through song and dreams and cleaning the environment that she found herself.

She was "Fairest" of them all. I think sometimes, we confuse ourselves with the Queens thinking. We look on the outside and exterior and judge others on how they dress or look rather than what is on the inside.

I know that most people including myself, often look in the mirror or at pictures of ourselves and make a judgment on ourselves. I wanted to do something in our lesson and carry it through to our camp this year that will help the girls make a difference in their world.

I pondered on it and came up with an idea. I searched for some hand mirrors. I went to all the stores in town and was blessed to find some at a dollar store. Princess Two had to pick some up for me and send them home with someone so we could have enough for our lesson and I was grateful for all the help to make this work.

I then took one mirror and wrote words that are negative that we have all thought of ourselves when we have looked in the mirror at times. Stupid, fat, dump, ugly etc. was written on the actual mirror using Sharpies of different colors.

On another mirror, I wrote words that we have probably thought about ourselves at times as well but they are positive words such as beautiful, kind, smart, loving etc.

On a third mirror, I wrote, "Whose voice do you hear?" and I got them ready for my lesson. I got each mirror engraved on the back with the words, "Your HIS fairest one of all." as I want the girls to remember that we each have talents and gifts and something about us that is beautiful as HE created us. So, we are each HIS fairest in our own way. I hoped that through this lesson and them getting the mirror to keep, they would remember that and choose to be gentle with themselves.

I wanted to find an oval mirror that we could use at camp and posted a note on facebook hoping someone had one we could use but it had to be light and I didn't want to break one someone owned so I "Put it out there" as I do and the next day at the second hand store, the oval mirror and the candle holders were there as a set for $4. They are made of plastic so they are light and we can use them at camp but they were perfect for my lesson. I also go some flicker flame-less candles at the second hand store for $3 for a bag and they were new. I used "Funtak" to attach the candle holders to the chalk board and hung the mirror with wire from a hook. I used the candles and turned them on for my lesson. It worked out well.

During the lesson, I asked for volunteers to help. Three girls volunteered and I asked them to each pick a mirror off the table.

I had them numbered on the back as I wanted them to be able to write comments on how the mirrors made them feel on a handout I gave each of them.

The first girl picked up number three and it said, "Whose Voice Do You Hear?" I asked her when she looked into the mirror, did she feel good about herself or sometimes picked out things she didn't like about herself. She said that often she did hear a negative voice when looking in the mirror and we figured out that that was Satan's voice in the mirror as Heavenly Father's or our own voice would probably see sometime good in the mirror.

The Second girl picked number one which had all the negative words on it. The girls looked at the words and looked like she was about to cry. I think once she sat down she actually did get a tear in her eye. I asked her how looking in that mirror made her feel. She said it made her "sad and feel bad about herself."

I reinforced to that girl that those are not things we think about her and that she is beautiful but that sometimes, we think those things about ourselves when we look in the mirror and it makes us feel sad and negative about ourselves.

The last girl picked mirror number 2 which had the kind and loving words on it. She got a HUGE grin on her face when she looked into the mirror. When asked about how looking into that mirror made her feel, she said it made her feel "beautiful and good."

I reminded the girls that as long as we are allowing things that other people say to be in our head and when we look in the mirror and hear the negative that Satan projects, we will continue to struggle with our beauty and value where others and ourselves are concerned.

I then handed out the mirrors that I had engraved and let them each choose their favorite color. The words on the back are a bit raised and hopefully will remind the girls each time they pick it up that they are "HIS fairest one of all."

I also took a silver Sharpie and wrote on the front of each mirror, "HIS Voice" at the bottom of the mirror side. I shared with the girls that we should hear only HIS voice when we look in the mirror and that all the negative things that come into our thoughts should be sent away promptly and that we shouldn't allow them to stay and give them any energy or thought.

I then had them take a second and write down their thought about how they felt looking into each mirror. I gave them time to express their feelings about it and was grateful that I was asked to help with camp as it gave me the opportunity to focus on my own issues when I look in the mirror and see someone who isn't who I want to be. Sometimes, we can't help what happens to our looks or body but we can control our thoughts about those things. 

While they were writing down their thoughts, I played this song that my friend found that fit the situation. Here is a link to it, the song is called "Beautiful for Me" by Mercy River. I got lots of positive feedback from the girls and from some of the mothers of the girls as they saw what their daughters had written on the papers about how the different mirrors made them feel.

We liked the lesson so much that we decided to get the mirrors for the other congregation that we "swap" gifts with at camp. We will give them each an engraved mirror with a little card attached explaining the mirror.

I hope they enjoy them as much as we have. We also got a compact mirror with each hand mirror purchase so we will be engraving "HIS" on the backs of those and giving those to the girls at camp so they can have that in their backpack, locker or purse to remember that they are HIS and hopefully remember when looking in those mirrors to only allow HIS voice to be the voice inside their head!

I am grateful for the inspiration that my Heavenly Father gives when I ask for help and I am grateful for the little items he sends when I ask for them or "put out there" that I need.

I am grateful that the girls can know that they are each "Fairest" being pure, white and beautiful in HIS eyes. I hope they always remember that as society, magazines, movies and internet can often only reflect what others think of as beautiful and not necessarily Fairest! So, referring to the famous Queen question, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, Whose the fairest one of all?" I hope that we can all now realize - WE ARE!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Snow White Cooling Bow - Happily Ever After For Camp

I have shared on another post that our "theme" for girls camp this year is Snow White. I had a thought a few weeks back that the head bands I was making that are made using yarn may be kinda hot. 

I remembered a headband we had a few years ago that had the water beads in them and you got it wet and it would keep you cool for hours. 

I thought how much fun it would be to make those type of headbands for the girls to wear during the day and on their hikes. 

I have purchased a few bags of those silica water gels in the past and they were quite expensive so I "put it out there" like I do and figured my Heavenly Father would take care of it as you always does. 

The next day or two, I looked on a "yard-sale" site for our area on facebook and I don't normally do that. I may post things on it but I don't usually look for items on there. While looking on the site, a woman said she had some water gel crystals and some freeze dried cricket food listed for free. 
I wrote her asking if the gels were the type used in the headbands or for flowers and she said they were. I asked if I could come and pick the gels up and not the other items she had listed. 

She allowed me to go and pick them up. She had two larger bags of the larger crystals and some smaller sized ones as well. 

The local dollar store also had some collapsible vases with some of the clear gels in them. I figure you can get several headbands out of the vase gels. 

I had some fabric pieces left from the sheets I used to make the capes for "Snow White" for camp and decided to use that same fabric so they would match the cape. 

I cut some long strips of fabric. They need to be at least one and a half to two times longer than the distance around the head so that they can be gathered. They also need to be twice as wide as the elastic you are using and a bit extra for seam allowance. 

Sew right sides together and turn it right sides out after it is stitched. I use a long knitting needle or crochet Tunisian hook to push the fabric through itself to turn it right side out but I use the back of the hook or needle. You can use a dowel as well but I like the button type tip of the knitting needle as it won't poke holes in the fabric. 
I then measure the size of elastic. Measure the elastic to be once around the head. Once you have it cut at exactly once around the head.  You then thread the elastic through the long tube. If you put a safety pin through the end of the elastic, it will help you push it though the tube using the knitting needle to push it. 

Once you have the elastic through the tube, you will have the tube gathered to the size of the elastic, you overlap the ends of the elastic and zig-zag the edges together which makes it just a little smaller than the head which holds it on. You can then overlap the ends of the fabric and sew through it all making that the spot that you will sew the red bow onto.

Make a shorter tub of the red fabric that is the width size you want for the bow. You need to make it just over twice as long as you want the bow to be. 

Once you have it sewn and turned right sides out, you make the bow by folding the sides over to meet at the back of the bow. You can make about a 1 inch long tube and use that as the center of the bow.
Wrap the 1 inch strip around the center of the bow and stitch the back of it together in as tightly as you can so that it gathers the center of the bow and holds both ends of the bow back in.  

Now, you just have to get the head band wet when you want to keep cool. Once you are through using it, wash it gently by hand, rinse it out to get any sweat and soap off it and allow it to hang dry. Make sure it will get fully dry as you don't want it to mildew. 
I kept mine in the fridge after getting it wet sometimes to allow it to get really cold and then I would wear it and that really did a great job of keeping me cool as I worked in the yard. I will have to find it and use it this summer. 

Didn't they come out cute and they do look like Snow White's bow but you can make these in any color and you don't have to add a bow and you just put the seam part at the back of the head.