July 11, 2011

new blog

I decided to start a new blog for all things mom-wife-crafting-household, etc.  I don't know what that means for this blog - if we'll try to keep up 2 of them or not - I just wanted to try out a new look and play around a little bit with a new layout, so here's the address.  You can see some of the latest pics and the beginnings of my new "life" in blogging.  Check out the recipe for chocolate peanut butter pudding parfaits, some pics of our house and of our 4th of July Family Reunion.



June 5, 2011

Trial and error... Marshmallow Fondant

So, Heidi's 3rd birthday is quickly approaching.  Quickly, as in, it's still over a month away, but if I don't plan, it won't happen.  :-)

I've been wanting to learn cake decorating for about a year now.  It's been on my "fun" to-do list to go over to the houses of some girls that are more well-versed in this area and learn from them... it's been on that list for the whole year, and I've done nothing about it.  Well, I still haven't done anything about learning from someone else, but I thought I'd try it on my own while I'm house-bound with a 3-week old.  I'd love to do something fun for Heidi's birthday, so here's where I started.

My first attempt was with marshmallow fondant.   Never tried any kind of fondant before, but this looked the easiest.  After a first attempt, I have to say it wasn't bad.  Just took some trial and error and learning a few tricks on my own:

1. Knead it with your hands, even after you put the food coloring in.  Your hands may get colored, but it's just easier.
2. To roll it out with your rolling pin, put cooking oil on the rolling pin and on the surface you're rolling on so it won't stick to the surfaces. (frustrating)
3. Allow yourself lots of time!
4.  I put regular jar frosting on the cake first to smooth out the surface, and it made the fondant lay out nicely on the cake without bumps.
5. Remember to take a picture of your attempt BEFORE you serve it up and eat half of it!

This cake had no theme or purpose, other than having 2 friends over to eat it, so it was basically playing with shapes and colors - I don't know what it was supposed to be. :-)

Let me know if you have questions, or if you're an expert I'll take your suggestions!  The recipe I used is below:

Marshmallow Fondant
4 cups mini marshmallows
2 Tbsp. water
4 cups powdered sugar

Microwave marshmallows with water for 1 minute.  Stir until smooth.  Dump in all powdered sugar.  Stir, then knead until all sugar is mixed in.  Store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature until it cools.  Knead in food coloring if you want to color it.  See tip #2 above for rolling out.  Cut out shapes with cookie cutters if you want.

June 3, 2011

What to do, what to do...

I stole this idea from several different blogs that I follow.  This was the easiest one to implement for me - I had an old frame I wasn't using, and some old origami paper that I've been saving for who knows what, so... ta dah!  Here is our "Summer To Do" list to give us ideas when we're wondering how to fill our days. Some are for Heidi, some are for us to do for ourselves.  It's not a long list, but I figured if we finish them all, we can make a new one halfway through the summer.  Enjoy!

(I put the origami paper inside the frame, then reassembled it with the glass, and wrote on the glass with a permanent marker.  I scanned it on our scanner so you can't see the picture frame around the edge.  We'll mark off our list with a dry-erase marker, then it all comes off with Windex or nail polish remover if you want to use the frame for another purpose.)

June 1, 2011

2 weeks old and counting...

I guess you get busy when you have a newborn.  I had forgotten that.  I've been meaning to post some updated pictures of the little guy, and we've even taken some pictures that we could post, we just haven't gotten to it.  So, here are a couple of the latest:

Already chatting with his girlfriends on the iPhone.
With Heidi, it was Facebook.  With Joseph, looks like we're gonna
have to give him a cell phone curfew.

After his second bath in the "big" tub.  Can already tell a
difference in the top photo and this one... gaining a little
chub on that double chin!

It's a lot of fun having a little boy.  I didn't think it would be different when he was a newborn, because all babies seem the same, but it is different.   Matt and I have both commented on how you automatically think a little girl is sweet, and you want to be careful with her and protect her and be "girly" with her.  With a little boy, we've both found that we feel a sense of pride - we're proud of him, although he hasn't done anything of which we should be proud.  He doesn't do much of anything at all (except he's good at crying).  Maybe we're proud of the man he will become someday.  Who will he be?

May 16, 2011

Joseph Barrett Lantz - the name and its meaning

As Matt has traveled to Israel over the past 5 years, he has learned one very important facet of the Hebrew culture that has influenced us a great deal as we have chosen names for our children: names are not just a means of identification, they are also a destiny. In other words, we have chosen names that don't just differentiate our children from other children, but names that characterize who we hope they become and what legacy we want them to leave behind. We also find names to be the best way to pray for our children in general. So, why did we name our son, Joseph Barrett Lantz?

Joseph: Truth be told, we had this name picked out for Heidi before we found out she was going to be a girl. Joseph has always been our first choice for a boy name for several reasons. First, Joseph is the name of all of my patriarchs going back 4 generations (the only exception being myself and my father, Larry). It is also one of the most popular names in our Lantz family ancestry.

Second, Joseph is a Hebrew name that carries the traditional meanings of "God increases" or "God continually adds". Rachel gave Joseph this name after God opened up her barren womb. Genesis 30:24 says, "She named him Joseph, saying, 'May the LORD give me another son.'" Given the meaning of the root word for 'give', yawsef, of which 'Joseph' is simply the future tense, it's not just that Rachel was asking for another baby (which she did eventually receive in Benjamin), she was also asking for the LORD to continually give her sons. She was asking for a legacy not just another baby. So, Darcie and I are hoping it's not just the name of our son, but the continued legacy of Lantz's who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and follow Him in faith.

Third, we are praying that Joseph becomes the kind of man that the Scriptures describe Joseph the son of Jacob to be. Genesis 41:38 says, "And Pharaoh said to his servants, 'Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?'" In just one short sentence Pharaoh, a poly-theistic pagan, outlines the three qualities about Joseph that we pray for him to become: 1). that he would be a man 2). that the Spirit of God would reside in him and 3). those two facts would be evident to anyone who meets him - especially those who do not know the Lord. We would love for you to pray those things along with us.

Barrett: Because we chose Joseph as our little guy's first name, we thought it fitting to stick with a family name for his middle name as well. There were lots of good boy names on both sides of our family, and many men and women of integrity to choose from. We chose Barrett as his middle name after my (Darcie's) Grandma Dodge; it was her maiden name (Gwynne Irvin Barrett). Not only is it it a unique boy name, but it means "bear-like" or "bear-strength," and strength is something that we desire for our little boy to have in many areas of his life - strength of character, physical strength and spiritual strength. His great grandmother was a women of great strength, and was married to a man of the same quality. They were an example of strength in their devotion to one another during WWII and throughout their 50+ years of marriage and parenthood.

Do you know what your name means? Do you know why your parents selected that name for you?

May 13, 2011

Joseph is Born: How the Story Unfolded

Well, it's been a BIG day! We've been looking forward to this for a long time now, but we were both expecting for Darcie to get induced, so Joseph coming on his own was a very pleasant surprise! Many are asking the story about how it happened, so here's a quick rundown on how the day unfolded for us.

May 12, 2011

Here Comes Baby Joseph!

We are at the hospital! Baby Joseph is ready to come into the world! Darcie is dilated to a 5 and is doing great! Stay tuned...