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...


April 22, 2011

Lantz Fam Latest

A special thanks to JP for coming out to take pictures of our growing family.  And we finally got photos with the dog!  Baby Joseph is about 3 weeks away from making his arrival, so we'll take "newer new" family photos then, and hopefully our blog will get a design overhaul too!

Our first portraits with Cinco!

Yes, the curl on the front is natural,
and I can't get it to do anything else.

When we hug like this, Heidi loves to scoot
in the middle and say "Best Hugs!"

Lovin' on her baby brother already

One of Matt's favorites

Me and my fake "basketball under the shirt" trick

One of my favorites
(Big shoes to fill, little one!)

March 16, 2011

A Little Bit of Heidi for Daddy

Thought you'd enjoy a snapshot of what we've been doing the past few days.  We love you and miss you!

Swinging at DeeDee's

Helping Mommy and DeeDee make meatloaf

March 8, 2011

It all ends tomorrow...

So I can say, that officially, unless it is a VERY productive afternoon (and I can drive to Oklahoma and back) that I won't finish EVERYTHING on my 30 while 30 list, but I think I did pretty well.

I didn't:

  • Finish by "book." (15 years and counting...)
  • Get family portraits made... yet!  
  • Take a vacation with my girlfriends.
  • Build 3 woodworking projects - although I did 2, and a wood painting project.
  • Take our dog for a walk at least once a week. (lost that battle the first time I missed a week)
  • Finish reading through the Bible - although I joined a Bible study and we started over in Genesis.
  • Refresh my French speaking - although I did watch a couple of French movies.
  • Have 3 block parties - although we had at least 1.
  • Do something special for my parents. (does having another grandkid count?)
  • Visit Rich & Julie in Oklahoma...
  • ... or get rid of one bad habit. (should have been more specific I guess)

But I did:

  • Read several books I hadn't planned on, including: The Unlikely Disciple, The Year of Living Biblically, 1/2 of Bonhoeffer, and the Mark of the Lion series.
  • Get pregnant and grow 7/9 of a baby... ?!
  • Decorate a new room for Heidi and redecorate the nursery for a baby boy
  • Go to Israel with Matt again
  • Play in the snow with Heidi at least 2 times
  • Go to San Diego with Matt for vacation - without Heidi!
  • Have Forge students/girls over for 2 movie nights and a girls' night out
  • Develop a wonderful, closer friendship with my neighbor Charis :-)
  • Replant my vegetable garden... again... and again
  • Visit Heidi's grandparents SEVERAL times
  • Learn how to make yummy bread without a bread machine... like, in the oven!
  • Spend almost every other night with my friend Jenn, and/or her roommates next door
  • Update the blog a little bit
  • Do lots of graphic design projects (ie - spend too many hours on the computer, like right now...)
  • ... and I'm sure lots of other things I can't remember right now!
Should I make a 31 list?  Maybe I could just go to Baskin Robbins and try all 31 flavors?

March 4, 2011

#2, here we go...

A few pics of the "new" nursery.  If some of them look familiar, it's because they are!  We did Heidi's nursery as a pretty generic room so it would be easy to change 'just in case.'  Well, that paid off!  We changed all the pink parts to blue or brown, and voila... done!  Added a few touches just for baby boy too.
Before - for Heidi
After  - for Baby Boy
Before - for Heidi 

After - for Baby Boy

Also, we have a name for baby boy!  We've known what we wanted to name him for a long time (since before Heidi)...

Joseph Barrett Lantz

Joseph is the name of many of Matt's patriarchs (grandfather, great grandfather...) and we decided we wanted to bring it back.  It means "Jehovah increases" or "continuation" so it fits nicely.  Barrett was Darcie's grandmother's maiden name (Gwynne Irvin Barrett).  It means "bear-like" or "bear strength."  Good for a manly little guy.

We also found this verse as we were reading through the story of Joseph in the Old Testament.  One of our prayers is that our little guy would grow up to be a man of integrity and wisdom like Joseph was in the Bible, and that he would have influence like Joseph did, so that someday, someone like Pharoah (a pagan) would say these words of him...

Just 2+ months until we get to meet our little guy.  We are really excited and praying for a healthy baby.  We know he will change our lives!

Heidi also painted him a few pictures to match his room.
She's slowly learning what it's going to mean to have a little brother...
and be a BIG SISTER!

January 21, 2011

Less than two months... 31.

It goes by fast.  In less than 2 months I'll be done with "30."  How does that happen?  In any case, I had to look at my list again and see how I'm doing.  Not bad, I'd say, but there are a few on there that I already know I won't accomplish (haven't taken the dog for a walk in a month, so that one is out.)

I have a few friends/family that want to help me with the "Get a massage" one, and participate with me.  Anybody else want to help with the others? :-)

January 17, 2011

Big Changes at the Lantz House

The pictures will say it all...

Officially moved Heidi to her new "Big Girl Room."
(Thanks Nana & Pops for your help last week!)

Newly painted dresser, new quilt set, and moved the decorations
from her old room.

She LOVES her new bed.  She wants to jump on it, have
dance parties on it, play on it... and she even sleeps on it...

Since the new bed/room has gone well, we're set to attempt the BIG ONE...
Potty Training!  Saturday through however long it takes!  Here are some of the
supplies we've stored up, along with lots of activities that will keep us close to
the potty and at home all weekend.  Wish us luck!

January 15, 2011


Dear Grandpa Emmerich,

I know you're not around to read this, but I felt like I should write it anyway.  I've been thinking about you a lot lately as Matt and I prepare for Baby #2.  The reason is this...

In about 1952, you got some furniture when you were stationed in Germany with the Army.  I'm guessing my mom, Dale, was about 2 years old then.  I have no idea in which room you used this furniture, or if there were other pieces with it.

My mom tells me that your daughter, Dorothy (my aunt), refinished the furniture for you and Grandma, maybe sometime in the 70's?  It's now 2011 and I just finished refinishing that dresser and nightstand that you owned back in the 1950's in Germany.

I've been thinking about you because you loved to work with wood: building, carving, shaping, forming - and I can only hope to become half the carpenter and woodworker that you were.  I've started quite a collection of tools. :-)

I hope that you'd be proud that the furniture you got in the military was well-used by your family, refinished by your daughter, re-refinished by your granddaughter and will now be used in your great-granddaughter's room as we prepare the baby nursery for your new great-grandson.  I think you would be proud to know that even the girls in your family are holding up the hand-craftedness gene that you had.  Maybe someday Heidi will refinish the furniture to match her house when she is a mommy.

Thanks for your dedication to your family and for loving your daughters.  They've passed it on to me and there's a whole new generation that will have your heritage.

Love, Your Granddaughter,

January 9, 2011

Feeling content, and life is full...

I want to be a Blog Mom.  One of those ladies that I follow on blogs that take tremendous photographs, do creative crafts, have a house that is totally cute on every wall and every surface, have time and resources to do all those things, who decorate their houses for every holiday and who even will show their dirty laundry and dishes to the online world - but in a cute way... And they do it with 5 kids!

But I'm not. I have 1 kid, and 1 on the way.  I have a part-time job and freelance graphic design business, and a rental house next door that always needs fixing or raking or something.  I have projects going all the time, but I don't take pretty pictures of them, and my husband would be glad forever if I finished them all and didn't start any new ones. :-)  I have laundry in the dryer from today that has not been folded, dishes in the sink that I didn't want to clean, and dog slobber on the rug in the living room - and it's too cold to take it outside to wash it.

But... do you want to know what I did today?
I woke up and made muffins with my 2-year old daughter.
We ate breakfast.
We watched one of her "baby" videos.
We made lunch together.
We dressed up in our scarves, coats and mittens and played in the snow. (in Texas!)
She took a nap.
My friends came over and we watched LOST Season 6.
My daughter woke up and we played in the snow... again.
We came inside and had a "pool" party in the huge tub in our bathroom.  Both of us.
Bathing suits and all. And bubbles.
She smiled the whole time and said, "I wuv you, mommy" about 10 times.
We put jammies on and had breakfast for dinner. Toast and eggs.  And pudding.
Then we played with the dog til bedtime.
Tucked her in with her books.

So, what did I accomplish today?  I didn't do any chores, or fun projects or crafts.  I have nothing to show for today except some photos of us in the snow. (and bad ones, at that)  My daughter probably won't remember anything we did today.  She's only 2 1/2.

But I will.

January 3, 2011

Boy, oh boy!

We are so excited to announce that Baby Lantz #2 is a boy!  We had our sonogram last week and we're pretty sure we can say with 100% accuracy that it's a boy.  (we won't post the indecent photos of that. :-)  We are very excited and looking forward to a new chapter in our lives, complete with footballs, wrestling, sports, blue clothes and other boy-ish stuff.

Here's our little guy!