Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Works For Me: Easy Toy Storage

We all have it. An overabundance of toys leading to disorganized chaos! And almost all of us also have those zipper bags - you know the ones you get when you buy a new comforter or sheet set. And then there are the smaller ones that zip or snap. We collect them just because we KNOW there HAS to be SOME use for them!

We ladies, I have a solution! We store our toys in them! The larger bags hold legos, blocks, etc. The smaller snap ones hold cards (flash cards, playing cards - whose boxes seem to break so easily).

Putting them in the bag makes for easy clean up (as most children can zip or snap but have difficulty figuring out how to close the lid on some of those storage bins). And you can SEE what is in the bag, so you don't have to go through all the bins wondering which one has which (or create cute little labels which never last for long).

This way of storing toys proved invaluable when my FIL had a heart attack and we had all the kids plus SIL kids in the hospital day after day. When we had to run to the hospital, SIL just grabbed a zipped bag of legos and a zipped bag of blocks and a smaller zipped bag of crayons and coloring books and went off the the ICU waiting room. Plenty of toys to keep the kids occupied, and it was easy to clean up and take home each evening.

Works For ME Wednesday is a creation of Rocks In My Dryer.

Show The Love

All of us blog writers take time out of our busy days to share our hearts in hopes that we will help someone else along in their walk. And it can be discouraging when you don't get comments for days on end. You begin to wonder if anyone is reading. Is it worth sharing your heart day after day if no one is being edified by what you are sharing.

Comments on a person's blog let them know that it IS worth their time! I know that our reading time is precious too. And that means we don't always have time to comment on the blogs that we read. I know I am just as guilty of that. But let's try to take some time this month to comment on those blogs that we really do read everyday and appreciate and let them know how much we appreciate them sharing.

For every blog you comment on, come back here and share the blog address of the article you commented on. Every time you comment on a blog and let me know about it by posting here, you will be entered into a drawing for the book SPEED CLEANING by Jeff Campbell. This book is WONDERFUL for those of us moms who just don't have enough time in the day to clean!

I will be keeping this post at the top of my blog so you can find it easily to leave your comments for entries into the contest. AND for every person you tell about this contest who come here and post an entry, if they mention YOUR name, you BOTH are entered into the contest! So you get an entry just for letting people know about the contest! If you advertise on your blog and thirty people come here and post an entry, you have 30 entries!!! The last comment for entry will be Feb 28 at midnight EST. The drawing will take place on March 1 and will be announced on this blog.

Have fun and SHOW SOME LOVE!!!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


As I have mentioned in other posts, we have been downsizing, decluttering, whatever-you-want-to-call-it. But it is not happening fast enough. I feel more and more convicted about how much STUFF we have.

In HomeGrown Kids, the Moore's talk about nipping temper tantrums before they start. They said to "maintain a quiet, simple environment" [emphasis mine].

The other day my daughter was wearing a fancy dress. It was a flower girls dress gotten a GoodWill for two bucks. My daughter needed to change out of it for a doctor appointment. When I gave her a dress she could wear, she said that it was not as pretty and that she wanted a fancy dress (reminded me of Anne of Green Gables who wanted puffed sleeves). I had read a long time ago about having all the dresses basically the same - a very simple attire. I can now see the value in that, and plan on sewing all my girls dresses and making them all similar in nature. T-shirt dresses at first (as those are the easiest, and I am not the best sewer) and then in time I will start working on patterns that I have collected in the hopes of someday sewing them.

My husband commented that I would not have the time to sew. I think the reason I don't have the time right now to sew is because not only is the house so disorganized with so much STUFF, but WE are so disorganized.

Some things I want to do:
  • Dresser, children's - They already each have their individual drawers. I need to organize the girl's dresser drawers with slots or something. A place for socks, a place for panties, a place for bloomers, a place for nightgowns, and a place for shirts.
  • Closet, children's - a limit of ten dresses per child (gives enough for one a day till laundry day, plus an extra two just in case)
  • Books and games - really need to figure a way to organize these!
  • Fabric/sewing room - need to find a way to organize this too. I have a feeling if this was organized I would not be buying as much fabric AND I would be getting more sewing done. AND I would be able to teach my oldest to sew.
  • Pantry - we have way too much food in the house that is unhealthy (canned, with gluten that we don't eat anymore, etc.). I need to just gather everything up and give it to a local food bank.
  • Determine what to REALLY keep. We have so much stuff. We got rid of half of everything we owned and we still have enough we could do it again. I have a dear friend who packed, moved and unpacked all within three days! I really REALLY want to have less stuff. It will not only make it easier to keep the house clean and organized, but will also help all of us not to be so materialistic or overwhelmed.
  • Find my schedule, re-tune it and FOLLOW IT!
PS (dogwife - I got your tag and will try to work on a response. :) )

Monday, February 26, 2007

Are You Done Yet?

Yesterday in the ladies room at church, I met a mom who was pregnant with her third child. She had a boy and a girl and noticed I had a handful (well almost, we had four instead of five). :) She asked if I ever get the comment that I have enough. I said yes. She said she especially heard it since she already had the "perfect combo" (a boy and a girl), why have more?

An older lady heard our conversation and came over and asked me how many children I planned to have. I told her I wasn't sure. She asked "As many as the Lord gives?" And I said yes.

She then went on to tell me a most sad tale of how she was one of seven children, and none of them got along. In fact one of her brothers had died a few weeks ago and they just found out when another brother was reading the obituary on an airplane newspaper. How her mother and father didn't really like children, so she was left to be cared for by her 14 year old brother, who resented taking care of a baby, so he abused her.

My mom is one of nine children. Her mom too didn't really like having so many children (I know she liked children because she did like us). So my mom ended up caring for her younger brother (who is only 3 years older than I am). My mom did not like seeing her mom "miss out" on so much. Her mom really wanted to travel and never got the chance to. I hear from my mom all the time how I should be done having children (especially now that we have our boy - as if the only reason we had children was to get a boy). The the more I have the less I am able to do fun things (obviously she has not spent a lot of time with us because we have a LOT of fun - maybe I should invite her over for a tickle wrestling match or a pillow fight).

My husband is one of three, and they all fought and really hated each other growing up. Still fight to this day, even though both are Christian!!!

Then I hear other stories of families with 5, 6, 8, 10 children who all get along and love each other and are happy and look forward to having large families of their own. So it is not the number of children that makes a difference in how the children get along. So what is the difference? I really think it is in the mother's attitude.

I know from my mom and from the lady in the bathroom that their mom's did not like having children. My husband's mother had the attitude of raise them up and get them out - I want to get back to the privacy of loving my husband. She had put her husband so far first that the children felt unloved and unwanted (there does need to be a balance between putting your husband above your children and LOVING YOUR CHILDREN).

Are your children fighting all the time? Might you subconsciously be conveying to them that you would rather be doing something else? Are you unconsciously regretting giving up things? Or maybe, you spend so much time doing other things (like scrapbooking, reading or computer time) that your children think you would rather be doing anything than being their mother?

Remember our children go more by our ACTIONS than our words. You may not MEAN to convey a message of "this is my time leave me alone," but if you are seeing your children withdrawal from you, if you are seeing them fight with one another, stop and think about what actions you are doing throughout the day. Are you doing more actions WITH your children or without them?

Our children want TIME with us. Curled up reading a book on the couch. Tickle fights. Pillow fights. Blowing bubbles. Running in the grass together. These things cost nothing in the way of money, but cost a lot of our time and devotion to our children. It is dying to self. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Yes, I love digital scrapbooking, and I love reading books, and I love antique shopping. But right now, those things are to be done with a minimal amount of time.

And when they are done, they need to be done WITH the children. If I want to read a book, read it aloud to them OR have them read their own book quietly next to me. When I digital scrapbook, I have the child whose page I am doing near me and help me pick colors and papers, and I read what I wrote them. Then I print it out and put it in THEIR book (that is just one more reason I love digital scrapbooking, a page for them AND a page for me). I am just learning about antiquing (thank you Kat for sharing!) and can hardly wait to actually go out on a hunt with one of the girls!

Most of my time right now is spent with them training them. We cook together and clean together (although I will admit I need to do MORE of this). And when I am not training them, we are schooling (which is really just real life together - like reading books, learning what bird is in the backyard, gardening - which we are starting this year, etc.). The rest of the time is spent playing. Bubbles, tickles, giggles, balls, pillows!!! :)

I hope this will encourage you to check your heart and see if there are any areas in need of improvement. I know that after writing it, I see lots of areas I can improve and have felt very convicted! Time for some changes! I hope this has encouraged you.

My Calling Card

I finally did it. I have a homeschool group meeting tonight and MADE myself finish my calling card so I could pass them out. Thank you Rebecca for the inspiration!!! And just for your info, that is NOT my real name, I call my husband BABY but the real card has his real name, and those are NOT the names of our children, but it looked to weird having nothing there or just AA. :) Their real names are on the real card too. :)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Sweethearts: Write A Poem

I think it is a sterotype that only women like romance and flowers and poems. It has been a while since I wrote my beloved a poem. But I came across one that I wrote him for our one year wedding anniversary (first year anniversary is paper). I had gone through the whole book of Song of Solomon and took a few verses/thoughts from here and there and wrote a poem.

He is so handsome – the first
Of a thousand men to be noticed.

He is completely and perfectly beautiful!

His muscular figure envelopes me...
But beyond all this lies his heart ---

He is wonderful in every way!

Oh Love!
I am weak from joy!
Let me rest in your arms for strength ---

Yet such loving comfort make me more

Joyful and weaker still!

These are just a few of the stanzas (some are a bit too personal to share here - if you have read through Song of Solomon, you know how steamy it can get!!). =^)

I hope that this will encourage you to write your beloved a poem! My husband loved this poem. Maybe I will print it out for him to read again and let him know that ten years later, I still feel this way about him!! I am my beloved and my beloved is mine!

(Picture is a layout I made for my in-laws. This is them at their 35th wedding anniversary. When I met them, they acted like newlyweds, and years later, they still do - their love and devotion to one another is an inspiration.)

Remember, THESE ARE IDEAS FOR YOU (not your husband). YOU are to romance your husband! I was inspired to do these Saturday Sweethearts based on a book called Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith. PLEASE get a hold of this book and read it. It is a really good book and will really change your life. :)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday's Fun: Vintage Games - Earth! Water! Air! Fire!

OK, I did not hear any response to my question from last week on whether or not you want me to continue sharing these family games or not. If not, please do let me know. And if you like them SHOW SOME LOVE (ie. comment) and let me know! :)

Todays game is Earth! Water! Air! Fire!

If your group is small, have everyone sit in a circle. if it is large, divide into two groups (each in a long line facing each other). Take a handkerchief and knot one end so it can easily be thrown (or in today's version you can use something like a nerf ball). Give the handkerchief to one person and have them throw it in the lap of someone in the circle (or across the line). As he throws it he calls out either "Earth!" "Water!" or "Air!" and then begins to count to ten.

The one whose lap it falls into must name some bird or animal which lives or moves about in that environment. For example, if he shouts "Earth!" the one whose lap the handkerchief falls in might answer "worms!" If he is unable to answer before the thrower counts to ten, then he is out.

However if the handkercheif is thrown and the one who throws it calls out "Fire!" then the one into whose lap it falls must remain perfectly silent. If he does not, he is out of the game and must pay a forfeit.

Play continues until all the members of one side are out.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New Blogs

I just came across a great site! Katherine has a blog and we honestly could be sisters because our interests are so similar!!! They way we both think about things. Don't agree with everything on her blog, but then again, who agrees with everything on mine? :)

I went searching on her blog for her answer to flylady. She posted this idea on the Making It Home Magazine yahoo group and it is something we can ALL do). She has these magnets with the things to do (hotspot, zone, etc.) and has them horizontal on her fridge. Whenever she completes the task, she flips it vertical! HOW COOL IS THAT???

She also has green ones for her son with all his school work. Done with math? Flip it vertical! Done with science? Flip it vertical! This is such a great idea!

Visit her blog, I know you will not be disappointed! :)

I have also added a few more blogs to my Sites/Blogs with Heart. Check them out when you get a chance. They are all good reads. :)

Just A Bunch Of Links - Homeschooling and Fun

So Devilogwife shared a link on her blog for homeschooling mp3's called Living Books For Ears. It reminded me of a link I have for Kiddie Weekly Records. After visiting Living Books For ears, I found a BUNCH of links from their blog that I just HAD to share! They are SO COOL!!! So this is just a list of them with a short description.

Kiddie Records Weekly
- remember those records you listened to as a child? They are now back in mp3 format for you to enjoy with your children. These are so fun! My daughter especially liked the one where you learn about the orchestra and all the instruments. And best of all, it is totally FREE!!! :)

HomeSchool Radio Shows
- "These fully dramatized half hour audio programs are a terrific way to introduce your kids to classic "living books" and make history "come to life" in a whole new way." Be SURE to sign up for their FREE newsletter so you don't miss a show!!!

Living Books For The Ears - This is the blog (with RSS feed, link is at the bottom of the page) for the HomeSchool Radio Shows. This is AWESOME as it has lots of links and activities to go with the audio file for the week. Since I have not gotten a newsletter, I am not sure if this is different than the newsletter or now. However, they do have an archive of shows missed. It is EXPENSIVE to keep a huge archive, so they only archive the past few shows instead of all of them. BUT you can always buy the CD which helps support them! :)

Shakespeare for the Ears - This site is basically just an advertisement, but if you love Shakespeare plays like me, or if you are teaching it to your children, this looks REALLY REALLY good.

Hands-On-Teaching-Tips - this site is FREE and has a FREE newsletter that I just signed up for. This site has printables that will really encourage a love of learning in your child. Cindy Rushton favors her writings, if that gives you any idea about what gold lies here. :)

George Washington Carver Activity and Coloring Book - Feb is Black History Month (or is that African-American History, I have given up on being politically correct). I was so excited to see this book (and if you goto the Living Books For The Ears link you can get an audio file to go along with the book). I am curious if this link will change once Feb is over.

You Need A Story - Endorsed by HomeSchool Radio Shows, this is another FREE resource for good old mp3 stories. Sign up for their newsletter to get a free download of a classic tale and to be sure to continue receiving great stories.

Wholesome Childhood Shows - This will prolly change frequently as it is partnered with HomeSchool Radio Shows. This is a list of mp3s, some of which are available right now from their blog and some which are not (not sure if they are past shows or not). If you have Download Them All (you need to have Firefox to be able to run this application), you can grab all the mp3s with just one click. :)

School 4 Jesus - FREE resources (ebooks, articles, etc.) to help you. This looks really good. It looks like it has more than just homeschooling stuff, but homemaking stuff as well. Be sure to sign up for their free newsletter!

George Washington's Rules of Civility - free list of his 110 rules!! Great to use with President's day!! And great just as a resource. I know most people know about Poor Richard's almanac (early to bed, early to rise ...) written by Ben Franklin, but he was not a Christian. These rules were written by a Christian and are a great resource. Plus this site is just plain COOL!! Oh, I would LOVE to go to Williamsburg ... someday! :)

I love to collect links! :) I hope that some of these will seem as exciting to you as they are to me! :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cute Purses!!!

Ok, so I have been eyeing these purses for quite a while under a different name, and they were a bit out of my price range. Leave it to DSP to come up with something I can afford!!! :)

Aren't these purses ADORABLE?!?!? And you don't have to do digital scrapping to use them, you can do paper scrapping, or just print a photo.

And what is great is that you can change out the photos/layout to match your outfit (or the season). I have never really liked the nine picture purse (you know the ones I am talking about). These are something I can do!! :)

With digital photography overtaking regular photography, digital scrapbooking has really taken off! There are several programs out there (some are free, some are pretty inexpensive, and some are big bucks) but I encourage you to head over to DSP (Digital Scrapbooking Place) and check it out. There are several tutorials (one even telling you where to get free or trial software to get your hands in digital scrapbooking).

And if you STILL want to be a paper scrapper, you can still join DSP and get tons of FREE KITS!!! The great thing about digital kits is they are less expensive than paper AND you can use them again and again and again!!! So just print out what you want to use, then crop it just like you bought it from the store! :)

I do hope to see you there. If you join, let them know lvg4him sent you.

And for those of you who are really into digital scrapbooking, there is an up and coming site by a dear friend of mine. It is for those digital scrappers who really want to advance in their skills. It is called Digital Scrapbooking Artisan Guild (DSAGuild). I highly encourage you to check them out! And if you do, let them know lvg4him sent you!!! :)

Define Sin

How would you define sin? How we define sin will affect how our children react to sin. If it is not given the serious weight that it rightly deserves, we are doing a children a serious injustice which can affect not just their lives here on earth, but their eternity.

Webster's Dictionary (2001):



1. Estrangement from god.

2. An act that is regarded by theologians as a transgression of God's will.

3. Ratio of the opposite side to the hypotenuse.

4. (Akkadian) god of the moon; counterpart of Sumerian Nanna.

5. The 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

6. (colloquial) violent and excited activity; "they began to fight like sin".


1. Commit a sin; violate a law of God.

2. Commit a faux pas or fault.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary (date unknown):
Main Entry: 1sin Listen to the pronunciation of 1sin
Pronunciation: \ˈsin\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sinne, from Old English synn; akin to Old High German sunta sin and probably to Latin sont-, sons guilty, est is — more at is
Date: before 12th century
1 a: an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible it's sin to waste food c: an often serious shortcoming : fault 2 a: transgression of the law of God b: a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
synonyms see offense
The Pearl's define sin according to 1 John 5:17 - All unrighteousness is sin.

If you are anything like me, you have heard about the Webster's Dictionary of 1828. I had never really thought anything about it. But today, for some reason, I decided to look into it.

It is reported that Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary contains the greatest number of Biblical definitions given in any reference volume. Webster considered "education useless without the Bible".

Websters Dictionary of 1828:

SIN, n.

1. The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God's commands or law. 1 John 3. Matt. 15. James 4. Sinner neither enjoy the pleasures of nor the peace of piety. Among divines, sin is original or actual. Actual sin, above defined, is the act of a moral agent in violating a known rule of duty. Original sin, as generally understood, is native depravity of heart to the divine will, that corruption of nature of deterioration of the moral character of man, which is supposed to be the effect of Adam's apostasy; and which manifests itself in moral agents by positive act of disobedience to the divine will, or by the voluntary neglect to comply with the express commands of God, which require that we should love God with all the heart and soul and strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This native depravity or alienation of affections from God and his law, is supposed to be what the apostle calls the carnal mind or mindedness, which is enmity against God, and is therefore denominated sin or sinfulness. Unpardonable sin, or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is supposed to be a malicious and obstinate rejection of Christ and the gospel plan of salvation, or a contemptuous resistance made to the influences and convictions of the Holy Spirit. Matt.12.
2. A sin-offering; an offering made to atone for sin. He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Cor 5.
3. A man enormously wicked. [Not in use.]
4. Sin differs from crime, not in nature, but in application. That which is a crime against society, is sin against God.
It really made me wonder how far away from God's word we have come, not just in our words, but in our definitions of those words as well.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Paper Back Book Swap

I admit it. I am a book junkie. I LOVE books! Whenever I go into Goodwill or to a garage sale, the first place I gravitate towards is the book section.

I took the plunge and put the icon on my web page for Paper Back Swap. If you join (please click the icon on the left hand side to join), it should have my email as the referring email. Yes, I do get credit for every person who signs up and posts nine books to the swap.

It is FREE to join and FREE to get books! The only thing you have to pay is shipping on the books you send out (shipping media mail costs you $1-$4 on average). Every time you send a book out, you get a point. Every point gets you another book for free.

I have done the thing and ebay thing in order to get rid of books. And I must admit that the money I get goes mostly towards buying other books! LOL!! Not to mention that fee you have to pay to sell your book through them.

Paper Back Swap has no fees. No ratings and no reviews of buyers/sellers. It DOES have reviews of books (which I totally like), and you would be surprised at the CHRISTIAN titles there!! Even some books that are ultra conservative have been "bought" through Paper Back Swap.

I hope to see you there! You prolly have a book that I want!! :) After posting up my nine books, I found out that I already had someone waiting for one of my books! And one of the books I wanted, while not listed at the moment (an ULTRA conservative Christian book), HAS been listed previously (which means someone beat me to getting that book!). :)

What We Are Learning

Today we finished a book about Louis Braille. I must admit that I am amazed at the interest my oldest (AA 7yog) has taken in this. After I finished reading the book (which has the Braille alphabet on the back), she spent time making a time line! We have never made a time line before! She looked up the dates in the book about when he was born, when he died, and when the statue was raised in his hometown in his honor. I encouraged her by including other dates, like when the first Braille printing press was used and when he got sick. It is so neat to see her take such an interest in something and take the initiative to write down something that was important to her!!! SO EXCITING!!! I know those of you who have been homeschooling for years, this may be no big deal. But it is exciting to see her excited about learning!!!

I know that she has always been learning, but it is still exciting to see book learning! We also defined the word coffin. SO WILD!!!

Who Am I

One of the things I love most about digital scrapping are the challenges. I am not the most artistic person and love using digital scrapbooking as an art. The challenges help me get better in my art. I can't paint worth a darn, but give me a few hours in front of the computer with Photoshop and I can produce something I like! :)

I am not quite sure I like this layout though. I am thankful for the challenge. I put two together. One was an art journal challenge in which we were to create a page about who we are. The second challenge was to do something with posterizing. Lucky for me, I had practice with posterizing when I did my second layout for the Trend Setter contest.

One side of the layout conveys who I am. The good, the bad and the ugly. The other side conveys who I want to be. They are all godly character traits that I know I should already have developed by now, but am still struggling to be. So I share it here with you.

Monday, February 19, 2007

FREE Audio File

I LOVE this store!!! REALLY good prices and if you sign up for their newsletter you get a FREE SOMETHING (EBOOK, AUDIO FILE, LAPBOOK, ETC.) EVERY WEEK!!!

This week, with it being Presidnet's Day, they have a free audio file of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Go an get it!! Links are only good for one week!

Daily Acting Out Scripture

There is a GREAT post by my friend Brenda about instilling scriptural character into our children through our actions towards them and their actions towards one another. I plan on printing it out and putting it up and adding to it with my own ideas. This is also a GREAT way to daily show love to our husbands!!! I am hoping to get time to make it into a document that you can print out on your computer (and add your own ideas to). If I do, I will post up a link to where it is located for you to download.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

How Did They Do It?

We are microwaveless. Not by choice, although we have been wanting to get rid of the microwave for sometime (health reasons). But this new house does not have a microwave and they one were were borrowing was taken back last week.

So here I stand, stirring a pot of leftovers instead of quickly reheating it in the microwave. And I begin to wonder if they had left overs back in pioneer days? Did they ever make an abundance of anything or did they have a better concept of just how much to make to feed their family? And there was certainly no once a month cooking! :)

Things have supposedly gotten easier for us. Electric/Gas stoves for cooking and baking instead of wood stoves. Dryers instead of hanging clothes out to dry. We even have electric brooms!

Yet with all this "simplicity" that saves us time comes an overabundance of most everything BUT time!

Take clothes for an example. We have a washer and dryer for our clothes, so we buy more clothes because we don't have to spend the time to wash and dry them by hand. And because we do not have to take the time to MAKE our own clothes, we don't care for them the way we should because they are so cheap and easy to replace. AND because we have so many clothes, we don't take the time to see if they really and truly need to be washed (many items really can be worn more than once). They just get thrown into the laundry pile which then becomes and overwhelming monster for the homemaker to tackle.

And food! We have grocery stores now which have a plethora of choices for us. So instead of working hard in the garden to produce your own food, you just run to the grocery store. You don't have to think of how to use up every bit of food because you put little effort into getting it. And if something is not used and goes bad, it is easily replaceable and nothing but a few cents is lost. Prepackaged and over processed foods line the shelves of the stores and our pantries. With a pantry and fridge full of foods, there still never seems to be "anything to eat."

Yet time, a most precious commodity, is no more in abundance today than it was back then. And yet, it seems that we have less of it. With bigger houses, we spend more time cleaning inside it than enjoying it. We spend more time doing laundry (or complaining about it) than enjoying the clothes we have. Most women like me want the time to bake their own bread and make their own clothes. To cook all their meals from scratch. If the homemakers of the past could do it, and do it without the overabundance and electronic "helpers" we have today, I know that there has to be a way that I can too.

Maybe it starts with simplifying. Do I really need all the clothes I have? Do my children really need all the clothes THEY have? Do my children really need all the toys they have? Do I really need any of what I have? Maybe if I go through and begin evaluating what I have and whether or not it is truly a need or a want. And if it is a want, is it something I want to spend time cleaning?

I read somewhere that the more THINGS we HAVE, the more things we have to CLEAN. And maybe instead of buying everything, look for ways to follow the old adage of "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." I think if we spend more time investing in what we need (like growing our own food or making our own clothes) we might learn to better appreciate and care for it. We would learn exactly what is needed, and wouldn't have an abundance. We would know just how much is enough, and make only that.

Our time would be wisely spent working with our hands rather than sluggishly wasting away while we complain about our lack of time. Is it really a lack of time, or that the time we have is spent so frivolously? Maybe if it was spent working with our hands to provide for our family and keep the home, maybe at the end of the day, though we might not have the time to do all the things we THINK we want to do (you know the world can convince us of needs we don't really have), maybe we would not feel any lack of time at all. We would feel good about how we spent the day instead of wishing we had more time, or wondering where all the time went. We could see the fruits of how our time was spent in the food on the table (from the garden you grew) and the modest dress you daughter wears as she sets the table.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Sweethearts: 101+ Romantic Things

First, I have to apologize for not getting up Friday's Fun yesterday. Big things happening here and I forgot. Did you miss it? Do you want me to keep it up??

Onto the ROMANCE!!!

Here are just a few of the WONDERFUL ideas you will find on Cindy Rushton's site for making your marriage sizzle! 101+ Romantic Ideas

Plan a daily Pow-wow time! Whether it is coffee in the morning…coke over a mid-morning break…afternoon tea (coffee!)…or bedtime cuddles, set aside a time for the two of you to keep up with one another! Share your plans, dreams, vision, struggles, concerns, ideas. Get to REALLY know one another! Be sure that your children learn to respect this time. They will LOVE to watch their Mommy and Daddy as they deepen the romantic love for one another!

Make him a "CD" of "your" love songs from your dating years! Download songs from the Internet. Compile and burn onto a CD. You will BOTH love this!

Pull out your Wedding Album! Snuggle up! Listen to the audio of your wedding (or your CD of love songs!) or watch your wedding video. Celebrate!

Make homemade candies for him! Try your hand at making Millionaires, Peanut Butter Cups, Peppermint Patties!

Plan a Midnight Picnic In Bed (or outside under the stars)! Pack up your favorite foods, your "love song" CD, Sparkling Cider or Hot Chocolate with Mugs, flowers, candles (Vanilla!!), games, dessert, and a sexy gift! Light candles around your room and turn down the lights. Sprinkle rose petals around the room or in a trail to your bedroom for them to follow. Float helium balloons around the bedroom. Greet him in your robe! Share a sweet picnic, play games, watch a movie, or.....

Read the SONG OF SOLOMON together! Privately!

Turn OFF the phone! Have a quiet day together!

Go for a walk in a stream! Play in a waterfall…mud puddle…so on!

Remember, THESE ARE IDEAS FOR YOU (not your husband). YOU are to romance your husband! I was inspired to do these Saturday Sweethearts based on a book called Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith. PLEASE get a hold of this book and read it. It is a really good book and will really change your life. :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

I Still Do!

Well, I finally finished. A few days late from Valentine's Day, but it is done. This is my rendition of the Currier & Ives Marriage Certificate (1848). ( I used Rebecca's picture, but our copy has our picture in it, but her picture is SO BEAUTIFUL!!! Plus, I plan to give her a copy since she inspired it. :)) I made this in 11X14 to be printed and hung on our wall after we sign it. It is kind of like a renewing of our vows, but not. More like I STILL DO!!!

Requirements of the Husband
  • A man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife (Matt. 28)
  • Let every man have his own wife. (1 Cor.)
  • Husbands shall dwell with their wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto them, as unto the weaker vessel.
  • Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it (Eph 5)
  • So ought man to love their wives as their own bodies, he that loveth his wife, loveth himself (Eph 5)
  • Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence (1 Cor.)
  • If a husband provide not for his own wife and children, he is worse than an infidel (1 Tim)
  • A man shall cheer up his wife (Deut 24:5)
  • Husbands love your wives, and be not bitter against them (Cor 3:12)
  • Art thou bound to a wife, seek not to be loosed (Cor 1:27)
  • Marriage is honorable in all (Heb 13)
  • Let not the husband put away his wife (1 Cor)
  • Let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. God hateth putting away (Matt. 2)
  • It is a wicked act that a man should gain the heart of a woman, and then forsake his wife.
Requirements of the Wife
  • A wifes desire shall be to her husband (Gen 3) (i.e. she shall be subject unto him)
  • Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord (Eph 6)
  • Let not the wife depart from her husband (1 Cor)
  • Marriage is honorable in all (Heb 13)
  • Let the wife tender unto her husband due benevolence (1 Cor)
  • The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband (1 Cor)
  • Let every woman have her own husband (1 Cor)
  • She that is married careth (or should care) how she may please her husband (1 Cor)
  • I will that women marry, bear children guide the house (1 Tim)
  • A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband (Prov 31)
  • The woman which hath an husband, is bound by the law to her husband, so long as he liveth (Rom 7)
  • Aged women should behave as becometh holiness & that they may teach the young women, to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands (Titus 2)
"Whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder"

This certifies that ______________ and ________ this day of __________ do promise to do their best to uphold these truths in their lives joined as one.

I hope she likes it! When I presented this to my husband, he really liked it. I was a littler nervous as it is kinda girly. But he really REALLY liked it.

(if you read my blog and would like a printable copy - no picture would be in the center, you would have to print out a picture and put it there - email me with your email address and I will get you a copy! :) Your size will be 8x10 instead of 11x14.)

Dying to Self as Mother

Noble Womanhood has a WONDERFUL article that everyone simply MUST read. It is really short, but VERY powerful!!!!
Dying to Self as Mother

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cheap Pick Me Up

If you are anything like me, you have days where you just feel really depressed. You can't explain it. There really is no reason for it. You know it is not something God wants for you, and yet you can't pull yourself out of it.

I had one of those days last week. And in the midst of that day I discovered a wonderful little pick me up.

It happened quite unexpectedly. We had company over and I felt like the worst hostess. So I thought, hey, let me get out some glittery nail polish and paint all the girls' nails (she had her two daughters with her).

So I began to paint their nails. And as I did, I began to see their eyes sparkle and their faces glow with smiles from ear to ear and I began to feel better! A $2 bottle of glitter nail polish. Who knew?!?!

Ok, OK, so we both know it was not the nail polish that made me feel better. It was doing something for someone else, getting my mind off MYSELF, and bringing joy to someone else that brought some joy to everyone, myself included.

But man, I tell you, I don't know WHAT to do with this little man of mine! :) Thankfully I have some time to figure it out. What is equivalent to a $2 bottle of glitter nail polish for boys??

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Growing Love

How cool is this? Love Grows On - Plantable Magic Bean in Handpainted Mini-Pot or Wedding Favors. Wouldn't this make the coolest gift for Valentine's Day? Or any other occasion really. And the price is not too shabby either! Less than $5 for a most unique way to say I love you!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It's A 'Mergency

MM (3yogirl): Momma! Come quick! in all seriousness It's an 'mergency!!!

She huffs and puffs and runs up the stairs. I follow. She stands in a certain spot VERY close to the wall.

MM: There's an mmmmmmm she hums in a very low tone sound.

Mommy: I hear it.

MM: No Momma. Stand right here.

She makes me stand in the exact spot she was just standing, very close to the wall.

Mommy: That is the sound of the bath water running through the pipes.

MM: with a very serious and sad face I don't like it. She jumps herself up into my arms into a tight embrace.

-=-=- Ok, so this might have been one of those YOU HAD TO BE THERE to appreciate it moments, but oh this was too terribly CUTE!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Besides taking some of the most BEAUTIFUL pictures (you have gotten REALLY good Rebecca!), Rebecca has one of the best blogging sites around. She is a gem just waiting to be discovered by the rest of you! :) She has the best ideas and really encourages and inspires you to do things! I made my paper dolls after seeing hers, am currently working on my own set of Victorian Calling Cards as well as a special secret I am HOPING to have done by Valentine's (keep checking back here for it).

She has done it again with three inspiring posts. These beautiful pictures really are inspiring in and of themselves, but I encourage you to read the posts that go along with each picture! :D

Click on each picture to goto her amazing post! THANK YOU REBECCA!!!

The 5-Second Rule

Food falls to the floor. It's chocolate and you just can't waste CHOCOLATE! You yell "Five second rule!" quickly grabbing it up off the floor within the allowed time span of five seconds and shove it in your mouth. Are you just deluding yourself OR is it really "safe" to eat?

I remember doing this as a child. For some reason, I honestly thought that the less contact the food had with the dirt or floor, the safer it was to eat.

Last night, my husband and I watched an episode of Mythbusters. Any type of Mythbuster would make a GREAT science project, but the TV show is just plain AWESOME to watch!

Last night they tested the 5 second rule. They took contact dishes (a small circular object which encourages the growth of bacteria) and placed them on different spots on the floor for exactly five seconds. Then they sealed up all the separate containers (labeled with the location they had taken the sample from) and placed it in an incubator at 98.6F (human body temperature) for 24 hours.

They also tested for 2 seconds and 6 seconds, as well as testing actual food touching the ground.

What they found was that the same amount of bacteria grew whether touched for 2, 5 or 6 seconds. They also found an enormous amount of bacteria on each surface tested. However, the top of the toilet seat (the one you actually sit bare bottom on), which had NOT been cleaned before the experiment, had the LEAST amount of bacteria of all the test surfaces.

Lesson learned: the five second rule is busted and not true. And if you have to eat off any surface in your house other than a table, you should eat off your toilet seat. :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday Sweethearts: Loving My Husband

If I'm going to love my husband, I need to know how God defines love. - Tammy

Oh I love this!!! I will post a bit of the article here on my blog, but I HIGHLY suggest you head over to her blog to read the entire post. And leave her a little love while there (ie. a comment).

Love suffers long and is kind...
Patience. Kindness. So many times I don't feel like having patience, yet this passage attacks that problem right away. does not envy... Jealousy. A woman can think of a hundred things to be envious of, but envy will breed bitterness. My best solution? Get busy and keep loving!

Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up... Oh, how many times I want to say, "See?! I was right." Love doesn't care about "right", it cares about kindness and patience and selflessness. Pride is self-love, and it will battle truly loving your spouse.

...does not behave rudely, does not seek its own... Gentleness rather than jesting, something I had to practice remembering. When I jokingly laugh at or belittle someone else, especially my husband, it forms a "rough" demeanor rather than conveying gentleness. not provoked, thinks no evil... Ah, yes. The ever-tempting "I'm sure he meant..." or "How could he NOT notice?!" Think good thoughts. Think the best of your husband. You'll surprise him, and you'll probably surprise yourself, too.

...does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth... Do not be glad when your husband fails, even when you're tempted to start getting "puffed up" because of it. Rejoice in the truth in all situations and DON'T gossip, even to your husband.

...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Hopes all things? Bears all things? Endures all things? Believes all things? "My husband surely isn't worthy of perfect love like that," you say. Why should we?? Because God first loved us.

Remember, THESE ARE IDEAS FOR YOU (not your husband). YOU are to romance your husband! I was inspired to do these Saturday Sweethearts based on a book called Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith. PLEASE get a hold of this book and read it. It is a really good book and will really change your life. :)

Friday, February 9, 2007

Friday's Fun: Vintage Game - Flying

Last week's Poor Kitty was a DISASTER! The girls started acting VERY goofy. I have now learned not to give them opportunities to be goofy. I want them to be ladies, not goofs.

So this week's game is not only something that can be used for homeschooling, but looks really fun too!

Everyone but the leader sits with their right hand on their left arm. You can change this for younger ones by having them put their hands in their lap. Then the leader tells a story with as many animals as possible. Every time a flying creature is mentioned, the right hand should be raised in the air and waved in a flying like motion. For younger ones, it might be fun to let them put both hands in the air like they are flying(since they have a difficult time knowing left from right and might get frustrated at not raising the correct hand).

Not as easy as it sounds, especially the faster the story goes. And not all birds fly (penguins, ostriches for example) whereas some things that are not birds DO fly (bees, bats for example).

You can either have the person who forgets to raise their hand (or raises it when not appropriate) pay a forfeit, OR you can have them be "out." Last one remaining becomes the leader and tells the next story.

Another variation is that every time an animal is named, the children have to make the sound of that animal. This of course is most fun for younger children, but can be a way to play the game in the car when Momma is driving and needs to entertain the children on long car trips or after a long day of errand running. Have fun by naming animals that are fairly quiet (mouse, bunny, giraffe). LOL!!!

We Live Layout

This layout was inspired by the song and video for We Live by Supercick.

That song has really touched me and as if the song wasn't powerful enough, the video really hits home and strong.

And yes, that is baby JJ screaming and crying in the bottom photo. Those moments, while not joyful at the time, are still an important part of motherhood and life.

TO be honest, I am thankful I have a screaming baby boy rather than no baby at all. A screaming baby means life. And through it all, I still love my baby! :)

(Click on the layout to see credits.)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I Just Can't Do It

I know I have shared the web site The Rebelution with you before. It is written by two teenage boys. Boys??? YOUNG MEN really. I gain so much insight and wisdom not only in the raising of my children, but about MYSELF too! Is it at all odd that I am learning from men younger than me? Not old enough to be their mother (although I PRAY my children come out as well as these two young men did), but old enough to be a big (ok, ok REALLY big) sister. :)

We have all heard the "I just can't do it." And I am sure that we have heard the Bible verse quoted in response "I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me." I know that when it comes to learning difficult things (like Spanish), I simply say that I don't have the brain for it. Or when it comes to decorating, I simply am too left-brained to. But after reading an article on their site (My First Shower Nearly Killed Me), I must say that I have to really examine myself.

I am WAY too lazy when it comes to doing hard things. And what kind of example is that setting for my children? Why do I expect them to do things they consider hard or difficult, but make excuses for myself when it comes to doing something difficult?

Ok, guys, I WILL learn to decorate my house!! Anyone know any good books to start with? :)

I put this under the category Training Children, but there should be a category Training Myself! LOL!!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday: Love Sweet Love

Who said that men don't need to be romanced? I know that my husband gets more lovey dovey towards me after I do some romancing of him. If you have been reading my blog, you know that every Saturday I post a Saturday Sweetheart post - some way to improve your marriage (right now through romancing your husband).

Men need to know that they are loved and wanted just as much as us women need to know we are loved and wanted. Of course what is romantic for me and what is romantic for hubby are usually two different things. But the effort shows that I was thinking about him. It shows that I want to be with him.

And instead of waiting to do all the romantic things I want to do, I simply make plans to do them and surprise HIM with them. I get just as much joy out of doing that for him as if he had been the one who did it for me. And instead of getting older and older while I wait for him to develop the power to read my mind and plan the event, I plan the event and get to enjoy it while I am still young and have the energy to!! :)

While yes, it would have been nice for him to just know what I want to do, the main thing is that I want to do it and I want to do it with no one else but him. I don't have the bitterness of never having gotten to do what I thought was a romantic thing to do! :)

So I encourage you to make plans (this doesn't have to happen Valentine's Day) to do something romantic you have always wanted to do. Maybe it is a sleigh ride in the snow or a candlelit dinner in a hotel room - ROOM SERVICE. Whatever it is, I guarantee if you take the time to romance your husband instead of allowing bitterness and disappointment to foster, you will get to enjoy all those romantic things YOU want to do and improve your marriage AND show your man some lovin' too. You won't regret it!

(WFMW is the idea of Rocks In My Dryer)

Monday, February 5, 2007

Happy 5th EE!!!

Click on images to see larger and to see credits. These were both made with the wonderfully talented Stacey Stahl's kits! Be sure to check her out!!! For other credits, click.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

We Live

If you are like me, the first time you heard this song, you thought it was so depressing that you changed the station before you were able to hear the whole song. My husband felt convicted the last time he did, and went back to listen to it all. Then he made me listen to the whole song. I encourage you now to listen and watch this video. The song is We Live by Superchick.

And while you may be filled with grief for the moments you wasted (yelling at the children, not appreciating your spouse, etc.) move pass the grief and learn to live and ENJOY the moment!

There are so many regrets I have because I have not lived like I should.

Sometimes I miss out because I lived in fear. I was scared to goto New York (when we were vacationing only an hour away). So we did not go. The next year the World Trade Center was gone forever.

Sometimes I miss out because I am selfish. I want to do my thing so I yell at my children when they interfere with my selfish wants.

Other times I do it right. My kids spill something and instead of yelling at yet another mess Momma has to clean up, we laugh and clean up together. We got to goto New Orleans before it was destroyed by Katrina and all the mom and pop shops disappeared. We got to goto Disneyland during their 50th anniversary (my husband's grandfather and great-grandfather both helped to build the castle and some of the rides that are still there to this day).

If you still haven't watched the video or heard the song, I encourage you to know. And resist the urge to "change the station." Allow God to convict you and prayerfully we will all change for His glory.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Saturday Sweethearts: SHMILY Time

"Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul". Then, read on for the first "mission" of SHMILY Time...

A Lovestory You Will Never Forget

by Laura Jeanne Allen

My grandparents were married for over half a century and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word "shmily" in a surprise place for the other to find.

They took turns leaving "shmily" around the house and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more. They dragged "shmily" with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers, to await whoever was preparing the next meal.

They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio (where my grandma always fed us warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring).

"Shmily" was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper, to leave "shmily" on the very last sheet.

There was no end to the places "shmily" would pop up. Little notes with "shmily" scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows.

"Shmily" was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents' house as the furniture.

It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents' game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love, one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents' relationship.

They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection, which not everyone is lucky to experience.

Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses, as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other's sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble.

My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew "how to pick 'em."

Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune and each other.

But, there was a dark cloud in my grandparents' lives: my grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier.

As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside.

Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my grandfather's steady hand, they went to church every Sunday morning. But, my grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore.

For a while, Grandpa would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over his wife. Then one day, what we all dreaded finally happened. Grandma was gone.

"Shmily." It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my grandmother's funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time.
Grandpa stepped up to my grandmother's casket and (taking a shaky breath) he began to sing to her. Through his tears and grief, the song came (a deep and throaty lullaby).

Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. I knew that, although I couldn't begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.

"S-h-m-i-l-y: See How Much I Love You..."

Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for letting me see.

S.H.M.I.L.Y. Time:

* If you're husband is unfamiliar with this story, copy it and put in in a card or letter that reminds him how much you love him. (If he's already heard this story, then just do the letter or card.) Be sure to write, "Shmily" on the envelope!
* REMEMBER: "SHMILY Time" is supposed to be focusing on our priority after God, which is to bring glory to Him through being a wife. It doesn't matter what stage (or state) your marriage is in right now. Pray to the Lord to give you the strength, forgiveness, and love you need to be the wife He intends for you to be. He WILL bless you and your marriage.
* Don't forget to post the response you get and what you did... (also, remember to only edify your husband... this is not a time to gossip or share anything that would embarrass your husband).

May the Lord be glorified as we seek new ways to spark our marriage and fufill our purpose as wives!

In Him,
Amy ( )

Remember, THESE ARE IDEAS FOR YOU (not your husband). YOU are to romance your husband! I was inspired to do these Saturday Sweethearts based on a book called Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith. PLEASE get a hold of this book and read it. It is a really good book and will really change your life. :)

Note: this is from over a year ago. But I just found out that Amy STILL does this!!!! Go visit her SHMILY blog for GREAT SHMILY ideas!!! Tell her Paula sent you!! :) They are JUST about to start a 30 Week Husband encouragement challenge.

Saturday Sweethearts: The Generous Wife

This is one of my FAVORITE resources for being a loving wife to my husband! It is called The Generous Wife. You can get an email sent to your inbox EVERYDAY with a little something to help you be a better wife!!!

Here is one that I really liked (to give you an idea of what they share):

The Generous Wife site The Generous Wife bulletin boards The Generous Wife book Email Lori

Tuesday is BUILD HIM UP day.

Recently I have heard a couple of ladies mention getting a notebook to use as a way of communicating your love to your husband.
Buy a notebook and place on a nightstand (if you have snoopy kids buy something like a diary that can be locked). Use the notebook to share what you love about your husband, little love poems, put in love stickers, photos, etc. Use it as a way of building up your spouse and communicating your love and appreciation for him (if your husband is up for it, invite him to make it a shared journal where you write to each other.

Life is short, and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh, be swift to love, make haste to be kind. Henri Frederic Amiel

Mia's birthday idea: You asked for some birthday ideas and here is a good one. I came across a website that I thought was really cool. You type in your Earth birthday and it calculates, using that info, when your birthday happens on all the other planets in our solar system. I plan on sending my husband a birthday card on the day that would be his birthday if we were on Mars, Mercury, etc. Check it out!

Think generous! Lori <><

Copyright © 2001-2005 Lori J. Byerly
All Rights Reserved

Tips may be shared or reproduced in their entirety for personal or ministry use as "freeware" (please be responsible, as some of the material is inappropriate for youth to view). When copied for ministry use, please do not edit in any way and include the copyright notice and site URL.

Remember, THESE ARE IDEAS FOR YOU (not your husband). YOU are to romance your husband! I was inspired to do these Saturday Sweethearts based on a book called Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith. PLEASE get a hold of this book and read it. It is a really good book and will really change your life. :)

My Paper Dolls

So Rebecca TOTALLY inspired me! I copied her idea and printed out the same sets as her. I did recolor the ribbon and outfit in the baby brother set from pink to blue since it was for BROTHER! LOL!!! (Those digital scrapbooking lessons have been paying off!)!!

This is the inside. I used a computer box (since my husband is a computer guru we have PLENTY of these kind of boxes lying around). It closes easily, and stays closed by inserting the two tabs - see top corners - into slots in the box.

I used black felt for the top background and the fabric was a GEM I found and had been holding onto for a rainy day. I sewed it into a "bed" for the girls, leaving the top unsewn so the dolls could slide in and out easily. I did sew a line down so each girl has their own individual spot, and it helps keep the fabric sewn to the felt.

Below them is blue felt for the carpet. This has all their clothes on it for now. Since our family is 3 girls and one boy, this set was a PERFECT fit for our family. All three girls are sisters and then of course baby brother.

This is the outside of the box. This is where most of the playing will take place. You can see the middle sister is taking care of her baby brother.

The girls can open the box to take out the clothing (or whatever they wish) and play with it on the front of the box. The background is just blue felt.

The few pieces of furniture included in the kit were a bassinet, a highchair (where baby is sitting), and some sort of bath/wash area (too cute!!!). There was also a basket of toys as well as a ball (my girls already lost that), a sheep and a puppy. Then a faithful dog is standing guard near the bassinet.

My girls are 7yr, 5yr and 3 1/2 yr and ALL were SO EXCITED about their paper dolls!!! I must admit that I feel sorry for children who watch so much TV and commercials and are so wrapped up in materialism that they cannot enjoy a paper doll at ANY age! Hey, I am 30ish and am really enjoying my dolls!!!

This is Momma's set to be played with by Momma and the girls (of course). :) I sewed the bed by hand (which is why you are NOT getting a close up of that!). That way the girls could see how to make it. They each will be sewing on their bedding and making their own doll houses. I will try to show pictures as we get theirs done.

AA's set was the Diane age 7 doll. I recolored her hair to be brown (like my daughter's) and her eyes to be hazel (like hers). So the doll actually looks at lot like her.

EE's set was the Diane age 5 doll. I recolored her hair to be a bit more blondish/brown. Her eyes were already a good color. Her doll looks a lot like her.

MM's doll was a Betsy McCall's doll from the 1950's. It came with a doll with matching outfits. REALLY cute!!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Don't Give Up

Last night after writing my blog entry Life Lessons, I began talking to my husband once again about how much I missed him playing the piano. He said he missed it too, and he would like to get his office clean so he can set up the keyboard in his office so he can play and record his music!!

Oh ladies, I cannot tell you the JOY that overwhelmed (and is STILL overwhelming) me!! I know that this would not have happened had I not been supportive in other areas (shared in my post). I know that because I have changed and become more supportive, my husband has the freedom - HE FEELS FREE - to do what he wants and desires to do!

I feel like the Proverbs 31 woman whose husband safely trusts her. Ladies, it has been over 13 years since I heard him play and over 6 years since he last attempted to play. Do not give up hope that any damage you have done to your husband (or your marriage) cannot be reversed by your submissive, joyful and supportive attitude towards your husband!!!

Friday's Fun: Vintage Games - Poor Kitty

Update of One Syllable:
We never really did play this. It was really fun teaching my oldest what a syllable was and seeing if she knew how many syllables were in certain words. It was a great way to keep her mind off her pain when she came to me saying "My finger is infected" and I replied "How many syllables does infected have?" She laughed and laughed (and what Momma can resist laughing when she hears her own children laughing?). So the game turned more into a how many syllables game. But it was fun and would not have been played had we not picked this game to learn. :)

This weeks game: Poor Kitty

This weeks game is considered a SERIOUS game because you are supposed to stay serious and NOT smile. VERY hard to do in our family. It is hard to imagine adults playing this game, yet it was mostly played by adults during it's time. But this is a GREAT game for children!!

One person is chosen to be the kitty. Everyone else sits in a circle. The kitty walks around on hands and knees and adopts a begging posture at the feet of one in the circle. The kitty looks as pathetic as he possibly can and gives a pitiful "meow." The one appealed to must say "poor kitty" in a consoling way as possible, but without the shadow of a smile. This is repeated three times and if a smile appears on either face, a forfeit is paid, and the kitty and the other player changes places.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Life Lessons

We all make mistakes. Some have bigger consequences than others. And it amazes me that we don't always think about the consequences of our mistakes until LONG after they have already been made.

When my husband and I were dating, I made a huge mistake of getting jealous. Not of girls (although I wasn't the only one who knew what a catch he was). But of the piano. My husband was blessed with a gift of playing and writing the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Rather than support him in this, I became jealous. I wanted him to spend his time with me. So slowly, it didn't happen overnight, my husband began giving up his time on the piano. That was over 13 years ago. And I still miss hearing him play.

I have tried to encourage him since then. While we did not have the funds to buy a piano, we bought an 88 key keyboard. I would encourage him to play, but of course, like any talent, it needs to be practiced or it is lost. And sadly, when he heard how horrible he played (his words not mine), he has not touched the keys since. That was over 6 years ago. I can only hope that when he begins the music instruction of our children that he will once again play.

I am sad to say that I did not learn from that mistake.

For my husband started another hobby. Photography. Before digital cameras (where you can take lots and lots of pictures and not have to pay for each awful print trying to get that one good one). I would nag him about the price. You see, photography is another talent that has to be practiced. And this was a costly one. Not just money wise but TIME wise as well. Again, I felt threatened and jealous of my time with my husband.

Thankfully digital cameras came along and were relatively inexpensive (compared at least to the money we were paying for film and prints and CD's). And I read a book that told me to be more support to the Mr. Visionary part of my Mr. Steady husband. Thankfully not too much damage was done on my part. My husband still has a love of photography. We have set up a home studio for him and I am always on the look out for new backdrops (I need to pray we find a nice black one). In fact he did a photo shoot of me during my last month of pregnancy (see pic on the right - I made a montage of some of my fav shots)! It was WONDERFUL fun!

And while he doesn't go on shoots as often as he did before, he is now at least going again. In fact we will be going on a shoot Valentine's weekend! Old me would have been SO jealous! How dare he think of doing this on a weekend all about love. But then again, if I was focused on my LOVE FOR HIM instead of for myself... well, you know.

Now husband has found yet another hobby (no he hasn't given up photography). Watercolor Painting. I am so thankful that God has shown me how to be a helpmeet to my husband (oh, it is so much MORE than just submission). I went with him and we bought paper and paints and videos and a special case for everything to put it in. When I see him painting, I encourage him. I will even sit and enjoy watching him paint.

My husband is so much more HAPPY when I support him in the talents God has given him. And honestly, even if he weren't talented at it, the fact that my husband WANTS to do it, it means a lot to him to have my support. I pray that this will encourage some wife or soon to be wife out there. Sometimes there are consequences to our actions that we cannot even fathom until it is too late.

How Cute Is This???!!!

OH this is TOO CUTE! How much would you pay for something like this??

Well Rebecca has come up with the CUTEST (and free) gift for her little girl!!! Find out HOW to make this ADORABLE set!!!