Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday Meme from Sew Mama Sew - UPDATED!!!

Want to participate? You can by following the link to the Sew Mama Sew Handcrafter's Holidays Meme


Do you have a favorite gift that you love to give?
I love to find out something about the person and then get them something that they have a hard time giving themselves. My FIL really loved the movie Private Eyes and had looked for several years for a copy and was unable to find one. I looked for seven years before I was able to find him a copy (thank God for the internet). My MIL had a beloved cookbook that was old and well used. She had wanted another copy, but could not find one (at least not at a reasonable price because the book was out of print). I was able to find a copy online for the right price. She also really liked a certain brand of cookbooks that also were no longer in print. I searched several old bookstores until I had found her most every copy in the series.

Are you making gifts this year? If so, post what you are making!
Unforutanely because of baby JJ's hospital stay, I am unable to make gifts this year. But I am making stuff to sell in my Etsy store. Our gifts this year is coming from our stash! We go shopping throughout the year and buy things with people in mind when things are on sale! :) We then put their name of the price tag (which of course is taken off when it is wrapped) and put the gift downstairs on a to give shelf. We also have a to keep shelf which has gifts for the children. We always have our Christmas shopping done before the end of the year. AND we save lots of money doing it too! Sometimes we are able to get some great after Christmas sales on gifts to give the next year. Just be sure it is not food related! (Don't worry family - when we buy food gifts they are always bought in the same month we ship so the food is fresh).

Do you have any good stories about handcrafted gifts you've given or received?
Actually, my beloved made a game for me one year. It is a romantic game with questions to get to know each other better. It had a game board and everything. It was very sweet, and innocent enough that we could give copies to our parents if we wanted to and not have to blush. :)

Do you have any great gift compliation ideas?
Well, while not handmade, the items COULD be handmade if you knew how to. THIS is my most favorite gift received.

Name one thing on your personal wish list.
Only ONE?? Hmmmmm.... I would have to say a gift card (then I can buy all the fabric and books I want!). :) But if it has to be a specific item, I would have to say a box full of cute fabric already cut up in circles for yo-yo's. I am on a yo-yo kick right now. They work up SO EASY, but cutting out those circles is not as fun.

Do you make and sell things that would make fantastic gifts?
Oh I cannot WAIT to see what others say! I do have an etsy store that has a few items in it (with more to come).


Favorite family holiday tradition?
I know that in Victorian times, parents would hide a pickle in the tree, and whoever found it on Christmas morning would get money or a gift or something. We hide a long nail in our tree. On Christmas morning, we wake up and after breakfast read the Christmas story from Luke. THIS BOOK is awesome as it has pictures and goes verse by verse! The little ones will reenact with the Fisher Price Nativity kit. Then the children look in the tree to find the nail. Whoever finds the nail, tells the reason it is there, which is to remind us that while we celebrate the birth of Christ today, we remember that He came to die to save us from our sins. Then they get to pick the first present to GIVE. The pick up a present, read whose name is on it and gives it to that person. That person opens the gift, and all oh and ahhh. Then he picks a gift and gives it to the person whose name is on the gift. This goes on and on until all the gifts have been given and opened. It does take a while, but it really does make Christmas last MUCH longer than everyone getting their piles of gifts and ripping into them. And it allows each gift giver to see the recipient's face when he opens his gift. It really is a GREAT tradition!

Have you started any new traditions with your family that you did not practice growing up?
The nail mentioned above is something my beloved and I started. The opening one gift at a time is actually from my husband's side of the family. My side of the family really never had any traditions.

What do you love most about the holiday season?
The lights. I love seeing all the beautiful lights up at Christmas. And I also love the gathering of friends and family. I wish there was that kind of spirit all the year.

What do you like least about the season?
That is starts the day after Halloween. I mean what is up with that? We totally skip Thanksgiving and go straight into commercialism. Totally skipping the true meaning of CHRISTmas.

Anyone close to your heart that you will be missing this time of year?
I really have been missing my great grandmother and great grandfather recently. They died over 11 years ago, but it is only now that I am realizing just how much I missed out on not getting to know them better. Such an awesome generation and there is so little known about them. So little I know about them.

What is your favorite holiday food?

Do you have a great recipe to share?
No. Sadly, I usually just pick and choose from the cookbooks. Trying new things all the time. :)

Want to participate? You can by following the link to the Sew Mama Sew Handcrafter's Holidays Meme

Christmas JOY - Shop Update AND FAMILY FUN IDEA!

Here is another adorable angel I finished. I named her Joy because when I see her I am reminded of Luke 2:9-11. Don't know the verse? LOOK IT UP NOW! :) I love the fact that Jesus was born, not only to save, but that His birth, Jesus Himself, should bring us EXCEEDINGLY GREAT JOY! Pick her up (and other great handmade gifts) in my store. And thank you for your support.

NOW, on to a most AWESOME idea, which you can actually start TODAY! It is a GREAT Christmas family fun idea, but I cannot take credit for it.

While we do not do the Santa or Mrs. Claus thing, the ideas listed here are so much FUN! We are going to incorporate the books and the fun Friday's idea! We already do the ornament thing (although for ours we go to the after Christmas sale at the Christian bookstore and get each child their own ornament). When the kids are grown and married, they will have a host of ornaments to start their own tree (full of fond memories of Christmas with the family).

And if you don't want to go buy new new games, why not buy one (or more) from your local thrift store?!?! 

And a friend of mine had a most excellent idea. Each year, her family would take a board game that they no longer played and they made their own game! Cover the board with paper, and then decide what kind of game to create! You can print out your own cards and just have FUN! AND if you like all your games and want to keep them just the way they are, use a board game from Goodwill.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ruby - DMC Angel Ornament

Isn't she cute? I named her Ruby. She is made up of mostly DMC floss. Only the head, the paint on the face and the lace wings are NOT DMC. :) Check her out and more to come to my store soon. And if you have a particular color you want an angel in, let me know. These should arrive in your home just in time for Christmas! PERFECT for the crafter in you (or the one in your life). :)

Journey Towards Simplicity

I want to live more simply. It seems the closer I draw to the Lord, the more simply I want to live. Key word here being WANT. But the actual DOING seems so difficult. I start, with the BEST of intentions, and yet, fall short in one thing and then give up completely. What kind of example is that to my children? When you fail in the smallest thing, just give it all up?!?!

I have really bad habits. I am addicted to books and buy WAY too many. I collect fabric. LOTS of fabric, and yet do nothing with it (though that is changing, SLOWLY). And I admit that I sometimes get on the computer to do one quick thing and end up spending an hour wondering where the time went.

So I figure there are two things I really need to focus on. Then all the rest SHOULD fall into place.

Time and money.

For the money part I need to STOP SPENDING. Spending 50 cents on something I don't need adds up to a lot of clutter and truly a lot of money. I walk out of Goodwill having spent close to $75 on a few good deals and a bunch of clutter for my home. Now that is not to say that I cannot indulge in the cute little tea cup and saucer for our collection. But I think if I were to go into Goodwill with a goal. This is the item I need and if I want to buy anything else, even if I THINK I need it, I need to call my husband and have at least three good reasons why I need it, a place to put it AND something that I can get rid of that it can take the place of.

I think I am also going to start wrapping up my credit card. It is so easy once the cash is gone to just whip out the card. I tend to waste the cash on frivolous items at Goodwill and then don't have the money for groceries. If the credit card is wrapped up, it will be a better reminder NOT to use it. BUT I will still have it in case of an emergency. Out running errands past lunch time is NOT an emergency. LOL!

I am also going to watch Dave Ramsey's FPU. And then I am going to apply what I have learned.


I am always complaining that I do not have enough time. Yet, if I were to cut down on the amount of TV I watch (even rented movies are watching TV), the blogs I read, and the surfing and collecting of ideas I do, I would have the time to garden. I would have time to spend with the Lord. I would have time to sew all the things I want to sew.

And part of the whole time thing is being organized with SOME sort of schedule. I know I have one around here somewhere. But being the perfectionist that I am, I keep working on it and wanting it to be perfect before I implement it. I keep worrying that if I have to change it, the girls will no longer follow it. Isn't that silly?

SO things to work on:
-STAY HOME! If I stay home, I do not know what I am missing, and don't end up buying things I don't need.
-Try to do a month of buying only needs.
-Find the schedule and just start it! If it needs tweaking, we can tweak it. Thankfully the kids are young enough that they won't really think of anything if I have to change it.
-Find something CONSTRUCTIVE to do rather than mindlessly surf the net or watch TV.
-Make a list of projects I want to do (check out my list of 101 things in 1001 days) and START! :)
-Do more things WITH the kids (other than homeschool)

There is a blog that has really helped encourage me in this. It is called Down To Earth and it should be in everyone's feed reader so you do not miss a post. The posts are short enough to read in just a minute or two, but the content is thought provoking enough to leave you thinking all day. :)

NOTE: No one has signed up for the Pay It Forward yet! There are three spots open! :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday Link Up _ Christmas Time Is Here

Keeping Christmas Simple
Part 1

Wonderful Christmas Mosiac Cards

Check out this adorable yo-yo advent calendar! She is also showing you throughout the month how to make ornaments for the calendar! WAY CUTE! Be sure to check it out daily! Don't know how to make yo-yo's? Check out this great tutorial to make your own yo-yo's. We (one of the daughter's of a close friend helped) taught the girls how to make them yesterday. EE (almost 6yr) made them perfectly! Even MM (4 1/2yr) did pretty good.

Being into yo-yo's right now, I just think this yo-yo tree tutorial is perfect! :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pay It Forward

I am so blessed enough to be part of the Pay It Forward that has been going around. I will be receiving something (I can hardly wait!) from A Life Uncommon.

While it is my understanding is that the first one was quilt related, this one is ANYTHING handmade (soaps, candles, bags, aprons - oooohhhh aprons!, etc.), so feel free to jump in!

"Come join in the fun and make the world a happier place. So this is how it goes...It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based of the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works: I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! More than likely I'll get it made after Christmas and sent out early in the New Year. What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. Unfortunately this is only possible for those who have a blog."

So the first 3 people to comment saying that they are able to join (meaning I will make them a gift AND they will be able to pay it forward on their blog) will get a gift from me. I too am going to have to say that it will have to be within the next six months as I do have my hands full with JJ and all. :) PLEASANTLY FULL! Soooo in order to make something NICE, I need six months. :)

I won! Thank you! :)

I really don't win things very often. SO imagine my surprise when I was contacted and told I had won the Foof-a-Life!! I am so excited! I will do another post to show you how beautiful this package is! YEAH! I am re-emailing my address right now.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another Shop Item - Doll Blanket

What little girl would not love to wake up on Christmas morning to this darling crocheted blanket covering her favorite doll? I know MY girls were fighting over who would get this adorable blanket! I told them I would have to make them another one at a different time (maybe a Christmas present!). :D This blanket is perfect for 18 inch dolls (like American Girl) or shorter. A precious handmade blanket for your precious little girl. You can find this and other handmade items in my store.

Thanksgiving Break (but I leave you with craft links)

Well, since beloved has the week off, I will be enjoying my time with him. So this will be my last post until the Monday after Thanksgiving. I hope all of you will take this time to enjoy this season of Thanksgiving.

But just incase you find some time to do some crafts (this should make up for my week away! LOL! Like I have that many readers!):

Check out these adorable Crochet Pinecones!

Why not make some cute flowers?

Make an apron from a large man's shirt!

How about some Homemade Gifts For The Little Girls?

And lots of stuff at The Loveliness of Handmade Gifts

Check it out!Homemade With Love post with LOTS of ideas.

And this adorable Book Cover Tutorial

And I just LOVE to make my own Cloth Napkins. I am sure there are other tutorials out there, but this one came from Sew Mama Sew. Don't forget Sew Mama Sew is having a NEW bunch of tutorials EVERY DAY during the month of November to make handmade gifts for the holidays!

And the Super Cool Wallet!!

OH I AM IN HEAVEN! Ok, not LITERALLY. But definitely figuratively. I have been a huge fan of Amy Butler, but need to spend money on other things right now. So, I discovered she has a whole page of FREE designs!

If you love crafts and tutorials then this site is probably the only one you need (although the patterns are mostly for adults and to make stuff with your kids, you would still have to look around, but I have LOTS of GREAT links for this under Sites To See). Rececca I thought of you when I saw this. :)

HT: I Have To Say...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Harvest Hair Bun Cover

So as I mentioned before, I am trying to work hard to make items for my etsy store in hopes of helping just a bit with the bills that we are anticipating. I have left several messages for the insurance company and have not heard back from them, but when I called the hospital today they said they have filed the claim and are waiting for the insurance and have not heard from them.

So we wait.

And while we wait, I created my own crochet pattern! I really wanted a nice and elegant bun cover. But none of the patterns I found really did it for me. So I fiddled around and came up with something that I feel is really pretty. And in hopes that others would too, I made some to sell (I am keeping one for myself).

It is so cute and perfect and festive! I just love it! And the girls do too!! I made a pink one for MM (pink is her favorite color) and a cream colored one for AA (to go with her outfits).

I will be more than happy to take orders if you would like it in a different color. AND I am planning on making some adorable (well, **I** think they are adorable) ones for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Apron Giveaway, Tutorials and MOST AWESOME SITE!!!

OK, so you know me and my LOVE of aprons!!! I found a MOST AWESOME site that is having a giveaway right now!
Being the girly girl that I am, my favorite is the Dorothy Apron Breast Cancer Pink.

While there entering the giveaway (which they seem to have a lot of!), be sure to check out all the GREAT PATTERNS AND TUTORIALS!!! They are listed on the right hand side bar. And do browse through past entries! OH MY! The most ADORABLE aprons I have EVER seen!!! WAY CUTE!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mother-Daughter Cookie Swap

I have tried to keep the tradition of a mother daughter cookie swap for a few years now. I have not always been able to do it, or even REMEMBERED to do it (LOL!), but this year we are planning on doing it. December 8 at 3PM. :)

And we encourage YOU to as well! Sign up below if you plan to join us. You can use our free invite (at the end of this post), or create your own. All I ask is that on Monday Dec 10, 2007 you make a post about how it went. What recipe did you use? Any pictures to share? Did you do something different? Share details so we can do it next year. This gives you ONE MONTH to plan. And plenty of time to get those invites in time for people to make plans to attend before other invites arrive or before they make party plans of their own.

I will be posting throughout the plans we are doing for the swap. If you do, PLEASE comment below with a link to your post concerning the swap. Maybe you have to do some super cleaning before you can even THINK of inviting guests into your house. Maybe you are decorating your recipe cards.

SO, comment below if you plan to join us. And comment with a link every time you blog about something cookie swap related. :) I will be creating a linked list on Monday of all those participating (along with all the posts they have done about the swap between now and then). And feel free to advertise on your blog. Here is a cute button for your sidebar:

Special thanks to for the free kit to create he invites! If you use the invite I created, PLEASE do not charge people for it. The kit to make it was free, and I am giving it to you to use for free. Thank you. Click on the image below and then save the image on your computer. Print out and write in the details OR fill in with your computer before printing out.

Tuesday Link Up

Want a fabric shopping bag WITHOUT all that sewing and cutting? Try
using an old T-shirt. These are SO CUTE and SO EASY! And what a GREAT way to use up that souvenir shirt that you just had to have but never wear! Every time you go shopping, you will remember the great time you had on vacation! :D

Just sew a hem and cut off the neck and sleeves and you have a reusable shopping bag! "SEW" easy even your little girls can make their own bag! WOW!!! This is so great! I was also thinking, about those shirts that are really worn, instead of using them as dust rags, sew them up and use them as garbage bags! Just one more way to reduce the amount of plastic you are using! :)

These little booklets are so cute and easy to make!! These would make GREAT stocking stuffers for the shabby chic friend you have OR even better, maybe you have a littler author in your midsts (our little AA LOVES to write stories). I plan on making a small handful for her to "publish" her stories. Then she can give her publish stories as gifts! Don't forget to take a picture to put on the front page and make an "about the author" page. These make GREAT gifts for the Grandparents!

Oh I just LOVE this site! I have seen paper dolls before, but these are GREAT! All different kinds from all different time periods. AND THE BETSY MCCALL DOLLS! all of them!! WOW!!!

THIS IS SO COOL! Neat crafts to do with the kids, and don't even get me started on how COOL those placemat purses are! YES, you heard right, PLACEMAT PURSES!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Daily Life Now Is Not The Same As Before

For posterity in dealing with a child with food allergies as well as dietary problems, I will talk about what we are dealing with. Maybe there is another Mom like me out there.

JJ is drinking specialty drinks right now (Vanilla Elecare -30 cal as well as EO28) that are costing about $5 a drink. Multiply that by 4-5 times a day, and 30 days in a month and you have an idea of what we are spending just on drinks for him. The food is a bit easier as I can make it from scratch. But it is VERY limiting right now (with the results of his food allergy test back). I really need to find a support group for such dietary restrictions. Right now he is eating single or double food servings. But no real MEALS per se.

I am so thankful I have dealt with food allergies/sensitivities before. Both MM and EE are sensitive to gluten and casein. So I already do a lot of gluten free cooking/baking and not using dairy (or other substitutes with casein in it). But now I cannot do egg in any form (he has the most unusual allergy to it - the doctor prescribed an epi pen for his unusualness). I cannot even use tomatoes (which is like in EVERYTHING!) or beans (which is a main source of protein for vegetarians). I have no idea how to cook without tomatoes or beans! I do have some idea about baked goods without eggs (simply because of the research I have done on allergies). But it is not fun and it does not taste as good.

I have done a lot of research on raw foods, so I can make a lot of healthy raw substitutes for him (which leaves out eggs and such), but quite a few of them have nuts (nuts are something else he cannot have).

Add to that a $20 co-pay per doctor visit which is happening once a week, not to mention the 45 minute drive across town to physical and occupation therapies (with the rising cost of gas and all) which thankfully is only every other week. After being released from the hospital, he was about 11 months in physical development. In just two weeks he moved up to 12 months! :) I am thankful not only that he is so motivated, but that as a home school mom **I** am motivated and educated about how to do some of his therapy at home.

I watch JJ as he falls asleep (1-2 naps a day and then to bed at night) to make sure he does not have a chance to ruminate, and am right back in his room as soon as he wakes up to make sure he is preoccupied and not having a chance to ruminate. It takes him anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes for him to fall asleep (mostly because he fights it). No more leaving him in his room to cry it out when he is over tired and frustrated. I have to keep him calm and happy or he can fall back into the habit of ruminating.

I am SO VERY thankful that the Lord is STILL working on me (hello my name is Paula, and I am a continual work in progress). I am able to clean the house, home school the girls, love on JJ and still have some time to do crafts (I even created my own pattern for a crochet bun cover and will be selling some I made in my store soon!!) as well as crafts with the girls (look soon on the blog for AA's scarf she made). I am also able to have time with my beloved in the evening to play games and talk. AND I am also still able to some how have time to make food from scratch!

I say this not because **I** in myself am able to do this. But because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I have been on my knees much more since all of this with JJ happened. I so want to encourage you that even though at times life may seem overwhelming (which I know it can, I am there right now), that somehow, through God's supernatural ability... you can. You can do so much more than you think you can. I never ever would have thought I could be doing what I am today. And it is only by crying out to God (even in the midst of the chaos) that His strength fills me and I am able to do even 1/4 of what I need to do.

I am not able to wake up and have quiet time with the Lord. Yet, throughout the day, as I call on Him, and wait on Him, and listen to and for Him, I am able to be obedient. I read His word when I can (mostly with the girls), but make a point to do it daily. Even if it is just one verse. And remembering to thank Him even in the midst of the chaos, for He has done so much for me, and I know that He can use the chaos for His glory. And I truly do have so much to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Crafting with Children

Between two GREAT sites (Me And My Girl and Scrumdilly-Do, I am finally getting up the courage to do some fun crafty things with the girls! I have LOTS of other kid craft sites under Sites To See (right hand sidebar), but sometimes a new one gets you up and going. :D

When I come to a craft idea I think the girls will like, I print it out (instead of just saving it on the computer like I used to). Then I put it in a notebook JUST for these sorts of things. On Monday, I look in the notebook and pick something to do. I make sure I have the items I need and if not, I go and buy them. There is always a clearance section in any craft store (even in the craft section of Walmart). Sometimes, when funds allow, I stock up so I have the items at a great price for FUTURE things. Then I plan the day of the week to do it, and we do it! YEAH!

Merideth has the most wonderful blog. I have really cut back on my blog reading, but hers is one that I catch up on almost daily (at least weekly). She always has great posts that really make you think about how you spend your time and money. This post is a wonderful one about cheap entertainment. Be sure to read through the comments! Good ideas there!

But that post really allowed me to spend a little money on stuff I normally would have not. Buy the artistic palate for the Marshmallow Paintings and the marshmallows (we already had the food coloring) and have a day full of fun and good memories. All for under $3! That is $1 per child right now! :)

And don't forget about FreeCycle when needing craft supplies! It is amazing what people are willing to give away! :)

I already have some fleece I got REALLY cheap last year at a garage sale that will be PERFECT for an easy to make scarf!

I must admit that I have always wanted to do more things with the girls, but have been scared. Scared that there will be SUCH a mess (see my cleaning post from yesterday). Scared that they will not make a perfect item (and how will that reflect on me as the Momma). I find it sad that I really do find some sort of worth in my children. I want them to look good because in some way it makes me look good. Their bad behavior reflects poorly on me as a mother. And if they wear something that they made, which is going to be FAR from perfect, then what will others think?

Oh Lord, please remove this attitude from my heart and mind! Allow me to find worth in You, so that my children will learn to find worth in You and not in things of this world.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Don't Do That

When I thought of homeschooling my children, I saw only the benefits of me being with them 24/7. I did not even think about the downfalls of THEM being with ME 24/7. They see everything I do that is wrong. When you are a homeschooling mom, you cannot say "do as I say, not as I do" because truly more is caught than taught!

Cleaning up is NOT one of my favorite things to do. Unfortunately, my girls are now old enough that they are starting to pick up on my dislike of cleaning and developing a dislike of it themselves!

So what to do? It is so easy to say that I prayed and my attitude was changed overnight and now my children blissfully clean the house along with me. But my attitude about cleaning the house has been bad for years now and only by the grace of God could it go away overnight. So I pray, but I still hang onto this attitude. Why? I really don't know.

BUT I do know that I am working on it. I have confessed this sin (yes, I do believe a lazy and unthankful attitude about cleaning the house is my sin) to my girls and told them that the Bible tells us to be thankful in ALL things and to do all things as unto the Lord. I have not been doing that, and I want to change.

So EE suggested that maybe if we sing while we work, that would help us to be glad while we are working. (Kind of like the whistle while you work theme.) :D So now, we are all singing and working, and honestly, it does make it go by a little better.

But there are those jobs that are just so huge to tackle, that even singing won't help. :D So I have taken the FlyLady approach and have decided that on those jobs that are too big to tackle (and 15 minutes seems too long to spend on it when you are already spending 15 minutes cleaning your zone --- each of the children have a zone - a part of the house they are responsible for keeping clean and orderly), they have a 15 item pick up. Before they are allowed to play, they have to clean up at least 15 items in that area. It could be a toy, a game, or a piece of trash, but they each have 15 items to pick up. It is working well. Even Momma has to pick up 15 items in the area! LOL!

I want so desperately to do as I say so that my children can do as I do. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday Link Up - It's not too late to start MAKING Christmas gifts

Links - what I think would make great Christmas gifts:

There are a lot of tutorials out there right now for fabric shopping bags. THIS BAG is not only beautiful (look at that YUMMY fabric!) but functional as well (love that shopping list and coupons holder!!!). She does have a tutorial too, check out the last link in the post!

Here is a great tutorial for a mini wallet. It is her first tutorial, and I think she did a great job!

Check out this ADORABLE apron! This Mom is a genius! She took her daughters falling apart overalls and made an apron and has plans for the rest! WOW! Talk about Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do Or Do Without! :)

And how awesome is this! Sew, Mama, Sew is hosting a WHOLE MONTH of gift ideas for the whole month of Novemeber!!! There is a new one EVERY DAY! Check it out daily so you don't miss a single one!

And for the men out there to make for their wife:
IS this ironing table just the CUTEST! LOVE how simple yet elegant and SMART this is! Directions how to make it are there and I just MIGHT have to do this! I see tables this size all the time at garage sales!

And a simple yet practical idea I know I would love and just might make my girls this year (although it really is more for me):
how to keep kids from fighting over whose cup is whose or whose towel is whose.

I have not gotten around to reading Making Home in quite a while. But she always has GREAT posts when I do! And then I kick myself for not keeping up (and wondering what great stuff I missed!) LOL! :D Anyways, she is preggers! So go wish her a CONGRATS and pray for that precious baby growing inside her!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Do You Know Mommy?

It is frustrating to know how unbehaved my girls were during all that was going on with JJ and me in the hospital. I know that some people will say that it was hard on them and so on and so forth, so it is understandable.

But is it? Is it really understandable?

Not to me.

I truly feel that if I had done a better job raising the girls...if they had their faith rooted in Jesus at this early age (and yes, I do believe it is possible, Samuel heard and obeyed the voice of God at the age of three)...then no matter the circumstances, they would be well behaved. They would know and understand that they are doing and being for the Lord, and not for Momma and not for them selves.

Since coming to this grim realization, and realizing just how SHORT life can be (I am still amazed that God allowed my son to live when so many others with the same thing die), I have really changed how I talk with my girls about Jesus.

I know that they know about Jesus. I know they know the stories from the Bible. I know they know that being good doesn't get you into heaven, only by faith.

But I have come to the realization that my children do not know their need for a Savior. They know Jesus is the only way to heaven. But they don't KNOW Jesus.

So how to explain that to a 7yr, 5yr and 4 yr? How to explain their need for a personal relationship with Jesus? How to explain that they need to KNOW Jesus, not just know about Him?

My husband and I sat the girls down and I asked them if they knew me. Do you know Mommy's favorite color? What is Mommy's favorite food? What things does Mommy like to do? The kind of questions you would ask someone you were interested in getting to know better. They knew the answers. We then explained that there are things about Mommy they do not know about. How many pillows does Mommy like to sleep with? Who is her favorite actor? What is her favorite book (of course they answered the Bible, but OTHER than the Bible...)? What does Mommy want most for you? Answers they did not know.

How can you get to know Mommy better? By spending more time with her and talking with her.

You need to know God in the same way. You need to know God better than you know Mommy or Daddy. You need to know who He is and what He wants for you. And how can you get to know God better? By spending time with Him in His word. By talking/praying to Him and then remembering to wait on Him and listen. And the more you obey, the stronger His voice will be. You need to make Jesus your friend.

In just the few days of observation in my children since our conversation, I have started to notice some changes in them. They are still not to the point I want them to be, or that I know God would have them be. But slowly but surely, I am seeing progress!

I am so thankful that I came to this realization now instead of later. I thought I was doing the right thing by teaching them about Jesus. But in doing that, I left out a most important element, which is just as important. Teaching them to KNOW Him.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday's Fun: Thanksgiving - Hours of Thanks

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, and it being a holiday that never seems to get the recognition it deserves, I would like to take my Friday Fun's and share some Thanksgiving fun you can have with your family.

Hours of Thanks (from Quiet Times with Active Preschoolers)

Make a clock face with movable hands and write something that you are thankful for beside each hour of the day.
Then see if you and our child can remember to stop and pray a prayer of thanks during each hour of Thanksgiving Day.
Move the clock hands to show you have prayed.

My thoughts: If the child cannot read, you can draw or have the child draw a picture at each hour. They can also cut out pictures from old books/magazines and glue at each hour. It also might be a nice idea to prayer EVERY day of the month (not just Thanksgiving day). It would be a good habit to get into.

There are LOTS of verses in the Bible about giving thanks. Choose one to put in the middle of your clock and memorize it. If you wish, make a new clock each week with a new verse in the middle to memorize. :D

Another variation is to cut out pictures of friends and family and put one at each hour. Then pray for that family member/friend at that hour. It can help your children remember Grandma and other family members if you are unable to be together. AND if you are gathering for Thanksgiving day, it can help to get the child familiar with them again after being apart for so long.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

More Aprons!

CHECK OUT THESE GREAT APRON PATTERNS! I just love the Bloomin Apron Pattern! TOO CUTE! LOVE that there is a size for Mommy, daughter and the 18" doll! I need to get my hands on this pattern! LOL!!! Anyone know of similar free patterns online for something vintage shabby chic? For me specifically, but it would also be fun to find one for the doll for my daughter's dolls.

Creativity Birthed

Being a family that watches as little TV as possible has produced GREAT results in our family. There are LOTS of studies out there about the BENEFITS of children (especially young children) NOT watching TV.

Here are just a FEW of the things we would have missed out on had our children been watching TV.

It is a two day drive to visit family. We have frequently been asked why we don't get a van with a DVD player in it. My question is always WHY get one WITH a DVD player? LOL!!! So our oldest, who a the time was 6yr, had drawn a map from our house to Grandma's house! The map had all the places we had stopped (to eat, the hotel) as well as the places that meant something to her (the hills, the cows in the pasture, the little red farm, etc.). We would have missed out on that had she been immersed in a movie instead of God's creation.

And just now we are in the middle of "finish that picture!" It started with a Magna Doodle and some "bored" kids. EE (5yr) drew half of a picture (a face) and asked me to finish drawing the picture. I did and then I drew half a butterfly and she finished the rest. This went back and forth a few times and then I drew two circles and had her finish the picture. Then AA (7yr) got involved. We all took turns drawing a bit of something (mostly shapes like a boat or circles for a flower, etc.) and having the other person finish it. Then EE (who has always been my most artistic one) drew a few scribbles for someone to finish. I LOVE IT!! So now we are finding "pictures" in each others scribbles!!

Oh how I love their creativity!!!