Monday, July 25, 2011

Scripture Memory Verse

Rejoice in the Lord, always. Again, I say...REJOICE!!!

Philippians 4:4


1. Talk to your kids about what it means to "rejoice"...explore the definition and think of times when they've been truly joyful...not just happy, but truly full of joy.

2. Consider with your kids that we are to feel that same joy about God. What things about God and what He's done for us might cause us to feel that happy?

3. The verse says "always"...what does that mean? What if things go badly, are we allowed to stop rejoicing in God?

These songs reinforce the verse: The song as I remember it. Good for our younger kids. a more rock and roll version for older kids.


What a reminder. Rejoice! We know what it means, but do we really KNOW? Certainly the dictionary says, "To be delighted, feel joyful, fill with joy, gladden". But when was the last time you rejoiced? When was the last time you felt completely full of God's goodness to the point that you were filled with joy? Perhaps its been too long. Perhaps you're wondering if you'll ever feel it again.

What are we to do? Pray. Talk to God, try to get in step with Him...and the only way to do that is to communicate and take the time to know Him. Surround yourself with others who believe and ask them to pray for you. God is with you today, tomorrow, and forever. May you feel it and be able to rejoice again!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Confessions of a 3 Year Old

Sorry I wrote in your journal, Kiki.

I also used your nail polish.

Sometimes life as the little sister is a bit tricky.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Woman's Shirt to Toddler Dress

Leve also spotted this cute orange shirt at our local thrift shop.
It actually looked pretty cute on me, but I guess the three year old wins again. (wink!)

The first thing I did was pull the entire thing apart into its separate components.

I then measured the top around her and marked where it needed to be cut and how to make it fit around her. We cut a seam down the back of the top. We also cut down the side seams. The trickiest part was getting the yellow line down the front to look nice against her body.

Then I took the skirt and gathered the top to make it work for her waist...I wanted to get a fuller skirt instead of just cutting the side seams.

After it was ruffled I pinned/sewed it to the bodice piece with right sides together.

And we're done!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Craft Time...Skirt from Men's Shirt

Leve is in LOVE with the color orange...she needs it like she needs air. Obviously, however, her Mama isn't going to go out and purchase a new wardrobe featuring her new favorite color. Her Mama WILL, however, purchase random orange items and remake them for her darling...and Leve has figured this out and can spot an orange item at a rummage sale from 40 paces!

So, she found this men's shirt...the stripes, the orange, plus, it's super soft!

We lay the shirt down and cut under the armpits across the entire shirt.

Then, fold the shirt in half with the two side seams meeting up and cut up the shirt at the fold.

Cut the shape of the skirt to make the front and backs of the skirt.

Pin right sides together and sew the side seams.

Cut the sleeves off of the shirt and lay them flat.

Lay that sleeve piece over the top of the skirt making sure there is a little extra on either side...then sew those side seams together

Now that you have your waist band. Pin it to the top of the skirt piece with right sides together.

This photo shows what it looks like after you pull it straight up. Next you'll pull that flap down to the inside and create a band...leave a gap to you can put your elastic in.

Next you'll feed your elastic through the band. Sew the hole closed.

I sewed the elastic in place from the outside.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Craft Time...Platter Earrings

Welcome back, everyone!

Today I'm showing you how to make platter earrings. I got the idea from a good friend who has been mentioned earlier in the post about kids being easier than potted plants...I don't think she's been formally named, but I think its time...Hippie Mama is what I'm going to call her. I think she'd be proud of that title because she IS very at one with the earth and works to stay at peace with her surroundings even while raising 4 sweet kids ranging in age from 17 to 4. Anyhow, she brought me this idea from a vacation she and her family took. She rocks, doesn't she?!

Anyhow, here's what you need...
A metal sure that its very thin OR made of very soft metal as the one pictured is. You'll need to be able to cut it with your...

Tin snip (available at hardware stores. Be sure to buy one that is straight...many of them curve to the right or left. I was SUPER thankful the guy at our local hardware store asked me what I was doing with the tin snip and saved me from that mistake! Buying local has DEFINITE advantages!)

Permanent Marker in your preferred color (I do black)

Rubbing Alcohol...I use pads...a cotton swab would work fine. (At first I just put "alcohol"...then added the "rubbing"...afterall, we try not to be "that" kind of blog! WINK!)

Earring findings...available at craft shops

Metal Hole Punch...I had to buy my online as there weren't any available in my area and finding them at larger stores wasn't working either. It wasn't spendy, but definitely an investment. I would imagine you could also do some sort of drill to make the hole...even use a hammer/nail to poke the hole. I knew I was making multiple pairs so it would be cost effective for me.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Craft Time...Smocked Dresses

So how GREAT is that pre-smocked fabric that is out in the stores right now?! Can we say "easy project"?! What a fun way to introduce our kids to the joy of creating clothing! Leve's required ONE straight seam because it came pre-hemmed...that means she had to sew ONE straight line. As you can see from the photos below it made her so proud to have sewn her own dress!

Such a fun project...and that fabric is onsale this time of year as the stores are gearing up for Fall stuff...grab some and have a blast with your girlies!

Wouldn't it be fun to get enough fabric to make dresses for each attendee at a girl's Birthday party?! Think of that!!! A "project run way" themed party complete with accessories they can chose (purchased for alittle or nothing at garage sales, of course). How FUN would it be to leave a Birthday party with a dress and accessories?! I can see the fun group photos now!
Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Scripture Memory Verse Week 6

Welcome to week 6! The verse is...
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

Check out these great songs
Go & Tell the World (A spiritual) {There are some visuals that might raise questions with your kids; homeless people, tsunami footage, etc. If this is a topic your kids aren't ready for you may want to preview this one.}
Tell the World That (A rock song)
Tell the World of His Love (a slower song)

Sometimes the idea of telling others about God is intimidating...I get that, believe me...I GET that more than I'd like to admit. But, NOT talking about and NOT doing it is NOT an option. This is our call! A direct instruction from Jesus himself!

This week I challenge you and your kids to talk about this...

What needs are there in the world that you see around you?
How might you tell others about Jesus by the things you do?

Maybe it's something little that needs to change right inside the walls of your home, maybe it's being more patient with other drivers on the way to work, maybe it's inviting the neighbor kids to your church's VBS program. Talk about it, brainstorm ideas, and then IMPLEMENT. I don't know about your kids, but my kids are the Prince and Princesses of accountability. If I say we're going to do it, they hold me to it. (Usually by incessantly asking me, "Mom, when are we going to the park? Are we going to the park today Mom? You said we're going to go to the park. Can we go now?" but, I digress...)

Can you imagine what our world would look like if we all answered this ONE call?! Let's get started by teaching our kids that telling others about God isn't a scary thing, it's just how we live...they are young and the time to mold them is NOW!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Craft Time...Clipboard Fun

The Spouses’ Dollar Tree is at it again….they had clipboards for sale…awesome! They had both the large and small size and we picked large. We gathered Highlights magazines, Kid’s National Geographic, old greeting cards, and other fun papers and went to work. I had the kids pick out what they wanted (helping to cut out whenever it was needed). We laid it all out to make sure it all fit. Then, we laid a layer of modge podge on and they arranged them again. Once they were in the right place we put the modge podge over the top. The hardest part? LEAVING THEM ALONE over night while they dried…it was seriously difficult for the kids to leave them be!

This is going to be great for taking to church…add some paper and pen and we’ll have a great place to draw and won’t end up with the “fabric bumpies” from the pew.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Craft Time...Dish Towel Bag

A few years ago my Mom gave me these sweet brown rings. I don't know what she had them from or for, but she gave them to me. We happened to go to the Dollar store around that time and she pointed out that I could use dishcloths to make a bag. Join the two and this is what you get! Three steps, people. Don't even TRY to tell me this is too hard for you!
Here's what you do:

1. Buy the stuff *2 rings *2 dish towels

2. Put right sides together and sew around three sides; starting and ending about 4 inches from the top to allow for the fold over on the handles.

3. Pin the fabric around the handles and sew

4. Turn it right side out. (I guess that's four steps, but it BARELY counts as one!)

Super easy. Super handy.
Thanks, Mom!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Craft Time...Bucket Hats

The Dollar Tree store in the spouses' town (yup, we're still living apart, but hopefully not for too much longer...more on that soon!) is AWESOME. I found these super fun bucket hats in kid sizes...I seized the good deal and decided to make it a project for the kids.

I pulled out a bunch of felt, scissors, flowers, rick rack, ribbon...just random odds and ends I thought would be cute and the kids told me and showed me what they wanted.

I pinned it on.

They went out to play.

I sewed it in place and took a photo. SO EASY!

I'll bet you could find a 'blah' hat at a second hand store or rummage sale for little or nothing and have a personalized hat in just a few minutes...even without sewing! Gorilla Glue or equally strong glue would make even quicker work out of embellishments. :) Have fun!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Craft Time...Hanky Scarf

I LOVE scarves...they are so cozy and make me so happy...the thing is that with HOT weather is that my wearing a scarf would cause my Mother to say, "Looking at you makes me so hot." SO...a person has to get creative!

I found these packs of hankerchiefs at our local drug store...$1.50 per pack seemed super reasonable...I'm sure if you dug around or asked a relative you could easily find old hankies that would be super soft and cozy...mine are going to need some washing to get to that point.

I pinned them together with just a slight overlap.

I sewed them together, then ironed it so it was nice and neat

I loved it so much I am going to give it to Anne and make another for myself. ;)
How about you?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Craft Time..Tye Dyed Shirts

Anyone who has ever been to camp has tie-dyed, but in case you forgot the fun and satisfaction that can come from this project I thought I’d remind you!

Here’s how we made it a fun project WITH little ones.

DAY ONE: We rubber banded the shirts….I showed them designs and explained how they had folded the shirts and then I let the kids fold their shirt (I did the 3 year olds). Next, I helped them do their rubberband….it wasn’t easy, that’s for sure! They did fine except for getting it SUPER tight; a little help from Mom and they were good to go.

DAY TWO: Actually dyed the shirts. We used the “tulip” brand dye from JoAnn's (also on that 40% sale I mentioned yesterday). When we opened up the shirts the kids squealed with delight. Who doesn’t love the surprise of that?!

I then layed them in the cool, dark basement to dry. They have held their color quite well. I have a feeling we'll be doing that project again! There are so many cool project ideas out there. Check this out for some neat how-to videos.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Make a List Monday**July 11, 2011

For Make a List Monday a few weeks ago I asked what your favorite blogs were…I didn’t hear back from many of you, but as several of you have blogs I can see the ones you’ve identified on your blog…so fun! I think it is amazing that there are people with the same sorts of interests as me and that the blogs and their content are as varied as the authors themselves.

My favorites right now (they change depending on what I’m “into”) are Icandy, Homemade Happy, and Ain’t No Mom Jeans…I have dozens of others that I read…one about a good friend’s special needs child tugs my heart and reminds me of what is really important, one about decorating is fun to look at as I think about moving to a new house, and the one about the Mom who takes her four boys on adventures throughout the state of Minnesota encourages me to find the adventure in the every day...I just find blogs to be so very, very fun! Thanks for visiting mine means so much.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Scripture Memory Verse Week 5

When all Israel heard the king’s decision, the people were in awe of the king, for they saw the wisdom God had given him for rendering justice. I Kings 3:28

Read 1 Kings 3:16-28 to get the whole story.

Do you remember the first time you heard this story? I do...I was probably 10 or 11 and was sitting in Sunday School...I know I wasn't paying very close attention, but when they got to the part about cutting a BABY in half I remember jolting awake and asking our teacher to back up! READ THAT AGAIN. This is one of those stories that you won't soon forget.

While the story itself is memorable, what it says about God is even more important...God can make us more than we are. We can be smarter, stronger, braver, and even WISER than we really are. We just have to ask. Check out 1 Kings 3:3-14...Solomon knew it wasn't up to the standards of the late King David, but he did what we should all do...he talked to God about it!

How many times do we face a difficult situation, a time of testing and instead of talking to God first we talk to everyone else around us...our girlfriends, our spouse, even the lady who cuts our hair...while there certainly isn't anything wrong with getting others' opinions, what IS wrong is not taking it to the one who can actually DO something to help us; to the one who has resources beyond what we can fathom!

Let us strive to be like Solomon...let's ask God for what we need...let us ask Him to guide our pathways and show us His way. Let us ask God to use us for His glory just as He used Solomon. May our prayer be that people would look upon our actions with awe knowing that it is God that has given us HIS power and understanding.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Craft Time...KITS

So the other day we had a great time making crafts from kits….normally I don’t like the ‘canned’ projects, but they were 40% off at JoAnn's so I picked some up…man, alive, did they EVER do the trick!

(Depending on where you live you may not have a JoAnn’s fabrics, but now IS a great time to look for those “kids’ camp” type items as the stores seem to think that summer is over and they need to clearance so they can make way for school supplies. Their craziness is our gain, right?!)

I picked up those plastic sun catchers and some cute little drawstring bags (a pack of 5) and some fabric markers and let the kids go to town….they got to use their creativity a little bit as they decided what to put where and it kept them busy for quite awhile. I guess I’ll never say “no” to “canned” projects again. :) In fact, it might even be a good time to buy some to have on hand for future snow-days.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today at 6 p.m. will mark 11 years of wedded bliss for the spouse and I. He doesn't like to be mentioned on the blog, much less a photo added, so his wishes are respected and I won't post one of him. I will, however, talk a little bit about him and that day...

I was always a girl who dreamed of her perfect wedding to the perfect guy. You see, I know a lot of girls spend time thinking about the dress, the flowers, the location...I thought about all those things, AND about the guy I would one day marry. I dreamed that we'd have a gorgeous outdoor wedding and he wouldn't balk at my idea of going barefoot. I dreamed that it would be a family affair and the man of my dreams would embrace it whole-heartedly. I dreamed that I would get to sing to my groom before I walked down the aisle and that the guy would smile and be honored to be sung to. As God would have it, all my dreams came true. It was the perfect wedding to the perfect guy. He agreed to my idea of brown bridesmaids dresses (a total "HUH!?!" in 2000, which has now totally caught on) and tied hundreds of bows to the invitations with a smile on his face. The love and attention he put into that day is the same love and attention he's put into our entire marriage. I am blessed beyond belief and I know it.

For our 11th Anniversary we are taking our honeymoon; a trip to the Boundary Waters. You see, after our wedding we stayed a day to clean up and then headed to our summer jobs at Bible Camp where the spouse counseled a cabin of special needs campers and I worked as the Retreat Hostess. Since then we've not had the time, money, or babysitters to make a true honeymoon happen. Sure, the spouse came to Norway to visit when I student taught (my brother also came with!). Sure, we went to NYC for a few days in 2007, but we're SUPER excited for a full-on just he and I adventure into God's country.

More than that, I look forward to many more anniversaries together. The lyrics of the song I sang to him on July 8, 2000 are even more true today. I honestly could not ask for more.

"I Could Not Ask For More"
Edwin McCain

Standing here with you
Our future to embrace
Smiling just to see the smile upon your face
These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life
I found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more

Looking in your eyes
Seeing all I need
Everything you are is everything to me
These are the moments
I know heaven must exist
These are the moments I know all I need is this
I have all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more

I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
Every prayer has been answered
Every dream I have's come true
And right here in this moment is right where I'm meant to be
Here with you here with me

These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life
I've got all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more