Showing posts with label She Serves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label She Serves. Show all posts

Monday, October 8, 2012

DIY: Instant Oatmeal Packs

I read about another great Homemade Food Prep idea over at Amy Loves Her Life. As you know from some of my previous posts, I love finding ways to make things from scratch and/or things I have lying around. This saves me a lot of money, time and makes me feel better about how I am providing for my family's needs.

My husband has to leave very early for work in the morning, most of the time it's before the rest of us are awake. Every night we prep the coffee pot so that all he has to do is press the button the next morning. He also packs his lunches the night before. I have been trying to come up with some more ideas of things I can do for him to make his mornings go quickly--maybe he can grab a few more minutes of sleep!

Here is what I came up with:  
Instant Oatmeal Packets.
Based on the ideas I read above, I created my own--

1/2 cup oats
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp raisins

Combine and place in sandwich baggies.

I used the oatmeal canister to create a place for him to keep them. I will have to store some of the bags in the pantry and occasionally refill the canister because they all wouldn't fit, but I did it anyway! I covered it with butcher paper and used some leftover sticker letters to help him with the directions for what he will need to do each morning--

Pour the mix into a bowl with 1 cup of milk and microwave for 3 minutes.

I hope he likes it!!! If it goes over well I will try some more varieties next time; adding some nuts or other dried fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, other various spices, etc. I bet there are tons of possibilities! What way do you like to eat your oatmeal?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Taking a Blogging Break

Thank you to all She Who Makes readers who have encouraged and supported us during this past year as we've enjoyed posting our recipes, projects, and ideas!  We've been blogging here for almost a year and have shared over 200 posts!

The Spring has brought new challenges for us and Summer promises to bring more changes.  We need to have more time and energy to devote to our families, and therefore will be taking a break from blogging -- for the time being.

We hope to be back sometime in the future -- either here or somewhere else.

Meanwhile, enjoy the archives, and may God bless you and your family!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sleep Training Your Baby

For any of you out there that may be thinking about sleep training your baby, I found the videos on this website to be extremely helpful!

Based on the recommendations from this coach, I created my own Baby's Daily Log for keeping track of my daughter's sleeping and eating patterns. I did this for 5 days and then averaged what she did into a schedule that was going to work for her.

Her schedule looks like this: (she is 10 1/2 months old)

Wake/Nurse (whenever she wants--still working on this)
Breakfast at 9:00am
Nurse at 10:30am -- Nap
Wake/Lunch around 12:00pm
Nurse at 1:30pm -- Nap
Wake/Snack around 4:00pm
Dinner/Nurse 7:00pm
Bedtime/Nurse at 8:30pm

Please view my Baby's Daily Log by clicking on this link. You can choose to download and print it if it would be helpful for your experience sleep training as well!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Send a [Real] Card

With the online world threatening to take over our lives and most of our interaction with our friends and family, push back a bit and send an actual, tangible, through-the-mail, birthday or anniversary card. 


You can:

  •  make it simple (head to a dollar store or to the clearance aisle at your local discount store and stock up)
  • or you can make it creatively complicated (make your own!)...  but I recommend just doing it!
A few years ago I decided to exchange the craziness of Christmas-time gift giving to my (many!) nieces and nephews with a handmade birthday card and enclosed gift card.  This seems to have been a popular decision all-around and it certainly takes away some of that holiday time stress. Plus, I have the benefit of thinking about some of our extended family members throughout the year and specifically on their special day!

I always send a birthday card to my brothers and sisters and their spouses and try to send anniversary cards to all my immediate family members as well. And don't forget congratulations cards to the newly graduated!

Personally, I enjoy making cards -- it is another crafty past-time that I have taken up since my children are now older and caring for their needs is less time-intensive-- but you don't have to get this complicated.  I also enjoy involving our whole family in this endeavor by letting my girls choose just the right card from the ones I've made.  Sometimes they make a card themselves, or together we design one for that special cousin or loved grandparent or auntie.

There are oodles of card-making resources online and many scrapbooking companies also sell products for making your own greeting cards.  You can also buy card-making kits at craft & hobby stores.  I personally enjoy the products sold by the scrapbooking & stamping company Close To My Heart and particularly like their cardmaking idea books found here and here.  I particularly like Wishes because it includes directions for making 20 cards at a time using minimal supplies!

Gift it a try -- I think you'll enjoy this simple way to make someone else feel especially loved and remembered.

[Here are a few cards I recently made using some scrapbooking papers scraps I had left over as well as a few embellishments, stamps, and punches.  Not complicated (if you have the supplies and good instructions!) and sorta cute!]

We chose today's post for our weekly link-up!

Please visit our She Links Up! page and check out the other places you can go for great recipes, ideas and encouragement!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Family Organization Station

Some of you may remember my Chores Chart that used to reside on the front of my refrigerator... well now that my younger son has reached the phase I like to call  
"I'll Do It Myself and/or Exactly Like My Brother"
I needed to come up with something slightly different to accommodate his shortness. So I came up with this idea after visiting several sites on Pinterest that included photos of people's message centers/calendars/offices, etc. Here is what I came up with! Sorry the picture isn't great... once again the lack of natural light in this part of my house is so frustrating!

This picture is of the side of my kitchen cabinet that ends the kitchen area and begins the hallway/living room. This is a central location in our home which works great! The top/left frame is scrapbook paper and a blank calendar behind the frame's glass. I use fine-tip dry erase markers to write on the dates and events. The top/right frame is the same thing, except I just used a blank area with the title "Notes" on the top of the page where I can write reminders, phone numbers, notes for my family. ~ Underneath the frames I mounted a cookie sheet to the cabinet with some scrapbook papers glued to the front. Makes a great ledge for my markers as well as the perfect spot for our chore magnets! The boys can view the magnets that are placed on the "Chores" side each day and when they complete them, they move them to the other side to show that the jobs are completed.

No help from Mama needed, not to mention that my little guy gets to copy big brother in the process!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lenten Challenge: Junk Drawer

So last week began my Lenten Challenge. I started with the junk drawer in my kitchen because I felt that it would be the most rewarding and motivating in my efforts! Here is the before.

The during. -- Notice my bag next to the empty drawer; this is the trash that I threw out. I also had a pile of stuff to add to my ever-growing "yard sale" boxes. I sorted everything out and then put things away where they were supposed to be!
Bag #1 is ready to go out for the trash. It's interesting.... as I was going through the stuff in the drawer, I found myself thinking about my kids and their chore of setting the table. There was no good spot to keep the placemats and emptying out the drawer made just the right place! Ultimately the "junk" drawer was supposed to be a place to keep pens/pencils and other items that you need in a pinch.... so hopefully it will return to its original purpose, plus a placemat holder! ;-)
As I emptied my drawer, I prayed for:
  • my children as they obey their parents in doing their chores
  • my oldest son, as he does his homework (he's always asking for a pencil!)
  • myself as I prepare meals with a cheerful heart
  • safety for my baby girl -- I thought of this because whenever I find something too small on the floor (LEGOs!) I stick them in the drawer so she won't choke!
The after.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lenten Challenge: 40 Bags in 40 Days!

As we enter into the Lenten Season, I have a challenge for you.

This time of year should be an opportunity to simplify. Strip things down to the basics. Remove distractions from your day so that you will hopefully have more time and space to focus on preparing for the coming of Easter!

So how about this -- on each one of the 40 days of Lent, collect a bag of "stuff" from one of 40 different areas in your home.  Once you have your (big or small!) bag full, you can then toss, recycle, or donate the stuff in it!  A simple step to achieve more freedom from the too-much-stuff that may be in your life.

[Note: Lent includes the days that start with Ash Wednesday and end on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday), except for Sundays!  Sunday is a feast day and is not part of Lent.  You can read more here.]  

Consider praying for the people that come to mind as you go through your home.  Use this exercise as an opportunity to be grateful for all the blessings in your life.  As you go through home and your day, pray about anything that is concerning you -- leaving that concern where it should be, with your loving Father! 

Here are the 40 areas in my house that I hope to collect from -- this list should give you some ideas for what you might do in your own home. As you can see from my list, I didn't necessarily come up with 40 separate locations to clean up!  Some of them are too big to do in one day or in one bag, so I gave myself a couple of days to do them. 

I can't wait to get started!

40 Bags in 40 Days
  1. Junk Drawer in Kitchen   
  2. Toy Cabinets in Living Room  
  3. Storage Drawers in LR 
  4. Linen Closet 
  5. Baby Girl's Closet 
  6. Baby Girl's Bedroom 
  7. My Closet 
  8. My Closet, Pt. II 
  9. My Bedroom  
  10. Boys’ Closet 
  11. Boys’ Bedroom 
  12. Boys’ Dresser 
  13. Bathroom Cabinets 
  14. Laundry Room/Cabinets 
  15. Utility Area in Studio 
  16. Pantry 
  17. Pantry, Pt. II 
  18. Pantry, Pt. III 
  19. Desk 
  20. Scrapbooking Lower Cabinets 
  21. Scrapbooking Upper Cabinets 
  22. Filing Cabinet 
  23. Front Porch 
  24. Back Patio 
  25. Shop 
  26. Shop, Pt. II 
  27. Shop, Pt. III 
  28. Shed 
  29. Shed, Pt. II 
  30. Shed, Pt. III 
  31. Front yard / Back yard 
  32. Minivan 
  33. Jeep 
  34. Truck 1 
  35. Truck 2 
  36. Kitchen Cabinets 
  37. Bookshelves 
  38. Attic 
  39. Attic, Pt. II 
  40. Attic, Pt. III

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

This recipe comes from a good friend of mine. This is the same friend who gave me her Salsa recipe! She's a very good cook and she takes great care in providing healthy, good quality food for her family. I admire her efforts and quite often seek out her advice in the kitchen and steal her ideas. My boys LOVE granola bars. And my husband asks for them in his lunches... Recently the big name brand companies out there have started leaving out the high fructose syrup (props to them!) but I still thought that I would like to try making them from scratch so that I know for sure what is in them and it's a pretty inexpensive way to do it, too!

Cream the following together:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Then mix together with:
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes in a buttered 15x10 pan (translation: a cookie sheet!). Cool and cut into bars. My friend told me that she wraps hers individually and stores them in the freezer. I put half in baggies in the fridge and the rest I wrapped up and put in the freezer. This recipe made 24 bars. They were kind of thick, so I think next time I may use a larger cookie sheet or even a jelly roll pan so that they are thinner and I can have more!
Another variation: Omit the spices and raisins and use 1 cup of chocolate chips and/or peanut butter chips instead! These bars kind of taste like a cookie, but chewier and denser.
Another variation: I am thinking this would be a great place to also hide some other wholesome ingredients like oat bran, wheat germ or flaxseed! What do you think?

Linking Up:

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Simple Solutions for Everyday Organic" (#3)

"7 Ways to 'GREEN' Your Spring Cleaning"
Tips from an article in Mary Janes Farm magazine...

1. Love Your Laundry -- Use half of a dryer sheet each time you run your dryer. It will still help your clothes smell nice and prevent static cling and you'll have less garbage!

2. Seek Out Simple Tools -- Use traditional cleaning tools like lamb's wool dusters, metal dustpans, straw brooms and don't use the more modern cleaning products that require throw away pads and dusters. [I personally still use some of these because it is easier--but there are a few kinds out there that you can wash and reuse.]

3. Clean without Chemicals -- This is also safer for children! A lot of the cleaning products out there "have been linked to allergies, skin irritations, breathing problems, and even nerve damage."

4. Pass the Vinegar, Please -- Vinegar can kill a lot of the mold, bacteria and viruses that are out there. Use it in a spray bottle. Add 1-cup of vinegar to your load of towels in the washer. Suggested website for vinegar tips:

5. Get a Baking Soda Boost -- Pair baking soda with your vinegar and together they will give you a great scrub! Deodorize drains and disposals with 1 cup soda followed by 2 cups boiling vinegar.

6. Put Peroxide to Work -- Removes stains in carpets!!! Pour on some, from the brown bottle under your bathroom sink, and let it dry.

7. Mix Your Own Furniture Polish --
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp jojoba oil
Mix together and apply to furniture with a soft cloth!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

To Give a Band-Aid is NOT a Boo-Boo!

Sometimes you just need a Band-Aid... 

even if there's nothing really there to cover. I see a little one on the verge of a smile instead of tears. You may argue with me, but to me it's worth it to give my kids a Band-Aid when they have a boo-boo even if they don't really need one--just because it makes them feel better!

Sometimes it's even-more-better to have two! (Especially when they make your feet look really cool.) Come to think of it... there's got to be a really good reason that Band-Aids make you feel better, other than the fact that they come with all kinds of fun characters and colors on them.... in fact, check out this website out for proof that it's not a mistake to be generous with the Band-Aids!!! 

Let's take this one step further and involve our kids in making a First-Aid Kit for the home so that they know just where to go when they need a Band-Aid. I found a recommended list of items to be kept in a First-Aid Kit: 
  • Box of assorted sizes of adhesive bandages
  • 1" bandage
  • 2" bandage
  • Package of sterile gauze
  • Sterile non-stick bandages
  • Ipecac syrup
  • Anti-biotic ointment
  • Ace wrap (elastic bandage)
  • Small sharp scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Adhesive tape
  • Needles
  • Matches
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Benadryl cream or antibiotic ointment
  • Disposable instant cold pack
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Plastic gloves
  • Emergency phone numbers (doctor, hospital, and poison control)
We use a BRIGHT RED plastic tool box as our First-Aid Kit. It's very easy to describe to my kids when I need them to run and get it. Note: if you plan to keep all of the above items in your kit, don't leave it where little hands can reach it. Instead, create a second First-Aid Kit that is kid-friendly without the items that are dangerous for them to have unsupervised access to.

Tip: Our kids get Band-Aids in their Christmas stockings with their favorite characters on them to use when and however they please. It's great fun and it's great for them!

Let's face it... Boo-Boos happen. But please go and be SAFE! ;-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Encouragement for Mothers

Please head over to this website and read about the author's recent challenge to mothers out there. This topic has been in the forefront of my mind for quite awhile now. I feel like sometimes the ONLY WAY TO GET my kids to listen to me is to YELL. It seems like they just [literally] don't hear me otherwise.

I encourage you to meditate on this as well and see where God is guiding you in how you talk to your children.

Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Simple Solutions for Everyday Organic" (#1)

These seven ideas for ways to improve your own life were taken from an article I read in Mary Janes Farm magazine...

1. Take a walk outdoors. Sometimes even just walking down the street and back can pick up your spirits and give you energy to finish out your day.

2. Create a collage. Find a picture that speaks to you in some way? Start collecting them and turn them into an art project that displays what you love in life.

3. Find a few minutes for free writing. Find a beautiful journal just for you and write your thoughts in it. Track the path of your life by reading former entries.

4. Dance. Just do it. It's fun. Who cares whether you can or not.

5. Meditate. Even just five minutes of stillness can make all the difference in a busy day.

6. Create a meal, slowly. Make something just for you. Enjoy the cooking process as much as the eating of it.

7. Practice praise. Admire others and tell them.

Doesn't that make you feel better?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Busy Bags

Some women in my church recently got together and created a series of busy bags for our kids. I wasn't able to be with them the night that they created the projects, but I contributed a set of supplies from home. It was a great system! There were 5 of us participating, so each person made 5 of the projects and then we shared them all. My 3yo son loves his new busy bags! The ones that we did included laminated blank faces with tubs of play dough (to create silly eyes, noses, mouth, etc.) ~ color matching ~ puzzles ~ pipe cleaners with soft beads to string on them ~ velcro jumbo sticks to create shapes ~ felt cupcakes with decorations, etc. I plan to add to our collection with more activities. These are great for the car or for church because they are portable and they are QUIET activities for him to enjoy. Here is a great resource to check out with amazing ideas for creating busy bags. My plan is to make up a box for him to store these in so that he can pull out a few at a time to take with him in his Church Bag. I am also working on a Quiet Book for my kids, but that will be a long process and hopefully sometime later this year I can post about it! Enjoy these great ideas and share with us if you try them! We would love to see some pictures of the activities you create!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

She Considers... A Garden of the Heart

Shared by our Mom... found in a cookbook of hers that was compiled by members of a former church.
Author Unknown.

Plant your own garden beginning today.
First plant five rows of peas:
Next to them plant three rows of squash:
    Squash gossip
    Squash criticism
    Squash indifference
Then five rows of lettuce:
    Let us be faithful
    Let us be unselfish
    Let us be loyal
    Let us be truthful
    Let us love one another
And no garden is complete without turnips:
    Turn up for Church
    Turn up for Sunday School
    Turn up with a smile
    Turn up with determination

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thoughts on... Laundry!

It's not pretty... but it works!
Winter is the time of year when I do the most laundry. My husband works outdoors and often wears layer upon layer--adding to my pile! The kids and I have been helping lately, so that of course means more layers for us, too. Not to mention the fact that long sleeves and jeans take up way more room in the washer than shorts! So, with all of this laundry around me, I've been thinking more and more about how to make the process go smoother for me.

Here are some ideas that I have come up with:
  • Have the kids fill the laundry basket(s) and carry them to the laundry room if they are able. I often send them through the whole house, looking for burp cloths left lying around, forgotten socks, towels, etc. Make it a game! See who can collect the most items or time them and see how long it takes, etc.
  • When filling the washer, zip up footie pjs or jackets so that socks don't get trapped inside, and it makes it easier to fold or hang later on. Velcro all tabs so that they don't stick to more delicate items. Turn things right-side-out if needed (again to help with easier folding later).
  • When filling the dryer, give everything a good shake to help with less wrinkling or things getting wadded up so they don't dry properly. Turn socks right-side-out so they dry evenly. Remove items that really should be line-dry to help them last longer. And even if you don't have an ideal laundry room (like me!) you can make it work. I have two drying racks--one that is permanently hung in the laundry room for small items and unmentionables and then one that I can move around for delicate blouses or sweaters, etc.
  • Cut the fabric softener sheets in half to save money or reuse them a few times so you don't use up your box too quickly!
  • Time to fold! Do it right away! Try to break the horrible cycle of wet laundry sitting in the washer getting smelly and dry laundry sitting in the dryer getting wrinkly! Fold the clothes and put them in piles for each person in the family to put away.
  • When I fold clothes, I dump out my bucket and then throw all the clothes in piles: by person, by whether or not they are folded or hung, and then I separate out all the socks. I take the hanging clothes and lay them in a pile on top of one another. Then I fold each person's pile and stack it neatly by item (shirts together, pants, underwear, etc.) Then I take all the socks and match them up and put them on top of each person's pile. Any solo socks are set aside until we find their match!
  • Label the kids' drawers to help them know where to put their clothes. Encourage them to take care of their things! This also helps when someone is yelling, "Mom, I can't find any socks!!!" Um. Look in your sock drawer!!! Etc...
  • My boys' dresser drawers.
  • Hang clothing in the closet by color. Helps with finding that shirt you want to wear, or when planning an outfit.
Also, I have been couponing for quite awhile and have built up quite a supply of laundry soap. Unfortunately I needed to stop couponing and I am about to run out of my supply! I am hoping to make my own laundry soap next. I can use some of the bar soap that I got (for FREE!) to do it... here are a few links to making your own laundry soap:

The Simple Dollar
Happy Living Magazine
DIY Natural

I am planning to make a huge bucket of this stuff to last me a long time! Here's hoping it turns out great!

What are some ways that YOU have found to make the endless job of doing laundry work for your family?

P.S. Sorry that the photo quality is poor. My house has very little natural light and it was extra dark this morning! :-(

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sew an Activity Bag!

I recently decided that I wanted to try making my son a Sunday Church Bag so that he could bring quiet activities with him as he is learning to sit through an entire service (he's about to be 3 years old and is just starting to show interest in sitting with us). I found a tutorial here for a bag that was pretty much what I wanted to make so I used it to guide me through the process. It was really easy. I am especially excited about the crayon pocket that I was able to sew on the front of the bag. The bag is small enough that he can carry it himself, but it will still hold a few activities or books (including his first Bible--a Christmas gift this year!). I chose fabric that I thought he would really enjoy as well. I am excited to put this gift under the tree for him!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Treats: Pretzel Treats

One of the best treats to make this time of year with your kids are Pretzel Treats. They are really easy for little children to do. They feel like they are "cooking" ... but really they are just unwrapping chocolates and practicing their fine motor skills as they place them on the pretzels! These are so easy to make and they are great for putting together gifts for neighbors or friends. 
Materials Needed:
  • Bite-sized pretzels
  • Red and Green M&Ms
  • Hershey Kisses

Photo Credit: Family Fun
Set the oven to its lowest setting (170 degrees) and as it heats up, unwrap the kisses and place them on top of a layer of pretzels on a cookie sheet (use parchment paper if you want--I have never done that). Bake 4-6 minutes until the kisses begin to melt. Don't let them stay in there too long. Remove from the oven and immediately place a red or green M&M into the center of the kiss, squishing it down. Cool them and place them in the fridge for awhile to set. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Celebrating Jesus' Birth with Our Kids

A friend recently shared an idea on Facebook of Family Devotions for Advent. I really like it! So we talked about it and decided to do these activities with our children this month. Unfortunately we are a little behind, but it's okay... we can catch up! :-) My husband picked up these candles today at the store and we hope to start tonight.

Here are the first two activities we are going to try, thanks to Toddler Bites!

Devotion #1

Theme: Jesus had a family…we do too
Scripture: Read Luke 1:26-38.
Family Memory Verse: For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37
Discussion Starter: Place a bowl filled with Hershey’s Kisses in front of your children.
Tell them that they may eat as many and they want as long as they don’t use their hands to unwrap them. Allow time to try.
It was nearly impossible to get the paper off of the Hershey’s Kisses without using your hands.
Ask: what are things that are impossible for us to do that God can do? Is there anything that is impossible for God to do? Why or Why not?
In our scripture reading, we learned that an angel told Mary she would have a baby-God’s son. She thought this was impossible because she wasn’t married. But with God, nothing is impossible.
Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, who was a much older woman – maybe the age of your grandmother – was also going to have a baby. This seemed impossible, but not for God.

Read Luke 1:13-19.
Ask: what is something that you are facing that seems impossible? What do you think Jesus would have you do about that “impossible” thing?
Prayer: Ask God to help you remember that nothing is impossible for Him.

Devotion #2

Theme: Angels and Shepherds
Scripture: Read Luke 2:8-20.
Family Memory Verse: Luke 2:13-14 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Discussion Starter: Provide a flashlight for everyone in the family. Cut out the shape of an angel (5 inches high) from dark construction paper. Cut one for each family member. Turn off the lights and explain that the story we will hear happened at night.
Discussion: Read Luke 2:8-14, by flashlight. When you get to verse 9, shine the flashlight beam across your angel to create a large shadow on the wall. When you read verse 13, have everyone project their angels on the wall. Read Luke 2:15-20. Why do you think the shepherds “came with haste?” (vs. 16)
What did the shepherds do after they had visited with baby Jesus? (Re-read vs. 17, 18, & 20…they told everyone about what they had seen and heard; they praised glorified and praised God)
Ask: are we excited to share the news about Jesus birth with others? Have we stopped to praise and glorify Him this season?
Prayer: Pray a prayer of praise to God. Ask Him to help you share the news of Jesus’ birth and the reason for His coming with others.
Advent Activity: Light the Candles during dinner each day this week according to what week of advent we are in. This week we will be lighting the two outer Purple candles until Sunday, then we will also light the Pink.

Week 1 (Nov. 27) -- Purple (Hope)
Week 2 (Dec. 4) -- Purple (Preparation)
Week 3 (Dec. 11) -- Rose (Joy)
Week 4 (Dec. 18) -- Purple (Love)
Week 5 (Christmas Day!!!) -- White (Christ)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Countdown

Every year one of my favorite ways to start the holiday season is to design a Christmas Countdown to use with my children. I have tried several over the years... One was a display of a big Santa tummy (made with scrapbook paper on a magnetic display board) where my son could take "cookies" (brown paper circles) out of a pouch and cover the numbers up that were all over Santa's tummy until his belly was full of cookies by number 25. Another was a 3-D paper display of the numbers with velcro photos to put up each day featuring photos of members of our family...

This year we are getting even fancier!!!

Supplies needed to make this Countdown:
1. Long trim board about 50" in length.
2. 25 Clothespins
3. Scrapbook paper
4. Cricut (to cut out envelopes and lettering/numbering--or you could do it by buying small envelopes, making them yourself from paper and then using a marker or sticker letters and numbers to label)
5. Mod Podge
6. Hot glue
7. List of 25 Christmas activities that you want to do with your kids
8. December's calendar/schedule
  • Paint a long board or piece of trim whatever color you want.
  • Measure out evenly 25 spaces to put the clothespins. This board was 50" long and my clothespins were centered evenly every 2 inches.
  • Hot glue the clothespins to your marks.
  • Cut strips of paper the size of the front of the clothespin and mod podge them on so they look more festive!
  • Create 25 envelopes. I chose to do 2 different sizes and colors.
  • Create 25 cards to fit in the envelopes and write 25 activities on these cards. Insert them in the envelopes.
  • Label the board with "Countdown to Christmas" or any other die-cuts, stickers, decorations.
  • Label the envelopes 1-25.
  • Hang it up!!!
Some of the activities include:
  • Make a Christmas Treat
  • Do something nice for someone else
  • Wrap Christmas Presents
  • Watch a Christmas Movie
  • Drive around and see the Lights
  • Color a Christmas Picture
How will you countdown the days until Christmas?

Linked Up:
Raising Homemakers
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Making Your Home a Haven (Week 3) UPDATED!

Here’s week #3′s Challenge: List a few of the spots in your home that make you visually stressed. Now go buy something for that spot – like a basket to put it all in!
Work on cleaning up clutter. Throw things away.
While you’re at it – clean up some clutter in your spiritual life. What gets in the way of your peace spiritually? (Courtney @

I LOVE this week's challenge. Clutter is a major problem for us. Courtney posted a video of her home and her clutter to show that just because she posts great ideas and appears to have it all together, she is REAL and she's NOT PERFECT. Definitely true for me... for example...

These are the three areas in our home that are constantly covered with clutter.

So what am I going to do about it? [Here are the suggestions from the challenge.]

My tasks are:

1. Use a basket/bucket/bin to collect items that would normally spread around my house and clutter up my workspace(s). We don't have two stories in our home, but a great place would also be to put one near the bottom of a staircase so that if there are items downstairs that BELONG upstairs, they can be carried up periodically in one trip using a basket!

2. Set a timer and go quickly through the house grabbing trash and clutter that can be thrown away!

This is my basket that I purchased for this challenge.

Are you still lighting your candle and listening to your music and praying for a peaceful home? Thinking about a clutter-free home makes think about my own life and my own heart. I think I just might add praying for a "clutter-free heart" to my list as well!

Okay... I did some cleaning up and boy does it look better!
Just don't get out your white glove....

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