Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Sunshine

and is that a blue bird I hear?? Okay, maybe not, but it is VERY spring-like outside. So much so that I gave my kiddos an extra long break after lunch to suck in fresh air (and blow the stink off!) They are there right now--and just came in for some water in a big bucket which can't be good. I can't bring myself to spoil the quiet tranquility that I am enjoying at this very moment.

I'm not one to complain about the weather (except when it's super hot with high humidity, okay, then I do get a little cranky.) I certainly can't complain about the wonderful weather we have had recently.

I've been working through an online Bible study through the book of Ephesians. It's a slow, thoughtful walk meditating on Paul's inspired words to the church at Ephesus. Last week, due to sickness, I got a little behind. However I caught up last night--even though to be honest I just copied down the Scriptures and read them over and over. The normal "method" is SOAP: Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It's been difficult for me to find applications in each day's reading. That has brought me to the place of praying that God would guide me to the application--the thing HE wants me to walk away with, how HE wants me to change.

Throughout the study, I've been reminded again of God's great LOVE for us. And that is my "one word" for this year. Here is where I first read about "one word" Ali Edwards: One Little Word. So, I've been choosing one word for several years now. I really want to make my one little word more prominent in my thinking and my life. I'm going to look into what Ali has on her blog. However, I digress...

My one word for this year: LOVE, has come out of a prayer that I would realize in my heart of hearts how much God loves me and how His love for me will guide my relationships with others. Don't get me wrong, I know God loves me and I know I'm His child. I still struggle with the reality of this truth and I'm not sure how to even explain that. As I prayed about what God would want my one little word to be this year, "love" kept coming to my mind.

It's exciting to me that in the Ephesians study I'm being reminded of His love for me!
Well, the kiddos are back inside and school must commence.

The January winds blow...

And I resurface...

We had a wonderful Christmas together.

School has been back in full swing for a few weeks now. I readjusted some things in our daily routine. My nine year old, Bethany is now doing Bob Jones Reading. Mostly, I am a unit study, pull together my own thing, kind of girl. However, I needed to have something all planned out for me to ensure she's getting everything she needs. It's working well so far, and I was able to borrow everything except the consumable from a friend of mine. I've also gone back to daily check-off sheets and hopefully our workboxes will be resurrected for Trenton and "Muffin" (the little 4 year old I babysit).

Edited to add: Okay, so now it's February 1st and this little post has been in my drafts waiting to be finished. ack! Posting now and writing a new one for today. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Wrapping

I absolutely love wrapping gifts. It may be a sickness; I'm not quite sure. My oldest daughter noted that there aren't many folks in my camp of loving to wrap gifts. It's such a beautiful precise thing, measuring, cutting, folding, taping...ahhh...just talking about it makes me all giddy.

To go along with the love of wrapping is my love for printable gift tags and box top embellishments. Some wonderfully creative bloggers are giving away printables for gift tags. Go visit Creature Comforts for a LONG list of free printables.
The Handmade Home has some here.
And Fresh Picked Whimsy has a cute set here.

This year I printed tags from the last two resources listed above, mainly because I just found Creature Comforts list today.

I hole punched the tags and used all kinds of fun, different sized ribbons to tie up my packages.
Hope you enjoyed this holiday wrap-up of my wrapping! :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monster Cookies with "Muffin"

The little "Muffin" I babysit made monster cookies with me the other day. We had a good time. She loves to bake, cook and be in the kitchen. I loved it when she tried to stir the M&M's into the mixture. Her little arm couldn't even move the spoon. :)

We took two plates of cookies along with homemade cards to some of our local community service men and women. The county jail sheriff and deputies and the firefighters were glad recipients. We  have been intentionally thinking of ways to give gifts to others--whether it be gifts of baked goods, candy canes, cards, time, etc. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be with my kids and do fun things like this!

Monster cookies are GREAT because it makes a BIG batch, they are yummy, and they freeze well. The only downside is that you spend hours switching cookie sheets in and out of the oven.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade Ranch Crackers

I made these yummy crackers today! I posted the recipe here a few years ago. Easy recipe and SO good.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December is under way

I've been thinking:   if I can post a status update on Facebook every day of November, then I can make time to post something on my blog everyday of December. :) My goal is to include a picture from that day and some thoughts about our happenings.

So, it's December 3rd and I've already missed yesterday...I know. Tiredness overtook me and I slept for a long time last night! I took a picture though. Here is a picture of one of the crafts we are taking for our local homeschool's annual Kid's Christmas Craft Sale. I got the idea from a friend and then I did some research online. I found this cute example:
Everyday Art--alphabet glass stone magnets
I know originally I looked at lots of other sites, but I can't seem to find them now.  We used scrapbook paper, regular stick glue, glass stones (flat on one side, bubble on the other) and round magnets glued on with E-6000 glue. We glued the stone to the paper, cut it out, glued the magnet on and walaa! Cute!

The other pictures are of my younger two with their Truth in the Tinsel craft. We are enjoying this Advent devotional.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent--You are Here!

I really enjoy this time of year. The concentrated focus on Jesus does my heart such good. Oh, to keep that focus all year long. For several years, we've celebrated Advent as a family. Each year we seem to add a little something and this year, we've added two little somethings. :) You can see below what we do, and please, leave a comment and share how you celebrate Jesus' birth.

First, a good couple article by Noel Piper on Advent can be found here. She's written several more that pertain to Advent (use the "search" feature to find them.)

Ann Voskamp has written a lovely thoughtful devotional called Jesse Tree Advent Family Devotional. Last year, I printed out the ornaments, mounted them on card stock paper, hole punched and threaded a ribbon through each one. We usually read this devotional at lunch time and the younger kids take turns hanging the ornament on the tree.

This year I found "Truth in the Tinsel" This fun Advent devotional is geared more toward younger children and will work well with the little girl I babysit. She is four. My two younger kids (ages 6 and 9) are doing it too and enjoy making crafts. I found this great printable from Mama Jenn that has added a curiosity factor for them.

Lastly, we've decided on lots of fun "random acts of kindness" based on this idea from Lil Light O' Mine. We read through all the ideas and have a whole pile of ones we are praying that we are able to do. We are so excited! Today the younger two kids and I tied ribbon and a little message on to the candy canes. My little 6 year old has given two of them away already! One to mom of the little girl I babysit and the other to a HVAC service man. {I love my kids!}

12 Days before Christmas we will start Adornaments that we received years ago from a sweet friend. They were sold by Family Life Today, however I don't know if they still sell them. Each day you read about a different name of Jesus and there is an ornament that you hang on the tree. There is also a CD with a song that goes along with the name of Jesus. We've enjoyed this devotional for years.

Our church is celebrating Advent too, so it's wonderful reinforcement for the kids. The message on Sunday was on hope and was very powerful. We have hope in Christ!