Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Scripture

The effect of the economy has even illustrated itself in my small, small town. It has been heavy on my heart lately, and everytime I turn around it seems that I am reminded that it really has affected everyone. I used to only "see" those in dire need in the bigger cities, but unfortunately it has manifested itself everywhere I look. Either that, or I have just really started open my eyes, as I have prayed, asking Christ what I can do to help. These verses spoke volumes to me this morning as it reminded me that as a Christian, it is my calling to not only have faith, but to display my faith through my actions. As I continue to pray for how I can help, I will ask Him to open my eyes even more, so that I can truly see what I have been missing.

Dear brothers, what's the use of saying that you have faith and are Christians if you aren't proving it by helping others? Will that kind of faith save anyone? If you have a friend who is in need of food and clothing, and you say to him, "Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat hearty," and then don't give him clothes or food, what good does that do? So you see, it isn't enough just to have faith. You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn't show itself by good works is no faith at all--it is dead and useless.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

My 2 year old daughter has OCD.

Spring Cleaning

I'm still here, I promise! I have been busy, busy, busy Spring Cleaning. (Actually catching up on last Summer, and Winter...)

If you feel moved to do the same, this is a great post to help you get started. The entire site is really motivating and inspiring!

I also enjoyed this little post for further motivation ;) "I must prepare my heart before the Lord for the day, otherwise I will get caught in my own sinfulness and selfishness"... so true!

And, better late than never, here are some highlights of our St. Paddy's Day! I didn't get a pic of the Rainbow Cake, but it turned out great and didn't last long!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Grocery List as a Teaching Tool

I make simple "lists" for my daughter to follow when we go grocery shopping. I just cut out pictures and glue them to construction paper and she can help me find what is on her list, while I can look for what is on mine. She loves it, it keeps her focused, and I love the excitement she gets from the recognition! (and being mommy's helper, of course!)

You can easily adapt this for an older child even including a checklist...the possibilities are endless!

I have a secret...

I've had a few comments come my way (from the blogosphere and the other) about how I find time to keep up with blogging and posting on a regular basis. I came across this post and wanted to share, because I do not post every day, either! I get on my little kicks or find time when my two loves are in bed! Mommy at the computer with a toddler? I think NOT!

Garlic Toast Pizza

I'm sure you have made french bread pizza, English Muffin pizzas, etc., but this is how I make pizzas for my two kiddoes (i.e. the husband and the actual child, lol) and they love it. Just top as you would any other pizza, and bake toast according to directions on the box.

It's not as fattening as you would think, and you could always go a leaner route, with a leaner meat, reduced fat cheese, etc.. and it sure beats shelling out an unGodly amount of money, ordering pizza, which I loathe. (It really is highway robbery.)

All stores have their own brand of this stuff and it's super cheap.
Our Wal-Mart has pizza sauce for 98 cents (every day) and it does not have High Fructose Corn Syrup in it...


Saturday, March 14, 2009

You Make Me Want to be Brave

If you were to ask my mom, I was an intense and uptight kid. I worried about things kids shouldn't worry about and only a few times can I really and truly remember letting go and letting loose.

It's not that different now that I'm an adult. I'm still afraid of what most people consider to be fun things like roller coasters, I think too much, and fear holds me back greatly from having a voice and taking risks. My daughter has taught me about innocence, imagination, and just being. And these days, as my relationship with Christ stengthens, I feel myself changing.

This song says it all for me.

Have you or has someone you've known sang a song at church or at a concert and had their hands raised high, eyes closed, no-holds-barred, praising the Lord? They don't care where they are or who is watching, it's just about Him. I'm that way in my head and heart, but I may never be that person.

When I hear this song, I can see myself, hands raised high over my head, going down the fastest and biggest roller coaster, no fear, knowing that Christ is there with me, as He always has been, and He is smiling because He knows that I have let go.

I want my daughter to be the same way, in all that she does, and I also want that braveness to help in my fear of sharing my testimony and spreading the Word.

Here are the the lyrics and a video.

I sought The Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Because I continue to look to him, I’m radiant... Psalms 34:5

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rainy Day Kit and Make Your Own Flashcards

It has been raining, nearly nonstop, alllll week long here. It was summer weather last week and then BOOM. No more park. No more sidewalk chalk. Rain, rain, rain. We played games and did lots of "no camera mommy" crafting. Had to get really creative and keep her busy because she, like me, wanted to be back outside.

So, I decided to put this together for my little sister's birthday. This should be all she needs to get her craft on on a rainy day, too. You could get really creative and go all out at all the "dollar spots", i.e. Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Target, dollar stores, etc., but I wanted to keep it old school. The stuff I remember using... all the things you probably already have in your home (that I happen to save for this exact purpose) just waiting for a child's creativity and imagination to take over. You know, the basics. Also some things I have picked up for next to nothing in clearance bins for times like these.
So here goes:

Those are puff stickers, aren't they awesome?

Now for the contents:

A soup can is filled with pipe cleaners (chenille stems) and a stencil.

Tiny plastic containers holding foamie stickers, googley eyes, rhinestones, etc...and a stamp:

If you ever see these containers at the Dollar Tree, or anywhere, GRAB 'EM UP. These things are awesome for not only crafts but tons of other stuff. I'll show you at the end of the post why I am so obsessed with them.

Ok Janie, back to the kit:

A cello bag with pom poms, tied with a pipecleaner.

A foamie set of shades she can decorate then rock when the sun's back.

A sheet of red felt tucked inside a toilet paper roll. I also included a paper towel roll, paper plates, brown paper bags, foam frames, and a paint-your-own ceramic with paints and a brush.
Tucked in there as well are my homemade flash cards.

You know how sometimes a kid's meal will include flash cards? Well, at least Sonic does. Anywhoo, they are usually way too advanced for my daughter so I replace them either with our own, or ones I've made. I've just done these on colored construction paper and had them laminated at an office supply store for less than a buck. Once I even laminated them with packing tape ;) Either way, just punch a hole and hook 'em on.

Less mess, won't get torn, and actually something we are working on at the time.

And as promised, and just as a warning, I have an unnatural obsession with clear containers and labels.

Some say it's a sickness. I call it peace:

My sprinkle lovelies....the front row

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oh, wowza.

I just found what I'll be making for St. Patrick's Day dessert. Wow, Wow, WOW. Check out the details here. I'm thinking green frosting, though...


Another use for that cookie cutter...

It was cold today so Monkey and I enjoyed some tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch...

And then we made bracelets from (super cute!!) wooden beads I found at the dollar store.

Cost of craft: $3.00
Having Mommy and Me bracelets: priceless.

Mess schmess. We played ALLLL day :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Salt Dough Shamrock Necklaces REVEALED!

Oh my goodness these turned out soo cute! I will definitely keep this recipe on hand for future occasions, because with cookie cutters, the possibilities are endless!

Monkey insisted I finish one of them, so I decided she'd wear the one mommy made and vice versa for St. Paddy's Day. (You know I'll get pics...) I was excited to get my craft on, too!

We sprinkled on glitter when the paint was wet and finished with a sealer spray so the glitter wouldn't come off.

Wanna make one, too? Check out my post here, to get started!

First Trip to the Library and Some Bidness...

We had so much fun! This was and still is one of my favorite things to do, so it was so touching and exciting that she enjoyed it, too. Maybe I'm weird, but I love everything about a library. The quietness, the smell, the sound of a library book being opened.. that crunchy sound is one of my all time favorite sounds ;)
Now for the 'bidness':

Ok, first of all I want to say thank you all so much for the sweetest comments I have been getting lately about my new layout. Wow. You girls are sooooo nice! Second of all, I promised myself I wouldn't even think about doing a Mr. Linky until I had at least 30 followers.. and I have 29! Yayy, I am so excited!

Which brings me to my point...Could you guys do me a favor and let me know if you would participate in the following Mr. Linkys:

1. FREE FUN- how you and your family have free or nearly free fun. (Things I have posted in the past would be the park, etc.)

2. MOMMY'S PLAYLIST- what music you are listening to, and what it means to you, how it speaks to you...that sort of thing.

3. HIGH/LOW- I really enjoyed this on my old blog, it would be the best and worst part of your week.

4. MOMMY GETS REAL- haha.. I have been thinking about this one alot lately. I want to pick your brains. How often do you really wash your sheets, clean your windows, vaccum under the couch cushions.. you get the idea. This would be really fun and interesting! (At least to me..) This could also be secrets that you keep from others, like the time I found out my great grandmother's sacred cheesecake recipe came from a box...

Any and all of these would be posted here with a Mr. Linky for you to link to your site and we would all benefit by generating more "traffic" (I call it friends) to our blogs! I have more in mind, but this is just a start...

I'll be judging by your feedback if I should wait or go ahead and start! Thank you so much girls, you make blogging all that much more fun, and you all rock!

Wordless Wednesday

for more Wordless, visit 5 Minutes for Mom...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thrifty Finds Even in Not-So-Thrifty Places

This is a hodge-podge post on all the goods I've found lately in my quest to beautify my home frugally. I have yet to be dissappointed!

First up: Hobby Lobby. Oh, gaga, I adore Hobby Lobby. They have a fantastic 80% off aisle and if you can catch their 50% off sales, you can score some great deals.

Yes, you are reading that right. 81 cents. 95 cents and $1.08! I ended up getting six and sis took three!

This fleur-de-lis was a dollar-something and I got all three that they had.

This pillow makes my bed and I think with the half-off sale, it ended up being under $10.00. And it is a niiice pillow!

Let's go Krogering.

Oh, how I loooovve Kroger's Manager Specials. Sis and I scored big time last week and I got more goodies today.
We bought all they had and donated some things to the local Food Bank.