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Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Challenge

Happy December!  Wow has it already been a busy month and its only the 5th day.  I had the pleasure this weekend to see my girls preform in a Christmas play at Concoridia University "Boar's Head" .  What a wonderful production. 

This is my challenge to you find a Christmas play/musical in your area and take the family to see it. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh the shopping

It's finally here shopping day, ok day I am ready 5am.  What was I thinking?  Well at least I get to have some quilty time with my mom for the first part of the day and then quilty time with the girls the second half the day with Grandma.

Do you recall challenge number 3 to make a personilzed gift for family and friends.  Make sure you check out your local craft store today they too should have some really great deals.  Be sure to take your kids along this is a great way for them to pick something up and make for that speical someone.

After the shopping is done take a little time to bake with your kids.  Our family loves to bake and freeze Christmas cookies at this time.  Then when it really starts to get holiday busy all you have to do is take them out and thaw and decorate.

Happy shopping

Thursday, November 24, 2011


It's Thanksgiving day and this family is usually home putting up the Christmas tree.  While this year we are not home today.  We will have to do this family tradition after Thanksgiving.  This is a great time for our family to enjoy decorating for Christmas.  What a wonderful transition from being Thankful to celebrating the Birth of Jesus. 

Challenge for you to start a family tradition of decorating for Christmas together.  Of course if you start this tradition on Thanksgiving you'll want to get to bed early because the next day you will be shopping to fill under that tree.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful Decorations Kid style

I had the opportunity to spend the day with my little Kindergartner this week and celebrated with the whole class at their Thanksgiving feast.

As I sat there watching the kids go from each station to do a craft or play a game I was thinking about how wonderfully decorated my house was going to be for Thanksgiving.

Here is the challenge as if you need to add to that to do list for this week.  If you are finding that you need more decorations here are a few quick craft ideas that can involve the kids.  Maybe you can even incorporate this into Thanksgiving day when you have all those kids running around and getting bored.

1st Craft Turkey Pine cones- Joanns has directions under (critter pine cones)

2nd Craft thumbprint corn- you will need a paper grocery bag (cut out four  small husk ), white paper (cut out in the shape of corn cob, ink pads, glue, and of course your thumb. 
Now your ready to stamp your thumbprint all over the corn cob, once you fill the paper then add two of the husk to the back and the other two to the front. Then roll down the husk and there you have corn.

3rd Craft Thankful cross-  White paper and foam leaf stickers.  Have the kids decorate the cross with the leafs and then in the middle put a green square that says "Give Thanks"

Remember to have fun and this is a great time during the making of the crafts to spend talking to your kids about giving thanks.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Posting Thanks

As I sat reading FaceBook for the last couple of days.  I noticed that a Fb friend was posting #7,#8, #9 etc... of what they are thankful for that particular day.  Here is my challenge to you.

Challenge #5

Whatever media communication you use, Fb, twitter  etc....
From today to Thanksgiving post what you are thankful for that day.
Just one thing and I am sure we all can come up with one thing a day to be thankful for.
You never know you just might inspire someone else to start to.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Table cloth Thanks

How are those 1-3 challenges going for everyone.  I know at this house hold we have gotten behind a little,but with a little effort we will be back on track this week.

Here is Challenge #4:
Its about two weeks before Thanksgiving and you are about to do all that shopping for turkey day.  All the plans are made for family and friends to come and visit.  Well add one more thing to the shopping list please. 
A white or cream colored table cloth or runner.  It should be plain not alot of design on it. 

When you are putting decorations out set this out somewhere that everyone can see.  As your guest come have them stop by the cloth and write with a fabric maker what they are thankful for on it.  Make sure they sign and date it. 
As long as everyone writes small enough you will end up with years and years worth of thankful thanksgivings to look back on.  Who knows you might even get to pass it down to your childern for them to use.  Just be sure not to get food on it and to store it in a safe place. 
Remember to pull it out each year and if you are not hosting take it along to where ever you may go for the year.
Have fun shopping!!!
 Blessings to you and your family! 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Holiday Challenge

Here are the first set of Holiday Challenges.  Remember to have fun and slow down this holiday season.

Challenge #1 Thanksgiving thankful tree.
Today while outside find a couple of sticks, a vase, some green floral foam, string, and fall colored paper.
Step 1 place the sticks in foam and the foam in the vase.  There you just made a tree now it needs colorful leaves.
Step 2 cut paper into small (but large enough to write on) peices.
Step 3 punch a hole in the paper and put a string on it.
Now you are ready to make a Thankful tree.   Everyday from Nov 1st- Thanksgiving day at dinner time (or the meal that your family chooses to sit together and eat) Go around the table and have each family member write on a piece of colored paper what they are Thankful for then hang on the tree. Little ones can just draw a picture.  When you are done you will have a full very colorful tree.

Ok so I am going to post the next two challenges just because these take a little time to do.

Challenge #2- Personized cards
Step 1 Make a list of family and friends that you plan to send cards and gifts to this year. 
Step 2 Now instead of just sending a generic card  why not make a card and send a letter to them that is tailored to the specfic person.  Do not type your letter write it in your own handwriting.  Unless your writting is really bad then please be kind and save your family and friends' eyesight.  They will appreciate it and not to mention the personalized letter and card.

Challenge #3 Homemade
Step 1 go back to the list you made and figure out who you are getting gifts for.
Step 2 This year instead of buying all their gifts from a store try making one of the gifts. Now this will take some thinking because you don't want to just make anything.  You want to make something that is personal to that person.  Hey if you are not crafty maybe you could cook, spend some time with the person, go to a craft show and look for ideas, basically chanel your inner creativity and think outside the box.

Please remember to get your kids involed in all the challenges.  This gives you the grand oppurinty to spend quilty time with your kids.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Family traditions

The Holiday season is just around the corner.   This means time to ignore the kids and prepare for visitors, Christmas programs, and etc..  WAIT!  Isn't this the time of the year we really should be taking even more time to spend with our children?  So for the months of Nov. and Dec. I thought I would do a different style of blogging.  I will have a series of challenges for you to take.  Please do not feel that you need to do all these.  These are things that our family is willing to try or have been doing together for the holidays.  I will try and post at least one a week.  Gods blessings and may you fill your home with loving traditions to pass down from generation to generation. 

Postings begin Nov. 1st, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bring Back

This subject has been weighing in my heart and mind for quite some time now.  Bringing back old-time things.  Could my family survie if we couldn't get clothing, blankets and food from a store?  You know those conveniences that we have today compared to way back when.  Back when people had to grow their own food, canning, homemade meals, sewing clothing, making blankets, knitting, writting to family far away, etc.

I have been wanting my girls to read Little House on the Prairie books for a few months now and one day while at our library I noticed they had the 1st season on DVD.  We rented the DVD's so the girls could see what it was about and in the hopes that they would really get into it.

As I sat watching the movies I realized just how close families were back then and how people all around would help one another.  People back then were just glad to be together even during the holiday season.  As we watched one of the episodes were the girls received a wooden animal figure and a tin cup for Christmas gifts, they were so excited too.  I wondered how many kids these days would be happy to receive those gifts.  I figure not too many, myself included.

That night it hit me just how materialistic we can be.  How we want things done right away and how we take little things for granted.

I have always been one for homemade things.  While I love store bought items, I really enjoy getting and giving homemade items the best.  I love cooking, knitting, crocheting, sewing, crafting, basically being proud of the things I have because I know I have worked hard at making them with the gifts and talents that God has given me.  However over the past few years I have noticed how people react towards those kinds of gifts.  While a few have really enjoyed them, most do not.  They are polite and say "Thank you", but it is more of a "Oh thanks what the heck am I going to do with this?" kind of thank you.
You also notice those are the gifts at the end of the night that are left behind, of course I swear to myself I will never make another thing again , but find myself doing it again year after year.  However the last couple of years I have not made homemade items, with the exception of a wall hanging quilt.

So as I sat watching these shows it all came back to me how I loved making homemade items and that is who I am.  A person that gives from the heart not from a store.  This also goes for all aspects of my life - giving from the heart, not because someone tells me to or in order to get something in return.  I do not do things at a cost,  I do them out of the kindness of the heart.

I thought about it and figure I was looking at this in the wrong way.  While it may look as though most do not care for homemade it isn't that at all.  Its the fact that they may be feeling that their gift in fact wasn't thoughtful at all or that when they do things its at a cost to the person they are helping. They are expecting something in return.  Yet this person that is giving from the heart is showing them the true meaning of kindness.

I have thought about this time and time again and I want to teach my childeren what it means to give from the heart and how it can impact a person, or even a whole community.

Who will you show kindness from the heart to today?  How will it impact your day and the people around you?

Changing for Honor


This summer was a summer of change for our family.  We decided to get healthy and connect as a family and set our priorities straight.

It started off with myself wanting to figure out how to eat healthy and more foods in their natural state instead of all these processed foods.  With all these fad diets and people telling you eat this way or that way how is one to know what is right?  I have tried most diets out there and like always if you stop them you gain the weight right back.

I have been praying for the last two years to lose weight and this was basically in order to have a baby, as I was told that if I lost weight it may help the fertility drugs to work and we could possibly have our 3rd child that we have been wanting since 2009.  Something in me kept telling me to look toward the bible in order to see how you should eat to be healthy and lose that weight.

Then I came apon this book called "Holy Cow -does God really care about what you eat."  This book was about what the bible says about what God has given us to eat. (I will stop for a moment and say this- If you want to debate this issue with me then I ask this that before you do so you must read this book then we can debate.) As I read this book I thought to myself "Oh lord, my family will never go for this" and "well, there are a couple of things here that I don't know if I can give up myself".  However I was wrong and after my husband and I finished the book and I looked into the subject a little deeper we said this is the right thing to do.
At first we thought of how our families will react to this, but then quickly realized why we are doing this again.  It is not to upset our families or to please them.  We are doing this to honor God.  We also know that you are not going to be saved just because you eat a certain way, you are only saved through Jesus.  Some may say we are not Jewish- no that we are not, but do you know a time during the year that certain people do not eat meat only on fridays, or a time where people will give something up for a period of time, or people who fast.  Why do these people do all these things, because they thing that by doing these thing they will be saved- NO it is because they are honoring God.  This is the same thing that our family is doing.  For God gave us life and our bodies we need to take care of ourselves.

While also getting healthy we wanted to connect as a family within our own four walls and we gave up our TV.  I wrote about this last month and have to say we are doing quite well.  We also set Sundays as family day and church day.

As we have made these changes and taken our faith to the next level proclaiming that we are willing to submit to the Lord's will and honoring him we have noticed our changes have made a few people around us a little uncomfortable.  As my husband and I talked one night I asked him why is this so.
It is as though our changes have made people think about their own lives and what are they doing to step into their faith more and honor God. 
This is not something that we as sinful people want to think about.  If challenged to do so we become uncomfortable and in a way try to make this go away by whatever means possible.  Myself included- I could tell of plenty of times when I would or still do shy away from friends that honor God in some way that I would not be willing to do.  After I sleep on it though,  I do realize I was the one looking at it the wrong way and try to make a better effort to change.

 People who are making changes for the better need to remember why they are doing so and no matter what others say  you must hold strong and continue to work towards honoring God and doing what is right.

I am not saying to do all the changes that our family did. What I am saying is set your foundation and hold to it no matter what others around you think.  Also to be mindful of a little respect, just remember when faced with change that you are mocking or makes you uncomfortable probably means you are faced with the Truth.

Just a little added note I am even training for my first 5K run this fall. 

Think about what you can do to take your faith to the next level.  This is an unknown path that is not easy but so worth it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Paths leading you to.....

Have you ever wondered if this would have been different or just if I would have been here instead of there would I have still meet this person or that person.

I was wondering this very question one day about myself and my husband after we had been talking about the past.

In order for you the reader to better understand why I would wonder such a thought let me step back a few years ago.

First step- I was adopted as a baby.  Now if I hadn’t been and stayed with my biological family would I have still met my husband?  As I sat there thinking about that and thinking well only God knows that answer.

Second step- I met my biological family back in 2001 and have stayed in touch in some way or another with them over these past few years.

Now we come back to present time.  It was about Christmas time 2010 and while out on good old Facebook a post from my biological sister  popped up on the home page.  When it did  I noticed a person’s name that I thought for sure it can’t not be, oh but it was.  It happened to be my husband’s cousin’s son that was Facebook friends with my sister.  So of course I message my sister and she explains to me how she knows him and we all just say “Wow what a small world it is.”

Now forward to July 2011 and my sister once again posted something.  I see someone with the same last name that I would have had if I had not been adopted.  I wonder who it is and with a click I message my sister and ask, and she tells me who it is.  This person is a cousin of ours.  I notice though that we have a person in common as a friend on Facebook.  It happens to be a college friends wife of my husband.  Once again this person leads me back to my husband.

So this is a path that I definitely am willing to leave unknown.   It was shown to me at two different times how a biological relative’s friend led me right back to my husband and his family and friends.  With this I believe God took any path that I went down and led it straight to my husband.

I leave you with this to ponder: Have you ever noticed what a small world we live in?  If you would have just did one thing differently would you have ever met the people in your life today?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

TV Free Houshold

We are not a family that buys into the notion that TV will hurt a child's development by watching it or too much of it.
Our 7yr old is proof of that, Iowa test at 100% ranking and accelerated in every subject.  Well rounded child socially and academically.
However when we notice as they get older that they stop playing with toys, stop communicating and being social and wanting to go outside and play just so they can watch TV all day.  While summer can be hot out during the hours of 12-3 we still could be out before and after that time.
Unfortunately we find ourselves getting up late (because we stayed up late the night before watching TV) and all day watched TV.  It seemed to be making us more tired than if we were physically active, not to mention the eating habits are different(snacking all day) instead of real meals.  You can't even think about exercising, you're just too tired because of the lack of movement and the sugar spikes from all the low grade food you have been eating.
So with all this information gathered what is a family to do?  Do you continue on this path of TV , no socializing, and movement? Or do you go against society (who which by the way will think you are nuts, along with the cable company pressures of making you feel like you are a bad parent and will be endangering your child because how will you know when a violent storm is coming.) and go down that unknown path of a no TV household?
Well after many years of many attempts our family took the plunge and deviated from the path of TV to the unknown path of no TV.
So far we have been doing well. The kids had a hard time at first, but then re-discovered the family games.  I don't mean techno games either.  I mean those old board games the we all used to grow up on.
In two days the kids learned how to buy and sell property, the value of money just from a board game.  We also gained in one day a 6 hr family time. Oh how the time flies by.  We didn't even notice that is was way past dinner time.  We hadn't wanted to snack, we would take a couple of breaks to walk around, but we were together.
For the rest of the week we were outside playing in the yard and making sure our yard was kept up and watered.  We went to the beach a few times and the kids are closer to swimming on their own, and yes mommy is closer to be willing to swim in a lake.
The kids so far really don't mind that the TV is gone.
As far as keeping up with what is going on in the news,  I have great news - you can read it on the Internet at your own convenience.  While on there check out the weather.  If you forget , well while outside look at the sky and you'll see it coming.
Some may say this is OK for summer months but what in the world are you going to do for those winter months here in Michigan?  I say to them and admit it will be a challenge and unknown path, but we can spend time playing games, crafts, cleaning the house, cooking (from scratch), reading, writing, and the old school stuff that bring families closer together.
In all this is an unknown path that I and my husband and family are willing to embrace just to be closer together and I forgot to mention even closer to God. 
So I leave you with this: What path will you choose to take in order to have a more close-knit family?  Will you be willing to take the unknown path?