Friday, October 29, 2010

You Are More

I heard this song on KLOVE today, and it immediately spoke to me. Usually it takes me a few times of really listening to a song to hear the lyrics and get meaning from them. Not this one. Take a listen.

What are you more than?

Me....let's see, where to begin.

I'm more than an impatient person. More than a mother who loses her cool too easily. More than a wife that speaks ill towards her husband. More than a gossip. More than someone who easily judges. More that someone who doesn't exercise self control.

Sometimes it's not the huge sin that makes us feel far from God, although many times it is. Sometimes it's the stuff we struggle with for years, the stuff that wears us down, the stuff we almost become immune to.

Sometimes it's the stuff that we earnestly want to lay down and give to God, but we take it back on when the situation presents itself. And trust me, a situation will arise where we will pick it back up and carry it around some more. The enemy will make sure of it.

>"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ Jesus was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a NEW life. Romans 6:4

A new life, every day. We don't have to do anything to claim it, and there is nothing we can do to have it revoked. It's new for us each morning, each day a fresh start. The power of Christ's death and resurrection brings new believers into His fold everyday, and that same power allows those who've already joined Him the ability to stay in His presence. For we are more than the sum of ourselves, our deeds and actions nothing in comparison to His restoration.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shoebox Storybook Stage

My kiddos and I made this shoebox stage today for puppets. It was fairly easy, free and they had fun.

I don't think I need to go into step by step instruction here, it's pretty self explanatory. I will say that using a glue gun makes things easier and the construction should last longer.

We used a variety of things. Craft sticks, construction paper, markers (washable of course!), pencils/pens, cardboard and Mommy manned the hot glue gun. We even colored some chipboard from my scrapbooking stash and added them for extra flair.

I would say it took us about an hour to put it together. I'm hoping they'll play with it a lot longer, and so far so good!

Start holding onto shoeboxes, so you can join in on the fun!

Here's to creativity and hopefully a few less, "Mommy, I'm bored!".

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

GFCF Choc-o Crunchie Mix

So, in honor of the world series starting tonight I told my oldest I'd make him some kind of treat. I raided the pantry, this is what I came up with. It's got a few sneaky healthy things in there, although it's so sickingly sweet you'd be hard pressed to peg them.

Got the seal of approval from my 7,5 and 3 year old. Try it, I bet your kiddos will like it too. This would be perfect on top of ice cream, or a bit in a bowl covered with some milk for a crazy cereal dessert.

The ingredients are vegan chocolate chips, gf oatmeal, powdered sugar, rice cereal, ground flax seed and vanilla. You could play around with this. Like subbing rice crispy treats, or pretty much any cereal of your liking. It would be a great way to use up cereal crumbs too. We just used what we did because my oldest needs it to be gluten free and dairy free.

I used 1 bag of vegan chocolate chips (Sunspire brand), 3 C of rice cereal (Hain and Chex both make GF varieties), 1/2 C of rolled oats ( Bob's Red Mill GF oats), 1/4 C ground flax seed (Bob's Red Mill), 1/2 C powdered sugar and 1 t vanilla.

I melted the choc-o chips in the microwave. First off I did half power for 2 minutes, mixing after 1 minute. Then I did full power in 30 second intervals, mixing in between, twice. All the chips won't be melted and that's ok. Just take the bowl out anyway and stir, they will melt. You don't want to completely melt the chips in the microwave or you'll burn the chocolate.

I then added everything else and combined well. It ended up being really thick, so that the cereal crumbled up and didn't hold it's shape. That's why I recommend as an ice cream topping or as a cereal treat as the pieces are smaller and it would be messy to eat straight.

My kids shared a bowl, and they loved it. It's really simple and a great way to whip up something quick. It would also store well in the freezer to have on hand for a last minute treat.

From Spangled to Stately

I love decorative stars. They really have a nice impact. I've been on the lookout for one for awhile now. Not finding one that I liked or could afford, I decided to try and make one instead. Here's my finished product, let me tell you what I did. Oh, and did I mention it cost me $0.50 to make?

Ok, this is the "spangled" thing I started off with. A cheapie plastic 4th of July decoration. It was discounted at the dollar store, so I got it for $0.50. It's pretty hideous, isn't it?

I hit it with some matte black primer. I didn't get super fancy perfect for plastic primer either, the regular stuff worked just fine and covered it well. Just needed a light coat.

I finished it off with Rustoleum's "brown" in their hammered finish. I really like this stuff. It goes on well and has a somewhat textured finish, as you can see below. It also gives your project just the right touch of metallic sheen.

There are a few places where the black primer just so faintly shows through. I only used two really light coats of the brown and like how the black is just showing through here and there, gives it some pop in my opinion.

So, not bad for $0.50, right? I had all the paint and the little bit of ribbon I used for hanging on hand. Looks great, made one for my Mom too and I'm hoping she'll like it as much as I do!

Please click on "Linky Parties I Love" to see where I'll be sharing my project.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cabinet Door Chalkboard

A few months back I picked up some cabinet door fronts from the Habitat ReStore for $1 a piece. They had a lot of great detail and I could see repurposing them for signs. I've already made a sign with one of them, you can see what I did here .

With the other two I decided to make chalkboards. One for myself, and one for my Mommy. They were painted an ivory color, and while pretty they were pretty scratched up so I knew they needed to be painted. Since it's fall I decided to go with a darker color, and since we both tend to use a lot of red/brown/rust in our decorating I thought that I'd go that route.

I absolutely lOvE how these turned out. This was an attempt to sharpen my "faux" finish skills. I used about 5 different colors of paint altogether and went with a mottled finish on the front and kinda antiqued it up a bit. I know, it really doesn't make much sense but let me try and explain what I did.

The front has a sponged/mottled appearance. I mixed a rusty red and a nutmeg brown color and watered it down quite a bit and just sponged it on. I then took a clean washcloth and pressed along the surface, picking up some paint and texturing it a bit more.

The inside rim, closest to the chalkboard is solid acrylic paint, I used the same rust red color but didn't water it down.

The outer rim is ginger brown mixed with a bit of grey and the nutmeg brown. I didn't water this down either, and used a foam brush and gave it a even coat.

Then I washed over everything with metallic brown glaze that was heavily watered down. I love how it adds just a touch of sparkle and just perks up the overall look. I also made sure that the glaze settles in the crevices here and there to just make those lines really pronounced.

Super happy with the result. My Mom said she liked the pictures, hopefully she'll love it in person. $1 for the cabinet door front, everything else I already had on hand. That is my kind of project!!

Please click on "Linky Parties I Love" to see where I'll be sharing this week. Thanks!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Nature's Bounty Wreath

So, as you can see I found my camera, yipee!!! I put it back in a weird place. I need to have a dedicated spot for it so I don't have to go through that again, not fun.

So here's my latest project. I'm calling it "Nature's Bounty" wreath, like the title? I went to the dollar store yesterday and saw this wreath and this package of potpourri/filler stuff and immediately I thought it would make a great combo for a wreath. Let me show you what I did.

First off I primed the wreath and some of the decorative items. Everything in the bag was various shades of mud brown, so I wanted to vary it a bit. I used black primer (OSH brand) and did a light coat.

I used Rustoleum's hammered finish in "brown" for the wreath and some of the decorative items. I also painted a few of the items with some yellow and red spray paint I already had, but then lightly went over them with a coat of the hammered brown. I made sure the yellow and red faintly came through, not giving it a solid coat. The nuts I just covered with a very watered down glaze of metallic brown acrylic paint, for a barely there look.

To give the wreath some rigidity I took a plastic lunch meat container lid and hot glued it to the backside. I wanted to have a platform to help build off of and to have an area to glue to. I used the plastic lid as opposed to cardboard so it would stand up to the elements, as I don't have a covered porch.

Then I just started building the wreath. I wanted to cluster the items together and build it up instead of spreading it all over the wreath.

For the hanging ribbon, I used some brown ribbon and then tacked the gold sparkly ribbon to it with hot glue. I like how it turned out. Just a bit of glitz without taking away from the overall muted look.

Here's the view from my front porch. Very happy with the overall result. The wreath and all the decorative items were $2. I bought the primer and brown paint for $8, but only used a small portion of each so I have quite a bit left over for other projects. Both ribbons I already had as well, so I'm saying this wreath was well under $5 to make.

Please click on "Linky Parties I Love" to see where I'll be sharing my latest project!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I've lost my trusty little camera. I love it so...I hope I find it sOoN!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Woman is a Genius

‎"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing."-Phyliss Diller

Perception vs. Reality

I've been praying and working on making a shift in my thought process about things that irk me. The stuff that tends to rub you the wrong way, things you'd rather not do, situations that cause you stress. Mostly the little, mundane things that we all do, all can relate to on some level or another. Shifting focus away from the negative and what you don't like to what you've been blessed with instead.

Designing and building a supposed "kid built" project is spending time with your child.

Listening to yet another "play" by ... is an opportunity to watch your child use their mind in an audible and tangible way. You can actually see the way their little minds are working.

Figuring out where to store all you kid's crap I mean stuff means you've been blessed with the ability to provide fun activities for your children.

Sticky, sugary gingerbread houses are family traditions.

Messy painting in the backyard is a chance to watch your child create and make something.

Cleaning up a messy toddler after a meal means they have the ability to feed themselves.

That clingy child that never leaves your lap is a few more moments of cuddle time before they are too old to cuddle anymore.

Those forsaken 20,000 little pieces of stuff all over the house are ways to develop fine motor skills in your child.

More, you say?

Those dirty undies on the floor that NEVER, NEVER EVER make it to the hamper belongs to a husband that comes home to you every night.

Those dirty dishes in the sink waiting to be washed means you have running water in your home.

The dirty bathroom that needs to be cleaned means you have indoor plumbing.

That filthy car that needs to be detailed so badly means you have your own personal means of transportation.

The 20 plus pounds you need to lose means you are in a season of plenty.

The dinner you have to make that you don't want to make means you have the ability to feed your family.

The house that will never stay clean means you have a roof over your head.

The same bedtime story your child asks you to read every night means you can read.

The guilt you feel over not being good enough, worthy of God's love or an adequate mother means you have the ability to think.

The fights you have with the kids over clipping fingernails means they have the ability to be mobile.

The laundry that is constantly in your baskets, hampers, on the floor means you have clothes on your back.

The "mommy burnout" that we feel means we are able to stay home with our children.

I could list more, but I think we all get the point. Switch your thought process a bit. Think about how that "curse" is actually a blessing from our Father. He has given us all that we need, I for one need to start seeing it for how He sees it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Rainy Season

"Then I will send rain on your land in it's season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil." Deuteronomy 11:14, NIV

I love fall. By far, my favorite season. I love the change it brings. The coolness, the colors, the smells. I always have had a special place in my heart for this time of year. I remember being little and looking at changing leaves and colorful sunsets and feeling calm and peaceful.

I love nature. Bees, flowers, trees. Looking at them gives me an appreciation for God's creation. The variety. The complexity. The purposefulness wrapped up in beauty. I can see God's love for us so clearly when I look at His creation, how special He made it just for us.

I love special relationships. Words of wisdom and advice from my Mom. Silly stories and jokes from my Dad. Watching my brothers grow into men, developing their character. Sisters, whom I share secrets, laughs and love; listening more and "advising" less. Hubby and his unconditional love, squabbling and realizations, grace, frustration and acceptance. Children and their transparent hearts, seeing both the love and sin all in one adorably loving package.

I have been feeling lately that all of these things which I hold so dear and treasure are also bringing to life another realization. How all of these things allow me an opportunity to love and worship my Creator. Appreciating my favorite season and all that it brings honors how God restores our weary souls and gives us sinners the ability to change, renew and revive. Gazing at His beautiful world and marveling at how He's made it is an act of worship, acknowledging and marveling at it's unimaginable vastness and intricacy. Appreciating the special relationships that God has blessed me with, honoring how God's grace is everywhere and He lavishes it upon us in so many unexpected places in different and unique ways.

God brings us restoration in all forms. In relationships, in prayer, in His creation, in quiet, in situations. He gives us all of the wine, grain and oil that we'll need for this life and more in accessible and inventive ways. We don't "earn" this restoration, He freely gives it to us when we're parched; just as He sends the rains when the earth is in need of water for growth and rejuvenation. God delights in using the everyday to give us what we need to grow, survive and thrive in this place, in this life. We don't have to go out looking for it, God will send it to us in His way in His time.

We don't have to get to a certain place or point in order to earn it. We don't need to keep the house more organized, the food on the table healthier, the car we drive fancier, the kids we raise more obedient, the spouse we love more "loveable", the clothes on our backs trendier, the bible study we participate in more holier, muck our thought life to make it cleaner, even to forgive ourselves for all the ways we fall so terribly short.

We just have to trust in Him and wait for the rain. The sprinkles, downpours and sometimes even hail will come. Just as there are different types or rain, He'll send it to us in different ways to replenish and restore us. We just need to soak it in when it's the rainy season.