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30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 30} The Greatest Gift of All

1 Dec The Reason For the Season

I was reading to Micah last night prior to our bedtime routine, in an attempt to settle his wild soul down.  So, of course we were reading, “Where the Wild Things Are.”  It was adorable to hear him repeat Max’s phrases, “Be Still!” and “Let the wild rumpus start.”

And as I sat tonight trying to settle my soul into this special season that is upon us, it instead felt like the world declaring, “Let the wild rumpus start!”

For many, the rumpus of the Christmas season began the very night we give thanks for all we have.  What better way to reflect on our abundance of blessings than to rush out and get more, right?  I don’t have a problem with those wanting to get a jump on giving and save while doing it, but the retailers pushing it earlier and earlier is just ridiculous.  I just avoid it all together!  Was the Dollar Tree even running a Black Friday special?  That’s where my DIY gifts will hail from!

We are in a consumer society that teaches us to want more, need more, and be satisfied with none.  Trying to teach little ones what Christmas really means is tough.

I am all for passing on Christmas traditions from childhood, Santa, gift giving, and The Grinch.

But I am all about the greatest and first Christmas gift, Christ.

To be cliche, He is the reason for the season, in this heart and hearth, and I hope in yours.  There is nothing better to give or to get than the FREE gift of God’s grace, wrapped beautifully in swaddling clothes, and delivered in the humble form of His son, Jesus Christ.

But I’ve been struggling on how best to deliver this message to my children’s hearts (and ours) without robbing them of simple, fun Christmas magic and joy that comes in many commercial forms ….

Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 24} Boomer, Baptisms, and Blessings

25 Nov keep-calm-and-boomer-sooner-13

The past few days have been a fantastic blur of family, friends, and some awesome bedlam football.  I am so incredibly grateful to be able to be close to family.

Our sweet baby boy, Kasen, has also been sick the past couple days and that has made for a very tired mommy and daddy.

I think we kinda look like the walking dead a bit, but The Hubs looks wayyy better on less sleep than me.  Life is so unfair sometimes.  Eh, whatcha gonna do?

I guess I am going to attempt to get some beauty rest before the wee one wakes, which should be in less than 3 hrs if sick patterns hold.

So, in order to get my tired behind to bed and keep up with the thankful posts, here is a quick list of what I am grateful for today. Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Days 19-23} Cousins

21 Nov

I’m cheating a bit this week by not posting every day, but it’s been a busy week and will just get busier with Thanksgiving on the way.  Hopefully I can get a little grace from you dear readers?!

When I started thinking about what I was grateful for this week, I was overwhelmed by the abundance of blessings in my life.

The boys and I took a quick day-trip in to Broken Arrow on Monday to visit family who arrived in town for Thanksgiving.  It was a wonderful day filled with lots of laughter, good food, and great company.  And it was a mere preview of what Thursday and Friday will bring.

This was one of the many reasons for laughter. Kasen was styling in the stache

I have a HUGE family, and so many people I am incredibly thankful for.  So, instead of doing a post for individuals (not enough days, what if I leave someone out?!) I am going to try and sum up the joy that my family brings to my life, specifically, cousins.  Continue reading

Lovely Ladybugs at a Garden Party

8 Oct The Little Ladybug

I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate our niece’s 1st birthday over the weekend.

My sweet sister-in-law, Amy, and I had fun one evening in September planning Andrea’s party.  You can find my Pinterest board for the party here.  The theme was a veggie garden party because Andrea LOVES vegetables.  As we pinned lots of adorable ideas, Amy thought having Andrea be the ladybug of the garden would be fun.  We quickly found lots of ideas for ladybugs and there are some really cute ones.  However, we narrowed it down to a couple recipes that looked as yummy as they did adorable.

The night before the party we celebrated Micah’s 3rd birthday and then Amy I set to work on party prep.  Amy created these fun and delicious cupcakes from another pinterest recipe.  She molded each vegetable by hand from flavored tootsie rolls.  I think they turned out so well!

Close-up of the hand-molded vegetables. Colored tootsie rolls and green skittle for the peas in the pod.

The cupcakes were chocolate and white, chocolate icing and oreo cookie crushed for the “dirt” the veggies sat on.  Simple and delicious!  I recommend double bagging the oreos while crushing to prevent a mess, or use a food processor.

Dessert table with vegetable cupcakes, ladybug cake for the birthday girl, and veggie decor.

After crushing cookies to create dirt, I was able to help create the lovely little ladies of the garden party.  After some trial, error, and tasting we figured out the best way to make the Strawberry Ladybugs and the Ladybug Cracker Appetizers.

Continue reading

He is Risen! Day 40

8 Apr

5 “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Matthew 28: 5-7

Alleluia!

Christ the Lord is risen!

He is risen indeed!

We no longer wait in anticipation, but we celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

The cross is empty.

The grave could not contain him.

He is risen, and because of His grace we are restored!

His free gift of grace, bought and paid by his own blood, is for all.

Celebrate the risen Christ and accept the gift of life.

Alleluia!

I want to share the words from one of the great Christian hymns,

Continue reading

Light from the Darkness: Day 32: Lent Journey

29 Mar

Light Overcoming Darkness

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”-John 1: 1-5

As we draw nearer to Easter our focus tends to shift towards how we will celebrate Easter day.  We see the light and joy to come.  While there is still darkness to journey through, it is nice to see the light breaking through.  We are reminded that darkness has not overcome the light.

I used to be a nanny.  One of the perks of my job  was getting to play with the kids and be creative.  Same perks as a stay at home mom…who knew?

This was a creation from my nanny days.  I had not painted since I was in Mr. T’s (no, not that one) art class in elementary school, and I surprised myself.  While I am not about to enter this in an art contest, as a self-described drawing deficient, I was quite pleased with my efforts.  I’ll let you interpret for yourself.  I’ve included some more angles of the painting. It was done as Easter art, so I thought it was time to dust it off and share it again.

Hope you enjoy it for what it is.  (I do not plan on pursuing a career in art, so don’t ask or beg me to!)

Light Overcoming the Darkness2

Light Overcoming Darkness3

Light Overcoming the Darkness4

Art (even poor excuses for art) is a great way to look into ourselves on our journey.  Give it a shot!

Gracefully~~Heather

DIY Paint Chip Easter Egg Garlands

21 Mar IMG_1874

*There is a children’s Sunday School lesson tip using this craft at the end of the post!*

I’m a little late getting all my Easter decorations out this year, but I leave them up all Spring, so I’m okay with that.  Normally, I add one or two new store-bought decorations with each new holiday or season.  Not this time!  I came across this fabulous and brilliant DIY craft on Pinterest and knew I had to give it a shot.  After swinging by the original post and tutorial by Steph over at Modern Parents Messy Kids, I set out to gather my supplies.

I had to go to Lowe’s to get the paint for Kasen’s nursery, and while I perused the grays and silvers, I managed to grab a “few” extra Olympic paint chip samples, in a variety of Spring hues.  I did feel a bit of guilt over the number taken, but Micah picked up stray samples others had rudely discarded on the floor, and we turned them in to the cashier, so I think he worked off the “amount.”  I also bought paint and a staple gun, so not feeling too bad for them.

Here are all the supplies I used for the Easter Egg Garlands:

Cost:$3, only because I had to buy some yarn, although it will also be used in another Pinterest DIY project I’ll be working on.

I did use the provided egg template from Modern Parents Messy Kids, for the first few small eggs I cut out.  I ended up using an egg I cut from the paint chip for the rest of the small eggs since the paper was a bit thicker and easier to trace.  I suggest printing the egg template on cardstock if available, or free-hand.  I’m not that brave!  I used an egg Micah created at his sitter’s for the large egg template.

Trace on the back of the paint chips to eliminate marks on the eggs

I was able to get 3-4 eggs out of the sample using the small egg template.  This does include some of the paint name on 1 of the eggs you’ll cut, so if you don’t want the print, I would only trace 2 per sample.  Of course this is for the specific Olympic paint sample.  I was able to get 1 egg per sample with the large template.

Punch two holes in the top of the eggs.  A smaller hole punch can be used.  I had to borrow one from the church, standard single punch, and it was the perfect size to easily push the yarn through each egg when stringing.  I tied a small knot on the end I was feeding through the holes, which made it easy to handle and prevented fraying.  I really like how the colorful yarn looks!

This was a time consuming project for me, from hand-tracing the eggs, cutting them out 3-4 samples at a time, punching them 2-3 eggs at a time, and stringing them together.  It took me a few hours, but I created 5 garlands of about 20 eggs each. I also had to help take care of a attention-craving two-year old, which did not leave my hands free the whole time!

Check out the results! Continue reading

St. Patty’s Day Poem, er Limerick

17 Mar

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!!

I heard some commotion coming from the back of the house.  I thought it might be leprechauns trying to scurry off with my wee lad.  I went to investigate:

This is what I discovered! His eyes are twinkling with mischief..

Micah and Aaron were playing fort, but obliged a few snapshots…

Getting a grin and displaying his art

This is the real Micah!

My friend, Leanne Penny, is inspiring clean limericks over on her blog today!

Check her rhymes and great writing here at leannepenny.com

Here was my contribution:

My Wee Hunk
There once was a lad with such spunk
Whose joy could dispel quite the funk
His smile was so bright
His kisses a delight,
All the lasses declared him a hunk!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!  Have some fun!

Gracefully~~Heather