Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Today we read the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.  I found this great printable to read to the kids, and then they could add their own pictures to tell what they remembered from the story.

Then Sweetie has apparently gotten too big for simple colouring activities, and instead wanted to play with playdough.

It was a pretty simple day today, since I really wasn't having luck with anything.  I tried making bread this morning, but the first batch didn't rise and somewhat resembled...well...not bread.

So I opened a brand new package of yeast, and tried the bread machine this time.  Except after the first 30 minutes, my machine started to smoke and smell like burnt plastic.  It is now sitting outside.  After this morning's expeditions, I decided to keep school pretty simple for my own safety!

Friday, 22 November 2013

What Would I Do?

I so love this question.  What would I do if I was unrestricted as to money and abilities?

Of course, I would pay off all my bills and all those boring things.  And then I would live out the dream that my husband have had since we started dating.  I would take my family to poverty stricken areas of the world, and my kids would learn about what is happening in our world firsthand.

And I can't even imagine the differences we could make if funds were truly unlimited.  We could install all the clean water systems that would be needed.  We could cloth, feed, educate and love on all of those children who so desperately need it.  And my kids could learn that they can make a difference, no matter what. 

My passion (and one of those nifty gifts from God) is to give to other people.  I do this on a small scale at home, and my kids are involved to whatever degree they can be.  We donate to our local SPCA, food banks, OCC boxes, and angels from Christmas trees at local businesses.  And we intend to make volunteering more focal in our lives as the kids get older (they are 3.5 and 2 right now).  But unlimited funds?  I can't even imagine.

What gifts has God given you?  What would your dream be?  I would love to hear from you.  And if you have a prayer that you would like me to lift up to God for you, I would be honored! 

I would love to hear from you!  Have a blessed weekend ladies!

Foam Castles

Well, my love affair with Dollarama continues...  We are doing a royalty theme this week, and I found these cute foam sticker castle sets for $0.50.  That's $0.25 per kid!!!

Here they are:

Sweetie was thrilled that she didn't have to colour anything today!

Little Dude really couldn't have cared less, so Mommy did most of his project.  But he did come along at the end and put a couple of his stickers on.

I promise, her head really is attached!  And she is saying "Cheese" behind the foam!

Little Dude spent most of his time driving around our school cart.  Motor skills, right?

Paper Plate Drum

Here is a craft that is SOOOO easy to do.  I doubled up on some paper plates for the kids, let them colour the outsides, then we made drums out of them.

Simple paper plates.

A case of crayons.

Two smiling kids.

Some plastic pony beads.

A cheap stapler.

And TADA!!! We have drums.

And the castles we made earlier this week.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

We Did It!!! (Kinda)

It has been a long two weeks at our house with two very sick children under the age of 4.  This means that schoolwork has been pushed to the side in favour of lots of cuddle time (and blowing noses, and medications and rubs...)

But yesterday, we did it!!! Kinda.  We at least managed to read the bible story of David as King, then talk about how God can use anybody to do amazing things.

Then we finished off our Operation Christmas Child boxes (all 7 of them!).  Have I mentioned that I like to shop?  And that I passed that beautiful habit along to my daughter?  Oops.

My poor, pale faced little Sweetie

Little Dude was NOT happy yesterday.  At all. 

Not even his usual "Cheese" smiley face for the camera.

We coloured pictures to include in the boxes.  Then the kids went back to the couch to watch Magic Schoolbus.  At least we accomplished a little.

Not to deliver our treasures!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

DIY Inspirational Wreath

So I have been seeing this cool wreath on Facebook a LOT lately.  It is made from an old hymn book, and they cut the pages to look like leaves, and made a wreath.

I thought that was such a beautiful idea, and pretty much left it at that.  Then one day, I was back at my favourite place ever...you guessed it! Dollarama!  Not really my favourite place, but they sure do know me there.  Anyways, I found this neat sparkly garland there, and an idea started to form in my head.

I thought that I could make a neat wreath with my "garland" (it came packaged like this) and make my own version of an inspirational wreath.  So, I printed out the key words from Phillipians 4:8. 

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

I printed them out on cardstock, then used my 1" circle punch to cut them out.  Then, to make them all sparkly too, I brushed on some glitter glue that I had.

I hot glued some buttons onto the back of them to make them a little stiffer, and easier to glue onto my wreath.

 After doing mine, I would recommend that you choose buttons the same size as your cut-outs.

I tried to glue them on evenly.

It didn't work.  But that's okay, since I glued them onto the wires, it was easy enough to move them around to look more even.

And here it is!

I used:
1 sheet of white cardstock
10 buttons
1" circle punch
Glitter glue
Paint brush
Hot glue
Garland ($2)

Antique Window Turned Jewellery Display

I have been working on this one for awhile, but I FINALLY got around to hanging it up and actually putting stuff onto it, so here we go...

I have used these same type of frames for the kids' art displays, but I had imagined this one as my art supplies.  Since my drawings tend to run to the stick bird kind, I thought maybe I could put up my handmade jewellery on here, and display some family photos and inspirational sayings at the same time.

I started out by sanding down the frame, than painting with a white semi-gloss paint that is meant to seal all the old stuff out. 

I measured the back to put a hanger in the middle.

I actually measured right too!  This is definitely not a strong suit of mine, so I'm pretty impressed with myself!

I used clear 3M hooks for my holders, since I didn't want to put any more holes in the frame than I had to.

The hooks on the bottom are actually small cable holders, so they work perfectly for my handmade bracelets.

I still don't have all of my pictures on it, but this gives you a better idea of what it will look like.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A Place of Surrender

I have had many familial issues over the years.  But never so many as trying to get along with some of them.  Last year was the worst. 

You see, I am a planner.  Especially about Christmas.  I LOVE CHRISTMAS!  It is the only season where everyone is encouraged to be just a little bit more generous.  And smile at strangers, just because.  And you get to have snowball fights and make snow angels with your kids.  Have I mentioned I LOVE CHRISTMAS?

Anyways, I digress.   Growing up, our house was the house that everyone was welcome.  Family, friend, co-worker or neighbour - it made no difference.  You were welcome.  There was no invitation necessary.  And I loved that.  And I long for my house to be the same.  It absolutely breaks my heart to think of anyone I know sitting home alone at Christmas.

Last year, I unknowingly stepped on toes when I invited family and friends over for Christmas dinner.  It seems that since my aforementioned family members had bought a new house, my Christmas plans should never have been made.  And somehow I was the evil person who was ruining Christmas because I had invited people over (including them).  This was just the straw that broke the camels back, after 7 long years of difficult situations.

I learned last year that my husband is amazing.  And loving.  And understanding.  And supportive.  And I in turn, will do everything possible to stop putting him in the middle. 

After a talk one morning with my pastor, he assured me that the person in question has many issues that are all her own.  And somehow, God has assigned me to be the one person to make a difference in her life.  Actually, he said that since everyone else just said that her behaviour was just the way she functioned and I was the only one willing to stand up for myself, I was the one who unknowingly accepted the challenge of showing her God's unconditional love.  Let me tell you, I was NOT happy to accept that assignment.  I am pretty sure my words after that were something along the lines of thanking all of those before me for creating a monster, and then leaving me to pick up the pieces.

And I had to come to another conclusion.  I had done nothing wrong.  I am an honest, loving, caring person.  I am a work in progress.  But since all of these wrongs were the result of an overactive imagination and years of anger issues, I could apologize for hurting her feelings without realizing it.  And I could pray.  A lot.

I could pray that she would once again find God.  That she would place her worth in Him, and his love, rather than worldly things.  That she would find real friends that could lift her up, rather than help her wallow in pity.  I said a lot of prayers.  And I had no choice but to leave it to God.  I had 7 years of proof that I could not change her.  I had failed. 

But I hadn't really failed.  I had turned my cheek many times (it sure felt like 70 x 7!).  I had tried as much as I could to be the bigger person.  And when I knew that I was at the end of my rope, I turned it all over to God.  I can't change anyone.  I can help them, if they want.  But I can love them.  I can become a safe place, and a shoulder if she wants to use it.  And I can let us both be softened by God's great love.  And grace.  Thank God for His grace!

I know that many of you are facing challenges so much greater than this, and I don't want to belittle your experiences.  I would be honored to lift you up to God in prayer.  This is just one small example of how he will turn any experience for our good, if we just let him.  Leave me any prayer requests in the comments, and I would love to pray for you.

David vrs Goliath - Water Bottle Style!

I know I have not posted much lately, but we have had a house full of sick people, so I have been one busy Mommy and Wife!  Here is what we finally managed to accomplish lately:

This week's lesson is David vrs Goliath.  We read their story in the kids' bible, and talked about how even though David was small, God wanted him to win, and so he did.

Then we tried to knock down our Goliath (a 5 gallon water bottle).  Since we were doing this by throwing bean bags, and since the kids inherited my horrible aim, Goliath never really had to worry about his demise.  He barely even got hit!

My husband really didn't understand my plan until I explained that David would never had won if he had not prayed to God either.  And today we were supposed to pray, then throw those same bean bags and an empty water bottle, an a new example of God's power.  Unfortunately, nap time ran long, and school time turned non-existent.  So maybe tomorrow, we will make that poor water bottle feel our wrath.  Or at least make him slide back a little!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

His Goodness Makes Me Good Enough

I struggle with self doubt all the time.  As a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and entrepreneur, there are no shortage of things to question my decisions on.

I constantly wonder if I am doing enough for my husband.  Do I appreciate him out loud enough, do I praise his efforts to help me, even when he is exhausted?

Am I making the best decisions on how to teach my children, what to expose them to?  Are they eating enough fruits and vegetables?  Are they learning to share?  Are they learning at all?  What kind of example am I setting for them, without even realizing they are watching? 

Do I spend enough time with my family and friends?  Do I always tell them I love them?  If I lost them tomorrow, would I have said everything I need them to hear?

Am I making the right decisions in starting a small business?  Can I really be effective as a wife, mother, friend and daughter of God if I focus a small amount of my time creating something?  Are people even interested in my product?  Is this all a waste of my time?  Or will I teach my children a great work ethic by example?

Am I giving enough of my time and myself to those causes that I find worthy?

And where do I fit me into all of this so that I don't go crazy in the process of trying to make myself into Super Woman, cape and all?

But God's direction and grace cover me in all these circumstances, if only I take the time to look to him.  His plans for my life are so much more than I could ever even dream of, if I would only trust him and follow him.  His love never fails, so I need to stop striving to be everything to everyone else, and just be his, for even just a few minutes each day.  If I fill up with His love, then I can do all these things and more, if that is what He deems to be part of my journey right now.

What do you struggle with?  I would love to lift you up to God in prayer with whatever you need right now.  Leave me your request in the comments, and I will pray for you my friend.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Operation Christmas Child

Since this week we are talking about how God led Moses and His people through Egypt, providing for them along the way, I have decided to spend today talking to the kids about the Operation Christmas Child boxes I picked up.  God has provided so very much for us, and we are excited to share with those less fortunate than we are.  These boxes have such an impact on the children who receive them, and their families and friends benefit as well.

We often don't realize as Canadians how very fortunate we are.  We have health care provided for us. Yes, we have long waits for the ER, or specialists, or even our family Dr.'s during flu season.  But we have that option.  Our health care system is not perfect, but it is always within reach.

We have so many things we take for granted.  And God has provided so many of those things without us even having to ask for them.  But He also tells us to give out of our abundance.  And I want very much to pass this lesson on to my children.

A simple, fun way to do this is to let them take money out of their accounts, and go shopping at the Dollarama for small toys and other items to bless others with.  And Operation Christmas Child has an awesome website if you want more details about their work.  And their site includes lots of information for you to share with your children too. 

Even if you can't afford to do this (be it time or money) there are so many ways we can start off the holiday season by helping others.  Each day can include a random act of kindness, whether you hold the door open to someone, give a co-worker a compliment, or ask that cashier how she is doing and genuinely listen to her answer.  The holidays are so often a time of stress for everyone, so a small act of kindness can go much farther than you think!

Two Eggs and a Nest

Today, we went over the story of Moses, and how God provided quail for His people.  Then we discussed nests, what they were made out of and why they might be shaped the way they are.  We talked about grass, twigs, mud, etc. that the birds look to make their nests.  Then we talked about why they are shaped that way.  We surmised that if a wind came up, the eggs would blow right off of a plate, but they might stay better in a bowl.

I gave the kids each two plastic eggs, a paper plate and a bowl. 

Then the kids tried to balance their eggs on the plate (it's a very good thing that the eggs weren't real!)  They discovered they could jump up and down if they were in a bowl though.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Q is for Quail

Today we read the story of Moses parting the waters, and how God provided manna and quail for his people during their time in the desert.  Then we decided it would be fun to sort colours (or in Little Dude's case, throw pom poms), and then read 10 Fat Turkeys (children's book on quail are a little hard to come by).  Here are our pics:

Our table while it was still clean!

Little Dude loves to look at the Toddler Bible.  It is probably his most loved book upstairs.

See, I did it!

Here is a better picture of what she did.

At least most of his stayed in the sorter...

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Letter I

Well, Mommy has been lazy (again) this week.  We took yesterday off for the transferring of candy.  Since Thursday is the day we go to Senior's Village, we decided to trick or treat backwards, and hand out candy to the residents.  Even Halloween can be used to bless other people!

Today I had a huge list of to-do's, so school was pretty simple.  I had already planned to watch "The Prince of Egypt" today as a special treat after dinner, so we spent this afternoon colouring our wooden letters, then playing with dry erase learning books.  Or mostly colouring on our hands, but learning is learning.

Sweetie picked an orange and blue butterfly as her inspiration for her I. 

Little Dude chose a green and grey frog.  

I is for Insect (or frog)! 

Very pretty!

FROGS!!!  He really liked being able to play with all his creatures this week.

Her orange and blue masterpiece.

Little Dude's "extra" learning.  I always try to make sure he has an extra activity or two easily available for his shorter attention span.

Apparently my "spider" morphed into a cat somewhere along the lines.  My capsules were a little disappointing, but I think the kids were curious what Mommy was doing with those little black capsules.