Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Aprons on Sale!

Merry Christmas! I've missed my blogging buddies here! I'm not back, just wanted to post that I'm putting the aprons in my Etsy shop on sale for Christmas. They're now only $15! They're a perfect stocking stuffer or gift for a little dude or missy in your life. I'll ship the day following your purchase so there's still plenty of time to order before Christmas.

Monday, October 11, 2010

So Long

Well, I'm sad to say that I'm going to say "So long" to this here blog. I have truly loved it. It's been such fun sharing ideas here and I've enjoyed getting to know so many of you that have been faithful to check in to see what I'm up to.

With three little ones, a husband in residency and homeschooling, I'm finding I just can't give enough time to this blog. Writing and taking pictures takes up some of my free time and I just can't spare that right now. I hate to say goodbye since it's been such a fun thing for me. I know I'll come back to blogging one day because I do love it. Meanwhile, I'll join you in enjoying all the other great bloggers and content out there. What a blessing to have such creativity and information so accessible to us through blogs!

Be blessed and thanks for sharing the last year or so with me here.

PS: I'll keep my blog up for reference if there are any posts/recipes you want to look back on.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Finished Holy Week Calendar

I realized I hadn't posted a picture of our completed Holy Week calendar. {Read more about it here.}
Our crafted symbols weren't fancy but they were nice and simple to do with the kids. We really enjoyed this new tradition and will definitely do it again next year. I may work on a more permanent calendar, either laminated or using felt, so we can reuse it every year.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Giveaway Winner

Thanks for all who entered the apron giveaway. It was nice to hear everyone's Easter plans. Hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating our risen Lord. We had a lovely Easter with my parents in town and the boys had a great time celebrating.

The winner of the apron is....
Lauren. {comment #12}
Congrats, Lauren! Let me know which apron you'd like. {I closed the entries at noon yesterday so if you entered after that, sorry!}

Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Week Calendar

This is a special week in our family. It's a week of reflecting on the greatest gift we've been given - salvation through Jesus Christ. In order to rightly focus on the week and the significance of the upcoming holiday, we're using a Holy Week calendar. Each day, beginning yesterday with Palm Sunday, we read and remember the events that led to Christ's death and resurrection. I didn't do this last year. Instead, we just read about the events from Boo's bible. I wanted to do something more hands on this year and my friend, Shannon, told me about doing a calendar. She gave me this handout with specific ideas that she got from church. I love it! I've modified it a little and you can too.

The idea is that you read through the scriptures that tell the accounts of Holy Week. Then, assign different events {in sequence} to each day of the week leading up to Resurrection Sunday. For each day, we're reading the accounts in scripture, singing relevant songs, doing a corresponding craft, and going over a related memory verse.
If you're curious, here's the breakdown for our week {mostly based on the handout my friend gave me}...

TOPIC: Palm Sunday
READING: Mark 11:1-11 and Luke 19:28-44
CRAFT: construction paper palm leaves
MEMORY VERSE: "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" Mark 11:9
SONGS: "Hosanna!" by Hillsong, "Hosanna! {Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord}" by Michael W. Smith

TOPIC: Jesus Clears the Temple
READING: Mark 11:12-17
CRAFT: construction paper table cutout with pennies taped on top
MEMORY VERSE: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." Mark 11:17/Isaiah 56:7

TOPIC: Teaching at the Temple
READING: Luke 19:47-48
CRAFT: scrolls made out of paper and two sticks
MEMORY VERSE: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105
SONG: "Thy Word" by Amy Grant

TOPIC: Praying for Anything and Remaining Watchful
READING: Mark 11: 20-26, 13:32-37 and Luke 21:34-36
CRAFT: trace child's hands to represent praying hands; watchtower or eye to represent remaining watchful
MEMORY VERSE: "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be ours." Mark 11:24

TOPIC: Communion, Garden of Gethsemane, Judas' Betrayal
READING: Mark 14:17-26, 32-35, 43-50 and Luke 22:14-23, 39-53
CRAFT: saltine cracker and construction paper cutout of goblet; sack of coins
MEMORY VERSE: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42

TOPIC: The Cross
READING: Mark 15:16-39 and Luke 23:26-49
CRAFT: 3 popsicle stick crosses
MEMORY VERSE: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." Luke 23:34
SONG: "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross" by

TOPIC: Laid in the Tomb
READING: Mark 15:42-47 and Luke 23:50-56
CRAFT: construction paper tomb and stone
MEMORY VERSE: "[Joseph] came from...Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God." Luke 23:51

Resurrection Sunday
TOPIC: Resurrection
READING: Luke 24:1-12
CRAFT: folded linen cloth and a picture of an angel
MEMORY VERSE: "He is not here; he has risen!" Luke 24:6
SONG: "He Lives!" {lyrics by Alfred Ackley}; "Christ is Risen" by Matt Maher

I love this concept of a Holy Week calendar. It would be great done on felt too. Maybe I'll try that for next year. And the great thing about this calendar is that it's depth can grow as your child grows. It would be wonderful to incorporate other events from Holy Week as the kids grow: the woman anointing Jesus with perfume, a Seder meal and its significance, Jesus washing the disciples' feet, Jesus talking about his return, etc. Also, you could read a greater amount of text and compare the different gospel accounts. We plan on just reading from one book each day, though I listed both Mark and Luke for many of the days.

Do you have any other suggestions for songs or crafts? The crafts were primarily based on the Family Time Training handout I linked above. I'm terrible about thinking of songs, so these were just the first ones that came to my head. No doubt there are dozens of others that would be great. Also, I don't have all of these songs, but I searched on YouTube and was able to find most of them so we could sing along with the music.

I'll post a picture of our completed calendar next week.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Preschool at Home: Letter T Week

Here's our letter T lesson from learning time last year. Boo was just three when we did this.

For the ten commandments activity, we read through one of Boo's bible story books about the ten commandments. Then, I wrote them out very simply on strips of paper labeling both the strips and the tablets with numbers.Boo had to match up the numbers on the strips with the numbers on the tablets and glue them on.Only one upside down. Not bad! :)

We also worked on telling time. Just the basics of course. We identified the numbers on the clock and I explained that the purpose of the little hand and big hand. I got this foam clock at the dollar spot in Target a while back. It's great!For our turtle craft, Boo had to glue triangles onto the turtles shell. He also practiced tracing the letter T.
For our cooking activity, we made cinnamon sugar tortilla triangles. He dipped them in butter {healthy, huh?} and then dredged them in a cinnamon sugar mixture. We baked them until they were crispy.

Yum! They didn't last long after that.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ramen Rice

I have a growing stack of ramen noodle soup seasoning packets in my pantry. Seems I use the noodles in recipes {like this one} pretty often. But I hate to discard the seasoning and kept thinking I'd come up with a use for them. Well, I finally thought of one: rice. Duh!
It makes regular rice have a hint of yummy flavor. I wouldn't say it's revolutionary or anything, but it's good.

To make it, dump one cup of rice, two cups of water, a pat of butter and a ramen seasoning packet {I used the oriental flavor} into a pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the rice is done.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Another NaBloPoMo

In anticipation of kicking some killer first-half-of-pregnancy fatigue and to make up for my blog slacking lately, I'm gearing up to post every day for a month.

I did NaBloPoMo {National Blog Posting Month} in November and it was a lot of fun. So to celebrate Spring and hitting the halfway point in my pregnancy I'll be posting every day in March. Yay!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Quiet Book

Have you heard of a Quiet Book? We have one that my auntie gave me when Jacob was born. We love it!

Here's what it's like inside...
Flowers to practice buttoning. A ladybug that unzips to reveal...

mini ladybugs.Color matching velcro balloons. The apple tree is a favorite page of ours. The apples are great for counting practice. When the kids are very small we use them to practice sharing and following directions. "Pick the apples and put them in mommy's hand...Put them back on the tree." They both loved doing that.Look! There's even a math section. The babies love the abacus beads. And despite many attempts, they've never freed any from the strands.Snap on shape and a kitty with a tied on collar. The Noodle loves the cat. He looks for it every time he opens this book.

Velcro traffic light and a functioning belt buckle.

Football laces and a spinning seasons arrow-thingy.

And a clock with spinning hands.

You can see why we love this book. It's got so many different pages with a range of developmental activities. It's been well used in the last 3 1/2 years and it's a rare toy that both boys can still use. I can't even count how many church services Boo sat through with this book to keep him entertained. It's perfect for that. I'd say it's great for traveling too but you have to keep an eye on those loose pieces. Our two missing pieces escaped during road trips.

I haven't found our exact book online as my aunt bought it in New Zealand. But Amazon has one called My Quiet Book that's very similar. Or, if you're feeling ambitious, you can make one yourself. Homemade by Jill made an adorable book and shares some of her page templates.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sewing Tutorial: Bowling Set Drawstring Storage Bag

The kids got a bowling set for Christmas. It's so much fun and made out of foam which makes The Good Doctor really happy. He worked tirelessly installing our hardwood floors himself and flinches anytime we {err, mostly me} drop anything on them.

Unfortunately, the cardboard box the set came in didn't hold up very well and we had to toss it. After nearly a week of stray bowling pins in random places, I decided it was time for another solution. I didn't want to buy anything to make a bag, so I just used supplies I had on hand: some khaki twill fabric, felt, and ribbon scraps.

Drawstring bags are simple to make and don't require any fancy techniques. Perfect for beginning sewers.

To start, decide the size you want your bag to be. Just keep in mind a 1 1/4" seam allowance on top and 1/2" seam on each side. Cut out your rectangle of fabric and then grab your ironing board. Just ignore the stack of clothes that are waiting to be ironed. Sewing a drawstring bag clearly takes priority. :)
I ironed the top edges (the shortest sides) of the bag down a quarter inch.

After doing this, I realized I needed to fold over the raw side edges so they wouldn't be exposed. I just ironed the sides over a bit (1/4"). I only ironed the top 2 1/4" inches of the side edge. Don't iron all the way down the sides.
Fold the top seams over another inch and iron.

Sew along the bottom edge of the top fold to create the drawstring pocket.Snip the edge where the side seam will start, just below the top seam.Before sewing up the sides, I added the felt bowling pins and bowling ball to the front of the bag. I used scrap felt for the design.

I pinned the pieces to the front.

And sewed them on. I love that felt doesn't fray. It makes it such an easy fabric to use for applique. Now we're ready to stitch up the sides and finish the bag. I sewed up the side edges with a 1/4" seam.
Before turning the bag right side out, press the seam towards the back of the bag.Turn bag right side out.Using a safety pin as a guide, thread ribbon through the top seam on each side. Make sure your ribbon is several inches longer than the bag's width on each side.I knotted the ends of the ties together so they wouldn't get pulled out.

The kids love this bag and it's nice that all of their bowling pins have a place to be put away now.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Handprint Placemat

Hello friends! Busy week. Sorry for the lack of posting and possibly making you hungry every time you click over here and see that gyro plate. Looking at it just now made me wish that's what we were having for dinner tonight! Leftovers instead.

Anyways, I've mentioned before that we like to make handprint art placemats on different holidays. This week we worked on a Valentine's Day placemat. I've yet to get it laminated, but here it is.
The boys love doing these handprints. I've found the best way to not make a huge mess is to use a foam brush to paint the paint on the child's hand. Then, I have them press their handprints down on white computer paper, not the actual placemat paper. So if we get smudged prints, we don't have to redo the whole thing and waste a big piece of paper. Instead, I cut out each handprint and arrange them on the placemat paper with double stick tape.
We're happy we'll have another placemat to add to our collection.

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