Saturday, January 31, 2009

Make Your Own Calendar

A few weeks back Kristen from We Are THAT Family held a giveaway.  The prize for the winner was a vinyl calendar that you placed in a frame.  Once in the frame you used a dry erase marker to write the numbers and any information you would need on the glass.  

I loved this idea!

Since I didn't win and I was in desperate need of a calendar, I decided to make one that uses the same concept.

This is what I came up with...

1. On card stock I drew out a basic calendar with a ruler and a black sharpie.


2. Then I removed the cardboard from the back of an old picture frame I had laying around.  To this I stuck on some pretty scrapbook paper.


My cardboard was bigger than my 12 x 12 sheet of paper so I cut some strips of coordinating green card stock.

3.  I took a strip of the green and placed that on my calendar and then on top of that I stuck a strip of the circle paper. I wrote the days of the week across the green strip. Then stuck the calendar on top of the paper covered cardboard.


4. I tucked it all into the frame...


On the glass, in a vis-a-vis pen I added the numbers, the month, all my important information and Ta-Da...

A Calendar





TuesdayPrayerButton3[1] ***I just read that Tuesday a precious two-year-old little girl who had been battling cancer went to Heaven yesterday.  Heather of the EO is giving a dollar, to the family,  for each comment that is left on her post about Tuesday.  Please take the time to post a comment. Then join me and hundreds more, who are praying for Tuesday's family as they grieve over her death, but rejoice that she is safe and pain free in Jesus' arms.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Brother

This morning my brother, his wife (whom I love as a sister), and their two sons Hudson and Grantham fly out of the United States to serve on a 6 month mission trip in Southeast Asia.  My heart goes with them! I think their commitment to following the Lord's leading is amazing and wonderful.  Their lives will be changed and enhanced by what they see, hear, teach and learn. I am thankful for this.  God is going to do an awesome work in their lives and those whom they come in contact with.  I wish I could do something similar for the Lord, but my calling is here and so, I will be here working as their prayer warrior.

Today is 'Fro Me To You over at Kristen's blog We Are THAT Family. Go check out all the wonderful/hilarious walks down memory lane.

Today I thought I would share some pictures of my baby brother who now towers over me!

matt and me

August 1982, Matt was 20 months old and I was 9.  I took care of him as if he was my own baby.  I even changed his diapers and they were cloth not disposable, people!  I think my mom probably had to beg for her fair share of him since his three sisters tended to be baby hogs!

Since this is the Fro' carnival we must divert from sentimentality to  check out my outfit!  What's up with the black socks! We were on vacation in this picture and maybe mom needed to do the laundry.  Yeah, that's it!  It wasn't my lack of fashion sense!




Hey cowboy/superman your looking fine in your long johns and blue slippers!




Here Matty is with his ukulele and his purple glasses.  Back then it was torture listening to him strum that out of tune instrument. But now when he plays his guitar we all gather around and listen intently. 


june 08 matt-caleb

This picture was taken last summer.  My boys absolutely adore their Uncle Matt and Aunt Heidi.  They always take time to play with the boys.  The boys feel so special and loved by their Aunt and Uncle and this has endeared them to my children.

For MI Family - 047


Here Heidi is getting ready to toss Jacob in the kiddie pool after he soaked her with a bucket of water.




Matt and Heidi

Matt and Heidi,

I love you both of you so much!

My prayer for you is that you will grow and learn abundantly from this trip to serve the Lord. I pray your hearts will be open to the people you meet  and that they will see Christ's love flowing from you. 

God has great plans for you.  I know he will use you in amazing ways. Just keep your eyes on Him!

Hudson and Grantham, 

Your Aunt Jenny loves you with all of her heart! You are so precious to me!  I am sending you lots of hugs and kisses!  Have fun on this grand adventure and I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009




To join in this weeks theme of Joy- go here.


I'm just having one of those weeks when I'm not feeling the creative writing bug.  As an alternative, I'm going to post a bit about what has been happening out here in the country. Random, but none-the-less the happenings of this rural family!

So, as Lauren would say, "Ready- Sick- Go"!

  • We are once again battling colds. I think I need to work on Lauren's pronunciation of the above statement.  It is way to accurate. It does seem to be our mantra for this winter, though.  I want a new one!  Like "No more vomit, no more snot, no more viruses icky rot".

  • I did have fun making Jacob's birthday cake this weekend.  He wanted a Army tank.  After some searching on the Internet. I found some good pictures and a few suggestions.  This is what I came up with.  (Please ignore the old cookie sheet. It has been well used!) I was originally going to crush chocolate sandwich cookies and graham crackers to cover the pan, but the frugal mama in me couldn't see wasting good food in such a manner!


  • I'm feeling the mid-winter schooling slump. BLAH!  As I sit here typing this, I am convicted that I should really be gathering up the troops to start up school.  I always fall into this rut about part way through our school year.  And as any good soldier knows you just have to pull yourself up by your boot straps and carry on!  Excuse me while I go put my boots on.


  • Lauren is now "Sissy" and if you mistakenly call her Lauren she will correct you in no uncertain terms saying, "No, I'm Sissy"! Well, e-x-c-u-s-e me!


  • Our home has been over-run by King Peter, King Edmund and various other characters from the Chronicles of Narnia.  The boys have been rummaging through their dresser drawers looking for the perfect outfits to play this new adventure.  They even went as far as traipsing through the deep snow to find the perfect sticks, which they then made into swords. Not the safest choice of weaponry, but they have had strict rules applied to the use of them.  I'm counting on their superb listening skills and ability to obey. Ha-ha-ha, who am I kidding!


  • Lastly, this verse really spoke to me yesterday when I read it.

You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.  Psalm 18:28

Just what I need when I feel the winter blues coming on!  I know I only need to turn to the Lord and he will keep going. I can just picture him holding up a lantern dispelling all darkness around him.  It's a beautiful picture. I think I'll just step into the light. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Birthday Boy


I look forward to this day, your birthday. Not only will we be celebrating the day you were first laid in our arms, but we will be celebrating the joy you have brought us over the past 10 years. And we will be celebrating the love we have for you and the joy you bring us.

You are definitely a ray of sunshine in our family! Your love for life shines through in every thing you do!Not a day goes by that you don't fill it with your smile. You are full of energy, laughter and creativity! Our days would be dull and way too quiet without you.

The Lord has blessed you with another wonderful year. You have grown in so many ways...

  • Your perseverance has paid off and you are struggling less with reading.
  • You are looking beyond yourself and seeing others needs.
  • You have grown in your love for God and your desire to do what is right is evident in your life.
  • You are a helper and a peace maker.
  • Your tender heart has healed many hurts between your brothers.

I am proud of you and I am looking forward to the coming year. I know God has great plans for you. I will continue to lift you up in prayer, asking the Lord to guide you and surround you with His awesome love.

You are a blessing to our family. An awesome gift from God! I love you sweet boy!

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Okay, this isn't going to make you laugh and it isn't a sensational  read, but I think it is something that you should know about. I don't usually get into politics on my blog, but this is something that will affect us all.  So, I thought I would at least put it on my blog to help inform each of you and then you can decide if you want to act on it.

I first heard about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act about a month ago.  Then a few weeks ago Charlene at Bring On The Rain provided me with even more information that  caused me to take another look at this act.

In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsourced their production to China (emphasis mine) and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys containing dangerously high lead content, unsafe small parts, and chemicals that made kids sick.
The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in children's products, mandates third party testing and certification, and requires manufacturers of all goods for children under the age of 12, to permanently label each item with a date and batch number.


Anyone who produces or sells any of the following new or used items will be required to comply with the law: toys, books, clothing, art, educational supplies, materials for the learning disabled, bicycles, and more. Any uncertified item intended for children under the age of 12 will be considered contraband after February 10, 2009. It will be illegal to sell or give these items away to charities, and the government will require their destruction or permanent disposal, resulting in millions of tons of unnecessary waste, and placing an enormous strain on our landfills.

(source: written by Cecilia Leibovitz)

This idea is good in theory, we want to protect our children from dangerous products.  However, it will be the small businesses here in America that will be hardest hit.  To comply with the testing recommended it could cost up to $4,000 per item tested.  All the mom businesses out there that we all love...gone.  Who can afford to have each item tested for lead.  I know I can't.  Thrift shops, Etsy (all those cute handmade items for babies and children that  we love),  E-bay, book sellers, second-hand home school items, the list goes on, all these will be affected by the Act.  Not to mention what it will do to our already suffering economy.  Think about it, how many of us know people who own small businesses that will greatly suffer from this.

So, what can we do?

There are several options

  1. Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at 888-531-9070.
  2. Contact your local representatives. For their contact information, just enter your zip code.
  3. Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.
  4. Sign the petition.

Thanks Charlene for finding all these sources! If you would like to pass this on you are welcome to copy this and put it on your blog.  I know that checking out all these links will take time, but please, Let your voices be heard.

Friday, January 23, 2009

At The Well- "Grand Opening"

At the Well Blog Button

At The Well is kicking off its "Grand Opening". The new site will be featuring articles/devotionals based on the Titus 2 woman (to which I will be contributing). It will be a gathering place for women to learn more about loving their husband and their children, keeping their homes, and living their lives so that they may please the Lord.

Join in on the giveaways on February 2nd. You can get a jump start now by heading to the Well today. You will be able to enter your name 3 times now and then one more time on the 2nd.

Here is what you could win...

A brand new blog facelift valued at over $50
donated by Doodlebug Designs
A custom blog card (or mom card, if you don’t blog) design, valued at $30. You’ll receive a high quality .jpg, .png or .pdf file – you can do the printing yourself or have them printed online or locally – the options are endless. Print only as many as you need!
The file is yours to keep.
donated by Simply Amusing Designs
"Fill 'Em Up!" ... a "cookbook" for parents to use with kids which includes a devotional/Bible study that goes along with each recipe.
donated by Heavenly Homemakers
A signed copy of the book "The Devil in Your Garden"
donated by Natalie Witcher from I AM (not)
A digital scrapbook download package
donated by The Digital Scrapbook Place
A $25 Starbucks gift certificate
donated by At the Well

So, what do you think? Would you like to win one of these? Go check out At the Well!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

10 Years Ago...

God blessed us with a beautiful baby boy!

Jacob's birth

He gave us a scare at first. I remember my heart felt like it was breaking, because there was nothing I could do for him. I prayed and cried for my little son. As it turned out, he came along just fine after 24 hours in the Special Care Nursery. He still had some difficulties that we weren't able to pin down until he was almost 6 months old. It wasn't life threatening, but he was miserable and cried a good portion of the days and nights for the first 9 months of his life. He and I ended up sleeping on the couch for the first year of his life because he was so uncomfortable.

jacob 6 months

Here he is at 6 months, looking adorable!

Jacob 2yrs

And at 2, sporting a crazy hairstyle!

pirate jacob

Early in his life his imagination began to show! He loves to play many different characters and he must have the appropriate attire for each and every one!




Well, lookey here, we have Davey Crocket, Roy Rogers and Luke Skywalker. Its a good thing he has a grandma that indulges his need for these outfits!

It has been a wonderful 10 years, with my little spitfire and I am looking forward to continuing this wonderful journey with him. He makes me laugh, pummels me with questions and entertains me with stories. He is pure love, life and joy!


For more memories visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Father's World


This is my Father's World.

O let me ne'er forget

that though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father's world:

why should my heart be sad?

The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!

God reigns: let the earth be glad!

Verse 3 of the hymn, "This Is My Father’s World" by Maltbie D. Babcock

Do you find yourself getting anxious about the state of this world? Do you worry about the economy, famine, war, pestilence? It can be easy to do if you listen to the news.

But, this is our Father's world!

Isaiah 40:11-14 says

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heaven? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor/ Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?

He is our shepherd. He holds us close. This earth is his he created it. The people are his they are his sheep. Our God is in control and He loves us and cares for us beyond anything we can imagine.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God?" Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak,. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:27-31

The times we live in are uncertain. Governments are unstable, but our God isn't. He is our rock, our foundation. He understands this world because it is His creation. His wisdom no one can fathom. So, when we are full of questions about the wrongs committed on this earth, we only need to look heavenward to see the Creator and Ruler of our earthly home. He is our protector and our guide. Let us rejoice and praise His holy name!

Today is inauguration day. Will you join me in praying for our new President and his family?

Pray for President-Elect Obama

For more In Other Words join Loni at
Writing Canvas.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Easy Birdie Craft for Kids

I found this great craft idea on the crafting blog Skip To My Lou.


I made up these two with some scrap felt I had laying around. Cindylouh used hers as an adorable Advent Calendar. I knew I didn't want to make 25 of them, so I made them for winter decorations and hung them on our Art Display. I had so much fun making these! They went together fairly quickly since you use the sewing machine to assemble them.

I decided to alter the basic project so that the boys could make them, too. Now we have a whole line of birdies hanging across our wall.


I followed the basic plan for the making of the birds. But instead of using the sewing machine, I had them hand stitch theirs. This was great for Caleb who needs practice with his fine motor skills. We attached the wings, tail feathers, beak, and heart with fabric glue and glued on a bead for the eye. This pattern uses two layers of felt for the birds body, so you could even stuff these, if you wanted. Or you could just use a single layer. There are many possibilities for this cute craft!

I think they turned out adorable and the boys were very pleased with them.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another Reason To Love Home schooling

 8:30- Friday Morning:



I woke the boys up and then went around the house opening the shades and straightening up a bit.  When I passed through the sitting room I found the boys enjoying some reading time.  This was totally unprompted. 

I know that this isn't special to home school kids, but what I love about home schooling is that if they want to sit snuggled up in the lazy boy, covered in a quilt, next to their brother or kick back on the couch, at 8:30 in the morning- They Can!  I don't have to stop this self-imposed learning session, because we don't have a strict morning schedule to follow. Now, with that said, I do like to start school at 9:00, but when I find them doing something constructive like this, I don't worry too much about keeping on time.

What really got me excited is that this is the first time that Jacob, who is dyslexic, has ever picked up a book and read on his own! (Top picture, green book)  The book he chose to read is his current reading book. He got so interested in the stories that he finished the book and was hopping around asking for his next book! Praise the Lord- this is such progress! We have had a long, hard struggle. I know its not over and that he has much to learn and overcome, but this is a huge leap for him!

And let me tell you his teacher, well, she's doing a victory dance, too!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Open Your Eyes!

Well, here we are again, care to join me for some reminiscing and silliness?   It's Fro' Me To You Time!

Last week I shared a photo of myself making an extremely goofy face, not one of my most adorable moments.  This week well, why not continue the tradition...and because I like to torture my family members, I will once again include two of my sisters.

Spring 1980

Let's see from the clue given above can you guess which one I am? If you said the one in the pink with the squinty eyes, scrunched up nose and cheesy smile, your a winner!  Sister, Shelly, is once again sportin' the fro, but looking stylish in a yellow, cotton dress, edged in lace.  She even has a corsage to complete the look. Sister, Marisa, well she's just a bawlin'!  Maybe her Easter bonnet was tied to tight!  I'm pretty sure my mom made all of these dresses.  I don't know where she found the time, but she made us some of the most beautiful dresses when we were growing up.

Oh, and in case you thought this was just a malady in my childhood. A picture taking sickness or something. I wish it was. But, oh no, camera's and I, well...what can I say.

January 7, 2009


I still can't keep my eyes open!



By this point, they had me in tears! I was laughing so hard I couldn't have kept my eyes open if I had wanted to.  My son, Isaac, just kept snapping away and laughing at the top of his lungs.  My brother Matt, has a perfect smile in each one and both eyes open!

We finally got one that we thought could be a keeper...until I saw my hair!  I look like I've been rubbing my head against a balloon! Talk about Fro'!  I'm not sure what was going on that day, but I definitely needed a date with my hairbrush and a little hairspray probably wouldn't have hurt any!


Now that I have thoroughly embarrassed myself! Go check out more scrapbook memories at We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Giveaway Recognition

Awhile back I won two giveaways in one week! I was flyin' high, because they were both great prizes.  Since I was blessed with wonderful gifts, I decided I should give a little recognition to the ladies who made my day.

  1. Heidi from Moms, Ministry and More gave away a $25 gift certificate to any online store.  I chose Christian Book Distributors.  I was able to purchase 3 books that I have wanted to read.  Thanks so much Heidi!
  2. Kristen from We Are THAT Family had a mom business called 4 Princess Bows donate $25 of their products.  This is what I got...


I got these cute bows and awesome headband/bow combination for Lauren. On that same site I found this pretty bracelet for me! I had a great time choosing pretties for myself and Lauren! If you get a chance go check out this mom business.

Photo Contest


I heart faces is having a photo contest. Go check it out!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

How Do You View Prayer?

Yesterday Sheryl at The Perch linked to a post written about prayer.  It was written by a lady named Laura who has had to deal with much grief in her life.  It is an amazing, eye-opening, heart-rendering post. It made me re-evaluate how I pray and the requests I make before my Lord.   Here is the link.  Please take time to read this. I believe it will touch you deeply and help you in your walk with the Lord.  


Here are my reactions and feelings...

I have always known that the Lord was concerned with my soul. This concept isn't new to me, but what struck me was the idea that he is far more concerned with the condition of my soul than he is with the condition of my physical body. 

"As Nancy Guthrie (the author quoted by Laura) said, '...God cares more about our spiritual health than our physical health. Our bodies are going to die. Our souls are going to live forever.' "

I don't think though, that this means the Lord doesn't want us to pour our hearts out to Him.  I believe he wants us to bring our requests to Him. However, if our hearts and souls aren't truly aligned with His, our requests will be shallow and centered only on what we desire for ourselves.

Another portion of her post that opened my eyes was this paragraph-

"This reminded me of what I had read in Crazy Love by Francis Chan. He asked something along the lines of (and just paraphrasing here from memory) 'what if heaven was you and all those you loved, healed, no pain, no problems, just parties and fun and joy and love. But no Christ. Would that be ok with you?' "

My first thought upon reading this was, "that wouldn't be so bad". Then I was immediately shocked that I could even think that way. I know, though, why I felt that way.  Honestly, it sounds good at first. No pain or sorrow, just joy, love and peace with those I love.  But, the wonderful thing about this quote it that it got me thinking, really pondering on the concept of Heaven without Christ. How could I be happy there?  Jesus is my ultimate friend.  He has blessed me with my family and friends. He has blessed me beyond words. He loves me like nobody else can. He is love, joy, peace and comfort. He is Heaven.

My outlook on prayer has changed. I will be focusing more on praying that my soul will cleave to my Savior's. That I will desire his will for my life even if it means physical discomfort or death. It is a hard concept to wrap my mind around and I haven't fully come to terms with it yet.  However, I will be starting with small steps, asking for help from the Lord, as He guides me down the path He has set before me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yah, I'm Cool!

Because I have no shame....

April 1982

And because I was part of THAT family way back in 1982. This is the picture that cracks my whole family up and makes me feel like a doof!

My oldest sister, Shelly, obviously could see into the future and wisely covered her face, but she definitely has the FRO goin' on. My younger sister, Marisa just looks adorable. She has a knack for that. She still is SO cute. Me, well, what can I say? I was blessed with the ability to make really goofy faces. I'm not sure why I was holding my dad's pants up to my chest, but I did have to crop off the bottom of this picture because...well...uh-hem...I was missing my bottoms! (a.k.a. my own set of pants)

For more memories that may not make it into the scrapbook visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oh Baby!

It was quiet in the house, too quiet. The kind of quiet that spells trouble, especially when it involves a two-year-old. I snuck down the hallway to see what form of mischieviousness Lauren could be up to, but this is what I found...


She was chattering away to her baby about going shopping and visiting Grandma. Then she would change her tone and ask her baby if she was sick. I was soon beckoned to join the party. So, I sat down and sipped "tea", fed the baby, rocked the baby and wiped the baby's nose. Her imagination is starting to blossom! I love listening to her conversations with her babies. Or watching her dance slow circles around her bedroom as she listens to her favorite CD. I hope I can always remember this precious stage in her life.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Angela's Birthday Bash

Today Angela at Becoming Me is doing a giveaway for her birthday.  She contacted me a while back and asked if I would like to give away a set of my crocheted dishcloths.  Of course, I jumped right on that opportunity! I could definitely use the free advertising.  Plus I have come to treasure the wisdom and honesty in Angela's blog.  She is a wonderful writer.  Go visit, you won't be sorry!




Here are the dishcloths I will be giving to the winner of today's giveaway. Maybe it will be you! To get two chances to win leave me a comment and then go to Angela's and leave her a comment.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Because Its Been Dull Around Here...

Today we had an incident.  A kamikaze Goldfinch flew into our sliding glass door.  It hit with tremendous force and knocked itself silly.  We couldn't just let it sit there loopy and all. So, we got a box and carefully put him inside.

   I folded down the flaps of the box 100_4189and placed a book on top to insure that our feathered friend wouldn't be making any daring escapes.  I checked on him occasionally through the crack in the top to make sure he was still alive.  He gradually seemed to make improvements.  I was innocently reading some blogs when Isaac started talking to me, telling me something about the bird looks better.  He's blinking his eyes.  He's moving his wings.  I said something like, "Uh-huh."




There was a bird flying over my head!  I remember saying not too calmly, "Oh, Isaac, what did you do?"  It was chaotic and comical in our house for a good ten minutes as the little fella flitted from room to room leaving little feathers on the ceiling where he kept bumping his head.  Lauren set to wailing every time he would fly anywhere near where she was sitting. So, between the laughter from the boys, Lauren's sheer terror and four of us running back and forth trailing a bird, it made for an interesting scene.

Every once in awhile he would alight on something and I would climb on a chair to try to snatch him, only for him to fly away when I got too close.


The boys got in a good laugh when he landed in the Christmas tree.  It was a good thing Jacob saw him when he landed because none of the rest of us could see him.  I moved in slowly and was finally able to get my hands on the little guy.

I showed Lauren that he wasn't going to hurt her, but I'm not to sure she believed me.  She'll probably be scarred for life!


The boys stroked his head a couple of times and then we let him go. I'm sure he was glad to be free, after that fiasco.




This is all Isaac could say about it!

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