Monday, October 17, 2016

Decorated Clipboards for the Kickoff Craft

Our kickoff craft for MOPS needed to be something quick, cute, and easy. Some moms may say that they are not crafty. But we encourage them all to try these simply activities - when hands are busy, conversation happens.

These clipboards were less than $1 a piece and the moms could easily use them at each meeting for handouts from speakers. We use these photos on the big screen and keep them scrolling throughout the craft time for easy reference.

We prepped for this craft by cutting the hexagon shapes ahead of time.

Each mom could select 10 different hexagons to decorate their clipboards.

After laying out their pattern, plates of mod podge were available on each table with foam brushes for application. The process was simple.

The glue should be applied in small areas at a time so that it won't dry before you are ready to position all your hexagons.

Even if this clipboard is just used at home for coloring with the kids, we hope that it will remind these moms of the group they are a part of, the bond we have in Christ, and the truths we are learning together.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Easy DIY Cotton Wreath

Sunday afternoons always feel like the perfect time for a project. I get this sudden urge to bake or craft or re-decorate something. Today, I decided to try to make a cotton wreath with supplies on hand. And it worked!

I re-use grapevine wreaths often. Hot glued items can be easily pulled off.

After locating a wreath, my hot glue gun, some cotton balls, and a few brown paper bags, I was ready to tackle this idea.

Since real cotton pods look more like a cluster, I decided to hot glue two cotton balls together.

After cutting the brown paper bags (I used regular lunch sacks) into approximately 3 inch squares, I folded those squares into quarters.

Once I could clearly see the 4 creased lines, I used those lines to help me cut 4 petal shapes. I tried to make them all different in width and size.

This helped the pods look more natural rather than all identical.

Using my hot glue gun, I ran a line of glue down each petal and then pressed them down around the cotton ball cluster. I tried to leave the crease between the two cotton balls facing upwards.

When I glued the pods onto the wreath, I tried to tuck some under branches. I also applied the glue on the sides of most of the pods, so that the brown paper bag piece wasn't hidden.

The entire project took less than 30 minutes. Even if you didn't have the supplies on hand, this wreath would cost less than $5 to make.

I am happy to add this to my fall decor.

These pods could also be hot glued onto branches and placed in a vase or jar for a centerpiece. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Nora Lynn is Two!

In the past month, we have celebrated a birthday, listed our house For Sale by Owner, sold our house in one week, moved, made a quick trip to the Midwest, coordinated several MOPS meeting and gone on a retreat with the ladies from my church! So, I haven't forgotten that I had a fact, I've been compiling lots of pictures for posts...

Birthdays are a big deal for me. It doesn't mean that we spend tons of money or have humongous parties. We just try to make the family member feel celebrated and special. I knew that we would y be traveling on Nora's actual birthday (September 10), so we celebrated a few days early. 

I had re-painted a well loved Melissa and Doug kitchen for Nora's room. And this little white table and chairs got a fresh coat of paint and a sweet little quote. 

I made Nora's favorite breakfast...waffles. 

She loves the table and chairs. You can usually find a tea party or plastic meal of some kind spread about the table. 

She loved when we would sing "Happy Birthday" to her and asked us for more than a week to "sing to me. Birthday dear Nora"

We also took the kids to the aquarium as part of the birthday celebration. 

I love watching their little minds explore and be amazed by the things our God has made. 

We love our Nora and the little lady she is becoming. She is funny, loving and opinionated. She makes me laugh daily and loves for me to pray with her before she goes to sleep. 

Nora, I am so thankful that the Lord picked me to be your mommy! I am excited to watch you continue to grow and mature. And I am praying that you learn to love and trust Jesus at an early age. You make our days brighter.   Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Read with Me

I have really enjoyed watching the When Calls the Heart television series from the Hallmark Channel. I also enjoyed reading this book that is a companion to the television series. Where Hope Prevails was a fun, enjoyable read with those familiar characters and places. I am anxious to see how their story continues.

I received this book from Bethany Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

An Unexplainable Life is a great new 10 week Bible study examining Acts 1-12 verse by verse. I love researching and learning about the early church and their explosive growth. The cover is beautiful and the book is laid out in an easy to use format. This would be useful for a group study with discussion or in an individual setting. There are 5 days of lessons for each week. It's full of biblical, theological and historical insight and seems to be the perfect balance of reading material vs. questions/journal entries.

I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Hidden in My Heart Scripture Memory Bible is a great resource for families with younger children. This New Living Translation Bible is easy to understand. There are 100 core memory verses highlighted - these verses are shown in three different versions. There are practical notes, challenge verses, memory verse plans and other tools included as well. This Bible also comes songs to help in the memorization of those key 100 verses. There is a unique code inside the cover of the Bible to download the songs. You can choose which version of the Bible for the songs as well.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

An Elegant Facade was by an author I was unfamiliar with (Hunter). However, I found her writing to be entertaining and lighthearted. There was a bit of intrigue mixed in with the fun tale. This was the second book in the series. I was not lost though not having read the first book.

I received this book from Bethany in exchange for an honest review.

Leading KidMin is a great resource for those working in or with children's ministries at church. Discovering the importance of a dynamic kid's ministry should be the church's priority. So much of a person's foundation begins when they are kids. This book was super encouraging and thought provoking. It's a great resource for those trying to develop a children's ministry or for those trying to make their children's ministry match the philosophy of their church. This would also be great for other church leaders to read - in order to gain a better perspective about the importance of a thriving kid's ministry. We all have to work together.

I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Greiving the Loss of a Loved One is a beautiful devotional in a hard back cover. What a comforting resource to pass on to someone who is experiencing loss. It's full of scripture, quotes, daily readings, stories, examples and journal spaces. It's the perfect thing to pass on to someone when you don't know what to say to help.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets is an encouraging book. It's so easy to forget the powerful resource that we have...prayer. And what an awesome thought that God wants to use our prayers to allow us to see Him at work.

I received this book from Bethany Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Full of recipes, tips, lists and charts The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies & Toddlers is an excellent resource for any parent/caretaker of a toddler and baby. It's so hard to know what to feed them, when to feed them, when to try new things, how to make them love healthy things. This book is in an easy to use format. I wish that there were pictures included with the recipes, but it is easy to understand.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Outer Banks 2016

I'm definitely a beach girl. So, when Jeremiah's family decided to go to the Outer Banks this year for vacation, I was all in!

We had gone to the Outer Banks with his family 8 years ago and I was excited to revisit this quiet beach.

(Look how young and well rested we look way back then!)

The kids loved the adventures of this trip.

They woke up early asking for their swim suit/trunks.

Nora wasn't a fan of the sand. But (thankfully) she would sit in a chair on the beach all day long as we kept her well fed.

So, Jeremiah gave up his chair.

Hudson was super adventurous. Flying kites. Finding seashells. Digging in the sand.

He  loved having Papaw, Grammy and cousins around all day long too!

It  was so fun to revisit some places from out last trip to these islands.

And Nora learned the important lesson that bubbles are not for eating.

As  I've looked back through these pictures, it's made me ready to head back to the beach.

I love the easy days and fun times with family.

For now, I'll have to settle for these pictures and memories.