Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Parenting with less Stress {Instructions from God's word}

 I think the biggest thing for me in being able to enjoy parenting and not be stressed about it is knowing that God knows all about my kids. He made them, He loves them and He knows the best way for me to care for them and raise them up. James 1:5 says: "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." I have certainly asked for wisdom a lot and I am positive I will be continually needing to ask for more wisdom!

  Since I have complete faith that God knows best for me, my family and my children, the obvious answer to getting advice on raising kids is to go to God's word. There is quite a bit to say on that subject and I thought I would simply share some of those verse with you today. I think a lot of times when we feel stressed it is because we are struggling with handling some problem on our own (I know that happens with me!), so when we are willing to just tell God, "I believe you know best and I will do my best to follow Your word" a ton of the pressure is off of us, I don't have the stress of figuring out what to do, I can just do what God says.

  Obviously God doesn't cover every single little issue in the bible, and we do still have to make some decisions, but the big, basic issues are there and we can use all of that as a guideline and that helps ever so much! And of course we need to always pray!

So here are some of the verses that God has given us in His word:

Ephesians 6:1-4
6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:20 and 21
"Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart."

(I think that we mother's do well to pay attention to the two sections above addressed to Fathers as well)

Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it."

Deuteronomy 6:5-9
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

Titus 2:4 & 5
"...that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored."

Proverbs 13:24
"He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently."

Proverbs 19:18
"Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death."

Hebrews 12:9 & 11
"Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For the disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."

Those are a few of the verses that I have found helpful as we raise our children. Having guidelines that I can trust (rather than just a book written by man that may or may not have the right ideas) certainly works for me and makes parenting far less stressful!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A patriotic table runner

 Well I am finally back to posting projects (I have had quite a few I have wanted to post but these last couple weeks have been busy so I haven't had time to post) but I am taking a little break from the wool skirt project because I wanted to share this patriotic project before Independence day.

   I made this table runner back in May to sell at the silent auction for our republican fundraiser. Part of me was hoping it didn't sell because I rather would have liked it for my table. It did sell though -which was the point- so I have been hoping to make another one for me but haven't had time yet. I have the stuff I need which was leftover from making a booth backdrop.

To make the runner I cut a piece of red felt long enough to drape over the ends of my table and about 18 inches wide. I cut the ends to a point. The I cut a way blue piece to go in the middle and wavy white stripes from white felt to place on it too. Then I cut out stars from all three colors in three different sizes and just put them on randomly. Some of them I stacked because I thought it looked neat.
 I then pinned everything in place and top stitched everything on. I also top stitched all around the sides. That took a while and I think you could make this a lot faster by hot gluing things in place but I think the stitching is more durable and looks a bit better.

So if you are looking for a way to make your home look patriotic maybe you would like to try this table runner. I thought it was a lot of fun!
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Monday, June 28, 2010

Feeling very blessed and thankful

   "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."
Psalm 50:23

  Last week was a very unusual week for us with Mara off to Iowa at camp and the boys attending day camp up here. It was a week of a lot of running around and also one which I got to spend more individual time with Megan. Then this past weekend Ken and Jonathan went down to the cities to pick Mara up and go to an amusement park while the younger two and I made and delivered wedding flowers and had a good time going to garage sales.  It was a fun week but I am very glad to have things back to normal again with everybody home and on a more regular schedule. I am feeling very thankful for my family and God's care for all of us.

Here are so more specifics on what I am feeling thankful for today:

#636 My little sunshine (not what is pictured above but rather Megan who wanted to take that picture). It was so fun running errands with her this week. One thing that was different about taking just one child with me is that people paid more attention to her. She was rather spoiled about everywhere we went. The big sunshine was a gift from the vacuum store lady and she got other gifts from other places as well.

#637 A letter from Mara. I love it that she took the time to write it while she was busy at camp.

#638 Having company over for lunch.

#639 Sunshine again! I appreciated all the rain but I certainly am enjoying the sunshine too!

#640 The 3 "M's", Margaret, Malia and Mara and all the fun they can have together.

#641 Mara getting to go see my Grandma along with my sister Anna and crew on their way to camp.

#642 Getting to see pictures that Mara took at camp, complete with some of the same teachers that I had when I went to camp. And actually I think it is possible that Bill Paine taught my Dad when he went to camp there. I loved hearing her tell about the people, the food, the activities and the place and remember all the fun I had there when I was a kid.

#643 All the beautiful shades of purple that God made!

#643 A little Aaron boy who asks me if it is okay if he vacuums the living room and clears the table while I am busy doing flowers.

#644 A sweet Megan that volunteered to wash the dishes while I was busy. (I did do a bit of check up on them later but she actually did a pretty good job.)

#645 Fun times with sparklers that Auntie Keren had.

#646 My hardworking husband! (Who can massage my neck and shoulders so nicely!)

#647 Getting Mara and Jonathan's test results back and they look pretty good.

#648 Sweet fellowship at church.

#649 Finding nice free printable 18 inch doll clothes patterns (now Mara is off to sewing)

#650 Radishes!

#651 A new vacuum cleaner and a fixed one and being able to have clean carpets again.

#652 Not running out of gas even though I absent mindedly got very close.

#653 God watching out for me through all my absent mindedness like running a stop sign and leaving our home unlocked all night.

#654 The good exercise I was able to get while mowing the lawn.

#655 Times to work hard and times to just rest.

#656 God giving us safety through all the activities of last week.

#657 God's continually love.

What are you thanking God for this week?

holy experience

Sunday, June 27, 2010

John 14:5

"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."
John 14:15

I was struck by the simplicity and clarity of this verse today. Short and sweet and to the point. We aren't left guessing as to what it means. So now I just want to make sure that I am showing my love for God by obeying Him. Are you showing Him your love?

Friday, June 25, 2010

35 ways to reuse tin cans

Any of you who read my blog often know that I love to reuse things. Today I thought it would be fun to share a collection of things you can make using tin cans. Many we have made and many more we would like to make sometime. :-) I have tried to give links to photos and instructions if possible. If you know of some other neat use for old tin cans that I don't mention, please tell me about it in the comments!

  1. Double boiler saucepan for making candles.

  2. Molds for candles (the smooth edged little cans.)

  3. Make a tin can knitter. (Something on my list of things I think it would be fun to do with my kids)

  4. Make Luminaries.Simply put water in the can and freeze it and then draw a design on a piece of paper and lay it on the can and use a hammer and nail and punch a design. You freeze the water in it so the can doesn't dent when you are hammering. Paint it if you desire. (here are some 4th of July ones)

  5. The base for a centerpiece

  6. Make a hobo stove for camping. (I have long planned to try this but never have.)

  7. Make Boston Brown Bread (you use tin cans for the "pan")

  8. Kids craft: Tin can lamb.

  9. Or let them make a Turkey.

  10. A kitchen utensil holder (Similar idea as the vases just much bigger!)

  11. Tin Can dollhouse furniture. (and I can imagine some that are much simpler to make than where the link goes.)

  12. Punch holes in the end and then pour water in it to softly water your seedlings.

  13. Set melons (in your garden) up on a tin can to ripen with out rotting where they touch the ground.

  14. Tin can lid matching game. If you have the type of can opener that unseals rather than cuts (so there are no sharp edges!) you can put stickers on one side

  15. Tin can Dog Robot

What else can you add to the list?

For more frugal ideas please visit Life as MOM

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Parenting with Less Stress {Don't be afraid to say "No"}

After my post last week on not just saying "no" to your children promptly when they ask to do something I decided maybe I should write about the other side of the story as well. Something that has made parenting far less stressful for us is being able to firmly say "no" at times and stick with it.

   There are somethings that we have determined are not in the best interest of our children. Things like a lot of toys, candy, pop and other things that would be detrimental for their health or our ability to live simply and to stay out of debt. When we go shopping our children have learned that we will say "no" to any requests for toys or junk food. That is something that we haven't caved on (though once in a great while we will chose to buy something special and then our children get very excited!) and our kids don't even think to ask for things when we go shopping. Sometimes they will save money to buy things themselves or they will ask me if I think I can make it but they don't ask me to buy it for them.

   We have found life to be much less stressful when we aren't burdened down with tons of things (though we could still stand to get rid of stuff!) and shopping with children is certainly less stressful as we don't have to deal with children asking for things, whining or throwing tantrums. Consistently and firmly saying "no" when out shopping has worked very well for us.

I would love to hear you thoughts on this! What works for you in this area?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Praising our God!

"Tell everyone on this earth to shout praises to God!
Sing about His glorious name.
Honor Him with praises."
Psalm 66:1 & 2

I haven't managed to write my gratitude list the last few Mondays but since I am able to upload pictures again and I have managed to find a little time I decided to go ahead and do it now. There are so many things that I want to praise and thank God for!
#615 The 3 oldest kids being able to go to Bible camps.
#616 Being able to go and explore and have fun as a family at the boys' campground.
#617 The many lakes of Minnesota

#618 Fun ways to explore the lakes.
#619 Being able to mix work (delivering wedding flowers) and pleasure (going canoeing with my sister and kids).
#620 Nobody getting poison ivy from the island full of it that we landed on.

#621 All the rain that we have been getting lately and the beautiful rainbows that come with it.
#622 The friends that we are blessed to have from all around the world.
#623 A fun visit with a couple of our international friends.
#624 Getting to see History in action at the living history museum at Fort Snelling.

#625 Mara's absolute enjoyment of learning.
#626 That our normal beds are much more comfortable than these! (A sloping platform that the guards and Fort Snelling got to sleep on.)
#627 That we can have fun seeing all the old ways of doing things but that we can still live in a modern world with plumbing, refrigeration and much more!

#628 Safe Travel.

#629 Vacuum cleaners that work again. I didn't realize how much I rely on them until I have to go without for a while!
#630 The opportunities I have had lately to spend with friends both old friends and brand new ones.

#631 Fun one on one times with Megan.

#632 Learning what a great helper she can be.

#633 New life that God gives! It has been fun to be around a pregnant friend (due before long), see a new baby and hear exciting news of someone else expecting. Every new life is certainly a gift from God!

#634 The excitement of children!

#635 The grace, mercy and strength that God gives.

I am feeling very blessed, I hope you are too!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jewels in Psalms 37

I have really been enjoying reading through Psalms lately. Today I read the 37th chapter and there are so many neat verses in there. I thought I would share some of the ones I especially like.

 "Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it." (3-5)

The 4th verse has long been a favorite of mine. It is a reminder to keep first things first. To make sure that I am focusing on my relationship with God and then He will take care of my desires. God is certainly worthy of my trust and it certainly makes life a whole lot easier when I am willing to trust Him!

"Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret;
it leads only to evildoing." (8)

This is just a great practical verse. Maybe easier said than done but something I want to work hard at. I am so glad that God just came out and said not to fret and why.

"The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
and He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.
All day long He is gracious and lends,
and his descendants are a blessing." (23-26)

Isn't this such a neat comforting verse! I love the visual image of me getting to walk along and then tripping but I don't fall because God is there holding tight to my hand just like I do with my little girl when we go on a walk. Oh what a wonderful heavenly Father we have!

"But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strengh in time of trouble,
The Lord helps them and delivers them;
He delivers them from the wicked and saves them.
because they take refuge in Him." (39 & 40)
Oh what a great salvation and refuge we have in our God! I would never want to live without Him!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lots of Abbis (Abbys) in blogland

 I have always liked my name Abbi (short from Abbigail) and its meaning : source of joy, but growing up I knew no other Abbis (or Abby). In the last ten years I have started meeting Abbys but most of them are 20 years or so younger than I am. I never minded having a unique name, in fact I was very glad that I didn't have one that was so common that about everywhere you went you had the same name as somebody else. It has been fun however to find others out there in blogland that are not only named Abby but they are close(r) to my age. I thought it would be fun to share some of those blogs with you.

  • Dear Abbi Is another homeschooling Mom. When I saw her link one day on Frugal Friday, I believe, I had to go check it out as finding someone else with the same spelling as me is even more unusual thatn just finding an Abby.
  • Grace, Hope, Love, Joy is written by Abigail Jasmine. She and her husband are currently in South Korea. It has been fun to read about their adventures there.
  • A Feathered Nest This Abby enjoys sharing fun and simple projects. She has nice pictures and an upbeat blog.
  • Style Me Pretty is a fun wedding blog written mostly by Abby Larson. I enjoy reading some wedding blogs to help keep me up to date with my wedding flower business. 
  • Abby's Blog is about Abby Sunderland, a homeschooled 16 year olds solo sailing trip around the world. She is traveling right now and blogging as she goes. The kids and I have found this very interesting.
I hope you have fun checking them out too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Parenting with less stress {Letting go on the little things}

While I obviously didn't get this written on Wednesday but I decided to go ahead and write one for the week today. I hope you don't mind! :-)

   I have been thinking on several things that some parents get stressed about and one of the things that I admit bothers me when I see it in other parents is how quickly they will react to whatever their child is doing and say "NO!". I think sometimes that toddlers aren't the only ones that like to say that word. I think many parents do too.

  Obviously the word "no" has to be used sometimes. I firmly believe in "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." (Ephesians 6:1) and I plan to on write on Biblical training soon but I think often parents put many unnecessary demands on their children. I know every family is different and they have different reasons for doing things and so I certainly don't expect that we would have all the same ideas on good and safe conduct in children but I challenge you to think about what you say "no" to your children about. Make sure it is something that really matters and that you aren't just saying "no" because you think it is easier.

It might help if I give some examples of what I am talking about.....

Here are some of the things that I have had other shocked parents ask me, "You let your kids do that?":

  • Climb trees as soon as they are capable of doing so. Megan started doing that at age 2.
  • Let them learn how to climb the stairs.(at 8 -10 months when they are crawling) Just take the time to guide them the first few times.
  • Play in the woods even with the possibility of ticks and poisen ivy.
  • Play in the rain.
  • Run outside with bare feet on the snow. (For a quick thrill or to say hello to a visitor.)
  • Make a big mess doing some sort of craft project.
  • Use the sewing machine at an early age.
  • Let them have pocket knives. Naturally this is a great opportunity for teaching safety and proper ways to use knives. (And no, Megan hasn't been considered old enough to have one yet.)
  • Get wet in the sprinkler or somewhere else where there is lovely water on a hot day.
  • Sort nails at the age of one.
  • Use tools and let them try to build things at a young age.
  • Use scissors, pencils and pens very young.
  • Play in the rafters of an unfinished building.
  • Have fun baking (and making a BIG mess).
  • Play in the mud. My kids actually haven't had the opportunity to do this nearly as much as I did as a kid as rain drains away quickly around our place but they have done it some. I remember many happy hours as a child filled with mud and water, little boats my older brother made and make dams and rivers and I am sure getting filthy from head to toe!
I am not advising recklessness but I am encouraging everybody to let their kids be kids. Let them do something exciting in a good environment and don't make them seek their thrills from a TV or video games or who knows where else. I think this is especially important for boys.

   I think it helps a lot in reducing stress to not say "no" all the time but rather have firm rules on the things that are really important. Also it saves you time as you don't have to do everything for them because they gain independence when you teach them how to do things for themselves in some areas.

   I will admit this post is a reminder for me too. The boys have been wanting to open the windows in the van a lot lately when we drive. I personally don't prefer a windy and noisy ride and so I have said "No" many times but lately I have been trying to remember... this is really not that important why don't I just say "Yes"? It is so easy to please a child. It is nice to say "Yes" when something really doesn't matter.

 I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Hearth Mender by Andy Andrews {A Review and a giveaway!}

The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews is a unique blend of historical fact and engaging fiction showing the power of forgiveness.

In 1942, German subs are dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico to sink U.S. vessels carrying goods and fuel. While taking a late-night walk, Helen Mason—widowed by war—discovers the near-lifeless body of a German sailor. Enraged at the site of Josef Landermann's uniform, Helen is prepared to leave him to die when an unusual phrase, faintly uttered, changes her mind.

In The Heart Mender, a small town must prepare itself for the worst the world has to offer, and Josef and Helen must reconcile their pasts to create a future.

 I received this book in the mail on Friday. Even though I had wedding flowers to do, deliver and then a wedding to decorate for I was done reading it by Saturday evening. This book was totally my style as it is full of history, welling written dialogue, a thought provoking message and a bit of mystery.

  The book was inspired by a time capsule of sorts that the author dug up in his back yard. In it was German Marine memorabilia from WW2 and a few pictures. Andy was so curious about it that he started doing some investigating and found this intriguing story of a German sailor and a bitter American woman, widowed young as a result of the the war. I found the story totally amazing, it was funny at times and scary at times too. I did wish that he would have told more of the story but I guess it is better to be left wanting for more than to be bored with the story.

   I did find the way the story was written to be a little bit hard to follow a few times as the author would go from present day to WW2 time and then back again but as a general rule it was easy reading and fun too. I do appreciate the obvious time the author put into research. I would definitely recommend this book to others and this in one that I intend to make room for to keep on our shelves.

Now for the fun part!
Thomas Nelson Publishers sent me not just one book but two! They asked me to give a second copy away here. So if you would like to win this book please leave a comment on this post. Please tell me about a book you have enjoyed reading. I would especially enjoy hearing about any books that you like that would be suitable reading for my ten year old girl as we are continually running out of books for her.

 So if you want to win leave a comment that tells me about a favorite book and includes some way to reach you if you win. All other comments will be deleted. And for the sake of shipping costs I am going to limit this to USA only- sorry to my international readers! This contest will go until June 22.

Comments are now closed. The Winner is: Gary and Michelle!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Lord abides forever!

Originally uploaded by ArtsyAbbi
"But the Lord abides forever;
He has established His throne for judgement,
And he will Judge the world in righteousness;
He will execute judgement for the peoples with equity.
The Lord also will be a stronghold in times of trouble;
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You."
Psalms 8:7-10

I love these verses, they are such great reminders that we have a God who is always there, He doesn't forsake us and He will always be our stronghold.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A fun day!

Originally uploaded by ArtsyAbbi
We had a fun day today. The kids and Keren and I went to a state park where I had to deliever wedding flowers. We also had some time available to just have fun. Keren decided to rent some canoes for us to use. A good day but I sure am tired now!

I hope to share more pictures later but at this time I am still having issues with uploading pictures but did figure out how to do one at a time through flickr.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Getting rid of stuff but feeling like we have more.

This week we have been going crazy sneezing having fun organizing and going through things around here. I am hoping to have a garage sale in around a month and so I am trying to go through things gradually. I do keep ongoing boxes to collect stuff all year round and I already having 4 LARGE tubs + collected but there always seems to be more to find.

  Anyway on Sunday night I mentioned to the boys that maybe it would be nice to rearrange their room and go through things in their room the next day. Monday morning I woke up to the sound of things moving upstairs and came up to find them already at work. Jonathan likes to rearrange and he was hard at it. I slowed them down a bit as I wanted to do some vacuuming as we went along (That was kind of my hidden motive to rearranging- to try to get the room really clean- but they didn't see it as all that necessary.

 After a day of hard work (and lots of sneezing from Aaron and I who can't seem to tolerate dust very well) we were looking on a rearranged room that was much cleaner. We had gone through every drawer, shelf and box, but I admit we put the desks off for another day!

 As we went along we were putting extra toys, too small clothes, some little kids books and other odds and ends into a box for the garage sale. We were getting rid of things but what was funny was when we got done it felt like we had more.

~The boys felt like they had a bigger room because of the new furniture arrangement.
~They had "new" and exciting clothes because we had gone through a box of too big clothes that was in their closet (That had been given to us a year or so ago) and found "new" ones that fit.
~They have had fun reading their books more and not felt the need to go to the library as much because I arranged them nicely and made it more spacious by getting rid of some.
~The Legos have had a new appeal (and that has been wonderful for this rainy week!) because we got a new container for them, placed them on a low shelf instead of the high one in their closet and also we found missing pieces all over their room.

  None of that (except the new Lego container) cost us anything except time but the boys are enjoying so much more what they already had. That is worth a whole lot!

   We have been going through other things this week too:

  We went through Megan's clothes and the boxes we had put up for her in her closet. We have found that she is as always over abundantly supplied with clothes. I am amazed at how God so abundantly provides. I do not buy clothes for Megan (I would if I needed too) but she is always well supplied. Megan likes pretty clothes so she really enjoyed going through the clothes with me. We had fun together time as well as saving a ton of money by keeping on hand clothes that were too big for Megan and pulling them out when they fit.

  I have been trying to go through books on our shelves that I have never read and either read them or if I determine they aren't something we want, getting rid of them. This week I have been so happy to find some literary jewels that I had never enjoyed before. Again we bought nothing new but it feels like new to me.

   This method works in my clothes closet too. When I get rid of things I discover clothes that I haven't worn in a while or perhaps I notice new combinations that will make the clothing seem new. Or I find something old that I can re-make to make it seem new again. It is fun to search for the hidden "jewels" in what we already have!

  I am now feeling pretty excited about going through more of the house!

For more Frugal Friday tips visit Life as MOM.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Parenting with less stress {choosing to be full time Mama}

I was very blessed to grow up with a Mom that stayed home with me and my siblings, Ken was also blessed in that way. So when Mara was due to arrive I don't even remember talking about what I would do when she was born, we both just planned that I would quit my job and stay home with her.

  At the time Mara was born Ken and I were still both in Bible college and we were both working part time. I had a steady job at a florist shop that I really enjoyed and Ken was preaching at a small church (and making $50 a week!) and then he had some other jobs that weren't very dependable at that time. (He had a better job before we got married but was working an opposite shift from me and so had changed to another job that ended up not being on the up and up legally so he got out of there but then found good jobs not so easy to come by and ended up doing various temp jobs.) When you looked at the situation we were in I suppose my quiting my job wouldn't have seemed wise by some.

  For me as a mother (and a breastfeeding one) it seemed to be the right thing for us however. And you know what God really blessed and we made it through without debt. We did end up having to move when Mara was about 5 months old and then we finished the rest of our schooling (4 months worth) by correspondence but God was faithful to take care of us and I am so glad that I had that special time with Mara.

  I know staying home isn't an option for everybody. Some don't want to, some have husbands that aren't on board with them staying home and some mom's are single moms and there are many other reasons too. I respect that. I am certainly not here to judge you on your decision. However I thought it would be fun to share some of the reasons that staying at home has worked well for us and made parenting less stressful.

  • I got to breastfeed exclusively, for the health of my babies and I.
  • We are the ones responsible for our children before God and staying at home gives me the time to truly train them and teach them.
  • Not having to put my children in daycare or preschool. This is a huge issue for me as I really didn't want all the peer influence that comes from that as well as the germs.
  • I got to enjoy all of my children's "firsts" and their little cute sayings.
  • We can homeschool.
  • The flexibility of having only 1 work schedule (Ken's) to work around.
  • Not having to come home from work in the evening and still be faced with all the cooking and laundry and cleaning. I am really not sure how mothers who work outside the home do it!
  • Being able to have more family time.
  • and so much more!
I am sure I probably sound rather opinionated on this issue. I am very much so as far as I am concerned, I have very strong reasons for why we do what we do but I want you to know that if you aren't like me it is not my goal to make you feel bad however if you also would like to stay home but haven't been sure if you could make it work then I really want to encourage you. Staying home with your kids is totally worth the financial sacrifices you might have to make! It is so much fun too!

    I would love to hear your reasons for doing what you do (as long as we stay nice and civil! )....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A decorated wreath {Wool skirts project #3}

In wool skirt project #1 I made melted flowers from the skirt lining. I got to thinking that they would be pretty on a wreath but I wanted some other flower to go with them. I ran across this very cool Calla Lily wreath where she made the calla lilies out of burlap and other funky fabrics. I liked hers very much but was wanting something a little more elegant to match the other flowers and also I wanted to use my wool skirts!

   I decided to use the cream colored skirt and make calla lily shapes like she had instructed but I made mine only one layer. The one layer wasn't stiff enough to work as is so I decided to paint them with modge podge. I did that and let them dry part way and then I shaped them. I also decided to use a bead in the middle as I thought that would match the look of the other flowers as I had a bead in the middle of them as well.

After the flowers were done I had lots of fun putting them on the wreath. I added dried eucalyptus, moss and lichen, a lotus pod, sweet gum pods a peacock feather, ribbon and anything else I thought looked nice.

  This wreath got sold at the silent auction at our Republican fundraiser but I hope to make another one soon. While I was making the grapevine wreath for this one (from some trimmed grapevine from a friend) I made a couple more as well for other projects.

If you would like to see my other wool skirts projects:

I would have liked to post more pictures of the wreath but I guess I have run out of room on Picasa so I have things I need to figure out there and for now they won't let me upload anymore pictures. On Sunday I wasn't able to blog either because of some problem with blogger. I guess this is a challenging blogging week for me. I am not so good with all these techie things!

I am linking this to:


Monday, June 7, 2010

God is so good!

"To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and call upon the name of the Lord."
Psalm 116:17

This past week has been fun and busy and of course full of things to thank God for! His blessings are so abundant, He gives over and over again!

#601 The strength that God gives for each day.

#602 Peace in the midst of busyness.

#603 The first wedding of the summer going smoothly.

#604 Our kids growing up and becoming more mature and responsible.

#605 Radishes that come up so nice and quick!

#607 All the beautiful flowers that are blooming now. (You can see some that we have enjoyed here.)

#608 Fun times with my parents, siblings and a cousin.

#609 Getting my herb garden all planted and the excitement of using it.

#610 My little sister graduating from (home school) High school.

#611 Laughing with Ken over typos in advertisements.

#612 The blessing of hardly having to pay anything for clothes as we are so abundantly blessed with hand-me-downs.

#613 A successful home school kids baseball game!

#614 God giving us the ability to be more than conquerors.

holy experience


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