Love Story

Monday, November 28, 2011

Not your typical Christmas gift

When it comes to cleaning my house, I often find myself doing the bare minimum just to get by - a load of laundry here, a couple of sweeps there, an occasional vacuum in the main areas. It is always a struggle to buckle down and really tackle the whole mess on a regular basis. I guess it is the part of me that still rebels against anything not fun...I know, I know, I am 30 not 3 but somehow that is still a part of my personality.

The problem with this is that the house is my job. As a stay at home wife and mom I consider my first priorities to be my husband and kids and right after that comes the upkeep of our home. We as women were created to not only stay busy but spend part of that busy time blessing our homes because it creates a warm environment for the people we love (see Proverbs 31:10-31). If I was honest with myself I would have to admit that I often rob my family of the blessing of a clean and tidy home. As I type this, really put it into words and let it sink in, I realize just how convicting this statement is. When I stop looking at the housework as work and instead see it as blessing my family, it really gives me a whole new motivation to re-prioritize the time I spend on my home.

You might be wondering what it looks like to bless your family with a clean home. To me a clean home creates opportunity. If my kitchen counters are clutter free and my dishes are cleaned and put away, I am more likely to spend time on a nutritious homemade meal for my family. I am more likely to spontaneously invite the kids in for some baking time together. If my living room and dining room are always picked up my kids are more likely to turn off the tv and pull out their train tracks to spend hours creating a grand railroad station on the floor. They are more likely to color an elaborate picture at the table until their markers run dry. If everything is where it should be and clean, my husband can come home after 12 long hours of work and just relax. He would be able to truly find peace at home (at least until our 3 little monkeys start climbing all over him!).

So my challenge to you, and to myself, is to give your family a different kind of gift this Christmas season. Bless them by blessing your home on a more regular basis. Open up opportunities for baking gingerbread men, playing a family game around the table, spreading out on the floor to wrap gifts together. In doing this you are really blessing yourself as well. Not only are you going to have a happy family and lots of memories, but I can almost guarantee your holiday season will be less stressful. So many times my stress during this time of year is compounded by the messy state of my home.

What is one thing you envision yourself being able to do with your family this holiday season when the mess of your house isn't getting in the way? Can't wait to hear what you come up with and would love for you to stop back by and let me know how it is going! And if you are already good at this, please share your tips for successfully keeping a tidy home on a regular basis.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Button Ornaments

This year I have really been drawn to buttons. They are just so fun for crafting! In recent years we have agreed to stop exchanging gifts with my brother and his wife and instead focus on the kids at Christmas time. So we started a tradition of exchanging ornaments instead. This year we planned to swap ornaments on Thanksgiving so we could enjoy them during the current holiday season. I had planned to make mine so when I came across these button ornaments by Martha Stewart, I knew they were just the thing.
I was extra blessed in this endeavor as one of the followers on my Facebook page generously mailed me a bunch of buttons from her stash for no cost after I inquired about where to buy them in bulk. Thank you so much Jerre Lollman:)

 Here's what I came up with (one each for my brother, sister-in-law, and 2 nieces):

That's a reindeer, a snowman, an elf (or leprechaun as I kept calling it at one point;), and a Santa. I am planning to make some more to attach to gifts and am going to come up with some special ones for my boys so I'll post about those when I finish them. If you are interested in making some yourself click the Martha Stewart link above. The only materials you need are buttons, pipe cleaner, and ornament hooks. These literally take minutes to make and would be a fun project to get your kids involved with as well. Happy Ornament Making!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's talk Pinterest!

Okay, I'm officially hooked. Like most other things I am a little behind in jumping on the band wagon but now that I have I am glad I did! There are so many great ideas floating around Pinterest and even more than that I love that I have one place to keep them all. My brain could never begin to hold all of the recipes, crafts, decorations, etc that I see and want to remember in the future. And now it doesn't have too! All my future plans are neatly pinned on my boards for just that moment when I am ready to make a new recipe or start a new craft. Brilliant!

Because I am always falling in love with ideas I find there and I have this blog to share what I love, I thought I would start trying to post some of favorite finds from Pinterest. Things I can't wait to try or things I got inspired to try. What do you think? I don't know if this will be a weekly thing or a here and there thing...we'll see! But if you want to see all the things I am finding feel free to hit the Follow Me button to the left of this post:)

This week I am going to share a few of the things I have been inspired to do or make. Click on the caption if you want to see the original source and start creating yourself:)

This Countdown to Thanksgiving turkey from my last post was Pinterest inspired:)  
My boys are loving my twist on the dinosaur hats pattern I found! 
Matching winter hats for my nieces made out of old fleece pajama pants
Want to know what the number one Pinterest inspired item I have been making lately is? Anything pumpkin flavored!! Here are some links to the recipes my family tried and liked:
- Pumpkin Cornbread -
- Pumpkin Fudge -
- Pumpkin Pancakes -
- Pumpkin Gingerbread -

Finally, with Thanksgiving a little over a week away (really??) let me share with you all the Thanksgiving decor and crafts I have been inspired by. This will take you to my board full of pins dedicated specifically to Thanksgiving:

Happy Pinning, as they say!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Countdown to Thanksgiving

I love crafts. Always have. When I pictured myself as a mom I pictured lots of hands on crafts with my kids. So when my oldest boys were big enough to sit at the table I started planning all of these fun projects to do. I quickly realized just how hard it is to complete a project with two toddlers! Needless to say, it started to be fewer and further between that I let my boys in on my crafts because it just felt more like work then fun. But now that they are 4 and 5 I really want to make more of an effort to get hands on with them. And thanks to Pinterest, I have a LOT of ideas to choose from!

The holiday season is a great time for crafts. There is so much inspiration to draw from. We decided to start with a Countdown To Thanksgiving craft (thanks to Make and Takes for the inspiration) that will help us get excited for the big feast as well as remember what we are thankful for each day. This was a great project to do with my kids because it only involved a handful of supplies and they were able to help with each step.

I started by cutting out the body, the head, the facial features and the strips for the feathers. Jordan got to draw on the eyes and glue on the beak, waddle, and legs.
Nathan got to write Happy Thanksgiving on the body.
They both got to trim the strips of paper into feathers.

 Now I have seen this project where you start with all of the feathers and then take one off for each day as a countdown to Thanksgiving. I liked the idea of adding a feather a day so that you end with a full bird so we are going to do it that way. Each day I am going to ask each of my boys what they are thankful for and write it on the feather before adding it to the body. At the end we will have a nice keepsake to look back on:)

Since we didn't start this until November 5th, we had 5 feathers to catch up on. It was sweet listening to my 4 year old say first that he was thankful that God and Jesus loved him and my 5 year old list his brothers as what he is most thankful for. I look forward to the next 19 days not only because that means Thanksgiving is here and we get to celebrate with loved ones, but also to hear each day what my little guys are thankful for in their life.

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