Monday, December 28, 2009

A few projects from last week.

The project creating is slowing down a bit around here. It is nice to do some relaxing, playing of games and things like that instead for a bit. But there were several projects that I hadn't gotten around to sharing and I thought I would tell you about a few today.

This is one of Mara's projects. It is a a little house made out of a small matchbox, that hangs around your neck and a little tiny doll has a bed inside of it. Mara made this all by herself for Megan for Christmas. We got this very sweet idea from Colored Buttons. Megan liked it very much and wore it around all Christmas day.

Christmas Dresses for Mara's dolls were one of my fun projects to fill her stocking. Doll clothes are so fun to sew as they take so little fabric and can go together so fast! It is fun being able to use up odds and ends of trimming too. (The green dress looks a little funny in the picture as there is a big wet spot on it but I forgot to take a different picture later.)

Mara made one little boy quite happy by making him a play "silk" which he can use as a cape. He had enjoyed playing with one at his cousins and was delighted to get one of his own. Play silks have become quite popular but aren't what I consider cheap. For this one was used some silky (not silk however) fabric that we had on hand and she hemmed around the edges.

Another Christmas project was homemade noodles. This isn't something I normally make so they made for a special Christmas meal. (Our now 2 year tradition is to have pasta for Christmas Dinner.) Noodles are really very simple, basically just beaten eggs, a pinch of salt and then as much flour as you can work in. Roll them out as thin as you can and then fold up and cut in strips. Unfold and hang up to dry. Use them in soup, with alfredo sauce or however you like best. Be prepared to find them much more tasty and filling then store bought noodles!

Have you been busy making anything lately? What were some favorite homemade gifts for Christmas at your house? I would love to hear!

For lots and lots more projects visit A Soft Place to Land!

The gift of snow and so much more.....

"Give thatnks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings."
Psalm 33:2

Christmas time is a time of giving and getting and the saying of "Thanks" is pretty common, but this time can be also one of stress, grumpiness and dissatisfaction. Today and always I want to choose the road of thankfulness. I have been given many opportunities to say "Thank you" to many well deserving people, I want to remember to do that even more, but today I want to say "Thank you" to the Giver of ALL good gifts, The One who made ALL things!

 So Thanks be to God for......

173. Last night at church... A time of music. Getting to play and sing. Worshiping and thanking God.

174. Surprises coming in the mail. A REAL box finally (to quote Mara) after all the ones from businesses.

175. Ken's help in the kitchen. Normally that is my domain, which is fine, but it is lots of fun to do things together once in a while. He will help me with dishes now and again but having him help make our Christmas Bread was extra special.

176. Little boys delighted (they were even though their faces look very serious in this picture) with their new head lights from Granddad and Nana.

177. Hot chocolate stirred with a candy cane. Yummy!

178. Beautiful, wonderful snow! What a great Christmas gift!

179. Making it sticky so we could really play with it.

180. Warm clothes to wear out to play in the snow.

181. Simple family fun!

182. Walking in a winter wonderland.

183. Lots of great exercise and fresh air.

184. Fun playing "Apples to Apples" with my family (including my parents, brother and sister.)
185. Getting to tie for first place with Jonathan.
186. Lots of chocolate! :-)
187. Hugs from my Children.
188. Seed catologs coming in the mail.
189. A warm home.
190. Hot water.
191. Friends.
192. Time to clean, organize and de-clutter and the fun we can have doing it!
193. Everything we need plus so much more!
194. Laughter shared while reading together.
195. God's kindness and mercy.

holy experience

Sunday, December 27, 2009


"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil, Learn to do good;
Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless;
Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.
"Come now, and let us reason together,"
Says the Lord,
"Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool."
Isaiah 1:16-18

When reading this verse lately what jumped out at me was the admontion to Learn to do good, to defend the orphan and plead for the widow. I am feeling more and more burdened to figure out ways to help those that are hurting. This is an area that I reallly want to grow in! It is something that I want to be an example in to my children- they are at a point in their lives where they are learning so much. I want them to learn to do good and to help others.

The last verse is such a beautiful one and one that is brought to mind with our weather lately! I love all of our snow and the fact that it reminds us that God takes our lives which are red with sin and makes them white, pure and clean like snow! 

What do you glean from these verses?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Handmade Christmas ~ Week 7 {Things to eat!}

Christmas is almost here! I imagine you have some excited households, as I do. I hope you and your family have a wonderful, peaceful and joyful Christmas!!

I am actually wondering if anybody else is still out and about in Blogland... I wondered if I should even bother to post this last Handmade Holiday but I decided I might as well go ahead and do it. I know some people celebrate later and also you just might need a last minute idea. :-) So here we go. Everything that I am sharing today is made in the kitchen....

     Vanocka Braid is our family's Christmas Breakfast tradition. I posted the recipe here in 2007. It is one of those breads that looks elegant and takes a little bit of work but at the same time isn't that hard. It is fun to have as a special tradition.

Speaking of traditions I guess we are going to do homemade pasta again for our Christmas meal. We are working to make it a tradition. I would love to hear what your traditional foods are!

Now, on to gifts....
I think food gifts are great! Everybody eats (though of course when giving food it is good to consider diets, allergies and preferences), food doesn't clutter up the house later and it is practical. Besides it is fun to give and get something special that you wouldn't have normally.

Today we actually made pumpkin bread to give out, but I didn't take any pictures. I decided on that for two practical reasons: #1. I know a lot of people give out unhealthy things and your body can begin to feel overloaded with that and #2. It was much easier for me to make then a bunch of different varieties of cookies.

Another gift we made recently was "Puppy Chow". I had gotten the Chex cereal very cheap with some coupons, so it ended up being fairly inexpensive. We also made enough for us to eat which my kids found very exciting! I think I have made it only one other time and they didn't remember it. They really thought I should share the recipe here on my blog. :-) So here is the link.

I think candy is always a fun gift too, even though it isn't healthy! Making candy lets the kids and I have the fun of really messing and experimenting in the kitchen too. Here is our most recent candy experiment:  

Chocolate Nut Clusters
1 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
1 Tablespoon butter

Put chips and butter in bowl, place in the microwave and heat it for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes at 50% power. Stir until smooth. (You may need to cook it more.)

Then with this we made 2 types of candy, using 1/2 the chocolate for each.
For one type we put a few pecan pieces in each candy cup and then poured chocolate over them and then topped with another pecan.

For the other type we mixed in 1/2 cup each of Coconut, Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal and Sliced Almonds into the chocolate. Then we filled candy cups with the mixture and topped with coconut.

We let both types harden in the fridge. They were yummy and we had fun experimenting!

There are lots of neat food gifts, I would love to hear what you have given or enjoyed recieving!

Do you have any more ideas to share?
Please link them up or leave them in the comment section.

To link up please write a post about the handmade things you are doing (gifts, decorations, food, etc.), put a link to here in your post and then add the link to MckLinky.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Displaying photos, cards and kids art

 I have some kids that love to draw, paint and do all sorts of artwork but in the past I haven't had a very good place for displaying. Ken vetoed having the fridge plastered with all of it, which was fine with me as I don't like things to come tumbling down when I open a door but still, where would we put it all to show that we liked what they did?

  Not long ago I enjoyed reading the book "A Creative Family" by Amanda Soule (who also writes a blog that I really enjoy) in it she mentioned having a wire strung up on which to hang children's artwork. I took that idea and I used ribbon instead but it works the same way. I had some little helpers to help me find the studs, hold up the ribbon and nail them up. I tied a little bow on each end of the ribbon and nailed through the middle of that so that it would be sturdier. It also looks cuter that way.

   I chose our hallway wall as the place. Before I had some framed pictures there but they were having a tendency to fall down when people would run down the hallway so it was time for a change anyway. I am really liking the change! Currently we are having "Alphabet Adventures" and so all the art right now is Alphabet Art.

So that is what we are doing with our artwork- next was photos and cards:

 I had this bulletin board (which I will admit, I got while dumpster diving- something I do rarely but I honestly think it is cool.) but it was stained, old and the wrong color scheme for where I wanted it so....

I updated it. It was a fast and fun project. Ken then helped me hang it on the side of a cabinet that didn't look to nice anyway.

Next I added some pictures that we have recieved lately. I like the way it looks! But that wasn't enough space for this time of year so...

I (temporarily) added some ribbons to attach more cards and photos to. It works well and now I don't have to tape them up and further ruin the side of my cabinet.

That is a couple of my recent projects. Lately there have been more projects then time to post them but maybe I will post them later.

Linked to A Soft Place to Land (DIY Day)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm forever grateful....

Don't worry about anything,
but pray about everything.
With thankful hearts offer up
your prayers and requests to God."
Philippians 4:6
In my journey of recording 1000 gifts from God (though the list goes so far past 1000!), here we go:

154. Fun doing creative things with my children.

155. Bible Stories
156. The sharp minds of children.
157. Budding photagraphers that try to take a picture of themselves with their mom.

158. Getting to share a close relationship with my children. (And having a long enough arm to take the desired picture!)

159. Candle light. I love how magical it looks!

160. The making and wearing of crowns.

161. 11 years of being married!
162. The fun and laughter that Ken and I can share.
163. A day of skiing with my Love.

164. Lots of good fresh air and exercise.

165. Beautiful views!
166. Safety.

167. Getting to ride on a ski lift. (maybe that will get old someday but for now I still find it very fun and rather exciting! Hopefully I always will. I like being excited about life.)
168. Getting pictures of friends in the mail. I love all the photos that are sent at Christmas time!
169. Fun times planning together with fellow Christians.
170. A new Bible! (The one I my brother gave me in '96 was more than a little worn out. I don't want to get rid of it but I needed a new one for taking places.)
171. The compactness of my new Bible to make it easy to take with me everywhere!
172. The love of my Heavenly Father!

holy experience

Being Useful and Fruitful

"Now for this very reason also,
applying all diligence,
in your faith supply moral excellence,
and in your moral excellence, knowledge;
and in your knowledge, self-control,
and in your self control, perseverance,
and in your perseverance, godliness;
and in your godliness, brotherly kindness,
and in your brotherly kindness , love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the
true knowlege of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For he who lacks these qualities is blind or shortsighted,
having forgotten his purification from his former sins."
2 Peter 1:5-9

I have always been rather a "black and white" sort of person, if something is right then that is what I want to do, if it is wrong then let's stay away from it. I like facts and I like to know where I stand. I don't appreciate hinting or indecisevness very much. That is one reason I get a lot out of scriptures like this one. It tells me some things that I need to be working on in my life, things like self-control, brotherly kindness and knowledge. Those are character traits that I can pursue and try to have in my life and if I do that then the result is already promised: I won't be useles or unfruitful so in other words I will be useful and fruitful in service to my King. Also if I don't do those things I am showing to the world that I am blind and shortsighted and have a poor memory - I am not remembering what Jesus did for me!

So I encourage you to join me as I strive to live a life that is useful and fruitful in God's Kingdom.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Handmade Christmas ~ Week 6

Wow! Christmas will be here before we know it! I still have a lot I would like to get done first (I am unfortunately rather a procrastinater) but I am deteremined to just enjoy the week and not stress over what does or doesn't get done.

How is everything going for you all? I am looking forward to seeing what you have been creating. Here are a few of the things we have been working on plus a couple of things that I made earlier in the year that I thought I would share the idea of.

One evening last week Ken took Jonathan and Megan to a hockey game and so Mara, Aaron and I went to work on presents. The main things we had fun creating was an I spy bag (thanks to NettaCow for the instructions!) to give to Jonathan. We decided to make an extra while we were at it to put in our gift box. I didn't have hardly any white rice on hand so we decided to use Rye instead.

This picture isn't very good but I was trying to capture a little guy with a parachute that I made to give to Jonathan. He is totally into planes and loves parachutes too so I thought this would be fun to give to him. We tried it our by dropping it over our stairs and it is rather fun to play with.

I got my inspiration from this video. I decided to make my parachute round however and I hemmed the edges.

My paratrooper I made from a pipe cleaner and a bead that I drew a face on.

For Megan I made a new Barbie chair and pillow. I am hoping to add some other barbie things to it. She has really been enjoying playing with them lately. Here is a link to a post that shows how I make these chairs.

This was another project from this week. (But it was a baby gift not a Christmas gift). I had fun making little boy clothes. And I actually used a pattern! It has been a while since I have done that.

Doll clothes are something I still have on my list to make for Christmas. The ones in this post I made earlier in the year for my neices. Doll clothes are a very inexpensive thing to make as you can use scraps of fabric and yarn. They also don't take long to make. I have found making raglan sleever tops is very easy and effecient!

With doll stuff it is fun to be creative. We had fun making camping stuff for one neice.

Sleeping bags are really easy to make! Jonathan made a little "flashlight" to go along with the set.

Well I had better head to bed so I can get busy and get things done tomorrow!

Now it is your turn! Please join me and share your handmade ideas!

To link up~

~Write a post about anything you are doing that is handmade for Christmas. (Gifts, decorations, food, etc.).

~In that post please link back to here.

~Then using MckLinky, add your link to the list. Please make sure it is linking to your specific post (not just your blog).

~Then have fun following the links to see others' great ideas!


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