Saturday, December 22, 2012

An apple for the teacher...

It's the time of year when everybody is talking about what to get their teachers, and people are surprised when I jump into the conversation.  We do have quite a few teachers outside of our home.  My kiddos are in several extracurricular activities and also attend Sunday School.  I made quite a few teacher gifts this year.

I like to bake for teachers, but we have been fighting the crud (colds, bronchitis, etc) and I didn't want to share germs.  Thoughtful, huh?  ;)

Instead we made...Holiday Hugs 'n Kisses!  Fun, pretty simple but did take a bit of prep work.  Nothing major, and I was able to sit and chat with friends at a crafting retreat while putting these cute gifts together.  My first thought was to just plop Hershey Hugs & Kisses into a jar and tie them up with a ribbon and label.  Then, my friend C suggested that I put little circles on the bottom with glue dots, to add just a little more detail.  It did take a while, but it was worth it in the end.  I used the 1/2" circle punch and flat glue dots to affix circles to each candy.  Then, I put them in 1/2 pint jars and tied baking string to them.  I printed labels and trimmed and matted each, and affixed those with tape runner.  I also punched circles to fit onto the caps of the jars from matching paper (Christmas paper slab).  Each jar was wrapped in tissue and put into a brown sack, then tied with tulle or raffia ribbon.  We simply wrote a note on the front of the bag in place of a card and VOILA, the gift was ready for delivery!

Friday, December 21, 2012


Today marks one week since the tragedy in Newtown, CT.  I heard from several sources that moments of silence were occurring at 9:30 around the country.  We decided to honor that moment of silence, too.

I love this one with the smoke halo.
But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them.  2 Chron. 15:4

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

Monday, December 17, 2012


I've been reluctant to post anything here or on my Facebook page.  It seems that nothing I have to say is really important in light of the horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT on Friday.  But I can say these three things...

1.  Today, I told my oldest two about the tragedy in CT.  Sunshine already knew, she saw a newspaper in the checkout line Saturday at Target.  She also said her Sunday School teachers discussed it very briefly and their class spent time in prayer for the community of Newtown.  Belle didn't know anything about it, which I really expected.  While I was hesitant to tell her, I wanted her to know in case she heard about it from another child.  It was heartbreaking to share the story.  I don't want my children to be afraid; I don't want them to even have to know how broken our world is.  But it is, and has been, even in "the good ol' days."

I told them Mr. Rogers' style.  I told them about the tragedy.  I told them about the 26 innocent lives lost.  I told them about the 20 precious children, younger than them, who are gone.  I told them about the teachers who tried to shield the children and lost their lives.  I told them about the principal and therapist who tried to stop the gunman.  I told them all of the good deeds, the heroic acts, that I've read about (and I've read as little as possible...on purpose).  We talked about the police officers who rushed to the school, in harm's way, to save as many children as possible.  We talked about how many children did not lose their lives that day because of those police officers.  We talked about the police officers around the country and in our own community, who would do just the same for any of us.  Bravery, courage, strength.  Amazing.  Like Mr. Rogers, we focused on the helpers.

2.  "O come let us adore him...."  Belle is in the children's choir at church.  She sings her way through every day.  I love it.  Today she's singing "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful" over and over.  And I'm soaking it in, loving every moment of it.  The only thing I love more than Christmas carols is listening to children sing them.  I have renewed hope.

3.  Reconnect with your family.  STOP texting.  STOP sending emotionless emails.  STOP sitting together in front of the television.  STOP letting them play on their DS/iPod touch/phone while you're sitting at a table in a restaurant.  START talking.  START having conversations...real conversations.  Engage them.  Ask them what they think, how they feel.  Look at their eyes when you're talking to them.  Take time every day to look at their beautiful faces and HUG them.  Don't just tell them that you love them.  Do these simple things to SHOW them that you love them.

...for the joy of the Lord is (my) strength.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reader's Theater!

Our little drama lover, Belle, is participating in a new activity with our homeschool group: Reader's Theater!  She loves it!  The kids are adding props to their readings and having a great time.  It's fun to see them work together on these.  They LOVE the opportunities to get together and read through the fun plays.  This is something we normally can't do because we don't have enough family members.  We are thankful for our homeschool group!

Playing the old lady in Millions of Cats

After switching roles, now playing the old man.

Busy bag swap!

We have a large population of under 3's in our MOMS Club, and started meeting twice a month for playgroup.  We call it Busy Bees...appropriate, right?  ;)  Last month we had a busy bag swap, specifically geared toward young preschoolers/toddlers.  Busy bags are great for restaurants, church, waiting at the doctor, and car rides.  We often use them when the big sisters are at an activity and we have to wait quietly or sit in the car while they finish.  The activities usually take just a few minutes, which is about how long we can focus on one thing.  :)

We combined the swap with a park day, and then we had a perfect Busy Bees event!  Here are some pics of my Busy Bee and her big sister, plus pics of our fun new busy bag activities!


Last night kicked off what will be a whirlwind week of Halloween celebrations.  Our MOMS Club held its annual Trunk-or-Treat.  The kids love this tradition.  We had to leave and immediately head to the Girl Scout carnival as soon as we made our rounds, but we couldn't miss a trunk-or-treat!  

Friday, October 26, 2012

COOOOL front!

When we left the flight museum, it was 80 degrees, very cloudy and pretty breezy.  Within 20 minutes, the temperature had dropped 20 degrees and the leaves were swirling.  We had jackets in the car so I pulled into the park down the way from our house and we stayed for almost 2 hours.  Why not?  We were soaking up the cool air.