Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Multitude Monday....on Wednesday: Gifts 236 - 251

Our home served as a pit stop last week, therefore Monday was spent catching up on a couple of orders and returning some sense of organization and cleanliness to our dwelling-place. ; )  And so, my thankfulness list appears today.

Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live.
~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

236.  Beach days with out-of-town (and in-town) friends

237.  Not getting stung by the jelly fish invasion, and.....

238.  The excitement of catching one in a bucket.... (considering I had a child studying marine life in Science this year, this makes our beach day count as a field trip, right?  I'm sure all the homeschooling moms out there agree!)

 239.  His last Children's Musical (this actually makes me a little sad.....I may be the only mom among my friends that doesn't mind all the rehearsals and prep leading up to these....I love the end result and that my kids have the opportunity to do this!)

Jacob is 2nd from the left =)

240.  His brother, who still has a few more to go...

Robert is Abednego, on the right =)

241.  The man who took these pictures, and many more ~ capturing these precious memories forever

242.  Surprise *free* tickets to the Third Day concert!!!! (for my daughter, her friend and I....if you know how much I ♥ Third Day, you would know just how excited I was about this!)

243.  My husband, renting a car for a week so that we could have TWO beach days in Crescent Beach with our friends AND make it to MANY musical rehearsals (due to our van, which has issues.....he earned himself some brownie points for sure!!)

244.  My thumbs, which are now both injured  (never take your little body parts for don't know how much you use them until you can't!!)

245.  Little Caesar's $5 pizza....

246.  Lemonade in water bottles, prepared by Jacob....

247.  4 sets of roller blades....

248.  Amazingly big oak trees with limbs low enough for climbing and strong enough to support even my weight ; )

249.  A mild, breezy end to a very warm day....

250.  A nearby park perfect for enjoying all of the above (245-249)....

251.  ....and, following making a fool of myself on those roller blades after not using them for over a year, this comment from my daughter in response to my apology in case I embarrassed her with my dork-i-ness ~~~  "You are NOT a dork!  If you're a dork, then dorks are fun." ♥♥♥♥

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

~ Ephesians 5:20


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Can You Hear the War Chant?

If you do, it's probably because I literally just finished making this adorable backpack as a result of a recent Etsy convo =) .  It's actually still warm from ironing the seams out!  I had a similar backpack listed with a definite feminine flair and received the request for one for a boy.  In case you didn't know, Sweet Diva loves special requests ; ) ......and this is the result:

Sweet Little FSU Team Spirit backpack by Sweet Diva Designs.....

It measures approx. 10"x12"x4" with approx 27" straps ....perfect size for a sweet little preschooler or primary-grade child ~ or for a teen/adult for everyday use. Great for field trips/day trips/shopping trips to keep your hands free!!


Also features one outer pocket, one large inner pocket w/velcro closure and one small inner side pocket (perfect for a cell phone, ipod, camera or any such techy devices ~ or anything else you can think of)!

I think it turned out fabulous!  Now, I'm off to the post office....Blake needs his backpack ASAP for an upcoming camp.

Next on my list:  make one for my girl.  She's been asking me to make her one for an insanely long time and has been extremely patient as other projects keep pushing hers on the back burner.  I promised her it would be ready for her to use tomorrow night at church.....perfect size for her Bible, Middle School Journal and various other things all Middle School girls must have on hand.  = )

Are you crafting something, too....or just looking for inspiration?  Check out who I'm linking up with today!

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And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

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Linking up with:

PhotobucketGet Your Craft On Tuesday
handmade projects

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some Moms Carry Camo....

One current trend that I love in baby items ~ diaper bags are now often suited to Mom's sense of style, as it should be!  Mom's the one who has to carry it, after all!

Although I still sometimes see the occasional diaper bag covered in bunnies, bears, or something similar, the must-have bags these days are definitely more for Mom with a baby-inspired embellishment or two.

My husband's favorite bag that I've designed made a reappearance recently for a Mom-to-be getting ready for not one, but two ♥sweet♥ new arrivals!!  She'll be carrying her little ♥bundles of love's♥ necessities in camo....

Who knew camo could be this ♥cute♥???

13 1/2" W x 14" H x 5" deep.

Roomy & functional....plenty of room for diapers, wipes, blankets, changes of clothes, etc.

Cora & Kimber.....sure to be girls with their own ♥sweet♥ style right from the start!  =)

Created with an adjustable messenger-style strap by request.....

Magnetic closure, 2 outer pockets, 4 inside pockets, 2 elastic bands to hold bottles/sippy cups, and a key/pacifier ring to clip those items onto ~ so Mom's not digging through the whole bag trying to find them!

My husband took much more interest in this project than any others.  It's the camo.  Although I don't think he actually owns any himself, it seems to speak his man-language.  This time, he told me it was the coolest bag I've ever made.  I looked at him and said, "Thank you! said the exact same thing the last time I made it."  To which he insisted he's never seen me make a bag like this before.  It's starting to freak me out a bit how often this type of scene replays itself in our home.

Sigh....Bless his heart

Every now and then, he comes back from Mars for a visit. I just wish he could remember the previous one when he does! ; )  ; )  ; )

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And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Linking up with:

PhotobucketGet Your Craft On Tuesday
handmade projects

Monday, May 16, 2011

Multitude Monday: 1,000 Gifts 222 - 235

"As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world." ~Terri Guillemets

222.  Beautiful, mild, windows-open, feel-good weather

223.  Sunday lunch with Mom/Grandmama

224.  Friends visiting from far away

225.  Children with hymns stuck in their heads....

226. ....and them walking around the house singing them,

227.  causing those hymns to be stuck in MY head!

228.  Scriptures memorized and hymns learned long ago, coming to mind just when we need them

229.  Election day being tomorrow (and hoping the phone will stop ringing so much, the answering machine will stop being filled up, and the mailbox will stop being stuffed with political advertisements!)

230.  Knowing that He is in control regardless of who is in office

231.  Knowing that THE DAY is coming when I will see Him face to face (although we know not when & we know not where we'll be or what we'll be doing when it happens)

232.  The assurance I have that I am ready

233.  Peace for today

234.  Hope for tomorrow

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:16-18

235. Life Everlasting

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. ~ John 3:17

 "For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD."
~ Proverbs 8:35

"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
~ John 17:3

Friday, May 13, 2011

Seasons Come, and Seasons Go

As I sit in the library at my church, my three students are several floors above me taking their end-of-the-year assessment tests.   I walked around the house last night, trying to get them all to go to bed so that they would be rested, alert and ready to prove that they really have been schooled this year, and my eyes rested upon The Bookshelf.

The Bookshelf is a tall, wooden shelf that houses the majority of our "school books", and each year at this time, I tackle the task of sorting through the old to make room for the new.  I happily moved many textbooks and workbooks to the "done with that" shelf, and pulled and moved other books to the "using right now" shelf.  We school year round, and it is with much happiness that I put those textbooks and workbooks away(except for a few that we hope to finish up quickly) to make room for what I jokingly refer to as "Funner School", not "Summer School"!  "Funner School" takes place amidst all the normal summer activities, and is just the name I have applied to the fact that we continue to  learn ~ away from the drudgery of the textbooks and workbooks we use during the "regular" school year.  Keeping them busy with mostly unit study activities actually makes for a happier summer, much less "I'm bo-o-ored!", plus doing a little Math and Language Arts each week keeps it fresh and eliminates much review time in the fall......and gives us a little more freedom the rest of the year to take days off when needed. =)

But, back to the bookshelf...........

As I pulled not only books I intend to use this summer, I also pulled books we no longer need.  These are the books that make me wistful, reminders of some of the most enjoyable years we've had in our homeschooling journey.  My babies aren't babies anymore, and much of the very hands-on, fun-filled learning curriculum and games have had to be passed over for those textbooks and workbooks that get the job done in the midst of the crazy/busy/hectic/growing-up/Mom's-working-a-lot-more-now/we-have-more-obligations-now life we lead.  The middle-schooler's subjects are harder and take longer to complete and there's only so much time in every day to get everything done.

Our season has changed.

It is a little sad.  I miss the freedom we had in the younger years.  I miss the time we had to do the things we wanted to do just because we could (not that we don't now ~ there's just less of it).

But while it is sad on one hand, on the other it is good.  All seasons are good if you choose to see them that way.  Different, but still good.

My children are more independent now, but they still need me......and still want me.  Right there.  With them, learning with them, and growing with them. ♥  It's the way of our lives, this homeschooling life ~ and no matter the season, no matter the busy-ness, no matter the fatigue, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Because one day, a day that will come sooner than I expect, they won't need me anymore....not the way that they do now.  So I will cherish this Season as I cherished the ones past......and do my best to prepare my heart and theirs for the ones to come.

I've done a lot of trial-and-error the past couple of years ~ and a lot of thinking, pondering and praying about how to balance all that God has given me in this Season.  I think I'm starting to see some small fruit develop in my determination to follow my 1st calling, while I step out in faith, making time for the things that will continue to allow me to do so.  Finding time to do it all can be quite the good to know that He gives the manna I need.  That it's not up to me and that as long as my heart and works are set on Him, His blessings and provision will follow.  Those days when I feel I can't do it all and sometimes am sure that I have failed at everything (silly me!), He promises to make something meaningful and fruitful of what I see as a mess.

How appropriate that I came across Faith Barista's blog recently, and today I think she wrote an entry for me without knowing it. ; )

Just as I have given him the Seasons of the past, I give Him the Season of today, and give Him the Season of tomorrow.  For now, for this summer......I will sew, I will teach, we will learn for fun, we will work, we will worship, and we will PLAY.  In different ways than the sweet "little" years gone by.......but in ways sure and certain to be just as beautiful.  Because they are His, and anything that is His can be nothing but.


HHH 300x300 Hip Homeschool Hop   5/17/11


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The T-Shirt Dress....and the Mannequin that Taunts Me

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from a friend.  Her sweet daughter had come home from school with the good news that she needed a t-shirt dress constructed for a school play......and she needed it in two days. =)

Sweet Diva to the rescue. ; )

The order:  Pink t-shirt to be transformed into a dress by adding ruffles for the skirt.  And make it cute  {well, of course! ; ) }.

Fortunately, I was planning to head to ♥Hobby Lobby♥ the very next morning anyway to purchase items needed for another order.  I searched around for inspiration on how I wanted to construct this cute concoction and found several cute tutorials:

Cool People Sew ~ I love this blog and stalk it frequently....and I sew, so I must be cool! ; )
Cut-Out and Keep ~ Make & Share Step-by-Step Craft Tutorials ~ ruffle skirt {I am So coming back to this ~ my daughter loves this skirt}
Kuky Ideas ~ tiered skirt tutorial

The finished product:

Cute, yes??

Even laying on it's side! (why does Blogger sometimes do this to me?  This photo refuses to load right side up!  Posting anyway out of stubbornness.)

Notice that although one photos is sideways, neither are laying on a flat surface!  I purchased a set of mannequins from Amazon.....a toddler size that was used to display the cute aprons I posted about yesterday, a child size, and an adult female size.  Items look so much nicer when displayed properly, don't you think?!

I must admit, however, that I have issues with this female mannequin ~ and since I'm pretty sure that about 99.9% of my readers are female, I'll go ahead with my rant.  This mannequin taunts me every time I pull her out of the box.  She has no head, no face, no arms, no legs, no hands, no feet.......and yet she taunts me.  I am shallow.  And I don't look as good as she does!!  I think she must do nothing but excercise, and she must not each very much at all.  Ridiculous, I know.  But have pity on me...........I just celebrated turning another year older and I need to go bathing suit shopping.  And I'm having a hard time lately finding time to make it to the gym......and I eat healthy, but I do like food so I think I will never be as thin as I'd like to be....and  to be honest, I don't think I've ever looked as good as she does!! 

Wretched mannequin.  I have her hidden in a box in the back of my closet. =)  I only bring her out when I need her and make sure my husband and my boys don't see her when I do.....unless she has layers of clothing on.  When she does make an appearance ~ without fail, that nagging voice, that persistent lie that inspired THIS post reappears as well.  I suppose I'll always battle with feeling like I'll never measure up { <------- pun not intended, but I just noticed it ; ) } even though I know that it really isn't what matters.  Sigh.

The fact that I know so many other women who struggle with this issue as well is the only reason I'm willing to admit it here.  Even as I'm berating myself over my inadequacies, the Lord is reminding me of His truths.  It's a constant back and forth.....this battle of the flesh and the world's ideals vs. What Really Matters.  It's in times like these I often think of and am thankful for one of the side effects of the busy-ness of Homeschooling, being a WAH mom and juggling everything else as well.  I simply don't have time to dwell on the outer shell that will never be what the world says it should be ~ this is a good thing.  I am also thankful anew for the Homeschooling lifestyle and my fellow Homeschooling moms.  It is a lifestyle that has me so immersed in focusing on what is right and lasting and worthwhile, so dependant on God, that it's literally impossible to stay in that woe-is-me-I'm-not-perfect mentality for long.  Praise the Lord for that......I don't like being there!

So, since I just had to dress the mannequin-that-stays-in-the-back-of-the-closet.....and then put her back there ~ way back ~ my Mustard Seed Planting scripture for the week is:

 "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 
1 Samuel 16:7

It may say He's talking to Samuel, but trust me......He's talking to me as well!