Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Preserving Memories

My Grandma and I spent some time together rummaging through her old trunks the other day. I love doing stuff like that. Looking at old photos, reminiscing, and just spending meaningful time together. My Grandma is my biggest mentor, so of course anything she gives me has special meaning. While going through a scrapbook she had made as a teen we found 2 images of Mothers and their baby. They were the sweetest portraits, Grandma isn’t sure where they came from, but insisted I have them. I wanted a special place for them so when I got home I went right to work.
 {Josiah, Grandma, Leah, Grandpa}
The first Mother and Baby portrait I hung in our hallway. I painted a formerly black frame white with everyone’s favorite, Rustoleum’s Heirloom White, and just matted it with sage green scrapbook paper.

The next portrait was trickier. I couldn’t find a backdrop paper that made colors in the picture stand out, so instead I dug into my box of mementos and found this. It was tatted by my Great Grandma Alvera and given to me by my Grandma Mary at my Bachelorette Party. This tatted buttercup means a lot, but I just didn’t know what to do with it until now. I got out my scrapbooking brads and affixed the buttercup to the paper and placed the whole thing in a shadow box.

 It’s so simple but yet means soo much. Now to find a place to put it…

Chick Days at Tractor Supply Co.

This weekend we took the kiddos to our local Tractor Supply Co. for their annual chick days.

 I remember when I was little, my parents brought me and my sisters to see the new baby chicks and ducks in the store. Of course we always wanted to bring one home, but never could. 

Josiah loved seeing the baby chicks. Such sweet sounds they make. We loved watching them cuddle up to each other under the heat lamps. To our surprise they also had some bunnies for sale too. 

Yet again, I fell in love and wanted to take some chicks home. I had a perfect plan of converting one of our back sheds into a chicken coop, but it just wasn't logical since we don't know when or where we are moving too. There's always next year!!

Sweet Baby Leah

At 9 months old, my beautiful daughter has just said her first word… “Uh Oh!”

She uses it constantly, (in context I might add!), but her favorite time to use it is while dropping cheerios on the floor for my son to pick up. It has become a repetitive game for them. It makes me smile. Josiah is such a wonderful big brother to Leah. He always has been.

The second a peep comes out of her mouth he announces to us that the baby is crying. As if we don’t hear her. She’s got a powerful set of lungs, that girl! 
The sweetest face, biggest blue eyes, and rosebud lips that she loves to give kisses with. It’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen, the way she puckers up and leans into your cheek. I can't believe she'll be one in June!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Easter Art - 3D Butterfly Cross

I have loved all the pictures everyone has been making with punch outs and wanted to design an Easter craft to do with Josiah. I wanted this craft to have a lesson intertwined so I chose to design a cross made out of 3D butterflies, both symbols of new life. 
{1/3 of the way done}
We used the leftover scrap paper from our Lenten Chain to punch out little butterflies. After we had a pile of paper punches, I took the background paper and drew out the shape of the cross with Elmer’s glue. Fill in the outline with glue and then place a collage of flat butterflies on top. Let that layer dry. 
{ Two layers of flat punch outs}
Repeat flat layers until the background of your cross is full. For the last layer I folded the wings of the butterfly punch outs upward and then filled in the cross with these 3D butterflies. Let Dry. Take the glass out of your frame (or else place in a shadowbox) so your art won’t be squished. Ta-Da! This project was so simple, but took about an hour due to letting the layers dry.
{I love the shadows of the butterflies wings}

Frame- $0.60
Butterfly Punch- $1.99
Scrap Paper- Free
Elmer’s Glue - $0.25
Total Cost - $2.84

Daily Inspiration -
But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; 
He will surely take me to Himself. -Psalm 49:15

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sanctus Real

I saw an amazing concert the other night. One of our bands is Sanctus Real. I got Brandon the CD for Christmas and he loved it, so when I saw they were touring at a nearby church I picked up some tickets. Their new album is amazing, every last song. But their song 'Lead Me' has been the most popular. If you haven't heard it yet, give it a listen! Soo inspiring.

Some of their other hits are...

I just love them! The front-man danced in the aisle-ways with toddlers swarming him shook every hand that reached out to him. The band sounded better live than on the CD, which I've noticed is very common among christian artists. I would definitely go see them again!

Daily Inspiration - 
When I don't add up to much in this life, I'm a treasure in the arms of Christ!
-"Forgiven" by Sanctus Real

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lamp Post Revival

I love the character of old houses... but our house, built in the 50's, isn't quite old enough for the type of character that makes me fall in love. Therefore we remodeled a lot of our house. One thing that did appeal to me when we were looking at our house was the old gas lamp post out front. It isn't in working order right now but I wanted to spruce it up a little. Heres the tutorial!
This is the old lamp post, glass removed for painting, was a sore sight. Bees had taken over, rust had formed and years of sun had left it long past its prime.
I wiped it off really well before spray painting it with the first layer of spray paint, a plain brown color from Rusoleum
Not at all the desired color I was looking for, so I added Rustoleum's Hammered Spray in Dark Bronze.
Perfection. We wanted it to match the new porch light we installed and the hammered spray gave it the perfect finish! The final touch to the post was the new garden! The hubbs was gracious enough to build the box for me and I planted purple Irises, Spiderworts, and 2 kinds of Hostas.
(After the plants had some time to settle in!) 
I can't wait to see how nice the plants will come in this year!

Daily Inspiration -
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Grand Rapids Tour #1

So this weekend Brandon and I got to officially check out Grand Rapids where we will be moving to this summer!
It was a long anticipated trip and we had a blast, just the two of us! Before house hunting, we had a wonderful stroll through town and along the Grand River. 
It was soo hard for us to get use to a beautiful city that was family friendly, since we are from the Detroit area, but we will get use to it! We looked at a 10 houses, though they were nice, there wasn't any one that really spoke to our heart. 


Some houses were very beautiful... and some smelled like cats. Some did not meet our expectations, others made our shoulders shake with laughter. It was a great day that ended in eating dinner at a beautiful Fresh Market and big bowls of Gelato that were almost too much to finish.

Daily Inspiration -
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth
- 1 John 3:18

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I adore spring. 

My mind cannot stop from wandering while doing housework. I dream of getting my hands dirty in the warm Earth, seeing the flowers blossom, and warm sunshine on my back. 

Even though spring has arrived on the calendar, it has yet to appear in Michigan. 

Some of my bulbs have begun to push through the soil, but they will be hidden in a matter of hours. Tonight we are suppose to receive 8 inches of snow and ice. Boo.

At least someone around here is optimistic. Josiah wont remove his nose from the window, and all he can talk about is "It's knowing Mama! It's knowing! Let's go on the sled!" I love him dearly! Until my flowers bloom outside, I will cling to the care of my houseplants...

Daily Inspiration -
     We are not promised skies always blue, but a Helper to see us through.
                     -Amish Proverb

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thrifty Finds

I love garage sales. Since there are no garage sales this time of year ( at least in Michigan) I go to the next best place, Salvation Army! I love love love this store! We found some amazing deals last night.

-1 pair green Converse
-1 pair pink flip flops
-1 Old Navy shirt
-1 White basket with blue liner
-Set of 1 large and 2 small light blue tulips bowls
-Set of 12 Disney Princess board books
-2 Candle stick holders
-Set of 3 green dishes

I got all of this for $12.47!!!! Can you believe it? I told you I love love love SalArmy!
These were a special find! Each girl in my family has a pseudonym that corresponds with a Disney Princess. My Aunt who only has 2 boys had fun naming all us girls. She named herself Mary Poppins, who is definitely NOT a princess, but we let her get away with it. It all started with my youngest sister who loooooved Ariel, which became a nick name, and everyone else's name followed after. In case you were wondering, I'm Sleeping Beauty.... (I was one of those teens who didn't know life existed before 11 am on the weekends!) But the best part is that it makes Brandon my Prince Charming! Love him!
I would really like to make a dessert/cake stand out of my new plates and candle holders. I'll see what I can come up with!

Daily Inspiration -
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
-Corinthians 5:7

Lenten Paper Chain

Last year at Lent, I not only wanted to grow closer to Christ, I wanted to build stronger relationships with my family members. So I came up with the Lenten Paper Chain...

Pick out a few pieces of coordinating scrapbook paper. 

Cut out 40 pieces. (1 inch wide by 12 inches for a big chain or 1 inch by 6 inches for a little chain.) I opted for a smaller chain this year so I could easily take it down when someone comes to view the house. We've had people come about 2x a week lately! Praise God!

On the inside of each strip write down activities that your whole family can do together. Here's my list. Since I have kids that are 9 months and 2 1/2 years old you might have to alter some activities to be more age appropriate. 

-Try a new recipe
-Enjoy each others company, and tell each other why you do!
-No TV or internet!
-Write love letters to your kids and spouse.
-Read the Bible
-Make dinner together
-Build a puzzle
-Have a rodeo!
-Call or visit a friend who might be lonely
-Go to a nearby school, play on the playground
-Plan your next family vacation
-Everyone draw/paint a family picture
-Look at photo albums/ scrapbooks
-Go for a walk
-Scavenger hunt!
-Cook dinner together
-Make and send  a card to a friend
-Start a prayer list (others who could use our daily prayers!)
-Take non perishable food items to a pantry
-Take a family picture, make it goofy!
-Play in the kitchen sink with soapy water
-Make a pine cone bird feeder
-Go on a rock hunt
-Read stories in the dark by flashlight
-Play hide n seek
-Go to the library
-Make macaroni necklaces
-Start a marching band (make cardboard drums, shakers, and guitars)
-Make and play with homemade play dough
-Bake cookies
-"Pillow Crash" Make a pile of all the pillows in your house; jump and fall to your hearts delight!
-Sing together
-Plant a windowsill garden
-Make a paper hat
-Make a collage of the things you are thankful for
-Make sock or lunch bag puppets
-Go outside, throw a ball!
-Get out the coloring books and crayons, color as a family!
-Finger paint with shaving cream
-Build a tent in the living room, camp out!

Using glue dots, staples, or tape, hook together the chains. Hang the chain in a main living area. Every day remove one chain and complete that activity. Sometimes its soo easy to just sit around watching TV or everyone doing their own thing at night, so this is a simple and easy way to foster family bonding! 

Daily inspiration-
Why 40 days for Lent? (taken from the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren) 

The Bible is clear that God considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period. Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for His purposes, he took 40 days:

-Noah's life was transformed by 40 days of rain
-Moses was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai
-David was transformed by Goliath's 40 day challenge
-Elijah was transformed when God gave him 40 days of strength from a single meal
-The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave the people 40 days to change
-Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the wilderness
-The disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after his resurrection.

Take 40 days to read The Purpose Driven Life this Lent. It's definitely life changing!