Friday, December 31, 2010

May the Lord bless you    
 and protect you.
 May the Lord smile on you
      and be gracious to you.
 May the Lord show you his favor
      and give you his peace.’

Numbers 6:24-26 NLT

Photobucket photo

Handmade Holidays: Perfect Last Minute Gift for Moms

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Or for yourself...you know, a "merry christmas to me" thing. 

For months now-- ok, really since school started, I have struggled getting my older kids to stay on task from one assignment to the next...they'd want a break, or a glass of juice, or second breakfast, or ...and it would only be 9 o'clock.   Now, if the kids were in school, I believe they would have no trouble sticking with their work...but then again, I can remember even in school getting to pick something from the treasure box after a week of good "on-task" behavior.  Maybe what my kids could use is a little reward or encouragement to stay on top of their work...

So I asked my friend, Ana Degenaar to help me, and by "help" I mean, spend way too much time making me the coolest set of rewards cards I've ever seen.   They are so great!   There are 38 rewards worth 1, 5, or 10 minutes-depending on the value of the deed or work they were caught doing-and range from a piggy ride to playing a board game with mom.  

And now that I have mine, Ana has the cards in a pdf file in her shop, so they can be yours-to keep or give...and since it's a file you print, you can give a set to every mother you know!  

And they will thank you.  

What mom of small kids wouldn't love a set?  


Handmade Holidays: Easy Gift for Kids to Make

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas button bookmarks

How simple are these?  And the kids loved making them-especially 
knowing they were for some very special people!

I bought the ribbons/buttons from Oriental Trading several weeks ago, 
but I've seen some Christmas ribbon in Target's dollar spot, too-
if you can gather some buttons, they make great last minute gifts!

Are you making any gifts with your kids?


One Line A Day

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I think I can handle that.  

Mr. Smarty has been the journaler in our family. At least he's the one who's been most consistent with it over the years.  In 2009, he journaled every single day.  And for the past several years he's maintained a work-out log, documenting each run, cycle or swim.  And I love that he's kept those.  Really.  I am so thankful that he has written down simple, everyday moments that in time will be treasured details of what our life was like. 

But then I saw this book.  And wondered why I always thought he had to be the one to record our life.  Did I think my vantage wasn't worth writing down?  (if that is the case, why do I blog?) Do I think I wouldn't follow through or stick with it? (maybe...likely)  

I still want his side documented, too.  I just want to give this a try.  How fun and telling (and maybe even sad at times) it will be to look back in 5 years to read one line a day?

I think this will help me be more deliberate in adding to the journals I keep for the kids, too.

Do you journal or keep any sort of life log? Any tips for being consistent?   


A Cookie Challenge:: Dark Chocolate & Mint Chip

Monday, December 13, 2010

Do you know Damaris?  If you don't, you need to go meet her.  She's best known for her beautiful blog, Kitchen Corners-where she makes cooking for her family an art form. This month at KC she offered a cookie challenge -bake them, give them, then blog about them...cookies, that is.  

And the same week my mom flew in and what did she have in her suitcase just for me?  A bag of Nestle's Dark Chocolate Chip and Mint Chips-with a recipe on the back just waiting to be made.  

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 10 ounce bag of mint or mint+chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla.
Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir into butter mixture until well blended.
Mix in the chips. Drop by a rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet. 
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or just until set. Cool on pan for about 2 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack.

    Last week, our local Saltgrass Steakhouse (75 & Midpark, Dallas) let our Life Group wait tables with them and donated 100% of their tips to our Angel Tree families!  An entire night's pay in the month of December is a precious thing to a waiter-and they gave it all!  So, it was our pleasure to bring them some goodies this week to show them how much we appreciated their sacrifice!  

    I'm definitely not a foodie, but this was fun-and made even more fun by giving them away...ok, ok, we saved a few for ourselves, but you know...

    Are you baking any gifts this year? 
    Need ideas? Check out all the cookies at Kitchen Corners.


    DIY Sweater Stocking

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    I looked at my armless sweater and 
    realized I had enough for a stocking...

    Waste not, want not...
    Martha has a template, but I just used one of my kids' stockings as a pattern.
    Thanks for all your wonderful handmade ideas -
    I wish my sweater had 15 arms-I'd send you each a cozy mason jar.  
    Sparrow was the random generated winner-congrats!

    Oh, and if you came out to Saltgrass last night-
    thank you-it was a HUGE success!!! 
    We raised $2400 in a few hours for our sweet Angel Tree families!  

    Handmade Holidays: Cheap and Easy and a Giveaway!

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    DIY Mason Jar Cozy

    Last year's snack mix was a hit with my great-aunt.  By January, she asked me to send more!  But the mason jar cozy warms the gift a little, doesn't it?  

    The sweater I found for $5?  I cut off an arm and used hem tape to clean up the bottom edge and keep it from fraying.  (Hem tape is an iron-on tape used to...uh, hem things)

    And because it's Christmas, and the sweater had two arms, I'd love to send you 
    a cozy mason jar filled with yummy snack mix!  
    Tell me about a handmade gift you're giving or gave or gotten,
    and I'll choose one comment on Monday, December 6th. 

    December Thrifting

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    We visited the thrift store today sometime between language arts and science and found a few things.  I love this vintage Christmas tray ($2.43).  And I can think of a 459 things I can put in this milk glass cup ($2.42):

    and this white sweater ($4.99) is why I stopped in.  I needed it for 
    a Handmade Holidays gift-that I'll share soon!

    Have you found any thrifty deals for Handmade Holiday gifts? Leave me a link in the comments!