Sunday, May 8, 2016

Life has been busy, but we are blessed.

Well hello there! I know it has been an awful long time since I have sat down to write to ya'll, but life has been busy. I am sure ya'll know how that goes. So today I am going to fill you in on a little bit of what has been going on here in my little piece of the heartland.

It was right around Thanksgiving time when we received a life altering phone call regarding my little brother. "The test came back", my Mom said "and it is cancer." My head and my heart were going a million miles a minute. How could this be? He was way too young to have cancer! He is in North Carolina, hundreds of miles away from us! Why God? WHY?!? Fast forward to today and I am happy to report that my little brother had surgery and  has since completed chemo. The results as of now are encouraging. He has more scans next month so this chapter is not over yet, but God's glory is significant and so is the power of prayer. We are trusting in Him and His plan. If ya'll would please keep my brother in your prayers I would appreciate it.

My 6'4 (little) brother. 

Now on to some more uplifting news.....

On December 12, my little sister married the love of her life in a beautiful winter wonderland inspired wedding event. It was an amazing day and I was honored to stand next to her as her matron of honor to welcome Robby into our family...finally! ;) I don't know if I have ever seen a more radiant looking bride. She was breathtaking! It was a day filled with love, laughter and yes even tears (all of them happy of course.)

Copyright of Love & Light Productions
My beautiful family! How handsome does our little guy look? He did a great job as ringbearer.

Let's fast forward a few more months shall we.....

On May 1st my hubby decided to take a leap of faith and he launched a new business venture that I am so excited to share with you guys. I have shared in the past that my husband is very handy. You can check out my post Our Old House to see the amazing barn door he created for our basement doorway. Well, he has taken his love of woodwork and creating custom pieces to begin Crae Mill Furniture.

I am so excited and proud of him for pursuing his dreams! I have been encouraging him for over 2 years to take the next step and am grateful that he has trusted God's plan and waited for the right time to do this. He has already sold a few pieces and has had several inquiries for business. He hasn't quit his day job (yet) but who knows maybe down the road he will be able to make this a full time job where he can work from home. I know he would love that!

Here are  just a few of the recent pieces he has created. All of his pieces are completely hand crafted from solid wood. He makes pieces that have that rustic feel and old farmhouse charm. I know I may be a little bias, but he is so talented and has such an eye for detail. :)
The "Hay Burner"

The "Tin Pants"
The "Tin Pants"

As you can see we have had a lot going on lately. So my focus hasn't been on my writing as much as I would like. I am working on getting back to sharing our journey with all of you. I value you taking the time to read my posts and share your thoughts with me. I know we are all busy with our lives. I hope that ya'll know that even when life is busy whether it is with joys or sorrows that we are all blessed beyond measure.

Until next time....Have a GREAT day!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy Fall to All and a Free Printable

So it is officially Fall! My absolute favorite time of year! There is something to be said about cooler weather, Husker football, sweaters, boots and pumpkin spice lattes that make my heart happy.

 I am so glad I live in a state where we get to experience all four seasons. There is something that I find magical about the changing of all the seasons, but I definitely LOVE Fall (or Autumn as some might say) the best.

This week my dear husband made me a pumpkin planter and two more pumpkins that I had requested. (I will share more on these later) but it has put me in the mood to decorate the house now. So today as I have been planning on how to decorate I got a whim to make another fun printable to share with all of you. :)

I created this printable in a 4x6 and a 5x7. Mostly because I had a frame already in mind that I wanted to use. fits perfectly on my kitchen counter!

What is your favorite season? If you love Fall as much as I do, I would love to know what your favorite thing is? Also, how do you decorate for Fall? I would enjoy some ideas. Please leave a comment below. 
Until then.....HAPPY FALL TO ALL!!!!!

 Click on image below for 4x6 printable.....Click on image to enlarge, Right Click and select Save As.

Printables are for personal use only. Thank You!

Click on image below for 5x7 printable....Click on image to enlarge, Right Click and select Save As.

Printables are for personal use only. Thank You!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Teaching Children About Salvation

Do your children really know what it means to be "SAVED"? 
Do they fully understand the importance and sacrifice of what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross? Do you want to know a fun and easy way to teach them about salvation? 

 I have never shared a video on my blog before, but I came across an old video post I had created and shared on my FB page and I wanted to share it here with all of you. Notice I said it is an "old" post. I actually shared this in April right before Easter Sunday. Yes, I realize it is August, but it is never to late to learn about salvation.

The video is pretty self explanatory and can be used at home or church to give your children a wonderful visual demonstration of what it means to be saved my our Lord and Savior. Also, a fun thing I learned and taught the children in my VBS class this summer is what we call the ABCs of Salvation. The video and ABCs are posted below. If you have other tips or suggestions for teaching your children the importance of salvation I would love to hear them.

The ABCs of Salvation are as follows:

A- Admit......Admit honestly to the Lord that you have sinned.  (No sin is allowed in Heaven)
Romans 3:23  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." 
Romans 6:23  “The wages of sin is death (everlasting punishment).

B- Believe....Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again, His blood being shed for our sins.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

C- Confess....Confess your love for Jesus and your willingness to trust Him and only Him.
Romans 10:13 “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Children leave their prints on their Mother's Heart.

Well hello there! How have you all been? I am sorry it has been so long since my last post. I wish I had a good excuse, but I don't. Life just got in the way. We have been very busy this summer.

 I wanted to share a quick post with all of your about a fun craft I did this past May with my daycare kiddos. I was looking to make something meaningful for the kids to give their Moms for Mother's Day and came across this idea. It was super easy to do and cost effective! I can honestly say that getting the finger print heart was the hardest part.

Here is what you need: (All product were purchased at Walmart in the craft/jewelry aisle.)

Model Air Dry Clay in white (or color of your choose) I choose the smaller bricks. I made two necklaces from one brick by splitting it in half.

Acrylic paint and small paint brush

Necklace Chain in desired length

I added the metal crosses but you do not have to add a charm.

Rolling pin

Small heart shaped cookie cutter

Step 1: Divide your clay into desired size and roll into a small smooth ball. Then flatten with rolling pin to desired size and thickness to cut out heart shape with cookie cutter. I advise you make the heart quite thick to better reveal the kid's thumbprints.

Step 2: Have the children use both of their thumbs to make a heart impression inside the heart cut out of the clay. Make sure you leave enough room at the top of the heart to make a hole for the chain. This process took us several attempts. If you make a mistake roll out the dough again and cut out another heart to start over.

Step 3: Once you have the thumbprint heart within the heart cut out, puncture a hole in the top large enough for your chain to fit through it. I used a toothpick to carve out the hole. Set the clay aside to harden for 1-2 hours.

Step 4: Once the clay is hard enough to touch without leaving impressions you can use the acrylic paint to paint the fingerprint heart. When finished, set aside to let the paint dry 1-2 hours

Step 5: Once the paint is completely dry you may add the chain and cross (or other charm). I wanted the cross to be over the heart so I added the chain to the heart and then added the cross.

Here is our finished project.....I presented these to the Mom's with a card that read:

"Children leave their prints on their Mother's Heart."

The kids LOVED making these and the Mom's were so surprised to receive them!

I hope you have as much fun with this project as we did. If you make them please share photos! It would be fun to see your twist on them. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

This Home Runs On.....Free Printable

Hi there!

I have a new printable I created for my kitchen and wanted to share it with all of you.  I have these great 3.5 x 5 plastic magnets frames on my fridge.   I frequently change out the images in them and that was where my inspiration came from.

Well, that and the fact that I....have.....a.......caffeine problem! :)

 Have a blessed weekend and a very Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow Mamas!

 Enjoy ya'll!

Just a reminder: To save just right click on image and select save as.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Do you have expectations of perfection?

A little while ago I read a post on Facebook from a sweet and precious Mama who is struggling with feeling like she is not enough. I read her post with tears as I got to thinking to myself that I can no longer even count the number of times I have felt inadequate. It got me thinking about all the times I have failed in each and every aspect of my role as a wife and mother. It made me think of all the times that I have compared myself to someone else or felt envy for what they have. It made me think of all the times that my husband has found me crumpled on the kitchen floor in tears because I had just had one of those days. A day where everything seemed to go wrong. The kids had been grumpy, the house was a mess, supper had not even been a thought in my mind and I said "yes" yet again to a commitment that I really wanted to say "no" to. 

As moms, haven't we all been there though? We all have those days! We are not super human. We all make mistakes. We all lose our cool with our children and even our husbands. We all need to come to terms with the fact that....WE ARE NOT PERFECT AND WE CANNOT DO IT ALL! (insert gasp) 

know it is difficult to hear those words, but ladies it is the truth. We will never be able to live up to any expectation of perfection that we put upon ourselves. It is impossible! What we can do though is choose to live in the now. Enjoy this chapter in our lives and all the messy imperfection that comes along with it. 

We need to handle ourselves with more grace and compassion and less criticism and condemnation. We have a hard job, but it is an amazing job! We may not be where we want to be or even who we want to be, but we are exactly where God wants to us to be! One of these days we will look back and miss these moments. At least, that is what they tell us anyways. wink emoticon

So to all my fellow Mommy friends out there...hang in there! You are amazing and loved just the way you are! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent without Borax

It was just after lunch and I went to start our dishwasher only to realize that I was out of those little dishwasher gel packs I typically use. The downfall of living in a small town is that we do not have a grocery store, add in  freezing temps and nap time and a trip to town wasn't going to happen.

After getting kids down for nap and being determined to get my dishes done I decided that I was going to make my own dishwasher detergent. It couldn't be that hard!?! After all, I have made all of our other cleaners.  So, I got on the computer to look up some recipe ideas. To my dismay they all called for ingredients I did not currently borax, castile soap and citric acid.  I did however find good information on why these ingredients are important. So I set out for some trial and error recipes using what I already had in my pantry. Luckily for me, the first recipe worked like a charm. (Don't you just love when that happens?)

I have now ran 6 cycles of dishes through our dishwasher with this new detergent and I will say that I do not plan on buying store bought, chemical ridden, expensive detergent ever again. I love how well it cleans! We have hard water here and it even took care of the spots and cloudiness I typically see on our dishes.

Here are the ingredients: Please not that I made a small batch. You can certainly increase this recipe for larger quantities. I managed 5 cycles with what I made while using 2 Tbs with each cycle.

1/4 of baking soda
1/4 cup of salt (I used sea salt because that is all we had.)
1/4 fresh squeezed juice from an orange (lemons work great too)
vinegar to use as a rinse aid

Mix the baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. Squeeze the orange juice and pour through a strainer into the bowl to catch any pulp. Combine thoroughly.  The consistency will be a little clumpy which is fine. Now just add 1-2 Tbs of the homemade detergent to your dishwasher in the detergent compartment. Use the vinegar as a  rinse aid  placing in the rinse aid compartment.
Run dishwasher as usual.

Do you have any recipes to share in regards to your own cleaning products? I would love to hear from you on what you have found that works and what doesn't.

Share your stories by leaving a comment. Thanks for stopping by!