Thanks for stopping! May you be blessed
I've always wanted a Nativity set to display at Christmas that was kid friendly. That way we could learn the story, using the characters to make believe at the same time! Most of those type sets were more expensive than I wanted to spend, so I made my own using peg people.
Each day of the first part of December, my boys got to open a package from their Advent Countdown (which I'll tell you about sometime!) containing one of these characters.
Unfortunately, they got quite used (notice the scratches) BEFORE I realized that I should have used some sort of sealer on them. Might have to touch them up, or just keep them that way for memory's sake.
Nothing fancy, but it was fun, easy, and best of all CHEAP! I hope to create more Bible characters for my kids to play with and learn other stories from the Greatest Book ever written.
Thanks for stopping! May you be blessed
Back in...oh...September or so, I helped my husbands family put on a baby shower for my sister in law. I got the fun job of doing decorations, which I thoroughly enjoyed! :)
We did a vintage style children's book theme and I pretty much used everything I had at home, so very little expense on my part.
"Once Upon a Baby" banner made with book pages and lace
Centerpieces. Kids books held up with wooden blocks. We used the letter cards and had everyone write baby name idea starting with that letter, along with a piece of advice or favorite baby product.
The poster I made as a gift and part of the decor
Food table (minus most of the food!) Each food item had a related 'book' made next to it. We did a brunch, so the muffins had 'If you Give a Moose a Muffin' and so on.
Gift Table...waiting to be filled!
It's nothing fancy, but I hope it inspires you to create fun decorations for a baby shower with the things you have on hand at home! Let me know if you want to know details of how anything was made.
Have a blessed day!
GUEST POST from Carissa
Mom. Mother. Mommy. Mama.
There are many different names and thoughts that come to mind when we think of what it means to be a mom.
No one can fully explain how amazing it is when you give birth & finally meet your first baby. It’s beyond words. Birth in and of itself is amazing! The more I learn about the birth process, the more I see how God is just a pure genius and so amazing.
There are no words to explain the deep, deep love you will feel for your child.
You never dreamed you would have so much fun watching him/her grow up & learn new things.
You can’t comprehend it when someone says that you will think it’s great or cute when your kid gets their first tooth, takes their first step or runs off bare nakey in the middle of a diaper change. I’m quite guilty of letting Bowin do that much too often because I get such a kick out of his expression when he hurriedly runs off in the nude. He thinks he is so fast & clever. One of these days I will have to put a stop to it, but for now, he is too cute to resist.
On the flip side, it’s one thing to know your kid is going to test & push you and cause you to react in ways you never thought you would do, & one thing to actually be there & experience it.
No one tells you that there will come a day when you breathe a sigh of relief when you get them down for naps.
Or that sometimes you want to run away for just a second to a land where you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s needs except yours.
When I had my first, it was amazing. I was in love with being a mommy & suddenly became so excited when others became pregnant because I knew how awesome being a mother was. It was so much fun!! I wanted more of these cuties!
Then I had my second and a 3 year old. This being a mommy thing became a whole new ball park. In the midst of cleaning house, wiping butts, tackling food battles & training little hearts, I started losing my joy. It was still there dimly lit in the recesses of my heart but it was brought down to just a tiny flame by reality. My joy was being choked out by the endless dishes, chasing after boys disobeying again, discipline hurdles and all the things that come with the territory, or rather the kids. Being a mommy is so much work and down right tiring & discouraging at times. Some days it’s really hard to work up the gumption to have the right perspective. For me personally, perspective is everything.
I love these excerpts from Beyond Bath Time by Erin Davis:
I find that so true! I didn’t quite realize how little patience I have or how short tempered I can be at times until having kids, or rather a toddler….x2! I often feel bad for my boys that they got me as a mom. Oh, I work on having patience, take a lot of deep breaths & say quick little prayers praying for strength & wisdom through out the day. But no matter how hard I try, I cannot escape the fact that I’m a fallen creature in desperate need of a Savior. And so are my boys. Not a good combination sometimes. Nothing has brought me to my knees & showed me how desperately I need Jesus like mothering. God is interested in molding & changing me for eternity. If life was easy & our kids always behaved, how would we grow?
So, instead of grumbling about how often I have to get after my boys to clean up their toys or for digging in something they aren't supposed to be in…again, I choose to “make the changes to live out God’s calling for mothers with greater joy, urgency and a sense of purpose instead of continuing to drown in the woes that come with my role.” (Beyond Bath Time) And you know what? When I chose to live that way & change my perspective and adjust my priorities to training my boys, I fall in love with being a mommy all over again. I enjoy my boys thoroughly. I laugh & smile with them. I want to shout to the world how awesome being a mommy is!!
Dear mommies, I want to encourage you. I know how hard being a mom is. I know how frustrating, aggravating, annoying…yet fulfilling, awesome, & rewarding it is. We are in this together. Let’s pray for each other & lift each other up on the hard days. Let’s share those funny quirks we love about our kids. The ones no one else understands unless they are mommies themselves. Let’s focus on the simple little joys. “Sure, there will be hard days and harder days, but focus on the simple, good things...Pretend you are a little girl, full of expectation and dreams of motherhood. Float with your babies around the room and zoom around the neighborhood with your real stroller. May we start to look at motherhood through the innocent, fresh eyes of a young girl playing house. Because to them motherhood is a joy. And, I think, that's just what our Heavenly Father wants motherhood to be."
My kids are getting old enough to not only enjoy doing projects, but to understand what they mean. I wanted to do something for Thanksgiving to teach them what it means to be thankful.
Skyler is about the only one who really 'gets' it, but Mom and Dad are benefiting from it as well.
As a count down to Thanksgiving, starting the first of November, we've been writing something we're thankful for on our Thankfulness Wall in our kitchen. We typically say grace before supper and then write something we're thankful for. The first time we did it and asked Skyler what he was thankful for, I think he was a bit confused and said something along the lines of "Pray", so day 1 says 'prayer', which I'd say is a pretty good thing to be thankful for!
Today we had a get together to craft with some of the local moms and preschoolers/toddlers from our church group. The project for the day were Thankfulness Trees. Since we have been doing the one on our wall, we decided to do a family tree (which could also be considered a thankfulness tree since we are thankful for each of them!). We'll probably give it to grandma for fall.
What do you and your family do to recognize what it means to be thankful?
Will you be doing a Christmas countdown this year?
I'll try to remember to share ours (or did I last year?!)
Thanks for stopping by again!
May God bless your Thanksgiving
Well if you're here thinking I'm going to show you how I keep a perfect house, well...
I'm not even sure 'yesterday' qualifies in this house. Usually it's more like an hour or so! Though more often than not,
I feel like my house never actually gets CLEAN.
But if you're looking for tips, you may want to go check out some pasts posts about my bathroom here or here. Or for some organizing or decorating inspiration, you could look at the bedroom or pantry from my old house. Or even just go on Pinerest and get some ideas from people who actually know what they're doing! :)
I usually have my quiet time late at night. When supper is cleaned up (at least mostly!), the kids are in bed, and the toys/blankets/pillows/books are picked up, I can breathe. I usually do my devotions, computer time, or reading once I feel like things are 'clean'. The other night I got up from the living room chair to head to bed and thought to myself 'oh this house feels SO clean right now, I love it!'...then I started to look around. Ha!
See for yourself!
I had to snap some pictures, because it made me chuckle a bit that I felt like my house was CLEAN with all this going on! Yup, there's a stack of books on the side table, pillows and blankets thrown haphazardly across the couches, toys tucked under and behind the baby swing, socks (mine!) bunched up next to the chair, a book on the floor, a car under the cabinet, a pan soaking from supper, a bib hanging to dry on top the soap dispenser, a waterbottle under the other cabinet, odds and ends on the counter without a home, and kids' clothes on the stand in the bathroom! Yup...that's clean! And that's only in 3 rooms...good thing I didn't take my camera around to any other parts of the house!
Pretty much that's as far as it gets these days!
My standards used to be so much higher. Before I had kids, my house was not only picked up, but typically was CLEAN too!! Now with 3 kids age 3 and under...well...let's just say it's not so easy! And I'm not trying to justify it, just sharing with you, who may get discouraged about the appearance of your own home, that it really is OK! I'm learning to let some of these things go; that it's not really as important as we sometimes think it is.
Ask my mom, I've never been OCD about having a clean house. It's always been acceptable, but not immaculate. Which is ok by me. I'm the type that likes everything to have a place and be somewhat organized and picked up. But when it comes to scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, and so on, well...my standards come down much faster. I don't even want to imagine trying to get pictures of the crumbs, dust, and smears around the house.
Maybe I wouldn't go quite so far as saying it's a wasted life, but really, it makes you think. So often, when I'm trying to make sure my house IS perfectly clean and organized, I'm pushing my family aside so I can get it done, or getting upset with them when it comes 'undone'! And THAT is a waste, because our family should be the true focus. Everything else CAN get pushed aside, to some extent, if we are keeping our priorities in line. Not to mention, it's more fun to read Little Golden Books to little boys than it is to scrub floors!
This one may be more accurate though...
It's a funny quote, but even this should make us think. Are things like computers, tv, sewing, shopping, exercising, or any other 'thing' taking away from the things that TRULY matter?
Take the time to look at how you SPEND your time.
Refocus and set your priorities.
Learn ways to make things happen.
I am a list person, so often having a list of things I want to get done during the day, from sweeping to reading to my kids, helps me to stay on task. Staying organized and on top of things without letting it build up too bad makes it easier to keep up too. I'll be sharing my Home Management Binder system and cleaning schedule in a future post coming soon. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I do like to be organized, and I know I enjoy seeing how others run their homes to inspire me and give me new ideas.
If there's a specific area that you are trying to find a system for, let me know and I'll try to include what works for us in a post at some point (IF I've discovered what works for us that is!)
Thanks for stopping in! Now to get off this computer and get something else (cleaning?!) done while my kids are having quiet time!
Oh oops...one of them is bringing me a Little Golden Book as I type this!
Have a wonderful weekemd
Today I have another Pinterest idea for you. In case you haven’t noticed, I decided to DO something about all my pinning and was pleased enough with the results that I’m sharing them with you. This one I haven’t used much yet (no, not because my kids are good as gold, but because I forget about it too often!), but I think it is a neat idea. Original Source
Similar to those old hourglass timers that come in board games, this is a glitter bottle for kids to watch during time outs. When the glitter settles to the bottom, they get to come out of their room (or off the chair, or whatever your method is). The idea is that they think about what they did wrong while the watch, but does that really ever happen? Most likely they are thinking about the next thing they’ll be doing once they get off that seat!
I haven’t completely figured out this whole discipline thing, (not sure if I ever will!) but I know timeouts don’t seem to have a whole lot of effect on my oldest son, Skyler. Rystin is only 19 months old, but so far, I think he’s more the type this may work for. I know every kid is different, so I guess you just learn as you go.
I may have future posts on disciplining children, as it has been a big thing in this house lately, and I am trying to learn how to train my children according to God’s plan. I’m not sure how well I’ve been applying what I’ve learned, but I know I am called to be an example and to train them in the ways they should go. I’m starting to realize the huge, awesome responsibility this truly is! May God be with all of you mothers out there as you seek wisdom in training your own children.
Another guest post from Carissa...
Failure. Satan loves to parade that word through my head, gleefully pointing out all the areas I’ve failed & messed up in each day. Quite often, as a mom & wife, I feel more like a failure than a success.
I yearn to be godly. I desire more than anything for my boys to be godly & love Jesus above all else but I know they are watching my every move. I’m the poorest example.
I want my boys to be obedient to me so that in turn they will be obedient to their Heavenly Father without question.
I’d love to be more organized & have a clean house so I can sanely raise my boys & be a better wife.
I need to make my husband a priority over my boys & house but so frequently he is the last on my list.
Sometimes I just wish I could get it together. That I could be the mom & person I want and desire to be. Often, I hate who I am being. I am tired of the house always being disorganized chaos, of unintentionally putting my house above spending time with my boys, & trying so hard but always failing.
The list of things I want to do & be to those in my life is long. I feel as if I’m failing in every single area. I know I can’t be perfect but for some reason, I can’t quite get it to come out in my actions. More often than not, I can’t seem to get out of the rut of discouragement & failure. Every day I start anew but it comes right back when I’m lazy, continue my bad habits, ignore or yell at the kids, waste time, etc. Satan loves to steal my joy.
When I was in my last rut, I prayed, cried & begged God for wisdom, strength, & courage to get out of it. He let me stay in that rut for a couple weeks, which is longer than only a day or so the times before, & it was so frustrating! I couldn’t get it together & I just kept pleading with God for help. He answered my prayers, in each of the ways I was praying, over a few days. On the way home from TriCities one weekend, he spoke to me through the radio in regards to strength. A guy was telling a true story about a girl, about my size, whose dad was working under a car in their garage. Somehow the car fell on him. She prayed for strength & lifted a 2000 lb car off of her dad!!! God told me that if he can give her the strength to lift a car, then he can most certainly give me the strength to keep getting up each day & do the best I can doing the things He has set out for me. He just wanted me to ask for it & believe.
I’ve been hearing from moms lately about feeling like failures. I think it may be close to all of us mommies. Satan knows how important our roles are for the souls & futures of our kids so he does everything he can to deter us. Any of you mommies out there struggle with this too? Do you feel the pressure to be perfect? You are NOT alone!
I couldn’t understand why I feel so much pressure to do everything right. It bugged me because I know that I cannot be perfect & do everything correctly, but knowing that did not make the pressure go away. Romans 7:19-20 describes me exactly! “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
Beyond Bath Time by Erin Davis says that we can find hope when we confront the lie that we tend to believe about being perfect, with God’s truth! I love this excerpt from there:
“You cannot mother perfectly. But that should never have been the goal. You can mother with purpose because Christ has promised that where you are weak He is strong.
In fact, I want to encourage you to make 2 Corinthians 12:9 your new motherhood mantra: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
How would your world change if you let yourself move away from the notion that you need to mother perfectly and toward the radical idea that motherhood challenges are a gift because they clear a path for God to work in and through you?”
Now how awesome is that?!
I’m so thankful that my heart is in the hands of my Heavenly Father. I know he will mold me into the mom my boys need me to be. He will show me how & give me the strength. I pray someday that when my boys see my mistakes, they see Christ shining through them. When they see my imperfections, they see how perfect Christ is in my stead. When they see my failures, they see my reliance on Christ & how He is molding me. When they look at me, they see how I love them so immensely & did my very best, but that I am just a sinful person in need of a Savior, just like them. I hope they don’t hold my short comings & mistakes against me.
Think again about what is said in 2 Corinthians 12:9. “…my power is made perfect in weakness.” KJV says “…my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Let that sink in. It gives me great joy & makes me want to jump up & down praising God! :) We are FREE to be weak & imperfect because Christ is strong & perfect FOR us!
Thanks for another great article that so many of us can relate to, Carissa!
Are you one of those people who need to write things down? Do you have reminders all over your house? Or do you like having a message board or menu board?
This is probably one of the easiest and fastest projects you can do. Seriously.
I’m not sure if it was inspired off of Pinterest, or where I first saw it, but I know I’m not the first one to use this idea!
Simply take a picture frame (even a dollar store one like I used!)of any size and cut a cute piece of paper to put inside. Get some dry-erase markers and scribble away on the glass! You could get really fancy with the papers or embellishments you put inside to make it cute or to match your other décor. I just used a fairly neutral paper that had a similar background color as my kitchen. It’s a fun and kid-ish print because I’m also letting Skyler use it!
I am trying to do ‘school’ with Skyler every once in awhile (hopefully more regularly this fall), and am looking for fun things for toddlers to do. He loves using this board to ‘draw’ on, and hopefully will learn to write his letters, numbers, shapes, etc on it as well. I’m tempted to make more for other areas of the house, since I have quite a few dollar store frames sitting empty in storage. I also was at a thrift store not long ago where they had huge frames for posters and such that would be neat to make a calendar in.
I’ve used it for scripture memory verses, Skyler’s art, and even love notes to my hubby! It could be used for so much more. I’ve also learned that dry erase markers will work on so many things-windows, refrigerators, mirrors, and so on. Get creative and make messages all over your home for yourself and your loved ones! Easy Peasy!
Yeah, that might be an odd thing to organize, but go check yours out! It’s probably a lot like mine was (unless you’ve been on top of things and I’m the only one with a messy bathroom!). Especially with the littles and their toys! After our first got old enough to play in the tub (and maybe even before that!), we’ve had a problem of too much stuff and not enough shelves. Kinda looks like this:
No, that isn’t actually my shower (and we don't have that many bottles of product), but you get the idea, just add toys to the pile and there you have it! I was sick of picking up shampoo bottles from the bottom of the tub, and having all those rubber toy boats fall of the corner where they were precariously balanced every time I brushed my knee a little to close when I turned around. I know they sell those tall stand things that add a few extra teeny tiny shelves to the corner of your shower. But they really aren’t very big-AND it’s an even BIGGER pain when THOSE come crashing down and there goes EVERYTHING onto the floor (plus the shelves!). Yup-been there done that!
So...another pin from my faithful Pinterest brought me to here:
Yup! 2nd curtain rod at the back of the shower, a couple cheap baskets, and some zip ties (or that’s what I used anyways)! Everything is off those teeny tiny ledges and out of reach of the kiddos. Here's my version
Now I can give the kids a few toys to play with, and no more crashing bottles on toes! (Won’t my husband be relieved?!) It's also nice to hang used wash cloths on to dry instead of having them get stinky in the hamper. I got the baskets from Walmart in the school supply section for about $1.50 each. They are meant for cds/dvds, but they have holes all the way around and on the bottom so the water won’t sit in them and get that nasty slime coating on them. Not that they would be so hard to wash, but you know. I’m sure if you have a decent dollar store in your area, they would have baskets that would work. Since I live pretty much in an area that has NOTHING for stores (besides Walmart) , and our dollar store is NOT a dollar store and is very lame, this was my next best. The curtain rod was right around $10, also from Walmart, and the zip ties I had on hand already. I’m sure there are many different things you could use to hang the baskets up with. Just make sure that everything is sturdy-wouldn’t want a basket full of shampoo bottles crashing down on your toddler’s head!
In our shower, the first basket holds the kids toys and shampoo. The next one has all of the regular shampoo and conditioner (except the huge bottle still on the corner shelf), and the last one has the body was and the shower scrubber that I use regularly.
Hope I’ve given you more ideas to inspire you! Now I need some inspiration with another area in this room!
I’m thinking maybe this should be my next project!! The bathroom in the house we live in is massive in comparison to the rest of the house. Half of it is used for my ‘nursery’ area, with Vayah’s dresser and my cloth diaper changing station. For some reason there is very little for cupboard space. One of those things a guy must have designed I guess! ;) If you have any ideas for this mess, let me know!
I have some decisions to make regarding this website/blog. Most likely changes will be coming tomorrow (Monday, August 27th). Possibly a change of site address, so watch the Facebook page for any info, or check back here to see if the changes are made. If you can't find my site for some reason, it will be explained on the Facebook page. If you are subscribed to this blog, check into it so that you can change the site address if necessary! Thanks to all of you who have read and supported me in Whispers of Joy!
Edit: I believe my new address will be
and the blog address would be
so look for me there if I'm not here :)