Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas prep...

That's right!  Christmas is coming!  And with a child in the house, 
preparing to celebrate Christmas can be a whole lot of fun!  
Yeah, it typically takes longer, but it's so worth it.

We've let out daughter help us every step of the way.  
Here's a glimpse into what's been going on around our house in the last week or so.

Trimming the Tree
Peeling (and eating!) Pomegranates
Helping place the Baby Jesus and Angel Yard Art

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What IS normal?

Stolen from a friend's Facebook

As a Christ-follower, mother and wife, sometimes I do wonder,

"What's normal?"

"Is there really such a thing as a "normal" marriage or a "normal" child?"

"Am I normal?"


Each marriage, each family, each child is unique!  Instead of trying to cram our spouses, selves and children into a "normal" mold, a mold created by man and not by God by the way, we should step back and examine our situations.  Season our actions and plans with grace.  In the end, who cares what people think!  Honestly, your life and your family have only to answer to Christ - not to society, not to someone who wrote a best seller or to the pastor at your church.

Can you, at the end of the day, face your Lord, child and husband with a clear conscience and love?  Have you done your best that day with what that day brought your way?  Does your child know you love them unconditionally?  Are you willing to swallow your pride in order have a better marriage?  Are you allowing God's grace to minister to your heart?  

Or, are you so caught up with the "rules" you read in that book, heard on a radio program, saw on a Power Point at church or jotted down at a seminar?  Maybe you're supposed to "only" have one child instead of one thousand.  Maybe your husband is a better cook.  Maybe you're not a good house keeper.  Maybe your child is going to have a tantrum here and there.  There is no formula to a successful marriage.  There is no formula to raising a God-loving, well adjusted child.  There is no formula to being a content, happy individual.

But there is God's grace.  There is joy in your child's laughter.  There is love in your husband's kiss.  Get off the "normal" merry-go-round of life.  Appreciate today.  Be thankful for the good moments.  You're a square peg trying to fit in a round hole.  There is no normal!

Actively seek what God wants for YOU, the square peg!  What story does He want to write with your life and family?  Look for the square window that He has customized for YOU - between you and God, between you and your husband, between you and your child.

It's time to accept the fact that we're all different and we're all children of a loving, grace giving God.  Yes, there are absolute "right" and "wrongs" in Scripture that we all should live by.  We are all humans and all have the same Creator, that's what makes us "the same."  But there is no "normal" outside of that.

So, from now on, "normal" is just a setting on a dryer.  *smiles*

Become the lady, wife and mother God wants YOU to be.  And only that.  It's freeing.  It's fulfilling.  It's right.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Product Review - Kumon Write and Wipe

ABCs Uppercase Write & Wipe Flash Cards (Kumon Flash Cards)
Image via Amazon

Another fun Goodwill find for me was this complete set of Write and Wipe cards!  
My little one is nuts about them!

Start at the dot, follow the arrow, end at the star!  So easy.

This cards keep her busy and holds interested for at least two times through the alphabet! 
On the flip side of each card is a coordinating picture and word.

Kumon's ABC's Write and Wipe gets a five outta five from me!

**I was in no way compensated for this review.
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Monday, November 12, 2012

Coach Tennis Shoes - From Goodwill

Indeed, true, authentic Coach tennis shoes from Goodwill.  A steal at $14.99.

A little help from a Magic Erase and they look like new!

What have you found recently while thrifting?

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Paper Scrap Letters - Cheapo Anthro

Pinwale Alphabet #anthropologie

So I fell in LOVE with the Anthropologie letters.  Ain't they grand?  Each one is unique and they're $14 a pop!  (Unless they're on sale!)

While these are beautiful, quilted and quality, I didn't want to swing for 'em.  So I put on my thinking cap and camp up with the Cheapo Anthro version.  (It also didn't take very long, and was "almost" free - compared to $14 each.)

Here's what you need...

*Cardboard letter 
(Store bought or actually cut from a piece cardboard.)
*Scraps of paper 
(Could use old magazines, etc.)
*Tape or glue
*Scissors/paper cutter

All you have to do is wrap a strip of paper around the letter, cut to size and tape or glue on the back!  Voila!  You could add those cute cloth rosettes and even some bling if you want a fancier look.  

Your cheap (mine were $1 each) or free Cheapo Anthro letter!  Now you can afford to spell out a whole name, word and make some for gifts!

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Girlie Curious George Birthday Party

On the morning of her birthday, we celebrated with a tradition that has been in my family for about 30 years - the red "You're Special Today" plate.  *smiles*

Gluten free blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and a new (Goodwill!) Princess birthday shirt.  Perfect start to any child's day.

For her party, we went with her current favorite cartoon - Curious George!  I tried to keep things simple yet a bit creative and lots of fun!  The typical red, blue, green and yellow George party wouldn't work for us, naturally.  So we chose purple, pink and yellow - now that's more girlie.

For party favors for the visiting kiddos I used buckets and filled them with these treats...
A Curious George Mask (from Party City)
A Curious George bottle cap necklace (PPPartyFavors from Etsy)
Squiggle straw
2 monkey erasers
Kite ($1 bin at Target!)
Baggie of banana chips
Picture of my daughter with her age and "Thank you!" printed (Made by me.)
A Curious George chalkboard mat (Nickle Pickle Quilts from Etsy)

As I said, I tried to keep the decorating to a minimum.  
Wal-Mart had these bright decorations for a $1 each in their party section.

I propped Curious George books everywhere, windows, mantel, etc.  
And that was it - favor, food and drink stations decorated and books spread about.

In our entry, I used this plastic back-drop with 
lips, glasses, hats and mustaches for the guests to pose with as they came in.
Later, I sent an email thank you with their photo!

Her gluten and dairy free Curious George birthday cake came from a local bakery.  
Somehow, they missed the multiple email memos about our color scheme.  *grins*  
Instead of yellow, they used green.
But we rolled with it, and I don't think any visitors noticed.

Outside we had a kiddie pool and sprinkler and ladder ball.

For food we opted to go with brisket on the grill, baked potatoes and baked and green beans in crock pots.

As adult visitors left, I gave them the Thank You photo of my daughter.  *whew* 
Saves on writing thank you cards later!

And there you have it!  This birthday party is now behind us.  And you know what, my daughter already knows what kind of party she wants next year.  *smiles*  
A blue princess party.  *sighs*
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