Tuesday, October 28, 2014

32 days until....

Every year we try to make sure our Christmas celebrations center on Christ.  In years past we have read the advent story a little at a time every night before Christmas; we have done a Jesse Tree; we have read the Nativity story from different points of view each week.  But the one I have enjoyed doing the most has been Truth in the Tinsel.

It is a great way to share the Bible story and engage your child while making a super simple ornament keepsake to go along with it.  In the past we have hung these using poster putty in a Christmas tree shape on the wall, and we have hung them on our Jesse Tree.  We are a crafty family, and many of the supplies that were necessary to create the ornaments we already had on hand.  But I will admit to having to wrangle up some supplies on occasion.  And there were days that I just didn't feel like digging through the craft supplies to find what we needed.  

This year I plan to spend the next 32 days assembling advent bags for our Truth in the Tinsel experience.  Fortunately all the supplies you will need are listed at the beginning of the book, as well as a break down of what you need for each day!  And if you aren't crafty, don't think you can't use this.  Oh!Amanda has created this totally awesome printable ornament package that you can use instead.  It includes templates your child can cut out and color for each day.  

And since I will be using it as part of my home school curriculum, I will be making and sharing some free home school resources to go along with this on Sunflowers at School, so be sure to bookmark that site.  

So why am I sharing this with you now, before we have even raided the kids Halloween candy? (Please tell me we aren't the only ones who do that!!!)  Because I only have THIRTY-TWO days until Truth in the Tinsel begins!  And while the program does include alternate schedules (10 days in which you introduce the characters of the Nativity, A schedule of just the basics that includes 16 ornaments, a 7 day prophecy schedule and more) I really want to complete them all this year.  If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing as well, you can click here to visit ohAmanda.com and check it out!

Until next time,

Monday, September 1, 2014

Package sent

Finally managed to pack up some of the items I have been making for God's Tiny Angels.  Now to finish up a blanket for my first grandchild due at the end of the month....

Until next time,

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter baskets shopping...

I procrastinated this year.  Usually I try to get all of my Easter shopping done at least a week early.  Actually, I'm like that for most everything.  I don't function well under pressure and nothing says "pressure" like a crowded aisle of picked over holiday candy thrown on store shelves.  But in case you haven't noticed, I've been kind of busy.  Which is also why you haven't seen any recent updates on my 40 in 40 project.

I have been trying to get my husband to replace my 15+ year old, originally white carpet for at least 10 years now.  After surviving 4 toddlers and now 3 teens it has definitely seen better days.  When my husband finally agreed and we ordered new floors ( a really pretty mahogany laminate) I wasn't about to stand in the way when he began working.  What we weren't prepared for was for a simple day long project to turn into two weeks of major home renovation.  Still, that post is for another day.  Suffice it to say that I am currently typing while sitting on a couch in the middle of a room in which I was able to move things around and create a small space in which to sit.  I have been able to manage to continue to make a hat a day for the 40 in 40 project, just not get pictures or post.  I promise they are coming!

Which leads me to Easter candy.  Yesterday I braved my local store.  At this point I really just wanted to grab whatever I could shove in their baskets or a plastic egg.  God, however, kept laying it on my heart that my plan just wasn't going to happen.  I knew I didn't want the typical chocolate bunnies.  (That Veggie Tale song kept going through my head from Rack, Shack and Benny - "the bunny, the bunny, whoa I love the bunny")  I wanted a chocolate cross.

 I don't know if it was due to my procrastination or if it were simply a lack of production, but I had the hardest time finding any.  When I finally found a small box of chocolate crosses it was on the bottom shelf, nearly hidden by the massive amounts of hollow chocolate bunnies.

What have we done to Easter, my heart whispered?  And I knew then that anything I bought had to have a meaning.  It had to point my children to the true meaning of Easter.  And so I began looking at this plethora of sugary treats with new eyes.  How could it point the way to the cross?

Here is what I finally brought home for the baskets.  I wish I had time to make cute little tags to put with them and to share with you, but my house still needs to be put back together so instead I'll just share the items and the meanings.  Perhaps when life returns to normal I'll come back to them.

Chocolate coins - Jesus was betrayed for a few coins, Matthew 26:14-16

Twizzlers - to remind us that Jesus was scourged, John 19:1

chocolate cross - Jesus gave His life on the cross, Luke 23:46

Plastic egg with pop rocks in them - Jesus was laid in a tomb and a rock placed in front of it, Mark 15:43-46

Ring pops - We are precious to God, He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us, Romans 5:8

Lifesavers - Jesus is the ONLY one who can save us, Romans 10:9

 My house may be in chaos, I'm behind on blog posts, and I will be attempting to cook in a kitchen filled with items from my dining room, but I am okay with all of that.  Why?  Because ultimately none of that matters.  What matters is that I point my children to Jesus and make sure they understand how much He loves them and what He has sacrificed so that they have an opportunity to spend eternity with Him.

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and mind...Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 11:18-19

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Knitting for Peace review

Knitting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time written by Betty Christiansen


Knitting for Peace is an exceptional book that celebrates the long heritage of knitting for others. It tells the stories of 28 contemporary knitting-for-peace endeavors, and features patterns for easy-to-knit charity projects such as hats, socks, blankets, and bears, plus a messenger bag emblazoned with the Knitting for Peace logo. Enlivened by anecdotal sidebars and quotations from both knitters and peacemakers, this inspiring book also includes everything readers need to know to start their own knitting-for-peace groups.

My Review:

When I was presented with the opportunity to review Knitting for Peace by the publisher I was ecstatic.  After all, how appropriate that I review a book celebrating knitting for charities during my "40 in 40" challenge.  I didn't know what to expect other than the description above when I agreed, but what I found really surprised me.

It isn't often that you really get to know and understand the passion and heart behind the creator of a charity organization.  I was blessed to have been able to meet and talk with Danette LeMaster, founder of God's Tiny Angels, several times in the years that I have been contributing to her organization.  This book gives you that same feeling of connection to a cause by introducing the hearts behind the organization.

The organizations are split into five chapters: Peace and War, Peace on Earth, Peace at Home, Peace for Kids and Knit for Peace.  Each chapter includes several organizations; some you may have heard of, many you probably have not.  Not only are we presented with an overview of the organization, but contact information for each is included as well as many patterns for items you can contribute to the cause.  With such a diversity it is almost a guarantee that one of them will touch your heart and prompt you to contribute.  

At only $9.99 for the Kindle edition at the time of this posting, and often you can find it used on Amazon for less, this is a great book to add to your library.  

Until next time,

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