Archive | June 2013

Blooming in Christ: Preparing for Sunday Morning and Worship

Hey y’all! Jenn her with a new Blooming in Christ post.

If you missed the start of this it was a post titled Am I Blooming In Christ? Are You Blooming In Christ? And what I have realized is that I was not blooming in Christ so I have begun working on that. I made a list of the things I was doing when I felt the most growth to compare to what I am doing now…..so I can address the things on the list and correct them.

Today’s topic is:
Preparing for Sunday Morning and Worship.

Picture this if you will: It’s Sunday morning, and you have overslept! Now it’s time to get everyone fed, dressed, and out the door…..but OH NO! Your husbands shirt is not ironed, you child’s clothes are downstairs, you need a shower, there is nothing defrosted for breakfast, where is that skirt you wanted to wear? Okay its time to go!….But where is everyone’s Bibles? Where is your book/material for Sunday School? Okay your out the door and headed to the building. But did you grab the checkbook? Do you have cash for your little ones offering? Did you pack a drink and snack for the little one? Ahhhh!! And then after all that rushing around the inevitable happens…..
By the time you get to the building you are all in a bad mood, you are either arguing or obviously mad at each other and not talking to each other, you have unjustifiably yelled at your spouse and/or child. You sit through Sunday school and worship mad at the world and the worse part is you don’t get anything out of class or the sermon, because you keep thinking about your crazy morning and how upset you are.

Soooo does this ever describe a Sunday Morning at your house?…. If not I am truly impressed!! It definitely describes some that we have had, and that I am trying to work on.

I think Sunday morning should be so what calm and relaxed, I feel like you should be preparing your heart and mind for what is about to take place. You are getting ready to go join your brothers and sisters in Christ for Sunday School, fellowship, prayers, singing, taking the Lords supper, offering, and to hear a lesson from Gods word. Those are all such wonderful, heartwarming, and much needed things, sometimes I think we forget how much we and others need those times. We shouldn’t be so worn out from a lack of preparedness that we don’t enjoy and learn from our worship.

So how do we improve this? This is my challenge to you and myself. Bloom through preparation for Sunday morning.

1. Get your clothes ready the day/night before. Make sure everyone’s clothes are clean, ironed if needed, and ready. This is a challenge for me because I usually don’t know what I want to wear until I wake up, so I have to work on that. If you have children lay out their clothes the night before.

2. Have a plan for breakfast. If you are cooking make sure your meat is laid out to defrost. If you are having cereal make sure you have enough for everyone and that you have enough milk. Make sure your dishes are clean that you need for cooking and eating. If you plan on going out for breakfast make sure you leave in enough time to get your food and eat it before class.

3. Have your bibles ready. Either right where you can grab them, in your “church” bag, or in the vehicle you are taking to service.

4. If you had homework for Sunday School or you are teaching a class, make sure everything is done ahead of time and ready to go.

5. If you write a check for your offering make it out ahead of time and have it ready, this way you can reflect on the Lords Supper properly and not have to write out the check quickly before the offering plate comes around. If you like for your little one to put money in the plate make sure you have that cash on hand.
*Our daughter likes putting money in the plate, and I want her to be a cheerful giver. So I want to be sure to have some for her. I don’t usually have cash, so I set a reminder in my phone at the start of the month to go to the bank and get her offering for the moth, but another method may work better for you.

6. If you have little ones and need to have things for them to do, keep a bag packed.
* Be sure to switch out toys occasionally because children tend to get tired of the same things every Sunday. We also have traded toy bags with another family which seemed to work good because they got to play with different things.

7. If you need to have a snack for your little one, pack it the night before. Then just add their cup of water in the morning.

8. Try having a “church” bag. This has greatly reduced my stress of not having something during services. Designate a bag as your church bag and keep essentials in it. I use a 31 tote that is perfect! It has a large inside which can hold bibles, iPads, coloring books, crayons, a notebook, books for class we may need, and a few toys. It also has pockets on the outside that are perfect for holding gum, tissues, pens, band aids (I have a 4 yr old), my daughters snack and her cup of water.
* This will have be cleaned out regularly, if you are like me it will end up with crumbs from snacks, gum wrappers, broken crayons, etc in the bottom of it.

Now time to work on blooming!!

-Evaluate how your Sunday mornings go.

-What areas do you need to improve on when it comes to your preparedness for Sunday morning?

– Make a list of things that need to change.

– Use the above ideas to help your Sunday mornings flow smoother. Or adapt them to fit you.

I guarantee that when you go into class and services on Sundays after having a smooth stress free morning that you will benefit so much more than when you spent your morning running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

I plan on blooming by being better prepared for Sunday mornings, I hope that you will bloom along with me…..and together we will bloom in Christ.

Until next time,

Love,
Jennifer

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Teach Your Children: Family Birthday Calendar

Hey y’all! Jess here with a fun learning project for your kids.

I came up with this idea back in the late winter/early spring of this year when my boys were learning about the seasons and the months of the year as a part of our preschool at home curriculum. As we talked about the months of the year, I made sure to mention the months they were born in and the season that month falls in, to help them retain more information. Well, I did this mostly for my youngest son. My oldest has NO problem whatsoever in remembering when his birthday is! Of course, all this talk about birthdays and months made my sons naturally start asking questions, such as “When is your birthday, Mommy?”, “What month was Granny born in?”, “Is Daddy’s birthday in the spring or the fall?”. And all these great questions led me to my brainstorm, which is the subject of today’s post. I decided to make a family birthday calendar, complete with pictures of family members, to help my boys learn in which months our family members have birthdays. I have to say it’s been a fun learning tool! Here are the steps I used to make our pictorial family birthday calendar.

First, to make the headings for each month, I believe I just googled “month of the year printables” and found ones that were free and looked kid-friendly. I liked the ones I chose because they had children on them doing activities pertaining to the month, which was an added bonus in helping the boys remember what season each month falls in. I wish I could remember the website where I found my month headings, but I just can’t. Sorry, y’all! You could always make your own, if you’re so inclined. You could do any graphic or make them any size that fits your liking! I just printed them off on cardstock, to make them a little more sturdy and durable.

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Next, I found pictures of our family members, cropped them in Word to make them the desired size and to get a good view of the face, then added their name underneath the picture, and printed them off on cardstock.

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After getting all my pages printed, I then laminated them, (On a side note, I can’t say enough good things about my laminator! Boy, I just love that thing! It was my Amazon Lightning Deal of the Day purchase back around Christmas of 2011, and I scored this baby for $17! A good price for a great purchase that has served me well with all my homeschooling endeavors! I get my laminating sheets at Sam’s, and they have lasted me forever! I bought them shortly after I got my laminator, and haven’t had to buy any more since, so I’ve had them for over a year now. Of course, this would all depend upon the frequency of your laminating. But for me, it’s been great!) and cut them out.

Now, where you put your family birthday calendar is totally up to you. You may want to make it small and put it in a notebook for your child to take with them as a quiet activity.  You may not like putting things of this nature on your walls, and that’s okay, too. For me, I knew the wall in our toy room would be a great place to put our family birthday calendar. Since we homeschool our children, we figure that as they get older and transition out of playing with toys that the toy room will become our school room. But for now, it’s our toy room that gives us plenty of wall space to use for school purposes, so that’s where we put our calendar. I just put up the month headings, put the pictures under the correct month (I used sticky tack to put up the headings and pictures), made sure they were as evenly spaced as possible, and voila! There you have it! Our family birthday calendar! I have to say, it looks great on our wall, and adds a fun, personal touch to the boys’ play area. They like looking up from play and seeing familiar faces of their loved ones on the wall.

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Since my oldest son will be beginning Kindergarten in the fall (*sniff*…that’s another post for another day!), I think I will purchase a wall calendar to put in our toy/school room for us to do our daily calendar time, and will use the month headings and pictures of our family members for the wall calendar. That way, the boys can see what day of the month a certain family member has a birthday (for example, Aunt Casey’s birthday is on the 4th, so her picture would go by the number 4 on the calendar). When that month is over, I’ll just return the heading and pictures back to the wall, and grab the next month heading and pictures. I just love when things I make can be used for a dual purpose!

I hope this post has been helpful and inspiring to you to help create your own family birthday calendar for your little ones! Have fun, include your kiddos in helping you with this project, and just make it your own!

Until next time!

Page-Turning Mondays: There’s a Wocket in my Pocket

Hey, y’all! Jess here with our new Page-Turning Monday post.

When I was a little girl, I was fortunate to have a good collection of Dr. Seuss books (thanks, Mom and Dad!) that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. My two favorites were Wacky Wednesday, and the book featured today, There’s a Wocket in my Pocket.

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One day, a couple years ago, I came across this book in the library, and immediately knew I wanted to check it out add read it to my oldest son, who at the time was 2, going on 3. I had a feeling that he’d love this book, and what did you know….I was right! Call it “Mother’s intuition”! Since that time, we’ve checked it out many more times, and now, both of my boys enjoy reading it. I think it’s the nonsense rhyming words and illustrations of zany characters that keep my boys intrigued.

Back in the fall of last year, I was pleasantly surprised to see that There’s a Wocket in my Pocket was featured as a book of the week in our preschool at home curriculum. I knew we could have a lot of fun with it! And we did! We talked about rhyming words, talked about the book itself (how the main character felt about the different creatures that lived in his house and why he felt that way), and then did this fun activity.
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I had my oldest son paint a picture using watercolors of his favorite creature in the story. My son tends to have a fascination with eerie and scary things (he did NOT get this from me, by the way! His daddy enjoys things of this nature, too), so it was only fitting that he chose to paint “the vug under the rug”. He even painted the boy (he named him Jim), creeping around the room to get away from the vug, and used a dark color scheme, just like the illustration in the book!

These are just a few ideas you can do with your little ones. As always, I’m sure you can find even more ideas if you peruse Pinterest!

I hope you enjoy today’s book, and encourage you to check out many more classics by Dr. Seuss. Happy reading!!

6 Days 23 Hours

Hi, Jenn here.

On Saturday June 15th were having a great day!

We went to see awesome friends and celebrate their little mans birthday. We had so much fun! The kids played outside with water and these cool bopper things…..some of us adults played to ;). Then we enjoyed cake, goodies, and talking to everyone.

We then left there and went to get our swim suits and head over to my in laws camper. Kaitlyn napped a little on the way there and woke up once we got her out of the car. Then we put on our suits and went to the pool! Kaitlyn is my little waterbug! She LOVES playing in water in any form so she had a blast.
She played with Daddy, then me, and then new friends she made there at the pool, one guy was so nice he let her jump off his knees…..and she enjoyed watching him do a headstand in the water and go across the pool with just his feet sticking up above water.

Then we got word that my brother and sister in law were headed that way so we went and changed. After we changed my mother in law took me for a ride in the golf cart around the campground, while Kaitlyn stayed with her daddy and Peepaw at the camper. We came back to find her helping him get the fire pit ready for later.

Once my brother and sis and the kids got there us women folk took the kiddos to the playground where we had fun sliding, climbing, and swinging. Then all of a sudden my mother in law said “their starting the train!”. The campground has this cute train car thing that you can ride that goes around the campground……needless to say the kids love it! So we went and got on the train.

The kids were having a blast! It was so much fun! We went around the grounds picking up people, and even in the woods a little! Then the “conductor” asked if we wanted to go on a long ride, about 20 min…..to which we naturally said “YEAH!”. So we went on down a little ways and he stopped right in front of where my in laws camper is…..he had to put gas in the train for our trip. While we were stopped we were looking around and talking then I heard a thud and my mother in law yelled “Kaitlyn!” I turned to see my daughter laying on the floor of the train.

She was having her 5th seizure.

I picked her up and carried her off the train to get her in the grass on her side while I yelled for the time. Someone said 6, and I heard my mom in law say she had her cell, she said it was 6:11. I got her on the ground on her side and sang to her. My husband was there in a flash, I never heard it but later he said that my mother in law had yelled for him and his dad. My husband got her medicine out of the book bag that we take at all times and we sat there consoling her waiting for it to end. One of the moms from the train came and said she was a nurse. It didn’t last long when it ended she said it was 6:12. When my daughter opened her eyes her daddy picked her up, my father in law had brought a blanket so we put that around her to carry her. The train conductor asked if she was okay and we said yes and my mother in law told him she has these. A woman asked if we wanted something cool for head and we said no.

Her daddy carried her back to the camper, and my brother walked with us. We were all consoling her. We took her inside and laid her down. She talked a little, through slurred speech she said “comeone everybody!” I think she thought we were still on the train because that is what we were saying to invite others. We asked her if she knew who we were and she said our full names, then she fell asleep. She slept for awhile.

When she woke up my nephews were inside, it was so cute my littlest nephew was so excited to see her up! He said “Kaitlyns all better”! She played with them a little while, then they had to go because it was late. Then we went back to my in laws house and put her to bed.

This was the first time she had one in public, she had one at church, but they are like family.

We were talking later about God and how he works. I know some people don’t agree, but I see Him working. We were going to be going on a long train ride, but the train had to stop to get gas. Not only was it stopped, but it was stopped right near my in laws camper. I can not imagine if it had happened while the train was moving or if it had happened and we were 20 min away from the camper. I truly believe God works in our lives everyday and I saw it that day.

I talked to her doc office on Monday and they said for now they would leave her medicine as it was because she had only been on the higher dosage for less than a week, but if she had another they would look at it.

Have faith and trust in God, He is there for you and working in your life….wether you see it at the time or not.

Until next time,
Jennifer

DIY Days: Getting Urine Stains out of a Matress

Hola y’all! Jenn here with another DIY day!

Today is a kind of gross topic, but if you have children or pets you will understand and appreciate this. Getting urine stains out of a mattress. I ran across this on Pinterest one day and instantly pinned it. We tried it one day and I was AMAZED at how well it worked.

You only need simple ingredients that you probably have have around your house, especially if you have been getting into more DIY cleaners.

You will need a measuring cup, tablespoon, funnel, and spray bottle.

8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide
3 tablespoons of baking soda
1 drop of liquid hand dish washing soap (I used the blue Dawn)

Mix all ingredients into the spray bottle and use within 20 minutes. Spray it onto the stains. You should see the stain lift and disappear within 5-10 minutes. Once the mattress dries, if a baking side film remains, then simply wipe or vacuum it off.

*Per the blog I found this on:
You can not store the leftover solution because it will leak out of the bottle.
The mixture only works if you use it immediately, because the cleaning by products are active for only a short period of time.
**she also has before and after pics you can see those at http://www.inspired-housewife.com

This worked wonderfully! There were a few stains on my little ones mattress (we all know about accidents) and they are all gone!

My daughter had gotten sick one night and threw up in her bed, this took out the smell completely, but it did not remove the faint stain. But I consider it a win since the smell is gone.

Our cat had also been accidentally locked in her room for a few hours one day 😦 and peed in her bed, if you have ever had an indoor cat you know how potent that ammonia smell is and how hard it is to get rid of, we’ll this got rid of the smell! TOTAL AWSOMENESS!

I definitely recommend giving this solution a try!

Hope this helps you!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Until next time,
Love Jennifer.

Page-Turning Mondays: “I Want My Hat Back”

Hola y’all! Jenn here with today’s Page Turning Monday Book!

Today’s book is: I Want My Hat Back. Written by Jon Klassen

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This book was recommended to me by a Mom I met at the library. We were talking about fun books that our kids loved and she suggested 2 to me which we checked out that day. The other book will be a post for another Monday 😉

Today’s book is so fun! It is about a bear who has had his hat stolen so he walks through the woods asking different animals if they have seen his hat. I don’t want to to give way the ending because it was so awesomely funny but he does find his hat and the animal who stole it!

Now to have some fun with it!

– Make a hat with your little one, it would be fun to make one like the one in the story since the bear describes it, but it wouldn’t have to be.

– Hide a hat and have your little one look for it.

– Try on different hats that you have around the house, pretend you are those people,talk about them and what they do. We have a gardening hat, sun hat, fireman hat, crowns, baseball hats, and hunting hats. So we can try them on and pretend quite a bit!

– Act out the story with various stuffed animals.

– There are tons of animal crafts on Pinterest that you could do.

– Use it as a time to discuss stealing with you little one. Talk about how God says not to steal, talk about how sad the bear is that his hat was stolen, talk about how the one who stole it didn’t end up so happy, and talk about the ” golden rule”. The Bible not only says not to steal, but says to treat others how we would like to be treated….so how does that apply to stealing?

I am sure you can come up with more ideas, but most importantly have fun reading with your little one!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Bye for now!

Love,
Jennifer

One of My Favorite Things: Mason Jars

Hola! Jennifer here with a look at another of my favorite things:

Mason Jars!!

Seriously,I do not know how I lived so long without using them!

I use them for everything now. From holding lightening bugs, flowers, lotion, fabric softener, ketchup, salads to canning! I used them as center pieces for a baby shower, just added water pretty rocks and a floating candle. I have seen them used as center pieces at a wedding reception. And OH MY GOODNESS have you seen the different ideas on Pinterest! You can check out my board titled “Mason Jars” for some wonderful inspiration.

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This jar is holding my DIY all natural lotion.

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This one is holding flowers my daughter picked for me, so pretty on my windowsill.

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This one is holding homemade fabric softener.

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These are holding vinegar soaking in orange peels for DIY all natural cleaning.

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This one is holding my cornstarch.

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These are holding my first canning experience a strawberry/blackberry jam.

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This one is holding my all natural ketchup making attempt.

There are so many possibilities with mason jars! I can’t wait to make a soap/lotion dispenser, to try out some of the wonderful ideas on Pinterest, and to of course do some canning! I can hardly wait for my grapevine to make grapes so I can make all natural jelly!!

I ran across this picture on Facebook and I feel it really sums up my love of mason jars:

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So get you some jars and start having fun!!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Love,
Jennifer