Archive | December 2013

2013-A year of Joy, Tears, Questions, Hope, and Faith

So it’s that time of the year…..time to reflect on the past year, think about the next year, look for things to change, look for things to keep the same, and a time to be excited about what’s to come.

I have been thinking about our 2013 and everything that has happened. This has definitely been a full emotional year!

We started with me beginning to help out at preschool a few days a week. Which I found I loved and then I was blessed to get to start working there full time this fall. It is so wonderful to work with kids everyday! I look forward to a new year watching them continue to grow and learn and melting my heart even more!

Then our year progressed to a wonderful trip for my husband and I with some awesome friends out west. I got to fly to the first time and spend some quality time with my husband and some friends! I am looking forward to spending time with them again in 2014 and also not forgetting to make sure the hubby and I get quality alone time because it is so good for us to do every now and again.

Then we learned that after 2 years of trying to get pregnant again that it was more than likely not going to happen…. let me tell you this was something that had already caused a lot of tears…..and learning this caused even more. So now I have to spend more time this new year coping with that and trying not to let it upset me…..which trust me somedays are easy others are hard….especially when you have a child who asks and prays for a sibling. But we are blessed with a wonderful child who is our entire world and we trust that God knows what He’s doing! So this new year will be more coping with that and continuing to work and pray for peace about it.

Then in April we were shaken to the core by our daughter starting to have seizures which ultimately led to a diagnosis of epilepsy. We spent many months praying, crying, fearing the unknown, and watching our child struggle with no way to help her. CT Scan, ambulance ride, EEGs, medicine, hospital stays…..This has been the hardest experience of our lives, but we held to God, each other, and family both spiritual and physical. So I am looking forward to more seizure free days in 2014 and chances to spread the word about epilepsy, raise awareness, and to raise money for the epilepsy foundation!

We had a wonderful weekend trip with our best friends-most definitely looking forward to more of those trips! Maybe even a girls trip with no kids…..Then as our 2013 progressed we were blessed to be able to buy a new camper and go on a wonderful family vacation!! So I am most certainly excited about planning more family trips for 2014!! Oh the places we'll go-hopefully.

As the end of the year came we were blessed with a handsome new nephew and seeing how the other 2 have grow and matured and found new interest…..I love watching them grow and cherish every time I get to see them! I hope 2014 provides more time with them and great blessings for them! And oh my I can't believe by this time next year they will be 6,4, and 1!!! Ahhh!

This has also been a year of spiritual growth, and questions. I am excited about studying more in the new year and trying to become a better Christian woman and example that I should be for others.

2013 has been a year full of trials, sadness, and disappointment……but it has also been a year of blessings with new babies (from sister and cousins), a year of growth as a family, a year of growth in our marriage, a year of growth in friendships, and a year of growth in God.

I am an extremely blessed woman and I am so thankful for each and every blessing I have! I know that 2014 will be full of blessings also!

I hope that you have a happy new year and that you take the time to count your blessings and not take them for granted. But I also hope and pray that this year you will decide to grow in Christ. Study Gods word, learn how much He has done for you, learn what you need to do to have a home in heaven one day, and make that commitment to follow God and His commandments.

Until next time!
Jennifer

Recycle Christmas Cards!!

So this is a post I wrote last year, but I thought I would share it again this year :). I have done this for 2 years now and I enjoy it a lot!

Hey everyone Jenn here!!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas! We had such an amazing time, this has definitively been the most fun Christmas yet for Kaitlyn! It has been so much fun watching all her excitement this year from Santa, to cookies, to shopping and presents-it has been all so wonderful!

One of my favorite things is sending and receiving Christmas cards! I just think it is so exciting to go to the mailbox and finding a card (of course I like that anytime), but there is something so nice about getting Christmas cards…..and this year Kaitlyn has LOVED opening them and looking at all the pretty pictures.

Last year I had read an article about using leftover cards for name tags on presents, it didn’t have any pictures or instructions but I loved the idea though! I always disliked throwing them away and this way I could use them and enjoy the pictures next year!

This year I started out using regular name tags for presents, but in running out of those….I remembered the article and that I had saved some cards from last year.

I simply took my old cards and cut them into squares and rectangles and used those as my gift tags :). For some I tried to get specific pictures cut out-one of my nephews is santa’s face and another is a fireplace and some more are snowflakes…..but some are not any particular picture, and they are still pretty and look great on the gifts. After cutting out what I wanted I just punched a hole in them, wrote the to and from, and attached it to the gift via ribbon. Soo simple and cheap, but very pretty! And one of the best parts is that Kaitlyn helped cut them out and punch the holes, so it was something we got to enjoy together!

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I am definitely using this years cards as tags for next years presents!

I am also hoping to use some to make some other things…..I am thinking magnets and bookmarks….we shall see….and if it goes well, I will share it with y’all!

I hope that you have had a wonderful Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Apple Cinnamon Ornaments

Hello all!

Jenn here to share a fun thing my daughter and I did for the first time yesterday. We made apple cinnamon ornaments!! They were super simple and turned out very cute.

I found the recipe on Pinterest (Her Post with directions)and it was simply:

1 1/2 cups of cinnamon
1 cup of applesauce

Add the cinnamon to the applesauce until it is the consistency of play-dough. Sprinkle some cinnamon on your work area and rolling pin. Roll it out. Use cookie cutters to cut out different shapes. Use a straw to make a hole at the top for string. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake at 200 for 1 1/2 hours. Tada! Done! See super simple!!

*The site I found this on said it makes a ton of ornaments….I cut the recipe in half because I didn’t have enough cinnamon and we ended up with 6 ornaments. And a small ball of leftover.

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*When ours were done baking and had cooled my daughter brushed modge podge on and added glitter ;). Because, well, glitter is awesome!

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*I printed tags to hang on them that said “Merry Christmas” love Kaitlyn 2013 (I laminated the tags so they would hold up) and we are giving them as gifts.

They turned out very cute and we had fun doing it!! If you are looking for something simple and fun I would recommend giving these a try!

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I can’t wait to get in the kitchen more now that school is out!! One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the goodies 🙂

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today…..like give them a homemade ornament!!

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and spend time making memories with your loved ones!!

Love,
Jennifer

A Humbling Day

Hey all! Jenn here!

Sorry for the silence on the blog, but my sis in law had her baby-a handsome little man so obviously she is quite busy!! And I have been busy with teaching, home, and the holidays :). It’s a busy time of year!

But I wanted to share a wonderful experience I had this past Saturday.

On Saturday ladies from our congregation went and visited the shutins-(People who are members of our congregation, but can no longer get out due to age/health/etc.). I have never done this before, and was eager and nervous all at the same time! I didn’t know most of these people so I had no idea what to expect or to say…..

Well I tell you what! I was amazed at how humbling this experience ended up being for me. There were so many lessons I learned from this short amount of time!

The first house we went into was a sweet older woman that I had seen a few times at services, but not very often….she sat on the other side of the building so I only saw her in passing and would smile. She was so excited to see this group of women come in her house! She lit up like a Christmas tree! She just hugged us and held on to us and talked about how we were her family and how excited she was that we were there. We didn’t stay long, just a few minutes. We went in hugged her and then sat and talked for a few and left.

The next house we went to was also an older lady. This woman I had never met or seen at services. (We moved here after she was unable to get out anymore). She also was so excited to see us! She came in and sat down and smiled and started talking. She couldn’t hear what was being said to her unless you yelled….but that didn’t matter…at all! She was just so happy to see her church family. Then she did something I have never seen. She started to talk about how much she missed being able to come to services and how much she missed being able to be with her church family….and she cried. It really hurt her so much that she couldn’t be with us. I have never seen someone so upset because they were unable to come to worship or fellowship activities. Talk about humbling and inspiring, and touching!! Then she talked more about her family and asked about other members and we said goodbye and left.

I have never been so humbled by 2 older women in my life!

These women were so happy to see their church family! They were so happy to hug us! They were so happy for us to just be there! It didn’t matter what we said, it didn’t matter if we brought them anything, all that mattered was that we were there!

I am still so touched by the tears shed from such a sweet woman because she was unable to attend worship! How many times do we take that for granted! How many times do we miss an opportunity to go to bible class, worship, or a fellowship activity just because we don’t feel like going…and this sweet woman is crying because she can no longer come! Talk about humbling! I know I will not be taking for granted my ability to get to the building and to be with my spiritual family anymore! Cherish those moments! Learn from them!!

I think it is so easy to not make visits to people because: we are busy, we don’t know them, we don’t know what to say, we don’t have anything to bring with us, we don’t have a lot of time to stay…..Saturday taught me that non of those things matter! (Ms Janet has been saying this repeatedly for sometime, I guess I had to see it first hand to be convinced) They will just be happy you stopped by and they will know that you care about them…..it’s worth a few minutes out of our busy schedules! I mean isn’t that what we all want-to know someone cares about us!

Well I hope you enjoyed this post….trust me this is an experience I will be replaying in my head for quite awhile!

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

Love,
Jennifer

Page Turning Mondays-The Gingerbread Boy

Hello all!

Jennifer here with another page turning Monday post!

Today’s book is : The Gingerbread Boy

I didn’t load a picture nor am I listing the author, because there are several variations of this popular story and I don’t know my favorite! We have 2 different ones here at home and I know there are more than that.

So what I recommend is having a library day where you go and check out a few different ones then enjoy them together and figure out which is your favorite!

Now for the fun part:

1. Discuss which version was your and your child’s favorite and why.
2. Use it to compare differences and similarities in the stories.
3. Make gingerbread cookies.
4. Eat some of the cookies and give the others away to friends and neighbors.
5. Make a gingerbread man or house (the house kits are not to expensive at Wal-Mart).
6. Check out Pinterest and/or google for more gingerbread man fun ideas!
7. And naturally chase each other saying “you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”

Well those are my ideas and I am hoping you can have some fun enjoying these beloved stories with your little one and make memories running around the house and decorating a gingerbread man or house 🙂

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today…..like take them some gingerbread cookies!

Until next time,
Jennifer