Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quiet Time Books (OR Mommy-gets-some-sleep-while-driving-16hrs Books)

 (May take a while to load - is pretty photo intensive)

I cannot take credit for these awesome books.

I mean... I made them. But I didn't originate the idea or even the individual designs.

I found each page from different places all over the web and the full credit goes to those creative moms (and MY THANKS for the sleep I got while driving from Virginia to Arkansas for CHRISTmas).

You'll need:
Felt in multiple colors
Fat Quarter
Buttons, shoelace, yarn, embroidery thread...
Hot glue gun


For the cover, I used fat quarters (on sale for $0.99 at Joann's). Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together. Sew all the way around, leaving a small opening for turning. Trim corners, turn and slip stitch opening closed.

Slip Stitch Illustration

I was in a hurry when I was doing the covers (the night before our trip, as usual) so the velcro got hot glued on. I would recommend white velcro, but I had already overspent my Joann's budget so I used what I had. : ) Thank the Lord for husbands who budget. I also hot glued the cover to the binding so the girls wouldn't keep "misplacing" it.


Each page was one sheet of felt - I put a thin line of hot glue around all the edges and folded it in half to seal. 

Book for 2 yr Old

   Stick people (holder hot-glued) 
Can you tell we're Rapunzel fans?

Color Matching (yes, that's supposed to be a palette)

Notebook Coloring page
(has a strap of felt wrapped around notebook, glued to page)
Baby hand not included.

Town with Car Garage

 Barn with Animal Finger Puppets
(was all sewn with a blanket stitch and took FOREVER)

Book for 4 yr Old 

More Stick People

Picnic (velcros on) - the only one I haven't finished - still needs a fork, knife and cup
Funny Face Man (already missing some eyes)
velcros on

 Kitchen with Counting Cupcakes



Purse with Goodies 
(fastens with button, blanket-stitched)

Book for 6 yr Old


Tying Shoelaces and Buttoning Flowers

Girl with Dress-up Clothes - just don't look at her face... or hair.
(has several more outfits... somewhere)

More Stick People
(LOVE the colors and eyes Evie did)

Heart Tic-Tac-Toe

 Coloring Page

Girl with Yarn Hair
(in hindsight, should have done full-face girl with hair that could be braided)


For the binding, I stacked all of the pages together [with all additions (notebook, crayons, car...) inside] and measured for width of binding. I cut this out from a scrap piece of felt. Then I put a line of hot glue down the inside seam of the pages and added them one-by-one to the binding, starting at the very edge. I had a bit of extra binding on one of the books but I just trimmed it off. 

This was one of the most FUN projects I've done and it just didn't get boring because I was always doing something different.

handmade projects

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Hard Truth for the Moms

The highlight of every modern woman's life...

The fully planned calendar.


I did an in-depth study of Titus 2 women recently and learned something new.

Titus 2:4-5
 4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
 5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 
"Keepers at home" originates from the Greek oikouros. This is a compound word from oikos- house, household, family; and ouros- a guard, be “ware”, guardian, a watcher, a warden. 
 We are meant to make our home our NUMERO UNO PRIORITY. In our husband's absense, we are to watch over it just as he would. Can we do that if we are always over at friend's houses, chatting and gossiping? How about endless playdates? I'm pretty sure they didn't have extra-curricular activities back then either. Every note in every study I'm reading only has the exception: Whenever they are not called out by works of necessity, piety, and mercy.

Now, don't get your panties in a wad yet. I DO think our children need some socializing (though I'm sure our definitions are a little different). But if we're choosing quantity over quality, something is amiss.  A balance should be made here - but with the home as the PRIORITY.

Do you really believe that any home could flourish if it's keeper is not in it?

Here is another gem in Timothy on keeping the house as well...

1 Tim 5:14  
  14I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house (oikodespotein), give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
Oikos , meaning “house” and depostes, meaning "master" unite to form the word oikodespotes. Now the Apostle Paul makes use of a verb corresponding to this noun oikodespotes, namely, “to master the house,” oikodespotein. He says, 1 Timothy 5:14, “I will that the younger women marry, bear children, oikodespotein, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” The woman has been appointed master over the home. (loosely taken from Katherine Bushnell's study)
Does this mean that a woman is free to master over those IN the house? Nope. Sorry, ladies.

I like to think that this means I have free reign over choosing wall colors and picking out rugs. (shh. don't tell my husband I said that... he likes to have a say in me not getting to "artsy")

What it may ACTUALLY mean, is that we are the Managers. Not the owners or CEO... but the down-in-the-dirt MANAGERS.

We wake up every morning (no off time for us) and punch in as on duty, the second our feet hit the floor. This is our paid-for-by-God sunrise-to-sunset JOB. 

We wipe noses, wash dishes, fold laundry, prepare meals, push swings, teach math, vacuum carpets, spoon baby food, clip coupons, potty train, break up fights... and it's all right there in the job description.  

And I thank God every day that there aren't any Powerpoint slides. = )

I've recently discovered that, if I put tennis shoes on in the house, I actually feel more like getting everything done. I suppose that's akin to people putting on a uniform or suit to go to work. Just a side note.

Welcome to your first day at work...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Today is the Day...

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately where people are complaining.

It's SOOOOO easy to complain.

I know, because I'm in that boat too.

I'm tired. The kids are getting into everything. The baby won't stop crying. I have appointments to make. The house won't stay clean. We don't have enough money for new glasses. I can't get my bible study in. The laundry piles are eating me alive!!! 

That's not hard at all. I typed those in about two seconds.

It's even more easy to let the complaints swallow you whole and sink down into the mire of just trying to survive each day. (I'm really picturing the house collapse around me and sink down into the ground)

I was getting swallowed alive by the monotony and the endless struggle I have in racing towards my pillow.

So God started leaving me clues on how to climb out.

First, our pastor talked about Christ's 1000 year reign and how we wouldn't have to struggle with our flesh anymore - it really got me to thinking about how I'm struggling directly against my flesh and the devil every single day.

Then I started coming across verses about my days.

Colossians 4:5 (KJV) Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. (seizing every opportunity)

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (the song has been on my mind as well)

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

 We have only been given ONE life to live. And as Christians, we should WANT (besides being required) to live it FOR God. 

All we have is today. Tomorrow is not a certainty (though eternity is). 

If I don't live this very second for Christ, I can never get it back to do over. All of my seconds before this that were wasted on me are gone now. When I was googling this morning, I was NOT spending time with my kids.

The dishes don't matter. (trust me on this one)

Worrying won't get me anywhere.

What I can do is bring glory to God with my actions.

A little less time on the computer. A little more play time with my children.

A little less time trying to keep the house clean (it just aint gonna stay that way). A little more time praying and reading God's Word.

A little less time watching tv. A little more time teaching my daughters some life skills.

See a pattern here?
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