I need a break!

Are you a parent? Are those adorable children driving you crazy? Do you have someone who can help?

A friend of mine has started trading babysitting with me. I think she’s offered to do that for other people, too. I watched her children for several hours one day this week, and she is taking mine for several hours this afternoon. I know it’s not much but it helps both of us.

Don’t get me wrong, I dearly love my boisterous boys and my daughter (who has to do everything her brothers are doing). I love playing, teaching them board games, watching them jump into leaf piles or snow drifts. I love when they ask to read to me or want to learn how to make dinner. I love hearing their laughter and seeing their delight in this wonderful world that God gave us.

The bible says in Titus 2:4, “that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children…” I think that if more parents had friends who could trade babysitting for each other’s kids, there might just be happier families. I know this is not the only answer, but it is a big help and it helps me to love my kids better.

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A Crafter’s Review

I have been scrapbooking for 9 years, and my favorite product line is from Stampin’ Up. They sell rubber stamps, inks, paper, embellishments, dies, punches, and lots of other fun stuff!

I love that all of their paper and ink coordinate so well together that choices are easy! They have made cutting out designs so much easier in the last few years. A lot of the stamps have coordinating dies or punches.

I say easy because if someone makes a ton of cards or does a scrapbook layout more often than once a year, having the dies and punches gives you more time to do other things for your page or lets you make a few more cards in one sitting. =).

The other bonuses of Stampin’ Up are that they have a wonderful compensation plan if you are (or want to be) a demonstrator, and if you host a workshop, you get free stuff! Also, the ideas available will inspire you. If I’m stuck all I have to do is look through my old catalogs.

If you are curious, please check out their website at http://stampinup.com

Thanks for reading!

Another Crafting Post!

I just love to craft.  Even when I can’t seem to find my motivation, I still love to get my hands involved in crafting something.  My newest creations are some Christmas gift tags, pullover bibs for toddlers, and tags for wedding favors.  I think what I love most about crafting is that God gave me this creativity.  Creativeness from my Creator, isn’t that awesome?!  I love that every time I need something new, God helps me to come up with a design.  I do like to search the web for things that other people have made, but I love when I design something that I didn’t see elsewhere.  At least not til after I’ve posted mine.  The bibs were made because a previous customer of mine wanted to order bibs from me, so I found a video on youtube.  But I love that I am able to make these things.  =)

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Fragile: Handle With Care!

“How do you treat a box that arrives at your door labeled “Fragile: Handle with Care”? When I see that, I make every effort not to shake up the contents, tip the box, or cut into it quickly. Wouldn’t it be something if God stamped that message upon every person’s heart? If He sent us into the world with a warning that read, “Handle this one with care”? Maybe we’d stop shaking things up as much as we do. Maybe we’d think twice before tipping scales in our favor. And perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to cut into people who hurt us. Maybe we’d handle their hearts with more care than we do.

Here’s the thing. That’s exactly what God has ordained us to do. Maybe it’s not written on a sticker and slapped onto a box, but the message is every bit as clear: “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).”

This particular chapter of the book, “Messy Beautiful Love” by Darlene Schacht, deals with communication. In my first marriage, by the time we were separating, we hadn’t really talked in about a year and a half. Oh, we said, “Good Morning”, “Have a good day at work”, “Zachary doesn’t have school today”, “Alex needs a bath”, but nothing deep. I learned really well how not to show or share my feelings. With my second husband, things are much better. The one thing he does not allow me to do is keep my feelings to myself. If we’re having a fight, my instinct is to run away and not talk. He comes after me, pulls me into his arms, and waits for me to speak my heart. I love that about him.

We have been married for 3 years. We both have had to adjust because of our family situations before we married. Since I started reading this book, I have been working extra hard at letting him lead our family, respecting him, showing him I love him by making sure the things that bother him most are taken care of before he comes home from work. And also, communication. With me it’s the little things that bother me. For instance, when I want some time with him before he leaves for work, and the kids start being their normal, chaotic selves, he tells me to go take care of them and he’ll see me when he gets home. But I would be happy to let them scream and fight so I can have that last two minutes with him before he leaves. This was the scene this morning and we had a mini fight. I protested about going to take care of them, and I could tell that he was not happy with the situation. God nudged me to not let him leave without fixing what I could. So I got the kids mostly calmed down, and ran outside. He hadn’t left yet, so we were able to “make up” before he left.

I am learning that if I take care of the little things, they won’t get to be big problems like grounds for divorce. I am ecstatic that God saw fit to bring me a husband who won’t allow me to not communicate with him. I am also not the only one to apologize, nor am I usually the first to apologize. This is very refreshing to me!

One last quote from the book today: “Choosing God’s will for my marriage calls me to put down the weapons of warfare and pick up the instrument of peace, which is that of a kind and gentle heart. It’s never easy to walk in humility or to exercise patience, but as it is with any exercise, the more we flex those muscles, the stronger we get. We have to dig into God, and if we’re feeling let down and discouraged, we have to dig deeper yet. In order to grow patient we must practice being patient time and again; but doing so is always difficult in the moment, isn’t it? Each time I fail, I’m reminded of how human I am and just how big the grace of God is.”

This wonderful book is now available to the public! http://messybeautifullove.com

Love is messy, but beautiful!

Do you keep count of your spouse’s faults or mistakes?  I did in my first marriage.  I wasn’t the only one.  But each of us are responsible for our own actions.  I did not let God work in me – I did try for a long time, and then I gave up.  Turned away from my God and my husband.  I hurt my family and my friends.  However, God is the God of second chances (so thankful for that).  My second marriage is much better.  Yes, it’s messy, but it’s also beautiful.  Mostly it’s beautiful because BOTH of us are doing our best to follow Jesus.  Both of us are reading His word and praying consistently.  We both know what mistakes we made in our first marriages and have learned from those mistakes.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all easy going.  We have our problems, but we try very hard to keep communication open – to not go to bed angry, but most importantly, to allow God to work in us.  To do things His way.

I’m part of a launch team for a new book coming out soon.  It’s called, “Messy Beautiful Love” by Darlene Schacht.  So far I’ve read the first three chapters and I’m mesmerized!  She’s honest and has such good advice – godly and practical advice on how to improve your attitude about your spouse, different challenges after each chapter, prayers to start with… If you’re having marital problems, or have the desire to go the extra mile to keep working on your marriage, this is a must-read!

There are also freebies for pre-ordering!  Check out the website at http://messybeautifullove.com

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This quote is from the third chapter of the book:  “Record keeping damages our hearts and feeds the root of bitterness within us, while love heals the wound.  When we love someone we ‘beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things’ (1 Corinthians 13:7).  In other words, when we love someone, we believe in him.  We look past the messy to find the misunderstood intentions inside him”.

Kids and Paint

I absolutely love watching my kids create.  Whether it’s painting, playing in the sandbox, coloring, singing, playing with toys…I delight in their creativity.  Recently I brought out our paint dabbers and let our two youngest go to town with their imagination.  One is 4 and the other is 21 months old.  No prodigy-type pictures were painted, but both had a great deal of fun.  My daughter, Anna,  mostly just painted her hand.  Today, Anna’s Early Head Start home visitor brought paint dabbers and markers.  Anna actually painted and colored on her paper, for about a minute.  Again, she wanted to paint and color her hands and arms.  Future tattooist?  =)  Anyway, I just enjoy the creativity that God gave us, watching what comes to be under my kids’ fingers.  Also, the faces they make as they are working.  I always wonder what they are thinking. 

 

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Photo Shoot

I wanted to have a professional take pictures of my newest item, because my picture-taking skills are not anywhere near that level.  I have a friend who has started a photography business, and she has several daughters who would be perfect to model the flower ball.  She graciously donated her time and her daughter yesterday.  It was really fun to watch the faces this little girl made and the patience her mom has.

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