Rain, Wind and Hurricanes, Oh My!!!

Evening everyone!  I am sitting in my toasty home, riding out the remains of hurricane Sandy.  Luckily, the storm tracked more north than originally thought, and our lovely Blue Ridge Mountains blocked the brunt of the storm.  Winds and a rainy night are what we are dealing with right now.  Not sure what the morning will bring…but I am armed with flashlights & candles :).

It’s been a while since my last post and I apologize.  Like I said earlier, I’ve been busy working on Christmas gifts and most of them I can’t post yet, because some of my readers are receiving said gifts.  All I can say is I’m super excited and they’re really cute!!!  And yes, I got them off of Pinterest.  Never fear!  I will be giving them to my family members at Thanksgiving and not Christmas, so I will post about them and you can make them for your loved ones in time for Christmas.

The good news is I’m about 85% done with getting my gifts together…and I think I’m done making the gifts…unless I find some cute ones on Pinterest.

So, other than prepping for and going through a hurricane, and sewing my heart out, what have I been up to?  Sadly, not too much!!  School is out tomorrow, so my main plan is to stay home and clean (I have neglected my house…sewing is more fun than cleaning, in case you didn’t know).

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I found this on Pinterest and love it!!!  My, how times have changed!  I’ve discussed this with my mother-in-law, and neither of us follow the Singer Sewing Manual when it comes to sewing.  I have to admit, there have been times when I have sewn in my pj’s!!  

Our life has taken an interesting turn recently, which has made things a little more hectic.  My hubby, who has been the Involvement Minister at or congregation for a little over 4 1/2 years is now the pulpit minister.  Our pulpit minister who has been here for 19 years, retired in June.  The leaders approached my hubby a few weeks ago and asked if he would step into this new role.  He agreed and they announced it a week ago to the congregation!  It becomes official in January.

We’ve had an onslaught of congrats and encouraging words, which we deeply appreciate.  It’s funny to us how some people view ministry.  You start out as a youth minister, then go into an associate minister role, and then eventually, you get promoted to pulpit minister.  A step ladder approach.  Nothing wrong with that, but we choose to look at it a little differently.

We have prayed for the past several years that God would lead us to a place where we could be used and do His Will.  Almost 5 years ago, He led us to Virginia.  That move was hard, but I think it has been good for us. We’ve gotten out of our comfort zones and have grown as a couple and a family.  Now, we face a new adventure.  

If you are willing, I would love to ask for your prayers.  This is new territory for both of us.  We both grew up with fathers who are ministers (I know…a preacher’s kid marrying a preacher’s kid…scary!).  My hubby has been a minister is one role or another for 14 or so years, but this new role…new responsibility weighs heavy on our  minds and hearts.  Please pray that most of all, we keep God and His Will in the forefront of our thoughts and actions.  Please pray that we are strong enough to handle the responsibilities that will come our way.  Pray that I can be a supportive wife who helps and not hinders her husband :).  And pray that this arrangement blesses our congregation and brings glory to God!  

 

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Color Outside The Lines

I have another Christmas gift craft blog!!  Yay!  Two more gifts down, many to go.  I’m feeling pretty good about the situation.  In my family, between the middle of November and right before Christmas, there are 8 birthdays!!  All of my nieces and nephews, my mother, my mother-in-law, hubby and grandmother.  I’m not sure who planned this, but we should have spaced them out!!  Oh well 🙂

Of course, I got this idea off of Pinterest.  Here’s the link:

http://justanotherhangup.blogspot.com/2010/11/lil-kid-crayon-caddy-tutorial.html

I made two of these crayon caddy’s for my niece and nephew (almost 1 year old & almost 3 years old).  I thought they would be nice for them to take on trips or to church…nice & quiet toys.  No batteries required!!

ImageThis is the outside of my niece’s crayon caddy.  They fold up and will fit nicely into a diaper bag…or if you’re me…a purse.

ImageThe top will house crayons (about 8-9) and the bottom will hold a small coloring book and some stickers or other papers.  

ImageHere’s the nephew’s crayon caddy 🙂

ImageOf course, I will be replacing the markers for crayons.  The only crayons I could find were my daughter’s and they were the fatter crayons and won’t fit into the pockets.

I love, love, love this tutorial!!!!  I was well written and the pictures corresponded very nicely with the directions.  I cut out material for both of the crayon caddy’s one day…which took me about 1 1/2 hours (I’m a slow cutter!).  I sewed on caddy last night and it took me about 1 1/2 hours.  I sewed the second one this afternoon and it took me less time than the first!  

The cost for me was minimal (my sister-in-law should skip this part…I don’t want her to know how cheap I am!!).  I used scrap material from other projects and only had to buy the fusible interfacing, which ran me less than $1/caddy.  I will pick up crayons and coloring books to fill them and they’ll be ready to go!

I love finishing a project like this.  It was so much fun to make and super easy.  I would say that it would be a great project for a novice sewer and could be done for a last minute gift.

I believe this is my last Christmas gift post until after I give them 😦  The rest of the gifts are for people who can actually read…

Happy Wednesday!!

It’s Like a Yard Sale…But Everything Is Free

We have a lot of stuff.  It’s amazing how one family of four can collect/generate the amount of “stuff” that we do.  I think if most Americans look around their house, they have a lot of stuff too.  The question then is raised “What should we do with all of this stuff???”

Well, you could hang on to it for years…just in case you might need, you never know.  You could just toss it in the trash…sometimes seems like the easy thing to do.

Well, about 4 years ago, one of our church’s Agape groups brought some of their “stuff” and put it on a table in our foyer.  They said it was for anyone in the congregation who wanted it or needed it.  When we saw that, we thought “Wow!  Great idea!  We have some stuff that could go on that table too!”  Then, we had another thought…”Why not have everyone in the congregation donate their stuff & we’ll offer it to the community”.  Thus, the Free Sale was born.

Free Sale…Like a yard sale, but everything is free!!  That’s our slogan.  Today was our 4th annual Free   Sale.  For about one month or so, our members have been collecting, donating and sorting clothes, furniture, household items, toys…the list goes on and on and on.  We then put it all on tables and cart it out to our parking lot & invite the neighbors!

ImageIn the beginning, people were shocked.  Really?  This doesn’t cost us anything??  In this day and age, it’s hard to think you can get something for nothing, but we are serious…don’t give us a thing.  We want to help you out.  Come visit us sometime though!  We would love to worship with you!!

ImageThroughout the years, we’ve met a lot of people from our town.  Many are so grateful for what we are doing.  The stories we hear are amazing.  Last year, one family shared with us that they weren’t able to get their children back to school clothes but, because of the Free Sale, they were able to get some much needed clothes.

ImageSomewhere along the way, we started serving hot dogs.  I always get tickled because they start handing them out early.  Today…they were cooking them when I arrived…around 9:30 & by 10, people were shopping with one hand and eating a hotdog with the other :).  Maybe a little too early for me…but whatever works for you!!

ImageFree Sale is a lot of hard work & we couldn’t do it without everyone pitching in.  There are times to sit back & relax though!!

ImageWe do manage to have a lot of fun!!  It’s great to get together with a lot of other Christians and work to share God’s blessings with those around us.

Now, I don’t want to give you the impression that I’m bragging…look how good we are…look at what we’re doing.  I’m sharing to give the glory to God & hope that maybe this will inspire you to do something similar.

I heard a phrase a long time ago & it stuck with me.  I’m not sure who the author is, but it goes something like this:  “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”.  When I think of this, I think of Jesus.

Jesus only had a 3 year ministry, but look at all he did during that time.  He healed the sick, gave sight to blind, raised the dead, fed thousands with hardly any food at all.  John says this:

“Jesus did many other things as well.  If everyone one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  John 21:25.

Three years.  Jesus made it very clear how much he cared for the people he came in contact with.  He met them where they were and made that connection.  As we strive to be more like him, we need to remember that.

So, our Free Sale is over.  The Goodwill truck has come and picked up the things that didn’t get taken.  Tables have been put back and our houses are a little bit emptier than they were before.  Now what??  My hope is that we will follow up with those who came to our Free Sale…to show that we’re truly interested in them…that we’re not just interested in getting rid of a bunch of our “stuff”.  We want to give them something even more valuable than clothes or toys or a couch.  We want to teach them about what God has done for them.  That Gift is truly free.

A Tutu For You

Political season is in full swing.  The radio and television stations are buzzing.  I see bumper stickers and yard signs all over the place.  Fear not…in about 3 weeks, it will all be behind us.

So, while watching the 2nd Presidential debate, I decided to be productive.  For Halloween, Sophie is going to be Rapunzel.  It was really a no brainer…Tangled is one of her favorite movies.  Her hair is really long and she has a stuffed Pascal (the chameleon) toy.  She even has a crown.  All she needed was a pink and purple tutu.

A while ago….about the time I started looking on getting hooked on Pinterest, I pinned a tutorial on how to make a tutu.  Here’s the link:

http://asmallsnippet.blogspot.com/2010/10/quick-and-simple-tutu.html

I actually started following this blog soon after I pinned the instructions.  The lady writing it has 2 kids…a boy and a girl.  It appears she lives in Florida…and if her pictures are correct…right on the beach!  Jealous much??  Anyway, she has some really neat ideas and projects.

I found pink & purple tulle at my local Wally World (yay!) and started cutting.  In the tutorial, there are instructions for cutting the strips of tulle so that they’re all the same length.  It’s very handy!  

I had measured Sophie’s waist last night and followed the directions in the tutorial.  I don’t know if I measured her wrong or if maybe I stretched the elastic out too much and add length to the tutu, but when it was all said and done, the tutu was about 3 inches too big around.

ImageHere’s how it turned out last night, before Sophie tried it on.  To make it smaller around, all I did was remove the tulle strips, pinch the elastic together and sewed it together (does that make sense?).  I figured this way she can wear it a little longer.  I can always go in later and let it out.  I kept the tulle strips that I took off, so I can add them later (how smart of me!).

ImageThis will not be the shirt she will wear with the tutu.  As soon as she got the tutu on, Sophie immediately asked for her crown, or trown, as she pronounces it.  She has this princess thing down!!

The title of the project is quick & simple tutu, and I have to agree!!  I started the project at the beginning of the Presidential debate and finished it as the debate was wrapping up.  Keep in mind, I had to cut the tulle, which took up a lot of my time.  The tulle I got from Wal-Mart was on the bolt.  You can buy narrower pieces on a spool at other craft stores, but they didn’t have any in the colors I wanted…and I have to do things the hard way.  I had to put in a little extra work….all worth it though 🙂

For this particular tutu, I got 3 yards of each color and I had just enough.  I would estimate the cost to be about $6.50.  I already had the elastic from another project, so I didn’t have to buy that.  When you compare this to other tutu’s out there, it’s really a bargain!!!  Plus, this is something she can use while playing dress up later on.

So, channel your inner “Princess” and give this simple and easy tutu a try!!!  Happy Haunting 🙂

Say “Cheeesssseeee!!!”

I love Starbucks.  Sometimes, though, I have a hard time ordering…too many choices.  Tall, Grande, add syrup, shots of espresso, whip cream vs. no whip cream…my indecisive mind spins!  I have found a favorite drink there which, unfortunately, is seasonal (go figure).  For a few months out of the year though, I know exactly what I’m going to get.  It taste really good, but I think part of the appeal is how I sound when I order it…

 “Tall, salted carmel mocha frappuccino, non-fat, no-whip”.

Say that out loud…kind of fast.  You really sound like you know what you’re talking about 🙂  I’m sure the people standing behind you are very impressed…there’s someone who knows what they want!

The atmosphere at Starbucks is nice too.  My hubby goes there often & he has discovered there are a few “regulars” who go there…everyday.  One man in particular, goes there twice!!  Once in the morning, once in the afternoon.  Where does he go in between visits??  Chick-fil-a…yep…everyday!

I do not frequent the establishment as often, but when I do, I like to look for free stuff.  Many may not know that about once a week, Starbucks offers a free app to their patrons.  You can usually find the cards on the little table with the napkins, straws, etc.

This week’s free app is pretty cool.  It’s called Pocketbooth

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The app is set up to be like those old timey photobooths.  It takes 4 shots, back to back.  You just have to push one button and it starts up.  There are a few seconds between each shot, so you can pose yourself.

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You can save it to your camera roll, e-mail the pic, post it to Facebook or Twitter.  If that doesn’t work for you, you can send them to a wireless printer, via AirPrint or even order and ship them to a friend or family member.  To order, it is $1.99 (in the US).  That covers your printing and shipping costs.  I haven’t tried that function out yet.

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You can purchase other filters through the app for about $0.99, but I like the black and white look of the pics.  It goes along with the retro feel of the app.

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As you can see, fun for all ages!!  This is just a silly app to have, but hey, it’s free!!!  A lot of the reviewers were talking saying how they got the app to have for parties.  I think that would be a lot of fun for adults or kiddos!  

So, go visit your local Starbucks store, get ya a tall salted carmel mocha frappuccino, non-fat, no whip, grab this free app & say “cheeesssseeee!”

Here’s Pink In Your Eye

I’ve been pondering for the past few days about what to write next. My last article was pretty heavy, so I thought something light hearted was in order. Problem is, I’ve been swamped the last few days weeks and really had no idea what to talk about. Leave it to my kids to provide a topic.

This article comes courtesy of my daughter, Sophie. Tuesday, she woke up with a puffy eye. The other one looked normal, but the right eyelid was irritated, red and swollen. As the day went on, the swelling went down and it just remained red. Two thoughts went through my mind. #1, she may have scratched it during the night, or maybe she and her Bubba were playing a little too roughly on Monday and it got bumped then. #2, the farmers in our area have been cutting down their dry corn plants to harvest the seeds. This causes a lot of dust to be in the air. Plus, we’ve had a cold snap, so I thought she possibly had some allergy problems.

Well, today, the eye was still red and swollen, so I decided to call the doctors office & I got her an appointment after my Weight Watchers meetings. In the meantime, a dear friend (with 2 little boys age 3 & under) babysat for me.

Taking Sophie to the doctor is trying not fun torture. Even if she is just getting a check up…with no shots…she starts screaming the moment the nurse calls us back…no joke. I barely got her to stand on the scales to get her weight (but hey, what woman likes to stand on scales????). Then, the temperature had to be taken. They don’t even stick anything in her ear or mouth…they run a thing across her forehead. When the doctor came in, the fun REALLY started. He tried to listen to her lungs with the stethoscope, but he could tell by the screaming that her lungs were just fine. I had to hold her down while he looked in her eyes and ears. You would be amazed at the raw strength that came from my petite daughter!

Thankfully, the doc was very fast in his exam. Once he pulled her eyelids down, he saw that they were irritated a bit…the verdict?? Pink eye. Oy! Somehow, this was a childhood illness Brayden had escaped. Not Sophie though. The good news?? She was in the beginning stages. The best news?? The antibiotic eye drops that we have to use to treat it was free!!!

So, after I got home, my hubby and I administered the first eye drops. Think the episode of Friends where Monica had to put the eye drops in Rachel’s eyes…only a 3 year old…with Incredible Hulk strength and an almost Houdini-like ability to get out of a hold.

While dinner was cooking, I decided to peruse Pinterest. I have decided I need a new board titled “Where were you 5 minutes ago?” because I found this pin:

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/pinkeye-fast-and-easy-home-remedy/

Seriously…pinned by a friend of mine from Oklahoma…probably not 2 or 3 hours earlier. So, I checked it out. Pink eye is very contagious, so chances of myself, hubby or son getting it are pretty high. While I am not a doctor, and neither is the lady writing the blog (like my disclaimer??) she does have some interesting remedies.

Remember my friend with the two boys who babysat today?? Yeah…called her to notify her of our “predicament” and then realized that the one toy Sophie took to their house…her binoculars…yep…of all her toys to take…she took the one that goes right up to your eye.

So, the Princess and I are staying home tonight…washing our hands a lot, which is great because that’s one of her most favorite things to do right now. I’m sure this too shall pass, but until then, I bet I’ll get really good at giving eye drops to a wiggly 3 year old :)href=”https://pinterestmom.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/20121010-212714.jpg”&gt;;;<;img src="https://pinterestmom.files.wordpress.com/

20121010-213025.jpg Here’s a little pre-eye drop pose…the calm before the storm!!

There’s No Debating That!

We are about one month out from what could possibly be one of the most talked about, controversial, well attended election in U.S. history.  The 2012 Presidential is upon us, and unless you live under a rock, you can’t miss it.  I have been getting flyers in the mail, everyday for about 2 weeks now.  Radio and TV are plastered with advertisements.  Debates, rallies, yard signs fill neighbors yards.  Bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc…all touting one candidate over the other.

I have some strong political opinions, but I’m not going to talk about them.  I believe to do so would be virtual suicide.  I’ve seen too many of my friends put comments on Facebook or Twitter…innocent, little comments about their views, only to see them torn apart by their “friends”.  I’ve been shocked to watch verbal punches being thrown.  Friends get “un-friended”, blocked. Feelings get hurt.  I have to ask…”Why can’t we just all get along???”

My hubby and I have been talking about our responsibilities to research the candidates, their stances, their beliefs and what we should do with that information.  How involved should a Christian become in politics?

Many would say that we need more Christians in politics.  Some might even believe that standards and morals have been kicked out of Washington and we need good men and women to represent.  Others may say that religion has no place in politics.  So, with so many opinions floating around, I have to turn to the one source that has no political bias…the Bible.

Jesus actually had a lot to say about politics.  Think about the time he was in the height of his ministry.  Rome had taken over Jerusalem.  The Jews had to sit while they were being taxed.  Even some of their own had defected and started collecting taxes for “the enemy”.

So, of course, Jesus was asked how they should respond to the Romans…to Caesar.  Sometimes, his answers weren’t popular.  The answers weren’t what people were wanting to hear…it wasn’t how they thought Jesus would/should respond.  

In Luke, the story goes that the teachers of the law were keeping a close eye on Jesus…trying to catch him in a trap.  Any little slip up meant they could hand him over to the government.  So, they asked him a question:

“Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, an that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” Luke 20:21-22.

Sounds like an innocent question.  Never mind the fact that they’re pouring out the compliments…to butter him up.  But Jesus knew what was up.

“He saw through their duplicity and said to them, ‘Show me a denarius.  Whose image and inscription are on it?’ ‘Caesar’s,’ they replied.  He said to then, ‘Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.'”  Luke 20:23-25.

Not a popular answer.  Later on in the Bible, this is said:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”  Romans 13:1-2.

Hmmmm….stepping on anyone’s toes??  If God has instituted all authorities, what does that mean to us??  Do we actually elect the leaders of our country?  Maybe God is working through all of us to choose the governing authorities?  Those are questions I have no answers for, but it is interesting to think about.

Thinking about the election coming up, there is one scripture that comes to mind and brings me peace…

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:34. 

I especially like that last sentence.  Each day has enough trouble of its own…isn’t that the truth!!  So, where does that put us?  The author of Ecclesiastes had this thought:

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:  Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of every human being.”  Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Don’t worry.  Fear God.  Follow Him.  The rest will all fall into place.