March craft projects

If you look around the crafting universe, you’ll see a lot of books called Smash Books or Junque Journals.  I think they are basically an informal way of scrapbooking.  Some scrapbookers use this method for projects called December Dailies.  These are daily scrappy journals that you can keep during the month of  December to document your advent season.  This idea really appeals to me, but I didn’t want to have to wait until Christmas to try it.  Fortunately, Easter is March 31 this year, so I made up a little daily journal for the month of March.  Some of it will be about getting ready for Easter.  But I have a feeling some of it will end up being about every day little things, too.  (I predict a few entries about March Madness.)  I made the journal with extra scrap paper, envelopes, and greeting cards.  The pages are blank now, but starting tomorrow, it will get filled in little by little.

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The next journal is actually not a journal at all.  It’s a birthday card for Emma.  She is turning twelve!  I know, I know.  You can’t believe it!  Me neither!  Even though we’re not ready for her to be twelve, she definitely is.  Oh well.  I guess I can’t keep her a little girl forever.  For this project, I added a lot more detail and glitz and glam.  The idea is to fill it with twelve things that we love about Emma and give it to her as a keepsake.  Another post will come soon with what we write inside of it.IMG_0181

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I had a lot of fun making these journals and I think I’ll have just as much fun filling them.  Can you imagine one all about summer vacation?  Or a trip to the beach?  Or an anniversary?  The possibilities are almost endless!

suitcase storage

For a long time now, we have been using a TV tray as a side table in the family room.  It gave us a place to put stuff, but it was a little on the small side and not very sturdy.  But we recently got an upgrade on the side table using suitcases.  It’s not your normal side table solution, but it’s working out really well for us.  I found some old suitcases here and there at flea markets and consignment shops around town.  I didn’t find them all at once.  It took some patience.  They are similar in color and have just the right graduated sizes for stacking, so now we can use them for two purposes: a new side table and new place for some storage.  This is how we packed them:

Fall and Thanksgiving decorations.

Fall and Thanksgiving decorations.

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Little friends waiting for their turn in the toy rotation

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gift wrapping

Put them all together and you’ve got a new piece of furniture!  There a quite a few bumps and bruises on these vintage cases, but I think that adds to the character and charm of them.  It also makes them less expensive.  The fall decorations only come out once a year, so it’s a good choice for the bottom case.  I don’t want to have to undo the stack of suitcases too often.  And the gift suitcase has some ready-to-go gifts in it that I have stashed, but I didn’t put them in the picture since some of you who read this blog might be receiving some of those gifts in the future.  No peeking!  We’re happy with the result.  Now we’ll see what other new projects we can do.

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The suitcases get a new home with a new purpose.

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They’re ready for their close up!

sermon video

At church we are in the middle of a series about relationships.  Last week was about the marriage relationship so Brent and I did this one together.  I was a little nervous about  doing it.  I wasn’t nervous about the content at all.  I firmly believe in what we were sharing.  But I was nervous about the presentation.  Fortunately, Brent kept it casual and comfortable for me.  We approached it as a team, and having him there with me made me feel secure and at ease about the whole thing.

It’s funny watching yourself speak on a video.  I noticed once again how my volume level and Brent’s volume level are not the same.  This is true not only on the platform at church but also in every day life.  It’s probably one of the ways where we give each other balance.    Another observation was the giggling.  I heard myself laughing and enjoying things that  Brent was saying.  Again, this happens in real life, too.

We probably could have come up with another month’s worth of sermons about this topic. There is so much to say and marriages are worth the investment.  Strong marriages make strong families.  And the influence of strong families is almost beyond measure, whether that family has no kids or a bus full of kids.

I’m glad that Brent and I were able to do this together.  Our church family gave a lot of great feedback about the message.  We hope that it’s a blessing to you, too.  By the way, happy Valentine’s Day!

02-10-13 Relationships from Mission Church on Vimeo.

closet before and after

There is an extra closet in the back of the girls’ room that has been neglected for far too long.  It has some wonderful shelving installed, but it hasn’t been used well.  It became a “catch all” kind of place for whatever the kids were doing and I think it had been a few months since I had actually even walked into it.  Of course, this could have been because it was so full of stuff that it was impossible to step inside anyway.  This was a sad and neglected space.  To put it simply:  this closet needed a mommy.

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Crazy, right?  So I spent a Friday evening and a Saturday morning deciding what to save, what to give away or sell, and what to throw in the trash.  You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the biggest pile was the trash pile.  Eventually, the closet came back to life with everything in its place.  I must admit that getting this corner of our home organized gave me a great feeling.  Like a breath of fresh air!

IMG_0169Much Better!  You can see the floor!  Do you notice the tiny runaway green lego piece on the carpet?  If not for the redo, that little guy might have been lost forever.  There are two bins on the bottom level.  Now the girls each have their own bin for any big toys or dolls.  I thought about making some cute labels for each of the shoe boxes, but the boxes are clear and you can see what’s in them already.  The boxes are organized into categories or types of supplies:  a science kit  I took out of the packaging and consolidated with a few other science supplies, math (dice, flashcards, rulers), art, crafts, crayons, colored pencils, pencils & erasers, markers, little phonics reader books for Lauren, notepads, and one hiding in the back that has the entire Narnia series in paperback.  There’s one tall bin with a big craft project that Emma hasn’t finished yet.  The purple box in the middle has writing and construction paper.  The rest is pretty self explanatory.  I purposefully left some of the shelves empty.  I know it won’t take long to need them.  I like to call these “shelves-in-waiting”.

I don’t need this closet to stay picture perfect all the time, but I would like to be able to at least walk into it when needed.  Now that this space has been conquered, maybe I’ll be brave enough to tackle a few (or a lot) of the other clutter collecting corners that sometimes develop in a home.

I wanted to include a few pictures that probably don’t need their own blog post, but they make me smile.  The first makes my mommy/teacher heart go all aflutter.  The second is a cute and clever little sign at one of our favorite local eateries, Jackson’s Corner.

IMG_0170IMG_0171And now I’m off to find another place for a before and after makeover.  Happy organizing!