Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blessing others with letters.

It's a funny thing how God works sometimes. Just the other day I felt God convicting me that I should write letters more (real-hand written with a stamp and envelope-letters). I had started writing one every night before bed (and got off track a little this weekend while I was away nanning). I had decided I would blog about it, and just hadn't gotten a chance yet. Next thing you know, one of my absolute favorite blogs has a post on writing letters. Apparently Hallmark is doing a Get Carded challenge, encouraging people to write letters to people- just because. I literally laughed out loud when I read the challenge! God really does have perfect timing.

I challenge you to take the challenge on with me. Hallmark's specific challenge is to write seven cards, and then send them out, one each day of the week. My challenge for myself, (and for you, if you want!) is to start writing more letters to people-just because. Wouldn't you love to receive a letter in the mail tomorrow, even if all that it said was "I love you"? I think most people have lost the art of writing letters, and I find it such a shame. Take the challenge with me. Pass it on. Though you may not be able to write a letter every night like I hope to do, maybe you can make a goal to write a letter once a week, or even once a month. Whatever you choose to challenge yourself with, remember that each note you send could make the difference in someones day, or maybe even their life. So go ahead, grab some stationary, write a note, (tack an encouraging bible verse to the end!) send it off, and join me in my challenge!
(Tutorial on how to make easy, fun, beautiful stationary below!)

Crayon Cards:
These have become some of my favorite cards to use. They are so unique, and cute! They are also easy as pie to make (ok, let's all admit it, pie is not that easy to make.) 
Cut out a few cards from card stock (You can make them any size you want-just be warned, the smaller the better. The one I made below is very hard to find an envelope for!)

Find old crayons, or head to your local dollar store (or any store that has cheap crayons!) and pick up a few boxes. (At my local dollar store, I can find a box of 37 crayons for $1.) Sparkly crayons make the absolute best cards, but they can be hard to find and more expensive. You only need about half a sparkly crayon per batch to make beautiful cards. I suggest going to somewhere like Michael's and picking up a pack of sparkly crayons. Then each time you make the cards put just half a crayon in. 

Take the wrapping off of the crayons you are going to use.

Line a small baking sheet with foil (preferably around a 10"x8" baking sheet  unless you are making a ton of cards.) and fill it with crayons (not too full!) For an 8x10 I would do around 15 crayons, give or take some. (I normally let the kids have fun arranging the crayons, as they won't get to do the dipping.

Put it in the oven on around 425 degrees, and wait till the crayons have melted. (Be careful not to burn them!) 

Pull the pan out of the oven, and very carefully dip the front of the card in the crayons, then set standing up to dry. See- so easy! Even if it drips a little on other parts of the card, it's ok! It add character.


I am linking up to Growing Home.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I heart faces-Props

I haven't been doing I heart faces, mainly because I have been so busy! But here we go, I am joining in again. As always, these precious little's give me so much joy the few days a month I get to spend with them.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The big post of everything

I have happily been keeping very busy this summer. Which means, blogging goes on the back burner. As I was thinking about what matters in life, one thing that is very important to me is writing down memoires, so that I always have them, and so that generations after me have them. I seem to say almost every time I write a new blog post- I want to blog more. And that's honestly, because I do. Sometimes, other things just take priority, and I have learned to accept that. But, when time does allow, I am trying to cease the moment, and write a quick post even if it is short. Now, after all of this time, I have quite the "stack" of photos in my "to blog" folder on my desktop. I.e., the title of this post. This post pretty much covers a lot of the last six months. I hope you enjoy!

 Enjoying a Normal Day with these cute kiddos.

 P.s. to be mentioned later in a why I love toy's post... Auqadoodle is officially one of the best toys ever!

Two of my favorite girls :)

 Taking my mom to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, for a Mother's day surprise.
 We ate at the Cheesecake Factory after.. I just was too busy enjoying the food to take pictures.

My Closet was in BAD need of reorganizing. I say was because I just redid my room, and redid my closet. Pictures to come soon.. :) (Incase your wondering...Yes, I do color code my clothes. Call me OCD but I like it.)

(Visiting my best friend-Rebekah in April-May in Charleston, SC. If you can't tell by where I took all my pictures-I really love the beach!)


Monday, July 4, 2011

Why I Love- Forth of July

Happy 4th Everyone!
I am really enjoying my day today. It has been just a relaxing day at home, and though I love celebrations, and sometimes I wish I were out watching a parade, or something to that extent, spending time with family, at home, isn't bad at all.

Forth of July is probably by second favorite holiday. (Next to Christmas, of course.) I love the spirit behind it. I love how the colors red, white and blue go together. And I love the fact that we have a day to celebrate this wonderful country that God has blessed us with.

So here is to America. Though we have debut rising by the minute, and we are straying away from the principles we were founded on, we are still a beautiful country. And we are Free.

Let Freedom Ring!

(I love this beautiful family!)


Why I love- Babysitting

I have always loved children. Since I can remember, if there was a baby in the room I would either be holding it, or wishing I was. So naturally, as I got older, I started to help care for children. When I was seven I was a mother’s helper to a couple of mothers on my street. I would go over a couple of hours an afternoon and I would just play with their children while they got work done. Occasionally I would get to hold their babies, and that would make my day (actually, it would make my month.) I believe this is what God used to turn my love for children into a passion. When I was ten, I got my first real babysitting job. I will always remember that night. I was babysitting twin six year old boys and a three year old boy. The whole night when wonderful, until I was sitting on the couch, with all the kids in bed and asleep (so I thought) and I hear a little whimper. As I go upstairs to check on the little boy, I find him laying in he bed with blood all over himself and his sheets. Now let me pause here and explain how my brain works. When there is an emergency I do not freak out, my mind just goes a million miles per hour. I react very quickly in those types of situations, and my type A brain can figure out every logistic needed in 5-seconds flat. Now back to the original story. Of course when I see the blood everywhere, I react, and get the situation under control. Fortunately, the boy only had a bloody nose that had gotten everywhere, and he was cleaned up and back to sleep in only 15 minutes. That, was my first ever babysitting job. Many followed after that, including a time when I would go and help with my cousins (who were 2, 1 and newborn) every Wednesday afternoon. This was one of the best learning experiences of my babysitting years. I worked beside a grandma, who taught me many of the basics of caring for a child, and I got hand on experience while learning!
Though all of those things were great, the life altering thing that has happened to me was not a job, or even a specific family. It was a moment in time when God reveled something to me that I will never, ever forget.

I was in Aspen, my first year (I have been back every year since then) and the six older children were sitting down to dinner, while the parents rushed around in the kitchen preparing the dinner for the adults. I had just set the baby (who was six-months at the time) down to play on a blanket while I helped make dinner. As I picked up a toy to give him to play with, I remember double checking to make sure it was not too small. After I had been in the kitchen for about five minutes the babies older sister, suddenly screamed the baby’s name and ran into the living room. As soon as she did that, I of course ran in too. What a saw, right, in that moment, changed my life forever. The baby was laying on the ground with the toy I had given him lodged in his mouth. Now the toy, though big enough so he could never actually fit the whole thing in his mouth, had an end that he was able to fit in his mouth. (just to keep you from dying of suspense, the dad got there before me and quickly got the toy out of the baby’s mouth. The baby was perfectly fine.) As I stood their, watching the dad take the toy out of his mouth, God hit me hard with a very important realization.:
Babysitting is not just for fun, for money, or because it is something I enjoy doing.  Each and every time a mother leaves her child with me, she is placing her child’s life in my hands. Every bit of it. I am responsible for a human being.
As I was hit with that realization, I ran racing into the kitchen and fell into the mother’s arms (the mother of the baby) and told her what had just happened. Of course she forgave me, and we moved on, but I think of the moment frequently.

To all of those mother’s out there who have let me take care of their children over the years, thank you. You will never know all the lesson’s your children have taught me, and how much I treasure each moment I spend with everyone of them. 

To all of you who care for children yourselves, please remember that the reason you are getting paid is to care for actual living, breathing, human beings, and consider yourself privileged that you get the chance to do so.