5 Things I Do Everyday

5_Things_I_Do_EverydayMy day is filled pretty much from the moment I wake up till the moment my kids’ heads hit their pillows. (And, sometimes even beyond that.) Life is busy. There are a multitude of things I am responsible for, and even more things trying to get themselves added onto my ‘to do’ list.

While I’d love to say I always get to it all, I am only human. To help maintain order, and keep me feeling as if I haven’t failed by not doing it all, here’s five things I do everyday; no matter what:

Sit in Quiet (& Hear the Lord) – It is all too easy to surround myself with busyness and noise. There are times God speaks in the chaos, but more often it’s in whispers. If I don’t make a point of slowing down, I risk missing the voice of the Lord.

Pray Over My Children – Each day, I start out praying over my family. I have specifically assigned days to pray over every one of my kiddos, but always say a quick prayer over all of them each morning.

Bless My Husband – Being a homeschool, stay-at-home mama, my day tends to revolve around my home and kids. I don’t want my husband to feel as if he doesn’t matter. I make a point of asking him each morning (and often throughout the day) how I can bless him. Does he need anything of me; is there something I can do for him; or would he like my company? I want him to feel loved and important, no matter how full the day might be.

Increase in Wisdom – No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I like to become a little wiser each day. Whether it’s from books, people I know, or reading online posts, I enjoy learning and growing closer to the Lord.

Think About Naps – Notice the word think. Napping is a dream. Kind of like wanting to go to Tahiti or something. It sounds lovely, but I just can’t manage to get there.

These five, simple things keep me going strong and ready for what’s coming next. However, there are a few things I’m not doing that I probably should be:

  • Taking those silly naps!
  • Giving myself permission to rest.
  • Hugging my kids more.
  • Digging even deeper into God’s Word. (I’m fixing that with a new Bible study!)

Life might be a little crazy around here at times, but with the Lord’s leading we’ve established positive highlights in our day. By taking time to hear God’s voice, pray, and seek wisdom, we are choosing to focus on what’s best for our family.

There’s always going to be more busyness with which we could fill our day, but nothing will ever be more important than these. Now, if only I could manage to get to those naps!

 “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21

🔔Time to Chime In: Is there something you should be doing daily, but aren’t?

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Keepers #15 (2013-2014)

There is nothing like a simple sewing project to lighten the day. After several weeks of more difficult sewing projects, we decided to slow things down a little. Our project of the week: bookmarks!

These bookmarks are super easy and quite fun! We found the idea on Pinterest and quickly decided this was a must for the girls. All you need is a length of ribbon, a button, and a small band of elastic (we used a rainbow loom piece).

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Based on previous projects, I expected the girls to take more time with these. Surprisingly, they finished more quickly than anticipated. Their sewing skills are starting to increase! (Of course, there was a little less sewing involved as well.)

Everyone seemed to enjoy these projects and I hope they will find them useful. I know our girls can never have enough bookmarks; we are just a bookworm family!

Have you ever made your own bookmarks?

Keepers #14 (2013-2014)

Where has the year gone? It seems like things just got started and we are already winding down. Only two more Keepers meetings to go before the year is over. Before we get there though, a few more lessons remain to be taught. This week… hand sewing with fabric!

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I don’t think any of the other girls finished their project before the day was out, but my little ‘Mouse’ went without snack just so she could finish hers.

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Then… my little girl promptly went home and worked on a few additional projects I had purchased just for my girls. So cute!

One more week of sewing to go and then, our end of the year party! This was a particularly fun week for all of us. The projects were so cute and so easy to create.

For those interested in doing these yourselves, we found these (thank you, Mrs. Yeh) at Michaels in the American Girl section. There are several varieties to choose from and so many options to help you be creative.

I’m not sure about the other girls, but I know we’ll be stopping by Michaels to pick up a few more for ourselves. This was so much fun!

Keepers #13 (2013-2014)

The month of April finds us Keeper girls still focusing on our sewing lessons. Unlike March, however, we have decided to tackle a few projects. Hopefully, the girls will find these less stressful and intimidating than a few of the stitches previously taught.

We brought along our handy-dandy sewing kits, ready to conquer the project of the day. While most sewing projects involve fabric, our first venture entailed paper!

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Sometimes it’s hard to guess what little fingers will find challenging or not. We thought we had picked an especially simple project, however we discovered several of the younger girls still struggled with this. In addition, being that we were ‘sewing’ on paper and not fabric, a few of our girls lacked any interest in this project.

We are pleased to note that most of the young ladies were excited. They thought the animal cards were adorable and really enjoyed adding the sewn embellishments to their projects.

The girls were encouraged to be creative with their cards. While we did give them suggested colors and a thread count for their embroidery floss, they were free to experiment with different amounts of thread (less or more) and to mix their colors for a more dimensional affect.

While none of our girls finished all four of their animal cards in class, most completed at least one in the hour given; some had a second one almost complete. They were encouraged to take them home and finish when an opportunity arose.

Lest you think I have a creative bone in my body, the images we used and the idea itself were taken from THIS awesome website. I highly recommend heading over there yourself. You’ll be inspired and encouraged to take on your own sewing adventure.

Hopefully, next meeting’s project will be even more successful; we will be sewing fabric animals!

Keepers #12 (2013-2014)

Wow! Our Keepers year is almost finished! Four more weeks to go and we are through. It seems hard to believe that an entire year has almost come about. Where does the time go? Before we get ready to relax for the summer, however, we want to finish strong. There are still a few more weeks to go and there is much to learn.

March saw us focusing on our sewing skills. Last time we were together, we spent the bulk of our time putting together the most adorable sewing kits using mason jars. At the end of our meeting, we did have a few moments to learn one stitch, the running stitch, but not much else.

This week, we wanted to review those skills learned previously and add a few more to our repertoire.

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We opened up group with a little practice time. The girls threaded their needles, knotted them, and practiced their running stitches. After a few minutes, we pulled them over to a side table and taught them a few new tricks.

The first stitch we taught them was a back-stitch. They caught on very quickly and seemed to enjoy a little diversity in their growing skills. We gave each of the girls an 8×11 piece of white felt and had them trace three lines down the middle. They were asked to practice their running stitch down the first line and the back-stitch down the second. The third line was for either stitch they preferred. We specifically instructed the girls to use colorful thread, so we could inspect their work and so they could more easily see their progress.

After a few minutes, we had the girls review tying off their stitches and once again pulled them over to the side table. This time, we taught them how to do a hemming stitch.

The hemming stitch proved to be a bit more difficult for the girls, but most of them caught on after a few moments practice. Even some of our adult ladies had yet to learn this stitch, so this was a fun, growing experience for all of us!

Our third, and final, new stitch of the day was the catch stitch. I think this stitch is lots of fun; you get to make X’s with your thread! The girls thought this was cute too, but they did have a little trouble catching on. I spent a little time walking around showing them individually and then they seemed to grasp the concept.

A few of our girls found these exercises to be entirely frustrating. Patience is definitely a must when learning to sew by hand. I really wish we’d had more grown ladies on hand to give more person-to-person assistance. Over all I think we did well though.

A few of the girls mentioned they had been working on their own projects during our break. This is always encouraging to hear; the girls being inspired to take what they’ve learned in group home and create something for themselves.

Next month will find us continuing our sewing, but this time we will have a specific project with which we are working. Hopefully, the ladies will find this entertaining and educational.

Till next time….

Keepers #11 (2013-2014)

Every once in a while, it’s fun to tackle a large project, instead of working on smaller ones which offer instant gratification. This was our thought process for handling the planning of both March and April. Instead of four smaller skill sets, we chose to pick one large one which would span all four meetings. Our project of choice: teaching our girls how to sew by hand!

I should probably note… I have no training in this field. That meant one of two things. Either I was going to be really bad at teaching because I have little experience in this OR I was going to be a decent teacher because the girls were going to be learning from someone who is not going to assume prior history and is at just a slightly higher level than they. That said; our time together was incredible!

Instead of immediately starting in on a major project, I thought it was important to begin with the basics. Our girls should learn how to handle basic sewing notions before they try to complete a project. I also wanted to get the girls started with their own sewing kits. This was our starting point.

Last summer, I “pinned” THIS amazing website to aid us in our sewing endeavors. I thought our girls would really enjoy creating personal sewing kits, making it their own. These mason jar sewing kits were the perfect fit! They are simple to make and incredibly adorable.

After creating our kits, we spent a few moments filling them with various notions and explaining the purpose behind each item. We made sure to include a mini-lesson on various needle types and thread variations, as well.

What good is a kit, if you aren’t going to use it? Each young lady was given a medium-sized rectangle of felt, a ruler, and a marker. We encouraged each girl to draw a few lines on her felt and then our first sewing lesson began! We taught them how to thread their needle (both by hand and with a needle threader); how to tie off their thread; and one basic stitch, the running stitch.

It took several minutes for the girls to learn the running stitch, but before long everyone was doing just fine. We gave the girls a little time to complete several lines of practice and then taught them one final skill for the day; tying off their stitches.

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After our meeting, one of my girlfriends alerted me to a new offer by Joann’s and Craftsy. For a limited time, you can sign up for free, online classes to help you become more proficient in sewing. Need a little help figuring out your sewing machine? Interested in learning how to piece together hand-made garments? Would you care to learn more about quilting? This offer just might be for you!

If you’re looking to get your littles involved in a few sewing endeavors, Skip to My Lou might be just what you’re looking for. There are tons of awesome ideas to help you and your child start their sewing adventure, with lots of projects to tickle your fancy. If you go nowhere else, definitely stop here and take a gander.

So far, our lessons are going very well! The girls are having a great time and they are excited to be learning a new skill set. I’m glad they are having fun because we aren’t done yet! There are several more stitches for us to learn in our next meeting, followed by a two-part project we’ll begin in April. We can hardly wait!

Who taught you how to sew and was it with machine or by hand? Have you taught this skill to your own children yet?

Keepers Meeting #7 (2013-2014)

Wow! Our Keepers meeting this week was so much fun! We chose to spend this meeting focusing on the joy of Christmas. There were Christmas carols, the Christmas story, a cute craft, tons of snacks, and adorable goody bags for all!

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Our goodie bags; one for each girl, filled with holiday fun.

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Our lovely group of girls.

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Learning more about the wonderful Christmas story.

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Our craft for the day; snowmen pencil toppers.

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Showing off all our hard work.

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Enjoying a well earned treat. Gotta love the holidays.

Time flies and before you know it, the meeting is over! This week seemed to go particularly fast. Six whole weeks until we meet again. I pray all of the ladies will be safe over the holidays and that their Christmas is blessed.

We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas….

Keepers Meeting #5 (2013-2014)

A new month, a new Keepers theme. This month we are focusing on fall crafting tied in with fall decor for all those fun, hosting moments that come with the season.

Our first lesson of the month taught the girls how to make their own Mod-Podge. We then showed the girls how to use mod-podge for personalizing everyday objects, making them cute and suitable for whichever event they might be hosting.

Homemade Mod-Podge

glass jar (8-12 oz.) with lid
Elmer’s Glue
water

Empty Elmer’s Glue into your clean glass jar. Fill jar with an equal part water to glue ratio. Put lid on jar; shake vigorously. Take of lid and… use! (See how simple that is.)

Mod-Podge is getting very expensive these days, so we found this recipe an excellent alternative and a fun way for the girls to express themselves creatively.

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The girls had a lot of fun learning how to decorate using mod-podge. I had fun watching them be creative. Each of the girls had a completely different take on how her pumpkin should look.

Two more weeks and another fun lesson in fall crafting comes around. We can hardly wait!

Paper Gifts

Today in Keepers, we taught the girls how to make gift boxes out of card stock. It was a bit challenging, but we had a lot of fun and learned a new skill.

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Teaching the girls how to fold paper.

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Rewards for Bible reading and memorization.

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Snack time!

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Our birthday girls

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The end product.

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One of my girls’ boxes.

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Grabbing some cute decorations for their boxes.

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All the decorative extras.

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The base of our treat boxes.

Learning to fold these boxes was a bit of a struggle at first, but we caught on quickly and got things moving. The girls had a great time visiting and being creative.

Care to make some yourself? HERE is an awesome link which will help you out.

One more Keepers meeting to go and then summer time!