Valentine’s Day Dinner {Fun Family Tradition}

A few years back a friend of mine shared with me one of their family traditions.  She told me that once they had kids they stopped going out for Valentine’s Day, but rather spent Valentine’s evening at home with the family.  But, she made it special.  She got out the good china, and crystal and silver.  She made the table up fancy and had everyone ‘get dressed’ for dinner.  I loved this idea and started doing it myself.  We don’t go to a lot of fancy dinners or even nice dinners with the whole family, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach the kids how to behave in these situations.  Because baseball season has begun, we had our dinner a day late last night.  

 

 

This year I decided to not drag out my china.  I wanted to use my red chargers, so I decided to purchase some plain white plates from the dollar store.  These goblets are from the dollar store as well – this way if something gets broken it’s no big deal.  

 

 

The rest of the decorations cost all of $5.  Tissue paper poms hung from the ceiling fan.  

 

The vases are filled with shiny basket filler, and a candle. 
 I cut a heart from felt for the center of each plate.  

 

Simple but festive.  🙂  Have a great weekend!!
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Covering In White

Well…today as I was covering these in white

 

 

God was covering everything in white.  The most beautiful ginormous flakes fell from the sky today.

 

 

 

The boys couldn’t wait to get outside and play when they got home from school. This is the fruit of their labor.

 

 

Of course there was also some snowball throwing.  🙂 This momma is really hoping we have school tomorrow.  Please roads don’t freeze. 
 

I took some time to do a little work on the blog design.  I will say it is a work in progress, and will probably change again.  Hope you like it.

 
Oh and…we got a puppy.  His name is Ranger.

 

Isn’t he the cutest?!?
 
Happy Tuesday!  
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Parenting Is Not For Wimps

I have to tell you, the past couple of weeks have been tough around here.  This parenting gig is kickin my butt.  I feel like for the most part we are doing ok – I mean everyone has food, clean clothes (most of the time), a place to lay their head and plenty of love.  But, when we have weeks like these I find myself stopping and thinking “where have I gone wrong?  I wanted more than ok.”  Which is exactly the conversation my husband and I had at the end of a very emotionally exhausting day yesterday.  And we came to a couple of conclusions.  You can find his interpretation here.  I love that are minds work as one.  🙂

We will recover and get things back on track as soon as we are intentional in regrouping and reordering our priorities.  More time together with God, and more time together.  I would not say that our kids individually are over scheduled, but I would say that as a family it is more than challenging to have time together.  With two active teenagers and two active grade schoolers we might have one night together as a family.  This leads to 6 people living separately in the same home.  Ugh!!  Not at all what I had in mind when we agreed on 4 children.  See, I am an only child.  Way before my husband and I got married we talked about family – what was important to us, how many kids we thought we might want etc.  We both said 4 kids, and that is what The Lord blessed with.  But what is going on around here is not what I envisioned.  There is way more tearing down then building up.  I am learning the dynamics of sibling behavior, but I refuse to accept the constant barrage of ugly words and actions.  We have allowed things to stray.

So, we are buckling down, getting on our knees, working on being more diligent to get in The Word together, and working on being better examples of love and grace for our kids.  Can anyone out there relate with any of this?  Have faith, God is right there in the fight.

From our family to yours – some words of encouragement from God’s Word: 

He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken  Psalms 62:6 (NASB)

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalms 18:2 (NASB)

 

Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress.  Psalms 71:3 (NASB)
Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock;  Exodus 33:21 (NASB)
“You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who gave you birth.  Deuteronomy 32:18 (NASB)
Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me.  Psalms 31:2 (NASB)
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle;  Psalms 144:1 (NASB)
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.  Psalms 40:2 (NASB)
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  Matthew 7:24-25 (NASB)
Father God, let us be those who and act and be like the wise man who built his house on The Rock.  
 

 

 

 

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15 Today!!

15 years ago today our family was changed forever when God blessed us with a precious little girl.  She has brought so much joy into our lives from the moment she was born!!   So, today I celebrate with 15 things I love about my girl.


15.  She’s courageous.

14.  She’s full of smiles and laughter.

13.  She’s passionate.
12.  She’s kind.

11.  She’s tough.
10.  She’s determined.

9.  She is beautiful inside and out.

8.  She knows how to laugh at herself.

7.  She loves to bake – YUM!

6.  Those freckles and those eyes.

5.  She’s not afraid to be herself.

4.  Her sense of adventure.  She’s willing to try new things even when she’s terrified. (That’s her in the orange coat on the ski lift even though she’s not crazy about being up high)

3.  Her devotion, when she loves she loves deep.

2.  She’s dependable.
1.  She loves the Lord with all her heart.

Happy Birthday Amanda!!

On a side note it is also this guys birthday!!  Yes, she was born on her daddy’s birthday!!  He was and is perfectly fine taking a back seat to her on their special day 🙂
Happy birthday to the man of my dreams!!

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Heart Day Mantel

The rain here today has been refreshing to my soul.  It is such a glorious sight and sound!!  We were under a tornado watch when I woke up this morning which is always fun, but hey.  So, instead of doing the painting I had planned on doing today.  I decided to work on some Valentine decor.  I don’t usually decorate for Valentine’s Day but I have to confess my mantel has been bare since Christmas came down and I was finally tired of looking at the emptiness.  Sometimes for me emptiness is good for a while – cleansing maybe.  Anywho….I have seen so many cute things floating around the blog world so I decided “why not”.  Here is the big picture.  

 

I spent around $5 a couple of weeks ago on some cute variegated yarn and started making some hearts – following instructions that I found here.  If you can crochet, these are very simple and quick.  (And, by the way, if you start to crochet something and forget how to do a stitch because you haven’t done it in a long time – youtube is your friend.)

 

Aren’t they cute??  When I had all the hearts I wanted I decided I wanted to make a garland so I made a chain using a large hook and double strand of yarn.  Then I very carefully (not) tied the hearts to the chain in a somewhat symmetrical pattern.
 
I also purchased some felt pieces in pink, red, purple, and white of course.  I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with them until I started putting things together today.  And this is what I came up with.  You may have seen something similar with paper doily hearts, but I didn’t have any of those and today was all about using things I already had.  

 

 

I have been scared to try the whole chalkboard writing thing.  Because I don’t think my handwriting is that good.  I tried several tricks that I found here and there and none of them worked – probably because I was doing them wrong.  So, I just decided to take the leap.  I started with this 

 

 

and ended with this.  

 

 

Not too bad I think.  I added some ribbon to the frame to dress it up a bit.  I have had this chalkboard hanging in my kitchen forever.  Sometimes with a verse, sometimes with a list, sometimes with a schedule, sometimes with a menu.  It has served many purposes, and all the while with that plain store-bought frame.  🙂
 
The last piece of the puzzle was another pinterest find.  I have seen several different versions of these with all different sorts of words.  I am in love!!  I had the frames and the paper in my craft closet – I just picked and font and sent the paper through my printer.  

 

 

Here is a side tip that maybe you already know.  How to remove sticker residue.  These frames had been sitting in the closet for over a year with the price stickers still on them.  So, when I got ready to take them off, of course they did not come off easy.  So, baby oil and a cotton ball (and some elbow grease) to the rescue.  Tear off as much as you can by hand and then rub over the spot with the cotton ball coated in baby oil.  
 
In just a minute or two it will all be gone!!  Way better than killing your fingernails trying to scrape it off!!
 
I love the finished mantel and that it was cheap.  
 
Things have been crazy busy around here lately and I don’t see any signs of it letting up anytime soon, so I was happy for the rain as an excuse to stay in and do some crafting!!

Linking up at Our Fifth House today.  Lots of fun Valentine’s day projects over there to check out!
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