Friday, March 30, 2012

Gift-Easter Is Coming Up And With It The Gift Of Life







It's 5-min Friday again on The Gypsy Mama! Here you write for 5 minutes with no editing or backtracking, given a one word prompt you write whats on your heart, then STOP!

This weeks word prompt is- Gift

Ready?
GO!

Gift-With Easter coming up the only gift I'm preparing my heart for is the death of Jesus. It seems morbid to say that His death is a gift. I hate to think of how much He suffered, all for me and you to go to Heaven.  I sometimes take this gift for granted and don't think much of it,until Easter or Christmas rolls around. But I want my heart to change, I want it to break for what breaks God's heart and feel that burden He felt so that I  will not ever take it for granted again.  I imagine the pain from the beatings He endured, the crown of thorns He was forced to wear, and finally the weight of all the past sins and future sins weighing down on His fully man fully God soul.  How it must have hurt.

 I'm ashamed that sometimes I forget how precious this gift of life truly is and how every day should be cherished.

Thank you Jesus for bearing it all for me.

STOP~

Join me over at Lysa Jo's, for more?

Happy Easter everyone!




Thursday, March 29, 2012

April Showers Bring May {Felt} Flowers! Tutorial for Headbands


OK so it's not May or April for that fact, but you are going to love these flowers 'cause they are cute and easy to make. And Cheap!

You can buy felt anywhere for mere cents.  There is no reason NOT to give this one a whirl!

Let's get started!
First you need Felt in any colors that you want, you do want to make sure they coordinate if your using multiple colors.
Glue Gun
Needle thread
little pearls or diamonds to put in the middle
1/4 elastic or hair clip

The first one is the extra large purple flower. I put this on a crocheted hat my mom had made for me. It is a tad too big, but pretty none the less.  I will have to make one smaller and put on it if I want to wear it out into public :)

 Start by cutting out petals as many as you would like, a nice pile of them in all the colors that you want to use.


                                                                 Pile of one color


Piles of the three colors that I chose to use


Put a smidge of hot glue along the bottom of the petal


And then fold over one side to meet the middle


Then do the other side, so that it looks like the picture below, a petal
                                                   



Cut out a circle of felt and start gluing your petals onto this ring all around it. Overlaying them slightly.
Keep doing this until you finish all your colors and it's nice and filled in

 This is the clip that I used. You can buy them pretty much anywhere {Hobby Lobby, Sally's}. I held it open and then held the clip to the felt until it was set. You need to hold it open the whole time or it will glue shut.

When your done gluing your petals it will look like this! Add a little bling to the middle or whatever embellishment you would like. I chose mini pearls, I'm a southerner and we like our pearls :)




For the next one we a have Stacked Red Flower ::
 Again you only need ::
 felt
scissors
needle
thread
hot glue gun
embellishments
1/4 Elastic

Start by cutting out a small circle and then lay it down on the felt and cut out another one slightly larger and keep doing this until you have about 4-5.


Make cuts about 1" apart all around each circle, then go in and cut again at an angle, this will make petals.



Stack the petals on top of each other. I run a needle and thread through all the layers a few times then knot it off.
You could hot glue them too. {sorry for the dark picture}


Add your bling or embellishments and glue elastic or a hair clippie to the back. If your using an elastic make sure it's straight and isn't twisted before you glue it on.


Here is Keeli wearing hers, I think it's adorable!





Swirly Whirly Flower::
Need::
Felt, any color
Elastic or hair clip
Hot glue gun
Needle and thread
 
Embellishments 
                    


 Your cutting out circles again. Cut out one big one for the base and then start cutting out several smaller ones, these can be all the same size.     


 Fold your first circle in half like so.


                                                          Then fold in half again.

Take your needle and thread {I used white so that it would show up better in the pictures, and you could see what I was doing}and sew down the edge to the base

See..like this


Do this for all of your circles and then fill in the middle with more circles so that it is nice and full. Once the circles are all on, spread them out with your fingers


Glue on your elastic or clippie and your good to go!


I think this one is my favorite :)

For more cute ideas check out one of my favorite sewing websites, sewinginnomansland. She has some great tutorials and free patterns with step by step instructions. I got the idea for these from her site and this is my hand at trying to do them.










Linking up at::  Studio JRU








Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In The Whisper







Have any read a book by Karen Kingsbury? I was introduced to her a couple of years ago, well not to her personally but to her books and I got to listen to her speak at an E-Women Conference in Birmingham a couple of years ago. I decided to check out her books after listening to her speak. I can't really remember too much of what she said, but she seemed genuine and heartfelt in her message, and that obviously left an impression of her in my mind.

I started with some stand alone titles and got hooked! I mean seriously hooked. They are awesome in every way. They reel you in fast and keep you turning the pages and when they're over, they leave you thinking about what you just read and wishing it would keep going. Luckily, she usually writes 4-5 books in most of her series, so they do keep going, at least for a little while.


They are Faith based fiction novels that have grown my faith in so many ways. They are books about faith lived out in these fictional characters that you literally fall in love with and feel like you know them personally. I love them!

I'm currently reading my way through the Baxter Family Drama-Sunrise Series. Real life stuff man.

You will usually find me crying happy tears or tears of sadness because of what a character is going through, because it's stuff that we all go through, and it hits home. I feel silly crying and reading, but I can't help it, you try reading one of her books and not be touched to tears. I dare you! :)

The books are laced with scripture, and is used in ways that have taught me to apply scripture to my own life. These books are mentoring me.

In the book I just finished in the series one of the main characters is prego. She goes in for her ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby and gets devastating news. Her baby has anencephaly, a neural tube defect that will cause the babies death shortly after she is delivered.

Ashley the mom, believes in God for a miracle and her family is praying and believing in a healing miracle for the baby girl, they name Sarah. With the exception of one sister, who is a doctor and believes in this instance an abortion is called for to save her sister grief of dealing with a baby that will surely die after it is born. Ashley stands firm in her faith and refuses to have an abortion and decides to trust in God for a miracle, up until the end when she realizes that God isn't going to give her this miracle.  She accepts this fact, but she has questions from God. Such as WHY? Why didn't God save her baby, heal her? Why didn't He give them the miracle they were praying for?

And this is how He answers her "Daughter, My promises are faithful and true...but you must look for Me in the gentle whisper" confused she remembers reading this verse in the bible but isn't sure what it means, so she goes home to look it up, it must hold the answers she is looking for. She finds it in 1Kings 19: 11-13.  
Then he was told, "Go, stand on the mountain at attention before GodGod will pass by."
    A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn't to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.
 13 When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. {msg version}
In these verses Elijah has come to God looking for answers, but he's looking for something BIG to happen, to know it's God's hand at work. Three times, three big things happen but God wasn't found in them, only when Elijah hears the gentle whisper does he knows that it was God.

God is found in the gentle whispers of life.  Sometimes we get so caught up in looking for something big to happen we overlook the small things that God uses to bless us.

An encouraging phone call or email, an unexpected visit from an old friend.

He may not change our circumstances or give us the miracle we pray for but if we are still and listen for his voice we will see his works all around us.

He can use a death to heal broken relationships, change and soften hearts, lead others to Christ, renew a lukewarm faith. Even though a death may have still happened while we were praying for a miraculous healing, all of these other things happened as a result of the death. Prayers were not wasted, just answered in a different way.

It's OK to ask our Why's as long as those Why's lead us into a better understanding of Who Christ is.

I sometimes ask God for signs or reminders that He is still with me, that's why I think He led me to do the stones, because I have a need to remember.

When a situation seems bleak I ask for a miracle, because that seems to be the only way out.  If I'm not careful though I will get so busy looking for the "big one" that I miss all the little ways that He's blessing me.

God may not stop something painful from happening, but He provides all we need to get through it. Love of family and friends that reach out to us and are Jesus with skin on. That's the  power of God working with us in our circumstances

I'm going to end with a quote from Summer {the third book in the Sunrise series}Let me set up the scenario first. They are at a  family picnic, one they do every year, and Ashley and her sister Brooke-the Dr. that wanted her to get the abortion still have not spoken since the 'suggestion', their other sister Kari wants to help them reconcile and this is part of what she says to Brooke to help her understand Ashley's point of view.
"All of life changes us. We go through birth of a child, and we're changed forever. The death of a mother-and we're never the same again. We can't run from the things in life that change us. Maybe we have to embrace them."
Wow.
How has things that have happened in your life, changed you? Do you run from hard things or welcome them?  Me?-I tend to run, then God gets a hold of my heart and I walk through it with Him, it's really the only way. Isn't it?








                                     Linking today with:: 
                                   Far Above Rubies,Titus 2sdaysGrowing Home,  A Pause On The  PathWomen Living Well, Winsome Wed, Thought Provoking Thursday, A Holy Experience, Raising HomemakersRaising Mighty Arrows, Beautiful Thursdays. Click over to any of these link ups? I promise you will be blessed.
                 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Loud-Hold it Down,I Haven't Finished My First Cup Of Coffee Yet


Today at Gypsy Mama's the word prompt is LOUD.


This is an easy one, if you have kids you know exactly what Loud is. It's trying to get the kids up and ready for school.  It's listening to them fight and bait each other into an argument...all before you've even finished your first cup of coffee.

I usually like to get up earlier than them to wake up and get myself situated before dealing with two sleepy heady monsters. I say this lovingly.

This morning is no exception, geez, I don't know what came over them. Oh wait, yes I do. Their grandparents are on their way up from Alabama. And they are super excited and didn't want to go to school.  So they procrastinated in every way and did everything BUT get ready. Made for an easy morning :)

Now the house is quiet. I like quiet. But it also makes me miss the loud, which reminds me of the life that lives in this house. The liveliness that our two kids bring into our lives, I wouldn't trade them or the loud for anything.

Done!

Your turn! Click over and join in the fun, you won't be sorry!






         
                       
Linking over at Gypsy Mama's for her 5  minute Friday. Join Me?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Because I Need To Remember-Memory Stones







One morning I was reading Joshua. I was reading at the point in the story where he had taken over for Moses and he isn't sure what to do. God tells him not to be afraid because He is with him and will lead him.  Farther on down they need to cross the Jordan River,so what does God do? He just dries it, no big thing for God you know?  But one thing He tells them to do that got my attention and got me to perk up.


was that He tells them to take 12 stones from the place the priests stood in the dry river. Once they are on the other side they are to put the stones down as a way to remember what God did for them.

I think this is an awesome idea. How often do I forget the good things God has done for me?
 I don't want to forget. I want to remember. I need to remember.

So, I scoured the yard {stepped outside my door and picked up 4 or 5 stones from around the porch} got a permanent marker and sat down with the kids. Explained my idea {which they weren't very sure about, but they like to entertain their mama}and I took one stone and wrote God's provision for our family when we moved to Iowa and they took one and wrote down their own thought of what they considered something God did that answered a prayer or showed them how much He loved them.

Each time we recognize how God hs gotten us through a difficult time, we will have a different stone as a reminder of what God did.
And His always present presence in our lives.

When I sat down and thought about the many ways that God has been so gracious to us I am overwhelmed. Now I won't forget any of them either!

We can look at our stones and remember..


















What about you? How can you remember all the good and faithful ways God has graciously provided for you?  Would you share, please?





Join me over at:: Women Living Well, A Holy Experience, Winsome Wed, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Faith Filled Fridays

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Frutie Tootie Good For You Smoothie






Summer is around the corner and its that time of year again....bathing suit season. dun dun dunnnn.

There really is no season that I dread the most. I'm a lover of warm weather and the sun and water. But since kids, the bod that I've been with since is a little less then I desire. 

The workouts are on and The battle of Bulge has begun!

Since accountability is important for me I have my trusty sis join me in my battle and we will be holding each other accountable, till we are 20 pound lighter :)

So to start things off I'm going tho share this tasty yummy and so good for you, but still very yummy shake with you. Did I mention it was yummy? Ok good.

You will need ::
  • Handful of frozen blueberries
  • Half of a frozen very ripe banana
  • Small handful of spinach
  • Scoop of protein powder
  • Half cup of lite coconut milk plus more if needed
  • Spoonful of zero fast Greek yogurt, plain (it doesn't have to be Greek, but it
  • is better for you :) )

Now blend until everything is smooth and creamy. If you like a little sweetness add a packet of Truvia or another sweetener of your choice.

This makes a perfect afternoon snack, its filling and creamy and fruity and good.

When my body heard that it was being put on a diet it started acting like I'd never fed it before. It's crazy how our bodies start craving when we decide to lose weight.

This shake keeps me full till dinner.  Which is a good thing, because it's in the afternoon when the kids get home till dinner that I get the munchies.

And trust me on the spinach, it blends right up and you will not even taste it, I  promise, and I wouldn't lie to you. {just look at the above picture, you can't even see it!}

Swimsuit season here we come!

How about you?
Do you do better when you have an accountability partner or are you a lone ranger, someone that can do something when they put their mind to and doesn't need anyone to hold them accountable? I wish I had your discipline.






Linking up today at:: 


 and Tasty Tuesday

   

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm Baaack! I Need The Shirt That Says "I Survived Spring Break!"

Well, after taking last week off due to Spring Break, I'm back! Ready to start again. I've got some fun tutorials this week and some new posts that have been swirling around in my head ready to get out for the world to read.

Here is a peek into our week, I tried to take pictures, but there were some days I just forgot. We had fun, the hubs took the week off to spend with us so we had some major family quality time.


I survived, our should I say, we.

For Day One:: We went on a hike. It was beautiful weather all week!! Upper 70's, yeah.
                                                   Beautiful. I love this picture of my boys.


                                      Keeli, using nature as an accessory :) It looks good on her



                                     On this trail there were NO bathrooms or water faucets, but there was 
                                     this natural spring faucet, the kids got a kick out of trying to get water out of it.
                                     I should note, we watched a dog do this first, that's how we knew what to do!


        I was flexing my photography muscles and thought taking a picture of our shadow would be a cool                            
        It was cooler in my head.


                Jackson getting brave and veering from the group. He wanted to check out the lake.                                
                                           

       We saw a large group of deer eating out in the woods. We stopped and stared for a long while.



                                    Beautiful. Day and Scenery. I think I used the word "beautiful" a gazillion times 
                                    in this post.


                                     
Day 2:: We went bowling, didn't get pictures of this fun time {insert sarcasm} I was too busy losing and trying not to get frustrated because how bad, really bad, I am at this game.
But here are some pictures of when we went back later in the week. We had FREE bowling passes, 2 of them, so yeah, you know they got used.










Day 3:: Chuck e Cheese. nuff said. No pics either :( 
I was busy being a kid!

Day 4 :: Go carting and putt putt golf. Again I'm kicking myself for no pictures, but in my defense it is hard to race to beat your kids in a go-cart if your snapping pictures.

Day 5 ::  Errands. Now you know the kids were excited about this one:) {again ,I hope you caught the sarcasm} but it had to be done. We had to eat.

In between Keeli had sleepovers which being the social butterfly she is, she loved those nights. Trey and Jackson got the ol` ball, bat, and gloves out and practiced, cause ball season is just around the corner.


Even though we seemed to fill each day, we were very careful with our money. Passes we bought over the summer paid for all but $6 of the putt putt and go carting.


Grandma-sent the kids money to be used over their Spring Break, and they begged and pleaded to go to Chuck e Cheese with it, and who are we to say no to Chucky?? especially free Chucky!


We got the FREE bowling passes at a Church carnival in the fall and they were about to expire, and there was no way we were going to let free expire!  The kids love bowling as much as they love Chuck e Cheese {am I spelling it right?}.


The weather was great! God has been so good to us with this weather this year in Iowa, normally there would still be snow on the ground, but not this year.

We rarely checked email, I took a blogging break, and we pretty much spent all of our time with each other, quality time.




It was time invested into the lives of our kids our family, that I hope Keeli and Jackson can look back and remember one day.


I love my family!!

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather too!! What are your plans for the Spring Break??







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