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Thursday, December 5, 2013
I know what you might be thinking right now. Who needs another Christmas movie? I know there are a lot out there, especially for kids, but this one is a little different than any others I have seen. The Promise ~ Birth of the Messiah is an animated musical. If you are a fan of musicals then this will be right up your alley!
My kids will watch anything in animated form (and this isn't always a good thing) so they were excited about watching it as soon as they saw the cover. My children have heard the story of Christ's birth many times in their lives and have watched many movies as well. I like to watch them with them just in case there is something questionable so this was our family movie this week.
The animation is very good, the songs are catchy, and everyone wanted to watch it again as soon as it was over. I asked the kids what they thought afterward and I was surprised by some of the things they said. Three of them said that it ended too soon, or should have a part two. The story ended shortly after Jesus was born and Mary and Joseph took Him to the temple. They wanted to see more, and I cant blame them. The Christmas story is about more than just the birth of Jesus. I hope there will be more of the story yet to come in other sequels.
My daughter was also disappointed that the angels who sang to the shepherds in the field did not mention following a star, and no star was ever shown in the night sky. I noticed this too, and I'm not sure why that VERY important part was left out. She wanted to know how the shepherds would have found Him without it. That's my logical thinking child for ya!
The whole underlying theme of this film is that Nothing Is Impossible With God, and I loved how Mary was portrayed as being so willing to be a part of God's plan even when she was so young herself and didn't understand fully what was going to happen to her. Yet she was willing to trust God and know that He had a plan for her life. Its a lesson we all need reminding of often!
I think your family will enjoy The Promise ~ Birth of the Messiah. It is a fresh new perspective on the Christmas story.
I get to give away a copy to one of my readers out there, if you would like to win one just enter through the Rafflecopter form below. A winner will be drawn on December 13th so the movie can get to you before Christmas so enter right away!
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I is for Itty Bitty Doll Sized Tote Bag Tutorial
I am still sewing away making doll clothes and accessories for my girls and their dolls for Christmas. I am so thankful to Rosie's Doll Clothes Patterns for reviving the sewing joy I used to have. I am truly enjoying sewing again, and I just know my girls are going to be thrilled on Christmas morning!
I always have these small scraps of fabric left over when sewing, too small to do much with yet too big to just throw away. (One of these days I will have to start quilting!) I had a eureka moment this evening when one of my daughters mentioned going to the library. My girls love their special library bags, I bet the dolls would love one too!
You will need.....
small fabric scraps (or recycle old clothing)
chalk pencil or something to mark fabric
optional tiny buttons
I started by cutting a leftover piece of fabric into a rectangle shape. I used a cotton woven, but you could use felt or a knit fabric if you don't want to worry about fraying edges. If you use a woven fabric you will need to either serge or zigzag stitch over the two smaller ends.
Then fold those ends over with wrong sides facing and sew a straight seam, this will be the top of your tote bag.
Now fold the piece in half longwise with the wrong sides facing, and serge or zigzag stitch up the sides.
Turn right side out, and this is an important step, use a ruler to measure from each side where you want to place your straps. Mark it with a chalk pencil or mark it lightly on the inside if you don't have anything that will wash off. I used a thin ribbon for the straps, it worked really well. I had some teeny tiny buttons so I added those to make it look decorative, but they aren't necessary. I hand sewed the straps on, it took just a few minutes. Make the straps as long or short as you like.
This is what happens if you don't measure for the strap placement first. The first one is crooked. I will re-sew that one because I'm a sewing perfectionist like that.
The dolls are ready to hit the library now! I'm going to fill them with tiny pretend books too. They also have matching outfits in the works to go with them. We have such well dressed dolls around here.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you have any questions just comment below.
I'm feeling generous today and I'd like to give away a doll tote to a little doll lover out there. Just enter through the Rafflecopter form below to win! The drawing will be December 13th so that it will arrive before Christmas.So enter now!
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Saturday, November 30, 2013
H is for Home for Thanksgiving
This year I had the great blessing of being able to stay home for Thanksgiving and cook for my family and friends. We invited all of our friends and neighbors that may have spent Thanksgiving alone to come to our house. We had a total of 23 people here and it was just so wonderful! We ate, played instruments, sang (well I didn't, I had no voice all day because of laryngitis), played games, laughed, and took pictures.
The night before Thanksgiving I got to see my oldest son and youngest granddaughter for a little while, not long enough, but I was thankful just to see them at all. I wish they could have been here Thanksgiving Day. I could have had all 8 of my children home again and taken a picture of the entire family. I got a sweet picture of my granddaughter though...
I had both my Mom and Dad here, and they let me take a picture of them together...
And pictures of each of them with me...
Mom plays dulcimer with my friend on guitar.....
Mom with 4 of the kids.....
Mom with 3 more kids.....
Dad beating us at marbles, just look at that sly grin on his face haha!
Tommy on guitar.....
Fiddle and dulcimer!
My oldest daughter, Tommy, and his sweetheart girlfriend.....
Starbaby.....just being cute as always!
This marble game board was made by my grandpa and we used to play a lot when I was a little girl.
I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!
Friday, November 22, 2013
G is for Giving
One of our favorite ways to give as a family at Christmas time is through the Operation Christmas Child shoebox program. Every year our church collects boxes, and also has a shoebox packing party through our AWANA program. This year after the party and gathering boxes from others, we had over 900 boxes to send! That is simply amazing to me, and I am so thankful for all the generous people who helped! It may seem like packing just one box wouldn't make a big difference, but it adds up quick!
Each of my kids still at home packed a box. Yes we fit ALL THAT into just 5 shoeboxes!!!
It isn't hard to pack a shoebox, and it doesn't have to be expensive either. I gather things year round as I find good deals or have coupons for things such as toothpaste and toothbrushes. I buy things like crayons, notebooks, markers, pencils, etc during the back to school sales and get some fabulous deals. All of those items seem like common everyday things to us, but to a child in another country they could be the only school supplies they have to use all year. We also look for quality toys at the dollar stores during the year.
There are a few items that should not go into a shoebox. These include used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures (some already see too much violence daily); chocolate or food (they melt or go bad); out-of-date candy (fresh hard candy and bubble gum is welcomed); liquids or lotions (the boxes are shipped on airplanes, these could explode); medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.
These items are welcomed in shoeboxes...
- Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy trucks, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
- School Supplies: Pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
- Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
- Accessories: T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries).
- A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may write back.
If your church doesn't participate in this program you can still pack a shoebox, just go here to find a drop off location near you. The time for donating boxes is almost gone for this year, but you could always contribute financially if you feel led to help.
Praying is another way to help, and also pray that each child receiving a shoebox this year will feel the love of Christ. Each child will be given a book in their own language telling about the gospel of Jesus Christ, they will be told about Him and how they can trust Him as their own personal savior.
My kids enjoy imagining what the child receiving the box they packed will look like, how much they will enjoy the toys and candy, and praying they they accept Jesus as savior because of the love they felt. Its a good feeling and a great way to encourage giving in your children.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The Sparkle Box is a story that has the power to change Christmas. It was written by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki.
Christmas is supposed to be a season of great joy, but often it can be a season of hardship and depression for those in need. There are many ways that people are needy, it isn't always a financial need. Some are lonely, some people live with constant physical pain. And then some are in the most need of all, they are in need of a Savior, they need to know Jesus.
The Sparkle Box may be a children's book written for ages 4 to 8, but grown ups need to read it too. The book may be short, just 32 pages, but the story inside holds a lot of meaning.
Christmas is going to be different this year in our house because of this book. The kids and I are excited to add things to our sparkle box! We loved reading this sweet story together and I am excited to read it again with my homeschool group and hopefully my Awana group too.
Included in the back of this hardback book is your own special sparkle box so you can start a new tradition in your home right away.
The book begins with.....
Dear Reader, you are the light of the world. Make it sparkle.
Sam is a young boy who is excited about Christmas! A mysterious sparkly box is sitting on their mantle, he thinks it might be for him. His mom tells him its a special gift to open together later, after it is filled.
Sam witnesses his mother and father doing kind things for others, and his heart is touched when he sees a homeless man sleeping on a bench in the park. But what can a small boy do to help? He cant stop thinking about these things, and about what could possibly be in that box.
Finally Christmas morning arrives! The family opens it together, and inside is........oh I cant spoil it for you! But Ill bet you have an idea of what was inside don't you?
Watch a short video about the book here!
Tell me what you think is inside The Sparkle Box and on December 2nd one winner will be chosen to receive a copy of The Sparkle Box!
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Monday, November 18, 2013
F is for Fences
My husband and youngest son have been busy fixing up the old fencing at the farm.
Fences have been the hot topic of discussion ever since we started to buy the farm back in the spring. The fencing was old and in need of repair.
So what is he trying to fence in you ask?
Well, my husband has been a bit obsessed with getting a milk cow for a while now. Last week he told me he was going to go look at one and ended up buying her. So as soon as the fence work is done we will have a cow, literally. Its a bad picture I know, I'll get better ones once she arrives at our farm.
Oh and we are also expecting in March!
Not me, the cow silly!