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19
Apr

Melted Crayon Art

Filed in Children, Crafts

Today the girls and I made our first melted crayon pictures.  These are all over Pinterest right now, so we wanted to try it out for ourselves.  We were really pleased with the results, and I think I had just as much, if not more, fun as the girls.  So here is how we did it.

Step 1: Gather supplies.  You will need a glue gun, foam board or canvas, hair dryer, and lots of crayons.  We did our first ones on the foam board because it was cheaper, but I like the way the canvas one turned out better.  We also discovered that brand matters when it comes to crayons.  For best results, use Crayola.  We also sorted our crayons by color group into four plastic cups.

Step 2:  Arrange your crayons at the top of your board in whatever order you want them in.  My girls decided they wanted to do a rainbow.

Step 3:  Hot glue your crayons to your board.  I did this part for the girls because they are not quite ready to handle the glue gun, but they helped me by making sure they were in the right place, and lined up correctly.

 

Step 4: Lean you board up against a wall.  We did ours outside.  Beware:  the wax will splatter, so make sure you have something under and behind your board.  And wear clothes you don’t mind messing up.

 

Step 5: Get your hair dryer and start blowing.  Start slowly.  We started on low heat and then moved up to high heat after a minute or two.  You kinda have to play around when your aim.  We also learned that some of the colors melt faster than others.  For instance, red was the slowest, but orange was the fastest.

Step 6: Play around with it.  If your not happy with how it looks, blow it some more.  It will dry fast, but if you need to go back over it, it melts again fast too.  You can also change the angle of your board against the wall for slower or faster drips.

Here are some of our finished projects

Crayon Rainbow on Foam Board

Pastel Colors on Canvas

Pastel Colors on Canvas with Embellishment

 

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17
Apr

After 44 nights…

So I won’t bore you with all of the details of our life over the last 4 months, but I will give you a quick overview.

In late January, my husband, Dustin, was diagnosed with cancer.  They initially told him that it was rectal cancer, however, on February 13th they changed the diagnosis to Burkitt’s Lymphoma.  Since February 13th he has spent 44 nights in the hospital over 6 hospital stays.  He has had three cycles of chemo, one surgery, several different scans, and lots of nasty hospital food (well at least brought to his room).  He has had some good days, and a lot of bad days.

BUT NOW…THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.

He came home from the hospital today.  The doctor is hopeful that he is finished with treatments.  He will have a PET scan in a couple of weeks to make sure that there are no cancers cells left.  I am extremely grateful to have him home, but I am still nervous, and pray that the next two weeks go by quickly.  I want the results of the PET scan so that we have a definite answer.

This experience has not been one that anyone would ever ask for, but God has used it to teach us many things.

We have learned to fully rely on Him.  He is our source of strength and comfort. “O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.” Psalm 30:2

He has taught us how to better serve those in need in the future.  We have been so blessed by the people that have watched our kids, brought us food, helped us financially, sent cards and letters, and come to visit.  Thank you all.

He has also taught us to cherish each other as a couple, and as a family even more.  You never realize how much need each other until something like this happens.  My eyes have been opened to the reality of how much I depend on my husband, and this experience has made me even more thankful for him than I already was.  Our family has become even closer through all of this.  My kids could not wait for their Daddy to come home and were so excited when we went to pick him up.  After we got home this evening the youngest (2 1/2 months) was crying in the swing, the middle bits (16 and 17 months) were whining because they were ready for dinner, and the big girls (5 and 6) were chattering away as usual.  Dustin was resting on the couch.  I was trying to keep everyone quiet, but not having much success.  But after all the kids were in bed, Dustin pulls me over to him and says that was the best sound he has heard in the last 4 months.  It was the sound of family at home.

We know that the war is not quite over, but we are getting closer.  We continue to be reminded that God is good.  We are now in a period of wait and see (until the scan), and regaining strength.  Thank you all for your prayers and support.  We are blessed.

03
Feb

Not What We Expected

We have made a practice of praying together in the truck before we go into the doctor’s office each time.  Yesterday we prayed for good news.  We have heard so much bad news in the past week, that we needed some hope.  We needed a ray of light, and that is exactly what we got!!!

“Well, you still have cancer, but it’s not rectal cancer like we thought. You have lymphoma.”

Let the hallelujah dancing, as a friend calls it, begin!!!  Yes, D still has cancer.  Yes, it’s still going to be a long, hard road. Yes, we are still going to need help, and yes, we definitely still need your prayers.  BUT….this means no surgery, no colostomy, and no genetic risk for the girls.  This also means survival rate is much higher!!!

So, D will be going in tomorrow to have a bone marrow biopsy just to make sure it has not spread to the bone marrow.  If that comes back clear then the tumor has not metastasized anywhere else in his body.  He will also be getting a medi port put in which requires a minor outpatient surgery.  Then we will go back to the doctor next Wednesday, and he will start chemo next Friday.

God is so good!!!  The power of prayer has been shown.  Thank you all for your prayers and help.  We still need it, but there is hope at the end of the road.

 

 

 

31
Jan

“Praise You in this Storm”

We are in the midst of a storm, but there is so much to be thankful for as well.  There is a song by Casting Crowns that has been replaying in my head all morning. The chorus says,

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

PRAISE REPORT:

  • Our God never leaves our side.  And thankfully He already knows what the future holds.  Above all else, God is good – all the the time.
  • We have so many wonderful friends and family.  Thank you all for your prayers, hugs, and physical help.  We need your help and will continue to need help for many, many months to come, but we are not very good at asking for it sometimes.  Maybe this is God way of growing us in this area.  Please don’t be offended if you ask how you can help, and we say, “I don’t know.”  Especially right now, we don’t know.  We don’t know what we are going to need, but know above all else that we are so very appreciative.
  • D went to the doctor this morning, and they let us know that the insurance approved the PET Scan.  He will have a “planning CT Scan” and the PET Scan both done tomorrow morning.  After this his radiology oncologist will start planning and mapping out his radiation treatment plan.  We will meet again with his doctors later this week to finalize everything.  We are hoping that they will be able to place his chemo port on Friday.  This will be an outpatient minor surgery.  And then Monday, Feb. 6th, he will start his chemo and radiation treatments.  We are grateful that everything seems to be falling into place with very few hiccups.  So far, his doctors have been good and are treating this very aggressively.

This may be a storm we are in the middle of, but we will continue to praise God for His mercies are new everyday.

28
Jan

“Help me to be joyful even when life’s not fair.”

At 35 years old, you never think you are going to hear the words, “I’m sorry, but you have cancer.”  That’s exactly what my husband was told this week.  WOW!!!  Shock, fear, confusion, and disbelief all came to mind.

D found out Wednesday night/Thursday morning that he has rectal cancer.  We spent the last part of the week in a whirlwind of doctor’s appointment, culminating in an attempted biopsy on Friday afternoon.  The surgeon was hopeful that he got a good sample, but we won’t know until Monday or Tuesday.  Next week we will meet with some more doctors and have some more scans done.  Then, the plan as of now is to start chemo and radiation on the 6th.  He will go 5 days a week for 6 weeks.  After that he will have surgery, followed by another 4-6 months of stronger chemo.

All this leaves me wondering, “Why?” Why my husband?  Don’t they know that he has a family? Don’t they know how young he is?  And the answer I keep coming up with is “God does!”  God is not surprised by any of this!!!  God is good all the time, even when we don’t see it.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jerimiah 29:11

We don’t know what the future holds.  What we do know is that God’s in control.  If you see me in person, there may be times I need you to remind me of this.  My desire is that God get the glory through all of this.

We have told our 6 year old, “Squirrel.”  We have simply told her that Daddy is very sick.  We have not used the “C Word” because the only people she has known with cancer have all died.  So if you see her, please be cautious of your choice of words.  She doesn’t understand everything that is going on.  She told D last night that he didn’t look or act sick.  But she does know that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

She says it’s not fair, but when she prayed last night her prayer was “Dear God, Please help me to be joyful even when life is not fair.”  Life is not fair, but we are blessed.  I pray we will continue to find joy even when times get hard.

What we need right now is your prayers. Please pray that the cancer has not spread. Please pray that we have wisdom in choosing doctors. Please pray that he will respond well to treatment. Please pray for peace and comfort. Please pray for healing. Pray for God’s will to be done. And most of all pray that we respond to this whole situation, no matter its outcome, in a godly God glorifying manner that clearly testifies to the hope that is within us.

13
Oct

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Filed in Family, Life

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08
Jul

Large Family Logistics – Giveaway

Do you have a large family? A growing family? Or a family of any size?  Have you ever looked around your house and wondered how you will ever get it all done?  I know I have, and the bigger our family grows, the more I ask myself this.

Well, there is a book out now that I think all wives should read.  It’s called Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman.  The subtitle is “The Art and Science of Managing a Large Family.”  While the book written by a mother of 10, and geared towards large families, I think there are lots of good tips for moms/wives of any size families.  The first half of the book talks about the whys, the under girding foundations, and the overarching methods that encourage woman as wives, mothers, and homemakers.  The second have of the book deals with the “nitty-gritty particulars” of how to keep the home running.

Over the next several weeks, my plan is to review the book chapter by chapter and talk about how we as a family are implementing some of her ideas.  But for now, I wanted to let you know about some giveaways for a free copies of the book.  My 4 favorite blogs are all hosting giveaways this week for the book.

Life in a Shoe

The Common Room

Smockity Frocks

Raising Olives

There are multiple chances to enter on each blog.  If you don’t win on the blog, you can always purchase the book from Vision Forum!

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have, and hope that you will share your ideas too.

05
Jul

God’s Hand in Everything

I get migraines.  We’re not talking about headaches that last for half a day, or even a whole day.  I get migraines that last for weeks.  Over the years I have learned ways to cope with my migraines better, and there are often times that people do not even realize that I have one.  But I get really bad migraines, and I get them all the time.

Having migraines gets in the way of having the life that I would like to have.  There are a lot of things that I don’t get to do that I wish I could because of my migraines.  I often end up in bed early when I would rather be spending the time with my husband.  There are lots of times that housework has to be left undone (and ultimately left for my husband) because I just can’t do it during the day.  There are days where my kids get jipped because I need to rest.

Over the years, I have struggled with being angry with God about this.  I have often questioned why me, or why anybody for that matter.  I have felt sorry for myself, my husband, and my family.  I have had overwhelming guilt brought on because of my headaches.

BUT….what is all of that saying about the God who created me?  I am fearfully and wonderfully made!!! (Psalm 139:14)  If I believe this, and I do, then why do I question so much?  Why do I get angry with God?  Shouldn’t I be finding the good in the situation.

We have all heard, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  But there is so much more to it than that.  When life’s circumstances are hard, use them to grow in your relationship with your creator.  Instead of asking, “Why is this happening?” I should be asking, “How can I use this? What can I learn from this? and What can I teach others because of this?”

I like the way J.C. Ryle talks about this…..

“If God has given His Son to die for us, let us beware of doubting His kindness and love in any painful providence of our daily life. Let us never suppose that He can give us anything that is not really for our good. Let us remember the words of Paul, ‘He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all—how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.’ (Rom. 8:32.) Let us see in every sorrow and trouble of our earthly pilgrimage, the hand of Him who gave Christ to die for our sins. That hand can never smite us except in love. He who gave us His only begotten Son, will never withhold anything from us that is really for our good. Let us lean back on this thought and be content. Let us say to ourselves in the darkest hour of trial, ‘This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well.’”
~ J.C. Ryle

So this is the challenge for myself.  When I am frustrated that my head is hurting for the umpteenth day in a row, I will tell myself, “This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well.”  I will look for the positives, have confidence that they are there, and rejoice and be thankful for the opportunity to grow through this trial.

“Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.”

Job 34:10

30
Jun

Hospitality – Why? How?

 

Dictionary.com defines hospitality as 1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers  2. the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers  in a warm, friendly, generous way.

 

In the last several months we have been convicted more about inviting people into our home for a time of fellowshipping around the table and building relationships.  When we talked to others about getting together I used to actually pray they would offer to do it at their house.  Hosting at my own house has been somewhat hard for me for several reasons.  For one thing, our house is a constant construction project.  At times I have felt our house was not good enough, or wondered what people would think of our ongoing work.  Also, I am admittedly not a very good cook (unless it’s baby food).  I like to cook, but I am not very good at it and never want people to eat something they don’t enjoy.  In addition, we have small children.  I know they are good kids most of the time, but sometimes I am nervous about how they will act when others are in our home.   Well all of these were just excuses!  We did not have any good reasons for not inviting people into our home and sharing what we have.  We may not have the fanciest house;  we may not serve the fanciest food, and it might be loud in our house sometimes, but we always have a good time building relationships.

 

Why be hospitable?

Sometimes we think hospitality is optional, but the Bible specifically commands it.

1 Peter 4:9-10 – “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. “

Romans 12:13 – “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

These are just two of the many, many verses in the Bible pertaining to showing hospitality.  God’s Word make it very clear that as believers we are to share what we have without grumbling or in my case, making excuses.

How to be hospitable?

Like I wrote earlier, I am not a gourmet chef, and I don’t have the most exquisite house.  But I love to fellowship with people.  I want them to feel comfortable in my home.  I know for me, I actually feel less comfortable in someone’s home that is immaculate.  I am afraid I am going to mess something up, or get it out of place, or that one of my children will break something.  I want people to enjoy the food they eat at my house, not feel like they have to worry about which fork to use.

So here are a few things that work for us.  Again we are not experts by any means.  We simply like to fellowship and build relationships.

  1. Pray before, during, and after.  Pray before that God would ordain the conversation to move in the direction he would desire.  Pray during, not just for your food.  What a better way to let people know you are praying for them than by doing it while they are in your home.  Pray after that God will use the time you spent together for his glory, and for future opportunities.
  2. Be flexible.  Understand that those you are inviting may not have the same schedule you do and they may not have the same taste buds you do.
  3. Be yourself.  If the goal is to build relationships, and serve others, they need to see the real you.  One of my favorite things that my husband tries to do every time we have guest over for dinner is inviting them to join us for family worship.  They get to see the real us.
  4. Make your home comfortable, but don’t stress about making it spotless.  I have learned over the last several months that I enjoy my time much more if I don’t start off all stressed because of my house.  I want there to be a place for everyone to sit in the living room and at the table, and I want the kitchen cleaned so we can serve whatever food we are having, but I don’t mind if there are some toys out, or a pile of papers/mail that needs to be filed.  I do however TRY to make sure it doesn’t smell like dirty diapers.
  5. Find out about the tastes and allergies of your company.  You never want to be serving something that your guests don’t like or can’t eat.  We went to a church fellowship with young families not too long ago, and I forgot to ask about any food allergies.  I was asked to make dessert.  I got excited because dessert is one thing I do pretty well.  I made an array of cookies, peanut butter, sugar, and chocolate chip, and put them all on the same tray.  Unfortunately, when we got there I found out that one of the children was deathly allergic to peanuts, and could not enjoy any of the cookies because they were all on the same plate.  So now I make it a point to ask not only about likes and dislikes, but also allergies.
  6. Most of all, remember, being hospitable is not about the hostess.  It’s about your guests!!!

The next time you have people over, throw out your expectations.  Let God be in charge of things.  Relax and enjoy!!!

Hebrews 13:2

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

25
Jun

Why I Take My Girls to the Grocery Store With Me

We are having friends over for dinner tonight, and I still needed a few things, so I ran to the grocery store.  My 2 older girls, ages 5 and 4, went with me.  On the way to the store I was on the phone with a friend, and I told her where I was going, and it came up that my girls were with me.  She seemed somewhat surprised that I had not left them at home with my husband.  While my husband is wonderful, and would have been more than willing to keep them at home with him, it is important to me that I use every opportunity I have to train my girls.

Today’s grocery trip was all about hospitality, shopping to serve others, and a bonus lesson on couponing.  We talked about making sure you have what others enjoy eating.   We talked about picking out the best quality produce to serve.  We worked on planning and making sure that we would have enough for everyone.  And as a bonus, we ran into a good deal on Goldfish.  One of my daughter’s commented that we still had a bag of Gold Fish in the pantry, so I was able to explain to her that sometimes we stock up on something whenever we find a good deal (we got 21 bags of Gold Fish for $.25 each).

All this to say, it would certainly have been easier to leave my girls at home, but I don’t want them to grow up, get married, and then have no idea how to shop, whether it is bargain shopping, simply shopping for the week for their family, or preparing for a dinner party.  I want them to start learning now how to be the best wives and mothers they can be.

Prov. 31:14-15

14 She is like the ships of the merchant;

she brings her food from afar.

15 She rises while it is yet night

and provides food for her household

and portions for her maidens.

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