Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just a little paper

I am NO greenie.  I mean, I want to be.  It just doesn't happen.  Our town got rid of their recycling program.  Both my kids wore disposable diapers.  I don't hesitate to throw things away.  I tell you all this because we really don't use paper towels or paper napkins at our house.  It wasn't a conscious decision at first.  It evolved over time.  And in truth, it's a BIG money saver.  I still  buy the occasional roll of paper towels for the windows but I may get some micro cloths and get rid of those too!  Here's how we started:

1. When my first was born I started a rag drawer in the kitchen.  It was a place that I put old towels, washcloths, and dishrags that had seen better days.  We used this for yucky cleanups that took more than a few paper towels.
2. As the kids got older (and messier) we started using these rags to wipe up sticky hands and faces.  I just threw them in a bucket near the wash and washed them all together.  I would keep my eyes out for cheap washcloths to add to the stash or even my hubbie's old t shirts.  We still had the trusty paper towels out on the counter.  And we still used paper napkins.
3. Last summer, when we were in a very tight budget, if it wasn't a necessity, we didn't buy it.  I realized that unless I could get paper napkins for free with a coupon, it wasn't worth the money.  I had some cloth napkins from my mom and we just started to use those.  I showed my son where they were and he gets them out for dinner.  I don't do anything special to clean them.  I'm not even picky about folding them.  I guess if we had company I might iron them. I have some paper napkins in the closet.  For a rainy day, I guess.
4. Next, I put the paper towels away.  They are in the laundry closet.  Out of site out of mind.  Everyone in the house knows where the rag drawer is (even the two year old) and because they can reach it, they can clean up their own messes.
5.  I recently made some more napkins and even send a cloth one (out of blue stripped flannel) in my son's lunch to school.
The green check are out of a homespun fabric.  I used my serger and for about $6.00 in fabric made about 48 napkins.  That's enough that when they get worn, they will go to the rag drawer and if I don't get around to the wash, we'll still have plenty.  I made these smaller than the commercial size napkins because, really, how big does a napkin need to be?!?!  Even if you don't sew, I'm sure you can pick up some cotton napkins for a good price.  I like cotton because it absorbs better.

I know.  Many of you are saying "I can't add one more thing to my laundry pile!"  I think if I decided to go paper-free all at once, I would have agreed.  Starting with just a small area has really helped. 

I would love to know if you do this, or even if you start, what you think!  If you have questions about it, let me have 'em.  If you're really interested I might even give away a set of the green check napkins.

Stationery Winner!

Well for those that entered the contest, you had pretty good odds to win.  The winner (using random number generator) is #1, Patty, who said "oooo...I would love to win some enclosure cards. I like the bright dots and stripes gift cards.".  I'm sure she'll enjoy them.  For those that didn't win, make sure to visit The Note Card Lady.  Use code DLH2010 for 10% off!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stretching ourselves

About a month ago, I decided that I would start running.  I've run before but it's been awhile.  I became motivated because I have a husband that runs and now a good friend and daughter started running.  I was beginning to feel left in their dust.  So I started to train using an app on my iphone called Couch to 5K.  The concept is that you can run a 5K race in 9 weeks training time.  It's going to take me longer.  I'm doing each week twice because I want to make sure I don't injure my knees.

I have a friend from high school who said she would run with me.  It wasn't until we started running that I remembered that she ran track in high school.  And she has legs that are 6 feet long!  Seriously!  What was I thinking!  I definitely felt like I got in a really good run because I was having to stretch myself.  I actually thought I could feel like my legs were longer.  I mean they would have to be to keep up with her, right?  If it were only that easy!

So I started thinking about how we should stretch ourselves.  We should reach beyond what we are.  We should no longer accept the excuses that we tell ourselves or that Satan whispers to us.  You know what they are.  Satan likes to tell us we are too stupid, or too fat, or too ugly, or a bad mom, or a bad wife, or we come from the wrong kind of background.  The list goes on.  John 10:10 says "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  Some versions say so that you can have life more ABUNDANTLY.  I like that!  I want life that is abundant and full.  And so does God.  Philippians 3:14 says "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  God accepts us where we are but wants so much more for us.  He wants us to ask him but he also wants us to do the work.

I'm stretching myself to run but I'm also stretching myself here on this blog.  I won't let Satan tell me that I don't matter.  That I'm too weak or too old.  That I can't make a difference.  I will give it to God and ask that he use it how he sees best and in his time!

I'd love to hear how you are stretching yourself!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Project Fun-Spontaneous!

I introduced Project Fun last week.  After I wrote the post, I felt like I didn't give many ideas for things to do that are truly fun but don't cost anything.  Well, leave it to the kiddos to come up with something.  The turtle and the monkey were playing with balloons (supervised of course).  We were pumping them up, tossing them around, and looking at the different sizes.  This wasn't what I would call "Project Fun" material, but little did I know.  The turtle brought me a little tiny balloon and asked what it was.  I said I thought it was a water balloon.  So hubbie filled one up and showed him how it worked (outside).  He also availed him of stories of water balloon fights he had as a kid.  So the turtle comes inside, looks at me, and says, "Can we have a water balloon fight?"

Here is what goes through my mommy mind:
It's late.  You've already had baths.  You're in your PJ's.  I don't want to.

Something inside of me said yes.  We all put on our crocks and headed outside.  Here is a picture of the before:
Notice the bowl full of balloons!

Here is the after:

No, you aren't seeing things.  Those are the balloon scraps in the bowl, and we are all COMPLETELY dry!  It was the driest water balloon fight in history.  Every single balloon bounced off the person/target and then proceeded to explode on the ground.  I have to think that was God's way of rewarding me for instilling a little fun into the kiddos evening!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Counting Joy

You can now go directly to this blog via  I feel like Pinocchio when he became 'real'.

The other week when I posted Mommy Meltdown I had some interesting emails and comments in response to it.  Seems like some people in my life think I have it "all together" and were surprised that I had a meltdown.  I started thinking about how others see me and how we see others.  Maybe I'm not transparent enough.  Aren't we as Christians supposed to let others know we struggle so that they will see our strength in Christ, and not ourselves?

We really don't know what goes on in another's life unless we "walk in their moccasins."  It is impossible to know their every feeling and every struggle.  And let's face it; we all have struggles.  Scripture says we WILL struggle.  Psalm 40:12 says "For trouble without number surround me..."  It doesn't say every once in a while I'll have a bad day.  Troubles surround?  Yuck!  Psalm 90:10 says, "The years of our life are seventy,or even by reason of strength eighty;yet their span is but toil and trouble..."  It doesn't say, we'll only have struggles for one day or if we are a bad mom or a bad wife or overweight or poor or tired.  If you ever think that the writers of the Bible had it all together, just read the book of Ecclesiastes or Job.  And I know if they struggled, then it is normal that I do. 

I also know that I will, as it says in James 1, count it ALL joy.  I will count the struggles, the tears, the heartache, and even the lack of sleep as Joy!  I know that is what God wants me to do.  Of course, it's easy to count the blessings as joy.  But really, if I start to see it all as joy, then even the heartache becomes joy.  It is hard to do.  I will look to God for the strength to do this.

I challenge you this week to be a little more transparent with someone.  Ask questions, so someone will have the opportunity to be transparent with you!  Let me know how it goes!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Weekly Purse

Have you turned any rotten moments into silk purses this week?

I had one on Monday.  Things fell apart on the home front.  Can you say first day of school?  I won't get into the details, but it was a late night with lots of discussion.  It could have been worse.  Much worse.  Apologies were spoken.  New goals established.  And lots of prayer.  Lots and lots of prayer.  It was the low part of my week.  But it was also like birthin' a baby.  Very hard but definitely worth it! 

Come on gals (and guys?)!  What sows ear have you turned into a silk purse?

Stationery Give Away!

Who doesn't like a freebie, right?
I found The Notecard Lady on eBay back when my son was born (almost 7 years ago).  From there I went straight to her store for purchases after that.  I love her things and she is so reasonable.  She makes note cards, calling cards, stickers, invitations, and gift cards.  I've even worked with her to customize my designs from a stock design of hers.

My favorite thing that I like to get from her are the Gift or Enclosure cards.  I have a set for each of my children.  I use two (back to back) with a self laminating pouch for a bag tag.  (Although she sells luggage tags also.)  When it's time to wrap a birthday gift, I punch a hole in a card, write the name of the receiver on it, and tie it on the package with a ribbon.  I've also had 'mommy cards' made up with all of my information on it.

I love her flat note cards!  They are so classy!  She typically has a buy 3 sets get 1 free promotion going.  They are great teacher or Christmas gifts.  Who doesn't love getting something for free?

She is giving all of my blog readers a super deal!  If you check out with this code DLH2010 you will get a 10% discount on your order!  Awesome right?  

I know, you want to know what I'm giving away, right?  Well, it's a set of my favorite product!  It's the Gift or Enclosure Cards.  Now, here is how to enter:  become a public Google follower of my blog.  Go to The Notecard Lady's site and choose which enclosure cards you would choose if you win.  Don't worry about the specific name or all the details.  We'll hash those out if you win!  Come back here and post a comment on which one you like!  I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner on next Friday, 8/27.  ***Update: do not worry if your comment isn't showing up.  I am getting email verification and will use that.  Working on a fix.***

Friday, August 20, 2010

Project Fun

Ever gone out to McDonald's because the kids needed a treat?  Ever felt guilty about yelling at the kids and bought them a toy?  Ever turned on the TV because you the kids needed a break?  Come on, I know I'm not the only one!  I find my self doing so many things out of guilt.

One of my favorite 'celebrity' moms is Hannah Keeley.  She went to the same college I did (a few years before me), has 7 kids, and her own TV show called "Hannah Help Me."  She's just really a neat, down to earth person.  She really focuses on having fun in your child's life.  She thinks that kids should remember something fun from yesterday, do something fun today, and look forward to something fun tomorrow.  I think that is a wonderful philosophy of parenting.  My son doesn't always think the 'fun' things I do are very funny, but I hope when he is an adult he will look back and remember his mom as funny or goofy!

Along these lines, I have started +"Project Fun".  It's nothing formal or scheduled.  I don't have a list on the calendar of things we are supposed to do to have fun.  It's an attitude or way of life.  I realized I was doing too much of "guilty fun."  I did things to help my guilt as a mom, not to instill fun in our kiddos.  I have started to change this way of thinking.  Now don't start thinking that "I don't do crafts" or "I don't do puppet shows" or "I don't have any money".  It doesn't have to be that, although it could.  Sometimes it's planning something.  Other times it's just saying "Yes!" to a request!

Here are somethings we have done recently:
-Took lunch on a drizzly Saturday the park.  Ate lunch and let the kids play in the rain.
-Went on a small two night vacation and DID NOT tell the kids where we were going, untill we got there.  They didn't even know we were spending the night.
-Went to a downtown toy store and let the kids play.

-Took shaving cream and let them spread it all over the front porch.  It smells good and washes off pretty easily.
-When my son asked to make chocolate chip cookies, I said YES!  I stopped everything and started baking with him.
-This weekend we are going apple picking.  It's a little bit of a drive, but I could it as 'fun grocery shopping'. 

Leave me a comment about intentional fun things that you have done or are going to try with your kiddos!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What I learned for the summer

It seems every time I talk to someone at about their summer, they just sigh.  It was too short, too hectic, and too hot.  This was one of the hottest summers that I remember in South Caroonlina.  For me, this was really the first summer I had two children.  In '08 my daughter was born 2 weeks before school started back.  In '09 my husband was out of work, so he was home the entire summer!  Talk about spoiled.  So the summer of '10 had me flying solo.  I DID NOT DO THIS WELL!  I resolve to do this better next year.  Here is what I learned.  It may or may not help you out.  I will at least have a place to look back to come next June.

1. Have a list of ideas.  I would draw a complete blank on things to do.  If we didn't have a doctor's appointment or somewhere else to be, the three of us just stared at each other like we were lost.  I forgot that we had passes to the zoo until 2 weeks before school started!  Ack!  Of course, it was SOOOO hot!  Maybe I will have a jar that we can pick from.  I just didn't have inspiration on the spot. 

2. Space out camps, vacations, and vacation bible school.  I did ok on this, but will do better.  It seemed like for any type of camp we had it took a week to recover.  I thought these things would make the summer easier, but they actually made it harder.  It interrupted whatever schedule we had and got us out of the groove.

3. Save more of a summer activity fund.  I've done this when my son was in a more expensive summer long program, but didn't do it for the small things.  I'll try to save more for that next year.

4.  I need to find better summer recipes.  The idea of cranking up the gas stove was horrendous to me.  It was just too hot!  I'll be searching out a few 'no heat' recipes before June.

5. I will plan some nights out with friends.  I had very little 'mommy recharge' time.

Leave me some comments on what ideas you use to get through the summer!  I'd especially like to see some inexpensive ones!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mommy Meltdown

As I said in yesterday's post, I had a rough week, ending with a "Mommy Meltdown".  Raise your hand if you have ever had one.  If you didn't raise your hand, then I know you are lying.  As moms, we can come to the end of our rope.  I had that day.  It wasn't pretty, but I will spare you the details.  I can blame it on a lot; long summer, tired children, economic recession, bum knee, crowded restaurant, meet-the-teacher night, and Satan.  I'm throwing that last one in because I do really believe that we can be attacked by him.  And what better way to destroy a family than attack the mom.  I did some major apologizing to the husband and kiddos.  Took a lot of time to pray, slept late the next day.  All is not perfect, but we are on the mend. 

This has made me keenly aware of how much we can hurt as women.  We carry the weight of so much on us.  Our house, our family, our health, our family's health, our finances; really the future of our family.  How do we protect ourselves?

Ephesians 6:11-13 (NIV) says, "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

As this school year begins, let's commit ourselves to praying for our families protection so that we can concentrate on being the mom's we are supposed to be.  

God bless!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Weekly Purse

Oh my!  So I'm supposed to sit here and tell you about all the great ways I turned sows ears into silk purses this week.  That might be difficult.  There were a LOT of sows ears this week.  Not so many silk purses.  I think it's because school starts Monday.  Everything just seemed so rushed and last minute.  I keep wondering if I've forgotten things.  Ok, so I know that we can still go to the store.  Where did the summer go? 

The one silk purse of the week was a great trip to the local water park with our church.  It wasn't hot or overly crowded.  It really was the bright spot in a crummy week.  Hey, if you have a bad week, then having at least one good thing is a blessing!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

15 windows

Our house has 15 windows.  Compared to some in our neighborhood, that's not a lot.  Some of them are grouped in two's or three's.  I know some are you are thinking, "why does she know how many windows are in her house?"  Square feet?  Sure.  Rooms?  Yeah.  Windows?  Nobody knows that.  Well, I decided that I was going to paint them.  On the outside.  Did I mention we have two floors? 

Sometimes we hire out big jobs around the house.  It's always nice to have big jobs just finished!  Of course writing the check always hurts though.  I got a few quotes on getting them painted.  It just isn't in our budget.  They REALLY need painting.  I mean you can see the bare wood.  They haven't been painted in 8 years!  Since before my son was born.  So of course, I decided I could do it.  Did I mention there are 15 windows?

I knew I couldn't do them all in a weekend.  With two little ones running around it would have to be several weekends.  Sunny ones at that!  So last weekend I started this project.  I originally wanted to get two windows done.  Once I got started I realized I could do 4!  Of course these are on the ground floor.

Here are the basic steps that helped me get this done.  I broke it down into Saturday and Sunday tasks.
Saturday:  Clean.  I didn't want to use a pressure washer.  Just too much to mess with.  I used a bucket with hot water and Oxyclean and a bathroom scrub brush.  I just slopped the mixture on and scrubbed the trim.  Since we have vinyl siding this seemed to work well.  I then just used the garden hose to rinse it off. 
I had some rags to dry it off and let the rest dry overnight.

Sunday: Paint.  This became less difficult because I was painting the same color (white).  There are lots of ways to cut in windows.  You can just scrape it afterward or use painters tape.  I chose to tape because our windows have no outside mullions or grids.  I primed using Zinser all house primer.  I used it because I had it on hand.  Kilz would have worked just as well.  I primed each of the four windows first.  By the time I finished all four, I could then paint.  Because I took the time to prime, it actually only took one coat of exterior paint.  After the paint dried, I removed the paint and cleaned the windows inside and out.

Now I only have 11 more widows to go.  The next 4 are all downstairs.  I'll tackle those this weekend.  I'm still researching how best to do the upstairs.  Our windows pop out, so that might be the best option. 

I did have to spend a little money (counting what I already had on hand): primer, paint, new GOOD QUALITY brush, painters tape, oxyclean, sweat equity.  All total, less than $100.  Now, I may have to buy a new ladder for the upstairs, but this is still cheaper than paying someone.  Although God bless those men and women who build and rebuild our houses!  If it were in the budget, I would be hiring you!

Give me some encouragement!  Leave me a comment about a project you tackled that you thought would take forever, but was totally worth it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Scottish Roots

The Scot's are known to be rather frugal (ok, cheap).  It's where Scotch Tape got it's name.  I'm not judging.  My son got his red hair from the Scottish and Irish sides of my family.  My great grandmother used a kitchen chair instead of getting a wheelchair.  My grandmother used the stove to make toast.  She just couldn't see spending the money on some new device to cook toast (of course she always burned it, but that's another story).  I was thinking alot about her today, about that generation born at the beginning of the 1900's.  Frugality was really just a way of life for them.  As they lived through wars and depressions, they made a life out of what was around them.

What would they think of all of the 'new-found' frugality: coupon sites, re-purposing clothing, thrift store shopping?  I think they would scratch their heads at our amazement at this 'new' way of life.  To them, it was just life.

I was really channeling my grandmother as I took a mattress pad apart.  It had kind of melted in the dryer and didn't fit my sons twin bed anymore.  I knew I could use the quilted batting in some sewing projects.  As I started to cut it apart, I realized I could use the elastic too for some pants for my daughter.  Score! 

I don't keep everything 'just in case' I find a purpose for it.  But I am beginning to look at items in a whole new way.  Let me know what you've re-purposed or put to a new life!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Timing is everything

I've been thinking a lot about timing lately.  My timing, God's timing, the timing of the world.  It's the waiting that can be the hardest.  When the big things in life are in the "it's up to God's timing" category we can drown in the uncertainty.  We think if we just knew 'when' then we could survive it.  We spend a large part of our life asking God when?
-When will I meet my future spouse?
-When will I get that promotion?
-When will we get pregnant or when will be able to adopt?
-When will our 'ship come in'?
-When will our health improve?

Shouldn't we be spending our time seeking God, not a date on the calendar?  Seeking His wisdom, not the world's?  Seeking His plan, not ours?  Of course the hard part is that His plans aren't always clear.  That's where faith in God comes in.  We have to trust that he is guiding our steps. 

Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)

Proverbs 16:9: In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (NIV)

Ahh, but isn't all of this easier said than done?  I struggle with this as much as the next person.  As my family is waiting for some guidance on what to do next, we will continue to seek God's will.  I have to trust that he is guiding our steps!

God bless!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Babes in Tech Land

I love this picture of the Turtle boy.  (We were in a parked car, so no worries about the seat belt or the fact that he was in the front seat.)   
He just seems so old here.  There is no baby fat on his face anymore.  He's in big boy camo pants.  He's intently playing on my iphone (hence the pink case).  He's gotten pretty good at the "Rush Hour" game. 

And the Monkey is sitting in the back:

She's playing on a hand me down itouch.  Of course, we adults seem to think it's amazing that kids these days are so technologically advanced.  They grow up with it around them.  To them it's as normal as running water was to my parents generation and tv is to my generation.  I, like many first time parents, said "I'll never let my kids watch tv, play video games, etc."  Famous last words!  Now, of course I DO understand the importance of limiting 'screen time'.  We don't have a set schedule (that's just not how we work as a family) but we do limit the types of shows and programs that we allow them to watch.  It's a delicate balance.  We live IN this world, but we are not to be OF this world. 

I marvel at how time marches on.  Babies grow to toddlers, toddlers to big kids!  Phones get smaller, TV's get bigger.  I wonder what my kids will marvel at in thirty years?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Weekly Purse

Let's see what I've had the opportunity to turn into a silk purse this week:

Sow's Ear: No fun plans for a Sunday
Silk Purse:  Impromptu trip to the zoo after church.  Beautiful weather!  We all had a blast and even got to see the baby orangutan swing from the rope and fall down.  My daughter is still talking about the monkey that fell! 

Sow's Ear: Dentist appointment for 2 year old to get spot ground off her tooth
Silk Purse:  She actually napped really well afterward (screaming will do that) and then keeps going "buzzzzzz" with her finger to everyone else's mouth.  It's hilarious

Sow's Ear: Only two weeks of summer left
Silk Purse: Only two weeks of summer left!  (Heehee, I'm sure you moms understand this).

It's been a good week because I decided to make it a good week!  Now, go forth and make silk purses!

Friday, August 6, 2010

From Burlap to Cashmere

I finally finished putting up my new window treatments in our family room.  It really wasn't difficult, it just took forever to get a picture!  You know how that goes.  (The beginnings of the project are Hardware store decorating).  I could call this a tutorial but it's so easy that I think that would be insulting.  I bought two 8 x 6 canvas drop cloths from Home Depot.  One had a seam across it but I knew I could work with it.  I washed, dried, and ironed them.  I did not press them super well because I wanted them to look casual.  I folded over the top (making sure to hide the seam) and attached them with drapery clips.

The rod and clips were from our previous draperies.  It's actually two rods screwed together with a special two sided drapery screw and mounted with three brackets.

 And here is the full view:
I'm pleased with how they turned out.  I'd love to see what you have decorated with from the hardware store!

I also entered this in the Friday Remodelaholic party.  Check it out!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Seeking silence

If you know me in real life, you know how much I can talk.  I've met a few people who can out-talk me, but not many.  So don't keel over laughing at this post title-hang with me.

I've been thinking alot lately about silence.  What it is, when it's good, when it's bad, and how I can get some more of it.  Now as a mom, there isn't a whole lot of silence in my life.  The monkey LOVES to talk and the turtle LOVES to just make noise.  I have every word of the Fisher Price Little People CD memorized.  I can quote every line from Spy Kids 2.  Even taking a shower isn't a quite experience. 

Of course, many times in our life we seek out noise.  We are afraid to be alone with our thoughts, our life, our God.  On the rare occasion when the kids are out of the house, we turn on a TV or a radio, run the laundry, or the vacuum cleaner.  Just to have some noise.  What are we running from?  Shouldn't we be running toward silence?  It's in that quiet space that we can find the clarity that can come from the Holy Spirit to deal with our life when it is noisy. 

In 1 Peter 3:3-4 it says "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment... Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."  Although I may talk a storm, I pray that God will grant me that quiet spirit.  That He will lead me in the directions that He wants me to go.  I challenge you to seek out some silence in your life this week.

God bless!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It takes the cake!

So you've seen the little monkey's birthday gift on this post.  Now here's the cake!

In more prosperous times I have bought the kiddos cakes (although I made the cake for the turtle's first birthday).  I decided I would break out the cake decorating skills this year.  Now, this is not a frugal one time option.  There is the initial cost of decorating tips, pans, etc.  MANY years ago I took a cake decorating class and kept all of my 'stuff'.  Of course if you plan on doing this every year then it becomes even more frugal. 

Here's how this cake worked.  I borrowed a Wilton flower cake pan from a friend (helps to have crafty and frugal friends) for the first tier.  The second tier is a eight inch round pan.  I used a confetti type cake mix.  One box was enough but only if you add a package of Dream Whip to the mix.  It makes the cake fluffier and stretches the batch.  You can find Dream Whip in the baking aisle of most major grocery stores.  I had this green leaf platter that made the perfect stand for the flower.  I used all types of tips to give it lots of whimsy!  And last but not least I added some Tinkerbell fairies to the top.  I found a set at Toys R Us but here is a similar set with more fairies:

It was fun to have a little present for the monkey after the cake was eaten!  We had about 20 people at the party and almost all the cake was gone!  It was fun to make and the kiddos liked seeing me do it.

Now if you are looking for someone else to make a cake and you are in upstate South Carolina, please check out Deb Es Cakes.  She actually gave me some tips on the icing and it was great!  She is donating her proceeds for the month of September to Childhood Cancer Research in memory of her sister.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Learning to balance

Have you ever watched a child learn to walk across a balance beam?  Some will try and go too fast.  Some will try and go too slow.  Some only want to walk with one foot leading.  Others try to balance using only their arms.  It takes a lot of motor coordination to get from point A to point B over a 4 inch wide piece of wood.  The one thing it does take is balance.  (Yeah, I know I'm stating the obvious.)

I was thinking a lot about balance today.  There are so many things in our life, especially as moms, that take balance:  parenting, budgeting, exercise, hobbies, friendships, cooking, cleaning...and the list goes on.  Each day as we wake up at point A we have to figure out how to get to point B without falling off the beam.  Falling off usually looks like yelling at the kids, forgetting the important things, and maybe even bursting into tears.

God gives us the road map to get from point A to point B in Phillipians 4:8.  The NIV says "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  If we focus on this road map and ask the Holy Spirit to give us the help (and wisdom), then we will have the balance to get through the day.
God bless!