Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Real Life Christmas Gifts {Part 1}

For the next few weeks, I'm going to share some of my favorite real life Christmas gifts. So many Christmas gift idea lists out there include boring, & unimaginative gifts that I really wonder if people ever actually use. So, these recommendations are going to include some of my favorite things, for a variety of people, at a variety of price points. My favorite way to Christmas shop is using Amazon.com because it's easy to order, especially with the free 2-day shipping for Prime members (Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime) & I don't have to ship the items I buy to people that are out of town. Now that I live further from all of my family, that's a really important aspect of my Christmas gift buying.
So, on to day 1 of my favorite things!

1. Dominion - We are a game loving family. This is one of our new favorite games. It's a card game, also know as a deck building game. Throughout the game you try to acquire better cards for your own deck so that you can defeat everyone else. Just a word of advice if you do buy this game, do not shuffle all the cards together, they are supposed to be separated into those small slots in the box. This can be a quick game, and rarely takes more than an hour after you've learned how to play. It's also great because it can be different each time, based on which sets of cards you use.

2. Women's Duffel Bag - I bought this for myself when I started going to the gym this year. It's held up really well & is the perfect size for a change of clothes. It has nice pockets inside, including a couple of mesh pockets & one that has a soft lining. I also love that it has a separate zip compartment for wet clothes & stinky shoes. It also comes in a variety of colors. The wet clothes compartment just barely fits my size 8.5 shoes, so if you wear a larger size, you may just have to carry your shoes in the main compartment.

3.Water Balloon Launcher - At every family reunion, my dad brings along his water balloon launcher. The grandkids spend a couple of hours filling up water balloons & then the fun starts. Dad is able to launch balloons by inserting a balloon into the pouch, holding one side of the launcher in each hand, & holding the pouch down with his foot. Then he stretches his arms up & pulls his foot out of the strap, launching the water balloon high into the sky & out into a field where the kids wait with T-shirts strung on their arms. The goal is to try to catch the balloons in your T-shirt/pouch without getting smacked by the balloon or having it stolen by one of the other kids. It made for hours of fun! (Warning: Launched balloons are travelling very fast & can cause injury. Read all safety instructions & warnings before using the launcher & do not launch balloons horizontally at people).

4. Children's Alarm Clock - This is one of my favorite kid's gifts! If you have young children that get up at a ridiculous time each morning, then you should definitely check out this clock! You're able to set the clock to light up when it's ok for your child to get out of bed in the morning. It also has a nightlight, & an alarm option. This has really helped my kids to know when it's really morning, especially during the winter when the sun may not be up. It also makes fun faces when the kids press the buttons, which they love!

5.Women's Robe - I wanted a simple robe that didn't make me look like the Michelin man, or a bath rug. I also wanted it to be ankle length & not made from shiny silky fabric. I was so happy when my husband bought me this one! It's lightweight & good quality. It's definitely a little more pricey than your average terry cloth robe, but it was exactly what I wanted.

Be sure to check back throughout the month to see more of my real-life Christmas gift ideas!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Primary Theme for October {Free Printable}

The LDS Primary theme for October comes from John 15:11.  I read a beautiful explanation of some of the verses that precede verse 11 here:
 “‘Abide in me’ is an understandable and beautiful enough concept in the elegant English of the King James Bible, but ‘abide’ is not a word we use much anymore. So I gained even more appreciation for this admonition from the Lord when I was introduced to the translation of this passage in another language. In Spanish that familiar phrase is rendered‘permaneced en mi.’ Like the English verb ‘abide,’ permanecer means ‘to remain, to stay,’ but even [English speakers] like me can hear the root cognate there of ‘permanence.’ The sense of this then is ‘stay—but stayforever.’ That is the call of the gospel message to [everyone] in the world. Come, but come to remain. Come with conviction and endurance. Come permanently, for your sake and the sake of all the generations who must follow you. …
“Jesus said, ‘Without me ye can do nothing’ [John 15:5]. I testify that that is God’s truth. Christ is everything to us and we are to ‘abide’ in Him permanently, unyieldingly, steadfastly, forever. For the fruit of the gospel to blossom and bless our lives, we must be firmly attached to Him, the Savior of us all, and to this His Church, which bears His holy name. He is the vine that is our true source of strength and the only source of eternal life” (“Abide in Me,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 32).

I believe that Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ experience no greater joy than when we choose to follow Their commandments. Being obedient shows them that we love Them above all else & that our ultimate goal is to return to live with Them.

You can get this free printable by clicking {here}. Make sure you don't click on the ad buttons that say Download. The real download button is below the picture of the file. This printable is sized to 11x14, and I like to have mine printed at Costco.

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Primary Theme {Free Printable}

The LDS Primary theme for September is the 13th Article of Faith.  It reads, "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul - We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
You can download the print by clicking on this {link}. The print is sized for an 11x14 & I like to have them printed at Costco.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scrapbooking catchup from 2013

I've been doing a bit of catch-up with my scrapbooking this past week, & I've been on a roll! I got really behind because I haven't really done any scrapbooking since a few months before we moved (about a year ago). I figured it was about time to get those memories recorded, mainly so I don't forget what was going on when I took the pictures. So, enjoy some photos from 2013!









Friday, August 8, 2014

August Primary Theme {Free Printable}

The LDS Primary theme for August comes from The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Click on this {link} to get to the download page.
The teachings found in the proclamation are ones in which I firmly believe. I hope you take the time to read the full proclamation & find the beauty, peace & comfort in the words that were spoken by a prophet to the families of all the world.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Primary Theme for May {Free Printable}

The Primary theme for May counsels us to remember the words that prophets have spoken in the past. I am so thankful for a living prophet who knows what to say to help me want to become a better person! You can download this free printable {HERE}. It's sized for an 11x14, and I like to get mine printed at Costco.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Primary Theme {Free Printable}

The theme for Primary for April comes from The Family: A Proclamation to the World. It teaches that we believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and that the family is central to the creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. Feel free to download this free printable by going {here}. The print is sized for an 11x14. Have a great April!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Geese are scary

We went on a family walk through Kathryn Albertson Park this evening. The light was perfect, so I was able to get some great pictures of my family! There were also geese everywhere, and they all had their knickers in knots anytime we walked too close to their nests. We were able to distract a few pairs of parents so that we could get a closer look at their eggs. The girls were pretty freaked out by some of the geese, especially when they started hissing at us & flapping their wings. I didn't know geese could hiss. They also tend to drool a lot when they hiss, which is kind of hilarious to watch. So, enjoy these photos that I shot while we enjoyed this beautiful spring day!





Sister hugs!

Friday, February 28, 2014

March Family Scripture

For March, our family is going to be memorizing 1 John 4:14. I truly believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior. Many religions focus on the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we focus on what the Savior did in the garden of Gethsemane, when He took upon Himself the sins of all the world and bled from every pore. Then, He chose to die on the cross, but even more importantly, He was resurrected and lives again. I created a print of this scripture that we will hang in our home throughout the month & help us as we memorize. You can download the full resolution print {here}.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Product: Are You My Mother?

This may be my new favorite bunting! I've always loved the story "Are You My Mother" so I decided to use it to make a bunting. I paired the book pages with brown craft paper & mint green scrapbook paper. I love how it turned out! Check it out in my shop {here}.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

February Scripture {Free Printable}

I was a little late getting this month's scripture printed, but I'm sure we'll have time to memorize the entire verse. This scripture comes from the Book of Mormon and explains that we each have the agency to choose. Because we are human, we sometimes make poor choices & have to deal with the consequences of those actions. That process is one of the laws of heaven. If there weren't consequences for choices, then we wouldn't have the ability to change, grow, repent, & eventually return to our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ, through the atonement, made it possible for us to repent of our sins & become more like Him. Without the atonement, we would end up like the devil, having no opportunity to return to live with God. Enjoy this month's free printable! Click {here} to be taken to the download page.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Snow Ice Cream Recipe

I took the girls on a walk in the snow this morning. After a bit of crying they finally realized that as long as you aren't rolling in it, you can stay pretty warm. They enjoyed throwing a few snowballs & building a few tiny snowmen along the way. After we got back to the house, I decided to try making some snow ice cream. It was so easy! You just have to make sure to use fresh snow, & don't scoop up any grass or leaves. We gathered about a gallon of snow in a large bowl, then sprinkled about 3/4 of a cup of sugar, a tablespoon of vanilla & about 2 cups of milk. We stirred it all together & then enjoyed eating it by the spoonful. It took less than five minutes of work & tasted great!

Snow Ice Cream
1 gallon of snow
3/4 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups milk

Sprinkle the sugar over the snow, add the vanilla. Stir to spread around the sugar, then pour in the milk while stirring. Eat it when it gets to the right consistency. Your kids will think you're a super hero!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Shavings & Sawdust

My husband just opened up his own Etsy shop! He's been making wooden spoons to give as gifts for a couple of years now. One year he made enough spoons, spatulas & scoops to fill my Christmas stocking & they are by far the best, most useful gift I've received! I love that he took so much time & that they turned out so beautifully! I love handmade gifts! So, now you have the opportunity to give & receive these beautiful spoons for yourself! His shop name is Shavings & Sawdust. He chose the name because "That's what I make the most." I have to leave you with some images of my favorite spoons! Links to each spoon are above each picture.


Monday, December 30, 2013

January Family Scripture {Free Printable}

For 2014 we decided to use scriptures that correlate with the Primary theme for the month. The overall theme for 2014 is Families are Forever. In January, the primary children will be learning about how Heavenly Father prepared a way for us to return to His presence. So, our scripture for the month is John 3:16. You can get this free print by downloading {here}. It's sized to be printed as an 11x14.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A little snow & other stuff

 The girls played in the snow for about five minutes before they started bawling because it was too cold.
I love him! This was in Oregon for Thanksgiving. We went on a walk together in the fog & took some pictures. 
The girls were excited about the Christmas pajama pants that I made for them.

Merry Christmas


I just want to wish you a very merry Christmas! We had a great time at our Ward Christmas Party & the girls both got to sit on Santa's lap. Savannah wasn't too sure until her gave her the candy cane. Sharon was too shy to say anything & told us in the car on the way home that she forgot to ask him for a doll house.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A bit of thanksgiving {free printable}

  Have you ever stopped to take a look at your life? Have you really noticed how much you have to be grateful for? When I stop to think about my life, I am dumbfounded by all the blessings I've received. Not all of them are huge, or even that noticeable if you aren't paying attention. If you've followed my blog for awhile, you'll remember one of our greatest blessings & miracles. November 2009 was a good month for Sharon. Every milestone that she meets, every time she does something new, I'm reminded what a miracle it is that she is simply alive, let alone that she is healthy & happy!
  Another part of my life for which I am extremely grateful is my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For me, it isn't just a Sunday church, where you go and worship & then come home & forget about it until next week. The gospel is a part of my every day life. From family prayer & scripture study, to simple service opportunities, to going to the temple & doing family history research, the gospel is part of my life & changes me for the better.
  I'm grateful for the miracle of modern medicine, for changing leaves in fall, for kind neighbors, for messy living rooms (because, you know, we live here), for my amazing family & so much more! November is often a month where we give thanks & show gratitude to friends, family, & sometimes complete strangers. Hopefully we can carry that attitude of gratitude throughout the rest of the year. Say "thank you," give hugs, send letters, & simply be kind. Everyone could use a little more encouragement & a little less criticism. So, here's a little reminder that you can download & print out. Go {here} for the leaf one, & {here} for the glittler one.