Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Tip...Binders!!

I am so sorry that I didn't do Faithful Friday this past Friday.  I had preplanning for preschool every day last week and was soooo tired.  Yes, I teach preschool 2 days a week.  I have a precious group of 8 little toddlers!  I absolutely love it.  With that, my other work hobbies, my family, home, church activities and kids activities...I just simply did not have time to write it all out for Friday.

This photo was taken during one of our training days!  We were sent on a "digital" scavenger hunt for various photos.  One was that we all had to be in, on or pushing the shopping cart all at once!  Well, we did it with 2 of us in the cart and one on while the other 2 tried to push.  One funny part, was that the photo was taken by one of our student's dad!  He loved that we were acting like kids.
Now, do you see why I was so tired after the week??  Oh, and that is me in the pink/red/whatever color that is, in the front sitting on top of another teacher!

But, today is a new day, and it is Tuesday!  So...on to the tip.  I saw this tip on another blog, but unfortunately, cannot remember whose it was.  If it was you, please let me know so that I can give credit where it's due.

I LOVE binders!!  I have started using them for everything and can't get enough of them.  This week, I want to show you how I use ONE to hold information for my kids classes, church activities, sports, my classes, etc.  It is my "Mom Binder".

 The very front holds the student county calendar.  VERY important to have this little jewel close by.

I have tab dividers in it for each child and activities.  Then, I put in sheet protectors to hold information that will get looked at throughout the year.  I could 3 hole punch all of the papers and then file them away, but I am too lazy don't have enough time to do that.  So, this way, I can change out whatever sheets I need to at any given time. 
At the very front of each child's section, I have their class newsletter.  This way, I have the important dates close by.  Like yesterday, when my oldest reminded me that he had 2 tests scheduled for today.  Had I actually read the newsletter when I put it in the protector, I would have known this.  But, that part of the lesson is for another day (actually reading information from the teacher).

I love my "Mom Binder" and keep in in the living area, so that I have it when I need it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday's Tip!! Couponing!!

Do you like to save money?  Do you clip coupons?  If you said "Yes" to either of these questions, then this post is for you!  Maria and Michelle from From the Same Nest have an awesome blog on orgainizing your coupons and getting ready for your big shopping day.

Here is a link to their post:  From the Same Nest


Let me know your thoughts on couponing!  I'd love to hear some more great ideas!

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

We have a winner!

Thanks for all of your comments!  I went through and re-numbered the comments, since some of you entered your chances in one comment.  There were 23 total, and using the cool random number generator....look to the right :), #9 popped up!!  That means that Nancy  is the winner!!  The flavor fragrance, that "sparked" her interest was "candy corn".  But, she will be receiving a set of gingerbread boy tarts and a 16 oz. Apple Butter candle!

Nancy, please let us know what you think about Karen's Country Candles.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Name Banner

I am so excited about my new little project!!  I friend of mine at church, just had a precious baby girl.  This great thought popped into my head:  Oh, I can make her a name banner and hang it on their door to welcome baby Carolina home!

So, I got busy and here is what I came up with:
I played around with a lot of colors first, and didn't like it.  Then, remembering how much I love pink and brown, I decided to try that instead.  I like it so much more than the other one.  It was pink, purple and green.
I added the baby's birth date at the bottom.  Now, they can use it as a wall hanging or pull it our for Carolina's future birthday parties.

Confession here:  I didn't make it to their house before they came home from the hospital.  So, it will go with me when I take them a meal this week.

While I was brainstorming this whole personalized banner thingy, I was looking at painters canvas on rolls.  WOW, is that stuff expensive!!  So, while I was in a fabric shop (shocking) with my mom (shocking yet again), I came across this fabric that is white out.  It is a very thick fabric with a cream side and a smooth white side.  I painted on the white side.  Let me just say that it was so easy to paint on and dried really fast!  If you are going to make one of these little things, I highly recommend the fabric instead of the canvas.  Much less expensive!!

One more photo:

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. There's still time to enter for the candle giveaway.  I'll announce the winner of the giveaway tomorrow!!!  Scroll down below to Friday's post to enter :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Faithful Friday...Striving to be like Jesus! and Candle Giveaway!

Well, I attended a training class for the preschool teachers at my church preschool this week.  We had a great time together.  Imagine, 14 women of all ages getting together to "train" on teaching preschool.  It really was a lot of fun!  Our director is awesome, the best around.

We have a theme for the teachers every year, just to help us stay focused.  This year, our theme is "Striving to BEE like Jesus".  What an awesome theme!  For some of the kids that attend our preschool, this is the only "church" they will ever get.  And, we have an awesome opportunity to teach them about Jesus!

So, here are a few of the verses that were picked out to go with our "BEE" theme.  Ephesians 4:2 was my favorite for the day.  It says "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love".  Isn't that awesome?!?  Especially in dealing with preschoolers and their families.

Another good one is Ephesians 4:32.  It reads "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you."  Is it hard for you to forgive as Christ forgave?  My answer is YES!  I'll be honest, that is a struggle a lot of times.  I think part of our human nature is to hold grudges and not forgive, so that is why Christ has to tell us in His word to forgive.

I think those are two awesome verses to set to memory.  Both of them show Jesus' love, compassion and forgiveness.  If we are going to "strive to be like Jesus", then we need to hold on to these verses!

This week, I had an awesome opportunity to meet (in blogland, of course) a great lady by the name of Karen.  She has a really neat candle shop on the internet, named Karen's Country Candles.  Here is quick little "interview" that I did with her this week...

Julie:  How long has Karen’s Country Candles been in business?
Karen:  We have been in Business for about 16 years.

Julie:  What is the story behind the business?
Karen:  Back in 1993 a friend and I started wood painting. We would buy tons of books and patterns, cut out our own wood pieces and paint daily. That was a job and a half. We set up in many craft fairs and one day decided that wood painting was very time consuming and wasn’t selling that well. So we decided to try our hand at Candle making. My friend dropped out of the candle making and went back to wood painting but I continued to make my candles. I made so many mistakes and wasted a lot of time, wax, and fragrance, but the desire to make this happen kept me going. Eventually, I got the hang of it and took my candles to a local craft show and sold out.I would receive many orders from the local people and had to think about what I was going to do to fill these orders.

In 1994, Karen’s Country Candles was started in my home which is nestled in a small community outside our hometown of Mena, Arkansas called Dallas Valley. The name of the business came about due to the beautiful Country Scenery of the Ouachita Mountains that surround us. My daughter Jamie and Daughter in law Priscilla started helping me fill the orders and it has become a great business for us. We opened Karen’s Country Candles website in September of 07. It started out really slow the first year but has picked up the pace a bit. We sell a lot of products to the local Doctor’s Offices, Banks, Insurance Offices, and so on. Everywhere we go now, someone has one of our candles sitting around. It is a great feeling to know that the local community enjoys something that you have made by hand.

Today, we continue to sell our Great Smelling Candles and Tarts out of my home and our goal is to open a full blown Candle Shop to the general public in the near future.

Julie:  What is your favorite product and fragrance that you sell?
Karen: Our favorite / best selling product is our 16 oz. Jar Candle. The best selling fragrance that we have is the "Apple Butter", which we generally sell all year long.

Julie:  I am sure you are extremely busy around Christmas time, so do you have a deadline for orders to be guaranteed for Christmas delivery?
Karen:  I prefer to have orders placed for Christmas delivery by December 10. I can get most of my products shipped out by or on that date but the postal service is what I worry about. Sometimes around the holidays they are pretty slow and the delivery time may take longer.

Julie:  What is the burn time for your candles?
Karen:  Our 16 oz. Candle burns about 75 hours. The normal burn time for a candle this size.

Julie:  Is there anything special that you would like for my readers to know?Karen:  I would like everyone to know that all our Candles and Tarts are hand made by myself, my daughter, and my daughter in law. We hand pour all candles and tarts and hand package every product that requires packaging. We feel that a handmade product needs to be just that… Hand Made. We also do custom Gift Baskets and Candle Sets upon request. We ship to the recipient, and we also ship out Secret Sister and/or Secret Pal packages for customers.

So, are you ready to win???  Here's what you need to do...click HERE, so that you can visit Karen's shop.  Then come back and leave a comment with the name of the fragrance that "sparks" your interest.
Then, for a second entry, follow me and comment that you are a follower. 

Good luck!  This giveaway will be open until Monday, August 23rd and the winner will be announced on the 24th!  Please be sure to let me know how to contact you when you win!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

kitchen tips...

So, I have decided to devote today to "kitchen tips"...organization, that is.

For a long time, I wondered how in the world to organize all of my "gadgets".  Well, with help from  my mom, I organize my gadgets in tiny little bucket container type thingamajigs.  See...

This drawer holds my measuring spoons, apple corer/cutter, cutting boards and some children's medicine droppers. I love my polkadot measuring spoons, they are my favorite.  (yes, I went to a pottery place and painted them)

This drawer holds my wooden spoons, spatulas, and other misc items.  Notice the plastic containers?  I am a sucker for containers of any kind!  I have one for my measuring spoons, one for wooden spoons, spatulas, so on and so on.

Then, I also keep a pitcher on my counter with all of my utensils for non-stick cookware.  Now that I see all of this in pictures, why in the world do I have all of this?  Are you like me, and a collector of kitchen gadgets?  That isn't even all of my "stash".  We listed our house a while back and I cleaned out.  I think I need to do that again!

Now, I asked some friends on FB how they organize their kitchen.  Here is what some of them said:

Bridget keeps a little basket under her counter with all of her measuring spoons and cups.  I like that idea because I LOVE baskets!

Stephanie and Rachel both use metal containers on the counter for cooking utensils.  Metal is always good because it goes with everything.  Stephanie also puts cereal into the sealed containers to do away with bulky cereal boxes!  When the cereal gets low, they simply add a different flavor and mix it all up.  How fun is that for her kids!

Then, my mom and Rachel both like to organize their pantry using containers.  Funny story here:  my mom has used sealed containers for crackers, sugar and other things like that.  But, recently, there was something that she didn't put into a sealed container and she came home to find tiny little moths EVERYWHERE!  Ugh, she was not happy.  But, she learned that everything needs to be removed from original packaging and put into sealed containers.  I have followed in her footsteps (great ones, I might add), and started using sealed containers for lots of things.

If you have any kitchen organizing tips, please share them.  We would all love to hear how others organize!

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and next week, we will have an awesome giveaway!  I'll share more details later :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's Crochet Time!

I am so excited to show you what I have been working on!  I found this little crochet pattern for an adorable baby cloche (fancy word for hat).  The flower on the "cloche" just makes the hat extra cute, in my opinion.  Here is the tutorial link for the cloche...please let me know if you make it!! I'd love to see.  Aesthetic Nest is an awesome blog.  Make sure to look around for a few minutes.  I KNOW you will find things that you like! 

So...here it is...

This is a pink and brown version.  It's cute, but here is my favorite....

Awe, isn't she precious!  No, this is not my little girl.  She is a friend's great-niece.  They were visiting the other day, and I just had to take her photo in this little hat.

I like the white one better than the brown, what do you think?

All I want to do in my spare time, right now, is crochet.  So, you will probably see a few more crochet projects pop up on here.  BUT, I just had to share this precious baby girl in this adorable hat with you.

I am thinking about another giveaway...what would you like to see me give away?

Sumo Sweet Stuff

Friday, August 13, 2010

Faithful Friday: Mary & Martha

Oh my!  This week has been such a blur.  I have been running around like a crazy woman.  School started for 2 of my kids on Monday and it has been hustle and bustle ever since.

This week really fits in with what I am reading right now.  I found a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.  I started reading it a while back and for some reason just could not get into the book.  Well, now I know why I put the book down.  It just wasn't time for me to read it...NOW is the time!
I love how the Lord does that in my life.  Has it ever happened to you?

So, the book.  I have only ready the first chapter and it is already what I need for this time in my life!  The entire book is based on Luke 10:38-42.  Joanna takes the story of the sisters Mary and Martha and she relates it to today's world.

Let's think back for a moment.  Jesus was traveling around and Martha opened up her home to him.  Martha ran around trying to get everything ready for him while her sister, Mary, sat at Jesus' feet and listened to him.  Hmmm...who are you??  Mary? or Martha?  Well, right now, I am definitely a "Martha".  I am always preparing for something or someone.  Unfortunately, I do not take the time that I know I should, to "sit" at Jesus' feet and simply listen to him.

So far, the Lord has taught me through this first chapter and a couple of scripture verses, that I REALLY need to take time to slow down and listen to HIM!!

Matthew 11:28-29 says "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  WOW!  The only way to truly receive rest is to lay at the feet of Jesus.

Have you taken time to "sit" at His feet lately?  My prayer for you, is that you would take the time to do this.  God will really speak to us when we take time to focus on Him.  It is very important to be about His work, but it is also so important to be still and seek Him.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Next week...Tuesday's Tips AND a new project with yarn and a really long needle...stay tuned!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tuesday's Tip!

I actually did the "happy dance" today!  Two of my kids started back to school. One is in the 1st grade and the other is in 4th.  I can't believe how fast time flies.  I was thinking earlier about how fast the day went by and wondered if the year would go by just as fast.  That scares me just a little bit!

Our family had a great summer going to the beach and the mountains a couple of times, relaxing, hanging out with friends and family and of course the "occasional" argument.  Can any of you relate to that last part?  Now that summer is over and school has begun, it is time to get the calendar organized...so...that is today's tip!

This is how I organize our schedule during the school year:

I know that is hard to see, but, it is a calendar that hangs on my fridge and I use a wet/erase marker to write on it.  At the top there is a space for me to write in what week I have written down.  And, my favorite part is the left side.  Do you see all of the stick figures?  No? Okay, let me help you a little...

Maybe that's a little better.  Anyways, all of us are listed with our character and our name.  Then, I go through and write down who has what and on what day and at what time.  Wow, that's a lot of "what"s.

I keep it posted on the fridge so that we all can see what is going on.  Notice that I wrote "all of us are listed"?  Yes, that means me and my husband as well!  It helps us to coordinate when we see what the other has going on.  Sometimes we have to tag team on nights that are really busy.  This way, we know who is helping with what activity.  Right now, the calendar looks pretty blank.  That will all change in the next couple of weeks when my youngest son starts t-ball and my daughter starts piano. The oldest started football before school even started.  Whew, I'm tired already!

I love having a busy life and I love that my kids have the opportunity to be involved in extra-curricular activities.  I truly would not want it any other way!  This is just a little way of helping keep all of those activities organized.

Thanks for stopping by to see this "Tuesday's Tip"!

P.S.  If you'd like to have one of these adorable planners, just let me know.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Faithful Friday! He has plans!

Have you ever read Jeremiah 29:11???

I have read it over and over and over!  Especially right now.  It says, "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future."  WOW!  That is major to me.  Oftentimes, we make our own plans for our future, but God may have other plans.  I think it is very important that we be open to His plans and seek what He wants for us.

My husband and I had our "path" mapped out, until we hit a bump in the road.  He lost his job back in April.  It is now August, and he still does not have a job.  Believe me, it not for lack of searching!  There is not much out there in his field.  He has had a bunch of interviews, but God just has not put the right job in his path.  That is a very difficult concept to grasp right now.  And, it is something that I am having to pray about on a VERY regular basis.

Side note here:  In 2008-09, I was teaching preschool and resigned from my position for the next year (last year) to help more in the elementary school that my older 2 children attend.  Well, I am very happy to tell you that this year, my position became available and I will be teaching again!  This was a HUGE blessing and answer to prayer.

On to more of the verse that the Lord has used to speak to me...If you read the first few words, it says "For I know the plans I have for you".  Let me just emphasize "I" for a moment.  "I" is the Lord, not me!  He has plans for me and my family that I don't even know about yet.  Let me just throw away MY plans totally.

If you read on it says "plans to prosper you and not to harm you".  That means that He has the very best for me in His plan. Love that!  Plans that are going to help me grow and become a better person.   Plans that He will use to mold me into the person that He wants me to become.

Lastly, it says, "plans to give you hope and a future".  My hope is in Him and knowing that His plans are better than any that I could ever think of is so comforting to me. 

When I stop and think about this particular verse, I gain more confidence in the fact that He loves me unconditionally and truly has the best for me in His plans.  I just have to be patient and wait on that plan to be revealed.

I do hope this verse has spoken to you as well and would love to hear about it!
Thanks for stopping by on this Faithful Friday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stamped Jewelry

Not too long ago, I decided to try hand stamping jewelry.  Surprise, surprise...I LOVE IT!!

It is not too difficult to learn, but purchasing the tools can be costly.  Here are some pieces that I have created for others...

Don't you love the simplicity of this?  JOY is my favorite word, so yes, this piece is mine!  It reminds me that true joy can only come from Jesus.  Since I have a relationship with Jesus, I can have "joy" in my life even during the most difficult times when I am not "happy".

This is another one of my favorites.  Have you heard Chris Tomlin's song "Amazing Love"?  Well, that is where the inspiration for this piece came from.  God's love is truly amazing!!

Yes, this one says "GODIVA"...as in chocolates!  When my aunt saw my piece that said "JOY" and I explained that joy is my favorite word, she commented that she needed one that said "CHOCOLATE".  My mind started spinning with how I could fit CHOCOLATE on a piece.  There are too many letters to fit on the tag, so I opted for "GODIVA".  She loves this!!  It is so fun and whimsical.

Here is another whimsical piece..."CUTE as a button".  The tiny disc in the center is punched to look like a button.  My daughter wears this one with her colorful outfits.

I have many more to show you, but I won't bore you with the other photos.  If you would like to have one of these for yourself, let me know.  Obviously, they can be custom stamped to suit your personality.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday's Tips!

I am so excited to bring you a new post!  Every Tuesday, I will be posting organizing tips.  They will either be tips that I use, have found or others have shared with me.  If you have any, feel free to send them my way.

School starts next Monday for 2 of my kids, so I thought "what an appropriate time to get organized".  Hmmm, seems that I "think" that every year at this time and in January.  Maybe I will actually implement these tips to help keep get my home organized.

This first tip is from a friend of mine, Debbie.  She has three boys in her household...two of them are her kids and the other is her husband.  They are such a neat family, so I wanted to share her tip with you!

She has 4 color coded bins/baskets/containers at the bottom of her stairs.  Each color is for a different person in the house.  Throughout the day, she will toss miscellaneous items, that need to be put away, into the appropriate container.  At the end of the day, each person takes their basket to their bedroom and puts those items away.
I love this!  She lives in a 2 story house, so she has stairs to her bedrooms, and this works well.  I live in a ranch style house, so I think I need to have cute containers outside of each bedroom.

Here is what her tip looks like:

Debbie also noted under her photo that if company comes, the bins go to the bedrooms early.

Look how they fit perfectly beside her stairs in the foyer!  Thanks for the great tip, Debbie!!

Keep your eyes open for a special post series starting on Friday..."Faithful Fridays".  Each Friday, I hope to share a special bible verse or short devotional that the Lord has used to speak to me throughout the week.

Remember to "Follow" me, if you like the blog!