Maybe it’s the first grade teacher in me, or maybe it is just simply the Mommy in me trying to bottle every minute of my kids being LiTtLe, but I am hooked on handprint crafts! When my son was born I made about 20 handprint turkeys for Thanksgiving and sent them out to family and friends. Since then there hasn’t been a holiday that has gone by without the creation of a handprint project to proudly hang in our home to remember how little their hands once were and to remind us how quickly time goes by. Maybe my Handprint Memories post last Christmas prompted some of you get out the paint and start MaKiNg SoMe MeMoRiEs…if not, here are some easy Valentine’s Day ideas to get you started!
This year my 5-year-old son was able to paint the L and the E after I traced them!
I found these wood hearts at my local craft store and stamped them with the “special name” that my kids say I call them the most!
You can also do a family handprint craft!
Here’s one my sister did last year and gave out as Valentine’s Day gifts from my niece!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
I was reading from My Jesus Calling devotional and knew if this spoke to me today, it would probably speak to at least one of you…
Read this as if it was Jesus speaking this to you:
“Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life. Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is a false hope! As I told My disciples, in the world you will have trouble. Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to the promise of an eternity of problem-free life in heaven. Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour you energy into seeking me: the Perfect One.
It is possible to enjoy Me and glorify Me in the midst of adverse circumstances. In fact, My Light shines most brightly through believers who trust Me in the dark. That kind of trust is supernatural: a production of My indwelling Spirit. When things seem all wrong, trust Me anyway. I am much less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way.”
Boy, did I need this reminder! And don’t you love the excitement in “the promise of an eternity of problem-free life”? Won’t that wonderful!!
If you are down in the dumps or caught up in trying to perfect your life, just stop. Take a deep breath, and read the words above one more time. It gives you an immediate
reality check and slight kick in the fanny sense of relief, doesn’t it?! God wants you to LET GO, sister!!
For another post I had written about getting through the trials of life, read: Making the Best of Human Life
Last week I lost the last of my four grandparents. My grandma was 91 years old and had been living in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s for the past 10 years. She lost her ability to speak about 5 years ago and hasn’t recognized any of us in over 5 years. Over the years it has been devastating to watch what this disease has done to the woman who taught me how to sew, bake, cook, and craft.
As I sat at the funeral home I kept starring at my grandmother’s hands holding the rosary and then all of the beautiful flowers that surrounded her from our family. Those hands had taught me so much and I immediately began to think about what I could do with all of those flowers. My grandmother would have hated to see all those flowers thrown away which is what typically happens with funeral arrangements so I asked the funeral director if I could take the arrangement home with me. Now I have a little piece of my grandmother watching over my family…I know she would be proud!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
Already lost moTivAtioN with your weight loss/get healthy resolution for 2013? Well Robynn and I talk about weight loss a lot and we came across something this week that lines up exactly our philosophy, so I had to share! Check out this short and informative video by Bobby Flay: Bobby Flay Fit
I don’t believe in diets and I couldn’t agree more with Bobby that you shouldn’t have to give up the foods that you love. Eat what you want…just not as much as you want!!
So don’t throw in the towel for good. Continue business as usual, and cut corners when you can. The most important thing is to NEVER sacrifice so much that you end up feeling deprived of the foods that you love. We all know that is a recipe for disaster. I don’t know about you, but thinking about giving up chocolate always results in me gorging in it later :-/
Sunday morning I made my family breakfast. To me, I was going “all out” as I made the kids orange juice from a frozen can and threw together a quick and easy breakfast casserole. For a moment I felt like finding my SuPerMoM cape and attaching it to my p.j’s. “Look at me!” I was rejoicing inside. “I’m a pro at this Mom stuff!”
The t.v. just happened to catch my eye as I headed into the dining room. Pioneer Woman was on the food network. Consequently, she too was making breakfast that morning. I enjoy watching her show and am faSciNateD by her life. I couldn’t help but keep watching, noticing her amazing (spotless) kitchen. She put her homemade French toast in the oven and headed off to her garden to water her flowers. Of course, the plants were luscious and looked like something out of Better Homes and Garden. Everything was perfect, clear down to the beauty of the garden hose (I know…is that even possible?!)! Once breakfast was ready she told her daughter to “grab the hot syrup I have warming on the stove”. As I watched the hot syrup flow out of the beautiful serving dish I realized I hadn’t blinked in the last 5 minutes….
Remember the last sentence of my first paragraph? Well, those feelings were long gone. I felt so deFeaTed. The breakfast I made was a joke compared to what I had just witnessed. And the gardening? I would have been lucky to remember that I bought a small plant at Wal-Mart, only to find it dead in the back of our expedition a few weeks later.
I just want to be clear that I think Pioneer Woman is an inspiration, but I would be foolish to think that every part of her life is as perfect as seen on t.v. If, at the right time, you took a snap shot of every person’s life, it would appear that their situation and life is perfect. Someone is even looking at part of your life and wishing theirs was as perfect as yours! Doesn’t that make you laugh? Of course! Because we know how imperfect our own lives are, and can’t believe how much we have them fooled! Yet why do we think we are soooo different than everyone else?
With pinterest, t.v. and magazines, it is easy to feel like a failure! In the future, use these things as resources to moTiVaTe or give you some ideas. DON’T use it as a comparison tool, because the only person you are fooling is yourself!
As we all begin our New Years Resolutions I PrOmIsE you WilL NoT find me walking around with a shiny new gym membership. Ooooooooh no!!! You all know I couldn’t even follow through with The Lazy Girls Workout! Looking back on that post, maybe I was pushing myself with saying I was going to start out aiming to workout 3 to 4 times a week. If I had started with 1 to 2 and gradually added on maybe I would have stuck with it! Anyway…I’ll worry about toning in the spring and stick with these ReAlisTiC ReSoLuTiOnS that will benefit my entire family!
I found this while looking for cute winter crafts on Pinterest and realized these are all things that I need to do not only for my family, but for MySeLf! I spend way too much time trying to get everything done and need to focus more on the important things in life. They may seem simple, but they so often get overlooked and could be the difference in making your child’s day go from OK to OuTanDiNg!
Happy New Year!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
We can all think of a time when we wanted to isolate ourselves from the wOrLd. We believe if we didn’t have jobs, we wouldn’t have to deal with stress or deadlines. If we could disconnect ourselves with people—family, friends, strangers—we’d never have to deal with awkward moments or conflict. If we didn’t have to run errands, we could avoid being reminded of how great everyone else “has it” when we are out and about.
As the year of 2012 wrapped up, I found myself thinking a lot about all the awkward, uncomfortable, stressful and difficult moments of the year. And you know what I realized? If I was able to erase those moments of my life, I would have been missing out. If I would have quit my block business after making some stressful mistakes, I would no longer get to experience the J O Y I receive when customers send me thank you notes after their blocks arrive. I could have avoided an awkward moment by not talking to a stranger on a plane, but I would have missed out on an aMaZinG cOnVerSatiOn about his faith journey. Not to mention the moments with friends and family through the year that involved moments of frustration, confusion or discomfort. If I never had those interactions, our relationships wouldn’t be as close as they are today, let alone the sPeCiaL mEmoRieS we made together. And as you know, sharing the move of our house last summer required a major gulp of humility, but I would have missed out on the sense of FREEDOM I felt by sharing my real life…just how it is…and knowing that you accept me…just the way I am.
Wearing your heart on your sleeve, doing things out of your comfort zone (looking for a new job, trying a new hobby, meeting new people), and standing up for what you believe in are all very hard things to do. Many times they don’t even seem worth all the effort they require. But let me assure you, they are. Your life is richer, more meaningful, and above all, impacting more people, all because you are willing to face your fears, deal with hurt, and conquer challenges by moving on despite the outcome.
So what will 2013 look like for you? This year I am welcoming more embarrassing moments, uncomfortable conversations and feelings of defeat as I work toward new goals. You are going to have to deal with these weird feelings/emotions regardless (because we are human!) so why not do them while enriching your life?! I don’t want to MiSs OuT on the best life I can have….do you?