Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Excellent Wife Needs Friends {Douglas County Moms}

I'm keeping real today over at Douglas County Moms.  If you ever feel like you don't measure up or could never be like one of THOSE MOMS, then you need to read this...
We sat around the living room, wood stove warming the house and casual conversations melting one woman's heart into the one beside her over a book called, “The Excellent Wife.”
Our children were toddlers and we concerned ourselves with healthy snacks, appropriate bedtimes, how many episodes of Veggie Tales were acceptable in a sitting, and how we were going to be as good as the super mom seated beside us.
I cried that day.
I cried because I wasn't as diligent to pre-plan meals, organize homeschool material, or research organic versus non-organic bananas...
That's the excitement in obedience, finding out later what God had in mind.” - Brother Andrew, God's Smuggler
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Are You Ruining Your Kids?

I know I'm not the only mom to ever have a daughter in High School. I also know I'm not the only mom to feel like the decisions I make for her will either make or break her. To feel like I bear the rest of her life on my weak, bony shoulders. To feel as if her entire future rests in these two empty, shaky hands, and in these short High School years. If any of you can relate, I could use a hearty 'Amen' right now.

You see, although we are a part of a small school at our local church, we are still considered homeschoolers, which means I (not some Board of Education or Master's Degree bearing Instructors) am responsible to prepare her academically for the world. I must make the tough decisions- homeschool or public school; early college courses or keep her home as long as possible; SATS, GEDS, or an Accredited Diploma… it's a vast list with endless questions, guilt, and what-ifs.

What-if I enroll her in that college course and she fails? Then I will have been responsible for creating an adult who fears college life, has a poor self image, and therefore busses tables or sweeps floors for the rest of her life. (Yet that last part sounds like the start of a great wife and mom)

What-if I enroll her in that college course and she succeeds? She not only discovers she's a bright student but a capable adult as well. She begins putting herself out there, challenging herself, and finding talents and abilities she didn't know she had. She becomes a confident woman able to make decisions and take on difficult tasks.  

What-if I choose to homeschool all the way through and she has no friends, never dates a boy, turns out socially awkward, and is unable to participate in society on her own?

What-if I decide to put her in a local public school, where she gets a good education, is well prepped for college, but meets a boy, and ends up pregnant and married? Yikes, she could end up like me! (That last line was sarcasmJ)

Of course any of these scenarios could have any outcome. But do you see how easily one decision could shape the rest of her life? Are you with me here Mama? Are you bearing the burden of your child's whole future? Because if you are, then you need to get a grip, as I have. If you are overwhelmed with Mommy-decisions, and thinking you are solely responsible for your High Schooler's (or your toddler's) entire life, then you are mistaken and need a good dose of Biblical Truth. 

And the truth is, You-Are-Not-In-Control.

There it is. Those simple five words could change your life, Mom. Here's another profound statement- When you make a wrong choice, it won't be the end of the world. Notice I said when and not if. Because even the best of parents will make wrong turns and poor decisions. That's you, Mom. You will fail. Guaranteed.

I'm not writing to completely discourage and deflate you. I'm actually here to encourage you. To fill the burdened, failing Mom with hope and peace, so stick with me.

In 1 Samuel 8, we find the Israelites demanding a king to judge them like all the surrounding nations. Rather than submit themselves to the LORD their King, they wanted another king- a manly king. Although they rejected the Lord, He granted them their request. But not without warning: their king would take. He would take their fields, their servants, their grain, their sheep, even their sons for battle, and their daughters for pleasure. The people did not heed the warning, took kings for themselves, and reaped deathly consequences.

And here's the hope we find within the failure of God's people-

"After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’  From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus."
Acts 13:20-23

Our God- He is so much grander than our minds can fathom. So full of good gifts and perfect plans. He took even this decision, this rebellion, and orchestrated it into His most beautiful plan of redemption. The Lord Jesus would come from the lineage of King David. King David- a man after God's own heart, yes. A man chosen by God to lead the people, yes. But also king because of a terrible decision the people made. King because of rebellion and a choice that went against God's instruction.

But God used even this to bring the Redeemer into the world and save His people from their sin. Even this.

So when you read, and quote the words of Paul, do you believe it?
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Do you believe it? Do you see, Mom, that even your wrong decision will be worked into God's perfect plan of redemption? You can take that overpowering weight from your weak shoulders and breathe. No, I'm not giving you an excuse for rebellion or to take decisions lightly. I'm simply offering you the freedom to seek God for wisdom who gives generously to all, and trust Him with the outcome.

He knows the end from the beginning, and that is enough to give any weary mom the strength and courage to raise God's children. Because after all, they're really His kids, right?

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

SWEET SIXTEEN {Doctor Who Birthday Bash}

What is a mom to do when her baby girl turns sixteen!? How does she cope? Well, this mama distracted herself by diving deep into creating a mature, yet fun filled Dr Who Birthday Party! The girl is a Whovian of Whovians, and has asked, and asked, and asked for a Tardis Bedroom door for her room. However, I repeatedly refused to have the bright blue Tardis in my hallway… I eventually gave in, which turned into her first Birthday Surprise…

How'd it happen? Well I knew I didn't want to paint her door permanently Tardis blue. You see these things come and go… She wanted to be a skater for a few years, so we did her room in graffiti and skateboards…

But she quickly outgrew that idea… and I know she'll outgrow The Doctor. At least I hope. So I took some measurements, visited a local resale shop, and purchased an old used door for $10. Next I took some Rustoleum Paint + Primer spray paint to it. Three Cans!  This stuff dries quick, which is perfect for the not so patient DIYer.

I was left disappointed and felt it needed more dimension, so I had the hubby cut some strips of wood for me and attached them with good ole Elmer's Wood Glue. Then I sprayed again, getting all the cracks and crevices.

Next, USE GOOGLE! I found and printed the 'Police Public Call Box' and 'Free For Use of Public' signs, attaching and sealing them with Mog Podge. That stuff is amazing!

For the windows I simply painted them white and drew black window panes with a paint marker.

Realizing (too late) that I should have sanded the door down before painting, and that the spray paint was scratching off effortlessly, I got the Mod Podge back out and Mod Podged the whole door! 

It turned out amazing! Far better than I had envisioned! BTW, I did both sides, that way I get to have a Tardis in my hallway (I know, what have I become!?) and she gets to have one in her room as well J Smart, I know.

Next project… You cannot have a Doctor Who Party without The Doctor Himself. So, deciding on the Eleventh Doctor, and again using good ole Google Images, I created a life-size Doctor. I did this by creating a 50" X 72" Document in Photoshop. After Printing the entire thing out on card-stock (45 sheets to be exact), I cut them out and put it together like a puzzle. Again I got out my handy Mog Podge and glued it all down to a large refrigerator box. After it was glued, I Mod Podged over the top as well. Next, using a box cutter, I cut The Doctor out, leaving a strip attached to the bottom for folding under and helping him to stand. Again, the result was awesome! Seriously, do you guys have any clue how much these things are in stores? 

Here are some of other things I did to make this party memorable…

I began by making and sending out these invitations.

We decorated the front door with a plastic blue tablecloth and some printed out Tardis signs.

We hung Cassandra (the last human) on the wall and decorated a lasagna with red bell pepper, apple, cherry tomato, and lettuce to look like her as well.

Using an image of the Tardis and Microsoft Word, I made a Happy Birthday Banner on card-stock.

I strung lights through it (it was supposed to look like Tardis lights) and forgot to take a picture if it… too many things on my mind… but you can see it partially in this photo.

Here is the cake table-
Complete with Fish Fingers and Custard, bow ties, and official suspenders and bow tie for the birthday girl (from ebay for $6.00).

Korrie with her Doctor Who Cake. I ordered the edible paper from Ebay. My plan was to make a cake, but there just happened to be one on the discount rack screaming my name! Make a cake? Aint no one got time for that! I gently placed the edible paper, and added some blue spray (edible of course) and sprinkles.

The cupcakes may have been my favorite. I made a cupcake tower following this tutorial, ordered edible cupcake toppers on Ebay, and printed off these Dalek and Tardis cupcake wrappers. Again I used blue spray and sprinkles. They were so cute! (The popcorn boxes were downloaded from here.)

You can't have a Doctor Who Party without Bowties for everyone to wear, Adipose, Gummy Babies, and Sonic Screwdrivers.

I made the Bowties with red napkins and ribbon. I included peel and stick safety pins for all the guests J

The Adipose were done by gluing mini marshmallows to regular marshmallows (using melted white chocolate). I added sprinkles and painted the faces on with an edible marker.

Sonic Screwdrivers were simple: dip pretzel sticks in melted white chocolate, spray blue, and add sprinkles. 

For the photo booth I made masks by printing them out on card-stock and gluing skewers to them.

I wrapped her gift in blue paper and again printed out Tardis signs. What a cute package!

On one wall we added The Crack in Time and Space and had Rory and Amy coming out of it. 

And THAT, my friends is a successful Doctor Who/Sweet Sixteen Party!

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