Helping Kids Understand Christmas

There’s no funner way to experience Christmas than through the eyes of a child. Everything is exciting in their little eyes. I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to explain Christmas is only on one day…which is a very big concept apparently…because obviously, there’s a tree and stockings and people on the radio talking about Christmas, so it must be Christmas today. As much as I love to encourage the excitement and the anticipation of Christmas…there is one aspect of Christmas that I try very hard to discourage. That is the idea that Christmas is all about me getting lots of stuff. My kiddos are fairly little yet, but I’ve been brainstorming ways to help them understand Christmas for what it is. Here are some of the things I’ve come up with… 1. Find a plastic or wood nativity scene that they can play with as they wish. Set it under the tree and … Continue reading

Give a gift that costs nothing

This song is one that I always think of as a Christmas song, although it really isn’t. It was written by a man by the name of Robert Grant. Interestingly enough, he was a highly successful and prominent leader in his day. You wouldn’t know a bit of that though reading these words…which point solely to his admiration of God and His power. I think the words are beautiful, and could only have come from someone who truly knew what it meant to see God as everything in his life. He wasn’t a ” put my check in the box with my one trip to church a week” sort of guy. He knew God’s presence and power in his life on a daily basis in a very personal way. Although surrounded by royalty, he saw God as far more awe inspiring. Christmas is such a busy time, and our schedules … Continue reading

Using a Paint Brush Extender

I completely understand that it’s Christmas…and I should be discussing how to make hand carved snowman from jello or something like that…but it’s completely necessary we take a moment to deliberate about painting. Because, if you know a person who enjoys hardware stores more than the mall…this is what you need to buy them for Christmas. Your welcome. This is a paint brush holder that screws onto an extension pole for painting high places. Exciting! So, say you have a stair case wall where you can’t put a ladder, or a peaked roof that’s too tall for your ladder, or you just have a dislike of ladders in general…this little gizmo gets you all the height you need. There’s a few different types out there, but the one I bought has three screws and a Velcro strap. The top screw goes through the hole in the paint brush handle, and the … Continue reading

Holiday Food – Sausage Biscuit Balls

In a rare moment, mostly only around the holidays, I have a very slight and fleeting interest in culinary pursuits. I’m especially attracted to recipes that contain four or less ingredients, and requires three or less steps. These sausage biscuit balls are simply glorious in that, for one, they are utterly delicious, and for two, they require no skill to make. Perfection. What you need: 4 cups bisquick 1 pound of ground sausage browned and cooled 2 (or more as you prefure) cups shredded cheese (any type will do) Approximately 1 1/2 cups milk (just enough to make the dough stick in balls) Heat oven to 450.  Mix all ingredients together. Mold into 1 1/2″ balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. They turn out even better if you put a mini Christmas tree on your kitchen counter to keep you company while you work. Double … Continue reading

Easy Handmade Gift – Headband Tutorial

Sometimes the funnest gifts to get are the little ones, those little stocking stuffers or the extra little something tied on top of the bigger gift. Headbands make a fast gift to make, and fun one to get. Pair a few headbands together with a cute set of earrings, and bam! A present to make any gal smile all year long. All you need to make your own is some strips of trim, ribbon, jewelry chain, lace, fabric strips…pretty much you name it can make a great headband. I make the headbands in my shop on the large side, specifically for a woman’s head. I really dislike headbands that give me a headache, so that’s another reason I make them on the larger side. You’ll have to decide how big you want yours. I cut my strips 18 inches long. For thin trims, I like to double the strands on … Continue reading

An Open Hand Policy

You know what one thing is really, really difficult to do? (Besides getting up with the alarm clock every morning) Letting go of something that is mine. Shockingly, it’s not just a problem four year old’s have, we “big kids” have it too. Whether it be my expectations, my plans (like we talked about last week), my stuff, my goals, my money, my time, my control, my relationships, or people who I deem belong to me…I don’t want God, or anyone else touching it. It’s mine. It’s all right there in my tightly clenched fist, hanging on to it all for dear life. There’s a fairly decent problem with that though, it’s not how life works. Expectations are disappointed, plans change, stuff gets destroyed, money…(umm what money?), relationships fail, people change, move away, fail us, and sometimes even die. Have you ever tried to pry something out of your child’s hand … Continue reading

Edible Gifts – A popcorn roundup

When I was a kid, the most exciting family gift given to us mostly every year by some friend or another was a tin of popcorn. You know, the big round tins that have pretty Christmas pictures on the outside? I had three older siblings to contend with, so the plan was very simple. Devour as much of the caramel variety as possible and move on to the cheese as quickly as possible. The plain butter variety was kindly left to the others. It rarely worked, but you can’t blame a kid for trying! Things apparently have gotten a whole lot fancier in the land of popcorn flavors since I was little…where were all of these back then I ask you?? (click on the pictures to see the recipes) White chocolate peppermint popcorn Honey Butter Popcorn Muddy Buddy Popcorn Reese’s Popcorn Peppermint bark caramel popcorn Garlic Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn S’mores Popcorn … Continue reading

Wire Star Ornaments

There are no magazine worthy Christmas trees around this house. We usually find the largest live tree we can stuff under the roof, and then bedeck it with every ornament imaginable. Vintage, glitzy, rustic, modern, handmade, large, small, any color you wish, it’s all welcome. Granted, if I had my wish it would be magazine worthy, but coordinating stockings on the mantle are about as close as I’ll ever get to it. One certainly can’t say the thing lacks personality, it’s simply dripping with it. Handmade ornaments certainly don’t need to be elaborate. Take these wire star ornaments for instance. They are great little things to add to your own tree or to make for a gift. You need a block of wood, nails, wire, wire cutters and ribbon. Trace out a star pattern on the wood, any size you wish. Mine is about 4 inches. Tap a nail in … Continue reading

Easy sleeve variations for the tunic top for girls

The Christmas season is just a prime time for needing to freshen the clothing situation for the family. There’s extra events to attend, Christmas pictures to take, cards to send out, and little people’s growth spurts to contend with. I chose to tackle this problem by delving into my overflowing fabric stash for some quick dresses for the girlies. I used the tunic top for girls tutorial I posted HERE, and simply added to the length. You can use that tutorial, or a pattern you already have, and simply switch up the look of it by changing the sleeves. I left one dress sleeveless and added a gathered sleeve to the other. Here’s how I used a regular sleeve pattern to make a gathered sleeve. I laid the pattern on the fold, at a diagonal. I left about an inch and a half gap at the top, and finished off … Continue reading