Luke 1:14 – He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
I know that changing things up always makes me feel more in the spirit of things. Some years can be harder for some of us to decorate. It could be losing a loved one or even tight for cash.
We lined my online backdrop for my classroom with old wrapping paper (I know that I got it on sale because I never buy wrapping paper full price ever.) And then we created a banner with the words Merry Christmas cut out of paper. It was an easy “game-changer” in my classroom.
I have always been a crafter, but most of that has gone the wayside with 7 kids in the house and working, homesteading, etc. And not wanting to scrapbook and see all of the memories of Breckin. That was way too hard in the beginning of the grieving process. Pictures are coming out, Albums are being put together and memories are being made.
In my “past life” I taught scrapbooking classes for several different companies (when Griffen was a baby – so about 16 years ago). One flew me around the country several times a month for over a year to teach other consultants how to run their classes.
I have 40+ cricut cartridges and several machines in the top of the closet in the hall. But, dragging them out of the hall closet, finding the right cartridge, the process was long and crazy. And it took over what ever table that I set it up on.
I needed to revisit my creative outlet and get going again.
So this new Cricut is a game changer!!! I picked it up on Amazon (Link below) for about $300. Yes, I know….$$$
But since it’s arrival, I have made props for my classroom, the kids started their lapbook projects on the states for our homeschooling, I have our vacation t-shirts designed. I even loaded the VIPKid logo in and cut a few IRON-ON for my orange t-shirts!!! I have so many ideas for home designs and there are even some simplicity patterns that you can purchace and be able to cut with this. I have it on my printer shelf next to my laser printer.
And the best part is that the design process is online. I can start a design, and then save and revisit it later. I don’t lose anything and since time to do “crafty” things in my house is limited, I am able to come back to projects and cut them out when I have time.
AND There is a PHONE APP! So when I am sitting in the car, waiting for one of the kids in their many activities, I can design something and then cut it when I get home!!!
You can use it with your current cricut cartridges AND/OR pay a monthly subscription plan (if you plan on using it) and get 50,000 graphics to be able to cut. You can also purchase PRE-DESIGNED PROJECTS!
(YES, It cuts Vinyl, magnet, cardstock, leather, fabric, felt, paper, burlap, birch, denim. There is even a slot for pens to draw some of the parts of your projects – I haven’t even tried that one yet.) Here is a link to all of the materials that you can cut with it: https://help.cricut.com/help/cricut-explore-materials-settings
I am thinking wooden signs with vinyl cutouts for the kids’ animals for the fair next year!!!
Oh, WHY did I not do this sooner!?!? So here is the link, my friends!!! GAME CHANGER for your crafting needs!!!
I found an amazing find at a yard sale (if you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I am a closet-case yard saler! It is my way of escaping for a little while on Friday mornings with my mom and clearing my head of kid stuff for a little while. Having Larry off on Fridays is a HUGE help, and 2 of our kids (2 of our adopted boys) have therapy, so Larry takes them to that for me.
I found a set of old high school gym lockers at a yard sale for $40. (Although ugly in color) They were nearly PERFECT! They were in this super nice man’s shed for the last 30 years as part of his workshop area.
A roll of my husband’s eyes for having to get the trailer hooked up on the suburban and loading kids up to help move this bad boy, we had the rust colored family project at home and in the front patio. $20 later in spray paint (I had to go with Cherry Red) and a visit to a few websites, I have finally found the exact fixtures to fix the 2 broken handles (Still have to work on that part)
This is my new kid organizer! Yes, It is in my front all of my CRAZY Kidlett Ranch. And OH MY! 8 Kids living here right now AND 8 lockers… Never a missing sweatshirt or pair of shoes again!
It took me all weekend to tape and paint… and then moving it was a feat in itself. But, now, we have the PERFECT (and almost CRAZY) piece of furniture in my house… and IT WORKS!! (Even if one of my in-laws thought that it was tacky! LOL) And if I find another one… I would scoop it up just as fast too!
To complete what I wanted as my entry hall was a saying from Facing the Giants. AWESOME MOVIE!!!
“And if we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him. Either way we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes.”
Leave a message for your kids every day, or every week or every month. A chalkboard wall or message center is the perfect spot to do that!.
One of the highlights that the kids love in our home is the many chalkboard walls that we have. I have a full wall in my office and then there are stripes in the little girl and little boy rooms.
I have found that since I have put in the chalkboard sections, we do not have anyone writing on the walls in any other places… no crayon, paint or pens! YEAH! And their walls change often. Sometime they are just scribbles… others they are filled with flowers and hearts.
We have converted a corner in my office to a “quiet zone” with a glider, books, felt toys and the chalkboard. It is utilized often! We have found that when our little boys need a bit of relaxation, this is where they both tend to circulate to.
Every week, I change part of my wall near my desk to have a quote for the kids. Some are bible verses, others are fun quotes that I find online. I do not take a ton of time with the font… I mean, I could make it look like restaurant signs if I wanted…
Creating a chalkboard wall or section is really REALLY easy. Essentials that you need: Obviously Chalkboard paint (I got mine at Ace Hardware. – I love our local Ace in Chino!!) It is also available online if you are not in a hurry – It is on Amazon- I put a link to the right.
You will need blue tape to mark off your area and a paintbrush. – My FAVORITE TOOL that I use to paint with it the As seen on TV Point and Paint. I put a link to this as well. I know… CHEESEY! I have used mine on everything from walls to craft projects… and I just ordered another one too.
My full wall took a quart and a half of paint. I buy them 2 quarts at a time so that I have some all of the time.
Because we wait until after El’s birthday on the 16th to do our inside decorating, it takes a while to get everything up.
We put up all of our Santa collection (My grandmother collected these before she passed away – our family ended up with a handful of that collection to add to for our own to put out every year in her memory), our angel tree and our nativity scenes that are in our living room (we have several of these also and add to them each year.)
Luke 2:11 – Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. —
Our move this last year was rough on some of my decorations. I had several wreaths in a big bag and they got crushed. Larry told me to just throw them away and start fresh… I am SO glad that I didn’t.
I picked up a few $1 sets of flowers (poinsettias and some snow covered pine) at the craft store (LOVE 50% off days!!!) And my mom brought me over a bow that she made – She is SO tricky and makes the most BEAUTIFUL bows with her bow maker contraption.
Luke 1:69-71 He has raised up a horn[a] of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—
In our family, we like to put up lights around the house and decorate outside. (We don’t put up a tree until December 17th or later because we wait until after El’s birthday to keep both occasions separate.)
I love to add lights to the house because not only does it give a “warm” feeling when you drive up to your home, but it also serves as a reminder that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Our church is fully decorated as well and our plans are to hit tonight’s Saturday service and be able to see all of these beautiful lights there as well.
So, your goal for today is to decorate outside your home for advent. Make sure that you get your kids involved too. They will remember things like this FOREVER!
Griffen and Lar went outside to get these up for me. (It was starting to get a bit cold out and I was tired after having a day at school too.) Even one of our dogs – “Runcle Robbie” as the kids call him helped supervise! You know, it is seriously incredible to be married to such a tall man… I mean, I would need to tote around a ladder to hang those lights!
Luke 1:31 -You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.
We have a tradition in our family to do an activity every day of December for advent. Last night at cub scouts, I lead the boys in creating some crafts. (I am so thankful that Larry and Jen and Jason were there to help along with Karen – one of the moms and Bruce & Joanne – two of the other leaders)We wrote cards for the troops and also made ornaments for the Chino Valley Hometown Christmas Tree that is sponsored by the boys.
One of the fun activities that Larry was in charge of was “glittering” pine cones as decorations for the tree.
This is a fast and easy craft.
You will need:
glue (we used a spray adhesive but you can use school glue if that is all that you have on hand)
Spray down the pine cones and sprinkle glitter on them. Set aside and let dry.
Use these to decorate your tree or place in a bowl in your living room with some cinnamon sticks for decoration.
Matthew 1:23 – “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
November to me represents everything that I am thankful for. The leaves are changing colors, fall is HERE! Time to start baking, and using those apple sauces and canned foods that we worked so hard to create over the summer. I love pumpkin and cranberries with a touch of cloves and cinnamon.
This year, I am thankful that we are in our new bigger house.
I am thankful that God is in our lives.
I am thankful that Lar has a job in this economy (even if I have been eager to disagree about the cuts that he received).
I am thankful for my family, my friends and my health.
I am thankful that we have the options to homeschool even with the harshest criticism from people who *were* our friends.
I am thankful that I am so close to finishing my art degree even with the battles that I have fought!
I am thankful that food is plentiful and that I can feed my ever-growing family and have learned to coupon shop to the fullest extent.
I am thankful for the followers of my blog and hope that I can continue to serve your throughout the upcoming year.
So the project for the day: OUR THANKFUL JARS
You will need a mason jar (or a recycled spaghetti sauce jar from your kitchen) and a lid, plus some paper (construction or scrapbook), glue and embellishments.
My kids used glitter, fake flowers, stamps and ink, decorative scissors and ribbon.
We spent about 90 minutes cutting gluing and decorating our jars.
Then, I cut 2 12×12 scrapbook papers into 1×6 strips. Every day between now and Thanksgiving, each person in the family is going to write 1 thing on a strip and drop it into their jar – their name gets to go on the back and the thankful on the front of the strip. On Thanksgiving, we are going to take them out and staple these together and make a paper chain to hang in our school room.