Monday, February 16, 2015

Goldfish Treat Bags: Fishers of Men Scripture Printable

Is February really half over? The month is surely flying by...I barely got this printable designed in time for Valentine's Day! 

I decided to do goldfish again this year for my kiddos to take for their class valentines. I was running low on time and knew my girls could just use the bag topper I designed a couple years ago. But for Titus's class, I really wanted to deviate from the traditional "hearts and love" valentines and do a scripture themed treat instead.  I chose a nautical theme and used Matthew 4:19 as my inspiration.
There really isn't anything "valentine" about this Fishers of Men printable except for the heart on the anchor, so I'm thinking this would work great for treats year-round.

To make these, download and print off the desired number of tags.  I used Costco's one hour service.  For these tags, be sure sure to choose the option "DO NOT AUTO CORRECT MY PHOTOS" and print them as "lustre" 4x6 prints.  

Then, cut each print in half to make two bag toppers; fold each half in half. I use 4x6 cellophane bags, purchased at Michaels, so the size is perfect to position the topper and simply staple in place. It doesn't get much easier than that. :)

Download: Fishers of Men Scripture Printable

Printables and all designs are for PERSONAL USE only. Please feel free to download and share, but do not distribute for profit or self-promotion. If you would like to share online, please include a link back to my site. Thanks! ENJOY!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jack of All Trades...

...master of NONE. Yep! Pretty sure that sums up my qualifications. Certainly NOT bragging here, but I can pretty much do anything I set my mind to. I love learning new things and finding out how or why something works.

I can play the piano fairly well, and I even teach private lessons in my home and music at our school. BUT you will never hear me playing in a concert hall...and I really don't play by ear very well.

I can sew and even got first place in my home economics class in high school, but I limit my "skills" to family jobs only. Do NOT ask me to alter a suit!

Recently I've enjoyed dabbling in photography. I actually did my own newborn photo shoot for my son's baby pictures. I've even taken a few pictures for friends. However, I will not be opening my own business or starting a photography facebook page any day in this lifetime.

I love planning parties, and really like to do it up special for my kiddos' birthdays. A few years ago, I scored a great deal on cake decorating supplies and now have everything I could need to decorate cakes.  I've made all my children's cakes and am actually not very embarrassed about how they turned out. They were simple but nice. And while I actually did write up a business plan to become a party planner, I decided no one wanted to pay me to come and be stressed out at their party! :)

I can sing....but I don't do solos.

I can use Photoshop to make our Christmas cards, party invitations, and my digital scrapbook pages...but I'm not a graphic designer.

I love English Grammar. I majored in English (& music) in college and taught junior high English for 3 years...but I retired in 2007 and will probably never grade another research paper or book report.

Admittedly, sometimes I regret not picking a field or hobby and becoming the best. I'm a {recovering} perfectionist by nature, so some days it bothers me more than others. I can do anything just well enough so that I don't have to pay anyone to do it for me. (Except fix computer hard drives - mine is still in the shop!) But, seriously, no one is going to commission me for any jobs or advice in those previously mentioned fields.

One day I was particularly frustrated and realized that I'm pretty much a mom and a housewife.

And almost as quickly as that thought hit me, another came...

Jack of All Trades...    Master at MOM.

Moms do everything, don't we?  I dreamed my whole life of becoming a wife and mother. My husband and children are the greatest blessings in my life. I do everything I do for them...not for recognition, applause, awards, or my name on some executive office door. My job as mom requires that I pretty much be a "jack of all trades."

It wasn't until I noticed others' accomplishments and fame that I started to question if I was doing enough. Is it enough to cook meals, wash laundry, administer meds, change diapers, clip coupons, read storybooks, teach a handful of piano students, or decorate a simple cake?

Well, considering the value I place on the lives of my husband and children, I'm thinking it is. God made me for this "job" and I will master it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 Re-Cap and Best Wishes for a Happy 2015!

After a whopping four posts in 2014, I'm back with plans yet again to keep up with this blog.  It will be much of the same, but I am going to attempt to blog more of my (never-ending) thoughts and random as they may be!

2014 was jam-packed with everything under the sun! Titus graduated from K-5 in the spring and started 1st grade this past fall.

I went back to work outside our home part-time this fall teaching elementary music and Junior High choir. And while it has kept me busier than I thought it would, I've enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. The girls and Thad enjoy getting to go to their daycare classes two days a week...and I love that they are just down the hall from me!

Tim's parents retired from pastoring after over 33 years serving at their church, so we traveled to the celebration in October. We were also privileged to have them stay with us for about 6 weeks during the fall. We got a small taste of what it is like having family close by, and we were grateful for all their help during our busiest time of the year! It was hard to let them leave!!

We filled our year with school, work, piano lessons and recitals, fun day trips, a few overnight getaways, two straight weeks of traveling, birthday parties, a quick trip to GA for my grandpa's funeral, vacationing in Va with cousins, MusiCollege, enjoying plays and symphonies, organizing and producing two separate Christmas programs, and finished it off with a quiet family Christmas at home. 

My computer has been out of commission for several months (a good excuse for not posting?), and I haven't figured out how to customize my posts on my iPad. Better than nothing, right? :) 

Here's to regular blog posts in 2015! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Flashback Friday - Thad's Birth {March 2013}

How has it been almost a year?? 

I'm starting my Flashback posts with Thad's birth pictures since next week I'll be posting about his first birthday! WOW... time flies.

His birth story is short and sweet...I didn't end up going into labor on my own by March 19, so he was born via C-section.  Since I'd had a C-section with the twins, the doctors would do nothing to induce labor for a vbac. So, while I was planning to go for it, Thad had other plans. :)

I thought I knew what to expect with the C-section, but this one was a little different.  The first time around I nearly panicked when I couldn't feel myself breathing. So, while I was mentally prepared for that, I got a little worried when my whole face went numb! I couldn't even smile for my first picture with Thad. :) 

But other than that, it was a standard C-section. Though, this time, the doctor did hold Thad up for me to see him as soon as he was born. With the twins' delivery, they were whisked away so quickly and I was just along for the ride...literally, as I felt like every tug and pull would drag me right to the floor. My first thoughts of Thad were how chubby his face was and that he had a LOT of hair. 

Also, comparatively, with the twins, we had a 4D ultrasound from the morning of their birth day - very cool! But with Thad, I had only had one ultrasound and had no clue what his features looked like or how much hair he had.  But as soon as we saw him over the curtain, it was love at first sight! :)

He was a crier in the beginning!! 
{Acid Reflux is NO fun!}
Our hospital no longer has a nursery and requires "rooming in." So, no rest for the weary...

Ironically, my boys were the ones blessed with full heads of hair!

His poor little cheeks! The air in our room was so dry!

Did I already mention "no rest for the weary"?



Yup, he was definitely a crier in the beginning...

So I would never forget the sweetness of cuddling those first few days...

Well, there ya have it...I finally posted! 
And I only have a few more thousand pictures to sort through... in time...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2013... In Retrospect


The year of change for us...the busiest, the most stressful, the happiest, the year of growth.
And ironically, the year with the fewest blog posts!

Admittedly, we knew going into the year {2013}, that it would be one filled with many ups and downs. 

We welcomed a new baby in March - Thad has been a delight to our family! He is definitely the most loved child - and not because we favor him over the others, but he has a brother and two sisters who just absolutely adore him! His ever-ready smile just lights up the room!

In my small little handmade business world, things definitely got put on hold.  I think my Etsy shop was open maybe 3 months total. And honestly, other than the extra income, I didn't really miss it.  I had a little more time and energy to focus on other areas that needed attention.

Tim's schedule and responsibilities pretty much quadrupled {and probably more} since June 2013.  And I've pretty much realized that in order to keep things balanced in our home and family, I have to remove outside responsibilities from my "plate" so that he can add more to his. It's a good thing I'm pretty much a homebody or I might go crazy!! I'm half kidding... :) I'm enjoying this season of diapers, play-doh, and morning cuddles. I know that if I take the time and energy to train my young kiddos now, then in a few years we will be able to serve in the ministry in many additional areas.  

Titus started Kindergarten this past fall, and that brought a whole new angle to our schedule.  What am I going to do when he has "real" homework?? We are busy enough in the evenings with his piano practice (he started official lessons, as well) and reading and writing homework. It has been good for my morning routine, though, as I'm up early every morning now. I look forward to Saturdays like never before! 

That's our year in a nutshell...and I'm a little sad about all the blog posts I missed. Soooo, every Friday I plan to do a Flashback post.  I really use this blog to document the events in our life, so I want to make sure I don't skip a whole year! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mothering Twins - How {NOT} To Potty Train

Potty training my twin girlies has been the most difficult part {so far} of having twins.

They've been potty trained for over a year now, and I still cringe at the memories!! During one particular two week period, I awoke EVERY DAY to find they had smeared their poopy diapers ALL OVER their Jenny Lind style cribs - including the mattresses, surrounding walls, and their person. Being pregnant with my fourth child only added to the extremely emotional frustration!

I think I am just now able to post about it without writing hundreds of paragraphs telling all the horrible stories... 

Sooo, I am NOT the one to tell you how to potty train twins!! I tried training them simultaneously and then separately. One would seem more ready than the other and would have accident free days,
and then they would switch roles!! AAGH! 

Pull-ups were not working - and with zero energy from pregnancy,  I couldn't keep up with the mess of training two girls with cloth training pants. I realized the Pull-ups were definitely a no-go, though,  when they actually asked me to put one on them so they could go potty in them - WHAT?!

Her preferred way to wear underwear!

So, the only advice I can offer is that it WILL happen! It may take multiple sticker charts, bags of skittles, potty dolls, potty books, many pep talks, and lots of tears, but it WILL happen. What ended up being the final incentive for us was new licensed character underwear.  My mom was in town to help with the new baby and she bought them for the girls as a reward for pooping in the potty. They were officially potty trained a month or so before their 3rd birthday. :)

 Really, it probably shouldn't have been much harder than training a singleton, but my being pregnant and thereby rather inconsistent made it extremely difficult. Hopefully training #4 will be a breeze in comparison!

One piece of advice I CAN give is to carry a potty chair with you at all times! A friend with 5 children of her own shared this "secret" with me, and it has saved my sanity more times than I can count! Venturing out is stressful enough with 4 kiddos ages 5 and under, and adding bathroom trips can be an impossible feat.  So we keep a potty seat in the back of our van for emergencies. This was a lifesaver on our 20 hour road trip - it was so much easier to pull over and let them use the potty in our for-the-most-part clean van instead of having to brave the gas station facilities! YUCK! I used cheapo dollar store diapers to line the inside so that when they were finished I could easily throw away the mess.  

So, hang in there!! And don't stress! It WILL eventually click and probably not overnight!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Face Play-Doh Valentine {Free Printable}

It's that time of year again!! 

This year for Titus's little kindergarten classmates, I made these cute little Happy Face Valentine mats. I found some Play-Doh packages for 70% off a few weeks ago and knew they would be perfect for Valentine's Day!

I assembled them in gusseted cellophane bags and stapled a card stock bag topper to close them. 


These are designed as 4x6 prints.  I print mine as photos at Costco to make it super easy! Just be sure to choose the option "DO NOT AUTO CORRECT MY PHOTOS" and print them as "lustre" prints.

I've include two color options suitable for boys and girls.  If you want to add your child's name, PicMonkey is a great free site for adding your own texts to photos.  

Credit: Blank Faces from UCreate

Printables and all designs are for PERSONAL USE only. Please feel free to download and share, but do not distribute for profit or self-promotion. If you would like to share online, please include a link back to my site. Thanks! ENJOY!

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