Craft/DIY Ideas, Uncategorized

Handmade Christmas 2016: Button Bookmarks

Christmas gift ideas have started to pop into my mind already. If you know me well at all, you’ve likely heard me state that I can’t stand the over-commercialization of Christmas. I love the simplicity of a thoughtful handmade gift.

This fall I plan to share some of my old & new ideas for sweet little handmade gifts, beginning with these cute bookmarks. I originally shared these waaaay back in 2011 and it’s one of the most popular posts I’ve had since I’ve been blogging! They are perfect for avid readers, obviously, and especially ones who still appreciate a great paper copy.

Thinking of trying to make some ¬†yourself? All the materials you’ll need are: fabric scraps, paperclip, button-cover kit, and hot glue/gun.

All it takes are a few simple steps:

1. Cut out a fabric circle approximately twice the diameter of the button cover.

2. Place the fabric printed side facing down in the button-cover mold.

3. Push the front half of the button rounded side down on top of the fabric.

4. Tuck the edges of the fabric into the center, and then press the button back into it until it is firmly encased.

5. Thread the paperclip through the shank of the button until the button rests at the top rounded edge.

6. Hot glue in place. I dabbed hot glue around the shank area and also where the edges of the button back rest on the paperclip.


Craft/DIY Ideas, Parenting Tales, Uncategorized

What I’m Into: March 2016

In like a lion and out like a lamb. That’s the popular saying for March, right?

Well, this year has been quite the weather roller coaster where we live. One day it’s feeling like early June and the next it’s calling for snow. Crazy.

Whether it’s a lion day or a lamb day, this is what we’ve been into this past month:

*Trailblazer Books. This is a book series that my kids discovered in our church library and have been reading on and off. They are all adventure stories that teach Christian values and each one highlights the story of a Christian hero from history.

*Street Food Around the World. We discovered this series on Netflix one night and tried watching it on a whim. Very educational, interesting and my whole crew was entertained. The host travels to different cities around the world and tries out a variety of street foods from that region.

*Stamps. A few years ago a nice older lady from our church very generously gave my oldest son a box of random US and international stamps. We hadn’t had them out in a looong time, and then one day my twins rediscovered it in their closet. We spent a whole evening looking up different ones and enjoyed finding out where each was from.


*Purging my house. I’m almost completely done!! I will have another post soon about the 40 bags challenge and what I’ve learned.

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*Line drying laundry. I thank the Lord that I don’t mind doing laundry, because you know I have lots of it! One of my favorite tasks is to hang laundry out on our line, and now that we’ve had good weather for it, I’m able to do so again.

*Making wreaths. As Spring is approaching, I’ve had the urge to make some bright new wreaths. You have to know that making anything with my hands is like my love language, so I am one happy camper when I can create something new & pretty! I love creating all styles–grapevine, yarn-wrapped, burlap, fabric…..

Well, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading and have a blessed weekend!


Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder, Uncategorized

What I’m Into: February 2016

Howdy, howdy….

Welcome to the most “blah” month of the year! Yay!

Here are some things that our family is into lately:

Vaseline Rosy Lips. I love lip balms and glosses that work, and ones that are slightly tinted are just my cup of tea. This one in a cute tiny tub from Vaseline has been in my purse all winter and I really like it.

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Rock the Park. This is a recently added show on Netflix that we discovered. It’s very family friendly and follows a pair of young guys as they explore the National Parks one by one. We’ve only watched a few episodes so far but have learned lots.

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Speaking of National Parks, we have planned for a week-long summer vacation at Acadia National Park in Maine! I am super excited for this as it looks spectacular. If anyone has suggestions for things to do in that vicinity, let me know. This will be our first time there.

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Wraps and Shawls. I’ve been working on a few of these, all with a different design. The one in the picture was made out of Homespun Yarn with the color name of “Painted Desert.” Please excuse the sweatpants, it was a stay-at-home day;)

The crock pot. I typically don’t use it as much as I should, but lately I have. So handy!

My Side of the Mountain. Another recent addition on Netflix. Most of my kids have read the book, so it was nice to watch the movie version. (Except we had tears from one son when Frightful gets shot in the movie and doesn’t get back up.) Otherwise we all thought it was good.

Points to Ponder

Thankful for the Little Things

Today I am thankful for the little things.

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Kids that all adore reading.

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Blooms picked by little hands and placed in a dish for me to enjoy.

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A Christmas catalog that reminds us to think of others more than ourselves.

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Bits of fall color to perk up my home.

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Just one of many recycled creations that I find all over the place.

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My family–the man I married and my 5 little (and not so little) pumpkins.

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A kid that loves playing music.

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One of multiple plants that my horticulture-loving kid tends to with TLC.

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Basement shelves filled with food that we grew and canned together.

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God-given creative abilities….

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In this beautiful season, let’s remember all of the big and little things we can be thankful for daily.

In closing, this verse has popped out to me several times over the past week. I don’t ever really remember hearing much of it before, but it has stuck out to me as of late.

1 Thessalonians 4:11 - Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands." Great verse.:

Great words of wisdom there.

Hope you are having a beautiful October.

Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

What I’m Into: September 2015

Happy September to everyone reading this.

I love September and cherish these last days of summer and early days of fall.

Here are some things that either myself or my family is into as of late:

I love, love, loved this documentary. My family watched it the other night and I was very touched by it. It follows four different children from four very different countries as they travel to their school. Watch this with your kids-it will make them appreciate riding on the school bus!

I was especially moved by this boy from India whose younger brothers push/pull him in his makeshift wheelchair EVERY DAY for several miles. Both ways. They were just too precious and it made me want to buy this young man a brand spanking new wheelchair that rolls on sand!!

It’s the little things sometimes. Right now my daughter and I are loving these hairbands that are nice and stretchy, don’t break, and actually hold our thick hair.

The Maze Runner series. I’ve only read the first one, but I am excited to read the other books in the series. My older two are in the middle of the second book and tell me it’s just as engrossing as the first one.

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Making these rugs. I did a tutorial about making these awhile ago and I’m still at it as I’ve had time. I’ve listed some on Ebay and much to my delight, they have been selling well!

Candy Land. Now is the time of year for PTO craziness as we have our main fundraiser in October. It semi takes over my life for a month or two until everything is done. We chose Candy Land as a theme for our annual Race for Education and I’m SO stinking excited about it. Lots of cool decorations, prizes, and costume possibilities. (I am planning to be Mrs. Mint, by the by.) I’m not entirely sure if this will be my last year or not, so pray for me! Make fun of it all you want, but this PTO President stuff is not an easy gig. However, I do believe I have been called to serve the families in our school in this way for now.

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Back to School. Yep, it’s back in full swing and everyone has had a good start so far. These are my elementary kiddos on the first day. I realized that Josh (the one in blue) has worn the same T-shirt for just about every photo this summer. We do own other clothing, but this is obviously a favorite. Andrew (in green below) has also worn a skateboarding banana shirt for like every photo op. I may need to hide them after the next wash cycle;)

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And these are my big guys headed off to middle school.

Well, that’s the main stuff folks. Hope your September has been a good one so far!


Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

What I’m Into: June 2015

Hey hey everyone!

Here is this month’s installment of “What I’m Into,” where I share what either myself or my family is into lately:

*Flip flops. My favorite summer wardrobe staple! Barefoot is always great too:)

Try not to faint with surprise, but I bought a brand spanking new pair of flip flops from LL Bean in this cute orange and white gingham design. (Hey, I had a coupon!) I have had several pairs of theirs over the years and they hold up forever, plus are super comfy for walking in.


*Julie of the Wolves. This is our read aloud book at the current moment. I used to love all of the survival tales (Hatchet, Island of the Blue Dolphins, My side of the Mountain, etc) and this is one that I am now sharing with my kids.


*Tri Bond. We inherited a copy of this game from somewhere and just started to get into it. Some questions are easy, others you really have to think about. A nice spin on trivia games.

*Iced tea, iced coffee...basically any of my favorite caffeine in iced form on especially hot days.

*Ice cream. Unfortunately, this is my personal kryptonite, especially in the warmer months. Can. Not. Resist….

*Our garden. Many of you know we do a huge garden every year over at my in-laws’ farm, and this year’s is no exception. A lot of work, but we love getting fresh veggies out of it all the time.

*Skirts and sundresses. I don’t own many shorts anymore and have taken to skirts and comfy sundresses quite a bit. This is because a) skirts are more comfortable to me and b) I think I look terrible in shorts. Personal opinion.

*A clearer schedule. Hasn’t happened much yet in the week since school finished up, but next week and beyond look much MUCH better!! Yay!!!

Parenting Tales, Points to Ponder

What I’m Into: May 2015

Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

Here’s a little up-to-date list of things either myself or my family are into lately:

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*Dutch braids. Both my daughter and myself have been wearing these a lot as of late. Usually we do it along one side with a ponytail. It’s very easy to do and it doesn’t take much time, even with our longer thick hair. I am not one to take time to do my hair, so I am glad for something semi-polished looking and easy to pull off.


*The Perfect Game. We discovered this movie on Netflix one Friday night and absolutely LOVED it. Very clean and family-friendly, but also based on a true story. I highly recommend it for anyone to watch.

*Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. This is a sequel to the Chocolate Factory and has the same main characters. We are almost done reading this one out loud together. One of my twins, Josh, is so enchanted with Willy Wonka that he is dying to dress up as him on an upcoming special day at school. He is going to be adorable!

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*Being outside! Can I hear an amen on that one? It has been absolutely gorgeous here most days lately and I am loving every minute of it.

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*Flowers-Just because they are pretty! This is a shot I took at Longwood Gardens, which we visited on Mother’s Day.

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Another picture perfect view from Longwood!

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*Yard sales. I LOVE attending yard sales and scoping out good deals. It’s like a treasure hunt where you never know what you’ll find. Case in point: I found this large basket at one last week for 75 cents. (The rug shown is a crocheted rag rug I just completed! Fun to make, plus it uses up some of my vast fabric stash.)

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*The arts. In the last several weeks we have had a boatload of arts-related performances through the school. I had one in the school play, the same one in band, one in chorus, and a girl who is in love with the violin and plays with the orchestra. My two younger boys aren’t old enough to be in any of those yet, so it could be more of that type of thing here in a year or so!! Lots of performances, but we are now through them–at least until early December.