Monthly Archives: February 2014

A Last Minute and CHEAP Kids Valentine

Okay… so I am not sure how Valentines Day came up so quick… maybe now that Pierce’s (my youngest) birthday is in the mix on February 6th, I can’t think past that until its done and then T-Ball started… either way not only did Valentines Day sneak up on me it is also a day early in our school district because our kids (for whatever reason) have Friday off. Bah!

Last year I got all cute and early January I ordered mustache tattoo’s and thought “How fun! The tagline could read ‘I Mustache You A Question… Will You Be My Valentine?'” So I made these with the kids and attached them in a cute clear bad to a few finger-stache tattoo’s…

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Cute! Well this year is a whole other story… and it’s the day before the Valentines Day Swap at school and my kids have no Valentine’s to give! What’s a Mom to do? Well here is the real problem… thanks to the epidemic of food allergies my children are not allowed to bring traditional candy gram Valentines to school (the best part of getting Valentines at school!!!). Well David technically can at preschool, but Eliann has a for sure NO CANDY/FOOD RULE at her school. So I have to think of a gender neutral non-candy Valentine that is cheap (because did I mention this year Eliann has 26 kids in her class and David has 12…. sheesh) for them to give that isn’t lame (pressure I put on myself of course) because I don’t want to be buying multiple kinds of Valentines. Ugh.

So I walk into Target (like I do at least ten times a month) and pass by the dollar section. I immediately am reminded of Valentines Day because everything is Pink and Red and I am like ‘oh man Valentines!’ and I get to looking. But even if I only spent a dollar on each kid that is still close to $40 I would have to spend on Valentines… boo… that is almost a date for me and my husband!

Ugh.

And then I see it… a pack of three fun neon colored (gender neutral) water guns for only $1. Now that is more like it! If I get these and think of some cute tag line like “You’re A Blast” for the water guns then I am only spending like $13 on these Valentines. Genius!

So I buy 13 packs of water guns and spend a little under $14 at Target.

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When I got home I looked on Pinterest to see if I could find a cuter tagline  than “You’re A Blast” for the water guns… but alas nothing came quick enough so I moved on to finding a cute “You’re A Blast” graphic I could use. (Too bad the kids wouldn’t get “Shot To The Heart” or “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” LOL!)

I found a graphic that would work and quickly manipulated it to look like this:

Valentines 2014- Eliann    Valentines 2014- David

Then I pulled out some tools! Luckily I had all these other items on hand in my craft cabinet. All you need is a paper cutter, scissors, string or ribbon, and a hole puncher. You probably have these items at home too.

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Step 1: Print out the Valentine image. (I provide a blank one at the bottom of this post so you can just write your kids name in if you want to try to make this Valentine).

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Step 2: Cut out the Valentine image. I used the paper cutter because I wanted straight lines and I know my fast scissor cutting skills are not up to par… but of course you cant just use scissors.

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Step 3: Punch a hole in the Valentine image and thread the string or ribbon through the hole. 

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Step 4: Tie the ribbon around the water gun to secure the Valentine image.  

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Repeat easy Steps 1-4 until all the water guns you need have been transformed into a fabulous non-candy, cheap, gender neutral Valentine your kids will be excited to give there friends! Done.

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Copy and print this image to add your kids name to this easy Valentine. You can even have your kids practice writing their name on each of these to add an extra ounce of cute (I love kids handwriting).

Valentines 2014

Defined by the label of “Mom.” Blah!

Friends! It is crazy to think I haven’t written a blog post in over two months. The holidays came and went as did the new year with all its resolutions. Although life went on a part of me didn’t. I became a passive observer. So what’s up? Why haven’t I felt inclined to share or write?

The truth can be summed up in a sound: BLAH.

At the beginning of November Brian and I discovered we were pregnant. The idea of our family being complete was exciting and planned. We announced to our family at Thanksgiving and then made a larger announcement online once I had seen my doctor in December. In case you missed it, this is the image we shared:

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But the excitement ended there.

I entered a funk of BLAH. Nothing sounded good to do or to eat. Like NOTHING. I don’t suffer from morning sickness, thank God, but my husband says that at the beginning of every pregnancy I get a case of the bluey blues.

A loss of control creeps into my reality and truly throws me for a loop. Being pregnant means I have to give birth to another human being. A human being we know nothing about or how they will inevitably change our world. It is scary to think about. And no matter what in nine months or so… Lord willing… this new person (I helped create!) is coming.

What are we going to do? What is my routine going to have to look like? What is my house going to have to look like? What will I have to add to my plate… or change… or worse GIVE UP in order to accommodate this new person? What does this mean for the comfortable reality I have settled into for my family?

Some days I suppose these questions could be answered romantically… but I have had three kids already… so most days it simply sounds like impending doom… mostly because the focus is a selfish one: me.

A deeper state of BLAH.

My husband takes the brunt of most of this worry. He assures me I have had this anxiety each of my pregnancies and the Lord has been so good to our family because each of our children has been a blessing and our routine has adjusted just fine to fit the new little one.

Okay… maybe that has been true in the past… but will the Lord be so good to us again? Or is this it? Will my life have to stop now?

Whoa.

Let me explain.

Growing up I was the oldest of three and the only girl. I was told over and over again that my parents weren’t raising a “housewife” and so I had better get to my studies because I was going to be “something.” A lot of time… and effort… and sacrifice was made by my family to make sure my “something” would be great… maybe even the greatest. But perhaps to my parents disappointment and my own, at 19 I found out I was pregnant. Flash forward and now I am married, a mom of three kids and yes I fit the bill of a “housewife” most of the time. Worse, I have signed up for yet another child to take care of because I am pregnant, again!

My Mom also told me, “Once you have kids, your life stops. You can no longer live for yourself; you now have other people depending on you and life becomes about them.” At face value this statement makes sense. But in reality it is a self destructive pill should you choose to swallow it as truth.

Somehow every time I’ve been pregnant I try to swallow this awful truth… that some how now my life would be over because I chose to become a mother again.

Even though I knew this wasn’t the truth I wanted for me, I resisted seeking the truth I knew I needed to hear. I resisted God in my state of BLAH. Remember how nothing sounded good? Well that included God. I didn’t want to talk to Him or hear from him. I was being anti-social, even to God, which is hard to do when the celebration of his birth rang all around me in December.

January came. Still pregnant.

I agreed to partake in a “SEEK WEEK,” that ironically I helped coordinate at the start of the year. We pumped Seek Week as a time we would set aside to intentionally pursue and hear from God for direction in the New Year. Although I didn’t really want to do that… the Lord met me in the half-hearted way I pursued Him that week. He was faithful when I wasn’t.

I am still trying to run back to Him, although at this pace it has felt more like a crawl. But his Word assures me in Psalm 86:15, “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” He isn’t mad it has taken me this long to turn to Him and run from the BLAH. He abounds in love for me and is faithful to meet me where I am… even if at the moment it is pregnant with impending doom.

I had another opportunity to hear from God at the tail end of my BLAH experience at a Working Women’s 9-5 Event. The speaker, Janice Thomspon- a successful Christian career mother of two, was asked if she ever experienced “Mommy guilt?” I fully expected her to say… Of course! We all do at some point or another…. because these are feelings I struggle with in choosing to do anything other than stay at home with my kids. But her response shocked me. It was something to the effect of… “No. (No?!) I haven’t. (You haven’t?!) You know why? (WHY?!) Because I am secure with my position in Christ. I look to Him and his Word in everything I do and I know he has called me to be a light in the working world. So everything else falls into place when I am obedient to Him and I don’t have to feel guilty. (WOW! Seriously. Mind blown.)” 

I want to have that kind of security in Christ.

The kind of security that doesn’t doubt.

God has given me a new truth- kids don’t have to mean the end of your life. Sure, you can chose to become a martyr for your children at the cost of your identity… your spouse… your outside relationships. Or you can choose something else. Something different. Something that gives life instead of takes it.

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I think that is one of the things my six weeks of BLAH has caused me to consider. Yes I am pregnant. Yes I am a Mom. But that isn’t my true identity. Nor do I want it to be.

I am now on a journey with God to define my identity in Him. I want to be His daughter. A servant for His kingdom. A person who lives life abundantly in Christ. I want to understand His truth in order to replace those destructive truths sewn in my past. Some days that absolutely looks like being a Mom… in all its glory: laughing with my children, drowning in laundry, being upset over the time I spent on a meal that no one wants to eat, encouraging my kids to try again and kissing owies to make them feel better.

Other times I am used by God to serve my spouse, or my neighbor, or my community. Still other times he uses me at my job through the young marrieds ministry I help lead. And that is not to say he couldn’t use me in ways I may not even be able to see or dream at the moment.

I don’t want to be defined by the label of “Mom.” I know I am a lot more to the One who loves me the most. And I want to trust in Him everyday to know how I can be used of him for his glory and not for my own need to be “something.”

With this new found freedom in Christ I feel like I have a voice again to begin blogging in 2014… so if you’d like, keep reading along with me. In the 6 weeks of BLAH God has grown me both spiritually and physically. Ha! Go figure. And I know He isn’t done growing me yet.

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