Sunday, September 26, 2010

Some things coming in my handmade store

Hi, Everyone. I moved my Handmade Blessings store from my blog to It offers more exposure and possibility to actually sell something I have made. I have not had a lot of success selling on my blog. I have made only two sales in the past year. I am grateful for those two sales, but it would be nice to have more opportunity to sell. Right now I am focusing on putting holiday items in my store. They will be based on all the Fall/Winter celebrations coming up Oct.-December. I have already put about 20 items in the store so check it out.

Here are some things coming in my handmade card store. I will be making some Christmas card and tag sets. I also am planning on making gift card holders, 2011 desk calendars, and food gift tags and boxes. So check the site often and see what is in store for you to grab and finish off. I already have a few Christmas items up. And check out the Halloween/Fall items as well.

A NOTE: I hope to accomplish this, but if my family and my other homeschooling duties do not not allow for me to accomplish as much as I like in my hobby, that is the way it goes. They have to come first.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Papertrey Blog Hop last inspiration

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop Post #6. This is a post just to say that one more non- Papertrey Ink blogger really inspires me. That blogger is She is a Stampin' UP! only blogger and she has awesome ideas and templates. I love her tutorials, her use of designer papers, and the simple layouts she uses. Love her stuff.

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop post #5

This last post is inspired by Nichole. Nichole, you probably don't hear it enough how much you inspire us out here with your awesome Papertrey products and your product reveals each month. You have a wonderful artful eye for color, simplicity and impact. The images you design for stamps and the designs you make for cards are truly timeless and awesome. Thank you for the way you lead in this craft and set the standard so to speak for everyone else. You inspire us and challenge us to be better paper crafters and to look out for those little details that really make a card or project say WOW!

These two cards are inspired by you. I just made them last night. I have also been using a lot of your ribbon strips and loops in my cards as well. Just don't have any to show. Besides, I think I have posted enough cards today. Gotta get back to my family and work. Thanks again, Nichole.

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop Post #4

I must say that Dawn McVey is one of my all time favorite bloggers. I love her bold color choices, which I would usually never think of putting together. I like her way of making patterned papers with background pieces that I would never think of creating. I also love all her great uses of mediums for flowers and focal points like cork, felt, vintage bookprints and such.

I just created these fun goodies in the past couple of days. My Saturdays are not ones where I get to stamp much as it's usually a family and cleaning day. In fact, I am supposed to be vacuuming and ironing right now, but I had to participate in this blog hop since I am inspired by so many of the great blogs out there. I am not naturally talented in coming up with card ideas. A piece of blank cardstock and even a card sketch just leave me flustered. But a really cool card or idea from some of these great bloggers just sets my creativity going and I think, "I can do that with this or that.!"

The apple card was inspired by Dawn's latest use of the mat stack and fillable frames dies for accent pieces to run along the side of your stamped images to create a "punched" edge.

The tags are inspired by her bold color combo choice for Christmas last year and some of the patterns she made using stamps. I like all the tags she makes for putting on packages too.

Lastly the tea cup card was inspired by her cork tutorial a few months back.

Dawn, you are truly talented and inspiring. I have been blessed by your sweet blog and your creativity.

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop post #3

I love Lauren Meador and her wonderful box and packaging templates. I love to make homemade gifts, and I love her templates. She is such an inspiration in making gifts that say WOW! I have most of her templates and I love to shop for things I can put in them.
I first posted a picture of a watercan I made using her wonderful watering can template. Don't you just love it!

Next is a little bath and body set I put together with some trial sized bottles of coconut lime verbena B&BW stuff. The box is supposed to look like a coconut with tropical flowers on it with a cool lime slice for added detail.

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop post #2

My next favorite designer is Michelle Wooderson. I love her funky mixy matchy style. I also like her production line style of laying things out. Here are some projects I have just recently made reflecting her style. Thanks, Mish.

I have here a candy apple card using patterned papers, ribbons, buttons and such that remind me of Michelle's style. I also used her wonderful Friendship jar Fall Fillers stamp set. I also have some tags I made out of various prints I hand stamped with PTI stamps that I mixed and matched on some tags for treat bags along with some hand dyed clothespins. See, Michelle, you have wonderful ideas.

Papertrey Ink September Blog Hop post #1

I love this blog hop as there are so many people I go to for inspiration and to CASE. First and foremost would be Nichole Heady herself, and all the wonderfully talented ladies on her design team. I am most addicted to all of their blogs because I love their design perspectives. Very clean and deceptively easy. That is what this particular post is focusing on. Clean and easy with pops of color for impact. The designer I think most inspires clean, easy, pops of color and overall simplicity with lots of wow factor is Maile Belles. I love her blog and I love her style. As a busy homeschooling mom, I like to keep things clean and simple. Here are some cards I have made inspired by some of Maile's designs. Thank you, Maile.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Christmas card ideas

Need to make food gift packaging, Christmas cards (about 30), bath and body products and packaging, tags for food gifts. Need to order coffee bags and glassine bags.
Need to make some gift card holders.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What do your words say?

Here is another thought provoking article from my teaching God's World News weekly update. What kind of words do you say? What do your words say about you and what you truly believe. Are you ready to be persecuted for sharing the precious words of the gospel? Do your words promote peace? Are your words building up words or are they focused on the negative? Something to think about this Monday morning.

What is your ordinary, everyday conversation like? Is it good? Evil? Kind? Mean? Clean? Obscene?

How do you know?

Some words used to be considered obscene. There was no argument about that. But today "everybody" says them-even in movies and on TV. And "freedom of speech" in the hands of groups like the ACLU has been twisted from its Constitutional intent now to mean legalized oral amorality.

Jesus in Matthew 12 says, "I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

Listen carefully to the words of Jesus. They are words of life.

There is only one place to learn the difference between good and evil. It is not "ordinary, everyday conversation." It is not the U.S. courts. It is not the U.S. Constitution. It is God's word, the Bible.

I do not mean to say the U.S. Constitution is evil. It is a very good set of laws. In fact, much of it is based on the teachings of the Bible. In fact, "freedom of speech" in the Constitution has never meant freedom to do evil. Don't be fooled by lawyers promulgating twisted ideas of "freedom."

"Freedom" is not the real problem in America. The real problem is that the world hates godly values. Jesus was not warning only against dirty words. He was warning against twisting the truth about justice and holiness and freedom. God's judgment is upon all false speech.

The twisting of words is killing true freedom in America. It has made evil speech "constitutional." It has turned blasphemy and cursing--even on stage--into "civil rights." At the same time, proclaiming God's word in America's public schools is illegal. There's no "freedom of speech" there. Do you hear the ACLU complaining about that?

What is the future of America? Do you understand the meaning of "freedom in Christ"? Do you know that for God's people it sometimes means persecution?

We should be upset hearing the filthy mouths in the world around us. But we should also be getting ready to face things a lot worse than that.
-- Norm Bomer

Monday, September 13, 2010

Teaching Children is a High Calling

Found this gem in my weekly Teaching God's World News email. Had to share.

Each Christian teacher has a high calling to teach children the law of God as a way of life (Deut. 6:5-7). How can we best fulfill this calling within our respective academic disciplines? How can we educate the whole child--his heart, mind, and behavior--in light of God's word?

Teach Children the fear of God.

This is the starting place for every teacher and class. A typical secondary school is departmentalized, so the math, social studies, or English teachers could tend to leave discussions of the Bible to the Bible teacher. However, Proverbs 1:7 reminds us that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Whether or not you teach Bible, your first priority is to teach reverence for the Lord.

Because much of what children learn is by example, you must set an example of godliness and consistency. Teach them by your example of reverence for God. And teach them to respect your God-ordained authority over them.

Instill in your students a belief that all knowledge begins with the knowledge of God, and that academic disciplines further our knowledge of him, since math, science, history, and language are a study of his creation (Rom. 1:20).

Teach children to discern truth from error.

Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." Using the word, we can teach all subjects in a biblical and truthful way. There is a critical need for this perspective in social studies.

For example, sit down with a child and have him read from a history text or a newsmagazine. When he finishes, ask him if what he just read is true. He may tell you, "I don't know," or "yes," or give you a puzzled look. He probably has never had that question asked of him before.

Most children accept anything in print as the truth. It never occurs to them that what they read in history books, biographies, or magazines and newspapers could possibly be distortions of the truth.

They also accept most of what they see on TV as truth. But they are constantly being bombarded with lies--blatant or subtle--about the nature of man and what his goals are to be. And they are untrained to recognize and reject those lies. We must teach them to discern truth from error, to judge everything they see, read, and hear in the light ofGod's word.

Colossians 2:8 warns, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of thisworld rather than on Christ." In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we are commanded to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." And finally, 2 Timothy 2:15 commands us to "do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."

To heed these admonitions, teachers must begin with textbooks and current events resources. Explain on the first day of school, and many times thereafter, that the material was written by a human being and his own beliefs are in it. What he writes may be fact, or it may be opinion. Point out the author's bias wherever it appears. And compel your students to use the word of God in the classroom to test the word of the author. Teach them to use the same methods of testing and proving what is true while they are at home watching television or listening to the radio.

I once gave seventh graders this assignment: Watch a television show and write out its message. They were required to analyze each character and decide whether that person projected godly or ungodly attitudes and behavior. They were to look for violations of the word of God and anything else they felt was questionable.

Some of the students immediately saw problems in the ways characters dressed and acted, the language they used, their attitudes. It was more difficult for them to recognize the underlying pervasive message of many of the shows: "God doesn't exist, so I can do whatever I please." For many of those students, this was a turning point in their attitude toward television viewing. They realized the power of TV to influence and deceive them.

I have repeated this exercise, using similar questions to train them to analyze in the light of Scripture books and periodicals they read and entertainment they seek.

If we are consistent, our students will learn to apply the word of God to all areas of life. By God's grace, they will "by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Heb. 5:14).

Our faithfulness will yield blessings as the Lord has promised, "So that you, your children, and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life" (Deut. 6:2).
-- Debra M. Mian

Remembering 9/11

I remember where I was on 9/11/2001. I was at home with my 5 month old Nathan and we were getting ready to go over to my parents house as the packers were there to move them to Atlanta. My husband called me right after the first tower hit to tell me to turn on the television. Something big was happening at the World Trade Center. My godfather worked in the towers. Scott had called my godmother and received news my godfather was out and okay. We watched the rest of the terrible tragedy at my parents' house as their things were packed that day. I remember crying and wondering how this could happen. It was horrible. We must never forget the lessons from that day. Here is a little article I got from God's World News about 9/11.

Light and Shadow

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea." Theworld doesn't understand the Psalms. But even in the shadow of death, God reveals his strength for all to see.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."

For decades, "rights" groups fought to outlaw God's word and prayer in America's public life, public schools, and courtrooms. Judges blessed their efforts. Television scorned Christians and prayer. Then nine years ago this month, the 9/11 World Trade Center attack plunged thousands of families into mourning. The Pentagon attack in the nation's capital proclaimed America's frailty.

In its weakness God bowed America's head. And those enemies of prayer became unusually silent. President George W. Bush and many high officials bowed in worship at the National Cathedral. The Bible was read to the nation. No one chanted "separation of church and state."

Senators and Congressmen gathered before the Capitol and sang "God Bless America." Later, they held a prayer meeting. Churches overflowed. Crowds in town squares across America sought the "ever-present help in trouble." And in Jesus' name they prayed.
The well-known old hymn "Abide with Me" says, "Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day." Our time on earth is very little. "Earth's glories pass away," says the hymn. The 9/11 attacks severely forced Americans to think about that.

How many of them thought about this: "I triumph still, if thou abide with me"?

Nine years ago, President Bush promised triumph over America's enemies. Yes, bringing justice to mass murderers is good and right. But the "triumph" in that hymn is far bigger than military triumph. Many of the terrorists' victims saw that clearly. They saw the Lord face to face.

Christ has triumphed over sin and death for all believers. And God will at last triumph over his enemies. He will crush them and punish them forever. "'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord" (Romans 12:19). God's revenge is good and right.
So what about human revenge?

"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath," writes the Apostle Paul (12:19). It is a sin for individual people to take revenge. Jesus told people--not nations--to turn the other cheek. God gives his vengeance authority instead to governments. That why he tells us, "If you do wrong, be afraid," for the government "does not bear the sword for nothing" (13:4).

But some people do not "leave room for God's wrath." They like to say the Lord changed from a God of wrath in the Old Testament to a God of love in the New Testament. Wrong. "I the Lord do not change" (Malachi 3:6). God has always been a God of love. He is still a God of wrath.

The World Trade Center was a symbol of U.S. business success. The Pentagon is a symbol of U.S. military power. Those tragic 9/11 attacks reminded us Americans not to place our hope in our vast wealth and power. They reminded us that there is no lasting triumph apart from Christ. They reminded us of the utter evil of God's enemies.

The United States is full of sin. It's hard to call it "Christian" anymore. But in the eyes of Islam, it is the world's Christian stronghold. That's mainly why Muslim terrorists hate America. Their false religion allows them to believe Allah will reward them for murdering "infidels" (enemies of Islam).

During the 1990s, America's highest leaders, as they are doing today, did much to tear down U.S. military strength. Military officers warned against it. But they obeyed orders. Then President Bush called for making national defense stronger again. Many liberal opponents disagreed with him. Some--especially in the media--even mocked him.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd ridiculed Mr. Bush. He fears "The Threat That Doesn't Exist," she wrote. Federal funds for national defense, she said, should instead be spent on education.

The 9-11 attacks occurred two days later. How foolish to pretend that the world is full of good people that simply need more education.

The New Testament in Romans 13 declares government "God's servant, an agent of wrath"--not an agent of education. That servant may take revenge. In this world of false gods and sinful people, sometimes it must.

A strong national defense is necessary. But even triumph over terrorism is not enough to save America. Evil is the enemy. And education on the world's terms plays into its hands. The only defense--the only triumph--is in the true and living God of the Bible. That means Christian education.

"In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me."
-- Norm Bomer

Some good thoughts on education, culture, and journalism

I got the following post on my Teaching God's World News email today. I thought I would share it with you. Good stuff here.

The main reason American society is today so double-minded on so many issues is that its people have been repeatedly assured that "religion and science" operate in different spheres. So, of course, do "religion and education," "religion and economics," "religion and politics," "religion and business," "religion and art"--or "religion" and any other combination you want to make.

The more you can persuade people that all these are hermetically sealed, independent components of life, the more you enable those people simultaneously (and shamelessly) to believe contradictory things about life. Now you have generously allowed them to believe everything, without offense to anyone on any side, but also without any insult to their critical faculties.
-- Joel Belz, WORLD magazine

In 1681, there were no newspapers anywhere in Britain's American colonies. But Massachusetts ministers united to plead for careful coverage of "Illustrious Providences, including Divine Judgements, Tempests, Floods, Earthquakes, Thunders as are unusual . . . Remarkable Judgements upon noted Sinners, eminent Deliverances, and Answers to Prayer." The ministers wanted stories about such sensational events because they understood that all occurrences are "ordered by the Providence of God," so that news stories are as much about God as man.

Their understanding that God is active in the world made journalism not trivial but significant; Cotton Mather wrote that "To regard the illustrious displays of that Providence wherewith our Lord Christ governs the world, is a work, than which there is none more needful or useful for a Christian."
-- Marvin Olasky, WORLD magazine

Christian school, home school, public school. For Christian parents, those three have one thing in common: They all require Godly wisdom and diligence.

When it comes to public school, that challenge is critical in ways different from the challenge of Christian school and home school. Parents are faced not only with false teaching their children may be receiving, they are faced with the flip side--the vital teaching their children are not receiving at school.

Christian parents--especially those with children in public school--are faced daily with this sometimes brutal reality: Education works. Teaching does accomplish learning. So the content of that teaching is of utmost concern. And by legal mandate, most classrooms in America assume the position that the real world is one where man is in charge and nature created itself.
-- Norm Bomer, GWNews

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Some more freezer cooking today...

Well I just took about 45 minutes and made up another big batch of my homemade pancake mix chock full of wholegrain goodness. I also made two batches of biscuits -minus the liquid, and stuck those in the freezer. I already had my food processor out for grinding oats and sustagrain barley flakes for my pancake mix, so I decided to go ahead and pulse up some biscuit mix too. Now all i have to do is grab it out of the freezer, add 1 c. buttermilk, roll out and bake. Much easier for in the morning. I also made a double batch of now or later pizza dough to freeze up. It's rising on the counter, and when it's done, I'll divide it into 3 or 4 pieces and then freeze it. All I will have to do is take it out in the morning and let it come to room temp. till almost lunch time, press it out onto parchment, preheat the oven and there you go, yummy hot homemade pizza. It's a good thing. And I just prepped many breakfast goodies and lunch in just 45 min.

My guys are out of the house today with haircuts and shopping for mouth guards and protective gear for karate lessons. With lessons two nights a week at 5:30 pm- 7pm we have just gotten lots more busy in the evenings. I don't like that aspect, but they are enjoying the exercise and the chance to kick and hit. It should help with coordination, confidence, and control (all good life skills). :) My little guys are so precious. I just love them to pieces. I am so proud of their attitudes this year in school and how much we are getting done. We added Rod and Staff Spelling and English/Grammar, and Wordly Wise vocabulary building lessons. We also get God's World News for current events and news that comes from a Biblical world view. Love it. The boys love getting mail. We also get Club House and Club House Jr. from Focus on the Family. John, my youngest, is still struggling some days on doing his written work. He just hates writing stuff down, and Friday was pretty rough, but it is usually the exception now and not the rule. He's just almost 7 yrs. old, so I shouldn't expect as much as I do from Nathan, who is 9 1/2. So anyway, that's what I have been up to today.

Try taking an hour and getting some things prepped for your week. Go to King Arthur and Pioneer and find some great recipes for baking, meals, that are flavorful and easy.

Oh, and I have been a little crafty lately while the boys work on their math and other written work, and have made some neat Halloween treat holders and cards. Check them out on my card blog: see the sidebar.