Friday, February 24, 2017

Operation Christmas Child DIY Ideas

 Hey all!! Long time, no blogging!! The past couple of years (oops!) have been busy!! 

This past Christmas, we joined the #Lighttheworld initiative and decided on fun thing we could do as a family to bless and serve others is to do Samaritans Purse: Operation Christmas Child. If you don't know what that is, its a service opportunity that allows you to bless other children with a useful, fun gift at Christmas time. My boys donated their money last year and made two shoe boxes. This year, we are hoping to do a lot more!!

So I figures I would begin now! I went on the Operation Christmas Child Pinterest board and started looking for ideas and they had TONS of DIY crafts and projects you could do on the cheap!

1: Dollar Tree Barrettes 
I got these barrettes for a dollar a pack and added small felt flowers with a hot glue gun! I keep all my felt scraps from my projects so these only cost me what I bought the barrettes for!!

2.  Play dough set and Fake Food set
My local K-Mart is going out of business :( and they had a sale on toys! I got the tube of play dough that contains 6 individual tubs and 16 cookie cutters, for $3.50!! I can split that up over 6 different boxes making it around 50 cents a box for the play dough and cookie cutters!!
The tube of fake food was also $3.50! There are 80 pieces in the tube!! I'm not sure how I'm going to split them up but if I gave 10 children 8 pieces, that's 35 cents a box!! 

3. Homemade crayons
This is something I did for free, since I already had the busted crayons! I had a good many!! You just rip the papers off the crayons. I used cupcake liners left over from a party and lined my muffin pan with them. After I lined the pan, I put broken pieces of crayons into each muffin cup. I put them in a 250 degree oven for 10-15 (depending on the thickness). I then pull them carefully out of the oven and let cool. They peeled easily out of the liners!! Just a side note, let your kids peel the papers off for you!! That part can take FOREVER!!!

4. Clothespin People
This was also something else I did for free!! My momma gave me these clothespins years ago and I never knew what to do with them! Then I saw this idea and just painted the little people on them!! I made over 20 of these!! They are a little time consuming, but totally worth the cuteness and the fact that they are FREE!

 5. Mrs. and Mr. Potato Head Felt Cutouts
These only cost me $1 to make! Once again I had left over felt pieces and used them to make all the removable pieces. I did buy 4 sheets of brown felt at Wal-Mart for 23 cents a piece. I made eight and two potato heads fit on one sheet! So it was super inexpensive!

 6. Felt masks
These were super fun to make! I found a tutorial on Pinterest and made these! I made six of these and two fit on a sheet so it was less than 75 cents for these!! I still need to add elastic though but I think these are flippin' cute!

7. Felt Play Sets
These are very cool because they are two sided! I spent $1 on these as well. I bought whole sheets of felt and cut them in half. Then I made one "scene" on one side and flipped it to make another scene! My youngest loved them and played as I made!

I'm super glad I found all these ideas and was able to create them for next to nothing!! I'll be able to create more boxes because the cost is so minimal!!! Be creative and you can bless so many lives!!

Happy Day All!!!!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

General Conference Is Almost Here!!

Sooo...I love General Conference like I love Christmas!!! Excited to wake up on Saturday morning and get mentally ready to hear from all of the general authorities and listen to their wise counsel!

We love getting together with our family! But with 4 boys 13 and under and 1 girl, sometimes we struggle with concentration! 

Our favorite thing to do is buy some small candies to play general conference bingo! The kids listen to hear the words on the card and then place a candy! They are not allowed to eat the candy until a bingo is called. It's nice because it actually takes a while before someone actually gets a bingo!
I printed my bingo cards from this wonderful blog: Bits of Everything

On Saturday evening, I roll out a prepare cinnamon rolls. I make them and before they have a chance to rise, I freeze them. Then, the next morning all I do is thaw, bake and put icing on them! SOOOOOO good!

There are soooo many great ideas for General Conference, both for small children, and even big children, like me!!! 

Here's a list of some of my favorite places to go for ideas:

I am sure there TONS more out there to be had, but these are my go to's! 

Whatever I do this year, I know I am blessed, and so is my family, with the wise counsel from our leaders!

"Every time we are obedient to the words of the prophets and apostles we reap great blessings. We receive more blessings than we can understand at the time, and we continue to receive blessings long after our initial decision to be obedient." -Elder Paul V. Johnson

Monday, September 22, 2014

Family Home Evening

"We cannot afford to neglect this heaven-inspired program. It can bring spiritual growth to each member of the family, helping him or her to withstand the temptations which are everywhere. The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest.”
-President Thomas S. Monson

In our church, Monday nights are set aside from other activities to spend time with our families and to learn more about the gospel. We call it Family Home Evening, or F.H.E. 

Our family loves it!! We have two young boys with a very tiny attention span, so we keep our lessons simple. 

I also have lessons know, for those nights when I can't get it together! (Which happens more often than I would like to admit!!)
I keep them, in alphabetical order, in a file box with a handle. 

LOVE it! So easy to find a topic we want to work on!

Then, we always do something together! Whether it's playing a board game or feeding the ducks!

It's such a treasured night and the blessings that it brings is worth all the greatest efforts!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To Be a Mother

" Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us." -Sheri L. Dew 

I love being a mom...

and an aunt...

(we were rednecking in these two pictures!!)

and a sister, daughter and friend.

I love teaching the children at our ward through song. 
Motherhood encompasses SO many different roles. I know some amazing women who have treated me like one of their own. They've sat with me, cried with me, laughed with me and loved me. 

Motherhood rocks!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dare to Stand Alone

Last week, my son Michael, who is at a very curious age, asked what 9/11 was about. I thought about it all day and decided to show him a picture, like the one below, and explain what happened on that very tragic day.

(image source)

He was completely saddened and mortified. You could see it on his face.

He asked why things like this happen and why would anyone want to do something like that. 

I explained to him that there are people who don't believe in what we believe and that they have agency to choose what they want to do in their own lives.

He apparently didn't think that was an acceptable answer!!! He then asked,"Are we the only ones who believe in God?" I assured him that we are not the only ones!!

But it made me think of the counsel given to us by our beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson. 

"As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone? "

I explained this to my nine year old in the very best way that I knew how, wondering how much he understood. But I already know that he DOES understand. He has the courage to tell a man older than his mother that he doesn't like when he swears because it makes him feel bad. He has the courage to tell his peers that what they are watching is not what he should be watching. 

We have great influence over how our kids act and react to different situations. We as their parents have the courage, they know that, and in turn they demonstrate the same courage!! 

"As parents we can be examples of the positive effects of living with honesty and integrity in all we do. Even in the face of disappointment or betrayal by others - especially in those cases - we can look to gospel truths for hope. It is by holding to eternal truths that we can be an example of hope for a brighter future." -Margaret D. Nadauld

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Linky Linky!

Linking up over here today!

You Never Know

Ever have one of those days?? A what-am-I-doing-how-can-I-get-it-all-done-days?? I've been having a lot of those lately. My to-do list keeps growing and growing and growing! Isn't the point of to-do lists to make things easier??

Never doubt your role in Heavenly Father's plan. Never doubt that all you could do was give a friendly smile. Never doubt that all you can do is take a meal to someone in need. Never doubt that all you can do is make your family dinner. 

We are here for a purpose.

Life is full of changing seasons. For right now, the season may be to raise healthy, productive, God-fearing children. And to that I say, do your very best. Your season might me to provide for a family and watch every penny spent. And to that I say, do your very best.

“Do your duty; that is best. Leave unto the Lord the rest.” - President Thomas S. Monson

We need to do our very best and look at what our season is. Don't compare your season to some else's! It may seem warm and sunny there and it may seem like a blizzard where you are!! Live for know!!

I saw this video and had to share!!! You really never know!!!