Friday, September 19, 2014

Blessing Basket

A fun idea we're using for our CC Community, but you could use in any number of situations. I set up a basket and put everyone's name on the list. When the basket arrives at your house mark your name off and pass on to someone else! I was determined to spend zero to deliver the basket in hopes of setting the example that it does not have to be complicated or expensive!

A few leaves and berries cut from our yard in a recycled spaghetti sauce jar with some homemade apple pies. Fun!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Witnessing God's Creation Marvels Part 2

One morning, we got up and saw Chewy hanging upside down like this! We quickly watched a couple of You Tube videos about caterpillars to notice what to watch for as he prepared to become a cocoon. After knowing we had narrowly missed seeing a cocoon the day before we were eager to wait it out and try to see this one take place!

God was so gracious to us and we were able to witness this caterpillar split out of his skin and see the pupa emerge. We camped out on the porch for about four hours and it was a nice reward to see something so amazing right on our own front porch.

While we were watching and waiting we had the above pretty butterfly visitors. It was amazing to me to think that all at once we had nearly the life cycle of a butterfly represented. We didn't have any eggs, but we had caterpillars, one hanging ready to become a cocoon, one already a cocoon and two butterflies - amazing!

Then the action began:

And, after just a few minutes:

Eight days later before we left for Samuel's soccer game - we noticed this:

I wish I had taken a picture from the other side because you could see the orange wings folded up inside the chrysalis! When we came home two hours later -

We have seen a butterfly come out of its cocoon before - what an amazing opportunity to watch God's creation up close like this!

2 Corinthians 5:17, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation - the old things have passed away behold all things have become new."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Witnessing God's Amazing Creation

A friend from church {thanks, M!} graciously brought us some of her many monarch caterpillars! We have had so much fun watching them! We started with six caterpillars - and everyone got in on naming them: Chewy {above}, Tiny, Hope, Mr. Five, Mr. Six, and Coon {our first cocoon}.

It was so exciting to go out and see how they had grown, how much they had eaten, who had crawled away and we hunted for cocoons which we never found. But, we did have two make cocoons right on our plant on the porch where we could have a front row seat in watching the action!

The Butterfly Weed was welcoming to our caterpillars, but also to several other fun visitors that you'll see pictured. Day two - we ran out quickly in the morning to count and make sure everyone was there - two had wandered off and we never did find them. Right after breakfast we went back out and this brand new cocoon was hanging here! This cocoon was never quite right unfortunately and turned brown and died. But wait until you see what we got to see!

Rachel took a special interest in caring for them - especially Hope - this is not Hope in the photo above, I think this is Chewy! Hope never was super happy on our plant, she would not eat and just kept getting smaller. It was very sad. But Rachel sat by her and rubbed her and talked to her and just generally did her best to cheer and care for her. It was SO sweet and also heartbreaking to watch all at once. Below is Rachel with an ever shriveling Hope:

By the third evening, Hope was gone and Rachel cried and cried in sorrow over her lost friend. We found a little box that she laid her peacefully to rest in, such a tender heart:

Part Two on Thursday ...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Birthday Gift: Apron and Baking Mix

Emily recently received a birthday party invite and so far, I've stuck with homemade gifts this year. This invite was a bit more last minute and I was seriously tempted to just buy something - but here is what we came up with!

On a trip to Wal-Mart, I asked Emily to pick out a cake mix and frosting she liked and told her I'd make an apron to go with it. We dug through my fabric and made the apron entirely from things we found around our house.

The crocheted flower was passed on to me by a friend, she gave me a small ziploc full of several of these with pins on the back. This was the perfect little embellishment to dress this up. I used this tutorial but added about two inches to the skirt and bodice pieces just to make sure it would fit a girl a bit older than the girls shown in the tutorial.

I made the apron in one evening and it was fun - we love how it turned out! I spent about $3 for this gift!