Thursday, September 30, 2010

Little Keepers - September

A couple of Fridays ago, we had our first gathering of our Little Keepers group! My girls were soooooo excited about getting together with their friends and they knew there was a craft and a tea party involved!

We started our time together by reading page 3 where the author writes a letter to the little girls that she has put this book together for. Then we prayed together.

Next, we began working on Scripture memory. I chose Psalm 23 for us to work on together and came up with some hand motions to help us learn it.

Psalm 23 - with hand motions in parentheses: (NASB)

1 The Lord (point to Heaven) is my shepherd (hold a lamb in arms), I shall not want (shake head).

2 He makes me lie down (lay cheek on hands like resting) in green pastures (sway fingers like grass); He leads me (hold out hand for being led) beside quiet waters (soft water motion with hands).

3 He restores my soul (point inward towards chest); He guides me in paths of righteousness (use both hands to make a path) for His name's sake (point to Heaven).

4 Even though I walk (walk two fingers on other hand) through the valley (bring hands down into a valley) of the shadow of death (sword motion with hand), I will fear no evil (shake head no), for You (point to Heaven) are with me (point to self); Your rod and Your staff (hold a shepherd's staff in hand) they comfort me (arms around yourself like a hug).

5 You prepare a table before me (draw hands out as in a long table in front of yourself) in the presence of my enemies (fighting fists); You have anointed my head with oil (pour oil on top of head); my cup overflows (make a "cup" with one hand and show it flowing over with the other).

6 Surely goodness (one hand behind back) and lovingkindness (join hands behind back) will follow me (look back while holding hands behind back) all the days (hold hands wide apart for a big expanse) of my life (point to self), and I will dwell in the house of the Lord (point to Heaven) forever (move finger in a circle).

I created little folders for each girl with the above hand motions/verse typed out and a coloring page of a shepherd holding a lamb, some blank lined paper for the older girls and a tracing page for the younger girls plus this for fun coloring.

After we learned the verse, we were ready to get our craft going. I had selected sewing with plastic canvas for our project this month. I had cut small crosses out of the canvas for the girls to sew into either a magnet, bookmark or Christmas ornament. And, I found this great pattern for some cute nativity ornaments.

Here is where things got interesting! The needles I had did not fit through the squares of the canvas - and after trying multiple solutions - we created very primitive needles from bent wire. Note: please try your needle before all the little girls are excited to start sewing!

The older two (5 and 6) were able to begin picking this craft up, but our younger two (4) both struggled - we ended up realizing this was exposure to the idea of sewing and a first encounter on their own. Still a success!

After this, we had our tea party and talked about praying for, loving and serving family (page 11).

All in all, I would say it was a great success! The girls seemed to have a great time and we learned some things for next time! I hope this will help some mom who is hoping to do some of these things with her daughters!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Craft Hope: Operation Handmade Shoebox

I recently received a copy of Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause to review here. And, I've picked up this book over and over and been inspired every time!

Author, Jade Sims, began a blog for crafting handmade goodies for a worthwhile cause. She started with one project and now has tens of thousands of crafters in more than 100 countries following her site and making handmade things for others around the world!

This book showcases 32 projects that can be made and sent to a charity who could benefit from the specific item. Many designers have contributed ideas to this book and the book is beautifully done!

Since I am a crafter, this hits home to me in that I love to make things for others that will be useful and meaningful. I find that crafting something to sell just doesn't hold the same joy or pleasure that it does to give something to others. And, not everyone loves receiving a handmade gift.

But, imagine all the needs around the world and how our hobbies could reach out and hug them through our hands and creativity! Jade has done more than imagine this - she has made it a reality!

My only complaint about the book was that none of the charities seemed to be faith-based organizations. But that is really easy to fix since I'm aware of some that I'd love to be involved with!

I pondered how I would take these beautiful ideas and put feet to them and carry it out. What is my place in all this?

Here is what I decided - I love Operation Christmas Child. It is an organization that I love and supports children around the world in giving them Christmas! So, I've decided to be as creative as possible in putting our shoeboxes together this year and I'll be showing you along the way!

Guess what? I get to give a book away to one of you as well! Please leave a comment about how you would love to "craft hope" for someone else!
Comments will be accepted until Thursday (September 30) at 10pm EST.

Haven - Next Week!!!

Next week, let's work together to create havens in our homes! I know that I really need this right now and am betting this means some of you might too. I've found such encouragement from walking through this together - won't you join in next week? All the details coming on Monday!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grab that minute...

I recently came across a great quote by Mrs. Ruth Graham
and have been trying to grab minutes here and there to spend in His Word!

"The Bible stayed open in my kitchen all day. Whenever there was a spare minute, I grabbed that minute and spent it with the Bible. More likely than not, the book was open to Proverbs. If I had a problem I almost always got help there. Proverbs has more practical child help in it than ten books on child psychology."

~ Ruth Graham ~

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wise Woman's Mending Service

"When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet."
Proverbs 31:21

I love The Message translation of this verse, "She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are mended and ready to wear."

Ouch. This one is hard for me. I'm not good at keeping things mended and ready - in fact quite the opposite. I usually put the mending off as long as possible. I'm ashamed to say how long some of the things have sat in my mending pile and how often my children have had to ask me to fix things for them.

I don't know why I put this task off for so long or so often - when I finally get around to doing it, it usually only takes a few minutes. How I long to grow into a wise woman in this area and reverse my habit of putting the mending off.

Don't I want to take good care of the things God has given me? Yes! I do!

Here are some of my realizations about why this mending thing was not working out for me:

~ I did not have a location to keep the things that needed mending. This means that I had one thing in the laundry room, one thing in my closet, an item stashed on a bookshelf, etc... I didn't really know where everything was that needed mending. And, if I did know where something was - were all the pieces right there together? Doubtfully.

~ It was not a habit I was used to keeping. Like all habits - they must be created and cultivated (unless you want to get rid of them!) and the really good ones require discipline and don't just happen!

~ Not only were my pieces not all together, my supplies were scattered. Once I finally found all the pieces of what needed mending, then I had to gather a needle, thread and scissors. It just felt overwhelming to spend so much time gathering the parts to this project.

~ It didn't really affect me. I'm ashamed to say this - but if it were my clothing or something I used that relied on my fixing it, I am betting I would have been a whole lot quicker to get to the task at hand. Oh, why don't I serve my family the way I want to be served?

So, there are my pitfalls - but God's Word shows me that a wise and virtuous woman is on top of these little things. She serves her family graciously in this matter. She is not dreading the first snow or trying to put off the preparations of her family's clothing until then because she is ready.

She is prepared. She has not procrastinated. She has not put things off. She has worked hard and is ready for the things to come.

Aren't there so many things I could apply that to in my life? Being ready. Being prepared. Typically, I am always working ahead on things so that I am prepared and ready. Again, this has not been one of those areas.

As I worked on this project - I knew that I could not ever share it with you until I had gotten my pile under control. I completed the project and then had to put it into action. God has helped me in this and when I finally tackled my mending basket - it took me less than 30 minutes to finish everything in it and it was full!

Why on earth I put this off for so long for such a short investment of time and such a pleasure in having it done is beyond me. Will you join me in creating a mending service in your home? It is God owned and operated by one of His wise women. In each of our homes, this is us!

Looking over my list of reasons why mending was not working for me - this project sort of brings everything together easily and quickly for creating a mending set up that serves us well.

Start with a basket and a pile of ribbon scraps. You want your basket to be big enough to hold the things waiting mending, but not so huge that you have no place to keep it. This one has worked great for me and was found on a clearance marked down further rack!

Begin tying ribbons along the handle of your basket:

Continue until your handle is covered in small tied ribbons or
until it looks the way you like it best:
Find a small tin or box to gather needles, thread and a thimble.
I already had all of these things on hand - be resourceful and find something you already have that you could use for this!
Now, set aside a small pair of snipping scissors just to stay in this basket. Tie them on to the handle of your basket so they are always handy.

I added a little tag that says Mending with Wisdom to my basket to remind
me of God's Word on this topic!

You can see that we've gotten all the basic supplies ready to just keep in the basket. No more excuses about having too many supplies to gather. The next thing I did was write "mending" on the first Monday of every month on my calendar to remind me to check the mending basket and fix anything that was waiting.

Fill your basket and be a wise woman!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Here are the winners of the random goodies!

I just went in order of the post, so first five random numbers chosen for the free chicken nuggets are:

Mary Ann

The winner of the Sur la Table book ~ Gifts Cooks Love: rjkleinsasser

And, the bookazine ~ 400 Calories or Less: Mrs. Sheila

Congratulations to all the winners!

Just a quick note: During every giveaway I've hosted, there is a winner chosen that I can not contact. If there is no blog link left or an e-mail address given - I will have no other way to contact you and won't be able to award you the prize! Please make sure when you enter a giveaway, that you are providing me a way to reach you!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Random Giveaways

I have accumulated a small stack of things to give away here - so I thought I'd just combine them all at once and have more winners! Seven of you will win today!!!

First, I received a freezer box in the mail with four big bags of Perdue Chicken Nuggets including a box of crayons and a baking tray. Perdue and Crayola have teamed up in hosting a contest about bringing fun to the dinner table.

To enter the contest, take a digital photo or color a freehand picture of how your family brings fun to the table. Entries will be accepted until September 30th. More information here.

I don't know when I have bought chicken nuggets, they aren't one of our favorites. I liked these for what they did not have in them - as they are all white meat and only natural ingredients. I liked these as well as I can like frozen chicken nuggets. And, they have served me well a couple of times when I was in a pinch for a child-friendly meal.

Five of you will win coupons for a free bag of chicken nuggets!

Next up is a book that I think would be super fun for getting gift ideas for Christmas! Sur la Table is just getting ready to release a new book called Gifts Cooks Love. And, they are giving one away to one of you! My favorite thing about this book is the entire last section which is all on creative packaging! This is a beautifully done hard bound book that I know you will enjoy!

Finally, I have a bookazine for one of you called Light & Delish. Each recipe boasts that it is 400 calories or less per serving. Recipes include pasta dishes, Chinese food and restaurant favorites.

There you go, leave a comment to be entered - no post tomorrow, I'll accept comments until tomorrow (Friday) night and announce winners on Saturday!

P.S: My friend, Michele, is having an adorable giveaway for an owl clippie just in time for Fall!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Fun Day Part Three

This was my favorite part, no doubt due to the fact that this is what I heard David's Dad talk about the most. And, I used to tease him (just for fun!) that he was still shopping and cooking for 3000 sailors! He loved to shop sales for a good deal and would tell me all about which things were too much work for cooking aboard ship. Pie, for example, was too much work so they would do fruit crisp to simplify the process.

He talked about how they didn't have fresh items much and certain things that were rare treats. I wish I could remember more of what he said, and it saddens me that he was not there to tell us all about it. Regardless, I want to document these things for my children!

Dining areas and kitchens.

I found a framed menu from the week of March 20, 1944 - unfortunately the picture is kind of blurry, but here's the menu (lighting was very tricky!):

** Note: I see pie on the menu several times here plus fresh fruit. I'm guessing I'd hear Bill saying that they must've just left from land to have things like that available. And, I would not be surprised if the "pie" was more of a crisp instead of rolling out the dough for that many pies. Hmmm, if each pie serves 8 - they would have needed 375 pies.

Sunday Breakfast: Fresh Fruit, Cooked Cereal and Milk, Baked Meat Hash, Tomato Catsup, Medium Boiled Egg, German Coffee Cake, Bread, Butter and Coffee

Sunday Lunch: Soup and Crackers, Boiled Spiced Beef, Boiled Potatoes, Boiled Cabbage, Boiled Carrots and Turnips, Apricot Pie, Bread and Butter, Iced Lemonade

Sunday Dinner: Fried Hamburger Steak, Cottage Fried Potatoes, Fried Onions, Stewed Tomatoes, Caramel Cake (Iced), Bread and Butter, Coffee

Monday Breakfast: Fresh Fruit, Oatmeal and Milk, Scrambled Eggs with Diced Ham, Fried Potatoes, Sugared Doughnuts, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Monday Lunch: Soup and Crackers, Grilled Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Brown Gravy, Baked Corn, Cole Slaw, Chocolate Meringue Pie, Bread and Butter, Iced Tea

Monday Dinner: Fresh Beef Stew with Fresh Vegetables, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Steamed Spinach, Coconut Layer Cake, Bread and Jam, Coffee

Tuesday Breakfast: Fresh Fruit, Boiled Rice and Milk, Hot Wheat Cakes, Syrup, Baked Pork Sausages, Hot Raisin Rolls, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Tuesday Lunch: Soup and Crackers, Breaded Veal Cutlets, Mashed Potatoes and Tomato Gravy, Savory String Beans, Vegetable Salad, Apple Pie, Bread and Butter, Lemonade

Tuesday Dinner: Italian Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Baked Meat Balls, Boiled Black Eyed Peas, Stalk Celery, Peanut Butter Cookie, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Wednesday Breakfast: Fresh Fruit, Fried Eggs, Fried Bacon, Fried Potatoes, Iced Cinnamon Rolls, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Wednesday Lunch: Soup and Crackers, Grilled Beef Steaks, Mashed Potatoes and Natural Gravy, Buttered Peas, Cabbage Salad, Blueberry Pie, Bread and Butter, Iced Tea

Wednesday Dinner: Baked Vienna Sausage, Spanish Sauce, Cottage Fried Potatoes, Buttered Asparagus, Pickled Beets, Chocolate Layer Cake, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Thursday Breakfast: Fresh Fruit, Creamed Minced Beef, Dry Toast, Hash Brown Potatoes, Sugared Doughnuts, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Thursday Lunch: Soup and Crackers, Oven Roast of Beef, Roast Brown Potatoes, Pan Gravy, French String Beans, Vegetable Salad, Cherry Pie, Bread and Butter, Lemonade

Thursday Dinner: Baked Stuffed Meat Loaf, Brown Gravy, Boiled Macaroni, Creamed Onions, Asparagus Salad, Fruit Jello, Sugar Cookies, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Friday Breakfast: Fresh Fruit, Boiled Cereal and Milk, Baked Pork and Beans, Tomato Catsup, Hot Corn Bread, Fried Luncheon Meat, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Friday Lunch: Soup and Crackers, Baked Virginia Ham with Pineapple Sauce, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Buttered Peas and Carrots, Cabbage Salad, Coconut Cream Pie, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Friday Dinner: Assorted Cold Cuts, Sliced Cheese, Potato Salad, Sliced Pickles, Cold Baked Beans, Stalk Celery, Jelly Rolls, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Saturday Breakfast: Fresh Fruit, Hot Wheat Cakes, Syrup, Fried Ham, Iced Coffee Rings, Bread and Butter, Coffee

Saturday Lunch: Soup and Crackers, Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Baked Corn, Steamed Spinach, Pineapple Pie, Bread and Butter, Lemonade

Saturday Dinner: Chili Con Carne, Red Chili Beans, Steamed Rice, French Fried Potatoes, Harvard Beets, Applesauce Cake, Bread and Jam, Coffee

Now, check out this mixer in the bakery - it's taller than me!
Here's the bakery - you can see the beaters that go on the mixer up on the table in the middle plus look at the entire wall of oven doors at the very back.

Imagine cookies for this many sailors! Here's a recipe for 10,000 chocolate chip cookies that was in the program I picked up - imagine!!

165 pounds flour
500 eggs
100 pounds sugar
87 pounds shortening
75 pounds brown sugar
12 pounds butter
3 pounds salt
3 c. vanilla
1 quart water
1 1/2 pounds baking soda
112 pounds chocolate chips

Whew! What a work out! That dough would weigh over 450 pounds!

Here's another recipe I found posted on the wall for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I multiplied to equal 3000 servings:

330 pounds white bread
210 pounds peanut butter
120 pounds jelly

Assemble sandwiches and cut in halves.

Meal trays waiting to be used.

In closing, here are a few pictures of David's Dad aboard ship -
I love these old black and white photos!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Fun Day Part Two

After riding the train, we headed to the water to visit a Navy Aircraft Carrier that is parked there. This was a special stop because we had hoped and planned to visit here with David's Dad who served many years in the Navy and was aboard ships that were identical to this one. Some of the ships he was on included The Wasp, The Hornet and The Intrepid. Since it did not work out for us to go together, we decided we should still have the experience of seeing where he spent so much time while in the Navy - aboard ship.

It was so moving to be there! To consider and remember all of those who served on ships like these during World War II. And, of course, those who are still serving our country in the military. It always brings such a pride in my heart to live in a country where we are served like this by these special people who give their lives and careers to serving our country.

The ship was fascinating! It is just mind-boggling to see how huge it is! Wrapping my mind around how such a massive thing can stay afloat is impossible! And, we had fun reminiscing about David's Dad and could just "hear" him in our minds saying certain things. We had fun remembering his stories from aboard ship.

So, here's a bunch of pictures from our day - mostly for my children to remember this visit and their Grandpa who served in this way.

A special thanks to service members past and present!

Just getting on board. David's mom and brother joined us for the day.

There were lots of war posters on display.

Interesting details from around the ship.


I loved this uniformed military Dad helping his son. Sweet moment.

Turn this to steer the ship! Can you imagine?!

Narrow hallways and steep stairways abound.

How'd you like to sleep and clean up here? Me neither - though they do have an educational program that allows students to spend the night aboard ship and eat in the Mess Hall that I think sounds neat!

In the engine area - my mind is boggled that there were men who knew what each of these things represented and knew how to operate the zillions of wheels, knobs, buttons and switches. This is only looking on one direction in a small part of the engine area.

There is also a submarine parked there and we enjoyed the tour of that too! It was much, much smaller and after being on the enormous ship, it felt very compact and very small. Not sure how I would feel about being completely submerged in water out in the middle of the ocean - yikes!

Here's the tiny kitchen on board the submarine - with under the floor storage through the man hole. And, the small dining area.

Tomorrow, I'll show the kitchens, dining areas, a sample menu, a huge mixer and a recipe! David's Dad did a lot with supply and kitchens - so I took extra notice of these things.

Meanwhile, thank a service member today! Or, share in honor of one in the comments!