Names of Jesus Ornaments with Christmas Devotions

christmas-ornaments-watermarkedIn years past we’ve used a Jesse Tree and devotions during the Christmas season.  A few years ago I was pinning some of my favorite Christmas crafts I came across a picture of some beautifully crafted glass ornaments with the names of Jesus on them.  I repinned the post and read later (like most of us do when we are short on time).  I really liked this idea, because I ADORE anything that reminds me of all of the names of my precious Jesus.  I also liked the idea that each of my children could make their own set of ornaments to celebrate the advent season.  Not only could they use them to decorate their own trees in their rooms, but they could also keep them over the years and share them with their children.

I began researching and found an awesome Names of Jesus unit study here from the Easy Fun School website.  It teaches 24 names of Jesus, scripture, handwriting pages, word searches, and activities for each subject which are tied to the lesson.  The study actually includes a list of all of the names of Jesus so you can study even more. We did this study and made these ornaments years ago, but my children still use these today and they plan to use their ornaments in their own home some day.

To create our Names of Jesus ornaments and Bible study, I went to my craft closet and gathered all of my supply bins.  I purchased sets of fillable glass ornaments for each child (and one for myself).  I would get extra in case some break.  You can also purchase acrylic ornaments, but they are more costly.

You could utilize paint pens in black, gold and silver to write the names of Jesus and the scripture reference on the outside of the ornaments or you could purchase vinyl decals here.

There are lots of options for decorating the ornaments:

  1. You could pour a small amount of paint into the inside of the ornament, cover the whole and shake. You can also swirl a few colors into the ornaments to give them a marbelized effect. Then be sure to turn the ornament upside down and put it into a bathroom sized paper or plastic cup to drain for a day or two.
  2. I love the look of glittered ornaments, but glitter on the outside is extremely messy. Polycrylic is a clean and beautiful way to glitter ornaments. Simply pour a little polycrylic into the ornament and immediately turn the ornament upside down into a cup to drain out the excess. Then sprinkle a little of your favorite color glitter into the ornament and slowly turn the ornament around in your hands to coat the entire inside with glitter. Add more if needed. Then turn the ornament upside down into another cup to allow the excess glitter to sprinkle out. Then you can immediately put your top back into your ornament. You can pour your excess glitter and polycrylic from your cups back into their respective containers. e of the ornaments, squirt small amounts of paint inside and shake.  You can swirl more than one color inside as well.
  3. Fill ornaments with trinkets that pertain to the scripture reference. For example, for “Bright and Morning Star” we filled our ornament with star confetti. We didn’t completely fill our ornaments with trinkets as sometimes that makes the label on the outside difficult to read. You can also see the trinkets better as well.

Be creative with your trinkets. If you need some inspiration, here are some ideas:

1. Alpha & Omega–fill with cutouts of the Alpha & Omega symbol.
2. Wonderful Counselor–fill with paint or glitter or beads or filler.
3. Mighty God–fill with cutouts of barbels or gold ball filler or beads.
4. Everlasting Father–fill with artificial pine needles or paint green for evergreens.
5. Prince of Peace–fill with dove confetti or cutouts of doves or crowns or artificial snow filler.
6. The Firstborn of Every Creature– Fill ornament with birthday candles or birthday confetti.
7. The Unspeakable Gift–we made cutouts of gifts using small construction paper or gift-shaped confetti or little bows.
8. Lamb of God–fill with cotton or fiberfill.
9. The Good Shepherd-fill with cutouts of shepherd staffs or mini candy canes.
10. Bright & Morning Star-fill with star-shaped sequins.
11. Messiah–glitter or paint.
12. Immanuel–another filled with paint, glitter, sequins, or beads.
13. Holy–glitter or paint.
14. Light of the World–mini light ornaments or mini light bulbs (just be sure they will fit in the hole of the ornament).

15. Dayspring–glitter or gold, pink, orange paint to represent the colors of a sunrise.
16. The Word–In small font, I printed John 1:1 on paper, cut out multiple, curl, and put inside ornament or Bible confetti.
17. Servant–I printed a small picture of Jesus washing the disciples feet and put inside ornament or paint/glitter.
18. King–Fill with gems or crowns.
19. Rose of Sharon–Fill with real or silk rose petals.
20. Lily of the Valley–Fill with silk lily petals, paint or glitter.
21. Friend–Fill with paint, glitter, sequins or beads.
22. Savior–Fill with cutout crosses or cross shaped beads
23. Shiloh–Fill with paint, glitter, sequins or beads.
24. Ancient of Days–Fill with paint, glitter, sequins or beads.

When your ornaments are all dry you can store them in their box or put them in a bowl, etc.  You can begin utilizing them in whatever fashion works for your family.  We started on December 1st and will follow the study daily for 24 days as a family during our night time devotions, but this is a unit study so you could actually use it during your homeschool day.  During our devotions, we study the name and verse.  We have chosen activities from each day to do together as a family.  Then we close in prayer and each of us puts our ornament of the day on the tree.  Sometimes we put them on the tree. Other years we put them in a crystal bowl or wooden box on our table so we can reflect on the names each time we pass through or sit down to eat in the heart of our home.

If you need simplicity this Christmas season, you can purchase a set of 12 Names of Jesus ornaments here. They come with printed scripture reference and prayer focus. I pray your family is able to utilize this and other ways to enjoy celebrating Jesus throughout the Christmas season.

It’s a Farmhouse Christmas

christmas-collage-blog-watermarkedRustic, practical, functional, natural, peaceful, relaxing–a farmhouse is a lovely setting during the Christmas season. No, I haven’t moved, but it is my dream to own a farmhouse one day. I long to live out in the tranquil country surrounded by God’s creation. One day I will, but for now our family resides in a home for which we are very grateful.
This year I decided I didn’t want to wait to enjoy a farmhouse atmosphere, especially during the busy Christmas season. I am determined to slow down this year and enjoy the true meaning of the season. We start the season saying this every year, but we get wrapped up in the decorations, shopping, programs, parties, all of the hustle and bustle. Before we know it, it’s New Year’s Day and our whole season has wrapped up in a whirlwind that leaves our heads spinning.

In keeping with typical farmhouse style, I decided to streamline and simplify our decor this year. This serves a practical purpose as well as a spiritual one. Not only does it mean less decorating, but we don’t have as much to clean around every day. Functional but beautiful, simple but profound–that is farmhouse style. This year for our home and our spirits, it’s a farmhouse Christmas.
christmas-collage-blog-3-watermarkedRead more about our simple farmhouse Christmas in my guest post on Raising Homemakers here.

 

Encouragement for Women Warriors

This is a long read, but please hang in there. These are thoughts and enouragement I just had to get out there ASAP:

Women everywhere are offended and discouraged by the results of the election. Believe me, I completely understand. I am not a Trump supporter. He can be offensive, not just to women. No one wants filthy language hurled at them. No one wants to be demeaned and degraded into a piece of meat. No one wants to be treated like they are inferior. No one wants to be treated like their feelings and beliefs don’t mean anything. No one wants to be treated like they are worthless.  No one wants someone trying to usurp their power, trying to conquer them. No one wants to be treated like a trained dog. No one wants to be given a disrespectful nickname. No one wants to be patronized. No one wants the important issues in their life to be treated with a double standard. No one wants to be ignored. No one wants to be regarded as nonexistent. Am I right, ladies? You bet I’m right.

I mean, women are worth more than this. Women are supposed to be worth more than rubies according to the Bible. Women are strong warriors. We are survivors. We take responsibility for our actions. We “man up” (no pun intended). We are the glue that holds everything together, right? We are hard workers. We give more than 100% and we selflessly sacrifice our desires for others. We believe we deserve equality.

So how many of us are willing to admit that we have ogled a muscular guy? How many women are willing to admit they have treated a male like an object of our desires? How many of us have treated the men in their lives like buffoons? How many of us have disregarded the desires and wants of the men in our life, batting our eyes, stomping our feet, slamming a door to get our way, or shed a tear or lowered our neckline to get out of a ticket? How many of us have nagged and complained about what our husband doesn’t do without ever acknowledging what he does do?

How many of us demand that “me time”, forcing our husbands to work all day long and then come home and take care of the kids, fix the broken appliances, clean the dirty house, pretty much take care of everything, because we feel like we are “entitled” to all of that treatment all because we stayed home for eight hours alone watching the children? Think about it…Your huband has just worked hard for at least 8 hours, if not more. He comes home and jumps right into rescuing you from your responsibilities. Then He takes on more responsibilities after that. While you get a break for hours, for some women multiple times a week or even repeatedly for weekends. I know many husbands who don’t get a break at all or may get an hour here and there per week, but that is it. I’m not saying husbands don’t need to get involved in help, but it shouldn’t be one-sided. You want equality, then start giving it!

How many of us have made the statement, “I trained him well” or the like, meaning we have our man trained like a dog? How many of us have taken the leadership role away from our man because we think we can do it better? How many of us refer to our husbands with disrespectful nicknames instead of respecting and revering him as the husband and man that he is? How many of us have manipulated our man with the silent treatment? How many of us demand our way on a regular basis disregarding what is best for our man? How many of us are willing to admit that we feel and treat men like we are the superior to them?

Well, respectable, honest, warrior, equal women that say we all are, how many of us have “manned up” and answered “yes” to any or all of these questions? How many of us are willing to admit we have treated men, children, and society in this demeaning, disrespectful manner? How many of us are actually woman enough to admit we hold a double standard?

When it really gets down to it women are supposed to be crusaders, but who are we really championing for? What is our motivation? I’d like to believe that we are striving for equality for all people no matter their age, race, size, or gender. But, for most of us that is not the case. Think about it… If some woman treated our sons, brothers, nephews and grandsons this way we would claw their eyes out.

Yet, we are okay with using our feminine wiles flaunting them to get what we want. Then we say it’s wrong for men to be attracted to us.

We are okay with listening to or using foul language but then we fault a man for doing the same thing.

Unfortunately, feminism has taken a nasty turn so much so that many of us don’t even want to be associated with the movement any more. God created us to be selfless, and the women who championed the feminist movement when it first began were selfless. They didn’t want to give up their responsibilities for more power. They didn’t want to do less. They wanted to take on more. They longed to be appreciated and regarded as equal not superior. They still wanted to fulfill their God-given duties. They still wanted men to treat them with kindness, respect, and chivalry, because they truly loved and respected men. They understood that God created men and women differently. Men have shortcomings that women complement with their strengths. Men have strengths that complement the shortcomings of women.

Those powerful women were willing to die for their children, and they took responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They didn’t look for an easy way out. Oh, I’m sure there were some selfish women in the bunch but by and large there were respectable women who were warriors for everyone, not just themselves.

Of course, we still have a connection to a woman of old: Eve. Eve didn’t want equality with Adam. She wanted equality with God. She wanted to be able to play God. She wanted to be like God. That isn’t equality. That is power-hungry selfishness. And that is the platform of the feminist movement today.

There is truly a double standard because if we are open minded and honest as we ask the world all around us to be, then we have to admit that we have committed those same sins in my earlier questions, and those are the same sins we are accusing of Donald Trump.

We have taken it upon ourselves to decide whether or not a child lives or dies. We have taken God’s blessing of healing away from us by making decisions to take a life rather than have the faith to believe God will perform a miracle. We have justified sin rather than taking responsibility for it. We have held men to one standard and manipulated our way into a double standard.

We have decided to take on the role of leadership causing our husbands to feel they have no worth, treating them as if they have no purpose to the point that they just sit around like couch potatoes. Then we complain about how lazy they are. What else do we expect them to do? We have only ourselves to thank for creating that monster. It’s time to take responsibility for it. We won’t let men do any of the things God has called them to do. We can do everything they can do, but better anyway, right? (I HATE THAT OBNOXIOUS SONG!) We have beaten them down, taken away their warrior status, chewed them up and spit them out while we use a double standard to whine and belly ache about the fact that they don’t do anything.

Speaking of whining, how does whining, kicking, and screaming exhibit power? It doesn’t. It’s like a two-year-old who doesn’t get that candy at the store. Why are we whining and crying, tearing our clothes, burning the flag, and basically having a temper tantrum over the election results? I thought we women wanted the world to hear us ROAR. Lately it sounds more like “I am woman; hear me whine”. We are not even outraged about anything but what affects us directly, things that really don’t have an eternal consequence. We are outraged that we don’t make as much as a man. Where is that going to get us in this life? There is always going to be someone who makes more than us or is better than us. This is a power struggle that human nature can NEVER win. So we have made that our life’s mission fighting against the natural order of things. It’s like trying to defy gravity…

Why not fight a battle we can actually win. Champion for those who don’t have a voice? Why not crusade for the unborn women who are killed each and every day? Why not crusade for the women who are being taught to risk their eternal souls for their own comfort and convenience? Why not teach women that they are worth more than a pile of dirty dollar bills, life without purpose, and stressful selfish ambition?

Do we not understand that eternity in hell is a lot worse than any lack of comfort here on this earth? I would much rather be unhappy and not get everything I want here on earth than spend an eternity separated from God because I made choices that sent my soul to hell.

So, here’s a tribute to Christian women who exhibit Biblical womanhood. They are the ones who crusade and protect every single soul not just their own personal agenda. They are the ones who are the hands and feet of Jesus. They are the ones who give up all of the comforts and luxuries of this blessed country to travel halfway around the world, risking their lives to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and save lost souls, carrying water and supplies and hugs to children and letting them know they are valued not thrown out like yesterday’s garbage. They are the ones who endure parasites, diseases, persecution.

They teach their children academically, spiritually, physically. They don’t shirk their responsibilities as wives, mothers, and daughters. They don’t expect someone else to do it all while they have their me time, rights and freedoms. They don’t feel entitled to have their way. Instead they sacrifice their desires putting others first. They live a life of gratitude acknowledging and counting each and every blessing they have. They spread their joy instead of division.

In return God blesses them beyond any higher paycheck, any life without responsibility, any earthly desire this old world holds. When they slip and fall or make a mistake, they humbly admit their wrongs, ask for forgiveness, and allow God to help them become a better woman. They strive and work their fingers to the bone without selfish gain. They have minds of their own choosing to follow and uphold righteousness instead of blindly following a party or popular culture. They have minds and preferences of their own and no one can sway them because they stand firm. Those are the true warriors and women whom we should emulate and respect.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand you are frustrated and devastated. That is how I felt when obama (not a typo) was elected. However, some of you were quick to point out that I needn’t get so upset and to dust myself off and move on. So let’s practice what you preached.

I know this post is coming off a little harsh. I am a passionate person, so I apologize for abrasive nature. I really do want to encourage you. We want equality, freedom, and someone to take on some of our burdens. There is nothing more freeing than turning your life over to Jesus Christ. When He comes into your life, He takes on all of your cares and burdens and brings you peace and comfort. He makes promises and actually keeps them. You can trust Him with your life, health, and family. He isn’t a magical genie who gives you everything you want, but if you trust Him he works everything out for your good and His glory. He fights for you when you are worn down and burned out. He holds you in His arms. He loves you despite all of your flaws and sins. He accepts you for who you are, and adopts you as His daughter.

I know it seems like all is lost, but it isn’t. Life will go on. When things don’t go our way, we can’t spend our days whining and whimpering. If we choose to be a daughter of the King, then we are choosing to be warriors with Him in this life. We can conquer anything within His will. So allow Jesus to open your mind to truth molding you, shaping you, and being your everything. Your life will be forever changed, and more importantly, you will have the hope for which you long. Let’s show the world how strong, resilient, and open-minded we really are. Let’s stop following a movement, a party, or candidate, and let’s follow God. Let’s stop being Women Whiners and let’s be Women Warriors.

Women, Women's Movement encouragement ruckusandrubies.com

Cake Batter Latte – Indulgent, but Healthy

Rich, frothy, buttery, strong – that’s how I like my coffee. I am always looking for new flavors and healthy recipes for coffee and other drinks.

Mint and chocolate are two of my favorite flavors, and I was REALLY looking forward to having a peppermint mocha coffee. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find we were completely out of mint extract. I had pumpkin spice and salted caramel earlier in the week, so I was craving peppermint mocha. Not craving any other flavors, I thought I’d see what kind of concoction I could create. Sometimes monumental recipes come from my little “experiments”. Occasionally it is an epic fail. NOT THIS TIME!

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Cake Batter Latte THM FP (monogram decal from Treasured Sparrow Designs)

This time the cake batter latte was born, and it is SOOOOOO yummy! It may just top peppermint mocha as my favorite. Well, I don’t know it’s hard to top chocolate, but it is CLOSE! This recipe is lowfat, low carb, and very healthy, and I’m sharing it with you today. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Cake Batter Latte – THM FP

12 oz coffee

1/2 tsp organic, unrefined coconut oil

Organic  extract to taste

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp butter extract (not exactly clean as it contains propylene glycol) You could skip the coconut oil and use 1/2 tsp butter instead of oil and extract; may not produce quite as much buttery flavor as the extract)

pinch of mineral salt

pinch of aluminum free baking powder

1/2 scoop collagen (optional)

pinch of glucommanan

1 tsp protein powder isolate

Add coffee and all ingredients in order in blender, waiting to add glucommanan and protein powder last so they don’t clump. Blend until smooth and frothy. I think I’ll go curl up on my comfy couch, grab my blanket, and enjoy my cake batter latte. I hope you enjoy yours!

latte

Why Are Women Their Own Prince Charmings?

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Nowadays, everywhere I turn I find a woman who is worn and weary, burned out beyond anything they can possibly bear. We are trying to be everything to everybody and it is just IMPOSSIBLE. Many women these days feel as if they are being thrown to the wolves into this treacherous and despicable world.

In many ways that is true, as women are burdened with carrying the load of more than God intended. We weren’t meant to be the breadwinners. We weren’t really ever meant to put in more hours at our career or job than we do at home. In fact, helping financially was supposed to be an afterthought, something we did after we took care of all of our priorities. Priorities were supposed to be spiritual growth and relationship with God, marriage, children, home, church, community in that order.

Unfortunately, society has pushed the roles of men onto women. Women are just as much to blame as men or society, because many have decided to become present-day Eves. They are hungry for power, hungry to be like God, and they have fallen into satan’s trap.

These women aren’t the only ones suffering, though. All women are suffering whether they have this hunger for power or not. Many women desire to fulfill God’s call in their lives, but they are stuck in the vicious aftermath of this disaster society has pushed upon us.

The world has taken away the responsibility of man, his leadership, his power, his strength, his courage, his ingenuity, his initiative. Society has taken the warrior God created and turned him into a more subservient type of being while women have been forced to become something they were never meant to be: the Prince Charming, the hero, the warrior, the rescuer, the knight in shining armor.

Now that’s not to say that God did not mean women to be warriors. He did, but not in the same way that He planned it for man. Husbands and wives were meant to support one another, to complement the other, to be the strength when the other is weak, to lift each other up spiritually and physically. They are equally important in the eyes of God, but He did not create them to be equal in every way. Women have strengths men do not have, and men have strengths women don’t have.

I’m grateful there are still marriages that model God’s plan. Those are rare and beautiful marriages. Unfortunately, I am seeing in many instances that the wife is the spiritual leader, leading the family in Bible study, worship, and prayer. It’s the wife who spends her nights on her knees before The Lord praying for her family, fighting the enemy for their souls. It’s the wife who is making most of the family decisions. It’s the wife that is picking up the slack.

Married and single women are struggling to balance everything on their plate. I don’t even think we can call it a “plate”, can we? Plates fit neatly in our hands and are usually fairly manageable even when we fill them to overflowing at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Many of us are beyond carrying a couple of plates. We are carrying the plates God has equipped us to carry. Then we are struggling to scoop up boulders God never meant us to carry. And in many cases society is encouraging or even forcing us to do so.

I’m willing to bet this is similar to what your todo list looks like:

todolist

Sometimes I get up earlier too. Notice there’s no exercise or “me time” on the list. And of course the sad thing is that is not everything…

I would just love to say thank you so very much to all of those women who have passed down this idea and this burden, who have emasculated our men, and trained them to be passive and give up their leadership roles to women—EXTREME SARCASM. You are the ones who have buried women in an avalanche of stress, pressure, and burden. Forgive us for not expressing our gratitude…

You have taken away heroes, Prince Charmings, and have trained men to give up their God given roles in the home and in society. In this human world, you have thrown yourselves and your gender to the wolves.

There are a few warriors and Prince Charmings left in this world. I pray they do not grow weary in the roles God has given them, and I pray they will be protected from this destruction.

Thankfully, Christian women have someone bigger than Prince Charming, more powerful than any hero.  God is our refuge, our ever present help in this stressful world. He is our King, who leads, guides, protects, directs, comforts, and rescues. He is the one to which we should ultimately turn.

Do not lose heart, ladies. Turn to The Father. Make a relationship with Him a priority. Let Him rescue and free you. It won’t mean you will not have to balance the busyness of life, but you won’t have to do it alone. You will have someone to walk beside you when you feel like you are on your own.

When I feel overwhelmed, I tend to curl up in a shell. For some reason (probably the work of the enemy), I tend to draw away from encouragement. I don’t always share with my prayer warriors. Sometimes I don’t even draw near to The Lord, but this is what the enemy wants. He desires for me to be so bogged down and overwhelmed that I cannot fulfill my God-given calling and role in this life, which has a ripple effect on my family and those who look up to me.

Don’t make this mistake. This is where God does use you as a warrior. Defeat the enemy by leaning on The Lord and seeking His will before taking on new tasks. Pray and study His Word for the roles of yourself and your husband in your family.

We can’t be surprised that our lives are utter chaos when we our gender has completely disregarded His will. We don’t want to pass these burdens on to our children. Life is hectic enough without messing with God’s natural plan for things. Our daughters and sons deserve better. Give our sons back their warrior status, and give our daughters back their Prince Charmings. Let’s turn things around by prioritizing, leaning on God and our sisters in The Lord, praying for our families, and teaching future generations to turn back to God and His plan for our roles in this life.

Simple, Inexpensive, and Last Minute Decorating Ideas for Fall

Where has the time gone? I cannot believe that just three short weeks from now it will be Thanksgiving. We start decorating for Christmas on Black Friday. I feel a little overwhelmed, because I just finished decorating for fall. If you are like me, you’ve just been too busy to even think about preparing for the holidays. Then just last week we realized it is our turn to host Thanksgiving with our extended family, and now my head is really spinning.

We have a tight budget and a tight schedule this year. I recently started a new business, and since it is in its new stages it is taking quite a bit of time and it’s not generating quite enough income yet as I am using the business funds to grow the business.treasured-sparrow-designs-pAfter thinking and praying about it, I decided to decorate in simple ways that do not put much pressure on me, my schedule, or my budget.planner

For our porch, I simply pulled out my trusty Hobby Lobby garland from years past to adorn the door. I also used the wreath I made a few years ago–if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
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I decided not to move the ferns and just slid my outdoor table over near the door for an inexpensive pumpkin. I was creating pumpkin decals for the store, so I made one referencing one of my favorite verses that would fit for the entire fall and Thanksgiving season. You can visit the Treasured Sparrow Designs store here.

pumkin-blessed-and-grateful-watermarked

God’s creation is beautiful this time of year, and there is no better way to decorate than with His natural treasures. Nature is free for your enjoyment and as well as crafting/decorating. Take a moment to walk around your yard and gather leaves, pinecones, acorns, nuts. Utilize this beauty to fill boxes, jars, and scatter them around your home.

I used dry leaves and dried hydrangea to fill this lantern.

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My sweet son gathered some acorns from our backyard for this natural touch to our bar.

fall-acorns

I wish I had time to make garland with leaves, but I just didn’t so I used more inexpensive garland from one of the craft stores. You could also use dollar store garland, but I would suggest filling it in with pinecones and leaves from your yard or even just purchasing extra strands of garland and doubling or tripling them to make them fuller.  A few leaves fell off of my trusty old garland, so I scattered the leaves on tables in the entry way and in our china cabinet.

fall-china

I also had some old dishes I purchased to display in the china cabinet, but you could also just purchase solid white plates from the dollar store and cut your own vinyl decals for wording or order decals from a vinyl designer. Most of them customize and can make whatever you desire.

fall-dish

I purchased a small bag of mini pumpkins from the store and filled my favorite box with them. Burlap, dry leaves, and pinecones add a nice touch as well.

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I’ve told you before how words touch my heart, so I created some of these signs that are not specifically Halloween or thanksgiving or even fall, but can be used throughout the year. I used wood, stain, paint, wire, ribbon, and of course I made handmade vinyl lettering and graphics for the signs as well. If you need quick and easy décor, you can purchase door and wall hangings like these here.

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from-the-fullness-john-1-16-watermarked

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These decorations may not feature in Southern Lady magazine, but they add subtle touches of God’s fall creation, and they are simple. They will be easy to pack up in a few weeks when the Christmas season begins.

Now that my home is decorated, I’m hoping to slow down and “sit a spell” (as my sweet grandmama would say) so I can enjoy the sights and smells of the season and all the gratefulness it brings.

Pressed for Time?

time

Who wouldn’t love to add more hours to the day? Twenty-four hours is just not enough time to get everything done. Unfortunately, I don’t have a mathematical equation or a scientific formula to solve this age old problem. There are only 24 hours in a day and there is no way to change that. However, I do know a way to get the most benefit from the 24 hours we are given.

Click here to read more of my post over on Raising Homemakers.

Butter Pecan Shake – THM S

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Maple, pumpkin, nuts, caramel–these are the flavors that I love year round. However, it is fall so I’m indulging in them even more now. Tonight I made a rich, butter pecan shake that was so good that I had to grab my computer and immediately share it. If you like this one, you might also like my Turtle Cheesecake Shake or Pumpkin Cheesecake Shake.

Butter Pecan Shake – THM S

2 tbsp chopped pecans

1/2 cup Daisy lowfat cottage cheese

1/2-2 cups of ice (depending on how much ice you like)

1 cup unsweetened original almond milk

2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp vanilla pure extract

1/8 tsp maple extract

1/8 tsp butter extract

2-3 tsp of super sweet blend, or 4-5 tsp gentle sweet blend

1 doonk of stevia if needed or to taste

Blend cottage cheese and whipping cream first to get a very thick and rich base. Then add remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. If you like it with a little more ice, blend for a shorter period of time. Finely chop a few extra pecans for a garnish if you’d like. Enjoy, and Happy fall y’all!

butter-pecan-shake-top

Where Have I Been?

tsI bet you’re wondering where I have been lately. Well, I’ll be honest with you–I’ve been in a juggling act. I’ve turned a hobby into a business for my family. I could say it all started last Christmas, but it really started further back than that…

Words are very important to me as they mean so very much. I’ve always enjoyed anything with words, crossword puzzles, word searches, reading, writing, spelling, music lyrics, monograms, poetry, and quotations. I believe that love for words came from my sweet grandmother, who raised me. As a wife and homeschooling mommy, I incorporate words into our daily life through lovingly communicating with and teaching my family, decorating our home with words of encouragement and scripture, and blogging.

My husband and children, knowing my love for words, crafting, and designing, purchased a vinyl cutter for me for Christmas. I’ve been working on all sorts of projects. I have been blessed with all sorts of design ideas through my relationship with Jesus, my family, and my friends, I decided to us this gift as a blessing to others and my family. I’ve opened up an Etsy store:treasured-sparrow-designs-p

And the rest is history…

So, what does this mean for my blog?!? Well, it means that I will have more creative and crafting ideas to share, and silly stories of my adventures with vinyl like the time I went to church with a piece of vinyl stuck on my neck–it gets EVERYWHERE!

I’m still trying to find a way to balance it all. I don’t feel led to quit blogging, so I’m sure The Lord will help me work out my schedule. In the meantime, I’ll just keep plugging along. Stay tuned for more tips on working from home, crafting, blogging, and motherhood while searching for rubies amidst all of the ruckus!

Love and Blessings!

How to Raise Successful Children

success

Parenting is an incredibly tough job. Most of us probably didn’t realize just how difficult parenting would be until we became a parent. I’ve been a mommy for almost twenty years.  WAIT a minute… Did I really just say that–twenty (20) years?!? Let me just pause for a moment while I do the math– Yep. My oldest will be twenty in October. I cannot believe it!

Now I feel so inadequately equipped to continue writing this post for Raising Homemakers today, but stop on by their blog to read the rest of my post.