I miss him. My heart hurts for my Granny who was left behind. But I am so grateful to have felt him with me that day. I am grateful to know that my daughter has her very own guardian angel. And grateful to know that we will see him again.
This day reminds me that our lives are inextricably connected; that joy comes with sadness and peace comes with pain; and that hope can be found in eternal perspective.
Happy Birthday, Makenna Jaye!
After two years of dragging (literally) my almost 7 year-old son into school every day, I was seriously OUT OF IDEAS. The combination of his very strong-willed personality, OCD, sensory issues and an intense anxiety about... well, pretty much everything... has made getting him to school every day a real struggle.
Then, a couple of months ago (with what I KNOW was divine inspiration) I had the idea to spend some time talking to him about the "Armor of God" as taught in Ephesians 6. I tried to keep it simple but explained to him that when he prayed to God and asked for His protection, he would be protected by an "invisible" shield (aka, "the shield of faith"). To a little boy obsessed with super heroes...THIS CLICKED for him.
I wanted to give him a visual to reinforce the concept and so the "Armor of God' Wristband was born. He wears it every day (as do his siblings and several of his cousins). We have had a few iffy days since then, but as long as he takes the time to pray each morning before he leaves for school, he puts on his brave little face and he WALKS INTO THE SCHOOL. There are no words to express the relief I feel.
I've since become fascinated with the doctrine of the armor of God and believe that the principles taught in this simple analogy are PROFOUND and so applicable to the real and very hard struggles that each of us face every day.
My oldest daughter turned 5 a couple of weeks ago and we decided to go with a "Spa" Theme. We had so much fun and found so many great ideas on Pinterest and came up with a few new ones of our own.
Check out the Pinterest Board where I gathered all of my ideas HERE.
And here's what we DID...
I converted a wooden "paper" doll design into a smaller invitation size doll, rolled up a cotton make-up pad and tied a ribbon around it. With the invitation info engraved on an emery board, I stuck that in the ribbon behind the little doll. (You can purchase these HERE.)
We have a GIANT extended family, So lots of cousins + friends + Mom's made for a big party. But it was great fun!
We went with cucumbers, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and this berry "Spa" Cake....and lime water.
Nails, of course! And homemade lip gloss made with coconut oil and Kool Aid and DIY "Satin Hands" sugar scrub.
Girl-time is the best! And the memories made mean so much more than just the gifts. But more than anything I want my kids to know that they are important to me and worth a little extra effort, just for them.
Your ideas, your designs, your creativity. No start-up costs, No equipment. We'll produce YOUR products without set-up fees. We'll even manage a website with your products and your brand for a low monthly fee (optional). We'll process, produce, and ship your products.
If you would like to extend your business even further, you will have the option to purchase (at wholesale rates) and re-sell your products in any venue that you would like(gift shop, Etsy, craft fairs, etc...). You own the design and have exclusive right to sell them. You promote and market your products. You earn 50% of the retail value of your products WITHOUT the hassle and expense of starting a business from scratch.
We can engrave and cut wood and acrylic (as well as a variety of other materials) up to 12" x 24". For a few examples of what can be done with laser-engraving check out this link:
And watch the video below for a peak at the laser-engraving/cutting process.
Have a unique idea for a product? Would you like more information?
Gary Chapman's book "The 5 Love Languages" is really life-changing...or at least relationship changing. To sum it all up, he says that we each primarily feel and therefore (attempt) to show love in 1 (or more) of 5 ways; Gifts, Touch, Words of Affirmation, Service, and Quality Time.
Recognizing our own and also our loved one's LOVE LANGUAGES helps us to know what they need, what they value most, and how to speak each other's love language. You can take a quick QUIZ at (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/) to find out what love language your and your family members speak.
So once you know what does that mean when it comes time to get your loved one a gift? Obviously, if their love language is GIFTS it's fairly self-explanatory. But what about the other 4 languages?
Maybe we can tailor the specific types of gifts that we give depending on the love language? We've put together a little "Quick Guide" to help you narrow down the best gift that will communicate how you feel to your love one...no matter what "LOVE" language they speak.
I think we've all been there at least once: a birthday comes and goes and we are left feeling slightly (or sometimes very) disappointed that no one took the time to make it special. No one considered what we'd ACTUALLY like. No one put just a little bit of time and effort into letting us know that they value our role in their lives.
Another year, another birthday for your child, husband, wife, or mom or dad. We all know we should show love to our family members all year round (we do, right?)...but do we really make the most of this once a year opportunity to spend a bit of time making each individual feel special and loved. And not disappointed and unimportant?
Unfortunately, I think we get busy, distracted, or maybe just a little stuck in a rut and don't REALLY make our loved ones know that we care enough to spend a little bit of time and effort on them.
Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you to spend a bazillion dollars and a month on Pinterest to make everything perfect...but here are 3 simple things that you do to make the next birthday for your loved one a little more meaningful.
The point here is put to some THOUGHT into celebrating those you LOVE. I know that life is busy but a little bit of effort and time goes a long way in strengthening a relationship.
I may or may not have been guilty of re-gifting a time or two. It usually goes like this... We have a birthday, baby shower, wedding, etc to attend and because I tend to over-schedule myself, I end up on a last-minute mad dash for a suitable gift. I search the house frantically for any un-used/un-opened gift to save myself a trip to the store that I don't have time for and maybewa2q find something that is remotely appropriate for the occasion. But because I am a firm believer in MEANINGFUL GIFTS, this is where I am forced to pull out my ninja-creativity skills (or something)...and MAKE it apply.
ENTER- the cheesy hand-written poem (most likely on the pansy stationary I received for my 15th Birthday that has managed to reproduce itself like the loaves and the fishes for the past 15...ish years):
"You are so sweet,
You can't be beat.
When I smell this, I think of you,
Just rub it on your hands
And they'll be sweet too."
Stick that with a (mostly) full bottle of Bath and Bodyworks Hand Sanitizer in last year's Christmas gift bag that the neighbors' sugar cookies came in and VOILA! A 5-minute gift.
JUST KIDDING! (Kind of)
Don't be like me. Plan ahead. Like at least a day or two. Or better yet, plan a week or two ahead and get your loved one something they will ACTUALLY appreciate and want to KEEP....FOREVER.
Check out these very personal and thought-out photo gifts (All available through our ETSY shop). Think just a little bit ahead and we'll do all the work for you. So you won't have to write a last minute cheesy poem. (or maybe I'm the only one who does that?)
Our family is always super busy and we very rarely have an evening where we all just stay home and watch a movie together. So Tuesday was Caleb's birthday and since watching movies is one of his favorite things to do...the kids and I planned a surprise "Family Movie Night" for his birthday party.
After dinner, we gave him his presents and an envelope that he was instructed to open last. Inside was this:
(Disclaimer: The printable was really supposed to be in color, but we were out of color ink....again. It was supposed to be even cuter. :))
The printable for the ticket (and the ones for the kids' concession stand) came from here. (www.thedatingdivas.com- Which, by-the-way, is an AWESOME site for dating ideas, especially for married couples...I use their ideas all of the time.) I adapted it a little to fit our family activity.
The kids then met us downstairs to take our orders for our movie treats...
And then Dad had to pay up (with hugs and butterfly kisses) for his snacks...
We watched The Princess Bride (of course) and everybody had a great time!
It turns out that little "baby" cans of pop are SUPER exciting...
And apparently pants are optional (for the toddler, anyway), but bright blue head-bands are NOT (he's been obsessed with it for days).
So I decided it was about time for a little contest...complete with an awesome prize, of course! And since we're all about family at Woven Hearts, why not a contest for all of your BEST (or at least most memorable) family photos?
Contest begins today at 12 pm (CST), and the recipient of the most votes for their family photo will receive their photo engraved on an 11" X 15" piece of wood with their choice of a quote/text surrounding it.
One entry per household. Quality of the engraving will depend on the quality (and resolution) of your photo so please consider that when submitting your entry. Contest will end next Thursday, August 20th at 9 am and the winner will be announced and contacted by 12 pm.
So get those family photos entered, shared and let the voting begin!
Contest Link: "Celebrate the Family" Photo Contest
When it comes to the "5 Love Languages," "quality time" is definitely at the top for me. I love finding new and creative things to do with my family- the kinds of activities that BUILD memories. Things that take slightly more effort than just pushing a button on the remote, but that will be so much for meaningful to my children when they are grown. We have a quote engraved on wood hanging in our little shop that says, "Kids won't remember their best day of t.v."
The things I remember best from my childhood?
Camping and fishing.
Putting up a "tent" in the living room (when it was too cold to camp outside- we lived in the Alaskan Arctic at the time) and roasting marsh-mellows over a candle. We even had glow in the dark stars on the ceiling and put up a couple of fake Christmas trees to complete the experience. Picnics and drives in the mountains.
Looking for deer on Sunday afternoons- there were always extra "points" for whoever spotted the first one.
Searching the beach with my family for critters in the tide pools.
Singing songs together.
Family Holiday traditions- My Mom has always been the BEST at making every celebration, birthday, holiday, etc...special.
Playing "Spoons" and "Hearts".
Mom reading out-loud to the whole family.
Sledding and going to the mountains to cut down a Christmas tree.
Playing in the mud at Fish Creek (aka: glacier silt).
Going to Hockey Games.
Going "Clamming" (even though clams are pretty high on the list of thing I refuse to eat)
Getting up in the middle of the night to watch the Northern Lights.
Exploring new places- both close to home and far.
These times spent together are the ones that made my family close. It probably helped that we lived in the middle of nowhere for a lot of my growing up and didn't have near as many distractions or really ANY other options for entertainment....So we HAD to get creative. But I wouldn't have had it any other way.
We try now to spend the same type of quality time with our own kids. And even though they don't get to grow up in Alaska, they do get to grow up in a great place in the country with several acres to roam. They love helping in the garden, gathering eggs, fishing in our pond, going camping, playing games, going for walks (that always turn into "treasure hunts"), reading stories together etc... It seems that the simplest things can be the most meaningful. And while sometimes doing things together takes a little more planning, effort, and time... is always SO worth it.
I've found a few websites with some great (and inexpensive) family activity ideas...Hope you can find some that your family will enjoy!
Strives to celebrates the every-day special moments. Seeks new adventures...