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4 DIY Gifts For a Son or Daughter

I’m all about homemade gifts for my family and friends. For me, I feel that my kids have been given so many toys by friends and family members, that it would mean more for me to do things that are homemade. DIY projects have hit many websites because people are finding value in crafting things for those they love. If you want to give gifts that stand out, making them yourself is a great way to do that. Here are a few great gift ideas for love you can make for your child to show them how much you care for them.

 

1. Super Hero Sucker

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Choose your child’s favorite suckers and turn them into superheroes that he can fly around the house. Use different colored construction paper to make capes to attach to the suckers. Use a marker to draw faces on the sucker wrappers. You can use construction paper to make a mask to wrap around the sucker instead of drawing eyes. Follow the link below for more great super hero sucker ideas.

 

Source: http://www.parentmap.com/article/20-valentines-day-cards-for-kids?page=2

 

 

2. Smartie Pants

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Let your child know how smart you think they are with these paper pants stuffed with smarties candy. Cut two identical pants forms out of his favorite color. Glue the outer edges of the pants together, leaving the top of the pants open. Draw pants features such as a zipper, pockets, and patches. Place one stick of smarties candy in each pant leg. For better detail on these valentines pants, follow the link below.

 

Source: http://www.beneathmyheart.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/image28.png

 

3. Heart Puzzle

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Create a heart puzzle to show your love for your son or daughter. Gather 16 wooden tiles that are 1 inch by 1 inch. Tape the tiles into a square and paint a heart on the front of the tiles. Add your child’s initial and a plus sign next to your own initial. Take the tape off the back of the wooden tiles and place them in a plastic bag. Attach a note on the outside of the bag with a special message. Click the link below to see pictured instructions of the project.

 

Source: http://theknottybride.com/34466

 

4. Lego Heart

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Take some of lego pieces and turn them into a permanent heart that your child can hold on to. You can choose their favorite colors or pick all red or pink legos. Use a little super glue to adhere each piece to the others. You will find the exact pieces you need for the project by clicking the link below.

Source: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Lego-Heart/

 

Hopefully you have a few ideas that will become a memorable project for your child. Some of these ideas, you could do with your son or daughter for quality time togetherher. They are also simple DIY projects that you can do with them for their friends. They could also be great homemade gifts for men from kids. It can be hard to come up with fun ideas to do for dad from the kiddos.

 

 

Blessings in the Piles of Laundry

It seems like everyday I have to do so much laundry. It piles high from the floor to the ceiling when I’m not looking. When I tell the kids to come down with all of their clothes, our laundry room is so full I can barely walk in and out of there. My kids tend to fuss about the amount of clothing they have to fold once it all starts getting set on the couch after being cleaned. It is true, there are a lot clothes in our home. Sometimes it can be so overwhelming to see piles of clothes in the baskets…on the floor…on the couch….on the beds…hanging from ceiling fans (well maybe not that bad).

 

What Does All This Laundry Mean

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While I wash and fold loads of laundry, I try to remember to count my blessings, and their names are Corbin, Tripp, Braden, and Austin. These special people in my life are the “Reasons” that I do everything I do in a day. (For those of you who don’t know, my last name is Reason, herein lies the pun.) Truly, my family gives me many reasons to rejoice in God the Father.

 

Thankfulness for Laundry

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While doing laundry for hours can be overwhelming, the right attitude to have is of thankfulness. Thankfulness of the people in your life who’s laundry you are doing. Also, thankfulness for the means in which to do the laundry. If you have ever gone a day without a washing machine or dryer, you can know how hard it is to keep the piles to a minimum.

 

Memories in the Laundry

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For me personally, I look at each of the pieces of clothing I fold and am reminded where they came from. We have been so blessed with hand-me-downs from people that we have never met along with some of our most precious friends. Some of the clothing I fold was worn by all three of my boys. Memories tend to flood my mind when I fold, because I think of the people, places, and events that surround the wearing of these clothes.


Even in the mundane tasks of the day, we can find a way to rejoice in our circumstances.

A Date Night at Home

When you have been married for years, sometimes the things you used to do when you were dating falls by the wayside. The daily grind just gets in the way of being romantic and flirting with the one you love. I know that for myself, I’m three kids down the road and have been married for 11 years.

By the end of the night, I just want to sit on the couch in exhaustion and watch something on tv. My husband feels the same way after putting in a hard day of work, and then coming home to help out around the house and spend time with our children.

That is why I thought that a snuggling date night idea was really a fun. It gives my husband and I a chance to connect, but relax at the same time.

How to Have a Successful Date Night at Home

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I think the key to having a successful date night at home is to put some effort into it so that it seems special. One of the biggest challenges to at-home date nights is making the event different than normal. I have a very hard time unplugging from all the work I have to do, since I work from home in every aspect.

I’m always mom, which brings a wealth of responsibilities. Then you add in that I make a paycheck while I sit on my couch and write. For me to feel like we are having a date night in our home, I have to make a conscious effort to do something special and out of the ordinary.

What You Need to Build a Snuggling Date Night

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This is where you can be creative for your own personal dating relationship. Whatever kinds of things you enjoy having to snuggle can be placed in a basket. If you don’t have a basket, then you can use something else to hold the items.

For me, I really like having a blanket and pillows. Throwing in a hot drink for the winter or something cold for the summer is another essential. Lighting candles and bringing down the lights in the room allow me to relax.

When you build your date night basket, add in the things that make snuggling fun for you. A movie that you both would enjoy might be a nice idea. If you would rather talk while cuddling, I suggest bringing out some old photos of you and your loved one.

The thing that can ruin an at home date night the fastest is to talk about work, kids, or responsibilities. If you want to be successful dating in relationship with your spouse, you have to figure out other things to talk about that will put you in the mood. It gets your brain fired up to talk about responsibilities and you have a hard time unwinding from it.

Picture Source

Why is Dating Your Significant Other Important

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Dating in relationship with your spouse, or a significant other shouldn’t go away once you get married or build a home together. My mom always told me that one day all of her kids would be out of the house and it would be just her and dad. For that reason, she and my dad have continued to date each other.

She told me the saddest thing that could happen is that after building a life with someone for many years would be to get to the golden years of life and realize you didn’t do what it took to still  like each other. She is certainly correct in that.

 

Hopefully you are able to find some inspiration for a date night at home. Even if you don’t like cuddling, then you can build a different idea that will meet your needs. Relationships and dating can both be a challenge.

Homemade Gifts Are the Best

I love making homemade crafts and gifts to give people. For me, making something to give someone else is like giving them part of your creativity. Not many people craft or make things from scratch anymore, so I think I’m a bit of a dying breed. My children have seen me make crafts and gifts to no end for years. They honestly believe I can make anything, including motorized toys.

A New Perspective on Homemade Gifts

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This year, I asked my oldest child, Corbin what he wanted to do to buy Christmas presents for his family. He told me he thought about making some things since, “Homemade gifts are the best.”

I was actually a little choked up that gifts homemade made him feel that way. Sometimes I feel really burdened that I am always making thank you gifts homemade, romantic gifts homemade, and any gift homemade. I do this because I can’t afford to buy anything nice for anyone.

Without my ideas and creative gift projects, I wouldn’t be able to bless people with anything during Christmas or special events.

Homemade Gifts From the One I Love

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In the spirit of crafting, my darling husband, Austin, made me this beautiful necklace for Christmas. I am showcasing it in my picture. Let’s just be clear, Austin is NOT a crafter.

This necklace means the world to me, because my husband spent the time it took to buy multiple bags of beads and figure out how to turn them into a presentable DIY necklace.

I was very blessed this past year by my husband making a gift for me with his hands. Not only that, my children have shown me that all of my passions are not in vain. They do understand what makes me tick and they appreciate it as well.

How to Put Out a Grease Fire in the Kitchen

Last night I was cooking roasted chicken. When I went to pull the chicken out of the oven, the pan was too full of chicken drippings and spilled in the back of my oven. Immediately, huge flames took over the inside of the oven. If this has ever happened to you, then you know how scary it can be to see fire in your oven or on a burner. If you have fire alarms that are set off, then it makes for even more frustrations. Here are three things you can do to put out the flames without loosing your mind.  

1. DON’T PANIC

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This is a very important thing to remember and much easier said than done. When you panic, generally you don’t make good decision. Take a second and find your center before you evaluate the situation. For me, this is pretty easily done, as I am not one to panic in general. For some, I know it takes a lot more concentration to slow down and not panic. It is a life skill though that can be very important.  

2. CUT OFF THE HEAT SOURCE

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Immediately cut off the stove or burner. You want to make sure that you are not fueling the fire. This may be enough to put the fire out on its own. If your fire is in the oven, shut the door and it will normally put itself out due to lack of oxygen. It is funny how in a situation like this you can forget to do the most simplest of things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left on the burner or oven while it was burning.  

3. BAKING SODA TO THE RESCUE

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For all the great things baking soda is good for, it quickly and effectively puts out grease fires. Most often, fires in the stove or on a burner is created by grease splatter. Water will not put out a grease fire, but can act as an accelerant. The best thing to use is baking soda as it will effectively put out the fire.   Hopefully these few tips will save you next time you have a fire while cooking. If you cook often, you are likely to experience a time or two where a fire happens on your burners or in the stove. Even the best of us deal with this every now and then, no matter how careful we try to be.

Establishing Goals in Dating Relationships and Marriages

A few months back I spent the night counseling a couple that have decided that they want to honor God and their future marriage by waiting until they get married to have sex. For them, they have struggled with keeping their commitment and decided to reach out for help. Any time you are in a romantic relationship with someone, you should certainly have clearly defined goals, boundaries and expectations.

Create Clearly Defined Goals

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1. Come to an agreement about what your goals are. It is important in relationships and dating that you and your significant other agree about the goals. If you don’t agree, you will not be able to succeed. You will find that a lot of compromise is necessary in determining goals you make as a couple. The way you handle creating goals will lay the foundation of how you work the process of succeeding at these goals.

2. Decide how you plan to accomplish your goals. Being specific in the goals in dating and relationships is the key to success. Don’t just create the goals without an action plan. Make easy to follow guidelines that will help you be successful.

3. Hold each other accountable and ask others to help as well. Be sure that you don’t isolate yourself in any dating to relationships transition. So often we have this mindset that we are the only ones that need to know our business. Your relationship should be open enough that you confide in other close friends. Of course you should be cautious as to not violate your partner’s desires, but there shouldn’t be anything going on between you and your loved one that you can’t tell anyone else.

4. Know that you might fail, and forgive each other when you do. None of us are perfect and it is very hard to keep your commitments when you are the only one in the equation. When you are working toward a goal with someone else, it can be just as difficult. They may not keep up with their end of the commitment, or you may waiver on yours. Either way, expect it to happen and be prepared for when it does.

5. Work together as a team. If you do not work together as a team in your relationships and marriage, you will end up fighting against one another. It is important to remember that you are working your relationship with one another, not in spite of each other.

6. Most importantly, love each other. Don’t forget that in all of this, to love each other. It is very important that at all times you remember the person comes first, even if that means your goals have to be put on hold.

Carry Out the Goals

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Establishing goals and making commitments in romantic relationships will help any couple to have healthy relationships marriage, regardless of what the goals and commitments are. Building stamina in a relationship by making commitments and keeping them, will help a relationship be stronger, healthier, and withstand time.

 

Rainbows- A Sign From God Stretched Across the Sky

Rainbows Are a Sign of Promise

IMG_20140608_194536No matter where I am or what I’m doing, when I see a rainbow, there is always a bit of peace that comes over me. Immediately, I am reminded of God and His promise to the earth. We can certainly see God in many aspects of the world around us, but when a bow is painted across the sky, we can know exactly what He is saying to us.

God told Noah to build an arc, which was a large boat, because He was going to destroy everyone on earth with a massive flood. Noah was obedient and he built the arc just as God directed him to. He pleaded with the people to repent of their sins and join him on the arc. No one other than Noah’s family and the animals God sent to him decided to be get on the boat.

After the flood was over and the waters receded, God opened the doors of the arc and Noah and his family were able to get out. It was then that God stretched a rainbow across the sky and told Noah that this was a sign of God’s promise that He would never flood the earth to that extent again.

 

 

The Sight of Rainbows Bring Hope

 

I’m always humbled when I see a rainbow in the sky. It reminds me that even though I serve a just God, He is also very patient with me. Rainbows show me that God is a God of His word and that He has not broken that promise He made to Noah. With this incredible sign stretched across the sky, I can know God will be faithful.

What an amazing thing to know, that the God of the universe cares for all of us. What He tells us in His Word, the Bible, we can believe and know that He will do what He said. I take comfort in the sight of rainbows, and am forever thankful for those glimpses my God gives me.

 

Virgin Bourbon Chicken Recipe

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This is my favorite recipe for virgin bourbon chicken. I make it all the time for my family and we have really enjoyed eating it.

 

Ingredients:

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 teaspoons garlic

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 cup apple juice

1 cup ketchup

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 & 1/2 cup of water

3 tablespoons apple cider

3/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in water)

How to Make it:

Grill the boneless skinless chicken thighs until they are cooked fully. Personally, we prefer chicken thighs for this recipe. White meat seems to be a little bit too dry in my opinion. Dark meat seems to do well with the grilling and stays more moist in the sauce. When the chicken is done being cooked, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Mix the apple juice, water, soy sauce, and apple cider in a pot on the stove. Turn the heat on to medium. Add in garlic and ginger. Mix cornstarch into cold water and dissolve completely. Then add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and allow to thicken. Once it has become as thick as you would like it to be, then add in the chicken. Turn the sauce down to low until you are ready to serve it.

What to Serve it With:

We really enjoy eating our bourbon chicken over fried rice. I also really like to steam vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and sugar snaps.

This makes for a really good sandwich as well. You can put the bourbon chicken on a roll and add cheese and tomatoes.

 

This is one of my favorite ways to make chicken. It is a sweet dish; one that I actually like. I do not generally enjoy sweet dishes, but bourbon chicken is a great thing to add to your cuisine.