Back-to-School

Happy Back-to-School Day, friends!

My house is quiet this morning and when my house is quiet my mind can think. full. thoughts. Yay!

Today we dropped off a 9th grader (high school – eek!), a 7th grader, and a 3rd grader. At no time is it more apparent than the first day of school how quickly life goes!

As I was praying for my children this morning, I started to pray simply that their days would go smoothly. But that thought was interrupted by this thought from God: How will they learn to rely on God if everything goes smoothly?

(thank you, Jesus, for your divine interruptions! your ways are always better)

It’s so true, isn’t it? The times in my life when I learned the most, trusted the most, and grew closer to God weren’t when things were going smoothly. If I want my kids to seek after God and follow Him all their lives, then they need to NEED him. And then learn to RELY on Him.

So I prayed instead that they would feel His presence with them today, let the Holy Spirit guide them, and that He would provide whatever they need for every situation.

Amen and Amen!

Back-to-school Teacher Gift

I’ve got a quick, cute back-to-school teacher gift for you!

back-to-school teacher gift

Get yourself some school-themed scrapbooking paper, some white cardstock, ribbon, and a frame.

Go to this awesome blog to print out the art for FREE!  (Thank you, bitsycreations!)

Put it in the frame and dress it up however you like, and there you have it – another quick & easy gift!

Back-to-School Perspective

I hope you all don’t mind that I often just post to give you links to other blogs!

But sometimes I find something that just needs to be shared.

This post really hit me, because as I’ve mentioned before, God’s got me on a journey of trusting Him more and relying on myself less.  I do not need to be in control of everything (and, wouldn’t you know it?  I’m really not!!)  and I don’t have to get everything perfect (and, again, do I even need to say that I don’t?)

And with that in mind as I send my kids back to school, this just fit in perfectly.

So here you go… even if you don’t have kids going off to school in the next week or so, I highly recommend this…

http://www.susiedavis.org/back-to-school-promises-for-parents/

Enjoy!

*Last Day of School Tradition*

Yippeeeee!

Summer vacation is here!

Yesterday we ended the school year with what has become a bit of a tradition for us:

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts

Well, the tradition is the homemade doughnuts, although the kind has varied every year.  I bake the doughnuts and use the excuse that they are healthier (the truth is that frying things in a couple inches of hot oil scares me).  🙂

This year’s recipe I think was the best – they were light and fluffy with good flavor.  Even though it seems like the wrong time of year to have apple cider doughnuts, YES, you can still buy cider in June!!  The recipe came from Family Circle March 2012 issue (link here).  I did make a couple of changes – used light brown sugar instead of dark brown, and used 1/3 T ground ginger instead of fresh.  They turned out just fine.

In case you’re interested in the other recipes we’ve tried:  Funfetti and Baked Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts with Vanilla Peanut Butter Glaze.

 

I am thrilled that the school year is over.  I love the break from what should be an olympic event called “getting your kids to school on time”.  

Last night was the last award ceremony of the year… and I’ve got to tell you I’m so proud of my kiddos.  They enjoy school, they work hard, and their teachers have a lot of great things to say about their little characters.  They are all smart cookies – my oldest had the highest GPA in the whole 6th grade!  My son got awards for spelling and bible study!  And my little one got an award for best overall achievement in all the subjects!  I love them all to pieces and am excited to see God’s plans for them emerge as they get older.

How are YOU doing?  Has summer vacation started for your family yet?

Quick and Easy Teacher Appreciation Gift

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week!

And because I am never on-the-ball enough to have things ready beforehand, here I am again with a post you probably won’t be able to use until next year!

{be sure to Pin it!}

OR, this is so quick – if you have the materials and a free half-hour before school pickup this afternoon… you can get these done!

 

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What you need:

Cardstock (white, blue, yellow or lime green would be good!)

Scissors

Glue Stick

Printer

brads (optional)

circle cutter (optional)

drink mix singles

water bottles

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Instructions:

Download this word document, edit if you like (you might want to add your child’s or your family name?), and print the labels.  File is here:  water labels

Cut out labels – circles look great.

Cut a 3″ by 8 1/2″ wide strip of cardstock – this will be your tag.

Cut out a circle near the top to fit over the neck of the water  bottle.

Fold the bottom up about 2 1/2 inches and glue sides in order to form the pocket.

Add brads if desired.

Glue circle labels onto the front of the pocket.

Stick the drink mix single into the pocket, hang it on the water bottle, and voila!  Your gift is done – enjoy your handiwork!

 

P.S. – I am so thankful for my children’s teachers.  Please don’t think that because this gift is prepared quickly that I overlook their importance in my children’s lives!  God Bless them – I know I have a hard time spending all day with my children – and they have my kids plus a classroom full of other kids, too!  And they do this job because they love the kids and love to see them learn.  We are blessed, and have been blessed, by fabulous teachers for my kids.  So, thank you teachers! 🙂

 

 

 

more evidence…

When my babies were little, I really didn’t believe those experienced moms who told me to “enjoy this time” because it goes “so fast”!

I couldn’t help but thinking, “What are you talking about, I’m not getting any sleep here!?!”

Well, in my 11 1/2 years of mothering, I guess I’ve just been gathering evidence that, in fact, those moms were right.

Here’s the latest evidence:

My oldest started 6th grade last week, and my youngest started kindergarten.  Major milestones!

And just so my boy doesn’t feel left out – he started 4th grade.  🙂

Who knew the time would go so fast?

Who knew that I would look back on their infancies with such fondness and wistfulness?

Those moms didn’t.  I guess they weren’t crazy after all.

So here’s a poem for all you moms of little ones out there who feel like the long days and sleepless nights are just not passing by fast enough…

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her (his) eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

So now the irony is not lost on me that I am the one telling those mommas of babies to enjoy the time because it goes by all too fast!  But it really does!

And if you need a visual reminder of this, make your own beautiful wall art printable of the last verse of this poem here.  (Thanks DIY Mommy!)

August Happenings

aaah, August has been a bit of a whirlwind.  Here’s some snapshots of the month.

ImageA trip to an amusement park.

 

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My trip to Dallas.

 

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My son’s 9th birthday (again, all about legos and star wars!).

 

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New haircuts and two missing teeth – just in time to start Kindergarten next week!

 

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And witnessing God protecting us from this.  We’ve known this tree had to come down for about a year and a half now, but we thought it would take a strong storm to topple it.  This happened in the space of about 20 minutes on Monday when I took the kids to drop off our books at the library – and we didn’t even go in – we just dropped them in the book return!  And there was no storm – no wind – just a light rain.  Thanking God for his protection.  The tree will be cut down in the next few days and I am quite sad about it.  It provides us so much shade in the summer!

And these photos don’t even include the excitement over my husband being in the hospital for three days!  Thank you to some of you who noticed my prayer request and contacted me to make sure everything was ok.  He is home from the hospital and doing fine now.  It was a combination of things – a new medicine and him not consistently taking some of his regular meds – that made him quite sick.  But he is stable right now and has an appointment with a specialist next week.  Thanks again for your prayers.

Next week will be quite a transition week for us – my oldest will be starting middle school (in the public school system), my son will have a new teacher for 4th grade, and my youngest will be starting kindergarten.  So I will be at home, alone.  It has been 11 1/2 years that I have had a preschooler at home, so this will be quite a change.  I am equal parts excited and sad.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1