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Category Archives for Holidays

Subscriber Freebie: Printable Thanksgiving Art

Printable Thanksgiving Wall Art

 

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it!

One of my favorite ways to decorate for the different seasons is to use printable wall art. It doesn't cost much of anything in terms of money or time, yet it adds an instant seasonal update.

I especially like using Scripture verses to keep God's Word as the main focus in our home.

I purposely created this printable with a white border around it. There were 2 reasons for that:

#1. It looks classy, but I didn't have a frame with a mat, so I just created the mat right on the printable.

#2. My printer doesn't print all the way to the edge of the paper, so it works better when my printables are white at the edges.

Hopefully you'll find that to be helpful to you too!

 

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Healthy July 4th Menu

I love holidays! Getting together with extended family, eating, relaxing, eating some more.  It's great fun!

What I don't love is figuring out what exactly we're going to eat.

For once in my life I thought ahead!  July 4th is next week, and I thought it would be lovely to put together a menu that is healthy, easy, and most importantly, delicious!

Here's what I came up with for a healthy July 4th menu.  Click on the photos to be taken to the recipes.

Healthy July 4th Menu

 

 

 

Healthy 4th of July Menu

Hamburgers made with grass-fed beef on homemade whole wheat buns.  If you have the delight of being gluten-free you can try this recipe for gluten-free hamburger buns.

Healthy 4th of July

You can't have a 4th of July celebration without watermelon!

Healthy 4th of July Menu

Homemade ice cream! I love the recipes in the Just Making Ice Cream ebook.

What would you add?  Do you have any special July 4th menu traditions?

Preparing my Heart For Easter

preparing my heart for Easter

March 31 marks a very special day in all of our lives. For some, it is simply a day to usher in spring…with bunnies, lambs, candy and fun games. But for every born again Christian, it is an important celebration of the coming of The Lamb, the Savior of the world.

Ever since 2011, I have made it a point to not let that day come and go as just another holiday. No, I think that every believer should allow Easter Sunday to make a difference in their spiritual lives – our own personal reawakening, if you will.

Think about this:

Christmas is the day we celebrate Jesus birth on this earth. We spend weeks, even months preparing for that day. Yes, we do spend a lot of time and effort on the commercial aspect of Christmas, but most Christians also spend plenty of time preparing to celebrate His birth. We prepare special musical numbers, and even spend months preparing choir presentations and cantatas, all to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. There are many great activities and such that we do with our children and Sunday Schools to teach the nativity story. I even spent weeks focusing on the Christmas story on my blog this last year, in an effort to not forget what the season is really about. All of this is right and good! But why do we spend so much time on His birth, and only one single day on His death?

Yes, His birth was important and fulfilled prophecies and was completely necessary for redemption’s plan. But it wasn’t the only step of the plan. It was not His birth that washed my sins away…it was His death! And I personally do not want to forget all that He suffered for me.

Cook quote

So each year, I take the weeks leading up to Easter and spend some concentrated time focusing on Christ. I normally study Christ’s life, death and resurrection more fully from the Bible passages that deal with these events. I spend some time memorizing and meditating on verses related to our salvation. And I also read a book that digs into redemption’s plan.

I find that this concentrated time of studying Christ makes a big impact on my spiritual life! Spending time each morning focusing on Christ alone is so, so refreshing. It also takes me back to what I was before I got saved – a lost, hell-deserving sinner. It makes me so much the more grateful to Him and makes me want to serve Him in a greater way!

Why not give it a try? There are still almost 2 weeks before Easter Sunday. Take the time in those days to spend concentrated time focusing on your salvation. Include your family as well!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Our family has enjoyed using these Resurrection Eggs to tell the Easter story in the 12 days leading up to Easter. The last egg is especially thrilling! 🙂

Here is a great list by another blogger with loads of kiddo ideas and resources.

Grow your own Garden Tomb! Here is how one blogger did it.

Do you typically observe the Resurrection in a special way? How do you bring the focus of Easter back to the Lord? Any other activities you've tried before?

 

DIY: Scripture Conversation Hearts!

Those of you that have read my blog in past years know that I am no fan of Valentines day. I know, ba humbug, right? It is just not my favorite holiday! But while I mutter things under my breath like “February is the Monday of months,” this time of year usually finds me doing Valentines Day-related projects, anyway. {go figure!}

I normally try to do a little project to include in the decor for our church’s Valentines banquet. (You can see past projects here) This year is no exception…I created some of my very own conversation hearts to fit the theme of the evening!

diy scripture conversation hearts
This was a super easy project, but I am excited about the color it will bring to the banquet tables, plus the truths of the scripture messages as a reminder of the Love of God!

I just picked up a package of scalloped foam hearts from our local dollar store.

foam hearts
I got the scalloped ones because they had the brightest colors, and I was looking to make these similar to the real thing.

scalloped edges
Then I got to work punching out the middles of the scallops. Random side note: if they went to the trouble to punch those, why couldn’t they have just poked them out at the same time???

poked out pieces
I found lots of verses that talked about the love of God for us, our love for God, and a few about our love for each other. I also tried to use verses that could be shortened easily, without losing the message of God’s love that I was trying to get across.

conversation hearts 1
Here are the verses I used:

Deuteronomy 6:5 …thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart…
Deuteronomy 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God…
Joshua 22:5 ..take diligent heed… to love the Lord your God…
Psalm 18:1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.
Psalm 31:23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints….
Psalm 146:8 …the Lord loveth the righteous.
Jeremiah 31:3 …I have loved thee with an everlasting love…
Matthew 22:39 …love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart…
John 3:16 God so loved the world…
John 15:9 …continue ye in my love.
Romans 5:5 …the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts…
I Corinthians 13:4 Charity…is kind…
I Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth…
II Corinthians 13:14 …the love of God…be with you all…
I Peter 1:22 …see that ye love one another…
I John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God…
I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another…
I John 4:11 …God so loved us…
I John 4:16 …God is love…
I John 4:19 We love Him, because He first loved us.
Jude 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God…

conversation hearts 2

It was a bit time consuming, but not nearly as bad as it could have been if I had chosen to cut out paper hearts! (which is normally what I end up doing to myself, haha!) I just used a Sharpie to write the words, and it worked great. The foam was very easy to write on, and doesn't bleed through, so these could be used again on the other side!

conversation hearts 3

I don't have the prettiest handwriting, but I just did my best and tried to make each one look nice. I also used a tone-on-tone approach so the writing would be readable, but subtle enough to let the color of the heart stand out.

It was a fun project, that I think will make a big impact at our banquet! Anyone else doing any Valentines Day crafting lately?

 

My Valentine’s Day Wreath

DIY Valentines Wreath using items from around the house

I made this winter wreath back in January, but I made a quick update to turn it into something for Valentine's Day.

 

First I'll tell you how I made the winter wreath, then I'll tell you how I turned it into a Valentines wreath.

*The best part was that this wreath cost me nothing to make.  It was all junk I had stuffed stashed neatly up in the attic.

 

1. First I took a wreath form and traced it onto a piece of cardboard.  Then I cut it out and wrapped it in strips of white fabric.

valentines wreath

 

2. Then I started on my flowers.  I took tissue paper and cut it into lots and lots of  squares.  Then I stacked 4 squares together.

valentines wreath

 

3.  I folded the whole stack accordion-style.

 

 

 

valentines wreath

 

4.  Then I folded my “accordion” in half and stapled it in the middle.

valentines wreath

 

5.  Next, I snipped off the ends to form a point.  (I figured out later that this step is optional.  It makes your flowers look slightly different, but really it's just a matter of preference.  Try it with and without snipping and see which way you like it better.)

valentines wreath

 

6.  All I had left to do was fluff up the tissue paper to turn it into a flower!  I carefully peeled apart each layer of tissue paper and fluffed it until it looked like a flower.

valentines wreath

 

I kept making flowers until I thought I had enough to cover the wreath form, but unfortunately I do not have pictures of the rest of the process.

I got distracted by a minor emergency:

valentines wreath

Snot, peanut butter, and marker.  It was time for me to turn my focus to my kids who had done so well occupying themselves at the table.

The rest of the wreath should be pretty self-explanatory anyway.  I hot glued the flowers onto the cardboard wreath form until it was completely covered.  Then I took some pieces of lace, rolled them up and glued them on, and added another piece of lace to hang the wreath.

When February arrived, I printed up the word LOVE on red scrapbook paper, cut it out, and taped it to some twine.  I taped the twine onto the back of the wreath, and I was done!

DIY Valentines Wreath using items from around the house

 

I've never done any sort of Valentine's Day decor before, and I had fun cheering up my door with a free Valentines Wreath!

 

Did you do anything special to your house for Valentine's Day?