Sunday, October 25, 2015

Service SOS

My Saturday started out like this...

And just got more interesting from there...Steve cut down about 4 large pine trees in our yard the other weekend, because they had become overgrown and past their prime...and were looking too hideous to save and crowding out the other plants.  He found a really good deal on some large evergreens to replace them and had them delivered.

When I finally laid eyes on them, I realized that they were absolutely enormous...and this was not going to be a one-man job.

In addition to this huge job we had created for ourselves, it was Autumn's birthday.  I knew that this was going to be an all-day job if I didn't call in some back-up.

But who do you call when you've bit off more you can chew?  We don't have family around, and most people have pretty busy I went on to the FB page for our ward's Elder's Quorum and put out a plea for any Elders in Israel who might want to come help us plant trees on our property.

I was amazed at the pretty immediate response...first from a young man who came over right away and helped dig holes and clear another tree...and second, from a very stalwart family who could make it over later in the day.

When they realized that the trees were so much bigger than they'd imagined....instead of walking away, they stuck it out...and despite the huge challenge it was to move the trees into place (each being between 1000 and 1800 lbs!!) they stood with us until the job was finished.

And although it was no walk in the park, I was amazed by how often I could hear them break out in laughter about something.  They had such a good attitude.  I knew they were working hard and probably would have bruises to deal with...yet they looked at it as a team building exercise and as an opportunity to serve.  They were all such an amazing example to me...of men who understand what it means to hold the means family.  It means no one gets left behind.  It means doing unpleasant tasks because you know that serving others is paramount...and it's what Christ would do.

Here are a few pictures of the two biggest trees that got planted.  It's so fun to see how beautiful they are and how well they fill in the landscape.  Our neighborhood was a Christmas tree farm, once upon a time, so it's fun to replenish these old, old trees with new, healthy ones...and boy, did it smell like Christmas as the guys got those trees rocking!!  Made me so happy!

By the evening, we were exhausted, but so grateful, and we let Autumn name the trees!

The next day (this morning) was the Primary Program.  We were all so tired from all of the work and festivities of the weekend.  I needed to pick up a friend for church, the kids were fighting over their Lucky Charms and not getting dressed.  I went out to leave and my car wouldn't start.  The battery was dead.  I called my friend Cammie right away, hoping to catch her before she left for church.

She came over right away and completely saved us by loaning us her minivan to get to church, while she and her children piled into their other car. 

I was pretty annoyed and frustrated and tired today, but grateful that my friend also knew the meaning of being a Latter-day Saint and that is that we leave no man behind.  Steve said later as we were dissecting the events of the weekend...that perhaps all of these things happened to show us and our ward members that we really are there for one another.  It was a good lesson...and every time we look at those trees we will remember the ward members who are like our real brothers...and my friend who is really like a real sister...and always be grateful.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Pumpkin Treat Bags

Today I'm dropping by to share this easy little craft with you!  With Autumn's birthday coming up and classroom special days (don't call them parties!!!) I wanted to send a treat in for her classmates to enjoy.

These sweet little tissue paper pumpkin treat bags fit the bill.  Just get yourself some orange tissue paper and green floral tape.  I cut 11-12 inch circles out of the tissue paper, filled it with candy, then gathering and twisting the edges, I secured the top with the floral tape.

Pretty easy and they turned out cute...all 5 million of them that I made on Saturday.  Have fun!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

No-Sew Pillows

This week is the beginning of the non-stop till Christmas busy season in our house.  That's because we have a birthday in our family every week for the next four or so weeks!  Add Halloween and Thanksgiving right on top of that, and we're right into Christmas.

It's an exciting and fun time for sure, but like most things in a family, it requires that we be organized and use our time wisely!

This year, we're doing all homemade gifts in our family, so our little elves are working away already, coming up with ideas, buying supplies, and making stuff.

The other night, while we were at Walmart, Guy picked out fleece to use for his you can see he was all loaded down!

Meanwhile, the girls were getting ideas of their own!

Guy got right to work making these jumbo, no-sew fleece pillows for his sisters.  I had him draw a heart-shaped pattern... it to the fabric...

...cut out the shape, and add 1 inch fringe all the way around.

He then knotted the two pieces of fabric all the way around (right over left, left over right) leaving an opening to stuff the pillows.

He made three pillows in all--one for each of his sisters--so it took some work, but that's good.  The skill level was just right.

And they turned out great.  Guy seems proud of his handiwork, and I'm sure the girls will enjoy their gifts.  We bought 2 yards of fleece and that was enough to make 4 pillows.  With the stuffing it cost Guy about $6-8 per gift.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Puffy Paint Maps for Columbus Day

In keeping with tradition, we did a fun Columbus Day craft with friends today!  Following this tutorial, we made our own puffy paint maps!

It was so fun and easy.  First, we sketched continents onto paper plates.

Then we made puffy paint.  Here's what you need:

white glue
shaving cream
gel food coloring
sticks to stir

I poured about half a bottle of glue into one bowl and the other half into another bowl, then added some blue and green gel food coloring and mixed.

Then I added equal parts shaving cream to the glue mixture.  It didn't take much (my husband only had a sample size on hand for me to use anyway!)  Finally, mix the shaving cream into the glue and add more food coloring, if wanted.

Then we got to the nitty-gritty of painting our maps.

The puffy paint is fun and goopy.

It's a fun craft for Earth Day or whatever project you want to use this for.  Can't wait to use this puffy paint recipe again soon.

In the meantime, the girls and I enjoyed crafting and gabbing.  Now to go outside and enjoy this beautiful day!!

Oh, yeah, I forgot to add: As your puffy paint maps dry, they flatten a bit but the texture is still there, so it looks really neat.  The tutorial I followed said it took a few days to completely dry.  We shall see!

Crafts of Columbus Days Past:

2011: Boats that really rock! (And some Thanksgiving Book Suggestions)

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