November 28, 2012

Little Eyes Are Watching

Wherever you go, you can bet your boots that you're an example. I had a nice reminder of this yesterday when I showed Lucy my "new" boots. She had some fun trying them on. There was a little person parading around the house inside boots that went past her knees. "If I can walk around the whole room wearing these that means they fit!" Lol

When her mom got home from work they needed to quickly go to the store. I don't mind waiting for them to bundle up. I understand that it can be hard to get out the door with little kids, and a ride home is always worth the wait! I was ready for her to stick her arms in her coat when she ran into the foyer frantically looking for something. She came back into the kitchen wearing her black boots. It was the cutest thing ever. It's been a couple days, and she is still faithfully wearing her boots everywhere! 

Here's the thing. I'm always an example. People are watching in every situation, AND they know how Christians are supposed to act! Chances are more than one person will hear about it later on and learn from my example in some way. 

1 Timothy 4:12 tells us to be an example of the believers. Have you ever been told that it's not all about you? Well, it is true! My example doesn't just represent myself - it represents all believers and ultimately Christ. It's in my name. The term Christian literally means "to be like Christ" or "little Christ". 

This verse gives us six ways that we can be examples: in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. These are all places that we could start paying special attention to. It would be easy for me to expound on each of these areas, but we won't go on any rabbit trails today. :)

We can't shy away from the fact that we are examples, but we can make the choice to be good or a bad one. Little eyes are watching, and the scary thing is they want to be JUST LIKE YOU!

November 24, 2012

"Setting the Turkeys Free" Craft

I didn't think I would be able to check out this book 7 days before turkey day, but there it was sitting on the shelf! It did have holds placed on it, but the librarian allowed me to check it out anyway. Sorry to the little kids who were waiting for the book! I returned it as fast as I could. I promise.

I gave the kids their cutout handprints, tissue paper, glue, sequins, construction paper, markers, crayons, tin foil, and toothpicks. This was a nice craft that didn't need too much overseeing. I let the kids decorate their turkeys however they wanted without giving them too much instruction. 

This is what the table looked like when the kids were done! I think I've finally found something messier than when the kids eat Nature Valley bars for their snack...Besides the sequins on the floor, it cleaned up pretty fast. 

Note: L was feeling tired today. She gave me this look when I told her to remove her thumb from her mouth. "When Mom sees this picture she is going to find out that you were sucking your thumb!" ;)

Cute? I think so! These birds were customized all the way down to their gobblers.

"You can use one of the paper gobbles or color your own, but you have to make one. What's a turkey without a gobble?" -Me

"Hey! The Turkey Without a Gobble! That would be a funny book!" -Gabe

I decided to use the vacuum after I finished sweeping to speed things up. Super tired Lu volunteered help clean the kitchen! She was pretty proud to show me how fast she could make the piles disappear. "I told you I am good at this, Angela!" Please excuse the tongue...She smiled for the first picture, but this one happened to be less blurry.

I wrapped up the vacuum's cord and pushed the chairs back to their rightful spots. My helper didn't have to wait too long for me to read the book, and we both were reminded that many hands make light work!

November 23, 2012

A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart

Let me start by telling you that I enjoy our library. It's pretty big, and sometimes it feels like home. I say that because I am comfortable there. We used to go to story time, attended their special nights, and I loved checking out their awesome books. Okay, the last thing is still true, but there hasn't been a lot of time for me to read. 

I do find the time to check out some children's books for my job. It's nice to pull out a book when the kids are starting to get wild. It helps calm things down until their mom gets home. We had a funny moment on Tuesday when Noah said, "What would Angela do without that blue backpack?" It's true. My trusty backpack holds the much needed entertainment.

I was filling my bag up with stories about turkeys and pilgrims when I spotted their cute Thanksgiving display. I called the staff the next day to ask if I could share it with you guys. I had to laugh at how many times I was transferred with my question. I finally contacted the person who made it. I guess leaving phone messages is actually useful. Even though I hate doing it.

So without further ado here are a few things that my community is thankful for. A special thanks to Sara 
for allowing me to take a few pictures of my favorites!

A big shoutout goes out to all Foster Parents and couples who have adopted children into their family.

This may not have been the way that you dreamed of starting a family, but God knew the exact child that needed you. It makes me smile to think about the many children that have been placed in loving homes Thanksgiving.

I wasn't shocked to see that someone already wrote that they were thankful for family, friends, and love.

Who wouldn't be thankful to have these three blessings in their life? I was glad to see that they were included in the party of leaf gratitude. This meant that I could write something else because someone had already gotten it out of the way. ;)

This leaf was at the top of the tree, and I'm so glad that I didn't miss it. When it caught my eye I almost burst out in laughter.

It makes me smile to see little kids that aren't afraid to be thankful for things that adults might overlook. Little things can be just as important as the big things. I think its perfectly acceptable to be thankful for cake.

Then we have the mothers who are thankful to be their kids teachers - on good or bad days this is true. It is a tremendous responsibility. I know I am thankful that my mom was able to homeschool her two kids from preschool through high school. 

If you are given this opportunity it's a blessing in many areas. Whether you're the teacher or the student.

Lastly, we have my leaf! I stood there for a while thinking about what I would write. These branches had a lot of things hanging from them. There were some notes included about God, but I wanted to add something that might have been missing. A personal relationship with Christ! 

A few nights ago I was thinking about when I placed my trust in the Lord as my Savior. I'm thankful for God's simple plan of Salvation. It is real, available to us, and even a four year old can understand it.

A thankful heart is a happy heart. May your heart find reasons to be thankful this Thankgiving and every day!

November 19, 2012

#letsgetpraisy - 2

2. "If you get lost you can always be found." is taken from Home by Philip Phillips or Luke 15:4-6

I know this is a popular song - it has been on the radio a lot recently. I even woke up to it this morning. Hopefully it hasn't already been taken by the time I post this! At least it gave me an excuse to draw some cute sheep on our chalkboard. Haha! (I didn't have the heart to erase them after taking this picture)


Jamio Nato is hosting a competition this week and I'm jumping right in. I've never participated in a link up, but there's a first time for everything!

We are linking together and say, the gospel is everywhere. Last week she posted this post showing us a few examples. After reading her post, I've been closely listening to some of the lyrics out there. I'll admit that it's pretty fun! You should give it a try.

If you would like to join us, head on over to: The Let's Get Praisy link up

Each quote needs to have their own post. I thought about only posting one, but it was too hard to choose. Spamming my blog with the Gospel? That's not really a bad thing. So here is my first submission!

1. "I will stand as your light through the darkest unknown." this quote is taken from Never Alone by Jesse Bonanno. It's a good should go listen to it! This truth is also found in 2 Samuel 22:29.

Good luck to everyone, and may the best quote win! *ahem* I would love to have your vote! ;)

November 16, 2012


I consider myself to be a happy person.

I love to laugh.

I enjoy smiling. 

Who doesn't? 

But then I might be having one of those days. Something is bothering me, and that smile isn't on my face. 

Last Sunday night this was the case. I got out of the car without saying goodbye to my dad who happened to be arguing with me on the way there. I went straight to the room where our youth group meets without greeting anyone in the lobby. My youth leader asked how I was doing. "Good." I said. Now I was upset, AND I just told I lie.

I tried to think of something good to dwell on. I was looking forward to hearing the lesson. One of the college students was going to teach tonight. He knows how to make things fun and interactive. During his last lesson he mentioned worshiping God with our smiles. I sat there in my seat paging through my book. I remembered this point, but I pushed it out of my mind. I wasn't in the mood to smile, okay?

Fast forward an hour. We skipped game time, and took our points from the past week. I said 23 memory verses perfectly, and we didn't have a quiz tonight. Will started the lesson by saying that it is possible to have complete confidence in God. We turned to Hebrews 11:4-40, and looked at the names listed in God's "Hall of Faith". The one thing that set these men and women apart was the faith in God that characterized the way they lived. 

"We can walk around with a big smile on our face. People might think that's a bit creepy, *laughs* but when we have confidence in God it brings joy! Who knows maybe you can even turn your smile into a witnessing opportunity." -William O' Malley

Ouch. I started to think about they way I was acting. Sure, a few people successfully made me smile or laugh since I got there. I was slowly turning my attitude around, but what about before? If I can't be joyful around fellow brothers and sisters in Christ how am I going to act when I'm around those who may not know Him as their Savior? Would that attitude further God's word or hinder it? 

So, here's what I'm going to do. Smile more. I'm not talking about fake smiles that hide what's really inside. I'm talking about wearing a real smile on my face. A smile that tells people that I trust God to be faithful to do all that He has promised. As the book that we are studying boldly states, "God see ours hearts, but there is only one way that men can know that we have faith - through our lives."

I'm thankful for friends and teachers that aren't afraid to share the truth found in God's word, but it doesn't stop there! You can look at their lives and see that it's true, and that is important too.

November 15, 2012

Mail Baskets

In September I ran to Goodwill hoping to find some sort of basket for each kid. What did I find? Three baskets with ribbon handles for 75 cents! They even have school supplies on them. Perfect for after school care!

I finally introduced them to the kids last week. I came up with bunch of scavenger hunt clues that took them all over the house. The baskets were waiting for them with the last clue.

My plan is to start using positive reinforcement with each kid. Instead of always calling them out for what they are not doing right, I want to catch them being good.

"I'm going upstairs to check if I got any mail!" This is usually the first thing that I hear when we walk in the door. So far the kids are loving it! Today I snuck a strip of 5 fall stickers inside their envelopes. Who knew something so small could make them so happy?

There's also another prize in store for the kids. On the last day of school I plan on taking the baskets back. The kids understand that if they take good care of their basket they will receive a small toy. This was just my idea of keeping them from getting crushed, colored on, etc.

It's nice to already see some results. We'll see if they still enjoy them after the fun factor of having something new dissipates.

November 13, 2012

Reasons to Smile: October 2012

Finding joy in the little things!
  • Walking under yellow trees 
  • Free cookies from the electric company to say thank you for listening to their wood chipper for a week
  • My "deer in the headlights" look complete with sticks for antlers
  • Bedazzled Cornucopias! I felt sneaky taking a picture of them at Hobby Lobby 
  • Pumpkin Hide and Seek - I saw a lot of smiles as the kids found the pumpkins that I hid around the house
  • Ghost Poop - I had fun teasing Lucy about her bag of marshmallows
  • The way Guinness runs under the cutting board when he hears me grating cheese
  • Baby pumpkins are the cutest

November 9, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Art

Last month we made some crafty pumpkin patches using our fists. I got the idea from two Rachels that can be found here and hereThe kids were a bit disappointed that their pumpkins didn't look like the example picture that showed them. I guess our tempera paint was a bit runny. Even though we had different results, I still think they look great! 

We read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara and The Very Best Pumpkin by Mark Kimball Moulton

Noah surprised me by painting a fence at the top of his paper. "If you don't have a fence people can steal your pumpkins!" he explained. Of course his siblings thought that was a great idea.

Here is Gabriel's artwork. He likes to make his art different from everyone else's. The pumpkin on right has multiple stems. "This pumpkin is rolling really fast. That's why it has so many stems!"

Last but not least we have Little Lu's picture. She made big pumpkins and small pumpkins. I tried to convince her to connect them with squiggly vines, but she insisted on making the cutest leaves on each stem.

November 8, 2012

Winter Preparation

I have been making plans about how to entertain the kids this winter. Last Saturday I took a trip to our local thrift stores, Hobby Lobby, and Dollar tree. I walked into these stores with a few specific items on my mind. I knew I wanted to check them off my list. I gave myself a five dollar spending limit so I wouldn't get carried away. It's funny how I try to convince myself to buy cute things that I really don't need. Pssst, Annng, not everyone's junk has to be your treasure. I was quite proud that I put several things back on the shelf. Anyway, this is what I've got so far!

Red and White Tinsel Poms - $1.50
12 Snowman Gift Tags - $1.00
4 Plastic Tongs - $1.00
Wooden Spoons - 49 cents
Ikea Silicone Ice cube Tray - 49 cents
Felt Christmas Trees - free
Christmas Tin - free
Christmas Stickers - free

Stick around to see how I turn these materials into games that might actually be fun and entertaining! I'm sure I'll have a few volunteers to help test them out.

November 3, 2012

Sound Asleep?

This is what I woke up to on Monday morning. I was quite puzzled after seeing my iPod sitting on top of a plate. I faintly remember digging in a cupboard, and going to lay back down. Welcome to a night with Ang. I guess I'm into sleep walking now.

Some nights I'll wake up frantically and think that something is in my room. I've heard this described as having a night terror. I'll lay in bed not being able to move a muscle. A few times I have even started to cry out for help. I usually wake up after turning a light on. Then, I realize that it was only a dream. Keep in mind that I am still sleeping as this is happening. It's like I am semi-sleep walking, or dreaming with my eyes open.

Crazy huh? If either of these things happen a few nights in row you won't feel very well rested. Trust me. I have tested it out. Perhaps the weirdest part about it is that I can usually remember what happened.

Whoever I marry will have fun sharing a bed with me someday. He better be prepared to snap me out of one of these dreams in the middle of the night. Haha!

This is what I went through to get the small plate that ended up on my nightstand. I'm really surprised that our measuring cups are still intact. I'm still wondering how I managed to stay asleep as I opened the cabinet and moved glass objects...


Wow! It's been forever since we have carved pumpkins as a family. We headed over to Sendik's on Jonny's birthday to find two perfect pumpkins. In the past we actually purchased our pumpkins from a local farm. This year we missed out on a hayride, but this was still pretty fun. After taking our sweet time looking at the piles of pumpkins, we finally left the store with these pumpkins in their prime.

Aren't they beautiful?

 I started to write down funny quotes from the evening. Maybe I was just starting to get a case of the late night giggles, but every other sentence seemed to be hilarious to me. 

Jonny: The better pumpkins are kept inside. (tips from the pumpkin stocker)
Angela: Of course! You wouldn't want a pumpkin from outside.

Jonny: Yep, there's that smell.
Angela:  Where? *inhales* Oh, it just hit me like a wall...

Angela: I think every kid should feel the inside of a pumpkin at least once.
Jonny: It's a learning experience!

Jonny carved the Royal Crest from The Legend of Zelda

Jonny: Ahh, I got some under my nail! I need gloves or something. I'm so used to wearing them at work.
Angela: Are you going to need gloves to change your baby's diaper?
Jonny: Yes.
Angela: No, you just have hold your breath and get the job done.

I carved Snoopy, but quickly found out that I made the outline too wide. In order to keep it from caving in Jonny had to insert some toothpicks for support.

Angela: It's kind of like Cake Boss. He can use pvc pipes and that's not considered cheating.
Jonny: *snap* Uh oh. I just broke his nose off.

I had a fun night with my one and only sibling. I don't get to spend as much time with him not that he's working full time. I enjoyed our time together, even if I had to gut most of his pumpkin and clean the whole kitchen by myself at 2:00 am. :)