Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Makers Gonna Make

If there is one thing that is predictable about me it is that I must be busy.
I have to make things or be doing something all. the. time.
Can't help it...

Spring break was here and I was so ready for it!
Did I sleep in...a little.
Did I bet.
Did I work on a huge project...of course!

 I have the privilege of being a part of the Elevate Conference in May 
and I wanted to send a little something for the swag bags.
Seventy-five little somethings to be exact.

There were points where I thought I was surely out of my EVER. LOVING. MIND.
for agreeing to provide seventy-five mini zipper pouches for all the ladies.

But I stuck it out and got them all finished with loads of time to spare!
 I love all the fabrics.  
The combinations that I hope will bring on smiles and all the heart eyes.

Since I actually had time to spare I decided I wanted to do a couple of projects 
for the house and even something for me!

One new pillow for the family room and one new zipper pouch for my bag.

If there is one thing I have learned in trying to have a little business 
it is that you have to get back to the root of how all this sewing began.  
I started sewing for our home and my hubby and my boys.

Giving myself permission to make something for fun is the key to not getting burned out.
I want to always have the feeling of wanting to sew.  
If it turns into something that is a chore I have defeated the whole purpose of my little shop.  

Sewing is my therapy, sewing is my joy.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Who Needs a Basket?

I don't know about you, but having clutter around the house makes me a little crazy.
Add in holidays and things can get out of control.
Easter baskets and I have a love hate relationship.
I love making baskets for my boys,
but I hate that there is this basket lying around when the treats are long gone.

I came up with a solution that is quick and cheap!  
Two of my favorite words when I'm crafting!

First, gather all your materials.  
Seriously, I bet you have everything you need without a trip to Michaels!

1 Kraft Medium Bag
1 Piece of Scrapbook Paper
1 Piece of Felt
1 Pair of Scissors

Print out your bunny template and cut it out.
Trace it on the back side of the scrapbook paper.

Cut out the bunny and cut a circle from the felt.

Glue the bunny onto the kraft bag.
Glue the felt circle onto the bunny.

That's it!
See, I told you it was quick!

Have fun filling it up with Easter treats! 
Just fold it away for next year when the kiddos are done!
I have been using the ones I made for my boys for a few years now.
 I love how easy it is to pull them out of the cupboard!

So simple and no clutter to added to the house!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Simple Tips for Rearing Amazing Kids

When a teacher asks your husband and you if you're going to have more kids 
you might get a weird look on your face.  
When she goes on to explain that your boys are amazing, 
you understand, she wants more kids in her class like yours.

How did we rear such awesome kiddos?
Here it goes in a nutshell...

1. Say what you mean and mean what you say.  
Our boys know that when we tell them something 
we will do our best to follow through, good or bad.  
Idol threats or unkept promises are not how we do things around here.

2. Set boundaries. 
Kids need to know what is and is not okay in your family.  
If we told them something was not okay we surely followed through if they crossed the line.  
If kids know the expectations they will meet them.

3. Have routines.
From the time our boys were little we did things with them a certain way.
They always knew what to expect because we had a routine.  
Not always flying by the seat of your pants gives kiddos security 
and it helps everyone have a better day.

4. Listen to their stories.  
Our kids come to us and talk about everything.  
One thing their dad and I do almost without thinking is stop what we're doing and listen.  
All the little stuff they shared as munchkins has opened the door, 
so sharing teenager issues is totally normal and common.  
People have been surprised when the boys tell us about things
 that they did that were not great choices. 
 They know they can share anything with us 
because we're not going to start screaming.

5. Hang out together.  
Giving your kids your time is so simple, yet it can be totally overlooked.
Dinner is a great time to all be together.  
The middle of a Sunday afternoon is a great time to be silly, watch a movie, or just talk.  
Reading to my boys every night before bedtime 
will always be one of my favorite memories.

6.  Let them be kids.  
Our boys were mud loving, dirt digging, play fighting, paper creating little guys.  
We did not push them to be academic all-stars until it was time for them to go to school.  
Their job was to learn and grow and explore.  
We tried sports here and there, but we never pushed a busy schedule of activities.  
We firmly believe they need time to just figure things out.  
We do not need to fill every moment of their day with something. 

7.  Be encouragers. 
If your kid loves drawing make sure they have paper, pencils, and crayons to bring their heart to life.  
If your kid wants to make video games get them into programming. 
If your kid is a reader take them to the library or thrift store.  
If your kid is a builder make sure they have things to build with everyday.  
If they are excited about something, be excited with them!

8. Laugh with them.
When guests stay in our home they almost always comment on the laughter heard here.  
We love to laugh and some things that kids say or do are just hilarious.  
Teaching them to enjoy life is an awesome gift.

It is not hard or expensive to guide your kids into growing up to be amazing. 
The most important thing we have given our boys is our heart.  
We love them.  
We show it by setting boundaries, following through, listening, encouraging, and giving them our time.
I'm sure there are a million other little things we have done, 
but it all comes down to the most simple and valuable thing a parent can do...
Love your kiddos fiercely.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

twenty-one days

In twenty-one days I am taking a quarter of my heart 
to Texas to begin his big adventure.
The kid that made me a mama has grown into 
an amazing man.

He's ready to start chasing his dreams.
He's ready to work hard and be focused.
He's ready to be on his own and find his place in the world.

And I'm okay with that because I know what kind of person
we're setting loose on the world.

Twenty-two years ago I was in the same place.
I remember the excitement, nervousness, and joy 
I felt exploring new places and figuring out who I wanted to be. 

In twenty-one days we begin the next chapter of his life together.
We'll get him settled into his new home, city, and school.
I'll head back to California
and he'll begin his schooling.

I'm sure I'll be a hot mess when I leave him,
but I am also sure I am beyond proud of my kid.
Holding my kids with open hands is a hard lesson,
but one that I appreciate every day as I watch them grow up.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Art in the Classroom

Letting littles paint is not for the faint of heart.
Multiply that by 23 and you get a huge mess in the classroom,
but you also get 23 kids exposed to paint, brushes, color, texture, and fun. 
Twenty three sets of hands that get to experience something new.
Paint on a brush for the first time!

Most of all you get to see creativity and pride swell up as you hang
their creations upon the wall for all who enter our room to see.

Kid art projects are not always easy to manage,
but they are always worth a couple of afternoons of chaos.