To my dear readers, my online friends

Just wanted to let you all know I am still here! I had to take a break from blogging because the Dr. Wants me to rest more until the baby is born. We are in the home stretch now!

I will have my iPhone handy for texts and emails but not much else after this post.

I am thankful for your readership and encouragement of my blog you all are the best!

So for know I wish you all peace, love, and blessings. I’ll be blogging again before we know it. Please pray for me and our family, and I will be praying for you too.

Love,
S

Chicken Nuggets????

Hello Dear Readers,

Since we are still on the subject of Loving our Families this month, I thought I would share this with you all. When I received this email this morning from BEWELLBUZZ.COM I knew I had to pass this on. I was amazed by the outcome of this experiment and if you have never viewed this on YOUTUBE you may just be amazed as well.

Scott and I recently made a decision not to frequent certain fast food places. For the sake of not getting sued I will say there are only 2 fast food places with drive up service that we will purchase meals from for Seth. I can tell a big difference in Seth, since we stopped going through the drive through as much, especially since we have narrowed our selections. We are so not perfect and I know we need to advance in making healthy decisions for our family, but at least this is a start. Before I became pregnant I did not eat meat at all, for 3 years, I was a strict vegetarian, and ate mostly organic about 80%. Then my body craved meat so I gave in and became a carnivore again. We still eat mostly organic as much as we can, especially when our favorites are in season. Now, I eat chicken and beef, I have learned that having a little meat in my diet at this time during the pregnancy is not so bad for me. For the moment, anyway.

So I pray this video will educate you the way it educated me, and help us all to make better choices. ❤ Your Family.

Blessings,

S

DIY Kirby Birthday Party

This year Seth decided he wanted to have a Birthday Party with a Kirby theme. We normally just have a small gathering of family and friends not a big shindig, but this year we decided to have a big party. Mainly because with a new baby on the way we knew things would be changing and we wanted to do something extra special for Seth.

I wanted to post the birthday ideas for you to review because when I was looking for Kirby Birthday party I really had a hard time finding things like decorations, favors, invitations…You name it and it was like searching for a needle in a haystack, ya’ll. So…I thought I would share with you what I did to make Seth’s 8th Birthday Kirby Party fun and memorable.

Invitations: I handmade them. It took a long time because I worked on the invites in my free time, which who has a lot of free time, right? I went to the craft stores and purchased card stock, and blank greeting cards, sparkly markers, and a circle cutter, I used our Mac to create the actual wording for the invitations. I think they turned out well.

First I used a circle cutter to cut out the Kirby body.

This is the circle cutter I used, it worked well.

Next I used the circle cutter to cut another circle from red card stock for Kirby's feet.

Using scissors, I cut the red card stock in half, then trimmed the edges to make feet.

Here is one of Kirby's feet.

Next, I cut out Kirby's arms.

Then I glued the shapes together to form Kirby's body.

Using the Mac, stickers, and drawing skills, Seth and I made Kirby's face, then glued a You're Invited label, and the Kirby figure to the front of the card.

Here is another view of the invitation.

This is the inside of the invitation. We used our computer for the wording, and Googled an image that we edited to go with the theme of the party.

I made Kirby cupcakes for Seth's party at day care.

I made this Happy Birthday Seth sign and featured his pictures through the years.

Goody Bags for Day Care party.

Contents of Goody Bags.

I made these Kirby balloons for decorations for Seth's Day Care Party and his other party too. I used pink balloons, and red card stock that I cut into the shape of a heart for Kirby's feet. I used markers for the eyes, cheeks, and mouth.

This is the favor table for Seth's 8th Party.

The actual favor buckets for Seth's party. We used a Meta Knight image and placed Seth's face over the face of the Meta Knight for fun. The label reads, Thank you for celebrating with me.

I made Seth's Birthday shirt using an image from Google and Iron On transfers. We hired a face painter, who duplicated Meta Knight (a character from Kirby) beautifully! Check out Seth's arm.

These are the Kirby Cake Pops I made, they turned out so cute. I went on YouTube to learn how to make the cake pops.

Birthday Cake!

The Craft Table - Make Your Own Kirby (using balloons), and Make Your Own Photo Frame Craft.

Guests signed a wooden frame as a keepsake for Seth.

Table decorations were simple, star balloons, blue tablecloths, and star balloon weights. Kirby has a star ship so we adding stars to the party to enhance the theme.

We designated a special time to take pictures with the guests. Then when we sent out Thank you cards we placed the photo of Seth and the guests in their Thank You card. If they made a photo frame craft they could place the photo from the party into their frame.

We wanted the guests to have time to enjoy the Amphitheatre Game Room, where they have Wii and XBox available on HUGE movie screens. The venue also had a pool table, Air Hockey, Basketball, and other fun things for everyone to enjoy.

During the party we were able to use the Video Voting Game System as well. Each guest sat in a theater seat with a remote voting device. We then asked questions with Seth’s party theme and about Seth for the guests to answer, it was multiple choice. They used the voting remotes to answer the questions. Everyone loved playing the game.

Video Voting Game Time!

We also played an obstacle game, and each guest had to complete a different task to complete the obstacle. One task was walking on the words “SETH IS 8” then they had to crawl on pink “Kirby” bubble wrap without popping the bubbles. Prizes were awarded to all players.

We used tagboard to make the words SETH IS 8 for one of the party games.

Everything for both of Seth’s Kirby parties were handmade, because we could not purchase Kirby themed party items. Or, we used stars and other general items that helped to enhance the theme of Seth’s Kirby party. I found most of what I needed at The Dollar Store, Michael’s Craft Store, JoAnne Fabrics, A.C. Moore Craft Store, Target, and of course Walmart! I planned and planned for this party, I used a designated folder to hold the contents of the Party Planning ideas, items I needed to purchase and receipts. It was very helpful to take with me when we decorated for Seth’s 8th Birthday Party. I plan to use a Party Planning folder or binder for all other future events, that is how easy it made our lives. Perhaps I’ll blog about the Party Planning Book at a later date. Thank you for reading this blog, I hope this gave you some great ideas if you decide to have a Kirby party too! We had Seth’s party at The Amped Up Amphitheatre (the same location we have our church services – shameless plug). http://www.2ampedup.com or http://www.safehavenchurch.info.

Have a great evening!

Love,

S

Countdown to Baby Catlett!

One day Seth said, “Hey Mom, (he calls me Mom instead of Mommy now) let’s make a chain to countdown the days until my little brother or sister arrives!” Of course I thought that was a wonderful idea! So we got out our construction paper and started working on our countdown chain. What do you think?

Only one more month to go!!!!!

RESPECT

Dear Readers,

Last Sunday I had the honor of sharing a message with our precious church congregation. I thought I would post this message for you my dear readers. I hope that it will bless and encourage you.

It is no surprise that women and men are wired differently. Today we are going to discover what men need the most. First, I’d like to share this video with you all. This is the story of a husband and a wife. The wife is always running late, “Just a minute dear,” she calls out, as her husband struggles to hurry her along so that they will not be late again for an important appointment. In his mind, the wife is not respecting his time, doesn’t she know how important it is for him to be on time? In her mind she wants her husband to be proud of her, to feel happy to have her on his arm as they enter the room. She wants to give him a reason to love her even more. She thinks that by taking extra time on her appearance that it will make her husband love her even more. The truth is all the husband wants is to be respected by the wife, he wants her to respect his time. So the husband feels the solution is to encourage his wife to keep a schedule. The wife feels pressure from this new schedule and wants to find a way to let her husband know a schedule just adds more stress to her life. So with the help of her best friend they demonstrate how being on a schedule is just not for them. Enjoy the video:

Now this video is a little extreme, but you get the point. This is a classic example of how women and men think differently.

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5: 21-33

About Relationships

21Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.

22-24Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

25-28Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

29-33No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

It clearly says a wife is to honor (respect) her husband, and that a husband is supposed to love his wife so much that he would even give up his own life for her, just like Jesus loved the church.

That is a very heavy responsibility for us all. A survey that one researcher did that really shocked me. Hundreds of men were asked this question:  “If you had to choose between:  a) being all alone and unloved in the world b) feeling inadequate and disrespected by everyone, which would you choose?  74% of men said “b.”  74% of men said “I’d rather be alone and unloved than disrespected.”   Dr. Emerson Eggerich in his book “Love and Respect”, says that he could sum up what men have said to him over the years in counseling this way: “I would rather live with a wife who respected me but did not love me, than a wife who loved me but did not respect me.”

WOW.

I think if my husband said to me “Stephanie I respect you, but I do not love you,” I would not know how to act. I know I need to feel Scott’s love, I thrive on his love. But, now knowing that men in general have more of a desire/need for respect than love, well that just blows my mind. Scott knows I love him, I tell him often, and I pray my actions demonstrate my love for him as well, but you know what? I have never once in almost 15 years of our married life sat down and said, “Scott I respect you, and here are some reasons why…” until this past week.

As I was preparing for this teaching, Scott sat down on the bed and faced my direction, I was sitting at a table in our bedroom that is our “office space” with my laptop. I turned around to face him and said, “You know Scott, I thank you all the time for the things that you do, things like bringing home chicken noodle soup when I get a cold, but I have never once told you that I respect you as a husband and a father. I respect you for getting up early every single day to provide for our family, then even working overtime most of the week, I respect you for being an excellent father to our son, Seth, and raising him to love God, and love to others. I respect you Scott, and I love you and I’m really sorry I have not told you that before now.” Well let me just tell you that he sat on the edge of the bed, and just looked at me, he did not say a word. I knew I had shocked him, and I also knew that he knew I was being totally genuine with him. That is all that mattered to me in that moment. Now he knows I really respect him for the man of God he is, the husband that he is, the father that he is, and the person God made him to be.

Some may ask, “How can I respect a man who doesn’t EARN my respect, isn’t respect supposed to be EARNED?” Well you are right, we have always been taught that if you want the respect of someone, you must EARN their respect. But, think about your job, when you first started you automatically respected your boss, at least you did if you wanted to keep that job. He did not earn your respect, you gave it unconditionally because he is your boss. Now I’m not saying your husband is your boss, but I am saying if you have given automatic respect before, why not try it again? Especially if it will make your relationships better.

If we would think of Unconditional Respect like we think of Unconditional Love it would be easy to respect others, especially the men in our lives. Mother’s unconditionally love their children, no matter what mistakes they make, or how they act, a mother’s love cannot be diluted.

Respect and Love – It’s a cycle, if we as wives will show our husbands unconditional respect, then he will be more apt to show and demonstrate unconditional love. Since we thrive on being and feeling loved, when we receive love from our husbands it makes us want to respect him more and more. However when respect is absent, then showing love becomes harder and harder for our significant others. And it becomes fuel for arguments, and instead of talking through the arguments he retreats to the mancave and she finds the next thing that needs attention on her task list, and the issue, the real issue of respect and love is never fully satisfied. Instead, it stays dormant until the next argument. How do we break this cycle?

We break the cycle, by choosing to be the bigger person. By being unselfish. By determining in our hearts and making an intentional choice to respect our husbands unconditionally. When he does do something nice for us like washing the laundry even if he mixes lights and darks, we need to learn to hold our tongues and say, “Thank you honey,” instead of getting upset and informing him of how now we have more work ahead of us because we much bleach out the whites. In the long run, does it matter? So what if it is a little extra work, at least he is trying to demonstrate his love for us by taking a task off of our To Do list. We have to choose our battles with wisdom. We need to remember no matter what the difference between us that our husbands do not deserve us belittling them, or tearing them down. Why do we hurt the ones we love the most? We as wives must remember to preserve their dignity, and respect them even when we do not agree. We need to realize that in our weakness God is strong, we need to ask God to help us to be the wives he created us to be for our husbands. It is so much easier to live life leaning of the Lord then it is to try and handle it all ourselves. I am so guilty of trying to handle everything myself. It’s actually comical when you think about it, I mean the Creator of the whole universe wants to help me, wants me to ask Him for help to be the person He created me to be, and I in all my wisdom say to the Creator of Creation, I got this God, I can handle this. How patient and loving He is with me, Thank you Lord. Everyday I am learning that it is okay not to be able to handle it all, to give it to God, and trust in Him. When we as married couples, or even as individuals draw closer to God, He brings a new dynamic to ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS. Our Heavenly Father shows us through His Son Jesus how to Love, and be loved and how to Respect.

So where do we go from here? First we pray and ask God for help, we realize that we need help just live this life everyday. If we need to humble ourselves and ask god to forgive us of our attitudes, or wrongful deeds, or hurtful words, we need to ask, we need to believe that Jesus made a way for us to approach our Heavenly Father to talk with Him. He made us, what is important to us, is important to Him.

Next, we start taking actions that are deliberate and intentional. Such as unconditionally respecting our husbands. Here are some ideas that can help us:

    • Listen – intentionally without distractions.
    • Curb your reactions, stay open minded
    • Message vs. Emotion – what is being said may be less important than how it is being said.
    • Put them first, give them full attention
    • Avoid conflict, be the BIGGER person
    • Be considerate, preserve their dignity

I know God can help us all to be better people, if we will just trust Him, trust His Word, and trust that He wants the very best for us in life, and in love and relationships. After all He did create us, and we are His children, and He loves us all unconditionally.

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Thank you for reading.

All the best to you and your spouses.

Love,

S

 

 

Love Notes

Today as we “Heart our Families” I thought it would be cool to share this craft. I got the idea from a blog I enjoy:   http://www.hollyfurtick.com

We made Valentine Boxes, and decorated them with stickers and a photo of the mailbox owner. During the day we make the time to write or draw a loving thought or picture to the recipient. Then we raise the flag on the mailbox so that the recipient knows they’ve got mail. We will continue this throughout the month.

I went to Target (just as Holly suggested in her blog) and purchased the mailboxes for a $1.00 each. We had some Valentine stickers in our craft kit from earlier purchases at Target, Michael’s and The Dollar Store. This is what our mailboxes look like:

 

Now it’s your turn! We had a great time making these mailboxes, thanks http://www.hollyfurtick.com for the awesome idea!

Today’s challenge is to make a mailbox for your loved one. Get creative and use everyday items around the home, like a shoe box, or other cardboard box, markers, construction paper, you can even use paper plates here is the youtube link to the paper plates craft:

No matter what art supplies you choose have fun, and make someone feel special.

Big Hugs,

S

Heart My Family

Hello Dear Readers,

This month “The Love Month” we will be talking about ❤ My Family! I am so excited and thrilled about this subject. This is also the theme we will be teaching on at Safe Haven Church- http://www.safehavenchurch.info (shameless plug).

When you think about ❤ My Family, do you think about all the sacrifices you have made and are making so that your family can have a better quality of life? Maybe you think about special family times in the past where you all have gathered together and felt the warmth and love of those surrounding you. Or, maybe you no longer have a connection with your family, and your friends are more like family to you. No matter what your family situation is, chances are there are people in your life that you care about and love, they are your family.

When is the last time you shared your feelings of love and admiration with your family? I know it is so easy to let the hours of each day pass by and the next thing we know the days turn to weeks, months, then even years.

Today’s ❤ My Family challenge is to say thanks to someone in your family and show appreciation to them. They may be surprised that someone took the time to notice them in a special way. You can send a thank you via email or text, or better yet pick up a bunch of flowers from the local market, they have great deals for under 20 bucks most of the time. Or maybe their favorite brand of cookies, or candy would be appreciated. A hand written note is always appreciated as well, especially since most communication is sent via email, or text. You can always add a special photo to the hand written note for a special touch. Whatever you decide to do, do it today. Appreciate your family today, love them today, no one is promised tomorrow.

All the best,

S