Cute (& easy) last minute Valentine craftiness

Instead of offering you some of my own tutorials I thought I’d share some of the Valentine’s Day crafty goodness out there. There’s a ton of clever Valentine’s Day craft ideas and fun to be had!

I am in love with these minimalist fabric and paper cards here.

Cute fabric postcard that is mailable here and here!

Awesome fabric postcards I love here.

Alternatives to traditional cards:

Some thoughts on liberty

Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.

Leviticus 25:10

Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

John Adams

We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.

James Madison

Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. 

Thomas Jefferson

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry

The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. 

John Adams

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

James Madison

My valentine gift to you

Do you have any idea how much God loves you? He is crazy about you. You are always on His mind. He wrote you a valentine–His Word. God is for you. He is in love with you as His child. Drink it in

For this Valentine’s Day I thought I would offer you a little printable reminder of God’s love. Do you know all the things God’s love does for you? This list comes two on a page so you can print out a few and put them all over: the fridge, the mirror, your Bible. You may even want to mail one to a friend.

What God’s Love Does for Me (re-uploading soon)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The sisterhood of motherhood

Today I had a lovely luncheon with the mothers in my family. The invited them over for a yummy lunch and we had a wonderful time. As I sat around the table with my mom, grandmother, mother-in-law and sister-in-law I had to smile.

We are all unique women. My sister-in-law is Hispanic. My grandmother is 87 and from a very different generation. My mother-in-law only had one child. My mother is a widow. If we were not related our paths may never have crossed. But with all our differences we share a most common bond–motherhood.

For Mother’s Day this year I wanted to cook for my family, as it is one way I express love. Our table was decorated with flowers, candles and other girly things, punctuated with construction paper cards for all from my kids. And there were little expressions of love all around, including glycerine soap and brass bookmarks. Through three courses we laughed and reminisced as we shared tales of our mothering experiences. There were stories of children and all that raising children entails. The day was simply wonderful. (A lunch at home beats a crazy mother’s day restaurant meal any day!)

It was nice to remind myself that all moms everywhere understand the language of motherhood. It is a language of hope, of compassion and of angst. It is bittersweet to raise up children to not be dependent on you anymore. But as moms we are all on some point in this path and it’s nice to reach out a hand from time to time and share the journey.

Mother’s Day cinquain

For my mom’s Mother’s Day gift this year I went the handmade route. I made her a cute little hanging plaque with a poem I wrote just for her. Unfortunately I forgot to scan it before I gave it (sorry!). In case you don’t know, a cinquain is a 5 line poem that goes like this:

  • one word (noun)
  • two adjectives about the noun
  • three verbs about the noun
  • a four-word phrase about the noun
  • another word for the noun

Mine went like this:

Mom

artistic, kind

listening, accepting, loving

always there for me

Friend

I love cinquains because you can easily write a wonderful poem by following this simple “recipe.”

Hope you bless a mom in your life with something happily handmade.

Happy New Year to you

Happy New Year to all my dear friends. I pray this will be your best year yet, filled with hope, joy and a big dose of patience.

This year you will find some changes here on my blog and at PrincipledMom, so stay tuned! There are revamping of things already there and some exciting new things as well. And if there is something you think we should be doing, please let me know. The point of PMom is to help.

May God richly bless you and your family in 2008.

The Christmas joys of year-round schooling

If you know me at all, you know I love the Christmas season. There’s nothing like it. I love the music, the gift of Christ, the decorations, the food, the family traditions, all of it. It’s great stuff.

Since we have school all year long we can take time to stop and smell the roses evergreen. We usually follow a loose plan for the month of December which includes the following, in no particular order:

  • Advent inductive study 
  • decorating the house
  • cooking
  • crafts/art
  • games
  • shopping
  • making gifts for family and friends
  • going to parties
  • participating in our church’s children’s Christmas production
  • Decorating our Jesse Tree

The list is big but I set aside one day each week of December for an activity. For example, Mondays are craft day, Tuesdays are for special games, Fridays are for baking, etc. This gives us a good variety and the kids know what they can look forward to. It also helps us to pace ourselves so we don’t get overly busy.

Also we have started reading Lynne Cheney’s book about Washington on Christmas Eve as a new tradition. It’s good to teach our children to be mindful of the sacrifices made for our liberty.

The pace is relaxed and we do a sort of unschooling thing because we are always learning, just not is a formal way. I also have tons of printables, Christmas-themed books and more for those bored moments and read-alouds. We can snuggle and talk about the true meaning of Christmas as we enjoy the tree, Christmas music and some hot cocoa. Hurry up December!

Advent studies

I love the Christmas season and always enjoy trying new things to inspire our spiritual focus of the holiday. Click on the titles for more info.

Advent Inductive Bible Study

This f*r*e*e printable study takes you through the Christmas season with daily Bible readings and activities. The coloring and marking of the text is something my kids really enjoy. Thanks to Eleanor Zweigle for writing it and thanks to Miiko for hosting it on her Web site this year.

Artful Advent e-book

 Michelle Geffken has written a lovely book for the advent season that I had the privilege to review last spring. It is art-focused (so you know I love it already!) but it’s not your typical homeschool resource. She has given you tons of ideas and concepts but leaves the planning to you. This frees you up to do all sorts of things your family will enjoy without the crafty stuff you may not want to do. The excitement of the Christmas story unfolds through projects your family does together, even when your days are filled to the brim with other Christmas activities. If you have time to look at a picture or tear off a postage stamp, you can do the activities in this book! She even broke it down into ages groups so the whole family can enjoy art on their level. And the book is also full of clickable links to make things even easier during this busy time.

The ideas are simple and use things you already have around the house (including the internet), so you won’t have to make time (and invest more cash) to enjoy art lessons during Advent. It’s not just for Catholics either. The Christmas Story is for every Christian.

Advent Bible Study

This is another study, but for teens and adults. I like the way it is laid out. It is weekly with a theme and lots of Bible study activities.

My new favorite Christmas book

I came across this jewel at my local library (written by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jackie Morris) and and may end up buying a copy to keep. Little One, We Knew You’d Come

Image result for little one we knew you'd come

This book is a lovely poem about Christ’s birth from the perspective of Mary and Joseph. They cannot contain their joy of the birth of their first-born.

“People were sleeping. We didn’t care.

Good news, we sang, our baby is here!

Our baby has come, our darling one,

Oh, the day that you were born.”

The illustrations are also wonderful. I enjoyed them at least as much as the text. I wish I could paint with that warmth and realism (with some whimsy to make it fun).

Anyone who is a mother will relate to this book. I feel connected to Mary, excited about the impending birth, wondering what He would be like, cuddling and kissing His little face.  And I also think of Mary and the sacrifice she made as a mother. It could not have been easy to let go of the man she once rocked to sleep as a babe. And then to think that we were all waiting for Him to come.

(cue music) Emmanuel, our God is with us. Prince of Peace, mighty One, the ever living God…