April 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sharing Time (April 2012)

Features for the March & April Sharing Time will be posted soon. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Teacher Appreciation: Crayon Initial in a Frame

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7th-11th!

Here's a cute gift you can make for your child's teacher, to let them know how much you appreciate them! This is something I had seen all over the blogosphere, so I'm sure you can find a full tutorial with step-by-step photos & tips. I'll tell you this, it may have taken some time & effort, but it cost less than $5 to make it, with a frame & crayons from the dollar store! It takes a fair bit of time to get it right, but I was really happy with it in the end! Like the Tangled Barbie cake I recently posted though, when it was complete, I was really feeling like once was enough for this project ;)

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Journey to the Fringe

I recently read a book called Journey to the Fringe by Kelli Swofford Nielsen, from Shadow Mountain Publishing.

It's the first in a series called "Stone Mage Wars" and it's a creative story about a time where magical men and women have special gifts to harness the power of the elements around them. As soon as I got into the story, I was really liking it! The story takes place in a time where the gifts of the stone mages are unknown by most people, so the characters in the book find themselves being trained to use this power they didn't know they had. Soon they are fighting for their home and their lives. It's a great adventure and the way it was written kept reminding me of what it's like to watch a movie- you watch (or in this case, read) as things unfold in front of you.

Journey to the Fringe is expected to be released on May 1st.

Disclosure: I received this book through Deseret Book, from Shadow Mountain Publishing, free of charge for review purposes. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and the thoughts I'm sharing are my own.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Rubber Glove Finger Puppets

These were easy to make and a lot of fun! Here's what we used:

- rubber gloves
- glue gun
- feathers
- googly eyes
- Sharpie markers

Grab whatever craft supplies you have on hand, cut the fingers off of the glove, help your kids with the gluing, and before you know it, you'll have a great set of finger puppets to play with that your kids will be proud of! :)

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Moments (Kissers)

Katrina: "Mom, can I have a kisser?"

Friday, April 20, 2012

Feature Friday (Meaningful Mama)

1. I lived in England for a year.
2. I shattered my wrist in Africa.
3. I was once in the circus for winning a coloring contest.
4. I have auditioned for a number of reality shows, but I haven't made the cut...made it close in one.
5. If I had to choose one food to eat the rest of my life it would definitely be pizza.

My blog is a challenge for me to be more intentional in my parenting. Every day you will find a craft or activity, character development idea (new trait weekly and idea daily), and parenting tips. Every now and again I will throw in a favorite recipe since I love food.

American Flag Collage
This is an American flag collage that yields great results but is super easy to produce. Kids of any age can participate in making this work of art.

Cake Making 201
Cake Making 201 followed my Caking Making 101 post. It's an intro to working with fondant. Cakes have become a hobby and passion for me. I've loved to involve my kids in the process.

Homemade Lollipops
We made these simple homemade lollipops by breaking up hard candies, putting them on a baking sheet and baking them. It has definitely been one of my favorite activities and posts that I've done. It was so much fun, and I loved the whimsical, colorful and tasty outcome.

Day 84- Virtue in Celery
Each week we are working on one character trait that is accompanied by a Bible verse and daily activities, crafts or word pictures. Putting celery in food coloring was a word picture for virtue. It demonstrates that the images, people, language and media we surround ourselves with will be absorbed and can impact our behavior.

Independant Play Choices
I wanted to find a way to give my kids some direction when it was time for independent play. Popsicle sticks and a bit of Mod Podge resulted in my own solution to keeping the kids focused when playing by themselves.


How/Why did you start blogging?

Becoming a mother is hard. I learned that in the labor process, and I’ve been learning it ever since. This blog has been, for me, a desire to be more intentional in my parenting. I think I’ve spent the last four years of parenting living in the “I should” moments. I should really take my kids to the park when it’s cold outside. I really should get a reward system in place at our home. I should get off “Words with Friends” right now and spend some quality time with my kids. I should really invest in the character development of the kids more. I was tired of the “I should” and decided to become meaningful. This isn’t about me being an amazing mom. It’s about me trying to improve daily in this precious role. I have tips for you because I have found the observations of other moms and the advice I get from the “professional” moms as invaluable. As I was left floundering and questioning every decision in parenting, I reached out to others I saw doing it right. I got answers. As I implemented them, I saw them work…and quickly. As I became more intentional, I saw my kids thriving. I am now working on character qualities weekly - like joy, love, perseverance, obedience, orderliness, self-control, patience…and the list keeps building. As I’m working on those in my kids, I’m learning how much I need to work on those in myself. When focusing on a specific character quality, I’m discovering teachable moments around every turn. The scripture that backs up these qualities is being instilled in my kids. I want to use creativity, fun and play to aid in my children’s development as well as create the buy in to our family life. I want them to enjoy us, and I want to enjoy them. Is life at our house perfect? Absolutely not. Is it improving? Absolutely yes. I want to inspire others to be more meaningful in their parenting. Will I have Martha Steward moments in the process? Hopefully, a few. Mostly, I want things accessible. Things you can take away and say, “I can do that. I’m going to do that this week.” Do everything? No, but I am hoping you’ll take something away from these minutes you spend in my corner of the web that inspire you to turn the “I should…” into “I’m going to…”


Would you like to see your blog featured here? I'll be doing a "Feature Friday" post, featuring one blogger & their blog on Fridays throughout 2012. If you have a blog that you'd like to see featured, please send me an email to raisingmemories at gmail dot com to submit your blog.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cricut Project (FHE Board Tags)

I made these simple tags for our FHE Board with my new Cricut!  All it took was some paper, a laminator, and a hole punch!

My Mother In Law shocked me this past Christmas by giving me a Cricut machine! I'm sure my face was a sight to be seen. ;) So, I'm going to share some of my projects with you when I actually photograph them ;)

The first project I completed was to make tags for our FHE board. FHE= Family Home Evening. (We have this family night every Monday- we stay home together, one of us teaches a little lesson, we sing a song together (someone plays the piano- including Talia who is taking lessons and Katrina who plays whatever she feels ;), and we discuss our plans for the week. It's all finished off with an activity & a treat. Start & finish with a prayer together. :)

FHE Board Tags - Cricut Project

Anyway, we've had this "FHE Board" for a while, but no tags for it! So, when I got the cricut, I set to work to make these cute little tags, and used my handy dandy laminator to help them last longer. So happy with them! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Lasagna Test...

So, this month, as part of the Finish Blogger Program, we've been challenged to take a difficult-to-clean dish and put Finish Quantum to the test!

So, I took a lasagna dish that I normally would have let soak in water and then washed by hand, and I stuck it in the dishwasher with Finish & let it go.

Check out these before & after shots!!!
There were just a couple of tiny specks on the side of the dish that I was able to scratch off with my finger nail in a couple of seconds, and otherwise, it was perfectly clean! WAY LESS WORK than washing by hand!! I don't think I've ever had such amazing results in my dishwasher with a dish like that!

I really am impressed with Finish Quantum! After previous attempts, I didn't think it was even worth trying a pan like that in the dishwasher!

Disclosure: I am part of the Finish Blogger Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tangled Birthday Party

For Talia's 6th birthday, we threw a Tangled Birthday Party.
Here's what we did:

Decorations were pink & purple balloons & streamers. Pretty simple, but they did the job. :)

We played pin the pan on Flynn Ryder :) Ken found this printable Flynn Ryder Wanted poster and enlarged it, then traced it onto poster board. Then we found someone else who had done the same thing & created a free frying pan printable. Our printer was only printing bluish/purplish, so that's the colour of our pans. I wrote the party guests' names on the pans.

On the table were the Rapunzel cake, pans for the above game, treat bags, and dishes (pink & purple).

Here's a closer look at the treat bags. I just used brown lunch bags, sparkly stickers, and ribbon. I have honestly forgotten what was included in the treat bags!! (the party was a while ago ;) I know there were hair clips and hair bands and stickers, but I forget what else.

Of course, the cake. (Read more about it here.)

And the pinata (more about that here).

We also watched the movie (I was tired and had run out of games ;)

Here we are at the candle blowing stage. I hadn't planned for where to put the candles in a cake like this! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Moments (Nail Polish in the Night)


This is what happened one night when I THOUGHT Katrina was sleeping. She got a stool, broke into the hall closet (it had a baby lock on the door knob), and got to the nailpolish.

In the following pictures you'll see that Talia was a snoozing victim in all of this. Katrina actually did a pretty impressive job on Talia's nails considering, AND managed to not get it on her beddng- I was impressed.


It was not fun to clean that nailpolish off of that leg... not to mention the carpet & wall. I didn't even try to save the towel. :(

Friday, April 13, 2012

Feature Friday (A Woman's Haven)

1. I have a 16 year old daughter, a 13 year old son, and a 2 month old son. Which often leads to me being asked how old I am because I am told I do not look my age.
2. I love photographing my family, pets, and nature!
3. I love living in Michigan...I can drive an hour or less in either direction and have a beach, city, forest, or farm country. Lake Michigan beaches are a favorite of mine.
4. I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I complete a project...I am notorious for starting something, getting bored with it and then not finishing it.
5. I love making my home a haven for myself and my family!

I am a creative person who believes that our homes are our haven and that they are an outer expression of our inner selves. A Woman's Haven is a place where I gather the things that inspire me such as home, crafting, DIY, thrifting, photography and my family.

Our Travel Map

2011 Year in Photos

My Craft Space

Nursery Reveal

Favorite Posts


How/Why did you start blogging?

When I started my blog 2.5 years ago I didn’t realize how much a part of my life it would become. I was laid off from my job of ten years and had time on my hands. We had also just purchased our new home and I found a ton of crafting and decorating inspiration in blog land. I have always enjoyed collecting the things that inspire me whether it be photos, quotes, or ideas I have always loved cataloging them in some fashion. I have files with ideas I have pulled out of magazines, journals filled with quotes and books I have read highlighted to the hilt. My blog became another way for me to gather and share those things that I love. In the process of sharing the things that inspired me I also shared my home, creativity, family and friends.

Has your reason for blogging changed? If so, why?

My blog has evolved over the last two years considerably. It may not have grown with a ton of followers and I am far from being a blog “celebrity”, but I love the content of what I share with my readers. My love of photography has been renewed and grown. My love of nature has been captured many times. What others may have seen as mundane moments have become magical to me through the lens of a camera. I think that is what is wonderful for me about blogging…taking the time in the simplest moments to see beauty and for that today I am grateful.

More about Chas!

I love getting to know other bloggers! A favorite feature of mine is my House Haven Tour Series. In this series I ask other bloggers to share with my readers what makes their home their haven. It has been a lot of fun getting a glimpse into the beautiful, creative homes that have been featured.


Would you like to see your blog featured here? I'll be doing a "Feature Friday" post, featuring one blogger & their blog on Fridays throughout 2012. If you have a blog that you'd like to see featured, please send me an email to raisingmemories at gmail dot com to submit your blog.

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