Be strong and Courageous

First things first, thank you all for entering my essential oil pouch giveaway! I have notified the winner ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to making more of those, I really wished I’d had one for each of you!

Casey is in Asia this week. He’ll be back Saturday and it hasn’t been so bad, other than that I miss him and wish I could gab with him about all the details of our daily life that matter to the two of us, but probably not to anyone else. The kids being older now, these separations are physically easier than they used to be, though, so we’re holding down the fort okay.

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I love listening to the Homeschooling IRL podcast and one of their favorite topics is what they’ve termed “hope shifting”. It’s easy for us to put our hope in plenty of things other than Christ, isn’t it? Our life as a military family is not what the world would call stable, but we tend to say, “as long as we have each other …” But, isn’t that hope shifting too? Instead, I ought to repeat to myself, “I have Christ”. He’s the same, yesterday, today and forever, praise the Lord! My location, my friends, my climate (ha, I could live with this weather forever!), my home, my financial situation, my calling for this season, my family as the kids grow, will all change and shift, but what a relief it is to know that my hope isn’t in any of these things — not my family, not my financial stability, not my marriage, not my friendships, not in how well I’m doing as wife, mom, homeschooler or church member — it’s in the One who never changes!

“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…” (Hebrews 6:19-20a)

I’ve been repeating Joshua 1:9ย to myself lately quite a bit and also praying through this verse for others. I think I need this print!

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(Photo from the Sunshine Studio Art Etsy shop.)

 

 

 

Essential oil pouch giveaway!

Sometimes I need a break from clothing sewing because I lose my mojo and/or my stash has dwindled, so I work on something fun that doesn’t require fitting, trying on, rethreading my serger, interfacing, etc… Maybe you can relate!

I wanted to make some fun gifts for my team members, so I bought this pdf pattern on Etsy. SO happy with this pattern, it’s very well done and totally worth purchasing, even if you want to just make a pouch without the essential oil bottle sized pockets!

I made two pouches and then realized my stash of cottons was in just as bad of a state as my stash of clothing fabrics (move to Hawaii and you will come to really appreciate the value of your local JoAnn store, no matter how crazy that place makes you right now!) So back to Etsy I went and ordered this beautiful stack. I have to say, I favorited that shop, Llama Fabricsย because I love how she paired these prints with several solids that match it perfectly! It’s so hard to gauge colors online, so I really appreciated that. Also, my package reached me two days after I ordered it! Amazing.

I quickly made four more pouches with my pretty new prints! (I already gave one away).ย DSC_0309

This pouch has nine pockets, but can easily hold 14 essential oil bottles, 5ml, 15ml, or even rollerballs.ย DSC_0314

Good news! I’m giving one away, of course ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m running this contest both here and on Instagram! For one entry, comment here with which one you’d choose (back, middle or front). For a second entry, go over to Instagram, find me @nikkischreiner and tag a friend in the comments on the giveaway post. That’s it! Contest closes Wednesday at midnight.

Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Kool-aid hair.

My girls had the brilliant idea yesterday to paint some of their Lego Friends hair piece. That actually turned out really cool! They just used regular acrylic paints.ย DSC_0137

She made this one look like her own hair, which we recently dip dyed with Kool-aid. Super easy and really cool.ย DSC_0140

It’s no secret we love Legos. But maybe we’re in a little outta control. After they got going, they tried painting other pieces too. A blue ribbon became a gold medal and some pink hair bows became silver hair bows. DSC_0139

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As for the Kool-Aid hair, here’s how we did it:

We bought target brand sugar free powdered drink mix. For Natalie’s we used Fruit Punch and Layla’s is Grape. Boil two packets in one cup of water. Do not use vinegar, that will make it not stay, our neighbor learned that the hard way ๐Ÿ˜‰ Once it’s boiling, pour it into a bowl and dip the hair ends in for about 5 minutes. Dab it dry with an old towel and then let it dry completely–it will be sticky, but let it dry totally! Then wash as normal. We did this a good month ago and it’s stayed great. When we decide we are ready for it to go, I’ve read that a vinegar or baking soda rinse can help. Let me know if you decide to try it, I want to see pics!

Here’s how Layla’s turned out. ย 
After this, our neighbors tried it again without the vinegar and had much better luck. It’s a rainbow of hair colors!ย ย 

Reading into the New Year

I was a voracious reader as a kid. As moms know, though, it’s hard to find time for reading these days. But, over the last few weeks, as I reflected on how to get the most out of my days, determining to stop frittering away time online and whatnot, it occurred to me that I can replace frittering time with reading time and that will be a much better use of my mind!

So, the other day, while watching the Bronco game, rather than turning to Instagram during those commercial breaks, I put my nose in a book. Seizing moments like those to read have resulted in my finishing two books I’d started months ago just this week.

Here’s what I’m currently reading!

I just finished this wonderful book about William Wilberforce, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the heroic campaign to end slavery. This book was so good, though pretty meaty. It gave me such hope for our times, I am so much richer for having read it. Slavery was once accepted by polite society, as equally horrific things are accepted by ours today. But, if slavery could be abolished because of the faithfulness of godly men and women with strong convictions, hope is not lost for us either! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I for sure will soon!

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Right after finishing that book I immediately started Fierce Convictions. I was intrigued by the Hannah More character in the Wilberforce book and was thrilled to find out there was a book written just about her and that it had been in my Amazon wish list for several months! Very excited toย read more.

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On a lighter note, I start Pat of Silverbush by L.M. Montgomery and like it so far (of course). I read fiction before bed because I don’t have the brain cells for much else, haha. I still think these editions of L.M. Montgomery’s works are just so pretty! I hope to read this biography of her soon.

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Today I grabbed my first edition Nancy Drew, the Secret of the Old Clock off my shelf and started reading it to the girls. Before long, Kelby had stopped what he was doing and was listening too and they asked me to keep going until it was time to make lunch. Ha! I knew it! I know after I read this one, the girls will be inspired to read more on their own. You cannot beat Nancy Drew!

Check out these Nancy Drew bookends on Etsy!! Cool.

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Lastly, my church play group is going through Mom Enough. I haven’t been able to go to play group for awhile, but I’ve been keeping up with the book anyway and really love it! It has very small chapters, so it’s great for moms with little ones who truly don’t have much time to read, and it’s so encouraging for moms with kids of all ages. Highly recommend this one and other books by the authors who contributed to this book. Solid Christian ladies!

 

You can follow me on Goodreads here! I love to interact over there ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Etsy love

I’m a huge fan of shopping for my husband on Etsy! Before I discovered all the awesome nerdy dude gifts you can buy on Etsy, Christmas shopping for Casey was much harder. For realz, just type in whatever show, character, comic, video game, movie, libation, classic band, hobby, whatever he’s into and you’ll find plenty of cool stuff. This year, he used Etsy for a few of my gifts too. We only do stocking stuffers for each other on Christmas, so Etsy is the perfect place to find creative ideas. Here are the shops that we ordered from this year.

The Designer’s Nursery. ย Last year I bought Casey this Luke Skywalker print and he really loves it, so this year I added the Han Solo one. He has a gaming corner in our living room, a great place for this kind of art.

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I also got him this Colorado tank top. He lives in tank tops. He thinks Hawaii is trying to roast him to death, haha.

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Today we found this awesome shirt on there! Go Broncos.ย il_570xn-597263259_hy1h

For me, Casey found this sweet tank top! I love it. The whole shop has really cool shirts. I want this pineapple one next!

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This one is kinda funny. Casey wants me to get a tattoo so badly, that he got some temporary ones on Etsy from one of his favorite tattoo artists on Instagram. She does beautiful work! But I remain unconvinced, haha. My taste is just so shifty! I just know I’d get something and then abhor it for being too trendy a year later. Anyone else feel this way about tattoos? They’re not for me. Sorry, Babe!!

I do a book exchange every year with a friend and this year I gifted her L.M. Montgomery’s A Tangled Web. These new editions of all her books are so beautiful, I’m tempted to replace my whole Anne collection, they’re so pretty! ย  Anyway, I loved this L.M. Mongomery print on Etsy, so I bought it to go with the book. I think I may order another for my sewing room.

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That’s what we got this year! But, I am always finding cool stuff on Etsy, so maybe I’ll put together these posts more often! Super fun.

See you in 2016! Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

Vaccuums don’t like rainbow loom bands …

They tell me the Rainbow Loom craze is on it’s way out, but that is for sure not the case among our kids and their friends. This toy would have thrilled me when I was a kid too, so I have much more understanding of the tiny loom bands that constantly find their way onto the floor than my husband does. They’re a pain to vacuum up, though, the vacuum just doesn’t want to take them, haha! Drives Casey nuts.ย DSC_0008

Last week, my neighbor managed to get everything that the guy at the swap meet had left of his rainbow loom stash for $20, which was a few ginormous boxes worth. He said it just doesn’t sell that well anymore and space is money! She had a garage full of delighted little girls after that! I don’t think we’ll need any loom bands for quite awhile, if ever.ย DSC_0011

I asked Natalie what her favorite YouTube channels are for loom band tutorials and she said both TutorialsbyA and MadebyMommyย have the best ones.ย DSC_0010

These funny jellyfish are from TutorialsbyA.

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Did you know there is a YouTube kids app? That means that my kids can find only kid-friendly content when using YouTube Kids on my iPad. I find it’s overly conservative too, which I appreciate. I’m planning a post of our favorite YouTube channels for kids! Do you all have any favorites?

Hip Homeschool Moms

 

Raindeer candy bags

ย I picked this magazine up when I visited Colorado in October. If you can find it still, it has some really great little gift ideas in it! It’s worth buying and saving for next year. But, I bought it because the cute little raindeer bags would be perfect for the kids’ neighbor friends. We made several, Layla and I did the sewing and Natalie did the gluing. We bought candy to fill them with and they’re waiting patiently to be distributed on Christmas Eve.

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They turned out pretty cute! Super fast too.

And now, I have a joke for you, compliments of my dad:

One night a Viking name Rudolf the Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain.” His wife asked, “How do you know?” He replied, “Rudolf the Red knows rain, dear.”

Hahahaha, you’re welcome!

My kids were watching Frosty the Snowman this morning and I took this shot. It’s blurry, I know, but for some reason I like it ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cheers!