Friday, December 12, 2008

Farmers Market Finds

All this for $40.00!!!!
Last week we were in Bham. John had a meeting and so me and the boys ventured to one of our favorite spots - the state farmers market. Yes it stays open year around and my little Mexican friends have some great deals. We got 1/2 bushel of orange bell peppers and 1/2 bushel of yellow bell peppers for $8 each. The 1/2 bushel of apples was 8, the oranges were 12 and the onions were 4. Eating healthy is so expensive these days. I bought this stuff and came home and spent a day in my kitchen slicing and freezing and cooking (the apples) and I ended up with 4 gallon size bags each color of the bell peppers, and onion and about 12 family portions of cooked apples to use for dessert or applesauce. We love cooking with peppers and onions and this way I don't have to chop them each night and they don't go bad if we don't use them right away. Instead I go to the freezer pull out what I need and start cooking. They are flash frozen before I put them in the bag so they don't stick together. This saves me tons of time and money in the long run. The colored bell pepper is usually over $1 each. I got about 25-30 for $8. It just took 1 long day in the kitchen and I am set for about 6-8 months!!!! Oh if you live in bham and are interested I will tell you where exactly to go find my friends!!!!

Jesse Advent Day 3, 4, 5

The pictures loaded out of order but here they are:

Day 4: Camel and tent
I found this camel at Wal-mart in the Christmas stuff. It was with the nativity scenes. John took a tiny drill bit and drilled a hole in it and we used Locke tight glue to secure a small screw eye into the camel. The tent I made out of a raffia covered floral wire. I bought a pack of them in the floral section of a craft store. I just bent them and formed a tent. I cut 2 to the length I wanted for the front and back and then I cut pieces to connect them on the sides and just wrapped the wire around each other. I then used small jute string and tied it to all 4 sides of the tent at the top. I covered the tent in burlap and glued it to the post of the tent and poked the string through the burlap. I brought the string that the camel is hanging on up to meet the other strings and tied them in a knot at the top of the first layer of burlap. Then I cut a smaller piece of burlap to cover just the top and hang over the sides a little to cover the messiness of the strings. (if you have questions just ask and I will help)

Day 5: Lamb
-I bought this little lamb at Wal-mart in the same section with the nativity stuff. John took a tiny drill bit to it and we screwed the tiny screw eye into the lamb. It was not hollow like the camel so we didn't need the lock tight.

Day 3: Ark with a rainbow:
I found this flat wooden cutout of a steamship is the wood section of a craft store. There was also a rainbow shape cutout that I had to paint. I found the mini animal to glue on it in the craft store where they have the mini doll house supplies. They are not necessary but I thought they were just cute and made the steamship look a little bit more arkish!! After the rainbow dried I hot glued it to the ship and I put part of the ribbon that it is hanging with in between the ark and the rainbow so that when I glued it the ribbon would stay secure. The other part of the ribbon is behind the rainbow. (it is just one piece of ribbon)

Are you going to kill me?

This picture is not relevant to this story other than the fact this story is about Jake. It is just a picture of him doing 2 of his absolute favorite things : climbing trees and making silly faces. On to the story....

We all know that seasons of our lives happen in which things don't go just so so and chaos seems to take over. Well John and I are coming out of one of those seasons. The work on this house was more than we expected and it took all that we had in every way. This left very little for us to give to the boys so they got appeased alot. Discipline was almost nonexistent (mainly because I felt like we were provoking alot of their behavior because of our absence), playtime with mom and dad just didn't happen either. So needless to say the boys have been attention starved and well just wild!!! So now that we are resuming regular life we have had to bring in the reigns with them and that requires consistency. John and I are committed to using the word of God to convict the boys hearts. We don't want to just change their behavior (well most of the time:)) Lately we have had some trouble with Jake playing us against each other. I will say no and he goes and ask John. He has been disciplined for this for several weeks. Last week, I was reading the chapter in For Instruction in Righteousness on defiance and I read Duet. 21:18-21. Basically, it is a section on how to deal with disobedient and rebellious children. It was pretty profound. They were instructed to carry these children to the elders and they were to be stoned so that all evil was purged from among them. Last night, Jake decided to play us again while we were out to dinner. When we got home, John sent him to his room and we came in there are read these verses to him. First he ask us what it meant to be stoned. Then he looked up at me, a bit nervously and ask "Are you going to kill me?" He was serious but I had to turn my head and contain myself from laughing. While I did this, John began sharing the gospel with Jake. How we don't have to die anymore because Jesus died for him. I really believe that the profoundness of these verses really made Jake understand Jesus death just a bit more. He knows that God's word is what tells us how to live in a way that honor and glorifies God. He knows that we read him verses that direct his discipline many times. So when we read these verses to him, he seriously thought that was what would happen to him. And then we were able to talk about the sweet gift that Jesus gave him. I pray that God's word does not return void and that the truths of God's word and what Jesus did for Jake will grip his heart and that he will fall in love with the Jesus that died for his disobedience and rebellion!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jesse Advent Day 2

Day 2: Apple with a Snake
What I did:
I bought an apple pick and green scupley clay. I rolled out a green snake and curled him up and baked him according to the directions. After he cooled I hot glued him to the apple and there you have it!!!

Christmas Traditions - Jesse Advent Tree

We are starting a new family tradition this year. Last year my friend April had a great little devotional book for the Advent season. Here it is. Starting Dec 1st there is an ornament every day that tells the Christmas story and how it unfolds from the creation of the world. Jake is really enjoying it and the ornaments are great visuals for us to talk about. Last year after Christmas, I went to Old Time Pottery and bought the decorated paper mache boxes and got 25 boxes for $26. I just bought various sizes so I knew all the ornaments would fit. Some of the ornaments I have made and some I just bought. I have spread it out over the year so it wouldn't be so expensive at once. This is a great family tradition to pass on to your children and theirs as well. We do our devotion for breakfast in the mornings because John is available then to do it with us. We are also reading a great story of advent called Jotham's Journey. We read this to them a chapter a night before bed. I will post a pic of each ornament through the month as I put it on the tree. Hope you are inspired to start some traditions with your family!!!!

Day 1: The world
What I did:
-Styrofoam ball, scraps of blue and green material, long straight pin, Elmer's glue, blue ribbon
-Water down the glue to 2 part glue and 1 part water. I cut the blue scraps into about 2-3" pieces and glued the fabric (with a paint brush) front and back and then added it to the ball. I covered the ball in blue fabric and put 3 coats of glue mix over it letting it dry in between. I took the green scraps and loosely mimicked the continents and glued them on the ball. Then I put 2 coats of glue mix over all of it letting it dry completely in between. I tied my ribbon to the straight pin and put hot glue on the tip and stuck it into the ball. It is very easy to make you just have to leave it and come back to it over the course of a day or so in order for the glue to dry.

Oh and we are making a HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS Christmas tree. I bought a $25 6 ft tree at walmart and am in the process of making a few birthdayish ornaments to go on it. I blew up red and green balloons small and stuck them in the tree for filler and I am going to make a garland to put on the tree and then a party hat for the top. We are going to fill the rest of the tree with the 25 ornaments through the season and then we will have the birthday party Christmas morning. More on that later but I just wanted you to know what tree we were putting this on. It could be incorporated into your regular tree if you wanted.