30 Minutes of Peace

Mamas, I heard your cry for help. All we need is 30 minutes of peace sometimes, right? I’ve been exploring how to make that happen and I’m happy to share my results here. First off, there’s a treacherous recipe for making your own snow floating around the internet. It’s shaving cream, baking soda, and glitter. Don’t do that. Trust me.  But this one was a hit. Pipe cleaners and a colander. That got me a good 45 minutes, actually.

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And there is one that ALWAYS gets me maximum mom time, but it’s loud. Sometimes it’s worth it.

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That would be the classic vacuum cleaner hose attachment hair salon. Do you have any gems for me?!


The Donkey in the Living Room

Y’all, I found my new favorite Christmas tradition! It’s this awesome little book and nativity set called The Donkey in the Living Room and it rocks my socks. It’s a short countdown. 10 days long. So you still have time to buy it and you don’t have to get all wacky creative all month long. But you can still do some fun stuff with it if you want to. It’s a bit of a scavenger hunt. 10 days before Christmas you put out the background, which is really the box.

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The kids run around the house searching for the hidden character. I’ll probably put some candy or hot chocolate or something like that with mine. Then the family comes together to hear about that character from their perspective. The nativity is completed on Christmas with the Baby!

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It’s adorable. It’s as indestructible as possible (of course, we all know a toddler can destroy indestructible items). I got mine at Mardel, but you can order it on Amazon. I just love mine. Nobody pays me to say this or anything since you are my only reader, so now you know you can totally trust my endorsements. This is a win.


The Dining Room These Days

So last year we made the farmhouse safe. That was a challenge in and of itself. This year we’re trying to get it just a little more normal. Functional. It’s FREEZING here right now. We got this little wood burning stove. I’m sure it’s very similar to the one that used to be there ages ago. Here’s a peek into my favorite room right now.

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Y’all Should Totally Try This

Hey guys! Long time, no see. You know how sometimes there are just seasons that you need to hibernate and recalibrate? That happened. And now it’s over and I’m happy to see you again. So let’s just pick up where we left off, shall we. Deep thing to come, I’m sure, but today, let me just say that this is so worth your time.

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I did this thing that (I’m so sorry) I once thought was slightly over the top. I made a sensory bin. I’m homeschooling all my kids now and I’m having a hard time keeping Jude occupied while trying to get lessons in for the bigs. So I thought I’d try one of those bins to try and keep him busy for a bit. Holy smokes, not only does he love it, but the bigs do too.

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There are a billion different ideas for making these on the cheap. Our unit this week is on birds, so I put a few fake birds, colorful feathers, pinecones, and birdseeds in a tupperware. Boom. Quiet chill fun. Bonus mommy points. Look, y’all, I’m actually blogging. So, yes, it might be a little over the top, but if you need a minute or 30 of peace, make a sensory bin, yo!


Field Trip Fridays

We just made this thing up. Field trip Fridays. They are more for me than the kids. I don’t particularly enjoy kid fun. It’s not because of my kids, it’s me. I get really anxious doing new things. I’m nervous driving places I’ve never been (what if I get lost? where do i park?!). I’m afraid I’ll lose control of my kids and we’ll have a big public meltdown a mile and a half away from my car. I don’t like sunscreen. I don’t like talking to other mom strangers (I KNOW! I’m anti-social and strange!). We have a good time around the house. Mostly just daily life, but sometimes we mix it up. Only lately I’ve been feeling like all their really fun memories go to someone else. Someone willing to go in public. Mostly grandmas and grandpas and aunts. But I really wanted some of those memories for myself too. Still, I’m chicken. So a few weeks ago I instated Field Trip Fridays. The first time we just went to an ice cream shop around the corner. The next time we went to a park up the road. But today was a landmark. A big event. I took my smalls to the zoo by myself. I know this is absolutely nothing to most of you, but for me it’s monumental. The world is my oyster. I drove in downtown Houston. I didn’t get lost, I didn’t cry. I spent too much money, but that’s just to be expected I suppose. It was no more than I’d spend at Target. I didn’t attempt an all day event. I kept it short and sweet and hit the road at the first “I’m hoooot….”

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The Big Event for this summer is Sea World. I’ve got my heart set on it. But Field Trip Fridays are going to also let me explore my new bit of Texas. I’m going to hike in Lost Maples, splash in the Frio, see the bat caves and pick some peaches. But Sea World is the Big Event. Wish me luck (and let me know if you know anything cool to do). I almost feel like I could do anything. I could go to IKEA y’all! Anything!


Art Sale Tonight

Hey guys,

I have been a busy bee painting nativities. It was just a little art experiment, but they’ve been pretty popular. It was getting a little tricky working on one at a time and then posting it, so I decided to just work all week and then post them all at once. So that’s happening tonight at 8pm Central time. My Etsy shop, which is pretty nekkid right now, will get refilled. I’m doing these a bit differently, though. I’ve left the space next to Mary and Jesus empty so you can add something special to you. I can’t fit the whole gospel on there, but a verse or two will work. Here’s a few ideas to help you choose (and a sneak peek of some of tonight’s pieces!).

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And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

O Come let us adore him, Christ the Lord

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

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And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:13-14

O Holy Night, The stars are brightly shining

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

Silent Night, Holy Night, All is Calm, All is Bright

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The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14

Star of Wonder, Star of Night, Star with Royal Beauty Bright

So if you want to buy one tonight, you just tell me what verse you want on there and they will ship out this weekend. I have been SO blessed by making these. It has really changed my focus of this Christmas season and I hope they will do the same for you.

XOXO, Beth


The Dog Whisperer and Your Prayer Life.

Have you guys met Chili? He’s my dog. We got him a few months ago from the animal shelter. When we said that he was The One, the lady shook her head, sighed, and said, “He’s cute, but he’s really destructive. He was adopted once from here, but the couple brought him back because he tears everything up.” We said we’d take our chances and took him home. Well, she was right. He’s a wreck! From Day 1 he would chew everything. Shoes, pillows, crayons. Today he ate the head and arms off a Barbie. Disturbing sight, really. She still kept singing “Perfect Day!”.

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Anyway, after about 24 hours I told my husband that there was absolutely no way I could handle a dog like that and to please take that thing back. He requested a few days to see if he could get a grip on the situation. Now is the part where I have to tell you a little about my husband, Brandon.

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He’s a bit obsessive when it comes to learning. He’ll pick a topic and it’s all consuming for a few weeks/months. He can speak Amharic. He can grow a mean garden. He can roll cigars like a Dominican. He can really master a topic, and he decided to master dog obedience. He’s up in the middle of the night watching The Dog Whisperer as a jumping off point. Have you seen it? Do you know the show? Cesar is a hero in our house now, right up there with Martin Luther and Justin Timberlake. Anyway, we started watching a lot of Dog Whisperer and here’s the main gist of it. You have to be a dominant pack leader in the eye of your dog to get them to be chill. If you don’t lead well, they become anxious, stressed, or depressed. They need you to communicate your authority. And get this: they must be calm and submissive before ever attempting to do anything. For example, what happens if your dog sees other dogs and gets all worked up? They pull on the leash trying to go their own way, do their own thing. But if you are the “pack leader” and you demonstrate that you don’t care about all that and this is the way we are going, your dog will obey. Cesar can get a dog he’s never met to do what he wants just with his leadership. Stay with me for one more dog example. I’m totally getting to the point soon, but you gotta see it play out. Say the doorbell rings. Many dogs will yap, jump, and freak out in general for a while when company arrives. What if, the doorbell rings and your dog is freaking out and you say “roll over”? Will she stop what she’s doing and roll over? Probably not at all. You can’t get them to obey when they’re in a tizzy like that. You have to get them calm and submissive first. And now we get to the point.

I was thinking about this the other day. I’m reading Whispers of Hope, Beth Moore’s new devotional. LOVE it, by the way, but I’ll review it another day. I missed a day. I woke up, literally, to someone coming in and saying “Mom, I peed the bed!” and just like that, at 5:20, I’m on. No quiet time, no thoughtful prayer time. Just popcorn “help me’s” to God all day. The Holy Spirit was certainly not manifesting in me that day, and by 10 I realized it was because I didn’t start out calm and submissive. I started out in a tizzy. Like my eyes opened when the doorbell rang. I kind of hate waking up that early, but there is SUCH a difference in my day. So much that it’s become just a necessary thing. Like my wacked out dog, I can’t take direction when I’m all worked up. It’s just not going to work then. I need to listen when I’m calm and submissive, and for me, that’s first thing in the morning. What about you? Do you notice a difference in your days when you do a devotional and when you don’t?