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Showing posts from May, 2020

My “Be A Pineapple” June And Weekly Planner Layout

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After a week of rain and clouds and gloom, it was time for a bright ... bright ... bright sunshiny planner layout! Those lyrics might change the song a little, but that’s totally ok at this point. My craft style isn’t usually this busy, but I adore how these two pages turned out. This is where I make my social media and blog schedule, so I’ll be shining all month!

This may be my last week working from home, so I’m focusing on being as productive as possible. I put the phrase “work hard and dream big” prominently on the age so I don’t forget the mantra of the week. I also love these bright, summery colors! 

We’re opening our Etsy shop back up on Monday, so I’ve created plenty of space to plan and organize our listings and updates. There are so many new pieces going into the shop over the next few days, and we hope you’ll head over every morning to check them out. Plus, there might possibly be some time to eat occasionally, so there’s a column for meal planning. Our Butcher Box came th…

Creepy, Hoppy, Crawly, Slithery And Swimming

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Spring is the perfect time of year to find all the creepy crawlers out in nature. On our property, especially around the ponds, you’ll find countless bugs, frogs, snakes, fish and many other amazing creatures. If these aren’t your favorite species, I wouldn’t suggest scrolling down. Or at least just stay here on this adorable frog picture. He’s about the size of my palm, but his camouflage was so good that I didn’t see him until I was right beside him.

With all the rain we’ve had, the fish are going crazy in both ponds. Also because of the rain, we haven’t been able to get out the fishing poles lately. I firmly believe that they were following us around the banks of the pond, taunting us because we were working and not chasing them. Someday, my dears. Someday soon.

Though we very rarely see them, we do have tons of crayfish. On occasion we’ll find parts of them around, the leftovers from something’s good meal, but more often we find their dirt-tower homes. It blows my mind that they …

Wood Slices And Reopening Our Stuff From Trees Etsy Shop

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Today is the perfect day to be working outside! Stuff From Trees fits perfectly into a setting like this, right?

Our Etsy shop has been on vacation for a few weeks so we relax and take our time making new inventory. On Monday we’ll open back up and feature some beautiful handmade cards and a new line of wood ornaments. We’re excited to show them off and help them find a new home at your house!

We’ve done some serious work on the property over the past few weeks, which means we have lots of freshly cut trees to turn into fun projects. On a recent day off, Danny was so sweet and cut me a huge stack of tree cookies. I know, I’m easily pleased, but this pile of wood slices means we can create so many ornaments with a ton of different designs. It just screams fun!

We look forward to seeing you in thee Etsy shop on Monday!

On My Bookshelf At The End Of May

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I wish I could say that I’ve done nothing but read over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, my days have been filled with working from home, getting ready to start our Etsy shop back up and the everyday ins and outs of owning your own home. What I am doing is making sure I read a little bit of something every day to keep learning and keep changing. Here’s what you’ll find on my bookshelf right now:

What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Lisa Terkeurst. Such a good study on trusting God. While staying home as much as possible, it can feel like the world has stopped moving. I want to do things and make things happen, but this book is reminding me that God is working in this time too, I just have to be patient and wait on His timing.

Psalm 119: An Exposition by Charles Bridges. Oh. My. Goodness. My heart has been desperate for God’s word lately, as I’ve honestly felt like I’m just going through the motions. This book was first published in 1827, which seemed a little daunting at first,…

Words For Wednesday

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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Crescent Ring

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We didn’t have any cookies in the house. We were almost out of chocolate altogether. The ice cream container was just about empty. This is a sad place to be in, not having sweets ready for your cravings, right?

But where there’s a will, there’s a way! I combined a few sweet treats from the pantry and wrapped them up in crescent dough for an amazing dessert. It’s perfectly rich, super thick and has just the right touch of fruit mixed in. You’ll want to try this ASAP - trust me.

One note: this crescent ring is best eaten warm and immediately. The filling can make the tough soft and tough even if stored in an air-tight container.

Ingredients:
4 oz. cream cheese
6 oz. hazelnut spread
1 cup marshmallow fluff
2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 cups strawberries, quartered

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, hazelnut spread and marshmallow fluff until smooth and creamy.

3. Place a small bowl in the center of your baking sheet. Arrang…

On This Memorial Day

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My “Memorial Day” Planner Layout

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Memorial Day is not just a three-day weekend or a time for barbecues and friends. For military families, especially, it is a time to remember those service members who have lost their lives defending our country and fighting for our freedoms. I pray we will take time this week to praise God for people dedicated to their service to America.

With this in mind, I filled my planner layout this week with “Don’t Forget” phrase stickers. We can’t take one moment of our lives for granted, knowing soldiers over many decades have given their lives so we could live these lives as we choose. We are the home of the free because of the brave.

God has not given up on America. He continues to bless us and fight for us, and we need to praise Him for those blessings every single day. Our soldiers, both past and present, sacrifice everything because they believe our nation is worth it. Let’s take time this entire week to thank God for all we receive and remember the soldiers who gave their last full me…

The Puppies’ Toy Box Overflows!

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Several years ago, Danny made the most amazing toy box for the puppies. Molly is the only one who can reach all the way in, but the babies give it their best effort. I had this wonderful idea that we would put all their toys in the box and dump it out, catching their reaction on video. All they really did was find their favorite toy and walk off with it, but the pictures are adorable! Molly loves her Mr. Pig and grooms him all the time, making sure she sets him back up on his feet when she’s done.

Parker is a Louisiana boy, but he had to have his own pig when he moved to Iowa. He is very, very gentle with her, even though she has quite the squeaker inside.

The puppies’ favorite toy is ... whatever toy the other one has at any given moment. Pretty typical sibling activity, I suppose.

I love this video for many reasons, including how well you can see their size difference and how Callie lets Diesel do the retrieving and she does the tugging and the fighting. It’s their personalities in…

Psalm 143: Tried And Proven!

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If you were to flip through any of my Bibles, you would find Tried and Proven written in many of the margins. Whenever God has given me the victory over something in my life, or when I’ve seen answered prayer connected to certain verses of Scripture, I write Tried and Proven in that space.

Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. Psalm 143:1

I hate to admit it, but many of my prayers don’t begin the way David’s does here. Instead of giving the Lord all the praise and recognizing His holy attributes, I begin with the words help, do, change - all requests and demands on my part. On the other hand, David begs God to simply hear him, to listen and answer in all His faithfulness and righteousness. How humbling to read this example of prayer that is full of hope and faith in God to do what He says he will do. Tried and Proven!

For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made m…

The Lost Pom Pom Tool Is Found!

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Last week I showed you the pom pom bookmarks I’m making for the next Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. The one thing I regretted was that I didn’t have the piece of wood with two dowels that I used to make pom poms when I was a little. Just days later I found it in the last place I put it - more than 20 years ago! So now I’m a pom pom-making machine!

This pom pom maker means the world to me. My grandpa made it for me when I wanted to make yarn bears and puppies to play with and give away. He measured it out, drilled the holes and cut dowels so I would have an easy tool to do something fun. That was his heart.

What’s just as special is that my little girl handwriting marks where to put the dowels to get different sizes of pom poms and how many wraps each one needed. The ironic part is that my handwriting looks almost exactly the same today. Seriously.

What’s so important about using this stand-up wrapper is that the pom poms are all uniform and they’re easy to tie tightly since you…

Words For Wednesday

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Grilled Steak And Shrimp Kabobs

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Have you ever noticed that as soon as you pull the grill out, the sun runs away and it starts to drizzle a little? Ok, maybe it’s just me, but that’s been our experience the last two times we’ve prepared to stoke the grill fires. Luckily it hasn’t stopped us from having really great meals.

This weekend I put together some surf-and-turf kabobs for the grill, marinating steak and shrimp for a few hours before putting them on the grill. The combination below is a pretty good guesstimate of what I did because it was “well, that looks and smells wonderful” kind of event. And aren’t those the best kind?

I also learned how to read the thermometer dial on the grill. This may sound simple, but I was convinced I was spot on the 350-degree temperature necessary to cook without burning and smoke without incinerating. Did you know those dials have both Fahrenheit and Celsius on them? I know, right? Craziness! So once the smoke dissipated and the grill cooled down from 600 degrees, it was ready fo…

My Tears Count For Something

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Many years ago I bought this silver necklace - a tear being sealed in a bottle. With it was a card with Psalm 56:8 printed on it:

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

If you had to guess, how many of your tears do you think are in God’s bottle? If He is holding on to every tear you’ve ever shed, how many are in that bottle - multiplied by everyone who has ever lived and cried? Our finite minds can’t being to comprehend the number of our own tears He’s kept, let alone every human ever.

God is intimately familiar with tears. So familiar that He can pull each one out of His bottle and tell you exactly where and when it was shed. He can tell you your heart when you shed it. That’s the beauty and blessing of an all-seeing, all-knowing Lord.

God has been familiar with tears since the beginning of human history. We can’t read through Scripture without seeing rivers and oceans of tears being shed. The Bible is not a book for the faint of heart…

My “She Believed She Could, So She Did” Planner Layout

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I have this week’s theme, “She Believed She Could, So She Did,” on a ring that I wear all the time. So when I found stickers with the same encouragement on them, I knew they would be perfect for a planner layout. Who doesn’t need some extra motivation these days?

Coordinating sets of embellishments are the perfect way to color match with absolutely no effort whatsoever. And these bright colors will light up my life - and my week! All of these stickers are from the same book, and I used my highlighter pens to color the words and flower at the top of the page. I also have several new recipes to try out this week, so make sure you come back in next couple of weeks to see what I’m experimenting with!

Confidence. Strength. Ability. All of these great attributes come from God, so my prayer from the week is that He will give me clarity of thought, dedication to the projects I’m juggling and joy every day. This is my prayer for you as well, that you have God-given courage to face whatever ge…

Handmade Pom Pom Bookmarks

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Long, long ago in a land about seven minutes from where we live now, I learned how to make pom poms with yarn. It’s a skill all little girls need to have to survive in this world, as there are so many uses for them, and this adorable bookmark is just one of them. When I was growing up, I made puppies and bears with these pom poms, but - sadly - my googly eye collection is sadly lacking these days.

I also remember using a homemade yarn wrapper made of a piece of wood and dowel, adjustable to different sizes and shapes. I’m not sure where that amazing contraption is now, so I just use my fingers. Each pom pom is wrapped 60 times.

Then I slip it off and pinch the center before cutting it off the skein.

The secret now is to wrap it as super-tight as possible to keep it all in one piece when the cutting begins. Super. Tight. Says the voice of experience. The pictures aren’t pretty. 

Once the loops are cut, a little fluffing and a little trimming creates this adorable pom pom! I cut the ya…

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Dip

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After making frosting a while back, I had 2 ounces of cream cheese left over. This sounds like a terrible problem to have, I know, but I solved it quickly!

Adding in two other ingredients that we all surely have on hand, I made the most decadent cookie dip. Mini cookies work best, and I chose peanut butter sandwich cookies to just overload the whole situation.

Ingredients:
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Peanut butter cookies for dipping

1. Cream together softened cream cheese and peanut butter.

2. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve with mini cookies for dipping.

Words For Wednesday

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My “With God All Things Are Possible” Planner Layout

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I don’t know about you, but I really need some bright, beautiful flowers right now. In this dark and ugly world, bold beauty can claim victory every time. That’s why I chose these pink and yellow flowers to accent Bible verse and words of love and hope.

I started this layout with the verse from Matthew 19 at the top. Then working my way down, I added the words love, pray, loved and grateful. What encouragement to know that God loves me beyond measure, He hears my prayers and I have so much to be grateful for!

For something completely different, I lined each day of the week with bronze metallic washi tape. I paired it up with gold metallic numbers for sparkle and shine. Then I added two more great phrases: In His hand is the life of every creature, and Let faith be bigger than your fear. What beautiful words for a beautiful week! I pray yours is just as beautiful.

This Sparrow Staged A Coup!

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Just two weeks ago we watched a robin building her nest under the eave on our deck. This week there was a total coup, and a sparrow took over! It’s a prime spot and I’ve seen larger birds like cowbirds claim a nest as there own, but never by so little a bird.

The robin laid much of the ground work for the nest, building it up so high that she could barely squeeze in herself.

And then suddenly, we saw this pretty sparrow taking mouthfuls of grass and fur up to that same nest.  She was so tiny, and I couldn’t believe she had just moved in.

So now we can stand at the living room window and watch a sparrow working on her nest. The only difference between having a robin and having a sparrow is that we won’t be able to see in. The cavity that serves as an entrance is in the middle here, right in the center of that fluff. But we’ll definitely hear those babies when they get here!