Chase Fireflies

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Operation Christmas Child: Collection Week 2011

It’s that time of year! 

For a shopping spree.  For wheeling around a cart whoohoo-ing and loading it up.  With cars and footballs and princess crowns and lip gloss.  With toothbrushes and soap and playing and prayer and squeezing into shoe boxes. 

I hope I never forget her giggling and dancing in the aisles and her heart so big it may just burst.  And the four year old hiking the ball for the boy so much like him. 

And it’s the lunch of fish and bread all over again.  Meager offerings to be multiplied by broken hands Who heal.  And with the small giving up, we are the more blessed than tiny hands receiving. 

We are the more blessed.

Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week is November 14-21, 2011


Early Morning Ramblings: Meekness

Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.

To grasp poverty of spirit.  To know true riches.  To be peacemakers.  To extend mercy.  To hunger and thirst for all that is right.  To mourn.  To live the teachings of Jesus in a world of pride and burdens and excess.  Such is deemed blessing. 

Yet I vacuum up opposing values so easily.  And who is standing at my waist and looking up to every move?  And if they need a model, shouldn’t the one standing above them be their best one?  And if they cannot find me making peace and holding out a hand of mercy and hungering for righteousness over bread; then how will they see and know and live? 

God, there is meekness to be unearthed today in me, for it is wrapped and protected in self-love.  Allow my defenses to fall to the ground.  Show me what it means to give up pretense.  May whispered criticisms come with looks of disdain.  And may I be okay with the value that You deem over the world.

It is good for me to remember that I have nothing to defend.  Nothing to pretend.  Nothing to boast of. That I am nothing without Christ.  And in Him I am everything.  In Him is my breath and life and meaning.  In Him is my purpose and rest and direction. 

Maybe I am wearied and burdened from holding on to so much that is not Christ.  For who stands with me but Him and asks that I learn to find rest.  Grasp it tethered to Him.  Him who is gentle and meek in heart.  Whose humility was lived on a cruel cross; a cross that (still) gives life to me. 

Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
-Matthew 5:5

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Dogs in a Sweater: Kids in the Kitchen

We’re eating through the alphabet again with these little guys.  D is for Dog.  Since we’re not into devouring Fifi, these were a great alternative.  They are a variation of pigs in a blanket. 

I adapted these to be a little healthier, substituting veggie dogs for hot dogs.  They were a huge hit!  Easily made, quickly cooked, and speedily eaten without a complaint. 

Dogs in a Sweater Recipe (A Healthy Adaptation)

1. Preheat oven to 350. 
2. Place a piece of cheese on the veggie dog. 
3. Wrap veggie dogs in crescent rolls or refrigerated bread sticks. 
4. Place on greased cookie sheet.  Cook for 18-20 minutes. 

recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Other D foods to devour:  doughnuts, drinks, dirt pudding, dip, debbie cakes, etc.

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Hodgepodge Love

 I LoVe this guy.  Ten years later, he still brings me wildflowers.  (Thanks, hon.) 

Why I can’t wait to tear our doors down.   An upcoming DIY project.

Life planning.  Excellent post about what really matters.

Love is a Thread.   If only we lived on the west coast! 

Apple Crisp.  Paul:  Don’t ever make any other apple crisp but this one.

A courageous heart.  Love.  Love.  Love.


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20 Things You Can Do with Excess Halloween Candy

 My favorite Halloween quotes from Selah:

1.  “Mom, I’ve got this.” 
2.  “Do you guys know there’s another side of the road?” 
3.  “My fingers are freezing off.  Can we do just a few more houses?” 
4.  “A princess can wear sneakers, right?  Cause my feet hurt in high heels.”

Needless to say, Rapunzel and the unidentified Race Car Driver stocked up.  Here is our plan for the excess

1.  Give it away. 

a.  Donate to a homeless shelter, women’s shelter, nursing home, church ministry, etc. 
b.  Donate to Operation Gratitude, to be used in care packages for military personnel. 
c.  Donate to a Dentist office buy back program. 
d.  Include in an Operation Christmas Child package.  (Add a toothbrush/toothpaste also.)

2.  Save it for Christmas:

a.  Use it in a Countdown to Christmas calendar.
b.  Make Christmas ornaments or Christmas garland out of it.
c.  Use it for Christmas cookie baking.
d.  Use it to decorate Christmas presents.
e.  Save it for a gingerbread house decoration. 
f.  Make cards out of it to distribute to classmates.  (Poinsettias can be adapted from here.)

3.  Use it as a teaching tool:

a.  Organize by colors, shapes, ingredients, etc.  Put it in ABC order. 
b.  Use for addition and subtraction. 
c.  Make a Venn diagram with it (my favorites, your favorites, our favorites)
d.  Talk about the importance of good nutrition and exercise.  Classify it on the Food Pyramid.
e.  Melt it down for science.  Discuss solids and liquids. 

4.  Use it for art:a.  Paint with it.  (Dip a piece in water and paint – works with skittles, gumballs, fireballs, etc.) 
b.  Create a mosaic.  (Glue small pieces onto a heavy surface – cardboard, foam, canvas, etc.)
c.  Create a sculpture with it.  (Use toothpicks, straws, popsicle sticks, etc.)
d.  Make a wreath for Halloween next year. 

5.  Tell Your Kids You Ate All of It: 

a.  Just kidding.  Have you seen this?  Those poor traumatized kids! 

What do you do with all of your candy?  Any suggestions?


Make Your Own Feather Hair Accessories

The whole feather fad is kind of beyond me.  I must be getting old:)  Our six year old, however, is all about the feathers.  So much so, that she convinced her Dad to purchase a swanky feathered hair clip for $8.00.  (They split the cost.) 

She was soooooo excited about her hair clip.  Though she took good care of it, that clip broke not 24 hours later.  Amazing Dad that he is, Paul fixed it.  And it broke again.  And again.  Selah was devastated, times three. 

I tried to find an online tutorial about how to make these, but couldn’t find one anywhere.  So we figured it out.  Our feathered clips are much sturdier (especially for little hands) and were super cheap.  Our daughter has short hair, so we made her clips rather small.  You can adjust accordingly with simple jewelry extensions. 

How To Make Your Own Feather Hair Accessories:

Supplies:  bag of feathers from Michaels ($1.99 for a million), hot glue, glue gun, clips (we used some she already had), EZ crimp jewelry piece package ($2 change with a coupon)

1.  Choose complimentary feathers. 
2.  Glue the stems of the feather onto an e-z crimp piece.
3.  (Optional) Add jewelry extensions as necessary.
4.  Glue or attach extender to the clip.
5.  Wear proudly:).

***As a side note, we had a great mother daughter bonding time  making these.  So no matter how silly I think they are/look… I would have to say that it was very well worth it.***