Posted in Snippet Corner

Snippets of My Life- Hygge Style

Greetings from Montana where it is still cold, but not as cold as it has been. Today it’s a whopping 20 degrees! As I mentioned in my last post, Marcus and I are here visiting my husband this month, and through the first week of March. We are definitely living the minimalist lifestyle here, which I love, and for me it feels like I’m on vacation, although in a hermit sort of way.

Here is the afternoon view from the front door

A blogging and homeschooling friend introduced me to a new word which could describe my cozy, relaxed life here: Hygge. I have no idea how to pronounce it, haha, but according to dictionary.com it means, and I quote:

Candles, comfy socks and a throw, good company, maybe a little wine or cocoa … gotta cultivate that hygge.
Hygge is a Danish cultural concept and value of warm, happy coziness and togetherness, which people make time for in everyday life. Outside of Denmark, hygge is commonly referred to as “the good feeling you get from a well-curated, cozy, and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Minus the wine, because I don’t drink alcohol, it’s pretty accurate. I sip hot cocoa every morning and hang out in yoga pants and fuzzy socks all. day. long. I even have an electric throw blanket. If the weather was warmer, Marcus and I would be taking walks in the neighborhood, but it’s just too cold to venture outside. We’ve become hygge hermits. 🙂

I start each morning with this devotional journal. A sweet friend gave it to me for Christmas. I’ve never used a journal like this before and I’m enjoying every page. I start out by looking up, and listening to the worship song or hymn at the top of the page. I’ve recognized a few of the songs, but most are new to me so that’s fun.

I am also in the middle of two Bible studies. One is a year study called, Come Follow Me. It’s a beautiful New Testament curriculum by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The artwork is stunning. Besides my own study throughout the week, as a family we have a Skype study session every Sunday after everyone’s home from church. 🙂

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Stained glass window in Nauvoo Illinois Temple, by Tom Holdman
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Sermon on the Mount, by Jorge Cocco

The second Bible study is an eight week study I’m doing with my friend, Audria. It’s called Altogether Beautiful. I am at the end of the third week, ready to start the fourth week. I’m enjoying this study as well.

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I watched Marcus’ English class with him this morning. He is reading Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and today his teacher showed some clips from the play. I enjoy watching/listening to his history and English classes. In history today he was learning about the Red Scare. This school year is going smoothly for us. We are thinking of shaking it up next year by road schooling. I’d love to hear any reader’s tips for full time RV living, especially with a teenager. This is something we are seriously exploring at this time.

This hygge life gives me lots of time for reading and binge watching. One show we’ve recently discovered on Netflix (I have a like-hate relationship with Netflix, but my son pays for the subscription so we use it moderately) is called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. I’m getting some handy tips for decluttering my home when I return next month. ♥ We just finished watching the miniseries, John Adams. This is considered fairly historically accurate. We’ve owned it for years, but never watched it ’til now. Go figure. I think John Adams sacrificed, as did his family, a lot for this country. I’d like to get to know more about other founding fathers. I have one book waiting to be read about George Washington. ♥ I’ve just begun reading a huge book about education in Colonial America. It’s going to take me forever to read, haha.

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Marcus bought me this fun 3-D beach art from Hobby Lobby, for Valentine’s Day. 

♥  I hope all is well with you. Is it snowy and cold where you live? I can’t wait for spring! Let me know a snippet from your life. ♥

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Posted in Craft Corner

Valentine Kid Craft Party

Greetings from ice cold Montana! As I type this, it is -1 outside. Brrr! I’m here for five weeks visiting my husband who currently works here. Marcus is here, too, and we are especially thankful at this time for the freedoms and blessings of homeschooling. 🙂 It’s so nice not to have to get permission (or penalized) from a school to be together as a family.

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This heart craft was just for the older girls. I felt they needed an additional craft.

I couldn’t leave before giving my sweet craft girls a Valentine’s party. 19 of my 23 girls participated. I pulled it off with the help of my oldest daughter, Darcie, and the oldest of my craft girls, Sammie. Thanks, Sammie!

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My girls made Valentine unicorns, heart shaped bird feeders, Jolly Rancher lollipops, old fashioned Valentine cards, and paper plate hearts. Most of these ideas came from Pinterest. What would we do without Pinterest?

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I did a lot of prep work for this party because organization is key! I pre-cut and hole-punched paper plates; Darcie crushed up Jolly Rancher candies, by color/flavor; I cut foam shapes for the unicorns; we set up each craft station with the necessary supplies.

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For these old fashioned Valentine cards, I provided the following materials:

  • Heart shaped doilies in three sizes (these are inexpensive and come in a package of 20-24 from craft and dollar stores)
  • Glue sticks
  • Heart stickers
  • Markers
  • Pink cardstock

In the past I divided my craft girls into smaller groups (randomly) and they moved from craft to craft that way, but this time I let the girls move freely and the only stipulation was that there could be no more than five girls at a craft station at a time. This worked beautifully! We also provided a play space with games and coloring pages.

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Excuse some of my blurry photos! I have to be a quick photographer at these craft parties.

I kept the girls organized by providing each with a gift bag to hold their creations. As soon as a craft was finished, it was placed inside the owner’s bag before she moved onto another craft. When moms came to pick their daughters up, these bags were ready to go.

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Darcie had the idea to give each girl a stamp, either on their wrist or a card, to show they had completed a craft AND cleaned up after themselves. Once each girl had all five to six stamps (one craft was only for the older girls), she could show it to Darcie for a Rice Krispy treat. The girls thought the stamps were fun, and they really did help to keep the craft flow going.

Sammie headed up a surprise for me, a giant Valentine’s Day card which all the girls signed. Awww! 🙂

♥ This was a three hour party. We served the girls pizza (with grapes, carrots, olives, and pink lemonade) before we started crafting. When one of the moms came to pick her daughter up, she asked me why I do this and how I got started. I told her I’ve always been a crafty mom and when I moved there I became friends with one of the moms of four of my craft girls and I started inviting all of her kids over to make crafts at my kitchen table. Then, one December, my daughters and I decided it would be fun to host a Christmas craft party for my friend’s girls, and a couple of neighbor girls we knew. It was so much fun for us that we started hosting more seasonal/holiday craft parties and invited more little neighbor girls to join in the fun. And here we are, 23 girls later with a craft room and a craft club that meets regularly. ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

National Puzzle Day Crafts

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January 29th was/is national puzzle day so my SURF Club girls crafted with puzzle pieces. First they made bookmarks.

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For these bookmarks the girls used the following supplies:

  • Craft sticks
  • Craft glue
  • Puzzle pieces
  • String
  • Embellishments (mini pom poms, gems; these are optional)
  • Markers

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The second craft they made were puzzle characters. I gave them bigger puzzle pieces for these. Other supplies were:

  • Google eyes
  • Feathers
  • Mini pom poms
  • Markers
  • Craft glue

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And then the girls made cards or pictures.

 

♥  If you’d like another idea for a puzzle craft that is perfect for Valentine’s Day, check out these washi tape puzzles from WhimziVille. I just love them! And, speaking of Valentine’s Day, I’m hosting a Valentine party for my craft girls this Saturday. And then, on Sunday, Marcus and I are driving to Montana to be with my husband for five weeks. I am so excited! My husband works out of state right now so we’ve been spending more time apart than together and I miss him terribly. Now that Marcus has his driver’s license (we were sticking around here for him to finish his instructor drives) and my January craft days have finished up, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the flexibility and freedom that comes with homeschooling. Hooray for home education! ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

National Winnie the Pooh Day Crafts

Last Friday was National Winnie the Pooh Day (January 18th) so the girls in my SURF Club (Sweet, Unique, aRtsy Friends) made honey pot bracelets and Hundred Acre Wood dioramas.

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I thought this bracelet was especially fun because she chose to add bits of ribbon and twine.

I borrowed the idea for the bracelets from my Sister’s suitcase (so I won’t post instructions here, but I will say that we added pony beads and chose a different kind of beading cord which was less stretchy, but much easier to knot).

 

I also thought it would be fun for the girls to create a diorama of the Hundred Acre Woods.

For this craft I gathered the following supplies:

  • Food boxes (these are the ones you carry your hotdog or nachos in from the gas station; I got them in bulk from Hobby Lobby)
  • Clip art from Disneyclips.com, which I resized to a smaller scale to fit the boxes
  • Markers
  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks, craft glue, and scotch tape
  • Cotton balls (for clouds)
  • String or craft thread (optional; for hanging clouds)
  • Hole punch (optional; one way to hang the clouds)

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One group of girls came up with the idea to have me cut slits (I used a craft knife) across the bottom of their boxes. Then they attached popsicle sticks (one girl asked for a pencil so I gave her a dowel) to their Winnie the Pooh characters and now they have a little play scene. I thought this was a very clever idea.

Two moms provided the snacks and they took the theme to heart. I think some of these ideas came from Pinterest. There were Hundred Acre Wood acorns (or haycorns as Piglet calls them) made of Hershey Kisses and mini cookies (frosted together), Bit o Honey candy, Tigger tails (Cheetos), and baby carrots from Rabbit’s garden. One of the girls made cute little signs out of popsicle sticks.

Another mom provided cornbread with honey and berry smoothies. Yum!

♥ Did you celebrate Winnie the Pooh day? Of course, any day is a good day for Winnie the Pooh. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend. ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

National Hat Day Crafts

This was such a fun themed craft! To celebrate national hat day with my little SURF Club girls, I thought it’d be fun to go with an Alice in Wonderland theme. After all, who knows hats better than the Mad Hatter?

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My friend, Heather, made these darling teacup cupcakes.
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I pulled out my favorite table cloth and my Grandma’s party crystal.
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These are my teacup cupcake attempts and my Alice in Wonderland tea set.

To set the mood, the girls first enjoyed a tea party. I think the Mad Hatter and Alice would have approved. 🙂

For this craft I thought it’d be fun for each girl to make a Mad Hatter-inspired hat and a princess crown, which was inspired from the queens in Alice in Wonderland (the movie version with Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway).

For the Mad Hatter-inspired hats, I provided the following supplies:

  • Mini seed planter pots (from Dollar Tree)
  • Pre-cut poster board circles; dessert plate size, for the hat rim
  • Pre-cut poster board circles, for the hat top (smaller than the rim)
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Ribbon and fabric scraps
  • Gemstones
  • Feathers, pom poms, buttons, and other embellishments
  • Craft glue, hot glue guns, and glue sticks (use low temp glue guns and supervise)
  • Alligator clips (so the girls could wear their hats if so desired)

For the princess crowns I supplied the following:

  • White paper party cups (from Dollar Tree); I pre-cut the bottom out with a hobby knife and shaped the top to resemble a dainty crown
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Gold glitter
  • Craft glue, hot glue guns, and glue sticks (use low temp and supervise)
  • Heart and star stickers
  • Gemstones and other embellishments
  • Alligator clips (so the girls could wear them)

I’m always delighted by the girls’ creativity when we craft. One girl turned her hat into a pencil holder, taking advantage of the water holes in the planter pot. And as a last bit of fun, the girls posed for pictures wearing their hats.

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It’s been a winter wonderland here this month. These crafts brighten my mid-winter days.

♥ If you ever make mini hats at your house be sure to let me know! Thanks for stopping by and I hope the rest of your week is fantastic. If you’re in a snowy winter as we are, stay warm and drive safe. ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

National Trivia Day Crafts

It’s a new year and that means new crafts with my SURF Club girls (Sweet, Unique, aRtsy Friends). For January I decided to mix it up from winter crafts and theme our crafts around national holidays. I chose a national holiday which fit into each week, and the first was National Trivia Day (January 4th).

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When I was looking for inspiration for this craft, I visited Barnes and Noble and purchased a National Geographic Kids Weird but True! book. These little books are really fun! I ended up creating 2″x 2″ cards for the girls on cardstock. I added in some of the facts from the book, in my own words. I also printed out blank cards and let the girls thumb through the book themselves and write out facts of their choice.

For this craft, I gave the girls two choices: they could make a trivia board game or they could make a trivia book. Most of the girls chose to create a game, and I loved the originality, even when they were based off games like Jeopardy and Sorry. They came up with their own layout and their own rules. For the game boards, I provided the following supplies:

  • Poster board (half size and smaller)
  • Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Washi tape
  • Stickers
  • Buttons and pom poms for game markers

Some of the girls worked on a game together, in pairs.

The trivia books turned out super cute! For these I had paper sack books already made up (left over from our nature journals last summer). I also supplied:

  • Markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Stickers
  • Washi tape
  • Scrapbook paper

It was fun to hear the girls share facts with each other and maybe it even sparked some interest in learning about something further. In one group I ended up looking up how Jelly Belly beans are made and they really do take 7 to 21 days! That’s amazing to me!

♥ So that was our first craft to kick off the new year. How is your new year going so far? I’m hosting these craft sessions three days a week so that is keeping me busy. I have six new girls and three are younger sisters of craft girls in my group so that is fun. They are 3-years old and so cute! For this craft, I made up an animal matching game for them to color.

Marcus just passed his driver’s test and is waiting another week or so for the 6-month driving permit period to be up so he can get his license. He started his second semester of this homeschool year (his 10th grade year) this week and we are trying to finish up his last five merit badges so he can earn his Eagle. He is still deciding what to do for his Eagle project. Any ideas? ♥

 

 

Posted in Faith Corner, Scripture Corner

New Year, New Themes

I am a theme person. I just love themes. And with a new year comes new themes. Yay!

The 2019 youth theme for the youth ages 11-17 in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is…

If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments

~John 14:15

This theme is significant to me because my youngest son, Marcus, is 16-years old and actively participates in the Aaronic Priesthood organization in our church. Last Sunday he was ordained to the office of Priest. Soon he will be blessing the Sacrament as part of his Priest duties.

I love the inspiring music video that goes with this theme. Check it out here.

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And usually the Primary children (Primary is the children’s organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for children ages 3-10) have a new theme as well, but this year we have a beautiful new curriculum called, Come Follow Me, and all Primary children will be learning and sharing from the New Testament this year. I guess you could say the Primary theme is the New Testament.

This is significant to me because I am a Primary teacher to a very special five-year old boy who has some special needs. He doesn’t fully engage in Primary lessons and activities but my calling is to help him feel welcomed and loved more than anything else.

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Families and individuals in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will also be studying the New Testament at home and in Sunday School class at church. So the New Testament will be a running theme throughout this year for me and my family. We have a beautiful Come Follow Me manual to help us increase our gospel learning in our homes. Honestly, as a homeschooling mama, I feel as if I’ve known all along that the home should be Learning-Central. I am excited about this new curriculum and its purpose.

It seems to be a sort of new year tradition for many bloggers and homeschooling mamas to give themselves a theme in the form of an inspirational word. In past years my theme words have been Embrace, Trust, and Faith. I’m still pondering if I want a word for this year. I usually blog about my word and then promptly forget it, LOL. I haven’t really made it a part of me yet. But I think the idea is a neat one.

I will share, however, my theme with my SURF Club girls (the little girls in my neighborhood who make crafts with me) for January. Usually our crafts are themed for seasons and holidays and I could’ve stuck with winter crafts for January, but I decided to try something new and base our craft days on select national days. The four national days I chose for January are…

National Trivia Day  (January 4th)

National Hat Day  (January 15th)

National Winnie the Pooh Day  (January 18th)

National Puzzle Day  (January 29th)

♥ Yesterday (Friday) kicked off my craft days for January so next week I will post the results from our National Trivia Day craft when each group (I hold three craft days a week to accommodate all the girls.) has made their crafts. But yesterday’s crafts turned out great and if you want to see those I posted pics on Instagram. Do you use themes in your life? Do you choose an inspirational word to live by each year? Do you ever celebrate national days? If so, I’d love to hear about them! Thanks for stopping by and I hope your new year is off to a fantastic start (and not an expensive start like mine- a new heater for one of our vehicles- sigh) ♥