DIYP#26 Advent Calendar & Shape-Its Giveaway!

We are going to be celebrating Advent a little different this year
Some of the inspiration came from this adorable idea in PaperCraft magazine:
A Bottle Cap Advent Calendar:
I love this simple, frugal idea of using bottle caps, scrapbook paper and even photos to count the days of December.
But I wanted to add a little message inside each cap.  You can download my plan for Advent here.
First, I had my kids help me glue magnets onto the backs of bottle caps. These are pretty cheap at Hobby Lobby, but you can also use recycled caps.
Next, I gathered paper and stickers.

I cut out 25 little squares.

And numbered them.

I took the secret message and tucked it into the cap and taped the number over the top:

I put them on the fridge in the form of a Christmas tree and my kid’s are very eager for December first to get here!

A Royal Pain

Is it just me or have school projects gone up a notch?

I mean, I was fine with dressing a Turkey like a favorite book character in Kindergarten.
And, celebrating the 100th day of school in the first grade with one hundred tiny items, worked out well.
Building a miniature replica of a city building in second grade was challenging, but my hubby had fun.
But the third grade? An Ancestral Figure
I think I’m out of my league.
We are in the big-time school projects now. We’re talking research, internet sources, an interview with a family member, and a bibliography(!). 
But that’s only part one.
Part two: Design an Ancestral Figurine from a clothespin.
We’ve been working on this family project for a couple of weeks now and we’re just about done. (I use we because we believe in group projects ’round here).
We went with my hubby’s family because the nuts from his tree have been recorded.  Mine? There’s not even a document.
Here’s what we learned:  
  • Part of my hubby’s family comes from England. 
  • There is a family crest.
  • They are said to be English Royalty
  • Once settled in the American colonies, his family helped General George Washington in the New York Campaign.
Yeah, my kids perked up at the mention of royalty
“So, Mom, does this mean I don’t have to clean my room?” my daughter asked as she dug thru the toy box for a crown.
“Everyone in this house is from English royalty. Except you. Right? Mom? Mom?” my son asked as I locked myself in the bathroom. 
(Before someone piled countless chores on me, ripped my dress to shreds and told me I couldn’t go The Ball!)
I gathered a few supplies for the figurine. 
And when I returned from Target yesterday, this is what I found:
I decided three things: If my hubby loses his day job, he can fall back on his doll-making skills; school projects are a pain and we are so getting an A.
Um, I mean, my daughter’s getting an A.

Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You: My Hand on a Stranger’s Leg

My weekly carnival is here!  Thanks for joining Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You!

Feel free to link up photos that you won’t get around to scrap booking! Also, please note:  We will be putting the ‘Fro on hold the week of Thanksgiving.
Now, down to business.
A letter I have been putting off for too long:
Dear Mr. Lego Man,
I ran across this picture the other day and I felt a pang of guilt. I should have apologized years ago for my inappropriate behavior. Time has not eased my seared conscience. And I’d like to make things right.
I am sorry for sliding my hand to your inner thigh when my daughter and I stopped for a quick rest on the bench. After such an exhausting day at Disney World, I was obviously not thinking clearly and  I have regretted my impulsive action for a long time.
Please forgive me.
Mr. Linky is having a BAD day again, so leave your links in the comments if it’s not working for you! He disappeared with your links overnight!  Sorry, y’all. 

Say It With Letters-Giveaway!

*UPDATED* Congratulations to Suburb Sanity!  You won.  Check you inbox for an email!! Now, the rest of you, go buy what you said you wanted and come back on Saturday for a DIY giveaway (featuring another fabulous Mom Store).

I enjoy finding new ways to do old things.

And then I love sharing them with you.
A fabulous place of discovery is Etsy. It’s been fun introducing you to new Mom stores this holiday season. I think it only makes our online community stronger. 
I am so happy to tell you about today’s store: Say it with letters.
The name alone interests me. 
Because y’all, I’m fond of the alphabet.

Just looking around this custom cut letters and shapes shop makes me want to get my crafty on. In a serious way.
And since I have a fierce craving for a glitter garland, I’ve got to show you this. And this. 
Now, if that doesn’t bring out your inner craft goddess, I don’t know what will!
Here’s inspiration from the creator, Deb (these are images from her blog):
jolene+noel by sayitwithlettersJA-house1 by sayitwithletters
kory+ornaments+full by sayitwithletterswreath+heathernichols by sayitwithletterskory+cupcake by sayitwithletters

Go and visit this great store. Come back and tell me what you would get with the $25 DOLLAR gift certificate Say It With Letters is giving away right now!  The random winner will be announced on Thursday at noon.
For more great tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday.

An Update on The Persecuted Church

Persecuted Church:

Can I just say I am honored to be a part of these people’s lives?
I mean out of all the people in the world, why us?
I’m amazed God allowed our paths to cross.
And our lives to intertwine.
I am awestruck.
Last night, two dozen people I love, joined with me in blessing this family. We ate and laughed and offered gifts of love (bed sheets, a trash can, stockings for their mantle…just to name a few) to these refugees from The Persecuted Church. 

Our friends.

Igor shared about his recent trip to the Russian block of countries. The Sport’s Conferences he held were very successful. He traveled to Khazakstan which borders his home country and he met with people from the Underground Church. They were so thankful to receive the duffle bags we sent.
I wanted to weep when he told about their two brief days together. They all had to sneak across dangerous borders to meet him. He saw his parents for the first time in two years! He said they were all so eager to fellowship together and pray for one another, they didn’t  even take the time to sleep during the 48 hours.
Amazing, huh?
I thought my heart would explode when he told of the 100,000 orphans in The Ukraine alone that they held outreaches for and then introduced us to a Ukraine Pastor who traveled back with him. This Pastor has seven children, three who were orphans. 
His name is Serge and he handed me a picture of his beautiful family. He asked us to put the picture on our fridge and pray for them.

The holidays are coming and our economy is unstable.  These are difficult times for so many. And yet, I was reminded again today how much I have and how much I can still give.  
If you would like to help, please click below. (So, many have you already donated and sent gift cards and gifts. Thank you).

Please keep us in your thoughts on December 1st.  Our local Chick Fil A is hosting a Benefit Day and 20% of their proceeds will go towards this family and their ministry.  
I’m praying a lot of people will get The Chicken Craving that day.
I plan to consume a lot of sweet tea.
It’s the least I can d