Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Simple Memories

Simple Memories

Today at 12:33pm Edit Note Delete

A year ago I found a fun way to preserve bits of nature that remind me of times or memories of my life. You can choose pretty leaves, flowers, even a tiny tree seedling from a specific place or time that you want to remember. Then press those between paper towels under or inside of some heavy books. After a few days, remove the flowers and leaves and place them between clear contact paper, along with a handwritten or printed label of where or when you gathered these items. Seal, and trim around it to the desired size or shape you like. And voila...a cool book mark for your Bible or other book that will always remind you of something special. My first photo shows some beautiful yellow Aspen leaves I picked up at Estes Park this past fall. The second photo shows a bookmark I made in September of 2007 when our oldest kids first went to college. I loved the tiny tree seedling and leaves that I found at a park that day. It reminds me of the thoughts and feelings I had as I was struggling to let go of my own 'seedlings' children.I've also made one of rose petals from my daughter's wedding last July. So give it a try if you can expand this idea to use in scrapbooking or cardmaking. Capture a moment of nature, and enjoy the sweet, simple things of life.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Simple Critters

Before our family got a dog two years ago, my only pets were the critters outdoors. However, they were great pets! No cleaning, no cages, no vet bills, and no barking! I kind of gave up on a true bird feeder, because the squirrels dumped out the food no matter what.

So, one day I decided to get a dish that would make a good ground feeder...a round plastic terra cotta tray that is made to sit under a large flower pot. For $3, I had an excellent feeding dish for my critters. Having the dish of birdseed on the ground turned out to be a great way to gain more pets! Not only the Juncos, Cardinals, and Doves came to The Critter Cafe...but many other creatures. We've enjoyed watching chipmunks suck up pouches full of seed to carry back to their nests, Mallard ducks come to feed and nap in our yard, plus bunny rabbits, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and more.

They don't cause any fact I think they leave my garden and the garbage alone better since I provide other treats for them. And we've really enjoyed observing this nature expo through the kitchen window. After a fresh snow fall, there are usually various tracks all around the dish, as they've made an early morning visit to feed. I love it! God says that all good gifts are from Him. Enjoy the ones in your own backyard.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Simple Display

My fridge is one of those with LOTS of photos, cards, and notes displayed. I've used the fridge magnet frames for years. But recently I came up with something I like even better...and it only cost $1.

Target's dollar section had a teacher's 'sentence strip' holder in several fun colors, and since organizational tools are like toys to me, I couldn't help but purchase one. Bringing it home, I decided it would easily stick to the front of the fridge with Sticky Tac, and the clear vinyl pockets could hold all my fridge art! Now, the pictures, cards, and notes are easy to pop in, change out, take off and look at, and my fridge no longer has a great mismatch collection of magnets and frames. I pop in a grocery list, meal plan, or postcard and several days later, remove it without any effort. No matter the size of the artwork, I can make it fit in a pocket.

Keep your eyes open for great ways to re-purpose cute organizational tools...for a simple display!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Simple Celebrations

Spring is springing! Celebrate the changing season by enjoying a simple challenge with your family or friends. Watch for the "first" of different things that signal spring. In our home, we have a standing challenge to be the first one to spot a Robin that has returned from migration. The winner, every spring, gets $1. :o) If the Robins have been in your neighborhood for awhile, then look for another first...the first blooming Forsythia bush, the first tulip to bloom, or the first flowering tree of the season. If you don't have anyone to do this fun search with, then make a deal with yourself...the day you see the first _______, you will celebrate with a favorite take out lunch or white mocha latte! The point is to keep your eyes open to enjoying all the wonderful changes taking place, and to celebrate! Rejoice!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Simple Disinfecting

When recovering from an illness, it can be a good idea to disinfect your toothbrush. Want to know an easy way? Just stick it in your dishwasher! After going through a wash cycle with your dishes, voila...germ free, lickety split! If you do not have a dishwasher, you can soak your toothbrush in a glass of hot water with a drop of bleach....rinse well before using. Happy Health!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Simple Sabbath Moments

The Bible teaches us to observe the Sabbath in order to focus on worshipping God and giving our bodies and minds a rest. Taking time each day for a few Sabbath moments is also a good idea. Ever since my babies were born, I've observed a "rest time" for myself each afternoon possible. Whether it is 20 minutes or an hour, it recharges me for the rest of my day.

Simple moments of refreshment can be:

*Stopping to look at the beautiful picture on your calendar. If it is scenery, imagine what it would be like to be there.

*Sit down with a magazine and cup of coffee for a few minutes each day. You'll be refreshed by the quiet, the rest, and the fresh ideas you see.

*Take 20 minutes to do something creative...make a card, bake a dessert, color a picture, plant some flowers, scrapbook a page. Add moments of creativity and beauty to your life in whatever way you enjoy.

*The ideas are for 20 minutes, lay on the sofa with your eyes closed, pray scripture, take a bath, breath deep, journal, take a walk and enjoy your neighbors' yards and the big blue sky, light a candle, sit on your patio swing...

Whatever would be refreshing to your soul and body...take a few minutes today and have a Sabbath moment. It will make you a sweeter, more relaxed person, and help you to serve God more wholeheartedly. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Simple Journaling

As a teen, I journaled a full page nearly every day. It was a way to write down what I was thinking and feeling, as well as capturing the interesting scenes of my life in those poignant years. After I married and had young children, I was just happy if I could write in my journal ever week or two. Those precious memories of my children's early years are priceless to me, as I go back and read. But now, my life is too busy and full to really write more than 2-3 times a year...and by then there is so much to say, it becomes a burden to think of the energy it will take!

However, I have found the answer to being able to journal little bits, every day, without much effort at all. Purchase an attractive engagement calendar that has 4-5 lines allotted for each day. I found a nice hardback, spiral Ireland calendar for half price after Christmas this year, but I've also enjoyed using Mary Englebreit, Karla Dornacher, and other fun spiral engagement calendars. At the start of every day when I sit down with my coffee and Bible, I take 2 minutes to fill in those 4-5 lines about what happened on the previous day. Even if I have 2-3 days to fill in in order to catch up, it is still a very minimal time commitment. Only having 4-5 lines of space, gives me permission to abbreviate, write in phrases, and just jot down the things I truly want to remember about that day. At the end of the year, it is so much fun to go back and read about the way God has worked in our lives, see answers to prayer, and remember the special moments. Perhaps my journals will be an encouragement to future generations, as well.

Are you inspired? Energized? Equipped? Then, happy journaling!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Simply Potatoes

Here's a simple idea from one of my favorite mentors...Emilie Barnes. When baking potatoes, bake additional potatoes for another meal, but fix the additional potatoes in a different way. For example, bake 6 potatoes. Eat 2 of them the first night with butter and sour cream. The 2nd night, peel and dice 2 of the potatoes to saute in a small amount of butter/olive oil, and you'll have fried potatoes. The 3rd night, peel and dice the remaining 2 potatoes, make a white sauce, and add the potatoes for a dish of creamed potatoes. Three tasty potato dishes easily put together from the baking of 6 potatoes. Enjoy!
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