Monthly Archives: August 2010

MIY Monday: Gifts for New Baby

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My friend Michelle is going to have her 6th baby any day now (though she’s really hoping it’s not before tomorrow, since they are scheduled to go to an Astros game tonight!) A few weekends ago, we threw her family a baby shower and I was delighted to make a few things for her to use with the new baby. She will be using cloth diapers with her new little munchkin, but these items will be good even for a mama using disposable diapers.
I made a soft, padded travel changing pad, some flannel wipes, and a nursing cover (pictured at end of post).
I purchased a package of nice receiving blankets that coordinated with the colors of her baby bedding. One pack (4 blankets) is enough to make these items, plus have some left over to embellish burp cloths, AND have one of the blankets un-cut to give as a matching receiving blanket. This pack cost me $10 at Walmart, and I thought that was a great price to pay for a sweet, custom gift set.

I didn’t exactly measure anything; this is a super easy project. One of the blankets, cut in half lengthwise seemed to be a good size for a changing pad.

I used two different blankets, so each side would look different, but coordinate. I cut them and then measured out a piece of thin quilt batting to go between the layers of flannel.
Pin pieces (WRONG sides together with batting in between) and, if desired, also pin a long piece of ribbon in between the layers on each end, so the pad can be rolled and tied.

Sew together.

Trim the batting between the flannel layers.

Cut a frayed-edge around the changing pad.

Wash and dry the pad, and the finished look will be nice and soft.

Now, a note about wipes: if your mama-friend is not going to use cloth diapers, these flannel wipes are still great for wiping little faces and hands. She can moisten them, put them in a travel wipe box, and have them in the diaper bag for an outing.

If you think your mama wouldn’t use the wipes, you can make an extra changing pad… it’s always nice to have more than one!
For the wipes, I took the left-over halves of the two blankets I wanted to use and folded them into a square (roughly 7×7, I think) and just cut them like that so they would all be the same size and I would have to painstakingly measure every wipe.
Take one square of fabric and sew a stitch around the entire square, leaving about 1/2 to 3/4 inch allowance. Then use your scissors to go around and cut a frayed edge on the wipe, just like the changing pad. Throw your wipes in the washer and dryer with the changing pad, plus one of the blankets (un-cut) to soften them up.
You’re done!
I saved one of these blankets and will use it to make embellished burp cloths, and give them to her when the baby is born.
Oh, and here are pictures of the nursing cover. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing a tutorial on how to make one of these.


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“There is no joy like the joy of heaven,

for in that state are no sad divisions,
unchristian quarrels,
contentions, evil designs,
weariness, hunger, cold,
sadness, sin, suffering,
persecutions, toils of duty.
O healthful place where none are sick!
O happy land where all are kings!
O holy assembly where all are priests!
How free a state where none are servants
except to Thee!
Bring me speedily to the land of joy.”
– from Puritan Prayers and Devotions

MIY Monday: Clever Bunkbed Solution

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It’s Make-It-Yourself Monday again, and today I’m excited to share a guest post from my friend Annika. I met Annika a few years back at our friend Cheri’s wedding. She blogs over at, but unless you understand German (she lives in Germany), you’ll just have to enjoy the lovely pictures. She sent me pictures last week of this very cute, very clever idea, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you…
Hi Shannon

Finn, our 3 1/2 years old got a bunk bed recently and since Malte, his younger brother (14 months) likes to climb on everything possible and impossible I needed something to block the ladder.

Bunkbeds BEFORE

I had the board in the basement ( I think it was a book shelf in our old appartement) and only needed to buy the hooks which I got in the DIY for about 5 Euros. To add some fun I painted the board with black board paint ( 3 times, crosswise), which I bought some time ago but never used it…

Hooks Attached to Board

Close-Up of Hooks

Finished Project!

I love to do things like this but need to get more organized to be able to do so…

Take care and God bless

Um… looks like you’re already pretty organized! Thanks, Annika!
I love that she wrote “No Climbing” on the chalkboard. I really liked this project because, with 2 girls so close in age, I know we’ll have bunkbeds in our future, and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to keep them from climbing the ladder during the day. What a great idea. I’m so happy to share it with all of you.
If you have a project you’d like to share with us on MIY Monday, please leave me a comment or pop me an email and let me know.
Have a Happy Monday, Everyone!

Back-to-School Savings!!

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Many of you know of our decision to home educate our children. There are many reasons behind this decision, and I’ll post soon about that topic. It’s been interesting, fun, and -at times- overwhelming this year as we’ve decided on what curriculum to use in starting this journey. I am happy with what we’re going with this school year, and I’ll write about that soon, too – just in case you’re interested.
But what I wanted to share with you today is a company we value as a great resource to families who are seeking to raise up a generation of faithful Christ-followers… The Vision Forum!
Whether or not you are homeschooling, The Vision Forum will serve as a priceless tool in furthering your own understanding of how to raise up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, as well as provide fun books, videos, audio cd’s, toys, and activities your entire family will enjoy.
Oh, I mentioned Savings, didn’t I? Yes! Today, for 48 hours only, you can enjoy 25%-50% off a huge selection of Vision Forum products, and Free Shipping! I encourage you to head on over there and peruse the selection. You may click on the above links, or on the ‘Vision Forum Affiliate’ banner at the top right, under our family picture. We recently became VF Affiliates, so you should know that if you click over to Vision Forum using our links, and purchase anything from their site, we will receive a small percentage. Just keeping it honest!
We are so grateful for this company, and I hope you will be too. What are you waiting for? Go shop!
Sale Ends Wednesday, August 11 at Midnight (CDT)

MIY Monday: Nature Class Project

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Homeschooling is upon us! Maggie turned 4 this summer, and Lilly will be 3 next month, and we are starting home education this year, doing some preschool activities with both girls.

I am excited to do some hands-on activities with the girls, and hatching butterflies was our first ‘Nature Class Project’.
My Mom gave the girls one of these a few months ago:

No, these are not my kids… I don’t know who they are.

This cute, collapsable butterfly garden came with a coupon to redeem for a set of 5 live caterpillars. We redeemed our coupon online at and paid $3 shipping. A few days later, our live caterpillars arrived in the mail. The girls were very excited, since I had been talking to them about our project.

We watched our caterpillars crawling around and within a few days, they crept to the top of the cup to hang upside down, and begin their transformation.
This company guarantees at least 3 caterpillar chrysalides (cocoons) will hatch. But all 5 of ours hatched into Painted Ladies. Unfortunately, we missed every single one of them hatching. But the girls were so excited to keep checking the garden and discover a new butterfly had been born.

We picked some flowers and sprinkled sugar water on them for the butterflies to eat. After a few days of watching our pretty little friends, we let them go in the front yard. The girls squealed and said ‘bye butterfly!’ each time one took flight.

This was an easy, affordable, and fun project for us to do as a family; even Jeff enjoyed participating in our butterfly hatching. The girls learned more from this experience than they would have just reading a book and looking at pictures. We folded up our garden and put it away in the front closet, but we will definitely do this again. Even if you are not homeschooling, I definitely recommend this project.
What other Make-It-Yourself homeschool projects have you been up to?
Hope you’ve had a Happy Monday, everyone… that means you!

Not Me Monday

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This is my first ever ‘Not Me Monday‘ post. Several blogs I read participate in this, like Kim, over at Raising Olives. But I’ve never been brave enough to jump in there… until today.
If you’re not familiar with it, here’s how it works: ‘Not Me Monday’ gives me the opportunity to tell you about things around here that I might otherwise refuse to own up to – that is to say, ‘no, not me!’ Get it? Okay, here we go…
We once again had a jam-packed weekend, but despite being so busy I did NOT feed my family take-out pizza AND McDonalds in the same weekend. Nope, not me.
I was so grateful that a friend’s daughter helped me clean out my girls’ bedroom. We did NOT find ridiculous amounts of dust and trash under both beds AND the dresser. We did NOT fill a small bag just with trash to be thrown away. I did NOT throw away other things when my children weren’t looking. And when we were finally done in there, I did NOT tell my girls that their bedroom was now a museum and they had better not touch a single thing in there. Nope, not me.
I was NOT so busy all weekend that I missed all five of our butterflies hatch. (Darn.)
I did NOT open up the washing machine yesterday to find that a huge roach had decided to crawl up in there and die. I did NOT then close the washer, walk away, and decide against washing clothes.
I have NOT had a laundry basket of folded clothes sitting beside the desk for days now, waiting to be put away. And I’m NOT hoping that we’ll just use all those clothes so I won’t have to put them away.
It has NOT been 3 days since my children bathed. Nope, not them.
I did NOT feed my girls instant oatmeal this morning, with something resembling real ‘strawberries and cream.’
I did NOT get fed up this morning with my bedroom looking like this:

and this…
and this…
and this…
And I did NOT leave my sink looking like this last night.

I did NOT just remember that I forgot to change our bed sheets a few days ago after Carson’s diaper leaked in the middle of our bed…
Just keeping it real, people.
Oh, and no, my 6-month-old son is NOT still sleeping in my bed… sometimes…
And speaking of my son, he does NOT scream his head off every time I change his clothes. Nope, not him.

And I certainly, absolutely, did NOT set my girls down in front of a leap frog video so I could clean and de-clutter my bedroom…. and wash the dishes. No way…. and the video player was NOT on ‘replay.’
Maggie blowing a spit bubble while completely engrossed in the ‘educational’ video.
I do NOT use this blog as motivation for tackling projects around my house. Just forget about the desk.
I did NOT take my entire family to the grocery store last night, only to realize this morning I had forgotten two major things I needed for tonight’s dinner.
Oh, and I definitely did NOT abandon my cleaning/de-cluttering project this morning to drag my kids to the store to get things I didn’t forget and pick up stuff to make dinner for my friend who just had a baby.
Nope. Not me!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this completely fictional post. Not. Maybe.
Happy Monday, everybody… what have you NOT done lately?