Tuesday, September 27, 2011


It's the end of September.  School is in full swing for both of my children.  Life is moving at a brisk pace.  There is much to plan and do over the coming months.  Preparing - it seems as if it's never ending.‎  Fortunately it does and I'm able to enjoy the fruits of that labor!

Preparing for WoodstreamDream's Anniversary...
I'm 28 "Likes" away from posting the giveaway from my shop! Please share with your friends! I would love to post the giveaway before October 5th - WoodstreamDream's 1 year anniversary! Only 8 days away!!!I've been working on a few items that will be in the giveaway - something to look forward to - it's not just one thing!!!  https://www.facebook.com/pages/WoodstreamDream/131330936956305

I'm learning how to add Gift Certificates to my etsy shop - now you can give something handmade that the recipient can choose for him/herself!  Look for them in the next couple of weeks.

I am working on a couple of custom orders for crochet items that I'll post pictures of when I'm finished.  I have made two hats (one women's and one 5-8yo boy) and another felted cashmere flower pin that I will be listing once I get them photographed.  I plan to make several more felted flowers and crochet items in the coming month before my next craft fair event on October 22.  More information coming about that in early October.

Preparing for Halloween...

I think that Halloween is a fun day full of imagination for children.  I have made several of my childrens' costumes over the years.  This year we're still undecided.  My older son would like if they could be the Wild Kratts - after a PBS show featuring Chris and Martin Kratt - nature loving brothers.  The thing is, they wear khakis and shoes and one brother wears a green shirt and the other wears a blue shirt - normal clothes.  The neighbors would think that I'm just sending my children around without costumes.  I've got to come up with something to "jazz it up" - that or convince my younger one that he wants to use his brother's lion costume while the older one is a Kratt brother (wearing the green shirt - because that's my older son's favorite color!).  This is the lion costume I made three years ago:

It was quite labor intensive, but quite fun to make.  It will be one of the things that I keep from my children's childhood.  I'm hoping I can convince my little one to wear it.  He was the bear in the picture - a lion and a bear for Halloween 2008.  We don't do scary costumes.  We've had a duck, a dog (homemade), a construction guy, cowboys, Woody from Toy Story... I'm missing one, but I really can't remember any others!  I try to make the costumes every few years.  I think they're more fun than the ones ordered from catalogs.

Edited to add...
This is the puppy dog costume I made for my older son years ago.
This is Halloween 2010 with the little one wearing it.

This year my husband will be away on business for Halloween.  Fortunately my parents will be coming to help with the trick-or-treating.  I'll definitely have to take pictures to share with my husband - it's so hard to be the one missing something for the children.  Life is so different when you add children to the equation.

Preparing for Thanksgiving...
I think my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  It has nothing to do with giving or receiving THINGS - it is about a feeling of thankfulness.  Being thankful for health, family, our home, my husband's job, enough food, warmth, and of course our salvation.  Something I try to do each day is to name things that I'm thankful for - I usually do this in my prayers during the day and in the evening.  I've thought about keeping a grateful journal or something to that sentiment, but I'm not terribly good at keeping up with that kind of thing.  I far prefer to let God know how thankful I am for these blessings He's bestowed upon me and my family.  I love this holiday because it's when we make an effort to show our thankfulness to each other - something that we're often too rushed to do on a day-to-day basis.  Common courtesy is not so common anymore, unfortunately the same can be said for thankfulness.

Preparing for Christmas...
Yes, I said it - Christmas!  Do not shudder and worry about how much there is to do.  It will all get done and if it doesn't, no one will know the difference!

It is less than three months until Christmas - the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus!  As I prepare my heart and home for this time of year and this great celebration, I also have to prepare my etsy shop.  This is a new and different experience for me because I am not all for the commercialization of Christmas.  I respect that not everyone believes the same as I do and may celebrate differently - or not at all.  I am in the process of tagging items in my shop with "Christmas" and "holiday" since Christmas is a holiday, but other customers will be looking for nondescript holiday items.  Some of my items are useful all winter, so some will receive that tag.  I'm also tagging items with "under x dollars" - so you can search for under 5, 10, 25, 40, 50, 75 dollar items.  It's a new experience being a shop-owner during the Christmas season.

As we played tonight, one of our boys opened the piano bench and I saw the booklet of Christmas Carols that lay in there - something I kept from childhood.  I took it out and flipped through it, reliving fond memories from of singing carols.  I cannot picture exactly where we were, but we sang them and we had friends with us and it was a joyous time.  It was a warm and lovely time, something very important to have as a foundation memory from childhood.  So, as I go through the next several months, I will be praying about how I can create those warm and lovely experiences for my children.  There are so many "things" going on - but I want to focus on my family because that is what is most important and the greatest gift God has blessed me with here on earth!

I also take time for myself during this preparation for Christmas Day.  I plan a time to have a small group of friends over for either dinner or brunch to celebrate our friendship and participate in a cookie exchange.  It is time that we take each year - this will be the 7th annual cookie exchange that I've hosted my dear friends.  It is important to build each other up because so often we're caring for everyone except for ourselves.  This has become an important tradition - these women have become my extended family.

There is so much to prepare for over these coming months.  I know that all the planning in the world will do nothing without God's grace.  I know that each day is a blessing and I'm making an effort to seek the beauty in life, to enjoy each phase, to learn something.  Seasons change, life changes, but there is something to enjoy and be thankful for in each of these steps through our life on earth.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed week!

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