Crazy Easy Little Kid Valentine’s Cards

I’ve always been crafty, so much so that I’m often tempted to make everything by hand and from scratch. I’m trying to reform this a bit because if I don’t I’m going to end up with carpal tunnel syndrome, suffocated after being buried under a mountain of leftover fabric and felt.

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That being said, I just can’t give up homemade Valentine’s Day cards. And I adore doilies, I hold firm to my belief that it doesn’t have a doily, it’s not a Valentine.

However, my son has 36 kids in his preschool class, my daughter? 20.

Then there’s the 15 cards for the play group party and the ones they want to send to their cousins, aunts, uncles and apparently all the cats in the world. Because of course they do.

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So, over the past few weeks I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how to combine homemade with wicked simple in an end product that would both involve them and not destroy my home or my sanity.

This is what I came up with! I guarantee you Pinterest has cuter, wittier ideas but these have a special, vintage something… doilies probably. #doilylove

The great thing about this project is that it will take at least 3 craft sessions to get done. Which is a bummer if you’re short on time but GREAT if you are looking for a way to fill the long winter hours.

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Breakdown: Have your kids glue scraps of ribbon, paper, lace and doilies onto a heart. Then place a message over top “found poetry” style and cover with a light layer of mod podge (optional) so it all stays on.

Here is what you’ll need:

Valentine’s Paper (solid colored or patterned, I did both)
Glue Sticks
Doilies (never optional!)
Heart punch (optional)
Mod Podge
To be honest I had all this on hand, but like I said I’ve developed a mildly impressive craft stash over the years. 

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Cut out the hearts. I did this for my kids but you could totally have your older ones trace and cut out the hearts. I could have had Noelle cut them out herself and hone her cutting skills but in the interest of time I cut them out while they were having a bit of screen time.
Make sure your hearts are a size that you can find envelopes for, I got mine at Hobby lobby but amazon has great deals, like these! 

Prep your materials by cutting shapes from the scraps leftover from the paper you cut your hearts out of. Cut doilies into little triangles too, like lacy pie. Punch out hearts or confetti. The kids can help with this stage!

Give your kids the hearts and glue sticks and let them glue confetti, doily pieces and paper scraps to their hearts. I set my kids up at a card table in the corner so we could keep this project going for a few sessions.

noelle valentines

Glue Glue Glue, Stick Stick Stick. We went through four glue sticks in an hour so stock up!

I marked the back of each heart with the first letter of each kid’s name so they could give their friends and family the cards they made. I feel as though this will prevent kid drama.

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Now print out a cute message. I went old school and did “Happy Valentine’s Day” in a typewriter font, but there are countless witty valentines phrases. I cut each word out separately to have it look more found poetry (or ransom note?) style, but you can do it your way.

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Stick on the words in the appropriate order.

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Now, if you’d like, when your kids are in bed, paint a thin layer of mod podge over each valentine.

Let them dry and that’s about it! Envelopes and off to school or the mailbox! 

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SO there you go, my crazy, easy take on vintage Valentines card designed for young kids to get involved while parents stay sane.

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Kid Questions, Suicide & railing against a WalMart Christmas

courtesy of

Our family is experimenting with Paleo eating these days, mostly for medical and health related reasons, but also because we’re just plain sick of the American diet.

So earlier this week, Noelle and I set out to WalMart to hunt and gather what we would need to get by for the week.  I didn’t get to bring a caveman club to the store, although I sort of felt like it.  It’s probably good I don’t go into WalMart armed with a club, I get a little crazy in there.

If you’ve been in any retail store in America during November or December you’ll know that it’s rigged to persuade you to buy holiday M&Ms and vinyl snowman tablecloths.

Noelle was delighted with the whole business, the banners, the elves and the wreathes hanging over every checkout lane light.

She looked up at me from her perch on the front of the cart as asked “Is it Christmas mom?”

Uhhh… yes… no.. sort of? Continue reading

July, With a Bow (What I’m into this month)

If you look back over the history of communication you’ll quickly realize how new and strange this e-world really is.  I haven’t met many of you reading this and you haven’t met me.

So in this spirit I am going to, once a month, let you know what I’m up to and into etc.  And I’ll keep it very link-y so we can connect as much as possible.

In return you have to leave a comment and tell me what you’re up to and into, quid pro quo.  I guess it’s like giving you a wrap up of my month’s interests and activities, with a little bow on it.

So here we go, July, with a bow on it.

In our Kitchen

Fresh blueberry pie, beyond beyond.

It’s summer so I’m doing what I do every summer and that is hit up the road side stands and farmer’s markets for fresh produce.  This is sort of hard in Ada as we don’t have many locally grown fruit options other than peaches, but I did pick blueberries at a U-pick in Michigan and craft the most pie-gasmic dessert I’ve ever tasted.   Seriously, make this pie.

I’m also making Kel grill chicken and veggie skewers as often as he’ll oblige me.  There is something about grilled food and berries that screams summer on a plate.

What I’m reading on paper

August will come with a new resolve to complete a few non-fiction books but July was an all novel type of month.  I am coming down off my Elin Hilderbrand streak but this month I devoured her “ The Blue Bistro” and “A Summer Affair.”  Of the two I would recommend “The Blue Bistro” as the latter novel is entirely about a wife and mother having an extra marital affair, which ya know, bugged me a little.

I devoured Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and connected deeply with the characters in Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Blogs you mustn’t miss 

I visited a lot of the synchroblogs for Sarah Bessey’s “What is saving your life right now” and I recommend you do the same.  Turns out I am saved by being Mama Chicken, in every way.

How to Talk Evangelical by the Amazing Addie Zierman.  If you don’t already stop by her site or subscribe to it, I recommend that you do so immediately.  She’s witty, deep and never fails to hit home.  Soon you will secretly hope she becomes your new BFF, as I do.  (and hope she’s not creeped out by it)

My sweet friend Jill Burden is blogging her way through their Russian adoption.  Jill is a stunning person who never ceases to fill my heart and make it pop with joy.  I highly recommend giving her a follow.

On our TV

Well we’ve been doing a lot of Olympics this past week, otherwise it’s been business as usual.  I’m catching up on Medium with Patricia Arquette from forever ago and in the evenings we catch up on Food Network shows or the Daily Show.

Although I must say that our TV watching is going down and we are thinking of giving up our DVR package and going to a totally Hulu / Netflix based thing.

Creative Outlets 

I’ve been working on a beautiful photography prop tassel blanket for my favorite photographer friend, Courtney Folsom, which isn’t quite done yet, but I’m sure will make it’s way into some gorgeous baby photography soon.

wine and yarn, yes please.

Other than that I have a confession to make, I’ve gotten hooked (no pun intended) on really good yarn.  I found all this hand dyed gorgeous stuff up in gourmet yarn stores in Michigan and I plead the 5th on how much I spent on yarn this month.

I will say that I am happily making some lovely Christmas Presents for friends and family, going for another all home made Christmas. Here is my favorite pattern right now just in case you Crochet.

What the kids and I are up to

We were traveling for almost half the month so there were a lot more playtime options
up in Michigan.  Now that we’re home we’ve been in the middle of a hot streak and since we have no shade in our backyard, we have had to get creative with indoor play.

We have developed a routine of the Farmers Market every Wednesday morning and
Garage Sale-ing every Friday morning.  We get snacks and cruise the town looking for crazy deals and kid clothes, and shoes, they always need shoes.  Last week I found this quirky, vintage cabbage bowl.

I’ve been into sensory play with them indoors so we made a bean/rice box with dried beans and rainbow rice.  This is a great idea if you can be cool with mess as your little ones experiment with the cool textures and colors in the box.  Here’s a how to blog post

I suggest you do it on a sheet or outside if you can, it’s messy, and you have to be okay with that.  Yesterday we hid pennies and coins in the rice/beans and let them hunt through it and keep the cash.

Top Photos From July

Kids on the back patio celebrating freedom in every way

gorgeous Michigan blueberries in the morning sun

My happy place, Lake Michigan, Holland, MI

Childhood = your sister shoving ice cream up your nose

My Uncle Mike teaching Caedmon to dunk

My BFF Becky at the Pizza place where we met over a large pepperoni, we were employees.

Still my baby

Now’s the part where you tell me what you were up to and into this July, wrap it up and put a bow on it!

My passover connection

Kel prefers the Old Testament over the New One.  He likes it way old school and some of this had rubbed off on me.  We talk every now and then about why as New Testament Christians we often fail to connect our practices with those found in the Old Testament.  I think that we are missing out on some significant truth by practicing mainly NT Traditions.  So, since Kel likes to keep it OT and for the past three years I have prepared a passover feast for the college students we minister to.

The main event of preparing passover is roasting the leg of lamb, and yes I am glad you asked, I have a few pictures of these previous lamb legs.

1) Year one, an “Oh %#&* I have no idea what I am doing” kind of year which involved me thawing a leg of lamb in my bathtub.

Bet you've only had human legs in your bathtub.

Continue reading

Squeaky Clean Limericks

Gosh I love holidays, I almost dyed our oatmeal green this morning but at the last minute I decided against it.  I told Kel I rented him a leprechaun costume and that we were going to watch, “It’s the great Shamrock Charlie Brown,” The first of which is not true and the second of which is not real.  I also told him to prepare a reenactment of St Patrick’s story for the kids, he said He’d be St Patty and I could be the snakes.  Sweet, my only lines are hisssssss.

I’m actually a quarter irish and I remember one year that my Grandma got a tape of irish melodies to play for us in her convertible to expose us to Irish culture.  Turns out, most of them were about a topless mermaid, she was pretty embarrassed and in hindsight it was pretty funny.  The best laid plans my friends…

So in honor of two things I love, holidays and writing, I think we should all write up some limericks! The Limerick is a short, 5 line poem named after the town of Limerick in Ireland.

Here’s some loose instructions.  

Limericks consist of five lines. The rhyme scheme is AAbbA. In other words, Lines One, Two, and Five all rhyme with each other, and Lines Three and Four rhyme with each other.

Here’s a few examples, read them out loud if you want to understand the meter of the Limerick.  Yes I wrote about my kids and what they’re doing right now, IE eating bananas and kissing on me.

There once was a baby named fizzle
Whose eyes were so blue they would sizzle
He ate bananas a lot
he grew tall like a shot
Would he play basketball?  Oh, Fo Shizzle

There was a sweet girl who blew kisses
Her aim wasn’t perfect, there were misses
All were under her spell
Their hearts she would fell
Except for with cats, there were hisses

So why not write us a limerick?  What do you have to lose?  Oh and no men from Nantucket, you know what I mean.