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We thank you for taking the time to visit our blog.

My husband and I are a young, growing, Christian, military family. My husband is a Captain in The United States Marine Corps. I am a former Elementary school teacher. We are first time parents to a beautiful little two year old boy, with twin boys on the way! I am a stay at home Marine wife, who loves to bake, cook, sew and craft! I enjoy being a Domestic Engineer. The purpose of this blog is to document the story of our life and adventures as they take place.


We are honored to be serving our country and ask for prayer in our upcoming adventures. We have been blessed tremendously, and thank God everyday for all he has given us!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Books, Blanket Time & Rag Rugs

I will tell you that today's post is a bit of a hodgepodge of random thoughts floating through my head and a glimpse into our Tuesday . . . even though it is now midnight and Wednesday. HA!


On the surface, these colors scream "summer!" However, the idea of leisurely reading and a stack of great books on the shelf or the nightstand is so much of what summer is about to me.

Each year I come up with a list of books to read that have sparked my interest.  
Well, the truth is with a busy toddler in the house and a hubby who is deployed, I only have so much time to read. 

In fact there are some days when it feels like the only books I have read are; Good Night Moon 
and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

Goodnight Moon is an American children's book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. It was first published in 1947, and is a highly acclaimed example of a bedtime story. It is about a child saying goodnight to everything around: "Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. Goodnight light, and the red balloon..."

The Very Hungry Caterpillar from the Eric Carle Collection on #zulily #classic #books #good #reads #illustration

I have had the following books on my nightstand for the past several months.
Some of them I have started . . . and then stopped . . . and then started again. Not because of a lack of interest or excitement on the books behalf, but because of the lack of a moment of silence on my part.

I am not going to put the pressure on myself to create a 2013 book list this year. 
Instead, I am simply going to finish what I have started and tackle the stack of books on my nightstand! 

So here is my night stand reading stack!




I ABSOLUTELY ADORE Ree Drummond!!
I watch her show EVERY Saturday morning on Food Network. There is just something about her personality combined with her fabulous cooking ability that makes me smile. :)
I imagine us as friends and neighbors out at " the lodge " baking and blogging together . . .
... wait, did I just say that out loud?
oh well, you won't tell anyone right?
Well back to reality!
My Aunt Becky loaned me this book back in December and I am excited to get to reading!


Well, you all know that I have the highest respect for this family! I believe that they are a wonderful example of how God commands us to live, work and raise children.
I have just started reading this book and I have absorbed  and taken in so many wonderful ideas on bringing up children. 


My friend Roberta recommend this book to me, written by, Gary Chapman. This book explains 5 different ways that  people understand/experience/feel loved. Perception and understanding how a person speaks and accepts love, can make all the difference in the world in some of our relationships. The 5 languages of love are: 

          WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
QUALITY TIME
RECEIVING GIFTS
ACTS OF SERVICE
PHYSICAL TOUCH



Boundaries are a gift of security that parents give to their children. I am working on creating boundaries for my little one now. It is perhaps the hardest part of parenting . . . creating, implementing and sticking to the boundaries you create for your children .
I NEED to read this book!! 



Blanket Time 




I mentioned that I am currently reading the book;  The Duggars: 20 and Counting!
 I have the utmost respect for Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as parents.
Because I am a new and first time mom, I am open for suggestions and always looking for new and inspiring ideas on toddler training, games, activities and advice. One of my favorite mentors of motherhood is, Michelle Duggar.
Michelle Duggar is always so positive and encouraging as a mother and as a wife.

The Purpose of Blanket Time is to help teach your little one self-control, obedience and boundaries. Now, I know this is a mighty big list of important qualities to fit into one little toddler brain. I know that it is possible and well worth the effort and time spent teaching to my little one.

Here is what you need to begin Blanket Time: 

1. A small blanket ( Use the same blanket each time you do blanket time and ONLY use it for blanket time) 

2. A shoebox of toys ( I have created a small tub of toys that are ONLY allowed to come out during blanket time. This way my little guy does not tire of the same old toys). 

3. A Timer 
What We Do: 

But really, this is just the way we have decided to do blanket time in our home. 
This is not gospel and please tweak this concept to fit your own home, routine and little darlings .:) 

Today was our first attempt at Blanket Time and I will tell you, it was a HUGE success and I honestly am kicking myself in the pants for not having started this sooner! I have heard some say they start introducing this technique as soon as their little munchkin is sitting-up. I have heard others say that they did not begin this routine until their little one was at least 14 or 15 months old, because of their ability to understand the concept a little better.

My little man is 21 months old and while I know we could have and probably should have started this a few months back,  I feel that it is a great time to be doing this exercise, because he has so much more language ability now. I am able to communicate with him on a yes or no question level and I feel that he truly grasps the idea of what he is suppose to do.

We started off this morning. I suggest introducing Blanket Time in the morning, after breakfast when your child is happy, alert and ready to face the day!

I made a big fuss over how excited I was to share blanket time with him! First, I asked Robbie to grab his special blanket off of his bed and lay it on the floor in the living room.


( I have several of these throughout the house, a dollar at where else . . . say it with me now... THE DOLLAR TREE!! So useful, we keep one in the bathroom for bath time, one in our Blanket Time toy box and one near Robbie's toddler bed for story time and time outs.) Whew . . . that's a lot of times!! 

Next, I asked Robbie to sit on the blanket and put his hands in his lap. I pointed out each of the four sides of the blanket and explained that he is not to leave the blanket for any reason until Mr.Timer says "Ding"! Robbie is already quite familiar with Mr. Timer because we use it during bath time and time-outs. He even knows how to press the start button.



Finally, I explained to him that I have a surprise box full of toys for him to play with during blanket time.

Robbie seemed very eager. I set the timer for 5 minutes (because that is a long time to sit in one spot when you are not even two years old yet). I allowed Robbie to press start and handed him the box of toys and patiently watched . . .


. . . Robbie was overjoyed, he carefully inspected each toy and played and played until the timer went off. Once the timer went off,  he looked up at me and in his sweet little voice said; "More play on blanket Mommy" Ahhh SUCCESS!!!!!

I excitedly shouted out a big YES and we set the timer for another 5 minutes!!



We did this three times throughout the day and each time he sat for at least 5 minutes and sometimes up to 10 minutes.

A few times I had to remind Robbie that he MUST stay on the blanket until Mr. Timer says ding. It is important to keep an eye on your baby, because he or she at some point will explore and find their way off of the blanket. At that time, it is important to get the point across that you mean business and he or she must stay on the blanket. The key is to remain consistent in disciplining your little tot and returning their cute little bottom back to the blanket until their time is up.

Once you have had success with 5 minutes of blanket time, start extending the amount of time spent on the blanket until you have reached 30 minutes. This will not happen over night and it might be a
s-l-o-w process and take a few weeks, but I am told that this is well worth the effort!

Blanket Time will help your child focus on a toy, puzzle, game or book for longer than two seconds. It will also teach your child the importance of waiting and can be used when you have an important phone call, meeting, church service or if you just need your little tyke to sit still for a few minutes in a safe spot while Mommy cooks dinner or enjoys some quite reading time.
 Most importantly it teaches your precious little gift the beautiful character quality of obedience.



Below is a list of Character Qualities and scriptures which The Duggar Family uses for instructing and guiding their children. I have been reading through these and love them so much, I would like to find a way to put them on a canvas in our home next to our family rules ( click link to see how to make your own family rules canvas) . . . hmm ... project idea!!



Character Qualities 


TRUTHFULNESS
vs. Deception

Earning future trust by 
accurately reporting past facts
Ephesians 4:25

ALERTNESS
vs. Unawareness

Being aware of that which is 
taking place around me so that 
I can have the right responses
Mark 14:38

SELF-CONTROL
vs. self-indulgence

Instant obedience to the initial 
promptings of 
God’s Spirit
Galatians 5:24-25

WISDOM
vs. Natural Inclinations

Seeing and responding to life 
situations from God’s frame of 
reference
Proverbs 9:10

RESOURCEFULNESS
vs. Wastefulness

Wise use of that which others 
would normally overlook or 
discard
Luke 16:10

ORDERLINESS
vs. Disorganization

Preparing myself and my 
surroundings so that I will 
achieve the greatest efficiency
1 Corinthians 14:40

ATTENTIVENESS
vs. Unconcern

Showing the worth of a person 
by giving undivided attention 
to his words and emotions
Hebrews 2:1

OBEDIENCE
vs. Willfulness

Freedom to be creative under 
the protection of divinely 
appointed authority
II Corinthians 10:5

HOSPITALITY
vs. Loneliness

Cheerfully sharing food, 
shelter, and spiritual 
refreshment with those God 
brings into my life
Hebrews 13:2

REVERENCE
vs. Disrespect

Awareness of how God is 
working through the people 
and events in my life to 
produce the character of Christ 
in me
Proverbs 23: 17-18

DISCERNMENT
vs. Judgment

The God-given ability to 
understand why things happen
I Samuel 16:7

THRIFTINESS
vs. Extravagance

Not letting myself or others 
spend that which is not 
necessary
Luke 16:11

INITIATIVE
vs. Unresponsiveness

Recognizing and doing what 
needs to be done before I am 
asked to do it
Romans 12:21

SENSITIVITY
vs. Callousness

Exercising my senses so that I 
can perceive the true spirit and 
emotions of those around me
Romans 12:15

SINCERITY
vs. Hypocrisy

Eagerness to do what is right 
with transparent motives
1 Peter 1:22

GENEROSITY
vs. Stinginess

Realizing that all I have 
belongs to God and using it for 
His purposes
II Corinthians 9:6

DILIGENCE
vs. Slothfulness

Visualizing each task as a 
special assignment from the 
Lord and using all my energies 
to accomplish it
Colossians 3:23

FAITH
vs. Presumption

Visualizing what God intends 
to do in a given situation and 
acting in harmony with it
Hebrews 11:1

CONTENTMENT
vs. Covetousness

Realizing that God has 
provided everything that I 
need for my present happiness
I Timothy 6:8

RESPONSIBILITY
vs. Unreliability

Knowing and doing what both 
God and others are expecting 
me to do
Romans 14:12

JUSTICE
vs. Fairness

Personal responsibility to 
God’s unchanging laws
Micah 6:8

VIRTUE
vs. Impurity

The moral excellence and 
purity of spirit that radiate 
from my life as I obey God’s 
word
II Peter 1:5

JOYFULNESS
vs. Self-pity

The spontaneous enthusiasm 
of my spirit when my soul is in 
fellowship with the Lord
Psalm 16:11

THOROUGHNESS
vs. Incompleteness

Knowing what factors will 
diminish the effectiveness of 
my work or words if neglected
Proverbs 18:15

DISCRETION
vs. Simple-mindedness

The ability to avoid words, 
actions, and attitudes which 
could result in undesirable 
consequences
Proverbs 22:3

PUNCTUALITY
vs. Tardiness

Showing high esteem for other 
people and their time
Ecclesiastes 3:1

HUMILITY
vs. Pride

Recognizing that God and 
others are actually responsible 
for the achievements in my 
life
James 4:6

COMPASSION
vs. Indifference

Investing whatever is 
necessary to heal the hurts of 
others
I John 3:17

BOLDNESS
vs. Fearfulness

Confidence that what I have to 
say or do is true and right and 
just in the sight of God
Acts 4:29

FLEXIBILITY
vs. Resistance

Not setting my affections on 
ideas or plans which could be 
changed by God or  others
Colossians 3:2

DEPENDABILITY
vs. Inconsistency

Fulfilling what I consented to 
do even if it means 
unexpected sacrifice
Psalm 15:4

LOVE
vs. Selfishness

Giving to others basic needs 
without having as my motive 
personal reward
I Corinthians 13:3

TOLERANCE
vs. Prejudice

Acceptance of others as 
unique expressions of specific 
character qualities in varying 
degrees of maturity
Philippians 2:2

DECISIVENESS
vs. Double-mindedness

The ability to finalize difficult 
decisions based on the will 
and ways of God
James 1:5

GENTLENESS
vs. Harshness

Showing personal care and 
concern in meeting the needs 
of others
I Thessalonians 2:7

FORGIVENESS
vs. Rejection

Clearing the record of those 
who have wronged me and 
allowing God to love them 
through me
Ephesians 4:32

AVAILABILITY
vs. Self-centeredness

Making my own schedule and 
priorities secondary to wishes 
of those I am serving
Philippians 2:20-21

SECURITY
vs. Anxiety

Structuring my life around that 
which is eternal and cannot be 
destroyed or taken away
John 6:27

CREATIVITY
vs. Under-achievement

Approaching a need, a task, an 
idea from a new perspective
Romans 12:2

CAUTIOUSNESS
vs. Rashness

Knowing how important right 
timing is in accomplishing 
right actions
Proverbs 19:2

DETERMINATION
vs. Faint-heartedness

Purposing to Accomplish 
God’s goals in God’s timing 
regardless of the opposition
II Timothy 4:7-8

DEFERENCE
vs. Rudeness

Limiting my freedom in order 
not to offend the tastes of 
those God has called me to 
serve
Romans 14:21

PERSUASIVENESS
vs. Contentiousness

Guiding vital truth around 
another’s mental roadblocks
II Timothy 2:24

ENDURANCE
vs. Giving-up

The inward strength to 
withstand stress to accomplish 
God’s best
Galatians 6:9

PATIENCE
vs. Restlessness

Accepting a difficult situation 
from God without giving Him 
a deadline to remove it
Romans 5:3-4

ENTHUSIASM
vs. Apathy

Expressing with my spirit the 
joy of my soul
I Thessalonians 5:16,19

GRATEFULNESS
vs. Unthankfulness

Making known to God and 
others in what ways they have 
benefited my life
I Corinthians 4:7

LOYALTY
vs. Unfaithfulness

Using difficult times to 
demonstrate my commitment 
to God and to those whom He 
has called me to serve
John 15:13

MEEKNESS
vs. Anger

Yielding my personal rights 
and expectations to God
Psalm 62


Crocheting A Rag Rug Part One 


Quiet Rainbow Crocheted  Rag Rug. $195.00, via Etsy.

I have a new craft bee in my bonnet . . . 
. . . crocheting rag rugs!

I actually found a photo of one on Pinterest last weekend. I excitedly showed the rug to my Mom and said; "I know we can do this." Well, that is because my Mom has done this . . . actually, she has made dozens of rag rugs in her day. I can remember them throughout our home growing up. My Mom made a beautiful pink and violet rag rug to match my bedroom when I was a little girl. 

I have become interested in the history of rag rugs and found this excerpt along with a photo off of a fellow crochet rag rugger's blog called Homesprout.
"During the 1930's, the average American family lived on just over 8,000 dollars a year.  
That means that somehow, Americans survived with only 8,000 dollars worth of stuff.  Keep in mind, that number was adjusted for inflation; they survived on only 8,000 in today's dollars. 
To me, that figure is shocking - at first.  Then, when you begin to think about modern conveniences, and what we spend for those conveniences, the costs quickly add up.  Take away your...
  • phone bill/cell phone - most Americans didn't have one, and cell phones weren't around
  • electricity bill - again, most Americans didn't have it, especially those in rural areas
  • any clothing you have beyond one week's worth (and shoes!)
  • internet/computer/ipad/etc.
  • you get my point...
Americans survived because they didn't accumulate as much stuff, and because they didn't replace the stuff they did have until it was absolutely necessary.  Therefore, the crafts they created reflected their "make do and mend" conception of their world.  A rag rug was just that - a collection of scraps from worn out clothing and household items that could be woven and reused."
The above information really convicted me. I am blessed to be able to be a stay-at-home wife and mommy. I am so thankful to my hardworking husband who makes that possible. I need to be a good steward of our finances and conserve money where I can and make the most out of everything.
I can certainly learn a thing or two from the past!
I am reminded of this verse;

"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 

So where did the rag rug get it's start? I'm glad you asked . . .
History
  • The exact origin of rag rugs is not known, but they were brought to the United States by early immigrants. As the immigrants became pioneers and settled the frontier, they brought their own style of rag rugs with them. Those who stayed in the East had access to new fabrics, while those on the frontier made their rugs from old clothes and any other fabric they could find. Rag rugs became very popular from the end of the 19th century to the first decade of the 20th--and again during the Great Depression, when people had to make do with what they had. Today there are commercially made rugs called rag rugs, but true rag rugs are still homemade.

Types

  • There are four basic types of rag rugs that the home crafter can make: knitted, crocheted, braided and loomed. You can also use rug canvas and make a half cross stitch needlepoint rag rug. All of them start out the same way, with strips of material about 1 inch wide. Tie or sew the stripes into as many long strips as you need for the type you are going to make. You can add strips as you go to make them as long as you need. 
Handmade Cotton Crochet Rag Rug Long Oval 32" X 62" in Soft Peachy Colors with Scallop Edge


Well, I guess it's true what they say, "all things come back in style" . The rag rug pictured above is selling on Etsy for $195 dollars!! Hey maybe I can make a little money making rag rugs. 
Okay, maybe I'm getting  ahead of myself just a bit! 

Hmm, I better actually make one on my own before I start fictitiously selling them in my mind. ha :) 

Well after today, I will tell you they are A LOT of work!! But they are timeless, well made and will look oh so cozy in your home. 

Rag Rug

Crocheted rag  rugs can be made into a many different shapes and sizes. Some styles include, round 
 rugs, oval rugs, rectangle rugs, country rag rugs, square rugs, children's room rag rugs and bathroom rugs
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Crocheted Rag Rug!

For all of you crafty crocheters out there, here is part one of my Crocheted Rag Rug Tutorial! 

Step 1: Choose and wash your fabric . . . and lots of it!! 
You can use almost anything, old sheets, curtains, clothes, but it must be cotton material . So clean out your linen closets , rummage through thrift stores and tear up your hubby's old shirts . . . well, you might want to check with the hubby first, it is the polite thing to do. ;) 


Step 2: Begin cutting  1 " to 2" strips of fabric. I chose to cut my strips 1"1/2 inches long. Don't panic they don't have to be exact or perfectly straight.
 I also like to work with one fabric print at a time in order to make one continuous ball of fabric.


 Step 3: Take the two front face sides of fabric strips and sew them together on the ends.
Nothing fancy, just a quick line stitch on your sewing machine.


Step 4: Make sure busy little hands don't find their way to your sewing machine . :)
This might be a good time to practice Blanket Time! :)


 Step 5: Once you have all of your strips sewn together end to end, you can now fold your long fabric strip in half and iron it down the middle crease so the crease stays.


Step 6: Okay, ready to roll this fabric strip into a ball and start crocheting with my first color!
Note: It will take around three yards of fabric to really get going on your first fabric ball.


Rag balls (1 of 1)-2

Tomorrow we start the Crochet tutorial ! 

Good night dear ones! 
Blessings, 

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