Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal. Show all posts

Happy Thanksgiving!! Time to Express Gratitude


In the United States, today is Thanksgiving. Although I have become extremely busy in my nonblog life, I wanted to take time to talk about what I am thankful for this year. I will admit it has been a year full of frustration, sadness as well as growth and happiness. The past couple of months have been very hard on my family. 

Losing a Beloved Pet -- RIP Pumpkin Girl


Today my heart is heavy and my home is a bit emptier. Last night Steve and I had to make the difficult decision to put our sweet Pumpkin girl down. We noticed she was losing weight and not eating or drinking water like she usually did. She also had changed her spot to spend most of the day. She wasn't being her normal self. I moved her vet appointment up a week because we were growing increasingly worried. She was due for a well visit next week. When our vet saw her she knew something was wrong. After a quick examination she told us she needed to get an x-ray, bloodwork and some liquids into her. She was very dehydrated. She asked us to give her about 20 minutes. We sat on the porch of the vet clinic and waited. When she got all the results she called us in and brought Pumpkin to us. She was fighting tears as she told us that Pumpkin definitely had cancer. She had liquid in her chest and abdomen. We had two options. Take her to a vet hospital ER and let them try to remove the liquid and start chemotherapy or put her down. We couldn't imagine having our sweet Pumpkin girl spend nights in a cage away from us while the poked and examined her, so our decision was clear. It broke our hearts to say goodbye. 

Word for 2021--What inspires you?


Do you pick a word for each year? I started a few years ago. In 2019 my word was flourish, and Hazel picked believe. I spent the year trying to encourage her to believe in herself. In 2020 my word was connect. I hoped to connect with more people as well as God in more meaningful ways. I feel I did connect but not as I expected to due to Covid. As I reflected on words I thought about gratitude and then picked inspire. Hazel is choosing between strength and confidence. I love that she chose those two on her own! It shows so much growth for her this year. (Her new school is such a blessing!) What will your focus for 2021 be? Need some help? I made this word find with over 60 word of the year choices. What are the first four words you see? Do they have meaning for you?

Printable DIY Advent Calendars and Week 1--Hope


Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is always my favorite time of the year. I love the preparation building up to Christmas. It always seems like such a happy time to me. The lights are hung and trees get decorated. People seem a bit more bright and giving. This year even Advent is looking different. We are not physically in church yet, so there isn't the beautiful organ music of Advent songs. But even with Covid the meaning of Advent and Christmas remains. Jesus was born to save us from our sins. To celebrate Advent I created three printable "Advent Calendars". Now we have a beautiful wooden Advent calendar that I need to fill each year. I decided to use one of these in our Advent calendar and one in her lunch box (at least the days she will be in school). The first ones I have to share are the names of Jesus. I made two versions. The first is a small and plain one with the different names in different colors and fonts. 

Where are you from? A Diversity Discussion & Activities

I have to admit I have been disgusted reading much of my Facebook feed lately. I have friends on both sides of the political view and to be quite honest I can't stand posts from either side. I identify myself as a liberal but I also can see some of the conservative side--after all I'm married to a conservative. Awhile ago the discussion turned to President Trump's comment about the four female senators going back to where they came from. As a woman most of the president's comments bother me. As a Christian woman, they really bother me. But truth be told, the man bothered me long before he became our president. That said he is our president so I pray for him and our country and wish him well. But when he says things that insult other leaders of our country I do think he needs to be called out. But this is getting away from where I want this post to go. After that comment a friend from middle and high school posted on her Facebook page her own feelings about being asked "Where are you from?" She is a woman of color. She expressed how hurtful that question can be. After brewing over it all and seeing more than I wanted about politics on both sides in my newsfeed I started thinking about the question.

Kids' Activity Books Review

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of each of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

We have a spring break coming up and then it is almost time for summer break. I don't know about you but I know I will need some ideas to keep Hazel busy. Today I am going to share some fun books for kids that will keep them busy and help them learn! Our first book is from National Geographic Kids and it is Make This! by Ella Schwartz and photographs by Matthew Rakola. 

Books to Find Calm and Peace in our Crazy World -- Mommy Time Review

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My focus this year is on taking care of myself. I need to lose weight to be healthier. I want to take the time I need to connect with God. I need to focus on my needs and not always on my family's because that is the only way I will successfully take care of their needs. Today I am going to share with you two amazing book that help me meet these goals. They are life changing!! The first book is Hello Mornings by Kat Lee. 

Two Books for #BlackHistoryMonth and a Personal Journey Brought by One of Them

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe that February is ending this week. I know something I really enjoy in February is learning more Black History. I love all the new books out as well as my friend's posts on Facebook about various black people in history. (He is a vice principal now but was a history teacher and is black.) This year we have already shared with you many new books including ones on Frederick Douglass, the Underground Railroad, black heroes, Harriet Tubman, as well as about the black women of NASA. Today we are sharing two books. The first is a wonderful introduction book to black history. It is A Child's Introduction to African American History by Jabari Asim and illustrated by Lynn Gaines. 

What I Am Thankful For This Year -- Happy Thanksgiving!

This year for Thanksgiving I thought I would share what I am truly thankful for this year. It has been quite a year with many changes in my life as well as my family's. In many way this post is my own reflection or journal entry, but there are many things that I have been thinking about sharing here, so it is the perfect time to do it.

The first thing I am thankful for this year is my family. We have had a tough year with the choice to pull Hazel from her school in April and homeschool her for the rest of the school year. Then finding a new school for this year. Can I just tell you what a difference finding the right school makes? She wants to go to school now. It is not a fight every morning to get her moving and to school. In fact she gets upset if we are running late. 

Within this great choice also came new friends for Hazel. This has been huge for her. Her classmates are supportive and caring. They are not competing and putting her down like her previous ones. The entire school is full of people who are more down to earth and caring. The environment is homier. It is a wonderful place for her and I love visiting the school and helping out there. 

The next thing I am thankful for is my family and how we made the choice for me to quit my job at Paper Source. I loved my job there. It was truly my happy place, however due to a staff shortage my hours increased to a level I could not keep up with my family responsibilities. I have worked almost every weekend since June and I just couldn't continue that and be the mother and wife I want to be. I am thankful that I can stay at home and be the mother and wife I want to be without really worrying about finances. Let's face it everyone tends to have some struggle, but I know we will be fine without me working. I feel so blessed because of knowing that. 

I am also thankful for my sisters, parents and mother-in-law. I love how close they are with Hazel. Hazel's favorite thing is to be with family. She truly loves them all and wishes she could see them more. I love how excited she gets to see each of them. 

I am also thankful for you, my readers. I love having this place to share our activities, favorite books and products and ideas. I hope you enjoy them as well. And for now I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Reflections on the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther KIng, Jr. and a simple craft

As I thought about what I wanted to do this year for Martin Luther King Day for Kids I reflected on what we have done in the past. We have shared numerous books on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as other Civil Rights Activists. We have done various crafts about unity and diversity and peace. I'll be honest I wasn't sure what to do. Hazel understands the teachings of Dr. King and we have focused quite a bit on the Civil Rights Movement in the past. I want to first reflect on a few things.

Happy Thanksgiving 2016 -- Reflections on Thanksgiving

Today I am spending time with my family. On the third Thursday of each November the United States takes a break from our busy lives to celebrate Thanksgiving. Most schools teach about the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth Colony.  Many Native Americans see Thanksgiving as a day to mourn because of this. I can understand this view and see why it could be a day to mourn for the groups of people who were so brutally oppressed and had their land and in many cases lives taken away from them. However I like to think about Thanksgiving as a day where my family stops our busyness and takes time to thank God for our blessings. It is a time where we get to gather with the people we love and enjoy some quality time together. My family has the traditional turkey meal with stuffing and potatoes and vegetables and homemade cranberry sauce (Hazel and I always make it). We try hard not to have too much food so that we can actually just enjoy the meal and company. So as much as I understand what Thanksgiving means to Native Americans I think most families in America do not think about the first Thanksgiving all that much as part of the meal or at least I hope they do. I see it as a time for family and God. How do you see it?

 Our guests are greeted by our colorful turkey on our door this year. Hazel and I put this turkey together from a Paper Source kit

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!! I am thankful for each of you as a reader of Crafty Moms Share!!

The Perfect Gift for a Child: Personalized books

Disclosure: I See Me! Inc.  gave me a copy of this book and ornament free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing a personalized book from I See Me! Inc. Hazel describes Hazel Can Change the World as her favorite book ever!! She often pulls it out just to look at it and now reads it to herself as well as to my parents at story time. (She reads to my parents over the phone almost every night.)

She has literally made paper hearts for all of her classmates because there is a page in it where the brown haired girl gives out hearts to spread love.  I have to say it is one of the best things I have gotten her. Therefore I jumped at the idea of getting another personalized book for her. This year we got My Very Own Fairy Tale by Maia Haag and illustrated by Joyce Patti.

My Christian Values

A little different type of post. One that is very personal and controversial. I have gone back and forth about whether I wanted to write/post it, but I have decided for me to stay true to my own beliefs I really need to. Don't worry I'll be back to my child-oriented crafts and activities tomorrow!