These Are So Cute I Just Couldn’t Pass Them Up!

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/christmas-crafts-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers-1250259

Fingerprint Twinkle Light Painting

Fingerprint Light Painting
 Crafty Morning

A twirled, swirly marker line acts as the cord for a string of painted Christmas lights in this festive artwork. Little ones press colorful fingerprints and thumbprints sporadically along the wire, and can finish with a written holiday message. Details like a shiny white glint on each bulb (puffy paint or glitter glue are perfect) bring this piece to the next level. This handmade artwork makes a great personalized Christmas card or gift tag.

Fingerprint Twinkle Light Painting from Crafty Morning

Footprint Reindeer

Footprint Reindeer
  Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Embrace getting a bit messy with this craft! Press a bunch of kid-sized footprints onto plain paper, let dry, and add reindeer features. Opt to draw a pair of eyes, antlers, and a red nose, or use plastic wandering eyes and fuzzy pom poms for a three dimensional effect.

Footprint Reindeer from Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Cotton Swab Snowflakes

Cotton Swab Snowflakes
  Little Passports

Cotton swabs bring the magic of a holiday snowstorm indoors with this festive snowflake artwork. Adults should trim a handful of cotton swabs at various lengths, then preschoolers can work on puzzle solving and symmetry skills by arranging snowflakes. Regular school glue adheres cotton swabs to card stock, then these are ready to hand around the room.

Cotton Swab Snowflakes from Little Passports

More Fun Holiday Creations!

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/christmas-crafts-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers-1250259

Yogurt Cup Rudolph

Yogurt Cup Rudolph
  I Heart Crafty Things

Turn empty yogurt cups into an art supply with this adorable reindeer DIY. Kids can paint the clean, empty, yogurt cup Rudolph-brown, then glue on a set of eyes and a glowing red nose. Metallic pipe cleaners work well for Rudy’s antlers, and a few of these recycled reindeer clustered together make an especially lovely centerpiece.

I have made the following popsicle ornament into darling frames for photos. They are so much fun to view each year as baby grows!!! wonderful memoirs for grandparents and you!!

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree
  One Little Project

If you start with colored craft sticks, this quick project doesn’t require any messy paint or markers. Parents should hot glue Christmas tree triangles together, and kids can add flair with glitter, pom poms, and mini jingle bells. Make a whole set to display as homemade decor; these popsicle stick Christmas trees look darling strung together in a homemade garland.

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree from One Little Project

Everyone loves the candy cane reindeer. They make great small gifts for neighbors or classmates! Darling decorations on packages! So fun!!

Candy Cane Reindeer

Candy Cane Reindeer
 Elizabeth LaBau

Another great option for a low-cost craft, these candy cane reindeer will add a touch of kitsch to your Christmas decor. Simply glue on teeny red pom pom noses and googly eyes, then twist a length of brown pipe cleaner antlers around the candy cane curve. If you’d prefer to keep your candy canes totally edible, swap out the craft glue for royal icing.

Candy Cane Reindeer from The Spruce

Paper Bag Reindeer

Paper Bag Reindeer
 The Chirping Moms 

When little ones can spend a crafty afternoon creating their own playthings, that’s a parent win-win. Use a brown paper bag as the base for this hand puppet, then add eyes and a red nose face. Trace kids’ hands onto construction paper, then cut and paste onto the bag for antlers. This project is so simple, kids will want to create a whole team of reindeer to play with.

Paper Bag Reindeer from The Chirping Moms

Fun Holiday Projects for Little Ones

At this time of year Little ones and their friends are underfoot looking for something to do. I love projects that use household items and allow kids to use their own creativity!!! Stocking snowmen, glittered pinecone tree ornaments, and hand print plaques are just a few of the darling ideas in the article below.

Pull out the popsicle sticks, glitter, old socks, pipe cleaners, tacky glue, and get started!! I keep a small box on a shelf in the garage and add these items through out the year when find them. God spray paint is a great addition as well a googly eyes and any pretty things to glue on for decoration!

Grama and Grampa love these happy creations on their trees to remind them of the younger years of their grand babies. You will too!!!

https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/christmas-crafts-for-preschoolers-and-toddlers-1250259

Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree

Sock Snowman

  All Free Sewing

Given up on finding mates for a couple of odd socks hanging out in the laundry room? Put them to work as wintry snowmen with this easy tutorial. Little ones will love meticulously filling their sock with uncooked rice, rubber-banding it into a snowman, and decorating with buttons and paint. An adult can help by sewing (or gluing) everything securely shut.

Sock Snowman from All Free Sewing

Pine Cone Ornament

Pine Cone Ornament
 Lovely Indeed

Head out to the yard to gather supplies for this tried-and-true Christmas craft. A clean pine cone works great as a rustic base for glue and glitter. Set kids to work glittering in a shallow plastic container to simply cleanup later. Wire ornament hooks attach pretty easily to one of the upper pine cone scales, but a partially unbent paper clip or bit of yarn would work in a pinch too.

Pine Cone Ornament from The Spruce

Handprint Ornament

Handprint Ornament
  The Imagination Tree

Capture a moment in time by printing your toddler’s palm into a mound of homemade salt dough. This project is perfect for the littlest crafters—they can help with everything from mixing up the dough, pushing their hands in, and painting the piece once it’s dried overnight. Tie a piece of string through to turn these into ornaments, and add them to the tree or wrap them for the perfectly DIYed grandparents’ gift.

Handprint Ornament from The Imagination Tree

‘The Five Love Languages’ by Dr. Gary Chapman

As you become acquainted with people their differences are amazing! Some are quiet and reserved, some are the life of the party, some enjoy time alone, and some seem not to care. If these people are acquaintances, you might pay attention and observe or it might not really matter. If they are ones with whom you spend much time, family members, co-workers, or dear friends, how they perceive you becomes more important.

Dr. Gary Chapman discovered a way to observe and tailor specific qualities to relationships. He entitled them ‘Love Languages’ and describes them in his book of the same name. Love Languages are ways in which the people close to you appreciate you most. For some, a kind word makes their day. For others it might be a hug or sitting together talking. A small gift is appreciated by many and a kind act is the best for others. Here is an explanation of the ways to show love in Dr. Chapman’s book. I hope it blesses you.

Words of affirmation

One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up. Solomon, author of ancient Hebrew Wisdom Literature, wrote, “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV). Many families have never learned the tremendous power of verbally affirming each other.

Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love. They are best expressed in simple, straightforward statements of affirmation, such as:  “You look sharp in that suit.”  “You are such a loving son!”

“I really like how you think of ways to help me.”  “You can always make me laugh.”

Words of affirmation are one of the five basic love languages. Within that language, however, there are many dialects. All of the dialects have in common the use of words to affirm your family. Psychologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated. Words of affirmation will meet that need in many individuals.

Quality time

By “quality time,” I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television together. When you spend time that way, Netflix or HBO has your attention — not your child. What I mean is sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other and talking, devices put away, giving each other your undivided attention. It means taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat and looking at each other and talking.

Time is a precious commodity. We all have multiple demands on our time, yet each of us has the exact same hours in a day. We can make the most of those hours by committing some of them to those we love. If your child’s primary love language is quality time, she simply wants you, being with her, spending time.

Receiving gifts

Almost everything ever written on the subject of love indicates that at the heart of love is the spirit of giving. All five love languages challenge us to give to our family, but for some, receiving gifts, visible symbols of love, speaks the loudest.

A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” You must be thinking of someone to give him or her a gift. The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It doesn’t matter whether it costs money. What is important is that you thought of him or her. And it is not the thought implanted only in the mind that counts but the thought expressed in actually securing the gift and giving it as the expression of love.

But what of the person who says, “I’m not a gift giver. I didn’t receive many gifts growing up. I never learned how to select gifts. It doesn’t come naturally for me.” Congratulations, you have just made the first discovery in becoming a great lover. You and your loved one speak different love languages. Now that you have made that discovery, get on with the business of learning your second language. If your child’s primary love language is receiving gifts, you can become a proficient gift giver. In fact, it is one of the easiest love languages to learn.

Acts of service

Michelle’s primary love language was what I call “acts of service.” By acts of service, I mean doing things you know your child would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for her by doing things for her.

For adults consider actions such as cooking a meal, setting a table, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing the baby’s diaper, picking up a prescription, keeping the car in operating condition — they are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.  For your child it can be as simple as reading a book, playing peek-a-boo, taking a walk together, going to the park, playing catch on the floor with a big ball, the possibilities are endless!

A willingness to examine and change stereotypes is necessary in order to express love more effectively. Remember, there are no rewards for maintaining stereotypes, but there are tremendous benefits to meeting the emotional needs of those you love. If your spouse’s love language is acts of service, then “actions speak louder than words.”

Physical touch

We have long known that physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love. Numerous research projects in the area of child development have made that conclusion: Babies who are held, stroked and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.

Physical touch is also a powerful vehicle for communicating love. For some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it, they feel unloved. With it, their emotional tank is filled, and they feel secure in the love of their family members.

Implicit love touches require little time but much thought, especially if physical touch is not your primary love language and if you did not grow up in a “touching family.” Sitting close to each other as you watch your favorite television program, sit in the car, or wait at a restaurant requires no additional time but may communicate your love loudly. Touching your spouse as you walk through the room where he is sitting takes only a moment. Touching each other when you leave the house and again when you return may involve only a brief kiss or hug but will speak volumes to your spouse.

Once you discover that physical touch is the primary love language of your spouse, you are limited only by your imagination on ways to express love.

Dr. Gary Chapman is a family counselor, radio host, associate pastor and author of several books, including The Five Love Languages and One More Try.

Practice Thankfulness!!!

As we move into the holiday season finding peace is a major topic. Why is this? Schedules become hectic, there are activities to attend, projects to complete, and gifts to purchase. If we are not careful we have forgotten the reasons we do these things and become crazy people. Especially this year as there have been so many interruptions in our lives. Stress and frustration are lying just under the surface to sabotage us!!

Memories are what we are going for here. How will our kids remember the holidays in our homes? Will there be visions of homemade cookies, fun games, family? Or will they think of sitting in the car waiting for us to complete our lists?

Developing a grateful attitude will literally change you life! It will infuse hope and joy into your days. It will open up your life to positive happy thoughts. You will be amazed!!

Tips to fit gratitude into your life

https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/10-ways-be-more-thankful-person

Ready to begin? Here are ten ways to become a more thankful person

Every day, say aloud three good things that happened. This can be a fun activity to do with your kids when you tuck them in, or around the dinner table with family, but it’s also extremely powerful to express gratitude aloud when you’re alone.

Keep a gratitude journal. Jot down the small things from your day that mattered to you, like the few minutes of quiet time you had on your drive to work, or the fact that this afternoon’s rain storm didn’t flood your basement. If you’re having a particularly rough day, you can look back through the pages of accumulated blessings in your life.

Say thanks to your partner. Couples who express gratitude toward one another set up a powerful feedback loop of intimacy and trust, where both partners feel as if their needs are being met.

Cool a hot temper with a quick gratitude inventory. One of the quickest ways to dispel the energy of a stormy mood is to focus your attention on what’s good. So when you’re about to lash out at someone, take a moment to do a quick inventory of five things you’re thankful for in the moment. It could be your good health, clean air, or even the recent switch to a cheaper cell-phone bill—these details will help you relax and avoid saying something you’ll later regret.

Thank yourself. Gratitude doesn’t always need to be focused on what other people have done for you! Make sure you give yourself a thank-you for the healthy habits you’ve cultivated in your own life, such as eating plenty of veggies or giving yourself enough time for rest each night.

Use technology to send three gratitude messages a week. Find yourself tethered to your cell phone or the internet for hours each day? Harness the power of this technology to send out some good vibes, such as a text or Facebook comment, to tell your friends why you appreciate them. Savor the good moments. If you notice you’re feeling happy, stop what you’re doing and pay attention for a few minutes. Notice exactly how you feel, including the sensations in your body and the thoughts you’re having. Later, when you’re trying to inspire gratitude, you can remember this moment and experience the benefits all over again.

Check for silver linings. Even the most difficult life challenges come with some benefit—you just have to look to find them. Being sick draws the compassion of friends. Making a mistake teaches you a lesson. When things feel hard, ask yourself: What’s good here?

Look outward, not inward.  Robert Emmons says people are more likely to feel grateful when they put their focus on others, rather than getting caught up in their own inner narratives about how things should have gone. Empathy for others can trigger a sense of gratitude, and people who have an outward focus tend to experience stronger benefits.

Change your perspective. If you struggle to come up with something to feel grateful for, put yourself in the shoes of someone who is experiencing misfortunes greater than your own. Recalling a colleague who has a debilitating physical condition, for example, will inspire gratitude for your own healthy body, which you may have taken for granted otherwise.

10 Weird Things No One Tells You About When Returning to Running Post-Baby

Weird aches, leaking, and extreme thirst—helpful tips to help you overcome these new hurdles.

BY BLANE BACHELOR. AUG 7, 2017

https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20866684/10-weird-things-no-one-tells-you-about-when-returning-to-running-post-bab

At my six-week doctor’s appointment after my son was born, I had plenty of questions, the most pressing of which was this: Was it okay for me to start running again? After a brief examination, the midwife told me I was good to go, but to take it easy.

I left the hospital elated—and later that day, headed out on my first run in about six months.

Being out there again felt great, but everything else felt, well, not so great. My lower back ached, I gasped for breath, and I was so parched I guzzled about a gallon of water afterward. On subsequent runs, a dull, new-to-me pain nagged in my pelvic area.

As is the case with so much else about first-time parenting, I had no idea about any of these challenges until I faced them. Furthermore, I discovered a surprising lack of information and resources for postpartum women trying to get back into shape. Here, 10 things no one tells you about getting back to running after having a baby—and how you can cope.

1. Your pelvic floor needs lots of attention, stat.

You may not hear about it in your post-birth doctor’s appointment, but your pelvic floor—the group of muscles, tissues, and ligaments that act as a sling holding up the uterus, bowels, and other organs—plays a critical role in returning to normal exercise. Wellness professionals like yoga teachers, Pilates instructors, and physical therapists put a primary focus on healing and strengthening the pelvic floor, which becomes stretched out and weakened during pregnancy and can lead to a whole range of problems.

“Without taking the time to rehabilitate your pelvic floor properly, you’re going to have potential injury, muscle pain, and incontinence issues, especially for women who are runners,” says Laura Arndt, a certified personal trainer and Pilates instructor in Fairfax, Virginia, and CEO of Matriarc, an app focused on wellness for postpartum women. (It is expected to launch this month.)

To help strengthen the pelvic floor, Arndt recommends starting with exercises like pelvic tilts, which involve lying on your back and lifting your pelvis, and incorporating squats into your routine a couple of months post-delivery. Postpartum yoga classes also concentrate on the area. And don’t forget about those all-important Kegels: You can start them immediately post-birth, eventually working up to two sets of 10, holding for a few seconds, every day.

2. You’ll be seriously thirsty.

As any breastfeeding mother knows, making milk makes you crazy thirsty. And for breastfeeding moms who are also runners, that thirst can kick up to stratospheric levels.

“The rule of thumb is to have your regular eight glasses of water daily, and every time you breastfeed that’s another eight ounces, and every time after you exercise, drink another two or three glasses,” says Crystal Widmann, a fitness trainer and owner of Y2B Fit, a Philadelphia-based company that specializes in helping women gain postnatal fitness. “If you’re running and cardio training, you’re looking at three times the water intake of your pre-baby self.”

3. Expect aches and pains in weird places.

On my first few runs postpartum (read: 15-minute-mile slogs), I’d come home with aches in my pelvic area, the likes of which I’d never experienced before. It hurt deep in my bones, like someone had put a vice on my pelvis.

The likely culprits, according to Widmann: those aforementioned weakened core and pelvic floor muscles, as well as my pelvis’s anterior tilt from pregnancy, still shifting back into its normal, neutral position.

“Usually by about six months postpartum, the pelvis is back into a neutral position,” she says. “But if you didn’t run through your whole pregnancy, starting to run again too soon, with those tight hip flexor muscles, can aggravate it and make it worse.”

Also, relaxin, a hormone that develops in pregnancy to soften joints and ligaments and prepare the body for birth, can be present for up to a year postpartum, says Alexandra Sowa, M.D., an internist and obesity medicine specialist with MyMD Medical Group in New York City. As a result, many mothers experience exacerbated joint pain—often in the knees and ankles, but also in the hands and wrists—while exercising in the first few months after having a baby.

4. Your posture may be screwy for a while, too.

Everyone thinks about our posture changing when you have this big belly, but as soon as the baby comes out, it doesn’t all go away,” says Sowa, who’s also a mom of two. When you’re hunched over breastfeeding or picking up your baby, there’s a lot of forward flexion and rolling of the shoulders, which weakens your core and can lead to a lot of neck tension and back problems.”

To combat those challenges, experts recommend incorporating strength conditioning and stretching into your running routine, as well as focusing on strengthening the core muscles. In addition, at the first sign of pain during a run, stop and walk—that’s your body telling you you’re pushing it too hard.

5. It can take a lot longer than you think to bounce back.

While some moms can snap back into their regular running routine in a few months, many need up to a year—or more—to start feeling normal.

However, “take it slow” is something that many runners don’t relish hearing.

I always tell my clients: give yourself a year. After a year, 95 percent of women say they’re starting to feel like themselves again,” says Widmann. “If you get back to it before that, great, but if you have the mindset that it can take a year, it will be much easier on you mentally.”

What that meant for me: scrapping the idea of running a spring half marathon with my husband, and instead focusing on slowly building up my mileage while letting my body heal.

6. A jogging stroller takes some getting used to.

Don’t get me wrong: I love taking my little ankle biter on runs, listening to his cooing instead of my usual music mix, as our secondhand Bob Revolution SE glides along the asphalt. But after nearly three decades of running unencumbered, adding a 25-pound, decidedly non-streamlined contraption—not to mention a demanding little human—to the mix has taken some getting used to. Relatively flat, smooth pavement is a must, and I’m hyper-vigilant, constantly on the lookout for potholes, cars, or scary-looking dogs heading toward us.

New moms should also pay attention to proper form when running with a jogging stroller. Most importantly, says Eric Orton, a running coach, author, and father, is to try to maintain as normal of a gait and arm swing as possible.

To do this, he advises keeping your stride short and your feet under you, and not leaning on the stroller, instead keeping the handle closer to your body versus way out in front of you. “To help with this, experiment with pushing with one arm for a few minutes and then switching to the other, versus always holding the handle with both hands,” he says. “Allowing one hand to remain free to swing is better than none.”

7. Two words: diastasis recti.

One of the least-discussed postpartum conditions is also one of the most common. The majority of pregnant and postpartum women have some degree of diastasis recti, which, in short, is a gap between the left and right abdominal muscles as a result of the growing uterus that can cause a protruding belly “pooch.” For some women, it can be so prominent that they feel self-conscious about wearing workout gear, and it can also lead to abdominal and pelvic issues.

RELATED: Flex, bend, and stretch your way to better running with RW’s Yoga for Runners.

Many yoga and Pilates instructors who specialize in pregnancy can easily check for diastasis recti (it’s indicated roughly by a gap of more than two to three fingers’ width). Several specific programs focus on addressing it (MuTu and Y2B Fit, for example); keep in mind that traditional crunches and planks can make the problem worse.

8. You might have to bump up a shoe size.

That extra pregnancy weight, along with the hormone relaxin, can do a number on your feet, causing arches to flatten and feet to widen. The result? Your favorite running shoes might not be a good fit anymore. If your sneakers feel especially tight, it’s a good idea to head to a reputable running store, where staff can help you find a shoe that’s better suited to your post-baby foot.

9. Breastfeeding and running are a tricky balance.

Remember those carefree days when you could just lace up your sneakers and head out for a run whenever you felt like it? Yep, they’re all but over now, especially in the early days when your little one needs to breastfeed.

For some women, running can trigger the letdown reflex, adding yet another complication to what used to be a convenient outing. Here’s how your runs may look for a while: Between feeding your baby, wrestling yourself into a sports bra, shoving some food and water into your mouth, and emptying your bladder one last time, you finally get out the door. Twenty minutes down the road, you find yourself leaking milk and starving again.

Defeated, you walk home, wipe the sweat off your boob (or not—I like to ask my little guy if he’s ready for a salty milkshake), and start feeding your baby (again).

10. You might leak when you run.

For many women, the delight in returning to running is replaced by dismay upon discovering that, whoops, they’re “spritzing” as they stride. According to a study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, up to 40 percent of women experience urinary incontinence after having a baby. For many, it’s a relatively minor (yet embarrassing) inconvenience that eventually resolves itself, but for others, it’s a debilitating problem that can require surgery.

PODCAST: The Pitfalls and Joys of Running While Pregnant

After her first two children, Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan, a writer and editor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, noticed that she leaked urine not only while running, but also while sneezing, laughing, and even standing. “I stopped having fun,” says Pagel-Hogan, who ran track and cross country at Salisbury University in Maryland. “I almost stopped running.”

But after the birth of her third child, and five years dealing with the problem, Pagel-Hogan decided to have surgery to correct what ended up being a displaced urethra. Four months later, she was on the starting line for a 10-mile race with her college teammates. “At the finish line I was only wet with sweat—not a drop leaked!” she says. “It was miraculous.”

RELATED: 8 Practical Ways to Deal with Pee Problems on the Run

Many women can combat urinary incontinence with exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor, such as Kegels. But Sowa says when the problem is severe, women should seek out pelvic floor therapists and urogynecologists who have a variety of treatment strategies, all the way up to surgery. “The take-home point here is that there are specialists for this,” she says. “You don’t have to spend the rest of your life dealing with it.”

Chocolate Dipped Apple Pops

Chocolate Apple Slice Pops 🍎🍫🍎Recipe ➡️ cleanfoodcrush.com/chocolate-apple-slice-pops/#more-

This recipe is easy a pie!! Reasonably healthy and so much fun to make with kids. Ingredients and directions below. Have a ball this fall!!

Chocolate Apple Slice Pops

Makes 10-12 pops

Ingredients:

  • 3 large apples of choice, washed and dried completely. sliced
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, or raisins
  • 10 -12 wooden popsicle sticks

Instructions:

Slice your favorite apple into 10 – 12 good sized slices. Incert popsicle sticks.

Add coconut oil to the chocolate chips and place in the in the microwave, on high.

Melt in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, until fully melted and smooth. Transfer to a shallow plate that will allow you to easily dip your apple slices into.

Alternatively, you may melt your chocolate over a double broiler on the stove, stirring constantly.

Prepare your chopped pecans, cranberries and get 10-12 popsicle sticks, set them out in your workstation.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Choose Joy!!!!

Life has been a circus for a while now. The norms have been turned on their ears. Everything has been up in the air for way too long. Folks find it difficult to function when there is much change. They are uncertain and afraid.

There are those who believe the powers that be are maintaining the unrest for a purpose. In America this is foreign. We have not lived under tyranny. We have enjoyed peace and trust in the consistency of our government.

If you are one of those who has lost much because of the government shut downs and the uncertainty, find hope. This is not forever!!! Life is returning to normal. Jobs and consistency are returning.

Look to the future and know good things are ahead. Make plans to enjoy time together with your family and friends. Thanksgiving is coming, Plan to celebrate in a big way, As we come out of the darkness there is so much for which to be thankful! Good things are ahead! Be encouraged!

Choose to see the good in those around you! Look for smiles and sunshine! They are much closer than you think! I wish you blessings and joy as you navigate your life!!! So much of the way things will turn out depends upon the way you choose to see it!

I am reminded of a song from the play Carousel. It has been recorded by too many performers to count. It is an inspiration and encouragement! Listen and find hope and joy in your next step!!

Josh Groban – You’ll Never Walk Alone [AUDIO] – YouTube

www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1WpGqEOCOg

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of a storm
There's a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

You'll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

You'll never walk alone

Molded Ornaments of Baby’s Hand and/or Foot

These ornaments are especially sweet for baby’s first holiday. I encourage you to mold these ornaments the week baby is born. Her hands and feet will never be this small again! If you are able, you can put a hand and foot on the same side of the ornament. Or, you can put one in front and one in back. As your baby grows you will be amazed at how small she was when she arrived!

Grandmas and Grandpas especially love these as gifts because they remember you when you were a newborn. As a grandma I am amazed at how the same overwhelming feelings of love and protection I felt when my own were born returns with grand babies!!!

The kits for these ornaments are available on Amazon, Esty, and other websites. They are not even a little bit messy as the clay is premixed and fairly dry. There are links below to purchase them. Enjoy!!!

Baby Handprint Footprint Keepsake Ornament Kit (Makes 2) – Bonus Stencil for Personalized Newborn New Mom & Shower Gifts.

Baby Ornament Keepsake Kit (CIRCLE & HEART) Clay Handprint and Footprint Casting for Newborn – Best New Mom Gift and Shower Gift – Hand Imprint Mold – Foot Impression for Girls & Boys Print

$15.95$15.95

Bubzi Co Baby Handprint and Footprint Kit Ornament for Baby Girl Gifts & Baby Boy Gifts, Unique Baby Shower Gifts, Personalized Baby Gifts for Baby Registry, Keepsake Box Nursery Decor


Easy Holiday Photo Ornaments

These are my favorite gift ornaments. All year I save the photos I take or receive of my grandkids. As Christmas draws near I watch the ads for Michaels ornament sale. Right now these are $5.99 each. There are probably ten different styles from which to choose. Before Christmas they will go down to $4.00. Closer to Christmas they could go as low as $2.00. After Christmas who knows? I send each grandbaby a photo ornament for their collection. This is a keepsake for them to enjoy through out their lives!

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Silver Square 2.5″ x 2.5″ Ornament Frame by Studio Décor®

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Red Heart 2.5″ x 2.5″ Ornament Frame by Studio Décor®

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Red Dotted Square 2.5″ x 2.5″ Ornament Frame by Studio Décor®

Our family’s most favorite ornaments are of our kids, now in the 30’s as babies. So much fun to pull those out each year and remember those pudgy smiling faces!!! All it takes is a little diligence and a shoebox! Ha, yes, we store them in our favored shoe box. I keep them in my closet so I always know where they are! These are literally one of the few things I would save incase of a disaster! They are irreplaceable!

As you see, the date is already on the ornament! Important, because you will forget which photo is from which year. The date makes a world of difference. Always write the first and last name of the child photographed on the back of the photo along with the date. Again, life continues and our memories fade. You want to get it right, be sure to label each photo.

Having may ornaments on the tree allows all to see the progression of each precious child. It is truly amazing! Making these photo ornaments for your folks is a priceless gift to them. Nothing is more precious than a grandchild.

I have also begun making these for relatives as they become grand parents. Again, photos have a hallowed place in our hearts. They allow us to remember those first moments of life. They are priceless.

I am a bargain hunter so I have not checked these out at other sites online. That may be your thing. Starting at this time of year takes the pressure off you as you organize. Figure out which photos you want to use. Print them or have somewhere like Costo print them for you. Have them ready to go when you find the frames you like. Put them together and send them off.

Have a wonderful holiday enjoying your friends and family. This year this time will be more precious than ever!!! JUDY