December 30, 2011

Winding down the year

With Christmas done many of us are starting to think of plans for 2012.  Some people make resolutions, some set goals, some just welcome it as a new day, a changing of the calendar!  But, we all made memories this year that we want to remember!

I've created a PDF for you to do just that with your little ones!
Simply ask your children the questions or if they are old enough have them fill it out themselves and keep it in a safe spot!  You could add to it yearly and have a great book to look back on down the road!

You can access the full color version here.
Or one with a little less color (minus the mustard color) here.

Enjoy!  Have a safe and happy New Year!

Don't forget to sign up for the Self-Defense Mom's night out! (click the button below, all of the details are included on the sign up sheet)

Plan to join us on January 6 for the first meeting of 2012 with Heather Winea

December 28, 2011

Lack of Planning {In the Word Wednesday} a day early

written by Tracie
I’ve seen this print numerous times on Pinterest.  It generally gives me little chuckle as I recall previous employers, clients, etc. who weren’t timely in preparing for their needs, which in turn meant they expected me to hand them the world, wrapped up pretty-like, in an undoable amount of time.

Anyone relate?  It’s easy to see this in light of others lack of planning.

But what about when it points to me?  Ouch!

God has laid these exact words on my heart lately in a very real and painful way.

When I’m rushing around the kitchen in the morning yelling asking my girls to get ready, get their book bags, their water bottles, brush their hair, brush teeth, shoes on. socks. jackets!  Oh! and you need a bag lunch today?  Oy!

God gently whispers these words, “Your lack of planning doesn’t make it an emergency on their part.”
“But God, I needed that extra 2 minutes on twitter, and I just had to check facebook to see what Sally Jo cooked for dinner last night, and what if I quickly answer 2 more emails?  Then I’ll get in the shower.”  And sure enough, guess where that finds me?  Yelling at my children for something that isn’t their fault.

If I had planned my time right and focused on what’s important {and social media it ain’t}, I’d be leading the girls, and in turn teaching them, to start their days in a peaceful and organized manner.

I get that it doesn’t always work out peaceful and organized.  Things happen that can’t be planned {like cleaning up pet puke or finding a newborn guinea pig … in my house at least!}.  The unexpected happens.  Life happens.  And sure, there’s a place for social media … in fact, you’ll find me tweeting this post so you can be encouraged by it.

It’s just that God’s telling me to be wiser with my time.  On the computer, and in general … so that my stresses, don’t end up being my children’s stresses.  My prayer is for them to remember a peaceful and {semi} organized home life that didn’t involve “hurry, hurry, let’s go, we’ve got to go! NOW!” as the motto.

Peace, like charity, begins at home.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

So you will go out with joy
and be led out in peace.
Isaiah 55:12a {NCV}

Those are much better words {and feelings} to teach my girls, don’t you think?

December 23, 2011

Christmas Greeting

The blog will be back in full swing after the holidays!  Don't forget to mark January 6 on your calendars for our first meeting of the new year!

December 21, 2011

1 Corinthians 13 - Christmas Version {In the Word Wednesday}

This poem was shared as part of the God moment at our last meeting, but I wanted to share it here again for those of you who didn't see it or didn't get a copy...

From Sharon Jaynes blog post dated December 16, 2009:

With Christmas just around the corner, it is easy to get so busy with the cooking, decorating and shopping that we forget why we’re doing all this in the first place.  Sometimes, the very people we love get lost in the hustle and bustle of packed schedules, holiday parties, and Christmas musicals.  This Christmas, let’s keep our focus on Jesus and not forget to invite the honored guest to His own birthday celebration.
Today, I want to share a poem that I wrote a few years ago that helps me keep a proper perspective on Christmas.

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Style 
©By Sharon Jaynes
If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family – I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family – I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family – it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of your way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails.  Video games will break; pearl necklaces will be lost; golf clubs will rust.  But giving the gift of love will endure.

Let’s Pray Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, that starry night in Bethlehem.  Like the Shepherds, I am still amazed at Your great love.  May I not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas, but celebrate Jesus’ birthday with joy!
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn What are some ways that you can make sure to love your family well this holiday season?
Are there any activities that you need to eliminate from your busy schedule to alleviate over-commitment?  Is your family being neglected because of a hectic Christmas schedule?
If that question wasn’t painful enough, here’s another one.  Is Jesus being neglected as you prepare for His birthday?  Ouch!  I just stomped on my own toe!

December 15, 2011

Important Information

Sorry about no post yesterday, my computer was acting up and my day did not go as planned.  At all.  I won't bore you with details, just know that I'm sorry!

The sign up is available for the Mom's Night Out in January. 

Self Defense Class at
 Chan’s Martial Arts
735 Paw Paw Dr.
Holland, MI 49423
January 23, 2011
6:00pm to 6:45pm

Dinner after Class at
Curragh Irish Pub
73 East 8th Street 
Holland, MI 49423-3503
(616) 393-6340
You may sign up for both or just one. 

Please be praying for Heather Winea (she was a speaker for MOPS 2 times last year) and her family as her husband passed away unexpectadly yesterday.

Tomorrow (Friday, December 16) will be the last day we will be collecting money for the gift for Emily Bruins who lost her husband this fall.  We will be using the money to purchase a gift for them.  Families helping families.  If you would like to donate to this, but can't make the meeting tomorrow, feel free to drop your donation off to the church office today before 4 or tomorrow before noon.

The speaker that we originally had scheduled for tomorrow has had to cancel due to illness, so instead we will be doing a craft.  Please join us for fellowship and crafting!  (The craft is still in the process of being put together, but it will be fun!)

December 12, 2011

Got Boys?

If you have boys, this link is for you.  And, even if you have girls you should definitely check this out.  It's a fun blog with lot's of fun ideas of things to do with the kiddos!

I just browsed for a minute, but these are a few of the posts that I may have to try...
and, don't forget to check out Fort Friday for lot's of fort building inspiration!

Make sure to check out the Mom's Night Out and Playdate Schedule page for some new and updated information on upcoming dates!

Thank you to Maggie & Tracy for all these great ideas!  Gymnastics was so much fun last week, don't you agree?

Don't forget: This week friday at M-LIFE we will continue collecting money for a gift for Emily Bruins and her boys

December 9, 2011

The gifts we NEED to give!

First of all:
Don't forget about the playdate this morning at Gymnastiks Unlimited
Address is: 3400 Highland Drive, Hudsonville MI 49426
$6.00 per child

What gifts are your children getting this year?  Were embracing the Want/Need/Wear/Read system this year, although it really isn't saving us any money, as the kids get older the wants get more expensive I think.  Anyway... I was popping around the web and came upon this post from Janet at Preparing the Soil and I wanted to share it... what we need to be making sure we are giving our children in addition to the material things that are wrapped up under the tree:

The best me.

I want to give my children LOVE: I want them to have a mother who truly loves them and expresses that love not just in words, but also in deeds.  I want my actions and attitude to exhibit my deep love for my kids so that even if the words were gone, they would never question my love.
I want to give my children JOY: I want to create a joyful home—one that is full of laughter and silliness and a true grasp that all things are in God’s control and therefore we can always rejoice.  I want to be a joyful mother, not doing my work grudgingly but with a cheerful heart and attitude.
I want to give my children PEACE: I want our home to be a peaceful place.  I do not want our hours and days to be filled with stress, hurry, and angry words.  I want to be organized, disciplined, and rest-filled so that our home is a place that the children (and Jason) long to be in after time in the “real” harsh world. I want my family to be in our home and just say, “Ahhh….”
I want to give my children PATIENCE: I want my children to have a patient mother—a mother who understands their ages and limitations and extends them loving grace even in the midst of training and discipline. I want to be patient with their short-comings, personality quirks, and childish ways.
I want to give my children KINDNESS: I want my children to have a mother who looks for ways to serve them.  I don’t want to just do the bare minimum while I quietly hope that no one else needs anything.  I want to be intentionally kind—looking for ways to express my love for them.  I want to speak kind words—to them, about them, and about others.
I want to give my children GOODNESS: I want to give my children a mother who is good and who seeks the good for others.  I want to always be above reproach and never afraid that listening ears may pick up on sinful hypocrisy.
I want to give my children GENTLENESS: Oh how I long for gentleness!  I want to give my children a mother who speaks in gentle words and with a gentle tone of voice.  I want my facial expressions to be gentle, my touch to be gentle, and my correction to be gentle.  I don’t ever want my kids to avoid me for fear of harshness.
I want to give my children FAITHFULNESS: I want to give them a mother who is always, always faithful—faithful to them, faithful to their daddy, faithful to my word, and faithful to my work.
I want to give my children SELF-CONTROL: I want my children to have a mother who is strong enough to control her words, her actions, and her body language.  I want my children to see a mother who intentionally chooses to do and/or say what is right even when emotions are high and sleep is low.

Make sure you go check out her site... she has some great insight on Christian parenting

December 7, 2011

Hebrews 11:27 {In the Word Wednesday}

Hebrews 11:27 says: By faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the Kings anger, he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

Just a verse to meditate on today.  I went through and made a few of the key words bold.  At least the words I saw as key words.

Have you ever had to do something dangerous or perhaps very scary because you knew that that was what God wanted you to do?  Or, do you, like me, tend to shy away from those things and pretend not to hear what God is telling you to do?

When you do do this dangerous or scary thing, do you do it with fear or with confidence in God?  Very often I'm guilty of letting myself get fearful... but I've been in a place where I just gave it to God too, and that was such a more peaceful place.

Have a great day!

My Bella Baby Winner

Congratulations to Stacy R.  You are the winner of the My Bella Baby Washies!  Please email Kayla to receive your prize!

Contact Kayla at: or through her etsy site!

December 5, 2011

December 9 playdate information/sign-up

Friday, Dec. 9th 10am -12pm

We have the whole building to ourselves for free play and they will also do some fun "structured" things with the kids.

Kids love the foam pits and the trampolines.

They will charge us $6.00 per child, adults are free.

$6.00 for a great nap in the afternoon from the kids = $ well spent

Please click HERE to sign-up.

My Bella Baby :: Giveaway 10

Apparently I forgot to post on Friday, sorry.  I do really try my best to keep to a posting schedule.  Thanks to everyone that came out on Friday to M-LIFE.  I saw some great ornaments being made.  I will post directions to the two paper ones that we had later today, stay tuned for that!  But in the meantime... don't miss this giveaway!

This week we have Kayla from My Bella Baby:

My name is Kayla, wife to an amazing husband, momma to a sweet baby girl and new homeowner in Zeeland, MI (yay!). My love for babies was my inspiration for My Bella Baby and what a blessing it has been!

My shop is full of everything baby....mostly, you will find baby shoes,

bibs and my own creation - Little Washies! (Custom orders always welcome!)

Little Washies are made out of 100% cotton on one side, soft minky fabric or terry cloth on the other with a layer in between for absorbency/thickness. There is an elastic strap, 1" wide, on the back covered with matching cotton fabric.
These Little Washies measure a 3" circle. Easily slip the strap onto your hand while bathing your little one and enjoy the option to use the terry cloth, soft minky side or the cotton side, just flip the strap.
Little Washies are the perfect size for your toddler to use when they get to the "I want to do it myself" stage. Give them their own!
Easy to travel with, just slip in the diaper bag. Easy cleaning, just toss in the washer and dryer.
This is a set of 5, comes tied with a ribbon and packaged in a small bag, perfect for gift giving or personal use!

Life is hectic with a 9 month old and a small business, but I consider myself blessed and am so thankful for this beautiful life!

So, aren't those fun?  I'm thinking those are a great solution to bathtime, not to mention they are super cute!  And costomizeable!

Kayla has offered a set of little washies to the winner of this drawing!  These would be great for you to use, or to give as a gift!

What do you have to do to enter?  Simply enter your name, email address and your favorite item from Kayla's shop: My Bella Baby
Bonus entry for sharing about this giveaway on facebook (with a link to THIS POST)

Contact Kayla at: or through her etsy site

Enter by midnight on Tuesday.  Winner will be announced/notified on wednesday.  You do not need to be an M-LIFE member to enter.

Handmade Holiday :: Giveaways

Were kicking off a week of handmade giveaways today!

  • Each day a handmade giveaway will be posted at a random time on our facebook page.
  • Each picture will have different requirements to win.  There may be a trivia question, a comment number etc.  It will be specified on each. 
  • Winner must be able to pick up prize in the holland/zeeland area.
  • You do not need to be an M-LIFE member to win. 
  • All items are handmade by committee members or attendees of M-LIFE. 
Here's a really bad preview picture of the giveaways!  Don't miss this!