Tuesday, January 6, 2015

{The Polar Express} Winter Party

Well... Christmas is over, the New Year has come and we are wrapping up Winter Break at our house. 
Its been a really fun couple of weeks, but I am sooo ready to get back into our routine!

I wanted to share some things that I made for the boy's Winter parties this year. Last year I did a Rudolph party for Noah's class, which was a lot of fun, but Roman really wanted a Polar Express theme for his class this year. 
(And I wasn't interested in doing 2 different parties!) 
Doing The Polar Express happened to work perfectly because both classes were having a pajama party the following day as well as watching the movie, so our activities just added to that.

For favors I made packages of hot chocolate as well as bell ornaments for the kids to take home.
{I wish I hadn't waited so long to get the bells for the ornaments. I never thought all the craft stores would be completely sold out of silver bells! So red bells it is. Next time I will know better!}

{I poured Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate mix in some zip lock baggies, along with marshmallows, mini chocolate chips and red & green sprinkles. I just folded my label over the edge and stapled the top.}

{I designed tags for both that you are welcome to use! Just click on the picture, save it to your computer and print on card stock. The images are designed for 4x6 sizing.}

For Noah's Kindergarten class I found these FREE, downloadable, coloring sheets from a 123homeschool4me website. 
During free time they had the option to color, or take them home. 
{Next time I plan to scale them down to size and make a small coloring book.}
His class enjoyed their hot chocolate during snack time and took their bells home to hang on the tree.

For Roman's 2nd grade class, We had a complete breakfast bar. Every child brought in a certain item and we made Belgium Waffles right there in the classroom! The kids topped off their waffles with all kinds of goodies, and then made some Christmas tree ornaments to take home. 

For our game we played "BELL BINGO." I had come across the idea on Pinterest but was annoyed that I couldn't find anything for free- class parties have a budget, ya know! 
So I made my own!

Print the following 2 sheets on 8x10 paper. 
1 of each, per child.
{It could be card stock or construction paper, but regular printing paper would work as well.}

{I suggest having the kids use glue sticks for this project.}

{Really encourage the kids not to copy each others placement, this will help the game go longer.}

{I used the bell ornaments and hot chocolate packets as Bell Bingo prizes!} 

{Make sure you have LOTS of marshmallows to use as markers!}

The following are your 5x7 calling cards. 
{I do suggest printing these on card stock and saving them for another time.} 

I hope you and your kiddo's class enjoy!
{Happy New Year!}

Sunday, January 4, 2015


I don't think there's anything in this world that hurts more than a shattered dream. I don't know what that could mean to you. but I certainly know what that means to me.

I had a certain dream for the family I wanted to have.
The marriage I wanted to have.
The kind of wife I wanted to be.
The kind of mother I wanted to be.
I didn't anticipate what was in fact planned for me.
As life started to unfold, it got increasing complicated and at times unbearably painful. The dreams I had shattered into an isolated world, filled with let downs and questions.

For me, the complicated nature of my life left me feeling completely broken.
The expectations I felt were put on me, raised the expectations I put on my spouse and the disappointments multiplied and the hurt continued to increase.

Some nights I would cry out to God and question His plan for my life. I would ask him how in the world could he expose to me to pain like this, fully knowing all I had already been through.

Pain like this? Currently, its experienced through an over abundance of love for our child while mourning the loss of a dream we had for him all at the same time. You might not be able to understand, or you might know all too well.

Speaking to you, and reminding myself at the same time:
God knows.
He has a purpose.
This is not in vain.
Your brokenness isn't failure. It has been intentionally given to you for a greater purpose. Once we have been broken to a place that seems irreparable is when God comes, gathers the pieces and builds something that glorifies Him. While all you had desired was noble, it just wasn't usable. His plan is far beyond anything you or I could ever dream, and sometimes that's hard for us to see.

One night studying, I read a translation of Matthew 5:3 that spoke to me:
"Blessed are those that recognize they are spiritually helpless. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them."
The words "spiritually helpless" read like I was reading my own name... and then God gave me 2 promises that took root in my heart:
I will be happy.
Where God dwells, I already own.

The same promises are for you.
There are some on my heart that I will be praying for over the next 3 weeks. Pray for me as well.
Lets be broken together.