praybigsign

Making a Simple, Rustic Sign

There is this amazing family in our community and we happened to meet them at church. Last December, when I had a 10 day old and a 2 year old (and my husband and mother-in-law had the flu), this family really came through for us. They were out of town and allowed me to bring my kiddos over to stay at their home. My hope was by removing us from the flu stricken house, I could protect my kids from getting sick (especially my 10 day old little girl)! As I unloaded both kids, arm loads of groceries and tons of ‘stuff’ (i.e. pack-n-play, rock a puppy, toys, etc.) I was about ready to break into tears. I look up and on top of the kitchen cabinets were standing letters that spelled ‘PRAY BIG’. Pray big is what I did that night and a foundation I hope to instill in our family forever.

Fast forward a year and I was looking for a sign to go above the kitchen cabinets in our new house. PRAY BIG came to mind so I started scavenging the internet looking for a sign to order. They make them, they do, but not in the size or colors I needed! So, thanks to my mom sending me a cricut and a leftover roll of vinyl, I channel my inner DIY and get to work! If you don’t have a cricut or vinyl, just print out your words and tape them on… roll with it.

Are you ready for the simplicity here?

  1. Get the boards. Put them together (or just use one… whatever your space calls for). Or follow my example and just get your sweet husband to do this part for you!
  2. Print out your words (PRAY BIG in this example) on any color of vinyl on the cricut.
  3. Stick the words to the boards in the design you want them.
  4. Spray paint the boards (over the vinyl). I chose black spray paint that was leftover from another project. First do a light coat and then follow up with a second, heavier coat.20160124_143449.jpg
  5. Remove the vinyl letters to showcase the natural color of the boards.
  6. Gently sand the boards, paying special attention to the corners and any natural wood grains (to make the sign look more rustic).

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And YOU ARE FINISHED. Amazing! Now here is my new, mom motto… it’s okay if it’s not perfect. It just needs to be perfect enough. There will probably be another blog about that later on but for this example, it’s okay if the paint bled over a bit into the letter. Sand it and make it look like a natural, rustic fade. It’s okay if you held the paint too close to the board and there is a slight blob… just sand it out. Just let this be the crafty, therapeutic project it can be!

 

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Preschool, what?!

How in the world is it time for us to be considering preschool for our firstborn? Whoa. Time flies; most days! This weekend our local community held a preschool fair, so we loaded everyone up and headed over to learn about the options.

What a blast! The planning and effort that our local community put into this fair was very impressive! The time for the fair was set from 10 am – 12 noon, but I bet they stayed much longer with the number of people visiting. When we first walked in, they had a sports activity room set up to the right where you could drop your kids off if desired. Since ours were so little, we bypassed that and went on into the gym. Front and center was an information table where you received a goody bag (mainly filled with info to help you recall details later). Then the booths were set up along the exterior of the gym… you had all (or most) of the preschools present, but there were also booths for local kids dentists, sports and music classes, the public library, etc. In the center of the gym were large activity stations where your kids could play while you chatted with the booth representatives.

My husband watched the kids while they played and I made the rounds to the preschool booths. For those booths where my son joined me, they had activities arranged to engage the kids… I walked away completely impressed with the event. And from a wannabe event planner, that is an amazing thing! Now we just have to select the preschool! Any tips there?

Sports Class ‘Bump on the Log’

We are a sports family. Sure we’ll love our kids if they choose not to play sports, but you better believe we will exhaust every sports opportunity there is before accepting that. My husband and I played basketball, among other sports, and hope our children find a niche on a sports team as they grow.

When our local community center offered a sports introduction class for 2-4 year olds, I almost became giddy! Most of the classes previously offered have been dance related. While I have heard of the benefits of dance for athletes, it would have been a hard fought battle to get my husband to sign off on enrolling my son in dance. D was enrolled and we packed up the car last week for his first of ten classes.

My husband had the day off. We decided to have pancakes. We were LATE. We walked into a small room with 10 kids and at least one parent/guardian present. My son became a Bump on a Log. He didn’t move. He didn’t participate. He clung to my legs. This isn’t like my son, especially when sports are involved.

After chatting with several of the parents, we tried a few things differently this week. And IT WORKED. Self admitted, this is only the second week and I am no expert but here you go… just in case your little one needs to get off that log in class this week.

  1. Be Early. Forgo the pancakes. Get to class 10 minutes early and help the coach set up. Better yet, beat the coach there and allow your kiddo to run around the room like a crazy person for a few minutes.
  2. Introduce your child to another kid. Last week when things were going so badly, I looked around the room at the kids standing out (in a good way). I found a boy that looked around my son’s age who was participating well. I asked the boy’s dad if we could introduce the kids after class. This week, my son knew another kid and it helped.
  3. Provide incentives. Even in the anguish of last week’s class, D enjoyed getting a stamp after class. He enjoyed going to the playground after class. You know it… I really talked up that stamp and playground visit after good participation this week.
  4. Talk about it. Yeah, pretty self explanatory but we discussed it. I asked him what happened after last week’s class. Then we didn’t mention the negative parts again. Last night and this morning, we really harped on all the positives of class (stamp, new friends, sports, running, throwing balls, etc.)

Good Luck!

House Project Weekends… with little kids

Have you ever been there? So excited to finally get your list of house projects complete on a long weekend? That was my husband and me this past weekend, well me anyway! He had Friday-Monday off and we started off strong… making a task list of everything to be accomplished. Bookcases to install, computer desk and stand to install, tv to buy and mount, little girl’s room drape to install (he’d already painted her room), boards to cut for decorative projects, etc.

Insert the big unknown… getting things accomplished with a three and one year old! Our three year old son was helpful for about 10 minutes (hahaha) and then dumped his train set out in the floor and played loudly while dear husband was trying to think. Our one year old little girl decided momma couldn’t do anything but hold her; you’ve been there, right? All it took was the little kink in the project (i.e. the retro box to rewire the tv mount to not fit) and all hell breaks loose!

Momma is no longer caring if the projects get done this weekend or not. She really had wanted to ‘assist’ her dear husband with everything. Dear husband is dreaming of going back to work on Tuesday. Darling children are still our darling, little children.

Whew! Any suggestions for making these weekends go better? We don’t have family in town to dump the kids with… maybe I should have hit our friends up!