Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Because I'm reminding myself how to have fun, let's have a giveaway! If you did not think my paintings yesterday were too amateur, perhaps you would like to win one for decorating in your own home next Spring?!

I'll be sending this painting to the winner:

Ok, it is super easy to enter - tell me your favorite thing about Spring! Giveaway is open until Thursday, April 1 at 10pm EST. A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday night and announced on Friday!

My favorite thing about Spring so far has been being outside more! But, I think my favorite memory of Spring this year is washing the quilt to my bed the other day and hanging it outside to dry. Our room smelled so fresh and new when I went to bed that night!

UPDATE: OOPS! About ten of your comments were accidentally deleted! Please check and see if your comment is there! If not, please do comment again!! Thanks - and so sorry about that!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sparrow Paintings

Last week, I got a catalog in the mail from The Country House. I sat down in a cute rocking chair on our new screened in porch (pix will come when I get my computer back!) and flipped through it.

You know what a challenge I find decorating for Spring to be, right? Ok, so I'm looking through this catalog and see these beautiful Sparrow paintings. Here's one and here's the other.

Aren't those lovely? Honestly, though - they were out of my price range! But, I felt the crafty fun inside start to bubble up and decided to hit Wal-Mart and see what I could find to create these!

So, here is what I did:

I found a package of three 12x16 canvas boards for about $6 in the craft section at Wal-Mart. A few craft paints and brushes, markers and a sponge. All set!

I just poured some paint out onto the canvas and then used a sponge to cover the whole thing with blue for the background.

Next, I used masking tape to mark off an area for a brown stripe. Now, just because I'm me and I like some grunge - this was too neat for me. Too perfect - so I needed to do something to it!

Just take the sponge with the little brown paint left from doing the stripe and rub it all over the blue. Now, go wash out your sponge and rub it all over again until it is just how you like it!

Here's the side by side - on the left is the nice pretty neat blue and on the right is the grungy. Which one do you like best?

Get a skinny paint brush and start drawing some sticks - whatever you like goes here!

Little dabs of gray paint make pussy willows!

Write on the verse of your choice next, I used a skinny brown marker from my girls' marker stash for this part!

Can you tell I'm putting off the bird? I cannot draw birds. And, I'm sort of dreading this part - but here goes nothing! First, I decide to print off the bird from the painting in the catalog just to trace around the edges of it. So, here is the bird template.

And, here is where I traced around it. Doing good so far.

Next, I just did my best to make it look like a bird at all. I know this is amateur, but it's ok - no one is going to be at my mantle examining how professional my birds look, right?

I made one for each end of my mantle - with two different Scriptures. Can't wait to add some more spring to my mantle next year!

I spent right at $10 for the supplies for these and am pleased with how they turned out! What do you think? If you try one - I'd love to see how it turns out! Or, come back tomorrow - because I'll be giving one away!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Snow Candy

We've been reading Little House in the Big Woods recently and Emily caught a vision of making the candy just as Laura and Mary made with snow. So, we tried it!

Now, I know you are all wondering where we would have gotten snow?! My children in their extreme excitement over our one snow per decade saw how fast it was melting and we decided to put some in the freezer! Probably our one and only chance ever to make snow candy with real snow at our house!

I found these instructions via a quick Google search and we were ready to go! But, before we get started -may I please IMPLORE you: if you try this - please spray everything in sight with cooking spray or use some oil or shortening or something. Just trust me on this. Ok, I'm finished.

Here are a few pictures from our adventure:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Make Your Home a Haven: Add Beauty!

Our last challenge was to clean out a drawer - which I did complete! You'll just have to trust me this time as my pictures are hard to get to right now with my laptop out of commission!

This week, let's add some beauty in our haven! This could be an organizing project, a fix it up project, a decorating project or whatever would add beauty to your home and life!

I know what I'm going to be working on! Please join me!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Ideas

We had our annual First Day of Spring party this past Saturday morning! What fun to get to enjoy all the egg hunt, candy, basket, bunny traditions and still have Easter set apart as a holy day!

Now, my thoughts are turning toward Easter and the events leading up to this day. Here are some ways we'll be remembering and celebrating:

Some ideas from last year: here and here. We'll be having a Passover Meal again!

I love this neat Advent to Lent wreath! And, am hoping to make at either this garden or this Hill of Calvary garden!

We'll be waving Palm Branches and shouting, "Hosanna!" And, we'll be washing one another's feet and seeing how it feels to pound nails into wood. Making resurrection biscuits and cinnamon rolls in the shape of a cross.

We will remember His sacrifice, His death and then celebrate together that HE IS RISEN!

What about you? How will you be celebrating Easter this year?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I had a big huge gigantic post split into two parts scheduled to be posted here the last two days, but just didn't have peace about sharing that - so I took a couple more days off! Hope we're back to our regularly scheduled programming around here. I've been relaxing and resting like I never do and enjoying it soooo much! Plus, I'm getting my chores done since I'm more refreshed! Imagine that ...

Anyway, here are a bunch of miscy things that I wanted to do an update on:

* My friend Megan has started a fun weekly feature on being a Tourist in Your Own Town. Fun idea - check it out or add your own post too!

* Friday afternoon, I received a very welcome phone call from Compassion International. They were informing us that after 67 days, they had confirmed our sponsor child was uninjured during the earthquake. Christele, her family and her home all are fine and unharmed. We are rejoicing!!! It was an emotional few moments on the phone, but I was so thankful for the call. God be praised for protecting her and keeping her safe!

* I have completed all Easter garland orders and have four extras already made - so if you still want one before Easter, I can send out these four right away. Garlands are $10 each including shipping. You can e-mail me at thehomespunheart (at) hotmail (dot) com if you are interested.

UPDATE: The four extra garlands are SOLD!!!!! Plus a couple more - if you still want one and are open to waiting until after Easter, please e-mail me! THANK YOU!!!

* Speaking of garlands - I'm at 66 of 100 towards my goal! I have a few Christmas garlands to finish up - but have just about completed all of the orders. Thank you SO much for your sweet encouragement and support!

* Oh, and one more thing about garlands - Erin is giving one away, so if you want to get one for free head on over and find out how to enter!

* Looking for some Easter ideas? I'm working on my plans and will be sharing all of these and some links to other great ideas in a post tomorrow, stay tuned for that and please share your ideas in the comments!

* And, because several of you have asked - I'll be sharing how David and I met in a fun series of posts. I'm guessing it will take me about a week - you know, I'm wordy and there is a lot to say on this. Hope you'll enjoy reading that and will be encouraged in how God has worked in our lives. I'll post this right after Easter.

* Meanwhile, my laptop screen has decided black is its new favorite color - I'm not opposed to black, but it is impossible to read black type on a black screen! It's with the Geek Squad now getting fixed! So, the picture content may be extremely low around here for about two weeks!

How have you all been? I'm eager to reconnect this week!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quieting my heart ...

I'll be taking at least the rest of the week off from my blog - look forward to being back Monday, Lord willing. I'm not quitting - just taking a short rest this week. Thanks!



Captive: taken or held as if a prisoner of war; confined.

A place I don't want to be - yet, a place my fears seem to want to keep me. I'm reminded of II Corinthians 10:5 and I remember a thought from years ago -

I would literally picture walking the "thought" or "fear" to a jail type of building where Jesus was the jailer and I would picture myself handing over the fear/thought to His care. It didn't need to burden me anymore - Jesus had it. And, He kept it locked away from returning to me.

Then, I thought about getting even more realistic with this image - and so I created a small place of captivity to place these things as a visual reminder of His power over them and His peace through them.

Would you like to make a place like this too? Please join me ...

I grabbed the first small container that I could find that was not being used! Mine came from some jewelery I wore in a wedding last year - but anything you have will work.

I cut out a circle for the top and included part of II Corinthians 10:5:

Then, tying twine around reminds me of the captivity - and including a key reminds me of WHO holds the key to those things inside.

Now, I can visibly write the fear or thought, and what I've added this time around is requiring myself to look up a Scripture that I can replace the thought or fear with.

Drop it in and don't go back to it - let Jesus take it and keep it for you.

How do you take captive every thought?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sanctuary on Wheels

When I was single, I used to value my time alone in the car - it was such a time of worship for me. I could pray, sing, practice my Scripture that I had memorized and think.

My time alone in the car is much less these days - but it is still something I value. This weekend, I had the opportunity to be in the car for quite a while by myself as I drove to and from a training on Saturday.

I began my trip with the Traveling Prayer (print this out and keep in your car!):
"I know, O God,
that wherever I travel,
You will be with me.
There is nowhere I can go,
no situation I can face,
which is outside Your love and strength;
and so I commit myself
into Your care and keeping
on this journey,
knowing that at all times
I am in Your hands."

(St. David's Episcopal Church - Baltimore, MD)

I had my Audio Bible ready and some great music (note: I love this CD, it was done by a group that used to lead worship at my church in Colorado and also I was involved in a mission trip with the leader and his wife. They recorded this album live in Beijing China - a first. It is very powerful to listen to the music and worship along with considering the hardship that the Chinese endure to worship):

And, of course, God's Word ready to fill my mind with more of Himself. No, I did not read it while I was driving, but when I had to stop at lights or for traffic, it was nice to have handy.

I know as moms, we don't get much time to ourselves in the car - but how can you make your car more of a sanctuary this week?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Make Your Home a Haven: Drawer

Did you plan something special for someone this week? I hope the planning and the doing were a blessing to you as well!

Emily has been wanting to learn to read and has been working hard in her school time and it is finally clicking with her! Because of her hard work, we wanted to celebrate her effort!

So, I planned a little Storybook Princess party for her! Here's what we did:

We started out going to a very charming children's bookstore and let her pick out a new book! She picked out Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and we enjoyed reading books together.

Next, it was time to come home and fix dinner! I made ABC macaroni and cheese, soft pretzels that spelled out Good Job Emily (sort of, they did not hold their shape very well), strawberries and carrot sticks. For dessert I made a storybook cake. I used this recipe and made it into a 9x13 pan. Cut that cake in half and stack to make a book shape! (I'm no expert cake decorator - but Emily loved it!)

We snuggled up on the couch and read books in the evening - I had planned to play a game using Alpha-Bits cereal, but we never got to that!

Now, for next week - I'm going to choose something small just to get caught up on some other things. Pick a drawer that is a mess (my drawer under the phone!) and clean it out!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What is fun?

Yesterday morning, David said "Do something fun today!" as he was leaving for work. My mind swirled ahead to all the things that needed to be done today. How would I have time for anything fun?

What is fun anyway?

Have I forgotten how to have fun? In all the busyness and bustle of life with three young littles, what do I do for fun anymore?

Go to the store by myself.

Close the door to the bathroom for a few minutes of quiet and a deep breath.

My mind kind of hits a wall after that - what else is fun? Even the things I used to find fun - crafting, thrifting, baking seem to have lost a bit of the thrill which has been traded for a tired heart and stressed mind.

Have I forgotten how to play and how to rest and how to relax and how to enjoy? In some ways, yes - I think I have. I have gotten so caught up in child-rearing, in this season. And, then I read Ann's post on being quiet - which trickles down deeply into the dry lands of my heart.


Yes, quiet is a call I can respond to. Even in short moments for now...

Quietness is frightening.

What will I hear? What will I have to face? Oh, for the noise to just cover all of that up. Noise feels safer somehow - yet is unsettling itself.

Yet - I heed the call, and I sit in quiet.

So, as Quiet Time approaches in our home, I gather a book that inspires gentle and quiet living - an afghan - a pillow ... and rest.

Initially, I have to read the same words over and over to overcome the noise in my head and heart - but slowly, I am quieted. I rest.

And, yes - it was fun!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Did you see this challenge over at (in)courage? I did not manage to get mine done in time to link up for the prize - but I still enjoyed sitting in my pj's with my littles on Saturday morning coloring with them!

This is the picture I picked out:

Can you guess why? I bet you can - I love everything about this! It's Christmas! Minty (the pony's name) is baking yummy cookies, creating memories, wearing an apron! This just says cozy and homey to me - it is the kind of mom everyone wants - one who bakes cookies and does fun things with them! It says hospitality to me and also shows that someone cares about others.

And, how realistic - there are always sprinkles on the floor at my house too!

Your turn! If you want to, go ahead and find a picture from a coloring book and show it on your blog explaining why you picked it. Otherwise, tell me about what picture you'd like to color and why!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Family Night: Bible Story Drama

I haven't said much about Family Nights in a while. We have been spending time together - but mostly watching Olympics and just playing or hanging out together.

Recently, I ordered this book from Doorposts - and for the past two weeks, we've had fun acting out Bible stories! I put an e-mail out on my church e-mail list looking for any big pieces of scrap fabric. And, got one very cool Bible costume already made and a bunch of fabric to make some more.

These costumes are all no-sew and super easy, but they really do the trick for dressing up like Bible characters. Details on costumes are included in the above book!

This has fifty Bible stories in it to act out, so I'm thinking this could easily take us more than a year to complete! What have you been doing for Family Night lately?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Caring for the birds

Over the weekend, we did some much-needed yard work! Very light emphasis on the "we" - David did most of it. There were sticks to be picked up and tons of leaves to be raked and mown.

After finishing all of it - we noticed a very interesting sight! There were over a dozen robins in our yard and they stayed there for the next couple of hours! They must've been finding quite a feast in that moist ground that had been buried under leaves all winter.

Later in the afternoon - I was thinking about how God cares for the birds:
Matthew 6: 25-27,
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
And, then I thought that God could've provided us a nice day and put it in our hearts to do yard work JUST to provide some food for the birds! Of course I don't know that - but really, He cares that much about those birds and what they will eat and what an amazing thought!

He cares for us. And, He uses us to care for others even when we don't know it! I love that!!