Tag Archives: homemade

Lenten Activities for Kids

Observe Lent with preschool and toddler aged kids using the easy and inexpensive activities of a prayer chain and kindness jar.

I didn’t grow up in a church that did much to celebrate Lent. We had Ash Wednesday services, but there wasn’t much to mark the rest of the season leading up to Easter as any different than any other time of year. (At least to my memory. I’m sure there were members of my church congregation who did more.)

As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered how much I love following along with the church calendar. It’s a way of ordering my time and seasons around remembering and celebrating our faith.

With this is mind, I wanted to begin some traditions of Lenten activities with my children to mark the season. We took Peanut and Pip to the Ash Wednesday service; who knows what they actually took in, but that’s something that’s in their memory bank now, at least. (And we managed to keep most of their squeals of delight and out-of-place comments to a dull roar…)

But I wanted something to sustain an interest, a conversation, and an anticipation through the next weeks until Easter.

Enter good ole Pinterest. 😉

I scoped out clever kid-friendly Lenten traditions on Pinterest, and these are the two I settled upon because a) they weren’t too involved or complicated and b) they seemed age appropriate for my three and one-year-old children. There are many other great ideas out there, and I hope we can incorporate them into our family’s observance of Lent at some point, but not until my kids are older. Continue reading

Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath

Decorating at this time of year is always hard for me. I’m tired of wintry looking things. Despite some recent warm temperatures bringing out a few early snowdrop blossoms, the full release of winter’s grip still seems a long way off here in upstate New York. I’m waiting for winter’s one-last-gasp blizzard before I set my sights on spring.

Nevertheless, I’m ready for something new and fun around my house. Something bright and colorful, but not flowery; wintry, but not dark and cold and harsh.

I decided a yarn pom-pom wreath was just right to add a little something to my winter decor, while still keeping it seasonally appropriate. So, it’s an “Early Spring Wreath”—that sounds so much more hopeful than a “Late Winter Wreath,” don’t you think?
Here's a DIY, no-sew craft for a soft and cheerful yarn pom-pom wreath to brighten your late winter or early spring decor! (Pom-pom tutorial included.) Continue reading

Coconut Chai

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It’s that time of year. The cold weather and snow has returned here to upstate New York. It’s time for a cup of tea! Continue reading

Birds and Branches

Bring some color, cheer, and piece of the outdoors to your home decor this winter by adding in these fun and easy DIY birds and branches!

Well, Christmas is over. It’s almost Epiphany. It’s time for the decorations to come down. Sigh…

It’s time to get all this extra stuff out of my living space, but it’s also a bit depressing when my house is plain and boring. The outside is bleak and gray, we can’t spend much time outside because of the cold, and I just can’t stand the thought of my house being bleak, too! Continue reading

Pinecones for a Winter Wonderland

I love decorating for Christmas. I hate removing decorations that I just put up a month earlier.

It’s a tension every year. Is it worth all the trouble to decorate if I’m just going to take it all down again?

(Understand—I despise wasted effort. As in, I feel like the shower should stay clean for six months after I clean it and resent the fact that it doesn’t. So, pointless, short-lived decorations, however adorable they may be, are not my favorite thing.)

That’s part of the reason I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these pinecone ornaments! Judge me if you will, but I’m leaving these babies up all winter long. They’re “winter” decorations, not just for Christmas.

These can be made as ornaments to hang (or give as gifts!) or they can just be pretty baubles to fill a vase or a bowl. They’re easy to make, hard to mess up, and super inexpensive!*

Continue reading

A Hand-Me-Down and Homemade Christmas

My childhood memories of Christmas revolve around the decorations. Our family had many traditions and fun activities we did, but they all take place in my mind against the backdrop of the decorations and ornaments we would pull out every year after Thanksgiving. My mom made our house magical and beautiful at Christmas.

Corduroy is new (a grandparent gift to Pipsqueak), but that’s my old mouse that winds up and plays “Silent Night.”

I know it’s not necessary, but I love using decorations to mark this time of year as something special. I don’t want to make too much of it—after all, it’s the event that we celebrate, not the decorations, that make it special. But nonetheless, they have their place and I love how Peanut is already starting to remember particular ornaments, books, and toys, and take note of the changing seasons and holidays. Continue reading