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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Understanding is to Achieve Anything

Understanding is to Achieve. Achievement of anything requires
the knowledge , faith, and belief in yourself to reach for your
aspirations. Success is not defined by perfection. It is defined by
what you can accomplish to the best of your ability and mentality.

Achievement is accomplishing something to the end. Seeing it
through to an end result. Where ever the desired end might lead you.

New years is typically the time we think about New beginnings and
a New life but this year I look upon the life of a very sweet lady.
I am faced with mortality and really will  look at my life. What will
people think of me one day. What will they say when I am gone?
They could say I am artistic and creative but would that be enough.
Could they find more essence in that.... In reality the thoughts of
the people don't matter as much as my Lord and Savior and yet
I think there is something to be said about opinions.
My great aunt recently passed on and at her services a man stood
up to speak. He mentioned his name and that he worked at the
hospital my aunt was taken to on occasion while her health was
deteriorating. While she was there he noticed the little animal
creations around her room. Upon inspection of these critters he
asked about them and my aunt responded that her hands had made
these creations. She had created many thousands before this
moment.  He mentioned to her that his daughter collects
dolphins and could she make one for her. He was willing to pay.
My great aunt agreed but was soon released and did not see the man
for sometime. Fast forward several months and the man is helping
with beds. As he approaches a bed the women says I know you...
your the man from before. She asks her daughter for her bag and
hands him his dolphin. She had not forgotten even in her health.
She had not forgotten because this was her joy. This measuring
of hands was her life. This was a special gift God had blessed her
with and her achievement within it was the love she passed through
this gift. That was the last time she would be in that hospital .The
strength and belief in herself and her ability is what lead me to
my word for 2014.

I want to achieve something great. Not something perfect or full
of riches but something that is seen through to the end for the sake
of being good, for the sake of sharing in love. The quiet patient
hearts of my grandfathers family lives strong in me. I feel the root
of our family and want to share that quiet peace with my family.
Passing it on for generations to come the love and light of Jesus.

January- Healthy Lifestyle- I want to regain a healthy and
active lifestyle. Let's face it I'm not getting any younger and
polluting my body with all these toxins isn't really productive.
If I want to achieve God's work I need to take care of his vessel.
In 2013 I lost 30lbs and made several changes in the way we eat.
I want to continue making these small changes and make an even
 bigger leap of faith toward a healthy life. I know I can Achieve 
my new goals and see it through to the end. One step at a time.
I have found a great online program and classes on cooking at our
local hospital. These are all attainable. We have also begun creating
a workout room in our summer house. I can't wait till it's finished and
we can begin getting healthy.  

February - To See- Open my eyes to what is going on around
me. Give my full attention to those loved ones who are right
beside me. The electronic age has us all focused on our devices.
At my aunts funeral I had to tell my own child to put her I pod
away. These things are taking control of our lives and wasting so
much of our time. I want to achieve really seeing and being with
my family. I enjoy writing on my blog and chatting with friends
but there should be a time for both. Managing my time so that
the people in it come first is of utmost importance. One day
when its my time I don't want people saying what was great
about Nikki and they say well she was a great chat online.
That is not really what I had in mind. However I do think online
social media has it's place and there is much you can accomplish
there. There needs to be a balance of real time and online time.

March- Understanding- I want to achieve God's gifts. The ones he gave
me. The things I see and don't see. For the most part  I realize what
they are but do I fulfill what he has asked of me? There are things I
hear . That little voice telling me this is what you should do but I don't
always accomplish those things. I'm 41 now and life has surely passed by so
quickly already. The question is am I achieving what God wants from me?
Something I will continue to work on is seeking his work in wisdom and action.

April- Grow- Do you remember all those  crazy dreams you had as
a kid. Some were so far fetched and weren't reliably attainable. Maybe
a few of them were but for the most part as children we don't really know
who we are yet. We haven't lived our lives. We haven't experienced and felt.
I know I mentioned this before and I swear I'm not hung up on it but my age
does make a difference. What I wanted then and what I want now are so
different. I can't be wasting time spinning on a tread mill. Things have to
move forward or I might miss something great. I'm ready to grow through
my 40's and learn something new about me and create achievable goals
that can be checked off before I end up old and gray. Shhh I'm already gray
just a little bit but I still have energy left to reach my dreams.

May- Dig in-  I see the world and I see what is happening in it.
It's time for me to get out and dig in. I ask myself how can I help?
What can I do to make a difference? I used to be extremely shy. That
is long gone. I'm no longer afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone.
I'm ready to achieve success in teaching this to my children too. People
first. I am considering ways to create mission for my children. The
gift of giving... We can achieve this...

June- Live-  No running from here to there. Sit with God and breathe
in . Take time away from those electronics and just breath in the earth.
Soak our feet in the streams and rub our hands through the sand. Watch
the birds fly and just live.  This is something easy to achieve. Breathe in
life breath out wasted time.

July- Organize - I should have added DE clutter to that list. Somehow
I have so much stuff. I don't know where it all came from. We used
to really live simply and some how since we moved to a bigger home
the stuff got bigger. In 2013 I threw out/ donated a lot of stuff but I still
have some areas of cleaning that need done. Achievable projects for 2014
my daughters bedroom (remodel ), the attic, major yard clean up. If I get one
of those three completed I'll be excited.

August- Reach Out- One thing I have realized with my great aunts
passing is that I haven't seen her in quite sometime but she was always
there. I was so busy with myself that I "didn't have time" to go see her.
I think of other family that I am missing out on spending time with and
my heart aches. No more I say. I can achieve visiting at least
once per month to start and then I'll bump it to two times per month.
My 80 year old grandma will appreciate it.

September- Strength-  All of these things I write about are things I can
do. They are things I am doing and working toward already. Most
people don't write them out they just unconsciously do them but since
I blog I write. They aren't resolutions they are things I want for me.
As I work toward being a more productive me I need strength not to fall
back into the old patterns. I want that achievement of growing and gaining
faith. Strength is keeping on top of it. It's knowing when to lean on God .
Knowing when to ask for help. When to breath in the earth and sit.

October- Give Thanks- I probably should have put this one
over Thanksgiving but why not give thanks all year long. In
Achieving I don't want to fall into a Me mentality. God is
first and foremost. I give all the credit to Him. A friend over
Christmas gave me Ann Voskamps book One thousand gifts.
I can hardly wait to read it. For all I achieve I give Thanks to
Jesus. He is my All and First. 

November- Create-  I really need art in my life and being a busy
mom of 5 sometimes that gets put to the side. I'd really like to use
my art this year to create some things for our church. I have projects
in mind and can't wait to get started with them. I want to create
pen and ink drawings for Christmas for our church bazaar along with
some other ideas I have. I'll show you as soon as I get started.
I know I can achieve this for my church family as an equitable gift.

December- Believe - Lastly I want to achieve believing. I fully
believe in my Lord and Savior but now I need to believe in myself
because quite honestly God already does and if I do all those things.
I can achieve what I want for my life with God and my family is
the center focus.

If you come back January 2 I will share some of my specific goals
for the year and take a look back at 2013.

If you would like to read more Words for 2014 from
the Schoolhouse Review Crew click the graphic below.
The link will be live a 8am Eastern time on January 1st.

Warm Blessings,


Word for 2014

Lego Challenge #4 Results??

Welcome to Lego Challenge #4 Results. The sad thing is I have no
results so if you did this challenge please link up at the bottom so we
have some examples to share. I can add them to this post too and
you can be featured. What happened with us? Well we were sick
most of December and then the holiday jumped right in. It all happened
so fast.  There was a lesson learned  I think next year we will skip
Lego challenges in December.  Despite not having our challenge done.
I did find some Christmas Lego Creations online some of them with
patterns. I didn't want to leave you high and dry.


To be honest my kids didn't know where to start with this one.
So for next time I found these patterns that might help get things going...

Here's an example of a Lego Tree

And now for our Next Lego Challenge... Come by Dec. 17 and
link your results......

Now it's your turn. Link up and share your creations. We can't wait to see
what you have come up with and before you run off . Don't forget to
snag your Lego Challenge #4  Here are the details to participate.

Would you like to join us? The first Friday and the Third Friday of each
month you will find a new Lego challenge.  Here is how it will work....

1. Present the challenge to your kids and have them make their creation.

2. Take a photo of what they come up with and have them write a little
about their creation.

3. Create a post on your blog with their challenge and set it to live
on January 17.  If you do not have a blog contact me in comments
and I can give you information to email it to me for your child's challenge
to appear on my blog.

4. On Jan. 17 come back here and Link up to the challenge and find out what
The new challenge will be.

5. Include a link to my post please. :)

6. You might also want to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss
any challenges....  Lots of ways to follow me on my side bar to the right.

Warm Blessings,

Friday, December 27, 2013

Random 5 Our Christmas...

The Pebble Pond

1. Christmas this Year was just awesome!!  It approached so quickly but
a great time was had by all. It was one we won't soon forget.


2. My parents came over in the morning to watch the festivities.
They brought along their little Lily dog dressed in her Christmas

3. Sweet Pea was all about being a Princess this year.

4. Spirit Got the new nutcracker he wanted. He just loves them!!

5.  I got a kindle fire HD for Christmas and a mug that had a crocheted
cozy around it. It is adorable . Hand made by my oldest daughter.

Merry Christmas,

Enjoying my sweeties this year. :)

Lot's of great posts Ready for the New Year.
See you all then.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Simple Last Minute Christmas Tree Craft

How excited are your kids about Christmas!!! So excited here.
It's hard to keep them busy they are a bustle of happiness.

I came up with this craft. It is so easy to do and it keeps them
busy for a little while. You don't need many supplies and they don't
cost that much to make. Another bonus is for the most
part they can do them themselves. Here is what you need...


Christmas trees- I bought these trees at the dollar tree. I noticed
when I was in there the other day that they had a nice stock of them left.


Christmas foam stickers.

This was Sweet Peas second tree she didn't do as much with it as
the first but had to share because of that smile.

The only part your child might need you for is if they would like a
ribbon on the top of the tree. You see the trees are made of wire
and have tinsel all over them. So your ribbon can be thread
through the top of the tree and then tied there. We left the ribbon
long to give it a fancier look.

This one is my favorite. Sweet Pea took some time making it.

All the kids do then is add their stickers to them as desired.
I was afraid glue wouldn't work well and a friend suggested these
glittery foam stickers. They worked perfectly. Spirit still has
some work to do on his here.

Simple and easy to do.

Warm Blessings,


Friday, December 20, 2013

Random 5

The Pebble Pond

1. Five more days till Christmas. Are you Ready? I'm
close. I have some last minute shopping and wrapping and I'll be set.
Give me today yet. Well maybe tomorrow too.. Ha haa..

2. Last weekend the kids had their Christmas program at church.
Sweet Pea was an angel and Spirit was a Wiseman. The older
kids did readings. I work with the little guys so only snagged this photo. 

3.   Today we went with our family to a monthly dinner out meeting.
All of my grandmothers brothers, sisters and cousins meet once a month.
The kids love spending time with their older relatives. They like the extra
attention and the extra grandparent love. We don't go every month but
close to Christmas seemed like a good one to jump in on. 

4. Today is the last day of our school for this year. We are taking
a little winter break until Jan. 7th. I am in the need to regroup and
love the idea of taking some time to plan for the new year in more
ways the one. 

5. I was one of the millions who made a purchase at target. I cancelled my
card and had a new one issued. To be honest with you I have never
been a fan of Target so go figure I'd be one of the many that used their
bank card there. I also put a fraud alert on my name just in case. 

Warm Blessings,


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Adventure Bible Storybook - Review

I was given in exchange for my honest review from BookSneeze
Adventure Bible Storybook Deluxe Edition at $21.98 value
written by Cahterine DeVries and Illustrated by Jim Madsen.

This would includes a hardcover  bible story book and the complete book
on 2 audio Cd's. It comes in a box set so that you can keep it all together!!

Our Excitement

I was really excited to share this one with my kids. My young ones
are not quite ready for reading directly from the bible or completely
understanding that, in particular my four year old. My 7 year old has
been reading in the Adventure bible for his age level. This one is more
accurate to bible text than the storybook version but the storybook has it's
place for younger children such as my 4 year old.

About the Bible story Book

The Adventure begins with 50 action stories from the bible.
You will find stories from the Old Testament all the way through the
to the New Testament. The pictures with in the book are beautifully done
and the stories draw the child's attention. The cover is attractive giving the
appeal of animals in a jungle.

After each story section you will find a little picture of a treasure map. On
the map is an Adventure Discovery which sums up what the theme of the
story was and Words of Treasure. The Words of Treasure are words directly
from the bible NIV. These could be used as bible memory verse
for young children.

Something Extra we did along with the book
The Adventure theme attracts the active child into going on a bible
journey. We created a treasure map to go with our stories. My son
made our map from a large brown grocery bag. We then drew our
bible at one end and an X at the other end. We created a path all
over the paper bag. As we read or listen to one of the stories we add
a symbol on the trail of our map. When we complete the journal we
will have a representation of all that we did.

About the Audio

The audio that goes along with the book is wonderful. The music that
goes with it is soothing and the story is clearly read and with
great excitement. There different voices as well to help distinguish
characters but simple enough to follow along.

My OpinionThe adventure Bible storybook is a nice introduction for younger
children. It would make a nice addition to our bible stories library.
I would not sure it as a sole principal of learning bible text but as
a basis or spring board of what is to come.

Warm Blessings,


I received this copy of this product for free through BookSneeze in
exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive
review, nor was I compenstated in any other way. All opinions I have
expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing
this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
Friday, December 13, 2013

Random 5 The Snowy Addition

The Pebble Pond

1. We have had our first glimpse this year of what our winter is going
to look like. We had about 6 inches of snow so far and looks like more
in the forecast.

2. Something you might not know about me. I do not like driving in the
snow . Now this is not an uncommon response from people but I literally
panic. It scares me to death but when I have to do it I force myself.

3. The kids went out and played in the snow for awhile
they made snow angels and these little snowmen.

4.  In Pa there is a law that says you have to clear your car of
snow or ice so that it does not hit cars as you are driving. This is
very difficult to do when you have a mini van so when I went
grocery shopping this week I bought a long scrapper with a brush.
I'm hoping this will help in cleaning off the van the next time around
because when I'm doing it I feel really short.

5.  Lastly I think that the snow coating the trees is absolutely beautiful
before it is untouched by anyone.

Warm Blessings,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Art

Welcome  the Virtual Refrigerator. This week I am Sharing a little
Christmas art on my blog. If you have anything to share  can
link at any of the blogs below if you would like to add your weeks art.
Including mine below this post. 


Welcome to today's Christmas Art Project. We decorated our own ornaments
to string and hang along the doorway. I think they are pretty cute.

1. First draw your shape for your ornament. I traced a ice cream tub for
the circles and drew the shape my son wanted below. Then we cut two
pieces for one ornament.

2. Next draw and decorate your top circle as desired.  You can add
stickers, sequins and glitter.

3. Once they are dry staple the two papers together around the bottom
of the  shape. Leave the top open. Crunch up some paper and stuff the ball
so it's a little puffy. Then staple it the rest of the way around.

4. Now cut a stripe of aluminum foil and form the top of the ornament.
Once you have it to the desired shape. Staple it to the top of the ball.

If you follow my blog then take a guess who made the pink ones.

Don't forget this week to link up your art.

Warm Blessings,


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Reindeer Cam and Deer Art

If you have a preschooler or early Elementary Student you just have to
HAVE TO...go and watch the Reindeer Cam !!! My preschooler just loved
watching them today. We had the live feed going for at least 2 hours.
Below is a screen shot of the feed...

The deer ran around and played. At 11:00 Est. time we were able to see
Santa come and feed them. He gave them food, waved to the camera, gave them
hay, checked his mail and played ball with his dog. It was so adorable.
He makes another appearance at 6 and 9 pm. You can go on the site
and see when he appears your time. If you send Santa a letter he will
put you on his nice list. Sweet Pea and Spirit worked on making Santa
picture today to send with their letters.

After watching for awhile Sweet pea wanted to draw a deer so I tried
giving her some basic steps. For being four she followed rather well.

Later she added a few more.

We decided to make some stuffed deer too. We stuffed a paper bag.
Folded down his face. Added eyes and a pom pom nose.
We traced the hands and decorated them.

Spirit decorated his with lights.

And Sweet Pea colored hers.

I took multiple pictures of  her she just loves the camera. They
came out so cute I couldn't decide which to use so I'm sharing them all.

Warm Blessings,


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Candy Cane Art

Monday- Wednesday this week the little ones and I are going to do
Christmas Crafts and a story . On Thursday we are singing some holiday
favorites and doing a music lesson. Friday we will be doing our Christmas
Lego Challenge. We are keeping the fun in School. Today I want to share
with you our Monday Activity Candy Cane Art.

The perfect book to go along with our Candy Cane Art is the
book called The Legend of the Candy Cane By Lori Walburg

You might also want to look here at Ben and Me's  site.
She has some links to other Candy Cane resources.

I drew a candy cane ahead of time onto a file folder and cut it out for my
younger children. (Spirit is 7 and Sweet Pea is 4) I was looking for something
simple for us to do. The season is busy enough. If you can't draw well you
can probably type in Candy cane coloring pages and find something you
can cut out. I gave the kids their canes and they traced them onto their
papers. This one directly below is the one I used to show them how to make it.
Spirit was able to work on the overlapping of the project but Sweet pea just
traced them as she saw fit. I was really surprised at how well Sweet Pea traced.
Spirit had more trouble with the canes moving than she did.

When we were done we outlined them with Sharpie and decorated them
as we wanted. Spirit brought a couple of canes in from the tree to see
how they looked. He made a heart in the middle with a little message
for me. "Mom , I love you. "

This one is Sweet Peas. I don't think she did to bad. She didn't like the idea
of making stripes so she colored them in and then decided to add some in the end.

And this is mine. It was rather therapeutic actually. Very relaxing.

When we were done we took a glue stick and added some white glitter.
you can see a few sparkles in the photo. They are more sparkly in
real time. We took them and taped them to our refrigerator.

Warm Blessings,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lego Challenge 3 Results...

Well I am so very sorry I am late getting the new Lego challenge posted.
It was an interesting week last week. My little one started vomiting
on Sunday. She then became stuffy and  It went to an acute upper respiratory
 infection. If you have little ones you then you know how much time it
takes away from your everyday life. So I appreciate your forgiveness
on this one.  Family first.

Anyway enough groveling. (wink) Let's get to Lego Challenge 3!!!

My older son was sick as well so I only had one lego clubber this week.
My 7 year old son created this one to go with the story the three pigs.
Here he built all the houses. He says the white house is a house of snow
instead of sticks . (smile)  There are three little red pigs there by each
house and of course his monster  is the wolf. Pretty creative I think.

I hope you got a chance to do the storybook challenge but if
not maybe you will get to this one....

Now it's your turn. Link up and share your creations. We can't wait to see
what you have come up with and before you run off . Don't forget to
snag your Lego Challenge #3 Here are the details to participate.

Would you like to join us? The first Friday and the Third Friday of each
month you will find a new Lego challenge.  Here is how it will work....

1. Present the challenge to your kids and have them make their creation.

2. Take a photo of what they come up with and have them write a little
about their creation.

3. Create a post on your blog with their challenge and set it to live
on December 20.  If you do not have a blog contact me in comments
and I can give you information to email it to me for your child's challenge
to appear on my blog.

4. On Dec. 20 come back here and Link up to the challenge and find out what
The new challenge will be.

5. Include a link to my post please. :)

6. You might also want to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss
any challenges....  Lots of ways to follow me on my side bar to the right.

Warm Blessings,


Keep in Touch

I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment or leave a message in my message box. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank- you for visiting Angels of Heart.

Rejoice in the Lord Always.