Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 days of teaching toddlers theology :: day 1 / intro

Welcome! If this is your first time here, scroll down to read day one.  Otherwise, here are the current links to the rest of the series: Teaching Toddlers Theology.

Day 2- it starts with us

Day 3- are we off the hook?

Day 4- daily "quiet" time?

Day 5- choosing a bible

Day 6- lifestyle parenting

Day 7- kids are sponges

Day 8- teach me to pray

Day 9- singing scripture

Day 10- bedtime routines

Day 11- interactive play

Day 12- what about dad? part 1 {guest post}

Day 13- what about dad? part 2 {guest post}

Day 14- church: the missing element for spiritual growth {guest post}

Day 15- our kids need the church

Day 16- holidays

Day 17- when toddlers aren't interested

Day 18- connecting the Bible stories to the ONE story of Scripture

Day 19- creation

Day 20- the fall

Day 21- the flood

Day 22- moses and the exodus

Day 23- josh, sam and dave!

Day 24- jonah

Day 25- baby Jesus

Day 26- Jesus' life and ministry 

Day 27- Jesus death and resurrection + a recipe

Day 28- sharing the gospel

Day 29- Jesus' ascension

Day 30- some resources 

Day 31- a holy work

* * * * * * * * * *

The Nester is hosting the 31 Day Challenge again this year, where bloggers can choose one topic to write about everyday for 31 Days. Anyone can join in! Just link up here

This is my first year being a part of this challenge, and that's exactly what it seems to me- a challenge! It seems daunting to post about one topic for every day for thirty-one days, but I'm up for the challenge!

When I was considering what topic to write on for these next 31 days, I kept thinking about things that fit with my new blog, things that I'm called to do right now! I mean, if I'm going to write about it for 31 days, I have to be passionate about it! 

The main priority of my Homemade Calling is my high calling to raise children that know and love God! I thought about how much I love teaching my 2 year old son, Titus, about God and knew that this was what I had to write about! 

Teaching my kids about God is the BEST part of being a mom! I love making the most of every opportunity and situation to explain spiritual things to Titus! He just soaks it all in and has an amazing memory! I love to see the understanding in his eyes, and see the spiritual lessons I teach him, become real in his heart and mind. He already loves Jesus and His Bible, has such sweet prayers, and his heart is already so full of child-like faith! I simply find so much joy in this part of parenting!

 My husband and I take very seriously our responsibility for the spiritual investment in our kids lives. We center our lives around the Word of God, and hold the study and teaching of it in high regard. And we believe developing in our kids a love for the Word and for the Lord are the most important things we can do as parents!

{photo credit}

Since I'm the one who spends the most time with the kids, I feel this "lifestyle" kind of teaching about God and his Word rests heavily on me! I take so much joy in this responsibility, although it is humbling and overwhelming at times! It's not all catechisms and KJV! :) Teaching kids who God is, what the Bible says, and how to have a relationship with Jesus can be FUN! It should happen all through out the day, and by making the most of every opportunity! It's never too young to start! 

So I want to spend this next 31 days sharing what I've done to begin this love for the Lord and His Word in my young 2 year old. It is such a joy to teach "theology" to toddlers and to see their love for Jesus and the Bible begin and grow!

I hope whether you are a parent of a toddler, or know someone you can pass this on to, that you'll join me this next 31 days!

Friday, September 28, 2012

31 days hath october {new series}

Have you heard of the 31 days blog series? Well I'm going to join in this year!

What’s 31 Days? Basically anyone can join in, just pick a topic and write about it every day for the month of October–we all link up here on October 1st. Last year over 700 bloggers joined in!

October is going to be a crazy month for me, but with a brand new blog, I just couldn't resist joining in!

Meet me back here on October 1st when I reveal my topic for the month!

I am also looking for a few blogs to offer free advertising to through the end of the year. If you are interested in having me host a button on my sidebar that links to your blog with no expectation of you, let me know! I only want to have 5-6, so let me know asap. I would like your buttons by Oct. 1. 
Email for more info:
First come, first served!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

baby food-making tips

How many of you make your own baby food?

It's a great way to save some money and provide your baby with healthier, less-processed nourishment.

I made baby food for Titus, and I've been doing it for Norah too. I'll admit this time around, it's so much easier to just grab a bunch of baby from the store shelves for a convenient meal for her. But the more she's eating, the more expensive its getting, and the more guilty I feel. My problem is just the time it takes.

Last week I was home with the kids alone for a couple days and put "Making Baby Food" at the top of my to-do list. It wasn't getting done because of the large amount of time I was needing to prep, cook, blend/mix and freeze the food. So I came up with some solutions that helped me and will hopefully help me not procrastinate quite so much next time! I cooked squash, carrots and sweet potato and then added banana and homemade applesauce to my chunky purees later. Here's kindof the step by step process I did for making baby food. This will probably be pretty basic for most of you, but maybe it will help someone trying to get started.

This time around I have a Baby Bullet, thanks to Aunt Shawna, so that does make it easier! :) The Baby Bullet blends to a VERY smooth puree- so much better then a regular blender! I would recommend finding something like this that made specifically for baby food- especially if your baby is just starting out and needs a very smooth puree. If you can't afford one, maybe you could see if a friend has one and would lend one to you for a week or so, so you can stock up!

-Do each step as you have time! If you don't have time to continue to the next step, stick the food in the fridge for later!

-prep your raw foods and then put them in a storage bags in the fridge, Don't worry about cooking them yet! They are there for when you have time! I make a lot of carrots and squash, so it takes me about 5-10 mins or so each fruit/veg to prep. (Peel and chop carrots, or peel and de-seed squash.) Decide how much time you have, and prep each food accordingly.

-when you have time to cook the prepped food, grab the bag(s) out of the fridge and dump into pots or baking pans. Cook accordingly! Without having to prep, it makes cooking alot less of a hassle! After I prepped some carrots the night before, I put them on the stove to cook while I was making lunch. Since I was already in the kitchen preparing a meal, it wasn't too much extra work to put some carrots on the stove to cook! After the cooking is done, if you know you'll have time in the next couple hours, just leave them on the stove or counter to cool and get back to it later (like when the kids are in bed!). Or put it in the fridge to work on the next day.

-You can divide up the food processing into many different steps if you want as well. To save time, blend the foods up individually and then stick in the fridge to work with later- whether mixing foods together and/or dividing up for storage. Blend the foods up and put each individual food into its own bowl- now you can easily mix foods together.

-For storage, put a couple days worth of food in refrigerator-safe containers. Freeze the rest. (That's how I store my baby food.) Once frozen, it just takes a minute in the microwave to thaw out a few cubes of food!

-Freezer storage tip-I LOVE to use these ice cube trays with covers. I have two that I got at Bed Bath and Beyond. And I could certainly use more! :) I use a dry-erase marker to label what the food is inside. Once it's frozen, it's so easy to pop all the veggie cubes into a labeled freezer bag. Then if there was any food left in your big bowls that you didn't have room for earlier (it happens to me all the time), you can rinse and reload more food in the ice cube trays!

And that's what I do! Hope some of the suggestions helped!
If you have any suggestions or tips that you do, leave a comment so we can all learn from each other!

Monday, September 24, 2012

new! elastic bands in the shop!

I just listed a BRAND NEW product in the shop that I'm SOOO in love with right now! I've been having a hard time keeping these a secret until now!

Elastic Bands! You can wear them in your hair for a gentle hair tie, OR on your wrist as a bracelet or on-the-go "just in case" for your hair, but I happen to prefer to wear them on my wrist as a bracelet!

I have 9 total colors that will all go great with your fall wardrobe.
You can choose a set with a combo of colors I've selected, OR you can choose your own combo!

They are SO SO SO SO fun and I LOVE these amazing colors!
These are total eye-candy for me right now!
If you love bright colors, and/or fun accessories, THESE are for YOU!

They also make great gifts!
Stock up on these for Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, birthday party favors, etc... Perfect for a little girl or a fashionably fun lady! :)

Come have a look-see!You just have to see them!


6 pack

navy, bright purple, key lime

navy, bright purple, mustard


The Shop Sale will continue through tomorrow night at midnight (est) if you'd like to pick some of these up at a discounted price! Enter Code WELCOME15 for 15% off your entire order!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

mama's time away

As a mama, getting some extended time away from my home, kids, responsibilities, etc, has been so important to me!

I need that time alone to enjoy some quiet, actually be able to think, and spend some time being refreshed spiritually. These things are more important even than being able to get things done around the hours, run errands, or doing my hobbies during my alone time! I find that sometimes these times happen by "accident" (meaning, unplanned!), and other times, you have to plan them and make them happy!

This past week, there was a day that I ended up, not on purpose, getting to spend a good deal of the day alone and was extremely blessed and refreshed. I went to a meeting in the morning with some MOPS leaders and was encouraged through their words and prayers for me regarding my discouragement over Norah's sleep "issues." Then I had to make a hurried trip to Muskegon to get groceries. So the 45 min drive there and back gave me an awesome time to pray aloud to the Lord about so many things that had been on my heart.

That unexpected, unplanned time to myself that day, gave me the boost I needed to make it through the next day and night of Tim being away at a conference. I normally panick a little every time Tim has to be gone for any extended period. But I embraced the time alone at home as time to do some fun things with the kids and get some things done. I took the time to plan what I wanted out of the time. The kids were my main focus, so I determined to stay off the computer until they went to bed, and created a list of the things to do that either Titus could help me with, or were fun things to do together! We ended up having a really fun time together, and although I was exhausted by the end, I felt really good about everything that we did and I was pleased with myself and how I'd planned our time!

I'm continuing to learn that when I take time for myself to be alone and regroup, I am a better mom for it! I'm refreshed, and I usually have a better attitude and perspective!

I'm really excited that later today, I get to go away with my MIL and some ladies in my church to a retreat. I'm not only looking forward to the two day "break" and two nights of (hopefully!) uninterrupted sleep, but I'm looking forward to having the time to soak in the Word, time to think and pray and hear from the Lord. I need the spiritual refreshment! I'm praying that God will really work in my heart and that I'd come home a better mom, wife, and woman of God!

What does "alone time" mean to you? How do you make that happen? 
What's the most refreshing way for your to spend your alone time?
What do you do for "spiritual refreshment?"

{Don't forget that Oak Street Studio is currently having a sale- WELCOME15 for 15% off your order through Tuesday 9/25 11.59pm est- read here how to shop with a purpose!}

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

introducing: oak street studio

The name for my new shop came awhile after my blog name. My clever husband was a huge help!
It's pretty simple, but with huge meaning for me!

Oak Street is where we've lived these first 5+ years of marriage-
and the only place we've lived so far!

In this house,
on this street,
we've lived as newlyweds,
we've welcomed two babies,
we've created so many memories,
we've shed many tears and had much laughter.
It's where I've learned to be a wife,
where I first became a mom.
It's where I've developed as a homemaker,
and where I began my adult years!
It's also where I began to sew,
where I started my first online business with a friend,
and where I've created MANY MANY homemade goodies for our family and home!

So to honor the place I've lived,
the life we've had,
and the person I've become since living here,
I've named my new shop Oak Street Studio!

The "doors" to the shop are officially open!
Enjoy 15% off your order with this coupon code: WELCOME15
{Discount good through Saturday, Sept. 22, 11:59pm EST}

I plan to offer a lot of the products many of you already know and love from The Blue Ladybug. I have the very popular wristlet clutches and scarves, as well as other fabric accessories currently listed. Hopefully a lot more will be added soon! I have big dreams! ;)

I have an exciting NEW product that I had planned to introduce today, but it's not quite ready yet! I'm SO SO SO excited about it, and I hope to have it ready later this week! Because of that, I'll probably have to extend the coupon code a little longer! I'll letcha know! ;)

The new Facebook page has been just been created, so head over and "Like" the page if you'd like to keep updated with the goings on over at the shop or here on the blog.

Monday, September 17, 2012

what's in a name

Last week I shared my very first post on this new blog and a bit of my heart as to what I'd like to accomplish with this new blog, as well as my new shop!

When I considered the name of a new shop and blog, I ideally wanted them to be the same, but that's not how it worked out. I thought long and hard for the perfect names, and eventually landed on "The Homemade Calling" for the blog and "Oak Street Studio" for the shop. Both mean so much to me and I'm pleased that I finally came up with something that fit me perfectly.

A little about me (for those of you who don't know me)...I am a wife to a sweet man, Tim, and mother to my two darling kiddos, Titus and Norah! I love being a SAHM and taking care of our family fulltime!

I love to create, whether sewing my kids clothes, designing a new pattern, cooking a new recipe or decorating in my home. Recently, I’ve had a developing desire to live more simply and naturally. I've been exploring ways to do this and save our family money by making more foods and other products from scratch. I love cooking, baking, gardening, sewing, crafting, writing, reading and spending time with my family. This lifestyle we’re developing makes me feel a lot more domesticated and old fashioned, and I love it- especially when I have cloth diapers drying outside and bread rising on the counter!

Our family has been called to serve the Lord in full-time ministry, and are currently serving in the church that Tim (my hubby) pastors. I have a heart for moms, and love working with our local MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group! And I've also started teaching the toddler class at church- I love it, plus my son is in there too!

So my life pretty much consists of my family, our ministry in the church, and my crafting! I believe the Lord has called me to minster primarily in my home for this season of my life, and so I'm making the most of the time I have at home to develop my domestic skills and create a safe haven for my family. This is my Homemade Calling! I'm excited to use this blog to share my latest sewing projects, recipes, shop updates, as well as what I'm learning and passionate about. And I’d also like to use this blog to give a voice to those that have none in this world- Orphans, and trafficked women and children! (I shared a bit of that earlier!)

Tomorrow, I'll share about the birth of Oak Street Studio and have a coupon code for everyone!

In the meantime, I now have a Facebook page for shop updates and the latest blog post that you can "like" if you're interested. I've also added the pink social media buttons on the top right to help you follow the blog in whatever way is easiest, or you can subscribe by email!

What would you say is your "calling"?

Friday, September 14, 2012


Welcome to The Homemade Calling! This is my new blog and I'm so excited to start sharing my life here!

Many of you have followed me on The Blue Ladybug Children's Boutique and Blue Ladybug Mamas blog for the past couple years, as I did business with my friend, Laura. As our families are growing, and schedules becoming more and more demanding, we agreed that we needed to branch out on our own and see what the Lord would have us do next. Laura has been a wonderful business partner and friend the past 2+ years and will still be maintaining The Blue Ladybug. I will now blog here, as well as craft and run a new shop: Oak Street Studio.

So this blog will be my outlet for this continuation of my journey, as I share what God's teaching me, the passions God is stirring in my heart, my motherhood journey, my craft projects, my shop news, etc...

The Oak Street Studio is my *new* online shop that features Bags, Wristlets, accessories, gifts, etc... But it will also be a way for me to be make a difference in the world! I have a growing burden for Human Trafficking/sex slavery and for the Worldwide Orphan Crisis. As God has developed this passion in my heart in recent months, I've been praying for ways to be involved. It's difficult as a young, stay-at-home mom to have the time, money and abilities to give and to feel that I'm playing an important part in these horrific needs in the world. But I'm going to do what I can. First and foremost, I will become a more faithful prayer warrior for the suffering in the world. And I'm excited to use this blog and my new shop to raise awareness and funds for these great needs! 50% of all my sales will be contributed to Human Trafficking organizations (like Women At Risk, Int'l) and to my friends' adoptions (like the Phillips family).

I pray the Lord will bless me and give success in these endeavors! Please follow this blog and visit my shop in the coming days and months! And please share with others! I want the word to get out about what I'm doing and why!

Send some love and prayers my way (You can comment below!), and I'd love to hear how you act upon your burdens and passions!