Paper Dolls Galore!

I love paper dolls so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites today.

I love everything from Green Jello With Carrots and their paper dolls are no exception, my kids use these the most.

Paper Thin Personas has a TON of great paper dolls including a recent list of paper dolls from other artists at Deviant Art

HERE one from the list that I really love.

Do you love paper dolls?  Please share any that you like.

Oprah's Life Class pt 2

I am LOVING this class more and more every week.  This last week the lessons were on life's calling, aging, "When you know better, you do better",  and taking responsibility for your life.  watching this week was harder than last because with DH back home from his conference last week he wants me to be with him not Oprah, not that I blame him, so I've been watching the next day with my DVR and the recorded webcast afterward.  I've really been putting a lot of thought into my "life's calling" lately so Monday was a good one for me, it really helped m clarify that what I really want to do is something that puts me in a position to meet lots of different people and nurture them.  I don't mean mother them, more help them discover who they really are and to feel loved.  I don't care if I get paid for it but it is what I want to do.

I loved the following episodes, the aging beautifully class followed by "Miss Representation" documentary on how women are portrayed unfairly and and image based by the media was a great reminder that not just men but we women place so much more importance on our looks then on mens and not enough on the things that really matter like character and intelligence.  Taking Responsibility was a great class that I've always thought was really important for people to understand and get out of the "victim mentality" or waiting for others to give you what you want.  The episode that impacted me the MOST was definitely "When You Know Better, You Do Better" it was all about how you are not your mistakes and that instead of being a prisoner to them that you need to forgive yourself and realize that not only do we all make mistakes but that we also learn from them and become better.  What really struck me though was that not only is that true for me but also that everyone is doing the best that they know how and that anything they do "to me" doesn't really have as much to do with me as it does where they are right now and all the baggage that they are dealing with.  If I can keep this in mind then not only can I be more patient and forgiving of others but they also have no power to really hurt me.  Jesus on the cross comes to mind when he said "forgive them Father, for they know not what they do" because He would certainly know best just what understanding they really had, no wonder He was able to ask for forgiveness for His tormentors while in the midst of such extreme pain and persecution.

I know that I'm far from perfect and that I won't always have this lesson at the forefront of my mind in trying situations but I am SO grateful for this understanding and the freedom that it gives me o let go of any feelings of hurt and resentment that I have harbored and move forward with love and understanding that we are all doing the best that we can.

Thank you Oprah for my new found freedom.

DIY Dryer Balls

I love dryer balls and all the wonderful things they do for my clothes and now I love them even more because I can make them myself using The Sleepytime Gal's tutorial for these fantastic felted wool ones.

Check out her super easy tutorial HERE.

P.S.  I wrote this post over a week ago and then entered her contest for her "ultimate homemakers giveaway" and WON!!!  Yay!  Thanks Nicole, I can't wait to get it and use it all.

I also wanted to share the link for the rest of her modern mama homemaking series: 

21 Suggestions for Success, A Printable

I saw this on The Mustard Ceiling and thought I'd make a couple printables out if it, I plan on framing it and putting it up in my new house I'll be moving in to very soon.  I still need to play with it and I'll probably never make it perfect  so I'd love it if ou made one yourself and shared a link to it.

Download the first one HERE and the second HERE

A Few Fall Faves

There are a lot of things I think about when fall comes around, colored leaves, pumpkins, cider, etc. and when it comes to clothes it's sweaters and corduroy so I thought I'd throw together a collection of posts that feature my favorite fall things.

HERE is one from Tea Rose Home from way back in '09

and how about This Post from Ashley at Make It and Love It?

Isn't it Darling?

This Recipe looks scrumptious from Sweet Pea's Kitchen

And Last but not least HERE is Simple Mom's post on 45 ways to savor Fall

So what do you love about Fall?

Beautiful Skirt and Blog

Tanya Whelan over at Grand Revival has a tutorial for this beautiful Pleated Wrap Skirt that I just can't wait to make, I think I'll make one for me and one for my now three year old daughter, I might even get ambitious enough to make a dress for my baby girl while I'm at it since the skirt is so easy.

She also creates her own patterns and printed fabrics which I LOVE!!!  and right now she's having a Giveaway for her new book and fabric line coming out in December.

I hope I win.

1 2 3, Math is Easy

Does math make you nervous?  Do you feel completely inept to teach your children math in any form?  Well if you do you are not alone, most of us feel inadequate when it comes to math and esp. when it comes to teaching math but it doesn't need to be hard at all.  Did you know that all math boils down to counting, sorting and patterns?  Really!  Even Geometry, Calculus and Physics are nothing but formulas that are shortcuts to a whole bunch of those two things.  Adding and subtracting are counting more or less of something, multiplication and division are just adding and subtracting several times in a row, the rest just builds from there, and patterns and sorting help you memorize certain figures so you can calculate faster.

So, teaching math to our kids is as easy as picking up their toys, counting fingers and toes, stringing beads, and countless other everyday things you can do with your kids.

I have a tendency to turn everything into a game so we do a lot of these things on the fly like writing my kids names and counting the letters or letting my kids help put away the groceries and asking how they think we should sort them.  My kids love to think of patterns so we clap, color, stack, and string whenever the moods hits.

These same skills are basic for science as well, mammals, reptiles, birds, are sorting, you can chart how many times they brush their teeth or who likes ice cream and who prefers cake, science and math are very interconnected so it's easy to kill two birds with one stone.

So what do you like to do with your kids?

Oprah's Lifeclass

Have any of you been participating in "Oprah's Lifeclass"?  The first class was on ego and the second, tonight, was on anger, they have been WONDERFUL, so many "aha's".

For myself I've realized that when I feel angry it's almost always a way of avoiding the pain and fear I am really feeling, the anger helps me blame the other person instead of really understanding why I'm feeling so hurt or afraid and then dealing with that instead.  It really all goes back to ego, my ego can't take the possible insult and so it focuses on the other persons fault instead of facing the real issue and taking responsibility for my part in it even if my only fault was to allow it to hurt me instead of taking it as an observation or their own issue and moving on.

I can't wait for tomorrows class on "Becoming What You Believe".

A Young Mom's Approach to Talking to Her Kids About Sex

Tara Pringle Jefferson wrote a wonderful article about how an unplanned pregnancy changed her perspective on how she needs to approach the "Sex Talk" with her kids.  You can find it here at My Brown Baby.

I Need a Love Song

I don't know about you but I'm a sucker for a good love song, however, I can't find a love song that speaks to my DH and me, I'm cheesy, he isn't, I love James Taylor, Harry Connick Jr. and Sting, he loves Coldplay, swing music and Mumford & Sons, it's a conundrum.  (I love that word.)

He knew he was going to marry me before we even met, he saw me from the back of an Institute class, I always sit in the front, and went home and told his family that he saw the girl he was going to marry and when we finally did talk it was like I'd known him forever, we went swing dancing the next night, he asked if he could kiss me at the end of our 12 hour date of mostly just talking and I almost said no.  I can't explain it but for the first week I kept saying I didn't really want to date him, just be friends, he told me he'd give me all the space and time I wanted and by week two I was asking him if he would like blond kids.  We were engaged week four and married at week 10.

He's my best friend and my biggest fan, he can bring me back to center with just a look or a touch and has been able to since the moment we met.  He brings out my truest self and wants nothing more than for me, and our children, to be happy.

He also drives me crazy and pushes me in places I didn't know I needed to grow.  Our love is better than any love song or fairy tale I've ever heard and harder than "happily ever after".  Most of the "hard" is because I want to be the perfect wife for him, I want him to come home to harmony instead of chaos, I want to be a good housekeeper but I SUCK at housekeeping.  I want to be everything for him, not because he's everything for me but because he's everything I need him to be and if I was stranded on an island I'd be perfectly happy with just him and our kids for company, he really is my very best friend.

Now add all the nights he's stayed up until 4am talking with me because I was upset or just because.  I don't love him "Like a Love Song" I love him with all the best and worst of myself.  How do you put all of that into a love song?  Maybe I don't really need a love song for him but I'd sure like one, one that tells him all of this and is still "cool", any ideas?