Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for August, 2010


22nd August 2010

Our message at Clearwater this morning was from Titus 2:9-10…

Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith,so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

It was a great message, but for much of it, I felt like it wasn’t relevant to me.  I’m not employed*. I’m lucky enough to stay at home with my kids.  I don’t have an employer. So I listened, but didn’t really notice much application.

Until I thought about my “job”. I do have a job… to love, encourage, inspire and grow my children.  I get to do it full-time and not juggle another job. And when I thought about my job, I realized… God has called me to this position, this “full-time job”. He is my employer.  And WHAM… the whole message was suddenly very much directed at me.

I’m not going to do it justice in my summary, I’m sure.  But Pastor Chris spoke of attitudes at work, gossip, “stealing” including time, obedience but especially obedience with the right attitude. And when I thought of my “job” as a full-time mom and these things, I realized that often I haven’t lived out these verses in serving God as my master (employer). I haven’t always had a good attitude, I’ve wasted my time in countless ways, I’ve grumbled about many of the “hours” I work.

What a calling… what a privilege!  God’s allowing me to serve him full-time in the “job” a mother’s heart is created to do. I have amazing children who I get to help “grow in stature and favor with God and with man” (Luke 2:52).  There are a million things vying for my attention, but I need to keep my Employer and the job He’s called me to at the forefront of my mind.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  -Colossians 3:23

*Funny thing is, I am actually employed with another job, one that I worked at Friday and Saturday! I’m working as an admin for a company that staffs health assessments for the military.  I was gone Thursday night to Saturday afternoon for 2 events.  Yes, I should have been applying the message better to this job and my mom-job 🙂

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Crafting with Mom!

18th August 2010

I sent my lovely mom home yesterday, after a week’s visit.  We always have some fun craft projects on our agenda, and this year was no exception.

With Analise’s first day of school on Wednesday, Mom had seen this link for a cute teacher gift.  We stocked up on supplies, and crafted several of them, including Analise to help design her teacher’s (not shown).

Post-It notepad holders

Then we used a cute “Princess” sticker (from UpperCase Living) on top of a scrapbook covered canvas.  Analise was excited to help out on this too…

Princess canvas

Our last, and most in-depth project, were canvases with Family Rules.  These deserve their own post, so click on over…

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Crafting with Mom – the Family Rules Canvas

18th August 2010

I saw this project last fall, and knew I wanted to create one for our home.   I also knew I’d never get to it myself… perfect for doing with Mom!  We picked out our scrapbook papers, clicked through all the other canvases people had posted in the comments on the link above to pick our favorite rules, came up with 2 11×14 inch Family Rules canvases for me and 1 set with Rules to Live By for my mom to use at school.  Here are the final projects…

A few notes…

  • The original from the link is very large, and I wish I could have done mine that big.  But it’s a good thing I couldn’t figure out how to do the lettering wider than 12×12 paper, because I really didn’t have a good place to display anything larger than the 11×14 canvases I made!
  • We tried to choose not-quite-matching papers, but they couldn’t be too dark or have patterns that were too strong. And heavier paper works better with ModgePodge, but its not imperative.  We did my canvases with all scrapbook papers we had on hand.
  • We cut 12×12 paper down to 8.5×11, typed our rules into a (landscape format) Word document, using fabulous fonts from this link (be careful… very easy to install and addicting once you start!).  We cut each rule into a strip, laid them out in order, and used Modge Podge to put them on the canvas.
  • A couple Modge Podge tips we learned (after Mom’s first canvas bubbled/wrinkled badly) – Heavier papers are better, but the absolute key is to paint a layer on both the paper and the canvas.  This way they will bond together, with no bubbles.  Smooth with a credit card, for 30 seconds or so.  Let the Modge Podge dry, then seal the edges with another couple coats.
  • I found a fun tip for “antiquing” the edges.  We had painted the sides and 1″ border of the canvases.  After we had Modge Podged as many times as we wanted and it was dry, I used sandpaper to blend the paper into the painted canvas.  It turned out well, looking like the edges were torn, but with black or grey paint, it would have looked much better.
  • I embellished with a couple flowers, just to give them some dimension.
  • Again, if you’re going to do this, click through the examples of the original project.  Such great ideas, and endless rules!
  • My rules list:
  • Have fun, be kind, ask first, no fussing, no whining.
  • Treat others better than yourself.
  • Do your best with a joyful heart.
  • Husband – hug your wife daily. Wife – Always be on his side.
  • Sing silly, dance crazy, hug often, snuggle much, say “I love you”
  • Always tell the truth.
  • Look for opportunities to serve.
  • Love the Lord with all your heart.
  • There is no such thing as mine in this home. It’s all God.
  • Forgiveness is mandatory.
  • Obey your parents.
  • Use manners… “Yes, please”… “No, thank you”
  • Encourage your siblings. Share in their joy.
  • Too much TV is bad… too much reading is good.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Say your prayers.  Thank God for this family.

I’m so pleased with how these turned out!  If you send me your family rules, maybe I’d even make one for you 🙂

Posted in Daily Grind | 1 Comment »


13th August 2010

I got a huge basket of peaches for just $14 while we were driving through South Carolina last weekend.  They had been fresh-picked Sunday morning! Love, love, love fresh peaches, but of course, these have all ripened within a day or two, so I’ve had to get busy using them! Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Freezing them, with great directions here.  I hope to freeze some in 1 cup bags for muffins,
  • A peach pie, from Betty Crocker (be warned, sound on this page)
  • The most delicious, moist peach muffins from this recipe (And the comments say that any muffin recipe can be made into waffles!  How awesome is that?  Believe me… I’ve got a lot of great muffin recipes that would be fun to try as waffles, especially these peach ones!)
  • Homemade Peach Ice Cream (to be made today, I hope)
  • Peach Frozen Yogurt (awesome recipe I fell in love with last year)
  • Maybe this Breakfast Peach Couscous recipe…

A few other ideas from my Google Bookmarks file…

Posted in What's Cookin' | 1 Comment »

And just like that… I have a 1st grader!

11th August 2010

She was so excited! Not an ounce of fear that I noticed. She had met Mrs. Baker on Monday, and she was thrilled to find some of her favorite friends would be with her.  And she has her own desk, instead of sharing a table. Such exciting milestones!

And to take a trip down memory lane… last year’s kindergarten picture:

Posted in Parenting | 2 Comments »

A Bike Race Adventure… from my side of the road

5th August 2010

I posted on Brian’s cycling blog yesterday about our adventure of a day at his Masters Nationals race.  It was quite a day!  Click on over to read and see some fun pictures, like this one…

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As close to a vacation as a bike race trip gets!

3rd August 2010

We left Thursday afternoon for a week-long trip to Chicago-LaPorte, IN-Louisville, including 3 bike races. Our car was in the shop, so we were lucky enough to be able to borrow Brian’s dad’s car, MUCH smaller than ours, but a great ride! In spite of no built-in DVD player (we had the portable one, though), the kids were well entertained with the awesome sound system and my music loaded iPhone. We opened the sunroof and rocked to The Chipmunks and Madagascar soundtracks. Over and over again. I was awfully proud that we didn’t watch any movies on the entire trip to Chicago. (patting myself on the back)
We stayed with friends of mine from college, Scott & Rhonda Dart, and the kids had a great time playing with their kids, Phillip and Myella. Josiah got to play his first “baseball” (wiffleball, really) game, and he was awesome! They played football and walked to the playground, too. We met my dear friend, Michele, and her kids, Emma, Michael and sweet little Nicholas, at a fun park and splashpad. The kids see each other once a year or so, but they always pick up right where they left off as best buds. So cute! The boys were hilarious, having “guy” chats about bad guys and numbers. They’ve grown do much since they first met 3 years ago! The girls managed to convince us to have a sleepover at Em’s house… Analise’s first! She did great, and they were up playing for poor Michele at 5:20.
I saw my old college Physics lab partner, Alison, at the bike race, and they joined in cheering for Brian. On Sunday, Michele and Em joined us at te bike race. It’s so fun to have company while I nervously wait for the finish!
After the race, we drove to my grandma’s house in LaPorte, IN, where my mom had come down to visit us. We’ve had a relaxing couple of days, playing in the pool and having dinner by Lake Michigan. Later today we’re headed to Louisville for the Master’s Nationals race before heading home tomorrow night. But between good friends, good playmates for the kids, my family, a pool, smooth travel and a few days with no agenda, this is as close as we get to a vacation on a bike race roadtrip! I’ll take it!

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