Tag Archives: Printables

The better to see with…

I got some new glasses today.

I’ve been wearing glasses ever since I was assigned a desk in the very back of the class in 9th grade and discovered that I couldn’t see the board at the front of the room. At first I didn’t like wearing glasses. It didn’t help that kids already were calling me names like “nerd” and “freckle face”…add glasses to my shy, insecure, freckled self and I was just the definition of a nerdy nobody. (High School was hard 😉 ) When I was finally able to get contact lenses, I jumped on the opportunity and put away the glasses for many years.  Since then, my eyes have been slowly getting worse, and contacts have been increasingly annoying and painful to wear. A few years ago I made a slow transition from always wearing contacts and rarely wearing glasses to always wearing glasses and rarely wearing contacts. In fact, this last time I had an eye exam I didn’t even get the contact lens exam…I’m an all-glasses all-the-time girl now. 😉 And I’m ok with that. I’ve become a LOT more secure in my own skin and have (finally) fully embraced my poor eyesight and my need for glasses. I actually even like them now. 🙂

I get an eye exam every year or two, which then usually requires new prescription lenses so I can see my best every day.

My most recent eye exam was actually over a year ago. I got a new prescription and everything, and really needed to get some new glasses. But in my typical procrastinator fashion, I kept putting off making the investment in a new set of frames and lenses. I made do with what I had, kept wearing those old lenses with my old prescription, even though I knew I needed new ones.

So finally, a year later, I broke down and ordered a new pair. I even mustered up enough courage to try a different shaped frame…they are much larger than the glasses I usually tend to get. They’re going to take some getting used to, but I think I really like them. 🙂 But the frames are not really what surprised me the most…when I put them on, I was actually kinda surprised by how much clearer I could see! I guess my eyes were getting worse than I realized. 😉 For a full year I’ve been using glasses with an outdated prescription, and evidently seeing everything more blurry and unfocused than I realized. I could have been seeing better this whole year…I had the doctor’s prescription tucked away in my purse this whole time…but it did me no good until I used that prescription to change my lenses.

That’s kinda how it can be when I read my Bible. Often God will reveal something that I need to change…He’ll even write me out a “prescription”…and I might even copy it down and tuck it away. But it doesn’t do me any good until I take those words and DO something with them…until I allow His Words to change my lenses, to change how I see.

It’s amazing what you can see when you change the way you see.

Kinda like how you can always find beauty in every day…if you look for it.  Kinda like how you can always find something to be thankful for…if you start giving thanks for ALL things.

So in honor of my new glasses and in celebration of being able to see clearly, I’m sharing this little “Eye Chart” printable today. It says: “Look for beauty in every day and every day becomes beauty-full”  If you intentionally look for beauty, if you hunt for joy, if you give thanks for it all…you’ll soon find that your days are actually full of beauty…even the hard and the crazy days can become beautiful in spite of, and sometimes even because of, the hard and the crazy in the days. It’s all about what kind of lenses you are looking through…it’s about how you see.

Look For Beauty Eye Chart

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF PRINTABLE

Enjoy! And have a BEAUTY-FULL weekend!!

Hip Hip HOORAY! It’s Summer Vacay!

Today is the last day of the school year here!! Woo Hoo!! (We survived the first year of middle school!! Now THAT’s something worth celebrating! 😉 )

We’re gonna kick off this summer with a splash! When the girls get home, I’ll have this crate full of water fun waiting for them! I picked up a new slip-n-slide, a bucket full of water balloons, and some water guns…then I blew up a few balloons and made a little “Hip Hip Hooray! It’s Summer Vacay!” sign to finish it off.  Super easy, but lots of fun!

Later this evening we’ll sit down as a family and fill up our Summer Bucket List. We do this every year, and it is always a blast to see how much fun we can cram into our summer together. Plus, making a list and having a loose plan helps me make sure the days don’t just fly by without us taking time to be a bit intentional with our time together. Most of the things on our list won’t cost much money and won’t take a ton of time…we’re not going on any grand vacations this year…but it’s not so much about what we do as much as it’s just that we do some intentional things together.

Want to celebrate summer with us and plan your own summer of family fun? I’m sharing the Summer Vacay print with you, as well as an updated version of our Summer Bucket List. Feel free to print and plan for your own summer fun!

"Hip Hip Hooray! It's Summer Vacay!" LittleHousePrintable_8x10Click here for the Summer Vacay Printable

Summer Bucket List_LittleHousePrintableClick here for the Summer Bucket List Printable

(Looking for ideas for your Summer Bucket List? Check out my post from last year…I listed some ideas to help get you started. 🙂 )

Our Not-So-Perfect Family Story…

I’m so honored to get to share a little of my heart over at my friend Dena’s blog today.  I’m talking about perfectionism and motherhood and embracing our family story.  Hop on over there and check it out! (There’s even a free printable at the end!!) 🙂

EmbraceYourStory_Printable by Little House On The Circle

A Pretty Little Meal Plan & Grocery List

At the beginning of last year, I made myself some lists and plans to help me stay organized and on top of housework and home stuff. I still like those little lists and I use them quite a bit. But I’ve been updating them a bit lately (partly because I just love playing around with making new graphics, and partly because I needed to tweak the lists to make them work a little better for me 😉 ).

So today I’m sharing my new Meal Plan & Grocery List:

Meal Plan & Grocery List Printable

Little House on the Circle: Meal Plan & Grocery List Printable

Little House on the Circle: Meal Plan & Grocery List Printable

I made it a full page this time, which I like a lot better. (Gives me more space to fit all our groceries on there 😉 ).

I usually do my meal planning on the weekends so that I can start each week knowing what our dinners are going to be and what I need to make them. I know there are lots of people who meal plan months ahead at a time…and I wish I could say that I am like that…but I honestly do good to keep up with just one week at a time.  But even just planning one week ahead, it has helped me SO MUCH just knowing what our meals will be and making sure we have all the groceries we need for those meals at the very beginning of the week. It’s not exactly my favorite thing in the world to do…but when my list looks pretty, it makes the task a little more bearable ;).

So if you’d like a pretty meal planning & grocery list too, I’m sharing my PDF printable for you to use! Feel free to download and make as many copies as you need!

Little House on the Circle: Meal Plan & Grocery List Printable

Click HERE to download and/or print the Free PDF Printable

I’m still working on some other home organization lists, and will share those soon!  So stay tuned!

Have a super happy Monday, everyone!!!

One step at a time

We went hiking this past weekend with my sister and her family.  They live near Chattanooga, Tennessee and have some of the most beautiful places to hike all around them.  I love to explore new places when we go there to visit.  Plus, it’s just a great way to spend time together! 😉

This weekend we went to a place called Lula Lake. It was a beautiful day…the perfect kind of day to get outside and explore a little.  And when they said this place had a big waterfall…well, I was sold. 😉

We’ve been hiking as a family for about three years now…and the thing I’ve noticed about all of our hiking adventures is that they always require a bit of effort. Often they require some sort of climbing, some amount of sweat, some extra amount of energy.  But there’s really no way around it…you can’t just drive your car to these places to see these great sights…you have to put in the effort, you have to put feet to the path and take one step after another.

But it’s worth it.  It’s always worth it.

This weekend, we basically climbed a mountain.  We climbed deep into the valley to the very base of this big beautiful waterfall…then we had to climb back up, and then up some more to get to the very top, to the peak, where we could see the incredible view from the bluff.

It wasn’t the hardest hike we’ve ever done.  But it wasn’t the easiest either.

About halfway back up after going all the way down to the waterfall, Emma had had enough.  She was tired. The climb was a bit more than she had expected, a bit harder than she wanted.  So she planted her feet and said, “I can’t do it.  I won’t do it. I’m not climbing anymore.”

I tried to encourage her. I knew the top was not very far away…I knew she could do it…she’s done harder climbs before.  But she didn’t believe me.  “No. I can’t. And I won’t.”

Well, she and I both knew that not moving was not an option.  She had to keep going. I knew that. Deep down, she knew that – but at that moment, all she could see was the enormous task ahead of her – and it was too big, too much. So she just stopped.

It took a bit of prodding, and some encouragement from her Aunt Joy, and eventually Emma started moving again.  One step at a time.  Sometimes slowly.  But eventually….we made it!  She did it.  That thing she thought was too hard and too big…she did it!

Inevitably on most of our hikes, there is at least one of us who hits a point where going on just seems to hard.  They want to quit.  They don’t want to go on.  The task ahead seems too large. The distance left ahead seems like too much.  They don’t think they can do it all, so they don’t do anything at all. They just stop.

Sometimes the enormity of what lies ahead overshadows the small task right in front of us – just one small step.

Just take one step.

This journey that God has mapped out for me is quite the adventure. Deep valleys, high mountains, difficult climbs, amazing views.

But how often do I plant my feet in the ground and refuse to go on?  How often do I grumble and complain about the path?  How often do I get overwhelmed by the climb I see ahead of me instead of just focusing on the next step right in front of me?  Whether I’m tired or scared or hurting or overwhelmed, how often do I say “I can’t do it, I won’t do it,” and refuse to take even one step because the whole big thing just seems impossible?  How often do I miss the beauty all around me because I’m too busy worrying about all the things I can’t see or don’t know or don’t like about this path?

How often do I miss the joy of the journey because I don’t trust my Guide?

My dad used to have this old saying that he would repeat to us over and over and over as we were growing up.  I think it’s an old Chinese proverb or something, but I heard it so many times, it is forever engrained in my head.  It got to be kind of annoying back then…but I can now appreciate the wisdom in these words:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

The journey ahead may seem long – too long.  The mountain in front of you may seem insurmountable.  The steps may be steep and the climb may be hard.  But don’t let the enormity of the journey overwhelm you – don’t stop.  You may not be able to do everything right now – but you can do one thing.  You may not be able to climb the whole mountain today, or even this year – but you can take just one step.  Then take just one more.

And then…just take one step more.

Because every great journey is taken one step at a time.

***

Pssst…I’ve made a little printable of this quote, with three color options, just for you. 😉 Simply click the color you would like to print and it will take you to the PDF file which you can then save and print 🙂  Enjoy!!



Getting Organized {& sharing my new 2015 printable calendar!}

 So I’m a little behind the power curve here…we’re already almost a week into January and I am just now getting my calendar together and getting organized for this new year.  I blame it on being sick a couple of times since Christmas…and on the fact that the girls just started back to school today, so we are just now getting back into a somewhat normal routine. 😉

I also think I’m still in a bit of shock that we are actually in a new year…2015?!  Is it just me, or do the years just seem to be flying by faster and faster somehow…

Emma will turn 12 this year, and Lilly will turn 10.  In a few short months, I will no longer have any children in single digit ages…they will both be double digits…that’s crazy to me…seriously.  Where did all that time go?…

Days turn to weeks.  Weeks turn to months.  One year flows into in the next.  Time just keep ticking by.  And it’s way too easy to get caught up in the rush and the hurry of the every day…it’s so easy to be so busy filling my time or worrying about what’s coming up next, that I miss the moments that matter most…I miss right here, right now.

And what’s crazy?  When I hurry, when I’m rushing from one thing to the next…time flies fast. I look back at the seasons in my life when my pace was fast and hurried, and it all is just one big crazy blur.  But…when I am intentional with my time, when I slow down and really live in the moment right here and now…time actually seems to slow down.  And when I look back at those kinds of days, when my pace was slow, when I used my time intentionally, when I embraced the moments in front of me…those are the memories that I cherish, the moments that make my life full.

So this year as I fill in my calendar, I’m going to keep two words in mind: slow and intentional.

I want to fill 2015 with moments that make my life full.  I want to embrace each day, whatever may come.  I realize that there will still be days that are busy…there are still tasks that must get done and obligations that must be met and things to do and people to see and places to go.  But…if I’m not intentional about family time, intentional about time with God, intentional about adding in margin and white space into my days…then the pace will quicken fast (because that’s just what the pace of this world and this culture tends to do) and the year will fly by in a blur and I’ll look back in a year as we enter 2016 and wonder where in the world all the time went.

I’ve been given a gift.  Today is a gift.  This moment is a gift.  And how I spend this day, this moment, this year…it matters.

So I designed this little calendar.  It’s pretty simple, really.  Just blank little boxes, one for each day of this whole big year.  My intention with this calendar is simple: to organize my days so that I can embrace each day to its fullest.

I’m going to fill in a few Family Nights or Family Adventure Days each month, intentionally planning some time together as a family….these are always some of our most favorite moments that we slow and embrace our time together…but if I don’t intentionally plan them, they simply won’t happen.

I’m also going to plan for Sabbath time to rest and just spend time with God…every week.  (I have a separate journal for my daily devotions…but I’m trying to do better about really taking a Sabbath day every single week, so I want to be sure to block out those days so that nothing else takes that time).

I’m also thinking of adding in some service projects and planning for some specific ways to love others throughout the year…and I’ll write down birthdays and appointments and all that good stuff too…but if the calendar starts getting really full, if I feel the pace of our family start to get too hurried and fast, then I’m also going to be very intentional about erasing things. 🙂

And in case you’re like me and need a simple little calendar to organize your days so you can embrace each day to its fullest, I’m sharing this little calendar I designed for 2015.  There are two options: a black and white version, and a color version.  Feel free to download and print either (or both 😉 ).  But please just note: this calendar is free for personal use only (please don’t take it and sell it or any of that kind of crazy stuff 😉 )

2015 CALENDAR – BLACK & WHITE
{click to download PDF file}

2015 CALENDAR – COLOR
{click to download PDF file}

Enjoy!!!  And have a wonderful year full of moments that make your life full!!

Psalms of Peace {a trio of printables}

DailyBannerHeader_Day9

Well…it happened.  I missed a day in this writing challenge… 😦

I did not post anything yesterday…so I’ll catch up today 🙂

I’ll start with a few free Peace printables!!

The Bible is filled with verses about peace.  These three are from Psalms.  I designed some little graphics with them, using my own photos, and then made them into printables so I can print them, hang them, and memorize them.

I want these truths in my heart…ingrained into the very fiber of my being…

“But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace”
Psalm 37:11

Psalm 37:11

“Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.”
Psalm 85:10
(I love this one…poetic and beautiful…reminds me that righteousness and peace are intimately connected.)

Psalm 85:10

“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”
Psalm 119:165

Psalm 119:165

If you’d like to print your own, here are the links to the PDF files:
(Just click the image you would like to download)

Psalm 37:11

Psalm 85:10

Psalm 119:165

I’m working on another post for today, and I’ll post that one soon!
(then I’ll be all caught up…whew! 😉 )
But I hope you enjoy these printables, and that you will join me in memorizing these verses and committing His Word to your heart.

To read more posts in this series, click here

 

 

Peace ~ Day One

DailyBannerHeader_Day1

There is a mere one hour left in the day, and I’m just now sitting down to write my official “day one” post of this 31-day challenge.  But I made it! 😉

It has been crazy around here lately.  Busy. Way more busy than I like.  There is just a lot pressing in, weighing down, pulling my time and energy in different directions.  I have a middle-schooler (can we just pause there a second….I mean, just that fact alone makes every day an interesting adventure 😉 …yeah…)  I have a middle-schooler who is changing and still adjusting to the whole middle school thing…I have an aunt who is in critical condition in the hospital…I have family that is hurting…I have a to-do list that never ends…I have girls with homework and projects and tests and emotions…and just life.

And in the middle of all this crazy, I am going to start writing about peace….

But maybe that’s a good thing…because really, peace isn’t about what’s going on around me, peace is about what’s going on inside me.

Peace.
Genuine, soul-deep, unshakable peace.
That’s what I will be pursuing over the next 31 days.

But for today, I just don’t really have a lot to say…no wonderful words of wisdom to start off this writing challenge…

All I have is this one word: peace.

And this one verse…the verse that I’ve had on repeat in my heart all this year: “Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts…and always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

I’ve made a printable of this verse already {you can get it here}, but I thought I’d make a new one for this month…to print and hang on my wall and inspire me to pursue peace every day.

Maybe you’d like to print one too?  Click the link below to enjoy this free printable:

Colossians3_15_8x10image_chalkboard

Download your own 8×10 Printable HERE

(and come back tomorrow..?  Maybe I’ll have more words by then 😉 )

And check back {here} for a list of all my posts for this 31-day challenge

On being quick to hear

I haven’t had a whole lot to say lately…and I don’t really have much to say today.  But I just wanted to share this verse that I’ve been thinking on this week:

JamesOneNineteen

Our life group is reading through the book of James together…digging deep and really studying it.  When I read this verse, I got hung up a bit on it.

Because the world has been loud lately.  Really loud.

This broken and bleeding world has been crying out, yelling out, screaming so loud it is sometimes hard to hear anything.  Crisis upon crisis…injustice upon injustice.  Lives lost, nations at war, arguing and bickering and chaos erupting.  It’s easy to just want to shut it all off, and tune it all out…to deny and ignore.

That’s what I usually do.  I’m typically a quiet person anyway…an introvert who avoids conflict like the plague.  So when others are loud, I usually just stay quiet.  I say nothing.

But silence is not the same as hearing.

I may be quiet, but am I really listening?

“Be quick to hear…”

The Message puts it this way: “Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue”

What does that mean, to lead with your ears?  What does that look like in day-to-day life…in this broken and loud world…in the middle of chaos and emotionally-charged problems?

I’m not entirely sure…I’m still figuring it out.

But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean to just be quiet and ignore problems.  I do think it means that it’s important to take the time to slow down and listen first.  To lead with my ears.  Not with my mouth, or my opinions, or even my eyes….but my ears.

Listen to someone enough…I mean really listen, really hear them…and you begin to see them as God sees them. Take the time to really hear them, and you start to really see them.  Because everyone has a story.  Every person is a soul created by God, loved by God, valued by God….and every soul, every single one, can be redeemed by God.

Those who are hurting…need someone to hear them.

Those who are crying out…need someone to hear them.

Those who are abused and neglected and treated unfairly…need someone to hear them.

The orphans, the widows, the homeless, the sick…need someone to hear them.

Those whose hearts have been broken and whose lives have been shattered and whose innocence has been stolen…they need someone to really hear them.

This world is really loud.  It’s hard to hear.  Hearing takes time and patience and empathy and humility.  And it takes love.  Because listening is a kind of loving…and when we are quick to hear, when we lead with our ears, we can follow up with our tongues with words of love that can build bridges and mend hurts and turn hearts to Jesus.

And the amazing grace of it is…sometimes it ends up being our own hearts that get changed and healed when we slow down and lead with our ears.  I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not know it all…I have my own tinted lenses through which I see the world…and by listening to others, sometimes it’s my own perspective that changes, my own heart that gets moved, my own eyes that are opened.

Because when I take time to really hear, that’s when I really start to see.

 

{ If you would like to print this verse and have it as a reminder, I’ve made it into a little printable for you to enjoy.  Just click the link below! }

James One Nineteen 5×7 Printable

Monday Inspiration

Well, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here.  Let’s see if I can get back on track this week 😉

Here are just a few things that are inspiring me this week:

This book.

Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg.

“You think you have to be someplace else or accomplish something more to find peace.  But it’s right here.  God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are.  Your soul is not just something that lives on after your body dies.  It’s the most important thing about you.  It is your life.”

I’ve been working my way through this book, and I love it.  I have underlined and marked up so many pages.  It is such a book about caring for your soul.  I’m hoping to finish it this week, but I’m sure it’s one I will read and reread again.

 

Lilly’s birthday is coming up on Sunday, and we are celebrating with a little animal-themed fun. So this week will be full of preparations for her special day, including making some little favors and decorations for the party…so I’ve been collecting ideas and this week I’ll be pulling it all together and making a few of these things:

These Animal Jars – I love the idea of spray painting little toy animals….these would make great party favors!

Tiny little mini animal party hats – Lilly has a TON of little plastic animals…how cute would it be to just add a little birthday hat on some of them?!  I’m thinking possible cupcake toppers, maybe….??

 

Balloon Animals – I’m thinking of trying to make some of these and putting them on sticks/dowel rods for Lilly’s birthday.  We’re having the party at a nature park, so decorations will be minimal. But if I make a few different animals and put them on sticks, then I can put the sticks in jars to put on the picnic tables for a quick and easy decoration…and then the kids can each have one to take home. I’ve never made them before, but these tutorials I found look pretty easy (maybe)…It’s worth a try!

 

Crockpot S’mores Fondue – One of our upcoming Family Nights is going to be a “Fondue Night”, so I’ve been on the hunt for some yummy fondue recipes.  This one looks like it would make a great dessert fondue!  I think we’ll at least have to try it!

 

I love this verse from Psalms.  And I’ve been painting with watercolors a lot lately, and this is my first watercolor feather.  So I made a little printable and I’m sharing it with you.  May you be comforted this week knowing that God covers you and shelters you under the feathers of His wings.

CLICK HERE to download the 5×7 Printable

 

That’s all for now!  I hope you have a beautifully inspired week!!

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