Thursday, October 29, 2015

Opportunity For Change

On August 15, we pulled into the driveway of our new old home. Does that make any sense? Nope, not really. We moved from our home in NE Alberta to our home in SW Michigan that we left five years ago. Dave is now pursuing his lifetime dream of getting PhD or rather a ThD.

Our move was a huge step of faith for us. Dave had not been formally accepted into the program yet, so there were a lot of unknowns, both in terms of his program and of our finances. How would we pay for his tuition that was not covered by his sponsorship until he was accepted? How much would he get as a stipend from his employer? How were we going to cover our living expenses when we now have doubled our family size? Where will we be able to bring in some extra cash? 

We have been working hard to settle in and are so close. Dave's program is coming together and he will formally start his program in January, although he is already working very hard on classes. His professors and others helped him to find the best way for him to be able to take the classes and minimize the cost to him. This has helped us tremendously! He also was very fortunate to land a good and interesting job before classes even started. 

But there was still a need for more. I'd been struggling to figure out what I could possibly do to make a difference, when I came across a wonderful opportunity to join the launch team for Crystal Paine's new book Money Making Mom. It releases on November 3, but I have spent the last month reading through a pre-release copy of the book. And let me tell you, it has filled me with hope, ideas, inspiration and knowledge to be able to start making a difference in my family's life. 

In her book, Crystal walks you step by step through how to come up with fresh ideas, how to find your passion and skills, and how to start setting up a business and avoid some of the pitfalls that others have experienced along the way. She encourages you to face your fears and step out. She gives you ideas on how to keep growing as a person. She highlights many women in so many different types of business, so it is easy to see that there is no one right answer. 

More important then helping you to lay the foundation for a strong business, Crystal helps you to understand that being able to give back in some way is central to your ability to thrive in your work and your life. She reminds us over and over again that you must know why you are doing what you are if you want to be able to stick with it, even when it is hard. Part of her mission statement is "Live simply so others may simply live." Later in the book she states, "I've found that every time I give in a way that requires sacrifice, I'm so very blessed in the end. And it inspires me to let go even more and live with arms stretched out wide." I have been so inspired to think of creative ways that I can reach out to others because of reading this book.

I don't have a plan mapped out for myself yet. I still have a lot to figure out. But I know that I have the tools now to start making those plans. And I have the courage to start making those plans. I loved what Crystal had to say, "Keep dreaming, keep setting goals, and keep breaking them down into bite-sized pieces. Keep moving forward, even if you feel like you're going at a snail's pace." Because honestly, that is exactly where I am right now.

If this is something you are interested in getting, I highly encourage you to order a copy of the book now. If you are someone interested in learning how to follow your passions and earn money while doing that, I highly encourage you to get the book. You do not need to be a mom to benefit from this book. Crystal has some lovely bonuses available to those who pre-order the book. You can check them out at

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Making Some Changes

It's been quite awhile since I've posted anything, and after today, it will still be awhile until I post again. Just a quick heads up that I will be making some changes here. I've decided to change my blog URL back to Some of you who read may still be using that address and will not have any trouble. Others may need to update their links. I will keep up until the end of the month before closing it. All the content will still be available at the address.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

DIY Moses Basket

When my daughter was 5 weeks old, my husband had business meetings that he needed to attend. Families were welcome, and I knew that I really couldn't handle being on my own with my children, so we packed up and tagged along. I knew that I wanted something small for her to sleep in so that it would fit in our small room in the lodge at our church's campground. I also knew that I wanted something that I could move around and have her sleeping in different parts of the lodge. Inspired by the drawer I'd used earlier, I decided to use this laundry basket that I had. I took a blanket and folded it under her for comfort, than used it. I loved it! It was the perfect decision, because I was able to attend meetings or visit with friends and she was able to sleep in a comfortable place. And, my friends thought it was a pretty genius idea too.

Fast forward a year. We were now expecting our fourth child. And, even though we were having a baby, we had a lot of travel plans already made for our summer. Since I knew that we were going to be traveling a lot with this baby in the first couple of months of his life, I seriously looked at all the options for small portable beds. I was especially drawn to a Moses basket, but I was not drawn to the price. I decided that I could still use my basket idea, but I wanted to make it a look a little better.

It worked better than I imagined it would. I was able to keep this basket at my bedside everywhere we went, and then move it into other rooms where we were working, relaxing, or playing. He slept in it the majority of the time until he was two months old. We used it at my dad's home, at our church's camprground in a cabin, at friends' homes, in hotels, etc. And, he used it again for a couple of weeks this October. I certainly got my money's worth out of this DIY. I only spent about $20 specifically for this project, as I had several of the items already in my stash.

This basket is just the right size for the littlest ones. But as you can see, ones that are a little older will also think it's a great place to hang out and play!

Supplies for a DIY Moses Basket

 Laundry basket
1" foam cut to size for a mattress
1/2 meter outdoor fabric to cover mattress
pdf pattern
old sheet
3 packages eyelet ruffle
scraps of fabric
scraps of quilt batting

Steps to Make Basket

 1. Measure basket and cut foam to size. Measure the mattress and cut outdoor fabric to size, adding a 1/2" seam allowance. Sew zipper in, then sew up mattress cover. Insert foam into cover. Your mattress is now complete.

2. Measure basket. Get measurements and cut fabric according to this pdf pattern. Sew the bottom ends of pieces B and C to piece A right sides together. Then sew sides together to form a box.

3. For outer sides of cover, measure and cut pieces of eyelet ruffle, making enough for 5 rows on each side. You will need 10 long and 10 short pieces. Mark pieces D and E on the right side at 1.5 inch intervals starting at the bottom. Pin and sew eyelet to fabric. Cut 4 lengths of ribbon, one for each side. You'll want them at least 12 inches longer than the width of pieces D and E. Heat seal ribbon ends. Center ribbon and attach to each fabric side covering where the top eyelet row attaches. Hem bottom and sides of each piece D and E. Then sew each piece, right sides together to the tops of pieces B and C. Slip your completed cover into the basket and tie ribbons to hold the cover in place. Slip you completed mattress in now too.

4. Make a miniature quilt, if wanted. I used two scraps of fabric that I had that were big enough to have one on top and one on bottom. I pieced a layer of quilt batting over the bottom fabric and sandwiched it with the top fabric and pinned it together. I then quilted it with simple wavy lines and bound it with more of the top fabric. I love how it turned out. It is also the perfect size to tuck around him in his carseat to keep him from getting cold.

5. Make little sheets, if desired. Or you can slip the mattress into a pillowcase. Or you can buy little sheets for a bassinet or pram that is similar to the size of your mattress. That is what I did.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day 8: The Drawer


Sometimes, when you are traveling, you just don't have a bed to use. And that is OK, too. When my daughter was three weeks old, we traveled from where she was born to our home, which is 8 hours away. (For that story, look here.) We  decided that since she was so little, we would break the trip up and stayed with my sister, who was roughly half-way. On that trip, we used an empty dresser drawer, padded with a blanket. It worked and that simple solution was the inspiration for what I will share tomorrow.

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