Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What is your legacy?

Do you ever think about your legacy as a person and what you are leaving behind for the next generation, specifically your kids?

I know that in my home, we really want to instill a sense of LOVE in our kids.  God's love; True love. Love that helps its neighbor.  Love that is patient, kind, doesn't envy boast nor is proud.  A love that isn't self-seeking, not easily angered and keeps no record in wrongs.  A love that doesn't enjoy evil but the truth. A love that protects, trusts, hopes and always perseveres {See 1 Cor 13:4-7 for that amazing love definition!}.

I regularly check myself to see if I am teaching and modeling this sort of love for my kids.
Weeeelll.... I fail every.single.day.
But I'm trying!
It's my goal and my hope.  And in this, even with my failures, I have a peace that passes understanding.

God's love can be taught and passed onto another generation.
I pray that I leave this love legacy for my family because ultimately that's what matters most.

Do you think about the legacy you are leaving?  Do you actively live knowing that one day you will be gone?  What memories will you leave for your friends and family?

This has been inspired by Job 21:21...
"For they will not care what happens to their family after they are dead."  
I am currently reading through the book of Job with my bible study group Good Morning Girls.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Recycled toy containers

If you follow my Facebook page HERE, you may have seen this photo:

I organized my son's toys into various bins, reusing washed out cat litter bins that I got from friends.  They are a great size and stack well!

I sorted the toys into different categories.
{If you have young boys I sorted by Pirate toys, Disney toys {Figurines from Toy Story, Cars & Planes}, Toy food and dishes, Imaginex & Angry Birds fit into one, Rescue Bots, Power Rangers, and vehicles.  I need more containers for Duplo, weapons and Lego.  For now they are kept in something else.  Plus I have a toy box for all the larger toys and a laundry basket for dress up.}

I made simple labels on the computer.

I used scrapbook paper to cover the kitty labels.

I covered the front in packing tape to prevent peeling.

Here's the finished product:

Eliminate Huge Mess Tip:  If you have a lot of small toys, keep them up high and make kids clean up all contents of one bin before they can get another down!

On another note, A Productive Endeavor is here on blogspot.
On Facebook, here.
And on Instagram, here.
I try not to duplicate content on each social media outlet so would love to see you on each one!

And don't forget...
It really is encouraging to me!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Homemade I Spy

I got my son an "I Spy" book from the library.  When he saw the pages with a scene inside a cardboard box, he was inspired.  He told me that he could make it.  "It's easy," he said.  So our nice quality time of reading books together morphed into a spontaneous craft time.

I had no idea how he planned to do it but off he went to craft.  He drew a rainbow and grass and water which are hard to see in the photos so here's a close up of my favorite part...a man on a train.  haha!  Cute!

I suggested cutting pieces from a magazine to glue inside to make his own I Spy game.  He loved that idea so he did that when he was done.  Oriental Trading catalogues were great for this!

How easy is that for a fun afternoon craft for your children?!  Get them an empty box, craft supplies, recycled materials {as I blogged about here}, magazines and let them create their own I spy scene!

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PS.  We used kabob skewers which are VERY sharp and I do not recommend for young children.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Christmas Cards

One of my favorite things about Christmas is cards!  Surprise surprise if you know me!  I love mailing them and I love getting them!  Taking them down used to make me sad but no longer... because we've been doing something special with them that I wanted to pass on!

I stick them in a vertical napkin holder and each night when we sit down to supper as a family, we pray for someone.  This has been a great way for the kids to learn about some of the wonderful people we know.  I talk about how we know them and update everyone on what's new in their lives {a perk to social media!}.  Then we pray for them as we give thanks for our meal.

When Christmas comes again, I tuck any photo cards into an album, recycle or repurpose old cards {gift tags, cards, etc} and put new incoming ones on my wall.  After Christmas, we start praying again.

Sooooo if you want us to pray for you through the year, please send us a card!
And there's an easy idea you can do with your family!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Planner talk

Planner, agenda, schedule... whatever you call it, if you are a planner person then this is an exciting time of year!  We drool over the selection and find the perfect fit for our lives.  The new year means a fresh book and fresh possibilities!  We get giddy!

I save my planners and it's fun to look back on them.  There's been situations where I had to look something up and thankfully had the info recorded.  Here's a peek at my stash!  

Over the years I have used different types of planners.  The appointment style with daily times written down were really convenient when I worked 3 jobs and had different schedules to coordinate. It also worked out well when I homeschooled.  But I noticed that my preferred style tends to be the week at a glance so I can write out my daily tasks.  

This year I found a pretty Dayspring brand planner.  It has a month at a view for easy viewing and then a weekly spread which allows me to write down details.  

A newer fad is to embellish planners with stickers and doodles and quotes.  I do enjoy sitting in front of the TV and doing this to mine time to time.  I haven't been consistent with this but maybe I'll do it more often because it makes me so happy to look through!

Who else is on the planner bandwagon?

Wishing you all the best for 2016!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Update on No More To-Go

I wanted to write another post about my new meal plan system thanks to No More To-Go.  Click here to read my previous post about it.

I am still LOVING this system so much!  With family visiting for Christmas, I don't have to worry about what to serve them for meals.  There aren't many groceries and those I get are often fresh.  I just LOVE eating this way!  Look how pretty my meals are!  {I post on Instagram so follow me there.}

I baked a pork roast with veggies for the first time and loved how extra fancy it looked!  Plus it tasted great!

Aaaand I've continued to learn:

Not all of my family likes broccoli so substitute with stuff they do like.

I used hoisin for the first time and love that I can make my own stir-fry sauce.

I peeled my first pomegranate!  First time using the fruit and it was so pretty on my kale salad!

I tried goat cheese and didn't like it.  I love the substitution ideas on the "No More To-Go" recipes!  Good thing I bought feta just in case so used that on my salad instead.

I love kale and need to use for salad bases more often!

Mixing quinoa with rice is a nice twist and tastes great!

Portions are great often with leftovers for my husband's lunch!

This creamy sun-dried tomato sauce reminded me of a pasta dish I had a restaurant and loved!  Now I can make it myself!  Next time I'm adding asparagus and mushrooms!  
I feel like I am buying fewer groceries.  I love the ease of this program and I can NOT say enough good about it even now 3 weeks in.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and maybe this might be a last minute gift idea for someone you know!  Just CLICK HERE to buy a subscription!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Meal time just got easier!

Meals are my most dreaded homemaking task of all!  I am not a naturally gifted chef.  I can't just open the pantry and magically put ingredients together.  {Seriously, recipes were made for people like me!} Although I have built up a small repertoire of favorites over the years, I am still a "heat to cook" kinda girl.  My husband and I are not really picky eaters but we have three kids.  I don't like spending more time than necessary preparing meals.... well unless I could tolerate the bazillion interruptions while doing a chore I never enjoyed in the first place.

Mealtimes are filled with mixed emotions.  It's hard to find something we all enjoy.  I hate when kids complain {still training and dealing with those poor attitudes}.  If I cook what they like, it's often processed junk and then I feel guilty about what I feed my family.


Over Thanksgiving, a friend told me about "No More To Go".  It is an amazing meal planning website.  They provide the weekly menu WITH recipes, and a grocery list based on seasonal ingredients!  The list is amazing which you can kind of see in the photo above!  It has everything listed in categories so it was VERY easy to navigate the grocery store!  {Each ingredient has a little letter in the column to the right that corresponds with what recipe you need it in.  Genius!}

The recipes are all foods I would actually eat but never think to make.  Last night it was sausage rigatoni ragu with mixed greens and a homemade vinaigrette.  I never made ragu before and it was soooo easy and tasty.  {Heck, I never made rigatoni before!}  The vinaigrette was super easy too and I love that it was fresh!  Surprisingly my WHOLE family loved it, minus one kid who didn't like the sharp taste of the salad dressing {but I made it without the called for anchovy paste because I couldn't find it!!}  Even the pickier kid who hates pasta liked it after I said it was like pizza. He gobbled it up {with carrots and zucchini finely chopped in the sauce!}.  I was amazed!

I am adding this meal to my "favorites".  If a weekly menu comes out with something that I don't want to make, then I can swap it out!  Talk about easy!

Soooo if you hate meal planning, hate thinking about your grocery list or never know what to make for supper, you might want to try this out!  I got an amazing deal on Groupon but there is a 50% off sale til Dec.4th too!  See the code below.

saw on their Facebook Page
Passing this on in case there is someone else like me!  Guess who's looking forward to supper now?!

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EDIT:  I wasn't paid to say how awesome this is but after sharing this post, I now have my first affiliate link on my blog!  How cool is that?!!!  Can I tell you how much I love "No More To-Go"?  *squeal!!*  Click HERE to subscribe!