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2012 Presidential Election – Ballot for kids

November 6, 2012

Today, the United States of America chooses its next President. At our house, it means mock elections. We’ve been studying about the electoral process these last couple of weeks, the different parties, and the Electoral College. Today is the big day. The boys will go to the ‘polls’, ‘cast their vote’ and spent the evening tracking election results on a map we’ve printed out.

While we’ve talked about all of the elections that can happen on the General Election Day (voting for Senators and Congressmen, local elections and State/County Constitutional amendments, etc.) we are focusing primarily on the Presidential  candidates today.

Somewhat Muddled Musings | Sample 2012 Presidential Ballot


(this ballot was created as a sample ballot from how the ballots were presented in our county. No favoritism is implied)

Feel free to print off this ballot for your kids and allow them to participate in one of the most fundamental rights and privileges we have as American citizens – the right to vote.

PS. For a little help on the Electoral College – here’s a very helpful video.

Was it worth the wait? The 2012 Stan Lee Comicon – Dallas version

June 1, 2012

It all started so innocently. Russ and I were in bed, watching television, and he was surfing on his laptop.

Then I hear, “Honey, you need to see this.”

He showed me a website of the Stan Lee Comicon that was coming to Dallas that weekend. I was just about ready to blow him off with a “yeah, hon, that’s great, now let me get back to Food Network Star because Alton is on it!”

Then I saw what he was trying to get me to see. Patrick Stewart. No, make that Sir Patrick Stewart. He was coming to Dallas. To DALLAS. We live near Dallas. We could go, and we could meet him, and we could shake his hand and say thanks, and tell him all about how he was about to be an integral part of our children’s education (he’s a brilliant Shaksperian actor, and we’re about to delve into some of those), and how he’s just so awesome..and.and…

PATRICK STEWART! Even Russ was excited – I could tell.






Make Your Own Resurrection Eggs for Easter or Lent Devotional Activity

March 23, 2012

Make Your Own Ressurection Egg Devotional Activity for Easter and Lent!

One of my favorite activities to do with my boys when they were younger was actually during our Church groups playtime. We’d all gather at the park for our weekly outtings, and gather the children together, pass around each one of the trinkets and one of the Mom’s would explain the Resurrection Story. It was a great way to introduce children to the story of Christ’s sacrifice for us, with something tangible that they could see, hold and feel while they were listening to the story

For us, invariably, pieces get lost over time, regardless of how diligent we are to put them away. When Jacque came out with this little Resurrection Egg printable – it made perfect sense! If one piece gets lost or torn – just print off another one!

Directions on how to use this activity – print off the egg sheet onto cardstock – you can easy have a printer/quick copy place do it for you. Then have them laminate the sheet. Cut out each of the eggs, and insert them into a set of plastic easter eggs. You can store these in an egg carton if you wish (make sure it’s clean and dry if you’re recycling one, and store a folded copy of the scripture references in the top, then have the kids paint and decorate the egg carton on the outside!

Alternatively, you can use this as a board activity for your Sunday School group.

You can begin this activity on the 2nd Sunday before Easter, or just do it in one sitting a few days before Easter. I plan on having my 12yo present it this year each day as part of our extended devotional leading up to  and through Holy Week. This will give him a chance to share his knowledge in his own words and begin to grow his faith by sharing with others.

Crafts, Tricks and Treats for St. Patrick’s Day

March 15, 2012

I’m over at the Sweet Shoppe Designs blog today sharing some ideas to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope you’ll join me!

And here’s one sweet, easy craft you can do that I found this morning! It’s just darling!

From the blog: The Crafting Chicks

The Lenten Cross – A Devotional for Easter

February 22, 2012

** NOTE: Unfortunately, Jacque no longer sells this kit at LilyPad. I cannot share the file as it is not my creation and it wouldn’t be right for me to share. But you can see the photos and create something like it for yourself.


Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten Season – a season of reflection, devotion, and for some, sacrifice, as we ponder on the sacrifice God made for those whom He loves so dearly. It is the holiest season for Christianity. I wanted to do a devotion for Lent that is much like the Jesse Tree for Christmas, and had a hard time finding more than the Resurrection Egg activity – which we will definitely do.

Then Jacque Larsen showed me a devotional piece she was working on (much like her Jesse Tree craft), and wham – this is it!  it follows the Messianic prophecies through the Old Testament and matches each with its fulfillment in the Crucifixion narrative.

Lenten Cross

click on image to purchase kit

These are small activity cards to use along with your devotion (scriptures are also found in the kit), that take you on a walk, day by day, through the Lenten season, preparing your heart for what the season really means. When you finish each day’s devotional – you then build a cross on a wall, a piece of poster board or other area that works for you.

Each day, we’ll pull the new card, read the scripture, talk about the references and symbolism, and the boys will add it to the cross. In the middle, you can put a picture or symbol or verse of special meaning for you. The image in the middle of mine is a crown of thorns from another of Jacque’s paper kits – it fit perfectly with the theme.

I really look forward to completing this activity with the boys. Today’s Ash Wednesday entry was a great way to introduce Lent to Aiden in a more meaningful way than some craft activities, and to give Connor some depth to his new faith.

And I want to encourage you – if you’re reading this 2 days into Lent,  5 days into Lent, or even 30 days into Lent, this is one of those crafts that’s easy to jump into and prepare – even if you only talk about the symbolism until the point you can catch up, and then start where you can. Or prepare it now for next year’s Lenten Season.

 Instructions: (how I completed this craft)

  • Purchase Lenten Cross – it is $3  (this is a digital file that you will receive up on purchase, that you just download to your computer) You can print it from any word processing program, photo editing program or even something like Paint.
  • Print out the 2 8.5×11 sheets of paper at an office supply store
  • Wrote the scripture references on the back of the cards
  • Have office supply store laminate the sheets
  • Cut out
  • Mount on poster board, wall or other medium. We happened to use tacky dough for mounting posters, etc.


  • Products $3
  • Supplies $6 for printing and laminating
  • And about 15 min to cut out and make our references. All-in-all a pretty easy project that has so much more meaning!
(note: I receive no financial benefit from this blog post at all.)

You might also be interested in our Ash Wednesday craft:

Get Your Handwriting Made Into a Font!!!

January 28, 2012

If you are interested in turning your handwriting into a font, I have the services for you!


It’s as simple as submitting a handwriting sample, and getting an awesome font delievered within 48 hours to use in scrapbooking, letters, promotions, etc!

Aiden & Grandpa

January 18, 2012

Aiden finally got to have his own 1:1 time with Dad later in the afternoon to go out and show off his sling shot skills:

See what I can do?

Some advice

WOW! That really worked, Grandpa!

These are moments I treasure watching the boys with their grandparents, learning from them, making memories with them, and seeing all of our parents showering the boys with unconditional love and watching the boys radiate in that love. It’s a wonderful gift from God that we can still have these kinds of moments.