Category Archives: Crafts

Kids Bible Verses from Easter Eggs to Spring Rain Drops

{Easter Eggs}

This weekend I realized I haven’t shared our Easter Egg bible verses.  This year we left the easter bunny out of easter.  The kids knew Mom hid the eggs and baskets.  Instead of eggs filed with candy they were filled with pieces of a bible verse for each.  So each of my 5 kids had a color (purple, blue, orange, yellow, green) and that was the only egg they were allowed to touch and collect.  They did great!


Once all the eggs were found they had to use the rainbow to put their verse together.  You know, Roy-g-biv. Never hurts to mix a little school lesson into the fun times.

The little ones needed a little more help than the older boys but it went well.  Next came memorizing.  Well… I didn’t plan it well because they only had 30 minutes to talk about the meaning of their verse and memorize it.  I did end up letting them have their baskets before we went to church.  I know… not exactly the message I wanted to send.

However, I was very impressed with my three little ones (and my husband) who worked hard all day Sunday to try to get them memorized.  By Easter Monday my 2yr old, 3yr old, and 5yr old had their verses memorized!!  Actually my 5yr old had his verse, his brother’s verse, and his sister’s verses memorized!  My 3yr old had his and his sister’s verse too.  It was fun to see them get excited!

{Easter Verses}

For my 2yr old:
You are the light of the world.
{Mathew 5:14}

For my 3yr old:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
{Proverbs 3:5}

For my 5yr old:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
{Philippians 4:13}

For my 10yr old:
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.
{John 11:25}

For my 11yr old:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
{James 1:2-4}

{Picked with Love}

Each verse was picked with love specifically for each of my kids.  I chose ones that seemed to fit situations within their lives.  My 5 yr old has medical issues so for him being able to do all things through Christ who gives me strength was perfect.  My 11 yr old is having some trials and thus the reason for his.  My 10 yr old has strong fears of another sibling passing so reminding him about life after death was important to me.  My little two were picked as starters to their faith.  I love how each of them understand the reasons why I picked their verses and why they are important to their lives!

{April Rain Showers}

As the rain started falling this weekend I looked at my fridge front and decided that it was time to take down Easter and bring on spring.  I turned to Pinterest for a few ideas.  Of course April showers was a common theme.  I found a verse that really spoke to me.  From there I filled up the rain drops with a few verses from last month as well as a few new ones.  These are more for the little kids but I know they are also important to the big kids too.  I think length doens’t matter as much as the meaning.


{April Shower Verses}

Main Theme:
I will send down showers in season;
there will be showers of blessing.
Ezekiel 34:26

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
Psalm 3:7

You are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Proverbs 3:5

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Ephesians 6:1

I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.
Philipians 4:13

For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing;
it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8

For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only son,
that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

{Why my Fridge?}

Since November I have been creating a new theme with verses or Pre-k things.  With 5 children, four of them boys, my fridge is the hub of my home!!! I see my kids stand there and read and look at the things on there.  I quickly realized that that area could be a great place to share things.  My kids look forward to the changing of the fridge front every 4-6 weeks.  I also enjoy the change and being able to use that to teach.  It has taught me to have an appreciation for teachers who take the time to use boards at school to teach from.  They can take a bit of work and planning.  I have chosen not to purchase anything other than paper, ink, and tape for mine.  That usually means a bit of searching, printing, and cutting.  I don’t mind though.  I don’t feel bad if my kids destroy parts of it by the end of the month. 🙂

Happy Spring Everyone!


Indoor Snowman

When it is too cold to build a snowman outdoors (or too warm for others) I found a fun way for the kids to build one anyway.


With five kids we go through a ton of toilet paper.  I am not sure how much is actually used and how much is flushed for the fun of it.  Anyway I found a fun idea when I was looking for Elf on the Shelf place ideas.  The kids had fun decorating the TP with washable markers.  They spent 2 hours stacking, moving, and restocking their own 3 rolls of snowman.  Then, they next best part was getting to use the TP and watch it turn the toilet water turn colors 😉

Do you want to build a snowman?


TMNT Ornaments

Our tradition each year is to purchase an ornament for each of our kids.  The hope is that when they leave they will have 18 ornaments to take with them for their first tree.  The best part is finding that perfect ornament for them each year.  It can be tricky to find the one that fits their current likes.  Many times we visit the Hallmark store or to find/create the perfect one.  This year neither of those places had what I was looking for.  Even Etsy didn’t have something for each of my five kiddos.

I had seen a really cute TMNT ornament on Pinterest that I had wanted to try but at the time my kids weren’t really into them.  That was until we moved to Iowa and lost the Disney Channel.  Now Turtles are their favorite show, even my little lady’s.  Since we now live near a few craft stores I can easily visit them when they have sales.  So… I made 4 Ninja Turtles and 1 girl turtle.  Did you know there was actually a girl turtle?  I didn’t.  Guess in some threads online there was a girl turtle by the name of Venus.  If I had done my research I would have had 2 blues turtles instead of 2 purple. Oh well, Haleigh’s favorite character is still Minnie Mouse and her favorite color is purple.  So that is what she got.

Turtle Ornaments

I think they turned out pretty cute!  They were super easy to make. It took me less than 20 minutes to create all 5.  I didn’t go into a ton of detail.  I know I could have made their mouths a bit different to create more aggressive turtles but that would mean I would have had to paint them all.  I opted for a little makers and ribbon instead.

My only dilemma was on how to package these individually so each kid could unwrap their own.  I certainly could leave them in the 6pk but there is no way 5 kids would open that gift without some elbows flying and frustration for us.  While I was out looking for cake stuff I noticed the individual cupcake boxes and thought they might work.

Turtle Ornaments packaged

They worked great!  So we had five little packages ready for five young ones to open Christmas morning.  They loved them.  🙂  Definitely a Pinterest item worth making.


Creating Our Meaningful Advent Calendar

We began the tradition of an Advent Calendar 2 years ago.  I created on using some of our old mismatched gloves and socks and for the past 2 years we have filled it with lots of treats.  The kids think it is awesome to guess what is in each one and I enjoy not searching through all the leftover mittens for a match.  #winwin


Advent Calendar (Ortman)

This year I decided to take a different approach with it.  Honestly it is what I should have done from the beginning.  I wanted to know the real meaning behind the advent calendar.  I wanted the kids to know too.  So this year we used our old tradition and added some learning.

After using my good friend google to search for kid friendly explanations on how the advent calendar began, I decided to print it out and display it with our calendar.  Here is where Pinterest gets involved… rather than store all my links in an email I will never again find, I opted for a new board to store and share links.



I really liked the idea of having bible verses for the kids each day.  It gives us a reference point for the little kids and a place for the big boys to dig deeper if they want.  I found a wonderful link with some very basic verses (it is pinned to my board).  They work very well for my little boys and are maybe a little too short for the older ones but again it is a starting point for the older ones.  Next year I might try to create the story line with verses that work a little better for us. 🙂

So my next problem was what to do with each verse throughout the month.  If they don’t have a place they will get forgotten and if forgotten they mean nothing.  We are a visual house.  I really couldn’t decide between placing snowflakes by my advent calendar or I had no idea.  So back to google.  I found a few “create your own calendars” but I didn’t want to create a new setup nor did I want to have to buy five stars, five babies, five angels, 10 rings to place in the different days.  I met in the middle.  I chose to use pictures to reference instead.  It will cost me far less to print what I need and I don’t have to worry about little objects being left on the floor for me to step on.

Visual Aid and Verse Card Holder

Each image is attached to a piece of construction paper.  For day 1 the angel comes to visit Mary so an angel was the image I printed.  Now the pre-picked verses I found don’t move along as quickly as some so there are a few days that are doubled up. My kids don’t seem to mind.  I tried to find images that very closely followed the verses so that my 3 and 4 yo could easily figure out what we were talking about.  After we read and talk about each day, we add it to the coordinating image.

Advent Calendar Week 1

Now that we are seven days into the calendar we have found a rhythm.  We also take time to review the previous days before we add the current day. This has been great for all.  On day one the angel visited and that is all they remembered.  Today they remember that the angel’s name was Gabriel and he came to tell Mary she was going to have a baby and His name was going to be Jesus.  By the end of the month they are going to be able to recite the story of Jesus!!

I can’t forget to share that while we opted for verses this year we still placed a small treat in each day.  The treat is only to be eaten after each verse has been read and talked about. Works perfectly for everyone except the 22 month old.  She just tries to eat it through the package!

After this Christmas Advent Calendar project I have a new appreciation for teachers and the time they put into creating lessons for their students.  It is worth it!

Merry Christmas!


Toddler {Thankful For} Fall Decorating Project

I spent way too much time on Pintrest but I found a fun way to decorate for the Thanksgiving season.  I thought it would help reinforce the nightly {thankful for} prayers that he and Lincoln do each night.  My three little ones were crazy about this project!!  I simply traced each of their hands on different colors of construction paper.  If you look closely I opted to use a single color for each kid and I used their “writing” hand.  I feel like it makes it personal and they can show friends and family their {thankful for} things. They each gave me ideas for their hands (well the baby needed a little help) and then they each took turns hanging them up.  When my older boys got home they were disappointed that they didn’t get to put hands up too. Fun for all ages I found!

Thankful for

Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, Be Genuine, but Most of all Be Thankful.


CarlyMarie Project 2013 – Day #24


“Mom, I am afraid I am going to forget Clara!!!” ~ Mason 8yrs old

Several weeks ago Mason found a foot key chain with the poem “Footprints” on it.  He lost it and was crying and very upset.  When we were able to finally get him to talk he told me about how afraid he was.  Afraid he might forget his sister and the fun times they had together.  He said there is already so many things he doesn’t remember.  His older brother Damon, who was 5 at the time, remembers the day she passed very well even though they were outside playing when everything happened.  He remembers the ambulance and firetrucks arriving, our daycare lady crying, our daycare’s husband hugging them.  Mason was only 4 and doesn’t remember nearly as much about that day nor the week following.

So Mason and I looked through Clara’s box.  Through her clothes and pictures too.  He cried as he tried to remember some of the memories I had.  He did seem to calm down when he got to hold her paci, musical rabbit, and an outfit he remembered very well.  I asked him if there was anything he wanted so he could remember.  He asked for a picture and put it in his room, on the wall next to his bed.

After that night I knew I needed to create something that would include some items from Clara as well as things we have done since she passed.  I decided to make shadow boxes for both Mason and Damon.  I wanted them to help by picking out an outfit of hers that reminded them of her.  That actually turned into looking at pictures of Clara and then the picked the outfit that matched their favorite picture.  Damon picked the outfit that we took their Easter picture in.  So his box has a pretty stripe dress and a picture of the boys and her.  Mason picked the dress she wore on Mother’s day.  He said he remembered her eating her dress all day and that we had to change her outfit because it was all wet, just like we do with Haleigh.  Perfect!

I added a few things like the funeral handouts, the buttons we wear for the run each year, a picture of them reading with her.  I have a few more things I would like to add like the pink ties my brothers wore for the funeral and a couple of pink and yellow flowers.

Both boys like them and have them displayed in their room.  Mason makes me giggle because he said he may decide to put it in his special box under his bed so that it doesn’t get broke.  “I want to keep it safe so that when I have my own house, I can hang it up.”  Makes my heart melt!!

I have saved a few other outfits just in case the 3 little ones want something like this for the sister they never got to meet.  Lincoln is 3.5yrs old and starting to ask about when he can meet his sister Clara.  I have already had to explain that right now she is in Heaven.  My wish is that they would want to have a box and some special items to know her by.  Knowing she is in Heaven is one thing to comprehend but having something tangible to hold can help in understanding she was here but isn’t anymore.

Explaining the truth never gets easier but making memories with them so that they can “hold” her in their hearts makes it worth it.


Crazy Mitten Overload

Dilema #1:

I found myself with 2 boys who loved their LEGO Advent Calendar last year and wanted another one this year.  I however couldn’t muster up the courage to spend $45 on the one they really wanted nor $30 on the less liked one.

Dilema #2:

After cleaning out my homes coat closet I found a couple dozen mismatched gloves and mittens.  I mean how many pairs can a family of 6 have??  Too many!!!  I guess you know kids…they lose matches faster than one can buy replacements.  My boys are now of the understanding if they lose the match they will, WILL, wear mismatched ones.  After playing the matching game I found myself with a heap of umatched and extra pairs.

What to do…

And then it struck me.  I could make my kids an advent calendar we can use each year…for pretty cheap!  I was thinking about the cute sock ones I had seen online.  Problem is that we seriously don’t have cute socks.  Umm, boys socks are really just athletic ones.  How many boys do you see where fancy Christmas ones or even pink, green, or red ones???  So my disappointingly ugly idea quickly transformed into a spectacular one.

Thank goodness my mom has a basement full of cute crafting leftovers that she so kindly shared a couple of years ago.  To create the calendar I honestly didn’t have to buy much more than the mini clothes pins and 3M Command hooks.  By the way, mini clothes pins are just that MINI!  They are barely an inch long but they have the best springs on them.

I would say it turned out pretty darn cute.  The “rope” is just twisted up pipe cleaners.  I simply started twisting in the middle of the red pipe cleaner.  This left half of the white one for me to twist with another red one.  It also left enough on each end to create a loop to put on the wall hook.

I decorated most of the gloves just because they didn’t look super Christmas/wintery.  I also added hand cut numbers to each one.  I would say I spent a good 2 hours creating but it was time well spent.

Need a project for all your mismatched mittens and gloves??

Need a project for all your mismatched mittens and gloves??

The boys were super excited about this project especially since now they will each get a small item/candy each day.  With the LEGO calendar they each could only open every other day.  Damon had odd numbered days, Mason even numbered days and then there was the prospect that Lincoln and Preston may want to help too 🙁

Now to fill with goodies!