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Friday, January 29, 2016

Tilda with a Bear Card


Do you ever have a day that you just want to stay in bed?  That is me today, I just cannot seem to get moving this morning.  I have about a thousand things to do and I just don't feel like doing even one of them. I know I could skip them but then I'll just have to do everything tomorrow.  So, here I am trying to motivate myself instead of curing up with a book and my coffee.

I was motivated to make a card earlier this week.  I have had this Magnolia Stamps image on my craft table for months.  I do not color my Maggie's because I am just not that good at coloring with Copics.  Fortunately, I have an awesome husband that is really good with his Copics.  He colored this Maggie for me before the holiday's and I just set her aside.  He was really happy to finally see her on a card.

Hope you have an awesome Friday and weekend.

Traci

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Parenting a Prodigal: Part Two


This is the second post in a series. You can read the first post here if you would like.

Photo from Pinterest.com  
If you were a Christian parent in the 1990's, you had an arsenal of VeggieTales in your cabinet for your children to watch during TV time.  Veggie Tales was so popular at our church library that there were waiting lists sometimes weeks long to check out newly released videos.  As a parent I loved that Veggie Tales was interesting to my toddlers but also taught a biblical lesson.  Recently, I read an article about Veggie Tales creator Phil Vishcer regretting not making the popular Christian series less about morality and more about the gospel.  As a parent, when I read this a light bulb went off in my head.  I realized that while I brought my children to church, I prayed with them and I taught them to be "good" people.  I don't think I taught them how to translate that into how to live a life for Christ. 

If you had asked me what my parenting goals were when my kids were little I would have answered, to have them godly contributing members of society.  If you had asked how I was going to achieve this, I would have said by praying with them, teaching them the bible, making church and education a priority in our home.  This is what we did and we certainly thought we were on the right track because if not we would have changed course.  

All of my children were in church from the time they were little babies until they headed off to college.  We even went to visit churches while on vacation, there was rarely a time that we did not go to church at least three times a week; sometimes more.  They were in Mission Friends, Children's Choirs, Youth Group and even the College/Careers classes.  What we missed in all of this was teaching our prodigal who God was to her.  Like the VeggieTales videos, we taught a moral compass and about God but not who He was in their life.  If I had to do it again there are a few things I would change in how I parented. 

I would focus less on sound-byte scripture memorization and more on reading the Word in context.  As a parent, I spent a lot of time teaching my kids how to memorize scripture.  They got sound-bytes instead of learning the Word of God as a whole.  I think this type of teaching missed the mark.  Writer Girl can throw out bible verses as well as the next person.  As a matter of fact she even has a trophy from Bible Drill, what she doesn't have is a knowledge of what that scripture means.  She doesn't know the whole story so to speak.  This was/is a stumbling block to her now that she is out in the "real" world of academia where her peers and professors seem to have the answers for all of their arguments against Christianity.

I would try to remember that God gave my children to me because I was the right parent for them.  I think I failed my daughter a bit when she was young because I was not sure I knew how to parent.  I looked to others for advice instead of to the Lord.  Now that the kids are older and I am a tiny bit wiser, I realize that the best place I can go for answers about how to parent is to the Lord.  I can do this through prayer or through searching the Word.  I did not do this nearly enough when my kids were young because I felt inadequate as a young Christian.  I thought I did not know enough to ensure that my kids were getting a godly upbringing.  What I realize now is that God doesn't make mistakes.  He choose me to be their mother not the other moms.  This means that if we seek God for answers about struggles and parenting our children, He will be faithful to answer and guide.

I would focus less on education and extracurricular activities. This one is hard. My husband and I feel like an educated Christian is very powerful in the current world.  We believe that education is important to the point that we have driven a twenty-five minute drive one way to the school we feel is best for our children.  So, please hear me when I say that education is important but it is not as important as knowing that your child is spiritually sound.  I am not going to bash public schools because we have had great experiences with public school as much as we've had horrible experiences with Christian schools.  But I will say this looking back, the biggest mistake I made in educating my children was letting Writer Girl go to an International Baccalaureate program.  I believed the good education outweighed the worldliness of the program and that her faith in Christ was strong enough to get her through unscathed.  It wasn't.  Sadly, I didn't know until it was too late.

When I was searching for more insight into how to raise a child that is secure in their faith. I came across this article about raising godly children..  As I said before no one can parent your child as well as you can but it's nice to have a few resources that might help lead your to scripture for answers. 


Traci




Monday, January 25, 2016

Stampin' Up Fifth Avenue Floral


Last week my husband and I went out to dinner with one of his clients.  While these dinners are nice, I am always a bit apprehensive about them.  I am a happy stay at home mom but I know that sometimes in the corporate world the fact that I choose not to work is looked down upon.   The conversation took to what the people at the table do as a hobby, most of the people were musicians and I was asked if I play anything. I don't and really have no musical ability at all.  The client said, "I know what your talented is you make beautiful cards.  I got rid of all of my Christmas cards but the one you made is still on my table."  My crafty heart was blessed and relaxed quite a bit.  

This is a thank you card for another one of my husband's clients who sent us a very nice gift basket during the holidays.  I stamped the background then stamped the contrasting flower on colored card stock and embossed it with white embossing powder.

Have a Happy Monday,
Traci



Products Used:
Stampin' Up Fifth Avenue Floral
Stampin' Up Card stock: Basic Black, Slate Grey and Coastal Cabana
Stampin' Up Ribbon

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Parenting a Prodigal: Part One


Before I start left me say to you: I don't have all the answers and each one of us have a different story.  I have been dealing with this issue for a little over a year and sometimes I feel like I am all alone in it.  Especially, when I am at church when I am seeing all the families with their "perfect" children.  I know the reality is the only perfect child was Christ himself but when you are struggling with an issue no matter what that issue is you only see through the eyes of your struggle.  When a person is struggling to have a baby; it seems everyone around them is pregnant.  When a person is struggling to find a job; it seems everyone around them has a great job, etc. It is my prayer that sharing my story will help someone.

There are many phone calls that you do not want to receive from your child who is a four and a half hour drive away from home at college.  I have received two calls from my Writer Girl* that I would be happy to never have received.  The first happened about two months into her college career and I believe it was the catalyst for the second which began like this: Mom there's something I have to tell you but I cannot tell you over the phone.  Can you come visit next weekend?  That call began one of the most difficult weeks of my life.  I wish I could say I was prepared for our conversation but I wasn't.   Five long days later, she told me two things: she had failed half of her classes and she no longer believed there was a God.  This began my journey into parenting a prodigal.

As I sat across the table from my daughter, I prayed before I opened my mouth.  This is the single most important thing I have done during this journey.  I prayed for the right words that would not push her further away but also for the words I knew I had to say.  As parents my husband and I had set rules for our children about their college education very early.  We sacrificed some pleasures while we were young in order to build college funds for them.  We had told them that their college would be paid for as long as they were passing their classes but if they failed a class then we expected them to repay us for the money we'd given them. This was the first thing I addressed with Writer Girl.  She took this reminder well. 

Then I dealt with the elephant in the room: how could she "all of sudden" decide there was no God.  I couldn't wrap my brain around how a girl that wanted to be a missionary after college would go so far away from her faith. She argued that it wasn't all of sudden, she'd always felt that way etc.  I started to argue with her but I felt like God was telling me to stop talking.   So, I stopped talking.  I stopped trying to convince her that she was just angry at God, that it was a phase or that she just needed to find the right church to get back on track.  I feel that God gave me the strength to stop talking. So that I could hear Him.  Instead of all the arguments, I gently said cannot force you to believe in God, I cannot change your heart.  Only God can do that. But I am going to pray that God will bring you back to him sooner rather than later.  I love you regardless and will always be here for you.  Then I took her to dinner because everything is always a bit better over food.

If you are in this place with me: 
-Pray for your prodigal not just once but every single time you think of them.  
-Pray that God will give you the strength to not try to berate them into salvation.  Because that never works.
-Be there for them when it is appropriate.  But do not rescue them.

My pastor preached a sermon series called Family Strong, in that series he touched on this topic.  If you would like to hear his sermon on the Prodigal it's the third one on the list at the link above.  

Thank you for dropping by,
Traci




*I have decided not to use my children's names on the blog but instead will refer to them as Writer Girl, Piano Man, Angel Baby and the Photographer.  People who know them will get the references but I feel like I need to protect their privacy a bit as they have gotten older.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Twisted Card

I do not make resolutions because resolutions seem to always fall by the wayside by the end of the first week of January.  Instead I create goals for the year.  Of course, like most people one of my goals is to lose weight and to try to eat healthier. I also added  a couple that are just fun things for me like getting into my craft room a few times a week.  I used to craft daily but some personal things happened and I left my crafting groups and promptly lost my crafting mojo.  I think we need crafty friends to help motivate and inspire us.




When I first began making cards I got a twisted card in a swap.  I tried every which way to figure out how it was done.  Much to my frustration, I could never get the folds right.  The other night while I was searching for a different technique on YouTube, I came across this video from Stamps to Die For.   This card is much easier than it looks, I made it for my niece who is graduating from college next week.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Cupcake for Holly

My youngest daughter is invited to a birthday party this weekend.  She asked me to make a card for her friend whose favorite color is yellow.  I was so excited to use yellow for a card because I really don't use it enough. 



I was choosing the inside sentiment when my daughter came into the room.  I showed her Holly's card and said, "this is the inside stamp".  She said, "Mom, Holly is diabetic.  She can't celebrate one cupcake at time".  We shared a laugh and I picked a new sentiment. 



Thanks for dropping by today,

Traci

Challenges:
Vintage Stamping Challenge
Our Crafty Corner 
Not Just Cards Challenge 
Besties Challenge 
Crafting From the Heart

Monday, January 11, 2016

Recipe Monday: New Orleans Red Beans and Rice


I am a Cajun girl transplanted to sunny Florida.  While I haven't kept many family traditions, I do make red beans and rice almost every Monday.  When my oldest daughter moved away for college this was the meal she requested when she came home to visit.  She also asked for the recipe when she learned that she could borrow pots and pans in the dorm to cook in the kitchen.  She made a huge pot of beans and rice for her friends in the common kitchen.



 Today I am going to share with you my version of New Orleans Red Beans and Rice.  I cook these all day but there are a couple of ways to make the cook time shorter:

1.) You can start with canned kidney beans just rinse them then add fresh water. 
2.) Use a quick boil method for softening the beans.  Bring your beans to a rolling boil for an hour, then follow the recipe below.  Don't forget to mash some of the beans or your beans will not be creamy especially with the quick boil.

Ingredients:
1 lb kidney beans
1 lbs sausage (omit if you want vegetarian)
1 med onion
2-3 stalks of celery
1/2 bell pepper (I like red)
3-4 cloves garlic  (you can use powder)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put beans into pot and cover about 3-4 inches with water. 
Cover and bring to a slow boil for 2-3 hours, watch the water because you may need to add water if it boils out. 
After a couple of hours turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour.  During this wait time, chop your vegetables and seasonings. 
Bring pot back to low boil, mash some of the beans with a potato masher and add all of your seasonings.  Cook for 1 hour minimum
After the hour slice and add the sausage, I slice it very thin because my family likes it this way.  Cook again for about 30 minutes.

Serve over rice with corn bread.






Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Welcome and a Pop Up Card

Welcome to Cool Mom Creations.  I have been away from blogging for about a year, my previous blog was Confessions of a Proverbs 31 Wannabe. Sadly, when I decided to quit blogging, I completely deleted the blog.  Now I am rebuilding under a new name and trying to remember how to do everything on blogger that was once second nature.  Thank you for joining me for the ride and I hope you'll enjoy my creations and general thoughts through out our journey.  For the most part I will be posting my crafty creations but I will also be sharing my journey through weight loss, parenting, friendships and life in general.  So grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and enjoy!

I have decided to try a new things this year.  I have seen and loved pop up box cards over the past year.  I have avoided making them because there is just so much detail to them.  My first challenge to myself was to make one of these cards. I went to Pinterest for inspiration and directions but the links I found had really long videos.  I wanted something that I did not have to invest half of my day, an exaggeration, into getting directions.  I was really excited to find a video at LovenStamps that had a quick and easy tutorial for the base plus written directions. 


This card is made with a half of sheet of card stock so the measurement is 5.5" x 8.5", score at 2",4", 6" and 8".  Score down the center at  2.75", cut the top score lines to the middle line. There is a little tab on the end that you cut off the top and use the bottom to secure your box.  Easy peasy.  

Thanks for dropping by,

Traci

Challenges: