Friday, July 17, 2015

This Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift

This past Mother’s Day, I wanted to give my mother, my mother-in-law, and my step mother-in-law something personal. My daughters came up with a photo gift idea – a chalkboard plaque.
Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

 How to Make a Chalkboard Plaque

First we went to our local Michaels store and chose a smooth board with a nice edging.

Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

We sanded the wood a little bit although it didn’t need much.  Then we stained it.  We used Rust-Oleum Golden Oak Wood Stain.

Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

After the stain was completely dry, we used a finishing spray, a gloss sealant.  We chose Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch.  The Watco Lacquer Finishing Spray is also a great choice.

Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

We found cute little chalkboards to glue onto the wooden plaque.  Our chalkboards measured approximately 5″ X 7.” If you are attempting this project, be sure to use an adhesive that adheres to all materials or choose a chalkboard with ribbon holes at the top.  We removed the ribbons from ours and used the ribbon holes to nail the chalkboards to the wood for extra stability.  We spotted little wooden “Family” embellishments to add to our photo gift idea.  The ones we chose were also made of wood and already painted white, but you can choose individual letters and paint them any desired color.

Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

We needed a way to display photos on our photo gift board, so we choose small metal paper clips.  We chose clips with holes so we could nail them onto the board for added durability.  We felt that glue alone would not hold the clips to the board after repeatedly opening and closing them to switch out photos over time.

Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

We were almost done but we needed to add a few final touches.  We wanted to attach a small metal bucket to the bottom of the plaque to store chalk.

Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

We decided that our honored mothers and grandmothers needed a way to hang their plaques so we added hanging brackets to the back.

Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
Now all we needed to do was add photos.  Our project was finished!

Chalkboard Plaque Makes a Great Photo Gift
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

We were finishing these up the night before Mother’s Day so we didn’t have time to order quality photographs.  I printed a few pictures using regular copy paper but if you are strapped for time like we were, you can print pictures from your own printer using photo paper.

Our projects turned out great!  We made three of these and each mother and grandmother loved them.  We made these for Mother’s Day but they would also make great DIY gifts for birthdays or “just because.”

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Road ID: Keeping Older Children Safe

Road ID: Keeping Older Children Safe
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living

The Road ID App

When my children were younger, I thought I would lose some of my “overprotective” tendencies when they grew up.

I was wrong.

I didn’t hover over my children 27/7 or try to solve all their problems in life.  I tried to teach them to take care of themselves, but I always worried about their safety.  I think most of us can admit that by the time our children reach their 20s, we worry about them just as much as we did when they were babies.  Our concern over our children’s welfare and safety never goes away.

My daughter is a runner.  Until she reached college, I didn’t let her run on the roads by herself.  I only allowed her to run with a friend during her high school years because she had to run the roadways for cross country and soccer training.  She is 20 years old now and runs alone but it worries me sick.

She is a thoughtful, sweet girl who appreciates her mother’s worry so she found an app called Road ID and told me to download it to my phone.  This app is awesome!  The Road ID App is something that, in my opinion, can provide parents with a tool for monitoring their older kids while they are out running, walking, or maybe even biking.  My daughter uses it when she runs and I can keep track of her every move.

Here is how it works.

When my daughter begins her run, she activates the app and I get a text message like this:

Road ID: Keeping Older Children Safe
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
I am writing about keeping our kids safe so, in the interest of my daughter’s safety, I have blocked out personal information.  No matter where I am, I get this text message when Brianne begins her run.  I know she is on the road so I can click the tracking URL provided and track her every move.  For example, during this run, I clicked the URL and this is what I saw:

Road ID: Keeping Older Children Safe
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
When I clicked on the tracking URL, I could see a map which points out Brianne’s most recent location.  The road ID app refreshes automatically every minute.  If she doesn’t move at all, I know something is wrong or if she moves much too fast, as if she may have been forced into a car, I will know that too – AND, I can see a map and pinpoint her location.  I can see the map as long as the app is active and a potential attacker/kidnapper doesn’t know I’m tracking her.

When my daughter is running, I check the Road ID app every few minutes.  That way, I know what road she is on every minute of her run.  When she gets back home and is safely in our driveway, she pushes a button and I get another message letting me know she is safely home.  Yay!

Our Summer Family Fun Link Up!

Summer is a time when families are outside and traveling a lot more so safety should be a top priority, no matter how young or how old your family is.  We are not traveling this summer but we are spending a lot of time at parks and pools.  What is your family doing this summer?  If you’re a blogger and you are writing about summer family fun or ways to keep your family safe during outdoor activities, link up your posts below!  We want to see your tips for summer family fun!

Your 30 Summer Family Fun Cohosts

Barb of A Life in Balance
Mitzi of Written Reality
Jen of Making Our Life Matter
Candi of A Day in Candiland
Steph of A Grande Life
Laina of The Art of Living Fabulously
Reesa of Momma Lew
Bethany of The Southern Couture
Paris of My Big Fat Happy Life
Brenda of Schooling a Monkey
Stefanie of Making of a Mom
Katie of A Mother Thing
Heather of Divas Run for Bling
Stephanie of Stuck in Your Rut
Laci of Sequins in the South
Kristia of Family Balance Sheet
Wendy of The Art Of “Why Not?”
Nichole of Sweet October
Angie of Joyful Journey
Lux of About Life And Love
Nikki of Tikkido
Shirley of Intelligent Domestications
Rhonda of MultiTaskingMaven
Holly of While I’m Waiting…
Lisa of Syncopated Mama
Tina of Abundant Family Living
Vicki of Five Spot Green Living
Kim of Life in a House of Testosterone
Liz of Motherhood Muse

This InLinkz account has expired. You can still view the linkup here.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Teaching Children to Pray for Our Country

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6

Teaching Children to Pray for Our Country

If you live in the United States, then you probably celebrated Independence Day this past weekend.  This post is written for you.  If you are a friend from afar, you are welcome to stay with me anyway.

Celebrating the freedoms we enjoy in our country is something my family has always valued.  We are living in changing times and there are many more changes to come.  The patriotic spirit and the general conscience of Americans are already challenged.  The upcoming election year is bound to pour salt on the wounds of patriots who stand on both sides of multitudes of debatable issues. 

This post is not about all that.

This post is meant to reach the hearts of all Americans and most specifically, our youngest Americans.  No matter what position we take on any given number of topics, we are all still Americans and if you share my heart, you are concerned about the future of our country and the next generation of patriots. 

Patriotism begins in the home.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deuteronomy 6:6-7

As we join together in prayer for our nation, it is most important that we teach our children the value of prayer.  We need to instill within our children the importance of praying for our country.  It is easy to teach our children to pray, “God bless America,” but what if we resolved to teach our children to pray specific, intentional prayers and at the same time, teach them more about our government and how it works?

Children love to use their hands.  They love to touch things, point to things, and count things using their fingers. We can use this natural instinct to teach our children to pray for our country’s leadership.
For example, let the thumb represent our President.  One finger can represent our Senators.  One finger can represent our Congressmen.  One finger can represent our Supreme Court justices.  One finger can represent American citizens.  In the palm of your child’s hand-print, instruct him or her to write “Me.”  Teach your child to pray for God to show him or her how to be the best American citizen he or she can be.

You can change this up so that each finger represents whatever you believe are the most valuable parts of our government and our government leadership or you can add another hand and come up with ten prayer points.

Children love visuals so help your child remember who and what to pray for by using his or her own hand-print to create a visual for his or her prayers.  Your child’s hand-print prayer visual might look something like this.

Teaching Children to Pray for Our Country
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. - Matthew 19:13-15


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