Making Prizes & Gift Baskets to Raise Money for Camp

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One of my more underused talents is crocheting.

I say “underused” because I found myself this year realizing that I don’t donate enough of my creations to further society, as I counted up the amount of hats I made last year that were all for me and my children, and was almost disgusted with myself.  It seems silly as I type it out, but it was quite the revelation that I came to this year that I don’t donate items and I even know why.

If I had to guess “why” – I have an overwhelming sense that my item won’t be ‘loved’ or that the individual who receives it won’t know how long it took to make, or won’t appreciate the work.

In other words, I’m concerned about myself.

Psh.  What am I thinking?

I have begun using up small amounts of yarn to create Peyton Hearts, as I describe in a blog post titled On My Hook – Peyton’s Heart Project.

I’m also telling myself that I don’t care what happens to my items, as I’m using a Lord given talent to get rid of my yarn hoard, and without any of my own doing, I hope that the things I create are going to further the kingdom in some way.

So – I’m tasking my self this year to make 12-crocheted items, and gift 12-homemade things, as part of My Year of Twelves goals, and in that task, I am willing to cross-over the crocheted items, if they are given as gifts.

This post is about the items I intend on making for giving to a non-profit camp that my husband and I are involved with.  They have a yearly golf tournament and asked members of the board (which includes my husband) to give prizes, gift cards, or other donated items as giveaways for the golfers and attendees.

Now, my husband and I don’t golf.  I will admit, I have a certain perception of what a ‘golfer’ at one of these functions will probably look like.

But, when my husband suggested that his wife crochet a few items, the other board members (about nine in all) were all for me creating and preparing items for the March tournament date.

So here’s my plan on what I will be making for the give-aways for this charity.

Coffee Gift Basket – Two coffee cozies and cups and two 1/2-pound bags of home-roasted coffee.

Whirly Pop Roasted CoffeeMy husband roasts our own coffee at home occasionally, and it can be a labor of love to roast the coffee beans.

I made up my new go-to pattern for the simple coffee cozies and bought two $2 re-usable cups from Starbucks to put them around.  I’ll try to post the coffee cozy pattern on an separate post.

Plant and Crocheted Plant Hanger Gift-Hanging Basket

The plant is one that I rooted from my existing Golden Pothos.  I’m also thinking about including the device/components that could hang the plant, but I haven’t decided that yet.  Not including the yarn cost, this one cost us $15 for the 10″pot.

The yarn is called Red heart Cordial.  I ordered it from the JoAnn’s website last year and have yet to do the hangers I planned making from it.

The pattern is from Vicki Howell’s blog.  She uses t-shirt yarn, but I found this cordial-type yarn works up beautifully and is just as strong and stretchy.  Again, if I have time, I’ll post the photos to make this quick gift.

A Couple Crocheted Hats

The pattern I used to create the pink hat (already made) is from here: Girl on Fire Beanie by Wichecrafts.

If I have time, the hat I want to create will be similar to this: Koala Earflap Hat.  I have the yarn type to make this hat, but I’m unsure at the moment if I’m willing to pay the $5 for the pattern, or come up with one myself that is similar.  I think it would make a great giveaway gift to the grandparent of a little one….

Scrubby & Dishcloths

Gift-Flower ScrubberI know, I know – I kind of think they’re cheesy too but they’re trendy right now.  REALLY!  And who doesn’t need dishcloths and a cute scrubber.  I made the flower pattern up in my head for the scrubber, and I’m sure free dishcloth patterns are plentiful over at Free Crochet Patterns.  I already have the cotton yarn, so it’s just a matter of making them!

If I really want to get creative, maybe I’ll include an apron for the soap bottle too!

I know there are ten-million other things I could create from yarn.  These are things that I think are both cool to get and for the most part, useful.

Hopefully they will be appreciated…but that’s not why I’m making them now!

Have a great week!  I’ll keep you posted on what gets finished.



January 2016 Run Goal Update

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January Goals-RunningRunning in January in Central California when you’re not used to cold can be challenging.

I can’t wear a complete head-covering over my nose because I usually run with my glasses and they fog up while I breathe.

But oh well.  I still make it work and I’m trying to train for my first half marathon that’s occurring in April.

I downloaded a twelve week running plan that I’m currently trying to stay on track with.  I got it off of Pinterest from a post from Livy Loves to Run. January Goals-Run Plan

I also printed out a few calendar pages to write my actual running miles onto.  It feels very satisfying to see my progress and my capabilities on a written sheet.

Many times after I run, I still can’t believe I ran that far.

Yes, I did it, and yes, I was there and my legs might be sore, but until I put the number on the paper, something inside my head finally convinces myself that I actually ran those miles.

The fourth week of the schedule started for me on January 30th, when I ran 9-miles.

So how did I do?

The overall goal was to run at least 12-miles each week.

January Running CalendarFrom my personal calendar, I wrote down the total miles run per day.  I ran at least four times a week and did some cross-training on at least one day a week.

My running totals:

  • Week of January 3: 11 miles
  • Week of January 10: 19.65 miles
  • Week of January 17: 20.75 miles
  • Week of January 24: 30.5 miles

My longest one day run this past month was 9 miles.

My personal total amount of miles run for the month was 85.1 miles.  That’s just running and keeping track of it as shown in the calendar above.

I’ve been walking with a co-worker on a regular basis during the week days at work and trying to take the stairs some.  I have seven flights to climb to the floor I work on so it’s quite a workout just to do it once.

January Goals-Run w-my loveAnd lastly, my husband and I passed the 100-mile run/walk marked on January 12th for our “team” that we are attempting to run/walk 2016 miles in 2016.

I ran and walked a total of 165 miles this month and passed my own 100-mile run/walk mark on January 20th.

It’s amazing what one can do when one is focused, intentional and trying!

My prayer for you is that you will be inspired.

Be reminded that you can do anything through the Lord.

Anything.

Have a great week and get out there!


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Breaking Down My Goals – Financial

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D w-Total Money Makeover BookSimply put – saving money is hard for anyone.  Including us.

This is the last post on “Breaking Down My Goals” for the Twelve Goals of Twelve that I’ve set forth for the year.


In the financial area, and because I’m trying to be open and honest with my children (and anyone else who reads this blog,) we should be able to save $12,000 by the end of December.

We are intending for that amount to be earmarked for purchasing a new-to-us vehicle in the latter part of 2017.

I don’t intend on giving a month-to-month blog post devoted to this goal.  I’ll probably just let you all know if we complete it by the end of the year.

There’s no plan for this other than continuing on doing our budget every month per the Dave Ramsey plan guidance he sets forth in his book, The Total Money Makeover.

We’ve been following that financial peace plan for about six years now, and it has brought my husband and I peace of mind like no other.

Our story is like anyone else: Six years ago we were in debt up to our eyeballs, we had car and home loans to pay, and we couldn’t save two nickels together even if we wanted to.

It wasn’t until we learned through the Total Money Makeover book how to control our money so it wouldn’t control us that we learned what the definition of maturity is in the financial world – Children do what feels good.  Adults have a plan.

I highly recommend reading that book or attending a Financial Peace Course in your area.

I’m preparing two class sessions for church based off the book now and I hope to get my thoughts out on this blog too.

Have a great week and may your financial dreams of this year come true!

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Breaking Down My Goals – Social/Blog

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Out of all the goals I made this year, the most challenging will be in this area – Social/Blog.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote out and put out for the whole world to see my Year of Twelves – meaning twelve goals of twelve things each.

I’ve gone over eight goals so far in the areas of Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual and Family.

For the Social/Blog area of my life, I intend on completing the following goals for the year:

  • Publish 12 blog posts a month.

  • Tackle 12 crocheting projects, either started or new.

  • Create 12 handmade gifts.

Notes on Posting My Blog Posts

  • Probably the most difficult and time consuming thing I will do this year is post twelve blog posts a month.  I posted a total of seventeen blog posts for the entire year in 2015, with four drafted but not completed.  This is a big change from the previous year.
  • Much of my projected posts for the year will be on events on my life, as I repeat once again, that I write this blog for my children, that they are able to remember how awesome their lives were.
  • I really want to throw in more photos and links of crocheting projects I’m both working on and have completed.

    This is a coffee cozy for a co-worker. The last thing to do for this gift is add his name.

    This is a coffee cozy for a co-worker. The last thing to do for this gift is add his name.

  • I’m going to focus on shortening my posts and writing more of them, rather than try to squeeze in so many ideas into one post.
  • And lastly, I’m not going to concern myself with the advertising as much as I have been in the past.  If I write a blog post and don’t get to include an advertisement at the bottom or within the text, I’m still going to push “schedule.”  (And potentially update it later if I have time. 😉 )

Tackling Twelve Crocheting Projects

The best thing about this goal is that I have a reason to crochet.

I would love to be able to use the excuse to people who see me crocheting something, “Oh, yes. I’m crocheting because it’s a resolution to get this project done.”

Here’s just a few things of what I have in the works right now:

  • A coffee cozy for a patient co-worker.  (I promised him I would make him one last year.)
  • A tiger for my youngest son out of the book “Edward’s Menagerie” by Kerry Lord. Edward's Menagerie Book
  • And an Elsa-hair hat (Frozen inspired) for my daughter.  There is this great pattern from Hopeful Honey that I hope to complete very soon.

This doesn’t even get into the stand-by projects that I have laying around.  There’s still three different afghans I haven’t completed that are sitting in bags in the garage.

Oh and I really wanted to get a “temperature scarf” started for 2016.  You know, because of how cool that would be.  I found a great chart through Pinterest, which led me to Cindy Kuo Designs in Ravelry.  She has a knitting pattern, but I would just do a single crochet line for each day.

As I write this, I’m starting to realize that I might have a problem….

Bah – Everyone needs a hobby right? 😉

Create Twelve Handmade Gifts

There may be some cross-over between the crocheting goal of 12-things and this goal.

I’m also going to include gifts to my children, or at least projects that I’ve declared I wanted to do for them for a while now.

This is most of the small toys collected over the past year or so. I'm hoping to get them and some yarn pompoms on wreaths for my kiddos.

This is most of the small toys collected over the past year or so. I’m hoping to get them and some yarn pompoms on wreaths for my kiddos.

I know I pinned a project a while back ago that I have all the materials for and just haven’t done – creating wreaths out of old, small toys they don’t play with anymore.  If I can accomplish this, that’s three things down and more “stuff” moved around or even gone through and gotten rid of for the home.

Win, win, win.

There’s also this really great project I’ve been putting off for years for my grandmother-in-law.  Once again, I have the majority of the components to make it, but the time consuming part of going through photos hasn’t been completed yet.  Hopefully this is the year I get that picture wreath done.

If there’s anything I’ve learned for the past thirty-nine years of my life, it’s that I have way to many projects to do and not enough time.  I’m hoping by writing out my intentions for many of these projects, I’ll be able to finish them, not only to give things away, but to get rid of so much stuff just waiting to be let go of in my home.

May you have a crafty rest-of-the-week!

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Breaking Down My Goals – Family, Part II

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Part II of my ‘Family’ area of goal-tackling is to cover my who, what, when, how, where and why of a, a-hem, ~ frightening ~ goal:

  • Complete 12 Home Improvement Projects of Any Kind

I’m almost positive this goal would not ‘frighten’ most people.

Let me tell you why I’m scared of this:

Last year, I spent the better part of two months painting my craft room and my husband installed DIY shelves after the painting portion was complete.

The results were glorious.Before & After of my craft room

Facebook and Instagram were my choices of writing “notes to my children” instead of this blog last year, thus the process of both painting the room and making the shelves didn’t get documented much.

What I do remember is how awful it was to paint a room by myself.

And on top of that, it forced me to organize my own junk.

Ugh.

I know, I know.  Don’t judge me for having so.many.things.  You would too if you’ve lived 39-years on this planet and was a craft hoarder.

The painting and shelf making happened in the months of May and June.

In October, my husband and I decided to stop putting off a home-improvement project we’ve put off long enough – replacing the carpet in our home.

If you’ve ever changed carpet in your home, then you may be able to relate to what a frickin’ nightmare it is to pack everything up as if you’re moving.

I have no idea how we got through my husband’s office.  He had dust off those shelves from years and years of dusting-neglect.

But – things were boxed up, the carpet guys came in, put the carpet into the house over the course of four days and moved a bunch of boxes back into the rooms they started in.

For the most part, that’s where the boxes stayed until January 1, 2016.  (Okay, maybe December 31st.)

I wish I could write that I threw up my hands in disgust and said “Today’s the day!  I’m going to get through these boxes no matter if the house is on fire!”

But, I never said that.  ….And don’t even have a tiny-bit of issues with it either.

The times I have written in this blog go over the time and time again where I have neglected housework to get the important things done.

Like having babies… and doing crafts with my children… and hanging out with my mom when she was alive.

You know, important stuff like that.

My house is a complete mess right now, and I’m okay with it.

It won’t stay that way and it won’t be because I wrote that this year I’m going to clean it and get through all my stuff.

No….  Papers to Go Through-Area Things to Go Through

It won’t stay that way Papers to Go Through on Counterbecause eventually, year after year, my children grow up, we get closer by getting them to help me do things around the house, and I’m able to get through the years of pile up of stuff, papers, and craft supplies that cover the floors, sit in boxes and basically take over certain areas of the house.

So this year, my goal is to tackle 12 home improvement projects of any kind.

I have a list that my husband and I started, and I’m sure we will add to it throughout the year.

Here’s a few items for you to feel better about yourselves and your probable cleaner-than-me house status.

  • Clean-up and find a better way to organize my youngest son’s closet.
  • Take down, clean and rearrange the stuff above the stove and counters in the kitchen.
  • Get through the past several years of paperwork piled up on counters, bags, and in boxes.  I would estimate that about 90-percent of these piles are children’s artwork and things brought home from school.  I actually have a really good way to organize it now, but there was a time when I didn’t have a good way to organize it, and these piles are just carried over year after year.  I know some can relate….
  • Complete the projects and find homes for the stuff in the boxes in my craft room.
  • Organize the boxes in our bedroom.
  • Get the garage organized more to be able to put one vehicle in it.

And if all that get’s accomplished, my husband wants to consider painting the interior walls of the house.  As much as I’m reluctant to do this, I think the reluctance comes from having to pack up things again.  After the craft room nightmare of not knowing how long the prep was going to take a full-time working mom, we are both on board with hiring someone this time.  I do know that if we do this, I want to start in the kitchen/dining area.

Some of the things I listed may only take anywhere from 15-minutes to a few hours.

That’s not the point.

The point is that I DON’T WANT TO DO IT.  I don’t just want to throw it out either, but it’s so hard to convince myself that I’m spending time on something important.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know it is.

Oh boo-hoo-hoo, right?  Be upset with me or don’t understand me if you will, but hey, at least I’m honest about it.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Breaking Down my New Year Goals-Physical

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2016 Started off Right!I have extremely ambitious goals for 2016.

You wouldn’t think I was ambitious as 2016 came into our home at 9 PM Pacific Time on December 31, 2015.

Our kids were in bed before 9:30, and I went to sleep before 10:30 PM.

This is what it’s like in my late thirties baby!

But….

The first thing I did on January 1, 2016 after I woke up and got ready was go for a run.

Overall Goal: Intentional Living

See the post about my goals here: Goals for 2016 – My Year of Twelves

This is the second post about how I intend on tackling my goals.  The first post was for my intellectual goals.

So my pattern for describing how I plan on tackling my goals for the year are the classic formula of who, what, when, where, how, and why, but not described in that order.

My What –

Out of the twelve goals I set for this year, my physical ones include:

  • Run 12 – miles a week until the half-marathon.  Then walk/run 12-miles a week thereafter.

  • Lose 12 pounds.

  • Drink 12 cups of water a day.

My How, Where and When –

  • Exercising two or three times a week at home using Amazon Prime videos or You Tube Videos.

  • Run at least three times a week around my home or on the trail nearby my home.

  • Losing weight while I run will be the bonus.

  • Set a reminder four times a day to remind me to drink my water.

Currently, I run and exercise in the evenings after my children go to sleep, when I wasn’t at the personal trainer.

Backstory – I had a personal trainer for the past two years, and it worked well because I was able to go right after work and come home early enough to feel like I got time to be with my children after 5 PM.

With my new position, I have to work 8 to 5.  (Recall ~or know ~ that this position was forced upon me.)

The plan now is to PERHAPS run in the morning (especially when it gets warmer) and exercise in the evening.

Other than continuing to eat low-carb as my “new normal” eating habits, I don’t plan on changing my diet.  I learned so much over the past year about eating healthy, that the only major change is that I will be running on a regular basis.

As far as the water is concerned, I only plan on setting my timer for the first two months of the year.  I’ve already put them into my IPhone, for 9 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM and 5 PM.  It’s for every day.

The last thing I want to tell you about is that I joined a virtual community called Run the Edge.  My husband and I are participating in a challenge called 2016 miles in 2016.  The idea is to run 2016 miles in 2016.  It sounds impossible, but you can have a team or in my case, my husband and I both joined.  The idea is to have a total of five miles a day.  They also are totally okay if you count those miles as walking miles.  I don’t plan on running everyday!

I’ll keep you posted on how we do throughout the year!

My Who & Why –

My husband wants to go with me on some of my runs.  He’s done this before and when my amazing mom-in-law is able to take care of the kids, it’s almost like a mini-date!  It’s been so fun.

Other than the sometimes-I-get-to-hang-out-with-my-husband, I have an additional reason of why taking care of myself is going to be a key component in 2016. In 2015, my mother passed away from diabetic complications, including heart disease. I know that her diseases were preventable, or at least, could have been better maintained.

My real reason “why” these goals are so important to me are because I can control what I eat, how and when I exercise and overall, know that I did my best to show my children that they were important enough to me to take care of myself.

These could potentially be some tough words for some people to read.

I get that.

I have no magic formula to convince you to make a few changes.  But I do want you to know that you are loved, and you do have control over some things, including how you take care of yourself.

Peace to you this week and stay tuned for how I’m going to tackle the next goal – Spiritual.

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Goals for 2016 – My year of Twelve’s

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2016 Goals - My Year of 12'sI know, I know, you’re thinking “Twelve’s? What’s that all about?  It’s two-thousand and SIXTEEN!”

It just hit me one day in late December.

I announced to myself in my head “This year I’m going to do 12 of each thing!

“What does that mean exactly?” I had to ask myself.


Last year, I tried to read twelve books throughout the year.  I only got to eleven but that “12” number really stuck with me.

I remember when I first met my husband – he and I couldn’t believe that our favorite number was 12. Meaning, individually, but shared.  (You know, those dumb little things you talk about when you’re 18-years old and dating.)

One could say that the number twelve just has meaning to me.

There’s 12-months in a year, so why not set up twelve tangible goals?

I based this list off of a prompt from Rachel Cruze’s website: Seven Areas to Focus your Goals.

One night in late December, my husband and I sat down together after the kids went to bed and brainstormed our yearly goals.  Truth be told – up to that point in our marriage, I don’t think we’ve ever done this.  Sure we talked about things we wanted in life, but we never came up with goals.

We talked about everything from the garden, the children, financial goals, certain areas of life that are more important than other and certain areas of life that need to take priority.  It was awesome.

Out of that brainstorming session, I gathered my thoughts into the groups listed on Rachel Cruze’s site.

  1. Intellectual
  2. Physical
  3. Spiritual
  4. Family
  5. Social
  6. Career
  7. Financially

DeAndrasCrafts Goals for 2016

  • Read 12 books this year.

  • Run 12 – miles a week until the half-marathon.  Then walk/run 12-miles a week thereafter.

  • Lose 12 pounds.

  • Publish 12 blog posts a month.

  • Plant/maintain 12 different types of plants this year.

  • Drink 12 cups of water a day.

  • Save $12,000 this year.

  • Plan 12 intentional events with the family.

  • Write out 12 prayers based on the bible.

  • Tackle 12 crocheting projects, either started or new.

  • Create 12 handmade gifts.

  • Complete 12 home improvement projects (of any kind.)

The key to this list for me is to remember that small accomplishments are big ones.  For example: Twelve cups of water a day may not seem difficult, but I don’t track my intake of water.  I want to change that habit and KNOW how much water I’ve consumed in a day.

Over the course of the next month, I’ll be writing about HOW I intend on tackling this list.  My-actual-doing-things.

It sounds impossible, I know!  But this year, I’m making things Intentional, and for the purpose of giving the Lord all the glory for the talents and gifts he’s given me.

I hope you’ve come up with your list of goals.  It’s not too late to start.  Whenever you read this.

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