Marriage is a Gift

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Marriage is a gift www.thevintagemother.com

This is our anniversary month so my heart is always a little more aware of things in October.  I remember why we picked it.  October marks the start of an abundant fall–the winding down of a beautiful summer season– and  a renewed focus on God as one anticipates the bounteous blessings He rolls out in the coming months.

I often wonder if my husband and I adequately express gratitude for the amazing gift that we share.  With our comings and goings, and our full and busy lives, I’m quite certain there have been many days that I’ve lived below the standard of a Godly marriage.   And though I consider marriage to be my most treasured gift I possess, I often neglect to show God how much our union means to me.

I love the thought that we offer up a gift to God in gratitude by creating a quality marriage.   Surely the way we live and love in our marriage, is a direct reflection of the way we live and love God.

“Marriage is a gift from God to us.  The quality of our marriage is a gift from us to Him.” (L. Whitney Clayton)

I AM BRAVE AND BEAUTIFUL

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I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. Our blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and we joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

Us, along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? Here we go!

We wanted to take part.

Because we believe in this message so passionately.

You see, our oldest daughters are 14.  And that’s an interesting age, isn’t it?  Stuck in the middle of childhood and womanhood, sandwiched between extrinsic expectations and what really counts.

And it just wasn’t so long ago that we felt the same way.

And sometimes still feel the same way from time to time.  There are some things we never outgrow.  Those feelings of being insecure, or not enough.

 We’re doing it for our daughters.  Because we want more than anything to know they are beautiful without all the fuss.

We’re doing it for others.  Because we believe their is strength in numbers.  That women need women.

And we’re doing it for us.  Because sometimes we grow the most when we put ourselves in uncomfortable situations.  And because, despite our vulnerability, God has a purpose with this message and we’re pretty passionate that it gets out there.

This is us.  GINNY & KATIE. With Makeup.  All dolled up.

Katie and Ginny | The Vintage Mother

And this is us.  Naked (without makeup), vulnerable, and happy.  Because #iambraveandbeautiful.  #WEarebraveandbeautiful  and we believe in this message.

#iambraveandbeautiful | The Vintage Mother

Please join with us and a hundred+ others in celebrating TRUE BEAUTY.

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup

1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful

21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

Natural beauty untouched photos

74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kids Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Back to School Dinner {2014-2015} LOOK & LIVE

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LOOK&LIVECOLLAGEtvmI admit by this time in the summer I’m entirely exhausted from the excessive amount of technology use in our home, sibling quarrels, and hours of boredom we’ve endured despite activities that were planned to avoid all of those things.  We usually pack our summer with a huge vacation to avoid the summer heat here in Arizona.  But by this time, we’re back, and ready to get into a schedule and focus our lives beyond beating boredom.

Each year I try and put together a special dinner in preparation for the coming school year. I usually include something I’ve been thinking about or learning on my own.  Then I find ways I can teach and inspire my kids.  I have thought a lot about the phrase “LOOK & LIVE” lately.  It may have been THIS VIDEO which has left an indescribable affect on me that started the whole thing. I’m sure you’ve seen it.  And it may have been some very special feelings I felt while reading some verses in MY FAVORITE BOOK.

From Alma, Chapter 37 (paraphrasing)

“By small and simple things, are great things brought to pass; and small means instances doth confound the wise…they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight and His course is one eternal round…”

Teach them an everlasting hatred against sin and iniquity. Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. Teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart…Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in hear; for such shall find rest to their souls.

O remember, my son, and learn wisdom.  Learn wisdom in thy youth; yea learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. Yea and cry unto God for all thy support, yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and withsoever thou goest, let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed on the Lord forever.

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night, lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning, let thy heart be full of thanks unto God…

O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so it was prepared for {our fathers} that if they might LOOK, they might LIVE.  And now my son, see that ye LOOK TO GOD AND LIVE. 

A similar phrase can be found HERE in the Holy Bible, which is also a FAVORITE BOOK, and sits side by side with my other FAVORITE BOOK previously mentioned. :)

I admit that I felt a greater sense of purpose as a parent as I read these words.  How badly do I want my kids’ faith in God to be at the forefront of all they experience this coming school year? I’m not just talking passing tests and getting good grades…I’m talking their day to day experiences of life, with friends and with situations.  How badly do I want them to seek God daily?  How badly do I want them not to be slothful, but purposeful in gaining knowledge and become good contributors to society and the world as a whole?  Pretty bad.  Bad enough to teach them what I felt when I read these verses.

So earlier tonight, we had a little dinner.  I used this time to teach them to aim high.  To go out into the world with the knowledge that if they LOOKED TO GOD, they would LIVE LIVES of happiness and peace. I had a lot of fun but most importantly, I know the kids listened when I shared from my heart.  I just hope they remember throughout the school year.

LOOK&LIVE7tvmI set the table just so.  Used my nice china, which always spells ‘special occasion’ at our home. The kids were so excited!

LOOK&LIVE3tvm

LOOK&LIVE1tvmI used a little already-made chalkboard banner I found at Target. It was so easy! LOOK&LIVE4tvmI compiled some cute little note/scrapbooks for them.  I found the white ones in the dollar section at Target, and the printable I’ve included below.  The wooden pencils, leather, and feathers I found at Hobby Lobby for cheap!

 

LOOK&LIVE5tvmI’m not quite sure how I got lucky to find this globe with the arrow through it at Home Goods just two days before, but I did and it was meant to be, and made the whole set up amazing.  If you ever need to borrow it, let me know.  My stuff is your stuff.

LOOK&LIVE6tvmThese  fake apples were also found at Home Goods but you could easily use real ones. The book set was found at Designer Blvd here in Arizona, and the feathers from Hobby Lobby.

 

LOOK&LIVE8tvm

LOOK&LIVE9tvmAnd as one last little favor, I gave them each a little glass bottle with cork to remind them to aim high–LOOK and LIVE. All of which I found at Hobby Lobby in the bead section.

LOOK&LIVEFREEPRINTABLEYou can print out your own LOOK AND LIVE printables by pressing HERE.

Two last quotes that I love and had to share:

“Do the very best you can. Maybe you are not an A student. Maybe you are not a B student. Maybe you are not a genius; most of us are not. In fact the vast majority of us are not. … I have concluded that the work of the world is done by ordinary people who learned to work in an extraordinary way.” {Gordon B. Hinckley}

“You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others….” {Gordon B. Hinckley}

I’m looking forward with excitement for the coming school year knowing my kids have a better idea of our expectations and all the amazing opportunities that will come to them if they will just LOOK & LIVE.

 

Perfect Moments + Happy Mother’s Day

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Happy Mother’s Day.  We reserve this blog for the best of the best, and even then we still don’t post all that we want to.

These days, I navigate through life with fewer expectations of other people, and greater acceptance of my own inability to do it all.  This is an interesting development since I am one who delights in things being “just so”.  Last year in church, a leader dear to my heart shared something that has helped expand my perspective on things.  He said this. “We are imperfect people.  Yet, we can have perfect moments.” Since that talk, I’ve thought a lot less about how perfect things are in my life, and a lot more about how to rejoice in the perfect moments with others that God blesses me with daily.

PERFECT MOMENTS www.thevintagemother.com

I had one such experience yesterday.  But I’ll start with what happened the day before.  I had just dropped one of my kids off to catch the bus.  We’d been racing from an early piano lesson.  The bus drove away when I looked down to notice an art project my daughter had been working on…recycled art…one I knew she needed at school to receive a good grade.

I know it seems like no big deal.  Take the art project to school and meet her there when she gets off the bus, right?  But I needed to be home for a few Moms who were dropping their kids off for babysitting co-op, AND I was out of gas.  Not literally, but I’d been running on fumes for too long, hadn’t taken the chance to get any, and there was nobody to rescue me (like Bill when he saved me last month when my tank ran empty) Yep.

So I was bugged. Bugged about the project being left.  Bugged that I would let these Moms down.  Bugged that I had to stop and get gas.  And bugged that here I was running to rescue one of my kids–after deciding just the night before to let “natural consequences” happen a little more often in our home.

And to add a little extra fuel to the fire, the gas station attendee/wanderer asked how I was doing and if I had any fun plans for the weekend.  Seriously?  I wasn’t in the mood for chit chat.  But I obliged out of courtesy.  ”I’m doing fine.  No, just a regular old weekend.”  She said, “Well what about Mother’s Day?  Do you have any fun plans for Mother’s Day?” My reply: “Not really.  Just the regular thing.  Go to church and I’m sure my husband and kiddos will take care of me.”

Silence.

Me again. “What about you? Do you have children?” (just going through the motions and not caring as much as I should.)

More silence. Ugh.

Her: “Yes I do have children….but I don’t.”‘  Silence.  ”I lost my husband and 2 children all at once.  You know they always tell you to cherish those moments.  Be in the now.  Enjoy your children because in a blink of an eye, they can be gone.  And you know what? They’re all right”

And I sat there, completely overwhelmed with the sudden dip this conversation had taken me… into emotional depths I hadn’t anticipated.  And all I could think to do was say, “I’m sorry for your loss…”

This flood of feelings washed over me as I got back in my car.  Everything from gratitude and sorrow, to humility and pain.  If God was going to teach me something right then, it was a good time because my heart was open to learning.  Two things popped into my head.  The first one being that I should take her a Mother’s Day gift.  The second one being that yesterday marked the 2-year anniversary of when Millie almost drowned. And who was it that RESCUED Millie?  Miss Besty.  The child I was running to rescue.

This beautiful perspective popped in my mind.  How blessed I was for the CHANCE TO RESCUE…to serve my children, to be there at the perfect moment….sweep in and do what was needed.  And how grateful I had been to Betsy, who had done the same for me–had spared me from an otherwise difficult journey of resentment and guilt.

Betsy Art www.thevintagemother.com

And so I took Betsy’s art and got there just a few seconds after the bell rang  Gave her a hug and I was on my way.  Grateful for a perfect moment to help, extend, assist, and do.

And throughout the day, I couldn’t get that lady off of mind.  I had to do something.  I grabbed her a gift, talked with a store clerk (this was a grocery store gas station) and found out when her next shift was.  Tomorrow.  Floral department in the store.  Between 2:30 am and 10:30 am.

And so yesterday, I delivered a little gift to my new friend.  She was in the middle of making a pink balloon bouquet.  I  told her how much I had been thinking of her and  expressing my gratitude for helping put things in perspective.  We hugged.  I wished her Happy Mother’s Day, and told her how much she had made mine.

www.thevintagemother.com

www.thevintagemother.com

 

And I relished in this perfect moment, recognizing that the Lord was aware of what I needed to feel today.

And so with that, I’m publishing this imperfect post, and hoping it extends to women everywhere that life is never perfect, people aren’t either…but it’s made up of perfect moments…moments that bring peace and perspective.

And it’s about others.  Not you.

It’s about rescuing.

My hope is that we seek to love, nurture, build, care for, connect, and shape everyone with a perspective that God blesses us with perfect moments so we can more easily recognize his love for us.

Happy Mother’s Day.

…and Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter…You can catch up with Ginny and I on our Instagram Profiles where we try as best as we can to keep things up to speed in real time.  (katie_vintage + ginnywilsonwinters)  And we hope whatever we share on here, whenever we share it, will be worth the wait.  xo

PURPOSE {2014}

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I love the concept of “ONE LITTLE WORD” or “OLW” that I think originated HERE as far as I can tell.  Even more so, I love the concept of picking some sort of theme that can be a guide for the year–whether it be a word, a quote, or just a list of hopes for the year that lies before us.

I always try to listen extra hard during the Christmas season and especially during the week following Christmas as we’re winding down and anticipating good things for the coming year.  I like to see what God might be whispering to my heart, telling me to change, or where to put my focus.  And it always amazes me how He sends little subtle messages that help me know how to direct my best efforts.

2014 PURPOSE square resized

My word for 2014 is: PURPOSE

pur·pose n.

1. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal.
2. A result or effect that is intended or desired; an intention.
3. Determination; resolution.
4. The matter at hand; the point at issue.
5. To intend or resolve to perform or accomplish.

Idioms: Intentionally; deliberately. with good results.

Our main goal of The Vintage Mother is to post things that are meaningful and purposeful. It’s every intention of ours to motivate and inspire you to become more focused in your personal efforts.  Even if that means a few weeks here and there in between posts so that we can post something worthwhile, then we’re good with that.

My own personal goal for 2014 is to be purposeful in everything I do as a wife, mother, business owner, and friend.  I find how easy it is to get bogged down with tasks and things that don’t mean anything.  That leaves me feeling empty and entirely unsatisfied with the life I’m living.  I don’t like that.

I want to be meaningful in my interactions with others.  I want to make each interaction count.  I want people to know they have meaning in my life, and I want to be purposeful by showing love and serving them.

I want to be deliberate in my mothering.  Making sure I am communicating knowledge to my children and helping direct their inner compasses.  I want to be purposeful in teaching them and strengthening their souls.

I want to be organized. I want my personal and family systems to be deliberate and focused.  I don’t want to spend unnecessary time looking for things.

And I want to be able to look at everything in my home and know it’s purpose.  And if it doesn’t have a purpose, I want to free myself of it.  And be perfectly fine with not having anything ”meaningless” to replace it with.

These are just a few ways I want to live my 2014.

A few days ago, I was in a dear friend’s home and read this quote in her kitchen (the heart of her home)  I was grateful for the subtle message from God as I read this quote.  It made such terribly simple sense to me.  And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Purpose of Life QUOTE

As so many of us look for meaning in the 365 days that make up each year, I think we’d do ourselves a favor if we considered the purpose to everything we do.  What a gift that would be for ourselves and our families.

Many best wishes in 2014 from us here at The Vintage Mother.  May the coming year be filled with meaningful, purposeful interactions and experiences.

3 Gifts of Christmas

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3 GIFTS OF CHRSTMAS {www.thevintagemother.com}

Through the years I’ve  had several friends ask about our tradition of giving 3 gifts for Christmas.   First, I wish I could take credit for the idea because it has been so neat for our family.  I attended a women’s church meeting the very year Bill and I were first married. We were anticipating spending our first Christmas as a married couple, and this idea was shared.  That was 15 years ago today and we’ve done this every Christmas.

We all know Christmas isn’t Christmas without gifts.  We give gifts as a symbol of God’s greatest gift sent to the world, Jesus Christ.  We give gifts to symbolize the gifts that the wise men gave to the Infant Jesus.  And we give gifts to show love to our families and fellowmen.

But sadly, Christmas has become a season of present purchasing, equalizing the present piles for Christmas Eve, and spending too much money on meaningless things.

Christmas, to me, is a matter of the heart.  How we view and do Christmas is determined by whether or not we are allowing gift giving as an action that  “leads us to Bethlehem”.  And we know that as mothers, even from that first Christmas night, that it was a matter of the heart.   In Luke 2:51 it reads, “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Such ponderings lead a woman, a mother of eight, who I don’t know (but wish I did) to ponder on her Christmas, and most specifically her Christmas giving.  I was at a small church event one evening with only about 20 in attendance when she shared her story. It’s a story now when I look back, that I will be forever grateful for.

Her story went something close to this:

It was Christmas Eve, and after wrapping present after present for her 8 children through the month of December, she had both the exhaustion and the eagerness of Christmas morning in front of her.  As she surveyed each of her children’s piles, she could tell from the shapes and sizes what each child had requested that year.  When she got to one of her son’s piles, she noticed there weren’t as many gifts as the other children.  It looked alarmingly small compared to the others.  In her mind, she ran through what he had wanted…and it was just one special toy he’d been asking for for months.  It was there.  In the pile.  Along with a few other things: like some socks, some new books, and another small toy.  But it looked so wimpy compared to the other kids piles…This lead her to a quick late night trip to the local Wal-Mart to fill her cart with other things that would help his pile look the same in comparison to the others.  She got home, wrapped the gifts, surveyed the piles…and this mother of eight went to bed with the satisfaction and joy that Christmas morning brings to mothers everywhere when they know they’ve done a good job with presents for Christmas.

That morning was like the other Christmas mornings they’d experienced together as a family.  Everyone seemed happy and pleasantly surprised with the gifts they were given, and happy that they’d received even more than they’d anticipated.  Later that morning as she looked around the room, she saw the boy whose pile she’d  completed just a few hours before, only interested and playing with the one toy he requested.  Later she would find that he only played with that same toy for weeks after.  A sick feeling came over her.  And she vowed that next Christmas, she would change things.

She prayed.  She pondered.  She researched.  And listened to her heart.  And came up with the idea of giving THREE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS, reminiscent of the gifts of the 3 Wise Men.

In the Bible, is says in Matthew 2:11 “When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and…presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

What do we know about the gifts that were given to Baby Jesus?  We know that they were symbolic, that they were meaningful because they were rare, that they had been well thought through, for each signified something important.  Gold symbolized Jesus’ royalty, frankincense, an incense used in the temple–his divinity, and myrrh, his suffering and death as it was a substance used for cleaning and burial.

This mother’s gifts would also have power and meaning. And she thought too, that she could offer three gifts with purpose.

GOLD gift of wonder {www.thevintagemother.com}GOLD {The Gift of Wonder} wrapped in GOLD

These are gifts that tickle and delight. They are the gifts that are really wanted or desired–The gift that the receiver just can’t go without! A wanted toy, a planned outing, a season pass… something they just HAVE to have.

FRANKINCENSE the gift of meaning {www.thevintagemother.com}

FRANKINSENCE {The Gift of Meaning} wrapped in RED

These are gifts that have meaning and express affection. These might include: a scrapbook, a quilt, a special doll, an heirloom, a childhood memento, a piece of jewelry,  a treasure box, a framed photograph, or letters from the heart. This gift is extremely worthwhile and something that shows love.
MYRRH the gift of usefulness {www.thevintagemother.com}
MYRRH {The Gift of Usefulness} wrapped in GREEN

These are gifts that are truly needed. Look at your loved one’s needs and choose a gift that would be truly useful. These might include a new coat, a down comforter, or a new pair of shoes and socks. Use this gift for something practical yet worthwhile.

I’ve had many people ask me when I tell them we do this in our family, “Do you really give JUST THREE gifts?”  And the answer is, for the most part, yes.  Some gifts end up being “package deals” of sort, but the point is that with these three gifts our children know we thought specifically about each one.

It is hard to narrow it down to three.  It takes time, and energy and thought.  And Santa brings a little something as well—so the tradition of Santa can be preserved, but the focus is on the special wrapped gifts from Mom and Dad—symbolizing those special three gifts given to the Savior long ago.

I hope this inspires you to consider how you give gifts as future Christmases come and go, and the purpose behind them.

If you are interested in receiving a sheet of information regarding the 3 Gifts of Christmas, please email me katie {at} thevintagemother {dot} com

Live in Each Season as it Passes

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Walden

I love this blessed time of year!  I love the cooler Arizona weather.  I love the kitchen smells, the linger of pumpkins, the hint that something grand is just around the corner.

I look at Autumn and Thanksgiving as an appetizer of what’s to come.  I don’t like to hurry it along.  I have many friends who decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.  And I have to say that I get tempted every year.  It seems so smart to get a jump start on things so you can fully enjoy the holidays.

But I don’t know if it’s for me.

I just don’t know if I can easily bypass the holiday that invites us to pause, count our blessings, and turn with grateful hearts to God.

November is my thoughtful month. It’s a time to gain focus, project myself for the upcoming season, but to embrace the beautiful pause that is given to us for “thanks giving”.  As I look back on this year and the beauties that have blessed my family,  I am grateful.

I am grateful for:

MY FAMILY:  my beautiful children, my tender husband, and our parents and extended family who continue to shape our lives.

MY FRIENDS: new and old.  Friends near and far who continue to bless me with their words, thoughts, and examples.

MY FAITH: my testimony that I know God is in every detail of my life.  And the comfort found in raising my family with that same knowledge.

My husband and I took a vacation back east this fall. The first day, we visited beautiful Walden Pond, where Henry David Thoreau spent a considerable amount of time.  I love that it was there, in the silence and beauty of the pond that he wrote:

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

I love this reminder to truly “live” in each moment, to let God’s beautiful creations, (because God is in everything) encompass all that we are grateful for.

I’m very excited about what the upcoming holidays will bring, but I’m content taking this time to give thanks in everything.  I hope I remember to do so.

I made a printable to help remind me and I wanted to share.  Go HERE to download. (use the first download link directly under the image)

The Vintage Mother {FREE THANKSGIVING PRINTABLE} webAs excited as I am for all the Christmas festivities to come, I’m still perusing our The Vintage Mother THANKSGIVING BOARD  to get ideas to celebrate with family this upcoming week.  Come check out where some of our favorite images and ideas are from.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Best Cinnamon Rolls

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Best Cinnamon Rolls  www.thevintagemother.com

We come from a baking family and I like to think we know a little something about cinnamon rolls.  I have great memories watching my mother roll out sweet dough in a large rectangle and smearing butter with her bare hands before she sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over it.  It was pure love and I felt that the minute I had my first bite of her amazing rolls.

Interestingly enough, this isn’t a family recipe, or even one that I’ve had for very long.  But I know a good cinnamon roll when I see one and this recipe is one of the best.

I have a friend named Hal who is unassumingly the best baking/cooking man I know.  He always wins the church Chili cook-off’s this time of year, and can make a mean grilled flatbread pizza or two.  But the man is absolutely amazing at baking. And I have a special draw to him because he’s seriously good at it.  We’ve had many conversations about food and I don’t think there’s anything more wonderful to talk about.  I’m quite certain his family is the luckiest because he loves to cook and bake so much for them.

So I am very excited to share his recipe with you, with a few slight modifications of my own which is why I think I can call this cinnamon roll recipe, the best.  Enjoy!

Best Cinnamon Rolls  www.thevintagemother.com {2}

4.7 from 3 reviews

Best Cinnamon Rolls
 

Ingredients
  • DOUGH:
  • 4 cups whole milk (yes whole)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 cups bread flour (Be sure it’s bread flour and you’ll be adding about 8-9 cups once you’re done)
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 eggs
  • CINNAMON FILLING:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup cinnamon (more or less depending on preference)
  • ICING:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp. almond extract (imitation is fine, too)
  • enough milk to make icing spreadable

Instructions
  1. Scald or scold milk (I stand over it and call it bad names). Add sugar and shortening and continue heating until shortening is melted. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, mix flour, instant yeast and salt. Pour hot milk mixture in with dry ingredients. Mix well. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add additional flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is sticky, not stiff and dry (approximately 8-9 cups once you are done) Allow dough to rise to double. Punch down. Let rise again. On floured counter top, roll dough to oblong strip approximately 12 to 14 inches wide, 3 feet long, and ½-inch thick. Pour melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on entire dough area. Roll dough, carefully tucking bread tightly around itself. Cut rolls by using dental floss to slice through the rolls at about 1 inch thick per roll. Place on sprayed jelly roll pan or use 2 9 x 13 pans. Aside from spray, you can also use a parchment/foil combination (found at Walmart and seen in photos) so your dough doesn’t stick. Carefully place the rolls down and being sure to tuck in the monkey tail of each roll. Let sit and rise while oven is preheating. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Prepare icing and frost after about 15 minutes after cooling down.

Best Cinnamon Rolls  www.thevintagemother.com {3}

You Stay at Home?

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So you STAY AT HOME?

So, I was going to post a pretty awesome Sweet Cinnamon Roll Recipe this week, But to be honest, I’ve been a little preoccupied.  It’s Fall Break for my kids and well, it’s been busy, We’ve been adventuring at least once or twice a day, heading to the park or an activity that I hope they’ll remember.  And we’ve been staying up on other things like practicing piano, and reading for school, and tidying our home so it’s peaceful here.

It’s been work.  And I’m not going to tell you I’ve loved every second of it, but I am going to tell you that I love being a mother.  It’s a choice I’ve made, and it’s more important to me than anything in the world.  Yes, I have a business.  Yes, my life is filled with many things, but I am choosing to focus my greatest effort, my greatest work, on the raising of my children.

I read an article that really touched me this morning.  I’ve read several of these kinds of articles in the last year or so.  I’ve pinned them on Pinterest and made sure I’m cataloging them in my hat of tricks for when I have to defend myself or explain to someone why I chose to have FIVE children.  (Yes, FIVE!) and if it’s really possible to be successful running a business, serving in my church, and being a good mother all at the same time.

I try. And most days I do alright.  And most days, I’m happy that I chose to stay at home with my children.  There are days I wish I DIDN’T have a business or DIDN’T have outside experiences that take me away from my sweet husband and children. But I will go to my grave saying that the greatest work I’ve ever done, is raising, nurturing, teaching, loving, building and blessing my children.

Here’s the article for you to read.  I hope you LOVE it as I did. (Press the link)

“You’re a Stay-At-Home Mom?  What do you DO all day?” 

What resonated with me?  Love that he said this…

“This conversation shouldn’t be necessary. I shouldn’t need to explain why it’s insane for anyone — particularly other women — to have such contempt and hostility for “stay at home” mothers. Are we really so shallow? Are we really so confused? Are we really the first culture in the history of mankind to fail to grasp the glory and seriousness of motherhood? The pagans deified Maternity and turned it into a goddess. We’ve gone the other direction; we treat it like a disease or an obstacle.

The people who completely immerse themselves in the tiring, thankless, profoundly important job of raising children ought to be put on a pedestal. We ought to revere them and admire them like we admire rocket scientists and war heroes. These women are doing something beautiful and complicated and challenging and terrifying and painful and joyous and essential. Whatever they are doing, they ARE doing something, and our civilization DEPENDS on them doing it well. Who else can say such a thing? What other job carries with it such consequences?”

The whole article is fantastic. I love it and had to share it.  I believe in mothers!  And I believe our society will crumble the minute we adopt the idea that being JUST a mother has no eternal value.

Mother in Waiting

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Occasionally we get emails that really touch our hearts.  This one in particular struck a chord.

Hi Katie and Ginny,

My name is Marlous and I absolutely love your blog and headbands! 

I’m writing you because my husband and I are in love with our new baby.
I’m not pregnant, we’re adopting and are just getting started… we could use all the help we can get.

As you stated in one of your blogs the most powerful and meaningful experience you’ve had is to be able to be a mother and nurture your children! I would love to be able to share in that experience and can not wait until the time comes!

I grew up in the Netherlands and Thomas ( my husband ) is from North Carolina. We met while we were doing missions with YWAM in Canada and Africa. Being from two different countries we did the whole long distance relationship thing for a while… Then I immigrated to the United States and we got married in 2009! 

After 4 years of infertility we are adopting a baby and are doing lots of fundraisers at this moment to help us with the cost of the adoption. We are looking to get the word out to people about ways to help support us. 

At this moment we are selling my handmade jewelry on Etsy and local craft fairs, my husband does graphic design and photography and we’ve just done a family fun fundraiser including vendors, food, a bounce house, face painting, and live music.

Please let me know if you are interested in being part of our journey, we would really appreciate it!

Interested?  Absolutely.  But unfortunately this post has taken 3 months for me to write because I wanted to give it the adequate forethought and attention it deserves.

You see, Adoption holds a special little place in our family.  Sometime we may share the significance it has played in our lives, but for now, we hope you take our word for it.

I love Marlous already, and I’m quite certain she is going to make an excellent mother to one very lucky baby one day.  My heart was touched as I {read their story} about love, and life and learning through this challenge.

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I’m impressed with their optimism, strength, and fortitude, and the way they’re using everything they have {JEWELRY + PHOTOGRAPHY + DESIGN} to make this a reality for them.

HeaderI often reflect upon the heart of my own mother, as she too sat for many years as a “Mother in waiting.”  I’m quite certain the loveliest mothers are often those whom God prepares babies to be born from the heart. 

Want to help?  Here’s what you can do.  PrayPray that they can raise money to bring their baby home, for a birth mother to select them as parents for her child, patience during this journey, wisdom to be great parents.

DonateGo to their ‘GoFundMe’ site to donate directly to their Adoption Fund: http://www.gofundme.com/LipscombAdoption

ShopPurchase any product from their websites today! All profits will go towards funding their adoption.

ShareShare this post and their story with as many people as you can.

The Pots are also involved in this fantastic organization, Project117 which is an orphanage and home for mothers in crisis pregnancies.  I would love for you to check it out.

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