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How We Graduate our Sunday School Kids

I decided to post this before I forget until next year, because each year we go through the same thing: The week before Sunday School Graduation, I TRY TO GET ORGANIZED.

Me: Where did I save that certificate? What did we decide to do? Which computer was it on? How did we put it all together?

And my team just stares at me blankly, wishing they could help but unable to sort out the messy vortex of my mind.

So here we go, once and for all: What we did for our Children’s Church Sunday School Graduation this year.


To get all of these templates for free downloadable and printable use, click here!

This is my standard format: a Bible, a certificate, and a candy treat, (because even candy treats are spiritual. 😉 )

I order the Bibles from Amazon, choosing one kind for the boys and one for the girls, but you can do whatever is best for you and your church.

Then I print off these certificates that I am happy to share with you as well. To get a copy of our Publisher files of these certificates, click here.

Pick up the candy boxes from your favorite store, and if you like my Reese’s Pieces rendition I have here, help yourself to these printables, too!

It may help to make a chart of all the children you need to create Graduation Packets for. I do a mass text message or Facebook Messenger Chat to all the moms I can think of, asking for the names of their kids who are graduating and asking for help to vette the list I have already put together. By the grace of God, we’ve never missed a kid yet! 😉

I add the names to a list in my phone and tally off boys and girls because I like the different colored Bibles and certificates for each.

Pro Tip: Buy a few extra of anything you can in the event that you did miss a name or two, and you can easily fix it up until the day of the service!

Put it all together and bring it to the special day, and every time you will have happy kids who are proud of their accomplishments in Children’s Church and Sunday School.

Best Wishes!

Tara


To get all of these templates for free downloadable and printable use, click here!



To get all of these templates for free downloadable and printable use, click here!


Such a cute and fun craft here!

Making crafts can quickly turn into a nightmare if you have too little time and too much stress.

Use our simple guide here to get these super cute Reese’s pieces Congratulations Boxes to turn out great in no time!

What You’ll Need:

-Candy Boxes

-Printing Paper

-Colored Cardstock

-Scissors

-Glue or Tape

-Ribbon

Directions:

Buy as many boxes of candy as you need.

Use our printable to get quick and easy results. (There are 5 on one page.) Print as many as you need and cut to size.

Click here if you need the printable again.

Grab some colored construction paper or cardstock, using any colors you like for your project and your kids.

Lay one box of candy on the colored paper you chose and draw a line around the entire edge. This will give you a cutting line that will match your box perfectly.

Take your cut printable words and glue or tape them to your cut colored cardstock.

Grab some nearby ribbon and tie the paper on to the back of the candy box.

Repeat for as many kids as you have and need.

That’s it! You have a Super Cute, Fun and Easy Crast with Big Impact to Celebrate their Special Day!

Thanks for coming along with me!


How to organize your life, starting with your kids.


Remember the post I did about organizing my kids suitcases for our future trips? Well, I kept going. And going. And going.

Because every mama knows, when you stay home with your kids you have to have order or you cannot function. I don’t care if you have one baby or nine different ages all through your home, order brings peace and order brings happiness.

No, order looks different in every house and every family, but we all crave the same thing. No confusion, no miscommunication, always working towards that goal.

Once I did the suitcases, I went ahead and started color coding the sleeping bags. Tim actually suggested it on our way home from our last camping trip, so I just took that as a green light to go on Amazon and find coordinating colors for each suitcase I had just finished painting.

By the time I was finished shopping, every child had a sleeping bag matching their suitcase heading on their way to my front porch.

A few days later, Tim tried to take the kids hiking and each child spent a good 15 to 20 minutes looking for their water bottle to take with them.

Those 15 to 20 minutes of shenanigans and searching and whining and complaining and tears and accusations and weeping and gnashing of teeth made me want to fix the next level problem: coordinating water bottles.

Once they left the house that morning, I got to it and me and Amazon had a good old fashion click party. Using the same colors from the suitcases and the sleeping bags, I ordered a water bottle and every color for each child.

Kymber’s pink one was actually cheaper and more quickly available on Walmart Grocery Pick Up, so I got to play with hers first.


I am not a label baby in the least, but I have to say that I love the Contigo water bottles. You can get them at Walmart super cheap, or Sam’s Club in a super value triple pack sometimes, or Amazon had some great colors as well. I went ahead and ordered the right colors for all my kids and just waited for them to come in.

I took the plain pink water bottle and just measured with a scrap piece of paper how big I wanted her name sticker to be.

I typed the text with her name on my Cricut Maker and used a scrap piece of vinyl that I had sitting there in my stash. This particular one was 6 1/2” x 2 1/2”. The font was “Hello” and I just welded it together for the best cut possible.

It is outdoor premium vinyl so they claim it will even last in the dishwasher, but I just tell the kids to hand wash each one to try to get them to last the longest.


I cannot tell you how excited I am to watch my whole vision come together: a suitcase with a sleeping bag with a water bottle for each child, all color-coded, all personalized, and all responsibility getting doled out to each person who wants to go on our next family adventure.

I don’t know how long it will last, but I have to believe that it will help. I know the kids were so excited to hear about their new things coming in, and knowing each color belongs to each child really keeps the bickering to a minimum.

Until they figure out how to blame each other for taking and hiding each other’s water bottles…😉


If you need cases of masks delivered to you, this is the place to be!


If finding disposable face masks is a problem, Dollar Tree has the solution: you can order CASES of masks online and have them shipped to your home or place of business.


These are three layer disposable masks, and sold now for fifty cents each, in cases of 200. Each order is limited to 3 cases, which is 600 masks total, but you could always have a friend or someone else in your business, group or church order some as well.


Click the photos to take you directly to my link to purchase your masks today. I may make a small commission off your purchase but it will never cost you more to order through here! Share with friends and family who may need large quantities of masks, as supplies are limited.

I hope this helps some of you solve the mask shortage problem we seem to have from time to time.

I never could have imagined writing a post like this, but here we are!

Looking forward to brighter days…

Tara

Click here to go straight to ordering your masks.

Disclaimer: any of the clickthroughs you find on my pages are links to products that I have used and love and trust. I may make a small commission on anything you purchase on the other side of the link, so please know it will go to fund my crazy projects, wild ideas and writing habits. It will not cost anything extra for you. Thank you for your love and support!


And why you will want to use them, too.

http://Check out the new, vintage I Love Lucy designs at Checks Unlimited

In a day and age when identities are stolen by the thousands, it can be hard to know who to trust.

I decided to try a check company online to find a great deal in the safest way possible.

Checks Unlimited has a great affiliate program, which means that if you order through my links for them online, I receive a commission for that order at no additional cost to you.

I went through the process as a customer myself so I could tell you what it’s like.

First of all, because I needed to order a new set of checks, I decided to get a four pack in a sale bundle so I wouldn’t have to order again for quite some time. So many things have gone digital, but we still need paper checks for a few things, and it adds up and becomes a hassle when you have to keep ordering more, never mind the information exposure that happens every time that you can’t remember the last company you used.

Checks Unlimited guarantees their commitment to information safety and protection.

There are tons of options to choose from, and places to edit and add your information, and check it and re-check it.

I chose a simple design because I just wanted to get it done, and also I needed something simple in our life at that point.

I loved that I got an email confirmation right away.

The checks came very quickly and I loved the bonus coupons and things they tucked in.


All the checks were printed super clearly and in a really pretty way. I was glad for what I chose, and I appreciated all the boxes that came to store the boxes I wasn’t ready to use yet.

Checks Unlimited still sends me deals and sales on their latest designs and packages. They are not spammy or overwhelming, and the deals really can’t be beat. I stay connected as both a customer and affiliate, because there are always great opportunities to update our needs as they come.

If you’re looking for a safe and easy way to order your next batch of checks for home or business, you can rest easy knowing that Checks Unlimited has got you covered.

Happy ordering!

Photo Checks now available at Designer Checks! Things You Write a Check For Vintage Minnie Mouse checks at Checks Unlimited

Disclaimer: any of the clickthroughs you find on my pages are links to products that I have used and love and trust. I may make a small commission on anything you purchase on the other side of the link, so please know it will go to fund my crazy projects, wild ideas and writing habits. It will not cost anything extra for you. Thank you for your love and support!


Two ingredients that take you out of Sugarland and into Whittle Your Waistland

You guys, it can seem SO HARD to make substitutions in the recipes you love sometimes!!!

You don’t want to give up ALL the things you love and make it seem like you jumped on the Crazy Slide without ever looking back, so you try to swap and sub and mix and match to take a stab at keeping some sort of comfort around you.

Sometimes, it is an epic fail. But sometimes, you win.

If you like what you made and it resembles your past favorite food enough to fool your husband or kids, we are calling that a win.

It is the same secret trick with brown sugar. You can swap that out with two super simple ingredients, and NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW.

It’s that simple.

Here is my version of sugar free brown sugar. (Is that even a thing? Well it is now.)


How to make one cup of brown sugar:

1 cup erythritol

1 Tbl molasses

Mix both into a small bowl until evenly mixed, or add directly to your recipe. No one will ever know the difference!

Like it dark? Stick with the 1 Tablespoon.

Like it lighter? Try adding just 2 teaspoons instead of the full Tablespoon.

And that’s it! Enjoy!

And I dare you to tell me the substitution was pretty much magically hidden, it’s that good and that easy.

Want to know what I put my “brown sugar” in? Try my famous chicken wing rub. And by “famous,” I mean my family loves it… but still…. That’s a good nine people right there, and counting…! Enjoy!


Secrets you don’t want to miss!

We love chicken wings. We also love being healthy. It took me years to be able to make a recipe that could do both, but here we are today. These chicken wings are baked in the oven (or you could use your smoker), and I teach you how to make a sugar-free rub that is second to none.

You will not believe how easy it is to have the best of both worlds: crispy, tasty and easy on your blood sugar. Enjoy!

Chicken Wing Rub

Serves 24 Wings

1/2 c. Erythritol

1 Tb. Molasses

1 Tb. Chili powder

1 Tb. Paprika

1 Tb. Ground cumin

1 tsp. Cayenne pepper

2 Tb. Garlic powder

1 Tb. Ground mustard

2 Tbl. Salt

1 Tbl. Ground black pepper

3/4 c. Grape seed oil


Directions:

Set 3 sheet pans on the counter. Lay parchment paper on each, and set a cooling rack on top of every one. Spray racks and trays with coconut oil.

Place chicken wings in a large bowl and coat with grapeseed oil. If you don’t like handling the meat, brush it on with your kitchen basting brushes.

Set oil coated chicken on sheet pans.

In another large bowl, mix all seasonings until evenly distributed. Sprinkle over chicken until fully coated and used up.

Place in oven at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

Crank the broiler for the last few minutes if you like them super crispy.

Even my toughest critic, hubby born and raised in Western New York, home of The Original Chicken Wing, could not deny that these wings were the best.

I dare you to try them for yourself and see. I wouldn’t be surprised if you prefer these to the fried restaurant kind. You can eat as many as you like guilt free and never feel sick afterwards. That’s a win-win-win in my book.

And then you can say “Winner winner chicken dinner.” And it’s legit.


Enjoy!


I. Welcome & Introduction – Point Person and Ministry Leader


II. Play Video “Tale of Two Rivers” to introduce how trauma occurs and the Vision30 Goal. (2.5 min.)    

 

Discuss Vision 30

Discuss System Flow Chart

-Play Kelli Moore’s video on CarePortal in action. (7.5 min.)

Q & A


III. CarePortal Tier One Grid Basic Training (3.5 min.)     

-Discuss relationships as the foundational goal     

-Tier One is where every church begins, meeting basic needs as a friend and neighbor.     

-Tier Two is a higher level need requiring background checks and more committed care.     

-Tier Three is CPS certified care heading in to foster care/respite care/adoption.     

So this is a GREAT way to get your feet wet, see needs, meet needs, get involved in the community and figure out where YOUR place is in both CarePortal and the Kingdom.


IV. Our Mission field is BOTH Vulnerable Families and Case Workers     –

Lesson #1: Keeping Families Together is Top Priority.       

-“good enough” is best.       

– Explain the grief and trauma of breaking a family, consequences of negative view of police officers and social workers. Fear, anger, rage, loss… 

-Positive impact of supporting the WHOLE family, not just the child. Break the cycle.       

-Watch Church video about single mom’s testimony with CarePortal. (2.5 min.)    “One CarePortal Story”

 

– Lesson #2: Case Workers Have the Hardest Job.       

– Average 2 year life span in the field without support and people helping their families.

-They are bound to legal and best practices, etc. that they have to abide by.  They are emloyees of the state and have their livlihood to consider.

– Secondary Trauma and Compassion Fatigue are real and present in their lives.

V. Bringing it All Together   

-Watch BattleCreek Church’s Announcement about CarePortal (8.5 min.)   

-You guys are our pilot group as we work this out. We would like to have each of you figure out your place in this over the next few months and then we will put it all together and invite the rest of the church to work with us as the needs grow and we establish order for CarePortal for BRGT.    

-Church Challenge video to Share the Miracle #myconnection (1.5 min.)


Q & A

Print copies of this guide once you format it for you and your church. Use this template if yoou’d like to copy and paste:

BRGT CarePortal Team Informational MeetingMonday, June 15 at 7p at BRGT Bible School Classrooms


I. Welcome & Introduction – Point Person and Ministry Team Leader

II. Play Video “Tale of Two Rivers” to introduce trauma and the Vision30 goal. (2.5 min.)      
-Play Kelli Moore’s video on CarePortal in action. (7.5 min.)

Q & A

III. CarePortal Tier One Grid Basic Training (3.5 min.)     
-Discuss relationships as the foundational goal     
-Tier One is where every church begins, meeting basic needs as a friend and neighbor.     
-Tier Two is a higher level need requiring background checks and more committed care.     
-Tier Three is CPS certified care heading in to foster care/respite care/adoption.     
So this grid is a GREAT way to get your feet wet, see needs, meet needs, get involved in the community and figure out where YOUR place is in both CarePortal and the Kingdom.

IV. Our Mission field is BOTH Vulnerable Families and Case Workers    Lesson #1: Keeping Families Together is Top Priority.       
-“good enough” is best for everyone. Explain.      
– Share about the grief and trauma of breaking a family:
Negative view of police officers and social workers. Fear, anger, rage, loss…  -Positive impact of supporting the WHOLE family, not just the child. Break the cycle.       
-Watch Church video about single mom’s testimony with CarePortal. (2.5 min.)     
– Lesson #2: Case Workers Have the Hardest Job.       
– Average 2 year life span in the field without support and people helping their families. They are bound to legal and best practices, etc. that they have to abide by. As friends helping friends, we are not bound to anything like that. We can even be their hands and feet, and step up to help in ways that they are not legally allowed to do, or become a testimony to them as they see God work and come to know Him because of it.     
– Secondary Trauma and Compassion Fatigue are real and present in their lives.

V. Bringing it All Together   
-Watch BattleCreek Church’s Announcement about CarePortal (8.5 min.)   
-You guys are our pilot group as we work this out. We would like to have each of you figure out your place in this over the next few months and then we will put it all together and invite the rest of the church to work with us as the needs grow and we establish order for CarePortal for our church.    
-Church Challenge video to Share the Miracle #myconnection (1.5 min.)

Q & A

Have all the links ready to go either here or bookmarked on your device. Send a reminder text in the weeks and days ahead of time, and have copies of this layout edited and printed for your interested people by the time the meeting starts.

Happy Launching!

My own personal CarePortal Testimony and Story:



How God Answered My Most Sincere Prayer… about T-shirts…

My Dear Friends,

I need you to take a good look at the photo I posted at the top of this email.  It’s a screenshot of part of my launch plan from the last T-shirt of the Month Club subscription launch.The week before the launch, I was organizing all the ways to reach our people to get them to join the club. I used my launch calendar to stay focused and making sure I was covering all my bases. As I was working, I sat back and prayed for a minute that God would help me to know what to believe for. If you wanted to watch a video on my take during that week, click here.

I stared at the word “Goal” on the paper, and without really thinking much more about it I wrote out “20 subscriptions.”  Somehow in my mind, I thought that was doubling last month subscriptions to this one. The number felt right, and I just really felt like I had to have it down on paper as I worked.

A few days later I realized I had made a mistake in my calculations for subscriptions, that we really only had 8 paid members, so to double that would be 16. I was a little embarrassed and a little flustered, because I really felt like 20 was my magic number.

Suffice it to say, I was just a little disappointed when I went to bed the night the Cart was closing. We had doubled our subscription to be sure, exactly doubled our numbers to 16 total subscriptions. But I was sad because I wanted more, and I wanted the original number I was believing for because it seemed so much bigger and so much better, even though it was sort of a mistake.

Still, I forced myself to be content and put on a brave face and thanked God for how far we had come.

The next morning, I woke up to more orders that had come in through the night… and as I came into the office for T-shirt making day, I glanced at the paper from the first numbers I had mistakenly believed for. We made it! We reached the first goal, the bigger goal, the one I was afraid to believe for!

So I just remain so incredibly grateful for the miracles we are seeing right before our very eyes, and I can’t help but shout it out for the world to hear! He truly does give us the desires of our hearts!!!

This means we will be able to send our shirts off to a local printing company to be made there next month. I cannot tell you the time and stress that will relieve, and yet even MORE profit will go straight back to fund Project: HOPE, which is the best part of all.

To Join the Wait List for our T-Shirt of the Month Club, CLICK HERE!


A Love/Hate Ode to the gigantic fruit of summer.

Am I the only person in the world that loves to spoil my kids with watermelon…

But I absolutely, positively hate cutting the watermelon?!

It is so big, it takes up all the room in the refrigerator until you go to eat it. And of course you need to have it chilled before you eat it.

Total conflict.

So you have to time it with the space in your fridge and the grocery store pick up and when you plan on eating it.

Super frustrating.

Then the manpower to slice the entire thing.

Exhausting.

Then the sticky sweet drip all over the kitchen counter, all over my hands and the knife handle, somehow leaking under the cutting board, even onto the floor so I hear the dog licking the floor forever.

Disgusting.

Then a container to fit it in, secretly hoping the kids will inhale the spare, awkward pieces before I feel guilty about the waste.

Super annoying.

So here I stand, pajamas still on, hot mess hair, make up from the night before…

Sticky and sweet and trying to love my kids well.

All with a gigantic fruit that says party, fun, summer, pool, sun, laughter and memories.

Is this a thing, or did I just make it a thing?

Is there a certain way to slice a watermelon that makes life better?

Asking for a friend.

I had a few friends suggest these watermelon-cutting solutions just in case you feel anything like me and want to stop the insanity. I will be trying these myself and reporting back to my Team Watermelon Crew.

  1. Straight up Sally Sue Cutting Technique: You just want to learn how to do it the good old fashioned way. The way Gram would have done it, barefoot and quick-witted in the kitchen with just her muli purpose magical kitchen knife. Well, here you go. https://www.delish.com/cooking/a21973640/how-to-cut-watermelon/?fbclid=IwAR2xsq8O9QQ7UI8Omj_fE_Jj_8VBbVLvqOl8LR9bCb6RSGnG69mPhdN1aEg

2. Drive Through Sue: For the sake of sanity, you just buy it at the store already cut up and packaged, ready to eat instantly. Done and done.

3. Easy Ally and Guilt Free Gertrude make watermelon balls using a melon baller scoop and calling it done. This is an awesome way to get it done while sparing insanity, ESPECIALLY if you have Littles in your home.

4. Adventurous Annie over here made me so excited to try this new gadget: a watermelon slicer!!! I never even knew this existed!!! I will be reporting the results back to you, I am so stoked to try it. It looks like such little food waste, and so safe that even the kids could do it… stay tuned for this one… it is ON THE WAY!!!!

Disclaimer: any of the clickthroughs you find on my pages are links to products that I have used and love and trust. I may make a small commission on anything you purchase on the other side of the link, so please know it will go to fund my crazy projects, wild ideas and writing habits. It will not cost anything extra for you. Thank you for your love and support!