Saturday, March 14, 2015

What Do You Have in That Bag?!?

I have a bag that I carry, known around here as Mom's Bible Study bag.  Recently I've been asked by numerous people, "What do you carry in that bag?" So I thought I'd show you!  Here's the top view. 
 It's a Thirty-One bag, I'm not sure that they even make it any more?  But it is super sturdy!  I don't carry a purse, the red pouch is my wallet and I just throw everything else in this tote.  There several pockets on the outside, this side is where I keep my nametag for Bible Study Fellowship.
 On this side I keep my Post-It note pads and apparently my cheese sticks.
 Front view - I should call my bag in June is busting out all over.  Except she isn't.  All the seams are perfectly intact.
 Big books - I've got my Beth Moore Daniel study, a borrowed copy of Dianne Craft's Brain Integration Therapy, my planner, the green folder has my Bible Study Fellowship work in it, my Sunday school teacher's guide, an old Beth Moore Living Beyond Yourself that I'm copying notes out of, and a BJUPress catalog.
 I've got some Happy Mail in there, ready to mail out.
 Small books - my Bible, "Still Alice" (highly recommend), "A Thomas Jefferson Education" (also highly recommend), notebook, True Woman Manifesto (this always gets moved to last on my priority list, unfortunately).
 I've got two spiral bound notecard books, for scriptures for memory work, my wallet, my earbuds, van key with adorable keychain made my talented good friend, Jill and pencil pouch.

My pencil pouch is a bit on the full side as well.  I'm pretty particular about my writing utensils, I like a dull pencil but I really like these mechanical pencils, the lead thickness is 1.3mm, whereas a standard mechanical pencil is 0.7mm.  Standard pencil lead always breaks on me, but not these.  They are great!  I've also got my colored pens and watercolor pencils for Bible journaling, lots of medium thickness ballpoint pens, highlighter, and pretty Sharpie.
So, now you know, when you see me schlepping my Bible study bag around, what's in there!  I enjoy having everything right in one place.  If I get a chance to head to the coffee shop to work on Bible study homework, it's all in there.  When it's time to drive to guitar lessons and sit for an hour, I'm prepared.  When I settle in to my favorite chair to study my Bible, I've got everything I need gathered together.  If I want to go to bed early, I just lug the bag upstairs. 

Do you have a special space where you always read and study or do you have a basket or bag you store all of your needful things in?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Happy Mail!

There are lots of Happy Mail projects and blogs out there, basically bringing back the joy of receiving a real letter in the mail.  I don't know about you but most days everything in my mailbox is junk and other days it's just a bill or two.  No fun!  I have been so, so very bad about mailing cards in the past.  I have good intentions but it just doesn't happen.  I've even skipped Christmas cards for the past several years.

So I decided that this year is the year of Happy Mail for me! All the birthday cards, all the thank you notes, all the "I think you're the greatest kid I've never given birth to" cards, thinking of you notes, praying for you cards, you're so hilarious notes, you're really a great mom encouragement, it-really-stinks-that-you-have-to-go-through-this get the idea.  It's only March 12 and I think I've already mailed more things this year than any other year.

When I send Happy Mail I try to focus on the envelope.  I want the recipient to know when they open their mailbox there's something special in there.

 There are lots of ideas on Pinterest for envelope designs.  This little slobbery doggy's tail is on the other side.

 My middle son enjoys art and wanted to decorate some envelopes for thank you notes he was sending out.  This is a you see the butter and syrup?

 This was also a copy off of something from Pinterest.  I cut her dress from washi tape.  A cheery birthday wish!

Here's another one of my son's designs.  A friend of his showed him how to make this design.

And another one by my son after he saw my jar of love notes envelope above. Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.

I mailed this Happy Mail out to all of my Sunday School class, including my youngest son, who was so thrilled.  I mailed them their memory verse, ways to earn stickers in class, a secret mission and a candy.  Side note, I have since learned that mail doesn't get treated very carefully, even if you pay extra to hand stamp it.  Every single one of my Sunday School children reported back that their candy got crushed (somehow none of them seemed to care though and still ate it - ha!).  I asked the postal worker about this and she said stuff gets thrown around like you wouldn't believe, with packages thrown on top of envelopes thrown on top of all those pesky bills.  So the next time I mailed out candy I used padded envelopes and I think they all arrived intact.

These were fun to make!  I patterned these off of something I saw on Pinterest as well.  Mr. Steady's twin niece and nephew turned 6 and a friend turned 8! These went into padded envelopes.

Another Pinterest hack - I hate for my kids to miss Sunday School but I don't mind mailing their work to them!

 Sometimes I don't draw pictures but just play around with the typography.  

 And then there was the day two weeks ago when I opened my mailbox and got Happy Mail addressed to ME!  I could hardly believe it and it totally made my whole life. 

So how about you?  Have you sent any Happy Mail lately?  Have you received any Happy Mail?  What is the best thing you ever received in the mail?