Spank.stagrams | giving from the heart…a life lesson

a baiting suit barbie, new baby diaper bag, the iPad air… it is that time already, time to get the Christmas Gift list. My three boys, our little PayPay, the in-laws, my parents, his brother, my 3 nieces, my sister and her new husband… the list can go on and on…but lets face it. I am not sure about all of you but I am OVER how we do the holidays. When did we go so far off path. Why is it ALL. SO. WRONG. What am I teaching my children? We are easily too consumed with "What did I get so and so last year and how am I going to out do myself this year"…Really? Money is love? I was done. I was not going to participate in Christmas festivities if THIS is what it was going to be like. I was pouting. I begged my husband to pack us all up and lets just take a family road trip and escape it! Well that didn't go over very well, we do still have to have Santa come to our home and I do want to have memories as a family in our home. So we decided to make a change. We already did the 3 gift rule with our children…you know the "If Jesus, our SAVIOR was given THREE gifts…why do you deserve more" rule? We don't limit them to read, wear, want… but we do give price limits (y'all 4..FOUR kids is a LOT to buy for). But every year it isn't the kids we end up stressing, it is the family… the family that SHOULD already know that the holidays aren't about GIFTS, it is about LOVE and TIME together! But it easily gets out of hand. This past year we decided to teach our children that it isn't the amount of money you spend it is the thought and heart you put into it. So we had a family gift making day and build our gifts!

A few months before Christmas I was in a very nice boutique full of amazing home decor. I was immediately drawn to the large horse silhouette on barn wood hanging above the bed… went over to see the price and saw $1,500.00!!!! Um YIKES, I was in the WRONG store! So this was it. THIS is what we were giving to our family. and we did.

gift blog

1. the inspiration that cost $1,500.00

2. the kids did EVERYTHING, we even let them use the saw with daddy's supervision.

3. distressing the wood happened to be the crowd favorite!

4. measure once…cut twice? yep that is what you get when 12 yr olds are doing your measuring!

5. STILL distressing… that was the FUN part

6. staining the wood…and every piece of clothing we were wearing and a little bit of our skin too!

7. every one of the kids had to participate in each step of the project

8. we keep on waiting… waiting for the boards to dry (in my best John Mayer voice)

9. then we had them dry brush white paint over the stained wood and scrape it off with a wire brush

10. we added 2 strips of smaller stained wood

11. I hand drew the horse outline and let the kids color it in

12. STOP…hammer time!

13. we used chalkboard paint but that was only because it was what we had in the garage.

14. FINISHED!!

15. pretty close to the inspiration if I do say so myself and ours ended up costing us less than $80 and had 100% more LOVE!

Gifts were give to the grandparents and the tears began. it was the most rewarding moment for our kids to see their efforts so greatly appreciated and loved. The kids area already starting their search for what we get to make this year…YAY Christmas is back to fun, exciting, and THOUGHTFUL!

*we made the same thing, just a bit smaller for the aunts and uncles knowing the size homes they were going into.