Productive & Thankful

The gardening season at the Haxton house came to near completion this weekend… with the exception of a few broccoli plants all of the potatoes, onions, tomatoes and peppers were dug up, picked and brought inside. My sister looked up spaghetti recipes and two large pots of spaghetti sauce were made… the equivalent of 10 jars of sauce – or a paper grocery bag and a half full of tomatoes.

Our first year of gardening was quite the adventure of learning and experiments with a few failed attempts and much thankfulness for everything that God provided. The final experiment is in progress as Tim & I transplanted 11 pepper plants to pots and brought them inside. Lord willing, they will grow and finish producing the buds on them or at least ripening the peppers they hold!

Ultimately God grows food and provides; I am so thankful for everything He has graciously given!Harvest-1

Marinara Sauce Recipe… based on recipe by the Pioneer Woman and adapted by Debra Moe

  • A bunch of fresh tomatoes skinned, gutted (at least the seeds and majority of the water), and chopped.
    • Approximately 5-7 lb. or just under a 2’x3′ area of single layer tomatoes : )
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 whole garlic bunch
  • 2 Tbl. fresh chopped basil
  • 1 Tbl. + Oregano
  • +/- 2 Tbl. Olive Oil
  • 2  cans tomato paste (c. 12 oz.)

In a large pot add Olive Oil, enough to lightly cover the bottom. Add the green pepper and onion and sautee until just barely transulent.

Add the tomatoes until you they are approximately 1 – 1 1/2 inches from the top of the pot.

Gently stir in the tomato paste, garlic, basil, oregano. Stirring after each addition very carefully!

Your pot is now probably at it maximum fill or 1/4″ – 1/2″ from the top. Keep the heat on low and keep it uncovered.

Be patient! Let it sit on low, uncovered, on your stove top for the next 5 – 6 hours. Stir occasionally or at least once an hour. If you are going to serve it at this point you certainly can. If you would like it to be smoother run a hand mixer through it very carefully.

If you are freezing it… put it in the fridge, uncovered overnight. More of the water will evaporate and then it will be much easier to blend to the consistency you would like it to be.

Once blended put it into your containers to freeze or can and enjoy on a day that calls for a quick dinner!

Thanksgiving & Christmas Cards… what do they cost?

Are you trying to decide if you would like to order Christmas cards?

Well, maybe the following information will help you to decide!

Why choose LeATev instead of one of the many, many other options?

Personal service, no templates to follow. It’s like going to a premier stationery boutique where you get one-on-one attention. Plus, we simply like getting to know and serve people so it is a fun way to connect with you and help you share your year and encourage those who matter to you.

Timing and budget is set at the beginning of the order process. We will work to meet your timeline and stay within the budget requested. You will receive proofs after our initial consultation and initial information is received. Nothing will be printed until you have given your final approval. In general, it is recommended that you order a minimum of two weeks before you would like cards to be sent out.

Extras.

Want to make your life even simpler… Send your Thanksgiving/Christmas card list to us. We will print your addresses, your return address, and put them in the mail for you!  Order before December 1 and all you have to do is pay the postage!

If you order after December 1, we can still mail your cards for you, but there will be a $15 minimum charge for printing and labor.

Price.

Cards range in price from $.75 – $1.50 each… you can get more complicated with card design (i.e. multiple folds, unique shapes, oversized cards, letterpress cards) and then we will have to do a custom quote. Within the cost you will receive cards and envelopes ready to be sent out. If you would like to get simpler or you have a very long list… the cost may be less.

For those living in the state of Iowa, a 6% sales tax must be added to all sales. Shipping will be charged at the lowest price possible and rarely goes above $5 per order unless a rushed timeframe is requested.

Want to place your order?

Send an email (heather@LeATev.com), give a phone call (515) 447-5974, leave a comment below, send a message on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LeATev). Simply contact us!

Work in Progress

The week is full with end of the month items to complete, paintings to finish, photos to touch up, and cards to design. Plus a few random projects of my own that got started on a weekend… and are still wanting a little attention. In other words my whole house/workspace is in progress!

My computer at work, my painting studio space (yes, it is in a play pen!) and my bedroom that needs me to spend a few evenings with it! 🙂

Hopefully, next Monday… I’ll have a few finished items to post!

What a blessing it is to start the week over and work! Here is a look at my “workspace” in progress. : )

Work-in-Progress

What are you busy with?

Schedules have become so full it is crazy! My husband came home last night having found a recent article about bedtime stories:

In a new poll, only 13 percent of British moms said they read a story to their children every night, even though three-quarters recalled being read to on a daily basis when they were kids, according to The Guardian.

Almost a tenth said they feel too stressed to read bedtime stories, while 13 percent revealed they don’t have enough time to take part in this activity with their kids.

The poll of 2,000 U.K. women with children age 7 or under was conducted by British retailer Littlewoods. (www.today.com)

This poll is sad to me. Stress and busy are real factors in an increasingly crazy world with too many choices and pressures. But it is a good reminder to check my own priorities. There are two things that always matter more then the things on my to-do list – God and people.

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In the midst of a week that seems to have more to do than hours that are given I needed a reminder to keep priorities straight and to serve God in all that I do. I love work and I’m thankful to have many projects in process and due this week. But amidst the busy there needs to be a willingness to prioritize – love God, love people.

When serving looses its luster and I want life be about me… I am reminded of these verses to choose my attitude, choose love and serve joyfully.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13 (NIV)

Make the most of your day with the most important things.

(Pictured is my eager servant Uriah!)

New at LeATev!

Cards, books, ABC cards, invitations, small business graphic design, and Christmas cards! So I know that for a lot of you talking about Christmas and Thanksgiving is well not very welcome in September. I’m sorry! 

I actually LOVE Thanksgiving and Christmas!!! For my 17th birthday I came home to find the whole house decorated for Christmas complete with lights outside. : ) Now lest you think that my birthday is anywhere near Christmas – it is not. It is in July. 

So, all of that to say we are working on 20 varied Christmas card designs that will be previewed on social media – one at a time (as to not overwhelm) and available for viewing at LeATev.com as a collection under designs. Each design is fully customizable from color to design tweaks and of course they can include your family photos from throughout the year. Pricing will begin at $0.75 per card and cap at $2.00 per card. 

If you want more information or you have an idea for a Christmas or Thanksgiving card that you would like designed from scratch just for you. Let us know. We love to serve. And the reason for Christmas is to share hope with those that you love. Jesus gives more than enough to be thankful for and hopeful for in the new year.

And I’ll try to be low key about Thanksgiving and Christmas until at least November… but don’t enter my workspace, because the Christmas movies are coming out! : )

Heather – Designer at LeATev

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Fall is here!

Fall classroom units are planned, children are back at their desks, gardens are producing harvest, and football is beginning again. Signs that fall is here!

Each season brings new beginnings. I love starting the fall activities at our church and seeing kids start a new grade (which somehow makes them seem older so quickly!). The beauty of the harvest and the leaves. Sweatshirt-weather and high school football games. Brach’s candy corn and mellow pumpkins. And I cannot help but long to spend fall days at Edward’s Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove, IL.

The sadness of saying goodbye to summer still lingers… I want to soak in every ounce of heat I can before the chill and cold settle in for a stay. I want to print the fun pictures of family visiting, summer birthdays, and teacher-friends who once had more time during summer months. I’ll embrace the fall, but oh I love and long for the warmth of summer fun!

Are you ready for fall? Pumpkin cookies and apple cider, trick-or-treat, and football? Fall is a fun season on its own. A delightful season of anticipation. A season that culminates in the holiday of Thanksgiving. A beautiful celebration to help us carry an “attitude of gratitude” all year. I worked on thank-you notes over the past week… an excellent reminder of how many things and people I have to be thankful for. In the midst of today, perhaps one person comes to mind who needs to know that you are thankful for their presence in your life. Write just one thank-you this week.

Fall is here! Celebrate the beauty of the new things, enjoy the harvest that God has given from your garden or grocery store. Start making your list of things to be thankful for… there is always lots no matter what circumstances you find yourself in right now.

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Bring hope.

Sometimes in the hurry of life the beauty of the moment is forgotten. Even when the moment is a disastrous kitchen, overly-curious-into-everything toddler, homework-laden-hard-working in need of help husband, and a very tired soul – me!

In the midst of the craziness that is our life – starting a new business, a toddler who still does not sleep through the night, full-time school, shoestring budgets, volunteering at church, and then making time for ourselves and friendships…. I sometimes grow weary. This weary place is where I found myself last Tuesday. Just having completed six weeks of the aforementioned schedule with the addition of contract work and family members in and out of our home (all for whom I am very thankful!!!) – I was exhausted and looking at two more crazy weeks. Therefore my mental state was in need of adjustment.

My heart just longed to have time and space. Time to sit and read. Time to go away for a weekend by myself. Time to go to the bathroom by myself. So sulking through my week I made a resolution to go out on Friday night with a friend. So with dinner made I left the house and my son in the very capable hands of his dad and went out for an evening with friends. It is amazing what 4-1/2 hours of conversation with a friend, who encourages and challenges you, will do for perspective. Life looks different when you step away for a glimpse at the big picture. You are reminded that today matters, God has given what is need for the moment, He holds the future, and He gave us each other to walk together. Just one piece of a mosaic is not typically very interesting, pretty or desirable, but all together it is beautiful.

Mosaic

Missionaries are a group of people who have chosen to sojourn and love on people, putting themselves last so that the people around them may have a place to find hope. So, I’m certain that they have days that are weary and moments in need of encouragement. Bringing hope to others is a blessing to the one bringing and to the one receiving. As I was designing a thank-you for a short-term missions trip where they were able to bring supplies and serve along side missionaries for a week, I was reminded that I need to bring hope and beauty to those in my world. Whether it is people in passing, the neighbors around me, or good friends who are beauty in my world.

In the crazy moments of life, take a step back. This is just one piece. The whole of the mosaic is beautiful.

Kenya

Happy 4th!! Give Freedom.

Life, liberty, and justice for all! I am thankful to be an American citizen. It is nothing I have earned, I was born into the privilege. And I am so thankful for the many men and women who have protected American rights that we may still have freedom to worship and serve. We have so many choices that many around the world cannot possibly fathom. And it is our choice to use what we have for the benefit of other people next door and around the globe.

My son has recently chosen to be picky (or at least try to be picky) about the food he is given. My husband simply looked at him and noted that we have already somehow started raising a choosy American consumer at the age of 1. Other kids would not have the option of choosing the food on their plate, they eat what little they have – there is no option.

The blessings that we have been given are given for us to give and encourage others. We look around our home and find lots that we can give. Sometimes one just looks at the monthly budget and does not see how it is possible to pay bills let allow give generously, but when you look beyond the checkbook you’ll find talents, possessions, time, love, kindness, prayer, support that you can give no matter what your financial status may be.

At LeA’Tev we are grateful for each service and product that is purchased. Each purchase allows us to contribute toward organizations that are working on behalf of justice for victims of human trafficking and slavery in America and around the world. The first half of this year has allowed LeA’Tev to contribute to International Justice Mission (IJM).

So, happy 4th of July! Enjoy celebrating freedom, have a good old American BBQ and find ways that you give to others.

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Party time!

Monkey_Party

Parties are great! Every week generally has a reason to celebrate and summer has the most birthdays – so plan a party, throw a BBQ, have a block party or invite the relations over! Here are a few party entertainment/mingle ideas I have found and/or used. If you would like print invitations or even just a fun custom graphic for your email invitation – just let LeA’Tev know! We would love to serve you.

1. Have a board(s) where guests can write comments – if it is someone’s birthday… they can write to the guest of honor. If it is a reunion perhaps they note a memory. Is it just a fun get together – then pick a random question or two for people to answer?

2. Do you have trivia games that really just do not get played very often? Well, if it is a DVD trivia game pull out the disc and just leave it running on the TV (most of them have a continuous play or party format on them). Or just pull out the box of trivia cards as conversation starters. (This is a great idea for table centers at a wedding or large events where people who may not know each other well are at the same table.)

3. Keep a stack of games where anybody can grab one to play. And do not forget to throw in crazy house rules for people to try out!

4. Sometimes a great playlist is fantastic background, but other times a movie as background noise is kind of fun, especially if it is an older film from your childhood or is a silly movie with a pop-up trivia track. The 1960’s “The Batman Movie” or the “Back to the Future” movies are great party background… they are fairly neutral to everyone’s tastes, have trivia tracks, and are nostalgic for the 25+ crowd.

5. Have you ever had an ice cream buffet?!! Simply have everyone bring a small container of there favorite ice cream and you can provide a smorgasbord toppings. It is fun to try a world of different flavors.

 

6. So a classic summer party is an outdoor cinema. Pull out your lawn chairs, notify your neighbors (just to be courteous!) and obtain, beg or borrow a projector and small speakers. There is nothing like a drive-in in your own backyard.

 

 

7. Take a party group on the road. There are lots of interesting things to see in every corner of our country. So what it unique in your town?

 

In Des Moines try hosting a party at Union Park and ride the carousel! In northern Illinois? Host a party that includes time at the Lockwood Observatory – open to the public every second and fourth Sundays of the month. In Worthington, Minnesota, try a progressive dinner combined with a walk around the lake. Just make use of the parks along the way and pick one to end with a great desert and social hour. Overall, make the most of the fun things that you have around you!

8. Pick an era, send out the invites, and have a costume competition!

9. Party with a cause! Gather to send letters to Representatives to free the slaves around the world and in our own backyard. Have a group garage sale & BBQ to help a family in need or raise funds for an adoption.

10. Have a garden party – eat only things that people have grown in their garden (or in a friend’s garden)!

11. Just have fun & enjoy people! The only things in life that matter are your relationship with God and your relationships with people. Nothing else will last!

 

 

 

 

 

Family – the Change Agent

Family is important. In family, we learn how to love and relate to others. Our wall of family pictures reminds us to pray, encourage and stay in contact with our extended family. Family is the foundational block for learning what life is all about.

In teaching my son about the world around him, I want him to learn more than just about himself. It is important to learn the basics – your toes and fingers are good things to learn. Counting certainly does not hurt either! Learning family names, faces and relationships helps him to understand his extended family and place in the world. But family should only be the starting place – our launching point – for ourselves and our children to learn how to change the world. We can learn how to love our family, extended family and the nations. We can change the world.

It is not always easy to see the daily grind of work and family as a change agent for the world, but when you are on mission to share the good news of Jesus Christ, serve and love others that is exactly what each small decision equates into. Whatever gifts, abilities and resources you have can be channeled to loving people and making a difference in lives around us. We don’t have to affect billions of lives to change the world; we just need to start with giving all that we have to begin changing ourselves and loving people.

How is your family beginning to change the world?

In the magazine Thriving by Focus on the Family there is a family summer activity called “Around the World in 60 Days” perhaps this activity is a good place to start learning about the world as a family and the impact you can have.

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