Fun in my house usually comes with glitter, paint, and markers. During the month of December I started a new tradition. It was called 25 days of Christmas Crafts and I enlisted the help of a toy elf named Izzy Miracle (named by my 5 yr old) to create excitement among my little girls. Each day leading up to Christmas the elf surprised them with a craft idea from the North Pole.

Some were quick....others messy....some turned out awesome....while a few failed miserably..... no matter the project or the result ...each morning my oldest daughter raced to the tree to look for craft of day!

In the weeks that followed Christmas, we unintentionally took a craft break. Life just kept us busy.... colds, floods, jobs....it was a stressful couple of weeks. Last weekend we broke out the craft supplies to make something for our craft calendar, a new project we are starting in 2013. For the craft calendar we will make family artwork each month and use those images to put together a calendar for 2014.

What amazed me is that our stress of the week seemed to just melt away as we painted. The girls giggled as I painted their hands and feet. I laughed as the baby smeared paint all over me. My husband grinned as we forced him to smear paint on his hands too! It was in that moment, the whole family laughing and covered in paint....that I realized what we had been missing the last few weeks.... our craft connection!

Everyone has stress.... the difference is how you chose to deal with it. For most of January it had been consuming us....almost defining us. I realized that we had to find a way to stop stress from being the focus of our lives. Yes it is always there and always difficult to manage, but put it in a jar and sit it in the windowsill. You will always be able to open that jar and fret over its contents....but your children will only let you paint their hands for a little while.