Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yard Makeover

This week I had the pleasure of helping a friend rehab some very overgrown bushes in her yard. It was a sweet time of visiting, working, and laughing as we took turns falling into bushes and piles of debris. We also enjoyed getting some hands-on experience in the art of pruning while discussing recent church sermons regarding how the Lord prunes each of us for our own good so we can be healthier and more productive. I’m so thankful for my friend who never fails to challenge and encourage me whenever we spend time together… whether it’s a peaceful family dinner or an exhilarating pruning session!

Before and after...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My how they've grown!

First day of school last year...
and this year...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to School

Or, more accurately, back to the table. Being homeschoolers, we have the joy and privilege to journey through education together… and believe me, some days I learn more than the kids do! It also means that we get to do “school work” year round, giving us a more flexible schedule overall. That said, this week we got back into the more structured swing of things in preparation for the official school year as well as in anticipation of starting back up with the outreach program through our local school, where the kids get to go once a week to their own “homeschoolers only” campus to take classes like Pottery, Spelling Bee, Irish Dance, and Leatherworks. More on the excitement of that day later.
About half of the day today was spent on arranging school “spaces”, and the other half on… taking them down. Well, not really, but it’s hard for this mom to curb such enthusiasm about customizing one’s space when I spent a whole day on my F.A.M.I.L.Y. project. We also discussed other joys of homeschooling, such as having company on the chair next to you. Can you imagine the chaos in a classroom if every kid brought a blanket and a kittie? Yeeps!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The ceiling above our dining room table is still lacking a light fixture. I look forward to finding a good candidate for a painted and fabric wrapped treatment, but until then, I’ve come up with a cute solution that can be easily adapted to any sort of sentiment you’d like to have “hanging” around your house.

First, I picked up some of the paper mache letters found at your friendly craft store, but then realized that they didn’t have any ‘A’s. Hmmm... maybe there was a rash of Kindergarten teachers buying up 'A's for the first lesson of the school year? Not to be discouraged, I opted for a more mix and match look by replacing the A and the L with wooden ones about the same size, but a totally different font style. While at the craft store, I also grabbed a prepackaged stack of scrapbook paper (instant color coordination, plus it was on clearance!), and some decoupage medium (like Mod Podge, or you can make your own).

Once home I ripped up some pages of paper, deciding to stick with one color scheme for each letter, and solid black for the wooden ones (thank you for spray paint!). Then it was time to glue! This makes a great activity for multitasking, as it’s a bit tedious and requires little intelligent thought. :p Catch up on some phone calls, your favorite TV show, or better yet, grab a friend and do it together! When you’re done, they should look something like this:

Then, hang them from the ceiling, or put them on a wall, or a windowsill, or a mantle, gosh, the possibilities are endless! I used fishing line and thumbtacks to hang them above the table, where they dance in the breeze delightfully, and when I finally find the perfect candidate for that fabric wrapped chandy project, I’ll just find somewhere new for my FAMILY to live… my paper mache one that is.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


The next best thing (according to my girls) to owning horses, is having good friends who own horses. Of course, my husband prefers the latter as there is no hay to buy, corrals to build, or whining about whose turn it is to muck out the stall. We have been very blessed to have good friends who not only own a few horses, but who have raised two amazingly sweet daughters that love to indulge our children’s love of everything “horse-y”.

Recently, while we were all “gettin’ our cowboy on” around our friends’ corral, I was struck by just how much the girls had grown. Not mine so much as our friends’ daughters. One just graduated from high school and the other is hot on her heels. What really got me, though, is that we met these girls when they were about my oldest daughter’s age, and now here they are, on the cusp of adulthood. It made me wonder who we are befriending now that will be present in the lives of our children when they’re that age. What toddler friends do we have that will be climbing all over my kids later, like mine do with our friends’ girls? Am I teaching my children to be patient, encouraging, and inquisitive, so that they can teach those traits to the younger ones later? I hope we haven’t lost our sense of urgency when it comes to raising Godly children who see everyone around them as precious and cherished in the sight of our glorious Heavenly Father!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Roller Coasters

Well, they say that children are willing to try anything… apparently, that includes roller coasters! We took a family outing to our “local” theme park and I was amazed at my kids’ willingness to try every single ride, waterslide, and crazy food item available. When dad and the two older ones decided to try one of the really big roller coasters, I thought the 6yo might have finally reached her limit. Apparently not. That’s right, my sweet baby rode a grown-up roller coaster that actually spends part of its time UNDERGROUND! Being the good mom, I declined to accompany them so as to document such an important occasion. Otherwise, I would have gone… really.

The amount of trust my baby girl had in her daddy to keep her safe, and the way that she was willing to try something so full of unknowns for her, made me think of the way we’re instructed to come to Christ as children, with childlike faith. Too often we let life experiences destroy our ability to trust and our willingness to try something unknown. It makes me wonder just how much we miss out on because we’re too proud to act like a child.

Go do something today… something scary and unfamiliar, and do it with the complete faith of a child.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Painting Metal?

Recently, I saw a very cute project done with a plain metal serving tray and some spray paint. I had never attempted spray painting on metal and it intrigued me. Wouldn't you know it, the next time I was at the thrift store I found this little darlin' peeking out at me from the bottom shelf.
Once home, I had to decide what color... I narrowed it down to two. Finally decided on the Caribbean Blue, and sprayed my little heart out (after sanding the tray lightly of course). Here's the finished project, working quite nicely for a simple flower display when it's not being used for one of the many tea parties around here.