Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Link Up - again:)

So I linked up to another party - this one has only a few so far so go check them out and add your own: HERE @ Your Way Wednesday with Elle Belle.

This is all for today - I ran, I showered, I subbed, now I must do housework in an attempt to stay ahead of next week - wish me luck (or say a few prayers would be better!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Celebrate a Great First Week (mini tutorial - sorta?)

So it's halfway through the first week of school and minus a little allergy issue with Mason - we are having a FANTASTIC start! Praise be to the Lord in Heaven - those with kiddos know what a true blessing this is.

We have a new situation for all of this year - TWO (count 'em two) MALE teachers! This is great in nearly every way except when it comes to gift giving. The frilly stuff just won't do. So we made this little gift card holder that hold a Starbucks gift card. I took a few pics along the way to maybe resemble a tutorial - i think i left out one part but I will try to explain it well so you can do this.

I first measured the gift card and gave allowance on the top and sides for the stitching. Because the back side of my paper was white it took a little thinking to make sure when I folded no white showed. Anyway - this piece of paper was 9x4.

Next I turned the paper over and placed the gift card on it to guide me. I folded the bottom half to where it covered approx. 2/3 of the gift card - needed a little to poke out the top.

Then I folded the top portion over to make neat lines. Here's the part I didn't picture. The shorter half should be folded down first and adhered. I just used my tape runner by any adhesive will do since you will be stitchin it anyway.

Once you adhere the shorter section - you can stitch the sides. . . and then place your gift card in. Of course, I'm a sucker for little sayings and I like the thing about the grind since it was coffee - TOTAL SUCKER for that stuff. Anyway, I left this one pretty basic (for the men) but I'm sure some of those lady teachers would love it and you could make it larger and really dress it up a bit!

Happy Crafting

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The beginning & the End...

of an era. The beginning of the end of elementary school for my twins.

I tear up thinking of when they were so little..on new.

Now...the "seniors" of elementary school (Abbi's term, not mine)

I am so proud of them. Both smart in their own way. so talented. Personalities that bloom more every day. I think of how they won't quit growing. They won't stay small forever.

I read a blog the other day that really got me worked up - in a bad way. It talked about liking your children and basically proceeded to berate anyone who might have a hint of excitement that their children were headed back to school. Even seemed to question those parents love for their children and the list went on. It really got me to thinking.

I love my children - I believe most of you know that. I have challenges with each of them in different areas - I pray the mother of that blog doesn't experience some of the challenges that I have with her children (5,3,1 year olds - who is she to judge when her's aren't even school age)
Who are any of us to judge. We can all say "my child will never!" HA!!! Your child will for sure, so just be prepared. It's how you respond that makes you different from that mother/father.

My children cannot grow like they should within only the confines of my four walls. They must experience other children, they must learn that not every child is just like them, otherwise, they will be ignorant and naive. I love watching my children interact with others - it is a good gauge as to the areas we need to work on. Just this week I had a talk (at a little restaurant where we had a soda) with one of mine about their attitude, lack of grattitude, and how I have been where she is (even though she is convinced I don't remember it cause it was tooooo long ago!)

As you can tell this is still a bit of a raw nerve - I want my kids to grow, be compassionate, show love and not judge. When I look at this guy my heart aches because I see a glimpse into what the future could hold - some good, some not so much. He is so tall and handsome and yet still so in need of his Daddy and Me. How love them and keep them close while learning to let go just a bit at a time - that is the balance all parents must find.
So whether your children are school age or not, I am praying that will all have a greater compassion on others. We don't know their situation, where they come from, what they face on a daily basis. Each child is different - some with disabilities - others with quirks that make you want to give them a disability! Whatever their situation, every child needs someone to love them more and judge them less. Lord, Help me to be that person for both my children and those who are so wonderfully placed in my care.

Have a sweet Tuesday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's in the Air -

the excitement.

the anticipation.

School began today - what will this year hold? Only our Father in Heaven knows.

But we are excited! We have GREAT teachers and some "normalcy" is returning.

On a real recent post I posted the pic of the pencil bucket I made. Once I saw it finished, I knew I had to make it a partner. Here is the bucket for the sad, sad pencils that are awaiting their turn at the sharpener. Not as decorated (on purpose since it's "the dull group" - get it!

The crafty spirit is also in the air. Here is the room sign I made for my niece who began her first day of teaching the first grade. Her theme is surfing so here's what I made for her. I LOVE the paper dolls. I left the face blank on purpose. This is a simple 12X12 scrapbook layout frame. I made the layout and then just placed it in the frame. - simple, huh? I stapled ribbon to the back of the frame so she can hang it on her door.

So, the air is changing our here for sure. Excitement, nerves, reflection, anticipation, and tons of other emotions that may or may not appear in future blogs.

Hope your first day back to school was AMAZING - ours was celebrated with a cupcake from One Hot Cupcake - PB&J (for the teacher) , Nilla Pudding, White Trash, and Cappucino. A sweet ending:)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

For a good cause....

I follow a nice lady who is creative but also, apparently, caring - great combination! She is having a giveaway and asked us to share (bribed us with a giveaway too!) So go HERE and check it out!

Friday, August 19, 2011

HodgePodge Friday & Relfections

So I just linked my Back 2 School Pencil Bucket to Hodgpodge Friday HERE so check it out as well as some other REALLY cool stuff!

So I have some confessions to make - not for your sake but for my memory keeping. Lately, I have been:

* less organized than I normally am - not cool!

*obsessed with very little - which is a break for my OCD!

*working hard not to drown. These are pictures of my little swim practice last Saturday in Sarasota. Ilooked pretty confident here. I was setting my watch (at least I thought I was) and quite oblivious to the size of these waves. Now I know they don't look too big here but if you really study them I was only knee deep here and they are rolling a fair bit.
*This was me approximately 15 min later. Thinking "Dear Lord, please just let my feet touch the ground. For a non-natural-swimmer, feet not touching the ground is quite frightening. I am sure I made some promise about never doing this again if I survived. Seriously, the most afraid I have been for my life in a VERY long time, maybe ever.

* not in the best of moods which has resulted in some unseemly behavior - sorry to all involved there. Being out of control of things tends to do that to one previously admitted OCD kinda girl.

*ready for a schedule! Today that is in sight - just days away actually and I am feeling a bit brighter and energized this morning. I am sure you are glad to hear that - hee hee!

Just keeping it real folks! Hope you have a great weekend =)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So I forgot to put this picture in for the last post. (and when I tried it just made me crazy so a second post is in order)

This is how I disguised the shortage of paper. Layered paper square with alpha's! To balance the project I did the exact same thing on the other side but with 1,2,3. Easy fix.

Back to School - ahhh!

So I'm back (with a bit of a vengence) with a "Back to School" teacher gift. I saw this here on a blog and modified it for my stash of randomness just lying around. As a substitute teacher I learned many of which is that there are NEVER enough sharpened pencils and that happens on purpose I think because little ones LOVE to go sharpen their own pencil which was previously sharp but they ground it down just to make the trip to the sharpener! Remember that as a kiddo? Most teachers had a container where the children could exchange their dull pencils for an already sharpened one (hence removing 19 trips to the sharpener and ten more minutes before valuable lesson time!) So I made this....

This will hold their sharpened pencils and hence the term "one sharp bunch" (clever, right?)

So I started with an empty decorative paint can and covered it with two layers of random (well not so random because I was trying to do blue/green for our school colors) The first layer was 4 inches X 12 inches. Here is where I didn't really think ahead. The standard 12X12 paper doesn't go all the way around - but I fixed that - you'll see in a bit.

Next I added a decorative little trim. This too was leftover stuff and I loved adding the yellow/orange to the color scheme. I primarily did this to ground the project as well as give a backdrop for the word SHARP. I wanted the kiddos to know this was the already sharpened bunch of pencils.

Then I added the "title." American Crafts thickers are just amazing - these poolside (blue) were great because they were glittered and that was just too much fun!

So another thing I learned is that teachers (genenerally speaking) are super grateful people. They are just so happy that you thought of them. This will go to Braden's teacher who is new but we are already in LOVE with. I will be back tomorrow to show you a little something for the "big kids" teachers.

Hope you have a great day (and a great last week of summer)!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You might want to know ( hint - sweet giveaway!)

So I don't do this often but there are several of you who have little ones in your life and I thought you might be interested. Mrs. Lindsay is having a giveaway HERE and it is CUTE stuff! Go check it out!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

a quick view

Here's another little collage of our trip - ziplining! Fishing for their dinner - minnows with spaghetti as their back-up. A little country "fair" that had the worlds tallest inflatable slide - 53 feet of pure adrenaline & fun! The rock that we found that looked like a heart that Abbi brought back to Grandma - since she was supposed to go but missed out due to health reasons - boo! Also in here in that pic of the water falls that were so beautiful and worth every step!

Enjoy your Thursday evening - we are having Family Movie Night at home (with a quick run squeezed in there) and are off to the Water Park tomorrow. Haven't used thosed passses enough.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just a Piece

After all my groaning yesterday about one photo from picasso I discovered the collage option. I played with it for just a bit and got this great little set-up. One of the MAJOR places we spent our time was in the creek. It was so gorgeous, peaceful, like it was carved out just for us (not sure God was specifically thinking of our vacay when he made it but we are super thankful for it) It is one of the reasons we want to go back to this cabin as opposed to somewhere further North (closer to the rafting)

The kids moved rocks around all over the place. Made their own damns - better than little beavers and it kept them busy forever! They found "rock stations" where there were large rocks (BTW amazed at how strong my little man is!) there were small rocks stations they found just filled with the little pebbles to fill their tiny holes, and then we discussed what diversity and variety were and there were "varity rock stations" AKA places in the creek where all types of rocks were present in one place. Seriously, we visited the creek AT LEAST once a day and most days it was a morning and afternoon affair.

The Smores were fun too but our marshmallows were a bit too big - the second time we cut them in half before roasting!

Thanks for sharing in our vacation memories. Here's hoping I will finish a craft/LO today and share that tomorrow!

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Instantly Home

Two weeks ago we went to the Mountains - we were all so looking forward to the break and hoping the website was accurate of our lodging. Praise the Lord - it was AMAZING! The place was just as pictured and we were all in love instantly. This is the first vacation in a while (at least with kids in tow) that when it was time to come home NONE of us were ready. Had it not been that we wanted to be back for church on Sunday - we would've stayed another day (or two, or three!) There were so many fun things we didn't get to do and then some fun things we would've loved to do again. We're already making plans for next year! More fun pics to come if I can figure out how to load more than one photo at a time ( I loaded them to picasso, trying to blog from there and not sure how to do more than one at a time - all up for tips on that!)

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