Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Not To Do...

Imagine, if you's 2 a.m....sleep is escaping you...your brain is in over-drive.
What do you do? If you're me, you go downstairs, brew a cup of Yogi Bedtime Tea, and sit quietly while sipping this calming tea...meditating/praying in an attempt to quiet your mind.
Normally, that is.
Not the case Tuesday night...or should I say Wednesday morning. I did the first step...I prepared the tea. Unfortunately, I also turned on my laptop (Big mistake) to research a few of the things on my mind...until 4 a.m.! Ever notice how completely insane you are at that hour? What seems important at that time seems silly in the light of day. Case in point...
So what did I learn at 2a.m.? How to decoupage lids on old junky jars. First you raid your stash of old jars. What...doesn't everyone have one of these?
Then go through your pile of paper scraps...newspaper, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper. If you don't have pretty papers you'll have to go to my sister Mary's house...she has every paper imaginable! Then head to design* for all the how to's. Super easy, super fun, AND a super site. It's listed under Paper Scrap Recycling.
I plan on using these jars for a hippie fragrance I like in candle making called Woodstock'69.
That's not all I found while you were probably (lucky you!) sleeping...another site...giver's log. It is loaded with gift giving and wrapping ideas...and it's set-up really nice. Easy to maneuver, even for the sleep deprived! While visiting this site make sure to go to the free Printable Labels...they are adorable. Or, if you're really can combine the two crafts for an organizing solution to your messy work station! Obviously, there is an up side to staying awake most of the night. Fortunately for you, I'm sharing my finds so you won't have to lose a moment of your beauty sleep.
Have a Crafty day and a Sleep-filled night.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Mom's Meanderings

As women and mothers, we spend much of our time nurturing, training, worrying, and praying over our children. I've learned with this nearly two-generational family of boys that this is our greatest purpose and blessing. With two older boys raised, married, and forging their own way, I also have a unique appreciation of how brief our time together (in this capacity) truly is. Having that knowledge is precisely why I enjoy every moment spent with my eleven and fourteen year old. My youngest, James has been showing me in subtle and moving ways how he is maturing into quite a Godly young man. Recently, when I introduced him to our new youth leader at church, like reflex, James held out his hand, looked him directly in the eyes and said, "nice to meet you". I could tell by the look on Eric's face that he was surprised by this show of maturity from one so young...and it made my heart melt. Earlier in the month, as we were leaving the library, an older gentleman intentionally stopped me to say, "You've raised some really fine boys." Apparently, they held the door open for him. A polite gesture that in today's busyness doesn't happen as frequently as it should. Most recently, and the true impetus for this post...I was sitting on the couch with James, snuggled under our favorite blanket, watching television, when a commercial for Earth Day came on. Beautiful scenes of our planet...a fatherly voice-over said, "We as adults, need to remember that this planet isn't ours...pause, more pristine images...we are borrowing it...another lengthy pause...from our children". A thought sprang to my mind and just as quickly James put a voice to it. "What?! It doesn't belong to our belongs to God."
Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn
from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
And that's why we do what we and motorcycle man. Being ever mindful of the fact that our words and actions are being carefully monitored and processed by our children. Teaching them right from wrong. Involving them in as many aspects of our life as possible...recycling and composting...budgeting and home economics...housework and yard work...helping out grandparents and others in need...working hard...playing hard...praying and praising the One who made this all possible. Our work here is not done...with God's continued help and guidance we will finish the race strong.
All Thanks and Praise to God!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Montage

Sorry for my absence...the computer was on the fritz!
This is a photo montage to bring you up to date
on my comings and goings.
I call this Easter Break in Retrospect.
A dandelion bouquet!
Picked with love...from James. sweet...
More precious than roses.
Love notes...
Time for spring cleaning? Hmm...I wonder...
Kierstin smiles...just for grandma!
Working together as a family. It's true...fences do make good neighbors... especially pretty picket fences. Lazy cat. Duders enjoying the heat of a spring day. What a nice back-drop. Ramp building...step 1. Step 2.
Step 3. We call this homeschool shop class.
Notice the safety goggles.
Finishing touches.
Play time!
All that hard work pays off.
A stunt from an overhead angle.
Takin a breather.
Ain't he cute?
Check out the helmet.
No helmet? No riding!
What was mom doing while they were building?
Turning the soil and planting some lettuce!
I put that compost to good use.
Goals met!
Scaled in at 123.
Maintaining and having fun on Phase 3!
Thanks for being patient during this brief intermission.
I'm holding out on you...
I was also creating.
Check back soon for that update.
Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Diamond in the Rough

I was driving home from a "Journey to the Cross" re-enactment when I spotted this out of the corner of my eye...
I turned the car around for a better look.
A tiny pink sticker said $3-.
I knew that with a little scrubbing and painting it would go from
a roadside table to a needed chair side table!
I immediately set out to work.
It's amazing what a good paint job can do!

It's like Amy Butler's Midwest Modern meets Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic! I'm thrilled with the result! It's working in a corner of my bedroom. A corner dedicated to writing...reading...thinking...

playing guitar... my corner. Motorcycle man gave me that cool chair as a gift.

He knows my heart. He calls it my Dharma chair.

That retro table really makes that chair look good, doesn't it?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Beautiful Butterflies

A few years ago I participated in a homeschool co-op with my boys that included a unit study on the Monarch butterfly. I've been in awe ever since... We housed our precious caterpillars and cared for them by periodically cleaning their "cages" and supplying them with fresh milkweed. They got fat fast! Then one day we found them anchored to the roof, hanging in their famed J-shape, preparing for their chrysalises...those beautiful emerald green jewels with touches of gold surrounding the cap. Then we waited. After about two weeks the chrysalises started to darken...turned black...then almost transparent. We kept constant vigil...watching...expecting...knowing. Out emerged our beautiful butterflies...spreading their wings to dry. The boys had given them names...Juni and Carmen after The Spy Kids. We supplied homemade nectar until it was time to release them. After a couple of hours we took them outside, opened their cages, and watched in amazement as they took flight! They fluttered around us as if saying goodbye before flying south. "Adios Amigos!" We had learned they were headed to Spanish speaking lands.
It was a sad yet joyful moment.
Today, on Easter Sunday, I am reminded of those butterflies. Christ's suffering and death on the cross...the empty tomb...our risen and conquering Lord!
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
Again...I stand in awe.
Christ is risen!
He is risen Indeed!
Easter blessings dear friends.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Super Charged

I stopped by the Bedford Public Library and picked-up the newest edition of the South Beach Diet: Super Charged. It focuses more on an area I felt the first book neglected...exercise. Most of you probably know by now that exercise will rev up your metabolism just like the books cover claims. I was excited to see that in Phase 1 and Phase 2 there is an expanded "foods to enjoy" list. The purpose of Phase 1 is to stabilize blood sugar (which minimizes cravings) as well as to jump start your weight loss. With meals like Garlic and Soy Grilled Pork Chops with Peppers, Onions, and Zucchini...followed with a dessert of Mocha Ricotta Creme...who can complain? Well, my digestive track for one. I've introduced Metamucil to my diet because even with a boat load of veggies, I've been...constipated. Sorry if that's too much info. Just keeping it real.
Another down The other evening, my family munched on pizza (how dare they!) while I ate Big Easy Shrimp. Imagine was a tad bit dissatisfying with oregano in the air! OR after working in the spring heat (80 degrees!) treating the family to ice cream at our local celeb Handel's, where they (can you believe it!) did not offer a sugar free option! So... I sucked on sugar free Breath Savers...just not the same. My boys felt bad eating in front of me but I assured them that I really wanted mints instead...yea, right.
Last prep time has doubled. I have had some great compliments from the gang, Joe (age 14) said dinners have been better since I've started this plan. I am convinced however, that Arthur Agatston, MD has a personal chef. Around these parts...that'd be me.
The Up Side...I enjoy working out. Always have. I was a fitness instructor in a past life and like I always say...once an aerobics instructor always an aerobics instructor. I have also advised people to do what they love...regularly. Use it or lose it! Works on so many levels, doesn't it?
This is my indoor trainer. I've been biking all winter and will soon get to move this show outside. I also like to walk at the park, play on the equipment with the kids, lift weights, use that exerball in the pic for abs...basically, I scramble it up because I get bored easy. The Pay-Off.
Weight Loss to date: 5 lbs.
Bonus: My waistline feels MUCH thinner.
I am actually fantasizing about wearing a sexy little swimsuit this summer.
Until then...I"ll be South Beaching.