Wednesday, January 4, 2012

thank you's

Everyone have their thank you notes written? Yeah... they had a full extra week after Christmas off from school, and I still haven't had my kiddos sit down and write (ok, draw, for Zane) their thank-you's. While surfing today, I came across these free printables from Organizing Homelife. I'll let Lynn off the hook this year and just let her fill in the blanks. They are super cute!

I always get comments from my mom and grandmother, about how much they appreciate thank you cards from all of us. My husband and I still write them as well. I enjoy receiving cards in the mail for any occasion, so to write a simple thank you note is definitely something I aim to remember and get out, especially at Christmas and birthdays.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

evaluate, resolve, change?

Wow - those two weeks flew by in a flash! Usually by about the second week, after the Christmas excitement has worn off, this momma is ready for school to begin. I have to say, though, that because my daughter's two weeks of vacation were filled with family (i.e. lots of distractions), I really enjoyed the time with her and everyone. (That was a really selfish sounding statement, but just being honest). I think, this year, we had a terrific balance of extended family, our own family, and even some quality "alone time" for each of us just to have our own space. Two three-day weekends (with another one around the corner due to the MLKing holiday) allowed my hubby to have some downtime as well, even though he wasn't able to take any additional days off.

So now it's a new year... I don't really do the whole "resolution" thing, but I do think there is value in evaluating our lives/routines, and seeing what needs changing. Our pastor spoke from Romans 12 this weekend and pointed out that when Paul said not to be conformed to the world, it's not necessarily a conscious choice, whether we choose to be effected by the world - we can't just say "yes" or "no" - but, honestly, we are always being worked on by the world. It shapes us, but our choice is in regards to how much. Will it skew our focus, change our priorities, and lead us to set up idols in our lives? In that regard, I think it's important to be aware - to evaluate our priorities and make changes where they are needed. If you choose to call those resolutions, then that works. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. Usually those things that we feel so passionate about are the things that we succeed in changing. I hope we do feel resolved to change... just maybe more than exercise and organization...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

bokeh attempt

So this year I finally tried the "shaped bokeh" camera trick that you see posted this time of year a lot. Well... my kit lens isn't the most effective at this, but by putting it in manual focus, I was able to manipulate it and get a heart shape to my lights!

Here it is without the heart shape over the lens:
Not bad at a first attempt, but maybe in the future (next year, maybe/hopefully!) I will have better results with a lens with an aperture of greater than 4.0! And maybe I'll get creative with more than just the tree. See what others have done here. There are some very impressive results!

Happy Birthday, Jesus and Merry Christmas, everyone else! May your Christmas be sparkly and bright...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

an overwhelming number of names

I've been praying down a list of literally hundreds of names of unbelievers, put together by my church, from individual requests submitted by church members. The list is daunting... and soul-saddening... and gives me a more realistic picture of the vastness of the number of people that will be celebrating a holiday this weekend, created because of a Savior, whom they personally don't have a relationship with. 

I got to thinking about all the world "offers" in competition to the One that offers something so much sweeter. There exists plenty of "pretty" in this world today. But we would be challenged to find anything pure, holy, or perfect outside of Jesus Christ. Our society gives so many other alternate things to follow and strive towards... money, success, popularity, good looks, fame, or even just a sense of control of one's life. I completely understand how one of these could look more appealing. In fact, I can't say that I, as a believer, don't struggle towards these things myself. That struggle will always be there. However, I have hope in the something Greater that is fighting for me and helping me overcome those temptations.

It almost makes me mad - mad that the world could be so enticing. It scares me with my children. I understand why some parents are overprotective or try and keep their children in a little "bubble" their whole lives. I guess some might say I am doing that by having my daughter in a private, Christian school. I think there's a fine line, though. They have to be brought up and trained to honor and learn about God, but not completely oblivious to the world they live in. My husband and I are trying to do that, but my heart almost stops when I think about what they might choose instead of a relationship with Jesus.

"...the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). We are told to be self-controlled and alert. I am praying that those people on the prayer list, including my children, will have open eyes and an awareness of that prowling lion and that they will run to the open, safe arms of the Savior, Jesus Christ. May you too find that safe, saving relationship this Christmas season. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

magnetic art display... a project

It dawned on me that in these days of Pinterest-inspired projects, I hadn't yet shared a project that we completed before I got addicted, er introduced, to Pinterest.  
My daughter is a budding artist and has many, many creations. The problem is that my refrigerator isn't big enough to hold all of her artwork ;) I basically have one clip on the fridge and rotate new projects through - for both her and her brother, who has picked up on how to use a pencil pretty fast.

I wanted her to be able to display her artwork in her room. We have two bigger projects within poster frames, but still needed something for the smaller stuff. Just for safety reasons, I didn't want a bulletin board with pushpins. Zane is in her room all too often playing with her and I didn't want him to come across a stray pin. So I thought - let's go magnetic. I couldn't find a "real" magnetic board that wasn't crazy expensive, so I got to thinking... what about coming up with our own, diy style? But then entered in the question of how to adhere it to the wall without using adhesive. 

A quick trip to the supply store yielded us with a flat strip of steel (found it in varying lengths & just got the one that worked best for us) along with mirror hangers! Forgive the blurry photos - just took quick snaps - but you can see how it is attached to the wall. No adhesive (just holes, lol). We also got some strong magnets from the store and they hold several layers worth so that she can overlap pictures.

Ta-da! The completed project. It can get quiet crowded, so occasionally I have to come in and guide her in paring down, lol, although generally it's her wall space so she can "decorate" it how she wants. 

Monday, December 19, 2011


Just finished reading Francine River's novel Redeeming Love. I have read it before, but I was looking for a book to read and came across it at the library.
Coupled with the sermon this Sunday at church, I am just humbled at God's sacrifice... At the love displayed through the life of His son here on earth, ending with the horrific death He had no reason to experience. He sees us, in our "good deeds," and in our "shameful acts," and would've sacrificed His son even if it were just us alone on this earth in spite of all that we (can't) offer.

Heavy stuff because it is so humbling.

Something so simple,  yet we can't wrap our mind around it sometimes.

Monday, December 12, 2011


The kids are screaming, ready to get out of the tub. The house is a mess. Christmas decorations still sit in the middle of my living room in boxes to be unpacked. The load of laundry in the dryer is continuing to toss every few minutes, having now made it to the "fluff" part of the cycle, but waiting for me to unload it. Half of dinner has been thought out and is in the works, but no clue on the veggies to go with the meat. I have been up to my ears in photography. Just one more session to finish up.

Good problems to have... this means I have a growing business and my continued blessings of a place to live and a family to love. However, it means that I have been very obviously absent here on the blog.

Oh, how to balance... that is the question ;)

What has everyone else been up to lately?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


So this weekend we attacked my daughter's room all with the intention of giving her a "hiding space" like the one my daughter saw on one of my Pinterest boards:
Well, my daughter is of course 8, so there is no crib in her room... she does however have a fantastic bed that has drawers underneath so it sits a bit higher. We turned her bed and gave her some space between it and the wall (hidden from the door to her room), that being the best "fix" for an impossible goal. We then arranged every other piece of furniture in her room and cleaned off all dresser and desk tops, so it's picked up and looks new.

I love rearranging rooms. It just freshens a space. My master bedroom and living room are pretty much situated in the only possible way available -  not much empty wall space - too many doorways, closets, and a fireplace in the living room. Boo :( So, that leaves me rearranging the kids' rooms. :) Yesterday, I was able to give Zane the above type space (and goodness, Lynn is jealous). His bed was already in the perfect spot, I just had to move a piece of furniture out of the corner (relocated to his closet!) Sooo... I'm hoping my hubs will give me the go-ahead to put together the pvc framework to give him the curtains. We tried a tension rod and that is not quite the best idea for a 2year old boy! :) Not only doesn't it stay up long, it then becomes a sword that he swings around! (Where do they learn this stuff? I really think it's just in the genes for boys - swords/guns, cars, balls. It's all there - with no teaching from us!) Anyway, I was trying to think of what to do with the "secret hiding spot" to make it more "boyish." I thought about putting a small tent in that space, but it's really too small for that. I thought about making it more of a teepee hideout, which would work, I guess. But, after passing along this idea to my dad, who enjoys making things, I think I'll just stay with the curtains and have this on the wall inside the "secret spot":
That is very cool! Gadgets to fiddle with. Zane will be all over this. He's into figuring out how things connect and work. He has already disassembled things, due to curiosity vs a destructive nature. Thanks, Pinterest, for some fun ideas to feed my rearranging addiction. ;)

You don't have any different ideas for Zane's spot, do you? What would make this hideout more "boyish?"

edited: just found this space as a boy option... Those are cool things hanging from the ceiling. Zane's room is more about cars and trains though... I also have a huge open wall to fill. I've been debating what to do on that! Spare car parts? Photos of cars? Unfortunately my budget for this is like $10, so I can't be too extravagant for either part of the project...