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Parenting

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Two weeks ago I knew I needed to write this post.  For one, I’ve been wanting to show photos of our oldest son’s recent room refresh, and Two, I know I’m not the only one nurturing and training up a child who doesn’t quite fit “the mold.”  As our oldest son’s high school graduation draws near, I’m revisiting emotions and old assumptions which at times have fit uncomfortably like insecurity, ashamedly like comparison, enough so that I’m ripping open raw places once healed in an effort to re-establish a firm foundation of assurance, hope and trust.  I suspect there are other parents out there who wrestle with the same types of things, recognizing differences in their children, wondering at them, continually worrying while simultaneously celebrating unique skills and gifts not quite measurable, hoping beyond hope for bright futures while fearing they may look different from “success” we’ve seen before. I…

I’ve been picking away at this blog for over five years now.  It began with dreams of beautiful home photos, helpful DIY tutorials, and a longing to be included in a community of like-minded bloggers whom I respect and admire. In actuality, my blogging road has been somewhat lonely. I’ve broken all the blogging rules that say I must do the following to have a successful blog: Post 2-3 times a week. Read and comment on several blogs daily to initiate and maintain relationships. Research trends, advertise, and switch to Wordpress. Write what my audience wants to hear, not what I want to write. And so on and so forth. It’s a journey, but I won’t lie and say my head isn’t constantly swirling with ideas on where I would like this blogging adventure to go, ways I would like to be more pro-active on the site, risks I would…

For those of you who know us, you also know our home is looking a bit different these days. With the addition of two little nieces and a nephew, our home is sporting a lot of Hello Kitty, Legos, markers, and matchbox cars. But also a lot of laughter and snuggling.  And I REALLY needed a good excuse to pull out Goodnight Moon again. In the midst of all the busy-ness, we’re doing our best to embrace Alaska’s short-lived fall in all its burlap/caramel apple/russet~orange yumminess. During this season of change, may we maintain an attitude of gratefulness for all we have, and all we will be, in Christ. Happy Fall from our family ~ to yours 🙂 Jaimee

When the music fades………and all is stripped away……My soul often finds rest in creating. After hugging our last summer guests good-bye yesterday morning, I spent the day reconnecting with my home and allowing myself to wile away the hours with no real purpose or agenda. And as is so often the case, my soul found rest with my hands as I attempted one of those lovely book page wreaths I’ve seen for several months now in blog-land. There are numerous tutorials for these wreaths online.  I loosely followed THIS one.  My supplies included an old copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare for my pages, a cardboard cutout (I used a box from the post office and traced around a mixing bowl to create the circle from which to cut), a glue gun, and a short piece of jute rope for the hanger. After rolling each torn out page into…

Sometimes I lay my head on the pillow at night and wonder where on earth the day went….how another day managed to pass with still so many things on my to-do list?I try to rationalize by reminding myself of the progress I have made ~ the little things I accomplished that day to be present, to be real, to listen, to observe.  Things which become more important to me as my children outgrow shoes right before my eyes.Last night I had great intentions of spending the evening painting since we were blessedly home for the evening; instead, my daughter felt sick so we laid on the couch together reading about Mary and Laura chasing cattle from the haystacks in Little House on the Prairie.  Before long, the boys piled around so we sketched out a few games of Hangman on notebook paper.  When was the last time I played Hangman,…

Recently we tackled the construction of a DIY Balance Beam for my daughter’s 9th birthday.Purple, no less :)Following is a detailed step-by-step guide as to how we went about building it.  **Note: This project does involve cutting and welding steel.  If you have a husband who loves to build things, that’s also a plus:)Here are the materials we used:(3) 2′ x 6′ x 10′  (cut down to 4 1/2″ width to make slightly wider than Olympic width of 4″)(1) 5′ length 1″ steel square tubing cut into (4) 22″ lengths. All ends cut at 22 degree angle.(1) 5′ length 2 1/2″ wide steel flatbar (1’4″ – 3/8″ thick).  We used 3/8″ thick.From this flatbar, we cut two cradles to hold the wooden beam.  Each cradle had a bed 4 1/2″ wide, with side arms 2 7/8″ high.We also cut the four rectangular “feet” from this same flatbar, each foot being…

“It’s the Most…Wonderful Time….of the Year….!!”Dear Lord, please help me remember this as I look at my December calendar and begin to feel anxiety welling up within me.  I long for a Christmas season full of evenings building puzzles with my family, apple cider brewing on the stove, calm moments lovingly wrapping gifts (not frantically searching for a gift bag as we dash out the door to a party), and sipping egg nog while watching old Christmas movies.I look forward to slowly unwrapping our ceramic Nativity Scene, pausing to study each lamb, shepherd and wise man as we remember the holiness of Christ’s birth.Thursday our tree made its debut, and Christmas time officially began at the Coon household.  We decided to place it in a different spot this year: the middle of our living/kitchen/dining area. Were told by the original owners/builders when we purchased this house that they installed an outlet…

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve written.  Funny thing is, blog post ideas continually roll through my mind on a daily basis – a condition I’m convinced is consistent with bloggers everywhere.Even Mr. Wonderful is known to throw out on occasional, “This would be a good blog post!”Now if only I had the efficiency/time/organization/bliss to sit and blog about each idea.  Ahhhh well, a litte MERRY will have to do for today :)My daughter and I had fun crafting a MERRY garland yesterday, inspired by the glitter letters I see this time of year all over blog land.We started with these Chipboard Letters from JoAnn Fabric – letters I almost believed did not exist in this town. Who says God isn’t concerned with little crafting details in a girl’s life?The cherry on top was to learn at the checkout that they were no longer a stock item, had actually been discontinued, and “Ma’am, we can…

I’m heading to Kenai for the weekend to celebrate a birthday with my what-seems-like life-long friend, Shelli.  So excited because she has a Keurig machine, a very quiet house, and HGTV. Does it get any better than that?? As I head out the door today, I look around and see so many unfinished projects around here, but I think it’ll be good to get away, take a breather, and gain some fresh perspective.  Be it homeschool or design or life plans, a fresh perspective is always a good thing. When I return, I’m hoping to tackle the rest of our Master Bedroom makeover.  We still need some pops of color, a few new pieces of bedding, accessories…..all those little things that make it a representation of the M. and me. Here is a (night-time) picture of our master room Before.  What a difference curtain panels make! I also want to…

As I cleaned house last Friday, a segment from the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World (Joanna Weaver) came to mind. You see, I spent a lengthy amount of time Friday vacuuming my living room drapes. Don’t get me wrong: this is not something I do often. As a matter of fact, Friday was most certainly a first for me. But let me explain. While I busily & awkwardly vacuumed up and down each 108″ drape, this blog post began forming in my multi-tasking mind.  One of the first things I supposed upon reading my ‘drape vacuuming post’ was that the ‘Marthas’ among you would most certainly jump to the self-incriminating, personal crisis question: “She vacuums her drapes??  Should I be vacuuming MY drapes???” Which brings me to my aforementioned segment from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. I received this book years ago from a dear…