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Saturday afternoons are becoming my creative outlet time, and today was no exception.  After returning from an afternoon Christmas program rehearsal, I told the family I needed one hour to release a little stream of creative juice I’d been suppressing since early in the week. I even promised to start dinner by 5:30pm if I could only. have. one. hour.At 4:25 I gathered my supplies, kneeled on my bedroom floor with iphone inspiration pictures handy, and went to town chalking up my newly painted chalkboard frame.By 5:17 she was hanging on the wall.  How’s that for efficiency?Oh my goodness how much fun this was!I was inspired by the chalk art of Dana Tanamachi whom I discovered through a blog several months ago.  Just this week I returned to her website after finishing the making of this chalkboard, knowing I wanted to do something special with it.I pondered for several days what to do,…

I’m feeling somewhat nostalgic today.  Maybe I’m missing my little girl (she left this morning on a road trip with my mom and will be gone gasp four days).  Maybe my house is way too quiet.  Most likely, though, my being sick for almost an entire week has left me feeling emotionally vulnerable and isolated.I don’t think I’ve been sick for an entire week before.  My sister thinks I had whooping cough so I started on antibiotics.  Nights were the worst.  My coughing was so bad every muscle between my ribs cried out in agony each time another rasp would start.  It’s been rough.This morning I woke up, and my first thought was: “I think I’m better today…”Now it’s almost 4pm, and I still think I’m better.  This makes me exceedingly grateful.But as I sit here at the computer, entering receipts and emailing an old friend, I’m overwhelmed by the depth of…

Well, I missed day 9 and 10 of my 31-day posting challenge…but that’s okay.  Life goes on around here, and most often it’s the very joys of this life which keep me from my computer.  Which is perfectly fine by me ~ The line about life reminds me of one of many favorite Steel Magnolia quotes:  Life marches on, and before you know it, it’s marching right across your face.  Oh, gotta love that one 😉 Our church began Christmas Program rehearsals this last week which take up time, but with the whole family involved it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make ~ such a meaningful opportunity to minister to others the true meaning of Christmas, and also experience the goings-on of a production…always nerve-wracking, invigorating, and rewarding.  Mr. Wonderful’s teaching in Kenai this week and we miss him dearly, but he’s been able to touch base with several old friends from…

My goodness, I feel like I climbed Mt. McKinley today.Or am I supposed to call it Denali now?  See, I live in Alaska and still struggle with this.Either way, I’ve certainly accomplished great things in the span of one afternoon: Amaya and I cleaned her room.As mom to a darling little seven-year-old girl, I’m learning a few things.  Allow me to share.Lesson #1Never, ever-ever (forgive me: I’ve been singing the new Taylor Swift song for two days now), never let your 7-yr-old’s room go more than seven days without a full inspection of every party bag (2 liters of candy wrappers), suitcase (damp, moldy? jeans from sleepover two weeks ago), floral box (ah-hah! there’s the necklace that’s been missing since June!) and desk drawer (hmmmm, are those mommy’s five rolls of Scotch tape?).  On the upside, we had a delightful afternoon of discovery.Lesson #2 Seven-year-olds have a very different idea of…

Since Sunday afternoon is usually my day to brew myself a latte and plan our school lessons for the week, I thought I’d share with you the planner I’m currently using.My sister actually discovered this Debra Bell planner over the summer and, like sisters do when you find a good thing, you pass it on!  Having not used a homeschool planner in 7 years, and even then having my planner all typed up when it arrived (we used Sonlight), my only reference to lesson-planning books was my own teaching background in public schools.Which means I don’t have a lot of experience in order to compare various homeschool planners out there, but so far ~ for what I needed and was looking for ~ The Debra Bell Ultimate Homeschool Planner has been a huge blessing.Even as I use the word ‘blessing’ to describe my planner, I recognize it may sound dramatic or exaggerative.  However,…

Shhhh….don’t tell The Nester, but I’m attempting a secret “31 Days” without officially signing up to do so.You see, I’m a bit worried about committing to 31 days of daily posts since my blog’s history documents anything but consistency.  For some reason, though, when I read The Nester’s challenge a month ago, a little voice inside prodded me to take up the challenge.I debated off and on for some time, telling myself the last things I needed were more pressure and deadlines in my life.  Which is partly true.But then I wondered what it would be like to actually post more regularly.  Would it be difficult?  Would I stress trying to think of things to blog about?  Would it be overkill?  Would people even care to read my blog every day?  Would my desire wan?So I thought ~ just for fun ~ I’d give it a shot.  I’d evaluate regularly to see…

My plan today was to post about the metal stand Mr. Wonderful made a few days ago.Just one thing: some days don’t go according to plan.Just after twelve o’clock today, we received a phone call from a lady we didn’t know.  She was so sorry, her car had just hit a dog on the road by our house.  Our dog.  Our Cruise.  30 minutes earlier, I was in the middle of a chocolate bread recipe when I realized it called for applesauce and I had no applesauce.  I told the kids to sit tight, I’d run down the hill to the store and be right back.I was only gone 30 minutes.Cruise loves to go with me in the car, and when I climbed into my Suburban headed to the store, he pranced all around at my feet.  But he wouldn’t jump in the car.  I almost lifted him ~ he was just being silly…

  It’s amazing what a whispered prayer can do ~ I sat down today to post pictures of my Burlap Bulletin board project and all my pictures uploaded, no server error at all.  I’m thankful because I really wanted to show how simple this is. First, I started with a cheapy storebought bulletin board with absolutely no personality at all.  Why, oh why is it so hard to find creative, unique, functional things like this without ordering from an expensive catalog? Anyway, I digress… I laid the bulletin board down over batting and, like I said yesterday, if I were to do this again, I’d use only one layer of batting instead of two.  For some reason I kept seeing “puffy” in my mind; the finished board does not need that much batting.  One of my concerns, though, was that I wanted to cover the black edging well, both the color and the hardness, which…

I worked on this little burlap bulletin board project for our school room Saturday afternoon.  So many times when I conquer ideas like this, I basically achieve the look, yet inevitably end up sacrificing function.  Can you relate?You have this great idea, then you love how it turns out, but you realize it’s not really working as well as you’d hoped.  But do you discard it?  No way!  You’re going to KEEP it and USE it because, by golly, you MADE the thing!And it does look good, after all.  Well, as this project came together, I think I may have achieved both look and function.  Yay!The downside is that for some reason my server is rejecting the other pictures I took to show the steps.  I have no idea why this is happening. At least you can see the final product.I’ve always loved these Ballard Designs boards, which were my inspiration. …

I’m so close to finishing my latest piece and am eager to reveal the whole thing, but it’s missing a detail up top that’s rather important.  Trouble is, I’ve been waiting for Mr. Wonderful to help me with a compound angle cut because I’m too intimidated to try it on my own.His schedule’s been downright crazy with fishing trips to Valdez, hunting moose with our two boys, and back-to-back shifts at the fire station.  I’m hoping he’ll be up to a little woodworking after church tomorrow……A very little I promise, hon!Anyway, I snapped a couple pictures tonight because I just couldn’t take the wait anymore.  I’m eager to hear what you think of this piece.  Remember when I said last post I was feeling a little crazy?  Let me just say that once I got the yellow on… …a sudden surge of inspiration brought to mind this certain 1/2 yard of fabric I’d…