26 September 2012

Who's got two thumbs...

...and wants you to order from her school fundraiser?

This girl!  This year Krause has signed up to sell Cherrydale Farms products--there are some really cute gift wraps in their catalog and I can tell you from personal experience that the cookies are YUMMY.  :)

Please take a look, and order something if you'd like!

You can click here and go shopping on the Cherrydale website:

Thanks so much for supporting Kayci and Krause.  :)

23 September 2012

Birthday Stalking

Yesterday was Katie's (James' little sister's) birthday.  I'm horrible about stopping on the way to see her and picking up a Target card (sorry, Katie, it's the truth) and this year I wanted to do something different.  So, when we made plans to get together with them I got online and did a little stalking on Katie's Pinterest boards to find some inspiration for things for her new home.

I found two things that jumped out at me, and really fit Katie and Johnny.  And, I thought they'd look good on the canvases I had on hand (again, sorry, Katie.  Not that you read my blog, but if you do you're about to see that your birthday presents cost us a total of, um, $2.18!).

Here's the first one:

credit:  WeHaveaGreatNotion on wanelo.com

And the second one.  This one I wanted to mix with that other great Pinterest idea--a map of where you fell in love, etc.

credit:  sweetrosestudio

Here's my version of idea #1.  It's pretty straightforward--I had James help me pick a classy sans serif font and I cut it out of vinyl I had on hand.  We painted the canvas with red acrylic (red is one of Katie's favorite home decor colors) and the next day, I applied the vinyl letters.  Turns out, the letters didn't really want to stick, and I didn't care for the matte finish of the red paint.  So, I added another one of Katie's favorite things:  Mod Podge.  Luckily I had some gloss on-hand, and it gave it the finish I was going for.  I love the gloss--made a HUGE difference!

And here's idea #2.  If we're being really honest, this is actually my Jackie O fail reincarnated.  I took her outside and gave her a fresh coat of pink paint so the black didn't show through the scrapbook paper, just in case.  I wanted to stick with a really simple palette with a pop of red, so I found some distressed gray/black/white scrapbook paper and cut the words out of black vinyl.  James helped me find a different map since my first one was too small--I put a heart around College Station, where Katie and Johnny met and fell in love, and Conroe, where they live now.  Their love story really is beautiful, and we already count Johnny as a brother.  Katie found a great guy, and if you don't know her, she's really an amazing young lady.

So, happy birthday, Katie--I hope you have as much fun looking at these as we had making them!

22 September 2012

One of those days

Yesterday could have been "one of those days."  You know the kind.  Running late, fed the kids in the car, got our houseguest to school just as the bell was ringing...and because we were running late, I didn't have time to load the car for the errands I planned to run between school drop-offs and Noble's field trip.

I was feeling very impatient, a little aggravated, and frankly, more than a little put out that things weren't going according to plan.

Well, turns out, they weren't going according to MY plan for a reason.

When I got home (unplanned stop, MY plan was to go to the post office and recycling before Noble's field trip, but I didn't have time to put the recycling in the car), I decided to take a minute and just breathe and get refocused.  I was already feeling  more settled--I could adjust my plan, none of the stuff that had me off schedule was a big deal.  By then I didn't have enough time to run my errands before Noble's field trip, so I took a look around the house for things I could pick up really quick.

Daddyboy had already cleaned up the tent (the boys camped out in the living room Thursday night, partly for fun and partly because Levi had a bad bout of croup this week) and  I noticed that the humidifier was still on the living room floor.  I picked it up to move it into the kids' room, and I stepped in something wet.  I didn't think much of it, just went and got a paper towel to soak up the wet spot.  Then I looked again and noticed a bigger wet spot...that went all the way down the floor in front of the couch.   There was a LOT of water on the floor.  Apparently the humidifier was sitting on its cord and since it was tilted, literally all of the water ran out.

Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but if I hadn't gone home and hadn't picked up the humidifier the laminate floor in the living room would have been ruined.  Once again, I was reminded that it's not MY plans that matter--it's HIS plans.

And I'd already been reminded of that a few days earlier this week when I was running late for work and ended up missing a major accident, but you know I'm a slow learner.

So when you're having one of those days, stop and breathe.  Remember that there's a reason you are where you are, when you are.  And I'll try to do the same.  :)

19 September 2012


I'm having a blast making shirts and getting organized...wish I has more time to play! But I can't neglect my "real" jobs, as fun as shirts are. Can't wait to show y'all what I've made so far!

11 September 2012

Kid Calendars

Today is September 11th.  We'll never think of it as just another day after the events 11 years ago.  I still remember what it felt like when we realized what was happening...how fast parents started showing up at school to pick up their children and hunker down...what I was wearing (long black Eddie Bauer skirt & colonial blue ribbed sweater set, black hose & Aigner loafers)...my first thought, "where is Ronny?"...and I remember after.  Shelter in place trainings.  Preparing our home for shelter in place, as best as you can prepare a Heights bungalow for such a thing.  Praying.  And praying.  And praying some more.  It goes without saying that today and every day my heart goes out to the thousands of people who lost loved ones that day and after.  I'm more grateful than ever for first responders, and for our military.

But, today is September 11th.  Despite the horror associated with this day, I also associate this day with great joy, because 14 years ago one of my very favorite people was born.  I remember on the 1st anniversary of 9/11 we dressed up in red, white and blue for school (I wore red overalls, a blue & white gingham Polo oxford, navy slides--ugh, don't remind me--and red white and blue toenail polish).  After work we went over to Lynn & Hannah's apartment and ate Hannah's favorite dinner:  Papa John's pizza.  The two meanings of 9/11 are forever tied together in my mind, right or wrong.  But I'm grateful that God gave us Hannah...and I'm grateful that she gives us so much to celebrate each year.

We like special days in our house.  Have you noticed? ;)  Of course, every day matters, and what happens each day is important to my kiddos.  There are THREE calendars in their room, as a matter of fact...Kayci has 1 and Noble has two--one with Spiderman's picture, and one he made in school last year that has a picture of him each month.  He's not allowed to write in that one!

When Kayci was in Kindergarten and Noble started daycare several years ago, we hung two boards on the back of the laundry room door to keep track of menus, homework, etc.  For four years, we've drawn and redrawn the weekly calendar as it gets erased/wiped off.  And we've gone through periods where the boards stayed static and unused.  But now both kids are really interested in their own schedules, so this summer they started using the boards regularly.

(I should note:  my background as a special ed. teacher makes me a huge believer in visual schedules, which explains the responsibilities chart & these calendars.  Carry on.)

When school started this year, I promised the kids I'd spend some time and make their calendar boards work a little better.  I started with electrical tape...I was going to cut calendar grids out of black vinyl, but who are we kidding--vinyl's expensive.  I've got tons of electrical tape laying around for FREE!

Oh!  Before I did that, we swapped boards so Noble's was on bottom (previously Kayci's was on bottom so she could read it at her eye level and Noble's was on top so he couldn't reach his work/magnets).  Then I eyeballed it and slapped the tape on there to make the calendar grid.  Then I used my Silhouette software to design day magnets and magnets for things that are recurring in each kid's schedule...piano, AWANA, chapel, etc.--things that they either need to prepare for or things that affect their clothes choices for that particular day.

And that worked okay...but last week I noticed there were some things we were writing over and over and I was reminded of drawing that grid week after week, so we started a list of other things they might need magnets for.  (Horrible grammar, but you get the idea!)  And it was also confusing that I'd set it up with Sunday as the first day of the week so the weekends were split, half last week and half this week...so we moved the days this week so the weekdays are together and the weekend days are together at the END of the week.  Makes much more sense to Noble!

My phone pictures are blurry today...sorry!  Maybe someday I'll take time to take real pictures.  Oh, and see our silly recycle bags, too?  At least they're empty...I took recycling this morning because our bags were overflowing.  :)

Here's the door...

and Kayci's board...

...and Noble's board...see the notes at the far right?  I've got his schedule change notes made for the whole year.  Yeah.

Here's a closer look at Kayci's...

...and a closer look at Noble's.  I had to take some names off their boards for privacy, but I realized now that I'm online that the pictures are blurry anyway.  I could have saved myself some work!

Know what this cost?  Nothin'...I already had cardstock, ink, magnet tape, laminating sheets and electrical tape on hand.  But my kids think they got new stuff, so woo hoo!

10 September 2012

Responsibilities--Part II

This is the scene in the kids' room this morning...

...beds made and each, I think, reflecting its owner's personality.  Noble was so proud of the way he displayed his "friends" at the foot of his bed.  Silly boy.  Kayci makes her bed just a little differently each day--looks like today was a straight pillow, Aero front and center day.

Everyone got to school on time, everyone was clean and brushed and fed and loved and prepared.
We owe it all to having great kids (not every morning is picture perfect, and that's okay), and also to their responsibilities charts.  This is something the kids and I developed this summer, and once school started it became clear that we needed to revamp it a little.  First, we added a second pocket chart so they each have their own chart.  We needed the extra space to add "after school/evening" responsibilities to the mix.  See, our mornings have been going pretty well, but after dinner we've been back to, "put on your pajamas, brush your teeth, get out your clothes for tomorrow..." every day.  Bleh.  I don't like to nag the kids (shocking, I know) and I also don't like the fact that they weren't taking responsibility for doing what they needed to do (and, as I have yelled more than once, doing what they know they're supposed to do every. single. day.  Grr.).  After I printed out the second batch of responsibilities, I laminated all of them--some of the older ones are a little water spotty from them turning them over a little too soon after brushing teeth, washing hands, bathing...we won't think of the other reasons.

So, here we are.  Oh, in the picture above the bottom row is their "extras."  We had been storing those turned over, but I'm too lazy...it takes too long to find "trash" on Tuesdays and Fridays, "frogs" on Thursdays and Fridays...you get the idea.  We'll try it this way this week and see what happens.

Maybe tomorrow I'll show you their revamped calendars!

09 September 2012

Happy Grandparents Day!

Happy grandparents day to Grandma, Nana, Dan, Jhido, Nahia, GoGo, Angus, Great Grandma Hagler, Aunt Peggy, Aunt Susan, Patty...and every other grandparent we know!

We are especially blessed this year to have a grandparent living in the SAME town...for the first time in over 6 years! Our cookie jar runneth over. :)

06 September 2012

Taking the leap...

I love how Noble just jumps right in/throws himself right off the edge into the water.  3 foot, 10 foot...he just leaps in.

Me?  I'm not so brave.  Or maybe I'm indecisive.  Or afraid to commit.  Whatever the case, I did it today.

I took the leap.

I ordered my very own heat press and several colors of vinyl to get started.

As soon as it ships, I'll start taking orders for t-shirts.

No more excuses, no more waiting:  I'm jumping in.

Please pray that I'll stick to God's plan for me and my family, and that whatever I do I'll do for His glory and not my own.