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Sunday, October 30, 2011

I came, I saw, I copied!

So the "trash fairies" have been good to me - yes, for a long time now, I have believed in the "miracle of the trash can". I will mention to Cam that Dylan could use a new dresser and like magic a perfectly good dresser will appear in the trash - free for the picking!

I was browsing at one of my favorite country stores when a huge canvas caught my eye - It was creative, different and very expensive. I tucked that information in my head and moved on. That night Dylan and I were out for a walk and in the trash was a canvas - 4 feet by 4 feet - the same as the one I saw in the store. We hightailed it home, drove back and loaded it into the car.

This project required 36 wooden circles, so since good friends of ours were due for a visit and he just happened to be a retired shop teacher, I put my order in.

Ryan helped me paint the canvas - which had huge, textured flowers on it - as we painted, it was a little too "textury" for me, so I went over it with black shoe polish (which I interchange with stain on many projects) the look was perfect, it appeared like old paper. Next we painted the circles black and took a bowl that was slightly smaller than the circles, I dipped it in white paint on the rim and placed it on the circles - this gave the effect of a slightly off circle - perfect (this was a new trick for me, so I was really excited)

Next I stenciled the alphabet and numbers. I am slightly obsessed with the alphabet which fits in nicely with being a teacher. Then I positioned the letters on the canvas and double checked to make sure positioning was good. Cam stood on a chair and I moved letters - this took about 15 minutes and after he left I took one last look and realized "u" was upside down - yeah, funny story, but so glad I caught that! I glued everything down and let it sit over night.

Tada...



This turned out just like the one I saw at the store, minus the price tag. Everything was free except for the stencil - which I got for 50% off at AC Moore.

I had 6 extra circles, so I was determined to do something with them - here is what I came up with:




Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thermostat vs. Thermometer

A mother is only as happy as her most unhappy child.

I've never heard a truer statement. The older my kids have gotten the more effected I am by their moods - it's worse than living with a mood ring.

But feelings are a fickle fellow - I'm not sure what exactly that means but it's fun to say - try it...... ten times fast...

Anyway

I can't live my life on the emotions of those around me, let alone my own ups and downs. It got me thinking about a thermostat and a thermometer. The later responds to it's environment. It has no control over how high or low it goes, it's subject to the whims of the temperature.

But a thermostats sets the temperature. If it wants to be hot, it's hot, if it wants to be cold, it's cold. It is not ruled by the environment - it rules it.

I think our emotions should be the same way - don't get me wrong - emotions are not evil. It's when we let them rule our lives that we get into trouble.

God tells us in Proverbs 17:27 " A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered."

I am striving to be "even-tempered". I must admit as a young mom that was not a word that would describe me. I was a little high strung and "quick-tempered". God is teaching me the importance of the "pause".  Taking a breath, hearing another person out, focusing on what really matters and looking at the big picture. Being even tempered takes work and practice. It may not come naturally but it is defiantly something I can achieve.

This has also effected the way I respond to my kids emotions. Instead of getting sucked into their feelings I am praying first and responding second. Many times by the time I get to responding the "crisis" is over.

So here's to being Thermostats. They are much more stable, reliable and easier to live with - just ask my family.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Double Dog Dare You!

I make this awesome smoothie every morning, but I made the mistake of telling Cam what was in it before he tried it and now he refuses to drink it - what a baby!!

Anyway I dare you to make it with an open mind and closed eyes and let me know if it isn't the best drink ever.

Start with 1 cup milk - I use skim milk.
Add 1 cup of frozen fruit - banana, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries. etc.
Top Secret Ingredient - 1 cup of raw spinach.

Blend and enjoy - you get a super healthy drink and it tastes great - if it isn't sweet enough for you, you could add a little sweetener.

I guarantee you can not taste the spinach - it defiantly looks green-speckled but who doesn't like fun colors first thing in the morning - if they only made clear spinach, maybe I could get Cam to drink it.