When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say,
"I used everything You gave me."
~Erma Bombeck

May 31, 2011

This year's teacher gifts... handmade, only not by me!

When it comes to giving teacher gifts, I prefer to go handmade. This way, the gift is original and from the heart. I usually have the girls do some investigating into each of their teacher's favorite colors and go from there.

Years past I have made chalkboard flower pots like this one tutorial found here...

... or given hand painted marble magnets in their favorite color like these in my Etsy shop...

...or making a cute clipboard like this one (sorry no tututorial).

But this year, since I am tired and worn out from working on my latest creation right now...

...I resorted to Etsy and look what I found...

They are the cutest bottle cap key chains and I purchased them from an Etsy shop owned by a fellow Texan. If you are interested in buying one of these adorable key chains or another super cute bottle cap item such as a necklace, bracelet, earrings or purse charm, go visit the Bling is My Thing Etsy shop. Katie provided a quality product at a reasonable price and with super quick shipping. I love them and I'm sure the girls' teachers will too!

May 30, 2011

Monday Musings... Happy Memorial Day!

He didn't die in a war, but he was a vet when he passed away just 2 years ago. Remembering my father-in-law Henry today...

Thank you to all of our military men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Thank you also to those who continue to fight for our great country.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~John F. Kennedy

Happy Memorial Day!

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Justin, Mom, Mika and I (circa 1977-1978)

Celebrating my Mom on Mother's Day. Thank you Mom for always being there for me, listening and giving me a boost when I needed one. Sometimes I can still hear you when I have a bad day. Thank you for the gift of my sister and brother, two of my favorite people in this world. Thank you for the gift of showing me strength in adversity. My new motto is... "I can do this! I am my mother's daughter after all!" I miss you so much!

Celebrating my own motherhood on Mother's Day. I have two beautiful daughters and a sweet little baby growing inside me. I am blessed beyond measure!

Happy Mother's Day!

May 7, 2011

You don't have to be an "artist" to be creative...

A couple of weeks ago, I got a phone call from one of the moms who volunteers for the second grade. She was wondering if they could use my artistic ability to make classroom decorations for the second grade end of year party. They needed 8 big suns and 40 clouds to hang from the ceilings. Of all the volunteer work I have done this year, nothing brings me more pleasure than the chance to create. So I drew up the templates for the above suns and clouds and met with two other moms to churn out some decorations. What you see above is some of our finished product. I thoroughly enjoyed spending the day working on these and realized I haven't created a thing since January!

Throughout the day as we worked, we talked about being creative. The mom who called me lamented about how she was no artist, that her stick figures looked like they had giant cauliflowers for hands. I always just assume that drawing is easy and anybody can do it. The same thing with calligraphy. I guess this is what makes it a talent. This particular mom is very good at organizing and putting together parties and other fun events for the kids. (Stuff I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.) That is where her creativity flows. We talked about her husband who could plan out a landscape and plant the whole back yard beautifully. (Something else I am not great at.) That is a way that his creativity flows.

Have you ever read a novel and thought, "How on earth did this author come up with this story and then tell it so eloquently, weaving the plot and the characters to keep us enthralled?" Have you ever watched someone dance and thought, "How do they move their body so beautifully to tell a story to the person watching?" How about listening to a singer/songwriter or someone play an instrument with what seems like little effort. These are different outlets to creativity.

Creativity doesn't have to mean you do some talent perfectly. It means you do something you enjoy and it makes you feel awesome! Redecorate a room, plan a fun outing with your loved ones, be adventurous and cook something new. Whatever you do, have fun!

Creativity is the mother of all energies, nurturer of your most alive self. It charges up every part of you. When you’re plugged in, a spontaneous combustion occurs that ‘artists’ don’t have a monopoly on.
~Judith Orloff

May 1, 2011

An update...

So... way back at 9 weeks I announced we are pregnant. Here is your update with an explanation as to where I have been.

At 11 weeks. We had a little scare and I ended up in the ER for 4 hours. After which I was put on bed rest for 2-1/2 weeks. At 14 weeks (just this past week) I was released from bed rest and can now do light cooking and cleaning.

Here is what I learned during my time away...
  • I have wonderful friends! These friends brought food, straightened my kitchen, did my laundry and grocery shopping, drove my children to activities, and were with me in the ER and during Dr. visits when Chuck couldn't be there. Most important of all, they prayed for Baby J and I. Thank you to my friends!

  • I am thankful for my sister and my dad. Who checked in on me every day to make sure I was okay. Thank you Mika and Daddy!

  • It's hard to surrender control of my household and family. I have learned that I have difficulty accepting help. Who is really in control anyway. Only God. Obviously I should have learned by now that life can change without a moment's notice. Now each day, I will work on giving it up and just doing what I can. Which isn't much right now.

  • Bed rest simply isn't fun. Now that I have experienced it for myself, I will know better how to help someone else in the future. The best thing to brighten someone's day who is on bed rest is to show up, visit, bring them some flowers and spend time with them. It can get really lonely and there is only so much daytime t.v. one can stand. I won't be asking what I can do for someone, I will be telling them what I will do. The people who did this for me were my life savers. Because, I wouldn't ask, but I definitely wouldn't say no if they offered! :)

So, all the t.v. time, the tears, the frustrations, the messy house and learning to surrender is worth it for this...

Baby J (12 weeks)

a perfect profile, a cute little wave and the sound of a beautiful heartbeat. It's all good!