Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I know I am not the only one today starting off my blog post with
"Can you believe it is almost the first day of February?"

As much as I try to slow it down, to grasp it tightly, the days fly by...their limbs get longer, their laughter gets louder, their brains get smarter.
My children are not who they were a mere month ago.
Childhood is so fleeting...it goes by so quickly and they change with every restful night of sleep.
I love their pliancy, their ability to to morph into new phases, their ease into a new inch, a new thought even.
They inspire me.  Even an old dog can learn new tricks.  ;)

I am not who I was a mere month ago either.
I prayed for a big change in January.  But before I tell you about it, let me backtrack a little.

November and December were full of anxiety for me...a yucky anxiety that stopped me from maintaining the pace I had inhabited.  A pace that only a SuperWoman could handle. 
I woke up one day with panic that literally stopped me in my tracks.
I could no longer function in the life that I had created.  It left me immobilized and scared.  It left me in a place that I had to call out to the Lord to rescue me.  I needed to heal and let go.  It was the first time in my life that I literally let go of everything and said, "God, rescue me,  please."

He did.  He showed up big time.  He led me through the darkness until I came back to myself.  Anxiety and panic are terrifying things.  They are the Devils Attack.  I knew that, and I knew that God was by my side.  I took it one day at a time. 

By Christmas time I was feeling much better.  I knew though, that I had to make some big changes in my life.  I could no longer run through every day as if it were a race, trying to get everything I could done.  I knew I was going to have to learn to start saying no to things.  I knew I was going to have to take good care of myself, which included exercising regularly and eating foods that serve my body well.  I knew that work could no longer be my first priority.  I knew that I could no longer try to be everyone for everybody.  I had literally made myself sick, and I knew I never wanted to do that again.

When the New Year began, I asked God to change me.
I asked Him to give me some quiet.  I asked Him to help me change all of these terrible habits that I had grown into, and to give me the strength to become a healthy woman.  A woman who loves God first.  A woman who takes care of herself.  A woman who takes pride in being an honorable wife and mother.  A woman who gives integrity to her work, even if that means not working as much.  A woman who is content.

I am happy to say that I am becoming that woman.  Please don't mistake that comment for conceit or pride.  I have much to work towards.  I am as far as perfect as you could be!  I just mean to tell you that when you make the time to put God first, a certain peace fills your heart.

I had no earlier intention of posting this, but then the message to share came loud and clear on a whim and here I am, an hour later, sharing this with you.
I know a lot of you deal with anxiety on many different levels, and I want you to know that you are not alone.
I want you to know that even if you feel like you are at the bottom of deep, dark well, God will pull you out.  Call out to Him.  He is there.

In HIS grace,

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

-Pablo Picasso


Monday, January 30, 2012

Snippets from the weekend

This conversation ran through all of our minds this weekend, and we were all on the lookout for "God's artwork for us"...It is a sweet frame of mind to be in...especially when it is so easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of every day life.

The focus of our pastor's sermon this week:
(It rocked my world.)

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,

beholding your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love is better than life,

my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you as long as I live;

in your name I will lift up my hands.

 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,

and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,

when I remember you upon my bed,

and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

for you have been my help,

and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

 My soul clings to you...

-Psalm 63 (ESV)


Friday, January 27, 2012

Family Rules

Happy Friday Friends!
It was a busy week around here... I'm hoping for a quieter weekend to play catch-up and do some relaxing!

I used to make A LOT of custom family orders a couple of years ago, and then I got a little burned out on making them.  They are all hand-painted and are pretty time-consuming.  But I recently made one and had so much fun.  I thought I would offer them in my etsy shop again for a little while.

You can custom order the rules, color variety, your family's last name...etc.
I paint and add other dimensions as well, like a little hand embroidery.

It comes on a 16 x 20 canvas, and although you could pop it in frame, I paint the sides as well in case you want to hang it as is.

They are available here.  ;)

Any big plans for the weekend?
It has been 80 degrees here all week and today it is raining, which is kind of nice.
I finally ordered this (I've been wanting it forever) and am hoping to start on it this weekend.

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Children's Artwork Based on Famous Art (Kadinsky)

I have the pleasure of "being in charge" of our beloved pre-school's art show this year.
I thought I would show you all of the projects as we work on them in case you were looking for new and fresh ideas for kid's art projects.
Even though the projects are being done by pre-schoolers, I think older children would enjoy them as well.  Just vary the level of adult help to fit the child's level.

The theme of the art show this year is "A Night at the Art Museum."
I chose a famous artist and a famous piece of work for each classroom.
This project is based on this very well-known painting by Wassily Kadinsky.
I used it for a three year old class.

Above is Kadinsky's version, below is a three year olds version.  Pretty cool-huh? ;)

Start out by dividing the paper in six sections very lightly with a pencil.
I hung the paper on an easel and the children painted in each box with a different color tempera paint.  I showed them how to outline each box with the paint and then fill them in.  They did a great job!

Next, they were given a large piece of watercolor paper.  I loosely drew eighteen circle of varying sizes and the children painted each circle with watercolor paint.

After they dried, I cut them into circles.  We actually used circle cutters, but you could hand cut them, or if the child is proficient with scissors, they can cut them out by themselves.

I used 3-D pop up foam stickers in between all the circles so they would look three dimensional.  It's hard to see it in the photos, but in real life it looks awesome!

Here's another version.  As the art show nears, we will matte them on black paper.

Sigh...you know those colors make me happy!  ;)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Kids

This morning on the way to school we saw a beautiful sunrise.
We also saw a large flock of birds sitting on the telephone wire, and the silhouette it created against the sunrise was amazing.
I said,"look guys!  Isn't that pretty?"

It was quiet for a minute and Ava said, "Mama, God gives us little pieces of art all throughout the day, doesn't he?"
Well, yes Ava, he certainly does...

Some days these kids of mine are so silly and crazy.
Some days they teach me a whole lot of about life that I didn't know.


Monday, January 23, 2012

This post makes me ridiculously happy

Color is my love language.
I've told this story before, but when I was a little girl I would dump out my two large boxes of Crayolas and line them up in rainbow order.Something about it fascinated and soothed me, and thirty-something years later things are still the same.

We made heart shaped crayons for the kids to give as Valentines this year.

Start by soaking the crayons in a bowl of water.  A lot of the paper peels will start lifting off.

The kids took all the wrappers off and threw them away.

  Of course, for fun, we put them in rainbow order ;)

The kids and I broke them up into little pieces. The larger pieces I cut with an exacto knife.

I got my molds at Ikea.  Line the bottom of the oven with tin foil.
I put them in at 200 degrees, but I had to keep a close eye on them.  When they started melting I had to add more pieces.

Coming out of the oven, I let them sit for a minute, and then we put them in the refrigerator to cool for awhile.

We made a pink/red set, a yellow/orange set, a green/blue set, and a blue/purple set.

Finally, we made a cute valentine in picnik.com and printed them at 3 x 5.
The older kids will sign their own on the bottom instead of me typing it out.

It was a lovely afternoon crafting with my favorite littles.
They were mesmerized by the process!

Linking up here today:)


Friday, January 20, 2012

Right now...

I haven't done a "right now" in a few weeks!

These photos are from yesterday morning and they fill me with joy.
We found the original Superman on Netflix this week, and Jackson loves it!
He has been carrying around Superman "baby" and wearing Ava's Supergirl costume for three days now.  ;)

"Shhhhhhhhh Mama...I am putting Superman Baby to bed."

"He up!  Time for a story!"

"I can fly like Superman!"

I love these photos.  What a precious moment in time for both of us.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  ;)