Thursday, November 19, 2009

Inuit Soap Carving

What I love about My Father's World is that it is a Unit Study (as well as classical and Charlotte Mason.) The last two weeks, we studied Canada. So, as part of Art, we learned about how young Inuits learn the art of carving by starting with soap carving. My boys absolutely loved it.
It was messy, but worth the clean up, no pun intended. It wasn't easy to clean up! Perhaps next time, I'll plan to just lather up that soap and wash the floor with it. Much easier than sweeping it up.
The book above is The Book of Animals.
The book above, Global Art, is a part of the curriculum. I love it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Buh Bye October and Our Formal Reading Time

We love painting our pumpkins...we picked these up in early October and they managed to roll all through our dining room, living room and kitchen through the month. Finally, a week ago, we put them out on the porch to share with the neighbors.
In the morning, we gather to read through a wonderful resource: Window on the World. There we read about a particular country in the region we are studying. We learn about the culture, where Christ is and isn't evident and then we have specific prayers for the country. We are ALL learning so much and I love becoming aware of what's outside our borders.
We get VERY comfy sometimes...but who can't listen upside down. Plus, aren't those Spidy socks just the best. And, Batman has left the building...

If you're interested at all in our homeschooling, I posted on Learning By His Good Grace.


Our School's very small, so we keep all the resources in here and bring the work out to the dining or living room (lounge for reading!) The book rack was an awesome find at Costco for $15. It holds all their notebooks. The cup was a pencil organize that my husband just screwed to the wall. It works perfectly. The baby's desk is in the middle. He likes being involved.
We are using My Father's World, Exploring Countries and Cultures. I am amazed at how this works. I spend a few minutes of prep time each day for the boxes.
I couldn't be happier with the organization of Workboxes.

Since the boys use many of the same resources, often I just put a sticky in the box and they know to just get the book when it's done, or they check if their brother would like to read with them or not.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I never win anything, doesn't everyone say that?
Well, I did win something and it's a treasure.
A Christmas CD from Dave Mincy! It is awesome.
I think Dave is VERY talented and the music on the CD is amazing. I have already started playing it while my children do activities at our kitchen table and they love it. It's very soothing and relaxing and it's all about Jesus! I love Dave and Sara's ministries. They are a heartwarming couple and dedicated servants of God.


I am so blessed with this gift!

Friday, October 2, 2009

At the Smithsonian

My one son's reaction needs no words to describe how these boys felt about this exhibit!
They were so in love with so much at the Smithsonian (American History). What a magnificent place to visit. I can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This is part of Chatting at the Sky's Tuesday's Unwrapped. Today's post inspired me to think about a different kind of rest I got recently. In the midst of our purposeful trip to Arlington National Cemetery on September 10th, my husband and I decided to take a couple or ten photos of ourselves in our hotel room...using a mirror. It ended up being the perfect medicine. We got a little rest from our grief. We simply could not get the photos right. First we tried the annoying sideway peace sign. And, then made quite a few unsuccessful attempts to just take a proper photo. OH WELL!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


For a bride and groom's cake table.
For a Quinceanera
For a repeat I get to create some for their newest daughter!
For a referral from a client...I am so honored when clients refer me to their friends!
And lastly, for another bride and groom!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Since we're using Workboxes--and I LOVE THEM!!! I took Sue Patrick's advice about posters--setting them up for the children. I found a BUNCH of them at for $1.99 each. As she suggests, I bought two of each, then cut one of them up, set it up with velcro and walllllaaahhh, a poster activity. I bought the cardboard display board for about $3. I already had leftover velcro. So, I put this together--for my toddler. I was so surprised at how excited and curious he was with this. My mom took a few of the posters home to help me in getting the duplicates cut out so that I can make some more. The neat thing is that I velcroed the back of the poster so that I can switch it out with others. I also cut up a file folder and taped it on both sides to hold the pieces. And, since it's a display board, it rests right on the floor. The baby, OK my three year old couldn't get enough of this and now the older boys are begging for their CENTERS and posters!

I do have to say using Workboxes and My Father's World ECC together has been amazing so far. I am so happy with the system and I love what we're doing. They really go well together. I can't believe how smoothly our year has started and the circumstances of our life lately would have made it highly unlikely. I am VERY thankful for this.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Treasure Hunt at Arlington

This is my nephew. This very special moment came just moments after the military funeral service for my father took place. The Chaplain stated, "Dennis honored the flag with his life; now the flag will honor Dennis." Then came the twenty-one gun salute; taps was played. It was beautiful. But, in the midst of the sad encore of walking away from where my father's remains would, remain, came a wonderful treasure hunt for those interested: the shell casings from the twenty-one gun salute. At first, I wondered why my nephews, aunts and cousins were doing a sort of chicken stroll and staring at the ground. For some reason, it took me quite a while to ask. Oh, the bullets, I thought!
The following day at the Smithsonian, my husband came up with the idea of having dog tags made with my father's name, Arlington N C and the date of interment on them, we'll make a hole in the bullet shell and our two oldest boys along with my youngest nephew will get them as a remembrance of their special treasure hunt.
In the midst of the mundane, exhausting trial of grief, God gave us these little gifts. I am thankful.
This post is a part of TUESDAYS UNWRAPPED
Thank you Emily for helping me to recognize these moments.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Heading to Arlington

My whole family will be heading to Arlington National Cemetery to bury my father in the place he desired to be interred. I know, with great assurance that he is with the Lord--finally at peace. My father was a combat Vietnam Veteran and suffered his entire life afterwards from PTSD. I know, know, know, that finally his mind is at ease and he's in a glorious place of worshiping God. It's what made him feel best when he was here on earth--so I know Heaven bound must be simply the most ultimate freedom imaginable! My father died on 8/16 at 8:16pm. Isn't that something? We're not into numbers or superstitious about anything like that--but it was pretty amazing when my mom realized that. God's perfect timing for his life.
We've had to put off saying good-bye until it was scheduled in Arlington and now it is really beginning to hit me that it's happening. I don't know how anyone does this in just a matter of days, we've had a few weeks to grieve in between the wake and burial. The other night I began to write about my father's last day, but it is just too personal to share at this stage. For now, I just wanted to share a few photos of my dad. Pray for us if you think of us. Thank you for those of you who have been praying. Keep both my mom and my father-in-law in your prayers. It's unbelievable to think my husband and I both lost a parent in the same week, but we trust the Lord. It's even more to imagine, that they have both lost a spouse.
My father had many illnesses, one of which was diabetes caused by Agent Orange (from Vietnam) but years ago he was physically healed of blindness. It was documented that my father was going blind. He prayed one night and accepted the Lord and asked for healing in his eyes. The next day he went to the doctor at a scheduled appointment and much to the doctor's surprise, every bit of damage in my father's eyes were gone. The diagnosis of going totally blind within two years, was erased. My mother was able to donate my father's corneas to organ donation two weeks ago. His eyes were near perfect. A diabetic--able to live on through organ donation--now that's ONLY BY HIS GOOD GRACE.
This is linked to TUESDAYS UNWRAPPED. Visit Emily's blog for moments that matter.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cold Vanilla Relief

So, it was so hot today. I was SWEATING in church.
The sermon was very good. But, with my husband overseas taking care of our three boys on my own is a little tough, especially when the three year old starts to have a meltdown.

Drove to McDonalds with a vanilla cone in mind--someone had said last week that it is the best thing in the world.
So, the kiddos were very excited about getting McDonald's as it's not regular to our family. I ordered the lunch. Oh yeah, and the vanilla cone, soft serve.
So, the kids and I started off leaving McDonald's and I lick my freezing cold vanilla cone. "Oh! This is the best thing in the world, uh this tastes so good." I am reveling in this cold, vanilla relief.
Thank you mom the boys all say, they were expressively happy.
"This exactly what I wanted, " one of them says.
I say, "Oh my gosh this is so good in this heat, I could just rub this right across my forehead."
The boys start cracking up.
My nine year old then says "Now you know how I feel about pancakes."
I'm like....wha...?
He says, "Yeah, a nice warm pancake, right on my forehead."
"With syrup?" I ask.
No, just the pancake.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cake Topper on a Cake Boss Cake

I was so surprised when one of my clients sent me her wedding planner's blog to show me her beautiful cake and my topper on it.
Why? Go have a look at my front page and you will see why:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Here's something a friend suggested to me. I purchased the kit and can't wait to get started. We're using My Father's World ECC this year and it will work well with workboxes. I feel like it is an answer to prayer!

Joseph's Forgiveness

Over the past few months, I've often thought of Joseph. As in, Joseph from Genesis. You know, the Joseph whose brothers hated him and sold him into slavery. In Genesis 37, it talks a little bit about his brothers' hatred for him as he was pasturing the family flock. Genesis 37::4 say "His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms." Verse 5 tells of Joseph telling his brothers a dream he had, but they hated him even more. He plead with them to listen to him, but they wouldn't listen, instead in verse 8, they say, "Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us? So they hated him even more...later they plot to kill him, only to sell him into slavery. Through many circumstances orchestrated by the Lord, Joseph is made ruler of Egypt and one day his long lost brothers enter his kingdom looking for grain for survival. Joseph, reveals himself to them. Shocked brothers, who not only are confused to find Joseph alive, but king! Joseph's response in Genesis 45:5? "Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life." In verse 8 he says, "Now therefore, it was not you sent me here, but God;"
This has been such an inspiration for me about forgiveness. Whenever I start to get bitter about how someone has treated me, I have to remind myself that God orchestrates things and God allowed it. If I remain angry, really I'm questioning God's decision and ultimately, His Sovereignty. We can all grovel and things often come up as reminders that feels like pouring salt on an open wound but God is good to allow me to be reminded of Joseph's response and I too, want to be generous with such an outlook. I'm so thankful for the examples of men and women that God provided for us in the Word. Our lives may be totally different, but we share the same God.

Monday, July 27, 2009

So, We Have Already Joined a New Church

Yesterday, we joined a new church. My husband and I were asked to speak a few words before the congregation in order to state our intentions of wanting to join. It isn't official yet, that will happen [hopefully : )] during the next church conference. At this point, we can now "act" like members and begin serving in the congregation. I wanted to share my words so that friends can see that God has brought us to a new place. Months ago, we were so distraught after leaving our other church. Never did we imagine a day like yesterday would come. It's always so difficult to see the light when you're in the middle of a mess. God is good to have brought us through. He was good even when we were in the mess--but we're so thankful that he's brought us to a new home.

My shared words yesterday:

I actually attended my first Sunday waiting for something that I wouldn’t like. Well, about one half hour into our very first service here, I heard [an older, very faithful man] pray. His kindhearted voice speaking of Christ’s redemption got my attention and I remember how much hearing him really blessed me that first day here. There was nothing that went on that I didn’t like.

I remember that I felt like the service was a culmination of pieces of the way I worshiped growing up—and I really love it.

So, I decided we could give it another week, maybe.

I can’t name the countless members here who blessed my family with kind words, hugs, smiles, encouragement, lovingly teaching my children, told me it was OK if the baby crawled under pews.

When we first left our other church and were wondering what on earth our lives would be like, I thought we’d end up settling for the next best thing. I never realized God would bring us to a church that I would love more than I imagined. I attended the children’s church planning meeting and was so blessed to see a group of people, differing in opinion, but spending the time to work it out and make a plan, it was really special. I want to be a part of that. It’s not any one thing…though I love the hymns and contemporary music, I love the prayer time, the praise time, the sermons have greatly affected my walk--I love that it all points to Christ, I love the language that many members use here when referring to gathering—worshipping together…I want to worship with you. I like the reverence exhibited here. The humility too. I love that my children worship with me. That means so much to me.

I love that you want my children here, crawling under the pews, but happy to be here.

My family has been so loved by this church and we’ve been ministered to and we have healed. And, now I would like the privilege to serve alongside you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sneak Peak New Web Site

Here's a little sneak peak of the "logo"
I've come up with for my web site.
Tried to piece it together using
photos of lettering I've done in the past.
We've been working on the site when I can.
If you really want to have a look, you can here:

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This was a photo I took this evening--with MY NEW CANON REBEL! This cutie pie over here got it for me. Surprised me with it! I don't know why he is so good to me, but I guess I'm going to have to be good to him now. ; )
See how all the mess in the background is blurry? I think I'm going to love this camera.

This little cutie pie has a fever now, along with a bad rash--as does his older brother.
We'll be visiting a doctor for that. But, before his fever hit, he was interested in having his photo taken as well.
Doesn't he look like he's completely interested in my
He's saying, "watcha got there, mama?"
"Oh nothing" I say, "Just my new CANON REBEL"
CUHlick! Click- click (insert kewl noise.)
I love how it picks up the red in his hair. My old camera would just ignore that. I promise not to be that annoying person at the party just clicking away. But, I definitely can take some awesome shots of my remodeled house and post about it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Covering My Ottomans

I recently used the Nester's link to and checked out the Clearance specials. I decided I would only buy what was very very low priced and try to work with it. I was looking for upholstery material to cover two ottomans whose previous material had become so worn and uncleannable! Yes, I know that's not a word. Knowing what our life is like and that the "no eating in the living room rule" would be neglected, often out of my own laziness to enforce it, I knew dark material would be best. Is it my favorite? No, is it completely my style? No. I believe I'm pretty frugal, so I got what would go with our furniture and would be kid and mess friendly and would last. This is the same reason we got brown leather sofas. I got so tired of my fabric sofas always having stains and places to clean due to the little boys playing on them with chocolate or peanut being smeared on them. We were in a wholesale shop one day and we were able to buy the leather sofas that were on display--$100 off. It was deal we were more than happy to take.
OK, back to the ottomans.
  • It's a pretty simple procedure to put these on.
The small ottoman, you simply cover and pull the material tight and nail it in place. I tried my best to gather it in the right spots so that it looked right.

The large round ottoman--that's a round table. With the legs cut mostly off.
Then you place 5 inch thick green foam on it, glued on of course. Then trim it with a knife so it becomes one with the roundness of the table. Then cover that with batting.
Then place the material on your kitchen table goodside down. Turn that foam and batting covered table upside down on that--with help of course, because it is after all, a table!
Then pull pull pull, have your husband shoot it with a nailgun while you hold the material in place. Our table had a very hard wood bottom, so after all the target practice, I plugged in my hot glue gun and secured all the fabric down. I wanted to make sure all of the material was stuck because I didn't want it showing at all.

It's actually a pretty simple procedure.
I have had this ottoman for about eight years and I can't get rid of it. It's a sofa sometimes, it's a table sometimes (especially for kids, they just sit on the floor); it's a footrest; a play area; a laptop holder--and it's easily moveable.

The little ottoman was just along for the ride. I has bought it at a second hand shop for $5 about 7 years ago. The fabric that covered it cost $4.78 from

I'm sure I won't go that long before I cover these again, but that's what I like about them, I can change the fabric when I want.

My living room is still in the works. I'm frugal like I said. The other reason I don't like to spend a lot of money on stuff is that I change my mind a lot. I have very few things that I've liked forever. I had searched and searched for curtains/drapes and spent money on ones that a month later, I was sorry I bought. So, my mom brought those sage ones over for me as they were extra and I think they'll do. I really would love to find that perfect fabric for new ones. I just change my mind so much about what I like.

I'm definitely in the zone to start decorating more, so we'll see what happens and I'll post it here if it does!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cake Toppers

For years I have painted and decorated nursery decor. This past year, upon the request of my amazing woodworker, Ed, I began decorating monogram cake toppers.

I've always kept my side business a little hush hush while writing this blog and was doing lettering only based on referral; or repeat client. Why? Because at one stage I had lettering all over my house and I got so overwhelmed with orders. My poor family. My prices were far too low and my husband expressed that for the little profit I was making, he and the boys were definitely feeling the neglect and it wasn't worth it. So I did what I needed to do: I stopped advertising. I also raised my prices a little. OK, a lot. But, these things take more hours than you can imagine. My current web site has needed an update forever.
I'm close to launching a new updated web site soon, so I will be announcing that some time. For now, these are some photos of cake toppers I've completed. Can you tell which ones are acrylic rhinestones and which ones are real Swarovski? These are all about 5-7 inches tall, made from wood and very delicate. Check back soon for news of the new site.