Yep. Like I Expected Anything Else

Picture 2

We’re going camping this weekend. Looks to be just about perfect, don’t you think?


Challenge of the Day

My two oldest girls were touring with their choir today which left me home with my two youngest for most of the day. Perfect day to start a very large project! Right? Sure, whatever.

The challenge of the day was this window:


The project started like this:


It then morphed into this:


Whereupon I remembered that these shades require weight rods, not these little corner squares. Doh!

After doing some internet research and realizing all the missing parts to make two of these shades was going to cost around $60 before shipping, I became discouraged. I then realized I could probably make do without all the $60 parts. At least for now. I took the girls with me to Joann's Fabrics where we spent $5 on cord and cord pulls. While there I realized I don't need the cord stoppers after all because I'm planning to get cord cleats to attach to the walls. So that was $10 off the list. Buying the cord at Joann's instead of online also saved another $10. I realized I could wait on the weights and see what other heavy rod I can come up with sometime later. $30 off the list.

But then I had to leave. We met some friends at the park to fly kites, then I had to pick up the older girls from their 8 hour day of choir touring (the bus was late and I was frustrated by that). I ran them to softball practice and then 7 hours after I last stopped working on this shade I was able to start again. I spent the entire movie of Singing in the Rain measuring and marking where the ring tape would go. I then started pinning on rings:


I got this far and realized I'm 7 rings short. I have to go back to Walmart tomorrow and buy another length of ring tape. Drat! After that I have to sew the goofy rings on and then get myself a long 1"x2" board and screw eyes. Then I can start stringing cord.

Did I mention it's been 10 years since I've made these and forgot all the details that go into them? If not, let me say it again: a lot of details go into making these.

But I think it will be worth it when I get it done.



My thoughts on Disney’s new movie Earth are up on right now. Doesn’t this just look amazing?

Maybe my parents will want to go see it with us when they come soon (hint, hint). *grin*

Are any of you planning to go see it on the big screen?


All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small

All things wise and wonderful

Our Lord God made them all

It probably isn’t breaking news that Disney’s new nature movie, Earth, is now playing in theaters. What might be considered slightly breaking news (at least around here) is I’m planning to shell out carefully budgeted grocery money to take my kids to see it this weekend.

When I first saw the movie’s trailer, I was instantly amazed. I love really well-done nature movies; I love them even more on the big screen. I’ve taken my kids to see some 45-minute films at our local Omnimax, and those were neat, but this looks to totally knock our socks off. I can’t wait.

The number one critique conservative families will probably have with a film like Earth is the predictable evolution assumption or man-made global warming warnings sure to be strewn throughout the film. To this I simply say let it go.

Instead, why not use this opportunity to discuss with our kids what other worldviews teach and believe, as well as reinforce what we do? We don’t have to shy away from theories or propaganda in fear; we just need to honestly interact with these ideas and teach our kids how to think critically about them.

The wonder of creation, the beauty of God’s handiwork, the amazement of how he has so perfectly orchestrated it all—if we can’t see it all up close and personal, then seeing God’s creation in its wide-screened wonder is the next best thing. This weekend, why not remind yourself of what God did, does, and continues doing in holding it all together?

Regardless of who captures the art, the art itself belongs to God. Since we belong to him, let’s not let our kids miss his greatest show in Earth.

In which I hug a complete stranger in the candy section of my friendly neighborhood Wal-mart store

Being a homeschool mom tends to imply that I love being with my kids a lot. And I do…except for those occasions when I don’t. Grocery stores fit into this category – rows and rows of mass-produced consumerism turns four otherwise fairly-behaved young girls into, well, not quite fairly-behaved.

It could also be me – I get pretty single focused when I’m shopping (I don’t like going into the chain stuff-marts at all) and try to get what’s on my list – nothing more than what’s on my list – as quickly as possible. I must have had “strained mother” written all over me today, though, because while in the candy aisle picking up Symphony bars to make the world’s best brownies ever, my kids started their predictable “can we have a candy bar” routine.

I was doing my best “tune them out” routine while comparing sizes and prices and blood pressure levels when a woman I’ve never met before smiled at us. This act in and of itself is blog-worthy – families like mine don’t get smiled at very often when we’re in grocery stores; instead, we get sighed at sometimes or asked “Why aren’t you in school today?” other times.

Not today. Today this woman smiled at me and handed me a package of candy.

“Can I buy this for your kids?”

“Excuse me? I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“Oh, they don’t have to have this one – there are a bunch there all for the same price. I’d just like to buy them a little treat. Of course, if you don’t want them to have any candy that’s perfectly fine.”

“Oh, no. It’s not that at all. You’ve just really surprised me. People aren’t usually kind to us in these stores. I’m just really surprised.”

“I have three grandchildren I don’t get to see very often. I’d like to do this for you.”

She then pulled out four one dollar bills and handed them to me. My girls, who before this interaction weren’t really being all that crazy (but were nonetheless driving me that way) looked at her with wide open eyes. They couldn’t believe it either. They thanked her profusely and then went to the task of making their selections.

I turned back to the woman again just before she pushed her cart down the aisle and gave her a hug. This isn’t really like me either (I have some pretty significant personal space issues), but I was just so taken by her simple act of kindness that I hugged her. She laughed, we both smiled, and the ending of my shopping trip was completely changed.

Truly, the tongue has the power of life and death. That woman in Wal-mart gave me life today…and she did it for only $4.

Moving On, Then

There is something in me that must have a major project in the works at all times. Apparently. Because although I've known for a while now that Craig is graduating next month it just occurred to me today that it might be nice to have a party for this momentous event. I'm now planning one.

Graduation Party

Happy to celebrate this. Also, it gives me a deadline to get the curtains done. You think?

My Hour Off

You all saw my "To Do" list yesterday. It wasn't pretty, but sadly, that's what my days tend to be like more often than not. I just don't write all the stuff down like that so even I don't know how truly goofy the day is, I just know I'm exhausted by the end of it all.

I made it to Starbucks today. Check! I decided not to make the bread (really, I have no idea when I would have done it), so I just need to swing by the store and get some before the banquet tonight. Nice that the store is within walking distance of the church.

One of the families in our group thought it would be fun to make a slide-show for tonight, so they took care of that. We ran into a snag today, though, when we couldn't find the projector screen anywhere. Craig came in to rescue us by asking to borrow one from the school. What a relief!

I went to the church early to prepare the room and such. I thought I'd be there about three hours and be done, but because I had to shuffle kids back for piano lessons and also squeeze in Starbucks and Trader Joe's for flowers, my three hours actually turned into about five.

But it's done now. I'm home resting, but really needing to clean the downstairs. This poor house sure takes a beating when I'm stretched in a gazillion different directions. Which is most of the time. I need to think on that some more because I need to figure out how to make this house more of a priority of my time.

Anyway, the party should be fun tonight. The kids are excited and I think they will be honored by the time. The food will be good and plenty. Conversation should be easy.

Clean-up, though, that could be a bit of a bear. Good thing tomorrow is Saturday.

Happy Weekend!

To Do (in no particular order)


    • Teach something to my kids
    • Teach some more somethings to my kids
    • Feed my kids
    • Take a shower
    • Teach my kids some more stuff
    • Clean the kitchen
    • Finish gluing on body parts to the large paper human bodies we started last semester
    • Make a bunch of cupcakes for tomorrow’s Classical Conversations end of the year banquet
    • Find all the miscellaneous art projects I brought home from CC this year
    • Can’t find any of the art pieces. Drat.
    • Decide if I’m making certificates for the kids or not
    • I’m not
    • Think about whether or not to call school done for the day
    • Go to Starbucks for some tutor thank you gifts
    • Decide if I’m making bread for the banquet or buying it
    • If making it, then begin making it
    • Make a menu plan for the next week
    • Take Millie to preschool
    • Go to Aldi

Stink. Now I have to put all the groceries away.

  • Pick Millie up from preschool
  • Take three older girls to choir
  • Take everyone to play practice tonight
  • Choose table decorations for the CC banquet
  • Gather up everything I need for the banquet tomorrow in one location

I feel like I’m still missing something here. Oh well, I’m sure it will come to me. Probably while I’m at Aldi.

Update at 10:30pm. Never made it to Starbucks, but can definitely squeeze that in tomorrow. Also, the bread? Probably will have to go buy some at the store instead of make it. You win some, you lose some, you know what I mean?


The Work in Progress

Okay, so this living room will not officially be completed until…I don't know when it will be officially completed. I need to make the curtains, recover the rocking chair, make a window seat pad, and other assorted things, but out of courtesy to my entire family I will not start that process until much later. The past month has been hard on all of us in a this-house-looks-like-a-tornado-touched-down-here sort of way.

But I didn't want to wait until I don't know when  to post some photos. The truth is that though it isn't finished yet, I love this room. I love the color, I love the furniture placement, I love it. The house is finally starting to feel like ours.

These photos are not the best quality, but they will give you an idea.

Here's the room taken from the stairs (by the way, the ceiling is totally fixed and is the same color as the walls):

Aerial View

Here's another one of the bookshelves which still need a bit of rearranging and book placing:


And that's about all I can show you for now. The other side of the room still has boxes and scattered books. The view to the dining room…is just downright scary.

We're in the process of talking about color for the dining room right now. I'm leaning toward a warm yellow.

Spring Dresses

I know it's been quiet around here lately. Not so for my actual house, but for the Half-Pint House, well, that's just the way it goes sometimes. We're desperately trying to get our living room put back together so the house will feel less chaotic. On top of that I had four dresses to complete by Saturday night.

Easter, of course, is always coldish. Last year I had the idea to take clearance t-shirts and sew coordinating fabric to them to make them match the dresses. I needed sweaters again this year, but wanted them to also be usable for wear with other dresses as well. I again found clearance t-shirts at Walmart and made them into sweaters, but I didn't sew matching fabric onto them this year. I thought this gave the whole appearance more of a classy feel than a cutesy feel (though I do like me some cutesy too!)

Here's the whole ensemble with this year's version of the cardigan hack:

Happy Easter!

And without the sweaters:


It was a bit of a windy day.

Stay tuned for photos of the other major project we've been working on. Just as soon as we get that project done…