Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Poor Me Pity Party


I am in desperate need of a Poor Me Pity Party!  There is so much on my plate right now that I am in OVERLOAD!! So bear with me and let me whine a minute; then I’ll get up and get to work.

Why am I all worked up? Well, over the next couple of months I have a number of MAJOR projects at work.  Add to that children’s needs and you end up with a mom that not only can’t get everything done, you end up with an overwhelmed person.

Humor me a minute.. here is a run down of my next few weeks.  I won’t bore you with the mundane local doctor appointments, regular scheduled activities or things like that… here are the extras.

Feb. 2: Take Maddie to Dallas for her specialists appointments.

Feb. 5: Big meeting about the future of visual arts in our district.  This is a GREAT thing! But I have to get ready for it.

Feb. 10: Go to Dallas for an all day art teacher workshop.

Feb. 15: Run the science fair at Maddie’s school.  Oh yeah, I’m the coordinator for that.

Feb. 18: Deadline for 8’ tall by 12’ wide painted backdrop due to the Chamber for their auction/banquet.  My advanced students (and me) are painting this.

Feb. 20: VASE (like UIL for art) contest.  I am taking 31 students and 60 pieces of art.  All 60 have to be matted and hang ready.  All students have to be prepped for interview.

March 9: Youth Art Month reception.  Oh yeah.. I’m coordinating that for the district. Gotta make flyers and get those out to the schools and so forth and so on.

April 17: Prom.  I’m the coordinator. Enough said.

And in the midst of all of this, I still have to teach 100 students everyday. Nurse my infant. Play with my Lexi. Watch over my Maddie. Clean house. Do Laundry. Cook.

Are you in overload yet? 

Thanks for letting me have a Poor Me Pity Party. 

Now, I’m off to either finish making 20 scarves to give out at an event or prep for starting clay in my art 1 classes…. I don’t know… maybe I’ll just go back to bed!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's the little things

Supplies: Sweet Shoppe Designs, carnival kit
Green with blue flowers: Miriam Lima; Brown paper and polka dot paper: hroselli
Stripe: aslagle; Stars: Dani Mogstad; White floral: Paula Duncan

Once we have grown up and are on our own, it's the little things that we remember about our families that make us who and what we are.  Growing up, my family sang together a lot.  Yep, sitting around the living room singing praise songs. As children, we played a hide and seek game with my dad in the dark.  There are a number of things that made our family, our family, and none of them involved going anywhere or buying anything.  It's the little things that add up and make up who we are.

Now to my children.. we do all kinds of silly little things in our house.  We sing, a lot.  No surprise to anyone who knows me.  We make up songs to just about anything.  We dance, we do cheers and we play games. It's little things, but all together reflect our love and our desire to be with each other.  In my layout above, I have a couple of pictures of Doug having a balancing on one foot contest with the girls.  It was a fleeting moment and it was gone.  But it was a memory created and an opportunity to connect with our kids.  My praryer is that my children will have so many little things, little memories, little moments that when uncertainty comes their way, they will always know they are loved.  Loved by their parents, by their extended family and loved by God.

So I challenge you and myself, to take time for the little things. Because in the end, they are not so little.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Poor Kylie has RSV. YUCK! I took her to the doctor Thursday thinking she had an ear infection. I was right. She does. But she also has RSV. That translates to no daycare for 8-15 days.  For a working mom with no sick days.. that hurts! Thankfully my mom was able to keep Kylie Friday and will be available a couple of days next week, so I don’t have to take all of the days off!

Even sick, Kylie is still such a great baby. Those precious smiles are not as regular and the kicking has slowed down, but she is still charming her way through the day.

I am really hoping that she recovers quickly as things at school are crazy busy and besides being difficult to miss work financially, I have a lot of deadlines looming.

On a brighter note, one of the things I am excited about at school is that last year, I took 13 students (about 25 pieces of art) to the regional art contest… this year.. 35 students and 62 pieces of art! That’s what you call growth!  In fact, I am taking so many that I’m gonna have to get some help transporting the art! Isn’t that a great problem to have :)

well, while I’m home the next few days, I am hoping to get a little crafting done.  Not sure how much given that baby wants to be held, but surely she can help me sew!!  And yes, I’ll show off my creations.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

5 people in the house. 4 sick. Yikes!

The stomach virus has found a breeding ground. In our house! Maddie was sick last Wednesday.  Lexi started throwing up Wednesday night. Maddie was better and went to school Thursday, but Lexi was down.  Friday we all went to school/work.  Saturday Doug and I were icky but we managed.

Today.. Maddie is throwing up again. I've joined her. Doug is a sad case.  He has a yucky stomach and he is very sore from moving his mom on Wednesday.  And poor Kylie, well, her stomach cramps up and she just wails.  I really feel for her.

Lexi is good. She is making jelly and cracker sandwiches and having pink milk. Sure hope she doesn't start throwing up again.

In the meantime, while holding a sad baby, I made this page today.  The prompt was take a picture off center and immediately use it.  I thought cool. So I did. Enjoy.

Torn paper effect: KPertiet_PaperRevealNo2_2
Distressed edge: Trish Jones
vintage font:

You can guess what she's doing.  Don't you just love her eyes.

I've got more pics to show off. Maybe I'll do it later....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More homework

Today while I held my sweet baby and took care of my sick 5 year old, I was able to continue taking my classes on photoshop.  Here are a couple of pages I created today.  Thanks for indulging me :)
Once again.. all of the digi supplies and the classes are via

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Showing off my homework assignment

I've started my Up & Running with Photoshop classes over at and here is my first assignment! I love online, self-paced courses as I can move as fast or as slow as I want..

Just gotta say, I am so priviledge to get to spend my work hours learning how to use Adobe Photoshop! Already my students are jealous :) I can't wait to teach them how to use these programs.  I can only imagine what they will be able to create given their tech savy ways.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

For Haiti

A few thoughts on Haiti
(The pictures are taken from my sister Libby's blog, please check out her story at Blessed Family Life)

My sister Libby returned from a medical mission trip to Haiti on Saturday.
Today the area is in ruins.

At church, my daughter made a Christmas box for an orphan in Haiti that was delivered last week.
Today the number of orphans grew.

I've known about the desperate needs of the Haitian people for years, but today I saw.

There are so many emotions and thoughts going through my head.  I think of the people who had nothing to begin with and now are faced with such devestation.  I wonder why and I ask God for guidance and courage.  I want to help, but I don't know how.  I want to be of service to those precious children my sister had the privilege to meet and care for, but I don't know where to start.

So I am thanking God that Libby was able to visit Haiti just last week.  I thank God that she made it home before this tragedy struck.  I thank God that through the work of hands like Libby's, my family doesn't just think of the people of Haiti, we see their faces. 

I pray that during these first few weeks when the media talks about the causalties and the devastation that we would see the face of the Haitian people and we would remember that they are individuals and have needs.  I pray that we would not forget them as quickly as we the media surely will.  I pray that this would be a starting point, a defining moment for many, and that people would work together to help those in need.

If you would like to help the crisis in Haiti, why not consider supporting Global Vision Citadelle Ministries.  ( This is the organization that is already serving the people of Haiti and the ministry that Libby worked with just a few short days ago.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My heart runneth over

It is no wonder that my heart runs over with love!!!

Pictures taken by Kyle Davis
Digital supplies: Summer Driggs; Ring It In Kit and as a side note.. this was a FREE kit!! If you are into digital supplies, or am just starting like me, you have GOT to check out her site!!! I am in love :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Banana No-Nut Muffins

Tonight while most of America watched the National Championship College Football game.. I baked. Sad.

I had 4 bananas that needed to be used, so I made some Banana No-Nut Muffins.  I’ve never been fond of Banana Nut Bread and the like… but I really like Banana bread.  Take a look at these yummy muffins!


Yep, we sampled.  Maddie asked if I wanted to split one with her and who can resist a fresh from the oven baked good??? And more importantly, why? :)muffin2muffin3 

Here is the recipe.  I started with one from a church cookbook and have adapted it to fit our taste buds.

Banana No-Nut Bread

1 3/4  c. flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c. shortening
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c bananas (I used 4)

Mix/sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cream shortening and sugar; add eggs and mix until smooth. Stir in flour mixture and bananas. Pour into 6 large greased muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes (convection oven).


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Beads and Mayonnaise

One of the joys of my job is teaching special needs students.  Everyday I get the pleasure of challenging students with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Down Syndrome to experience new things.  In doing so, we have lots of trial and error, but we have so much fun!

This week we are working on stringing beads.  We are going to work up to making paper bead necklaces. Yeah, I’m well aware that it’s going to take a lot of planning and work, but I also know that it would be an awesome Mother’s Day present for someone special in the lives of these young adults.

So, Tuesday I decided that the best first step would be to just get them stringing wooden beads.  Learning how to string the beads and counting them into groups of 10.  As we worked we were talking as best we can.. and I told them I had a surprise for them.  That we were going to make something REALLY special!  In response, the boy with Down Syndrome said.. MAYONNAISE????  and was totally excited.  I said no, that we were going to make something else, but yes, I liked Mayonnaise too.  This boy happens to be on a mayonnaise kick and so everything is related to that! 

We continued counting and stringing beads until the end of class, but it got me thinking.. So often we (as teachers, members of society and so forth) feel sorry for people with special needs, but how refreshing to be able to enjoy life! The student’s that I meet everyday have enormous challenges in front of them, yet they face them with dignity and courage and passion for life! When was the last time you talked to someone that was passionate about Mayonnaise (well, besides Paula Dean?)

In contrast, I also teach more than 100 teenagers that are “normal” and of those I could easily say that 80 or more are disengaged with most of school.  The vast majority not only don’t “get” why they have to be there, they don’t get how fortunate they are.  Now please, don’t think I’m student bashing, because that’s not my purpose, but I have come to the realization that most students do not live life with dignity, courage or passion. More than that, not only do they not live it, they don’t even KNOW what they are missing!

So how do we teach these things?  We can’t with words.  We have to live it!  The hard thing is, we have to take the time to build relationships in order to do so. We have to choose to live passionate lives and allow ourselves to stand out and be different in order for others to see that there is another way.  As long as we just go about things business as usual we don’t have to worry about people thinking we might be different.. but if we live with gusto, all the sudden others think we are quirky at best.

In my self-reflecting tonight, I realize that after a dozen years teaching, coming from more than a handful of different school environments, teaching 13 different subjects, I can honestly say that my most treasured moments have been from connections with the “special” students.  Over the years I have taught everything from third grade special education, self-contained math to economics to high school seniors. I can say that I have seen every kind of student. And yet, the students that are considered “fringe” or “outsiders” have always found friendly space in my room.

So as I ponder the future and consider my present, I find myself wondering how to teach my students to live passionate lives.  I wonder how to connect with the students that are more concerned with fitting in and hiding their identities than they are with finding out who they were meant to be.  I wonder how to bridge art and special needs.  I wonder  how to show students that living passionately, while sometimes embarrassing, is so worth it!  For I don’t want to miss out on anymore mayonnaise moments!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The tremors have begun...

I'll try to post some thoughts later when I'm not holding a 4 month old who needs her momma.. but let me tell you, the tremors that have to start before the mountain can move have begun!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Watching for the Mountain to Move

Let me start this by saying that I don't have any earth shattering news.

But do you ever get the feeling that something big is gonna happen? Well, I don't have any real reason for my "gut feeling," I just have it. I have this "feeling" that 2010 is going to be an adventure for my family! I say that with a little fear and trembling, but with a lot of anticipation as well. You might be saying why? or even "better you than me!" but I am excited to see what God has planned for my family this year.

To begin, Doug and I have really felt that over the last few years we have been in a time of preparation. Nope, we don't know what we are preparing for, but that we are preparing for a God-sized thing. Additionally, with the diagnosis of Maddie's kidney disease last February, we have been able to manage her health better and she is staying in "remission" for longer periods. This takes a great deal of stress off our daily lives. And then with the addition of Kylie to our family, I feel like we are done adding babies to our household.

2009 seemed to be a year of groundwork. If I had to use a word to describe how the year felt to me, it would be that God was laying a foundation in the lives of my family, both immediate and beyond. So now that the foundation has been poured, I am ready to find out what comes next. Yet anytime it seems that we are on a path for the right adventure, things just don't seem to work out. So now, I am waiting for God to move the mountain. So many seemingly impossible things came to pass in 2009, that I firmly believe that the mountains of 2010 will move and the veil of our adventure will be lifted.

To prepare myself to recognize God's work in my life this year, I have felt a very real need to study the names of God. Every so often I start down this path, but like my diet, I quickly get sidetracked by life. So this year (or at least in the coming weeks) I am going to be intentional about studying the names of God. It's another of those why things.. but more importantly why not?

So there's my rambling. I hope that you will enjoy your journey through 2010. I plan to not only enjoy the journey, but to also be more intentional in my giving, serving, and loving others as I watch God move mountains!