Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Circle Mirror for the Entry!

Look!! A Circle Mirror!!
Just what I've been looking for!

But in the end, we put it in the entry way.
It's perfect there!!
Doesn't it look great. :)
Please disregard the various crap-oh-la on the table and under the table.
That's called real life.

The door mat is next on my list.
but I digress.
Look at my mirror!!
Isn't she pretty.
We bought her from Lowe's.
She's 32" in diameter.
I'm in love.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Planning a Summer Getaway, need your input :)

We are planning a summer getaway!! Yippee. Can't wait.  Yes, the kids are going on this trip, so it's not exactly rest, but it will be fun.

I am considering 3 different options and I thought I'd send it your way and maybe someone from the blog world could help me out.

Option 1:

Great Wolf Lodge

We've been before but it's been a few years.  The plus, it's indoor so Maddie wouldn't have to worry about burning.  The downside, EXPENSIVE and all there is to do is the water park.  It's pretty loud and with 3 kids at such different ages, I don't know how we would split the time in the big areas and the little-kid areas.  BUT... we know they would love it! 

We would stay 2 nights, so that's 3 days of the water park?  I don't know about that!  Maybe 1 night, 2 days of water park and we could stay the other night somewhere else...

Option 2:

We've never been to SeaWorld as a family.  In fact, Doug has never been.  I think we would like it, but Maddie would be outside all day.  The tickets this year are for 2 days as they are about to open a new water park.  We could go see shows, play in the water and they even have a Sesame Street area for the little ones. Kylie would LOVE that. The price is good and it's not too far to drive.

Downside? Outside. Lots of walking. Heat.

Option 3:

Lost Pines

We've never been to Lost Pines, but have heard it's great.  It's pricey, but much more laid back and fits our needs.  It's outdoor, but since it's part of the hotel, we could take inside breaks (big appeal).
It's not too far to drive and we would stay 2 nights.

So there you have it.  Any advice or input?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A little down time? No Way!

With the semester winding down, you might think that I am winding things down and getting a break.  NO WAY!  What's next? How about an art show filled with close to 2000 pieces of art from the school kids. Yeah. Who needs rest? :) If you live near here, come check it out. It will be great! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It was a BLACK TIE AND DIAMONDS kinda night!!

Its was a Black Tie and Diamonds kinda night.
Or so the invitations said.

Months and months of planning.
and lots and lots of work.

But hallelujah Prom 2012 has come and gone.
And all without any major issues!!

The pictures don't due it justice.
It was beautiful!
These were all taken on my camera phone.

The theme was Black Tie and Diamonds.

And there you have it. A look at our high school prom.  This is my last one to coordinate for a while I am really, really hoping.  4 years in a row is enough!  But heck, when it comes to planning my children's receptions I will know exactly what to do! WRITE A CHECK AND MAKE SOMEONE ELSE DO IT!

On another note.  I finally had a chance to go to the doctor. Yeah. 
I have antibiotics, steriods and an inhaler.
I will be well after probably 4 weeks of being sick. Right in time for the TAKS test.
WAIT. What was I thinking!  Right in time to administer the TAKS? I should have waited!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weaving Project. Another Art for All Abilities Project.

I teach a myriad of students.  From the valedictorian to low functioning special education students.  Doing so keeps me on my toes!

And it challenges me to find projects that are inclusive and differentiated for all students.

Weaving is one of those projects!

Recently, I had the opportunity to write for an Education Foundation Grant that paid for the supplies for my weaving project.  That is always a plus!! $500 of unexpected funds for me to purchase looms (traditional and chipboard), yarn and 120 plastic needles!! 

With all projects, there is a learning curve. One of the unexpected learning curves came with the very first task. Students started with a 3"x6" piece of chipboard and they had to MEASURE and CUT every 1/4 inch. This was incredibly difficult for a lot of students!!  What a great reminder to me that one of the jobs of my classroom is to reinforce the "common sense" stuff. The same students that can answer complex math problems, struggled with measuring and cutting precisely at 1/4 inch intervals.  WOW! And they say my class isn't a core class!

The students used the small chipboard looms to practice the fundamentals of weaving. No requirements were given for the little weaving project beyond it had to be filled. This was very doable and not scary.

I am using these small pieces as thank you gifts!!

Then we moved on to the larger chipboard looms.  These were pre-scored. hallelujah.

For the large project, students had to use 6 different types of yarn and 6 different types of stitches.  This is where modifications came in.  Obviously, 6 stitches were not possible for all students.  But every student was able to do the in and out motion with the yarn. Granted, sometimes the in was on one side and the out was 15 strings over, but successful weaving is in and out. right! :) Using the needle was optional.

An interesting thing that some of the guys figured out was that using the needle was a drag. It was hard to handle and so forth. But their metal ruler with the hole in the end of it worked perfectly!! How cool is that!!  I will so be using this as a modification in the future!

And then finally, what about the advanced students???  The advanced students were challenged to use the traditional loom and to create a more intricate pattern while still incorporating 6 different stitches and 6 different yarns. 

You want to see the finished products?  Well, they will be on display at the art show in May, so I don't want to ruin the surprise!!  I'll post pictures after the exhibit goes up for all you non-local peeps!

Dream House Plans

I happen to love looking at houses.
I collect house plan books.

Yes, I'm nuts.
But we have already established that.

I am happy to announce that after years and years of looking at house plans, that I have finally found my dream house.  I know you are breathless in anticipation!

Isn't it just too cute :)

The details?  Well, it's 2500 square feet plus a 300 square foot bonus room above the garage.

So, are we going to build it?

Not sure. 

We don't have land. We don't have downpayment money.

But those are just details.

It took me 10 years to find the house.  I wouldn't expect to see it built in the next year!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easter Traditions

Easter Traditions
I know that Easter is much more than just a family get together...
I love that Easter means seeing family and letting the kids run around outside with the cousins.

The young and the old enjoying each other.


With a swing set, a slide, a zip line and a ping pong table, there is fun for all!

And yes, even a little egg hunt to round out the day.

But one of the best parts of the day is always just hanging out on the front porch.

I have such wonderful memories of me and my cousins sitting in the porch swing at my grandparents house.

Now my kids are doing the same thing!

How lucky I am.

Monday, April 9, 2012

40 Bags in 40 Days Recap

Easter has come and gone. As expected, life got (is) pretty busy and the 40 bag challenge took a back burner. However, I can honestly say that we busted the 40 bag goal and got rid of a few truck loads of junk!!

The best thing about the challenge was the freedom it brought to us as we got rid of the stuff that was holding us hostage. And yes, I mean holding us hostage. When you get rid of excess, you have room for living. With each bag that left our house, we celebrated.

So what are we going to do with the space created? Well.. we are going to get a dart board for the garage. Yep. we are just simple folk. When Doug and I first got married we had a dart board in the garage and had so much fun playing together. Now that junk isn't taking up the garage, we can play again. Yes, something simple but important.

And that's it. I recommend the 40 bags in 40 days challenge. I plan on doing this again next year!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Perception Vs Reality and It's impact on Self Image

I am going through the memorabilia of my childhood. I'm determined to do something with the stuff or throw it away.  In doing this, I had a little bit of a shock.

You see, I have considered myself to have been overweight my entire life. Pleasantly plump. Pudgy. I have been on and off diets since 7th grade. At this point in my life, I am completely aware that I need to lose a good 30+ pounds.

But I was absolutely SHOCKED to realize that I wasn't always overweight.

How did I come to this realization?

Well, in my memorabilia was my blue twirling costume. I wore it in junior high. Even as late as the summer before my freshman year of high school. So when I found the costume, I thought it would be neat to see Maddie try it on. I new it would be too big, but I took it to her and had her try it on.

It was TOO SMALL!!! What?

Maddie is in 6th grade and she is very thin. Besides the costume being too small all over, it was too tight around her thighs! STOP!! Her thighs? Maddie is gorgeous, long and lean. Me? NEVER long. NEVER Lean.

So I had to take a look in the mirror of my childhood and think about the fact that my child who is thin can not wear the costume that I wore. Since she's thin. I couldn't have been fat.

I know, you are all probably realizing at this point that I am crazy (if you hadn't already picked up on that). But truly, I tell you, it's rather jolting to me.  The only times in my life I have felt thin  not fat were when I was in the midst of a hard core diet.

Were do I go from here? Well, one thing that I have always really, really tried to do with my girls is to tell then that they are perfect, just the way God made them. I do my absolute best to not put my self-image problems on my children. I try not to talk about weight and diets. I talk about eating healthy and being strong. Granted, my favorite show on tv is Biggest Loser and we watch that, but I justify that with the fact that my girls are learning about exercise and healthy eating!

What does that mean to me? Big picture, not much I guess. I like knowing that I wasn't always overweight, but it doesn't mean I'm not now. But maybe it will help me to move beyond being overweight and help me to see the future with a healthy body and help me to unlock the grip I have on these extra 30 pounds. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Orphan Wares

Where shopping DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!

I am so super excited to see Orphan Wares launched. I follow Linny's blog and have been watching and waiting for this!!

I'm going to be sending some fun things.  How incredible to know that something I love to do will help feed orphans on the street.

Let's GO SHOPPING!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Few HandMade Quick Card How-to's and tips!



For the rest of you, here are a few how-to's
and tips for fast and easy handmade cards using scraps.

Here are few pictures of the finished cards. I made 12 cards using only the scraps from a set of pages I made. I don't think they look like cards made from leftovers!

In order to get the quantity of scraps for the cards, I had to make some pages :) Here are the pages. I used one paper pack (it had 12 pattern papers and 10 cardstock plus I used an assortment of base pages.) This made 26 12x12 pages, or 13 layouts. For more information on how I do that, search page patterns in my search bar!

  1. After taking pictures of my pages and ooh and ahhing over more picture ready pages, I started with my stack of scraps. Sort the scraps into groups according to WIDTH!
  2. Any piece that has a width of 4" or more I put back into my bag. I consider this to be too big to waste on a card. I might use it later, but it's a keeper for a scrapbook page in my opinion!
  3. Now, I take my pile of 2" scraps and sort those according to pattern and color. This is the pile I start with when making cards.
  4. Once sorted, I pick up a 2" piece and glue it onto a card base. No real thinking goes on here.  I will cut it to size in one direction, but I really do just try to only make one cut per piece of paper at this stage of card making. By doing this, in a matter of a minute I have card bases ready to go!
  5. Now, add a pop of interest by using up first the remainder larger scraps and then go to the 1/2" and 1" stacks to tie two different patterns together or for just a fun band. The key at this stage is to make a nice looking card, but to not spend more than a minute on the layout. We aren't making award winning card designs here. We are a making a dozen cards in flash!
  6. With the 12 card bases ready, I then look for a few stamps to use and try my best to keep it to only 2 or 3 different stamps and inks.
  7. I stamp the sentiment on the card sometimes, but I happen to be really, really bad at placement and smudging. So, I have learned to stamp on another piece of paper and glue. Besides, I think it looks nice when the sentiment is layered. :)
  8. Finally, I spend most of the time embellishing the cards. Over the years, I have made LOTS AND LOTS of heavily embellished and thick cards, but they then don't fit in the envelope very well and it's expensive to mail them.  So, I try to just embellish with flat things or try to keep it somewhat simple.  As you would guess, I only use what's readily available.  I'm not going to go out and buy coordinating ribbon for my cards! That would ruin the free factor!
  9. So there you have it. My completed cards. Because I can only do a couple of things at a time and have to referee children, or cook or clean or whatever, I can't tell you how much time was spent making the cards, but probably no more than 2 hours total if I had to guess to make 12 cards! Not bad!! And even better, my premade card box has been refilled!

And here is one last look at the set of stuff.

12 cards.

26 pages

and a bag of scraps to use when I put pictures on my pages.

Papers and Stamps: Close To My Heart