Saturday, March 19, 2011

"I used to have one just like it, but it was plastic."

Frank was out working on his tractor. I looked out the window and spotted Rance helping him. I grabbed my camera and quietly went outside, to take pictures without them knowing about it. It was so sweet.

While I was unnoticed I over heard a little of the conversation between father and son...

Rance: "Nice wrench you have there."
Frank: "Thanks."
Rance: "I used to have one just like it, but it was plastic."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How's your driving?

Seen on a church marquee...

"Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am NUTS about this

Frank and I went on a little outing around Valentine's Day (we don't get that often) while my dad watched the boys for us. When we were there, I spotted this antique Nut and Bolt bin from an old hardware store. I love it! I want one.

It is really neat. The top is a hexagonal shape with triangular drawers on every side and it pivots all the way around on top of the base. The base it just a square with drawers on two sides. It is about 5 feet tall.

Frank said that it would be easy enough to make (but when is he going to have the time, I mean really?) and not too expensive (the hardware - drawer pulls - would be the most expensive).

I'm not sure why, but there is something aesthetically pleasing to me about this. This particular one was not for sale, when I got home I began searching the internet for these and they are VERY expensive (again Frank mentioned that he could make one - I asked him if he would and he laughed, you know the "I would love to, but when would I ever get around to it" laugh). Oh, well. A girl has to have something to wish for right?

I was telling my dad about it and he told me that my grandpa used to have one and sold it years ago for $200.00. To make sure he knew what I meant I showed him the pictures that I took (above) and he said that was what grandpa had. Whoa! What I wouldn't do to have that. I think it would be so cool to have my grandpa's old nut and bolt bin (I am very sentimental too).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Out Live Your Life - Book Review

Out Live Your Life, You were made to make a difference by Max Lucado was an eye opener. I cannot remember why I chose this book, so I didn't really have any expectations of it, but I was really surprised at how it made me think.

It was an easy read. This book has several short, concise chapters, but there was a lot on information to digest (the bone may be small, but there sure was a lot of meat on that bone).

As an imperfect, flawed human being, my view tends to be very limited (myself, my family, my community, etc.), Out Live Your Life made me open my eyes to expand my view. When I look at my family, I shouldn't just see the obvious (maybe I should invest some time getting to know that outcast family member that everyone else has written off), when I look at my community I should see more than those that are affluent (that person in dirty, ragged clothes may have more to share than I could ever imagine).

Out Live Your Life, in a nutshell is to leave a legacy when your gone. Have a positive influence on those around you (even if you have to step outside your comfort zone). Let your memory live on long after you do. Not because you were rich and donated money and they named a library after you, not because you were famous and made lots of movies or records, but simply because you cared. Your best investment is to give of yourself.

Max Lucado gave lots of biblical examples of people (especially Jesus) doing just that. He also included real life people that made a difference in other peoples lives, from Mother Theresa to people that I had never heard of (but you better believe that the people that were affected by them will remember their names - will probably tell their children and grandchildren for generations to come).

I really enjoyed the book, but felt rather exposed and shallow while reading it. It did inspire me to look at people around me differently. Everyone around me is a child of God, loved by God and is no better or worse than I am. We are all loved equally by God. We should make those around us feel that way too. If you want to make a difference in this world and to those around you and you would like ideas and inspiration, I recommend this book.

This book was given to me for review by Book Sneeze, but the review and opinions are my own.

Toe Art

I am NOT an artist, so the post title may not be completely accurate. Anyway, Anthony has to bring Kindergarten readers home. Books that are 8 pages long with words and sentence structure that he has been studying. His teacher asks that the children read each book a minimum of two times (more if they need it).

Anthony read it to me once and did fine, but he didn't want to read it a second time - he wanted to go play. Since he was hurrying up, he started making mistakes. I had a pen in my hand and as a joke, I took the pen and made a mark on his toe when he made a mistake. I told him that I would make 1 mark for every mistake he made (which turned into faces).

He realized that these were marks of mistakes and began to make an effort again. What you see above is the final result. (He missed 10 out of 133 words - not bad for a Kindergartener).

After we were done and they were no longer marks for mistakes, he asked me to draw a different face on each toe (angry, silly, jealous - which I didn't do b/c I had no idea how, etc.). This is the end result of that.

How do you motivate your children?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Tiny Green Gift

Remember these tiny shamrocks? Well, I found an Irish blessing, typed it up and cut it out. Pasted it on green construction paper and pinned the shamrock to it. Anthony gave one to his teacher and her student teacher. (Yes, we did it this week because we have spring break next week and won't be in school.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How to trap a leprechaun

Anthony's assignment was to build a leprechaun trap. I had done some research on line and found some traps to give him an idea, but he and his brothers wanted to come up with one all their own.

This is what they came up with...

They did it all by themselves (Anthony's 2 older brothers helped).

The green crayon is attached to a string which is attached to the gold stick. When the leprechaun goes to get the "gold coins", you pull the string and trap him under the box.

What is a leprechaun trap without a leprechaun?

I saw this cute little guy and crocheted him for Anthony's trap. (Forgot to get a picture of him near the trap.) He is larger than the trap. I wanted Anthony to make this leprechaun trap, and he would have fit in it. Since that was the trap I had in mind, I began to crochet the leprechaun. As I mentioned, the boys had their own idea and my leprechaun didn't fit. I had fun making him though. You can find the leprechaun pattern here. Note: I did follow the pattern directions, but my leprechaun is not in the same proportion as theirs. I was hurrying up, trying to finish it in the car at school the day he was to turn in his trap (I may have over stuffed him and that might have something to do with it.)

Thank goodness (before I overstuffed him) Anthony asked me to make him look like he was hugging someone. Unintentionally (unless my sub-conscience took over) he looks like he has outstretched arms.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Baby got a Boo-boo

Tuesday, the elementary school called me about 10:00 in the morning and said that Anthony fell out of the tree house at recess and took a pretty hard fall. They thought that I should come and see for myself. It was near his eye, but didn't seem to touch his eye.

I rushed up there and was glad to see that he was not crying (he had been though). I was very grateful that it didn't do any damage to his eye. I was also concerned that he got hit at the temple of his eye. He is tough.

It continued to swell that day and he had a couple of big pump knots, but the next day a lot of the swelling had gone down. However,the eye is now turning black and he has a shiner. I guess that's life with boys.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nature's First Green is Gold

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

There's a lot of green going on with St. Patrick's Day coming up. I normally don't do much on St. Patrick's Day, but I thought I'd give it a go. I crocheted this cute Shamrock Dish Cloth (pattern here).

I had knitted and crocheted a couple of heart dish cloths around Valentine's Day and then the one above. Which got me to thinking, if I made one each holiday, at the end of the year I would have a whole set. If I made 2 each holiday then I would have a set to keep and a set to give away. If I make one as each holiday comes around, then it doesn't seem too overwhelming, not like trying to make a dozen all at once.

While I was at it (maybe I did it before the Shamrock Dish cloth) I made a few small shamrocks or clovers. I found the directions here. These are so super simple and whip up really quick. I added a safety pin to the back of a couple of them to make them to wear on St. Patrick's Day.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cake for Cub Scout Blue & Gold Ceremony

My DH volunteered me to make the cake for the Cub Scouts Blue & Gold Ceremony at a committee meeting (I don't go b/c he's the Pack Master and needs to go, so I keep the kids at home so he isn't distracted). A friend of mine on the committee called me a day or two later to let me know what Frank had volunteered me for. It's a good thing to b/c he didn't tell me until a few days before. (She figured this might happen and gave me a 'heads up' - what a friend, same friend that consoled me here.)

(The Blue & Gold ceremony celebrates the Cub Scout Organization's birthday.)

I couldn't find navy food coloring so I did the best I could to make my own (if I had planned better, I could have ordered it online).

If you look at the top picture, there are navy and gold dots on the sides - just so it doesn't look so plain.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Late Valentine

I really meant to show these before Valentine's Day, but I didn't get around to it. Maybe it will help you for next year.

I am pretty sure I got this idea from Char at Crap I've Made, but I couldn't find it when I looked on her blog. Maybe she did a guest post on it somewhere. If it wasn't Char I apologize because I really do like to give credit where credit is due.

I traced a heart shaped cookie cutter (fairly large) and then cut it out and on one side I wrote TO: and FROM: and had Anthony fill them out. Then I cut out 28 hearts. (I need 2 hearts for each Valentine and there are 14 kids in Anthony's class - minus him.) I filled out 13 more with the TO: and FROM: (for a total of 14). I filled out Anthony's name on one of them to make sure that it fit.

On one side of the 14 other blank hearts I wrote, "You break my heart."

I then filled them with conversation hearts (I counted out 12 for each Valentine - I didn't want any kindergartener to think someone had more than they did) and stapled around the edges. So they have to "break" them to get the candy out.

For the boys' teachers I did simple Valentines. I cut out heart shapes and wrote on them, "Teacher, I hope your Valentine's Day is all 'write'." I used a heart shaped hole puncher (just because I already had it) and then tied ribbon through it and around a couple of red ink pens. I had the boys sign their name on them.

I had the boys give a heart with a set of pens to each of their teachers. Lee and Champ are in middle school now (Lee has 4 teachers and Champ has 5 teachers), so I couldn't do much of a Valentine gift (I couldn't afford to). I thought it would be appropriate though (teacher's and red pens for grading, red pens for Valentine's Day).

Anthony's teacher got a little more (plus he had a student teacher in his classroom). I gave his teacher and the student teacher the set of pens Valentine and heart shaped crocheted dish cloths (in pink or red cotton yarn), hand lotion and air freshner.

The ink pen idea is one you can do anytime. I did it for Valentine's Day, but you could do it for Teacher Appreciation Week, just because, or any holiday. (Teacher I hope your ____(fill in the blank)___________ is all "write.")

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Grace of God - book review

The Grace of God by Andy Stanley helped me to understand God's grace. I know that God's grace is freely given unmerited favor. I understand the words and what they mean, but I didn't really understand grace.

We live in a society that doesn't like to give grace. "You get what you deserve." You work hard in school - you get good grades. You work hard in college - you get a good job. You work hard at your job - you get a promotion and/or raise. Positive action = reward. You don't apply yourself in school - you get bad grades. You take something that doesn't belong to you and you go to jail. Negative action = punishment. The list can go on and on.

Andy Stanley helped me to really understand God's grace. We cannot earn it (if it's earned, it's not grace). We do not deserve it (if it is deserved, it is not grace). The Bible is FILLED TO THE BRIM with God's grace. Lesson after lesson teaches us God's grace.

The trouble is, that as a child I heard all the lessons in the Bible. I know the gist of the parables, etc. I didn't read between the lines and see all of the grace that is there. There are some lessons where grace is obvious (The Prodigal Son, Christ dying on the Cross, Joseph), but there are several that aren't so obvious (at least to simple minded me). Judah, Joseph's brother, is one of them. Everything about Judah and his actions and rewards showed God's grace (but I had never really focused on Judah - I had focused more on Joseph).

Andy Stanley presents the grace of God in a new light and in a very clear way. His book takes lesson after lesson starting in Genesis and working his way all through the Bible to show how God extends his grace.

I really enjoyed this book. It is not my usual choice of books, but I am glad that I chose to read it. I don't agree with everything that Andy Stanley believes, but he really opened my eyes to understanding God's grace.

This book was given to me for review by Book Sneeze, but the review and opinions are my own.

Letters to God

We had our MNO (Mother's Night Out) with our MOPS group on Saturday night. Our host showed the movie 'Letters to God.' To be honest, I had seen the movie at Redbox and read the description (basically it's about a little boy with cancer and he wrote letters to God) and I didn't think that I wanted to see it. It just sounded depressing and sad.

Boy, was I wrong. There were some sad moments in the movie, but it was a fantastic movie. His letters that he wrote to God, were his way of praying to God. In all the letters that he wrote to God, he never wrote about himself. He wrote about all the people in his life (even the bully at school). That was so amazing. Isn't that the way we are supposed to be, selfless and prayerful for even our enemies.

The movie really made me aware of how truly fortunate that I am and how much I take things for granted. The little boy touched everyone around him in a very positive way and left everyone feeling good. I think I should strive to be that way.

If you get a chance to watch this movie, you should. I am going to watch it again with my family (I think my boys should see it). The host of our MNO said that she purchased the DVD from Lifeway (last week) because it was on sale. This is one movie that I would like to add to my collection, I think if it is still on sale this week I'll purchase it too.

If you've seen it, let me know what you think about it.
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