Monday, December 23, 2013

Bacon Flavored Lip Balm???

Ahhh it seems like it has been forever since I blogged.  Christmas prep, parties and focusing on my heath to get back in shape have drawn me far away. Now if I could find a way to blog while playing my latest wii fit game I would be golden. 

Since my eldest was 11 years old she has been begging to wear makeup. I never really wore makeup I think my dear sister has something to do with it. I associate makeup with having to pee and standing outside the bathroom saying "Are you done yet!! I really need to use the bathroom."  Also at some point I discovered the type of boy I liked didn't like make up. So I have been the unmade up fresh and clean, who cares about the dark circles under my eyes kinda girl. 

Needless to say I don't get the point of make up. I feel true beauty is in the heart. Luke 6:45 has been my touchstone of this. "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."  For me this also means your beauty comes from your heart not from what you put on your face… I Feel totally fine if you wear makeup this is my journey here… I don't expect others to feel the way I do. But think of how much more money I've had to spend over the years on chocolate… 

So ages ago Hubby decided to decree no makeup till your 16, which I am totally fine with. Sweet Potato has been very very unhappy about this. The minute she became a teenager (in her eyes) at 12 she has been dying to wear makeup can't you just hear the "because that is what teenagers do MOM! Duh!"  So after finding Sweet Potato attempting to make her lips shiny with strips of bacon… think what a brilliant flavor for lip balm! her using things like coconut oil as eye shadow - we decided to feed the need in hopes that it will take away the mystery.  

Dad laid out the ground rules:
Makeup only in the house, you may "learn" to use it before you actually officially wear it. 
You have to pay for makeup yourself. 
It must be hypoallergenic, because you are allergic to everything. 
You have to find someone to teach you to wear it, because Mom is clueless. 

So this Saturday off we went to spend Grandma's Christmas Cash on presents "From the MALL Mom I need MALL things."  She begged we use it for makeup… No problem the first store a Beauty Store outside the actual mall was quite willing to sell her anything,  but they were very expensive and the foundation alone was more than we had in Christmas Cash.  Now before we got into what to wear the aesthetician explained she needed to take care of her skin and tried to sell us a 100$ exfoliation package. She also told her not to wear eye shadow, as she is too young.  We did manage to get a basic blush and lip gloss.  

Off we went to Macy's where the lady behind the counter sat her down and said "How old are you?" "14! that is too young to be wearing makeup! Darling you need to take care of your acne, how often do you wash your face. etc. etc." She totally discouraged my daughter from wearing makeup. Much to Mom's delight! She also tried to sell us a complete kit of acne care. She then went on to tell my daughter that she would sell her makeup in 2 years. (I was dying inside I had to turn my head so she couldn't see me laugh with my eyes). 

We did a bunch of shopping and Sweet Potato wanted us badly to try one more store so into Dillards we went to see if they had a foundation that would match her creamy cafe-o-lait skintone. Here the sweetest 20 something took my dd by the hand and asked her tons of questions. Told her if she had blush and lip gloss she was all set, and that foundation would just add to her acne problems. Instead Sweet Potato need's a clean and smooth canvas to start with. She taught her how to clean her face and only wanted to sell me 2 reasonable and basic products.  Sweet Potato got so excited to clean her face this way… I caved in… and bought them. The sales person was also happy not to sell me the moisturizer since were all ready using coconut oil.  Way to go Dillards! Now that is customer service.  

Sweet Potato is happily washing her face like it's the best thing in the world and has had numerous people tell her she is way to pretty to need makeup.  Things I have been saying for years.  I am really grateful to the sweet aesthetician's that reinforced the messages;
A. You don't need makeup to look beautiful,
B. You are already beautiful, and
C. You need to wash that pretty face.

For me this was God helping me parent. We caved on the makeup partway, because we thought our little girls heart was hardening towards us on the makeup issue.  Yet God took care of the messaging, she heard from many people on how pretty she looks without makeup. She walked away from stores without buying makeup because they didn't want to sell to a child. How better to show her that her mom has good advice than to get the exact same advice from complete strangers? So thank you God! I appreciate it. 

*disclaimer* I get no money from amazon links and I have never used or bought bacon flavored lip balm. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Handmade Christmas Part 2

Today I made some yummy treats to hand out at Christmas. I love this recipe so much I'm going to share it.

Pecan Honey Spread 

1 cup Honey Raw 
1 cup Pecans bits not the whole ones but the chopped up pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon of Orange Zest (organic if you can) 
1 teaspoon of cloves (fresh ground). 

Mix together pour into cute jars, put a lid and a label on them and you have a tasty spread for your toast or bagel. I got the idea from Williams-Sonoma Cook book but I like my version better. 

We made cute hair bows and strung some beads to build some gifts for cousins and local friends. 

I also got to spend the afternoon cutting out christmas cookies with my friend M. The cookies taste fantastic but did not keep their shape. So we will be trying again next week, but that is the beauty of getting my Christmas done early. One bad batch is not going to flip me out we have plenty of time to complete our appointed tasks. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Beautiful Girlhood

Well we just reach week 5 in our meanderings through our Resurrection to Reformation curriculum. So this isn't a week in review but I can't wait any longer.  Were only on page 27 of A Beautiful Girlhood, but I love love love this book. Carrie always picks bible study books that focus on character. I do find the book to be a bit dated in it's wording but when I read aloud I just update the language on the fly (bad me I know).  Yet the questions it asks us to discuss are wonderful.  I found we have to set the timer or we just sit and talk about the study for an hour.  The questions really help my kiddos to examine what motivates them and why they are behaving the way they do. It's funny I have a phrase I say a lot "You can wait impatiently and angry or you can wait patiently and happy, but in the end you are going to wait."  The books brings up the same principle all the time.  Our character is an out-pouring of our heart and choices we make.

I gave the girls a scenario, if they could make a skirt any color, any style what would it look like? They both described short skirts one knee length blue and frilly, one mid thigh and covered in animal prints. I then asked them if either of these skirts would be acceptable in say a Amish household? They blanched "No Mom they couldn't wear either of these!" Ok how bout here at home?  Well one was not acceptable here either... Why? Discussion about chocolate cake ensued. It all led back to our choices and how we see ourselves. Why does one of my girls think super short skirts are an option anyway? I have a funny feeling it's the hormones that have been turned on in her brain,  while her prefrontal cortex has not yet caught up.  I keep thinking this too shall pass.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

We All Need a Little Respect.

I've been trying to implement 2 pieces of advice that we received during our TBRI training. Part of me thinks that during implementation they appear to be contradictory. I must be doing some of it right because she is now consistently coming to me for comfort asking for help, and seeking loving touch. 

The first one is; Stop bad behavior at the source by requiring respect.  Respect is the key, any and all disrespect is jumped on not allowed. It really is the beginning of all bad behavior. When we treat each other with respect bad behavior just disappears. It really works!  I've totally stolen Mike and Amy's line "Can you say that in a respectful tone of voice?"  I think I must have said that 20 times the first day back from Allume, and 10 times the second day back. It's quite funny as most her responses the first day back was "No I can't." upon which I replied "Maybe you should reconsider saying it." or I gave her a polite way to say what she was trying to express.

The second thing I have been working on is being Sweet Potatoes cheerleader. So often in our relationships with our adopted children they feel like they cannot be loved because birth mom "gave them up" "abandoned them" they feel deep down inside there must be something wrong with them.  This shows up in relationships as behavior that pushes people away rather than drawing them in.  This has been so hard this last week because of what I have dubbed the one thing leading to another principal.

I grab the Ipad to watch some Netflix while I work on handmade Christmas presents. I find it is on youtube. Ergo someone was using the Ipad for access to youtube, and the last person to use it was Sweet Potato.  I don't let my kids watch youtube, have you seen the risque positions they put legos in? So I sit down and have a talk with Sweet Potato who admitted to not playing minecraft but instead as soon as no one was watching switching over to youtube and looking up celebrities.  Now for all of you who think I'm being a helicopter mom... the conversation led to her being upset that she found in her words "Gross pictures of Legolas" and "I want to watch the movie White Hot with Mark Hamill in it."  When in reality the movie is called The Big Red One, and she's never expressed an interest in WWII history before how odd...

So after that discussion I return to my project and Netflix only to discover shows Mom has declared off limits were watched during our absence. *sigh* can I just go bang my head against a wall.  Checking with the sitters, one of them was agast as the girls assured her they were mom approved shows they were Disney shows, they weren't disgusting... or anything. The main problem being, is when my children observe these shows the themes of parents learn lessons from children, father figures who are bumbling idiots that can't find their own toes without help, and parent acknowledges the child's superiority of intellect, money management, behavior, open mindedness etc. seeps into their hearts. They actually start to say and act out the lines from the shows.  Which brings us back to Mom having to jump on bring into the light all disrespect. So back out I go to chat with both my children about character issues...

How much work did I accomplish on my Christmas project??? next to nothing, but hopefully I got through to my childs heart.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thrift Store Christmas Dress Hacks

OK so I'm terrified of satin, silk, taffeta, all the if you poke them with a pin they get snagged fabrics, which is why I have never even tried to make my kids christmas party dresses out of these fabrics. I have been known to make them out of cotton and make them look like Laura Ingalls. This year in my desire to have Christmas done early, yesterday as I was waiting for our Christmas photos to print... I thought hey lets run down to the thrift store and see what they have... it's not prom season when the price of prom dresses rises to 30$ and it's not really time for buying a Christmas dress... so off we went.  After looking in the wrong rack and finding some things we might be able to hack. Little Miss Sunshine found the RIGHT rack full of taffeta, and satin.

We grabbed all the size 1 and size half and even a size 8 and ran into the changing room. Little Miss Sunshine fell in love with a electric blue dress that was 2 sizes too big. Sweet Potato just loved the softer green size 8 Jessica Mcclintock. Both were strapless dresses and both girls insisted the dress be tight tight... meanwhile Mom said it was ok only if I could make straps for each dress. Really who wants to be tugging your dress back into place all evening????

I tried to document how I took 2 dresses that were the wrong size and made them fit.  This was much easier because they are strapless, if the dress you pick has sleeves you may need a much bigger hack...
So here is the dress we found, first I put it on her inside out and then basted tucks on the inside. She is standing on a footstool in her "high" heel shoes. 
Once I figured out the hem I marked it. 
 I cut it very carefully! 
Then I trimmed the under dress. 
 From the scraps of trimmed skirt I measured out straps. 
 After I sewed the seam I edged it with zigzag to keep it from fraying. 
Then turn them inside out, use a safety pin and a chopstick. 
I attached the straps with hand sewing, due to the lace up back this dress
was very easy to hack into fitting well.
Here it is all finished. Easy peasy! 

Here is the soft green dress before we started. It is too loose and and way to long. 

Sorry for the bad photo but here is the hack all hemmed to a new length,
I made twisted straps so it won't fall down on her.
I also was able to take it in, in such a way I can let it out later
so maybe she will have this dress for a longer time than just one season. 
Not bad for $12 I'd say. 

A Handmade Christmas

Not all my gifts will be hand made this year as we have decided Christmas is not an emergency and we have been donating to our Christmas envelope for a few months now. Many of my friends actually prefer handmade consumable gifts, they see them as a thoughtful gift made with love that will not need to be dusted in the future. So I thought I'd share a few gifts I am making, I won't show it all so the person getting it will still be surprised. I'm also going to give a shout out to the Prudent Homemaker who also has great handmade gift ideas (and No she did not pay me to link her up I just think she is fabulous.)

I decided to do a set of seasonal cards. I have a bag of cards left over from our adoption announcements so many years ago, I found them when I was cleaning. I also have one last big piece of watercolor paper, and all the leftover watercolors from CTC that are just begging to be played with.
So I measured my blank cards and my paper and cut my watercolor paper up into (for me) tiny pieces that will fit on the card fronts. 
I then drew a tree because what is easier than a nice landscape with a lone tree... 

I then used a piece of tracing paper (ok I'll be honest it was velum because I can't find the tracing paper), to trace my tree I used my pencil to shade in the back so when I trace it on to my other watercolor papers  the tree will have the same general shape 
Don't forget to add some kind of registration mark! I marked the corners of the paper so when I laid it down to trace I could keep it in the same place for every card. 
Ok here I have 4 all done you can do more than 4 but this is how many I managed with my card size.  I planned on a piece of paper what each card will look like. I took a few ideas from these posts 
and it helped tremendously to know what each season was going to look like in my head before I started. 

Using a small piece of tape I made a moon taped it down and then did a wet on wet color wash of a winter night. Notice I stopped at my horizon line. I have taped these down via the back not the edges, since they will be glued to the cards in the end I can flatten them out then. 
After it dried I pulled off the tape and added yellow shading to the moon. painted in the tree in black, then hit the bottom with white paint, added a quick shadow and then shook the salt shaker over the drying white paint to add a 3D snow effect. You need to work quickly so the salt will stick. 
Here is my background for spring. I dropped in some white clouds over the top of the sky. 
Add the tree in brown and let it dry. 
Now I added in bright green leaves by dabbing with a nasty ol' paint brush  the kids had destroyed. Add some spring flowers, I'm not sure if they are daffodils or yellow tulips, but they do make this image look like spring!  You could also add white blossoms to the tree if you wanted to make it an apple, dogwood etc.  I also did a green wash up from the bottom over the top of the yellow underpainting. 
Here is my background for summer but alas the finished product photo is unusable and I already wrapped the present, so I'm going to leave the rest to your imagination. Add in a brown trunk and use a darker green  
for the leaves. I added dots of yellow to the grass to be dandelions. 
For fall I picked a stormy day, after I had mixed up some grey blue paint and did a wet on wet color wash I used a dry brush to soak up some of the wash. Then used a wet brush to drop in some clouds. When it had dried a bit I added some white to the clouds and some more of the dark wash to edges. I love how it turned out. To get the fall grass look I under painted a light brown and then went over it with the leftover summer green wash. See how it gives it a more fuller color. 
I painted in a few extra limbs on the tree as if the tree had actually grown during the seasons. Using my paintbrush I dabbed in leaves on the tree. Use yellow, orange, and red and don't worry if the colors get a bit mashed together. I then used my brush by dabbing to makes blowing leaves as if the wind was carrying away the leaves. 

After they were all done I glued them to the cards, be sure to weigh the drying cards down with books so they dry flat. Don't forget to sign and date your art work! Wrap and give. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Nothing New Under the Sun

So about a year ago my Husband and I realized we had been sucked into renting movies off of iTunes to the tune of "Too Much Money!"  We decided getting streaming Netflix would be a much cheaper option, as long as we stuck to watching what was available (and hopefully good). We don't have cable and I'm fairly appalled at the commercials on TV and cable anyway.

I'm at that place where I'm realizing T.V. is an opiate, a great tool for distraction and as bad as Facebook for sucking up time. It's an awesome tool when your sick, but I really don't want to sit through 15-20 minutes of commercials when watching a show.  So we are loving Netflix.

This weekend was the GFA Renewing Your Passion conference, a very busy week leading up to it and I had very little to do. PTL as my husband was a way and that week is another blog post.. oh boy it's a doozy. 

So Sunday after the conference was over and we were dog tired. Hubby and I decided to watch a few movies, I looked up reviews and chose The Naked City. This movie produce in 1943 (I think), was amazingly good. Al tho it is methodical and accurate it also was hilariously campy at times. You have to love early acting, no emote more Please! It is so funny to watch. So forgive the staged screams and the soft focus with the crooning in the background. Knight in Shining Armor and I kept saying "Oh man this is so like CSI."  I kept thinking "Man this crime would be so much more easier to solve if they had better equipment." Yet despite the lack of technology they still follow the same order and method of solving the crime that is in use on CSI today.

I love how it was the "Reality TV" of the time. The extras were actually all real New Yorkers just living life.  I kept thinking how thankful I am I don't have to wear a wool suit, and we have air conditioning. They kept complaining of the heat and opening windows (without bars oh my!) on the 4 and 5th floors.  It really shows the the era before OSHA and when they believed people had enough common sense not to jump out windows. Open staircases, and a lack of HIPPA made things so much easier to investigate. Pharmacists and nurses kept saying enough information for the patients to experience identity theft in today's society. Oh how rules have changed so much since then, but people's behavior really hasn't. I give it a thumbs up!

Since that one was so much fun I picked another one with rave reviews:

His Girl Friday
How can you go wrong it has Carry Grant in it. Many people reviewed this as a funny movie with non stop laughs.  I would review it as 10 stupid things woman do to mess up their lives. The song Good Girl by Carrie Underwood should be Hildys' theme song.  Not that I liked Hildy the lead female character that much. The story opens immediately after she has gotten a Reno divorce, and is going to be married the next day. It totally admits she must have had an affair while married. Grants character Walter is a smelly weasel type, I was rooting for Bruce the man she was going to get married to in Albany. He fit the bill for Mr. Steady, hey Hildy take it from me, marrying a Mr. Steady is totally worth it.  Walter on the other hand needs to be investigated for fraud, and libel.  He's a nasty user of people I did not like him. The many times Walter manipulated poor Bruce into getting arrested, just made me wish Hidly had tendered her resignation by letter and this movie had never happened. Hildy is so well qualified I don't understand why she doesn't see her own potential, she could totally be the big fish in the smaller pond of Albany. She could so start her own newspaper and become the Albany equivalent of Walter except with Bruce giving her a moral compass she might have a paper with integrity.  Instead she chooses to stay the cringing lap dog.  What a pity.

The side plot of the look at the power of the press was interesting. I'm not sure its worth watching just to look at that aspect tho. It is a good look at what the media has thought for years. Walter firmly believed he could control all the politicians by what he wrote, he could make or break a politician and put whom ever he chose in office. He was willing to trade away anything, this was not a man of high moral fiber. Wait I don't want to go to jail so I'll trade you "not exposing your corruption as long as you don't put me in jail for aiding a escaped criminal and ordering a kidnapping."  I could not find it funny the politicians wheeling and dealing while the newspapers make up stuff to sell more titillating papers either.  I hate to say it but the most likable character was the take no prisoners Bruce's mother (Hildys future mother in law), not only does she expose Walter and Hildys crimes she smacks down the kidnapper but good. For me to say my favorite character is an actor who has less than 5 minutes screen time tells you volumes about this film.

I feel this is not a comedy but a movie on how to stay in a manipulative, abusive relationship, and like it... I know I must be missing something. It must be a lost in translation or a you had to be there moment.  Maybe I'm taking it way too seriously but I could not like this movie, if anything it just made me sad because there is nothing new under the sun. Politicians are still acting like politicians the media is still just like this movie portrays.

I leave you with this bible verse...

Ecclesiastes 1:9
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Res to Ref Units 2-3

Were taking it slow but were still having "issues" or should I just say problems and be upfront and real about it... Most of the problems are with attitudes and complaining about the work load... and were going  half speed here folks... We are also doing Logic of English which is sucking up time! but teaching my kiddos things about words they really need to know. esp since they are ESL speakers. I'm learning neat things too  like the ay/ ai sounds isn't just for Fonzi...  and who knew that the "ay" is always at the end, in english words anyway.

Math Practice #3 in the textbook was our math today. I reviewed how to do each problem, and they did all these problems well for the past few days as we have been studying them. Yet when confronted with a whole page Sweet Potato lost it... I had made plans for her to be overwhelmed by the textbook approach... and had written them all down for her in a worksheet format with plenty of lines and spaces. So they were not to overwhelming... it was as if all I reviewed got mixed up. She treated division like multiplication, crossing off zeros where she should be retaining them, and  keeping zeros where she should be crossing them off because they are superfluous.  I think the crowning (ironic) glory is I'm typing this while Little Miss Sunshine  is scrambling to finish her math ( I gave her the same worksheet format) she's been waiting on her sister for a good 30 minutes. (Looking a wee bit smug too! ) the ol' I finished before you did "look."  When I went to grade the papers she had missed a whole page of problems. Part of me finds this highly amusing. We are now waiting for her to finish.  She's got that oopsie I fell from grace look and is in that mad scramble to finish quickly.  

I find it so odd that they got all mixed up on the easy problems and then did just fine on the 300-15/3x2 =?
doing all the operations in the correct order its just 15/3 followed by 1500/30 leading to 15000/3000 these types lead you down the garden path! yet they are having the most trouble with them. Oy vey! Hey Kids! just because it has a bunch of zeros doesn't mean you need to add extra.

The note books are looking good and I'm loving how were touching on Shakespeare not so much they are getting overwhelmed, just enough to get them interested.  The science has been fun and they seem pretty interested in Mercury.  I was dying laughing  reading Sweet Potatoes answer to why Mercury has craters, apparently she thought the sun burned holes in it.  The experiment corrected her thinking.

Discovering Music is really interesting although it does add about an hour to our day I like having a format to introduce music to my children.  My Knight in Shining Armor is a musician but like how the shoemaker's kids never having any shoes, Hubby too never seems to have time for lessons. I would love for him to discover a love for music in his children as well! It's fun to do the listening time and hear a cross section of 200 years worth of music in an hour or two.

They are now happily moving on to making music posters for our school room.

So far we have had school start on time, and finish on time!! and amazingly my dawdler has been finishing within the allotted time and working alone though the independant time.  *happy dance* I hope it lasts for a good long time.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Desperate Women

Dr. Desouza came and spoke at Tuesday night prayer meeting. He was pretty clear and concise about the plight of women in India and other surrounding countries. Ever since the sentencing of the men this past week tension has been high and all eyes in India are looking at the mindset of Asia toward women.
If you want more info we have some resources here and viewpoints of India here.

I came across this article on the ratio of men and women in India, (LINK) it is interesting to read that even the people of India can see the need for change. Infanticide of girl babies needs to stop.   When you consider the point of view of the family a girl baby is not going to care for her parents when she is older, Instead a dowry must be raised and that can be a crippling cost, (Dowry was outlawed in 1961 yet people are still asking for it and paying for it.) the culture overall places more value on boys than on girls.  

I recall a conversation I had with my Hindi teacher (high caste Hindu)  in New York over 12 years ago. We were discussing dowry and she mentioned bride burnings... What the heck is bride burning? I thought.  She went on to talk about this law that was put in place 1986 to stop the practice.  My mind was reeling as she explained how some families profit by repeated marriages.  So they had to put a law in place that says essentially if your wife dies under suspicious circumstances within the first 7 years her family can ask for the dowry back.  We discussed how it's ok for the husband to burn his bride and then remarry, get another dowry and improve his lifestyle.  My mind was boggling! Her view was it was better to have boys because they are safely under your eye.  

Heres what (with my western mindset) I do not get... Ok girl babies are being aborted, boy babies are better, men can murder their wife and its often ignored and can remarry but ladies who's husbands die are cast out and not allowed to remarry.  Talk about a double standard!  Am I the only one thinking this is going to lead to a shortage of females?  Yet the practices continue, Ladies in India are starting to speak up for themselves but in such a male dominated society, the only way to reach them is through other ladies.

I think this is one reason why when my husband first shared Revolution in World Missions with me and I jumped on the website I looked first to see if they had woman missionaries, and they did! That really mattered to me. You know Jesus elevates women, his treatment of the woman at the well, Mary sitting at his feet and how he handled the woman caught in prostitution (Where is the guy in that story anyway?) all point to a God who loves us and values us for ourselves.

I can see how Sweet Potato was listening to Dr. Desouza, It certainly did not look like she was at the time. She has been struggling all day with thoughts of her birth father. We know so little of her story and it's hers to tell so I can't share it here, but she thinks and thinks "What kind of a man was he who fathered me?"  When people share how tough it can sometimes be to be a woman in India. She spirals into the unknown.  I so wish I had answers for her and I so wish she would just be grateful to be in a safe loving home. eh we can't have everything... Someday I hope she gets answers to her questions, and until then I pray for the peace of God to fill all the lonely corners of her heart.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Doing Hard Things

Today I was reading Matthew chapter 7 13-14
Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. 14But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.  

It made me think about something Sweet Potato has been saying a lot lately.  You see whenever school, chores or relationships become difficult she proclaims them "to hard" and stops trying.  When I encourage her to work harder, step up or just care about her schooling. She just whines and moans "Its Toooo Hard I just want to do easy things." Where in the world did she get that from this is sooo not us. She has been having a poor attitude toward school for a while. We have turned a corner and it's getting better but it's been a rough couple of weeks.  I have found sticking the consequence of detention for being late (going to bed early) and suspension for 5 tardys (getting grounded all day Saturday or Wednesday and doing chores), requiring all her work to be turned in by 4pm or it was an automatic zero this was to stop the doing school from 9am -8pm daily dawdle , (a zero in the grade books means the itouch is now confiscated for 24 hours), got her attention.

Part of me did not want to dig out the consequential parenting tool from my tool box, but Time In's and talking reasonably about it were just not working. I wonder if this falls under the "high structure" requirement she needs as a sensory overloaded adopted child. Homeschooling can often be relaxed and loosey goosey. In one way it is helpful, as you can focus on the needs of the child, allow them to grow into the work if needed, but I think for Sweet Potato she needs more structure than I was providing. Once I started enforcing the detention missing prayer meeting OH MY! and re-explaining how her tardiness affects the entire school day for everyone. Then I restructured the school schedule, added disincentives to fail, and it seems to have pulled school back from frustrating to workable. Sad to say I can't say "joy" yet but my hope is in Christ :-)

I saw this  Fox News snippit on a new book that shows authoritative parenting produces higher grades made me remember all my training from the Monroe's at our church  and I felt better about my parenting goals in no way have I arrived :-) this is a journey... 

I have been training and turning over responsibility of remembering to take your medication to Sweet Potato. Were in the "Trust but Verify" stage of this process, in 3-4 years I hope to not have to worry about the verify part, because ultimately it's not my body, it's her body, and she needs to self care.  It's all part of my ultimate plan for my child to grow up and out. For her to be able to do that means I need to share power with her and allow her to fail, make mistakes and get messy. I think homeschoolers in general do the last 2 really well and the first one not so well.  So I'm trying a new approach; allowing failure to be an option. So now she can fail in a safe environment all the while knowing I still believe she can do it and I'm here to help all she needs.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

CTC Help for Unit 2

Roll out your cylinder as per instructions in book. 
I didn't have wax paper so I used a light colored construction paper make a piece that fits your cylinder 
 I'm using my drawing marker it will bleed through. 

 Flip it over, see the backwards writing? 
 I'm enhancing it for you. 
 Wrap around your soft clay. 
 I taped mine it keeps it steady. 
 This did not work well, not even with wax paper. See my needle, I have an alternative solution. 
Use your needle to poke holes through the paper,
then take it off , scribe in the letters and symbols with your pencil. 
All done. you may need to re-roll your cylinder occasionally to help it keep it shape.
Let dry and roll into wet clay and you will be able to read it. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

itouch Trouble

Well we did 2 weeks at half speed and last week Auntie was here trapping me in the house. Meanwhile this week we have rebooted school but slowly. I'm finding it difficult to get Sweet Potato motivated. She just wants to play with her itouch all day long.  I thought we had it under control but Obviously it's not... I've been listening to Pandora for over a year and never once have I seen what I saw today. This morning disaster occurred Pandora cut off her free music. Oh the horror! To listen anymore this month she has to Gasp! PAY! cries of "Mom pay it, Mom please... " "Well dear do you have any money?" "NO but Mom its only .99 cents!"  "Yup it is, do you want to do some chores?"  "NO." "Well then I don't feel like paying either."  I'd like to personally thank the makers of Pandora for building in safeguards. I couldn't have been happier. I know she's been using the itouch outside of the guidelines I gave her, and now it has caught up with her. I didn't have to harangue, or fuss, or nag, it just happened to her because of her actions. Ahhh life lessons I don't have to teach.

I did put consequence parenting in the back of the tool box, but its kinda fun to just see it happen without my intervention.

Meanwhile I'm disgusted with Disney and the music videos I walked in during Sweet Potatoes vest time and saw a half dressed Selena telling some dude when he was ready, to come and get it. Come and get dinner in that dress No I don't think so! Ah well the cute teen has grown up, but my teen is not ready for that. Her cries of "But daddy said I could." were acknowledged and daddy came and sat with her and watched the videos with her. Upon which he banned all but one.Thanks Dad :-) I like not being the bad guy tonight.  Bwahahahahahaha Sorry it just so funny he says sure watch the computer videos with out previewing them and then nearly has a heart attack at what Disney deems appropriate for teenagers. My nightly prayer is Oh Lord help us navigate these perilous years.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Painting Big is More Than Just Pictures

I love our CTC group on FB it really gets my blogging juices flowing.

Now as a Missionary Mama living "simply" I understand tight budgets Which is why I don't use the really expensive watercolor paper, I can still have my kids paint big without a crippling cost.   Please don't get me wrong I'm not being critical of you if you paint small. This post is more about me working out why I want shout from the mountain tops "Paint BIG!"  I'm not saying "feel bad" if you paint small, I'm just sharing why we don't paint small. This is my personal journal and I just let you read it. :-)

So here is my personal opinion as to why children should paint Big.

First of all children have a tendency to paint and draw small. If you give a child a regular sheet of paper they typically don't fill the entire page. They tend to stick their image smack dab in the middle and leave lots of space around it. When you look at many fine artists they fill the whole canvas/paper, even if only with doodles.

When you take a large piece of watercolor paper and place it in front of a child, it is a bit daunting. They think I have to fill whole big piece of paper! Yet the project usually starts out by painting a whole entire background. Painting large involves a mix of large and fine motor skills. The child must make decisions, when do I start changing colors?  How much pressure am I  putting on my brush? They see short strokes don't look at all like long even strokes. If a child has a 11x14 paper making long even strokes takes concentration and some finesse.  A 5x7 sheet of paper doesn't have these challenges, nor do large motor skills come into play on suchs a small surface.

I'm not against cutting down a 18 x 24 ---> 9 x 12 (to conserve resources) but let me challenge you to think outside the box for a minute. If you have good watercolor paper the front will not bleed through to the back. Yes the back is not as rough but I would rather my children painted both sides of a sheet of  decent sheet of watercolor paper then paint small. Why I'm wondering in my mind why am I obsessed with painting big. I'm really really happy you are painting even if it is on 5 x 7 pieces of paper. Painting big resonates deep within my soul if I could I would shout from the mountain tops "Paint Big."

I have one child that enjoys these painting but she hates to draw. She has fine motor control issues. When she has to draw in the tiny boxes in the notebooks, it frustrates her. She tires easily. Yet she likes to paint, because painting on a large surface uses a mix of muscle groups and I think tho I'm not sure a larger portion of her brain. I know art is a emotional centered activity, but fine detail work is a logic centered activity.  For me painting big means opening up and touching the emotions in art. Letting our feelings out on paper. I have kids with Trauma in their background, getting them to express feelings on paper through art or writing is sooooooo good for them.  Making sure painting is NOT a Fine Motor Skill ONLY project for her smoothed the way for success. There are plenty of her paintings that did not make the blog. This is because I did not have her permission to put them up.  Altho plenty did make the blog, those she was happy and satisfied with.  This created a cycle of success. That success builds her interior life of self worth, not self esteem but rather how God sees us as wonderfully and beautifully made people.

Art is Art if you the artist likes it in the end, that is all that really matters.

Now how often do our children not like their projects especially the age CTC covers. They are of an age where they can see in their minds eye what they want, but execution may be much harder to achieve. If you give them a tiny piece of paper to work on and they make mistakes you will hear "It's ruined."  Lets face it, on small paper, a drop of paint can be very hard to "repair or recreate" (fix it by turning it into something else), yet on a big piece of paper you have the real estate to fix it.

Part of me says when we give our children the "standard" 8 x 11 or smaller paper we are creating a mind set of normal = small.  If I was given a half size piece of paper I would think this is small and not as important. They already lean toward drawing and painting small. Small paper for me says the child will think small, inside the small box not big as in "The sky is the limit." mentality.  Great artists paint big... ok I know great artist also paint on the heads of pins, but you have to admit painting on a tiny head of a pin is huge idea.  Big paper forces a child to think larger and big thinkers turn into visionaries and leaders.

For me this is more than large/fine motor skill issue, its is paradigm shift in their brain. Creativity should think big, and in our house that means you get the biggest paper mom can afford. I want them to have goals and aspirations in life and I want my children to paint life on as big of a canvas as God has given them. I don't think I could ever hand my kids a 5 x 7 piece of paper to paint on. It goes against this deep philosophical place in my heart that is linked to dreams, goals, and aspirations.

Part of me likes that these paintings do not fit well within our binders and notebooks because great ideas often don't fit. Fred Smith the Fedex guy was told his idea was not realistic, but who do we use when it must be there overnight?   Tho if all I had was a few pieces of paper I'd rather use both sides of the paper or do fewer paintings, than cut them down, because for me that paper represents far more than an art project, it represents a mindset for life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Faith When We Have No Faith.

This is a post about Feminine Issues so if you're one of my young homeschool readers looking for a watercolor post, I advise you skip this one :-). I've decided to take Mary's advice and be very honest in this post.

This is my behind the scenes post of how my life is just as messy as anyone elses.  Ahhh, I wish I had a photo of my own but thanks to Alley I have one!

Last week we were in prepare mode for The Declare Conference, My husband would be speaking to over one hundred ladies about the plight of women in Asia. Planning and gift ideas were all done, just the last minute details were needing to come together.  Then fear struck, on Thursday. As I'm calmly doing last minute packing, I realize my period is showing up early. I envy those ladies that can plan their life and know when Aunt Flo is going to arrive. In my mind she arrives for those ladies like they are in a tampon commercial. She is your personal trainer ready to take you running.  My Aunt Flo arrives willy-nilly pitchfork in hand with which she will proceed to chase me around the house stabbing me. Eventually I hide in my bedroom taking pain medication and napping, She decides to leave when my house is so dirty, to stay any longer would be pointless.  Altho I'm grateful when shes finally leaves, I'm quite annoyed with her because she makes such piles of laundry, dishes and the floors I can't even talk about the floors.

Here she was showing her unwelcome face just in time to attend The Declare Conference with me. *Insert primal scream here*  As I'm wandering the halls of Gospel For Asia in search of a clipboard. I was having a small interior pity party wondering if and how I'm going to survive this and begging God for mercy and menopause.

I run into Gay, she always has a smile for everyone and a hug if you want one.  I wanted one! She is one of those people you can always be very real with, so when she asked how I was doing I told her my fear! You see during our support trip in June I spent 4 hours behind our table one Sunday smiling and surreptitiously gobbling 4 advil at a time and hoping I wouldn't fall down because of the pain. I didn't dare take my real pain meds cause standing there asking people for money with a vacant smile on your face is never a good idea. I'm not sure the standing there with a smile on my face but pain in my eyes was all that helpful either.  My heart was sure history was about to repeat itself. Gay grabbed both my shoulders looked deep into my eyes and said "God loves you too much to do that, I have faith in Him."  My PMS emotional self said "Well I don't!"  She smiled and said "Thats ok I have enough for both of us." Then she prayed for me and sent me on my way.

Friday morning at 5:38 am Sweet Potato knocks on our door.  Oddly as so often happens my mommy radar was turned on and I was actually wide awake. I'd been sitting there in bed for 5 minutes wondering "Why am I up Lord?" So even tho I was groggy, I was not surprised she was up. After an hour of not admitting she was actually scared Mom and Dad are leaving for 2 days, she goes happily back to bed and gets to fall asleep for an hour. I'm now wired for sound at 6:30 in the morning (for those of you who don't know me, this is not my natural state), I tried to look on the bright side, at least I wasn't trying to catch a plane. Yes on the day of the Conference Aunt Flo is here and I've gotten a grand total of 3 hours of sleep. I knew I should have gone to bed earlier.  I had lots of apprehensions on how this day was going to go.

Friday and Saturday were wonderful! *happy dance*  history did not repeat itself.  I got to talk to lots of ladies about my favorite topics India and adoption. I had a blast ,and it was so much fun. I don't know how Gay did it but she stole Aunt Flo's pitchfork on Friday and didn't give it back till Monday night. (Aunt Flo is currently playing Just Dance with my kids and making a mess in my living room). Yes I took a few Advil while I was there, but God is so wonderful to show me even when I have lost faith in Him, others can and will help my disbelief.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Little Free Library

I was walking with my friend a few weeks ago and came across this:

 What is that??? A Little Library on the walking path!!

This is brilliant. 

Here is a close up. It's so cool! what a perfect place to get a book for vacation. If you lose it, or it becomes damaged who cares you don't HAVE to return that exact book.  They ask you to add books and write notes in them. My daughter got so excited.  We were doing spring cleaning at the time. She has lots of books she has outgrown and I dug through my shelves as well. I found a few doubles I could part with. 

 We took the cutie pie dog while Little Miss Sunshine carried all the books for both of us.  Mom got to carry the water it's hot!
After we dropped off our donations we took a long walk. On the way back we got one book for Little Miss Sunshine to read later.  I have to say I love, love, love this idea. I can see space appearing on my shelves as I declutter and purge lovely books I can't bear to toss. It is the librarian in me that can't bear to toss them. Now I can stick them in the Little Library to enrich the lives of others. Now how long can I resist bringing books home???  
I leave you with the cutest photo I have.
Cutie Pie Doggie has itty bitty feet and got tired so the bag came in handy! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Waiting Assignment

So Jeff Goins was the keynote for the last night of the Declare Conference. He gave us this assignment to write about a time you waited. So I am going be a good example to my kids and do my homework right away. I liked that his talk was about living in the "middle time, the in between time."  How we need to stop waiting for X to happen and get on with living, being content right here right now. Part of me is in the praying waiting time for adoption #3 Should we? Can we? Is our family ready? We need to move to a larger home can we afford it?  I'm not antsy, I feel deep down inside when the time is right God will tell us, and we can move forward. I have plenty of peace about it. What I wrote down on my card last night, during his talk was "property... adoption?" because that is what I am waiting on the Lord for.

Jeff did this great bit during the give away... making us hold our tickets and waiting with baited breath to know who won the giveaway. After the winner was chosen, he challenged us to rip up the ticket if we felt we were waiting for X and if we were willing to choose to live in the in between spaces of our lives.

I didn't rip my ticket.
Did I hear a gasp? 

I didn't feel that way at all. I am living in the now, my life is not on hold because I'm waiting for something... I have plenty of wondrous things to be doing. Jeff gave me confirmation that I'm doing what God wants me to do *happy dance* I'm not always comfortable. I'm not always happy dancing, but I do know IF I keep my eyes on Jesus, I will be content.

So to fulfill the assignment I will write about the "No Good Awful Waiting Time" in my life.

But... First let me go get permission from my child to tell her part of the story...

*Interlude music plays*

Ok sorry about the wait she said "Yeah you can."

So here is The No Good Awful Waiting Time Story...

Long ago their was a childless couple that chose to adopt from India. They took classes, went to seminars, read up on India. They loved India. They applied, they filled out paperwork, they prayed, they filled out more paperwork, they prayed, they paid, they filled out more paperwork, and paid, and prayed, and paid, and paid... (thanks to grandpa and grandpa helping). One day they heard, your child's guardianship decree will be signed in 2 weeks... That is my birthday!" said the Mom, what a great birthday present. The weeks passed quickly, but no phone call, no email, nothing... but... silence.

The next month friends of theirs who parents lived in India went for a visit. They generously took their dad the doctor, to go see the bundle of joy waiting to come home. They took her presents from mom and dad to be... but the orphanage stored them away. The clothing was to big and stuffed animals are too hard to keep clean.  Sweet Potato went into the hospital about a week later, she was sick. Dad prayed and cried and prayed some more. Mom prayed and worried. They waited and waited, was their little girl better? How was she faring??? All they heard was silence.

Weeks later they received a report, it listed a 2 day hospital stay, their child was fine.   Weeks of wonder, worry, and prayers for no reason. Meanwhile they have been waiting on the judge, why has the judge not signed the paperwork? All eyes are on email from India, when will it come???  The agency investigates no adoptions are being signed for anyone. The agency visits India and talks to the orphanage. The only judge who does adoptions has not been into work since that last communique of the fall saying the decree will be signed. He's retiring in December. He has no reason to work, is the rumor. Mom and dad continue to wait. An email arrives, Sweet Potato is in the hospital again,  Three weeks go by before they know she is ok. Finally the latest update arrives and to their shock they discover she was in and out of the hospital more than once!  The praying, the waiting, the all eyes on the child prize is wearing them down. All they talk about is the adoption that is not happening.

A new judge appears on the scene. Everyone is excited till they find out she can take up to 30 days to review her job. She's allowed another 30 days to review cases.  The judge uses all her days.  Sweet Potato is again in and out of the hospital, reports that are coming in are not good. She is not anywhere near the target for weight, height, or development. No adoptions means the orphanage is now understaffed and overpopulated. Eighty percent of the children are just waiting for paperwork to be signed so they can go home.

Mom and Dad recruit others to pray. Mom can't take it any more, her expectation of my baby will be home in 14 months, became 18 months, which turned into we just don't know. Feeling isolated, Mom goes up for prayer and cries on pastors shoulder. Firm words of God's love, and His plan are given, but not received. The waiting is unbearable.

Tearful talks with Ms. Social Worker gives direction. "Go do something" she says "Anything! Find a new hobby, learn a new language, have times when adoption is not allowed to be mentioned in your home." They take the advice. They take a class in Hindi. Mom takes up the most obscure sport of curling, because she always wanted too. She finds out shes not good at, it but she likes to play anyway. Dad finds solace in music, and they wait, and pray, but still all they hear is silence.

So in the middle of February when they feel they have nothing to celebrate, they choose to celebrate anyway.  A weekend in the city where they honeymooned. Eating chocolate, fantastic chinese food and not talking about the child in India.  They find themselves again, they reconnect, they rejoice in each other.

Spring marches on:
Good news! The judge is looking at cases. Finally!
Bad news she is rejecting cases...
Tremendous news!!! Mom and dad are approved! one of only three cases she approved out of fifty.


Don't you just hate the but...

Mom and dad are missing a piece of paper. It expired while their eyes were on India and not on boring paperwork. All the other paperwork is going to expire if they don't get this one fixed ASAP. After 3 weeks of torture and agony *Yippie* Ms. Social Worker manages a slam dunk and fixes it.

Mom and dad breath in a big sigh of relief, they can travel. They finally meet Sweet Potato on Mother's Day, eight months after the first judge said he would sign the decree.

I'd end with they lived happily ever after, but this isn't a fairy tale, and well they lived like any other adoptive family... and if you're an adoptive parent you know what I'm talking about. 

I learned:
To trust God with my child's health and to know he is a the Father to the fatherless.
     I like Hindi.
        I'm not going to make the olympic curling team.
          To take walks and stop and smell the flowers.
            To start to let go and trust God to know what he is doing.
               I rediscovered my passion for my husband and that when our nest is empty
                 we will still be best friends.

So readers live in the in between times don't be afraid, don't wait for the next step, enjoy life today.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Res to Ref Unit one

We are taking this year at half speed so the workload isn't overwhelming Sweet Potato. Monday  was an eight hour school day (and we're talking half speed with additions of piano and Hindi practice added for one extra hour of school max time at the slowest pace should have been 4 hours).  Yes it really took her 8 hours to finish. I even said I would straighten her hair if she was done by 7pm. I'm not above bribery. I asked her at dinner how much of the delay was "confusion" and how much was "I don't want to do school in the summer even tho I get 3 extra weeks off in October and November." "Um... Both mom." was the reply.  "How much was confusion?" I ask. She holds out her hands 3/4 of an inch apart. "Ok How much was I don't want to?" She hold her hands 10 inches apart. *sigh*
A discussion ensues about how much time she spent delaying, 4 hours worth, and how much time she had to play a grand total of 10 minutes.  She promised to do better tomorrow the scene from Princess Bride where the Miracle Max's wife runs out from behind the curtain comes to mind.  I wonder what will happen if I say Humperdink Humperdink! ...  at least it was not 8 hours the next day, it was only 7 so Yes an improvement. Wednesday is chore day but I think I'll be springing school upon them, maybe half of Thursday's because of the Declare Conference, Friday will be a wash and we need 4 days of school this week if they are going to be "Off" when I we head to foreign parts later this year.  

Here are their notebooks from the first week. 
We decided to type our responses they look really nice that way. It cracks me up when Little Miss Sunshine says "Do I have to write more than 8 sentences?"  and she proceeds to write for pages and pages, where as Sweet Potato was sent back 3 times to finish answering all the questions and I had to help her arrange the story to get it to flow properly.  Finally after 2 weeks of school Unit one is complete. Whew!

I like blogging about My kids work because I find things like this... Uh guys... you were supposed to paint this!!!! Yes we cheated and used crayola modeling clay.  I wasn't sure how gluten free flour would do to make the air dry clay so we used up some of our stash of cool packaged clay. Considering the cost of gluten free flour mix I'm sure the clay is cheaper.

We decided to make the Big planets out of paper, looking back I think we should have done the centimeter ones. they would have been way smaller.  I helped out making Uranus and Neptune using my handy dandy pinky and opposable thumb to make a Compass out of my hand. You turn the paper its pretty fun! if everything goes right it all works out! 

Here is the mighty Jupiter! We worked together to make Jupiter, we used a string and a pencil... not perfect but it made a HUGE impression on the kids as to how small our planet is in contrast.
Oh well I know Sweet Potato hates change and all this dawdling and infighting will cease next week when we go back on vacation for a week or 2. I think I'll try to get one school day done next week by spreading it out over the whole week. I keep thinking every school day we accomplish now is one we do not have to do later! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Comedy of Errors

I named this blog after Shakespeare's  play because we started reading The Tempest in school today. I'm headed to the Declare Conference at the end of this week. Whoo hoo! Recalling my embarrassment at the Allume Conference last year when I did not have cute business cards to pass out like everyone else, I was determined to have some this year. So for the past month or 2 I have been idling away my time on various web printable sites.  Not ever finding exactly what I wanted. I just kept wasting time looking. I have a degree that was heavily focused on graphics I know I was being picky. Not to mention 30$ for 50 cards seemed way too expensive. So here I am, its Monday, and the conference is Friday.  My Knight in Shining Armor tells me he had some Official Gospel for Asia cards printed up. Woo hoo... they are nice, but... he only had 50 printed.

Flash back to Allume where a table of 8-10 women sat down and before the meal began, they handed out blogger cards to everyone. I'm calculating 4 meals 8 cards per meal that leaves um 12 for meet and greets and to pass out as I'm working the GFA table. "Honi... Um Honi can you make more?" "No dear that is all you get."  Ok I can understand only getting 50, he went out of his way special because he knows what a procrastinator I am loves me.  My wheels are turning this is not that hard. Lets put that degree to work for me and make some of my own.

So I decided last night to push the easy button, just get "something" made as a back up. I looked in Word templates and found a not too ugly bad looking card I could live with it. Change the vignette color, switch the font to Garamond. Add my info and do a test print. I must have had stars in my eyes, can't see the forest for the trees, a little to happy I had done it myself? I showed it to my Knight in Shining Armor and he said are you sure you want to do this? Yes I nodded, Please can't you see me batt my eyes.  He says ok. He said some nice things but did not proof it.  Uh Oh... 

Monday morning rolls around I decide to do school today because its 103 degrees outside and I want to work on my project. I copy off the worksheets we need for Discovering Music and notice the black ink is grey. No problem I think to myself, when I go too buy cardstock I'll buy more ink. I get the girls all hooked up and ready for independent work text my Hubby his lunch is on the stove (turned off).  He says he will be there in 2 minutes. Happily off I go to the craft store and office supply store.  I dawdle enjoying a brief moment or 15 of childlessness in the craft store.  Pick some papers to use for my business cards, get to the checkout counter and discover I left my wallet in my gym bag. The very kind check out lady holds my stuff.

Text hubby "eeep check gym bag, missing wallet!!!" He finds it and we have a (non driving) texting contest of how often can we incorporate Doh! into words. (He wins).  I drive home retrieve wallet, he reminds me to only buy the inks we are missing, not the boxed set. We don't need anymore yellow! I drive back to the plaza with all the stores, buy my paper and run over to the office supply store. I'm in a bit of a "How stupid can I be today?" fog. I let the guy in the ink aisle talk me into buying the boxed set. (dumb de dum dum dum!!!!). Drive home. Whew I can start in on my project... no I can't... Sweet Potato is in great need of my attentions to her mixed up mish mash of a narration. 45 minutes later I'm all set to print out my first test copy. Once I put that ink in... Oh I should have listened to Hubby, I need the big black ink cartridge! The small black one is full.  The boxed set only comes with the special black ink only used for photos. DOH!  Guess who is driving back to the store??? Come on Guess... yup me...

So this time I'm thinking it will all come together, once I return the wrong box of ink and follow the directives dear ol' hubby gave me. I drive to the store and come home with the correct ink.  I install it and do a test run.  My initial idea of using 80# watercolor paper causes me to spend a few minutes with the backside of the printer unjamming it. Ok lets try the other cool papers I bought. They print like a dream. Now I spend well over an hour with my creative memories paper cutter and my handy dandy exacto knife from college, cutting out the cards murmuring under my breath "A few hash marks would be nice." but how do I add hash marks to a word file??

So I take my completed stack of cards to my Knight in Shining Armor and present my not to bad looking business cards.  He looks at them and points out my cell phone number is incorrect. Well it's not like a call it!!! I had to look it up to put it on there! OH NO! at least the paper is 6 for 1$ this week. It is not like it cost me a lot in paper.  So yes you can see it coming can't you, I get in my car and drive back to said craft store to buy more paper.. Bawhahahahaha... go ahead laugh! Laugh with me cause I sure am laughing. (I've stopped being mad)

While I'm driving I'm thinking what is God trying to tell me? This day has just been one thing after another. It came to me. I was settling for second best, a easy button "push" which caused me more trouble than it was worth. I realized I'm really not happy with the look of the cards. So I decide lets try this again from scratch. Hubby is perplexed, your starting over? Yes dear I know what I want in my head, I think I'll crack open Indesign (which I know how to use) and create yes actually create my own cards. 25 minutes later he picks the one he likes the best out of the options I've made. He proofs it and declares it all good. I step and repeat it with hash marks and make 50 very cool personalized cards that take next to no time to cut on my tiny paper cutter. I don't dare calculate the cost of gas into these cards but for the ones that worked it was 1$ plus ink to make 50 cards at home.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Childhood Messages

Well I've been thinking about these lies our heart tells us about ourselves. I'll list some of mine so you can see the childhood messages that lurk in my brain. We know in our hearts they are not true, but deep in our right brain we fear they are true. When faced with them, we often fall into those old neuro-pathways. It's as if we are pulling out an ugly tattered coat to wear to a celebration when we have a new beautiful sweater in the closet.

You're a mess.
You're ugly.
You're frustrating to be around.
Only sissies cry, being tough is the only way to survive.
You are not smart, you're really stupid.
Nobody wants to be your friend.
You're a freak. /misfit/strange/weird/not normal. This list goes on forever... 
You're childish not childlike.
I don't deserve good things.

But lets face it, some people will always view someone, with at least one of those childhood messages in the forefront. All people embody at least one of those traits at anyone given time, we're Human after all. Judgment comes much easier than compassion for many.

I'm often surprised when someone calls me pretty or beautiful.
Are you sure your talking to me?
I'm always shocked on the inside when people say I'm smart.
Doesn't everybody read non-fiction?
Many days I look at my Knight in Shining Armor and I'm so grateful he married me, that he loves me with all my faults. I'm so amazed this diamond in the rough wanted to marry me. 

I've come face to face with the reality "Unconditional Love is an ideal not aways a reality. A thing God accomplish's everyday, but humans not so well. We can have it as our goal, and we can try and often succeed on a daily basis, but lets face it, our "baggage" will often get in the way. We will fail and ya know that is ok. I know I do not love my kids unconditionally every moment of every day. I do the best I can with what I got in my emotional storehouse that day. I know when I seek Christ and the inflowing of the Holy Spirit I do far better than when I try to stand on my own strength and "just do it" like Nike tells us to. 

I think this is why God says his mercies are new every morning. We can chuck the no good, very bad day of yesterday... apologize, repair the wrongs and start fresh.   I'm so glad my God doesn't keep a record of wrongs.  All those vocal memories lurking in my brain I'm taking you out, scrubbing you up, and hanging you to dry in the wind. When I'm done with you I'm packing you back away in my logical side of my left brain where you can't jump out of the woodwork at me!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book Projects

A fellow homeschool mom on the FB boards was sad to see the Book Projects to Take Home supplement is out of print. So this post is for you and me for that panicked moment when I forget all these great ideas!  I'm really sad to see the book projects go as we have had lots of fun with them, tho sometimes we have made up our own because the kids thought the options were a bit boring... On that note I have compiled a list of projects we have done, created or those that are simmering in my brain to help you get some ideas on what to do the 4th week of DITHOR. (Drawn Into The Heart Of Reading).

Make a diorama of a scene in the book.

Make a video of a skit you created off the book.

Build a deck of go fish cards with main characters, moods, and scenes.

Make a commercial and record it on your digital camera.

Make a flipbook of one of the scenes. (for the cartooner child)

Make puppets on popsicle sticks of all the main characters and label the backs with their character traits.

Make a game of concentration that tells the story.

Design a movie layout board for the opening shots, a middle scene and the closing (with credits).

Mock up the story as if it was a food package (fruit roll ups, cereal, chips bag, etc.)

Paint a picture of the mood of the story. (This can be a landscape or scene without people for a bigger challenge). Write up a description for the painting as if it was placed in an art gallery.

Biography: Create a autobiography scrapbook of your life (which can be added to each year), or the life of a family member (aka grandpa, grandma).

Biography: Interview the main character and write up a newspaper article (for your highly imaginative journalistic child).  Or interview a interesting person and use it for Non-fiction.

Sculpt the main character.

Make a poster as if it will be a movie, or for Non fiction make an Educational poster for your homeschool classroom.

Make a patchwork pillow by choosing fabric from a craft store that expresses the moods, scenes and characters in the book.  Crafting challenged option: a no sew fleece blanket instead.

Get a white pillow case and using fabric markers to decorate the pillow with words from the book that describe the 2 main characters one on each side of the pillow case. Or use the  protagonist and antagonist. Decorate appropriately and don't forget to put a piece of cardboard inside when drawing so it doesn't bleed through.

Fill a box with things that remind you of the book. Write tags for each one as to why you picked it. Then tell the story using the props you picked.

Make a collage of magazine pictures that remind you of the story, on the back explain your choices.

Mystery/Suspense:  Make a "clue" style game out of your story, use air dry modeling clay to create pieces.

Bake a cake, and decorate it as if it is the main characters birthday. (Then Eat!)

I hope that helps give you some ideas of what you can do for fun, when DITHOR says to do a book project to take home.  Please post any other ideas or things you have done in the comments so this can be a great resource for others too!