Friday, September 30, 2011

The Heart Of A 1st Grade Teacher

I love my middle son's first grade teacher. She is everything I stay awake at night praying for. Her sweet nature, her ability to make learning fun in a bold way, her patient heart and her candid ability to look past everything Wesley is not and see straight to what he is. Mrs. Williams loves all of her students with a golden heart. Looking past the messy, often ickyness, that children so often are. Simply put, she is a beautiful person with a rare passion for what she does. She cares so much more about the joys of teaching, what those kids are learning and just loving on those children to ever think twice about the flaws that so many of them carry in their little lives!

Everyday I look at Wesley, my beautiful, sweet, kind hearted little boy and pray that the world can look past his inability to run fast or the fact he walks with a limp and that his severe allergies make it impossible to keep his nose clean. I also pray for love to shine like a bright beacon in Wesley's life and for protections over him in a cruel and sometimes unkind world. And what do I get? I get Mrs. Williams as his first grade teacher! How beautiful is that answered prayer! I am so grateful that Mrs. Williams is a part of this families lives.

40 Chores in 40 Days (Day # 3)

Day # 3
Today I tackled the spice cabinet! First step was going through and throwing away everything out of date. While that didn't come close filling the trash bag, it did allow me to consolidate two cabinets worth of spices and baking supplies into one! Who doesn't love extra storage room? Now I have a completely empty cabinet! I didn't take many photographs of this little project mostly because I got started without taking the before. I did take just one shot of the after, but only because I was hoping for some ideas to not only be organized, but also make it look a little more appealing to the eyes. I figured I would get some glass jars for the flour and powdered sugar, but I am clueless as to what to do with the actual spice collection. Any suggestions? Sorry for no pictures today. I got to cleaning and forgot to take any.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

40 Chores in 40 Days (Day # 2)

40 Chores in 40 Days
Day # 2
Okay, the grand total of large filled trash bags after day one and two is now three! OH MY! I couldn't believe how much junk can hide in the little nooks and crannies of a home. I mean, I was well aware of the fact I am a terrible housekeeper, but that is just ridiculous. It feels good to be purging so much. I have taken the policy that if we haven't used in the past year it's time to donate it or toss it, unless it's a book, they're my one guilty pleasure that I refuse to toss. I have issues with getting rid of books, but that's a whole different blog. So, I have tossed most of what was residing in the art cabinet and now everything has a nice cozy home. Well only 38 more days to go....I am exhausted thinking about it! However it's going to be nice to simplify!


Someday I will just make a book of my favorite recipes, but for now it's just good to have them all nice and neat in one place.

Art Supply Jars
I plan on painting the lids and labeling the jars, but for today it was about getting organized..first and foremost. I would love to hear organizing tips that help you keep your household running smoothly and specifically any tricks of the trade for organizing art supplies in a decorative fun manner?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Caramel Apple LolliPies

So I tried my hand at the pies on a stick that have been appearing on pinterest and featured on Bakerella. I made them for an apple party my middle son is having at school tomorrow. The 1st class has been studying apples all week, and tomorrow they are getting to taste different recipes in which apples are used.  I thought the mini pies would be perfect for little hands.

Caramel Apple Mini Pies On A Stick

Mini  Apple Pie
List of Supplies: Pie Crust, Flour, Cookie Sticks, Apple Pie Filling, Cinnamon, Egg White, Caramel Bites, Small Round Cookie Cutter

  1.  First I smashed up my apples in a large mixing bowl so they would be easier to work with. I added just a dash more of cinnamon to the apples.
  2. Roll out pie crust and sprinkle with flour to keep from sticking. Now cut out your circles. I made about 8-9 pies with one 9inch crust.
  3. Place bottom crust on cookie sheet, add your baking cookie stick
  4. Add in your toppings I used a 1/4 teaspoon to measure out the apples (very small amount), and added one or two caramel bites
  5. Add top crust and use one of the cookie stick to press down the sides
  6. Brush tops with egg whites
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes at 375 degrees

Here is a shot of a couple of the stages. Sorry for the bad glare!

Smashed Apples

Wrapped Up and Ready for A Classroom full of 1st Graders

Hope you all enjoy! It was super easy. A little time consuming but very simple. Would help to have more than one cookie sheet. I only have one.

40 Chores in 40 Days

So here lately, I have been very convicted to be content with what I have and not dwell on the things I do not have ( 1 Timothy, Chapter 6). With that came other convictions such as am I using the things I do have to glorify the Lord or am I simply allowing my pride and laziness to plant obstacles in my path. The biggest conviction comes in the form of my house. We rarely entertain in our home, invite over neighbors to get to know them or even host our dearest friends. I feel that doing so is an important part of growing friendships deeper. I can tell you hundreds of excuses as to why we don't do so, but that's all they would be, excuses. I am not embarrassed of my home it's a huge blessing in my life to have a place to call home. I am however embarrassed at the way I have taken care of it. Anyone who knows me knows that I am by no means a housekeeper. I struggle deeply with the balance of doing housework all the time to hardly doing it at all. I have a very hard time finding the happy medium and not obsessing over it. I am one of those people that hates schedules, budgets, charts, time management, even though I know they are helpful. I am totally a right brained kind of person and not wired to love them. I am working on that with the help of my husband, mother, and pinterest, but it's a seemingly very slow process for me. I am talking years people! My husband, bless his heart, is a very patient man...THANK GOODNESS!!!

So the other day I sat down at the table while my children where doing homework and devised a plan, thanks to a lot of pinterest inspiration to get organized, get the house in order, and get on the path that I believe is much more the one intended for me to be walking out. It's a fairly simple plan. I made two lists, both of them titled 40 Chores in 40 Days. One list is just for me and involves nothing but getting organized and getting rid of stuff. My goal is to achieve this list in 40 consecutive days. The other list will involve my husband a lot more and includes tackling the bigger projects like re-tiling the bathroom, painting the outside of the house and finishing the downstairs. Realistically, I don't see that being achieved in 40 consecutive days, but it still gives us goals to achieve and a master plan in hand. I know it's nothing big or complicated, but baby steps are steps forward.

I plan on blogging about it all along the way so that you guys can give me more ideas and help me to stay accountable and focused along the way. I am actually looking forward to taking this head on, at least for now I am. I actually finished project number one on the my list already. I cleaned out the utensil drawer! Yay for project # 1.
The List Also Know As MY LIST

Project #1 Day 1 Organizing the Utensil Drawer
BEFORE...What a Mess!
Added Textured Paper
All Done....Now to buy a prettier utensil organizer someday soon!
Stay tuned as I count down the finished projects. Oh and just a little FYI I was inspired by pinterest, but the original post came from this really sweet blog Little Lucy Lu.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Treasury

This weeks Etsy Treasury simply was put together with Sheb Wooley's 1958 "Purple People Eater" in mind. A novelty song about a one eyed, one horned monster that wants to be in a rock and roll band. So this weeks set contains lots of purple, many monsters, and lots of fun! Hope you enjoy!

Purple People Eater......Click HERE for a direct link to the full treasury list.

I will leave you will a little Youtube video featuring Sheb Wooley and his only #1 song.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Treasury

This week's Tuesday Treasury is inspired by a book by Shel Silverstein, and one of my childhood favorites at that, The Giving Tree. So in this week's treasury, in which I call "Once There Was A Tree....", I have included all kinds of tree inspired goodies from the impressive and talented vendors from Etsy. Now, I will leave you with a excerpt from the book and a link to the full treasury list.Click HERE for full list.

Once there was a tree..... and she loved a little boy. And every day the boy would come and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree.......very much. And the tree was happy. -Shel Silverstein

What was one of your favorite childhood books?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I read this prayer tonight that was composed by a sweet friend of mine.  A young woman with such a beautiful heart that holds such a powerful amount of love. Her prayer echoed so much of what I believe so many of us are saying and feeling as we walked through this day of remembering the tragedy that happen on September 11, 2001.  Thank you Billie Sue for allowing me to publish such a beautiful and heart felt prayer, and thank you even more for being such a bright light for Christ in such a dark world.

Photograph By: Sarah Worley

by: Billie Sue Wilson
Tonight, I say a prayer
I kneel, knees to ground.
I close my eyes and take a breath,
My thoughts now making sound.
Father, I know I'm weak
I know I've let you down.
But this prayer is not for me tonight
It's for those all around.
You see, I am only one
In a land so distraught.
Where people do not offer love
Unless their love is bought.
I am no example,
I've let the world in.
But if You'll show your mercy
I'll start over again.
I know Your plan, God
For Your word has told.
I know You win at world's end
Your hand is ours to hold.
But, God, until that day
I see the pain surround
I don't know what we'd do right now
If heroes didn't abound.
Bless them, God--the brave
Who freely give their all
To protect what You have given us
Those who stand, and fall.
Protect us, God, from evil.
Hold us in Your hand.
Guide us through our troubled times
Beside us, won't You stand.
I trust you, God, always.
Through suffering and pain.
I know You have a plan for us.
For no loss is in vain.
I offer thanks, Dear God
For forgiveness of our sins.
All this I pray in Jesus' name
I love you, God. Amen.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Love Your Community

I was reading the April 2011 issue of Better Homes and Garden a while back and ran across this article about an inspiring young woman named Majora Carter. I found the article to be insightful, uplifting, and in your face truthful.
Majora Carter has made it her life’s mission to find solutions for struggling communities. Her motto, “No one should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one”. She boldly tells us “We are the keys to our own communities’s recovery”. Inspiring isn’t it?
Let me repeat that last line “WE are the keys to our own community’s recovery”. Whether your current neighborhood resembles a war zone or just in need of a minor face lift it all starts with us, the people in the neighborhoods. We cannot wait for government funding or for nicer neighbors to move in next door. The key ingredient is getting involved and caring for your community. It’s not someone else’s job to figure out solutions, it’s ours. I told you I found Majora Carter’s article inspiring. This woman saw a problem that needed fixing, and took off running toward them, head on, to figure out solutions. I found myself wanting to be more like this woman. I want to take more of an interest in my community and in my neighbors. After all, my community is my home. I should care deeply about it. Actually, I am a little ashamed that it took an article from a magazine to point that out to me.
You know what makes a great neighborhood? It’s not how large the houses are or what kind of cars are parked in the driveways . It’s the people!!! People who are kind, selfless, hardworking, respectful, and joyful... that is what makes a neighborhood grand. People who are willing to pour into others in a loving and committed fashion will make a neighborhood flourish. The question is, are we that kind of person and neighbor? In a struggling economy, I believe the future success of our communities lies with us. Are we willing to start the change?

Here are just a few ways you can get started on making a difference in your community.

-          Get to know your neighbors invite them to dinner
-          Volunteer on community projects
-          Create a Community Garden
-          Ask local schools how you can help, even if your not a parent
-          Host a block party
-          Get your church involved
-          Shop locally
-          Help up keep the local community center
-          Take pride in your own home
-          Host a community clean up day
-          Coach a sports team
-          Get Your Church invovled
-          Volunteer, Volunteer, Volunteer
-          Connect with community leaders
-          Donate (time, funds, supplies)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Treasury

This Tuesday in my Etsy treasury, I was inspired by my families love for music. I named the treasury Lyrics and Love which is also the name of the blog that documents this families journey through a life full of music and love. To find out which items I found musically inspiring by the talented folks on Etsy this week, click HERE for a direct link to the full list.

Inspired By Music and Love. What music inspires you?