Sunday, January 31, 2010

What would you tell your 18 year old self

January is a month of birthdays in our family. My little Sister and Brother both have birthdays in January and so does Barry. Can you believe Barry and AJ are 18?? It just doesn't seem like it could be.

This year hasn't been the easiest of journeys for all of them. I have always tried to be honest, and frank with them all. I've also tried to simply talk to them. I believe respect is key. I believe to give respect I must also receive it and the same applies in return.

While none of them are my children they are all a bit like my own. It is very interesting having siblings 20 + years younger. It truly is much like having a second set of children for me or maybe like an extra set of parental expectations for them. I've tried hard to be more of a sister than a parent but sometimes is isn't easy.

I cautiously give advice and more try to share my life's experiences and tales of my own journey instead.

Tonight, I find myself pondering what I would tell my 18 year old self, if I could.

Would I say, finish high school. For no other reason than to look back and know that you did it the right way. That you will be annoyed by the fact that you have a GED instead.

I think I would say, go to college. Because later, you will have a desire to have to rely on no one and your 40 year old self will feel like not having that degree is holding you back just a little.

I would say, talk to you parents. Speak intelligently, decisively and respectfully but still speak. That you can't hold it against someone for not understanding where you are coming from if you don't tell them.

I might also say, wait to have children. Even though you think you are ready early on,your not, so wait. And when you finally start having the kids you have always wanted at 30, it will be exactly the right time and you will do a great job. You can improve but you are trying and you acknowledge your faults. As a mom, you will do just fine!

I think I'd include, no partner is worth not being your true self for. Have confidence and be who you are.

I would say, love your family. Don't give up any time, due to arguments and disagreements, you will miss it one day. You will come to realize it didn't need to happen so don't waste one minute of it!

I would strongly emphasize to my 18 year old self that when times seem most difficult, stick to your dreams, even if they seem almost not worth the hassle. And COMMUNICATE! It's the key to everything. Also,Be nice! It makes you a better person. And don't ever do anything you'd be afraid to admit to your parents- be trustworthy and honorable. It will make looking back on your youth much easier.

And the most important thing I would say to my 18 year old self, is live your life so that you have no regrets. Own your choices, right or wrong - take responsibility, learn to say your sorry and live today like there is no tomorrow because one day you will realize it isn't guaranteed!

Oh Yeah, one last thing- if you can get through all the other things, don't forget to enjoy the ride!!!

What would you say?

amongst friends #13

The Letter J

I am lovin' the contributions this week. First, I like the fact that the photos are more closely related to the contributor's daily life. Secondly, I LOVE all the color happening in the weeks collage. Maybe it is a sign of the coming Spring. Let's hope!

I hope you will consider joining us next week for " K ". Think about it, what would you choose to photograph?

Until then..

***Edit-Cassi asked me take this picture of her jumping.
Cori- Jello
Kelly-Jana's Jewelry
Christie- Jelly donut
Cali-Jingle bells
Frank-his favorite Jif
Jenny- Big Red is Jenny's nickname

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I am so proud of this

I know I made a small vase like this a week or two ago. I loved it so much I had visions of more, I just wasn't sure how or what containers to use.

Then I remembered Cori had received a lava lamp for Christmas and we'd saved the container it came in. I really wasn't sure it would be balanced but I really wanted to try it.

Last week the girls and I collected sticks so late last night I stayed up and gave it whirl. It was challenging. It is incredibly hard to find long straight sticks. They all seem to have a curve or bend to them, which makes getting the whole stick to attach to the container nearly impossible. I did a little filling in with some smaller broken sticks. I don't think you can tell unless you were really looking for it. Also, looking closely you can see more hot glue than on the small one. I had to use a lot.

Regardless, I really love the way it turned out. It looks really great in my cabin-like home. It fits in well with all the furs, animals and what not. I may even make some of these for outside come summer. If I can find the right kind of container to recycle, I may put them on either side of the door.

If you make one, I'd love to see it. Please share.
*Edit- Sandy brought to my attention that I didn't mention I covered the lava lamp box first. She suggested using burlap which I think is a great idea. I used the thin cardboard that comes in the box between new dishes. I got some for Christmas and they worked perfectly!
**Edit- My step-mom came by and had a look. When I complained about some showing hot glue she said it looks like/ reminds her of tree sap. Love her! :)

*I'm linking this project up with Ramblings of a Crazy Woman- We Made it- Friday Showcase. There are always great ideas shared there. Go check it out!

**I'm also linking up to The Magic Onions- Friday's Nature Table. It's a naturally beautiful list of people sharing there. It's worth a look.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fire and Ice

We are on another stick kick. Ever since I made this little piece, we are looking for containers to recycle and cover.

I took two of the girls out the other night to gather sticks. We are currently attempting to cover a tall container (I am hoping it will balance ) so we needed long sticks.

It was a good little walk down by the creek and we had fun. It was a beautiful night and there was a great moon. We left a little late so photos were hard to capture, but we tried.

On the way home we notice a fire filled sky towards the beach. Again, we were far too late to capture great photos but I enjoyed trying.

While I was snapping away, Cassi was sliding on the ice covered sand and gathering smaller pieces of ice she found interesting.

She decided to bring one home. Once we got back to the car she found a mini led flashlight in the car. It had a red light and she played the rest of the way home, shining the light through the ice.
Obviously it too was hard to take good pictures of but you get the idea.

I think we may have to gather buckets of the smaller pieces one weekend soon and play with some light. We'll let you know how it goes.

*I'm linking up to The Magic Onions- Friday's Nature Table. It's a naturally beautiful list of people sharing there. It's worth a look.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Struggling...Daddy is gone again.

We are struggling in so many ways, big and small. There are a lot of things going on around here lately. There are people in my life who are hurting a lot right now. I have friends who are very ill.

We are all going through changes and some days are tougher than others. I'm even struggling with writing my blog. Not the posting, per se, just writing words that I feel are well written and worth reading.

Mostly we are at a place where the best we can do is check in each day, pray a lot, and take it all one moment at a time. And so even if it isn't the best written or well titled, I write. The rest will come.

This morning Daddy left. It is always tough to watch him go. The big girls try so hard to be grown up about his departures but there are always tears left for me to dry when the plane pulls away. Cali struggles a little more with it and more openly.

On Scott's last trip away (not this one) Cassi had a really hard time for some reason. We always stand at the window and look for him in the plane windows. He isn't always easy to find, mostly because it is dark out.

He knew she was struggling with his leaving and I guess he was trying hard too lighten (no pun intended) her mood. He lit up his phone and held it to the window so we could find him easily. The girls got so excited and raced to get out my phone and do it back to him.

This all turned into a game of left to right, up and down, circles in the window. It was magic and for those minutes of waiting for his plane to taxi off, there were giggles and smiles.

He remembered the game this time and started it again when he got in the plane. Both big girls got out phones and started to play.
And I took a couple seconds to just be grateful for the small things. Making a special note to self, that all those small things add up something really BIG, called LOVE!

I think it looks a bit like this!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

amongst friends #12

The Letter I

Whew, it has been a week! That's my excuse for being late with this! In addition, I received most contributions late so I am guessing others had a bit of a hard time coming up with something for "I". I suppose that would be why we can call it a challenge!

Personally, I had a couple pictures but struggled with focus and composition. On a good note, I've already got a least one option taken for "J".

We have two new friends participating this week. And I loved their choices. Now it's your turn. Join in.

Can you guess the connection every one made to "I"?

Next week is "J"

*Wren- Me, myself and I
Cassi- Ice
Cori- Isaac (her boyfriend)
Ann- I Spy
Kelly- IDEA
Jenny- I
Christie- Ice sculpture

*I am lovin' the creativity going on in Kelly's picture!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just gotta tell you...

Cali is writing lots of things lately. A Lot! Everyday, several times over she asks me to spell things for her so she can write them down. Today it went like this-
Cali- Mom, can you spell something for me?
Me- Sure, what do you want me to spell?
Cali- Miley Cyrus...
Me- Umm, OK...
Cali- (cutting me off) Miley Cyrus's Dad has an earring!

Me- M-I-L...


Have a great week!

Cali's learning the alphabet

Today we learned W. And we made some whiskers.
I cut one out of copy paper then let her trace it.

She cut it out herself.

She searched for just the right googly eyes. She laid it all out to make sure she liked it.

I cut some mini skewers in half so she could paint them.

We were trying to make our little project last. It allowed more time to think of words that started with the wa sound. She glued everything into place and we are thinking it turned out pretty cute! Gotta love the paint that made it to the forehead.

*note- I realize she is using big scissors. I was with her the entire time and she does quite well with them. I wouldn't suggest it if you aren't sure your little one has the skill mastered.

*I'm linking this project up with Ramblings of a Crazy Woman- We Made it- Friday Showcase. There are always great ideas shared there. Go check it out!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just gotta tell you...

I have a snacker. Her name is Cali. I try very hard to get her to understand she needs to eat healthier!

I said "Cali, you can not have any more junk!!!"

She said, "Mom, if we weren't supposed to die why do they keep making junk food and so much of it?!"

I said nothing.

True Story

I was leaving the house this morning and I was angry.

While I almost always drive with out the radio on (silence is hard to come by as a stay at home mom in a house with 3 girls) this morning I cranked it. I was surfing the waves looking for something to rock out to. I found a poppin' country song (I am ole southern girl at heart) and bobbed along with it. It was over quickly. I hit the surf button again and found another song. I started rockin' I was feeling better. I'd never heard the song before but I liked it.

As I listened "in this life, I know what I've been..." my mind starts wondering.
You see, I was angry with my husband when I left. And as I listened to the song, I was thinking about a love story. Our story. And I thought, I need to be a better forgiver, I need to not get so frustrated.

And I listened a little more. "...But here in your arms, I know that I'm forgiven..." and I thought. I'm lucky, he loves me, every bit of me.

Then I kind of thought about how I'd not heard this song before and I wanted find out the name of it. It was a great beat and I am always a sucker for songs that tell a beautiful love story.

It was so clear to me that this was in fact a beautiful story behind this song and the writer expressing it, like young love. They way you feel when you realize how intense love can be. Yeah, it was an intense feel good love song.

So I listened, I felt it, and I heard, "...Oh, I'm a treasure in the arms of Christ
'Cause I'm forgiven..."

A song about a love story; the greatest love story ever told.

The song is: Forgiven
The group is: Sanctus Real

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday 1-20 (Cori's Contribution)

Cori asked me to post this today as her Wordless Wednesday contribution.

A funny pic that needs to explanation other than silly.
Have a Great week!

Wordless Wednesday 1-20


I am linking this to Ramblings of a Crazy Woman - We Made it Friday Showcase
and Magic Onions - Friday Nature Table. There are awesome links in both places, Go On! Check. Them. Out!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook 01-18

FOR TODAY 2010-01-18

Outside my window... It's winter. And it's cold. Still.

I am thinking...about middle school girls and how hard it is to maneuver life through the middle school years.

I am thankful for...communication. I work desperately hard to keep the lines of communication open with my girls and my husband. It's hard but I am convinced it will be worth if and it is daily!

From the learning rooms...the big girls are doing an amazing hob at school. We are working together to stay on top of things. Cali and I are as busy as ever. She is going to be awesome in kindergarten.

From the kitchen...I made some banana bread muffins last night that were so good, I wish I had more over-ripe bananas. There are only a couple left.

I am wearing...jammies still. Off to the shower as soon as I type this up.

I am new space in the kitchen. Not really creating anything with it, more organizing it instead.

I am plans for travel. Maybe I will be heading to the creek with the kids today on a walking field trip. We'll see.

I am reading...getting ready to begin The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. It will be my first experience at a reading club. Not sure what to do but I suppose I will be finding out. It's an online thing.

I am praying friend Bev. She is still unconscious. It's been about a month now. I suppose the prognosis is bleak but I am still faithful that what is happening is what is meant to be.

I am hearing...Cali playing with Wren. We are so lucky this boy is a part of our family!

Around the house...It's as hectic as ever. Always things happening; just the way I like it.

One of my favorite things...watching Cali help Daddy yesterday.

A few plans for the rest of the week...taking the decoration off the tree finally. Cassi insists we are leaving the actual tree up 'til Valentine's day. I have to switch the decorations.

A photo for sharing...

I was bored in the car wash. Isn't this a cool picture?

To read more daybook's take a look here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

amongst friends #11

The Letter H

Can you believe this is our 11th week. I have really enjoyed the challenge. It's always fun for me to see what my girls think of too. And they do spend time considering their options. Some weeks are a bit easier for me than others...this week was one such week. I hope you will think about taking some pictures of your own and sharing them. You'll be glad you did.

Jenny-Hearts & Hands
Christie- Hermit crab (This is the last picture we took of him before we gave him to a friend.)
Kelly-Hollister (Did you know this is her last name?)

"A" Little Gratefulness

I hope you will consider joining me in this gratefulness challenge. You can read more about it HERE.


Joy- I think about JOY a lot. I look for it. I appreciate it. I wish for it for others. I am very grateful for it.

- Not that this has affected me much but I am grateful I live in a country where most often it prevails. At some point in time, I believe we will all need it and I am so glad it exists here for all of us.

Jinx- I know it odd to be thankful for something that doesn't even exist but I figure it keeps me grateful. Scott really believes one can jinx themselves. Because of this, I suppose I am often reminded to take nothing for granted!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fun on a Stick- A Trial Run

I was having a bit of a blah morning. I was perusing other blogs and went here. I often find great projects and ideas at Skip to My Lou and today was no different; she came through for me again.

I don't have a regular sized heart muffin pan so we couldn't make them (en mass) like the ones she posted there but Grandma sent us a mini silicone muffin pan just recently so we made mini rice krispie pops. Cassi dug out a lone little heart pan and made one of those then we filled larger muffin pans for the rest.

I had a bag of lolli sticks so we stuck those in. We melted some can icing, tinted it, spread it on and added a bit of sugar sprinkles. YUM!

I think we could make these for Valentine's Day for Cassi's class. She has already requested them. That also means that Cori will likely want some too. I should be grateful since they were fairly easy. And, the kids can help!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Missing Color

It's that time of year when we all start looking for a little color in this town.
The sun is shining often but it is still very cold, very frozen and still very much void of color.

Today Cali and I took a drive around town and decided to take some pictures of ice. A lot of what you see on our beaches right now looks prehistoric. I thought I glimpsed ice that looked like Dino teeth a time or two.

Cali didn't like the cold; we weren't really dressed for it. She stayed in the car most of the time.

I am pleased with the pictures but wish there was some glimpses of spring and summer to be found.

It got us out of the house for a while but I'd rather be photographing some green growing things. It can't be that much longer 'til we see some right?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Exploring Nature to Create Art

*A bit of a long post-be sure to get to the bottom to see Cor's AWESOME tree made from driftwood.
That is the title of Cori's Explorer report. They had to explain a way that they personally explore or some place they have explored. It was a fairly open ended report with few guidelines. Actually it was more of a show and tell.

She decided to take in some things she's created from items she collected in nature. She went with the less is more plan.

She made a short book.

Her title:
Cori: Exploring Nature to Create Art

First page:
*Some art is only meant to be enjoyed for a short time.

*Then there are things we will admire forever.

*Sometimes art is done with friends and family, then again it is calming to create on your own.

*Isn't it cool how your own explorations can inspire others?

Second page:

Third page:

Fourth page:

Fifth page:

And here is what I love most about her show and tell. She ended up finishing a project that started back in September. I found this piece of driftwood and was convinced it looked like a tree that recently lost its leaves. We started stringing beads on it and larger heart beads to resemble leaves falling. Cori loves the curly wire on it the most. I just love the whole thing! Love, Love, Love it! I can't wait to get it back home and find a special place for it.

You have got to click this picture to see the details.

*Edit- I have linked up to The Magic Onions- Friday's Nature Table
Be sure to stop by for a lovely walk of inspiration through the lives of many bloggers who love experiencing nature in so many creative ways.