Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Super Cute Bobbin Ornament Tutorial

Not sure if I told you that my sewing machine died at the end of making my first quilted wall hanging, but I ended up getting an amazing new machine a Viking.  I LOVE IT!  The bobbins for the Viking are different from my old machine, so I made this adorable bobbin ornament.  I saw something like it on Pinterest a while ago, but I'm not sure where.  So, here's mine!

Hot glue those bobbins down to a piece of green felt.  
When cooled, cut the felt into a triangle tree shape.  
More hot glue for the cute little buttons.  
I hot glued the buttons for "tree trunk". 
Feed the hanger through the opening and hang it up!  

This is a great way to use old bobbins that are a little bent and no longer work, or if you're like me and you have a new machine you can use bobbins that you no longer have a purpose.  I LOVE IT!  

You could easily do this project with kids, girl scouts, or if you're like it by yourself!  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I met the Pioneer Woman in my Living Room

Okay, okay.  I was watching Netflix, but I FELT like met the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) in my living room.  I'm completely hooked.  I love The Pioneer Woman cooking show.  Talk about a show that I can actually use!  Talk about comfort food...."Fancy Mac and Cheese"?  YES, PLEASE!

Today, I used her Chicken Spaghetti recipe to use up the rest of our turkey from Thanksgiving and OMG!  It was a hit.  The kids loved it and there is enough to feed an army!  Next time I'll have to freeze half for another day and that'll save me time (you gotta love that too!).

Super yummy you have to try it and I'm not even a huge pasta fan most days!  Click on the link above to get the recipe and it takes about an hour and half to have done from start to finish with raw chicken.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookie Time!

Christmas is going BIG this year! Last year was a BUST with all of our moving.  This year the tree--yes, ARTIFICAL (gasp, but we have allergies and can't "do" and real tree)--was up two weeks before Thanksgiving.  Last year it was up a week after Thanksgiving and down the day after Christmas.  It was sucky.  Yes.  Sucky.

Tree later.

Today.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies!


I just used recipe from the of the JIF Peanut Butter Jar and turned the tray around about half way through baking and they come out beautifully!    I used butter because I don't have shortening in the house too.

  • 3/4 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening
  • OR 1/2 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
  • OR 1/2 cup softener butter
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. 1.
    HEAT oven to 375°F. Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended.
  2. 2.
    COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart onto greased baking sheet.
  3. 3.
    BAKE one baking sheet at a time 7 to 8 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.

A Little Boy Changed My Life and He Doesn't Even Know

We've been in the Madison area for ten months.  I stopped teaching in Eau Claire at the end of May and we moved into our house on June 1st.  Crazy summer ensued and the start of the school year pulled us through the fall.  October started to feel a like life was starting to feel "normal".  New normal.  Like I was starting to miss less and live more.  I have the house pretty much in order-- Barrett had a breakdown about living in Waunakee and finally accepted that this is where we are going to stay.  Barrett and I got HORRIBLE haircuts to seal the deal.  I went to the dentist.  We voted.  We all became Waunakeeans/Madisonians.

October felt like the surrender month.  We stopped fighting the changes and all the differences and surrendered to the move. Everything was falling into place.  Everything, except one studio.  I didn't touch it.  I didn't go in the room and when I did, it was for 5 or 10 minutes.  I'd look through music or books or shoulder rests and I'd come across some art work or note from an old student and I'd start to cry.  I miss them so much.  I wonder what they're doing with music, school, friends...whatever.  I wonder if they auditioned for the Youth Symphony or if they tried an instrument in the band because they didn't have an orchestra.  I wonder how their parents are doing.  Many of the parents became very close friends and I miss them terribly.  I think of them often--I know who liked to take which magazines home or who needed more time to talk because they were at home by themselves with the kiddos and I was the first "adult" they had seen all day besides the cashier at the gas station.  I built in extra time if I could to meet everyone where they needed me because I loved them all so much and it was so hard to leave.  It still is.

Being home and not teaching, I'm afraid to start teaching again.  I'm afraid to start to love new students.  I don't know why.  I love my students in Eau Claire so much.  It felt too hard to lose them and maybe somewhere deep down, I'm worried that I may have to do it again.   I don't know if I can bear it.  The heartbreak was more than I think I can handle again.  Loving families that you're expected to just "leave to another" is too hard.  I don't think I realized how much and how deeply I loved them.  I didn't realize how much I believe in the process of learning and teaching through love.
A couple weeks ago, an old friend from high school come to visit with his wife and three boys (ages 9, 6, and 3).  It was so wonderful to catch up with a good friend and make a new friend. The boys were so sweet.  Absolute boys.  Wrestling. Airplanes. Legos. Happy sounds.  Squeals of laughter and running.  I was completely taken by the 3 (he let me know he was almost 4) year old little guy, Andy.  He was so charming.  The perfect example of a PreTwinkler.  Sweet, open, curious, honest.  It was the perfect example of what was missing from my life and why I needed to face my studio and all of what was holding me back.  I miss having children to teach and to love who aren't my own.  Andy was that little boy who was sent to represent possibility.

For two days after Andy's visit, I cried.  I cried and cried because I knew I was ready to have families in my life to love and teach again.  I cried because I miss teaching.  I cried because I miss my families in Eau Claire.  I cried because I had to leave.  I cried because I guess I didn't cry enough before.  I know that I will always miss my students and parents from Eau Claire.  They helped make me a better teacher, person, and parent.  I love them.  I'll always love them, and I'm ready to love more.

Monday, November 3, 2014

My finished quilted wall hanging!

I doubted in a serious way, but I did it!  It is nothing like I had expected, but it's done!

My first quilt project--a wall hanging.  A class well done and I hope to continue to quilt for a long time to come.  I love piecing together tops!  So much fun!

Here it is:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Barrett on State Street

Barrett was practicing his smolder last night.  We were out on assignment and I grabbed this picture of Barrett standing alone in front of the Wisconsin Capitol in front of him and State Street in the background with the sun setting.  He felt like such a cool kid.

Find Joy in the Journey Barn Board Sign Tutorial

I've been so busy!  I can't believe how time has gone by so quickly.  And now it's going to Halloween and then November?!?!  How can it be so?

Here is a cool craft I did over the last month.  It's kind of a mash up a couple things I saw on Pinterest with my own twist.

It's this paint stick sign tutorial from Creations by Kara.  
The style of font and set up in this free printable.


I used reclaimed barn boards and scrap fabric that I had lying around and just used paints that I had in the basement from other projects.  When I painted the barn boards, I wiped the white paint on to give it a more rustic look and some boards absorbed the paint more than others.  This was an easy, inexpensive craft that turned out pretty cute!  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fabric Pennant Banner Tutorial

It turns out that my exhaustion was a flu.  I'm pretty much over it.  Thank goodness!  This momma is off and running and I'm enjoying being creative again.  I am starting to make things that I've been pinning on my Pinterest boards over the past year.  I started with this fun fabric pennant.  In my search of good to share tutorials, I learned that these pennants are also called banners, buntings, and pennants.  

I've seen these super cute pennants go for over $60 on Etsy for the length that I made for Gwen's room.  YIKES!  Gwen chose the fabrics from scraps I had in my stash and also a couple of new fat quarters at JoAnn Fabrics with an extra coupon I had laying around.  

Now, I immediately need to say that I changed how I used the tutorial. Gwen wanted the edges to be finished, so I cut the triangles, sewed them right sides together, flipped the triangles wrongs sides together, pressed with an iron to make it look nice and clean, and then continued on with the tutorial. I'm not a fan of a raw edge, so I did the extra steps.  Take it for what you like.

Here is the tutorial I used from Your Homebased Mom.  The pictures and descriptions were great!

I love her blog and I follow her on Facebook. She's always coming up with something super creative!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Orchard Fun

Took the kids to the apple orchard today.  It was beautiful outside!  We got a load of different apples and I, of course packed the camera.  We had a great time and I can't wait to go back for more!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I have to go to bed by 10 pm.

Dang.  I can't take it anymore.  I have to give myself a bedtime.  10:00 pm it is.  I'm exhausted ALL. THE. TIME.  I just wanted to lay on the couch today and sleep.  Yesterday I went to bed at 11:15 and the 6:00 am alarm came and I thought I was going to pass out.  

BED TIME.  10 pm.  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

First Day that Feels like Mine

Even though school started over a week ago, today is the first day that feels like MINE!  I'm not running an insane amount of errands or planning anything for anyone.  Just me unpacking my studio, making crafts, taking the dogs out.  I feel like I'm getting stuff done.  I'm finally recovering from a year of being behind.  It is WONDERFUL!  And it's rainy and gross out too, so I really don't feel like being outside either, so it's just inside stuff to do.  Love getting stuff done.  Maybe the tide has turned.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Beginning Quilting Class: Week 1

 I've been thinking about it for a while and I saw that this great quilt shop in my little town had a "Beginning Quilt Class" for $78.  The class is Mondays from 9:30-12:30 and is 5 or 6 weeks. Today was the first day.  I was thinking, "Man, I'm going to go in there and learn how to sew straighter lines.  Sew blocks together. I'll make me a great little quilt with some squares or strips or something.  I'm going to be a 'Beginning Quilt Class Rockstar'. Then I went into the class and this is what I saw.

I almost crapped in my pants. When our instructor said that this was our "BEGINNING QUILT", I started laughing like she was joking and I was laughing out loud.  For real.  She said, "No, I'm serious."  Then I started to laugh and almost cry.  

OMG. Here I was thinking squares or triangles or strips.  NOT THIS!  OMG!!  I'm making an actual quilt wall hanging.  After that, the next 20 minutes she said a whole bunch of quilty talky words. My brain was all frizzled out just thinking that I was going to make this in the next six weeks. Holy heck. If I can make this thing, I can make the kits and patterns that I just bought at the Madison Quilt Expo.   

At the end of class, we all spent an hour or so picking out our fabrics to make our own design.  

This is what I came up with for my wall hanging.  Now pray for me people.  I'm hoping that this thing isn't the ugliest thing on the planet, because if it is a rough go and I still feel like I have to hang the ugly beast on my wall, I'm hoping it's not to much of an eyesore.  

I'll keep you updated with the progress.  

ERMAGERD!  Let the madness begin!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Follow Me on Instagram!

I've started Instagramming!  I don't know what took me so long to discover so much awesome photo journaling, but yippee!  Now you can follow my adventures too!  Click on the little Instagram Icon on the right side of the page and it will take you to my Instagram page.

I'm so hip and with it!

If I Had a Million Dollars: Composition Rug

I think I found the cutest rug in the whole world if you had a homeschool room or for any kids room.  CHECK IT OUT!  It's a piece of PAPER!  

Land of Nod, you are geniuses!  I wish I had a million dollars so I could buy everything I wanted.  This would be right near the top of my list.  So cute!  I have a serious love thing going on for this composition rug.  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Skipping the Traditional Mug Shot School Pictures This Year

I'm skipping those nasty school pictures this year.  The kids had to take what I call a "mug shot" for the year book, but for the house wall and to hand out with Christmas cards or whatever, I'm taking over!  No more MUG SHOTS for us!

We had about five minutes at the public library in my hometown--it has a wall of windows--and my camera.  No packed clothes.  Just whatever they were wearing that day.  We did have a hairbrush, so I consider myself lucky.

I may go and try again, but these are the shots I captured with just a few chances.  I still need to work on some editing due to the changing light, but they turned out better than what I could get at school and the kids had a chance to get creative too--"PICK YOUR POSE".

 Loving that I'm starting to feel more confident in my photography skills.  Not 100%, but better.  I love the magic that I can capture.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fabric Push Pin Tutorial

I got some great organizers from Pottery Barn--more about those tomorrow.  Today, I made some great fabric covered push pins that are super cute and kinda vintage.  I used some scraps from another craft I'm doing for Gwen's room, so really, the fabric was just hanging around waiting for the trash bin.  

I got the 1/2" inch size cover button kit and a refill kit to have plenty of push pins.  

These are standard sized thumb tacks that we found at Walgreens. 

Take the button loop part off the back of the button backing.  I just used a needle nose pliers.  

I did all of my backs at once.  

Pick some fun fabrics with small designs.  I used scraps from another project I'm doing for Gwen's room.  It's about the size of a quarter--actually a little bit bigger.  I didn't really trace around the quarter, but I just eyeballed it.  

Put in the button maker, push the top of the button down, tuck all the ends down.  Trim the fabric if it seems like it's too bulky.  Put the back on and press down.  

Add a good glob of hot glue and then put the thumb tack on the back.  The tack fits pretty well in the back.

That's it!  You're done!  Super easy and really inexpensive!  It makes a plain ol' bulletin board look a little more fun too.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Curtains make the Room

We're still slowly moving in.  I think we'll be moving in until at least Christmas, but I think my definition of "moving in" is more about making our house, OUR HOME.  The house got a little more home-y when we hung curtains!

I found a website with great long-length curtains at a great price! has great long curtains and you don't have to sell a child, name your next born child "curtainworks", or even part with a limb to have nice curtains in your tall room!

Here are my before pics (sorry, they're taken with my cell phone because I can't find my little camera's battery charger):

I forgot to pull up the wood blinds.  

Here are the after pictures.  I love the look now.  It makes the room look and feel so much more finished and warmer.

I can't wait to hang some pictures on the wall on the left and to organize and decorate a little bit more. Starting to look and FEEL a bit more like home.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Our grass is starting to look like GRASS!  It doesn't have to be bone dry to walk across anymore too!  We've mowed it three times now and it's making a world of difference in how the house looks too.  Now to get those pesky weeds to go away.  Another five weeks and we'll be able to put down some weed and feed.  YIPPEE!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Our basement shelves are spectacular!

Boone made some basement shelves and they are spectacular!  They hold tons of our junk and we have come so far in our moving of stuff since they've been built.  We have the heavy duty shelves and the lighter duty shelves.  They both rock!

Heavy duty shelves.  Holding tons of stuff.  Still have a few more boxes to go through.  No, I don't have a universal style of totes, like all the pretty pictures.  My totes are all rando, but they work.  

Side view of my heavy-duty storage shelves.  I even hang our half-Christmas tree on the side.  Every space gets used!

Here's the light-duty shelves.  They can hold Gwen (at 55 pounds) without bending at all.  They can hold a LOT of random stuff that we need to get to on a kind of regular basis.  Jello-molds, heaters, blenders, kids art project holders, etc.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ordered an L-Shaped Desk!

We ordered an L-shaped desk for the office!  I'm super excited because I didn't think we'd ever get to the office and here we are--all ordered!  We didn't go all crazy.  Something cost effective and simple.

This is what we ordered.  Nothing super fancy, see?  We may get the hutch that goes with it, but we're going to start with the basic desk and see how we feel.  I'm just super excited that we have a desk coming!  We got it from Bush Furniture.  Free shipping too!  Sweet.

Soon all the junk that's been sitting in the office will be put away and we'll have an entry room that I'm not totally embarrassed to show people.  Sweet!

Monday, August 4, 2014

When did I become a Fly By The Seat of Your Pants Mom?

As I sit at my computer, I'm making a goal for the day.  Actually, I'm making a goal for the month and I'm wondering when I became a "Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Your-Pants Mom".  Seriously.  I'm facing each day or week fighting "fires" as they come my way and seeing which fire is bigger to see if I have enough water to just make the biggest fire go down enough to keep the flames from burning me.  Now, I have to admit, things have gotten better as we get more and more settled, but still not where I can sit back and take a deep breath and relax enough to say that I have things under control for the next few weeks.

The last few weeks when I was teaching away at Suzuki camp, it was great for me.  Being surrounded by supportive colleagues that let me know it was okay to step back from the self-imposed timeline to just focus on getting things settled in our home and family before I start my teaching was so reaffirming. I was having so much undue stress and anxiety worrying about how I was supposed to get everything done "in time" to start teaching.  When, in reality, there is no set time for me to start teaching.  Maybe I needed to hear it from my teaching friends that it was okay to stop pushing something that wasn't really there in the first place and to let myself put my priorities in the place that my heart is right now anyway. Getting back to teaching a few months later than what I had thought I may, won't be a regret later on, but pushing too soon may be.  I love how my Suzuki friends are so supportive, thoughtful, and caring to listen, share, and give advice.  Sometimes even just letting me come to my own conclusions too.

Funny thing about this change in plans is that I don't feel like I've lost anything.  With all the changes in the last year, I've always felt a bit like I've lost control.  Lost comforts. Lost identity. Like I've lost choices or stresses have been added to my life.  This time I feel like I've actually changed something to gain something.  I get to be there to be with my kids when they come home and get them settled in to a new school and riding the bus home first time.  I get to help them with homework for the first time. I get to get us completely moved in without the worry of a "deadline".  Don't get me wrong, I love my teaching and it's in the back of my mind.  I will be teaching soon--it is just who I am.  But, for the first time in over a year, I feel like I'm in control, even for a little bit.  I get to make the choice, and it feels a little okay.

So, my goal for the next month, is to become a little more settled, a bit more prepared, and maybe put out a couple of fires completely so I don't feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants anymore.  Here's to firefighting and less pants flying!  Here's to focus and priorities!  It feels good and I'm just getting started!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I should have taken pictures of all the stuff we've taken to Goodwill and St. Vinny's

Over the past 8 months (and still going), I should have been taking pictures of all the crap stuff we've taken to Goodwill, St. Vinny's, Savers, and any other donation place.  It just keeps going out.  THANK GOD!  With every carload of stuff that leaves our possession, I feel a little more control that I regain of my life.  Today, was two HUGE boxes of garage and holiday stuff, ANOTHER comforter (yes, I admit I have a problem), and decorations that just won't work for us anymore.  I'm so happy that it is gone.  Now just to get rid of another 10 car loads.

The office is starting to clear out.  The basement and garage too.  I can feel the weight in my chest start to lighten up.  The anxiety that I was feeling is still there, but less.  I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Now to get Boone to build shelving in the basement to store even more crap that we probably don't need, but feel we still do.  UGH.

I wonder how much stuff we've gotten rid of (weight, carloads, whatever).  I know a lot, but still more to go.  I love that we're getting rid of it.  Should we need to move again (WE BETTER NOT FOR A WHILE), it will be so much easier.  Wish we would have had more time to clear this junk out before.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Sky was On Fire

The sky was on fire tonight after terrible storms rolled through.  It was so gray and dark and rainy all afternoon and evening.  All of a sudden, I thought a house was on fire.  Maybe struck by lightning?  No!  It was the sun and the most brilliant sunset.

First more peach, but then an amazing orange-red color.  It looked like the sky was on fire.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

You're going to laugh, but...

I wrote my post about wanting sleep and I forgot to post it.  Yeah.  I was tired.

I got some pretty good sleep last night!  I'm hoping it keeps me going through the day!

Today I'm reopening my Etsy shop with items I have in stock, so if you're looking for baby bibs, take a peek!  I'll be listing more throughout the day!

Each style of bib and each bib is a little different, so if you get two of the same "fruit" or "veggie", you'll see variation.  It makes it fun and interesting for me.   Plus, each fruit and veg in nature has variations all onto it's own.  They make great baby gifts!

Hope you peek!

Asking for one good night's sleep.

I'm so freaking tired.  I haven't slept well in weeks.  I kept blaming it on the terrible storms that we had blowing through at night, but the storms have stopped and my sleep still is stinky.

I'm hoping for a good night's sleep tonight.  Making everything line up tonight.  The kids are practicing early.  I'm running a couple errands now, so I'll be able to go bed with the kids too.

Cross your sleepy fingers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Then there were FOUR!

Now we have four eggs in the nest!  The kids and I have become addicted to peeking in the nest when Mama has gone for lunch.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Three eggs in the nest

Came back from our first day back in the public school system.  Entering the school rooms and asking for things proved to be a bit traumatizing for the kids, but when I picked them up, they seemed to be in better spirits.  After the hour and ten minutes of class, we were off to the area high school (of course we got lost) for swimming lessons.  The kids rocked their levels.   I think it will be a good experience  for them.

We got home to find another egg in the nest.  I thought, after a night of rain, the nest would be the same, but Mama Robin is still there, sitting and happy.  The nest is definitely muddier than yesterday, but that hasn't phased Mama.  The third egg is a bit scratched up, but Mama doesn't leave for more than a minute, so I don't have a chance to get in there and peak but for a few seconds.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

All of our eggs are in one nest

Well, there are only two eggs so far, but they're in the same nest.  Mama Robin's nest to be exact.  She went for a quick fly, so ran out and took this quick pick.  She's back sitting on her nest now too.  Kids are hoping for a third!

Hey Rubbermaid! I have an idea for you!

Dear Rubbermaid Tote Company,

Why oh why don't you make a basement shelving system for storing your awesome totes that most pack-rat Americans own to store all of their stuff?  I know I'd buy a bunch of your not-for-purchase "Basement Solutions:  Tote Shelving System" for my basement.

The metal systems that are on the market are not working.  They're too short.  Can really only hold two totes and one level of random junk, plus they're flimsy.  Your new ones can be metal or some kind of Rubbermaid awesomeness, but not the current ones that stink.

You know.  It's the stuff that looks kinda like this:

Requirements of the shelving system:
  1. Easy to install
  2. Adjustable in height and width:   Totes and Ceilings come in many different heights.  Perhaps this could be trimable?
  3. Attach to the wall, floor, and and possibly ceiling, because I'm a careful lady.  I love that song, "SAFETY DANCE" from the 1980's.  ROCK ON!
  4. Strong.  It needs to hold my college books in a tote and lots of totes full of kids clothes, and my husband's grandma's depression glass.  See the afore mentioned "Pack-rat Americans comment"
  5. Fast to assemble (Job to be completed in a weekend).
  6. Easy to clean (Cuz I'm not afraid to say that I think I'm a bit OCD that way.
  7. Cost-effective (duh)
  8. Would be nice if it used recycled materials.  (Not a requirement, but I'm Earth friendly.)
I'm no shelving design expert, but if I could get a section of really nice Rubbermaid Basement Tote Shelving System for a couple hundred bucks, I'd bite!  I'd probably get a few sections (2-3 sections at least).  Maybe a year later, I'd get another section.  This could lead you to other basement storage systems.  Hanging storage, closed storage, shoes, Winter gear/Summer gear.  The list could go on and on.   

By the way, I love all your other products.  Now that we're putting together our new house, we have purchased a ton of your items (again) to make our house run smoothly.  

I really hope you think about my idea of Basement Storage solutions.  


Digging out and digging in.

We've moved (again) It's been a process, but it's getting there.  I have a basement, garage, and an office full of boxes, but the rest of the house is in pretty good shape.  Now I bring in a box, unpack it, and get rid of the cardboard.  I've learned that there are some larger items that are "kinda" in the house and aren't working.  Our large, leather couch is one.  It's just too big for our living room.  It's going to be there for a few months.  I don't have the time or the energy to go out and buy new furniture for the room.  We can make due for now, have an over-sized couch and get new couches in the fall or winter.  It looks a little crowded, but whatever.

The office is a disaster.  We didn't have a room dedicated specifically to being an office, so this is completely new and we need office furniture.  This room we will be tackling in the next month.  In our last house, we had a room in our basement that was a guest room/office/craft room and it was AWESOME!  It was huge and it did all the stuff we needed.  Now we have a good size office, but no craft room or guest room (because I have a studio and waiting room).  So we have a lot of arranging to do.

The basement is well...AHHHH!  We had to clean out the unfinished part to build shelves--hopefully to be complete in the next few weeks.  So all the boxes are in the studio, waiting room, and family room.  It's a mess, but with a purpose.

The garage is a work in progress.  I had a friend come and pick up almost all the boxes we had for her upcoming move.  My parents came down for a super quick visit and they took a box of stuff and their twin-sized mattress.  So, things are moving out instead of in,

I'm so anxious to get things settled.  I've been in this upheaval since we moved to the Madison area in January.  I try hard every day to get as much done as possible.  I want to be settled and I don't want to start thinking ahead to my teaching until things at home are in order.

On the bright side, today is our anniversary.  Twelve years!  Hard to believe how fast it's gone!  Boone had flowers delivered as a sweet surprise.  So pretty.

On another bright side, I'm itchy for Disney and I'm pretty sure I'll be planning again soon.  It's been a year and a half since we've been there and I can't take much more.  I miss my Mickey.

More brightness!  We have renters!  We have a momma Robin laying eggs in the tiny hydrangea tree we just planted in the front of the house.  She's laid one egg and I'm pretty sure she's laying another as I write.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chicken Nuggets Shaped Like US Presidents

We don't "do" chicken nuggets, but today at lunch, Gwen said that she felt that if there was going to be chicken nuggets in weird shapes, that they should be in the shape of US Presidents.  I have to admit, it's a fun idea.  I can see kids around a school lunch table talking about Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, or even James Madison.  Heck, it's a way to bring back some of the lesser known presidents.  Way to go, Gwen.  Forward thinking!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gwennie Girl's First Holy Communion Pictures

Gwen's Communion was special.  I love our new church and our priests are wonderful!

Here are a few of the photographs I took on her special day.  I can't believe my little girl has received third sacrament.

All these photos were taken with natural light and a 5-in-1 reflector with the gold side.