Friday, March 26, 2010

Back Up and Running, On Wordpress!

If you're seeing this at, it's time to head back over to ! It looks a bit different, ok a lot different, but we're working on it!

Hope to see you there soon!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Nice Time for a Break

It seems that our web server had some sort of brain freeze. Mr. Extraordinary has been running on nearly empty for weeks with too much work and too little sleep, so it may take another day or two until we get it all figured out.
The children and I have been busy as well, it must be that spring is in the air phenomenon. As soon as we can get the server issues ironed out, I'll be back to share some pics of our recent adventures and then get on with new ones...
Have an excellent rest of your week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Multitude Monday 301-310

301. a 10 yr old son's heart full of righteous indignation every time he reads of the persecution of believers in The Voice of the Martyrs newsletters, he sees the wrong and prays/pleads for what's right

302. a teenager who sees the sin and brokenness in our society in the daily headiness, and who understands the importance of strengthening his walk with Him if he is to navigate these treacherous waters

303. being able to be there (in spirit & prayer) for a dear sister in Christ going through the heartache of loss, as hard as such a thing is, I'm thankful that because of my own experiences I can have a deeper empathy for others as they walk through their dark valleys

304. tissue paper flowers, I'm sure it won't be long before I see them as clutter and toss them to make room for the next crafty decorations, but for now I'm thankful for the tissue paper flowers that signal our eager anticipation of spring

305. longer days with more sunshine, melting the layer of ice and snow that had crept over more and more of our driveway, our sidewalk, and my energy levels...

306. patches of old grass peeking through, and the sense of urgency to enjoy the last bits of cool air and wintry white stuff before the seasons really do change and we begin to grumble about the heat (and humidity!) and mosquitoes (our unofficial state bird)

307. 9 & 7 yr old girls that can brush their own hair yet will often still ask Mom for help with some braids or a sweet little bun

308. 5 & 3 yr old girls with many more years of needing & wanting help with hair, it's so nice to feel needed in such a simple way

309. a stack of good books

310. years of old pictures and the sweet laughs and giggles of children as they look back on themselves and their brothers and sisters and Mom and Dad, our lives together and our looks through the ages, I remind myself often- take more pictures!

It's overcast today- I notice how spoiled I've become by several days of sunshine, and I notice how obviously the lack of sun affects me. My tendency is to turn inward, to sigh deep sighs of something less than contentment, and to muddle through my dreary days, but I know that is far less than the best I can do. As a Mother, I strive to do better for my children's sake, and yet as a Christian I need to strive to do better for much more than my sake, an for far more than my children's sake. I need to, I can do, better for the sake of Him whose Name I claim. And so I turn my eyes to see my world in another light, in a light that sees my everything as something from Him, and something to be truly thankful for, and it's changing me. From the inside out, it's changing me in such a good way.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Tissue Paper Flowers- Think Spring!

It's time to think spring! With temps climbing up around 40 degrees (yes, that's warm up here), and more minutes of sunlight every day, it's finally time to take down the snowflakes, the snowmen, the scenes of winter wonderland, and even the tiny sweaters that speak the language of ice and snow. It's time to bask in the sunshine and enjoy thoughts of blooms!

At Macy's Flower Show last spring, there were kids' activities set up in the isles of FAO Schwarz (very strategic, don't you think?) and one of the things that we liked the best were the tissue paper flowers. They had little kits made up, with pre-cut tissue papers and a pipe cleaner (chenille stem, whatever you want to call them...) all ready to go.

We brought home a couple extra sets and they have become the template & inspiration for our first spring crafts this year.

These flowers are so fun and easy to make! You can make them with bright and wild colors or soft and sweet- whatever suits for fancy or whatever you find to work with.

Our original flowers were made with tissue paper rectangles measuring approximately 9" x 11", but 8x10, 7x9, 6x8, or even 5x7 will work... I didn't even measure our latest ones. I simply folded the stack of tissue papers (I used 5 sheets, you can use more or less to get different fullness in your flowers) in half and cut along the fold. Then I cut each half in half again, and then again. This makes 8 flowers of equal size.
Once you have your rectangles, you fold them accordion style, like the paper fans we all learned to make as a child. You can leave the ends alone, or you can round them off like I did on our light flowers, or you can cut points like the bright one on a previous post.

Next, take a pipe cleaner and wrap around your folded tissue paper, in the center, and twist the end around itself to secure.

Then comes the hard part- except that it's not really hard, you just have to be careful not to rip the tissue paper, which you will do if you pull to fast and hard. Carefully start separating the layers of tissue paper to create the fullness of the flower.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (Except don't really lather or rinse- just repeat. Wet tissue paper is a disaster of monumental proportions. It isn't pretty. It's not the look we're going for.) Make one, make a few, or make an entire big bouquet...


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our Hopie Girl

H is for hearty, she has always been so strong, even when sick with RSV and her asthma, she has weathered it all so well, it takes a lot to get this girl down...
O is for observant, she has a keen and discerning way of discovering the world around her and she finds delight in so much of it, perhaps her O should be for optimistic as well...
P is for playful, she loves to have fun, and she loves to play hard and strong (I wish I had half of her energy!)
E is for enthusiastic, she is a girl who puts her all into everything, and her enthusiasm is contagious- just ask those who know her!
Our Hope turned 5 last month, and what a whirlwind her 5 yrs have been. I should have known this child would have a great big bunch of personality when she burst onto our scene after about 45 minutes of labor, all 9 pounds and 12 ounces of her! When she was hospitalized with RSV at 6 weeks old, I truly think it was her robust healthy size that helped her hold her own against that awful virus which also affected her sister and left the 2 of them with some chronic asthma issues. She was such a trooper last fall, when she ended up in the PICU at Children's Hospital with RSV again, and pneumonia, and asthma flare-up.

Hope is a child who can always make us laugh. She says the funniest things I've ever heard come forth from the mouth of a child. I remember laughing so hard one day, while at dinner with the family at my parents', and I said the oft' said "I really should write all of these down!" and my Dad, still laughing quite hard at whatever her latest quip had been answered "No, you need video... because no one would believe you..." which made all of us laugh so much more. It's so true, some of the things she says are so profoundly funny, that it's hard to believe a 3, 4, or now 5 year old could even come up with that. (You may notice that most of the funnies of my kid quotes posts have been Hopisms...)

I look forward to the next 5 years with her, and the 5 years after that, and as many years as the Lord gives us!

Thank you, Lord, for our precious Hope, for the way she makes us smile and laugh, and the way she touches and manages to melt our hearts each and every day. Thank you for her enthusiasm and zest for life, may it never grow old and tired. Thank you for the chance to be her Mommy. I humbly pray that You would grant me, daily, wisdom and guidance that I may be used by You to mold and shape her little heart and life, that she would grow into the woman that You would have her to be.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Multitude Monday 291-300

291. children who color so many darling pictures that we don't have enough room on the walls to display them and they need special folders to store the archives...
292. a teenager who volunteered to stay home with a sick toddler (not too sick, but enough to not bring out to play with friends) and insisted I bring the others to our scheduled play date, as they had all worked so hard all week to get their lists checked off, their work all done...
293. seeing my children work so hard all week, with their eyes on a prize they can really push themselves, they did great, my Mother heart beams...
294. morning sunshine making it so much easier to get out of bed each day- I have never been a morning person, having a sleep disorder doesn't help one bit, and neither does a crazy month at my husband's jobs...
295. more birds tweeting each day, the suet rapidly depleting from the feeder
296. thoughts of gardening, I'll grumble in the heat and when the weeds take over, but for now the thoughts of our long winter melting into spring green keep my smiling in anticipation
297. tissue paper flowers
298. sweet toddler grins
299. big brothers enjoying play time with their youngest brother, the contagious laughs spreading through the room like wildfire
300. 8 yr old girl turning 9, last year of single digits, she may be growing up too fast for my heart to comprehend, but I am so thankful for 9 years with my oldest daughter, my mini me, the one who has shown me more about myself than I ever wanted to know, but I needed to know so much...


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