Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

This winter there haven't been many faces covered in snow.

There wasn't a snow covered path for the sleigh ride at our local Winter Wonderland celebration.

There haven't been any afternoons playing in the snow, building snowmen or throwing snowballs.

Therefore there haven't been any red nosed, frozen children running inside for hot cups of cocoa with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Nope. There hasn't been any of that!

All of that is supposed to change today!

The weather forecast has been calling for 8 to 10 inches of snow beginning this afternoon! Yippee!!

Of course the closer we get to this afternoon, the more we keep hearing the total possible accumulation totals drop. Bah!

I want a snow day!

I want school cancelled!

I want kids, frozen from playing in the snow, who need cups of hot cocoa!

I want snuggling around the fire!

I want wet mittens drying by the heat vents!!

Please let it snow!

Keeping my fingers crossed for 8 to 10 inches of the fluffy white stuff!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Let the Drawing Begin

Walls were prepped!

Painting commenced! Clearly someone in the other room found the whole process rather boring!

Waited 4 hours, applied second coat!

Waited 4 more hours until the next morning to apply a third coat. Probably not absolutely necessary, but definitely worth taking the time to do.

Done! Kind of. Painting was done! Waiting 3 days to condition and use the new chalkboard wall began...and was painful for the girls!!

Upon returning home from school the day I painted the final coat of chalkboard paint they were so excited to begin drawing! They both moaned audibly when I told them the instructions say to wait for 3 days before drawing on it. 

"Three days?" 

Patience young chalkboard drawers! Saturday you may draw!

Saturday we went to see Star Wars: Phantom Menace with a few of Miss Sofia's friends in tow for her belated birthday celebration as we had been so busy with the school play the weekend of her birthday.

She has been trying to figure out how to use the Jedi mind trick on me ever since.

"You want to give your daughter a second piece of birthday cake."

Yeah, it wasn't happening! Mother's are immune!

Now that the chalkboard wall was finally ready to be drawn on, and I had several eager drawers, I told Miss Emma Bean and Miss Sofia and Miss Sofia's friends they could draw on the wall as long as they would do the conditioning for me first!

They happily agreed!

The five girls made short work of conditioning the board. Lucky me!

Did you know you should condition a chalkboard before you use it?

Conditioning is just applying a layer of chalk to the board and then erasing it. It makes erasing easier. However, you can just use a damp sponge to wash away chalk marks that don't easily erase if you don't want to coat the entire wall.

With the chalk wall conditioned the girls began to have some fun!


Smarty pants!


Too funny!!

The chalkboard wall is a big hit!

Now that I'm in a painting mood it's time to choose a new color for the rest of the kitchen!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Don't Ski

The Husband and I do not ski. No we do not. Not that there is anything wrong with skiing. I'm sure it's a fine sport. Sorry that's a lie. Careening down a snowy hill while standing on two thin planks of wood, hoping one can stop before slamming into someone or something does not seem like a fine sport to me! Therefore the girls do not ski. 

The girls have each gotten to try skiing once though. Not because the Husband and I decided to take them so they could grow up with a well rounded variety of experiences. No siree! Because it's one of their 5th grade field trips.

Miss Emma Bean's class went skiing yesterday.

She was nervous and excited while getting her boots on.

All of the students began their skiing adventure with some basic instruction.

These are skis!

This is how you get your skis on.

So far so good! Thrilled with her progress Miss Emma Bean broke into a little dance!

Oh yeah I can do this! Uh huh I got my skis on! That's when it dawned on her, "We have to get all the way over there!??"

She was doing a great job as she finally proceeded to ski down the bunny hill.

She was feeling cool and confident. 

However stopping and turning proved to be a little tricky. Whoops! 

Miss Emma Bean got a little coaching from my very good friend Amy, who also has a 5th grader. Amy and I were there because we were chaperoning the field trip. She was ski chaperoning. I was photo taking chaperoning. I don't ski.

I was very grateful Amy was there to give Miss Emma Bean some tips. Amy is a good friend like that! She loves my kids like her own. I love her kids like my own. I love her for loving my kids!

It took the better part of the day, but Miss Emma Bean finally got the knack of turning and stopping!

And there it is folks! The photo that made the whole day!!

I still don't ski.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Go Big or Go...

I want a chalkboard wall!


Well maybe not desperately. It's not like I'm going to drop to the ground and pitch a screaming fit if I don't get one. I don't think. Probably not. It doesn't even have to be a whole wall! I would gladly settle for a small section of wall!

Definitely not desperate! I have been dreaming about it though. And imagining where to put one.

This desire began when I saw the chalkboard wall Layla painted and then shared on her blog The Lettered Cottage. Click on The Lettered Cottage to check it out. It's very fun!

I've been looking for and getting giddy over chalkboard walls ever since, adding to my desperate desire. I'm not desperate.

The Husband and I have been trying to figure out the best place to paint our own chalkboard wall. We considered painting a door. Through traffic could cause trouble though. Door...out. 

Then we considered painting a section of wall at the end of the dining room and framing that section. The Husband did a little photoshop magic so we could see what it would look like.

We like it!

I had the spot taped off and ready to go...then the Husband said...wait for it..."Why don't we just paint the entire wall?" 

I could have squealed with delight!

I didn't think he would go for an entire wall.

But last night he taped off the entire wall and began to fill in the little holes from pictures that we had up.

Please disregard hideous light fixture that needs to be replaced!!
Today I will sand and prep the wall! If I'm lucky and all goes well I'll actually begin painting today! Yippee!

I can't wait to show you the finished product!

I didn't even have to drop to the ground and pitch a screaming fit. Not that I would have. I don't think.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Taking on a Challenge

I have begun to read the book Breaking Free by Beth Moore.

Beth Moore purposes to teach women how to love and live on God's word through the ministry she founded in 1994 called Living proof Ministries

I pretty much got that line right out of her bio. It's completely true! I have done a couple of her Bible studies, Daniel and Esther. I learned so much. I found both studies to be thought provoking, and spirit renewing! I came away from the studies with a greater understanding of Daniel and Esther's reliance on God and how to apply the examples of their lives, as recorded in the Bible, to my own today.

Beth is funny and deeply caring. She has a genuine heart for the Lord, and for helping women grow in their faith. Hence my interest in reading her book Breaking Free. That and the title grabbed me. 

Breaking free! WOW!!

There are things in my life, habits, negative thoughts, fears and worries that I would love to break free from. I feel I manage most of these things pretty well, but I don't think I have really trusted the Lord to set me free from them. Being free from them would be far better! 

I agree with Beth. "Christ calls us to a place of breaking free. He woos us to the place of absolute freedom!"

I am so excited to read this book and better understand what scripture says about the freedom God calls us to!

Here's where the challenge comes in.

It has me a little nervous!

So much so that I wasn't sure I wanted to share it with you because...what if I fail? Then I acknowledged that thinking I might fail was exactly the kind of thinking I want to be free of! So I'm tellin' ya! Even though it's making my palms sweat! And no matter how much I gulp as I write!!

Here goes.

Beth Moore is big on memorizing scripture. She's very wise that one! Psalm 119:11 tells us how important scripture memorization is. Your word have I hid in my heart, that I may not sin against You.

When we know what God calls us to do because we have committed His word to memory we are less likely to wander from Him and His commands.

When we commit His word to memory we know how God wants us to treat one another. Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

When we commit His word to memory we know that there is nothing to fear. Isaiah 41:10  Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

When we commit His word to memory we know that though we fall short of His glory and goodness He continues to love us and show His mercy. Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and MERCY shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

And when we commit His word to memory, we will remember the things God has promised to us. Very helpful for my goal of searching out and knowing God's promises isn't it?

I am taking up Beth's challenge...encouragement to memorize the several scripture passages she refers to in her book. I also want to begin to commit to memory those promises I'm seeking out. Yikes! It's been a while, a long while since I made a significant effort to memorize a lot of scripture.

My brain was a lot younger the last time!

I think it's going to be well worth my effort though!

This is where Breaking Free begins.

Isaiah 61:1-4 (1-4 oh my!)

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified." And they shall rebuild old ruins, they shall raise up former desolations, and they shall repair ruined cities, the desolation of many generations.

It's a lot to commit to memory! But what a beautiful promise to know in one's heart!

Jesus came to preach good tidings! He came to bring comfort! He came to set us free! Well worth remembering! 

So here I go. I'm taking up the challenge to begin memorizing more scripture! Say a prayer for my poor old brain would you?


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Can We Reschedule

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Did you do anything special with your sweetheart?

The Husband, who is wonderful beyond words in so many ways, planned to take the day off of work so we could spend Valentine's Day together.

For a little while it looked like our day together may not happen. Bummer! The Husband was not feeling well Monday night, a stomach virus. Yuck!! Fortunately he was doing better Tuesday morning!! Hurray!! We had a great time wandering through all of the fun shops in Stillwater Minnesota. I was a little disappointed that my very favorite shop, Rose Mille, was not open. Pooh!

Rose Mille is all crafty and eclectic.

It makes me happy! 

One of the Husband's wonderful qualities is that he will enter this store with me and wait very patiently as I look to my hearts content!! Yep, he's a good man!

Unfortunately by early afternoon he was not feeling well again. He's home sick today. Poor guy! This stomach virus has been going around. I don't know how he got it. He usually manages to avoid these things. There went our Valentine's evening.

And as a bonus, Miss Sofia returned home from school yesterday with a terrible cold. She was all stuffed up, headachy, and sneezy. Poor girl! She's home sick today too! I suspect that she was worn down from the hectic schedule of the last several weeks as she and her classmates were preparing for the production of Mulan they performed last weekend. It was fabulous!

Miss Sofia played the part of a cheongsam salesperson. What's a cheongsam you ask? It's the traditional chinese dress that Captain Shang and his soldiers used to disguise themselves so they could sneak into the palace unnoticed by the Huns.

She did a great job! 

All of the students did a great job!

I was very upset the night we went to see the see the production to find out all photography was "strictly prohibited." What!!??

Fortunately I had been given permission to take some photos the night before while I was helping backstage. They aren't great photos because I was backstage, but at least I got some photos. Strictly prohibited. BAH!

I wasn't the only one who took a few photos while helping backstage.

See the other mom who helped taking photos of Captain Shang and the Emperor? And there's my girl, Miss Sofia, waiting in the wings.

The girl who payed Mushu did an excellent job! She was very funny!

There's Miss Sofia! She only had one line but the play would have been lost without it! That's just my opinion of course.

The band director spent three weeks creating this dragon head. Isn't it great?

Everyone loved the big confetti cannon finish!

What a fun play, even though the many long weeks of practice and the five shows wore my girl down to the point where she is now sick. She would do the whole thing again. And I would support her and help out all over again even though it left me with a sick child. And I will try to have a good attitude and kiss my poor sick girl's head and make her soup and take good care of her like usual instead of shouting, "Not today, I don't have time for this!" because I have so much to do after the busy play weekend and after taking a morning off to spend time with the Husband, which I'm so thankful for, that now won't get done because I have a sick family to take care of!

Yep, as much as I really do enjoy the occasional sick day, the occasional opportunity to dote on one of my family members when they're sick and need some extra lovin', sometimes it's just not convenient.

Can we reschedule this sick day please?


Monday, February 13, 2012

The Deal We Made

The Husband and I made a deal with our girls.

Wait until 14 years old to wear makeup and I would take them to the salon for a makeup lesson, and their first makeup application.

Some of you are thinking we are way too conservative making our children wait until 14 when some girls begin to wear makeup at the age of 10. And some of you are probably thinking we are not conservative enough, we should make our girls wait even longer. But the Husband and I discussed the matter quite a bit, and decided 14 would be a good age for our girls.

We believe that having our girls wait until 14 will allow us time to have some really good conversations about what beauty really is. We can address the lies about the unattainable and unreal images of beauty that the media put before us each day. We believe...hope that by the age of 14 the girls will be more able to understand, and have witnessed that lasting beauty is about more than what can be seen on the outside. That lasting beauty is about hands that reach out in love to help those in need. It's eyes that are windows into a soul full of love and compassion. It's about showing God's mercy and grace to others.This is the message we hope to impart to our girls before they begin to invest time and energy into just their outward appearances.

Now don't get me wrong! I have nothing against makeup. I like it. I suspect most women do. What female doesn't get a thrill from trying a new eyeshadow or lipstick? I also think there is the sense of moving into womanhood when a girl begins to wear makeup. It's a little like a right of passage for many of us.

Guess who turns 14 today!!

Miss Sofi Bug!!!

As promised, I made an appointment for her to get her makeup done on Saturday. We decided to make a morning of it and stopped for Starbucks first.

We sipped our Starbucks and chatted. It was wonderful! I decided it couldn't hurt to take one more opportunity to touch on the subject of inner beauty. I really think she heard me. Or she really only heard...Wah wawh. Wah wawh wah wawh.


At least we've had the conversations and though what I'm trying to tell her may not have completely settled on her yet, it's floating around in there with all of her other thoughts. And it kept me from totally freaking out that my little girl is practically a makeup wearing woman!!! What??

Though she was very excited to have her makeup done by a professional, she was very nervous, and a little red around the eyes after an eyebrow waxing. Ouch!

The makeup artist explained how to use the different makeup brushes.

She chose some great eyeshadow colors for Miss Sofi Bug and explained how to apply them.

She talked about eyeliner and the different ways to apply it.

The makeup artist may have talked a little too much about the makeup mistakes some women make, which I could tell had Miss Sofi Bug getting very nervous that she would be the one to make all of those mistakes when she tried to apply the makeup herself. I just smiled and mouthed, "You will do fine!"

A little blush was added.

A touch of mascara.

A hint of lip color...

Before. Lovely!


She took my breath away!

Thank you to Kecia, the makeup artist, who did a wonderful job applying Miss Sofia's makeup. 

Right of passage taken. Miss Sofia has left off being a child. She is clearly a beautiful young woman, inside and out.

I held it together. I did not cry! Even though that salon took and kept my baby then sent me home with a young woman. sniff

I drove home with a very different mindset about my girl. I was very aware of how much closer she is to adulthood. And though I've loved my relationships with my little girls, the relationships with my nearing adulthood girls is even more wonderful!

However, I'll admit I was relieved later in the day when I realized some things haven't changed all that much.


Happy Birthday Miss Sofia!!