Friday, January 29, 2010

By accident

At school at Christmas we have this wonderful thing called "Secret Santa." Yes, I know I'm backtracking, just stick with me!

So, a couple of years ago, I drew my friend's name. I knew just what I would get her for one of her "final" gifts. (See, we get little gifts for the first 4 days, you know, surprise them a little each day, make them smile, and then the last day when we have our staff breakfast, we give the "Big" gift, the gift that makes it all worth while.)

Anyway, she is a reading aide, so I knew she would use this item I was going to make her when she gave tests, etc.

Now, this one I will show you, is not the one I made her, this is the one I made for myself....which started the whole thing.

You see, teachers talk, and some of them liked what I made my friend, so they started placing their orders, for themselves, and for friends.

This is my dilemma. I LIKE making these, I like it ALOT. I am thinking about creating an Etsy store to sell these and cute boxes, etc. This is where I need your input.

This is the top of my clipboard with all the CUTE ribbons that make me swoon when I pass them in the aisle at Hobby Lobby.
This is the back.

And this is the front.
My daughter is constantly asking me, "Mom, why did you put an i on the front of your board? Your name starts with an "L". I know dearest, it's a lowercase L." It's what I had, deal with it.
Anyway, all the boards I've made so far are custom. So, what do you think. I'm on the fence and need some feedback. I know there are a lot of people on Etsy that sell clipboards. Should I be one of them?
Help out a soul just searching.....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Life is...

Well, I didn't feel inspired to write today, but when I opened a picture file I had on the computer, I felt compelled to share it with you.

You see, I'm pretty sure I've caught my daughter's cold. I've felt extremely tired lately, and there is not a day in the week when we're not driving someone to something. It's getting old.

I know I've complained about this before. Sorry. It's just, I have to let it out.
When I came across this picture of the kiddos the other day, it made me smile. Today it made me laugh. I'm not sure why, it just did. I mean, the seriousness on his face, when the glasses just look so ridiculous!

This "funky" look started the other day at the library, when Evan picked Spy Kids 3, which is appropriately in 3-D. He was so excited because he had previously seen it at his best friend Mason's house. We hurried home and scrounged around until we found some 3D glasses from a book we had.

Grace even got in on the act.

This movie took, I think, 3 days to watch. You see, with all their activities after school, animal chores, and homework, movies usually only get watched on the weekend, or in the 45 minutes in the morning AFTER they get dressed and BEFORE we leave for school, hence 3 days to finish one movie.

Could he look anymore relaxed?

I think they liked the movie, but it's not going to be a "purchase." You know what I'm talking about. We're not the kind of family who just runs out and buys movies. We're the ones who check it out from the library SO MUCH that we just figure, it's probably something we should just buy because we really like it. This is why our movie collection doesn't rival the library's, or a number of the kids friends'.

So, while today was not the day to end all days, it was another day closer to the weekend, another day closer to not driving my "bus" to all the practices, games, or ceramics classes for 4-H. I'm ready for a break. What's that old line...."Calgon, take me away!" Yo Brent, I need a hot bath - STAT!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A 10th Birthday...Nancy Drew Style!

We celebrated Grace's 10th birthday party several days early. She has really been enamored with the Nancy Drew book series and movie, and she requested a Nancy Drew Mystery party. Easier said than done my dearest....but here's how it turned out.

This was the invitation for the girls. Inside had a picture of Nancy Drew from the movie, and gave the specifics of the party.

6:00 pm - Girls arrive (5 of them to be exact, plus Evan's best friend, Mason ) The screaming IMMEDIATELY starts.

6:11 pm - "boys" from school call to prank the girls. (I can't BELIEVE this is already going on.)

6:15 pm - We got pizza for supper, and the girls tear into it like they haven't eaten for days. Two cheese pizzas, and half a pepperoni pizza are devoured within minutes.
** The boys call about every 5-10 minutes until Dad gets on the phone.

7:00 pm - After supper, presents were opened and Twister was played for oh, about 10 minutes, and then the "real party" began. I had made a "fake" will that was from an old lady who had chosen Grace to inherit her fortune, however, her grandson, Elvis, couldn't know that the girls were searching for the pieces of the will, and the fortune.

They all took turns reading the clues and running around the house finding pieces of the will (running around and screaming that is. I've never heard so much screaming in my life!)

Once all the pieces were found, they put the will together to find the final clue and locate their prize.

They were so hyper, they could hardly figure out the final clue. I had hidden it in a drawer in a bureau in my bathroom. These are what they each had, keeping with the "plaid, old fashioned" theme like the new Nancy Drew movie. A small pad of paper, some pencils, mini pens, jelly beans, a silly straw, and some nerds.

7:30 pm - Ate CAKE! And blew out some candles. I tried to make a cake that looked like a magnifying glass, but you know, that's just not an easy task. They didn't care, they just dug right in.

After cake, ice cream, and some MORE pop, they went upstairs to get in their jammies, and watch the Nancy Drew movie in Grace's room. However, about 10:00 pm when the boys went to sleep, screaming erupted from the girl's room. Apparently, ghost stories were exchanged, and NO ONE could sleep upstairs, they were just too scared, so, our living room became sleeping central.

At 1:00 am, I went out to the living room and told the girls it was about time to go to sleep. I proceeded to go back to my room and fall asleep. The story goes like this....or so I heard at breakfast the next morning...that they all stayed up until 3am. Sure they did. Whatever girls. I'm just glad they had fun.

I did look at my husband one time during the weekend, though, and I lovingly said, "THIS is why we don't have 8 children."

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm surrounded by ART!

I'm just a lowly teacher's aide working at the same school my own kids go to, in the same town I grew up in.

You see, when I went to college in the big metropolis of Goshen (metropolis, this is laughable), I majored in Business and Art. I had high expectations of moving to a big city, having a wonderfully delicious job in a really cool design agency, interior design firm, etc. However, the summer I graduated, I fell in love with what would, a year later become my husband. You see, he grew up in remote Michigan on a farm, and big cities DID NOT appeal to him one little bit. I had grown up on a farm, and DID NOT want to live on one.

Our differences aside, we still fell in love, still got married, it's just that that big dream I had of moving to a large city and having a really cool job, just got left by the wayside. I did, nonetheless, convince him our first year of marriage to live IN a city, not the TOWN I grew up in. We moved to an apartment in Goshen. I loved every minute of it. We were close to everything. I worked at a job I sorta wanted. I was doing graphic design, just for RV's instead of some really cool clients. About a year into my graphic design job, I moved to another area at the same business, and coordinated all the salesman's dealer trips (which I got to go on, which was really cool), and kept up with their daily schedules, etc. I LOVED that job, and then I got pregnant, which I was thrilled about.

Long story short, two kids in 13 1/2 months, and I quit my job to stay home with my wonderful babies.

After 6 1/2 years of wonderful bliss staying home, I went back to work, first subbing, then securing a kindergarten para job at my kids school. I do love the fact that I'm at their school everyday, and I get to see both of them periodically throughout the day. I can attend their in school birthday parties, go on their field trips, etc.

This is NOT my dream job, but it is a job, and I get my summers off, and school delays thrown in every once in awhile. HOWEVER, whenever we have art projects in Kindergarten, my heart soars.

We get back to my "art roots" and even though these kids are NOT as excited as me to create something beautiful, they try.

One little boy, who is one of my favorites told me one day he had a dream. He said, "Mrs. Yoder, I dreamt that I was on a train, and all I had was scissors, and we had to do CRAFTS all day!" Oh, the horror! I can imagine for a little boy, THIS is not how he would like to be spending his day!

Anyway, getting on with it, these are the crafts we've finished this week.

These are warm mugs of hot chocolate. Aren't they adorable?

This one is made by a boy after my own heart. Turquoise and red! This would go great in my kitchen!

Today's craft is for 100 day. We are celebrating our 100th day of school by making cereal necklaces with 100 fruit loops, 100 crowns, etc.

These are some of the cuties in my morning class. Haley and Ellie.

Isn't she doing a great job of coloring? This is not for the faint of heart. The boys OFTEN peter out about halfway through a coloring project.

This girl really knows what she's doing!
So, I guess what this whole post meant, is.....I may not be living the dream life I always thought I wanted, but after all, it was a DREAM. I love my family, I love that I get to still be with my kids everyday, and these kindergartners OFTEN make me laugh. I'm thankful God gave me this opportunity. I'm thankful I have a job in this economy. And if I get to make "art" every once in awhile, well, that's just a bonus!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It just flew in my cart

One day around Christmas, I was walking around Walmart and spotted something I didn't know I wanted until I saw it. There, on one of the end caps was the most beautiful large frame I had seen for awhile. It was from the Better Homes and Gardens line, and it literally SCREAMED at me. YOU MUST BUY ME. I knew just the place I would put it, above my bed. I've been wanting to change the picture I had there for awhile now. It was $20, and if you know me at all, I'm nothing but frugal, and $20 for a frame just seemed like an extravagance to me, so I walked on by.

Now granted, as part of the Dave Ramsey program my husband and I adhere to, we each get $20 blow money a week that we don't question each other about. I decided to wait, however, and go with the chance that it might still be in the store when I absolutely couldn't stand not having it.

Well, last night I was at Walmart getting some last minute groceries and THERE IT WAS on the clearance aisle, for $15! I had just gotten my $20 blow money for the week out of the bank, and decided this was a sign. It quite literally flew in my cart since there was only one left. I think I actually did a quick glance to the left and right of me, to make sure no one else was going to get it before I did, then I quickly put it in my cart and flew down the aisle. I couldn't stop smiling.

This is where I decided to put it.

What I had there was fine, but a little small for the bed. So, here it is, the new frame!

I added the ribbon and the old fashioned door handle, and the berries, but the frame is what it is.

Just look at the added detail to each corner.

And the background color goes so well with my wall color.

This is an old door handle that came from our first house in Goshen. A 100 year old house that I miss greatly for it's character. I hung it on a nail above the frame.

Here is the end result. I'm very pleased with my purchase. It just goes to show, you never know when a deal will be made. Just don't get in my way if I see it first!

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's a new day

The other day I painted Live well, laugh often, love much on the wall of my stairway. Here is the before picture.

There was just something about it I didn't like. So, knowing my decorating ADD problem, I decided to paint over the LIVE WELL, and change the font a little. Since my name is Lorie after all, and I grew up watching

Laverne and Shirley (know where I'm going with this?) I decided to try an "L" like Laverne used to sew on her shirts. Here is the result. Tell me what you think.

I kept the LOVE MUCH the same, just thinned it out with some tan paint. I don't know....I'm still mulling it over. Does it look dumb with 3 different fonts, should they all be the same.....comment below and tell me what you think.

Since the 3 of us didn't have school today too, I finished another project on my to do list. I made (from a $1.50 metal file box at Goodwill) a very cute, if I do say so myself, photo box for my CD's. I've been wanting to organize them for awhile.

I mod podged the paper to the outside, and then made some dividers from two scrapbook papers affixed together (so they are double-sided) for the inside. I need to make some more, but here are the 19 I made this morning.

I like how LONG this is. Hopefully I'll be able to fit a couple of years worth of CD's in here.

Now, what to do next...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One Wintry Eve

Try to remember back to just the other day when I showed you a picture of my TO DO list. It was 17 items long, and it was just BLOWING my mind. I'm happy to report, about 4 or 5 of those items on my list got finished today. You see, when I'm faced with a 3-day weekend, the creative juices just BURST FORTH!

One of the items on my list was to use my Cricut machine and print out a saying on sticky paper that I would attach to my wall of pictures. I've been wanting to do this for awhile because, let's face it, this wall just looks....

a little, how should I say it? Dare I say it...

BORING. Naked. Say what you will, it needed something. I searched the Internet looking for just the right saying. Not something too fru-fru or sickly sweet. Something PERFECT. At least, perfect for my home.

Needless to say, when I went in search of my sticky paper for my Cricut, I didn't have enough. Remember, I've been wanting to do this for a LONG TIME! It's been written down from one to-do list to the other for weeks. I didn't want to wait, so I thought, Hey, I can free-hand the letters and paint them myself!

Sometimes I just amaze myself.

It took me some time, and some erasing, I'm not gonna lie...and this is the final result.

I'm sure the real vinyl letters would've looked more professional. But I like it. It makes the wall look more filled in. I wish I could find more of these square frames from the Martha Stewart Line at Kmart. My mother so graciously gave these to me, and I can't find them in the store anymore. If any of you have seen these, let me know where!

Here's a picture that Grace took while I was painting. I like this angle.

Y'all let me know what you think. If it's bad, please don't comment! For all our sakes!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jump on in.

It's been a long week at school. The kids (meaning the 42 kindergarteners we see on a daily basis) have been NUTS all week. The teacher I work with was out 3 days this week due to sickness and meetings, so we've had a sub. It's amazing to me how young kids start to "work over" a sub.
Anyway, this is where I should officially start this post. I technically "checked out" about Wednesday. I started feeling like this week was taking WAY too long. I came home today and started ripping the sheets off the bed. I actually physically flipped over our queen size mattress all by myself because it just needed to be done.

I put on these delicious sheets. No, they are not silky or anything racy like that, they are VERY soft cotton sheets (Simply Shabby Chic sheets to be exact...from Target) that fit the bed perfectly. You all know what I mean. Some sheets ride up over the edges, some fit perfectly. These are perfect. And the design....

So wonderfully vintage looking. That's what sold me in the first place, that and they were on clearance a year ago at Target. Clearance items scream to me as I walk past them in the aisle. Literally scream!

I wanted to make the bed, so I'd feel invited to jump in and sleep away the week from, well, from not a very good place.

I'm very glad we have Monday off for Martin Luther King day. Maybe I'll

just jump right in and sleep the weekend away.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It never ends...

So, I haven't posted since Saturday, this surprises me, yet it doesn't. This has already been a bad week. Not in the something terrible has happened to us week, just the incredibly busy week. Upwards basketball practice for both kids as well as church, and two sets of 4-h meetings. Ugh! I'm tired just thinking of the running this week. It's no wonder this is what my to-do list looks like.

It's 17 items long! And I'm not talking "easy things." These are the things that maybe I've wanted to do for awhile, I just haven't gotten to them, and my list just keeps getting longer. I'm excited to have a 3 day weekend this week (Thank you Martin Luther King!), maybe I'll get something done on the list.

For example:

the number one item on the list is ORGANIZE FISH FRY STUFF! I'm the chairperson again of our school's fish fry this spring. This is a major task. A task I have already taken on two years ago. One that ended up not being so bad. One that lead to me being PTO President this year...but that's for another post, another time. This is something that will occupy my mind for the next couple of months. Something that will cause me to stop breathing at times when I wonder if I've taken care of a task.....

Being busy....this is something we've talked about endlessly in Sunday School. Is busy something that just happens to you, or something we create for ourselves, like my endless to do list? This is something I often ponder over. Our two kids are in one sport at a time, and in swine club in 4-h. This shouldn't seem like a lot, but when you count practices, meetings, and church events on Wed. night, this makes our life seem busy.

I can see where this can wear a person down, if they let it. I try not to let it get to me, just pick up my keys and drive so and so to such and such a place. I've gotten good at making my weekly grocery list on the fly, waiting in the parking lot for someone, or watching someone's practice.

I love my children and want them to find something they DESIRE to do. Something that makes them feel happy. I've found that for if I could just make that into a job.

But enough of the rambling. I hope wherever you're reading this, you're loving your life, busy or not. I'm loving mine even though I'm dramatically sleep deprived. Maybe tonight's not a good night to do #16 on the list....rearrange the living room (again). My husband might disown me!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

If life gives you snow...make snowcones

It's no secret it's been snowing in my small town. Everyone's talkin' about it, it's the big subject around the supper table in our home. "Will we get more?" "Will we have a snow day tomorrow, or maybe a delay?" The questions are endless, (and sometimes annoying, I mean, what am I, a weatherwoman?)

So, the other day, as I'm driving to school on this particular road I travel everyday, I see this off to my left....

It's the town pond. It looks so serene, so quiet in it's own way. I wonder what the fish are saying to each other under the ice. "Gee, this water sure is cold!" or something to that matter.

This pond has seen me through some good and bad times in my life. When I was growing up, we used to have a little summer festival on the 2nd weekend of June (my birthday weekend, so it was even better.) We had rides, food, you know, carnival stuff, and it was THE place to be. I would get to see all my friends and walk the couple of downtown blocks and have the time of my life.

This pond sits just off of main street. It's the place where everyone gathers for a reunion, 4-H meeting, etc. It's adorable.

It's the place where my sister, not just once, but twice, had an accident. When she was 3 and I was 6, we were here for a reunion. She climbed up to the top of the metal slide, saw a bee, and fell off from the top, splitting her head in the process, and having to go get stitches. (We'll talk about her pension for clumsiness in another post) It's also the place where she somehow, just FELL IN THE POND! Seriously!

It's the place where I was taught how to fish. I LOVE this pond, if only for sentimental reasons. It's even pretty in the late summer with kids beside it (AFTER I yelled at them to stay away from the edge so they don't fall in like Aunt Jenny did!)

They usually don't sit this still (mine, not the extra child in the picture...I don't know her very well.)

But I digress....this is just a simple suggestion to all of those out there reading this (and I hope it's more than my 6 followers! ) Take the time to look at the beauty all around you. Even at the funniest times, a memory might come up and grab you!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Read America, READ!

So I have a love of sue me. I get a little wrapped up in the books I read, my children sometimes struggle to get me to answer them when I'm in the middle of a book, and I don't have enough time to do all the reading I would like to. These are my downfalls I suppose. I LOVE TO READ. (Are you getting the just of this?)

I always have. It started at a young age, and has become an obsession. My dad, also an avid reader, doesn't help with my weakness. He is constantly passing me books that he's read. I LOVE it. I LOVE TO READ, did I already say that? I do. I can't help it.

This is just one small part of my house filled with books. I'll read anything I can get my hands on.

Tonight, I saw this in my living room... (I don't mean the crossed eyes, I mean the book!)

This was one of the first series of books I read. Grace is in 4th grade, and that's probably when I began to read this series. She's reading it because they are talking about pioneers in class. I read it, and the Nancy Drew series in the same year. Good times, good times.

This past year, I also joined a book club. We've read many different kinds of books. My husband makes fun of us every time we meet. He wants to know why in the world we'd talk about books that have a story that isn't real. (He's NOT a reader, can you tell? The extent of the reading from this man is a magazine or the Farmer's Exchange) I like it because we all usu sally have a different perspective of the book. It's interesting. It's intellectual. It's woman time away from home. Get my point?

I actually get up 1/2 hour earlier than I normally would so I can read over my breakfast. Course I usually have to stop at the most exciting part, and wake the kids up to get ready for school. Bummer!

I've also recently trained my kids to love to visit Barnes and Noble. To me, this is heaven on earth, and I'd love to kiss the man who dreamed up the place. Cozy chairs, books galore, and coffee to boot! I'm hoping in Heaven, there will be a GINORMOUS library!

Here's something I came across on a blog that I'm contemplating putting on one of my walls....

Isn't it cute? And so red, I love red.

Well, I'm sure I've rambled on enough. Time for the kids to go to bed. Maybe I'll finish the book I was reading this morning so I can get started on another one.....

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, New Obsession

What is it about the turning over a calendar page of a new year, that we all come a little undone, and focus on all our "bad habits" or things about us that need to be changed? We all suddenly need to be on a diet, or we need to fix that one thing about ourselves that, let's be honest, might not get fixed overnight?
Don't get me wrong, I'm going along with the crowd. I find my "to do" list getting longer all the time, especially when a new year rolls around. My resolution this year, is to be more organized. Now, don't get me wrong, I am pretty organized, just not as much as I'd like to be.
You see, over break, I walked over to my pantry

(pretty cute from the outside with the new dry erase board on it)
and I decided to open it...
The organization of this measly part of my kitchen has been on my to do list since this summer. It has just never gotten done.
Just look.

I'm disgusted with myself. There really are no excuses. You see, I just happened to be browsing some of my favorite blogs, and came upon this pantry that Serena from the Farm Chicks has.

Is that not the prettiest pantry you've ever seen? I can't help myself. I can't stop staring! It's like an accident that you pass, but can't turn away from, it's ADORABLE.

THIS is my resolution. I don't know when it will happen, but it WILL happen. Now, if I just had a snow day to stay home and finish this little task........Help me oh Mother Nature! HELP!