I Learned My Lesson…

There is something you may not know about me…

name label

I’m really super impatient. Not in ALL things, just most.

Especially when I think I have a good idea. I want it done NOW. I don’t care that I have 4 loads of laundry that need to be done, floors that should be cleaned, or a checkbook that I really should balance BEFORE making that trip to the store. I want to do it RIGHT NOW!

I’m working on it. I have a list of the projects I want to do in each room of our home. (Maybe I should prioritize that list….Hmmm)

But it isn’t just projects that I’m impatient to have completed. I’m also pretty impatient in relationships. I don’t mean like with my husband and kids (though I really am – again I’m working on it.) I mean relationships with people who don’t live in my home. I’ve said it before, we move… a lot. The thing about that is, I always expect to have new friends right away.


Sometimes I feel just like Lerch. Do you?

Guess what… that hasn’t EVER happened.

Why? Because relationships take work. I may be surrounded by very welcoming people, but it takes time and effort to get to know them and for them to get to know me. The fishbowl can be a very lonely place, but it doesn’t have to be.

My problem with patience has extended into this little virtual home too.

When I started this blog a little over a year ago, I had a million little ideas and plans and I wanted to share them with some huge adoring public. (I also have problems with realistic expectations.) But the masses never showed up. I quickly got discouraged and gave up. That isn’t really surprising is it?

perfection math

But, the truth is that sometimes I just really need to talk to someone. And even if only a handful of people read what I have to say or no one comments on my thoughts, I still have this need. So here’s to no more shame or embarrassment that my last post was 9 months ago. I’m back with a new plan and some realistic goals and expectations. Who knows, maybe someday I will be able to say that I am able to generate as much traffic as my bloggy idols. But if not, that’s okay too.

This is available as a printable! Just click on the photo to be taken to the original source.

Have you ever just given up on something you really cared about? Did you regret that choice? Will you join me in sucking up your hurt pride and giving it another go?










Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized


I haven’t disappeared!

So it’s been FOREVER since I have posted and I have started to hear about that from some of you. Wow, I can’t tell you how amazing and humbling that is to know that you read my random ramblings and enjoy my little projects.

When last I wrote, I had plans to have a “spend free” month. That did not go so well. Just a few days after I set this goal, life changed. With that, so did our plans for a quiet February. I did stick to my word and did NO shopping in craft or dollar stores (at least for crafting supplies – the dollar store can’t be beat for things like paper towels).

The biggest change that February brought for our family is that Andrew received a new appointment as pastor of the UMC in Corning, IA. We will move there sometime towards the end of June and officially begin his appointment July 1.

Our new church!

I am so very proud of him and excited that he is ready for his own church. But the appointment came much sooner in the process than I expected and caused my planner mode (also known to some as OCD) to take over. I have only seen our new home once and already have a rough layout of where things will go and what colors to paint and so on. I have already been in contact with the schools to get things lined up for the girls. But now, that these things are done, and it’s too early to really start packing, I have to sit and wait. I am no good at waiting.

I keep trying to remind myself of this.

So I find myself thinking a lot about endings and leaving well. So many of our experiences here have been firsts, either for Andrew in his ministry or for our whole family. Andrew had a first wedding, a first funeral, a first confirmation class and most recently a first time to announce to his congregation that he will be leaving. As a family, in Indianola we experienced our first joint birthday party for the girls, first hot air balloon festival (and ride ~ Thanks Al!) and first week without Daddy while he was away for mission trips or continuing education. Now, things are turning to lasts. I don’t know about you, but I like beginnings a whole lot more than endings. There is excitement, anticipation, and even adventure to new beginnings.

Endings just feel sad and final. It breaks my heart to watch my children as they realize that with the excitement of our new home and new church comes the pain of leaving their friends and the people they have come to know and love in this church. And I am right there with them, as I type, I keep blinking back the tears that blur my screen. I think of leaving the wonderful group of ladies from the Beth Moore study I am leading this semester and I am saddened. I think of leaving the supportive ladies in my Mary Kay unit and I feel afraid. I think of leaving the MOPS group that I planted and have coordinated for the past two years and I ache. But I feel like in order to leave well, I need to pull back a bit from these groups I have been so invested in. I need to see them thrive without my interference, both for my own sense of peace and for the new leaders to find their own rhythm. I am trying to make the most of the relationships that I have built here, let people know that I love them and I have valued their friendship. But I also have to make sure that these same people understand that, after the move, I may be a bit distant. I will need to work hard to make good connections in the new field God has for me, and I need the people here to give the same to their new pastor and their family. It seems strange, but to be distant for a time is not an indication of how little value one has to me, but rather just how very important they are to my life.

I ask only for grace as I learn to navigate this difficult part of life in ministry. And I promise that my next post will be much more upbeat. Maybe even crafty! 🙂

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


Freebie February

One of our goals for last year was to get our credit cards all payed off. We didn’t quite make it. But I am determined to have them payed off by July. So that means we have a little less than 6 months. Why July? Because it always ends up being a big money month for us with three birthdays and summer air conditioning bills, so having the extra money not going to credit cards will sure come in handy.

I got this idea from Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas. I encourage you to go read what she and her family have done to make this work for them. (She’s done it TWICE!)

Here are the rules from her website (I’ve made my additions in Green)

7 golden rules for my $0 Budget month: 

1. Thou shall not spend ANY money on Crafts and home  decor or go into a craft or Dollar store 
2. Thou shall not spend ANY money on DVDs, CDs, Books or Clothes
3. Thou shall not spend any money on Sweets or Treats Except for lunchbox items for little miss picky eater
4. Thou shall only buy essential groceries and make savings wherever possible!
5. Thou shall only complete crafts with the items already in the house
6. Thou shall not go to ‘Coffee’ or ‘Lunch’ with other Mummies unless invited to their home or them to mine.
7. Thou shall think “Thrifty”.

So for the month of February every project I post (with the exception of the kids’ Valentine’s that I already have done and just haven’t posted yet) will be something that I have made with only the supplies I have on hand. I do have quite the stash that just keeps on growing. Be prepared for a lot of refashions, maybe this will be the push I need to get through my “to-do” pile.

I will also be doing a lot of organizing and purging this month to get rid of some of our excess. My goal is to take all of the outgrown children’s items to our consignment store and get them out of the basement and garage. I also want to better utilize the space in our pantry cabinets, so I will be looking for ways to re-purpose some things from around the house into new storage items.

In that vein here is my first before and after – the beverages in the cabinet from 3 shelves to 1 and a half. I say half, because there is room behind the orange box to store things.

Finally, for our grocery and home-goods budget. I will only be buying staples and fresh produce. No meat or frozen produce until what we have on hand is GONE. So you may see some posts of creative new recipes that we tried in order to use up what’s on hand. (Like the WHOLE turkey we have on hand from before Christmas.)

I’m curious to see how much we can save by making these small changes for one month.

So are you brave enough to try a $0 budget month?

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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Budget, Uncategorized


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Wreath a month – February

Wreath a month – February

I posted earlier about my goal to make a new wreath for our front door each month this year. Here we are the day before the first of the month and I have a new wreath on my door already.

Here she is…

Since we are a Patriots family and the Super Bowl is this Sunday, I thought about doing a Patriots wreath. But I was much more in the mood for Valentine’s Day. Maybe I’ll make a football themed wreath in the fall.

I started with foam pipe insulation, (you can buy them by the 4 pack already in the right length from Wal-Mart really cheap.) shaped it into a circle and secured the ends with packing tape (I STILL couldn’t find the duct tape. Maybe it’s time to buy some more.)

Next I used hot glue to secure the end of the white boa to the top of the form. Wrap the boa loosely so that it appears more full and fluffy. Then I did the hot pink in the same way on the bottom. For the light pink, I cut the boa in half and wrapped a piece around each of the sides. I like the ombre pattern this created.

The final step was to hang the ornament in the center and create a hanging loop. I separated  the white a bit to make it more uniform, but this left a bit of a gap that I just hid with the ribbon. I wish I would have had a nice wide ribbon on hand, but sometimes, you just gotta work with what you have.

Thanks for stopping by! 

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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Tutorial, Uncategorized


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Corralling the critters

Corralling the critters

I am POSITIVE we can’t be the only family that is OVERRUN with stuffed animals. 

Right? Right?

Oh dear please tell me I’m right!

Here is the pile of critters that live in Ava’s room (to say nothing of Brady’s or the ones that stay in the playroom).

When Brady was a newborn and we only had a FEW stuffed friends, I made her a “pet net” out of some yellow gingham fabric that coordinated nicely with her nursery. Fast forward 5 years, the net is no longer cutting it.

I saw this genius solution on Pintrest


I thought this would be a perfect solution. Then I started looking in the random scraps of wood stored in the basement. I realized if I tweaked the design significantly, I could make this using what I had on hand.

We had three 4×1 boards that were about 3 feet long.


I painted them the same color as her walls and pre-drilled a hole in each end for mounting.

Then I mounted them on the wall with 2″ screws secured with drywall anchors.

Next came the sorting. I sorted the critters into three groups, small medium and large.

I cut strips of elastic (from the sewing kit – I think I ended up using about 5 yards total) in varying lengths to correlate with the groups of critters. Using the staple gun I tacked these to the boards. For the large animals, I tacked both sides separately, but for the small and medium groups, I used one staple to make an elastic loop.

Finally, I got to tuck all the critters into their little elastic harnesses. They look so cute.

The best part is that Ava can see each critter and reach most of them herself, so I don’t have to deal with the nightly stall tactic of “can you find …” followed by 10 minutes of searching through the pile of animals in the net that is above my head. But, the loops are also snug enough on most of them that she will have to work a little to get the critter out, so she can’t make a giant mess in the time it takes me to brush my teeth. BIG BONUS!

So what Pintrest project are you going to tackle? I’d love to hear about it.

I’ve linked this up


 and Here


Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Tutorial


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Name that family

Name that family

A few years back I made some necklaces as Christmas gifts for the gals in my family.

You know, like these…

Here is a place to buy a great tutorial for making your own!

Well, the family loved them. And I could make tons more (and probably will someday). But in the meantime, I have a scrabble game with a handful of missing tiles that now lives in my craft dresser.

Last week, I found this frame sitting in a box in the basement.

Not really my style, just a bit TOO girly for me.

Hmm… Light-bulb!

I removed the mat and the glass.

Then I used the back of the frame to cut a piece of scrapbook paper down to size.

I laid out my design to be sure that it was centered in the frame.

After a bit of hot glue on the back of each tile I was good to go!

I used a piece of my daughter’s play gold to make sure the spaces between the tiles was even.

The frame had a few dings and scratches from being tossed in a box all this time, so I lightly sanded all the edges to make it have an uneven distressed look.

Here is the finished product in its new home.

I really wish the wall around it wasn’t white, but that my friends, is a project for another day.

The girls love seeing their names up on the wall, and Brady has even tried to add up the number values of each name. Who knew my crafting would help her with beginner’s math?


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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Tutorial, Uncategorized


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Wreath a month – January

We don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions in our family. But I do like to try to set some goals. This year I have some big goals.

One of them is to have a new wreath on our front door each month.

I feel a little guilty that I didn’t get one done for January until the 13th. But I insist that the inner-perfectionist is not going to win this battle. There is a wreath on the door. I made it (for FREE). And I love it. THAT is all that really matters.

Here she is…

I started with a simple wire coat hanger. I cut the hook off, shaped it into a circle and secured the ends with electrical tape (I couldn’t find the duct tape.)

Then I selected ribbons from my stash in some form of a color scheme. Most of the ribbon I have has been purchased with the intent of making hair bows, so there is a lot of pink and purple. I also added a few strips of fleece leftover from making blankets like these for my nephews and niece for Christmas. I cut the strips between 4 and 8 inches long depending on how wide and stiff they were. Then I just knotted them on. Some are single knots and others are double knotted to vary the direction of the tails a bit.

I tried to make it as random as possible, though for a recovering perfectionist, that can be tough sometimes. When I had the whole form covered and was happy with the overall design, I cut the tails to V cuts to even them up a bit and make the whole thing overall a bit cleaner. I normally ALWAYS heat-treat ribbon ends, but if these ends fray I think it will just add to the “scrappy” charm.

The final step was to add a LONG ribbon for a hanger. I just knotted it on to the form just like the other ribbons and tied off the open end to form a large loop.

Thanks for stopping by! 


Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Tutorial, Uncategorized


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