Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Family Mission Statement

I’m not sure exactly when it came to me.  I think it while I was in the shower.  It came suddenly, and clearly.  I knew we had to do it.  I ran the idea past my husband and he was on board.

We woke Sunday and in a hurried frenzy, readied ourselves for church, hopped into the Suburban and off we went!  We no sooner pulled out of the driveway when we found ourselves turning around for home about ¼ mile from home.  Black ice had changed the course of our morning.  We came right back in the house and loaded up an episode of Mark Gungor on the DVR for some spiritual enlightening.  We laughed.  We listened.  It was the perfect, God-ordained, segway into my idea.  

Mark wrapped up his sermon and I introduced my idea to the kids. 

“We are going to write our 2014 Family Mission Statement today!”

Of course I got some confusing looks.  Mostly because they had no idea what a “mission statement” was.  After a brief explanation, I outlined the five areas we were going to focus on.  

In the New Year, how will our family relate to:


In each area, we had a discussion about how God asks us to interact with each area?  What did the Bible say about it?  And what exactly did it look like in real life? 
Some were easier to figure out than others.  Our littlest family member had an elaborate example for most of the suggestions.  But, we powered through, and our list, while still not typed up all neat and pretty to display, has already created teachable moments.

After some minor tweaking, here’s our final draft.


How do we relate to:

Attend church regularly
Read our Bibles/have devotions
Put others first
Be respectful
Use kind words
Control our anger
Talk about God with them / Pray for them
Behave like Jesus / Use appropriate talk
Invite them to church
Behave like Jesus / Use appropriate talk
See a need, fill a need
Attend regularly

Now, our children might be a bit older than yours, so you might have to make some adjustments to your family mission statement, should you choose to make one too.  But what a great reference point when things start getting a little less than desirable with attitudes within a family!  We plan to post a copy of this around the house, and the kids have already asked for a copy in each of their rooms!

And while I’m not so na├»ve as to think that the newness of this will never wear off, if it even makes the slightest change in our behaviors and attitudes in the coming year, it will not be in vain!

Blessings to you as you embark on whatever positive changes you intend to incorporate in your own personal life, or in your family.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Meet my cousin, Stacey London.

Eek!  My 20th class reunion is right around the corner and I haven't a thing to wear!  How does one small town, artsy, farm chick do it up right in the wardrobe department?  She seeks out fashionista help from her always-has-it-together cousin, Aly, of course!  {and to be clear, I have no relation to the actual Stacey London, but oh how I wish that I did}

Aly knows me pretty darn well.  That combined with her trendy fashion sense and she came up with a knock-out game plan for what I should wear.  Via social media.  Yep.  We're hours away from each other, so to schedule a girls shopping day to pick out the magic was out of the question.  We relied on Facebook messages, Pinterest images & picture texts straight from the dressing room!

I gave some of you quite a giggle when I posted this picture of me - critique scribble all over it. 

{meh} maxi dress
{oh so comfy} t-shirt dress
my issue with this one... i hate my legs.  what part do you try to {hide}?

80% off taupe halter with gold chain
i will let you in on a secret... i did take this piece home, but not for my reunion.  at under $6 it was a no-brainer.
dress it up or dress it down and another {winner} in the comfy department
ok... so i really liked this top, but was afraid it said {mom on the go}
what do you think?
sweater halter... again, meh.

So, the outfit isn't completely put together yet, but I wanted to share the journey thus far.  I will most definitely post a PART 2 to this saga.  Any guesses as to which outfit won out?  Only accessories left to buy and I'll be ready! 
But a girl can't spend a day at the mall {alooooone} with out shoe shopping, too, right?  I mean, I {had} to look for silver pumps for my sister's upcoming wedding sometime.  *wink*

i found these simply smashing sparkly babies at Aldo.  {love}
my checking account did not, however, like the $80 price tag - ouch.
so, I decided to wait and shop around... and i must have had a serious dose of thrifty mojo that day because...

i scored these silver bad girls for less than $20 on clearance.
{do you hear a choir of angels as well?}

Monday, July 8, 2013

The ever-versitle pallet!

By now, you all know how much I {heart} the pallet.  I've created signs, shelves, organizers & even planters using them.  They are free {most of the time}, and give the weathered rustic look that's so {in} right now.

My latest creation took us the good part of a Saturday, and I will readily admit that my very talented husband did most of the work.  I designed, he built.  His input.  My input.  We work quite well together! 

3 pallets and a little scrap lumber we had laying around, and this is what we have!

The only thing I had to purchase to make the actual frame, was some longer lag screws.  The ones we had on hand weren't long enough.

We built it around the bottom cushion.  I racked my brain trying to think of a thrifty way to make a waterproof bottom cushion when I thought to use a crib mattress.   It's already waterproof, and just the right size.  {admittedly this was one of my finer thrifty moments}  I got the outdoor fabric on sale and I used worn out couch pillows and recovered them with fun outdoor fabric as well.

My thrifty rug, you ask?  I get those scatter rugs when they go on sale for $1 each at our local home improvement store.  I whip stitched 3 together to make a rug for in front of the couch.


Next up, a rolling pallet ottoman to go in front of it for drinks!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I never guessed I'd finish this {quickly}.  And my husband recently confessed he didn't think I'd finish this project at all.  I'm not sure if that's a testament to the tediousness of the project, or to my project-finishing-capabilities.  True, my shop is teetering with projects on my to-do list from days gone by.... but they'll get done.... someday.

But back to {this} project.  My t-shirt rug from my Fox 11 appearance.  You can see from these photos that I wasn't even half way when I went on the air to show the {world} how they could make a rug out of up-cycled tees.  Easy, yes.  Time consuming, double yes.


The kids had fun watching it {grow} and come to life.  I had fun watching my bag of dyed shirt scraps dwindle.  Little by little.  Row by row.  The tangerine tide swept over the latch hook mat until I hooked my last piece! 

I sat back and looked at what I had created and I said "It is good."  I gently smoothed my hands over it's plush surface and grinned.  I had finished.  I allowed my fingers to nestle within the deep orange pile, and grinned again.  I took it inside.  Removed the masking tape holding the edges.  And ironed on the binding.

Then I took her upstairs and let her reside where she was destined to be - the new bathroom.  Pure luxury as you step out of the shower! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Upcycled Tee's - The Pinterest Way!

Thank you for reading along, and if you're a new reader since my Fox 11 appearance this morning, an extra BIG welcome to you!  I hope you'll find the information you need to do these T-shirt projects yourself.  I also hope you'll be inspired to share your completed projects with me on my Facebook Page!

Rather than reinvent the wheel {and because there are some other super fantastic bloggers out there who do phenomenal tutorials} I've decided to just link up to the tute's I used for the projects I showcased on the air this morning.

T-shirt Rug

Ok, so wasn't this one fun??!!!  I've named this piece "50 Shades of Tangerine" LOL  You know the addage, "Never say never."  Well, that does not apply to this project.  While I thoroughly enjoyed creating this piece {and WILL finish it}, I will most likely never make another.  Please don't let that discourage you!  It's easy, just time consuming.  My advice on this one... take your time... do a little at a time... and you will stay sane *wink*

{click image above to see the tutorial}

Make more than you think you'll need as you will find some mis-cut strips as you go to latch hook your rug.

Don't feel like you have to dye it all in one batch.  The ombre effect of the multi-toned strips gives it a nice effect.

Heavy weight cotton shirts will be harder to latch hook, so if possible, choose lighter weight cotton shirts.

If I DID choose to do another, I would probably skip the dying and just cut up shirts in the color I wanted the rug.  {I even imagined a rainbow rug using mult-colored shirts!!}

T-shirt Turned Tank Top
How cute is this???!!!!  I figured since I had one very involved project, I would share an easy-peasy one too.  This could take as little as 10 minutes to do after you do one "practice" one to see how it goes.  And the results make any boy cut shirt into a girly top in no time.

{click image above to see the tutorial}

Just one.  Align the seams of the recycled-cuff shoulder strap so that they fall within the gathering of the neckline so it looks seamless.

I always love to see what you're working on, so please please please share your pics on my Facebook page!!  You guys are the best!  Thanks again for reading!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Week... {what week am I on now?}

I set myself up this past week for a 1.5# loss.  I did a lot of things right, but I also made some not-so-fantastic choices along the way that led me to a big fat ZERO pounds lost.  The good news in all of this??  I didn't GAIN anything either.  I stayed exactly the same.  So, I count that as a success, considering my week looked a little like this:


I'll take that zero loss/gain and raise you a 1+ pound loss this week.  Just watch me do it. ;)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


The title does NOT indicate a failure to stay on track with my weight loss, rather, it's my failure to post my results last week.  It can be easily explained... my one and only craft show of the season becomes a reality in T-4 days and I have been feverishly crafting my heart out!

My apologies if you sought my blog out for encouragement for the week and I let you down.  Hopefully you experienced your own successes over the past 2 weeks!  Please share!

To recap, last week, I lost a whopping .8#  To say I was getting frustrated would be an understatement.  So, I ramped it up this past week and made these key changes in my daily routine:

  • I tracked.  Every.  Single.  Day.
  • I planned ahead for my {hungry time} by cutting up a huge fruit salad after lunch to have ready to go mid-afternoon.
  • I planned to get as many activity points as I would need to cover my "overage" in points plus values for the day.
  • I moved.  More.  I made sure to hit my goal of activity each and every day - and even surpassed it many days.
  • And finally - I didn't weigh myself each day.  I waited until right before I left for the meeting!
All these  {minor} changes lead me to a 3.4# loss this week!  Hello encouragement!

So, over the last 2 weeks, my total weight loss was 4.2#.

A gallon of Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) weighs 4.23 lbs.

Friday, April 26, 2013

One word.

I've been asked from time to time what this silly little blog is all about.  Is it about design?  Is it about DIY crafts?  Is it about gardening?  Is it about God?  Is it about raising kids?  Or chickens?  And if you're a loyal reader, you know I, too, have 'struggled' with this notion that my blog didn't have any clear cut borders.  No specific target audience.  Basically without definition. 

And then it hit me.  Like the flu bug that suddenly reared its ugly head in my joints late yesterday, I realized that my blog does have a focus.

It's about my life.  It's about a normal girl, living in average digs, trying to be the best wife & mother she can be while using her God-given talents to try and make a buck or two.  Throw in trying to get healthy & enjoy some hobbies and you have life.  My life.  And I'm probably not too far off to assume that it represents a lot of your lives too.  That's why you read!  It feels good to be in good company.

Thanks for reading, and for letting me share my life with you.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

diet, schmiet

 It's a LIFESTYLE.  Studies over and over have confirmed that the way to loose weight {and keep it off} is through good ole fashioned consistent diet and exercise.  Not a pill.  Not a surgery. {although sometimes necessary}  Not starvation.

Eat your colors.
Eat the rainbow.

You've all heard it.... and it's true!  Making sure you eat foods that are unprocessed and straight from the earth is both beneficial and the way God intended it to be.  Now, I like Cheetos just as much as the next person, but I also live by two mantras:

I've figured out that if I eat healthy the majority of the time, an occassional treat will not totally disrupt my weight loss and overall health.  It's when I over indulge again and again and again that things start going south.

This week I worked on changing my activity habits when I was typically inactive.  I posted notes around my house to remind me of things I could do when I found myself doing nothing.  Thankfully, after my ActiveLink assessment, I found I was actually reaching my baseline {activity needed to just exist} early in the afternoon and accruing Activity Points each day!  And that's just with my normal day to day life stuff.  A pleasant suprise that explained why I've been able to eat my full points every day PLUS all my Weekly Points Plus Allowance, too, and still loose some weight.

But I can do better and there's always room for improvement.  So I busted out the exercise ball this week, threw the ball for the dog while dinner cooked, and wrote down everything I ate {well, almost}

This week I lost .8 pounds. 

The US Dept. Of Agriculture estimates that the average person in the United States eats .8 lbs of fruits each day.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

DRAB to FAB - Pillows!

Ok, so this is an easy one.  Simple project.  Inexpensive.  But oh so beautiful!

I turned some tired {blah} couch pillows into something trendy and spring ready.

From DRAB:


1 1/4 yds of fabric {duck cloth} at 50% off $6.24
2 packages of coordinating piping {reg. price} $1.99 each

I didn't set up a sewing station in my kitchen just to let it sit... did I? 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Looking ahead...

Spring is such a time of anticipation in and of itself.  Loosing weight in the spring brings on the anticipation of cute sundresses and flowy tops.  Of walks with warm breezes and days in your swimsuit without hesitation.   Ahhhhhh.  Bliss.

Those are long-term things I anticipate, but this week, I spent my time anticipating the results of my ActiveLink assessment.  {let me be clear that i do not get paid by weight watchers to endorse their program or their products.  i do it because i truly believe in it.}  I wore the little monitor all week and plugged it in each night.  It did it's job of recording my movements so it would know the best way to challenge me to move more.  And that's what I anticipate.  The challenge!

This is an example of what the ActiveLink shows for a day's worth of activity during the assessment time period.

Until these temps warm up, this spring-ready Wisconsinite has been taking many-a-walk in the woods to get moving and spend time with my husband and kids.  We have been lov-ing it!

This week I lost .6 pounds.

.6 is about the weight of hair extensions