Change can be good.

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It’s a cold first day of school for these kiddos! 18 degrees when we left the house. Coats and backpacks full of supplies! Kyler helped me drop them off and wanted to be in the picture.

I told you we’d have some changes during January from our normal life. We’ve been homeschooling for the past 5 1/2 years and around Thanksgiving we decided that now was the time to send the kids to public school. While we loved everything homeschool had to offer, the past few months several things made it seem that the time for change was here. While public school wasn’t really our first choice, it is what we can afford and what we feel we are supposed to do at this time. The week before the break we went to both schools our children are attending, filled out necessary paperwork, and took a tour. The two middle kids even got to meet their teachers before the break. I felt good about the decision and nothing happened at either school to make me second guess what we had decided.

Today, everyone went in to their classes without a fight (which kind of surprised me), and Kameron didn’t even say goodbye. Kristopher, however, didn’t have a schedule until this morning and spent the whole first period doing that, going around to his classes, and getting his locker figured out. He looked terrified when I left him, but I think overall the day wasn’t too hard for him. I won’t say that he had fun or is looking forward to going back tomorrow (do any middle schoolers?), but I think once he gets used to it he will be fine.

I am looking forward to just being the mom again. I have spent the last few months so stressed out and feeling so alone and just tired. It seemed like I was always wishing for some moments alone. School was one big fight. I was so busy taking care of everyone else that my health was suffering. I love my children, but I didn’t really enjoy being around them because I.was.always.around.them. Today, I missed them. I couldn’t wait to pick them up and hear all about the fun they had or didn’t have. I enjoyed some quiet time. I worried about them. I played with Kyler and he got to have some time alone with Mommy. I didn’t feel like I had to be everything to everyone. Sometimes time apart can be good because it makes the being together that much better. I still think homeschool is wonderful and if it is what we are called to do again sometime we’ll do it, but I feel like everything worked out so well and is going well, for us, in this new adventure. Change can indeed, be good.

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The kindergartener, third grader, and seventh grader still half asleep.

Posted in Homeschool, Kids, News | 1 Comment

New Year, New Bag

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I’ve been wanting a new bag…yes, another one! Kody bought me the backpack I wanted for my birthday, but it’s more of a summer/hiking/need hands free kind of bag. What I really wanted to get this time, was a Fossil key-per shopper, but they don’t sell the rounded bottom, laminated one anymore. I couldn’t find one on ebay in the print I wanted either, so what’s a girl to do?! Make one, of course.

Since I used a pattern that I found for free online and just modified it a little the bottom is not as rounded. I like it though and am very happy with my new bag. I ordered the laminated fabric from my favorite etsy seller, here and here. The handles are from this etsy shop. I used faux leather handles instead of making my own and I made the bag bigger than the pattern. I also put the pleats in the place I wanted them instead of paying attention to the directions. I rounded the corners and didn’t do the mitered ones, so the bag is flatter, more like a tote bag, but a pretty shape. :)

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The lining is cuckoo clocks from the Storybook Lane line by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics. Super fun and pretty! It has 5 pockets inside and a snap to close it (when I don’t cram it too full!)

Here it is full and ready for church – room for everything!

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I have plans to make a matching pouch for my planner and notepad, so they don’t get wrinkled in my bag, so the too big, quilted pouch that’s in there now will be gone.

Pretty details:

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I sewed the handles on by hand with 6 strands of embroidery thread and added one of my tags. Love my new bag!

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Posted in Creations, Sewing | 2 Comments

Brave

In the year 2015, I will be brave. This is my word of the year, and it is extremely fitting for January at the very least. As a family we will be going through some changes and I want all of us to be brave as we head into them. (More on the changes soon!)

I’ve also already had to be a little brave. My dad was admitted to the hospital on New Year’s eve, and while they are unsure what exactly the problem is, his liver is not in good shape. I am far away and my sister and Aunt are doing all that needs to be done. I know he has to be a lot braver than me, but things have been spoken of that are pretty scary for all of us.

Sara Bareilles’ song has been on repeat in my mind for days as I think about what is coming. I have also searched for scriptures on being brave. My favorite is 1 Corinthians 16:13: “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

While I was searching for a printable, I found this post.

girl standing at the edge of rock

Perfect. The only way to be brave is to stand strong in Christ. I have many plans for the year, but one of the ones I want to happen more than anything is for me to grow closer to and depend more on God and to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to live like Jesus.

Do you have your own focus word for the year?

Posted in Holidays, News | 1 Comment

Christmas Wishes a.k.a Hints for the Hubs

To make things easier on Kody when he’s shopping, hint hint, I decided to make a list of the things I’d most love to unwrap this Christmas. Perhaps you’ll find an idea here that you want to add to your list as well. :)

One of these necklaces from DolceAve:
Leather Tassel Necklace
Agate Necklace

This yoga shirt. (medium)

A super cute sweatshirt like this one. (small)

Younique 3D Mascara – this is a totally silly splurge, especially considering how often I wear makeup, but it is something I want to try and refuse to buy for myself.

One of these three workouts from BeachBody: P90, TurboFire, Insanity Max :30

100 Days of Real Food cookbook

The Giver Quartet – I loved these books when I read them and would like to have and reread them.

Some of the World’s Softest Socks

A new bag, perhaps, but having trouble choosing. Maybe I should just make a new one!

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LPL Memphis 2014

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I had the opportunity to go to my first Beth Moore, Living Proof Live, conference last weekend. I really hope that it won’t be my only one. It was absolutely amazing. Not because I got to see her, but because I heard from God. Being in an arena with 9500 other women (and a few men) worshiping God, and hearing some really incredible things through Beth was just wonderful. I still, three days later, get goosebumps all over just thinking about it. Being there with 11 other women from my church was so much fun.

I am so impressed with how Beth Moore never makes it about her. She truly seems to love people and she does not ask for you to see her and think that she has done anything. It is all God. Instead of us clapping for her, she (and every other person) vacated the stage before we stopped singing on Saturday afternoon. The only thing to do was clap for God. I love how it was all about Him.

Beth challenged us to write our story, and I will be doing that in the coming days. So that when I feel led to share it, I will have it ready. She also challenged us to figure out why we were there. Why did Jesus have us there for the weekend to hear those words? I think I know, and it involves part of my story. I am still working on being brave enough to do what I feel like I’m supposed to do next. I’m also praying about what exactly the next steps are. “If we wait until we feel ready, we’re going to think we did it.” That was something she said several times and it is really sticking with me. I want to wait until I feel ready, but I know that God will give me what I need when I need it and then it will be about him. I can’t do it and I won’t ever be ready on my own. So, pray for me as I figure out these next steps, please!

If you ever get the chance to go to see Beth Moore, I recommend doing so. I hope to go again and experience that wonderful fellowship and teaching. She really does have the teaching gift. :)

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Quilted Pouches

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A few months ago, I was asked by a friend to make a quilted pouch for her daughter’s glass medicine bottles. They had to be in an anti static bag of a certain size, and she just wanted a case so that when they were put in her soccer bag they wouldn’t break. So I procrastinated for two months (actually, I was just really busy this summer!) and finally finished it at the beginning of August, just in time for her to take it to college with her. I ended up using my favorite fabric, by Sandi Henderson, for the outside. The inside is a cute building pattern that I found at Hancock’s, sorry I don’t remember the name!

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I quilted the outside fabric and the batting together and then just sewed the rest like a simple rectangular pouch. I really loved the way it turned out and since it was made with my favorite fabric, it was very hard to give it away. She loved it though, so that made it easier. :)

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Then, we were packing for our trip last week, and I started trying to figure out how I was going to carry my laptop with me. I was putting it in my carry on, but I still didn’t want it to get bumped around at the airport or by anyone else who might handle it (driver, hotel, etc.) I decided to make it a quilted sleeve really quick, at 8pm the night before we had to leave… Of course, I pulled out more of my favorite fabric, and the buildings to line it again. I didn’t have another navy zipper, so I used a light pink one, which is pretty too.

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I usually put my tags on the inside of my products, but I think they look better on the outside. Might start putting them out there all the time now. Where would you rather see my tags?

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The laptop, which is really a netbook I guess, fits perfectly. I didn’t take into consideration the zipper, so really it could be about 1/2 inch wider, but as long as I’m careful putting it in and taking it out all is well.

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I think these would sell well in the shop, but I’m not sure how exactly to go about that. People have laptops in so many different sizes, that it would be difficult to have all of them available. I’ll have to do some research and think about that! Maybe I could just pick a couple of sizes. If these were available to you, would you buy one? How do you usually carry your laptop/e-reader/tablet around. What size sleeve would be beneficial to you?

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Charleston, Day 5

Yesterday was our last day in Charleston. We slept in and packed up just in time to check out of our hotel. It was nice to be able to leave our bags with the bell hop while we had one last afternoon in the city. We ended up walking down to the battery and promenade. The park was very pretty, the mansions were beautiful, and the water was lovely. After that we checked out a little lake that was on the map. It was just a man made lake and wasn’t really that exciting, so after sitting by it for a few minutes we moved on, back to downtown for lunch. We ate at Brasserie Gigi, which did not disappoint. We each ordered the simple chicken sandwich with fries, with a lot fancier name, since we were still feeling stuffed from the day before. That Hyman’s Seafood sticks with you for awhile! Anyway, the sandwich was delicious and I could have eaten two or three more servings of the yummy skinny fries. Perfect last meal in Charleston. We even sat next to a French couple who were speaking French. I enjoyed trying to see what I could understand of their conversation, and people watching in general in the restaurant. It was a good one for that. :)

After lunch, we stopped in the Moon Pie General Store just for fun, and found each of the kids a candy treat item. Then we just sat on a bench by the hotel with a drink and waited for our driver to take us to the airport. I will say that was a great thing about this trip. It was nice to be driven around by other people, whether it was in a car, bus, horse carriage, or boat. We didn’t have to worry about where we were going most of the time. Also, all the walking we did helped us to not gain a pound even though we ate a crazy amount of food. We did try to eat smart and not overstuff ourselves, but you know how vacation goes.

Here are some pictures from our last day there:

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We found Murray, Kentucky in Charleston:

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Here is a Palmetto tree for our Christmas tree. :) Bought this from a place that seemed to be similar to our Art Guild, all local handmade items sold in a store. They had some pretty things!

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So long Charleston; I’ll miss you!

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It was so good to get home and see the kids. They are pretty happy that we’re home, I think. Gram is too, since she was sick for the last two days of watching them. Last night, I had a dream that we were still in Charleston and I woke up in the middle of the night and it took me a few minutes to realize where I was. I had such a good time, but it does all kind of seem like a big dream, since we’re back to real life today. It was a good dream, though, and I’m so grateful to all the people who made it possible. For Kody’s company and bosses who gifted this trip, for Kody’s parents who kept the kids and did so much work to our house while we were away, to our kids who didn’t totally freak out and make things difficult, to Allison who took Taylor to gymnastics and made life a little easier for us, and to Katie and Kristin, and all others who gave us suggestions and tips. Thank you all, for making this trip so much fun for us!

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