Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Means War

Haven’t been around much this week because I’m speaking Friday night at our Ladies’ Gathering.

To say it’s been crazy around here would be the understatement of the year.

Pray hard, sister in Christ!

Be blessed,


Thursday, March 22, 2012

11x4: Four Short Notes

1) Memo to: Spring

Re: Your Early Arrival

Thanks so much for showing up early.  Please stick around; a late freeze would really hurt some folks around here.

2) Dear Math Dept:

Equation that stumps me:

2 months of early spring


7th graders


6 weeks left of school=


Pls. advise.

3) Dear Daylight Savings Time,

You’re killing me.


A Middle-aged Insomniac

4) Dear Summer Vacation,

Please Hurry!


A Fan

Monday, March 19, 2012

11x4: Four Favorite Posts

Today’s 11x4 takes a trip down memory lane to revisit four “reader-favorite” posts.


1) Frugal Fashionista: The popularity of this post can be attributed to Beauty and Bedlam, the phenomenal site where it was linked.  Who knew skirts were so exciting? 

On the other hand, saving money is pretty cool.

(And it had comments, which are also pretty cool.  Hint. Hint. Winking smile)


2) Best Christmas Gift Ever:  My copycat version of a tee-shirt scarf generated a lot of activity over here; perhaps it generated a few copycats of its own!  Have you made one yet?  Easy-peasy.


(photo from

3) In the Night Watches: I confess; this post isn’t technically #3 on the list of most-viewed posts, but it is one of the top ten. 

Since it wasn’t linked anywhere, I have no idea why it gets read over and over.  I love to think some fellow insomniac searches the web,

stumbles upon it,

and maybe meets Him in her own night watches. 



4) Relentless:  It’s my favorite post. 


Be blessed, favorite readers!





Thursday, March 15, 2012

11x4: Stops Around Blogland

The inaugural 11x 4 list begins with a trip around Blogland.  

As my husband can attest, my bookmark tab is loaded down with blogs, so choosing four to highlight is actually quite tough.

In fact, I could probably finish this whole series in one post just by listing blogs I like.

Since I’m staying true to the theme, my main criteria were a) never having mentioned the blog as a favorite before, and b) eenie meenie miney  moe

A (Very Abbreviated) List of Four Fantastic Blogs 

1) Guilty Pleasure BlogJenny Evelyn Photography

Loving pretty pictures+having daughters means I heart wedding photography blogs.  DD#2 shares my enthusiasm, and we have a few we really enjoy.

  This gal’s  photos are swoon-worthy, and they make me homesick, Southern flatlander that I am.  I get all nostalgic until I remember she probably photoshopped sweat off the groom’s forehead.

2) Best Teacher Blog: Controlling My Chaos

Like me, this blogger is a crafty former Creative Memories consultant-turned middle school teacher.

Like me, she’s slightly sarcastic.

I’d like to work next door to her and steal all her great ideas.

3) Blog that makes me want to take a nap Inspires Me: It’s Overflowing

Aimee’s blog is fun and full of ideas.  Her photography series is helping me learn my way around my fancy-schmancy camera, and her amazing energy and enthusiasm make me want to get busy.  Right. Now.

4) Blogger-Who Could Be-A-Real-Life-Friend: Are We There Yet?

There are bloggers I stalk and where I occasionally comment; the first three fit in that category.

Then there are bloggers like Helen that I’ll meet one day in Heaven,

and I think we might run up to each other,

exclaim, “Oh, it’s you!”,

and start an eternity of chattering like schoolgirls over all the great things Christ has done for us.

Thanks for taking the tour!  Who’s on your list of four?

Be blessed,


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

11x4: Probably more than you ever wanted to know

I have a birthday coming up soon.


(image via Pinterest)

Can you guess how old?

If you were a typical 7th grader, you would ignore the title of this post and make tons of wild guesses:


(Very funny, wise guy. Granny has a red pen, and she’s not afraid to use it!)


(A+++! Brilliant student; a joy to teach!)


(Needs referral to nurse; eyesight obviously poor)

In honor of this event, I’m making some lists--

11 lists of four favorite things.

Favorite food!  Favorite kitchen tips!  Favorite books!


Four Reasons for Lists of Four

1. Lists make me feel organized, even though I’m not.

2. It uses up those mini-blog posts that I’ve been wanting to write but haven’t finished.

3. Short lists might not bore you into a coma.

4. But if they do, it’ll be a short spell.

It’ll be fun—trust me. Smile

Be blessed today!




Sunday, March 11, 2012


I might as well admit it…

this has been a hard week to notice gifts.

Stuff happened.

Some things personal…some professional…some profound…some just plain stupid.

Several days seemed to land on me at once.

This always happens when I’m speaking.

My daughter is serving on a retreat team this weekend, and her week left her bumped and bruised as well, a tad worse for wear.

So tonight, I’m sitting in a quiet house, listening to piano music that makes me wistful and sad and peaceful all at once,

and I type out my little list of treasures found lurking around the unnoticed corners of this week:

3 gifts found:

A blog post that helped gel the scattered thoughts I’ve had for Ladies’ Gathering

PicMonkey!—to replace Picnik

Classroom resources that might keep me from completely going off the deep end next year

A gift bent, broken, beautiful

My worn copy of Annabel Gilham’s The Confident Woman

Three pencils in a row, as I try to write out longhand thoughts that come too quickly to type

Tiny purple blooms tucked into a vanilla bottle and delivered to my desk with a plate of fresh banana bread


3 gifts in the kitchen

Aforementioned banana bread

Having time last week to make lasagna and grilled chicken for weeknight meals and lunchboxes

The coffee pot at 5 a.m.

3 gifts loud

Worship music

My husband’s voice when he laughs

A bird outside my window Saturday morning

Be blessed today,



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Scripture and a Snapshot: Continue

I am holed up in my basement today, preparing to speak in a few weeks at our church’s Ladies’ Gathering.

I am struggling, not because I do not know the Word for this, but because it is so very easy to miss,

to hear and agree but not hear and LIVE.

So I pray.

I pray for hearts to rest in Him,

for strivings to cease,

for grace to have its effect

on those women soon gathered,

on me,

on you.

col 26

Be blessed,


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chalkboards and Cantankerous Cabinets

It all started with fruit flies.

As you may have noticed, 2012 isn’t exactly shaping up to be a stellar year around the ‘House,

so when evil INSECTS invaded my kitchen over the weekend, I can’t say I was surprised.

I was just mad.

Yet, there was a silver lining to my cleaning frenzy.

I solved the problem of the Cantankerous Cabinet.

Does anyone else have one of these lazy susan corner cabinets?


Does anyone else hate it besides me?

For years, we haven’t managed to store anything in it that didn’t fall off of it, and then I ended up trying to squeeze my head and arm around the middle pole to rescue the oatmeal.

When aforementioned fruit flies invaded, it was time for a true cabinet clean-out and a real solution to the problem.

Enter chalkboard paint

and a lot of heavy glass canisters from my favorite big-box store.

The canisters are wide and heavy enough to withstand the centrifugal force of a spinning lazy susan.

A little masking tape,

(observe the lopsided, so-not-measured squares; this was an anti-perfectionist project, and it is OKAY.)


a foam brush,


and ta-da!

Cutie-patootie storage!



All the little boxes and containers got corralled in some plastic shoeboxes I had already.  They aren’t a perfect fit, but they get the job done.


Is it just me, or is chalkboard paint addictive?

I walk around my house looking for other objects that could use a little schoolhouse-inspired cuteness.

So, while I was at it, I painted the lids of some small canning jars,


and organized my very messy spice drawer.

What else can I cover with chalkboard paint?

Kitchen cabinets!


Gift tags!

While I’m deciding, I’ll go spin my spill-proof lazy susan.

Be blessed,


Linking up here, here, here, and here.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Midweek Mary Moment: One Thirst

This song is based on one of my favorite Psalms.

Can you guess which one?

(I’ll wait while you look at my blog header for a clue!)

That’s right. 

Psalm 27

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
   whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
   of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me
   to devour my flesh,[a]
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
   they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
   my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
   even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
   this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
   all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD

Be blessed today.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Marching Towards Joy

I really do want to be a thankful person.

Some days I am not.

Some days I am a whiney person.

The 2011-2012 school year has been dubbed The Year of the Doctor’s Office around here.

I would like for it to be finished, if truth be told.

Yet, I want to guard my heart against the tide of frustration that has threatened to sink it these past months.

I want to reinforce the gate with thanksgiving, that I may enter His courts with praise.

3 gifts ugly-beautiful (beauty in the ugly)

Mud on my car—It means we’ve had rain we’ve desperately needed

Feeding tube—out this week!—but critical for getting DD#2 over the hump of her illness

Compost pile—What’s ugly-rotten will one day feed beauty

3 gifts from the past that help you trust the future

Perennials in the garden peeking up from the straw


Prayer journals tucked on a bookshelf

A gift dull, a gift shiny, a gift a gift cleaned

Exact change at the grocery

Silverware on a Saturday breakfast table

fluffy white towels that smell of bleach

3 gifts at 3 pm

Bell rings!

A few moments of quiet

A chance to go outside

3 gifts green

New leaves

favorite sweaters

Apple 3 paint

3 gifts wore

comfortable shoes

a new-to-me springish sweater

wedding bands

3 gifts hard to give thanks for

a morning by myself with the Word; everyone else was a church and I stayed home to nurse a cold

copious paperwork—part of a job I otherwise enjoy

a teenager asserting her independence

Will you dare with me to be joyful?  What’s on your list of gifts?

Be blessed today,



Scripture and a Snapshot: Who Loved Me

Lately, I’ve been hanging around in Galations, and the last part of chapter 2, verse 20 sings over and over in my heart:

“ I live by faith in the Son of God,

Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

Who loved me.

Before I knew Him, before He made me,

while He hung on a cross in unspeakable agony,

He loved me,

and gave Himself for me.



Be blessed today,


Linking up at Scripture and a Snapshot