February 18, 2015

DIY Paper Doily Fortune Cookies!

 Chinese New Year is tomorrow, and I thought it would be fun to make some fortune cookies with Paige! Of course, this would have been way more fun with edible ingredients, because food, but this was cool, too!

You'll need:
Small paper doilies
Pretty paper
Double stick tape

That's it!
Ok, here we go:

  • Write fortunes on a small piece of 6'' paper.

  • Fold doily in half and make a small crease to mark the center.

  •  Place fortune in the middle, with pretty side up.

  •  Fold edges of doily inward as pictured.

  •  Bend at crease.

  •  Place a small piece of double-stick tape between ends to keep it closed.

You can also make them with regular paper, felt, leather or sheets of craft foam, like these that I created last year for Fresh Style magazine:
Paige's favorite part of making these is writing the fortunes. Seriously, guys, you have to do this with your kids just to see what they come up with. It can be pretty hilarious! If you need some ideas, here are Paige's:
"You will have an 'astrodinary' life"
"You have confidence"
"Trust the donut you eat" (good advice)
"Open the door when someone knocks"
"You will soon go to heaven" (Yikes, ok yeah no, maybe don't use that one...)

Kids have the best little minds!! Swoon.

Happy year of the sheep! 
I don't really know what that means... :O) But sheep are cute!


February 13, 2015


In the morning it will be Valentine's Day. But in my heart it's "six months since my sister killed herself" day. Love has been on my mind a lot since August 14th. 

I don't have all the words. Very few of them, actually. But on national love day, I wanted to say what I told the crowd at my sister's funeral: if you love someone, please tell them. Over and over and over and over and over again. Then prove it. 

The bible describes love this way:

"Love is patient, 
love is kind. 
It does not envy, 
it does not boast, 
it is not proud. 
It does not dishonor others, 
it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil 
but rejoices with the truth. 
It always protects, 
always trusts, 
always hopes, 
always perseveres.
Love never fails."
                                         (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

An old teacher of mine once told me to read those verses, replacing the word "love" with my name, to see if I was really loving people. A very humbling exercise. :O) But it has stuck in my mind all these years.

My sister was not a physically affectionate person, and not very mushy-lovey-dovey, so I didn't really tell her how much I loved her because I thought it would make her uncomfortable. I assumed she knew. But now I see that she needed to hear it more than anyone. You know, she wasn't mentally ill. There were no drugs, no alcohol, no strange medications. Nothing like that. But she wasn't loved by many of the people who were supposed to love her...most of all herself, perhaps. 

Anyway. This day will never be about chocolate and flowers to me anymore. I don't think of that when I hear the word "love". I think about compassion and sacrifice and getting your hands dirty to show people their worth. I think about how it's no wonder that the bible says "God is love".

Happy Love Day. :O)
I love you,

January 27, 2015

Exciting Things!

Yay, exciting things! I love exciting things.
So, yesterday was a really good day. And do you know whyyyy?
Ace's case was officially moved to adoptions!!! YAY!!! That's a big "yay"!! We have been waiting for this for so long. He is legally free now, but we will have an open adoption agreement with his parents (more on that later, that's a good story) which means we will be sending them letters and photos a few times a year to let them know how he's doing. Then there is a home study update and physicals and 100 lbs of paperwork, but he should be all ours in another three months or so!

Which is perfect timing, because...(other exciting thing!)

We're moving to Indiana this spring!! Can you believe that? Isn't that so wild and crazy of us?! I am sooo excited!

My husband was offered a ministry position at a church of Christ in Kokomo, which is just the most darling town. (With, btw, a Target and a Hobby Lobby! Swoon!) Which we have prayed about a lot, and have decided to take. The church was kind enough to fly our whole family out a couple of weeks ago to meet everyone, and it felt just like family. Which of course they are. We were really impressed with the leaders of the church, and I am really looking forward to spending time with their wives. Their former minister, who has been preaching there for over 30 years, is staying on part time to work with the church, so he and my husband will get to spend lots of time together. Which is awesome, because my husband and I both immediately loved their former minister and his wife. Paige is really excited about it all, and she made instant friends with all the kids. (Although she will miss her friends here dearly!) They are a very loving church, and we were amazed at how active their faith is, they are very hard workers for the Lord. We are really excited to be a part of that!

Of course, the flip side of all this is it will be extremely hard being away from family, and we will miss our Moses Lake church family very much. A few special friends in particular, who could just never be replaced. They have been lifesavers during the difficult times, and have been so encouraging to us. We have seen Jesus in some of the people here like we've never seen before, and are much, much better people for having met them. I wish with all my heart that we could take some of them with us!
But I do believe that this is going to be an awesome thing for our family. We are so very excited!! But scared. Whew! Moving across the country?!? Yikes!
My mom and I are still going to be working on our little business endeavor, which we are planning away for. Hopefully being partners in that project will keep us feeling close while we're so far away. :o)

So if any Hoosiers out there have any advice that you want to throw our way, we'd welcome it! And If you wouldn't mind, we'd appreciate prayers for a smooth adoption, and a smooth transition for the church family here in Moses Lake. Thank you so much!!

Hooray for new beginnings! You guys, I think 2015 is going to be really, really good. :O)

Love you!

January 25, 2015

DIY Gift Bows (with Cupcake Wrappers!)

Do you know what I just can't do? Holiday themed DIY. Every new holiday I have like Craft Anxiety (that's a thing) because all of the other bloggers are shooting out clever little heart-shaped everything and I'm just sitting here frozen like Arendelle. I was in the studio tonight determined to make a heart out of anything, and instead I ended up making gift bows. Haha, I just can't!! I think I have a hard time doing what I'm "supposed to do" in general, so when the world says: "Make Valentine's things!" I turn into Grump Cat: "No."  But it's ok, I like bows better than hearts, anyway!

Wanna make some??
You'll need this stuff: (+ scotch tape)

  •  Fold two cupcake wrappers in half.

  •  Fold them in half again.

  •  Make them kiss, and put a wee bit of scotch tape there to hold them together. (Optional: Sing "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green in your head.)

  •  Wrap some glittery gold washi tape around the center. You CAN use other kinds of washi tape, but I'm just warning you now, that nothing looks as good as glittery gold. (That's true for anything in life.) You can get this particular tape at JoAnn stores.

  •  Fluff out each side so they look nice and full.

 Put them on all the things, or string them as a garland for a party!
I'll be in touch soon with exciting life updates! Yay!!

Have a wonderful day. You are lovely. :0)

January 7, 2015

A New Beginning

We were always scheming. :o)
My sister and I, from as far back as I can remember, we were making plans, writing lists, imagining our future accomplishments together. Always together. We even had our first apartment decor planned out by the time we were about ten. (It was going to be a "groove pad", complete with shag carpet and a disco ball. Never happened. I always regretted that.) As married adults we frequently spoke over the phone about projects and plans that we wanted to do together. We had lots of different ideas, so for short we just referred to it as "taking over the world". But things got in the way. As "things" will often do in life. And we never reached our goal of world domination.  I thought we would someday, I really did. I could't ever express to you the immeasurable, unfathomable shock that her death was to me.

I can't remember what I was saying.

Oh yes, the dreams, the plans. I'm gonna go ahead and do them anyway. I've been thinking about it, and working on it for a couple of months now, and I've recruited my mom to help me, because, basically she's the only one I trust to do things correctly. ;O) And it's gonna be pretty good guys. I think you're gonna like it.

Can I be honest? 2014 wasn't a good year for me. Even before my sister died. It was quite a doozy, and it really put me through the emotional wringer. I usually try to be pretty optimistic about things, but last year was just. not. good. But instead of being bitter, or overcome with grief, I'm going to be thankful. I'm thankful for the million blessings that God gave me, even though he took a few away as well. And I'm just thankful that I know Him. In the end, that's just enough. It's enough for me to be happy, it's enough for me to be peaceful. So, thank you, God, for 2014.

And thank you for 2015, as well. Which I am going to rock so hard it will kind of blow people's minds. :O)

Thanks for listening, guys. And see you soon!
Love you,

December 10, 2014

Whaaa?! Thank you!!

You guys just blew our minds!! 
Paige sold enough necklaces to buy the doll in less than a day! We can't thank you enough for all of your orders. You guys ate them up!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! We're so glad you liked them. :O)

I wish we could keep up with all your orders, but we ran out of Grandma's crocheted flowers, so the shop will be out of a few colors for a little while. I told Paige that she's welcome to keep selling her necklaces, even though we already ordered the doll. It'll be a good homeschool experience for her! She wants to save money for a dolly bed next. I'm thinking savings account...we'll see who wins. ;o) We've also got some ideas up our sleeves for some charity fundraising in the shop as well, once we get our own set up. Should be a fun adventure!

In the meantime, there are still a few necklaces available that will ship (in the US) in time for Christmas, if you'd like to snag one! Thanks again!!

A note from the artist:
"Thank you for buying my necklaces. I think they'll look pretty on you! And if it's for someone, I think they'll really like it. I made it up myself! -love Paige!!(with two exclamation marks) Oh, and one more thing: You. Are. AWESOME!"

We love you! Goodnight!
-Disney and Paige


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