Monday, January 31, 2011

The story....part one.

It happened on a Monday. Then again, doesn’t it always? It had been a hectic day, scurrying from one thing to the next, but I'd always been a step behind. Kids were cranky and exhausted from weekend fun, and ballet was completely forgotten amidst the chaos. Dinner was a rushed affair, as math homework loomed, and baths were forced upon unwilling hoodlums. It was nearly nine o’clock, when Adrain and I sank onto the couch, side-by-side, to watch American Idol. Home school had sapped every remaining shred of energy from me by about noon, so I was happy to enjoy a few peaceful moments next to my man.

Leaning our heads back on the couch we began talking. Adrain knew I’d been struggling to juggle our home school curriculum and some of the hidden disorders our son deals with, since the second day of this particular school year. As he opened up the topic, he asked me if I’d ever considered that our chapter on home schooling might be coming to a close. I felt a flicker of interested enthusiasm spasm through my chest, and immediately sat up. He had my attention. After some extensive soul searching for the following hour, we talked about options that might be better. By the time we collapsed into bed, my mind was wide awake and excitedly spinning ideas in the air. We had committed to pray about the options, but were heavily leaning toward re-enrolling our kids into public school the following Autumn. And besides that, we were now considering the possibility of having our precious son repeat the fourth grade. Academically he was fine, but socially, he was younger and smaller, and less mature than the older and bigger kids in his class.

I had never seriously considered the possibility, but I could suddenly see all the benefits for a child like my son. I could see how it could be something that would help him succeed, and like any mother who adores her children, that’s what I wanted most in the world for my boy.

Tuesday dawned bright and early, sunshiney and full of promise. Of course nothing had really changed, but we had a tentative plan of action and sometimes that’s really all you need to spur you on. We went through the day, and I wrote a heart wrenching post on making these kinds of decisions. Comments and private emails began flooding into my inbox, assuring me that women all over the world not only related to my fears, plans, and uncertainties, but wanted to encourage me and share both their successes, and struggles.

Later that afternoon, I shuttled my sweet boy to taekwondo. I bumped into another mom I hadn’t seen in years, a dear old friend of mine named Conne. Our boys had attended kindergarten together, and Conne had also come from a teaching background. As we sat and got caught up, I began sharing the possibilities of reentering the kids into public school system and asking her what her thoughts were. She listened and encouraged, and even began sharing what she had heard about various school districts in the area. She said that she’d heard about the great teaching staff and support system at a school district called C.C. I didn’t think anything of it, however, because it wasn’t our district at the time. We parted ways that afternoon, and I continued feeling even more encouraged.

When I got home that evening, the hurry for dinner was going on, and my man walked in the door. “Hey babe… I think I found a cute little house for us to go check out tomorrow.” As I stirred the pot in front of me, I casually tossed a comment over my shoulder, “It doesn’t happen to be in the C. C. school district does it?” He looked at me kind of funny, and asked why. Once I’d filled him in on my conversation with Conne, he told me the address of the house, and whatdya know, but it was in the C.C. district.

Weird how that happens.

To be continued.... TOMORROW...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

365 Monthly Review

 Well I did it.  One month, of taking a photograph every single day!!  Truthfully, I took an average of about twenty photos a day, but there was nothing new about that.  The only day that I suddenly realized I hadn't taken any photos, and randomly picked something laying around, that had nothing to do with anything about that day, was January 16th. 
 Starting to make purchases for Etsy.  Wondering if I had any business making anything... wondering if anyone would even purchase anything I might make...
 Praying this verse over the coming year... so in need of some good blessings!
 Timidly creating...
 Following resolutions and making my entire family eat more fruits!
 No explanation needed.
 Good times.  Family game night.  I'm a loser, baby.
My Etsy, "Aha!" moment.  I created my first flower pin, fell in love, and it just flowed from there...
 Beginning to prepare some of the little "extras" that make buying handmade special...
 Making the most of snow that had nearly melted.
 Nine sets of napkins completed and ready...Etsy opened... me, hiding in the corner. (Just a little joke)
 Overwhelmed when I awoke to piles of orders...
 Celebrating my brother, Officer McJakey's 30th birthday with a scavenger hunt, amazing race style. 
 The day I had nothing.  Literally.  I had one of those days... "Dear God, it's me, LMM."
 God showed up.  He lit up the sky.  I'd like to think it was just for me...
 My man went out of town... I sat through taekwondo missing him...
 I created these cute shirts and put them on Etsy.  (I have two medium fitted ones left, and that is all.)
 I baked frosted brownies for Officer McJakey because he offered to watch my hoodlums the following day so I could storm Ikea with his wife.  Still missing my man.. loving my brother.
 Ikea.  My sis-in-law.  No kids.  Perfect day.  Until I got completely lost in the dark of night and the pouring rain.  Then it wasn't so perfect. 
 Decorating for Valentine's day.  I love Valentine's day. I also love picking up my man at the airport and getting his hiney home where it belongs. 
 All is right in the world again...
 Cute shoes, cute bag. 
 But do cute shoes and cute bags really matter??  Chewing...chewing...chewing...
 Precious time with kids and cousins... even if it wasn't all it was cracked up/supposed to be.
 Our first small group met this night to watch the Love and Respect videos.  Marriage changing subject matter.  What an amazing, and precious group of young couples.  We feel so blessed to  be doing life with every single one of them. We also feel a little bit old to have done so much life before them.
 I like umbrellas, even if everyone teases me for carrying one. 

 Cleaning for a house showing, when I realized I was a tad overdressed.  It gave me a giggle.  Also, I like yellow.  In case you didn't know that.
Painting the inside of this cabinet... freaking out when my man killed a black widow spider inside of it.  Eek!  I love my man.  I love his spider fearlessness. I also love my cabinet.  And I love the way Sherwin Williams, "Lemon grass" looks on the inside of all the drawers and cupboard.  Organizational bliss begins with fresh paint.  That's what I always say...

Yes.  I am a day a head.  Thank you for asking me.  I wanted to get this post out, and  couldn't resist this photo as an addition to my pile.  So, I decided to fudge.  Don't tell anyone.  Thanks.  Kids are weird.  Dogs are weirder.  This is my life.

I think I found a system that works for me, how about you?  I plan to post each photo individually during the course of the month, and at the conclusion of the month I will create a collage, and  re-categorize them in my 365 tab that way.  For now.  Unless I change my mind. 

How did you do on your 365 project?  It's not too late to start!  Jump in anytime!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The month I used to hate...

I'm about to post some photos that have (mostly) nothing to do with anything.  Kind of like a Seinfeld episode.  I put this one as my photo of the day, not because I just received the cutest umbrella EVER, in the mail (in spite of the fact that my entire family calls me a tourist because apparently natives of the Pacific Northwest don't sport umbrellas) but because (and I can't believe I'm actually admitting this out loud!) I actually looked much thinner in this photo than I actually am in real life, and who can't resist that??  My hoodlum takes a good angled photo.  (giggle)  And for the record I love my clear bubble umbrella and I don't care who knows it!!!  And... total side note here... have any of you noticed that my hair is growing?! Yes!  It is!  I am determined to enjoy each stage of growout.. no regrets!  LMM doesn't do regrets.  No ma'am!
I used to hate January.  And really, "hate" is kind of an understatement.  It was always the month my man left for a loooonggg week on business. (And in case you haven't noticed this yet, I'm a lot attached to my man.  As in... he's my bestest of best buddies in the entire world and I am completely addicted to him.  So when I can't be with him, or call him, or text him, or email him, I hate it.)  It was the month of getting back into daily grind of home school with no fun in sight. And it was the month of nothing to look forward to. (Ava gave me this toy horse, bless her heart.)
I decided that January is going to be my fun kickoff.  I spray painted this horse bright green just for fun.  It's somehow symbolic of this month.  I'm going to have fun!!!  I'm going to hope.  I'm going to dream.  I'm going to be fearless yet again, since I kind of lost some of that last year.  Well, most of the time, anyway.   
This January is shaping up to be a month of beginnings.  A month of resolutions kept.  A month of big things.  A month of hope.  A month of goofy, old fashioned fun.  I actually kept my resolutions.  For an entire month.  I dared myself to step outside of my comfort zone, and jump headfirst into things that have terrified me.  I bared my soul and trusted you all to accept my vulnerability.  I was not disappointed.  I was encouraged. 
I love this photo, because on this particular day, I was gazing at the most glorious sunset of pinks and blues.  Assured in my knowledge that my tiny, seemingly insignificant life is held in the most protective and caring hands.  I know who holds my future and I'm not afraid.  Come what may.  Bring it.  I have loved this January.  For maybe the first time in my entire life.  How has your January been?  Have you kept your resolutions?  Even if you haven't don't scrap the rest of the year.  Jump in... make February your new beginning, and be fearless.  Being fearless puts energy back into your heart.  Who doesn't need that?! 

I sure love you guys!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Brown paper packages, tied up with strings....

 You may remember when I attended the most gorgeous wedding ev-uh. (You may also remember how long my hair was when you view the photos... sniff, sniff.)   After that post, I received quite a few inquiries about my "Family Established" signs. 
I like to hunt for old, reclaimed lumber, and then paint and distress each sign, creating an individual work of art. I liked giving them as gifts, but I was afraid if people started ordering them from me, they'd expect something that I wasn't able to deliver.  Fear... gets a girl every time, doesn't it? 
 Somehow, jumping bravely (okay, tremblingly actually... but don't spread that around) into Etsy made me feel like perhaps... just maybe, I could create and sell these. 
 My friend Ann was the first to place her order and I was excited to deliver.  She chose a soft gray for her monogrammed letter in the background.  I love the way it turned out!  I found the perfect old board, complete with wormholes, nail holes, and scratches.  Full of rich character and charm.
 I nailed self-leveling hangers on the back and wrapped it in a protective layer of bubble wrap before covering it in brown paper for transporting. 
I love to see brown paper packages, tied up with strings... cause um.... these are a few of my favorite things.

(I'm not even sorry... I couldn't help it.)

Want one for your sweet little home too?  Well, guess what?  I'm now accepting custom orders and would love to make you one!! Details are pasted below!!

All of my Family Established signs are created using found and reclaimed lumber, and vary in size because of this.  They are hand-painted, gently distressed, and will take roughly up to two weeks for completion unless otherwise stated.  The text for each sign is Times New Roman, and the monogrammed initial is typically Edwardian Script but adjustments can be made if desired.  Each sign is $75.00 and the charge for shipping is an additional $13.00.  Main text color is black, background is white, and monogram letter can be personalized from various colors to be decided at time of order, but neutral colors such as gray and tan work best.   

Payment is to be made via paypal upon completion of piece, and before shipment.  I will contact you at that time to make arrangements.  I look forward to working with you and creating a piece that will grace your home for many years.  For any further inquiries, or to place your order, please contact me at


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LMM's candy store...

Will there ever be a time when blogging doesn't surprise me?  Tell me if you can relate, since most of you readers are also bloggers.  (I almost typed "boogers" by accident.  What can I say?  I'm a home schooling mama.  I deal with boogers.  Um.  The people... aka, my children.  Just to clarify.)

I find myself regularly biting my nails in tense anticipation of how my words (sometimes many words) will be received a lot of the time.  Especially the really gut-wrenching heart-to-heart ones.  My previous post was nearly the most vulnerable I've ever been on this blog to date.  I bit my lip and pressed, "publish," not knowing what was going to be said. And then I was blown away when comment after comment read something like a Sasha pep rally.  "You can do it!  I'm praying for you! Go Sasha!"  I feel like I could go tackle something.  Maybe my husband?  Just kidding.  You can't tackle someone who doubles your body weight.
 But seriously, you are all so dear to me.  Even my man has come to know your names!  Your comments were like little whispers of encouragement to me all day long.  I owe you so much for your support.  This is not an exaggeration when I say that every comment and private email you sent me in regard to my previous post touched something so deep inside my heart.  I read every single word and wish I had the time to respond to each one of you.  Thank you so much for being there for me.  And thank you for sharing your own stories with me.  Your vulnerability is not lost on me... I cherish every one of them. 
And now, I'm going to bore you with 347 photos of my hoodlums painting pottery with their cousins today. 
 Now, the original plan was for Alli and I to sit and relax, while our collective bunch of hoodlums painted. 
 Ava painted... and painted... and painted.  But she's a quiet and creative type, so I expected that. 
 And then there was JJ.  Shocker.  He's always the ham in the sandwich.  Didn't want to sit still for five whole seconds, and made plenty of noise.  He was bored at minute number two.  Another shocker. 
 And this is my niece, Emma.  Together, JJ and Emma are turkeys.  Little hoodlums.
 This is my candy store. 
 Squeezing.  Why does this little booger make me laugh? 
 There's just something about little girls and chippy polish. 
My little niece, Madison...
 Alli and I were alternately laughing, rolling our eyes, and grabbing at wayward hoodlums...
 Still... I love being in a place where creativity happens....
 And my sweet girl was in her element!
 I love these little boogers.