25 Feb 2010

He Likes That Boom Boom Pow

I think that I have mentioned before that Jayce sometimes watches CMT with Chris, and now knows that when he hears country music, he should stomp his foot, clap his hands, or smack his hand on his leg along with the beat.

Last week in the car, I heard Jayce singing “Boom boom boom” along with the Black Eyed Peas on the radio. Later on in the day, he came into the kitchen, pointed up at the radio and asked for “Boom Boom Boom.” And then started breaking it down.

Though Chris is responsible for the country “dancing,” I am not responsible for this.

22 Feb 2010



I had a successful thrify re-do this week that turned out well and I thought I’d share. I came across these old blocks at the thrift store last week, I knew exactly what was in store for them.


I popped off the wooden letters, painted the front black, and printed off some letters in various fonts.


I liked the way the black letters on white looked so much that I painted white over the black background. I then traced the backs of the letters in pencil, put each letter on a block, and rubbed the front with a lead-less mechanical pencil to transfer the letter outline onto the block.


I got some Craft Smart paint from Michaels that almost doubled my painting time (on the right). Do not get this stuff if you are trying to do this project, it covers like watercolor, so it makes an already time-consuming project take a lot longer. Luckily I had some of the Liquitex (on the left) leftover from another project, and that filled in the letters easily with only 1 coat.


I then sanded the letters and corners, painted over the whole thing with a glaze and wiped it off. Ta da!


I realize that glazing flirts with the fine line between making your project look antiqued, and making it look just plain dirty. This was my first time glazing anything so hopefully my technique (I’m pretending there was one) will improve with time.


The black paint under the white background paint ended up coming in handy, because when I sanded the edges and corners, the black just popped right out. It didn’t even need the glaze.


I'm excited to be linking this to the CSI Project!

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19 Feb 2010

One of the World’s Leading Young Scholars Lives in My House

LCU’s alumni publication, The Restorer, recently did an article about Chris receiving the Templeton Award.  Below is a snapshot of the article, and if you want to see a PDF of the whole magazine, I put a link here.

Once again, I just can’t help but share this great news, which we are only now starting to wrap our heads around.  We are beyond excited about the opportunity to return to Europe for a a little bit this summer where Chris will receive the award.  Furthermore, I am so proud of the hard work that he has continued to pour into his studies since the day that I first met him.  It has been more than enough to stand out in a crowd, despite having small Christian College credentials, and to gain recognition abroad and among elite colleagues.  I’m just so proud.  Okay, enough gushing for now.


18 Feb 2010

Keeping Us Laughing

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting at the kitchen table making a grocery list while Jayce played in the living room. I glanced up as he walked into the room and saw this. (I promise that this was in no way staged or instigated by me!)


Luckily, I had downloaded some pictures the night before, so the camera was sitting on the table and I was able to catch this. He didn’t make this shot (surprisingly), but grabbed the ball, headed back towards the hoop for a second shot, and ran into the wall instead. I didn’t get a picture of this, but not because I was trying to stop him from running into the wall like a good mom, but because I was changing some setting on the camera. Darn it!

Jayce abandoned the pumpkin bucket after the wall incident, and at that point I noticed that he had pulled out all of his “buckets,” and was trying to wear them one by one.


He eventually put the pumpkin bucket back on his head, and went for the hoop again with a different basketball. Why the bucket and basketball? I think the real answer is, why not? A bucket over the head is fun, and everything in our house is about basketball these days, so why not combine the two? That’s my best guess anyway.


And then he decided to go after my boots which posed a little more of a problem than our other shoes, so I helped him and zipped him in.

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Since you can’t wear boots without some other winter gear, he brought me his hat. And then went into our room to dance to my alarm clock radio, which he knows how to turn on.


I know that toddlers are funny, I guess I'm just still surprised when he cracks me up by doing things that he sees as no big deal. I think there is probably a lot more of that to come.


15 Feb 2010

Refinished Stool


I picked up this stool at a yard sale last summer for a few bucks. It was the perfect size for Jayce and just needed a little glue, paint, and something else that I just couldn’t put my finger on. I hadn’t known what direction to go with it, until I saw this cute little stool on Poppies at Play. (Have you seen her header? It’s adorable.) Anyway, I knew I wanted to do something a little different, so I went shopping for some scrapbook paper.


I had a few little paint sample pints leftover from when we painted the living room, and one of them was a nice light sage color. I scraped the paper off of the top of the stool, sanded it a little and painted the whole thing.


One of the things that I have finally come to terms with, despite many failed attempts, is that I cannot draw or paint. I can, however, cut things out of paper. So I took my scrapbook paper, and made these little owls.


I glued the pieces onto the stool with Mod Podge. When that dried I did another thin layer on top to seal the paper, and then sprayed the whole thing with a few coats of polyurethane to seal and protect it.




Jayce seems to like it, though I would guess that I like it better than he does. (I’m very proud of my little owls!) But when I first showed it to him, he smiled, pointed to the owls and hooted at me, so that counts as him liking it. Furthermore, this project only cost me $4 for the little pad of paper, and I have tons left over to use again!

I'm linking to the CSI Project.

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13 Feb 2010


This year for Valentines Day, I discovered a cute and incredibly easy way to get exactly what I want. Picnik.

I have talked about Picnik before: how it’s great for collages, but slow with big files. (Though it will give you the option of resizing your photo smaller so that the program can run more quickly, but then the quality isn’t as good. It’s a toss up.) Anyway, my favorite thing about Picnik, is that it lets you upload your pictures onto it’s site, edit them there, and then save the edited files back onto your computer without having to make any sort of purchases or download their software. I have an older computer, so on it’s good days it runs slow-ish, but on the worst of the bad days it will shut down completely without warning. I am always glad, when using Picnik, that it isn’t further clogging up my hard drive or virtual memory.

Anyway, they often have seasonal editing options, and so I made myself a sheet of little valentines and printed it on 8x10 paper. It was cute, but the photos themselves were only about 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch, and it was a little too small for me.

Valentines 2010

So I went back and made these little valentines on a 5x7 option, printed them on 4x6 paper, and put them in the mail to Jayce’s valentines.

Jayce Valentine

I didn’t want to waste my mini-valentines, so I strung those up with my little berry heart and made a mini-garland for my dresser.



Happy Valentines Day!

11 Feb 2010


Yesterday, Jayce and I were sitting on the couch reading a book.  He is normally kind of a bossy reader, meaning that he points out different pictures, and gets mad if I just read the story instead of telling him about whichever picture he is currently pointing at.  At one point, I realized that he wasn’t looking at the book anymore and was watching TV instead, so I glanced up at the screen.  It was a commercial with Jillian Michaels, talking about her workout video, or her website, or her super-ripped arms, I’m not sure which. 


Anyway, after watching for a few seconds, Jayce looked down at himself, pulled out the neck of his shirt and stuck his arm down into his shirt, fishing around for something.  I started patting him down a little and looked into his shirt, thinking that maybe there was a raisin or cheerio that had fallen in there and was sticking him, but there wasn’t.  He looked back up at the screen, and then used both hands to pull his shirt out and look down into it. 

I’m pretty sure he was looking for his boobs.  Funny kid.

9 Feb 2010

Please Take a Moment. You Won’t Regret It.

Chris and I went to school with Charlie and Kelly Butler at Cincinnati Christian University. Though we weren’t close friends with them, it was a small enough school that everyone pretty much knew and was friends with everyone. The Butler family has experienced a lot of heartache in the past few years, and we have been following along with them and their story. There is an opportunity for them to be recipients of an Extreme Home Makeover, and I ask that you please take a few minutes to read their story below, and send an email on their behalf.


Meet the Butlers

Kelly and Charlie Butler are the proud parents of Brooklyn and Boston. A beautiful family of 4 that has had more than their fair share of heartache. Brooklyn is 4 years old and is cute as a button, always smiling. Just before her second birthday the Butlers were hit with some devastating news, Brooklyn was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. Rett Syndrome is a severe neurological disorder that takes seemingly healthy little girls and robs them of their ability to walk, talk or use their hands. They require 24 hour care for the rest of their lives. Kelly refused to let the diagnosis of her daughter break her, she started looking for ways to get involved with finding a cure and is currently working for a non-profit called Girl Power 2 Cure raising funds for Rett Syndrome research. She works tirelessly for her daughter and the thousands of girls with Rett Syndrome and does it all with a smile.

Last May disease struck the Butler household again when Charlie was diagnosed with Behcets Disease, a multisystemic disease that affects almost every organ in the body. Again, Kelly and Charlie took the diagnosis in stride, believing that things would look up.


They were pregnant at the time and were looking forward to welcoming another blessing into their household. That blessing came sooner than they had expected when complications arose and Kelly gave birth to a son named Boston on September 12, 2009 - 10 weeks early. Boston weighed in at 2 pounds, 3 ounces. Charlie and Kelly joyously welcomed their sweet preemie into the world thanking God for his blessings.

Boston spent 10 weeks in the NICU where he went through a rollercoaster of tests, procedures, and complications, including NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis) – a life threatening condition for preemie’s. Just when things were starting to look up the Butlers were hit with more hard news - Boston was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

Imagine, 3 incurable, rare diagnoses in 1 family would just about crush most of us but the Butlers continue to stand gracefully. Charlie and Kelly are now juggling therapy, doctors and specialists for both their children. You can follow their stories at: www.bostonclarkbutler.blogspot.com and www.brooklynbutler.blogspot.com


I have been following the happenings of the Butler family for about 2 years now and continue to be inspired by Kelly. Though any one of these things could easily crush a person’s spirit, she has managed to maintain her optimism and faith, and delights in the same things as any other parent: time with her family, the smiles of her children, and the progress of their development.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition would help the Butler’s tremendously. Their home is not handicapped accessible and though Brooklyn is currently confined to a chair, she will soon be moving to a wheel chair. Additionally, Kelly works for the non-profit organization girlpower2cure which raises money to help find a cure for Rett Syndrome. Her old office has been turned into a nursery, and she is currently working out of a closet. Furthermore, Charlie’s prognosis regarding the Behcets Syndrome is unknown. He currently experiences daily chronic pain, and it can progress to a crippling disease, even leading to blindness. It would be so helpful to this family to receive a home makeover that would meet their needs, help their lives to be just a little less stressful, and be of no cost to them. Every time that I read Kelly’s blogs I want to do something to help, and this is an easy thing to do that could help them out.

Please take 5 minutes to send an email on behalf of the Butler family. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is looking for a family in Indiana, so please include that they live in Angola, IN, 46703. You can email your letters to kristinsmith8405@yahoo.com (Kelly’s sister) or directly to the show at castindiana@gmail.com. (It might be a good idea to send it to both places.) Unfortunately the deadline is TOMORROW, FEBRUARY 10, so please take a minute to write an email today.

8 Feb 2010

DIY: Long Necklaces, Managed.


I had a cute necklace holder a few years ago that broke, and a new one has been on my shopping list ever since. I have looked at several in different stores but never found one that I like or that would accommodate my looong necklaces. Those are the ones that have been tangled up in my drawer and really need to be managed in the first place, so that’s the priority. Last week, Chris ended up detangling a knot of necklaces while I finished getting ready to leave the house, and I decided that I would just take matters into my own hands and make one for myself.

I made it a priority to get to the thrift store on the day that the artwork was 50% off, and walked home with this cool frame for about $5.


I removed the glass, picture and matting and pulled out some old foam board that I had never used. I cut the foam board, wrapped it in some heavy burlap (of course) and hot glued the edges around the back.


I picked up some padded hooks from Walmart for about $1. They started off white, which was just a little too stark for the frame, so I spray painted them beige and then rubbed on a little wood stain. This was a better color but left them tacky and messy, so I put a coat of matte Mod Podge and they sealed up nicely.


I wanted the hooks to be exactly 2 inches apart, so I got out the measuring tape and marked the back of the foam board in pen before I twisted the hooks through. I put 2 smaller hooks at the end of the row for shorter necklaces, and 2 at the bottom for bracelets.

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I love it! Of all of the things that I have made, this was certainly the easiest. A perfect combination of cheap, fast, functional and pretty. A+

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Less Inappropriate Than You Think

When we opened up the little potty this weekend, I thought to myself, “No Erin, this isn’t a camera-necessary moment.”  And then 2 seconds later this happened, and I was so happy that the camera was just outside the door.


And I promise that this was straight out of the box!  Even though a small (very small) voice in the back of my head was saying, “This is probably a moment for teaching and not laughing,” there was a louder voice that was saying, “This is a moment that will need to be shared with Grandparents and Dad when he gets home.”  You can really only get away with this once, which is why you should forgive me that the pictures are slightly blurry.  I couldn’t bring myself to have him do it again just so that I could get a clearer shot.


We had a very busy week last week, but I’ve been having technical difficulties with both my camera and my computer.  Both are now resolved(ish), and I’m looking forward to sharing what we’ve been up to.  But I’ve been on the computer for 2 1/2 hours this morning figuring out and attempting to fix them, so for now I’m done.  Happy Monday.

1 Feb 2010

Slight V-Day Decor

I have never really decorated for Valentines Day before. I’m sure it has to do with somewhat of an indifference towards the holiday (not antagonistic, just indifferent), or being a little burnt out from both of our birthdays and Christmas coming right after one another, and just not ready for another holiday. But really, I think it mostly has to do with my general distaste for hearts. I guess I’m just not really a “hearts” person, and while I can admit that most of the Valentines decorations I’ve been seeing are really cute, they just don’t seem like me. (For what it’s worth, I feel like such a Valentines Day Scrooge for writing this!) But I have been seeing so many really great Valentines Day decorations around, that I decided to just bite the bullet and pull something together. Plus it can help fill a bit of the void that taking down Christmas decorations has left. (I have left this little reindeer out though, who Jayce thinks says “Weeee” when he’s flying around, and I think it’s funny.)


Anyway, I got to work seeing what I could scrounge up from around the house. I found this frame last month at the thrift store and though I wasn't a fan of the heart and mat, I loved the square frame for $1. I had planned to put a little wreath in there, but suspended the idea for a little bit.


First I made this, with a linen scrap and some berries. I think it’s cute, but framed up it just didn’t look right.


I re-did the matting in my favorite scrapbook paper, and made a new little heart out of another linen scrap. I got some printable iron-on paper and printed the word “love” thinking that I’d be able to iron the word onto my fabric, but it turns out that I bought the iron-on that looks like you have just printed something on paper. Agh! Stupid, semi-expensive, wrong iron-on paper! Anyone know what the right kind is? I had planned to hand stitch around the linen heart to give it a little something extra, but I already didn’t like it so I just abandoned it completely. I put this up on a shelf, but the first time that I walked by it I flipped it facedown. Again, it just didn’t look like me.


Then, I thought that maybe I could do something that suggests love instead of saying it, so I ended up with this.


And it goes so nicely with my little family blocks. Totally a coincidence. Totally.


(PS-This is no veiled announcement or anything. We are still a family a three, I just like symmetry, and happened to have extra blocks. :)


Furthermore, with the fresh batch of snow that we received last week and the reinstating of the under 20 degree temperatures, I decided that I wasn’t quite done with my winter decorations just yet. I made a little cone tree with twine and cotton thread (the white is a bit like snow, right?), and added a little pop of red.


I was happy to get a little bit of “valentines red” and “love” added to the house without turning to roses and hearts. And I was really happy to have made these with supplies that I already had, particularly since I didn’t want to spend any money or emerge into 14 degree temperatures!

I have wondered, after all is said and done, if I am turning into a bit of a one trick pony with those twine trees. Maybe I am. For now I am okay with it, but I’ll certainly need to have some new ideas come summertime.

I am linking to Just Something I Whipped Up, Make It For Monday, Made by You Monday, Metamorphasis Monday, Sumos Sweet Stuff, Made It Monday, Making the World Cuter, Talented Tuesday, Get Your Craft On, Toot Your Horn Tuesday, A Soft Place to Land, Works for Me Wednesday, Show and Tell, Somewhat Simple, Shabby Chic Cottage, Show Your Stuff, Thrifty Thursday, Floral Showers, Creative Cats, Finding Fabulous, and Funky Junk Interiors.


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