Monday, April 30, 2012


I'm so humbled and honored beyond belief by this picture.

These sweet girls in India, holding pillows with the warrior girl on them.

A customer contacted me a little while ago asking if I could make the warrior girl
with the pony tail a little darker skinned and into a png file.  She and her family have been
living in Chennai, India working with these girls at Powerhouse Church.
She was so kind to send me an email with these pictures of the girls, all between the ages of nine and eleven, holding the pillows they had made by a Chennai based company.

They were a prize for memorizing nine bible verses related to their study of The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.

And she said they loved them.  They were also a goodbye gift of sorts, since the family will be moving back to the states soon.  She hopes that the girls will look at them and remember to be strong in the Lord, especially as they become teenagers.

I think this picture single-handedly is the biggest blessing I've received from opening an etsy shop.

To think of these girls who face challenges I can't even begin to understand, that they might draw closer to the Lord or their strength might be renewed because of a little drawing that came to me one late night.

To God be all the glory.

And in this instance, thinking of these girls and where they are universally, that in between stage.  Still a girl, yet growing closer to a teen.  Wrestling between wanting to play with dolls and knowing all too soon, those dolls will go by the wayside.

Remembering myself in those preteen years, how I actually gave up drawing for a time.  You see that self inflicted perfectionist part of me was in full force.  I sat near two boys in school who were beyond skilled.  One was the nephew of Charles Schultz, the artist behind the Peanuts.  I absolutely positively loved Snoopy as a kid.  His drawings inspired many of mine.  But for some reason feeling that these boys were better than me, I decided not to try at all.  How crazy is that?  I know.  But that pre-teen me, she didn't.

And somehow this picture, seeing my artwork all the way in India made me tear up at the thought, that thankfully the Lord kept on prompting me to draw.  He told me I didn't have to be perfect.  I just had to be me, and to listen to Him.

That's really the key to everything isn't it?  To believe what HE says and sees in each of us.  It's all that other stuff that isn't from the Lord that holds us back.  The fear, insecurity, doubt, lies, all from the enemy.

When people ask my husband and me how the etsy shop is going, he'll always say it's by no means something she does to make money.  She spends way too much time on it for what she charges.
He's a business man and is business minded.

For me, this is a passion, and something that brings me so much joy.  I do it because I feel inspired by scripture and really have felt the Lord guiding me as I go.  Knowing that this artwork might inspire girls or boys, women or families to think on God's word each time they see the print, that makes me happy.

I pray more than anything for these girls, for all of us, that our identities would be rooted in Christ and our hope found in Him alone.  If my artwork plays a small role in strengthening someone or encouraging them in their walk with the Lord, that is just an honor.

I will keep that first picture up on my inspiration board.  It will serve to inspire on so many levels.  To put a face to the places where the drawings might serve.  To pray for those believing in Jesus in areas where it isn't easy to do so.  To pray for children heading into those years where going against the culture isn't cool, and staying confident and strong can be hard.  To remember this isn't about perfection, this is about listening to Him and seeking to please only Him.  Last but not least, sheer gratitude that He has allowed me to pursue this tucked away dream and to remind me not to give up.

So I'm adding these to my counted gifts...
342. knowing these girls will see those pillows each day and it'll remind them to put on their armor
343. energy to get errands done & how happy these shoes made them
344. adjusting to our new routine
345. dew on roses
346. a mother daughter tea
347. garden planting plans
348. unexpected thrift store finds
349. gift giving
350. a hair cut
351. somehow managing to make the puzzle of our schedules work
352. a daughter who loves hydrangeas as much as me.
353. getting my cell phone fixed
354. assembly line sandwiches
355. pretty colored pens

356. working out to praise music
357. one of our favorite actually has gratitude in the title
358. this adorable cape making craft from sunday school.

Friday, April 27, 2012

instagram I first downloaded the instagram app maybe over a year ago and I played around with it somewhere before last Christmas.  But then I didn't really do much with it.
But recently I'm having so much fun using it to make everyday pictures 
so much more pretty.
It's kind of addicting and fun to do when you're waiting in an office, 
or in the car for pick up.
You know what I mean.  
And I never before knew about how you can follow your friends and they follow you.
It's sort of fun to 'chat' with each other through the day that way. here is a quick look at some highlights from our week.

1. reminiscent of my childhood coloring books from costco
 love my girls loving them as much as I did.
2. new tennis shoes... they were giddy with excitement
when they learned they spin...what have I done?
3. one of many baseball games this week.
4. they cleaned & vacuumed their room.. wow.

5. playing musical chairs turned into P.E.
6. trying on skinny jeans.  oh boy.

7. impromptu dancing in the mall food court.
as soon as I snapped this he became self conscious and stopped.
but it was super sweet while it lasted.

8. unexpected thrift store scores.

9. five in a row - madeline - new vocabulary words.
10. more thrift store finds.

11. more baseball.
12. roses in bloom making me happy.

I've been enjoying instagram so much lately, thought I'd join in on the insta-Friday fun.
It's a nice way to recap the week.
Not sure I'll be consistent with this, but sometimes I'll try.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


So we're about two and a half weeks into our new journey of homeschooling my daughter who has dyslexia.

And I'm being eased into this with the Lindamood Bell program where she goes two hours a day five days a week.

And we spend way more time on the road getting everyone where they need to be than I like.
But I am seeing some major things happening.

It's the Lord first and foremost.

It's your prayers.

It's the program.

It's the removal of the stress.

It's all of these things.

But I so want to praise God for these little glimmers of improvement He is showing me daily.

She's happy and free and I love seeing her and her sister playing together.
I just want to share and record those little things that parents with kids that don't struggle wouldn't even think twice about.  Those things that naturally happen, weren't with her.

But in the last week I've seen several of those little things organically (I like that word a lot .. and have been teased for using it in this way.  But you know when it's just natural, child led, not forced at all).

She's reading signs as we drive by them in the car,
just because she wants to and she can!

She's asking me why the E in Zevia says E instead of eh?
She's reading that the double O says OOUUU.  And she's telling me about it.

It didn't matter how many times we'd go over ch, sh, th sounds and what letter made them, she wouldn't retain them.

But suddenly it's all sticking.  And when I was telling her sister (who will talk incessantly which is usually awesome, but sometimes not appropriate) that she needs to 'shhhhhh'.  My middle one said, "S. H."  At first I was thinking, "What?" But then realized oh, she's noticing.  She's noticing.  And she's using these rules in life.  It's clicking.  And I'm so proud of her.  She's working hard.  And she's enjoying learning.  It's such a blessing and so encouraging.
Oh and part of the receptive and expressive language disorder has meant that she is pretty quiet.  We always knew she was more shy, but some of this is that she hasn't 'organically' picked up on language the way we all do.  She doesn't soak it in, understand the context and then use it in sentences the way her brother and sister did and do.  She will tell stories and come to a word or thought she can't find and would say, "Oh never mind."  It must be such a trapped and frustrating feeling.  And trust me, I know she'd get frustrated because she's so sweet and patient, but she'd go from zero to sixty in no time flat.  She'd get so mad and just start screaming at the top of her lungs over something seemingly insignificant.

It was all of that inability to express herself that would build and build to the point of exploding.  Who could blame her.
But do you know, we're together so much through the day and she is talking a lot.  She's standing up for herself when she's talking, telling her brother or sister, "I'm still talking".  You know that old parental phrase, "Use your words."  So often she just couldn't in the way she wanted or as fast as anyone else.  But she's using her words.  Little by little she's using them.

The best thing for me was hearing her tell me a story and using the words dangling and wobbling in context, correctly.  I don't even know where or how she picked those words up.  But they were in there.

It's like her mind and her words are being unleashed.  

It's not all fixed and instantly better, but it's improving.  And this is progress that makes this mom super happy.  I take none of it, none of it for granted.

I also want you to know I don't take your words of encouragement for granted either.  Those of you who've taken time to email me, even at great length, sending me words of wisdom and advice and letting me know you're praying for me.  Praying for me, a complete stranger.  It's humbling and has moved me to tears.  I'm truly serious here.  I wish I could thank you in person, thank you for walking a faithful walk.  Even in the little things like taking the time to type words from the heart that brighten a stranger's day.  Thank you.

 "Therefore encourage one another 
and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11

her royal highness

I hinted over the weekend that I was working on a project.
This whole week is teacher appreciation week at my son's school.
I was assigned the coordinator position for all the little details through this week.
Monday's duty was to decorate her door with the theme of her favorite movie,
which was "Ever After."  I haven't seen it, but know it's a Cinderella story.
So the idea to make her into a princess was what came to mind.

And when I get something stuck in my head like that, I have to see if I can make it happen.

I think I've also mentioned I'm terrible at taking pictures for tutorials and step by step directions.
I took a few in progress shots on my cell to share with you in case you ever have reason or a need to do something similar.

I love mixed media and altered art type projects taking a real photograph of the person's face and then using other elements for the body.  One day I'll upload past projects from before this blog existed.  

But today, here is the progression of our princess.
I printed her face from a photograph, making it as large as I could fit on a regular sheet of paper.
Then I cut it out around just her hair, neck and face.

I used poster board for the body.  It took two sheets glued together, overlapping slightly at the bottom.
I traced out the gloves & top of the dress on tracing paper and then cut them out of scrapbook paper and glued them onto the posterboard, then I cut out all around the shape.
I wanted to make the dress super long, just for fun.  I used white streamers and row by row put glue down and folded the streamer over and over to make it look like a tulle layered skirt.
And of course she needed some beautiful glass slippers.

Here she is on the door.  OH and I didn't get a close up, but her crown is a free clip art printable that I printed and cut out and embellished with some glitter glue and a little star.  
My son's teacher said she loved it and it's hysterical.
Each day this week there's a different surprise.  
Today she got coffee, breakfast and flowers.

I do believe gift giving is one of my love languages because I just LOVE putting together little gifts for people and when they're surprises even better.  
As the week progresses I'll share a couple of the other treats that are in store.

OH and I have a couple posts regarding my daughter mulling around in my brain...exciting things are happening.  FOr those of you who have been praying for her and me I thank you so much!  I can't wait to share the little things making me smile this past week.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

encouragement & celebrations

I committed to putting together a gift basket to donate to my son's baseball league for their auction next week.  And it was due today.  It was the inspiration behind making a couple of new listings in the shop.
oh happy day tags are perfect for birthdays, graduations, mothers day, just about any day.  I wanted to keep them open to any celebration.  And the tag makes me start humming along to Oh Happy you know that song?  I can't find the actual version I have stuck in my head, but here's another one.  It's cheerful, just like the tags.
And if you have a friend who is in need of encouragement.  This stationery set is the perfect way to remind them to trust in the Lord and that his word promises to make our paths straight.
I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend so far.
Next week I'm the coordinator for teacher appreciation week for my son's class.
We're required to decorate their doors for Monday morning in a theme from their favorite movie.
So tomorrow, her door will be transformed.
I'll be busy tonight getting it ready.
Can't wait to show you the ideas...soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

embracing ... a lot

I'm attempting to play with instagram
and actually put myself in the picture too.
I know I've mentioned this is ever so hard for me.
It really is.
So I'm pushing my boundaries here, being in the picture
and even sharing it with you.

I'd much rather show you this little lady
who has become my walking partner.

She actually changed into this outfit for walking, 
because every girl needs a nice cardigan and skirt
to exercise in right?  of course.

Tonight she came out after bath decked out as mommy.
I was dying.
I actually shot video, which eventually I take the time to put up on here.
This is her in a 'mom uniform'.
She has on my shoes, my hat,
a cell phone and some mama chia.
Dying I tell you.
Because her whole persona,
her walk, everything changed.
Do you ever wonder how your kids perceive you?
Well, tonight I found out.
And as she was describing me
she said, "Mommy looks like, like a princess."

At eight p.m., me still decked out in the workout wear I put on
at seven this morning with the intention of fitting it in at some point,
only it never worked out.  I was feeling far from a princess.

So as I'm tossing laundry in the machine I pause sort of shocked and say, 
"Really, you think Mommy looks like a princess."
And she said, "Yea" so matter of factly, "God's princess."
This might sound so cliche, I know.
But honestly that's her heart.
And that's how she sees me.
And that is a lesson that even in my un-worked out in sweats,
in my end of the day exhaustion from
what felt like an eternity on the road
battling traffic
and mishaps here and there
God still sees a princess! last little bit of an announcement.

I have a warrior boy.
So excited to introduce him to you.
Want a visual checklist for your son (or yourself) while you're in his room.
We MUST, MUST, MUST gear up every day.
Do you forget sometimes?
I know I do.
But now we have no excuse with this reminder.
He's in the shop now, and can be customized if you'd like.

And for more embracing the camera fun...head over here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while, will himself 
RESTORE you and make you STRONG,
1 Peter 5:10
Do you feel steadfast today?
If you don't, take heart, because the God of all grace will make you so.

I have always loved how just prior to this part of 1 Peter he says "after you have suffered a little while."
Just a little while.
Though sometimes it feels endless, our current suffering truly is minimal compared
to the restoration He provides.

Are your eyes and ears open to the myriad of ways He's sending you signs of hope
and love and a better future?

The connections, coincidences, none of it is accidental.
This life is a gift, struggles and all.

Without them I may never have gotten to the end of myself.

Never learned what it feels like to call Him my Prince of Peace,
My Husband, My Friend, My Comforter, My Healer.

My All In All.

In my Community Bible Study we're studying 1 Peter.
It is so rich and so pertinent.

I have several friends walking rough roads right now.
I wanted to encourage them and you, if you're in a place where you need it.

I sometimes wonder if it's partially due to the fact that I have too much on my plate to spend the time stewing and stressing about things for very long the way I was once prone.

But more than that,  I've truly learned to rest in the knowledge that I've seen Him work all things for good time and again.

Really, really difficult things that could have ruined me.
But they didn't.
And through the process of sitting in the complicated, the difficult, the ugly,
the devastating, the things I didn't understand how or why,
a strength grew in me that I didn't know I had.
Sometimes my childhood friend and I talk about how this adult thing,
it's really not easy.  Those little girls with idyllic dreams, if they were told
what the future held, we wouldn't have believed it and certainly wouldn't have
said, "No problem, we can handle it."

But we can, we have and we are.  Because, just as children play the game of trust, we're free- falling backwards into our Father's arms, knowing He will always catch us.

He RESTORES us and makes us new.

The closeness to Christ that has come from the hardest of life's lessons, I wouldn't trade that for anything.

I used to wonder when it was that I'd feel like a grown up.  Getting married didn't do it.  Working a real job where I wore a suit every day, didn't do it.  Buying a house, even having a child, I still felt like a child myself playing in this grown up world.

And then I realized, it's walking through the hard things and learning to be OK with the unknown.  It's keeping life normal for those looking to you for guidance.

It's putting one foot in front of the other, making hard choices, and setting other's needs before your own, when all you want to do is crumble.  

These are the things that made me finally realize I'm truly grown up.
Gratefully, a grown up with Christ by my side.
Because I couldn't do it without Him.
It is this knowledge that makes me rise before the sun
to meet with him again and again.
To call Him friend, to seek His counsel, to feel His comfort.
And it is just this gratitude that stirs in me a desire to encourage those who are struggling,
by sharing His story of hope.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of compassion 
and the God of all comfort
who comforts us in all our troubles, 
so that we can comfort those in any trouble 
with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, 
so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Monday, April 16, 2012

happy monday & huge giveaway

Hi Everyone... Happy Monday.

I had a late night last night working on a warrior boy!!!
I've had so many requests for one and I'm sorry I've sadly neglected boys here.
But that is changing, this one will be done soon and more are on their way.

I'm looking forward to sharing him with you!

But in the meantime, I'm a part of a HUGE giveaway over at

The total value is over $ head over to sweetfloweret.  She has
a neat gadget beneath my picture that makes it all super easy to enter right from her blog.
Each one of the entries gives you a greater chance of winning.

I was going to highlight a couple of the items, but I couldn't decide so here they all are!