BEECH Retreat


Beech Retreat

Yes that is an orange tree, it just happened to be the tree in the back yard at the BEECH retreat!

Do you want to know what I learned at BEECH? Well first take a look at your computer screen; the whole layout of this web page was created at BEECH. Hands-on discussions really helped my brain to latch onto the many new concepts being presented.

What a blessing and encouragement to learn about blogging from an amazing group of ladies. These women took time from their schedules to share blogging knowledge in a small cozy setting.

Now I still have tons to learn and tons to do! I can’t wait for BEECH 2013 and the excellence in blogging it will inspire in me.

If you want to read what the other ladies thought of BEECH, check out these blogs:



Morning Coffee That Feeds my Soul



My 11-year-old son faithfully makes my morning coffee. I like to have my first cup around 10am and without my asking he will appear by my side with a lovely steaming cup of java topped with whipped cream! He then will recite to me his bible verses he is memorizing.

Usually by 10am I am beginning to be frazzled by my morning duties and the welcome of coffee and my son’s smiling face to recite God’s word puts a huge smile on my face.

Surrounded by Love


Cupcake Flowers

My daughter turned 13 a few weeks ago and we had a special party for her. The theme of her party was “Surrounded by Love” and we invited special friends to help us surround her in love. Each person brought a scripture verse to share with my daughter that would encourage her as she becomes a young adult.

After seeing the cupcake display Sincredible Pastries, we had our inspiration.

A trip to the craft store resulted in the necessary supplies.

  • Clay pot
  • Styrofoam ball (cut in half)
  • Ribbon
  • Artificial flowers
  • Flower cupcake liners

We chose to use the artificial flowers in between the cupcakes to help hide the Styrofoam ball. The flower cupcake liners were an extra-layered look for the cupcakes.




Sea Glass U.S.A. Map


Sea Glass

Years and years have gone into the making of this project. Of course most of the years the glass was rolling around in the ocean. About a few times a year I take my kids to our special beach where you can hear the waves “clink” from the glass rolling in them. After looking on Pinterest and seeing a few mosaics done in sea glass we got excited to do one on the United States.

Sea Glass Map Materials:

  • Bags of different color sea glass (mad-made sea glass can be purchased at craft stores)
  • Super glue
  • Map of the U.S.A
  • Floating picture frame 16 x 12

Sea Glass Directions:

  • Place picture frame on top of the map, this allows the map to be a guide for glass placement.
  • Select pieces of sea glass to fill the size of each state. Some states need more then one piece.
  • Once the pieces have been placed begin gluing them.

I have a small window over my kitchen sink that receives the afternoon light; I placed the completed sea glass map leaning up against the window.

Sea glass mosaic

Now what to make with the rest of our sea glass…..I bet I can find some more ideas on Pinterest!

My Project Life

Project life

Have you every completed a project life scrapbook? I have never completed the paper one but I do have plans on doing the digital one provided through shutter fly.

My project life scrapbook will focus on the daily like Derek enjoying school and the memorable like Kyle’s first time behind the wheel of my car.

I am so excited to have “Take a Photo a Day” on my calendar! I am trying to pace my self, cause really I could take 365 photos in one day!

The best part about this project is not just to focus on photographing those memorable moments, but also to document the daily moments. The bonus, I am doing this online and I just have to upload and drop my photos into a pre-made album. On Sundays this year I plan to note the scripture verse from my church service and add a great photo of God’s creation to it.

So when you see me next and I say “Cheese” you will know what I am up to!!

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalms 37:1

Update: Project Life

I did complete the whole year. About 2 months into the project I ended up going to a two page spread for each week. That way if I was not able to take a photo each day I was able to have 7 photos that represented the week’s activities. I did wait for shutter fly to offer a coupon on their digital scrapbooks to help with the cost of printing the digital book. Yes, next year I do think I am taking a break from the completing another project life scrapbook.

Instead I am going to complete smaller 8 X 8 books of special occasions. I like the variety of choices and I hope the 8 X 8 will cost less in the long run.

New Year’s Resolution, I wrote mine!

New Year

New Years Resolution!

I have finally made one. I don’t know if anyone else will have the same one as me, not the typical diet, exercise or get on a budget resolution.

I want to brush my teeth before I go to bed.  Yeah I know GROSS, she doesn’t brush her teeth, think of all those germs, bad breath,and cavities!

But you know not brushing my teeth is just a symptom of my problem. I could make myself reminders, set an alarm on my phone, or do a unit study on dental care but I have not addressed the reason why I am not brushing my teeth.

If you look at my crazy day of schooling, working and caring for my family by the time night comes I have pushed myself to the limit and find myself passed out late in the evening and not an ounce of energy to get up and brush my teeth.

I need rest; I need to leave myself that ounce of energy to take care of me. Really I need to stop working late into the evening.

I have joined the Inspired to Action, Hello Mornings on-line community. I know what does a morning group have to do with my nightly neglect, well if I plan to get up early; I have to plan to go to sleep! I will have to stop pushing myself to get one more thing completed on that never ending ‘to do list.’

Note to self: schedule a visit with the dentist

Formula for My Deadlines

Time Spent

Formula for Time on Planning School.

Think about how much time it will take to complete the task? Maybe you need to think of a specific task. For example how long will it take me to plan 3 weeks of school lessons. I am sure I could to it in 4 hours, but that would be 4 hours of uninterrupted time. Well I only get that from the hours of 11pm to 5am. Not my best time for my brain to be working and thinking clearly.

Better double the amount of time I need. I am going to need 8 hours of time. Yes, 8 hours to plan 3 weeks of school lessons. I should be able to clear a Saturday and get things together.


Now multiply by 1/3 to account for unplanned life events. The printer will run out of ink after the first planning hour. The math teacher book will be hidden behind the bookcase for at least two hours. My husband will text me 23 times to clarify what the children are supposed to be doing.

Sprinkle in a few extra hours for unclear thoughts. Half way through the planning process I will forget where the files are for the free printables I downloaded last week. Around 2pm I will get sleepy and just stare at the wall for the rest of the hour until I get my second wind. Hopefully I do not get lost in answering emails when looking for the download.


So my 4 hour planning will really take about 11 hours to complete. That 11 hours may not happen in one day, probably will happen over 3 days because my other projects that I did not plan the correct amount of time will over lap my school planning.

When I think in the terms of days and months to complete a project you can see how quickly things can get out of hand.

My 2 day project will really take about 7 days.

My 5 month project will really take about 14 months.

Can I blame it on the math for missing deadlines?



Forgot my address!

How many lessons, how many drills, how many trial runs have I done with my kids? What is your address? What number do you call in an emergency? Countless I am sure!

Two nights ago my husband woke me up from a sound sleep, “I am having chest pains and I think I am going to pass out.” Then he did pass out! I leaped from the bed and grabbed the phone to call 911. So my mind is trying to process all of this through a daze of sleepiness.

The lady on the other end says, “What is your address?” Blank, my mind was blank. I could remember my street name, but the house number…Gone! Then I remembered on the inside of my pantry cabinet door was a list of important phone numbers for the kids to use and at the top of the list….My Address!!!

My husband as spent 2 days in the hospital and no one can tell us why this happened. We need to follow up with a few doctors on some things that were borderline but WE ARE HOME.

In my husband’s words, “We spent a lot of money, No answers, Move on.

In my words, “You better never do that to me again!”

Thank you for your prayers.

Gather Together, Give Thanks and Eat Pie!!

Give Thanks
Butterscotch, Chocolate Peanut butter and Pecan Pie

Give thanks for Pie Making, the Thanksgiving family tradition.

Every year my mom picks up my 4 children on Tuesday night. Then bright and early on Thanksgiving Eve pie making begins. Everyone has a job and everyone’s favorite pie is made, which means 6 different homemade pies are needed to be cooked.

I always find myself at home alone. I think I am left out because of my first Thanksgiving dinner I cooked. Let me set the scene. It was Thanksgiving of 1996, my first-born was 10 months old, and I the new wife and mother was attempting my first made from scratch meal.

I planned for weeks, got up bright and early to start the process.  About 2 hours in I was finishing up the cranberries. Now never in my life had I done fresh cranberries, but my husband promised me Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without them. Since I had no clue what they should taste like, I summoned my husband to the kitchen to taste them.

He loaded his spoon up and down the hatch went the cranberry sauce. His face twisted, turned and he spat back the cranberry sauce. Which immediately he followed with “OH something is wrong.”

After drinking down a large glass of water, we discovered I had grabbed the salt instead of the sugar! That means I just cooked cranberries with 2 cups of salt! It also meant the pumpkin pie in the oven would quickly find a new home in the compost pile.

Give Thanks 2


Final Salute


Al Lane

He was a volunteer fireman for 55 years, worked at the 911 Call Center for 18 years, and was Chief Emeritus. He lived his life serving his community and loving his neighbor.

On September 2, 2011,when my father-in-law passed away the fire department mourned his passing. The family was moved by the support of the brotherhood. I can still hear the sounding of the fire whistle that was sounded for him in honor of his service.


Thank you Pop-Pop, the grandchildren miss you.