Monday, December 21, 2009


Snow in December in Carolina. That is a rare thing. And I did not get one single picture. Can't believe it. But really, I can. This weekend was the Dedication of our new church home.

And remember the cake? The whole time it was snowing, I was working on the cake thinking, "this is crazy. I'll never be able to get there with this cake. Why is it snowing, now?!" Well, for all my agonizing over the snow, not only did we get to the church with the cake, on time, over 800 other people did too.

I think these will be the best snow pictures I could have:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

5 Days till Cake!

No really, the important part is the dedication of our new church home. But my little part is this cake :-) Glad to celebrate with cake making, then I don't have to be sad about leaving the church where I have celebrated so many major moments of life. Looking forward to new milestones in our new church home.

Here's the cake topper picture so far. Now I just have to let it dry and don't mess with it till Saturday!

The drawing in the background was my paper plan. The container of fondant I bought to make sure the black was juuuust right. This Satin Ice was easy to work with but literally started to dry out before I was even through cutting it. The finish on the black piece isn't quite smooth. But my son assures me no one will notice. (We will after all be celebrating the new church home, not the cake! Good thing I have children to keep me grounded.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Homeschool Schedule

Lots of things can be said about a homeschool schedule. The best thing though is to be flexible. Because you really never know what is going to happen. On the other hand, an actual schedule can be effective.

I've been reluctant to put something down on paper. Mostly because the schedules I've seen on other websites seem so...complicated. But after a few days of terrible two's something had to change. And that means a clear, simple schedule for the Our Lady of Good Remedy Catholic School.

I want a schedule that is consistent day to day and would incorporate most of the things we already do. Like the 10:30-11:30 time slot will accommodate PE on Tuesday with out too much second guessing about who is doing what. (PE is actually from 11-12, so I'll be with Holly at 10: 30 anyway getting her dressed. And the usual outside time with Bill is nicely replaced with playtime in the nursery at the YMCA).

After naptime is anybody's guess! We never know how long Holly will nap and the other children's activities vary from day to day. Science and Art class some days, Students in Training on Wednesday, friends over or grocery shopping, and Karate class.

Chores, if you notice are daily and the same everyday for everyone. Bored with doing the same chores? Too bad. Sometimes life is boring. If that seems too "boot camp" like, well, its just 30 minutes out of the day. And I like things simple and uncomplicated. And what a great opportunity to offer up this small act of service for your family :-) Each child is to do their best, I help with what I can and after 30 mins, chores stop, school starts. I finish up what's left as the day goes on. With help from Holly, of course.

Time's up! I love that my to do list includes crayons and play dough, along with laundry and cooking. Off to play with Holly. Life is good.

*** Edited 12/15 After a few days of trying out the new schedule, I think we have a successful plan. Holly is still a handful, but with everyone knowing when their turn is, school is getting done.
One more thing, I didn't list prayer time, but we always start the 9am school day with prayer.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cake Plans

A little blurry, but the actual rose window in our church.

Pretty soon our new church will be dedicated. I can't wait! The building is so beautiful and large. No more cramped standing room only. Although several major moments of my life have been in our current church building and I will miss this, I can not wait for our new church home to be completed.

A major part of our church has always been the stained glass windows. Massive, gorgeous art of several Saints, one of Mary and one of Jesus. Those were moved out of the old church a few months ago. I can't wait to see them again!

After Easter, Mary Frances asked if I would make one (there will be a few) of the cakes for the church dedication. I was thrilled. And have been planning the cake ever since. The inspiration for the cake came from the windows and this ad in a magazine.

Doesn't that like almost like a stained glass window? Maybe, if you squint your eyes. And picture it in color. So I began to scan pictures, print, and color my plan.... I hope to use the pie topper to cut out the pieces in fondant and assemble it on the cake. Black fondant has been ordered. The rest I will make. Here's the idea in black and white.

You'll have to wait with me, to see the whole thing in color! Say a prayer or two for me, that this plan works! I so want to create something special for a really special day.

A Little Cake, A Lot of Elmo!

Two years. Two years. I can't believe Holly is already TWO. Over the last 6 months Holly has just grown up! She is talking really well. Has great control of "command sentences". She loves to say "Sing. Guys. HappyKnowIt."

And the no-daily-medicine thing is like a miracle to me. Occasionally, Holly still needs Zyrtec. But no Prevacid, no Nexium, no Mylicon and definitely no Tylenol almost everyday.

Although Holly spends lots of time like this:

She also spends some time like this:

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Little One Feather!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Peace, Joy Part 8

Last post on the subject. There is just a few more things to consider when you want to keep strife out of your life.

What I want is peace, what I want to avoid is disharmony, quarrels, hatred.

Nothing creates an environment for gossip and harmful chatter quicker than a group of women. (Hey, I am a woman. I can say that.) Years ago, I used to scrapbook with a very lovely bunch of women. All of us young mothers. Most of us with kids in the same preschool. Still, I knew those scrapbooking nights were prime opportunities to gossip. And that meant disharmony.

I posted that verse from Psalms in my scrapbook box where I would see it. Set a guard, LORD, before my mouth, a gatekeeper at my lips Psalm 141:3 Some days, I wish I could have it on a teleprompter everywhere I go! It is so important to watch what you say.

Every encounter you have is a chance to see Jesus. We will end this reflection on finding Peace and Joy in the midst of hurt feelings with the following verses.

Lord, open my eyes to hear your word and my heart to understand. Help me to recognize strife when it occurs and to strive instead to see you in every situation.

A mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:18

Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23

Then Peter approaching asked him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Making of a Christmas Star

Almost as soon as the Festival of Trees was over last year, I began crafting a star for this year's tree. That was right in the middle of Anna and I cutting out lots and lots of paper snowflakes.

A star took shape pretty quickly from cutting out a snowflake and then gluing it to a dowel, in a few layers to make it 3-D. However, by June, that star wasn't looking so hot. In fact, it was drooping. Mostly because the middle section of the snowflake was cut out. Perfect for a snowflake, but not for a 3-D standing star.

The search was on for a better star than the one I made last year, which I loved :-) And I hope my Aunt Jackie did too, since this is all for her Christmas tree. I found this youtube video and thought I had landed on something. Even though the video is in fast forward mode (!) I was able to make this:

With Anna's help we added the sparkle of glitter. And I liked it. But not enough. Today, I tried again, cutting the points a little pointier (is that a word?) and added some cut outs, like in a snowflake for texture. The results? A perfect paper star for my Aunt Jackie's tree.

Today is the tree decorating day, and the Festival runs through the weekend in Downtown Salisbury. Last year there were over 50 trees decorated! This is such a fun event. Glad we can be apart of it!