Thursday, September 29, 2011

Family Home Evening Chart: A(n attempt at a) Tutorial

The Spouse declared the other day, "We need some kind of official family home evening chart."
I mean, yeah. We've needed one for years, but I guess it's about time.

So I scoured the Internets. I wanted something kind of fun, but not cheesy. And permanent. (I can't go remaking those wheel charts every other week.) Plus, I tend to mess stuff up, so it had to be easy and require NO sewing or sawing.

Finally, I found one that I liked here. But I wanted to make it mine.

Here's how it turned out...

First I went and created this chart do-hicky using my free software, Gimp. (Because I am too cheap for real photoshop.) Easy peasy.

I printed that out on cute scrapbook paper (I chose a very pale aqua-ish stripey one.) When you print it out, the pattern of the paper shows through on the monogram. Cool.

Now for the hard part: magnet boards.
Remember when these were all the rage??? What happened to them?! Why can't you buy them anymore? Some people said I could go to Lowes and have them cut some metal sheeting for me. But I didn't find that out until, you know, I'd already found a different solution:

That, my curious friends, is a magnetic line minder. I got it at Hobby Lobby for $4.00 in the cross stitch aisle. That comes from wandering, aimlessly, looking for ANYTHING resembling a magnet board.

Happy with my purchase, I took my nifty chart and I Modge Podged that sucker right on there. Yep. Only I'd never USED Modge Podge before, so I put too much on and the chart got ruined. Awesome. Not to fear, a little wiping off of some glue, I still had my spare (not quite as cute and with the edges a bit cut off) first try chart. Good enough for me.

After it was dry-ish, I sealed the whole thing with one of those "Acrylic Sealer" sprays. Mine was matte. (I don't know. It's what I had in the closet from some old project.) It makes it more durable. Although--just a note--don't be all impatient and stick magnets to it while the modge podge is still damp and before you spray it. They leave a black smudge. I'm just sayin'.

Now for the magnets.

I tried to be all fancy, like my original source, and do silhouettes, but that isn't happening anytime soon. So I finally just wrote each person's initial on some paper, craft glued it to the back of a clear marble, and then stuck on a self-adhesive magnet from Lake Shore. (Those are awesome. You should pick up a pack.) Took me 5 minutes.

Here's the final result:

I know. The magnet board is 8x11, so no frame. Yet. I'm sure they exist...somewhere. But even un-framed, it's flat and simple and I can have it out in my home. That's nice.

So there you go. Give it a try. You'll like it. (And just in case you want to give it a try, shoot me a note and I'll even send you the chart with your initial in the corner.)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Typical Me.

Today, I woke up and my first thought was "Yay! It's the first day of fall!!" I had planned a welcome fall party today for my kids and few friends. Just something small.

I thought about the 12 yards of black tulle that I used to make a cool wreath I found online. Something kind of spooky and new for our house. I thought about those 6 perfectly dipped caramel apples in our fridge, ready to be dipped in melted chocolate. Yum. Crafts, decorations, a fun fall movie. It is going to be a great day!

And then I got out of bed.
Which is when the reality of being me set in rather quickly.

The wreath... wilted... overnight.

Thing 3 puked at the breakfast table.

Out of desperation, I tried to eat one of the caramel apples for breakfast.
And almost broke a tooth.
These things are not edible.
AND, we have a flash flood warning because of rain "at rates of 1 to 5 inches per hour." At this point, I know exactly where that flash flood is going to happen.

To quote my favorite tv show, "Where's a cliff when you need one?"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Other Septembers...

September 1999.

I am sad today.
I hope our whole country is sad today.
I was looking through old pictures last night, and came across this one. It's me when I was living in Los Angeles in 1999. A beautiful September day.

The world was a different place then.

I had no idea that two years later I would find myself living on the other side of the world on a glowing September morning, when a group of people would follow through on a decision I will never be able to comprehend.

We Americans didn't understand what it was to hate.
We really didn't.

And despite the people who tried to change that, I'd like to think we still don't.

Because love conquers hate. It will always win.
And it will always look forward, instead of back.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Dear Munchkin,
You have inherited my cankles. My profoundest apologies.
(Really, though, I just had to take a picture of those dirty little feet. I love dirty little feet.)

In Case of Emergency...

*breathe in. breathe out. breathe in. breathe out*
Everyone (and I mean everyone) assured me that I would have moments where I freaked out. About homeschooling. Yep. They told me they would happen. I guess I thought that they would be justified. You know--that I would freak out on the days where we didn't get anything done and stuff.

But I didn't see them coming on clear blue sky, learning a bunch, feeling little nudges of inspiration that should be encouraging kind of days.

So, in my best Bridget Jones fashion, I refuse to be intimidated by something as lame as a panic attack, and I choose instead a good round of cleaning to a 90's dance mix while focusing on pictures like these...

And I tell myself, over and over, "You are not ruining your children, you are not ruining your children, you are not ruining your children..." (to the same beat as "This is the rhythm of the night...")