Friday, February 17, 2012

Gettin' Crafty!

I haven't done a craft project for a long time, but some recent items on Pinterest conspired to motivate and inspire me.  I decided to make a Valentine's Day craft, just for fun.

I had this enormous old dictionary.  Months ago, I nearly threw it out - we have another enormous dictionary, several smaller ones, and on-line resources, so I thought we could clear out one - but then I remembered some recent book page crafts I had seen and decided to keep it for future fun.

I also had some picture frames, just the cheapy $1 ones from Michael's.  Perfect for trying craft projects when you're not entirely sure of the outcome!
Then, of course, trusty Mod Podge was on hand, to hold the whole project together.
These little book page roses were easy and turned out so cute, I think I'll be coming back to this craft.

I decoupaged scraps of dictionary pages onto the frame and trimmed it with my Cutco paring knife ( I did NOT cut myself.  This time.).  I made three frames like this.  Then I sprayed the cardboard insert with chalkboard paint and wrote what I thought was an appropriate Valentine's Day message:

For a tutorial on how to make the paper roses and to see my project on steroids, check out this link:

I made three frames like this and one slightly different for my sister, all in the space of time required to watch "While You Were Sleeping."  It was a good evening.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sonnet 29

One of the things I love about literature is that the good stuff is always good and sometimes, it gets better.  

For instance, I have read Jane Eyre I-don't-know-how-many times but each time it means something a little bit different and something more than it did all the times before.  

Shakespeare's sonnets are adored and reviled by high school students the world over and when I first read most of them, they left me if not cold, at least lukewarm.  Old dishwater warm.  

They seemed like the ramblings of either a pathetically rejected lover or a dismal old man.  

Now, years...many years...years upon years upon years...later, I begin to understand a little bit more and appreciate a little bit more what that rejected lover and dismal old man felt. 

When I was newly in love, the first lines of Sonnet 116 seemed to exquisitely capture my sentiments: "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediment...[Love] is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken; it is the star to every wandering bark..."

But as we - John and I - get older, some further lines have gained significance as well.  "Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle's compass come: Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom."

I seem to identify more closely with that dismal old man, too.  

So when I came across Sonnet 29 again, its lines spoke to me in ways I'd never heard before.  

Maybe there is something to this "older and wiser" thing.  Maybe "getting" poetry is a sign of wisdom.  Maybe wisdom means seeing more than we could see before, hearing more than we could hear, feeling more than a twenty-something year old is able to feel.  Maybe wisdom means understanding that life is mostly made of maybes.  

Maybe I should wrap this up before I posit anything truly ridiculous.  Or am I too late?  I should let Shakespeare finish this off.  He always says it best.  

Sonnet 29:
When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state 
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate, 
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, 
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope, 
With what I most enjoy contented least; 
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state, 
Like to the lark at break of day arising 
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Well, if you can't brag about your kids on your own blog, where can you brag?

Last night as I sat up in bed reading, my oldest wandered in, probably looking to delay bedtime, but in an amicable, chatty mood.  I put down my book and we chatted for half an hour about school and life, everything and nothing.  No big life questions going on, no agenda, no discipline (good or bad), no particular purpose, just chatting.  It was balm to my heart that aches too often with the tension between a teen who is growing, stretching, testing, and parents who are worried, feeling our way, and, frankly, basically clueless.  Quiet time to reconnect is too infrequent with busy schedules and loaded timetables, so this just warmed my heart.

This afternoon, Micah scored four points in his basketball game.  These were his first points for this basketball season (which is almost over) and his grin was so good to see.  His team won by one point so that made his points all the more important!  I love to see my kids succeed!

Last week, Johanna moved up to the next level of math.  She is now in Saxon 6/5, if that means anything to you, or 5th grade math, if it doesn't.  She has been working since the beginning of the school year to try to do this and for her to make math, no less!...I'm just proud as punch.  She obviously got her father's math gene, not mine!

Sam just keeps me smiling in general.  Tonight he was looking back through his math book and reminiscing.  He said to me, "Remember 86?  Page 86?  I remember it like it was yesterday."  (It was several months ago, now.)  He is still willing to snuggle with me occasionally and lets me read to him.

Funny how I used to feel like I'd be reading Good Night, Moon forever and now no one asks for it at all.

I don't stop to enjoy my kids enough so when I realized all four of these things in one evening, I had to write them down.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the precious gift of my children.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy birthday, Micah!

This is slightly belated,but happy 12th birthday, Micah!  
Micah was born the day before my dad's birthday.  

We were kind of hoping he'd hold off so the two could celebrate on the same day, but it seemed pretty clear that the little guy was on his way and I wasn't going to hold off another nine hours just for that!  

Micah is a true joy and we love him SO much!  

Thunder Pickle

 Last week, the 7th and 8th grades held their annual science fair.

William's experiment was on how pickles conduct electricity.  He and his science teacher had lots of fun plugging in pickles and testing their glow factor.
William didn't win any prizes for his project, but I daresay he had the most memorable title for his board.