Family Art: Create a Water Color Snowflake

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We have to make our own snow down here in Texas! Here is a really fun project that is easy for the entire family to create.

Supplies Needed:

  • Piece of paper
  • Canvas-any size
  • Salt
  • Elmer’s white glue
  • Water colors (can be chalk, liquid, or paint)
  • Paint brush and water

We set up a small table as a work area and got our supplies ready.

Steps to Creating a Water Color (Salt) Snowflake: Start here: Cut a large paper snowflake out of computer paper. My kids are actually pros at this and we didn’t use a stencil. But here are a few templates you can print and cut out. Next: Once you have your snowflake cut out and traced onto a canvas, you can follow these easy steps:

1. and 2. Trace entire snowflake with white glue

3. Shake salt over wet glue and knock off excess from canvas (we did this part outside)

4. Mix water colors (we chose to do a rainbow snowflake, but a solid color would look great too)

5. Dip paint brush into water and barely touch the water color to the salted glue

6. Repeat until it’s completed

7. Let it dry and be careful to not tip the canvas, as colors may run

Hang and enjoy! Pin It

When You Just Want to Fit In

In the fifth grade, Guess Jeans were the hottest item. Every popular kid had them. The dark denim with the triangle patch on the back pocket marked with the Guess ? screamed, “I FIT IN!”

Or at least my 11 year old mind thought so.

But I grew up in a practical, one-income home. I guess we were middle-class, but after a rough period when my dad didn’t have a job, we opted for a frugal life. Guess Jeans weren’t frugal.

I had cute clothes, a name brand scattered in when I could find it on clearance, but mostly, I wanted what I didn’t have.

My mom must have sensed my pain because she bought me a knock-off pair of Guess Jeans. In passing they almost looked the same with the mock triangle pocket patch. But they said something like Gasp without the ?

I wasn’t impressed. For some reason, the faux pair only increased my desire to wear a ridiculously overpriced pair of jeans I was sure to grow out of immediately.

So, I did something I’ll never forget: I took a red sharpie marker and wrote Guess ? over the word Gasp.

Of course, I didn’t achieve anything except an awful-looking pair of jeans.

And so I wore a long shirt over them until I grew out of them. Because I didn’t want my hard-working parents to know how badly I wanted to fit in.

I’m raising a twelve year old now. I think twelve is the new teen, only without all the privileges. I have no idea what I’m doing.

I can’t imagine how it would have felt to have us as parents growing up…we’ve always tried to raise our kids counter-cultural, but I’m afraid the status quo has shifted by running a non-profit from our garage, going to Africa every summer and occasionally being featured on Channel 11 News. And while we don’t apologize for it, I know somedays it has to be a little awesome and a lot hard when you’re in the sixth grade.

Because if I remember correctly, everything is hard in sixth grade.

I see it there, her desire to fit in. I recognize it and I understand it. I watch her fight against it, bend to it, balance it.

And more than anything, I get it. I don’t always fit in either.  Most days it’s a little awesome and a lot hard.  But I’m nearly 40 now and I understand that fitting in is fleeting. It’s always changing and I don’t want to keep up.

I’m okay with me. I’m thankful for my life, the journey we are on.

Last night, I told my daughter about my fake Guess jeans and we laughed.

She pulled off her knock-off Ugg boots and we talked into the night.


WFMW: The Boiling Pot

“A watched pot never boils,” the saying goes.

But in our house, the saying is, “An unwatched pot always boils over.”


It never fails, it doesn’t matter if I’m boiling eggs (a favorite snack in our house), potatoes or noodles, the pot usually boils over. I get distracted, answer the phone, help with homework, exercise (kidding) and I forget I’ve got water on the stove.

I heard about this tip over the holidays and I put it to the test: place a wooden spoon over the pot and the water won’t boil over.

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It works!

*UPDATED* While this tip did work for me, please do not leave boiling water unattended. Apparently, there are many naysayers it has NOT worked for. Some say it works for pasta, not rice, etc. Boil carefully, people. And if you find out HOW and WHY this *sometimes* works, there’s a lot of people who want to know!

What works for you?

Show Off Arts {Giveaway}

UPDATED WITH WINNER – Congratulations to comment #93, Elizabeth L.

My home is filled with art.

But I’m hardly a collector of rare and expensive art. I only have one criteria:

Art hanging in my home must be meaningful.

Some of it is handmade, some of it is store-bought, but every piece means something to me.

When I walk by, I want to be Inspired. Reminded. Encouraged.

I want my home to be a sanctuary of peace and inspiration.

That’s why I love Show Off Arts! They show Him off:

Today, this beautiful company is giving this popular FAITH, HOPE, LOVE set to one very blessed reader!

Visit their online store and tell me what piece of art inspires you. Leave a comment on this post to be entered.

This giveaway ends on Thursday.

Nothing Says Happy New Year Like A Bliss*turd

I’ve decided to keep a running list. It just makes me feel better to record the insanity. Ya know?

  1. I spent the entire Christmas break trying to take a break from my computer. The first day back (with kids in school) a million and one email and several deadlines? We don’t have Internet in the house. Go figure. Oh, technology. You baffle me.
  2. I might have spent a few after-hours parked in front of Chick Fil A borrowing me some Internets.
  3. Speaking of Chick Fil A, my hubby snapped a picture of me having a special moment with my refill cup:
  4. We got a new-to-us car two days after Christmas.
  5. Which is another way of saying my old white van died a slow and painful death. And also, I’ve gotten proficient with jumper cables. Yo.
  6. It only cost us three hours with three kids at a used car dealer (shoot me). Plus some money.  Once we signed the dotted line, they casually mentioned there’s only one key.
  7. Oh, used car dealerships. You also baffle me.
  8. My oldest child wanted to know why we couldn’t just buy a new car. After I stopped laughing hysterically, I laughed more because I couldn’t even explain, what, with all the laughing. “We buy everything used or with a coupon,” she said in a tone only a tween can use.
  9. Yep.
  10. While we were on our long drive to my in-laws Oklahoman farm for New Year’s, my little one kept complaining about her seatbelt, saying, “it’s rubbing a bliss*turd.”
  11. This made my 9 year old son’s day! Suddenly, everything had a bliss*turd.
  12. I never did find my Christmas cards.
  13. After the third picture, she said, “Can I just eat my cereal now?”
  14. She also might have patted a family member’s belly over the holidays and called them chubby.
  15. Oy.
  16. I am now the mom of a TWELVE year old. Hold me. (Mall Scavenger Hunt with five tween friends? Best frugal party idea ever!
  17. I don’t ever want to go to the mall again.
  18. It totally gives me bliss*turds.

Family Art: Word of the Year

I wanted our entire family to create a piece of art that was unique and meaningful. Something to hang in a high traffic area, art to remind us of what we are needing, chasing this year. Our word for the year:

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This is something everyone can do! Supplies:

  • Art Canvas -whatever size you like (we went big!)
  • Materials to create texture-be creative! We used things we had on hand: pencil eraser, palm leaf, rubber bands, etc


    1. Apply vinyl to blank canvas
    2. Divide canvas into sections; we chose 5 sections because we have 5 people in our family
    3. Paint over the vinyl word art
    4. Once canvas dries, decide on your textures. Pictured is a square block with rubber bands twisted all over it
    5. Use your second color to “stamp” onto canvas. We dipped our block into paint and our youngest stamped in the first column
    6. In the next section, my son used the eraser of a pencil to create “dots.”
    7. Our third section is stamped circles created from the lip of a coke bottle.
    8. I used a palm branch from the front yard to create the fourth section. My husband used a piece of rope in the last column (not pictured above).
    9. Once the entire canvas is dry, peel off the vinyl letters carefully.
10. Hang your family art and be inspired!

The Letter Box

He gave me a beautiful mahogany box several years ago. It sits on our dresser and contains precious words.

This man I married who isn’t a writer, writing stunning letters to his wife, a writer.

He gave our oldest daughter a box and fills it with letters for her eyes only each year on her birthday and milestones.

Our son received his box next, it holds the treasure of father and son.

A few weeks ago, our youngest opened her coveted box on her birthday.

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He read her first letter to her:

On your 5th birthday I want to give you your first Daddy letter.

Daddy letters are special words that I write every year just for you.  They are words from my heart!

I remember the day you were born.  You were called a “premie” because you didn’t get to stay in mommy’s tummy long enough.

You were so little and you were hooked up to lots of tubes and wires.  I was so scared, because I didn’t know if you would live.

I loved you so much, but I couldn’t help you.  So we prayed to Jesus and he healed you.

You are a special girl and you came along at a very happy time for mommy and daddy.  God gave you to us as a special gift to let us know that he cared about us and loved us!

Today, you are five years old and you are more special to me now than ever before.  I want to tell you a few things that make you special to me.

You are so smart and know all of your ABC’s and numbers.  Soon you will be reading all by yourself.

You have a great imagination!  I love to play house with you and hear all the great stories you make up about your dolls.

Your blond hair is bright and wild, just like you.

I love to snuggle with you.

One of my favorite things to do is to kiss you and make you laugh.

You are a great bike rider!

You can do a lot of things by yourself without any help.

You still like me to carry you to bed at night.

You draw the happiest, most beautiful pictures and you save them for me.

You like to lay down in bed and play “would you rather.”

You are always the first to pray about any needs that we have at dinner time.

You love Jesus.

You help me drive my car into the driveway.

You make me laugh!

You’re a big helper when it comes to helping clean up and do chores.

You love your brother and sister.

You always talk me in to giving piggy back rides.

You are a good swimmer

You like to dress up like the princess that you are.

You know lots of good Bible stories.

I love to take you on date nights.

You always jump in the car with me and go to the store.

I am so thankful that you are my little girl!

If I had to pick from all the girls in the world…I would always pick you! …and Madi…and Mommy…and Sasha…and Shina…

I love you!

Happy Birthday,

Love Daddy

She’s carried that box back down the stairs and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard her say, “Read it again to me, Daddy.”

Everyone needs a letter box.