I am Not an Artist

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Apparently I can’t stay away, so I suppose I’ll just keep on keepin’ on being an occasional blogger. Today I have to talk about doodling. But first a little disclaimer…I am not an artist. If you asked me to draw something that actually looked like what it represented, you’d be sorely disappointed. I haveth not such talents.

But I’ve always been a doodler. Not like a “meaningful” doodler by any means, but a doodler none the less.

And lately I have a bit of a new obsession. (I tend to be like that – find something and do it intensely for a while until I move onto the next thing, like scrapbooking, or jewelry making, or crocheting, or repainting rooms while my husband’s gone…). So it all started when I decided to print out a page to color while I listened to LDS General Conference a couple of weeks ago. I just wanted something to do with my hands while my brain focused on the messages being given. I wanted something doodle-esque and that’s what I printed out. It eventually led to “I wish I could doodle like this” and then “I might as well try.” Which birthed this (on the back of another page I printed but didn’t color, so feel free to ignore the background image showing through):

FirstFlowers

Next thing I know, I’m looking up doodling ideas online and filling up a new Pinterest board with “tangles” as they’re often called (with the first one up there neglected and never finished being colored). It’s calming and interesting and strangely satisfying to just sit and doodle. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been exploring some of the different styles/doodles/tangles/techniques that people have come up with and it’s been fun to try my hand at them and add my own twist.

LightWillCome

Purple

I even went out and bought my own sketchpad, so I didn’t have to keep stealing pages from my daughter’s. That was nice of me, eh?

Anywho, my whole point in sharing all of this is that #1 – doodling can be a great stress reliever, calming technique, or time passer when you’re stuck sitting around; B – anyone can doodle something cool. I am not an artist – so far from one that’s it’s not even funny, so if I can doodle random coolness, anyone can; and Lastly – if you want to do something, just try. Who knows what will come of it?

Are you a doodler? Share something you’ve drawn/sketched/doodled in the comments!

How I’m Teaching My Kids Some Good Values…with a little help from Hogwarts

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Soooo…I know it’s only been 2 weeks since I said goodbye to blogging, but…I FINALLY implemented an idea I came up with back in December and I must share! So I guess that means I’m back again, even if only for today.

What is this idea that made me come back, you might ask? Well, to be as excited about it as I am, it probably would have to do with Harry Potter. And it does. Of course it does.

Hogwarts Points

I’m pretty sure it’s a law that you can’t be related to my mother and not love Harry Potter. (My husband is a law breaker, but we just pretend not to know.) Since my kids are right now quite into Harry Potter (Side note – just this morning my 8 year old asked how old you have to be to go to Hogwarts, and when I told him 11, he said “I hope I get to go!”)…anyway, as I was saying, since my kids are way into the books, I thought it would be fun to let them earn house points. I have 4 kids, so I could have easily assigned them each a house, but…I didn’t really want to make it a competition, and surely whomever ended up in Slytherin would cry about it. And then a lightbulb went on – we could earn points together, as a family team effort. For our points, each house has 2 POSITIVE traits that we can try to exhibit or practice or develop or whatever it is you want to call it. They are as follows:

Gryffindor

Gryffindor – Courage and Integrity

Hufflepuff

Hufflepuff – Teamwork and Kindness

Slytherin

Slytherin – Achievement and Determination

Ravenclaw

Ravenclaw – Knowledge and Creativity

With the whole points system, there are a few things I wanted to avoid – bragging, nagging, and having to stop what I’m doing to put points in an hourglass (because, unfortunately, I’m a muggle and they don’t just magically fall in when I say so).

So this is what we do. Two or three times a week, at dinner, we talk about house points that may have been earned in the past few days. The biggest rule is that you’re not allowed to talk about yourself. You can bring up things that you saw or know of other people in the family doing, but not yourself. Only Mom and Dad get to award points. (It’s strangely satisfying to get to yell out “Five points for Gryffindor!” at dinner.) I love that this also helps my kids (and us) to recognize and praise the good of others instead of just focusing on ourselves. Because I want to keep it positive, we cannot lose points.

The “hourglasses” sit on a shelf in the kitchen next to the giant chalkboard where we can always see them.

HousePointsShelf

When one gets filled up, we will go do a family activity that would appeal to the members of that house. So maybe we’ll go on a hike when Hufflepuff fills up or visit the children’s museum when Ravenclaw does. We’ll decide when the time comes what the activities will be. And then we’ll empty that jar out and start over again.

What I used to make the hourglasses:
Salsa jars (this is why it took me so long – had to eat 4 jars of salsa first)
Printed Hogwarts House crests, cut out, and glued on w/mod podge
Gold vinyl traits cut out with my Silhouette Portrait
Beads – I love the look of the seed beads, because they look more like jewels, but they’re small and it would have cost about $40 just to fill up each jar, so I only got a few of each of those to add some sparkle, and then pony beads

We keep the unused beads in individual sandwich bags inside of one big gallon size bag in an inconspicuous place in the kitchen.

And that’s it! Easy peasy lemon squeezey and the kids love it! (As do I, but we’ve already established that.)

Time To Say Goodbye

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Obviously, I’ve neglected the blog for quite some time now. It’s been a nice little place for me to share ideas, projects, and completely random thoughts for the past few years, but it’s time to say goodbye. As life moves along, I need to take more time to focus on my family, and seeing as how I’ve been MIA from the blog for quite a while anyway, it’s one of the more obvious things to let fall by the wayside. Thank you to those of you who have read and shared this little space on the great wide internets! It’s been a real slice.

What I Wore…

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Let me just start this off by saying I love that people are fashionable and share their fabulous outfits over the internets so that fashion-challenged people such as myself can steal ideas. And I’ve been thinking about those “What I Wore” style posts that people often share on their blogs or Pinterest or whatnot and where ever. They always look great! And there’s the sharing of room makeovers and perfectly photographed delicious meals that all children in their perfect households eat without complaining too. Sometimes, I feel like we all (or maybe it’s just me) need a little reality check. A glimpse, so to speak, into another person’s life of keeping it real. I mean, of course we all want to put our best foot forward, but sometimes those of us on the outside looking in might forget that what we see a single shot of isn’t what that person or place or family is like 100% of the time. And also, I’m just feeling a bit goofy today (and had no plans to wax philosophical – where did all that ^^^ come from?!). So, my friends, on this lovely Tuesday afternoon, I’m here to share with you that glimpse with my first ever “What I Wore” post. This outfit will knock your socks off.




What I Wore

Fabulous, don’t you think? Yes, it’s 2:30 on a weekday afternoon. Yes, I’ve already left the house once today. Also, I’m all sweaty (not that you can tell from the pics) from choreographing some new Zumba routines.

I thought about having a weekly “what I wore” style post, but y’all might get sick of seeing my pajamas.

So there you have it. Life. Unedited.

Merry Christmas!

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Hello! I hope you all have had a very Merry Christmas! At the beginning of the month, as the kids were putting ornaments on the tree, I got the last minute idea to make a time lapse video of the process. I really enjoyed doing it and shared the video with some friends and family. And then on Christmas morning, I decided I might as well go ahead and film the proceedings and do another time lapse so we could preserve a quick glimpse into our morning. I love being able to see my kids’ excitement on Christmas morning and hope that we’re instilling a love for their Savior and a sense of gratitude for all they have in the process. We try to keep things simple and provide constant reminders of the reason we celebrate this season. May we always remember and be grateful for the gift of our Savior, whose birth we celebrate with gifts and service each year.