ANOTHER SCHOOL YEAR

August 22, 2021


Last week we started our 11th year of homeschooling. And what I thought was the last day of summer break was actually the first day of our new school year. I got online and saw all these emails saying “Welcome back to your first day of school!” And welp, guess summer was cut short by a day and we jumped into the new school year. Really though, we took it easy, and for our first day we did life skills by trying a new ice cream place and figuring how to recreate the flavors, and by going thrifting, and teaching the girls how to read fabric labels and pick out good fabrics. All life skills things, so I’d say our first day of school went well.

There are a lot of diagnostic tests Soul and Glow have to do to kick off the school year, so I’m having them finish those off before we dive into our new things together. And what a weird school year this will be living at my parents house! I’m praying we’re in our house by the end of the year, but with contractors not really returning our calls or even getting back to us with quotes, we’re not going anywhere anytime real soon. I think because of all the change, and sort of living out of boxes, I’m kind of dragging my heels starting school. I know we’ll eventually get into our new rhythm, but I just need to jump in and do it.

For True and Brave, they are sophomores… SOPHOMORES! And they are taking college classes this year. They are in a dual enrollment program, so as 10th graders, they can take up to 11 units of college classes a semester. They have their first 2 this fall, and will take another one in the spring. Their classes are all online, though I think it would benefit them to go in-person, but with being in transition, it’s just easier for them to sign up for online classes. I can’t believe it’s 3 years left of homeschooling and then off to college for them. Then, as they go off to college, I start homeschooling all over again with Red.

That will be wild starting all over again. Red is getting a totally different parent than the older girls. I tell them (True and Brave), “I’m sorry I screwed you guys up so bad!” That mom guilt is so real with all the things I would do over if I could, but Lord willing, my shortcomings point them to Christ. I’m never going to be that perfect mom, friend, sister, daughter, church member, etc… but I don’t have to beat myself for not being perfect because Christ was perfect in my place. He is my redeemer. It’s not about what I can do, but what Christ did. I need that constant reminder because it’s easy for me to get frustrated and stuck in where I messed up, and let me tell you… there’s a long list of areas I need improvement. Anyway… all that to say… I hope through my life, shortcomings and all, I point my kids to Christ.

So here’s to a new school year and all the highs and lows that will come! I know the year will fly by like they always do, but I am definitely looking forward to next summer and hopefully by then we will be in our new house!


HELLO AGAIN

August 10, 2021


Hello! I’m not sure who still tunes in here from time to time. There’s something from IG that feels like it’s missing and I think it’s the heart that I feel blogs carried. Many times, I start to write a really long caption on instagram, but only to press delete, delete, delete. Something feels off to share there; it’s not quite the same as it was when sharing to this online space years ago.

Instagram has become entertainment. I’m definitely not good at entertaining there, nor do I like the pressure to entertain there. I like taking pictures. I like editing. I like looking at pretty pictures. I like sharing pretty pictures. I love getting home decor and fashion ideas. But it’s not a place that feels natural to share myheart as much as I did on my blog years ago. Blogs in its infancy were messy, raw, people in progress, but then it got really glossy and commercialized and then something got lost after that. The people all become professional.

I’m thankful for this space and the opportunities it afforded me and my family. The connections I’ve made and the things I’ve been able to do because of it. But when everyone got so glossy, something got lost for me. Maybe I just couldn’t keep up. This started as a means to document my beginning journey of motherhood, which I’m now 15 years in, as well as my foray into sewing, and all the other creative things I liked to do at that time. It was fun until it wasn’t. And popping in here and there was nice, but lately, I miss just writing to write and reflect.

So I don’t know how often I’ll pop in, but we’ll see. I’ve worn a lot of hats since the beginning of those blogging days, but at the end, when I think about what I want to do with my life… it comes down to sharing my messy heart and using that to help others love Jesus. Because we are all a mess. We are all people in progress. And as one who has been redeemed by Christ, that process for me is called sanctification.

I’ve wanted to talk about the language of adoption, open adoption, depression, and the challenges that’s brought for our marriage, church life, friendships, conflict, dislike for particular roles in life, raising teens, feeling like I screwed up my kids (but I think all parents do screw up their kids to some degree, but we’re all trying the best we know how, with what we know at the time), moving, and the list goes on. But then I go to write something on ig and it doesn’t come out as easily as it does with a keyboard at my hands. And I’ve started post to write here and there, but never get around to pressing publish.

Anyway, all that to say, “Hello again.”

We are on the start of a new season for our family. We sold the home we lived in and loved for 14 years to be closer to church family. It does bring us a little closer to my parents too, and it also gives us a space to be able to have my parents (or Ben’s mom) in a separate back house should the need for that ever arise. But it’s not a particularly cute house at the moment, and it needs a lot of work, but I can’t wait until we can make it our home home.

We’re living with my parents while we make house plans, wait for permits, find a contractor, and initially, I thought we’d be closer to to being done by the end of summer (we got the keys May 19), but we haven’t even started. I know it will happen all in God’s good time, and he will provide the right contractor, and praying it all fits in the budget. But I know how it all ends up, is what is meant to be, and I’m excited still! A little nervous for the bumps that will come up, but still thankful and excited.

I guess house renovating is a lot like life… you never know what will pop up, and when something does, you deal with it, and for me as a Christian, with as much joy and thankfulness as I rely on God to carry me, and then you keep moving forward until the house is done.

If you’re still popping in here too, do say hello in the comments below!


OOO LEWKS

August 9, 2021


Summer’s end is just around the corner. Lots of things that I thought would happen didn’t, but that’s okay. It’s been a summer filled with transitions and lots of intentional time with my girls.

Spring and summer are my favorite seasons to dress for. Being a California girl, layering is just isn’t something I’m good at. I’m bad at layering pillows on a couch too. Anyway, we were able to get away for a bit last week and in the heat of the desert, it’s a bathing suit and button down all day every day. Also, in the summer, I go minimal on the jewelry, which means instead of ring stacks and a neck mess, I’m pretty much only wearing a neck mess. I still love piling on my necklaces, but my fingers don’t do so well in the heat, so leaving out the rings means less swelling.

I love many of these necklace pieces and all would make great for stacking to create your own neck mess. I love this minimal, but bold collar necklace, this candy looking necklace, or even this charm necklace (I love all of Grainne Morton’s work). I don’t have anything quite as bold as some of these pieces, but I think I’ll request my girls make me one. They’re all about jewelry making this summer, and I think we can get more crafting in before the summer ends.


LARGE PAPER FLOWER

May 6, 2021


LARGE PAPER FLOWERS
Make for Mother’s Day or as teacher appreciation gift

SUPPLIES
FLOWER template
Tissue paper
Construction paper
Scissors
Masking tape
Dowel/stick
Paint
Paintbrush
Glue

DIRECTIONS
1. Print out template. Use that to trace out petal pieces (need 2 pages of petals). Or cut construction paper down to 8.5” x 11” to print template directly onto construction paper.

2. Cut out all flower pieces. Cut petals along the dotted line.

3. Cut a 2.5” x 10” strip of tissue paper. Wrap that around the top tip of the dowel. Tape the bottom in place. Cut slits to fringe the paper to create your flower center.

4. With your petals, cross over the bottom cut pieces that are cut, this gives each petal that petal curl. Tape each piece onto the dowel with masking tape. Continue until all your petals have been attached.

5. Paint the dowel and masking tape at the base of the petals green.

6. Once the paint is dry, glue your leaves in place.

7. Write a little banner message to attach to your flower.

It’s a sweet token of love for the mothers in your life, or to let a teacher know you appreciate them.

See original post here(@rubyellenbratcher), and as always, love when you share it, simply tag and credit please. Thank you! #easyartaday


COUPON BOOK

May 4, 2021


Here’s a pdf to the coupon book I created last year for Mother’s Day.

Coupon book template


SUMMER STYLE

May 2, 2021


If you know me, then you know I love my ring stacks. My friends say it stands out when I don’t wear any jewelry because they’re so used to seeing something around my neck, on my fingers, or on my ears. Well, with the warmer weather coming, I tend to go lighter on the rings because swollen fingers and rings don’t mix. It’s just not as comfortable to wear as many rings when it’s hot.


What does stick around is wearing a neck mess. I like to mix and match different pieces together, and while yellow gold is my go-to metal, maybe I’ll throw in a sterling piece in the stack too. I love mixing and matching pieces to wear a neck mess around my neck.  


The key to stacking is to have varying lengths and thickness. I notice if chains are similar in thickness, the more they get tangled together. I might have a collar necklace, a colorful beaded one, mixed in with some of my gold chains, which are all different. Last summer, I made a colorful beaded necklace with a fresh water pearl to add to my stack, so I’d like to make another one this year again, but in a different color way. I even made this quick IG Reel video on how I do it.


What’s your jam… ring stack, neck mess, or ear party? I enjoy them all! Though the ears don’t get as decorated as much these days because I think masks prohibit that for me. Lately, I do more the ring stack and neck mess combo. 


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