So here is where I'm at... my sad, fried, hard drive is on it's way to the data recovery magicians. A new hard drive is being installed in my computer. From this day on I will be a backing up PSYCHO. A crazy person. Because I never again want to shed the amount of tears that I have shed in the last two days. Thank you all so very much for your sweet sympathy, advice, and encouragement. Honestly, in the back of my head I fear that my hard drive will be the freakish .00000001% that can't be fixed, or that it will cost one billion dollars to do so.  If that is the case, believe you me, I will lock myself in my craft room and sew my way to raising that billion dollars.  Most of all I am glad that this craptastic experience has made some of you finally back up your pictures. Too bad I couldn't have learned this lesson a less painful way.  Whatevs... Yet another reason why being a grown up is so hard.  

Peeps are cheerful.
Happy colored.


Just one of the random thoughts that pass through my weird brain, and occasionally escape from my mouth in the presence of high school and college students, who may or may not let me live them down.

But Flag Peeps?

But then again if Cadbury decides to make whores out of their Mini Eggs...
I will be first in line to buy Mini Arbor Day Eggs.

Just saying.

Can you handle the cuteness of this printable topper?

I hear that these guys make great S'mores.
Add in a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

This banner makes my heart beat faster.
Why am I not hosting Easter this year?
Would it be an appropriate year round decoration?

Last year I made miss Janey a super fast applique tee using a Peeps coloring page, some buttons and Heat N Bond.

It could even be no-sew if you use the ultra hold.

So sorry if I offended you Peeps.
I think you are adorable.
Plus you make some great crafts.

Bring on the Cadbury Mini Pumpkin Eggs.

For the record, there is little middle ground with me.
I love something or I do not prefer it.

So know that if you like the fonts on my ugly list we can still be friends.  Although mocking may or may not be involved.

Plus I am extremely fickle.
Very A.D.D.
Basically, I will have a passionate love affair with a font for about six months before kicking it to the curb.

But today I like these fonts.
Tomorrow I may not.
(all available for free at Dafont.)

As for all of you Papyrus lovers...
my husband is on your team.
He was horrified that I included it on my ugly list.

I admit that there was a time that I liked it.
Even used it quite a bit.

But that time has gone.

I could barely read the subtitles on Avatar because the Papyrus-ness was so distracting.

It's so cliche.
So 2002.

Enough about my strong opinions.

Tell me your fave fonts.
Because to be honest, two of the above five are on their way to my dislike list...

I am counting down the days for this beauty to be available for free.
Until then, I am still searching for a new font boyfriend.

On that day when I see
All that You have for me
When I see You face to face
There surrounded by Your grace

All my fear is swept away
In the light of your embrace
When Your love is all I need
And forever I am free

Where the streets are made of gold
In Your presence healed and whole
Let the songs of heaven rise to you alone

No weeping, no hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now
You hold me now
No darkness no sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now,
You hold me now

In this life I will stand
Through my joy and my pain
Knowing there's a greater day
There's a hope that never fails

When Your name is lifted high
And forever praises rise
For the glory of Your Name
I'm believing for the day

When the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let the songs of heaven rise to you alone

No weeping, no hurt or pain
No suffering You hold me now
You hold me now
No darkness, no sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now,
You hold me now

For eternity
All my heart will give
All the glory to Your name

dancing on the streets made of gold

Yesterday one of our 
 students woke up in the arms of Jesus.

So today we cling to hope.
To comfort.
To Heaven.

Because the God who knows how many grains of sand fill this broken world,
has so much more for us.

While our time on this earth is fleeting,
we have an eternity to spend in His marvelous glory.

Free from

In perfect peace.

I can't wait.

"Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion because of the greatness of His unfailing love." -Lamentations 3:32

Does your kid eat sand?
Because as babies all of mine seemed to think it was the most delicious treat in the world.
I used to freak out.
Now, I take pictures.
Sorry Janey.

I do know of something that is much more delicious than sand.

Chock full of fiber.
(Pretty sure that sand counts as fiber... but do you want to eat it?)

Fiber One gave me the opportunity to try their new yogurt.
50 calories and 5 grams of fiber!
Four yummy flavors.
Hungry Girl approved.
Take that sand.

They partnered up with the Safeway family of stores (including Dominick’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, Genuardi’s) and asked me to give away a 

$50 Safeway gift card.


But, if you know me, there sometimes is a catch.

I don't want the winner to keep it.

I want them to give it away.

Because I know that all of us know of at least one family that doesn't have money to buy dinner tonight.
A family that is praying for something like this.
An unexpected gift.
A very welcome surprise.

I love generous people.
You could be one of those people.

I want you to meet another such person.

Jen from Leah La Rae Baby emailed me offering to giveaway ANY!!! item from her shop.
She is amazing.
Her generosity abounds.
She was instrumental in both Cora's Playground and Project 320.
When I told her about the Safeway promotion she was excited to be able to help.

A treat for a family in need, a treat for you or for your little one.

Does it get much better?

Right now she has these crazy adorable crochet beanies.
I know of a bald, sand eating baby, who would be pretty stinking cute in one.

So on Monday I will pick a winner.
Be thinking of who you could bless with the gift card.
Be thinking of how great it would be to meet 20% of your daily requirement of fiber with some yummy yogurt.
Be thinking of why babies eat sand.

How can you win?
(remember to leave a separate comment for each entry.)

1.  Visit Jen's blog.
leave some comment love.
2.  Visit Leah La Rae Baby.
Come back here and tell me your favorite item.
3.  Leave me a comment sharing what you are most thankful for right now.

Thanks Safeway, Fiber One, My Blog Spark and Leah La Rae Baby for donating prizes for this fun giveaway!

I have always had a passion for reading.
As a kid I would most often get in trouble for pretending to go to sleep, but then sneakily reading with a flashlight under the covers.
Scandalous, I know.

Somehow this love of books has transferred to my girls.
They too can be caught reading when they should be sleeping.
It is hard for me to get mad when I catch them.

Sweet Heather from All A Flutter
{who I get to meet in real life in a few weeks. yay!}
started the Joyful Life Libray
in memory of her son Samuel's brief, yet joyful life.

Her love for her son and her passion to bring comfort to families who are faced with the difficult and painful realities of hospital stays, amazes, encourages and astounds me.

I told my girls about Samuel and about the Joyful Life Library.
We chatted about how much we love to cuddle and read.
We chatted about how nice it would be to share some of our books with the kids in the hospital.

They excitedly picked many of their most favorite books from the shelves.
My heart sang.
Knowing that this simple gesture was teaching them so much.
Teaching me so very much.

Halley sent off her beloved Pinkalicious.
Lucy sent off her favorite Shamu adventure.

Their giving hearts continually surprise me.

Together we boxed them up and sent them off.

I encourage you to grab your kids, take them to the bookstore to grab a few, or scan their shelves for gently used books that you could pass on.
Hardback, soft cover, board books, and bilingual books from birth to age 18 are all welcome.

You can send them directly to the hospital at:

Cardon Children's Medical Center
Attention:  Erin Sinnema,
Certified Child Life Specialist, PICU
1400 S. Dobson Ave
Mesa, AZ 85202

Thank you friends.
You will help bring such comfort in trials for so many families.

Lucy's love for squirrels is only rivaled by her love for one thing.

Mind you, if you are a member of this family, it is a requirement to love Star Wars.
(We may or may not have camped out for Episodes One, Two and Three.)

But honestly, I never really thought I would be planning a Chewbacca birthday party.
Princess Leia?
Queen Amidala?
Why not.

But no.
She wants Chewbacca.
I am going to do my best to give her Chewbacca.
But then I started searching Google for ideas.

Just wow.

I am not making this cake.

Or this one.
But if I did for sure I would make an appearance on Cake Wrecks.

Jason will not wear this costume.

Janey will not be wearing this one either.

I personally am not a fan of hairy legs.

Or scary crafts.

Maybe Chewbama will come.

I could make these for favors.
(nice mannequin.)

I am pretty sure she would love me for forever and eternity if I got her this backpack.
A backpack that is probably bigger than her whole body.

But instead I will get her this little Chewie.
Because all she has asked for is a cozy Chewbacca that she can cuddle.

Back to the Google for the rest.

dr. seuss is awesome.
this week was full of silly seuss-y fun.

she should be creeped out by him.
but she ADORES him.
cuddles the magazine.
kisses the magazine.
talks to the magazine.
I have weird kids.

Guess what bowl my other weird kid picked out the day after the shamu fiasco.
of course it was this one.
I am going to miss that giant wall of aqua a bit.
but then I am over it when I see the chalkboard happiness.

thank you.
thank you.
thank you.

I have never been more encouraged.
more blessed.
more amazed.
each and everyone of you amaze me.
I am blushing from the love.

amazed at the sweet comments that overflowed my inbox.
I really wish I could have each and every one of you over for coffee and toffee crack.
what a happy day that would be.

my necklace is going to find a new home.
a happy, happy new home.

will it live at your house?
click HERE to see.

peace out.

One of the hardest things that we left behind when we moved was our giant chalkboard.
Especially because I knew as soon as the new owner moved in he was going to rip it down.

The only thing that got me through it was planning Ginormous Chalkboard version  2.0.
Thankfully our new house had a wall that was simply perfect for it.

(it comes in a 4x8 sheet.  I had the Lowes guy cut mine to 4x6)
MDF strips
(I used two 6ft. and two 8ft. pieces)
Caulk gun
Paneling glue
Chalkboard Paint
(There is even colored chalkboard paint.  Eye candy.)
Nails/ Nail Gun

Apply the paneling glue liberally.

Press on to the wall.
Use small nails in all of the corners and a few on each side to keep it in place.

(You can do all of the painting outside before. It was raining and I didn't want to wait.)

Paint 3-4 coats of chalkboard paint.
Sand in between coats.

Measure, miter, and attach trim with a nail gun.
(Don't be jealous that my rad mom has a nail gun, miter saw, and the skillz to use them.  I'm pretty lucky, as well as clueless on how to do this step by myself.)
Countersink nails and fill in with spackle.
Sand and paint trim.

Then look at the pretty.
Total torture.
The paint needs to cure before you can write on it.

When it is dry rub the entire board with the edge of a piece of chalk.
The even coat makes the board ready for writing.

Starfish, dingleballs, and cute pictures of you family are optional.  
Or required.

Good job!!!
For a fraction of what you would pay at Pottery Barn or Ballard Designs, you just made your very own happy message center. 

two years ago today I wrote my first {lame} post.

I had no idea how much blogging would change me.
how many dear friends that I would meet, both online and in real life.
the amazing projects that I was able to be a part of.

some days I am simply overwhelmed with thankfulness for every moment that you take out of your busy days to read my random silly, deep, sad, happy, ramblings.

I still remember my first comment.
(thanks crystal!)
it was a full Julie & Julia moment.

every single comment is still so very special to me.

So as a teeny little thank you, I made a necklace.
a happy, giant, random, jumbled, glittery, messy, little piece of me.

I would like to send it to one of you.

just leave a comment.
tell me something.
about blogging,

thanks for letting me write, sew, cry, grow, serve, dream.

I'll pick a winner on Friday March 5th.

I crave quiet.
I need quiet.
I seek quiet.

I am a girl full of quirks.
The inability to function well in the midst of noise is one of them.
I visibly shut down in quite a dramatic fashion.
Or I have a panic attack.

My freakishness is never ending.

But I have a very, very, noisy life.
I think the reason why I stay up so late, sacrificing sleep, is just so I can sit quietly.
Because I need the silence to calm me for the next day.

It is another reason why I love camping so much.
I would love to live in a quiet rainy forest with a metal roof.
The noise of rain is an exception.
It is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.
Right up there with crashing waves.
Perhaps a metal roofed house, nestled in a rainy coastal forest.  Securely footed to an oceanside cliff with a family of sea otters below.
Yes please.

Lately I have been thinking about noise.
How much I fill my days up.
Noise that doesn't matter.
Noise that drains me.
Noise that distracts.

Twitter, Facebook, emails...
Every moment there is new noise coming my way.

Then I start to think of the noise that I am adding daily.

I don't want to be superfluous noise.

So today I am chewing on that.
Listening to this.

Clearing some of it out of my life.

Being quiet.

It is lovely.