Ms. Independent

My significant other used to complain that I wouldn’t “relax” on the weekends. I usually have a to-do list a mile long and I actually enjoy accomplishing these things and marking things off my list. Since I’m the one that enjoys doing this, it also means that I’m usually doing this on my own. Hmm, Ms. Independent!  Well, this weekend was no exception. And even better? It was a three-day weekend due to a Conference Release Day! Too bad my body didn’t know how to actually sleep in on days that my alarm wasn’t going to be going off!

Friday consisted of an orthodontist appointment for my son, prepping for a painting job in my daughter’s room , a quick run on the treadmill at the Y (thanks to the thunderstorms in the area), cleaning the basement, prepping my vegetable garden (after the rain), and helping weed the front flower bed in our neighborhood before heading out for a night with my favorite girlfriends.

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Saturday – WOW – it was a go, go, go day. I started early finishing the prep work on my daughter’s room and painting. I hadn’t anticipated it taking as long as it did but it required 2 coats and moving the loft bed back and forth and back and forth wasn’t easy. And the high ceilings meant up and down, up and down the ladder. No wonder I’m sore this morning! Not to worry, though, I still had time to do some shopping with my mother at Gordman’s, attend church, have dinner at Doc Green’s, clean the kids’ bathrooms, and yes, even though it was late, added new knobs to my bathroom cabinets.  I might add that I am so proud of myself using the drill and not screwing things up! I now do all of these jobs on my own and I’m learning so much.  Now I can say that I am no longer afraid of this tool!

I'm so happy with the way these knobs look! Good deal, too, $8.08 on clearance for a 10-pack from Target, with an additional 5% off for using my Red Card. Score!

I’m so happy with the way these knobs look! Good deal, too, $8.08 on clearance for a 10-pack from Target, with an additional 5% off for using my Red Card. Score!

Sunday was a catch up day to somewhat relax considering how sore I was but I still started a new cross stitch ornament, made some cookies, and ran 8 1/2 miles. (It should have been 11 miles but shhhhh, I struggled and *gasp* even walked a bit! I had to listen to my body, though, and let it go. After all, next week is another week of training.) The rest of the day has been kind of blah as I’m quite tired so I’m going to finish my day flipping through some magazines, sipping my hot green tea, and putting my feet up. Not to worry, though, as I can still feel that sense of accomplishment by checking off the items on my to do list! 😉

DIY Photo Canvas = Gorgeous Pic!

I am fortunate that there is talent in our family for photography. When I first saw this picture of my children and one of our dogs, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I had originally posted something similar to my Facebook wall but then, alas, I took my whole account down. Boy was I glad to find something on Pinterest! I checked out this post here to learn how to do it “professionally”. I didn’t have much luck with that part of it, but that’s okay.

So, some black paint ($0.60), a 2-pack of canvases (>$3.00 on sale) and some Mod Podge later (already had), I was all done. It didn’t take very much time at all although I spread it across a couple of days to be sure the mod podge was adequately dried. I added some chevron ribbon that came on a gift ($0) and since I couldn’t find the glue for my hot glue gun, I used my staple gun to attach it. The 5×7 print was approximately $0.78 Site to Store from Walmart so this entire project cost less than $5 (I used my Michael’s coupon as well as my teacher discount.). I then hung it on my bedroom wall. Love, love, love it!! Can’t wait to do it again with another print!

My three children and Cooper.

My three children and Cooper.

It All Came Crashing Down

Yes, I AM a fighter!

Yes, I AM a fighter!

The weekend following my first full marathon and my last blog entry, my life as I knew it came crashing down. It wasn’t something I had envisioned happening EVER. I was blindsided and the emotional roller coaster I have been enduring since October 19th has been no less than brutal. But I’m not one to quit anything I’ve started. Never have been and never will be. Unfortunately I wasn’t the only one that had a say in the matter.

So true.

So true.

I have been adjusting to a different way of life with my focus on my precious Lord and Savior and an incredible support system of the best family and friends a woman could ever hope, not to mention my wonderful children and fur babies. I’m making my life simpler – by canceling my Facebook account, limiting who are my true “friends” are on other social media (I love the pics that people post on Instagram), decluttering and (hoping) to do better at not being so materialistic – and finding new inspiration or building on what truly matters (quality time with my children & finding time to do what I enjoy like home improvement, crafts, reading, for example). I had thought about taking down my blog but decided on a hiatus instead. That and I enjoy going back and looking through my posts. Maybe someone else out there may like them. If not, I’ll enjoy this little bit of selfishness 😉

One of my many favorite Bible verses that helps keep me going in this crazy place of a world.

One of my many favorite Bible verses that helps keep me going in this crazy place of a world.

Oh, and P.S. I prefer not to be too personal in this blog post so I have not divulged any specifics. Please don’t ask. Feel free to infer if you must, just know that I’m human and doing my best to cope in this new life that was not of my choosing. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you manage it the best way that you know how. This is my way of handling it. Oh, and I’m covered with meds & counseling, thanks 😉

A Little Paper, Pencil and Paint

I have 3 doors in my kitchen area that apparently seem to confuse some of our family and guests. Particularly if they’re trying to exit our house from said kitchen. I do find this quite comical as we’ve lived in this particular house nearly 12 years and all 3 of these doors have ALWAYS been there. It’s funny to watch one of my daughter’s friends open the pantry on her way to the garage. Whoops!
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When I recently rediscovered Pinterest, I noticed that I had pinned a couple of different methods of making signs of some sort to help out lost bodies in our home. This was one of them:

An example of one of the pins I had "liked". https://www.pinterest.com/pin/236861261628846964/

An example of one of the pins I had “liked”. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/236861261628846964/

I decided to give it a go. After all, if I didn’t like it, that’s what they have primer and white paint for, right?

I started with finding the right font that I liked. I think this was the hardest part although my daughter helped me narrow it down and then we stuck them on the door to see which one we liked the best. I honestly don’t even recall the font name that we ended up with!

I followed the directions on the blog by using my pencil and coloring the BACK side of the letters, attaching it to the door, and tracing around it. Then I filled it in with an extra sharp black Sharpie and followed up with black acrylic paint. I was not okay with the lack of my steady hand but I’m actually going to blame that on the texture of the door. Blame doesn’t make it look better, though, so I went over it again and again with a stiffer brush and my Sharpie again until I liked the overall result.

My font taped and ready for door #1! (This one was chosen as it wasn't the one I could see all of the time from the kitchen like the pantry one would have been!

My font taped and ready for door #1! (This one was chosen as it wasn’t the one I could see all of the time from the kitchen like the pantry one would have been!

Hey! It actually works!

Hey! It actually works!

All traced in and now ready to paint.

All traced in and now ready to paint.

All done! Now onto the next one.

All done! Now onto the next one.

Other than time a few pieces of tape and the ink from the printer, my one true expense was the bottle of paint from Michaels, which came to about $0.73 with tax. I had everything else! A very inexpensive change that I love!

And as long as our guests/family can read, they should be able to find the exit to the garage now through the kitchen :)

A Morning of Sales

Now that it’s not so hot and the cool morning temperatures are here, I love heading out to garage/yard sales. For once our Saturday was not taken up with children’s activities so my hubby suggested hitting up some sales this past weekend.  I’m so grateful that he did as we scored some good deals!

I wasn’t shopping with anything specific in mind but I always look at books, clothes and home accessories. Our daughter is also looking for a loft bed but those are hard to find in sales. At our first stop we got a t-shirt sporting our younger two children’s middle school (50 cents) and Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (25 cents) in the hopes that it will be read. If not, it’ll make it’s way to my classroom. Another sale was quite large, with all of the proceeds going to refugees in Syria. Amazingly enough, we didn’t buy anything.

Another stop yielded a piece of aida cloth for my cross stitch project for a nickel when the lady said for $2 I could have a whole bag – score! There were at least 9 unopened cross stitch kits and unopened frame kits. I was very excited to get this bag of goodies! Another stop got me a running long sleeve top, a Boo! wooden sign, and a bag of teacher goodies (stamps, stickers, and certificates) for $5.

Next up, an estate sale! 1/2 price day, too! I got a nice hurricane vase, a pack of uno cards, a pack of playing cards, and a polished bowl for $2.50. It’s always exciting to find some neat deals, not have to pay full price, and it’s always fun people watching and seeing what others are selling. After all, the saying “someone’s trash is another’s treasure” is true!

Our sale we had earlier in the year. So glad to get rid of some of our stuff!

Our sale we had earlier in the year. So glad to get rid of some of our stuff!

Thanks, Pinterest, for Back-to-School Ideas!

Pinterest sure can be addictive! You can search for anything and so many wonderful ideas are right there at your fingertips!  I am amazed at how many teaching lessons, organizational suggestions and fun stuff you can find.  Since I had the opportunity to rest this summer, I’ve done quite a bit of “pinning”.  Although some were links and suggestions for the Common Core Standards, anchor charts and work pages there were many that involved some games and just fun teaching stuff. Now here’s some of what I actually did!

I made this cute tag using a large index card, my patterned scissors, colored paper, stickers, and my stamps. I stapled it to the brown bag for my first day/week of school activity for the students to share some things about themselves.

I made this cute tag using my patterned scissors, colored paper, stickers, and my stamps. I stapled it to the brown bag for my first day/week of school activity for the students to share some things about themselves.

I made these last year for Open House and the students/parents loved them! I colored (very therapeutic!) the popcorn and box, printed them on white paper and cut around them with my fancy scissors. Cute!

I made these last year for Open House and the students/parents loved them! I colored (very therapeutic!) the popcorn and box, printed them on white paper and cut around them with my fancy scissors. Cute! All I need to do now is tape them to the bag of microwave popcorn.

I've been collecting tops to make games. I'll start with some simple math games and then I'll add a compound word game. I have enough for the first game!

I’ve been collecting tops to make games. I’ll start with some simple math games and then I’ll add a compound word game. I have enough for the first game-Flip It! Roll 2 dice and flip the cap with the sum. First to flip them all wins!

I had 3 of these puzzles in the garage sale pile but I promptly pulled them out to use for this game!

I had 3 of these puzzles in the garage sale pile but I promptly pulled them out to use for this game!

I love these Sterilite stacking drawers but they needed some jazzing up. Using scrapbook paper (on sale, of course!) and old alphabet stickers from my scrapbooking days, mission accomplished! The pin didn't show how to make it so I'm hoping I did it right so that they'll stay on. They won't be hands-on with my students anyway, just me!

I love these Sterilite stacking drawers but they needed some jazzing up. Using scrapbook paper (on sale, of course!) and old alphabet stickers from my scrapbooking days, mission accomplished! The pin didn’t show how to make it so I’m hoping I did it right so that they’ll stay on. They won’t be hands-on with my students anyway, just me!

Bucket 'O Brain Breaks! I'm going to put the owl sign on a cannister and put the sticks in it. The Teachers Notebook has some other suggestions but these were FREE!

Bucket ‘O Brain Breaks! I’m going to put the owl sign on a cannister and put the sticks in it. The Teachers Notebook has some other suggestions but these were FREE!

To Sale Or Not to Sale?

I am constantly amazed at how much stuff our family accumulates. I do a pretty good job of staying organized and on top of things, usually by consignment sales for the younger children’s clothes, Plato’s Closet for the teen stuff and the pink Amvets bags for the rest of it.  Now that we’ve been in our house for many years, I’m fed up with our existing things and would like something new. Since I don’t just want to give it all away for the tax benefits, I thought a sale would do nicely to be able to afford some of our new things. I had originally planned on doing one at the beginning of summer but unfortunately my foot surgery delayed it. Now I’ve had a pile accumulating in the basement for many weeks and I’m ready to get rid of it!  Date set for this Saturday!

Going through the house was a trip, that’s for sure.  I stared at the white wicker bassinet and wondered if I should keep it for potential grandchildren. Do I really need all of those extra wine glasses? These Christmas decorations that we’ve had for 20 years – I bought new stuff at the after-Christmas sales last year – do I still need them? And all of those clothes? Yikes! When I look back at my photo albums and see that I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 years, I’m guessing I need something new! It’s therapeutic for me, though, and I get a wonderful sense of peace when things are tidy, cleaned out and in its place.

The pile downstairs to now be brought up, sorted and (gulp!) priced!

The pile downstairs to now be brought up, sorted and (gulp!) priced!

So the day before the sale arrived and I sweated profusely in the horrible KS humidity getting the garage set up with tables, boxes and tubs unloaded, and merchandise assorted (I DO have a retail background!) when the thunderstorms rolled in. That didn’t help getting the signs out the night before but at least they stopped by 7 AM!  Do you ever get an ad for a sale? It was about $30 the last time I placed a paper ad and it wasn’t worth it. I did put notes on FaceBook as well as Craig’s List and I was hoping the signs would bring in enough traffic.

The morning of the sale!

The morning of the sale!

Interesting clientele, to say the least today!  You never know what will sell and what won’t.  I had a ton of children’s books and I think someone bought maybe 6.  That’s it!  The children’s clothes went really well. No one was interested in crafts or electronics.  Even the baby stuff wasn’t a draw!  It rained a few sprinkles in the afternoon but by 2:30 PM it was time to start packing up. The traffic had dwindled significantly and the weather was getting quite iffy.  Of course then even more people came! Most of our bigger stuff went – the small stack dresser, the bean bags, the swivel bar stools, the bassinet, & lots of clothes (marked 50 cents!) – but we still had a lot of stuff to pack up. I was so tired and my foot was throbbing so I bagged up about 8 bags to drop off at Goodwill, put together another bag for Plato’s Closet, a pile for Play It Again Sports, swimwear for the Y’s swimwear drive, and yet another pile for Game Stop. I’ll have more to itemize and a bag of stuffed toys to donate to our local police department for children, too.  I’ll have to Craig’s List some other stuff as I just don’t want to give it away yet. Just cleaned up enough to get the cars back into the garage. I’ll have to tackle the rest later when I have more energy *sigh*.

Was it worth it? I netted $213.95 for our new ottomon/table which I have already ordered from Overstock.com. It WAS a lot of work but it was only for 1 day and I’ll still get a tax write-off for our donations.  It’s not a lot per hour but it met my needs – get rid of some stuff to update our home. I won’t regret that!