Friday, May 31, 2013

Random Fact Friday! 05/31/2013

My random Five Facts for this busy Friday: 

1.  Surprising my 9-yr-old with a trip to SeaWorld was priceless, but I have paid for it physically since I left that place.  

2.  I am so ready to paint about five different rooms in my house. Oh, and tear down some walls, and get a new refrigerator. You know, cheap and easy stuff.  Riiiiiiggghhhtttt. 

3.  I am so glad to be in the summer season of our home school.  We do study certain subjects all summer long, but nothing like the busy schedule we have been doing for the last nine months. 

4.  I have special surprises planned for some special people in my life. Some of you may be one of those special people, so I can't reveal all at this juncture. 

5.  I was so happy to see my grandson again today.  It has been a week since I got his sweet babbling face in my hands, and I was having withdrawals. 

Happy Friday!! Check out some other great bloggers at Miranda's blog The Pebble Pond: 

©2012-2013 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

(REVIEW) See the Light-Art Project DVDs

See the Light has been producing top-notch, high-quality art instruction videos for many years now, and we feel very blessed to be allowed to review one of their new See the Light Art Projects DVDs

Can you guess why we sweet tooths would be drawn to this choice? Yes, indeed. 

There are nine new Art Project DVDs from See the Light.  This one appealed to us because of the subject matter and the style of painting taught. For the Repeated Sweets Art Project DVD, the student is to choose a “sweet” dessert like a cupcake, doughnut, or piece of cake, etc., and follow Pat Knepley’s instructions on how to do this project. Pat Knepley is a gifted art instructor and a wonderful presenter, and my daughter was drawn to her immediately. 

Each DVD contains four steps to creating the final project.  It is recommended that the student do one lesson per week, but my daughter, the artsy one, could not wait an entire week between lessons, so she completed the DVD in two weeks. All the materials listed are easily found at your local stores, and they also offer resources online to order them as well.

Scenes from Repeated Sweets DVD

Step 1 involves sketching out some different kinds of sweets to consider painting for the final project.  Led by Pat, Abbey sketched a doughnut, a piece of a cake, an ice cream cone, a popsicle and a piece of cake. All along the way, Pat is teaching methodology for painting with watercolors.  Here, she has the students practice intensity of the watercolors. 

Step 2 involves painting the five different choices and cutting them out. From there, Abbey chose to paint doughnuts for her final project.

Step 3 involves getting the doughnuts on her final canvas in a repeated pattern, as was the style of the featured artist Wayne Thiebaud.

Step 4 involves painting the final project. It’s not just slapping paint on the canvas; it is a very methodical watercolor instruction, and Abbey learned a TON about how best to work with the unique characteristics of watercolor paints. 

Abbey's Final Project: Repeated Sweets (in this case, Repeated Doughnuts!) 
  • She learned how to let each color dry between steps to avoid overlapping. 
  • She learned how to make the colors stronger or lighter based on the amount of water in her brush. 
  • She learned to recognize pattern in works of art beyond this lesson.  

What we liked the most about this See the Light Art Project DVD:
  • Very clear, step-by-step instructions lead the student effortlessly from one lesson to the next.
  • Pat Knepley is extremely charming, and my daughter felt as if she was speaking directly to her.
  • Art history of the featured artist is discussed in great detail. We spent a lot of time researching Wayne Thiebaud and finding other works of art by him.
  • Most importantly, at the end of each lesson, Pat Knepley walks your student through a Bible verse and how that verse relates to each step in the project.

Our only disappointment in the DVD is that we didn’t want it to end.  We are now trying to decide which new See the Light product to try next! 

See the Light Art Project DVDs are recommended for ages 10 - 110, and are available in the following formats: 
  • $14.99 per Art Projects DVD
  • $99 per Boxed Set of All Art Project DVDs (9)
  • $12.50 per month for 9-month subscription (One DVD shipped per month)
The art projects in the series are: 
And although not part of the boxed DVD set, there is one other Art Project DVD available for the doodler in all of us: Cartooning

Because my daughter is such a lover of all things art, we have tried many different art DVDs on the market.  To date, See the Light is by far her favorite.  I encourage you to give one of these new Art Project DVDs a try.  Want to hear about how some of the other titles were used by other homeschooling families?  Click on the flashing banner below and learn more! 

©2012-2013 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Love is a Verb

My husband Michael and I are celebrating our 11th anniversary this Friday.  "11" doesn't seem like it can be the right number.  I mean, I feel as if we have been together for so much longer.  We met in high school, lived our lives separately for twenty years, and then found each other again. I love him so much; more than I will adequately be able to express here. 

I love to tell the story of how, after briefly seeing me at friend's house where he was working one day, Michael pursued me endlessly for over 18 months until I relented to have a date with him.  I gave him excuse after excuse, and he wouldn't give up. We should all be so lucky to have someone love us like that.

"You know how a crush can crush you, how real love is never logical, how real love is always crazy love, and love is the most horrible and the most wonderful because it will make you strong and it will make you weak and it will make you vulnerable, which is the perfection of strong and weak together. 
How Love will open you right up, then pull open your heart to let someone get into you and get to you and undo you and remake you and it’s everything terrifying and everything you ever wanted." ~Ann Voskamp

And boy, is it ever "terrifying and everything I wanted"! Michael is so gregarious, so funny, so hospitable. He quotes Jerry Clower and Ray Stevens and Ron White and sings country ballads to me, and gives the best football linebacker hugs.  When he wraps his arms around me, I feel absolutely safe and I feel at HOME. When he tells me he loves me more than he has ever loved anyone in his life, I completely believe him.

And while I consider him my soulmate and that I am exactly where God wants me to be, it has not been a fairy tale.

We are a blended family, with my bringing two children into the marriage and his bringing one, and we have a daughter together as well.  Crazy family dynamics to say the least.  I didn't think we would make it through those teenage years with the His, Hers and Ours situation going on! By the grace of God, we survived, and we love our adult children and are so blessed to have a grandson to love on each day.  

And there have been other challenges, HUGE, heart-wrenching challenges that I can't even write about without crying and getting a knot in my stomach.  It has only been in the last year that we have been able to talk about that horrible time in our marriage without it escalating into an emotional conversation. I only bring it up to say this: God's grace has seen us through, and we are FULLY aware of His goodness to us.

One of the things that drew us together as a couple was that we both desperately wanted more children.  It was with overwhelming joy that we welcomed Abbey Grace into the world on July 14, 2003, and she gave us such a focus and such a reason for fighting through the tough stuff.  As older parents, we are able to fully enjoy her and are so proud of the beautiful person she is becoming, both inside and out.

Wanting more children was one of the driving forces behind seeking the Lord about becoming a foster family.  We couldn't have any more children naturally, but still felt we had love to give to babies, so we became the transition home for babies, receiving them from the birth mom and loving on them until they are adopted weeks or months later.  We have been so, so blessed by this calling from God, and have welcomed six babies into our home to date. It is not without sacrifice, and long nights, and anguishing good-byes, but we know it is worth it, and we know we are making a difference.

I love my husband.. He makes me laugh on a daily basis, and he "gets" me. I know he loves me with the love of the Lord, and I know he is trying daily to become the spiritual leader of our home by listening to God in his life.  It makes my heart swell to know my husband is seeking the Lord's face on a daily basis.  I used to spend many, many hours trying to manipulate him with my words and force Michael to be who I thought he should be.  Amazingly--but surprising only to me--when I stopped talking and let God do that work, the Holy Spirit changed my husband.  And God has also done an amazing thing in my heart to allow me to give Michael completely to him and not try to control every situation that comes along.

My husband and I  have been through jobless weeks and months together, worrying about repossession of vehicles and foreclosure on our house. We have rejoiced together over answered prayers and amazing provision and allowing us to do what we love for our careers. 

Sadly, we are currently living through the rejection of Michael's daughter, our 19 year old, who has never been able to accept his new family and his having someone in his life besides her. She equates love to the amount of money in our bank account and we have never been able to do enough to make her feel loved, despite our efforts to do so.  About a year ago, she decided to block us completely out of her life, uninviting us from her graduation, her phones, her life.  It has been so painful for both of us.  We will never stop praying for her. Never. And we both trust God to restore that relationship in His time.

We have lived through Hannah's rebellion and her less-than-wise boyfriend choices, to see her become a beautiful bride to a gentle man and a wonderful mama to our precious Cooper. 

We have lived through getting Connor and his less-than-teachable spirit through school (finally) and his horrible wrist injury and five subsequent surgeries and eventual permanent damage/disability. His sweet spirit and charming soul continue to make us smile and his precious girlfriend is exactly who God knew Conster needed.

We have lived through Abbey's eight hospitalizations for pneumonia and severe asthma. We have lived through her near-death experience when her appendix ruptured last year. Homeschooling her is something we have never regretted, and we are so, so proud of her and her shy soul and deep mind. She makes us smile on a daily basis.  

Listen, y'all--marriage is hard. You have to work at it constantly. You have to pray about it. You have to pray for your husband on a daily basis. You have to pray together. You have to flirt with him, treat him better than you treat your friends (gasp!), and you need to build him up and remind him often how great of a provider he is. Go on dates together, send him text love messages, write him love notes, pay attention when he needs your affection, and pray, pray, pray.  (And yes, when you don't like each other, you have to sometimes go through the motions until the emotions follow.)

The effort is SO completely worth it.  I am blessed beyond measure; of this I am fully aware. 

I can't wait to see how God uses us and teaches us in the next season of our lives! 

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).

©2012-2017 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Random 5 on Friday--May 17, 2013

1.  Life is full of beautiful angels of all ages. 

2.  Thinking is a lot harder on less than two hours of sleep. 

3.  Godly marriages take lots of work and lots of prayer, but it really pays off in beautiful ways. 

4.  Heating pads are such good friends. 

5.  Is it wrong to dream of a big kitchen in which to cook? 


More random thoughts from awesome friends over at The Pebble Pond: 

©2012-2013 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

As the Gnat Flies

The past several days I have been obsessed and about to have a nervous breakdown over the amount of gnats in my house! I have never in my life seen so many little gnats in my house! They are so hard to kill! They slip through the holes in a regular flyswatter, so I have set out vinegar traps I learned how to make from Pinterest; removed all fruit from my kitchen shelves, emptied the garbage twenty five times a day; resorted to pouring bleach down every drain in the house; and YES, I even made sure everyone was CLEAN and the BODY ODOR is kept to a minimum. 

Still, they come. 

I cannot imagine how awful it must have been when “Aaron struck the ground with his stick, and all the dust in Egypt was turned into gnats, which covered the people and the animals.” (Exodus 8:16) Yikes! I kill ten, twenty, thirty a day, and still I can NOT get a handle on them.

Until tonight.

Michael came home from work, was standing in the kitchen talking to me while I cooked supper, and was swatting at those pesky gnats.  As he stood there looking around for a source of the pain in my gnat, it hit him---a five-gallon bucket of sweet potatoes had gotten pushed up under the bar, out of sight, and was teaming with gnats when he pulled it out!  FINALLY! Mystery solved! Now I can finally get my life back. 

When I walked in the kitchen a little bit later, a house fly buzzed by my head and landed on the window. As I bopped him on the head, I realized that those pesky gnats had actually taught me a life lesson. I used to go ballistic when a single fly was in my house. I mean, all activity would cease to exist until I found and destroyed that fly—any fly. They are just nasty bugs, and I don’t want them landing anywhere near me (or my food).  But this recent plague of gnats made me realize how much worse things could be.  Oh my goodness, yes, Lord, I hear you! I will not complain about those flies ever again. I will kill them swiftly and count my blessings. 

God really does allow things to come into our lives that will help us learn. . . if we are only willing to stop swatting those gnats long enough to listen.


©2012-2013 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Press On

Sometimes when you're in the desert, you really want to go back to Egypt, even if you were a slave there. 

I am here to remind myself, to remind you....

Keep on pressing on to the Promised Land.

Keep on looking up.

I know it's confusing right now and the answers never seem to be within reach.

Don't listen to the whiners all around you.

Diss the voices that would convince you of certain failure.

Try to ignore the dark all around you.

The answers are coming.

The dawn is coming.

The blessing is just ahead. Yours to claim. Yours to walk--no, to soar into. 

I know it seems like the desert has been consuming you.

I know ten days, ten months, ten YEARS, is longer than anyone should have to suffer.

I, too, am exhausted.

Jesus warned us that it will get worse before it gets better. [Great.]

But He also said "Get over it and and stay strong. The battle is Mine."  [Thank goodness].

So press on, and fight the good fight.

Finish the work set before you.

Try to find the adventure of your current lot.

I am pulling for you; for us. Your pain is understood. More than you know.

I am praying for you. I am praying for us.  You are not alone.

"For those enduring to the end shall be saved." Matthew 24:13

Linking up with my great friend Amy over at Journaling Back to Joy to celebrate Terrific Tuesdays: 

©2012-2013 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

First Day--May 2013

 Wow! May 2013 already!!! Well, there are a ton of sure signs that spring has arrived in south Alabama:

BFFs spending their entire day outside!!!

Hubster getting the boat tuned up and ready to go!

My favorite kind of flag!

New grapevine growth--holding on for dear life!

Lots and lots of new growth around the yard!
What-chu talkin' bout, Willis?!!!

Our newest family member--Pepe Lopez!
Happy Spring, Y'all!!


Joining my friend Nicole over at:

©2012-2013 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.



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