Gathering Gems

Gathering Gems

I reach up to my neck to finger them — those three small discs of descending size. The top, and littlest disc, reads Adam. The middle disc, Julianne. The bottom and largest, Caroline.

I bought this necklace for myself in May 2010 – my first Mother’s Day as a mom of three. I knew exactly what I wanted. I chose it for its simple, understated elegance, its ability to go with most anything, and the sentimental value in letting my skin warm my children’s names all day long – even when they’re away at school or off to a friend’s.

When it comes to other areas of my life, though, I’m afraid I display far less restraint. My taste wavers off to the extravagant or complex; it lacks the refined sense of the simple, of pure, uncomplicated beauty.

It’s like I’m gathering gem after gem, not knowing where to stop, because such beauty lies close by. And, I can’t say no to Good Things. 

Join me for the rest of the story over at Next Level Mama today, won’t you?

{DIY Post:} Candy Corn Earrings

{DIY Post:} Candy Corn Earrings

I know I’ve mentioned before that I have a little craft hobby {ahem, addiction}. Making jewelry out of oven-bake polymer clay is fun and easy — and a great project to involve your kids with. You can make fun food-shaped charms or beads that you can transform into simple, good-enough-to-eat jewelry.

Today I’m guest posting a tutorial on how to make these super-cute candy corn earrings over at Next Level Mama.

In fact, my 8-year-old made these candy corns into beads {simply use a straight pin to make a hole through the center before you bake} and strung them with solid orange and black beads for her school’s “economics mini-mall” project where the kids make, sell, and buy “products.”

Want to join me for some DIY fun today? Head on over…

Also, be sure to Pin these for next year, or buy your own copy of The Polymer Clay Cookbook, to make adorable, holiday-themed, food jewelry for Thanksgiving {think pumpkin-pie charms} or Christmas {mini gingerbread cookie charms}.

 

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will get a small percentage of the sale. It’s clicks like this that help keep this blog up and running, so thanks!

When God Calls You To Balance

When God Calls You To Balance

I step on the skateboard at the local science center. The challenge is simple: Maintain the skateboard perfectly level for as long as you can. I last about 5 seconds and then bobble.

The timer stops.

My ten-year-old daughter does far better; she pushes 60 seconds. This little experiment illustrates one thing crystal-clear: Balance is tough.

It’s not news to me. In fact, the most preposterous thing God has ever asked of me is balance.

You see, I’m an all-or-nothing gal. I tend to extremes. If my life is a seesaw, I’m usually flinging myself to the ground, or launching toward the sky. I like to spend hours, weeks – even months — researching a hobby or project, throwing myself entirely into this new pursuit and rashly ignoring everything else.

But, God calls me to balance. And, it is the hardest and easiest thing I could ever do. Balance challenges my temperament, but it also frees me from my own unreasonable demands.

I’m really good at coming up with big plans, big ideas, big goals, and big ambitions.  And, then I realize — shouldn’t I see what He thinks?

So, I’ll ask God: Should I start a blog or write a book?

God says: Do a little of both.

I’ll ask: Should I focus on my family or my writing?

God says: Do a little of both.

Join me for the rest of the story over at Next Level Mama today, won’t you?

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{Guest Post: Next Level Mama:} Don’t Squeeze the Juice Box!

{Guest Post: Next Level Mama:} Don’t Squeeze the Juice Box!

I knew it was against my better judgment, but I handed him the juice box anyway. We’d just gotten settled into our van to head home, and little man was thirsty.

I headed around to the driver’s side, and before I could buckle my seat belt, I heard crying. I turned around to see that my three-year-old had gripped the full juice box a little too tight, as usual. And, juice had squirted out the top.

Rather than releasing the box and stopping the flow of juice, my toddler’s instinct was to grip tighter, and tighter, making the sticky liquid shoot everywhere. He was really howling by now.

I hustled back to his seat and retrieved the box, tried to wipe him up, and assured little man that everything would be okay.

Join me over at Next Level Mama today for the rest of the story.

 

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