May 31, 2010

The Gratitude Project

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
~Nichole Nordeman~ Gratitude

While I typically get into the spirit of thankfulness in November (Thanksgiving and all that holiday goodness gets me every year), it seems something has struck a chord within me and it's been resonating for quite sometime now. Something has been prompting me, perhaps it's the Holy Spirit, to take steps to spread the joy of thanksgiving at this beautiful time of year.

I find that I struggle to keep the joy in my heart. If you feel that same struggle I would encourage you to join me in The Gratitude Project. I've decided to get it started and see it through to the end of June. I plan to get my kids involved as well. I think that remembering to find joy in the small things can bring us an overall feeling of happiness and contentment that is essential to our well being and ability to function in our day-to-day lives.

I plan to post my gratitude here on my blog as daily as possible as well as carry it over onto my Facebook page. Please feel free to join in and pass on the love to your friends and family. I'd love to see a widespread gratitude movement in the month of June! So get to it! Make lists, take pictures, send cards, update your Facebook statuses, give gifts (handmade is the best, of course!), hug your friends, kiss your lover, make June a month to remember!

If you choose to participate, I would love it if you could link back to my blog. Here is a button for you to use to show your support of the Project-

and here is a little image I made up for you to post a list on days that you'd like to play along in that way. I'll be making a few more in the near future so check back if you like that sort of thing!

Click the image to get the full size and then right click to download it to your computer.

Make each day count!

May 21, 2010

ashtina fayelou designs

If you are unaware, I have started up my own etsy shop and blog under the name ashtina fayelou designs. I hope you'll go hop over to my blog and enter the giveaway I am hosting. Or tell your friends about it!

May 20, 2010

A Brownie No Longer

My little girl is a Brownie no longer! I can't believe she just finished her second year of Girl Scouts. It is such an important and special part of her life, especially because she is home schooled and so, really, most of her friends are those in her troop. I am so happy that her entire troop will be moving on with her next year and so they will continue to grow as friends and her awesome troop leaders will also continue on with them. Such a great group and such a wonderful experience that I am so happy she is a part of!

Just a few of the things Jenna did this year in Girl Scouts:
Camp Out
Day Camp
Haunted Trail
Pioneer Holiday
Christmas Party
Dog Sledding
Roller Skating
Fine Dining

and much more. She is a very blessed little girl to have been able to make these memories!

Here are a few photos from her Bridging Ceremony.

Jenna got to lead the opening flag ceremony and she spoke loudly and clearly. That's my girl!

Brownie Troop 20441 bring out the flags

Leading the Girl Scout pledge or oath, whatever they call it (is it terrible that I don't know?!)

Candle lighting

A Brownie no longer!

Officially a Junior Girl Scout!

The lovely girls of Junior Troop 20441

Me and my sweet little girl
I hope that both of my girls will be able to enjoy all that the Girl Scouts has to offer for many years to come.

Make each day count!

May 18, 2010

She's a Sensitive Soul

While I was walking past the computer I thought I heard sniffling coming from my little girl. I glanced over at her and, sure enough, she had tears streaming down her cheeks as she sat watching a video on Sesame Street's website.

The video? Lena Horne singing "It's Not Easy Being Green" with Kermit the Frog.

She is too much like her mama!

Make each day count!

May 16, 2010

Water Play

It was a beautiful day on Friday so we all went outside to play. Alex is a tough little bugger to take outside because he is always wanting to run out into the street, so I set a bucket of water on the sidewalk in front of the porch to keep him entertained. The kid loves water! He started splashing in it and that, of course, got all the kids interested in playing with the water. Not much better than a water fight on a hot day... except a swimming pool, but we don't have one of those :)

I don't know if I've mentioned it here before, but we used to have these terrible neighbors living below us (we share a house that was converted to a duplex where the top level is one home and the bottom is another). So when our old neighbors moved out I was so relieved and excited, but nervous, about getting new neighbors! Thankfully, I can happily say, our new neighbors have been great! It has been so wonderful seeing all the kids get along so well and it has taken so much stress away from my daily life.

So anyway, here are the pics from the water fun-

Make each day count!

May 14, 2010


Geesh, where'd the week go?! I just realized I haven't posted since Sunday and even then, just a photo! I'll admit, I've been busy. The school year is winding down and, while we home school year round, everything seems to be coming to an end with ceremonies and what not.

Marah, in her Cubbies vest, watching Jenna's Awana award ceremony
Jenna accepting her participation award (she almost finished her book this year)

I've been working on lesson plans for the summer/fall which will go until Thanksgiving and then we will break from lesson plans and just freestyle learn through winter. After two years of homeschooling I have learned that winter just isn't a good time of year to try to have structured learning. Not even going to try it this year.

Anyway, I've got Science all figured out and a pretty good idea of History lessons. Also planning to incorporate Shakespeare, Fine Arts, Health, and Bible. With Bible comes a lot of history anyway, and then we will be picking our read-alouds and silent readers. Of course, not every subject will be covered every day, at least, not scheduled every day. If the kids get really into a certain subject then we will spend more time on that and less time on others or whatever. That's the beauty of homeschooling.

Things are pretty good here. Money is super tight (and looks like we may need to tighten up even more because we just found out that money we were counting on will be likely delayed by a few weeks) but we're hanging in there. Eric just finished his first year of college and will be continuing this summer so we're very proud of him! Jenna has her Brownie Fly Up ceremony next week where she will become a Junior Girl Scout and she is very excited about that. Marah is a typical five year old, full of questions all day long. Alex is charming as always and still isn't talking so we might have to get that checked out soon.

So there you go :) We are doing well. And finally, a few random shots I took of Miss Marah today (showing off, as usual)!

Make each day count!

May 9, 2010

My Wish

May 8, 2010

Spring Party

Today we celebrated Spring! The girls have been begging me to have a Spring party and I have been putting it off because I either forget until the day I promised comes along (oops!) or because it has been raining. Finally today I decided it was do or die time! It was still cold and windy today but at least the sun was shining. There was nothing super frivolous about this party, just a simple time of celebration of Spring.

We had a picnic on our new picnic quilt with meat and cheese and crackers (Marah's request) and raspberries and Dr. Pepper. It was seriously cold out there so the girls were snuggled up under a blanket, but we still enjoyed the time together and Marah and I stayed out there for quite awhile just chatting about future celebrations and watching the birds in the tree above us.

We also baked a simple box cake (again, nothing frivolous) with some vanilla frosting and springy sprinkles, had a pizza night and cherry 7Up floats, plus made some cute decorations that I think we'll keep up for awhile.

For the mini stained "glass" effect we cut out black cardstock and laid it on top of some clear Contact paper. Then we sprinkled tissue paper confetti on top of the sticky paper. Another layer of Contact paper was placed on top to seal it together.

For the tissue paper pomanders I took 8 sheets of tissue paper and accordion folded it lengthwise in 1 inch increments. Then I used a twist tie to clip them together with some matching ribbon for a hanger. Cut the ends either rounded or pointed (I tried both) and then fluff it all out for a very pretty, dramatic, and cheap party decoration! Cut the paper in half to make the mini balls. I can't wait to make more of these for future parties, they really dress up the room AND don't deflate or smell weird (like balloons, which Eric can't stand)!

Make each day count!

May 7, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

All dolled up for a fine dining night with her Girl Scout troop.

Caught eating some chocolate that Marah found in the car and gave to him on the way home.

Make each day count!

May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Jenna teaching Alex to say "shoe" on the way to Awana Awards Night.

Make each day count!