Adventures in Florida (back in February)

I have been remiss in writing about our family adventures. A few years ago the kids voted to give up Christmas one year in order to go to Harry Potter world in Florida. This last Christmas was the one they gave up and in February we took a fun-filled trip to the state of Sunshine (and rain… heh). We did lots more than just Universal Studios though and here are some collages of a few pictures of the different places we went – along with stories. Be forewarned…. this will be a LONG post 🙂 But there are some awesome stories & so hopefully well worth your while.

The first day of the trip we drove to Georgia. All went swimmingly well until we got stuck in Atlanta traffic. Our first campground of the trip was in the Okeefenokee wildlife refuge and not one we could get a reservation at and we didn’t know if they would have any openings. To top it off, we had to be in before gates closed and it was looking like we weren’t going to make it. Upon hearing our worries Jacob prayed and we made it past the gate with 2 minutes to spare. Then we stopped at the camp host and it was looking pretty glum. They didn’t think there were any spots open. Jacob prayed again and we found a spot for the night – we found out in the morning that the only reason it was open was because the people who were supposed to be there didn’t make it. Some might say coincidence or luck – we say miracle & are SO grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who cares about us 🙂 Day 2 was spent exploring the Okeefenokee swamp before driving to our first campground in Florida.

Okeefenokee Collage

After a VERY rainy night we went to church in Gulfport where my parents had served 2 of their missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then we explored the Marina, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, & St. Pete Beach

Gulfport Collage

Boyd Hill Collage

St Pete Beach Collage

Day 4 We packed up camp and dried everything in the campground’s dryers (thank goodness for those!) then headed to Tarpon Springs. We took a little boat ride and learned about how they harvest sponges (so cool!) and then drove to Honeymoon Island to play on the beach.

Tarpon Springs Collage

The kids spilled out of the van the moment we parked and took off to the bathrooms to change into their bathing suits. From there it wasn’t long until the were sprinting across the beach to the water’s edge. Water droplets flung in arcing spins, catching the late sunlight, and making magic moments as the children hit the water.  After they tired of playing the water they flopped on the sand and built sand castles and took turns burying each other in the sand. We walked up and down the beach searching for shells and found scads of them – all the kids were thrilled and collected quite the bounty.

Honeymoon Island Collage

As the sun began to dip I walked a long ways down the beach, searching for shells, and just enjoying the view.  Just as the sun was kissing the horizon, a sailboat sailed by, keeping time with my steps and creating the perfect picture, silhouetted against the setting sun. I wished I’d had my camera, but Paul had it at the moment and was at the opposite end of the beach – quite some distance away.  As I neared where the rest of the family still played, a shout of “dolphin!” arose and I spotted in the distance a fin – again wishing I had a camera. I watched, fascinated, as the fin cut a line through the water in the distance, coming and going at times. At one point, as it submerged in the ocean, I saw the tail fin come up out of the water – it was no dolphin tale – I think it was a shark! How cool is that?

Once the sun had disappeared into the depths of the gulf, we headed back to the car, changed and drove to our next campground. We were dismayed to realize that we had forgotten to call ahead to obtain the gate code –  the campgrounds down in Florida, it appears, require gate codes for security. We weren’t sure what to do. We arrived at Alafia State Park and sat at the locked gate. Jacob immediately thought to pray and offered up an earnest plea. Paul got out of the car and entered the park – a little ways down the road he found a ranger station and was able to call and obtain the code. Our prayers were answered!

Day 5 – We started with a favorite place of my parents while there were here on their mission – The Sunken Gardens. They were absolutely gorgeous. They had some birds as well which was a huge hit with all the children – especially Robert. Close to the entrance we found a charming green parrot named Paquita. She would say her name, “paquiiiiiiiiiita!” and then laugh – and my goodness her laughter sounded like a child’s. It was charming and surreal. The kids gathered around her cage and just enjoyed listening to her so much. Robert was smitten by her. We discovered that where ever we put Robert she would travel right to where he was and chatter and laugh. Of course he loved it and decided that this was the best part of the whole trip – EVER. They also had a pair of kookaburras – of course we sang to them! And the kids overheard some guides with a school group demonstrate how to get them to laugh and were able to draw forth the glorious laughter of the kookaburra.

Sunken Gardens Collage

From the gardens we traveled south to Fort DeSoto. We entered the park and decided to start with lunch. Oh! During this whole trip we had been having fun with “Flat Tom” – our version of “Flat Stanley” but using an enlarged photo of a friend’s head – it was hilarious – we kept putting him in all sorts of funny places. Anyway, we parked and the kids found a lizard on the ground – I quite honestly thought it was mostly dead but, her proved alive enough as Em scooped him onto Flat Tom’s face and held him. Dad walked up and said, “You do know that some lizards in Florida are poisonous.” Em squawked and jumped. While I just started laughing. Paul joined in and she realized he had been just teasing and joined in our laughter. Not too long after that the lizard decided to prove just how full of vitality he was and zipped up Em’s arm, around her back, up and over her shoulder and disappeared quite nicely into her shirt.

She let out a shriek and began the greatest “Eek! There’s a lizard somewhere in my clothes, get it out!” dance I have ever seen. Oh how we laughed, and laughed as she shrieked and danced and spun trying to figure out where the little lizard had gotten to. I had an idea of where it might be hiding and was trying to figure out how to suggest it diplomatically when Em stilled and peeked down the front of her shirt. “Well, I found it,” she said and we started laughing. It was where I thought – it had found a cave in her bra, lol. We got the traumatized little guy out and proceeded to a nearby picnic table.

After a thorough explorations of the fort we headed to the pier. It stretch far out on the water and was quite a wonderful walk. All sorts of neat birds perched on the lights and railings. Fisherman fished off the pier as great storks and egrets hovered nearby hoping to make off with the fishermen’s catch. I even saw an osprey – that was neat. After walking the pier, Jacob was first off and desperately wanted to chase through the huge flock of birds roaming the beach. With a nod from his father, Jacob took off, his arms flung wide and charged through the birds. They took to flight in a huge mass and his laughter could be heard at quite some distance as he flapped and ran amongst the swirling birds.Fort DeSoto Collage

Upon returning to the campground we found some firewood and had s’mores. At one point Dot got mad about something and ended up smashing her s’more and storming off to the bathroom without a flashlight because her hands were a sticky mess. She had only been gone a minute or less when we heard her blood curdling shriek and she came hurtling back to camp blubbering about an animal that had attacked her. She was completely unscathed, but hysterical about the animal that had charged her from the bushes. I grabbed a flashlight and accompanied her to the bathroom – look for signs of this attack animal. Near the side of the road I spotted the culprit – a baby armadillo. Oh, how I laughed about that one – Dot even had a good chuckle. Our stories that night involved attack armadillos.

Also, that night, on the way to the campground after the beach, we found out that someone had hijacked Paul’s debit card – we were super blessed to catch them before too much damage was done and the bank credited all the money back to us without a problem. Of course numerous prayers were said – also we had a hard time locating wood and prayed over that too – not long after prayers were said were we able to find a store selling bundles of wood so we could enjoy some fun campfire time. The faith of our children is amazing!

Day 6- More rain. But that didn’t matter since we were planning on spending most of the day at the Florida Aquarium The kids got to pet sharks and sting rays and for $2 we crammed them all in a hurricane simulator, which was absolutely hilarious.

Florida Aquarium Collage

After the aquarium we took the kids to the Manatee Viewing Center and got to see a pelican eating a fish as well as several manatees – it was pretty awesome just seeing manatees in the wild.

Manatee Viewing Center CollageFrom there we drove to our campground in Orlando near Universal studios. When we bought our passes before we left they were running a special that gave us 2 extra days for free. We couldn’t lengthen our trip, but we decided to at least go that evening to experience some of it and get an idea for where things were. We went on the Mummy ride (which Robert wasn’t quite tall enough for), saw the Mardis Gras parade, & did the Shrek ride – which was a hoot.

Day 7 & 8 – Before going to Universal Studios we presented the kids with wands (I made them), robes, ties, & socks. Em & I were Hufflepuff, Dot & Jacob were Ravenclaw, James & Robert Gryffindor, & Dad was Slytherin. We also had letters and everything for them. It was pretty awesome. Then we of course headed right for Harry Potter world. It was aboslutely magical. We did several rides, including the Hogwarts Express, bought treats from Honeydukes and had a round of Butterbeer (SO yummy!) At the end of day seven we returned to the campground to find our tent had blown away, but luckily eveyrthing was undamaged and even the airmattress was still intact. So blessed!

Universal Studios 1 Collage

Our two full days at Universal studios were full of fun and adventure – by far the highlight was Harry Potter World 😀

Universal Studioes 2

Universal Studios 3

Day 9- we packed up and headed north to Kingsley Plantation and Little Talbot Island. We really discovered a gem at that campground and want to go back to visit.

Kingsley Plantation Collage

Little Talbot Island Collage

Day 10 – we packed up and headed home. It was a wonderful vacation and full of fun, tender mercies & answered prayers.



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I opened an Etsy shop!

I never thought that when I started painting little wooden figures & chess sets that I would end up selling any – let alone open an etsy shop! What started as a way to make Christmas happen has become something fun to do on the side for other people. Sometimes it can be a bit of a juggling act – taking the time to paint (one figure will take usually 1-2 hours to do – more if it’s highly detailed), work on my writing (and yes, I am still going & making progress! woohoo!), & of course, above all else, being a mom & wife and all that great stuff.

It also took more than a little bit of courage – it’s a bit daunting deciding to open your own shop – no matter how little it might be & I had to learn about things I never thought I would (like sales tax, heh). But I decided that it doesn’t matter if it is an epic flop – I don’t want to become world famous  – I just want to share something fun with others. So, swing on by & take a look – favorite my shop (it makes my heart glow when people do that) & like my shop’s FB page.

Here’s to having a little courage!




Woodnplaytime Facebook Page


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Writing: Finding My Way Back

Four and a half years ago our world crumbled. After our oldest daughter passed away life became about coping. Making it from one moment to the next. Trying to make sure my family was healing. Making sure I was healing. My brain was a foggy mess. I could barely think and function beyond my immediate needs and the needs of my family.

My words left me.

My stories left me.

For the first time, in a long time, my characters fell silent, as though they too were mourning.

I wondered if any of it would come back and for a while, I almost hoped it didn’t. A year after she passed, I began to try to find the writer. Most of the time I didn’t want to write. It was hard. I usually ended in tears.

But, each time I tried it got a little easier. I healed a little more, and I was relieved to discover that the writer did not die with Lizy.

So, now, after over three years, I am really writing again. Stories flood my brain while characters vie for attention.

And, for the first time in far too long, I have started to query again. 10 queries sent out today. For me, it’s a cause for celebration. I know it will continue to be a long journey, I’m okay with that. It will be fun to see what the future holds.

This last weekend I attended a writer’s conference in Kansas City. On a page on the wall writer’s could write down the best advice they received. I read:

QUIT!  because if you try and you can’t, you really are a writer.



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Date Night Funnies

Tonight, Paul and I went to see Tarzan. While we really enjoyed the movie, we also were in quite the silly mood, which led to some humorous moments (though perhaps only humorous to us, lol)

While waiting for the preview….

Me: Hey! I just thought of a great idea for my next book. George of the Jungle meets Tarzan, a coming of age story!

Still waiting for previews.

Me (pointing to the blank screen): So, what’cha watchin?

Paul: The Story of my Life

Overheard from the guy behind us while still waiting for previews:

My dad met the original Tarzan once in a bar in Europe. He (Tarzan) was drunk and hung from a chandelier while doing the Tarzan yell.

On the way home from the movie we were on the freeway with the windows down (the ac doesn’t work in either of our little cars) and Paul suddenly lets loose with a REALLY loud Tarzan yell, making me jump. Then he dares me to try it when we go to pass a car with their windows rolled down.

I obliged, but only got half way through, I was laughing so hard.

At one point, in between attempted Tarzan yells, I started coughing.

Paul: Bug?

Me: Tarzan problem #127. How do you not swallow bugs when yelling? Never mind “bug on windshield” problems while flying through the congo on vines….

So, highlight of the night… doing Tarzan yells at the top of our lungs while driving down the freeway… yeah, we’re that weird.

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Lizard’s Talk on Dealing with Adversity

On August 8th of 2010, Lizy gave her very first talk in Sacrament Meeting (the main meeting where the congregation meets together) at church . She wasn’t even 12 yet, but since we had just moved from Oregon and were new in the ward (congregation) and Paul & I were speaking, Lizy was asked to speak as well. Her topic was adversity. I remember her being nervous & I remember helping her with writing it. Encouraging her to look through her scriptures & use personal experiences.

Today Paul was cleaning out some files and found the copy of her talk that she used when she gave it six years ago. Reading through it now after all that has happened was quite amazing (I could hear her voice as I read it) – and I was impressed by her insight at the age of eleven.

This school year would have been her senior year, and I have to admit, it’s going to be a hard year. It’s hard seeing the senior pictures for marching band (she would have been there), or watching her friends take that next big step, seeing how they have grown and matured. We’re excited for them and for all they are accomplishing, but there is a pang in the heart as we watch these things happen without her.  But this, this was a sweet reminder that we will get through this year, just as we have the last four and we will be stronger for it & I’m sure blessed in more ways than we can possibly know.  This was a sweet tender mercy, a little hug saying, “I know it’s hard, but with Christ you can do it.”

I’ll let her words speak for themselves:

“Lizards Talk on Dealing with Adversity

“Heavenly Father has given us adversity, or challenges, to help strengthen our testimonies.  Adversity is supposed to be hard. When we face adversity there are two attitudes we can choose from.

“Choice number 1 is negative. When we are negative we usually say things like, “Why does this have to happen to me?” or “Why do I have to suffer this now?” or even, “What have I done to deserve this?”

“Choice number two is positive. When we are positive we might say things like, “what am I to do?” or “What am I to learn from this experience?” Maybe even, “Whom am I to help?”

“Often times, it’s not easy choosing to be positive, but when you do the challenge can be easier to deal with.  When my Dad first told me we might be moving here to Ohio, I was a little upset and even a little scared. I didn’t want to leave my friends behind and move to a place where I knew nobody. I had a hard time seeing what could be positive about moving, but then my parents started pointing out all the positive things, like new friends, new adventures and sights to see.  We also prayed about the decision as a family.  As we prayed I felt the spirit telling me it was the right thing to do. Another thing that helped me find the positive and deal with this challenge was receiving a blessing from my Dad. It wasn’t too long before I was looking forward to the move.

“My experience showed me that when we have adversity we should turn to God. In Alma 36: 3 it says:

“‘And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.’

“When we turn to God in adversity our burdens are lightened. Elaine Cannon said, “Every burden on the back can become a gift in the hand.”  If we try to be positive and ask ourselves those questions, what can we learn, who can I help and strive to remember our many blessings in our times of trial then our burdens can become gifts from God.

“When Alma’s people were in bondage to the Lamanites they chose to turn to God in silent prayer. Because they remembered God in their adversity and poured out their hearts to Him they were blessed as we read in Mosiah 24: 13-16:

“’13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

‘  14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

‘ 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

‘ 16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.’

“I know that if we pray for help, read our scriptures, and endure with patience as the people of Alma, then Heavenly Father will help us. As we do these things our testimonies will be strengthened and knowledge we gain will be a gift. I know that adversity comes to us all. We need to prepare now so we know what to do when adversity comes our way.  I know that Heavenly Father gives us adversity because he loves us and wants us to learn and grow and become like him and Jesus Christ.

“It comforts me to remember all that Christ suffered for me. In Alma 7:11-12 it says:

“’11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

’12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.’

“I know he understands all of my pains and sorrows because he has been through more than us and He and Heavenly Father will never leave me alone. I know there will never be a challenge that we cannot overcome.”

So many years later, sweet Lizard, and your wisdom at such a young age touches my heart. There was no way knowing what kind of impact your words would have so many years later. Love and miss you.


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Journaling in a Doodle-y way

I have always loved the idea of journaling and I have tried to journal many different times in many different ways. To me, a writer, the blank page begs to be filled and that got daunting pretty quick if I felt like I didn’t have enough to fill a page. A while ago I found a way of journaling that works for me and I’ve been journaling for a year and a half now – woot!  I love looking at my journals and I look forward to journaling now too.

Here are a few things that help me out:

I break up the page with boxes. The borders can be simple or fancy, but I try to keep boxes close together and fit shapes together. I still want most of the page filled up with writing.

I add color with pens or colored pencils.

I emphasize words by changing the size of the letters or by underlining, adding color, or lines to draw attention. I also use arrows to show direction from one box to another if I need to continue a thought in another box.

I try writing in different styles (I’ve gotten better at this the more I’ve done it and I’ve even learned new ideas as I’ve gone too!)

I add doodles – sometimes they fit what is on the page, sometimes they are there just because I felt like it, sometimes I leave them off because I have a lot to say or don’t feel like doodling a picture.



Here’s a page before I write on it or add color. I have gotten more creative with my box borders – but I save these fancier ones for when I have a little more time. I also add a doodle in a corner frequently, because I like to doodle here and there (I pull my ideas off Pinterest when it comes to doodles). Maybe you aren’t a doodler.  Maybe color isn’t your thing – that’s okay. Maybe you love fancy borders or just want to keep it simple. Maybe you like lots of boxes or just a couple large boxes. That’s what make this so fun, it’s all up to what you like.  If you are a wannabe doodler like me, I will say that your doodles get better with practice!


As you can see from the page above, rather than trying to write everyday, I often write highlights from the week – this take the pressure off feeling like have to write a page of amazing when there is very little that happened that day.  If I have a really awesome exciting day, then I can fill the page. Sometimes I have a big story to tell, so I type it up and tape in an insert with Washi tape (because it is fun & colorful). Sometimes, since I like to do larger doodles once in a while, I’ll tape in a doodle insert.

DSC_0778Sometimes I do fold-out inserts by taping to the edge of the page rather than the inside (but I don’t do these as often)


What do I journal about? Well, from the above you have some idea – I journal a lot of different things.

I journal about daily life in my highlights.

I journal church or other notes.

I journal my scripture study.

Some people like to have separate journals for these, I like to have it thrown all into one place.

I also like to journal lists, because someday maybe someone will read these to learn more about me (like a great-great-grandchild who’s heard stories of crazy grandma J, heh). Here are 3 examples of list ranging from simple words scattered about, to several doodles, to one large doodle incorporating the list.  Or you could just make a simple list on your page – I like to get doodle-y with it, but someone else might not.



Well there you have it! A new discovery that has brought me 18 months of joy and hopefully a lot more to come.

Do you journal? I would love to hear about what works/ doesn’t work for you! Post your ideas in the comments!

A final doodle for you that I did in April to remember our Elizabeth who we affectionately called Lizard (or Lizard breath).




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Family Chore/Job Center & Chalkboard Door

Some time ago I decided I needed to do something different for our chore charts. I wanted a job for hire board. I thought about checklists to help the kids remember the daily things they needed to do. I thought about regular rotating chore charts. It seemed like a lot of different charts to have to make. I looked all over pinterest and nothing stood out to me until I found this amazing idea. It seemed pretty involved as far as making it, but I loved the look and a lot of the ideas behind it – especially because it had all the charts I wanted in one place. I decided to see what Paul thought, since I would enlist him in building it, and he agreed. After a few months (mainly because we had so many other things demanding out attention that we kept shoving it aside) we finally got it completed today. I had a number of requests on Facebook for more details and some close-ups, so I obliged.

First off, here is what the whole thing looks like:


The ladder was not hard to build and Paul has a saw and  such, so I put him to work. He cut and sanded and painted. We have two pieces running along the back that we fixed the head board and all the smaller ladder boards on. I don’t really know dimensions – we just looked at the picture I found on pinterest and then we figured how big we wanted to make ours for the space where we wanted to put it.  I could have done it myself probably, but power saws and such make me nervous (I mean, good grief, look at what I did with a lawn mower and my toe in high school, lol).

Then I got to do the fun part.  I’ll start from the bottom up.


We talked about a bunch of ways we wanted to do the kids chore chart & checklists, and finally I decided I liked the clipboards the best for a number of reasons – namely they required the least amount of extra work.  These were plain brown boring ones I got at Staples for $2 a piece. I painted them to make them more interesting.  On the bottom is their daily checklist – it’s fixed permanently onto the clipboard. These are the things we expect of them daily simply because they are alive.  They are all pretty self explanatory except possibly “Your Stuff” which means to make sure your stuff is gathered and put away from around the house & “Observe” where we want them to observe 1 thing in the house that needs to be done and then do it without being asked. I laminated the cards so they can mark them off each day with a dry erase marker. If they complete their checklist for the day, they get to check the day off up above. Once a week I will give them a ticket for each day they completed their checklist.


The top card on the clipboard is the rotating chore job. They have 2 chores each week: a kitchen chore and a household chore. Those are laminated for durability and get moved each Sunday. On them I listed what I expected to be done daily & weekly in each chore area.

The next section of my board consists of a row of buckets. Target has adorable buckets for $1 I love color so I got colorful ones (and I might trade them out if other more colorful ones appear). You will find them in the $ section close to where you walk in. The buckets are utilitarian in purpose – that’s where we put the tickets they earn and store the dry erase markers for the kids to mark their checklists with.


Finally comes the upper section:

Just above the buckets is a little picture frame where I can write (in dry erase) the date of the next reward day (we will probably have one about once a month or so) and a list of what they can order with their tickets. We will probably change this up from time to time, but it’s a way to use incentives to motivate them. Then we have the Service bucket. Paul and I decided we wanted to have a spot where anyone could put in service they see needs to be done or would like to have done. The kids can pull out an act of service and complete it. Also in the service bucket is a dry erase marker & a regular pen (we though we might have an issue with ticket transference from one kid’s bucket to another, so the idea was proposed by our oldest to write names on the tickets so there can be no confusion). Finally is a little box where we keep help wanted chore cards and we might poke an eraser in there for chart cleaning, etc.



Across the top and above the little black box are our chore for hire cards. These are chores above and beyond what we would typically ask and are willing to pay for. We are pretty cheap parents and don’t pay much (mostly because we can’t afford to shell $10 out a kid each week, heh), but it gives them an opportunity to learn to work for a wage. We sat down and made a list of what chores we felt were above and beyond and the amount we were willing to pay and I made a set of cards. I’m sure I will add on to them as time goes and we think of more things. As we see or feel the need for certain jobs to be done we will clip them up – they are first come first serve and the child will bring us the card when they are finished. We will inspect and then pay them. Some people keep the money with the card – we don’t because #1 it can be a temptation to wander away with sticky fingers & #2 many jobs are under $1 or depend on how much is done (such as cupboard washing – we pay 10 cents a cupboard so it all depends on how many cupboards they wash). Finally, on the end is the roll of tickets. I think I mentioned earlier that these can be earned (1 each day) by completing the entire check list on the the clipboard.

At some point we will put some cute saying, quote or maybe just Chore Center in the black above the work for hire section, but I haven’t decided what I want there yet.


SO there you have it – our chore center largely copied from the one I found on Pinterest with a few things changed to fit our family personally. We screwed eye screws into the back and strung picture wire between them for hanging. When we put it up, we rearranged things to have our FHE chart, family clock, and blessings board (a really cute present from an awesome friend) all nearby.  It’s beside our front door and takes center stage in our living area to help us all remember to actively do our part in helping the home run smoothly.

Do you have a chore chart you love? How do you involve your kids in daily household doings? Share your success/fail (because we all have those too) stories in the comments!

I recently chalkboarded the door too, so it has become a center of family fun as well.  We did it with DIY chalkboard paint!



This was super easy and cheap to do. To make your own chalkboard paint in any color you want all you have to do is add 2 tablespoons of unsanded grout to 1 cup of paint and mix it really well. I chose a dark brown color (I felt black would be too dark) and since I was just doing 1 door, I bought a sample from Lowes for $3.50. Add the grout in just before you are ready to paint as it will gradually thicken and get clumpy after a time (a friend gave me her box when she was moving, but it’s not terribly expensive and lasts forever – so ask around if you know anyone who has grouted recently, or get a box to share because all of your friends will want to do this when they see your awesome door! lol).

Once your door is painted and completely dry, prep it by rubbing white chalk all over it in circular motions, then go back and erase it in circular motions and then voila you have an amazing chalkboard door that will be the hit of your home!


We celebrated our 18th anniversary on Monday! Woot! Robert was very proud of his “first boat ever, Mom!”.


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