Monday, January 31, 2011

Busy ♫ busy ♪♪ terribly busy ♫ ♪ ♫

You've no idea what I have to do!  ♪♫♫♪♪♫♪ (Some Veggie Tales song dredged from the dark recesses of my mind)  So I'll tell you! And warn you that it is probably not terribly exciting.

* The whole family is fighting the winter cold crud that's going around. I stayed home sick on Saturday, slept in until 1:15PM (thanks, sweetie!) and wore my pajamas until 5:15PM!! I don't have a picture of that. You're welcome. Yuck.

* Brunch at Pizza Luce' on Sunday, my favorite breakfast, with my favorite people. Yum!
    * We attended our nephew's baptism on Sunday. God is doing some pretty fabulous things in this family. Love you guys! Yippee!

    * And had lunch and some fun at their house after the service. (Me. =0) Micheal doesn't like this photo, I don't know why.) Yowza!

    * Some sewing for a friend. I really love giving gifts when you think it's something (you hope!) the recipient will really like! Yahoo!

    * Annual meeting at church where everyone laughs a ton, review some amazing things God has done, look at where He might be steering us this year, and no one fights over how much moola anyone makes, the new color to paint the entry way, or whether beverages should be allowed in the auditorium.Yoicks! (expression of surprise or excitement)

    * Freedom for Life is ending this week and I am processing the close of this season, and trying to write a brief talk about how it's changed my life - many many ways! I'm sure I'll be rehashing that here soon. Yeasty! (full of restless energy or creativity. Really - I can't make this stuff up!)

    * And today is busy with a Daisy Girl Scouts field trip, a quick supper, right to dance, (which may cause some yarling by Miss Grace (wailing; howling) and I hope to see a high school friend later...

    It's lunchtime, I'm feeling the yapness (hunger), gotta go. Those are all the 'Y' adjectives I can handle for one day! See you tomorrow!

      Friday, January 28, 2011

      Happy Friday!

      I'm beat, fighting a cold. I'm leaving one job early so I can nap before the next one starts tonight and tomorrow. I hope to get some rest in, and maybe some snugglin' too. Like this:

      This was the kids waiting for me to be ready one day last week before school. I only wish all mornings were this calm.

      Happy Friday! I hope you get some rest & snugglin' in, too!

      Thursday, January 27, 2011

      It sucks to grow up*

      I've recently remembered that I like Ben Folds' music, listening to his stuff in the background at work, sharing it with Micheal, memorizing lyrics through sheer repetition and drooling over his key work on songs like 'Landed.' There is a tender song called 'Still Fighting It' about his son growing up, kind of in the tradition of 'Cats in the Cradle.' It has a funny line in the lyric that says
      Let me tell you what
      the years go on and
      we're still fighting it,we're still fighting it
      and you're so much like me
      I'm sorry
      and every time I heard the 'I'm sorry you're so much like me part' I just thought 'that's weird.' And then I listened to it today, I get it. Epiphany. At least my interpretation of it...

      Today has been a hard parenting day.Our teenager has some stuff going on that's just hard. He's not in any trouble, there's just some really hard teenage stuff, hormones flying, tears leaking, emotions high, reasoning slightly impaired, blind spot firmly in place, heart on the line... a teenage kind of day.

      I could feel his pain, helplessness and emotions so strongly that, while no one else (probably) noticed, I was transported 25 years into the past, feeling the exact same things, looking into the face of my mother. The mother that wanted the best for me, that made the hard decisions while knowing I'd disagree, that I'd be hurt, that I'd feel helpless.

      I didn't notice that my mom probably did some time traveling, too. Leap-frogging through time, in my son, I see my pain. In me, my mom saw hers. Different stuff, same thing, trying to do our best in an imperfect, fallen world, if we could just fix this one thing, this situation that feels so overwhelming. There was 'pain, sunny days & rain, I knew you'd feel the same.'
      Dear Micah,
      You're so much like me.
      (I remember it. Hang in there, you're going to make it!!!)
      I'm sorry.
      Love, Mom

      *'It sucks to grow up' is in the lyrics, check it out here:

      Wednesday, January 26, 2011

      Porcupine Meatballs

      I posted on facebook that I was making my mom's recipe for 'Porcupine Meatballs with Milk Gravy' and someone commented on how they'd never eaten porcupines, and probably didn't want to. =0)

      Porcupine meatballs are not made out of porcupines - though I can see why someone would think so!  I didn't take time for photos, because 1) they were so good we gobbled them up, and 2) we were running late to get to a party so I ran out of time. But, I thought I'd give you the recipe anyway. It was good, like going home.

      Most porcupine recipes you find have a tomato based sauce, but the one my mom made had milk gravy. This recipe was not in her recipe box when she died. I asked around and the only recipes I could find were the kind with the red sauce. (Maybe the meatball part of those recipes are the same, I'm not sure.) But Micheal asked my Gram at Christmas (I don't know why I didn't ask her before...?) and she said she makes them all the time! I did a little jig when I found out.

      Porcupine Meatballs with Milk Gravy
      (I made a pretty large batch so there would be left-overs)
      1) Mix together:
      2# lean hamburger
      2 eggs
      1.5 slice of bread soaked in milk
      1/4  chopped larger white onion *
      1/2+ C. raw long cook rice
      2) Form meatballs. I made 15 large ones, about palm-size.
      3) Brown them over medium heat in a fry pan with as little shortening as you need so they don't stick (1 Tbs?), until they are brown and mostly cooked through. The rice will still be raw.
      4) Put meatballs in a roaster or cake pan when they are done browning.
      5) Pour off all but 3-ish Tbs. of the grease. Scrape the bottom of the pan(s) to loosen meat bits, remove any burn flecks that you see from getting distracted by children yelling for help while you were browning the meatballs.
      6) This is the in-exact part of a family recipe! Sprinkle flour in pan, I used a bit less than 1/4 C.(still on medium heat), to make a roux. Stir to break up lumps and let brown slightly. Add milk while continuing to stir. Add about a cup, see if it gets too thick, keep adding more until you get a nice gravy consistency. You should end up with a medium brown gravy.
      7) Add one can of mushroom soup and stir well. (You wouldn't need this if you wanted to use all the drippings, but this is definitely healthier that keeping all the fat!) Add an extra 1/2 can of water to mix (since the raw rice is going to absorb it!)
      8) Pour gravy over the meatballs. Cover.
      9) Bake at 350-ish until the rice is done, about 45-60 minutes. Break a meatball open to check rice at the center for done-ness.
      10) Serve with mashed potatoes, since there is delicious gravy!!

      The meatballs will look sort of prickly since the rice near the outside of the meatball will have expanded as it cooked. I assume this is where the term 'porcupine' came from?

      * Sick of the fight with the kids over onions in their food, I put the onion in the food processor and pulsed until it was pretty small bits. I put a quarter of the results in the meatball mix and I put the rest in 3 'plops' on a wax papered plate in the freezer until they were frozen through, then I put these in a ziplock bag in the freezer so next time we need onion, we can just grab one, defrost it quick, and the onion bits are too small for the kids to complain about, and you still get all the flavor. It works for me!

      Grace ate two helpings of everything at this meal, even the cooked carrots that went with it. She was ready to refuse it, we had a talk about how that was unacceptable, and she ended up loving it! Score! Micheal and I just kept giving each other amazed looks over her head the whole meal. =0)

      Tuesday, January 25, 2011

      Guard Your Heart

      After the holiday program at school, I got a picture of Grace and the boy she's 'going to marry!' Parker D. I don't think Grace was looking for a boyfriend, it seems like Parker latched on to her and she decided that was pretty good. She likes being liked, a lot.

      When school resumed after the holiday break, Grace came home with a card that said, "I love you Grace," a pretty blown glass fish, and a shell ring. Which made it official: they were getting married!!!

      And then Grace's friend, Ariana, let her know that she was doing her darndest to make Parker love her more than he loves Grace. We had a couple late-to-sleep nights as she awfulized over this, praying, talking, comforting...

      And it was fine for a couple weeks.

      Now it seems that Ariana has succeeded, Parker told Grace yesterday that he loves Ariana more. And he doesn't want to sit by her anymore... Grace cried at bedtime over the lost love of her life. And she's 6. SIX. And her heart is broken.

      On the way to school she cried again, had an upset tummy, and didn't want to go to school because she was so upset. This has been a huge hit to her self esteem. And the drama! It's hard not to laugh it off, it's very serious. She's pretty sure she'll never have another boyfriend again. I don't want her to find her value and well being on whether anyone else likes her, is happy with her, whatever! I want her to hear Jesus' voice tell her that He is happy with her, always. (Note to self: Am I modeling that?)

      As a parent, how do I comfort her, teach her to not give her heart away foolishly, and help her navigate the choppy waters of adolescent peer pressure and fickle relationships? Oh, daughter! My heart breaks with yours!

      Above all  else, guard your heart,
      for everything you do flows from it.
      ~Proverbs 4.23

      Monday, January 24, 2011

      More than half my life

      On this day, 21 years ago, I gave my heart to Jesus. Now at 40, this is more than half my life.

      On the way to work to day, I thought I could post what I've learned, what I'm working on, where I've been, and where I'm going. And then I heard this song when I was flipping stations on the radio. Not my usual choice of music, the chorus speaks right to my heart. (And the video was a pleasant surprise, I love the honest cries to God written on the chalk board.)

      But don't you know who you are?

      You are more than the choices that you've made,
      You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
      You are more than the problems you create,
      You've been remade.
       I've been remade. I'm still learning how to walk it out, 21 years later.

      Thursday, January 20, 2011

      How'd I get here, anyway?

      Two more weeks of Freedom for Life and three classes, including tonight. We joke at our table about how we will all be free and healed in only X more weeks. At this point I just don't see it. In fact, I am still trying to figure out how I even began the class. How did that happen? I think it was the love that did it to me, and I never saw it coming.

      Four months ago I was leading a small group for church, chugging along on the path before me, and only God could orchestrate all the little things that changed my path. Then Freedom for Life was announced. And for 4 or 5 Sunday's in a row there were short testimonial videos in church from people who had used the information from the FFL class and gotten free of various addictions, and I felt each testimony like it was calling out a longing in my heart. This happened as I started to fall apart. The depression I'd medicated for 15 years went out of control, I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't... well I just wasn't.

      I think one of the things that made me so susceptible to even beginning to see that something was wrong was that the people at small group really seemed to love and accept me. They kept coming back, more than once! Leading a group was so different than attending a group because I could be my needy self at a group I attended, knowing that the group leader at least had to act like they liked me but as a leader, I had to be... a leader. And the thing that wore on me week after week was that they just kept coming back. I had such a low opinion of myself that I just couldn't figure it out.

      Instead of being frustrated with a falling-apart-first-time-leader, my interns encouraged me, "Whatever you need to get healthy..." "We love you..." "We'll take over!"  And Sunday hugs and notes and how-are-you-doings from group members...

      I thought I was going to the class to work on some of  my control and food issues. But God knew that wasn't the root issue. It was love. I thought I wasn't lovable. If someone loved me, they must want something, and for certain it would only be short lived. I could list ways that I was just waiting for and at the same time trying to avoid love, sure that it would disappoint.

      But love has found me. More than the air I breathe, the food I hide behind, or the emotions I stifle as I'm afraid to feel them, I want to let Love in. 3

      Wednesday, January 19, 2011


      I'm being made...



                       an unexpected bend...

                                                                 to the right, then the left...


      and now back again...


                                            and relearning...


      brought up short just in time...

      the Maker, the Master, the Creator

      He sees where it's going, the big picture,

      He keeps it all in mind, bound together with His very Word.

      He looks at you, at me, and when we can't see where we are,

      or where we are going,

      He sees the end result.

      Tuesday, January 18, 2011

      Pay it Forward 2011

      A couple weeks ago I saw this on facebook:
      Pay it Forward 2011: I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here. They must in turn post this and send something they make to the first 5 people who comment on their status. *The rules are that it must be handmade by you, and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011. Ready? Go!
      And  I promptly commented, "Fun! I'm in!" and reposted it asap. I had my 5 takers pretty quickly and I think from those takers I noticed at least 10 others in the next couple days. I love this kind of stuff. 
      (BUT, I'll admit to sucking at the dishtowel/sock/sticker/mail something to me and move your name up to the #1 spot, then mail this to 273 of your friends letters. This seems to be way more about spreading the love than getting so many dishtowels you could carpet a grade school gym.) 
      Yesterday was a holiday and I spent it with Grace, watching the Wizard of Oz and sewing. A 'handmade' item can be machine sewn, right? I'm still using my hands.
      Grace got the first one, for practice, and to keep her happy. (A fitting sacrifice for the hormonal, temperamental 6 year old.)
      Grace picked the materials, even though I explained how they weren't really going together. She remained unconvinced. And she's very happy with it!
      It even went to school with her today.
      Then I started working on the others for the 'Pay it Forward' initiative. I did buy some stabilizer and fun material to line these with (my stash seems to be out of fun material) And then repurposed jeans, which is fun and free, it just takes some time to cut them up.

      Here's the preview:

      The smaller/lighter jean colored one measures about 4x5 inches and is about 5 inches tall. The other with the darker jean is a little bigger but I didn't measure it. I got the general idea on the pink penguin blog and the 57+ other blogs that make them, too, all pointing back to the pink penguin! WoW! I didn't want patchwork so I changed it up to suit. I really like the basket with the jean only on the bottom.

      I also used part of the jean side seam for the handles. It has kind of raggy look, but it's made with half repurposed materials, so I'm OK with that. I'm giving these away tonight with the last messenger bag.

      I have about 10 more to make and they are already mostly cut out. Are you going to do the 'Pay it Forward 2011' thing? You should! And then you should take pictures before you ship it out to show off! Fun stuff!

      Gifts I made this year, Part IV : Messenger Bags

      I want to get this posted for some pals who've been so patient since I couldn't post them until they were gifted. BUT, I feel like blah blah blah stuff I made blah blah gifts blah blah blah they were well received blah by the end of sewing them I hate them blah blah HATED blah...

      One noteworthy thing is that I made them out of raw coffee bean burlap bags that I picked up for free at our local Dunn Bros and Alekef in Duluth, MN. I love the idea of repurposing stuff! (You can find these for sale online for $20-30 per bag and there are sweet things to do with them, frame them, recover furniture...)

      Another noteworthy thing is that they are nice, but not exactly the plan I had in my head. I really wanted to line them with old jeans and button down shirts since they are already kind of tube shaped and I received many donations for that purpose, but when I sat down to do it, I just couldn't wrap my head around doing it well. It would have been really sweet for the insides to have the details of the clothes... When I still think about it now, it still seems like a great idea, and possibly faster to do... I ended up using some canvas-like material I already had in my stash. Oh well, maybe next time! Oh, and a pattern would be good, too. I just looked at a bunch of pictures...

      AND I washed some, and a bunch faded and shrank and didn't iron well, so don't do that if you ever do this... And between each step, I used the 'Stop Fraying' glue from Alene's so each step was at least an overnight process.

      So, those are the messenger bags. My family says I should make them to sell, people - both students & teachers - have stopped Micah to ask where he got his, and I've had another request for one via facebook. But right now I HATE the thought of doing more...

      OK, done!

      Thursday, January 13, 2011

      Not Just Words

      I love words. Give me a good book, even better - a series, and some chocolate and I'd happily sit on the couch all weekend just reading, dozing, reading, eating chocolate, reading, dozing... More than books, I love a good quote. I love the idea of being remembered for that one important sound bite. That one thing said in such a concise soundbite that it sticks in your mind and changes how you think. Oh to be remembered for having such wisdom. Or humor. Or insight. Or love.

      Like these gems from Mother Teresa:
      "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."
      "The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved."
      "Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you."

      "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." ~Vince Lombardi

      "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." ~Philo of Alexandria

      Grace wants to be remembered for her words. She's our bathtub poet.

      "Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don't quite know how to put our love into words."  ~Harlan Miller
      (I moon-lighted at Target this Christmas season and can confirm the crazy haywired-ness of people!)

      "Sometimes the dragon wins."  ~Mr. Donald Wallace Nielsen

      And this is what Micah does when we aren't home:

      "What lies behind up and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

      And words stick with us, recalled at the strangest time. The other day someone complimented me on my teeth and I immediately flashed beck to the orthodontist who gave me an ortho consult when I was 10-12ish. His assessment was that he could give me braces but there was really nothing wrong with my bite and, "You're never going to be a model anyway, right?" Wow, do words stick with you, and hurt long past when they should!

      I am reading 'The Bondage Breaker' by Neil T Anderson and he discusses this passage:
      For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~2 Corinthians 10.3-5
      Anderson defines 'strongholds' (sometimes called fortresses) as "fleshly thought patters that were programmed into your mind when you learned to live your life independently of God. Your worldview was shaped by the environment you were raised in. But when you became a Christian, nobody pressed the 'CLEAR' button. Your old fleshly habit patterns of thought weren't erased." Huh, no one hit the clear button - that's a huge piece of the puzzle!

      "One often is most vulnerable to the trap when one is not alert..." ~unknown

      Looking back, most of the strongholds in my life have come from negative words, and these are the fortresses I want God to tear down. I can't help but think that if life-stealing words built fortresses in my life/heart/mind, what amazing God fortresses will be built with the life-giving words of Jesus? What will the stronghold of God, the Great Architect, look like? Imagine the love living in those rooms! I want a new fortress, I want God to be my stronghold! How do I get there? And how can you get there?

      Words impact lives, change your words. A. Voskamp at A Holy Experience is writing a series with a friend on Tuesdays about blogging for the Kingdom. A few weeks ago she said,"Only speak words that make souls stronger." What an idea! That is speaking life into people. Jesus only spoke words that made souls stronger. I think He still does today.

      "If I am in harmony with my family, that's success." ~Ute proverb

      What if I never articulated to Grace how, "I am so tired, Grace. You need to go to sleep because I am just done." What message does that send? What if Micah got more of my attention, even when he's talking about something I don't really care about and the words I said back to him really showed how I listened, how what he says and thinks is important? What if I stopped crabbing at Micheal about socks on the floor? What if I I could look past the socks and thank him for working, for making Grace's lunch, for planning supper, for warming up the bed, for all the things he does do? 

      "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou

      I guess the long and short of it is:
      * Words matter
      * Words matter to me
      * Words probably matter to you, too
      * Words are either life-giving or life-stealing
      * Even if my exact words are never remembered, the intent and feeling behind them will have an impact
      * Saying hard words can be life-giving, check your motivation
      * Choose the words you use wisely, and I'm going to try that, too

      “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~Jesus, John 13.34-35

      Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. ~Apostle Paul, Romans 12.10

      "Only speak words that make souls stronger." ~A. Voskamp

      I paid about $10 for 6 bathtub crayons and a rubber duckie sponge that's already fallen apart. Next time I'm going to make home made ones with Grace. This seems to be a pretty standard recipe for them here.

      Thursday, January 6, 2011

      Gifts I made this year, Part IV : Corn Therapy Bags

      I've referenced these before, so they aren't a huge surprise. I wanted Corn Therapy Bags for... myself, to be honest, and thought other people on my gift list might like them, too. Someone did great research HERE on corn vs. rice, what kind of corn, different patterns to use... and also a pdf file with tags you can attach to tell the recipient what they are getting and how to use it.

      Basically I went with corn because it is supposed to stay hot longer, since it's bigger than the rice. It does smell a little popcorn-y, but that is fading each time I heat it up. I didn't put any herbs or oils in it because I read that the scent fades each time you heat it up and there is no way to renew it. 50# of screened corn was $7 at a local feed store and all the material was from my stash.

      I kind of made my own pattern. I decided how long and wide I wanted the bags, doubled it so I could fold it in half the long way and save some cutting. I folded it, sewed it across the short bottom and up the long side so I ended up with a long sleeve with the top open. I turned it right side out and lightly marked off even intervals so I knew where to sew each 'pocket.' I dumped about 1/2+ cup screened rice in the bag, let it fall to the very bottom (you want each pocket to be about 1/2 - 2/3 full so it will form nicely to your body), sewed across the bag at the marked line. I did this six times and after the seventh I folded in the ends and sewed the bag shut. Done!
       Then I made little pillow cases so the outside can stay clean. Who wants to use a sweaty bag? Eww.
       I also made myself a larger bag that has found it's way to my lap when I'm chilly and is often under the covers at the bottom of my bed. If I heat it, throw it in bed and go do all the bathroom bedtime activities, by the time I slide into bed, my feet have a toasty warm place all prepared. I love this! Again, no pattern, I just made it up as I went.
      In it's pillow case:
      These can also be stored in the freezer and used cold. I sent one a set to my grandparents. Gramma is always chilly and Grampa gets hotflashes as a side effect of chemo so they will each use them for different things.

      Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

      Gifts I made this year, Part III : Trinket Keepers

      I saw these Trinket Keepers on the Amazing Mae. My kids have always liked bags and boxes to keep other things in and I thought these looked like just the thing to satisfy that need.
      I used printable HP iron-on sheets for the designs and chose things each of the kids would like. I bought the grommets at Michael's using more of those weekly coupons and the materials I used are all from my sewing stash or repurposed clothing, which I love using up!
      The kids seemed to like these, too.
      I like how they can clip on anywhere, belt loop, backpack...
      Micheal pounded all these grommets in for me and really smacked his thumb. I think it's still bigger than the other one. Ouch!

      I have a few more of these I need to make and I really like that you can tailor the size to whatever you want and since they will usually be smaller, you can use up any scraps you have. I lined and backed these with old jeans.The carabeeners come in lots of fun colors and were $.92 at Walmart and the grommets were about $.30 each when I used a coupon. The iron-on sheets were the most expensive part at about $9 for 6 sheets, but of course you can print multiple images on them so I packed them on every page I printed.

      These would be sweet for sunglasses, clipped on your purse strap. Or your cell phone. I might make one for myself.

      Gifts I made this year, Part II : String Backpacks

      From that stack of burlap coffee bags I showed you previously, I used some to make these string backpacks for our nieces and nephews. I kind of used the pattern found at Mama Urchin, at least I kept looking at it as I was deciding what to do next. It's a great tutorial for these bags, just not written for two layers. I also put the strings in differently so it would cinch easier.
      I tried to save as much of the sweet graphics as I could and lined them with a pretty heavy striped canvas I had in my sewing stash. The most time consuming part of this project, besides the planning time, was waiting for the glue to dry. I used Aleene's 'Stop Fraying' glue on every edge of the burlap. I would sew and then glue the edge over the sewing on one side, leave that over night, and then have to glue the opposite side the next day, and wait for that to dry... I also put the glue around the holes for the grommets.
      The kids seemed to enjoy them and the other day, one parent told me that they'd nab it if it wasn't being used all the time. Win! He's a shot of one of the kids wearing his:
      I'm also making something else with the coffee bags, but they are not quite done. Stay tuned for details on those, they won't be gifted for a couple weeks.

      Wednesday, January 5, 2011

      Gifts I made this year, Part I : Marble Magnets

        I first saw these on Not Martha. She saw them a bunch of other places. When I started this project I thought I'd do a tutorial on it. I've never done one before, but then I thought, "Why fix what isn't broken?" so check out the link and I'll just tell you the stuff I did differently.

      I also bought everything at Michael's. I bugged people for their coupon from the Sunday paper (40% off any non-sale item) and went shopping for one thing at a time. Luckily it's pretty close to my house. Unluckily, the lines are usually looooonnnng. I spent around $25 for everything I bought.
      I bought:
      1 bag of large (about 1 1/2") clear, flat, glass marbles (20-25 came in the bag)
      1 bag of small (about 3/4") clear, flat, glass marbles (175-200 came in the bag)
      ** Avoid these if they look iridescent, it makes the images hard to see.
      1 3/4" circle punch (I didn't have to have this, but thought it was worth it since I made 150.)

      Aleene's Jewel It glue
      3 50 piece 3/4" strong magnets

      Then Grace & I spent time looking through magazines for fun images, patterns and words that would fit in the small marbles. We punched them out and glued them to the glass. We added the magnets the next night.
      You can see they aren't perfect circles but we didn't trim any of the paper unless the marble was really lopsided. Once you get them together you can see if a tiny bit sticks out.
      And then I became a stalker. I visited all of my family on facebook, copied a good picture of everyone's face, threw it in Picnik to edit, crop & resize it, then pasted it in a word document. I only wanted the face and I wanted it to fit in the 3/4" marble. I ended up with this:

      Between facebook and what I already had, we had a picture of everyone in the family. I also did 'family' & 'I love you' sized for the small marble and each family name sized for the big marble. (FYI - The strong 3/4" magnets hold the larger marble no problem.) Here's a shot of the cookie sheet of magnets I ended up with:

      Each family unit got the parents, the kids, 'family', 'I love you', larger family name and if they didn't have enough we filled in their magnets with the fun magazine magnets we did. Grandparents got themselves and all the grandkids. 

      Grace & I decorated these boxes at a gift making party at church and I put the magnets in them with a tiny bit of double stick tape so they'd look nice when the gift was opened.


      Everyone seemed to really like them. Here's ours, on our fridge. Grace thinks they need to stay in the shape of a flower, forever.

      Even if my head does look huge. =0)