One of my Castle Keepers showed me a neat little tip the other day when were getting ready for the reception /shower in our backyard.  She had learned it from a local scrapbooking store. You’ll need a stamping pad (any color). Take the edge of whatever you’re working with and dab it on the stamping pad. There is no right or wrong. If you only want the edges distressed, just lightly dab the edges. If you want some of the face marked, like in the picture below, you would just make sure the stamping pad hits more than the edge. Very simple and like I said, no right or wrong. I also did the distressing technique using the stamping pad on our banner “Love is…

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A Simple Wedding Reception in Our Backyard

I so love planning events here at the house. This last Saturday we were able to host a wedding reception/shower for a couple that married in the Congo. Fun! Oliver is originally from the Congo but is now a citizen of the United States. He met his bride Lydia on a visit to the Congo (a very interesting story) and in December they married and in March she was able to come over to join Oliver. We wanted to celebrate with them their marriage and give her a warm welcome to Arizona, so we gave them a wedding reception/wedding shower here at the ranch. I put out a call to my Castle Keeper girls and asked if any wanted to come help with things like…

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Laundry Room Cabinet Reorganized

As much as I love organizing there are areas in my home that fall between the cracks. Like the cabinet in my laundry room. It’s a cabinet where many things are stored but really was used very little. This is what can happen when you don’t have a use for items or you hold on to things that have lost their usefulness.   Clutter and Disarray! What I want to show you today is that you don’t have to have a cabinet that looks magazine worthy. A tidy cabinet is lovely in its own way. I like all the cabinets I see with baskets and containers to hold my items but is that truly the only way to be organized? Don’t let the fact that…

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A Pizza Worth Making and Eating

Most of my family is not a big fan of chicken. Not that they don’t enjoy the flavor but they can’t get past the fact that they are pumped full of hormones.  So the other day when I served Kittencal’s Moist Cheddar-Garlic Oven Fried Chicken I was left with a lot of chicken.  The flavor was very good (lots of garlic) but they just couldn’t enjoy it. So I have quite a bit of chicken I need to use in some other way besides as single serving pieces. So I decided to try a Chicken Alfredo Pizza. Then I could disguise the chicken that was added. I used my food processor to make the chicken into small pieces – which it made it really little…

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A Fine Dinner & Giving to Charity

The Castle Keeper girls have been busy each month with their monthly challenges but I have been remiss in posting them.  So here is February & March’s monthly challenges here in one post. In February, the girls had two challenges.  One was to drink 4 1/2 cups of water 6 days a week and the second challenge was to prepare one (1) course of food for your parents. For example, appetizer or dessert.  If they wanted to make a whole meal that was fine but they were only obligated to 1 course.  If there was more than one girl involved in Castle Keepers, each girl was to prepare a course. There were 3 requirements. 1) They had to serve their tidbits somewhere besides the supper…

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Our Trip to the Great White North, Part II

We managed to leave Manitoba for a few days for a quick trip to Sasketchewan. Oh, it was so good to see old friends. The roads we traveled in Manitoba looked like this and not very safe. The highway was so desolate. No gas stations, no houses, no lights for miles and miles. Not even another car. I was so happy we made it safely to Sask. without ending up in a ditch! I have a new respect for Canadians after our visit. They are pretty tough people. They know they could end up stuck when things are bad so some are sure to have ski pants & boots in case they have to walk out. I’ve heard of others that keep a candle in…

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Our Trip to the Great White North, Part I

Well hello everyone! I really didn’t mean to be absent for so long. We’ve been doing some travelling lately – Michigan & Canada. “In the winter,” you say?  Yes, we sure did. We went to our dear friend’s daughter’s wedding in Michigan and had a lovely time.  The bride made her own dress. I am so impressed! We were home for a few days and then it was off to Canada! Specifically Manitoba where we spent 10 wonderful days. Audrey had to go outside on the morning after our arrival and about froze because she wasn’t properly dressed for the weather. I thought it was quite funny that instead of a ball this dogs plays with pieces of wood.  Maybe because its owner builds furniture?…

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I wrote the following thoughts for the girls in our Castle Keeper club. I trust it is a blessing to you. Chances are you are starting to think of your future and start to wonder who God has for you. Who you will wed, what he looks like and how it’s going to come about and…on and on. It’s how God designed us. Maybe you think that year is far off but is it? Whether that day is 1 or 2 or even 5 years away there are some things are some things you can be doing right now while you are waiting. 1. Pray for your future mate. If it’s the Lord will for you to get married, you have a wonderful privilege to…

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Make Your Own Personalized Journal Covers

Today I have a tutorial for you narrated by my daughter Serenity. At our last Castle Keepers meeting, we made personalized journal covers. Since we have a few long distance members that are a part of Castle Keepers we thought we would make this video for them, plus it’s a great way for us to not forget what we learned! If you should decide to make one, you will need the following supplies. Journal (hard cover preferable) Gesso Primer Spray Adhesive Polycrylic Spray Foam Chisel Brush Small Paint Brush Hair Dryer 3 Complementary Colors of Acrylic Paint Here are two journals Serenity has completed so far. Have you ever made a personalized journal before?

A Sweet 16 Birthday Party Celebration

If you’ve ever felt bad for not having your act together, maybe this will make you feel better. I just had a belated {cough, cough}, make that a very belated birthday party for Serenity who turned 16 in….      November Yes, it was late and the party was on my own birthday but that was okay with me and she still had a great time. It was supposed to be a surprise…but she found out several weeks ago, which I did not know until recently. But I still tried to bluff my way through in the hopes that some part of it would be a surprise. But it wasn’t. So the lesson I learned from this was: be super careful with emails and with texts….

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The January Challenge for the Castle Keeper Girls

I recently realized that I have not shared what January’s challenge was for our Castle Keepers.  It was to make a tabletop vignette and they had 1 month to complete the challenge. This month I would like you to make a Tabletop Vignette (pronounced ‘vin-ˈyet’).  Here’s what you will do. 1. Pick any area in your home that has a flat surface – a nightstand, dresser, coffee table, fireplace mantle, etc. 2. Clear EVERYTHING off.  Start with a blank slate. 3.  Then shop your house and the great outdoors for items to put on your wall or table.   I gave them a few tips to consider when putting together their vignette.   1. Choose an object that will be your anchor point around which…

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Valentine’s Day Celebrated Any Time is Sweet

We celebrated Valentine’s a week late. Hey, hey, I had a good reason. Since we had company all week it was virtually impossible to try and have it then. Valentine’s Day has become a tradition around here.  You can see what we’ve done over the years – 2009,  2012, and 2013 was the year we added mailboxes and little gifts to our celebration, and here’s one more post on our 2013 celebration. This year the kids started wondering why we hadn’t had our Valentine’s Day. I told them we’d do it the next week and they were happy about that. That makes me glad knowing they like something enough to ask about it. It may be all the little gifts I give them all week…

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Painting Art for the Chicken Coop

Well my little chicken flock now has their own art. Inspired by Repurposed 4 Life with the chicken art she painted… I painted something of my own. Doing projects like this is great because it doesn’t have to be perfect. And it isn’t. Trust me on that one. Here’s how I made it. 1. Using my Silhouette Cameo I cut out a hen with two chicks. 2. Then I traced around the cut-outs onto my board… 3. …then painted. But I didn’t like how the hen and chicks blended in with the background. You can’t really tell from the picture above but the contrast wasn’t enough to really make them stand out like I wanted.  So I primed the whole board for repainting. 4. This…

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Sprucing Up the Chicken Coop

You never know what interesting strange thing I might be interested in next.  Today it’s chicken coop art. Specifically this picture inspired me to bring some color to our coop. Repurposed for Life Oh, the possibilities of signs… Etsy Etsy This is too funny. Etsy So guess what I’m working on? Art for my little hen house. Every project is a learning project (ahem) and I’ve learned on this one, too. Currently, the piece of wood I’m painting on is sitting with a fresh coat of primer after having been used to cover my first attempt at painting. Sometimes it’s the little things that get me excited but I’m really having fun with this one.

The Importance of a Family Vision

There’s so much talk these days about living intentionally. Everyone wants to be purposeful and not waste time on activities that really don’t matter.  So let me ask you, “What vision do you see your family fulfilling?” With a vision it gives you direction – an end goal to reach for. The Bible says, Where there is no vision, the people perish… Proverbs 29:18 Do you have a vision for your family? A vision for the future will guide you in the decisions you make today. Here are two examples of men who had strong visions and every decision they made was in light of that. George Washington had a big vision.  If he hadn’t, he would not have have fought with such determination and…

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To Arms! To Arms! Defend the Castle!

For this months Castle Defenders, I asked what is a knight without a sword.  So while our Castle Keeper girls were learning how to make journal covers, our boys were learning sword making skills. My husband taught the class and started off telling them a few stories. and then it was time to make their swords! This link has a good tutorial – How to Make a Boffer (Foam Sword). Then the rest of the day they fought and fought and in between chased chickens. My older boys even got in on the action and took on all of them. And they all went home tired but happy “Castle Defenders.” I have a couple of boards on Pinterest where I pin Handicrafts & Skills for…

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Twelve lovely young girls met yesterday for another Castle Keepers meeting, learning how to personalize journal covers. It was so much fun watching each one make their journal cover their very own; there were no two alike. I just love seeing their individuality come through like that. Each one so special. God designed. They are amazing. Each one with possibilities and potential that are just waiting to unfurl. Each one uniquely themselves What would one of us be without the other? It would be like a puzzle that has a missing piece, an incomplete picture. Each one of our children adds something to our life’s painting, bringing so much color to our lives. What a privilege to be the mom’s of these amazing and wonderful…

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It was a Musical Week

I think we just might be finished with all the colds/flus that’s been going around. What a winter for all that! But we still got to enjoy a performance by the Bar D Wranglers when they came to town.  The owner Cy even came along. Then Russell sang at a musical tribute to his old voice teacher.  She’s a really dear lady.  Russell’s mom says that Russell couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket when he was young until he went to Joann.  The performance was in honor of her 89th birthday.  It is amazing to me the love the community has for her. She has a sterling reputation and has done a lot to help the fine arts in our area.  She started a…

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Arizona Ski Trip 2014

Last week we went on our annual ski trip which means for me that I get at least 1 day all to myself. It is a treat!  Everyone leaves in the early morning and then I spend the day reading, watching some inspiring video (you don’t think child training videos are inspiring? ) writing and having quiet time. This year several moms didn’t go skiing the first day, so I did tear myself away from my solitude in the afternoon to be sociable for a little while. Getting ready to head out to the slopes. At the end of the day we always have a big meal ready that we’ve prepared ahead of time. There’s a nice big rec room where everyone goes to play…

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Where Can I See the Face of God?

How we long to see our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The one who died for us and redeemed us from our fallen estate. My heart longs to see him on that Great Day that is not  too far distant. But as I was expressing to Him how much I long to see Him, in my heart I felt He spoke and said, “But you do. In my people.” “Everytime you see my children, you are seeing the face of God.” Matthew 25: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and…

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