Fly Away

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

I'm going to fly to Fort Sill in Lawton Oklahoma in June to see my brother graduate from Army boot camp!! I can't tell you how excited I am.

It'll be a quick trip--flying in on Thursday and out on Friday evening...but I can't wait. My parents and brother and sister are driving over and we will be together for this occasion. That's just so cool.

I was born in Oklahoma and haven't been back since I was a baby. I'm truly looking forward to this trip!



Look closely inside the circle.
It's a frog.
A small, noisy, creepy frog.
In my scrap space.

Did I mention I don't like frogs?

at all.

Ain't happenin'!

So this morning (think wee hours...maybe 2 am when it was quiet) I was peain' and scrappin' when I heard something ker-plop onto the floor. Simultaneously, a movement on the floor caught my eye.

I'm getting the creepy-chills just writing about it.

It's a tiny (yet massively creepy) frog.
On *my* floor.

I do not want to think about how he got in or if he brought his family too.

Anyway, after a few moments of "should I wake my sleeping husband because this is too dang creepy for me", I decided to let sleeping husbands lie. I summoned some courage, dumped the contents of the ribbon jar on the table and contained him in the jar. (See the photo.)

Slid the canvas under.
Took a photo. (well, duh.)
Transported the intruder to the yard.

Creep factor is still off the charts!
Not in my house!

Go. little froggie.
Run free.
Tell all your friends.
This house is *not* the place to visit.


More Fresh Air

So you already know about my love/hate relationship with Terry Gross and Fresh Air on NPR. Well, there was a very interesting discussion on yesterday's show with Michael Farris, the founder of Home School Legal Defense and Patrick Henry College. Terry was surprisingly civil but remained true to her obviously anti-Christian slant. The discussion about tolerance versus liberty and speech versus action was particulalrly clarifying for me. I admit--I expected there might be a verbal brawl but was perfectly delighted with what I heard. Mr. Farris is a very eloquent man and a sharp legal thinker.

Mr. Farris is a prominant figure in the Christian home schooling world, and is, at times, very controversial because of it. I (like many) don't always agree with his positions but I admire that he is always mindful of his position and the fact that he is the face of home schooling at times. He generally reflects well, I believe.

Of course, Terry made sure to mention that she was prompted to interview him because several pages in Michelle Goldberg's book were spent on him. Of course. We can't have anyone thinking that Terry Gross would want to interview a guest of the Christian conservative persuasion based on his own merit or achievement, now can we?

One very interesting point Michael made was in response to the "Are parents really qualified to they have the right expertise?" question. He pointed out that permission to teach in a school is not about *expertise*. He used himself as an example, stating that even tho he is a studied constitutional lawyer with many years of experience and *expertise* and is considered by many to be an expert in his chosen subjects of law and history, he is not allowed to teach because he is not considered an educator--because he is not liscensed by the government to teach in schools.

Ding Ding Ding!!
Light-bulb moment.

What would happen to education if teaching really was less about educating and more about *expertise*?

I'm still pondering this question.

Anyway, the discussion was more about conservative thought and the role of Christianity in America...not really much about home schooling. I was glad I went back and listened.

A Mountain Retreat

We went on a little vacation (somewhat impulsively) to east TN. The first photo was taken from the view of our hotel in Caryville, TN. We spent the past 4 days there while Joal worked in the area. It's just across the street from Cove Lake State Park, where the second photo (of the boys) was taken.

Second only to the beach, I enjoy the mountains so much. It's so refreshing.

While we were there we had so much fun. (I know...most overused statement on the planet...but it's the truth.) On Monday, the boys and I went to AC Moore--the best craft store known to man! I love that place. Greyson feel in love with a little brown dog beanie baby that was on clearance while we were there...he's been carrying it around ever since. He calls it "dog". I acquired some Heidi Swapp items I've been drooling over. Those chipboard letters are so cool and holy cow--so easy to use.

We had lunch at Chick-Fil-A and discovered they have started including really awesome kids books in their kids meals. It's a 5-book series called "This is my Family". We managed to get 2 different ones and I'm hoping we can get the others. They really cool...very scrapbook-y.

Monday afternoon, I started trying to find the scrapbook store in LaFollette TN (a few miles from the hotel). In my haste to pack, I forgot to bring the Scrapbook Stores in TN list from the website. I scoured the phone book without success...asked a few one knew. The computer at the hotel was down indefinately so I had no internet other than being able to email on my cell phone. I managed a rough email to the TennSB group and a few people responded with help but I was still unable to locate the store. Crazy...I know. At least now when we go back, I'll be prepared.

Monday night, we got the bikes out and spent a whie riding bikes in the boat parking area off the side of the hotel. It was a gravel area and Joal taught Julian how to step on the break and slide in the rocks.

Tuesday, we slept late (a small miracle) and then we to the state park across the highway from our hotel. We explored the lake edges, bridges, and piers...played on the playground, walked the trails and had an amazing time. Came back to the hotel later a little sun-burned and very happy. Nature is good for the soul.

In the early evening we ventured down to Knoxville again, this time to find a store I had heard about from a friend--If it's Paper (an xpedx store) is really cool. I bought a ream (250 sheets) of kraft cardstock. Love that stuff! (Closed caption to Heather: The Paper Moon was out of the kraft cardstock we talked about...but I have some now...I'll share.) If it's Paper is on Kingston Pike. It's not a scrap store--it is a paper establishment. They sell cardstock (large quantities), envelopes of every shape, size and color, boxes including small pizza-style boxes, and other paper goods.

Wednesday we went to the Knoxville Zoo. Oh wow! As Zoo's go, this one is phenominal...far better than the Nashville Zoo. We stayed for 3.5 hours and still didn't see it all! I am thinking we need to organize a field trip back. It was fantastic. I have a bajillion photos to upload now...but it's so worth it. It's very interactive and obviously well cared for. The boys particularly enjoyed the tram ride from the parking area to the gate. I loved watching the penguins and the black bears.

Joal finished the training of the new salesman on Wednesday afternoon and we came home Wed night. We had planned to stay one more night but made a change in the plan because of how next week is going to work for him. I had planned to visit Scrapbooks and More today (Thursday) and I hate i missed it. Next time. Definately.

It was a great vacation...reason number 654 that I enjoy this home schooing life...freedom to travel.

Happy Thursday.


Musical Roots

I've been rediscovering some of my musical roots lately and I ran across this tidbit on Carolyn Arends site:

Hmm. That could define scrapbooking too.

Beauty and Boldness

Stargazer Lilies...could there be anything more beautiful? I spent some time at Lowes today, browsing the garden section, for the express purpose of snapping pictures. Can I tell you how much I love this digital camera? Seriously, I love the freedom to snap away randomly with the commitment of film. It's awesome!!

Go HERE for the black & white version. It's cool too.

Kay Brooks, creator of the invaluable website (Tennessee Home Education) and long-time home school mother has a new job. Last night, by the margin of a single vote, she was appointed to the Metro School Board. (Yet another instance when a single vote made all the difference.) Mrs. Brooks was appointed to fill an abandonded seat on the board until the general election can be held in August.

The Tennessean--perhaps the south most heavily agendized newspaper--has picked up the story, running a piece about the appointment of a home schooling parent to the board on the front page today. The article hardly made any sense and I won't waste your time linking it here. It was drabble-ish and contained almost no backstory. It contained very little actual information about Kay Brooks. The author chose to use snipped up quotes from all sorts of other people, without providing the needed information to connect the thoughts. If I had to guess, I would say it was written for no other reason than to get the attention of the anti-homeschooling crowd. Sad. There is such a cool story here but The Tennessan reporter can't see past his own adgenda to actually write it.

One of the local homeschool group leaders was called by the reporter and asked if this was a conspiracy by the homeschool community to "infilltrate" the board. Come again? Luckily, the home school group leader had the presence of mind not to laugh said reporter off the line. I probably would have. This is not an "us vs them" deal.

The truth is Kay Brooks is (and has been for a long time) an advocate for quality education for all children, not just her own. She lives in a school district that has some very needy schools and she saw this as an opportunity to serve her community and the children in it. It's a temporary job--only 4 months unless she wins election to the seat.

Other school board members are parents and grandparents. Many have children in the metro schools but many have children and grand-children in private schools. How, I wonder, is that any different than Kay's choice to home school? The Brooks pay taxes, are reasonably well-educated on the subjects of education and most importantly, Kay cares about finding solutions to the problems Metro Schools is facing. She brings a unique perspective to the table. Perhaps the freshest perspective they've ever seen. She faces a challenge and it will be interesting to see what impact she can make in this short time, given the apparent hostility of so many unenlightened souls serving on the board with her.

I've said it before and I will say it again: One-size-fits-all may apply to clothing but it should NOT be applied to the education of children. There's more than one way to successfully educate a child. In fact, there are many ways--public school, private schools, home schools, charter schools, on-line schools...the goal of each is the same--a quality education for the next generation. If the education communities could stop bickering over pettiness, perhaps those with experience inthe different styles could learn something from each other. Novel concept. Educators learning. Ya think.

Congrats Kay. Your willingness to serve your community in this way is a light in the night, boldly going forth.

Happy Friday!!


Photos From our Hike

We took a family hike today at our favorite park. It was a beautiful sunny and cool day and it felt really good to be outside with my guys. One of the things I love about Nashville is the excellent parks!!



Do you know where I can find these, either on-line or in a store locally? Love these.

Kravet and something I treasure...

Take a look at this ad I found today in a magazine. It's for a furnishing/trimmings design company called Kravet. You can get a whiff of this high brow art at Be prepared to drool. Man. That's some pretty lavish stuff. Fabrics to die for.

I'm adding this place to my dream of a textile tour of America...

Look what else I found today. This is an invitation to our wedding. I haven't looked at it in quite a while...I was rearranging some boxes and found the box of wedding stuff that I keep...someday I'm going know...scrapbook our wedding. Maybe.

OK Probably not. But this is the invitation. Simple. Very formal. Black raised ink on an ivory card. It was exactly what I wanted. I remember laboring over the font choice and the wording. It was 1991--there weren't as many choices as there are now. Invitations had to be ordered then. Geesh. This sounds like it was forever ago. I guess it was, really.

Anyway, I just thought it would be fun to show you...

So, I'm making this a something you treasure...Debby, Tracie, everybody...


Bleary eyed Monday

It's a good thing you can't see me right now.
Bleary eyes that were up way too late last night (this morning) are not a delightful sight.

But my sister's graduation announcements are all tied up with ribbon and ready to go. For someone (like me) who has a huge problem doing anything repetitive, this is a great accomplishment in itself.

My sister is 18. I am 34. I was 16 when she was born. She was barely three when I went to college. We didn't grow up in the same house but we are very much alike and that brings me so much comfort and makes me incredibly afraid, all at the same time. I can hardly believe she is graduating from high school this weekend. She has been homeschooled her entire school career and is participating in a graduation ceremony with some other home school seniors in her church. She's preparing for college, which makes me so incredibly proud of her.

I got the job of printing and assembling her graduation announcements (see photo). The ribbon is silver organza and it just makes the whole project, if you ask me. Very simple eleganance. Like Deb. {Thanks Heather for the cards...they were perfect.}

In other news, I submitted 4 pages for the design team (I hate that term) at a new LSS. My time with the LaPluma DT is concluded (and has been since the first of the year) so I feel like I need something new to do. I really like the store and should I be selected to participate, it's only for 3 months. I would really like to do this. Cross your fingers for me.

I have to go to the Post Office today...say a prayer for me. I have about 8 packages to mail and will have the boys, which makes everything an adventure. I don't mind taking them most anywhere, with 2 exceptions--the PO and the scrap store. Seems those 2 places are just too much. It never works good. Am I dillusional to think today will maybe be different? One has to hope, right?! Right.

Happy Monday morning!

Brought to you by the Letter S

This post brought to you by the Letter *S*.

S, available in a rainbow of colors!

Glueing and sanding are finished. Now it's awaiting ribbon and other embellishments...have I mentioned that I am loving these big honkin' letters!?


I even used the big sanding block, which impressed my sons to no end. ("Mommy's sanding!") Just call me the multi-talented mommy.

Happy Monday.


Catching Up...part one

It was a difficult week for blogging.
Maybe you noticed.

I was moody and uncreative.
I found it hard to focus and spent most of the week completely annoyed.
I didn't figure you wanted to read what I really felt like writing (trust me on this) so I just skipped it.

So now I'm feeling more alive and have a few quality thoughts to write.

First of all, can someone tell me that *all* little boys are born with the desire to be naked. Tell me it's not just my boys. If it's not a universal genetic tick then I fear I am in deep trouble.


Because I discovered my youngest running naked (or nekkid, for you true southerners) in the backyard no less than 3 times this week. Yes, he's 3 and learning about the proper use of certain porcelain facilities and it seems that this stage of learning has brought out an intense desire to neglect all clothing and just... well, run free. I hope no one saw him riding the bike without a stitch. If they did, I have no doubt that they shook their heads and muttered "where is that boy's mother?"

She's pulling out her hair, I assure you.

In the reading news, two items.

First, I could not be more diametrically opposite Terri Gross on most every issue if I tried, but for some (perhaps sadistic) reason, I listen to her show pretty often. It's Fresh Air on NPR . Her interview on Monday with Michelle Goldburg about the new book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, made me feel so many things:

--Sadness, that so much of what this woman has written is just not true. It's mostly spin and perceptions.

--Mad that she presumes to make assumptions about *all* of Christianity based on her limited amount of exposure to a few Christians as an outsider.

--Irritated that she really believes that Christians are vieing for world domination.

--Confused that she thinks of herself as balanced and sophisticated based on her urban-cosmopolitanism...yet she clearly has deep disdain for people of faith. Her work as she discussed it, appears to come straight from a place of fear, not a place of understanding. She has not endeavored to understand anything about true Christianity. She's simply bashing it because she doesn't understand it personally or agree with it.

And sad again because so many people will hear this interview or read her book and be drawn to a deeper distrust or hatred of Christians. On Monday night I went to Amazon to read the reviews of the book and was surpised to see that there weren't any. Today, 5 days after the NPR interview, there are plenty of "reviews" and pre-reviews from people who heard the interview and can't wait to read the book. It saddens me that so many people preach (to use a religious term) acceptance, inclusion and freedom, yet are obviously accepting only those who are not Christians.

I choose to live my life with a Christian worldview, based in my faith. This faith is as much a part of me as my hands and feet. Does being a Christian believer negate my right and responsibility to participate in my government and my world? Does choosing Christianity mean I should be required to check my faith at the door of the world? I just don't think so.

I picked this book up at the library but I can only read it in spurts. It gets to me. Like most anyone (I think) I detest being painted with a broad brush.

More on this eyes are crossing.

And yet another book that has me intrigued was profiled on a locally-produced radio show today, The Fine Print with Rebecca Bain. The book is Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption by Therese Reid. It was profiled on today's installment of TFP which you can hear at WPLN.

I'm positive I am not going to agree with everything Mrs. Reid says about adoption (do we see a trend developing?) --not that what I think really matters in her story of two adoptions. The interview was very intriguing. I think this book will be one that makes me think on a deeper level about adoption, yet again. I've ordered this one.

(to be contined)

It was my Lucky Day

It finally arrived in the mail yesterday and I am so happy.

My Krafter's pink edition.

Bought second hand at a substantial savings.

I left my computer in the photo so you can judge just how big it is. For what it's worth, this is the smaller of 2 styles of KP, which you can see at Krafter's Purse. (Yes, that's how it's spelled.)

I'm not planning to use it as a mobile tote. I'm just leaving it sitting here on my desk to hold all my most-often-used tools.

It doesn't stand up very well when empty but when stuffed, it stands up very nice. As you can see, it's pretty stuffed now.

I like pink.

Happy Saturday.


Can I Have One More Weekend Please?

Where did my weekend go?? I hate it when that happens...when the weekend zooms right past and I don't get half the things done that I wanted to and now it's 22 into Monday and I just need one more Saturday before I can handle a Monday.

Who can I talk to to get this rolling? Just make it Saturday instead of Monday.
Just this once.

In other news, I've mentioned before that my little brother is now in Army boot camp at Fort Sill OK. I've been writing to him as often as possible. If by chance you would like to write him a note or a card, I'm sure he would be thrilled. He's can't receive anything other than letters and cards and I'm sure he treasures them all. If you want to make his day with me, email me scrappinsarah at msn dot com and I'll send you his address. It would mean a great deal to me too.

As promised, my favorite (so far) grilled hamburger recipe:

A1 Burgers

1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal
kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
minced fresh onion
several dashes of Worchestershire sauce
2 eggs
1/4 cup of A1 steak sauce

Stir together. Use your hands to combine these ingredients with 1 to 1.5 pound(s) of ground beef or turkey. Form into burger shapes and grill until juices run clear and center is no longer pink.


Happy Monday.


For Sale...etc

I have a few things on ebay here and a few things listed here at WillowTraders...I am *this close* to getting my area totally functional. It feels good.

Tomorrow is the big shopping day. I'm so excited...garage sales in the AM and 4 scrapbook stores in the day. I'm hoping to acquire some QK dies and a short list of other things. I'm a shopper...which means I enjoy the process of going and looking more than the actual spending of money. In fact, I probably won't spend that much...but it will be fun because I am going with two friends. Can't wait.

I almost never go to WalMart but I went a few days ago and found these faux jeweled buckles...oh man. Are these cute or what?! I don't usually go for the fake jewels look but it's growing on my girly side.

I have been drawn to Lil' Davis lately. They have an awesome gallery on their site and they are also hosting a monthly photo contest...very interesting.

We have gotten back into the habit of grilling finally...anyone have a smashing hamburger recipe I can try? I have a couple...(I'll post them ASAP) but I'mup for hamburger experiments anytime. Grilling is my favorite cooking method. Well, other than going out. LOL!

Happy Saturday.


This is the house that Math built!

(Insert witty line about being a home school student here.)

This is what we do with math flash cards!

Hold it up.

Read it.

Give the solution.

Add the card to the house.


You know what they say about one man's trash...

You know what "they" say about one man's trash, right?

That old saying ..."one man's trash is likely to end up in my Jeep..."

Today was apparently my lucky day. On the way to get a Sonic drink (water for me, Diet Sprite for the boys) we passed a house with a heap of trash in the driveway. In it were 3 large old (some would say "vintage") wood-frame windows. I'm pretty sure I gasped out loud when I saw them.

Windows in the trash.

I want a window!! I have been wanting a window for decor for eons. It's for moments just like this that I drive a Jeep. Stop on a dime and load up the back.

But could I really just take someone elses property? Hmm. I've always heard that trash is fair game.
Darn...looks like the owners are home. You know this rubs my shy bone the wrong way. Feels intrusive.

But I *need* that window--the one in the trash heap.

I call my friend Heather for confirmation. She confirms that yes, if it's on the curb in the trash heap, it's fair game. Bless her for permission. LOL!

There were three. I took one. Each pane is about 16" square. One pane is missing but can be easily replaced for a few dollars. I can't wait to get started on this project.

Oh, by the way, if you see my son in the near future and he tells you that mommy stole a window...don't take him seriously. I have spent the rest of the day trying to explain that it's OK to recover items from the trash on the curb and not be guilty of stealing but I don't think it's sinking in yet. Poor guy thinks he's an accomplice to his mother's criminal activity. :)

Happy trash-collecting Thursday!!


2Peas News

2Peas is all a-buzz about the news that the site is being sold to a Canadian conglomerate for $600K plus. There's all sorts of speculating and yapping about the recent past, the future, the way it was released and everything else in between...

2Peas is a pretty special place. Kaboose wouldn't have paid $600K for it if it wasn't. I hope they don't make too many changes, but that's their call. I think it's awesome the Pea1 and Geek created something so great and are now able to benefit in such a great measure for all their investment. I know how protective I feel for our community...and I am just a pea. I can't imagine parting with something after so many years of being in it at the deepest level.

One thing I will say...I think it was incredibly disrespectful for peas to break the news and post about it before Pea1 and Geek. Yes, it was in the news...I get that. BUT the curteous thing to do would have been to wait. Oh well. They (the peas who posted thebreaking news) didn't ask me. I was glad to see those threads deleted.

Things change. Hopefully not too much tho.

2Peas Challenge and a Prayer

From the 2Peas Daily Blog Challenge: If you had to pick one living person to spend the day with, who would you choose???

I knew in an instant when I read the challenge who I would pick. No thought required. I would love to spend the day with my mom. She lives several states away and I don't get to see her nearly often enough. We don't have to do anything special. Just hang out. I miss her terribly.

In other news...I have deep foreboading concerns about today with regards to the immigrant protests. I am concerned about possible violence and about the pain that this issue is causing for so many Americans and non-Americans. I am praying for peace and for the safety of all those involved--the protesters as well as those who will no-doubt be involved in attempting to control the protesters.

[Hopefully] Happy Monday!!