Saturday, April 15, 2017

Adorable Elsie

Heard any good corny jokes lately? My mom has a good one: 


My mom Elsie is as active as she is corny and cute. Eighty-eight years young, she recently stopped driving, and we seven local siblings have picked up the slack to drive her to her many weekly activities: her hangout with singing friends called the Stumblebums, a few mornings per week at the YMCA for swimming, church choir practice, standing Saturday morning breakfast date with friends, and church on Sundays to sing in the choir. She also cross stitches nearly every day, bakes cookies and other treats, and goes to weekend crafting sleepovers. She's always doing something fun, and she never lets anything get her down for long. For example, she recently had an eye surgery that required her to face downward for 24 hours. When I called her the next morning to see how her night had gone, she chirped, "Oh, it went great! I even wrote a song to share!" You can listen to that little ditty here, but the point is we could all learn a lot from Mom's attitude towards life. That's why we decided to set up a YouTube channel just for her. On it, we shared all kinds of clips of Mom's jokes, song, and stories. If you're ever feeling down, head over to Elsie Mae C's YouTube channel--It's sure to pick you up. Mom's up to 37 subscribers as of this blog post, and she is shocked and tickled to death! Care to join her?

For more blog posts about Mom, click here.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Heard in the Classroom: Effort

A 6th grade student with wisdom (but also a learning disability) was inspired yesterday to create this inspirational message that I just had to share.


Trying your best is the key, but not trying at all will not get you anywhere in life.

I have a feeling she's going places, that one.

Hope this finds you well, happy, and warm. Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Labor of Love: Painted Cooler Wedding Gift

Have you ever heard of cooler painting?  I hadn't until a year or two ago, when Kendall painted a cooler for a dear friend for her birthday. It's apparently been all the rage on college campuses, especially within sororities, more so in the south. There are Facebook groups filled with girls sharing their ideas and how-tos. You can spend hours checking out painted coolers on Pinterest here, too. 

This is the cooler Kendall painted for her friend.






The last scene was inspired by a photo of Kendall and her friend in Hawaii.


As you can imagine, she spent many, many hours on that cooler, 
and it was very much appreciated by her friend.

She also painted a small "bubba keg" for another dear friend...


Clearly, if Kendall really loves you, she's willing to go all out, which is why it didn't surprise me when she told me last spring that she wanted to paint a cooler for Kyle's and Alayna's wedding gift. She didn't even entertain the idea of buying them something; she wanted to do something from her heart. 

When you paint a cooler, you buy the cooler, remove the hardware, and sand the surface of the entire cooler, including signs of the brand markings. Any parts that aren't being painted need to be taped over. The prepping alone takes a number of hours (not to mention tools, lol).  She started the project in May and spent every spare minute on it in the months before the wedding. Had she had consistent time off (without commitments), she estimates that it would have taken "a couple of weeks."

The cooler that Kendall bought is medium sized, the type on wheels, like luggage almost. It's perfect for a trip to the beach. (Since Kyle and Alayna now live in San Diego, it made sense!)

Before she could begin painting, Kendall had to come up with the images and words she planned to paint. She conducted a lot of research on line after reflecting on the interests Kyle and Alayna share. Here's the finished product. Because the cooler was sealed with epoxy resin (the same coating that goes on bar tops (to make them durable), the photos show a glare at times. I took a number of snaps with my camera, but that SD card disappeared, so I'm sharing iPhone photos:





(the maps are of places Kyle and Alayna have visited together)


Binge-watching Netflix is another mutual interest of Kyle and Alayna.
(with a twist on the login screen--It is a beer cooler, after all.)


The next photo doesn't do the top justice, 
but it has a woodgrain-looking appearance that looks amazing.
What you don't see is a bottle opener attached inside the lid, too.


Just for fun, soda caps were glued into the bottom.


I conservatively estimate that Kendall spent forty hours creating this one-of-a-kind gift.


 Kyle and Alayna love it.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fly Hunter Harassment

Two little knuckleheads wishing they had a fly to entertain them. (They're my sister's Havatons.)


Don't they have expressive faces?
I hope they made you smile :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oil Pulling and Pushing

So I made this entertaining oil pulling video for you guys, complete with miming, humming, talking with my eyes and hand signals, etc. Here's what happened.


Skinny and Company makes a great product for oil pulling, which apparently has many benefits for your oral health. Have you ever tried it? Do you think it's hokey, are you curious, might you try it? To get 15% off an order from Skinny and Company, you can use the code SKINNYCO15.