Monday, January 21, 2013

Project Pictures

I am so in love with Pinterest! I know this is not a shocking revelation but I felt it had to be said. And I actually like to do the things I find there.  I'd been wanting to make pictures for our living room for a while but I didn't have any awesome pictures. Well, Minna and Angela of Love and Grace Photographs took care of that for me.  Thanks girlies!

And I had pinned this awesome tutorial a while back.  I was ready to go.

Step One: order pictures.  This took a while.  I comparison shopped at Walmart, Costco, CVS, Walgreens and Sam's Club.  Sam's Club was the least expensive.  I was able to get 2 20x24 poster prints, 4 8x10s and 2 5x7s for about $25.  I did have to get a photo release from Minna, though.  It wasn't a big deal but something to know when you get your photos printed at Sam's (or Walmart, I'd assume since they are the same company).

Step Two: get wood.  This required a trip to Lowe's.  I made Ryan go with me so he could talk to the Lowe's guys for me.  I'm weird that way.  We found 2x2 pieces of particle board for about $4 each.  In the Pinterest post, she says she had to pay Lowe's to cut the wood.  Our Lowe's cut them for free - woowhoo!! We had 2 pieces trimmed to 20x24 and 1 piece cut into 6 8x10s.  I also picked up some sponge brushes.

Step Three: get ModPodge.  I tried to get this at Lowe's because I'd never purchased it before. You should have seen the look on the dude's face when Ryan (see step 2, making Ryan talk to Lowe's guys for me) asked for it.  We should have asked if we could land our alien aircraft.  We would have gotten the same look.  Anyway, I got it at Walmart for $8.

Step Four: paint wood.  Since the wood is particle board, it didn't need to be sanded so I just went straight to paint.  I used our left over paint that matched the living room.  I painted the edges and one side of each piece.

Step Five: apply photos.  This is where I expected everything to fall apart.  I don't know why but I didn't really trust that the ModPodge wasn't going to ruin the pictures.  First you coat the wood with the MP. Then you lay down the photo and 'paint' over it with MP using sponge paint brushes.  But it all worked out beautifully!

Step Six: hang and admire.  Ryan hung them for me the night we took down all the Christmas decorations since he already had the ladder in the house.  He put two picture hangers on the big pictures and one of each of the small ones.  We even used a Pinterest trick to hang them.  We put a dap of toothpaste on each of the hangers then pushed them against the wall.  Then Ryan put the nails where the toothpaste was on the wall.

I'm really please with how they turned out.  And the whole project came in at about $50 so I wouldn't feel bad taking them down the next time we get our pictures done.  If I had spent a bundle on actual canvases, I'd feel like I had to have them up forever. 

Please to excuse the pictures of the pictures. It turns out it's harder than you think to take a picture of pictures hanging at the top of a wall....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Bartis Bes

I made this last Christmas, I think.  I'd seen those cute signs with Family Rules. You know the ones I'm talking about.  "We do laughs.  We do love.  We do whatever else." Get the picture?

I wanted something more specific to us.  And I didn't want to pay a lot.  So, I used a Michael's coupon and made my own.  Of course, it doesn't look like it did in my head.  Nothing ever does.  But it's grown on me.

I get the most questions about "Be GOD's" and "Be for GOD".  It's important to us that we belong to GOD through our salvation.  But being for GOD is a different thing all together.

Being for GOD means living out his ways and purpose for our lives.  This is not easy.  Salvation is easy.  It's a gift of grace from a loving Father.  Being for GOD is a day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute decision.

The other Bes are things I felt are important to a well rounded person.  I mean, for real, life would be pretty boring without silliness.

The verse at the bottom is Jeremiah 29:11-12.  It's our family verse.  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plan to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."

It means that Ryan and I take control of our boys spiritual lives.  Last January, we started attending a new church.  The boys love going to C-Life.  Their friends are there. We used to meet in a movie theater and Brennan really loved that.  Two weeks ago, we moved into a new building. We are so excited to see the role C-Life plays in our boys' lives.

But it's not just church.  It's in our home.  It's the way we talk to the boys when they are in trouble. It's the way we show GOD's grace when they make mistakes.  It's teaching them to offer grace and love both to others and themselves.

Most nights we are able to eat dinner together.  Brennan's job is to say the blessing.  Then we have a family devotional.  It's called Sticky Situations 2.  The situations aren't all that sticky.  The boys always know the 'right' answer.  But it does open up the discussion of "Yes, that's the right choice but what are we likely to do?"

This year we are adding another step.  We are memorizing a Bible verse each month.  I found a calendar on Pinterest.  I enlarged January, printed and hung it on the fridge.  We say the verse together at dinner.  We're working up to memorizing our family verse.  We write prayer requests on the lines.  My favorite so far is "that Brennan will be less loud".

We also talk a lot about showing GOD's love.  Both to those we love and those we don't.  Sam's new cell phone has provided MANY great opportunities to discuss this.  Our cell phone rules reflect it.  We created the rules after the boys had had their devices (Zac's is Ryan's old phone with no service and a texting app).  It's hanging above their charging station.  It's a picture saved on their phone.  To me it was important for the rules to be on their photo roll so they had an out on peer pressure.  "Look dude, it's my mom's rules."