January 23, 2012

blog tips

I have a few blog tips for all you bloggers out there. (If you aren't a blogger, sorry. This won't mean anything to you. You can go do something else now. Like clip your toenails maybe.) Only these aren't my tips. I stole them from Pioneer Woman. I like her. She likes me too, even though she's never heard of me. I just know these kinds of things.

Disclaimer: These are just tips. They aren't blog law or anything. Feel free to disregard anything you don't like. Feel free to blog your own way. These tips just helped me with my own writing. That's all.

I discovered Pioneer Woman for the first time in the winter of 2010.
I had heard of her before, but was completely uninterested in her website and never looked her up.
But then I got bored one day, came across her website somehow, read a couple things, thought she was funny, and then went back into her archives.
I lived her archives for about two weeks before I finally came up for air. It was like reading the best book I've ever read, but online.
I had never laughed so hard in my life. I've wanted to be Pioneer Woman's neighbor ever since. I love her.
If you don't love her too, please don't tell me. Because then I probably won't like you.

She wrote this post that really helped me... Ten Important Things I've Learned About Blogging.

God bless her. It made me reevaluate my blog and everything I write in it.
These four points helped me the most:

1. Be yourself.
Write in your own voice.
Write as if you’re talking to your sister.
Unless you don’t get along with your sister.
Or don’t have a sister.

7. Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself.
On this website, over the course of the past five years, I have burped, performed Britney Spears songs in Ethel Merman’s voice, misspelled words, posted typos, and talked about ways I humiliated myself as both a youngster and an adult.
At times I’ve wondered if maybe the burps were too much.
But they’re a part of me.
At least they were…until they came out of my esophagus.
But you know what I mean.

9. If you have writer’s block, push through and blog anyway.
I posted the first chapter of Black Heels on a morning when I woke up with the most raging case of writer’s block, I couldn’t even type my name.
I was sure you’d hate it, but I posted it anyway.
I went on to write forty-plus more chapters.
What if I’d given in to my writer’s block and decided not to blog that day?
I would never have written my Green Acres-meets-War and Peace romance novel.
And my bottom would likely be a little less jiggly.
Please see #4 above.

10. Value every person who takes time out of their day to stop by your blog.
Tell ‘em you love ‘em. Regularly.

When I first started this blog, I never thought anyone would read it. It wasn't that I was all shy or humble (Ha. I wish.) or modest about my writing. It just never crossed my mind that anyone would find it. And then read it.
I started it for myself. Because I like to write and writing helps me to iron life out. Whether I'm ironing the good things or the bad things, I need things to be all lined up in a neat row and the wrinkles smoothed out.
Writing helps me find the wrinkles, so to speak. Then I can start ironing.
And I like to write down the stuff I want to remember later on. Stuff God's shown me, stuff the kids do, stuff I like. Just stuff.
Anyway, after I read that post from PW, I went back and took a look at my own blog.
And I didn't like it much. I failed on almost all ten of her points.
I wasn't discouraged though. I figured, Okay, shape things up a bit. Follow advice from the awesomest blogger ever.

Point #1. I seldom wrote in my own voice. I wrote in some weird, stiff writer's voice.
And when I first tried writing something in my own voice, writing it the same way I would say it out loud to Karen, I couldn't believe how much easier the writing flowed out.
It was like freedom.

Point #7. I seldom get embarrassed. Obviously. But I didn't realize I could write about every dumb, retarded thing I do and nobody would care. And I was completely shocked when people started saying things like, You're so funny... Great sense of humor... I laughed until I cried when I read that.
I was like, Really? But... I wasn't trying to be funny.
Not anymore though. Now that I've heard you guys say that so often, I've started to believe it and I crack myself up all the time.

Point #9. I get writer's block sometimes. I didn't think bloggers could get that. I thought only real writers got blocked. But there have been a few times when there wasn't a speck of anything worth writing in my head. But I sat down anyway and wrote stuff. Then I deleted it. Then the creativity started back up and the block was gone. Then I wrote something for real and published it. And you guys liked it. And I loved you for liking it.

Point #10. Since I never thought anyone was reading my blog, I never thought about my readers.
It's different now. You guys leave comments on here or on facebook, you send emails, you follow, you subscribe, you share my posts, you pat me on the back and remind me of the things I wrote months ago that I've forgotten myself.
You have no. idea. how much that amazes me. I love you for it. I try to be considerate of you when I write something new. This blog isn't all about me anymore, it's about you guys too.
You readers make my day.

And finally, here's a tip that's actually from me:
Try not to use your blog as a place to be vague, or to vent, or get your point across to someone in particular, or to complain, or air out your dirty laundry.
I literally had to ask God to help me with that one. (I'm very spiritual and ask God to help me in every little aspect of my life. Dream big minions... maybe someday you'll be like me.)
No, really. I asked Him to help me not to write when I'm feeling:

Angry
Mad
Furious
Ready to shoot someone with my imaginary shotgun
Depressed
Sorry for myself
In desperate need to really tell someone off
In desperate need to prove I'm right and everybody else is wrong
In desperate need of chocolate
Bored
Philosophical (That one actually hasn't happened yet, but you never know. Lots of people get philosophical. It could happen to me too, you know.)

Writing when I'm feeling like that will either produce the vague post where I'm writing all kinds of subliminal messages to whomever I'm mad at and no one knows what the heck I'm talking about, or it'll produce the rambling oh-poor-me post in which I declare every problem I've ever had.
Both of which I try to steer away from.

So here's what I had to start doing.
I got a notebook. I wrote my problems in it.
I have this blog. I write the good things here. Not that I don't ever write about a problem on here, but I try to write about that problem after it's been beaten. Because that's good stuff.
I get to iron out the good and the bad that way... without airing all my dirty laundry.
And you know what? I can't remember the last time I wrote in that notebook! I guess trying to focus on the good made the bad seem unimportant. At least, that's the way it worked for me.
I like to write the victories here, the problems conquered. The happy things that make my world go 'round. The blessings. The way God works and gives to me.
It's more important than making this blog my soapbox.

So there you go, blog tips from PW and yours truly.
I hope they help you become the next Pioneer Woman.

I'll come be your neighbor when that happens.

January 22, 2012

craft diy: what you do when it snows

It's been snowing pretty much all week.
After hardly any snow this winter, I guess God is making up for it.
One of my friends posted on facebook that her little boy was so excited about all this snow, he had been praying for it.

I don't appreciate his prayer life. At all.

What you do when it snows: you stay inside if you have half a brain.
I like to think I have one of those (But a whole one. Not just a half.) so since it started snowing, I've mostly been indoors where it's warm. Also there's this cool thing inside called an electrical outlet. I can plug my hot glue gun into it. There isn't one outside.
There's so many reasons for me to stay inside, you see.

I made a few of Lily's Pinkalicious party hats and they're so stinkin' cute!
If I do say so myself. (Inspiration photos, right here.)
They were seriously one of the easiest things I've ever done.
Very quick to make, and no hassle.



And me and the girls made our melted crayon heart Valentines. (Tutorial, right here.)
They were hard work. Only because I made a few mistakes though.
I'm going to make more, but I learned a few things not to do so it should be easier next time.



1. You must, absolutely must, use Crayola crayons. Cheapy crayons don't stay separated. They melt and all the colors run together and create a whole new color unseen by mankind before. It was okay, but I prefer the chunky, separated color look. Also, when they melted, it was like all the dark color rose to the top of the heart and then a weird whitish color was on the bottom.

2.  Don't leave the crayons in the oven for too long. For one, it stinks like no other. For another, I think leaving them in for too long might have also had something to do with all the crayon colors melting into each other and creating a whole new color unseen by mankind before. They were pretty much boiling by the time I took them out.
I didn't time how long I left them in. I didn't think it mattered.
Now I'm pretty sure it mattered.

3.  Hot glue doesn't stick to crayon hearts. I tried hot gluing the crayons to the paper hearts and the glue rolled itself into a little ball and flopped off the crayon like it had a mind of it's own. I think I was supposed to use tacky glue. In the end, I hot glued all the twine and ribbon to the paper hearts instead of the actual crayons.

4. I will never again use real twine. Hoy moly. Trying to tie that stuff (and getting it to stay tied) was a nightmare. Looked cute though.

Other than all that, it was a breeze.

And then I found a DIY tutorial for leg warmers made out of an old sweater, right here.
I've never worn leg warmers. And anytime I hear the words leg warmers, I think of one time when I was at my sis-in-law's and she was folding my brother's socks and picked up one sock with a giant hole in the toes and she stuck her arm thru the sock with her hand sticking out of the hole and hollered out, This ain't no sock! This is a leg warmer!
I thought she was the funniest person ever for saying that.
Anyway, I made the leg warmers. I happened to have a sweater that I never wear. It's pink and v-neck, and I dislike pink and v-neck so it was perfect for cutting up. I'm so glad now that I've always put it back into my drawer instead of throwing it out.


I love them!
Except this is what it looks like outside right now...


... and let me tell you, cute leg warmers and ballet flats aren't exactly practical. Or warm.
So I turned them upside down.


And voila! Boot socks. Warmth. Cozy and toasty.
So much better than freezing my feet off.
I like cute, but I like warm alot better.

It isn't warm here. It snowed all week. So me and Moma went snowshoeing a couple times.
(I know what I said before about staying indoors when it snows. If you have half a brain. That's beside the point right now.)
Except we don't have snowshoes so it was more like snowbooting.
We took my friend's little baby with us because Moma was babysitting.




Little babycake loved it.
She had the brightest eyes ever when we got back inside.
Isn't she cute? Her eyes smile. Her wittle chubby, wubby cheeks smile alot too.


And okay... I'll admit, I don't hate the snow.
I love the snow. It's beautiful.
But I do hate the cold and I'm not budging on that one. I'm cold just from looking at those pictures.

Excuse me while I go put on my new leg warmers.

Love,
The One Who Shivers

January 20, 2012

the kids

I love kids.
I don't love large groups of them for long periods of times. I admit it.
But I still love kids.
And I love our kids best. Because they're ours. Also, because they're really funny and smart.

My six year old, Lone Ranger nephew, Joshua, after being told his new bike was from Santa:  Mommy, this bike isn't made by Santa. It's made in China!
Said so right there on the bike, Mommy.


My seven year old, Texan niece, Mikenzie: One of the states we've visited is Avocado. You know, where my cousins live...
We're enjoying alot of snow right now out here were I live... in northern Avocado.


My two year old, rapscallion niece, Molly, took her Tinkerbell hair clippies to Karen and Karen asked if she wanted them in her hair and Molly sang, Yeah! Tinkerbell, Tinkerbell... all da way! HAY!
That's the best Christmas song ever, right?


My big sister, Shelly, sent me this text: friend stopped by n was lookn @ ornaments kids made n talkin bout how sweet they were. When she left i walked up to tree to look at those sweet ornaments n found mini sticky that says "i dont like you".
Sibling love... there's nothing like it in the world.


It's amazing how much a little kid can do.

They can help you blow out your birthday candles.


They can stare hungrily at your birthday cake too.


They can help you vacuum.


They can defend you from boogie monsters.


They can be crafty and want to make cool things like a flower/letter banner over their bed that says, Emma loves pancakes.


They can give you fashion tips.



They can do some of the baking.



They can figure out your cell phone.


And your camera.


They can be nerds.



They can be sweet.


 

And they can give the bunny some major love squeezing.


They grow up fast.







I love the kids.
All eleven nieces and the one Lone Ranger nephew.
They make my heart go 'round.

January 17, 2012

last year

Can you believe we're already over two weeks into 2012?!!
Time doesn't just fly by, it zips.

I'll be 30 next year.
Next year on my birthday, we'll sit around and reminisce about how thirty years ago Moma went into labor with me, how it was a full moon out, how on the way to the hospital they had to stop at a red light and a car full of teenage boys pulled up beside them and one of the boys mooned Moma but she didn't even care because she was about to pop me out. How she got to the hospital and the doctor asked how long she had been having contractions and when she said for 20 minutes the doctor shrugged and said, We've still got awhile to wait then. You're just getting started. How Moma said, I'm having this baby now. How they said, Whatever. No you're not. How Moma plunked down on the bed and said, You wanna bet? and started pushing. How the nurses and doctor started yelling at her that she couldn't have the baby right there. How Moma didn't listen to them.
And finally, I made my entrance after 45 minutes of labor. I was in a hurry. I've been impatient ever since.
We'll reminisce about all that and say, Can you believe that was thirty years ago???

This is what I looked like back then...

You have my permission to be scared, or startled, or whatever tremulous emotion that picture evoked in you.
I feel the same way when I look at it.
I was a freaky looking baby.
Moma says I had a great personality though. I think she meant that to be comforting.

But I've really improved alot over the years...


... and I still have a great personality.

I have no idea where that story came from because it doesn't have anything to do with what I'm writing.
But at least now you know the fantastic story of my birth and your life is therefore more meaningful.

Time zipping by. 2011, 2012. Old year, new year.
That's where I was going with this.
At the new year, most of us look back on the old year and decide, It was a good year.
Or maybe, It was a bad year.
This year I looked back and, It was a good year.
I was going to recap the whole year for you, kinda put 2011 in a nutshell.
You know, something like how I discovered Craftgawker last year, fell in love with hot glue, became a honest to goodness coffee drinker, tried waxing my own eyebrows, and then went for three weeks without half my left eyebrow.

But I'm going to get down to the bones of last year instead. The most important part.

In 2011, I started to peel back God's onion layers.

Layer one:  The absolute perfect beauty of seeing God come to my defense. Like 2 Samuel 22 had just come to life.
When people, or circumstances, or sickness, or work became too much throughout the year, I could turn to Him and ask, Please? Will You take care?
And the earth shook as the heavens thundered and He came rushing for me.
And at first I stood there with my mouth hanging open, like an idiot, amazed by God's mighty arm. But then I had to drop to the ground and stick my hands over my head because His wonder was too much for me.
And after awhile, He came over, dusted me off, and asked, Little one? Are you okay now?
And I was like, Dude... but I couldn't say much more than that because I was crying too hard over Someone like Him defending someone like squrimy, wormy, undeserving me.

Layer two:  Trust is a thick layer to get thru. Sometimes I think maybe I'm not all the way thru that layer, I still have a ways to go. But I did learn some trust in God.
Learned to keep my mouth shut, that He'd defend and do the talking.
Learned that it doesn't do any good to fret over my family, He has them in the palm of His hand just like He has me.
Learned not to bite my fingernails over a job/money. Speaking of which, cool story about that.
I don't know about you, but I'm a worrier when it comes to work and paying bills and stuff like that. I worried when I was unemployed. And then I worried when I was employed again. I worried all in between too. It's what I do.
But one day I went to work and met another landscaper who happened to be working at the same location I was. He asked me if I was looking for more work about ten minutes after we met. I said sure. He introduced me to one of his clients who needed someone like me. That client just recently asked me be his full-time gardener starting this March. I'll get to charge my own rate, which isn't cheap. And work my own hours.
Let me say that again (because I like the sound of it): My own non-cheap rate, my hours, full time.
God was like, I don't know why you always worry so much. I had this planned.
If I hadn't been unemployed, I wouldn't have started working with the landscaping crew who needed me last year, and therefore wouldn't have met that other random landscaper who introduced me to his completely awesome client, and I wouldn't be telling you about how God landed me the coolest job ever... that pays well.
It was the stuff like that that helped me realize, He's got it.

Layer three:  I found out that God's sweet. I never once in my life thought of Him as sweet. More like stern, unsmiling, fierce, and sacrificial.
But now I know how smiley He is.
That He likes to hold hands.
That He thinks it's the coolest thing to give me presents and always waits for my delight.
He's sweet, sweet, sweet to me.

Layer four: Not just the sweet love of God, but to love Him back.
I wrote about that right here.
It changed everything for me and Him. It took me to His presence. Which is what it's all about.
I found out that to love God is to know, to experience, the sweetest thing in the history of everything.
And Him loving me first is even sweeter.
I set my heart to love Him, and in so doing, my feet stood on solid ground.
And He smiled smile wrinkles at me.

That's only four layers. There were more, but those were my favorites. The most miraculous.
This isn't one of those, Hey, check it out! I'm wearing two shoes and they're both called Goody! kinda posts.
It's just the way it was and I hope I never take it for granted.
I hope I never forget what God did for me last year.

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.

January 11, 2012

hodge podge

1.  Hodge podge rhymes with mod podge.
Something to do with them both having podge at the end.
Hodge podge means random... this and that.
I use alot of mod podge.

Hodge podge, mod podge, we all drive a Dodge.

Anyway.

2.  I know Christmas is over, but I still have a few pictures I forgot to post.
Also, all my Christmas decorations are still up because I hate to take them down.
A) It's alot of work and B) I like all my decorations. I pack them away with such sorrow.

We had an ugly Christmas sweater party...


I bought my Christmas sweater (which is actually a sweatshirt) at the thrift store around the corner from my house for 2 bucks.
I bought some tacky teddy-bear-wearing-a-elf-suit earrings (which, unfortunately, you can't see in this photo) at the same thrift store for 25 cents.
And I bought tacky knee socks (which I rolled down so they'd be tackier) at Walmart for $2.47.

The lady checking me out at the thrift store wanted my sweater. No really, I'm not joking. She sighed and lovingly caressed the puffy paint roses and said, You're getting such a good deal for this sweatshirt!
I thought she was kidding until I noticed the sweatshirt she was wearing.
It had puffy paint kittens on it. Kittens wearing Santa hats. And building snowmen.

I told her I wished I could've found a sweatshirt like her's.


Yes, that's a stuffed reindeer sewed onto Chris' sweater. Also a stuffed penguin. Also a real stocking stuffed with real candy canes. Also many other Christmasy things.

And yep, that's Dave's wife's baby blue penguin cardigan that Dave found in her closet.
And then wore it. In front of God and everyone.
Also, Dave bravely wore his wife's baby blue penguin cardigan to church the next Sunday morning.
And then took up the offering. In front of God and everyone.

(Update: Karen just informed me that Dave bought his sweater at a thrift store just like everyone else. Dave just happened to tell me it was his wife's and he found it in her closet. And I happen to believe everything I'm told. Hopefully, I'll outgrow that when I grow up someday.)


Tim won the Ugly Sweater Trophy. It lights up when you plug it in. Very classy.
Even though you can't tell it, he was actually really happy about winning.
He even took his trophy to church and put it on the fireplace mantle for everyone to see.

3.  Speaking of the fireplace at church...


The fireplace is a new thing. Electric. Just installed last month. We all love it.
Also, it generates about enough heat to keep my pinky finger warm.
But that didn't stop a few of our guys from trying to roast marshmallows the day we lit that fireplace up for the first time, laughing like hyenas.

Yeees... they're fully grown men. Why do you ask?

4.  Look at these sweet, darling babycakes...


Little sister Lily, and youngest sister Molly.

Lily happens to like clippies.
Lucy happens to like fixing Lily's hair.
Sometimes they lock themselves together in the bathroom for awhile with all the hair stuff.

Therefore...


Let no clippy be left behind.

5.  Craftgawker has changed  my life. It's pathetic, but true.
I am no longer satisfied with the old Sunny Jane. I must be the new, crafty Sunny Jane who checks out Craftgawker daily and runs to Michaels every time she get the chance.
The new Sunny Jane keeps 50% off Michaels coupons in her purse for emergencies.
The new Sunny Jane dies from 40 thousand heart attacks every time she sees something cute that she wants to make.
The new Sunny Jane can't sleep until she makes aforementioned cute things.
The new Sunny Jane uses Mod Podge like her life depends on it.
The new Sunny Jane stays up until 1am making cute stuff while watching Castle and I Love Lucy reruns.

The new Sunny Jane is obsessed.

6.  The new Sunny Jane is always trying to figure out why her coupons are expired and why doesn't she clean out her purse more often?
The new Sunny Jane just found out that it is possible to get high from sniffing too much Mod Podge and Krylon Clear Coat Sealer.
The new Sunny Jane has itchy eyes from spraying herself in the face with Krylon Looking Glass spray paint.
The new Sunny Jane realized it isn't a good idea to scratch her head with the scissors while watching Castle, enthralled, because she now has less hair.

The new Sunny Jane wonders if maybe the old Sunny Jane had the right idea by staying away from crafting.

7.  The new Sunny Jane agrees with the old Sunny Jane that if she were Beckett, she'd marry Castle in about 3 seconds flat.

8.  I found these on Craftgawker today and I'm going to make them both in the near future...

Party hats made out of toilet paper rolls.

Stolen from Sauvages.

Lily's 4th birthday is coming up.
We're going to do a Pinkalicious party. Lily's a pink kind of girl.
And I'm going to make these little party hats. Only pink of course.

And for Valentines Day with the girls...

Stolen from Whipperberry.

Melted crayon hearts. Stuck to a paper heart.
And they say, You color my world.
How darn cute is that?

9.  I'm going to attempt a booth at the Farmer's Market this summer. Attempt.
It's still in the talking-about-it phase, and I haven't contacted whoever is in charge of the Farmer's Market about it yet, but it's my plan.
I'm kinda trepidatious about it.
What if I sit there all day, every Saturday, all summer, and... nothing sells? People will wave and pass by.
And finally, at the end of summer, I'll have a big sign up that says, Free. Take whatever you like. Take whatever you don't like while you're at it.

Maybe I won't do it after all.
Maybe I'll stay home where its warm and safe.

10. So just in case all my stuff flops at the Farmer's Market, I'm recruiting some of my talented and crafty friends to make stuff for the booth too.
Also, this way I'll have more stock without having to make everything myself.
I have business savvy like that.

11.  We've hardly had any snow this year. I think it may have snowed in November, but that's been pretty much it. All the other snow days have melted off before they hardly got going.
I've heard a few people complaining about it, and I'd like to say... it's my fault there hasn't been any snow.
I'm not sorry about it either.
I've prayed almost every night this winter, Please Lord, let it NOT snow. Let it be summer tomorrow. I'm super cold. Have mercy on your shivering child. My teeth can only chatter so much without cracking.
And although it hasn't exactly been summer the last couple months, we haven't had any snow.
God heard my cries and answered my prayers.

Moma got me some of those little handwarmer packets for Christmas. They were my favorite gift.

12.  I made this Key Lime Cake last year sometime and loved it.
(Even though I don't care for cake.)


It was simply delicious. So I made it again the other night when I had some girlfriends over.
I loved the cake all over again. This is what a cake should be like.
A few people asked so the link for the recipe is right here.

I'd like to say I coolly whipped this cake up and it was so easy and I looked sexy the whole time.
I'd like to say that, but I can't.
I wasn't cool at all, I was sweating. It was hard to make. It took me three hours. I never look sexy.
And I stayed up baking it until 1am the night before my friends came over because I was afraid if I waited until the day of, everything would go wrong. I'd burn it or forget to add the lemon cake mix, and then I'd be crying and wiping mascara off my face when everyone showed up, and I'd say, Give me a few minutes, guys. I have to run across the street to the grocery store and buy Oroes for dessert.

But it turned out perfectly and I'm here to say, I'm proud of me and when people said it was so good, I tried not to say, I know.
I may have slipped a few times though.

14.  I joined Pinterest.
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard in which you can save ("pin") images from whatever website you're looking at and Pinterest will save the image and website for you. Then later on when you're like, I want to make party hats out of toilet paper rolls... now where did I see that idea? And then you look thru your web history and your favorites and everything you have bookmarked and 3 hours later you're still looking with no luck and then all the sudden you're like, Wait a sec... I pinned that! And you go to Pinterest and voila, there's the picture and website for the party hats.
I pin everything now. All the cool stuff I see on Craftgawker is now saved in one spot. I love it.

13.  Fare thee well...
(Whatever you do, don't look at Craftgawker. You'll never be the same.)

January 01, 2012

craft diy: kids stuff

These aren't actually crafts, but I found the ideas on Craftgawker so... let's not get all technical about it.

Cute toast:

Stolen from Cute Food For Kids.

Toast + jam + piped cream cheese = cute toast.
I'd  love to take the credit for that cute toast picture.
However, I had to steal it because my cute toast... wasn't cute. All I had were four or five giant, monster icing tips and you wouldn't believe the amount of cream cheese those tips plopped out onto the girls toast.
Good thing the girls like cream cheese. Because they got lots the day I made them cute toast.

Chocolate spoons:


Did someone say chocolate? In a spoon? Can this get any better?
It cannot.
I made these for the girls stockings. And then I ate whatever chocolate didn't fit in the spoons.
And here's what chocolate spoons look like when you're a really talented chocolate spoon maker...


Pretty, huh?
I like my own chocolate spoons pretty well, but I love how pretty those ones are.
Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Melted chocolate + poured in a spoon + decorated with candy = very edible.

Toilet paper roll owls:


Aren't they so cute?
They were so easy to do too. Very stress free.
Also the toilet paper rolls were free.
Moma happened to have a bunch of them in the top of her closet.
I'm still wondering what she was saving them for.


To make these, you'll need a toilet paper roll and markers.
Fold down one end of the roll for the ears. (Do owls have ears? They do in my book since I don't know what those pointy thingys are.)
Draw your owl. (Click here and here if you want to see the photos that inspired our owls.)
Give it to your kid.
Tell her to fill the owl in with whatever marker colors she likes.
The end.


The owl in the background of those last two pictures is my owl. I did it myself.
The look on my owl's face is amazingly like the look on my face when I went to Walmart the other day and asked some grungy looking guy back in the tire/lube if he could change my windshield wipers out because they've never worked right.
And he said, What kind do you want? Do you want blah blah blah wipers, or greek hebrew and latin wipers?
And I looked at him like my owl looks. Blank, confused, and slightly cross-eyed.
And he looked at me and then at the half chewed candy cane in my hand and then back at me and said, Nevermind. I'll just do the blah blah blah wipers.
And I said, Yeah I like those kind. They're my favorite kind of wipers. Also, Dove is my favorite chocolate that Walmart carries. Because I didn't want him to know I didn't know what the heck he just said.

And then the next day, Moma tried talking code to me.
She doesn't know how to talk in the secret language me and Karen use in front of the girls. Me and Karen really do have a secret language. We like to use it in front of the girls when we want to discuss things like where our chocolate is stashed and other grave matters of state, and it drives the girls crazy and they're like, What are ya'll saying? Huh? What? Tell us! And me and Karen are like, Ya'll can't know... *secret language, secret language, secret language*. It's alot of fun.
Anyway, Moma doesn't know the secret language and she also knows I can't spell out loud, so the other day Lily came over and Moma tried her own secret code on me.

Moma, looking at Lily wrapped up in a blankie, sitting beside me:  Maybe you can give her some H?

Me:  ... H? H2O? What?

Moma:  You know! With M's!

Me:  But... we don't have any M&M's...

Moma:  Swiss!

Me:  Cheese???

Moma:  It makes you warm and fuzzy!!!

Me, the lightbulb finally flickering:  Oh! Hot chocolate???

I wore my owl face throughout the duration of this conversation. Blank, confused, and slighty cross-eyed.
And after that, Lily wanted M&M's, cheese sticks, and hot chocolate with marshmallows.

So much for code.