Category Archives: special projects

Plants Plants Everywhere

Go ahead, ask me which subject I like to teach the least…science, yup…that’s the one.  Not that I didn’t enjoy it in school, I did.  I worked hard to understand all of it, but it paid off.  I did get to repeat one year..I know, horrors of horrors…but it wasn’t my fault–really!!  I went from one school to another.  School A was a year ahead of School B in science, so I got to repeat the class.  I liked the second teach better, so it wasn’t all bad.

So why the my hesitancy to teach science with the girls?  At first, it was because we all hated the curriculum I had.  It was so textbook heavy and quite a drag.  Now, it is more of forgetting it and pushing it aside.  It must be.  I have  a great program that is very hands on.  The girls love it.  On the days we do science, the girls all have something to tell daddy about what they learned at school.  And yet, I get lazy.

But I  have decided to turn over a new leaf.  So, it seemed appropriate to focus on plants, how they grow, what types there are, and how they enrich our lives, as we kicked off school after the new year.

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Our science activity actually said to make a plant man to grow plant hair on him…why do that, I say, when you have two chia pets in the house just waiting to grow hair?

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See that six-year-old that used to be in speech therapy?  Here she is pontificating during science about SOMETHING.  She is always talking about SOMETHING!!! (and I love it most of the time)

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In this activity, the girls made flowers, with stigmas (sticky labels), and pipe cleaner bees) to show how pollen (coffee grounds and sugar) gets carried from flower to flower.

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Yes, two K-cups that were previously shunned by the coffee drinker, were harmed in this experiment.  Who knew decaf coffee and chocolate flavored coffee would be a no-go?  It’s a risk you run when a die-hard non-coffee drinker buys the coffee.
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It has been a fun week of science.  Tomorrow we will explore how some plants produce fruit with seeds and some do not.

Challenge: Beating a Dead Horse

Challenge.  I write about it pretty regularly.

The challenges of Bipolar Disorder.

The challenges of Anxiety Disorder.

The challenges of homeschooling.

The challenges of parenting.

The challenges of Christian living.

The challenges of helping others.

See, I write about it a lot.  I kind of feel like I am beating a dead horse by writing about it again.

Blame it on Mama Kats.  It’s her writing prompt.

Mama's Losin' It

Today I want to write about the challenges of having a burden for others.

Life is complicated enough.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just curl up in our own lives and not bother with the world out there?  Yes, it would be, but most of us are not wired that way.  We are made to care.  We are made to love and get involved.

Over the last few months I have gotten a little involved with human trafficking in our area.  My husband and I help out, when we can, with BRANCH:  A New Beginning Ministries.–you can learn more about our involvement here.  Last night I went to a local meeting as part of the Michigan Abolitionist Project and learned about another ministry:  All Worthy of Love.

I listened to them speak about their ministry with primarily girls and ladies on the street and their efforts to reach out and help them by giving lunches and hygiene kits.  I cried as I heard the statistics of how many  people, 30 million worldwide, are trafficked each year, I drew back in revulsion as I listened to them list suburban areas around me where girls are being brought into bondage by coercion, lies, tricks, any manner of method to bring these girls onto the streets where they are required to make money night after night for someone else, money they never see.  These are cities very near me–cities I have always perceived as safe for my three girls.

And my heart broke.  My heart begged me, challenged me to find a way to help, a way to get involved.

First step:  I helped back hygiene kits at the close of the meeting last night.

Second step:  I signed up to pray for them as they go out each week to reach the girls, boys, men and women caught in slavery.

Third step:  I want to start collecting items for hygiene kits.  I want to collect through sales and through those I know who end up with lots of these items due to traveling.

I can’t change the world.  I can’t save all those caught in slavery, but I can reach out in small ways to help be part of the solution.

Can I challenge you to be part of the solution too?

Please check out their websites and blogs to see how you can get involved as well, with either ministry.  Or look for similar organizations where you live, because unfortunately, there is a great need all around the world.  Your community, your area, is not immune.  None are.

Dine Out or Take Away for a Good Cause

I woke up extra early this morning…4 am extra early.  My thoughts were whirring with plans for tomorrow and next Thursday.

Tomorrow, I will join with family and friends to walk a 2.2 mile route in the beautiful park Independence Oaks in Clarkston.

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You can still join us.  Sign up here– or donate at the same URL if you would like.  All money raised will go to the non-profit organization Postpartum Progress.

Postpartum Progress gives hope, help and community to families living with a postpartum mood disorder, including, but not limited to, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, OCD, and psychosis.

I found Postpartum Progress 3 years ago as I fought my own battle with postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum anxiety (PPA).  I felt so alone as the struggle raged months after Patrice was born.  I didn’t understand all that was going on.  I mean, I knew what situational depression had looked like for me at previous junctures, ie., an engagement called off over the phone or long hospitalizations with Multiple Sclerosis.  I knew and understood those experiences.  This?  Not at all the same.  My thoughts raged day and night.

“I must escape.”  “My family deserves so much better.”  “I need to die.”  “I can’t stop moving.”  “My thoughts make no sense.”  “I can’t keep up no matter how hard I try.”

How could I think these things about this amazing family?

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Thing is, I didn’t, but I didn’t know how to make sense of my thoughts.  I didn’t know what was going on.  Finding Katherine Stone and her non-profit organization Postpartum Progress was the first step in finding understanding and community.

I met her via her blog and then connected on twitter.  I followed her to the twitter group, #ppdchat; women who were or had lived it.  Women who could help me make sense of my thoughts.  Women who talked me through suicidal thoughts until I was safe again.  Women who supported me through two hospitalizations.  Women who have become friends.

We have found and created community.  And I found it all through Postpartum Progress.

Now it is my turn to give back.

Tomorrow’s walk is just that, me giving back, me helping the 1 in 7 women who will have a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder.



But my efforts will not end tomorrow.  I have one more fundraiser on Thursday June 26.  I have partnered with Noodles and Co. in downtown Royal Oak to raise money for Postpartum Progress.  We will get 25% of all dine in or take away meals if the customer mentions Postpartum Progress/Climb Out of the Darkness–or has a printed flier.

We will, of course, have yummy Noodles food (family favorite here!!!) and there will be a kids activity to add to the fun.  Please come join us from 4-9!!!!  And please mention Postpartum Progress/Climb Out of the Darkness.


My Newest Endeavor

See that widget over there—–>

Scroll down a bit——>

Yes that one—->

It is my latest project.

Because I need more stuff going on, right?

Well, remember that  phrase “if you want something done, ask a busy person”?  Maybe it’s my goal to be “that” person.  Except it’s not.  I just need to get the word out about things that matter to me.

I am, what they call over at Postpartum Progress, a warrior mom. I fought a long arduous battle after Patrice’s birth against postpartum depression and anxiety.

It was hard.

It stunk.

But here I am, on the other side…

Thanks in huge part to on-line communities that understood and loved on me.

The first on-line resource I found was Katherine at Postpartum Progress.  Her foundation provides so much information about the various postpartum mood disorders, including but not limited to, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and postpartum psychosis.  She also provides active support for women looking for hope.

I was that woman.  I found so much on her website that had me nodding my head, saying AHA!, and finding out I wasn’t alone.

Katherine is tireless and amazing in her work, she was even part of  Jeopardy! question, but she can’t do it alone.

From her work and dream, was born Climbing Out of the Darkness.  It is a walk/climb held in cities throughout the world to raise funding and awareness.

This year, I’m not letting it pass me by.  I am leading a team!  Eek.

June 21 we will meet at Independence Oaks in Clarkston from 1-3 pm.  There are two of us on my team right now, but we need more.  We need to make some noise.  We need to be part of making a difference.

Won’t you please join us?  You can raise funds or not, that is up to you, but we need awareness raised.  We need to let other mamas know they are NOT ALONE!!!!!!

Climb Out of the Darkness

Please click in the above link or that widget to the right and link arms with mamas around world, mamas here at home!  We need each other.


Sidewalk Paint

The older girls, and a friend, helped me make sidewalk paint today.

We mixed 1/3 cup cornstarch with 1/3 cup water to get the base for 9 colors.  Added food coloring, stirred and voila–sidewalk paint.

Mixing in color 1

Mixing in color 2

Sue singing

Using our creation

A few minutes of fun in the sun

8 years

I mentioned in my therapy appointment yesterday that today marked 8 years since my dad died. The doctor asked what I was going to do to mark the anniversary. I have to admit, I wasn’t prepared to answer that question. Typically, I’m sad and then mad at my husband because he doesn’t read my mind and comfort me.

Some years I have driven to the grave, but that is impossible this year. The doctor then asked who I could talk to who would share similar memories, so later I will be calling my older sister. We started sharing memories yesterday via facebook and I am looking forward to hearing some of her thoughts on dad. I have more memories from growing up, but she has more of the last years of his life. He walked her down the aisle at her wedding and met all three of her kids. He died 4 months before I got married and never met any of my girls.

But one big way I am marking today? I found a cake recipe on pinterest that is similar to what I used to bake for him, complete with a frosting recipe identical to the one I used.

A Cake in Memory of my Daddy

Happy Anniversary in Heaven Daddy.  We miss you!

*The cake isn’t pretty, I almost didn’t post it, but hey Patrice left her mark on it and my daddy wouldn’t have cared he would have dug in.  I rarely make cakes,  but I think I am going to make this a tradition.


Enjoying daddy’s cake with my family

Tip Junkie handmade projects

A Quick Saturday Project

My hubby knocked a few things off his honey-do list this weekend.

One project had me nervous.  I knew he would need my help and I was afraid it would be too difficult, but I always forget how multi-talented my hubby is.

We reupholstered our kitchen chairs in a couple hours.

We go it done and had some fun along the way. And we got done in plenty of time for me to take the older girls to see the movie Brave. We loved it. There was lots of action and the princess was a spitfire with lots of energy and strength. I wouldn’t mind my girls falling in love with that princess. She’s a fun, curly-haired red head girl!

What projects have you done lately? Have you seen a show or movie where you wouldn’t mind your children getting a little obsessed?




Pinned It and Did It–Donuts

I was thinking yesterday how it would be fun to make donuts, so I headed to

And found this recipe

  1. 1 container of grand style biscuts, non flaky.
  2. 1/2 inch of canola oil
  3. melted butter
  4. cinnamon and sugar mix

Flatten biscuits some, use cookie cutter or emtpy babyfood jar to cut center out, fry in oil, dip in melted butter, coat with mix or frost and decorate top side.  You could skip the butter if using frosting.  We used cookie decorations so you taste a lot of the biscuit.  Next time we will frost them.


Footprint Butterflies

I cannot wait to share this with you.  It is one of the first things I pinned on pinterest and last night hubby and I made them!



We used watercolor paints and paper. Wet paper before applying paint. Hubby painted each toe different but you could do all one color. Put feet, one at a time, on the paper so they are facing out from each other to make the wings, paint in body, head and antenae. Write in child’s name and year, frame. Please note you will need two people to do a young toddler, Patrice cried as the paintbrush tickled her feet; she kept kicking hubby so I had to hold one foot back.

My heart is absolutely bursting at the joy of having these.

Bright Fun Colors–Pinned It and Did it.

A few weeks ago I saw this, or if you’re not on Pinterest, this, and decided I had to try it.  But, contrary to what the instructions said, I figured it was pretty messy.  So it took a while to get my courage up…

We pinned it and did it!

Rainbow RiceTake 1 cup of white rice.Mix food coloring in a small bowl with 1-2 Tablespoons of white vinegarDump vinegar and food coloring mixture into plastic bag with rice. Seal and shake.