Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day Party

What do you think about on Earth Day?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?
Save the trees?
Endangered species?

I like to think about The One who created it.
I wonder at the majesty of His design, the intricacies of each minuscule detail, the thought and love that went into making it as a place for us to live.

I think about taking care of it.
Not because that is what popular media says I should do but because if you are given a precious gift then it speaks to the way you care for the giver in the way that you take care and treasure what they gave you.

I want to care for this ole' earth like a traveler... Be happy while I'm here. Marvel at what I see. Think about how to spend each day wisely. Take advantage of the time. Take only pictures, leave only footprints. Leave it nice for the next folks traveling through. Remember we have somewhere to go to when the trip is over.

I am thankful for what He created.
I am thankful for all that I have been given.

{You Are My World Greeting Cards} - Globe crayons attached to the card-fronts were made by melting blue and green crayon pieces in an egg poacher and letting them set up before popping them out.

Happy Earth Day!


Head-gear for "Recycled Hat Day" at school

We had a little Earth Day party at my mom's house, just us, when the kids got home from school. Jeffrey and Prosper are still gone. I am missing my little boy.

Black and white construction paper triangles and basic globe print-outs became a fancy streamer for the occasion.

Old canning jar lids, more print-outs, and some fabric salvage strips became place-tags.

I kinda do thrive on the reuse-recycle thing, I guess!

The table was set with dishes and treasures I scavenged from all over in my mom's bungalow. I love her style. Any time we have a party or dinner there it is like browsing a great antique/thrift store for goodies to go with the theme.

An after-school snack that looked vaguely like the world with a heart around it. I was just satisfied it was obvious enough that the 1st grader got it.

Four stations to keep the kids busy while supper was cooking.

  • Snack
  • Newspaper flowers (pictured in the centerpieces)
  • Animal coloring sheets
  • You Are My World greeting cards (shown above)

They all loved it. Well, let's be real, the boys loved it for a while and then went to play with Legos. The girls loved it all the way through to the last drop of wax. That is close enough to perfect for me.

We ate a chunk of the world for Supper:
New York strip, Idaho potatoes, Brussels sprouts, Georgia peaches, Boston iced tea, and baked Alaska.

It was delicious.

Side notes: The dessert was a Paleo-hack triumph and was met with great pleasure by our kids who usually have to skip dessert due to food allergies! Also, we apparently don't name vegetables after places in the US so we had to hop across the pond to Belgium for our greens.

After supper we all exchanged our cards and showed a little Earth-Day love by writing down and sharing some of our favorite things in the world.

As idyllic as this sounds, I must burst your bubble with some more reality... 

It was those boys again and it went something like this:

"Hey, Latham, I'm gonna put down Legos as my favorite thing."
"Oh, me too!"
"Boys, this is about Earth Day. You need to put down something that came with the Earth; animals, events in nature, weather, plants, things like that." 
"Ok. Plastic, to make Legos!"
"No, Plastic is man-made."
"What is it made with?"
"Then chemicals are my favorite."


"Ummm... OK?!"
"Hey, Jax, Let's go finish our Lego plane!"

[Boys exit]
[Moms shake their heads]
[Girls giggle]
[Moms start to giggle too]

Jax: What are you laughing at?
Kat: "Nothing. Happy Earth Day, Chemical-breath!"

And on that note I'll leave you.
Raimie Lu

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beautiful Mess Centerpiece

Surprise! I'm posting Monday's post today! My husband took our 3 year old on a trip for the weekend, our older two are playing with my younger sister and brother. And I'm excited about what I worked on today...
All good reasons to throw prior plans to the wind!

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International just announced next year's theme will be, A Beautiful Mess. Tomorrow, I have the honor of being part of a training session for MOPS groups from our end of the state. We will be celebrating the successes of this year and brain-storming ideas for next year and I'm super thrilled to be in on it.

A Beautiful Mess.

I like that.
Life is certainly messy.
And most definitely beautiful.

My responsibilities for the session included putting together the decorations and centerpieces. As the creative activities coordinator I guess that falls under my roof and I couldn't be happier.

Not one to break too far from my retro-vintage chic (i.e. junk) pile, I fell back on my comfort collection...

Buckets, garlands, Ball jars, musty bottles with rusty lids.
"I got a bucket, got a bucketful of sunshine
I got a love and I know that it's all mine, oh, oh oh oh..."

 Ok, Natasha Bedingfield, moving on.

Throw in a wooden crate, newly (finally) budding branches, doilies, and burlap for the welcome table. I'm a happy girl.

These are the centerpieces for each table. Wellies, jars, moss, rocks, markers for jotting down momentary inspiration, Forsythia, raffia, more burlap and a shelf-liner "puddle".

And just so you know, I am pretty much infatuated with this chippy cupboard door. Barely-there aqua and white. Rusty, painted hinges and latch. Scrumptious.

A beautiful mess.
A motherhood centerpiece.

Because mothering is a lot about finding only one boot.
Little boys playing with sticks.
Scraps of paper.
Rock collections.
Leafy green stuff trodden on the carpet.
Chipped paint.
Dirt in the cracks.
Little girls calling Forsythia, "For-Cynthia".
Putting a bow in it to make it look combed.
Scotch tape.
Running for a bucket.
Recycled egg-crate crafts.
Crooked cut-out hearts.

Motherhood is about mud-puddles.
And singing while you stomp in them.

Raimie Lu

Friday Phone Dump and a Mama-flub

I've been a little scarcer this week due to some big projects, some much needed naps, and lots of usual running, ranting, and ridiculousness.

And this post is just a drop-in to say I love you and stay tuned for some crafty-fun next week!

What do you have planned for your weekend?

Friday Phone Dump

 1. April is not for the fools, April is for the dreamers 2. Easter break hopped by 3. Climb high, child, higher than the sky 4. Boy on swing 5. Mischief personified (x4) 6. Boy pushes girl. Amen 7. Little girls are like sparkles dropped from Heaven 8. Mad hatter's tea 9.  Bubbles. Quiet. Book. 10. 23 weeks 11. What he does 12. He eats apples at soccer 13. Afternoon crafting delight 14. I am a soccer-mom 15. To work with daddy 16. My little sister's announcement 17. Gobble-gobble 18. Requesting early wake-up calls so she has time for art 19. I want to remember combing her hair 20. Said goodbye to this guy for the weekend, he is off on a trip with daddy.


Sometimes people tease me about taking so many pictures. I may look like that mother who documents every living moment of her children's lives. But, alas, as of last night, I am also that mother who gets to her daughter's 2nd grade annual music program just to pull out her big-girl camera and realize she forgot the memory card! 

[Slapping forehead repeatedly]

I did not go home to get one and miss half her program. 
I did take some pictures on my phone.
The program was perfect.
The pictures are not.

I'm letting myself be ok with that.

Thank you for tuning into this week's mama-flub moment.
Brought to you by pregnancy-brain, too many irons on the fire, and I am a ditz international.

Have a fabulous weekend!
Raimie Lu

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring-cleaning heart and home

A new season usually spells lots of fresh goals and projects for me.
And isn't it grand that Spring coincides with my second trimester up-swing of energy?

Well, Spring in theory because we haven't really had many signs of Spring weather here on the plains yet...

But it will come.
And I'm ready when it does.

In the meantime my focus has turned to getting things into better shape around here. There are still rooms that aren't really decorated after our move in the Fall and the basement is storing boxes of things we can probably safely get rid of and never miss.

Plus, all the normal dirt, clutter, and fingerprints that build up when you do as much living in your house as we do.
We give our little space a daily workout that puts world champion weightlifters to shame, let me tell ya.

On that note, I was amused to find this bucket in the dollar aisle at Target. 

While this quote is very comforting to me in regards to my house when it is at its worst... I think in my family's case that those happy kids with all the messes and laundry would be happier still if their mom was sane as well as good, right?

So we clean now and then to keep me from going crazy.

In all reality the list of cleaning and organizing to be done is a lot longer than my days but I'm encouraged when I can cross a few things off the list. Even tiny things. I've been known to write small unplanned tasks on the list after I do them just so I can have the immense satisfaction of marking them off.

Because accomplishment feels good.

I have a couple new friends who are helping accomplish the cleaning.
Let me introduce you to Flo, Broomhilda, and Dusty.

Source: Boston warehouse

They are not only good at doing their dirty jobs but they manage the super-human feat of looking chic, fashionable, and put-together while they are at it. 

Oh, how we would rock this world if we mothers could manage that trick!

Wait, maybe you CAN pull that off... 

A cleaning uniform consisting of: Yoga pants, heaven help us if anybody sees me in this stained t-shirt, flyaway hair, spot of something unidentifiable stuck to a cheek, bare feet which can't remember the last time they had a pedicure-- maybe that is only me. Maybe...

I digress.

Anyway, my truly favorite part of my new cleaning crew is they are the best recruiters everI have 3 littles lined-up to be their best helpers. They will do anything to work with these gals. Anything.

That's a powerful sales pitch, right there. 


So the organizing and de-cluttering continues.
Aided by my addiction to cute containers.

It may be divine intervention that has never allowed me to shop at The Container Store. Just the name gives me goosebumps and shivers of delight.

I confine myself to thrift stores, garage sales, and people's cast-offs.
And they never let me down.

But I think seasonal cleanings go deeper than the dust ingrained in the crevices of our home. For me, they are also about reviewing the purpose for our life and marking hard tasks off my mental list.

Reach out to someone new.
Be kind even if it makes you uncomfortable.
Write that card.

Through some gals I follow on Instagram I became aware of a certain little girl who is fighting Cancer. There are so many who are fighting this disease but there is something about this one that has touched me deeply and I'm not sure why. Even her beautiful name calls to me. My "hard things" list includes writing her a letter. Soon.

We can do hard things.

We can scrub every inch of our homes.
We can find a few words to comfort someone.
We can toss out junk that burdens us.
We can pray in the face of acts of hate and terror.

We can clean up our act.
We can walk a little straighter with happy skips in-between purposeful strides.

It is Spring.
It is the season of miracles.
It is the season of CAN, WILL, and DO.

Raimie Lu

  • What is on your list?

Monday, April 15, 2013

diy {garland dress-up} and a GIVEAWAY winner

A few weeks ago I happened across a bag of unfinished quilt-blocks at my local thrift store. The colors in the fabrics made me happy and the price tag made me smile too. Without question they hopped right in my cart and came home with me. You may remember I used a couple of them for wrapping on Easter.

Then a while back My mom gave me this garland that used to hang in my little sister's bedroom before she outgrew the dolly theme and the pastel color-scheme. The garland was store-bought from the Simply Shabby Chic line at Target and I like it.

But it lacks pop.


I kept trying to like it the way it was.

Didn't work.

Had to fix it.

I folded over and ironed the tops of the pieces so that they were straight instead of arched.

I felt a twinge as I broke out my hot-glue gun to 'cheat' where someone else had so lovingly done it 'right' and hand-sewn these pieces together. 

The feeling passed.

I hot-glued away, happy as a lark.

I glued a quilt piece behind each of the triangles of the original banner.

It gave the garland a skirted-bunting look and a more vintage feel.

It hangs in the living room above the french-doors to our bedroom.

Much more happy and colorful.
Much more me.

(Sharing at Savvy Southern StyleCommon Ground, and Redoux)

This project had me feeling almost guilty because it was so easy to do and I like the finished product so much. But for this mama, a quick 15 minute fixer-upper was the best way to wrap-up the afternoon while Pip napped, the older two were at school, and the chaos of evening had yet to ensue.

You do what you need to do to get your craft on and to create happy corners in your home.



I loved reading your comments on the giveaway post. Thank you for beings followers of my ramblings. Thank you for hopping from my old space to the new one. Thank you for your shares on Facebook. The cherries on top of your weeks were sweet indeed!

And we do have a winner...

A Tisket A Tasket if you would email me at joyfinderspath (at) gmail (dot) com I will mail you your goodies! 
Thank you!

Time to go wake up the apple of my eye.
Have a delicious day!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Housecleaning and a GIVEAWAY

This post is gonna be all over the place.
Kinda like my hairdo today.

We are at the peak of our week, ready to slide down the other side to the weekend, and all the normal things are in the mix with the kids starting soccer, checking out library books, practicing spelling, building Lego iphones, etc. A few sweet additions jump in there too, like daddy being home each night, hearing baby's heartbeat, and some happy mail.

That's our life. A bowl of healthy, colorful, ordinary mixed veggies.

With some sugar sprinkles on top.

Sprinkles make everything easier to swallow.


A mid-week dish of what we are having: free sprinkles

Friends with their babies

Gets me counting the months.


We are still apt to crawl into our Christmas jammies in April. Nebraska can't get it's act together and get out of the ice-age so I guess we will get cozy and sit out the cold spell. Candyland helps. 


Sometimes its kinda tiring waiting for brother and sister to get home from school.Mrs. Polifax
These are one of my dad's favorites, he got the recommendation years ago from my great grandma Ruth, and then passed the suggestion down to me. I am re-reading the series for the 3rd time and she still makes me giggle. I imagine my great-grandmother giggling too.

Lunch with friends

Always good to end on a happy note like food and drink. Yes, I am that girl who freaks her friends out by asking if I can take pictures of their plates. It is just who I am.



Some notes of unfathomable worth... Not really, more like meandering mumbles from a stack of "Don't forget" sticky notes stuck all over my cup-ring stained desk.

We added a couple verses to our Playful Pirate poem. Prosper is so enchanted when we tell him stories or recite poetry where he is one of the characters. Must be a preschooler thing... or a steak of narcissism.

A second design option has been added to the {DIY} Tomato-cage Chandelier tutorial. I am excited about a smaller, more girly version. Let me know what you think.


Ok, this note is actually important:

Our Emma-girl

Thank you for your sweet comments on the post about the changing road. I was asked to put together a memorial blog for Emma. It is an honor to help in some small way at a time when a person hardly knows how to be of service. Feel free to visit and leave a message of condolence for her family.

Yay, we are past the business part and you are still here!


Note: My little sister loves when I add "-time" to the name of any scheduled event (i.e. craft-time, homework-time, snack-time, get-your-bummy-busy-with-your-chores-time, etc). She says it makes everything sound like we are in preschool. Me, I like preschool.

I also like giving away stuff.
And I did promise we would do this right away...

One lucky reader will receive this collection of goodies from Joyfinders Path. Not a sponsored giveaway, just gift out of the "I feel like showering you with presents" part of my being.

And since I like to make things interesting, this time I will give you a few ways get extra entries.

Enter by answering the following question in a comment:

What is the cherry on top of your week?

For extra entries:
1. "Follow" this blog
2. Share on Facebook
3. Be a follower of my old blog who has jumped the gap

(Please leave a separate comment for each entry)

The recipient will be decided by Random.org.
Entries must be posted by 10:00 pm (Central) Sunday, April 14, 2013)


Let the good times roll!

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