Saturday, January 28, 2012


"Can you make an angry face?" I asked.
"grrr" He made the sound to go along with the face, as we have practiced so many times before.
"Good job!" I say with a smile. "Now show me a happy face."
His smile and eyes, were cast in my direction looking for approval. I smiled back at him, a smile that said, "Well done."
I often practice making and interpreting facial expressions with this eleven-year-old boy. It is supposed to help him better understand emotion. Though, sadly, I often feel its more of a monkey-see, monkey-do exercise.
I continued smiling for several minutes.
"You make me smile. You make me happy!" I paused, "I like being happy with you."
He put the thumbs of both open hands under his chin, smiled and said, "Happy!"
"You're right, happy. Now what face is this?" I closed one eye, scrunched my nose and stuck out my tongue. He paused for a second to study my face.
"Heaven Sake Kids!" He replied.
He was referring to one of his favorite CD's entitled Funny Songs.
I laughed, "that's right, now you show me your silly face."
He stuck his tongue out the side of his mouth, raised one eyebrow and squished his eyelids shut.
"Alright last one," I explained, "what is this face?" I raised my eyebrows, opened my mouth and took a gasping breath.
The boy's head cocked to the side, like that of a golden retriever when it seems to be thinking about something. He leaned in real close to me, wide-eyed and mouth cracked open.
I tried to keep my surprised face as well as I could.
Slowly he raised his hand to my forehead and ran his fingertips from my hairline to my nose.
"Bumps." He said.
I slowly ran my own fingers over the path he has just drawn. Sure enough. My raised eyebrows created wrinkles in my forehead.

He just sees the world so differently. We spend all our time trying to get him to see it the way we do. To respond to it the way we do. We label him "autistic" as if it helps us understand him better.
Sometimes I wish I could try to see it the way he does, feel it the way he does. It is so amazing to me that God can create a mind like this. It makes me want to praise Him. Sometimes, it makes me want to curse Him. If only I could understand.
Today, though, I raise my hands in praise. Thank you for the gift of this little boy, who brings me so much joy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

DIY - Watermarbling Nails Tutorial and Tips

My nails were chipping and I had a little time, so I thought I would try water marbling again. Last time I did it I struggled with quite a few of the steps, so I thought I would document the steps and write out tips I found most useful.

To start off you will need: A cup of room-temperature water, a couple colors of nail polish, toothpicks, tape and scissors. Today i just used two colors, pink and white.

You will need to first paint your nails with a base coat. I just used a clear base coat because i was using two solid colors (white/pink). Most people start out with a white base and use two other colors (like green and pink or something).

I usually put a paper towel under the cup so i have a place to set yucky toothpicks. Also, use a cup you don't care about, or you can throw away after, because it is almost inevitable, you will get paint on the cup.

After your base coat is dry, you will need to put tape around your nails. This is so you do not get nail polish all over your fingers. So the better job you do at taping, the better the edges of your nails will look.

I usually put one piece of tape along the cuticle (base of the nail) then i take one long piece that starts on one edge, the curls around under the nail and over to the other side. Tape all the fingers of one hand, then you can begin with the paint.

Dripping the Paint:
Next comes the fun, but potentially frustrating part. The goal is to make a target with your colors. Start with one drip of one color in the middle of the cup. Wait for it to spread out, then put one drip of the other color in the middle. Continue alternating until you have rings. Your colors should look something like this... but this one needs a few more rings.
Once you have a nice looking bullseye, take a toothpick and drag it through the paint to make a design. This can get interesting. It took me a number of trial and error attempts until i got some designs i liked. Eventually i got one that looked like this:

Once you get a design you like, get one of your fingers ready to dip. you can slowly turn the cup to reach the right place if you need to. Hold your finger above the place of the design you want:
Then dip the finger into the water, and hold it so the nail is just under the water- then DON'T MOVE!
With the nail still under the water, take a toothpick and clear away the extra paint still on the top of the water. Twist the toothpick to get as much as you can, and pull it off the surface of the water. (i just put it on the paper towel) Don't worry about taking too long on this step, because the design is already on the nail, and wont mess up unless you hit it against the sides of the cup.

Once the surface of the water is clean, you can remove your finger from the water. It should look something like this:

Continue this until all five fingers have paint on them:

Once you have finished with the paint, wait for them to dry for a bit. After they are dry, take the scissors and cut the tape right at the tips of your fingers:
Then you should be able to peel off the tape and do your other hand!

* If the paint isn't spreading:
This could be because of multiple things. First, it may have to do with the brand/type of nail polish you are using. Try using cheap nail polish. I started off using O.P.I. brand, and none of them worked, they were all too nice and too thick. I ended up going to Meijer and just buying some cheap bottles of thin polish. I used "Sinful Colors" and it worked out much better. Second, it could be your water is too warm or cold. I usually set a cup of water on the counter the night before to get it room temperature. If the color isn't spreading, you can lightly tap the rim of the glass to get it to spread.

* If you are having trouble dragging the toothpick through to make a design:
Sometimes when i dragged the toothpick through, the whole surface of paint came with it. This especially happens when the outside ring dries. You need to start dragging before the outside ring dries. It can be difficult to go slow enough for the rings to spread, and fast enough that it doesn't dry on you.
If you are struggling to get a "good looking" design, try pulling all to one point on the edge, this will create the waves, or you can pull in opposite directions to get a zig-zag effect.

* If you are having trouble getting the extra paint off the surface when your nail is under the water:
It may be that it is not dry enough. I usually blow on the surface of the water and it dries pretty quickly. It should stick to the toothpick and come off in a filmy, saran (plastic) wrap looking glob. if the toothpick still isn't catching it, you could use a Q-tip.

* If there is a build-up of "gunk" on the surface of the water:
This can affect how the paint spreads. If there is too much i usually just drop on drip of paint on the water, wait for it to spread, blow on it to dry it, then take it off with a toothpick. It sort of clears the surface. If this doesn't work, then you might just need a new cup of water.

If you are still struggling, or want some GREAT IDEAS of colors and designs, look up SimpleLittlePleasures on YouTube. Colette has some AMAZING videos that show you how to do it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DIY - Sugar Glider Pouch

Today I thought I would treat my girls (our pet sugar gliders, Petrie and Pearl) to some new furniture!

I started out with two large rectangles of fleece (I used 8"x14") and a 1" strip. I Folded the rectangles in half (hamburger style) right sides together. Sewed up the sides of both and trimmed the edges. DONT sew along the top! you should have one edge open, making two pouches.

Next I turned one right side out and put it inside the other. (so now right sides were together on both "pouches") I used 1" strips to make some loops, putting them in between the two before sewing them. (making sure the raw edges were matching, so the "loop" part was inside) I sewed the two together along the top edge, leaving about 2" unsewn to turn the pouch right-side out. Then I turned the pouch right sides out, and pinned the remaining two inches.
Next I top-stiched right along the top edge to finish the pouch (and close the last two inches)
And There we go! a finished glider pouch! Done  in no more than 15 minutes!
I think the girls are happy. :-)

Monday, January 9, 2012


I am not one to usually make new years resolutions. This year for Christmas I received an iPhone from my husband. The first app that I downloaded was Facebook, of course, quickly followed by Pinterest. Next I downloaded YouVision's Bible app. Included in this app were various reading plans. I was excited to see several whole Bible in a year plans. Then I saw on Facebook a friend of mine was going to do the chronological one, and was asking for folks to join her. So this year I hope to be consistent, and read through the Bible! As of day 9 I am still on track!
The plan has us reading through Job right now. Wow. I've never read it straight through before. It's very repetitive. It reminds me a lot of my own story, and the sufferings family went through with the cancer, and eventual death of my mother. I can't say I was like Job though, in never cursing God's name. It is so difficult to be in a part of life where you feel God is against you, and Job felt his friends and neighbors were too. I look forward to finishing this book, and getting back into Genesis.
I hope and pray that I will be able to stick with this resolution!!!