January 26, 2012 - One Response

This is for my sister- always my inspiration for my blog posts! 🙂 Thanks for bringing this back!

Right now I’m:

listening… to my Jesus playlist on my phone. In my car I’m rediscovering a few old CDs. Don’t you love when that happens?

watching… Land Girls. It’s a BBC drama, right now there is only 5 episodes on Netflix, but they are good! Follows 4 ladies in the Woman’s Land Army during WWII- I’d never heard of the WLA before this show. Netflix teaches me something new almost daily. 😉

reading… Nothing!! I need some help in that department.

eating… peanut butter and mountain blackberry fro-yo, and gummy vitamins-NOT together! 😉 Living down the street and being Facebook friends with a delicious frozen yogurt place is awesome and dangerous at the same time! Mmmm- come visit and we’ll go! The vitamins… I know they’ve been around forever, but I just discovered them (Thanks Erin!) and for someone who cannot take pills on a regular basis- they are amazing! (and delicious.)

drinking… water. It’s tasty. I also made orange/pear juice with the juicer the other day-mmmm.

wearing… a dress. I’m trying to figure out what to wear for the wedding next week: black, blue, or floral… What do you guys think?

hoping… I get to see everyone I want to in LA next week!

feeling… nervous. Things with work/job opportunities. Trying to hand it back to the One who knows all!

wanting…. the 3rd season of the Mentalist. Roomie and I demolished first 2 seasons during the snow/ice debacle.

needing… a ride from the airport- Long Beach anyone?! 😉

thinking… that it has been almost 2 years since I flew down to LA and I am SO excited! I miss my friends. I miss the beach. I miss the speedy freeways. I miss In-n-Out.

enjoying… my embroidery hoop creations! Who knew a needle and thread could be so fun?!

wishing… that my sister and her family would move here. But super thankful for FaceTime that allows me to get waves and blown kisses from my nephew!


From our frozen rain day.


In Honor of the Snow.

January 17, 2012 - 2 Responses

 I just found out that there is NO SCHOOL tomorrow! And you know what that means?

It means NO WORK!!

So because I am just about giddy with this news, and because my roommate is awesome and lets me use her computer: Here I am!

Let me show you our “Winter Wonderland,” you know, the whole room of it. 🙂


My newest Hoop Art.

Quite a self-fulfilling prophecy, eh?




Hey Roomie! Working hard… while I try to distract her with movies. 🙂



And I’ve also decided to make this old frame my ode to the seasons.


It might be a little cheesy and elementary, but I enjoyed making it! And really, isn’t art about the experience?


Thank you Lord for the snow. Thank you for school districts that truly believe the weather channel. Thank you for a day off.

Keep it comin’!

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.

December 12, 2011 - Leave a Response

I just spent 4 hours Christmas shopping, came home, lit the lights, made some chai, and sat down. Here’s what I’m looking at:


Michele and I had great plans of getting a little live Christmas tree, even had a great spot for it. I don’t know what happened, but December is now almost halfway over, and we are both gone too much… Maybe next year! 🙂

Seeing as I couldn’t let all my fun ornaments sit in the Christmas box, I strung garland and hooked some favorites up!



Every single piece of Christmas decor was either gifted/handed down from my mum or bought at after Christmas sales. (I guess I made a few too…)

My sister and I hit up some sweet stores last year after Christmas. This bird and reindeer are some of my favorite finds!



I love nativity scenes. My mom has one that makes me smile every time I see it, as it’s missing an important character. Our dog Cheerio ate baby Jesus one year, I guess he looked pretty tasty. At least we were assured that Jesus lived in her… Haha 😉

This one was also in our house growing up. I have a neat one made out of banana leaves I brought back from Uganda, but I like the neatness of this one, the clean lines and simplicity of it:


I debated (with myself) on whether I should show you all my wreath, because I made one for someone’s Christmas present… but what the hey hay?


It was very easy to make, so easy I literally didn’t think of taking pictures to document the easiness. But if I did, here’s the progression it would have taken:
1. Buy foam wreath at local craft store.
2. Grab your favorite color yarn and start wrapping. I wrapped this one crazy-like (technical term), meaning I overlapped and went backwards and forwards- wherever I wanted. The other one is wrapped perfectly, side by side- no crazy business. 🙂
3. Make a felt-wool rosette (Auntie B, is this what you were talking about?). The instructions for these are way back in my blog, maybe my sister-dearest could link it for me? Hehe
4. Cut out a few leaves from felt, and pin them on! Or hot-glue, whatever you have handy.

Merry Christmas!! Hope your days are filled with twinkling lights, pretty candles, and carols! (My favorite right now is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, such a powerful song!)


December 10, 2011 - One Response

Moments of my day:

-Started singing with an Allstate commercial on the radio and heard another voice singing it. It was a 6th grade boy who totally admitted his love for Allstate jingles. 🙂

-Made a 2nd grade girl cry. Might have accidentally made fun of her homework skills… One of those things that another adult would see as funny, but a sensitive 8 year old does not. Cool thing out of it though, I got to apologize and tell her what an amazing student she is (honestly!) and that I love and care for her deeply. I do not make time to say that enough!

-A member gave me her BFF ring to wear while she had cooking class and said we could be BFF’s if I wanted… still thinking about that one! 😉

-I’m taking a group for a field trip to the downtown ice rink T-town has for December. One of the girls asked if it was going to be cold. I stared at her and let her answer her own question. She then asked if there would be a snack bar. Oh the important things in life! Hehe

-My hair actually came out really good-curly today (sometimes it’s just kinda blah curly). Anyway, got a lot of compliments from the kids, all of them surprised it was natural (okay, so maybe the blah curl days are the norm?). As I’m answering a girl about my hair, she tells me that she has a friend who has stick straight hair: “Ms. Erica, it’s like her hair is dead.”

-There is this 1st grade boy, really smart kid who LOVES the computer and video games… but who cries/screams every time something regarding those two things goes wrong (i.e.- doesn’t get to go on, times up, isn’t working, etc.) I used to be nice about it, now I say “Sean, stop crying. (pause) Now!” It usually works. But everyone in the club gets frustrated with his crying (it’s loud!)
Today he screamed “I hate you!” to a couple middle schoolers who were about to take the computers. As we sat in my office talking about it, he asked, “Um, what if, maybe someday, it could only be K-5 here.”
I asked why.
“They (middle schoolers) keep calling me cry-baby.”
Do you cry a lot Sean?
“Yeah, but I can’t help it.”
Our conversation kept going, talking about ways that he could help it and finally around to apologizing for what he said.
I was really proud of him. He was scared, but still apologized and got an apology back! (I’m always so proud when they truly apologize, it’s huge!)

-Seven-ish foot tall structure- built by mr. Cuteness: (Sweetest thing ever! Literally gives me hugs everyday! The kid, not the structure.) 😉


(And we don’t usually have dark rooms, but Friday is movie day! And check out the map I made in the background- I love that board! ;))


December 8, 2011 - 3 Responses

**UPDATE: Recipe for Grandma’s bread is below!**

Got the message loud and clear sister dearest! 🙂

I’m back with one of my Christmas crafts. It’s pretty. And fun. Yep, pretty fun.


And to keep it real- it’s almost midnight and I’m waiting for some bread to come out of the oven… Did some dishes and needed a distration from the delicious smells wafting out of my kitchen!


But this craft is all about the felt. I love felt. Yes, many in the Christian Sunday-school circle may have visions of Mary, Joseph, a donkey, or the robbers on the side of the road…

Put those aside, embrace the felt.

And while you are embracing it, buy it and throw in a embroidery hoop and some fabric while you’re at it!


Then take said felt and cut them into ornament shapes, see where we are going with this? Keep cutting, then cut out things to add to the top of the felt ornaments. Cool thing about felt- it sticks to itself, handy for placing objects where you want them! 😉


When you’ve got the placement down, add the thread. I quadrupled my thread through the needle to make it thicker, I didn’t want the ornaments to look like they were flying through space. (Who wants that?!)


And then for that extra little spark, I did a little “embroidery” and said: “It is good.” 😉


Of course the background is a nasty paint covered piece of cardboard… But like I said at the beginning- I’m keeping it real! Ha

Speaking of real, my bread is done:


This is my grandma’s Christmas coffee cake… which I’ve always called Grandma’s bread- classy, don’t you think? 🙂 It always says Christmas to me, and has the best hint of lemon flavor! My favorite part is the crumbly too, so I added extra!

I really have trouble with bread, knowing how long to knead it, how long to rise, how to know if the middle really is done, etc… Bakers, any universal advice I should know about?

Even though my first try at this classic wasn’t perfect, it’s still delicious! Isn’t that what cooking is all about?

Well thanks for tuning in friends, wish you were here to share in this treat!

P.S. My sister is the best!

P.P.S. Grandma’s Christmas Bread
-2pkg yeast
-1/2 c warm water
Sprinkle to dissolve.
-4 c flour
-1/2 c sugar
-1t salt
-3/4 c butter
Combine, cut butter in until it resembles coarse meal.
-1/2 c scalded milk and cooled
-2 eggs, beaten
-1 T vanilla
-1 T lemon
-1 1/2 c soaked raisins (with warm water)
Combine and add to dry ingredients. Knead 5 min with additional 1c flour.

Place in two square pans to raise. Just before baking, brush with milk or egg and put crumbly topping on:
-1/2 c powdered sugar
-1 c flour
-1/2 c butter

Bake at 350, 30-35min


December 7, 2011 - 6 Responses

Krista here.  I’m Erica’s older sister, well only sister too.  I decided to guess erica’s password and jump into her blog to give her a little jumpstart on this darling url…because I miss reading her posts.  Don’t you?  She doesn’t know about this…and I wonder at what point she’ll actually figure it out seeing as one doesn’t usually get notification of their own blog posts. heheh.

Anyway, the only true reason I can think of for her not posting often is her lack of computer.  An iphone keypad is only so inspiring if you know what I mean.  But I think everyone who reads this should leave a comment here to prompt Erica to keep posting bc we like her, right?  And I keep trying to remember to tell her she can dictate her blog posts to me if she wants.  Geez.  What are sisters for?

Well- I am here to hack into my dearest little sister’s blog and wish myself a very happy birthday, oh wait, no- I’m here to encourage my dearest erica renee to type, to upload, to post, to publish.

Come on, you can do it.  Please.  Pretty please.

See you next Saturday.


your nephew is awaiting your next post...very patiently.


November 22, 2011 - One Response

So it’s two days before Thanksgiving and I have been made aware many, many times in the last days that I need to remember to be thankful and actually say those things out loud. The last push was from one of the members at the club.

As I was busy picking up random Lego pieces, lamenting on the state of out dirty art room, and keeping my eye on 15 kids, Ceci calls me over. “Ms. Erica, come see what I did…” Of course it took me a few minutes to get there, but she kept waiting, standing next to her creation on the whiteboard.

It was a Thankfulness board. She had said what she was thankful for (family, and our staff ;)) and had helped younger members to write their notes of thanks. One girl had said she was thankful to be surrounded by people who love her. It’s not life-altering, but definitely a kick in my patootie!

So on to another list:

>I’m thankful that God never changes. He is who He is… Now and forever. Crazy!

>I’m thankful that seasons DO change! 😉




>I’m thankful for new work pants that I could sleep in they are so comfortable and wonderful!

>I’m thankful that I have a family I love to hang out with! I’m thankful for my parents and the time we get to spend together each month or so when I get to come home! I’m thankful that they always make sure I’m doing okay and are continually praying for my future husband to pop up! 😉

>I’m thankful to have a sister for a best friend! I’m thankful that she answers when I call… on the phone! Hehe I love that we can talk forever about anything.

>I’m thankful for the personal televisions at the downtown Tacoma Y. Wow- amazing! Not only do I get to watch Martha, Iron Chef, and Big Bang Theory, but I don’t want to leave!

>I’m thankful for a job that gives me the opportunity to be a blessing in people’s lives.

>I’m thankful for random adventures at antique stores:


>Can I also say I’m thankful for sushi? Because I am!


I would say what else I’m thankful for… But I just published this accidentally and can’t bring it back… And it’s midnight and I need to pack and go to bed… So.

Let’s just say I’m thankful. Thankful for each one of you. Thankful for each new day!

Happy Thanksgiving!


November 16, 2011 - 4 Responses

Things I’ve learned recently:

1. Nestle chocolate chips are the best. Period. The others can try to compete- but they all leave me wanting. Wanting nestle chips. Wishing I had spent the extra dollar. Moral of the story: don’t skimp on chocolate chips.

(Really needed everyone to know this!)

2. Telling a parent that their kid did really well today makes them smile A LOT… Especially when they are the parents who usually avoid me (the bearer of bad news).

It is such an easy thing to do, but so often I’m dealing with the negative experiences that I forget to remember the good.



3. The “Quiet Contest” is my new favorite game!

When 25 third-seventh graders come into do their homework… I have 10 kids asking for me for help, 5 wandering aimlessly looking for pencils or the broken sharpener, 6 messing around as they wait for the 10 minutes I have them read, and four- patiently and quietly trying to focus… it gets pretty crazy! Thus the quiet game! I’m sure all you teachers put there could whip them /me into shape, but right now- the quiet game is working just great! 🙂

4. Friends are wonderful- especially the long-lasting variety! I so cherish the honesty and truth that gets spoken on our walks and talks.


5. That God is Love. That His mercy IS new EVERY morning! That when I ask for forgiveness- it is given. That I can forget what is behind and press on towards Him, Him who loves and cherishes me.

6. Scrapbooking conventions are amazing. (Insert cheesy grin.)



Second annual convention with my wonderful mom and sister-in-law! Even as I walked in and around by myself there was an energy of excitement and fun! Everyone there is enjoying learning, creating, and of course buying things they love!

I look a Christmas card-making class, which I will try to update you on later; a multiple layout class, and a ‘newest and coolest’ product class. All had really great stuff… Definitely had to go home and capitalize on all my creative juices flowing! 🙂 (Thanks mom!)

7. I also learned that although hard like an acorn, the chestnut is not an acorn without it’s top. Silly Erica.

Lots of love!!

Trees. And a Little More Fall.

October 17, 2011 - One Response


Yep, another Fall decoration! The other day I actually started working on something for Christmas, freaked out, and had to pull out the Trees!

Originally I saw these ones on Pinterest:


Not sure why I didn’t look back at this picture when I did mine, I really like the stacked paper idea… Maybe next time!

I checked the Etsy shop these were from- $12.50 for 10! Let me tell you, anyone can make these suckers, so save your money and make them yourself! (Or be nice and support a small business owner on Etsy… ;))


I cut out different sizes for the body of the tree, from about 3 different papers (only using about a quarter of each page.)

Then I cut out the trunks from an extra piece of cardboard to make it that much more sturdy. Glued then on, grabbed a piece of yarn (from my christmas project!!) and baby clothespins and… voila!



And because Fall is not complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch:



Had a fun weekend with my favorite oldest nephews! (hehe)

It was a gorgeous day to be outside with the whole family. The colors of the trees mixed with the wafting aroma of pigs and hay, the sights of kids running everywhere and pumpkins being launched into the air made for a typical day at the patch! 🙂

Have you gone to the patch yet? Found your way out of a corn maze? Know an even cuter way to make trees?


October 6, 2011 - One Response

In the spirit of “snaps,” I wanted to show you all something:


These are my fingers. A day in the life of me 😉

Yesterday one of the middle school girls came in with her bag of nail polish. My first thought: “Noooooooo! Nail polish stinks… they are going to fight about it, and we only have 15 minutes until all the elementary kids show up… No, no, no.”

Thankfully God’s taught me a lot about quieting my own selfish desires, creating space for Him to work things out- especially when it comes to middle school girls!

So instead I opened the window and sat down with them. And let then paint my nails.

One hand has yellow and orange with crackle over it… after which the girls decided that DID NOT match my skin tone… nor did it match anything I was wearing. (oh my) I just laughed, I have never thought of EITHER of those when painting my nails, not that I ever paint my nails. 😉

So another girl did my other hand- dark blue, green, and sparkly red= success! Haha

Praying for more points of connection with these girls!