Sunday, November 30, 2014

2014 Holiday Sale and Benefit

Take advantage of this limited 12 day sale. Twenty select paintings are being offered at a discounted rate and half of the proceeds go to The Sunshine Box Project. This organization was inspired by my nephew, David Sacran, so it's very near and dear to my heart, as well as Jason's. I, along with three other women, pair special needs children with volunteer sponsors. These sponsors pack and mail boxes of "sunshine" to the family. We gather information such as the child's needs, likes, interests, etc.. and pass that along to the sponsor so that they can tailor the box specifically for the child. Most sponsors are so generous and also send along something for the siblings. We have shipped over 350 boxes all over the world and are continuing to make matches almost every day. We are always looking for volunteers so if you think you would like to sponsor a child, just leave me a comment and  I can add you to our sponsor list.

You can view Jason's sale at

Go snag yourself a Sacran and support a wonderful organization at the same time!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday Sale

So this is fun news. Jason is doing a holiday sale from December 1st to December 12th. He is selling 20 paintings at 50% off the normal price. And the part I am most excited about- 50% of the sales will go to The Sunshine Box Project. (search Spreading Sunshine-David Sacran on Facebook to learn more.) I'll be posting all the sale information and links, as well as more information about The Sunshine Box Project as the time gets closer. If you were ever waning an original Sacran but for a fraction of the cost, then this is the sale for you!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I'm not totally finished with the dining room walls, but so, so, so close. In the meantime, here's a couple of "after" pictures to show you how's it's coming together. I couldn't be more pleased.

There are so many things/people that require my attention:

My House: clean me, paint me, decorate me, make me a home, pay my bills, make me a happy place

My Car: keep me from being a trash can, vacuum me, fill me up with gas

My Kids: educate us, teach us manners, teach us virtues, keep us clean, keep us clothed, feed us

My husband: feed me, keep me clothed, support me, love me

My body: feed me, clothe me, exercise, get me plenty of sleep, grow my mind

My kids' co-op: organize me, grow me, promote me, keep me functioning

But you know what else I have? I have a house, a car, a husband, a gaggle of girls, the freedom to homeschool, a wonderful group of like-minded homeschoolers, a healthy body.
So really, while I could complain that my life is busy, why should I? All the business comes from such wonderful people and things. Things that, as a child, I dreamed of and longed for. Yes, sometimes I need to vent. Yes, sometimes I have to sleep until 9:30am. (Thank you for not calling this morning.) Yes, sometimes I want a break. But mostly, I love going at it and making it all work somehow and making mistakes and learning from them and experiencing the crazy that is this life.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I guess since I feel a little better, I've decided to push myself as far as I can. Not only have I taken on the very large project of painting the kitchen cabinets and the dining room walls, I have added to the mix switching out the girls' summer clothes to winter clothes. Oh yes, and we have the stomach virus making it's way through the family. So, to once again sum it up, I'm crazy. 
Before Shot- Kitchen Cabinets

Before Shot- In Kitchen/ looking in to Dining Room

Before Shot- In dining room looking into kitchen

Before Dining Room 

Making some progress with the gray paint

Monday, October 27, 2014

So, to sum it up...

I'm not good at posting. Not right now, anyway. I'm still climbing out of this strange funk that seems to not want to leave me alone. I can tell that I am traveling upwards and not downwards, though, and I am very encouraged about that.
Last Thursday, we ditched school and went on a field trip instead. It was extra fun because Jason was able to come with us. That was a first. (Sadly, I think the act of taking a field trip was also a first.) We went to see the traveling replicas of the Nina and the Pinta. I couldn't believe how small they were. No wonder those sailors went crazy sometimes.

Elaina with her classmate from CC, Alice.

Betsy, Claire, Alice, and Nora

We've had family pictures on the calendar for a little while. Eventually, I thought to check Jason's calendar and sure enough, he was scheduled to be away on that day. The photographer is technically a newborn photographer and only does family photos a few times a year and on specific days, so I wasn't able to change the date. We turned it in to a Sacran children photo session instead. A week or so before Picture Day, Nora decided to ride her horse (Eily) and fell off and scraped her face on the brick that makes up our fireplace. It was a pretty nasty looking scrape but the scab fell off just in time and none of the redness underneath should show up in the photos. 

 I had a harder time than normal coming up with outfits this go-round. I wanted something subdued and girly. And I wanted Elaina's outfit to be a little different- to show that she's growing up. I'm not sure that I pulled it off, but they all looked sweet and that's what matters, I guess.

We've been going strong day after day and this is the scene I usually see by the time we get home. I think we are all looking forward to the downtime that's supposedly scheduled after tomorrow. 
It's going to be a Home Sweet Home kind of weekend and Hooray for that!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Hey! Look at me!

Posting twice so close together is just unheard of for me these days. I'm just feeling so much better and ever since 8:30 last night, I have been productivity city. It was good to take some time off from the things that usually fill my day and just let myself relax. I mean, I still cleaned (sort of) and fed kids and watched over the girls' schoolwork, but I only did the bare minimal. So now, I have a very dusty house, very filthy toilets, and very dirty floors. But I also have the drive to change that situation AND... I have the time because today WE DON'T HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE. Let me repeat that. WE DON'T HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE. For the most part, I'm a doer and a goer, but sometimes I need a day or two to just stay home and get things accomplished. It's looking to be lovely weather today so I'm guessing that once the ground dries off, we will be spending a majority of the day outside. Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I just let almost a whole month go by without posting. But that pretty much sums up my life here lately. I've been behind in everything. I've been told that it's very possible I have/had mono and that would explain my...way of being, because I have been exhausted, emotional, nauseous, overwhelmed, and just completely broken down. It's been very hard just to pull off the little, absolutely-have-to-get-done type of things. I do think that I'm on the up side of the hill now and that before too much longer will be back at it, doing all the things that I usually do. Please don't leave me. Please don't give up on me. Please just let me have a little slack. I'll be back. I want to post about the girls' birthdays. Elaina turned nine (are you kidding me!!?) and Claire turned eight. I turned thirty-three. I also want to post about The Sunshine Box Project. It's pretty near and dear to my heart. I want to give an update on school and how Classical Conversations is going. I have so much to say so stick around. It's hard for me to go too long without being gabby. :)

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Labor Day Fun

When we homeschool, I don't usually take off school for a lot of the normal one-day holidays. We end up skipping enough random days that it all balances out and the girls don't keep up with that sort of thing. So, this past Monday was looking to be a regular Monday. Get up, do school, clean the house, cook supper, go to bed. But then Jason's brother, Tommy, texted and asked if it would be a good time for him and his family to come visit. We had a lovely weekend.  They arrived late Saturday night and we visited for a few minutes and then went to bed. The next day we went to church, had a very relaxed and calm afternoon, and then went back to church for Elaina's baptism. I'm really glad it worked out for them to be able to be here for that. We came back home afterwards and put together a hodgepodge type of supper that was surprisingly pretty good, and then we put the kids to bed and visited a little more. Monday, we decided to go to downtown Fort Smith and ride the trolley and look at Judge Parker's courthouse.  We walked around the courthouse grounds until the trolley arrived and then took quite a long, hot, fun ride on the trolley. It was a nice, enjoyable day and a fun way to spend the holiday.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I'm kind of having a hard time today. I was going to write a nice post but I'm just too cranky to fake it.
We had a nice weekend with my brother and sis-in-law and I'll make a point to write about that soon. Until then, I'll try my best to not bite everyone's head off. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

8 years of deception

Apparently I like to roll with the unique kids:
Cholestasis occurs in about 1 out of 1,000 pregnancies but is more common in Swedish and Chilean ethnic groups. 
Pre Eclampsia can affect as many as 10% of pregnancies

When I was pregnant with Elaina, I ended up getting (having?) pre-eclampsia. I also had cholestasis of the liver. If I understand it correctly, that is when your pregnancy hormones affect your liver (I accidentally typed lover at first. And while that wasn't the word I was going for, it totally works in that sentence.) and you itch like crazy. Crazy is not even a strong enough word to describe the itching. It's in your ears, behind your eyeballs, all over your entire body- inside and out. And no matter how much you scratch, you can't get to the itch. So you scratch some more. And more. And more. Until you are bleeding all over but you don't care so you purchase a steel brush so that you can scratch even harder. It's all just loads of fun. I itched the most on my legs and so they got the most attention- scratching wise. I would wake up and find dried blood on the sheet where I had scratched in my sleep. I had a lovely design of scabs going on.
A few weeks after I gave birth, the itching mostly went away, except for on my legs. Pretty soon I noticed that the top of the lower half of my legs were covered with little white scars. So for eight years or so, I've told everyone that those spots are scars, not even considering that maybe they were something else. A month or two ago, I was getting a pedicure and I mentioned to the woman to just ignore the scar spots and she said, "Oh, I just thought you had a skin fungus."
oh. hmmmm    i never thought about that.     that makes so much more sense.  why did i never consider that?  maybe i should check on that. FUNGUS??!!! GROSS!!!

Well, since then I have noticed that I now have a few of these spots on my thighs and on my arms.
I HAVE FUNGUS IN MY BODY. Y'all, I don't do things like fungus very well.  I've grossed out over the thought many times since then. I called right away and scheduled an appointment but the earliest date open was a few weeks out. But I am here to happily announce that today is the day!  I am so happy. This is the best day of the year, so far; the day I can hopefully start taking something to get the fungus out of my body. Out! Out!Out, I say!
I'll let you know how it goes. I'm sure you'll all be on pins and needles until then since this is earth shattering information.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Third day in...

...and I'm still feeling like I can do this. We seem to be getting into some sort of routine and other than the math meltdown from Elaina this morning, all is going very smoothly. I haven't again resorted to using my phone as a distracting device for Nora. Instead, I have really tried to get her interested in working on some "school" projects. I am going to take Caitlin's advice and get her some school-only playdoh, stickers, etc... and I think that will majorly help.

Tomorrow night is my first Parent Information Meeting for our Classical Conversations campus. I'm not even nervous like I thought I would be. I'm just excited and eager to get our classes going. Right now we have ten students and there are two more that I'm hoping will be added before the year starts.

Jason comes home this weekend and he will get to stay home for a couple of weeks. Elaina joined the church last Sunday so we will have her baptism while he is home. We also will go on a date. As I've mentioned before, that's my very, very, very favorite thing to do.

Eily goes to the ENT doctor tomorrow to see about getting her tonsils and adenoids removed. I'm not at all excited about scheduling that surgery. Not on her behalf or mine. It sounds plain miserable. And from what I hear, it takes ten full days to recover. Let's just throw that in the mix with everything else, why don't we?

I hope you are having a lovely week. I'd love to hear what you have been doing.

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day of School 2014-2015

This was a busy day but a really fun day.  Nora proved to be quite a handful- as I knew she would be- but I distracted her (handed her my phone. I know, bad parenting) for a little while and we flew through the schoolwork. The first day's work is always fairly easy. I'm looking forward to tomorrow but I'll have to come up with something else for Nora to do. I cannot use that method of distraction every day. I also cannot spend all my morning entertaining her. I'll figure out something...

I wasn't pinterest-y and didn't print out adorable signs for my children to hold. Instead, they held up fingers to represent their grades. Nora was supposed to hold up a zero but she got mad about that and eventually decided to copy Claire and hold up two fingers. Whatever. I was tuckered out by that time. It wasn't a battle I chose to fight.

She came up with pose all on her own.

I know it's a lot of photos that are very similar, but it's my blog and I liked them all. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Just a quick check-in to say hello and also document the last day of everyone seeming little. Tomorrow, we start our 2014-2015 school year. Elaina will be starting third grade, Claire will be starting second grade, Eily will be starting first grade, and Nora will be a big distraction. :)

We hurried up and ate supper and then the girls picked out what to wear tomorrow. Normally, I wouldn't care what they wore since we are just at home, but I plan on taking some first-day-of-school pictures and it just wouldn't do to have them standing and smiling in nothing but their panties. I'm joking.

Or maybe I'm not.

By the time we finally agreed on the clothing, they were all so excited that they had a hard time settling down and going to sleep. But the sandman finally won and the house is now calm and quiet. I've been sitting on the bed catching up on my CC director-ing stuff and making sure that I'm prepped for tomorrow. I have to get up earlier than the girls and I haven't made a point to do that since school let out in May. Bye bye sleeping in. You'll always be my very favorite thing. Except dates with Jason. That's my very, VERY favorite thing.

But I will get up early and be just as excited as they are and will make them chocolate chip pancakes per tradition because what's better than adding a little sugar high to the already crazy first day excitement? At least I also throw some chia and flax seeds in the batter. Maybe that will balance out the sugar. (wishful thinking)

I'm looking forward to telling you all about how it went and posting first day photos and finally updating those widgets on the right side of the page of the girls making snow angels. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Girls Day Out

Jason travels a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. Not this trip, but the one before, the girls and I were feeling particularly blue about his absence and we decided to spend a day in Fort Smith with only one agenda- to have stress-free fun together. (Yes, there is such a thing as stressful fun when you are a parent.) We started with lunch at our favorite restaurant, Panera Bread. The girls love to sit outside and we just happened to have very nice weather that day. 


It took a little work on my part to get everyone in a happy mood but I finally succeeded and our day really started to have a care-free feel to it. 


We spent time in the mall just walking around and looking at rings and clothes and toys. 
And then we made a quick stop at the nail salon for a little polish on our toes.


We ended the evening with dinner and a movie. Nora fell asleep on the way home so I put her straight to bed once we arrived and the other three went to sleep quickly and quietly. 


It really was a nice, fun day together and we made it even better by calling Jason periodically and letting him share in our fun as much as possible. It was a nice glimpse into how it will be hanging out with the girls when they are all a little bit older and able to better handle a whole day out and about.