diy sidewalk chalk paint

Mornings at our house are for planned activities and playtime. I find that if I invest just 30 minutes of playtime with my little people, and engage with them in the morning, they are much more content to play independently later in the day. 

So our first official activity of the summer is our old staple: chalk paint. Want the easiest “recipe” ever? Here you go: 

– Chalk (Dollar Tree – $1 for 12. We only used about 4 today = 33 cents) The bolder the chalk color the better. 

– Water

That’s it’s. Really. 

Now, you also need ziploc bags and a hammer, but really, that’s it. We use recycled Cool Whip containers to hold our paint, and cheapo paintbrushes from Walmart, and reuse them over and over. 

Smash chalk in ziploc bags with a hammer. (An activity in itself) Pour chalk dust in container. Add water slowly to make a thick soupy paste. Done. 

This is one of my favorite summer things. It’s so fast, the kids can pretty much manage it all by themselves (as long as no one gets out of control with the hammer) and the mess is all outside and washable. We always have chalk and water on hand so it’s an easy one to pull out of your back pocket when you run out of stuff to do!  Enjoy!  Let me know how yours turns out. 

craft: vintage chalkboard verse

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Like, a bazillion days ago I bought this thing at the Gresham Barn Sale.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it at the time. (this is nothing new. sorry matt.)  It used to be a pull out cutting board in someone’s kitchen. I wonder what their story was, and why it doesn’t live in that house anymore.

Anyway, I decided right away to turn it into a chalkboard with hooks.  The idea was to put a new verse on it every month or so… whatever I felt was the reminder that I needed for the month.

No, I do not freehand my writing.  Almost never.  I design on the computer, print, and trace.  So there’s that.

Psalm 145 has always been one of my favorites, so I started with that one.  And guess what?  Here we are 3 years later, and it’s still on the chalkboard.  It used to live in our garage entry in our old house, and once we moved, I decided it needed a central place in our home.  It now lives in the kitchen, right where we sit down to breakfast every morning.


I even took a picture of it with my phone, and it’s been my iPhone wallpaper for the last 3 years as well.  Why?  Because life with 3 small children calls for this reminder daily – sometimes a hundred times daily.  I actually repeat to myself out loud, “… slow to anger, slow to anger, slow to anger.”


The beautiful thing is, too, that the Lord is not just slow to anger, but on top of that, He lavishes his graciousness, compassion and rich love on us.  It’s not just the absence of anger, but the presence of these things.

It’s HARD. I want my home to be about such things.  And I need a daily reminder to do it.

Moms – what verses help you “hold it together” in life with littles?

Side note: I’ve made an 8×10 digital photo of this chalkboard.  If I made prints of it, would anyone be interested in purchasing one?

just remember…

My daughter was upset that I wouldn’t let her take her indoor toys (dolls, Barbies, etc) outside to play in the yard with the neighborhood kids.  We had a little timeout for her attitude – one thing we work on constantly is being content with what we have. (Our motto is, “be content with what you have or you lose what you have”.). 

She was upset because she wanted to have a “club” with the neighborhood kids, which really just means playing like they do every day, but with a special hand drawn sign saying “club” taped to the front door.  😛

I offered her a few options – have a club with outdoor toys, make a fun sign or invitations… She balked at those but then eventually ran off to do her thing. 

Then, I see her in the kitchen, cup after cup disappearing out the front door. Then plastic straws, then crayon and paper. And my immediate thought is, “What a mess!” 

Then… I went outside to see what she was doing. 

“I got everyone a drink so they wouldn’t have to run all the way home if they got thirsty. I was thinking of others as more important than myself.” (Another motto) 

Well, melt my heart. 

So, just remember…  We’re not just here to make sure they don’t make a mess.

Remember to cherish it, dwell in it, watch what they’re learning and praise the good things. 

Slow down and take a picture of it so you can remember the sweet times. 

mommy pto

My hubby gave me a Mommy Paid-Time-Off weekend this weekend. He was gone on three separate trips this month and thought I’d enjoy some time away from the little people in our house. 🙂 

Yes, please. 

I went to my parents’ house; my brother came up to spend the weekend too. Not sure if many people would say, “Gee, I can do whatever I want this weekend – I think I’ll spend it with my little brother and parents.” 

But I would! 

We barely made it there. It was the big Texas Blizzard of 2015, you know. But, once we were there we were iced in, so the weekend quickly changed from shopping/movie theater/out-to-eat weekend… into stay-home-and-do-nothing weekend. 

Well, maybe not nothing

A quiet drive alone…

We made it! And home cooked dinner was waiting for us…

Saturday morning Skype session to watch my older brother (deployed) be promoted to Lt. Colonel! 

Homemade sleds out of cushions, cardboard and trash bags… 

Yes, we’re in our 30s. But who cares?  It was fun. Even my parents tried it! 

Cookies, coffee and board games… 

And a QT drink for the drive back home. 🙂

Thanks, Dusty, for braving the ice with me. Thanks, mom and dad for hosting – and raising a brother that I’d want to spend time with. Thanks, Matt, (and nana and pops) for caring for our kids so I could disappear for a while. I’ve got the best hubby out there. 

why I don’t hate football season (anymore)

In writing that, I admit that at one point, I did not like football season. (maybe hate is a strong word)

It goes like this…

First season of marriage (no kids), I loved football season.
Football season meant that every Sunday he watched football and I had a great excuse for a long extended nap on the couch. Quality time together, right?

Then we had a kid. And 3 years later, another kid. And this year, another kid.
And taking a nap during football was no longer an option… but watching football (for him) was still an option… if I would let him.

My husband played football in high school, and it was one of the most formative things in his life.  He loves football.  Watching, listening, playing… anything.  I wanted him to watch the games and enjoy them.  But there was this thing that would creep in every Sunday (and Saturday if you count college football) and steal away his enjoyment of it, and my level of enthusiasm in letting him.

It was called bitterness.

Bitterness at having to entertain the kids while he watched.
Although he would often offer to help, I felt obligated to say, “No, you can watch, go ahead.”   *mumble grumble*
“I’ll watch the kids.”   *mumble grumble*
Bitterness in seeing all that needed to be done around the house and thinking, “Doesn’t he see the laundry and the dishes and the… (whatever)… and he just sits there?”

Again, he would offer to help and I would say no thanks, with a smile on my face and a grumble in my heart.

Then this year, something changed.  I can’t say what spurred it on, except for the small (but HUGE) realization…
He works all day.  He invests in the lives of other people all day.  He provides for his family, and then comes home to a family that needs him and his attention.  He helps get the kids bathed, in bed and tucked. He spends hours on Saturday morning managing our finances.  He spends other free time doing building projects for our home, or hanging Christmas lights, or mowing the grass, or washing cars, or…

Now, he gets to have lunch meetings when he’s at work, which I would consider “fun,” since going out to lunch with 3 small children isn’t exactly fun.  He gets to have adult conversation, which I would consider fun, but he also has to deal with those adults on a regular basis. 🙂

However, I get to do things that are fun for me during the day – work on crafts, do some freelance graphic design work, have a play date, take the kids to fun activities (work, but also play), have lunch with a girlfriend (even if there are 6 kids between us)… He doesn’t get to do that.   He very rarely gets (or asks) to go play poker with the guys, or have hobbies, or have time to do something that he really wants to do.  That’s just the nature of life with a busy job, a wife, a house (and rental properties) and 3 small kids.

When I realized that, my whole view on football changed.  I began to view 3 hours of football as something that I could give to him, rather than something that I could use to harbor bitterness.

“Darcie, what if you could give your husband a gift, every week, that you knew he would love, that would refresh and recharge him (unless his team loses), and it wouldn’t cost you anything except a little time and the effort of playing with your own kids?”

So, I started looking up the times when the Dallas Cowboys played on Sundays.  Noon game?  Let’s make it home from church in time so he can watch, and I’ll take the kids outside to play.  7:30pm game?  I’ll tuck the kids in so he can catch kickoff.  Monday night game and we don’t have cable/satellite at home?  Send him to a restaurant to watch.

How much does that cost me?  Not much.  How much is the return value? Worth every minute and snotty nose wiped.

Now, this is not to say that every once in a while, I don’t have a breakdown and say, “I just want help with the kids!  Stop watching for just a minute!”  Or that life doesn’t get in the way – the phone rings, someone stops by, kids have issues… That still happens, but I’d like to think that at least I’m getting better at asking for help instead of harboring bitterness.

So, wives, moms… I don’t write this to toot my own horn, but to ask, “What is your husband’s “football”?” What is it that he enjoys, but doesn’t get a chance to do because of job, kids, home maintenance, making-wife-happy-stuff?  Is it poker, hunting, sports, woodworking, photography, chess, tinkering with an old ’54 Chevy… what is it?

Consider giving it as a gift to your hubby.

It changed my whole attitude and outlook, and I’m a much happier wife too.

fall fun

I love fall in the country.
I don’t love raking all the leaves we have in our yard… unless it’s for a leaf-jumping pile.

And we fixed our swing in the front yard… finally.  I think it was on my Summer-To-Do list.

So, here are 3 of my favorite people in the whole world. (forgive me, I couldn’t choose)Sassy face.  We are done for when she’s a teenager.His smile melts my heart.  And his too.The “flirty face.” I pray for her insides to be as beautiful as her outsides.  Whew, she’s cute.Again, smile.  Melt.“I am so done taking pictures, dad.”


My husband’s office does trick-or-treating for the staff kids on Halloween afternoon.  Perfect for young kids.  We were done by 5, then enjoyed some 50 cent corny dogs at Sonic. (my idea of a perfect day)  Each department at his office does a different theme, some simple, some very elaborate, but all really fun.  This year we had a Rapunzel and a teddy bear.  (His middle name is Barrett, so it fits… although the costume barely fit.  Get it, bear-ly?)

This department did a reading corner and coloring wall for the kids.  Brilliant.The media department (my old stomping ground) did “UP,” and really went overboard. Nice. After the first station (and a piece of candy) he had the Halloween thing figured out.
You give me candy, mom opens it, I eat it… repeat.  Shouldn’t have given him that first one.We dressed up like a mom and dad of 2 kids. 🙂

more theology

I made the kids some quesadillas for dinner.  They sat down, and then the conversation went like this…

H: Maybe next Tuesday God could come over to my house and I could share some of my tomato dip (salsa) with him.
Me: Do you think that God could come over to our house whenever he wants?
H: Yep.  Cause he’s your father.
Me: What does God look like?
H: God.
Me: But what does he look like?
H: Jesus.
Me: What does Jesus look like?
H: What… Does he look like daddy?
Me: He does look like a person…
H: Is Jesus God?
Me: Yes, he is.
H (asking): Like Belle wanted to leave the castle, because the Beast said “the castle is your home now, except the west wing”?

That’s where she lost me.