See-Through Glass Framed Fall Leaves

Are the leaves changing in your neck of the woods? Let's save some of them and turn them into handmade art! With this glass framed piece, you can see right through it to the surface behind it.

To start these amazing leaf frames, gather several sizes, shapes and colors of leaves. Place them in a single layer between wax paper and close them up in a stack of heavy books. This will get them dried and flattened when they've been in there for a few weeks.

I used two dollar store frames for each artwork. I took everything out of each frame, then put one piece of glass back in.

This is just one arrangement of the dried leaves on the glass, putting the prettiest side down, and making that the front of the frame.

I printed out one of my favorite fall Scriptures and matted it on a dark piece of card stock.

Again, since this is the back of the art, the writing goes face down on the frame. Pretty side down, back side up.

Then I took the piece of glass from the second frame and secured it…

Lessons From Job: Lying And Hypocrisy

As Danny and I have been leading our youth group through a study on the book of Job, we've gotten through an in-depth look at the first 17 chapters. We read almost verse-by-verse through each section, looking at the underlying themes and problems that happen in the storyline.

One that really stood out to everyone recently was the theme of hypocrisy. Or the lack thereof, when it comes to Job's life.

Our youth group has a group text that we use to let everyone know important info during the week. This particular Wednesday I texted them to look up the word "hypocrisy" and be prepared to define it and explain that definition in their own words. It was the first time we had tried this, and it worked even better than we'd hoped.

Hypocrisy is putting on a false appearance of virtues, morals or religious beliefs. In other words, you expect other people to follow your standards, but you don't follow them yourself.

My example for this concept was this: If I told you t…

Happy First Day Of Fall!

I don't know what it's like where you live, but here in Iowa we went from summer to fall in about 12 hours. One day we were sweating and praying for a cool breeze, and the next day we were pulling out long pants and looking for long sleeves.
Iowa in September. That says it all.
In celebration of the first day of fall, here is a checklist for some great autumn activities. Print it out, cross them off and have fun!

Words For Wednesday


Update Your Scrabble Game With Washi Tape

For the past few months I've been using wash tape in my journaling Bible. It's one of my favorite decorations, and you can find it fairly inexpensively just about anywhere. Today I'm spreading my washing tape wings and adding it to one of our Stuff From Trees lines - the Scrabble trays!

Using my steadiest hands, I run a piece of thick wash tape across the curved part of the tray. This puts one edge under the tray and the other edge in the crease of the tray. A sharp pair of pointed, nonstick scissors makes cutting it evenly much easier.

Then I repeat the process, matching up the edges of the tape and its pattern, until the tray is covered.

I use hot glue to carefully attach the letters to the covered tray. A toothpick is the best tool for cleaning up any stray globs of glue.

I use the blank tiles as a blank canvas for decoration on some of the words. A few adorable stickers or images accent the finished piece.

It's so much fun to mix and match patterns and colors of w…

Tater Tot Casserole

This casserole will put you in the mood for fall in a flash - and it combines many of our favorite comfort foods all in one pan. Sounds like a winning situation to me!

The added bonus for a household of two is that this dish lasted for three days. We were able to stretch our grocery budget a little farther and enjoy an amazing meal.

2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/4 cups water
2 packets sloppy joe mix
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 large bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 4-oz can mushroom stems and pieces
1 package frozen toter tots
1/2 bag of shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13x9 baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. In a large cast iron skillet, brown the ground beef and drain the fat.

3. Add water and sloppy joe mix. Stir until combined, then allow to come to a boil. Simmer uncovered until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.

4. Add tomato paste and stir until combined. Add vegetables and mushrooms,

5. Pour mixture from skillet to baking dish. Spr…

Show packing

Tomorrow is Ottumwa's Walk on Art Street, and it's one of our favorite shows of the year. Since we're down to the wire, it means packing up everything we need to take with us has to be a priority.

To make the task of packing a little easier, I made a list. (I know, I love lists. This is just one that I never made.) It breaks down each category of the show and makes getting everything gathered so much smoother. No more running around like a chicken with my head cut off...

The list begins with all the physical needs of the booth: tent, tables, etc., so they get pulled out first. The big pieces are all in the garage, stacked up and ready to go.

All of our inventory has its own labeled drawer for simple transportation. We've tried so many different combinations of boxes, crates and containers, and this is by far our favorite. The crates we use for display pieces on the tables carry any overflow back and forth, making them both attractive and useful.
We'd love to see y…