You’re Not A Train, But Your Engineer Is Still In Control

The train tracks run right through the middle of town, parallel to the river itself. You can hear the whistle blow from anywhere you are. Passenger trains, coal trains, box cars carrying things from one coast of America to the other - they go through Ottumwa every single day.

Once you figure out the train schedule, you know when you can and when you can’t cross from the north side of town to the south. If you don’t time it right, you’ll be stuck sitting at the crossing, waiting for the long string of train cars to end. Count them if you like, but it won’t make them move by any faster.

If you take a look at the steel rails the train rides on, they’re strong and they’re metal and they’re made to last. They don’t allow for any deviation from the course because that’s how trains derail and destroy. The purpose of those tracks is to hold the train in exactly the place the engineer wants it to go.

Life lesson: You are not a train.

Common sense, I know. If you are reading this, you are not …

My Husband, The Bullrider

I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since the Bullriders of America Finals competition. It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year, and we had so much fun this year. We volunteered to help with the kids’ activities Friday night, which meant Danny got to help run the bucking bull ride. Talk about a workout!

As always, the cowboy breakfast was amazing. Chef Bob Newell at Bridge View Center creates the most wonderful menus and amazing dishes. New this year was Breakfast with the Bulls. Tables right next to the arena gave us an up close and personal view. Luckily all the dirt he threw over the fence went into the stands and not onto our plates.

From the first year the BOA held their finals in Ottumwa, the cowboys have always been so gracious to their fans. They take time during their competition days to say hello, answers everyone's questions and be available for media, photos and autographs. That means a lot, knowing the pressure they're under to compete each night.


Happy Valentine’s Day!


Words For Wednesday


DIY Eraser Valentines

If you're looking for a fun, last-minute craft for a class or group, make these adorable little Valentines with just three supplies and a little adhesive. 

To make these cute cards, all you need are some love-themed erasers, self-stick hearts and some scraps colored paper.

Cut two pieces of card stock - one slightly larger than the heart and the other slightly larger than the first piece.

Then use double stick tape to adhere them all together. The tape is strong enough to keep them together, but not too strong that you can't get the eraser off. Make a set of these and have fun passing them out to everyone you see!

Combine National Friendship Day And Valentine’s Day!

Love isn't reserved for one day each year, and it's definitely not saved for that one special person. Love is a gift that comes directly from the lord Himself, and all those amazing people in our lives can share in that blessing when we're willing to share it around.

Today is National Friendship Day, and there is no better time to celebrate our amazing friends that the week of Valentine's Day.

One of my favorite stories about friendship is found in 1 Samuel. From the moment David and Jonathan met, their hearts were knit together. They fought for each other, protected one another and stayed friends through some incredibly difficult times. And when the moment came to save David's life, Jonathan was right there in the thick of things.

King Saul, Jonathan's father, knew David had been anointed king, and he hated David for it. After attempting to kill David several times, Jonathan knew he had to get David out of the kingdom. Pretending to be out for target practice…

Sunday Sketches

One of my favorite projects I do for Stuff From Trees is creating custom orders. It's such a blessing that people trust me to take their special Scriptures and turn them into one-of-a-kind handmade cards. This sketch came from my latest custom order.

I absolutely adore this flowered paper, but the pattern was so big that it needed a larger sentiment that wouldn't get lost on it. Tiny, contrasting accents in the corners were all the card needed to stand out in every way.
Ready to use the sketch for a card of your own? Cut a patterned paper slightly smaller than your card and tilt it corner to corner. Mat the sentiment on a coordinating color and adhere it in the center.

For embellishments, choose something small that will stand out from the patterns and the color combination. It doesn't have to be bright and busy to pack a punch.

Like what you see here? Get more inspiration and fall in love with our handmade cards and gifts in our Etsy shop. When you make this card for you…