The Gifter Project

I’m pretty giddy.  And nervous.  This project has been swirling around in my head and heart for a while, but I just wasn’t sure how to work it all out.  Josh Kelley and I have talked and chatted and thought and done some sorting out of thoughts.  Then I realized it didn’t really have to be all worked out…I needed to just go for it.  So here I am.

I love gift giving.  I love picking out just the right gift for people.  I like random gifts, surprise gifts for no reason and normal expectant, celebratory gifts.  I want to be an encourager and many times I like to give gifts to do so.  I like the time and thought you put into the gift…big or small.  The best gift I love to give is one I can make.  There’s just something about the entire process…the special person in mind, the perfect idea, then the entire creative execution of the idea and then the giving…the reveal.  It all makes me a bit swoony on the inside.

Here is where The Gifter Project comes in.  I want to help you be an encourager.  I want to help you give a gift to that really special someone who could use some extra love and a reminder they are seen and known and valued.  And I can do this with free art!

Here’s how it works.  Submit your story about your special someone you want to nominate HERE.  Tell us why they are special…why they could use a little pick me up…some extra love and care…a special surprise gift.  Lay it on us.  We want to hear all about this crazy good human you know.  Josh Kelley and I are going to read each and every word.  Then we are going to start choosing some of these awesome people.  I will notify you if your story has been chosen.  Then I will set to work creating an art piece with that special person in mind.  I’ll get all the details from you and then we’ll ship it out to the recipient with your name and message attached so they know where the love came from.  You will be the gifter and art will be the gift.

We’re going to give this a try for the summer and see how it goes.  My hope is to  share about each person, their snippet of story and their gifted art to go along with it, but I will always ask permission before doing so.

I wish we could choose everyone, but I’m afraid this won’t be a possibility…unless we get a low number of entries and in that case art for everyone :)  And feel free to pass along The Gifter Project information to friends and family.  The more the merrier.

So that’s it.  You fabulous people who want to encourage, submitting special people who need some encouragement and free art.  And away we go!

Happy Friday!

It’s What I Do

I won’t even tell you guys what time we arrived home from the ballpark last night!  Geesh.  And our leaky bathtub had a good solid dirt ring around it after the brownish tinted water emptied out and Josh Kelley told 3 boys to hop out.  It was gross…and I think I have kind of embraced our grossness, so I feel like it was really that bad.  But I digress.

Today has already been so full, but in a good taking-care-of-business kind of way.  Also known as washing-6-loads-of-laundry.  Laundry will surely be the death of me.  Bring on summer and it’s full on lack of scheduleness…less clothing to wash, no schooling to keep organized, sun and swimming.  I’ll take it.

Yesterday Hudson and Solomon had their kindergarten program and graduation.  I did great and kept the tears together until Hudson’s teacher broke down in tears and then the rest of us mommas were just a lost cause.  I told her thanks for keeping it together and then handed her a piece of cake :)  We have had the greatest teachers this year which made our first year at a new school so incredibly wonderful.  We’re anticipating amazing things for the next school year.

I like how Sol looks like I’m actually strangling him.

I pretty much loathe dinner time.  It’s a thorn in my side.  I do my “not a cooker” best, but some dinners are just cereal and others are “Here’s a napkin and a plate of food…work it our yourselves.”

Amon’s favorite part of being potty trained is washing his hands and the hand blowers.  He dries his hands for approximately .003 seconds and then the hair blowing ensues.  He loves it and it cracks me up.

Some of my recent favorite canvases…9×12, 12×12 and 24×24.  Just give me all the colors in the world people.  And check back tomorrow for the details on The Gifter Project were going to start…encouraging others through the gift of art.

Date night was success…we hit the gym, then dinner where I talked Josh Kelley into eating his first sushi, then he headed to a meeting and I got my first shower in days, then I picked up kiddos.  It was 3 hours of magic.

Anyone else make their kids write thank you notes???  I’m kind of stickler.  I don’t care if others do or don’t, but my Mom always made me write them, so no matter how late we are (Harper’s birthday was at the end of March) we push through and get them done!  Handwritten mail is becoming a lost art and I want it to live on.

These 2…they are wild and fun and quirky and a tad bit exhausting ;)  She has recently become protective of him, which cracks us up…she’s a sweet firecracker for sure.

Asthma and allergies + high pollen count = this before school.

And there’s still 6 spots open for the June Bible journaling class.  Check it out and let me know if you want to join us!

Happy Thursday!

June Bible Journaling Class

You’re officially invited to June’s Bible Journaling Class.  This is a really quick turnaround time for this class so we’re going to see where we land with numbers.  Here are the details:

When:  Saturday, June 6th

Time: 1pm-4pm

Where:  Our house. 

Cost: $50

All the money will be used to do some good in this world.  March’s class we raised enough money to fund a Fun Day for over 150 kids in Swaziland Africa which will take place on our trip in July.  April’s class funds were used to help purchase items and assemble welcome baskets for ladies entering the Magdalene Houses.  May’s funds are headed to bless an office of 60 social workers and their supervisors.  June’s funds, well, we’re not quite sure where they will be headed yet.  We’re praying and brainstorming and keeping our ears and hearts open.  I’ll clue you guys in as soon as we know.

This class will be 3 hours in length and we will talk about the process of Bible journaling and I will share how I go about this each day.  We will also talk about supplies and tips, tricks and techniques I use.  There will be time for questions throughout the class as well as time for you to do some of your own Bible journaling and practicing.

Each person will bring their own supplies.  You can read about the supplies I use on THIS POST, but please feel free to bring the items which work for you.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PURCHASE THE ITEMS I USE.

There are 7 spaces still available for this class.  If you would like a spot email me at pitterpatterart at gmail dot com or Message Me Here.  You can reserve more than one spot, so chat with your family and friends and make it a girls time.  This will also be a kid free time…sorry, no kiddos.

I hope you will join me.  It has been so great meeting all the different women in so many different walks…so much love.   I’m excited as always and can’t wait to see what God has in store for June’s class.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Happy Wednesday.

9 Things

1.  Tuesday is looking up people.  Our foster daughter’s case worker surprised Josh Kelley before 7am…again…but 1/2 of us were still asleep…all the ladies of the house…and I’m happy to report the ones who were awake were all wearing pants.  This is progress compared to LAST TIME.  I will gladly take progress :)

2.  In other fun Tuesday news, Josh and I have our first date night since the 1st of January tonight.  At the top of our “what to do for date night options” is drive thru Taco Bell and nap in the car.  If you see us parked in a parking lot, it’s likely we are not making out, but snoozing…let us be!

3.  Kelley kids have been on a bit of a downslide with the end of year chaos going full steam ahead.  No one wins the best sibling award lately.  They can fight hard that is for sure.  And then I find them congregated doing their thing again and I’m reminded they actually do really love each other.

4.  This picture can only mean one thing, and one thing only…Bunny’s Cake is in the house.  And there was lots of it.  Baked goods can change the world and eating a cold piece straight from the refrigerator can make your faith stronger in Jesus. #truestory

5.  I am super excited about a new project I’m going to be giving a whirl starting soon.  Josh Kelley and I are talking through details…it might be just a summer gig or it might  just stay forever.  Who knows!!!  All the details coming soon.

Spoiler Alert: It involves you & free art :)

6.  Harper reads to us every night before bed.  And it makes my heart want to burst and my eyes to leak a watery substance.  I’m a total hot mess lately.

7.  Harper and Amon got their summer cuts.  Harper just up and decided she wanted to cut all her hair off and, well, it’s her hair, so we let her do it.  This is the shortest Amon’s hair has ever been and immediately he grew and because extra spunky.  Hudson and Solomon are next on the list.  Summer means tons of sun and swimming and even less bathing than normal…and you all know what that means…so off with the hairs!!

8.  All the details for June’s Bible journaling class are coming tomorrow.  So excited for this class and cannot wait to see what God has in store!

9.  And if you are looking for a killer treadmill run this one is great.  I have a whole board of HIIT treadmill runs on Pinterest so I can change my runs up constantly…keeps things fun.  I did this one yesterday and was drenched and then continued to sweat even after my shower.  I hate/love when this happens.  Anyways, I wanted to pass it on.  So good.

See you tomorrow.

Happy Tuesday!

Weekend Hightlight

Saturday was May’s Bible journaling class and it was so so much fun.  Super great group of ladies,  great conversation, honesty and laughter.  I loved it all.  I wanted to squeeze each one of them.  I miscounted our final total and we actually raised right at $600 dollars to bless an office of 60 state social workers here in Tennessee.  I am crazy excited about this.  We’re looking into prices for catering and gift cards and blue ink pens.  If you would like to donate blue ink pens, I would gladly accept.  I would not turn you down :)  I would love to give them all the blue ink pens of the world…such a simple request.  Can’t wait to see where we land in all our thoughts on how to make this amazing group of people feel special.

I became all re-smitten with THESE cookies as I got everything ready Saturday.  Then I had a little photo shoot with the plate of cookies because I couldn’t stop looking at them.  I told myself I wouldn’t eat any more cookies until after the class…and then I ate cookies anyways.  Sigh.  I’m kind of a lost cause people.

Two of the sweet ladies who came brought kettlecorn popcorn and macaroons.  I almost died.  Thank you so much Heather and Jenny!!  I will honestly tell you there were only 2 macaroons left by Sunday morning, but I did share…a little bit.

The next Bible journaling class will be Saturday June 6 from 1-4.  I will post all the details on Wednesday!

 

So excited to see what we do with next month’s money and what group of ladies will come together for the afternoon.

Happy Monday!

Serious Cookie Business

Today I have a bunch of prep for tomorrow’s class and the first thing on my list was a little sweet treat.  Then after making the treat, I ate 7, text a friend and said she had to come get some cookies because they were THAT good, she came over, confirmed my tasty suspicion and then I knew I must report to you guys asap so you can make these as well and eat 7 too.  I can’t be alone in this people.

So here’s the cookie low down.  I found this sugar cookie recipe on Pinterest, but instead of flattening the cookies like the recipe suggest, I just cookie scooped them out and moved on.  I baked them for 10 minutes on parchment paper.  I’m kind of an all the time parchment paper user for my cookies, so there’s that.  I used the icing recipe she suggests in her comments.  Whenever I find a recipe on the internet I always, always read the comments…they typically provide helpful information.  So that’s where I found the icing recipe.  I actually doubled the dough recipe, but did not double the icing recipe.  Once I made the icing I put it in a microwave safe bowl and heated it up for 30 seconds.  I gave it a quick stir and started dipping the tops of all the cookies…every 3 cookies I stopped and sprinkled, then continued on.  Reheat the icing as necessary.

You must, I mean like you really must, make these right now and share because cookies make people smile.  I laughed so hard last night over dessert with a grieving friend about how we wanted a shirt that read “Sugar Heals”.  Ahhhhhh.  These are the healing kind of cookies.

Recap:

This cookie recipe.  Don’t flatten.  Use the icing recipe in the comments section (the vanilla frosting one).  Melt icing for 30 seconds.  Dip to tops of the cookies.  Every 3 cookies sprinkle or not, but you “or not” people are crazy.  Eat 7.  And share.

Happy Friday!

New Day…

Thank you for being so kind.  You just never know how you will be received or viewed or judged when you throw your willy nilly honest to goodness junk out there into the interwebs for anyone to read and yesterday I simply felt not alone.  Being kind is a choice…Thank you!

In other news, I’d like to report I purchased Hudson and Solomon new shoes.  This was a big deal because it was not easy getting a certain toddler boy out of the house…he’s just still feeling like poop, but the shoe saga had gotten worse…multiple holes were discovered in the bottom of said too, too small shoes and I just thought “Today is the day” like some grand explorer about to set sail for new land, but a mom shoe shopping.  I did make it quick and almost painless.  Now let’s all take a moment and say a deep, meaningful and chocked full of faith prayer the shoes will fit their new owners.

In even bigger news the most fun package in all the land showed up at our house Monday afternoon.  I check our mail before heading to the car rider line each afternoon and you should have seen me ripping this package open with my teeth and then crying from the kindest note too.  I was a goner.  And yes, that is an entire container of Toffix candy.  My friend Ashley found them…they are from Turkey!!!!  Whaaaattttt!!!!  And then we all talked and talked about how kind Ms. Ashley was as we ate taffy after taffy after taffy.  She’s grand.

I heard rave reviews about THIS cookie recipe and now I’ve just got to try it out.  I think the ladies at Saturday’s Bible journaling class might be the perfect guinea pigs.

I started a new project yesterday and I am pretty dang excited to see the end result.  I’ll report back.

 This has been my pretty consistent lunch except when Kroger ran out of broccoli salad and I thought I would surely die.  Today I added eggs and salsa with the mustard.  I know, I know…what on Earth?!?!?  Weird is good people.

Anyone else have their summer countdown going on???  We are all in.  The wee Kelleys, which are not so wee anymore, are in their final days.  Every morning another day gets marked off and the wave pool opens in T-minus 12 days.  Summer is upon us.

Sidenote:  That’s Princess Leia.

He’s watched 431 movies since last Thursday.  Making a toddler “take it easy” is not for the faint of heart.  Geez.

And this is on repeat in my brain and my heart.  I’m an out loud prayer and reader and now Amon just says, “You talkin’ to Jesus??”  Yes, yes buddy.

New days are good.  Happy Wednesday!

…with love in a spirit of gentleness

I just couldn’t get myself here yesterday due to the craziness of life and the overwhelmingness of just wanting to report on how dysfunctional I can be.  It’s so true.  Lately tensions are high around here, tempers are hot and fuses are way way too short.  It seems like were all ticked off at the world and each other and none of us are doing much right.  Since Amon’s surgery last Thursday he has slept terrible and I’m running on a good 4-5 hours of sleep each night and last night was the night of all nights…up every hour.  This morning I wasn’t sure if anyone slept at all.  The boy is just not recovering as well and as quickly as we had thought and dude is straight up out of pain meds…the good kind too…the kind they have to scan your driver’s license for.

Sporting events at close timeframes and a momma who did not have one of them on her calendar and realized approximately 1 hour before game time made for a wild afternoon and added to our not-so-great-night as well.  We ate dinner at the concession stands and today I ate popcorn for lunch.  And not just any popcorn, but what was suppose to be a little special something for a friend.  I am the gift eater.  I stared at a block of cheese, a carton of blueberries and some turkey slices for far too long today thinking “Can it really be time for them to eat again???”  This is us right now.  We’re a hot mess.  We’re all over the place.  We are not loving well and I am the ring leader of it all.

Last night after arriving home from the ballpark, way past everyone’s bedtimes, Hudson crawled into my lap all teary eyed and said, “This just hasn’t been our best day.”  And I agreed.  It had not.  It had not been our best past week and a half…a mixture of high highs and low lows.  I told him I was thankful morning was coming and we got another chance…His mercies are new every morning.  God’s grace doesn’t run out.  And even though our night was hellish in the sleep department and I said curse words in the dark the morning came.  I was immediately pissed and angry, but I saw mercy in Josh Kelley.  He held his temper with tired eyes, fixed breakfasts, changed a diaper, helped Amon potty, got kids rolling with their day, helped find school clothes, created opportunities for praise and encouraged kiddos who already needed pick me ups.  And I watched.  And God used him to diminish my selfish anger.

I’m still tired.  I’m still working on my short fuse.  And I did still eat someone else’s popcorn for lunch, but we’re getting there.  I took extra time reading my Bible today because I needed it.  I read extra and then reread a few past chapters.  I’m so glad I did.

“Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?”

I have been anything but loving lately and my spirit has been the opposite of gentle…mean, harsh, unapproachable, selfish, angry.  I needed to be reminded of the state of my spirit…I needed a reminder of how I need to be an imitator of Christ…His love and grace and mercy and gentleness.  Crazy thankful His grace truly does not run out.

Here’s to a better day tomorrow.