O Christmas Tree

Since Joe and I have been married we have always had “live” Christmas trees. Our first Christmas together we decorated our house plant, affectionately named Norbert II. Our second Christmas together we decorated our Redwood sapling that we bought for our first anniversary. Both plants have died and so we have been looking for a replacement tree. During Thanksgiving we got inspiration from visiting a high end Christmas store. We decided the design of the tree was easy enough that we could make our own version. So we did.

We gathered some sticks from around the neighborhood and hot glued them together.
We gathered some sticks from around the neighborhood and hot glued them together.
Then we spray painted the tree with white paint.
Then we spray painted the tree with white paint.
And now we have a lovely Christmas tree that won't die.
And now we have a lovely Christmas tree that won’t die.
Hope Ornament
Hope Ornament
Our Christmas tree, Nativity, and stockings
Our Christmas tree, Nativity, and stockings


A woman I visit teach recently gave me some chairs and off handedly said that they would be nice pieces if I reupholstered them. That sounded like too big of a project, but since the chairs were free I decided to take them. After visiting a friendโ€™s house who had just reupholstered some chairs I decided I might give it a try. She gave me some tips and with some help from the internet, it wasnโ€™t too bad.

Old Chair

I purchased the materials I needed: staple gun, staples, heavy fabric and then located the tools that I had on hand: scissors and a screw driver.


The project was fairly simple. I flipped over the chair, unscrewed the screws on the bottom, and popped off the seat. Then I measured the amount of fabric I would need to cover the seat and cut it to size.ย  I pulled the fabric taut and used my staple gun to keep it in place. Then I put the seat back in place and put the screws back. Old chairs made new.

New Chairs

Challenge Course Facilitator

I was trying to think of something to write about. Because Hope has been so diligent on giving updates on our adventures I do not have much to say. I decided to talk about my training last week and promote challenge courses. This summer I will be a challenge course facilitator at UNI. It is hard to define what a challenge course is and what it represents. It combines climbing on telephone poles with ropes and cables involved. It could be thought of as an obstacle course, only more complex and meaningful. It can be used as a challenge for those seeking to push themselves individually or as a group. It also has the power to achieve therapeutic results for those struggling to overcome boundaries. I think it has the ability to achieve what ever results you are looking for. It has been a goal of mine to be a challenge course facilitator for a couple of years now, and I am excited to finally live a dream. I suggest googling images of challenge courses if you still cannot picture what I am talking about. Believe it or it, legitimate challenge courses have to pass an inspection by an accrediting body such as the Association for Challenge Course Technology.

Feeling Crafty

I have a small little craft corner in my small little apartment. Recently I have not had much time to devote to this small corner of my life. Any craft that I have started has sat lonely and unfinished, until today. Yesterday I bought a glue gun which gave me a lot of ambition to be crafty. Today I pulled out my new weapon and made some progress on things I’ve been wanting to do for a while.

I was able to use some of the scrap fabric I’ve had laying around into fabric flowers….I don’t know what I’ll do with them, but they are there waiting for another project someday.

I was also able to finish this wreath that I started at a Relief Society activity.


My mom taught me to sew when I was in the 4-H program, but since then I haven’t done much. My mom recently gave me one of her sewing machines and I’ve been trying to get the hang of it again. My progress has been slow, but once I got some help from my mom and bought some new sewing machine needles, it’s gotten better. Here are a few things I’ve worked on, they are all items that I have repurposed.

These were both dresses that were too short. I cut off the bottoms to make headbands and used the remaining to make a top to wear over a shirt.

This is the project I am most proud of. It used to be a dress, I cut off the top and made it into a skirt.

And this is what it looks like on. (Please excuse the busy background).

Starting Off the New Year

Well, 2012 is finally here. It is going to be a good year. Hope and I are on track to graduate in May, and we are starting our first blog. I hope it is worth your time to read this. We will try to make it interesting so you keep coming back. The inspiration for our blog comes from Hope’s sister, Audrey Merket.

We have started the New Year by redecorating our house. This is where I am going to brag a little bit about my awesome feng shui type skills. I have hung up several new pictures and decorations around the house, including putting the inspirational poem, Invictus, in our bathroom. Hope gave me that poem in a frame for Valentine’s Day 2010. We saw the movie, Invictus, when we were dating, and it is the movie where we first held hands. If you ever come visit us, you will have to come be inspired by the awesomeness of the words of William Ernest Henley. In case you do not ever visit us, I will post the words here:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Happy New Years everyone!