"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


Story Boards...A/K/A My Version of the Subway Signs

I decided to jump on the Subway sign bandwagon. Or at least my version of it. And being the English nerd that I am, and given the fact that 'I have a big story to tell', I decided to call mine Story Boards.
Yes, I am also aware that there are in fact real 'story boards' which already have that name. These are "Lori's Version of the Story Board". I just shortened it to "Story Boards".
And, in typical Lori fashion (again),I decided to wait and make these after school had started and I spend nine or more hours at work, a couple of hours commuting and then have grading to do in the evenings. I mean why not?  I only had the canvases THE ENTIRE SUMMER!
The first two I made soley as an expirement, trying different techniques and ideas. Since the first one was about our family, I gave the first one to Hubby for our anniversary.
He was thrilled beyond words. I mean really. He had no words. I was so touched that he was for able to contain his excitement so well.(ha) He did perk up somewhat when I told him, then showed him on the computer, how much money I had saved him by creating my own.
While I was in the kitchen creating I interrupted the intense golf game on TV sweetly asked Hubby for an adjective to describe our family.  He answered just as sweetly, with the word, "Poor". I sweetly told him that answer was unacceptable on a story board and his second (sweet) answer was "Blessed." (I did point out to Hubby that the word LESS in in Blessed, so he kind of got both of his words in there.) Notice I made BLESSED the biggest word on the board. Because in reality we are.
With four kids in college and a fifth getting married in a couple of months, it is easy to think of the word "poor". But hey, that's why I made my own Subway signs/aka/ Lori's Story Boards. Hmmm. How does "Lori is Poor Story Boards" sound?
Nope. Way too much drama. We'll stick with Story Boards.
Well, the Anniversary Story Board was such a huge hit, I could not stop there. So since Hubby has a birthday (tomorrow) I thought, "WHY NOT????" So I created another one for him.

This time I went with "Are you ready for some football?" theme. Even better, I specifially targeted our favorite team, the Oklahoma Sooners.

Contain your excitement. No, that is not Hubby holding the Lori's Football Story Board.  Luke was holding it for me so I could get the glare off the photo's. Notice I even put a third color in with this one.

Not so sure I am sold on the three color thing. But since my Sooners are red, I wanted a little RED with my black and white.
I did not wait for Hubby's birthday. I gave him this one early. Oh my you should have seen his excitement. It was almost a whole seconds worth!!!

I made these two Story Boards on stretched canvas.  I have another one that I need to finish that I am doing on a wooden board.
And, no, before you ask, the third one is NOT for Hubby.  I mean a man can only handle so much excitement!!!!! I will put the third one on here when finished.

That my friends, is the Big Story of my Story Boards. I actually enjoyed making these..(almost as much as Hubby loved receiving them!)
If you are a relative, you are probably getting one for Christmas. You might as well tell me now what kind you want. I am thinking of 'vintaging' up the boards a bit. I need to put a little glaze and sand them down some.
Until then, I'll go to work each day, come home and create and wonder why I didn't do these all summer!!!!!
Check out Be Different Act Normal for other great fall decorating ideas. 


L is for Letter Tray...or Lori...or...Lucas.....

I did not take pictures of this process, but you can figure it out it's so simple: I had an old wooden letter tray. Or an inbox tray. Or maybe it was an outbox tray.  Whatever it was, it was a boring old tray.

I spray painted the tray a cream color.

I painted a big "L" in the middle.  I sanded the entire tray and L down to appear worn.  I applied a glaze. The end.

 P.S. That is Abe coming around the corner trying to get in on the action! 
I've linked this to Susan and Metamorphosis Monday. Go check them out.


My Philosophy

Weekends don't count unless
 you spend them
 doing something completely
~Bill Watterson


Such a good thought................

If you really, really
think about
the saying above,

"even after all this time....."

isn't it wonderful?
Do any of us ever try to live this way?

Have a great weekend. Show the
people you love
how much
you love them...


We're Off To See............

Today is the 71st anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz. Can you believe the movie has been around that long?
On many lists, it is rated as one of the top ten movies of all time.
For Halloween 1990, I dressed my crew of five up as Wizard of Oz characters. When the children were growing up I tried to always make their costumes. For some reason I had the thought to make them all from one theme that year. As is typically how I operate, I did not start till the day before Halloween.  And, as is typically how I operate, I had to stay up all night to get things finished. I think just because of the sheer number of little ones, they were quite the hit that Halloween. 
The next night, my sister (who was not married nor had any children of her own at the time) took the entire crew (!!!) to a big Halloween extravaganza.  The children were once again the hit.........and my sister took all the credit. She told everyone she had worked so hard on their costumes and stayed up all night to get them finished!  ha!!
Coicidentally, the next year we moved to Kansas. We were well prepared!! 
(Fielding=Tin Man, Annabelle=Good Witch, Taylor=Dorothy, Coulter=Cowardly Lion, Luke=Scarecrow)


Summer Suppers at Sunset

Just because I'm back at work work and school is in full-swing, it doesn't mean I am abandoning summer.  Oh no, not me!  I hold on to summer till the last mosquito leaves!

 What better way to enjoy the end of summer than supper on the deck?  By the time we get home, get supper going, wind down (and Hubby gets in a quick golf game), the fierce sunshine is gone, a (very small!!) breeze has kicked up, and it is perfect for dinner on the deck.

Red, white and blue is always in at my house. I have more red, white and blue dishes than any three  ten people should have.  

This group of dishes is a hodge-podge, but put together, it is classic.  The red chargers were from Dollar General at Christmas time.  The blue plates one of my daughters bought at an estate sale.  The blue flowered plates I picked up at an antique store the first week we moved to this town, and the small red ramekins I bought at our former town.

The glasses are from Target looooooong ago. Everything else was found in the house....in a closet, drawer, or basket somewhere.

The cloth napkins I bought over 30 years ago. I love the men's dress shirt look with the delicate pattern of the flowers. I was not even setting this table for Tablescape Thursday, but when I didn't have a table to show this week, I uploaded these and decided to use them. Simple. Summertime. Sunsets with the one you love.
I have linked with Susan. Go by and enjoy other wonderful, imaginative and planned out (!!!) tablescapes!


Going Bananas in the Kitchen

Every Sunday we like to make (and eat) pancakes and other breakfasts goodies as a family. I have talked about how the majority of the time my husband makes the big Sunday breakfasts.  We eat either before church or after church, depending on whether we go to early or late church services.

This time Luke, (child number 5) took over the grill.  He likes to think he is Bobby Flay (or as Luke calls him, Bobby Souffle') and the Deen brothers rolled into one. He is all about using his (wild) imagination with food.  His pancake breakfast is a great example.
He created a banana flavored pancake batter (much like banana bread). He added a handful of chocolate chips to the batter as well.

Once the pancakes were cooked he topped them with slices of fresh banana, regular syrup and a little drizzle of chocolate syrup!! Then to top it all off, he put a big dollup of whipped cream on top.

  I took these pics right before the banana/chocolate/banana/chocolate pancakes disappeared!!

I did not get Luke's recipe as he 'created'.  If he makes them again I will jot the recipe down. It is a great lesson for the rest of us though about getting stuck in recipe ruts!!  Go forth and create!  I have linked this with Foodie Friday.  I guarantee they have recipes to please over there.

Edited**********************I added a Banana Pancake Recipe from the Internet.


1 cup all-purpose flour
 1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 ripe bananas, mashed

Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.

Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.


A Checkered Past

I saw this Chinese checkerboard sitting on a pile of garage sale items at a house, as my husband and I drove by in our car.
My husband refused to stop. (He had a golf game he had to get to and that is priority one!)  I immediately thought of Miss Mustard Seed and I wanted that checkerboard.
The only problem was that by the time I dropped my Hubby off at the golf course, I would be about 10 miles and 25 minutes away.
Regardless, I went back for it.  I got it for $1. Actually there was not even a price on it (or anything). I offered the dollar. Hmmmm, am I showing my rookieness?

 So I washed it down and then spray painted it a cream color. Then I began to paint each 'point' red.

It went very quickly. I did not tape it off, I did it all free-handed.  Yes, there are many imperfections!

I used q-tips to get the paint down into the holes.

I got all the points and the frame trim painted.

After I (impatiently) let it dry thoroughly, I began sanding. I used a little block hand-sander.

I sanded several areas down to the natural wood for affect.
After the sanding it didn't have that freshly-painted-and-new-look!

I then wiped on some mahogany stain and wiped it off with a different rag. It was beginning to look more like Miss Mustard Seed's!!
Then I put a hook on the back and hung it. 

I pulled up Miss Mustard Seed's version on my computer and sat the computer beside my version.

What do you think? 
I loved the checkerboard (with the checkered past) when I saw it on Miss Mustard Seed's blog in May. I am SO glad I drove out of my way to go back and get my $1 board.

Because I already had everything else, the entire project cost me $1. I am happy now with my (Chinese) checkered past (board)!

I am linking this to Metamorphosis Monday and to Thrifty Treasures Treasures.  Check out the links on both these ladies great blogs.


One Week Down..........

One week of school down........how many more to go? Hmmm. I don't want to even figure it up!
Technically, we are finished with TWO full weeks of school, but this is our first complete weeks with students.
It has been a looooooooooooonnnnnnnngggg week.

Students aren't the only ones that have a hard time being back in the confines of four walls. Teachers have that problem too.  Well, at least me some of us.

For the most part, my students have been pretty good this year. So far. In seven days time. We are already deep into our first novels, taking quizzes, working on our writing skills, and correcting our grammar mistakes.
I decided this year to change the look of my room.  (If I have to be in here 9 or more hours per day, I need to love it too, right?)
(Mark Twain, drawn years ago with an ink pen by one of my students. Not even kidding!)

I brought in more 'artwork', all pertaining to
English of course.
I still have more to hang, but haven't had time yet.
With cement block walls, it takes twice as long
to hang everything.

This wall will be a gallery of cool letters and language soon.

The motivational posters are few and far between. When used, they are strategically placed and will be changed periodically.
The students see so many of them they become
to them...or worse
the good messages they actually have.
Before school started I took the hodge-podge 'furniture' in my room and gave it all a paint-job-in-black.
Sorry for the blurred pic. The only thing left to paint is the shelf in the background. AFTER.)
It certainly gave the room a more unified look, not to mention how much better it smells!

The walls were the brightest turquoise you could imagine.
I had the school summer-help paint them cream color over the summer.

No one could believe that (colorful) me would want white walls. I like them much better. They are calm. Calm is good when you have 90+ high school students in the room throughout the day.  So the black and cream look is much better.
They are building on to our school, and my room is about 50 yards from the addition.  It makes for a very interesting day.

On the first day of school my part of the building was without electricity (construction worker error). Hence, without air-conditioning. I live in Oklahoma.  It is above 100 degrees most of August.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (today) we have been without plumbing in our part of the building. Well, technically, part of Wednesday and Thursday we were without plumbing anywhere in our building (once again construction worker error).  We had to go to other schools (middle, elementary) to "use the facilities". Really. I don't joke about potties.

Like I said, it has been a very long week. 

But I have a cute (and getting cuter) room, a pretty good bunch of kids, and a great subject to teach.

Here's to what next week brings!!


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