Teaching Good Things

Practical Skills for Real Life

Teaching Good Things - Practical Skills for Real Life

life, learning, working… all intertwined… naturally!

You may have noticed I haven’t been blogging much, or maybe you haven’t. ;)

Our life has gotten so busy, so industrious that the blog is waaaay down on my list of priorities. It’s not because I don’t have anything I want to blog about, actually, I keep saying, “I’m going to write a post about ‘that’ (insert passionate topic), but at the end of the day when I sit down to type, I am so exhausted my brain can not form a sentence. ;)

“But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

My cake business has really picked up over the last year, mostly because I am baking/decorating for the restaurant that Olivia is chef at.

I am grateful for the extra income while still being at home, but I will admit it is hard some days trying to balance house, shopping, meals, schoolwork, kids, husband…

grandchildren, time with adult kids…  I have to say no to a lot of extra activities which is probably good in the long run. I have no time for long phone calls, which usually ends up in gossip, and little time for shopping which usually ends up spending money I shouldn’t.  Responsibility and work keeps us out of trouble!

Even though it’s really hard some days, this is where we are. The kids labor along side me and Jeff by helping with the housework more and Jeff does more with the kids for their schoolwork. Aaron, 9, walks along side his dad a lot more in his work- which is good for his growing in manliness and I use my crockpot more! ;)

We are on a journey to one day having our dream and this is all a part of it. Because part of that dream is for them to be more self-reliant, to one day have their own family enterprise.   Meanwhile our children are learning all about providing a service and goods to generate income. They are learning to manage their time and experience real life challenges.

And no, we are not making a lot of money, but we are (hopefully) building skills, character and a healthy worldview that will bring more profit than any dollar amount could give us. Hopefully we are breaking the generational chains of always thinking in the box and trusting the culture to dictate to us as to what is normal. It IS hard, swimming up stream is always hard, but at least our hands are not tied behind our backs and hopefully our kids will have strong arm muscles to swim faster and harder!

Aunt Cherish rocking a sick Javi to sleep.

Their life of childhood, schoolwork and peers is not separate from us…from our real life! They still have lots of time to play, to learn their lessons and see friends, but is it so intertwined with our family life, our family work, that hopefully as they become adults it will just feel natural to them. We as a family are doing all of this together, not perfectly and not always joyfully, because at the heart of things we are sinful, lazy, selfish humans. But this is the work the Lord has given us for this season, it is the work we do with our hands and it is not glamorous, but is it is ours and I am thankful!

This has been a very popular cake for Valentine orders!

You can see how to do the chocolate lace here.

I love this ruffle look and it is so easy! These were smash cakes for a set of twins.

You can see a video tutorial here.

This is a cake I did a couple of weeks ago for a baby shower. It is all fondant and I was really happy with how it come out.

This is actually a display cake I made of foam and fondant for the bakery.

This is another display cake I made for the bakery.

This one I’ve posted before. It’s buttercream and the turtles are made of fondant.

And these are Valentine cookies I made this week.

Yesterday I woke up to find a bite out of one of my orders.  Which ended with a confession from the 5 year old. ;)  Which was another good time to remind her of last week’s memory verse.

And there are days I am working with fondant and the kids get to play with it. This has a 3 fold advantage. First, they are learning the feel for  fondant which will benefit them later in life if they want to decorate cakes. Secondly, it keeps her busy. Thirdly, I can use the letters and drill her on her phonics which makes learning FUN for her! See… life, learning, working… all intertwined… naturally!

Little did I know 28 years ago when I took a cake decorating class that it would become such a big part of my life! Best time and money I’ve ever spent!

Cherish’s Baby Quilt

Baby Jude  (our newest grand-baby) will be here in about 4 weeks and we can’t wait.  We are busy sewing and crocheting gifts for him.

Cherish (11), made her new nephew a quilt. This was her first time to use a rotary cutter and quilting rulers. She also got a LOT of practice using the seam ripper. ;)  The quilt was much more difficult than her first one a couple years ago.

She machine appliqued Jude’s name on, and then machine quilted it. She did a great job.

One of the first things Cherish told me when she came to live with us was that she was not “crafty”. While I’ll agree that it does not come naturally for her, she has a great attitude about learning and is at least trying!

Sewing is a skill that anyone can learn.  Designing patterns or finding new techniques is a gift of creativity. Let’s not confuse the two.

Sewing well is a skill to be developed.  Sewing for enjoyment is a perspective, let’s not confuse these two.

Anyone CAN sew, IF they are taught.

why you should quilt

DIY – Don’t Miss This!

Most homemakers become do-it-yourselfers out of necessity.  And then there are those of us that love the satisfaction OF doing it our-self!

My friends at Ultimate Bundles have put together another great deal, this time it’s for the hands-on person or the wanna-be hands-on person!

As you’re here, you clearly love the feeling of creating something of your own – and you know that the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment is pretty hard to match.

The great thing about crafting and DIY is that there’s so much to get involved in! You may have started with decorating, or creating gifts, or photography, but there’s this huge world of crafting opportunities out there, and you’ve probably only scratched the surface!

The only problem is… how do you decide which project to dive into next? Not to mention, it can get expensive so quickly, buying more resources, more books, more patterns. What if you had a wide variety of inspiring resources right at your fingertips, but for a fraction of what you would usually spend?

That’s why you need to check out The Ultimate DIY Bundle! It’s your instant go-to library for a whole range of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses. There are projects that the whole family can get involved in – from pet photography and home decor to chalk pastels and sewing.

For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 76 eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading DIY and crafting bloggers – enabling you to pick a project and jump straight into it with confidence. It’s the perfect tool to skip the information overload and throw yourself straight into a new activity.



Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26.

You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.

Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include…

A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value), free $15 store credit to Fawnsberg.com, a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value), and free, full digital copies of Where Women Create Magazine and Greencraft Magazine ($20 value) from Stampington and Co.

So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 76 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. All you need to do is take action by midnight on Monday, January 26!

This amazing deal ends in just…


Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.





Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.


Wintry days are perfect for…

DVD sale crochet

Does the winter weather got ‘cha feelin’ down?

Is your cabin fever rising high?

Are your kids just sittin’ around?

Wintry days are perfect for learning something new,

so why not give it a try?

All of our instructional DVDs take you from the very beginning steps of learning and teaches you the basic skills to move on to more creative and productive items.

Whether you are quilting, cake decorating or crocheting these skills will bring challenge and concentration. And as they demand diligence they will build self-confidence!

Sale ends Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015.

Yankee T-Shirt Quilt

Yankee T-shirt quilt

So what do you do with all those t-shirts you’ve saved from high school, teams, concerts, races…whatever… ?

You make them into a quilt!

Here is one I made several years ago that included adding this boy’s scouting patches to the boarder. He took it to college with him!

There are several ways of making a t-shirt quilt, but using the rag quilt technique is the easiest!


My daughter-in-law asked me to make this one for her boss.

I used batting which made it super soft and plush!


The backs which line up with the fronts.

Rag Quilt Tutorial

Elegant Wedding on Family Silver

Last weekend’s wedding was so beautiful!

A beautiful southern wedding with finger foods.

The bride’s cake was elegant with a lot of delegate trim work.

Learn cake decorating with our DVD.

The cake was layers of vanilla, strawberry and Bride’s white.

Although cake decorating is VERY stressful there is much satisfaction when the job is done and everything comes together as planned.

There were roses, hydrangeas and vines everywhere!

The groom’s cake was chocolate on chocolate dripped with dark chocolate and strawberries.

The bride’s family had most of the food served on their own silver,

it was decorated so beautifully!

And here is the work crew…real life, real skills.