2014 Family Words of the Year & Our Wall of Pictures

Last year was the first year each member of our family came up with a “word” for the year.

The word each person chose was entirely up to them, although I did provide the 4 yr old with some choices.

The idea is that the word is supposed to be one of the things they want to focus on for the year. Kind of along the lines of a resolution.

Our words are hanging on a large corkboard which I found at the Habitat store for $4. I then glued on some left over fabric (burlap with gold circles) and placed our word canvases on there with push pins. I then took pictures we had printed out already and let the kids pin those up.

It’s literally my favorite thing in my house.


Here’s a close up look at the canvases and how we made them. The idea is based off the same project I saw on Shannan’s blog. We’re not really friends. I just like to pretend we are so I call her by her first name 🙂


The project starts off with scraps of magazines – the best in my opinion are the Boden catalogs because of the vibrant colors – I spent a couple of nights watching tv and cutting out different patterns and colors.


Then we hodged podged the heck out of those scraps onto a 9 x 12 canvas.

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Once Caroline was done, I went back over hers with the hodge podge several times since she was rocking about 4 layers in some parts.


Once the whole front was covered, we used old science fair sticky letters we already had and placed our words onto the canvas. I then spray painted the canvases (I initially painted my with white acrylic paint but liked the look of the spray paint better) and then peeled off the stickers.


Can I just stop for one minute and say that this kid “DID” 2014.

KJMP_McEachern_20141013_0282Signed up for the Geography Bee all on his own, finished the school year with awesome grades, made the school band he wanted to, became a leader on his soccer team, made the state meet in summer swimming, made the region band, joined the school pentathlon team all on his own, ran for the cross country school team, and so much more!

Middle school really agrees with him. So proud.




It’s funny how you start out the year thinking your word will mean one thing and it really ends up meaning something else. I thought my word would mean to find the courage to travel to Ethiopia but what it really meant was to find the courage to be around those who could add to their families. With each person who told me they were pregnant the pain of our loss really struck home again. While happy for them I found it just brought out sadness for me.

Courage for me this year was finally visiting my sister who had a new baby and experiencing that joy with her. I went back and forth and back and forth about making plane reservations but what I kept coming back to was my word for the year: courage.

I could do it. I needed to do it. So I did it. And it was wonderful.


Next week I will share with you our 2015 words.

It should be interesting to see what path those words take us on.

The Salvation Rush

The other day I had 20 minutes to spare between finishing swim practice and picking up Caroline from school. The Salvation Army store is a couple of blocks from both locations so I decided to go in. I usually like to visit these types of stores any chance I get when I don’t have kids once every couple of months. Some of my favorites are the Habitat for Humanity Store, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army.

I like to search and find “diamonds in the rough.” My husband thinks I just find “rough.” I know he hates getting the call at work, “Hey, what are you doing for lunch? I’d love for you to meet me at the Habitat store and see a bookcase.” I know what he hears is, “Hey, what are you doing for lunch? I need you to come and transport this rickety piece of junk home, sand it, paint it, and haul it up a flight of stairs for me.”

I have never been a big garage sale shopper. It makes me uncomfortable to actually know who I’m buying from. I hate the whole bargaining procedure at garage sales. How about five dollars? Can you do three fifty? what about four dollars? Drives me crazy so I just avoid it all together.

I have just started venturing into estate sales. On Friday morning Caroline and I went riffling through someone’s house. I came out with a $4 mirror that’s destined for our guest room. Somehow knowing the previous owner is dead is a lot more comforting to me than actually having an encounter with the current living owner.

So there I was browsing my local Salvation Army store, minding my own business, when an announcement was made, “Shoppers, for the next hour, everything in the store is half off.”

“Yes, books are included.”

“Yes, children’s clothing is included.”

“Yes, furniture is included.”

Apparently the term everything is a little unclear to some people.

People started dashing around like crazy – grabbing shopping carts, flinging clothes into their baskets, yanking clothes on and off their children. It was pretty unbelievable. I admit I was almost on my way out the door when the announcement was made. But since everything was half off it necessitated me taking a second trip around the store. I ended up taking home 3 books. I mean, I had to, they were on sale.

3 books: $2.79

No Sanding, no painting, no hauling for hubby : pricelesss.a symbol