Friday, November 9, 2012


I've been on Pinterest again. Surprise! Ok, being on Pinterest isn't the surprise. Actually making some of the things I saw is the surprise. Some of my creations were closer to the originals than others. This first card was more inspired than copied.  The card on the left and a little below is from this website the one on the left (obviously, note poor photography skills) is my interpretation.
I cut the flower from a page of an old book I found at a used book sale. The only thing I bought just for this card was the crystal for the flower center. Every thing else was from my stash.

This was the Inspiration for my burlap pumpkin wreath.


It turned out very cute and was easy to put together but...the burlap is a little..umm...well it's stinky.  Sadly, I'm going to it take it apart and remake it, because I strongly dislike the odor. I'm going to use green and orange netting next year.

My last Pinterest inspired project, on the right, is a birthday card inspired by the card below.  I'm sure this simple and adorable design will show up again. Maybe next time it will be even look more like the original. Well a girl can hope!
 Happy Crafting!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy Belated Halloween

From the Grandma Zombies (Sissy and her BFF) 

And Bean as The Trash Can!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Firsts...and a Last

August is usually an ending to summer and the beginning of another school year. This year we also had another first. Sissy started her first job! She's a sandwich artist! I'm very proud of her for sticking with it and getting hired when there weren't many opportunities. We also learned many places want their applicants to be 18 years old. I think the smile shows she's proud of herself too! She should be!

This school year Bean is a 4th grader! I can't believe it! A first for him is having to change classes for Science. This has been a big adjustment for him, he likes things to be routine, but he's settling in and getting used to the changes.

Bean's also playing soccer this fall and is the starting goalie. He's very excited! When I see the ball flying at his face, I'm not real excited. Sometimes I "watch" with my eyes closed.

Sigh. Well, here it is. Sissy's first day of school picture. She's a senior. That makes it her last first day of school. With all the busy-ness of the end of summer I don't think the full impact of her being a senior has hit me yet. She's doing a great job at school this year and with her new job. When she's busy and we have several days of not having dinner as a family I realize just how soon she'll be out on her own. Yes, it's bitter sweet. I'm excited to see her maturing and making good decisions but I'm also a little sad to think there will be a time when I don't see her smile every day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Flowers

I'm not really much of a gardener, OK I'm not a gardener at all. I like to have flowers in my yard, just as long as I don't have to work hard to get them. Even when I do plant some they don't have a very long live expectancy and I'm genuinely surprised when they bloom. I planted 3 purple wave petunias in my front yard this spring. This sad little thing is the only one that survived. His hot pink not-so-little friend just showed up one day and stayed.

The weeds are thriving and yes, that is sidewalk chalk on the left. We haven't had enough rain to dissolve it, I guess picking it up would be another option. Nah, I'll wait for the rain. Next year I'm planting a rock garden!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Empowerment Project

The saying is that you can't judge a book by it's cover. This book cover had my attention even before I read the title, it has a kid doing chores. The title begins Cleaning House yes, I'm familiar with that part, the next part drew me in, A Mom's 12 Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. Youth Entitlement that sounds so much better than my description; buy me, take me, do we have..., do it for me. Yep, Entitlement sounds so much better. I bought the book, (gasp) paid full price for it too.

I dove into the book full force! Kids picking up after themselves, making their beds! Wow! I'm hooked. I prepared myself to break it to the kids we were starting a New Project! And they were it! They aren't really excited about this Project, but I am!

Empowerment Project 1 is bedrooms and bathroom. That's also where the author Kay Wills Wyma started. She's my new BFF (well in my head anyway). Bean and I cleaned, sorted and purged his room. Organization was the next step, medium sized open see through bins for different groups of toys would work best for him. Gone was the big lidded toy box and many small boxes for micro organizing! Those didn't work for him. I took pictures of the finished room so there would be no question about what is expected. I taped the picture to a plastic cup and put in 14 chips, we're working on a two week plan because they we can use a little practice in waiting for what we want.  Sissy got a cup and picture too, her chips are red because the set didn't come with yellow. Empowerment trail was under way!

One chip is equal to a dollar. At the end of the 14 days how many chips they have left in their cup is how many dollars they get. We made it to the end of our trial. One kiddo kept all the chips the other only lost 3! I was totally surprised! I knew cash would motivate them both, one for gas money and one for Legos. I didn't think about taking money away as a motivator until I read it. This is awesome!

Phase two has started and it is going to be activity filled. This will be a real test for all of us. School starts next week, I hope this has become enough of a routine that we can keep it up when we add school and homework (hopefully a paying job for Sissy) to the mix.

I also added laundry to the Empowerment Project. Sissy has been doing her own laundry for about 7 years, but not in a timely manner. So to encourage her to get it done on the assigned day they each have one chip per week. If their laundry is washed, dryed and put away on the assigned day they don't get a chip taken away. At the end of the month they get one dollar for each chip they have left. Bean is going to learn to do laundry starting with towels. Next summer he learns to do his own clothes!

Thank you Kay for sharing your experiment with the rest of us! I've been inspired, motivated and convicted (ouch). I've even wondered if we've met because you're describing my kiddos so very well!

Some of the up coming areas of Empowerment are, grocery shopping, budgeting and cooking.

Monday, June 11, 2012

All the Pretty Flowers

The last time I planned petunias was 2 years ago.  They were hot pink.  Last year I got a pleasant surprise, "volunteer" lavender petunia came up next to my drive way.  I was surprised again this year by this...

There are 2 shades of pink and a very light lavender/white blooms. I wonder what color they will be next year? The rain really perked these beauties up!

Four years ago Honey and the kids gave me a hydrangea bush for Mother's Day. The first year no blooms, but it was still alive. The next 2 years, 1 single pink bloom each summer. This year....

I got an explosion of blossoms! Blue, pink, purple and some are multi-colored! Maybe next year my lilac will bloom!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Eating Healthy...Again

We're on another healthy eating lifestyle plan. I'm not calling it a diet because diets are temporary. We're trying to find something that will work for both of us for the long haul. We've been doing a low carb/ high fat plan for the last 2 weeks. Honey hadn't been feeling 100% lately and wanted to give this a try. There is more information at this website. Honey is more strict with what he's eating, me not so much. It cuts out carbs (potatoes, pasta, bread, cookies, sugar, did I mention cookies?) and what you're left with is dairy, meat/nuts and some veggies.  We can have veggies that are lower in sugar, great for me I love veggies! Honey doesn't like many vegetables, that has been a bit of a challenge. The high, healthy fat part causes me trouble. My entire adult life, low or no fat has been what I've heard, so this is a hard adjustment.

The first few days were very hard, we both were tired and a bit cranky. Around day 5 things started getting better. I noticed I wasn't as tired during the day and wasn't craving as many sweets around 3:00. Honey noticed he was losing more weight than with just exercise and not having the ups and down with his blood sugar.

We've been doing this for 2 weeks now. This week has been a challenge because Honey is traveling and I'm cooking for mostly just Bean and me. I've been eating eggs, peanut butter toast, cold cut lettuce wraps,  greek yogurt w/fruit and a lot of vegetables for most of my meals. Last week we were trying some new recipes from a low carb cookbook or just eliminating potatoes, rice, corn and bread from our regular meals. Snacks have been nuts or fruit and peanut butter.

The biggest change I've noticed this week is not craving sweets. The proof is the Chips Ahoy cookies still on the top of the fridge and the candy bar on the table. I noticed my clothes were fitting better before I lost any weight. Honey has lost quite a bit of weight. He's also doesn't get as hungry, but when he does he doesn't get a headache and jittery.

Over all I think it's working for both of us. I also think it will get easier as we do this longer and find new recipes for some of our old staples. As with all diet and exercise plans this isn't for everyone.  Before changing your diet, check with your health care provider.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Where Has the Time Gone?

I'm wondering what happened to winter (what we had of it) and most of spring? Here's a brief over view of what's kept us so busy (just in case anyone was wondering where I've been).

February and March were spent getting Sissy's school band ready for a trip to Florida to march at Universal Studios. Honey is the treasurer so we he had payments and paperwork to do for the trip. Because he's an officer in the band parents group, he got to on the trip with the kids. On the bus! Sissy was supper excited to go on the trip and had a great time! My sister and family happened to be in Florida the same week and got the see Sissy march! Bean and I spent the same week home chillaxin' (Bean's favorite new word). It was rough but somebody had to hold down the fort.
Honey also was appointed Squadron Commander in March, I'm very proud of his hard work and know he will be an excellent leader.

Along with showers April brought Bean's 9th birthday, Honey's birthday, my mother-in-law came for a visit and Easter. That was just the first week! The second week of April brought Honey a promotion, he now has the rank to go with his new position.  This past weekend was Prom for Sissy! She's beautiful! I'm the Mom I can say that!

I have (I hope) a couple of calmer weeks before the kids get out of school for the summer. The school didn't use any snow days so the kids are getting out early.  Way early! I'm not ready yet! Marching band keeps Sissy pretty busy but I don't have any activities planned for Bean. I better get on that! Ugh! I think I need coffee first.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's All an Illusion

I'm not a fashion conscience kinda girl, I'm all jeans and t-shirts. I do occasionally like to dress-up in "grown-up" clothes but I'm happiest in a good fitting pair of jeans. Every once in awhile I wipe my hands on those jeans. Yesterday I wiped my hands on my back side (there must not have been a clean towel in the house) I noticed something was stuck to the seat of my pants. I have kids. I assumed I sat in something.

I went to the bedroom to find out what the offending sticky stuff was and plan how to remove it. Nope, I didn't sit in anything...I had two vertical rips on my butt! One on each side, between the center seam and the pockets. I was pretty bummed, I only have 2 pair of "good" jeans. (My definition of good is they didn't come from the Stuff Mart.)

I don't know when the blue jean blow-out happened and I wasn't really concerned about it except the were my "good" jeans. Until this morning when I realized all the places I'd gone in those jeans. The grocery, the Post-Office, school pick-up and the laundromat. The humiliation doesn't end there, I was wearing Mickey Mouse undies. Yep, that shattered the illusion that I have my act together. Mom was right you should always were clean undies. Just never know who might see them.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spelling Lesson ( and a little rant)

Sissy: Mom I think I should take Princess, 10 and Little Diva, 5 (the girls Sissy babysits) to the High School talent show.
Me: I don't think you should.
Sissy: Why?!
Me: Because I have things to get done tonight and I 'd have to drive you. (Sissy lost driving privileges...again)
Sissy: You don't have anything to do tonight. You're just going to cook dinner and clean.
Me: (Dumbfounded silence followed by blood boiling.)

Really? Isn't cooking dinner and cleaning up and helping Bean re-organize his Lego display and pick up from Karate party and balancing the credit card statement and updating the checkbook enough?! I have to play taxi? I think this falls under the heading of "you don't work". Yes, she has said that to me too. That was my Friday night.

It's nights like this that make me wonder where I went wrong. My adorable, loving, talented, funny child is well...the center of the universe. I wonder if this is typical or is her thinking I'm her personal servant going a little past "normal"? (Hey Mom? Did you check on... No, I didn't). I love being a Mom, I love my kids, I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I would just like my kids to learn the correct spelling of MOM, right now they spell it M. A. I. D.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Morning Coffee

As I fill this cup
To warm my hands,
Lord, let it remind me
To fold them in prayer.

As the fragrance of freshly
Brewed coffee fills the house,
Lord, let it remind me
To fill this home with
The fragrance of Jesus.

As the cream blends into the coffee
Darkness fades and a new flavor emerges,
Lord, let it remind me
That Jesus can shine into my darkness
And create a new life in me.

As I am filled with the warmth
Of this cup,
Lord, let it remind me
That only You can truly fill my cup.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I'm Stuck...

Yep! On Pinterest. I've become addicted to pinning. I've found a lot of inspiration! I have boards for craft ideas, quilts, gifts and just cute findings. Surprisingly, I have a recipe board! I cook only because starving isn't an option. So far the projects Pinterest have inspired are a baby quilt for my new niece, a mug rug, a cup cozy, a scarf organizer and a greeting card organizer. I don't really need any more craft ideas. What I need is more time to do the crafts.

I pulled out the kids scrapbooks and realized I'm "only" 5 years behind. That's more than half of the Beans life and Sissy graduates from high school next spring. It might be nice to have her scrapbook ready for a graduation party. A mom can dream *sigh*.

I have finished a couple of projects this winter. This baby quilt was inspired by Pinterest.

My first potato chip scarf, modeled by Sissy. It made its debut way back here.

Hopefully, with the help of and my new friend at the scrapbook store in town, I'm going to get some scrapbooking done. I'm also still working on organizing the storage room.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Family Fun

Last Sunday we decided to take the kids ice skating. Well, I skated, Honey took pictures. He's never been on ice skates - ever. Both the kids did really well skating (translation: no trip to the ER). It was Beans first time skating, Sissy has been before but not often. I was surprised how quickly they caught on.

Skating was followed by Starbucks! It helped ease my sore ankles and warm my cold...toes! Next weekend is the art museum.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Heart Organizing

I'm so excited I found this blog post! I've been looking for it all weekend! I knew it was floating around in cyberspace somewhere, also proves I'm not losing my anyway. I would have helped if I could have remembered it was on New Nostalgia but I couldn't even remember that much. Why am I so excited about this blog post? Because of the "Donation Station"! I have been looking for a way to organize my basement storage room, or at least reduce the chance of bodily injury while looking for other things. The biggest problem I have is organizing the things that come into the storage room and need to go out again, either to the Goodwill or recycle.

Here is the picture that inspired Amy at New Nostalgia. Isn't it wonderful! A place for every thing. My area isn't going to be as pretty, I get to hide it behind closed doors, but I hope it will be functional. Honey and I made a trip to Stuff Mart to get bins for my organizing project but the trip was a bust. They didn't have anything that would stack and be open in the front to put things in. I found this on Amazon with free shipping.

My plan is to have one bin for clothing recycle, one for clothing donations to Goodwill, the last one for stuff donations. I don't know if I'll be able to get my family on board or not. They may still just put stuff in the storage room but I'll have somewhere to put it until we'll be near a drop off location.

I'm pretty excited to get this project started, I'm tired of playing shuffle the piles in the storage room. The hardest part will be waiting for the UPS truck. Come back and visit for before and after pictures!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Project One Year Later

I can't believe it's the beginning of a New Year! What happened to 2011? I know what didn't happen. I haven't been at the Stuff Mart! For the past year I've tracked my trips and how much I spent. I'm glad I did this little experiment but I'm also happy I don't have to track the trips any more.

What I already knew was that we went to Stuff Mart way too much and picked up too many "extras". What I wasn't sure about was if we could not go as often. I had also hoped to save some money.

Surprisingly we could go to Stuff Mart less, we cut down our trips by 100 for the year! In 2010 we went made an estimated 171 trips (no, I didn't count all the trips I averaged a 4 month period) this year it was 71! We also spent less, average $100 a month. Does that mean we saved that amount? No! We spent it at other places.

What I learned was we could survive without running to Stuff Mart for every thing we think we need. I improved my list making skills. The less time I spent in the store, the less time I wanted to spend in the store. Less time spent seeing things I think I can't live without but didn't need or want when I left the house. It is possible to run out of plastic shopping bags!

This year my goal is to cut our spending and stay within our budget. The first step is to track my personals spending. Honey got me a weekly pocket calendar for Christmas because it has Mickey Mouse on it. I'm going to use it to track my spending. I also am very bad about keeping the checkbook up to date, that is step two. So far today I spent $1.20!
Happy Saving!