Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Challenges Wrap-Up ...

I joined in a lot of challenges this year ... some I actually finished and some, well, not so well ... but they were all fun none-the-less. Let's look back and see how it all went!

First up, was the 2007 Winter Classics Challenge. The goal was to read:
  1. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  2. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  3. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  4. A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
  5. A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
And I did it! Yeah!

Second up was the 2007 TBR Challange. I had decided to read:
  1. Devil in the White City
  2. The Day the World Came to Town
  3. One Thousand White Women
  4. Riding the Bus With My Sister: A True Life Journey (did not read)
  5. Size 12 is Not Fat - Meg Cabot
  6. The Dogs of Babel
  7. The Historian
  8. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig (did not read)
  9. What Comes After Crazy: A Novel
  10. The Nazi’s Officer Wife
  11. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  12. Crewel World by Monica Ferris
I managed to read 10 of these books ... however, the other two I could not find at the library - frustrating yes. I would like to point out I did read at least two other books from my list this year (Total Money Make-over by Dave Ramsey and What Comes After Crazy: A Novel) so I think that maybe I can call it even?

After that, I signed up for the UFO Challenge. The goal was to work on 12 items, but I only hit 9.
1st one * 2nd one * 3rd one> *4th* 5th
6th
7th * 8th * 9th

Oh well - that's over half! And some of them I even managed to finish! =)

After that was the Fall Into Reading Challenge. My books:
  1. Must Love Dogs
  2. Into the Wilderness by Kim Barnes
  3. My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Piccult
  4. Night by Elie Wiesel
  5. Confession of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
  6. Lucky by Alice Siebold
And I did manage to finish it up!

So to sum it up - 4 challenges joined. 2 completely finished, 1 we'll call finished as long as we swap out two books and the third 75% done. Not too bad. Trust me, there were a lot more I wanted to join but I knew that would be setting myself up for failure.

I think this year will find me light on the challenges. The little guy is a VERY active guy, very energetic, and completely the poster child of the typical "terrible 2's" stage. It's hard to get out with him. It's hard to stay home with him some days as well! LOL But, I do love him. Not to mention 2008 will be a year that is more about penny pinching than shopping (and that includes yarn, fabric, thread, markers, paper, tape, stickers, books, etc). It will be difficult I know. But I also know it will be worth it and the ends will justify this. It will be a few years of tight living, but I hope that within 3 years I will be looking at at year that will be debt free for us. And so really, that is my challenge this year - to live as frugally as possible, and maybe if I do a fabulous job, I will then have some extra money to spend on these nice extras I do enjoy shopping for so much! =)

Friday, December 28, 2007

In other news ...

I officially closed my etsy store today.
The things I had listed there expired last week? or maybe the week before? I've been thinking about it for a while now - I just haven't figured out how to make the store successful. I needed to be doing a LOT more for the store than I was.
And it's just not time for it. It is not my time for this store. And that's okay with me. I actually feel better about it. As much as I enjoy getting orders, sometimes they scare me. There's a deadline with them. They need to be done and finished and shipped. And given how long it took me to get my Fall Y'all giveaway items in the mail, well, doing things quickly is NOT something I'm capable of these days.
Maybe another day I will go back to it. Or maybe I will try something else next time. Either way, for now, I'm done with it. And I think that is actually a good thing for now!

2007 In Review ...

What a year 2007 has been! So much has happened ... I can hardly believe our year truthfully!
January found me reading a few classics, baking bread, and celebrating The Bears amazing season (who have not had a very good year this time around ::sigh::).
February found me busy with more reading and moving! I look around and can't believe we moved just under a year ago. Sometimes it feels as if we haven't lived here that long, and other days it's so comfortable it's hard to believe we haven't lived here longer! I do love our house. I think we will have to stay here for a very long time, so I guess it's good I love it. Although, I will admit I originally thought it would be a house we would sell in about 3 years ... but no longer.
March was a slow month truly. A bit of knitting, a bit of reading, a bit of sewing. And of course, the settling into the new house was a big part of that month as well.
April I got my craft room all organized and ready to go, got see the Yarn Harlot with my daughter, and opened my etsy store.
May - which is my favorite month mostly because it's my birthday month ROFL - was full of lots of sewing (most notably working on the aprons that I have come to love!) I did have a good birthday last year, but for the most part, all my birthdays have been fabulous just because they are simply my birthday ROFL! =)
In June I bought too many things from the Wilton company (but I love them all and have used most of them so far), read a whole lot, and made a few gifts.
July found me anxious about Harry Potter coming out, making homemade jam for the first time, had a ton of fun giving and winning during the dog days of summer giveaway, stumbled upon Toddler Planet (who had a very important message so read it please), and discovered The Motherhood.
August was a HUGE month for us, and honestly it feels so much longer ago than 5 months ago! First, we attempted to break Little Man of his pacifier habit (and although I never blogged about it, we gave up very quickly), we started Miss M on her elimination diet, and we found out we won Lu's giveaway for Financial Peace, and started to plan for a homemade Christmas, and we had some bad weather days. Seriously, the diet/FPU stuff has changed our life in so many ways. So yes, August was a HUGE HUGE HUGE month!
September I got sappy on you all, knitted a few things, won my first little award, learned to cut hair (and I have cut dh's hair once since then and little man's hair quite a few times since then! So I still recommend that book and think it is well worth it's price!), began hanging my laundry, and made some yummy applesauce!
In October I announced my job opportunity with TheMotherHood.net (I'm still doing it, and still loving it, and can't imagine not having it!), received another nice little award, finished making some gorgeous socks and saw my daughter finish her first knitting project, started the Fall Y'all Giveaway, worked a lot, and dealt with sleep issues.
November started with the Fall Y'all giveaway wrapping up (here I have to admit that the items were only recently mailed out and the knitting bag hasn't even been started yet - blech. I'm so far behind it's not funny). Then I took a break. And I stopped posting very much. Life got busy, things came up, and blogging was not on my list of things to do frankly.
December has been a crazy month - trying to finish gifts for Christmas, trying to find my love of blogging again, and just trying to survive the month of parties, celebrating, shopping, etc, etc ... and of course, all that was followed by a fabulous Christmas!

What will 2008 bring us? I'm not really sure truth-be-told. I hate to sound like a downer, but 2008 will be a year in which $ will be even tighter than this year (or maybe we should have been wiser with our money earlier this year to prevent this from happening, but we weren't so here's where we are at). However, we will travel 3 separate times - 1 week long vacation to Maine and 2 smaller trips for weddings. I am looking forward to these trips, but honestly, those trips will be eating up most of the money that isn't already going towards bills. (and yes, I already did up basic monthly budgets for all 12 months of 2008). Of course, who really knows what the year will bring and what our electric bill will be in July or even next December. And what will gas prices do? And will grocery prices increase as much as they are predicting? It's so unknown and hard to say. I do know that at least the first three months will be VERY tight. But I also know that we will get through it and survive. I know that we can survive on less and don't need a lot of extra. But it all feels so bad when I look at it on paper. We'll see ... 2008 might see me getting a part-time job. Which is very scary to me honestly! But again, with so many unknowns, it's so hard to tell at this point.
I hope 2008 is full lots of very happy memories for the family. I'm hoping for a year like the song Side by Side
Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money,
Maybe we're ragged and funny
But we'll travel along
Singing a song
Side by side.

Don't know what's comin' tomorrow
Maybe it's trouble and sorrow
But we'll travel the road
Sharing our load
Side by side.

Through all kinds of weather
What if the sky should fall?
Just as long as we're together,
It doesn't matter at all.
I believe no matter what, 2008 will be a good year. We might have to be very creative with what we call fun and how to entertain ourselves, we might have smaller birthdays, Christmas next year might be a bit smaller, there will be less spending of money and probably a summer spent garaging sale-ing (which we really haven't done to date). But it will be a good year. I'm determined that it will be!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Just ignore this post. I'm just trying something out here and hoping this shows up!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas round-up ...

I planned to come on today and tell you all about our wonderful day. I knew what I was going to say ...
I was going to tell you all that we had a delightful Christmas! That everyone had a wonderful day. I would tell you that our tree did not have an i-pod, or guitar hero, or a Wii system, or cell phones, or new computers sitting under it waiting to be opened. About how for the most part, everyone received simple gifts and all the gifts to my children from me and my husband were in fact hand-made. I would tell you that even though we spent the least amount of money in a few years, everyone was happy and we had a great day!
And for the most part that is true - most of the gifts were simple. Everyone did have a wonderful day. My children were happy with all they received and we really just enjoyed the day. However, yesterday, someone dropped off a gift from some one else - the tag simply said Santa - for our family to open. And the kids were in awe that Santa delivered one present early. I mumbled out some excuse about sometimes little things like that happen, and we would stick it under the tree and open it with everything else.
And then I kind of forgot about it - until we opened it this morning. And what was in that nice box? A brand new Wii, ready and waiting to be played with. I think my girls (and truthfully dh and myself) almost passed out LOL! I can't lie! We were all excited. My kids have played with them before at my mom's house. They were buzzing about making a me and playing games and how many cool games we would be able to buy to play with it now.
And so it was hooked up. Dh and my oldest played a fabulous game of bowling (I should have snapped pictures). My daughter made a little me person. And I have already requested DDR and the Fitness Pack thing coming out soon for my birthday (which is in May LOL!)

Not that dh and I were opposed to the Wii system (we have a playstation and a gamecube afterall!) we had simply decided we were not able to pay that much money for one present this year. I didn't even spend as much as the Wii cost on all three of my children's gifts together. I will admit to you that I am secretly thrilled we were given this (and yes, I do know who our secret santa is and we have already said thank you - although the girls simply thought they were telling this person how excited they were Santa brought it LOL)

And then at my mom's house, I received my first i-pod ever. I have another MP3 player that I enjoy just fine, but today I was gifted the touch i-pod. I still haven't loaded anything on it (the i-tunes software is downloading as I type) and I'll be interested to see how it all works and to even put my pictures on it - that will be fun!

And so I can't tell you that we didn't receive any of the hottest items this Christmas, because we did. But I can tell you that we had an absolutely FABULOUS Christmas - and I know it would have been fabulous with or without secret santas and kind parents who give even their adult children very nice gifts. We had a nice Christmas just being together and enjoying each other and just feeling so loved and grateful for all that we do have.

The next few days will be full of cleaning, doing laundry, playing with the new toys and hopefully just spending so more great time together =)

Merry Christmas!

I hope that each and everyone one of you are having a fabulous Christmas time with your family/friends/loved ones =)

Enjoy this wonderful time of year!

And ... of course, I wish you a grand 2008! That it is a year filled with much happiness, good health and lots of fun times! =)

Phew!

Well, I did it. All things that needed to be finished for today and tomorrow were in fact finished (actually I did the last thing at about 10:30 pm December 23 which is a miracle!)

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We also managed to whip out a whole bunch of cookies!

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I would like to point out, all of this was in fact pulled off with the help of my darling husband, who helped out as much as he could. Have I mentioned just how much I love this man? Well, if I haven't let me tell you - I REALLY love this man.

Proof:
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Anyway, I am so excited that everything was able to be finished ... it was close and I was feeling nervous about getting it all done. I really did enjoy making it all - but I didn't enjoy the rush. I am going to try to do this next year again, but hopefully start MUCH sooner (at this point, I might just start in February LOL!)

Merry Christmas everyone! I will be spending the next week doing laundry and cleaning since I haven't kept up in the rush to finish everything LOL! So with that, I will "see" you all next year! =)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

UGH!

Christmas Eve is in 3 days.
Christmas day is in 4 days.

I still need to make: 2 paper doll holders, 3 binder covers, 2 bags for doll pins, faces on about 20 doll pins, 2 blankets, 1 pillow, 1 small penguin, 1 table runner, a set of 6-placemats/napkins, gift certificates, cookies, a CD holder, and a bag.

That does not include the items that do need to be done by Christmas - which is 1 table runner, 3 sets of placemats/napkins (6 in each), 2 shirts, 1 apron, and I swear I'm forgetting something (although, really, let's hope not!)

Am I feeling nervous? YES! Very!

Am I mad that on December 22 I am stuck in this position? YES!

I do believe next year I will do things MUCH MUCH earlier in the year. I already even have a plan. Because I want to tell you, making (almost) everyone's gift this year has been so incredibly fun! And I want to do something like this next year. I just would like to be doing prior to the week before Christmas LOL! =)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random post ....

I just wanted to write today to tell you all that tonight I bought a glade scented oil candle - (with a buy one get one free coupon I found at www.coupon.com) and I am IN LOVE. I am sitting in my craft room with the scent dewberry dreams all around me and it's soooo lovely in here now!

I had 3 of the bogo coupons for them. I was only going to use one of them to get a gift for a Christmas swap. I thought I would get 2 of the scented glade oil candles and 2 refill packs (because there are coupons for those too LOL). And I would have a nice swap gift at a pretty good price.

Well, I bought the ones for the swap and I kept sniffing them. I actually stopped and bought two candles holders for myself. They are so heavenly. And I'm still sitting on another coupon. I think I may buy it as a present for someone else I know ... truthfully I want more for me, but with the kids and all, I don't need more than two holders.

Although, really, if Glade is reading this and wants me to try out other scents, I would totally be willing to do that. Because someone from Glade reading my blog is about as likely as pigs flying, so it won't really happen, but a girl can dream LOL!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I'm trying ...

I'm really trying to write on a regular basis here these days ... but alas, I am mostly running around like a chicken with her head cut off!
My to-do list keeps getting longer and things are being added faster than they are coming off.
I can NOT believe Christmas is :::gulp::: next week!
I broke one sewing machine ... it might be ready on the 24th for pick-up, but they doubt it. The other machine we have here doesn't work right. But I'm trying to make the best of it. Some people may be getting IOU's until it's fixed. Or some people just might not be getting a present at all this year. Oh well .. I'm only human. I procrastinated too long and sometimes I just need to do what I can to get by!

By baby boy turned two last week. I wanted to come on and create some sort of sappy post about how much I love him, and all the joy he brought into our lives and how he has the BEST laugh in the entire world (seriously, he does!) and he pretty much woke up crabby and didn't stop whining all day and I just couldn't bring myself to write all those mushy things about him when in truth I was thinking for his birthday I might buy him a babysitter! LOL! Don't get me wrong, I love him to pieces, but he has been the exact description of the terrible two's lately. I'm sure he's feeling unloved and neglected since I can't play with him 100 percent of the day - that's when we have the meltdowns, when he loses my undivided attention, but I'm hoping "this too shall pass."

Of course he really didn't appreciate his birthday. Every time someone said happy birthday to him he put his head down and whined "I no want birthday." (He is also doing the same thing when we talk about Christmas - he doesn't want it, he doesn't want Santa to come, etc). Oh, but don't worry, because he does want the presents, cake and cookie. Speaking of presents, he thinks each box has a train in it and looks sad if it's not LOL! He is all about the trains ;-)

Aside from all of that ... I'm again looking for prayer requests. We just discovered grandpa has prostrate cancer. We don't know if it has spread or just how bad it is yet - tests are still being run. Hopefully we'll know more after Christmas.

I think that's all for now ... I have some shirts to embroider, bindings to cut, placemats to sew, animals to be stuffed, and paper dolls to be cut! And Christmas is only days away! Wish me luck, and if I don't come back soon, I'm buried under a pile of things to finish making in my basement LOL!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cold ...

It's currently 20 degrees outside.
My furnace just stopped working for the third time this am.
Thankfully the house is holding the heat pretty good. It's been between 60-63 degrees in my house today.
However, I am still freezing! And can I leave and go somewhere warmer? Oh no ... because they are basically squeezing our house in amidst all the other calls (which means when they are in this area, they'll come fix us).
Why am even more crabby about this? The furnace was just bought in FEBRUARY. Meaning it's not even a year old. It died all the time when it was new. They came in March and "fixed" it and I asked point blank - is it really fixed or is it just not cold enough to trip the system likes it's been doing? And they reassured me that it was indeed fixed and had nothing to do with the fact that we weren't in the colder temps anymore .... and guess what? The coldest day of the season so far ... and it shorts out again. Um yeah .... I'm thinking it wasn't really fixed in March so now it's the same old story.
:::sigh:::: At least I have a fireplace and 2 space heaters should the temperature drop too low in here (but I'm hesitant to use them because of the kids running around ... I don't have a gate around the fireplace and the downstairs is too big for the space heaters to help heat it too much.
Oh well. We'll live. We'll just live in layers! LOL!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Confessions ...

I have a few confessions to make around here ...
first of all, I still have not yet sent out my fall y'all giveaway winners, which is pretty sad considering it's now winter and there is snow all around my house)
I am also far behind on Christmas gifts because I have been procrastinating on those items as well
I still haven't followed up with the dentist about my sore tooth
I'm still not sleeping all that well.
I have a bad case of the holiday blues.
I probably have more than just holiday blues, but for now, that's what I'll call it.
The truth is for the last few weeks I have felt like doing nothing, going no where, and just feeling pretty down.
As such, I have hardly left the house. I do just enough to get by. And I'm pretty crabby a lot.
This weekend I felt especially low and as such allowed myself to have a good cry (all the while being held by my husband who is now officially the most wonderful husband on the face of the planet). I have to say, I feel a bit better about it all - I don't know if it was the crying, or the talking, or just acknowledging to another human being what I was feeling that helped - I'm going to assume it's a combination of all three. But I am feeling a bit better this week so far.

I won't lie - this isn't the first time I've felt down and out. In fact, I have felt worse before (when my oldest was about 9 months old I struggled with depression). This is, however, the first time, it's affected me beyond just the emotional level. The not wanting to leave the house, not wanting to really do anything - in the past I've been able to press on, keep moving, keep doing what needs to be doing. This time I just wanted to ignore everything and do nothing.

I believe at this point, things will get better now. The fact that I even want to come blog shows is a huge improvement! And I'm glad that for the most part these blues are short lived. And that they come relatively infrequently. But it is hard knowing that chances are it will happen again someday. But for now, I don't want to dwell on that ... I want to get back into the holiday cheer. And I have a million and one things to check off my to-do list, especially all those things I've procrastinated on!


As an added fyi, I do have a therapist I meet with, so I do have help coming from there as well.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Doll Pins

One of my most favorite crafts that I've made this year so far are these doll pins. I first saw the idea over at Angry Chicken and instantly fell in love with them! Then I saw them over at SouleMama and fell even more in love with them!
Yes, I have made quite a few of these for Christmas already. I have not yet made any fancy accessories (like the blanket, sleeping bag, or apron to hold them in, but I still might. I haven't decided!) and they were fun and easy to make. My 8 year old helped me out as well.
So, even though it's not an original idea by me, I'm going to show you how I made them in case you want to give some as gifts this year as well.

First, order the dolls. I bought mine from Casey's Wood Product but I've been told Dick Blick sotres carry them as might some other craft stores locally that you can buy them from.

1. Assemble supplies:
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Doll pins
scissors
fabric scraps (or buy fat quarters from the local fabric store. These usually run 1-2 dollars each and one will help dress up quite a few dolls!)
ribbon (optional)
glue stick
tacky glue (optional)
fray check (optional)

2. Pick out fabric for doll and cut to size. I wish I could give you measurements, but I didn't measure. I eyeballed and cut as I went. I am not even beneath admitting that I cut some of the fabric as I wrapped it around the doll, even with glue on it already!
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My shirt and skirt ready to go for this girl ...
(The optional step here is to apply fray check to your fabric squares if you are worried about that. I did not use it for this doll. In fact the only time I used it, was when I purposefully frayed one edge for a decorative touch and didn't want it to fray further)

3. Apply glue to both pin and fabric. A plain old glue stick works fine for this step.
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4. Wrap fabric around the doll. It doesn't matter if you put the top on first or the bottom on first ... it kind of depends on what look you are trying to achieve or what is easiest for you. I found it was easier to put the top on first because you can line it very straight with the top edge and that helps put the skirt on. However, if you put the skirt on first and it is a little crooked, well the top will hang over it and hide it anyway! So either way, you win in my opinion! LOL!
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5. Get creative ... make a dress instead ... like this one (which, by the way, is the one I purposefully frayed the bottom of)
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Add ribbons as belts. Cut the edges with pinking shears as a decorative touch. Really, you can't do anything wrong.
Here are mine so far ... my girls love them all and even my little guy keeps stealing them to play with!
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Although, you might notice, they are faceless so far. I haven't added the faces yet. I'm very nervous to do so. In the future I will add the face first before "dressing" them, in case the face gets messed up a bit. I bought the pens to draw the faces on (a permanent fine marker works best so I've read). When I get brave enough to color in faces, I will take photographs again. My son (who will be 2 next week and no, I can't believe he will be 2 already!!) is quite concerned about their missing faces. Sometimes when playing with them he pauses, looks at me and says "eyes? eyes?" and looks at the empty face. LOL!

Anyway, one idea that I believe anyone can do and it will make a great gift. Trust me. These are going to a relative, but all three of my children are jealous she is getting them Of course, they don't know I'm making them some for Christmas morning as well! But they will find out soon enough! =)

Christmas is almost here ...

and I am feeling swamped people. Just bogged down with things to do, people to see, places to go, things to make, stuff to buy, etc, etc.
I still haven't found any time, and for that I apologize. I checked my blogline feeds this am, I only have 1800 unread items sitting there just waiting for me. I have not marked them all yet, I will try to slowly skim them. And there are certain people I am thinking of more often than others (including two pregnant bloggers who by my accounts could theoretically have their babies any day now!) But it is so hard to find the time to get on-line these days truthfully.

Although, I will be sharing a few quick homemade Christmas ideas over the next few weeks. Most can be finished quickly. And most can be done relatively inexpensively and I hope most will be well loved if you decide to make and give them! I have two ideas planned for this week and we'll see what else I can come up with. I've been going through books for things I am not personally making, but which could be nice gift ideas for others to make (and some I'm tucking in my brain for next year!)

And I am not the only one who will be sharing great ideas - The Motherhood is planning on sharing great ideas between now and Christmas for everyone to use and enjoy, so go check out there, and look in the Homemade Christmas group and see what other people are thinking of! Also, if you have a great idea, please share your link over there too!

Anyway, I will be in and out, here and there ... and I hope that everyone will continue to check back and enjoy the ideas that I will be sharing with you (although let me be clear, these are ideas I've gotten from other places - I haven't had any grand breakthroughs on ideas to share with you, but if I do, I promise to share!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rerun: The E-bay "It"

This was originally posted on December 9, 2006 ...


Two gifts made tonight ... I am going to be participating in 2 grab bag gift exchanges. I love exchanges but yet they are hard to buy for because you aren't quite sure who exactly is getting your gift so it's hard to personalize it.
I was trying to figure out what to give ... gift certificates seem to be the best idea because most people can find some use for them. I joked with dh that it was too bad they didn't make e-bay ones, and lo and behold, paypal does give gift certificates! So that clinched it - I'm giving "it" for Christmas this year and a 25 dollar gift certificate to help pay for whatever "it" is! =)


Added now -
This might be a great way to add a little flare to a gift certificate you might want to give. It was pretty easy to make as well ... I just got some of the crayola model magic and some wire. I simply shaped the clay (the t with the curve was the hardest part). You can see most of where I used the wire (between the dot of the i and the i, and to put the i and t together). I also used the wire to attach the cross part of the t (although it's hidden). I'm not sure if they would have stayed stuck together without the wire through them, but I had plenty of wire left to do this.

Anyway, although the gift certificate is not handmade, the little it adds a nice personal touch to the certificate. I will say my it was a hit last year and if I hadn't already used it, I would do it again! LOL!

So, if you are looking for a quick, easy gift ... I suggest this one!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

2 new reads, a break, and an apology ...

First of all I've finished two more books this week (which in fact does mean that the insomnia is back and although I love reading, I don't frankly, enjoy it enough to feel tired).

Anyway, the finishes are Night by Ellie Wiesel (for Fall Into Reading) and Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst (For TBR 2007 challenge).
I recommend them both.

Second, I'm taking another "break." Next week, no internet for me (aside from things over at The Motherhood because, well, that's my job (which I might add it's still weird for me to say I have a job and not mean the kids and I like that LOL!)) So no posts. It's the holiday weekend, and we'll be busy and I need to step away again.

Also, I haven't been reading hardly any blogs lately. I really haven't been commenting. I'm sorry. But after my break, I will be back, reading, commenting, and posting (between all those Christmas presents I need to be making LOL!)

Anyway, with all that said, I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Books ...

3 finishes for me this week ....

First In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in an Unknown Country by Kim Barnes.
Good book. Glad I read it. Quite interesting. I didn't have a lot of the same experiences as the author, but could relate to some of how she felt at times - and isn't that the lure of coming of age stories - to see how similar they are to our experiences? Anyway, a very interesting book for me to read.

Number 2 - Lucky by Alice Sebold. Tough, tough book to read for me. I had to take numerous breaks in it just because I needed to get away (if only she had the ability to take breaks right? I know but it was tough). Anyway, nuff said about that one for now.

Number 3 (which I just finished and am feeling a bit raw from) My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I enjoyed the book truly. I HATED the ending. No, really, I just hated it. And because of that I will never forget this book. The book tore at my heart strings - what would I do if I was the mother? What if I were more like the father and my dh had to be like that mother? What if my sister was dying and I could help her? What if I couldn't? What if I were the sick one? None of them had that great of choices really. But, the ending. Yeah, I'll be pissed about that one for a while. And really - isn't that what makes it a good book? A book that makes you feel and think and have emotion? Yeah, so even though the ending was gut-wrenching and made me cry (yes, I cried!) I still think it was a good book and I'm glad I read it.

On a sort of side note, I thought I had read the book before. And I couldn't remember the ending of it and never understood why everyone talked about it, because if I couldn't remember the ending then I thought it must not be that bad. The beginning I remembered very well, and then I hit a page with a bookmark in it and realized at that point, I had merely started the book before and never finished it. Of course now I get why people want to talk about it all the time LOL!

As another side note, all 3 were part of my Fall Into Reading Challenge!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Photos!

I've been working over here on some good Christmas gift ideas. Of course, I have nothing finished yet, but I have lots of things half-way done. (mostly because I need to go buy things to finish everything up LOL!)

First up to show you ...

A table runner I am making. I need to buy the backing to put on this and then quilt and bind it. It turned out pretty well I think, and I might possibly make a second one to give to someone too. I just don't know if I have enough of the all the fabric and I don't have much else in the stash that is holiday-ish. We'll see.

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Second, a bag I'm making ... okay, I know it doesn't look that great now, but I think it will be awesome when it is done frankly. I need to get the pieces for the strap and a snap/button for it as well. I am trying to make an adjustable strap, and this will be my first adjustable strap ever. So that will be fun to do. The plain red is the outside, the flower fabric is the inside.

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Third, I am making a paper doll set for a little girl I know. Today I printed out most of the dolls (but I ran out of cardstock and really want to make sure it's all on cardstock) but it hit me that I had nothing to put these dolls in for her to store or whatever. So, today I whipped up what I am calling paper pockets (because I don't know what else to call them LOL!). Then after I purchase a binder, I will cover it in fabric that has embroidered on it "My Paper Dolls" (well, I'll probably put her name on it truthfully) and then I'll stick these in with the dolls in them for her. The whole time I was working on this my 8 year old just kept saying over and over how lucky this other girl is and wow, what a great present - little does she know, she's getting a set as well! And now I know how much she wants them! But today, I just made 4 of them for the other girl. They were around and although the idea won't be a surprise, I want to surprise her with the pages inside - if that makes any sense at all.
And FTR: I am NOT looking forward to cutting all the doll and doll clothes out frankly. But sometime I'll plop down in front of mindless TV and cut them out.

Paper pockets

I'm currently trying to get as far as I can on all the projects I have lined up so that I can have a comprehensive list when I go shopping instead of going 20 times between now and Christmas. Also, we are now going to St. Louis Thanksgiving weekend which will give me about 12 hours in the car so I can get a lot of the handwork done and/or knitting done in the car.

Tomorrow will be a day full of running around and not getting anything done at home and this weekend we are gone Saturday and Sunday. But I need to get more work done on these gifts. I'm feeling better about it all though - I have some good ideas and good energy flowing and I just might be able to pull it all off! =)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Today ...

Today I got a haircut. A much needed haircut. Not quite all the hair I wanted taken off (I really only truly got a trim with a few layers built in).
But truthfully, my hair has looked more like a mop on my head than anything else. And I've felt pretty not pretty lately. I put on a few pounds over October and with this blob of hair on my head that looked about 5 inches too long, I NEEDED this haircut people.
And my stylist (whom I found this spring) did wonders again. She trimmed about a 1/2 inch, put in some layers, and I will tell you I bounced out of there feeling pretty again. Of course I also had to go get an outfit for big party this weekend. Okay, I didn't have to. But I wanted to, and we budgeted for it, so I went shopping. Of course, to target where I got a great skirt (on sale 10 bucks I'm pretty proud), nice shirt and cute shoes. Yeah, I'm happy right now.
Really, the haircut did it for me. The haircut really, truly did it for me.
I was also talking to them about hopefully being back in February for the big chop for me and my girls (we are growing out our hair for Locks of Love and I'm currently at 10 inches, one dd is at 9 inches and the other is about 9.5 inches and yes I am anxious to cut it off and I do measure every week just in case we all have huge growth spurts ROFL!) Anyway, the ladies there are all impressed with my oldest daughter for having this idea (because it was truly her idea after she heard it mentioned on the news). They told me to call when we are all ready for our cuts and they will see what they can do for us - I'm hoping buy 2 cuts get one free maybe ROFL! She also asked if I had her permission to alert local media about it to run a piece in a local paper to spotlight my daughter (and I'm not dumb, they'll put their salon name there too and I'm okay with that). We'll see what happens. I think it would be great to have to put in my children's baby books someday, but if that doesn't happen, I don't care because that's not why we are doing it.

Anyway, it was a great day overall. Hopefully tomorrow some book reviews and some photos to show you. Also, I have a great Christmas idea growing in my head. I just need to order the correct things and I can NOT wait to get those here and to show them all. Also, dh got a new print cartridge for us and so I can start printing up all the paper dolls I need so I can start cutting them out (okay, I am not looking forward to that part) and I am going to try to rig some binders up to make them paper doll piece holders, but I'm not sure if the ideas in my mind will come to fruition.

Anyway, I'm bursting with ideas and lots of energy and some good positive vibes. Now I just have to get working on it all! =)

(Wanted to add: these are the people I am waiting for and I hope to make them look something like this after they get here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Much needed break ...

So, I took a little break from the computer recently, and it was much needed. I might even mostly stay away for the rest of the week.
Sometimes I get too involved in the computer and other things begin to slide. Also, I just needed a break period. Because we came off of a busy month and it was nice to just kind of veg for a few days and not worry about the e-mail or the messages or what's going on this website and all that jazz. I admit, I was on a bit - but really just minimal. And you know what, I didn't even miss the computer that much. I hung out with the family, I vegged, I played games, I did some crafting, I went to the mall (but didn't actually buy anything LOL).
Yeah, it was nice. I needed that time. It's kind of like Computer detox.

I will try to post some pictures of what I've done soon to share with you.

I do have a bit of good news to share with you ... we sent in the check to pay off our second mortgage. Boy, does that feel SOOOO good. Now, we just have the one credit card to pay off. (of course, using current estimates, that will be done in a mere 41 months - and might even be a bit longer because between May 2008-February 2009 we will have 2 out of town weddings (requiring overnight stay), one wedding without overnight stay but with my both girls being a flowergirl, one trip to Maine, Christmas and probably one trip to St. Louis). But no, I can't let it take longer because I truly want it gone much, much sooner. I am going to be cutting costs as much as I possibly can around here to free up as much money as I can to throw towards this debt we have. I WANT IT GONE! I have even offered to get a weekend job for the next 12 months to help get money towards debt and help save for all the other expenses that will occur. We'll see. My husband isn't a fan of that plan in any way, shape, or form! We'll work it out though. I know we will.

Anyway, off to do other things for now ... I'll be back again .. just not sure when! =)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lazy

I have been feeling quite lazy this week so far. I have done the bare minimum to get through each day truthfully. October was just so crazy and last week was even crazier around here and I think I just decided I needed time to do nothing.
Of course now tomorrow I will need to be doing things all day long to get this house back into shape! We need laundry. The floors need to swept. The carpet longs to be vacuumed. The kitchen wishes to be scrubbed. Things need to be made. Lists need to be written. Work needs to be done.
But I will be honest, my motivation level, is frankly at zero right now. It's so hard to do something when you have absolutely no motivation. It's gone. It disappeared, but I am hoping that it decides to come back tomorrow so that I can get LOTS done.

When the motivation returns, I will be back here. I have lots to "talk" about and lots of things that I need to be working on making!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Overwhelmed ...

I just might have to go and buy some lottery tickets ... apparently I am VERY lucky.
Over the weekend I was informed that I was the winner of:
Lots of great Scrapbooking goodies From A Bright Future
A copy of The Tightwad Gazette from Sense to Save (which by the way is an awesome blog and I'm a new reader after finding it through the Fall Y'all Giveaway! I might also add that I've been hoping to by this book for a few months now and I am beyond thrilled to win!)
A sling from MomLady (which is cool because a week or so ago I mentioned I would be looking for a new one! Yeah!)

I ALSO won:
A Mom-me blanket from Mommy Hobby
and last but not least 8 gyniphr-n-stefuni flower pens in flower pot from Gyniphr-n-Stefuni

I am beyond overwhelmed and feel so incredibly lucky. That said, I can not in good conscience take 5 gifts! I just can't do it - even though they are all absolutely lovely and I would use and love all of them. So, and let me tell you, it is hard for me to do this. I debated with my husband about this (he, was of the opinion that I keep them all ROFL!) but I have decided to pass on the Mom-me blanket and the pens. Because, it just feels wrong to take 5 prizes frankly. I am so grateful to have been chosen (and seriously I'm feeling lucky LOL!). And rest assured, I am not passing because I wouldn't love the item (because frankly, I only signed up for the giveaways that I really did want to win!). But as I said, I want to spread the luck around to a few other souls! =) So I will pass and ask Jennifer and Tricia to pick someone else! =)
But I thank EVERYONE who played, who gave, who had fun during the last week =)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Winners!

FINALLY! LOL!
I'm so sorry about the delay, but let's face it, family does in fact come first (and gramps is already doing better and it was nice to spend the time with grannie and grandpa today!)

Anyway, on to the BIG news
The winners are as follows:

For the knit market bag:
Christine of Good Company

For the books:
Someone Being Me of Someone Being Me

For the child's apron:
Crunchy Domestic Goddess of Crunchy Domestic Goddess

For the knit booties:
Anne of Adventures in Beanland

For the crayon holder:
Ribbon Rock Star of Ribbon Rock Star


Congratulations to all my winners! Thank you everyone for playing.

I want to extend 10% off any order anyone places from reading this because, well, because I want to! LOL! If you'd like anything custom-made, please e-mail and we can talk fabrics and other items.
Because my store inventory is so low, and I only slowly add things, I am going to extend this until November 20! When you place your order, send me a conversation reminding me of this discount and do NOT pay until I can send you a revised invoice to reflect the price change! =)

Have a great day everyone!

Prayer Request

Hey everyone ... I'm sure you are anxious who the winners are ... I will be picking them late tonight (hopefully).
Unfortunately, dh's grandfather is in the hospital - he had a minor heart attack. They are also scanning his kidney for something. We've known for a few months he has a lump on his prostate, but he hasn't followed up on it (he had a few appointments, but has been quite sick and ends up cancelling them because of that).
Anyway, today, we off to visit with granny for a bit. Then we will take granny and head to visit grandpa, then back to granny's to have some dinner. Granny admitted that she was feeling very lonely with grandpa not there and asked us to please come over.
So that is what I am doing today ... and if you could please shoot some prayers over this way ... I would really appreciate it.
Thanks all!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Showing my love ...

I constantly tell my husband how much I love him, but the truth is I don't *show* him it very often. The truth is, sometimes I'm a pretty cruddy wife. It seems that too much of the time, dh gets put last - behind the kids, the house, the work, the so many other things that I "have to" do. And I do feel badly about it, but yet it's hard to not do all of that.
But this week, this week, I showed my dh just how much I love him (and no, it did involve lingerie or anything of the like!)
This week I first cleaned out the garage. My husband has not been able to park in the garage yet since we moved in here. And the weather is getting cold. And one of our goals was to reorganize the garage to fit his car in there. It was on his already too long list for the weekend. And so between Wednesday and Thursday, I reorganized the garage and he should be able to fit in there now. (we haven't tried it out yet). Then today, I cleaned the bathrooms. All the bathrooms in our house. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to most, but out of 8 years of marriage, this is maybe the third or fourth time I have cleaned a bathroom. I don't do bathrooms. I told him up front. He knew that marrying me. And so he has always cleaned the bathrooms (yes, ladies I am SO very lucky that he does this and I totally know it). So today I wiped, scrubbed and cleaned. Just for him. Because he will already try to do too many things this weekend. Because he works so hard for our family. And because I wanted to show him just how much I loved him.
Upon hearing I cleaned the bathrooms, I am pretty sure my husband thought I might have been an impostor and wondered for a few moments where his real wife went. But alas, he is quite thankful to come home to a clean garage and clean bathrooms. And I have in fact, shown him very clearly, just how much I do love him!

Last giveaway ..

UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED, PLEASE CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR THE WINNER!

Well today is the last and final giveaway for the Fall Y'all Carnival going on. I will be sad to see the week end, although, truly my fingers are starting to get sore from all the typing I've done (yes, rest assured I have entered a LOT of contests on my own! LOL)
Thank you to all who have visited me this week. I do hope that you will continue to return even without me bribing you the carnival pulling you here!

And now, onto the final giveaway. The winner for today will get their choice of one of two crayon holders I have made:
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OR
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I will tell you, I made one earlier this year and it has come in handy. First of all, it looks a lot prettier than a box of crayons. It's not too many but not too few for all three of my kiddos. It hasn't opened/ripped/crushed and spilled crayons out into the bottom of the purse/diaper bag. We have used it: in the car, in restaurants, while visiting other people's houses. Right now, we only have one ourselves. I will be making a few more (so I can permanently keep one in the diaper bag and my purse). I will also be giving a few of these as Christmas presents. And whichever one is not chosen by the lucky winner, will end up in my Etsy store!

Now don't forget to also:
sign up for my first giveaway
sign up for my second giveaway
sign up for my third giveaway
sign up for my fouth giveaway
visit etsymom for the fabulous giveaways there as well

And go back to the Fall Y'all headquarters and sign up for LOTS of freebies (last I saw, almost 500 giveaways to take part in!)

Other notes:
I'm sorry, but I'm only shipping to the US or to an APO address. I know, it means I'm leaving out a bunch of nice people but the cost of shipping and all that jazz!

Also, a shameless self-promo here, please go and visit my etsy store Emmagail Creations. I'm hard at work over here making some lovely aprons to list over there. So feel free to go over there and browse around =)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

UFO and MORE giveaways!

UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED, PLEASE CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR THE WINNER!

I haven't shared yet, but I did actually manage to finish something up for the UFO Challenge! When the month began, I had one, little lonely knitted bootie
This poor little guy, has been friendless for quite some time. I'm pretty sure it was made a few years ago. So I pulled out the yarn and some needles and knitted up another one!
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Yeah for a pair of booties! =)
And I love these booties so much. For quite a few years all pregnant moms I knew received a pair of these booties. And now, well, I don't know anyone who is expecting, so guess what?
You can have this pair of baby booties! It's simple =) Just leave me a comment by Saturday, November 3 and they could very well end up in your home! If you aren't going to have a baby anytime soon, I promise they make a fabulous gift.

Now don't forget to also:
sign up for my first giveaway
sign up for my second giveaway
sign up for my third giveaway
visit etsymom for the fabulous giveaways there as well

And go back to the Fall Y'all headquarters and sign up for LOTS of freebies (last I saw, almost 500 giveaways to take part in!)

Other notes:
I'm sorry, but I'm only shipping to the US or to an APO address. I know, it means I'm leaving out a bunch of nice people but the cost of shipping and all that jazz!

Also, a shameless self-promo here, please go and visit my etsy store Emmagail Creations. I'm hard at work over here making some lovely aprons to list over there. So feel free to go over there and browse around =)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Christmas ...

Christmas is coming! And I don't feel ready at all! I haven't even picked out everyone's presents yet. Yikes! Normally this wouldn't be a problem, except I'm supposed to be making most of our presents. To date, I have completed one. One - and it's a long list! LOL!
I suppose once the fall y'all giveaway is over, it will back to focusing on my home-made Christmas very intensely! And hey, if you are new here, feel free to grab the button and sign Mr. Linky and join me on my journey! =)

Fall Y'all Giveaway: Day 3

UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED, PLEASE CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR THE WINNER!

I have to admit to everyone, I have hemmed and hawed, and hawed and hemmed about doing this. At first I was hesitant to do this, but I finally decided to just go for it ...
So today's give away will be :::drum roll:::

1 Children's Helping Hands Apron
Yes, I am bringing the apron back because it was extremely popular last time we played.
Now, here's where it gets even better. The winner can look at (pictures of) my fabric and pick the fabrics that they want. Why you wonder? Well, the two I have made already are a bit girly and it's just not fair to moms of boys!
Here are some misc pictures to show you of the aprons:
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apronb1 apronb2 aprona3

Now, these aprons are reversible, both sides have pockets and one side is embroidered. To win, honest to goodness, all you have to do is leave a comment before Saturday November 3 at 6:00. You also must be patient if you win and give me some time to make yours!

Now, do you just love these aprons ... remember if you don't win, you can find them here. I even reshot the pictures for the two I have listed today so that the pictures actually look good LOL!

Now don't forget to also:
sign up for my first giveaway
sign up for my second giveaway
Sign up for my fourth giveaway
visit etsymom for the fabulous giveaways there as well

And go back to the Fall Y'all headquarters and sign up for LOTS of freebies (last I saw, almost 500 giveaways to take part in!)

Other notes:
I'm sorry, but I'm only shipping to the US or to an APO address. I know, it means I'm leaving out a bunch of nice people but the cost of shipping and all that jazz!

Also, a shameless self-promo here, please go and visit my etsy store Emmagail Creations. I'm hard at work over here making some lovely aprons to list over there. So feel free to go over there and browse around =)


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reason 349,821,357 that I love my husband

Last night dh came home and I mentioned how much fun the Fall Y'all giveaway was!

My darling dh said to me "So, how many contests have we entered so far?" and then "And what are we giving away?"

Now, truthfully he could have said "How much time are you spending on the computer?" or "Is that why the dishes aren't done?" or something to that effect. But he didn't. He understands. He gets my need to blog and participate in these sorts of things.

And that is just one of the many reasons I love him!

Fall Y'all Giveaway: Day 2

UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED, PLEASE CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR THE WINNER!

Welcome back my friends!
I'm having a lot of trouble with blogger right now, so I'm crossing my fingers that this will go through!

Today's giveaway is for a set of 3 books (all previously read by me but in very good shape anyway).
The books are: The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant


They are all books I enjoyed reading and think you might enjoy as well! =)

Just leave me a comment by Saturday, November 3. Make sure I have a way to contact you if you win.

And if you haven't already, go back to yesterday's post and sign up for that giveaway!
And sign up for the third one and the fourth one!

For more giveaways (there are a LOT of them) go here and see what else you can win! =)

Please visit etsymom because there are TWO fabulous giveaways there as well =)

Other notes:
I'm sorry, but I'm only shipping to the US or to an APO address. I know, it means I'm leaving out a bunch of nice people but the cost of shipping and all that jazz!

Also, a shameless self-promo here, please go and visit my etsy store Emmagail Creations. I'm hard at work over here making some lovely aprons to list over there. So feel free to go over there and browse around =)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Y'all Giveaway: Day 1

UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED, PLEASE CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR THE WINNER!

Hello and welcome to my blog! It's a place where I tend to ramble about many topics LOL!

Anyway, today for my first give away, I am giving you a chance to win a hand-knitted market bag (made by yours truly!)



It was a fast, fun project that is wonderful! In the picture above, there are 3 apples and 2 oranges, which hardly took up any room at all!

Anyway, I had so much fun making it, and would love to see less plastic bags used, that my dear visitors, I'm going to make one and give it away to one lucky winner!

Here is another shot of it hanging and inside are too large skeins of yarn ....



One creamy white and one blue skein ...



If you win, you can decide if you want it in the creamy color or the blue color! I'm all about letting people have choices you know! (Of course, you'll have to give me a week or so to make it before I can ship it so please be patient with me!!) But I would love to give this away to one lucky winner.

Here's the deal, just leave a comment on this post (making sure there is a link back to a blog or e-mail address) by SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3 at 6:00 pm. That should give people enough time to come over and sign up!

Don't forget to come back every day this week to see what else I'll be giving away here =)

For more giveaways (there are a LOT of them) go here and see what else you can win! =)

See what I put up for day 2 here!
And sign up for the third one and the fourth one!


Other notes:
I'm sorry, but I'm only shipping to the US or to an APO address. I know, it means I'm leaving out a bunch of nice people but the cost of shipping and all that jazz!

Also, a shameless self-promo here, please go and visit my etsy store Emmagail Creations. I'm hard at work over here making some lovely aprons to list over there. So feel free to go over there and browse around =)

(and yes, I gave away the same thing during the dog days of summer and I am in fact recycling pictures because well, it's just easier that way LOL!)

Fall Y'all Giveaways

So I've been racking my brain over here to think of what to give away to everyone this week. I *think I have all 5 days planned out now, but we'll see how the week flies by! October is always so very hectic for us in this household and with Halloween on Wednesday, this just seems like it will be an overwhelming week.

However, I love to win things and I love to give them aways as well so you know I have to do something for all of blogland! =)

I also want to point out to everyone, that I am also in charge of the give aways going on the etsymom blogspot too ... so head over there and check it out (today's give away is up already YEAH!)

Must Love Dogs!n And Contest!

I have finished my First Fall Into Reading Book.
I read Must Love Dogs.


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FM69RS00L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg


Honestly, it wasn't what I expected (because I saw the movie first) and I actually thought that the movie was better than the book. I was slightly disappointed in the book, and honestly wanted to ditch it halfway through.

Things like this always make me wonder how would I have felt if I read the book first and then viewed the movie? Generally I think I like the one I did first the best. Although the movie felt like it had a happily ever after ending and I liked the main character better in the movie. The book, well, the ending just felt unfinished ... like something was missing.

Now, with all that said, if you are curious about this book yourself, leave me a comment by October 29. I will send this book along to a random commenter! Because someone else might enjoy the book more than I did. And because I have no desire to let it sit around and collect dust in my house!

2 Finishes ...

I have two finishes to report to you dear friends today! And only one is actually mine.

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My darling daughter (who by the way turned 8 today 10/28!) finished her very first project today! =) Boy, did she feel proud of that accomplishment. We even laughed about how it only took about a year to finish. She has already begun project number 2, which is a headband for her lovely head! So a big round of applause for her!

Today, I also had a finish I am proud of:
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Oh, these socks are absolutely gorgeous! I can't even put into words how much I seriously love them! I worked very hard on them. I did manage to have a tiny bit of yarn left (I may be able to eek out a pair of socks for a wee child from it but I'm not sure). I have to say, I could have certainly used less yarn. The top could have been shorter. The cables didn't have to go down the top of the foot, but I think the socks wouldn't have looked nearly as pretty that way and I certainly wanted to do the best job possible on these. And I think they are gorgeous. I did put them on for the pictures (and only over clean white socks first) and my feet loved them. I will be sad to see them go, but I am so proud of these socks! I think knitting a second pair in the future is an absolute must! =)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sleep ...

People! I have managed to get some sleep finally! You can not even begin to understand how happy this makes me. It was very needed and oh so loved.
Granted, I needed a bit of help getting it (and I found it in a pill packed with melatonin and passionflower, but at this point, I almost don't care how I got sleep, just that I got it.

And I needed sleep ... because Monday starts the
Fall Y'all Giveaway and I am getting ready to give a few things away here, help set up give aways at EtsyMom blog AND of course, enter give aways to my little hearts delight LOL! =)

So, you'll see why getting sleep now will be oh so important in the near future.

Also, I need some advice for anyone who knows about Babywearing a child who is a toddler and not a baby ... what is the best way to do it? He'll be 2 in December and I want to be comfortable and I want him to be comfortable. I'm thinking something on the back is the way to go, but I don't know. I used a sling for my oldest until she was a year (and then she was over 30 pounds and we couldn't find anything that could hold her weight) and I do occasionally sling him as well - we have a nojo sling, but it's either stretched out or just not working for him because it's too loose and he flops around and it doesn't feel safe, so we don't do it often.
Thanks in advance! =)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

So tired ...

One might think that the more tired you become, the easier it is to fall asleep. My body, apparently, didn't get this memo and sleep has been extremely difficult to find for the last few weeks.
A couple days ago my dh was lamenting this fact with me and admitted he is nervous about me driving around with the lack of sleep I've been getting lately. I promised him that I never get in the car if I don't trust myself to drive and that if I got so exhausted that I didn't think I could drive, he would be the first to know.
This morning I called him at work and let him know that I was too exhausted to trust myself to drive today. Which normally would be fine, but tonight it's my turn to carpool my kids and one additional to Awana. And I keep thinking, with my luck, driving home at 8:30 at night, when it's dark out is the time I will just fall asleep. And that thought makes me very worried. Ugh.
Tonight though, I am praying tonight I will fall asleep without any issues and actually get a full night's rest under my belt.
I guess sleep is one of those things you don't think about until you aren't getting any. And right now I'm not getting hardly any. And it is really wearing me out.
Anyway, probably until I can get sleep and have some coherent thoughts to type out, I'll be mia for a few days. Because I'm just too tired to think anymore.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I've put in my Christmas request already ..

So today, I let me dh know what I wanted for Christmas ...

We have been invited to go up to Wisconsin Dells for Thanksgiving weekend with his dad and stepmom. Indoor waterpark, swimming, lots of good food, what's not to love about it, right? I know it would be fun and I would enjoy it ... but tonight I told dh the only thing he needed to do for me for Christmas is to take the kids up that weekend and let me stay home!

72 hours without having to feed another person, without having to dress someone, without having to change a diaper. 72 hours to sleep, read, sew, knit, embroider, watch tv, eat lots of unhealthy foods, soak in the tub, stay in pajamas all day long.
I'd be in heaven!

But, yet, at the same time, I feel bad about requesting that. I told him that I knew it wouldn't be easy to be up there without help and to not feel like he had to do this. He hasn't responded yet. I fear the dream might be slipping away ....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Belated Thank you ...

So a sort of really long time ago, HappyMomma gave me this:




Aww! It makes me feel super special! Thank you very much ... I have to add she makes me smile a lot too - and I always love to get her comments here =)

And now I am supposed to pass this on to someone, which is pretty hard because well, a really large amount of people make me smile every day. I won't even admit to you about how many people I track via bloglines because then you all might think that I was addicted or something like that to reading blogs!
I am, however, going to pass this on to a friend of mine - someone I see in person face to face because she listens to me ramble on the phone, comes over to my crazy house, doesn't mind that my kids are afraid of her dog, doesn't freak out over runny noses, and really does make me smile ... so I'm passing this on to SJCreations ... however, if you are reading this, chances are I thought about giving it to you because all the readers who have left comments to me, well, you all are awesome! =)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Book Review: What Comes After Crazy

So last night, thanks to an inability to sleep (again) I finished the book What Comes After Crazy by Sandi Kahn Shelton.

It's a story about Maz, who is going through some rough times - her husband has left her, her oldest daughter acts like she hates her, she has a crazy mother, she isn't happy in her job, and she isn't sure about how to start dating again.
Now, I'm a big fan of realistic fiction, and even though this book started a bit crazy (and really given the title this is no surprise) but the more I read it the more I thought how it wasn't really that realistic after all. But yet, it wasn't quite a fantasy novel either and so I was left feeling just so-so about the book.
However, the author does a great job of mixing humor in with what are some very sad/hard times. I also think the author happens to be a great writer. This just wasn't a book for me. She has other books out, and I would even attempt to read them because I just like her style.

It could also be said that the book didn't jive with me right now, because well, not much is! Honestly, I feel like I'm stuck in a rut and just feeling very stressed and overwhelmed. This sort of feeling tends to hit me (although I will say this is the first time in a long time and for that I am grateful). This will all pass soon - especially I'm sure once October ends because this whole hubby working an extra job and me working an extra job and all the other stuff going on is really putting me on edge. I am looking forward to November 1 VERY much!

And sorry, I can't give this finished book away to anyone because it's a library book and they would like it back! LOL!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stuff

Last night I finally finished one sock. I still need to start and finish the second, but I'm glad it's done. I love the sock. It's gorgeous. I want to wear it ROFL!
I have to say though, I found a few things in the pattern that I would rewrite if I could. BUT seeing as I've never designed a pattern, had to write it up, nor wonder if other people could understand things as I understand them, I truly have very little to judge here LOL!

Also, I am in the middle of freezing a LOT of corn. I started with a little over 8 dozen ears (although quit a few have not been edible and been tossed straight to the garbage. I have 60 ears right now ready and waiting to be blanched, but I ran out of ice. I have already taken care of about 15-20 ears, so that leaves me with a fair amount of corn to put in my freezer LOL! However, the corn will be shared with (at least) 2 other people. I am also trying to get my hands on another 5 dozen ears (knowing that again, some will have to be tossed).

I have to say, I know I will enjoy eating the corn at a later date. And I certainly will enjoy not having to pay for corn (because we were blessed and given all this corn) but it gets really boring to boil about 7 ears at a time, then cool them, then cut all the kernels off, then freeze them on a cookie sheet (so that they don't freeze in one big chunk), then put them in the final freezing bag. Very repetitive and well, I keep eying that second sock I should be knitting because it looks a lot more fun than the corn is ROFL! But that's okay. A little hard work never killed anyone, and certainly won't kill me either ;-)

An FPU update ...

I haven't been doing any FPU updates lately. I apologize for that.
I suppose if we had been saving tons of money, knocking out debt left and right, I'd probably be writing about it very often out of excitement. As it currently stands, looking at our financial picture is mostly leaving me feeling very stressed and worried. (Although I have to add, at least I'm looking at it now and I can't imagine what sort of path we would be on if we didn't get in gear now).
This month Murphy visited us (uninvited I might add) and hit us hard with all my tooth issues. It has really stressed us.
And oh, remember when I bragged about our thankfully low debt that would be paid off in November (right here if you want to go visit a cockier me). Well, I was technically correct when I said in November we will be debt free aside from the house. However, I was rolling the second mortgage into the house category and have now realized (with a little help from dh) that the second mortgage is in fact in the debt category and only the mortgage is the house. And he's right because 1) the second mortgage is technically a Home Equity Loan. And it's almost double the interest than our regular mortgage and (here's where it becomes the problem) it's a balloon payment. Seriously, I didn't' know that until recently. They are only billing us for interest each month and the principal will be due in about 14 years, 6 months. Now, we have paid extra on it and they keep applying it to the interest, despite us calling to put it to the principal. :::sigh:: So in one swoop, our debt was doubled because of how we are viewing it. And with the money we will be receiving soon, we have decided to pay off the HE loan and then attack the credit cards. Our thinking is a) the HE loan is a pain because of how it is set up. b) if things get worse, the credit card companies can't take our house away. But the mortgage company, can. So we are eager to get rid of it.
With our current plan, it will take approximately 33 freaking months. Seriously, I want to puke about it and we are on a very modest budget I think. Mostly because of the house. This house. I have a love/hate relationship with it right now - because it takes 45% of our monthly take-home pay for the mortgage.
I will be honest right now, I'm very down about this whole thing. I had some people over last night for a craft night (who ended up buying some things from me) and I joked that I would pretty much do whatever they wanted me to - babysit, make things, help in any way shape or form these days. They laughed about it with me, and then the one mom told me a date she needs a babysitter, because they also knew I was serious about it too!
But I want this debt gone ASAP! I don't want to carry it for 3 years. If we could go back one year ago, we wouldn't have bought this house. But we have to start where we are. And this is where we are. And we are working on it, and we are attacking it. And I know it will get better. But, it is going much slower than I predicted. We should have had a chunk to put into savings this month. As it stands now, if we can make it through the month without running out of money, well, I will consider myself quite blessed truthfully.

Anyway, that is my update for now. It's not very pretty at the moment and it's not a lot of fun either frankly! I'm stressing about it all big time. But we have a plan. And we are digging our way out. Most importantly, we are changing out attitude on money and how we spend it and what we buy and redefining what is important to us.

But right now we are the turtle and not the hare. And that's okay, because in the end, the turtle wins.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Socks!

I have been working on some socks recently (I mentioned them the other day here). The second pattern I found, is in fact, working fabulously.
The pattern is called Harvest Cables. And frankly, the yarn is looking fallish to me. The weather is feeling fallish. And I think it is perfect to be working on this now!
Here are some pictures of the progress so far:
100_8296

100_8293

I really am loving these socks. I will be sad to see them go. But I'm eying the leftover yarn for a possible second pair! LOL!

Book Update!

I (finally) picked the winner for my book giveaway today. Well, actually I let my 22 month old pick the winner as an attempt to get him to forget the temper tantrum he was throwing because I ::gasp:: turned off Thomas. Which, in his world, is a capitol offense punishable by endless crying, whining, and screaming.

Anyway, the winner is Lesha! Congrats =)

And thanks to everyone else who entered. I have two more books I am planning on giving away, but I'm not sure when.

But, speaking of give aways, have y'all heard about the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Seriously, if this is anything like the Dog Days of Summer Giveaway, it will be HUGE!

I am undecided about what I will be giving away for this round, or if I'll be giving anything away at all this time. We'll see. Life is hectic. October is worse than normal for dh and I. We'll see. I have lots of things that are used that I could give away (no really, I could probably give away something once a day for a year) but I'm not sure if "used" is okay!

Anyway, if you have a blog and want to participate, start brainstorming on what you can do! =)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Life ...

has been on the busy side around here lately. I guess I needed to take a bit of a bloggy break for a few days there. I think the entire month of October will be this hit or miss kind of period for me. Between ALL the time my dh is working, the time I am working, taking care of kids, errands, cleaning, cooking, there isn't much time left in the day!

I did manage to do some embroidery yesterday for a friend:
These little duckies:

Added to this shirt:


Mom and daughter were happy with it so that's good!

I also had about, oh 3-4 inches of a new sock knit, when I decided the pattern was not working with the yarn I had. The yarn I have is gorgeous and the pattern was not showing that, so I frogged it all back and now have nothing to show for it. But that's okay. I found another pattern last night which I hope will be much better. But, back to the yarn, I bought it from WhimzyPinzy (a fellow etsymom) and well, I'm digging the yarn. It is so gorgeous. The socks I am making are actually not going to my feet, and I'm kind of sad about that LOL! Maybe next time I order from her it will be for myself, but for now, I am digging her yarn. So anyway, if you like yarn, go visit her and see what she has!

Okay, now I'm off to cook a ton of chili (okay, not a ton, but about 6 pounds LOL!) and then cleaning and if I'm lucky, I'll get to recast those socks on again!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Etsy Goals ...

Christina Perdue is hosting a 30 Days to a Better Shop. So I'm joining in (albeit a bit late). We'll see how it goes.
Day 1 is to make some goals for my etsy store.
October Goals:
1. Make 2 sales
2. Get up to 30 hearts
3. List 10 new items
4. Pass out 20 business cards
5. Spam my family members and get them to promote me for free (ha! ha!)

Long-Term Goals:
1. Get regular sales by December or close up shop
2. Expand into more knit items
3. Team up with some other sellers


So, we'll see how it goes and if I can start crossing off things from my list.