Friday, August 31, 2007

Give Away!

UPDATE: Comments are closed ... winner to be announced soon!

Okay, I have a give away to share with you all!
As I mentioned earlier this week, I'm giving away The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

I want to add that when I read it, I loved it. I almost don't want to give it away actually LOL! But, I really do because I want someone else to read it and enjoy it as well (plus, we are currently clearing out the clutter from our home and this is part of my plan - so watch for more book giving away here!)
Anyway, if you want it, just leave me a comment and just make sure I have a way to get in touch with you if you happen to win. Feel free to tell others about it, but you don't need to link back here unless you want to.
I'll close comments on Friday, August 31.
Good luck everyone! =)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Howdy ...

Well I originally intended to sign on, add a few updates to yesterdays post and call it a day, but then I started typing and it turned into more than a few sentences. Hence, a new post today LOL!

Regarding yesterday:
I want to add thanks for the nice comments. I also want to say that I understand it would be better to save the entire amount I make for sitting. However, for the next month only 100 dollars is being used towards misc, entertainment, extra, bonus - whatever you want to call it. We are in general on a pretty tight budget and so I am making a conscious choice to not save a small part of it (1-2 yards of fabric worth) and then saving the rest.

I also want to add (and it's sort of a brag but really I'm saying it because I am excited) we will be debt free except the house in November! How awesome is that? We will have no cc debt, no car payments, not debt aside from the house. I can't tell you how food that will feel. So we will be on baby step 3 by Christmas! Yeah!!

UPDATED DECEMBER 2007 - I have NO clue why I thought we could do this - I believe I wasn't grasping the total amount of debt that we had. Although we are over half-way through paying our debt, we are certainly NOT debt free and it won't happen very quickly truthfully. I felt the need to come back and say this because 1) I was pretty cocky back then and I needed to come down from my high horse and 2) it certainly isn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be - it's hard work, but i promise, it certainly is worth it.

Although admittedly, debt is not our big issue at the present moment - learning to live within our means is the big lesson we need to learn. And we are both learning it, slowly by surely. And we also very committed to learning that lesson ASAP. We do not want to live paycheck to paycheck. We do not want to live worrying about all the bills that will be due soon. We want to enjoy life and to live and have fun. I think a good 8-10 years of hard work in order to get that and I think in the long run it will be worth it and feel so good!

I might also add - having the 2 little girls here today isn't all that bad (and hopefully I haven't jinxed myself just now LOL!). They are getting along well with my 3 and of course we've had a few moments of trying to figure out who can play with what toy (of course we have those moments every day LOL!), but overall, I have to say they are two very well-behaved girls. I imagine that tomorrow will go just as smoothly. I was even able to do a tiny bit of scrapbooking today - which is amazing LOL! =)

Now I just need to get some more knitting time to finish up a few projects. And one more book and I will have read my goals for the year =)

I have to admit that life is feeling pretty good right now, even if I am feeling a bit broke - I can say that I'm happy where we are at adn the places I think we are heading!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Better and best ...

Last night, while trying to fall asleep, I was struck with what I think will be a fabulous idea. I had some inspiration to make something for my girls based on FPU, something they already own and something I saw on etsy yesterday.
I just knew it was going to be a fabulous idea and a great thing to make.
Except, even with my large fabric stash, I don't have any fabric that is of the material that I need.
So I was kind of bummed because we did make our budget for the month, and there was not money in it for fabric. And we don't have room to play around with it either at this point. So I was thinking today I have this great idea and if I'm lucky I can whip it up in October and that's not too terribly far away. Not to mention that I am temporarily without embroidery capability - but that will be remedied soon - so even if I did go shopping today, I wouldn't have worked on it today anyway.

So yeah, I was resigned to the fact that it would have to wait, and that this was a good first test to see if I am disciplined enough to stick to the all-mighty Budget dh and I worked on. But I was a bit bummed. A month ago, I would have gone to the store, picked up the fabric I needed, picked up a few more that also looked cute, then maybe browsed the yarn and found some that I liked and then just for fun have thrown in a few other things that I didn't need. But nope, not today. I really am trying to stick to this whole budget thing, really!!

Anyway, fast forward a few hours - and the phone rings. And it's someone asking if by any chance I can babysit for 2 children (and I might add my girls have played with them before and really enjoyed it too!). So tomorrow and Friday I will have 2 extra friends in my house. Not only that, but that means there will be a bit of extra cash flow as well. And that my friends means that I can go shopping over the weekend to buy the 1-2 yards that I need and the rest can be put right into savings to help us reach our goal a little bit faster! Really, I am truly amazed at how that worked out and very grateful for how it all came together! Yeah!

So maybe next week I will have something really great to show everyone!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Favor ...

I have a favor to request of my readers - can you please visit my etsy shop and tell me what you HONESTLY think of it? Particularly, I need to know the bad ...
things like descriptions, picture quality, prices, feedback, too many items, too few items, etc, etc ... what would stop you from shopping there and what would keep you coming back. Leave it anonymously if it makes you feel better - but I really need to know!

Thank you so much to anyone who does this for me. It really does mean so much!

In an effort to get as many responses as possible, I'm going to leave this as a sticky post for a week!

Monday, August 27, 2007

*FPU Update

So last night dh and I put down our budget on paper. This was no easy task because a)I have a cold that makes everything seem pretty darn fuzzy and b)things are tight. I mean, really tight.

But, we did it. We successfully made a budget.

The bad points:
- there isn't much wiggle room in this plan - as in once all the had to be paid bills were paid, there was hardly anything left at all to even discuss
- I feel really poor today

The good points:
- we did not argue about the budget (you might assume that since all the money is spoken for, this doesn't matter, but I think it does)
- all the bills that need to be paid, will get paid
- Starting in October things will be looking much better
- October is a good month because we have bonus income coming in for both of us which will be nice.

We opened a second savings account last night as well. (The first one we have isn't actually for savings which would make complete sense if I typed up a 1000 word essay on it, but I will spare you the details and just ask that you trust me LOL!).
We figured out how much to save per month for the items that are paid only yearly (or twice yearly). We made a list of big purchases we would like to make at the moment and ranked them in order of importance. At the moment we don't have extra in the budget to start saving, but as soon as we hit baby step number 1 (saving 1,000) and are able to add to that on a monthly basis, we can start saving for them OR if we get some lump sum of some sort, it can go towards those items.

It feels good to have a plan. I just wish the amount of money we were basing that plan on would increase LOL! But we are getting there ... it may take us a while, but we can do it. I was thinking last night it would be so neat to look back in 3 years and sort of laugh about where we started today.

*FPU Stands for Financial Peace University. Click here for more info

Christmas list

* I added a few more items to this list today!

Today I have spent some time working on my Christmas list.
It feels so early to be doing this, but since I want to make most of my items, well, I feel like I should have started in January LOL!

Here's what I have so far (obviously, names in code just in case people stumble upon this site - I can't let them see what they might be getting now cane I?)

I feel like I should have more spots filled in, but this is a good start I suppose!

Group 1
person 2: knit scarf
person 4: folk rag doll
person 7: Pasha the Penguin OR bag
person 11: Holiday napkins
person 13: wrap/blanket
person 1
person 3
person 5
person 6
person 8
person 9
person 10
person 12:
person 14

Group 2
person 3: Fetching and bag
person 4: Sheldon turtle
person 7: washcloth and towel
person 8: kitchen item
person 10: washcloth and towel
person 11: Holiday napkins
person 1:
person 2
person 5
person 6
person 9
person 12
person 13

Group 3
person 3: Folk rag doll
person 1:
person 2:
person 4
person 5:

Group 4
person 1
person 2
person 3
person 4

Group 5
person 1: Holiday napkins
person 4: Cute shirts
person 6:folk rag doll
Possible ideas:
Matching dolly/girl outfit 1
Matching dolly/girl outfit 2
person 7
Possible ideas:
Matching dolly/girl outfit 1
Matching dolly/girl outfit 2
person 2:
person 3:
person 5
person 8

Friday, August 24, 2007


Power is back up ...
Of course 2 hours till we are supposed to be hit by major storms again. Crossing my fingers they are wrong about it LOL!

It's raining ...

It's raining
It's pouring
The tornado sirens
are roaring

The lightning flashed
And the thunder crashed
And now we don't have power!

Yeah, yeah, power doesn't rhyme, but it's the truth!

Yesterday started out as any normal day.
But it all became quite crazy after surviving 2 tornado sirens, 2 powerful storms, and one normal storm - which knocked the power out!

But between neighbors checking on us, us checking on them, getting help, borrowing a generator, and feeling we did all we could do, dh and I finally managed to hop into bed at 2 am.

We woke up to the power still out, but my husband plugged in the internet service for me anyway!

So now with the generator, I don't have to worry about the basement flooding, the food going bad, and I can check weather and pass the time checking e-mails! LOL!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My day

Today was quite the day for me.
I was actually a bit bummed because a friend was supposed to come over, but plans changed (although tomorrow she will come over and teach me some new skills LOL!)
But all was well. I hung out with the kids, spent some time on internet land, hung out with the kids, managed to clean the kitchen pretty well, hung out with the kids and then went to work in the sewing room.
I've had a pile of things needing help down there and so today I repaired 2 skirts and 2 stuffed animals. I had two very happy girls when I returned the newly hole-less animals to them.
I was sort of shocked by how happy they were frankly, but what an easy way to please them!
Then we got the mail and today my FPU kit came in the mail! I was very excited to see it since tonight was our first class!
So after a nice dinner, dh and I left and went to class.
As silly as it sounds, I was so nervous! I even had a mini-debate on what I should wear to this class - because you know that is a big deal (yes, I think I'm kind of dorky when it comes to these things!). But we made it to class and it wasn't frightening. There were no pop quizzes or tests or anything like that. We actually missed the first session so tonight was the second session for everyone else.
On the way home dh and I talked. I have to tell you, as much as I am looking forward to implementing these ideas, I am also dreading it. Tonight we talked about budgeting. First, I should tell you, dh and I know how to make the most perfect budget ever. We just have never been able to follow one very well. And we never knew how to plan for a 5 week month over a 4 week month and how to work in those costs that only come up every so often (like car insurance and things like that). Now, this program specifically covers both those issues and I think I like it better than what we have tried to do in the past. But that means we need to start a budget, and more importantly we need to follow a budget.
So we started to chat about it. We talked about how this Christmas we may have to scale back. We might have to eliminate half the people we traditionally buy for. How we might have to limit birthday gifts for a while. We know our biggest expense each and every month is our house. So we talked about if we thought we should really think about selling it and getting something less costly. That option feels completely wrong to both of us right now. So we are going to operate as if that isn't an option. Who knows, maybe in 3 months we will have to revisit that idea, but seeing as we both are in agreement, we will have to make it work somehow.
Anyway, I have to say, that what we talked about tonight made complete sense to me. It clicked in my head. It clicked in dh's head. And of course, having to go back next week with that budget in hand will be a fabulous motivator to get it done and take it seriously. After one night I have to say I like it a lot.
I will keep you posted each Tuesday as we go to class as to how things are going.

And of course, I have to give another HUGE BIG THANK YOU to Lu and her husband. Truly, we wouldn't have gone to this class tonight if not for her. We wouldn't be talking about these things like we did tonight - we'd simply be trying to make ends meet each month, getting stressed out and worried and that can't lead to much happiness.

As another note, one of the recommendations of the program is to start a buddy system with someone as we learn to budget and spend wisely and save wisely and all that jazz ... so anyone else out there budgeting right now? Let me know ... and we can all buddy up and share progress, the good steps forward and the bumps we hit along the way ... just a thought =)

Another Contest ...

Yes! People I do love contests! And I love telling you about them as well!
So my friend Damselfly is hosting some contests in honor of Flybaby turning 1. I gotta tell you, I love reading about Flybaby because he reminds me of 2 of my children and it brings back memories ... and every so often I read something Damselfly writes and it just sends me back down memory lane. So yes, I am partial to this baby and this momma honestly.
And now, now there is a contest over there.

There are cute clothes (that won't fit my little man but I know other babies who would look fabulous in them!), itunes gift card and a gap gift card (both of which I could spend in minutes!) So go read this post, write about it yourself and sign Mr. Linky. And then if you haven't visited Growing a Life before, explore it some more! It's a great blog and I think you might like it!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Another UFO!

Tonight I pulled out another UFO to work on. And as I mentioned not to long ago, I'm behind on my UFO challenge for the year (and that is to work on one UFO a month).
I would personally like to finish them up more than I would like to just work on them, but considering for 4 months I didn't even pick one of them up, well, I guess I'll just take what I can get LOL!

But tonight I pulled out another UFO and ::gasp:: finished it! Interestingly enough, I started it around the same time I started the bed skirt I finished last week.

So I pulled out the pieces to the bag I started far too long ago and managed to put it all together today.

Before I started working:

Finished product

In this shot, I put a magazine into the pocket so you could see how it worked

The lining inside the bag.

How I managed to get most of it done:

Anyway, I like the bag, although, after I had it all sewn up, I realized I didn't put any pockets on the inside. Oh well. Can't get them all perfect.

In other news:
I sent out three of the packages for the winners of the Dog Days of Summer Giveaway. I might add a huge finally to that statement though. Hopefully they will arrive soon. I'm waiting to hear from one person to do a shirt for her and hopefully we'll get the details ironed out soon!

Here is a knitting project I am working on right now. It's for my 4 year old, who will be 5 soon. This will be one of her presents. Hopefully it will look like this when it's done!

Also, I will be giving away this book soon ... so check back and sign up if you want it!

Go Read

this blog =)
My real life friend (yes, I do have one or two of them) started a blog! Yeah! I'm so excited for her so go check her out!


I have a finished project to show you all!

Tonight I finally had a chance to work in my craft room. I tell you, every time I plan to spend huge chunks of time in there, life interferes and I don't get the time in there that I want. Wa, wa, wa ... I know, cry you a river, right?
Anyway, after everyone went to bed, I went to the room.
I started with this shirt

And yes, I did put those pieces of paper on it to cover up the name and stuff on the shirt because I'm all paranoid like that. Anyway, these are shirts I wore to work in high school. October will be my 10 year reunion. I don't know why I saved them (other than it's a family business and I always thought I might never know when I'd have to work again!). But it was time to do something with it (I couldn't very well donate a shirt with my name embroidered on it. And I cringed to throw away a perfectly good shirt). So I came up with an idea.
I planned it based on the knitting needle case I made before. But I wanted to make something for the kids to carry crayons around in. So I cut the shirt up - except I cut it a bit wrong and so had to pull out some cotton to finish it.
But now I have a crayon holder:

I have to tell you though, when I saw it all rolled up, tied and looking so cute, well, I've decided this one will be my crayon holder. One I can throw in my purse in case we are at a restaurant or something and I might need to whip out some crayons to entertain the kiddies with.

Also, I have another shirt that is exactly the same and I can cut that one up to make a second one for the kids. And this time, I'll know how to cut it the right way LOL!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Nancy Drew: Danger at the Great Lakes

Today my dear readers, I have a very special treat for you. Today I have a guest blogger, known as Miss A. Miss A loves to read and so we have decided to let Miss A review some books here at A Journey. Miss A also happens to be my oldest daughter, who will be 8 in a few months. I am very glad she is joining me on my blogging fun!
Here is her first book review ever! (We have never done something so formal before with her).
I should warn you that Miss A doesn't understand the concept of spoilers yet and how to summarize a book without giving it away! Also, Miss A doens't type well, so she told everything to me and I typed it for her. I have not changed or edited her writing in any way. I wanted this to be fun for her =)

Her Summary:
Nancy and her friends Beth and George went shopping because they were going on a cruise. And they met this girl named Amber and they helped her pick out clothes for the cruise because they were going on the same one. They met this nice girl and at the end of the story it got a little worser than the beginning. Because their friend was really a bad friend. The bad girls tried to lock Nancy in the basement. They also tried to toss her into Lake Erie. And then they found out that their friend Amber (who they met at the mall) was really a bad person. And the bad people were named Amber and Laura Huston. The bad girls tied up Nancy, Beth and George in their room and then they pointed a gun at them and locked them in the bathroom and left. But Nancy heard her dad breaking into the rooms. But they had tape on their mouth. Nancy used her eyes to tell her friends to kick the door so they could get out. And then Interpol found Craig (Nancy's friend) and then they had to go search for Laura Huston and Amber Huston. Interpol found Laura and Amber and Nancy and her friends enjoyed the cruise home. The End

Her Thoughts:
My favoritest part was when they found Laura Huston and Amber Huston. And my leastest favoritest part was when Amber Huston tried to knock Nancy into Lake Eerie. I liked the book because it had sad parts, happy parts. And it had parts where people met people. And I think that it should be the most bestest book in the world.

2 thumbs up!

Random Updates ...

Last weekend did not go as planned. I did not watch Murder She Wrote. I did not craft much. I did not really get to do much of what I wanted to do at all!
I'm not complaining because things with the family have been crazy lately. But I think we are finally getting into a rhythm and I am accomplishing a lot of good things for my family.
So tomorrow, tomorrow after church, I am taking me time.
I will finish up the market bag and one of the tee-shirts for the give-aways, so Monday 4 of the 5 will be shipped to the winners.
I am going to go through some stash and thin it out. I am going to start planning holiday projects to make. I am going to work on some projects and hopefully show pictures of them. And I will hopefully even find some time to read a little bit tomorrow.
So, to my contest winners - sorry it took so long, but your items are coming! And finally I will be able to get in touch with my crafty side and just relax in my little sewing room and do whatever I want to do! LOL!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Homemade Christmas - Links!

Here are some links I have to share with you right now for ideas from across the web!

Not Made in China - a blog post that has some great links on ideas/instructions/etc. I do believe some of these ideas will end up on my list!

Handmade Toys - an article from Mothering Magazine that is just a nice read and has a few ideas at the end of it!

Flannel board instructions - hey, these look easy enough to follow and I enjoyed having a flannel board when I was a little one! - a collection of how-to's that you can look through - there are all sorts of ideas there! (Some of them even have links to etsy stores if you don't want to make the things yourself - which I just might have to utilize for some of my gifts!)

Tummy Time Blanket - hey, this is a great idea to use even when it's not Christmas!

Jacob's Ladder - I see this still being sold in stores, but here are the (free!) directions to make it yourself. I'm not good with wood myself but I think even I could make this.

You Can Make This! - a website to purchase patterns that are ready for immediate down-loading!

Doll Clothes Patterns - these clothes would be lovely for a little one who really is into playing with dolls!

I will expand this list as I find, or as you share, more great ideas!

Don't forget, this list is also over at group I started as well =)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Homemade Christmas

So I was reading Adventures in Babywearing the other day (actually, I've been reading for awhile and if you haven't read over there yet, go. It's a great blog!)
The other day, she wrote here about maybe doing homemade Christmas gifts this year - with all the recalls and whatnot. And the little wheel in my head starting spinning ...
homemade Christmas gifts. Well, it's an idea I've been toying with for a while (in fact it's on my list of 101 in 1001!). And I decided now is the year to do it.
So this Christmas my goal is to do a lot of homemade gifts. Now, we have to buy for a lot of people, so to start now and think I'm going to make them all is a bit of a challenge. I would have had to start planning January to make that happen. But I know I can make a good amount of gifts.
So, who wants to join me? Who wants to do a homemade Christmas this year? We can share ideas, how-to's, motivate each other to finish and just have fun making special things for our families this year!

Want to join in the fun with me? Leave a link on the Mr. Linky below and we can start with maybe updates every 2 weeks for now and as we get closer to Christmas, we can go once a week?
And come back here soon - I'll try to have links to share with ideas!

p.s. I also started a group over at so stop by there as well!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Blessed once again ..

As if the freebies I won from the Dog Days of Summer give away recently weren't enough, I have been blessed once again!
Lu from over at Hyperactive Lu gave away a Financial Peace University Member Kit. I won. I can't even believe it! I WON! Woo-hoo!
I really did jump for joy (in case you can't tell I am not one to hold my emotions back very well! LOL!) Dh is pretty excited about it as well.
This could not come at a better time. Really. We are spending more money than we make each month. I know, stop spending right? But we've (tried to) tracked our spending. We aren't sure where to cut back and how to cut back. I read at least one book on the topic and it was sort of helpful but not that helpful.
I really think dh and I are eager and ready to get into this course, learn all we can, and then apply it - because we all know the application part will truly be the hardest part of all.
Anyway, I am so excited. A HUGE thank you to Lu for her generosity in giving this away to begin with.
Once we get into a class (we still need to figure out which one to go to or I joked with dh that we needed to convince our church to host one LOL!) then I promise to keep you updated with how it is all going and the changes we decide to make!

Thank you again Lu! I can not wait to get this! Thank you! Thank you! =)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Please don't laugh where I can hear it ...

But I just found out Saturday the Hallmark Channel is running a "Murder She Wrote" marathon hosted by Angela Landsbury!
OMG! Really, I love that show. (Hallmark channel also shows episodes from 10pm to 12pm central time zone each weeknight which is usually what is on then!).
Yes, my family does make fun of me about watching it (especially my 16 year old sister). But I do love that show so much. I think it's because when the show ran the first time, I watched it with my grandma and I loved watching it with her.
Anyway, Saturday, my goal is to have Murder She Wrote on the television as I am knitting/sewing/crafting away!

In a funk ...

So I've been in this funk all week. I think too much going on, the diet thing kind of freaked me out, and I don't know - things just weren't going the way I thought they would.
I have not crafted at all all week. That's really serious - a) because I usually try to squeeze in as much craft time as possible and b) I still need to finish all the give away items and get them mailed out (sorry winners, but I swear they are coming!)

However, tonight I feel renewed, re-energized and ready to face life! The good news is that after only 2 days on a mostly modified diet, there have already been noticeable differences with my darling daughter. I am shocked. My husband thinks it is a fluke (but also hopes he is completely wrong). Even if tomorrow is not as good as today for her body, we at least had one good day! I am so excited about this I can't even believe it. She is also excited as well (and happy to know that even though she is missing a few foods that it's for a good reason! LOL!) If I were a betting mom, I'd bet it's wheat/grains that are the issue. It's the only thing on the list we have completely eliminated from her diet. But I think this is a good sign.

And I'm ready to craft again - to knit, to sew, to scrapbook, to read, to draw, to do all sorts of fun things. Of course, we have plans to be out of the house all day tomorrow, so my desire will have to wait but that's okay with me!

And, also, today I got my quilt from Corrie at Tyler's Triumph. (You can see it here - hopefully tomorrow I can up-load the pictures I took of it but the camera is missing at the moment LOL!) And I have to say, it's even more lovely in person. The pictures do not do it justice. It matches my couches beautifully and it matches other furniture we have. The stitching is fabulous. I am really in love with this quilt. I am even taking it over to granny's tomorrow because she wants to see this quilt that I was telling her about! And yes, I did snuggle under it today ... the tornado sirens were going off (thankfully only a funnel cloud passed by us and not an actual tornado) but we were nervous and headed to the basement - which is freezing compared to the rest of the house, so I wrapped up in the quilt and felt better =) Really, it is so gorgeous. I can't believe it was hand quilted. I feel like I was cuddling up with someone's hard work and it's kind of a nice feeling (of course I'm assuming it was stitched with love and good thoughts and I'd like to think that if it was stitched that way, those good thoughts get passed into our house now!)

Anyway, I think that's enough rambling for tonight. Tomorrow evening, I want to finish the market bag - I'm so close. Then I need to do a tee-shirt Friday and all of my give aways will be finished and ready to be mailed off (probably Monday morning by my dh!)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Help Please!

My dear internet, I need help!
My dd has been put on a special diet. Here are the things she can not eat:
orange juice
soy milk products
cow's milk products (i.e. milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, ice cream, frozen yogurt)
corn and corn products
all wheat products (most breads, many deserts, cereals, crackers, pasta, certain soup)
processed meats such as cold cuts
soy products
peanut and peanut butter
high-glycemic-index vegetables
creamed vegetables
store-bought salad dressings
soda pop or soft drinks
white/brown sugars
maple syrup
high fructose corn syrup
barbecue sauce
soy sauce

So, I got this huge lit from the doctor. And the book came with about 10 recipes to give me an idea of what to feed her. Um, yeah, some of them contain orange juice and quite a few have eggs. So, yeah. I am feeling sort of stuck here people. And I need help on figuring out what to feed her. I bought two gluten-free cookbooks today - but many of their recipes have eggs and other items on her not allowed to eat list.

I am so sad for her. She needs to be on this diet for 3 weeks. Then (assuming of course we have noticed changes for the better) we can slowly begin to add things back in to see which of them is causing her problems. Part of me hopes this works -according to what we were told not only can this diet help her digestive issues (which trust me would be enough) it could also help with her neurological issues which would be like a huge bonus! Anyway, I am hoping this will help her. But yet, we went to the store tonight (of course it was just Target but they did just put out an organic line of food) and I had a very hard time finding things she can eat. (I've been told to get to a Trader's Joe ASAP for many of the things that she can eat.) And wow, I am having a hard time finding things I can feed her aside from from fruits and veggies. And this will really put a strain on me for the net 3 weeks - Although rest assured, if there is hope it can help her I will do it. I just might whine and complain here about it LOL!

Anyway, is there someone out there who has had to do this for a child or for them self that can give me links or tips or recipes?
And thank you very much for any advice/suggestions/or just even hugs and prayers you can offer!

A Contest ...

And one I surely could use frankly!
Lu, of Hyperactive Lu, is giving away a Financial Peace University Membership Kit.
Wow! How nice is that give-away?
I really am crossing my fingers for this give away .. . dh and I are trying to budget and be much better with our finances, but I know this would help us on that path!

Anyway, if you can benefit from it as well, click on over here and enter as well!

Misc. Ramblings ...

So, on the pacifier front, we have made a lot of progress - in more than just one way!
Little man is mostly doing really well with out frankly! And if he was melting down and just miserable without, I'd would just hand it over and try again in 6 months. I know in the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal. On the other hand, I have a four year old who sucks her thumb. A lot. And I admit I'm a bit nervous to have another child that complete strangers feel they must give me advice on how to "fix." So my point is, although I want to encourage no pacifiers, I don't want to push hard to not have them either. So, he's actually been doing really well not having it for most of the day.
Now, the other day I told him if he wanted it, he could have it when he went night-night. Now, some background: my son has never been a good napper. He doesn't nap often ... maybe a few times a week, and usually only if he falls asleep in the car. The last few days, around 1:00 he walks up to me with his blanket in hand and asks me for his pacifier. So, I ask him "Do you want to go night-night." He shakes his head yes, he takes his pacifier from me and I take him to his room. On the way he says bye-bye to all things he loves (mostly I hear bye-bye train, bye-bye bus, bye-bye car). And the boy goes into his crib. Most days he has actually slept. For like 2 hours. This may not be a big deal for most mothers of 1 year olds, but this is amazing for him. The one day he did not sleep - he just stayed in there and talked to himself and played with his pillow, blanket, and musical thing. Wow! No really, all I can say is WOW! This is just fabulous. I can actually have time during normal hours to do what I would like to do! Okay, so mostly we have used the time to clean and do school, but still. In theory I could read, knit, sew, blog, etc.
The really beautiful part of it all - he stills goes to bed at night. And he hasn't started waking up earlier than normal. And in the evening, he is generally much more content and less crabby. I will say around 7 or 8 he requests his pacifier and we usually give it to him, even though it's a good 2 hours until he goes to bed. I'm not too worried about him using it that time of night!
Really, I could get used to this. It is 100% and completely fabulous.

Despite all this napping that has been going on in this house, I accomplished very little of what I wanted to this past week. Really, it is my husbands fault. He was home pretty much to sleep only for the entire week. As I type he is still out this evening. Trust me, I appreciate all his hard work because it's why I get to stay home. But weeks like this stress me and just exhaust me. And it leaves me trying to juggle a few more balls in the air since dh really does help around the house when he is home a lot. I suppose there's a mental part there - in that it just feels like there is so much more to do when he is missing, but the truth was, I was also busy a lot last week too! We were at the chiro's office three times (only 3 more weeks to go on that), I had an MRI, babysat other children, did some visiting (which was really fun but kept me out of the house), had some activities for the kids - in short, there was a lot of life going on last week. Seeing as I am really content to not be out and about all the time, weeks with lots of life tend to stress me out as well.
Ah well -this next week, although it will be on the busy side, should be less hectic than last week. And my to-do list is a mile and a half long and I would like to start crossing some of those things off!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

UFO Challenge ...

I am hanging my head in shame. I signed up to do the UFO Resurrection Challenge, did it for 2 months and promptly forgot about it!
This may be why I have such trouble finishing projects that are left undone.
Anyway, I went back and thought - the scarf I finished for the Harry Potter party was an unfinished project until I finished it! So there, with 3 things for the UFO Challenge, today I decided it was time to get on with it.
So I pulled out this:

Which I might add, I blogged about here - back in 2005! I was going to make a bedskirt for the bed my dd was sleeping in. This would have looked fabulous in her room frankly. But we don't have that room, and we don't have that bed, and we don't have the bedding I picked out for it to match. So today, I pulled it out, and took apart what I had done and now it looks like this:

I thought I might be sad as I ripped all those stitches out, but actually I felt relieved. This has been sitting in a bundle on the floor of my office, just taunting me. I swear it was whispering "ha ha you never finished me!" and I wanted to finish it but there was no point, we don't have that sized bed anymore. So now I feel better. It's taken apart, no need to finish it. Now, I can have fun with it and find other projects to use it for! And that purple gingham, well, since it was already cut into a very long skinny rectangle ... I'm thinking it might make great napkins for the children of the house, and for the adults as well! LOL! I'm thinking about it ... but haven't decided quite yet!

And watch for some more items to be pulled out and looked it this month. I have an entire box of UFO's and I'd like to do something about them all!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Oh Dear ...

We are trying for the second day of no pacifier in our house.
Please, send me lots of prayers LOL! There has been a lot of crying going on here today. Which I expected but sort of hoped wouldn't happen.
Now yesterday, Little Man took no pacifier, but guess what? It was because he never asked for it. He played and was happy and never bothered by not having a pacifier. We were also out of the house all day and I thought to myself, hey, maybe the pacifier is just a habit he got into at home and probably he doesn't really need it. Granted, he did get it at bedtime last night - I didn't want to traumatize the boy! LOL!

So today he woke up and I took it away from him. And he did really good. And then about 90 minutes ago, he went to the cabinet where we keep them and asked for it (in his own little gibberish way). And I told him no. And I tried to take him outside and to play with the bus or to look at a book or something to get him to start crying. After about 30 minutes the fussing was over - for all of 15 minutes. And then he was very fussy again, crying for his paci, and then he found something. Right now, he is playing with his sister. It is lunchtime and we have had no paci yet today. I can not honestly say that if he spends much time this afternoon whining for it, that I won't crack and throw it his way.

Yes, I know, it's not very consistent is it? But really, he usually has it in his mouth almost all day long. Going a morning without it ... that's a BIG accomplishment for him. So maybe today we go half a day, and maybe next week he'll go a little longer and a little longer. Maybe? Or maybe he'll surprise me and forget about this afternoon! I can hope, can't I?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

More good things ...

Today I got some of this:

Tonight I chopped it all up, added some sugar, and tomorrow I'll mix it up with this:

And hopefully tomorrow I will have some very yummy rhubarb jam, from a recipe I spotted over at The Ink Spot.

I can NOT wait to taste it.
The very best part of it all - the rhubarb came from a neighbor of granny, who gave me permission to take as much as I wanted as long as I promised to share jam with her. I will admit, that I had hoped the amount of rhubarb I picked would have yielded more than 4 cups of rhubarb, but oh well! Next time I go to granny's I will have to pick some more rhubarb from them (and when I was talking about it today, I was told there might be another source of rhubarb for me to get)! Yummy ... too bad I need to leave it in the fridge overnight, I am really ready to make it now LOL!

PS - anyone here stop baking/cooking with white sugar? The more I read, the more I think I should not use it. But what in the world do I replace it with? And has anyone done it and not regretted it? Thanks!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Random goodness

Look at all the gorgeous skirts Home Jewel and her family are making! They are following the patterns from Sew What Skirts. Yes. I want this book. So please, buy it and send it to me, or shop from my etsy store so that I can just buy it myself!

Speaking of making things, Anna (over at Lullabies and Lace) is busy making some very fun things too!

I read these blogs and want to go buy fabric and sew some of my very own skirts and clothes like these talented people. Then I remember that I'm only allowed to buy fabric (and other craft items) with money that I earn. And I haven't earned any money! LOL! Oh well. Some day!

I have also decided to sew some cloth napkins for my family. And I have decided that really, fabric purchase for these should be exempt from my not spending money because I am making something for the family and not myself and if I don't make them, I'll buy them, and I'm pretty sure it's much cheaper to make them then to buy them ... so really, by buying fabric for these, I'll be saving money and not spending it! See how good I am at this rationalization thing.
Here are some on-line patterns I have found to make them that I like:
- directions from instructables
- directions from Pearl Bee
- directions from The Family Homestead

I think I like the Pearl Bee ones the best - but I don't know about making my own bias and all that jazz honestly LOL! I might whip up some simpler ones for now and then make some fancier ones using those directions at another time.

Not much ...

to show right now!
I have been busy making some shirts, knitting some bags, and all that fun stuff (mostly for the contests from last week!)
But this week we started off our schooling year. Today we completed day 3. There is always a time of transition when trying to start up a year, especially considering we haven't really been on track since late winter. Yes, I know, that is terrible! But with the move, the little guy, all that stuff, we just really needed time to settle (and unpack) and attempt to organize everything. So my week has been filled with planning out days and doing lots of reading - we are switching schooling gears over here and trying a different method of learning. So far my dd is responding favorably to it. She likes the books we are reading, likes that there is a lot more drawing and talking going on between us and a lot less worksheets. So, after 3 days, I think things are going pretty good over here with it.
And hopefully next week, we'll get into the rhythm of it and I'll find more time to get some knitting or sewing done. And I'll have lots of pretty things to show everyone!