Sunday, September 30, 2007

Go and check it out ...

I have created an Etsy Treasury ... it's of bags because, well, I LOVE bags!
This is the first treasure I have created and it was fun to do!

The link is :

(For those that are unfamiliar:
Etsy - an on-line shopping center to buy handmade items
A treasury - a group of 12 items created by an etsy member of 12 things they would like to show the world!)
I haven't spent much time in the past looking at treasuries to be honest, but I started browsing them last week and they are fabulous! So many great things to browse through. It can feel overwhelming to find things on etsy sometimes, but the treasuries make it fun. Usually the title will clue you into the things you'll find on that treasury so you can quickly scan the list and click one that sounds interesting! So go forth and become addicted to them as I have! LOL!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's finally finished!

A kind of long time ago (well, back in June) I started a little jacket for Little Man. I honestly thought I would finish it quickly and it would long ago put in the closet waiting for summer weather to turn a bit chilly.
Well, the weather is starting to turn here and it lay blocking away down in my basement. And in the meantime I have started quite a few other knit projects and managed to finish them! Tonight I was actually going to attempt to start some more knitting and I decided that I needed to finish up this little jacket before fall turned into winter!
So, it is with great pleasure that I present to you, a finished knit hoodie for Little Man (well, maybe for Little Man anyway - I may decide to just give it away to someone else!)

Here is a close-up of the yarn ... the light blue really is more of a light green/torquise really. I need to figure out a way to take pictures that show off the true colors better ... but for now this will have to do!

It does feel good to get that out of the way and finished. And to not have it laying in the basement, taunting me every time I walk by and not pick it up! LOL! =)

Friday, September 28, 2007


That, my dear readers, is the sound of me screaming!
I really have something to tell you all, but I'm not telling it yet! Monday, on Monday my friends, come back and check in with me. Because hopefully then I'll have something so fun and exciting to tell you. And I swear I am not trying to be mean and doing the whole "I know something you don't know" routine. I'm just about to burst and this is helping me feel less like exploding ...

and just in case - allow me to tell you, I am NOT pregnant. Because if I were, my husband would be pretty upset since, well, we paid a doctor to keep him from getting me pregnant ROFL!

In the mean time, I started something else. And no I shouldn't have started another project with everything I have half-started, but oh well! Here's a picture to tide you over ...

I'm not sure about it yet .... but I'm going to keep plugging along on it! It will be one of my Homemade Christmas gifts so hopefully I can get another gift made quickly! LOL!

Some more yummy things I made this week:
One bag of these:

One helper (and I can't tell you if he is putting the apple pieces in the pan or sneaking one piece to eat because he did his fair share of both! ROFL!)

We filled the pot!

I don't have the end pictures, but 6 big jars of applesauce are in my freezer and one huge jar is in my fridge! Yummy ... there is nothing like homemade applesauce! =)

And oh - the best part ... the bag of apples was 3 bucks! They were all "seconds." Admittedly, there were 4 that just went straight to the trash. A couple had small spots - the rest, I can not for the life of me figure out how they made it to a seconds bag - they were perfect! We did cut up a couple just to eat them! Really, I can't imagine - all that applesauce for 3 dollars! If I'm lucky dh will bring me home another bag just like it tomorrow to make more applesauce with!
=) Yes, we are blessed!

Big Congrats ...

going out to the Cubs tonight .... They clinched the division and are in the play-offs!

Now, I make it no secret that I am a Sox fan at heart. But unlike some people ::cough Blagojevich cough:: the Cubs are a Chicago team and I am VERY excited that they have accomplished this. And I will be rooting for them during the play-offs!

Go Cubs Go! =)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

CGI ...

Right now the Clinton Global Initiative is happening in New York.
My friend Emily is there right now (and blogging about it here).
Today she shared the link so that we can watch it live via the web ... go check it out ... here.
I've been able to sneak in a bit between everything else going on here and wow - some amazing things going on there. Lots of good talking. Lots of good sharing. Lots of good ideas. Go, watch, listen, learn and maybe something will spark with you and you will be moved to do something!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Looking for a favor ...

Anyone out there good with graphics?
I want a graphic for a home-made Christmas.
I could make one, but it would be plain and ugly LOL!
I can't *pay* someone to do this, but I could *trade* you something? Maybe? Please?
Someone? Help! LOL!

Thanks =)

But everyone else is doing it!

So, I'm totally playing follow the leader here ... and hopefully I won't live to regret it. Because, yeah, usually when I follow the leader, I'm a day late (let's not talk about how I bought a poncho after they became uncool as an adult and the horrors of buying the cool jeans in middle school only after they weren't cool anymore).
Anyway ... I have decided to participate in the Fall Into Reading Challenge. I may well in fact be the last blogger to join in this, but it's open until tonight so hopefully I'm not too late!

Now, truthfully, I might be nuts trying to fit this in. I need to do all the Christmas things, finish up the TBR challenge, work on the UFO Challenge, work part-tome in October and possibly through December, clean the house, do the laundry and teach the kids ... but hey, what's one more thing to that list?

Anyway, here are my books:
Must Love Dogs
Into the Wilderness by Kim Barnes
My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Piccult
Night by Elie Wiesel
Confession of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Lucky by Alice Siebold

And I think that will be enough books to help keep my way too busy! LOL!

You too can sign up, just by going over here!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Random pictures ...

I pulled out another UFO item recently. This is a sweater that was supposed to be given to someone for Christmas last year. I never finished it (obviously) mostly because the more I knit it last year, the more I kind of didn't like it. Actually, I started to hate it.
I don't hate it anymore, but I'm not really liking it!
Anyway here is where it was when I pulled it out:

I have almost finished the front piece at this point. I kind of want to put it away again though. But I'm going to try to push myself to just completely finish it and be done with it! Anyway, we'll count it towards my UFO Resurrection Challenge.

I also had the pleasure to do a bit of embroidery. This person requested this for a bridal shower gift. The bride and groom are taking a honeymoon to a warm place on the beach.

I think the towels turned out so cute! I will have to steal this idea for the future!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes ...

Said to me by my 7 year old this week: You look like a poor housewife!

While trying not to laugh, I simply said, well, I am a housewife!

We had this conversation on the deck as I was hanging up some laundry on my drying lines. Yes, this week I have discovered the joy of line drying my laundry. Which, really, is sort of dumb since winter is coming and all. You think I might have discovered this, oh, at the start of summer with lots of warm days to take advantage of!

But I have discovered some very important things. Despite thinking all things would come off the line stiff, very few items actually come off feeling that way. Clothes do smell good when they dry that way. And thanks to my highly inefficient dryer, most of our clothes are actually drying faster outside than they would in the dryer! I kid you now, more than a few items have dried in less than 30 minutes on the line. The average run time for my dryer - 90 minutes. Longer with jeans and towels. I have actually done more laundry line drying this week than I normally do waiting for our dryer. I even asked dh to figure out a way to do this in the winter-time (although realistically without us adding on to the house, there is no place to add some lines inside the house!). I tell you, I do wish I had discovered how fabulous this is in April instead of mid-September, but what's done is done. And now I know. And every warm day we get from here on out will probably be dubbed laundry day for me.

I just have to tell you, I have now run 7 loads of laundry this week, and have run the dryer a mere 2 hours time (I am not hanging up all our clothes. Frankly, the neighbors don't need to see our undies flapping in the wind! Nor am I hanging up the dishcloths, I don't have enough room or clips for those guys. And some clothes I am running for about 15 minutes to soften them up a bit).

Which brings me to another point. My mom said she would not be allowed to line dry in her neighborhood. The covenant bans it. And she was surprised none of my neighbors had complained to me about it yet. Is this really true? If you lived next to me, would you be complaining? The clothes are hanging on part of my deck, in the backyard, can not be seen from the road and are not flapping near the property lines. I can't imagine why someone would complain about it frankly. Of all the things to complain about, some laundry, really? I mean, it's not loud. It's doesn't cause a smell. It doesn't pollute. It doesn't interfere with anything going on at their house. Now I'm a little bit paranoid that I have ticked off my neighbors by drying my clothes on my deck. Although, I'm not that worried about it because as I said, I can't understand what the problem would be.

So what about you? Or your neighborhood?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A few contests ...

for lack of better things to post about at the moment (but some pictures of some things coming soon!) I just want to share these two contests with you. But really, don't sign up so that I have a few less competitors! Just teasing! Go enter, if you'd like a chance to win them too, because I personally think they are fabulous contests!

Both are being hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom - which almost always has GREAT contests you can participate in!

The first is for a Dyson vacuum. I almost might vacuum as frequently as I should if I had this machine!
From their site
Dyson is helping to find a cure for Breast Cancer.
They have created a limited edition, oh-so-fashionable Pink vacuum and they are donating $40 from each sale to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The pink beauties are exclusively available at Target… but you need to hurry because they are already 50% sold out! And since these Pink All Floor vacuums are a limited edition, once they’re gone… well you know the end of that sentence.
Go to their site, to this post, and sign up for yourself!

Second give away:
For a Chicco Stroller

Again, from their site:
Earlier this month, we gave you a heads up about a fantastic giveaway promotion that Chicco is running during the month of September — They’re giving away 30 Strollers in 30 Days.

But now we have even more good news… we’re also going to give away the same model of Chicco stroller here on 5 Minutes for Mom!

Um, yes, I would like this too! I have one stroller on the way to the garbage (since dh broke it) and the other stroller we have, well, I kind of sort of hate it, but I had to get one that could fold for the car (since the broken one doesn't fold AT ALL anymore thanks to my dear husband). So if I could get this, I'd be set! Yeah!

You can go here to enter this one!

Anyway, if these things sound like something you might want to win, go sign up! =)

Hair Cuts for Little Men - Revisited!

So a little while ago, I talked to you all about Hair Cuts for Little Men by Nancy Baetz - in which I basically said if you want to cut your son's hair yourself, BUY THIS E-BOOK! (You can look back and read the review here)

Last night, I received this comment from Nancy:
Hi Brandie,
I just finally got back on line and updated my blog. I linked to your review. I can't tell you how blessed I was (still am!) by it and I am so impressed with those wonderful haircuts. Thanks so much for doing the review, I know it took a ton of time and effort and I am so thrilled! If you would like to give away a copy of the ebook, I would love to do that for you! Just pick a friend or choose a someone who left you a comment and let me know. I will be happy to send them a free copy!

Have a blessed week!
Really, what a nice treat that was! A huge thank you to Nancy for this generosity.
So unbeknown to all of you, I randomly picked one name from those that left comments on that post, and a free copy of her book is going to go to Lu from Hyperactive Lu. Which is really neat considering I won something from her not long ago. (Although, don't get me wrong, it would have been fun to give this book to anyone who left a comment there!)

Anyway, seriously, go buy the book! It's worth it.
And I have to add, I get compliments on my son's hair every time we go out - so that is pretty fabulous! =)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

On Life ....

I've been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now, but it just hasn't happened ... until now.

My family is in, what I would call, a time of a lot of transition. There is a lot going on here, a lot of changes that we are working on making (and of course a lot we still need to make). I am going to try to keep this brief, but forgive me if this gets wordy ... It's wordy and long. I'm sorry, bear with me if you read it!

First of all, the big thing is the state of finances. The FPU classes have come at just the right time. DH and I were heading right down the very wrong path. Thankfully, we were able to get into these classes before things got too bad. Our debt is pretty limited at the moment and with dh selling his side business soon, the debt will be eliminated and an emergency fund will be started. However, even with that said and done, we will still be living paycheck to paycheck. Frankly, that idea scares me. I believe we need to (sadly) sell our house and get something that costs less. Right now the mortgage alone is 50% of our take home pay. It doesn't look pretty folks. DH is adamant that we will NOT sell this house. He loves this house and more importantly feels like the neighborhood is fabulous. Besides, he tells me, the market is slowing down, it won't sell and who wants to move in the winter anyway. He wants to stay put here and then see where we stand in the springtime. I can tell you right now, without him getting a HUGE raise (which is pretty unlikely since his company has put a freeze on raises!) or I get a good paying job (which is unlikely since I stay-home and homeschool three children and I can't think of one job I could get that would even cover the cost of childcare) I can't imagine things getting better in the next 6-12 months. Maybe things will be better in 3-5 years .... it is very hard for me to sit back and accept his opinion of sitting here. However, I also know in my head and heart that my husband is pretty good at making those sorts of decisions - he doesn't take them lightly and really thinks about it whereas I react almost 100% with my feelings/emotions. I need to sit back and trust him for the moment. And that is HARD. Even though I know his plan makes more sense for the next 6 months. But I'm learning to not get my way.

Of course all of this has moved us in different ways as well.

Because I sit in my house and I look around and it is bothering me! Why? Because if you came over here you wouldn't believe that I tell you we are tight on money and living paycheck to paycheck. We have SO MUCH STUFF. It's disgusting how much stuff we have frankly. And it's the entire family - myself, my husband, my kids, we just have stuff, stuff, stuff. And what's even more depressing than that? It's never enough. The more we get, the more we need! How does that even make sense? Because we buy more thinking well when we get x amount, things will be better. But life doesn't work that way does it? The more we get, the more we want. I will admit it here and now: My name is Brandie. And I have stuffitis. I want it bigger, better and more of it. Enough is not enough. Nope. I need more, more, more. And my kids, they want more, more, more. At the end of the day, that more doesn't give us anything. I don't feel safer looking at all the movies I own. I don't feel peace when I look at the piles of toys. I don't feel fulfilled when I look at all the bookshelves packed with books. I don't feel relaxed when I look at the piles in my house because we don't have places to put all that we own. Not at all.

For the last few weeks, we have been going through the house (slowly but surely) and getting rid of stuff. We thinned our movies, the toys, the clothes. I've gone through my huge magazine collection. I want you to know, I still have plenty of things to go through. And we've made such a small dent in it that you can't visually tell. But I also want you to know, that the more we get rid of, the better I feel! I am actually enjoying this process. It feels good. A few areas of the house we have tackled and things actually fit in the space we allotted for them. Seriously, it's a miracle! I have a bunch of piles in my garage (we may have a garage sale to pick up a few extra bucks, but it might just be easier to take it to Goodwill, we haven't decided yet.)

I am discovering that I don't need stuff to be happy and to have a good life. I do NOT need to keep up with the Joneses. I do not need to buy more things. As a matter of fact, the less I buy, the more we can save and the better it feels at night! I am now dreaming of the day we have paid off the mortgage. I am dreaming of the day when we can contribute to retirement and the childrens' college funds. I can't wait until we aren't living paycheck to paycheck - until we can have more freedom. Mind you, not because I will have money to just go buy "stuff" because that isn't what I will need. But I can figure out what is important to me and my family, and I can use the money towards those things. Not just filler things, but things that I will care about! I mean, how cool would that be?

And in a way, we are currently doing that. Because the more I stop spending, the more I can save. In the last month we have: cut cable, tightened our food budget (well, okay, I just stopped buying all that extra stuff we didn't really need at the grocery store), we haven't eaten out, we started to set aside money for yearly expenses (so they won't catch us off guard when it's time to pay them), I have not driven if I don't need to, we have been trying to use less energy, and we are just being more conscientious about spending in general. It has been helpful so far.

Come November, if we change nothing, we will have 100 a month to save. I would like to see us cut more spending and have 400-500 a month to save.

So now I feel like I am on mission. Not only am I trying to get rid of all the "stuff" in my house. But I'm trying to spend my money very wisely and in the best way possible. And it's amazing how when you look at things this way, just how quickly you can figure out how important things are.

And not only that, but to really get into this program, I need to be on top of things going on around here. Which is also a big change for me. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, wait until the last minute (as I type this I am nursing a very sore tooth because in May I was told I had a filling and I procrastinated following up on it. I know, shame on me. Trust me, this is a very painful lesson to learn). I am not a naturally organized person. I am not naturally good at planning ahead. I am not naturally the person who is on top of things. But, I have hit a point where I NEED to do this. Where I need to start being on top of things. You might have thought the whole getting married and having 3 kids thing would have helped propelled me to that point, but alas, it hasn't (not to say my family is suffering - I do take excellent care of them and feed them, but most days I don't know what we are eating until about 20 minutes before I need to cook!).

All my rambling is to say there is a lot of change going on in this house. Most of it, I think is taking place internally - with the hopes that it will eventually show externally! My mind is racing 100 miles an hour most days right now. I am learning, trying new ideas, trying to be vigilant with lots of things. But, things are changing! And they are changing for the better. Anyway, the blog may be all over the place for a bit - but I hope you'll hang in there with me for this ride because I think in the end the results will be fabulous and worth this ride! =)

99 Days ...

Until Christmas!

Are you ready?

I am not! LOL! But I'm much closer to being ready than I have been at this time any other year! =)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Currently working on ...

Placemats (that were started forever ago and so are consequently part of my UFO Resurrection project this month LOL!)

Also, listening to Dave Ramsey's radio show. Because I think Dave is taking over our lives - but I mean that in a good way!

I can not believe how into this whole thing dh and I are right now. How much we have changed so quickly (thank the Lord that we are getting it and changing it!) My husband left me a little love letter the other day. And he wrote in it "P.S. Let's stick to our new budget. I agree it's the best thing that's happened to us in a long time." Maybe I'm dorky, but that at the end of his little note to me did make my heart flutter, because I had been feeling the same way about it all! And to think dh was feeling how that it was just that wonderful - well, it's nice to be on the same page!

So we were driving home from class on Tuesday and chatting. Dh mentioned he was positive we need to take the class at least 2 more times - to really get it and let it all sink in, and as we make it through the baby steps different parts of the classes will become more important to us.

[I have to admit here, although dh was glad I won, he went into the first class with a "well, of course it will all sound good, but will it actually work and will we get realistic expectations." And I'm not positive on this, but I'm thinking if I hadn't won the class, well, he probably wouldn't have paid to be there. (Now, I will have to ask him to see if I'm right about that!) But we did win it (again a shout out: Thank You Lu!) and we are there and we are so excited about it.]

Anyway, talking about how we will need to take the class again. So I agreed and said now if only we could find it at a closer church or at our church. To which dh pointed out my church isn't too much closer and if I wanted to see it there, I should go ahead and teach it. Which of course made the little wheel in my head start to spin! And I think I would enjoy spreading this around to other people - really how awesome would that be?! Anyway, it won't happen soon. Because I feel swamped already and I don't think it's in my near-future. But in 6 months to a year from now? Maybe. It's there. The idea is now tucked into the back of my mind as a possibility for someday.

Anyway, the budget was perfect last week. Even had a few surprises on bills that came in less than what we budgeted for. It really feels like dh and I are on a mission. And we are attacking it head on, and it is so incredibly awesome!

Another project to show!

I have another item to show all you folks!
It's the Birdie Bag I made for my little momma's birthday!


The lining on the inside, I made from a shirt of hers that got a hole. She was so sad when we told her she couldn't wear it anymore and I've been saving it to use it somewhere for her (although, I have to admit here, she didn't recognize it LOL Oh well!)


Of course, I forgot to snap a picture of the inside to show you all how it looked put together, and now she has it filled to the brim with things LOL!

*I also want to add, that we put 3 Signing Times videos inside of it for her as part of her present. We love Signing times in our house and are constantly trying to check them out at the library (but they are very popular and are often not available). She seems to have a knack to learn the signs and I'd like to encourage her to keep it up! =)


Woo-hoo! I was invited to ravelry today! Yeah!
I'm Brandie - I know, my name is sooooo creative and original (well, actually my name is kind of original which is why I can often use just it as a username on lots of sites LOL!)
So, I'm pretty sure I know what I will be trying to squeeze into my day today (playing around on of course!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Great News!

I have finished my first item from my Christmas list! Woo-hoo!!! =)



Pattern: Fetching from
Yarn/Needle used: Caron Simple Soft size 4mm needles
Other notes: I have never done a cable cast on before, so that was new.
Easy to knit, it knitted up very quickly and I did most of it not even at home. I was a bit nervous about the thumb area, but that was also very easy too! Yeah! I am even thinking of making a pair for myself. They are fabulous!

One project down and I am SO very excited about it - it's not even Halloween yet. For sure, this is the earliest I've ever completed a Christmas present before. Woo-hoo!

Tomorrow, I will be looking around for what to make next!

Remember, if you too are doing a homemade Christmas (or even just a partial homemade Christmas), sign up here! My little list would like to be a bit longer! =)

So much ..

My dear friends,
I have so many things to tell you, so many things to share! From knitting, to budgeting, to books, to give aways, to life changes! I probably have enough fodder to post every day for a few weeks LOL! But, as with most days, time is the issue now. Hopefully tonight I can jump on and post a few things.
But for now, it's a gorgeous day and the kids and I are off to play! =)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Favor Please!

Yes, I have a request to make!
It doesn't happen often, but every so often, someone I know in real life will mention reading this blog and I'm always completely shocked! Which is silly if you also knew that there is a link in my e-mail signature. Anyway, regardless it still catches me off guard (and then I mentally think about what I've posted recently and is it embarrassing ROFL!)
Anyway, if you are reading this and you know me, say hi! So that I don't have the deer in headlights look if you mention you've been here to me when we are face-to-face ROFL!
Also, if you are a lurker and have never said hi before, well, say hi! I love comments! I love visiting the blogs of those who read here.

Please? And Thank you! =)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hair Cuts for Little Men - A Review!

Over a month ago, Nancy had a post on her blog saying that she would give 2 copies of her book away if someone had a little boy who needed a hair cut! I happened to be the first commenter, and so was given her book! I printed it right away, read it, dh and I talked every week how we would cut Little Man's hair that weekend. Of course, life happens and somehow the hair cut kept getting pushed to the next weekend. Well, we finally were able to sit him down tonight and give him his haircut!

First, let me tell you, this is the third time I have cut his hair (well, maybe the fourth, I really haven't counted). Before I kind of prayed that God would allow him to look semi-normal when we were through. I cut it a few times with just scissors and once with clippers and scissors. It has ALWAYS been uneven. It has always had spots that bother me to look at. He had one particular section that was quite long and yes, a few relatives pointed it out each time they saw him and laughed at how "cute" it was. Of course, I didn't think it was cute because it meant I did a bad cutting job! But, I would always think - he's 1. He doesn't sit still. The fact that I can even attempt to cut his hair seemed okay to me ...

And in came Nancy's book. When I read it, it made complete sense. She suggests an order that sounded fabulous (and much better than the method I tried to cut the hair with prior LOL!). The book was easy to read, she included lots of good pictures and most of all, it just made sense. She makes cutting hair seem pretty simple - no complicated language, no terms I needed a cosmetology license to understand - just straight forward and simple. Which I think, is fabulous!

Anyway, tonight we put it into practice. Because well, lots of times I read things that seem to make sense, but then when I try to do them, well, I'm lost! Thankfully, I did not have that feeling tonight! Oh bless Nancy - not only was it easy to read, but her instructions were easy to follow too! Now, trust me, I had a 20 month old tonight who was bopping around like crazy, and I could still follow the book easily! Of course, dh had to hold Little Man, my 7 year old took pictures, both dh and Little Miss were helping my juggle the book, the scissors and the comb - but, he had a hair cut. And I think, frankly, it looks pretty darn good! I feel like I accomplished something and so far I can't find any huge chunks of hair I forgot to cut! Phew!!
So I give this book 2 thumbs up! Go - go and buy it and learn to cut hair all for yourself! (Click here to buy it!)

Some proof:




A few "in progress"

(and yes, he is eating a snack in the second picture because sometimes, well, you gotta bribe them! LOL!) More pictures are here.

Now, as a bonus, I also cut my Big Man's hair using these guides tonight. Because one, if I can cut his hair for him, that's a big savings each year and well, that would be nice! LOL! I have also tried to cut Big Man's hair in the past - one time, and the sides were uneven, and honestly, I'm pretty shocked he let me attempt it again - probably only because I was using the book and I had already finished Little Man's hair!
Anyway, it looks a million times better than last time - which says a lot because it was uneven coming into the cut (I guess a lot like Little Man's was as well). I asked dh what he thought of it. He likes it. He won't be embarrassed to go to work tomorrow - good. His only comments were I didn't deal with the colic like his normal stylist and his hair is thick and I guess she usually does something with some thinning clippers. I want to add though - those complaints have NOTHING to do with the book! The book was specifically for boy's hair. Dh is just thinking maybe we can get Nancy to write a book for Men's hair that will address colics and thick hair!
I might also add that granny has also requested a book to cut her hair - she likes it thin, and so far when it comes to females, I can only cut straight across. Although, I think an e-book for girls might be in the works? Maybe? (Read that as PLEASE PLESE NANCY!!!)

Dh's before:


Anyway, as I said before, I give the book 2 thumbs up! And if you have any desire to cut your son's hair (or even your husbands) for whatever reason - money, convenience, etc ... purchase this book! You won't regret it! =)

Some Books ...

There are 2 books I've read lately that I really enjoyed and want to mention here.

The first is The Over-Scheduled Child by Alvin Rosenfeld, MD and Nicole Wise. I first read about this book over at The Thinking Mother. And I just felt like I needed to read this book too.
Boy, oh boy, am I ever glad that I did. This is an issue I struggle with a lot. Part of me wants to sign each of my children up for a million activities so that they can get ahead or even sometimes just to let them keep up. But yet, I don't like running around all the time. I get frazzled and warn out and crabby and irritable, so it's always been a struggle for me to figure out what to do. Most of the time though we have budget constraints so the kids can't do too many things. It's just how it goes. But I know if money weren't the issue, our lives would look much different.
And now, well, I'm sort of glad I had those budget constraints! After reading this book, I really feel that for many things, less is more. My kids don't need all the activities and our family doesn't need all those activities. A lot of parts of this book spoke to me. Of course, it was a library book so I could write all over it, but boy, did I want to LOL!
One quote I'll share:
Even 'fun' has become a serious endeavor that we parents feel must be carefuly planned for, that we understand we must work hard to achieve. Advertisers, marketers, and entrepreurs capitalize on the fact that we are so pressed for time by promising to provide pleasure in a package for the whole family to enjoy. They cater to the fantasy that, like a well-run business, we can all maximize profit by good planning ('guaranteed to manufacture good memories!')

But yes I loved this book.
On a side note, this was my 52nd book of the year which means I met my goal! Woo-hoo! =)

A second a book I read (which I picked up when I got Over-Scheduled Child) is Too Much of a Good Thing by Dan Kindlon. The book basically talks about problems associated with over-indulgence - of money, of parental involvement, of not have parental-involvement, etc, etc. Again, I thought this book was another great read. Although I will admit this one can be a bit scarier - talking about how over-indulgence leads to sex, drugs, drinking at young ages, lower SAT scores, inability to function later in life, etc, etc. I tried to read it without feeling too anxious about all that he was saying and focus on the parts of the book that focused on the suggestions for good he made. First quote:
Today's role models are people like Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, and Jennifer Lopez - people with stupendous wealth, outstanding talent, and whose names are on all our tongues. We're not emulating Jesus and Buddha. Our kids don't have pictures of the pope or Mother Teresa on their walls. We've seen a shift from concern about character to a fixation on wealth, status, celebrity, and power.
In our age of indulgence it is almost as though our kids are being spoiled just by breathing the atmosphere. Their sense of entitlement is inbred. How many of us have watched uor kids ripping into their presents on Christmas or Hanukah and then just tossing them aside. The getting, not the having, is what matters to them. Their behavior is a reflection of our society. We often seem insatiable. 'Enough is enough!' we want to say to our kids. But how many of us, as parents, live our lives that way?
Oh yeah, both hit me pretty hard. Parts of this book seemed to speak so deeply to me. And it's good. It is. I think I needed to read both of these books. I think I needed to get the main message from each author. I need to look at myself first. And we are, trust me, dh and I are.

My family is in the midst of lots of changes ... but more on that coming soon!

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Today I was given an award! Wow! My first blog award ever frankly and it does indeed feel pretty nice!

Laura over at Laura Williams' Musings gave me the Nice Matters Award! I am feeling pretty darn special at this moment!

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

Now I need to pass this on to 7 people I feel are deserving of this award - which really, I'd be pretty content to just give it out to everyone I read, but here goes.

1. Well, I would completely give it right back to Laura because she is really nice too! I learn a lot of neat things at her blog (I often go back and read archives a bit at a time because I just know something in there is going to be useful and/or wonderful to read) and as a bonus get to enter a lot more contests than normal since she lists lots of them each day! LOL!

2. I have to give this to Hind's Feet - who has a great blog and is awesome to do our Bible Study with. This woman is not only nice, but wise and has lots she is teaching me - probably without realizing she is!

3. Anna at Lullabies and Lace Crochet has to get one as well. Because not only is she nice, but she makes really pretty things and she has a thing for Anne of Green Gables. So really, we must be kindred spirits! Which means she must be nice, which means she must be given this award

4. CDPJ at Charming and Delightful because well she is really nice, I like her blog and she single handedly is the reason my etsy store even still exists. In fact I have joked with her I might just have to rename it CDPJ's T-Shirt Supplier. Soon she might even move by me an then I'll have to stalk her get together and see her in person. And really, that is awesome!

5. Happy Momma from Our Happy Home who is very nice and has a great blog full of lots of adventures! Trust me when I say she is nice and I love visiting her blog and reading her comments to me!

6. Dameslfy at Growing A Life who is also very nice. And has some really good fashion sense (I admit that What I'd Wear Wednesday is what hooked me to her blog initially!) And, well, Flybaby seems like a pretty neat kid too! I might add he is turning one tomorrow, so run over there and send him some good birthday wishes!

7. I can't forget Lu over at Hyeractive Lu, because really she is responsible for a lot of good changes around here lately. Plus she gave away a really a cool gift and I won it, so that makes her really nice! And she's funny and cute - and has really good fashion sense for her son (and I don't just say that because Little Man and her son have a lot of the same tops LOL!)

In all honesty, I could keep on going with this list. But I will play by the rules and give these 7. But really, if you are reading this or if I have ever left a comment on your blog, well, I am probably thinking you should get this too! =)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Misc news ....

I am waiting for a Ravelry invite... I looked it up a moment ago:
Found you!
  • You signed up on July 2, 2007
  • You are #12063 on the list.
  • 902 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 18838 people are behind you in line.
  • 36% of the list has been invited so far
Yep, just a bit of a wait there. Oh well. It's all good.

Overheard in my house today:
Little Momma (the 4 year old): Mom, am I old enough to get my own blog yet?
Me: Not quite dear. What do you need a blog for?
Little Momma: Well I took some pictures with you camera and I want to show them to the internet.
Me: Well .... if you want your pictures to go on a blog, I can put them on mine!
Little Momma: Wow! That would be fun!

Knitting news:
I have one half of fetching done. Started up the second one today AND have made progress on the bird bag! =) Yeah!

Reading news:
I am now half-way through 2 books - my goal for the year will be met by the end of the week. Woo-hoo! I am reading very interesting books and plan to talk more about them when I am finished.

Budget news:
A few unexpected bills popped up, but a few other bills were lower than we planned for. Woo-hoo. Dh and I tweaked our budget and it is still looking gorgeous.
Bonus: Jewel had chicken breasts buy 1, get 1 - I have enough chicken for 4 meals at least (not counting reheats and leftovers) and I paid a mere 32 dollars (half of what I should have). Yeah. I'm pretty pleased.

Other news ....
For fun, go and visit The Motherhood if you have not yet. It is a great community (I put a link in my sidebar a bit ago but decided to mention it in a post as well). A lot of good conversations going on over there - and some fun groups to join!

An Invitation ...

Please join Brandie and I as we continue our study of 1 Timothy...

We meet weekly on “High Places” . We would love to have you join us in searching 1 Timothy for the character traits of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We search out instructions for believers. We also study questions and ideas as written in the study “Be Faithful” by Warren Wiersbe.

We are just now opening the study to others. Brandie and I will remain as the two “authors” in the blog, but hope that you can join us by adding your comments to each section...

This is a new venture for us, but we hope you will be blessed by what God reveals to us.

And, now the nitty gritty:

When: Mondays: questions go up, then throughout the next few days we post the character qualities and directions for believers. By Friday we try to have the selected questions answered.

Where: Simply come to the High Places blog

How: add your ideas in the comments section under the appropriate post. The labels work as follows:

  • Bible book and chapter

  • Kim or Brandie

  • Character Study

  • Directions for Believers

  • Study Questions

  • Nitty Gritty

  • Introduction

Please, if you do join in we would love to have a brief introduction.

All answers must be supported by scripture, that way we all have the same “measuring rod” by which to speak.

Who: Any woman who is currently a Christian or seeking to learn about Christianity.

Any comments which malign the word of or character of God will be deleted. Any comments which are gossipy in nature will also be deleted. If you have questions you can email me via the email link on this blog .

Thanks, we look forward to seeing what God reveals to us through the study of His word.
Blessings and Shalom,
Kim (and Brandie)

(Kim wrote this, I just c&p'd it!)

Trip down memory lane

I was tagged for this forever ago it seems, but am just now getting to it ...

Meme #1 - A Trip Down Blogging Memory Lane (tagged by CDPJ)

Here are the rules:

You must post five links to posts you have written.

Post your five links and then tag five other people. At least two of the people you tag must be newer acquaintances so that you get to know each other better . . . and don’t forget to read the archive posts and leave comments!

*I have another blog, and this would be a million times easier to do with that one, but I'll give it my best shot!

Link 1 must be about family:
Faith Like A Child

Link 2 must be about friends:
Sappy Post

Link 3 must be about yourself, who you are, what you’re all about:
A Simple Snowflake

Link 4 must be about something you love:
So True (yes, I know, not very sentimental, but true none the less LOL!)

Link 5 can be anything you choose:
Non-knitting content If you only pick one link, make it this one! Trust me on this =)

IF you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! And leave me a message if you do it! =)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Knitting ...

It may be hard for some of you to believe that this blog was originally started to keep track of my knitting projects! So many of my posts are not knitting related lately - although I might add that I sort of like my blog better now because I feel like I am opening up more but we'll save that for another day.
Today, I have knitting pictures to show! They aren't all that exciting, but well, here goes!

The most exciting picture is of this one:
I have started some Christmas knitting! Woo-hoo! This is Fetching that is meant for person 3 in group 2.

And then there are these projects I am still plugging away on:

This would be the bird bag for Little Momma

And this is the jacket I am making for little man. With any luck, I can seam it (or start to seam it tomorrow).

Tomorrow, I will have embroidery to show you ... I did the actual embroidery today, but I still need to wash/dry/back it and then it will be all ready to be sent out!

Sappy Post ...

Forgive me while I get sappy for a few moments.

Each and every day I seemed to get a little surprise from this blog - whether it's discovering someone who links to me OR some blog I've read for ages and then that author comes and comments here! It always shocks me a little bit!

My goal was never (and still isn't) to get thousands of readers each and every day. Just getting a few readers every day is pretty darn neat frankly! I love posting something and getting a few comments back - it's like having conversations I don't get to just staying home with my kids. Most days blogs, boards, etc, are the way in which I get adult conversation. And I do love it immensely!

And I love all the comments I get - truly I do! And I'm also so honored that people link back here - especially if there is no contest involved to help them do that ROFL!

Anyway, to my readers, thank you so much for coming here every so often and reading what I say. And thank you for all the great comments that are left here. So yeah, thanks! =) ::sniff, sniff:: You all rock and are awesome!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Budget Update: Week 1

Last week was our first week of using our budget.
I stayed under in all categories that I was responsible for! Yeah! If that keeps up as a trend, we wil both be very happy - especially since one of them was gas for the car. Always nice to not have to spend an arm and a leg on that!
The grocery budget we were way under as well - but we are going to keep it rolling over because we think over the course of the month we will have one high week, one low week, and so we'll see if there is any leftover at the end of this month to get excited about that one - but it was nice to not have to go over this week!

We hit our first stumbling block though - but it will be a temporary one.
Before last week we used credit cards to purchase everything. Now we are pulling out the cash each week. Which means this month we will need to pay for last month's purchases (which were mostly made without a budget in mind) AND this month's purchases. Of course we don't have an income that will allow us to do that so easily. There are three credit card bills. The good news is one of them closed last week and it was paid already (whew!). The other one wasn't so bad - but wasn't so good. We seemed to (thankfully) naturally cut down on spending when the FPU classes started and then with using cash all last week, it's balance isn't too extreme. The third one is the Target bill. Which, amazingly enough is the lowest it's ever bee and so not very high. Then we received one medical bill in the mail that we hadn't counted on.

I don't think we can pay all of those and feed ourselves with cash on hand this month. But, I will not let that get me down, or stop how well we are doing! Because, really, it is truly like trying to pay two months expenses right now and we can't do that (part of the reason we are taking the class!). Although, I may have to e-mail Dave and tell him he should include that as part of the discussion on making the switch to the cash plan budget and all that jazz - we didn't think of it until just today because a bill came in the mail! Because, you know, I'm sure he wants to know what I think of it all ROFL!!

Anyway, I won't let this stop us, or bring us down. It may take us two months to fully absorb those credit card bills, but you know what? I still feel like we are making progress here. We are definitely spending less already. We are way more aware of where our money is going to. I have finished two of his books and the more I read, the more I really feel like we are doing the right thing for us at this moment. And I still love Lu for giving us this wonderful gift! =)

Anyway, tomorrow, knitting content I promise! And :::crossing fingers::: embroidery machine should be back in business and I have a cute shirt that needs to be made last week! =)

Misc. blog things ...

If you have a blogger account - go here

Trust me, it's worth it (and it also means when you leave me a comment I will be able to e-mail right back to you in response! yeah!)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The winner ...

The winner of the giveaway for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is:

Laura from Laura Williams' Musings!
Congrats Laura and please e-mail me your address soon (Brandie185 at gmail dot com) so that I can get the book out to you.

And stay tuned, I have 4 other books lined up to be given away in the near future! =)