Friday, February 29, 2008

Back again today!

Two posts in one day .... that's amazing!

Anyway, thanks for all the nice comments I've been getting. Because, well, I like comments and LOVE nice ones! They make me smile - and remind me I have been very bad about leaving comments myself lately so I really need to step it up (I used to make it a point to leave at least one comment a day and I have not been doing that lately :-( )

But really, what I wanted to say was I just found a new hero ... go meet her here. The premise of her blog: to not shop for a year (except the necessities like food and clothing). AND not only are they not shopping but she is going through and doing some serious decluttering of her house. Seriously, I am so in awe. I mean, we have greatly reduced our shopping, but it was really because of financial reasons. We wouldn't be doing it just to stop bring all the crud into our house. Seriously go read about it because it rocks. (and now I am really motivated to declutter our house more!) She also has another blog here which is a GREAT blog as well. And I found her through The Motherhood Blog ticker so we'll call this reason 4,691 that I love The Motherhood! =)

Happy Leap Day!

So in honor of leap day, we did a few frog related activities around here. Not too much, because, well, the kids had a very in-depth, involved game going on in which they were pretending to be doctors and veterinarians and they NEEDED to take care of their animals and baby dolls. And frankly, I think that sort of play is precious and actually important so we only interrupted for a bit.

We found some frog noises on the internet and they had a blast listening to them and I heard "play it again mom!" lots of times - who knew frog noises could be so exciting?

Then we tried to do a little science experiment with magnets with the goal of creating some leaping frogs. Although we had fun making everything, they didn't quite work out as we hoped ....

First we decorated some shoe boxes to look like a place a frog might be. We cut out a tissue paper frog. Then we took a paperclip with string tied on it and taped it to the back of the frog.
The theory being that if we put a magnet on top of the box, the frog would "jump up" to the magnet. The truth was that, our magnet was not strong enough to pull the frog up. The box was probably too high. And the magnet and the paperclip had to be VERY close together for the magnet to actually pull the paperclip ...

I know it looks like they are touching, but I assure they are not. However, that was the farthest apart we could get them to stay. So, we didn't get "leaping" frogs, but we did make a pretty neat "floating" frog!
I told the girls next time we go out, we'll look for more powerful magnets and maybe we can have leaping frogs someday!

As a bonus though, we had to try out a LOT of magnets to even get the floating affect so we talked about how magnets come in different strengths and tested out if it could pull the paperclip and all that stuff, so at least we did some magnet exploring today!

Anyway, happy leap day! =)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blech ...

I am just feeling a bit blech with this blog right now.
All my steam for crafting has left ... and I can't find it. It feels like we are still trying to return to "life as normal" in light of all that happened last week. And while I am not expecting those pangs of sadness or the occasional falling of tears to be gone ... I just thought by now my house would be clean, I'd have completed a few more projects, I wouldn't feel so tired, etc, etc ...

But here's the thing ... we weren't home hardly at all last week. Which was actually good - we spent a lot of time together as a family. Except it was the the adults who were together while the kids ran around. Sunday we really kind of were all home at the same time and had actual downtime! And Monday being home and seeing what was here really hit me.

First of all, I had hardly any food here! My son woke up with an asthma flare-up and so breathing treatments have been administered a lot this week. Laundry needed to be done. Floors washed. Dishes taken care of. And we were ALL just exhausted and worn out and had out of schedule sleep patterns.

Well, fortunately help was on the way. The Mommy and Me group that I am in so KINDLY brought us a honey baked ham on Monday with two sides. LIFE SAVER! And I am SO thankful and grateful. Because I really wasn't expecting anything at all. And I cried Monday afternoon when I realized I had nothing to give my family for dinner and surprise! There it was. It was so nice.

The laundry is mostly caught up. The house is still a mess. And all three of my kids are now sick. Except I didn't realize just how sick they were until the 8 year old came home from Awana crying because her throat hurt and then, oh by the way mom I won a bike, now give me medicine for my throat. Okay, come on ... I got just how serious it was when the bike was not the first thing out of her mouth tonight!

And I still feel exhausted. And I still feel this huge amount of sadness. And I don't want to sew. I don't want to knit. I don't want to create at all! Which really is okay - except I have nothing to write here. And well, no one is checking my blog anymore. And I admit that makes me sad. On a weird but related note, some company contacted me to advertise here - and I had to laugh! Seriously, I get 16 hits a day (and I think 14 of them show the person stayed 0 minutes). I didn't even respond because it seemed so silly to contemplate it! And yet, it did feel kind of neat to get that e-mail - even if it was probably mass e-mailed to a lot of other bloggers. But I'm sad about the lack of readers. Although these days I'm sad about a lot so that shouldn't be a surprise.

Maybe soon I'll be back. And have lots of fabulous things to show you. Or maybe I'll learn how to write things that people will want to read! LOL! Or something like that.

For now, I'm just trying to get back into life and back into a rhythm of things!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Just stuff ...

Well, things are kind of back to normal around here - although, really they aren't.
I do want to say that the mom's club I'm in brought me dinner tonight (which was so welcomed and frankly needed) and it just touched my heart. And I've gotten some very nice messages from people - including here, so thank you so much for that. It has all been extremely appreciated.

A few weeks ago Emily (from been there) sent me a quote in the mail that read "May every risk you take bring you to wide open spaces where HOPE and Joy await."

I've been staring at that quote a lot. I've actually moved the paper she wrote it on around the house so that I can look at it in different places. I suppose this might make me weird or just plain crazy, but I'm pretty sure most of you figured out I am a bit weird and crazy a while ago! Anyway, this quote has been stuck in my mind definitely.

First I thought a lot about that word hope. I tend to not have hope many times - we could analyze that to death I'm sure. But I think a lot of times, I just expect the worst. I just can't understand that the worst usually doesn't happen and probably won't happen that time either. But truly, very rarely does the worst happen. And I don't always need to focus on that - I could actually become a glass is half full kind of gal, and be filled with a sense of hope. And how would that change my daily outlook? I think it would change a lot honestly. And it's so easy to sit here and type it, but certainly not easy to put it into practice.

But now the word risk is sticking in my mind. I am generally NOT a risk taker at all. In fact, I tend to hate risk. I just hate it. I like safe. I like the same. I like no risk! I'm sure this limits me a lot too! I tend to not take chances. I tend to not try new things. I tend to shy away from things that scare me or make me nervous or make me uncomfortable, etc, etc, etc. Risk and me are not good friends. We are barely acquaintances - and frankly, I think that's not a good thing at this point in my life.

So, as risk floated around in my head more. And as it just wouldn't leave my mind, I thought of something else - the word of the year (which I first heard referenced on Creative Mom Podcast but she heard it from Ali Edwards) and I just knew, I just knew, even though we are almost through 2 months of the year, risk is my word of the year. And it's a word that I need to keep tucked away in the back of my head for a while.

So, yes. I have a word of the year now. I claim risk. I hope I can do more with that word than just claim it, I hope I can live it. I hope I can take risks this year.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wanted to share ....

I really wanted to share this article with you all, to share more about grandpa and the wonderful man he was (and because I'm so proud that he was my grandpa - even if only through marriage.) At his funeral my husband said that he hoped someday he could be a grandpa just like his grandpa was - and although I have no doubt my husband can and will be just as wonderful, the truth is, his grandpa left VERY big shoes to fill. (from here)

Palatine man was an American pioneer in EMT service

By Eileen O. Daday
He was assistant chief of the Palatine Volunteer Fire Department in 1971 when Bernhardt "Barney" L accompanied Chief Orville Helms to a meeting that would change the face of fire departments across the state.
They were among the suburban departments to attend a meeting led by Dr. Stanley Zydlo, who proposed training and certifying firefighters in emergency medicine so they could provide immediate basic care to victims.
"(Barney) was the one who really picked up on the idea and ran with it," says Cliff Steif, a former Palatine firefighter. "He was instrumental in bringing it to the department, and to all of the smaller ones around us, like Cary, Fox River Grove and Barrington."
His role in developing the paramedic system is Mr. L's legacy. The former 57-year Palatine resident was 78 when he died this past Friday.
From that original meeting, Zydlo went on to create the paramedic program in Illinois, which has become one of the largest Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems in the Midwest. But it all started with training Northwest suburban firefighters, he says, in emergency medical techniques, including members of the Palatine, Mount Prospect, and Arlington Heights departments.
"Barney was one of the first trained paramedics in the United States," says Zydlo, now retired. "It was amazing how common, ordinary people were willing to take on medical knowledge -- and do it.
"And that was very pleasing to me," he adds, "in light of all the resistance it caused."
Mr. L had served on Palatine's volunteer fire department since 1956, rising through the ranks to become a lieutenant and assistant chief, before he retired in 1977.
At the time, volunteer members held full time jobs outside the department, but completed drills and training led by two full time firefighters from other departments.
During these same years Mr. L ran the L Printing Co. in Palatine, a commercial print shop which his son Terry still operates, and has employed many of his grandchildren.
"His work ethic was stronger than anyone I've ever known," says his grandson, Greg L, of Palatine. "Even at 75 years old, he was working 10 hours a day."
Mr. L rarely talked about his years as a firefighter, but family members says he loved his role in the community.
"In the beginning, all the volunteers were alerted by a siren, before they went to a telephone system," says Terry L of Palatine. "No matter what time of the day or night, when my dad got the call, he'd bolt up and get on his fire-fighting gear."
Family members recalled some of the bigger fires the department responded to, including a new apartment complex under construction at Euclid Avenue and Plum Grove Road; and the original field house at Harper College.
The most memorable one was in 1973, when the Ben Franklin store in downtown Palatine burned, and took the lives of three volunteer firefighters.
"That was the impetus for the village to go to a full-time, professionally trained fire department," Terry L adds.
Besides his son and grandson, Mr. L is survived by his wife, Carol, and children Thomas (Diane) L of Inverness, Mark (Daniele) of Racine, and Laura (Kurt) R of Palatine, as well as 11 more grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Peter.
Visitation will take place from 2-8 p.m. Friday at Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, 201 N. Northwest Hwy. in Palatine.
Note: there is an error in the article. It says he passed away on Friday, but it was on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We love you grandpa ...

I am sad to tell you that grandpa passed away early this morning. My husband was able to be at the hospital (with much of the family) and to be there with him.

My 8 year old said it best today "We love you grandpa and we miss you."

I feel blessed to have become a part of his family. I think for most of us, when you get married, you hope that you will like your spouse's family. Well, I have been incredibly lucky. Because not only do I like my husband's family, but I love them all very dearly. They are not my husband's family in my eyes, they are my family. And I was even more blessed in the 2 years we spent living with grannie and grandpa. I got to hear their stories, make lots of memories, and my children (at least the girls) were able to really get to know their great-grandparents. I feel so grateful for that time and hold so many memories in my heart.

We knew grandpa was sick. And we knew he probably wouldn't get better, and even though there was talk of bringing in hospice, this still felt like quite a shock. I don't think we were ready or expecting it. When the phone rang at 1 am though, right away we knew it couldn't be good.

I am thankful that at least he is not suffering. I know he was in a lot of pain at the end and it is nice to think of him pain free. But my heart is still aching, as well as my husband's heart and our girls.

So please, send prayers out for my our family, my husband's family, and for grannie - especially for grannie. She is showing quite the brave face, but she just lost her husband of over 50 years and I have to imagine she is feeling quite a bit of pain inside.

Thank you

Monday, February 18, 2008

Check this out ...

I mentioned a few weeks ago my daughter and I were working on something - well, today, we finally set it up!
Please go check out our new blog: Book Reviews For Kids By Kids and if you like it, please feel free to tell others about it and spread the love! =)

On going green ,,,

Well, I don't believe I've ever come out and said it blatantly here, but I really am trying to be more environmentally friendly (although I have talked about bringing my own bags shopping and little things like that) - even if it's just a little bit each day.

I will also tell you honestly, I don't know how I feel about global warming. I know, I know, Al Gore would be so saddened to read that, but it's the truth. I think there are so many unknowns out there and so many sides to the story and I think there is a lot about how our planet works that we don't understand. I know some of you are gasping and thinking look at the science! the research! it's all there! And I have. And I've looked at other research that isn't so compelling.

And after looking at all - my conclusion is: global warming or not, I LOVE the earth. I want to take care of the Earth. I do not want to treat the planet like garbage, and I believe I can do things to love the Earth, the planet, and I can do things that will benefit the health of my family. Global warming aside - we are learning more and more that some of the chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis are hurting us! They are dangerous. They are destroying our soil, our water supply, and making some people sick. And, truly, even if global warming is not happening, well, what if it is? And in this case, I'm going with the better safe than sorry side of things, and still going to try to take care of my planet!

Anyway, we've really been trying to make small changes and we've been doing them ever so slowly, but we've kind of reached a point where we feel like it's time to maybe step it up a notch.

Here is where we are at right now:
  • unplugging things when not in use (toaster, cell phone charger, laptop plug, etc)
  • using reusable bags about 95% of the time (I admit sometimes I forget them or forget to pull them out until a bag or two is full. However, I can say I have already NOT used a LOT of plastic bags!)
  • last fall I line dried my clothes and will begin to do that again when it gets warm enough outside (and I will also try to create a way to line dry indoors next winter)
  • we have learned to waste a lot less food (I think before we were wasting more than we realized because it was so easy to just let the food go bad in the fridge, or forget about those last 2 apples, or the leftovers, etc and now we are much more conscience of the food we have and what needs to be eaten before it goes bad)
  • I talk to the kids much more about environmental issues (at their level) and wasting water, wasting energy, etc.
  • We stopped buying bottled water. So we have no plastic waste from those. Although we have the reusable plastic containers we carry around now, and I know eventually we will have to switch those out because the plastic in those is supposed to leach at high temperatures.
  • My shaklee cleaners arrived in the mail the other day and I am SO excited to start switching over our cleaners. I was of the opinion that we should just give the cleaners to someone who would like to use them, but dh is of the opinion that we should use up what we own (being the frugal guy he is, he thinks it's wasteful to get rid of things). I admit though, I'm thinking of ways to secretly sneak the bottles out one by one and slowly so that he won't notice LOL

Things we will start doing:
  • We have decided to buy our meat locally from farmers who, you know, treat their animals pretty nicely. Of course, now we are saving up money because you tend to have to buy in bulk that way (although admittedly I haven't looked into yet and I need to figure out where around us we can even do that). And truthfully I can't see us getting to the point to buy several hundred dollars worth of meat for a few months
  • Shopping at farmers markets for a lot this summer. And also doing some u-pick it fruits to bring home and turn into jam and other items we can freeze and/or can to last us a while.
  • Gardening - this year we will have a garden. In fact we just planted some of the seeds today and they are sitting in our laundry room with a nice (small) light shining on them!

Things we are still thinking about
  • Switching our lightbulbs over. I keep reading conflicting things about the mercury in them and so honestly I am not ready to put them in my house. I have heard they are working on making them without mercury which would be fabulous I think!
  • Possibly investing in an apple tree and a pear tree
  • I would like to buy more organic products and I hate to say the price is the hindrance, but truthfully, it is. Because I am working on a limited budget and I have to pick and chose what I can invest in. I feel like if we switch our meat over to locally and from better farms, and I am buying local fruits and veggies this summer, well, I might have to skip the organic items from the store for now.
  • Buy organic milk. Again, the price is a factor. I bought a gallon of milk today for 2.89. The half gallon organic milk was 3.50. That's not just a small difference, it's a big difference. We go through 4-5 gallons of milk a week (and one of my children can't even drink regular milk!) It's at least a 16 dollar difference per week - that's 832 extra dollars a year. Now, I know what you're thinking - 16 dollars. Let me tell you, I have been spending exactly what we budget every week on groceries. Today, I came home with 82 cents after hitting both stores (today I went to the health food store where I bought my brown rice flour, white rice flour, amaranth, and other items safe for my gluten, wheat, dairy, soy dd and that stuff is quite pricey as well. One of her flours was 5 for a pound). We are on a strict budget. We can't do it all. I have to pick and choose how to spend our money. But if I can cut the bill, I will start to buy organic milk for sure.
  • Change over to chemical free shampoos, toothpaste, other similar items
  • Starting a compost pile up in a corner of the garden we will be planting this year
Some days I think we are doing a lot. And other days I wish we could do more. But I am trying to make small changes. And I care a lot about the environment. And I've been doing more reading up on different ways to make a difference and change what we are doing, and so you might here me prattle on about it more around here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Because I wasn't already sad enough ...

I just found out they will probably be calling in hospice soon for my grandpa. And I think my heart just can't handle any more hurt or sadness right now.

And I feel badly, because my husband tried very hard to make this Valentine's Day a great day, but honestly, can I just say this has to be one of the crappiest Valentine's Day ever? And there isn't anything my husband could do to fix that. He, because he is awesome, completely understood where I am coming from, just held my tight and gave me a kiss before heading to bed.

An a related note - tomorrow, we are all being urged to wear red (NIU's color)
On Facebook, students from Northern Illinois and other universities urged one another to wear "Huskie red" Friday to support NIU students and their families.

"I will wear red with absolute pride tomorrow as I'm sure you all wore your orange and maroon for us," wrote one student at Virginia Tech, where 32 were slaughtered by a suicidal gunman last year. "Know that we are here for you in your time of need as you were for us"
(from here)

This time ... it's my school

Today, there was another school shooting (news article here) Thankfully so far there are no causalities aside from the shooter himself.
I am praying that the victims will heal and that everyone who was affected by this shooting can also heal.

This hits a little to close to home, as this is the college both dh and I graduated from (in fact, we met there), as well as many of our friends.

But my heart is hurting for what happened and I am thinking of all who are affected by this right now.

I just head that now they are declaring 5 6 fatalities. My heart is just breaking. I will never understand why someone would do this. I just can't even begin to understand. And my prayers and thoughts go out to anyone who is grieving tonight.

Happy Valentine's Day!

It is now officially Valentine's Day.
I have to admit, we rarely make a big deal out of this day. Just a few simple cards to pass out where necessary and that's it.
Well, my husband informed me he got me a gift this year! So, I had to go out and get him something. And went tonight! Nothing like the last minute. But I put together a nice little bag of goodies for him - and not that he reads this, but in case he does, I won't share yet what it is because he won't get it until after the kids go to bed tomorrow night (and no, not because it's what you're thinking it is but because that will be the first time all day we will spend more than a few moments with each other!)

But I did whip up a few goodies for the girls and I can't wait to see what they think of them!!
First I made some lovely magnets (which I've been dying to make but it's taken forever to get to the store, buy the supplies and then finally sit down and make them).


Okay, I admit, a few of them are for me and not the girls, but aren't they cute? They saw the pictures I was gathering earlier of Hannah and the HSM crew and were SO curious as to why I would want those pictures! It was kind of funny to hear them try and guess!

Then I used those magnets (and some stickers) to decorate these lovely little boxes:


I can't wait to get some mail in my box! and I have left some in theirs already as well =) I hope they are as excited about all of this as I am!

But now, now, it is SO late. And I need to get some sleep!

I wish all of you a GREAT Valentine's Day =)


Becky!! If you read this, please e-mail me ... Brandie185 at gmail dot com!
I must have your old address because the card I sent you came back to me and I don't have an e-mail address for you either.
So please, e-mail me with your address (home and e-mail) so I can write you back!

And can I say how thrilled I am that you stopped by and said hi =) It was SO nice!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On Reading ...

I really do LOVE reading. Books can change you - even if it's just to give you some stress relief as you read a really funny book, ya know? I think they are wonderful.

I've read some pretty darn good ones lately that I have been wanting to talk about.

First up: Eat, Pray, Love

I really did enjoy this one quite a lot. In fact, I'd like to read it again soon. It really made me think about a lot. Now, I'm not ready to fly over to Italy. Or to get a guru. Or anything like that. But I can take more time out to get in touch with my spirituality. I can take time out to appreciate what I have. Well, I suppose if I questioned other people, I'd find a lot of people would say the same thing. But I feel that too. And I think in a way, it's time for me to do that. And this book was good motivation.
But I recommend it. And you should read it ... and if you do, let me know what you thought of it! =)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Another book that really made me think. Realistically, my family could not eat 100% local. But we could do a lot to make a difference. But truthfully - especially with my 5 year old's dietary restrictions - and with our financial restrictions - we really need our grocery store. But when our farmer's market opens - I will be there. Dh and I have talked about buying meat locally from places where animals are let outside every so often. If not all our meat that way, at least as much as we can buy. We've always been lucky because my parents do have a farm and we can always get what they grow when it's in season. But they don't grow everything. And so I can do more. (of course, can't we always do more?) But it really opened my eyes to some more things I could be doing. And because of my parents - I know that little farmers can ALWAYS have a few more costumers. They will appreciate people who stop and shop from them. And I know it's not always easy for them. So I will do what I can. And we have big plans this summer - I'd like to go to more farms where you can pick your own items. I'd like to buy in bulk and can more items. Yes, I want to spend as little money as possible, but I can do that wisely and still do my part to buy some things locally and maybe we'll eat meat a little less in order to get better quality meat. Now, I'm still gonna buy fruits and veggies in the winter (and I'm so thankful I can) but that doesn't mean I can't buy as much local as possible and use the grocery store when it's not available locally. And I admire Kingsolver for what she did for a year - but I'm not cut out for that life. But that doesn't mean I can't do anything. So again, a book that is moving me to action.

The Pillars of the Earth

I LOVED this book. I finished it in a few days because I couldn't put it down! I loved most of the characters (I few I didn't like so much, but they were in the book precisely for that reason!). The book ended when it was time, but I was still sad to see it end. And to think, I almost didn't read it! I only read it because I was going to Oprah on a day it was to be discussed! It just seemed to big and too daunting to read. But it wasn't. I read through it pretty quickly - the book just flowed so nicely and wonderfully.

Lean Mean Thirteen

I read this book very quickly - I read it all Friday. It is definitely a quick, easy, not a lot of thought read (which is exactly what I was looking for!) I have read all the Stephanie Plum books thus far. I did like this book, but it seemed a it like a let down compared to the others. And I have to admit - part of me is ready to see her settle down with one guy or the other. OR ditch them both and bring in a new guy (isn't that terrible of me to say LOL). And it kind of feels like that point is coming with the series. My fear is though, because the series is so popular, it will get dragged out far too long and make me not like them anymore. But hopefully that won't happen. And I will enjoy the next book very much.

Gluten-Free Girl

I just started this one yesterday. Because I am also obsessed with watching every LOST episode ever made, I haven't made it to far into it. I am reading it more to try to understand what my dd is going through. So far the book is good and it has made me appreciate a LOT that we figured out what was going on with my dd now rather than when she was in her 20's. Because I can't imagine fighting that long to try to figure things out. And can I also say that based on how the author said she felt at times, I'm also glad we have gone gluten free for her now. Because maybe she won't have so many not feeling well memories. And even though some people doubt her different food intolerances (which no one reading this does but sometimes I can just tell the way people look at us, especially when we bring food for her places, and I want to scream - you try feeding a 5 year old without using dairy or wheat or soy and tell me, is that something you think I would honestly make up?!) just knowing that we could sparing her pain and some not nice memories and trying to figure out what is wrong in the future, I am just so thankful we are where we are at today. And I can't wait to read more of this book and maybe someday, in 10 or 15 years, I will pass it on to my very own gluten free girl to read too!

That sums up recent reading around here. I just got another stack of books from the library and I'm hoping I can find time to finish knitting, keep going on Thing-a-Day, work on some invitations, watch more LOST, and read more. So basically what I'm saying is, my family might not have any clean underwear for a while LOL!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Only a little sad ...

Tomorrow, I was supposed to go to a taping of Oprah.
I sadly, had to call and cancel today. One of my children is sick, my mom is sick, my babysitter's child was just dx'd with strep throat and we're supposed to get a mini snow storm tomorrow am that will make the drive in VERY unpleasant.
I'm not sure if they will offer other tickets to us. Truthfully, I don't expect that they will. The taping is almost done for this season's shows and it would also mean that they would have to have openings left in other shows. And we canceled on them, (but Teresa from the audience department, if you are reading this and can make it happen, I will be there next time for sure LOL!)
Anyway, I was feeling kind of crabby after making that call because well, it's the Oprah show. And I like Oprah and I thought it would be SO fun to sit in the audience and watch a taping, ya know?

But my pain has been lifted a bit.
First I read an e-mail that said I won this cute sunflower totebag. And I already know my girls are going to try to steal it from me and make it their own! But I'll be nice and share it with them when it comes. But how pretty will my new shopping bag/library bag/overnight bag be? I think it's pretty nice looking! =)

Then I got an e-mail saying I won in this Shakley giveaway! I didn't win the big prize, which I would have LOVED to win, but I won a nice little giveaway in which I will get a bottle of basic H2O and 3 spray bottles - which is awesome! I have been wanting to switch us over to more natural cleaners and this will help start us off on a very good foot! If you'd like to get started too, go over to this post, there is a special for anyone who wants to order for their home as well!

Anyway, winning these items helps me feel a little bit better. But I will still miss Oprah tomorrow. I just know we would have had a good time together. :::sigh::: But it's okay. I really got that the universe was telling me not to go - but I admit, when only 2 people were sick, I was still ready to go ... the third sick person and the snow storm warnings. Okay, I get it people! LOL

Some more ramblings ...

Weekend was pretty good.

Saturday I had a meeting to help plan a wedding - so fun. I think I could plan weddings as a career choice, but I'm not that good and although I am helping plan, the bride and groom had a lot done already and that was nice! =)

Saturday evening the girls and I had a girls night out. I'll give you a hint as to what we did (and anyone with tweens will probably get this) ...

What team? Wildcats!
What team? Wildcats!
Wildcats! Getcha head in the game!


We saw Disney's High School Musical the Ice Tour.
As a fluke, when we were leaving, we saw the guy who played Troy and got a picture.


Sunday left me watching some more LOST (2 more episodes and I'm done with season 1), I finished the back of my cardigan, and started the front.

100_9822 100_9823

Now I have a job. The bride in the above mentioned wedding wants to make all the invitations/place cards/thank you's herself (and by herself I mean she wants us to do it for her - well, she would help, but wants ideas). So I need to make some sample cards for her. I am actually excited about this. The good news is the wedding is in February 2009, so we have lots of time to really work on these and do something just gorgeous, ya know? So we meet again at the end of March and I want to work up a few ideas for her. I have quite a few rumbling around in my head. I just need to make them and see if they work as well in real life as they work in my head. Dh and I talked about it, and if she likes what I bring her (because 3 other people will be coming up with ideas as well) then we have decided we will just make them all for her and that can be our wedding present for her. I'm guessing 100-150 will go out as we're looking at an invite list of about 250 people (but I think 60 are kids). So we'll see where that goes and I need to go shopping for supplies to make something really nice for her. She wants the professional look for the homemade price, which I can completely understand! =)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

How I do it all ..

So, this week, I've gotten a few e-mails about how I manage to do it all. Which truthfully completely cracks me up.
If you came to my house today, you'd see how I get it all done ... by which I mean, how I don't nearly get enough accomplished each day! My house is rarely clean. If you gave me a heads up, I'd certainly clean before you arrived. When I do cook, I like to utilize the crock pot - dump all the ingredients in in the morning and don't think about it again until dinner time. I also tend to double recipes so there are leftovers - enough for the fridge and the freezer. Laundry tends to get done only when I get complaints that no one has clean clothes to wear anymore.
I stay up MUCH too late on a regular basis - which I might mention drives my husband nuts and he HATES that I don't go to bed with him. In fact, it's probably safe to say that it's the "biggest" issue he has with me in our marriage. Don't get me wrong, our marriage is actually pretty decent, but it certainly isn't perfect.
And I'm not perfect. And I most certainly do NOT do it all! In fact I should probably do a little less of what I do do and put a little more effort into the housework and laundry and other things. But, the reality is that most days I do enough to just get by and spend the rest of my time on the "fun" things. And for now it works most days. And some days I'm very tired and regret staying up until 3am the night before to finish that really good book (which I did actually do last night :X)

So there, now you know! I don't get it all done. I'll never be able to get it all done and all I can try to do is get at least a little something done each day! LOL! =)

If you need me ...

I'll be watching all the episodes of LOST courtesy of

In the meantime, here's what I made today:
100_9751 100_9750


(And yes, it is similar to the pattern I linked to the other day, and no I didn't buy the pattern, I just made one on my own. I think the other one would work much better but this one will work, and I REALLY wanted the apron pattern from that site and so decided to purchase that one and try this one on my own!)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Misc. Ramblings ...

So, I voted today! It was fun. No, actually it wasn't. But I won't bore you with details. I'm glad I did vote though and my 2 year old shouted "let's vote" about 2 million times today and the girls were given the practice ballots to take home and play their own voting game.
Needless to say, the presidential candidate I voted for did NOT win my state so I'm feeling sort of bummed about that. But, oh well, I voted. I counted. And I feel privileged to do so, especially knowing how many people can't vote around the world (and I know it sounds cheesy, but it is true).
Then we went to the craft store, where I bought more than I probably should have, but yet, managed to stay on the amount I wanted to stay at.

(I have to admit I wanted a paper cutter so bad and I'm so glad to get one, but I'm most excited about the how to draw Avatar characters book. We have been in love with that show, I think ever since it came out!)

I started a new knitting project - last week actually. And I am finally knitting something for me! A sweater I fell in love with from the Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2006 magazine (in fact I bought the magazine just for this sweater pattern. And I'm so excited I finally started it. I haven't made much progress ... just some of the back ... but again, it's a start.


I did do my thing a day project for today - another accordion book. I wasn't as happy with this one as the last one, but it will work and it did turn out okay in the end.


My creation

Monday, February 04, 2008

Thing-A-Day: Day 4

Continuing on with the book theme ....

My oldest dd made another book today (and really they are so cute. I've tried to take pictures of the pages, but they don't turn out well and I REALLY wish that I had a scanner to scan them in that way). My other daughter made a bookmark. And I also made a bookmark - this one out of fabric =)

I really like my bookmark though. I think it turned out very cute. Although, I was also thinking that I might add a little charm to the end of it to give it some weight to hang down, but I'm not sure because I really like it now and sometimes too much can be, well, too much!

It did occur to me that maybe y'all don't want to see our things each day and that you could go over to the website to look at all the nice things over there (or to just look at my feed). So maybe I will only post the ones I am REALLY excited about.

On another note, my dh told me today he LOVED the accordion book I made and definitely wants me to make more and he thinks I should make them to send to his mom! Which is good because I had a LOT of fun making it and will have no problem whipping up some more! Of course, that will mean a few more supplies might need to be purchased. And oh darn. We all know how much I dislike going to buy supplies to craft with LOL!

Anyway, that's all for today!

What I want ...

Just for fun ... a few of the items on my wishlist

The Emmaline Apron Sewing Pattern <-- already="" and="" bought="" can="" caved.="" eying="" fabric="" figure="" for="" get="" here.="" i="" it="" just="" m="" my="" one.="" ones="" out="" pattern="" s="" span="" stash="" t="" the="" this="" to="" treat.="" use="" wait="" what="" yeah="">
Reading Pillow Pattern
Think Outside the Bottle
The Creative Family
Bend the Rules Sewing
Simply In Season Cookbook
More with Less Cookbook
The Pink Chocolate Stripe Bag
Ergo Baby Carrier

Have a great day!

Thing-A-Day: Day 3

Today was I made a really fun thing: an accordion book. Now, I have never made one of these before and didn't know how much fun I would have with it. We took a trip to the zoo recently and so I made it from those pictures. I can see how these could become quite addicting! If I ever made a scrapbook from this time, I think the accordion book would fit int here very nicely and give me a way to showcase lots of pictures without doing 10 scrapbook pages.
I took a bunch of pictures, (which you can see here), but I'll just post the mosaic of them here:
Zoo Trip Accordian book

My girls also both did their projects today as well. One made a bookmark and the other made a book. It's so cute. They wake up and almost immediately begin to brainstorm about what they will make for thing-a-day today! They are having fun with it and that is really fun for me to watch =)

I do believe that I will be making more of these little books in the future! They really were fun to make. I'm also thinking I might display this on the fireplace mantle for a bit and maybe once a month or so making a new one to put there as a way to showcase photos and have something to save for when I finally get around to making scrapbooks! =)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Thing-A-Day: Day 2

(yes, even though I am posting at the Thing-A-Day site, I also plan to post all items over here as well!)

So, keeping with our theme of books, today we all made books! The girls both decorated their pages (and I have to say, they did a fabulous job but I'm biased LOL). I kept mine blank. I am not sure what I will do with it though ... Maybe I will use it to do some drawings through out February ;-)





On another note, today I was at a party and going to give the blog address out. I could NOT remember the address. Um, hello! I swear I have no brain sometimes. I admit, I felt so embarrassed, just standing there thinking. I wrote something down and I *think it was correct! I'll have to see if any comments show up ROFL!

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Picture of the PeaPod sweater as promised:


I believe I will make this again someday - it's so cute (and I have 2 balls of yarn left!). However, I will say that if I make the hat, I will remember to center the leaf design between the decreases because it wasn't knit like that this time and it is REALLY bothering me. But I still like it and so I won't fret about it. Besides, tomorrow it goes to the mama-to-be and I won't have to look at it anymore LOL!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Thing-A-Day: Day 1

Our first theme is "books."

Today we decided to make book marks for this theme.

Here is all three of ours (my 8 year old's, 5 year old's and mine):

And a close-up of mine:

It says "A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. Chines Proverb"