Friday, December 17, 2010

Joy Swap Show and Tell


Just a short note to tell you about the wonderful opportunity I had and the new friend I've made.  For the second this year I decided to participate in the shoebox swap hosted by Monica and Carrie.  This time they paired me up with a lovely young mother from Georgia, Shannon.  It was amazing how the Lord used them to to "match" Shannon and I together as exchange partners.  Who would have thought a young mother from Georgia and a "more seasoned" mother living in Indiana could have so much in common.  As it turns out Shannon and I both share a history of being raised in military families and having spent much of our youth traveling.  Our tastes are also very similar... :)  This is just some of the contents of the wonderful box Shannon sent me... I confess I ate the Almond Roca before the picture was ever taken.  (our eldest is in the middle of wrestling season so being the good mother that I am I decided to just remove the "temptation" from his sight! Don't worry I did share it with my husband and our middle son!! The youngest doesn't like nuts so he wasn't interested!)

That is Godiva chocolate in the green box (a guilty pleasure), a box of the coveted Constant Comment Decaf tea (I couldn't find it here and was down to my last bag when this showed up in the mail!!), a tea wallet filled with Stash Decaf Chocolate Hazelnut tea, an apple cinnamon crisp candle, a lovely notebook for taking notes (I've been needing a new one for church!),  the Christmas issue of Southern Lady (never seen it before but I LOVE it now!!!) and 

A lovely print for our master bathroom!

Thank you so very much, Shannon!
It was wonderful getting to know you and I so look forward to hearing from you more as time passes!  Enjoy your  Christmas as you are surrounded by family and enjoying your little ones!  

Be sure to stop by and see who else participated!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Church Fire!

We just got this news which is heartbreaking... The little church where we attend when we are working on our property in New York burned to the ground early this morning!  Bible Baptist Church of Friendship, NY is a ray of hope in the hills of the southern tier of New York and I know this has come as quite a shock to their little congregation!  I just wanted to ask everyone to please keep them in your prayers.  Thankfully no lives were lost but this tiny community has to have been rocked to its core.

 (courtesy of Wellsville (N.Y.) Daily Reporter)

Currently plans are in the works for an alternate location for this Sunday's service and Christmas eve's service!

Will they never cease to amaze me?

You know our boys never cease to amaze me.  From they athletic ability to their good natures to their ability to adapt to new situations.  Our youngest has got the funniest sense of humor, our middle son loves music and always has a tune on his lips and at his finger tips, and our eldest is the athlete.  Speaking of my eldest... I am so proud of him.  Sunday after church (after we left the building and were on the way to the car) he pointed out that he thought I might not want to wear that outfit again.  I was shocked, I mean it was one of my favorite sweaters and skirts.  Okay, he was VERY kind about how he worded it and he was very discrete but still... Then he asked the dreaded question... "How many years have you had that skirt?"  Ok, so maybe he had me there.. I mean 6 years isn't too long to be wearing the same skirt.  So maybe it is a little faded and maybe has a few snags but still its presentable (or so I thought).  I thought I had him when I said "ok, so how about we do something about it.  We'll go shopping and YOU can help me pick out some new things."  I thought I had him.... Then my dear sweet 16 year old son gets a sly look in his and says "Sure!  Why not right now?"  I was shocked!  He had thrown down the gauntlet and who was I not to accept the challenge.  So we got lunch to go and off we went.  Just the three of us.  Yep hubby joined in the fun while the younger two stayed in the car listening to music and playing games.

(imagine this in brown)

(imagine these in both brown and black but a LOT curvier!)

An HOUR later we walked out of the store with 4 blouses (one fitted white), 3 pair of dress pants, a black blazer and one sweater all of which was at least 50% off plus an additional 20% off and we had gift cards to help pay for it as well.  I knew my son had good tastes but I was not prepared for this.  I was stylish, hip, and I had actual "outfits".  Not only that but they were picked out with other clothes I already own in mind.  I mean I've seen him dress himself and he is a SNAZZY dresser!  Where did he get those genes?  I know it wasn't from me... or maybe that's it he has all my good dresser genes.  I was wondering where they had disappeared to!  NOW I know!  In all honesty it was the best gift he could have given me!  The willing gift of his time and his talent!  I love that son of mine!  He does a mother's heart good!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

christmas ornaments

After a week of agonizing we finally got some of the ornaments to dry... No leaving them sitting out or putting them in front of the heat vent just was not working.  So I got out the dehydrator, took out a few shelves, and popped these bad boys in.  Several hours later they were dry!  We ended up breaking one and the remaining five need a little more attention before we can deem them worthy but these two are lovely!

And get a look at those hooks... they make everything look wonderful!  Thank you very much Walmart... never has $2 been better spent. 

 (psssst... i'm asking for some more of these hangers for christmas.  if they are out i'll be happy for the beads to make my own! i already have the wire... you guys can even use the walmart gift card on the desk. hint, hint, honey!)

Time to go get into the glitter again.  Now to come up with something that will really wow our eldest... he has very distinct tastes which I have yet to fully discern.

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sorry no photos and minimal posts at this time....

First I want to say the computer issues have been resolved!  It was really odd as we still have no idea why the battery on my computer died (it was plugged in.)  But for some odd reason it just wasn't drawing electricity.
I am afraid I have no photos of our crafting projects to post... nada, zilch, zip!  Have you ever had one of those brainstorms where you just know you have the perfect project?  One where it is so simple nothing could possibly go wrong?  Well that was my week.  Project after project...incomplete, and everything that could go wrong went wrong.  paint won't dry (4 days and its still damp), glue won't set, paint peeled off, paint ran, stickers aren't sticking, needle broke, needle got stuck in sewing machine, and the list goes on... But there is a bright spot in my week... my family!  (okay so they still won't give me christmas ideas...)  My silly, goofy, love to mess around when I take a picture groups of guys!

They have comforted me, encouraged me, and even think some of the hideous ornaments are lovely!  As frustrated as I've been recently they are so supportive!  Even when they might think their mom is a silly goose for getting so emotional over a silly ornament or notebook (and they never said a single word to me about it!)

Now this next week I am going to start over... more marshmallows to make (1st batch this season was spectacular!!!!),  cookies to bake, etc.  And projects, lots of projects!  Once the paint and glue dries I will post pictures of my sad, sad ornaments.  Until then I am going to enjoy my family and the time we have together no matter how limited our time!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

APPLE.... I am seriously disappointed in you! (okay my computer is so weird... it is working now!)

Okay I said it but I WILL say it again!  I am so disappointed!!!  I feel let down, not heartbroken but genuinely saddened.  After two, mind you TWO, weeks my Apple MacBook Pro died.  Yep you read that correctly!  It just faded away!  We think we know the problem but it will still have to be taken in for repair.  I mean COME ON folks whose computer dies within TWO weeks of purchase!  Especially if it has been babied.   Nothing has been spilled, dropped, or even smudged on it!  So now my computer is down... dead power supply.  The cord lights but but she is not a responding.... So Apple, as much as I loved my computer I am really disappointed in you! (And now my computer is working.... we unplugged EVERY THING, blew out all the connections, plugged everything in, and left it sit for a few hours.  It now works just fine!  It was never left unplugged so the battery ought now to have died.  Yep ODD! but its working!)

MacBook Pro notebook computers

Photo courtesy of Apple...

(Yes my NEW pictures are on the NEW computer... oh and I am currently using my husband's new PC because the fan quit working on his and it had other SERIOUS issues! So he got a new computer... a cheap one which is still running.) 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Christmas decorating

Each year as soon as Thanksgiving Day has passed my family clamors for the Christmas decorations... and each year I am more than willing to comply!  I love the lights, the smells, the sounds and most importantly I LOVE thinking back on the previous year.  Bringing to remembrance how mightily God has blessed us and how we've grown, both spiritually and physically!   Now I am not an extravagant decorator.  If someone asked me what our "theme" was I would have to say nostalgia!  Our tree is graced with plastic M&M stocking toppers from our first Christmas, salt dough ornaments, finely carved wooden snowflakes from my childhood in Germany, and plastic lighted cows (just to name a few of our decorations!)  But do you know what is more important... it is graced with memories!

Our Christmas tree

Above the left book case, my Ballard inspired wreath and vintage accessories (gotta love yard sales!!)

Above the right bookcase, our faith full nativity!  (If you noticed baby Jesus is missing that is because he is in the clock... yep we bring him out after everyone is in bed on Christmas eve to be "born"! and the wise men usually travel from "a far" but seemed to reach their destination quickly this year... I wonder...)

One of our scrappy garlands which grace many a place in our home.

My favorite twig wreath with its ever changing "center piece."
(The boys have asked me to make a bird to hang in the center, either a cardinal or a bluebird...)

And more importantly... my very own paperboy!  He faithfully goes our and retrieve the newspaper every single morning, rain or shine, sleet or snow!  My "baby"!  Oh how he is growing up, far too quickly for my comfort!  At least I still have one who has a silky soft check not yet covered in prickly scruff... :)

Now I am off to go decorate.... I have been blessed to spend much of this week with a lovely group of ladies at church as we decorate for the season ahead.  They are so sweet and funny and wise.  I just love regaled with the stories of their childhoods and early marriages!  

Soon I will be back to making and baking... Last night I made up two loaves of wheat french bread and my family devoured one at dinner!  I am so glad that I ground up extra wheat so that I can make more for the week ahead.  Ah the smell of freshly baked bread!  Is there a candle out for this?

Have a great week!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Button love.... completed

Remember the gorgeous wreath from Ballard design?  (OK so my new Macbook Pro and I  are just getting acquainted and I can't seem to figure out some things no picture, sorry!)

And here is my Ballard design inspired button wreath!  Oh how I love this wreath!!  Not only is it going to be a Christmas decoration but it will reside in our bedroom the remainder of the year.  It will be a constant reminder of my grandma and my mom!  Two ladies whom I love dearly!  Mom, I sure wish we lived closer.

 but wait let me show you how it started!

My husband absolutely loves this wreath as well!  Yeah score a BIG one for thrifty inspirations!!!

Now the next big project is to make an "antique" mirror out of an old picture frame and "mirror" spray paint... I'll let you know how it turns out!

This week I am linking up to these wonderful link "parties" I hope you will stop by....

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special



Catch As Catch Can

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Button love...

Do you ever see something that causes you to say..."I can make that!"  Something that brings back memories of someone you loved?  Well when I saw this wreath I knew I had to make it.  It so reminded me of my Grandma Seng.   You see before my Grandma died she gave me some of her buttons.  Is there anything truly special about these buttons?  To me there is... you see my grandma was a "saver!"  Many of these buttons came off of clothing destined for the rag bin and who knows the origin of the others.  Mixed in with Grandma's button is my own collection of buttons.  Buttons cut off clothing, buttons found at yard sales, and buttons rattling around the bottom of boxes from auctions.  Is my wreath complete?  No, I didn't have enough buttons. ha ha!  But once it is you will be some of the first to see it.  Until then here is my inspiration!

Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs:

(I don't know what is going on but I can't add my link.... any suggestions?)

Friday, November 19, 2010

computer crash

Yes, you read that correctly!  My computer died a painful death... maybe not for it but definitely for me.  Lesson learned back-up your files on a regular basis to a separate hard drive!!  The mother board gave up the ghost... AGAIN! So no more HP or PC's.  Chris bought a MacBook Pro and now I am trying to learn how to use it.  It really is quite simple but now there is all the finger work of transferring files to the appropriate "areas."  Thankfully we did not lose any data... it just needs reformated to be compatible!  So.... that is where I've been and where I will continue to be... cleaning and clearing out files.  Yes decluttering the computer is just as important as decluttering the rest of our lives!

I am so thankful we did NOT lose our pictures... ah the memories! :)

Monday, November 08, 2010

What its November? Impossible

Okay I just say the date of the last post... Now I have a question for you.  Where did the month go?  How could a full month have passed since I posted anything?  I mean seriously folks where did the time go and what did we even do?  Ah now I remember band and football! And week long TDY's plus overnight away trips, a week with my folks, and fall break. (plus the onslaught of seasonal allergies in addition to sinus/bronchial infections)

Well I can honestly say football season is over. And marching band for that matter!  All my lovelies did well!  The football player improved his game and is anticipating next season already.  In fact he is starting his conditioning now by going out for wrestling... yep you read that correctly.  wrestling... Yes visions of teenage boys grappling while dressed in their underwear dance through me head.  I assure you it is NOT a pretty sight.  But he oh so wants to give it a try.  So we will be there to cheer him on and give him all the encouragement he needs and deserves.  I'm proud of all of my boys!  They are getting out there and trying things they've never done before.  Mr. Music completed marching band season is anxiously awaiting the beginning of December so that he can start marimba lessons.  Know of anyone who has a good quality marimba for sale? CHEAP!?!

The the week of my last post in October we had company.  Grandma Carol and PawPaw Roland drove all the way up from Louisiana for a visit!  It sure was great to see them and be able to spend time with them.  My two biggest regrets are we do not live closer (or vice versa because I'm not a fan of hot humid weather) and that our house is not large enough to accomadate a guest room.  We planned on moving our eldest in with his brothers but Mom refused to move him out of his room.  Now I have to ask... what good is having a full size bed in his room if he is the only one who will get to sleep on it?  We bought it so it could be used by guests.  I won't complain as he loves his bed and all the room it affords him to sprawl plus Chris had one at his age too.  So....

We were able to take a varsity football game to see the marching band play, a jv game to see Ian play, evenings filled with laughter and card games, and some day time shopping!  All in all it was a lovely time!!

Do you see that brown vase with the orangish red flowers?  Here let me give you a close up of it...

Well my eldest made it last year... Yes LAST year in 3-D art and it only made it home recently!  It was in the display case at school.  He HATES it!  But I LOVE it because he made it and trust me that is saying a LOT.  He is not the artsy craftsy kid and never has been (at least he never seemed to enjoy it.)  Now give him Legos when he was younger and that's a different story.  We have all kinds of pictures of his "projects" but haven't seen much in the past 4 or 5 years.  Which is why I was ECSTATIC when he decided to take 3-D art (even if some sort of fine art courses are required at our school...  I mean he could have taken choir like many of his friends but he chose art.)  In fact he is taking a ceramics course right now.  What has he made?  I have no earthly idea!  But our youngest... now that is a different story.  Mr. I-don't-like-art is LOVING it this year!  Give him paper, glue, scissors, string, clay, anything and he loves it! I think I see some present making sessions in our near future... we still have a container or two of paper clay and lots of notebooks to be embellished!!!

I think that pretty much covers it for us for the moment! Lots of projects in the works... strawberry jam, cocoa mix, buttermilk pancake mix, homemade fruit syrup, candy, an anthro inspired cookbook and an embroidered perpetual calender.

(this is the inspiration for the embroidered perpetual calender... found over at Our Hartbeat in the picture of Annalea's room.  you know the one being voted on!)

Once I can access photos again I'll get them up.  And just to let you all know I now have blogging time actually penciled in on the calender.  Its the only way things get accomplished in a timely fashion around here is to have it on the calender and the chalkboard!

Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The big reveal....the living room!

Yes, I am done... well as done as I can be for the moment! ha ha!!  I will preface this say there are two things to be done in the living room and one in the dining room.  I need to patch/paint the holes above the T.V., hang the regulator clock, and decide what paper to use for my new "dry erase" message board.  But folks you will see we have come a long way!  So without further adieu our home!!! (My mom and stepdad are coming for a visit and should arrive sometime this afternoon.  I am so EXCITED!  Which was also the driving force behind me getting done... but no looking in our bedrooms.  Ours will be re-tidied tonight before they see it tomorrow.)


The End results

And the finished project!  It is so cozy especially when there is a chill out and we have a few candles light!  I also love having the whole family in here together no matter what they are doing!!! (I see some areas that need to be addressed now that I posted pictures but that is easy enough...)

The dining room...

Yep, it is done!!  Chris insisted upon new chairs for the table plus we finally put up the pictures and decorations!  I think he would like a new fan/light in the dining room plus undercabinet lighting in the kitchen but that will wait.  We both have Lowe's and Home Depot gift cards but are going to wait until after Christmas (its our standard present) before we tackle any more projects.  Oh the one missing element in the dining room is the shades for the long windows (I don't remember where I put them for "safe" keeping...)



And done!

Front door

Here is the new front door I've been talking about!!

(pretty but a little bland)

(what was I hestitating about for so LONG!! Chris was so right!!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The winds, they were a blowin'...

(I rescued these as soon as the picture was taken... The wind was so strong it was striping the clothes right off the line!)
Wow has it ever windy here recently and absolutely gorgeous!!  The sun has been shining, the flag was flying and the clothes were flapping.... And it has been cooler!!!  Thank you, Lord.  The trees are beginning to change colour and seem to be dropping a few leaves.  We have no trees to speak of on our property but I can gaze at the "forest" across the way and watch 'til my hearts delight!

We have been blessed mightily this past year!  I am so thankful the Lord gave us this house as our neighbors are wonderful Christian folk.  The area is oh so quiet.  We can watch the sun rise unobstructed out the sliding dining room doors.  We have a pasture filled with lowing cows, clucking chickens, frolicking goats, and the occasional grazing sheep to watch until our hearts are content.  We are able to purchase hormone free lamb and beef by just going around the corner.  Eggs are available all over and we have volunteer cherry tomatoes growing around the shed.  I would say God have truly blessed us.  (Please remind me of this when I start to grumble about how tiny the house is!)

Umm do you smell that?  Fresh baked pizza rolls!  With the wind blowing and the temps being lower it seemed like the time to do some baking.  Plus fruit leather has been dried as well.  (the fruit leather is all gone now...)

Christmas presents have been started... Homemade vanilla (aged 10 monthes), crotcheted wash clothes, lovely lavender filled sachets and soaps.  I'm hoping to make some homemade noodles and pasta sauce as well.  I think the local folks will get some homemade ravioli... Wow, maybe I should start making it up to have on hand for us!  I know Evan loves it and our favorite "Italian" restaurant has quit carrying it.

My mother and stepdad are coming for a visit next week so we are working feverishly getting projects done.  I just realized how horrible I've been at putting up posts.  The months prior to the move and then the following 6 monthes were rather difficult on me.  My family adjusted wonderfully but I spent much of my time overwhelmed (henceforth the many unfinished projects)!  Well with the support of my family, prayers of friends, and generally coming to acceptance of our schedule things are settling down.  If our schedule less hectic? No!  But I am learning to manage my time better and break each project down into smaller components.  Plus our handy dandy crockpot is getting a workout!!  How could I have forgotten what a life saver it is!  Here is a brief list of our goals/accomplishments for this week and next: 

  1.  paint front door, change out hardware. (completed)
  2. paint living room closet door, change hardware
  3. hang bamboo matchstick blinds in dining room
  4. apply finish to dining room table
  5. hang large memo board
  6. crochet a couple of small washrags
  7. finish small "dry erase" board for kitchen
  8. resurface kitchen counter (icky stuff but it needs to be done when the weather is nice.)
  9. paint laundry
  10. hang shelves in laundry
  11. paint bins and crates for laundry
  12. figure out how to hide utilities in laundry
  13. hang new light fixture in laundry (need to buy it 1st)
  14. spray paint accessories for boys' room
  15. clear clutter out of boys' room
  16. fix "loft" bed in boys' room.
  17. hang memo boards in boys' room
  18. hang art in boys' room
  19. prepare meals to have on hand when mom and dad are here
  20. bake up cookies, handpies, and "poptarts" to have on hand.
  21. make lasagne (one for sunday, one for freezer)

So now you see my "little" list!!  Yep but some of it is already accomplished and there is no expense aside from the new light.  Everything else has been refashioned from things we already own or pieces we picked up at Goodwill.  Take the large memo board... it was a large framed mirror which was broke soon after our move.  The large piece of glass is in our closest waiting to be cut and the frame has now been refitted with cardboard, cork, and a piece of muslin to be our new memo board.  Nothing was purchased!  The paint for the projects was almost all purchased as oops paints which range in price from $.49 a pint to $5.00 a gallon. 

And now I will leave you with pictures of what we've been up to recently...

Yes, football and marching band season are upon us! 

Toodles! :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a present a week {till Christmas}

Yep you read that correctly.  My plan is to make a present a week until Christmas as I am joining Deb over at Works in Progress in her make a present a week {till Christmas} challenge.    I don't have any new pictures to post today because I keep using some of the Christmas presents I've made.  Yes, I've been dipping into my collection of crocheted wash clothes (dishclothes) as mine was truly unserviceable!! 

(Picture from part of the collection crocheted over the past year..)

In fact they were beginning to disintergrate... ugh!!  But they lasted far longer than the thin, store bought, too large kind!!!  So it is now time to pull out the thread and start working on them during football games (American style) and allergy appointments.  And I think the vanilla is potent enough so it will soon be time to start decanting it... hmm what happened to all the small bottles we saved? 

Hope you have a great week!