Tuesday, August 30, 2011

For the Love and Exasperation of a Man

Let me just state a disclaimer here before I even start this post...Brent and I are not a perfect couple. We have our ups and downs just like everyone. We have good days, and bad days, and days we don't want to repeat. We can rage at each other, and laugh uncontrollably in the very next moment (like in church this past Sunday...totally inappropriate, but it can't be helped...)

Since he can't quit harping on the fact that he's not a "fixture" on this blog, I just want to say, "Honey, this one's for you..."

In honor of our almost 14 year anniversary (Sept. 20), I thought I'd do what I do best...make a list.

This here is the good and not so good about my crazy hubby.

1. I love him greatly, but being married to him is exhausting. (Let me explain something so you understand. He came into the marriage with the belief I would do everything like his mom did. His unmentionables, shirts, and socks were folded a "certain" way. Unfortunately, they still are. I couldn't sway him from this. I've gotten used to it. ALSO, he loves to joke that a "fairy" travels around our house putting away his clothes, refilling the pitcher in the fridge, making supper, etc. THERE IS NO FAIRY at our house. It's not funny. Hence, the exhausting part...)

2. He can fix pretty much anything. I grew up with a father who could fix anything, and I was very spoiled. There have only been a number of things we've had to hire out. It's a great blessing.

3. He is funny and makes me laugh.

4. He thinks "take down" wrestling is a family sport. The kids dig it, but mom does not. (He actually waited in a dark bathroom this morning to scare me and wrestle me to the bed before I left for work. He of course thought this was HILARIOUS!)

5. He is extremely attractive to me in a Pioneer Woman loves Marlboro Man kinda way when he's wearing outdoor work clothes. (DO NOT ask me to explain this... I don't even know how.) I'm being honest here.

6. He wants to be the center of attention and this blog all the time. Come on.

7. He accepts me for who I am, but loves to tease me.

8. Faithful.

9. Hard worker.

10. Needs to work on his gift giving a little more than he does. Now, I'm not talking about surprising me with random gifts or anything...this is just about birthday, Christmas, and anniversary maybe. (Instead of getting better after 14 years of marriage, unfortunately it's gotten worse. ) Do I really need to make a list for this too? (exasperated sigh.)

11. Loves our children unconditionally.

12. Thinks it would be fun if we were a team on the Amazing Race TV show. (It would be fun, but we'd probably kill each other. There would also be a lot of yelling.)

I know we don't have the greatest love story in the world, but it works for us. I'll keep him, but I'd sure like to throw his John Deere display tractors to the curb!

I guess what I'm saying is, don't take your loved ones for granted. Good or bad, they love you too.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I am NOT a procrastinator.


But sometimes I think I really am.

You see, I was commissioned by one of the Kindergarten teachers last week to make her a clipboard. She would provide me with the clipboard and I would "bling" it up like I do, and have done for others in the past.

So, Friday she brought me her clipboard.

I just finished it tonight. Because I just started on it today.

Pathetic, I know.

I don't know what my problem is lately. I make all these to-do lists (and mine this weekend was pretty long), and then it's like the stress of the situation makes me wait until the last minute and then I do my best work.

Demented. Sure. Crazy. Absolutely.

So, after Grace's Jr. MYF fundraiser meal at church today, we arrived back home around 2pm and I got to work.

I had lunches to help pack, laundry to finish, thank you cards to write for 4-h pigs that were purchased, PTO minutes to complete and email out, and a clipboard to finish.

This was my starting point.

(disclaimer...this is NOT the clipboard I started with. I forgot to take a "before" picture, but this is a clipboard just like it.) Just so you know.

I had a pile of necessities on my craft table.

Piles of ribbon...

and a pink color scheme in mind. (she likes pink.)

Here is a little before the "bling".

This is the back.

And the front, all mod podged up and ready to be used.

Hope she likes it. I always get a little giddy while making them, and want to just make a ton, but I have to restrain myself. Not everyone likes what I like, so I usually ask for preferences before I start.

Now, I'm off to my bedroom (currently the quietest room in the house) to watch a little TV, make a menu list for this week, and read my current purchase.

I'm pretty darn excited. (About the magazine that is.)

But before that, I'm linking up to these three ladies. Come see.

iheartnaptime (who doesn't?)


and creatingreallyawesomefreethings

Thursday, August 25, 2011

So far this week...and it's not over yet...

In tribute to one of my all time favorite bloggy sistas who has a totally swanky wardrobe, adorable kiddos, and a house to die for...this one is for you. Her latest post...It's only Thursday, cracked me up. Flowerpatchfarmgirl, this one is for you! As well as for Truth Thursday, which I haven't done in ages...

So far this week...

1. I reminded my children to brush their teeth 8 times. How much longer must this go on?

2. Twice I fell asleep while reading my book before bed. (My days are EXHAUSTING!)

3. Ripped out all but 3 of my tomato plants because I am SO SICK of red tomatoes staring me down from the kitchen counter. I get it, you can't can yourselves...

4. Found out 6th grade volleyball practice starts tomorrow. 9 days into school, and it begins...

5. Found myself laughing out loud too many times to count.

6. Felt like a rock star today when one of the Kindergarten classes I help saw me in the hall and yelled, "Look who it is! (pointing at me.)

7. Decided the motto Keep Calm and Carry On really does apply to motherhood or dealing with Kindergartners, or even husbands for that matter.

8. Came to the realization brown and gray, as painfully drab as they are, really are the colors that look the best on me. (does this mean I'm drab too?)

9. Noticed that I really could, and do often get sucked into other people's blogs, pinterest.com, and etsy. I could easily lose WHOLE hours doing it.

Admitted to myself...just the other day, while constructing a car out of posterboard, I CAN use my graphic design background to help with crafts at school.

That was my week in a nutshell. It's not for everyone, but it'll do!

Monday, August 22, 2011

What's for dinner...

My husband told me the other day that my blog wasn't very exciting anymore.

You see, he doesn't find the craft tutorials or all the talk about decorating exciting.

He wants more talk about him, and more "Truth Thursdays" so he can make fun of all my confessions.

Well, it isn't gonna happen. There will be no talk about tractors, or the Detroit Tigers or even the Michigan Wolverines.

We care nothing about those kinda things on this little 'ol blog.

Instead, we're doing dinner and THREE books! You see, I've been reading like a fiend lately, and I wanted to share them.

I just finished 2 great, very different books, and I'm already onto a third.

The first, The Help,

was given to me two Christmases ago, and I just now got around to reading it. It made me wanna go see the movie, AND meet the main characters, AND go take a drive down South. I would recommend it to anyone. It contained plenty of drama, and emotion, and shocking racial situations. I couldn't believe this is some of what really happened back then.

The second, Still Alice,

is my book club read for the month. My good friend Carmen picked it. It's all about a woman who is a Harvard Professor, very smart and gifted, and totally shocked when she's diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease in her 50's. It's heart wrenching and funny, and an incredibly fast read. I loved it.
The third, Cold Vengeance,

I just started. My dad passed it on, and knew I'd like it because it's written by some of our favorite authors. It contains a main character, FBI Special Agent Pendergast, who is a returning fixture in all these author's books. So far, it's suspenseful and interesting, and I'm only on page 51. I would recommend any books by these authors.

As for dinner, this week is far less hectic than last week was. We don't have something EVERY SINGLE night. Here's what we'll be eating...

Monday - (PTO meeting after school) - crockpot ranch beef, homemade coleslaw, corn, biscuits.

Tuesday - crockpot taco soup, grilled cheese, tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, peaches

Wednesday - (Jr. MYF meeting for Grace) - leftovers, hot ham and cheese

Thursday - Chili's copy-cat monterey chicken, green beans, homemade applesauce, roasted sweet potato fries

Friday - (home football game) - homemade pizza, grapes, cottage cheese

Saturday - chicken quesadillas, layered jello salad, grapes

Sunday - (Jr. MYF fundraiser meal at church, Grace serves) I need to take a large salad and dessert

Monday - ravioli, copy-cat Olive Garden breadsticks, green beans, salad

Tuesday - pork fried rice with peas, carrots, and eggs, pork eggrolls

Wednesday - breakfast

Simple and easy this week. That's how I like it. If you need any recipes, let me know. And get reading!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Design Time

The first week back to school has been chaotic to say the least, and even the nights have been busy.

Doesn't lend itself to any free time for decorating, or rearranging, or even feeling creative.

However, I was talking to my friend Amy last night. Her and her husband are building a new house. (Lucky ducks.) Anyway, she was talking about decorating her kitchen. My inner creative self started doing somersaults.

You see, this is all I had time for this week at my own house.

I finally hung up the scrolly (made up word?) bracket I got at the antique mall back in... March! Its new home is by the kitchen window.

I did, however, find some things on potterybarn.com that if I were to be the one building a new house, I would love to use somewhere.

First...these colors are great. All are Benjamin Moore, and all would go well pretty much anywhere...

Stonington Gray.

Chalkboard paint that is all the rage now.

Bennington Gray. (yeah, I said gray, looks tan to me.)

And finally, Providence Olive.

I would also add this accessory to my kitchen. Cause I DIG coffee!

These would be on my drawers because I'm a little overly anal in my organization.
This would hang in my entryway.
And instead of using this in the bathroom like it was intended...I would use it for bedside tables with books underneath.

I know there are 100's more possibilities out there...but with my time constraints this week, this is as good as it gets.

Anyone wanna come over and do my endless loads of laundry or cook my meals so I could just surf the internet for design ideas all day?

Didn't think so...

Have a great weekend anyway!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Comedy of Errors...aka...Disaster from the Get-Go

Last night we went over to our friend's house for a cookout and swimming, and basically a last HURRAH before school started today.

We had a great time! (Thanks guys!) And we got home a little late. One hour later than school time bedtime as a matter of fact. Not a great start to the school year...but we knew the kids would probably sleep hard with all the swimming they did.

We came home and the kids immediately went to bed, with promises from them that there would be no talking, and they would get right to sleep.

I packed our lunches, set my alarm, and went to bed. I had planned on canning pizza sauce, but decided I didn't want to be up till midnight the night before school started.

Fast forward to today.

I woke up, not with my alarm (found out later the alarm was set right, but the clock was set wrong...) but by my internal clock.....ONE HOUR BEFORE I HAD TO LEAVE FOR SCHOOL!

To say I freaked out is an understatement.

"Holy CRAP, get the kids out of bed!" I yelled to Brent, while I dashed to the bathroom for my 10 second shower.

I hurried as fast as I could (praise the Lord my children can get their own breakfast and dress themselves at this age!) and ate my breakfast and had my coffee while getting ready.

I kept having these hot flashes, and told Evan to get the extra fan from the bathroom upstairs...I was overheating, thinking the whole time, what is wrong with me, early menopause at age 37? Good grief!

We miraculously made it to school on time, but didn't have time for any extra things before we left. No first day of school picture in our regular place on the porch, no time for me to fill out school paperwork like I planned, no leisurely time to read my book over breakfast. I had a splitting headache, and the day had just begun.

Today was also the first day for the kindergartners to stay ALL DAY everyday for Kindergarten. THIS was a big change for many of them. They could barely last till lunch at 11:00am without breaking down for a snack. The wonderful teacher I work with whipped out extra slices of watermelon for everyone before morning recess.

After my 25 minute lunch (Oh, that's right, I have to claim 30 minutes on my time card each day, but really only get 20-25 minutes to eat. We'll not talk about that now...) I had to corral 44 kindergartners out on the playground by myself. Oh yeah. Thrill of my day.

It went ok, thankfully.

Oh, my headache was still raging by the way. Lasted the entire dang day.

Since there were no specials like Library, Gym, Art, or Computer today, there was no time to check email, or even sit down for a minute. My bladder was made of steel I believe.

At 2:50 I took the walkers and bus riders (did the kindergartners multiply since 8:00am?) down the hall to get on the bus. To say the first day getting on the bus is chaos is a little bit of an understatement. We got them where they needed to go, though, and I ran back to my room to finally check emails.

3:30 came quickly enough, and it was time to go home and start supper, mow, fill out that tedious school paperwork, pack lunches, can pizza sauce, OH, and write this little 'ol post.

I did take the kid's annual first day pictures....but it was at 5pm, and not 7am like we had originally planned.

Grace refused to hold up 6 fingers to display the year in school she is. Too cool I guess.

Bless Evan for stickin' with me!

I can't believe they are this old already. This is Grace's last year with me at school. Next year she moves over to the high school where the junior high is.

After today's theatrics, I'm just hoping for a calm day tomorrow.

I have checked and double checked the alarm.

5:30am will come way too soon!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fly by the seat of your pants

I'm a heavy reader. You'll find me doing it at different times of day, everyday.

I'm also a terrible morning person. However, each morning before school, I wake up 1/2 hour early so that I can read for a 1/2 hour while I'm eating my breakfast. No one is up but me.

It's nice. And quiet (which never happens in my house.)

And since school starts for us next Tuesday (cry, sob, carry on...) we needed to "stock our reading closet" before our schedule gets too crazy.

I wasn't planning on going to the library today. I needed to dust, and sweep, and make my hubby's birthday cake (birthday Sunday...supper at his mom and dad's tomorrow.) But something changed my mind....I think it was my funny dream last night.

This wonderful woman, mamamonki.blogspot.com, (who I've never met in person, but who I've "bonded" with for over a year now,) was in my dream. I don't know if any of you have read "The Help" yet (I have not, but it's a movie now), but in my dream, me and mamamonki were discussing it on some sidewalk located who knows where. We were talking about it and what place we were at, and we discovered we were reading at the same speed. Crazy, I know. Random. I know that too, but I just thought....LIBRARY.

I've taught my kids to love the library as much as I do. (Praise the Lord!) They like to go for the movies, and sometimes they get a great read...but I go for the armfuls of books.

We each have our own bags. One just isn't enough.

Evan gets the "army" bag, Grace the polka dots, and me, the plain gold and white.

We had a small selection to take back.
Plus this CD, which I recommend to anyone. GREAT music by great Christian artists.
So, we headed to the next town over and went our separate ways, each coming back together with an armful.
We have to pay a yearly fee for our library since we are not residents of that town, but there is no library in our town, so we make do. We visit once a week, which makes it worth it.

I will be one of the last people around with a book in her hand. I will not purchase a Kindle or e-reader, or Nook. Call me a dinosaur, but it's how I roll.

Now, it's time for me to go curl up with my stash.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sewing Fettish

I'm in love with my sewing machine. Really.

I got it way back at Christmas time, but I've used it a gazillion times since then. One of the best gifts I've ever gotten.

I'm also in love with Pinterest.com, which gives me plenty of ideas for me to sew.

So, awhile back I came across this pic (and now I can't find it, so I don't have a source for you...)

I loved this purse on the spot, and knew I could sew one myself. I already had the fabric in mind that I would use.

It was some I got at Goodwill awhile ago. I also had an old curtain to use for the lining.
I bought these belts at Goodwill for $1/piece (to use inside my handle to make it stronger.)
Because I couldn't find grommets big enough for what I had in mind, I found these in the curtain department at Hobby Lobby. They snap together. Perfect.

I started by cutting strips for the ruffles...
and sewing pockets (LOTS of pockets) onto the liner.
I figured the ruffles would take a little bit of time to make, but when I started hemming one side of the material, it started gathering all by itself. What a great surprise, and much easier in the long run.

Then I dropped the finished liner into the outside of the purse, which was already sewn together on the sides, and sewed the two together.
I added the grommets last because I had to make holes in the sides of the purse. They were pretty easy to install.
The ALMOST finished product.
Every purse needs a flower, so I added a pin I already had. Much better.

The easiest purse I've made so far....and I've made a lot. I just can't get one perfected...this is close. I'll use it and see how it works.

Linking up to DIY by Design today.