Thursday, December 29, 2011

They sure do know how to tempt me...

For Christmas, my sister, as one of her gifts, bought me this book.
I read it in a day.  It was great.  It was radical.  It was what I've always wanted to do, but don't know if it would really fly in this part of the country.

This woman, very much like a Pioneer Woman kinda story, was a "city girl."  Manhattan to be precise.  She went on a interview to talk to a young farmer.  They fell in love, they started a farm, they did everything themselves with horse labor instead of tractors.  They started a CSA and sold shares to people who got produce and meat and eggs and milk in return.

Whew.  I'm tired just thinking about it.  It was a great book.

I've read books like this before, in fact, I'm reading another one from the library right now, but the one thing all these books have in common for me, is it makes me want to be self sufficient with my garden, our animals, etc.  It brings out that deep-seeded desire within me.

Low and behold, guess what ended up in my mailbox the day after I read this book cover to cover...
Those seed companies really know what they're doing.
The glossy pictures.  The pictures of fruit looking like it's ready to burst with juiciness, the flowers at their peak...
They TOTALLY know what they're doing.
If you'll notice in the picture, I have A LOT of tabs at the top of the catalog, marking things I'd like to purchase for my own garden.

I really don't know why I bother.  I haven't been very successful at starting plants from seed.  I can't quite get the transferring part out to the garden down quite right.
But just look at the pictures!
Crazy beautiful.
So, that's what happens to me every year at this time.  In fact, I've gotten two more seed catalogs in the mail in the last several days.
Cover to cover man.  I'm tellin' ya, I can't help myself.
Next job, mapping out the garden for this year. ( If you change placement of plants each year, pests don't seem to follow as much.)
And we're starting a whole new patch, separate from the garden, for our sweet corn this year, so that's more garden space for me to plant.
Now I'm getting itchy for spring and winter hasn't even really showed itself yet!
Oh well...that just gives me months to plan!
Hope you all have a very Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Time 2011

We just finished up a 3 day round of uninterrupted time with family.  It was fun, and a little exhausting...I'm not gonna lie.

My sister and her family were here from South Carolina, and we spent 2 days getting caught up again, playing games, opening presents, having rounds and rounds of Wii games, and eating...oh my, the eating...  things like that should be outlawed.

 On Christmas Eve, since there was NO SNOW in Goshen, IN, (which to be honest, was rather disappointing),  we played kickball outside.  Really.  We played kickball in 40 degree weather, and wished we would've had a video camera to catch all the hilarious moments of falling, sliding, and falling to our knees in peals of laughter.  It was a great time, and we hopefully worked off most of our lunch.

 After that, we came in to play more Wii and learn a new game...MAFIA.  The object of the squash the progress of the two members of the Mafia killing off all the townspeople, and if they are so brave...even the local law enforcement.  We learned my youngest nephew would rather play other things, so he volunteered to be killed off the first round, and I was shocked to discover my own son is a stone-cold killer!  When defending the accusations against him, his face revealed nothing.  Amazing.

At the end of the weekend, the kids lined up in front of Grandma's Christmas tree for the annual picture.  Crazy how they've all grown so much!

 Christmas Day proved to be just as exhausting since we hosted Brent's family at our own house.  Once again, food ruled, and our kid's new joint present (Wii) was the center of entertainment with cousins.

Today we're using to recuperate before the hard work begins again in earnest tomorrow.

I sincerely hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and spent plenty of time with Family!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Unique ideas for displaying pictures

Do you take pictures?  Do you take too many pictures?

I do.  But that's ok.  I love to take pictures of my kids, my house, my garden, our pets, etc.
As evidenced here and in the labels on the sidebar.

Sometimes I don't know what to do with all of them.
I do scrapbook, though.  I also frame A LOT of them.
However, I like to be a little "unique" with my framing...
For example...All the old windows I have throughout the house have pictures in them.
Brent has brought home windows from job sites, and I've found some at garage sales and one of my favorite consignment shops.

I just use clear adhesive dots on the pictures, and hang them on the back of the glass.  They are easily changed out and removed, and no damage is done to the picture.
I've even went as far as using an old door my friend found along the road for me.
When the kids were small, I saw this idea in some magazine and tried it out myself.
Memory jars.  When we went to Florida for my sister-in-law's wedding, the kids were very small and we went to the beach everyday.   I brought home some sand and shells and added a picture and placed it all in a jar.
When Brent was kind enough to bring me home some old windows from a job site, I turned one into a "bulletin board" for all of Grace's pictures of her friends, posters, etc.
you can find the project here
I just gave her a jar of little clothespins (from the craft aisle at Walmart) to hang up her favorite things with.
Then I found this idea and realized that I would also like to try it.  I have a ton of mason jars in clear and aqua.
I also want to try this.  It sounds very inexpensive to make.
What do you do with all your photos?  Write back and share with me, and give me some NEW ideas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm sorry

I'm sorry.  My content hasn't been the greatest lately.

I've been struggling with what to write, dealing with the new van issues on what we thought was a bad deal, but which has now been fixed, and all the Christmas last minute stuff which you all are dealing with as well.  I'm trying to get through the last couple weeks of school with the kids acting like crazy circus animals cause they are just as ready to get out as we are.
The kids did allow me, one day on the way to the library after school, to stop at the local apple orchard and take their picture for our Christmas cards.
This place has the best old truck sitting outside.  I've used it for pictures when the kids pick their pumpkins, as a back drop for their yearly pictures when they were little, and now for this.  It's a GREAT truck.

They weren't crazy about the scarves.  Oh's Christmas, it's cold, WEAR THEM!
I think they turned out pretty well.  They've already been sent out.  At least that is done.
So, today, I'll be following my "LAST MINUTE CRAZY LIST" to the "T".  I'll be finishing up the gifts I make for all the kindergartners every year.  I'll finish up my mom's gift, and write the "family" story that we need to write for the family Christmas we have tomorrow.  I'll make my layered jello salad, and get my freezer corn ready to eat.  I'll pick up Grace from a sleepover, take Evan to a birthday party, and take all the stuff back to the Library.  I'll probably have to do several loads of laundry, and get supper ready to.

I'm eagerly anticipating the fact that there are only 3 more days left of school this week before break.  And I have high hopes for Christmas break that I will get many more things accomplished.

My last wish, though, before Christmas, that we at least get SOME snow.  It feels more like Christmas that way.  Up until yesterday, our temps soared back up to the mid 50's and we were getting rain every day.  It's December, it probably should feel like it.

So, I'll stop complaining and listing all that I have to do.
Have a happy Saturday.  I know I will.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A list...of course

Since I'm so good at lists.  Really.  I can't get enough.  I'm listing some things that I either HAVE, WANT, or just plain think are REALLY COOL.

1.  Shiny Brite ornaments.
I have found ALL my shiny brite ornaments at Goodwill over the years.  Just picked up some more for $1/box the other day.  I don't know why I like them. They look vintage, they are shiny, what more can a girl want?

2.  Pyrex dip bowl.

Another vintage find.  I don't have it, but think it's the best looking thing since sliced bread.  I have several Pyrex products since warming things up in the microwave is MUCH BETTER for you in a glass container instead of a plastic one.  I make dips quite a bit, and this would be great for parties!  PLUS, I LOVE aqua.

3.  Ruffled throw for the bed...or a ruffled comforter.


I love this.  I could make it, although it looks like it would take HOURS.  My husband, however, I don't know if he could get over sleeping under all those ruffles.  That might put him over the edge.
4.  Lace socks.
Who knew?  I've never seen anything like this before...and I found them on Pinterest, pinned by one of my followers.  Adorable. 

5.  Coach purse.
I have always WANTED a Coach purse, just could never afford the price tag, and don't have it in me to save enough for one.  They are very pretty to look at though...and fawn over from afar!

6.  Hunter boot socks (Wellie socks).
These can be bought at,,, etc.  They would be great for keeping your feet extra warm in your boots.  They come in all materials. 

And lastly,
7.  The perfect "shabby" dresser.
Better Homes and Gardens put this under their website as a "functional entry" piece.  Take a dresser, cut the legs off, add a cushions, and Wam-O, Presto, a great bench for your entry with storage.  I need to find a dresser like this!

So, that's my list for today.  See anything you like?

Monday, December 12, 2011

When God laughs

You would think after 37 years I'd be able to figure out that I'm not in control...God is. 

I'm sure he finds it funny that I think I can "take over" things out of my control.  Brent also gets a laugh out of it too.

You see, this weekend was kind of a hum-dinger.
Friday night we went to buy a "new" van.  It's new for us (only 6 years old) compared to the 11 year old one we've been driving around.

We signed the papers and left the lot, and not a couple hours after that, it stalled on us twice.

So after many hours of my stomach churning, and a tension headache developing because of it and all the bad scenarios I could think of running through my head...we decided to take the van back and talk to the dealer about what we could do.

Saturday morning we head over there, me and the kids following in our old van.
The new van stalled out even while Brent was driving it over.

The dealer was very apologetic and told us, to keep his good name, he would take our van to his mechanic on Monday, and we would go from there as to what would happen next. 

We had a good day on Saturday running errands with Brent, having lunch out, and finishing it off by heading to the library.

I tried not to think of what could be wrong with the van, or if the deal will just be bad, or what.  I think I heard God chuckle once or twice.

On the way to church Sunday morning in our old van, we were about 3/4 of the way there when I actually said, "I'm really glad we at least have this van as our backup."  Not more than 5 minutes later, we heard a loud bang, and smelled something hot.  The pinging we'd been hearing for awhile and knew we needed fixed before we sold this van, finally gave out.
We got to church, found a belt in the engine in a bad way, talked to my brother-in-law (who also happens to be our mechanic) and found out we could drive home, but that was it.  He's coming over tonight to help Brent fix the problem so we can at least drive the old van until we find out what is wrong with the new one.
I'm pretty sure there is a country song out there that states if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans...or your greatest fears it seems. 
Why am I stressing?  There is nothing that I can do about any of this. 
I'm waiting for the call from the mechanic. 
Please help me pray it's an easy fix, or that we can get out of the deal and start over completely. 
Hope your week is NOTHING like our weekend was.
The end.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Totally Awesome!

Ok, so I'm gonna date myself when I tell you this...

I'm a product of the seventies, which means I went through school in the eighties and early ninties.

I'm ok with that.  In fact, it catches up with me quite often.

One of Brent's and my favorite movies is The Wedding Singer.
Adam Sandler and his cast of characters totally ROCK all the 80's glam, and songs.  It literally CRACKS US UP through the whole movie.  Our kids DO NOT get it.

So, that being said, lately, it seems like 80's references keep creeping up in my life.  Because of that, I thought I'd share some of my favorite memories, and some of my favorite things I possessed back then.

When I recently saw these on Pinterest I couldn't help but crack up.
I had these very dolls.  Played with them in the bathtub for what seemed like HOURS in my childhood.
Their hair flowed like the breeze through the water.  Absolutely FANTASTIC for a little girl.

I also had these as a fashion statement.  The person on Pinterest who pinned these made the comment that they were the CROCS of the 80's.  Oh yeah, baby.  They were.
Jellies.  You could go in the sand or water, and it just spilled out the holes in the sides.  Wonderful!
When I got older, I specifically remember going with my parents to the store and buying this very game.
The store was called Farm and Fleet.  Whoever would've thought they would have something this cool?  My sister and I played this all the time.  My parents still have it!

Since I was so into fashion, when I got this I rearranged Barbie's outfits so many times, she could've supplied the city of Paris with her wardrobe.
Since Boom boxes are a thing of the VERY DISTANT past, I'll show you the one I had as a teenager.  It corresponded wonderfully with my peach and turquoise bedroom decor.
I spent many hours taping my favorite songs off the radio, and making sure my sister wasn't making too much noise in the background...because then IT WOULD BE ON THE TAPE!

And lastly, high school.  Ah, high school.  I don't know how my friends and I ever heard of this game, but we soiled many a notebook page playing it.
Funny how it ALWAYS landed on my favorite guy, career, city, etc.

Swatch watches were SO important fashion-wise...
and I can't remember if I had an ACTUAL Swatch, but I totally had the jelly protector that went across it.
Boy, do I ever feel OLD right now.  That trip through memory lane tired me out.  Now, if I can just find a Madonna song on the radio on the way home...

What era did you grow up in, and what are your memories?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Card Organizer

Many years ago when my kids were little, and I was heavily into Martha Stewart magazines (I still am...just don't get the subscription anymore) I made one of these Christmas card organizers.

I have no idea what happened to it over the 3 moves since then, but I figured it was time for another.

This summer I picked up a sewing/cross stitch/quilting loop at Goodwill with high hopes of putting material in it and hanging it on the wall....but it hasn't happened yet, so I thought it was time to use it for something else.
I got out some wooden clothespins too.

First, before you hot glue any one, place them around the circle (or in this case...oval...) to make sure of the placement.  I alternated the way the pins were going so all my cards weren't on top of each other.
Then hot glue in place, but NOT on the hinge.
I thought it was a little plain, so I added some material roses and some old scrabble tiles I had.

I put some green ribbon on the top, and just tied it around a nail, topped with one of my old vintage doorknobs.
Finished product...
Ready and waiting for more Christmas cards.  One down, many to go!