Thursday, November 29, 2012

Do you remember where you were?

Do you remember where you were the first time you heard one of your favorite books?

I do.

I totally do.

I had a 3rd grade teacher, who everyday after we came in from lunch recess would perch herself upon her tall stool at the front of the class, and read to us.

Sometimes, when it wasn't a book I particularly liked, it seemed to take HOURS for her to get through it.  Sometimes, when it was a GREAT book, suddenly she couldn't be up on that stool long enough.

One of the books she read to us was James and the Giant Peach.
 The characters were creepily attractive, and the story was amazing.  I tried to read it to my kids years and years, and years after I first heard it, but they weren't as intrigued as I was.

My teacher also read Charlotte's Web to us.  I wanted to be IN the book.  I wanted the pet pig Wilbur as my own.
My third grade teacher taught me to LOVE reading, and I also got a good healthy dose, through heredity, from my dad as well.

I grew up loving (and still do), The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
I recommend it to ALL the kids I've ever known.  It's such a great story.

As a teenager I read Gone with the Wind once...
and then read it 8 more times after that!

When I was learning more about planting and eating more healthy with my family, I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and wanted to do exactly as she and her family did for a year of eating only what they had grown and stored away themselves.
I found the author Sarah Addison Allen, and read all her books in  a matter of months, but fell the hardest in love with the Peach Keeper.

Books can take us away to someplace we've never been before, or someplace we've always dreamed of visiting.  They can grab you suspensefully or turn you off completely.
I cannot imagine NOT loving to read.  It's very relaxing to me, and I wish my kids shared my love of it more than they do.

I came across this title maybe on Amazon in the last couple of weeks, and I'd love to read it.
Has anyone read it?

Tell me... do you remember where you were the first time you heard a book you'll never forget?  Are you a reader?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Homemade? Or Store bought?

It's always a dilemma for me when it comes to Christmas cards.

Do I make my own, or order online, or buy a box at the store?

For the last 4 years, I've made my own, save for one lapse.  Just one.

I don't pride myself on the fact that I make "homemade" cards, it's just something I like to do...IF I have the time.  That is a big IF.

Back in 2008, I made my first one.

(disclaimer...horrible camera phone picture...the original is a sepia tone picture, mounted on a card with festive scrapbook paper and the  title:  Shepherds watched their flocks by night.

Because we have our own sheep, the title suited us!

The next year, I tried something different.
I made individual tags, covered with scrapbook paper, and with a stamped message on the back.  I put each one into a small bag made out of part of a lunch sack.  Rudy posed perfectly!

In 2010, I entered a contest through my very new blog, that won me 50 free Christmas cards from  It was AWESOME.  I LOVED the cards.

In 2011, I tried homemade again, and got kinda fancy with my Cricut machine.
Each one was unique, color-wise.    They were alot of work!

This year...I'm up in the air.  I've yet to take a picture of the kids, and wonder when I'll even have the time to get one of them together!  Not to mention how lately they don't like their picture to even be taken.

BUT, I was surfing on Pinterest the other day, looking for card ideas.  I found several, and I like something from each of ideas are forming in my mind as I write this.

If you're weighing the options...what would you do?  What should I do?
You're thoughts are much appreciated!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

It took me all day to re coop from our Thanksgiving festivities and Black Friday madness.

We had a great time going to my aunt's house and eating till our sides hurt.

My cousins and family are great.  The older we get, the more we seem to have in common, even though I am the oldest cousin by 6 years.  (my youngest cousin and I have 17 years between us.)

Once our food settled somewhat, we headed for home, and the kids and I went right to bed.  (It was 4:30pm)

We had a BIG night planned.

I wasn't sure if I was on board or not, but we forged ahead.

At 8:30 pm, the kids and I headed out to Target for their 9pm Black Friday opening.

It was C-A-R-AZY!!!  The line started about 5 stores away from the front of Target.

But it moved VERY FAST.  Once you got inside, you had to file single file through the aisles.  It was total and complete MADNESS.  I had one thing for Brent in mind, and I got it, with only a few to spare.  WHEW!

This was Evan's first time going with us.
I was a little unsure of how that would go.  He's my sleeper, and when he falls, he falls HARD.  I didn't know if he could make it all night.

Once we were done at Target, I got a text from two of my cousins who were a couple stores away.  They wanted to know if we could all ride over to the mall (45 min away) for the next jaunt.  This wasn't planned, but we met up, and went together, and had a blast!

We stayed out till 4:30am, with a stop at Steak and Shake on the way home for "Happy Hour" from 2-4am.  1/2 price milkshakes...Evan was in heaven! 

There was one point in the night when we were in line at a store for 1 hour, when it looked like Evan was gonna hit the floor, but he rebounded well, and made it through the rest of the night.

The kids and I made it home about 5:30 am, and went straight to bed, only to sleep till about 11am.

It was a good time (I think), and we made some good memories. 

'Course today was set aside for Christmas decorating.

We started by turning on our FAVORITE movie ever.

ELF.  Classic, and hilarious!

The village got set up,  (My own PUTZ glitter village that I made myself out of wooden bird houses, scrapbook paper, and glitter.  LOTS of glitter...) with plenty of snow and  trees.
Grace set up the tree with "flair."
and Oreo staked out her spot for the whole Christmas season. (She loves the tree skirt.)
There were shiny brites...
and flocked trees galore.

It was a good relaxing day. 

As for Black Friday next year...well...we'll see.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

So what era again?

My dad always says he was born in the wrong era.

He would've made a good frontiersman.  Hunting his meals, making friends with the Indians, living with Daniel Boone.

Myself.  I'm not sure.  It used to be I was very intrigued by the 1940's.  I'm still interested in that time, but...

Then, I watched this movie.

A little cheesy, but really good.

It's all situated in Greece.  A place I've always dreamed of going to.  (Oh, and it's a romantic comedy.)

I mean, come on, it's beautiful.  Greece that is.
White buildings, aqua-colored water.  Beautiful.

I could see myself walking through the Parthenon or the Temple of Athena.

I have always loved architecture.

Would my era have been when those temples were being built?

I'm not sure.

But after watching the movie again, I WANT to go there.

What is your era or favorite place to go?

Friday, November 16, 2012

What constitutes a day?

Is it a day at work?

A trip to the grocery store?

Hearing terrible news about an old friend?

How about picking up supper?

How about all of the above?

My day started like this...

a little frosty.  But what should I expect?  It's November after all.

I went to work, went on an impromptu lunch with co-workers...and then heard terrible news about a childhood friend who had died of Lymphoma.  He was 36.
After work I made a trip to the craft store, then to get groceries...

and decided I was too tired to go home and make supper, so stopped at the kid's favorite place on the way home.

Only to come home and see my daughter putting cutie mandarin orange stickers all over herself.

She's 12.  13 in a month and a half.  Seriously.

She cracks herself up most of the time.

But now, it's time to relax.  It's been a stressful week, and I'm leaving the laundry for tomorrow.  And the dishes, and the pancake making for the freezer.  My to do list will have to wait. 

I'm reading, and so what if someone asks me to do something. 

What are you doing on a Friday night?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Rant...for the sake of ranting...

I don't rant much on this blog.

At least I try not to.

Sure, you know when my life is crazy, and you know when I'm having a hard time finding a weekly menu to make, but maybe you don't know what is REALLY going on in my head.

I have had a fear that if I really tell it like it is, I might scare my readers away, and I don't want that to happen.

Unless they WANT to know what is really in my heart of hearts.

Like for instance how stressed I have been this whole last year.

Over money.

My husband and I both have jobs, we have a warm home to come to each and everyday, and we have food on the table, and we are all healthy.  We pay for things with cash, and do NOT have anything extravagant in our lives.

However, we are strapped like we haven't been for years.

It started when the economy tanked under Obama 4 years ago and has never recovered.

When that happened, Brent's salary took a nosedive.  But finding a new, higher paying job, with a sense of job security around Northern Indiana right now, is like finding a needle in a haystack, so he has stayed.  He's been at this job for 15 years now.  He SHOULD be having a pay raise instead of a pay cut.

Occasionally he drives milk truck on the weekends if we are needing the money, and I started my ETSY shop, (because it's always been my hearts desire to sell crafts...)but also because we needed another source of income, albeit, infrequently.

We are not hurting.  We have a warm home, and we have food on the table.

I have to remind myself of this over and over, and over again.  God has ALWAYS provided us with what we needed EXACTLY when we needed it.  He has, but not without a few tears shed along the way.  (Mostly by me.)

I have to remind myself of all the things I am blessed with all the time.

Especially when I see the people who go to school with my children everyday, whose parents are not working, who are living on Government welfare, and who are getting free lunches, but who have IPODs and Laptops, and flat screen TV's in their homes.  I have to bite my tongue when my children ask why these kids have these items and we do not.

It angers me more than anything else.  Obama angers me more than anyone else because he's allowing so many people to have free hand outs, while the rest of us are struggling to survive with no governmental help.

Gas prices and food prices, and feed prices for our animals keep rising, but our paychecks keep getting smaller.

Our Country is in need of so much help, and so much prayer.

This is NOT something I talk about...EVER, but my body is suffering this year with all the stress of wondering where in the world the money to cover certain things is going to come from.

Brent reminded the kids on election day that even though Obama won again, doesn't mean we shouldn't pray for our leader.  That's the only way we might crawl up out of the hole he's put us in.

After all that's been said...I'll stop.  I'm done.  I feel a little better.  I'll not mention this again.
I'm sorry if I have offended anyone.  That was not my intention at all.  It's just what we've been dealing with for what seems like a very long time.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Christmas Preview

I started my day at 1:30am this morning.  Not because I wanted to, but because I couldn't go back to sleep.

I wasn't supposed to get up till 4am. 

Today was our annual church bazaar, and I was the chair this year, and at 1:30 in the morning, I had a gazillion things running through my mind that I had to finish once I got to the church at 6am.

It's a lot of work.

More than you'd think it would be.

But I have good, no, great help with committee heads under me.

We have about 70 crafters/vendors come and display their wares for all to see.

I got some ideas,

talked to people I haven't seen since last year's bazaar,...and just all around had a BUSY day.

This is a money maker for our church, and we usually bring in close to $9000.00.  We have a full kitchen, homemade donuts being made all morning, a bake sale, craft sale, and then all the vendors who pay to have booths.

It takes a lot of people to make it run smoothly.

I'm going to be honest and say that I'm super glad it's done till next year.

We have a wrap up meeting in a week, and it's over till next May.

Whew.  We did it.  Again.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Where in the world do the days go?

My weeks fly by faster than ever lately.

Can you believe we are in November?

It seems like we were just finishing up the grueling fair week in July!

I guess I can attribute the fastness to our crazy schedule and the love of my job.

I haven't always been able to say that, about my job at least, but this new one... just combines all that I love together into one. (I know you're tired of hearing about how I love my I'll stop...for now.)

I thought I would sum up my Insta form.

I usually have all the coffee I need before work, but today I needed some more once I got there.
It could be attributed to the fact that Brent and I went to sleep before the election results were in, but he woke up around midnight, went to the living room, checked, and came back to announce who won.  (By the way, I don't know the political views of my viewers...but we were both sick to our stomachs at the outcome.)  It could also be that since we changed our clocks back this past weekend, I'm still thinking it's time to get up an hour before it really is.

At lunch I headed to the park to read my book
and chill out for a little while.

This site greeted me.  They are tearing down the pavilion at the park close to my work because vandals keep ruining it.  This last time, they set it on fire.
After work, I'm headed home for about 1/2 hour before I have to pick up Ev at basketball practice.
It's the season to live in the car again.
But, it's nice to be home
and greeted by Rudy EVERYTIME.
Tomorrow both kids have games at the same time, at two different schools.  Yippee.  Looks like that's how the season is panning out.

Oh well, I guess that's why there is two of us!

Tonight I'm working on some Christmas crafts.  What about you?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dont' talk the talk if you can't walk the walk

I may have mentioned the other day (I can no longer decipher one from the next...) that I was planning on making more things for my Etsy shop.

Yeah, that was before all the CRAZY began.

BUT, since I was feeling more relaxed since we're on fall break, and since my customers have been SO GOOD to me with all that they have ordered...I decided I really wanted to devote my time making things today to add to the store (along with laundry, meal preparation, and taking Grace's friend home.)

I was talking the talk, and walking the walk...just a few days later.

I am SO EXCITED to share the things that popped into my head in the last several days.

Unique crafts that make me feel like I can make more.

Like these two canvases that morphed into something totally different than what they started as...

I originally thought I would paint the canvas in a chevron pattern, and then affix the wooden word in the middle.  White that WAS a good idea, the chevron painting didn't turn out as planned, hence the change, which I think I like even better!

Since I also have such a love of maps/globes/atlas', I wanted to make some things out of the vintage 1986 World Atlas book I found at a garage sale years ago.

I started with some bunting with really cool ribbon...

and ended up with some gift tags made from the same book.

Then I got out my small collection of Little Golden Books, and made some more bunting with a vintage airplane children's book.

I LOVE the outcome, finished off with some rust colored rick rack.

I'm trying hard to keep the prices of items in my shop reasonable, and they are selling pretty well.  Some things I make take more time than others, so I'm figuring that out as I go.

THANK YOU AGAIN for perusing my shop and buying what you have!  Please come back again!