Thursday, December 29, 2011


My very sweet and wonderful husband bought me a new laptop for Christmas. This really was becoming more and more of a need each passing day.  My old computer took about five minutes, more or less, to boot up each day, and frequently did not want to turn off.  Using certain programs insured a lockup  (this would be my picture organizing and editing software that holds nearly 15,000 pictures).  Yep, you read that right!  I am one happy, snappy, camera toting mama!  Anyway, most of Monday and Tuesday was spent in computer lockdown while the old computer transferred all its files to the new computer.  I was so relieved I didn’t have to do each program by itself, the “old-fashioned way.”  Now all you have to do is connect both PCs to your home network and hit “Easy Transfer” and voila, it works all by itself!  Now, I was a little anxious when it took nearly 24 hours to transfer all 49 GB, afraid that one of the kids would touch it and disturb the transfer, causing us to have to start the whole process over again, but (big sigh of relief) it all worked out perfectly.  Now all I have to do is re-install some of my favorite programs – music writing, picture editing, and that kind of important stuff.

I am also trying to prepare myself for the possibility of a disaster – the chance that I might lose all my pictures.  It almost makes me cry just thinking about it!  So, I am also transferring all 15,000 pictures to my Snapfish account.  The best thing about Snapfish is not just their great photo sales, but the fact that they have unlimited online photo storage for free! I can definitely use that!  So, over the next few days, weeks, months, (as Eeyore says, “Who knows?”) I will be transferring all those memories, one MB at a time! Why did I take so many photos?!?!
A word to the wise, start uploading your photos  before you reach 15,000.  Depending on your internet speed, the time to transfer those important moments can be quite time consuming.  Right now, I am organizing all of mine by time segments (May 2010, June 2010, etc.).  That way, I will have a general idea of where to find certain events when I want a specific picture.  Don’t wait – the next crash could be around the corner! As much of a bother as it is to move pictures to online storage, it could save you a lot of tears later.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

Well, for those of you who have been downloading the freebies from My Memories, we have another new page kit – this time it is more in theme with little boys – blue and green.  I thought this one was particularly cute.
This is your last chance to get these, because due to the underwhelming lack of interest, I will no longer be offering the digital freebies…unless I hear from you otherwise. :)  They are cute, fun, and easy to use, but if you guys aren’t interested in them, I will find something more to our mutual liking! You can still get $10 off the My Memories Suite using the code STMMMS94566.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sit Back and Enjoy

Now that the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday is over, I plan to just sit back and enjoy myself and my family.  We had a lovely time together on Sunday – Church service in the morning, followed by a fellowship meal and then, after much waiting, came the time to open gifts.  My favorite part is watching everyone’s faces as they see the gifts for the first time.  I got so caught up in watching, that I really didn’t get many pictures.  I did get a few pictures before the chaos began, so it will not go totally undocumented!


Here is our happy clan.  We need to get a new family photo made, but one of our children has issues with group photos.  I won’t say which one, but he has to be threatened to smile in many instances. :)  We still attempt pictures, but half the time, his little face is scowling.  I just take the pictures anyway and laugh when I think about showing them to his girlfriends in 20 years or so…  I am  such an evil mother!


As we sat with the wreckage of our materialism surrounding us, I could not help but think how good, gracious, and generous our God is.  He has given us richly all things to enjoy – including those presents for which we scrimp and save.  He gave us His Son, the greatest gift ever given.  We make a habit of listening to Handel’s Messiah each year, and the phrase of Scripture, “the Gentiles shall come to Thy light”  seemed especially poignant to me this year.  In the Old Testament, the law and its type of salvation was given only to the Jews.  With the advent of Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection, the wall of partition has been broken down, and now, salvation – without the law – is available to not only the Jews, but the Gentiles, of which I am one.  Thank God for the gift of salvation!

Monday, December 26, 2011

First Week

Our first week in Mississippi has been a flurry of activity, running here and there, trying to get our bank accounts, drivers’ licenses, registrations and the like all done before the holidays.  After several trips back and forth from our storage unit, I think we have everything we need.  I cleaned all the summer clothes out of the kids’ room so that they could put all of their winter clothes in the drawers.  That was a chore that I am glad is done for a while.

The weather here is milder than in Indiana, but I know the summers are going to be killer.  The cashier at Kroger, upon learning that we had just moved from Indiana, said to me, “Oh, you’re going to hate it here!”  I hope she was just talking about the weather! :) We didn’t have a white Christmas this year (they only get snow about once a year, and not very much at that).

We are almost all settled in, and I think after another week, things will be back to normal.  That means back to school, too.  I have one more glorious week of freedom before school starts again!  Thankfully, I had the foresight to get my lesson plans done before we moved, so I will not have to do those this weekend!  I do have some catch-up to do on my grading – it seems like those papers just multiply while sitting in my dark desk drawer…

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This has been such a busy year for us, and I know you all have had a lot going on, too.  Just wanted you to know I did get my Christmas decorations up in the trailer – with just a few days to spare!  I guess they will stay up extra long this year to make up for the late start! :)  You can see a few boxes stacked in front of the couch, too, but hopefully, those will all be gone soon! 


I thank you for reading, keeping up with me, and all of your words of encouragement over the past year as I figure out this whole world of blogging! I pray that each one of you has a Christ-honoring Christmas, filled with the joy that only Jesus Christ can bring!  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Safely Home

Welcome to Mississippi – our new place of residence!  We had a long, but uneventful drive down from Indiana, for which I was grateful, since I had to drive the 26’ Penske truck full of our junk.  I am already planning my next garage sale, and I don’t even have a garage yet! :) 

There are sad things about moving – saying goodbye to all our friends and family in the Indiana area, leaving my beautiful house(whaaaa!), and boxing up a lot of my things to be put in storage until we purchase a new home.  however, there are a lot of positive things about moving as well – being a part of another great church, making new friends, and beginning a new ministry.

Thanks to so many people who helped us get our things packed and loaded on the truck.  It was no easy job, let me tell you, and I nearly had a meltdown while loading!  Thanks, Mom, Allen, Matt, Michelle, Kirsten, Ryan, Jeff, Gord, Brad, Pastor Jordan, Mrs. Kathy, and everyone else who offered their services.  We could not have done it without you!


Here are some of our weekend heroes!  They look a little tired about now, don’t they?  Please don’t look at all the stuff – I can’t believe how much we have accumulated in the past year and a half! 

We had our Christmas programs on Sunday.  Josiah did a great job in his part as Benjamin the shepherd – he worked so hard to get all of his lines!  The big scary-looking guy is Paul.  He grew his beard out for the part.  Thank goodness, it is gone! :)


I was thrilled with the job the children did.  An added blessing was that one of the little boys came forward after the service to be saved!  Thank the Lord for His blessing!


Here they all are – dressed in their finest!  I love the bow ties for the boys – really makes everything look sharp!  The girls, of course, were beautiful in their Christmas finery!  I wish you could have heard them sing!  What a blessing to be able to work with these kids, and with my friend and director, Julie (she worked at least as hard as they did).  I am already looking forward to hearing how next year’s program goes!

The adult choir performed John W. Peterson’s cantata, Love Transcending in the evening service.  It, too, was such a blessing.  I was privileged to be a part of this momentous event!  Thanks, choir members – you all did a tremendous job!

Monday morning, we packed the trailer up, stuffed the kids in the trucks, and hit the road, headed for Mississippi.  It was a nice day for travel – cool, with scattered showers, and clear roads.  Josiah rode with me, and took this very flattering picture of me driving the truck.  :)


Driving the truck was quite a workout for me, since I am so short.  The seat didn’t scoot up far enough for me to rest my heel on the floor to work the pedals, so a lot of the day, I just had to suspend my right leg by sheer muscle power to operate the gas pedal.  I was able to use the cruise control at times, which gave me some relief, but in the construction zones, or when there was heavy traffic, I had to drive the old-fashioned way!

Well, that’s enough catching up for now.  I hope to get back on the blog regularly, once my internet connection is established.  Thanks for your patience and most of all, your prayers.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

Well, by this time, we should be settling down in Mississippi – I am doing this post ahead of time, because I think that this week is going to be crazy!  I will update you all as soon as I get a chance to catch my breath from unloading all those boxes!  I will give you another freebie today from My Memories.

Download this page kit by clicking on the link below.

Don’t forget that you can get a great deal on the My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software by using the code STMMMS94566  to get $10 off and another $10 coupon for the online store!  These pages are a snap to use with the MMS software!  The possibilities are endless! 

Now, go enjoy your day, and be thankful you are not moving the week before Christmas! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Harried and Hurried

Ok - some of you may be wondering what happened to me, while others of you may be relieved not to have to read about my crazy life!  The truth is, I have hardly had time to brush my teeth, let alone sit down and blog the last few weeks - thank goodness for the scheduling options on Blogspot!  This week has not had many posts because I just didn't have the time to write.  Even now, I write hurriedly, hoping that my husband doesn't see me working on the computer instead of packing boxes! :)

Our truck arrives this morning, and there is still so much to be done.  We lost some time because we took a day to be part of a funeral service for a family in our church that lost their baby at 27 weeks.  Please pray for the family as they deal with this difficult loss.  Saturday is our kid's Christmas program rehearsal (yes, I am helping with that, too), and I am looking forward to this year's program.  The kids have all worked so hard.  I think the Lord is going to use it in a special way.  Sunday morning is the children's program, followed by the adult program Sunday evening, and a going-away/Christmas fellowship party for our family after the service.  Then Monday morning, we head out to Mississippi.  Paul will be driving the truck and trailer, and I will be driving the 26' moving van.  We didn't really need one that big, but when we upgraded from a 16' truck, they didn't have any 22' trucks available.  Go figure!  Look out, everyone!

This may be my last post for a week or so.  I guess only time will tell.  I certainly don't anticipate having any spare moments in the next few days! :)  I will try to let you know when we all get settled.  Pray for us!  Moving is such a  delightful experience!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

Well, today certainly is wacky around our house as we continue packing up our belongings.  The truck arrives in two days, and then it will really get crazy! (I keep telling myself not to stress, but I think moving is just stressful no matter how you look at it!)  I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and enjoying the holiday season, with all of its excitement, last minute shopping, and yummy baking.

Here is a digital freebie from My Memories to sweeten the holidays just a little bit more.  I love the pink papers and giant eyelet frames – they are perfect for that little girl in your life!  It is so easy to use these quick pages with My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software.  You still have time to put together a great album for the grandparents for Christmas.


Download this kit by clicking on the link below.

Don’t forget that you can get $10 off the My Memories Suite software by using this code STMMMS94566.  This code will bring the price down to $29.97, and you will also get a coupon for $10 off in the digital scrapbook store!  Hop over there today and take a look at all the great pages, kits, and ideas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Only Key

While my husband was out of town recently, he asked me to retrieve something out of the toolbox mounted in the back of his truck.  No problem.  I grabbed my keys, and endeavored to open the lock, but to no avail.  I might mention that this particular lock has been a source of aggravation to me for a long time.  It seems that my key just doesn’t want to turn in the lock.  Not to be outdone by a simple mechanism, I rubbed my half-frozen hands together and gave the key a mighty wrench.  To my great surprise, it yielded to my power – or so I thought.  I looked down and gasped as I realized the key had snapped off in the lock!  Not good! 

I called my husband, thankful for the long distance between us at that moment, and told him we would have to pry the door open and take the lock out.  He sighed, in an oh-so-longsuffering way, and said it was okay.  I managed, with the help of some friends to get the door pried open, and the lock taken out of the toolbox door. 

It was only after he arrived home that I found out why my key would not turn in the lock.  Several months ago, when we were escaping from being parked next to a burning RV (read my earlier posts this year), he dropped his keys in his haste.  We had duplicates made of the trailer keys and house keys, but he took my copy of the toolbox key.  I don’t think I even knew about his petty theft.  So, they key I tried to use was not, in fact, the right one.  Oops! 


There is a spiritual parallel to this story.  God has given us the only key to salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ.  Without Christ, all our attempts to access eternal life and heaven are fruitless.  Religion, good works, doing our best – none of these work in the end.  They might fill the hole, just as my key fit in the lock, but when it comes to actually working, they fall short of doing the job.  No matter how sincere my belief that I was doing the right thing, my efforts only ended in destruction and despair. 

As we approach the Christmas season, let us ponder the true meaning of Christmas.  Jesus Christ, God Himself, humbled Himself and became human.  He lived a sinless life and died a horrible death to take our place.  Accepting His sacrifice is the only key to our eternal salvation.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

Friday, December 9, 2011


Have you ever been disappointed?  Perhaps it was by a friend, a family member, a lost opportunity, or things just not working out like you had expected.  Life is full of disappointments, both small and great, but how do you handle those let-downs? 

This week, I received a package in the mail – something I had ordered.  When I saw the box, I was at first puzzled – what was this?!  I had ordered something, but I had expected it to be a lot bigger package, since there were two items in the box.  Upon opening the package, my eyes nearly bugged out – in fact, I think they were bigger than the items I had ordered!  I had planned to give them as birthday gifts to my girls, but after seeing them, decided they would make better stocking stuffers.  I was rather disappointed.  The promised goods did not meet my expectations.  However, I figured it would be easier to just keep the gifts and learn my lesson, than to try to return them and get a refund.  At this point, I am all about what is going to be easiest for me!  :)

The reality is, we get disappointed many times.  I can think of several situations in which I am perpetually disappointed – things beyond my control.  The good news is, Jesus Christ never disappoints me.  He is always what He says He will be.  He will never let me down, or leave me in the lurch.  He always exceeds my expectations.  So when I am facing disappointment, I need to go to Him.  Reading God’s Word and praying help to alleviate the pain of human disappointments.  Does the situation change?  Not necessarily, but my perspective changes, and I know that with Christ beside me, I can survive anything that comes my way.  So, take those disappointments to God, and allow Him to carry you through the less-than-ideal situations of life.


By the way, today is Mega Swagbucks Day – an awesome opportunity to earn rewards!  If you haven’t signed up for Swagbucks yet, you are missing out on a great way to save money!  I earned a lot of Amazon gift cards this year, and paid for most of my Christmas gifts with them!  All at no cost to me! If you want to save money and earn great rewards, sign up for Swagbucks today!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sewing Away

In an earlier post, I mentioned getting all the 18” doll clothes patterns.  Well, I have been putting them to use lately.  I have just a few more things to finish and my sewing projects for this year will be complete.   I am trusting you not to mention this to my daughters – I have managed to keep it a secret so far, sewing late into the night after they have gone to bed.  All the clothes are modeled on the same doll for sake of time.
Disney Princess dress, Ariel – colors of my choosing. Simplicity 5705


Disney Princess Dress, Belle (without drape and gauntlets) colors of my choosing – Simplicity 5705  I intend to make a black shrug for this one, if time allows.


Dress – Simplicity 4654  This one is rather simple, but pretty in a Little House on the Prairie way. :)


Shirt and Poodle skirt – McCalls 8555  This is an older pattern, but I really love the outfits!  The poodle skirt is so easy to make!  I still have to sew the snaps on the back of the shirt, but other than that, it is all done.


What the girls also do not know is that they will each be getting nightgown with a matching nightgown for their dolls.  I found these on sale at Kohls, and with my coupons and discounts, I got them for a great deal!


So it looks as if the girls and their dollies will be well clothed in the coming year! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

Time for your weekly freebie again!  This two-page layout coordinates with the one given last week, which you can still get if you go to last week’s Wacky Wednesday.

Use these with any digital scrapbooking software or treat yourself to the newest version of My Memories Suite, Amazon’s best-selling scrapbooking program.  Use the code STMMMS94566 to get $10 off of the software and get a coupon for another $10 off in the online store!  Think of all the beautiful pages you can make! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Drip Drop

The last several days have been rather wet here in Indiana –the chilly, damp weather that seeps into your bones and makes you crave warm soups, fresh baked goods, and hot chocolate. 

Last weekend, we picked up our RV from the repair shop and paid the hefty bill (somehow it seems wrong that they can charge $100 an hour for labor), glad to finally have our trailer back.  For me, this meant that I can begin packing in earnest, stashing things in the trailer for immediate use, and packing up the non-essential belongings.  At least, that was the plan…

Paul went over to the trailer and came back with a very perturbed expression.  It would seem that we have a leak in the roof – due to scraping against a tree branch.  Since the past several days have been so wet, he was greeted by a huge puddle on the kitchen table that had spilled off onto the dinette seats, the couch, and the carpet.  Everything was soaking wet!  Not a pleasant discovery on a Monday morning, just after having the trailer serviced!  Thankfully we were able to get it into the body shop immediately (they have a four-week waiting list right now) and hopefully, all the leaks will be repaired.  Whew!  Now, back to all that packing! 

The moving truck arrives in 10 days… we leave Dec. 19th.  Crunch time is upon me.  It is rather exciting, but also nerve-wracking.  Moving at this time of year is even more difficult because of the holidays and the precipitate weather. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hitching A Ride

This was a first for me – the ever wary, skeptical, and suspicious part of me that is always vigilant around people I do not know.  Perhaps my vigilance is due to an almost-snatching when I was in grade school - we were on a field trip to the airport when a man tried to get me into his car as I was walking ahead of the rest of the group in the parking lot.  After using my famous, “movie star scream” and running through the parked cars, I was slightly traumatized, and all the mothers were on high alert.  The man sped away, and was not seen again - lucky for him, since the moms would have seriously hurt him.

I had a bad scare as a teenager, when a neighbor kid approached my brother and I as we searched for a small object in the yard after dark.  Again, cue the movie star scream and a broken halogen flashlight.  Apparently, in my fright, I used the flashlight to club my brother so I could outrun him and thus escape the evil monster that we both imagined.  It was a horrific moment, no doubt caused in part by our heightened senses and active imaginations.  I will never forget either of those incidents – they are indelibly etched upon my mind and possibly in my brother’s forehead, as well.

Several years ago, my pastor’s wife was the victim of a purse-snatching as she walked in the parking lot of a department store.  The thief drove by in a car and grabbed her purse.  She didn’t want to let go of her favorite handbag, and was dragged by the car.  I now take precautions for my personal belongings as well.  I am beginning to sound like a paranoia-ridden sociophobe, but really I am not… I am just very careful.

So, to my own surprise, a few weeks ago, I offered to take a little old lady home from Kroger.  She had locked her keys in her car, and her husband was at home with the other set.  Since they only had one vehicle, they were both stuck where they were.  I sized her  up, and decided that at 4’ 11" she didn’t pose a serious threat to me or my 25 pound purse.  I took her home, and then back to the store with the spare set of keys.  It was liberating! :)  I made her day as well.  She said in all her 92 years, she had never done such a forgetful thing, and thanked me profusely for my kindness.

Saturday, I had to pick Paul up from the airport.  He dropped me off at the store to finish some Christmas shopping while he went to the RV body shop to pick up our trailer.  I finished my shopping, but had to cross a busy highway to get to the other store.  How was I to do this?  I thought at first that I would just walk across the intersection, but on second thought, it was really busy.  As I pondered my dilemma, I decided that I would “bum a ride” with some nice person.  At this point, I had to decide who the lucky person would be.  I chose my victims carefully, and approached them as they were stuffing their large Christmas purchases into a very small car.  The three ladies looked askance at me, but after a moment decided that I was harmless ( little did they know) and agreed to drive me across the road.  I was so grateful, even though I did have to sit on top of the seat back due to all the packages.  :)

I do not plan on making either giving or taking rides to/from strangers a regular habit, but it is nice to know that some people can still be trusted.

Have you ever had to hitch a ride?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ticklin’ the Ivories

Music has been a part of my life ever since I can remember.  My parents sacrificed for my brothers and me to take piano lessons.  I began taking lessons in 1984, and continued all the way through my college years and beyond.  I suppose my last formal lessons were in 2001, but I have endeavored to continue learning and improving my playing, even though I no longer have a teacher or a regular lesson time.  Those of you who do the same know how difficult it is to challenge yourself!

I have begun teaching my oldest two children, and they are coming along rather well, in spite of the irregularity of their lessons ( we do not have a piano or keyboard in the trailer, so when we are on the road, the lessons are sporadic at best).  However, they all have developed a great love for singing, playing, and anything musical.  We have a lovely piano that the Lord allowed us to purchase, and although I want to keep it free from little fingerprints, I allow my children access to this instrument at all times.   Here is Daniel picking out a tune on the piano.  He “practiced” for about twenty minutes before I snapped this picture. :)


The most important thing is that they learn to enjoy playing.  I do not believe there are ever any great musicians who do not love to play their instrument.  Dedication is good, and discipline is essential, but without the love of playing, you can never truly pass over the line to true musicianship.  I want to instill in my children a love for music that will drive them on to greater heights than I and my husband have achieved.  I do not want to pressure them to be a copy of my husband or myself, but I do want them to get the most out of our musical training.  One step at a time, I want to lead them to a love of music, and a lifetime of enjoyment serving the Lord with their talents.

Do you play an instrument?  Did you ever take lessons?  Who was the most influential teacher you ever had?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Write It Down

While packing up my belongings in preparation for the big move, I came across this stack of journals in my closet.  For many years, I have made it a regular practice to record my thoughts and experiences each day in my journal.  There have been exceptions to this rule, but not many.  I find it interesting to scroll back through my written memories every once in a while and just remember the events surrounding those thoughts. 


Now, I will say that the usual entries are nothing to write home about – the hum-drum life of a stay at home mom.  However, they are spiced with travel and interesting stories every now and then.  The great mountain-top experiences are there as well as the valleys.  Joys, laughter, pain, triumphs, tears, anger, and heartaches are all recorded there.  In my opinion, you can learn a lot about a person by the way they express themselves, especially in written form. 

I have learned about myself, and the things that matter most to me.  They are the everyday happenings that make our life what it is.  Life is not all great moments.  Life is a simple thread of everyday events that holds the pearls of great experiences together.  Without the mundane, the gems would be scattered.  So, in 70 years, when I am gone, the thread of my everyday life will be there for my children to see.  (There is no way I am letting anyone read those before I die!)  I hope they can learn from my example as well as my mistakes. 

Do you keep a journal?  If not, I challenge you to take a few moments each day to jot down what you are thinking, your plans, achievements, and experiences.  It will be a wonderful treasure trove of memories for the ones you love.  New Year’s is fast approaching – maybe it could be your resolution this year.  It’s a lot easier than losing weight!  :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

It’s time for your digital freebie!   I have enjoyed these cute two-page layouts from My  All you have to do is select your pictures and put them in the empty spaces and voila – a beautiful scrapbook page!  I love the colors of this kit, and guess what!?  Next week’s freebie coordinates with it as well!
If you don’t have a digital scrapbooking software program, you can get the newest version of My Memories Suite that was just released!  Use the promo code STMMMS94566 to get $10 off.  It is a great gift idea for yourself or that scrapbooking friend that is so hard to buy for! :)

How is your week going?  I am busy packing and sewing and doing as much preparation for Christmas and the BIG MOVE as I can.  My husband is in a meeting this week in Georgia, so the kids and I are home alone!  Party on! :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Be, or Not to Be???

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I have broken with tradition.  I always drag out the Christmas decorations the Saturday after Thanksgiving and start beautifying our home.  I love Christmas decorations – there is something about the red and green that just makes me feel festive.  The tree comes a little later, but the rest of it goes up almost as soon as we close the door after our relatives! :)  This year however, I have a dilemma.  We are moving in three weeks ( give or take).  I want to put up just a few things, but I am thinking it might be more trouble than it is worth.  What do you think?  If you were me, what would you do?  Nothing at all until after the move, or just a touch of color here and there (they take possession on Dec. 20th – not much time to decorate after the move)?  I know what my hubby would say… but I will not ask him.  :) 

Dec 25 2010 001

This picture is from last Christmas.  I love the tree and the white lights and the touches of red.  I will definitely miss having a real tree this year.  The little one in the corner will be our main tree again this year.  It has been our “trailer tree” for about eight years now.  It will be fun to decorate the trailer again.  When do you start decorating your home for Christmas?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Did I Really?

I told you I had plans to go Black Friday shopping.  I had planned to leave early Friday morning and go all day, but my plans changed late Thursday evening. I ended up dragging my poor mother out at 9:15pm to start our adventure.  We hit Wal-mart, where it was wall-to-wall people.  There was some serious drama in the towels and sheets department from women who wanted to claim all the towels and sheets, despite the line of customers.  How exciting!  If there had been a fire, we would have all died, because we were so jammed in there.  Insane – that’s all I have to say about that.

We also went to Kohl’s where there was a huge line(See above). We had to stand out in the freezing cold air for about 35 minutes.  The lines inside were almost as long, but we passed the time chatting with other customers.  After leaving there, we headed to Sears, Penney’s, and the mall stores, where we shopped until about 5:45am.  We headed back across the road to Menard’s and stood in line for another 30 minutes to get the much-coveted Cricut cartridges that were on sale.  Our last stop was Hobby Lobby, which, disappointingly enough, had no special sales.  I hope they do better next year…

I was able to get those last few items on my list, and now I am set for Christmas.  In fact, the sales were so good that I actually got more than I had planned!  (All those garage sale earnings came in handy!)
I will say that I was absolutely exhausted by the time I got home.  I pulled into the driveway, parked the truck, reclined the driver’s seat and fell asleep for about an hour before even taking my purchases in the house!  I am not sure that I am fully recovered yet, but at least I can function without falling asleep!  How was your BF?  Did you brave the teeming masses, or did you shop from the comfort of your living room?  Did you find any awesome deals?  What will you do differently next year?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shop ‘Til You Drop!

Yes.  Shameless promotion of materialism coming right up!  I look forward all year to this day -

                        Black Friday
I love shopping for the best deals of the year, planning my strategy, hoarding my pennies, and gathering my coupons.  I am going with my mom again this year.  We always have such a good time!  I am hoping to score some really good bargains this year.  I have been using a lot of Amazon gift cards that I have earned through Swagbucks to buy Christmas gifts.  I love not having to spend out-of pocket money for my gifts!  If you haven’t signed up for Swagbucks yet, start today and start saving!

Well, by the time you read this, I will have been out for several hours, and hopefully I will still have all my skin and will not have been trampled or bitten or stabbed by the frenzied shoppers.  (Usually, the worst incidents seem to happen at Walmart, so be careful!) 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

This will be short and sweet.  We are planning to spend some time with family, eating, fellowshipping, and counting our blessings.

Take some time to thank God for some specific things He has done for you.  These are a few of my personal blessings:

1.  My eternal salvation through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice
2.  An accepted offer on our house
3.  Good health
4.  A wonderful marriage to a godly man
5.  Friends who encourage me

I could go on and on, but my words could never tell all that God has done for me.  One of my favorite verses sums it up rather well.

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they were written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.  Amen.  - John 21:25

And to think that this verse was written 2,000 years ago – think how many more things He has done since then!  What a great God!  Take time to praise and thank Him today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

One of my childhood memories is reading the book Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss.  I seem to have the same problem as the character in the book at times – nothing goes the way I think it should…

However, I am starting a weekly digital freebie for those of you who need a mid-week pick-me-up.  When the going gets tough, it’s time to start scrapping!  Right?!  So walk away from those dirty dishes – they will be there when you get done!  Download this page kit and add another precious memory to your digital album.  nothing could be easier, especially if you have the My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software.  Use the code STMMMS94566 to get $10 off the program, making it only $29.97 – a great deal!  You will also receive a $10 coupon for the online store.  Hurry over and snag this great tool!
“And that’s how Wacky Wednesday began…” – Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pack ‘Em Up…

Move ‘em out!  My days are now consumed, along with all the normal activites of a stay-at-home, home-schooling mother, with packing.  Yes – you read that right!  We have accepted an offer on our house, and will be leaving the perma-frost of Indiana for the balmy breezes of Southaven, MS on December 20th of this year.  Just about four weeks from now.  What ever possessed us to move the week of Christmas, I will never know, but that is how it worked out.  I am already mourning the decorations I won’t be able to put up in our house – some of them will be up in the RV, but not too many, lest I clog up what little living space we have with trees and garlands.  :(  Truly a bummer – I love decorating for Christmas! 

We will not be moving into a new house immediately, so most of our belongings will end up in storage for a few months, it looks like.  We are praying that the Lord will open up the perfect place for our family.  In the meantime, I have to pack up all the junk we have collected over the past few years and put it in some kind of order.  The logistics of this move are a nightmare, so pray for us! 


I just finished packing up the last of the books – well, except for the kids’ books, which are in everyday use.  All told, there are about 35 boxes of books alone.  That does not include any of our school books, which are stored in the garage and the current year’s school curriculum.  The only drawback to having your own library is moving it! :)  All the pictures are down, knick-knacks are wrapped in paper and gently placed in boxes marked fragile, and the extra sheets and towels are also boxed.  I left the clocks up, so we would have some idea of what time it is, but my living room is so bare and spartan.  I makes me want to cry!  :)

Well, pray for us as we prepare to move and be a part of a new ministry.  I will keep you updated on the move and its particulars.  Stay in touch!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Coming Up in the World

IMG_3374Last week was my birthday, and instead of the usual subscription to my favorite scrapbooking magazine (which, by the way, is a great gift), my thoughtful husband bought me a new phone.  A smartphone.  I have come a long way up in the world of technology.  I can do all kinds of things while on my phone – shop the best deals, calculate how many calories I just ate, surf the web, etc.  What a very thoughtful gift!  So practical, too.  He knows how much time we spend on the road, and figured it would be something I would appreciate.  What a sweet husband he is!  The only flaw in the plan is that I had to change carriers in order to get the best deal.  I am no longer on Verizon, so I can only talk to my mother on nights and weekends…  Come to think of it, maybe that was part of his  plan!  :)   Thanks, Sweetheart!  As we used to say in the dorm, “Good gift!”  You scored some serious brownie points on this one!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

This may be hard to believe, but I do not care for pumpkin pie.  I have tried many so-called wonderful recipes down through the years – “so-and-so makes the BEST pumpkin pie” - and have found myself underwhelmed by my reaction to these culinary delights.  Not even a half container of Cool Whip can mask that pumpkin taste.  Believe me, I’ve tried it. 

Unfortunately, it is one of my husband’s favorite desserts.  He actually used to request pumpkin pie for his birthday instead of cake!  Poor man… married to me, he only gets pumpkin pie when we go to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving.  Well, that is, until this week.  Tadahhh!  After eleven and a half years of marriage, I made my first pumpkin pie.


It was to be for our church-wide thanksgiving fellowship this past week, but he had kind of a crummy day (deer hunting season has begun – any day a hunter doesn’t see or shoot a deer is considered a bad day) and when he saw the pie, his face lit up.  I just couldn’t take it to church and risk him not getting a piece with all those other people there!!  Right?! 

So, being the good wife that I am, I decided that there would probably be more dessert at the fellowship than any of us needed, and we would have the pie that night!  While it was not as good as bagging a deer, it certainly took the edge off the crummy day and put a smile on his face, and subsequently, mine as well.  Here’s to the little things.  The best part was, no-one at church even missed the pie I didn’t bring!  :)

What is your favorite kind of pie? 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Digital Freebies

Well, since one of you has won the My Memories Suite program, you may be hoping to snag a few digital kits.  The good news is – you can get some right here!  Today you can get this page kit absolutely free – right here!  Just click on the link below to download your free pages! 

Those of you who would like to start you own collection of digital kits can also snag it!  No strings attached.  It works best if you have some kind of digital scrapbooking software to support it such as My Memories Suite, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or something along that line.  You can still get the $10 off of My Memories Suite using the code STMMMS94566.  With this code, you will get the software plus a $10 credit for digital kits in the online store!  So why not try something new? 

The kit contains two quick pages (shown below) as well as the papers and embellishments needed to make the pages, so you can experiment with your own look.  These are .png files, so they can be used with any scrapbook/photo software.
This kit will be available for download for one week, and then will be replaced with another, so if you want to start putting together a digital photo album, now is the time and place to start!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Birthday Boy

Yes – another birthday this week.  I am pleased to announce that it is not mine, though! :)  One is enough for me!  Today is Daniel’s 3rd birthday.  My baby is three!  Here are a few pictures of our little man. 

Nov 16 2008 009

This was taken just a few hours after he was born.  How precious it was to hold him at last! Nine months can seem like forever! :)
These pictures were of his first birthday.  Notice the smeared icing on his face…

Nov 16 2009 069Nov 16 2009 042

That smirky little grin just cracks me up!  It’s almost like he is saying, “Yeah – I know I’m cute – go ahead and take my picture!”
Here is birthday # 2.  He had the cake thing figured out, but the candle-blowing still escaped him.  Thankfully, I had enough breath to blow it out for him! :)

Nov 16 2010 003

This year was a small party with grandparents, Uncle Micah, and our family.  I made a train cake, since he loves trains, trucks, and all loud, moving things.  I got the Wilton cake pan from E-bay several months ago, and couldn’t wait to try it out.  There’s nothing more fun than a cute birthday cake!

IMG_3290 IMG_3289

Meet the Birthday Express!  I thought it turned out rather well for my first time trying anything so difficult.  It took me about three hours to decorate it, and my hand was killing me after squeezing the icing bag for so long.  It was worth the look on his face when he saw it, though.  Priceless!


Here we are – both of us are a year older this week.  Cherish every moment!


This is my Daniel.  Sweet and funny, cute as can be, and ornery as… well, probably as ornery as his mama! :)  Happy birthday, little man!  We love you!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Drum roll, please... :)  Congratulations to Terri, the winner of the birthday giveaway!  I know she will enjoy using the My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software.  The rest of you can get $10 off the program using the code STMMMS94566.  It really is a great deal for only $29.97, plus you will get a $10 coupon for all those neat kits in the online store at My Memories!  A savings of $20!  Well, I had a wonderful birthday, and thanks to all of you who called, texted, and e-mailed birthday greetings to me!  I was also surprised by the incredibly beautiful weather. I don't think it has ever been that nice on my birthday - at least not in this hemisphere! :)


Christmas List

In years past, I have asked each of my children what one thing they would most like to have for Christmas.  While some people might condemn this as materialistic, I do not see it that way.  There are no guarantees that they will get the desired item, and it is subject to my approval (and my budget)!

My dilemma is this – Josiah wants nothing but to give each member of the family a gift.  This is typical of him – sweet and selfless.  However, it is difficult to gift wrap. :)  He also mentioned a set of handcuffs.  I’m afraid to think about that too much!

Abigail has a list with lots of dollar signs on it.  It is so easy to buy for her – she loves all things girly – clothes, shoes, hairbows, dolls, among other things.  I have a ton of things for her already stashed away in my closet!

Daniel needs nothing.  All the toys have been passed down to him, and the ones that have not been passed down he has commandeered for his own use.  He could use clothes, though, so it may not be a very exciting Christmas for him.  What does he care, anyway?  Kids under the age of five should all be given a box full of hangers and crumpled up wrapping paper.  It would occupy them for weeks!

Esther stalled when I asked what she wanted.  Said she needed some time to think about it.  Okay – I can handle that.  Not that she needs anything anyway.  We have so much junk around our house that it is positively criminal to think of getting more.  Her Sunday school teacher told me that Esther finally decided what she wanted and announced it in class last week.  She wants a statue… of God!  I thought I would die laughing when I heard this!  Leave it to Esther to think of something like that!  I hope she isn’t too disappointed when it doesn’t show up under the tree this year!

What are your plans for Christmas?  Do you celebrate with family, friends, or not at all?  Do you exchange gifts or give to others in need?  Do you have any special traditions?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  I have been dreading this particular birthday because when it hits, I will officially be middle-aged!  Doesn’t that sound just awful?  Of course, they say old is a state of mind, and in that case, I still think of myself as quite young… in spite of those numbers! :)

birthday giveaway_2-002

This card was made using the My Memories Suite scrapbooking software.  It give you an idea of the kind of things you can make – even without photos!  All of the page elements were freebies, either from MMS, or one of my other favorite free digital scrapbooking websites!  Fun!  In honor of my birthday, I am doing a giveaway of the My Memories Suite.  This program (which I mentioned last week) is a good tool for  digital scrapbooking.  It comes with a ton of digital papers, elements and photo layout templates.  It can also be used to make cards, calendars, photo pages, and all kinds of other paper craft projects.  If you would like to be entered into the drawing, please do the following:

1.  Go to My Memories and look around a little bit.

2.  Leave a comment on my blog telling me which of their digital paper packs or layouts you like best.

3.  Sit back and see who is the lucky birthday giveaway winner!  The winner will be notified by e-mail later this week.  Entries will be accepted until 12 midnight EST today!

For those of you who do not win the giveaway, you can still get a great deal on this scrapbooking software by using the code STMMMS94566 to get $10 off your purchase of My Memories Suite and receive another $10 coupon for the online store – a savings of $20!

So, any way you slice it, you can have a piece of my cake and eat it, too!  Happy Birthday to you!  :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Still Thankful #4

I am thankful for our Veterans.  Those brave men and women who have given their lives to serve and protect our country deserve a special day of honor.  I have never served in the military, but I have a lot of friends and relatives who have.  These people know the meaning of sacrifice, and sadly, too many people take them for granted.  I have the highest respect for those men and women in uniform.  The freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis would not be except for the efforts of others.

Thank you to all our servicemen and women.  Happy Veteran’s Day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Still Thankful #3

One of the hardest things to be thankful for is a trial or hardship.  Too many times we tend to thing of those as something less than a blessing.  I was talking with a friend earlier this year who survived breast cancer.  I asked her how it affected her, and without hesitation she answered, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me!”  While that may sound strange at first, I knew exactly what she meant by that statement.  The cancer was not the best thing – the process of dealing with the cancer was the best thing.

Sometimes it takes tremendous personal hardship to come to grips with who we are and, more importantly, who our God is.  If life was just a bowl of cherries or a bed of roses, we would never have any depth to our being.  It is the difficult times that stretch us, teach us, and help us to grow.  I am thankful that my own personal tragedy has allowed me to become stronger as a person, as well as more sensitive to those who are hurting.  I am thankful for a loving God who extends His comfort and peace in my darkest hour.  I am thankful for the promise that one day all tears will be wiped away from my eyes.  Those trials really are blessings in disguise.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Still Thankful #2

One of the things I treasure most is my family.  My children are so precious to me.  They are not perfect – far from it, in fact, just like their mother – but I love them in spite of their imperfections.  They are the ones who can aggravate me by leaving a mess in their room and bring a smile to my face with a handful of dandelions.  They are the ones who step on my feet and hug my neck.  They are the ones who tell me I am pretty when I get out of bed in the morning.  They are the ones for whom I have given up a career.  They are the ones for whom I would give my life to protect.  These are my blessings.

Sep 27 2011 021

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Still Thankful

I am thankful for the right to vote.  This is a privilege not to be take lightly.  Each of us has the opportunity to affect our country by electing the people who we believe best support our ideas and freedoms.
While it has been abused and misused by some, the political system allows me to cast my vote, have my say, and put my two cents’ worth into the ballot box.

Our local elections are being held today, and I plan to help make history.  Get out and exercise the power of the polls!

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. " – Edmund Burke

Monday, November 7, 2011

So Thankful

Thanksgiving is approaching, and while I am thankful for many things the whole year through, this is the time when we focus on those blessings that seem to get taken for granted.  In the next few posts, I would like to mention some things for which I am thankful.

Today’s blessing is my salvation.  I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior many years ago, and His love for me has changed my life in so many ways.  I am thankful that He considered me worth the cost.  I am thankful that I live in a country where the Gospel is freely accessible.  I am thankful that my parents taught me the Word of God from an early age and prepared my heart to seek the Lord.  So much of my life is affected by this decision that it is hard to draw the line at where to stop.  Eternal salvation is the most precious thing that was ever given to me, and I want to publicly express my gratitude for this life-changing gift.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photo Deals

Now is the time of year when we begin to spend more time indoors, and as the nights get longer, I tend so take a little more time to look at my pictures and even to scrapbook, if I get a spare minute.  (I am hoping for one of those in the next few weeks, but I am not holding my breath!)

Right now, Snapfish is having some great sales on photos.  You can get 300 prints for $3 with the code SPOOKY300, and if you can’t come up with that many pictures, then get 100 prints for $1 with the promo code SPOOKY100.  You will have to pay shipping, but the final cost of the prints is about $.05 per print – better than you can get it anywhere else, and it is delivered right to your mailbox, so you don’t have to bundle up all the kids to pick up your pictures!  That is definitely a plus for this busy mama!  This deal is only through Nov. 6, so hurry and upload those pictures.

Snapfish is also having a sale on their photo books – Buy 1, get 2 free!  What a deal!  If you want great gifts for the grandparents, or a nice book of that summer vacation, now is the time to act!  You can use the promo code MYFALLBKS to get three of the same book, or three different books of the same value.  I have seen their books, and they are excellent quality.  They make good gifts and nice coffee table books, too.  This sale is through Nov. 8, so act quickly!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking

As you may have noticed, I enjoy scrapbooking.  In fact, I love getting out all my papers, pictures, and embellishments and doing “Kindergarten for adults” as my husband so fondly calls it.  There is a drawback, though – it makes such a mess, and then I have to clean it up, lest my ever-so-crafty children decide to help themselves to my scrapbook supplies.

I have dabbled in digital scrapbooking from time to time, and found it to be really neat.  There is no mess, and you can reuse your favorite products over and over again.  With the advent of digital cameras, almost everyone can edit their own photos and these can be resized with no cost to you on your program!  Pages can be printed out, or just kept on file, so they do not take up that precious storage space (I have a closet full of scrapbook albums).

I have just come across, a site for digital scrapbooking that has some really neat kits.  They also sell My Memories Suite v2, a photo editing program that is simple and easy to use.  Right now, the coupon code STMMMS94566 will get you $10 off the program, making it only $30, which is a great deal!  I paid way more than that for my simple editing program several years ago.  :(  Copy and paste this code into your cart purchase, and you will not only get $10 off of the My Memories Suite v2, but the software comes with another $10 code for downloads, making a total of $20 in savings!
Rain boots copy
The site also has freebies and tutorials for using the program, making it a great resource for the beginning digi scrapper.   The page above is one of the freebies – a quick page designed by K Studio entitled The Sweet Life.  All you have to do is download it and plop your pictures into the template!  How much easier can it get?  This is a picture of my girls wearing their rain boots in, of all places, the desert.  Try your hand at something new and fun!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More Savings

Recently I began using the Saving Star program in addition to my coupons.  It is a tremendous way to save money!  All you have to do is set up an account at and register your grocery store loyalty cards.  I have about ten cards on my account for stores all over the nation! :)  Each week they post new digital coupons that you activate to your account.  Instead of the money coming off at the register, the savings will post to your account.  For each $5 in savings that you earn, you can redeem it for Pay Pal gift cards, Amazon gift cards, or cash back! 

This is a great way to “double dip” on coupons, as I call it.  For instance, right now, one of the coupons is for $.40 off of No Yolk egg noodles.  There is also a printable coupon for $.40 off.  If I take my coupon to Kroger, they will double it, and I will get $.80 off of my purchase, and Saving Star will add another $.40 to my account.  In total, I have saved $1.20 on my egg noodles!  Get it?!  Right now, there are over 30 different coupons available on Saving Star.  It costs nothing to set up an account, and the savings are great!  Try is out today.  Even if you don’t use regular coupons, this is a no-hassle way to save money!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day of Deals

Some days I just get on a roll with the whole saving/coupon/deal thing.  I fell off the coupon wagon this past summer, much to my chagrin, and was spending too much at the grocery store and everywhere else, as a matter of fact. 
Last week, I paid my girls to cut out all my coupons (20 inserts – that’s how far behind I was).  After paying them per insert, I knew I had to save some serious bucks to make up for my generosity.  A lot of my coupons were about to expire on the 31st, so I had to move quickly.  CVS was my first stop, and boy, did I ever have a good time making my deals!  I bought enough shampoo and conditioner to keep us all clean for several months, some lotion, and quite a bit of makeup.  I used a ton of coupons and earned three $10 Visa gift cards, too!  It was definitely worth the time spent figuring out my deals.  I came home, fed the family lunch, and then headed off to my next favorite store – Kroger!
Kroger is having a Mega Event this week, so I grabbed my binder and started systematically going through the aisles.  I had been praying that some of the items we needed would be on sale, and my prayers were answered!  I had a cart so full I could barely steer it, and I ended up saving 50% of my entire bill by using coupons along with my store savings card!  Woo hoo!  My family always enjoys it when we have plenty of food in the house.  I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, as I call it.  I didn’t take pictures this time, because I was in a hurry to get it put away before dinner. 
What has been your best coupon deal lately? I love hearing about good deals, even when they eclipse mine at times (sigh – I saw an awesome CVS deal posted right after I got home from the store.  I could have done better had I seen if before going, but, that’s okay – I think!).

Monday, October 31, 2011

Down for the Count

Have you ever noticed how many things happen in a day? In a week?  I started counting the number of things that went on in our house just last week and I was amazed at all the different numbers.  Here is just a small sample of my number crunching.

4 –- number of stores at which I stopped to ask for packing boxes - nobody around here saves their boxes
66 - – boxes retrieved out of the McDonald’s dumpster in full view of the drive thru at lunch time
5 -– rolls of tape to put the boxes back together
6 –- pieces of toast that one of my children ate for breakfast
4 –- working burners, thanks to my Mr. Fix-it hubby
20 –- coupon inserts that I paid my daughters to cut out for me
9 –- garage sale signs
42 -– cupcakes baked and decorated for the garage sale
4 –- very helpful children
17 –- number of times Daniel asked for a cupcake
17- – number of times I told him “no”
11 -– loads of laundry done
12 –- hours sitting at the garage sale
See what I mean?  And I didn’t even count the seven dark chocolate M&M’s that I ate while writing this post! :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chrysanthemum Cupcakes

I am making a last ditch effort to get rid of my junk and having my garage sale again.  I really want to get rid of all the stuff, but it seems people have a hard time finding my house (it’s a little off the beaten trail) while driving around town.  This time, I was able to get my ad in the local paper, so I am hoping for better results.  :)
Last time we had the sale, I made yummy cupcakes and they were more popular than the cheap junk!  How does that work?!  I told Paul the next time I have a sale, I will make it a bake sale.  I love the baking and decorating, even though I don’t do it very often. 
I saw this idea for cupcakes a few months ago and I have been dying to try it myself.  They look like chrysanthemums, but depending on the color of sugar you use, they could be any number of beautiful colors.  I did orange and turquoise sugars, and this is how they turned out.
My kids helped with the decorating, so it didn’t take me twelve hours to do it all myself!
Aren’t they gorgeous?  I just love these cupcakes!  They would be perfect for a ladies spring banquet, a shower, or even a tea party!  They are an eye-catching treat!
It’s so easy, too!  Make your cupcakes and let them cool.  Put a thin layer of icing over each one (it works best if the icing is still sticky when you put on the petals). 
Cut miniature marshmallows (I used white, but they are also beautiful with the colored mini marshmallows) diagonally in half with a pair of scissors and toss in your choice of colored sugar (you can get precolored sugar, or make your own with a few drops of food coloring).  The cut side is sticky, so the sugar adheres to it, making a nice color contrast with the white. 
Starting at the outside edge, place the marshmallows, using the flat side of the cut marshmallow as the base, on the iced cupcake.  When you finish the outside row, start on the next, going around in circles until  you have reached the middle. 
My kids (5, 7, & 10) were quite capable of putting these on neatly, so with eight hands doing the work, it went quite smoothly.  They actually helped with the marshmallow snipping and sugar tossing as well.  My advice: delegate with caution! :)  We all had a wonderful and fun afternoon working together.  I sure hope someone buys those cupcakes so I don’t have to eat them all!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Choice

Sometimes things just do not go the way I think they should.  For instance, cars break down, people get sick, trips have to be canceled, plans changed, etc.  You get my drift…  It happens to everyone.  Why then, do I get so bent out of shape when it does happen?  Sometimes I find myself grumping around the house in a bad mood because things just didn’t go my way.  Thankfully, that is the exception rather than the rule, but when I do catch myself grousing about my “miserable circumstances,” I am generally ashamed of myself.
In many ways, your life is what you make of it.  If you dwell on the bad things, you will be unhappy.  If you think on those things which are pure, honest, lovely, of good report, etc, you will be happy. 
Too much of our time is clogged with feeling sorry for ourselves and wishing things were different.  It has been my goal to see the positive side of things as often as possible.  Sometimes that is very hard.  I do not consider myself to be an optimist – I am much too skeptical.  I consider myself to be more of a realist who accepts things as they come and tries to deal with them in a positive attitude.  So, when I saw this sign at Hobby Lobby, I knew I had to have it.  It totally encapsulates my philosophy.  I want my children to make it their philosophy as well, so I want to keep it highly visible in our home.  Hopefully, it will cut down on the whining.  I’m not holding my breath, though. :)
What a wonderful thought – we cannot control our circumstances, but we can control our outlook.  I want happiness – the joy of the Lord – to be my choice!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Perfect Touch

In one of my earlier posts, I put up a picture of my table centerpiece with the yummy yellow pitcher and the green tea pot.  I wanted something red to sit with them, but until now, I had not found the perfect item to complete the trio.
I was at Hobby Lobby (I love that store!) and saw the perfect ceramic vase. It was the right size, the right color, and -  at 50% off – the right price.  I love it when that happens!  I debated for just a few seconds, and then put it in the cart.  It wasn’t really an impulse buy because I had planned to buy just such a thing when I found it. 
There was a moment of panic when the cashier told me it was not on sale.  I told her there was a sign right next to the display that said all the ceramic was 50% off.  I was afraid I would have to put it back. :(  The sale sign was from last week, but because it was their mistake, they honored the sale price. In the end, I walked away clutching my treasure with a smile on my face.  Now it sits on my table, lending just the right amount of panache to my centerpiece. 
Isn’t that just lovely? :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting Close

Potty training is such a big hurdle.  It is finding the time to dedicate to a child who likes life the way it is and the convenience of not having to stop playing every 20 minutes to go sit on the toilet.  You know, most kids don’t really care to have their playtime interrupted, and Daniel is no exception.  I started trying to train him earlier this year, and he was doing well.  He was at the point where he would tell me if he had to go.  I was having dreams and visions of all the wonderful things on which I could spend that $10 a week diaper& wipe money.  Alas, our travel interfered with his progress.  After several times of being stuck in construction or driving down the highway with no exit in sight, he stopped telling me he had to go.  :(
Later this summer, we were close again.  Then I had to leave for a week, and he again fell off the potty wagon while I was absent.  I kind of gave up on his being potty trained before the age of eight.  He stopped displaying interest of any kind, and cried whenever I tried to make him sit on the toilet. 
I have found the magic key, though.  Strawberry milkshake malted milkballs.  They have worked like a charm!  He is now staying dry for long periods of time, and yesterday morning he woke up dry! Woohoo!  I think I see light at the end of the tunnel! 
I will be glad when we can say goodbye to the diaper bag at last!  For the last 10 years, we have been buying diapers for at least one member of our family.  I can’t imagine how many rainforests we are responsible for destroying, and how many landfills exist because of our soiled diapers, but you know, I really don’t care.  Some things in life just have to be done.  Disposable diapers are not an option to me.  I had my experiences with the cloth diapers, and believe me, you couldn’t pay me to deal with that every day!  So, for now, the party is being planned, and when we are finally diaper free, you may hear my shout of joy! :)