Wednesday, July 07, 2010

new blog address

Follow the link to my new blog address. Goodbye, p*rn spammer people. Please do not follow me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Here's a photo from an really fun article I wrote for the Fiskars website. Details, supplies, and instructions are all available here.

Ohmygosh. It's been another whole month! I'm going to have no memory of 2010 if I don't start blogging again.

But I have been quite busy. And when I haven't been quite busy, I've been recovering from all the activity. (Don't you love the starting sentences with conjunctions? Icky.) I'm afraid of what's going to happen to me internally when our school year starts back up again (in SIX weeks!) if I don't get some actual rest accomplished this summer.

Let's see...I think I'll just try to record as much as possible from June, so that when I try to scrapbook about this month, I'll have some details to remember. This is going to take a bit of discipline, for sure.

First, a list. Then I'll challenge myself to blog about each (or some) of these. You know, get those details down before I forget everything.

June 2010
1. Boat Fun
2. Sports Camp
3. Doug's Gallbladder-ectomy
4. Central Dance Company
5. Jolie's 12th Birthday
6. Dance Camp
7. Youth Camp
8. Spoons
9. Red Mango
10. 62 pounds down
11. Summer Dance
12. Ebay Again
13. Student Driving
14. VBS
15. Mulch, mosquitoes, and the snake, a.k.a. my gardening experience
16. Marmaduke, Love Letters to Juliet, Toy Story 3

Okay, there may be more, and I know this stuff has already happened for the most part, but looking at the list is a little overwhelming...

I had to enable word verification to my blog comment posting process. I was getting some yucky little spammers posting inappropriate links...

My verse today is about contentment. Paul's words, not mine! But I am working on it...and God is working on me.

[I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13]

Friday, May 14, 2010

before and after.

I am so happy to have created a layout that I can share! I made this for an article on the Fiskars craft website about crafting with arthritis. You can read it here.

I have some scrappy plans for the very near future (like today!) that include the new October Afternoon collections. I am going to completely ignore the looming mountain of clutter that will be literally at my back while I scrap. Ignore. It.

Why did I title this post "before & after"?

Probably the most obvious reason that I can ignore the pile of stuff is that I have plans to tackle it this weekend. And it will be my first "before and after" project!

I'm excited about my "before & after" projects. My approach isn't complicated:
1. take pictures of the hoarding, filth, and chaos;
2. purge, clean, and organize the area;
3. take pictures of the decluttered, clean, orderly space.

Doesn't that just make you almost giggle in giddy anticipation? Maybe it's just me. That's okay. I looooove this stuff. I'll start Monday since Monday is the first day of summer.

No, it's not.
Yes, it is.
No, it is not the first day of summer.
Is not!
Is! Is, is, is, is, is, IS!

Okay, for me and my people May 17th is the first day of summer. Because if I don't decide that for myself, summer will seem very short since we start school somewhere around August 12. The way I look at it is I have approximately 90 days of "summer." That's maybe 75 days of at-home, potentially productive days to get some real "before & after"-ing completed. I downloaded a free application for my phone that has this fun to do list feature (this way I can obsess about my projects and goals even when I'm out at red lights or the pool or the grocery store or whatever), and I'm working on giving myself one project for each of the 75 days. Some projects are bigger and might take two days (like painting the kitchen). Some are small and will only take twenty minutes (like cleaning off the top of the refrigerator), but for some reason, this plan works for my feeble brain. If I know I have all these tasks on an official list and I have a plan for tackling them, they don't overwhelm me when I'm battling my way though the garage or reading the grafitti on my bathroom wall. I. Have. A. Plan.

No worries.

See, this is good because I am easily overwhelmed. Anything that keeps be from getting to that overwhelmed point is A Good Thing.

And, of course, as I am writing this, God reminded me that He Has A Plan. And he's never kept this fact a secret from me, but I do tend to forget. He has a plan. I need not worry. And his project (me) is infinitely more precious to Him than my home projects are to me. But I think some of our goals are the same. I want to eliminate junk, clutter, filth, and chaos from my home and He wants to eliminate junk, clutter, filth, and chaos from my heart.

How's that for a "before & after" project?

[For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11]

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

weigh-in wednesday.

Let's just pretend that I haven't been ignoring my little blog for weeks, okay?

It's weigh-in wednesday!!! It sounds like I am so excited, doesn't it? Sometimes it's not so exciting...but this week, I am pretty happy about it, because as of today, I have lost 47.4 pounds...I am just thrilled and it feels amazing! I still have a large chunk to lose (60 pounds), but I'm getting close to the halfway point and it's exciting.

Yesterday I bought a 50-pound bag of bird seed. It was HEAVY. I have lost almost that much weight in was I able to carry it around? No wonder I was grouchy and tired...and I still have that much to lose. It floors me that I could be carrying around that much extra weight! No wonder I get so grouchy and tired...

[But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ten on tuesday.

1. You don't want to know why I haven't been blogging. It's depressing.

2. I'm trying to decide what to do with my blog. I've thought of redecorating, but I'm not sure of my purpose right now.

3. I've lost 40 pounds. It feels amazing. I have a long way to go. But it feels amazing.

4. My toenails are way too pink. What was I thinking?

5. I have asthma. Actually, that's great news. It means I'll quit coughing continuously and get my voice back soon. Lots of prescriptions at CVS for me right now.

6. It's time to order some birthday presents. Somebody is turning 15 in a week...

7. When they gave me a cortizone shot in my "hip" today, it was really my big (but 40 pounds lighter) you-know-what.

8. I got a box jam-packed with papers, stickers, wild cards, rub-ons, and die cuts from October Afternoon's "Fly A Kite" and "Thrift Shop" collections today. (They are both my favorite.) I keep flipping through it and mentally scrapping stuff. This is just what I needed to get a creative jump start after the last 6 weeks.

9. I think I just found out why my snapdragons are so smashed. I was blaming the cat, but now I am pretty sure it was the Corey.

10. I'm reading The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers again. I love these books.

{Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Psalm 150:6}

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

tackle-it tuesday.

It's absolutely amazing how the weather can motivate me to be productive. Here's my wish list of tackle-it items:
1. Perfect weather. It's 71 degrees and sunny, so I opened the windows and filled the sinks with hot, soapy bleach water. I love when my kitchen sinks are shiny white.
2. Bloomers. I have flowers on my front porch that need to be planted, so I'm waiting on the shade to arrive in the front yard do to that.
3. Veggie beds. My vegetable gardens are begging to be cleaned up and planted...I'm hoping to do that on Thursday (and probably Friday and Saturday...) when we have friends over for the younger kids.
4. Is it time to clean out the coat closet? It feels like it, but I better wait a few technically this item doesn't belong on my list, does it? Just an example of how my mind is working today - I want to attack every nook and cranny with a vacuum cleaner and Clorox wipes.
5. Frig. This sounds big, but it really just takes a half hour or so...I want to clean out my refrigerator! It's almost empty, so it's a good time to do it.
6. Wash bedspreads. Check. I've already started that one!
7. Bake chocolate chip cookies. Yummy-ness for a sweet friend, check. I'm already working on that one, too!
8. Take pictures for ebay items. Okay...I have to admit that I am not excited about this one. The weather is not motivating me and I have been procrastinating with this. But it needs to happen and I know I will be so happy I did it (when it's over and all the stuff is mailed and my paypal account is full!).
9. The Landfill. Yes, the garage is a bit of a mess again. I won't be working in it this week, but this weather makes me want to. (This weather is like a wonderful buffet that makes you want to fill up a plate - or two! - but you realize that you could not possibly eat everything you took.)
10. Mail Doug's broken iPhone back to Apple. This has to happen whether I am motivated or not! (smile)

My mom's in the hospital for the 2nd time in three weeks, so if I have the chance to farm my kids out, I'll drop anything I'm working on and go hang out with her a bit...the girls are so busy so they can't go and the boys are so "active" (the nice way to put it) that they don't exactly promote a healing atmosphere.

In case you are's photo is a picture of my baby participating in an activity called mutton bustin'. He rode a sheep at the Houston Livestock Show and "made it flip over." Please note that he is wearing a helmet, face mask, and vest. His number is 24 and he is convinced that he was solely responsible for flipping that sheep onto his head, but I am pretty sure the sheep was flipping Corey onto his head in an effort to rid himself of a little boy on his back. I was not there, otherwise we would have 100 pictures instead of this one. Doug did take a few others with his phone, but they are quite dark.

{Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. Psalm 79:13}

Monday, March 08, 2010

not my analogy.

I didn't make this up. My friend told me that her husband said it. I don't know if he made it up, either.

But it fits me today, which is actually tomorrow, because I just noticed that it is after midnight...again.

Here it is:

"I feel like I'm in a blender, just waiting for someone to push the stop button so my life can slow down and settle a little bit."

Now. I am sure that it was actually put a little better than that because when I heard it, I didn't visualize myself literally swirling in a blender (ouch and eww) - just the pieces of my life swirling around me, knocking me in the head every once in a while and whirling by so fast I can barely recognize anything...much less enjoy it.

The sermon this morning was about bearing fruit. Any fruit I have going on seems to be turning into a smoothie these days...

{Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4}

Friday, March 05, 2010

tackling tuesday. and wednesday. and thursday...

I made my list on Tuesday. I should have called it "Tackle-It Tuesday But Only What I Can Tackle While Driving." Is that pretty self explanatory? Lots of driving on Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon, I did manage to empty my closet into my bedroom. The plan was to empty the closet, clean everything (dust, mop, etc.) and replace only what should actually be in there. I got it emptied (remembering to take "before" pictures and "during" pictures - yay!) and then got busy dusting. (It's baffling how dusty the inside of a closet can get.)

While dusting the baseboards and making really great time, I smashed my head into a wooden brace that supports a lower rod in the closet. It hurt so much that I actually felt my brain slam into my skull on the other side of my head. The side I hit hurt ("hurt" is such an understatement here) and the the opposite side hurt, but on the inside. Weird. I guess I've never hit my head that hard because I've never felt anything like it.

Skipping the gory details, I'll just say that it slowed me down quite a bit...

I'd have quit the closet-cleaning project right then and there, but the contents of my closet had been emptied into my bedroom and it looked like we were having a multi-family garage sale in my bedroom. I had to persist. No question.

So for the next hour I checked my pupils every few minutes for strange activity and alternately cried while trying to apply ice and wished I could turn back the clock and to the moment when I was deciding whether to clean out my closet. (If I could have turned back the clock, I would have said "no" to closet cleaning and "yes" to Words With Friends in a comfy chair with my phone. But hindsight is 20/20.)

So. No concussion. No scarred-for-life children who unfortunately witnessed the incident and had to be de-briefed afterward because Mommy really didn't deal with the pain well.

The rest of the day and into the evening, I walked around with my head scrunched slightly down into my shoulders because I constantly felt like I was going to hit it on something. Even when I was in the middle of the room.

I got enough put away that we could sleep on the bed Tuesday night and finished most of the rest today with the help of my professional-organizer friend who is merciless and focused and amazingly motivating when faced with a really gross display of closet-I-don't-know-exactly-where-to-put-this stuff.

(This sounds so crazy, but while typing this, the bruise/bump on my head starting tingling and stinging ever so slightly at the memory of that traumatic head crash. Is that normal?)

(Disclaimer on today's verse: this is such an interesting verse, not exactly relevant, but it showed up when I was searching for a good one about head injuries and I decided that it would be just fine. I hope it blesses you. insert smiley face)

{For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life. Deuteronomy 19:5}

Monday, March 01, 2010

daily dose.

1. I sure hope the first weeks of March are easier than the last weeks of February! I won't share the details, but I got to a point in February where I had to abandon (temporarily) my blogging plans. Bummer.

2. I think things are normaling out a bit now. Of course, "normal" isn't any kind of easy, but I'll take it!

3. Since it is the first day of March (So long, February! I won't be missing you!), I'll share a link to the Project of the Month - "Daily Dose" - at the new Fiskars Website. Today's project is super cool and every day this month is going to have fresh, creative inspiration! I will have a couple of projects in the mix, but I don't know which days yet. Check back every day in March...and don't forget that it is National Craft Month, so you'll need to be especially crafty this month.

4. Since it is Menu Plan Monday, I will share that I have made no progress in my menu-planning efforts yet, but I'm still thinking about it, and that has to count for something. I've been reading blogs by more experienced menu planners, and they really do motivate and inspire me! There is some freezer cooking going on among some of the bloggers I follow, so if you are interested in saving time as well as money, check some of them out. Here are a few of my very favorites:

Life as a Mom
Money Saving Mom
The Extreme Housewife

5. Tomorrow's Tackle-It Tuesday, and I really, really, really hope to be tackling some stuff on my list!

10.Now, taking people to dance and myself to the gym. My feet (plantar fascitis) have been feeling so much better - as long as I stay away from the flip-flops or bare feet - so I'm hoping to start back to a good walking routine.

It's hard to make a "ten" list when people are wanting to be driven somewhere...pretend that was really 10.

{This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Genesis 6:9}

Friday, February 12, 2010

quick quote.

Cody says to me:
"You are already old. But when you are 73, you'll want a cane."

Welcome to my world.

[Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. Genesis 18:11]