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]

Saturday, February 06, 2010

random musings of a person who should be at the beth moore retreat but is instead at home with a tummy ache.

Now. Before you think I am sick again, please know that I am most likely not actually ill. Here are my best guesses for this current situation:
1. the antibiotic I am taking isn't "agreeing" with me,
2. I ate something last night that didn't "agree" with me (but then wouldn't a whole lot of other people be sick since there were like 148 women at the retreat?),
3. I have the current "stomach bug" that is going around (which would, in fact, make me technically ill).

I just don't know. I sent my sweet hubby out for some acidophilous and I'm hoping it will help. Since I can't go to the retreat today in this condition, I will play with the October Afternoon papers I got in the mail yesterday. Oh, my. I love "The Thrift Shop." I love "Fly A Kite." Lovelovelovelovelovelovelove. Love. Them.

I am going to make wallpaper backgrounds with these new papers for my phone and switch them out every day so I can see them even when I'm not home. (Thank you, October Afternoon, for making the best papers ever! Sincerely, Stacey)

Yesterday was Finish-It Friday. I don't think I finished anything, but I did make a huge, gigantic dent in the pile of coupons I had that needed to be sorted and filed. I am almost finished and then I will go shopping. And I will save lots of money while stocking up on stuff we will use throughout the year. I love walking by items in the store, knowing that I have a big pile of it at home and that I paid less than half of what it is regularly. I love when someone in the house runs out of toothpaste or shampoo and I give them another from my stash that I paid almost nothing for. It's so much more fun than putting it on a grocery list and having to pay full price! The only way I have found to do that is to have the coupons and buy when the items are on huge sale. (I'll get off my soapbox now, sorry.)

Today: Suffocation Saturday. Truly, I need to rename Saturday. It sounds a bit...deadly. But that is what clutter and chaos are to me - deadly! I'm not up for doing much garage organizing today, which has been my main focus lately. But I might work on labeling my paper drawers while I do my scrappy stuff. It needs to happen and it feels to good when it's done!

Next week: the garage. I am on a bit of a timeline with the garage because if I wait too long, it will be hot out there. And there will be mosquitoes. And there will be humidity. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. In this part of Texas, we have mild winter (forecasted highs in the 40's next week), super-short early spring, then very warm (refuse to say HOT yet) mid-to-late spring. So the garage needs to get organized before mid-April, for sure.

Oh, and there's the attic. It is part of the garage, you know. And it's hot up there after about April 15. And it's pretty full. I have wondered if anyone's attic has ever caved in on their house. I'm not talking about when I put my foot through the attic floor/kitchen ceiling, but just stuff getting too heavy for it. Does that ever happen?

[Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 21:9]

Friday, February 05, 2010

thrifty thursday.

As far as fruit goes, we eat what's on sale.

Oh, happy day, grapes are on sale at Kroger!

I was there on Monday and I saw that grapes were $3.99 a pound and I said to myself (but out loud, apparently), "Who's going to buy grapes at $3.99 a pound? Not me."

I refused.

And this man who was standing not too far from the grapes with a large selection of red grapes in his basket said, "Three-ninety-nine a pound? Maybe I shouldn't buy these..."

And he puts his hand on his grapes cautiously.

He hadn't noticed the price (or probably had no idea what the price should be) and seemed to be conducting a back-and-forth debate in his head (why didn't I keep mine in my head?) about whether it would be okay to put them back.

I didn't get involved.

Later, I saw him wheeling those grapes around in his basket, so I assumed that the people-shouldn't-put-produce-back-after-they've-put-it-in-a-bag part of him had won the debate with the thriftier no-one-should-pay-$3.99-a-pound-for-grapes part of him.

There could have been other factors involved, as well. If it was on his grocery list and that list was made by his wife, those grapes would have had to have been pretty expensive before he would have considered not getting them.

I could tell.
He was that kind of husband.
Follow the list.
Get the stuff.
No questions.
Do not think,
just follow the list.
He was definitely trained.

I wonder if his wife hit him over the head with them when he got home with what looked like $12 worth of grapes.

That was Monday.

Yesterday I went to Kroger for a pill splitter. What a contraption! I thought I'd be 85 years old before my hubby sent me to the store for a pill splitter. They had been out of pill splitters, but the pharmacy called him when they got more in this week, and I went to get it. 42 years old, that's what we are. It's not normal.

So when I walked in the door at Kroger, the very first thing I noticed was that grapes were on sale for $1.99 a pound. I said, "Oh, happy day!" and grabbed a basket because I know myself. I might have been able to walk in and buy a pill splitter and leave the store without needing a basket, but if I'm getting grapes, too, I'm going to end up with a basket full of something!

When I got to the grape section in the produce area, I found a picked-over, almost-empty table. The grapes that were left were icky. I was not the only person excited about the lower price.

I didn't want old, cheaper grapes, just cheaper grapes. I asked if there were fresh ones in the back, and sure enough, the boy brought out a wagon load of beautiful, juicy, plump cheap grapes.

It was a good thrifty Thursday.

[By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:16]

Thursday, February 04, 2010

little boy love and weighing in.

Corey pulled up a chair next to me tonight and shared his blanket as we snuggled and I cut coupons.

It sounded so sweet until that last part, I know. But I was making my way through a mountain of newspaper inserts and he wanted to sit on me. We decided it was just as fun to sit right by each other for tonight and so he went and got his blanket and a chair, parked next to me, and spread the blanket over both of us.

When he opened up his blanket, a beanie wolf fell out and I said, "You had a stowaway!" He didn't understand, so I explained how a stowaway is someone who wants to travel but can't afford to pay for the trip so he sneaks on the boat (or plane or wagon or whatever) and rides and then sneaks away. He absolutely loved the idea of a stowaway and he told everyone who came through the room about his "ummmm......what's that word again? The one who sneaks on the boat?" He must have asked me six times. "Stowaway" is not an easy word to remember.

Oh, the cuteness.

Then he tells me how much he loves me. (I am fully aware that I just switched verb tenses and would not tolerate it in a student's paper, but it's my blog and there are no grades, and I am not fixing it.) And I tell him that I love him more than he loves me. This is a daily little conversation, but then he changes it and tells me not to love him too much. I think he's going to say I need to make sure and love Daddy and the other kids too, but he says, "You need to love God the most." So sweet.

So we talk about how we have lots of love to spread around and that God can have all our love and we still can love each other and how loving God actually gives us more love to share with each other. Then he says, "Mom. I have 280 pieces of love." And I acted like I was extremely impressed because I am pretty sure it was the biggest number he could think of.

So I wrote that part down so it wouldn't get lost forever.

Okay, the weigh-in. I weighed at the doctor's office yesterday. His scale weighed me eleven pounds heavier than the one I have at home! It was a little sad, but I happen to know that I did not gain 11 pounds in 6 hours, so I'm not going to worry about it. It is better to only pay attention to the one scale I weigh on consistently, I know.

I am already feeling so much better. It's amazing what a bunch of bacteria can do to one's health...

Tomorrow is Hair Day. Haircut and color. I am planning to take a picture before I go so I can document the white line down my head that is the roots of my hair. White. Just like my sweet dad. White. Almost completely white. I just cannot be white-haired at 42 years old. Hence, Hair Day. (I taught transition words in Writing today.)

And now, I will abruptly end this post. Thrifty Thursday tomorrow...although I won't feel very thrifty after Hair Day. Maybe I'll get all those coupons sorted. That's thrifty.

Good night!

[Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31]

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

quick ten.

1. I got an antibiotic. It is ginormous. Not exactly the thing for a girl with a really sore throat. I will expect to be feeling significantly better by tomorrow night.

2. Dayna, if you're reading this, I remembered the letters. But I bet you aren't.

3. I talked to three of my favorite scrappy people today. Tif. Kelli. Kendra.The coolest thing about the internet is the friends. Thanks, Al Gore. (I should link those girls, but I'm too tired. Just Google them.)

4. I looked all over the house because I didn't remember taking the NyQuil capsules that I got out of the box. But I can't find them anywhere and I'm about to conk out, so I guess I have my answer.

5. The card above is one I did for the Prism blog. It's one of my favorites because I love that orange and the Harlequin background stamp (from Fiskars).

6. No crazy-weird dreams tonight, please.

7. If you have been waiting for me to ship you something, I am so sorry. I just replaced the printer, so now I can print the label. Apparently going to the post office never occurred to me.

8. My 2010 calendar came today...I took pictures because the shipping box was so cute. I'll post them eventually. You have to see.

9. I did not pay almost $3 for a Rice Krispy treat in Barnes & Noble yesterday. No way. It would not be thrifty . That would be ridiculous. I wouldn't pay that much for a whole box of Rice Krispies, so of course I wouldn't buy a ridiculously overpriced Rice Krispy Treat just because I had to drive all the way to B&N and I felt terrible.

10. I did. I bought that Rice Krispy Treat for $2.95 at B&N. It was yummy.

[I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8]

Monday, February 01, 2010

how they make markers by corey k.

Here is another layout I made for the Prism blog last month. It was a challenge and I was supposed to use at least three yellows and one orange. I think I used five yellows and three oranges. The title is just me cutting out letters without drawing them out first. I don't make them like that very often, but I kind of like it. :)

(End of scrappiness for today.)

"Mom, I think I know how they make markers.
They take a crown (crayon) and put it in a thing and then they let it sit in the car. Or no, they let it sit on the beach, some place where it's real hot.
And that's how they make markers."

It was such a cute little speech.
Corey, January 22, 2010
(I inserted the punctuation because it really sounded like one long, run-on sentence.)

I know. It's Monday.
Menu-planning Monday.
Here's how it went down:
I drove a million miles to countless activities.
I decided to go get a strep test tomorrow because I still feel awful.
We had oatmeal, cereal, and pepperoni rolls for dinner.
The pepperoni rolls were from lunch - my in-laws sweetly brought them from Double Dave's.
I felt too icky to eat a pepperoni roll at all today, which is pretty darn sad.
I didn't plan any meals.
I have no plan for planning meals.
I am not modeling good meal-planning habits this week.

And my poor husband has this blood clot in his leg for which he is taking intense medications and giving himself injections in his stomach which have turned him purple from the bruising and he has been in constant (although finally, diminishing) pain...and I, his help meet, his lovely (in theory) doting wife...I have been moaning about my headache, sore throat, yada, yada, yada for five days. What a story. If we made it into a movie, I'd have to find someone really whiny to play me.

Oh, hey, and I ordered Beth Moore's new book from Amazon, So Long Insecurity: You've Been A Bad Friend To Us. It looks so good. (Please pretend I underlined the title of that book.)

[The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10]

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Since I haven't posted anything scrappy since I got back on my blogging wagon, here's a layout I did for the Prism blog that was posted on January 20.

I use these colors often for my vintage (are the late 1960’s and early 1970’s considered vintage?) photos. I love this combination of Suede Browns with the Mystic blue for older photos. These rich colors are still subtle enough that they don’t overpower the slightly desaturated-looking photos I have from my early childhood.

I take multiple photos of everything my kids do (digital photography is wonderful, isn't it?), but my parents didn't have that option. So for layouts of my early years, I often have just one photo of an event (and I am very thankful to have it!) to use for a layout. Since these old photos are usually square, I like to use this square, layered frame design to highlight the photo.
(End of scrappiness for today.)

You can always tell when I'm starting to feel better because I wander into the kitchen and clean the countertops and bleach the sinks. My family has done has admirable job of feeding itself for two-plus days and even cleaning up afterward...but they don't wipe the counters and they leave the sinks looking spotty. I guess it's okay because it makes me feel needed. So, anyway, I just cleaned the counters and my sinks are soaking in hot, soapy, slightly bleachy water. It feels good.

My head is still stuffy. My throat still hurts. I still have a headache. But. None of it is as bad as it was. When it's time to take more ibuprofen, I'll just take it. I don't want to know how much it's helping. I just want to keep feeling better. (smile.)

So. Since nothing much has happened, I'll give a random "ten" list:
1. I love to play "Words With Friends" on my phone. If you like to play, email me and I'll give you my username so we can play a game. Sometimes I am slow and only play at red lights or when I'm waiting to pick up my kids from something, so if you play with me, plan for it to be a looooooooooooooooooong game.
2. Did you know that Bazzill Basics Paper has acquired the Prism Prismatics Cardstock? Here is a list of the colors they will be offering. It's a beautiful array of colors and I'm happy to say that they are still going to have all of my favorites! More details.
3. If I had some of the new October Afternoon "Thrift Shop" or "Go Fly a Kite" stuff, I'd be making something with it. I'm just saying.
4. I think even a sick-but-getting-better person can make Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie. Right?
5. Corey's cute quote from yesterday (he was talking to Cody and watching Revenge of the Sith) - "I wish there were sixteen Star Wars movies. But that would be impossible, wouldn't it? Luke would be old, old, old." Who could make this stuff up?
6. Doug's quote from yesterday (he was talking about his 2nd grade basketball team) - "I felt like I was talking to an ant hill."
7. Oh, my stars. Sometime during my NyQuil-induced haze this weekend, a box arrived on my doorstep, jam-packed with the new Fiskars clear stamps (I think I counted 44 sets with up to 31 stamps in each set), new inks, and Limited Edition Spring Punches. A box of cuteness, to be sure!
8. I am running out of motivation for this list.
9. Abbey Road "Whirlybird" from My Mind's Eye is sweetness itself.
10. Who ate all the sunflower seeds and left the other food in my bird feeder? I'm glad to feed whoever it is, but I want to watch.

[I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13]

Saturday, January 30, 2010

why i missed my first finish-it friday of 2010.

I'm sick. A lot sick. Like my-throat-is-so-swollen-and-sore-I-don't-know-how-I'm-gonna-swallow-that-ibuprofen sick. This is why I didn't do Finish-It Friday yesterday. And I'm sure I won't do it today.

Maybe tomorrow.

Here's a "ten" list for what today is looking like:
1. Sore throat, headaches, all-over achiness, and pain.
2. Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate ice cream.
3. Ibuprofen and Extra-Strength Tylenol.
4. Cold water.
5. The Proposal. (I have been wanting to see this, but I never sit long enough to watch a whole movie, but now I don't want to move, so I'd say this is the perfect time for a movie.)
6. Chick-fil-a lemonade. (Jolie and Doug brought it to me and I didn't even request it.)
7. Sleep.
8. Catching up on my Google Reader.
9. Making a to-do list for next week.
10. Feeling a little (or a lot) better by the end of the day. (Optimism never hurts.)

[Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. Matthew 12:13]

Thursday, January 28, 2010

weigh-in wednesday.

I took this picture yesterday when I was getting that quickie to-do list photo. I noticed my shadow and thought how nice and tall and straight I's almost like the carnival fun house mirror that distorts an image and makes people look tall and thin. I do enjoy that mirror.

I just weighed in for the first time since before Christmas. I was a bit nervous. To be honest with you, I cannot tell when I have gained or lost by how I feel. I think if I gained 10 or 15 pounds, I'd notice, but a few up or down is hard to notice. When I was at a healthy weight, I was pretty sensitive to fluctuations of just 2 or 3 pounds. This is probably why I gained that extra weight over the last couple of years (well, that and Doritos). I didn't weigh myself and I couldn't feel the weight coming on. I did wonder why my clothes were shrinking, though.

So. Anyway. I got on the scale and was down 3 pounds! I was thrilled because even though it's been 5 weeks since I weighed, I distinctly remember eating a few non-weight-loss-friendly things over the holidays. I didn't just pig out, though, mostly because the healthier foods make me feel so much better. It's not fun to eat junk and feel bad when I know how good eating healthful foods can make me feel.

Tomorrow morning: appointment with Doug at the coumadin clinic. I'm hoping to learn a lot about his treatment and be encouraged somehow.

The verse today is from 1 Thessalonians, which Corey pronounces "Sethalonians."

[Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 1 Thessalonians 3:7]

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

tackle-it tuesday.

I think today would have been more appropriately titled "Taxi Tuesday." I drove almost all day! While I was dropping Jolie off at the dance studio this morning for the class the assists in, I took a picture of my to-do list with my phone, and here it is.

I usually make the list on Monday night because Mondays are so busy with homeschool co-op, piano lessons, and dance that I don't get much accomplished besides feeding everyone, playing scrabble on my phone, and maybe some little errands between drop-offs and pick-ups. If I would make my list on Sunday night, I might be able to tackle some of the errands on Monday...hmmm, I'll work on that. Tuesday is still the day that I really feel like I can tackle all those to-do items.

The idea behind my to-do list is to write down pretty much everything I need or want to get accomplished this week in sort of a brainstorming fashion. I leave plenty of space to add to my list and I don't worry about making it pretty or neat. Sometimes if my life is really overwhelming me with activities and deadlines, I will make four sub-lists: House, School, Work (usually just creative stuff), and Project. The project category will have all the things I need to do for whatever I have overcommitted to at the moment like a working a fundraiser, teaching a class, or hosting an event at home. I'll also use that section if there's a holiday coming up and I have several things to get accomplished.

As I brainstorm, I think of things I want to do but know I won't get to this week. Those things go in a little section I call "planning mode." It's funny, but if I actually write those down somewhere, knowing full well that I will not get around to them for days or weeks, it still puts them on my "radar," and I start thinking about them and jotting down ideas as they come to me. If I don't write down the "planning mode" projects, they stay jumbled up in my head and make my thoughts more cluttered, which makes me feel less on top of things.

I will often write an estimated time next to a task because it helps me to know what I can cram in when I only have 5 or 10 minutes to get something done (this is usually the "low-hanging fruit" - tasks that are easyeasyeasy to get done and crossed off - and I wonder, "Why in the world do little tasks have be written on a list to get done??"). This also helps me because when I see "45 minutes" next to a task, it reminds me that this is not an all-day project and I can limit myself to a certain amount of time to complete it. Sometimes I think I treat myself like a child, but it does seem to work...

The other notes I make on the list are checks and initials for delegating tasks. (I love delegated tasks.) The checks help me to know that just because I haven't crossed something off, doesn't mean I am not making progress!

On Friday (Finish-it Friday!), I will look at the list and focus on finishing anything I haven't completed throughout the week. I do have to be careful not to leave too much for Friday, though.

Oh, my. Is anyone still reading this? Bless you. But I enjoyed going through this process with myself and maybe it will motivate someone else to make a list. I am thinking it might be fun to save my lists in a folder. I never have, but it might be interesting at the end of the year to look back at them. I'll look at this week and think about how it was the week we found a blood clot in Doug's leg and we were collecting things to send with Haiti disaster relief teams. It hasn't been the best week, I guess...but I am sure I'll be able to look back and say that I can see God's hand in every bit of it.

I'll share more about Doug's medical issues when we know more. Right now it's just doctor's visits and medication and self-injections and lots of pain and too much waiting. What a week. But when I look at the photos of the devastation in Haiti, I am reminded that we are so rich and our access to medical care is such an amazing blessing.

Back to the Tackle-it Tuesday list...if you decide to post yours on your blog, let me know. I want to see!

[My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:15-16]

Monday, January 25, 2010

menu plan monday.

I love when new people leave a comment on my blog because I find new people to ohh and ahhh over in Blog Land. I just added Christi Snow to my google reader. I love her cards and layouts...I think I'll be visiting her often for inspiration. (smiles)

It's pretty hard to plan meals when I don't have a calendar. No, I mean I really don't have one. I couldn't decide which one to use this year, so I have been flying by the seat of my pants so far in 2010 because I haven't been able to commit to a calendar. It hasn't been pretty. We've missed some stuff. That's embarrassing for me, disappointing for the child whose event was missed, and just silly because I just needed to have my life on a calendar where it belongs so I don't miss stuff.

I'm printing out a blank calendar this very moment from WinCalendar so I'll have something to work with until the calendar I ordered (um, will order) arrives. The one I am finally committing to is the same calendar I used last year from Erin Condrin. I loved it so much, but it's not the cheapest one around, so I thought I'd get something different for 2010 (different = less expensive). I got a little money for Christmas from someone who wanted to get me a purse but didn't know how to pick one out for me. Now she has gotten me a calendar instead. (smile)

I need to plan meals whether I have a calendar or not, so here's my attempt. I may have to make changes based on evening activities, but I think it will work out fine and it's definitely better than nothing. Eventually, I'd like to plug breakfast in, but for now, I'm going with this:

Lunch(between piano and Latin in car) pigs in a blanket, juice, spinach, and fruit)
Dinner - Crock Pot Chicken w/potatoes, carrots, green beans; Bread

Lunch - Soup, salad, crackers, fruit
Dinner - Lasagna, etc.

Lunch - Mac n Cheese, salad
Dinner - Church Dinner? (Possibly take sandwich stuff)

Lunch - Breakfast for Lunch :)
Dinner - Chicken Tortellini Casserole, salad


Lunch - Homemade Cheese Pizza (kids), Veg soup (me)
Dinner -

Lunch -
Dinner -

Lunch -
Dinner -

Aaaaaaaargh!! I am stumped. No wonder dinnertime is such a mess. I can't think of what to cook.

[So heap on the wood and kindle the fire. Cook the meat well, mixing in the spices; and let the bones be charred. Ezekiel 24:10]

the blog days.

I have missed my blog. If I go back over the years, I really enjoy reading about our life, especially when we lived on the farm. Funny, because I really did not appreciate that place...

Anyway, the last year has been pretty dry for me blog-wise, which makes it hard for me to scrapbook about that time. I rely pretty heavily on my blogs for journaling on my scrapbook pages.

So. To encourage myself to blog daily or close to it, I have a schedule for daily blog topics. For the most part, I did not make them up. I have seen them around in blogland. I will post the links as I remember where I found them.

Here's the schedule:
Monday - Menu Plan Monday
Menus for the week! This has the potential to stress me out because I am generally inclined to avoid menu planning, even though when I have meals planned out, the days are so much smoother. I am hoping to use meal planning to de-stress our life a little bit instead of making it worse...

Tuesday - Tackle-it Tuesday
My to-do list. Sometimes it feels so good to just write down everything that needs to be done. To just face it all. So much of the list is usually simple tasks that just need to be prioritized and tackled. (There are always those to-do-list items that keep getting put off. That's what Friday is for.)

Wednesday- Weigh-in Wednesday
Results from my weekly weigh-in. No matter what. Up or Down. And some goal setting, pep-talking, and maybe some thoughts on the long process of losing almost 100 pounds.

Thursday - Thrifty Thursday
Bargain hunting, great deals, coupons, garage saling, trips to the thrift shop, ideas for spending less and saving more. This will be coming from a girl (me!) who used to abhor the idea of being frugal, thrifty, or bargain-focused in any way.

Friday - Finish-It Friday
My Procrastination Prevention Program. Targeting the items on my list that I seem to avoid and put off - or the stuff that I know I have the potential to procrastinate - OR just little stuff that I have started but not finished.

Saturday - Suffocation Saturday
The decluttering, purging, and simplifying process that is my almost-constant goal. Cluttered closets, crowded counters, over-full drawers, and crammed cabinets make my day-to-day life more stressful than it needs to be. I need to do this.

Sunday - I might not blog on Sunday, but here's a great place to say that every one of these blog topics - each day - is important to be because I know that faithful stewardship of my time, talent, health, money, and home is critical to my ability to live out my faith and shine for my heavenly father. When I am stressed, sick, overwhelmed, or unprepared, I am not the best wife, mother, or friend that I could be...and God has entrusted much to me! I expect that my posts will be absolutely, wonderfully full of Him.

Of course, I will also be inserting a liberal amount of crafty-ness and scrappy good stuff throughout the blog week as well!

It's been so long since I have blogged regularly that I don't expect much company in the new blog year, but if you do happen to read this, feel free to leave a comment to say "hi" or to share what you are doing in these areas.

[In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16]

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I was catching up on a tiny bit of blog reading (I have over 1000 blogs to read in my Google Reader even though I keep deleting and deleting) and I saw something that inspired me over at the My Mind's Eye blog:
"During the month of January you are going to design your cover and album. The first week of each month, beginning in February, you are going to document your own personal “top ten” for the previous month. It can be anything you’d like:
* top ten adventures
* top ten funny things that were said
* top ten hopes
* top ten foods
* … anything!
I just think this is a cool idea! I think I'm going to do it with a tall, skinny book. I think I have one. I am confident that I am not exaggerating when I say I have more than 40 blank books. (See #7 below.)

The post at MME also made me realize that getting back on the blogging wagon doesn't have to be so hard...I'll just do some "ten" lists! Here's my first "ten" list:

Ten Things About My Life That I Haven't Been Blogging About:
1. Scramble on Facebook - I am obsessed. On Christmas, I realized that I could play against live people any time of the day or night.
2. Painting the inside of our house - "Cloudless" in the girls' bath. "Natural Wicker" on the main walls. "Ultra White" trim paint. This project will take me all year, I am thinking. I fell off the ladder twice after 2am a couple of weeks ago. Well, not so much fell off as misjudged how far down the ladder I was and stepped off backward from much higher up than I should have. Ow. Twice. Slow learner.
3. Landfill management - I parked the Suburban in the garage during the 4-day cold snap we had after New Year's Day. This was a HUGE accomplishment!! Huge. Huge. But then we had...
4. Nineteen girls - The freshman girls stayed at the house last weekend for a big church youth event. They met at the church with all the rest of the middle school, jr. high, and high school kids, but the 9th grade girls slept and ate at our house. In preparation for this weekend, I took down the Christmas tree(s) moved any and all extraneous "stuff" into the garage so they'd have places to sleep and hang out. And now the garage looks like a landfill again.
5. Losing weight - Really! I have lost almost 30 pounds. I have been eating less and much more healthfully. It feels SO GOOD. I don't think it's all that noticeable (no one ever says anything), but I have gone down a couple of sizes and I am close to going down another. I wish I could exercise more - if it weren't for the ...
6. Plantar faciitis - The pain started on Halloween. I went to the Aggie football game (miles of walking) and then walked a lot that night. I didn't notice much pain until the next day, and it has been downhill from there. I think it's starting to get better now. I still cannot walk barefoot or wear my beloved flip-flops, but with a good Spenco arch support (bought mine at Academy for $24.99), most of my other shoes will work and I'm not in pain. It has kept me from exercise, though. I am thinking I'll sign up for water aerobics again, since it's not a weight-bearing exercise.
7. Suffocation - I have been struggling so much with the stuffed condition of my closets, drawers, garage (see #3 above), and home in general. Sometimes I feel like we are drowning in excess. Suffocating. We. Have. Too. Much. But I am working on it. I have a plan and it is a blog in itself. Probably a series of blogs. So far, I have only touched the surface of this issue in my life, that's for sure.
8. Winter - I love Texas winter. Love it. Love. It. We have been having some beautiful weather and I love that the boys can play outside without being hot or cold.
9. Not scrapbooking - Seriously, I haven't done much actual scrapbooking in the last six months. Just assignments. This. Must. Change. I moved my albums from the top shelf in my scrap room to the lowest one so I can reach them. I think this will help. I think one of my biggest hindrances has been that all my pictures are digital and I don't have any printed out.
10. Decongesting - We have had two major viruses in our home since the week before Christmas. Sore throats, stuffy noses, ear infections, sinus infections, and asthma are some of the issues we've been dealing with as a result! I used neo-synephrine last week for the first time and it was quite a wonderful discovery.

[Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it." Genesis 18:32]

Friday, January 22, 2010

vacuum cleaner on cheese/thrifty thursday.

"Hey guys? I am a vacuum cleaner on cheese."

Corey, January 22, 2010
eating lunch

It's true. Corey loves cheese. He does seem to inhale it sometimes. I buy a lot of cheese! But I never, ever pay full price or even the minor-sale-on-cheese price. I get it when it's a loss leader [a product sold at a low price (at cost or below cost)to stimulate other, profitable sales]. I try to get it for 50-75% off and then I stock up like there will be no more cheese available in his lifetime. What I am doing is "stockpiling" which sounds illegal or at least unethical for some reason, but I call it wise shopping. As often as I can, I buy non-perishable or long-term storable (especially in the freezer) items at these low prices so I can skip having to purchase them at the higher everyday price. These lower prices are always lower than WalMart's everyday prices.

Combining the loss leader prices with coupons give me an opportunity to stock up on free or almost-free staple items. I was so happy to make bags of hygiene necessities for a relief organization that is working in Haiti. We filled twelve 1-gallon bags with a specific list of items and the full-size tubes of Crest and Colgate toothpaste and bars of Zest and Dial soap cost me almost nothing because I had purchased them with coupons combined with big sales.

On the way home from the doctor today, Doug and I stopped at the grocery store. Kroger has their Mega Event going on. If you live near a Kroger, check to see what you can stock up on! I bought thirty cans of Ro-tel tomatoes and tomato sauce because the price is really great. The limit is 30 per transaction, but I will be back because we use a lot of Ro-tel tomatoes and I never see them go on sale. I have an out-of-the-way corner cabinet that is perfect for storing stockpiled canned goods and cereals.

Besides the obvious money-saving benefit of stocking up when prices are low, there's also the time-saving benefit of not running out of staple ingredients or even having to think about them until the inventory list shows that there are only a couple of cans left. I also tend to buy much less at the store because I have my own stores of food and dry goods at home, bought at next to nothing.

The coupons take some commitment, but I find that they are so worth it. It's like a much can I save? The cashiers at the grocery store love to see how much I am going to save when I come in. They cheer me on and I love that!

There are some really great websites that deal exclusively with shopping to save money. Here are some of my favorites:

If you have a favorite thrifty website or blog, I would love to know about it!

[Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. Provers 13:11]