Monday, December 16, 2013

On being scrooge

Oh the joys of Christmas!  The lights, the smells, the twinkle in my children's eyes.  And the responsibilities, the crowds, the pressure that I put on myself to do things, make things, give things.

I have not been feeling the season this year.

Part of it is my daughter.  'Lil is just. so. HARD. sometimes.  I haven't let myself call her anything more than determined (though her special ed preschool teacher laughed when I said that, and said that was a VERY nice way to describe how stubborn she is).

But more than once this month, in an attempt to not scream like a banshee, I've sent everyone downstairs with a movie on, and cranked Christmas music super loud to drown out all the bad.

It's worked - sort of.  I've calmed down, but I still haven't felt the Christmas spirit.

I always give presents to many people - friends, neighbors, family.  This year I've been fine to get things together for my kids and hubby, but every time I go to do more than plan a gift for someone else, I just put it off more and more and more.  The other day I realized that I was resenting this whole gift thing.  No one is making me give presents - no one but myself.  I resented myself for being selfless in other years and expecting it of myself this year.

Selfishness has been a bit of a problem this year.  I was being Scrooge.

Enter Saturday night.  My wonderful sister took four of us to a Messiah sing along.

It was fabulous.

The soloists did more than sing notes - they sang the story.  I felt the power of that inspired piece of music.  I fumbled along as we sang A a a a a a a  a A a a a a A ------------ men over and over and over, and felt the power in my soul of the truthfulness of our Savior.  I mentally connected that "blessing and honour, glory and power" and felt my testimony deep within my soul remind my natural self of just why I've always loved giving to others.

I left that performance inspired - full of love and the Spirit of Christmas.

My only regret - it was too late to make those 6 loaves of bread for my neighbors that night.  But don't worry, I have a plan today.  I'm off to play with flour and yeast and bring that joy to others.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Words of the Prophets


So earlier today I was on Pintrest, when I saw THIS pin, which links to The Idea Door. 

Now, anything that makes my life easier just makes me happy, and having a great handout to give when Visiting Teaching this month is great!  But then I started really looking at it.  And very quickly I realized that the handout was not in fact the words of the prophets.  It was the words that one person heard while listening to conference.   Now, maybe I'm a little picky here, but I always prefer my quotes direct, not just paraphrases.

So I ended up taking almost 2 hours finding the actual quotes and arranging them.  (and some them were VERY different or not even there!)

Since I don't want to make everyone else do the same, here's one line quotes from different talks - in their own words this time.



(just right click and select "save image as". You should then be able to print it!)

Friday, September 6, 2013

We have a winner!

Wow, lots of fun desserts on that list.  I had to laugh when my sister put a link for swig sugar cookies - 'cause it's the same one we actually tested but decided to NOT put in this book!

So, from random.org, here's the results:

and who is #4?

Megan you win!  email me with your address and I'll drop the book in the mail.

*and this giveaway made me realize that my comments don't have numbers  by them anymore.  shoot. I'll have to see if I can get them back!


Sewing for 'Lil part 2 (a whole wardrobe!)

 *I just want to start this post by apologizing for the total mess in the background of most of these pictures.  Sometimes you just deal with what you can get!


So I mentioned before that 'Lil only wears dresses.  That isn't exactly accurate. I figured out she just is only willing to wear one article of clothing at a time. So she'll wear just a pair of pants as happily as just a shirt or just a dress, which is why we always choose that last option!

So here's the story of how I did an entire wardrobe for my girl for less than $20.

When I started, 'Lil had 2 play dresses, one of which was getting too small. Now she's got this:

(the two we already had aren't in this shot.)  I'm going to break this down with all the links for the tutorials I found too.

1: ($5.47) this is a group of 3 dresses that I got from Threadup when they were having a special (it was $15 off for first time costumers, so I only spent on shipping). So $5.47 so far.

2: (free) This was a man's shirt I got for free, then I followed THIS tutorial to make it into a dress.  Except for the sleeves - at first I tried to just leave them  . . . .

Not so great! So I cut them off, sewed a bottom band to gather them in, and the final result is MUCH cuter!


(ok, I still need to hem it up a bit, but hey, it works)


3: ($8) I already talked about this one, and it was by far the most expensive one of the bunch  (WHY is fabric so gosh darn much?)  and you can get the pattern HERE.  So $14 for 5 dresses so far.



4:  (free) This might be my favorite one of the bunch.  I took a black long sleeved t that fit her and a women's skirt I got for free and combined them.  The skirt had a shirred waist, so really it was just sewing the two together. 

5: ($2) thrifted from goodwill (so $15 for 7 dresses so far)

6: ($1).  One of these jumpers was a hand me down, the other thrifted for a buck, but both of them I took old t shirts and sewed them to the straps.  That way she thinks it's only one dress and will still be covered!)

 7: ($1) another thrifted dress, but I did the same sew-the-shirt-in trick as before.

10: ($1) this was the easiest BY FAR of them all. It's a size 8 shirt.  Fits my size 4 like a dress - what could be better!
 
 
9: (free) I followed THIS tutorial, but then realized I hated the sleeves. So I cut them off, trimmed them a bit, then sewed them back on.  I also wanted a waist line, so I sewed the ribbon on.  Super easy! 

10: (free) this is a mix of a bunch of tutorials, but mostly THIS one.

11: (free) I had a friend give me the fabric for this one, and I sewed up a little pesant dress, mostly following THIS tutorial, but there's dozens of them out there!

At this point I counted up how many dresses we had (14 if you're wondering), and decided that was enough. But I have ideas/supplies for about 5 more, so we'll see.


It really helps that I had a bunch of adult clothes given to me for free, but it really isn't to hard to save a bundle on your kid's clothes!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Read with me (+ a giveaway)

I haven't done a read with me post in ages, but I have a perfect excuse for one today!

Who want's a new book!

Yup - Sadie Hoffmiller #10 is out!  This time, Sadie travels to Southern Utah and gets sucked into another mystery.  She kind of goes kicking and screaming into it, and then somehow actually gets asked by the police to help out this time!  It's a new experience

for sure.

It's another winner for Josi Kilpack.  A couple of plot points I saw coming, but by and large I was surprised over and over - especially at the "who-done-it" moment.  I loved it.

Now, let's talk recipes.  First off:
these are by my dad!  And  it's honestly some of the best dutch oven I've ever had. When we were testing these, a couple of the other bakers were surprised at them.  They felt that dutch oven should be more of just throw some stuff in and leave it alone.  And there's nothing wrong with doing that!  But with the extra steps that my dad always put in, it goes from "ho-hum" meal (which is what I usually think about dutch oven) to some of the BEST cooking I've ever eaten.

Oh, and the fudge is AWESOME.  And don't forget Cafe Rio's sweet pork with lime rice hmmmmm, I'm getting hungry just typing these up!

. . . . .Where was I? Oh yah - the give away!  I've got an autographed copy of Rocky Road to give away.  If you'd like to win, just leave a comment here with your favorite dessert (bonus points if you give me the recipe!). I'll take submissions until Thursday, September 5 at oh 8:00 pm, and then I'll announce the winner after that!

Monday, August 12, 2013

sewing for 'lil

So 'Lil has decided that dresses are the only thing she's willing to wear.

Which is weird to me.  First of all, because I HATED dresses as a kid.  Second of all, because Girly-Lou couldn't care less about what she wears, so it's very different to have a girl that's picky. 

And of course, I don't have 8+ dresses I'm willing to let her wear every day either.

Because of all this, I'm in the process of buying/thrifting/sewing a whole wardrobe for her.  Pintrest, of course helps with the ideas.

A couple of days ago I found a pin to THIS page, and she was asking for pattern testers for a cute dress. I've always thought it would be fun to be a pattern tester, so I filled out the form.  The next morning I woke up to FOUR emails from the blogger with all the info and asking to have the dress ready 48 hours later.  (cue panic attack!)

It was a VERY crazy day, but in 24 hours, I did this:


she was mad I was taking pictures, but she really loves the dress

Isn't it adorable! 

Now, the pattern wasn't perfect (yet!), but it's a great basic dress that I could do a dozen different variations with.  I'm super excited to play around with it some more!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

find the joy

Yesterday I was talking with my sister, and (along with a million other subjects), one thing we talked about was the importance of doing what is best.  I've heard it said before that you can tell what is most important to our Heavenly Father by looking at what the world and the devil attack the most.  


Today I read THIS post on another blog.
I love things like this. I love it when parents learn something about themselves, something they didn't realize they were doing, or needed to do, or wanted to to. 


I needed to comment on this, and thought I'd copy it here (with a little expanding too)


Wonderfully written.
Along with this idea . . . I grew up KNOWING that my parents enjoyed me more and more each year. I constantly heard them saying things like “I hate it when people call it ‘terrible twos’. It’s TERRIFIC TWOS”, or “having 4 teenage girls is a joy, not a burden. I love having such great conversations with my daughters now.”

Think of the difference of that and what you usually hear. I knew my parents wanted to be around me. I knew they expected me to act appropriately so everyone ELSE would also want to be around me. We didn’t have moody teenagers because we were expected to be pleasant. (and had consequences too!)

I don’t expect my kids to be perfect, but I do expect them to grow and change. And yes, my three year old screams with the best of them (constantly too!). But I look and that sparkle in her eyes, and celebrate the little things – like the fact that she is finally understanding us (she has a severe communication delay)

Or the inventiveness of my 8 year old. Yes, today she started acting like a moody teenager. But look at just how much she’s grown.

Or listening to my 7 year old giggle as he plays with his 1 year old brother.

Every day, all 4 of my kids are a joy. Sometimes you have to dig under the unpleasantness to see it, but it IS there!  And what an exciting thing it is to be able to discover that joy in each of them as they grow too.

Friday, July 26, 2013

365 days ago

I met this guy:



365 days ago I was sleep deprived from painful contractions all night long. I've never gone into labor on my own, and didn't really feel like I should go to the hospital.  After all, the c-section was scheduled for 11 am the next day.  But man, oh MAN were those painful.  Every bit as painful as the two times I was induced with pitocin.

And I seriously regret not asking someone to check how much I was dilated. It wouldn't have changed a thing about the surgery, just sheer curiosity on my part.

366 days ago freaked my hubby out so much I was left comforting him for several hours before we collapsed into bed. No mother should ever be scared by a heartbeat like that.

366 days ago I had never felt so loved and welcomed by my ward and neighbors. What a joy it was to feel so nurtured by my friends.

365 days ago a  very purple boy was placed into my arms right as I type this.  He was perfect in every way . . . except that color.  He quickly turned pink (and then orange), but I remember stroking those purple fingers as they wheeled us into recovery.

365 days ago I finished my last pregnancy.

365 days go Jellybean came into this world and we finally truely picked his name. (I still look at him and think he looks more like a Will, but that boat has LONG since sailed.)

365 days ago we started babyhood for the last time.
 365 days ago changed our family forever in the bestest of ways.

I can't wait to see what the next 365 days bring.


Happy birthday, Jellybean.  You are loved.











Thursday, July 18, 2013

3 months

I just went 3 months without blogging.

Not a word. Not a picture. (but LOTS of projects!)

This is happening too often to me. And the process goes the same way every time.  Here's what it looks like.

I blog regularly.  I enjoy it. I start thinking of more posts.  Then I start looking at other people's writing. Other people's projects. Other people's lives. 

Then I do one of two things.  I start thinking my life and blog aren't enough.  That I'm not enough. That my words are silly and pointless and meaningless.  So I gradually stop writing at all.

Or I decide that my stuff is good, but needs to be AMAZING so maybe I can get really cool and maybe even get to the point I make money off of this, thus justifying the time I spend here.  This road leads to even worse results than the first. I start doing JUST TOO MUCH. I  try to turn this little corner of the webbernets into something like Ucreate or The Nester.

And I fail.  As I try to do projects and talk about them, I delete post after post after post. All I can see is how unpolished my work is. I don't take enough pictures. My lighting is bad. My writing lacks personality.  My projects are the same thing everyone else has done before.

And then I find reasons to stay away from the blog.  I don't want to even start to think about that failure.    Very quickly I'm doing nothing but blog stalking everyone else.

I'm TIRED of this cycle!  I think this is the third or fourth version of this since I started this thing almost 5 years ago.

So this is me (hi me!) attempting to stop it once again.  I want to write for me. I need to remember that I'm enough without anyone reading this blog, and that yet again I realize why I don't really want to make money off this thing.  Yes, it would be nice. But I'm not willing to put a full time job's worth of work into this thing. 

There will be projects still, of course. And pictures.  But I want more of my personality more than anything. 

Here's to a new start.  I just hope it lasts this time.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Keeping it real: redoing my master bedroom

Trying to do a major redo of your bedroom is seriuosly not an easy thing with a 9 month old and a 3 year old around the house all day.  I wanted this room to be done a couple of years ago. Umm yeah, that didn't even get past the drawing board stage.

So ere's a run down of the schedule of this room:

3 years previous: read a million blogs about how to do board and batten.

2 years previous: buy a new bed and bedding. Get paint swatches that you tape on the wall for the next two years.

1 month previous: buy grey samples and paint the top part, just to see how it would work.

Actual start

Day one: Paint store is having a killer sale. Figure you better just do this think already. Go buy the paint. Then buy the wood and rip it into strips at Happy Mom's house.

Day two: Sunday, so just play.

Day three: the "real" work can start!  Um, nope. Hubby gets sick.  Manage to do one coat of primer on the wood and that's it.

Day four (today): Let's try this again . . . Um nope. manage to get the baseboards pried off (that was GROSS under there!). and that's about it.

At this rate I'll be doing the before/after in about 2 months.

Sigh.

But my kids are happy when I play with them.  Maybe, just MAYBE I can do a little painting after they go to bed. But I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, April 15, 2013

sleep

Such a simple thing.

But any one who has EVER had a newborn, will also tell you it's a very elusive thing too.

It's also something that's been rather hard to come by at my house for the last 8 1/2 months. 

Now, I've sleep trained all of my kids with out much problem at all (we've done the Ferber method.)

But for some reason, I just couldn't do it this time around.  For years I've told people this (what I think) truth: I think every single kid can be sleep trained with this method. But I DON'T think every single parent can do it - you have to do what works for you.

And listening to Jellybean cry was just too much for me.

Maybe it's knowing that he's my last.

Maybe it's that unbelievably pathetic cry he has (sounding like he's cried himself hoarse after about 20 seconds).

Or maybe I'm just to tired to really do that hard now, better in the long run method.

Whatever the case, it just hasn't worked.

So here's where we were 3 weeks ago: Jellybean would wake up between 3 and 7 (no joke!) times a night.  And when you combine that with the 3 or so times 'Lil was getting up, I was NOT a happy person.

Ah, 'Lil.  Here's the story on her nights.

3 months ago she turned three.  This meant she had to transition to a preschool to continue to receive speech therapy.  Now, that was hard enough.  But then I realized that my grand plan of toilet training on her third birthday wasn't going to work so well (too many changes too fast).  So on a whim we did it the day after her IEP meeting.

And it worked . . . sort of.  She still won't go #2 in the right place, and was in diapers at night.

I felt that the diapers were being confusing for her, and that things would improve if I made her stay in underwear at night too.

Which started the waking. I think she had to go, but she would only SCREAM BLOODY MURDER if I put her on the toilet. So instead she would wander the house crying.  Or wet the bed two or three times.  We did this for a about 6 weeks.

Which made me even less willing to let Jake cry.


So I knew something had to change.   First thing I did was put 'Lil back in diapers at night.  I hate spending the money on more diapers, but I realized that $0.17 a night is probably cheaper than the entire load of laundry I did every day from her wetting the bed so much.

It took a week or two, but finally she was sleeping through the night again. And I slowly started working on Jellybean.

I finally started a real bedtime routine with him. I know, it sounds lazy, but I just had never bothered to do anything more but have him fall asleep while eating.  Then I started letting him cry at 10:00.  That didn't work so well for me. So I changed it to rocking him to sleep instead of eating.  After a few days he stopped waking up at 10:00 and I started trying it for his 12:00 waking.  I was still feeding him if he woke up after that, but I was down to only 3 times a night!

Then, over night, he stopped waking up.  For the last 4 nights, he's woken up at 4:30 for a small bottle (about 3 oz), and then back to sleep until 6:30.

I'm like a whole new person now.

(sorry this was such a long post, and most of you probably don't really care. But I wanted to remember what happened with this, and it really is just such a wonderful thing in my life!)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Speed Dating, Relief Society Style

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m responsible for all the activities for the women in my ward (that’s Mormon talk for a church congregation).  I’ve been doing this for almost two years now, and we have some awesome activities, if I do say so myself.

But don’t think I’m really patting myself on the back here. See, I think I’ve come up with  exactly . . . ZERO of the ideas.  The internet ROCKS for great activity ideas (ok, my committee is a huge help too!).  But even with the ideas I’ve found, we usually find a way to improve on them.

And since I get so many things from the great web, I thought maybe it was time I give a little back.  So I’ll be posting our fabulous activities here once and a while.  First up: Friendship Speed Dating.

I first got the idea on Pintrest, of course, when I saw this pin:

IMG_0849

(ok, this is my picture from that night, not hers!)

 

What an awesome idea!  Everyone knows that what women really want is to just chat, and the idea of getting to know the sisters better was an awesome one.  Biggest problem with her post is that she doesn’t really explain the format too great, and there aren’t any questions at all!  So here’s how we did it.

First, we had a potato bar dinner (we’ve got several gluten free in our ward, so this is an awesome option to include them.)  My amazing crafty person decorated the tables . . . um forgot a picture of that!  But we did a polka dot theme – super easy. She did each table a different color of scrapbook papers in different sizes of circles, and then had little nut cups full of color coordinated jelly beans (yes, she admits she’s slightly OCD).  We also had the list of questions at each seat so people could look them over as they ate.

I didn’t want the questions to be the usual. I wanted to actually get to know something about people, not just where they were born or how many kids they had.  We had a great brainstorming session, and came up with this list.

I’ve got it in color:

steps-p0014

Or in black and white for you to use!

steps-p0014 copy

So here was our format.  One side of the table didn’t move – yes that means you don’t get to talk to everyone. But it also means the activity doesn’t last 4 hours.  This was also great for some of the older women that don’t move very well.  We had a time for 5 minutes each spot.  When it was time to switch, my timer friend flipped the lights.  And then usually yelled out.  And then sometimes did jumping jacks to get people to stop talking and move to the next spot.  It took about an hour to get through the line. 

It was one of the biggest hits we’ve ever had. Now, I also have to admit, we fielded more questions on this activity than any other before (Do I bring my husband because we’re dating? Is this actually ok to do because I’m married? What on earth is speed dating anyway?) But stick with it – it’s great!

(if you’d like to follow my rs idea’s board, you can find it here:  Yes, I know it’s called Craft Day, but just go with it!)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Random Fridays #4

This week I’ve got two pictures for you. They were both there for just a few days, and they go hand in hand.

IMG_0839IMG_0884

And they are both political.  I don’t really like getting political here (let’s be honest, I’m related to most of you, and most of you hold the same views as me, so why bother!)

But I do think being involved in our country is important. I think we have a responsibility to pay attention to what is going on around us, to hold our leaders accountable for their choices, and to help our friends and neighbors learn the truth.

 

Not easy. Not even always fun. But still an important thing to do.

 

Have you ever gotten political?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Read with me: 39 Clues

Many years ago I learned a very important lesson when it comes to reading: I’m MUCH happier finding a series after all the books have been published!

With that in mind, I held of reading 39 clues for a long time.  I knew I wanted to, but just put it in the back of my mind. Then Buddy received the first book as a prize.  And now the whole family wanted to read them.

I read all 10 books in less than 2 weeks. (ok, it was only 2 weeks because it took me  a week to check out the other 5. I could have had them done in one!)

I LOVED these books. Simple reading, to be sure, but I so enjoyed the crazy (true!) facts you learn along the way. I loved how the two kids stick together. I loved figuring out Nellie, finding good in strange places, rooting for them all. I'm excited to read the next ones!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Random Friday #3

So I should have something awesome to talk about here. I even have THREE photos for you.

 

 

Nope. Not going to happen. Too many potty training accidents and cutting up 7 yards of fabric on the bias and my house is a wreck and it’s still two more days until Hubby gets home.

 

So for my randomness today:

 

Stewardesses is the longest word that is formally typed with only the left hand.

 

And there you have it!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Day

*So apparently I never actually did hit publish on this post! This was actually my day LAST Thursday, not today.

5:15 – ‘Lil crawls into my bed. Shoot, now I can’t wake up early. Oh well, since Hubby is flying, I’ll let her come.

5:43 – wake up to ‘Lil’s nightmare. calm her down.

5:51 – kicked in kidneys.

5:54- kicked in stomach

6:01- kicked in thigh

6:09- kicked in arm

6:36 – decide I’ve had enough kicking, and need to get going.  Spend 20 minutes calming ‘Lil back down and put on a movie for her.

6:56 – take 5 minutes to quickly read a scripture or two.

7:01 – 7:15 – start mixing up first cake, measuring the water 3 times because I keep on getting it wrong.  Also try and figure out how to fit 3 cakes in my fridge.

7:23 – First cake in oven, start mixing up second

7:26 – Buddy and Girly-Lou wake up.  Attempt to instruct them in the morning ritual while still mixing.

7:27 – stop mixing to rescue the entire box of raisin bran that ended up in the sink.

7:34 – take another look at the sweet pork in the crockpot (placed there night before). Realize there is NO possible way that those two roasts will actually cook through with all the other stuff that needs to be put in there. Call my sister to borrow a second crock pot. Shoot, her’s is broken. 

7:36 – second cake in oven, start mixing jello.

7:40-7:56 – get 3 kids dressed, two girls hair done, 2 lunches packed and family scriptures read. Also pull out first cake and pour jello over it.

7:57 – mix up third cake, put in oven

8:01-8:09 – check all homework, practice spelling, pull out second cake, pour over jello.

8:10 – get 2 kids out to bus, change Jellybean’s diaper (good morning boy!)

8:11-8:42 – get Jellybean dressed, finish third cake, call friend to borrow her crock pot instead, decided to just finish everything at the church so pack bag with all the rest of the ingredients, measuring utensils, dish rags, towels, and all possible serving utensils needed. Attempt to get in exercise clothes, run around like a crazy person, try to feed Jellybean, realize we’re already late to take ‘Lil to special preschool, throw the 2 younger kids in car and race to school.

8:59 – 9:03 – drop off ‘Lil. Race to exercise class.

9:16 – get to church for exercise class. Feel guilty that everyone has been waiting on me for the key to get inside.  Let them in, and spend 10 minutes unloading car.

9:25-9:55 – WORK MY STINKING GUTS OUT. 

9:55 – let in RS committee to set up stuff. Even though I’m stinky, it’s the best choice.

10:00 – 11:20 – finish making sweet pork, set up 6 tables, set those tables, make copies, find every stupid little round table (WHY can’t we have rectangles at this place?) to set up for the activity portion. Feel vastly inferior at my amazing committee’s skills.

11:20 – 12:00. Kill some time, realize I’m on fumes but pay day is tomorrow. Stop and put one gallon of gas in car.  Head to get ‘Lil from school.

12:01-1:00 make lunch for ‘Lil, feed Jellybean, try and clean something in my amazingly crazy kitchen, put Jellybean down for a nap.

1:03: try and check email for a minute.  Realize Jellybean is NOT going to sleep, so get him up.

1:52 put Jelly bean down (for the 5th attempt!) for a nap

1:55 finally make my lunch

2:07 get ready to take a shower

2:08 realize it’s early release and the kids will be home any minute now from school.

2:09 – 2:38 wait for the bus to FINALLY GET HERE ALREADY (and wish I would have gotten in the shower at 2!)

2:39: kids off the bus, check backpacks, get snacks, send outside to play.

2:44 finally shower

2:53 play with my kids!

3:58 get dinner ready for kids.  Also attempt to make my hair look decent and throw on some lipstick.

4: 15 baths and pj for 4 kids (crazy!)

5:20 head to activity.

5:30 – 8:45 Finish setting up dinner, greet people as they come, talk to the girls in charge of the children’s class, have fabulous activity, clean up whole building. Wrestle kids back into car and drive home.

9:00 give Jellybean antibiotics, Girly-Lou shot, ‘Lil sipper of water, and Buddy a big hug and get them to bed.

9:16: finish typing this up. Hitting publish and going to bed now!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Random Fridays #2

IMG_0833

Hah!

When I was 8 or 9, I remember they installed this fancy thermometer at my school.  It was hooked up to the outside (wired, of course!), and showed in big red numbers a very accurate real temperature.  We all thought it was the coolest idea ever.  But the first time I walked by I knew it was wrong. How did I know?  Because I had watched the weather the night before.  The thermometer said 78, and the weatherman had said it was only going to be 76 degrees that day!

I soon learned better. 

Actually, it shocks me just how good the weather predictions are now.  There is so much technology truly tracking things, so much history to accurately compare it to. It is not an exact science, but is sure is much closer than my elementary days!

And with Hubby being a pilot, the weather is kind of  a big deal around our house.  He knows all the really good sites to track storms, can read these weird number thingies and know exactly where the clouds are (elevation wise), how long they will be there, and what to worry about next.

What about you – do you pay attention to the weatherman?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Random Fridays #1

So I’ve been thinking for a while about this little ol’ blog.  I started this blog almost 4 1/2 years ago now. That is just crazy!  It’s always been a place for me to just be me.  But once and a while I forget that, and I start worrying about what my readers are thinking of me. Judging me. Which is REALLY stupid, since I’m related to 80% of you!

Anyway, all this thinking might end up with some changes. I want to start running this a bit more like a professional blog. I don’t expect it to make me any money, or even get big. But I like when blogs have some scheduled things.

With that in mind, I’m instituting Random Fridays.  Why? Because I’m random, and Friday is a fairly easy day for me to post.  There is a business close to my house that follows a similar idea.  They have one of those typical ad boards.  But never once in the 3 years I’ve lived here, have they actually advertised on it.  Instead, it sports jokes, or puns, or just crazy ideas.  Some of them are old jokes. But many of them are unique (at least to me!).

So most of my posts will be pictures of that board, along with some thoughts.  And here’s #1:

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Hah! Yup. I’m pretty good at that! Honestly is a HUGE thing for me – I don’t lie. PERIOD.  However, I like to be nice. So I’m pretty good and some creative truths.  For example, let’s say I had the family vacation from hades.  I won’t tell you that. I’ll tell you “We spent so much time with family!”. Complete truth, but doesn’t tell you just how awful it was!*

Which is why I love the vague!

What about you?

 

*this is a hypothetical scenario. I love my family!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Winner winner!

You guys have some creative vacation ideas!  Now I want to start planning my own dream vacation too.

So, who won this book?

And who is #5?
Hooray for you! I'll get you that book as soon as I can.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hi friends!

Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long!  It’s not that I haven’t thought about you – oh no. I have two or three projects that are all done, pictures taken, I’ve just been to lazy to write about them!
But that’s for later.  To celebrate me coming back on line . . .

WHO WANTS A FREE BOOK!
Baked-Alaska.f-199x300
check out her site here
Yup, it’s giveaway time!  Book 9 in the Sadie Hoffmiller culinary mystery series is here!
This time, Sadie heads off on a cruise with her two kids and her awesome significant other. Of course, even at sea, she can’t seem to stay out of trouble!

My thoughts: this book reads different than the others. Usually there’s one big mystery that takes the whole book to figure out. This is set up a bit more like several short stories all about the same people at the same time. I thought I knew what mystery needed to be figured out, but then it’s done by page 50. A few more pages twiddling my thumbs, and then I find a new mystery! But actually, that was great! My least favorite thing about a short story is it’s always just long enough to make me ticked when it ends. This way, it’s like it keeps on going. 

And the end. Oh be still my twitterpaited heart the end! There are awesome nuggets throughout the book
“You breath energy into my world,” he whispered, so close she could feel his breath move over her face. She felt the words down to her toes. He pulled her to her feet and smiled at her. “Come look a the starts with me. There is nothing better we can do right now that be together.”

Aww. But that’s not as fun as the end!

Anyway, it rocked. Another quick, fun, clean read.

Want your own autographed copy?  Just leave a comment on this post by Sunday March 3, 8 pm central time.  What’s your fantasy vacation? I'll draw a winner at random and you can at least escape mentally!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Read with me

I am a reader.

Seriously.

Just ask my mom.

When I was 16 I got my own room.  It was awesome.  After several months, I realized I was right next to the work room - which had its own exit.  I could sneak out and my mom would NEVER KNOW.

It took a few nights to work up the courage. Then I carefully placed my sneakers on my too wide feet, eased open that work room door, and tiptoed up the cement stairs. The whole world was at my fingertips.

What did I do with all that freedom?

I sat on the swing set and read. 

I was such a rebel.

Reading is my escape.  It lets me turn off reality for a short time and explore another world. A place where all my problems will be solved in 400 pages. 

Even in my busiest times, I have a book I'm reading.  All through college, or testing, or potty training, I find time to read - even just 15 minutes during lunch.

I also love Good Reads. It lets me keep track of just how many books I love, and helps me remember what those books actually are. 

With all that in mind, I'm going to start something new here. I am NOT turning this into an actual book blog. But I am planning on putting a few thoughts once and a while on what I'm reading.

And I actually set a reading goal this year.  75 books. Should be easy (I've done 10 in 3 weeks). And you guys can keep me on task too -there's a widget over on the side there that shows my progress.

Want to join me?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A personal before and after

While I wish this was me saying I’m now a size 6, this personal improvement is a bit quicker to achieve.

 

Guys, it’s been almost 14 months since I had a haircut.   It’s just sad.  My hair has been bugging me for at least 9 of those months.  And I still put it off and off and off.

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So here I am.  I wanted to look nice, so I even put on some make up.  Make up on a Wednesday, I must love you guys!

But I apparently drew the line at actually doing my hair. Which is one of the huge reasons I needed a hair cut.  See, I am actually capable of making hair look ok. But I’ve learned, if my hair gets past my shoulders, 97% of the time it will look like this:

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Always. I just throw it back in a claw or pony tail.  I was DONE!

 

There is an awesome beauty school fairly close to me. They do incredibly professional work, and a hair cut is only $5.  I also really wanted something new. I’ve had the same style for 3 years now, and I was ready for a change.  So I got brave. 

When the girl asked me what I wanted, I said something new, what would you suggest!  She thought I’d look good with a swing bob.  I was clueless what that was! After the description, I agreed, as long as it wasn’t too crazy choppy in the back. 

 

And we also did a longer than normal version of it.

 

So after, 5 inches cut off the back and 3 1/2 in the front, here I am:

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I can’t believe how much better it feels! It’s not so heavy, so yucky, so in my face.  I’m loving it!

 

Now I just have to see if I can style it like she did!

 

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Ready for some outtakes? Did you know just how hard it is to take a good picture of yourself in the mirror?  I liked the coloring better that way, but oh dear, it was hard!

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And very quickly you feel like every picture looks like this :

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And you feel like this:

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Oh well!

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Crickets

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I've been feeling like I should blog for 2 weeks now.



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All I've got is crickets.  It's not like things aren't happening around here. They are - Christmas joys, first baby tooths, massive colds, strange fevers, turning every single toy in the house into a swaddled baby, IEPs, assembling bunkbeds, finally teaching 'Lil the joys of the toilet.

But nothing earth shattering. Nothing gripping.  Just life.

And all my creative juices are being sucked up into that just life.  I don't have the words to type.  just more crickets.


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And maybe that's enough.
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