August 31, 2011

Almost, But Not Quite, September

It's not September yet.

And boy is that a good thing - especially after I recently declared that, starting in September, we wanted to Do Less, So We Could Do More.  Which means we are putting a ka-bosh on our spending.  No more eating out, perusing the thrift stores for good deals and, definitely, no stops for iced coffees when the McDonalds down the street opens back up. *sigh*

But thank you, Lord, for these last days of August.  Because I KNOW that the good Lord knows how badly I need my retail therapy.  And I KNOW he knows how I thrive on finding a good bargain.  And so I KNOW he blessed me with these few last minute good deals just so I could satisfy those urges and amaze you at the same time. *snort*

And I know that you all now think I am nuts.  But none the less, I have found some true treasures, IMO, this last month and truly am thankful that it was still August, and not September, so I could purchase them.

My first good finds came from a rummage sale that Keith and I stopped at.  The lady hosting this sale had items priced to sell and I came buy so it was a win-win.  (I will NOT say anyone was "winning". Ugh.) Anyhow, this is what I came home with:

We already owned the cat but he HAD to be in the picture.

August 28, 2011

Shattered Yokes

There is true freedom.  And true freedom comes only through Christ.

Though man may threaten to shackle our hands, they can never shackle our souls.

Seek truth.

  Seek Christ.

     Be set free!

August 26, 2011

What's On Your Reading List?

I LOVE to read.

Anytime of day.  Anywhere. And just about anything.  Give me a book and some quiet and I am a happy camper.

But as I've lamented, at least once already on this blog, I have not had a lot of time this summer to read.  And I have been very sad about this.  Very, very sad. In fact, you could would say that it has even made me just a little bit cranky. (Ahem.)

Thank goodness for August.  It came just in time and with it a slower pace, less activity and, finally, some good quality reading time.  Since the beginning of August, I have devoured a couple of Karen Kingsbury books, 5 or 6 Susan May Warren's (one of my new favorite authors that you can read about here) and 2 or 3 others that I can't remember the name of right now.

But that is just the tip of my (reading list) iceberg.  I have been collecting books to read all summer and now my reading 'list' looks like this:

August 25, 2011

Fears Relieved

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed.
(Amazing Grace, 2nd verse)

I am afraid of three things.  Well, actually I am afraid of a lot of things.  But there are three 'big' ones.

Small spaces.

The dark.


I don't know why I am afraid of these things.  I can imagine why I might be afraid of the dark and I am not alone in that. (I think 'imagine' is the key word here.  It's not so much the dark we are afraid of, as much as what we 'imagine' is in the dark.) I have no clue why small spaces bother me.  And up until about age 6, I had NO fear of heights at all.  Maybe it had something to do with a long drop from a high tree house when I was 7.  Or my cousins leaving me up on top of a roof barn a couple of years after that. Ahem.

August 20, 2011

Running Free!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

August 18, 2011

Doing Less So We Can Do More

I have an announcement.

I am declaring the next month "No Spend September" at my house. It's going to take some self-control.  OK - a LOT of control. It's going to mean no rummage sales, no thrift stores, and definitely no Target. And don't even mention IKEA. (Yikes!)

Why the drastic measures? Because I know we can do better.  We live on a tight budget - and I know it can be tighter. We seldom eat out - and I know we can survive if we eat out even less. We spend little on entertainment, like going out to the movies - and I know we can cut back even more.

By why?

August 14, 2011

Mental Health Day

Saturday afternoon, at pre-cisely 3:18 pm, we loaded up our family (minus one very handsome Marine) into our car and headed out of town.  An hour and 20 minutes later we arrived at our destination: a Minnesota lake resort that my husband's family has been going to for over 30 years.  We met up with Keith's twin brother, Kyle, his sister, Bernadette, and his other brother, Rod - along with most of Rod's wife's family who had been at the lake the entire previous week. (Brother Paul was the only sibling absent.  But next summer, I hear he'll be there with bells on.)

We left the iPods, the video games and even my laptop (E-gads, even the laptop!?!) at home. And for the next 26 1/2 hours, we visited and reminisced, while soaking up the sun and the surf.  The weather was perfect and the company even more so.  The boys reacquainted themselves with 2 of their cousins, met some new ones and, with Aunt Bernadette's help, caught some of the most AWESOME fish ev-er.

Dad went skiing - twice - without hurting anything (For the most part. Ahem.) and I sat in one spot without moving for the longest time in ... well, in a long time ... and read one of the books from the towering pile that I have been staring at all summer.  The kids swam, caught a toad, water tubed and fished off the dock. We stayed up late and laughed and ate and played games handmade by Aunt Suzie's dad.

By the time we pulled out of the lake resort's driveway the next day, we were exhausted.  But in a pleasant, oh-so satisfying, when-can-we-do-that-again way.

We were tired...but refreshed.  We couldn't wait to shower and get tucked into our own beds...but we would be talking about those crazy, lazy, fun filled hours for days - and very possibly months - to come.

It was just what we needed.  Someone I know just recently mentioned taking making time to take an occasional "mental health day".  A day to get away from the craziness, the business and just the general foolishness and mayhem of everyday living.  In other words, making time to rest your body and spirit...before you lose your mind.  We too easily forget how badly we need to do this.  And when it does happen, we are always amazed at how good it feels - which maybe tells us we waited just a wee bit to long to do it.

But this time, I am oh-so glad we did. *sigh*

And, now, since a picture (or two or three) is worth a thousand words...

Thank goodness, at least I brought my camera! And did you spot me in my comfy chair? *giggle*

Be blessed...

When's the last time you took a "mental health day"? 
And when you read, "and his other brother..," did you think his name would be Darrel? *snort*

August 10, 2011

Brain Overload...Or Just Doing What it Works?

There are few things that annoy me more than having to wait for my computer to boot up.

Call me impatient. Call me lazy. But, as they say, just don't call me late for dinner. (Hardy-har-har-har...)

When I go to my computer to check something, it's usually - at least in my mind - important.  And I need to see it now.  Not in 2 minutes - or closer to 5 by the time you boot, reopen your program and locate the file/info - but now.

So for this reason, I very seldom shut down my computer.  Greenies, take it easy on me - I do have it set to 'sleep' mode, so most of the time it's not technically 'on' on - just kinda a little 'on'. *blush*

The other reason that I do not shut down my computer is because I am forgetful.  And curious.  And do not have enough hours in my day.

OK.  That's 3 reasons.

August 4, 2011

First You Have to Find the Recipe

As busy as summer has been, I am proud to say that I have tackled and conquered two huge cleaning projects that I talked about here. You might remember the first one as looking like this:

The "arts and crafts" center was a huge project that I put off for months. I had done some "pre-work" here by at least gathering everything into one area and throwing a ton of junk away.  I had a feeling it would not take me long to finish this job - if I could just get started (uff-da.) When I finally motivated myself, with a large glass of Pepsi and some Toby Mac, I am almost embarrassed to admit the whole process only took me two hours.  Two hours to sort, throw, organize, and throw some more  - then I had this:

August 3, 2011

That Darn Cat

First off:

A Random Word of Wisdom:

Bunnies are only cute when they're not eating your peas.

Just sayin'...


They say dogs are the dumb animals. And I admit, as much as we loved our last pooch, he wasn't the brightest bulb on the block. He was loyal and friendly and funny...but not too smart.

So when we got our cat, Milo, I was expecting great things.  Yes, he can poo in a box.  Yes, he is smart enough to hide when our house fills up with loud, obnoxious boys.  But other than that, I'm not too impressed.  After much observation, it seems like a cat's daily activities can be summarized like this:

Crafty Caterpillars

I love cute stuff.

And I am in awe of people who can make cute stuff.  I can paint, organize, bake fairly well, balance a neglected checkbook and even, on occasion, sew a quilt.  But I somewhere along the lines missed out on the "ability-to-make-stuff-so-cute-it-makes-you-say-awww" gene.

Fortunately, I have friends who do possess this gene, so I can just ogle their cute stuff.  And when necessary, even buy their cute stuff.  Like my friend, Ashley.  Ashley is adorable.  And gorgeous.  And hilarious.  And she also makes cute stuff.

Like this:

Car Hop Frilly Headband

And this:

Scrabble Tile Pendant
And this:

Floral Remix Bobby Pins

So ca-ute!!  This very talented young lady and new mom has just launched an Etsy Shop, "The Crafty Caterpillar" (even her name is cute!)  I would love for you to check her out and maybe even make a purchase or two to help support her Hobby Lobby habit.

Do you possess the 'cute' gene or, like me, do you need to get your cute fix somewhere else? Did you think it was possible to use the word "cute" so many times in one very short blog post?

August 1, 2011

And The Countdown Begins

It's is August 1st today.

That is totally depressing.

In 23 days school starts. And I don't know who is sadder about that fact: the kids...or me.

I know there are some parents who are rejoicing and counting down the days until they can once again send their namesakes off to school. And I have something to say:

I don't get that.