Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Little Change

Recently, one of my cousins has had some creepy, weird, dangerous stuff happen partly because of her blog. It spooked me enough to at least take the real names out of mine, so from now on:

My Husband=The Cowboy
My oldest son=The Guitar Picker
My middle daughter=The Horse Whisperer
My youngest daughter=The Zoo Keeper

I'm not sure if I'm creeped out enough to stop showing pictures. I'll have to pray about it. I love sharing pictures of my family with you all, but I'll probably slack off a little at least.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Home Tour

Christmas Tour of Homes

This is posted late. In fact, I took down the banner to the home tour because I knew I wouldn't get to it in time. BUT I figured late is better than never, so, WELCOME, come in and see some of our Christmas decorations!

The first thing that draws the eye when you walk in the front door is the tree TREE. It's huge. And it's crooked. But it smells wonderful if you pick off a needle and crush it with your fingernail.

When we first married, we decided that we would buy only one special ornament a year, and the rest of the decorations would be things like cookies and popcorn strings, and by the time we were old we would have a wonderful tree full of meaningful ornaments.

Well, we didn't realize that as soon as we had kids, and as soon as those kids were old enough to put glue to paper and shake some glitter out of a tube we would have LOTS of ornaments. And then the SPECIAL ones would start getting dropped and broken. And the tree looks really bare if you are too busy burping babies to make popcorn strings and bake cookies to hang on the tree. So, the plan was changed a bit, and we did get some other ornaments. We STILL try to buy a new one every year, and if we go on vacation or something we try to get a Christmas ornament from there.

Here is the first one we bought, on our honeymoon to the Grand Canyon:

Here is one we got in Hawaii...I think it's my favorite so far:

This one is from Disneyland. takes me back to the warm family memory of buying it, "Oh, look at this wonderful shop of Breakable Victorian ornaments! DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING! Honey, could you take the kids out to buy a $5.OO orange juice from that kiosk so I can look at something besides plastic coconuts and pirate swords?"

Oh, look! Our first Christmas together..awwww...


Well, I was lazy this year, and The Zoo Keeper did most of the decorating. Her unique tastes are displayed throughout our home this year. Check out the Noel Pigs, all dressed up with gold ribbon taped to their pink plastic bodies:

Here is a Fall Fairy Bear, holding a sparkley pine cone on a stick, which makes it totally Christmasy:

Here is our super cool Mega Block Playmobile (Oops!) people nativity set:

Not too sure why the Angel Gabriel has a magic wand:

This camel is ready for anything:

This is festive, in a macabre sort of way:

Here is our Advent wreath. We don't use the purple and pink candles because the whole time growing up, my mom used red. I think she used red because she could never find purple and pink, but now anything but red looks wrong to me, so I'm raising another generation of kids that do it wrong. At least it does it's job of causing us to reflect on why we are celebrating Christmas in the first place, and the red candles can represent the blood Jesus shed to cover our sins.

Here are some big cans full of fudge, toffee, peanut butter fudge, and rum balls. The little village is actually candles, and they didn't do too well in storage this year, so before I put away the Christmas stuff this year, I'm going to burn them and watch the houses melt. Should be fun!

Last of all, here are the Christmas cards I have received so far:

Thanks for stopping by, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Two Things" and Wreaths Across America

Last week's Two Things challenge was "hold and value" I decided to post this picture for the challenge (be sure to click on the picture to get a bigger version- you can see it a lot better):

I love the line of rough looking Vietnam Veteran motorcycle riders standing at attention as the color guard goes by, holding on to freedom by having fought for it in a very real way, and reminding us all to value it and hold on to it with all our might.

This picture is from the Wreaths Across America ceremony The Guitar Picker was in on Saturday.

Wreaths Across America was started by Morrill Worcester - President of Worcester Wreath Company explains his desire to develop the Wreaths Across America project:

"Our goal is to expand the recognition of those who serve our country, both past, present, and future, as well as their families who deserve our support. Without the sacrifices of our veterans, there would be no opportunity to enjoy the freedoms, the life we live today."

He wanted to do something special for our veterans after 9/11. He started by placing wreaths on graves at Arlington National Cemetery, and it has spread across the country to veteran's cemeteries all over. You can read more about it here:

Wreaths Across America

Here are a few more pictures from the ceremony:

Included in The Guitar Picker's speech was this quote from Ronald Regan:

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

Sunday, December 9, 2007


1 Corinthians 13:12
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

What an exciting thought, to "know even as also I am known". Imagine, knowing God like He knows me! Is that even POSSIBLE?! Wait and see!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Yzma Baby

Because I absolutely ADORE "The Emperor's New Groove" and make it a point to quote it whenever possible...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Light Blogging

Add me to the ranks of People Who Have a LOT on Their Plates and expect light blogging for the next month.

Maintenance Monday fell by the wayside this week, and I haven't done Two Things for a couple of weeks. I decided it was Not Sane to beat myself up over not getting to my blog posts, so I decided to just be upfront about how flaky I'm going to be about posting for the next several weeks. If you are one of the 6 people who regularly read this blog, I LOVE you, so I don't want you to waste your net time waiting for my page to load just so you can give a few pink flies to my starving frog because there is no new post.

I'll be here, just not every day.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Here's a wonderful blog post about simplifying Christmas.

We just don't need so much STUFF! We are drowning in it. And I LOVE her take on gift cards. I refuse to participate in gift card exchanges. A gift should be thoughtful, not just a money exchange.

And for good measure, here's a good one about hospitality.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gaming Night

Last night The Guitar Picker and I went to a family gaming night in Sierra Vista. It turned out to be sort of a game STORE (these guys) that had all these wonderful games for sale that we got to play with for 4 hours.

We spent about an hour playing this:

It was really fun. It was easy enough to learn that even little kids could do it, but interesting enough for 3 adults and one teen to have fun trying to beat each other. And I WON. *grins*

We spent the rest of the night playing Shadows over Camelot:

This was so fun! It took a while to set up and figure out the rules, but once we got through that it moved pretty fast. Five of us played, and what was cool is that it was us against the game. We had to work together to finish quests before the game won. Unfortunately, one player at the beginning of the game gets dealt a "traitor" card, and he works AGAINST the rest of us with the game to try to sabotage our efforts.

There wasn't a very big turnout. I actually think The Guitar Picker and I were the only ones there that weren't already connected with the gaming group, but we had a lot of fun, and I hope there will be more people there next month.


This is the Thanksgiving Post that's probably only interesting to family or the guests that were actually there.

We had lots of meat (there seems to be a turkey missing):

I had to make bags to cook the meat in because when you cook it in a big pot underground, it all falls off the bone. If you don't have one of these roller cutters and a mat, GET ONE! They are wonderful!

Cooked to perfection in the ground:

Here's the feast:

Don't forget pie!

The second shift cleaning crew (nothing like a houseful of kids to do the cleanup after the adults have done all the cooking!):

We killed a LOT of clay pigeons. See all the shell casings? Pay no attention to that pile of horse poo:

Time to get ready for Christmas!

Cozy Day

Well! It's been over a week since I blogged. I KNOW you all missed me.

This morning I woke up to this:

A beautiful rainy morning! It's so cozy! You can just barely see my beautiful yellow rose that bloomed just in time for Thanksgiving through the rainy window. I had to go out in the rain and take a picture of it:

I had these for breakfast:

They put little stickers on them that remind me of those sweethearts candy you get for Valentines day. They ARE super sweet, but not QUITE candy.

Here's Mia, recovering from her surgery. She got spayed on Tuesday. Don't let that sad look fool you. I have had to keep her in the house for two days to try to keep her from bursting her stitches. She doesn't act like anything happened at all!

I have enough of this darling flannel to make a pair of pajama pants for both my girls:
This morning I caught Butler eating crackers out of this box, one by one:

Can't you just hear him saying, "What? I was hungry!"

It's really only going to be a cozy day this morning. This afternoon I have to take The Guitar Picker to the orthodontist AGAIN. Retainers are a bigger pain than braces.

Oh! I actually DID do a Maintenance Monday. The filter on the furnace got cleaned!

The End of my disjointed crazy post.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday

I had a really great tip for today to add to Shannon's list at Rocks in my Dryer, but I totally lost it in the flurry of getting ready for Thanksgiving. So, my tip is this:

Whatever you DIDN'T get done? Don't worry about it. Enjoy your family and friends and great meal (even if you forgot to buy rolls). tomorrow is about giving thanks for all your blessings. Not about how perfect the food or your house is. If your mother-in-law peeks in a hall closet or sees the pile of papers you didn't get filed (ahem), well, there was probably a time when she wasn't perfect either. And if she SAYS anything? Ask her for a housecleaning service for Christmas.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Do you know what today is?

I just found out, via the wonder of the internet, that today is Air Your Dirty Laundry Day! So, here it is:

This is not even all of it. *sigh*

BUT! After a long day and lots of soap and water, I give you my CLEAN LAUNDRY!

That's probably not the dirty laundry they are talking about, but that's all you'll get from me! *grins*

P.S. Let me draw your attention to the list to your right that has ALMOST everything crossed off! Woot!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Maintenance Monday

Time to do another maintenance project!

Well, this week I cleaned my refrigerators (plural, you notice. WHY do we need TWO refrigerators?!) and pantry (which has been a happy fall hunting grounds for some field mice, so this included washing all the food storage buckets and canned goods), scrubbed the hard water stains out of my shower, and, yes, WASHED MY COMPUTER SCREEN, thanks to Bev reminding me that it needed to be done. Today I'm doing Major Corner Cleaning, hoping I can get it done before my brother decides to come over to visit, since he's down from Washington with my newest Nephew:

Don't you just want to grab him and smooch those little cheeks?

I suppose it's cheating because I'm doing all these things in preparation for Thanksgiving, but I'll be back to the normal maintenance projects next week. I think.

Did you do your maintenance project? If you did, please post a link in the replies for the rest of us to get inspired!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Sister




Prayer Warrior

Good Example

Bad Example

My Best Friend

Happy Birthday, Danielle!

Works for Me Wednesday

My WFMW tip this week is a heads up about hotel practices. DON'T USE THE GLASSES IN YOUR ROOM! Someone sent me this link to a news clip about how they clean the glasses. Apparently, at best they wash them in the bathroom sink, and at worst they spray them with some kind of chemical and wipe them with a dirty towel you have left on your floor. Blegh. People always assume they got sick on the airplane or from eating bad food when they get sick while traveling! I suggest bringing your own glasses, or stay in cheap hotels that put out disposable plastic glasses that are sealed in plastic.

To see much more pleasant Works For Me Wednesday tips, go to Shannon's blog, Rocks in my Dryer.

P.S. Isn't her new WFMW header pretty?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Maintenance Monday

I'm tentatively starting a new thing called "Maintenence Monday". With it, I'm hoping to create an incentive to remember to do all the odd maintenance jobs that go by the wayside in normal day to day stuff. Each week I'm going to try to do a job and post it on Mondays. Here's my first one:

The exhaust fan in my bathroom was covered with dust. Easy start for my new MM post! I'll just grab a broom, sweep it off, and I'm already covered for my first week!
It went from this:

To this:

Not so good. Wouldn't you think that cover would just pop off so you could wash it? No such luck. This IS a "manufactured home", after all. It's not going to be easy. The job ended up requiring this:

And this:

So, after at least 10 or 15 minutes of scraping dust bunnies out of the ceiling, then another 10 minutes or so sweeping them off of everything in the bathroom and out of my hair, the job was done and I was rewarded with a nice clean vent that actually is able to draw the toxic air out of the bathroom instead of wasting electricity laboring to suck dust bunnies up.

You are welcome to join me in my little quest to do the forgotten jobs. Possibly, I'm the only homemaker on the planet that DOESN'T remember to clean her bathroom vent for 2 years. In any case, I haven't time to make up a cute logo or figure out Mr. Linky, so until I do have time, if you want to play this game with me please post a reply with a link to your maintenance post so I can go see what you do. I seriously need help even knowing what needs to be done, so you could help give me ideas for what I need to do for future Maintenance Mondays.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Two Things Challenge

Nature and Civilization

To see more interpretations of this challenge, GO HERE

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Because I totally love a good ego boost:

I'm playing this game from Sara at the Estrogen Files:

The Game is on!!! And you're it!!

Describe ME in one word.... just one single word. Put it in my comments.

Then post this message and see how many strange & interesting things they say about you.

You comment for me, post and I'll tell you YOUR one word.

Play with me!

Things To Do Before Thanksgiving

As you can see by the list on the right, I have a boatload of work to do in the next 2 weeks. I'm going to be crossing things off the list as I do them, and hopefully seeing it here will keep me from playing too much when there is WORK TO BE DONE, BY GOLLY!

There are 28 items on my list, and 23 days until Thanksgiving. I have to do AT LEAST 2 things a day, and allow for school and whatever activities there are coming up, as well as normal housekeeping stuff. The family still needs to be fed regular meals for two weeks before the Big Feast. Imagine! I may not do a whole lot of blogging. The Cowboy's list is not complete, but he's taking a couple of vacation days next week to get things done.

I LOVE Thanksgiving, and have so much fun getting together with my family and whatever friends end up getting invited. It also helps me get the lead out and do some major mucking that I let slide all too often. As I do this work, I will remember to thank the Lord for His many blessings that the work I have to do represents.