Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ready to Go!

Shannon's towel has been personalized and ready to ship!! I thought I would take a picture of it before I shipped it out so everyone could see. (Shannon, if you see this before it arrives....sorry if I ruined the surprise)....and I hope you like it!!

Be sure to look at the post below for a great giveaway! (did I tell you that I hope I win this?)

Nicole's Huge Giveaway

Nicole at Our Cozy Nest is helping her friends out by asking us to help them name their Internet lighting store. She has posted a picture of a beautiful chandelier that they are giving away to the person who comes up with the best name!

All she is asking is that you check out their site, offer your opinion, comment with a catchy name and then link back to her through your blog for extra credit.

ooooo, and this was really hard for me to spill these beans, because I really, really want to win this!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

She's At it Again (My Wordless Wednesday)

exhibits A, B, & C:

The culprit:
It's a very good thing I chose this for my wordless Wednesday post, because the "words" I would've chosen may not have been appropriate for this family, friendly, blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Cinderella Story

Little Ann admits to feeling a little like Hillary Duff in this movie:

She worked hard for me yesterday doing some extra chores around the house. Seems like no one ever wants to help just for the sake of helping poor mom out. There always has to be some motive behind it. With Big Dan, it's usually, because he wants to do something or go somewhere, but with Little Ann it is usually because she is saving up for something big.

Our list started in the kitchen where I had her do things like wipe down the appliances and clean the inside of the microwave. She did an excellent job, I might add. I walked into the kitchen to check on her at one point and this is what she looked like.

busy, busy, busy.....roller skates and all.

Remember our "girls day", when we went to see Kit Kitteredge: An American Girl. She fell in love with Kit. And I don't hardly blame her. She's so pretty and I've said before the movie was excellent. Who wouldn't want Kit? she is saving up for her:

I have plenty more jobs where those came from today, if she is up for the challenge. With only 3 weeks left of summer vacation, we'd better dive in to get those extra projects done or we will run out of time for sure. I know she must feel like Cinderella with Big Dan chillin' at the pool with the girlfriend while she slaves at home. But I guess a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

When I asked her last night how she felt about what she had accomplished, her reply:
"Daddy pays better". (I think she's got daddy right where she wants him, what do you think?)

Monday, July 28, 2008

And the Winner is..........

Shannon at Bless Our Nest. CONGRATULATIONS! (Shannon, you can thank Little Ann, she drew your name!)

First of all, girls, I just want to say a special thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the sweet, sweet comments you made about my mother and her clothes. That meant so much to me. I am so glad I did this. I really hope that she and I can work together to try to get her going on etsy or something. She is really busy right now working on her fall items for the stores, so it may take us awhile, but it is in the works! By the way, if anybody is ever interested in purchasing you can always email me from my profile and I will hook you right up! I also want to say thank you to all of you who commented and left Happy Birthday wishes. You guys are the greatest!

Ya'll, (yeah, I'm from Arkansas), this was just the best birthday (even despite the fact that I am waaaaay to close to 40). I just have to share my day with you.

First thing, of course, we went to church. When I first got up I noticed a card Pete had left out for me. The words he had written to me were awesome. I was so touched. He had already bought me a laptop which was supposed to be my anniversary/birthday present, but also inside the card was a $50 bill that he told me I had to use "exclusively" for scrapbooking paraphernalia. Wowzers!! That PLUS what my secret sister had already gotten me. I can't wait to go shopping!

When Big Dan got up, he couldn't wait to give me what he had gotten me. It was this black patten purse. SO CUTE!! I'm sure the girlfriend had something to do with this one!

I know you will think I'm crazy when you hear this...but Pizza Hut was my choice for lunch. (I know, I should've milked it, huh?) Little Ann thought so too and she was rather bent out of shape..she mouthed all the way to town.."but I wanted Red Lobster, wah, wah, wah". I told her when it was her birthday, she could choose the place. I think everyone else was disappointed with my choice, too, but they were smart enough to keep quiet. For some strange reason I had a hankering for cheese sticks from Pizza Hut. (I know, I'm weird). Most of the time, we eat at Mazzios when we dine in, or Little Ceasars if we take out, but today I wanted Pizza Hut, and it was my birthday for crying out loud.

The girlfriend met up with us for lunch and she had gotten me the sweetest gift. I couldn't believe it. It was this scrapbooking basket filled (mind you) with albums, paper, scissors, fibers, buttons, stickers, sequins, pens, etc....way more than she should've ever gotten me. But then she pointed out the real gift was in a purple envelope in the front pocket of the basket. This girl spent her hard working summer life guarding money on another $50 gift certificate to our local scrapbook store........ for me. It just made me want to cry. (You did expect that, I'm sure). She definitely scored some BIG TIME brownie points with me today! And look how cute she had it put together.
I couldn't resist having a family photo taken in Pizza Hut! Big Dan was like....."hurry, hurry, people are looking at us"...and "why are you taking pictures of your cheese sticks?"

The next part of my day was just the icing on the cake (ha) no pun intended....well, maybe just a little one. We went back for evening church services, and my husband rededicated his life to the Lord. It was a wonderful feeling. I know some of you have been praying for me, as I have indicated over the past couple of weeks that I was going through a difficult time. My husband has always been an insomniac and been on some type of sleep medication our whole marriage. His doctor has had him on a combination of powerful sleep aids, antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds that has just about taken a toll on him. When he is awake, he is normal. When he is on the meds, he is capable of some pretty bizarre stuff. Anyway, to make a long story short, he had admitted to me that he was feeling like he may have developed an addiction to the meds, absolutely hated the way they made him act or the things they made him do when under their influence, and wanted desperately to get off of them. He knew he couldn't do it without my help and God. I just want everyone to know that he is a wonderful man. (There was no physical abuse, other woman or anything like that.) So girls, I just ask that you continue to pray for our family, because we are going through a rocky time. We WILL get through this I know because with God.....all things are possible.

Ok, next up....after our evening church service, we went to buy groceries, and when we got home, I discovered that while I was taking my Sunday afternoon nap, Little Ann was busy in the kitchen making this: (it says Happy Birthday, Mom)

and this: (notice the trick sparkler candles) yeah, she's a tricker.

This child is 10 years old. I couldn't believe she did this. Pete said he helped her a little with the baking part, but she totally did all the decorating herself. I was sooooo impressed. And bless her little heart for wanting to do this for me. I just wanted to cry (again).

And now I'm at the end of a long day in the spotlight. I sure did enjoy it and it 's a good thing because it's over and now everything is back to normal....whatever that is.

Have a great week!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Multi-Talented Mother...and a Birthday Giveaway! (updated)

I've been planning this post for quite a while and now that the time has actually come, I'm not really sure what I want to say. Defining my mother is not the easiest thing. She is so many different things to me.

First of all, she is the person I can thank for making me who I am today. I give her all the credit for all the knowledge I have in child rearing (and other things, of course). I don't know what I would do without her to call and "double check" myself. My kids frequently hear..."my momma always used to say........" She is the youngest of 6 kids, and the only girl. Her mother passed away when she was 28. I can't imagine. I was only 8, so I don't have that many memories of my grandmother, however, she has used that same line on us so, so many times. My grandmother must've been one smart, patient, talented woman herself!

She and my dad made sure my brother and I were always in church and for that I am so very thankful. We were both saved at early ages and if it weren't for parents strong in their faith, who knows what we would have become. She is the one that "forced" me to practice the piano because she knew one day God would use my talent for His glory..and that He has. That is us in the picture to the right, this past Mother's day....myself, my wonderful mom, and my only sibling. She would do absolutely anything for either one of us, and although I know we have both stretched her so thin, even in our adult years, she remains strong.

My mom is the greatest cook in the entire world. She is so modest about it though. We have our family holiday gatherings at her house and bless her heart, she takes on the entire thing solo. She will call each of us, grand kids included to find out what we want as our special holiday dish and she will make sure it is done. If we ask her what we can do to help out, her reply is always the same..."just come and enjoy". Ok, if you say so... There have been so many times on a Saturday afternoon when I am tied up doing something and remember a church fellowship the next day. I have just called her and she has happily made a dessert for me to take. (I never take the credit, though). Some of my girls will say..."wish my mom would make me a pie". And she can do so much more. It doesn't matter what I ask her to do, I have faith that she can.

Like I said in this post, my mom has pretty much sewn my entire life. She made all of my clothes growing up. We laugh sometimes about the times she made my blue jeans and we would use a seam ripper to take the "Lee" tag off of my dad's jeans and put them on mine. (I was much too cool to wear home made clothes in high school). I never really appreciated her talent until I had a daughter. Right before Little Ann was born, she bought her first monogram machine and began experimenting with it. When Little Ann was a baby, she never wanted for anything. She had monogrammed diaper bags, burp clothes, changing pads, bibs, etc., and the most beautiful heirloom dresses. A different one for every Sunday. I've kept them all. Mom is quite the perfectionist, and she has made for herself a good will not find one crooked stitch on her garments. A couple of years ago, she placed some of her garments in the County Fair, only to be disqualified by the judges. We laughed and laughed at their reasoning. What? They said her garments were store bought. She didn't know whether to be offended or flattered. (Unfortunately, the perfection, the cooking and the sewing skipped a generation.)

Mother has been working so hard on her new fall line and I just wanted to try to help her out via my blog. She has been wholesaling to retail children's stores and selling to individuals who visit her shop at her home, but I thought we might really be on to something here. Since I posted my giveaway announcement, chickadee has suggested an etsy store, which is something we might definitely look into. Here are some samples of her different styles:

1st Birthday outfits:

Summertime FUN!

Fall Pizazz!

(the update:) Mommy dearest read the blog and was so touched, however, she said I must post her two favorite outfits. So, I've added a couple more for you to see. This one above right is pretty much same style as the one on the left, but slightly different....and the one below which she says is her best seller right now!!

Holiday Favorites:

Isn't she super?

NOW FOR GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Sunday is my birthday and you get a gift! How cool is that?

This is what I am giving away. It is a full sized black monogrammed bath towel. The current initials are monogrammed on black fabric so you can see what it will look like with your initials on it. If you are impressed with my mom's garments, just leave me a comment! I will randomly choose from all comments left on this post between now and Sunday evening (my birthday) at 9:00 pm. If you like what you see here, I ask that you please send a link to this post to all your friends and family that might have small children (or blogging about it will work just fine too). Serious inquiries about purchasing any of these items can email me!

Please leave your email address or have one available on your blog so I may contact you in the event you are the winner!! Enjoy and happy commenting!

Oh, and dad, ....your moment of fame is coming.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The End

Today marks the final day for our Vacation Bible School. Tonight is family night and after tribe and marketplace times, we will wrap things up with some singing and a slide show.

We have done this "Marketplace" theme for the past several years. The kids just love it. It's almost like you are really in Jerusalem/Galilee/Bethlehem (we've done all these themes). This year Chickadee and Clark wrote our material (excellent, I might add) and we incorporated it back into the bible days theme. I think the kids love the dressing up part the most. The week has been good, but as usual, I am so happy tomorrow is Saturday!! Here are a few photos from the week (mostly of people that don't mind their pics on the ol' blog)

I also want to remind everyone about my Saturday post dedicated to my mom!! special birthday giveaway. Please tell everyone you know to tune in tomorrow, and just comment to enter! Check out all the details here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Thank You & A Giveaway Sneak Peek!

Friday night as we began putting up tents and decorating for VBS this week, I wanted to be anywhere but there. (Bad attitude, I know). I had had a really stressful week and frankly, just wasn't in the mood to socialize. As I went outside to choose my tent fabrics...I decided to walk into the Sanctuary to pray....just inside the door in the foyer was a gift just for me. My eyes welled up with tears as I opened it up. It was an anniversary gift. (I know I've already admitted to being a very sappy, emotional person, so sue me.)

Tuesday night, when I arrived at VBS, I entered my tent (it's part of the decor for our Galilee Marketplace, if you're wondering), only to find a birthday gift waiting inside. It was a gift certificate to my local scrapbook store. Once again, I could feel my eyes well up, but a smile came upon my face just the same. So, why am I writing this?

I know that I do have a few blog readers (aka lurkers, they never comment) from my church that participate in our "Secret Sister" program. I just want to say, if my secret sister should happen to be any of you who are reading right now...(and you know who you are)....Here is a big Thank You to you from me. You have truly blessed my heart at a very much needed time. All of my "sisters" in Christ are truly a blessing to me.

AND NOW FOR THE SNEAK PEEK for my birthday giveaway......Don't get too excited. This is my first giveaway, and like I said it's really not that big of a deal. However, I just wanted to show you what I was planning to give away and a few of the details. This is the giveaway:

It is a black monogrammed bath towel. What you see here is the actual towel, but the initials are just monogrammed on black fabric to show you what it would look like with your initials on it. My giveaway background? Saturday, I am planning a post in honor of my mother. She is such a talented woman. She has sewn all of my life. She bought her first monogram machine several years ago and incorporated that into her sewing. A few years ago she took the plunge and opened her own children's shop where she sells her garments. She also wholesales to local children's shops. Her outfits are adorable. She has gone from heirloom type dresses to casuals (much like RagsLand or Kelly's Kids). They are precious and I want to help her advertise by way of the blog.

So, how do you win? First of all, all you have to do is visit my blog, read Saturday's post, and make a comment. Then all I ask is... if you are impressed with my mother's items, forward my link (my mom's post) to any of your friends that have small children so they can see her work. I will randomly choose from all my commenters at 9:00 pm on Sunday night (MY BIRTHDAY!), and I will announce the winner on Monday's post. Good luck!

(Oh, and make sure you leave an email address so I can contact you if you are the winner!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Works for me Wednesday (updated)

Ok, seriously girls, this may be the lamest Works for me Wednesday you have ever read. But I have been very impressed with this little dude and it really works for me!!

If you are totally grossed out with feet....or anything associated with feet, please accept my apologies. I just thought during these hot, barefoot, summer days you might find this tool as impressive as I did!

This is a callus shaver. Every time I get a professional pedicure, those little Chinese women use one of these on my rough heels..and believe me my heels are rough. Contribute it to all my little girl barefoot days down South, if you will. I can't hardly stand to go barefoot anymore, even in the house I wear flip flops now. Just by accident the other day I ran across one of these in the pharmacy department at Walmart. I have used it several times already and it does great getting rid of all that callused skin.

update: oh and my apologies to Shannon. This is only my 2nd wfmw and I just read I should've been linking to her...oops! For more great wfmw tips visit here.

I took Big Dan to the doctor yesterday. The doctor did a throat swab and determined he had strep. He is taking penicillin and feeling somewhat better today.

Thank goodness my gas man (what a guy...he just has no idea) finally came yesterday and brought us a few gallons of butane to provide us enough hot water til they can get the tanks switched. I guess I have no more excuses. Today, I must get off my duff, wash clothes and de-germ Big Dan's bedroom. I will try to take pictures of his room once the task is complete and use his room as my next "home tour" post while it is clean. I figured that would be the last room I posted, as I am usually scared to even walk through the door for fear of what might be lurking.

For now, I am going to treat myself to a nice, hot bath and shave my calluses! Smile....

Monday, July 21, 2008

For Granted

I know I'm not the only one that takes things for granted. Most often it's the simplest things that are of the most importance to us and we don't even recognize it until they are gone.

Take hot water for instance.

A couple of days ago, my dad brought over a butane tank that he had bought for us so that we wouldn't have to rent a tank any longer from our local gas company. We had been trying to run all the gas out of the old tank so we could fill the new one. I guess we weren't paying close enough attention.

Today, first thing, I got up, ready to soak in my tub, but quickly decided these guys would have to go unused until I came up with plan B. I loaded this full of dishes, only to realize I would have to start it at a later time and hope we didn't run out of clean dishes in the meantime.
Oh, and this is the biggie. Remember Big Dan was at camp all last week? This is where he dumped everything when he came in and needless to say, this is where it still is. Poor Guy, we may have to go buy him clean underwear.
As I anxiously await our gas man, I can totally relate to His Girl as she anticipated the arrival of her heating and air man. Cool air...another something we take for granted especially on these 100 degree hot Arkansas days. What on earth did they do back in the days of Little House of the Prairie?

I am hoping for a good week. VBS got off to a great start. We had more little children than we expected and had a great time.

Big Dan is running 103 fever tonight. I'm not sure what is going on with him. We may be making a trip in to see the doctor tomorrow....Anyway...Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This and That

Sundays, for some reason are turning into my day for "rambling". I'm not quite sure why this is. I guess by the weekend, my mind is jumbled full of hodge podge thoughts trying to escape into the blog.

This week we will have Vacation Bible School at our church. We have spent the past couple of days working...setting up shops for our "Marketplace", painting murals on the walls (well, I didn't paint so I can't take credit for that), and just getting things prepared in general. Although Bible School takes so much time and effort, and I am always exhausted at the end of the week, I know it is totally worth it. Pray for us this week.

Thursday was my anniversary. Thank you to those who commented and wished me a happy day. I got to eat these:
I don't know if I have any Texas readers, but my husband has discovered this Barbecue place in Texas while on the road with his job. It is "Bodacious Barbecue" and I am not kidding. These are the best ribs I have ever put in my mouth. If you are ever in Texas, you need to look one up! (they are in foil, because they are so good, we bought an extra rack to bring home with us.)

Big Dan made it home safe and sound from Teen Camp Friday. I want to tell you more about camp in a future post, but it's too long for this one. A friend of mine took this picture of him during his quiet time. Something about seeing my son during his talk with God that makes me smile.

I wanted to ask your opinion on something I have been thinking about. Big Dan will soon be 18 and I have been debating on whether or not I should open a checking account in his name. I had already been considering this, but then I got an insert with my bank statement the other day and they had offered to deposit the first $10 for you just for opening the student account. I know it's just 10 bucks, but this just kind of made me think about it again. I know they need to learn about finances, but turning my teenager loose with checks and a debit card really scares me. Does anybody have any advice on when they should get these privileges and how much to turn them loose with?

To the ones who have commented or emailed me recently with uplifting words. Thank you. I know things are going to be ok, but it's going to be a tough road ahead. Continue to keep my family in your prayers.

And once again, I will leave you with this as a last thought. Next Sunday is my birthday. While I'm not that excited about turning 38, I wanted to celebrate with you, my friends. I am going to be having my first giveaway. Nothing elaborate, but thought I would try it. If you get a chance, tell your fellow bloggy friends to stop by and read. I'll be posting details later on this week.