Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Click on this

Go here to decorate Jenny Harris's super cute gingerbread house with virtual candy.

So much fun. Thank you, Jenny!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ack, it's cookie time again!

This is what I'll be doing for the next couple of days.

I will be making 24 dozen cut outs (six dozen for myself, and three other women are PAYING! me to do theirs).

I love to make cookies, but the amount of cookies I need to make is a little daunting. And here I sit blogging instead of getting busy in the kitchen.

It's a busy week, with work, cookies and I get to be a chaperone for the state drill team championship, in which my oldest daughter is a participant! Can't wait.

But first, cookies!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm afraid it happened too early

This morning, at 10:51 am I had that all-of-a-sudden burst of warmth in my being that can only be described as the Christmas Spirit. The urge to wrap, bake, and be merry enveloped me in a big swoosh of loving my fellow man goodness.

The only problem is that I try to hold this feeling off until after Thanksgiving, December 1st, even. I always feel like I get the most out of fall if I don't rush into the Christmas season too early. I usually feel it creeping up on me and I can push it back down, but today, it zeroed in and whammied me.

Now, how do I solve this problem? I either fully embrace my candy cane mood, (But I fear peaking too early. Nothing worse than an anti-climactic Christmas because it should have taken place on the 14th instead of the 25th.) Or I try to hold it back, only to not get it again.

I'm opting for the full embrace.
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!! Blessings to you and your families.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Loving November, Re-run Style

Click here to see what I wrote last year 'round about this time. It's still applicable, so I won't fix what isn't broken.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Knitted Kimono

I am a maker of baby clothes. I am so proud. I only had to rip out six times.

Unfortunately, the baby will need to age about a year before being able to fit into it. Also, the yarn looked more feminine when it was on the skein, so I worry about it being a little boy-ish. Oh well.

Baby wear is right up there on the instant gratification scale of knitting.

Next up... Blocking and sewing up the sweater I finished for myself last winter. Then I will be an official knitter of adult wear.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sister Swap

This month I got to have the fun experience of participating in my first internet swap.

Carrie and her sister sponsored an internet swap with "Cozy" as the theme. They paired us up and gave us a couple of interview questions about what cozy means to us and how we celebrate the holidays. Then we filled a box for each other.

Here is what I sent. The rolled up ball is the pair of wrist warmers that I showed a few posts back.

Here is what I received from Karyn. I think I definitely got the better end of the deal! I am so excited about the books, hot chocolate, bath supplies, candles... just about everthing you need for a cozy time. Even the box is cute! The dish clothes will definitely be for display only. They are too cute and nice to really use.

This was my first swap and I had a lot of fun. Thank you so much, Karyn, for the very thoughtful gifts.

There were about fifty women who participated and they are all linked over at Carrie's blog. I look forward to looking over everyone's boxes and adding new blogs to my favorites.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bathroom before and after

My oldest daughter often complains that she feels like she is living in a baked potato. Brown and beige is the standard in our house. Not because we like it that way, it's just how it is.

I have finally taken charge of the situation! I started small with the bathroom, but colors have been chosen for the living area and the kitchen, too.

I didn't really choose the bathroom color, it sort of chose me. I am a very thrifty, frugal type. I like nice things, but if I can get it cheap, or better yet, free then I'm happy!

I thrifted this new flat bed sheet for $3.00 to turn into the shower curtain, valance and wall hanging. Not sure I like the wall hanging, but something had to go there.

The paint is a mistint that I got for $5.oo. It was extremely nice paint, no splatters or gobs or drips. I think it normally goes for $30.00 gallon. Of course, you can't choose your color for that price, but the color wasn't totally gross, so I got it.

Good bye, ugly palm trees!

It's not my dream bathroom, but it's not potato colored anymore! I think it will be nice for winter and then I will change out all the blue stuff for a pretty springy shower curtain that I got for $2.00 from another thrift store. It was new, too! It's amazing how many people donate never used things.

I purchased a new paint brush, some rollers, and blue tape. My project total probably came to under $35.00. Makes me wonder why I wait so long to make a change.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Clean Sheet Day!

Clean sheet day is the best day of the week. And the best night of sleep. I always take a shower right before bed on clean sheet day. Ahh! Fresh jammies, clean hair and unrumpled, vanilla lavendar softened sheets. Yum.

That is why these pants really appeal to me. Ingenious to use high thread count, softened over the years sheet fabric to make pajama bottoms. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

Reducing, re-using and recycling at it's best.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Last year at this time...

I am having angst right now about showing my daughter's face on my blog. I haven't ever done that, but some of you do and I can guess that you haven't had any trouble, so I'm going to this once. I can always yank it if I still feel weird about it tomorrow.

We have a family tradition for birthdays. Everyone gets to pick their birthday meal, and everyone usually picks Red Robin. Every now and then, there is a Chuck E. Cheese thrown in, but we can usually count on at least a few trips to our favorite burger place each year.

The picture of us in black is from this time last year. The new picture (me in white) is just a couple days ago.

I've been losing weight this year, and I guess I didn't realize the transformation I've been going through until my daughter pointed these out to me. I've lost over 60 pounds (most of it from my face it seems, yikes!)

When I was younger, I just wanted to lose weight to look better in my clothes. This time around I was battling high blood pressure, borderline depression and I was one cookie away from being diabetic. It was all about getting healthy and staying alive. My dad died at 41 and since I am just a hop, skip and jump away from forty I decided I wanted to be around a little longer than he was.

Still, I sometimes can't get over the physical transformation I've gone through and am still going through. I love it. I feel great now that I don't have to melt myself down and pour myself into clothes that don't fit.

I am so very grateful to my friends who have helped me along this path and the steps that I have learned to become and stay a healthy person. Maybe blogging helped play a small, little part, too. Not that I'm pouring my heart out over here or anything, but I can come here and write a little and share some things about my life. So, thank you, too, friends.

So, I'm in a great mood! I'm feeling hopeful and thankful and ready for life.

Thanks for letting me share this triumph with you.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cute thrifty find

Found these at our new thrift store. I wish there would have been more of them. I think they are the perfect fall colors. Plus, they were only $.07 each!

I'm trying to decide how I want to use them. I might keep pens and such in them on my desk, or use them to fill up with candy for little gifts. Or maybe just use them to drink out of. We'll see.

I am in the process of switching out all of our plastic containers to glass. I've been on the hunt for small, old corning ware casserole dishes with lids. I need lids! I've had pretty good luck with our thrift stores but they still want quite a bit for them.

If your grandma decides to clean out her cupboards, let me know!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

knitty girl

Doesn't that look cozy? Fresh washed hair, a big fluffy robe and a new knitting project.

It always makes me happy when one of my children wants to learn to do something that I enjoy. So far they are all avid readers and it looks like I will have one or two knitters.

It's been hitting me lately how fast they are all growing up. We've been so busy, especially now that we have one in high school. I don't want life to pass by too quickly.

I love this stage of life, though. No more diaper bags and car seats. Everyone can peddle their own bike. We can all play the same board games. The only problem now that the younger ones have caught up, is that the older ones always have something else to do.

I'm glad for quiet projects that force us to sit and be together and savor the moments.

Puzzles, yarn and yahtzee! A great recipe for family time and the long winter ahead.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Delayed gratification

My little Sprite and I planted tulip bulbs today.

They are in the ground, and now we wait. We wait for them to lie dormant, for snow to cover the ground and for the eventual re-warming period that we think will never come. Then sometime in May, we will have beautiful flowers. Yay!

Spring seems a long time to wait to reap the benefits of our hard labor. But, of course, we know it will be worth it.

There is snow in the forecast for next week. Fall is much too short here, and spring is a long, long time away. But our little patch of fresh dug earth will remind us that we have something to look forward to.

Tulips are such hopeful little flowers.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I'm cute, but I'm not THAT cute...

Our family computer is in our bedroom, which is on the first floor right next to our main living space. This means my bedroom, which should be a place of peaceful sanctuary, is taken over by im-ers, msn-ers, homework doers, e-bay-ers and such.

There can also be extra kids in my room, which is embarrassing, because I know all their moms keep their rooms much cleaner than I do, but that's another topic. Anyway, most of my kid's friends know what room to find them in.

So I was not too surprised to discover a teenage boy jumping up a few feet to knock on my window, trying desperately to get my attention. I think I caught him off guard when I went to the window to ask if he thought I was my daughter.

There are teenage boys banging on my house. Sigh. I am the mother of a teenage girl.

At least I can take small comfort in the fact that the back of my pony-tailed head still looks girlish. But I am not looking forward to shooing boys away from my lovely daughter for the forseeable future.

And to think, I have two more girls who will be teenagers someday, too.

Loving this girl right now