A Give-a-Way - some things in life are free!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Photos courtesy of
I always enjoy a good shelter magazine.

They are a nice departure from my regular reading material. I love to peruse the pages of good design, fashion, and DIY projects to inspire my own.
But due to the economy, higher prices for paper and tightening up the household budgets, a few of my favorites like Domino, Cottage Living and Country Home went the way of the Dodo Bird.

Luckily, Better Homes and Gardens is still around and they have reasonable subscription prices. So good in fact, that I am having a give-a-way for a free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine for two, count 'em 2, lucky readers!

Now, because there are a few of you, you'll have a pretty good chance of getting a great magazine stuffed into your mailbox every month!

**All you have to do is leave a comment titled, "BHG ME" and you're in!
And while you're at it, inspire us by telling what you are doing to make your home a haven for your family. (and friends)

This Fall, I'll be working on crafts with the kids (corn husk dolls) for Thanksgiving, testing new recipes for pumpkin cookies w/cream cheese frosting and making good, comfort foods. I want to have more things like that around just in case somebody comes by or Reese runs into the house to load up his friends who are playing outside.

And because one of my great purposes in life is to care for my little ones,
that makes my home more of a haven for me.
**The Give-a-way runs through Sunday 11/1/09

Autumn Swap Box Fun Stuff

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I just wanted to relate my Fall Swap goodies sent to me by Sandra at In This Small House.
She has a delightful blog full of crafty ideas and family fun so be sure to check her out! I like her thought process about a small house - "it may be small, but full of love."

She sent over a box full of Fall and Halloween goodies like the sweet little frame and picture. Blair couldn't understand why I was taking a picture without her in it, so here she is Vanna-ing the little frame.

Sandra made a "happy haunting" pillow - tea stained, embroidered and all! There was also a great big acorn that I can display on my new shelves. I really like the look of acorns. Maybe it's those sweet little caps they wear.

More fun items included some nice smelling candles, a tall scarecrow, kitchen towels with an acorn shaped cookie cutter which will be put to good use now that I have Amber's awesome sugar cookie recipe. She also sent me some "bat droppings" which didn't taste like bat droppings at all, not that I would know (although I did have a scary encounter with a bat once...)they were more like chocolate mint cookies! (Think girl scouts thin mints here.) And last but not least, a little "count your blessings" sign.
It was fun to receive Autumn in a box and send one her way as well but most of all, it is great to have a new friend way out in Utah. Thanks Sandra for all of the fun stuff!
Don't you love blogging sisters?

We're working on a Christmas secret santa stocking with a minimum of $10.00 or almost nothing if it's homemade!
Let me know if you'd like to join that as well!

Happy Fall ya'll!

The girl is 4

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear Blair,

Happy Birthday to my baby girl. You will always be that to me, even though you insist on getting older. But it makes me happy, though, to see you grow and enjoy life.
You bring us great joy. We feel it in every corner of our hearts.
Each morning I wake up wondering when you'll saunter from your room with that sweet grin on your face, what song you'll sing, what funny thing you'll say, what flower you'll run to pick.
You're the best little friend ever.
I'm so happy you were made for me.
Love, Momma

Blog Away

Sunday, October 25, 2009

An awesome mountain. Beautiful Mt. Hood. I had the privilege of seeing this mountain everyday while growing up in Washington state. She's actually in Oregon but I had the best of both worlds living on the border. From my front yard, I also had a great view of Mt. St. Helens until she blew up. That can happen when you live among volcanoes.

It's been a year since I started this blog.

I had a few friends that kept asking if I had gotten in to this "blogging thing" yet. I hadn't.

But, I was invited to read a few and found them interesting. It's strange how you can feel connected to people by reading little blurbs about their life. I've enjoyed reading all of yours, seriously. Your stories, family adventures, beautiful family photos and craft ideas make my day a little more complete. And what a great way to document your life story. I guess even when we think there is no story to tell, there really is, which is why I keep checking in!

I haven't quite found "my voice" yet. I have all these ideas - do I make it a literary blog? Keep it simple as a "mommy" blog? Start a craft blog? Keep a separate blog for all of the home improvement projects we keep starting and taking forever to finish or never finishing? Update on my design course challenges? Or just make it a potpourri of all the things swirling around in my head, leaving it a bit random?

Whatever it becomes, thanks for reading but more importantly, thanks for inspiring me by yours!

So check in tomorrow when I write up a give-a-way in honor of my 1 year mark.
It may inspire you to do something and heck, it's totally free - who says there's nothing free in life?

Little things

Friday, October 23, 2009

Three dollars and twenty-one cents.
That's what I picked up this morning doing a load of laundry and cleaning the abyss, a.k.a. the garage/laundry facility.

Nine bucks.
That's what I found today when taking the kids on a stroll. I pulled out a stroller that I don't normally use and while out walking, I opened up a pocket on the stroller. In it was a small stash of ones which I had forgotten about.

Blair holding up a blade of grass to her head when I snapped a picture.

Don't you love little things like that?

Have you checked the registry?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Normally I don't depart from a happy blog.

I did vent once - remember this post?

Well, in light of recent news events, I'd thought I'd take a moment to remind you to check your state's sex offender registry. It is widely known as "Megan's Law."

Just put your state in the search and then narrow it down by inputting your zip code. Take a moment to look at each listing and note the address. If they have complied with the law, and we know there are many that haven't, the ones that have should be listed by wherever they work and live.

I know that people make mistakes. The registry doesn't give a full back story, of course.
There are a ton of factors that go into such problems in our society. I lay awake wishing this country put more emphasis on education. I do believe that education is the ticket out of so many sad situations. Every living human being was given the Light of Christ, or conscience, but somewhere along the way, they made terrible choices. Some are the same choices their parents made and the cycle continues...

But we need to remember that The Lord entrusted us with His/your little ones no matter their age. They will always be our little ones.

Some say this law has had no effect on community tenure. Maybe true, but at least you have the information that as a citizen of The United States of America, you have every right to.
If the only thing you do is look up this registry and make yourself aware of your surroundings, then I am happy.
And pray, in whatever way makes you comfortable - it will be a nice moment today.

Laura Lynn
Back to lighter notes tomorrow!

Their Influence

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Today I took Trae man out for a stroll. It was a nice break after having 4 kids running high fevers and waiting out the Ark-building weather.

It was a wonderful day. With the sun shining, the brisk air feeling good to breathe, leaves falling and the crunch of acorns beneath your shoes.

I asked Trae if he was having a nice time. He said "yep."

He wasn't able to ask that of me but I thought he would if he could.

I was in deep thought.
Thoughts that took me back to my mom,
like so many other times and always around holidays and decorating for the seasons.
She had "seasonal flair," I called it.
Like, amazingly good. I was always impressed by her creativity.
She had two famous lines when we would be out shopping. If an item was a great price, she'd say, "Oh, I couldn't make it for that -let's buy it!" or if the workmanship wasn't great, she'd say. "Oh, I can do better than that," and with energy and a studious face, she went about making something from all kinds of supplies. I called her the original Martha. And as I think about it now, probably "MacGyver" too.

This fall she would be happy to know that I am continuing the tradition of making corn husk dolls in their beautiful yet simple and unadorned, raw form - just like she did and just the way they were so gracefully displayed on our Thanksgiving table.

I am so thankful for mothers.

I hope they know their influence.

A case for nudity?

Monday, October 19, 2009

So I am trying to make a case for nudity.

Now, if you have a filter on your computer, I just blocked you from reading this.
If not, continue...

Why would I want to become a nudist you ask? And more importantly, why on earth would I do that to anybody??

Is it because I think the human body is an exquisite form that must be displayed for all to see?
No. Hardly.
Most of the time I wish people would cover up more and then layer more clothes on top of their layers and then do a 360 in the mirror, see what they missed and then continue layering.
No one wants to see your underwear, thank-you-very-much.
And the cleavage - oh the humanity! Cover up, pahleeze.

It's because of this...

Piles and piles of laundry. There is more too, it's on the other side of the sectional,
something a nudist never has to worry about.
But then again, I'd have to go get all toned and slim. Too much work, I'll stay modest I guess.

I actually don't mind processing laundry and I am thankful we have clothes to keep us warm.

I do wish I had a laundry room though. I have no idea why they built this house with the laundry hook ups in the garage.

And after folding and putting away all those clothes for the past two hours, I realized I need some new towels and there are 34 socks that have no match. A sock should not be alone. They should mate for life, like the Gray Wolf, French angel fish, Swan or even pigeons.
So now I'm off to search for their "sole" mate. Ha ha, get it? I just thought of that as I was writing.

Okay, it's been a long day...I'll go back to the laundry room that is my garage...

and the rest of you can enjoy some luxe laundry rooms!

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Re-thinking the mantra

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

After a week of broken dishes,
a small can of paint thrown over the railing, exploding on to the carpet,

someone "playing school teacher" on the walls and 4 rolls of tissue paper put in the toilet, (I'll spare you pictures of toilets...)

I am re-thinking my mantra...
"Calgon, take me away?" No.

"Live and let die?" Nope.

"Low expectations is the key to my sanity?" Naahhh.

"When life gets rough, drink a caffeineted diet pepsi and stuff your face with chocolate?" No, not that either, but sounds good.

I think it's going to be this...

And it's going to be framed and displayed in my living room.
(I do think there is chocolate in the cupboard, though. see ya!)

Front door fall displays for you

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blair and I took a nature walk to enjoy the fresh, fall air. We donned light sweaters and enjoyed picking up leaves and acorns of all shapes and sizes. The varying shades of brown on the acorns were beautiful and their little caps were so sweet.
We are now hot-gluing their caps back on to finish up some fall crafts. As for the leaves, I will be doing my annual wax-paper-leaf-ironing marathon to make them last all season - even two!

I took notice of everyone's front door and walkway on our "walk-by" since I have yet to decorate mine, sigh. I had some serious fall display envy.
I was hoping to take pictures of the various displays but I didn't really feel like going up to ask each homeowner for a photo release. So, here is my lazy way of bringing you a walk-by, or drive-by if you don't feel like walking the neighborhood- magazine style.
Compliments of Pottery Barn,, Country Living and my personal favorite magazine, Cottage Living.

Enjoy Fall!

P.S. Amber's front walk-way is worthy of a magazine shoot! Maybe she'll send a picture our way.
here you go...

The eyes have it

Thursday, October 8, 2009

File this under, "Why does this always happen to me?"

If you know me, you'd know that I can often find myself in interesting situations with equally colorful and crazy interesting people.

There was the man in Maryland who thought I was a vampire, the Mall killer lady in Dallas and don't even ask about the nude-painting-artist-stalker in Japan!

So it didn’t surprise me the other day when I was visiting a grocery store and a series of events unfolded that had me asking the aforementioned question.

It began as I pulled in to the parking lot and thought I heard some shouting. I didn't see anything for a minute but when I got out of the car, I spotted an employee fighting with another employee. The one being yelled at was safely protected behind glass for the moment; the one yelling was stomping around having a tantrum.
I thought, “I hope that guy doesn't get killed when he comes out,” and then went inside to shop. After I went in, I heard a few people mention what they saw. So with my conscience speaking, I thought I had better say something just in case the incident escalated. Stranger things have happened.
So, when I saw a manager walking toward me, I casually said that he had an employee going nuts outside.
He said “Just now?!” I said “Yes” and he said, I kid you not, “Is it that guy standing right there behind the service desk?!” and he wasn't whispering.

He then made a large swooping gesture with his long arm, pointing right to the guy. It reminded me of the melodramatic "Bill O’Reilly like" arm swoop.
So much for discretion.

The guy at the desk looked up, like a spotlight had just shined in his eyes.
Our eyes met, (cue Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho music, reee...reee...reee) and I thought I was going to die.
He looked like a bull about to run in Pamplona, all snorting and hissing…I was the red cape.

I wanted to crack the manager but I just gulped and squeaked out a, “yyeess...”
Then I hurriedly grabbed the things I needed, got through checkout trying to inconspicuously look around, making sure he wasn't going to come up behind me and ran out the opposite door in which I came. I must've looked like the crazy, paranoid one then.

So, if I ever go missing – the short, googly eyed guy with a bowl haircut did it.

A blog for all seasons...or personalities

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I need to have a bunch of blogs.

One to have as an outlet for my inner-geek-political-junkie-self. Did you see Orrin trying to get his amendment through committee? Did you see the guy behind him texting on his blackberry and the lady trying to get a pink pen to stay behind her ear? Funny stuff. This is what I get from C-Span.
But seriously, Sen. Hatch had a straight forward amendment, duh.
Sen. Baucus - what a dud.

One to vent about situations with some at church that I let bother me. Well, there aren't many, and it's none of you. I guess I bother them too or they would not be angry.
You wouldn't believe it if I told you (which I won't.) I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't heard it by accident, myself.
That's all I'm sayin.
Luckily, I don't let my feelings get hurt too much. I actually kept a straight face (even though it was about me. I didn't want to embarrass them) and laughed about it with my husband later. He didn't really laugh. His actual words were "Do I have to go kick someone's a** at church? Cause I will!"
(He didn't use asterisks)
Okay, I guess that wasn't all I'm saying...woops.

One for all of the Gospel topics that I like to research which make me happy, like Faith, feeling the Spirit, King Benjamin, Ruth and Naomi. (I should practice this more and re-read previous paragraph.)
And one to see if anyone else besides me feels like they are the lonely, black sheep of the church.

One to talk about t.v. shows, movies, music and totally mindless trivia that I think is so funny but probably too irreverent. (Again, black sheep - but I'm okay with that - doing the best I can working on the natural man.)
One for the crafty ideas swirling around in my head that is now spread out on my desk. Not my head, that would be bad. The craft idea come to life - that's spread out on my desk.

One to discuss baking, chocolatey goodness, banana bread, veggie pizza, homemade tamales and cupcakes, if eating cookie dough and licking bowls are okay and me trying to locate something sweet to eat at 11:30 pm last night. All I found was a banana and the very bottom of a tub of marshmallow creme. Note to self: next time use a more firm banana when trying to scrape the bottom of the container with it.

One to discuss how I'd love to go totally off the grid and then make a huge sign out of medium density fiberboard, to place in the front lawn. It would be in the shape of a hand giving utility companies everywhere the bird. (Oh my gosh, I think I am the lonely black sheep! I have never flipped anyone off before, ever, but a girl can dream.)

One to discuss everything else.

Hmmm..TMI but I think I just discussed everything for now, thanks!

I should probably just stick with a little blog about the good things, though, yeah.