Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free eBooks

So I was looking for a book online the other day and learned about an awesome new (ok, new to me) concept, online eBooks! What a great idea, doesn't clutter up the house and no trips to the library necessary.

I also saw that there are options for FREE eBooks as well! I went to Barnes and Noble and saw that they have lots of free titles available. I even found a specific book I was looking for as a free eBook! Here's the link for Barnes and Noble's eBook reader and more info on it:

What a wonderful resource! It's amazing that there are still some free things out there, just have to find them. Click "Linky Parties I Love" on the right to see what parties I'll be linking this awesome info up to.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"There's Nothing Like A Mom"

I was watching Oprah the other day, which I rarely do. There was a young lady on the show that had lost her mother in hurricane Katrina.

She wasn't with her Mom when she died. Her mother had served in the armed forces and was buried in a military cemetery out in Colorado. The young lady couldn't afford to go and visit her mother, since she has lost everything and relocated to Texas to start a new life.

She was given a ticket to go and visit her mother's grave site. After searching for awhile, there were SO many graves it was hard to find, she found her Mom. The first words out of her mouth, once she could stop crying were, "There's nothing like a Mom."

I lost it...right there right then. That sentence hit me like a freight train. The relationship a child has with their Mother is like no other. Yes, Daddies are special. Mommies are different, the bond we have with our children is like NO other.

From that moment on, I made the conscious decision to be more "present" with my kids. To make memories with them that included me, for them, not for me.

The way I'm starting is by being in more pictures with them. Let me tell you, I really really dislike taking pictures. Always have. However I want my children to have pictures of me with them. So when we went to Disneyland I forced myself to be in lots of pictures.

It was hard, but I told myself over and over it's not for me, it's for them. My kids don't care that my complexion is yick. Or my hair is not cooperating. Or I need to lose serious baby weight.

They want to see me with them, smiling and interacting. They want to see Mommy spending time with them. They want to see memories of themselves with Mommy.

How can you start making your special "Mommy memories" today? If you don't have children yet, how can you make special memories with those that are special to you today?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Five Years and Counting

Happy fifth birthday to my special girl! I can't believe how fast these first five years have gone by! My oh my, how I love my special little princess. Looking forward to all the special memories yet to come. Mommy loves you so much my special "little cherry blossom".

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quickie Swamp Cooler Cover Up


After! So much better!

Wallpaper hot glued directly to the side of the swamp cooler and a Dollar Tree vinyl decal is all I did. It's not perfect, but BY FAR better than looking at a yicky old swamp cooler, right?

Linking up to the following:
Keeping It Simple

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Creations by Kara
Decor Mamma

Time To Get Serious About...

scrapbooking. I took SO many pictures at Disneyland, I know it was around 200! Now all of them won't make the cut, but I still have quite a few to work with. I am so behind with my scrapbooking it's not even funny. It's yet another thing I wish I was more on top of, sigh.

So to get myself motivated to get going I've been flipping through the kids baby books. My daughter's has the most completed. The girl stuff is so much cuter, maybe that's why more of her book is done? Anyhoo, here are some pictures of completed LO's from her baby book.

DD and her big brother, various moments.

DD's first birthday.

DD's first 4th of July, she was only a month and half old. It was SOOO hot that day, I was worried she was going to get heat stroke so I sat in the shade with her as much as I could.

Various " first" milestones. This was a fun LO to do, all sorts of different things here.

One of my favorite pictures from her first year of life. Sitting out on the front lawn, I got this candid shot of her playing in the grass. WOW....I miss those days.

So now I just need to get going and get more done! I have more than enough pictures and supplies to do it, just need to park it and get started!

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Friday, April 16, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth

Just got back home yesterday from Disneyland. It's the second time we've been as a family, the kids had a blast. Sad to go, but now glad to be home. So thankful that we were able to stay for three days, so many memories and pictures! The one above is my favorite.

Friday, April 9, 2010

1 Pot 4 Ways

So I was trying to come up with an inexpensive but cute gift idea for a family member who loves to garden. I found plain plastic pots at the dollar store, they came in a 4 pack. You know the ones, they are terracotta colored and about 6" in diameter. I picked up a pack and brought them home with me.

I'm on a scrapbook paper kick lately, trying hard to come up with ways to use some of my huge stash up without actually scrapbooking (yeah..makes perfect sense, right?). So I had a bunch of scraps to use up, and started to play around with them on these pots and decided to go for it.

I present to pot, four ways. I started by giving all of the pots a quick coat around their rims with paint. I didn't want to have to mess with trying to cover those with paper. I used Kilz in "Antique White", one quick coat and I didn't bother sanding, priming, or even giving it a complete coat. I was going with the "shabby" look.

Then each pot got a liberal coat of Mod Podge (I used gloss) followed by the scrapbook paper. I thought that strips would be the way to go as opposed to trying to cover the pot with a solid piece of paper. Definitely made it easier.

After giving each pot a coat of the same Mod Podge to seal it, I went to work on the embellishments. Jute rope, ribbon and silk flowers are what I ended up using. I waited until the pots were completely dry before decorating them. I used a hot glue gun to affix everything.

I really like how they all turned out the same, but different. I like how I rotated between two different papers on each pot, makes it a bit more fancy. However it would be cute to use all the same paper on one, I'm going to try that next time.

This project couldn't have been less expensive, especially if you have the tools on hand. Besides the $1 for the pots (well...$1.09 with tax) I didn't spend another dime and used things I already had. You could even get ultra creative and try to use pots you already have. Think black gallon nursery pots or metal cans (like coffee or from canned goods). Just make sure to add drainage holes if needed.

I put another smaller pot inside of the finished product. If the Mod Podge got really wet well then all bets are off. I still don't know if I'd trust it with a heavy coat of acryclic sealant. I also wouldn't use these outside either, but for indoor plants. They would be cute on a end table or in your kitchen window, if your so lucky to have one. Just don't forget the coasters!

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Path of Least Resistance

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Ok, so I'm about to get all emotional and philosophical on you.

God has been tugging at my heart for years. Years. He has called my name over and over. Whispered, softly, beckoning me to Him. He has been calling me to climb into His lap and just rest. Bring all the bags, the burdens, the thought life, the guilt, the shame, the anger, the hurt, the depression, the blame, the hunger. He wants me to bring it all with me and climb up into His lap and let Him hold it for me. He's asked me for years to give it to Him.

He doesn't just want me to give all of that to Him either. He wants me to leave it with Him. To not take it back. Either piece by piece or by putting it all in a bag and carrying it around. He wants me to give it to Him, leave it with Him and let Him take it on for me. He doesn't want me to carry it around anymore.

He tells me that I'm worth it. I'm worth the effort. I'm worth the fight. I'm worth the sacrifice. I'm worthy of His love. I'm worthy of a relationship with Him. I'm worthy of all that He wants to give me. I'm worth it.

He tells me that He loves me. He tells me through my children's laughter. In all the "I love you's" I hear from earthly lips. Through the eyes of my husband. In a beautiful sunset. Through the crisp morning air. He whispers it audibly to me. He tells me in His way hundreds of times a day.

His word tells me everything I need to know to get through this life on earth. How to deal with frustration and anger. Resentment and irritation. Sadness and doldrums. Ruts and pitfalls. His word tells me to trust in Him, to lay it at his feet and to walk away from it. Why to I cling onto it so tightly, like I need it to breathe?

His past tells me He's mighty. He's victorious. He'll save all who call out to Him. He'll restore. He'll stop evil dead in it's tracks.

His present tells me He's everywhere. He's patient. He's merciful. He gives unmeasurable grace.

His future tells me eternity.

He lights his path to me, it's clear as clear can be what path I need to be walking on. So many forks off that path, but the path itself is well marked. Etched into the ground by those that have walked it before me. Whenever I decide to stray off, I trip and stumble every time. I need to walk the path of least resistance, the path that leads to Him. Even better, give Him my hand so that He can walk the journey with me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Footprint Fun Tees

So this is something I decided to make my in-laws for part of their birthday present this year. I think they turned out pretty cute. This is the first time I've ever painted on fabric before. It wasn't too tricky. There are some splatters here and there but all in all not bad, don't you think?
I took white acrylic paint and covered the bottom of each child's foot and make a print on the shirt. This was pretty tricky but the kids did well. I just kept baby wipes and an old towel handy for quick clean up when we were done.

To make the letters I just used a stencil and cut a piece of sponge to use for the paint application. I didn't have a stencil brush or I would have used that. To make it easier, I cut my stencil up into individual letters as opposed to trying to position an entire alphabet stencil. That was much easier. I kept baby wipes handy to wipe the back of each letter off when I was done using it so that the paint wouldn't transfer or smudge.
I wasn't going to do a border around the lettering originally, but I ended up making a few boo-boo's and needed to hide them. It doesn't really look bad, but hopefully as I practice doing this I'll get better and won't have to always do that. I have several more family members whom I'm sure would appreciate being "walked on". Doesn't hurt that it's a really inexpensive gift, especially if you wait for the t-shirts to go on sale. Mine were only $2 a piece!

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

He is Stronger

I don't think any song could sum Easter up better than this.

Joy and thanksgiving to all as we celebrate the resurrection of our Saviour.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My First Ever Award

I am so very excited and humbled that the super sweet Emily over at Too Blessed To Stress gave me my very first blog award:) Thank you Emily, you made my day!

I also am supposed to tell you seven fun/silly/unknown facts about myself as part of my "acceptance speech". But, I don't have to worry about the background music starting up and cutting me off mid sentence! Seriously though, here are seven somewhat "interesting" facts about moi:

1. I met my hubby online.

2. I am the oldest of six kids.

3. I have a forked tongue.

4. I cannot step out of the shower onto a bare floor, there HAS to be a rug or towel on the ground.

5. I've kissed a banana slug.

6. I ran away from home when I was six because my mom wouldn't let me have dessert.

7. I killed my very first pet (a goldfish) because I "fed" it too many chlorine drops.

Wow, riveting stuff huh?:) Now I have the lovely pleasure of passing the award on to seven other lovely bloggers. Here is my list (in no particular order):

1. Gina at Not So Random Stuff. She has the amazing gift of blogging things that weigh on my heart and mind.

2. Jenny at Little Green Notebook. She is an "real" interior designer and she is giving me a new appreciation for things outside my normal box.

3. "Jane" at Tickleberry Farm. Her words are witty and her photography is beautiful.

4. "Lisa" (She doesn't share her real name) at Thy Hand Hath Provided. Awesome lady who's sharing her journey of life, kids, veggie growing, raising chickens and more. She makes me want 5 acres, pronto!

5. Meredith at Like Merchant Ships. Crazy smart lady, she is a plethora of information and inspiration on all things frugal and resourceful.

6. Matt and Ginny at The Atypical Life. Amazing, transparent couple sharing their journey of birth, death, healing and life anew. This a good read.

7. Karen at The Graphics Fairy. Fun website with fabulous free printable vintage graphics. It's like Christmas every day at her blog!