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Sunday, March 29, 2009

GIVEAWAY! Little Girls' Pearls

I am soooo excited to be a part of this!!

I have something wonderful to share with you!!

This is my first giveaway and it's a good one...
Remember my friend... Julie:

You can look around here:
Jules Jewerly
for examples of her amazing Mom's necklaces (like mine) among other treasures....
Then you must look here at her little girls' pearls:
Little Girls' Pearls

You will LOVE LOVE LOVE the little girls' pearl bracelet that I have to share!
It is a "Little Girl-Big Girl Sweet Pearl Bracelet"
I would love this to go to a little girl for Easter Sunday-- I will close this contest on Tuesday, April 7th to ensure its arrival by Good Friday.

If you have a little girl-ENTER.

If you know a little girl-ENTER!
If you know someone expecting a blessing-ENTER for them.


(1 entry) leave a comment, telling me who this bracelet would go to if/when you win.

(2 comments, 2 entries) For another entry become a follower of this blog.

(3 comments, 3 entries) For one more entry, blog about this post and link back here.

Good Luck to everyone! Winner will be announced next Tuesday!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Amish Friendhsip Bread

A friend brought Amish Friendship Bread starter to church last Sunday. No one would take it at first. I somehow ended up with two. My dear daughter asked if she could do it. Sounded like a great idea.

She mushed and mushed and checked it each day. My husband tried to throw it away; Each day.

I checked the internet for prettier versions of the directions. I spent way too long doing this and came up with nothing. I posted an offer for starter on Facebook. Someone mentioned freezing theirs.

It came time to divide the starter and bake bread; just in time for our homegroup that night. We had no sugar, toddler refused to nap. Plans fell apart. I ended up in bed with a migraine. Three days later, dear friend Pani Kathleen asked if she could drive up for a visit. I hated to ask her, but could she, being the foodie that I am not, help my daughter make this bread?
She went out and bought milk and sugar and came over. We donned aprons. We didnt have enough oil. She went to the store. We didnt have vanilla pudding. I went to the store. Came back up the driveway because I had left my wallet on top of the van and it was now in the driveway. Pulled over again when cell phone slipped off the van into the engine. That must have been up there too. Went in to buy pudding and didnt know what size. Bought all sizes. Left my car keys in the store. Why didnt I bring a purse?

The sweet bread takes an hour to bake and I hadnt gotten the chicken ready to bake for our dinner. Husband came home to a hot house and no dinner. He shaped hamburgers while he watched a basketball game. Not exactly my plan.

How does adding one "extra" thing into a day cause EVERYTHING to get discombobulated, topsy turvy and three kinds of crazy? Does this happen to everyone or just me?

Bread turned out VERY VERY good by the way! Would YOU like a starter?

Review: The "Me Time" Myth (a WEe-book)

I read something today that I want to share with you...
The "Me Time" Myth by Amy Roberts

For awhile now, I have been running on empty while trying to figure out what this "wife and mother" thing should look like. I don't want to go off by myself to recharge. I want to be content while HERE where God has placed me with the blessings that He has given me. I am so needed and so busy here that if I take time out, the needs pile up as does my discontent. I want to be better at what Im doing, but not by running away. I have tried that route and it's not working for me.

I like the very idea of a WEe-book. It is grand. It isn't a thick theology book to mull over, or a long day over coffee with a friend. A wee-book could be more likened to a quick conversation in the grocery store that leaves you thinking and refreshed. I don't know about you, but I don't have the time available right now for all day coffee with a friend but I do have the intellectual need and the desire for its accountablility.

I agree with the views of Amy Roberts regarding "Me Time" and was encouraged and convicted by her WEe-book. It felt as if she looked into my heart, took my ponderings, made them coherent and delved a little deeper into what I meant to say. As I read this WEe-book I found myself yelling, "YEAH!" outloud as I reassured myself that somone else agreed with what I was trying to say.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Review: Jules Jewerly

Meet my friend Julie:

She and I attended the same Christian College and now homeschool our kiddos in the same small town. She has amazing talent, creativity and taste and does things WELL.

Jules Jewerly

I am so exctied to tell you about the necklace that she made for me!!

I have a stone for each of my chidren surrounding an open heart cut from silver. My children were so excited about this gift for me. It meant so much to them they were represented and had a part in honoring me. On the back of my necklace is a clasp and the sweetest handmade heart. Julie writes about this special touch, "You will notice that my jewelry signature is a heart. Each of my clasped pieces is adorned with my signature handmade heart dangle. Each heart is lovingly created by my husband and me. My hearts are a daily reminder of the many wonderful blessings I have in our lives." Don't you just love her already?

I have said "mine" alot which isnt very polite :) I am so excited about this necklace because of its quality, detail and that it was made for me. By hand. By someone who I respect and like to be like.

I would love to buy each of you ladies a Mother's necklace for Mothers' Day. Each of your daughter's should also get a pearl bracelet :) I will be having a giveaway of one of Julie's handmade items VERY soon. Would you do me a favor and look around HERE and tell me your favorite item?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Week in Review

This didnt get done this weekend and now it is into the next week....

I am back to drinking way too much cofee and enjoying it :):

We got a new bed! We went from this:

To this:

Our old bedframe was cracked and hanging on less than a thread. I had gotten it a few years back at the thrift store for $10.00. I guess it lasted us. We way overthought our new bedframe. We'd really like a King size but there is now way to fit that right now. We paid $229 including tax and shipping. It took all day to put in. Why do these things take ALL day and where do you put a toddler during the process. Where does said toddler nap during this process? Why are the directions so discumbobulated? Do they make sense to anyone?

My son approached me and said that that I had to much to do and could he do math with his sister...uh..yes please!

Her other older borther has also started reading her a Bible story each day and doing a Bible Study together.

I feel guilty that Im not doing it myself but it does warm my heart to see them spending this time together.

Dear daughter also finished her quilt sampler for Keepers at Home Girls' Club:

We had a celebration at church. Our dear elder stepped down after 41 years of service. Wow huh? We celebrated his service and continue to share with him in worship. We had a potluck and presented him with an awesome clock/plaque. I brought my camera but there are no pictures wa a potluck and I was preoccupied with eating :)

Baby now has two big teeth on the bottom and is pulling himself up on EVERYTHING

Monday, March 23, 2009


I don't want to scare you all..but I am going to be posting a few reviews :) I have been wavering for awhile on whether or not to take the plunge. I do want to hear your input. I have no intentions of this blog becoming professional and polished (I don't even know if I could pull that off :) I will stay honest and real (I know no other way) I'd like to sponsor some giveaways and support products and people that I respect.

In the next few days/weeks, I will be posting a few reviews and at least one giveaway. I don't want to burn you out though. Keep me posted on what you think :)

AND some pictures of my littles....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review: Managers of Their Home Scheduling Program

First off. I am not a scheduled person. I am not a structured, scheduled person. I am more of a fly by the seat of my pants, spontaneous gal. I am also a mother of 5, wife to one, manager of my home, superintendent of our homeschool. Are you seeing a problem here? Scheduling may not be my gift, but one thing that I am good at is seeing a problem. Manager's of Their Homes by Steven and Teri Maxwell was the solution to a lot of problems in our household.

Why would we listen to Teri and Steve Maxwell?

Are they all knowing and good at everything we are not? Not exactly. Terri does seem to be amazing person. Teri is gifted and great at scheduling. She and her husband Steve did seem to train and teach her eight children very efficiently.
The main reason that I trust her though, is that she developed this system, out of a need in her family. Teri suffers from depression. She wasnt always completely available to her children to answer their every "what do we do..?" and "Can I?" She developed this system out of her strengths and on her good days to improve her family's everydays. She is real mother with real weaknesses raising sinners in a real family. I respect that.

Every step of this system is bathed in prayer. The worksheets that are provided will either bring to light that you have more hours than you realize OR that you are trying to shove 42 hours into a 24 hour day. They will enable you, through prayer, to see the needs of family member and what they should get out of their day. For your reference there are sample schedules from many different familes varying in size, style and habits.

There is time spent on explaining the whys of having a family schedule. I have trouble being in five places at once. Yet, I have 5 children, including a toddler, crawling baby, scissors sneakers, and people that I want to spend time with. I am responsible for them ALL the time. It can be hard to decide where they all should be. Where is the baby while I am teaching you handstitching? The sample schedules made by the testers have really helped me. To see that one family has their children under 5 watch PBS while Mom makes lunch is reassuring. Seeing hwo others work out scheduling conflicts was helpful too. With the purchase of the program, there is also a web board to bring questions and find discussions.

Rather than judgement of the way that some of us waste time, there is much Grace and emphasis on God designing each of our families differently and uniquely. The color coded charts could seem too rigid and corny to some. They have proved invaluable in our family. I can find myself overwelmed with what each of my children should be doing, have done and need to do at any given time during the day. Having a carefully graphed chart with poster putty helped me to sort it out and move things around. Having a chart to refer to also eliminated a lot of the "why CANT I play my video game at 7 am?" types of questions. We found that when those questions were asked over and over by numerous children a "Yes" would slip in there and children would be doing odd things at odd times with a guilty feeling mom wondering how it had happened :) It's never fun to feel like the "bad guy." Being able to see on a chart your time with each child, and their being able to see their free time and time with people laid out was an encouragemnt to all.

From this program, I learned the value of a schedule, the reasons for having a schedule and how to develop and implement a schedule. I highly reccomend this book and its principles. Honestly, I can not think of a way to improve upon the system, or methods of the program.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First Haircut

My husband was working, we had just gotten out of church: hungry, tired, hot, my toddler needed lunch, and I think may have had a full diaper. I decided to go get him his first haircut ???? My children thought I was looney. Maybe I was. We went to the greatest place and everything went SOOO smoothly!!

It is almost sad to see my toddlers curly locks gone though....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mourning Zachary Michael Cruz

We lived 7 days this week. We moved furniture, we entertained guests, we saw old friends, we played, we ate, we shopped. My camera broke and i attacked it with pliers. My two year old now sings, "Cheeseburger" from Veggie Tales and "you've got a friend in me" from Toy Story (your are so lucky that I dont have the techno-capacity to *show* you....But, I dont want to share about that...

On Saturday, My 12 year old son, my 7 month old son and a dear, life-long friend and I went to a funeral. We went to the funeral of a child. That is never good. Never supposed to be. At the funeral, I watched the father of the young boy in pain. I read his words to us, apologizing in advance if anything he says or does in his mourning is seems unsavory in a church and said that he knows well the rules in a Baptist Church. I cried for him again. The Cruz family is very gifted musically and much of their life was around music. We heard the songs that they sang to Zachary and we listened to a song written to God challenging Him to come home and prove himself. I cried because He is here and He has proven himself and there is no answer to why Zachary was so horribly taken from this world. So many questions but no answers. I cried as the casket carrying Zachary was carried out to "Imagine" by the Beatles.

I dont know how someone heals from the loss of losing a child. How someone heals from the sudden death of a loved one. I dont know how someone does any of this without a church "home," without the family there, without the assurance of salvation and knwoing the Loving, Healing, Fogiving arms of Christ. How?

I was so proud of the amazing parent that Jodie became. The amazing family that she and Frank have made for Zachary and Miles. Man, am I proud to know her. (or maybe to have known her.) I never got a chance to meet Zach. It was soo obvious what an amazing person he was. Not just "for a five year old," He lived life, he loved people and he crammed a lot into those five years. Makes me wonder what my last five years consisted of. I hope someday to meet him.

On Sunday, I went home to my church. My Presbyterian church that many of you would think stiff and formal. As we stood to sing the first hymn (yes, I said hymn) I bawled like a baby. I cried because I do have that comfort and healing and peace that the Cruz family needs to find. I cried becasue saying that to THEM sounds pius and judgemental. I cried for their loss and for the amazing church family that I have been blessed with. I cried because I CAN cry in my stiff little Presbyterian church.

I wish I had words for the Cruz family. I have nothing but tears. But I know WHO does have Comfort, Peace, Healing and my prayer is that they reach out to Him.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Blog Makeover Giveaway

I have another chance! Cross your fingers for me? AND head on over to

She is offering a blog makeover in honor of her blogging birthday. SUCH a creative gal! Look around, view some tutoirals, check out her WILL be impressed!

Then, step back and check out the deisgn of her blog. Impressive huh? Faerie Designs.

There are a few ways to enter through Wednesday!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Etsy for Zachary Michael Cruz!

I am so exctied! I just discovered that Etsy is having a fundraier for Jodie and her family!

Go buy something

Monday, March 2, 2009

Zachary Michael Cruz

My heart is broken. Dear friends of mine suffered a horrendous loss. While going from school to an after school activiity, their 5 year old son Zach was hit by a truck in the crosswalk. He died on the scene.

So much pain, so much loss, my heart breaks for his grandparents, his class mates (especially the ones who were witnesses,) his newborn brother (who will never "know" him as planned,) his cousins, all those that could have been touched by his life and talents............

How do you deal with a loss like that? What can WE do? We can't SAY anything to take away pain this great... Nothing we can do can lessen their pain. What can we do? My ONLY answer is prayer.

Will YOU join me in prayer for this family?

Visit the website set up in honor of Zach:

Please let them know that you are praying (you can let me know here too) I am feeling so helpless and know that prayer is all that we have to offer. He will always be gone and ti will always hurt. Only the Grace, Provision, and Comfort of God can get them through this initial time of shock and loss. Please pray that God will touch their lives in a huge, obvious, and dramatic way.

There may be one more thing that we can offer: They are a young family. Zach's dad is a graduate student. Who sets money aside for the death of a five year old? Funerals and burials are expensive. If you can donate to help them with this, please do. The internet is huge: if each person who visits their site could give a dollar... make it two and skip your next trip to Starbucks in memory of Zach.......that feels like something that we can actually DO.

****I just found an etsy fundraiser for Jodie and her family! I am so excited about this!1 Go buy something

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Week in Review

I didnt like leaving this blog, or last week, on the note it was left on. The week held a lot of praying, pondering, counting to 10...I was looking for answers when I knew what to do and just needed to hunker down and give everything back to God. Circumstances are feeling better now :) There have been changes and apologies made.

A dear friend of mine, an old friend of mine, suffered a terrible loss this week. She is the youngest sister (10 years younger) to a family Ive had since high school. I spent Christmas's with them for many many years. I used to drag that little girl everywhere with me. She lit the candles in my wedding......her 5 year old son died this week. He was hit by a truck. I KNOW that that happens, does she go on? I know that she will... but what does that even look like? Please pray. I know that is all we CAN do.

We are doing some upgrades in these here parts--photos to follow.

We had a mandatory quiet time each day, because "maybe you don't need to rest, but some of us do." There were unhappy children, but I actually got phone calls made, sweet daughter worked on hand stitching, and my husband and and I talked (it lasted for udner 10 minutes but felt monumental.) We're all feeling a little better for it.