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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New to Me Christmas Post

This year I am sooo incredibly thankful for our home. A year ago we were cramped into a little house with so many problems and this year is amazing and magical. Honestly, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Our home still seems to good to be true.

Christmas trees are a big issue every year. Is it a justifiable expense when you need food and want your kids to have something to open on Christmas morning. Every year, I tear eyed grumble, "YES"  We were given a small tree by dear family friends.
It had been theirs for years and years. Then we were given another 7 1/2 foot tree that did not fit in our house.

Then when helping a friend move we ended up with another.

Can you see our third tree hiding back behind my two littlest bakers? Have you ever baked with two toddlers? I always seem to forget how much WORK it is!!

I am sooo thankful for our new to us trees and a home that fits them all (Christmas trees and bakers)

It feels odd to be searching thrift stores for practical things right now. But my boys have outgrown their pants. All of them. So, I wandered into a thrift store this week and found THIS beauty!!
Isn't she wonderful??? $6.00. My big dilemma became: "Do I buy something for ME" which soon turned to "Do we use it now or wait until Christmas?" I guess no matter how blessed one gets there are always dilemmas ;)

Linking up at Twice Owned Tuesday, 65th Penny Pinching Party,

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree take two

It has been a long long few weeks and I am so tired. My husband and I both find ourselves falling fast asleep if and when we get a chance to sit down.

There is something about the Holiday Season that makes you count your blessings. It has been almost a year since we moved. I know I keep bragging about how wonderful this house it. but it truly is and I am grateful for each day that my family has here. It took many many miracles to get us in here and my prayer is that they continue.

You may remember me talking a few years ago about how we had no room and no money for a Christmas tree. We were given one and rammed and shoved it into our small living room. We had no room to move or live for a month but it sure was pretty:) We also have a small tree that was the main tree to dear friends of ours for years. Carting things to the thrift store for a friend we acquired another small tree. Somehow in the past year we went from barely fitting one tree to having room for three or more:) WOW. and thank you.

Here they are the day after Thanksgiving.

 I do not like colored lights. at all. My mother in law gave me some when she bought her first pre lit tree last year. So that is what is on this last tree. My littles have been taking down all the ornaments and my older boys have been breaking bulbs/ alot of them. I guess I didnt get a picture of the tree in the kitchen. I will add that later. As we get used to this house and time goes on I think they will evolve more and more:)   It will be fun to acquire more tree toppers and skirts and make ornaments this year and know where they will be going.


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Scarecrows Hybernating and Snowman are Coming out of Hiding!!

We had a little mantle makeover. A year ago we were in a tiny little house and I had snowmen EVERYHWERE. This year, we are in a HUMONGOUS house and there is room for so many more:)

Here is what we came up with the day after Thanksgiving. The leaves went to the greens container and the Snowmen arrived.

I'm sure it will slowly evolve from here:) I went to the Dollar Tree and got the really cool battery-operated-no flame candle. It looks really cool all lit up. Dont know why it doesnt show in the picture. I havent gotten the trick of taking pictures of this mantle yet. It is really high and we ahve to use a ladder to get up there. Which is very nice with two toddlers under foot ;)

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fundraiser for our Son

As I continue to talk about,  my 14 year old son

has Scleroderma Coupe de Sabre: Which is incurable and untreatable. He has had two episodes of pain and we are beginning to do some testing.

I have introduced you to my friend Julie before:

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.

 She is also the owner of Jules Jewerly and Little Girls Pearls. Julie  has made us a generous and amazing offer. For two weeks: Starting the day after Thanksgiving and going through December 10th, our family will receive 20% of any purchase made at her sites: using the code NATE, to help with medical costs.


You're gonna LOVE her stuff!!

She has some GORGEOUS hand stamped jewelery including:

Mothers' jewelry including

Mothers' Love Birthstone Necklace

THEN there is also her Little Girls'  Pearls jewelry line featuring, a lovely selection of sweet and elegant freshwater pearl and sterling silver jewelry. These would be so great for Christmas, or a wedding, any special occasion or church on Sundays.

This line include thee sweetest necklaces, earrings, and bracelets ever!!
Here's a sample:

Another truly amazing friend Kimmie from Made a button for me just for this event! She is amazing and talented and such an encouragement to me. She does some amazing button making--you should check her out.


We have so much appreciated everyone's prayers for our son and are feeling very blessed. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for a mom, aunt, friend, daughter (or yourself:) and think they would like Julie's amazing jewelry please consider buying from her and using the code: NATE.

Kimmie just notified me that ANYTHING purchased in her shop on Black Friday..she will give 100% to us for Nate's medical needs.

A dear freind has just added Avon to the Christmas shopping to benefit Nate:)
just use code: NATE14 at

We appreciate any help getting the world out about these fundraisers.

God Bless!

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's almost Thanksgiving--Where are your Christimas Cards?

I love love love Christmas cards and send out at least 100 each year. I love getting them and I hope others do too:) Sometimes I send a letter. Some years so much has happened that is not good, it feels better to just send a card of us all smiling. Feels like enough to know that we are indeed blessed and doing well.

I am totally lagging this year!! I don't have a photo in mind yet this year or clothes picked out or anything and am feeling way behind. BUT in my defense, the 80 degree weather hasn't actually stopped yet!! How is anyone supposed to concentrate?

I have been very very impressed with the quality and customer service at Shutterfly. When they offered  50 free cards for bloggers, I jumped at the chance.  That is enough motivation for me:) Follow the link and you can too:)

Check them out!

They have a great page of photo taking tips for family portraits HERE

so far my top favorites are:

elegant floral black

Rejoice! the Lords is King

While you're taking those Holiday photos, keep gift giving in mind. I'm eyeing the ceramic ornament or pewter ornament--what a neat keepsake for me, or a grandparent or to take along with you when you move out and decorate your own Christmas tree for the first time.

I like the idea of making Christmas photo mugs as gifts. I'm really liking the idea of coasters for me (and all the coffee that will be consumed here in my home during gift opening:) Can't ever go wrong with Canvas Wall Art. I am blown away by the creative things offered at Shutterfly!

Shutterfly Discount codes 
Free shipping code for orders of $30 or more SHIP30
Check HERE for more of their current special offers.

I was not paid for this post--honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own and may vary from others. I will be receiving 50 cards for writing this post

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Mantle Fun OR Sharp Clippers at Nap Time

This is what happens at naptime when I can FINALLY find my sharp clippers:)

I have this bush in my front yard that really really needed pruning back. not sure if this is the time of year to do it--BUT it happened today and then this mantle happened out of it.

I *think* the topsy turvy off kilter feeling is only coming from the photograph. Although, honestly I'm not climbing back up on the ladder anytime soon to fix it:)

AND a little closer up....
AND closer still........

My photography skills are really lacking. I'm not sure I can blame my camera for this one:(

I made the banner last year from placements and curtains I got at Good Will...the framed verse is from HERE, and I made the Dollar Tree Hurricanes.

Not exactly magazine material but pretty decent for my decorating budget ;)

Linking up at: Weekend Wrap up, Thanksgiving Linky Party (somewhat simple,) Just Something I Whipped up, Making the World Cuter, Made by You Mondays

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Great Deals, and yet no Money Tree

Wouldn't you know it! I am completely borke and finding all these great deals! Would someone please do something amazing with these and let me know:)

OK. I did come across some completely free things like: COFFEE!

Free Seattles Best Coffee at Burger King, on Fridays in November during Breakfast hours. (We also have a bunch of the free french fry coupons :) not sure how great of a breakfast that is though:)

Amazon is having a great special on Toys:

 AMAZING deals and you can also get free shipping and $10 off....

Christian Clippers tells us how to get a handheld Foodsaver for $3.60 shipped: HERE

I really want to be ready for Thanksgiving. I have been pricing Turkeys and so far it sounds like Fresh & Easy has the best price at 37 cents a pound for Jennie-O. I have some 10% coupons ready and just need to get some money:)

I'm looking for ways to decorate for Thanksgiving. Again with no money. Id love to hear your ideas!
I found some great things to print- 
HERE is an awesome Thanksgiving version of "Keep Calm and Carry On" displayed beautifully. Click over and print your own.

HERE is yet another that she created.

Another very talented lady created these two prints and framed in an arrangement with a handprint turkey.
I may need to make a few of those too:) You can get your copies HERE.

These are totally free and I WILL find a way to get them up in our house in the next few weeks:)
I really really like the whole concept of Subway art and LOVE that these generous ladies have not created these but agreed to share them with us. Please let them know how great we all think that is!!

Here are some coupons waiting to be printed:

$1.00 off One (1) Nancy's Frozen Appetizer
$3.00 off any Afrin 12 Hour Nasal Spray
$1.50 off TWO HUGGIES Baby Wipes
$2.50 off ONE (1) HUGGIES Diapers
$1.50 off Any Theraflu Product
$0.75 off on the purchase of any one WASA
$0.50 off on ANY SIX (6) Light & Fit 6 oz. Cups
$0.55 off on ANY ONE (1) DanActive 4-pack
$1.00 off any one Compound W product
$1.00 off Glade PlugIns Scented Gel products
$0.75 off on ANY ONE (1) ACTIVIA 4-pack
$0.50 off on ANY ONE (1) Light & Fit 4-pack
$88.99 for 2 Pairs of Eyeglasses
BOGO on Purina Pro Plan brand
$4.00 off Glade Automatic Spray Starter
$1.50 off Glade Automatic Spray Refill
$0.75 off on ONE FINISH Powerball Tabs or Gelpac
$1.00 off on ANY ONE (1) FINISH QUANTUM
$1.00 off 1 FINISH JET-DRY Rinse Agent
$1.00 off on 1 Finish Dishwasher Cleaner
$0.75 off Cascadian Farm product
$0.50 off Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters
$0.50 off Chex Mix
$1.00 off Ziploc Brand Bags
$0.40 off Pillsbury Italian Meal Breads
$0.75 off (1) 32oz or (2) Karo 16oz Corn Syrup
$0.50 off Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
$0.75 off Total cereals
$1.00 off Chex cereals
FREE Prestige Collage & EXTRA 20% OFF
$1.00 off General Mills Kid cereals
$1.00 off on any Hartz dog or cat toy.
$1.00 off 1 Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
$0.50 off Bisquick Baking Mix
$1.00 On Your Purchase of the All New Redbook!
$1.00 off any (1) variety of Eight O'Clock Coffee
50% off Olan Mills portraits
$3.00 off ONE Bendaroos 500pc Mega Pack Only
$0.40 off Pillsbury Sweet Rolls
$0.50 off Betty Crocker Box Muffin Mix
$0.40 off Betty Crocker Cookie Mix
$1.50 off Ziploc Containers
$1.00 off ANY TWO (2) Newman's Own products
$1.00 off Pillsbury Sweet Moments™
$0.55 off Pillsbury Simply... Cookie Dough
$0.50 off Progresso Products
$0.50 off any one (1) Minute Rice Product
$1.00 off Pillsbury Savorings products
$0.75 off Frozen Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits
$1.00 off Pillsbury Holiday Cookies
$0.35 off Pillsbury Grands! Jr biscuits
$1.00 off Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough
$0.40 off Yoplait Yogurt
$0.50 off Pillsbury Rolled Refrigerated Pie Crust
$0.30 off Refrigerated Pillsbury Grands! Biscuit
$0.55 off Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough

Let me know if and how you use these things. I really do want to know:)

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our version of Dollar Tree Hurricanes

I have many excuses, none very good ones. Whenever the situation arises in a group to make a craft I get many looks of pity, or someone reaching over and tweaks mine until it's right or sweet children ask if I want to trade. It really is that bad.

You already know how much I adore Melissa. She has a regular feature titled "Under $10.00 in under an hour." She made these
and gave a tutorial using these three items from the Dollar Tree:

It looked so easy that even I could do it. I decided to use coffee beans. I had a really hard time finding unground, whole coffee beans for a price I was ok with. Who knew? Anyway, I got all the supplies and my handy glue gun and a card table ready. My daughter walked by and took off all the price stickers and decals. I had forgotten that Melissa mentioned needing to do that:) Melissa also mentioned that you need to find the center of the vase. Nah, I'll just eyeball it. NOT a good idea. It really does matter! They were all wonky and crooked. Dumped all the coffee out, ripped them apart and walked away. My son and I stood over the vases trying to remember how to find the center of a circle and knowing this should be simple. We walked away.

My artistic husband found them. Immediately figured out what I was doing: glued them, decorated them and placed them on the mantle. The wrong mantle in the wrong room and in the wrong place. Can you tell I am really annoyed that he fixed my mess:)

Here are "Ours". Who knew something so simple would become a group effort:)

Linking up at Works for me Wednesday, We did it! Wednesday, 57th Penny Pinching Party, Make it Yours, Show and Tell, Strut Yourself Thursday, Transformation Thursdays, Show off your Stuff, Hooking up with HOH, Get Your Craft on, Feature Your Sassy Site, Look at me Im so crafty!, Im Lovin' it Fridays, Frugalicious Fridays, Feature Yourself Fridays, Favorite Things Friday, Whatever Goes Wednesday

Friday, October 22, 2010

PLEEASE vote for Rachelle's basement!!

Have you all seen Fingerprints on the Fridge and met dear sweet Rachelle?

Fingerprints on the Fridge


So what if we havent met in "real life" (that's only because she lives in Michigan!!) So what if I was in highschool when she was born. She is sooo much cooler than me:) but that doesnt stop me from sporting the Jute intital she made for my front door and carrying the keychain she sent for my birthday:) LOVE LOVE this girl!! You will too!!

They are a young family on a small small budget that did an AMAZING kitchen redo. next on their agenda: their atrocious basement.

Rachelle is in the top 10 on True Value's Design SOS Contest!!!
We can vote once each and every day and she and her family could win $2,500 in True value merchandise and a DIY project consultation from a local True Value "Master of All Things Hardwarian."

please head on over HERE and vote for her! Remember, you can vote once a day:)

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Please pray for wisdom with our son's Scleroderma

I have so many fun posts planned! I actually made something crafty and I have a great giveaway in store...but right now my heart is heavy and I need you friends.

Our son Nate, 14, was diagnosed with Scleroderma Coupe de Sabre about a year ago. This is a rare disease and not much is known about what causes it or what it will do. It is considered untreatable. His doesn't not seem to be systemic (which would be fatal) and has remained superficial (only affecting his tissue and muscles.) His started on his chin and is continuing up the left side of his face. He has discoloration on his chin, and above his lip. The disease has taken the left side of his lip, and he has lost all flesh and fatty tissue. He now has skin on bone until right below his eye.

Nate is experiencing a very rare and not very documented disease. It is referred to as an "orphan disease." No one really knows what it will do. It affects people very differently.

The next season is crucial for him. He has had two episodes of pain. The pain normally associated with this disease and Parry Romberg Symdrome is excruciating and untreatable. It is referred to by Drs as the "suicide disease." His pain hasn't been that bad. Pray it doesn't continue. With the onset of this pain many experience seizures and stroke. Our hope and that of his Dr. would be that because his manifestations have been superficial so far they wouldn’t cause these symptoms. Because there is no true pattern this disease follows, we are left to speculate and wonder. I have talked to two families whose chidlren showed the symptoms Nate does and then developed seizures and one a stroke.

Some lose their organs. It appears that Nate's eye will not be affected by the disease but losing the fatty tissue in that area can cause the eye to sink bank into the socket and disrupt sight. There is a woman on youtube who "looks fine" but describes her Sceleroderma and deteriorating sight.

Nate is being referred to a neurologist, an ophthalmologist and will have blood tests done. These may or may not show us what is going on but will serve as a base line to anything that does happen. Nate is being prescribed medication that we aren't sure about. There are also some routes that we would like to take nutritionally. The drugs that are typically prescribed would inhibit the immune system (because his is attacking himself.) I have not seen cases where they truly help the way that we would like to see. There are some nutritional things (like shitake mushrooms) that can help calm his immune system and balance. He was prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs. There are things that can be done nutritionally to do this but they would drastically reduce his diet.(no diary, wheat, corn or eggs, among other things) Keep in mind that nothing has been shown to slow down or combat this disease. We, as the parents of a child afflicted are trying to find a cure for an incurable disease.

Please pray for wisdom, for answers, for peace. For the physical and emotional energy we will need during this time. For unity and laughter for us together as a family.

Nate continues to have an amazing attitude through this all. His parents are worried yet trusting God. How will we pay for any of this? How can we quickly figure this all out when the experts can't? What is going to happen to our son? What is his future? Where would a stroke, loss of eyesight, seizures or chronic pain leave him? What about all the dreams we have for our first born?

I have no eloquence right now.  I included pictrures of Nate because he really doesn't look that bad. He does have severe facial deformity but because of it's placement it needs to be pointed out. So far. These are especially odd pictures because he is ALWAYS smiling. Even when it really isnt the right time to be:)

There is some information online that will better explain the things that I had trouble with
Sceroderma Coupe de Sabre:

Parry-Romberg syndrome:

Neuropathic Facial Pain and TN (Trigeminal Neuralgia)

God Bless!

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