Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Fun

Well, it's how many months since my last post? Christmas seems a year ago, not just a few short months.  My girls have kept me crazy busy but I wouldn't want it any other way!

We've gone to speech tournaments where ultimately, Miss L won 1st place in the state and is now going to the National competition in Baltimore in May!

We've been across the state, Kentucky and North Carolina too to compete.

The divine Miss Em made ALL STATE choir
and our sweet Jerica had a sweet baby girl

So, yeah, it's been crazy. 
Last night was the opening to
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST where Miss L plays Chip the teacup!  Pics to follow soon!

Have you had a crazy, mixed up winter/spring?  I hope I'm not the only one!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Paintings, props and pretend

So, I'll admit it, Christmas has been kind of rough the last couple of years...  I know, and I hate to even whine about it because there are SO MANY people who have such difficult circumstances that I can't even, and never will imagine, and there are so many people who don't have what I DO have, but maybe my little thoughts will mean something...to someone....

Have you ever heard the phrase, "...off of a Norman Rockwell painting"?  

I've used that expression all my life because others did and it made sense.  I grew up in a Norman Rockwell painting, with Christmases like this

 and this

 and this



But what I'm really wondering is, did anyone ever feel like this?





I think we all probably did at some point.  I wonder if we pretended and painted on smiles when inside there was hurt and shame smoothed over and covered up by sparkly lights and glittery presents, good food and nice phrases?

  Why the mood 4 days before Christmas, you ask?  Well, I'll tell you, the funniest thing happened to me today that got me thinking about this very mood, this sad little funk I was in!

I saw a picture on a blog of an office I loved, I mean loved!.  You know, perfectly designed, warm yet functional, edgy yet useful, great accessories, pretty fabrics... so I went to pin it on Pinterest.  I couldn't find the original "owner" of the picture and wanted to give credit where credit is due, so I went back and back and back and back on each blog that tagged it until I found it's original owner and guess what?  It wasn't anyone's real office at all!  It was a picture taken from a blogger who does props and staging!  Isn't that hilarious?  Do you see what I see?  I was in love with something that wasn't even real!  It never was!  No one lives there, it was just a prop, a farce, a figment of my imagination!

So then I wonder...is that what all this "crying over spilt milk" is doing to me?  All this "those were the days", "things were happier then" thoughts I've been processing for the last week? Have they led me to discover that we all probably live in paintings, props and pretend?  

So when does this post get cheerful you ask?  Right now!  Because in all of that, here's what I remembered and rediscovered...(thank God!)....
                                                          Christmas isn't now, and never was about how I feel or really even who I'm with..  It's always and forever about the very person my Norman-Rockwell-painting-or-not dad and mom and grandmother always and diligently taught me to remember in this season:

                                                         Jesus


                                the Christ-child,
                                    the One who though came as a child,
                                         was purposed to

                                                        "bind up the brokenhearted, (MY broken heart!)
                                                        to proclaim freedom for the captives
                                                        and release from darkness for the prisoners,
                                                        to bestow on them a crown of beauty  instead of ashes,
                                                        the oil of joy instead of mourning, (MY mourning!)
                                                        and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair..."
                                                                                                                    Isaiah 61

And it doesn't end there.  HE SHALL BE CALLED

                                              Wonderful Counselor

                                                                                Mighty God
                                                                                                    
                                                                                                  Everlasting Father

                                                                                                                                  Prince of Peace

Norman Rockwell or not...



Merry, merry, sweet merry Christmas!




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Style NOT "Lack"ing!

Do you all own one of these?
Ikea's Lack Side Table
I do.  Okay, maybe one...or two...
In my attempts to downsize I was thinking of getting rid of them, that is until I saw THIS post at Apartment Therapy!  Just look at these incredible "Lack Hacks"...
Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy
 I'm totally doing this--
Apartment Therapy
 And what a great idea for a kitchen island
Apartment Therapy
At 9.99, I think you cant' go wrong!

Do any of you have a Lack?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Do you ALDI?

DO YOU SHOP AT ALDI?

If the answer is "no", AND you're answering with a little turned up nose and snooty-faced brow, then shame on you! (Well, not really, I used to feel the same way about Aldi, but NOT ANYMORE!)

Who couldn't stand to save a buck or two...or three, or four?  I have been shopping there somewhat consistently for the past year or so.  For the last couple of months, since school started back, I've found myself abandoning my dear, sweet Aldi for more convenient choices on the end of town I find myself more often...Kroger.  Now don't get me wrong.  I love Kroger.  Heck, Kroger is like the Nordstrom of grocery stores for someone in my area, and for someone like me that loves to cook!  But, if I could just remember to get myself together every week and go to Aldi, I save so. much. money!

The lastest buy from Aldi is salt and pepper grinders (yesterday)...$1.29 a piece...that's with the sea salt and peppercorns in the grinders!  You just can't beat it! Holidays are an especially good time to go there. They have some great deals on baking stuff!

I have one friend who is afraid to go there to shop and another who swears by it!  (Friend #2 knew a manager at our local Aldi and he swears that many of the products are the same exact  products that we buy in fancy packaging.)  My favorite is when they have special buys like UNO frozen pizzas for $5!
yummo!  And, they sell random things...I bought a handheld mixer there once that's the bomb!

I will say, I haven't bought fresh meat there, but I have bought frozen chicken breast several times---not a bit of difference!  I know, I need to challenge myself and try. (Admittedly, a few things I've bought I didn't love, but hey, that's where Kroger comes in!  ANYWAY, here's a list of things I do get at ALDI and they have been consistent or even better than consistent with large chain grocery store items:

flour
sugar: white, brown, powdered
cake mixes (for chocolate cupcakes)
pudding mix
spices
OLIVE OIL---love Aldi's brand
Canola oil
sour cream
milk
creme
eggs                                                                   
block cheese
cream cheese
fresh mozerella
PITA CHIPS---I mean, the best in the world!
toilet paper
paper towels
baggies
garbage bags
frozen fruit
light bulbs
cleaners
bag salad
seasonal fruit/veggies
canned goods: chili beans, diced tomatoes, soups
broths
dry pasta
tortillas
PITA CHIPS---I mean, the best in the world!

I'm sure I'm forgetting something!  So here's the challenge:  Go to Aldi, see what you can do and compare your receipt!   You'll feel great. By the way, a few things to remember:

                     You will need a quarter to get a cart (no big deal, you get your quarter back when  
                     you return it!)

                     You must take your own bags (plastic, reuseable, whatever!)

                     They only take CASH and DEBIT cards.

P.S.  you can go right to the ALDI website HERE to see weekly specials, special buys, etc.


Friday, October 7, 2011

longing

I've been thinking of my dad a lot (more than incredibly a lot, the normal amount) the last few days; just a few days from today will mark two years since he's been--gone.  I keep trying to think of a better word than gone, because he's not, not really.  Gosh, I miss his voice and his big ol' hands and his impromptu play-by-play at football games and our conversations about politics and how I could just pick up the phone and say, "Did you just see that? or him? or what he said?" I think 1000 times a day there's something that is said, happens, thought or felt that links me back to him.  Today on Pinterest, I saw this quote.  My dad said something like this to me once when I was a heartbroken teenage girl  and I've never forgotten it.  Maybe he was re-quoting, or maybe, quite possibly, he was just that wise...

I'm so glad he'll never be gone...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Have you seen these?

offbeatbride.com
stareventsonline.wordpress.com

thefinishingtouchevents.com    
My sweet cousin Erin is getting married next year and she's using a brooch bouquet?  Isn't that a great idea? She's asking for brooches from family members or even to keep an eye out when shopping.  I love that she'll have so many great memories.  I've got to look for some of our grandmother's brooches stored away in my stuff...I have one with a picture of my brother and me on it, wonder if she'd like that one? :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Move Over, Martha

Okay, in this post, I bragged about my Martha blueberry scones.  Well, this weekend, I tried a new Blueberry Scones recipe I found at Sunday Baker.

Sunday Baker
  Holy blueberries Batman!  I made the recipe just as she said AND I made the Butter Sauce.  Now, the title alone, Butter Sauce, tells you it's going to be divine, right?  Well, it was.  Miss Em was out for the morning so I made them for little Lyl and me.  We ooed and ahhed and mmmmmmd our way though Saturday morning.  You MUST give them a try!

P.S....then we went to the park and ran....:)