Thursday, December 21, 2006

All that glitters...

My mama and I went on a marathon shopping session yesterday. So marathon that my feet - that were clad in perfectly serviceable sneakers all day - are killing me to the point I hobbled around like an old granma this morning when I got up. Ow.

But I did manage to get my shopping done. I have Christmas for everyone except my evil step-grandmother, and frankly, I just could not find anything tacky enough to give her. I know I know - that makes me sound like such a horrible person. But really - her taste is....just so out there. She likes glittery. Not cute glittery either. Tacky, oh my what were they thinking when they made THAT glittery. And oddly enough, even after spending 3 hours in a craft mall, I could not find anything THAT glittery. Maybe there's something at Kmart.....

I still need to do some crafty type stuff to finish up presents. I have to make the kids' cd wallets, and I'm so looking forward to doing the ones for my best friend's daughters. I don't *have* any girls, so D's girls are as close as I get. I can't wait to glue maribou trim and little pink sunglasses and write names in pink fabric paint!

Yeah - I'm a dork. But when you don't have daughters of your own, that sort of thing sounds FUN!

I also need to paint the hubby's box. Since we decided to not buy Christmas for each other - because we're getting a HOUSE and new bedroom furniture - that matches! - we didn't see the point on trying to find time to buy for each other. So I saw this great idea for a praise box on someone's blog. I don't remember who - Owlhaven, Pastormac - someone. You just write down on pieces of paper something you admire, like, love, etc about the person you are giving the box to. I'm so very proud of how hard he has worked on the house project, so I thought this would be the perfect inexpensive gift for him. He can spend the rest of the year getting a pick me up every time he gets discouraged. I'm going to get the boys to write things too.

I was going to get my folks to do it to - but he and Daddy had some kind of disagreement regarding the electrical work in the house, so I'm thinking maybe I'll skip that this year.

I still have to work today and tomorrow, so I'm not sure *when* I'll get to do my painting. Maybe he'll work late tonight & I can work on it before he gets home.

HA! I never thought I'd *want* him to work late the week before Christmas!

After hearing the good news about my mom-in-law being in remission, we found out earlier this week that my hubby's great uncle, who is godfather to our sons, has been diagnosed with leukemia. So anyone that was praying for my mom-in-law, could you add Cooper to your list? He's such a wonderful man - I can't imagine life without him.

I should quit rambling now - and go pick up my gifts from my hockey buds. I had to miss lunch with them yesterday to go pick up the boys, then shop w/ my mom. Woohoo! Presents!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Down the stretch

So - are YOU ready for Christmas?

Naw - me neither. I did get cd wallets for the guys in the family done last night. So easy and cheap! I found these perfectly adequate cd wallets at WalMart for $1.97 each, I then wrote names on them with fabric paint - took me all of 5 minutes to do 4 of them. I've about decided to go back and get more for my hockey buds - I wanted to make them all earrings or bracelets, but we're supposed to have our Christmas lunch tomorrow and I put it off forever what to get them don't have enough time!!! I'm putting gift cards in them for the guys, so maybe I'll find a cute little something to put in them for my girls too. I've got to run to Hobby Lobby today to get a gift card for my sis-in-law, so maybe I can find some little cute something for them too. Mom's taken care of, mom-in-law is taken care of. Since we decided with all the house stuff we just don't have time to do the normal shopping for the most perfectest gift ever this year - everyone is getting gift cards. They'll just have to understand. Really. Or if they don't, I guess they can hate me. Either way. I'll live. At this point, I. Just. Don't. Care.

I realized last night that I packed my bundt pan back in October when I thought I'd be moved by Christmas. This would be no big deal except that I have to make grandmother's fresh apple cake and I can't do that without a bundt pan!!!! Yeah - I'm in a panic. I've got to find a bundt pan.

Score. One of my hockey buds has one I can borrow. Friends. What would we do without them?

I still need to take the boys shopping for their dad, as well as take E shopping for his brother. And of course, my big day shopping with my mom. Although - she taunted me last night that she is going to KK's (the bestest ever craft mall here in town) today. WITHOUT ME!

That's just wrong.

Our family bible study is going so well. We weren't able to do it one night because Monty was out with a customer, and E - my teenager! - told me he was disappointed, because, you know, he kinda looks forward to that every day.


Moments like that give me hope. And believe me. When you have a 13 yr old - you need all the hope you can get!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Some Friday Rambling...

Oh man! It's the Bloggy Christmas Tour of Homes! As I just told Jules, I'm not getting shit done today now.... Go! Check it out! Especially if you want to feel woefully inadequate in your home decorating skills. Or just to steal ideas. Either works.

Speaking of homes, I realized the other day that the desk I had planned to put in the desk nook in the new house won't fit. I am bereft. I had such plans for that desk....My cookbooks on the first shelf, doodads on the second, my laptop on the desk part, I'd be able to do my stuff there instead of trying to navigate Monty's disaster area desk...*sigh* My tin collection and enamelled water pitchers were going to go on the top....Hmph. Darn dinky desk nook. So now I have to find another desk. I wonder if my desk from high school is still over at mom's? Of course, it's bright YELLOW, so it would have to be re-painted, but that's no big deal.

Oooo! Someone brought cookies! Breakfast!

I guess I'll put Monty's desk in the "red room" (because it will have a red wall, and since it's not going to be a living room, or a dining room and I don't know WHAT we're going to do with that room, Red Room will have to do.). With the piano. And my dining table. And my beautiful inlaid veneer chest of drawers. And Monty's *current* desk. Hmm....maybe I'll call it the "furniture I dont' know what to do with right now" room....

I'm still trying to figure out where to put furniture in the front room. It's particularly difficult because Monty is taking the spot I WAS going to use for my sectional for his flippin wood burning stove. Hmph. So now I have to rearrange in my head where to put stuff in the living room. (Living room, front room - maybe I'll just call that room the "glazed" room - since the wall color will be "glazed pears." Think that would work?)

Last night, while I discussing having to go to a hundred places to pick out 6 squares of vinyl tile for the boys bathroom, I mentioned how much I like the tile we have in their bathroom now. And Monty says, "have you checked to see how many we have left over in their towel cabinet? Maybe we have enough."

SCORE! We have 5 tiles left over from when we did the boys bathroom 11 years ago. I'm thinking that might just work - it's a small space, we may not need 6....Woohoo! More time for other stuff Saturday!

Like, you know Christmas shopping. Because I haven't done any. Like - at all. And Christmas is 10 days away. Less if you figure in the fact that we'll most likely have our Christmas next weekend when all the parental units are in town.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Our Own Christmas Miracle

Back in September, we discovered that my mother-in-law had Stage IV non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Yesterday, after 4 months of chemo and antibody therapy, we found out she is in remission.

We are thrilled beyond measure. To go from tumors in 4 different places to total remission - it can't be anything but a miracle! She has dealt with losing her hair, and feeling tired and weak, but it has all been worth it. She & Richard are coming down for Christmas, and while it will make my life infinitely more chaotic, we'll deal, because she'll still be here. And now we don't have to worry that it's her last Christmas or any of that junk. God is so good to us.

We have started having nightly Bible study at our house. We just finished Ephesians, and started Matthew last night. I am just having all of us ready several verses, then have the boys talk about what they have learned, or what they can take from what they've just read. I'd love to say that it's turned everything around, but we've only been doing it a week or so. I was so worried about the boys not know much about our faith, so this helps. Everyone has their own Bibles, we all do our reading, and I think it will help us stay close. As the boys turn into teenagers, I want to do everything I can to keep some part of their lives turned to the family.

The house - oy veh. We now have the house on its foundation. Of course, we discovered that the guys doing the basement placed the opening for the stairs 12 inches off from where it was *supposed* to be - therefore the extra support underneath for the house footing was in the wrong place. When M called the basement dude, he told him "oh - that's not bad. "

Excuse me? When I have to worry about my house falling into my basement, that is *too* bad!

So now we have to put extra support beams in the basement so it doesn't fall in. M was complaining last night that we have to go yet MORE lumber after framing in the garage doors (as that will be my new master suite) and framing in the basement, and building the well house. I just told him to be glad we can afford to buy lumber. The poor thing - he's getting so burnt out on all this work on the house....but we are so close now! The electricity should get hooked up this week, the plumbing and water should be done this week, the septic system should be done this week. We can start cleaning the inside as soon as I have some electricity to VACUUM! And water to clean surfaces with. As soon as the septic is done, we can get the porches poured. As soon as THOSE are done, we can re-brick.

I mean - it's almost done! As of the 21st, we can repair sheetrock cracks and finish painting! Then we can MOVE!!

Oh hell. And I'm not even *close* to being done packing......

Must. Not. Panic.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Why I Love Rocks In My Dryer

Several months ago, my husband sent me a link to a site called Hillbilly Housewife (which apparently is no longer at the link I had bookmarked, darnit). I'm pretty sure it had something to do with cheap inexpensive meals, because my darlin hubby is nothing if not cheap thrifty. That site led me to Boomama , which cracked me UP. One day, while checking Boomama, I clicked on the link for the Tour Of Homes, which led me to Rocks in my Dryer. And y'all - it changed my life.

No. Really. I know - it sounds so dramatic, but if it weren't for Rocks in my Dryer and the oh-so-fabulous Works for Me Wednesday, I wouldn't be frying my hamburger before I freeze it. Or planning my menu for the week. Or using my crockpot on a regular basis. Or using Bloglines. Or using Firefox. Or reading a chapter of the Bible each day via It changed my LIFE.

My house is cleaner. My attitude is better. We're eating better, and life is seriously less stressful, due to just little changes that I discovered on WFMW. The wonderful folks who post their tips made my life so much easier. My husband keeps asking what happened to his wife. Not that he's not tickled pink by the changes - he is. He just has a hard time believing that it all came about because of the internet. But it did!

I am so incredibly grateful for that one little email he sent me. It makes me smile that God knew that it would lead me to those blogs, and all the other wonderful blogs that I've discovered through them. I try to be a better mother now. Not that I didn't try before, but I feel less like a failure now. Reading the blogs of other moms that are struggling day by day, and yet still finding the one wonderful moment out of 50 oh-my-hell-why-the-heck-did-I-ever-think-I-wanted-ONE-child-much-less-TWO! moments....

It gives me hope. And smiles. And even though I'm a lurker, and rarely if ever comment, I hope that maybe some of those ladies might someday see this post, and know that they changed my life, as part of God's plan. And I hope they realize just how valuable their posts, which I'm sure they think are silly or pointless, inspire a lot of us every day to keep trying and not give up and to remember to laugh.

Because they make *me* laugh every single day. Or make me think. So thank you ladies. (And Kevin. ) Y'all made my life better. You truly are God's blessings.