Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Birthday Boy!

It has been eight years since God blessed us with Seth. Eight interesting years. Full of laughter and tears, questions and answers. I love that he is smart in some ways and not in others. I love that he is unique, so very unique. I hope that, even though being unique will bring along some pain, he will always be himself. As he sits here on the floor, with his knees pulled up into his chest, surrounded by legos, I am watching that brain of his work and I am loving it!

Happy Birthday Seth!
I love you!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday Jesus!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Christmas. More importantly I hope you are remembering what Christmas is truly about. God sending the the gift of his son Jesus!
Old Man's Cave, Hocking Co, Oh.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The tree is trimmed, the presents wrapped & under the tree, the children wriggling with anticipation. Yep. We are ready!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Baking

Since we couldn't be at Grandma's house this year for Thanksgiving I used one of my bowls inherited from her to mix up my famous pumpkin pie. It's a vintage Texasware bowl. It's huge and I love it! As for my pie. I love that too. It's delicious. Adding extra eggs and extra spices is the key.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bittersweet Thanksgiving

I had a chance to run this morning. I like to run on Thanksgiving. Mostly because it is one of the few chances I get to run at my favorite running spot. But today was different. There were no cows mooing in the distance, no plowed cornfields to my right, no river running next to me, no train tracks to cross. Today there was just pavement. It was hard. Today is the first Thanksgiving of a new tradition. One that is bittersweet. You see we have gone to my Grandma's house every year for Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. But not this year. It will never be the same.

The other day I was reading this post from Mabel's House and I sobbed. I could recall the digression from beautiful fluid handwriting to scratchy scrawl in my own Grandma. I see it in my Grandpa too. And my heart just aches from the loss.

I will leave you with happy memories of time spent at my Grandma's house. Good news is my parents are buying it as their second home. So more memories will be made there, sadly they will not include my Grandma, at least not in the physical form. But she will always be there in spirit.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Did You Know?

I know it's past Halloween but I came across this video today & just had to share it!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat...

Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat

Monday, October 19, 2009


My first Halloween vignette. Which turned out okay if I do say so myself. And thanks so some thrifting and good sales didn't cost all that much either!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Queen of Hearts and Alice in Wonderland Costume Set GIVEAWAY!!!!

This is just amazing! I cannot even begin to fathom what went into this dress. I wish I had half of her talent! And to think that she is giving this away! The pics alone are worth clicking on this link.

Queen of Hearts and Alice in Wonderland Costume Set GIVEAWAY!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

13 Years of Good Friends, Good Food, Good Thrifting!

Sunday was our anniversary, our 13th. To celebrate Duane planned a surprise trip to Pennsylvania to visit some good friends. I was somewhat suspicious but he held fast & would not tell me a thing. I was super frustrated to say the least. The trip was quick but was so fun. We ate lots of yummy food including this sandwich we had for our anniversary dinner.Besides our friends (and the good thrift/antique stores they have) it is probably the only good thing to come out of Pennsylvania. It's called a Pittsburgh Style sandwich and it was delicious! We ate in this adorable little cafe' in downtown Brookville, Pa. called the Courthouse Cafe'. The service was a little cold but the atmosphere was great, so was the food. I couldn't help but take a few pics.I was especially in love with the chocolate brown tin ceiling!Duane even took me thrift store shopping! I picked up a couple of things while I was there. Here are my favs.The cake plate & cover came from this fabulous old house in Clarion called The Fulmer House. Three floors stuffed full of antiques & collectibles. And with a bargain basement what's not to love! I wished we could have stayed longer but it was great to get away. I can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just Existing

I have an itch. One that I can't scratch & it is driving me nuts. We have been in our house for almost 11 years. Over that time my tastes have changed and I am ready for a decorating change. Problem is we plan on moving within the next year or less and it seems silly to spend the money to redecorate when we have such a short time left here. So I exist, in my house. Living in it as if it were not really mine and it is somewhat depressing. Don't get me wrong. I love my house and I am very grateful for all of the blessings that it has provided us. It is just way too small for us (it only has 2 bedrooms) and is not in the best neighborHOOD (hood is bold because that is where I live, in the Hood!) Also because of where we live any money we put into it we would never see back in increased home value. We'll be lucky to get what we paid for it 11 years ago. I wait, wishing, dreaming, trying desperately to scratch the itch knowing full well I cannot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If Only...

Conversation with Kate today.

Kate: "Mom, is sitting down exercising?"

Me: "No"

Kate: "How about sitting up?"

Aah, if only it were that easy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Indian Summer Shirt and Skirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

Indian Summer Shirt and Skirt GIVEAWAY!!!!
I love her creations! And as always Kate would look so cute in this! She also has a simple & cheap way to make maternity pants. Not that I need them. But you know some of you may so I am sharing the info!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Something New

She didn't cry but boy was she mad! I told her it would hurt. I'm not sure if she didn't believe me or what. She just sat there after they were done with this angry look on her face. When they put the mirror in front of her she wouldn't even acknowledge that they were there. She didn't talk to me for a whole 5 minutes which for Kate is a long time. But as we were walking back to our car she said "It's fun that I got my ears pierced isn't it Mom?!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And Their Off!

First day of school! I made it!

I couldn't believe how smiley Seth was this morning. The last two years there have been tears about having his picture taken on the first day of school and I am lucky to get one good picture out of the lot. But this year he was all smiles. He doesn't care for school all that much and at first I wasn't sure what was bringing on the smiles. But I think I figured out why he was so happy. It's because he now gets to spend his days away from Kate. Yep, that's it. I am sure of it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Christmas on a Budget

I know. Christmas is 4 months away. But if you are like us you have to plan ahead & spread out the cost of all those gifts! This year, like last, I am trying to make as many gifts as possible & hopefully find some great thrift store gifts too. I've already finished my niece's gift! I fell in love with this sweater & thought a whimsical version of it would be perfect for a tween. Shh, don't tell!

Wool J Crew Sweater - $2.00 at my thrift store's 50% off Memorial Day sale, felted & cut by me :)
Ribbon & buttons I already had on hand. Total cost $2.00!
P.S. It looks MUCH cuter in person! I can't wait to see it on her!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Note to self: Do not share coffee with Seth again.

Last night was meet the teacher night at school. We had some time to kill beforehand so the boys & I headed to Boston Stoker to get a cool drink. Seth was having a hard time deciding what to get. I finally offered to just share my grogg latte with him & he happily obliged.

I offered to let Seth carry our drink out to the car. When we reached the car I noticed that Seth had greedily slurped up about 2/3 of OUR drink!
"Seth!" I said. "That was supposed to be for us to share."
"Oh" said Seth, "I didn't realize I drank so much." was his excuse.

From there we went to school to meet their new teachers. Let me tell you. I had no idea caffeine affected Seth that way. He was BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS! And not just the walls. The floor, doors, desk, drinking fountains, couch, air, sidewalk. You name it if he came into contact with it he was BOUNCING off of it. I tried to reassure his new teacher (1st year might I add) that he was not normally like this. I'm not convinced she believed me.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Times Goes By

It's hard to believe it has only been two weeks since Grandma passed away. It feels like it was months ago. I was doing really well until today on our way to church. I started thinking about it & had I not been driving I probably would have broken down into tears.

The kids & my mom & I went back this past week to spend a couple of days there going through stuff and getting away from the hustle & bustle of the city. It was nice to be in the country but it was strange being in her house without her there. The first night I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep & I could of sworn I heard her say "What?" In her squeaky high pitched voice. I could see her sitting in HER chair asking me what I had just said. Yes, there were tears.

I miss her terribly. I want her back but I know that I am just being selfish. My Grandpa & God are enjoying her now. Along with her brothers and sisters and the children she lost before they even entered this world. I'll get to see her again someday. Until then I just need to remember the good times we had together and be happy in the knowledge that she is with Christ.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

In Memoriam

I bet she is walking with Grandpa
Basking in God's wonder that is Heaven
Holding hands
As if they were never apart.

Goodbye Grandma
We will miss you terribly.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pink Polka Dots and Shirring...

What could be cuter?

Perhaps the 4 year old wearing it!
Happy Birthday Stink!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vintage Beauty

On a lighter note I wanted to share with you a recent vintage find and my quilt top made of all vintage linens!
Don't you just love these? I am not a huge strawberry fan, well for decorating that is. But when I saw them leaning against the wall in the Hospice resale store I just could not resist. Of course the price tag of $7.50 each with an additional 50% off because they were clearance and then a special of, buy one 50% off item get another one free, was equally hard to resist! I paid $4.25 for both! I still haven't decided if I am going to keep them or sell them. At some point in time I plan on having a red & white vintagey kitchen & these would be perfect. But who knows when that will happen. For now they are mine cause they make me smile and think of all the yummy things we used to make out of strawberries as a kid when we grew our own in the backyard.

As for my quilt isn't it yummy! I collected the linens from trips to various thrift stores. I love how it turned out. Now I just have to quilt it. What a chore that will be, especially since I have never quilted before!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


This week has been filled with lots of tears and emotions and two of the hardest conversations I have ever had in my life. To put it bluntly my Grandma is dying. She does not have a terminal diagnosis, just no will to live. Thursday I went with my mom to visit with my grandma and to talk with the Dr about THE decision. To continue medicating her or to keep her comfortable and let her go.
There were 9 of us in on the conversation, my mom & her five brothers and sister, a sister-in-law & myself. It was decided that we would ask grandma what she wanted even though she had expressed numerous times that she just wanted to die. My mom, my aunt & I were somehow unofficially delegated to be the ones to ask her. Everyone else went outside to vent and probably to avoiding being a part of that conversation.
There were tears, lots of them. Questions were asked, answers were given, but they just added to the confusion. The last thing she said about it was "I'm not ready to go until God is ready for me and he is not ready for me." Last night she begged my mom to just take her home. But going home means making the decision to let her go. It means dying. Things are still up in the air, with no real solid decision made, just to wait a few days and see.

The second conversation happened yesterday. I had to tell the boys something. I tried as gently as I could to explain what was going on. There were more tears, lots more. Elijah took it really hard. He sat in my lap and sobbed for several minutes. Seth was very concerned with what would happen to her house and all of her things inside it. I think the way his brain works keeps him from really understanding the emotion involved with it. Perhaps it is better that way. It sort of protects him.

I don't mean to be depressing. I just needed to share, to vent, to release some of that emotion I am trying desperately to keep inside of me. As a clinician this is something I must do. As a human living my emotions is something I must do. I find I am struggling with that.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Take Me To The Zoo

A trip to the Columbus Zoo has been in order for a while and we finally made it happen on Monday. There were many animals on our list of things to see here are just a few.
Baby Elephant ~ Check

Eagles ~ Check

Kangaroos ~ Check

Koala Bears ~ Check

Komodo Dragons ~ Check!

When we were at the koala exhibit the exhibit was full of free growing grasses some of which were quite tall. Elijah said, "I feel like I am at home with all this grass around" It was all I could do not to laugh. In case you were wondering our grass is not that tall. Duane just likes to see how long he can go without cutting it. He tends to let it go alot longer than I would.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Girls Weekend Away

This past weekend a few of my friends from church went to Norris Lake for a long & much deserved weekend away. Fun was had boating, eating out, cooking, riding 4 wheelers & jet skis, having our feet pampered & playing Hand & Foot. It was so relaxing to get away & spend time with friends

This was the view from the deck of our cabin one morning. Just breathtaking and awesome to think that God created all of this.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Birthday Party!

Last weekend was Elijah's 9th birthday party. He was so excited he could hardly wait. Especially since his birthday was like two weeks before the party. Poor kid!
He had decided back in January that he wanted to have a football party at Great Grandma & Grandpa's (cause they have a HUGE backyard perfect for a fun game of football). The cake this year was a football field, of course it was a BROWNS football field. Cake baking this year went MUCH better than last year. Although, I did have to bake two cakes cause the first one broke into three pieces after I took it out of the pan. And the very old cake decorator that I was borrowing from my mom broke on the first inch or so of the first yard line, so I had to make a makeshift one from a ziplock baggie & some old tips I found in a drawer. But then the baggie busted so I had to double bag it. This happened for both the white icing & the chocolate. Oh, and I went through 2 tubs of icing before I had the perfect orange. But other than that it went quite well! The little football is made from a small tootsie roll I softened, rolled into a football shape & then iced laces on. Turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself. At least Elijah was happy with it!
The boys plated football while some of the girls & the younger kids did crafts & cheered from the side. Duane & Nate, our good friend & pastor, were the team captains & took their roles very seriously! At halftime we enjoyed cake, ice cream & our traditional birthday treat of lemonade & Mikesell's Puffcorn. The game continued until I broke out the water balloon launcher!(I highly suggest that you get one of these if you don't already have one. They are an instant crowd pleaser & guaranteed to bring hours of fun. Plus you can buy biodegradable water balloons so you aren't hurting the environment :) ) Withing minutes the boys were lined up waiting to launch a balloon at the kids standing at the other end of the yard. I think that was their favorite part!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Memorial Day Shopping & Eating

Well, actually mostly thrifting but I'll get to that in a minute. On Sunday we went to my grandma's house a couple of hours away. (Can you tell my kids love to travel!) She lives near an antique "mall"/flea market that I rarely get a chance to go to. So this time my sister & I quickly snatched the opportunity to go. There are lots of booth on the front porch of the main antique store. I quickly realized how much less expensive things were on the outside than the inside. I spotted this container of vintage Christmas ornaments for $5.00!

No need to think about it they were mine! I still am not sure how many are in there but they are worth WAY more than $5.00! Inside I picked up an orange plate for $1.75! And a couple of pieces of jewelry for a project I am working on. You'll see those later.

On Monday my favorite thrift store was having a 50% off sale. Every major holiday they do this & it is a BIG deal! They opened at 8:00 & I got there 15 minutes early & the line was already to the back of the building on both sides (they have an entrance on each side of the store). I had been there on Thursday & hidden somethings that I wanted! I found everything except for one thing so I thought I did pretty good! I found an vintage curtain, silver canister, green glass plate, framed embroidered mushroom picture, jewelry box for Kate (.24 cents!) three more pieces of jewelry, purse & a set of 4 federal glass vases (all vintage!) as well as two mens shirts to make dresses for Kate & a bright green J crew wool sweater for felting! And some extra Christmas tree tinsel cause you can never have enough of that for crafting & decorating purposes! All for about $20.00! Aah. The highlight of my month I think!

Now on to the eating part.

My grandma that we went to visit is actually in the hospital because she fell & broke her hip last week. We went to visit her in the hospital on our way into town & passed this.
For those of you who don't know what Rax is I strongly encourage you to drive to Lancaster, Oh & try out the beef & cheese along with a chocolate chip milkshake. Rax used to be everywhere here in Ohio. And up until they closed ALL the local restaurants they were Duane's favorite place to eat fast food. He about flipped when he saw this one on the way to the hospital & without hesitation said "I'm eating dinner there!" So after we ate lunch at my grandma's house, spent some time at the local lake & antique store we drove back to Lancaster for the sole purpose of getting Duane a Rax fix! I'll admit. I had one too & it was totally worth it!

Monday I made the Winning Hearts & Mind Chocolate Cake recipe from Molly Wizenberg's book A Homemade Life. It was AWESOME! I made homemade whipped cream to serve with it! If you haven't seen this book check it out. It is filled with yummy & unusual recipies. I have tried the french toast & custard cornbread recipes as well & they too are awesome! I checked it out from the local library but I think I am going to have to buy it. It's worth it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Look who's Nine today! I can hardly believe it! He is pretty excited about being Nine. I am not sure what he thinks Nine has in store for him but it must be pretty awesome. No doubt it will be filled with books, legos, ideas for movies & many light saber battles. Oh, and he gets to play football this fall! He has been waiting for years to play on a team! I can't wait to see him on that field loving life! Oh to be Nine again!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quilt Along

Cause I don't have enough to do. I need to add one more thing to my plate! But this is something I have been wanting to do for a LONG time. I see a trip to the Fabric Shack in my future!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Making Mother's Day

For those of you who were wondering Seth's present included a paper flower and a box filled with peanut butter cups, kisses & hershey's miniatures, yum!

I decided to make Mother's Day gifts this year. I made these cute broaches for my mom, grandma & sister. I had the hardest time giving them up. In fact after mother's day lunch I went home & made one for myself. They are ridiculously easy. I got the idea from here. The card I printed out on some card stock & just pinned the broach to it. Instant present! Hmm, I'm thinking end of the year Teacher gifts! Aren't they adorable!

My mom requested a necklace & bracelet so I made these for her from some lovely Amy Butler fabric that I had been hoarding. I think I am going to have to make one of those for myself too!

My Dad and the husbands planned lunch after church on Sunday. It was yummy, with grilled pork loin, fresh green beans with browned butter, spring salad with avocado & grape tomatoes, red potatoes & ice cream brownie sundaes for dessert! The kids made up a menu and were our waiters. They took our orders & the kitchen (men) filled them. So cute. The kids really enjoy playing restaurant. After dinner we were pleasantly surprised with a visit from The Mother Day Band. They had a private concert just for us and sang three songs. Emma was the lead singer, Elijah was on the electric guitar, Madelyn the bass, Seth played the drums and Logan danced. It was so cute.

I hope your Mother's Day was as fun and loved filled as mine!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Do Not Open Till...

This little bag came home with Seth yesterday with strict instructions of "Do not open until Mother's Day!" The suspense is killing me!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Can't get enough

A while back I was introduced to this artist & I instantly fell in love with his music. But life ensued & I quickly forgot about him. Last night with the kids in bed & the TV on I saw a commercial for cannon cameras that had the best song. Here it is.
Only problem is that is was written just for the commercial & is only about 50 seconds long. Which in my book is not nearly long enough. I kept playing it over & over cause I just couldn't get enough.

I was listening to it again this morning when I was reminded of Elijah. (Not my Elijah) So I googled him & once again began listening to his music. I haven't stopped since this morning. This time I am purchasing his albums so that I can listen to it everywhere. I think that will be part of my Mother's Day gift! So far I have not heard a song I don't like but this one is definitely my favorite.
A Song Of Simplicity - Funny blooper videos are here

Makes me wish we still had our piano.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Something's Different...

Look closely. Do you see it? I do.

It's Jesus!

Cause last night Seth asked Jesus into his heart!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Loving the weather & all that it brings with it.

Impromptu games of water tag in the backyard

Tree trimming/cutting down in the front yardSpending time on the front porch with good friends

Last minute overnight trips to great grandma's &

Hanging out in your skivvies in the backyard!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

X-Rated Nuggets

Duane fixed dinner the other night while I went out for Indian with a girlfriend. He found this in the nugget bag!

I couldn't help myself. I just had to take a pic.

Watch out parents. You never know what those dino shaped nuggets are up to when you aren't looking! I am imagining that the dinos were going for one last hurrah before they were eaten and well they weren't quick enough & were frozen in the process!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Having Fun with OCD

I have a child with minor OCD tendencies. Well, ok they are probably more than minor.

A couple of weeks ago I found an almost complete set of vintage alphabet blocks at a thrift store. When I got home I noticed there were enough letters to spell out our last name. I didn't want them to be all straight. I wanted them to look a little cock-eyed because that's the way I like it. A few hours later I noticed that the blocks no longer looked like this

They looked like this.

At first I thought it was just the kids getting used to having the blocks sitting around & they were messing with them. So I fixed them & walked away. Later in the evening I noticed they again looked like the second picture & not like the first. So I fixed them again. The next morning the OCD child had fixed them again. It was at this point I decided to play a little game. I call it "Having Fun with OCD". I display the blocks in an unperfect manner and the OCD child comes and "fixes" them. This has gone on for a couple of weeks and I still have not tired of it. I am just trying to decide if I am being cruel or not. Am I causing a problem that will take years of therapy to undo? Hmm?