Saturday, April 21, 2007

And The Winner Is....


(That's my feeble attempt at a drum roll... Clearly I don't play percussion...)

Well the word is back - The bank counted all my "nickles, dimes and dollars" (shout out to all the 7th-day Adventists that learned that song in Sabbath School ;0) and saved me OODLES of time. I will never roll coins again I hope!

The final word was $87. 07. That makes Kath my winner with a guess of $84. Kath - you're so hard to pick a prize for... You're an awesome scrapper and I love your style! (Plus, since you design for a store it makes it harder to find something new and interesting for you!) So I'm not going to send you anything until I return from L.A. Yeah - you hafta wait for your prize... but look at it this way... I've got $87 to spend potentially :0) (you know I'm kidding... ;0)

Those of you that haven't seen Kath's stuff - her blog link is on my list - and if she's updated lately maybe there's something there for you to drool over :0)

I think that $87 will do me just fine - there's not a real shortage of scrappy supplies around here right now, if you know what I mean... and I KNOW you know what I mean.

Thanks for playing! This was fun! Maybe I'll do another contest when I get back from L.A.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Best First Aid

Our Secret Sister program for the homeschool moms has now ended. It dawned on me a few hours before our last meeting (and reveal) that I should probably have a final gift for my secret sister. I quickly stole an idea I'd seen my friend Sally do. Sally is an awesome scrapper - she even made the cut of 50 for Making Memories Idol contest recently.

Sally's turned out neater than mine... I just didn't have the time to make the bible verses of promise and encouragement inside the tin look like band aids. They all needed to be corner rounded - next time...

My secret sis seemed to really like it though.

If you'd like a Word doc with all the bible verses I used just drop me a note and I'll email it to you. The bandage tin is from Provo Craft, The papers are Cosmo Cricket, and rub-on are Making Memories. The Cross is a Ghost Letter from Heidi Swapp. I used a lower case 't' and cut the bottom hook off. The ink is Tsukineko, the sewing machine Bernina and the ribbons are from various places.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Contest - Monetarily Speaking...

I have a little contest for you - my money grubbing, scrapbooking, spend-a-holic friends.
Many of you know I'm headed to Los Angeles in a mere six days for a week long break and fun with my Yahoo friends on the Scrappin' Scruds group. I've been "scruds" (scrappin' buds) with some of these ladies for nearly seven years now! This is my 3rd retreat in a row and I'm nearly beside myself with excitement. I'll miss my family for sure - but will be revived and ready to tackle the job of motherhood with full steam when I return.

Anywho... back to my contest. I've been saving my pocket change and small bills off and on for almost a year in my green pig. The green pig was my mother's, I believe, and he sat on the floor next to the china cabinet at my gramma's house since before I ever was. I've been dropping coins into him ever since I could clutch and release them. He was also good for the occasional "ride". When it was time for me to get married my gramma had us empty him out and we used the money to buy bridesmaid and flower girl dresses for my cousins to be in our wedding. Soon after I was married the green pig became my prized possession. He has had a place of prominence in my home ever since.

So my contest for all of my scrappy friends is for you to guess how much money I've managed to "pig away" to spend on very necessary scrappy items while I'm in L.A. Here is a photo of the money (and the pig) and all I'll tell you is all those bills are singles and there may be a few Canadian coins and Chuck E Cheese tokens. Post your guess in a comment and I'll give you until midnight Friday, April 20. I'll send a little something scrappy to the one that comes the closest without going over (said in my best Bob Barker...)

I don't even know how much is there myself... I just loaded it up in a gallon sized Ziploc and took it to the bank. They're sending me a receipt of deposit - probably in tomorrow's mail.

Good Luck! And happy spending to me :0)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Everything's Better with Blue Bonnet(s) on it"

There's this little Texan custom that we learned the full seriousness of once we moved here.
The annual photos of the kids in the blue bonnets.
I've had friends in Texas for several years now - and every year we see photos of their daughter and their entire family in the blue bonnets. I thought it was just something they did - a neat tradition - knowing that every spring Stacie would send some blue bonnet photos. "Oh - here are photos of Jordan in the blue bonnets... must be spring in Texas."

Well, we got here ourselves and found out it wasn't just Stacie's family that crouched in the blue bonnets every spring... but EVERY family in Texas! These Texans take their state flower very seriously - dedicating web sites to wild flower sightings and recommendations for where to go looking for a big enough patch to pose in. You can drive along the highways and see families, cameras in tow, climbing hills and dodging honey bees in search of the perfect patch. (Posing on the side of the road is highly discouraged, by the way.)
It has been challenging to get photos this year. We've had a LOT of rain and many, many overcast days. The flowers generally are peaking the first week or so in April, but there hadn't been enough sun to coax them out of the ground. Peak time for the blue bonnets was predicted to be Easter weekend - but then we got a strange weather system and sleet and ice and SNOW! So we put off the photos once again. I don't know who took the photo below - but my friend Brook in the Fort Worth area sent it to me. She got it from a cousin in the Waco area. It was taken Easter weekend.
Last weekend wasn't looking too good either. We started Friday a little overcast, but the sun came out and we enjoyed our day. Then late afternoon the sky started becoming quite overcast again. By early evening it was getting pretty dark. Around 7 p.m I made a 15 minute run into Wal-Mart and when I came out the sky was green with those ominous, cotton ball clouds overhead and the sun was a strange, greenish-yellow ball sinking on the horizon. I called my mom from my cell and got a quick weather report - she said "take cover! We've got a warning right over us!" So part of Friday evening was spent sitting on pillows in the hallway eating cold cereal for dinner and watching the weather channel until the dish couldn't get a signal. I still get a pit in my stomach just about every time I see Jim Cantore in a "special report" - Flash back to hurricane Charley...

Saturday it was still pretty chilly (in the mid to low 60's) but a very beautiful late afternoon with lots of sun. On a whim, we decided to see if there were any flowers left out there.
We headed out to Willow City Loop - a 13 mile, meandering road through private property and cow pastures between Fredericksburg and Llano, Texas on state road 16.
I've heard that people come from all over Texas to view the flowers here and I believe it. They were absolutely breathtaking - a much better show than last year (no rain = no flowers) and even far superior to the display in 2005.

I love how in this photo it looks like water down in the valley... those are the Blue Bonnets! So now - I'm one of "them". One of those mom's willing to do what it takes to get the photo of the kids in the blue bonnets. Good news though! Seems that by some miracle blue bonnets have started to grow literally in our own back yard! The seeds were likely carried here by some minor flood or left in black jelly beans deposited by a wayward deer. So far there are only five of them... but with any luck (and lots of rain and sunshine) we'll have a few more next year.

Monday, April 9, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a White Easter

You know - I've been spring cleaning for the last week and a half. I've taken more loads to the local charity that I can count. I've been through all my linens, clothes, husbands clothes and kids clothes, plastic storage containers, CD's, doo dads and what's-its. I've purged until my gut hurts. I've vacuumed all the baseboards, cleaned all the blinds, moved all the furniture and vacuumed under that. I've washed and put away all the winter clothes, comforters and electric blankets and I'm READY for spring!

Enter cold front.

Whoever heard of sleet and snow the day before Easter??? My kids went to church Saturday in shorts and winter coats!

The boys' were let in on the "secret" this year. We were shopping in Target and I was just tired of trying to be clever and covert - so I told them. Zack just said, "I know that mom... just like Santa." And Jacob said, "NO - it's NOT like Santa, because Santa is REAL!"

I stayed up way to late (read: early) but had fun watching movies and doing up Easter baskets for the kids and my secret sister. Oh... an one for me and my babies Daddy (no eggs - just pure decadent chocolate.) I planned a treasure hunt for the kids instead of the traditional egg hunt. It was just too cold to be outside so I hid clues in the house. Because we weren't doing an egg hunt we didn't even dye eggs! Can you imagine???

All the grandparents came over for Easter brunch. I really enjoyed setting the table. I used my great gramma's Irish linen napkins and my antique tea cups with some silver baskets I found in the wedding department at Wal-Mart. I added a little of my scrapbooking ribbon and called it good. The flowers were a combination of bouquets from Costco and Wal-Mart. I was rather irritated the two large hydrangea wilted right after I got them home from Costco. The other flowers held up just fine - so I added a few more WM flowers to fill out the vase.
We ate like kings! Two kinds of quiche - Lorraine and Crustless Carrot (thanks to an old recipe from my sis in law Shari), Carrot muffins, flower shaped scones with mock Devonshire cream, lemon curd and raspberry preserves, all kinds of fresh fruit and home(mom)made short cakes, and of course a variety of teas with cream, sugar and lemon. There was so much food we had to serve some from the buffet in the kitchen - the table simply wouldn't hold it!
After brunch the kids started hunting for their baskets. They'd been patient far too long!

Here are the clues I used:

To find your basket from the Easter Bunny
You’ll follow clues that are sometimes funny.
Work as a team – all together
Decide where to go – then look for your treasure.
Try not to run, leave no one behind,
It’s Easter booty you’re trying to find.
The clues are hidden in plastic eggs
First go look where mom props her legs.

That took some thinking, but it’s long ‘til you’re through
Where you keep the glasses is clue number two.

You’re getting good – working as a team
Clue number three is by the hair cream.

You’re on the right track – now on to clue four
It’s where we keep the machine to clean the floor

And now a riddle for the fifth one:
They usually need water and lots of sun
But this one’s not real though the leaves are still green
Look down below and the clue will be seen.

Five clues you have found in time that is rare
For clue number six look by the gold pear.

You’re getting close, but there’s still a few more
For clue number seven look behind a door.
It’s usually open near what looks kind of like rocks
For further help seek near the blocks.

Very nice job, you’re doing great –
Now look in dad’s closet for clue number eight.

That was fast – you’re almost there!
For clue number nine
Check the willow chair.

This is it – the very last clue
It’s been so fun watching you.
You’ve worked really hard and run to and fro
You’ve worked up a sweat that’s starting to show.
If you had time to get fresh as a flower
Where would you go? Perhaps in your shower?
That’s where you should look to find your booty
But first thank your mom – that’s your duty.

They had a ball running all over the house and we enjoyed watching them while we kept warm by the fire.

I was so tired in the afternoon - but I still did my traditional viewing of Steel Magnolias. Can't let the season pass without watching it. It's one of my all time favorites full of great lines and zingers.

Now for the big news...
On the Monday after I had ALL the Easter decorations put away and ready to go back to the shed. (and there's only one more box of Christmas stuff that needs to go out...)

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