Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Reason We Give

It has most definitely been a long and tiring, but fun-filled couple of weeks!  We celebrated a wonderful Christmas with my in-laws on Christmas Eve!  The kids opened more packages than they could imagine, and found some super fun toys!  Flower was excited to find more accessories for her American Girl Doll!  She received the full Chanuka set (She has Rebecca Rubin).  It was a great way for me to teach her about Chanuka, and Yahweh's provision in our lives.  We ended the night with a Candle Light Service at our church.  It was very special to have Barb Wire Man's parents there with us for that, as we worshiped, and thanked God for the wonderful gift of His son!


We awoke Christmas morning to find the ground covered with snow, and snow continuing to fall!!  The week before Christmas, the weather men had predicted a whopper of a blizzard, but we ended up with barely a dusting of snow.  They predicted only a dusting for Christmas day, but I told Barb Wire Man, "I betcha it snows like crazy!"  Boy was I right.


Santa brought my kids exactly what they had asked for!  Flower found a nice automatic .22 rifle behind the Christmas tree (but, Santa brought no bullets.  He was afraid she would find it while Mama and Daddy were in bed!).  Little Man found a Thomas the Tank Engine set and a Leap From Explorer.  (No one has heard much out of him since!)


We loaded up, and drove an hour to my parents house, but were a little concerned about the snow that was continuing to fall.  


My Aunt and Uncle were also at my parent's though my sister and her boyfriend were not able to be there, as they were visiting his family.  Flower received a brand spankin' new big girl guitar from Papa!  I have never seen her cry over a gift, but it was all she could do to hold back tears.  She was so incredibly happy.  My favorite gift was the tea maker and two bags of Teavana Tea from my mom!  We enjoyed smoked ribs, brisket, potato salad, baked beans, and rolls (Welcome to Christmas in Texas!)  Although we had planned to play games all night long, we had to leave early.  It snowed the entire day, and the roads were beginning to get a little on the nasty side.  All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. 


But, I was reminded of a very important lesson.  Flower has been a little, well, naughty lately.  I'm talking, I'm about ready to pull my hair out due to her lack of respect for me as her mother.  We had told her the same lines parents have used forever - "Santa knows if you've been good or bad, and if you don't straighten up, you will get a lump of coal" and, "If you don't behave, I'm taking every one of those gifts back to the store."  


Then I remembered what Christmas is about.  Its about God giving us the gift of His son, Jesus.  We give other's presents as a representation of that amazing gift.  Had God used the same logic I was using with Flower, we never would have been given Jesus.  We most certainly did nothing to deserve Him.  Our behavior as humans did not warrant such an amazing gift.  No, we were given Jesus simply because God loves us.  He wants us to accept Him into our lives, so that we can be reconciled to Him again.  As a parent, I am supposed to reflect God's love to my children.  Do they deserve all the gifts I give them?  Nope.  Do I give them because I love my children?  Yes.  


I explained this to Flower.  I told her that was the reason she was getting presents was not because of good behavior.  It was because I love her, regardless of her behavior, just like God loves us even though we don't always obey Him.  And would you believe, she has been behaving much, much better?


Thank you, God, for sending your son to us who do not deserve Him.


Be blessed today!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Christmas Story

Growing up in a Christian family, I've heard the Christmas story a few hundred times in my 29 years on this earth.  Something about having children completely changed that story for me.  


I was 8 and a half months pregnant with Little Man around Christmas.  As I was driving to work, the DJ on my favorite radio station was reading the Christmas story, and I literally had to pull over because I was sobbing.  I started to think about my soon to be born son.


Would he look like his Daddy?
Would he be as good a man as his Daddy?
Will I be able to teach him how to treat a lady?
Will he learn how to be rough and tough when he needs to be, but gentle and loving at the same time?
Will he grow to love the Lord?
How will I react the first time he jumps out of a tree and breaks his arm?  
How will I react when I discover a bug collection in his bedroom?
How will I react when he brings home a girl?


Can you just imagine Mary, probably only 13 years old, not yet married, and carrying the Son of the Holy Spirit?  She must have certainly thought those same things, but on an even greater scale.  This wasn't just any little boy.  That God trusts any of us flawed humans with a child is beyond me.  I know I make mistakes right and left (and thankfully, my children still love me!)  


I'm almost at a lost for words as to how I feel when I hear the Christmas story, now.  Its so much more emotional.  I look at my kids, and wonder how Mary felt.  She had all those same concerns, but she was entrusted with Jesus.  


Wow.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Checking In!

Yay!  I have time to write this morning, because I've been up since about 4:45.  I've come to the conclusion that, if my bed wasn't so warm, and Barb Wire Man wasn't a giant teddy bear, I could get out of bed much easier each morning.   Flower was up much of the night with a tummy ache, so that didn't make for a restful night, either.  


I've been quite busy lately, which is a great thing for me.  I despise not being busy.  I've made 12 sets of wristwarmers, a baby blanket, 6 neck cowls, and many other smaller things, like IPod holders in the last month, and I am still not completely finished knitting for others!  That's a good problem to have, for sure.


I almost succeeded in my goal of a completely handmade Christmas for my family.  I can't wait to post pictures of all the neat things I found on Facebook and Etsy!  Santa, however, was unable to find handmade items for Flower and Little Man's requests.  Awesome as that Santa is, knitting a functioning .22 is just impossible.  


I have found time to read a book.  Granted, sometimes I have to pretend to go to the bathroom just for a few minutes of alone time in order to read said book.  I've been reading "Created to be His Help Meet", by Debi Pearl.  Warning: if you are a strong feminist, this book will probably anger you.  If you think being a submissive wife is outdated, this book will probably annoy you.  Lucky for me, I am neither of those.  I read about the book from another of my favorite bloggers, Lori, at Always Learning.  (Her blog is always uplifting, and is a great resource for woman who want to truly be a Godly woman, wife and mother.)  I've been trying the things I learned in that book, and honestly, it didn't take much time before I started seeing changes around our home!  Now, in no way did Barb Wire Man and I need help with our marriage.  In fact, we have an amazing marriage.  This book has helped change me, and the way I look at things.  


Christmas break from school starts Friday!  That means a two week vacation for me!  I always enjoy spending that time alone with my babies, but I do miss my daycare kids, too!  So far, I have no plans other than to soak up every second I have loving on my kids, and that is just how I like it.  


It is already time to wake Flower up for school...time flies when I am busy!  Before I forget, though, here is a quick and shameless plug.  Through Christmas, everything at 13 Plum Knitting is 25% off right now, when you use the coupon code "25OFF" at check out!  You can pair that with "FREE11" to get free shipping!  Won't you check it out!?  You can also follow me on Facebook, and on Twitter!  I pray you all have a blessed day!  


  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

On My Mind

You don't have to read very far back in my archives to see immediately that I am a Christian.  I'm very staunch in my beliefs.  I think that regardless of what you believe, you should be firm in that, otherwise you are just wishy-washy, and somewhat gullible.  (The saying "Don't be so opened minded that your brains fall out" comes to mind!)


I believe in the Bible.  I believe it very clearly lays out for us all the way we are to live our lives.  I believe that ultimately, whether a person believes that or not, God will hold them to His standards.  As Christians, we cannot use the Bible to prove a point to those who do not believe it.  It would be like trying to use the Koran to convince a Christian he is wrong!  Instead, we are to lead by example; to let our light shine to those around us. 


Not that it wasn't already quite obvious, but people who believe the same was as I do are increasingly becoming the minority.  Even other Christians have watered down their faith in an attempt to become more politically correct, or to keep from offending others.  What breaks my heart is when families can even become separated due to different beliefs.  


I've seen some things recently posted by people whom I love; family members whom I truly love.  Those writings have clearly grouped anyone who disagrees with homosexuality into the same type of hate groups as the Klu Klux Klan, and even Nazism.  They have called for a boycott and complete separation from anyone who disagrees with them.  I want to make clear, here and now, that although I have my beliefs, I am not bigoted or hateful to anyone.  Personally, I do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle.  I'm not going to list all the verses in the Bible that lead me to believe that way.  Those of you who agree with me know what they are; those who disagree with me likely do not care.  However.....it isn't for me to lead another person's life.  Just because I disagree with it, doesn't mean I don't like you.  It doesn't mean I want to hurt you, or stand in your way.


I know there are some extremists who do some really horrible things.  It happens on both sides, unfortunately.  


That isn't me.  It isn't anyone I know, either.  But, I am not going to change my views.  I'd like to think that those who posted those things know me well enough to know that those things are true.


But what I will say, is how very hurt I am by those postings.  I am hurt that by agreeing with the things they posted, they have grouped me, my husband, and my children into a group as horrible as the KKK.  They've made it clear they want nothing to do with that type of person.  They know my feelings, and know I would never hurt them, yet I am grouped there by virtue of my beliefs.  Unfortunately, now that I know they want nothing to do with people who believe as I do, I am not sure I will ever feel comfortable around them again.  I'll be wondering the whole time if secretly they are thinking and saying things about my beliefs.  In fact, I'm not even certain they want me around them anymore, seeing as how they want nothing to do with people like that.  I still love them dearly.  I always will, regardless!  But, in order to respect their feelings about people like me, I'm just going to hang back for awhile.


I thought they wanted equality for all?  I thought they wanted all to be treated equally, regardless of beliefs or lifestyle?  I was wrong.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree...

I typically have my Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving.  Shoot, I'd put it up right after Halloween if Barb Wire Man would let me!  But this year, we were out of town the day after Thanksgiving, so that didn't happen.  Then someone "forgot" to get the Christmas tree out of storage before he left for work for 3 days!  So last night, Flower and I moved box after box until we finally got to the tree box.  Which was at the very bottom of the pile.  I finally had it completely put up and all the branches pulled out this morning.  It still isn't decorated, but I have to brave this 40 MPH wind and freezing temps to get the lights out.  I promised Flower I would have it ready to decorate by tonight, though, so I must. 


Although, it seems one of my daycare kids had a much better idea for decorating my tree:



In case you can't tell, that is one of her shoes and both of her socks!  I guess she just got tired of looking at a plain ol' tree with no decorations!  She was quite proud of herself!


I heard a news broadcaster once tell people they needed to not shop online, at places like Etsy, because the purchases don't help support local economy...even if they are actually located locally.  His argument was that no city or county taxes were paid by the business.  That really isn't the case, though. The fact is, anyone who makes and sells a good is supposed to pay taxes.  We are supposed to register through the comptroller's office, and pay quarterly taxes, just like any other business.  Each quarter, whether I sell $1.00 or $100.00, I have to report my earnings.  The tax I pay is separated into state, local, and county taxes...so it does help locally.  Of course, there are those who don't report their earnings, or pay taxes.  I do.  Personally, I'd rather pay a little here and there when I have a sale, than to get caught not paying when I need to.  Anyhow, all that to tell you about a few more shops!  Most of these are located locally, here in Texas!

I really love jewelry.  I don't wear it often, simply because I stay at home all day with 4 two year olds!  But I think this necklace is beautiful!  Shade of Style is actually located about an hour from me, but only about 20 minutes from where I was born!

Rolling Plains Photography is located a couple hours from me.  I've been thinking about getting family pictures done for Christmas this year (but maybe you all remember my story about Barb Wire Man flipping the bird in every picture he takes?).  Its a great idea to capture your kids, and send those to grandparents!


Made by Mego has some of the neatest ideas.  Seriously...I really dig that picture!  Its so creative!  She also has some gorgeous wreaths available!


Stop by and check out what these ladies have to offer!  And be blessed today!




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter is FINALLY coming!

You know, the really cool things about Texas is that the weather is so crazy.  It changes by the hour, not the day. Today it was a relatively nice 50-some odd degrees.  Very nice, but too cool for me.  I'm the only person I know who could wear a wool sweater in August and be comfortable.  By tomorrow night, though, the temps are supposed to plummet, and we are looking at snow and freezing rain.  Frankly, as long as it is wet and hits the ground, no one around here cares.


One of the things I love the most about winter, though, are the meals.  Stew is my most favorite cold weather meal.  Last night I made my Shut Up And Eat It Stew.  Its my favorite, because it seems that no matter what I do, it always tastes the same.  I save leftovers, wrap them up real good, and freeze them.  Once I have enough, I throw it all into a pot, cover it with water, and let it stew all day.  The meal didn't cost an extra penny, because it was all leftovers!  The best part, is that this go-round it made so stinkin' much that I have enough stew for lunch tomorrow (and probably another whole meal if my family wouldn't go on stew-strike).  I also made some of my Granny's bread pudding to go along with it (which, by the way, since I cube and cut up bread that isn't bad, but isn't good either and freeze it, didn't cost anything, either!).  It doesn't matter how hard I try, that pudding never comes out as good as Granny's.  I think I'd like her to come live with me...just to make bread pudding!  Tomorrow, I'm making some homemade bread!


I also love the smells of winter.  The fireplaces burning....mmm! Me, little Mrs. Can't Get Warm, literally will pull my chair up in front of the fireplace, no more than 2 feet away.  And drink hot tea.  And knit.  And my hands are usually still just as cold as ice.


What are your favorite things about winter?


Before I go, let me share a few of the awesome new Etsy stores I discovered while wasting time  shopping   researching for this blog last night.


Like A Lamb
I know not everyone shares in my skirt conviction, and that is fine, but a lot of my readers do.  Personally, I wear long skirts almost every single day, partly because I think they are more comfortable than pants, and partly because I like the modesty and femininity of them.  I love how these skirts are named!  I looked at every single skirt they offer, and with each one thought "What a clever concept...wow!"  (And she is being kind enough to make me one in my size...which is little and hard to come by!)

Super Gift
I came across this tobacco pipe as I was searching for a gift for my Daddy.  He smokes a pipe, and the smell always makes me think of him.  This shop has some really beautiful and interesting pipes!  I will say, however, that you might be surprised (or maybe you won't!) at what pops up when you search for "pipe".  I'll just say I had to narrow my search to include tobacco pipes.

Iconic Earrings 
I found these while shopping for my sister.  To be quite honest, I don't think I will ever understand her obsession with Leonard Nimoy, but they are only $16.00!  We are totally different, my sister and I, but I love the girl!  I have a suspicion she might like these.

Make sure you stop by Etsy, while doing your Christmas shopping!  Some things might be a little higher than you would spend at Big Chain Store, but they are handmade, and unique!

I do have some orders to fill, so I 'spose I should get off the computer.  Be blessed today!






Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Etsy is Becoming My Heroine!

Yesterday, I announced happily that I will not be spending an ungodly amount of money on Christmas gifts this year.  Further, I'm buying every single gift from a small business like mine, or, making it myself.  So, I spent last night searching on Etsy.  I really could have stayed on there all night!  


I thought I'd share a couple of my cool finds on there with you today!  Last night, my goal was to find something for Barb Wire Man.  He is the most difficult person I know to buy for.  So, if you are like me, and have a man's man for a man, here are some pretty neat ideas!


DISCLAIMER TO BARB WIRE MAN:
JUST BECAUSE YOU SEE SOME COOL STUFF ON HERE DOESN'T MEAN I'M GETTIN' IT FOR YA'!!!!!!  YOU HAVE TO WAIT JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!!!  STOP SNOOPIN'!!!


Barb Wire Man's "likes" can be summed up pretty easily.  The kids and me, Peterbilts, Harleys, and beer.  Depending on the day, the order could change!  


Redneck Traysures

Redneck Traysures: someone tell me how you can be from the South and not like this?!  And the way he writes on his shop?  We really do sound like that.  At least I do.  I know several guys who would really love this!

Kent Carwile

Why do I love this?  Because frankly, if you haven't drank out of a Ball or Mason jar, you are missing out.

Spotted Owl Leather
Not that Barb Wire Man, or anyone else I know ever drinks on their bikes (ahem.), but I think some of our friends would dig this!

Embellished Bayou
That this is a small, personally owned business is good.  That the bracelet is $8.50 is better.  That is it made by a veteran of our fine Armed Forces is best!

Hopefully these shops gave you some ideas!  I hope I get some time to get on later this evening and do some more searching, and can share more with you tomorrow!

Until then, be blessed!











Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Craziness

I've never been a black Friday shopper.  Once, I had to go to the Big Chain Store for milk on Black Friday and to this day, that trip still haunts me!  To be fair, I have considered going shopping with some friends on Black Friday of years past, but never did.  Watching people sacrificing valuable family time on Thanksgiving day to sit outside of stores, followed by grown men and women scrambling, bickering, and all out fighting for items on sale really annoyed me.


I love, love giving people gifts.  I love to listen to them talk all year long, then surprise them with the things they mentioned.  I love seeing people realize that someone was listening to the little details, and got something specifically for them.  I do not like giving gifts just because gift giving is the socially acceptable thing to do.  I'd rather buy a person nothing, than to buy them something with no meaning behind the gift.


I began making a mental list of all the things I wanted to buy for my family for Christmas.  Flower is getting older, and while she has asked for very little, they happen to be big ticket items.  But as we were driving home from Colorado after spending Thanksgiving with family, she said "Mom, do you spend a lot of money on us at Christmas?"  I told her that yes, we usually do spend a good chunk of cash on Christmas gifts.  She responded by telling me that she felt like God wanted her to show love to someone else.  


"Mom, there are so many families who can barely even have turkey for Christmas.  If they can't buy that, how can they buy gifts?  This year, I think that instead of me getting tons of presents, we should give them to a kid who doesn't have what I have.  Maybe we can go shopping, and you can use that money to buy presents for another kid.  I won't feel left out at all.  I will feel love in my heart because I'm showing someone else that God loves them.  But you better go ahead and buy presents for Brother, 'cuz he is little and doesn't understand yet."


There are a lot of adults who don't understand this concept.


I definitely know that God was speaking to me, and to my little girl.  


This year, nearly all gifts we give to family will be either homemade, or, purchased from individuals with home based businesses.  They will all still have meaning, and be just as special, but there will be less of them!  Just because we have the ability to spoil and buy frivolously doesn't mean we should.  Certainly doesn't sound like good stewardship to me, anyway.


I'm so grateful for my daughter's heart.  I'm thankful she knows already how to tell when God is speaking to her.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankfulness

This is the time of year we everyone is bombarded with reminders to be thankful.  For some reason this year, it is incredibly annoying me to!  Don't get me wrong...being reminded to be thankful isn't what is annoying.  It is the fact that in general, we have to be reminded to stop for one single day out of the year to be thankful!  What about the other 364 days of the year!?


1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."


By nature, I am a very thankful person.  Everyday, I notice something that I am so grateful for.  God has blessed me abundantly, and far beyond anything I deserve.  Then again, what do I deserve?  What does any sinful human being deserve?  Not one thing other than death.  God doesn't owe you or me one single bloomin' thing!  But, because of His son, he graciously pours our blessing after blessing to each of His children.  Personally, I believe that is where all our thanks should begin.


I've been walking around this morning doing my usual household duties thinking of all the obscure things I am thankful for.  I've been making a mental note, and thought I would jot a few of those things down today.


I'm thankful that I woke up this morning with a song in my heart-
"Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!  Oh my soul praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!  All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; Praise Him with glad adoration!"


I'm thankful for modern medicine, because my son's fever has broken, and the infection is leaving his body.


I'm thankful that, even though this is the first day of Thanksgiving break, Flower was up at 6:30.  When I asked her why she said "Because.  My Mama and Brother are awake, and I just wanted to see their faces!"


I'm thankful for the two beautiful children who call me Mama, and think I am the most amazing person in the world.  They overlook every fault I have.


I'm thankful that 6 years ago Saturday I made a covenant to love, honor, and obey my best friend, and that every day our love for each other is stronger than the previous day.


I'm thankful that my man has a great job.  


I'm thankful that, not only do we not have to worry about where our next meal will come from, but that our pantry has enough food to last us for a several months.  I'm thankful my children have no idea what is is to really be hungry.


I'm thankful for indoor plumbing, because I can't function well without a hot shower!


I'm thankful for my parents, and for the things they taught me.


I'm thankful for in-laws who have loved and accepted Flower and I since the first time they met us, and for the great relationship I have with them.


I'm thankful that as I wrote this, Flower and Little Man are sitting on the couch, snuggling, and just talking to each other.


I'm thankful for programmable coffee makers, and that I have liquid energy waiting for me from the second I wake up.


I'm thankful for the faith of my family.


I'm thankful for knitting needles, yarn, hot tea, and Gone With the Wind.


God has truly blessed me beyond measure.  If I continued to list everything I'm grateful for, this post would be an eternity long.





Thursday, November 17, 2011

Out-smartin' the Substitute

Parenthood is a joyful thing.  It is also so incredibly stressful!


Yesterday, Flower's parent/teacher conference went great!  Her teacher went on about what a helpful, smart little girl she is.  I, of course, already knew that!  She then went on to tell me about how well behaved she was, and how well she listened and obeyed.  At this point, I asked if we were talking about the same child!  


It does make me happy to know that she responds so well to her teacher!  Her grades are amazing, and she is reading far beyond what a kiddo her age is expected to read.  


Then, I found out that she lied to her sub, and left school a few minutes early without anyone knowing!


The story is quite amusing.  And to be honest, if it was someone else's child, I would have thought it was the funniest dang thing I had heard in awhile.  Part of me was quite impressed with the smoothness with which she was able to pull this off.  Then the parent part kicked in.


I talked with the principal who himself was appalled that she was able to do this.  I assured him that she would be disciplined at home.  He assured me that she would be visiting his office today.


This morning, Flower had a "stomach ache", a "head ache", and a "sore foot".  She "forgot" to get herself completely ready for school.  She tired everything she could think of to keep from having to go to school this morning.  


Its great having a smart child.  Flower is so smart, and catches on to things so easily.  The problem is, she is just too smart for her age.  Too smart for her own good!  I can't imagine what her teen years are going to be like!


Be blessed everyone! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Small Business and Fat Cats

Good morning!  The kids are happily playing, so I thought I would seize the moment and get a few words out!  


Today, I'm actually going to venture out of the house!  WOOHOO!  I have parent/teacher conference with Flower's teacher, and some custom orders to mail (yay!).  Since I am mailing all already made orders today, I thought it a good chance to run a quick sale!  Anything, excluding custom orders, from 13 Plum Knitting is 20% off today only!  All you have to do is enter the coupon code "FACEBOOK20" when you check out!  I know I have touted the issue of buying from small, personally owned businesses before, but I will again!  Everyone is starting their Christmas shopping now, so please keep shopping small on your mind!  Some of the best, and thoughtful gifts come from Etsy, or any other small, locally owned business.  That is how we help our economy! So take a minute if you will, and visit my shop, or any Etsy shop! 


**shameless promotion over**


So, I rarely talk politics.  It just isn't my forte, and I don't like stirring things up more than I must.  But I have to say, the whole "Occupy Wall Street" thing is just really annoying to me.  


Now, don't get me wrong.  As a family who lives paycheck to paycheck, it is disgusting that some of these CEO's get paid millions upon millions of dollars.  Personally, I don't think there is any one person who is worth that much money.  Is it fair that there are fats cats raking in the big bucks while most people in America are like Barb Wire Man and myself?  No way.  Unfortunately, I'm reminded of a saying I heard as a kid:


"Fair?  Fair is a place where you show pigs and win blue ribbons.  Life is not fair."


Life just isn't fair.  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  No where do I read "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit to take the things others have worked for so that we can all have the cash we want."


Yes, something should be done to stop people from being able to take all these millions.  However, sharing their wealth is just ridiculous.  Would I like to have a mere $100,000 out of their stash?  You betcha!  But frankly, it is theirs, regardless of how they obtained it.  


Barb Wire Man and I don't have a fortune.  We don't even have a small fortune.  OK....truth is we have what we need to pay our bills and a few little extras here and there.  But we work hard for what we do have.  And, when we have extra, we give to people who might have even less than we do.  Not because we have to, but because its just the right thing.  But by golly, I refuse to be forced to give what little extra I have simply because it isn't fair that its more than the next guy.


When Barb Wire Man and I run short on funds for whatever reason, we don't belly ache about not having enough.  We wouldn't go stand on the street, rallying because there are others who could help us "get out of the hole".  Nope.  We would get off our tushes, and do whatever it takes to come up with the money that we need.  


My advice to the people wasting precious time protesting would be to go look for a stinkin' job.  Yeah, they are hard to come by these days.  So instead of depending on someone else for a paycheck (often the very people they are protesting against!), make your own future.  Get over it.  Life isn't a fair.  


OK, I'm stepping off the soap box now.  Maybe not be the same as yours, but that is my two cents worth (trust me, that is all it is worth...don't ask me to share!).  Be blessed today!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Its Friday People!

Here comes the weekend! 


First of all today, thank you, thank you, thank you to all the Veterans out there.  If it weren't for our Vets, we wouldn't have the freedom to get on our blogs each day and rant, rave, and write about whatever we so chose.  There are numerous other things we wouldn't be able to do, either.  So, to my many family members and friends who have served, and are still serving, thank you!


My in-laws will be here tomorrow to help celebrate Barb Wire Man's birthday on Sunday!  The house is clean, my kids are napping, I've gotten some new items listed on Etsy and Facebook, and I'm feeling quite accomplished today.  Tomorrow, I'll be baking a cherry cheesecake for the Mister.  


I'm going to take a few minutes and do a little shameless self promotion.  Check out what I just added to my shop:


Sorry about getting my mug in there, too.  I was the only one here to take a picture, so I was forced to work with what I had!  Anyhow, this is a pistachio green scarflette with a big, brown button.  I love this thing...seriously.  I'm almost secretly hoping it doesn't sell soon, just so I can claim it for myself!  But, honestly, if you do like it and want it, I'll sell it.  I can always make another for myself!


Also....one thing I always forget is to tell you guys all the different ways to keep up on what is going on in my life, and business.  Soo....
You can like me on Facebook. (I like when people like me!)
You can follow me on Twitter. (I'm a leader.)
You can Heart my shop on Etsy. (Aw!)
And, you can follow my sweet little Blog that get neglected far too often.


I'm going to go enjoy my clean, quiet house for just a few minutes before the little ones wake up from the nap.   Looks like I might have just enough time to make a cup of tea and sit down before one of them wake up!  


Have a wonderful day today, and be blessed!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

RING RINGGGGGG!

I thought the world ended this morning, and I had gotten left behind.


My cell phone didn't work!  


It is so true that a person doesn't realize just how much they depend on something until it is gone.  Barb Wire Man left super early this morning, so I went back to bed.  He usually calls me and wakes me up, but not this morning!  Thankfully, I woke up with just enough time to get myself ready.  


I tried texting.  They all came back as undeliverable.  I tried to call out from my phone, and into it,  but got only dead air.  My very first though was "Oh crap.  I forgot to pay the bill!  Barb Wire Man is going to be some kind of mad at me!"  (Thankfully, I did not forget.  Its not even due yet!!) 


As soon as I realized the phones were working again, Barb Wire Man called me.  I was so happy to talk to him.  Just knowing that it wasn't possible for me to get in touch with him drove me crazy!  I started worrying about him.  I thought of a billion things I just had to talk to him about.  I was going through withdrawls because I couldn't talk to him!


This morning taught me two things: 
I talk to Barb Wire Man entirely too much during the day.  Seriously. We are like two teenagers who can't go 3 hours without calling the other.  Sometimes, all we do is remind the other how much we love them!  But, that is how wonderful a marriage we have!  I can't imagine what it was like being a truckers wife before there were cell phones.  I would loose my mind worrying about him!  I always know right where he is, and where he is going next. 


Secondly, it taught me that I worry too much, and instead of depending on a cell phone to keep in constant contact with my man, perhaps I should just trust that God will take care of him.  I mean, really.  Does knowing that I can talk to him at any moment keep him any safer?  (Actually, probably the opposite, since he should be driving, not talking!)


Still, I've talked to him 3 times since 9:00, and its only 1:00.  And I bet he calls me again around 1:30 or so!  Its nice being married to your best friend.


Looks like my next few weeks has gotten pretty busy, too!  In a good way!  I've gotten several knitting orders just in the last 2 days, and they will keep me occupied for a bit.  I'm also going to be teaching a few ladies how to knit soon!  My in-laws are coming this weekend, and Barb Wire Man turns 32 on Sunday!   He is getting from me what he gets every year...a new video game.  (Don't worry, its no secret.  He has to tell me what the name of the stupid game is while I'm at the store anyway!)


Now, I better get to knitting.  The little ones are all sleeping soundly, and the house is oddly quiet.  Better enjoy it while I can!


Be blessed!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

No Rest For The Weary

Yes, I have been MIA.  But, let me show you a little of what I have been doing lately!  It has been a little crazy at my house!



I've been knitting neck cowls.  I have had so many orders for these, so luckily they knit up pretty quick!  Plus, I have a craft show coming up.  I'd like to make sure I have plenty on hand!


I've been knitting IPod and cell phone holders like crazy, too!  I've had a lot of order for these too, because they make such great stocking stuffers.  I'm sure the fact that they are only $5 helps too!  I also have some kindle, and other tablet-type electronic covers in the works!


Wrist warmers.  I've made several pair of these, because they are just so darn cool.  Functional, too!  This green pair sold within 10 minutes of my posting them, so that made me happy!  I've got several other pair ready to go out, too, I just haven't had time to get pictures yet!


Baby blankets.  Everyone I know, except for me, seems to be having babies lately!  This is one of my favorites!  I don't have a picture of my absolute favorite....oh well!



But, here is the real reason I have been off the computer so much.....





My mom's 50th  29th birthday was on November 3rd.  My dad, aunt, sister and I planned a surprise party for her!  Honestly, I had no idea it would take as much time and energy as it did, but every bit of it was worth it!  
My cousin, me, my aunt, and my sister  Just noticed every one of us has the same smile!

My mom's brother drove down from Colorado, my cousin drove up from San Antonio, and several friends drove long distances just to come to mom's party.  I was so pleased with the way it turned out!  By the end of the party, I was so tired I could barely stand up! 

My great-uncle, my aunt, my mama, and my uncle.

But, the absolute best part of the entire party was after everyone went home.  It was just family...mom, dad, two cousins, aunt, uncle, my kids, Barb Wire Man and me.  We took all the helium balloons down, and proceed to suck the helium out of them.  We took turns reciting famous quotes and speeches in tiny little squirrel voices, and I swear, I haven't laughed so hard in a long time!  

I know my mom had a great time, and was completely surprised.  I'm so thankful for my Mama, and am so happy we were able to treat her to a special day.  Hopefully, I will be able to get back on this blog a little more often!

Have a great day everyone...be blessed!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 25

We woke up to a nice, cold surprise this morning!  


SNOW!  A cold front was expected to blow through, and they had predicted 1-3 inches for our area.  We didn't really expect it to do anything, though, because half the time the meteorologists are wrong.  In their defense, though, predicting the weather here is like trying to predict whether or not the cowboys are going to be a good team next year, when the end of the world will be, or what color to bet on in Vegas.  Yesterday, I was wearing a t-shirt and sandals.  Anyhow, an hour ago, I heard that we had gotten 4 inches so far, and it is still snowing out there.  Its a really wet snow, and the leaves are all still on the trees.  It looks like the branches on some of the trees might snap off at any moment.  But, we will take moisture in any way that we can at this point, so praise God!


Today's 30 Day Challenge topic:  someone who fascinates me, and why?


Who commands my interest?  Who holds me spellbound?


Good question, but of all the people in the world, probably my grandmother that I so often write about on here.  


She was so "normal".  She wasn't extraordinary by most people's definition.  She wasn't flamboyant, and she would never have considered herself fascinating.  She never sought attention, and wasn't well educated according to the world's standards.


She was simple.  She was "just" a housewife.  She was full of wisdom.  


I've written about her several times on here, so today I'm not going into full detail.  (Mainly, because I'm having a wonderful morning and do not wish to cry my eyes out.)  But, even though she has been gone for 5 years, she still inspires me.  I'm like her in so many ways...then again, there are some things about me that are totally, totally different.  


Her life's story will always fascinate me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 24

A posting 2 days in a row!  Woohoo!  I'm on a roll!


Today's question is what is my favorite movie, and why?


This is hard, because I actually have a lot of movies that I really like.  I know, I don't watch much TV, but I do watch movies...at least old movies.  Honestly, though, anything with John Wayne in it is great.


One of my favorites is McClintock! with John Wayne.  I don't really even need to watch it anymore, because I have seen it so many times.  I like older movies like that because its 100% safe to watch them with your kids! 
"You women are always raising hell about one things when it's something else you're really sore about.  Don't you think it's about time you told me what put the burr under your saddle about me?"



Arsenic in Old Lace is another I could watch over and over again.  Its just hilarious!
"Look, I probably should have told you this before, but you see...well...insanity runs in my family...it practically gallops!"



Gone With the Wind.  I can imagine myself in that movie.  Except, I would be in Texas.  And not wealthy. 
"It will come to you, this love of the land.  There's no gettin' away from it if you're Irish."  
"No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly.  That's what's wrong with you!  You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how."




Dazed and Confused is one of my go-to movies when the kids aren't around.  I think I like it mainly for the soundtrack, but that alone is worth it.  Plus, it has Matthew McConnaughey in it.  (I know, yesterday I made my case about not idolizing movie stars.  I don't idolize him, but I will say that God really made him easy on the eyes.)  
"I'm letting you have shotgun. But I want you to know it's because only 'cuz I'm goin' inside."



Breakfast at Tiffany's.  Sure, Audrey's character is a call-girl, and she loves cats.  Other than those two things, it makes for a great love story! 
"It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door.  I'll give you two."  
"As Miss Golightly was saying before she was most rudely interrupted..."




So what is your favorite movie?  I'm sure if I thought a little more I could come up with a few more, but I will limit my one favorite movie to only five. Ha!


Be blessed today everyone!  

Monday, October 24, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 23

Shame on me for not writing for a whole week.  I'm such a slacker!


I'm skipping today's challenge because I just don't like it.  I'm supposed to post pictures of 5 famous people I think are attractive.  First, I just don't have time to do that!  (Its only 5:30 and the Little Man is already awake!)  Second, I have this thing about famous people.  They are still just people.  I don't like that so many famous people are idolized.  So, while there are a few who are pretty darn good looking, I'm not going to plaster their mugs all over my blog.


Last week was crazy!  Flower's science fair at school is today, so we spent all of last week finalizing her project.  Let me tell you, between an 8 year old who inherited her mom's perfectionism, and a mom who hasn't learned not to be a perfectionist, it took us awhile.  However, she has studied and studied, and put her heart into this project.  I'm not biased at all, but I'm pretty sure she has a shot at winning this thing.  I'll post pictures later!


I had two ladies order some Christmas gifts from me, so I have been spending a lot of time knitting, and I'm not close to being finished!  That is what I have been doing in most of my spare time.  


I haven't posted pictures in awhile, either.  Its that whole "time thing" again.  I'm happy I'm even on here this morning!  I haven't forgotten about everyone, I promise!  


I was thinking recently about how today's church too often waters down scripture, we have to sugar coat things to make it acceptable.  Then, this morning, a friend raised a question on Facebook:  is God a tolerant or intolerant God?  He proposed that Christians should learn to be more tolerant of the things we view as sins.  I've yet to find scripture that shows a place where God was tolerant...quite the opposite.  In Scripture, God never tolerated anything that went against His Law.  Jesus wasn't tolerant of sinful behavior, either.  In fact, Jesus was so unhappy once that he overturned tables in the Synagogue because they had turned it from a place of worship into a marketplace.  


Is God a loving God?  Most certainly.  In the Bible, He always gave people the chance to turn away from their sin.  If they didn't, then they were punished, but He never turned a blind eye and became tolerant. Ephesians 5:1-2 says "Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children, and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."


I have searched, but I cannot find a scripture that says I need to be tolerant of sins. I'm not tolerant of my children's misbehavior, but I still love them.  I explain why their actions are wrong, and give them a chance to stop acting that way.  If they don't, then they are punished.  


I know my answer isn't a popular one, and my opinion has probably upset a few people.  But, I try to balance everything I think, say and do by the Bible.  (I said try....I'm not always perfect!) I cannot be tolerant of the things scripture says is wrong.  I can love the person, and treat them with kindness, but I will not pretend like the things they are doing are fine and dandy. 


**stepping down from soapbox**


I pray you all have a blessed day, and I will try really hard to not go an entire week without posting again!

Monday, October 17, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 21

I pray you all had a blessed weekend!  I did...very relaxing!  Saturday was jammed packed.  After taking the kids on an early morning trip to the donut store, we worked on Flower's volleyball project all morning.  We paused just long enough for her volleyball game, then had to make our monthly run to the grocery store.  I hate shopping for groceries and I spent to much money, but the company was great, since Flower went along with me!  Sunday was another great church service.  The youth of our church lead the service, and it was really neat.  I can say that after all these years, I can still find ways in which my life was impacted by my youth group.  It is so important to invest time into young people!  Pastor's daughter talked about her mission trip to a Ugandan orphanage.  I cried.  Then, I came home and asked Barb Wire Man if we could adopt one of those babies.  He said no.  I guess I better start praying!


Now, for today's question...


How have you changed in the last two years?


Well, now, I might have to think on this one!


I'm definitely a much calmer person than I was two years ago.  I don't tend to over react like I used to do!


I don't think I am as nice as I used to be.  Now, don't get the wrong impressions here!  I'm still a nice person, but I have had to learn how to say "no" to people.  I am nice to a fault.  I've been told that I am too nice, and allow too many people to walk all over me.  I have always tried to please everyone, so I'm learning how to just be me.  And if the other person wants me to be, or do, something that suits them better, I won't.  They can either take me like I am, or move on.


I think maybe Barb Wire Man or my mom should have written this particular post for me!  They know me better than I do, and could tell you more!  I really don't think I have changed that much!


I'm better able to be by myself now.  I used to get pretty scared if Barb Wire Man had to be gone for work overnight.  I couldn't sleep, and I worried all night long.  If I heard the dogs bark, I got up and inspected.  I slept with a pistol under my mattress just in case.  These days, I know I am tough enough to be alone for a little bit, and that I'm going to be okay whether he is home or not.  But I still sleep with a pistol under my mattress.


Two years ago, I was just starting the Stay At Home Mom thing.  I wasn't sure if I could handle "doing nothing" all day.  Now, I know I can handle it just fine.  I'm just wondering now when the "doing nothing" part starts.


Be blessed today!

Friday, October 14, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 21

It's Friday!  Friday nights are the only nights at our house when the only thing on the agenda is staying at home and spending time with the family.  I cherish them.  I don't like going anywhere unless we have to go.  Tonight, Flower and I will be spending the evening finishing up her science fair project!  I'm so excited about this!  It is the first time she has entered a competition in school.  But the best part is she is excited!  She has poured a lot of energy into this project, and is really giving it her all.  I'm praying she does well, and I really think she has a great shot at scoring really high!


So, on to today's question!


One of my favorite TV shows?


TV has to be one of the biggest wastes of time...seriously.


If for some strange, totally unlikely reason Barb Wire Man and I ever split, the first thing I would do is get rid of that stupid TV.  I wouldn't even miss it for a second.


But, I do like a few shows.  How I Met Your Mother really makes me laugh.  Sadly, I do watch Jersey Shore, but it only reminds me how grateful I am that I am not like that at all.  And Barb Wire Man usually thanks me for being nothing like that!  I'm a sucker for the History Channel.  And the occassional Sons of Anarchy, which I admitted to watching the other day.  


But, I'd give up all of those gladly, because I HATE TV!  HATE IT I TELL YOU!  Seriously.  Think of how many things we could be doing if not for TV, like: spending time with family, or knitting, or reading, or serving God!  


And you?  What is your favorite TV show?


Now, off to start my day with a daily dose of the Word and house cleaning!
Be blessed!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 20

Oh man.  I've already written about some of these things!  So today's challenge is how important I think education is.


Well now, isn't that a loaded gun that gets comments out the wazoo.


My children's education is absolutely one of the top priorities in my life.  During the summer, Mattie and I home school, because I hate to see brains go to boob-tube waste.  One of my constant prayers is that God will increase not only my children's knowledge, but also their wisdom. I pray for their teachers, and for my friends who are teachers.


You can read about my personal views on college here.  I did not go to college.  I had no desire to go to college, nor do I have the desire now.  I do want my children to go to college, but I won't to force them to go if they feel led down another path (unless that path is something stupid, like, say, falling in love with some guy halfway across the country...nevermind.)


Mattie has already told me she has every intention of pursuing a college career, to which I responded, "That's AWESOME!  What do you think you want to study?"  She said she didn't care, but that she wanted to go to Texas A&M.  That's a good thing, too, because that is where we want her to go!


I know some people who have been served well by a college education.  I also know some who make far more money working a job that doesn't even require a degree.  In fact, Barb Wire Man once said the only reason he thinks everyone should go to college is to learn to party and get it out of their system.


God uses whom He will, whether uneducated or educated.  Thankfully!


Barb Wire Man started a new schedule this morning, which involves him leaving the house before 3:00 AM.  I did not wake up with him this morning, and as a result ended up sleeping until 6:00!  I am way behind...I have some catching up to do!


So what are your opinions on education?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 19

Today's question is certainly a doozie.  What is the biggest regret in my life?


Well, I don't really regret much of anything in my life.  I know you are thinking "Yeah right!  Everyone regrets something!"  Certainly there are things in my life that I look back on now and think "Good grief, what was I thinking?!", but regret is a strong word.


I guess if I picked one point in my life, where "regret" could possibly be used, it would have to be marrying my ex-husband.  But, every choice in my life has brought me to the place I am now.  The decision to marry my ex-husband was perhaps not the wisest.  We were not good for each other by any stretch of the imagination.  It was truly the worst time of my life.  But so many good things came from the chain of events during that time.  Had I not married him, I wouldn't have my gorgeous, sweet little Flower.  I wouldn't have moved to Canyon.  I wouldn't have realized who I am as an individual, and how strong I really could be.  I wouldn't have moved in with my parents.  If I hadn't moved in with my parents, then Barb Wire Man and I wouldn't have become such good friends and eventually fallen in love.  If I hadn't fallen in love with Mike, we wouldn't have this amazing family and life that we have now.


Don't get me wrong!  I'm certainly not happy with some of the things I have done or said in my life.  I've had my fair share of moments where I stop and wonder what in the h-e-double-hockey sticks made me think that was a good idea.  But, nothing in this life happens by chance.  Ever.


I doubt I'll be on much today.  Last night was the longest...night...ever...so I bet I take a nap later!  
Be blessed everyone!