Monday, July 30, 2012

My Only Bad Habit...

I hope everyone got their entries in for the Smiling Green Apples clothespin giveaway!  The contest is closed now, and I will announce the winner tomorrow!  Be sure to check back here tomorrow to see who won!!

Unless you are Cross Canadian Ragweed or Cody Canada (yummy, yes!?), everyone has more than one bad habit.

My least favorite bad habit is chewing my nails.  Seriously.  I bite my nails until they are so short they hurt.  I know, its gross, which is one reason I am constantly washing my hands.

I've tried keeping my nails painted, so they look pretty and subconsciously I won't want to chew on them.

Didn't work.

I tried getting acrylic nails, so they would look pretty band be really hard to bite off.

That didn't work, either.  I bite the fake nails off, then my own nails!

So, I'm getting tired of having fingers that hurt because I chew my nails.  And I'm tired of having ugly nails.  And, my son is picking up on my bad habits and starting to bite his nails, too!  

Any advice on how to STOP!? 

What bad habits do you have, that no matter how hard you try, you can't break?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Every Song a Memory

This morning as I was cleaning and preparing for the day, I had my cell phone ringing out my play list.  It got my brain running (which frankly, only music and coffee will do first thing in the morning!)  I thought I'd share some of those with you this morning, and the thoughts and memories that accompany them. musical preferences have an enormous range of styles!

The first song that cam on was an accapella version of Great is Thy Faithfulness.  I thought it was a nice coincidence (thought I don't really believe in them) that the first song I heard reminded me that "morning by morning new mercies I see."  That was a great bit of worship to start my day off!

Oh my.  See?  Maybe I shouldn't have done this.  You'll see the dirty music secrets no one knows about me.  Song number two: Stryper's Honestly.  But seriously, doesn't everyone love 80's love ballads?!  The best memory I have of this song happened not long after Barb Wire Man and I started dating each other.  He comically lip-synced the entire song to me...complete with motions.  I am pretty sure I laughed so hard I cried.

Song number three: God's Not Dead by the Newsboys.  Flower and I love when this song comes on in the radio, because we turn it up loud, and sing it out as loud as we can!  This song always gets me energized, and is one of my favorite songs to run to.  And I get goosebumps every time I hear it!

Mmmmhmmm.  Another side of me many people don't see.  Song number 4, I Stand Alone by Godsmack.  This is more of my running music, and one of the few songs that has absolutely no lyrical meaning to me.  No memories...its simply a song that has a good beat to run to!

I Walk the Line, by the great Johnny Cash.  I mean, what kind of Texan would I be if I didn't listen to Johnny Cash.

Song 6....Keep on Loving You, REO Speedwagon.  You know why I like this song so much, other than the fact that I really like REO Speedwagon?  Its fun to sing to.  Perfectly in my range.  And that is why I like this song.  I can sing to it and sound amazing.

Leader of the Band, by Dan Fogelberg, is a song I grew up hearing.  I love to sing to it (really, that is the most important thing, after all), but mostly, it reminds me of my Daddy.  Almost every word of this song makes me think of him.  No one writes songs like this anymore.  No one can sit with a guitar and sing and sound like heaven like this anymore.  It is one of my dad's favorites, and will always be one of mine.
Song numero 8 is by Firehouse.  Love of a Lifetime.  Yes, more 80's love ballads, but as sappy as it sounds, it so applies to Barb Wire Man and me.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, by Mumford and Sons came on next.  One of my all time favorite hymns, by far.  I really hate when a hymn comes on, I start belting it out, and the singer messes it up.  And by messing it up I mean making their own rendition and not following the way it was written!  Mumford and Sons did an excellent job keeping it as it should be!

Metallica.  Because Nothing Else Matters.

Good grief.  How do I go from Metallica to Tammy Wynette?  I guess I'm just a Stand By Your Man kinda girl!

And then, the Little Man woke up and said he had to watch Dinosaur Train.  So my music time was over.  What are the top 10 songs on your playlist?

One last thing!!  Our Smiling Green Apples giveaway ends at 5AM (Central Time) on Monday, so make certain you get your entries in today!  You don't want to miss these!
Credit: Smiling Green Apples

You better head over and sign up! Be blessed today!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Favorite Dessert Recipe Link up!

No one in my family eats many sweets.  Well, I take that back.  Barb Wire Man is not a big sweet eater.  Rarely have I ever seen him eat a piece of cake, pie, cookie or brownie.  I only like it occasionally.  My kids are not big sweet eaters because I just don't allow it.

But every now and then, a sweet tooth will attack.  And I indulge.

My all time, most favorite evvvvvver sweet in the world is dump cake.  It is the simplest thing in the world to make, since all you do is dump a can of crushed pineapple and a can of cherry pie filling into a pan, sprinkle it with yellow cake mix, dot it with butter and bake it.  Unfortunately, I'm allergic to pineapple, and haven't been able to eat my favorite thing ever in several years.  It really sucks, friends.

So, I move on to my next all time favorite: Peach Cobbler.

It has to be just right, though.  Some make their cobblers with pie-like crusts, some make them with more of a cake/dumpling topping.  The latter is how I prefer and make mine.  I found this recipe in an old cookbook that I inherited from my Grandma, and it has been my go-to dessert for awhile now.  Since I found this recipe, and didn't make it up entirely on my own, I'll share it with you today!  (Remember....the only thing I'm stingy with are my original recipes!)

Peach (or any fruit) Cobbler, Texas Style
2 Cups of fresh fruit mixed with 1 Cup of sugar OR 1 can of fruit pie filling  **trust me...fresh is best!**
1 C Sugar 
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick of butter
3/4 C. flour
2/4 C. milk

Mix sugar and fruit.  Let set to pull out juices.  Heat oven to 350 and melt butter in a square baking dish.  Mix all dry ingredients, then slowly pour in milk.  Mix until there are no lumps.  Pour batter over the completely melted butter, but do not mix or stir!  Spoon fruit mixture over the batter.  Again, do not stir!  Put it in the oven, and allow to bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and a toothpick comes out of the topping clean.

For this cobbler to be at its finest, top with some homemade vanilla ice cream, or fresh cream.  It is delish!

How about you?  What is your favorite go-to dessert?  Be sure to share a link to your favorite dessert recipe here!  It can be an old post or a new post...all I ask is that you be sure to follow my blog before you link up, and be sure to share with your friends! (Link up ends on 7.25 @ 4:59 AM) Don't forget to enter in the giveaway

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July - Part 3

I think this may be the last Christmas in July post I am able to squeeze in this month.  I've tried to get lots of neat shops in here though, and I hope you have found some really neat things!

Heart Felt Truths
This shop has such a neat premise behind it.  All of the items at Heart Felt Truths are made of felt.  Each one is designed to help teach our children about God through story telling and felt!
Credit: Heart Felt Truths
This is such a great way to help teach children about why Christians celebrate our holidays, and is a wonderful tradition to start with your family.  This is something every Sunday School class should have as well!  If you enjoy crafting, you can even purchase DIY kits!  You can read more about their mission, and about their business on their blog, Heart Felt Truths.

Aurie's Designs
Aurie's Designs is full of wonderful journals, albums, cards, bookmarks and more!  Each one of them is beautiful, but of all of them, I think this is my favorite:
Credit: Aurie's Designs
You know, I'm a sucker for anything that has images from the 40's and 50's on it!  I'm also a sucker for anything that you can put a pen to and write.  Everything in Aurie's Designs is OOAK hand-made, by a mother /daughter team (Aurie and Tre).  Through the month of July , everything at Aurie's Designs is marked down 15%.  As an added bonus, anyone reading this blog today can get an additional 5% off

First Light Glass
I have always wanted to work with glass.  I never have, and don't know the first thing about it, but it has always intrigued me.  Unfortunately, I have children who could break...foam.
Credit: First Light Glass
First Light Glass has beautiful glass art work.  This butterfly pendant is one of my favorite things (I love butterflies, since they represent new life!)!  First Light Glass also has glass bowls, crosses, night lights, spoon rests...and that is just the beginning.  All made out of glass!  (Anyone want to take my kids so I can learn to work with glass!?)

Pruitt Creations
I don't need to go into the stories about how I've nearly thrown my sewing machine out of the window to remind everyone how bad I am at sewing.  Or how much I don't care for it since I can't get it perfect right away.  Having said that, I admire anyone who can get a few pieces of fabric to come together into an entirely new item.
Credit: Pruitt Creations
Pruitt Creations is full of handmade pillows, gifts, coin purses, cozies, quilts, and hoop art.  Here's a little hint for you, too.  Go ahead and head of to Pruitt Creations right now.  Why?  Because I will be having a giveaway from there soon!  Not going into too much detail, because I don't want to give it away.  Just know that you will need to follow my blog and know what your favorite thing from Pruitt Creations is!

I hope I have given you some great shopping ideas!  It won't be long before Christmas is actually here!  Don't forget to check out these shops, and don't forget to enter the Smiling Green Apples Giveaway, and don't forget tomorrow we will be having a linky party to share our favorite dessert recipes!!  Be blessed today!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Smiling Green Apples and Giveaways!

Remember these?
Credit: Smiling Green Apples

They are the super cute clothes pins I featured last night week from a cute shop called Smiling Green Apples!  I also made it quite apparent that these gorgeous clothespins were mine!  They came in yesterday evening, meaning they came in just in time for laundry day!  I'm super excited to get to hang laundry out today!  (Although, if you recall, there isn't a thing on this earth that will get me excited to actually fold the laundry!)

See these black damask clothespins here?   
Credit: Smiling Green Apples
These are the ones Flower thought were the prettiest!  I told her the blue ones were ours, and she informed me that I should have picked the black ones because those were her favorite.  I told her they were for....well, we will get to that in a bit.  I told her they were for something else, so she told me I had to order some of the black ones.  I intend on doing so!

Christy, the creator at Smiling Green Apples, also included these cards in my package!  I sat down yesterday to write a note to my Granny and realized I was out of cards.  I was so excited to see these, and I can't wait to send them to friends!  Thank you, Christy!

Today, I want to share more about Smiling Green Apples, and the owner, Christy!  Make certain you read all the way to the end, because there will be an announcement you don't want to miss!!
Credit: Smiling Green Apples

Christy, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Christy Cox Mayton, I'm a SAHM with four very individual children, and married to my beset friend.  I'm a born and raised Virginia girl.  I'm an avid reader, crafter, and all around DIY'er.  I left a ten year career in retail management after my youngest son was diagnosed with Autism, and althought I miss the high pace world of reatail, I'm glad I made the decision to be with my family.  Being at home reignited my love of crtafting, which spawned my Etsy shop.

What would most people be surprised to learn about you?
I think people would be surprised to learn that I am a hopeless romantic...(sigh)...maybe that's the southern girl in me.  Oh how I long to live in a world where gentlemen never forget to open the door for a lady (and I so appreciate the ones who still do). The world is so chaotic, and nothing can distract me from it as well as a good love story!
Credit: Smiling Green Apples

If you could eat lunch with any three people, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
The thre people I'd have lunch with would be Mother Theresa (who couldn't learn something from a woman with that much love in her heart), Ree Drummond (and I insist she cook) because I think she would be so fun to have out with, and Sean Conner because I am oddly fascinated with him.  And should any of them call and cancel, I say martha Stewart, because although her presence would both terrify and awe me at the same time, that is one brain I'd love to pick at for awhile.

Who do you draw your inspiration from?
I have to say I draw my inspiration from the women in my family, and I have a VERY big family.  I've learned something from every one of them.  My aunt taught me to crochet, my other aunt taught me to decorate even the simplest things to make them special, my Mom taught me every cleaning and stain removing trick in the book....the list is endless.  I was fortunate to grow up very close to my Grandma and Great-Grandma.  Those ladies are from a generation where you did everything yourself, and you got creative with it.  I remember my great-grandma teaching me how to make braided rugs and weave wool blankets.  My Grandma (better yet, my Nanny) taught me how to do everything from quilt to make jelly and can tomatoes.  I'm blessed.

What is your favorite item from your shop?
My favorite items in my shop, although I love them all for obvious reason, are probably thne felt cake toppers.  I love anything a little whimsical, a little soft, and a lot colorful.  My FAVORITE one is thecloud cake topper with the ribbons rainbow attaching them.  I think I drew a picture that looked just likethat one every single notebook I had from Kindergarten on through high school! hahaha!
Credit: Smiling Green Apples
Where are the other places around the internet we can find you?
Right now, I'm only on Etsy, and I'm considering opening a second shop in the fall with my crocheted items made with quality yarns.

Now....for the fun part!!

Those pretty Black damask clothespins that Flower thought were so pretty?  She wanted them so badly, but they could belong to any one of you, because Christy has so kindly sent them as a giveaway to one of my readers!

I know there are a lot of my readers out there who hang their laundry out to dry like I do.  These clothes pins  are sealed so that are safe to use outside.  They won't run if it rains (not that I have to worry about there here since it so rarely rains!) like many decorative pins do.  Seee?  I hung my laundry out with them today even!

Laundry and so many other household chores are SO mundane....make it a little easier on yourself by using pretty supplies!   Here's what you have to do in order to enter....

1.  You must be a follower of my blog.  Any entries thaat are not will be disqualified!
2. Visit Smiling Green Apples, come back, and leave a comment telling me what your favorite thing in Christy's shop is. (1 entry)
3. Share this giveaway on Twitter, and leave that you did so in a separate comment. (1 entry)
4. Share this giveaway on Facebook, and leave that you did so in a separate comment. (1 entry)
5. Share this giveaway in a Blog post, and leave a link to it in a separate comment (2 entries)
***please make sure ALL comments are on THIS post.  Any comments left on any other posts will not be counted!***
There you have it!  You can enter up to 4 times for the drawing!  The contest to win these:

will end on Monday!! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

You Learn Something New...

So, I found out the other day you can actually purchase things on Facebook!

I've always put pictures of my "for sale" items up on 13 Plum's Facebook page.  Then, if someone wanted to purchase it, I would send a Paypal invoice, or wait for a check, or plan to meet up to deliver.  It wasn't complicated, was complicated.

So then, my friend at Lil' Miss Texan popped up with this awesome new app!  It allows people to actually shop and pay through Paypal directly from Facebook!

After annoying her with a gazillion questions about how in the name of goodness to set it up, I finally got it!  I don't have all my items added just yet...that is going to take a bit of time since I have so much for sale.

Up in the right hand corner, you'll see a little shopping cart that says "Shop Now".  Click on that, and you can see everything I have for sale.  Pretty easy, huh?

I think this is going to be a pretty awesome least I pray it is!  So, would you do me a favor?  Head over to 13 Plum's Facebook page and hit "LIKE"!!!  There are a lot of times that I list sales and new items on there before I ever get around to announcing it on Etsy, Twitter, or anything else.  So this is a good way for you to keep up on last minute and/or spur of the moment sales!

In fact, if you will go like my page, and leave a comment there, I will send you a coupon for 15% off anything in my shop!  (It won't be hard to find...every picture in this blog is linked back....and almost every link on this page will take you there!) Hope to see you there soon!

Be Blessed!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Texas Etsy Finds of the Day!

Everyone and their brother knows by now that I love Texas.  I set out in Etsy the other day to find shops that are right here in Texas.  And there are lots.

Quilting Frenzy - Converse, Texas
I love quilts.  I hate quilting.  Really, I hate sewing.  My Granny tried to teach me to quilt, and I completely understand the how's and why's.  But I can't make my edges line up!
Credit: Quilting Frenzy 
Quilting Frenzy has 5 pages worth of beautiful quilting on Etsy.  This yellow and blue quilt is my favorite.  That color scheme is one of my all-time favorites.  I had a hard time trying to decide between showing this lap quilt, or a white on white pillowcase Quilting Frenzy has.  White on white is another of my most favorite looks!  This month, you can get 10% off any item at Quilting Frenzy by using the coupon code "CIJFRENZY10" when you check out!

The Yellow Roses - Corpus Christi, Texas 
The quickest way to my heart is to remind me of either of my grandmothers.  Just like quilts remind me of my Granny, these remind me of my Grandma.
Credit: The Yellow Roses 

In fact, these remind just about anyone who knew her of my Grandma!  I still have the one she made me 30 uhh, 29 years ago!  In fact, the more I look around at The Yellow Roses, I wondering if she might have known my Grandma!  Anyhow....every little girl in the world needs and Raggedy Ann.  Flower has the one I played with.  There are some adorable little wallets at The Yellow Roses, too!  During the month of July, The Yellow Roses is offering free shipping!

Corky Crafts - Fort Worth, Texas 
Everything at Corky Crafts is made from wine corks...I know a few people who could help Corky Crafts out with supplies.  They shall remain nameless here, but they know who they are!
Credit: Corky Crafts
This topiary from Corky Crafts would look super cute on my mom's patio.  That where we spend most of our time drinking win....uhhh, tea.  Corky Crafts also has some neat little cork tags.  They would look so neat hanging as a fan pull, or as a wine bottle decoration!  (There are also some neat little Christmas Ornaments at Corky Crafts, too!)  If you are in the Dallas area, you can even schedule to pick up your order, rather than paying extra for shipping!

Forever Grace 2 - Amarillo, Texas
My last shop for today, Forever Grace 2, is located a whole 45 minutes from my house!  All I did was search "lace", and this beautiful lace romper popped up!
Credit: Forever Grace 2

This romper is simply gorgeous. How I wish Flower was little enough to wear something like this.  Even if it came in her size, her style is, well, far from mine.   Still, though, I think the "Daddy's Girl" Dress on her shop is the neatest idea ever.  You will have to stop in at Forever Grace 2 and take a look!

So, those are my awesome Texas shops for today.  I have several more lined up that I'm excited to share with you, too!  Please check these shops out.  Remember....the people who own these shops (I'm including myself and 13 Plum Creations here!) really depend on traffic and purchases.  The money goes straight to helping families, which goes straight to helping our economy.  So really.  Go now.  Visit these shops!

Be blessed!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Friday...Oh...Nevermind.

Nothing is more annoying than waking in the morning, and being so excited that it is Friday...only to realize it is only Thursday!  That would be me today.

Now that I don't have kids here every single day, I don't pay too close attention to what day it is.  My days just run together.  As a result, I completely forgot about writing up my posts yesterday evening like I usually do.  Instead, I sat outside with my kids and watched them play.  And I enjoyed every second of it!  It makes my heart so happy to see them out riding their bikes, totally carefree.  I love when Flower rides her bike up to me, says "Hey Mom I love you!" then turns around and keeps on riding.  I love how Little Man refuses to use the pedals on his bike, even though he knows how, because he can go much faster by Fred Flinstoning it down the sidewalk.  Once the sun had gone down a bit and it cooled off, Barb Wire Man came out to join us and smoked a cigar.  We stayed out until it was just dark, and soaked up everything the day had to offer.

As a result, I have to spend a lot of time today writing!  Oh was worth it!

Tomorrow, I am going to do another Etsy showcase of some neat shops I have found and like.  Only tomorrow, it will be shops that are from here in Texas!  (Because really, the only thing better than buying hand-/homemade is  buying local!)  There will be some really neat things, so stay tuned!

Be blessed today!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Regarding Blog Hops...

I'm thinking about hosting a blog hop for all of my fellow bloggers.  I know there are a lot out there, but I had considered doing it once a week, and having an organized topic that we would all write about.  I think some days it would really help encourage us, and will also help give us ideas for writing when we all get in those writing funks.

My question is, what day would you like to see a hop on?  What works best for your schedule?  Would you enjoy having several blogs to read to get different perspectives on the same issue?  Would you be interested if we all had giveaway days?

I'm trying to feel out the participation I would get.  I'm not sure when we will start this, but I am hoping in the near future!  So please, please, please leave a comment and let me know!  Thanks!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Christmas in July - Part 2

Last week, I featured a few Etsy shops who had some great Christmas in July Sales, and today, I have even more for you!  Be sure to click on the pictures, too!  It will take you directly to their shop, where you can look around for yourself.  These are just small samplings of the things these shops offer.  I couldn't begin to list all they have!  I have said it before, but it is worth repeating.  Those of us who have Etsy shops oftentimes depend on the sales we make.  Sure, you could get something similar from a gift shop or boutique...but we pour our hearts and talents into the things we make.  Buying something from a handmade business goes directly to helping a family!

Ebi Emporium
Ebi Emporium is based in Vancouver.  I fell in love with this painting:
Credit: EbiEmporium 
I reminds me of Texas Bluebonnets!  Ebi Emporium is offering free shipping on all art during July!  The thing I love the most about this shop are the post cards!  I'm one of those people who just doesn't decorate.  Why?  I don't know, but really, its the last thing on my mind.  I'm lucky I have picture of my kids hanging up!  But you can get this exact painting on postcards!  Take a look around...Ebi Emporium has beautiful floral and abstract paintings!

Perpetual Posy
I have what my dad and Barb Wire Man refer to as a gangrene thumb.  Don't give me a plant unless you want it to die in record time.  I have killed even the so-called un-killable plants. So the floral arrangements in Perpetual Posy are exactly what I need!  I love this one..
Credit: Perpetual Posy 
I'm a fall person.  I love the colors of autumn!  But, Perpetual Posy has flowers for all seasons, including some Christmas items.  Plus, throughout the month of July, you can get any item at Perpetual Posy for 25% off!  Just use the coupon code "CIJ4PP" during checkout!

Smiling Green Apples
Now if this doesn't make you want to hang laundry out to dry, I don't know what does.
Credit: Smiling Green Apples
But, I'll be honest with you.  You can't have these.  Because they are mine.  HAHA!  I do have good news, however.  Smiling Green Apples has a ton of these adorable clothes pins!  And, unlike many of the others you can find, these are sealed so that you can actually use them outside for your laundry!  They aren't purely decorative!  Everything at Smiling Green Apples is 10% off for Christmas in July.  And, I have even better news.  Coming up soon, I will have a giveaway of some of Smiling Green Apples' clothespins!  I'm not going to tell you exactly when, so you need to be paying attention!  And just a heads up...if you want to win some of these, and you are not a follower of my blog, you need to go ahead, look over on the side, and hit "follow".  Just go on and do it now.  I will wait.....

OK.  Back to Christmas in July...

Designs By Velvet
Oh sweet angel of knitting.  Designs By Velvet sells my heroin   yarn that I can't wait to get my hands on. And roving....which is what a person uses to spin their own yarn.  Seriously...wouldn't this make the most gorgeous yarn e.v.e.r.??
Credit: Designs By Velvet

Truly, Designs By Velvet has so much more than yarn and roving.  Beautiful shawls, jackets, fingerless gloves and more.  But, I was so sidetracked by that beautiful roving...
Anyhow, Designs By Velvet is offering 40% off everything when you use the coupon code "julyspecial".  Unfortunately, I think if I order any more yarn, Barb Wire Man might leave me.  Then again, I check the maybe he won't notice....

Shop handmade as much as possible this year!  Stop by these shops and look around today.  Seriously!  You will be surprised some of the beautiful things you can find while digging around!  Be blessed today!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Flower, Canyons, and Recovery!

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early. Actually, I woke up so early there was no bright about was still pitch dark outside. I filled up my coffee cup, and set out to the Palo Duro Canyon to meet Flower and her step mom! I was so excited! I had to set my cruise control to keep from speeding to get there. I had a two hour drive in front of me to get to the Canyon, and I was alone. I turned on some praise music and turned it up pretty loudly.  I stopped on the side of the road to take this picture, right before it started to rain.

I left my window rolled down, could smell the wonderful fragrance of the rain, and was admiring the beautiful West Texas sunrise.  The beauty of the Canyon was just coming into sight.  I was singing along to the worship music, and knew I was about to see the biggest blessing God has ever given me.  I was simply overwhelmed by the awesomeness of God.

I reached the starting line of the Palo Duro Hot Dog Race, and was there just a little bit before my sweet girl got there.  When she did, we both ran over to each other.  That was the best hug I have had in a long time!  Honestly, I immediately started crying!  I was so excited to see my baby's face I couldn't help it!

Flower and I helped transport the racers to and from where they needed to be, and cheered her step-mom on as she ran the second leg of the relay (you can run the whole race, but they also have relay teams).  Then, we went up to the top of the hill known as "The Lookout" and waited at the finished line with Flower's step-mom and step-sister.  I was so amazed at how quickly some of the runners were able to finish the race.  They made it look so easy!

The hardest part of the race is the final hill to the finish point.  In that picture, we are at the finish line....don't the runner look small?  It is a pretty big hill!

Flower and I left, and went to visit my parents.  Flower is incredibly close to them, and she wanted to go see them.  We went to lunch, then killed time.  I had a surprise party planned for Flower, so we couldn't be home until 6:30!

I'm so thankful for Barb Wire Man, our bestest of friends, and my parents.  While we were out wasting time, they were at my house decorating, and setting out food for the party.  When we pulled into the driveway of our house, and she saw the "welcome home" sign, she was shocked!  She had no idea, and could hardly believe it!

Once she saw Barb Wire Man, we could hardly pry her off of him!  Then, she saw Little Man, and her best friend.  Little Man wouldn't let her out of his sight!  I think he was happier than anyone that she was home!

We had a great party, but that day was so...incredibly....long.  I ended up being awake for 21 hours.  On Sunday, Little Man woke us up around 7AM.  We came into the living room, and Flower and I fell back asleep on the couch!  Barb Wire Man came into the living room at some point, and fell back asleep on the floor!  Little Man was the only one who did not fall back asleep, so the kids ate a quick bite for lunch and he went to take a nap.  Flower and I went into my room to watch Mirror Mirror and guess what?  I fell back asleep, and so did Flower.  Barb Wire Man fell back asleep on the couch while watching Nascar!  (I'm telling you, we were all exhausted!  We woke up around 5PM, and ate supper.  By 9:00, both of the kids were already in bed, and fell asleep within minutes.  We weren't too far behind!  Our bodies apparently needed the rest!

I thank God that my baby girl is home, and my family is all together.  The sweetest thing was waking up, and being able to snuggle with both of my children on Sunday morning.  I have been blessed beyond belief.  I have an amazing family.  Nothing compares to that.  Period.

Be blessed today!

Friday, July 13, 2012


This has been a long week!  The week started out rough, because last weekend was action-packed.  Despite laying around doing absolutely nothing last Sunday, we still were not fully recovered by Monday!

Monday and Tuesday I had my sweet daycare kiddos!  It made me so happy to have them here for those two days.  I love all of them, so it almost feels like my own children leave me for the summer.  But, I do forget how exhausting having that many little ones can be!

Our air conditioner decided to give up the ghost on Monday night.  Supper was cooking, the house was clean, Little Man was playing in the back yard, and Barb Wire Man was going to be home from work soon. I decided to seize the moment and sit and knit for a bit.  I sat down, the AC kicked on, and I noticed it sounded odd.  I didn't think too much about it until the house started filling with smoke! I flipped out, called Barb Wire Man and told him to come home!  Just turning the system off didn't work.  The fan kept running, and nasty electrical fire smell kept pouring into the house, and I finally had to switch the breakers to get it to turn off!  Thankfully, the weather this week has been cooler, so I was able to open the windows for fresh air.  Besides, I am the type of person who could totally live without an air conditioner and be just fine.  Barb Wire Man, on the other hand, is not.

Speaking of missing kids...this week has taken forever to end because I have something I'm so looking forward to tomorrow!  I get to see my Flower!!!  She has been out in South Carolina since the end of May, visiting her dad, step-mom, and sisters.  I know she has enjoyed it, but man, do I miss her!  I will be picking her up at the race I was supposed to run on Saturday morning.  I cannot wait!

The race I was supposed to run.  That makes me sad.  The Palo Duro Hot Dog is a 15K run that takes place in the Palo Duro Canyon, which is about 40 minutes or so from my house.  Erika, Mattie's step-mom and my friend, really encouraged me to start running.  So I did!  It was not something I ever thought I would really enjoy, but come to find out it was something I love to do.  I ended up hurting my ankle, and in my stubborn-ness refused to go to the doctor.  I didn't think it was a big deal, so I would just keep running each night, stopping only once my ankle was hurting so bad I wanted to cry.  I Barb Wire Man told me to go to the doctor and have it looked at.  I'm in an air cast now.  (See?  This is the reason I didn't want to go to the doctor.  I knew something was wrong with my foot.  I knew he would tell me I couldn't run, and that was unacceptable!  I asked if I could wear the cast up until a few days before the race, then take it off and go ahead and run on Saturday if I was really, really careful. The doctor's response was "Sure.  If you really really want to tear all the ligaments in your ankle, wind up having surgery, and be in pain for the rest of your life every time you run."

Well, now that you put it that way....

And so, I get to sit on the sidelines this year.  I'm so disappointed.  But, those closest to me know how hard I worked to get ready for this race.  I know that in October, when I am finally "allowed" to run again, I will come back with a vengeance and have even more time to prepare for next year's race.  And I will be at next year's race.

This year, I will be at the finish line, helping time the runners as they come in.  At least I can still participate some way, even though it isn't the way I had hoped.  Get ready, Hot Dog.  Next year, I will be there ready to go!

Be blessed, and have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

25 Ways You Know You Are From Texas

Next to my God and my children, my biggest source is pride is that I am a 9th generation Texan.  My children are 10th!  It isn't just where I'm is who I am.  My great-great-great-great grandfather and beyond helped fight to make Texas Independent, so keeping the spirit and independence of Texas alive isn't just something I want to do.  It is something must do!  This blog is dedicated to my sweet friend, Lil Miss Texan, who is stuck in yankeeland....

How to Tell if You are From Texas

1.  You know apricot has a long "a", pecan has no long vowels, and you don't even have to think about how to say the word Gruene.

2.  You eat only two types of ice cream: homemade and Blue Bell.

3.  You know that the only thing more important than football on Friday night is church on Sunday morning.

4.  You know to ask someone what specific brand of coke they want.  "You want a Coke?"  "Sure."  What kind?" "Dr. Pepper."

5.  In one day, you wore a sweater in the morning and ended the day wearing a tank top.

6.  Only three colleges matter...A&M, Tech, and UT.  And two of them suck.

7.  Most of the country complains about 100+ degree days as a heat wave, but that is every summer day for you.

8.  You know exactly what to do anytime someone says "the stars at night...."

9.  There's only one drink better than sweet tea on a hot day.  Beer.

10.  When people ask what your family heritage is and the only answer you have is "Texan".

11.  Your man's idea of dressing nice is starching his pants and shirt and wearing "his good boots".

12.  Your first tattoo automatically must have a Texas flag on it.

13.  You can drive through three states in any direction in less time than you can drive from Amarillo to     Houston.

14.  You assume everyone carries a gun, and feel a little sad for them if they don't own one.

15.  You know real country music isn't sung by men in Hawaiin print shirts, flip flops and khaki shorts, but by men like Robert Earl Keen, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Kevin Fowler.  And you cried the day Stevie Ray Vaughn died.

16.  20 mile per hour winds is just a breeze.

17.  You know Texas is still attached to the mainland only because Oklahoma sucks.

18.  You'd sooner fly the Texas flag than the American flag.

19.  You know exactly what this is a picture of, without thinking:

20.  You'd rather drive a pick-up truck you have to use a step ladder to get into than a sports car.

21.  The smell of cow manure and crude make you think of money.

22.  You would drive back to Texas to have your children, just so they can say they are TENTH generation!

23.  You know why Six Flags is called Six Flags.

24.  Your children recite the Texas Pledge every morning before the American Pledge.

25.  You thought these were all funny, and nodded your head in agreement!

And, I'm certain that some of you don't get these.  Bless you hearts.  And some of you might even be offended by them, because you aren't from 'round these parts.  That's ok.  In the words of Davy Crockett:
"You may all go to hell.  I will go to Texas."

Be blessed!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Of All the Mommy Jobs I Hate...

In my years as a Mama (9 and counting with my own children, plus all my pseudo-kids at the daycare), I have had to clean up poop, pee, puke, and Lord knows what else.

Still, the "mommy-job" I hate the worst is folding laundry.  Seriously.  I hate folding laundry.  "Hate" is not nearly a strong enough word.  I don't mind washing it.  I actually enjoy carting it out to the backyard to hang it on the line and taking it down, because I get to be outside.  But folding it

I can't just turn the dryer back on, because I line-dry my clothes (except in the winter).  So they sit on my couch, waiting to be folded.  The clothes that I do dry, like, "unmentionables" sit in the dryer, lonely.  And in the meantime, the wrinkle so badly that its almost a good enough reason to re-wash them.  Which, frankly, is more pleasant than folding.

Last night, my poor Barb Wire Man opened his drawer and asked where all his underwear went.  I told him they were all still in the dryer.  He reminded me that they had been in the dryer for several days, and wondered if I was ever going to fold them.  I told him I would, and I did.  I folded the underwear from last week.  The ones I washed today are still in the damn dryer.  Come next week, when he is out of undies, the same scenario will unfold.  I think after 8 years he has learned that this is just something he will have to accept about me.

I hate folding laundry.  What is your least favorite household chore?

Be blessed!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Christmas in July, Part 1

Sunday night, I was sitting in my chair, knitting, when I saw a commercial advertising for Christmas.  I nearly fell out of my chair.  Normally, I am the type of person who starts shopping for Christmas in January, but this year, I haven't done anything.  Nothing.  That means I am 6 months behind on buying Christmas presents for people!!!

Looks like I will be spending some time on Etsy to get caught up.  Which is really fine by me.  I like to sell on Etsy, and I really like to buy on Etsy!  I decided that through the month of July, I will share with you some of the neat things I find in my searching.  Remember as you look at these awesome things that many people really depend on the money they make from selling on Etsy.  So, if you see something you like, be sure to stop in their shop and do some looking around!

I collect Santa Claus's.  It doesn't matter what style they are, either.  I have some el cheapo Santas I got from the dollar store, some that were painted, and some that are, well, a little pricey.  I collect them because my sweet grandparents played Santa and Mrs. Claus until they passed away, and it brings back such wonderful  memories.
Photo Credit: FatherChristmasJoy
I found this Santa in the shop of FatherChristmasJoy.  According to the profile, all of these Santas are made by a mother/daughter team in Canada.  Each Santa they have in their shop is just beautiful, but this happened to be my favorite. I also found it by searching "Christmas in July Sale".  Sales happen to be another favorite of mine!  Each of FatherChristmasJoy's Santas are on sale during the month of July.

Photo Credit: BrynnNichole

I love this tree skirt.  Love, love, love this tree skirt.  It would look lovely under my tree.  The more I think about it, the more I think I may just have to get it for myself.  Each time I look at this tree skirt, I love it even more.....OK.  Back on topic.  I found this gorgeous tree skirt at BrynnNichole.  (It is on Christmas in July Sale, too.  Sign from God that I need it?  I think so.)  BrynnNichole has a little bit of everything, including teething necklaces, home decor, and I even found a tea set I might not be able to live without.  (Perhaps my decision to start shopping was unwise...)

Photo Credit: Gumdrop Grove 

This has to be one of the most adorable things I've seen, and another thing that makes me wish my kids were little again!  This little longall comes from Gumdrop Grove.  I really had a hard time deciding which outfit I was going to include, because everything is so cute!  Gumdrop Grove has little girl's dresses as well.  Everything in her shop is classic.  These are the type of outfits a person could buy for their children, and they will still be in style when their children have children.  I might have to have another baby, just so I can order some of these outfits!

I hope you have enjoyed some of my neat finds on Etsy!  If you are have great Christmas items, or, you are having a Christmas in July sale, be sure to leave me a comment with a link to your shop.  I might include you on the next Christmas in July post!  Also be sure to check out my sponsorship page.  Now is a great time to get some advertising spots before the Christmas rush!

Be blessed!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wonderful Epic Weekends!

This weekend was truly one of the best I have had in forever!  When I woke up on Sunday morning, my stomach hurt...from laughing so hard on Saturday night.  God has blessed Barb Wire Man and me with some of the best friends a person could ask for!  We are all so alike, and all of our kids are the same age.  So perfect!  More on that later!
My friend, Tessa and I

I had to wake up bright and early Saturday morning to set up for the craft show.  I shared a booth with one of my friends here in town, and we had several hours to just sit and chat.  It was so nice!  We did pretty well at the show, although we had hoped to do better.  It wasn't as good as we hoped, but wasn't as bad as we expected for sure.  We made some sales, and passed out tons of business cards. We stayed at the park until around 4:30 or so, and finally packed it up because we were HOT!  Overall, I was pretty please with how it went, and hope they do it again next year!
Firework pictures never turn out like I want them to!

Later, Barb Wire Man, Little Man and I went to cook out with our awesome friends and their kids.  We ate burgers, then loaded up to watch our town's firework display.  This was the first fireworks display that the little boys had seen, and they thought it was amazing!  (As I went through pictures Sunday morning, Little Man sat there saying "oooh...ahhhh...oh I love that one" just like he did the night before!)
This year's show was great! 

After the fireworks show, we went back to their house.  We had a few drinks.  Our guys smoked cigars.
Our kids, after we picked them up off the floor!

The kids played so hard they literally fell asleep on the floor surrounded by the toys they were playing with.  Chairs were broken. Golf balls magically fell from the sky.  We laughed until we couldn't breathe, and we can't wait to do it again.

The night can only be described as epic.

God has blessed us with some of the most amazing friends, truly.  I don't know how we made it this long without knowing them.

Friday, July 6, 2012

My God Amazes.

From the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child, Flower, I had two prayers: that they would be healthy, and that they would love the Lord, listen to what He tells them, and be willing to serve Him.

Numerous times, they have shown me that they are listening to Him, and it always starts when they are quite young.

Yes, I do take my children to church, but honestly, we don't  go on a regular basis (and there are several reasons for this I won't go into).  At home, I do teach my children about God.  We red the Bible together.  We pray together.  But several times Flower has come up to me and told me that God told her something...and I know it is something we haven't discussed together.  But it is always totally, Biblically correct.  I'm always astonished by her knowledge, and willingness to listen to the Lord.

Yesterday, it was Little Man's turn. We were outside; I was sitting just inside the garage, knitting, and Little Man was riding his tricycle.  He rode out to the mailbox, and just stopped and sat there for several minutes.  Then, he started yelling "MOMMA!!  MOMMA!!", and pedaled his little trike over to me as fast as he could.  He said "Mom, Jesus told me my heart was dead.  But he fixed it now, and it's 'live again cuz a Him! Did you know that mom?  Your heart's 'live too, Mom.  It is.  Jesus told me dat, Mom."


Now, my Little Man is only three.  I haven't exactly gone over the "Plan of Salvation" with him.  We sing about how Jesus loves us, and how we love Him.  We talk about Jesus making the sun come up in the mornings, and the strawberries grow on mommy's plants.  But I've never told my son that his heart is dead and Jesus makes it "'live".  Honestly, I'm not ever sure that I have ever told him that Jesus talks to us.

How was my rough and tough, three year old little boy able to completely explain God's gift of His son to us in the most basic of ways?  Anyone could understand that.  Is there more to it?  Sure.  But God's love for us boils down to this one thing: that we are dead inside, and until he accept His son we will remain that way.  Only after we accept His son will we be truly alive.

I think there is only one explanation.  I prayed that God would speak to my children, that they would listen, and be willing to be used by Him.

I, for one, believe God did answer my prayer, and that it is just the first of many times that it will happen.

1 Samuel 3:10b "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening."
Be blessed today!