Shiny Penny

penny shadow - by ladymohan on Flickr

penny shadow - by ladymohan on Flickr

If you have kids, you’ve probably had one of those moments with your little one that just made you want to squeeze her cheeks and give her a big hug when she does or says something really beautiful that brings a warm and fuzzy feeling to your heart?!  I had one of those moments earlier today.

My daughter found a shiny new penny on the ground.  This is the conversation that followed:

HER: “Mama, did you know this penny says, ‘In God We Trust’?”

ME: “Yes, all money says that to remind us that we should trust in Him and not in money.”

HER: “Even the dollar says that.”

ME: “That’s right, God is everywhere.  Even money wants us to remember that it comes and goes, but God is forever.”

HER: “Yeah, and when He gets really old, he just gets young again.”

That just made my heart melt!  Kids aren’t complicated, they just know what they know!  What’s OUR problem?!  We over analyze and always need answers – answers we probably wouldn’t comprehend even if we actually used 100% of our brains!

God’s gentle reminder today could not have come at a better time.  As I’m sure many out there are struggling financially, my family is also getting through some challenging times.  We’re taking it day by day.

Thankfully, I had just enough cash from hubby’s paycheck this week to cover:

  1. the overdue telephone bill (service is restored!!!)
  2. last month’s water bill (this way service goes uninterrupted – we need our daily showers!!!)
  3. get a money order for a very old debt that must be paid or we end up in court
  4. charitable donation to a guy on a street corner
  5. leftover cash for a little bit of gas.

So there’s hope.  When we put our trust in God, He makes everything work out.  Regardless of our circumstances, He comes through.

Today’s Daysie says:

THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT – THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.  John 15:12

AMEN!  I had a funny feeling He would show up in my Daysies calendar too!  That’s definitely a message we should all remember!  =)

Still Making Progress

Wow, I haven’t written in over 6 months – YIKES! When I started this blog, the goal was to write daily in order to:

  • share ideas and information
  • connect with others with similar likes, goals, and experiences
  • become a better photographer
  • learn new techniques and experiment with graphics and fonts
  • give a reader or two a glimpse into my life so that (maybe) they could relate and realize they weren’t the only one thinking, feeling, experiencing the STUFF life throws at you – good and bad
  • get things off my chest
  • and to have something to read down the road

But after a while, it just took too much time to sit down and type. Plus, the frustration of “not achieving the goal I had created for myself” simply sucked all the FUN out of it.

Today, someone sent me a comment. It turned out to be spam so I deleted it, but it forced me to log back in and say a little something. I do believe this is God working out His plan because recently I’ve been more motivated to write a book. So, this must be His way of getting me moving in that direction. Nobody’s going to read a book that doesn’t get written, right? LOL

Writing a book has been a goal of mine for a very long time. I love to read, I’m organized, I enjoy proofing things, I’m creative, conscientious, and tend to build on thoughts in hopes of making the ideas better. That sounds like a good recipe for getting started. So, why haven’t I begun? I guess I’ve been intimidated by the whole process. There exists, too, that issue of procrastination. But, let’s NOT focus on the negative. I’ve already come up with a title so I’m making some progress. My book will be titled: “A minute late and a dollar short” (don’t you steal it, now!!!)

I’ve often visualized myself at book signings and speaking engagements and I don’t even enjoy being in front of crowds! I wonder if it’s wishful thinking? Daydreaming? Or a realization of what God’s dream is for me? We won’t know until we give it a try. If He is the driving force behind this desire, then He will equip me and open the right doors. In the meantime, I’ll blog every so often and do my best to maintain balance with Him at the center.

…’til the next time, here’s today’s Daysies quote:

“CHALLENGES MAKE YOU DISCOVER THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF THAT YOU NEVER REALLY KNEW.”

Go ahead! Face one of your challenges and see where it grows you!

I’ve been doing stuff…

The kids are on Summer Break and the every-day schedules are out the window!

Did I say how much I love ♥LOVE♥ loooove staying home with them?!?! Yeah, they can get on my nerves. They’re kids! But, I’m sooo happy I can spend time with them and not have to worry about leaving them with someone because I have to go someplace else to work. Not having a steady 2nd income is challenging (to say the least), but it’s worth it!

Let’s see, we have been…

  • sleeping in late,
  • watching lots of TV (I’ll need to get that under control before they get used to it),
  • making ATC’s together,
  • cleaning out closets,
  • moving furniture around,
  • playing,
  • eating junk food,
  • going to the movies,
  • and just enjoying each other!

My husband and I have signed up at a gym and we’ve started working out! The exercise classes are a lot of fun and get me sweating a little. I took a STEP class the other day and felt so uncoordinated! I tripped over myself several times and had to stop to get on the correct foot. I was all over the place. I’m sure the ladies behind me were getting a good laugh! The FREESTYLE DANCE class was a little better. I stayed way in the back and did fine!

Great news!!! We got a new fridge! Best Buy had a great deal on a display model and because it was a display unit we were buying they gave us a $150 gift card, which I used to purchase a new camera and some DVD’s for the kids!!! Yey!!!

I’m super excited to go from a 3.2 megapixel camera (Fuji FinePix – AWESOME camera, by the way!!!) to a 6.2 megapixel (HP Photosmart R727) with lots more features AND a rechargeable battery (looking forward to saving money on batteries)!

Back to the fridge.  Here’s our OLD one…

That doesn’t LOOK bad, except when you open it and see how HORRIBLE the door is on the inside. The seal was falling apart and I’ve had to crazy glue it a couple of times…

Now, here’s the NEW fridge! It has through-the-door water and ice…regular AND crushed!!! We’re all so excited to have a working freezer too!  Our old one kept melting our ice cream!

We love our freezer so much we’re having an ICE CREAM PARTY this weekend to celebrate! We decided we’re going to eat as much ice cream and frozen stuff as we can until we’re get SICK!!! HAHA OK, so that probably won’t happen, but it was a fun thought! I’ll have to share the party pics afterwards!

Anyway, I’ve also made a little time to make ATC’s. Here are some I should have already sent out to my swap partners on swap-bot, but for one reason or another they haven’t made it to their destination…

I think I did pretty good for a “newbie!”  I got some GREAT information from a website:

http://www.cedarseed.com/air/atc.html

These are some I did recently for another swap – the challenge was to use JUNK MAIL!!!

The daysies quote for today is…

“FRIENDSHIP IS LIKE A RAINBOW BETWEEN TWO HEARTS.”

I feel so blessed to have rainbows connected to the few true friends that are in my life!

A nano-second away from CRAZY!

I’m exhausted. I spent hours cleaning my daughter’s room last night. Polly Pocket toys have a tendency to scatter in every nook and cranny of the room! Those of you that have only boys should be grateful! What should have taken 20 minutes took over half the night. The crib-turned-day-bed came out and made a huge difference. I’m not sure what we’ll do for a bed, but she seems to like it without one – maybe a tent or big fluffy pillow might do. Well, I’d say Spring Cleaning in her room is complete!

a-room-makeover-03-29-07.JPG

I alternated between organizing and figuring out how to remove a “widget” from my blog page! My parents are to blame for this one…I inherited my determination from them! I was sure I’d be bald when the sun came up! But, since it FINALLY WORKED, I’ll have to save CRAZY for another day! LOL

Yesterday, I got a late start, which meant dropping my husband and “the crew” off at their jobsite later than usual. This also meant that my daughter and I would be late to school. We missed the 1st activity, but we managed to:

  • play with red balls in the playground
  • have rice cakes, raisins, and red peppers for snack
  • paint rocks

Did you guess what day it was? R-Day!!!

On the way home, we stopped for gas and shared a meatball sandwich at the BP station. I was looking forward to a smooth afternoon. NOT!!! The car decided to die on us (battery was drained). Car problems don’t cease to exist these days. I’m even learning a few things along the way. For instance, I learned that a bad starter causes the alternator to malfunction making the battery loose power. At least that’s my interpretation of what my husband explained to me. I think it’s fixed NOW…whatever the problem was!

Anyway, a very nice BP employee (I should’ve gotten his name – I’ll have to go back and do that!) jump-started the car and off we went. I knew if I turned the car off I would have a slim-to-none chance of it turning back on, so I made FIVE more stops without turning the car off (there went the gas I just pumped!):

  • picked up some t-shirts
  • dropped off a couple of shirts to someone
  • picked up kids from school
  • tried to pick up personalized name plates *not ready yet*
  • stopped for ONE item at the grocery store (my GRAND Adirondack chair!!!!)

plastic adirondack chairI saw stacks of plastic adirondack chairs the last time I bought groceries and fell in love. They had several on sale in bright spring colors (coral, mint, and pink). I was waiting for the price to go down, but worried that they would run out. Bad battery and all, I was (again) determined so, I went inside and found a small stack marked down from $39 to $19. I bought one!!! My son picked out MINT. Yeah, that’s all I could afford right now. Hey, if it’s the ONLY Adirondack chair I ever own, it will be all mine!

Well, we made it home. I backed the car into the driveway and turned it off. Will you guess what happened when I tried to turn it back on? NADA…ZERO…ZILCH…ZIP! My kids looked at me in utter amazement. They probably thought: Mom said this would happen and it did! They thought it was odd that I kept leaving the car on, but they were grateful to have made it home because I used my noodle. Kids.

cake-03-28-07.JPGMy little cook made dinner for us last night. Burgers and Blueberry cupcakes cake! We were out of cupcake cups, so it became a cake.

He did an excellent job! It tasted so good that a big chunk of it was gone before I could take a picture!

While dinner was cooking, I had lots of fun making a display board. I used a large picture frame I had in the laundry room. I got my inspiration from those expensive memo boards at the stores that are now popular – the ones that have a ribbon criss-crossing throughout.

I decided to “take it up a notch”.

It was such a SIMPLE PROJECT!

Step 1: Find an old picture frame (frame only – no glass or anything else). The size of mine was 24×30, but any size will do fine.

Step 2: Clean it up. Prime if needed (I didn’t have to because mine was wood painted with a flat finish).

Step 3: Paint! My daughter and I had “together time” painting it a collage of different colors! We used regular acrylic paints.

painted-frame.JPG

Step 4: When dry, turn the frame over and hammer some nails randomly (or strategically – I’m a perfectionist) to the back, leaving half of each nail exposed. In other words, don’t nail them all the way in.

Step 5: Go ribbon crazy! Tie ribbon (I also used scrap pieces of yarn) to a nail and loop it back and forth from one nail to another in a zig-zag design. Then tie the end and repeat with a different ribbon until you’ve covered it the way you like it.

You should double-knot so the ribbon is secure on the nail.

Be sure to snip off any excess ribbon hanging off nails.

I think it turned out really nice! It will be put to good use at my desk. Check it out…

finished-frame.JPG

I HOPE YOU HAVE AS MUCH FUN MAKING YOUR OWN DISPLAY BOARD – ADD YOUR OWN CREATIVE TOUCHES! Leave me a comment & include a pic if you make one!

Today’s Daysies quote:

“LOVE IS HOMEMADE”

It certainly is! =)

Roller coaster weekend!

I wanted it to be Sunday still, but it’s already tomorrow – so it’s Monday! Where does the time go?!?! This weekend felt like a roller-coaster ride. Friday was the most amazing, though…

Friday…

Since one of our cars in down (transmission problems), my husband had to leave his jobsite and pick me up so we could run some errands. We went to the post office to get stamps, mail out some bills and a package. In the parking lot of the post office, our “good” car decided to give my husband a headache and not start (starter problems). Fortunately, he didn’t loose his cool, said a prayer and *poof* it started. It was about 4pm so I had plenty of time to drop him back off at work and finish my errands, then run back to pick him (AND his crew of 4) and make it back home by at least 6:50pm. It’s a good thing the guys in his crew are short, and we have a spacious car! LOL

I was to meet up with a girlfriend for Bible study. So, I was all stressed out because the traffic was heavy, my husband was grumpy, and everyone was complaining about the heat and each other. I was running late and finally met up with my girlfriend at a shopping center close to where we were going. So, my husband and the sardine van went one way and I went the other. We finally made it – LATE!!! However, I was relieved to find out that everyone was running late so we were actually one of the early ones…WHEW!! Our Bible study hosts had a great dinner spread out, so everyone ate before getting started.

I have had the book The Purpose Driven Life for a long time. I was planning to read it “one day” since I’d heard so many positive things about it. I knew that attending this Bible study group would no only give me the opportunity to read the book, but it would also, and more importantly, be a step in the right direction towards growing a relationship with God – something I had not focused on for as long as I can remember. I felt it’s what’s needed in my home.

It was a small group, which actually worked because it allowed each person to share their stories, views, and thoughts easier than if we had been more. When I left, I felt a sense of hope. I knew that I couldn’t wait for our next meeting. I knew that this group of special individuals are going to play an important role in my life and in helping me become the person God wants me to be – and what he wants every person to be.

If YOU ever wanted to get a group together and do something positive, do it! Get this book, read it as a group and see where it takes you!

Saturday…

What DID I do Saturday? Oh yeah, everyone opted to stay home instead of going out. I was glad, because it meant we could sleep in and my husband wouldn’t have to go all over town dropping us off, picking us up, dropping his crew off, pick…you get the picture. It ended up being the best choice for many reasons.

I had forgotten, though, that 2 weeks prior I had RSVP’d for a friend’s Craft Workshops. Yikes! When I caught it on the calendar it was close to start-time and had to call her to cancel. She was nice enough to offer to pick us up so I could attend…so we went.

We made coasters from tumbled tiles. We took stamps and decorated the tile, then baked in the oven to set the colors. After cooking for I don’t know how long (I should’ve asked for when I want to do it again!), they were sprayed with a clear topcoat and felt was glued to the bottom to protect whatever surface they’re placed on. Check out how nice they came out…

coasters-all.JPG

Saturday evening after dinner, we went on a family walk. It was nice that we were all together, in a good mood, with absolutely nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company. After walking, I suggested to my husband that we go get some ice cream!! HAHA! Hey, we needed to replenish all those calories we lost!

I tell you what…

BRUSTER’S (http://www.brustersicecream.com) has some really goooooooooood ice cream!

Fast forward to 4am Sunday…

My husband gets a call from the brother of work buddy. Apparently, the brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up in the hospital as a result. They have no family in the area and need help translating since they speak very little English. So, my husband, having the good heart that he has, goes to the rescue. Here I think I’m going back to bed after he leaves when he comes back to our bedroom and asks if I can babysit his buddy’s baby. Geez, Louise! I couldn’t say no.

Luckily the little one slept ’til 10:30. I think I scared her when she 1st saw me – she started to cry when I said hi. Do I look THAT bad when I get out of bed?! LOL I prefer to think she just didn’t expect me and missed her mommy! Yeah, I think I like that answer better! So, I changed a poopy diaper and fed her the bottle. She was no fuss all day.

The roller coaster comes to a stop – thank God! The good news is everything will be OK. The car’s transmission will get fixed eventually. My husband’s buddy will be back to work in a few weeks. And I don’t have to worry about poopy diapers or growing an extra limb to get breakfast on the table ANYTIME SOON!

Now, I’m going to take a warm shower, read my book and snuggle next to my snoring hubby…until one the kids decides to squeeeeeeze between us sometime during the night. =)

The Daysies quote for the weekend…

“THERE IS A GOD WITHIN US, AND WE GLOW WHEN HE STIRS US”

Ahhhh!