Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poor Puppy...

This is Emmy. (she's posing)

Our poor Emmy was acting strange last night. She was barely moving. She was stiff and lethargic. She was not herself and it was scary for me.

So I called the vet.

I gave her aspirin in a hot dog. She laid in the same spot for the rest of the night.

I slept (barely) with her on my mind, the. whole. night. (After MAKING myself go to bed at 2 am...after just sitting with her, praying she'd be okay.)

This morning.....
she has been mostly better. Moving around more and seemingly without pain.
Then she threw up.
So something is off.

I still need to call the vet to get her in.

I hope she is okay.

How can you not love that silly face? Sweet dog.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fantastic Find

Okay...I don't usually do this...but I was so impressed with this project--I had to share.

You know when you see a great pair of shoes, but you look at the price tag and choke....so you calmly try and conceal your shock, and just keep walking?

Yeah--I think we have all done that before, at least once.

Well, this morning I saw this blog that showed a pair of shoes that were quite exciting. They looked just like a pair Carrie Bradshaw wore. The owner of these shoes actually MADE the "frill" that made them so fantastic. AND she gives the tutorial on how she did it.

Wow, right?

Go check out her blog....I posted the link for you to read the whole thing.


ENJOY! (and try not to feel inadequate.) :0)

Thursday, June 25, 2009


So, in my previous post about checking Jacob into soccer camp....I forgot to mention another significant moment of that morning.

While standing in line in the scorching heat....a friend of mine said to the gentleman staff person (who I might add looked about 70 or so)...."Wow, this heat is killer. Makes me feel so tired and old!"

The gentleman eyed us both over carefully, and said..
"What?? You two don't look a day over 42. What are you complaining about?"

UMMMM......EXCUSE ME???!!!
A day over 42? FORTY-TWO??

(Normally, wouldn't you say, when you say something like this....to perfect strangers....you try and guess an age much YOUNGER than what they actually are?? You know, to be nice?)

Well....I would. AND...if that was the case.....and he guessed younger than what he thought I was.....
YIKES!! (Double Yikes!!)

I am 40!! FORTY!! So....I am NOT terribly happy, he thinks I look "not a day over 42!"


And so.........I guess...........

this is what I have to say to that:

Good Luck, Jacob!

Well.....I just dropped off jacob at ODP State Soccer Camp. His tryouts/training has begun. We should know by the end of next week whether or not he will have been chosen for the Illinois ODP State team.

The line to check him in at NIU (Northern Illinois University) was HUGE!! We waited for a about an hour in line, and thankfully it was moving at a decent rate. Of course, the whole time we were in line, I was trying to figure out how Jake was going to manage all his stuff by himself. They gave all the players a checklist of stuff to bring....and that is all he brought. BUT, he still had a large duffle, his very heavy soccer bag, his jug of water, his bag of healthy snacks, his pillow and his blanket. We originally thought he could make two trips to his room. Leave half of his stuff in the lobby with me, go up and drop off the first load in his room....then come back for the second load. (They don't let parents up into the living quarters of the dorms.) That is what we did the first time he went to NIU for soccer camp two years ago. This time, they wouldn't let the parents into the building at all, and they were funneling the kids in with all their stuff so that there was no place to put anything down, let alone leave it unguarded for a while.

We tried to combine his stuff best we could so that he could maybe carry it. I tell you though, it would be a struggle for a grown man--let alone a 90 lb. kid!

Jacob looked miserable when I left him--outside in the heat, (about 85* so far....), sun beating down on him....the heavy soccer bag with filled jug of water crammed in the top on his back, his large duffle with snack bag balanced on the handle in his one hand, and his pillow tucked under his other arm. (We took his blanket from him....decided he'd rather just sleep with his sheet than carry the blanket, too!) Poor kid.

Then, he was going to have to drop off his stuff in his room, grab his soccer socks, shin guards, cleats, jug and soccer bag....and book it right back down to the lobby to meet for their walk to the training field for a 2 hour training session/evaluation.

This is it....
He has gone to tryouts once a month since January for the opportunity to go to this State Camp. We were thrilled he was invited. Two of his buddies from his club team are there too. I hope they all do well.

THEN....we have to pick them up early from ODP Camp, so that we can go straight to Indiana for the Region II Tournament that his club team has been invited to compete in. The U16 team in our club just won their Regionals this week, and are headed to the Nationals at the end of July. It is so exciting! They will be playing in Massachusetts. If Jake's team wins their Regional tournament, they'd be off to Nationals, too.

Time will tell the outcome to both of these big Soccer events in Jacob's life....
Please pray that Jake stays healthy and there are no injuries for him or his team.
I am tired just thinking about it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


So, we have some more flowers opening and showing their pretty little faces out front. Thought I'd share them...because they really are only around for such a short time.

Take a look at these beauties!

Believe it or not, those deep red lillies were just one of the types of lillies I was waiting for to pop out....we have more that are in bud form now.

How about these cuties? I love these colorful pink delicate petals. They seem to be happy, don't you think?

AND--I LOVE these little guys (girls?). I planted these this year. They are on their second round of blooming so far. They are like little purple bells. Oh so cute and pretty.

I love the contrast of the small yellow flowers sprinkled among the teeny green leaves. These are just beginning to open. We should have a sea of delicate yellow flowers pretty soon.

This ivy geranium is right next to our garage, hanging out with the hose.

And, just one more picture for today....
One of the planters next to my front door...full of petunias and geraniums. I have a mirror image on the other side of the stoop.

The summer floral show has begun at my house....and I am not exactly a green thumb.....so, I am excited when I see such pretty things happening in my yard without any help from me!
Really, the growth happening here is in spite of me. I don't know what I am doing at all. :0)
In fact, my guess is in about a month only half of these plants will be surviving.

You know when someone says "take a picture, it lasts longer"?
Uhhhhh....yeah. That's what I did.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

figuring things out

Every once in a while I'd like to post a quote that I like....just because.

The problem is, I can't figure out how to get a good up close image, so that it is clear and easy to read.

This one above, for instance, has a "light spot" and sheen on it, due to the flash of the camera. Hmmmmm......

I suppose I should scan something like this, but I am a little embarrassed to say that I am not sure really how to go about doing that.

Matt? Oh, Matt....? Computer guru husband of mine...?

I guess I should also add my thoughts about this quote. I feel I should say that while I believe this quote to be true and inspiring--I don't believe it is COMPLETELY true. Yes, I believe each one of us has the responsibility to make life what we want it to be--to not be a victim, to not sit around waiting for things to happen, but to MAKE things happen....

BUT-I ultimately believe that it is GOD who has the control...and thank God for that!! He can make much more happen than I ever could. He can change bad into good, and He can halt things I am trying to accomplish if I am seeking His will, and I am headed in the wrong direction.

I guess...what this quote needs is more of a thought in parenthesis after the YOU to say, "(not someone else)". Or maybe, YOU "(and your attitude)"....if we are just talking about people here. Of course, if you did include those words in parenthesis, it no longer reads correctly, so....I don't know.

I am sure Jim Henson said these words fairly casually and didn't mean for them to be so complicated or picked apart like I am doing right now. :0)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I am lovin' summer so far. Haven't even done that much--but that is the point, right?

Just thought I'd post some early pictures of our house, and how it is starting to show the signs of summer. It is still early, so some of the flowers have yet to come out.

BUT, still....I like driving up to the house and seeing blooming and greenery and general life.

Here is our front walkway up to the door.....
Won't you please come for a visit?

I plan to take more pictures of our flowers--in fact since Matt took these photos about a week and a half ago, we've had lots of rain, and things are really growing! Can't wait to show the lilies that will soon be here:

Until then.....

Let's enjoy the days that we can not only look at some flowers growing in our own yards.....
but also enjoy and sigh over THESE cute sights!

Those cutie patootie toes belong to my adorable nephew, Caleb. I actually saw those piggies last summer....but they NEEDED to be shown!

Right here, right now.....

Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

lamp makeover

I just realized that I never posted pictures of my chandelier makeover from last summer.....

Remember this?

Yup...ugly brass chandelier. It hung in my dining room when we first moved in. I hated it.

I noticed other bloggers spray painting everything in sight black, and saw a few lamp re-do's, too. So, I decided before I throw this brass baby away....I just might be able to make it fit my taste a little better. Out came the black spray paint....which I NEVER would have thought about using before! I hung the ugly thing on one of those iron staff plant hangers outside, and went to work. I think I sprayed 3 light coats for good coverage.

Then I added "mellow moss" (my days as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator make me think in their color palette) green lamp shades over all the fake candles......

And now the big reveal....


And another view, looking up:

And finally, a view of the room so far:

Okay....now I have bigger things to tackle....I am sure it is pretty obvious.
That. hideous. wallpaper.

I have plans for tackling that this summer. The dated stripes need to go. Right now the plan is to paint a "mellow moss" color. I also plan on changing out those curtains, and curtain rod.....the whole thing needs updating.

As for the LR, I haven't found the right wall art yet. I am still working on it. So, it looks rather blank in there. I am still deciding what to do about THOSE curtains, too. BUT- the furniture is a huge improvement over this:

Right? That "leather" couch was sitting on our curb when we moved in. Leave it to me to drag it back into the house---I just wanted something in our empty LR until we got new furniture. Maybe I should have just left it out there! :0)

Anyway....still lots to do. But, we are SSSSLLLOOOOOWWWWWLLLLYYYY getting there.


So, I decided to sign up for a online Doodle class that Stephanie Ackerman is doing over at "Homegrown Hospitality" (blog link is in my "Places to Visit" section to the right.). Stephanie's doodles have caught my eye from the moment I saw them. When she offered an online class, I jumped at the chance to join in.

Her first assignment was to just color in one of her doodles. To play around with color and ways to decorate letters. Any opportunity at sitting down to color as an "assignment" is alright with me!

Here is what I did:

It was fun to just color.....a relaxing way to spend some time. Here are two close ups:

I am not sure the direction this class is going to go in. I am not sure exactly why I am taking it, other than to have the opportunity to try something that forces me to get my creative juices flowing in a very non-threatening way. For the last week, I have been trying to sit down everyday for at least a half hour to just play in my craft room. I find it really relaxing.

And, that is what summer vacation is for, right?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Too Funny....

Teenagers. They make you crazy, they make you cry, they make you smile (sometimes....), they make you shake your head in disillusionment, but they also often make you LAUGH.

I was checking in on my favorite blogs tonight, and came across this funny entry by "The Pioneer Woman". If you were ever a 15 year old girl, it will make you laugh, too, I think.

I actually laughed out loud.

Here is the link:

Go ahead, go over there and read it, it is worth two minutes of your time......pure entertainment I tell you.
You will at least crack a smile......


Okay, if you are not watching "So You Think You Can Dance" this season.....you should be. The first round of official competition was really good.


It was REALLY good! May I even say.....GREAT???

I really do enjoy that show.

If you have never seen it....what are you waiting for? Set it up on your TiVo, or DVR, or whatever you use to tape things (or try and catch it live).....and just watch it.
You will like it, I promise.
Your husband will most likely like it too. Really. I am not kidding. Truth.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

another background change...

I changed my background again. Although, I'm not TOTALLY satisfied yet, it IS a little brighter, which I like. I was feeling rather depressed seeing the dull background color of the other one....so at least this is a bit more cheery.

I am sure this will not be the last time I adjust this. And since I have all about 3 or 4 readers at this point....I don't think this switching every few days matters all that much! Sorry if you are one of my "loyals"...(Thanks, Mom and sisters!)...you are appreciated for putting up with my whims. :0)

Today is another cleaning day. Laundry, and straightening on deck.

Tomorrow I need to bring Pasta Salad to feed 22 (meal size portions) to Lazarus House. So, I am guessing I should start on that today. I cleaned out my refrigerator on Tuesday evening to make room for the big disposable aluminum pans I bought for this purpose. Last night I got all the ingredients...I have a serious amount of salami in my fridge right now!

Anyway--lots to do. Time to get a move on!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I love blank paper, new notebooks, sharp pencils, and fun decorative pens. I love a fresh box of colorful crayons, arrays of markers, and children's coloring books. I love paintbrushes, and blank canvases, and the smell of an art room.

This morning, as I jotted a quote down on a clean, blank notebook page....my heart felt happy. There is something about making a mark on a blank page. My fingertips get tingly, my brain swells with ideas.

Most of the time, true complete creations don't ever actually make it out of me onto a page, or canvas. Maybe there is a fear there, that whatever I am imagining won't come out the way I want it to. So, I feel paralyzed to begin.....

BUT- I think about it sometimes. The possibilities, the creations, just dormant deep within me.

I once considered majoring in art in college. In elementary, middle, and high school, my art classes were my favorite time of my day. My H.S. art teacher encouraged me, and said I had great potential. The talent was there.....I just needed to learn to "let go", and express it.
I was afraid to try....not really finding MY style. I took the "safe" road. Drawing faces and things I could see in a picture, next to me. Pencil drawings...even adding color scared me. Maybe, I'd ruin what I had done so far.

It is interesting, though....because I still feel it within me. This urge to fill a blank page. To make a mark.

I am still hunting for the "right" medium, and the way to use and develop this "talent", this love of paper and pens. There has got to be something.......that fits.

Someday, I may discover what that right fit is.

Until then...I will consider the possibilities. :0)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trust in the Lord...

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding;
In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5,6

Saturday, June 6, 2009

birthday presents

did you ever notice that there ALWAYS seems to be a birthday party to attend? well....not actually for ME to attend. more like my boys always being invited to one. i cannot tell you how much money we have spent on birthday presents for kids i barely know.

and what to get these children i barely know?? my boys are no help. every time i ask what they think their friend might like, I get the same response. "i don't know." helpful, right? i know. normally i end up getting a Target giftcard and big hershey's chocolate bar. but, i find when getting a giftcard, you end up spending more money, because you don't want to appear overly cheap. of course, i also don't want to spend money on something the kid is not going to use, something he ends up throwing into the back of his closet for a couple of years.

so here is my question....
what do YOU get kids you barely know? i need ideas.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nate's decision about travel soccer....

He didn't end up trying out on either day---and seems happy about his decision. We signed him up for rec soccer. If he hates it, or regrets his decision after playing in the fall, we can talk to Campton about getting him on a team for Spring. (They have been known to do that for families that have been part of their club for a few years.)

Nate had other teammates that didn't show up for tryouts either. That was a surprise....no one said beforehand that they weren't going to do it again this next year. One of his teammates called our house after the first day, very concerned Nate wasn't there. That was sweet.

I am sure it will all be fine. I know I will appreciate the less hectic practice schedule for him!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Soccer tryouts...repeat performance.

So, today was soccer tryouts for Jake and Nate. Well, sort of try-outs. We know already that they would be placed on a team, so tryouts are more for the benefit of possible incoming players. Usually returning players have nothing to worry about. They will be placed somewhere.

Well, Nathan has been rather flip-floppy (my own word, I think) about deciding if he even wants to play travel soccer again next year. One week he is "just tired of it" and he wants to play rec soccer with his school friends. The next week he is "TOTALLY going to do travel again". Back and forth, week to week. All last week he was trying to convince us that he was SURE that travel was for him. We kept asking, "are you really sure?"--mainly because he has been so flip-floppy. Yes, yes he was POSITIVE.
Sooooo, we pre-registered him. Yesterday. When he was still SURE.

Fast forward to today. Tryouts are from 6-7:30. Nathan walks through the door after school at 3:30, and loudly yells first thing, "I am not going to try out today. I decided not to play travel." What? This SAME EXACT thing happened last year. Of course, last year, since it was the first we heard of him not wanting to try out the day of.....we forced him to do it. I figured he was nervous or something, and he didn't know what he wanted. This year, has been a good year...he has improved a lot. He has enjoyed playing on his team. He likes the kids. So, this year was fine. The only thing we noticed was that he just wasn't passionate about it.

We were fine with him playing rec ball...except that we thought it would most likely frustrate him. Rec ball is just not played at the same level as he's been used to playing at.

We are not going to push it. Not this time. Whatever he decides...he will have to live with it. And so, there you have it. It will save us a serious amount of money. So there is that. I just don't want him to regret letting this opportunity for development go by. He has one more day to change his mind--tomorrow is the second day for tryouts. After that....it is what it is.