Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What a Glorious Day!!!

Betcha can't guess what I am doing right now!!!!! (besides blogging...duh.) {smile and wink} After a week (9 days to be presise) of torturing myself by starvation, I am sitting here with a smile on my face, a cup of tea on the table beside me (wouldn't you know it but that its decaf...couldn't find any chai spice that wasn't) and munching on butterscotch chips. These things are even better than chocolate chips, I tell ya. They really are. I didn't have time this morning to make my oatmeal butterscotch cookies so I am eating the next best thing to that...just the butterscotch chips. And boy, I have to tell you...they have never tasted so good in my life. Ummmmm!!! SUGAR!!!!!

And I betcha can't guess what I had for lunch. Well, maybe you can since I already told you yesterday what I was going to have. Yup! That's it. Peanut butter and jelly. Take a look see. It was sooooooo wonderful that I had to take a picture of it to share with you all.

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Do you realize how many toxins I am putting into my body quite willingly with all these butterscotch chips??? We won't go there. Anyways, don't mind the shape of the bread for my sammie. I doubled the batch of bread dough last time I made it so I wouldn't have to make bread while not eating. I didn't realize until after the dough had risen that I only had two bread tins. (silly me...I know these things...I just forget.) So this was my attempt at a "round" loaf. James took one look at it and said, "That is so cool!" Imagine that...him thinking anything I did was "cool". Its usually just "weird" or "Anna-isque" or "too old-fashioned" for him. He even said that it looked like an expensive deli loaf. I was on cloud nine...well...maybe more like cloud three since I couldn't eat my "deli bread". Drats.

Someone requested pictures of the new additions to our family. So, I introduce you to "Q", Cheddar and Sprinkles.

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I am afraid that this is the best picture I could get of them. They are a bit shy, you see and whenever I lifted the camera up they swam away as fast as thier fins could paddle them.

Speaking of bad pictures...I re-crocheted Chloe's Thanksgiving Harvest Shrug and took some new pictures. You might recall when I first posted about this outfit that the shrug accidentally was done in the 24 month size instead of the 12 month size. So, I frogged the thing and re-crocheted it on Sunday. Here are the new pictures I got of the set with better lighting and all.

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And one of the hat.

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And I even got a good one of the shrug.

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That was before I frogged it though. Still, you can see the details so much better in the new pictures. I am quite pleased with how the new pictures came out.

Well, we have been baking bread today. I may post again tonight to show you some pictures of our bread-making process. Before I close though, I want to share with you a pastry brush through the eyes of a toddler. This happened while making Christmas candy before we left to go home for the Holidays. I was making stuff and Chloe started rummaging through my utensil drawer...a favorite thing of hers to do while "helping mommy". She pulled out the pastry brush and asked "What's this?" only it came out more like "daaaa???". (since she really isn't talking much yet)

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I looked at it and smiled and said, "Why, that's a pastry brush sweetheart." Hmmm.....all she heard, I'm afraid, was the word brush.

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It went straight up to her head...

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...and when she put it down, it went straight into the dishwasher. Chloe is the silliest thing. She cracks me up. I am in love with this little girl. I think God brought her into my life to teach me to laugh more. I sure could use some lessons in Joy.

Have a wonderful day everyone. Be on the lookout later for some delicious bread. (or at least pictures of some.)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

As promised, I am now about to tell you about the "new" thing I am going to try. Saturday I mentioned to you all about a blog I found, 5 Minutes for Moms. I love this blog and have been back a few times since my first visit. I really do enjoy it. Well, I noticed last week that they have something called Tackle It Tuesday. (I noticed it at too late of a date to play last week) You may have noticed that I didn't post a Monday Memory yesterday. Why's that? Well, little did I know (being oblivious to these kinds of things) that Monday's Memories was cancelled. I feel a little embarrassed that I didn't know this and I kept right on posting anyways. Guess that is what I get for not going to other people's blogs and reading. But come on...I am a busy person and I don't have time to read ALL the blogs out there.

Anyways, I needed another meme to take the Monday's Memories place and wouldn't you know it? Tackle It Tuesday popped up in front of my very eyes. I am very excited about this meme as I feel that it fits my personality so much better than sharing memories. I really was trying hard to come up with decent memories worth sharing that wouldn't scare anybody off.

So, now I am going to participate in this meme. It sounds like a very good idea. Every Tuesday (or Saturday or whenever I have time to accomplish something) I am going to tackle a project on my "to-do" list. Now, I must explain that this particular "to-do" list is different than my every day "to-do" list which sits at the front of my management binder. Each page represents one day and on that day I tackle that list. So, this other "to-do" list sits somewhere far back in my binder where I don't have to see it and I can ignore the things it tells me I need to do. (cause come on...let's face it...I would rather crochet than to do some of the things on that list)

But now...with this meme, I hope to tackle those seemingly impossible tasks that I wouldn't ever get done. The first thing I decided to do, seeing as how this is my first time playing, was a job that I did not want to face and so I stuck it in the corner of my basement under some other empty boxes.

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Now...a little bit of background about the box you see pictured above. It appears to be a harmless little box, right? WRONG!!! You see...last August when we were packing up to move, the movers informed my husband that they would not ship my candles. So, we decided to mail them to ourselves. Bright idea!! Well, as many of you might recall, we were in a hotel for around 2 months worth of time and that is quite a long time to have to remember everything we packed inside that box. Well, needless to say (with my kind of memory) I couldn't remember what all was in it. When we picked it up from the person holding our mail, I heard a little rattle. More like a loud clunking. be was more like a LOT of loud clunkings. It even sounded a tad bit like broken glass. Now, with the sort of memory I possess, I racked my brain to try and figure out what was in this box. Surely I wouldn't have packed glass candle holders with the candles? The packers DO pack that sort of thing...and a very good job they do at it too. (unless they happen to pack them under the television and then the glass is toast) But alas...when picking up the box again, it sounded like glass and a bunch of broken things.

I couldn't face it!! I mean, who could? Who wants to open a box and find all your precious candles broken into bits? (for they were precious...they were my expensive Partylite know...the ones that are $10 for one pillar) And not only that but to find shards of glass everywhere just waiting for you to insert your hand in just the right hole and pull out a bloody nub in its place. So, I put the box in the corner in the basement under some empty boxes.

So, let's get to tackling this box.

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So, far so good. I carried the box upstairs, listening to the multitudes of clunks the whole way and dreading what I was going to find. But so far...I found a towel I forgot I owned. Surely this must have blocked something from getting broken.

And then, one by one, the items came out of the box. I didn't find one single piece of glass in the whole place. (I KNEW I didn't put any in there.) In fact, all that was in there besides the purple towel was candles.

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And out of all those candles, only 3 tapers were broken.

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The other candles were a little worse for wear...but nothing an old pantyhose can't fix with a little buffering.

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Part of the "tackling" of today's project though was to put all the candles away. First I lit my wax burner with one of my favorite candles...the Strawberry Rhubarb candle from Partylite.

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I also put some on my wall sconce. (Please don't mind the lack of curtains. Its on my "to-buy" list for the living room.)

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I put another one in my sewing room on my shelf.

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And the rest of them??? I found an empty drawer in the bedroom so there they will sit until I save up the money for my china cabinet and hutch. (for like $1,000...I dream big)

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So, I learned a valuble lesson today. Never judge a box by the rattling you hear. It could contain a treasure.

And an update on my cleanse "program" for those of you following me in this quest. Today is my last day!!! Tomorrow I am eating oatmeal and flaxseed for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich for lunch (and I might make some oatmeal butterscoth cookies to go with it) and then James will be bringing home some Outback after he gets off from school. I know I said that my "congratulations meal" was going to be at Red Lobster but the problem is that James has school tomorrow night and won't be home until 8:30.

Of course, I tried to no avail to talk him into bringing me something tonight to wound my crushed heart but he wouldn't give in. And I have a very sick baby today (running high fevers ever since yesterday morning) so I can't venture out myself. Good thing though...because that would not be finishing RIGHT and I want to see this thing through to the complete end. But you can count on me. I will be setting my alarm clock for 12 midnight and I will be enjoying some peanut butter and jelly. Oh yay!! Ummm...I can almost taste it.

Well, James has promised me that I still get my Red Lobster "congratulations meal" only it will be Thursday instead of Wednesday. But that's okay...I will survive. I only have one more nasty drink to have tonight and then I can go to bed early tonight and wake up to some yummy oatmeal. James is now trying to tell me that I can't have breakfast tomorrow. I have to eat the "shake". But oh no...that shake can wait until Thursday. Tomorrow I will spend the WHOLE day eating REAL food. I think I have earned that much from the torture I have been through the past 9 days.

Have a wonderful Tuesday evening everyone!!! (and enjoy your food!)

May He Rest in Peace!

A sad farewell was given to a dear member of our household last week. Little Orange Juice was given a lovely memorial service on Wednesday with his one mourner standing next to the porcelain throne as he was laid to rest in the watery grave of the depths below. (otherwise known as the sewer) This is the first fish I have ever cried over. Granted, it was only a couple of tears...not a bawl or anything. But I was saddened when I saw Chloe's poor little goldfish fondly known as Orange Juice struggling for his final breath at the bottom of his home.

I am quite surprised at how long he lived though. We got him in October at the Fall Festival at church. 3 months is quite a long time for a little goldfish. (or so I am told.) Chloe didn't seem to notice anything though. I did miss him something terrible for the first day or so. If little goldfish could have personalities than Orange Juice had the most desirable one. He was such a spirited little thing...always swimming right up to the edge of his "pond" whenever I came to look at him. Always pouncing on his food or swimming rapidly around the "pond" when he got excited. For he did get excited. Especially in the morning when he saw his first human of the day. (which most of the time was me...since James never really paid him any mind) Oh...poor Orange Juice.

But James, being the nice daddy that he is (or husband since it was probably more for me than for Chloe) said that for family night last Friday night, we could go to the pet store and replace Orange Juice. (as if we could ever "replace" a loved member of the family with a stranger...but oh well.)

We went to Petco and I picked out not one...but three little fishies. I am glad he lete me do this since poor Blue Lagoon was getting pretty lonly. It seemed that while Orange Juice was alive, she wouldn't give him the time of day. And who would??? I mean Orange Juice was a little goldfish and Blue Lagoon is a gorgeous little female Beta. She is a little on the slow side (not mentally...just physically) She meanders around the pond at a leisurely pace...never rushing for her food, she is happy to eat whatever is left over.

But when Orange Juice passed through the porcelain gate to fishy heaven, poor little Blue Lagoon mourned him at his final resting place in the "pond". She didn't move for a whole day...not even to eat. I was worried that she was mourning Orange Juice to her own death or that the bacteria from a dead fish was killing her. (I opt for the first choice since I am a tad on the romantic side)

Well, now we have three new fishies to keep Blue Lagoon happy. We have an Red medium Platy (who actually looks orange and very similar to a goldfish) who I have named Cheddar. We were going to get another goldfish and name him...guess what...Orange Juice 2...but after getting to the store, I realized that this would just be another attempt to "replace" our beloved Orange Juice and that just was no possible.

The second fish we purchased is a silver Platy whom I named Sprinkles. He has some sprinkling of a brownish orange color along his fins. The third fish is...I forget the name, but he looks like a little silver dollar. I was going to name him Divinity but wasn't too sure he looked like Divinity. Well, James insisted on naming him and so I let him. He named him "Q". I am very pleased with this name for a fish. You see...James has always wanted to have a boy (human the way) and name him "Q". He thinks it is a great name which posseses an air of "coolness" about it. Well, I am NOT having it. It sounds like a name off James Bond and we are NOT naming our kid Q. Just think of what people will say!!! No...our first boy will be Cameron James. Our second boy will be Jason Martin. Q's in the near future here. Aside from Q the fish.

So, I know there are some of you who are waiting for an update on the tablecloth. Here is the long awaited update. I spent only half the week on the tablecloth last week since I have a more pressing project with a deadline that I had to work on instead. But during those three days or so that I worked on the tablecloth I was able to get another 4% done. HOORAYYY!!!! I am so happy. I will now have to update my sidebar with that additional four percent. Now, I am not going to show you a picture of my progress until I am halfway done. I have 2 more rows to go until I am at that point. (and 1 row is 4% so you can see that I have a ways to go.) I am hoping that next WIP week I can get 8% done which will leave me at 50%. Yay!!! Maybe just maybe, this thing will get done this year. Maybe!

Well, I had something new I wanted to post about today but my camera isn't letting me upload pictures onto my computer. And when I tried to do it from James' computer, the pictures disappeared. So, now I have to wait until he gets home to find them for me. Once he does that, I will have something new and enlightening to show you. (maybe not very enlightening but definately new.)

Okay, I must go now and work on the project mentioned ealier. My deadline is fast approaching and I am no where near done. Have a wonderful day everyone. Hope to post again this evening!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007


What? Did you read that right? Did it say Kangaroodle? What on earth is a Kangaroodle? Well, let me tell you. I must first go back before the Kangaroodle a bit so you can have the whole story.

It all started a couple of days ago. Well, two to be exact. I was blog surfing as I do sometimes when I am bored from crocheting. Huh? Bored from crocheting? Yes...I do sometimes get bored from crocheting. I am working on a project right now (can't tell you what it is since that is a surprise) and it is turning out quite a bit larger than I anticipated. It is also taking a bit longer than I anticipated as well. This is one of the side effects of being a designer, I guess. You just never know where you are going to end up when you start something.

Back to my point...the kangaroodle story.

Okay, so I was blog surfing and I ran across this wonderful blog. It is called 5 Minutes for Moms. As I was reading, I was struck by the openess of the two ladies running the blog. One lady was sharing her struggles with getting pregnant. This hit right in the center of my heart, since as many of you know...We been trying for a year for another baby. Anyways, I instantly felt that this was a blog I would enjoy reading and I added it to my sidebar.

Well, today I stopped by and noticed a little contest. So, I am joining this contest.

How does this relate to Kangaroodle? Well, Kangaroodle is a website that sells wonderful little gadget like things for babies and toddlers. You really need to check this site out. Isn't Kangaroodle just the cutest name? I think it is quite clever, myself.

Anyways, I was browsing through this site and check out what I found!!!
A butterfly puppet!!! Now many of you are probably thinking "huh? Why is she so excited about a butterfly puppet?" Well first...go check it out. It is adorable. Really adorable. And second, we love to have puppets for Chloe. It is one of our favorite things to do together. In fact, we are even thinking of buying a little puppet stage for Chloe for Christmas next year. Only problem is we can only find it at Target and we are boycotting Target so I must search online to see if we can find one. Or we can try to make one...which might be funner. (more fun??? whatever.)

Anyways...back to Kangaroodles. I think I may have to buy this Butterfly puppet for Chloe's birthday. It is adorable. Kangaroodle even has other puppets too. Like this Monkey Puppet and this Frog Puppet. Too cute...too cute. It really is a fun site. If you have kids...or know someone who has kids...or know someone who knows someone who has kids then you really should check this site out. It is beyond cute.

Okay. I am done. Check back tomorrow for a tablecloth update!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Decisions and Things

The past few days have got my brain in a muddle. This is not a good place to be. On the other is a very good place to be. It just means that the concentration levels are non-existant. But it also means that things need to change...and hopefully for the better. So this is a good thing. I just wish I could come to some sort of conclusion.

First, let me say that by reading this post by my friend Melanie, I have come to realize my need to search for the Lord's Will more often in my endeavors. I do believe with all my heart that I am doing what God wants me to do with my talent. I am able to stay home with my darling Chloe and make a little money as well to support my mean...addiction? Nope....hobby? Yup...its only a hobby. I COULD put it down if I really wanted to. The problem is that I just don't want to. (just kidding)

Anyways, I have been thinking mostly in terms of my business and my website. Where do I want to go with this? Where do I want my focus to be? What would God have me do? Then I read this post by Melissa. This post really got me to thinking about my own designs and the effort I put into them. Where is the majority of my effort? Am I placing it on the wrong thing? I am thinking in terms of creating more revenue here. Getting my name out there in the crochet world.

So, one conclusion I have come to is that I put too much emphasis on quantity and not quality. patterns are good. I wouldn't sell them if they weren't...but what I mean is that they could be better. I am so much focused on getting more patterns out there for sale that I don't spend the time making sure each and every detail meets my standards. Maybe its just because my standards aren't high enough? Or maybe its just that I am learning and what worked for me as a new designer no longer cuts it? Whatever it is, I will be focusing more energy on the actual designs and patterns. This possibly means that I will not be coming out with so many new patterns all the time. It will take more effort now. But I think this will pay off for me in the long run.

Another conclusion from all the muddle up top is that I need to work on my photography skills. Oh how I wish I could take a photograpy class. I can't at this point in my life but maybe I will put it on my "want to learn well" list so that someday I will make myself sit down and take a class.

For now though, I am going back and re-taking pictures for my site. I believe the picture is what sells the pattern and some of my pictures don't meet my standards. Meaning, I don't smile when I look at them. One question I ask myself is..."Would I be tempted to buy this pattern based on this picture?" Some of my patterns the answer is yes...but some are a definate NO. So, I need to work on that. I got started already on this and I am quite pleased with the results.

One of my problems in the past was lighting. My old house had poor lighting and so the pictures didn't turn out so well. Another reason for the poor lighting was the I relied too much on my photo editor to fix the lighting problem instead of making sure I had proper lighting during the photo shoot.

Well, I had sunlight today (which was nice after a day of snow and clouds and dark skies...believe is nice) and I got some great new shots of Chloe in her Spring Blossom Ensemble. Take a look.

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I would say this is a far cry from this old picture...don't you think?

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I think you can see the details of the dress much better, which in turn will make the pattern more desirable. I am very pleased with the result. I even took some more pictures of the ensemble.

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That one was taken just because Chloe was so darn cute in this set. (and also because you can see the waist trim better in this shot)

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I have also decided that I like the "fun shots" just as well with my own designs as I do with my doilies. Everything doesn't need to be a dead center squared shot. I think the effect of this is quite nice and gives the eyes a break from all the squared photos.

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And the hat. Very cute.

So, that is what I did today. There is a bunch more stuff rattling around up top but I won't bore you with any more today. Let me bore you with something else. I am sure no one cares to see this...but check it out anyways. I just really want to show you what I had for lunch yesterday because it was SOOOOO yummy!!! I can honestly say that food has never tasted so good. (well...maybe it doesn't beat chocolate cake but still...I appreciate it so much better when I am truly hungry.)

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Oh my goodness...this was the best salad I ever had. I made it myself. Funny thing is...I made it quite large thinking I could eat the WHOLE thing since I only had one meal in the previous three days. But wouldn't you know it...I didn't even eat half of it. So, I now have half an hour today until I can eat the rest of it and let me tell you...I am looking forward to that. My heart is pounding and my breath is getting shorter as the time approaches. I love food! Yum!!

The wonderfullyishnessly good news I have regarding this program though is that my two days of torture really paid off. At the end of those two days I had lost 6 lbs and 7 1/2 inches from my body! Isn't that wonderful!!! I am completely ecstatic. Yay!!! I only have four more pounds to go until I am to my pre-pregnancy weight!!!!! Horaay!!! And my kind husband informed last night that we are over halfway done with this 9-day cleanse. I get to weigh myself at the end too and I am really hoping for that extra 4 lbs to come off. We looked at my tummy the other day and guess what!!! It is almost all the way flat again!! Whoo hoo!! That was my main purpose in doing this aside from the lack of energy...I wanted my flat tummy back.

Well, I need to get going. Its almost lunchtime and you KNOW that will NOT be late around here. :) Have a great day everyone. Eat your lunch and think of me!!! (I will be enjoying slow bite at a time.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen WIP's I intend to finish this year.

As many of you may or may not know, I have been working pretty hard this week on my tablecloth. It is part of my "new" organization attempt of my crochet world. Yes. I have two worlds in which I live. The first being my "real" life which would consist of mopping floors, spreading peanut butter and washing diapers. But that is not all there is to me. No. That is not all. And this other part of me longs to have the same routine as the diaper washings do. So, I mop my floors every day after what. Why can't I have routine to my hobbies too?

I previously mentioned what that routine would entail and this month I am a little off. (due to the rebuilding of my website and all that took place at the beginning of the month.) So, instead of WIP week being last week like my "list" states, I did it this week.

I have no idea why I lead you into my purpose in this manner. It really has nothing to do with my list of 13 things today, other than the fact that my tablecloth is a WIP and I worked on it this week. In thinking on WIPs this week though I have come up with a list of 13 WIPS I would like to finish this year. (If I can get past this tablecloth, that is) Without further ado (or boredom caused by rambling bloggers)I give you 13 WIPS.

Wip #1 ~ Lacy Medallion Tablecloth. So this one was kind of a given...but it must be included for it is the very first WIP I will finish this year. And my aim is TO finish it this year.

Wip #2 ~ Sheer Witchery Place Settings. I started these while living in England from a book I checked out from the library. Little did I know until recently that this pattern is free on the internet. Of course I was not very internet savvy at that time, so no wonder,eh?

Wip #3 ~ My quilt. Yes, I actually sewed a quilt. This was before my sewing machine got cranky. Well, actually, the sewing machine started getting cranky WHILE I was sewing this quilt. Anyways, the quilt is all put together and now needs to be quilted by hand. I MUST do it by hand you see...any other way would feel like cheating me. (and I am a little old-fashioned in things such as this.)

Wip #4 ~ Dragon Cross Stitch picture. Okay. So if any of you reading this blog have been with me since I first started it over a year ago, you may recall my talk of a "special" Christmas gift I was working on for James. Well, I didn't get that gift completely done for him, although I gave it to him anyways. And boy was he surprised. Anyways, I would love to actually finish this thing soon. It would be my masterpiece of cross stitch projects. It really is gorgeous...its just soooooo large and soooo time consuming.

Wip #5 ~ Cinderella Cross stitch picture. This picture was started as a "stall" from the dragon. It uses alot of blending filament and so I got sort of bored with it and have not finished. I aim to finish that this year as well.

Wip #6 ~ White flower cross stitch picture. I started this one on my move from Washington State to Louisiana. I didn't get it finished on the trip down and thus it isn't finished.

Wip #7 ~ Hunting Dog cross stitch picture. Isn't it hard to work on something that doesn't inspire you? That is the case with this project. I started it when I was first married because James picked it out. I worked on it for a oouple of days and never touched it since. (that was 8 years ago) I don't even think he would particularly like it now...but it IS a wip and it does need to get done. Maybe a Christmas gift???

Wip #8 ~ Flannel blanket. I started this blanket with my mother when I was living in Washington State. It was supposed to be a "cheap" blanket to make for a gift. (at least that was what the title of the book said) It turned out to be not so cheap. You are to find tons of different flannel shirts at the thrift store to use for sqaures for this blanket. NOT cheap...if you are picky like me and want the flannel colors to look good together and not have pills and look faded. Anyways, I did it and now the blanket needs to be finished. Little things like buttons sewn on and the edge sewn down. (it was a fleece backing...again, not so cheap of an item)

Wip #9 ~ Vintage Shell Purse in pink. This was started for my Boutique and I quickly diverted to designing other things. (designing does entice me so) It would be a quick WIP to finish.

Wip #10 ~ Vintage Shell Purse in blue. This purse was also started for my Boutique but I ran out of yarn, never made it back to Hobby Lobby to get more and now...alas...I am no longer in the vicinity of Hobby Lobby. So, unless I get some as an RAOK or something, I fear this WIP will soon become something else.

Wip #11 ~ Cables of Winter in Christmas colors. This was also started for my Boutique for Christmas but then I gat a little pre-occupied with making Christmas gifts that I didn't finish it. And now it seems a little silly to be selling a Christmas sweater in I will most likely finish it and start selling it this fall.

Wip #12 ~ Knit Sampler Afghan. I don't think I can finish this thing this year...but you never know. I might really take off with this knitting thing.

Wip #13 ~ Knit pink shawl. I decided (right before Christmas, mind you) that I would like to have a pink knitted shawl. I got about 6 rows into it when I made a better decision and that was to focus my attention BACK onto Christmas gifts where it belonged.

Now...being the organized type person that I am, you will probably soon notice that these are listed in order of importance. Meaning this...this will most likely be the order that I complete this list in. Of course, we all know this is subject to my changing whims. (which change every time the wind blows a new direction)

So there you have it. 13 Wips I aim to complete this year during my WIP week. (the third week of every month in case you don't recall.)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Weirdness Within Me Meme

I have been tagged by Lori for this meme. I hope I don't scare anyone by the weird things I am about to post about myself. I would hope that maybe these things might be normal? My fear is that they are not.

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

Weird thing #1 ~ I love peanut itself. I could eat a whole jar of this stuff. (espcially now that I am on my "program".

Weird thing #2 ~ I love winter but I hate being cold. Snow and I have a love hate relationship. I love looking at snow...but I hate being cold and if there is snow, that means it is cold.

Werid thing #3 ~ I have to eat my pizza with a fork AND knife. No hands for me. I can't stand eating pizza with my hands. (guess I wouldn't get along in New York City)

Weird thing #4 ~ I drank gasoline when I was 3 years old. I even got my sister to drink some with me. After getting in trouble for this, I went back out and drank some more. I doubt I got very much. I am told (since I don't remember this) that I came running into the house screaming. Must have hurt pretty bad or something. The weird thing is that I went back for more.

Weird thing #5 ~ I got through childbirth without shedding a tear...but when I stub my toe I cry rivers. Must be a different sort of pain. I have no tolerance for pain.

Weird thing #6 ~ I love peanut butter and pickle sandwhiches. (see number 1 weird thing above for further explanation) And no...I am not pregnant...YET!!! I also like peanut butter and banana sandwhiches...but pickles are my favorite.

I am tagging the following mean people.


I Want FOOD!!

I am pretty hungry right about now. Actually, today I am feeling a bit on the queasy side. I am told that this means the toxins are leaving my least they are trying to. I also think it means that I am hungry. James is trying to tell me that this is all in my head...this hunger thing. Well, I am not so convinced as him. He seems to think alot of things are only in your head...but my stomach sure is rumbling. Yesterday it rumbled loud enough to evoke a raised eyebrow from Chloe. If you have never seen a toddler raise thier eyebrow, you are missing out. It is quite comical. I probably would have laughed had it not been for the fact that my stomach rumbling actually was a bit painful.

Since when did Little Mermaid become so ridden with food? Since yesterday at approximately 3:25...thats when. I have to tell you that after watching them eat stuff crab for dinner in this movie I made the decision that my meal of choice when I am complete with this program will be at Red Lobster. Yup...and it won't be the cheap fried shrimp meal that I usually go for. No! I am going all out and ordering the Snow Crab. So maybe my mind will change by the time I get there and I will realize the strict budget we are on and I will end up ordering the shrimp. Its not the I don't like shrimp. No really! I love shrimp. I love seafood of any kind. Its just that shrimp happens to be one of the cheapest things on the menu and whenever we go out to eat, I am always mindful of cost so I try to stay on the cheaper side of the menu. If I can get away with it, I will order off the appetizer section.

So, Little Mermaid obviously was too much for my rumbling tummy. We thought it might be better if we read some books instead. Children's books...they are harmless, right? WRONG!!!!! The first book little Chloe pulls off the bookshelf is about colors. Good, I think. Upon opening it though I realized there was some sort of food item on every single cotton picking page. From bananas, to lemons (yes...even lemons sound apetizing right about now) to orange juice. Bad book. Put that one aside. Onto the next one.

Three Billy Goats Gruff. Okay. We are safe. This book definately is NOT about food. I get about two pages into it and these Billy Goats want to get up to the other side of the mountain to eat the "sweet, green grass". Okay. At this point, its not about WHAT they are eating but the fact that they ARE eating...and I WANT to be eating. But I managed to get through that book...difficult as it was.

Next book. The Cajun Gingerbread Boy. That's enough book reading for the day. I can't take it any more. Let's go eat some lunch.

Why oh why???...James should have to at least make HALF of Chloe's meals. This is tough to be a mother AND try to do this program. Boy oh boy did that peanut butter and honey sammie look good. I don't think peanut butter and honey has ever smelled so delicious. Some of the crust of this sandwhich fell into Chloe's bib and I didn't find it until this morning. Well, James, being the brilliant discerning man that he is, said "don't eat that crust Anna!" What??? huh me??? Why would I eat old dried out crust left from the previous day? "I know you want to eat that...because it looks so good right about now, doesn't it?" Okay. I had to laugh because he was exactly right. I was tempted to break my program for a piece of old dried out bread crust. What is this world coming to?

So, I am almost halfway through day two. I get a meal tomorrow for lunch. Only 25 hours to go. I have never looked forward to a meal so much in my life. It is time for me to go color a bit with Chloe. She is needing some attention right now. (begging and begging for it, she is) I wonder how crayon wax tastes? It sure smells pretty good.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Christmas Memories

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Christmas Memories

In the not so distant past, we celebrated Christmas. And while the memory of this past Christmas is not to be considered ancient, it is still a memory and thus has earned the right to be my Monday Memory.

I want to tell you today about our Christmas Eve service we celebrated as a family this past Christmas. As many of you know, this past Christmas was the first time in many years that my whole family was in the same place at the same time. We have quite a large family (6 kids plus spouses and children) so as you can see, it is difficult to accomplish a full family reunion.

Well, this Christmas we did it. All of us gathered from our own ends of the world for Christmas Eve. My parents had a service at thier church (my father is the pastor there) on Christmas Eve morn and it was our family who put on the presentation.

First, my four brothers and my parents got up front and sang a medley of Christmas carols.

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Then we had a mixture of all sorts of things. My youngest brother (who is 9 years older than me) did a magic show. He is a very talented man. I really enjoy watching him.

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We had fun things like this intermixed with Bible readings. Different members of the family would read parts of the Christmas story from the Bible.

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One of my brothers played his harmonica. (he is pretty good on this thing.)

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Another brother led the congregation in more Christmas carols.

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Two of my neices and one nephew sang the song "We are the Reason". It was so special to see them singing like that. I don't get to see them very often. They sure do grow up fast.

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James and I had made a powerpoint presentation set to music with pictures and everything. Everyone seemed to like it pretty well. When the congregation was leaving the church, some of them said that this was the best Christmas presentation they had ever seen. That made us feel so good. We had alot of fun doing this as a family. It was unique.

I hope you enjoyed my memories today. I leave you with a picture of James, Chloe and I taken on Christmas Eve morn at my parents chuch. Have a wonderful Monday everyone.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Getting Clean

I just wanted to share this with everyone. Don't know why and don't really know that anyone cares but this is kind of the purpose of my blog. Well, one of the purposes that is. That purpose would be for me to chatter about my life and this, I guess, would fall into the category of "my life" so I will chat about it.

Tomorrow I am starting a cleanse. EKKKK!!!! Okay, its not that scary. Well, maybe it is...but only for me. It affects no-one else so you have should have no fear. But I want to share this so maybe some of you can encourage me on this journey I am about to embark on.

James family has started this program called Isagenix. I was pretty skeptical of this when James first brought it up. Well, maybe "pretty" skeptical might be a tad bit of an under-statement. You probably don't want to hear what I said about it so I won't bother sharing it. Let's just say that I was not impressed with the idea. Well, James went ahead and purchased some for himself and he did it. (hooray for him!! I am so proud of him) When he recieved the stuff in the mail, I read the pamphlets. I watched the videos. I even listened to the cd's. (and talk about boring. They were the same lady, over and over and over saying the same thing over and over and over....only on the video you could see her. The cd you just had to listen)

Anyways, I read all the ingredients on each thing and I decided that it didn't actually sound that bad. It is all natural stuff. No man-made stuff. So, I have decided to do this 9-day cleanse. For two days starting tomorrow I will not eat a single thing. I have this drink I am supposed to drink for 4 meals that is supposed to help cleanse my body from toxins. We find toxins in everything. pesticides and "gunk" on fruits and veggies, hormones in milk (which just learning about all this stuff the past few weeks has caused me to start buying organic milk...expensive but healthier for Chloe)

For the next few days I then drink this shake thing for two meals a day and I get to eat one normal meal of 500-600 calories. It has to met certain criteria but that should be pretty easy since we eat fairly healthy anyways. Then on the last two days we do the same thing we did on the first two days. No food.

I am pretty excited about this. It is supposed to help you feel better and have more energy. It also helps you lose weight. James lost 15 lbs in those 10 days. He did it two weeks ago. Now James is a pretty healthy guy so this kind of shocked us that he lost that much. They say that when we add toxins to our body, it is our body's natural response to surround those toxins with fat to protect itself from them. So, by cleansing, you will lose weight. Pretty cool, eh? I am not doing it to lose too much weight. I do want to lose 10 lbs that I haven't been able to lose since I was pregnant but its not so much about that for me as it is about my energy level. For one thing, I have trouble sleeping alot. I know I am not healthy and that this is probably why I have trouble sleeping. I also have no energy no matter how much sleep I get. I don't feel rejuvenated when I wake up in the morning (even after 9-10 hours of sleep) I am hoping that by doing this program, I will feel better. We shall see.

My only hope is that I don't get sick. I have the tendancy to get sick over things like this. I get headaches and such. So, let's hope that doesn't happen.

Abrupt subject change ahead.

Part of my New's Years "stuff" was a decision to try to be more organized. Me??? MORE organized?? Why on earth would "I" need to be more organized. Well, I love being organized and anything I can do to be more organized just makes me happier. So, I wrote out a week by week guide for my "hobby/business". I am not saying I will follow this do or die...but it will help guide me and make sure I get those things done that need to be done in a timely manner. So, here is my week by week guide.

Week 1 ~ Gift Week (this is my week to work on Christmas gifts, birthday gifts and swap stuff)
Week 2 ~ Design Week (pretty self-explanatory. I will do my major designing this week)
Week 3 ~ WIP Week (Wip Wednesday didn't get me very far on my tablecloth and since it is my resolution this year to get it done, I need more time to work on it. So, I gave myself a whole week each month. And I have hopes that I will get it done sooner rather than later so I can work on some other WIPS too.)
Week 4 ~ Website Week (for updating my site and possibly do some pattern typing/editing that didn't get done during Design Week.)

The bad news is that I am already screwed up this month. I didn't have WIP week because it was design week. I didn't have gift week because I had to rebuild my website. So, this next week is going to be WIP week. Know what that means??? Its tablecloth time. I hope to get really far on it. Ohhhhh....the dreams for it are coming into view. I can see Christmas dinner with my gorgeous tablecloth on my table. And thanksgiving...and James birthday...and a tea party with friends. Ohhh...its going to be a fun year. I hope I can get it done in time.

I have something to show you now. Something exciting and devasting at the same time. devastating might not be the appropriate word but I am kind of tired (can't wait for this Isagenix cleanse thing...might help out in this area) and I don't feel like thinking of the right word. Devastating is pretty close...close enough for me.

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Can you see what that is??? Do you know what it is??? Do you recognize it??? Why that would be snow. Yup...snow. It is in my backyard. That's right. We had our first snow today. This has me excited for one reason. It is SNOW!!!! It has me upset for one reason. It is SNOW!!!! Snow and I have a sort of love/hate relationship. I do think snow is very pretty. I can admire it from afar. I hate living in it. I repeat. I HATE living in it. It is too cold for me. It is scary to drive in. Did I mention that it is cold?

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Anyways, I am happy that it came. Let's hurry and get this over with so that we can get on with spring. I enjoy spring so much and this year I am promised a garden. I can hardly wait. I just love watching things grow...knowing that I helped God to grow something so beautiful. (or delicious...whichever it is I am growing) I already have plans in my head for where I want things to go. I know where the veggie garden will be and the herb garden. I am debating where the rose garden will go. As you can see from the above photos, our backyard is not a large space. It is quite small and we have plans to put in a shed. I am a little tired of lawn mowers and miter saws next to my dryer in the basement.

Speaking of such things...I told you a couple weekends ago of our Saturday plans we made for the New Year. We will be traveling somewhere cool on the first Saturday of the month and all subsequent Saturdays will be spent working on the house. (and believe me...this house needs all the work it can get) So, yesterday was our first real day of work. I re-painted the dining room walls. I had only done the first coat of paint in every room when we first moved in and so I need to get the second coats on. So, yesterday I did the dining room. It felt soooooo good to do it. I have this list in my management binder of each room and the things that need done in each of them. This list is a little overwhelming but I decided to take it one thing at a time. So, I did the paint. James worked on his banister. I am so proud of him. It will be finished next Saturday and I will get some pictures of it then to show you all. It really is gorgeous.

Well, after painting, we decided to move the television downstairs into the basement/den. I am tired of having it on my floor in the living room. I am also tired of Chloe asking to watch it all the time. We don't like television very much and I don't want her watching it all the time and it is so hard to say no all day long. So, we put it downstairs.

Here are some pictures of our newly arranged living room. I think it looks much more "homey". I love it. (I do miss my hubby though who now has NO reason to be in the living room. The computer is also in the basement)

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This is where the television used to be. Now it is my "computer" place. I have already adopted this chair as mine and now this corner is my very own little corner. The only problem with our newly arranged living room is now there are some bare spots that need something. Here is the first one.

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This is where the recliner used to be. I am thinking a nice green ficus tree or something would look wonderful there. I love plants and have none in my house right now. We also would like a different lamp there that "goes" with the style of the house a bit better but this one works and serves its purpose so it will stay for the time being. The next bare spot is a little worse.

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This is where the little end table use to be that is now by my recliner. This wall actually looks kind of lonely, don't you think? James suggested getting a coat rack to put here. I thought it was a wonderful idea. We will have to look for one. Maybe he will quite using the kitchen chairs. I can dream, right?

So, it was a pretty busy day yesterday and I am quite pleased with what we accomplished. I am excited to see all the changes we have in store for this house. It will be completely different from the house we bought.

Have a wonderful evening everyone.

This Kid is Something Else

You gotta love her. Once you are around this kid for more than 1 second, you will fall in love with her. At times she does things that I never dreamed a child would do. Not that I didn't think they were capable of it. Quite the contrary. Its just that you wouldn't think of such a thing.

The night before last, I was getting Chloe ready for bed when I needed to run downstairs to grab something. When I came back into her room I saw a mess of books on the floor and no Chloe in sight. Then I heard the giggle. This is a certain kind of giggle. One that speaks. It was clearly saying, "Come find me Mama. We're playing hide and seek!!!"

So, I started looking. I didn't have to look far for the mess of books on the floor was a huge clue. It still surprised me when I gazed at what I saw next. Take a look.

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She had climbed into the shelf of the bookcase. The middle shelf...not the bottom. I was laughing harder than I have laughed in a long time.

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Oh the joys and thrills of motherhood. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. This child is priceless.

I wanted to tell you about a very special swap I am part of. We have started having swaps over on my pattern forum. My friend and co-administrator Ladysnow came up with the idea to do an afghan square swap. She made some rules, one of which was the colors and yarn type we were to use. Well, I have recieved all but one of my squares for this swap. I also have to make one square myself. (which I did but don't have a picture of yet)

This afghan is going to be so special since each square is from a dear tester on my forum. I will always remember this chapter in my life when I wrap myself in this one of a kind afghan. No one else in the world will have an afghan quite like mine.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Special Gifts and a Bargain

Okay. So, I have kept one New Years Resolution for at least a day. This is the first time this year that I am posting on my blog for two whole days in a row. Let's see how long I can keep this running. (2 days might be the record...we'll see.) And you may remember that I promised pictures of something special that I received. Well, I may be a little late in showing it...but I am keeping the promise.

James is the best. I know there are those of you who would think that your husbands are the best, but I am sorry to inform you that you are incorrect. My husband is the best, there is no denying that. And once you see what he has done this time, I believe you will all agree with me.

James likes to spoil me. When my heart desires something...I mean truly longs for it...James moves heaven and earth to bring me my desire. And not just the cheapest thing he can find. No. It has got to be the best. How lucky am I?

Well, I have been dreaming of something for years. My mother passed on her old Singer sewing machine to me when I got married. Old is the key word here. This thing was in use since before I can remember. In fact, I don't remember there ever being another sewing machine. When someone says sewing machine...a mental picture appears of this thing. It served my mother well and I was proud to inherit such a machine.

Soon after I inherited my Singer sewing machine, it decided that it no longer wanted to particpate in life. She was simply too old. So, for years now I have been trying to eek out every last breath (or stitch, I should say) she could offer. I can tell you that this was extremely frusterating. She would run fine for a few minutes and then she would stop. You never would know how far you could get into a I quit doing projects.

I have been begging James for a new sewing machine since I was pregnant with Chloe. I long to sew dresses for her and such. Well, finally, after a couple of years, my wish has come true. James bought me a sewing machine for Christmas this year. Check it out.

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Its my dream come true. Not only did he buy me a sewing machine but he asked me what the best sewing machine on the market was. I told him simply "Bernina". And so it was. I was going to get a Bernina. Well, James being the sort of guy that he is didn't want to get this wrong. I mean, this is an expensive little sucker and it would be a shame for me not to be happy with it, right? So, he took me to the sewing machine store to pick one out myself.

I must tell you that I am not a seamstress by any means. I have dabbled a bit in sewing, but it has never progressed beyond that. Come on...its a little hard with a machine that quits on you 3 minutes into a project to get beyond a dabble. With this in mind, I knew that I would have no need for a $2,000 machine. No...a simpler one would do just fine and serve its purpose. So, while in the store I asked for the cheapest models. They had a line of 6. I knew I didn't want the cheapest one. But the next one up was perfect. It was the price range I was looking in and it would do everything I need it to do. It also had some extra features that will be nice once I learn the basics. Well, James took one look at the collection of the "cheaper" machines and he pointed to the most expensive one in that collection and said, "You can have this one, if you want." I told him I didn't want that one. I would have no idea what to do with it. The one I wanted was only $220 and the one he was pointing at was $550. Big difference. After I looked over the one I wanted for a few minutes, he came back and pointed to the most expensive one again and repeated what he had said earlier. After a third time of the same conversation, I finally had to tell him that I didn't want that one and it had nothing to do with the price. It had too many features and I would get completely lost and would probably get so caught up in them that I wouldn't sew anything. He finally quit telling me to get that one and let me get mine.

See??? I told you he was the best. Anyways, I am extremely happy and I cannot wait to break it out for the first time. It has not happened yet because I have been so busy lately what with Christmas, my website issues and then a week of being so sick. Yuck. Now I am hoping that I can have some free time this Saturday to sew something.

This brings me to my next topic. My bargain. So, I had a new sewing machine but needed something to sew with it. I was in Walmart the other day (yes...I ventured into Walmart. I don't really know why since I avoid Walmart at all costs...but there I was.) I happend by the craft department. Bad idea...I know, but I was on a mission. I needed some Sugar and Cream kitchen cotton. Well, Walmart doesn't sell Sugar and Cream but they do sell Peaches and Cream which is basically the same thing, so I picked up two cones of it. While there,I passed by the patterns on display and noticed that they were pretty cheap. Don't know why I did it, but I stopped to browse. Well, at that point, I decided that I was going to get a pattern to sew. I found an easy pattern (at least it says its easy) that I am going to attempt.

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It looks easy enough. So, I started petting the fabric. I noticed a couple that I liked and when I saw the price, I knew I was to get both of them. They were only $2.00 yard. I don't know if thats a good deal or not, but it seemed like one so I took them both to the cutting table. The nice lady cut them and proceeded to scan them for my price. Well, she did the first fabric twice because she thought she punched something in wrong. was $.25 a yard. I got 2 3/4 yards for only 69 cents. Can you believe that??? The second fabric was only $1 a yard as well. I was on cloud nine. Literally. Here are the two fabrics I bought.

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And here is a close-up of the fabrics so you can see them better.

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I love them. I love them. I love them. I can't wait to try out my sewing machine now.

But James generosity doesn't stop there. While I was staying with my family at Christmastime, he left and spent a couple of days with his family. While he was there, his sister showed him this thing she had recently bought called a Magic Bullet. James loved it. Well, when I came for New Year's James asked Laura to show the thing to me. I liked it when I saw it. James wouldn't stop though. He kept on asking me if I liked this about it or if I noticed that about it. Yes, I told him. I really like this. I wouldn't mind having one.

Ha ha. Joke was on me this time. When we got home from our vacation, do you wanna know what was on my doorstep?

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That would be a Magic Bullet. He had ordered one when his sister was showing it to him and this was why he kept asking me about it. He had already purchased it and wanted to know if I really liked it. Kind of dangerous seeing as how I could have hated it and it would have been too late. But that is how well James knows me. He knew I would love it.

Anyways, this little tool is a must have for everyone. I don't know how I ever got by without one before. It is like a miniature blender only better. It purees food in about 15 seconds. My blender won't do that in 2 minutes without a lot of work on my part. This thing is the best since sliced bread. may even be better than sliced bread since I do my own bread slicing and I don't really see what the big deal about sliced bread is.

And while I am on the topic of special gifts, I thought I would show you what we got Chloe for Christmas this year. Its not her only gift but it sure is her special gift. It was expensive enough...but James picked it out and I have already explained about his "way".

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It is a miniature couch that folds out into a bed with a built in blanket that is attached with a zipper. Isn't this thing the coolest? Chloe no longer has to sit on the floor while we watch movies. (and this will keep her from creeping closer and closer to the screen.) She loves this thing. I didn't get a picture of it folded into a couch yet, but here is another one of Chloe putting it to use.

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I was taking pictures of Pattycakes today for a special project that I will tell you more about another day. Today I leave you with a picture of her. She is the coolest cat in the world.

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Have a wonderful day everyone. Keep up with those resolutions!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen New Years Resolutions!!!

I think I am one of the few people left on the face of the planet who still does New Years Resolutions. Too many people think that because they know they will quit halfway through January, there is no point in making the resolution.

Well, I believe that a resolution is just that...a resolution to do something. It is a resolve. A personal challenge of sorts. So, I have come up with a list of 13 resolutions I would like to share with you. Now, keep in mind that I have many more than 13. How on earth can I limit myself to the possiblities? I can't. The sky is the limit for me. I dream big. But I will share 13 of them with you today.

1) I will walk outside every weekday for 20 minutes. I am trying to be healthier and I feel that I need more exercise. Hopefully this helps me to have more energy too.

2) I will read my Bible every day at least once. My goal is to read it every morning which is part of my routine but somedays I just can't seem to get out of bed. So, my resolve is that I will find even just five minutes during the day somewhere to read before I do my hobbies or anything like that.

3) I will pottytrain Chloe this year. (self-explanatory)

4) I will send out ALL birthday and Christmas gifts on time this year.

5) I will make all Christmas gifts by the deadline. (I have a list of who I make for each month.)

6) I will wash my face before bed every night. (I am tired of gross facial skin)

7) I will wear makeup more often. I don't know how often. That is yet to be determined but James has said that he likes it when I wear make-up and he thinks this would help my self-esteem problems. We shall see. Washing the face every night will help me to want to wear make-up too.

8) Finish my tablecloth. The thread crocheted one? You remember that one???? Eight years in the making? It will stop at 8. I am resolute on this issue.

9) Finish my quilt. Betcha didn't know I had a quilt as a WIP. It is basted together...I just need to quilt it and then finish it off.

10) Finish James' dragon cross stitch picture. Hopefully this will be after the tablecloth and then I can show it to you. It is the hardest cross stitch picture I have ever done and he has been on my case for years about this one.

11) Zone clean EVERY week. I am on a quest to fly.

12) Pay off all debt. We bought a truck for James and some carpet for our new house this past year and so now we are in debt again. I would like to pay this off and be debt free again. It was so nice the whole month we were debt free last summer. Maybe we could even stay debt free after this. We shall see.

13) Laugh more. I am resolved that this year, I will be a happier person to be around. I want to giggle with Chloe more and laugh at my husband more. I have become a very tense person and I need to loosen up. Chloe is so much fun and I would hate for her to grow up thinking that I am a mean mother who never smiled or laughed.

13) Plant a garden

13) Learn to can food

13) Stop to smell flowers whenever I see them

13) Blog every day!!! (okay...I know I will break this one...and probably tomorrow too...but I just had to add it.

So, that is more than 13 but I couldn't help myself. Now, I am hoping that by having a New Years resolution this means I have until the end of January to implement it? I mean, January IS the first month of the year. At least this is my opinion and it works for me.

Well, have a great evening everyone and hopefully you will see a post tomorrow about my special gift. I didn't get to it yesterday and I am sorry. But tomorrow since I must start implementing the resolutions tomorrow.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!