Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gone Camping

It's our annual camping weekend with our friends. I have a lot to do before we leave after Surferman gets home from work tomorrow. See you Saturday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Daily Bible Reading - 1 Kings 1-4

1 Kings 1-4

David is old and cold.
*Abishag to the rescue.
Adonijah has ideas of who should be King - himself.
David names Solomon as his successor.
King Solomon cleans house
Solomon asks for wisdom
A baby isn't cut in two
A king lives high on the hog (well probably not hog - he likely kept Kosher)

Want to read along with me? Kelli pointed me to a great Bible reading plan. It's never to late to start reading God's Word. If you start reading let me know

* Reading about Abishag tonight reminded me of a dear friend. I met Don when he was 101 years young. He was a character and I had the honor of being his friend until he went to be with the Lord at the salty age of 104. I gave him a lap quilt that I made the last Christmas that he celebrated. I named it "Abishag" because it, like this woman was designed to keep an old, cold man warm. He didn't get the reference (who would, it's rather obscure) when I told him, so I read the passage to him. He laughed and said he's rather have Bathsheba.

Works For Me Wednesday - Fast Face Washing

One of the items on my list of 101 Things to Do
is to wash my face every night for 30 days. I started tackling it through Smart Habit Saturday hosted by The Lazy Organizer.

I'm a night owl and often don't have the good sense to go to bed. By the time I start heading that way, I'm exhausted. My face usually gets neglected, but not anymore. I've been working on establishing the habit of washing my face every night. It's working.

One thing I have found that helps are those premoistened facial wipes. The brand I bought from Costco is Ponds.

I wouldn't use them every night but they sure do the job when I haven't had the sense to get to bed before I was too tired to get to bed.

Works for Me!

Check out Rocks In My Dryer for more WFMW hints and tips.

Monday, May 28, 2007

DONE- #97 Send a care package to a soldier in Iraq

Dear Soldier,

Today, as I write this letter, is Memorial Day. Many Americans are celebrating the start of summer. It's a weekend of fun, food and good times. I would guess that many Americans don't think about why they get this day off of work, they don't think about the men and women who have bravely served - then and now. I hope that with this letter and box, you feel honored, appreciated, supported and loved.

I had a very good friend who lived to 104 who served in World War I. Both of my grandfathers served in World War II. A couple of uncles served in Vietnam and a cousin is home now after a tour in Iraq. He expects to return to Iraq before too long. These brave men, have taught me to honor and respect our soldiers. This gift is a token of that respect. I hope that it's encouraging to you that they each made it home safe. I pray that you make it home safe.

I am privileged to write this letter on behalf of my family. Most every Sunday, four generations of us gather for family dinner. There is my mother and father, Crazy Knitter and The Boss. My grandmother just turned 90. My sister Queen Bee and her husband Rip as well as my husband Surferman and our son Grom. I've enclosed a photo of us. (Nicknames inserted for webprivacy - these aren't our real names - real names will be used in the letter sent).

When the opportunity to pack a box to send to you was presented to me at church, I decided to take the idea to my family. There was no arm twisting, no talking into - just an enthusiastic desire to bless you. We each contributed to the things in your box. We hope you can use them, enjoy them, or trade them for something you might like more. We tried to keep things practical, but hope that you also find a little joy and happiness in this box.

My son Grom is almost 3. We had a great time going through the store choosing things for in your box. He chose the cookies and wanted to get you a bag of little firemen. While the firemen might have been fun, I wanted to use the limited space for useful stuff. He drew the picture for you. He is at a stage where he asks "Why?" constantly. He kept asking me why we were buying things for a soldier. I'm not even sure he understands or knows what a soldier is. I wish you could've heard our conversation. It went something like this...

We're packing a box of things for a soldier in Iraq.
Because we want to bless him.
Because he is far from home and we want him to know that people appreciate him.
He is doing a hard job
He is trying to make the lives of a lot of people better
That's what he does
It's the kind of person he is
That's the way God made him. Do you think he'd like a Cliff Bar?
Yes, Apricot's me favorite.
We'll send Apricot then.

We are grateful for you. Thank you for your service to our country. Thank you for the sacrifices you and your family have made in order for you to be a Marine. We know your job is hard. We can only imagine what your time in Iraq is like. Keep your head up. God bless you.

Please know that we thank God for you, that we ask Him to protect you, to comfort you, to guide you and to show you His love. While we hope that the things in this box meet some of your needs, but hope you know that Jesus is ALL that you need.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Great Sunday Afternoon

Daily Bible Reading - Galatians 1-3

Galatians 1-3

For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. Galatians 4:19-21
Thank you Jesus for dying for me.

What's for Dinner - Week of May 28th

Monday - Cheeseburgers, Macaroni Salad, 3 Bean Salad, Veggie Tray

Tuesday - Tamales, Mexican Rice, Refried Beans, Salad

Wednesday - Leftover Ham and Bean Soup, Angel Buns, Salad

Thursday - Farmer's Market - EAT OUT!

Friday - Steak and a Movie Night - Steak, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Saturday - Surferman's Pizza, Salad

Sunday - Family Dinner at my Folks

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Smart Habit Saturday

I'm back for another SMART Habits Saturday with The Lazy Organizer.

It's been a great week. I'm 7 for 7 with my habit of washing my face AND as a bonus I've been taking my vitamins and supplements every night also. 23 days from crossing off one of my 101 things to do.

I'm adding drinking water this week. My goal is to drink 3 qts of water a day. One of the quarts will have electrolytes added.

Habit 2 - Drink 3 qts of water daily.
Habit 1 - Wash my face every night.

Have a smart week!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Daily Bible Reading - Jeremiah 42-46

Jeremiah 42-46

The Friday Bible reading is the hardest for me. It's like hitting a brick wall at the end of my week. The assignments are longer and I don't have the familiarity with the Prophets that I have with the rest of the Bible. I will be very glad to be done with Jeremiah next week. I pray that my attitude would adjust and that I'd start the book of Lamentations with an open heart and mind. It sounds funny to pray to be joyful about reading a book called Lamentations, but that is really what I want.

What struck me today in the reading was the fickleness of the people. They ask Jeremiah to talk to God and that they'll do whatever God says. Immediately upon hearing God's words, they call Jeremiah a liar, do what they want to do, and suffer the exact consequences that God promised.

Lord, when I read Your word and know Your heart, let me listen and obey. Remove any fickleness in me. Amen

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Daily Bible Reading - Psalms 60 - 62

Psalm 60 - 62

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.

Psalm 62:5-7

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday -

Here's my tip this week.

Keep your frequently used tools close at hand when sewing. It's quicker to fix the mistake and get going again when your tools are close at hand. You know the saying, "A place for everything and everything in it's place." Pieces of velcro on the front of the machine are the designated place for my seam ripper. Works for me.

Check out more Works for Me Wednesday ideas at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Daily Bible Reading - Exodus 29-32

Exodus 29-32

When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” Exodus 32:1
Extensive instructions were given to Moses by God. Instructions to build a Tabernacle - a place that God could commune with His people. And before He finishes, His people are sinning; separating themselves from Him.

How quick it can happen... discontent, impatience... and I'm chasing after worldly things.

Lord give me a contented spirit that diligently chases after You.

Macaroni and Cheese

I love this version of Macaroni and Cheese. It has more protein than a lot of standard recipes.

Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni (or similar)
4 c. cottage cheese (I use non-fat)
2 c. sour cream (I use light)
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
20 oz sharp cheddar cheese -grated (I have used other cheeses - some bleu cheese is yummy)

Cook macaroni according to package directions.
While the macaroni is cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl (save some grated cheese for the top).
Drain the cooked macaroni and add to other ingredients. Add milk as needed to make the mixture "sloshy". It should be wet and loose.
Place macaroni mixture into greased 9x13 (or so) pan.
Top with remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered 45 minutes in a 350F oven.
Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What's for Dinner - Week of May 21st

Monday - Fuss Free Ravioli and Cheese Bake - Salad - Garlic Bread

Tuesday - LO Chicken BBQ Sandwiches - LO Baked Beans - Watermelon

Wednesday - Macaroni and Cheese - Broccoli - Fruit
Taking dinner to a family at church with a new baby girl.

Thursday - Shrimp Salad - Foccacia Bread

Friday - BUNCO at my house (for the girls)! 4WD Club at Cruise Night (for the boys)! - We'll eat something quick at home and send dinner with the guys.

Saturday - Steak and a Movie Night

Sunday - Sunday Family Dinner at my Folks

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Robin's Top Secret World's Best Brownies

The secret is out. I make fantastic brownies. They are gooey and chocolately and best of all - easy and frugal. I'm sharing my "recipe"

Robin's Top Secret World's Best Brownies
1 box brownie mix - the cheapest box on the shelf, tastes best if bought on sale
ingredients for above box of brownies

1 can chocolate frosting

Follow the directions on the brownie mix package. Bake the brownies as directed for the shortest time recommended. Set a timer and do not let them cook a moment more.

While the brownies are still hot... Microwave the can of frosting in 30 second bursts until the frosting is smooth and melted. Usually about 1 minute.

Pour half of the frosting onto the warm brownies. Tilt the pan to cover the corners and edges with frosting.

Let cool before serving.

Just because I want to win something...

5 Minutes for Moms has a Nexcare bandage giveaway and since I have a (very boy) boy, I can sure use some bandaids. Go check out their contest.

These are some high tech band-aids.

Smart Habit Saturday

I found out about S.M.A.R.T. Habits Saturday through Organizing Junkie's Challenge. The Lady Organizer was one of the judges of the challenge. She started Smart Habits Saturday at the beginning of the year to help tame those allusive New Year's Resolutions.

The idea is that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Choose one thing a week and work on making it part of your life. Next week add another habit.

I figure participating could help me knock out some of my 1o1 Things to Do.

I'm going to start with one of those...
Habit 1: Wash my face every night.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I WON! (ok, not really)

The results are in and even though I didn't win a prize, I still maintain that I'm the biggest winner of the challenge. I know it's only been a couple of weeks, but my room is still neat, organized and makes me smile every time I walk in the door.

I want to congratulate the winners. If you want to be inspired, go check out the great jobs they did. I also want to thank Organizing Junkie for providing the motivation to get something done that I'd be putting off for far too long. And thanks to Lifeorganizers for sponsoring the challenge.

Three Cheers! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!
1st Place - Marianne of Wigglywourms
2nd Place - Stacy (Aussie in America)
3rd Place - Cindy of Life with Littles
Honorable Mention - Stacey of A Measure of Grace

Daily Bible Reading - Job 39-40

Job 39-40

I had the opportunity and privilege to pray with a woman last week. Her husband is divorcing her. He is throwing away his wife and pretending that it doesn't effect their children. She cameto church looking for prayer. She was facing a weekend of celebrations for one of her kids. Her husband would be there. She didn't want things to be hard or awkward for her child. She told her child that she would be there for the ceremonies and then she would give him a kiss and go; not hanging around. This is what she knew she needed to do for her child. Instead, she wanted to flee. She wanted to hide. But through her tears, she realized that real mommies don't run. The Lord gave me words to comfort her. We prayed then and I continued to lift her to our Father throughout the weekend. I haven't heard how it went. I keep praying.

Today I read
13 “The ostrich flaps her wings grandly,
but they are no match for the feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on top of the earth,
letting them be warmed in the dust.
15 She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them
or a wild animal might destroy them.
16 She is harsh toward her young,
as if they were not her own.
She doesn’t care if they die.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom.
He has given her no understanding.
18 But whenever she jumps up to run,
she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.
It reminded me of my conversation with this woman and how unlike an Ostrich this woman is. The love and care she has for her kids, the wisdom and understanding she seeks and most of all how she stayed put.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Daily Bible Reading - 2 Samuel 15-19

I'm 136 days into reading the Bible in a year. I'm enjoying it but sometimes it seems to be a chore or thing that I have to do before I can go to sleep.

Surferman and I are making a real effort to get to bed a bit earlier and get up quite a bit earlier. My goal is to get my assignment for the day done before I start my day. I hope to spend the day meditating on and considering what I read and then post something about it here.

I'll continue to read daily, but plan to post my thoughts every other day. I pray it's a blessing.

2 Samuel 15-19

Absalom versus King David. Son versus Father. All the makings of a good night time soap. Loyalties that change like direction of the wind, sex, battle and justice in the end. Maybe I could sell it to NBC?

David's feelings for his son Absalom stood out to me. Instead of fighting, David fled. In battle, David requested that the enemy be spared. Instead of rejoicing in his victory, he focused on his loss.

It speaks to me of parenting issues. Surferman and I often to say to each other, "Who is the parent?" One of us is usually in a situation where we aren't being as firm as we should be, are letting Grom be more independently than he has earned the right to be.

Sometimes I want to flee. Sometimes I don't want to discipline. Sometimes I mourn the hurt Grom experiences from his own disobedience. Lord, keep me from raising an Absalom.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

What's for Dinner - Week of May 14th

Life should be returning to something that looks more normal - at least normal for around here.

Here's what we'll be eating this week.

Monday - Chicken Skewers, Pasta Salad, Spinach Salad

Tuesday - Freezer Clean Out Smörgåsbord

Wednesday - Irish Music - Eat out! YAY!

Thursday - Grilled Salmon, Rice, Veggies

Friday - Steak and a Movie Night - Steak, Baked Potato, Salad

Saturday - Children's Ministry Appreciation BBQ
bring 2 pans Robin's Top Secret World's Best Brownies
Macaroni Salad

Sunday - Dinner with my folks

Here's a question for all you Monday Menu Planners. What do you do when you read others menus and see a recipe you'd like to try? I was bookmarking them, but I that's not working. I hate to print a bunch of recipes. I'm looking for ideas. I remember a yummy sounding salmon recipe a few weeks back, but can't remember where I saw it. Oh, and if you have a good salmon recipe - please share it.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK! Oh, and Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Surferman vs The Possum

My husband is a mild (somewhat) mannered guy. He craves a glassy ocean, a good wave and a longboard. Surfing is his passion. It keeps him happy. It keeps him sane.

He is also a true superhero. I thought it was time to share the story of when his true identity was revealed.

A version of this story was originally posted at Frugal-Families August 2003.
For a fuller experience, be sure to click the links...

For a couple of days, I kept smelling something funky when I lay down to sleep at night. Husband adamantly denied that it was him.

Finally we discovered what it was...

One night, we were happily sleeping. Husband woke up because he heard something outside. Only, it wasn't outside! Instead the blasted thing was IN our room! It was huge. It had to weigh 50 lbs and was half the size of a VW bug. THE POSSUM was in our bedroom! I think the vile beast broke in and was living under our bed for a couple of days. He was sneaking out of our room at night, eating the cat's food and devising evil plans.

This is the 4th time Surferman has had to battle The Possum. But the first time the battle was in our ROOM!

I'm proud to say that Surferman is still UNDEFEATED!!!

Husband (from here on out to be referred to by his superhero name- Surferman) was valiant and brave. He chased the darn thing all over our room. We were both safely on top of the bed (yelling and screaming) and had sticks, brooms and other grabbers.

The Possum was discovered in the closet. Knowing he was no match for Surferman, The Possum promptly ran under the bed, then behind the entertainment center, then under the bed, and then back to the entertainment center. Surferman was almost beat.

Finally through crafty strategy, The Possum was cornered. Surferman grabbed The Possum with his super secret and fully loaded ROBO gripper and flung the hissing beast out the door. I yelled for him to never come back and to tell all his friends about Surferman.

Peace and calm were returned to the sanctuary of slumber. Surferman changed out of his cape, and we were able to get back to sleep. You should see how cute he looks with those long board shorts over his tights.

One last thing....

That whole "playing possum" thing is bogus. They are quick things.

And I'm happy to report that The Possum has never been back.

Mother's Day Blog Design Giveaway

Jules, the wonderful EverydayMommy and blog designer extraordinaire (She did my new design), is giving away a blog design for Mother's Day. Click the graphic to go to her blog and enter the contest. I'm not ready for a redesign - I'm still basking in all this orange beauty, so I entered a friend.

DONE #75 - Complete Organizing Junkie's Organization Challenge

I just realized that I finished # on my list of 101 things to do when I completed Organizing Junkie's Organizing Challenge.

Friday, May 04, 2007

DONE #42 - Change my blog template

Have you all noticed my new blog design??

The only credit I can take for it is the good sense I had to contact Jules aka Everydaymommy for a redesign. Her rates are reasonable and she does a great job of translating your words into something beautiful.

And this completes #42 on my list of things to do.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My 100th Post - 100 Things about ME!

Here's 100 things about me in honor of my 100th post.

  1. I'm a first child
  2. Robin is a nick name
  3. I really don't like my real name - only credit card companies and the IRS use it
  4. I grew up in a "Christian home"
  5. We went to the beach every Sunday during the summer
  6. I've had sun burn more than I should
  7. I worry about skin cancer
  8. I loved Sunday School
  9. especially singing
  10. I accepted the Lord into my life at snow camp in 10th grade.
  11. My High School Youth group "ran a muck" (worse than you could imagine)
  12. I have a heart
  13. and concern for high schoolers
  14. and High School youth groups
  15. I drifted away from the Lord
  16. He kept me safe while I was off experiencing worldly things
  17. He called me back to Him constantly
  18. I searched
  19. I spent 30 minutes in the dark eating a chocolate chip cookie to be more mindful and "in touch" with myself and my surroundings
  20. I searched more
  21. I fell asleep (both my body and my legs) while meditating
  22. I finally heard him calling and came back to my Father in 1997
  23. I rededicated my life at the church we now attend
  24. I'm a bad sheep - I wander off
  25. My wanderings are shorter and I stay closer to my Shepherd
  26. I have a BS in Food Science
  27. I lived all by myself in Tennessee for a year and a half
  28. I worked in a plant that made canned milk, taco shells and refried beans
  29. It was a great adventure
  30. I met Surferman through Chinese matchmakers
  31. It was love at first sight
  32. I'm a RN
  33. I'm more likely to kill someone than help them (see #42)
  34. I'm really uncomfortable when people ask me for medical advice (see #42)
  35. We had a Hawaiian themed wedding
  36. I wore blue socks with Birkenstocks on my wedding day
  37. I used to bite my nails
  38. I still gnaw on my cuticles
  39. I treat myself to pedicures
  40. I'm a fast test taker
  41. I usually score well
  42. I don't remember what I've learned
  43. I'm good with old people
  44. and small children
  45. I love the color orange and
  46. probably wear it too often and
  47. have too many orange things in my life
  48. I discovered the color orange when I lived in Tennessee (GO VOLS!)
  49. I love to cook and
  50. can easily put together things that taste good.
  51. Soups and
  52. Salads are my specialties
  53. I hate doing laundry
  54. I have someone come clean my house
  55. I don't tell my friends about my housekeeper
  56. I spend too much time on my computer
  57. I have belonged and participated at the same message board since 1998
  58. I like to be creative-
  59. knitting,
  60. quilting,
  61. sewing,
  62. scrapbooking,
  63. and my newest obsession - digiscrapping
  64. I'm frugal because it's in my blood. (You should see my grandmother's pantry)
  65. You should see my pantry
  66. In my mind, I surf
  67. I used to body board
  68. My wet suit doesn't fit right now (see #69)
  69. I love ice cream especially
  70. Ben and Jerry's - Everything but the...
  71. Besides the Word of God
  72. I don't read very much
  73. I stay up too late
  74. I don't like to go to bed
  75. I don't like to shower
  76. I LOVE coffee
  77. not caffeine, but the
  78. taste of coffee
  79. with milk or half and half
  80. I like strong decaf
  81. I have to make myself drink water
  82. Pepsi is my soda of choice, although I'm trying to cut all soda out of my life
  83. I'm pretty tall - 5'9"
  84. but fat,
  85. really fat
  86. I blame my mother
  87. I need to do something about my weight
  88. I love being a mommy
  89. I waited 8 years to be a mommy
  90. It's a miracle
  91. and answered prayer that I'm a mommy
  92. Grom teaches me things and makes me laugh every day
  93. Grom has the light blonde hair
  94. that I used to have as a child
  95. Now I pay to have it
  96. I love flip flops
  97. and capri pants
  98. I love my life
  99. I blog because I want to
  100. I don't think anyone reads my blog
  101. and that's ok with me

Organizing Challenge - Wrap Up!


Here's my wrap up and entry into the contest. I apologize for the photographs. The room is small and it's hard to get great pictures. The best light is probably first thing in the morning and I was at work.


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looking in from the door

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the closet

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work area

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wrapping cart, sewing cart and lots of mess

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knick knack shelf

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shelf above work desk

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bookshelf in work area

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1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?
  • There was so much stuff. I was very discouraged and felt like I didn't have enough time to get it done. Our weekends are pretty full. We had to be diligent to find the time to clear the room, paint and then move some of the stuff back in.
2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?
  • Everything has a place.
  • If it doensn't have a place, does it belong here? Where should it go?
  • I make sure things are put away when I leave my space. No more empty coffee cups left behind.
3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
  • The toys were relocated to Grom's bedroom and toy shelves.
  • 3 big boxes went to a thrift store.
  • I returned things to people.
  • I gave my mom back a lot of things that she gave me that I never really wanted.
  • I had to make some hard decisions. I'm a quilter with many UFOs (unfinished objects). I gave five projects up, knowing that I don't want to finish them.
4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
  • The time limit of the challenge was very motivating. I developed a "just do it" attitude in order to meet the deadline.
  • Sweeping the room clean of everything was also very helpful. I was very thoughtful of what was coming back into the room.
5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?
  • It already has. My room makes me happy. I look forward to the time I'm able to spend in it. My sewing machine was out. I can't remember the last time it was. My projects are organized, I know what I have and look forward to completing some projects.

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scrapping area, bookshelf and knick knack shelf
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work desk

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wall above work desk - this just makes me happy - exactly what I wanted!

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closet - doors removed - curtains added

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closeup of gift drawers

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closet curtains closed - "mail" and "at hand" by entrance door

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relocated ironing board - new painted orange door

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my custom upholstered brick door stop

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baskets on shelves about work desk

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shelves above work desk - closeup

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shelves above desk - closer up - I love the key tag labels

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scrapbooking stuff on shelf above scrapping table

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wrapping cart - bag on top is package to be wrapped

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sewing cart

We painted the walls "toasty tan" and the door "october orange". I had the funky retro fabric in my stash. It was purchased to be curtains for a VW Westy Camper at one time, but I think it was supposed to go in my room. I love the tan, orange, green and turquoise together. SO me.

While I hope I win a prize, I know I already have the best prize I could receive. I have a functional, clean, organized and very happy space. It's a great place to spend the little bits of free time I blessed with. I feel more creative already.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Did you know?

At three minutes and four seconds after 2:00 on the 6th of May this year, the time and date will be 02:03:04 05/06/07.

This will never happen again. I think stuff like this is cool.

"Unbroken" Book Giveway

Overwhelmed with Joy is giving away a couple of copies of Unbroken by Tracey Elliot.

Unbroken shares details of Tracey Elliot's troubled childhood. Orphaned at the age of 6, she was sent to live with her grandmother and her grown, unemployed alcoholic uncles.

The story tells of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her uncles, and her spiral into alcohol, drugs, and eventually stripping.

Without sharing all the details, the book tells of how her life was put back together by the power and redemption of God and the love of her husband and children. It also shares interesting details of her month spent in rehab before she went on to win the title of Mrs. Texas in 2006.
Go and sign up to win the other copy.

#41 on my list of 101 Things to Do is to read 3 auto/biographies. Winning this contest would give me a start.

Works for Me Wednesday - Less Germy Birthdays

Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Rocks In My Dryer is all about birthdays this week.

I don't have a lot of experience with kids birthdays yet. We are just starting to plan Grom's 3rd.

Moms spend their days getting kids to wash their hands, cover their mouths when they cough and keeping them quarantined from the sick child next door. AND THEN... they go to birthday parties where some snot nosed kid spits blows all over the cake right before serving.

I'm not a hypochondriac. I'm not hyper about germs. But this time tested tradition grosses me out.

Here's what works for me... CUPCAKES!

Family Fun has a lot of ideas for different cupcakes. With just a little creativity you can create a cupcake to fit the theme of your party.

Here's the cake I made for Grom's 2nd birthday. I frosted the cupcakes with canned whipped cream (to cut the sugar a bit). The spots are mini m n' m's. The legs are pretzel sticks and the shoes are half circus peanuts.

The best part... Grom only contaminated his own cupcake. Works for me.