Monday, April 30, 2007


I was tagged by Jthemilker to do this fun little meme... so here goes:

Here are the rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

1. I had dual jaw surgery over ten years ago - resulting in being wired shut for eight weeks! It was all worthwhile to not have headaches anymore! What a great excuse to eat milkshakes every day!

2. I'd like to write a book someday.

3. I cannot make fried chicken.

4. I would love to find a bread recipe that we all like and switch to making all our bread.

5. I used to wish I could be an olympic gymnast or figure skater.

6. I was TERRIFIED of dogs as a child. I've pretty much gotten over it! :)

7. I am terribly hard on myself ~ and it is very hard to overcome...

Ok, those are completely random facts! So, let's see - who do I want to tag?

Amy, Tracy, Miriam, Amy, Paige, Mary Ann, Wendi

Mitford Moment: Charm

So many things we read in Mitford sound so charming and appealing for that charm. I have said to myself many times, "Something worth doing is worth doing with charm." What is it that gives something that extra appeal? Would it really take that much longer to do it that way? Usually the small investment of time reaps huge benefits when you enjoy that item each time you use it or see it.

For example, I recently had a post about keeping crumb topping in the freezer. To put the topping in a canning jar (which I love) took the same amount of time as it would to put it in a plastic container. To make the tag took the same amount of time as writing a label. Which will I enjoy more? Clearly, the jar with tag! Simple little things like this can make our lives seem and feel more beautiful to us because there will be beauty and joy in simple things surrounding us as we go throughout our day.

So, the next time you have a task - think to yourself, "Is there a way I can easily make this more enjoyable or charming for enjoyment later on?" See what happens!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pinky: A Cherished Friend

Emily's favorite friend (pink bunny blankie) of all time was lost somewhere at church this morning. We've searched and searched. And, I'm still praying that Pinky will find her way home somehow through a kind act of someone returning her to church. My heart is aching over her loss and I feel completely helpless to do anything. They haven't made this exact one for a couple of years. We've been to half a dozen stores and there is nothing similar. We'll keep looking, but we know that truly, Pinky can never really be replaced. The thing I am the most sad about is that Emily will not have her forever ~ like I still have my favorite bunny from when I was a child. Sad sad day for us! David put this little video together for her...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Spring Fling Swap: My Box!

My box of goodies came today from my swap partner - Heather! What a fun day to get a box after being sick most of the week! Great timing...

S: seeds - zinnia seeds!
P: plates - thrifted and look how they fit the color scheme!
R: right-angled thrifted tablecloth - I love this vintage piece!
I: I made this bracelet - isn't it springy and feminine?
N: Nifty thrifted book and homemade linen bookmark. Can't wait to dive into this book! :)
G: green tea

Thank you, Heather - I loved my box of fun! I think my absolute favorite thing was the linen bookmark - does that look homespun or what?!

Oatmeal Cookies

I have tried lots of oatmeal cookie recipes and have been continually disappointed. These are the best oatmeal cookies I think I've ever tasted! They were very easy ~ and Emily loved them too!

The recipe was clipped from Better Homes & Gardens

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt (I omitted)
1/8 tsp. ground allspice (I did not have any)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. quick-cooking rolled oats (I used regular)
1/2 c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips (I used 2/3 c.)
1/3 c. chopped dried fruit such as dried cranberries, dried tart cherries, or dried blueberries (I did not have any on hand, but next time I would add nuts for sure)

Preheat oven to 375. In mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Beat in sugars, baking powder, bakind soda, cinnamon, salt, and allspice. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour and oats. Stir in chocolate pieces and dried fruit. Drop cookies by spoonfull onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until cookies are golden. Transfer to rack; cool. Makes about two dozen cookies.

Prayer of Consecration

"Lord, here are my hands;
I consecrate them to Thee.
May they never touch anything
that Thou wouldst not have them touch,
or do anything that would dishonour Thee.
And here are my feet;
I dedicate them to Thee.
May they never go
where Thou wouldst not be seen.
Here, Lord, are my eyes.
May they never look upon anything
that would grieve Thy Holy Spirit.
May my ears never listen to anything
dishonouring to Thy Name.
May my mouth never be opened to speak
a word that I would not want Thee to hear.
May my mind never retain a thought or
an imagination that would dim the sense of Thy Presence.
May my heart know no love,
and cherish no feeling that is not of Thee."

~ Oswald J. Smith
"The Man God Uses"

No TV: Day 3, 4 and 5

Whew! Well, when I decided on this no TV thing - I was not planning on coming down with a stomach bug! It started Tuesday night and I am feeling so much better this morning! Thankfully! But, needless to say, our no TV rule was broken - because when Mama's sick - you do what you have to do!

But, here is what I learned in the two days we did go without TV. I got SO much more accomplished those days because I was more intentional about planning my mornings out. I also spent a lot more time with the girls - because the time was planned into my routine and I also planned ways of incorporating them into my chores and morning plans. I have done this before, but have gotten very lax about it.

This served as a great reminder to me of how little quality time I've been spending with especially Emily - and I trust that God will help me to continue to plan my time intentionally to include lots of productivity but also lots of play!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring Tea Decorating

We had our annual ladies tea at church this past Saturday where the theme was, "No Place Like Home" so my friend Melissa and I tried to come up with ideas that fit this theme for decorating our table.

This little gingerbread house was a kit on clearance after Easter that came with the house pre-built, we made green coconut to go around the bottom for "grass".

We gave each guest a mug with a copy of this poem in it!

Crumb Topping

I had clipped this idea out of a past issue of Martha Stewart's magazine about making a crumb topping and keeping it in a container in the freezer so it is ready to use whenever you want some. I for one, love crumb topping on just about anything - so this will be so handy! Last night we had it on fruit with a little bit of whipped cream, and I was thinking how handy this will be when I make muffins - instead of getting a bowl dirty each time to make the topping, I can just spoon some on the top and bake!

Crumb Topping:
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cut in 15 T. cold butter or margarine

Store in the freezer or use immediately. For a crisp, top fruit - such as sliced, peeled apples - with a layer of the crumb mixture, and bake at 350 until brown and bubbling.

No TV: Day 2

We survived a day without the TV! It wasn't as hard as I thought and the overall mood of our home was drastically improved! Yes, there were tears and throwing of fits, but they were fairly short-lived and we just enjoyed being together as a family!

I am just so grateful that God allowed me to see that I have not been spending much quality time with Emily. We read story after story last night and it is rare for her to sit still for me to read to her. There were precious moments!

Here is our plan for today which includes not going anywhere so that will make an extra challenge!

7:30-8:30 wake, breakfast, change clothes, tidy kitchen, empty dishwasher
8:30-8:45 vacuum
8:45-9:15 go for a walk/wagon ride
9:15-9:30 play with Mama, read stories, etc...
9:30-10 play while Mama irons, Rachel down for nap at 10
10-10:30 snack, play outside with water
10:30-10:45 Emily helps Mama clean bathroom (she loves this!)
10:45-11:00 make cookie dough for freezer (did not get done last night); start homemade bread
11:00-11:30 Emily play or paint/color
11:30 Lunch

Monday, April 23, 2007

TV Turnoff Week

This week has been named TV Turnoff Week. I feel compelled to participate, just to prove that I can I guess. I know it will be extremely difficult with a 2 1/2 year old that LOVES movies to keep it off for an entire week. But, I want to know that we can do it. Yes, we may not make it. But - we're planning to give it a valiant attempt. I am just noticing excessive whining and moaning to watch movies and I don't like it.

So, I have a list of non-TV ideas to help us through those crunch times when I'm tempted to turn it on. I'll let you know how it goes!

Here is my plan for today:
7:30-8:30: wake, change clothes, feed girls, clean up kitchen, empty dishwasher
8:30-10: errands, Rachel down for nap at 10
10-10:30: Emily play alone and have snack; chores
10:30-11: Emily play outside; pull weeds
11-11:15: read stories; paint
11:15-11:30: Emily play alone; fix lunch
11:30 Lunch; Emily down for nap

The afternoon usually goes pretty well once Emily goes down. Rachel will get up from her morning nap and then go down again for an afternoon nap. Daddy will come home and we'll work on dinner. This evening, I plan to have Emily help me make cookie dough to put in the freezer.

Anyone else interested in joining us?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Pin Cushion

Isn't this a cute pincushion!? I found this here, and you can download the pattern here.

Speaking of cute pincushions, check out this cutie - directions were on Martha's show around Valentine's Day - but are nowhere to be found on her site now that it is redesigned.

I think a couple of pincushions may make it into my Christmas goodie giveaway to nursery helpers this year!

A Mitford Moment: Be Real!

I am always chuckling to myself at something one of the charachters has said! But, I realize that one of the things I absolutely love is that I know what to expect from these dear friends. I know some of them are going to say outlandish things and I know that they have good hearts.

I admire and appreciate the reality in which these characters are presented and I want to be as real about who I am as they are. So, be real! Be myself! And, enjoy others for who they are!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Support Virginia Tech

Tomorrow, families and friends of Virginia Tech are asking everyone to wear school colors to show support. Orange and maroon ribbons is what I'll be wearing tomorrow. It feels like the absolute least (of course, I can pray which is certainly not the "least" thing I can do) I can do for such a horrible situation.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
* Thanks, Kimberlee - for letting me know about the Orange & Maroon Effect tomorrow.

Freebies this week...

I haven't posted freebies in ads for a long time because I think we all know how to read the ads! :) But, recently I mentioned getting some free pens at Staples and some of you seem surprised to know that they had free items now and then.

So, since David pointed out to me that they have two more this week, I thought I'd share. We're hoping to go this morning and get our pens!

Free paper shredder: your cost: $18, rebate prints at register.
Free 12/pack Sharpie markers: your cost $7.53, rebate prints at register.

The items are on a while supplies last basis. See the ad at the front of the store for particulars on free items. These are the easiest rebates ever to fill out and stick in an envelope.


Family Night

We had been in the habit of having Friday nights set aside to just spend time together as a family. However, we have been out of the habit lately. And, I've really been missing it! So, this past Friday, we started up again and we had THE BEST time! Simple ideas just really made it a relaxing and fun evening. I made one of David's favorite meals and set up a card table on the porch - so we could enjoy our meal outside. There was a nice breeze to keep the bugs away! The rose is from our climbing rose and I just floated one bloom in a glass carafe.

After dinner, we attempted a wagon ride and walk with the girls, but the breeze was gone and the gnats were horrible, so we came right home. We scooped bowls of homemade icecream and fresh picked strawberries, crawled on the couch and all watched a movie together! It was great! So, I'm always trying to think of ideas to make these evenings fun - how do you spend time together as a family that is fun and relaxing?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Can you help?

I recently got this Pampered Chef flower shaped bread pan at a thrift shop for fifty cents! And, it looks like it has never been used. So, now the big question - how do I use it? Can I use any bread dough in it? What if it doesn't fill the whole thing? If any of you have one or any experience with one, would you please share your experience?! Thanks!

Garden Update

The garden continues getting bigger! These few photos show the most progress on tomatoes, green beans and corn (from top to bottom).

Here is a poem written by my Memee, about gardens:

One is nearest God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth,
The kisses of sun, the song of the birds,
The beauty, the joy and the mirth.
The peace of the quiet, the sweet smelling soil,
The air so fresh and so pure,
A comfort in beautiful gardens
There we're nearer God's heart I am sure!
The red of the roses, the fragrance so rare,
The rain that refreshes, tho' it falls everywhere
Is sweeter by far in the garden apart
For here we are clower I know to God's heart.
We are closer to God's heart in a garden
For there He so often had prayer
There's pardon and love from the Saviour above,
Here our burdens and cares He will bear.
So let us all love the garden
Enjoy it for what it is worth,
For we're nearest God's heart in the garden
Than anywhere else on the earth!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mitford Moment: Quote Scripture

Remember the unruly dog, Barnabas?! He was controlled by Scripture! Whenever Father Tim needed to get him to behave or settle down, he would just recite whatever came to mind.

Wouldn't it be great if that was true of my life as well?
"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Ephesians 5:19-20

Monday, April 16, 2007


Friday morning I took the little ladies strawberry picking! We had a great time and the weather was just perfect! It was not too hot and there was a breeze to keep the bugs off of us! I had so many pictures, I had to do them in collages to show them all! Enjoy the fun!

Strawberry fields beckoning us to come and pick!
Emily picks a strawberry.
Look at all the lovely berries waiting to be harvested!

Emily carries both buckets ~ but is more interested in eating the berries than picking them!

Emily, Rachel in the Snugli and me!
Emily digging into her picnic lunch!
SURPRISE! Look who showed up! Daddy!

Doesn't Rachel look cute?! Her outfit and hat have strawberries on them and it quotes the Fruit of the Spirit ~ Galatians 5:22. I just had to put this on her to go picking today! :)
Two buckets full of beautiful berries! Yummy!

Our picnic lunches were in brown paper bags that I had decorated with Strawberry Shortcake stickers and our names. Each bag had flower shaped peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich, tortilla chips and a brownie. Emily had strawberry banana juice in her sippy cup and of course, we had fresh strawberries. I packed each lunch in a red enamelware bowl that we could use to eat out of. Each food item was wrapped up in parchment paper and tied with a red ribbon - on the front was a Strawberry Shortcake sticker. The tortilla chips were put in parchment as well - I just folded one end and stapled it and then staped it half way up to make a little sack. The little doll is a Strawberry Shortcake keychain that Emily got in her stocking two years ago - I thought it would be a fun thing for her to play with.

I also brought a book about the Fruit of the Spirit and read that while we were eating our picnic lunch.

Before we went I was trying and trying to think of a charming container to put our berries in. Everything was either too big, without a handle or a basket that I did not want to ruin. But, then I opened Emily's craft stuff and found these two buckets that had ribbon stored in them. They came with tulips in them, so were already lined with plastic. They are made out of very thin wood. I poked a hole in each side with a long screw and tied twine through to make a handle - aren't they adorable!? I was so excited.

Everything we used were things we already had - total cost for this outing: $6.00 (4 pounds freshly picked strawberries at $1.50/pound)

"The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." ~ Galatians 5:22

Saturday, April 14, 2007


One of you wrote and asked me to send the directions for this jewelry pouch. I am so sorry that I cannot find your e-mail! So, if you still want it, please e-mail me sorry for the mix up!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Mitford Moment: Morning Prayer

So many of share a love of these wonderful books! And, I have long had this idea but am just now getting it going!

Just about everyone I have talked to who has read and loved these books joins me in saying we wish we could live in Mitford! My Mom always reminds me to try to make wherever I live more like Mitford. So, as I am re-reading (again!) the series, I am going to suggest some ideas of things that we can do to make our lives more Mitford-like.

I took this photo from our bed and breakfast last May when my Mom and I did our little Mitford trip. So, it seemed a fitting theme for these posts. This series may last for a very long time as I have loads of ideas and I'm on page 59 of the FIRST book!

I'd love to hear your ideas too!

So, here is the first one:

I simply love Father Tim's morning prayer...

"Father, make me a blessing to someone today, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let's make that our prayer too.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spring Swap

Here is what I decided to send my spring swap partner!

S: seeds and spring garland
P: picture frame
R: really cute candle (ok, I know this is lame, but I could not fit it in any other way!)
I: ink pens and case
N: notecards
G: goodie jar

Total Cost:
seeds - free gift with veggie seed order
garland - made from things I had on hand
frame - free, thanks to my sister's stash!
candle - $2 at a thrift store
ink pens - free through Staples rebate
pencil case - already had, but I bought it for less than a dollar
notecards - made from things I already had
jar - 0.65 at a thrift shop; inside goodies include dried lavendar left from my sister's wedding - free; vintage ribbon 4 yards - $4.40; other ribbon - $1; other craft supplies - free that I had on hand.

Total: about $8.50

I hope my partner enjoys it!

First Harvest: Spinach

The miniscule spinach salad here - was spinach harvested from our garden yesterday! It was a small salad for each of us, but it was reward for the effort! More garden updates later this week, lots of goodies are coming up! Anyone else gardening?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thinking Blogger Awards

My sweet and very talented friend, Amy at Mom Advice, gave me her very own Thinking Blogger Award! I love Amy's blog because she is full of great information on fun things to do with children, has great recipes, is frugal and is the brain behind our favorite "Freebie Fridays"! She is also creative and is asked to review lots of products so we can learn more about them through her experiences. She is always encouraging and I feel like I've had a boost after visiting with her!

And, now I get to share five of my favorite blogs!

1. Mom Advice: truly, I am not just saying this since she loves my blog! You can re-read the entire paragraph above to remember why I love Amy's blog!

2. Like Merchant Ships: I LOVE this blog! This is one of those that if I only have a few minutes to read blogs, I never skip this one. Meredith is extremely resourceful and thrifty. She also has great taste, is very thoughtful and very creative in the process of being thrifty! She makes me think! She offers family-friendly and budget-friendly ideas. And, it always looks like they are having fun at her house! Meredith loves the Lord also, and that for me is such a blessing!

3. Half Pint House: Megan was my friend in real-life before I even knew what a blog was. I remember asking her husband one time, "What is a blog?" Megan's is another blog I visit every day. I love reading it, not just because I know her, but because of who she is and what she shares. Some of my favorite things about Megan are her creativity ~ she can write and she can write well. This is something I cannot do. She can draw, sew, cook, make amazing candles, and much more. She is very willing to share of herself with me - I have written her numerous e-mails asking for help, advice and wisdom on mothering issues and she always gives me honest, practical and helpful advice. She also loves the Lord and shares about her faith - I appreciate the reality with which she shares. I'm so glad I got to see you in St. Louis recently, Megan! I admire you.

4. Curious Sofa: This is a new one I discovered through my other friend Amy! But, I have already been inspired by the creativity that Debbie shows in her shop and room re-do! The Spring Sign was inspired by her sign and I look forward to lots more ideas!

5. A Place Called Home: I think of Susan as a "Titus Mom" ~ she is older than me and encourages and reminds me to be a young woman who has been taught to, "love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of God." (Titus 2:4-5) Susan is full of a gracious spirit and willingly shares of what she has learned and her love of home with all of us who will receive it. I am so thankful for her and the blessing of her encouragement!

Should they accept the award, these are the rules of the game:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,

3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

Thanks, Amy!

Postage Stamp Frames

We're home! Trust you all had a joyous Easter! We had a great time with my sister and her sweet family! Just wish we lived closer together!!

One of the things she and I love doing together (besides organizing!) is crafting. The guys went out to play games with friends and we got out all the crafting goodies. This idea is her idea and I thought it was so cute!

She grabbed two plain 5x7 frames from the yard sale pile, a container of Mod Podge, and postage stamps that she had collected throughout the years. And, we went through all the stamps - one box of international and one box of US stamps. They were so neat!

We picked out and trimmed all the stamps we wanted and then attached them lightly to the frame with white glue. Then we put the Mod Podge over all the stamps ~ two coats. Let dry thorougly. These will go to our Spring Swap friends! Total Cost: FREE!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Happy Easter!

"Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his deaht, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

We're heading out of town for the long weekend to see my sister and her sweet family, so I'll be back early next week! Have a blessed weekend!

Garden Update

Sunflowers and Morning Glories coming up for Emily's little flower playhouse!

Apple Tree leaves coming out!

Updated to add: I just went out and pulled weeds and planted a row of Marigolds across the front of the garden. Marigolds help keep bugs out! Also, you can dry the flowers and save the seeds from year to year! I had a ziploc full of seeds from my Mom's marigolds - looks like it could rain, I so hope it does! And, I'm hoping to get one more row of green beans in before we go out of town!

Family Tree

I saw this idea in a catalog that came and I loved it! However, the price tag was not loved by my budget! So, I figured I could probably make it and here is what I came up with:

I cut a piece of parchment looking paper to fit the frame for the background. I cut a tree shape out of a piece of scrap paper and then cut two out of brown paper. Then I used stamps to create the leaf shapes, though you could do it from a cookie cutter, stencil or even free hand. I wrote the family member's name and birthdate and attached them in proper order on the tree. One side is for David's family and one side is for my family's history.

To get these 8x10 frames - I combined a 50% off sale and a gift card I had and spent a total of $8 for both. The paper was just a couple of dollars.

The tree ends on my generation. So, I wanted to make something for each of our children to hang underneath. I cut a piece of parchment looking paper to fit the frame for the background. And, used a larger leaf shape stamp for these. Then I wrote their names and birthdates on these leaves.

For these frames - I chose black so that I can add to them without them all having to match exactly. I got these on a 40% off sale for about $4 each.

Total spent: less than $20
Special thanks to both of our moms for helping us gather this family history information!

Letter of Thanks

Dear Chick-Fil-A,

After a recent road-trip, I have been singing your praises to those around me and I decided I should pass it on to you as well!

I was travelling alone with my two little girls to a funeral out of state and was so thankful to know there was always a friendly place that I could stop for a break and something yummy to eat. My 2 1/2 year old loves the play area, eats well and is so excited when she spots, "Chick Fay!"

I appreciate your attention to family-friendly details such as kid-friendly foods, the great new placemats that stick on the tables and even bendy straws!

The think I appreciate most, though, is the friendly faces that greet me, serve me and help me throughout the whole process. This has been my experience universally at Chick-Fil-A's in multiple states. I love hearing Christian music. I love the polite and helpful employees. I appreciate the atmosphere and especially your commitment to values that are important to me as well.

Thank you for providing a place that is inviting and welcoming to families! We will continue to enjoy visiting whenever we can! Keep up the great work!


Monica Xxxxxx

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spring Cleaning: Closing Thoughts

I know it seems like we've talked about cleaning forever! So, this is it. After today, I promise to give you a nice long break before bringing it up again!

I am so proud of all of you who cleaned! There were at least 60 entries in the drawing and I am so encouraged by all of you and your hard work! Not to mention, that it encouraged me to get my home cleaned!

Now how can we keep them clean? I have tried assigning various chores throughout the year and I usually just put them off and they never get done until this once-a-year thing comes around. I recently saw this chart in a Real Simple newsletter and I'm going to attempt to modify it to fit my needs and see if it will help me to keep up on some of these things so they don't get so out of control ~ and really to not mean one HUGE cleaning spree every spring. We'll see - otherwise, we'll be back here next March doing a big cleaning blitz again! hee hee

So, the moment you've all been waiting for...who will win the prize?

Here are all the entries:

Last night after dinner, I had David draw one name and it is:

Congratulations, Jenn! Please e-mail me with your address, so I can send your box of goodies!

I so wish I could send each of you a prize box! You have all worked so hard and told me of all the wonderful cleaning you did!

So, I created a special prize for EVERYONE! I have created an Easter and Spring craft that you can download from here and/or have me e-mail to you. (I am not up on all the technology to do this, so I sincerely hope it works!) But, if you have any trouble downloading the pages, please just e-mail me and I will e-mail you a copy as this would really probably be easiest and most like the crafts you see in the photos.

Several years ago, I acquired this book that had belonged to a previous generation of our family! Mine is not in this good of shape and this looks to be a slightly different edition, but you get the idea. I loved the lettering that started each paragraph and I was inspired by a link my sweet friend, Amy, sent me to the Curious Sofa blog. Especially check out what she did with old book pages and the spring sign! I wish I could pop into this shop for a visit!

This banner says, "Happy Easter" and I love it's simplicity and lack of commercialism like so many Eastery things have now. Something in the old lettering, seems reverent of the holiday and worthy of being hung in our home. I hope you enjoy it too! All you have to do is click here to download the letters, print them off on paper of your choice (I used a robin's egg blue parchment paper), punch little holes and thread with twine, string or ribbon. Hang and enjoy! (I'm sorry this was so hard to photograph!)

A second craft I came up with is this:

I decorated empty baby food jars with ribbon, fabric scraps and little wooden cutouts. Then I filled them with a bit of soil and some wheat grass berries - the grass grew up over my signs in just a few days. I need to mow! These spell out "Happy Spring" and are not in the download above - but I can e-mail you this one if you're interested. I cut out each letter and taped it to a wooden skewer (having broken the skewers at differing heights) and poked the skewers down into the soil. What says "spring" more than something living?!

Again, you all did a wonderful job and I hope you are encouraged! I know that I am!