Saturday, January 31, 2009
Today is the last day of January 2009. I can not believe how fast it has gone. I want to thank Traci for her challenge. I've enjoyed having a theme so that I can FOCUS on my writing each day, but also because it's not easy to find beauty every day. Some days were just ugly - but that does not mean there was no beauty to be found.
I have found beauty in my children, the kindness of my husband, the generosity of a friend. I have found it in every day objects and daily rituals that would normally get taken for granted. A song can bring beauty, even the weather.
Our country is in a time that is very depressing and scary for some. The economy...well, let's just say there have been better days, right? Well, we can't sit around moping or feeling sorry for ourselves. We've got to go forward. Have you made some bad decisions? Have you broken all of your New Year resolutions? It's okay. You can have goals for February. As long as you choose to go forward, as long as you choose to wake up another day - you have a new chance.
There is beauty all around us (as I made note of before), but better than that -- there is beauty out there that is just for YOU. Will you look for it? Will you see it? Don't look past it.
Friday, January 30, 2009
This is the BEFORE shot of my sweet boy....
He was so good...a little frosted mini wheat for bribery never hurt. =]
My little guy got his hair cut today. Yup. His beautiful locks were just getting out of control! Daddy said it was time, so we did. One of my bestest besties came over. Vicki does all of our hair and she actually cut his hair when he was a few months old, but it was just to even it out. Anyway, we all got our hair cut. Marco was very well behaved. We aren't used to it yet, but I guess it'll grow, right? =[ I am watching for the ends to curl up...but I am not seeing it.
At any rate, Vicki and I had a great time talking. We don't live that far away from each other, but we don't get together as often as I'd like. That's going to have to change. I love spending time with her. We've had a lot of heart to heart talks...especially lately. I'm glad we can just be ourselves when we're with each other. Everyone should have that kind of friend.
Later in the evening, my friend Alma stopped by. She came to bring me some tamales and a surprise that she's had for me, "for a while", she said. I was excited to see what it was. Would you like to see? I love all things fall and pumpkin and leaves...of course you all know that already! I decorate in fall theme year round. This is what I got:
Dont you love it? A beautiful beaded leaf ornament and ceramic pumpkin.
Hannah made us the best dinner. Jaime (my brother-in-law) stopped by to pick up some Etsy orders that needed to be delivered to the direction he was going. I sent along extra items in hopes that they will sell too. My friend Virginia ordered a few and offered to show the other things too. She's always been such a good friend to me.
After dinner, my family and I were just sitting around and my husband says, "Who wants ice cream?" Of course that was followed by squeels and screams and shouts of joy. We went to Dairy Queen, ate way too much ice cream and then came home and watched Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. Awesome movie for any age! Could not have been a better day.
Now, as I type, the house is silent and all I can hear is light music from the computer and the occasional sigh from one of my sleeping children.
Life is good.
After...this is the best still shot I could get after he sat so long (and so well!)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Way I See It #17
The world bursts at the seams with people ready to tell you you're not good enough. On occasion, some may be correct. But do not do their work for them. Seek any job; ask anyone out; pursue any goal. Don't take it personally when they say "no" - the may not be smart enough to say "yes." --Keith Olbermann
Boradcast journalist and host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Oberman.
Today, I find BEAUTY in this truth. Think about it. You never know where you'll find something like this that just opens your mind!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The rules of the game are simple. Once assigned a letter you are to post 10 things that you love which begin with that letter. It took me a couple of days to get my act together, but I did manage to find ten things that start with the letter "S".
(If you want to play, leave me a message saying you want to play in my comment area. I’ll assign a random letter and on and on it goes.)
In no particular order:
1. Starbucks…Do I even need to explain this one? Not only do I enjoy the coffee there (yes, I know there are better coffees out there), but I also enjoy the seasonal flavors, the fun retail stuff that they usually have – and who doesn’t like to sit in a coffee shop with a friend to chat?
2. Singing…I’ve enjoyed singing since I was very young. I will never forget being forced to sing in a vocal solo competition in the 9th grade when I lived in Germany. I didn’t want to do it. I enjoyed singing as much as the next guy, but didn’t want to do it in front of anybody – especially by myself! The day of the competition, my pianist had a problem and didn’t show up. It was too late for a replacement and I ended up singing acapella. I was so nervous that I panicked and forgot the very first line. I was mortified. They told me to begin again and at that moment, I decided I should just do it and get it over with. Guess what? I took first place that year. I was shocked. It gave me the confidence I needed to stay interested in singing and I am thankful now that I did not quit that day.
3. Scrapbooking and Stamping…I know – that’s two things, but they go hand in hand. I love to scrapbook, because I feel it’s important to properly preserve and document our memories. I also think it’s important to take care of the amount of money with invest in taking and printing the photos. However, scrapping is more than just making a bunch of albums and playing with paper. It is like a therapy for me. I love the creative side of it and I love that it’s something I can do with my hands that will be around for years to come. The stamping goes along with it and with card making and crafting. It is definitely my favorite past time.
4. Seafood…I love just about all seafood. Crab legs, shrimp, mahi mahi, calamari…yum. The fresher – the better!
5. Sundays…I love to go to church on Sunday to be in the house of the Lord. I love the worship time, I love teaching, I love to listen to preaching that is always encouraging us to examine and better ourselves, I love the music and I love being with my church family.
6. Sightseeing… I am one of those people that, unless you are like me, you don’t want to go to a museum with. I like to read every single sign, take my time looking at the details, etc. I love to learn more about places that are unique to what I am used to, things that I am unfamiliar with, people that lived before me or in another place.
7. Seasons – Actually, this is a stretch…it’s the change of seasons that I love. I love it one season makes an obvious appearance after the other … my two favorite seasons are summer and fall. I love the summer with it’s carefree days and I love the fall that brings in all the rich colors and the holiday celebrations with family and friends.
8. Siblings – I am the oldest of 5. I have one brother and 3 sisters. The youngest is just turning 21. There was a time during and after college that I felt really sad about not having a real relationship with them. I went out of state for college and then, after college, I moved to California. I love them so much and I am happy to say that through Verizon, visits, Facebook, and blogging – we’ve gotten to know each other and I now consider them to be some of my very bestest friends! We even have a little blog called “Quint”essential. We each share a photo a week and it gets posted every Friday.
9. Son – I have 3 girls and of course, I love them more than I can even say, but then there is my son. *sigh* He is almost 17 months old. He has brought us so much joy (and anxiety =] ). He is so wild – but, I love it!! He usually has a mischievous grin on his face. You can usually find him climbing something dangerous, putting something from the dirt in his mouth, or about to stick something sharp into an electric outlet. When he isn’t stressing us to the limit, you can find him showing us “nice”, giving us kisses, enjoying butterfly kisses, or counting to 10. Yes, he’s the apple of my eye!
10. Spa – I have been lucky enough to have experienced a few facials and massages in my lifetime and I LOVE them. I would love to get them more regularly. My pet peeve though is getting any kind of treatment where it should be full-on pampering and instead the person is curt or very impersonal. I mean goodness, at least try to put a smile on your face before you give me the rub down! Sheesh!... Can you tell my last experience wasn’t my best? =]
BONUS: Sherry - I just thought I'd throw this in at the end! It wasn't until recently that I've really learned to love myself. No, I'm not perfect, yes, I am a work in progress...but I am okay with all of that now. I think the last 2 years or so have really helped me to know who I am and who I want to be!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
...that I love journals? Have I ever told you that I have a paper, notebook, and pen problem? LOL I am like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to an office supply store or a book store that has a really cool collection of stationery, journals and pens to choose from. Well, just this weekend, I received this very cool journal from a Secret Pal at church. I love it! It has a suede like cover, with metal eyelets and a cool 3D flower with a pearl center. I am trying to decide what I want to use it for. I like to stick with a theme for some of my journals. This one will have to be a special one.
Speaking of journals...have you seen these?? Oh, my word. I am practically drooling. I have seen these on-line, but have not actually held any in my hand yet. They are from a company, I believe in Canada, called ecojot. They use only 100% recycled materials, which is always a good thing and they have a wonderful story behind the creative art work.
I mean, WOW! Look at some of these designs. These are hand drawings. So cute and fun, bright colors, and it just makes me smile to look at them. =]
I can't even decide which ones I like best. I will be on the look out for them. Have you found any cool or fun products lately? Tell us about it!
The kids didn't complain much today. They did their schoolwork without a hassle, chores were completed and everyone got along nicely.
Dinner was simple, yet wonderful. Everybody was happy and ate without making a face about any single thing.
The laundry got completed, folded and put away. Yes, of course it's already starting to pile back up, but that's how it goes, right? =]
I had some nice correspondence with friends near and far.
A book that I listed on half.com over a year ago (and forgot about) sold today. Thank goodness I knew exactly where it was. I even got it shipped out!
I got an etsy order for 5 mailboxes sent out.
After dinner, hubby and I went to make a visit on a new family that requested we come by. It turned out to be a very nice visit and we were glad to get to know this new family more.
After we left, Marco drove straight to Starbucks (much to my delight). We decided to go in and sit for a little bit while we drank our Pumpkin Spice Lattes and I even had a blueberry oatmeal bar...hey, I am on a happy roll here - so no talk of calories - okay? =]
We return home and the girls have already cleaned up from dinner, homework is complete and the kids are all ready for bed.
Yes, this is what I'd say was an over-all good day. How was your day?
Monday, January 26, 2009
I know that many of you are still digging your way out of the snow or are trying to stay on your feet in the ice, but here - here there are signs of new life already! I almost didn't notice all these blooms on my tree, because I think they happened over night! I went out to take a picture of the beautiful blue sky - even though it was soooooo cold and hailed last night - and instead I look up and saw this! I turned and looked down my street and noticed that our street was lined with trees like this. Unfortunately, I took two pictures and my camera died. *note to self - learn to keep back up batteries charged and ready to go.
2 Corinthians 4:16 - 18
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
Sunday, January 25, 2009
(this sweet little photo was found on google...but I know how this baby feels!)
Yeah, you read that right! I know, I know. I don't like to take naps....but, Sunday? Sunday naps are different. There is nothing like taking a nap on a Sunday afternoon. Marco is really good about making sure that everyone is quiet, so that I can get my nap. =] We return to church for our Sunday evening service - I teach a ladies class and sometimes a children's class and I need that nap! =]
It is good to rest. I am learning that more and more. I never took naps or power snoozes like they suggested in college. I was always on the go. Nope, no time for "laying around" is what I always thought. Now I know better. We need it. Our bodies need to recharge. I have found that I can go without much sleep or any naps, I CAN still function, but it just ain't pretty! So, take a nap! I give you permission - if you are someone like me that feels guilty for sleeping in or taking some down time - guilt no more! I know I blogged about something similar (rest) when I was sick, but it's come up again and I realize that I just need more rest. You may need this reminder as well - so take it. ;]
Not only should we rest, but God expects us to rest. He created us to need rest...even the animals and the land need to rest....so why shouldn't we? I am going to bed...for rest. Good night!
Matthew 11:28 - 29 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
For a homemade preparation, mix eucalyptus essential oil with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar and dab on problem areas. This mix can also be used as an antiseptic on wounds, boils, and insect bites.
The scent increases brain wave activity and counters physical and mental fatigue. Carry eucalyptus with you on long car trips, or smell it to help you study. International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc., a research and development corporation in New Jersey, found that sniffing eucalyptus increases your energy.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Go here for more about the Simple Woman's Daybook.
Outside my window... it is still dark, but the sun is just peeking through. Looks like it's going to be a beautiful day.
I am thinking... that I am blessed beyond measure.I am thankful for... my family. Hannah is spending the day at a friend's house and Taryn has been invited to go to the zoo with someone else. I am glad that they get to go out and have a break. They do so much for us at home.
From the learning rooms...the books will stay on the shelves as today is a day off due to the MLK holiday. I was going to have a regular school day and then the girls were invited to go out with their friends....so... =]
From the kitchen... I will be throwing a pork loin in the crock pot for the rest of us - I don't expect the girls to be back in time to eat.
I am wearing... my pj's and a cozy robe...Halloween footy socks...LOL
I am creating... lots of fun stuff! I got several etsy orders for the mailboxes. WHAT?? You haven't ordered yours yet? What are you waiting for? =]
I am going... to relax and take the day slow. Something I rarely let myself do.
I am reading... The Shack. I started to read it, put it down and now I am trying to read it again. It's not my normal choice for reading. A little hard for me to get into, but I hear that I need to read it - so, I'm trying.
I am hoping... to get more etsy orders, to get the girls on target with their goals and finish up plans for the Valentine's Banquet.
I am hearing... the neighborhood dogs barking, someone must be taking their early morning walk. That always gets them going.
Around the house... There is a bit of laundry to do, but for the most part...I will be tending to my crafts and my babies.
One of my favorite things... is when Taryn brings me a cup of perfectly made coffee with the foam on top (thanks to the Senseo machine) and Naomi wakes up and comes directly to me and still in her sleepiest voice says, "Good morning, mom".
A few plans for the rest of the week: I have a few appointments and errands to run, post office trip will be inevitable, watching the Inauguration on t.v. and hopefully staying FOCUSed.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Best Buddies - Naomi is so patient with Marco. He often ends up falling asleep like this!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
***My $29 Purchase***
So, hubby and I were out and about...we were glad to get out and have breakfast together. While we were driving around town, I'd notice a Yard Sale here in there. I'd ask Marco to slow down so that I could "take a gander" at what they had...dusty old videos, plastic baby tubs, exercise equipment... Oh, well. Just looking, right? Anyway, later in the day, we passed by a multi-family yard sale. I asked Marco to stop.
There were 4 sisters that were having a yard sale together. Looked like some really nice things... I'm always on the look out for something unique for my scrapspace. I have found some really cool things that I've repurposed to organize my things.
I saw a History Songs book and cd set and then a Geography one too. I have the history one, but thought I'd ask about the price anyway. $1 for each one. Wow. That's good. They weren't even open. I will take them both! As I was chatting with one of the ladies there, I saw a pile of purses...
One of the sisters was not there, but her sister was pricing the items. I bent down to check out one of the bags. Hmmm...looked like nice leather, black...you can't have too many of those. Then I realize that it's a Coach purse. Hmmm...I check it out - yup, it's real. Oh, and look! Two nice Brighton purses. All in styles that I like and perfectly clean. I had to go around with the lady a little bit, but she gave me the 3 purses for $25 total. Of course, I had to have her hold it all and go to get cash, but I came back and now I am the owner of 3 like-new (insides looked great!) quality purses.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Meeting was a little long, but not bad. Everything went well. Marco got home from work and we all got ready to go to a friend's house for a birthday party. The food was great, the fellowship was wonderful and I was able to say no to chocolate cake and ice cream. =]
Very nice day. No drama, no fighting. Just one of those great days that I need to learn to appreciate more. It's good just "to be".
2. Comfort foods causes me to be conflicted.
3. I've been craving a get away.
4. The Office and King of Queens makes me laugh.
5. I wish I could go to anywhere away (as long as it's with my hubby) next week.
6. So much has been on my mind lately.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a birthday party for my friend's son this evening, tomorrow my plans include visiting for church and Sunday, I want to relax!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I know, I know. I just wrote about Nessun Dorma and now I am writing about music again. You must think I've run out of beauty around me. No, that's not it. It's just that I had a lot of work to do today on the computer. Lots of work. I wanted to listen to some music, but my iTunes library is on another laptop and ...well, it's a long story... So, I just went to my blog and then opened another tab to continue on my work. I listened to my playlist several times through! I love it!
I love music of all genres - as you can probably tell by now - but the music I like best is music that speaks to me. Music that tells a story, that is soothing to the soul...music with a message. The songs I like may or may not have words. I may not understand the language, but it speaks to my soul... I love music and depending on my mood - sometimes, it's the only thing that gets through. So, I invite you to come and listen - listen with me...
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I also love and find beauty in my apothecary jars that are filled with all sorts of buttons...I've got lots more, but I am trying to be modest. HaaHaa! I started loving buttons when my late Great Grandmother gave me a big jar of her old buttons. I will have to take pics of those for a whole separate post, but there was some really cool things in there! Since then, I've added here and there and now - look what I have - but all neat and tidy, of course!
And last, but not least today - These Primas. First, I love the earthtones and vintage feel to them. Next, I love the detail...Look really close...you could play a game with these.
Can you find:
- the cow jumping over a moon
- the children
- a man in a top hat
- the elegant lady
- Chinese writing
- Witch Hazel
Fun - right? I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I am so thankful that I have an abundance of lemons, oranges and grapefruit...literally just an arms reach away. My daughter reached out her bedroom window for the oranges and grapefruit, my faithful readers have already read about the lemon tree that I have access to, but we picked these up at Curves. There was a box of them for everyone to take a couple! I couldn't miss out on an offer like that, right?
I do not like Tang, Tampico or any other orange type drink. I like real orange juice. I don't like lemon juice from a plastic lemon - I like it from a real lemon. Somethings just can't be substituted. Know what I mean? =]
"We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons." ~ Alfred Newman
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sorry if this grosses some of you out. I needed it to gross me out. Both exactly 5 lbs. yet the muscle was dense weight. It felt like it weighed more - several doubters actually put them both on the scale. The same. I think I need more of that muscle weight and less of that nasty fat!
I prefer the steel cut oats (which is better for you) over the "regular" oatmeal. Breakfast of champions! I hope I can stick with it. No one else in the house will eat it.
My little guy has more teeth coming in. These have been rough and these pellets really do work wonders. I used to use Humphrey's, but I found these a little cheaper.
Woo-hoo! I got my first two Etsy orders today. I was so excited that I made an actual sell through Etsy, that I accidentally deleted the invoice. No worries, I will get it figured out!
Okay. Not a great picture, I know. But, I have been intrigued by this tractor ever since I moved to Riverside - almost a year. It sits in a lot that's fenced in right in the middle of some housing. It is off the main road, but I have not seen it used or move once! I bet if I knew what I was doing, I could take a picture that would make it look real cool. Anyway, I always wanted a picture of it - for some reason - and on the way home from Curves (I went again today, this time with Hannah) I had to take it!
After dinner, I insisted that we all go for a walk - even our little Oso. I took this picture on the other side of our block. These 3 giant palm trees are beautifully lit with different colors. It was a beautiful evening. About 71 degrees. Crazy weather. Rain and snow one week, earthquakes the next, high speed winds, and now this. Ah - you've gotta love Southern California!
The Morales bunch - these are my favorite people in the world. I never imagined that I'd have so much to be thankful for....mmmmmmmmmmmm...
Bonus picture!! LOL I had to get a new Tea Ball, because I've misplaced the top to the other one (I think it got thrown out =[). My sweet friend Rachel sent me some loose teas to help with the headaches and tension. Wow! This is really great stuff. I have been having a little of the Stress Busters and Sleep Tight as I wind down for the evening. Tasty and relaxing. Your the best, Rachel!! Rachel is one of those awesome friends that I made in college. I am sure she never thought that she'd be keeping up with me after all these years, but she (and her family) have always been an encouragement to me. HUGS!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Sundays have always been very busy for us. My husband, as most of you know, is a pastor. Not only is he a pastor, but he is the pastor of a new church. Although at times it is hard, we really enjoy our work and know that this is what we are supposed to be doing. The whole family is involved. Hannah helps with nursery, the others are involved in their classes, and Marco and I have all kinds of responsibility on Sundays.
I was just talking to my girls about "being busy".
There are some people that are always busy, but they are busy getting into trouble. Others think they are busy - but they really are doing nothing. Being idle. How often have you heard someone say that they were "too busy" to do such and such? I have. I've said it myself. Most of the time it is a legitimate excuse. We ARE busy. I joked about the 60 second microwavable food taking so long that someone had to invent the 30 second microwavable food. =] But, there are times when we claim to be busy, but we were WASTING time. One reason I chose the word FOCUS for this year is because I thought that I could use my time better by FOCUSING on what my goals for the day were and tackle them head on!
I have had people ask me how I have time to do any of "those" things. They are usually referring to my blogging, scrapbooking, crafting... Let me tell you. It is not easy, but obviously it is not impossible. I enjoy these things. They are a part of me and they make me happy. I could be doing all "these" things and letting everything else go to pot. Ah, but if you know me at all, you know that I could not let that happen. I set goals for the day and I conquer them as best as I can. I love making lists and crossing things off! Try it!
Go with me to Proverbs 31 - Let's look at a few of the verses.
"[She] worketh willingly with her hands." (vs. 13)
"She riseth also while it is yet night" (vs. 15)
"She layeth her hands to the spindle" (vs. 19)
"She stretcheth out her hand to the poor." (vs. 20)
"She maketh fine linen, and selleth it" (vs. 24)
"[She] eateth not the bread of idleness" (vs. 27)
This is the type of example I want to follow. What are you buzzin' around doing? I want to make sure that I have my priorities in the right place. Maybe you are busy, but you are busy doing the wrong things. Maybe you need to stop the cleaning and organizing and take your kids to the park and play. Maybe you need to turn off the t.v. or computer and read a good book. Maybe you need to put away outside distractions and spend some time with your spouse. Whatever it is that you do - make it count. What did you do yesterday? What did you do today? What will you do tomorrow?
I want to make sure that what I do will matter for my family, for myself - for Christ.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth
and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But
lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. " Matthew 6:19-21
Okay, now I am sure you are wondering why I've got the Burt's Bee's picture of there...well, I love BB's products. All of them! So, I thought that I could encourage at least 3 of you with a reminder to make it count when you are Buzzzzzzzzzzing along in your day. All you have to do is be the first 3 to comment and tell me what one thing you'd do if you weren't busy and had oh, let's see, 3 hours to yourself to do whatever you wanted. Thanks for reading here dear friends! *Each item is different: Beeswax lipbalm in a tin, Beeswax lipbalm chapstick and Honey Lipbalm chapstick. Winners will get 1 of the 3!