Monday, November 30, 2009


I am VERY sentimental.
So, it goes without saying that every ornament on my tree has a story and reminds me of someone special.
I have handmade ornaments that I treasure. I treasure the ornament that my grandmother bought for me my first Christmas, and the countless others given to me by those that I love.
My favorite part of Christmas is opening the ornament box and sharing the treasured memories with my children.
Years ago while working in a preschool, I would send the children home with ornaments made by their little hands. I would often think to myself....their trees must look REALLY tacky. I didn't think that I would ever be able to let such tacky ornaments touch my tree.
Boy how things change....
Here is a glimpse of just a few of my favorite ornaments created by the precious little hands in my life. They are priceless and true treasures to this momma.
I have no idea what happened to the gingerbread man's other eye, but it makes him all the more adorable.
What is a tree without a few miniature hand prints?
And tree is perfect and not at all tacky!
What treasures are hanging on your Christmas tree?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I <3 u!

I attended and photographed a wedding out of town this weekend.
Scott and the kiddos decided to stay home.
Before leaving on Friday, I left a love note and a Hershey's kiss on each of their pillows.
This is what I found beside my bed last night.
So sweet!I was quite curious about the half-eaten tootsie roll.
I asked A who ate the other half of the tootsie roll. His expression and O's expression spoke volumes.
Her little voice piped up and said, "I did!"
Let's just say that A wasn't so happy with his sweet-loving sister!

My Parents

I was asked to take photos at my mom's life-long best friend's wedding.
It was beautiful, and my momma was gorgeous.
She let me take a few photos of her.
This one will be hanging on my wall.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

When I think about 2009, I quickly realize all of God's many blessings. I am so very thankful for my Savior and the peace that He brings.
What I am thankful for in 2009 in random order:
1.) Spending my 12th year married to my incredible Scotty
2.) Watching A learn to read
3.) The opportunity to minister to the most spectacular group of children
4.) Making and growing new personal and family friendships
5.) My family's health
6.) Watching Todd and Andrea become parents
7.) The opportunity to meet and take photos of so many fabulous families
8.) Staying at home with my treasures
9.) Being able to live in my home all 365 days this year
10.) A job that allows me to interact with Godly women
11.) For my teenage nephew and nieces who are the best Godly role models for my children
12.) For Dana, my new friend and teaching partner
13.) For Skipper....the dog that I love
14.) For my precious O who has taught me to be more affectionate
15.) For the very best kindergarten teacher for my A...she is just what he needed! Warm, but not too fuzzy!
16.) For my incredible church family who has lived up to and surpassed my expectations
17.) For my parents who have proved once again that their love is unconditional
18.) For a beautiful day in June spent exploring with my grandparents
19.) For being raised in a Christian home
20.) For this crazy blog which has proven to be the creative outlet that I have been needing
What are you thankful for this year?

Monday, November 23, 2009

And the Winner Is......

I told you that your chances of winning were high!
I put the numbers 1-3 into a basket, and Scotty drew the #1.
Elissa you let the first comment. are the lucky winner of the "mystery" prize!
Send me an e-mail with your address, and I will get it in the mail.
Thanks to the 3 of you who left comments!

Refrigerator Clutter

This is what the outside of my refrigerator looks like on a REALLY good day.
(I just de-cluttered it yesterday!)
It drives me crazy, but it is a vital part of keeping our family on track.
I just need more space to put coupons, photos, invitations, prayer requests, to-do lists, etcI found this worn grate at a thrift store last week for $1. The cashier actually asked, "What on earth are you going to do with this?" I responded, "I have no idea!"
I realized that it was magnetic and the plan came to me.
I hung it on the wall by the phone.
Now...I need to find at least 2 more to fill the wall.
My mother-in-law bought me these cute magnets at a craft fair a few months ago.
I love them, and I am thinking about making a few more!
It is the simple things!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Skipper-Week 1

Every child needs a puppy!
This is what I keep telling myself as I......sweep the floor 5 times everyday, mop at least twice a day, clean up poo and pee, take the puppy out every 15 minutes, get excited when he goes poo outside, say "good boy" for just responding to his name, continually keeping things out of his mouth.....
Then I get to capture this moment! Yep...every boy needs a puppy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Budget

Have you simplified your Christmas giving list?

The next step to an affordable Christmas is setting a budget.
It is easy to figure out how much we would like to spend. However, a budget needs to reflect what we can actually afford to spend.

Scott and I have $390.00 remaining in the "gift" portion of our annual family budget. This does not stress me out because I have minimized our giving list, and I have been thinking about Christmas all year.

Our Christmas Budget:
-Our kiddos: $200
-My mom and dad: $50
-Brother and Sister-in-Law: I purchased this at an antique store this summer.
-Grandparents: I have already made my grandparents a scrapbook of a family outing that we took this summer.
-Teachers: $75
-Mail Carrier and Trash Men: $15
We will have $50 left over for Christmas cards and misc.

A would like a Nintendo DS, and O has her heart set on a new pink bike with training wheels. This is where the $200 will be spent.
Here is what else A will be getting this year:He has been wanting a Chia Pet, and I found this brand new one at a garage sale for $.25
I paid $3 for this never opened box of K'Nex.
He has been begging me to teach him how to play checkers. I gave $.25 for this over-sized checkers game.
I found this science kit on sale at Michaels' for $12.
Here is what O is getting for Christmas this year:
I found this new Twister game for $1.00 at a garage sale.
Complete Lite Brite for $2.00.I paid $10 for the movie and frame. I think that I am going to write a note from Cinderella and put it in the frame. I can't wait to take a photo to put in this frame this summer.
I spent $5.00 on this dress-up outfit.
I gave $5.00 for this pediatrician Barbie.

Total spent: $38.50

God has really blessed us this year!

How can you stretch your Christmas budget?

I would love to hear your creative ideas.

I am creating a list of my own, and I will share it soon.

Happy Budgeting!

Vintage Christmas Card Sign

I purchased this Christmas Card Sign at a garage sale this summer for $.25.
I used my new best friend, black spray paint, to doll it up a little!
I then hot glued a few mini-clothespins around the frame. I am going to use it to display all of the beautiful Christmas cards that we receive this year.
Doesn't he make you want to giggle?
I have been a little distracted this week with our new puppy!
I hope to take some more photos of him tomorrow in the sunshine!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The New Love in My Life

It has happened AGAIN!
I have fallen in love.
His name is......
This cutie is the first irrational, spontaneous decision that Scott and I have made in 12 years!
I hope that I don't regret it!

This is my 100th post. I think that I am going to celebrate by giving something away.
I haven't quite figured out what, but I promise that it will be creative and cheap!
For a chance to win this unknown prize, leave a comment before next Saturday at 9:00 am. Your chances of winning are pretty high. So...start commenting!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chicken Feeder

Scott and I purchased this chicken feeder at a Nashville flea market a few weeks back.
I could only imagine the possibilities.
It was still too gross for my liking even after a prolonged encounter with the power washer.When all else fails....turn to paint!
It now has a home by the back door!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembering Andrew

I have the great privilege of driving past a National Cemetery at least 10 times each week. It is always a humbling experience and a harsh reminder of the men and women who have paid and continue to pay the ultimate price for MY freedom!Today the children and I purchased an arrangement of flowers and headed to the cemetery to honor a soldier.

They were mesmerized by the stones and the names of those who have served this great country. It was such a learning experience for us all!

Today we chose to specifically honor
Andrew G. Klein
World War II

We also honor, love, and respect Grandpa and Uncle Michael!
True Heroes!

My friend Mindy wrote a great Veteran's Day tribute today!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My mom was here on Monday morning. This was the perfect opportunity to hit a few of my favorite thrift stores.

I gave $2.00 for this adorable Harvest Blessings sign. I found a few games for $1.50. We LOVE to play games on these long, dark nights.

I found this tiered shelf thingy for $1.00. It is really dated, but nothing a good ol can of black spray paint can't fix.

These buckets were $.25 each. I plan to use them as a part of my Christmas countdown.

I gave a total of $6.00 for this stack of photo/scrapbook albums. I love to give photos as presents, and I have plenty of pictures to fill them!

I bought this fingerprint kit to add to A's Christmas.

I paid a total of $1.80 for the hodge podge group of treasures. I loved the rustic tall trees. I can't decide if I want to change them or not. I love vintage ornaments, and I couldn't pass up these 3 for $.25 each.

22 Days of Giving...Shoe Man

In my search for "giving ideas", I ran across the Shoe Man. I think that this is a unique ministry, and a great way to use our too small shoes. I searched our house and found 8 pairs. This is a practical idea that my kiddos can truly grasp....the need for shoes and water.

I am amazed at how easy it is to find opportunities to give when you are open and searching for them!

Do you have any old shoes cluttering your closets?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mini Skateboard in a Pile of Leaves

One of my fondest childhood memories revolves around jumping in the fall leaves.

It FINALLY stopped raining long enough for us to take advantage of our leaf-covered back yard.

This is how this memory building activity started. Giggles!


Panic when you realize that your brand-spanking new mini-skateboard has been lost in this leaf covered back yard.

There was an I told you so....

There were tears and determination. After about 5 minutes, this momma gave up, but not this determined little boy. He searched and searched and searched! And he found it! was a great afternoon!