Friday, February 29, 2008

Simple and Slow Fridays: Secret Places - Post Your's Here

This week's topic for posting is Secret Places.

One of my secret places was shared with a friend. She had horses and sometimes her parents would take us along to check on them. There was an old barn there that we claimed. We made big plans when we discovered it. On the next trip to check the horses, we brought paper towels to clean up the area a bit, toilet paper for the area we deemed the bathroom (but never used, just so ya know!), we brought lunch meat for a snack and some books. We made rules and regulations. It was "ours".

Another secret place that holds a dear memory for me is in the summers that my dad would put the tent up in our yard. I'd bring stacks of my library books in there and read all day. I'd open the tent windows and watch the activity around the neighborhood - as far as I could tell, I was invisible to all. When the tent wasn't up, I would spend time in my bedroom window sill with books or paper and pencil, writing and doodling.

I even remember from when I was really young, a cubby-hole at the top of my grandparent's steps. Inside were lots of toys - I remember the Lincoln Logs well! It was always great to run up the steps and just start playing. I always felt like I had made a great discovery when I played in that little "hole".

When Will was little, I made him a secret place in his closet. I included a blanket, pillow, and toys that would light up in the dark if he ever chose to shut the door. Now he is starting to make his own secret places. Even though we have a HUGE sandbox right outside the back door of the house that the boys love to play in, I think he prefers his little place that is out of direct sight.

At the back of our yard, behind the shop and along the fence is his favorite place to dig. I try to allow him that space with only the occasional check-in. Obviously Nathan is enjoying Will's secret place, too ...

I'm sure we'll have many more secret places amongst our boys; it's going to be a fun time watching them grow and explore! :)

Will you share your secret places with me? Link up your posts below:

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You'll find next Friday's topic for discussion (Wants and Needs) here.

Simple and Slow Fridays: Wants and Needs

Excerpts from this week's chapter, Wants and Needs, in Mitten Strings for God:

... We know full well that our children are not yet able to distinguish wants from needs. This is why they are such easy prey for advertisers: children want what they see, and the media is one long enticement-to buy, to have, to get.

But many of us are just as confused as our children. We fail to distinguish real needs from wants, and we focus on what we don't have rather than on the abundant gifts that are already ours. When we are consumers, we teach our children that it is good to consume. When we try to resolve conflicts or to buy happiness by spending money, we teach our children to look outside themselves when they feel needy...

... when we pause long enough to give thanks for the abundance of daily life, when we feel good about what we have right now, we teach our children a valuable lesson: We help them accept that they can't have everything they want, and we reassure them that they do have everything they need. (pg. 65-66)

I have two thoughts for posting ideas this next week:

1) Post about the abundance of your daily life, how you are happy with where you are and realize that you have everything you need.


2) Post about how you have already dealt with or plan to deal with "wants and needs" in raising your children - maybe even some suggestions for us young mothers! :)

**Please don't make this into a rant against consumerism. I'd like to keep this positive, please... and thank you.** :)

Next Friday I'll have my post up about Wants and Needs with Mr. Linky at the bottom for you to include your posts. (If you are looking for today's Mr. Linky on Secret Places, click here.)

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Take 5 Friday - Makeup Bag

Over at Organizational Enlightenment there is a challenge called Take 5 Friday. Basically, take 5 minutes and organize something - how easy is that!? This week she has put forth the challenge of organinzing and decluttering the makeup bag!! I don't have a makeup bag per say, but I do have some makeup and a cluttered area in the bathroom that has been needing some attention.

Here's where I keep my makeup.
It's pretty minimal (as far as makeup goes), but I did find some awful pink/purple eyeshadow that I never wear and every time I give it a try it looks terrible - so I chunked it! :) FREEDOM! I also chunked a few other things while I was in there: 1 old mascara, 1 of 2 concealers, a terrible lipstick color for me... those sorts of things.

Here's what it looks like after... not too much difference.

However, I wanted to see a difference in SOMETHING, so I tackled under my bathroom sink as well:

Since I've started working the drugstores' rebates and specials, I've acquired a lot of shapmoos, conditioners, lotions, razors, contact solution, and some free Jane makeup. Here's the best I could do in 5 minutes. At least now I can see everything!

What does your makeup bag look like?

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nana's Here! Nana's Here!!!

We took Will and Nathan with us to pick up my mom, Nana, from the airport. Here's how it went...

Up the stairs

Check out the surroundings

Get in a little trouble

Go a little crazy

Read a bit of paper

Steal the camera from mom and take some pictures

Here she comes!

Kisses! Kisses! and more Kisses!

Make some conversation

Down the escalator
(so much fun in itself that we did it twice!)

Pick up her suitcase

Play with her suitcase

Check out the conveyor

Push some buttons

Play with the carts

And after all that excitement we went out to eat and headed home! So glad to have my mom here with us!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Teething Buscuit... A Shirt... A Book.... and Some Chreese

I had lots of mailbox fun last week!

Witt received some Soy-Free, Dairy-Free, Wheat-Free, Egg-Free teething biscuits. (I had to taste test because if it's free of all that stuff could it possibly be any good? Yep, not bad actually - they taste like maple syrup!).

He had three the day they arrived! (Ain't he cute?!)

I also ordered some cheese substitute: Chreese. Hmmm... I just don't know about this, but I'm willing to give it a shot. I haven't had that cheesy taste in about 5 months and I'm dying to have some! I'll let ya know...

After posting about what a groovy man Jeff is and receiving a suggestion from Super B's Mom, I ordered this T-shirt because MY HUSBAND ROCKS! Here's a close-up of the picture on the front:

My book! My book! I finally finished it, ordered it, and it came!!! I love it! My shelf is ready for it! Here are a few shots of the jacket:

My Table of Contents, something every good book needs... 'cause ya know, my book is GOOD!

And the title page showing us in our morning routine of piling in the bed. (You can see the HUGE picture of this at the bottom of my blog.)
Each title page has a picture; here is the chapter that shows the kids' artwork:

The pricing of the book is based on the number of pages and I had a few pages remaining before the next price up, so I added lots of picture pages at the end to fill them up.

And just for information sake, I had pink and blue pages. Blue because it's about boys and the pink pages were all from October when my blog went pink for breast cancer awareness month. I also used mostly an 11 pt font. The book loads the blog in 9 pt. There are a few pictures I am a little disappointed in because they are dark, but it's the photographer's fault (me) not blurb. Check blurb out, I think you'll be happy... I know I am.

Now, this week I'm expecting more mailbox surprises as I won Take90West's Pay It Forward Giveway!!! I have no idea what to expect, but I'm quite excited! And you do realize what this means for you... right? A giveaway from me!!! Because I get to "Pay It Forward". So, stay tuned... check back often... a giveaway is on the way... and maybe you'll have some mailbox fun, too!!!!

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Just some type of fun...

I found this over at If Only I had Super Powers... how fast can you type?

167 words

Speed test

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Just kidding! My best was 67 words per minute!!! Ha!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Award: Blogging with a Purpose

Mary @ Notbefore7 has given me this blogging with a Purpose award for my commitment to Christ while blogging with a purpose through my Simple & Slow Fridays carnival! Wow, thank you, I'm honored!

The carnival is something new this year and I've only recently started sharing my faith through the ol' blawg. It peaked in a few times early on, but now I'm trying to be a little bolder in sharing.

My faith is part of what makes me, well... me - a HUGE part and I think it is important to share it, record it, and live it. (Not necessarily in that order...) And for those interested, Jeff and I are working together on a follow-up post to the Lent post - it has brought up some great discussions.

Now on to the awards!

Blogging With a Purpose Award Rules:

1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.

2. The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.

3. In their post about the award they need to link back to this entry.

4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to the above linked site.

And the winners are, in random order...

Redefining Sanity
- Lulu (mom to 3) records life with her children and if there is a better purpose than that, you let me know. :) She and I worshiped together when we lived in the same town. Now we're in different states. I love her perspective on faith and the bible. She is very knowledgeable and convicted, always ready to listen, and gives her opinion based on bible teachings - not a "standard" answer that she heard somewhere. I love her open-mind and thoughtful heart.

Happy at Home - Laurel (mom to 3 boys) was the one who gave me a copy of Mitten Strings for God which spurred me on to Simple & Slow Fridays. Her blog purpose is to live simply. I love going there for ideas and sometimes for a good step on the toes and a wake up call. She has a very strong faith; although we don't always agree, we always have good conversation. :)

A Quest for Relevance - (mom to 3 boys) I never know what I'm going to find at Beth's and I mean that in the best way! Some days it's deep, sometimes it's personal, and sometimes it's about knitting. She's really Givin' Knit Away on another blog! Swing by and wish her a Happy Birthday, too!

Mama of Boys
- (3 boys to be exact) - Tracy and I found each other somehow during the beginning of my dairy-free quest. She's on her own dietary quest with her middle child and the rest of the family, too. She homeschools her boys and provides some yummy recipes, too! I've even featured her Apple Muffins on my recipe blog! So good!!! I don't get over her way as much as I'd like, but it's always nice to know there is someone out there going through the whole dairy-free thing "with" me.

Coins in the Couch - Her sidebar reads: She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27. This is a relatively new blog and one that I've been perusing for only a short while. I thought I'd pass on some linky love (as well as the award) to her. She and I are on the same path to save money! CVS and Publix.... here we come! :)

There are a few others that I could have mentioned... it was a bit hard to narrow it down, but I have learned something from this award experience: I want to surround myself with more faith-building bloggers. There are lots of great reads out there, but I'd like to find more Christian bloggers, so I'm off to go check out Christian Women Online. Any other suggestions?

Thanks again, Mary, for the award!

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Rage in the Cage

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