Happy Blogiversary

. . . to me!

It's been one whole year since I started this blog. It sure has gone by quickly. I was a blogger-wannabe for awhile, but had to jump on the bandwagon when Sprittibee had a contest giving away a digital camera! At that point in life, I didn't have one and I REALLY wanted one. I didn't win, but was able to buy one just a couple of months later.

I was thinking maybe I could do something really cool for my blogiversary, but here it is and I have no coolness to offer. No fun giveaways, no interesting things about me, really nothing interesting at all. Just a crazy, chaotic, and whirled-up day.

So . . . for something of interest, you can check these out:

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away THREE WD Passport Portable Hard Drives in cool colors!

The same sweet gals at 5 Minutes for Mom are also giving away some great organize-your-life kind of products.

If you're in a fall cleaning sort of mood, go see what Barb has going on. She has to be the Queen of Clean. And she's just the sweetest, craftiest woman. Her blog is always such a joy to read. Besides, I feel a special kinship since she's a fellow Coloradan.

Another fun place I've recently discovered is Sallie's Stack. Sallie shares a very interesting myriad of links to other sites. Subjects cover just about anything you could want to know about. I'm really enjoying this site.

If you just need some good, hard laughter, I'll have to send you to BooMama, It Coulda Been Worse, or Antique Mommy. These ladies are just a riot. While at BooMama's place, be sure to listen to a Big Boo Cast (here's the first one). Or more, if you think you can handle it. If you haven't been to FiddleDeeDee's before, her "Life As I See It" category contains some hysterical posts. And Antique Mommy's "Best Of" contains the infamous Ode to Mary Tyler Moore, which will have you falling out of your chair.

And I would be remiss if I did not send you over to Sprittibee, seeing how hers is the first blog I ever read and it's all because of the Queen Bee that I ever got into the blogging world. She posts lots of fun and interesting photos of her happy little bee family. She uses the same homeschool curriculum as we do. She's taken on the Homeschool Blog Awards and is working her little BEEhind off. And she's just the sweetest Texas gal. Oh, beginning Monday, she's also hosting a fun printer giveaway, so be sure and check it out.

So why I may not BE all that interesting, at least I can point you to some other interesting gals out there in bloggityville. Enjoy!!


Base Two

My oldest son is using Switched on Schoolhouse for his math (8th grade). Today's lesson was about Base Ten and Base Two. While I understand how to do Base Two, I don't grasp why anyone would ever use this. What is the real-life application of this system? (Base Ten is just our regular, Arabic numbering system.)

I realize that not every single thing I teach my kids will be used later in life, but I really do not get this. I went through the remainder of his entire 8th grade math and see nowhere else that this is ever used (other than the quiz & test that follow).

Anyone out there have a clue to this?

Duchess Dianne . . .

These crack me up! And my favorite color is purple. So what's your title?

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Duchess Dianne the Purple of Mellow under Trollness

Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

I cannot figure out why the link to get your own title isn't showing up, but if you'll hold your mouse underneath my title, you'll notice it turns to a hand. Click there and you can get your own Peculiar Aritstocratic Title.


What To Do With This Stuff?

I've scrapped and stamped for about eleven and a half years now, eight of which I was a demonstrator for St*mpin' Up! That means I have an abundance of scrapbooking and rubber stamping supplies. There is no way on earth I will ever use all of this. Besides, it takes up way too much space (when combined with ALL the stuff I do use!).

So I come to you, my many four or five readers, to solicit ideas. What on earth do I do with it all? I cannot just throw away perfectly good paper crafting supplies. Giving it to Goodwill, ARC, etc. doesn't seem like a viable option. I could have a bloggy contest and give it away. But I don't want to spend that much money (postage) just to see this stuff leave my house. Sell it in grab bag form on ebay? It's definitely not going to be a good yard sale draw.

It consists of papers (LOTS of papers/cardstock - solid, patterned, large, and small), ribbon, emebellishments, templates/patterns, some stamps, and other accoutrement. In fact, I'm still going through stuff and filling up box(es) with it.

Oh, and another thing - what do I do with an overabundance of pens, pencils, markers, etc.? I am a certifiable paper/office supply/writing implement junkie! I do know that if they don't write any longer, I ought to throw them away. I can handle that. But what do I do with all the rest (beyond what I keep)?!?

So . . . any great ideas? Anyone want some for the cost of postage? Anyone here local want to take it off my hands? I need the space and some ideas.

p.s. - is that FREE stamp in Cleveland just the coolest thing? I'd like to go see it in person some day.


I won a CD over at Boo Mama's place! It's the new Shane & Shane CD called "Pages." You can click on the link to hear some samples of their music. Enjoy!

Yippeeeeee!!!!! Thanks, Boo Mama!!


My New Buzzword

I always wonder who "they" are that come up with new catch phrases and such. Well, I'm pleased to say that as of this very moment (or actually a few days ago when it occurred to me), I came up with a new term: uni-task.

This is a verb which is the antonym of multi-task. We all know about multi-tasking. That highly praised and coveted skill, wherein one does numerous things simultaneously. Dictionary dot com explains it this way, "Often used of humans in the same meaning it has for computers, to describe a person doing several things at once." Last I checked, we're not machines.

I've spent a number of years being quite a proficient multi-tasker and being very proud of that fact. However, somewhere around the time I entered my fourth decade here on earth, it seemed that my skill was diminishing. Instead of being an efficient multi-tasker, I'd sort of become a confused pinball, bouncing around from one thing to the next, not entirely sure where I was headed next. While I thought this malady may be age-related, lately I've been encountering women in all walks and ages of life (including the less than 40 crowd) who suffer from pinball-itis.

A friend and I have discussed this matter and have concluded that multi-tasking isn't always all it's cracked up to be. If anything, it often leaves us distracted and addled. Not only that, it's a great way to do only half of about 20 or 30 things in any given day, yet never complete anything.

I've decided the antidote to multi-tasking is to focus on one thing at a time. Since there's currently no buzzword, I've dubbed it uni-tasking. I'm finding there are plenty of benefits to uni-tasking.

  • You can actually start AND compete something (in less than weeks, months, or years). This leads to a feeling of accomplishment, which has the added benefit of motivating you to move onto another task.

  • Your thoughts and imagination can flourish as your brain is only thinking about one thing at a time.

  • If you're a list maker, you'll be able to check something off, not merely mark it as "in progress" and carry it over to the next day . . . and the next . . . and the next.

  • You can fully participate in the activity because your mind isn't worried about all the other simultaneous tasks going on.

  • There's a certain peacefulness that comes from being single-minded.

  • When someone talks to you, you'll probably be able to really "hear" what's being said, because there's be room in your brain for their words.

The good things in life are only good when we're able to focus upon them. The most beautiful sunrise or sunset won't even be noticed if you're speeding down the road, ordering pizza on your cell phone, fussing at the kids, and trying to get to the store before they close. At home, you'll never notice the sweet and tender moments when your children play especially well together, your child shows you a beautiful drawing, or just hugs you and says, "I love you." There's no room left because you're racking your brain trying to figure out what you'll serve for dinner, talking with the credit card company about the late charge, waiting for the washing machine to quit so you can turn on the dishwasher, and checking email in between.

So, slow down, take a chance and give uni-tasking a try. You may find that you like it. You may even do it again. And again.

*** For more along this though, check out this post at Seek First His Kingdom.


Write Away Contest

I'm just squeezing in at the last minute on this one. Probably because I just discovered it. Anyway, Michelle over at Scribbit is hosting a Write Away contest. The September edition is about learning.

For me, it was about learning to see things from God's perspective. I submitted my post about the Big Log and its continuation. I sometimes need a refresher course, but I hope that they're fewer and farther between.

While it may be a little late to enter this contest, you can certainly check back in with Michelle on Friday to find out who won and read what I'm sure will be some good entries on learning. While you're there, be sure to check out her adorable handbags.



You'd think I'd be more aware by now. You'd think I'd learn to be on the look out. But since it happens in a realm I don't see, I still wander off into complacency and forget that there is a very real battle with a very real enemy, who really doesn't want me to live a godly life. But here it is - spiritual warfare - right smack in my face.

The signs were there, too. We just wrapped up Ephesians chapter 6 and the armor of God this past weekend at church. Our little group just started the Daniel Bible study last Friday. I'm diligently trying to keep homeschool on track. The ladies' retreat is coming up. But did I recognize all the signs? Oh no. I just went skipping on down the trail, oblivious as could be, right into the big, dark forest.

Until last night.

I was getting very edgy and irritable. Generally annoyed with everything and nothing. Clutter in the house was screaming at me. My brain was flying around like a tilt-a-whirl, each seat filled with images of what I ought to be doing.

I finally had to escape to the bedroom, sit on the floor, and cry out to God. He quietly reminded me that the attack level had become elevated over the past couple of days. The enemy knows full well how and where to get me derailed. When things seem to spin wildly out of control and threaten to overwhelm me, I have a couple of "instinctive" coping mechanisms. Neither one works, by the way.

First, I just want to take a break for the next week. Nobody talk to me, no one get in my way, no homeschool, just leave me alone so that I am free to regain alleged control of my life. You can already see why this one doesn't pan out. I never did have any control anyway - that's God's thing, not mine. Mine is to take my burdens to Him, trust Him, and rest in Him. His is to control this life He's given me.

Second, I want to run away from it all. Yeah, escapism at its finest. The problem there is that it will all be there when I return. Only messier. That plan is equally unsuccessful.

For whatever reason, I seem to feel the need to run things through those first two silly and useless filters. Then I get to the place I should've come to. Or the person, I should say.


He is the only one who can lead me successfully through the minefield of distractions and irritations. He is the only one big and powerful enough to alleviate my anxieties. He is the only one who is completely capable of handling everything that comes my way. Not only that, He knew it was coming. WAY before I saw it.

So. Time to lay each burden, frustration, concern, and problem down. Time to let Him take over. The only job He gives me in return?

Seek Him

Listen to Him

Trust Him

His burden truly is light. I just have to make the choice to lay mine down in order to take on His.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

Doesn't "rest for your souls" sound absolutely wonderful?


Name Fun

B Uu N N Y_McElman_070718_3104

T Southern Cemetery A I L P1000966

This is kind of fun (it if all fits correctly - I'm not html savvy enough to fix it - phooey!). I found it over at Everyday Mommy's place. You can see hers at this link. Or you can try it out for yourself here.


Daniel Study & Prayer Journals

We watched the first DVD of the Daniel study yesterday. I think it's going to be a very powerful, life-altering study. I'm really looking forward to doing this.

Feeling a little creative, I made some prayer journals for each member of our little group. We're up to 5 now, since my sister decided to join.

Here's the first one

Next is my mom's

The other "D" in our group


And my sister's

I may start out tidy and organized, but the messier my desk gets, the more creative I become. I'm not sure how or why that is, but it's just the reality of my life. Creativity is not a neat and tidy process, folks.

There's a lot going on here. I could probably do an "I Spy" page based upon this chaos, but I won't. Instead I'll just bore you with a long list.
  • There's the portable DVD player currently showing the first session of Daniel

  • Which is sitting atop the basket

  • Which contains homeschool supplies

  • Which is blocking the view of a vintage Mickey Mouse phone

  • Which is next to a stack of mostly homeschool supplies (I also plan at this desk)

  • Which is next to a dictionary

  • Which is next to the homeschool magazines

  • Which is next to some more homeschool books

  • Which is next to the index cards

  • Which are behind an assortment of stamping, collage-type supplies

  • Which are marginally under the earbuds with which I was listening to the Daniel DVD

  • Which are next to the Dr Pepper

  • Which is next to the new Eps*n PictureM*te Deluxe printer that I got on clearance at Staples for $29.50 (regularly about $100)

Whew! And did you notice? There's actually a teeny little amount of desk space whereupon I could create? And that I used a bulleted list in my post? First time ever. Put the code all by myself.

And last, but certainly not least, it's ME. With my handy dandy, nifty neato Scrapogator Crop*dile. It punches holes of differing sizes, sets eyelets and snaps, makes a handy door stop, or head-wonking weapon, and came in its own color-coordinated, lime green case, complete with 400 free, yes free, eyelets. Oh, the punching and setting? It's all done with a simple little clamping together of the clampy end of the tool. No hammering! No pounding! No looking for an appropriate surface upon which to hammer or pound! No noise while creating at all hours of the night and morning! If you're a stamping, cropping kind of gal, this is just the tool for you! (I sound like an infomercial or something - yikes!)

I was recently reading someone's blog who gives tips and hints about how to blog and how to be a good blogger. I think I have become the example of what NOT to do. She said not to write a lot. Not to write long paragraphs. That reading on the screen is awkward and . . . something else. Oh well. If you made it all the way to the end, I applaud you. If you didn't, I won't know anyway.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Wireless Fun

The sweet ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom are having another really cool giveaway! This one is for the Rocketfish Wireless Multimedia Bluetooth Keyboard and Laser Mouse. Yep, it's a mouthfull, but boy howdy, would it make my life easier! My mouse is forever fighting against me as its cord gets hung up in the keyboard drawer (where it attaches to the desk), which is SO frustrating!
This sleek, slim-design wireless keyboard and mouse combination lets you leave behind the wires while you surf the web without compromising performance.

It even acts as a Bluetooth hub so that you can transfer files to other Bluetooth devices (such as your digital photo printer).
How great would that be? In a very techno sort of way. I'd love to win this, but if I don't, maybe you will. So go sign up. While you're there, check out some of the other great articles. These ladies have a great site.


Fall is Here

I don't know if you can tell where you live, but Fall (or Autumn, if you prefer) has definitely arrived in Colorado. Yesterday was cooler in the morning, complete with cloud cover and highs only in the 60's. Although the sun did show it's warm smiley face for awhile, which threatened to remove that glorious Fall feeling. Not to worry, it's quite cloudy and even cooler today. We're not supposed to be out of the 50's. Woo hoo!! I just love, love, love the first days of Fall!

I'm also very domestic this time of year - baking, making soups and other warm comfort foods. It also helps that my oven is working again. Last night we had meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. It did my heart good to make a yummy dinner after being in a meal rut for so much of the summer! I even made a batch of lemon bars and a batch of key lime bars. Yummmmmmm!!

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I'm having a tough time getting to anything in bloggityville, as we're back on the homeschool wagon. This will be our 4th week. The first week was stellar. The second week was okay. Last week was . . . well, let's just say last week was rather off-track. But that's okay, one of the many benefits of homeschool is FLEXIBILITY. I was a good mom/teacher and got plans put together last night so we are ready to roll on down the road this week.

We're doing a unit (KONOS) on Floating & Ships which falls under the character trait of Trust. Should be a lot of fun. We have some cool experiments and projects planned. We'll be going to see The Titanic exhibit at the Denver Museum towards the end of our unit. Good stuff!

Edited to add: You know when you go back and read something you wrote and realize that it might not have sounded the way you intended? I'm hoping everyone understands that homeschooling my kids most definitely takes priority over blogging. So I wasn't trying to sound like, "Oh, this schooling stuff is getting in the way of my bloggy life." No way, huh-uh, never. My primary ministry at this time in my life is homeschooling my boys.

And if you didn't think it sounded that way, then just ignore my rambling addition here. LOL!

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When I stopped by Boo Mama's place this morning (quick peek while the boys have breakfast) and realized that she and Big Mama had already done a THIRD Big Boo Cast, I realized that I must be very behind the times. Especially since I haven't even heard the second one! If you just need to have a good laugh, go listen to the Big Boo Cast (this is the first one). These ladies are a riot!

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This summer our church offered Beth Moore's study on Daniel and I had really, really, really wanted to attend. It wasn't to be, however, which was somewhat disappointing. I so enjoy her studies. I was talking with our women's ministry assistant recently and she offered to hook me up with the DVDs and the study. I now have an official small group (4 of us, maybe 2 more) and we'll be starting the Daniel study on Friday. Praise God! I was able to pick up not only the workbooks and DVDs, but the leader's guide and all the handouts. God is SO good. The group consists of Mom, me, and two other homeschool moms that are dear friends of mine. Our kids get to hang out every Friday afternoon and play (they're thrilled) and we get to have some lunch, fellowship, and do this awesome study together. Such a deal!

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For the past year, I've been writing for our women's ministry newsletter which is published quarterly. The lady who's been overseeing that will be stepping down and I'm taking over. I know that it's what the Lord has called me to and I know that He will be faithful to provide the strength, wisdom, and direction I need. But it's still a little intimidating. My predecessor is just so gifted in this realm and I hope to produce a newsletter that will continue blessing and ministering to the women who read it. We have a meeting this Friday evening with all of the contributors and that's when she'll be announcing the leadership change.

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I'm still plugging away with santa stars. I'm over half way done with the machine sewing part and trimming part. I am really glad I got an early start on these! I also chose a couple of Christmas cards that I've made in the past to be the cards this year. So I'll be ordering cardstock and ribbon for those this week. Time to plan a couple of "Stamping with Friends" days.

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Maybe this week I can blog just a little more often so it doesn't all get dumped into one huge post! Yeah, best laid plans. Ha! Ha!


Wordless (almost) Wednesday - Our Day on Pikes Peak

Hubby & me at Mile Marker #1 lookout

Love the view!

Beautiful shot on the way up

Crystal Reservoir with Pikes Peak in the background

The W's

Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway

My guys on the end of the cog track

Yep, that's the land where many people live, some 8,000 feet below

God is such an amazing Creator

More of God's handiwork

The weather center at the summit with an incoming storm

The boys at the summit

Brrr . . . it's a good 30 degrees colder up here!

If he'd have worn camo pants, we wouldn't have found him at all

And you thought only pirates went to the world's edge!

No, it's not a kangaroo on Pikes Peak

Check out more Wordless Wednesday posts here

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