Wordless Wednesday - Tulip Center

tulip center

Better late than never. For more wordlessness, go here and here.


Cool Technology

I think it's pretty cool that Netflix lets you watch some of their movies and shows instantly. We don't currently have a cable to hook the computer to the tv, though, and it's a little difficult for four of us to watch on the laptop . . . or even on the desktop. We also don't have a Netflix device, but thought we might get something (or cables) one of these days.

Then a couple of weeks ago, we got an email from Netflix informing us of their latest feature - the ability to watch programs via the Wii. All we had to do was let them know we wanted the special Wii disk, which they promptly mailed to us.

So here we are on a Saturday night, watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Season 1 (1955) via the Wii via Netflix. Best of all? It's free with our existing membership.


Tulips, Squirrel, and a Craft Fair

mrs squirrelI seem to be quite overdue for a post of randomeandering. First of all, is this not the cutest little squirrel drawing you've ever seen? My five year old niece drew it. It is just so adorable! I think she did a terrific job.

My friend has a very fun and interesting yard and I just love walking around with my camera. You can look forward to a plethora of shots from her place this summer. To start, I spotted a couple tulips hiding behind an outbuilding.
yellow orange tulip bls

pink tulip bls

bag fabricOur church is hosting a craft fair in few weeks and since I'm on a sewing kick, I thought it would be fun to participate. So I'm making a bunch of cute little accessory/organizer type bags - the kind you can have in your purse or tote or whatever for chapstick, lotion, ibuprofen, iPod, etc.

What does it say about me when I cut out my fabric and feel compelled to lay the pieces in a nice little pattern because I know that it will make an interesting and colorful photo? Ha! Ha! Okay, maybe not THAT interesting, but it was still fun. Before being a shutterbug, I'd just have piled them up in a boring stack.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to women's ministry for missions. I'm also recruiting Clay Guy to make his cute little sock monkeys - out of clay, of course - to sell there with me.

I have a couple of other things I thought about selling there, but probably don't have the time to do all three. Just have to see how that plays out. I also have NO idea how big the craft fair is, how many people attend, or anything at all. I just know that there's no fee to have a table and a portion of the proceeds will go to a good cause. This is only the second fair, and I wasn't at the first one. So we'll see how that plays out as well.

And hopefully sometime soon, I can finish the blog design, because I really like the completed look just a bit more than this version. In my spare time. Ha! Ha!

Once Again

As much as I loved having a blue, snowy header, now that I'm very ready to move into spring, it was time for a change. I took a blog design class from Amy Bayliss awhile back and have been playing around with a new design.

I wish I could say this was entirely it. The header is. (Thanks to my nearly-cousin, Tracy, for her awesome skills, which improved upon my own design). But there's still more to be tweaked. I wouldn't even normally change it without having accomplished said tweakage, except I really can't look at the snowy header any more. I am so done with snow. Even though it's only April and here in Colorado, we can get snow anytime in the next few weeks.

And no, the header isn't real springy, but it's less than wintery. Sounds like algebra to me. Or maybe because that's what I'm teaching the boys. The absolute value of my header is less than winter. Or something.

However, it's very late, I need some sleep, and so you'll be left with a partially done blog at this point. Even if the remaining colors are a little off.

But the header's much better, don't you think?


Wordless Wednesday - Droplet


For more wordlessness, go here and here.


My New Bag

Sometimes when you can't find (or can't afford) what you really want, you just have to make it yourself. Well, I have to, anyway. Last year, I made a tote bag that was to function as a purse/camera bag. It was pretty much a prototype, because I knew that I would have to use it for awhile to decide what I really wanted. A few months ago, I purchased some fabric for the upcoming bag. Last week, the boys went to work with hubby for the day, which freed me up for a day of sewing. And sew I did.

I made a bag that was crazy huge, along the lines of luggage. That really wouldn't do. By then I was pretty obsessed with having the bag of my dreams, so I was back at it the next day. I'm pleased to say that by the time Saturday afternoon arrived, I was done! Well, mostly. I have a couple more additions coming, but had to get back to real life, after taking so much sewing time off. I'm very happy with the newer, smaller version. It's the perfect size for my camera and a few purse items or just to be used as a purse.

Fortunately, I had plenty of tapestry and liner fabric left.

As a purse.

As a camera bag/purse.

It even has little pockets for memory cards.

I always make a coordinating little bag.

What's missing, you ask? I still plan to make an adjustable cross-body strap for those times I'm shooting pictures and don't want to worry about it slipping off my shoulder. I'm also making movable, padded dividers so the camera has its own space.


Wordless Wednesday - Blossoming

spring blossoms2

spring blossom

Fore more wordlessness, go here and here.


Review of Molly's Money-Saving Digest

Molly’s Money-Saving Digest: Evaluate, Prioritize, and Organize - January 2010

If you haven’t read Molly’s Money-Saving Digest yet, you are missing out on a real treasure. I don’t think I know anyone these days who couldn’t use some ideas for spending less, making more of what you have, and just all-around better managing life. While I’ve purchased a couple of issues in the past, I may just be due for a subscription. I received the January, 2010 issue for review and there’s just a wealth of information and tips in a mere 51 pages.

Learn about making pies from scratch. Not just a basic recipe for making a pie, but all sorts of information, from making and freezing pie dough to numerous options for using your delicious pie crusts.

Find out what’s on sale that month (i.e.; carpeting, appliances, computers, etc.). I know there are lists with this information, but I can never seem to keep track of the list. How nice to have a monthly reminder!

Cute, decorative, printable forms to better organize your life. Print them out and put them into a binder for your own Mom’s Control Center. This issue included: financial and budgeting worksheets, a calendar, Daily To Do List (sorted by categories), and a Family Clothing Inventory.

I absolutely love the home d├ęcor article! She shares a couple of frugal and fun ways to create beautiful artwork using your computer or photos. I’m looking forward to creating the photo canvas with some of my own pictures. She also has a wonderful idea for displaying photos and organizing jewelry from Songbirdtiff (who, by the way, also has all sorts of terrific and inexpensive tips).

Ideas and links for healthy eating, along with a week’s worth of tasty-sounding, thrifty meals, complete with a shopping list.

Kids Corner, which focused on teaching your kids valuable lessons about money, specifically having a checking account. She walks through the process of opening a checking account and also includes forms to practice writing checks and maintaining the register. In future issues, she went on to teach how to make deposits and balance your checkbook.

Molly also provided some excellent tips for evaluating, prioritizing, and organizing three important areas of life: time, money, and stuff. I don’t think I know anyone who has all three of those under control. I know I certainly don’t and I plan to implement a couple of her ideas.

There was a very sweet biography from Amy Howard, who writes for Molly’s site, Econobusters. For those of you know Jim Bob Howard, this is his wife. She shares their journey in frugality and how she came to write for Econobusters. I have to say that I love reading biographies. It’s such a pleasure to learn a little more about what makes others tick (not in a nosy, Gladys Kravitz kind of way, though).

Last, but not least, Molly has a big old list of resources and links. It’s a one-stop shop to all sorts of amazing and helpful information. Since it’s a pdf magazine, you merely click on the link and voila – you’re transported through the magic of the internet!

If you haven’t read any of Molly’s Money Saving Digests yet, I highly recommend you do. You can purchase a single copy for the very reasonable price of $4.95 (no advertisements to bother with, either!), or you can save $1.00 per issue, plus receive a myriad of other benefits, by subscribing. Either way, it will be money well invested.

I was provided the January 2010 issue of Molly's Money-Saving Digest by the TOS Homeschool Crew and the opinions expressed are my own.

Help Lord I'm Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling My High Schooler!

I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to review Help, Lord, I’m Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling My High Schooler! Even though I’ve already been in the high school trenches for almost two years, this was an incredibly encouraging e-book. I think everyone who has middle school to high school aged homeschool kids should read it. I imagine that I will read it more than once. I don’t know about you, but I am in definite need of ongoing confidence, motivation, and encouragement in my own high school homeschool journey and there’s plenty to be found here.

One of the best things about this e-book is that there are stories from over a dozen families about their various high school adventures. With that many different stories, you’re sure to find someone you can relate to; whether it’s because they have a lot of kids or because they don’t, perhaps they started homeschooling later in life (like I did), or maybe you’ll find someone whose child has a very similar temperament to one of your own. No matter the make-up of your own family and homeschool, you’re sure to find stories here that will encourage you. Each of these families has graduated one or more children from high school and, believe it or not, these young adults have gone to college, begun careers, gotten married, and started families. They all survived and succeeded in spite of parental fears and concerns. It’s very much like a modern-day Hebrews 12; these families are that great cloud of witnesses having gone before us, sharing their stories, and letting us know that things will work out.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:1-4

Following the stories from the varied families, Deborah Wuehler (Senior Editor for The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine) provides a lovely epilogue, complete with the speech her oldest son gave at his own homeschool high school graduation. There is also an exceptional resource list including books, websites, magazines, CDs, and other valuable information in the back. I firmly believe this should be required reading for every homeschool parent with children in middle or high school. I've already reread a couple of the stories just since beginning it. This e-book is truly a blessed encouragement from the Lord.

I was provided a copy of this e-book by the TOS Homeschool Crew. The thoughts and opinions are my own.


Wordless Wednesday - Early Morning Shadow

betty crocker shadow

For more wordlessness, go here or here.


Fried Modem on Friday, Other Thoughts, and a Photo

Our modem fried Friday night. Hmmm...that has an interesting alliteration to it. Anyway, other than bumming hubby's laptop and blackberry tether program and some limited cell phone updates, we were mostly internetless this weekend. And you know, it really wasn't so terrible. Mostly. It did bring to light the fact that I need to have a slightly better back-up plan for bills and bank balances and such. Going green and paperless is groovy and all, but what happens when you have no internet? You can't just pop online and check balances and such things.

The other thing? It's really nice NOT being online so much. Of course, now that I have to play catch-up, I'm actually on more. My friend, Emily, is limiting herself (and her family) to 30 minutes two times a day online. I'm not sure what my limits will be...yet...but I definitely need some.

In the meantime, I'm nearly caught up (again) with my 365 Project. I have a couple more days' of photos go post and I'll be back on track. Actually, I was, and then we had our Modem Fry. And no, I do not want fries with that.

This has nothing to do with anything. But I really don't like posting without a photo. It's sort of like chicken enchiladas without sour cream. They're okay...just a little lacking. This is from one of our apple trees. Maybe this year we can find a way to keep the squirrels out of our apples. Yeah, right. They trashed ALL of them last year. We didn't get a single good apple. They were all on the ground with a bite or two out of them before they could ripen. And we have four apple trees. BTW, I just LOVE our blue skies here. This shot is SOOC (straight out of camera) - no editing whatsoever.

apple tree bud

It's too windy in Colorado lately. I've had quite enough, thankyouverymuch. Buh-bye, wind. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

We went to see How to Train Your Dragon this afternoon with some friends. It was loads of fun. Not in 3-D, though. Thank you to the theaters for further raising their crazy prices. No wonder we wait for movies to come out on DVD.

I think that's about it. Must be, cause it's time to go to bed. G'night.


I Heart Red

Edited to add: Now I am sad. Not because I wasn't chosen, but because I didn't get a chance. Our modem crashed so I had to scramble to get my pix onto a flash drive, put it all on hubby's laptop, upload, and post from there, only to find out that the comments were CLOSED! It just said to enter by 4/2/10. Well, it still IS 4/2/10. They didn't put a time or time zone cutoff. I can't believe I missed it. How sad. 

It is SO much fun to find new photog sites like Beyond Snapshots, run by Rachel & Peta. The cool thing is that each brings unique experience to the site to help and inspire others. I'm definitely enjoying their Tips & Tricks section.

Not only is Beyond Snapshots a very fun site, but they're giving away a red Lola epiphanie camera bag. This bag is beautiful and I really, really want one. Really.

So here's the dealio: I have to post something RED to enter the contest. To win the bag that I so desperately want. What better red to share than Cherry Kisses?

cherry kisses2

cherry kisses

If I won this bag, I'd have to carry some of those kisses around with me to share.

Which would make people smile.

Which would cause me to whip out my camera and take their picture.

Which would make me smile because I had won the bag.

Did I mention that I really, truly want this bag?

Cause I do.

Pretty please, with a cherry kiss on top?

Cool Site & Camera Bag

Have you seen all the beautiful new products & contest for pro photographers on Design Aglow? This is an awesome resource for photographers and I'm excited to have found them. They are having an incredible camera bag giveaway that I would SO love to win. We're not talking your standard, run-of-the-mill-looks-like-a-camera-bag camera bag. This is a gorgeous bag from Epiphanie!

Did I mention that I really want one of these?

Really, really, really want one.

A lot.

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