Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday: Removing Prices from Labels on Gifts

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer hosts the phenomenal Works For Me Wednesdays ... a great place to go to get all kinds of tips!

Anyway, this little tip is probably something most of you already know about, but I thought I'd share it any way ... just in case you don't.

I HATE giving or receiving a gift that has the price on it, yet, realistically, taking price tags off of gifts can require a PhD. SERIOUSLY! What do manufacturers glue price tags on with ... cement? I have broken nails over peeling stickers off ... At the same time, coloring out the price with a black ball point pen or marker can leave a messy mess! Besides ... I like to leave the SKU numbers on most of the price tags -- just in case someone has to return my carefully thought out gift for some strange reason!

Well, here is a neat way to remove prices off of the tags and still leave the SKU numbers intact (see pictures below): Place part of a strip of scotch tape (not the removable kind) over the price part of the tag, and hold onto the other end of the tape. Smooth it out, and then tear it away. It will take the price off and leave everything else intact, including the plastic wrap on the item. This works on any label that is paper -- the "sticky" kind or the "hangy" kind. Good-bye to messy markers and broken nails!! The tape just peels off the very top layer of the paper, taking the price with it. I have, at times, also done this on the entire label (you know ... when you want the gift receiver to think you paid full price, even though the price has been slashed and re-slashed and there are red lines all over the sticker)!

Also -- If you have a glass or ceramic item (like a votive cup, serving platter, glass bowl or washable item) and you want the entire sticky sticker off, then simply place the item in your sink, run hot water over it for a bit (or let it soak for a few minutes in a hot water bath), and most of the time, the sticker will come off on its own. You may have to use a bit of dishwashing detergent, but generally, hot water is enough to melt the sticky stuff right off. If THAT doesn't work, use a bit of olive oil on a paper towel and rub it over the sticky residue. Oil will remove most sticky residue (including bandaids). I NEVER use acetone, because it can damage the gift item.

If you need more explanations or clarifications, email me! After all -- I can tend to go on and on and on and never make sense to anyone except myself, if you know what I mean!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I love randomness!

Something really nice "happened upon me" today. Yes, it just happened upon me. I didn't go looking for it, I didn't ask for it, I didn't get it myself. Someone (and I'll keep their name private) gifted me out of the blue with a subscription that THEY won in a contest... They could have kept it for themselves, but instead, they shared it with me!

That totally made my day. It also brought tears to my eyes ... why? Because there really are people out there that still practice random acts of kindness for no reason at all other than they love you, and they care.

Or maybe they realize that I am raising a very stubborn, rebellious child with a "will" and a need to prove that it's stronger than mommy's "will" (not gonna happen) ... and he's only 13 months old.

Hmmmmm. I'll need to rethink that act of randomness!

Anyway, thank you to my friend who made my day... you know who you are!

Hugs and kisses to you!

Now ... go do something randomly nice for someone!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!

Give thanks, with a grateful heart --
Give thanks to the Holy One --
Give thanks because he's given Jesus Christ his son.

And now, let the weak say I am strong --
Let the poor say I am rich --
Because of what the Lord has done for us.

Give thanks...

This blog will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. I will return on Monday, November 27. In the mean time, enjoy every moment you have with your family and friends -- celebrating the here and now -- as we are not promised tomorrow!

Blessings to you all,

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another birthday gift!

I am soooo blessed to have such wonderful friends! Yes, I am, indeed!

I have received a few electronic cards which so totally rock and Mooo-ved me!

AND ... yesterday, after a really long and boring day at work, I came home to yet another gift in the mail from yet another friend! I'm simply overwhelmed. For someone that didn't want anything from her husband for her birthday, I sure have become a giddy little girl when something arrives in the mail!

The gift I received was so cool, that I wanted to share it with you. I'll keep the sender anonymous to protect her sanity ... but I really thought that this little gift was a gem worth sharing!

It's a Password Keeper! An outstanding idea, and a little gift that is priced JUST RIGHT for those stocking stuffers, girlfriend gifts, and birthdays! I LOVE it, and started to fill it out almost immediately. I didn't realize how many passwords I had, and on how many little pieces of paper I had written them on, and now ... they are all safe in one place, and the book is so small that I can fit it in my purse! Adorable!! The friend of mine that sent it totally had a brain storm of epic proportions when she found this gem! (And... it's got scripture in it!)

Here is a picture of what mine looks like:

And ... here are a few clear pictures of the inside:

They are normally priced at a very, VERY affordable $6.99, but you can go to (click here) and order some at a very special sale price of $0.99!

I promise you'll love it so much that when it comes in the mail, you'll want one for yourself!

So ... a very special thanks to my un-named friend! I love you!

Whatcha waiting for? Go get one now!

Monday, November 20, 2006

"Of The Month..."

Okay -- my heart skipped a few beats this morning ... I went looking for my Christmas list this morning, and couldn't find it in my purse... it is my lifeline during the holidays, and has everything I've made and purchased written down in it. Without it, I would be lost. Fortunately, I found it buried at the bottom of my purse, THANK GOODNESS! My heart can beat normally again.

Today, I'm going to share another homemade gift idea with you that can be used in so many ways. It's called, "Of The Month" gift... It's a great gift for a wife to give a husband, or to give to grandparents, college kids, etc. It spreads the cost of the gift out over a period of time, offering YOU some financial relief, and it will bring a smile on the receivers face each month when they receive something new!

The premis (we'll use Grandma and Grandpa as an example): You prepare a special card which says that Grandma and Grandpa have received a special Gift of the Month. On the card, specify how many months they will receive the gift, what day of the month they will receive it, and list what they will receive each month. Make and package one homemade gift (like a box of homemade sugar cookies decorated for Christmas), and wrap it beautifully, attaching the card to the top of the gift.

This is an especially fun gift for children to give to their grandparents, because they will have to come up with a creative list of gifts for each month, and then either make the gift, or coordinate purchasing the gift. Grandma and Grandpa will really enjoy getting a special package each month, too! It's also great for aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, the Pastor and his/her family, and family friends.

For spouses, this is an affordable way to give each other some special and unique gifts, like a hot candle-lit bubble bath with rose petals, or a special candle-lit meal for two (kids go to Grandma and Grandpa's for the night), or a shoulder / foot massage, or an evening at the movies, or an evening in front of the fire place with a gourmet dessert, quiet music, and no kids ... I'm sure you can use your imagination on special things your spouse will truly enjoy (and you, too)!

The following are some tips to help you plan for giving a Monthly Gift:

1) Shoot for giving the receiver of your gifts the item on the first weekend of the promised month.

2) Be clear when and where/how you will be delivering their gifts.

3) Make as many items from scratch/homemade as possible, as this will add a special touch and meaning to the gifts, as well as make it affordable.

4) Get to know the receiver's favorites, and include them on their list (foods, candies, wines, beers, books, movies, etc.)

5) Follow through with your promise. Post yourself a note on your fridge or calendar so you do not forget. There's nothing worse than being promised something, and the promise falls through.

6) Involve your kids in making the homemade items ... they will have a blast decorating cookies, cakes, planting herbs, or kneading bread! This will make the gift a special one from your entire family!

7) If you can, include with the gift delivery a picture of the kids planting the herb garden, decorating cookies, making bread, cooking a meal, stirring the soup pot, etc. so that the receiver can enjoy the effort that was put into the gift (grandparents love that sort of thing).

To help you kick-start your brain, here is a list of some monthly gifts you can do:

Italian Dinner for Two (or however many you wish)
Mexican Fiesta Night for Two
Pot of Homemade Soup (Potato, Chicken & Rice, Vegetable, etc.)
Homemade Bread
One Gallon of homemade/specialty/gourmet Ice Cream
Special Dessert
Large variety of homemade cookies
Specialty Brownies
Drawn, candle-lit bubble bath (spouse gift)
Candle-lit dinner (spouse gift)
Romantic evening in front of the fire (spouse gift)
Special massage (spouse gift)
Framed picture of the grandchildren
Fresh Cut Flowers (Costco has GREAT prices on awesome flowers)
Plant of the season
Herb Garden
Gourmet Coffee
Basket of Seasonal Fruit
Basket of Homemade Jams or Butters (apple butter)
Basket of Garden Fresh Vegetables
Basket of Fresh Gourmet Muffins
Bottle of Wine
Imported Beer
A Music CD
A Move on DVD
Variety of Gourmet Nuts
Gourmet BBQ Basket
Gift Bag full of Bulbs
Fall Pumpkins and gourds

Examples Packages:

... Four-Month-Gift:

... Six-Month-Gift:

... Twelve-Month-Gift (the MOTHERLOAD):

... Twelve-Month-Gift-to-your-Spouse:

Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section (please keep it family friendly). And ... let me know if you need help making the cards, or if you need ideas for graphics!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thank you!!!

Thank you to all you dear friends of mine for all your wonderful birthday wishes, emails, cards, and gifts... yes, gifts.

Friday, I got home from work, and I was feeling very poorly. My head ached. My throat ached. It was an achy breaky kind of feeling ... like when you're getting sick. I walked in the door, and there ... waiting for me ... was this (pictures are bad ... I was using my cell phone camera):

Which had this in it ...

Now -- I won't announce who sent it to me, 'cause I don't want to embarass her ... but, if you read her blog, then you'll know from the peanuts and red-hots who it is... which, by the way, is a surprisingly YUMMY combination! Isn't the box adorable? And the homemade gift was very touching! Thank you to my generous and special friend! It cheered me up like you won't believe! I actually got something in the mail that I didn't pay for, and that someone made just for me! What a wonderful feeling!

Then yesterday, my husband and I ran some errands (without the baby!!!), ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and went out for ice cream -- I'm not usually an ice cream person, but seeing that it was my "birthday weekend" -- I splurged, and forced my self to eat some yummy chocolate-marshmallow ice cream. We went to Brewsters, and thinking that I would be conservative, I only asked for one scoop. This is what they gave me (

It's OBVIOUS this person failed math in high school, because this is THREE, maybe four, scoops -- not one! I felt sick just looking at it. But, ate it ... since I didn't want to waste it. Can you blame me?

Then, this evening, I got a huge chuckle at my husband's cousin's expense, poor guy. You know how sometimes, one sibling gets all the smarts, and the other one gets ... well, not all the smarts? So, my husband was talking to his two cousins (who are brothers) about going away on a hunting trip with them. The older brother says, "Yeah, I've always wanted to hunt in Saskatchewan." My husband patiently explained that it would be fun, but when you hunt out of the country, it can get pretty expensive, because you have to hunt with a guide, and traveling to Canada is also expensive. Plus, it can get pretty cold!" To which the older cousin replied, "Canada? I thought Saskatchewan was in Texas."

Yes. He did.


My husband laughed while he was telling me this story, then shook his head and said, "My boy ... I love him. I gotta help him out however I can." Wasn't that sweet?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Christmas Gifts for Christian Tweens and Teens

Are you one of those gazillion people who are stumped over what to get your Christian teen? How about that 'tween' that wants to be as cool as a teen? Well, my sister-in-law ... Sunshine ... found this really awesome Christian website that sells very, way-cool, over the top stuff. Sunshine -- you ROCK, AND ... you hit the motherload, baby! Yes! It's THAT good!

They have shirts, hoodies, jackets, pants, hats, belts, beanies (hats), stickers, books, DVDs, and friends ... they have Christian CDs -- BROKEN OUT by Genre! No more guessing!

In fact, they even have cool stuff for all you hip-hop mommas and papas (and little kids) that want to look [ehem] cool around your kids and their friends...

The website is called C-28

They even have a sale on 2 t-shirts for $25! You can buy two shirts for guys, or 2 shirts for girls, or 1 for a guy and 1 for a girl, or 1 for your kid and 1 for you... just bear in mind that some sizes and styles are limited in the 2 for $25 section. Ummm -- they have clearance, too. Okay -- I don't think I have to say anything more. [CLEARANCE!]

Check out some of the selections they have:

Now ... your hip-hop tweens and teens can go to school with cool clothes that sport a Christian message ... in fact, it's the kind that will make other's look at the shirt for a second before it really sinks in... very subliminal for those who are slow on the up-take, if you know what I mean. They also have wallpapers, screensavers, avatars, good grief -- I can't tell you everything they have, now can I? You'll just have to go check it out!

And moms ... they have long shirts ... okay, they have shorter ones too, but if you're concerned about modesty, they have styles for you!!

One last thing ... just in case you're wondering, here's what their website name means: "C28 stands for Colossians 2:8, Not Of This World (NOTW), and all about Jesus!" AND ... "C28 donates a certain percentage of all purchases to youth ministries. The mission at C28 is to share the life changing gospel message of grace, truth and love of Jesus. So far, 7607 people have come to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior since opening 5 years ago. All praise goes to God!"

Now get off my blog and -- Check it Out -- Let me know your thoughts -- in that order.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Stumpers, Head Scratchers, and Mind Bogglers

Here's a cafeteria stumper: Why is it that when the coffee-maker-dude in our cafeteria makes a fresh pot of coffee, he always hits the wall behind the trash can with the old filter and coffee grinds instead of trying to put it IN the trash can? And to stump you even more... why even bother to make a cardboard "shield" to stand behind the trash can if you're going to miss THAT too? Only a man, my friends ... only a man.

Here's a driving stumper: Last week, I had to take Hunter to the doctor's office for a booster flu shot. I was slowly coming to a stop sign when I saw this lady crossing coming up to the sidewalk on the passenger side of my car. She was dressed in very shabby clothing, and was staggering as she walked. I immediately checked to make sure the car doors were locked, and thought to my self, "this is why this part of town is so bad ... drugs and alcohol." Why I thought she was on drugs or drunk, I don't know --maybe it was her staggering, maybe it was the way she was dressed, or maybe it was her shabby personal appearance ... what ever the reason, I managed to pass immediate judgment on her. She began to cross the street behind me as I came up to the stop sign. I looked out my rear view mirror to keep her in sight, but I didn't see her ... anywhere ... this freaked me out just a little. Then, I looked to my left on the other side of the street, and didn't see her there, either. I looked back to the right side of the street, but she wasn't there, nor was she behind me. Then ... my mind began to work. Did she just vanish into thin air? Could she have fallen behind my car? Or worse yet ... did I just unfairly judge an angel in disguise? Yes, my blood pressure rose a bit at that thought, and I put my car in park and took my seat belt off so I could turn my body around in my seat to get a clear view. And, there she was ... farther down the street than I had thought she would be. She must have crossed diagonally behind me, and I lost her in the angle. But it sobered me to think how quick I was to judge this person, when they are a child of God, too... and could quite possibly, have been an angel in disguise! You just never know!!! So, I said a quick prayer of forgiveness, prayed for her and her family, and continued on my trip to the doctor's office.

Here's a head scratcher for you: How on earth did I manage to leave BooMama off of my blog roll on the left? How, tell me ... HOW? This was such a travesty on my part, and anyone new coming to visit me, please know that I have fixed the error of my ways and added her onto my list... you really must visit her, because she is, after all, stinking hilarious!

And finally ... a Mind Bogler: Why do people care so much about the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wedding? And do you find it a wee bit ironic that they (Scientologists) are getting married in Italy, of all places ... home of the Roman Catholic Church, which is by far the largest religion in the country(87.8% of Italy's population)? I wonder if they will replace crosses and doves with alien heads and crows? Will Katie carry a creapy bouquet made of these? And ... am I the only one that didn't know that Tom Cruise was married to Mimi Rogers in 1987 ... before his marriage to Nicole Kidman? Evidently, Mimi is the one that introduced Tommy boy to Scientology. Poor Tom. He never knew what hit him. Just in case you were wondering ... Nicole Kidman is a firm supporter of Israel -- kinda makes you go "hmmmmm?!?" How'd Kidman and Cruise ever hook up? Anyway, it seems that Katie girl is set to marry Tommy boy, and the world is a-flutter, I tell you! Strange, huh?

What I find simply amazing is, that Tom and Katie set the date for their wedding to be the day before my birthday. Obviously, this was due to poor planning on their part. Imagine the honor they could have had in celebrating their wedding on the same day as my birth?

I guess what's even more mind boggling than Tom and Katie's wedding is that I've spent so much time and effort in obsessing about something I'm not obsessed about.

Hmmm. I really like the name Katie.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday -- A Christmas Edition

Yes, friends ... I have yet another Works For Me Wednesday tip!

In all fairness, I haven't done this yet... but I will be doing it for the first time this year. You see ... by the time we put up our Christmas tree, my son will be about 14 months old... and frankly, he is ALL BOY, and LOVES to get into E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. So much so, that he has bumps and bruises all over his precious face from having fallen from places he shouldn't have been.

So, this past weekend, when my very-trendy-church-friend asked if we were going to put up a Christmas tree this year, and laughed and said, "good luck with that!" when I told her that I was planning on having a tree ... My mind started whirring with images of my son buried under the Christmas tree that he pulled onto himself. Or worse... covered with glass shards from broken ornaments. And, if I squeeze my eyes real tight, I can even imagine him at the TOP of the tree after having found (and then climbed up) the very limbs that are strong enough to hold a 25-pound child on our tree! These are NOT visions of sugar-plums dancing in my head!

So, having said (or rather, thought) that... I began to plan how I would safely decorate said tree, so that my son will not be rushed to the emergency room numerous times during the Christmas season.

So ... here's my Works For Me Wednesday Christmas Tip -- This year, I will decorate my tree with white lights, ribbons/bows, and:

- edible and safe garland (popcorn, cranberries, candy necklaces)
- some paper or yarn (hardened with glue) snowflakes
- candy canes
- dehydrated apple and orange slices
- candy ornaments (marshmallow snowmen, gum drops on ribbons, etc.)
- large colorful pom poms suspended by ribbons
- gingerbread and sugar cookie ornaments

Hopefully, my tree will look somewhat decent. It won't be all glittery, but it will be safe in the event of an accidental "tippage" or "tasteage" by a very curious child.

If you have any Christmas tips you'd like to share, or want to learn some new tricks, head on over to Rocks in my Dryer and sign in on the Mister Linky she's provided!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More Homemade Gift Ideas ...

Many people have emailed me asking me where I get my ideas from... well, most of the time, I get them from catalogs and magazines. I'll see something, and I'll think to myself: "Hey! I can do that! And, I can do it cheaper and better!"

Now, not everything turns out to be cheaper, so some pre-shopping to price things out may not be a bad idea. For instance, sometimes, I can walk into Michaels expecting to get one or two things, and leave with a hundred dollar purchase! Not a good thing when you're trying to STAY ON A BUDGET -- for the love of all that is good and holy!!!

Anyway, I last night I was flipping through a Hallmark catalog, when I was struck by that little phrase I mentioned earlier: ""Hey! I can do that! And, I can do it cheaper and better!" And that's when I thought I'd write a post with some pictures from that very catalog as an example of what I'm talking about ... I'm pretty certain that it will stir the gift-making juices in your mighty brains!

Christmas Movie Night Gift Set -- this gift set retails for $59.95 (plus delivery) at Hallmark! Now, you KNOW you can make this cheaper! You can get a fleece blanket at WalMart for $7-10, an old Christmas movie for $5, and one packet of popcorn out of your pantry. The blanket doesn't need to be folded into a pillow. You can fold it into a rectangle and tie the DVD and popcorn on with a ribbon. FIFTYNINENINTYFIVE! Seriously!

Butterfly Blossoms Garden Set -- This gift retails for $34.95 (plus delivery) at Hallmark. Yes, I'm serious. You can get a 1/4 pound bag of Wildflower Seeds for $9.95 (plants 500 to 1000 sq.ft)at American Meadows (or any other internet seed place), put it in a coffee bag from the craft store, print off a nice label from your computer, tie with a ribbon, and pair it up with a little watering can from the craft store for much, MUCH less than $34.95!

"Smiles Happen" Coffee Gift Set -- This gift retails for $19.95 (plus delivery) at Hallmark. I'm pretty sure I don't need to go into detail on how you can make a gift like this on your own at a FRACTION of the cost.

Garden Sprinkles Flower Seed Set -- I'm not sure how much cheaper you can get this gift, as it only retails for $19.95 (plus delivery), but it looks like a lot of fun to make! I have these clear-top favor tins that I used for a favor I made one time ... they are sold at craft/fabric stores, WalMart, etc. in the wedding section, and are about $20 for 30. I know ... you have to dish out the initial $20 -- but you could make about 4 or 5 gifts out of this. They even come with labels that you can design and print out on your own printer. Cheap seeds can be found at, and you can get peat pots at hardware stores.

Junk Food Pail -- This gift retails for $59.95 (plus delivery) at Hallmark. I am simply speechless with the cost for this gift. I JUST purchased a tin pail at AC Moore yesterday for $2.99. All you would need is a piece of Styrofoam that fits snugly in the bottom of the pail, the long cookie sticks, and your choice of mixed wrapped candy. Tape the candy to the stick, and stick it into the Styrofoam. Once all your candy is stuck into the Styrofoam, fill empty holes in the bucket with shredded paper, add a bow, and voila! WAY less than $59.95. You could even throw in a gift certificate for a movie rental, or movie theater tickets and STILL come in under $59.95!

Winter Whimsyland Gift Box of Treats -- This gift retails for $39.95 (plus delivery) at Hallmark. Yet again, I'm rendered speechless. In fact, I'm not even going to comment on this one. Okay -- ONE comment -- HOMEMADE -- it's cheaper, and much more appreciated!

Now, I understand that retailers have to make money, so I'm not bashing Hallmark. And I also understand that there are people that can, and are willing, to pay whatever it takes to purchase gifts. But, seriously! You can do this on your own! And your own sense of accomplishment will boost your spirits!

(Please, please ... PLEASE -- if any of you out there are thinking of spending this much money on a similar gift, CALL ME! EMAIL ME! WRITE ME! I'll walk you through a cheaper option! Or, you can pay ME the money to do it. lol!)

Actually, as Christians, we really are called to be good stewards of what we have, whether it's little or much ... and when it comes to gift giving, it can be so easy to get carried away in the moment of excitement, but with a few alterations, I think it's possible to make just about any gift set idea "do-able" within reason or within a budget... PROMISE.

Ummm ... except gifts of the "diamond" nature -- you're on your own with that one!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Peach!

Dearest Peach --

Wishing you a very happy birthday, indeed!

"May The Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."

May God continue to bless you this year, and may you have a blessed celebration!
Happy Birthday,
with much love!

Oops! I did it again!

Saturday afternoon, I had a shower to attend. I had promised to make finger sandwiches, and I had also planned on making decorated cookies to put in cellophane baggies tie off with ribbons as favors. Thank goodness I didn't tell anyone I was going to do that!

Why? Well -- it would appear that I am no longer able to do as much as I once was able to do. It's rather difficult to work your way around the kitchen with a thirteen month old wrapped around your legs. So, as it turns out, I had some Pillsbury French bread dough in my fridge, so I made a sandwich ring instead of finger sandwiches. It wasn't quite enough food for 20-some women, but it was tasty!

I did get to the cookies, but it sure did take me longer than I thought! Can you believe that I couldn't find any "baby" themed cookie cutters? I ended up making caterpillars and dragonflies, but they ended up on a platter instead of baggies.

So, as I'm rushing out to get to the shower (late, of course), I back out of our drive way, and ... CRUNCH! I back right into the neighbor's Pacifica. I didn't do anything to my own tank (Expedition), but I did break his front head light and scratch his bumper... (Lord ... you can send down the money to fix it any time now, 'kay?) Talk about rattling someone and messing up their day! The neighbor was very, VERY gracious ... as was the other neighbor, who happens to be a cop, and just so happened to be in his driveway witnessing the whole.entire.thing. Lucky me!! They told me not to worry or stress about it (as the wife continued hanging Christmas lights, and occasionally shot me a "look").

Today, I'm not feeling well, I'm home sick from work, with a sick husband (yeah, right!) and a crying baby ... and have no idea what my menu for this week will be (probably saltines and tomato soup after this weekend).

So go on over to Organizing Junkie to get other ideas, and feel free to make some cheap and nutritious (did I mention CHEAP) ideas for dinner! Thanks!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Resources for Kids

A while ago, there was a discussion in the blogsphere (I think Shannon from Rocks in my Dryer actually started it) about how there should be some good places for kids to go to learn about God...

Actually, I think the discussion was more about having a website kids could go to that would answer their tough questions about God.

Well, I've found a few resources which look to be very good. Now, I haven't researched the two websites to find out about their doctrine or theology, but at first glance, they look like a great and safe place for kids to go. And the book is published by Focus on the Family -- do, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that it's a Biblically based book!

Here they are:

1) This is a really fun site for kids that was created by a parent -- Bible Stories for Kids. The artwork is all original, and the stories are clever. Also, this has a link to a tough question kids ask... Who Is God. Very cute!

2) The next site is called The Children's Chapel. This site has stories that were written for children with the re-telling of Bible stories incorporated within the children's stories. Yeah, I realize that sounds convoluted ... but I'm not quite sure how else to explain it. They also provide a special lesson, scripture verses for memorization, prayers, activities, songs, and crafts that go along with the story.

They begin in the Old Testament, and hop through part of the New Testament, with the promise of more stories that they will be updating their site with. For the Bible Stories page, click here.

3) Finally, I found a book that might answer kids tough questions! It's called 801 Questions Children Ask About God put out by Focus on the Family... This is seriously informative! They provide you with 801 difficult questions about God, faith, heaven, and the Bible, along with thoughtful answers, key verses, notes, and an index to guide parents in developing their answers. They also have ordinary "difficult" questions, like "Why do Sharks eat people?" or, "If God made spiders, why do people squish them?" It also has illustrations that children will enjoy. This looks like a great resource to have on the old bookshelf ... just in case!

So -- off you go -- to answer some tough questions and read some Bible stories! Let me know what you think of these resources!!! Seriously! Good or bad comments welcome.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Just a Little Tease ...

FINALLY! Blogger has been down, down, DOWN!

Anyway -- I was driving home from work yesterday, and saw how many people had their Christmas decorations and lights out. Good grief -- we just passed October! Then ... I looked at the calendar and realized ... it's almost the middle of November! Can you believe it? Time is flying past me so fast. I need a "STAND STILL" button that I can press just to get a few extra minutes in the day!

So ... now that I have shared my shock at how fast time is flying, here's a little tease for you...

Do you know what you're doing on Saturday, February 24, 2007?

Yes, I realize that 2007 is still a while away, and I'm sure you're wondering why I'm pushing the calendar.

Well ... I just thought I'd tease you with what GIBEE is doing on Saturday, February 24, 2007 -- are you ready for this?

I'll be spending the day with this person ... does she look familiar? Well, I won't be face to face with her, but our church is sponsoring the Beth Moore Simulcast ... I am so excited, I'm beside myself! Aren't you jealous? Don't you want to join me?

Beth Moore: Live via Satellite
Straight Talk About God’s Deliverance
Saturday, February 24, 2007

"In this very personal simulcast, Beth will share the healing to be found in Jesus --Lessons of hope for all of us. Deliverance is for everyone -- no matter how you got stuck, no matter how long you've been down, whether you think you deserve it or not. And in her straight-talking but loving style, Beth will remind us that deliverance can begin for us this very day."

So ... if you're interested in coming out to the East Coast for a visit (suburbs of Washington, D.C.) then let me know! There will be plenty of room for you here!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Niner-Fiver-Saler Good Buddy!

Before I get to my post, I wanted to tell you that my "trendy friend from Church" called me yesterday afternoon, and told me that Michaels Arts and Craft Store is having a clearance sale on the stackable boxes I featured in my Homemade Gift Idea Exchange post. I can't remember the exact cost, but it's under $3 per set (something like $2.50). So... go stock up!!!

Now ... on to more important things ... Carol at She Lives tagged me to come up with a list of nine weird things about myself... Joy, oh joy!!! I get to share all my glorious disfunctionality with you in nine nice neat bullets!

1) I used to hate dark meat chicken or turkey. And when I was pregnant ... I couldn't stand even the THOUGHT of chicken. I only ate pork or beef while pregnant. Now ... one year after delivery, I CRAVE dark meat chicken or turkey.

2) I hate wearing socks. In fact, these babies have made life WONDERFUL -- Peds No-show Socks for Clogs. Ironically, Ebay was the only place I could find a picture of them, but they are sold at Target and WalMart... lohuv them.

3) I have really bad feet, and I'm unable to wear cute shoes. Instead, I'm stuck with these, or these. My favs are these which I have on right now. They have a metal shank in the arch of the foot bed that provides a lot of support and they are comfy, too! I can't really even wear the Croc clogs because I don't get enough support from them, but I'm willing to try these new and cute Crocs! I've seen them up close and personal, and they are adorable!

4) I LOVE fall and winter. I only list this as a weird fact because almost everyone else I know, including family, prefer spring and summer and HATE fall and winter.

5) My husband and I each have our own blankets ... and we do NOT share. My down comforter is too cozy to share with anyone that hogs blankets! It's miiiiiiiine.

6) I love doing stuff for people. Even if I can't move because I'm having muscle spasm in my back. I still push myself. It really irritates my husband. I'm not sure why!

7) I love to collect kitchen and dining room stuff ... it's not only a passion of mine, but an addiction. I have 4 sets of fine china, tons of serving pieces, and I'd rather save my money to get one expensive, but fine piece of gleaming kitchen equipment than get a cheap version from WalMart. Right now, I'm saving to buy one of these (just in case you're feeling generous and want to send me one, I'd like it in red, please and thank you)!

8) I can never remember jokes, slogans or saying properly ... but I say the wrong saying with SUCH conviction ... and I INSIST that I'm right. Until proven wrong. In fact, none come to mind right now that I can use as an example to prove myself right.

9) I hate change in my life. I hate moving furniture around, hate re-decorating, hate changing jobs, even dislike moving. I find it ironic that I'm even considering changing the colors in my bedroom. Of course, I've been "considering" it since we did the Blog Tour of Homes back in the summer time and I totally fell in love with BooMama's bedroom fabrics... and I haven't really "acted" on all the "consideration" I've done, except to find on the internet the name of the fabric and where I can get it ... when I decide to get it!

And while we're at it ... I thought I'd throw in the Five Factor Personality Profile that Susan from Living to tell the Story and Momrn2 atMy Quiet Corner have up on their blogs!

So, SIL #1 and #2, and "trendy church friend" -- y'all need to be brutally honest and tell me if the poll matches my true personality...

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have high extroversion.
You are outgoing and engaging, with both strangers and friends.
You truly enjoy being with people and bring energy into any situation.
Enthusiastic and fun, you're the first to say "let's go!"


You have medium conscientiousness.
You're generally good at balancing work and play.
When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.
But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is low.
You're a pretty conservative person, and you favor what's socially acceptable.
You think that change for novelty's sake is a very bad idea.
While some may see this as boring, many see you as dependable and wise.

So ... What do you y'all think???

10 Things that make a good weekend great!

So, I had a really great weekend! Yes, I did. And, GREAT is much better than GOOD!

And ... you know it was a great weekend when...

1) ... you've lost 20 pounds, and your pants are too big and feel very uncomfortable, encouraging you to put on a smaller size.

2) ... you put on a smaller size pants ... you will feel great about yourself.

3) ... you spend the day with your Aunts (plural!) that cook like Julia Childs, and insist that you eat, eat, eat... except ... those pants you were feeling so "great" about will suddenly feel tight and uncomfortable, and will leave red marks on your belly. Very attractive. But -- you had a blast with your aunts. All 6 of them.

4) ... you make a stop at Sephora's, and you end up spending over $200 on products that you hope will make you feel better about yourself.

5) ... you let the nice makeup lady at Sephora's help you find the right corrective makeup base and foundation for your very red skin, and when you let her apply it on your face, you will leave feeling like a new woman ... less self conscious, and actually pretty!

6) ... you see all your goodies you got from Sephora's in the pretty and glossy black shopping bag with red tissue poking through ... except, when the cash register lady at Sephora's rings you up and announces that your total is $216.00 -- you will choke, and exclaim: "I'm sorry, how much did you say it was?" But then you will rejoice and feel all happy and pretty again when your mother offers to pay for it. WHEW!

7) ... your son wakes up at 6:20 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and your mom, who is visiting you from NC, comes running from her room and offers to take him so you can get some extra sleep. Oh, yes! That is simply amazing!

8) ... you get to sleep in until 8:50 a.m., and then your son, who woke up at 6:20, goes down for a two hour nap (glory be!)at 9:00 a.m., allowing you to lolly-gag around your room, lay in bed while watching The Flintstones Movie (sad, but true) ... showering without rushing, drying your hair completely (not partially), and still having a free moment to apply makeup, and eat breakfast in peace. Yeah ... that's even better!

9) ... you don't have to cook one.single.time.the.entire.weekend! Oh, YEAH!

10) ... your son behaves like a perfect angel, and everyone comments on how good and adorable he is.

You know what would have made my weekend the bestest ever? If my husband wasn't away hunting, and was able to enjoy sleeping in with me. Yeah, that would have been the bestest!

So, what happened to you over the weekend that made your weekend extra special? Do share!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I have SOOOO had it with the Rosacea-like redness on my face! For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, and think that I bask in perfection ... go here (or if that doesn't work, go here and look for me), here (or, if that doesn't work, go here and look for me), here (yeah -- I'm in the third to last picture -- nice double chin, ey?), and here (third picture down). See what I mean? And ... Faith and Lauren are STILL threatening to put up more pictures!

Any advice for this awful red facial mask would be most welcome... Right now, I'm off to investigate the Murad line of Redness-reduction products (to "calm, soothe and strengthen fragile skin"). Harrumph!

Oh, yeah! And we haven't even TOUCHED on the Facial Hyperhidrosis issue! My life is cursed!

Friends are Friends Forever ... If The Lord's the Lord of Them...

"Friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the Lord of them; and a friend will not say "never," cause the welcome will not end ... Though it's hard to let you go, in the Father's hand we know ... That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends." Michael W. Smith

Yesterday, I tried sooo, so very hard to upload pictures, but as luck would have it, Blogger wouldn't cooperate, so I went another route, and made a little slide show for you. Let me know if you like it or not, as I may start doing them more often (depending on your feedback)!

This past weekend, a large group of blogging "friends" gathered together in Fort Worth, Texas. Of course, we were all friends through the blogoshpere prior to gathering, but not many of us had really MIRL'd ... that's "Met in Real Life!" Some were nervous, some excited, some filled with trepidation, and some got hit with the shy bug ... but I think we all came away from this weekend with a new appreciation and love for each other.

Unfortunately, the problem with large groups is that you don't get to meet and chat with everyone, but even though I was unable to get to know each women personally, I did get to know a small group of gals almost intimately, and I know that I have found friends for life ... but most importantly ... I know that they are God fearing women who love to have fun, laugh, talk, cry, celebrate, eat, drink coffee (some of them), and I KNOW that the Lord is Lord of them!

So as I highlight a few people in this post, I beg that you forgive me if I leave you out, keeping in mind that the weekend was such a whirlwind, and I really didn't get time to spend with each of you.

First, I need to take a moment to thank my wonderful, WONDERFUL sister-in-law Sunshine. She sacrificed her entire weekend to come with me to a strange town, to meet with strange people, and act in a professional "au-pair" capacity. I love her deeply (and really, in all fairness, I must stop and say that I have two wonderful sister-in-laws that I love deeply, and are great, and ironically ... have the same EXACT first name. How awesome is that?) And YES, I AM going to tattle on her a little bit ... as we were getting close to the hotel on Friday afternoon, she started touching up her make up ... I looked at her and asked her what she was doing, and she replied ... "I want you to be proud of me!" -- AS IF!! Of COURSE I'm proud of her! She's so cool, hip, and trendy, and I loves me some Sunshine (a modified quote from Terrel Owens for you Cowboy fans ... yeah "Cowboy fans" ... whatevah)!

So, we arrived at the hotel Friday afternoon after getting (ehem) lost a couple times. Well, we really didn't get lost ... we just started off in the wrong direction, turned around, then drove past our exit by ... oh, I don't know ... TEN EXITS. Hey! Who ever said I was good with directions? (Certainly NOT my husband!)

The first people to greet me were (if I remember correctly) HolyMama (Kelsey) and her beautiful son Seth, Lauren and her lovely daughter Chloe (did I spell that right?) and Faith ... I can't remember if Jeana was there, because frankly ... Hunter had a blow-out poopy diaper, and all I remember was rushing up to our room to give him a bath. Whew! It was nasty, y'all! It took TWO of us to get him cleaned up.

Anyway ... that evening, we went to the Blue Mesa restaurant (following HolyMama and Jeana, and I don't care WHAT they say about trips lasting longer when they are talking ... these two gals have LEAD FEET!). They got way ahead of us. And in turn, we got lost. But we found the restaurant, and all ended well. Some of us got yummy food, others didn't, but I dare say ... the company was wonderful!

I really got to know a handful of ladies a lot closer this weekend... but here's a recap of all the ones I can remember best... Again, if I leave anyone out, please forgive me!

Let me just say that Lauren is such a deeply feeling, open hearted, loving and kind woman. She is genuine, hilarious, and loves God with all her heart, which is evident in all she does. AND ... she's a people pleaser -- LIKE ME! I LOO-HUUV her!!! Chloe reminds me a lot of my niece, Sunshine's daughter. She is shy, quiet, reserved, smiles a lot, looks at you through big, beautiful eyes, and once she warms up to you ... she talks, laughs, and poses for pictures. She's quite a beauty.

And as if Lauren wasn't wonderful enough ... she made me a gorgeous headband as a little gift (see the pictures in the slide show, but please don't copy her design!). I know, I know ... y'all are jealous ... well, just remember that envy is not of the Lord! If you want one, I'm sure she'll make you one! (She's a crafty one, isn't she?) And it can serve double duty ... necklace OR headband ... you choose! (Poor Kelsey didn't know what to make of this, and when she saw me come into Lauren's room with it on, and heard me saying I was ready to go to dinner, I think she may have thought I was ... um ... serious... but don't tell Lauren I wasn't!)

Faith (Faithful Mommy) is so sweet and yes, she is genuinely Suh-then, honey ... and she's the kind of lady you just want to take up into your arms and hug, and hug, and ... ehem ... sorry. Got carried away there! She loves her family so much, and we spent a little time talking about her hubby. He truly has a heart for Israel, y'all! He is taking Hebrew classes with Roseta Stone! AND ... he wants to learn Spanish, too! I am so impressed! Faithful Daddy -- here's some help in the Hebrew department: Alef, Bet/Vet, Gimel, Dalet, He, Vav, Zayin, Khet, Tet, Yod, Kaf/Khaf, Lamed, Mem, Nun, Samekh, Ayin, Pe/Fe, Tsadi, Kuf, Resh, Shin/Sin, Tav. That's the alphabet. Ehem ... let me know if you need anymore help!

Then there was Jenn (Reflecting Him). Jenn came with her husband Justin and her son Caleb, and let me just say that they are such a cute family! Jenn is just the sweetest, quietest person ... that's not to say she doesn't have anything to say, though ... because she does! And it would usually take me by surprise, because she'd be all quiet, and suddenly, she'd toss in something that was deep and smart! (and seriously ... she does Reflect Him!) Caleb has got the biggest bluest eyes I have ever seen. They look like lakes! And looooooong eyelashes! He and Hunter were adorable together, and OF COURSE, I (LOOSER) didn't get any pictures of them, so Jenn -- if you're reading this -- please email me some of the pics you got!!! (I'm shameless)

Chilihead (Don't Try This At Home) and Shannon (Rocks In My Dryer) are both so sweet! Chilihead is a lot of fun and she is very pretty, which you don't see through her glasses and mustache (I love her hair!), so you'll have to take my word on that! Shannon has a sweet, slow southern drawl ... the kind you just want to imitate, but can't, because it has to come natural or not at all! (DARN!) And, she is so soft spoken. I STILL say that, even though Everyday Mommy corrected me on that the last time I said that. Shannon and I clarified what soft-spoken means, though, because funny enough, she thought I was soft spoken too! I think she was expecting me to be a bit more loud and flashy, maybe? Anyway, she has a soft, sweet voice. I'm not saying she doesn't get loud ... 'cause she does ... and so do I ... I'm just saying she has a soft voice.

Ooooo -- my girl Shalee (Shalee's Diner) -- she is so loving and she just opened her arms up and gave me a big, BIG bear hug... which is quite a feat for such a petite little thing! She is hilarious also, and very open. I'm pretty sure she doesn't poses a shy bone in her body, which is a very, very good thing, because we were able to sit at dinner and chat away about ... oh ... everything. Just as if we had known each other for ever!

Oh, yes ... Jeana ... let me just say that she is very tall and funny -- and -- she has "material" -- seriously -- she said so! So, now, I'm just worried that I'll be part of her "new" material -- Jeana -- please be nice, 'kay? Seriously, though ... she kept me in stiches the whole weekend!

Ahhh -- Kelsey (HolyMama) and her beautiful son Seth -- Kelsey is so funny, and CREATIVE! She made us beautiful name tags ... each tag was done in a fashion that represented the people that were wearing them ... Mine was done in yellow and orange (colors of sunshine), and I had a bee on it! How thoughtful was THAT??!! They really were beautiful, and I appreciate the time she put into making them. I KNOW it took a long time! THANKS Kelsey! And that Seth is such a cutie pie and so well behaved!

Tina (Antique Mommy) -- what can I say? She is FEARLESS ... at least, that's the impression I got! After all, she opened her home to twenty-some strange women, and cooked dinner for us. Is that brave or what?! She has a very beautiful home, and she is so talented! She was so kind, so generous, and so welcoming to all of us. I really appreciate the time she took to cook dinner for us, and all the preparations she had to do to get ready for us to come and take over her home! Thank you, Tina!

Kelli ... I don't know Kelli very well, but she was a trooper, because she had to sit next to me at dinner on Friday night. She didn't even bat an eye at that, either! Actually, it was in between me and Lauren, and we chatted and had such a pleasant time ... then she came by Lauren's room later on and really opened up!

CMommy was very quiet and almost "shy-like" at first, in fact, she sat at the other end of the table from me, and I didn't really get to talk to her, but she did open up a bit later on in the evening.

Minnie is so photogenic!! She has beautiful eyes and smile, and a wickedly-awesome laugh! Very infectious, in fact ... ummm ... in a good way. And Minnie is stinking hilarious all the time! She is witty, adorable, and trendy (cool momma!) ... She made me smile when she laughed. AND -- girl's got game I mean -- killer shoes!

Toward the end of Friday evening's celebrations, Carol (She Lives) swept in ... and my goodness! She is tall, thin, and tan, and ... well, did I mention tall??? Very... I could go on, but why depress myself? Anyway ... She was committed up to her eyeballs this weekend with a women's retreat, so we didn't get to spend too much time with her... maybe next time???

Moving on to Saturday, we had lunch (I didn't get any pictures of that) and then we all split up, got into smaller groups and went our separate ways. Lauren, Chloe, Jen, Sunshine, Hunter, Faith, and I all went to the Stockyards and had fun watching the longhorns being driven through the main drag. There were cowboys on horses, "women of the night" walking the streets, longhorns with saddles ready for photo-ops, covered wagons, tee-pees (did I spell that right?), and a ton of fun. We did a little bit of touring, some shopping, and then rushed back to the hotel room to go to Antique Mommy's house for dinner.

And, finally ... we all posed for a picture while we were standing on Tina's beautiful winding staircase in her gorgeous home. And again, please forgive me for leaving anyone out ... like Rachel Anne and Katherine who are sisters, but could have passed for twins, and Sarah, and Jan, and Megan, and anyone else I didn't mention. I know there are more people I spoke with, and you were all charming and sweet ... but I can't remember everything ... except for the scene of my son splatting on Tina's floor, and crying. And crying. Did I mention he was crying? Yeah ... that's when we did the cowboy shuffle on out of there and cowpoked our way back to the hotel to put him to bed... WHEW!


And in closing ... just to prove how funny Sunshine (my SIL) is ... Tuesday night, I emailed her and asked if she and her husband wanted to come up to our home (if they had time -- they are, after all ... newlyweds). Here's how she answered my email:

"Nope I'll be too busy being wonderfully funny, and beautifully stylish taking down the pumpkin patch. Oh for the love of everything ORANGE!!! But hey...Jesus did die for me so a little punkin patch ain't nutting! Kiss my boy for me."

OH MY ACHING SIDES!!!! How could you NOT love her?


"With the faith and love God's given, springing from the hope we know; and we will pray the joy you'll live in is the strength that now you show ... But we we'll keep you close as always, it won't even seem you've gone. 'Cause our hearts in big and small ways, will keep the love that keeps us strong. No a lifetime's not to long, to live as friends." Michael W. Smith

Corny. I know ... but oh, so true!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Yeah -- so -- I think the blogger gremlins came out in full force last night and took over blogger bloggers to upload pictures! I've got my Texas post done, I just can't add pictures, and really -- I KNOW you want pictures!

So until tomorrow, dear friends! (ummm ... I hope!)