Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 28. Growing.

Earlier this week, I posted pictures of little bags of seeds that my husband bought.  A day or so later, he planted them, and look what's already sprouting???  These will be peas one day!  :)

Day 27. Book Characters.

Dressed up like book characters... of course, on the left, we have Anakin Skywalker, and on the right, Thing 2 from Cat and the Hat.  :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 26. End of Winter, Day 5

This is going to be my last "end of winter" pic.  I'm discouraged.  :(  My creative juices just aren't flowing.  So, here's a picture of one of my favorite things about winter.  :)  I will be packing them away soon, and trading them out for cute, strappy sandals and flipflops!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 25. End of Winter, Day 4.

I realize this probably begs for explanation.  How does my dog's collar represent the end of winter?  Yeah, I'm also fully aware that I'm bigtime stretching for the theme!  Well, I LOVE to buy my dogs new collars, for just about any/every season/holiday.  I love to find Christmas collars, Valentine collars, and collars with stars for 4th of July.  I just took off the Valentine collars, and during this time of year, I always get something a little "springy" for my girls.  :)  I found this one for Ellie, and thought it was just perfect... matches her dark, shiny coat, but the pink is representative that she's a GIRL... and spring IS ON THE WAY!!!!  Haha!  So, there!

Day 24. End of Winter, Day 3.

I took a little walk around my back yard.  My hope was to find some small glimpse of life again.  Anything GREEN (aside from anything that is pine or holly, because that stays green all year).  I really didn't find much.  And it's still so cold!  Grrr.  I did find these tiny, new beginnings of buds on our dogwood tree.  I think it's the dogwood.  I'm not very good at this sort of thing, but I know in the spring, this tree will blossom beautiful, delicate white flowers.  The other one is a red bud, which I also don't understand, because the flowers are purple, and I say it should be called a purple bud... which my husband laughs at annually.  You might notice the white, blurry speck in the sky in the background.  That's the moon.  Cool, huh?  :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 23. End of Winter, Day 2

These are sure signs that winter is almost over... my husband is buying seeds to plant!  :)  Yay!  Last year, he grew tomatoes.  Guess who likes tomatoes?  ONLY ME!  No one in the house will eat them, but I absolutely love them, so a tomato garden he grew.  (My mom reaped some of these benefits as well!)

There they are!  MORE yummy Roma tomatoes!

He loves to experiment with this stuff. 

...and always a little something fun for the kiddos.  :)

I'm stretching here, because I drink Pepsi all year round, OF COURSE!  However, this Throwback version is a pure taste of childhood, I say!  :)  ...and a nice, cold Pepsi is so yummy on a warm spring day!

This is a sign that winter must be ending, because EASTER is on its way!  OK, so it's still a couple of months away, but we all know how the stores have to get the candy in the aisles LONG before necessary.  These were a treat my hubby granted to the request of our youngest child, when they were out shopping for the garden!  Doesn't really fit in, does it?  Haha!  I'm thinking it's quite likely that my youngest child could see the possibility of planting one of these blue bunnies in the back yard, expecting a Peeps plant to grow?!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 22. End of Winter, Day 1.

This week, I'm going with a theme.  My son asked me to take a picture of the fire in the fireplace the other day, and post it to the blog.  I obliged, of course.  After this picture was taken, we had a couple of nice, warm(er) days (50 degrees is absolutely perfect, in my opinion), and I thought that MAYBE we were at the end of our chilly days!  WRONG!  Took the kids to school this morning, and it was snowing again.  My posts this week, are going to be geared toward "end of winter."  Surely, there are seven things I can think of that will inspire me to think we are nearing blue skies and sunshine (even if I have no physical signs to show for it!).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 21.

A couple of proofs from my session yesterday... this is counting for day 21.  :)
It's always interesting to me how God works in the lives of others.  This family has quite a testimony of how God has used them to bless the lives of others, and how God has blessed them in return!  Loved spending some time with them, and hearing some of their story.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad!

These are my parents on their wedding day.  It was 1972.  My mom wore a purple, velvet mini dress, and when I was a little girl, I thought it was the prettiest dress I'd ever seen.  :)  She was 18 years old.  My dad was 19.  They were married in a little church, with only their family in attendance... and that was 38 years ago today.

After their ceremony, they went back to my grandparents' house for their wedding cake.  I love this picture.  I have no idea why my mom looks like she's crying, other than the fact that she was probably really tired of my grandma taking pictures.  My mom HATES to have her picture taken!

A few years later, I was born.  That was when the true happiness began!  Haha!  :)

Happy Anniversary, Dad & Mom!  Love you!!!

Day 20. Girly Girls.

This is me.  I am a girly girl.  :)  This little story is about my girliness.... and how it began.  OK, so the truth is, I have no idea how it began.  It's just how God made me.  I love girly things.  From pretty, shimmery eye shadows, to creamy, scented body lotions- I love being a girl.  I love cute haircuts.  I love high-heeled knee boots and trendy, winter coats with coordinating scarves.  I love chunky heeled sandals and freshly painted toenails, accompanied by a strappy, flowy sundress.  I love big earrings!  I love changing my hair color to whatever mood I'm in that day.  I love mascara!  I LOVE RED, which is not necessarily girly, but I'm going to say it is for right now.

One might wonder the reason for this proclamation.  It's because I found something.  :)  Something that made me smile.  I went to the store, in search for a new makeup bag.  What I found, was a little piece of girly childhood.  It is called a Caboodle!  OK, some of you know exactly what I'm talking about.  These cases have been around for YEARS!  I had no idea the name still existed, and I certainly did not intend on buying one, but when I found one that perfectly fit my needs, yes, I purchased it!  ...and I will show it to you:

This is it!  It doesn't look like much, does it?  I happen to think it's darling.  In fact, these have come a LONG way, baby!  My first caboodle was probably purchased when I was in middle school.  It was big and pink and plastic, and I loved it.  My sister had one, too, and we kept them on our dresser in the room we shared.  They were the containers that held all that made us beautiful!  :)  Now, I will show you the glorious inside:

NOW, do you see what makes them so lovely?  The one I had as a little girl, had trays that folded out.  In fact, there were many that were much larger than this one when I went shopping.  But this one fit my needs, plus it matched my bathroom... both very good things.  (In addition, it does not take up the entire bathroom sink, for which my husband will be grateful.)  May I also mention, that they're perfectly inexpensive, which is just wonderful, if you ask me.  Just look at all those wonderful pockets!

Ah, yes, I love being a girl.  I realize that many folks would dismiss such events as a cute makeup bag as being trivial or minor.  That's okay.  I've come to a place in my life that I just don't care!  I am who I am.  My affection for manicured fingernails and caramel highlights is hardly representative of my intelligence level, nor does it say anything about my acceptance of myself, just as I am.  Don't assume that I can't hold a perfectly reasonable conversation about baseball, if the need should arise (ugh! OK, I can't... but I know plenty of girly girls who can, so just leave it alone, okay?)  If you happen to be a lady who is perfectly comfortable and secure in her sweatpants and hair pulled back into a ponytail, I say to you, GO FOR IT!  (Don't think I don't have those days myself, my friends!  My poor children are probably so embarrassed of the many mornings I have driven them to school with zero makeup and damp hair, straight from the shower!  Yes, I get dressed first!)  Ladies, my point is, whatever makes you feel feminine, whatever makes you feel pretty, DO IT.  There are varying levels across the board!  If we were all alike, the world would be a boring place.  We need to embrace the fact that God made each one of us individually and unique, for a purpose.  That fact certainly goes much further than what jewelry we prefer or lack thereof.  It is GOOD to be who God designed you to be!

I will leave this entry with one last photo:

Yes, I still have my first Caboodle.  Come on, didn't that make you smile (well, maybe it just made you roll your eyes, but surely it was entertaining in some form)?  No, it's not on display in my home.  It's tucked away in my hall closet, and encases all of my nailpolishes.  :)  I just can't bear to part with such a memory.  Check out the Caboodle logo in the corner.  Is that a sweet '80s flashback, or what?!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 19. Imagination.

What do you get when you put a preschooler, a McDonald's happy meal toy, and a bunch of soda bottle caps in the bathtub together?  Well, a Penguin King, of course!

I absolutley love to watch the imagination of a little one.  How adorable are these???  :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 18. Sunday School Projects

A few months ago, my son proudly brought home this little cup of soil with a tiny, sad looking lima bean peeking from the surface.  Oh, if I could only count the many, MANY projects like this!  My kids get the best teachers... creative, fun, eccentric, and endearing... 

...Phasing back to a time long, long ago...

My oldest child was attending VBS, which is an event all on its own.  At the end of our tiring week, his teacher decided it would be really cool to send the kids home with a very special gift... goldfish!  No, it did not occur to our well-intended friend to ask the parents if this would be okay.  She, of her own accord, went to WalMart and purchased, of her own budget, two goldfish for each student in her VBS class.  I was less than enthusiastic.  We've already discussed my appreciation (or lack thereof) for pets.  My son was very young, and we had not yet experienced the joy of owning a pet... or LOSING a pet.  And as we all know, goldfish do NOT last long!  I so did not want his little heart to be broken.  So, as any caring mother would, I pondered for awhile and decided to figure out a way to make this work.  I had every conviction in my soul that those two goldfish would die as soon as I brought them home.  I knew NOTHING about taking care of fish!  I convinced my son (who was probably 4 years old at the time) that it would be better if we traded his goldfish for a healthy fish that would live longer.  By all means, if we were going to do this, we might as well do it right!  I did a little research, went back to the store, and traded our goldfish for a sturdy, healthy, beta.  My son and I excitedly brought home our new family member, prepared his tank with beautiful water and carefully chosen rocks and plants, fed him regularly... we did everything right, or so I thought... and the fish died less than a week later.  So much for sturdy.  I don't remember how many of those silly things we went through before one actually lasted longer than a month.  To this day, we have fish tanks in the rooms of my kids, and we cycle through our betas regularly (however, I have figured out how to keep them alive longer than a week... believe it or not.)  Here I go again, completely off topic.  So... the lima bean plant...

This miniature-sized, plastic cup of dirt sat on my window sill for several days... even weeks!... before I decided I should just throw it away.  I was fairly certain my son had forgotten all about it.  But my husband rescued the baby plant, and asked me to allow him to give it a try.  Well, you see that his TLC has paid off.  My son is now very proud of his lima bean (which, incidentally, no one in this house will ever eat), and there's no way I can get rid of it now without him noticing!  :(  I wonder if it will actually grow a bean?!

I should also make a note that the same teacher who gave him this lima bean plant also sent her Sunday school class hand written Valentines along with coloring pages and special stickers IN THE MAIL!  Oh, he certainly loved that!!!  Make no mistake, I am greatly thankful for the special gifts God gives these sweet people who teach my children.  They don't have to do what they do, and anyone who makes one of my children feel special is pretty special themselves in my book.  :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 17. Sweet Mandy.

This post is specifically for my wonderful, eldest child.  He happened upon this blog the other day, and found my post from when Ellie came home after her surgery.  He was humorously offended at my comments that Mandy is not exactly the "pretty one" between our two doggies.  So, I decided to try to make up for it a little.  :)  (Love you, Buddy!)

The story begins like this...  I am NOT a dog person.  How I've stumbled into a life with TWO, is beyond my comprehension.  But it's true!  And I have plenty of friends and family who will attest to the fact, that I am not the biggest fan of dogs.  Oh, I have nothing against them, of course.  But in a house where I'm doing well to keep up with the five PEOPLE who live here, why would I voluntarily welcome critters into the mix?  Two words:  my children.

It all began a few years ago, when my mother in law got a new puppy around Thanksgiving.  (She, by the way, is a HUGE fan of dogs.)  My baby had just turned two.  I didn't figure I would live my life without dogs, but I did put my foot down on having a puppy before I had children out of diapers.  Well, that didn't happen either.  Sheesh.  My oldest child fell in love with this puppy named Penny.  Seeing his interaction with her just melted my mommy heart, and impulsively, I requested my mother in law's help to find us a puppy for Christmas.  She saw her window, and got to work immediately.  Before I knew it, we were welcoming home little Mandy that Christmas (she was affectionately named by my oldest, after a little girl in his class at the time).

It was NOT all peaches and roses at the beginning.  It was just as I'd expected, actually.  She was one more thing to care for in the mix of my hectic life, and the issue was that I HARDLY had the affection and love for her that I do my children, hence making her messes around my home a lot less tolerable!  She was such a pill!  Horrible to potty train (let alone the fact that I was potty training my youngest child in the process, and that only made it even MORE difficult!  I was up to my elbows in... ICK!)!  But the weeks turned into months, and finally years... and here we are now.  She just turned three years old, and has actually become an essential part of the family.  I've even grown to realize what everyone else tried to bring to my attention all along, that she's really a very good dog.  She adores my kids.  She rarely gets into trouble, and yes, she is even 98% potty trained.  (The other 2% is reserved for the times that it's pouring rain outside, and will not go outside unless I walk her out there with an umbrella... and sometimes she just can't hold it any longer!)

Yes, Mandy is here to stay.  She warms the heart of us all.  She warmly greets my husband when he comes home from work in the evening, and she keeps my little boy company in his room, every night as I tuck him into bed.  She's a good girl.

She even holds her own with the new puppy, who outweighs her by 22 pounds!

These are the kinds of gifts that the "evil one" leaves for us. This is my back porch. I never know WHAT I may find there. Here's the kicker... I asked for this one ALL ON MY OWN!

...but look at that sweet, beautiful face!!!!  We just need to wait out the puppy in her.  She's a good girl, too, in her own, special "happy, happy, hop, hop, bounce, bounce, JOY, JOY!" way.  :)

Day 16. Fidget

This was a gift from my husband a few years ago.  He got it specifically for church.  :)  Yes, you heard me correctly.  He says I have one of the worst undiagnosed cases of A.D.D. that is out there.  (It's true.  While I've never been clinically diagnosed with the disorder, I am a textbook case... my mother would concur.  It is what it is!  Anyway...) Having to sit still, even as an adult, is an extremely difficult task for me.  I fidget!  There, I said it!  I am a fidgeter.  I pull at my sleeves.  I play with my watch.  I pick at my fingernails.  I cross my legs one direction; then, I decide it's uncomfortable and cross them the other.  I CRACK MY KNUCKLES!  Folks, it's an unpretty sight, I assure you.  My husband accepts me the way I am!  And he loves me anyway.  I would even say he loves me because of it.  He is one of those wonderful people who actually finds some of my idiosyncrasies endearing!  Heaven help him!  I'm so thankful for this quality in my husband, mind you, because there are others who find my habits absolutely annoying!  In fact, I'm one of them.  I can't stand to hear other people crack their knuckles.  Don't ask me... I don't know how I get away with the things I do.  I'm just weird!  OK, back on topic... THIS IS MY FIDGET!  Its purpose is to keep my hands busy.  See all of the cute, little designs it can make?  Believe it or not, having something like this, actually HELPS me concentrate on what's going on around me.  And my sweet husband knows that.  (He also knows that seeing my area rug, ever so slightly crooked, will absolutely plague me with annoyance until I bend down, ask everyone to pick up their feet (present company that may not be family included) so that I can restraighten it... but that would be my OCD as opposed to my ADD.)  Yes, I am thankful that he loves me as I am.  :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 15. My Valentine.

Our Valentine's Day started off w/cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Yummy.  :)

This was just for fun.... all the loot the kids brought home from their Valentine parties at school.
Mmmmm.  I was supposed to wait for these until after dinner tonight, but I talked my hubby into sharing some for breakfast!  Haha!  :)  (I've never been known for my patience!)

My dad is shaking his head in disapproval right now.  (Sorry, Dad!  Love you!)  This was my gift to my husband for Valentine's Day.  I know it doesn't seem very romantic, but it's something he wanted!  Let me tell you a little something about my husband.  He is generally a very content man.  He doesn't ask for much.   He rarely mentions something that he DOES want, so I'm usually on my own to come up with ideas.  I've started to lose creativity over the 13 years we've been married, so I have to listen VERY intently and when he mentions something, I JUMP on it!  ...and he was very happy to receive it.  :)

While I was at the bookstore, I picked a little something (or possibly a few somethings) for myself as well.  I'll let you know how I like it.  So far, I'm not too impressed.  I don't know how it's going to fulfill its claim when it could barely stand up by itself to pose for the photo.  :(

Here's a sweet photo of my neclace.  This was a gift from my sister in law, and I wear it all the time.  I just love it!  I thought it was a nice Valentine photo.

A special Valentine dinner.

My husband's excellent cooking.  :)

And one last photo of me and my Valentine.  :)  Happy Valentine's Day!  :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 14. Not so much...

This is one of those days, that I'm just not feelin' it... kinda don't care that I'm doing a 365 project.  Stay tuned.  I'm sure I'll get back in my groove soon.  :)  For now, you get a poorly taken photo of our dinner tonight.  The plate in front looks icky all out of focus, but really, it was just rice, steamed dumplings, and sweet & sour chicken.  It was pretty yummy.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 13. Valentine Weekend Begins.

Gotta love school Valentine parties.  The crafts.  The snacks.  The games.  Just too adorable!

Sugar cookies, covered in frosting, with strawberries cut in the shapes of hearts and arranged to design a little caterpillar.  ADORABLE!  I LOVE Valentine's Day.  :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 12. Love.

I had the privilege of caring for this beautiful baby today.  Isn't she precious?  I absolutely adore her.  :)

These would be the homemade treats my sister sent for us.  She is definitely the baker in the family, and we NEVER complain, for sure!  :)  My children very much enjoy being her kitchen helpers.  They didn't get to help with these Valentine creations, but my nephew had a hand (or two, and maybe some fingers) in them.  My sister is always thoughtful like this.  Every holiday, she must do something special for all of her nephews and niece, just to remind them how much she loves them.  I love my sister!

Courtesy of the puppy.  I MUST love her, in order to continue allowing her existence!  :P

Day 11. Winter.

A favorite treat enjoyed often by my family.  :)

My puppies' stitches.  Our vet is so fun.  He set them down on the table, right at my youngest son's eye level, and just watched... and waited.  Of course, my child did not disappoint.  He looked up at our vet and asked excitedly, "May I keep them???"

This would be another wonder my kids discovered after school today.  God never disappoints, does He?  :)
One more of God's artwork. 

(Ms. Brenda, check out the DOF on this one!  :)
My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.