27 November 2009

Here It Comes!

I couldn't help myself...I put up a small, humble Christmas tree the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

I know, I know. This coming from the person who was complaining about Thanksgiving being lost between Halloween and Christmas...but for some reason, I just couldn't restrain myself! Then, once the girls saw what I was doing, they were so excited to help!

As I was getting the decorations out, I realized just how much I had downsized! The poor tree :) Even my candles became miss-shapen from the heat of the summer storage. We'll have to make some paper chains to fill in the gaps. Maybe I'll even get crafty and make popcorn balls to hang...a snack that lasts all season long! Thanks also to my Mother-in-Law for some fun additions for the kids.

As I was setting out the few Nativity sets I had kept, I told E where and why I had each one. She seemed genuinely interested; L just wanted to play with them. Glad we still have the Fisher Price Nativity so they can leave mine alone. One of the few tree decorations I kept were some ice cycles given to me by my Grandmother, from her Grandmother. I simply love family traditions.

Let the Season Begin!

26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving To All...

...and to all -- Good Eats!
Setting aside all the wonderfully yummy food, I absolutely love this time of year and especially this holiday of all holidays. This is a time of reflection, thanksgiving, sharing, caring, giving, donating, serving...

Every year, sheesh -- every day! -- there is so much to be grateful for! Just the fact that I live in a country where I can have my own opinion is such a blessing. But this year, I am so very grateful for the health of my family. The economy could be better, but I still have a job and we have a warm home and food in our cupboards. The children are growing well and D is keeping up as best as his immune system will allow. Our apartment is small, but that means less to keep clean. We don't have a dishwasher, but -- for now -- J and E fight over washing them. There is only one bathroom, but it has warm running water and everything is in good working order. Our TV is old and heavy, but we can turn it on and watch movies as a family. I have to work late nights, but my husband is in bed with me when I get home and my children are with me to eat breakfast in the morning.
So many things to remember this Thanksgiving Day, but most of all,
take nothing for granted. Enjoy!

22 November 2009

Speaking of Surprizes...

...I misplaced my camera after we moved the first of September. Yes, the very camera I had to replace in August. Yes, the very camera on which I spent most of my souvenir budget so we could have vacation pictures.

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I am a habitual Mis-Placer.
Everyone, "Hello, Rachel. That's so great! That's a great first step!" cheers and applause

So, I suck it up and go without a camera, using my horrible camera on my cell phone. The pictures are so bad I don't even want to download them OFF my phone. So, I have no viable pictures of Halloween, or pretty much anything since the first of September (sigh).

I finally put my foot down (one day while looking on ebay) and found what looked to be a good deal, placed a bid, and checked back, breathless, two hours later. What?? I won the auction?? Sweet! It was even way under what my bid was! It was a newer version of my old camera, plus it came with an extra battery and a 4gb memory card. Yes, to say I was ecstatic was an understatement.

Enter here: guilt for buying it without even mentioning the auction/purchase of said item to D. My justification? "Hey, honey, my Christmas present came in the mail today. Wanna see it? I know I'll love it!" Yeah, he's cool like that :)

But here's the kicker. I received the package (aka: my Christmas present) in the mail Thursday. I found my old camera in my closet, in its little protective/invisible case, on Saturday morning.

I am not even kidding

19 November 2009

Always A Surprise

Almost every evening I'm home, after the children are in bed, I start picking up the chaos of the day.
Socks tucked away in the couch, blankets behind the pillows, crayons under the coffee table, I sware this Barbie has cloned herself because I just put her in the toy chest a few hours ago!
I moved the Kleenex box back to its original place, but it's making unusual noises...rattles??? Oh, hey! I found the Pilgrims...what happened to the Indians?
The tiny Pilgrim figures must have a cold...
The Indian figures were hiding under the chair...they found the heating vent :)
The pillows multiply and I really need to do something about the number of blankets around the house. We like to cuddle with them, though, so it's hard to keep them packed away.
Okay, better get back to focusing on Christmas. What am I making the kids for Christmas?
Oh, the irony

16 November 2009


This weekend I traveled, yet again, up to Idaho. My sister's ward was doing a craft activity day on Saturday. Months ago she was asked to organize a jewelry-making area. How fun! I told her. Those are really popular. You'll be busy. She didn't share my enthusiasm...

She brought me some things she was given to make samples. I helped her make the samples, but brainstorming how it all should be done/organized for a large group was giving us both headaches! Do we simply put kits together and sell the kits? Could do, that would be painstaking but effective. Then my overactive OCD comes out and says, "What if people don't like the kits we put together? People need choices and a variety to chose from. People simply need the opportunity to be creative, then they will be infinitely more pleased with the final result." I'm sure I said something to that effect :)

That's when I went into Big Sister mode and took over the project (believe me, she didn't mind). I've wanted to get into jewelry-making and have dabbled a bit over the years. I already had the basic stuff, just needed to bulk it up a little!

WOW, did we have beads flying!! It was so fun! People who'd come over to make just a bracelet ended up making a necklace and/or watch band to match! Some were making children's bracelets for their kids' friends' Christmas presents. Some were grand children's presents. Some were for themselves.

What looks so overwhelming and intimidating at first becomes such a creative outlet. It was so amazing being a part of that! People would ask, "Where do I even start?" Start with one bead, or one concept. And their minds would kick into gear. I can't tell you how much I enjoy being able to start that process in someone else and watch it grow!! Honestly, I get a good portion of my ideas from simply watching other people. We all feed off each other and help each other grow...grow so much that I can't wait to do the chaos all over again!! Bead Party anyone?? Anyone?? :)

14 November 2009

Good Heavens

Apparently, I need to shop for Thanksgiving items in September because by the end of October, it's too late


I'll make a note for next year


11 November 2009

To Drive or Not To Drive

Regardless how long the drive-thru line is, it is always faster to stay in the drive-thru line than to get out of your car, walk in, wait in line, order, wait for the order then get back to your car, get situated with out spilling anything then go, hoping you didn't leave the drink on the top of your car while you were digging through your purse or pocket to get the keys!
Just Trust Me on this one... Besides, you know it's true, too.

10 November 2009

Places to Visit This Week

Kmart & Robert's Crafts

Thanks, guys!!

I WILL get a Pilgrim in my house or so Help Me!!!


07 November 2009

The Holiday Retail Forgot

My Harvest/Thanksgiving decorations are seriously lacking. At our old house, for a few years I was leaving the Christmas tree up year-round and decorating it simply for each of the holidays. I no longer have that tree, or any other tree, so with it went most of my decorations.

Now that we've down-sized, I take the kids to the Dollar Store to each pick out something for the particular holiday. Mostly we end up with window clings, which is find with me! They don't take up space in our tiny place and the kids have fun decorating the windows. So, since my Thanksgiving decorations are sparse, I was looking forward to doing it again after Halloween.

Boy was I wrong!! Not only can I not find any Thanksgiving decor, Christmas stuff was out before Halloween was taken down! And not just at the Dollar Store. I've been to several large stores in the area and all I can find of Harvest is kitchen ware (table decor, dishes, etc).

I'm quite frustrated. Anyone know where I can find decent Harvest decor??? I'd hate to have Thanksgiving and the month of November feel left out :)

03 November 2009

To Be Greatful

I was given the idea from a friend's blog and thought, "It never hurts to find more inspiration." List one thing you're greatful for each day. Instead of doing it as a post every day (cuz I need my flexability), I'll do it as a running sidebar!

Please join me in remembering all that we are greatful for!

01 November 2009

Once Upon A Time...

...there was a King and a Queen.

Okay, admit it everyone. Compared to European history, American History is just a baby, an infant, barely weened from it's Mother! Okay, maybe by now a pre-teen, just starting to discover rebellion. I love history, but I love European history even more! I love learning how it all unfolded, how we came to where we are now. Because, really, American history started with European history. I Love how things work out! :)

From the Renaissance, to King Henry VIII (who actually is a distant ancestor of mine), to the printing press and the religious Reformation. Spending some significant time in Switzerland and Austria, I gained a perspective of Martin Luther, one of the main religious Reformers (not to say there weren't others) and his influence of leading people away from the corruption that was with Catholicism at the time and some of their traditions, even on pain of death. It was a great quest among the missionaries in Germany/Switzerland/Austria to obtain a Luther Bible. These Bibles were some of the first bibles translated into any other language than Latin. Basically, because of Luther and men like him, the Bible was available for anyone who could read their native language (beginning in German, later English/Spanish/French/Italian). The first copies were done by Luther himself, writing word for word by hand, later with the ever-wonderful Printing Press! Isn't technology beautiful?

Also, aside from the scandal Anne Boleyn caused, did you know she was also influential in England's Reformation? In more ways than one (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)! I spent a good deal of time reading over the last few months about different European history topics then became enthralled with King Henry VIII and his reign and the reigns of his children, especially Elizabeth I. Fascinating and yet so very sad. Truth be told, included in my self-education was "The Other Boleyn Girl" and "The Tudors" seasons 1 and 2 :) Yes, some creative liberties were taken, but it was still interesting to put faces to the famous (and infamous) characters. I guess it's like my sister's passion with Jane Austin's novels, but these are real people and this stuff really happened (loves to my Sis)! Truly enjoyable was the movie "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" where Cate Blanchett played Elizabeth. Loved it. I guess that movie really spurred my interest for learning more...and more, and more.
And now you know...the start of the rest of the story :)