Word Up - It's Time to Get Wordy!

Word of the Day
I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences. Gertrude Stein

29 December 2008

To Love Without an Agenda

...All I want from you is to trust me with what little you can,
and grow in loving people around you with the same love I share with you.
It's not your job to change them, or to convince them.
You are free to love without an agenda.

-taken from The Shack
(I've decided to finish it. And I'm so glad I did...)

and then there's this, which seem to go hand in hand with the other thing:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully
as when they do it from a religious conviction.
-Blaise Pascal

Just ask anyone who has been "ministered to" from that angle.
Or ask someone who has been on the giving end.
I've been on both.
Ugh.

24 December 2008

Cheap Therapy

A God Who cares.
Someone to talk to and open up the gates of the ugly cry.
A cold, cold Fresca with some cold, cold ice cubes.

Exhale.

That feels much better.

And then my Sweet Pickle drew me a picture and labeled it Mighty Mama - with very large arm and leg muscles. Because, he says, that means I'm strong.

And then last night during supper, my little Puddin' kept leanin' his head in over and over for more and more kisses and loveys. He even rubbed my leg a little. Sweet thing.

The night may continue for a while, but the sun does come up in the morning.

Merry Christmas, y'all. And because her words are so beautiful, go read Anna Maria Horner's short closing paragraph.

**Edited: Christmas Day, I signed on, because I'm sick like that, and this is the quote that greeted me:
The birth of Jesus is the sunrise in the Bible.

Well, Amen to that.

22 December 2008

Low

Invisibility is over-rated. I'd much prefer the super power of the balance of justice with grace.

What I'm saying over and over to my children is not getting through and so I say it louder and louder, until they cry, and it's my turn to apologize.

Again.

There's a silent angry river that runs through me. It yells and occasionally cusses and then runs and hides, somewhere deep because it's afraid of itself.

My dairy-allergic son eats M&Ms from the trash can. M&Ms that were dug up from under a 2-day old wet Pull-Up. Disgusting and Dangerous. Red splotches show up a few minutes later on his face and I give him a full tsp of Benadryl and secretly wish I was better than I am.

I just wanna go to bed.

I've had enough today.

I want to sleep until I'm better.

Earlier in the day, I'm making an impromptu felt dinosaur upon Sweet Pickle's request and he wants to watch me stitch it. I say okay. He watches me stick the needle into a fold in my jeans and says, "Mooommm, you put a hole in your jeaaannnnsss". "Don't touch it", I say. He reaches over to touch it and jabs me twice with the needle. I yell at him, my small 5 year old, something like, "What are you doing?! I just said don't touch it! How did that get lost in translation and you now think it's okay to touch it?! You stuck me with the needle twice!!" His face deteriorates and he starts to cry.

What good is an apology when I lose it so many times in a day.

I keep breaking stuff that I can't fix.

Every time I yell I think I send a loud message to my children: Why can't you get it right? And yet I feel powerless to stop. I feel like nothing else I'm doing is getting results. I feel overtaken by this ugly thing. This ugly thing that produces results that I don't want.

I think I understand to some degree the women who've said their children would be better off with someone else.

I hate this thing. And I hate that it's taking so long to change. I want my heart to embrace my roles now. It's a bitter pill to swallow. To see myself. To really see myself and that there is no good thing in me.

It's a crappy place to be.

Actually, on spiritual terms, it's probably a great place to be.

But it feels like crap.

Perhaps tomorrow will be more cheery. I hope so. For my family's sake. But today, something is under my skin and I feel discontent and bitchy.

I know it won't last. I know I'll get to a better place soon. Today's quote is suitable though, don't you think?
“He became what we are that he might make us what he is.”

Haste the day.

21 December 2008

Livin' the Dream

SUNDAY
Wake up, injure toe by merely exiting the bed. Grace-full. [And frail, evidently.] That's me.


DAILY
Take Puddin' down from kitchen table.

[And yes, my table IS always that pristine.]

From the look on his face, you can see he's highly concerned for his safety. However, this singular action is cause for his Mommy to leave her happy place no less than 15 times a day.

FRIDAY
Make very first decoupage as gift for niece with first initial, A.
Beam, because I'm so pleased with how it turned out.


IN BETWEEN HOBBLING AND GLUING AND REMOVING SMALL CHILD FROM HIGH PLACES:
Wrap gifts - almost my favorite part of giving.
And then there's this, which really got me out of my comfort zone.

We made these:
(Mama does not like to intentionally make more messes she has to clean up.)

(Even in the name of fun and good memories.)

(Because I suck like that.)

That's Pam spray that gives their hands such a high shine.

Seriously? Pam? On 4 and 5 year old hands? Isn't that sort of, um, messy?

Yeahhhhh..... It iiisss........

And there you have it.
In part at least.
My week.
Livin' the dream.

13 December 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes '08

We begin this tour with two recipes that contain chocolate. You gonna wanna get a pen...

Ya may find my photography throughout to be a bit lack-luster [or lustre if you wish you were British, like me] but this recipe is anything but. It is totally with-lustre... have-lustre. Whichever.

Peppermint-Mocha Coffee
6 C freshly brewed coffee
4 squares Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 1/2 C hot milk
1 tsp peppermint extract
8 peppermint sticks (the soft, melt in your mouth kind)
RediWhip

POUR coffee into large saucepan. Add chocolate; cook on low 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally.
ADD milk and extract; stir until well blended. Garnish with RediWhip and a peppermint stick, and maybe some crushed peppermint nestled into your RediWhip waves. The recipe doesn't call for that tidbit, but you want it.

This other recipe I haven't yet tried myself. I will though, because I've had a hankering for this sort of thing for some time now.

So here it is - Put the 'HOT' in your COCOA
Melt a square or two of bittersweet chocolate in a mug of hot milk. Mix in a dash each of ancho and chipotle chile powders and cinnamon, then finish with a splash of vanilla extract (and don't forget the whipped cream).

Now, I don't know about you, but to me, that spells FASCINATING and DELECTABLE.

Now for the tour of my home - comprised mostly of pictures and words.

A few favorite ornaments:
1) The Tree - silky & beaded on the front, velvet on the back. I'm fairly certain my mansion in Heaven will be completely constructed out of velvet.
2) The Mirrored Angel and also a peek at The Red Garland That Warms & Charms
And now, please allow me to introduce you to my favorite penguins...
Joyce & Herschel.
They enjoy spending their days keeping an eye on the coffee pot and talking smack to each other...
(overheard) Herschel, do not get fresh with me...

You see dis slap? [raises eyebrows and widens gaze]
You gon' walk over, but you gon' limp back.
[She's very sassy. Poor Herschel.]

I also have some reindeer, but I prefer to call them reindiers [pronounced: dee-airs].
Now, the tree... Ta Daaaaaa! This is the part where my photography fails me. It's alot prettier in person. I swur (swear) it.
Thank you for coming! Before you go, you must watch this because I am bossy you CANNOT have a "Mady Chrithmahsth" without it! [I already posted this about 2 weeks ago (maybe you noticed?), but I never tire of it... and so, again. More Dave Barnes. You're welcome.]


For more of this kind of Tour-y thing, get yerself to BooMama's House and foller some o' them links down yonder. You'll probably enjoy it. It's always fun looking in other people's houses.

And shopping carts.

But that's a whole 'nother post entire.

Mady Christhmahsth and Happy New Jear's!

12 December 2008

Never In My Life

I've never seen it snow like this here.

Not ever.

Flurries. Sleet. Ice on the ground. A little snow piled up on windshield wipers. Yes.

But not this much. And it was stunning!

And magical.


I hope it won't be the last time...

11 December 2008

Siesta Ornament Exchange '08

I'm breaking the rules and doing this a few days early. The real exposé isn't until the 15th, but that's also the day of BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes and I didn't want to do them together.



This year I decided to participate in the Siesta Fiesta Ornament Exchange, because I [evidently] like to inundate myself with more and more things to do at the busiest time of year. I signed up initially because I thought it would be fun, and even though it put one more thing on my already tiring TO DO list, I signed up anyway.

And I'm glad I did.

It's very sweet to know that someone I've never met invested their time and resources into my little family unit in a way that I'll remember every year.

I got paired up with Rachel, of Freedom-Bound Captive, who has a beautiful family by the way. Here is the ornament her family sent to ours:
She has a tiny inscription down the side of her gown that reads, "Peace be with you". Isn't she lovely? I like her alot. So much so that by looking at her, it's as if Rachel DOES know me, because this is something I would've chosen for myself. :)

But that's not all. She went a step further and also sent these edible Rice Krispy Treat "ornaments" that her 2 beautiful girls made for my three kidlets! Sweet, huh? My kids sure liked their thoughtfulness!

LinkThank you again, Rachel! You really made this fun!

If you're interested in seeing other exchanges, follow this link, right chere.

Or this one.

They're the same. :)

But don't follow them until Monday! Because the real Show 'n Tell doesn't start officially until then.

05 December 2008

And now, I REALLY love Carol of the Bells...

GOOD. GRAVY! You have GOT to see [this]! It is Christmas GOLD!

A veritable GOLD RUSH, people.

Get thyself some gold!

Thank you Annie for introducing those of us (or maybe just me)whose lives transpire beneath a rock to the illustrious Dave Barnes video talent. I knew not the level of ya boyz skillz.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Jear's to you all!

01 December 2008

I need Africa. Do you?

Last week I told you why I need Africa. I later discovered that all these people do too!

Today, Barrett (of Mocha Club) wants you to know why he needs Africa. And from what I can tell, Barrett is the man. He lives in Ethiopia, so he knows of what he speaks. Here's where it starts...

:::I NEED AFRICA MORE THAN AFRICA NEEDS ME:::

When I think of Africa, the following images immediately come to mind: Starvation. AIDS. Child soldiers. Genocide. Sex slaves. Orphans. From there, my thoughts naturally turn to how I can help, how I can make a difference. “I am needed here,” I think. “They have so little, and I have so much.” It’s true, there are great tragedies playing out in Africa everyday. There is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe. But what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many Africans face with the joy I see in the people. It’s a joy that comes from somewhere I cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day. [read more]

After you finish reading that, come back and watch this video.



Watching that gives me chills and that song gets into me. I don't want my circumstance to define my joy. I want to have the joy of Africa in me. I also want to help and make a difference where I can - which may look like buying a (really rad) t-shirt to support the cause of Mocha Club. Don't just envy mine. Get your own! And what you give may supply water for a year. And maybe some of Africa will get into you. I hope so!

The campaign starts here - but let's not stop talking about it!

28 November 2008

Beyond Thankful

Ten years ago, I had Thanksgiving Dinner in jail, (complete with dry, thinly sliced turkey, cornbread dressing and a cup of Kool-Aid), with a group of strangers and my twin sister. That year, I was beyond thankful to have her there with me - because it meant I wasn't alone in the scariest time of my life.

Ten years ago, on the day before Thanksgiving, we were given the option to go up on the roof to get some sunlight. Our group cell was not made of bars, but cinder blocks, like what is commonly found in High School gymnasium bathrooms - no windows. I opted out because I was going home the next day, which would've been day 4 in jail, the end of our "sentence".

Ten years ago, the next day came, but I didn't go home. Instead, I got a message that our judge was on vacation and we were going to be staying "indefinitely". That word dropped into my stomach like a bowling ball. Every day we'd ask, Is he back? When do we get to go to court and find out when we get out of here? Day after day, we got the same reply. He's on vacation, we don't know. We'll let you know when we know. Eight more days passed before we were released, bringing our grand total up to 12 days in jail.

Ten years ago, I went to court high with the full understanding of what might happen when I got there. You violate probation, they put you in the slammer. I was scared out of my skin, but I had the slightest hope we'd get a slap on the wrist. And honestly, at the time, even though I was quite sure I'd faint in front of the judge, I thought the 4 days we got in jail was a slap on the wrist. I told myself, Four days is nothin'. I can do anything for four days. However, I learned rather quickly that I can do very little indefinitely.

Ten years ago, I spent 12 days in a room where the TV was rarely off, all the calls I made were collect, and someone was always slamming a deck of cards on an aluminum table. The noise was constant. We had a communal bathroom which was wide open. Flimsy shower curtains. Short stalls around the toilets. Never any real privacy. For 12 days I wore faded, used navy blue scrubs and black plastic slippers. Every day, lunch was the same; peanut butter sandwich with a small cup of Kool-Aid. I was always thirsty. I had no blow dryer. No makeup. And most importantly, no drugs.

Ten years ago, my 12 days in jail were the first of my days of sobriety. Up to that point, I had been high every day. I couldn't even remember the last day I didn't do something - and the idea of spending the REST. OF. MY. LIFE. sober scared me more than anything.

Ten years ago, I wanted nothing to do with God. NOTHING. I continued in that way for the next two years, searching for the ever-popular Spiritual Experience - but not the God who calls Himself "I Am". And God, in His amazing grace, saw fit to set me free anyway. Because He could see His plans for me - plans to give me a hope and a future. At the time, it felt like death - which now, ten years down the road, I've learned seems to be God's way to freedom.

And ten years later, I am beyond thankful for that.

We went through fire and through water;
Yet Thou didst bring us out into a place of abundance.

24 November 2008

I Need Africa

I was asked by Mocha Club to write about the concept of why, 'I need Africa more than Africa needs me'. Mocha Club is a community-based website where members can start a team and invite friends to join them in giving $7 a month - the cost of 2 mochas - to support a project in Africa. Mocha Club's vision is to provide a way for people who don't have hundreds or thousands of dollars to make a difference in Africa.

Which is good, because that means I can be useful too!

From where I sit in my life, it is obvious to me that I need Africa more than Africa needs me. What my flesh is and desires is painfully clear -- and I can say with some certainty that what I can offer in the way of giving of myself doesn't amount to much.

Like I said in the previous post, I've never been to Africa, but something in me already loves it. If given the chance, I would love to go... because I need Africa.

Need & Lack. To see with my own eyes, the heart and struggle of an AIDS infected single Mom, who has to feed her babies just like I do; and yet, I live such a cushioned, sheltered life that I never truly worry where our food will come from... I need Africa.

Disappointment. I have wrestled with disappointment and injustice in my own life and I have cultivated a spirit that can be very demanding of the Spirit of God. But disappointment is not an end. I have seen God use it in my life to bring me to brokenness, which has always lead to freedom. Africa, with its real need and personal disappointment offers perspective. I need Africa.

Beauty. I have never seen any face more beautiful than the stunning, black faces of Africa. ...And in spite of poverty and crisis, Africa has so much beauty to offer - beyond the faces of the people and the land. God offers beauty for ashes. I need Africa.

Share your thoughts in my comments, and even blog about it yourself. Discuss. :)

I need Africa more than Africa needs me.
Do you?

And then come back on December 1st - when we can stop singin' it and start bringin' it!


22 November 2008

Prelude

When Annie first posted about the Mocha Club and their new campaign launch, the words that snagged me were: "All you have to have is a blog and a heart for Africa. That's it."

I've never been to Africa, but something in me already loves it.

Also, I think Annie ROCKS THE CASBAH - even though we've never met. Sometimes people are so transparent you feel like you know them. Annie has posted so much of her heart that I, her imaginary friend (for now), feel in part, like I know her and can trust her. If Annie says it's cool, it's because it's cool. If she says it's funny, you better get ready to laugh yourself slackjawed. That's all I'm sayin'.

I think you'll want to see what the Mocha Club is up to though - because there's a very good chance you will want to get involved! You may be amazed by how much your little can do.

I need Africa more than Africa needs me.

14 November 2008

Steel Magnolias (or my alternate title: You'll Never Believe This Because I Look Like I Grew Up In Church)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... or you know, back when I was 13, I thought I was bad.

I found some well-priced steel-toe combat boots that I liked to wear paired with a short teal and white floral print rayon mini skirt. Because nothing says "mean" like combat boots and rayon. I would iron all the wrinkles out of my pretty skirt, lace up my knee-high black (tough) boots and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes I packed my butterfly knife that I found somewhere one time.

(Criminal disposal maybe?)(Which of course made me feel even more indestructible and above the law.)

And then there were times I packed my brass knuckles.

I was tough. And edgy.

Everything about me said, "Do not mess with this girl. She will cut you."

Except for the floral rayon.

One day, this thug girl found out I had kissed her boyfriend. In short, she had beef with me. So she confronted me in the street. In front of her little friends minions. She cussed me lower than a snake's belly and then she slapped me in the face.

Hard.

I was put in my place. Effective immediately.

I turned to make my walk of shame back home, hot tears rolling down my face, my heart pounding in my chest and throat, telling myself lies, like, if I had had my brass knuckles, she wouldn'tna handled me like that. I'da taken her down.

I think the case had already been solved though, who the real gangsta was.

I got in front of my house(finally). But not forgetting about my hard thuggish image, with a final jolt of gall, I turned back to where she was still standing (and laughing)(at the far end of the street) and I screamed some profanity and called her some classy names and then I turned and ran into my house.

Because I was bad.

True story.

**Edited to add: After reading this again, it sounds as though I was your regular run-of-the-mill bully. This was absolutely not the case. This whole story took place on weekend visitation at my moms - hence, not my hometown - AND WAS AN ISOLATED INCIDENT! I tried to "be somebody else" over there. Or at least give it a valiant effort. Truth is, I was not hard at all. (As evidenced here.) I was just really into this dude that was a straight thug and all I did was DRESS THE PART. The end. I was only trying to be what I thought he wanted. Inside, and outside evidently, I was just a big softie. And I prefer me like that.

13 November 2008

Cuteness with skin on.

video

And also, consider this very robust applause to be yours, Rachel! Because you won my very great and awesome giveaway! You guessed 37 days. My guess is roughly 42 days, give or take, so you win!! Congratulations!

Stretch almost won because he guessed 41 days, but his guess was not documented herein, therefore, etc. etc, and so his prize is now null and void, etc. etc. and will now be passed onto the next best guesser.

And now, with this great prize, you, Rachel, will undoubtedly (or you know, undoubtably, if you wish), be the absolute envy of your friends.

I mean, who doesn't want some rousing applause? Hm?

Thaaaat's what I thought.

12 November 2008

Slap Me Some Skin



Thanks BooMama! You have increased the delight of the world at least two-fold.

Sugar.

Bed piled with plastic ponies and Care Bears galore, Sugarhead smiles big and exclaims, "I have ALOT of friends!"

My heart smiles.

Later, her Daddy goes in to check on her. This is how he finds her; cupcake crown securely on her head, exclaiming to all, Happy Birthday! I am 4 today! ...nevermind that her birthday was 2 weeks ago and her party, 3 days behind her.

I think she's very happy to be four.

And again, my heart smiles.

11 November 2008

I made you a delicious bass.

"Mmmm, something smells good."

"It's the fish, baby."

"It smells like barbecued chicken."

And off he runs, back to his toys.

10 November 2008

BRILLIANT.



Even if you don't like Star Wars. If you're one of those people, I don't even want to know.

09 November 2008

If at first you don't succeed...

...try, try again. As they say. This time the balls did not defeat me.
This time, I won.
Happy Birthday to you (again) Sugarhead! Your Mama loves you!

Closer...
So close you can almost taste it...
saith the evil woman.

Success!
And she lived happily ever after.

06 November 2008

The giving, it continues.

We all have dirty secrets. Some dirtier than others.

Today I vacuumed. It's been a while since the last time so I figured, hey! We're having company this weekend.... why not today? Why do I avoid that particular chore?

Exhibit A.
My vacuum really sucks.

Really. Sucks.

(All of my aversions have very good reasons.)

But talking about how filthy your floors really are is putting yourself on shaky ground, is it not. It's like saying, "I went three days without a shower." It's better to talk about those things as past tense.

Not, say, this week. That's how you lose friends.

But today, I cleaned my putrid carpets. And of course I'm playing fast and loose with the word "cleaned" because I'll refer you back to Exhibit A.

We're down to two. Rooms that is. Two rooms with carpet.

So today, I'm giving something else away, because I'm a giver. A great prize at that.

Answer this question: Not counting today, how many days has it been since I last vacuumed?

Whoever guesses closest to my guess will win a very robust round of applause.

By the end of this you will feel so good about how clean your house is.

I may never recover, but you will feel like a MILLION BUCKS.

I do so much for y'all.

Indulgence

I baked a cake today so that I could try my hand at a second attempt at the Cake Balls that so utterly flopped previously. I would link back to them, but they were just so ugly.

The edges of my cakes came out a little too hard.

So I ate them.

All of them.

05 November 2008

The years teach much...

that the days never know.

04 November 2008

Safety Tat Winners

Congratulations! Here are the winners of the (totally awesome) Safety Tat 6pks! I truly wish you could all win (or that I could keep them all)! Here are the random numbers:

Random Integer Generator
24
3
17
Timestamp: 2008-11-04 18:39:29 UTC

24 - Chantelle
3 - Trish @ Sweet 'N' Sassy Girls
17 - Shalyse @ Life, Isn't it Great

Thanks for entering my giveaway and have a sweet day!

And to all my faithful sweethearts that I adore and appreciate so much, I did not mean to communicate that I might quit blogging altogether. Let's don't be silly. I love blogging! And clearly you don't know my obsession as well as I thought... I have no intention whatsoever of stopping.

None.

Zero.

Dually noted.

Didn't mean to frighten you there. See you soon!

02 November 2008

Two things.

First, Canton was very good to me. Very good. I had a great time. Pretty much finished one scarf and made some progress on the second. Bought some delight-inducing goodies and had some good visit-time weaved in and out. It was good. Something I hope to repeat somewhere in the not too distant future.

Oh, and I think it's worth noting that Canton is into the dogs. You can buy more clothes for your dog than you can shake a stick at. We even saw a lady who was wearing her dog in a baby sling-type contraption and her (poor, to-be-pitied) dog was wearing pink sunglasses. Yes it was.

It really is no wonder dogs bite people.

Second, I've been kicking around some things in my brain concerning this blog. I have, unintentionally, cultivated the habit of posting almost every day, whether I had something to say or not... lately it feels mostly like not and my blog is becoming something I have hoped it would not be.

I feel like this online life gets the best of my time sometimes. I may begin to post less regularly because for me, I want the things I say to be worth the time it takes to say (and read) them and if most of my time is spent sitting here reading about y'all or posting about me, then that doesn't leave much time for living.

I need to get my head into my home, and into some great books. I need to take some good stuff in before I can spit any good stuff out.

Annie (Maundering Pondering) said it best in something she posted recently. ...In her words (which are far better than mine): Before I can produce, I need to consume – through reading, and thinkin, and observing, and mulling things over. I need to interact with people (real humans), and go running, and listen, and nest,...I need to spend time living in order to find things to write about.... So in the coming days and weeks, I might not post as regularly. Or maybe I will – I don’t know. I suppose I’m just giving myself permission to let the thoughts ebb and flow, and to hold off until the light goes on.

All I can add is, amen to that sister.

Amen to that.

29 October 2008

Safety Tat Giveaway

Today is awesome! And I'll tell you why.

I recently learned of a product called Safety Tat and was so very excited that I sent out an email to just about every Mom in my address book! I didn't know that something like this existed and I'm thrilled about it because I think it is genius! What mother hasn't worried about her child's safety?

Today, my lucky lucky friends, you are eligible to win one of three most impressive prizes from Safety Tat! I contacted them and asked if I could host a giveaway here and they said yes!

WIN one of three Quick Stick Write-On Safety Tat 6-pack packages!
Here's what Safety Tat says about this product:
Our Quick Stick Write-On! Is a waterless application and comes in two
designs "Tat" and "Tessa" (pictured above). Quick Sticks last an extra long time: up to two
weeks. It is waterproof.

Our Original SafetyTats are available in a large variety of designs. Original SafetyTats
require water to apply. They last between 1 and 5 days.
We suggest a new Original SafetyTat be applied each day. Also waterproof.


A few (but not all) of the other designs available for purchase:
The Allergy Alert really caught my attention. Having children with allergies, some severe, can be frightening. I can't always be everywhere my children are, so these would ease my mind tremendously.

How to Win:
1. Go and have a look around the Safety Tat website. Come back here and tell me which tat is your favorite.
2. Be sure to include a valid email address in the body of your comment. If you are uncomfortable publicizing your email address, you may also email me and leave your comment that way.
3. I will randomly draw winners on Monday, November 3rd.
4. I'll contact you by Tuesday, November 4th to let you know you've won. That's it!
For more FREE STUFF, check out the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival!

Let the jollification commence!

It's finally time!

Time to go to CANTON Trade Days! We leave tomorrow. The drive is seven hours, y'all. Seven. I should be thankful though, because it allows me precious, and much-needed, time to knit. And knit I shall.

I have a great deal of work ahead of me so that I can finish my Christmas projects. I'll try to finish 2 scarves on this trip, and then I think I'm gonna jump tracks and do the next two in completely different styles. I'm thinking maybe something like this: [no needles and crying required] [or seven hour road trips] [This new style may become my new addiction. Because you know I'm always looking for a new one.]



Personally, I think scarves are great gifts because they're wallet-friendly and no one will think you're cheap for buying an inexpensive gift because the real investment is your time.

However, that is not to say that expensive gifts are tacky or less worthy of our love. I love gifts of all kinds. I do not discriminate. Gifts are my secondary love language. A veryvery(almost too close to call)close second. {The first is time, in case you're wondering.}

Take for instance, these shoes.

I would be supremely happy to own these. In fact, I have convinced myself that I NEED them. I've got it on good authority that they are quite comfortable and I need a stylish and comfortable shoe to traipse around New York when that time comes. [squeal] So, you can see, I neeeed these. They are not, however, wallet-friendly.

I'm gonna have to save my pecans [puh-kahns] to buy these. And I will.

You can bet I will.

Because those red shoes (which I will heretofore refer to as Walking On Sunshine)? They can save the world. I just know it.

Or maybe just the day. Either way you look at it, they're magical.

So if you're in the gifting mood, I'd be happy to be your chosen recipient. But only for your sake, so that you can know the joy of giving. Because I am a giver.

Otherwise I'll just buy them with my Christmas money. Christmas money is the bomb.

Have a good weekend y'all! See ya on Monday!

27 October 2008

It's a good thing that love knows not ugly.

Today is my sweet Sugarhead's 4th birthday! She is so pumped and declared this morning that she's "almost five now".

Indeed.

Too almost.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl. I hope that deep in your heart you know that we embrace you into our family; that we accept you and love you so much. I hope that that truth never leaves your heart. I'm so glad you're ours.

As part of our girl's special day, I promised cupcakes or something of their likeness for snack time at school today. I found a recipe for Cake Balls a few months ago and have been waiting and waiting for her birthday to try it out because they are SO. SO. CUTE. And they look very tasty.

Sugarhead decided she wanted strawberry cake with strawberry icing because, well, it's pink, and nothing else matters.

This is my sad, sad attempt. I had "issues" with the chocolate. I think I know where I went wrong, so I know what to change for next time. I seriously hope to get the hang of these because I would like them to become standard birthday fare around here. The possibilities are endless. And so is the cuteness. {Go click around Bakerella's Pop Central if you don't believe me.}

So here, in all their ugliness... my cake balls.



You may notice that I chose to drizzle instead of dunk, due to may aforementioned issues with the chocolate. You may also notice that I tried (to no avail) to salvage them and attempt to elevate their cuteness with pink candy sprinkles. But the sprinkles? They did not cooperate.

Much to my chagrin.

But I figure, hey, my target audience falls between the ages of 3 and 4 years old... they know not ugly sugar.

Even when that sugar is absolutely butt ugly.

Happy Birthday sweet girl! I hope your cake balls make you happy! :)

25 October 2008

Bad Jokes

that lead to fits of giggles.

Sugarhead:
Knock Knock

Who's there?
Purse.

(yes, that's it.)

Or how about Sweet Pickle's ever-popular...
Knock, Knock
Who's there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Banana rotten squirrel.
(which may also be interchanged with: Banana rotten... playground/popcorn bag/skunk/stop sign/fill in the blank with whatever they see within their personal space at the moment and follow with fits of laughter and giggles into balled up fists)

Apparently, the word rotten added to anything equals hilarity, and "banana" is standard for whomever might be knocking at your door.

22 October 2008

{Glitter & Dust}

I couldn't decide which of these I liked better. So, I give you both. How lucky are you? [So very.]

I had hoped she would love these in exactly this way... in the same way that The Boy loved the Velveteen Rabbit.

To pieces.

These are in the beginning stages of feeling that kind of love. They are just as they should be.

21 October 2008

You may find yourself very underwhelmed.

I think it's awesome when people bring camera's on trips so that they can later fill ALBUMS with documented evidence of their good time, and then those people leave the camera in their purse except for that one picture at lunch:

{{ BFFs }}


Me & Mama Belle on the beach. (Thank you for the picture! I stole it from your site!) I think it should be noted that this Wonder Woman headed up this whole trip! It's probably safe to say it wasn't quite as relaxing for her as it was for the rest of us. Thank you Mama, 'cause you did us right!

These next few shots were taken when I got home. I wanted to show y'all my booty.

Sickos.

I meant my plunder and prizes.

A little of what I bought. (Perfume, earrings, Christmas decorations, hair bows, etc... in some of my favorite colors -- pink, red, gold, mint)


Pale pink mixing bowl that makes my heart sing like a little birdie. And look, sweet birdies! And some really bright & happy red beaded garland for my Christmas tree! Three of 'em to be precise. Everything in this shot cost me $12. Ya girl is tight.


Coin purses! Shiny coin purses! Two dollar and fitty cent coin purses! The pink one's for Sugarhead's stocking. Don't tell her. I want her to be surprised. We don't actually give her money, mostly because we don't actually have any, but she can pack some bingo chips or something in there to weight down her purse. It's called Life Prep, people. She needs to learn early that purses generally weigh more than the human head. If it doesn't, you're not doin' it right.

You'd be surprised at how often you need that extra spoon and tiny action figure you lug around in there. You cannot be caught half-steppin'.

Sorry I don't have more pictures, though. I may have built up the anticipation too much when I said something to the effect of "pics coming soon". I would've had more but some idiot kept her camera in her purse the whole time.

Well, except for that one shot at lunch.