did your mom ever put notes in your lunch at school? a kid remembers that kind of stuff.

Sam only goes to school 2 days per week, but I insist he gets a homemade lunch rather than whatever school is serving. for a few reasons -
1. I'm cheap
2. I'm paranoid about what the school serves; extra preservatives and such
3. he's got the cutest lunch bag; a dinosaur no less!
4. I can give him a note on his napkin :)

here is a link to help a kid get a lunch. lunchables is giving away lunches, with your promise of adding a special note to your childs' lunch. it's too easy. thanks to Robyn for this!

right to write?

it's amazing how genetics work.

do you know not everyone can curl their tongue? Sam and I can do it, hubby can't. we think it's hilarious, because Papa can usually do anything we can do, only better. this is the one thing Sam and I both have on him that he can't get. haha!

Matt and I are both righty's. Sam, however, is a lefty. I have 2 aunts that are lefty's, but I think Matt's mom was a lefty. Sam seems very proud to be a little different. he introduces himself to people we meet like this: "Hi. I'm Sam. This is Elliott. I just turned 5 and he just turned 1. and guess what? I'm a lefty." and people always say "oooooh & aaaaah." it's always funny. I had to repeat that to him a lot this last spring so he could remind his t-ball coach which way he had to bat. so ever since then.

I'm starting to think Elliott will be a lefty too. this morning at breakfast, he was holding his spoon in his right hand, but grabbing food, eating it with his left. I know it's still too early to know for sure. I'm sort of secretly hoping he is a lefty. that way, with all the speicalty lefty stuff we'll have to buy for Sam, we can pass them on to Elliott. like sporting equipment, mostly. mmmm, what else do lefty's need?

did you see that Simpson's episode where Ned Flanders opens a lefty store? the Leftorium. that's what we'll need. :)

is your child a lefty? what are your challenges? not that it's a disability, but you know what I mean.

a worthy cookie

I'm a big sweets fan, and I love to bake. not a good combo.
but here is a cookie recipe that I consider "better" than most. I justify "better" by it not having chocolate chips, but having dried fruit. yes, I'm horrible. and yes, I live in a fantasy world sometimes.

Ranger Cookies
1/2C butter, softened
1/2C sugar
1/2C brown sugar
1/2tsp baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
1 egg
1tsp vanilla

1 1/4 flour
1C quick cooking oats
1C coconut
1C raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, or a mix of dried fruits

mix wet, add dry. bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, and ta-da! enjoy!

food drive

my friend Jennifer is the perfect example of how we ought to be helping each other. and not just during the Christmas season, but anytime. she is dejunking and giving it away for free ... sort of ... in exchange for an item to donate to her food drive

if you are in the Colorado Springs area, check out the free catergory on you will easily find her postings. she is going above and beyond, to help people she doesn't even know, throughout her community.

Avon and I are helping too. for every sale made in Campaign #25, I will be donating 40% of my profits to her food drive. if you'd like to help while purchasing Avon, just contact me saying you'd like your order to be put towards Jennifer's efforts. You don't have to live in the area for this; online orders included too.

Thanks and feel free to pass this on!

thrift or retail?

I am to a point in my bargain hunting that paying retail is for suckers. really. you can buy just about everything you need at thrift stores. and yes, you can find stuff in good, and even great, condition. clothes, toys, books, home decor of all kinds, and then there is a bunch of stuff you don't need or want
it's truly amazing what you will find. sometimes it's SO ugly you can't believe someone actually wore it, or displayed it in their home. then other times it's amazing people just get rid of something so perfect ... and that's where I like to come in.

now on the other hand, there are some things you just have to go buy and pay retail. a few years ago, I paid $20 for a can opener. a can opener! ridiculous, I know.
3 years ago, I wasn't quite into my thrift stores as I am now, but I am glad I did it. it is THE BEST can opener ever. and after 3 years, I guess I got my money's worth already.

today I went to Bed Bath & Beyond. what an awesome store. but as I'm walking around, and noticing these prices, my jaw drops. it seems insane to pay these prices, all the time, for this kind of stuff. I suppose for someone where money isn't an issue, then who cares. we aren't as broke as last year, but I will not give up my thrift stores no matter how much we make. seriously. it's my therapy, I guess.
but I did buy a veggie steamer for $10 at Bed Bath & Beyond. I had one of those cheap metal ones; it broke, multiple times. I broke down and bought a silicone one. LOVE IT. another item worth every penny.

try your local thrift store first. let me encourage you with my latest discoveries -
I'm finding out that kitchen gadgets are expensive brand new, but thrift stores don't seem to know what they have, or just don't care. I bought a zester, a pastry blender and a pair of tongs, all for .50 each. easily $20+ at any retail store.
books are another great thing to shop for there. they're usually in great condition. kids books on the other hand, usually beat up. but most books are .50 - $1 each.
seasonal items are also a good find. in retail stores, you don't get 50% off until days after the holiday. at thrift stores, it's already 90% off and you will also find a lot of it in it's original box.

also know that you are not only saving tons of money, but you're recycling too. a great lesson for yourself and your kids!

in conclusion, I'm only a sucker when I have to be. :)

trust fall

did you have to do trust falls in gym class? I remember doing them. I also remember being so nervous about them, not fully trusting who was going to catch me.

Sam and I were waiting for Papa to do something, and I suddenly thought to show this to Sam. he didn't get it.
so Papa comes out and suggests we show him. for some reason, I didn't think I had to endure that nervousness and anxiety that I did in junior high. I obviously can't catch him (he's 300 lbs), so I guess it was up to me to show Sam how it's done.
it's one thing to eat the vegetables you don't like in front of your kids to show them - yes, it can be done. this trust fall is another thing.

so arms out, turn and check he's there and ready to catch me. yep, he's there. I'm ready, no, wait, check again. I'm ready, no, wait, will Elliott get in the way? no, he's safe and watching too. I'm ready, no wait, check again. finally, just do it already!
he did catch me, but I admit, I did take a small step back in that last mili-second. so I went through the process again. glad to say I wasn't so chicken the second time around.

realizing there is fear in me, bringing it out in the open, and just going through that process takes effort. as much as I didn't want to confront it, I also knew I had to. especially because Sam was there and watching. not just watching, but watching to see how it's done so he can have a turn.

in the end, Sam got to see and was able to do it too. he went through his own process, but it was much shorter than mine ... and too, he doesn't care if his brother gets in the way. sometimes that no fear thing kids have seems so wrong, but actually, that's the way God wants us to be all the time.

what's the worst that can happen? I will fall on the floor. I will be sore, but I will live.
another situation - flying in a plane, what's the worst that can happen? we will crash and die. I'm headed to heaven to see my Creator, so is that really so bad? nope, it shouldn't be.

find someone to do a trust fall with. see if you can do it too. you will. :)

excuse the mess

I've just discovered all this custom stuff I can do to my blog ... so I'm experimenting.

any advice?


when people are selling their stuff (say on craigslist) do they list it as vintage or antique? people don't know what they're talking about. they need to just list it as old and ugly. really, is anything from the 60's antique? I am the only one who has seen the Antique Road Show?! c'mon people.

for facebook users, why do you poke? I do it, but don't know why.

why do toddlers want to be held all the time, only to be put down again?
and around and around we go.

why can't we all be blessed with perfect skin?

when Sam spills his drink at the restaurant, why does it only spill on me and make me look like I peed my pants?! seriously.

why can't the kitchen be clean for more than 30 minutes at a time? I feel like some days, I live in the kitchen alone.

why is God so good?

why do I have to be soooo ticklish, but hate to be tickled?

why did my camera have to break? I have to buy disposables :(

why do I bother putting a top sheet on the bed? it always ends up under the comforter, kicked down to the bottom. every. single. morning.

why do kids touch everything they're not suppose to? how do they know? seriously, even before you tell them that first time, they know.

why do people without kids think they have a clue what's it's like? people you don't, so stop with the looks.

why can't Santa be real?

why have I been chosen to believe? Jesus, not Santa. why am I so deserving?

my random thoughts for the day ...

name change

When I picked up Sam at school today, his teacher had a funny story for me. I have to share.

One of Sam's assignments was to write about his favorite bible story. his favorite was the about the whale, with the pirates who don't do anything. :)
In class, the few his teacher covered was Noah and the Ark, Jesus and the Cross, Jonah and the Whale, and David and Goliath.

So after hearing that last one, Sam says " I want to change my name to David" then he says to his teacher, "but you can call me Dave"

vista print

do you need business cards? return address stickers?
personalized stamps? mouse pads?

vista print is a great resource ... and cheap, let's not forget cheap!

I just had business cards made and received a coupon for my next order. just go to and you will automatically get 25% off your order at checkout. yay!

ps. if you opt for the slow shipment (I think it says up to 21 days) it will get to you in less than 2 weeks. mine did anyway.

just wanted to pass on some savings!!

a simple request

this was brought to my attention from a friend of mine on facebook.

A friend of a friend of a friend has a 5 yr old son Noah. He is in the last stages of 2 1/2 yr battle with Neuroblastoma Cancer. The family is celebrating Christmas next week and Noah's request is to get lots of Christmas cards. Let's get him some!

Please send cards to:

Noah Biorkma

1141 Fountain Viewcircle

South Lyon, MI 4817

if you're wondering what neuroblastoma cancer is, check this out. pass it on!

harsh reality

I was reading Luke chapter 21 and Jesus is explaining the signs of the end of the age. not a mere man, Jesus. those words in red. to me, knowing that the words are from Jesus has a bigger impact. and it should.
here's a blurb (Luke 21:9-11)
"when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. these things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. then he said to them "nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. there will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven."

how funny is it when your world somehow completely compliments the scripture you read that same day? funny. ironic. just too perfect. to me, it must be God getting through.

in this case, it wasn't flowers and rainbows of hope and love. it was the ugly truth. the process of the end times. the snowball effect of sin in our world. the unimaginable actually happening. the reality of this world. disgusting and cold. no I'm not happy about it. it's keeping me up at night.

for a long while I wouldn't watch or read the news, it was all too sad and depressing. but I started up again during election time to stay in the loop somewhat. I was feeling stupid not knowing what was happening; listening but not participating in discussions because I was simply clueless. so I was catching up on the news yesterday (I use and was horrified. have you read the news lately?!

** a mom murdered her 2 boys (2 & 8) and then tried to commit suicide. slit their throats and then her own. when she was unsuccessful at killing herself, she made up a story about being kidnapped and he killed the boys. the police found her boys in her van, left for dead. the 8 year old somehow survived and was able to tell the police who did this to him, not to mention, he witnessed his brother's death.
** the Fort Hood incident. cnn is calling it a massacre. 13 dead.
** the Ohio man with 11 bodies found buried all over his home. a murderer, a serial rapist & sex offender.
** FL baby Shannon found under a bed
** a 30 year old woman found dead in the lake right outside my house!

I can hardly believe it all. I can't fathom what goes on in the minds of these people. what happened in their lives to lead to this? this isn't just ugly, it's really twisted.
it's easy to say sin is sin, but when you put in terms of shoplifting vs murder & rape ... I don't know how God deals with it all. yet another reason why He's so awesome I suppose.

another aspect to this is the media and what stories they present. our culture is so numb. we seem to "need" more violence, more excitement, more consequences, more, more, more to be interested. (side note: it makes me think of Monsters Inc. how they need screams to run their city, but kids just aren't scared anymore)

so back to the verse -
to me it's clear that this kind of ugliness will continue on. as nasty as the world is, it will get worse before it ends. there will come a point we will want it to end, and it won't. God is going to allow our sin to snowball, or I should say, He is allowing it. Jesus says these things MUST happen. and in a godly sort of way, He will say I told you so.
I only listed criminal stories because that's what I read about. there are also earthquakes & hurricanes happening worldwide, destroying lives. starving people are everywhere. diseases - AIDS, cancer, notice all the drug commercials on tv? those are mindgames. there are more and more and more ... with more coming.
they are all fearful events. unpredictable. grown mature people of the world, but undeveloped & immature spirits that have no grasp. scary to watch people lose such control, giving in to the enemy.

I don't know why God brought all this to my attention. I didn't think I was living in a dream-world, I knew ugliness was out there. I don't want to know these stories. I don't want to hear about the details. my heart aches. I can't sleep. I don't understand.
trying to find some peace with Luke 21:14, "but make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves," and also Luke 21:19, "by standing firm you will gain life."

what do you think about the end times? will we see it?
I've always known my kids will see more than I, but it's their kids (my grandkids) and will see the end. I think we are close. really close.

where do you get your news? is there a "nicer" news resource out there?

Avon update

* so far, I'm happy with my decision to sell Avon. like I've said before, I'm far from a girly girl (I have my moments) so selling makeup is somewhat unfitting for me. however Avon isn't pushy with trendiness, so that's why it suits me. they want to support you as a woman, whatever your style is. I like that; I can still feel free to be me.

* I am really not a pushy sales person, I don't want to be. there maybe people that do buy from pushiness, but does anyone really like it? I'd say no. luckily Avon has such a great reputation, that is sort of sells itself.

* whatever it is I do, I can't lie about it. I can't sell Avon and tell
people it's wonderful if I really don't believe it. I was never a good liar, ever. even before I was a believer, I felt conviction eating at me. so know that I'm continuing with Avon because I really do like their products! promise. in fact, I'm blogging about my experiences with the various Avon products I buy. you can check that out on my website.

** my pitch to you blog-land ...
open 24/7!

Avon is now doing e-parties! instead of having an Avon party at your home, you have a party online. it's so easy!! similar to tupperware, pampered chef, discovery toys, or any other home party, you are the host and you forward info to my online store to everyone in your contacts list. then depending on how many sales you rack up, depends on the prize/discount you receive for hosting. Christmas is right around the corner, so it's the perfect time to host! Avon is more than just makeup, there are so many gift ideas in every brochure!! no matter where you are reading this from, you can host an e-party. you are already online, so why not try it out?!

interested? leave me a comment. thanks!