Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Memories...

My most memorable Christmas was the year I was about 10 or 11 and we were living in Negley, OH. Life was good...I had a dog, my best friend lived next door, I was within walking distance of the local 5 & dime, school and post office and I had an enormous bedroom. It was the entire upstairs of the picturesque rough red brick house we'd moved into from the "little house." (The little house is a story for another day)

On Christmas morning I was disappointed to only find a couple small gifts under the tree and my stocking filled, I guess that's proof I was spoiled, huh?. I tried to hide my dismay, but I'm sure it was painfully clear on my face. The last gift was a Christmas card my mother handed to me.

My Mom had said she was repainting my bedroom and was not allowed in there due to the paint fumes. I was forced to sleep in the little walk-thru room next to my bedroom. And as if that wasn't bad enough they broke my nightstand lamp while carrying painting supplies past my bed.

Inside my card my Mom told me the rest of my presents were in my bedroom. I ran upstairs, flung open my door and was greeted with the most amazing bedroom EVER!!! Mom had purchased the entire white bedroom suit from Sears (maybe Penney's) complete with canopy bed. I had my own dresser, night stand, desk, vanity and full length mirror. And as if that wasn't enough I had brand new bedding with wallpaper to match!! As I scanned my new bedroom trying to make myself believe that this really was mine, my eyes stopped at my nightstand, there stood my lamp. It hadn't broken...but Mom knew I liked that lamp so she had to make up that little white lie so she could include it in my new room.

I still use that nightstand, and while the lamp has changed, the memories are still as vivid as the light cast from that lamp. THANK YOU MOM, for being the greatest Mom, EVER!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

'Tis the Season...

I think December is the fastest month of the year. It seems compounded when you have hunters in the family. We have been very busy making sausage and jerky, going to Christmas concerts (both kids play instruments in the band), dances, shopping, decorating, baking...and we can't forget the usual work, laundry, dinner, paying bills, grocery shopping....blah, blah, blah. I'm ready for a nap just thinking of all of the things that need done in the month of December. My picture taking hasn't been very good lately but I've included pics just to give you an idea of what we've been up to.

One blessing so far this year is thanks to the internet, the wonderful internet. My husband is from Croatia, he was born here, but he's first generation born here. He still has a lot of family in Croatia. Well thru cousins here in the states his first cousin on his Mom's side contacted us and would like to get to know us better. She remembers Frank from when they were little, but it's been decades since they've seen each other. She lives in Austria now and we've been exchanging photos and "letters" thru the internet.

I've also become friends with a wonderful lady named Amy. She was so gracious in giving a tour of her beautifully decorated home. Take a look just by clicking on the red home.
I hope everyone Christmas is safe, happy and healthy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside...

It's sooo cold outside this weekend. Mom helped me get revved up for the holidays when we went Christmas shoppping on Friday. I haven't done anything except buy a few gifts on "Black Friday", amazing huh...it's what the 7th of December?! So I told the kids we were going to get our Christmas cards made this weekend. So we drug everything to the kitchen table and in between the pancake breakfast at the church, a "quick" trip to WV and church service this morning I think we succeeded. Granted, it just dawned on me all of the things I didn't get done...check register for attorney, treasurers report for band boosters, just to name a couple...and Jon's band concert is tomorrow and my band booster meeting is Tuesday...but my cards are done!!! We made lots of cards, some money/gift card holders and even some tags. We had a good time singing carols and just being together. I guess I should make a list so I can keep everything straight.

By the way, does anyone know where I can pick up a couple extra hours?! haha

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Presenting my hubby...Frank. Playing guitar, one of Frank's passions. My DH always told me he was a simple man! Anyone who knows him would beg to differ. However, once you get to know him, and grow with him as I have, you will know he really is a simple man. Just too full of emotion and passion to display it in a "manly" fashion. Manly, an extremely big part of who he is. The hunter gatherer who you can count on when the car dies or washer won't work. While he's not one to cry at funerals (if you can get him to go) or get weepy eyed when a friend has a new baby, he shows his friends and family he loves them with his actions. The night this picture was taken (Thanksgiving Eve) we gave a pink guitar to a new friend who's daughter was in a terrible car accident a year ago and (while fighting hard) prognosis isn't great. This amazing family came into our lives by chance and have made a huge impact on Frank. To see the rare emotion publicly displayed when my hubby presented this guitar to Kris (the Mom) was a reminder of the passion locked inside my "simple man"!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Take the time...

What a week it has been!!! Nothing like a couple close calls to remind you what really matters. During church Pastor Scott reminded us of the Sabbath. That doesn't necessarily mean keeping a whole day open and you do nothing...although wouldn't it be nice to spend that day just visiting and no chores. All you need to do is "steal" a few minutes here and there. It could be taking the time to scratch your favorite fuzzy buddy, have a cup of tea with your best friend, read a story with your kids or drink in a sunrise or sunset.

You would also be amazed how good it feels being nice. We tell are kids to be nice while we get frustrated with the person who sits at the green light, roll our eyes when the cashier calls for a price check for the patron in front of us or slight the waitress on her tip when she forgets the ketchup. We never know what a difference just being nice could make. Maybe the person sitting at the light is lost in thought because their Mother just passed away. While their checking on the price say Hello you just might make a new friend. And as for the waitress...she remembered your fries!! We all have hectic, frustrating, stress filled lives. But if we slow down half a step, take the time to love our friends and family, soak in the view of God's amazing creation we call earth and treat people the way we would like to be treated...Wow just imagine.

Friday, November 7, 2008


OK, it's official. Me and the children have fallen off our apple cart! You never saw three people more excited over an egg!!! We have been waiting, checking and threatening to squeeze some chickens if they didn't start laying soon. We built them a beautiful new home "The Taj ma Chicken" complete with nesting boxes, roosting boards and as an after thought put an old drawer on the floor for the ducks to sleep in. Guess where our first egg showed up...yep the drawer. If your wondering about the color, yes it is green. We have a couple chickens called Aracaunas and they lay green eggs. They vary from whitish-green to closer to a light teal color and I absolutely love them. The inside looks no different from a white or brown egg. But they certainly are a conversation piece. Hopefully I will have all fresh eggs for my holiday baking.

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to pass my blog along to your friends...blogging certainly can be addicting, huh!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Busy, Busy Best Friend...

I was shocked and sad when I realized I hadn't posted in 10 days. Time sure is flying. Fall definately is a time of chores when you've spent your summer "playing" at the track. We supplement our regular heat with a wood burner. Not just to save money, but the heat is warmer. We also have a fireplace in the living room (another house selling point...too bad there isn't one in the bathroom!) that we enjoy burning in on cold evenings. When we first moved in (13 years ago) we split by hand! I can't believe my Grandfather split everything by hand, what a man! It didn't take long to purchase a splitter, now I can split too...wait that didn't work out right. haha

My BEST FRIEND is my precious dog Josie!!! She follows me everywhere, doesn't care what mood I'm in, hugs me when I cry (she really does, she wraps her head around my neck) and "talks" to me in the morning. Even when I'm splitting wood, she lays in the bark and shavings close by. I sure am gonna miss her when she's gone. They say your dog waits for you in heaven...I sure hope so!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

And He's only 11....

My menfolk love to go hunting. Archery season is their favorite. Probably because, contrary to what anti-hunters think, they love the outdoors and the wildlife as much, if not more, than the actual hunt. I hear lots of stories of how squirrels "hollar" at them if they're sitting at the base of HIS tree, chipmunks run around gathering and hiding nuts and the beautiful skies blazing various colors of crimson, violet and blue. They all come back renewed.

We had a big discussion with Jon about being very selective before raising his bow due to the unseasonable temperatue of 80 degrees. Well I received a pic on my cell phone showing this magnificent 8-point buck. Jonathan is only 11 years old and this is his third dear, two with a bow. His very first hunt (at age 9) he bagged a 3-point and last year a smaller 8-point. He says he wants to be a Professional Hunter when he grows up...I'm starting to think he just might be!

I hope I didn't offend anyone with the picture...I kept is tasteful.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Book review...

This is the best book I have ever read. I was hooked reading the forward. While it is a fictional book, it will make you think. We spend a lot of time with closed hearts. We don't volunteer at animal shelters because it breaks our heart to see them come in abused or have to be euthenized, we change the channel when they show starving children and turn a blind eye to the homeless. This book will help you open your heart and understand that giving really is better than receiving. After you read The Shack you will want all of your friends and family to have a copy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Game time...

When I was growing up as an only child I spent alot of time playing games by myself. And you may find it hard to believe...but I played honestly (boy did I lose alot of games). I come from a long line of card players. Unfortunately, we "kids" weren't allowed to play...still aren't, and I'm 39. (no really, I am 39) So I made a vow to myself when I was young I would always make time to play games with my kids. And while it's not as often as it should be, we play often, more when the weather turns cool. We usually pop some popcorn, heat some water in the kettle and grab a game or two.

Tonight it was Sorry and Sliders. Jonathan has been playing Sliders in Science class. How do you play sliders you ask? Each player has a different color slider (in this case Sorry pieces), you take turns sliding then to the end of the table and whoever is closest to the edge gets a point. How does that relate to science? I'm sure it has something to do with how fast, how much force, etc...

I enjoy this time with the kids. It's a relaxed time to chat, heckle and just "be" with the family. Dad doesn't always join in, but that's ok, because he always wins. Drives me nuts!!! But we certainly enjoy when he joins in on game night.

If you don't have family game night you should. Wether you play a board game, dice or cards. Wether it's with family or friends. Game night is a great excuse to slow the everyday pace down, share stories and, of course, eat some yummies. Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Autumn is here...

It's quite nippy here in Ohio this evening. Granted, this same temperature in February will feel like spring and we'll all be sick from going outside with no coats. But tonight...it's down right chilly. After going out to check some trees to cut down for firewood Jonathan and I decided to build a fire in the fireplace. The kids put their electric blankets on their beds so their tootsies will be warm tonight. Hope your warm where you are tonight!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Grandma's screen door....

How many of you had a screen door on your house when you were little? I was blessed enough to spend much of my younger years living on the same property as my Grandparents. That's where I learned the joys of standing over the coal furnace vent to warm up in the morning before school, eating fresh chicken and goose eggs (yes goose eggs...mostly double yokes and the size of the "panty hose" eggs) and last, but certainly not least, the slamming of the screen door. Don't ask me what the door looked like...was it stained or painted...did the screen have snags or holes...I don't remember. But that sound!!! I absolutely love that sound! That was one of the selling points when we bought our house. The back door is a screen door...complete with hook and loop closure. Our house also has a horseshoe driveway and clothes shute...but that's a whole other love affair.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What a week...

This has been the strangest week of my life! As so many people throughout the country, Ike hit our area and left us without power for several days. Now while I do not claim to have dealt with anything close to those poor people in Texas, I've come to realize I cannot live without water. Namely...a shower! But there were some good things (I try to look at the the good side of everything)...I didn't have to cook, our whole family was together each evening (all evening), and there was a full moon so we could find our way to the grill for our hot water in the morning. We also got to "visit" with friends when we arrived with clothes and shampoo in hand to borrow their shower. My husband greated everyone by saying "Hello, the refugees are here." Crazy I tell you!!!

When our power returned life picked right back up at it's break neck speed. Friday night football game, racing, Homecoming dance and the band played out. And of course trying to catch up on laundry, cleaning and finish those peaches I was in the middle of canning when the lights went out.

Homecoming is of course why my daughter is so dressed up. Doesn't she look beautiful...not that I'm biased or anything. My Aunt is a beautician and she always takes care of Mo's hair...didn't she do an amazing job?!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Family...

We were spending the day at the lake just relaxing and enjoying the last days of summer. I was snapping pictures and decided to zoom in. Boy was I excited with the images that appeared on my screen. I love looking at beautiful pictures and it's even more special when they are of my wonderful family.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fun at the Fair?!...

The kids and I went to the fair and had a wonderful time. Morgan talked Jonathan into going on the G Force. As you can see by their faces, Mo (as we call her) was having more fun than Jon. And while Jon shook for a bit after the ride he went on again later...must be the adrenalin (sp?) rush!

When we first arrived my children had switched sides. Usually J wants to ride and Mo wants to walk through the animal barns...they were the complete opposite today. And while we kept on a budget and didn't indulge in the usual fair foods, we enjoyed the displays...like the 1000+ lb pumpkin, the kids rode lots of rides and we saw several people we knew.

This year Morgan & I had the opportunity to "man" the Hospice booth. We started volunteering with Hospice a little over a year ago. Hospice is the most amazing organization ever founded. If you have a loved one with a terminal illness, please contact Hospice. They offer nursing, doctors, clergy and volunteer help. They focus on keeping the patient comfortable and allowing them to pass with dignity. I put the Hospice scrapbook together, complete with obituaries, pictures, letters and cards. The stories are all unique with one common thread running thru them...how much Hospice meant to them and their loved one in their final days.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Feels like Fall...

This picture is of a tree that sits inside my horseshoe shaped driveway. It was taken a year or two ago, but it looks like that every year. Fall is, hands down, my favorite time of the year. The gorgeous vibrant colors, the apple dumplings and simmering soup on a crisp evening and of course, the fair.

In our area the Canfield Fair is an annual tradition. To some it signifies the "end of summer", but I look at it as a welcome friend. The fair still has all of the days gone by displays, like the steam engines, animals, craft barns and of course the food judging. There are canned foods, baked goods, quilts, scrapbooks, miniature horses, draft horses, chickens and soooo much more. And they manage to combine that perfectly with "modern" joys such as rides that scare the bajeebers (sp?) out of the kids and all of the food vendors that charge way to much, but you have to buy it because it wouldn't be the same without those fair fries!

I hope you have an event like this in your area and are able to take the time to visit and take in all of the sights and sounds. So often we focus on where we need to be next instead of soaking in where we are right now. Happy Fall Y'all!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to school...

I must admit I have mixed feeling about my kids going back to school. I enjoy watching them grow, learn new "stuff" and see their friends again. But, I miss them when their gone. The first day they're always out of bed on their own and ready way ahead of schedule. They played some frisbee in the driveway to kill time until it was time to go. Morgan got her license last year so she drives everyday and Jon, of course, gets to hitch a ride. I hope this is a stellar year for them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My kids...

Here's a picture Morgan, Josie and Jonathan. Three of the loves of my life. My children drive me crazy some days but are my buddies too. They are growing into fabulous people who I enjoy spending time with very much. Josie has been part of our family since before Jon was born. She used to sleep in his nursery before we brought him home. She is a constant companion and doesn't care my mood. Morgan and Josie share the same birthday, which is very cool. I'm truly blessed with an amazing husband, family and friends.

Tickle, Tickle....

My kiddos sure are ready to go back to school. We did our weekly luncheon at the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe. We LOVE their hot dogs and their fries w/ cheese are to die for! When the kids got home they decided on a tickle fest, initiated by Jonathan but enjoyed by both. They start school on Monday. Between homework, dinner and earlier bedtimes, I'm sure going to miss our down time together.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer goes tooo fast...

Friends of ours, who dragrace motorcycles, invited us for a summer picnic. The kids had a great time.

Jonathan loves to fish and our host has a well stocked pond. Granted we threw (or rather, gently placed) all of the fish back in the lake. You see, these are our hosts pets. He feeds them everyday and cuts the barbs off the hooks. So catching them was very easy.

Morgan enjoyed herself because she's been "seeing" their youngest son. He is a very nice young man and can actually carry on a conversation with me, and believe me that's refreshing.

Before we went to this picnic we headed for our annual family reunion. We didn't get to stay long this year but did get to see everyone and gets hugs and kisses. I have to say it was a wonderful day, very relaxing. I Love Summer!

Friday, August 8, 2008

From a time gone by...

My Mom always says I was born with an old soul. And I think she's right! My favorite show EVER is The Walton's. I would've loved to live back then. Maybe it comes from growing up with my Grandparents on the same property. I watched them can vegetables from the garden, keep the woods/pasture as clean as the house and keep the house warm (toasty warm) with coal and wood. I enjoy all of those things today. OK, maybe not getting the wood ready for the woodburner :) I really enjoy canning. Crazy, huh?! It's very rewarding. I planted one 79¢ bean packet, grew 3 healthy rows of beans and got 15 pints plus a few side dishes made straight from the garden. As an added bonus, my kids love to snack on raw beans, much healthier than chips.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Card #2

This was so easy! Why does it seem soooo simple sometimes and other times I stare at the blank card wondering where to begin. I put this one together while the potatoes were cooking for dinner. Maybe it helps that it's been an amazing day. I worked from home so I was able to spend extra time with my precious son. It was very breazy today which afforded me the opportunity to dry most of my clothes on the line....how I love to do that. And I ended the evening canning 15 pints of yellow string beans. What a GREAT DAY!!!!

Feathered Friends...

I had a beautiful flock of around 40 chickens of all kinds/colors. I had chickens that laid brown, white and green eggs. (yes, I said green). They lived in a large fenced area we called the "compound", if you've seen Chicken Run that will make sense. Unfortunately, we didn't have a covering over the top and the raccoons little by little had my entire flock for dinner. Yes, very sad.

My kids and I really wanted more chickens so Hubby helped us build a new Poultry Palace and fenced (top and sides) run yard. This project took several months because we could only work on it in the evenings and we wanted to make absolutely certain it was raccoon proof. The Palace is finished (except the paint) and the chickens really like their home. We headed to the local auction and were lucky enough to purchase 7 chickens total, 4 are arachaunas (the ones that lay green eggs). They should be laying soon and I will post pics.

The kids wanted ducks! At the auction a gentleman brought in two ducks after the auction started. I had a bidding war with another lady and came away with two call ducks, much to my kiddos delight. They are very fun to watch and cute to listen to. Hope you enjoy the pics.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bella in Boots...

Here's my first uploaded card to my gallery at Splitcoaststampers.com. The first time I saw these Bella stamps I fell in love with them. There are Bellas for every walk of life...even men.
I used waxed paper resist for the green triangles and just colored the Bella and matted her in black.
It's very hot and humid here today I guess that's why I wanted to think about the coolness of winter.

Getting started...

This is my first effort at blogging. I enjoy seeing what other people are doing and have received some great tips, ideas and recipes. Soooo....I thought I would share a bit of my crazy world. It will take a bit, I'm sure, to get the hang of this "blogging thing".

Jr. Mom...

It's currently racing season. To explain in more detail, my husband drag races and so do my two children (ages 16 and almost 11). I know, you're asking how can an 11 year old drag race. Well, it's called a junior dragster. They are mini versions of the big dragsters you see on tv and at the strip. They are all running in the points system this season and so far hubby is running 8th, daughter (16) running 3rd and just this last saturday my son took over the points lead in his class. Very exciting for our first year running points. And what do I do during racing? The juniors are not allowed to run anywhere but on the track so I have to tow them everywhere, start them when their ready, keep track of all their time slips and figure out their dial in, pack all of the "stuff" we need for a day at the track and when the kids are done running it's hubby's turn...
This is a picture of my sons junior dragster when we first bought it. My daughters is white and a little bigger.