Sunday, October 31, 2010


So, I couldn't let the day pass without posting some Halloween pictures!  On Thursday night we went downtown for the big Harvestfest.  It was FREEZING!  But we still had some fun!
My little Elephant.  He did not like his Elephant hood and quickly removed it!
My Giraffe - I don't think Giraffe's like cold weather :-)

Today, Halloween, we carved our pumpkins!

Ok, So Nate just touched his but that counts :- )

Josh, the neat child, chose to use markers on his.  He really didn't like the guts !

This is mine - every pumpkin I have ever carved has looked like this!

All four - Darryl's, mine, and the boys. 

Than we went to a local church for Trunk-or-Treat.  Josh had a lot of fun!

He Played games and got candy

Nate just looked cute.

And we ended the night by going Trick-or-Treating . . .we only made it to 4 houses; than the elephant wanted to go home.

And so did the giraffe (don't you love Darryl's face!)
   So, that is our Halloween story :-)  We did have fun tonight and have two very tired boys (and two tired parents too!) 

30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge

Last year, in my Facebook Status' during the month of November, I challenged myself to only write a post that showed thankfulness (I even starte it with "I am thankful for . . ".  Some were easy, some where not.  I was thankful for everything from hitting a deer (we have insurance!) to the mini-van I had to drive while my truck was in the shop (and I hate mini-vans!) I noticed that November was better when I concentrated on what was good.  I also had quite a few people thank me for being thankful and that made me feel good too!  So this year, I'm carrying it one step further and throwing out a Thankfulness challenge.  Starting November 1st, post one blog a day telling about something you are thankful for in anyway you want.  By that I mean - share pictures of your family, a sunset, the first snowfall, a surprise or unexpected "something"; share a link to a song - I love music and sometimes a song reminds me of something to be thankful for; share a written post - it could be a one liner to a paragraph of something you are thankful for at this time.  Thankfulness can be funny too - so be thankful for the little things too! 

So who's up for this???  I wish I had a button for you to grab but I am still trying to figure out all of this code stuff despite some GREAT tutorials out there!   I spent about an hour the other day trying to get a code to add to the above picture to work and couldn't do it!  Maybe before the 30 days is up I'll be thankful for figuring out how to make the code work!1

So feel free to Link Up with me throughout this next month :-) I'd love to read what you are thankful for too!! 

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 21

Day 21- A Picture of Me

Normally, I am the one behind the camera so I have very few pictures of me!  These are the two most recent - one from the Cider Mill trip and one from when we got Halloween Pictures taken.  

Remember to check out other posts by clicking on the button on the left side bar for Katie's Journey!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Holiday Journal - Part 1

As promised, I want to share with you my Holiday Control Journal.  I'm going to do this in several steps over the next few weeks.  The original idea comes from Flylady and you can access her actual Holiday Control Journal to download and/or print by choosing The Table Of Contants on the sidebar of her site and than chosing "Flylady's Control Journals" from the Fly Zone Box.  I took her Holiday Journal and morphed it into my own. 

I have two Control Journals, the green one is my every day Control Journal, which I realized I haven't shared yet either!  And the black one is my Holiday Control Journal. 
When building your holiday control journal, don't wait for the perfect supplies.  Just grab a binder, a folder, or even a file folder; some loose leaf lined paper or typing paper, and a pen or pencil!  I prefer to do mine on the computer but you don't have to - just do what works for you!!

I also use page protectors, but that is something you can add later!

So the first section in my Holiday Control Journal is my "Holiday Plan" which you can view here.
My plan begins the first week in November with cleaning and decorating the Dining Room.  Because I decorate every room in my house for Christmas, I have chosen to divide my house by zones, ending with the Living Room.  This way, it isn't so overwhelming when it is time to decorate the tree and we can actually enjoy doing that final touch.  I than spend December working on the other things like taking the family Christmas picture and writing our Christmas letter, baking cookies, and wrapping gifts!  We also have a Birthday to celebrate just a few days before Christmas so the week before that is all for Birthday plans! You may also notice some traditions thrown in during December: 1) Baking Christmas Cookies 2) Delivering baskets to neighbors 3) Searching for the best lights (we drive around, look for great light displays, get the address of the home and send a thank you!) I write those down so I don't forget to do them!   The things that are underlined in my journal are things I need to purchase (please note, that they more than likely will not all get purchased this year but I went ahaed and included EVERYTHING that came to mind!)

Are you ready to start?  First, I would decide how many weeks you need to get things done.  Maybe you really gear up for Thanksgiving - than start your control journal with Thanksgiving plans so that when you get to the week of Thanksgiving you can relax.  That is the joy of it being YOUR journal, write the plan that works for you!  Second, if you are still buried in Clutter, I would take 15 - 30 minutes a day and concentrate on clearing the piles.  Don't do deep decluttering, just clean the piles so you have room to decorate.  Third, just start writing your plan!!

Part 2 will be on Holiday Traditions and the all important menu! 
Part 3 will be on gift giving and traveling
Part 4 will be on other holidays in your journal

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 20

Day 20 - Nicknames

I just have a few.  I, of course, was given the nick name "Jack-0-Latern" fairly early.  (It is just a natural fit with "Jackie") and I still get it to this day.  I find it ironic that people think I've never heard it before LOLOL

Other ones - just plain "Jack" - close friends call me that and one man in my dad's church that I grew up in, Mr. Anderson, has always called me Jack and still does to this day.  When I hear it I often think of him! (I love his wife too - she inspired me a lot and still does!)

Lets see, my oldest brother calls me Jack-Baby because he still views me as the "baby" and I am his baby sister.

And I think that is it LOL  Not to exciting! 

Don't forget to click on the the Katie's Journey button on my left side-bar to read more!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Show Us Your Life - Guest Rooms

This week over at Kelly's Korner it is "Show Us Where You Live" Friday!  The room of choice today is the guest room but, I do not have one :-)  I gave that up when we needed child room # 1! I didn't want you to miss out on the opportunity to see other great rooms though so click on the link above and check them out!

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 19

Day 19 - Something You Miss

My husband and I were just talking about this the other day.  Something I miss  . . . . this is deep . . .. are you ready?  Shopping as a single person ! :-)  We were sitting here the other night and both commenting on how we were hungry but there was no food in the house.  I said, the one thing I miss from my single days is being able to grocery shop for just me!!  To buy the foods that I like, the  snacks I like, plan meals I like etc!!  PLUS when I bought the snacks I liked, I didn't have to worry about  someone else eating them :-)  Not to mention that some of the things that I love, my husband does not like so I don't get to make them anymore! 

Lets see, I miss our last apartment.  It was brand new, had a great laundry room, a master bathroom and a walk in closet!  Not to mention that someone else did the maintenance!  Granted, we had noisy neighbors and no yard - that, I don't miss!!

I've missed camping.  We didn't go at all last summer - with two babies, it just wasn't something we really wanted to do.  The summer before we went twice but it might as well had been December with as cold as it was!!  Maybe next summer we can pick it back up!

I missed going to Lake Michigan this past summer.  Due to Darryl working two jobs our weekends were quick and we just never made it.  I need to go to the beach and am missing that feeling very much!

I guess I miss more than I thought :-)

Check out Katie's Journey for more links

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I never win anything - - well, ALMOST!

My Faith Box
I've talked before about the accountability group that I am in and it is part of Good Morning Girls.  As with lots of blogs that I follow, they do give aways periodically. I, of course, enter with just the slim hope that my name will be randomly picked, which it 'never' is!  Imagine my surprise when I checked e-mail the other night and there it was, an e-mail with a subject line of "You Won My Faith Box"!  I was beyond thrilled to say the least.  Than I checked the blog to see my name "up in lights" as the winner only to discover that the blog post-er (is that a word?) had given one to every one that commented!  You can ready the full post here.  It was really her husband's idea because they feel so strongly about this new parenting tool!

So, this is what I won - "My Faith Book" which can be purchased from here and there is also more information on it as well.

Here is the explaination of the box from The Good Morning Girls Post here

What is the My Faith Box? I’m so glad you asked! Basically it’s a box that you can decorate and place special keepsakes in, BUT the exciting part is what’s inside the box! Inside is the My Faith Book. What I LOVE about the My Faith Book is how as a parent you can record your child’s faith journey! From birth until age 18, you can record each year how you are praying for your child and create an intentional plan of passing down your faith to your child. Each year contains areas for you to record special memories, what they are learning about God, what they are praying for, favorite bible stories etc. As your child gets older, he/she can then start filling in each year. The book also contains areas for photos as well as areas for older children to personally write about their journey thus far with God. What I love is this book helps create a history of your child’s faith that they can turn back to in later years. The My Faith Book is a tool that can be used to help them remember the faithfulness of God as they flip through the pages and see how God has answered prayers that were written down years before

Isn't that awesome?  I already prayer for my boys daily but this will be such a great legacy as well.  I'm so looking forward to getting this great gift!  Once I get it, I may have to purchase a second one if it isn't made to list items for both boys, which is fine since it is such a great thing.  It would also make a great gift for a new parent as well!!

This book is also available through the same site and I already had this written down as a must read.
Now I know I have to get it for my next set of reading materials starting in January.  I thinking building your child's faith is of the utmost importance today.  Too many times, Christianity is made "lite" and things are acceptable now amoung Christians that the Bible teaches are not acceptable.

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 18

Day 18 - Something you Regret

Since I first read this list, 18 days ago, I've been thinking about this post and one thing kept coming back to me and that is something I learned in college.  That was to live your life in such a way that you have no regrets.  I know that this was taught more in the concept of what choices a person makes - choose those things which are right and Godly so that you have no regrets when you are done.  So, I've tried to live my life in a way to have no regrets - at least the things that matter in life.  Than I tried to lighten it up a little and see if there are things I wish I had done/had not done that might qualify and there are a few.

1. I loved where I went to college and that in itself is not a regret but I wish I would have known more about what was needed to get a state teaching certificate - so one regret I have is that I was not able to get state certified, therefore limiting where I could teach.  I probably need to look into this again as sometimes state guidelines change and I might be able to get this?? Who knows.
2. I regret that I ever signed up for my first credit card AND that I used it!  My husband and I are determined to teach our boys how to manage money from the time they start getting their first allowance.  I think it is so much more important now than it was when he and I were young because credit is so available now.  We are now working diligently to pay off what debt we have and not add anymore.
3. I regret that I allowed myself to get behind on Scrapbooking - I am working to get current so we can enjoy the albums of our kids while they are still kids!

Check out Katie's Journey for more posts!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Worship Wednesday - Kutless

Yeah!  I'm actually posting this on Wednesday!  I don't have a specific song this week but a group.
(Sorry, this is a video image - it doesn't actually "play")
Kutless is a group I forget about until I hear a song from them and they are one of my favorite groups. They are more upbeat, which I really enjoy when I'm in the car or at home listening to music, but their songs also speak to me as well.  So, I heard them on the radio this week and thought - "I need to find a song from Kutless for my playlist!"  They have taken the #1 place on my play list so for those of you that listen - there is finally something new!!

Enjoy :-)

A Transportation Themed Birthday Party

We had a big birthday party this weekend!  The big Number "2" was celebrated with great style :-)

First, I had to make some things in order to have the perfect set up!

Things like, the perfect "2" shirt!
A great Name banner!
Some awesome Photo Holders:

We also played this awesome game!

It was the "Car Game"!  I found 12 pictures of various Muscle cars and had them developed.  I taped them to two doors in our home and numbered each picture.  The guests had to list the year, make, and model of each vehicle.  As far as points, they received a total of three points for each "car" (one if the year was correct, one for the make and one for the model)  The high scorer got 22 points :-)  Lots of laughs with this game!

I ordered all of my plates, cups, silverware and the tablecloth all from Birthday Direct  I was very happy with the prices and the over all quality.  The plates were more "cardboard" than most so I wouldn't use them for a really heavy, wet dish though!

Of course, one of the most important thing is the cake and I had a lot of fun creating these adorable things!
I used Tonka trucks that we already owned.  Than, I used Candy Corn to look like the orange work barrels to outline the "road".  The sand on the road is brown sugar and I used mini-chocolate chips for the dirt along the road.  And the Dump Truck was dumping M & M's to build a new road!  I used some frosting to stick M & M's inside the dump truck to look like it was in the process of dumping :-)  I was very happy with my cake! 

And, I must say, the best place very to get balloons?  The Dollar Tree!

I asked the clerk at Dollar Tree how much the balloons were (I know, dumb question) and she said "One Dollar" to which I replied, "Does that include the helium?" LOLOLOL  Seriously!  I couldn't believe it.  I love the Dumb Truck Balloon - it fit in perfectly with our theme!

For a few other decorations, I used some 12 x 12 and 8 x 8 scrapbook pages on the windows as well as the Halloween Costume Pictures that were taken last weekend. 

I'll be posting the instructions for my crafts - the shirt, the photo holders, and the banner over the next week or so. They were all very easy to do!

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 17

Day 17 - Something you are looking forward to

Have you taken time to read some of the posts over at Katie's Journey?  There are some really great links to each of her "30 day challenge" posts. 

So . .something I am looking forward to?  I think probably the most important thing is watching each of these two little animals grow up!
My Little Elephant

My Little Giraffe
Now, some little things I'm looking forward to!
1.  Starting to babysit a friends 2 1/2 month old baby in just one week!  I'm so excited :-)
2. Learning whether or not my husband will still have a job once the company is taken over by new owners in a few weeks. (Yes, Looking forward to this so that the speculation can stop and we can move on and make plans)
3. Christmas!!!! I love everything about Christmas - the True Meaning - The Birth of Christ and what that means, the decorations, the cookies, the songs . .everything!!
4. The beauty of fresh fallen snow
5. Getting  something in the mail I just won!!!  I'll be blogging about it later this week :-)  I can't wait to get it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting Back To Life

The last few weeks have been filled with birthday plans, crafts, cleaning, and preparing for the big "2"!  It was a huge success, if I say so myself, but I let a lot of things slide!  No "school", my cleaning schedule was put on hold a little, scrapbooking was put away and not even looked at, and it goes on.  Now, I have one week to pick up the pieces before it is time for the "Holiday Rush" which I'm hoping to not make so "rushy" this year.

Here are a few things I learned in my birthday party planning:
1. Remember to plan for the little family actual birthday plan:  don't forget the cupcakes and to wrap the gifts! 
2. Plan the food for the party weeks; no months, in advance and divide it up over all those weeks so you can buy the food and not break the bank :-)
3. Try new recipes before the birthday (don't worry, I didn't do anything really new but my original plan did!)
4. Remember, when planning games, don't forget some funny prizes :-( (At least I had the Halloween Candy!)
5. Charge the Video Camera :-)

Considering that we have another party in just 2 months, these are things I'll put into practice right away!

How am going to make the holidays not so "rushy" this year?  I have something called a "Holiday Control Journal" that I am putting into play.  I promise to share it :-)  It has all my plans for the holidays from cooking to cleaning to decorating!  And yes, I start decorating November 1st and finish up right after Thanksgiving with the goal of being able to enjoy December with outings, crafts, and family time. 

Which is why, this week, I really have to work on getting lose ends tied up.  Everything from creating some outfits for an upcoming photo shoot from what we own since I really can't buy anything right now to figuring out when we can go Trick-or-Treating based on the town schedules to organizing my mess of craft supplies after the mad rush to get some things done.  I also need to focus on my scrapbooking more than crafts for a little bit and try to get caught up.  I really want to have 2008 done by year end so I can get 2009 printed (it is done digitally!) and put into an album and get 2010 done too (it is partially done digitally too!)  So many things to get done.  I also HAVE to get our lessons going again, I have some new ideas to throw into the mix and want to use this week to get the next 4-6 weeks completely planned down to the list of needed supplies (and yes, I'll share those plans too!)

WHEW!  Are you tried? I am so I had better get busy to get all this done!

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 16

Day 16- Dream House

I do not really have a "dream home" picked out.  I don't have a file full of photos of rooms or anything like that but there are some things that I would love to have in my home.

I would love to live on the water, in a home with tons of windows and lots of light!
I would love to have a grand staircase in my home.
I also love the log home style of home.
I would love to have a huge master bedroom (that overlooks a pool!!)
Don't forget the "to die for" bathrooms.

And a big kitchen with an island
But for now, my dream home, is right where I am.  In my little 1000 sq foot home with my husband and two boys :-)  I could I dream of anything better?

Click on Katie's button on the side of my blog to see more!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Too Cute not to "Toot"

Another great week of great ideas out there in blog land!  Check out these great ideas

Here are some awesome Halloween treat ideas!  They all look good and, most importantly, fairly easy.  I love that she sends college kids treats at Halloween.
Click here to get the candy corn recipe plus more ideas!

I was really excited to see this idea.  A baby quilt using Onsies and T-shirts.  I'm excited to practice with this idea with some of my husband's old shirts first and than to make a quilt for each of my boys as a memory. 
Check out the full article at craftopotamus (don't you love that name??)
This post that I saw at "A little of This, A little of that" solved a problem that I've had!  My kids aren't "allowed" into the kitchen due to the gate being up (plus the stairs and the not so safe banister) so displaying their artwork where they can see it too as left me stewing.  Then, I saw this idea and said "This is perfect!"  Once I get through the birthday party this weekend, I think this will be my next project!
Check out the full post right here!
What about this great idea for a decorator pumpkin?
She gives the super simpled directions over at Young & Crafty
Last week I posted links to a couple different Treat Bags which I loved.  Than I saw this idea with a paint bucket and really loved it for my boys.  I'm hoping to be able to make one before Josh goes Trick-Or-Treating this year!
I found this idea at leemeandthegirls
I saw this idea and thought - how crafty :-)  I bet you could this stuff after Halloween this year on sale and use it next year!  Check out the full tutorial here
How cute . . . .errrr I mean Scary!
Hope you enjoy these great ideas!  Happy Crafting!

Week 4 - Making Your Home A Haven

 It is week 4 in Making Your Home a Haven.  Hopefully your candles are burning, your home is slightly more decluttered, you are praying for peace, and music is playing! 
This weeks challenge is to give your children a Happy Childhood filled with tender moments.  Tender moments are not always the quiet, snuggle in the chair moments - but just those great family memories.  We take time every evening before bedtime to play on the floor as a family - with cars, trucks, blocks, and books.  I also work each day to make sure my boys have loving memories that they can carry with them forever.   We also hug on our boys a lot :-)  Kids need that affection without a doubt!

Check out Women Living Well and read the devotional that Courtney has posted around this topic. 

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 15

Day 15 - A Bible Verse

Romans 8:37-39 - Yet, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Check out Katie's Journey for some more verses today!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 14

Day 14 - A Picture You Love

Wow!  How do you pick "a" picture you love?  Well . . I couldn't.  I had to pick two.  There are actually hundreds of pictures that I've taken that I truly love.  Some because they just are the perfect shot, some because they show family time, some because they show a great expression and some, just because they make me laugh. 

I love this picture because it shows what a thinker Josh is - there is always something going on in that head of his as he tried to figure out the hows and whys of everything!

This picture I love because it shows Nate right now, getting ready to do his favorite thing - eat anything and everything that he can find :-)  Just too cute!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 13

Day 13 - Goals

Wow, Katie at Katie's Journey had no idea what she was getting into when she wanted me to list goals :-)  I'm a goal person - my whole life is based on goals!

First, you can check out my 40 goals by the time I'm 40 over here.  There is a post that lists all the goals, plus a few updates.  I also track the completely goals on the side bar of my blog. 

Here are some other goals I'm working on also:
1. Do the final decluttering in my house which is my basement and garage.
I started this goal in January and am so close to being done!!2. Getting current on Scrapbooking.
This is also on my 40 list - but it is at the forefront of my goals.  I want to be able to enjoy pictures of my kids now, now 10 years from now.
3. Read.  Set a Plan and read some good books
In Aug. I picked 5 books to read by Christmas.  I'm reading # 4 right now.  I have put together a list of books to read Jan-March to challenge myself more.
4. To fill the hole in my "Bucket" (my bucket is money)
I'm a spender so money falls through the hole in my bucket without me knowing it. I'm working very hard through lots of prayer and telling my husband to keep me accountable to fill that Hole so nothing falls out!
5. Spend as much time with my kids as possible.
I'm a stay at home mom with a purpose - to make memories with my kids, not keep a clean house!  I sometimes forget this but am working on it.  I am planning activities for all of us to do each day so that we get that time together.

I think that's enough to keep me busy :-)  I love that feeling of accomplishment when I finish a goal but I also know that not all goals get completed.  I just keep working on it! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 12

Day 12 - What you believe

Katie, at Katie's Journey is hosting this really great blog Challenge.  Today's topic is on what you believe.  I was kinda stumped on what to write; more of what people would be writing than on what I believe.

So here goes :-)
I believe . .. .
1. Jesus is the my Savior
2. God created the world and all things in it, including me!
3. The Bible is 100% true
4. I married my "kindred Spirit"; my true best friend
5. My kids are amazing
6. God will supply all of our needs, even when we can't see it happening.
7. That the sun really does come out tomorrow, even on gloomy days.
8. That animals are great stress relievers
9. Being a Stay-at-home mom is my perfect job
10. God has a plan for each of us, if we let Him lead

I could list more but I wanted to list the top 10 things that came to my mind and this is what they are - in order.  So I think that the order of importance is probably pretty accurate too.

Show Us Your Life - Nurseries and Kids Rooms

This week, over at Kelly's Korner it is Show Us Your Life Friday!  Today we are looking at the Nurseries and Kid's Rooms. 

So here we go!  I hope you enjoy this little tour :-)   We will start with Nate's room.  Before Nate was born, this was our office. 

This is the view from the door.  The crib and dresser/changing table were actually free through a blessing day at my parents church.  They have been such a blessing!  I love the color on the walls - it is called Stadium Tan :-)

This is his closet.  Nothing fancy.  Oh and a little picture storage for me until I can get caught up!

This shelve holds Nate's special stuffed animals plus a framed prayer our Pastor's wife gave us at his shower. 

I love this Creative Memories Frame.  It is a great way to display pictures.  I'm not as good as I would like to be at keeping it up but I'm getting better!!

And his certificate from his baby dedication.  We like having it on the wall as a reminder of how important each day is with Nathan.
 Josh's room is next!  This was our spare room prior to Josh.  We had painted it just a few years prior and I still loved what we had done so that was one less step we had to do!
This is the view from the door.  The crib my mother-in-law got for us at a Church sale and it is just awesome.  His dresser we got on clearance at a furniture store and that changing table is actually a breakfast rolling cart that we bought when we got married.  It has been many, many things over the years but for now, makes the perfect changing room.  You may have noticed a fan in every bedroom too :-)  We like white noise!

Josh's closet - nothing fancy again but it does make a great place to keep our "tearable" books away from little hands :-) And Storage for the vacuum cleaner - when you live in a house without a lot of closets, you use the ones you have for many things!

A few favorites - the stripes on the walls!  I love stripes :-)  He also has a memory board with pictures and his Detroit Tigers Hat.  And don't you love that desk? My niece found it at a garage sale for $20.00.  He loves it!

I loved this Vinyl saying when I saw it.  It fits perfectly!

A few of his favorite things - a quilt that his grandma made him, Teddy, Gor (Gorilla), Road Kill (the Teddy Blanket).  I love his bedding.  I searched and searched until I found this set!

His dresser with his special stuffed animals and his Dedication certificate hung up behind it.
So, that's it! 

Have a wonderful day :-)