Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Let them eat cake.....

Every child should be able to enjoy a cupcake for their birthday, don't you think???? Little Ivy was not feeling well, and didn't want to join in on the cakery......she's feeling better now.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's party time....

Today is party time for the Howell quints! I'll be back with pictures!

In my own little world, I'm thinking of having my own little party here.....but no one else is invited.....ahhhh, a little private party. I'll need a good book, a fun little drink with an umbrella in it, a nice soft pillow and just a few sweet hours.......feel free to move on down the beach and find one of your own for your personal party. Only this beach is NOT in the South, it's somewhere a titch cooler and breezier! So see you after the party!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday already and ketchup????

Gee the week has flown by!!! It's been a busy one, catching up with home maintenance after being gone for a week at her Castle, and blog maintenance after having missed a whole week of reading my daily dose of blog reads...oh, I missed you blog friends! It's a BIG job catching up on a whole week's worth of reading my blogs......geez, you people do a LOT in one week!! :)

So today I am posting some random things/thoughts that come to mind as I've been playing catch up......or like MckMama says, playing "ketchup".....if you're not a reader of MckMama and her charming kids and Prince Charming, you are missing out! She's a favorite of mine and about a thousand other bloggers, too. So you have to wonder if a blogger has a thousand or so other followers, do you think they even see a comment you make on their blog??? And surely they don't have time (the BIG time bloggers) to go about the blog world reading other blogs, do they? Well, I do know that Boomama reads her comments, because she has emailed me about comments before...gotta love that! Almost right up there like getting a famous autograph!! :)
And if you hop, skip and jump over to her blog, or to BigMama's blog, or to Kelly's or Pioneer Woman's blog, you can see that friendship bloomed this week, as they all managed to converge onto each other's world recently. How cool is that??? They must have had fun talking blogs, food, fashion, ranching and all the other things people you've never met have in common!

We all know what a small world blogging really is, right? Just this week, I had a blogger contact me on Facebook saying that it's such a small world, she knows IRL a friend in her town that I actually grew up with in my own small town. She said she knew I looked familiar but lo and behold we are followers of each other's blog. And she found me on Facebook, although I hadn't even really publicized my blog on Facebook...anyhoo, in a round-about way we found each other and became Facebook friends, and the two worlds collided for a second!

And on another note, if you saw my post yesterday on the Howell quints birthday, but read early in the day.....well, perhaps you didn't see my edited update to tell you to go and check out the photo/portrait that their mamma posted from their recent birthday photo shoot. Oh my word, you must go over there and see it! Because I was actually there at the photo shoot, I KNOW how difficult it was to capture five squirmy babies in photos that were really cute.... I am here to tell you that this photographer worked magic on the quints' photos....and she and her colleagues LOVED doing it, and made it look so easy. After a few, or fifty, repositions, or wardrobe changes, or "crunchy" eating breaks, the adults (all five of us!) had had a workout and the quints were ready to move on!!!

Other news for the day....I found a new fun blog to follow, and perhaps you'll enjoy it, too, especially if you like home decorating, rearranging, and accessorizing. Go check out pk....here. She is an interior designer that lives way up north......but has a great way of showing how to redesign a room or two, and offers her services via the web. I am not being paid to tell you about her, BUT she does have a giveaway (we all love those!) and one gets an extra entry for blogging about her giveaway.....so everyone go on over and tell her I sent you. Gotta love new blog friends!

Lastly, it has come to my attention that I am less than 10 posts away from my 200th post!! Who knew I could ever stick with it long enough to have reached this momentous occasion!?! And also, I am now the proud mamma of 101 followers. Yes, who'd have thunk that many bloggers would want little old me on their blog roll or list of blogs that they'd read even once. Amazing!!! and a hearty thanks to those of you who have given me a vote of confidence by continuing to come back again and again. Gee, you're the best!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to Ivy, Briellen, Sidney, Luke and Mitchell today!!!! They are ONE year old. I know their mamma is glad to be over that pregnancy, and to be blessed with their smiles and laughs today. It has been such a joy to be a part of their lives and to be their "Peaches", the name they call me. The time has flown by and they are such a treasure to me and to each and every volunteer that goes over to help. We love you Howells!!!! To read more about them, go here.....
They are having a birthday party on Saturday, so I'll take lots of pics to share. Enjoy the smiles!

Edited to add: you MUST go to their blog and see the gorgeous picture their mamma posted today for their birthday post. I was with them for this photo shoot, but I had NO idea they'd look like this!! Oh my goodness, what precious pictures!

Monday, June 22, 2009

She must be eating Miracle Grow!!!!

this is Lucie when we first got her, at 8 weeks.....

Look how much Lucie has grown in the last month!!! OH my goodness, it is so fascinating to watch her grow. She is almost house broken........and has not chewed up anything to destruction!!! I dare not get too comfortable yet. She is a little timid, and scared of loud noises. If we are outside and she is spooked, she high tails it for the door!!!

She also loves to be underneath things.......she has gotten too big to get under the chair in the den, where she took most of her naps for the first two or three weeks. Now she gets under the bookcase in the kitchen...She is really cute and sweet.

And I really didn't want a new puppy!! :)

Edited to answer a few questions.....the scary thing is I don't KNOW how big she is going to get!!! Acckk!! :)
And we think she is a golden retriever and boxer mix......with a little research, but mamma didn't actually tell us that! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Have a terrific Sunday. I enjoyed my week away, but I've missed you, dear blogging friends!! I don't know if I'll catch up with all that you've been doing. I totally missed the successful Cloche Party....and I even had a post! I'll add it next week perhaps. See you next week! And you won't believe how much Lucie has grown!!! Pics to come!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

castle decor

hey friends, I'm away from Casa Inspiration, my castle, checking out HERS........I'll be back in a few days.
Take care and enjoy every minute of your day.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

When in doubt, just take the next small step.......

Remember this list from the 90 year old Regina Brett? Well I loved this list so much that there were a few points that I wanted to ponder, to think "long" about, to share with you my friends. I did indeed love the second point, because you see I tend to be a procrastinator....AND an idealist and in a few areas, a perfectionist. Lump all these together and there are projects I NEVAH want to start for fear of it being too hard, not turning out the way I can envision it, not feeling like I have the right amount of time or energy, etc. The list of excuses can pile up as you see, I am also very creative!!! Especially when it comes to putting things off and listing why I can't start yet. I think somewhere under the proverbial rug, is an amount of fear that the results will not be what I want. And I need to get over that.

What about you? Do you "just do it" when it comes to projects or do you do as I do? Put it off forever for fear of imperfection? I have unfinished projects because I don't want them to come out badly! Wanna join the get over it club???? LOL.

This principle applies to so many other things, too, doesn't it? That next somewhat small step may be a HUGE step of FAITH for you, but what does it take to step out in faith? What does it take to motivate you to take the next small step......do you allow doubt to creep in and paralyze you from taking the next step? Do we allow fear to conquer us and render us paralyzed? I know I do sometimes. And I am my own worst enemy, and probably more critical of myself than anyone else! Faith is a gift from God, not even something I must muster up myself...so what am I waiting for?????
That next small step may be a social situation for you, stepping out of your comfort zone and going somewhere you've never been, but would like to go. It might be finding a new friend by going to a new park, play group or church. It might be sharing your true feeling or thoughts on a subject you feel passionate about. Stepping out (getting the foot in gear) is easier once you get over the mental hurdles, isn't it? Lack of self-confidence can be a REAL killer to trying new things.

I want to encourage you to NOT let fear drive you. Don't let fear prevent you from taking a small step that may turn out to be the best thing you've ever done. Don't let doubt drive you to escape back into your shell, your comfort zone. I once heard a speaker say..."Live out loud.....many of us get to the end of our lives only to find out we've been dead a long time...." so I encourage you, my friend to LIVE OUT LOUD.......
Sometimes it just takes a bit of accountability, doesn't it? Let me know how you choose to live out loud, by choosing to take those baby steps, by choosing to employ faith over fear, by choosing to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Don't let fear choke you to death.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yahoo, I won!!!

Alabama Slacker Mom Robin had a giveaway, and would you believe I WON!?! I hardly ever win anything, but I did win this! So I can literally say, Life's a Beach!!! I'll show you what I got in the fabulous package she sent. However, join me in mourning the loss of her arm and leg, because between the package AND the shipping the package, I'm thinking she gave up an arm and a leg to bless me with this delightful giveaway extravaganza!!! It was brightly wrapped, even had a smiley face drawn on the outside of the package. She is one fun girl, ya'll! Inside there was a rainbow of tissue paper, and LOTS and LOTS o'goodies!
There is a fun and flirty beach towel and yellow flip flops to sport, along with a frolicky fun beach bag with characters sporting glam and glitter! And they are shaped just like me, see??? :)
And there is a set of cute little glasses with straw and such--they say COOLER set....oh, my kids are going to be so glad I'm getting on with being COOLER!! :) There was also an igloo cooler to put some sort of cool drink in while I'm sunning!! Ahhh, what will go into my little container???

On top of all that, as if it were not enough, she included a beautiful silver necklace and earring set. How did she know that really all I wear is silver????? It's a package perfect for me.....and I just wanted to give her a shout out and a lively THANK YOU, ROBIN, for blessing me today!

Thanks, Alabama Slacker Mom, you were no slacker in this fun package!!! I LOVE it~!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's always fun to share recipes, especially tried and true ones....like this salad, that is SO GOOD for a summer day. I've had it a while, and never tire of it. You may have heard of it, but this is a reminder to enjoy it sometime soon if you've had it. If you've not, try it and it will likely become an old stand by....it's so delicious! Head on over to Jen's and see what else is cooking for Tasty Tuesday. Thanks so much for hosting, Jen!!!

suzanne's summer salad:

1/2 c. sliced almonds
3 T. sugar
2-3 green onions, chopped
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1 head romaine lettuce
11 oz. can mandarin oranges or 1 to 2 cups fresh sliced strawberries

Over medium heat, cook almonds and sugar, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.
Dressing: Mix and shake and pour over salad right before serving.

1/2 t. salt
dash pepper
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 T. vinegar (red wine, raspberry or cider flavored)
1 T. parsley flakes
2 T. sugar
dash of Tabasco sauce

Monday, June 8, 2009

Haven't you ever wished wood was rubber???

I know I have..........Well, I've a Craigslist tale to tell you......I was searching on Craigslist for an armoire to go into my office for storage. I'm a Southern Living at HOME consultant and I have need of some storage. Office, perfect spot. I measured said spot......then set out looking for the perfect storage piece. I looked off and on for a while, then came across a listing for an armoire not too terribly far from my house. It seemed that it was a great piece, at a great price, and would serve to hold many things. I went to see it--OH.MY.GOODNESS. It's one beautiful piece. I had looked at antiques and things that would need to be refinished or painted...and none of them were comparabale in price. I wanted this. So I sent son and the Mister to go and pick it up and bring it home. They got it in the door and proceeded to figure that it was NOT going to go down the hall and thru the door. You see, it would fit in the office IF ONE COULD GET IT IN THERE. Oh, my goodness. If only it were rubber and bendable!!!!

So it quickly became a new home for the tv in the master bedroom.....now, it matches perfectly and fits in the room quite well. But so far, I have a mountain of clothing that came out of the cedar chest (where the armoire now lives) that is now in the office that was going to be the place to store things. The winter clothes that had been in the cedar chest (that my grandfather made) now have to be relocated.....some of them will be relocated to Goodwill......and while I'm there, I'm going to look for a few things......

like what Holly at Homebody found at HER Goodwill...that shower curtain that has caused so many of us to covet......um,hum, that one...well, she found TWO at her Goodwill. She is giving one away!!! Can you believe it? I even almost had two of my own but as I told her, logic took over when I saw the other stuff in my Target buggy and I decided I didn't really NEED those two shower curtains. Who the heck decided that logic was ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA?????? In this case, it wasn't, I tell you! :0 I have since decided several reasons why I need it!! :)

So head on over to Holly's if you are still sad you missed the target bird shower curtain, because she is giving one away. Tell her you forfeit your winning if she will give it to me......um, hum, winnings are totally transferrable! LOL...have a good day!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Life Isn't Fair, but it's still good.......

We all enjoyed the list from 90 year old Regina Brett, posted yesterday, here. I thought I'd take a few of her thoughts and expound on them since many were so meaningful to me as well.

Number one was "Life isn't fair, but it's still good." We often wonder why the innocent suffer, why the trials come for seemingly no reason, why the bad guys win out, why the not so good guys prosper. In the Psalms, so many times we see the psalmist crying out that the wicked seem to prosper. At least it is encouraging that this is an age old issue, not one we will likely figure out in our lifetime, not one that should REALLY change the way we live our own lives. What God requires of US is to live justly, love mercy and to walk humbly before Him. (Micah 6:8) That, my friends, is a full time job in itself, is it not?

We really so often do NOT get what we deserve, because of His mercy and grace. We so often DO NOT have to suffer because of His restraining hand. (So often we do not even KNOW He is exercising His restraining hand to protect us!) With all of that said, the truth is we MUST trust Him to continue granting protection, grace and mercy. Who wants to live without it??? Not me!
We do not go hungry, we do not suffer persecution, we do not go unloved. However, this is not to discount that many are called to suffering. It IS disappointing, as a friend and I discussed last week. It is disappointing that we will always have to struggle this side of heaven with bodily imperfections, deficiencies, infirmities, etc. It is disappointing that our bodies may never be what we want/expect them to be. I must learn that my body is given to me by God, and I must learn to accept it the way it is. (I will probably NEVER wear skinny jeans, or some styles.)

I am called to take good care of my body, but HE loves me just the way I am. Our world would have us believe that we must "be" a certain way to be accepted.....but this is not the truth, is it? If we struggle with medical/physical or emotional issues, we do have the benefit of good medicine and doctors from which to get help. And mostly we have our Heavenly Father to pray to when we need relief. This is ,in no way, written to discount the hardships people on this earth have to endure, and we are called to bear one another's burdens, so I will gladly pray for you and your burdens.....just let me know how to pray. We are called to lift one another up, to encourage one another, and the blog world has made that so much more evident to me.

So life is pretty good. Oh, we all have our bad days , don't we? But all in all, the sun continues to shine, God blesses us, and we bless one another. I know how blessed I am to have so many new bloggy friends....if you are reading this, I am talking about YOU! Have a blessed day, my friends and share a smile today with someone who may need it, a hug with someone who could use it, and a kind word to a friend who means a lot to you. No, life isn't fair, but it's still good.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A good friend recently shared this with me, and I thought it was remarkable. I hope I can get to aged 90 and share this much wisdom with those around me!

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written."
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of
time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Really random thoughts shared on the porch swing

Hey friend, I am so glad you came by to sit a minute on the porch swing with me....let me offer you a glass of lemonade, iced tea, or cup of coffee. I was reading Real Simple magazine, and I found a few things I wanted to share with you....you know, kinda like sitting on the beach, sipping a cold sparkly drink, maybe with an umbrella in it, and reading a magazine........you're reading yours and every so often, I read something aloud to you from mine that catches my attention. Nothing earth shattering, just amusing or worth considering. So join me as I share with you the few nuggets of info I found this morning in the Real Simple June issue.

Oh, I love this quote found as you open up the first few pages:
Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you. -attributed to Elsie de Wolfe

Oh, and this is cute.....words on fathers (oh, when is Father's Day? I need to get those gifts!! What are your ideas??)
Written by Mark Twain, "When I was a boy of 14 my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." On June 21, remind your dad that he's the smartest guy you know!
Wow, look at this!
31 feet, 6 inches...the height of the tallest sand castle, created at the Point Sebago Resort, in Casco, Maine, in 2007. (that's over 10 yards tall!! Wowsers!)

Oh, and look on pg. 4, they are saying that one cost effective way to spruce up your home is to hit the thrift stores!!! Hmmm, we knew that already, didn't we?????

Oh, and wanna know 10 goofproof plants to use on the patio? According to the folks at Real Simple, here's the list!
1.Verbena-a new flowering hybrid resists fungus!
2. New Guinea impatiens-can handle some sun and is self cleaning! (I certainly don't need another thing to clean!)
3. Geranium-(one of MY favs)mainstay of window boxes everywhere.
4.Euphorbia-deer will steer clear of it!
5.Purple fountain grass-'Rebrum' can withstand just about anything including high humidity and wind....pest and disease free too!
6. Coleus-this two-toned stunner is easy to grow and thrives in summer! (I could take notes from Coleus on this, couldn't you?)
7. Calibrachoa-(superbells, with a name like that, I'm in!) also self cleaning and resistant to disease
8. Sweet potato vine-this ornamental grows extremely quickly and trails beatifully over pots.
9.Begonia-you'll find varities for both sun and shade.
10. Lantana-deters deer, and hot days stimulate it to produce more blossoms, which attract butterflies and hummingbirds!
Oh, let's go do some gardening!

Hey and look, here's a page dedicated to what to say on written notes.....struggling with what to say on the card? My husband needs this! He spends FOREVER on signing a card!

Anyway, a few of the offerings I'll share with you:
for Father's Day, you might say, "Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is the soap on a rope." Bill Cosby
A fav. quote here: "Your father, Jo. He never loses patience--never doubts or complains--but always hopes and works and waits so cheerfully that one is ashamed to do otherwise before him"--Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

then on Graduations:
"there is nothing like a dream to create the future." Victor Hugo, Les Miserable

"We want men who will fix their eyes on the stars, but who will not forget that their feet must walk on the ground." Theodore Roosevelt, Selections from Roosevelt

"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage." Martin Luther, Table Talk

"There is no remedy for love, but to love more." Henry David Thoreau

Thank yous:
"I can no other answer make but thanks
And thanks." William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

"People who give will never be poor." The Diary of Anne Frank

And I'll stop rambling for now....let's go take a walk thru the yard and see a few of the flowers blooming.....I'll post those pics for you tomorrow. Sorry for the delay in posting until today.....I had no blogging mojo....I said "self, you got nothing" when I tried to think of a blog topic....so this is what you got....thanks so much for stopping by and sharing a cold drink and a little visit. Do come back now, you hear?

Oh, and you'll want to remember to get your FREE root beer float tonight at Sonic between 8 p.m and midnight!