Monday, March 28, 2011

Born to Recycle

Oh, my girl, she’s a born recycler!

Have a box?  She’ll claim it.


recycle-5 recycle-2

Even though her momma provides her with baskets and storage bins, there’s nothing like a good cardboard box to tote your things around in. Or put on your dresser for decoration?!

My girl is the keeper of pinecones, rocks, acorn caps, scraps of paper, string, wrappers, pretty bags…the list is endless, really.

recycle recycle-4


I found this collection the other day…odd bits of paper, a birthday card, some stickers, and business reply cards from a magazine all propped up by a peanut can!  You just never know when these things might come in handy.

The foot lotion….she swiped from me.

Yeah, she’s good at that!


And where would you be without an empty mustard bottle converted into a baby bottle? Everyone should have one of these!


My girl, a miniature recycler/pack rat, is teaching this momma to take a deep breath and just relax.  The organizer in me wants to start pitching things at a fast and furious pace, but this girl has a creative side. She enjoys using all her finds to either create a craft project or to use in creative play. 

So, I only eliminate some of the un-necessaries.  You know, like the 10,000 tiny bits of paper she thinks she needs to keep, but ultimately end up littered all over the floor.  Or the endless toilet paper rolls she claims she has plans for, but then proceeds to leave them after 20 minutes of play.  Or the minute bits of yarn she collects from my crocheting that end up sticking to the couch!

You get the picture!

I’m just sure someday this girl is going to be a trash to treasure Arteest…


Or live in a home overflowing with “treasures”….heaven help me! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book Review~ While The World Watched



While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry is the story of how the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in 1963 affected the authors life and the lives of those around her.  It is a gripping first hand view of the difficulties of living in a very racial and prejudiced south.  Carolyn McKinstry walks you through the hardships she faced when her four friends died in the church bombing.  She shows puts into words the fear she lived in and the knowledge she felt that something needed to be done to make changes.

On page 73 Ms. McKinstry writes:

Lord, can we really bear this cross?

It was one thing to turn out heads when a building had been smashed. But now four girls had died.

This event proved a pivotal point in my life and in my church, and in the nation as well.

I enjoyed reading this book.  For me, it was very informative, because it is a piece of this country’s history I didn’t know much about. I appreciated that Ms. McKinstry wrote with honesty how the bombing affected her life from her childhood through adulthood. What is most striking about this book is that through all the hardships in her life, she learned the importance of forgiveness and loving her neighbors. 

If you are interested in our nation’s history then I know you will enjoy reading this eyewitness account of a hate crime that stimulated our country to begin making changes, for the better,  in the way we related to those of African American lineage.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Simply Saturday~ 03/26



Welcome to Simply Saturday!  Would you like to participate?  Grab your camera and take a picture of anything that speaks to you of simplicity and/or home. Your post can be as wordy or as wordless as you like. You decide!  Then come back here and link up. 

You are free to copy and paste the Simply Saturday button at the top of this blog.  And while your at it do you mind  linking to my blog on your post, just to let others know where we are gathering! Thanks! :)


Slowly hints of green and growth are beginning to show here in this colder region. Mostly I’m seeing green from all the seeds I have started indoors. I have a whole card table covered and more boxes inside in front of my sliding glass door.

Cabbages, broccoli, Jalapenos, sweet peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes are all growing well. Tarragon, cilantro, two types of basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, cumin, and caraway are all poking their sprouts through the soil. Snapdragons, alyssum, sweet william, ice plant, forget me nots, larkspur, etc. have been tucked into the soil and we are awaiting their appearance.



Outside, yesterday, I saw a Maple that was beautifully budding!

maple tree buds-w

I’m thanking the Lord for the hints of spring in my home and out! Simply beautiful and uplifting!

What did you find this week that spoke to you of simplicity?

***Please don’t forget to leave a link to my blog in your post, m’kay!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


For the past couple of months I have made it the cry of my heart that I would become hungry and desperate for the Lord.

Too often I have let myself, my heart, my thoughts become busy.  I fill my life with blogging, photography, reading, crocheting, gardening, mothering, homemaking, homeschooling. These things are not bad. They can be good and extremely worthwhile.  However, when they become my focus, my all in all, then they become my idols.

Honestly very rarely in my life have I felt desperate to spend time with the Lord.  It saddens me to see this in writing, but it is truth.  The times I have earnestly sought Him I have been in fear or distraught.  Times when I have been brought to my knees in desperation, I have sought Him fervently.  Yes, these are important times to cry out to Him, but it should be my soul’s cry every single day

I should long for Him as He longs for me.  I should yearn to spend time worshipping and praying. I should be hungry for His word and His presence.

And so it has become my cry.

Make me hungry.  Make me desperate.  Make me run to you with an earnest heart. 

I don’t want to do my Bible reading, prayer, and worship out of a sense of duty. I want to be on fire!

So, I have started to spend half an hour each afternoon worshiping the Lord.  During our household quiet time, I go into my room, close the door and remind the kids that I will be spending time with God. (If they need me, they know they can come in).

I put on a worship CD and lift my voice in praise to my King.  I open my journal and I listen.  I write out scriptures that touch my heart.  I write down anything the Lord impresses upon my heart.

Sometimes its sentences.

Sometimes its a single word.

Monday I was once again calling to the Lord to make me desperate for Him. I was listening to a song I have listened to hundreds of times before and all of a sudden I knew what the Lord was calling me to do.


My SAVIOR wants me to SAVOR Him!

He desires for me to enjoy Him. To be excited about our relationship. To relish in his presence.

To take my time, no rushing, and let his sweetness, his strength, his love, his awesomeness seep into my soul.



Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in him! 

Psalm 34:8

Monday, March 21, 2011

At It Again…


Having Mr. Hollywood home for an extended vacation due to carpal tunnel surgery has been interesting.  This man is an on the go, hard workin’, keep me movin’ sort of dude.  He has energy and right now it’s in storage just bubbling and percolating waiting for release.  And every so often it escapes in the form of mischievousness.

Another title for a blog post showed up, typed into my Windows Live Writer last week, without my doing, how mysterious! :)

Why I  am so much like my mother…….

How curious that the title seemed to correlate with a “heavy” discussion I had had with my mom the night before! Somebody thinks he is quite humorous.  And it certainly made me laugh given the circumstances surrounding it!

So, since he is enjoying the limelight of his new found fame on my blog I thought I would oblige him!

Why I am so much like my mother…

We both tend to struggle with peoples names. For example, there is a lady that goes to our Bible Study, her name is Velvet and we repeatedly call her Violet. EVEN in prayer (that was a bit embarrassing and put a halt to all my good prayer thoughts!). Goodness knows I can’t even keep my children’s names straight. The boys really love it when I call them by their sister’s name!  I come by it honestly my mom’s own mother calls her Betty all the time!  Her name isn’t Betty. Very rarely have I ever heard her use my mom’s real name! Betty is actually my Grandma’s sister! So see I can’t help it! It is genetically bred into me! :)

We both love to craft.

We both tend to be a bit absent minded. If it’s not written out, in bold print, in an obvious place…we’ll probably forget it.

We both love to cook.

We both love to laugh.  We aren’t the most humorous people in our family. But we love a good sense of humor. And since we are surrounded by a bunch of clowns and men with dry humor, we do our part by supporting them with our laughter.

We both kinda stink at basic math.  Ask us to add or subtract something quickly and your gonna have to wait awhile! 

We both love to garden.

We both are a bit spatially challenged.  Our lists of backing into things is LONG. We’ve been known to back into other vehicles, light posts and large rocks.  One of us backed into my brother’s car right after she had warned the other one of us that it was back there. And one of us has backed over a LARGE rock in her own driveway, a rock that has been there for 9 years, thus successfully puncturing the gas tank in her car. Can you guess which one I did?!

And we both love those in our care with all the fullness of our hearts!

I just gotta love my momma!


And just because I can…


See what I mean about pent up energy! :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Simply Saturday~ 03/19


Welcome to Simply Saturday!  Would you like to participate?  Grab your camera and take a picture of anything that speaks to you of simplicity and/or home. Your post can be as wordy or as wordless as you like. You decide!  Then come back here and link up. 

You are free to copy and paste the Simply Saturday button at the top of this blog.  And while your at it do you mind  linking to my blog on your post, just to let others know where we are gathering! Thanks! :)


This week I chose to share a picture of a family tradition, Pizza on the weekends. For dinner on either Friday or Saturday we have pizza.  Sometimes we buy it, sometimes I make it.  Last night I made Calzones.  They are just a bit more involved than making pizzas but not much.  And that extra effort really pays off because these are SO delicious!


Country Girl’s Calzones

  • Your favorite pizza crust recipe
  • lots of yummy pizza toppings
  • butter
  • garlic and parmesan cheese
  1. For my crust recipe I use Jay’s Signature Pizza Crust from Allrecipes.  I let it rise slightly 20-30 minutes.  Then I punch it down and begin taking off chunks of dough approximately about the size of a tennis ball or slightly smaller.  I flatten these out and roll with a well floured rolling pin until about 1/8 of an inch thick.
  2. On half of the dough circle I place my sauce and toppings.  Last night it was sausage, sautéed onion and mushrooms, pepperoni and lots of mozzarella.
  3. Next with water wet the half of the circle that has your toppings on it.  Fold your dough circle in half (covering your toppings) and seal with a fork. I then take a sharp knife and poke each persons first initial into the dough so that I know who’s is who’s and I also have vents for the calzones.
  4. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven, brush with butter and sprinkle with garlic salt or parmesan cheese.
  6. ENJOY!

I usually do 1 1/2 times my pizza dough recipe and have quite a bit left over.  Last night I made pepperoni and mozzarella cheese breadsticks and also brown sugar and cinnamon breadsticks.  Just roll remaining dough out into rectangles and place your toppings on half of the rectangle.  Moisten edges with water, fold dough over the top and seal.  For the brown sugar and cinnamon I make a vanilla icing to drizzle on top.

Let’s just say men were completely satisfied!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beautiful Beads and Another ETSY Giveaway!


What girl doesn’t love pretty beads?


My daughter can spend hours making bracelets, necklaces and various craft projects using her jar of pretty beads.

So, she was really excited when I told her we would go over to my friend Jenny’s house to pick out beads for a necklace, bracelet and anklet for her birthday.  I’m pretty excited myself because I’m going to have Jenny make me something, probably an anklet and matching bracelet set, since I have a fettish for them!  For me beads are like buttons…you can never have enough of them! They are so beautiful and unique!

Jenny is a fellow Etsian! She is a beautiful lady with a precious heart, a hilarious sense of humor and a talent for making gorgeous jewelry.

Let me show you a few of the beautiful items you can find at Janderjools!

  There are necklaces that are beautiful, unique and stunning.

 janders-3 jander-8



You’ll find earrings that will dress up any outfit.

jander-5   jander-11


And braclets! Oh we can’t forget all the beautiful bracelets! I’d buy every single one if I thought that Mr. Hollywood wouldn’t have me committed!


jander-10 jander-13

Jenny is graciously giving my readers a 25% discount on the items in her shop for the rest of this month.


You have to go check out her shop! Mother’s day is coming and Janderjool’s jewelry would make a perfect gift! Plus with the summer month’s right around the corner it would be a perfect time to pick up something for yourself to wear with you pretty summer outfits.

When you check out just type in SPRING25 to receive you discount.

AND as an added bonus~ Jenny will put everyone’s names who buys from her shop this month, into a drawing. The winner will win their choice of anything in the Janderjools shop!

A great discount and a chance to win a piece of beautiful jewelry what can be better!

Now head on over to Jenny’s and give her some love! ♥

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oh Fred!~ And a WINNER


It’s a fact, my house has been overrun by the annual box elder spring de-hibernation. It is not pretty. It’s getting to be a bit annoying and I’m a little tired of going on daily de-bugging raids.

They are everywhere.

On my windows, my plants, my curtains, my floors. I think it must have been a very productive season for these little buggers.

I’ve found them in my cups and we all have become adept at taking a quick peek into our drinks before we take a swig.

I’ve found them cozied up in my bed.

I found one down my shirt the other day…now that was uncomfortable.

For me it really isn’t that big of a deal. If I have to be invaded, I’d rather have box elder bugs in my house than ants, or cockroaches or mice. They really aren’t after my food…they’re just looking for a way out after crawling in for a warm place when the cold days came. However, someone forgot to send them the memo that the only way out was the same way they came in.

For my daughter, who is not a supporter of bugs, it is a different story.

Fred, as she calls all box elder bugs, freaks her out. Not just slightly, majorly! She is not a bug lovin’ gal.

If she spots one near her, which is often, she begins to panic slightly calling for someone, in a high pitched squeal, to come dispose of Fred.  If Fred decides to get friendly and takes up residence on her person….well, watch out!

Being a good mom, I try my darndest not to laugh. But it is so hard, and usually a little giggle and smirk escapes before I can stop it! Screams, flailing of arms, stomping of feet and contorted face ensue (her not me!) I have never seen anything like it!

Poor Fred little did he know he chose the wrong person to alight on! It ensures certain death. There is no escape.

Thankfully it is easy to dispose of Fred and abate her fears.

I can easily make a correlation between my daughters fear of bugs and my own life. Too often I let life’s circumstances create fear in my heart. I may not stomp, scream and stare in wide eyed horror, but I react in my own way. I withdraw, let anxiety overcome me and feel restrained by the bonds of my fear.

This winter the Lord has been teaching me about trust.  It seems a majority of what I read lately deals with trusting the Lord. Verses, music, and devotionals, have been full of the importance and necessity of trusting God.

The devotional Jesus Calling by Sarah Young has been instrumental in guiding me to trust more. Sarah writes, “Bring me all your feelings, even the ones you wish you didn’t have. Fear and anxiety still plague you… Blazing missiles of fear fly at you day and night; these attacks from the evil one come at you relentlessly. Use your shield of faith to extinguish these flaming arrows. Affirm your trust in Me, regardless of how you feel. If you persist, your feelings will eventually fall in line with your faith….Bring your anxieties out into the light of my Presence, where we can deal with them together.  Concentrate on trusting Me, and fearfulness will gradually lose its foothold within you.

Just like I reach out, pluck the frightening bug off my daughter, and squish it, so the Lord will pluck the fears out of my heart and dispose of them.  I only need to call out with faith on my lips and trust in my heart.


“Surely God is my Salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the

LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.  Isaiah 12:2


Now for the winner of my Sycamore Lane Giveaway…..

I received more comments about my post on Joel than I ever have on a regular post, so I decided to bring him back due to his new found popularity.

The name pulled from the bowl by Mr. Hollywood is……




Saturday, March 12, 2011

Simply Saturday~ 03/12



Welcome to Simply Saturday!  Would you like to participate?  Grab your camera and take a picture of anything that speaks to you of simplicity and/or home. Your post can be as wordy or as wordless as you like. You decide!  Then come back here and link up. 

You are free to copy and paste the Simply Saturday button at the top of this blog.  And while your at it do you mind  linking to my blog on your post, just to let others know where we are gathering! Thanks! :)


This weeks picture isn’t so much about simplicity as it is of my home. I am a neat freak by nature. I am an organizer and clutter drives me batty. Over the past 14 years I have had to learn to except kid clutter. Not easy for me, but it comes with the territory, ya know! When my boys were little I would pick up toys 3 or 4 times a day just to have my house look a little more organized.  I think in those days it was a bit of a sanity keeper for me, too. Seeing my home neat and in order somehow made me feel my life was in a neat little box (hmmm another blog post, maybe! :).


Letting go of my fanatical organization hasn’t been easy for me!  Toys scattered all over the floor robs me of my peace just a bit. Not sure why, but I’m sure it has to do with the organizer in me. Not to mention that I think picking up after ones self is a good life lesson. Don’t you think?! ;)

Therefore, I require my daughter who is the destroyer of open floor space to pick up what she is playing with before moving on to the next activity. Otherwise she takes over the whole house with her toys, art and blankets. It seriously looks like someone ransacked our home some days!

At the end of the day we work on picking up anything left out and tuck it all back into its places sort of! Depending on how tired or cranky we are that day it may be perfectly organized or dumped into mini piles on her bedroom floor. If it’s in her room, then I can turn off the light, partially close the door and not see the mess!

I think most importantly, for me, I am learning that my home doesn’t have to be picture perfect and spotless at all times. I’m learning to let go a bit. To take a deep breath and just let it be. In the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter. Honestly, I don’t want my children to remember me by my inability to bend and go with the flow. I want to be okay with a toy left out here or there, or a few popcorn kernels left on the floor, or dirty socks left by the couch (okay, maybe I can’t quite let go of the dirty socks, yet!). I certainly wouldn’t want my kiddos to have a warped memory of feeling like they were living in a museum instead of a home.

But, for my own peace of mind and for the safety of those who live with me, it does help if the majority of everyone’s toys and personal items are picked up at the end of the day!

The boys room….that’s a whole other topic! You don’t want to get me started!


If you haven’t entered my GIVEAWAY for an item from my Etsy shop go HERE!


Now it’s your turn to share with us your picture of the week….Oh and don’t forget to spread the love by visiting some of the other ladies!

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Click here to enter

Thursday, March 10, 2011

GIVEAWAY~ Celebration


Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday to M-E, Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my birthday (big surprise, huh?:) and I’m happy to announce that I am 38! I am so thankful to the Lord for another year!

Another year to praise Him, to shine for Him, to witness for Him.

Another year to love my husband, my children, my family, my friends. 

Another year to live, laugh, and love!

And so, since I’m in the celebrating sort of mood, I’m going to whoop it up!

I’m giving a gift to one of you my friends and readers! Oh yeah! The Birthday Girl is spreadin’ the love!

One lucky winner will receive a gift from my Etsy shop~ Sycamore LaneI’m giving away one item from my shop to celebrate another year!  It can be a set of cards, an 8x10 or a 5x7, the winner chooses!

allium and bee-4 PSlilac-1 MagnoliaCard-breathe Lily

If I could, I’d have a singing contest to see who could sing Happy Birthday to me the best…but lucky for you that won’t be happening!

Here’s what you need to do for a chance to win…It will be a bit more simple and possibly less embarrassing! :)

  • Visit my Etsy shop, look around, then come back here and tell me what you would choose if you win. This will get you one entry.
  • For 3 additional chances to win post about this giveaway on your blog then come back with a comment telling me that you put up a post. I’ll stick your name in the hat 3 more times!

As an added bonus I’ll be offering 10% off all items for sale in my shop for the rest of this month.  The coupon code for the discount is birthday38  Just type that into the coupon box when checking out.

The giveaway will be open until Sunday, March 13 at 8:00 pm EST.


Monday, March 7, 2011



This morning after breakfast, I started up the computer and opened up my Windows Live Writer so that I could work on starting a post for today.  I walked away and went to my bedroom to get dressed.  When I came back out I just happened to glance at the screen of my computer. There was one line typed on the page. I walked closer trying to figure out how it was that I couldn’t remember typing something! Then I looked closer! I couldn’t stop laughing! And I knew immediately that my post to be had been hijacked by someone tall, dark and handsome!

This is what I saw…

Why I am so mean to my poor Husband

Obviously he is suffering….horribly!  Oh what a poor soul!  You just have to feel for him having been mistreated so awfully by his unfeeling wife! :)

I mean REALLY how could anyone treat someone this way. Not paying attention to his every need.  No babying or hovering has taken place for this one armed bandit. No loving and extra gentle care. Oh no! I booted his hiney right out of the lazy boy on the very first day and made him chop wood! Seriously! What good is a man if he ain’t out choppin’ wood.

Joel Joel-1 Joel-2


So neglected, so forgotten, so unloved!


He can’t even get his wife to bake him his favorite cookies!


Tears and compassion welcome!

***Special thanks goes out to Joel, who with his inspirational title, sparked a blog post within my blank little mind!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Simply Saturday~ 03/05



Welcome to Simply Saturday!  Would you like to participate?  Grab your camera and take a picture of anything that speaks to you of simplicity and/or home. Your post can be as wordy or as wordless as you like. You decide!  Then come back here and link up. 

You are free to copy and paste the Simply Saturday button at the top of this post or in my sidebar. And while your at it do you mind  linking to my blog on your post, just to let others know where we are gathering! Thanks! :)

This week has been a bit busy. Sick children and Joel’s surgery have taken my time and energy.  I am happy to report that Joel’s surgery went well. His hand is a bit sore, but he is doing very good.

Yesterday morning I was standing at the sink doing dishes when it hit me that I hadn’t taken a picture for Simply Saturday.  I’m so glad it came to mind when it did! I’m pretty sure I could have forgotten it all together! Anyway I thought about it most of the day and then late in the afternoon I decided to just take a picture of these little flowers/square frilly thingies I have been crocheting.  I found the pattern in an old crocheting magazine from the 70’s.  Honestly, I’m not sure what I’m going to make with them…maybe a pillow? OR if I get really crazy with them an afghan?!


Anyway, I love making them because they are SO simple…just 3 rounds and WHA-LA…you have a little flower. Super simple and homey to boot!

What did you come up with for this week?  Please share! I love to see all the photos and thoughts on your homes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sending Spring Greetings


Can’t you feel it?  It’s on its way!




Linking up with Farmgirl Paints Thrive project~ Spring postcards


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