Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Week At A Glance 30

December 25 - 30

After an extremely busy week last week, this one brought payback fatigue....

do you know what that is? 

 It is burn-out, 

a body that says: "you overdid last week, I'm resting this week"

Ummmm...yea.  So I spent most of the beginning of the week catching up on Gabby Moms stuff, blogging, paperwork and sleeping, a lot of sleeping!

I did watch my 9 year old nephew 2 days.  He's on school vacation so his mom asked if I would help so my 86 year old mom-in-law wouldn't have to watch him everyday.  He's a good boy, but a BOY and NINE...need I say more?

My daughter and I were discussing the people we expect to attend our New Year's Eve party (more on that next week, with lots of pics).  She asked me what she should call those people who are more than friends but not really related.  We decided to call them:


It means: special people in your life who are much more than  friends, but didn't have the 'pleasure' of being born into your family! The ones you've decided to add to your family tree.

We have many of those, do you?

The second half of this week involved continuing to get ready for New Year's Eve party with making up more beds (6 to be exact), vacuuming, mopping (why we mop BEFORE people come in to mess up the floors is a mystery), shopping, baking, wash towels, clean bathrooms, put away extra jackets, boots, etc to make room in mudroom, plan games, buy items needed to play games, and sleep....a lot of sleep as I don't plan on getting much of that this weekend!  

I expect the beginning of next week will be another time of "payback fatigue" for me :/

Friday, December 30, 2011

Follow Friday Four Fill In Fun

I'm finally back ;)

This week’s statements:
1. Lately, I have been feeling  a little___________
2. I am usually a ­­­­______
3. ________________________is always the best feeling at the end of the day
4. _________________________is the first thing I do in the morning

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A year of Gabby Moms

I never would have thought one year ago that a blogging program would impact my life so dramatically.  In fact, if anyone would have said that I would be organizing a blogging program for an organization that encourages women, I would have laughed and laughed and laughed. 

 But here I am....
the question is...

It all began with an email from the person who got me blogging in the first place, Mrs. White at The Legacy of Home.  She came to the church I attend, we talked.   I later discovered she had a blog.  I was intrigued about blogging and wondered how to begin.  The next time I saw her, I asked...and thus began my life in the blogging world.  

Now back to the email from Mrs. White.  She told me about a blogging program looking for moms to review products and write about them on their blog. She was unable to participate as she was involved in another blogging program and felt she would not have the time.   I was interested, so I filled out the application.  A few weeks later I received an email welcoming me to The Gabby Moms.  I was to begin reviewing products for Eternal Encouragement (formerly called TEACH) in January 2011.  

When I opened the package to the first product I thought, "Oh no!  What have I gotten myself into!"  Read that review here to find out what I 'really' thought!

Month after month...more products, more challenges, more changes, more conviction, more spiritual spankings, more encouragement...yes, I received so much MORE than I think I gave.  

God used each and every product to show me myself...sometimes it was not pretty, other times I didn't look too bad :)  BUT each time, I was challenged and encouraged. 

 Lorrie has a way of coming alongside and gently showing the way.  I like that about what she condemnation, just "I've been there, and here's how I do better, why not give it a try?"  Thank you Lorrie for your passion for godly women!

Anyway, back to how I came to be the 'organizer' or Head Mama of The Gabby Moms. 

I had been feeling, LOST...AFRAID....LONELY as my 'nest' was becoming more and more empty.  Children growing, moving out, leaving me!  I cried out to God to fill the void in my heart with something that has meaning.  I dedicated my LIFE to my children and now they were leaving.  With two still at home, one graduating this year, I only have one left...the years of home schooling are few....
I began asking....

After a couple of months, the Head Mama asked for some help.  The job of Head Mama was much more than she realized.  There was just too much to do and not enough time.  I offered my help and was asked to oversee the Gabby Moms blog. Ok, this was a start to my 'next'.

A couple of months later, the Head Mama had to resign.  Lorrie sent out a plea to the moms for someone to take the Head Mama position.  I prayed about this for a few days.  I felt a strong sense that God wanted me to do this.  But I felt inadequate. (sound like Moses, don't I)  I am far from a godly wife/mother/woman.  (Anyone who knows me is smiling right now and shaking their head in agreement).  Yet, I couldn't stop thinking about how much I WANT to be godly in all those areas, how much I WANT to help other women who struggle just as I I sent off an email to Lorrie telling her that even though I didn't feel "qualified" I did have a desire to encourage women. 

I am at a time in my life where I am now an 'older' woman.  Time is not an issue as I only 
have one child still in school. Therefore I felt that I could put the time necessary to help make this program a success.  I had been praying for God to show me what was this it? 

 For now He says

And here I am humbled at how God can still use me and fill that empty space in my heart with purpose.  

I look forward to serving with Lorrie, The Gabby Moms and most of all my Savior in 2012!

Come and join the Gabby Moms in 2012 and have an adventure that will change your life, 

You can apply here.


What could this be? 

was my question when I received a box addressed to me with my blog name on the address. 

I don't remember ordering anything to review.   But then again, I don't remember a lot of things!

Upon opening, I find 2 boxes encasing round balls with what looks like mazes in each ball.  

What is this? 

I  was....perplexed, confused, mixed up, baffled, befuddled, bewildered, discombobulated, jumbled, mystified, stumped, surprised, and even puzzled!  

Then I opened the boxes and began 'playing' with the ball that states "Rookie"...

now I'm even MORE perplexed, confused, mixed up, baffled, befuddled, bewildered, discombobulated, jumbled, mystified, stumped, surprised, and puzzled....this 'rookie' ball is not easy.

So what is it I am holding in my hands causing all this craziness in my head??? 

 It is 

(very aptly named)

My 13 year old daughter couldn't wait to get her hands on this!  She just knew she could do it...and, of course, she did, but it took a while.  She spent the rest of the evening turning, twisting, moaning and starting over until she conquered the Rookie!

Here is a description from the Perplexus website:

"PERPLEXUS is a maze game where players maneuver a small marble around challenging barriers inside a transparent sphere. Unlike traditional flat-surface mazes that are composed of one path, PERPLEXUS houses various challenging tracks with 100 barriers providing a frustrating three-dimensional experience. Players select the track they would like to attempt and must work with gravity to carefully shift, flip, and twist the sphere to guide the marble."

I can tell you that Perplexus has been popular with everyone we have shown it to.  My friend's son wanted one so badly that she has already purchased 2.  She wanted one for a family get together over the holidays. When she couldn't decide which to choose, she decided on TWO!

Notice the  picture on the blue box that shows one person attempting to solve the maze with others standing behind watching, oohing and ahhing?  That is EXACTLY what happens.  My son brought ours to a gathering we attended...he was the most popular kid there :)

Here's a video that was used the  Dallas toy preview in October 2009:

I am pleased to be able to offer 2 giveaways from Perplexus.  

One is for the Rookie, the other the Epic!  Enter both and  maybe you can win one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday's Hodgepodge

Wow, it's been a very long time since I posted with this hop....

1. Share something you loved about your Christmas day.
Quietness....yup, very quiet :)

2. You get to put five items in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, what items would you choose and why?
     1.  Bible.  So people can see we used to carry one with pages that we had to turn to read it
     2.  pencil and paper.  Most likely everything will be technology related
     3.  picture of family.  Maybe my future family will want to know what we looked like in 2011
     4.  can of gasoline.  I hope they don't drink it!
     5.  lightbulb.  I'd love to be there to see what is done with that.

3. What do you like on a cracker?
Grape jelly, that's it

4. Do you make resolutions? How'd that work out for you this past year?
I know better than to make resolutions...I figure I'll hit them every time if I don't make any!

5. What's a song or song lyric you'll associate with 2011?

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel 
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still 
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I 
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all 
I can only imagine

This is where my dad is today.....

6. How will you ring in the new year?
Every year we either attend or host a New Year's Eve get-together.   This year it is our turn to host it.  I was planning on having a smaller party, but it just keeps growing.  That's ok, it will be what it to be.

7. What is something you look forward to in 2012?
My Sampy-June's wedding in August...and all the planning beforehand ;)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Losing a parent is much, much harder than I ever thought it would be.....

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Week At A Glance 29

December 17 - 25

Sunday afternoon I spent at a friend's house helping her to attempt to complete the 7 Christmas gifts she is making.  They are all the same thing....table runner made in green/red.  A beautiful pattern using a Bargello pattern. 

Here's one I completed last week in fall colors:

My sister-in-law introduced me to Bargello this summer.  I love the patterns that can be created.  
I plan on making my daughter and her future husband a queen size quilt for their wedding next summer.  As I looked over the pattern, I thought it would be wise to begin with something smaller and get the idea of it goes together.  I am very glad that I did that.  This table runner was quite a project itself...not hard, just more steps then any other piece I've done.  

We had another day off from school this week.  This time it was because my husband and I had to go to a lawyer over a property dispute we are having with our neighbor and the town.  Because of where we live, it was a 2 hour drive there, 3 hours in his office (ka-ching,$$$$, ka-ching)  another 2 hours home with a stop at the grocery store.  We left at 6:30 am and returned by 2:30 pm.  Can you say "long day"?

I had a very productive Tuesday.  After school I was able to completely clean the spare bedroom downstairs (all except the bookcase, that is still on the list), rearrange the living room so that my feet don't freeze while I sit at my desk.  The desk was on an outside wall and with temps falling into the single digits, my feet froze, but no more!  Organize our game shelf and vacuum game room.  Clean/dust/vacuum my room and wash windows in all 3 rooms. I'm attempting to get a head start on the  major clean I'll have to do before our New Year's Eve party.  Why I clean before is a mystery, it will really need a good clean after, but that is what we do, isn't it? 

There is a consignment shop 30 minutes from my home.  I  take clothes there, earn a little money and then buy some new clothes with the money earned.  Last month I earned $30.00.  I share this with my daughter as she consigns clothes there also.  I was able to purchase 2 sweaters, 3 shirts, 2 tank tops, 3 necklaces and a snazzy pair of pants I plan to wear at our New Year's Eve party..  Not bad for my 1/2 of the earnings!

Sometimes my family can be so fussy when it comes to the meals I prepare.  Do any of you have that problem?  I attempted a new potato recipe which NO ONE would even try. You've heard of potatoes au gratin?  I thought I'd put a different spin on it....I call it potatoes au glass:

Yea, well the steak in the broiler underneath didn't appreciate being spiced with glass....thankfully we had a fridge full of leftovers!

Enjoyed a fun party at a friend's house Friday night.  We played "Name that Tune" and a question and answer game about the birth of Jesus.  My team won both games.  I am a bit competitive and can get quite loud while playing games.  This evening was no exception.  I think I surprised a few people who don't know me very well with my enthusiasm :)
Saturday night was our usual pizza night.  This time my brother-in-law, 2 sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law came over.  Eating pizza and visiting with family...a great way to spend a chilly night!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Motherhood is a Special Task

This was taken from the book "Max on Life" by Max Lucado.  Something to contemplate....

Motherhood is a Special Task

More than anything in the world I want to be a good mom to my kids. How can I be the mom God wants me to be?
The virgin birth is more, much more, than a Christmas story. It is a picture of how close Christ will come to you, a mom, as you also bring a child into the world.
Imagine yourself in that story found in Luke 1.
God comes to you and says, “I have a special task for you. A child. A special child that I want to entrust to you. Are you willing to raise this one?”
You stammer, take a breath. “This sounds scary.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be there with you. This child is special to me. He will be a great child.”
You shake your head. “Such an awesome responsibility. I don’t know if I can do it.”
“Nothing is impossible with me.”
You smile. “I am your servant. I’ll do it.”
Do we think only one child received God’s special attention? Sure, only one was his Son, and an angel sent out those special birth announcements, accompanied by an angelic choir singing “Happy Birthday.” Of course God pulled out all the stops for Jesus’ birth.
Christmas StoriesBut children aren’t randomly born to parents. God orchestrates the right children to be born to the right parents.
Being the mom God wants you to be starts with the understanding of how important your job is in God’s eyes. He entrusts you with one of his own children. He chose you out of all the moms in the world for this one child.
Remember, you, too, are highly favored by God himself to receive such a special gift.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PetCakes newest animals review & giveaway

PetCakes...the adorable pets in a cupcake wrapper home!

I had the pleasure to introduce you to the first edition PetCakes back in February last year.  

Today I have been given the privilege to share their newest additions to the PetCake collectible family:  Series 2-Forest Animals!

Once again these cuties will brighten anyone's day, young or old!  

Let me introduce them to you:

Bamboo Berry™

Honey Cakes™

Nutty Nicky™ 

Roco Coco™

Each comes with embroidered eyes and features a frosting hat with a cherry on top. Nestled down in a cupcake wrapper.

Right now Well Made Toys is offering a special:

Buy (4) or more Petcakes® Collectibles plush toys and receive the PetCakes® Collectibles Minis -Series 1 in 4 pack FREE.   You only pay an additional $1.99 shipping and handling.

Enter to win one PetCake chosen by Well Made Toys below:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Week At A Glance 28

December 10 - 16

Trying to get back to a semblance of normal after a couple months of adjusting to changes in schedule is not easy.    Actually, I can't tell the difference between normalcy or lunacy!

Last week I got home on Tuesday evening after being gone for 5 days to be with family and attend my dad's memorial service.  Honestly, I had a very hard time concentrating on daily tasks last week.  I found it odd----yes, my dad is gone, but I wouldn't have been 'seeing' him anyway.  He winters in Florida, so it's not like I could drive to see him, but I still found myself missing him terribly. 

This week I was determined to get going, housework, paperwork....we did well until Tuesday evening when my daughter became ill with the flu.  Well, that puts a hold on school yet again!  Thankfully, I know that one of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can and will catch up.  Maybe not this year, but eventually! 

Friday was 'someone who I can't mention here' birthday. As usual in our house the birthday person gets their favorite   meal:  pork pie, applesauce, chips, beets and cole slaw with chocolate cream pie for dessert.  The kids bought him a Keurig coffee thingy which we will be returning because as he opened it he stated that he was giving up which I replied, "again?"
Michigan Rummy and Spades was enjoyed by all even though I lost miserably :)  
A little t.v. time and then bed....

Please share a highlight from your week

Friday, December 16, 2011

Square Shooters Review

This is the first of it's kind is cards on dice!  9 dice comprise all 52 cards with 2 jokers.  You can play almost any card game with these dice.  

To give it a try directions are given for a certain game called Square Shooters.  To play each player, in turn, flips a card with a poker hand on it.  They then have 3 rolls to match that hand to win chips.  At the end of the game, player with the most tokens, WINS!    It's that easy...and very fun.  You can read more detailed instructions here.

The best hand I rolled to win 12 chips

We enjoyed learning this new game playing with friends.  The only 'negative' about this game is there are not enough chips for the game to last very long.  We were out of chips before we were ready to be finished.... An easy fix though, we just searched for more chips among our other games and used them also.   

To read the instructions to play more exciting games with these 'card' dice click here.

You can own this one-of-a-game by purchasing it here  


by entering below to win one!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An unexpected compliment


I've heard these words from someone I live with more than once.  Sorry, honey, but I just HAD to write about this one......

A 'certain someone' came home the other day from helping his sister move out of her apartment into our rental cabin.  

He approached me with a serious look on his face. 

 I was a bit taken back and wondered, oh no, what did I do?  

He looked me in the eyes and said, "thank you". 

 I chuckled and asked, "for what?"  

 His next words nearly gave me a heart attack!!!  Seriously....

We've been married for almost 30 years.  To say he is neat and orderly would be like saying Obama is an American (sorry, I just couldn't help myself) 

Ummm.....yea, I have had a 30 year battle with  his JUNK!  In the yard, in every room of the house, in his truck.....just about anywhere and everywhere he goes.

For many years this is what my yard looked like:

          I am NOT exaggerating 

Anyway, back to what he said to me that nearly ended my life! 

 Four little words that I will keep tucked away for future ammo:

"for being so neat"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An a-ha moment

I had an a-ha moment last night while watching a Hallmark movie...yea, I know how lame!  

The story was about a newly divorced mom and her son.  They recently moved cross-country and the son was lonely because he had no friends and an un-involved father.   For a school project he wrote to a soldier who wrote back and they developed a relationship.  (I bet you can guess where this is's a Hallmark movie after-all)  Yes, the mom and soldier fall in love while he is home on furlough.  When it is time for him to be deployed, they decide to break-up...but both are miserable and miss each other terribly.  So the son says to his mom, "If you didn't break up do you think you would miss him as much".  The mom replies, "No, because I know he would be coming back to us."

That's when it hit me!  I've been wondering why I miss my dad so very much and think of him all. of. the. time.  It's not like I would be seeing him or even talking with him much.  He would be in Florida.  I may call and talk to him two or three times until he would return in the summer.  I now realize why I miss him so much because deep down I realize he will not be coming back to me.  EVER! 

This may seem obvious, but I really hadn't 'gotten' it yet....

My dad will NOT walk into my house next summer.
I won't ever hear him say "come back when you can't stay" again.
Or shake my head when he purposely mispronounces words like knife
We won't play cribbage together
I won't be able to count how many times he says "Lord" while he's praying.
Or hear his singing in church
Sit on the lawn looking at the clouds to find objects they form
Watch football with him
I will never hug him again and say "I love you dad" and hear "I love you too honey"

Time be thankful for all those times I did have these things.  Treasure the memories, the good and the bad as they both were part of who we were together.

If your dad is still with you, tell him how much he means to you.  I'm thankful I was able to do this a week before my dad died.  For a few moments he was lucid enough to talk with me over the phone.  We shared our final "I love you's, I'll miss you".  I think I knew that would be the last time I would hear his voice......