Saturday, September 30, 2006

Just too CUTE!!!

Aren't these adorable?? A fellow home-schooling-mom-of-multitudes who goes to my church made these. Makes me want to go out and learn needle felting! So many crafts, so little time!!

Oh, and if you want your own little acorns, I believe she sells them on Ebay.

Friday, September 29, 2006

May I recommend???

Every now and then, I come across web sites or small businesses that I am impressed with. It is not always easy to find places that give quality products and good service. When I find someone who is trying to make a go at it offering unique, often hand-made items in our mass-produced society, I am always happy to tell my friends.

I recently participated in a "Teacosy Swap" with some other ladies on Crochetville. In my search for teapot-themed items, I came across Roses and Teacups. If you like teapots, or floral-themed items, then this is the place for you to go! Nancy sells some really beautiful items there. Be sure to browse the Carol Wilson stationery...the butterflies and teacups are gorgeous!! I recently ordered from her and when my package arrived, it was like having a birthday celebration. Everything was so sweet and lovely. I have had a lot of email correspondence with Nancy and I can tell you that she is a great lady. I highly recommend ordering from her.

In the interest of full disclosure and total honesty, I will tell you that Nancy and I got along so well, that she is going to sell some of my teapot earrings and hair sticks on her site. BUT that is NOT why I am recommending her site! If I wanted to hawk my stuff to you, my fine reader, I would just send you to MY site (which, by the way, is heh! heh!)

I have enjoyed my dealings with Nancy at "Roses and Teacups." I am a satisfied customer. I also happen to know that she is using the proceeds from her business to help pay medical bills for her children, but don't tell her I told you that!

Here are a few items from Roses and Teacups.

Butterfly notecards and Rose Journals:

Hand-crafted table linens and beautiful fabric boxes.

I would also like to recommend another site I enjoy visiting. This site does not actually sell anything, but if you like old-fashioned and vintage, if you want to be encouraged in your homemaking, if you like sites that have a sweet and gentle spirit, then go visit Debra's site: My Vintage Home. Funny, now that I think of it, I "met" Debra through Crochetville!

So, I guess it would be appropriate to end this entry with a plug for Crochetville an online community of folks who enjoy the art of crochet. If you crochet, or want to learn, this is the place to go for information and encouragement.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

You May be Getting Tired of Hearing This!

I hate to sound like a broken record...I am still alive and kicking, just incredibly busy!!! Since I have been negligent in my blogging duties, I will try to make amends by giving you a few quotes, just to stimulate your thinking. Feel free to comment on any or all of them.

"If history has taught us anything, it is that pop culture products, performances and personalities don’t have to be good, credible, accurate or even real as long as they stimulate and motivate the masses. That’s why the most popular household appliance sold in America today is not the dishwasher or the clothes washer, but the brainwasher; that big screen fantasy machine that talks you through the highs and lows of life each day like an electronic psychiatrist, while you recline on the couch for hours on end."

--Paul Proctor

And here is something to chew on by A. W. Tozer:

"If I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is rather a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity...
The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it...
The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross; before that cross it bows and toward that cross it points with carefully staged histrionics--but upon that cross it will not die, and the reproach of the cross it stubbornly refuses to bear."

That is worth taking a moment to re-read slowly and think about.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ack! Has it been almost a week?!?!

Don't you just hate it when you go to a blog that you visit regularly day after day, only to find that the blogger has not made any new posts??? Oh wait! Ummm, that would be me! Sorry about that. It is just that in the grand scheme of things, blogging has gotten pushed way down on my list. Sorry to neglect my blog and leave you hanging. I have not been able to post my projects because I have been working on something for my secret pal. (and if I posted it, it would not be secret!) And my life has been pretty boring to read about. Here is how my past week has gone: (Warning! These are just the boring details of my life, so please feel free to move on to a more exciting blog now.)

--Friday was get ready for the outdoor artisan's market. This means gathering all my creations and borrowing a tent and tables for display.
--Saturday found me out of bed before 6 a.m. and dragging all my "goodies" (i.e. hairsticks, jewelry, needlework and my son's photography) off to a nearby town to sit under a tent and peddle my wares. We did very well, thank you! Saturday evening was spent returning the borrowed tables and tent and then rushing to the kitchen to prepare food for Sunday because...
--Sunday was homecoming at our church. Is homecoming a southern thing or universal? Well, to explain it in 20 words or less, it is essentially like a family reunion, but for the church family. Everyone brings lots of yummy food and you fellowship. To make it an even more hectic day, on Sunday evening, the youth group were gathering at our house, so that meant Sunday afternoon was spent cleaning up (although I don't know why I bothered!) and preparing food to feed the hungry masses. It was great fun.
--Monday was back to home schooling all the usual family madness. (Lot's of shuttling people back and forth to various commitments.
--Tuesday meant a Dr's appt for my 12 year old son. If you pray, keep him in your prayers please, he has a medical issue that I will not broadcast to the world for the sake of his privacy.
--Wednesday brought more shuttling around during the day and AWANA on Wednesday night. My younger kids participate and my older ones help the leadership.
--And today, well let's just say I have driven one child to a violin lesson. Come home. Driven a son to the community college for a meeting. Come home. Taken 2 teens to a meeting at a house across town, dropped off another at her piano lesson, run an errand, retrieved the pianist, come home...and I STILL have to go back and pick up the teens from their meeting across town!!

Saying that I am a stay-at-home mom is becoming the family joke.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Note to Self...

When it has been months since you have even thought of working out with your TaeBo videos, it might be wise to think twice before popping in the ADVANCED video and doing 55 minutes of torture, ahem, I mean vigorous cardio, upper body and lower body workout. Also, if you are going to be stupid enough to jump right in and "Just do it" as a famous sporting goods company says, you might want to "just do it" to your upper body or lower body on that first day. Choosing a workout that does cardio plus targets the arms, legs, abdominals and glutes may not be so wise. Unless, of course, you enjoy that painful day-after feeling of not being able to move any muscles but your eyebrows!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Being Painfully Honest...

I hope that I can express myself in a coherent manner here. Please note that if I pose questions to you, that really, I am posing them to myself! However, if you have any answers that you would like to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

What makes you feel valued, good about yourself, appreciated? Where do you go to be affirmed? Here is another question: are you nicer to people outside your household, or the ones who live with you 24/7? Okay, I bet I know the answer to that last one...everyone I know, if they were honest, would admit that they are nicer and more polite to outsiders. Not that you are mean and unkind to your loved ones, just that we don't put forth that extra effort to be pleasant like we do with others. Why is that? Let me extend that train of thought. Why do you... okay nevermind, why do I care about what other people think of me, some of them, people I do not even know??? Why do I feel happy and affirmed when people come to my blog and leave comments? Why does it make me feel valuable and appreciated when someone admires or buys something that I make?? Why do I give a Saturday of my life to go to an artisan's market and sell my creations instead of being home with my hubby?

I wonder, how much time have I spent on outside friends that I should have devoted to my family and/or God? I am not saying that friends are bad or wrong. No way! I just wonder if I have substituted "good" for "best." TV is not a big issue in this house. We did not even have one until a few months ago, but how much time have I blown piddling on the internet when my children needed my attention?

I wonder which one pleases God more? Does He look down at me and say to Himself "Wow! Look at those hair sticks Michele made?" Or is he more pleased when I set it all aside to read that same book for the 687th time to my four-year-old? When I stand before Him one day, will He show me all the times that I said, "Not now, I'm busy!" And will He show me that what I was really saying was "Not now, I am selfish."

How do you strike a balance? How do you "find time for yourself" without neglecting the others who need you? My seven kids are only here for a limited time. Why would I want to spend one single precious moment of it doing things that are not going to matter in the end? And really, why is it not enough? Why can I not feel as eager and excited about doing a history lesson with one of my children, washing the dishes or cooking a meal for my family as I can about starting a new knitting project or chatting with an online friend? Being "mom" is not glamorous. Often it is not fun, and usually it is a thankless job. I wish that I could get the warm fuzzies from housework and disciplining children. It might make it all easier.

I truly do have creative urges. Are they something put there by God, or something I need to control so that I can focus on what is TRULY important. Are my outside interests legit and something that makes me a more complete person, or just a distraction from what I should be doing? What is the balance?


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Still alive and kicking!

I'm still alive and doing fine. I have just been too busy living life to blog about it!!

That tends to happen sometimes, especially when you are the mom of 7 kids and you home school all of them and it is the beginning of the school year, and you have a mother who is in poor health and needs meals and visiting, and your family is active at church with AWANA and Word-of-Life, and you have a small at-home business with orders rolling in, and you are participating in two different swaps at Crochetville because you like to make things, and you are fortunate enough to be married to a man who actually likes you and wants to spend time with you and he deserves a little attention, and because you are having a lot of muscle and joint pain and your hair is shedding like crazy, you make a Dr's appointment, even though you hardly EVER go to the Dr, and the Dr. has the gall to suggest that if the thyroid and iron tests come back normal, you may have too much stress in your life and wants to give you a prescription for that, and you laugh in his face because you would rather ache all over than take some drug that messes with your brain chemistry, (which is not a judgement on others, just a personal thing) and so you are trying to spend less time on line and get more rest and sleep and eat more healthy so that your body can heal itself...

Not that I would know anything about this. I am just speaking hypothetically.


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