Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Friday, October 21, 2011

6 weeks... OH SO EXCITING!

If you are like the "average" person ... you are just HATING me at this moment... for even MENTIONING that you have 6 weeks to get ready for Christmas... It's ok.  I don't have many friends at all that like it when I mention this... but, as I've shared before....I love Christmas! ... BUT I haven't ALWAYS loved Christmas.... 

I'm going to share a few things, that perhaps - you may not be interested in... but then again... maybe it will help you to understand my obsession to "MAKE CHRISTMAS COUNT - REALLY COUNT!".... 

As a child, I don't really remember many Christmas's until I was a teenager.... regardless, I loved Christmas! Now, don't get me wrong - it wasn't about the gifts... but it all started about the time I really "LEARNED" what Christmas was all about. 

Being just 12, in 1976, my little brother, the first boy born in our family passed away in May that year.  It was shall we say... a difficult year.  My dad was and still is a very hard worker - he did everything and anything he could to provide for his family... but he couldn't save my little brother.  Shortly after his passing, we were told that my mom was expecting child number 6.... Now, I am the oldest and sometimes it just seemed that there was a lot of extra help required from me - and honestly, because we didn't talk about my little brothers death after the funeral, it was pretty quiet in our house.  My mom was obviously very sad and even depressed I believe, and my dad well, he just worked... all the time.  He was rarely home.  I don't remember much for the next several years - it just seemed that we went through the motions of living. I kinda did my thing, helped with my siblings yet was always busy tending for other families in our neighborhood as often as I could as well... It was easier to be gone, than to be home with everyone that was so gloomy.  When I hit high school, my mom had child #7 and she was super busy with the other 5 kids.  I became involved in drill team, and loved it - and to this day, I'm very grateful that I had drill team to keep me focused. 
I remember the year.... 1980..... it was a really hard year, actually had been a few hard years for my parents, but this one seemed to be harder and was getting tougher... I'm not sure if there was an "economic" crunch or just what - but I remember it being very hard financially for us.

My mom asked me and my sister that was just 2 years younger, if we would be ok without Christmas gifts this year, as my parents were still paying off medical bills and funeral expenses etc., for my little brother. My dad owned his own business and things were just really tight. I remember telling my mom that it was ok for me to not have Christmas, but what about my little brothers and sisters... that just didn't seem right.  I worked during summer months to pay for my drill team costs, and during the school year I wasn't able to work because of drill team, so I was trying to find anything I could to help out and make sure that my 5 younger siblings would have something. I took babysitting jobs as often as I could, and was able to give my parents about $100 to put towards Christmas for my siblings. I was sooooo excited for Christmas this year! We were able to take the money I saved and some money that my mom made doing hair cuts, and my dad had gotten a extra unexpected check from a small side job, so mom & I went shopping. We had fun! We weren't able to get a ton, but we were able to get one thing for each of kids that THEY really wanted, and a outfit! This was going to be a great Christmas!
Just before Christmas, the last day of school before Christmas break in fact, I left the house early for drill practice.  I remember it was dark, cold and lots of snow falling.  About 10 am,  I got called to go to the main office. I was told that I needed to call home immediately.  (This was LONG before the cell phone days.)  I called home and my mom answered, she was in tears, I could hardly understand her. She asked if I had drove the truck to school that morning. Well, knowing better, I surely had not! But as I think about it now, I think she would have LOVED for me to say I had! Later that day,  my parents discovered that the truck had been repossessed by the bank, and all of our Christmas was in the back of the truck, and there was no way to get it out before Christmas. They (the bank) refused to let us have the stuff in the truck, and without the money to catch up the payment, there was nothing that could be done. This Christmas was going to be the worst now! I prayed all day that I would just "FIND" a big envelope filled with money somewhere! But I didn't find one anywhere! Darn it!

Christmas Eve, our doorbell rang. I went to answer, and there was no-one there... only a big box sitting on the porch. I helped my dad bring it in. It was filled with all kinds of food. Everything you could imagine! Turkey, ham, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, chocolates, candy, breads.... more food than we had seen in a long time! What a blessing! I remember my dad telling me that he was going to hide the fruit, nuts and candy and leave it out for Santa, so that he could at least fill the stockings with something. I remember wanting to know WHO would do this... WHO would just leave a box filled with food on our porch...and WHO KNEW about our situation? WHY would they not want us to know who they were? WHY? I went to bed feeling very blessed. Very grateful, yet I still wanted to know WHO would do this! My siblings were happy, things were looking just normal to them and that was all that mattered. (I guess I found my big envelope.)
Christmas morning came, and I was still a little upset but knew that everything would be alright. We were together and that was the important thing. We gathered in the front room, and usually, we would start with the little ones and watch them open their gifts...only there were no gifts. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, and of course my dad thought it was MY friends, coming to "see" what I got for Christmas, so I went to the door, and again, no-one was there.... only a big box that was wrapped and filled with other wrapped boxes. And a big tag on it that said... LOVE SANTA

There were so many gifts inside that box - mostly for my younger siblings, but there were a couple for myself... I don't remember what.... I remember being so focused on how happy and excited my little sisters and brothers were! I remember my mom & dad with tears in their eyes, trying to take all of this in. My dad is a very private man, sometimes proud too...this was not easy for him. I knew that, but I also knew deep down, he was very humbled, very touched, very grateful.

You know - I don't really remember what I got that Christmas, I do remember my stocking though! It was filled with nuts, oranges, a candy cane and a pair of earrings! I love stockings! That is my most favorite part of Christmas, and I always save the stocking for the last!

From that year forward - I looked forward to Christmas, and was always looking for SOMEWAY that I could make a difference for someone else.  I had always tried to come up with gifts that really "meant" something to the receiver.... I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
Then...skip ahead a few years... I got married.  I was so excited to "add" new family members to my Christmas gift giving list.... and then... something happened... it was called REALITY!  and it happened fast!
I had such great hopes and desires to be able to continue this gift giving as well as find a stranger that I could do something for... to just bring a smile to their face.  Our first Christmas wasn't too bad... we were poor of course, but we managed.  However, as life does, through the course of the next year things started to change.... jobs.... we bought a house.... and with that house came new bills... Who knew BILLS could add up so stinkin' fast!  Before I knew it - we were not even making ends meet.... We were barely keeping our heads above water.... THEN... the unexpected happened... a baby was on it's way... ok, ok, I know it happens... but we were told I would not be able to have children.... so it was UNEXPECTED!  Needless to say - life just continued to happen - and before I knew it I HATED CHRISTMAS! Just hated it! It stressed me out!  It WORE me out!  It depressed me.... all because we didn't have any money.... being from a large family, (8 siblings), my husband has 4 siblings, and then our own children and mixing into it FAMILY TRADITIONS that I was NOT use too... was hard!  By the time we had 2 children, our Christmas gift exchange consisted of 17 gifts that needed to be done for those expecting to arrive at a family Christmas party BEFORE we could even begin to think about our own children.... and with a $20 limit for those gifts.... that just ADDS up fast!  IT STRESSED ME beyond my stressability!  Soon we had 3 children and that just upped us another 2 gifts.... oh.... I was falling apart.  I DREADED Christmas. I prayed and prayed that it just would NEVER come!  Finally, after number 4 and I believe we were up to 29 must have Christmas gifts before thinking of our own little family, I had to withdraw from the festivities.... from the "extended" family festivities that is.... (YEP! I was on the "reindeer poop" list... but it took so much stress off of me.) I felt HOPED that I might be able to someday "like" Christmas again. 

Granted, things have never become any easier.  Someone told me that it would get better as my children got older... but, I haven't seen that yet - maybe that is because they are so far apart.... LOL!  A few year ago - my youngest asked me "why don't you like Christmas mommy?"... and my older children replied, "Mom use to LOVE Christmas! Our house was always decorated, she would make a big pot of hot wassail and start it up every morning and the smell would wake us up.... she use to sing Christmas carols to us, read stories every night and she always made sure we had a stocking hung up".... when my youngest said, "What is a stocking?".... that is when I decided it was time to get back on track.  Back to the simple basics of Christmas.  Making Christmas count.... every day if possible. 

I decided that we needed to take to opportunities to find those that were less fortunate than us (because there were and are, many less fortunate, although at times I wondered if that were possible... I knew in my heart it was true) and do something no matter how small to make a difference to them.  Since then, we have done sub for Santa, we had the kids each give up one of their most desired gifts (after we let them pick it out, return it to the shelf, then find something that fit in that price range for a little girl and her family that lived up the street) and give it away.  We were able to witness from a distance the tears of joy on their faces that Christmas Eve when a box was left on their porch with food and gifts with a big tag that said "LOVE SANTA and a family that cares about you"....  We have done the 12 days of Christmas for a few different families through the years and you know.... this is what makes me so EXCITED about CHRISTMAS!  Giving a gift to my children that they will always remember... that hopefully they will share with their children and their children... a tradition that will continue on for a VERY long time. 

We now have a "HOMEMADE" Christmas at our house - and at first I worried about what my kids would think - when they didn't get the "traditional" gifts like their friends get... but I have some pretty amazing kids! They LOVE our HOMEMADE Christmas - and I am so thankful!  They ask Santa for 3 gifts - things that they really want - and Santa chooses ONE of them..for them, the rest of their Christmas is homemade from Mr & I... I LOVE IT!  I just can't wait!  Yep - it takes a lot of time... it takes thought.... it takes making it personal.... but that is the best part! I honestly don't think that they feel "cheated" in any way.  HECK! You can buy clothes and shoes ALL YEAR LONG!!!!! It's the little "special" things - that make CHRISTMAS COUNT!  PLUS, we try and do something every day during the month that is either serving someone else, attending a play or musical together as a family, seeing the lights, reading stories, having our night in Bethlehem... just little things that make a BIG difference!

So, come on! Don't get depressed!  BE EXCITED!!!! You still have time to make it REALLY count! 

Week 6 for me is gathering wrapping paper, ribbon, tape and such.... because we all LOVE to get PRETTY packages... right! I'm also checking my "baking" list, and sorting the items for holiday baking from our every-day shelves.  This next week as I put away the Halloween decorations, I will be pulling out the Christmas, double checking to see what will be required to complete my Christmas decorating as well.... I don't want to fall behind!  AND... I'll be reviewing and making plans for our "extra" activities... as many may need to be booked, and or someone may have to get off work... Lot's to do - but it is so FUN!!!  I am determined to ENJOY the HOLIDAY season thus year and MAKE CHRISTMAS really count.... Its all about remembering ... THE REASON FOR THE SEASON! .... oh...and of course... Santa's workshop is in full swing too!  Lots to do - but OH SO WORTH IT! 

I just can't WAIT!!!
Well... I can.... But I'm getting so SUPER EXCITED!!!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I'm am such a SLACKER!!!!! 

And now... I feel like such a LOOSER!!!!! 

HOW DARE I!?!?!?! 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - accept my apologies!

Remember a couple of weeks ago, this post .... I entered a picture into a few  LINKY par-tays!!!  Do you remember???? Well... it was so fun!!! AND.... there was a BONUS Linky Par-tay give away on one of them... this one! over at SAVVYSEASON  and she was doing a DOUBLE give-away..... Well, I asked a lot of my family, friends and even strangers to VOTE for me.... even if you didn't think I had the best PORCH display - because HEAVEN knows!  There were a LOT of amazing PORCH displays much better than my little "whimpy" effort... but it was effort - and I have great AMAZING friends!!! That VOTED!!! And I won!!!!!  (with 27 votes!!!! I have the BESTEST support group!!!!)  I forgot to tell you all!!! I got so excited myself - and sat on pins and needles waiting for my "AMAZING" treat to arrive... that when it arrived - I completely forgot to THANK ALL OF YOU for helping me!!!  WHAT A LOOSER I AM!!!!! 

I see it every day - several times a day - and it reminds me of the wonderful friends and family that I have.... and today - it just HIT me like a BRICK! I didn't even take time to POST a picture of my AWESOME win!!!! and.... most of all I didn't even THANK YOU!  I'm a terrible friend.... I'm so so sorry!  Please forgive me! I was not meaning to seem UNGRATEFUL at all!!! I just got so caught up in my "RE-DO DECORATING" and caught up in mainly my EXCITEMENT.... and I'm sure it came across as "UNGRATEFUL!".... BUT that I am not!!!!  I NEVER win anything - EVER!  So this was SO SUPER exciting to me!!! I'm pretty sure you heard me screaming and shouting for joy (although you probably had no clue what it was all about) and I'm sure you felt the minor earth quake as I jumped for joy in my excited state!!! and again.... you just ran for cover not realizing that it was just "I".... EXCITED!!!!!  
So..... here is my shout.....


Don't you just LOVE it?!?!?! 
And the funny part of all of this..
It matches the garland that I made for my door - 
almost exact! 

The only difference is in the ribbon.... 
and you can't even tell it is different unless you get REALLY close!
It was just meant to be! 

Thank you every one! 
Thank you! Thank you!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Santa's Workshop.... needs some advise.....

Santa's workshop is in full swing around here - (yep! It's official... no-one enters the pig sty house no-one exits the pig-sty house until further notice!)  and I surely hope that MRS CLAUS, I mean "I" loose some weight through all this HUSTLE and BUSTLE-ING around!!! It would be OH SO NICE!!! In fact! That would be the BEST Christmas present ever! OH I'm hoping!!!!!

Got the saw out tonight.....and please excuse me for my sneezing!  It's a DUSTY job out there! I think I'll be sniffling and sneezing for a few months now.... and of course it is in the eyes, in the hair... and down the front of my shirt too!!!  It's gonna be CRaZy!   After cutting "SOME" wood tonight.... 
(OH I can't believe that I'm even saying this.....)
PLEASE do NOT utter a word to MR about this... 
But I need some advise... some help.... some something!
Remember... You PROMISED! No WORDS uttered!  
I have a band saw - HATE IT!!!! I've only used it 2 times, the 2nd time the blade FLIPPED off - SCARED the livin' daylights out of me - and I haven't touched it since!  (That was at LEAST 7 years ago!) ... 
I burned out my scroll saw - LOVED IT!!! about 4 years ago ... 

Oh it was so lonely and hard not having a saw...
I mean a SCROLL saw.... I refused to use the band saw!  

Last year for Mother's day, I was given a NEW RYOBI scroll saw - 
I LOVE my scroll saw!!!

Have I told you that?? ... sorry if I have - short term 'TIS THE SEASON' memory loss! My scroll saw is GREAT for most projects.... but after tonight... cutting out 50 3.5x3.5x2" blocks... and I have a bazillion  - (you think I'm kidding... I'm not... well, maybe a bit exaggerated... but it is close) still to cut... I'm really thinking I need, really  NEED (no "wanting" at all involved in this matter)...
NEED one of these....

Now... here is the problem...
I don't know which one is really the RIGHT one - if either of them are...
I have lots (bazillions) of 2x4s to cut, 2x2's and 4x4's..... 
So... do I need a "CHOP SAW" or a "MITER SAW".... 
am I completely wrong... and do I need just a simple 
I know what you are thinking... 
"IF you just talk to your MR about this - I'm sure he knows EXACTLY what you will need ...."
And... You're ABSOLUTELY right! 
But... that is the problem...
He would run right out tomorrow and PURCHASE one! 
and.... we can't afford one...
I just want to dream..... wish... hope...whine... complain..... WANT one!
That's all.
So... while I'm doing something... 
Anyone have any ideas on what I really want need?
I'd love your input.... 
I really would. 
In the mean time... 
I guess I'll head back to Santa's work shop my garage and freeze my big tooshy (I wish I could FREEZE it off! - but instead it will just freeze!) and cut away and try to dwindle down my bazillion blocks needed to closer to a million....by morning..... and we'll see if the police show up on my doorstep telling me I'm violating the "noise ordinance...." hmmmmm... 
"TIS THE SEASON people! 
It happens every year! Get use to it!"
(I say with a smile...)

Stay tuned....
6 weeks ....it's coming REALLY fast!!!!! 
See ya in the morning!
6 week countdown!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Favorite Things.....

I'm sure EVERYONE has their FAVORITE THINGS!  Right???  Come one... you have to! 

Well, remember, this is one of my most FAVORITE gifts that has become a tradition at our house.

I really wasn't even sure that my kids would think much of it - but just today, my youngest asked me if she would be getting her box of "FAVORITE THINGS" this year for Christmas  (Remember this post...)  I said "mmm maybe, I don't know..." (knowing full well OF COURSE! You will have a FAVORITE THINGS box!!!)... but I like to keep some things in suspense a secret.....  My other daughter's boyfriend was sitting at the table with a puzzled look on his face.  (I wasn't sure if the puzzlement was from "what's a favorite things box" OR the fact that we were talking about Christmas.... LOL! He should be use to it by now - I've been saying "TIS THE SEASON" for several months now!).... Kami noticed his puzzled look too, so she took it as a puzzlement to the box - she proceeded to explain "Yeah, well, let me just say that you will have to get use to a "different" way of doing Christmas with us.... first, we take turns opening Christmas presents and we start with the youngest, (here came the puzzled looks again... but not  from him this time, but from me), so she looked at me and told me that his family just "opens" gifts - all at the same time - and then she turned to him and said "we take turns - one gift at a time at our house", his reply (looking like a deer in headlights) "you mean, everyone watches you?" she giggled and said "YEP!"..., then he said "But I don't like being the center of attention"... "too bad, that's how it is done around here, you'll get use to it...." ... then she added, "Oh, except for our FAVORITE THINGS box.  Everyone has to save it for the very last, and we open it all together.  It is so fun....I think that is my FAVORITE part of Christmas."  He was still not sure about all of this so she proceeded to explain, "my mom started doing a box of favorite things for my sister when she got married, and for a couple years that is what she did for them and we all got upset because we wanted a box of our favorite things too, so last year she did a favorite things box and now, everyone gets a "FAVORITE THINGS" gift.... so just be ready."

I'm wondering what will happen now.... LOL!!! I hope we didn't scare him off - we're kinda gettin' attached to the guy!

And then... this past month, a friend invited me to a "MY FAVORITE THINGS party"...OH.... MY... HEARTBEAT!!! It was soooooo fun!!! (I think I'm just gonna have to throw one myself!!!) 

And then.. this past week, I stumbled upon this blog.... and guess what!?!?!?!?!  She is doing a MY FAVORITE THINGS GIVEAWAY!!!! 
 (I may have to steal her idea too!!! These dang smart, creative, WONDERFUL, WISE, FABULOUS people!!!!!  They are killin' me.... KINDLY though!!!)

So... go ahead and SNEAK on over and take a look at her FAVORITE THINGS giveaway!  (I'm sure you won't want to enter either.... ;) ) But if you must... you must.... AND... I'll just say this.... My brain is churrning again... you may want to stay tuned.... I'm thinking a FAVORITE THINGS of some sort is on the horizon here!..... but until then...............

Be sure to visit.... A Creative Princess

Friday, October 14, 2011

Keep on track...keep on track....keep......

OH CRAP!!!! 
I can't seem to stay FOcUseD!!!!! 

I really think I have A~D~D.... Honestly!!!! 

I just can't seem to stay FOcUseD on what I need to do... there is SOOOOOO much I want to do... NEED to do.... and DON'T want OR need to do!!! AGH!!!!! 

Well, I've been CRAFTING a few new HALLOWEEN projects..... 

And.... I've been trying to keep on track with CHRISTMAS too... because my clock is TICKING really fast in that department as well.......... 

But... I don't want you to think that I just SKIPPY-DO-DAH through the other holidays.. forgetting that there are a few other "celebrations" in between..... because I JUST LOVE LOVE LOVE FALL!!!!!! Actually.... I'm kinda HEAD over HEELS in LOVE with FALL!!! I FELL hard!!!! 
I like Halloween... we'll the CUTESY - side of it.. HATE the "TrIcK or TReaT" and "DRESS UP" side of it ... but like to have fun parties, decorate with CUTE stuff (no gorey for me... I have NIGHTMARES!) ... BUT I love FALL! BUT, being married for a long time my decorations are OVER-DUE for some UPDATING - so I decided this was the year to do it! 

So, here is just a SNEAK peak at some of the NEW I've added this year...just so you don't think I'm SLACKING and BYPASSING Halloween.... AND... I wanted to LINK up to a few LINKY parties!!!! Not that my stuff can even COME CLOSE to what I have been BROWSING and DREAMING about... but I'm hoping to get some CREATIVE JUICE from all of them... and some constructive CREATIVE words of wisdom on what I can do to make it BETTER!!!!  
Have you noticed just how many TALENTED people there are out there... in BLOGLAND????? I'm so embarrassed.... but I'm determined to "GET SOME TALENT".... one way or another.... and it will probably be the "other".... (like PURCHASING.... when I get ANOTHER job to support that HABIT!) Until then... I'll dream.... wish.....hope.... and SHARE in hopes of some CREATIVE JUICE flooding my way!

So.... here goes nothing........ 

OH! First there are a few rules.... 

NO LAUGHING (out loud anyway... or so that I hear you)
NO POINTING the FINGER at my HUGE mistakes (in front of me)
NO MAKING fun of me.... (I'm kinda sensitive... lack of sleep.... ya know... Tis' the Season!!) 

Here ya go! 
 First... I just HAD to have a WITCHES BROOM!
Total cost: $6.36
(and I know... not nearly as cute as the one at SWISS DAYS, but sure was a LOT less to make!)
 My favorite SqUArE punkin! I made 6 of them... of course, I'm left with just one.... oh well! 
Total Cost: $2.18

 These little guys were not added this year... but I kinda like them... 
They were my first attempt at ceramic painting...and took me like 2 years to finish.... agh!!! 
and I just noticed... poor little guy is missing his wings....
 This little haunted house... HAUNTED me for a LONG time!!! 
Sheesh!! it was a lot of "wipe-on...wipe off...dry brush on.... dry brush off..." BUT it is FINISHED!!! YEAH!!!
 Now, let me introduce you to HILDA ... 
she is a little old....about 23 years old! (But in WITCH years.. that's like.... 115!)
But she was a lot of fun! AND she gets LOTS of loves!
I'm sure that MOP DOLLS are a BIG thing of the past... but my girls have just loved her, and now the grand kidos love her even more!  AAAND! I don't have to worry about her getting broke!   I did make about 75 of them....back in the day....but only kept one... I think I may be making some more here in the near future...
 This little MUMMY dude.... "MUMFORD" ... let me just tell you.... he is OLD... and HE took YEARS to finish... I'm still trying to decide if I like ceramic or not... I mean, I LOVE it finished... BUT it takes so much dang time! AND patience!!! And... I don't find it nearly as forgiving as wood....
After the bats.... I thought "Hey, this little guy won't be bad...."  WHATEVER!  He had more "wipe on... wipe off... dry this... dry that.... wipe on.... wipe off.... start again...." than the darn bats!  HE LITERALLY aged while WAITING to be completed!  18 years in the making!  And he FINALLY came out this year! And... I'm sure he isn't done right.... but he is as DONE as he is going to get!

So... there ya have it! 
I'm not a COMPLETE - 
BAH-HUM-BUG for Halloween!!! 

Swish on over to SOMEDAY CRAFTS and take a gander at SOME VERY talented BLOGLAND people!!  (I don't know why I do this to myself... I get so ENVIOUSLY-HAPPY of all their TALENT... but I'm working on learning how to just be HAPPY for them (without the ENVY) and praying for some CREATIVE juice overflow!) - GO ahead... take a look!!! IMPRESSIVE!!!!

Meanwhile... I'll be trying.... to....
Keep on track... keep on track.... keep on track....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Countdown continues..... 7 weeks!!!!!

Sorry.... gotta post early today...
It's kinda a "SPECIAL" day....
WELL - IT IS A SPECIAL DAY actually!!!!

28 years ago - (can you believe it????)
I married my high school sweetheart after almost 5 years of dating! WOW!! That means that we have been together for a VERY.... LONG.... TIME!!!!!! Granted, we have had some "bounces" and "turbulence" along the way - but who doesn't??? And nothing that I wouldn't trade for the world, especially if it would alter where we are today! (However, I would trade his pain away in a heartbeat!) I hope that he feels "GOOD" today - and that we can spend the day PAIN free! Or... at least go out to  dinner - and be pain free long enough to enjoy his meal... It's been a LONG time since we have been able to do even that! But we shall see... time shall surely tell....
OH I'm so sorry! I've been rambling... and we have BUSINESS to conduct! 
Please excuse me!
7 weeks until CHRISTMAS counts!!!
The countdown is on! Just a few more weeks to get those Holiday gifts completed and wrapped! One of the most important things that you can do to make sure that you get all of your gifts completed on time is to stay organized!
We've talked a LOT about our lists - but honestly, lists just don't do us any good unless we review them, check things off and keep on track. So, here we go.... countdown continues!
We are at 7 - 7 weeks to MAKING OUR DREAMS COME TRUE!!!!!
Can you BELIEVE it???? I'm sooooo super excited! The next 3 weeks are my FOCUS hard weeks! Gotta get those homemade gifts finished up! Afterall.... a homemade Christmas is what I'm planning.... and if I don't get DONE - there will be NO CHRISTMAS!!!! So.... are you ready??? Sit down TONIGHT - YES! TONIGHT! And review your LISTS... especially that HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS (or if you are a purchaser - you gotta get that list handy too!)... and we are gonna get them compeleted in the next 3 weeks!! YEAH!!!!!!!
Here are five easy tips to help better plan your holiday crafting:
1. Pull out your HOMEMADE Christmas list... and let's review it ....(I hope that you have already done this, but if not - it isn't too late!) OR make a checklist of all of the things you’d like to make.
2. Mark a calendar with each project‚ allotting it a certain length of time for completion.
3. Gather up all of the patterns and supplies that you’ll need for each project in advance‚ (unless you already have! You are so on top of things! LUCKY YOU!) .... so that you’re not running to the hobby store at the last minute. (Be sure to give yourself a couple days to get this don
e ~ be realistic!!! OH WAIT- see #4... :))
4. Be realistic. Very REALISTIC! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to finish too much, in too short of time or too fast! BREATHE!!!!! REALISTIC.....remember....
5. Take a class or two, if needed... or if you are like me - team up with a neighbor, sibling, friend - SOMEONE. (and set dates to get together - and DO IT!) Working through the projects with the help of the instructor or someone else, is a great way to learn new things AND complete great
–looking projects at the same time.... It's always much more fun to CRAFT with someone else! (that isn't proper English is it??? oh well!)

What cha' waitin for????
CHRISTMAS is coming!!!!

 and... Happy 28 years to my Mr.! 
Hope we have another 28 plus to come!  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I was just thinking....

Outloud again... of course... 

This past weekend I was telling my daughter that I wanted to go out and take some pictures of different things and spell out FAMILY and frame it for my basement ~ you know ~ those really CUTE pictures of nature and different "THINGS".... Well I priced it out to PURCHASE and HOLY SHNIKIES!!! Talk about OUT OF MY BUDGET!!!!!!  Nearly had a heart attack(And heaven knows - we need no more of them this year!)  thus the reason I decided that "I" could just DO it myself.... however, I discovered.... there is a little more to it than just "snappin" a picture or two... or six.... AND I don't really have a camera that will SUFFICE such picture taking... you know -up close and PERSONAL!!! :) 

So... I let the thought slip out of my head...

 I was just bee-boppen' along tonight... (minding my own business I tell ya!)  trying to finish up a few projects and looking for "things" and I BEE-BOPPED right into  
oh my!  heart be still!!!!  
Prayers were answered!!!!  
You just HAVE to go and check it out!!! HERE!!!

I'm so stinkin' excited!!!!

Sometimes it pays to THINK OUT-LOUD :) ..... 

Go on - head over... I'm sure you'll fall in LOVE too!!!! The problem is... now I want more than just FAMILY!

psst.... they would make a great Christmas gift too... if you're still shoppin.... just sayin.....
AND... the PRICE is RIGHT!


I ran back to Wal-mart and purchased 4 more canning jar holders.... 
(all that was left anyway... :( ... someone BEAT me to it!!!) 

but still.... OH SO EXCITED!!!!!

Just had to let you know..... I'll get working on putting them together and be returning with some pictures... 

Remember these are for the MEN on my list! AND BOY! Are they on MY list!!!! :) 

I really need some more though.... I think I'm going to have to start calling some stores! OH crap! Did I say that out-loud...... shoot!  

I did some searching on line - I found a few that were for just ONE jar... the BIG QUART size jar.... I'm really thinking that would be a FUN neighbor, friend, home teacher, visiting teacher, boss, teacher type gift.... hmmmm... there I go again... Thinking out loud!!!!  SHEESH!!!  oh well... I'm happy to share - if you will too! If anyone finds a bargain - please share it!!!! We all need a little bargain every now and again - right???? 


I'm going to let my fingers do the walking... about right now...... 
BYE!  :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Bargain... & the wheels are spinning!

I was rummaging through the CLEARANCE items at Wal-Mart the other day - and I stumbled onto this cute... little... iron basket. And I thought "Surely there is SOMETHING I can use this for...it's just too good to pass up....it was 50% of the already marked down 50% - so HEY! surely there is something I can use them for." I pondered on it... put it in my cart... walked around... put it back.... pondered some more, then decided HECK I should just get one... I'm sure I'll regret it if I don't.... So, I grabbed two. hee hee hee...
  As I was checking out, I started to question myself... don't you just HATE that! I mean seriously... it was two for the price of one! Honestly - it is not NOT going to break me today - tomorrow I might be wishing I didn't spend that extra..... SIX bucks - but today - HECK! JUST DO IT! I battled with myself... even told the cashier I didn't want them... then I quickly changed my mind and said - "WAIT - YES I DO! But hurry and ring them through BEFORE I change my mind again.... " I'm sure he thought I was COMPLETELY off my rocker.... Well, I bought them ... and I pondered WHY I purchased them ALL the way home. Removed them from the bag and stuck them in my pantry. I tried to convince myself that "TOMORROW" I would have a BRILLIANT idea!

AND..... guess what?!?!?!

I had a BRILLIANT idea! (well... for me it was BRILLIANT!)

Yesterday, I was cleaning my bathroom - and I'm so SICK of the UGLY cup that holds our toothbrushes and toothpaste... or rather... DOESN'T hold them.... agh!!! I just wanted to REMODEL the bathroom because of this NASTY cup! LOL! And then.... WAH-LAH! IDEA POPPED INTO HEAD! (its a miracle I know....) So I ran kinda, sprinted maybe, jogged .... OK! I walked! FAST! to the pantry and started working on my BRILLIANT idea!!!!  HEY!! I do have to move fast.... It is typical for me to FORGET what I'm doing when I reach my destination....agh...

My CUTE bargain... ($3.00)

I grabbed 4 jars from the "wanna-be-canned" shelf..... (they have been waiting OH so patiently all fall...but I don't think I'm going to get to any canning this year - so looks like they will just have to be happy with what comes next.....)

Then, I dug through my junk drawer and was lucky enough to find some BLACK ribbon that will match PERFECTLY!

I ran, sprinted, jogged, ok walked FAST back to my bathroom and grabbed some "NECESSARY" itmes....

AND WAH-LAH! Look at what I discovered!

This cute little IRON JAR holder will work FABULOUS in my bathroom - and EVERYTHING will be RIGHT THERE! I used 3 jars that are the same size and one smaller jar for the q-tips!

I was so excited! It looks so GREAT! AND... Everything is right there - I can just lift it up by it's cute little handle to move it when I clean the counters... SO NICE!!!!
And... I can remove the ribbon and toss the jar into the dishwasher to clean....the BEST!!!!


This would work PERFECT for a PHONE caddy-kinda-thing!
I filled the jars with pens, pencils, ruler, scissors and even some markers....

NOW! Hopefully I won't have to run all around the house to find a pen to take a message...
(yeah right! who am I kidding!?! I'm sure one of the girls will decide it would work PERFECTLY in their room!).....


I need to RUN back and buy some more!
This would be a PERFECT teacher gift! Pencils, stickers, ruler, scissors, paperclips....
DESK CADDY for the BOSS!!!! Pens, stamps, ruler, paper clips..... oh my!!!
This would make the BEST gift for the MEN on my Christmas list....
I could fill each jar with their favorite "TV TREAT!" .... and make those cute little fabric covered jar lids - you know what I mean????? Filled with things like - M&M's, NUTS, PRETZELS, Hot TAMALES, Chocolate Covered Raisins....just about anything!!!!  OH THE POSSIBILITIES!!!

I've got to run people!!! '
I surely hope they are not gone....
WAIT! Maybe I better wait and post this after I return... so you don't all beat me there!
OH! I hate it when I just don't TRUST my first instinct!
 If I had - I would have... well, I would already have them here!

Stay turned for week 7 countdown!
We have so much to do! 
It's gonna be quite fun!!! 

Tis the season!!!! 
oh how 

Gotta run!!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Take a break for FALL!

I love FALL!!! Have I said that before.... Well - I do! And... if you have ever been in my house - you would know that....It is FALL inside my house .... all..... year...... LONG!!!!!! (well - at least in the Family room and Kitchen) ... I JUST LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors of fall! I love the crisp air, brisky mornings, the smells of FALL!... you know, like PUMPKIN WASSAIL, CINNAMON NUTS.... mmm mmm! I love fall foods! Like SOUPS and BREADSTICKS..... PUMPKIN CAKE! (I'm getting hungry!) It all just makes me feel good!
To me - fall says....
pretty COLORS
days are getting slower
life is slowing down
it is just ....

I like that I can start decorating for fall (more than my usual daily stuff) in September... and carry it on through November..... and then I take a little break from my FALL-ness and decorate with Christmas....
then right back to FALL!!!! I just love it!

Remember the bench that I saved from going to the FIRE pit!?!?!
Well, I spruced him up for fall...

I love my bench!
Hmm... Looks like my door wreath and frame are hanging a tad big crooked...
If I could just keep everyone from running in and out of the house...
It might stay straight!
and... don't mind my messed up mess of baby punkins...
The grand-girls were here and they LOVE playing with my punkins!
I finally gave up on making them look "my-kinda-perfect"...
I'm quite liking THEIR kinda perfect better!

I am a bit distraught...
With our recent "FLOODING" in the basement,
I can NOT find my LEAF garland! AGH!
It is really bothering me!
I need it to wrap around the stair railing to make it look a little more complete....
And then of course the ORANGE lights....
I've gotta keep looking!
It's buggin' me!
Looks like my flower pot needs some fall sprucing too!
Guess I better get on that!
Sometimes I just dislike still shots...
I find everything WRONG that I didin't notice when I was just

I love LOVE this frame & wreath!
A very DEAR friend made it for me!
And I just cherish it!
YOWZA! Crooked frame... crooked door valance...
What was I on???

and somedays... I just feel just like this...
"If I only had a brain!"
I love scare-crows too!
And unfortunately, this little guy got a bit wet with all our rain the past few days!
But I still LOVE him!
awe.... I love fall....
Have I told you that before????

Well, it's true.

I've joined up in the following LINKY partays!!!
SavvySeasons.com Autumn Arrives Party

Share Your Creations
Be sure to look around - I KNOW PROMISE you won't be disappointed! There is just soooo much... to take in..... and dream about.... and wish for... and OH MY!!!!
But, I can't promise you won't be OVERWHELMED!

Oh me!!!! OH MY!!!!!

Well - last count down - we had 10 weeks!!! NOW..... we are down to 8!

HOLY COW!!! I think my PANIC button just came on and oh I think I need some heart meds!!!! LOL!!

Before I continue - I must apologize..... for missing week 9! I'm so sorry - but then again - maybe it is just "I" that I let down - and if that is the case... I think I'll survive....
We had a small STINKY catastrophe! And honestly.... I really did not PLAN on this! I did not ALLOW time for such CRAP! And yes! I AM MAD! GRRRRRR!
But... it is what it is.... I suppose! DANG-IT!
Our basement flooded and ruined.... yep! ruined the newly refinished, newly carpeted, newly painted, newly decorated bedrooms..... and.... all this while trying to keep on track for my PERFECT Christmas season..... SO... NOT... IN...THE PLAN!!!! I'm trying not to get depressed about it.... I'm trying to press forward..... and with all that... it kinda put a DAMPER on decorating for my favorite time of the year! FALL!!!!! I LOVE FALL!!! I love the colors, the brisk, crisp, fresh air, the smells.... I just love FALL!!! And... now I have something else added to my plate... without permission I will add! I just hate being SERVED something I did not ask for... let alone ... DO NOT LIKE! :) But... I guess I'm gonna have to learn to like it~as my daughter keeps telling me... "one step at a time mom, one step at a time...." I feel like I'm dodging LANDSLIDES though..... oh well - tis what it is..... no time for PITTY-PARTAYS! Gotta get a move on this 8 weeks to making Christmas count! I'm gonna do it - I am! I am!

So.... let's just back up a tad to week 10 -
What did we get accomplished?
Ten week countdown consisted mostly of LISTS!!! (I do love my LISTS!!) :)
So... how did we do???
I'm surely spending more than 15 minutes a day on Christmas... but I'm hoping that means I'm being PRODUCTIVE.... (not feeling so much like it at the moment...)
Got my grocery list, menu's planned, finalized the "GIFT" list, still need to double check on the decoration item list - and I have a feeling it is going to be a bit difficult with the flooding issue than I was wanting - card list done, stamps purchased, neighbor, teacher and other gift lists done and ready to roll.... AND.... I'm afraid to say - but I think that the CLEANING schedule is just going to have to wait a week or two.... too many messes to clean up before I can even think of organizing a cleaning schedule.

Well - I hope you are on your way and doing better than I - I've got a LOT of catchin' up to do in the next 4 weeks.... because come Novemeber - it is FINAL TOUCHES month - baking, regrouping, prepping etc.... so I really have to ACCOMPLISH a lot this month!

Week 8 Count Down -
Completing neighbor gifts, friends, teachers, co-workers, home teaching families, visiting teaching families and any one else gifts... it is the plan! I CAN DO THIS!!!! Friday night is gather it up and Saturday day is FINISH IT UP! ... ok at least by midnight on Tuesday the 11th.... :)

And... I'm thinking next week I'll host a "LINKY" partay for all those FABULOUS ideas you all are creating for neighbor, teacher, friend, etc... gifts.... Anyone interested in doing so? I KNOW I would LOVE to see what you are all up to!!! So, COME ON!!! Let's get rollin'......

EIGHT weeks on the down hill!!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

We interrupt this count down....

For a WONDERFUL Giveaway over at Savvy Seasons!
Head on over and don't forget to tell LIZ that I sent you over.... ME!!!
At Makechristmascount.blogspot.com.... it's is a AWESOME giveaway!

Hurry over... but then come RIGHT back!

We have some things to get a MOVE on!!!