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Thursday, May 31, 2007

It’s a Franklin Contest!

Over at 5 Minutes for Mom they are holding a contest where they are giving away 5 copies of Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure DVD! They always have the greatest contests! :)

Christian Life

This is a poem my 11 year old son wrote for an assignment in our church's kids' club. I think he did an awesome job!

Christian Life

To live a Christian life
tell others about Christ

How He died for you
maybe they will follow too

Take some tracts and go around
and hand them out without a doubt

Ask your sister, ask your father
and your mother or your brother

If they can help you, hand some out too

If they can't say ok
maybe another day

Don't let Satan take you away
from your loving Lord in anyway

I wrote this poem for a badge
Now that I am done, boy I'm glad!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday: DIY Bird Bath Dripper

This is my first time participating in Works For Me Wednesday. I also hope I’m doing this right!

My only hobby is feeding the outdoor birds and I learned that birds are attracted to the sound of running or dripping water, so I wanted some sort of a dripper for my bird bath in hopes of attracting more birds to my yard. Well, I was surprised at the cost of the drippers (kind of expensive for us) so I had to find an alternative. I had read about this idea in a few different bird magazines and books. It is has worked pretty well for long as I do not tighten the cap too tight.

It is a quart-size plastic jug/bottle that I have hanging over my bird bath dish. (Actually, you know those little hooks that you can buy to hang a hanging plant or feeder from a wooden deck rail? That is the hook I'm using since we don't have a deck...I just planted it into the ground next to the bird bath so the jug hangs OVER the bird bath.) I just used a thumbtack and poked a hole into a bottom corner of the jug, fill it with water and voila! Instant dripper. The flow of the water will depend on how snug you tighten the cap.

I forgot to add if you use a dripper or something to make the water in your bird bath move instead of remaining still and stagnant, mosquitoes won't lay their larva in it...they prefer still, stagnant, non-moving water on which to lay their eggs on.

Wordless Wednesday! 5/30/07

Ok, this is my first time participating in Wordless Wednesday. I really hope I'm doing it right! :)

Yes, there are 9 cats there...count them....9! They are all ours--our 9 indoor babies! :)

To see other Wordless Wednesday participants, click on Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 28, 2007

Garden Clogs

OK, here is a picture of my Garden Clogs as promised. I've been wearing them outside ever since I bought them yesterday & I just love them. They are so comfortable and if they get dirty after being in the garden dirt, just rinse off with the hose! I got them at the Dollar General for $6!

Bandaids anyone?

Over at 5 minutes For Mom they are giving away FREE BANDAIDS! A whole year's supply of them LOL. Check it out if you want to enter.

Not too much

This was really written quite late Sunday night (5/27) but it says it is 5/28. Oh well. Not too much happening around here today...but that is ok with me! :)

It was a nice day today with some overcast here and there. We weren't sure if it was going to rain or not and sometimes the wind also picked up quite a bit which convinced us even more that it would. However, it never did which is fine with us since hubby had a lot of work to do outside.

Well, the last of all the wood has been split and the log splitter we borrowed from a friend has FINALLY been returned! YAY! Hubby is so glad to see that thing outta here! He said he doesn't want to have to split wood again for a very, very long time and I don't blame him. The kids have been such terrific helpers with the wood too. They mostly helped stack the wood or helped pile it onto the trailer to take into the back yard. They took almost all of it into the back and now have some minor clean up to do in the front yard...mostly the wood chips/shreds from using the splitter. I was able to use most of it to mulch my flower gardens this year which was great because it was FREE! Yippee, free is good! :) I'll try to post some pics tomorrow.

Hubby had plans to take down a small evergreen tree, which is sort of like a "yew" tree, since it was badly damaged over the winter (1/3 of died and the pine needles are gone from that section), but it is a good thing he looked at it closely before he did anything! After peeking inside of it, he noticed a teeny, tiny nest with a mama chipping sparrow sitting on top of it!!! Isn't that so wonderful? I think hubby knew to check inside since last year there was a nest in the same may have been chipping sparrows last year and who just may be the same nest. So, this tree won't be going anywhere until the birds are all grown up and leave the nest. Thank you again Lord for such a wonderful gift for us!!! :)

My daughter and I took a quick run to the Dollar General when the baby took his nap and I finally got a pair of those gardening clogs I've always wanted. I just love clogs! I will try to post a picture of them tomorrow. They are super light and it almost feels like you aren't wearing anything at all. I don't know what they are made out of, but it feels similar to a styrofoam material but I'm sure it isn't made out of that. They are perfect since whenever they get dirty you just rinse them off and let them air dry! I love simple. They are also very comfortable which is a great plus.

After the kids' club classes at church tonight, we took some time out for fun and went to the newly built playground at a local school. It was really nice and the kids just loved it. It's so wonderful to go to a playground that is nice and fresh looking without broken/damaged parts and graffiti all over it! The baby really enjoyed the swing and each of the middle four kids took turns taking him down the slide on their lap. We had so much fun! :)

Oh, I almost forgot! Yesterday I saw the male Ruby Throated Hummingbird do his "mating" dance/courtship display trying to impress a female hummingbird that was watching from my rhododendron. For those of you who may not know what a hummingbird courtship display is, here is a description I found:

"The male dives down towards the resting or feeding female. Like a pendulum he sweeps past her and up to a point 2 to 3 m in the air, then back along the same path in reverse. He repeats this swinging display time and again, all the while uttering squeaky notes. As he dives past the female his wings hum the loudest; as he swings closer to the female his hum becomes more intense and his speed increases."

So it looks like he is flying back and forth in the shape of a capital letter "U". Honestly it is so fascinating to watch!!! I just love the outdoor birds.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Butterfly Eggs?

I found these eggs on my fuchsia plant yesterday. Does anyone know what type of eggs they are? I know butterflies like fuchsias. We have many butterflies around here, but the Monarch is the most popular. It'll be interesting to see if they hatch or not. I just love when God gives us gifts like this!!! :)

Wow, A New Hope!

As I sit here still drinking my morning coffee (being oh so careful to NOT let it get spilled on the computer!!!) I love to visit other blogs and read/learn about different things. Well, I just found this awesome looking organization blog named I'm An Organizing Junkie! and I felt a sense of "hope" come over me as I glanced through it!

You see, once upon a time, (long ago) I used to be a very obsessed organized perfectionist individual who was "on top" of things and managed a very nice, orderly home. Really, I did! I did a fairly good job at keeping an organized home even when having 3 or 4 and even 5 children. However, somewhere between child #5 and #6, something drastic happened and I was completely changed!

Gone were the days of knowing exactly where items were when needed, things that were put away after being used, clothes sorted/purged according to size or season, bills/receipts filed, etc. Rather, sadly enough, I went to the "other side!" :(

Now I'm not proud of this change, in fact, I'm rather disgusted of it, not to mention embarrassed to say the least. Whenever I'd comment on this situation, people would often say "Well, you have 6 kids, what do you expect?" I admit that it has been quite some time since I've expected perfection anywhere in my home but I should at least be somewhat organized still don't you think?

Well, I have been living on this "other side" for quite some time now and I have to admit I wasn't making much any effort to correct this huge change in my life until just recently. Granted there have been some things that came up unexpectedly (another miscarriage which was so devastating and brought an enormous amount of depression with it after the fact, difficulties with my eldest son as he began the transition into teenage hood, taking in a slew of miscellaneous pets from unwanted situations, spending way too much time on the internet trying to "kill" the pain, etc.) but I think I've recently realized that I used these things more or less as an "excuse" and I certainly have NOT managed things appropriately during this time.

So, when I saw this organizing blog today, I decided to click on it and see what it was like and I'm glad I did. It's funny because even two months ago, if I had come across this blog or even the words "organization" or "organizing", I would have run FAR away and FAST!

So, ultimately, I have to give the glory and honor to my Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the discernment to even realize this fault in my life AND to have the true desire to want to change and correct it. Visiting this site has given me a bit of hope and I plan to read through some of the entries there and I hope I'll be able to make a good "head start" at correcting this fault in my life and in my home. I'm both glad and grateful that the Lord has begun to change this in me (and I know my family is too!) :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

I know, I know…

I know it has been awhile since I've entered a post here and I really am sorry. It seems like "life" got in the way again and took over. ;)

Hmmm, I don't even know where to begin or where I left off! I think it all began one day when my dear, sweet son accidentally spilled coffee on the laptop I was borrowing from my sister...

I suppose I should have never, ever put my cup of coffee near the laptop to begin with, but that is beside the point. It was a complete accident, and he didn't mean it, but one of my sons pulled a piece of paper that was under my coffee mug (he didn't know my coffee mug was on top of it) and it happened! My other son thought quickly, thank the Lord, and he lifted the laptop right up into the air.

Now, I don't know much about laptops since this was the first one I've ever used, but I removed the ethernet card? (the thing the internet cable jack plugged into) and there was a small amount of coffee on there and I opened the door on the bottom of the laptop (because I thought that is where the battery went) but it wasn't...I think it is the hard drive? and it looked like there was a medium-sized drop of coffee on there too. Oh my goodness, I was so scared!

When I walked over to it (immediately as it happened), I noticed the computer lights were still on, but nothing was on the screen. I called my husband and he immediately looked it up on Google (smart thinking!) and told me to lean it on the side that the coffee got on and I kept it on it's side all day with the fan blowing on it to help dry whatever moisture might have gotten inside.

I was really beside myself!!! It is an older laptop (about 5-7 years old) but it isn't is my sister's and I always take such good care of things I'm borrowing from others. I was in total shock for the rest of the day!

I was thinking "How will we replace it if it doesn't turn on and work again?", not to mention I have TONS of pictures of my children on it and these pictures are irreplaceable! :( I just began to pray and pray and pray!

I also have ALL of my homeschool reports on there, my website images and site pages, hundreds of links/bookmarks, emails from our business (a few years worth), etc.

Well, after waiting 24 hours, I tried to turn it on but was unsuccessful. :( My heart sank! I started to cry all over again.

To make a long (very long) story short, I called my sister to inform her of what happened and she was surprisingly ok with it. She works for a computer programming or engineering company (I'm really not sure which LOL) and she fixes computers for a living. She told me that when one of their clients (which are businesses not individuals) upgrades to new systems, they more or less just "throw out" their old systems and that is how she got the laptop. She also told me that when she acquired this one, she received not one, but two of the identical kind. So, she said she had another one just sitting there and her plan was to switch hard drives in them to see if we could recover all of my data.

Well, imagine my surprise and my delight to hear her say that! I immediately got a glimpse of hope that I might be able to get my pictures, reports, and data back. I then started to pray that my data would be able to get recovered.

Ok, fast forward...praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!! She was able to remove the hard drive and put it in this other laptop and voila...all my stuff was right there like nothing ever happened! I was (and still am) so incredibly grateful that the Lord allowed my stuff to be recovered! :)

She said she didn't see very much coffee residue in the keyboard of the laptop whatsoever and was very encouraged. She said she will begin cleaning it, when she is in the right mood LOL, and see what happens. She also said that sometimes these things just aren't worth the trouble to try to fix. Wow, that just amazes me but I don't come across the systems and parts that she must see come and go in her line of work.

All in all, I am very grateful to have my stuff back! Thank you Lord so very much! :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

FREE Ribbon Tutu!

Over at 5 minutes For Mom they are giving away a FREE Ribbon Tutu from Tutu Fantasy . Oh my one & only princess would just LOVE this!!! Isn't it darling? They have so many cute girly things. :)

Another Contest, but HURRY!

I know, I's been awhile since I posted last and I'm sorry. :( Just a quick post now though to quickly tell you about a neat contest but it ends TODAY!!!

Over at Mama's Coffee Corner (I just love that name & I LOVE coffee!) they are giving away a FREE header from RS Designs or a $20 gift certificate to I think that is so neat! :) So go ahead and visit both blogs and enter for your chance to win!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Mother’s Day Contest


Mother's Day is in just a few days and below is a contest you can enter! Click on the below button for more information and the prizes that are offered. Good luck! :)

Last but not Least!

Low and behold, late this afternoon I looked out the window and saw the male Rose Breasted Grosbeak snacking on black oil sunflower seeds at my feeder. So there we have it, the Baltimore Oriole, Ruby Throated Hummingbird, and the Rose Breasted Grosbeak all returned for the summer once again on the SAME day!

They’ve Arrived!

Today is the day! The Baltimore Oriole and Ruby Throated Hummingbird have both returned for the summer. :)

It was the male oriole that was the first to be seen, but my son and I both think the first hummingbird we saw today was a female, which seems unusual. I've always read the males are the first to arrive to "claim" their territory and then the females arrive within a few days. Oh well, it's fine by me LOL! I don't care which one shows up first as long as they come back to my yard year after year!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Working in the flower garden:)

Praise the Lord--He gave us yet ANOTHER sunny day!!! Wooohoooo, it has just been like the best weather around here lately. Oh how I wish every day of the summer could be like the last few days...not too hot or humid, not too cold, but just about perfect!

Well, after 7 1/2 years of living here and looking at the same yellow daylily year after year, I finally took the plunge and cut it in half/divided it! Oh, I just hope it lives LOL. I've always wanted to do divide this daylily and a couple of hostas that I have, but I've been too afraid to try for fear of killing them. I do not have a green thumb whatsoever and I seem to kill almost every plant I try to grow LOL.

I even got brave enough to prune my LARGE, overgrown Rhododendron. I really hope I did it correctly and that I didn't damage it LOL. I researched it online and read several different articles on how to do it, so I do hope it'll turn out alright.

After church, my daughter and I went to a local floral nursery and bought some flowers! I bought one "flat" each of annuals and periannuals, but oh how I wanted to buy more, more, more! LOL, it really is hard to limit yourself! If it weren't for the money, I would have bought a lot more LOL. I really like to grow flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to. We even got them all planted and boy was I surprised at how long it took!

I want to share a tip that my mother taught me about container gardening. If this tip is not new to you, please forgive me. I'm still new to flower gardening and never thought of this and wanted to pass it along, but some of you more "experienced" gardeners may already know about it. You know those Styrofoam Peanuts that are used for packaging? Well, use those as a "filler" mixed with your potting soil when filling a container. I have two of those plastic swan plant holders that sit in your garden and they are so deep and it would take a lot of soil to fill them up. So, she mixed some of the Styrofoam Peanuts with the soil and it really reduced the amount of soil needed. They still allow the water to drain through too!

You know, I am shocked year after year as to how much a pretty hanging basket costs! Yikes, I mean they are gorgeous and I'd love to have a few of them hanging in my yard, but not at $20-25 each! I wouldn't mind trying to make my own, but I don't believe our summers are long enough to achieve the same length and fullness that these baskets have. A few years ago I did "attempt" to make my first hanging basket and it was just pathetic LOL. My friend came over and took one look at it and burst out laughing. Sigh, maybe someday.

I planted my divided yellow daylily and hostas in my small, front flower garden which gets about 80% shade, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

The Chipping Sparrows and a few other types of sparrows have returned for the summer, but still no hummingbirds, orioles, or rose-breasted grosbeaks yet. They should be appearing any day now. My feeders, oranges, and grape jelly are out and waiting for them. :)

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Busy Saturday

We usually stay at home and clean, clean, clean on Saturdays. Today was much different though. We went to a wedding at church and then to my great nephew's First Communion party.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today too. I was able to spend a few minutes outside to weed a small area of my flower garden. I'm always amazed that year after year, there are so many weeds! I don't mind weeding me, it is actually therapeutic. I love to feel the sun shining down on my body as I listen to the birds in the trees and on the bird feeders which are also in my flower garden. As long as I don't come across any snakes, I don't mind weeding LOL.

The wedding was lovely. It amazes me to see this couple get married so young. The bride is 19 and I believe the groom is 22 or 23. Funny though, when my husband and I got married, I was 19 and he was 24. Somehow, this couple just seemed so much younger. The bride is the only daughter in her family and it was kind of sad to think about as I watched her father walk her down the aisle ever so SLOWLY. She, on the other hand, was walking about 3 steps ahead of him, almost pulling HIM down the aisle LOL. As I watched them, I thought about my one and only daughter and how my husband may be walking HER down the aisle someday. What a bitter-sweet thought!!! The bride and groom are the children of friends of ours from church and I think it is great that they both grew up in this church and today they were married in it. I certainly hope they'll enjoy a long marriage filled with God's blessings! :)

The kids had a great time at my niece's house. There were lots of kids to play with, mostly other boys. My boys enjoyed having other boys to play sports with. My niece also has a paved driveway (which we do not have :( ) so the kids really enjoyed skateboarding, riding bikes, and playing street hockey on it. As I said, the weather was perfect and we all enjoyed the time outdoors!

Before we went home, we hit the mall which was right around the corner from my niece's house. The store where my daughter got her ears pierced at had a 2 pairs of earrings, get 1 pair FREE. So, since it has been about 2 or 2 1/2 months since she had her ears pierced, I figured it was time to get her another pair of earrings. LOL, decisions, can be such a difficult task for a 9 year old girl to pick out just a few pairs of earrings and leave the rest for another time!

Friday, May 4, 2007

So Glad!

Well, I went to the orthopedic doctor yesterday. He said I still have fluid/blood around the joint, but it should go away gradually. After examining my knee, he actually doesn't think I tore a ligament afterall. Instead, he thinks I dislocated my kneecap! LOL, I didn't even know that was possible! He thinks it must have popped out of place and then popped right back in again. He said he is crossing his fingers that it'll heal all by itself. He still wants me to wear the immobilizer leg brace and use the crutches, but gradually wean myself from using them a little bit each day.

Oh, he also told me to start doing leg lifts to strengthen my upper thigh muscle (which will help strengthen the knee) and I should do these exercises until I can do 100 of them at once. Well, it has been YEARS since I've been able to do 100 of anything LOL!. I'm supposed to go back to see him again in a week.

So, praise God, because this is fabulous news!!! I was really nervous since my husband said he had heard most torn ligament injuries require surgery to repair. I'm so glad for this new news! :)

Today was a beeeeautiful day with a pretty blue sky and lots of SUNSHINE! It was perfect. I put out the bird bath, some garden stones/decorations, and decorative little flags.

We also put out the hummingbird and oriole feeders. I cannot believe they will be here in just a day or two (or three)! The time goes by so quickly. :(

My mom sent over some sunflower seeds, potting soil, and little planter trays. The kids enjoyed themselves as they planted and watered their seeds. :) I just hope they grow!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Please pray for Heather’s Surgery– it’s today!

Praying for Heather

I'm sorry I could not post this earlier...I had a dr's appointment this morning and we were also without power since yesterday so I could not get online any sooner than right now. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pray for Heather as she is most likely still in surgery as I type this. I'll be checking on MOG for updates from Laura.

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