Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time To Relax

I was recently asked what I like to do to relax.

Frankly there are lots of things I like to do to relax.

Reading a good book is very relaxing to me.

Going to the movies. Have you seen Brave yet? The Family loved it! I loved it as soon as I learned the main character had all that wild red hair!! It's so not fair that I didn't get red hair! -sigh-

I like to weed the garden. Yes, I find weeding the garden relaxing, at least I do when it's still a manageable task, if I let it go too long, and the gardens are overrun, then weeding the garden is stressful. There's a fine line my friends. A very fine line!

Playing games with the family, going for walks, sippin' something cold while chatting with friends on the porch, I find all of these things to be relaxing.

However, I had something new to share when asked how I like to relax.

Miss Emma Bean gave me some foot soaking salts for Mother's Day.

They're super simple to make. A combination of Epsom salt, which reduces inflammation, relieves skin irritations, and exfoliates, (good for those rough heels!)  some Kosher salt and a few drops of essential oil. How cute are those little glass containers??

As I have never been a big fan of going to get pedicures and manicures, (I like to paint my own nails, I just don't like taking time to go and have someone else paint my nails, go figure) it took me a very long time to use the foot soaks. 5 weeks to be exact. So when Miss Emma Bean began to ask me when I was going to use the foot soaks, I began to feel like a heel (ha ha pun intended!) for not using the gift she gave me and was so excited about. 

Last week, riddled with guilt, I finally pulled out a little tub, filled it with warm water and added the lavender foot soak to it. Once my feet hit the water, and the wonderful scent of lavender wafted through the air, I was hooked!

Soaking my feet in a warm lavender foot bath is WONDERFUL!

It's become one of my new favorite things to do to relax. I can soak my feet while reading or watching a movie too. Bonus!! Two relaxing things at once! Whoop!

And once I was all relaxed and my heels were all smooth, I decided to give myself, and the girls, fun 4th of July inspired, polished toenails!

Found this nail art idea on Pintrest! 

Ah Pintrest, another relaxing thing to do!

So, what do you like to do to relax?


P.S. Apologies if that was too many photographs of bare feet for one blog post!

P.P.S. It might make you feel better if you click on the add for the Husband's t-shirt store, Steward, and looked at fun t-shirts for awhile!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kale Chips

A friend gave me a bunch of kale today.

I've heard that kale can be baked into chips, and that many people really like them. 

So with fresh kale on hand, and several taste testers on hand as well since the girls had friends over, I decided to bake up some kale chips.

I'll tell you I was pretty excited to try them!

They are so easy to make. And good for you!

I washed and dried the kale, then removed the leaves from the stems.

I then tore the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and placed them on parchment lined baking sheets.

Drizzled with olive oil.

Sprinkled with a little sea salt.

And baked in a 350˚ oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until crispy.

I will say that the smell of baking kale chips is a Oh they stink!

I did not want to make up my mind on smell alone though, so I called on my very willing taste testers.

They examined the chips, asked how they were made, and gave them a try.

After the first taste, everyone, myself included, said they could not decide if they liked the chips or not.

We tried another.

Again, unsure.

By the third kale chip..."You're never going to make these again, right?"

My response. "Nope!"

There it is folks. We are not fans of kale chips.

Does anyone know how to get rid of the smell of baked kale chips.




Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Kickoff

Getting free shipping on your t-shirt order is a great way to kickoff summer! Thanks to all who ordered t-shirts from the Husband's new t-shirt store yesterday! Though free shipping was yesterday, you can still order fun t-shirts from his shop Steward anytime! 

As great as free shipping, and new t-shirts are, nothing beats a good old fashioned parade to kickoff summer!

I love the bouquets of balloons,

and marching bands!

Little children...

dancing to the beat of drums!

Princesses waving from parade floats!

And little ones scrambling for tossed pieces of candy!

4-H clubs!

Plumed hats!

Scarfing down sugared mini donuts! YUM! Good thing we only have these once a year!

Little girls wearing pink cowgirl boots and tutus!

She was also wearing fairy wings. Oh how it made me wax nostalgic for the days when my little girls wore fairy wings. sigh

And Bassett Hound puppies that are too tired to walk the entire length of the parade route. Awww

And then there is the delight of seeing my girls handing out candy along the parade route again this year. 

I still can't get them to pause from their very important job of giving out candy to let me get a decent photo of them! ho hum

And last, but not least, and my favorite part of any parade...the bagpipes! Not only do I enjoy listening to the bagpipes, but they are always accompanied by men in kilts! Yippee

Yep, nothing like men in kilts a parade to kickoff the summer!

Big kudos to my Mom who has organized our local parade for the last several years! Well done!! 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy International T-Shirt Day

Today is the day!

International T-shirt Day!

And you know what that means!

Free shipping on all t-shirts purchased from the Husband's t-shirt shop through Spreadshirt.

Don't forget to use the free shipping code!

I've decided I'm going to order this one.

I'm lovin' this graphic!

I still want the tiki one though...and the graffiti one...and the turtle one... Oh dear, it isn't easy to choose just one! I want several!

Hopefully you will have better luck deciding which one you want. Or maybe you'll just have to get several too. Makes it a lot easier to do when it's FREE SHIPPING day!! 

Gotta love free shipping! WHOOP WHOOP!

Happy Shopping! I'm so excited!


P.S. Yes, this is a bold and blatant plug for the Husband's new business! Just sayin'! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Get Your T-shirts Here

The Husband has talked for years about a dream to design t-shirts.

He's finally done it!

I'm so excited for him! 

His brand is called Steward.

The message of his brand is to be a good steward in your faith, your life, with the earth and toward others.

He has created an online store through a company called Spreadshirt.

His designs are so fun!

I love this frog design Emma Bean is sporting!

This tiki design is one of my favorites!

And it would have been mine but it came the wrong size. No worries! If there are any issues with a t-shirt, the company that makes them will replace it. Excellent!

In this case though, my shirt came in a perfect size for Miss Sofia, and she too loves the Tiki design. Miss Sofia got 2 t-shirts. I got zero.

Yep, I will be ordering a new one..or 2 for myself.

I'll be ordering them on Thursday, because Thursday, June 21st, is International T-shirt Day...who knew? If you order one of the Husband's t-shirts through Spreadshirt on thursday, you can get free shipping! Gotta love free shipping!

I would love it if you would check out the Husband's new t-shirt store. Just click here to be linked to his store, Please and thank you!!

There are over 40 fantastic t-shirt designs for men and women to choose from!

And who doesn't need a fun new t-shirt for summer??

Happy t-shirt shopping!!

Way to go my love! I'm very proud of you! Way to follow your dreams!!


Friday, June 15, 2012

When Faith is Big, Cancer Becomes Small

This is my friend Amy. 

Photo is courtesy of Amy's wonderful sister Christy!

She is beautiful, and smart, and funny! I love her smile! She is a great mom and wife and friend. I could sit on the porch and chat with her for hours!

She was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Cholangiocarcinoma. 

- Cancer - 

That word sounds so scary.

1 John 4:18   There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.

Oh how this diagnosis makes my heart ache!

Amy, her family, and all of her friends are asking God to lay His healing hand on her and remove the cancer from her body!

Philippians 4:6-7   Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

- chemo -

I don't know what God's plan is for Amy, but I do know that God loves Amy and Amy loves the Lord and she is keeping her focus on Him. She trusts Him!

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

She is allowing God to be her strength.

Psalm 144:1-2   Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle - my loving kindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge.

- man does not know how to cure this cancer -

God is her hope.

Romans 15:13   Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

- Caring Bridge site -

Written Jun 3, 2012 3:25pm by Amy 

"The voice of truth says do not be afraid. THE VOICE OF TRUTH SAYS THIS IS FOR MY GLORY. Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen to the voice of truth."

I heard that song on KTIS the other day and it has been going through my mind every day since. Truth is, I have cancer. Truth is, Satan wants me to drown in fear because I have cancer. Truth is, God is bigger than cancer, Satan, and any fear that I may have and God is using this for His glory. So I will wrap myself in God's peace and hope, and not give Satan any satisfaction of fear or anxiety in my life. When we see answers to prayer (like no nausea and feeling great after round 2 of chemo-woohoo!!) God will get the glory. When people hear my story and are encouraged by my faith, God will get the glory. When I beat cancer, oh boy will God get the glory! He is mighty and powerful and He is my voice of truth!

2 Corinthians 9-10   "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will boast in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong!

The verses I've shared are the verses that encourage Amy and give her comfort.

cancer...chemo...not curable...caring bridge site...overwhelming...until overshadowed by God's Word, by truth, then cancer becomes very small! 

God is so great! He is so Mighty! He is so Loving! And He will never let you go once you choose to be His! He is holding Amy in the palm of His hand! 

 - Cancer is small compared to a Mighty God -

God does not want anyone to fear, to lose hope, to be alone. He wants to be in it with you like He's in it with Amy! My friends, God's promises are for all who choose to believe! 

While I don't know God's plan for Amy on this earth, I do know His plan for Amy's eternity. Because of the faith that she has placed in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, who died on the cross for the sins of the world, who says, "Believe in me and you will have eternal life." Amy will one day be reunited with God in heaven. All who claim the salvation offered by Jesus will be reunited with God in heaven, and NO cancer, NO heartache, NO pain will touch us there! 


John 14:1-3,6  Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

" I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." 

Thank you Amy for your testimony! Thank you for walking boldly in your faith! Thank you for allowing God's glory to shine for all to see!

Thank you Lord for truth and peace and hope and for taking care of my beloved friend! 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time...

They liked to play together.

Now, they "hang out" together.

Once upon a time...

They liked to have their faces painted.

Now, they want to wear makeup.

Once upon a time...

They loved to play dress up.

Now, they look far too grownup when they get dressed up!

Once upon a time...

They were so happy playing with stuffed animals.

Now, they would be happy if only they had their own cell phones.

Once upon a time...

They would come running when they smelled freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

I'm so glad that some once upon a times still happen today!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vegetable Garden

I told the family that I was thinking of doing away with the vegetable garden this year.

With flower beds to tend to and the many other things in the day that need doing, or that I want to do, the added work of the vegetable garden just felt like too much.

I had hopes last year of simply filling the vegetable garden with Zinnias this summer, to draw in the butterflies, but even that felt like it would be too much work, especially since the vegetable garden had already become overrun with weeds. It happened faster than I had the chance to say, "Summer break."

So, I told the family my plan to return the vegetable garden to a patch of grass.

The family exclaimed, "NO VEGETABLE GARDEN!!??" then promptly fell to the floor and looked at me with sad faces just like this.

Found this photo on Pinterest. So cute!
OK. So that may be a bit of an over exaggeration, but only a bit!

Reluctantly, after the family said they would be willing to help - normally I wouldn't ask them for help with the garden because it's something I wanted to do and I enjoyed doing it...I enjoyed it until I felt I couldn't keep up with it that is - I finally agreed to plant the garden.

The Husband spent 2 hours last weekend tilling and helping me remove the weed infestation. Darn weeds!

We purchased some tomato plants and herbs from the Farmer's Market.

Then Miss Emma Bean and Miss Sofia planted all of the seeds and plants.

All I had to do was tell them where I wanted everything.


Apparently I'm not the only one who enjoys working in the garden! Who knew!?

I wonder if I would get the same reaction if I told the family that I will no longer be cleaning the bathrooms as it feels like too much work. Hmmmm


The garden is planted and I'm looking forward to having helpers this year!

And in other news...

I finally have rose blossoms as the deer have fled from the nasty smell of Invisible Fence! 



Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Cry A Little And Say Thank You

I'm so excited that today is the girl's last day of school for the year. Woohoo! Summer here we come!

We've got our summer bucket list ready!

Yep, there it is. The list of things we want to do this summer. Can't wait!

Along with the excitement, I'm also filled with sadness. Sadness because this is the last year of elementary school. Miss Sofia of course moved on to middle school a few years ago and will be moving on to high school in the fall and Emma Bean will be moving on to middle school. All good, but that means it's time to say goodbye to our elementary school.

For the last 8 years we have grown to know the teachers and staff at our elementary school very well, and we love them.

They have been there for nervous, first days of school. It still counts even if mom was the only one who was nervous!

And they've been there for thrilling, last days of school.

Not only have they taught the three R's, (reading, writing and arithmetic) they have been there for track and field days...

kindergarten luaus...

The days before I had a decent camera!

 crazy hair days...

field trips galore...

and May basket deliveries.

They've always given very generously at our family's cookie sales to support charities that were close to our hearts!

They've also given more hugs than we can count!

And most importantly, they have shown great loving kindness to our girls and each student in their classes.

To our elementary school teachers and staff I say...Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

You are a huge blessing!