Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Would You Do For A... Creamsicle?

I'm pretty sure that heaven will be a lot like North Carolina.

There will be beautiful tree's and the glory of seasons.

We'll be able to frolic in the mountains (without worry of bears).

We'll swim in the sea (without worry of sharks).

To say that I love this beautiful state would be an understatement.

There is one fatal flaw: (for the second summer in a row) I cannot find Creamsicles.

All right, fatal might be a tad dramatic, but I can't find them.


Actually that's not entirely true.

I did find the slow-melt, sugar-free, mini-size Creamsicle bars, to which I say: what! and ever!.

Listen. Why do we have to go an mess up a perfectly good and delicious treat by trying to make it "good for us?" Its ice cream people!!

And I don't even want to know what they do to make it "slow-melt."

For heavens sake.


Just give me the fully-loaded, high sugar, real cream, regular-melt deal. Its not gonna have time to melt anyway.

Wow. I should just tell you how I really feel, huh?

Anyway, like I said, North Carolina is God's country... but I'm pretty sure heaven will have Creamsicles.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Its all about Meme

Its been a LONG time since I have done a meme. But all the cool bloggers are doing this one - not to mention we got home late last night from a long-weekend trip, and I seem to be suffering from a sever case of writers block summer brain - so I'm gonna drink this KoolAid.


What color are your socks right now? No socks. Just bare feet in dire need of a pedi.

What are you listening to right now? My dog breathing heavily, and the keyboard clicking.

What was the last thing you ate? A bite of oatmeal with Craisens and walnuts (I'm breakfast blogging.) It was too hot so I'm waiting for it to cool.

Can you drive a stick? Uh, no. But my dear friend Tracy V (my best friend from high school) once tried (in vain) to teach me. It was back when we were young and stupid...Why "stupid" do you ask? Well, being a slow learner (me not her), she tried  to teach me to "feel" when I might need to shift by having me close my eyes, while she steered. Did I mention that we were in her brand new car that she had just bought? (to be fair we were in a large, empty parking lot, but still, I cringe (with glee!) when I think about it.)

Last person you spoke to on the phone? was actually Tracy! We spoke right before I left for the weekend. She brought my attention to the unfortunate mash-up of Madonna's lyrics in the last post. We laughed like hyena's. (which is one of my favorite things about her)

How old are you today? 30. Ish.

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Basketball. But sometimes like to have the football games on, but I don't watch them. I like to have them on in the back ground because it feels like what one should do during the fall season.

What is your favorite drink? Coffee and water are my staples. But I love a juice spritzer (cranberry and seltzer or lemonade and seltzer). For adult beverages, I would rarely turn dow a frozen margarita or a glass of merlot.

Have you ever dyed your hair? Is the pope Catholic? I get my hair colored every 5 weeks wether I need it or not (and I always do...a side effect of being....30....ish)

Favorite food? That one is hard. I guess if I have to pick a fave I would say tortillas....fresh, not from the grocery store. it's the perfect bread because you can eat it with anything...beans, meat, peanut butter, cheese. Need I go on?

What is the last movie you watched? In the theater: Back-up Plan with Jennifer Lopez. It was cute. At home: Julie and Julia. Also cute.

Favorite day of the year? Goverment Holidays...cuz then The Mister is home.

How do you vent anger? I usually clean something as if on the war path. It may or may not involve war cries and wailing and gnashing of teeth. But I'll never tell.

What was your favorite toy as a child? I was a stuffed animal lover. But I also had a tiara that I loved, wish I could find the school pictures from third grade. I had snuck (sneaked? snook?) that tiara into my bag and put it on right before the photographer snapped the pic. It didn't occur to me that I would have to bring those pics home and the evidence would be against me.

Favorite Season? Fall, but a North Carolinian spring is a very close second!

Cherries or Blueberries? Man! Why do we have to pit the cherries against the blueberries? ( You don't know how funny i think i am.) I like them both, but if I have to pick....cherries.

When was the last time you cried? I can get verklempt nearly every day, but a good cleansing cry? Its been so long I can't remember.

What is on your closet floor right now? Shoes, a couple of handbags, and a lot of dust.

What are you most afraid of? I worry in a freakishly obsessive way a lot about my kids safety. But I'm working on it...

Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheese

Favorite dog breed? Mutt

Favorite day of the week? Friday.

How many states have you lived in? 3. AZ, TX, NC

Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds  What is your favorite flower? the ones that pop up every year (unannounced) in my backyard

Did you get an H1N1 vaccine? No. Got a normal flu shot though. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mess You Up In My Love

I'm sitting in the service department of our local car dealership.

Madonna's singing away on the overhead system.

She's gonna mess someone up with her love.

She doesn't know messed up.

Messed-up is sitting in a lobby with 15 other early birds trying to get the oil in the mini-van changed before the rush of the day.

Have I mentioned that it is just after seven in the morning?

And my coffee hasn't quite kicked in.

The good news is this is all in preparation for a big trip we are taking soon and so it's worth all this messed up, bed-head, pillow-markings on the forehead, early morning, love.

This week was not messed up, it was uber-productive (hence the lack of posts.)

Not that blogging isn't productive, its just a different kind of productive....but I digress.

This week I completely overhauled the schoolroom, organized all the curricula from the past two years and got them ready to sell. Then I ordered next years curriculum and many, many books. We are studying ancient history and I am just as excited as the kids,

I managed to get the school room all ready for summer, which includes breaking down anything that makes my formal dining room look like a school room, because as much I enjoy teaching my kids, its nice to not have to look at a classroom for a couple months.

Just as we put away the white boards and the last of the supplies, there was a knock at the door.

It was the UPS man delivering three big boxes full of books.

That moment might be my favorite part if the year. Its like Christmas in June!

So much for making the room look non-schoolish. Homeschool is a lot like parenting, I really want to think about other things in the summer, but you can't always just 'put it away.' It's always there in some form or the other.

Anyway, back at the dealership.....

I think my coffee is starting to work....beginning to feel normal. More human, less, well, comatose.

Lets see what other stuff can I tell you that you wouldn't be complete without knowing?

Last night I groomed Kona the Wondermutt, as in used the clippers on her because she will not behave at a real groomers (she got kicked out at the last two grooming shops because she tried to bite them) and then I gave her a bath.

She never tries to bite me, but her haircuts look a lot like a small child took scissors to her beautiful coat.

I bought some vanilla smelling, oatmeal dog shampoo, but she still just smelled like wet dog when she was finished.

I hope she isn't messed up by my grooming love....luckily she doesn't have a mirror.

All right, it looks like my car will be ready shortly, so I'll log off. I hope you have a great weekend and you enjoy your weekend love!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I'm an hour late, but I have winners.

I used the random integer website and numbers 1 and 3 were generated...

So June Gardens of Bye Bye Pie and Amy of Bambino Bliss, you have won pin cushions! Luckily for y'all I have two!

Thanks for playing!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Free Writing for Free Stuff

I'm at a loss for good content today.

How about a little free-writing.

You, not me.

Here is your question (borrowed from BraveWriter April 2010-Archives):

Tell me in 15 words or less....

What was the longest time you waited for someone or something? Why did you wait?

Come on, I know you wanna play. Maybe I'll even throw in a giveaway prize.

How about a cupcake crochet pin cushion? applique hand towel?

You can double you chances and enter twice if you link this post on your blog or send a link on Twitter.

Be sure to let me know your prize preference in your comment.
Comments will be open until tomorrow (June 22) @ noon.
(Must be within the US and Canada, and have a valid email address to win!)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Random thoughts from Kellie's Brain...(5th ed. with links)

In the last 24 hours I have been to our local library eight times.

Since Monday I have been there fourteen times.

Just thought you might want to know. (How's that for random?)

Last week I said I would make my Friday posts short and sweet, and start linking up to other blogs or articles I have found interesting. So here they are:

#1 - For my peanut butter/chocolate fans I give you this exciting bit o' news. I am already wondering what wonderful Christmas morsels will be made with these babies...of course, when I find them I will certainly test them, for blogging purposes of course.

#2 - What are you doing for Father's Day? I am going to make my husband grill his own supper (he thinks fire and meat is the perfect holiday), while I set the table using these. I figure that eating hamburgers and potato chips will seem so fancy with fun folded napkins.

#3 What? Are there people out there who don't brush their teeth twice a day?

#3 - For three years I have said that I will make these Tote-able Towels. This may just be the year....

#4 - In five years of blogging, I had a "first" today. I was "recognized" at the gym by another mom. "Recognized" might be stretching it a bit because when we lived here the first time, her girls attended the school where I taught music. I had never met her before, but I did remember her sweet baby (who is a big girl now!)

She let me know that she had recently read my blog (she found it through a mutual friend on Facebook). She told me that she had been encouraged by a recent post. I was so glad she told me... and I have been thinking about it all day.


Well, because in my haste to get ready to go this morning I had accidently grabbed an old pair of yoga pants that have shrunk through too many washings (to say I looked ready for a flood would be an understatement.)

I hadn't showered and my eyebrows haven't been waxed in forever. Having just finished a very sweaty Zumba class, I was headed into another weight lifting class looking, well, sweaty.

In the grand scheme of things, I was not at my best.

Or was I?

It is my greatest desire to keep things real here. To be an encourager to those who walk the same road as a mother, a wife, a friend... a woman.

Every blogger hopes that that day will come when some "stranger" tells you they read your blog. You hope that it doesn't happen when you are in grocery store screaming at your kids, or when you've just walked out of the doctors office after a pap smear.

But those things are authentic, they're real. At least they are in my life.

I'm grateful that I could experience that moment in authenticity, because at the end of the day, its not about me.

So if you are a reader, and you happen to see me screaming at my kids in the frozen food isle, come on over and say "Hi!"

You'll totally make my day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trip or Vacation?

Since the birth of my children vacations have sort of taken on a whole new meaning.

Gone are those days when I can travel with my bottle of water and a couple of magazines. Gone are those days when the “snack” thrown in my carry-on was a pack of Trident gum and a Powerbar.

Here is a short-list of what must be packed when going on a family trip: Goldfish crackers, the favored blankie, Cheerios, two thousand books, juice boxes, a couple of movies, Nilla Wafers, eight pairs of shoes, a cooler of drinks, clothes for warm weather, clothes for cool weather, extra blankets, wipes, paper toilet seat-cover things, and duct tape (cuz you just never know when you might need some duct tape).

And that’s just the stuff I pack for my husband.

Of course, after all has been packed and we pull out of the drive-way, there will be at least one opportunity to turn back around because someone has to tinkle (although she didn’t have to when you left the house); but it’s all-right, because The Planner and Packer (that would be me) has forgotten her toothbrush and she wasn’t about to admit it.

Honestly, we have enjoyed some amazing trips over the years.

A few of the most memorable have been:

When we went to Montana and stayed on a working cattle ranch.

We’ve been to Yellowstone Park, where we waited for almost an hour to see Old Faithful Geyser.

I'll never forget driving all morning to get a glimpse of consistent history. I wanted the kids to see what I had seen so many times as a kid. Of course, right as it spouted up in its faithful glory, a helicopter flew over and hovered nearby. The kids, would not taking thier eyes off that chopper. Why look at a water spout when a chunk of machinery is hovering above?

We have been to the Atlantic ocean on Christmas day.

And Washington D.C.

When we took the kids to Mt Rushmore (specifically) for a nighttime lighting ceremony, The Girl (who was three at the time) didn’t like the dark, so she cried in fear until I took her inside the museum...before the lighting began.

We took them to the Great Smoky Mountains in early spring 2006. When we got there it started to snow. The snow was falling so hard by 8pm that we hauled our pajama’d selves to the car and found a hotel down the mountain. The next morning we found the tent had collapsed with the weight of the snow.

That following summer we decided to try our luck again and went back to that same campground.

What we didn’t know is that August is yellow jacket season. We stirred up a nest while hiking. We all got stung, The Mister taking the brunt with 26 stings.

Good times. Family vacations.

Right about now you may be thinking me the most pessimistic mother in all BloggerLand, but that’s far from the truth.

In all these trips there lies one common theme: we came home tired, but we came home happy.

I had prepared and planned for a picture-perfect vacation, but what we really desire as a family are the trips.

We love the company. The conversation. The prolonged chunk of time in togetherness.

We love the quality that comes with quantity.

Sure, there were bees, snowstorms, messes, and lots of work (cause you can’t leave the title of “mom” back home), but there were also quiet moments of skipping rocks across the pond; roasting marshmallows over a fire; carrying a sleepy child to his sleeping bag at 6:30pm, cuz he’d run himself ragged.

I'll never regret those memories of reading fire-side with The Mister when our little campers went to bed, or the early morning coffee while watching the sunrise.

I'll forever be grateful for the truly good things that are born of the stings and storms in life.

It’s the hard parts of a trip that make the good parts a vacation.

As Erma Bombeck said,

“A vacation is like love - anticipated with pleasure, 
experienced with discomfort 
and remembered with nostalgia”

*this is a rewrite (with added pictures) of a guest post I did for DandelionDayz in July of 2008

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

While I Can

~I woke up this morning to a very early thunderstorm...and a ten year old Girl in my bed.

She wasn't really afraid.

She just likes any opportunity to climb in bed with me.

There will be a day when she won't do that anymore.

So I'll take it when I can.

~ The Boy ran errands with me last week.

While walking through the parking lot that twelve year old took my hand.

He wasn't worried about being seen by his peers, or feeling that weird pre-teen ambivalence.

There'll be a day when he won't do that anymore.

So I'll take it when I can.

~ The Girl asked her Daddy if she would push her on the swing.

He was tired and it was muggy outside. The mosquitos were in full force.

But he looked at me and said, "There'll come a day when she won't want me to push her.

So I'll take it when I can."

~ I spent so much time looking forward to the day when they would walk, and talk, and play, and learn, and love.

Its here.

And its not enough.

So I'll laugh, and listen, and linger.

I'll pray...pray I don't let too many opportunities to spend time with them pass me by.

Cuz there will be a day when we can't do that as easily anymore... I'll take it when I can.

The secret to happiness is not in having what you want,
but in wanting what you have.
~Barclay Goldmsith

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

UPDATED: Scathingly Brilliant Idea

For some reason, the same ebook I got for free three weeks ago (for the Kindle App) is now $7.99!

I am sorry! I should have checked (or had this idea when we could've all gotten it for free!) 

If you are still interested, let me know! I'm still gonna read it.


Or maybe a just so-so idea....

I found the ebook "Every Thought Captive" by Jerusha Clark for FREE at Amazon.

I downloaded it and have been reading it when I can.

It's very good so far, I've read the first two chapters.

Is anyone interested in reading this with me? We can read it and post about it sometime at the end of July?

Let me know!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Out of the Gutter


We have clean gutters.

Although I have to say, I thought this added a sweet and decorative element to our humble abode:

The Mister did a fine job. The hardest part was moving that crazy ladder. We almost broke two windows in the process, but all is well that ends well.
I survived standing in the bushes where wasps and snakes live.

At one point I said, "What am I supposed to do if this ladder starts to tip over?"

"Get out of the way and pray" was his answer.

I didn't just hold ladders this weekend, I also was able to pick veggies from my garden:

JalepeƱos, cucumber, chive, sweet pea, basil and a tomato (that wasn't quite ripe but had been broken off by a careless farmer during the watering process.)

I also finished my first crocheted afghan:

(Truth be told I finished this the beginning of last week, but I wanted to give it to the baby-mama before posting.)

Mondays are always filled with weekend clean up so I am thinking about making my Monday posts short and ending  with "links".

Here are the links for this Monday....

You can get your mind out of the gutter with this post: Getting Wise and Empowered - Finding Balance

You can remember that we no longer have to live in the gutter with this post: Guilty - Lift My Noise

And in anticipation of Father's Day...this one has no bearing on the "Gutter" theme but it IS fun to do with the kids:

 Formal Greeting Card - Family Fun

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Poolside Post: Fridays and Chainsaws

"What day is it?"

The first four words out of my mouth this morning.

I was amazed when The Mister said it was Friday.

This week flew by.

Currently, I am sitting poolside listening to the happy sounds of many, many children enjoying the pool. The smell of chlorine and sunscreen hangs heavily in the humid air.

There is something about the sun hitting my back (and that cool breeze that whips up every so often) that just feels weekend-y.

Speaking of weekends, we have an exciting one planned.

We are going to clean our gutters.


We actually have pine trees growing in our gutters. We think that may be an indicator that they need some attention.

The Mister purchased himself a mack-daddy ladder last month, and my job description for this weekend is to "supervise and make sure there are no on-the-job injuries."

Also known as: "holding the ladder."

I am not going to mention that I thought we should hire this job out. Nor will I mention that we live in a two story house that is very high.

I am confident that The Mister will do a fine job, it's just that... well you know... it's a two story house with pine trees growing out of it, and for some reason I tend to turn into a hovering nag when my husband does dangerous stuff.

He seems to like the danger of cutting down 80ft trees that have beetle rot, or building tree houses that require him to use a chain saw while climbing on a home made scaffolding.

Men. They are such weird and wonderful creatures. I can't understand this need for danger.

Of course, he can't understand why I need more than eight handbags, and honestly I cant explain that one either. Its just the way it is...

I'm fairly certain the gutter clean-out will not require a chain saw, which brings me comfort, but my man likes that chain saw just about as much as he likes me, so you never know....

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Long Way Home

There is nothing new under the sun.

Recently I read a book titled Stepping Heavenward: One Women's Journey to Godliness by Elizabeth Prentiss.

Originally written in the late 1800's, this fictional account of a young girl named Kate, is profoundly applicable for women today.

Its written in diary format, but is full of amazing wisdom and grace. So much so that I have marked my copy with pencil, and dog-eared the pages, to near ruin.

Truth be told, I've read this book at least four times over the course of 12 years. Each time gleaning new thoughts and understanding.

I wanted to share a little something I picked up this time around...

(In this scene Kate, now in her mid 20's and a longtime wife and mother, has brought her own mother to cheer up Miss Clifford, an affluent and ailing neighbor who has not ever known God. In an effort to help her  be less self-focused, Kate's mother is teaching Miss Clifford how to sew.)

Mother showed her how to hold her needle and arrange her pattern...
"Make the object of your life right," I heard Mother say at last, "and all these little details will take care of themselves."
"But I haven't any object," Miss Clifford objected, "unless it is to get through these tedious days somehow. Before I was taken ill, my chief object was to make myself attractive to the people I met. And the easiest way to do that was to dress becomingly and make myself look as well as I could."
"I suppose," said Mother, " that most girls could say the same. They have an instinctive desire to please, and they take what they conceive to be the shortest and easiest road to that end. It requires no talent, no education, no thought to dress tastefully; the most empty-hearted, frivolous young person can do it, provided she has the money enough. Those who can't get the money make up for it by a fearful expenditure of precious time. They plan, they cut, the fit, they rip, they trim till they can appear in society looking exactly like everybody else. They think of nothing, talk of nothing but how this shall be fashioned and that be trimmed.
"But I never cut and trimmed," said Miss Clifford.
"No, because you could afford to have it done for you. But you acknowledge that you spent a great deal of time in dressing because you thought that the easiest way of making yourself attractive. But it does not always follow that the easiest way is the best way, and sometimes the longest way round is the shortest way home."

This excerpt stings a bit for a good way.

It encourages difficult questions of myself:

In what ways do I assume to take the shortest and easiest way, even when that way is not true?

In what ways do I allow culture to define who I am?

How do I allow fear to drive me to wasteful thinking? wasteful action? wasteful spending?

What is my chief focus?

It feels good to process these things. Its also refreshing to know that although the course of 150 years says we are struggling with the same issues, we can be victorious, because the Truth stands higher, deeper, wider, ...and is available for all who will take the long way home.

So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed 
and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, 
let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, 
without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, 
or trying to be something we aren't.

Romans 12: 5-6

* For those who would like more information on True Campaign click here.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

La Vida Lunch: Rest

Its lunch time.

I'm not eating anything fancy today, just a turkey sandwich with lettuce and provolone, dry; with 5 of the biggest strawberries I have ever seen (on the side of course.)

The lunch of champions...

...Or lazy lunch-makers like me.

Its been a great week.

I've had just enough to do to help me feel accomplished at the end of each day, but not so much that I feel as if I've carried a burden.

I've been back to the gym several times (which makes me happy... its a sickness, I know.) I've made granola for my ravenous swimming-eaters, tackled the ever growing laundry issue, and todays goal is to clean my bedroom and bathroom.

This is all monotonous, boring stuff that you don't really want to read about.

However, I am exceedingly grateful for this boring, turkey sandwich, fold-the-same-pair-of-tighty-whities, kind of week.

I am grateful for this little house in the woods, the food that I eat, the clothes that I wear.

I am grateful that I am healthy and strong. That my body ("flaws" and all) is healthy and fit and capable of folding, running, playing.

I am grateful for a small moment to remember what contentedness feels like ~ its peace, its strength.

I know it's easy to be content in plenty.

There was a (short) time years ago, when I had to learn what it was like to be content in want.

Yes, it's easy to be content when your belly is full and your heart is happy.

But I am grateful all the same.

I think sometimes its not plenty or want that makes me forget that I am satisfied with my lot in life.

Its busy-ness.

Its the lack of still, quiet, moments.

Its the rushing through all things.

Its being out of breath... and forgetting how to breathe.

This morning I read my favorite of all Psalms: 116.

Over the course of my life, I have read this chapter over, and over, again.

This morning one verse stood out above all the others...and lingers in my heart as a sweet fragrance, a be grateful.

Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you. 
Psalm 116:7

Monday, June 07, 2010


Its here.

My favorite time of year.


I don't mind the heat. I don't mind the humidity (although it's murder on the hair.)

I love flip-flops and Popsicles. Watermelon, swimming pools, trips to the beach.

Fireflies, eating outside, staying up late.

Hanging out with friends, reading good books, enjoying the moment (as it will pass all too quick...)

I love it all...

I received an email last week entitled "100 Things To Do This Summer", but I dumped it in the trash bin.

Today begins the official day of summer here at the La Vida house and I plan to do three things this summer: spend (quantity) time with my friends and family, sew and craft until my hearts content, and remember my love for being in the kitchen.

I don't need 100 thing to do, I do them all year, but those three things listed above...well, I've missed those the most.

This morning I am raising my coffee mug in a toast:

To summer!


Thursday, June 03, 2010

Sugar and Yarn


Life here at the LaVida house is full, but good.

I thought I would just show you a little bit of what I have been doing in my office:

Working on an baby afghan for a friend.

Making some calorie-free cupcakes (pincushions):

And filling monogram orders (oops!, forgot to take pics of those!)

Today and tomorrow I will be working on a cake for a baby shower this weekend. It's a tea-themed shower and I'm excited to try a new cake design, and super excited to celebrate a new baby!

I am looking forward to spending a good chunk of time in my office this summer crafting and creating. There is so much to do, and so little time!

Oh and one more thing....many of you have asked about CowTales. I was introduced to CowTales last August when the Island Girls met on Whidbey Island.

If you haven't had one of these, and you are a caramel lover, go get some, they are de-lish.

Also, since I can't seem to stop typing this morning, head over to this blog that is all about candy.  I love to read his candy reviews. (Have aI ever mentioned here that I have a small sweet tooth? All right it's more like a large molar, but anyway...) After reading this post I have been trying to get my hands on these gourmet gum drops, but Whole Foods has been completely sold out.

My dentist is so sad.

All right, I have to run, but tell me: What is your favorite candy? No sweet tooth? What do you eat for a "treat"?