Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flowers for My Friend Leontien

So, Nancy over at A Rural Journal organized a wonderful surprise for our lovely friend Leontien today.

Of course, I was supposed to post a flower for Leontien at 8 a.m. this morning...I'm just 12 hours late or so. But my Love for Leontien is as strong as ever.

Hugs, my dear friend, lots and lots of hugs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Listen To Your Mother

"Me Me, your car kind of looks like that show Hoarders."

That's a line that you never want to hear from your 6-year-old nephew.

In my defense, my car isn't THAT bad. Just look past the pile of reusable grocery bags and six half-empty plastic water bottles (and, yes, I see the irony in the previous words) and push the three jackets out of your way and take a seat!

However, that one line did more than anything else to convince me to start being more diligent about keeping up with the housework.

I just hate cleaning and clutter doesn't bother me that much - or even really at all.

I've tried different systems, downloaded organizing programs and lectured myself but the motivation rarely sticks past a weekend of heavy cleaning.

So, as much as I hate to do this...I'm going to listen to my mother (please don't tell her) and start with the small tasks. This is what she tells me at least once a month when I moan about how messy my house is.

I have always known my mom is one smart lady and my opinion was validated when I saw the quote below.

My mom and Henry Ford think alike. Go figure.

Wish me luck in this journey. I took the first step and moved my boxes of Christmas decorations from the dining room to the garage (next step is to con a brother-in-law into carrying them up the ladder to the attic).

Small jobs, people. Small jobs!

I probably won't blog about my progress - no one wants to hear about the bookcase I dusted or the stack of magazines I threw away - but I'll let you know if I come up with any great organizational tips. Don't hold your breath though!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Living Up to My Name

I have a scratch on the top of my nose.

It's noticeable and kind of embarrassing.

Why am I embarrassed?

Because I got it while bending down to pick up a large poster board that I had fallen under my desk. When I picked it up, I hit my nose with it.

How dumb it that? It reminded me of this Pinterest find, which I know I have shared on here before.

I have been asked many times if my middle name is Grace.

No, it isn't. It's Marie, thanks for asking.

However, I do relate very much to a book I read as a middle schooler. I wonder why...

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Is there a book or book title that you really relate to or describes you perfectly?

If so, please share.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Two Little Butterflies

For almost 10 years, my family and I had been blessed with a new generation of boys in our family.

I am one of four girls so when my older sister and her husband produced a trio of boys (not all at once) we were thrilled. My younger sister added a fourth boy to the mix almost four years ago. 

We reveled in the madness...and the wrestling.

It was all tractors, trains and superheroes. 

Then these two came along...

And we finally had a chance to buy baby dolls, dresses and lots and lots of pink!

On Easter, my baby sister got them both a set of butterfly wings.

It was adorable.

This one just wanted to fly outside to get some Easter eggs.

This one pretended to fly and "fell down" to make us laugh.

So, I believe we now have the best of both worlds - the battles to save the world from evil AND the tea parties with dolls and teddy bears.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Many Faces of JJ

I was looking through my photos from Easter and found this set. 

They totally capture the essence of JJ, my niece.

 "What are you looking at?"

"OMG, Aunt MeeMee." 

"Is that candy over there? Give me one!"

Did you notice the portable high chair JJ is sitting in? It's the perfect size when put on the floor - they can back their little bottoms right into it!

I'm not a mom but I think this is the best invention EVER.

Use it at home and don't waste space on a high chair.

Take it to grandma's house.

Use it to corral crazy toddlers ANYWHERE (even the cabin).

NOTE:  The link in this post is an affiliate link. Just lettin' you know!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt Fun

We had a wonderful Easter this year.

After an early church service, we headed to the farm for Easter brunch. We filled the house with family. Just counting my immediate family, we are at 15 people. Add in a couple of aunts, uncles and cousins and we were in the 20s.

It was a GREAT day. We just don't spend as much time with our extended family now that my grandparents are gone and I miss it.

But in the end, it's all about these girls and boys...

(Note: Baby Sister wants me to point our that her little girl 
DID wear a jacket for the hunt...she was inside when we 
decided on an impromptu photo shoot.)

I made my sister snap a shot of my oldest nephew with me.
I can't believe how grown-up he looks these days.

It was a beautiful - yet windy - day for an Easter Egg Hunt. I'm sure not a lot of folks have as big of a yard as we do for a hunt. Eggs were spread far and wide but I think they were all found.

The cell phone was NOT hidden in the yard.

This is my favorite photo of the day...I'm not sure why.

These are only a FEW of the many photos I snapped yesterday. I'll bore you with bring you more as the week goes on.

 The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 
Psalms 118:22

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Traditions Through Instagram

Easter is just around the corner and I was lucky to have Good Friday off of work. 

I probably should have used the day to do laundry, put away my laundry, clean my floors or even put away the boxes of Christmas decorations that are sitting in my dining room!

Instead I spent the day with my family doing some of my favorite Easter traditions. 

While at Blissdom, Hershey's asked us to share our favorite Easter traditions, tips or tricks on our blogs as part of their virtual Bunny Trail. I will admit right now that there might be some not-so-virtual Hershey's Easter candy in the house right now...Yummy!

There have been some great posts shared on Hershey's Bunny Trail and a couple of my pals from over at The Real Farmwives of America and Friends are even featured in a video on Hershey's website - www.CelebrateWithHersheys.comBe sure to check it all out.

As I said before, it was a day full of activity. It started at my parents' house with my mom and me in the kitchen preparing for my FAVORITE Easter tradition. More on that later...

Another Easter tradition that I enjoy but rarely do now that I am an adult is coloring Easter eggs!

My two oldest nephews had early dismissal from school on Friday so I picked them up and treated them to ice cream before heading to the farm to color eggs.

On our way home, we stopped by the local greenhouse and the boys picked out some Easter flowers from their mom (my older sister) and grandma (my mom).

It was great to see how seriously they took their task and I think they chose beautifully.

My two younger sisters met us at the farm with the rest of the nephews and nieces and we got down to business. The first half dozen eggs were carefully lowered into coffee mugs filled with colored water. We got a bit more creative with the second half dozen.

I loved to dip the eggs in multiple coffee cups as a kid and I introduced my nephews to this tradition and we got some very cool colored eggs out of it!

After we dyed the eggs, I sent the nephews outside with a couple baskets of plastic eggs to "practice" hunting them in preparation for a Saturday Easter Egg Hunt at church and Sunday's main event.

While they were outside, we got down to business on my FAVORITE Easter tradition - my Grandma's Butterscotch Rolls. Every Holy Saturday during my childhood (and into my adult life), my grandma would make these gooey, cinnamon rolls and we would eat them warm out of the oven the evening before Easter Sunday.

My mom has taken up the tradition in recent years and I made them for the first time last year. So we decided to make them together this year, and they were WONDERFUL.

Now, I know what you are thinking...if you always have them on Holy Saturday, why were you eating them on Good Friday? Good question!

The family is heading to an Indiana Pacers game tonight because two of our favorite former Purdue University basketball players are on the opposing team and we hope to see them play in the NBA. So we decided to bump up the tradition a day instead of not doing it this year.

I think Grandma would approve!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bragging About Drugstore Score

I just couldn't resist this quick post.

I absolutely scored at CVS this week. I haven't been bargain hunting at the local drugstores lately because I just didn't need anything, so I just stayed away.

However, the Easter candy and hair product deals lured me into CVS a couple of days ago.

I spent $42 and got $25 back in ExtraCare Bucks. That is $17 spent on 6 bags of Easter candy, two Revlon cosmetics, 4 Fructis hair products and a bottle of contact lens solution.

If you are heading to CVS before Sunday, be sure to scan your CVS card at the coupon machine inside the store. I got a $4 off $20 purchase and $2 off of $10 Easter purchase that I used on the above purchase.

What other deals are out there right now? Please share!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ladies in My Life

This week a few things happened to remind me how lucky I am to have some extraordinary women in my life...women whom I have known for just a year or so and women whom I have known my entire life and women whom I have know in between. (That's a terrible sentence and I know at least one person who will be very disappointed in me - sorry Mom.)

When I started thinking about how to write this post, I headed to my Pinterest boards to find some inspiration.

Here are a few that sum up my feelings about my gal pals...

My family is actually extraordinarily ordinary. I am a product of two parents (who are still together after 40-plus years) who raised four daughters who actually like each other.

Crazy, huh?

I'd like to think the above saying refers to me, but I'm not sure. Luckily, I am blessed with three sisters who are some of my best friends. I always know even if I say or do something that makes one of them mad, they won't stay that way long. Why?


Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Or it may be because they need a sitter for Saturday night. Either way works for me.

My mom is great. She still feeds me, takes me shopping (well, I usually drive) and listens to me ramble on about my life, even when I know she just does it because I'm her daughter. My home will ALWAYS be where she and my dad are at...even when they are living in my attic when they get old (just kidding).

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Judging from the number of "friends" pins I have on Pinterest, I either have a lot of friends or wish I had a lot of friends!

I recently got an invitation to the baby shower of one of my BFFs from elementary, junior high and high school.

It made me smile.

It made me remember all of the stupid things we did as kids.

It made me wish that she still lived down the road so she could pick me up on her way to school.

It made me realize that even though we haven't talked in AGES, it will be like no time has past when we see each other again.

It made me realize that I have lots of friends like that and reminded me that maybe I should pick up the phone and catch up with them.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Speaking of phone calls, one of my BFFs from college called today. I immediately acted like we were in junior high and asked her if she was mad at me because I hadn't heard from her in "like a week."

She laughed at me and all was right with the world. I know that we'll probably be having similar conversations when we are in our 80s. (Well, she'll be 80 and I'll be her younger, hotter friend at 76.)

When I read this one, I immediately thought of one very special friend who befriended a lonely Midwest girl trying to find her place on the East Coast. I know she has my back FOREVER!

This one hit home as I stood in line tonight with three women waiting to hug another lady as she faces life without her dad...all of whom I got to know through this wonderful thing called Social Media. She saw us, smiled at us, and hugged us.

I realized that while I'm blessed with many friends I am equally blessed to have true friends both old and new.

Do you have a favorite saying that sums up the friends in your life?  If you do, please share.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunshine Equals Spring Chores

While fall is my overall favorite season (love cool weather and harvest time), spring is a very close second. I love the transition from winter coats and sweaters (though wish I could wear tights all year round) to jackets and sandals (or at least shoes without socks).

However, I feel like we went from winter directly to late spring/early summer this year. Temperatures in Indiana have been warm, really warm in the month of March and they don't seem to be waning as we enter April.

The warm weather has meant several things around here...spring flowers and trees are blooming, lawn mowers are mowing and farmers are farming!

It's time for farmers to put away their insulated coveralls and heavy Carhartt jackets and luckily for my dad, Carhartt sent him this great short-sleeved work shirt just in time for the warm spring temperatures. 

I have to admit that he has worn this short-sleeved, button-down classic plaid shirt as much OFF the farm as he has ON the farm. He says it is super (maybe my word, not his) comfortable and fits great. Note that it has a pocket, which I have been told by more than one farmer is a MUST...needed to hold pens, glasses, notebooks, checkbooks, etc.

On this particular warm (note the nephew in shorts and sandals above) spring day, dad was catching up on a few spring chores before he gets busy in the fields in a few weeks.

 Climbing into the trusty John Deere.

 I think this look was saying "I'm getting tired of my favorite daughter following me around."
(I may have added the "favorite" to that thought.)

 The backhoe has been busy cleaning up the farmstead this spring.

 Here he was just showing off...spinning the seat around. 

 Dad has several grain bins on the farm, which means loading the semi to sell some corn.
(Or maybe it was soybeans that day...I can't remember.)

 "Hey Papaw, what are you doing? Can I help?"

 "Papaw, are you done yet? Can I ride in the semi? Can we take a Gator ride?"
(Can you tell the nephew asks questions...a lot?)

Finished...time to go check the bins.

 Farmers can't be afraid of heights.

All done. Watch your step!

As you can see, my dad is one busy, busy guy and his new Carhartt shirt was the right gear to wear on a very warm, yet typical spring day at the farm.

Head over to the Real Farmwives of America to check out some of the other great new gear from Carhartt's new spring line AND for a giveaway sponsored by Carthartt!

Disclaimer: Carhartt provided me - my dad - the free product, but the opinions and photos in this post are my own (well, and my dad's), of course.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Here I Am, Back At It

Three weeks.

It's been almost THREE weeks since I've updated this blog. That seems like an eternity.

I've wanted to blog.

I've had funny moments, great inspirations and even a sweet treat to feature.

Unfortunately, a spring cold (or allergies or an lien being) got a hold of me in mid-March and JUST left. Seriously, this morning was the first in about 17 days that I didn't either sleep 15 hours a day, wake up congested, OR have a 10-minute coughing fit.

You are very welcome for that bit of over-sharing. I promise that's more talk of bodily functions!

I feel like my family, friends and co-workers have wanted to say this to me...

But now that I feel almost 100 percent (still packing the tissues and cough drops in my purse), I've decided that I am going to challenge myself to either post on here every day in April OR at least comment on other blogs daily.

I do have some stuff to catch you up on...even though I felt crummy, I was really busy. There was a trip to Columbus, Ohio with my oldest sister and nephews, spring evenings at the cabin with the family, some fun work events and an exciting giveaway to tell you about tomorrow.

What's the longest time you've gone between posts? Can you beat 19 days?

See y'all tomorrow!


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