Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Good Grief!

Well, apparantly SOMEONE reads my blog, because I've caught some grief over my "centerpiece prototype" statement in the last post. Yes, people, I do realize that sounds a bit...OCD, let's say, but you must remember...someone else is writing the checks, so before I make a bunch of one kind, I want to make sure they like it. Simple as that.

This is not what I have in mind, but isn't it pretty??

We also have a surprise planned for the Sweetest Groom since Mine and his bride...can't spill the beans just yet, just in case we don't get it done, but if we can pull it off, it's going to be SO SWEET!! They are going to flip!

I have just about completed my ideas for the rehearsal dinner...now it's on to the sanctuary for the ceremony and planning for the reception.

Yes, I'm a little bit overwhelmed, but after having a conversation with the Mother of the Sweetest Groom today, I feel better. They are so easy to work with! They want it simple and pretty! Can do, magoo!

I figure if I can do my own wedding on a shoe string budget, in two months, while raising a child and working full time, I can surely handle this little piece of cake!! It's so fun for me! I have a small confession...go ahead and get ready to laugh, Michael. It's nothing you haven't long suspected! I have a whole file on my computer full of wedding ideas, reception ideas, and party planning ideas. I even have pictures of centerpieces, cakes, etc, saved into a word document. There! My secret is out, and I'm not ashamed! All of you who know me and are laughing...you who have daughters that will someday be getting married...we'll see who's laughing when that day comes!! Ha!! I'll be getting the last laugh, even as I'm draping tulle and making prototypes of centerpieces!! So there!


Monday, April 28, 2008

Closer and closer

The big day-Josh and Melissa's wedding day-is getting closer. This morning when I was taking Jacob to school and telling him what all is coming up on our schedule, I realized it's less than 3 weeks away! Less than 3 weeks, people!!

There's a lot to do...and so much fun getting it done! I'm working on prototypes for the rehearsal centerpieces. They are going to be pretty, simple and oh, so elegant!! I LOVE THIS STUFF!!

I had an interesting conversation with the Sweetest Groom since Mine the other day...he's so worried that someone is going to have to do something they don't want to do...I explained to him that it's an HONOR to be included in his special day. I want it to be something they look back on fondly and always remember. I am so excited and can't wait to get it all pulled together. I have lists and lists of lists, so things are progressing very nicely.

I don't want to share too many details just yet, but after the event I'll share a full rundown, complete with pictures!! It's gonna be so cool!! Just as a teaser, I'll tell you the overall theme-a moonlit Italian garden!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday blues

This day started with such promise. It's a warm day but not too warm. I woke up on time and got my first cup of coffee down before 6 am. I had big plans for today--I was going to get my laundry done early-I actually did some yesterday, so it was doable. I was going to clean my kitchen and both bathrooms, then tackle the jumbled up mess in the laundry room. I was going to get all the Halloween stuff in it's own box, all the Thanksgiving stuff in it's own box, all the Christmas, Valentines and Easter stuff in their own boxes, then each box safely tucked away until next Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day or Easter. I WAS going to do that. Now..

...I'm just hoping to get through the day without a major malfunction or meltdown. Or should I say ANOTHER malfunction or meltdown.

The first crisis of the day came at 6:30 when I realized that Lynn was not up. I hurried into the bedroom and rousted him out, then headed to the laundry room to start the first load of wash for the day. I got the boys awake, and Jacob and Benjie actually got up. After much cajoling, begging and finally threatening, I got Jonah to sit up in bed. I left him there and went to make breakfast-ok, to put the poptarts in the toaster-and get snacks and lunchmoney ready. Of course, i had no one dollar bills, so I had to scrounge up quarters for lunch money today until I could get some change. Lynn left, and Jonah finally came to breakfast. He didn't eat or anything, he just came to the kitchen and whined about Benjie. I went to the laundry room to switch around laundry and start another load, feeling pretty smug that it was 7:20 am and I was on my second load of wash. Then the phone rang-caller id said it was Lynn. I answered and discovered he had a blown out tire on his truck and was sitting in the middle of the busy street. He needed a ride to the local convenience store to get some air in his spare. At 7:20 a.m. We leave at 7:30 a.m. for school, and operate on a tighly coordinated schedule. There's no room for side trips to the air pump. However, what's a wife to do? So I started gathering up the kids to go early...when the phone rang again. It was Lynn. He THOUGHT he'd be ok with his spare the short distance to the store, so don't worry about it. Whew! That's a relief-short lived relief, as it turns out.

Jonah has no shoes and no backpack. He can't find either. I point out the shoes that he left by the front door last night and he informs me that they have dog poop on them and he can't wear them to school. I tell him to either put on the poopie shoes or find the red ones. He can't do either, evidently, because he's too busy lying on the floor and crying. I finally get the non-poopie shoe on him and head him out the door while I de-poop the other one. He is still crying and I'm giving it some serious thought myself. We go out the back door, him with one shoe on, his lunch money envelope with quarters jingling and his small bag of chips for snack in his hand, because he can't find his backpack. I plan to scrap the poopie shoe on the grass to clean it, but that was some tough poop. I had to go back into the house to get a papertowel-but I'd locked the door. I had to find my keys, go back in and find a papertowel to scrap the poop off with and get back to the van. I glanced at the clock-7:35. We are now 5 minutes off our tightly crafted schedule. I hurry to the van, wiping poop and gagging as I go.

Monday is trash day, so the big trash can is at the street, so I just lay the poop filled papertowel on the ground by the back steps and finally get in the van. I start the van and start backing down the driveway when Benjie starts yelling "Watch out, watch out". I slam on the brakes and look to see what the problem is-about a half block down the street is the trash truck. By the time I realize that I'm not about to be slammed by a trash truck, the truck is parked across our driveway, blocking the driveway. So I sit and wait for what seems like forever for the truck to move, then manage to back out in front of another car. Narrowly avoiding a collision, I rush down the street, stop and pick up the nieces and head to school. We are now 7 minutes behind schedule.

We get to the elementary school and let the little ones out without mishap. Then, we get behind a school bus. A very cautious school bus. We sit at a stop sign for-no lie-3 minutes. For those keeping tabs, that makes us 10 minutes off schedule.

Finally on our way, I'm starting to relax a little bit. I call Lynn just to check on his little fiasco and see how things are going. He says he almost has his tire changed, and thinks everything will indeed be ok to drive to the air pump. Another piece of good news. I also call my mom to tell her that I may be a little late for our walking date. She says that's ok, she'll be ready when I am. She asks if she can help with anything, and I just ask her to pray for me. We are OFF SCHEDULE!!

We finally get to school, but not without almost rear ending a jeep stopped in traffic. I knew it was bad when my niece, Kourtney, says "Aunt Cathy, I'm going to need you to go home and take a bubble bath and relax a little bit after this". Evidently she doesn't read my blog.

Anyway, I got the big kids delivered and called Lynn-all was good on his part, he made it to the store, got his air and was on his way to work. I called Mom to tell her that I was ready to walk after all....no answer. Ok, she's probably in the bathroom. I waited a couple of minutes, then tried again. No answer. The way the day had gone already, I pictured her lying on the kitchen floor with a broken hip, unable to answer the phone. So, I bypassed my house and went straight to hers, fingers poised on the cell phone to call 911. She was sitting on her front steps, gardening gloves and coffee cup at hand, pulling weeds from the flowerbeds. I said something about her not answering her phone and me being worried, when she held up her cell phone and said "I thought you'd call me on this. That's why I have it you know". Sigh. Yes, I know.

So we walked without incident and as we walked up to my house, I discovered the back door was standing wide open. I just sighed, closed it and walked on. Of course, I hadn't locked it on my way out and it hadn't closed tightly, so the wind blew it open. Unfortuantely, no one came in and took anything-it's still all there, waiting to be placed in it's own box and properly stored.

The fiasco morning continued-I made myself some toast and as I was getting the brand new tub of margarine out of the fridge I dropped it and it landed upside down on the floor. Without the lid. Brand new tub-the big one. Upside down, people.

So, I scooped up what didn't hit the floor, wiped up what did, and plopped myself on the couch and watched two episodes of "Who's Wedding is it Anyway?" To heck with the laundry and the bathrooms and the holiday boxes.

I should have been a cowboy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


The weather here is so nice today. I am stuck at home because the brakes on the van are bad and Lynn has to fix them this afternoon. So, even though I am "stuck at home" I've decided there are definately worse things! I enjoy being at home, puttering around and doing little things here and there to brighten it up a bit.

On the message forum of Magical Holiday Home thereb is a discussion about what makes your house home. In other words, what do you do to make your house feel like home to those who live there. It first glance, this seems like an easy enough question to answer, but when I read some of the things others wrote, it dawned on me that this question is a bit more complex than it seems.

What does make a house a home? Naturally, each family member will likely have a different answer. It's interesting to see what they think. I'm going to poll the boys and see what they say...I'm betting it has nothing to do with the furniture in the living room or the artwork on the walls.

To me, what makes a house a home is, of course, the people who live there, first and foremost. But looking beyond that...it's the warm feeling you get when you get there after a long day...working, at school or just out...coming home should always feel good. It's the good smells coming from the kitchen...food cooking, cookies baking, or just apple peels and cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove. I love that smell...I always have a small pot of water with apples and cinnamon or oranges and cloves bubbling...even in the summer. I believe if you questioned my kids about what home smells like, they'd say apples and cinnamon. I hope they would anyway...beats the other smells around here.

I like my kitchen best of all, I think. It's a sunny yellow color, with five windows, so sunny is the operative word. In the summertime I have to keep the wooden blinds closed because three of the windows face east and it get so unbearably hot in here if I don't. But this time of year, in the spring time...they are open. In fact my windows are also open and the breeze is welcome today.

I wonder what makes your house a home? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Finally Friday-and some sunshine!

We've actually had sunshine today! You could just see a difference in everyone. I noticed smiles on faces, cheerful attitudes and just happier people in general. I guess it takes a little rain to make you appreciate the sun!

Not much going on at the hamlet this weekend. We are laying low and drying out...the yard is like a moat all around the house. I have never seen so much mud in my life as is in my front yard...and on my kids' clothes.

I haven't done our taxes yet-I still have 4 whole days, no sense getting in a rush. I guess that's what I'll work on tomorrow and Sunday. Sigh.

I am planning to start a Garden Art Journal. Ginger has a class going on over at Magical Creative Spirit and it sounds like a lot of fun. I don't scrapbook, but I do think this will be a good way to journal my yard work and what we finally end up doing on the back porch. Stay tuned...I'll be posting pictures of my favorite pages as I get them done.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

And the rain just keeps coming...

...we are getting pounded again today. I can't believe how much rain we've gotten over the past few weeks. The forecast for tomorrow is more storms and tornado producing type ones at that.

We rode out the last round of tornadoes at Mom's house. We live in a manufactured home (please DO NOT call my house a trailer or even a mobile home...I can call us "Trailer Trash" but you MAY NOT) so we tuck tails and run when the wind starts whipping around at 60+ mph. We headed up the hill and settled into her hallway with pillows and blankets and scared little boys. I spent my time running back and forth between the boys and Mom and Lynn standing on the front porch keeping their eyes peeled. When the tornado went over the house, we actually heard it rather than saw it because it was "rain wrapped" as the weather people kept telling us. Of course, the satellite was out, so we were watching grainy old regular TV during all this...I did jump on the Internet and get some live streaming weather...but it was up and down as well.

I kept thinking "If I only knew what was coming, I'd feel better". In hindsight, I realize how ridiculous that is...of course we'd feel better if we knew what was coming, but how would we learn to deal with emergencies and unnatural natural disasters? We actually would spend more time fretting over what we KNEW was coming rather than dealing with the situation as it happened. I guess there's a lesson to be learned, even in tornadoes and no satellite.

The areas of our county and city that were hit were hit pretty hard...my heart goes out to those folks, and my prayers are with them. I can't imagine losing everything you own in a matter of seconds, but I do know that whatever happens, God is in control and will get us through it. That security even makes tornadoes and no satellite a little easier to bear!

Here's hoping we see another one of these soon!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday afternoon

I took Benjie and Jonah to Conner's birthday party this afternoon at the park-they had a blast.

Sunday afternoons are not as relaxing around here as they used to be since Jonah discovered baseball. The kid loves any sport, and baseball is his current craze. He wants us to play pitch with him all the time. Now don't misunderstand-we know that this is very important in his ball-playing development. It's just that that is ALL the kid wants to do. Sigh.

I've been working on some holiday plans this weekend. Ginger over at MHH has planted the idea of creating different blogs for each of our "big" holidays over at MHH. We have a Great Pumpkin Day for Halloween planning, a Turkey Day for Thanksgiving planning and Rudolph Day for Christmas planning. We celebrate GPD on either the 13th or the 31st-whichever is most convenient. Turkey Day is the 4th Thursday of each month and Rudy Day is, of course, on the 25th! The purpose of these days are not to show our Obsessive Compulsive sides, it's to make the holidays easier. Think about it...if you break down the chore of planning, crafting and baking into 12 (or even 6 or 8) sessions instead of one big, long, tiring one...isn't that a great idea? We are all so very busy, and the holidays often have a way of sneaking up on us, even though we KNOW they are coming...this way, we're ready.

So, in response to Ginger's challenge to each of us (she's such a smartie!!) several of us have started separate blogs for each planning day. I won't be updating these pages every day...probably once at the first of the month, then once again after the planning date...So, on say the 5th of each month, I'll hop over to Pumpkins and Reindeer and make a list of what I hope to accomplish on Rudy Day. Then around the 26th or so, I'll check back in with my accomplishments or lack thereof. Similarly, on the 10th, I'll jump on Haunted Hamlet and do the same for Halloween chores and plans, then check back in on the 13th or the 31st (depending on real life) and let you know what I've done. Then, to round out the trio of planning dates, I'll check in at Scarecrow Soup on the 2nd Thursday of each month and then again the week after the 4th Thursday for my Thanksgiving to dos and ta das!

Yes, I do realize that I probably need professional help for this obsession, but man, is it fun! I love my holiday pages, and hope you'll check them out now and then! If you forget, check the links on the sidebar...the ones under "It's an Illness"!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!!

Now, I'm the first to admit that I love a good rainy day, and a rainy day that I can stay in with a good book, warm fire, hot coffee and sweet milk chocolate is even better! HOWEVER-enough is enough! I'm not kidding-we are floating around here! It has rained so much that even the kids are tired of mud. That's a lot of rain, people!

We are planning a spring retreat for the youth group at chuch, including camping out and a float trip. Someone said that they hoped the water wouldn't be too low, and I had to laugh. I said I thought we'd be good on that account!

Now, I have to admit the older I get the less appealing camping out and floating the river is. I really would rather spend the weekend in a cushy resort with room service, but ka sara, sara! I'm sure we'll have a great time-they really are a great bunch of kids, even if a certain portion of them are...ahem...high spirited!

Lynn, on the other hand, can't wait. He's a river rat from way back, so he feels like he's going to be teaching our three boys part of what he thinks they need to know. Whatever.

Now, you need to understand, I'm also a water baby, but I like my water clear and deep-like in a colorinated pool or at the least a lake. Rivers ain't my thing. I don't mind camping, and actually it's not really camping-we'll be in cabins with facilities-including the flush kind. Most important. I really don't even mind camping in a tent as long as: a. it's not too hot; b. it's not too cold; c. there is electricity close enough to run an extension cord so that I can have coffee; d. there is a bathroom I can flush close by and e. there are showers. Now is that really too much to ask? I think not!!

I'll certainly keep you posted as this adventure unfolds. I'm trying to think of some fun things to do while we're there...I sure Jonathan, our youth pastor, will be full of great ideas! He's a prize, and so is his precious wife, Mandi.

Gotta go float some boats in the puddles in my yard! OK, not really, but I could if I wanted to...there's plenty of water!