Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolution Time

I know, I know. Everyone hates resolutions. They hate the "setup for failure".

Call me cheesy. Call me hopelessly optimistic. But I'm all for them.

I love the New Year the way I love mornings. Not that I actually like dragging myself out of bed before the sun is up. It's just that I love the whole blank slate thing. The promise of a day full of promise.

It's like that with New Years. I can think of areas of my life where I have fallen short of my goals, of things I want to improve. And then I can dream of making it all perfect. If I can dream up a resolution, I can hope for all things in my life going just the way I want them.

Things like:

1) Getting in shape.
2) Getting all aspects of my life ORGANIZED.
3) Finding an agent for my book.
4) Making time for creativity.

Hey. A girl can dream, can't she?

What are your resolutions?

I resolve to make it into the Top 10 on Top Mommy Blogs. I've been as close as 14 (or was it 12???). Help make my dream come true by clicking this brown button every day. Thanks!
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Farm Friday - We Bought a Zoo

Took the girls to see the movie "We Bought a Zoo" yesterday afternoon.

Just the title alone makes me giggle, as it so aptly describes our life.

With 3 horses, 5 goats, 2 rabbits, 14 chickens, 3 hermit crabs, 2 hamsters, 2 toads, a cockatiel, 6 dogs and 4 cats, I can safely say,

We ARE a zoo!

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Love. Pitter Pat.

Couple months ago I reread for the nth time my all-time favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird. When I closed the cover, I didn't want it to be done, so I thought I'd pop in the movie, only to find we didn't have it. I knew we used to, once upon a time. Perhaps that was VHS? Anyway, I asked for the DVD for Christmas. I asked and I received. And we watched it last night.

Is there any man that is more of a man than Gregory Peck as Atticus in this movie? I don't think so.

Dear sweet Lord above, I love this man.

And I love so many of the things he says, like:

"They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

I love the father he is to his children, I love his moral compass, I love the southern gentleman thing he had goin' on. Makes me mad he never made a move on Miss Maudie, though. What was up with that, anyway?

May God strike me dead if I'm lying to you, but I swear even George Clooney himself couldn't come near to touching Gregory in this role.

Why did I never name any of my sons Atticus? Three golden opportunities all wasted.

What's up with that, anyway?

Pitter pat. Click, clack.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I know, I know, I haven't been very wordless lately on my Wordless Wednesdays, but bear with me.

A few days ago I was reading the blog I'm a Lazy Mom, and Stacey showed this amazing idea of using Christmas placemats to sew together into throw pillows. She got the idea from Traci Romine at Decorating the Lazy Mom Way.

Wherever it came from, I love it.

So I went on my annual day-after Christmas sale for next year's wrapping paper, and I saw this set of two Christmas kitchen hand towels on sale for $2.50. Brought 'em home, sewed 'em up with some old pillow forms I had lying around, and voila, two of the cutest little Christmassy throw pillows you've ever seen in no time flat.

[That plain red one is one of our regular pillows]

Thank you Stacey. Thank you Traci. I love my new pillows!

No sewing, just a click, please???? Thanks ever so much....
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Tip For Tuesday

Putting away your Christmas ribbons? Try this idea I found on... you guessed it.... Pinterest:

Before you run off to start this project, click this button first, will ya'? Thanks....

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Mirth Monday - Some Winter Break Advice

It's the Monday after Christmas. All you Moms out there are probably wondering about now how you're going to make it till the first day of school.

So I've brought you a little advice from a few retro friends of mine. Sage women, one and all.

Take notes.....




I couldn't find one that said "Vote for Anne by clicking on this darling brown button!", but I'm sure there's gotta be one out there. I just didn't have time to search for it because I had to go rescue the cat from the chandelier.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

So Sad.

We have entered a new era as a family: this was the first year I went to bed on Christmas Eve without putting out a plate of cookies for Santa. Not once did we sign on to check NORAD to track Santa.

All my believers (well, the girls, anyway) have turned into Beliebers.

Didn't stop me completely, though. I still filled stockings. I still wrote "from Santa" on their main gifts. Old habits die hard.

And any sadness dissipated this morning. Children drunk with anticipation waking us up before daybreak, jubilant children rushing to the couch to see what had come in the night. Looks of disbelief mingled with joy as stockings were dissected, wrappings torn asunder. Then the quiet peace that settled over the house as new clothes and playthings were examined and tried, shared and played.

I think I'll follow Cindy Lou's lead and go take a nap.....

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas Eve

Yes, it's Christmas Eve. The day before Christmas.

We're in pretty good shape: shopping done, homemade gifts done, almost all of it wrapped. A certain family member of the husband persuasion has not yet begun wrapping, but he always has willing and able helpers of the daughter persuasion to get him out of a pinch.

I'll deliver a couple cookie trays to neighbors today, and tonight we'll drive out to the Herr's Factory to see the lights and we'll set up our manger, but mostly it'll be a nice, quiet, Christmas Evey sort of day.

Did I hear someone mention church? Ashamed to admit it, but we don't go to church at Christmas anymore. For years we did the Christmas Eve candlelit mass, but I've finally thrown in the religious towel. It seemed we either had to get there a half hour early in order to get a seat, or get there on time to a SRO crowd of antsy Catholics. End result was the same: everyone was miserable because either we were there what seemed like two hours, or we were standing. I know, I know, small price to pay considering the sacrifice He made for us. What can I say, I'm a wimp when it comes to whiny children who are high on Santa. I lack that kind of fortitude.

So now my nod to the spiritual aspect of Christmas is the living nativity. Round my parts, these abound. In fact there are so many to choose from that I can take my pick and select the one most convenient to me.

Last few years this has meant the operation over at Beulah Baptist. First of all, Beulah? C'mon. That's my car's name, so that's one reason to love them right there. Second, they're one of the closest. Less than ten minute's drive.

But the biggie? It's a drive-thru nativity. Yes, that's right, the glory of the birth of our Savior in drive-thru convenience.

It's nice. As you drive around the parking lot, you see the shepherds watching their flocks, a market place in Bethlehem, the tax collector's office, and of course, the stable with Mary, Joseph and the baby. It's lovely.

The only way they could improve things would be to maybe offer some food as part of their drive-thru service. Admire the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, grab your Diet Coke and be on your way.

"Would you like some fries with that?"

Wishing you all a very wonderful and peaceful and holy Christmas Eve. Wishing also to get myself back up out of this abyss on TMB. 23!!! Ick. Please click to vote? Consider it your Christmas gift to me. No shopping, no wrapping required. Thanks!
And merry Christmas.....
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[Theresa, sorry for the rehash!]

Friday, December 23, 2011

Farm Friday - A Day in the Life

Yes, yes, last week I was awarded that Versatile Blogger's Award. I'm sure you must be thinking my life is all glamour and fame for me right about now.

Since glamour and fame stand on pretty subjective grounds, I'll let you be the judge. Here's my schedule from that day:

Slept in till 5:45 b/c I decided to go on strike and let the little so-n-so's fend for themselves for breakfast for a change.

By 7:30 I had gotten four kids up and driven in/dropped off to school, though two were on death's door to hear them tell it.

By 8:30 I had gathered eggs, let our farm dog out for the morning, and cleaned and filled the waterers.

By 9:30 I was showered and dressed and had my youngest starting his Friday "home"work while whisking one of the older kids off to school (in late b/c she got home late from the play she was in the night before).

By 10:00 I was back home, in the barn mucking out and rearranging fence panels to accomodate a hay delivery. Managed to drop a 75 ton wooden gate onto my ankle. In retrospect it was maybe more like 50 - 75 lbs.

By 11:30 I had finished supervising the hay delivery, made small talk about the holiday season with my farmer, paid the man, and hauled a new 50 lb trace mineral salt block into the barn. Managed to not drop it on my ankle.

By noon I was seated uncomfortably on a metal folding chair in a stinky gymnasium crowded with 2 million (give or take) 11 - 14 year olds. I had a sick child (one of my own) on my lap. Turns out she really was on death's door after all. My bad.

By 1:45 my eyes got all misted up when my 14 year old dtr missed a word in the spelling bee. The word was miscible. Miscible, really? Can you blame her? Anyway, this was her last chance as she's an 8th grader now and that's the upper limit. She's come in 2nd the last few years and she really wanted to win this one and go on to the county competition. Alas.

By the time I got home from the bee, my ankle was in agony. That gate I dropped on it? It did some damamge. It was all swollen and I couldn't walk without crutches. But my sister the nurse got me all set up with wrapping and elevating and medicating and icing. Then she and her husband went to Rosie's play while I watched her little boy. I had help, though. Two teens who adore him followed him around, played with him, fed him, even changed his diaper. I was set.

So yeah, that fame and fortune had me settin' on my couch with my legs propped up, icy Diet Coke in hand. Not too shabby, huh? My 15 minutes of fame.

Clicking to vote for me won't take you 15 minutes. Won't even take you 15 seconds.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A little pre-Christmas family visit =

Girl-time hair-playing

Adorable nephew gift happiness

Throw a little happiness my way? Just click this brown button, please. Thank you!
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Specials: On bullying and bizarre... pornography?

Coach Comet: "From now on, we won't let Rudolph join in any reindeer games, right? Right!"

Santa: Island of Misfit Toys. Need I say more?

Nestor the Long-Eared Donkey: Pretty much same exact story as Rudolph. The misfit gets teased. Not accepted by anyone. But in the end, the very thing he is teased about is what saves the day. I've seen the movie quite a number of times over the years.

However, a few nights ago, I watched it late at night. With my sisters. After some wine. Bad combination.

Because what I saw, for the first time ever, was that one of the claymation characters had a penis for a nose.

I am not kidding you. One of my sisters mentioned the resemblance, and then that was all we could see from that point on. We paused, we rewound, we freeze-framed, we peed ourselves with the giggles. If you don't believe me, looka-here:



Wait for it.....


I was telling the truth, now, wasn't I?

Please forgive me that bit of pornography. Forgive me and click this here brown button.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Mirth Monday

"Ever wonder what people got Jesus for Christmas? It's like, "Oh great, socks. You know I'm dying for your sins right? Yeah, but thanks for the socks! They'll go great with my sandals. What am I, German?" -- Jim Gaffigan

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Social - Annabelle

Next one down on my siggy line...

Wife of Fred for 23 years
Mom of:
Patrick (16)
James (16)
Rosie (14)
Julie (13)
Daniel (12)
My children around the world:
Milly in Taiwan
Eun Hae in South Korea
Felice in Hong Kong
Nadya in Germany
Obrin in New York
And our critters Blue, Sunny, Cindy-Lou, Annabelle, Fiona, and Sophie; Mamfy, Mali and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.

I'd like to ask God why He allows
hunger, poverty, and injustice
in the world,but I'd be afraid
He'd ask me the same thing ...

is Annabelle.

Annabelle is our farm dog.

That means she is on patrol to watch over the critters on our farm. Namely, the goats.

See, at our old place, before we ever had a livestock guardian dog, we had sheep. And one day some neighborhood dogs got into our pasture and tore the place up. They killed one ewe, leaving her week old lamb without its mother. It was around that time I started to learn about LGDs.

Turns out they've been around for thousands of years. They are used to keep livestock safe from predators such as dogs, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and anything that would think of taking a goat, sheep, chicken, calf, etc. LGDs consist of several different breeds, but most times when you see a large, white, hairy dog? It's a livestock guardian. Great Pyrenese, Akbash, Anatolian, Kuvasz, Komondor, Maremma. There are others, too, but that's all that comes to mind at the moment.

Guardians are NOT to be confused with herders like Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Shelties, Collies, German Shepherds. Those dogs are bred to move the livestock from one spot to the next at the direction of the farmer/shepherd. LGDs patrol and protect. If you have more than one LGD in charge of a flock/herd, and there's trouble afoot, usually 1/2 of the dogs will run out in pursuit of the threat, and half will stay glued to the flock. There is no training required for them to learn this, it's all instinct. If you've only got one LGD, and that's all we've usually had at a time, it will run about 1/2 the distance between the flock and the threat. See, sometimes critters that work in packs, like wolves or coyotes, will create a distraction to draw the guardian away, and the others will circle in to the flock. Easy pickins. That's why the LGDs have learned to never completely leave them. So cool.

When our old LGD, Bear, was getting up in years, we decided we would need a new one. Couldn't find any in our neck of the woods, but we learned of some puppies in North Carolina. So I loaded the kids up in the car and we drove the 7 hours down to NC to a large goat farm. How do you choose which of these adorable balls of fluff to take home? Near impossible. But we chose our little cutie with the badger-colored ears and the heart-shaped nose.

Before too long she figured out what she needed to do. Bear taught her everything he knew before he passed. I never got too confident of how well she would be able to handle things if they got dicey, b/c she just seemed like such an ol' softie. But then one night we heard a huge ruckus, and ran outside to find Annabelle in a vicious fence-fight with a neighborhood dog. The goats had all run to the barn when the trouble began while Anna kept this very large dog at bay. We closed the goats up and put Annabelle in with them until we were finally able to get the owner to come collect their beast. Annabelle saved the day that night.

Now she has chickens to add to her collection of critters to keep safe, and she's as gentle as can be with her new charges.

With her human flock, too, I know I would never have to worry. If the kids are out in the fields, she follows them around, quite literally, like a puppy dog. She is gentle and sweet and affectionate and always smiling.

Since her tail is always wagging, I sometimes call her Swisher. Sometimes Belly Button (from Anna BELLE).

Whatever we call her, she's our good dog.

Thanks for your vote....
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Look Ma, I Got An Award!

Couple days ago, Sarah from My Life in Contradictions tagged me with The Versatile Blogger Award (thank you, thank you).

Rules: if you accept the award, you write a post listing 7 things about yourself, and then pass the award along to fifteen other bloggers.

So, here are 7 things about me that you maybe didn't know...

1) I have never eaten my boogers. Not even once.

2) I have reached the age where I can say, "I laughed so hard the tears ran down my legs."

3) For a few consecutive years in my life, I was pretty much coated in the vomit, abc food, poop, pee, snot, blood, sweat and tears of my children. I still have nightmares about it.

4) I may or may not be in love with George Clooney.

5) I hate to cook.

6) I hate to cook.

7) I hate to cook.

As to the 15 supremely talented bloggers I am passing the award to, they are, in no particular order....

1) Mary at What To Blog About?

2) Sam from My Barefoot Farm

3) Donna from Our Forest Haven

4) Stacey at I'm A Lazy Mom

5) Dawn at Because I Said So

6) Ree at The Pioneer Woman

7) "Ninja Mom" at Ninja Mom Blog

8) Jill at Scary Mommy

9) Dee at Kate's Wish

10) Kris from Pretty All True

11) Becky from Steam Me Up Kid

12) Lori from Five of My Own

13) Mary at Big Mama's Honeymoon Underpants

14) Sari at Mommy Used To Be So Pretty

15) Michael at The Sneezing Cow

Applause, applause, applause to these wonderful ladies and gentleman (author, by the way, of one of my favorite books -- Coop). Go snag your award!

Now I'm off to letting them in on all this.

Know what you should do? You should check out those bloggers. Also? You should throw me a vote by clicking on this button. I'm slipping, folks. 20. Ack. Help?
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And hey, thanks for following! When I started putting my follows in my sidebar, I only had 17. That was only a few weeks ago, maybe? So, wow. And thanks. And add yourself if you're new here!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Farm Friday - Cheating Again.

Well, hey. It's a farm. It's just not MY farm. Though I could totally rock that outfit, don't you think?

Thanks for your vote. Just a click of this button.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011


T-shirt Totes

From sewmargaretsew:

DIY: Recycled T-Shirt Tote Bag
Instructables: Recycled Tote Bag Shirts... You get to use that funky old shirt sitting on the bottom of your drawer and re-work it back into your life! Love this idea!

It's super easy to do! All you'll need is an old cotton t-shirt, some sewing pins and thread, scissors- and you're halfway there!

Cut off the sleeves and neck line to create your handles.

Pin and sew the bottom portion up.

[Note: pin? Who pins? Just sew it up. No need for perfection!]


Bleach Pen Decor

From Kristen at
[I love-love-love this one, though I haven't done it myself yet. Definitely plan on it, though].
Use foil underneath, draw with bleach pen, wait 30 minutes then wash.


Need a travel mitt for your flat/curling iron? Try this one:

Pot holder sewn in half for hair straightener. Perfect for packing your straightener, even while its hot ..great for travel genius!
From Tami at


Pillow Sleeper

Oh my gosh how adorable is this???? If my kids were little.....
I definitely plan on making one for my nephew for when he visits.

4 pillows/3yds fabric This is better than a beanbag!
Repinned from Watty's Favorites! by Kari Watson

I'm not putting up the instructions b/c they looked long, but honestly if you can't figure it out on your own then why bother, right? Give it a try.

Lori P, I know you have so much time on your hands right now ;-) so you MUST make these for your girls. Can you imagine them all watching a princess movie each lying on their ladybug/bee/butterfly sleepers? I would even go a step further and sew another length of matching fabric to the foot of it to use as a blanket. Maybe sew some fleece to the inside of it to up the cozy factor. Hey, while you're at it, sew some ties onto that and then you could roll the whole thing up like a sleeping bag so it is stowed inside the blanket part.


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