Friday, July 25, 2008

Contest over at my friend's blog!

My blogging "friend" Mary over at owlhaven is having a giveaway of a Lands End backpack! It looks really cool, I'm sure any or all of us could use it, and all you have to do is leave her a comment with a first day of school memory from your childhood and mention her contest on your blog/website.

So here you go, Mary, and may the best "random" person win!

Here's a picture of the backpack:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Simple Woman's daybook

FOR TODAY July 24, 2008

Outside My Window... it is very dark outside with the wind blowing because it is late at night and I should be asleep!

I am thinking... of my son graduating from Safety Town tomorrow, having learned all about how to stay safe at school

I am thankful for...the firefighters, police officers, EMTs, bus drivers and others that took the time out of their lives to teach a bunch of incoming kindergartners how to be safe in different situations and so grateful my child has an opportunity to attend this camp

From the kitchen...comes the aroma of a ham cooking in the crockpot and the rolls that went with it for dinner

I am most soft old tee shirt with a pair of pajama pants that are flannel even though it is the dead of summer

I am creating...a quilt for wintertime that's all flannel and snowmen and plaid homespun that I can't wait to cuddle up under this fall!

I am go get into my big bathtub even though it's past 11:00 o'clock at night because I feel the need for bubbles

I am reading...about six books at a time, but the one I'm into the deepest at the moment is The Mitford Bedside Companion... even though I've read all the Mitford books at least 5 times each

I am hoping...for a cooler, rainy day tomorrow, although realistically I am hoping for a quiet non-busy weekend to sit around and watch movies and avoid going outside in the heat

I am hearing...the sound of my husband's laughter from the other room, along with the sound of my son's CD player from his room through the baby monitor

Around the a lot of laundry that needs to be washed, about 5 quilts in various stages of completion and shoes shoes everywhere, they multiply when I'm not looking'

One of my favorite having dinner at home with my boys all home, not spending the night at someone's house, and then watching a movie all together in the living room, like a Harry Potter movie

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: include getting some work done for extra money, finishing up one of the quilts, making some of the pajamas that I have already cut out for my youngest son and some baking, maybe zucchini muffins!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

My son Kevin enjoying the lake and a very large bag of doritos

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Brad Paisley contest

If you know me very well, you know that I have one absolute favorite and I mean ABSOLUTE favorite singer/guitar player/entertainer and that's Brad Paisley. I've been a fan of his for a long long time, longer than most people have ever heard of him.

Anyway, a couple of years ago I found out he was touring and was coming to Little Rock for a concert. I promptly joined his fan club so I could get tickets that were VIP tickets, and that's when I realized that my DH (dear husband) and 2 oldest sons were going to be out of town! Because you see, for the previous Christmas my mom, sister and I had gotten together and gotten my DH, my dad and my sister's DH tickets to St. Louis Cardinals games since they are huge fans. It was a ticket package, with 6 games, I think, scattered over the schedule. And the Brad Paisley concert was one of those nights.

So what's a girl to do? I called my sister, who is not particularly a country music fan, and begged, no, pleaded for her to go with me, begged and pleaded our mom to keep our 4 children we had (my 2 that were staying at home as well as her twins) so we could go to the concert. And she agreed.

What happened next? I entered a giveaway on the BP website for "meet-n-greet" opportunities. If you don't know what this is, you get to go backstage and meet the person and have a photograph taken with him, spend about 10 seconds with him and be completely star-struck and incoherent at the same time.

AND I WON. Only 2 people from each concert won and I was one of them. And DH was going to be gone.

So my sister and I went and after the concert, we went to this backstage area and after a few minutes, I got to go in and meet my favorite artist/guitar player/singer/entertainer. And I got my picture taken with him and I got some sheet music autographed and a concert poster.


So the last few months, I've been watching the BP website hoping against hope he would come back to Arkansas again, when I found out he's having a contest. And you can win HIS fishing truck filled with fishing gear and autographed CDs, every one he ever made.

AND I ENTERED, of course! And so can you, I'm going to put the link to the contest in here and if you're a BP fan, you can enter to. I can't believe I'm being this generous because really I WANT TO WIN! I really really really want to win! I can see myself driving that fishing truck all over town and fishing with all that gear, and listening to all those CDs since heaven knows I've worn my copies completely out! If it wasn't for iPods, I would have no way to listen to his music anymore.

So if you have a mind to, go over to this website,

It's for a radio station, somewhere, and if you register on their site you can also register to win the truck.

Good sharing, huh?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Birthday To you!

I can't believe I forgot this:

Happy Birthday, Heather!

Today is her birthday, I won't tell how old she is, but I hope she reads this and knows I'm thinking about her and that she's the best darn sister anyone could ask for. Have a happy day and know I love you!

Kindergarten... one last time

My youngest boy is starting kindergarten this fall. This is the same "first day of kindergarten" I've gone through 3 other times but somehow it's different this time. He's my youngest... the one baby that I thought (I guess) would be in preschool for years and years and always be with me the other days of the week so we could run errands, have lunch, play games and watch videos.

But he's 5 now and kindergarten is calling. He wants to go, I really do want him to go, but at the same time I'm sad. He's my last child, there won't be any more, no more boys to stay home with Mom and play or go to big school and have lunch with one of his brothers. He will be gone every day until 3:30 just like them, and not want to be with Mom as much, he will have friends from school that I haven't met yet, and experiences that I haven't been a part of, and hard days that I can't help him with and it makes me sad. Sad that time is passing and he's growing up and growing away and won't be the baby anymore.

And I know we have to let go. I just wish it wasn't so painful for the parents and so pain-free for the children. Now I wouldn't want him to be sad and I do want him to look forward to going to kindergarten, but boy does it hurt my heart!

I think I (we) cling to him because (a) he's the youngest, (b) I know he is my last child and (c) he had a rough time being born and spent 11 days in the NICU of our hospital on a ventilator for 24 hours with head CT scans, genetic tests, neurological tests and every other test known to man before we could bring him home. We all coddle him and baby him and I think it's because he was so sick and we were so afraid we would lose this beautiful redheaded boy that we all like to think of him still as a baby when he's not. He's 5 years old, he has completely gotten over whatever it was that the hospital thought he had (which I DIDN'T think he had) and is so very very smart, to boot. He can beat his older brothers at many video games, can read a lot of words already and has a smile with the most beautiful dimples that you've ever seen.

So I will send him off to kindergarten on the appointed day and not let him see how sad I am. Because it would make him sad and want to stay home and really, all little chicks have to fly the coop. Only us Moms don't have to always like it....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Camping fun in Branson or Off to our Typical rocky start

We are visiting Branson, MO, for the holiday weekend. We found a great campground that's on the lake, very friendly people, and "off the beaten path."

The first day we got here was Wednesday and it was as hot as the dickens. If you aren't a camper, just let tell you some of the things that have to be completed once we pull up to our site in the camper to get ready to "camp." Imagine trying to unhitch the TT (travel trailer), get the wheel chocks under the wheels (so we don't roll off), let the jacks down (with just the special wrench that you have to turn over and over) on each corner of the TT so that it won't jump and jive everytime someone inside walks around, and get all the hoses, cords, and plugs etc., hooked up to the proper connection so the sewer, electricity, water and Cable TV all work. And now imagine doing that in the bright sunshine, 90+ degrees with 4 boys helping you, dust flying everywhere and kids saying, "dad, can I hook up the XXX now?" Well, it's enough to try any man's soul!

So after about 20 minutes of this, I had scooted off to the bath house to you-know, and when I came back was when I noticed: The back of the TT was completely crooked!! And by that I mean, looking at the back of the TT, the left side was about, oh, six inches lower than the right side. I knew when I went into the TT and opened the slide and turned on the A/C and all that stuff that I do inside (I get the inside set up and DH gets the outside stuff done), that it was unlevel, but boy, I didn't have any IDEA how unlevel!

So I said to DH, "um, not to be the bearer of bad news but did you know that the trailer is unlevel?" And he said, "yes, I do know, but it's not bad and besides, if I try to make it level, I'll have to hitch it all up again, move the trailer, and put blocks under the wheels on the left side."

Well, I must have looked at him funny or something because he said, "What?" And I said, "Um, the boys will roll out of their bunks if it's not leveled, because all the stuff fell out of the refrigerator when I opened it." He didn't laugh, he didn't cry, he just looked at me. Then finally he said, "is it really that bad?" And I said, "no, it's worse!"

So the two younger boys and I went into the trailer, pulled the slide in and sat on the couch to wait out the moving business without being in the way. The TT got moved 6 inches forward, blocks were placed under the wheels and we were in business!!

After I had gotten sick from the heat, one of the other boys was sick from the heat, then we finally decided the only way to cool off was to drive off in our tow vehicle and stay in the A/C there until the sun went down and the camper would cool off. It turned out to be a wise choice because we went to eat at a buffet, our favorite since none of the boys can ever agree on a place to eat, and they have really good food! Something for everyone and lots of coolness to savor and enjoy before getting ready for bed.

One thing I didn't realize or wasn't told about this campground was that it is a public city-owned park which is great because it's cheap, but the bathhouses aren't air/conditioned, much like most of the state parks. That's not too bad most of the time, but boy, in July when our campsite is in the middle of a place with no trees and it's more than 90 degrees with at least 100% humidity, it's really too much!

For those unfamiliar with camping, we do have a bathroom in our TT but given the fact that my DH is over 6 feet tall and the shower is very small and not very tall and when you're standing in front of the sink with the shower on the right and the toilet on the left, you could stand with both arms outstretched and touch both the shower wall and the wall above the toilet and it's impossible to raise your leg without hitting your knee on the sink, campground facilities become very important! The boys except the youngest all shower, etc. in the campground facilities because really, if we all tried to shower in the TT, it would take 2 hours and given that the hot water heater only holds 6 gallons of water, it would probably be time for bed before we were all done showering!

More tomorrow on the joys of our trip to Branson.....

My first post

I've been wanting to start a blog for a long time now because it seems that I have a ton of things to say and my husband is tired of hearing them:)

First about me: I'm a 41 year old stay-at-home mom of 4 boys whose youngest is going to be starting kindergarten this fall. I've been a stay-at-home mom for 12, nearly 13 years, and I only had 2 sons when I started! As the boys were born, it seemed more practical for me to stay at home since my DH was traveling in his job a lot and when the 2 older were in daycare, they were sick a lot and when you work at a job that you haven't been in very long and have to take days off to stay home with sick kids, it doesn't make you a very popular employee.

I'm a crafty person, I like to quilt, sew, embroider, cross stitch, take photographs and just generally make a mess with either fabric, thread or glue of some kind. I've made about a million pairs of pajamas for my sons, at least 30 quilts (mostly crib quilts or lap quilts), enough cross stitch stuff to wallpaper my house with them and about 9,344,244 photographs, most of which are on the laptop I'm typing this from... and the last 5,000,000 have been since last July when I got my new Canon rebel XTI camera. It's the best thing since, well, since I don't know what, for taking great pictures, especially from far away.

But I digress again. I live in a town of 50,000 more or less, in a mid-South state with my husband and four sons who are from 14 to 5 years in age. We have a great house with a big backyard and a great not-very-smart dog named Daisy and we spend a ton of time camping in our travel trailer, playing and watching the boys play baseball, play their guitars, band concerts, and trying to get in a trip to Disney world every year. I spend my time in the car, you guessed it, doing some kind of sewing and refereeing fights between the boys!

That's all for now, I'm going to post some of my quilt photos because this blog is going to be about our trips camping as well as my quilting and my tote bags that I make.