Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas Baby!!! A Blurb.com review

Despite our year of difficult instances and circumstances this year...I was determined to still make this a GREAT Christmas.

In November I got an idea to take my husbands 130 poems that the Lord gave to him in 2003 & 2004 and make them into a book. I thought we had lost all of them because the computer they were on had crashed but I was able to find hard copies that he had in his office.

I began researching free publishing software and settled on www.blurb.com - Heather and I designed the cover and I got to work typing away. It was difficult being so giddy with this awesome secret and not being able to tell him.

The first order I placed I was a bit concern because after I was half way done with the book, I happened upon some pretty negative reviews concerning Blurb, I was all bummed out but decided to continue with what I was doing and to just Trust in the Lord with it. I only ordered 5 to see how they would turn out and they were PERFECT. They were delivered within 2 weeks of being ordered and were delivered by Fed Ex.

They came shrink wrapped all together...


I eventually ordered 15 more for the rest of our family and received them 4 days after them being ordered...I thought that was amazing!!! I saved $32.50 using a code they offered on their site which more than paid for the 2nd day air shipping I had to get because of my ship date being so close.

Needless to say, Larry was QUITE surprised and so was everyone in our family. They were making him sign copies and stuff...he was getting embarrassed. Here are some photos of him opening his copy.







Merry Christmas Baby...

PS. Our kids got lots of things but one of them being a Wii...Woo hoo!!!









Saturday, December 05, 2009

Merry Christmas Blog Readers

Not sure WHO reads my not-so-much posted blog but for anyone who looks here I'd like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Branson

After stopping for lunch in Springfield at "Lambert's Cafe"

We went to Branson using our Bluegreen "points" timeshare at the Wilderness Club @ Big Cedar Lodge...we had a FABULOUS time.If you have never been to Big Cedar Lodge, I HIGHLY recommend it...it's GREAT fun!

We stayed at the Kings River Lodge on the Bluegreen side

Our studio room was really nice...

We arrived on Monday - despite the rain that thankfully stopped about an hour out of St. Louis...we had dinner and Heather swam at the indoor pool.



On Tuesday it was still slightly rainy and overcast so we played some games, watched a movie, did some shopping and ate at the Truman's cafe...it was a good day.

Wednesday was the best day with the sun shining and it being 61 we hit the outdoor activities - we went on a 2 hour hike, went swimming in 1 of the 6 or 8 outdoor pools, ate at the Truman Cafe & Worman's House, we played miniature golf and went to a wagon ride/bon fire...we had SO much fun!!!





We ate at Truman's again and left around 10:30 and thankfully were spared of all of the hard rain that seemed to be sporadic around the area.

This was a WONDERFUL, cheap, close to home and fun trip for us...being Bluegreen owners DEFINATELY has its advantages...we're looking forward to using our points next year to go back and hopefully we'll get to enjoy the fall WITHOUT the rain!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Fun!!!

We usually go over to Eckerts to get our pumpkins but this year Larry and I went to Aldi and they had them for $1.99 each...WOW - we snatched up 2 of them for the kiddos to do...thankfully we did cause with all the rain and other things going on right now, we didn't make it over to Milstadt. It's ok, we had a GREAT time carving our Aldi pumpkins!





Tuesday, October 13, 2009

7 drawers, 3 cabinets, a bug & a bucket o' toys

Well - Over at Organizing Junkie there was a challenge to tackle the drawers that are hiding all kinds of "disorganization" - This has been driving me CRAZY for quite a while...since my mom got sick and died things have been "accumulating". So I took the challenge and dove in and tackled 7 drawers and 3 cabinets. I didn't really have any containers to organize the drawers and cabinets but I think they turned out ok for now.

Boy did I find some interesting stuff. I forgot to take before and after pictures of "all" the drawers but I've got enough photos to show that I've been busy for a few hours this morning.

I have one grocery sized bag going to goodwill, 3 grocery sized bags of trash, 7 decluttered drawers (though from the photos they may not "look" decluttered, TRUST ME, they ARE!), 3 organized cabinets, a bug and a bucket of toys. (more on the last 2 later :-)

I began my endeavor on the drawers in the livingroom - nearly all of them were full of little toy like trinkets...ugh. Here's the first drawer:

The second drawer is in the same table - I forgot to take a before picture:

The little cabinet and 2 other drawers in the livingroom weren't photographed. Let's move to the kitchen for a bit.

I have a buffet that has 3 drawers and 2 cabinets. Next to that we had all of Heather's school books and stuff. I've always thought that I should clean out the one side of the cabinet to put all of her school books in...when you homeschool, it seems like there are always books EVERYWHERE...ugh. Well, take a look...I'm SO happy with the outcome and SO thankful to have happened over to the Organizing Junkies site!



The second cabinet:


The last drawer in the cabinet:


This is the "weird" part of my day...I am to the seventh drawer (pictured above) and pull everything out of it and this little thing falls, it's white and fat so I think it's bean that fell off of a craft project, pick it up to throw it in the trash and it starts to move...YIKES! It has a brown pointed head...no legs - resembles some type of caterpillar to me...not sure WHAT it was doing there or WHERE it came from as we spray for bugs every 3 months...there was no candy in the cabinet but the cabinet IS solid wood...I didn't find any other "friends" either...we did have our caterpillars that we took care of until they turned into butterflies on this buffet this past spring...maybe that is where the little guy came from.

And finally, our now completely unorganized bucket of toys...I'm hoping they go downstairs for a while and become forgotten about so they can find a new home somewhere else one day. For now, they'll remain in their container.

I do have 1 more drawer to get to "the junk drawer" - I think everyone has one of those that has tools, nails, etc in the kitchen - I'll have to organize that another day as it's time to get busy with "my part" of school.

Thanks for stopping by...now it's YOUR turn...go clean out/up your drawers and tell us ALL about it by commenting here or over at The Organizing Junkies site...and don't forget to follow her "PROCESS".

ONE MORE DRAWER...UPDATED!!!

The final drawer in the kitchen...all of the drawers have been done!!! Woo Hoo!!! While I didn't have a good way to organize this drawer and I'm sure it doesn't LOOK like it's organized...at least now it is!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rams University...Oh yeah!!!

A new friend from our new homeschool coop invited me to attend Rams University with her. Her husband works for a local company that supplies different things to and for the Rams and his company gave him the tickets.

There were 5 of us who went. When we got there Amy told us that we had access to park in VIP parking...AWESOME. We start to get out of the van and she tells us that we get VIP seating...none of us had ever been to this or anything like it before so we weren't quite sure what to expect. The VIP seating allowed us to go into a different area to check in and get some AWESOME goodies then they walked us out past everyone to the other VIP area where we would sit...NO WAY!!! It was SO cool...we got the table that was front and center and closest to the stage/players...WAY COOL!!!





Thanks Amy for asking me to go...I had an AWESOME time!!! WOO HOO - Go Rams!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ALL around Alton...

Last Saturday we decided to go spend the day in Alton, IL. We want to try to hit a few places that are close to home that can be used 1) as a day trip away from home & 2) as a school field trip. Alton served both of those interests for us.



We began our day there by eating at "My Just Desserts". It had that country decor thing going on that I just love and they serve MUCH more than "Just Desserts"! My hubby got a chicken salad sandwich, I got a Honey Turkey, Bacon club and Heather got a ham & croissant sandwich. All of our food was SUPER yummy but Heather and I topped our meal off with a Toll House Blonde Brownie...that made the day already for me!!!

We had a tour scheduled for 12:30 at The Beall Mansion - While I don't think it was worth our $25 that we spent...the lady who did the tour was really fun & friendly and shared alot of information about the 1903 mansion that donned the middle of "Millionaire Row".

Our next stop was to visit the museum that contains the Alton Giant, Robert Wadlow's memorabilia. At the age of 22 he was still growing, at his time of death he was 8 ft 11 inches and weighed 439 lbs. My grandmother was facinated with the Alton Giant and I wish she had gotten a chance to view this stuff before she died. The museum was VERY informative about all kinds of historical stuff and I would HIGHLY recommend a visit to Loomis Hall.

We continued our visit to the "FREE" Melvin Price Locks and Dam which is run by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. We were fortunate enough to 1) get there in time for their last tour of the day (3pm) and 2)be there when an actual barge came through. There are approximately 29 Locks and Dam systems up and down the mighty Mississippi river to help accommodate the millions of tons of commodities that pass up and down the river. The lock and dam is designed to help control the flow of the Mississippi so barges are able to navigate the ups and downs of the river better. The tour took us up about 100 feet above the water outside and we watched over the ledge walkway.


Our tour had to go before the barge actually got out of the bay but when they closed the bay all up and started pumping the water out to allow for the lower elevation on the other side...the water dropped 18ft in about 15 minutes...it was unbelievable!


We finished our day at the Great Godfrey 2.5 mile corn maze.





    And since I "AM" my mother's daughter...what day would be COMPLETE without...ICE CREAM???

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's been a YEAR!!!

Well it's DEFINATELY been "SOME" year...and it's not over just yet!!! Along with the blessings we've been getting We've also had an OVER abundance of medical bills (my hysterectomy, Larry's cardiac cath, Larry's Staph infection, Larry's specialist visit for something suspicious on his prostate, Larry's chest xray that found a spot on his lungs followed by a MRI which found 3 spots on his lungs, Larry's upper GI, Larry's sleep study - all which have gotten us to his $5000 out of pocket medical deductible and my surgery was $5000 out of pocket. Larry's getting ready to have ANOTHER sleep study (because he DOES have sleep apnea but they couldn't determine it in time to get the machine on him), another upper GI to make sure the severe acid reflux is healing up, another visit to the specialist concerning his prostate, another MRI to see if the spots on his lungs have gotten larger, and he's going to have a carotoid artery ultrasound) and vehicle repairs (Larry's front end needed $400 worth of repairs, then his transmission went out $2300, then the CO2 censors went out $605 and my front end on my Grand Vitara just had $675 worth of repairs) I'm SOOO thankful we have God in our lives and on our sides...with everything else going on for us...without God I don't know WHERE we'd be!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Movie in the Park at Lafayette Square

Last night we went to a fundraising benefit for Basket of Hope. They are a ministry that provides baskets (of hope :-) to newly diagnosed children with things such as cancer, diabetes, etc. We had a great time visiting with our friends who started Basket of Hope - the Brunette's...they are like our extended family!

We were so thrilled that Michael was available and decided to go with us as we don't get to do much with him these days. So our family set out to enjoy the festivities of the evening at Lafayette Square.








We got a GREAT family picture...

And were blessed by meeting Andy Benes - What a GREAT guy he is!!! I loved the way he shared his faith with the group when he talked. Heather gave him a book from CTA and he seemed so excited to read it.

We had a GREAT time and are thankful we got to spend some family time together!!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Another eraser size lump...urgh

Well - Larry went to a new doctor a month or so ago. While there she did a prostate exam and found something that concerned her. They wanted him to have an ultrasound of the area but they don't have a code for JUST that ultrasound...the only code they have is ultrasound/biopsy. They don't have a facility that can do the biopsy side of it so she sent him to a urologist. Today was his "lucky" day and the urologist found the spot too...says it's about the size of an eraser...must be a new way to measure lumps. Says we have 2 choices - 1) do the ultrasound/biopsy or 2) wait 6 months and see if it changes in size. At the doctors recommendation, Larry has chosen to wait 6 months to see if there is any change. I pray these doctors know what they are doing and will trust in the Lord!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There's not going to be a round two of this...

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer March 27, 2007 and went to be with Jesus on May 27, 2009. My mom never smoked a day in her life and died from second hand cigarette smoke...so sad.

My hubby seems to have some breathing/hacking coughing issues so they did a chest xray which showed some sort of spot on his lung - thankfully his new doctor is very proactive and decided to do a CT scan of the chest also - they called this morning and there are actually 3 nodules (2 upper left & 1 lower left) all under 5mm (a pencil eraser is 6mm so these are tiny) at this point there is no way to biopsy without cutting him completely open so the protocol is to wait 6 months...the medical field recommends another scan in a year but we're so thankful for our new doctor to be so caring and proactive that they are going to do it at the beginning of December to have us "good news" by Christmas.

I'm telling the devil that we're NOT going to have a round two of all of this...we are NOT going to walk in fear concerning any of this no matter what we've been though or what this looks like in the natural! Get thee behind me satan...you have NO authority here in our household! My husband is healthy, healed and fine in Jesus name...We will walk by faith and NOT by sight of 3 tiny nodules...my God is bigger than whatever is thrown at us!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A busy week...I can't wait to get some rest!!!

Well - this past week has been an UNBLEIVEABLY busy one for us. It started last Friday night with Larry's niece Lauren's wedding...

Brothers - 'Gary & Larry' - can you tell???


Momma June & Larry


Larry & his niece/Goddaughter/namesake in German 'Lauren'


Lauren & Paul...aren't they adorable!?!

We were suppose to go to Relay for Life after Lauren's wedding but we never made it, we had a funeral at 10am Saturday morning for a friends husband - an unfortunate accident really...so sad.

Church Sunday morning, packing and prayer Sunday night and off to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma on Monday morning to attend a Minister, Leadership & Helps conference.
We had 3 days of classes and much fun...


We came home Thursday night and left Friday morning with Heather to attend another Friday night (never have I heard of a wedding being on a Friday night and we've now attended 2 of them in the last 2 weekends...weird!) wedding in Quincy, IL for our friend Matt Miller from the S.H.A.R.C band.

Heather with the S.H.A.R.C band. Congrats Matt & Brecket!

We topped off the weekend with a day in Hannibal, MO. We had a great time...touring Mark Twains boyhood home, the Museum gallery, the Rockcliffe Mansion, Mark Twain Riverboat cruise, the Mark Twain Cave and finishing off the day...swimming!!!












I look forward to having lunch at Darnell Dam tomorrow and then going home to get some rest from this busy week!!!