Thursday, February 26, 2009

"H"

I decided to participate in a game Kindra was playing a couple of weeks ago. You get assigned a letter, then list 10 things you love that start with that letter. Kindra gave me "H" to work with. It took me a while to get my list completed, but I have finally managed to find the time to post!

1. My Husband and the two little men we share. I am so lucky to have them all in my life.

2. Hometown stores. In this world of Wal-Marts, Targets, and Barnes & Nobles, it gives me a certain feeling of satisfaction when I shop locally owned stores.

3. Hoppy Taws. Hopscotch was always one of my favorite things to do when I was little, and I just love to say "Hoppy Taw". Just makes me smile every time!

4. Homemade/Handmade things. Isn't it such a wonderful feeling to receive or buy something that was handmade? Thinking of the loving, caring hands that created something gives me warm fuzzies!

5. Hydrangeas. Looking at these flowers just make me smile, and (other than simple white daisies) are my favorite flower.

6. History. I knew a long time ago how important history is. If we had cable, you'd probably be able to find me sitting in front of the TV watching the history channel a LOT! History Detectives is one of my favorite shows. I feel that history is important for so many reasons...to understand why some things are the way they are...so we can (hopefully) avoid making the same horrifying mistakes again...and to remember the people. One of my favorite things to do is to visit the elderly and listen to their stories. It's easy to get them talking. Just looking at a photo or hearing a word or phrase can bring back a flood of memories for them. And, I have found that they enjoy talking about the past (even the painful memories), and they appreciate when younger generations show an honest interest. Nobody wants to be forgotten, and I feel that we owe it to our ancestors to do learn as much we can about them.

7. Home. I have a couple of homes. The house I live in with Jeremy and the boys (and the dogs and fish!) is obviously my home. But, there is one place that has always felt like home, even though it has never been my address. The family farm up by Chadron has always felt like home. It could be because of all the family history there, or because I feel closer to grandma when I'm there, or because most of my happiest childhood memories happened when we were visiting there.

8. Hobbies. I love all of my hobbies - I just wish I had more time for each one!

9. Huskers. What kind of Nebraskan would I be if I didn't include the Huskers?!

10. Happiness.

If you would like to play, just leave a comment, and I'll be happy to give you a letter!

I had hoped to show you several projects this week, but I've barely been home! I've been helping my parents move (we're still trying to figure out where all their stuff has come from - it seems to multiply by the minute!), so I'll be spending today trying to get caught up on stuff around here. Tomorrow is my usual go-to-town day, and Saturday we might be headed to Lincoln for the day. With any luck, I'll be able to show you a few things I've been working on next week.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Activities for Kids

I can't believe I didn't think of this - and it's been staring me in the face for the last year and a half! I'm always looking for fun, age -appropriate, and cheap crafts and activities for the boys. The library is, of course, a great resource for books, but I like to make little notes, and I can't really do that with borrowed books. Then it hit me - Boy Scout and Girl Scout handbooks! Why didn't I think of this sooner? They're fairly cheap and are loaded with ideas that fit our criteria!

Even if you don't have a scout, you can still buy the books.

Cub/Boy Scouts:
Tiger Cubs - 1st grade
Wolf Cubs - 2nd grade
Bear Cubs - 3rd grade
Webelos - 4th & 5th grades
Boy Scouts - 6th grade and up
Venturing - ages 14 to 21 (Venturing is geared toward both boys and girls)

Official online store here or find your local supplier here.

Girl Scouts:
Daisies - Kindergarten
Brownies - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades
Juniors - 4th, 5th, and 6th grades
Cadettes - 7th and 8th grades
Seniors - 9th and 10th grades
Ambassadors - 11th and 12th grades

Official online store here or find your local supplier here.

Another resource is 4-H. There is a national resource website here, or you can use a search engine to find local information. Just type in your county and state (or just state) 4-H, and that should help you find the information you need. At one time, I had found a link to a site that allows you to either order or download the different activity packets. Unfortunately, I can't find it right now, but I'm hoping I saved it somewhere - I just need to look a little harder! If I find it, I'll share it with you.

I am now off to help my parents move. Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weekend Wisdom


"The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom."
~Henry Ward Beecher~


Painting found here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bittersweet

They made an announcement on Friday afternoon at HPI, where Jeremy works. But since we had a snow storm, a lot of people went home early, so the announcement wasn't all that effective. Yesterday afternoon, they began talking to teh people who were affected. Luckily, Jeremy still has a job - for now (as long as they have something to powder-coat, he should be safe). But, his friend, D, was laid off. As relieved as we are that Jeremy made it through this round of lay-offs, I know he feels terrible for D. On the bright side, D is in the National Guard, so he'll be able to do a little bit of work at the armory for some extra money. He's been married less than a year, and his wife works at a local bank, so at least they still have one income.

School was canceled on Friday due to the snow storm that was coming our way. We got quite a bit of snow, but not as much as we were expecting.

Once it was done doing this:


We went outside to crawl through the snow


and make snow angels.


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Sunday we took a trip into town to pick up a few things. I'm beginning to wonder what Wal-Mart's plans are. They've already gotten rid of all the fabrics, thread, and trims, as well as pillow forms and some batting. They've had baskets on clearance, and I noticed quite a few office supplies on clearance. While I should have taken advantage of some of their clearance sales, I just picked up some seeds for our garden.


So far, we have:
Sweet Corn
Garden Beans
Pumpkins (for Jack-O-Lanterns)
Mini Pumpkins (a mix of orange and white)
Pie Pumpkins
Watermelon
Onions
Bell Peppers
Lavender
Parsley
Rosemary

We still need:
Dill
Chives
Cilantro
Carrots
Tomatoes (we'll use plants)
Strawberries (again, we'll use plants)
Acorn Squash
Gourds
Indian Corn
Popcorn
Red Sweet Corn (the boys think it looks "sweet", so we're going to try it!)

I'm sure I'll be adding more to my list as I go through recipes and look into making jams and jellies a little more.

I have no clue what I'm going to do for flowers this year, if anything. I'd like to grow sunflowers and daisies, and I need to find something for my problem spot. On the northwest corner of the house, there's an area that doesn't get any shade. I've tried putting wood chips down, but those just get blown away (or maybe the stray cats and other people's dogs are scratching them away). I'd love to find something that likes full sun that is also pretty. I was thinking of Snow-in-Summer (this sounds like an amazingly easy plant to take care of, so it would be perfect for me!), or some kind of grass. Any suggestions?

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Yesterday, I signed up for Shawnee's next apron swap! For details, go here.

I have a lot on my to-do list for this week, so may not be around much, but I do hope to have a few things to show you soon!

Have a great week!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

"A simple enough pleasure, surely, to have breakfast alone with one's husband, but how seldom married people in the midst of life achieve it."
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh~

My great-grandparents.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's Been A Good Day

Jeremy came home from work yesterday to tell me that they were informed there was going to be an "announcement" made on Friday. The company he works for makes parts for another local company, TK, who has already laid off 30 people, and just announced earlier this week their plans for laying off another 70. TK had ordered 120 parts, but when only 30 were completed, they said not to make any more. So yeah, we're nervous.

Snow is coming tonight, and lots of it. We're supposed to be getting anywhere from 6"-12", which means we probably won't be leaving the house for a couple of days. So, I decided to be smart and go to town for groceries this morning - before the snow and before everybody within 20 miles from Hastings shows up at the store after work.

The plan was to get our groceries then pick up a couple of Papa Murphy's heart-shaped pizzas for supper Saturday night. Since we ended up having about 30 minutes to kill before the pizza place opened, I decided to stop at a few places that always put a smile on my face. We made stopped at a local store to pick up a little fabric, my favorite bookstore for the 7th AoGG book, and my favorite beading store for a few supplies to help keep me busy while we're snowed in. We then picked up the pizza, and were about to head home when I remembered that we still needed a digital converter box. So off we went to KMart. What happened there made me smile even more.

I saw D. D has been my older brother's best friend for 25 years, and I have loved this guy since the day I met him (what began as me having a massive crush on him has grown into a friendship that almost resembles a brother/sister relationship). Most people who meet him don't like him. They think he's a loser and can't understand why I adore him. If I had met him at a different time in my life, I'm sure I'd probably think the same thing. D is far, far from perfect. He was a fairly good kid until high school. The doctors started experimenting with his ADD medication, and he didn't always make very good decisions. His senior year, he got his girlfriend pregnant. So, he dropped out of school to find a full-time job so he could take care of his new family.

One night, D was home alone with his baby girl, and he invited another friend, J, over to hang out. At one point, J went in to peek on the baby and noticed something wasn't right. He called for D, and it was he who saw his baby girl in her bed, not breathing. The drive to the hospital from his house should have taken at least 10 minutes. When they got in the car, there was a song on the radio (I can't remember now what song it was, but he can tell you the song and the exact words), and he got to the hospital before the song was over. Everything was done that could be done, but SIDS took her anyway. That was the turning point in his life, and not for the better.

D has had more downs than ups in his life since then, most are of his own doing, and to name them all would take a long, long time. The last time I saw him was almost 8 years ago, when Taylor was only a few months old. He had just started taking his life in a direction that was not good for me to be around, and I tried my hardest to convince him to do otherwise. In the end, all I could do was to let him know that I love him, won't judge him, and am here if he needs/wants the kind of help I'm willing to give. I've heard bits and pieces from mutual friends, and there have been times within these last 8 years that I have cried for him. He is one of the most intelligent people I know with the biggest heart, but he does his best to ignore these wonderful qualities.

I saw D today, and I got tears in my eyes again. He moved back in with his parents for now. He has a job. It's not the most glamorous (most 33-year-old men wouldn't choose to be a KMart stock boy), but it's legal. It has been almost one year (next month) that he has stayed out of jail. And, he's in rehab. One thing that I have always loved about D is that he never makes excuses for himself. He has always taken responsibility for his actions, no matter how big the mistake has been. He is also probably the most loyal friend anyone could possibly have. I pray for D every night because he has the potential to go so far in life and to bring so much goodness.

I apologize...I didn't mean to babble so much about D. It just made me happy to see him in a good place.
If Jeremy is going to be home for the next few days, I doubt if I'll be on much. I hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day, and for those of you who are about to get hit with all this snow - stay warm and safe!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Driving

That's what I did all day yesterday, so I'm hoping to have a peaceful day today and actually get some things done. I've already caught up on my 365 Project blog, so there's one thing I can cross off my to-do list.


I put a lot of miles on my car, yesterday, and I have a feeling we'll be putting even more on this weekend. My Monday went like this:

5:30am - get up and shower before Logan (a little boy I watch before school) gets here
6:30am - 7:40am - Fight with Logan to stop tormenting Taylor and Landon. (This child tries my patience. He goes out of his way to do things he knows he's not supposed to be doing, so he'll be spending a lot of time sitting on the time-out chair on the back porch.)
7:40am - Drop Logan off at the bus, then head into town for Taylor's dentist appointment.
9:30am - Leave the dentist's office and run a quick errand before heading back home because Taylor forgot his backpack.
9:45am - Drive the 13 miles to Taylor's school
10:20am - Get home and play with Landon, work on Taylor's valentines a little, then eat lunch.
1:15pm - Drop Landon off at my sister-in-law's (Kelly) house and leave for my dentist appointment in Minden (25 miles from Roseland in the opposite direction of "town").
1:50pm - Arrive at dentist's office, doing my best not to completely freak out (I have an unnatural fear of the dentist)
3:40pm - After having 13 years worth of build-up removed (yes, it had been 13 years since I've seen a dentist, and the only reason I went now was because I've been in a lot of pain for the past couple of weeks), and having a wisdom tooth pulled, I headed back to Kelly's house to pick up Landon and wait for Taylor who was riding the bus there.


Kelly and I exchanged our war stories (she's as terrified of the Big D as I am). I got my shot to numb the area, but when Dr. Bob was poking to make sure I was numb, I wasn't. So, I got a second shot. He started pulling on the tooth and I was in pain. After the 3rd shot, I was finally numb enough and he whipped the tooth out in a matter of seconds. Very traumatic for me. My mouth is still sore today.


Around 4:30, we finally headed home. On the bright side, I did find a little red shack on my way back from the dentist. There are also a few other buildings I found that I'm dying to photograph, but I need to find out who owns the land and get their permission first. Luckily, I was able to get this little building from the road.




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We got our taxes back last week, so we're going shopping this weekend. Our plan so far:

Drop the boys off at my mom & dad's. Drive to H to go to Menard's for some wood, then back to mom & dad's to drop the wood off (my dad is going to cut it for me while we're driving all over the countryside). We then have to go to K so we can go to Old Navy and Cabela's. Then, we'll head over to GI so we can go to Best Buy and Hobby Lobby. We'll be driving over 170 miles...on second thought...maybe we'll save Kearney for another day. Or just go to the Scheels and Old Navy when we go to Lincoln in a couple of weeks!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Weekend Wisdom

"Do not protect yourself by a fence, but rather by your friends." ~Czech Proverb~

My great-uncle Faye is the third from left. His cousin, August "Swede" Miller, is 2nd from the right. The rest, I think, are friends. They're the kind of people who are friends for life, and when they're gone, their children keep up the old friendships. This is a group of some of the most fortunate people you'll ever see.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Artist Trading Swap for Kids


I just read Amy's post about a swap hosted by Wise Craft and House on Hill Road. The boys just signed up for this awesome swap for kids ages 4 and up. There's not much required for this swap: a little bit of paper & art supplies, a few stamps & envelopes, and your child's imagination. For more info, go here or here. But, hurry - sign-ups end Friday!
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