Sunday, August 9, 2009

Confessions of a Facebook Addict

At the beginning of this year, I posted that I would try my best to post once a week. Then, I found that wasn’t going to happen, so I dropped to once a month. I now realize, with it being August, that I’ve not posted since April. Where did the time go? I’ll tell you where it went…..I’ve become addicted to Facebook. I spend time every single day catching up with old classmates, old workmates, community members…you name it. It’s been fun…

I’ve read plenty of blogs, but haven’t taken the time to post my own. I constantly think about posting. I think, “Hey, that would be a great subject to blog about”, etc. Then, I get home, check out what’s going on with Facebook, and then decide, “oh, I’ll blog another day”…..well, now another day has become 3+ months! I don’t have any followers (at least none that have joined my follower button), but can’t say that I blame anyone….I haven’t been faithful to posting. There has been absolutely nothing to follow!

I am probably just blogging to hear myself think outloud, but that’s okay too. Guess it’s better than actually talking out loud….someone might try to have me committed. I have thoughts going through my head that probably should just be written instead of spoken. Sort of like when I was younger and decided to keep a diary. Other than the fact that I didn’t want to put my deepest, darkest thoughts in writing for fear that my sisters were sure to discover and blab to everyone at school, which would have been mortifying, so I didn’t keep that up either. It’s okay though. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

Initially, I decided to post about country life here in Indiana. I still want to do that….I posted on Facebook one morning about the quiet sounds of the morning….the rooster crowing across the road, the birds singing and Sarah singing at the top of her lungs outside on her swing. I am sure if we didn’t live in the country and lived in town, the neighbors would have been banging on my door telling me to keep her quiet….out here, that doesn’t happen. If the neighbors can hear her, they don’t seem to mind. I had several comments about how in town, all that can be heard is traffic and sirens….I guess this “quiet” out here is taken for granted. Having lived in Indy for 4 years, I can attest that the “city noises” eventually became tuned out. Living here in our small community, if there is a siren going off somewhere, you can bet everyone notices. Not just because of the noise, but for fear something has happened to someone we know. And chances are, it usually is someone we know.

Another Facebook post had to do with graduation. My son graduated from high school this year. The weekend prior to graduation, we had an open house for him. I cleaned all week, cooked for 2 days, we set up tents and tables/chairs in the yard and invited family, friends, classmates, community members, etc. We set up corn hole (another rural game that everyone loves), volley ball net, horse shoes, we had silly string, Frisbees, and other assorted games for the kids. On Facebook, we laughed about how many weekends in a row we went graduation party-hopping (5 weeks in a row to be exact). The day after graduation, we were attending our 4th or 5th party and another parent of a graduating senior remarked how it was the 3rd time that day we had all eaten together. A former Union County graduate now living out of state posted that most communities don’t have open houses like we do here. Something we just take for granted here….
At my son’s party, later in the evening (once all the “old” people had gone home), the kids just kept coming. We had a bonfire. Part of the graduation requirements here include a senior exit presentation. Homework throughout high school must be saved. The bonfire began with my son deciding it would be fun to ignite it with the “ceremonial burning of the homework”…..we had an entire wheelbarrow full of it. Later, kids just kept coming over. They all sat around the bonfire and just had fun….some of the large balls were tossed into the fire, but I bought cheapy stuff because I knew it would all be destroyed. And it was….there is still a large child-sized horseshoe on the roof!
At one point in the evening, someone noticed the 4-H goats had gotten out of their pen. There is nothing funnier than watching non-farm-boy athletes chasing goats! A smart farm boy would know that if they just stood still, put their backs to the goats, the goats would become so curious that they would just walk straight up to them and they could be easily corralled this way! Just because we live in a rural area, doesn’t mean all the boys are farmers!

And speaking of farm boys…..there is nothing cuter than watching young farm boys at the 4-H fair! Our fair is all about the fair….we have no midway. That’s right, no midway! My husband (who was not a 4-Her), thinks the fair is all about the rides. He can’t understand why, “people are fascinated at watching cows walk around in circles” to be judged. He can’t understand why, when we go visit a larger fair (with rides) that we always want to go into the buildings and look at the exhibits….”c’mon, the rides are waiting!” I generally take vacation the week of fair…I wasn’t able to this year because I used it all for sporting events and pre-graduation week, and then there were the 2 days of freshman orientation, and then there will be the moving-in of my son when he ships off to Indiana University later this month.
In a normal year, I am at the fair by 6:00 a.m. We serve breakfast for 75- 100 people every morning. We basically have 3 concession stands….none of us serve the same items so that we can have a variety of offerings, and not to step on each other’s toes. This is the one week of the year where you can visit with your “4-H Family”….an extension of community members that you most likely grew up with through 4-H and now our kids are all experiencing the same sense of “family”. Even though the kids are all competing against each other, most wish each other well, too. If someone needs help, someone will always be willing to offer advice. Facebook has allowed all of us to post how our kids have done—out of town former 4-Hers will comment about how they remember the fair, offer congratulations, and even realize how, after all these years, we still “judge” cookies when they come out of the oven to see if they are blue-ribbon-worthy.
I guess it’s the sense of community and the posting about your normal, boring, daily lives, to people that you’ve grown up with offers a more personal touch to it. Facebook is basically just blogging to people you know. Blogging is posting to people that you most likely don’t know.
I must tell you, I have one “friend” on Facebook, I have never met. We “met” through our blogs. We both are Hoosiers and live over an hour apart. We have taken quizzes and other silly things on Facebook. It’s amazing how we are so alike! We will get together someday for lunch when we go to Indy and then we can blog about it! That’s something I’m looking forward to!

My favorite blogs have to do with thrift shopping and turning “trash” into treasure. I have loved to do this for a long time, and so guess I felt compelled to only blog about what I’ve been up to in the refurbishing world. I have realized that life gets in the way of what I want to do, even though what I really want most in the world is to spend these few precious years enjoying my kids, their friends, their activities, etc. I suppose that once the kids all grow up and move out of the house I will have more time to do this. But in the meantime, I guess I can’t really worry about it. I’ll just post about “life, here in the great State of Indiana, out here in the country”. It’s our life, and I will probably not even notice some of the differences from living here in the country as opposed to living in town, or even in a larger city. I’m not totally a country bumpkin…I don’t really even care for country music.
My son just recently learned of his roommate at IU…he is from Beverly Hills. This should be culture shock for both of them, so I think this will be fun! Through Facebook, I’ll be able to keep up with their activities, etc. I love the humorous comments that these kids post….I guess hanging out with them will help to keep me young. I’ve become familiar with the “popular” music again…some of which I like (a lot of it, not so much!).
So, to post about recent thrifting by me, I purchased numerous cheapy pieces of furniture over the 4th of July weekend and am in the process of “shabbying” it up for the Christmas Bazaar.
This week, I purchased 2 upholstered chairs at Salvation Army (this store, as well as Goodwill have become increasing pricey!). These chairs had that perfect “shabby” look to them, but had stains, had been in the store for a few weeks, and I finally just asked, “Hey, these have been here for a while, what is the chance that these would be marked down?” To my surprise, they marked them down over half what was listed. This made me both happy and mad. I think they are attempting to gouge all of us “purchase for display or resale people”. I have decided that it is much more cost-effective to attend auctions or yard sales for the true bargains! Anyway, I bought them on my lunch hour and loaded them into the back of my van. When I got off work, I opened the door to the stench of cat pee! Eeewwww!!!!! Salvation Army has its own “smell”, so can’t say I noticed it in the store. Plus, sitting in the hot car afternoon didn’t help matters at all. I had initially thought I could use upholstery cleaner, but now that I’ve discovered the urine, they’re going to have to be de-odorized, as well. I contacted my husband’s cousin, who works for a restoration company, and it will cost a small fortune to have this done. Needless to say, it has turned out not to be such a bargain after all. With what I will have to spend to have them cleaned (and even then, they can’t guarantee the smell will be completely gone), I decided I could do one of 2 things: 1) Say the heck with it and get them cleaned, although I would never be able to get back out of them what I had in them or 2) Say the heck with it, I need to find someone to teach me how to upholster, buy some clearance fabric and reupholster them myself. This is the option I’ve decided upon. I’m going to completely strip them down to bare bones and start over. With what I will have to pay for classes, I’m sure I’ll be money ahead, plus will have learned a skill that I can use in the future. Generally, I have this thing about chairs…I always buy them…you can never have too many. Once I learn how to reupholster them, I’m somewhat concerned that I will have no fear in buying those that can be recovered. This could start a whole new chapter….so, guess maybe it was a good buy after all. Now, to locate someone to teach me…..

So, this is pretty much my April-August life. Not sure when I’ll post again, hopefully soon, but no guarantees. Rest assured, those of you that I’ve been following for a while, I’ll continue to see what you’re up to….your lives seem more interesting, anyway! Thank you to those faithful bloggers….you’re more fun and fresh than some of the magazines, but am thrilled to pieces for any of you who are featured in a magazine, newspaper or what have you. Keep up the good work and hope to talk to you all real soon.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Birthday Surprise! (More like shock!)

It's been well over a month since I last posted...I can't believe how time is flying this spring! I really truly don't know how all you "daily" bloggers do it! I really appreciate all the time and effort that goes into daily blogging. I thought I'd just do a quick catch-up.

Fire Just a little too close to home!
I will start with my birthday , which was March 24. This picture is what I came home from work to! This is the field behind our house. I became concerned because a few days earlier, my husband was burning some brush and it just about got away from him. He happened to be off the day of my birthday and while I was driving home from work, I could see all this smoke from the county above ours (which was probably a good 10-12 minutes from home). I thought to myself....that looks like it could be coming from our house! My next thought was, "What did he do!" As I got closer and closer I KNEW that it was coming from our house. While I was driving down the road, I could see waist-high flames and the wind had really picked up. The field was black as far back as you could see. When I got to the house, I was somewhat confused. There were people outside at my neighbor's house (1/4 mile from us) and there were people walking back toward the fire. But my husband was inside the house. Then I thought, "Oh my, he started this fire and went inside and doesn't have a clue what's going on!" When I got inside I hollered out, "Please tell me you didn't do this!" He said, "Do what?" I just knew he was in big trouble. Then he started laughing and said our neighbor came over that morning and told him he was going to burn the field. Of course, the wind had picked up and it burned a whole lot more than he anticipated! Pretty soon, someone from the fire department came pulling into our drive. He said that this burn had been called in (meaning, that our neighbor had called the fire department to inform them that he was doing this), but since the wind had picked up and they had received numerous phone calls, he thought they had better come keep an eye on it. Fortunately, it stayed in the field. All the weeds have been burned out (Farmers do this occasionally) and all is well.

Spring is finally beginning to arrive!

We had a couple of beautiful, somewhat warm days (mid-60s) and my magnolia tree was just beautiful. I took these pictures just before it got cold and snowed again. I knew that this tree would turn a yucky brown, but it actually held up well through the freeze! I haven't been so luck in years past!

My forsythia is just beginning to bloom. This is only the second year for it. Years ago, when I worked in the flower shop, we used to force these in the spring and use in arrangements. I always loved them, but never had one of my own. A couple of years ago, I saw on on clearance and decided to plant one. It hasn't gotten big enough yet for me to feel that I can pluck branches from it to force. I'm thinking about underplanting it with muscari (grape hyacinths) which bloom at the same time. Maybe I'll get around to doing this sometime this fall.

Better get busy, time is running out!
My son is graduating in just a few weeks...this is a pile of newspaper clippings from just this year! I want to get them all into a scrapbook for him, but what a mess! I have been cutting out articles from our weekly newspaper and some from the Richmond newspaper all through football season, wrestling season, some academic and awards. I would just cut them out and put them loosely in his book, thinking I would sit down one day and just get them done. Well, crunch time is upon us and I decided to get a little organized.

They are finally into manageable piles now. Ran out of time on this day, but at least they are grouped by subject now. The bad news is, track season has started......which means more articles...
Nothing like a deadline to get it done! I will probably be finishing up around midnight the night before his graduation party....good thing I work well under pressure!

More Spring wreaths!
My friend called to say she had purchased some flowers for a new spring wreath and wanted me to put it together for her. Funny how friends think alike sometimes. I had recently purchased some flowers for my new spring wreath....amazing how we picked out almost the exactly same colors and flowers! Of course, they look different (at least to me)--sorry for the sideways view!

This is my wreath...the colors are the same as my friend's, yet somewhat different.
Here is a close-up of the hydrangeas and dogwood...
Close--up of the cabbage roses...aren't they gorgeous? They're a pale, pale yellow. I just fell in love with them!
When I was selecting my flowers, I came across these dogwood and thought they would be just the perfect touch. The problem was, they were way too white. Then, I remembered I had some Design Master spray "Just for Flowers" in spring green left over from a wedding. This is the coolest spray ever. You spray it and it doesn't cover up all the other colors! See, the red edges still show. It just turned the white dogwood into a "natural" green. It turned out perfectly!
Well, I just finished up making oatmeal butterscotch cookies and blueberry muffins to give to the track team at our big invitational meet tomorrow in Ohio. It is supposed to be 80 degrees....our first warm weekend this year and boy, are we excited! I'll have to remember the sunscreen so we don't get fried!
I'll see you all soon....hopefully it won't be more than a month this time!
Take care,

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Something a Little Special

I have mentioned in previous posts, that my oldest daughter, Sarah, has special needs. She has been out of school for almost 4 years now (that seems impossible!). Her high school transition class develops skills to use post-high school.

The problem, to me, is finding areas to utilize these skills once the kids get out of school. Indiana has not done a very good job of funding programs for post-high school kids and a lot of them end up sitting at home with nothing to do. I think this is terribly sad.

Sarah has several jobs. One of her favorites, is volunteering in our high school transition class each and every school morning at La Sals. (Sals is an acronym for Something A Little Special--we just added the "La" to make it sound fancy!).

La Sals is a coffee shop in our high school. It is run by the special needs transition class and has volunteers from general education students, as well. We serve Starbucks coffee, lattes and cappuccinos, sweet tea, hot tea (lots of flavors to choose from), and hot chocolate. The students are served until the first bell rings and then faculty can place orders for delivery during the rest of the day.

I love watching how the transformation from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year is for these special kids. The self-confidence they develop is just amazing. Something else that is truly amazing is how much more it has helped our special kids become accepted at school. That was a side-effect we didn't expect when we began this project 2 years ago.

We weren't allowed to "paint" the walls, so we just used the same technique that we did on the other walls to create a tile effect...the "tiles" are actually textured wallpaper squares.

One of the aides in the classroom is awesome at faux-finish painting...see our exposed "brick" walls?

The other classes jumped right on this project...the industrial tech class cut stuff to hide electrical posts and came up with ideas to help with lighting, signing, etc.

The entrepreneurial class did a business plan for us and those kids initially helped out to get the project up and running.

When we received the go-ahead from the administration, we were warned that we had to come up with our own funding. It is amazing how many items were donated for our cause.

Tables were donated by a local businessman and the chairs, which are all mis-matched have all been painted black.

As funding for schools in general is very tight, the teacher has been very creative in ways to fund projects for her class. When my daughter was in middle school, they started making gingerbread ornaments. I thought, okay, I'll buy these ornaments to help support the cause (I wasn't really that keen on the idea). Then, I saw how cool they were and bought tons of them. It was suggested that the class set up at the local Christmas Bazaar that fall. They had a stellar day and needless to say, a tradition began.

The kids don't make as many gingerbread ornaments as they used to and their projects have evolved over the years. Currently, with the jewelry craze, the kids put together jewelry. Girls will bring in their prom dresses to have jewelry custom-designed to match. Sterling silver and swarvoski crystals are used. The classroom aides will come up with a design and the kids will copy it.

Here are some ID card beaded chains and earrings on display (the shutters were also donated) in the classroom. Some mornings, a teacher or student might come in and say they forgot to put on their earrings, and buy a pair to go with their outfit!

The librarian had been to Italy and had taken photos of streets. She brought the photos in for us to see...immediately we thought the industrial tech class could help again....they enlarged the photos, they've been mounted behind windows, a teacher who can sew made awnings, and our "windows" look out onto italian streets!

Occasionally, we have teachers from other school districts hear about our project and visit this classroom to see what all has been done and to see if they can replicate it in their own transition classes. It takes a dedicated teacher (she comes in at 7:00 a.m. every morning, and we're usually there right after) to get everything started and have ready for the kids to serve at 7:30...she is not paid extra for coming in. It takes good volunteers to pull this off too! But, since my daughter and I were in on this project from the very beginning, there is no way we want to stop helping. It's our baby too!

I must admit, this is not a very flattering picture, but my youngest daughter, Katie, her friend, and the teacher's son (he doesn't normally wear a tie to school, there was a basketball game that night and the team members must dress up during the day!) help out every single morning. We have one special needs student who is able to come in to help...she was most likely in the cafeteria drumming up business when this picture was taken! The kids our our high school must give 40 hours of community service as part of their graduation requirement. These 3 kids have come in every single morning this year...and we calculated they reached their 40-hour minimum in October! I really think they enjoy helping and occasionally, when we're at home, Katie asks me if I'd like a hot chocolate-- let me just say, she can make a mean cuppa cocoa! (Our secret is using Swiss Miss with milk instead of water--the kids think this is the best hot chocolate they've ever had!) Of course, we make specialty cocoas with Starbucks syrups. My favorite is with hazelnut and then add chocolate shavings and carmel bits to the dollop of whipped cream! (No calories in this!)
It's amazing that with a little bit of encouragement, these kids can do some really cool stuff they can be proud of! This classroom certainly lives up to its motto "Changing disabilities into possibilities"!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Drive Your Tractor to School Day! Small Town Living at its Best!

Today, the high school FFA members drove their tractors to school. (For those of you who don't know, FFA stands for "Future Farmers of America). We live in the country, but not on a farm. I grew up on a farm and we are surrounded by farmers, so I don't really feel like I''ve left the farm.
It makes me giggle to hear other people complain about how slow the tractors are, etc. I get upset with people who drive too slowly, but never with tractors or other farm equipment when I get behind them. I always remind myself that farmers are feeding us, and who doesn't like food? I love "drive your tractor to school day" because all the kids travel into town to the "Co-op" and then parade together to the school. To me, it's just one of the wonderful things about living in a small town.

Recently, someone sent me an email about small towns, which pretty much sum us up!


Those who grew up in small towns will laugh when they read this.Those who didn't will be in disbelief and won't understand how true it is.

You can name everyone you graduated with. (Pretty much, we had 142, my son, who is a senior has around 120 in his graduating class)

You know what 4-H means. (Proud 10-year 4-H member, as are my kids). Can you say the 4-H Pledge? "I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world".

It was cool to date somebody from the neighboring town. Oh yeah!

The whole school went to the same party after graduation. Our graduations are held at Miami University, just over the state line in Oxford, Ohio. Everybody goes to BW3's, afterwards, 'cause it's the only thing still open that late!

You didn't give directions by street names but rather by references.. Turn by Nelson's house, go 2 blocks to Anderson's, and its four houses left of the track field. True, so true.

You couldn't help but date a friend's ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. There are only so many to choose from, so usually, before you get out of school, it happens.

Your car stayed filthy because of the dirt roads, and you will never own a white vehicle for this reason. Actually, I have a white vehicle, but it is hard to keep clean, but doesn't show the dust as bad as black vehicles do!

The town next to you was considered 'trashy' or 'snooty,' but was actually just like your town. Except, our neighboring towns are trashy or snooty! (Just kidding!)

You referred to anyone with a house newer then 1955 as the 'rich' people. Our house was built in 1925...we're not the "rich" people by far!

Anyone you wanted could be found at the local gas station or on Main Street. (Or Woodruff's, our local is impossible to just "run in real quick" to get something because you always run into people you know!

You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town or one of your friends driving a grain truck to school occasionally. Hence, the tractor day today!

The gym teacher suggested you haul hay or pick rock for the summer to get stronger. (but only to the boys)

Directions were given using THE stop light as a reference. Except we now have 2 stop lights! (This is not our town, but you get the idea)

When you decided to walk somewhere for exercise, 5 people would pull over and ask if you wanted a ride. This always's best to drive into town and walk the track!

Your teachers called you by your older siblings' names. I was the oldest in my family, but it did happen to my younger siblings.

Your teachers remembered when they taught your parents. Yes, we still have teachers at school that were my teachers that my kids now have.

You could charge at any local store or write checks without any ID. In fact, yesterday, my husband went to town to get gas and realized after he pumped the fuel, he'd forgotten his wallet at home....of course, he was allowed to go home without paying on the promise to return right away, which of course, he did!

There was no McDonalds. No, but we do have a Subway, J's (local family diner) and Pizza King (the best pizza ever!)

The closest mall was over an hour away. We do have a small mall 20 minutes away, but to go where all the good stores guessed it, an hour away!

It was normal to see an old man riding through town on a riding lawn mower. My neighbor drives his scooter into town all the time!

You've peed in a corn field. Many times...hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go!

I would not have wanted to be raised any other way!!!! It's the best. When we lived in Indy, I passed the same people on my way to work every one ever waved. Here, you can actually pass people on the road and everyone waves whether you know them or not! What's not to love about all of this~!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Relay for Life Fundraiser

Our local Relay for Life event will be held in May. Preparations begin early. Our local Library spearheads a fundraiser that caused quite a stir in our small community a couple of years ago and certainly raised some eyebrows. We had an art-bra contest. Community members and organizations decorated bras. We had around 22 entries all together. The community voted on their favorites by adding money to collection cans and the top 12 vote-getters received a coveted spot in a calendar for the following year. The bras were auctioned off during the event. All proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. It was a lot of fun! I am posting two of the bras.

This first one, was the one I submitted, entitled "Nobody in here but us Chickens" tribute to small-breasted farm girls. Call me crazy, but it is proudly perched atop my refrigerator. How many people do you know have bras displayed in the kitchen?
We love to use our local resources, so the business class in the high school took the bras around town and photographed them for the calendar. My chicken bra was photographed surrounded by bales of straw with live baby chicks! The kids really got into this project!
I believe I have mentioned my oldest daughter, Sarah, has special needs. She graduated in 2005, but we still volunteer daily in her high school transition class. The kids in this class learn daily living skills as well as skills to use post-high school in the work force. Two years ago, the transition class opened a coffee shop in the school. This student-run business serves Starbucks coffee, hot chocolate, tea and occasionally smoothies to the student body in the morning before school and make deliveries to teachers, etc. throughout the day. I will post more on this coffee shop soon. Anyway, this class entered a bra entitled "Tea for Two". The students strung beads and one of the aides in the classroom sewed them onto a bra. The beads resemble teacups. This was a community favorite and earned the January spot on the calendar.
This bra was purchased at the auction and then donated back to the classroom. You can't tell from the picture, but the stand is covered in coffee beans and there are two spirals arising from the cups of tea to resemble steam. It is proudly displayed in the coffee shop/classroom.
This year, the Library relay team is going to do another auction and calendar. We're decorating hats displayed with hat boxes. Our fundraiser is called "Every Hat has a Story". I have in mind what I'm going to enter, and will let you see the finished product soon.
Does anyone else have fun/crazy/eyebrow-raising fundraisers in your communities?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Snow Plows and Mailboxes Do Not Mix!

I came home from work to this nice mess....the snow plow got our mailbox and several others on our road. This is the second time this week we've been hit! The first time, it knocked off our address sign and then this! The really bad thing is we got hit last year, as well. So, guess we know what our first priority is once the ground thaws!

Well, it's certainly been an interesting week with snow around here! I didn't get out earlier this week to take pictures of the "big snow", but it's supposed to get into the 40s today and the snow is already melting all over the place!
The kids were out of school 3 days last week and then it was somewhat warmer on Saturday, only for it to melt and get really cold and turn to ice! Then, more snow on top of that! My son's wrestling team was to have had their Sectional tournament last Saturday about an hour south of here...but it was postponed due to the weather. All other tournaments in the State of Indiana had theirs but ours. They decided then to split it into a two-day event on Monday and Tuesday. The wrestlers were let out of school at 2:00 to travel to the event (I left work early so I could go, too) and we got all the preliminary rounds in. It was after midnight when we finally got home. The final rounds were to be completed the following night. It started to snow mid-morning on Tuesday and it dumped between 4 and 6 inches of snow throughout our area. The meteorologists called it a Snow Bomb. There was just this small band of snow on the radar, but it hovered over our area and just snowed and snowed and snowed. Needless to say, the kids had an early release from school and the wrestling tournament was postponed again! Wednesday, 7 of the 8 schools involved in the tournament were closed, but they went ahead and had it anyway. Again, left work early! But we made it back down to the tournament and 7 boys from our school are advancing to the Regionals in Richmond on Saturday (tomorrow), including my son! So, this afternoon, I'm making macaroni and cheese in the crockpot and a big veggie tray...some of the other team moms are bringing food too. Some of the boys have to make weight so don't eat much before weigh-in, but they can eat afterwards so we want to be sure and have some good food ready for them.

We still have quite a bit of snow, but it's really melting quickly. Yesterday, we had thick ice on all the trees and it was really beautiful, it's all melted now. I really wanted to get some pictures, but just didn't get it done.

These are a couple of my birdhouses that I left out after the holidays...I think they're "wintery" with the greens, so will leave them out a little while longer. I'm really getting antsy thinking about spring, especially when the weather gets a little warmer and we've all been cooped up inside.

Everyone have a nice weekend, I think it's gonna be relatively warm next week! Whoo Hoo!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kid Art~Masterpieces of the Home

Sometimes the kids bring home pictures from school that just speak to me....I thought I'd share a few of my favorites that I've kept and had framed.

This first one was made last year by my oldest daughter, Sarah, for Mother's Day. Sarah is my kid with special needs. She is 23. She is mildly autistic and is moderately mentally handicapped. In short, it's like having an 8-year old with 23-year old hormones! She is in love with the Jonas brothers and Hannah Montana. She loves boys and is not afraid to tell them so. (I must admit, she has very good taste in boys). Our community is very small and very close knit. One business person in town told her she was famous because everyone knows her. (I don't know if that's good or bad :) )....No, I know--it's good. She is much beloved by most people and everyone always humors her. People are constantly asking her who her "boyfriend"'s always changing, but she knows that he's the one she's going to marry! The boy generally changes weekly. We take her with us everywhere we go. She usually takes along a bag of "stuff to keep her busy". One thing she does out of the goodness of her heart is color pictures for everyone. Sometimes she approaches complete strangers (at ball games) and says that she's colored a picture for them. She tells them it's for their "frigerator". It always brings a smile. She has her moments....but don't we all? Overall, she is just a very sweet and thoughtful person. Who could ask for more?

My son, who is now 18 and a senior, made this picture when he was in 4th or 5th grade. I just fell in love with it (even though cats are probably my least favorite animal). One of the things that endeared it to me is, if you look closely, the cat is holding a football.....his favorite sport! We decided to frame this one and he entered it in the 4-H fair that summer...he received a state fair entry. The Judge at the State Fair didn't like the fact that the drawing has silver accents and we chose to put it in a gold frame.....the gold went better in my house, and I didn't care about the silver, it was made by my son! Sometimes you have to overlook things like that!

My youngest daughter drew this fabulous snow-girl when she was in 1st grade. She brought it home somewhat crumpled up from school, but we pressed it and there was just something about it that spoke to me....naturally, I had to have it framed, as well. Even though it is definitely a winter drawing, I leave it up year-round!

I've saved my favorite for last....This tulip was made by my youngest daughter when she was in 4th grade (I think). She absolutely did not like it at all....she thinks it looks like a birthday cake. I can see why she thinks that, but I immediately saw it was a tulip...she was shocked that I actually knew what it was supposed to be! Being the flower-lover that I am, of course I knew what it was! This painting still remains her least favorite, but my very never know what masterpieces they may bring home! This was also a painting that I encouraged her to enter in the 4-H fair (against her desire), and it received division champion and state fair entry.

Of course, all the kid art in my house is state fair quality in my eyes! They're all masterpieces. ...even the coloring book pages that end up on the fridge. Lots of people have Sarah Art on their fridges and if she gives you one, and then we visit, it better be hanging up or she'll ask about it!

Cherish all the masterpieces from your budding artists....they are truly priceless and some of the many things that make a house a home.

Talk to you soon,