Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Lemonade in Review

In looking back over 2009, I've selected and linked my favorite posts.  I've also included a tiny portion of text from each post for your reading enjoyment. (In case you don't want to click on the link for the whole thing.) You're welcome. Really, it's a lot like People Magazine's Year in Review. Minus the celebrities. And the Brittany Spears drama. And millions of readers.

Okay, so it's actually nothing like People Magazine. I just wanted to pretend for a minute.

One of my favorite Solutions of 2009:
Magnetic Personality
In homeschooling, and in general life, I find that I need magnets. Lots and lots of magnets. I'm one of those people who clutter the front of my fridge with bazillions of photos of people I love, so I already have a ton of magnets. But I wanted magnets that actually served a purpose... You know, something worthwhile like um, oh I don't know... organization.



Favorite Funny/Romantic story of 2009:
Some enchanted evening...
Recently I was standing quietly, in a crowded room. I happened to look out across the tops of heads, as I felt some sort of magnetic pull to the opposite side of the room. My eyes scanned the laughing, chattering faces until they came to rest on the one I'd been inadvertently seeking...

Favorite Mishap of 2009:
Are you ready for some football?
...I laughingly jumped on top of the sled, thinking, "Of course Adrain won't actually tackle this thing with his wife on it..."
He laughingly thought, "Of course she would grab onto a handle and expect me to bump it a little if she actually jumped onto this thing..."

Favorite Photo of 2009 (1995):
A Picture worth a thousand words...
Look very closely at this photo. It's my all time favorite photo of our wedding. It encapsulates our marriage perfectly. If you know us in real life, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and if you have read my blog for a few months, you've got a pretty good idea.

There's me, laughing and socializing with friends on the way down the aisle and being generally sidetracked into party mode on the way to the reception. And then you see my Adrain. Strong and steady, leading me, looking straight ahead to the future and protectively covering my hand on his arm.

Favorite Organizing like a Mad Woman post of 2009:
Because you just can't be too organized...
...I could have a bag for everything under the sun, so long as it was clearly labeled. Labelling is my love language...

Favorite Aha Moment of 2009:
The difference between Daddies and Mommies
...I wrinkled my nose in disgust at the apparent lack of concern, and began edging toward my husband who was out of earshot. Certainly he would have something a little more protective to say when he quickly saw things my way. (snicker) When I finally got to him, I said "Honey, should JJ be up so high? What if he falls?" My husband gave me the look. You know, the adorable one that says, "You are a girl. You clearly don't get it, and I can't help you." And then because of the horror spasming across my face at all of this manly disconnect from would-be danger, he was careful to reassure me. "Oh babe, he'll be fine. If he does fall, he'll just know not to do it again."

Favorite Kids World Moment of 2009:
Let me tell you how I feel about Kites...
...You lick your finger and hold it up to see what direction the wind is blowing, and your baby begins to unravel the string, pure joy lighting up her features. She has no idea what's in store for her with this kite. And frankly, neither do you. You've been semi-imagining laughing children, running back and forth with a kite gently swaying, high up above. You can see it dip and dive, and everyone is smiling in your little ignorant daydream. You are under the false impression that this kite is your friend....
...Next thing you know, people are quitting all over the place. Key people. Star people. Kite runner types, that are supposed to be in charge of this operation. They are just throwing down their kite in disgust, and letting the wind take over...





Favorite Popcorn Moment of 2009:
Does this post make my butt look big?
...Once I got home, I tried them on and they appeared to be rather cute. But before I could get excited, I had to know the harsh truth about the butt pockets. No one was around to ask, unless you count a six year old who wears brown and pink striped shirts under an Easter dress and thinks it's beautiful. You just can't trust that...


Happy New Year!!

I love ya to pieces. Can't wait to blog with y'all in 2010.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Knock it off Pottery Barn. I mean it. Don't make me count to three...

Okay Pottery Barn... I love you. I really do... but your fifty dollar moss wreath is killing me here. It's moss! It's a wreath of moss! Fifty? Really? Why?

But... being the suckered in PB groupie that I am... I did it for under $13.00. How do you like them apples?
It just requires a styro wreath form... and two bags of moss. Oh- and a vacuum cleaner, some newspaper, and a hot glue gun. Tear moss in smaller chunks and hot glue to form. Fill in gaps and work your way around the entire thing. Two bags was enough to cover front and back and make me cry for a maid. (It's really messy. But not fifty dollars messy. No sir.)
About 20 minutes later... Voila. I know... it's not quite as cute as Pottery Barn's. But it required so much less of a financial commitment... so it was well worth the mess to me. Now, just hang as is, add a pretty ribbon, or use some push pins to add a few ornaments decorations, or vintage postcards! Super cute, and like all my projects- stupid easy.

Pottery Barn, you should be ashamed of yourself... Or just cut that price down for heaven's sake! I still love you though... I promise.



Monday, November 2, 2009

A picture worth a thousand words...

I celebrate 14 years of driving this man o' mine crazy wedded bliss this month. I recently thought I'd lost all of my wedding photos. Which wouldn't have been difficult, considering that all I have is a stack of 4x6 photos, tied with a ribbon as pictorial proof of this blessed event. I really need to get these into a permanent album!

I just about tore the house apart searching for these. You don't come between a girl and her wedding photos, even if they are only a stack of pictures tied with a ribbon. That's a good way to get yourself hurt. I finally found them and sank down at the table in relief. Then I applied myself to careful study of these photos for about the 800th time in the past decade. I quickly found myself laughing hysterically at the ridiculous way I chose to wear my hair (done by my own self) on this day, and the fact that I was sporting red lipstick. I think I stopped wearing red lipstick in the year 2000 and I will never look back. We should have eloped to Maui where I could have worn a simple dress, walked in bare feet, managed minimal family and guests, and taken a honeymoon. We weren't thinking. (We were 19 and 20.)

I'm just so thrilled that I had at least enough sense to forgo the butt-bow (You know what I'm talking about right?) that so many brides were wearing on the rear of their gowns in the 90's. (Oh help me... I was a 90's bride!)

So my point. Look very closely at this photo. It's my all time favorite photo of our wedding. It encapsulates our marriage perfectly. If you know us in real life, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and if you have read my blog for a few months, you've got a pretty good idea.

There's me, laughing and socializing with friends on the way down the aisle and being generally sidetracked into party mode on the way to the reception. And then you see my Adrain. Strong and steady, leading me, looking straight ahead to the future and protectively covering my hand on his arm. He was probably thinking, "Come on Sasha... sweetheart, let's just focus for a minute here, and make it out of the church in one piece."

He had no idea what he was in for...



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why homeschooling makes me laugh...

I know I'm a couple of weeks late bringing this up, being that Columbus day is long since over and gone, and you're all done with your big celebrations.

Personally, I don't really care to celebrate Columbus day. I'll just be honest here, it's kind of an irritating holiday for me. Typically, I spend a small portion of the day walking down to the the mailbox. Then I get there and realize that I just wasted five whole minutes of my life that I'll never get back, walking to a god-forsaken mailbox, on a supposed holiday that no one actually celebrates. Except for bankers and mailmen. I usually allow myself just a little slice of bitterness as I trudge forlornly back to my driveway. It's easy to forget that I used to really whoop it up on Columbus day back when I was in banking. In fact, I really loved having a paid day off that no one else got. Serves me right I suppose.

Okay. So the reason for this post, (and there is always a reason, lest you doubt me for even a second) is that my son recently finished a report on Mr. Columbus. Not such a good guy really. Did you know that? He was kind of slimy sort. Liar. Slave driver. Swindler... you know, really "quality character" things that you'd want to celebrate by giving the world no mail for an entire day. (I promise to drop this now.)

But the point is, that JJ drew the cutest picture for his report and I laughed for three whole minutes as I read it. (Almost makes up for the five I lost when..... Oh yeah. I said I'd stop.)

If you can't read it, allow me to decipher it for you. The first picture is of Columbus's three ships. Presumably, Columbus is shouting at someone on the shore, "Earth is round." And that ignorant naysayer on land is shouting, "No it's not!" And if you look very closely at the picture, it appears that the land-loving unbeliever is cupping his hands around his mouth so as to carry his shout further. Hence, my three minutes of laughter.
Admittedly, it takes very little to make me laugh for three whole minutes these days.

I blame homeschooling.

And mailmen who take days off.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

We had family pictures today with my side of our extended family. It's sort of a tradition for my Mama, so we do it each year. We wore our Seahawk colors/jerseys this time around, cause that's how we kick it. Oh, and fun fact. We took photos at the high school that my brother, my husband, and I graduated from... the stories I could tell. Oh, and another fun fact. I'm wearing my man's high school football number on my tee shirt. Yes, I am that girl. (Thank you for loving me anyway.)

Have you ever seen one of these? It's a one-man sled/tackling dummy.
Guess who stands on top of these things?
Dummies. What? (FYI, I'd have said that regardless who was on it, but this was the only photo I could find of a dude on a one-man sled. I'm sure John Kerry is a very nice man.)

After family photos, my man and brother were reliving the glory days of football on this very field. Adrain decided to show my kids how to properly pop the sled with your shoulder. Apparently, there is proper technique for being a burly man about to drive into something like this. Let's not ask.

I laughingly jumped on top of the sled, thinking, "Of course Adrain won't actually tackle this thing with his wife on it..."
He laughingly thought, "Of course she would grab onto a handle and expect me to bump it a little if she actually jumped onto this thing..."

And that's when my man crouched, and sprung into that sled and knocked me backwards. Hard. I landed on my rear and it knocked my shoe off. It knocked my shoe off y'all!! Well, all but the ankle strap which stayed fixed securely onto a chunk of skin that was now dangling from the top of my foot.

It's not his fault that he outweighs me by 100 lbs. It's not his fault that he mistakenly thought there was a handle for me to grip. It's not his fault that he barely hit that thing and I went flying. Trust me, I know he barely hit it too, because I saw him tackling and flipping that thing upside down just for fun afterward. Twice. (That would have had my heart throbbing under any other circumstance, but my foot was the only thing doing any throbbing at that point.)
So in closing, I'd like to say a few things. First, that right there, is a fine piece of Man-manship, and I for one, would not want to be on the receiving end of a real life tackle. Second, I feel a renewed confidence in my man's physical ability to take someone out if necessary. I would not want to be that guy.

And lastly, I assign a ten yard penalty for roughing the wife.

Other possible titles for this post;
"A man, a woman, and a sled..."
"He almost knocked my socks off..."
"How to get your man to apologize to you 842 times"
"How do you spell guilt? A-D-R-A-I-N."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Let me tell you how I feel about kites...

Kite flying, in my opinion, is a sick joke. Oh it all starts out so innocently. Your child gets a kite in the midst of a birthday gift-opening flurry, and you stash it away for a rainy windy day. You think your children have forgotten about it, but the first day that has even the softest breath of wind, and they are jumping up and down begging to go fly kites. Children have the memory of an elephant, in case you weren't aware of that. They forget nothing when it comes to birthday presents.
While driving to the playground, they occupy themselves with bouncing up and down on the backseat, singing, "Let's go fly a kite" from Mary Poppins. What did I tell you? Innocent. But don't be fooled.
You lick your finger and hold it up to see what direction the wind is blowing, and your baby begins to unravel the string, pure joy lighting up her features. She has no idea what's in store for her with this kite. And frankly, neither do you. You've been semi-imagining laughing children, running back and forth with a kite gently swaying, high up above. You can see it dip and dive, and everyone is smiling in your little ignorant daydream. You are under the false impression that this kite is your friend.
The first thing you know, the Daddy is giving general instructions, setting the kite up, and getting the children off running. He barely misses decapitation from a low-flying, wayward kite string, as children go running in opposite directions. Then the kite gets dragged for a quarter of a mile, as children easily forget to run and watch the kite. No one can hear anyone in the wind, and you are suddenly very aware that it's freezing cold out here.
Next thing you know, people are quitting all over the place. Key people. Star people. Kite runner types, that are supposed to be in charge of this operation. They are just throwing down their kite in disgust, and letting the wind take over...
Staring off into the heavens, imagining what might have been if only they were the boss. But here's the truth. The kite is the boss. It's got a mind of it's own, and you need to develop a healthy respect for it.
Because if you don't, in the end, your left lying on the cold, hard, ground, with a kite that won't lift, wondering who dared to give you this for your birthday seven months ago, because you want to give them a piece of your mind right about now.
But then... like a sunny break in the clouds, the Daddy comes through and saves the day with Frisbees, basketballs, and fun.

Because bossy kites are no match for a Daddy like this, any day of the week.

(Prrrrrrrr..... )


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Because, you just can't be too organized...

One very obvious flaw I that I have, (and trust me, there are many, where this came from) is that I just can't buy something that I could actually make for myself for a lot less money. I try, really I do, but then my DIY personality takes over, and it's a fight I can't win. So I give up and head to the craft store.

Today's project is a very obvious knock off. If you've ever drooled over the boat and tote bags in an L.L. Bean catalogue, and thought to yourself, "Oh gosh... I could get one bag for picnics, one bag for field trips, one bag for books, one bag for groceries, one bag for travel, one bag for chocolate..." It goes on and on. I could have a bag for everything under the sun, so long as it was clearly labeled. Labelling is my love language. But back to my point. I just can't afford four or five of these bags, though I dearly love them... so I made some. Y'all still with me here?
I purchased the tote bags for a couple of dollars each at the craft store, along with a tube of fabric paint, and a stencil brush...
I traced a printed image of my word onto some freezer paper, (waxy side down) and then carefully cut the letters out with an X-acto-knife. Then I simply ironed the paper onto my bag...
Stenciled the paint over the printed cut-outs...
Carefully peeled off the paper...
And my knock-off bag is done for under $5.00 a bag!

And now let's all take a moment for an ooh n' ahh. You know, when you stand back and say in unison, "Ooooh. Ahhhh."

Organizational bliss.

And no, I didn't make a bag for chocolate. It wouldn't stay in the bag long, so what would be the point, you know?



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some Enchanted Evening....


Recently I was standing quietly, in a crowded room. I happened to look out across the tops of heads, as I felt some sort of magnetic pull to the opposite side of the room. My eyes scanned the laughing, chattering faces until they came to rest on the one I'd been inadvertently seeking.

Standing tall, and tanned in a red shirt was a devastatingly handsome man. He was casually leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm a sucker for biceps, so they grabbed my attention. He looked relaxed, and appeared to be having a good time. His eyes met mine, and even at that distance, I could see a smile curving up the outer corners of his mouth. A nice, slow, smile that made my breath catch. I knew he was looking at me, because I'd just turned around and looked, to make sure. I was standing apart from a larger group, off on my own, and there was no one else looking back at him besides me. I felt like a bit of an idiot, but it's not every day that a gorgeous guy grins my way. So, I smiled back. Then he raised one eyebrow. Now I was blushing like a schoolgirl. I just stood there looking his way, and this guy never took his eyes off my face.

All of a sudden, my children came running up to me, clamoring for attention with books, and papers, and shouts of, "Look what I made Mommy!!" And when I looked back across the room, he was gone. I felt a little pang of disappointment, until a warm voice nuzzled my ear, and my husband said, "Hey, I really like your shirt... I was admiring the way you looked in it, from over across the room. Very cute."

And then I hired a babysitter for the rest of the week.

Just kidding.

Then we went home to real life.



Monday, September 21, 2009

Magnetic Personality

I have the best craft idea for you today! Are you so excited? Me too! (Admittedly, it takes very little.)In homeschooling, and in general life, I find that I need magnets. Lots and lots of magnets. I'm one of those people who clutter the front of my fridge with bazillions of photos of people I love, so I already have a ton of magnets. But I wanted magnets that actually served a purpose... You know, something worthwhile like um, oh I don't know... organization. That surprises you about me a little bit, doesn't it? (snicker)
I bought a narrow stick (about the size of a yard stick) at the craft store, an adhesive magnetic sheet, and some rub-on letters. I brought home the stick, painted it, and then rubbed on the letters. My husband cut the stick with his saw, because for some reason, he doesn't trust me with a saw. (He needn't worry, you can't hug a saw or anything... though I nearly could have, after I saw how adorable these turned out!!) After the ends are cut, you want to dab some matching paint on the ends... then simply adhere a magnet cut-to-size, on the back, and voila, you are done.

You could literally make magnets that say anything! You could go crazy with this people. Organizationally crazy. So now... go- and...

Organize your life.

(Oh how I love those three little words...)



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The difference between Daddies and Mommies


It was a weekend like any other. The weather was mild, and the kids were happily playing outside. They had just received permission from their daddy to ride bikes up and down the sidewalk out in front of the house. This is something we do a lot around here, but I always sit on the porch or weed the front yard flowerbeds while they ride. Adrain casually responded "Oh they'll be just fine," when I asked if he was going to hang out on the front porch while they rode.

I was forced to stand at the front window because letting them "be just fine" is something I'm apparently not capable of doing. And that got me thinking about the differences between moms and dads. There are quite a few in case you weren't clear on that. (Besides the fact that my children's daddy has biceps that positively melt me into a puddle of useless mush, whereas, I have no biceps at all by comparison.) Ahem.

We were recently picking apples with my parents. Adrain and JJ were way off down the lane, and I could see JJ climbing way high up into a tree. Adrain stood below, watching him in a relaxed attitude. I was nearest to my dad, and I remarked, "Oh I hope JJ is okay up there... I hope he doesn't fall!" My dad looked up for a second and said, "Eh- he'll be fine, if he does fall, he'll know not to do it again." Then he went right back to what he'd been doing.

I wrinkled my nose in disgust at the apparent lack of concern, and began edging toward my husband who was out of earshot. Certainly he would have something a little more protective to say when he quickly saw things my way. (snicker) When I finally got to him, I said "Honey, should JJ be up so high? What if he falls?" My husband gave me the look. You know, the adorable one that says, "You are a girl. You clearly don't get it, and I can't help you." And then because of the horror spasming across my face at all of this manly disconnect from would-be danger, he was careful to reassure me. "Oh babe, he'll be fine. If he does fall, he'll just know not to do it again."

Are you kidding me? Do they teach men this word-for-word response in Manhood 101? They were nowhere near each other, and both my father and my husband responded the exact same way! I laughed hysterically because I couldn't help myself. (for the record, my mama was just as worried as I was) And you know what? JJ didn't actually fall. Amazing.

So I decided that it's a good thing mommies and daddies are different. Because then kids get one parent who lets them climb, and one who patches them up when they fall. Sorta. You know what I mean...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Simple Craft for my Simple Mind

I told y'all that I'm intentionally slacking off when it comes to my blog this week. I'm gearing up for school, and wrapping up all sorts of little projects I won't have time for, once it begins. I have one project I wanted to share with you... it's an easy project I was able to sit and fully wrap my mind around, while at the same time, not thinking. I know, it sounds crazy, but you'll just have to trust me on this. (and feel free to give it a try yourself) I just happened to have three unused white candles in my candle bin. (and yes, I have a candle bin... you never know when emergency will strike, and you'll need a bin full of; candles, and matches, and lighters- oh my!... sorry, got a little carried away there.) I also had a small baggie of brads that you find in the scrapbooking section of the craft store, and since I don't scrapbook, I am always looking for ingenious ways to use items like this. Waste not, want not.

I traced the outline of the letters with a wooden skewer, and then simply pushed the brads into the sides of the candles in the shape of the letters. It took about twenty mindless minutes and when I was finished, I was left with this;

Not that I'm decorating for Fall yet... because then my friends would scold me... I'm just getting ready, and wont this be cute? Oh, just think of the possibilities...