Sunday, February 28, 2010

And the winner, one more chance to win!

Congratulations, Jewel!

You were chosen by as the winner of the Spring Give-Away!

Thanks for celebrating along with me, everyone!

Would you like a second chance to win a give-away???

Pop on over to my cooking blog here

to celebrate my Homespun One Year Blogiversary.

I just decided to spread the fun out for one more week.

Good Luck!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Project 365: Week 8

**Please, don't miss my Spring Give-Away. Click the link at the top of the sidebar. Ends Sunday night!**

It was a little more difficult to find great pictures this week. You know it's 'cause I bragged last week that it was becoming second nature to take a daily picture. Lesson learned. I'm such a rookie!


Our church live streams their services four times each weekend. If your home with a sick child, snowed under, in a far away can always catch a church service via the web. Our site:


I recently put Sara Bareilles' Love Song on my IPod for my daughters. That song makes me a little crazy; it's so repetitive, but I love my girls. Monday while driving in rush hour traffic I looked in my rear view mirror and saw Tara mouthing the words with her hand. It cracked me up! (Don't worry, we were at a standstill!)


Finished up a Bible study on 1 Corinthians with a young woman I mentor.


We went to a new friend's house for a playdate and fell in love with their many pets. Here is Cinnamon-Sugar eating lettuce from Tara's hand.

They had mice, frogs, fish, a turtle and guinea pigs. Each mouse or guinea pig I held in my hands curled up and went right to sleep. It was a little weird/cool. They nicknamed me the "rodent whisperer." How lucky am I? Ha!


I'll admit I've been looking for compositions that I could play around with in photo editing. I like getting a little artsy every once in awhile. Thursday night my hubby was gone for the evening so the kids and I went to DQ! Yum. They have the requisite Dr. office toy - that bead curvy thing - at our DQ. It's so grungy, but I can't keep my girls away from it. I took a picture then used the invert tool on to give it a new look. You can see other photos that I've edited by clicking on the picnik link under my Labels on the sidebar.


Went to the library and got a book entitled

It got me wondering where I include beauty in my home.

Didn't have to look too far. Love flowers and candles, especially in a clean kitchen.


So what does your family members do while YOU'RE on the computer? Here's my two men playing WOW (World of Warcraft) in the same room. They've got headphones on and are talking away to one another and other players in the game. Yep, the bed's a mess. It's Saturday!

If you'd like to see other 365er's blog about their week join Sara and the gang here.

Project 365 button designed by


On January 20th in a Random Dozen (see here) I mentioned that when I was newly married I gave it my best shot and tried to perfect Mark's favorite cookie, the Snickerdoodle. As far as our family goes, we've never tasted a better one than Angie's Original. I wanted to share with all my Random Dozen friends the link to my cooking blog where I have posted the recipe and a lovely picture of the famous cookies. Enjoy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Spring Give-Away and One Year Ruminations

This give-away is waaay too cute to miss!

Please, help me celebrate my blogiversary by joining in this springfest. Entries are accepted through 9pm EST Sunday night. Click here for a chance to win!

On another note, the ruminations of a year in blogging:

I'm going through some growing pains, blog-wise. While I enjoy sitting at my computer and randomly reading/commenting into the wee hours of the night, I do not enjoy the effects on my life that this behavior evokes. A year ago I began blogging to exercise my daily writing desire and to have a place to put my organizational tips. I loved journaling, but had no outlet for sharing my thoughts. I wanted to improve my content and writing ability. At times I think I've done that, at other times I wonder if there has been any progress at all. Can you identify with that? Did you start out with a blogging purpose and somehow get off-track? Or maybe it just morphed into something unexpected. Are you good with where your blogging has taken you?

I can't tell you how many times I've run across a new blogger and within months they are a mini-blogging superstar with buku followers. I then ask myself what am I doing/not doing that allows that to happen. I get a little green-eyed, feel the guilt, celebrate their progress, and re-examine why I'm in the blogosphere anyway. Does that happen to anyone else? I think this behavior has been the # 1 contributor to my lack of purpose. I get the "I wanna be like them" blues and then don't end up being myself. Can you relate? Anyone?

I have tried connecting with fellow bloggers (and I truly love some of you like we've known each other forever!), but I worry that my comments might be snarky while I'm just trying to be funny. I question my humility and wonder if "pride" is the theme of my blog. Just admitting those things to you, makes me wonder "How transparent am I, really?" I seem to lack self-esteem and obviously, like the rest of us who try something new, I'm in-process of finding out more about myself. I just have a blog window to view the transformation. Sometimes I like what I see, other times I don't.

I've gotten a little carried away lately with spending an inordinate amount of time in the blog world. I miss the real world. I'm sure being snowed under during the worst winter in DC has been a factor, but I really dislike excuses. I haven't been reading as much as I would like. I haven't played with my girls as much as I would like. I haven't kept up with the house or renewed my spirit with leisure activities as much as I would like, because I am vegged out in front of the computer. This is not the life I want. I want to share that REAL life with you all, but that means that I have to get up from the chair and go LIVE it. That looks differently for each of us and I am not trying to induce guilt on any of my readers. I am a busy mom who homeschools, works part-time, crafts, reads, cooks, writes, teaches choirs/band outside the home, etc. What may seem like too much time on the computer for me is just pittance for you retired ladies. I look forward to that time in my life, but it isn't right now. guilt, girls! I'm just sharing what's been going on inside ME.

I went to the library yesterday and came out with so many books I had to carry them to the car in two loads. I do miss reading! I got a variety of books on topics like blogging, psychology, digital photography, creativity, and home organization. I think I'm looking for a little purpose and perspective. I want my blog to be about something, even if it's about ALL the different things I enjoy. I just want to be true to myself as I write into my second year. I want to budget my blogging time so that I actually have non-computer time to spend on the activities and people that are important to me. Then I want to come back and share. What success comes or does not come won't matter if I'm purposeful in my living and sharing of it all.

Introspection is my friend. I'm hoping that as I take a little time in the next few weeks to think about what my blogging purpose is that something creative and worth sharing will emerge. If I'm a little more quiet, you can rest assured that I won't be MIA for long. Just trying to think of ways to share my heart and life in a way that is authentic.

Thanks for hanging out with me this year. I have a fondness for each of you and you have enriched my life by our interaction. Looking forward to more sweet times together!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Give-Away & the End O' Feb Random Dozen

It's Blogiversary Time!! Join me here for a fun Spring Give-Away!

Now on to the Random Dozen:

1. Have you ever fired a gun or shot a bow and arrow?

I've shot a bow and arrow in high school archery class and loved it. Gun, not yet. Would like to try....maybe, a Glock. That just sounds cool.

2. Do you know where your childhood best friends are?

Yes, but only two from childhood. I have several friends from college still willing to claim me. :)

3. Do you usually arrive early, late, or on time?

Yes to all three. I am never late for Dr. appts. I'm usually early for church and work. I'm usually right on time for our homeschool co-op if the traffic cooperates and I'm usually late for my kid's art class. Still trying to figure out why that is! Was that too much information...maybe.

4. Are you more of a New York or California type?

I married a San Diego boy. Beach = happiness.

5. Do you have a special ring tone?

No. I was sent the Fringe theme song by my daughter's boyfriend. It's in my message inbox. I don't know how to make it a ring tone. I'm challenged, but happy.

6. What is your favorite type of chip?

computer chip, chocolate chip, Chip & many chips to choose. Might you mean a potato chip? I like Baked Lays, thank you.

7. Best comedy you've ever seen is ....

I LOVE Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy by William Shakespeare. It's all about the word play, my friend!

Emma Thompson, you rock!

8. Have you ever cut your own hair? To quote Dr. Phil, "How'd that work for ya?"

Oh, Linda, why did you go there. Yes! For my high school Senior picture my mother set an appointment for me at Olan Mills one day after school. I came home that afternoon and decided that my hair needing trimming before driving myself to the studio. I hacked away. It was drastic. I realized the slippery slope I was on and being a primper extraordinaire I managed to make it look O.K., but weeks later when the pictures arrived my mom gasped and said, "What happened to your hair?" Did she not see me the night after the photo session? Yes, Mom, I cut my hair. Now I have it for posterity. (*Sorry I can't share the picture with you; it's buried in the back of the storage closet for good reason.)

9. If you were going to have an extreme makeover, would you rather it be about your house or your personal self?

House all the way! How fun would that be!!

10. Are you allergic to anything?

Bee stings, some food/product dyes, laundry. :)

11. Why is it so hard to change?

Habits are hard to break, Mr. Snicker's bar.

Truly hard.

12. One last question dedicated to February love: CS Lewis said, "To love is to be vulnerable." Please share one example of that assertion or share any thought you'd like to about this topic.

I think when you're willing to give yourself fully, you reap a great reward in transparency and trust. You risk a greater hurt, but in the end, I believe it's worth the risk. Really, how deep can love be without vulnerability?

Join the Random Dozers, as Linda from 2nd Cup of Coffee calls us! It's lots of fun!

Spring Blogiversary Give-Away!

Give-Away Now Closed!

I love blogging! I love meeting new bloggy friends! Thank YOU for sharing your lives with me this year and for letting me share a little of mine.

I've been so excited about having a Blogiversary Give-Away! I've put together a little spring collection, 'cause I'm just tired of winter, you know.

So let's usher out my first blog year with a spring celebration, shall we?!

Our spring collection includes: a beautiful green table runner with a spring plaid trim, spring pastel dish towels, an Easy Cupcakes book, tulip holders (for eggs? for candles?), the cutest woolly lamb and Jordan Almonds as a treat.

Here's all you have to do to enter the Give-Away:

1) You get one entry for leaving a comment on this post.
2) You get two entries for being a follower of this blog.
3) You get five entries if you post about this give-away on your own blog. (be sure to leave me a comment telling me about your post!)

It's that easy! Share the opportunity to usher in spring a little early.

The Give-Away is open until Sunday, Feb 28th, at 9PM Eastern Standard Time. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced Sunday night.

Good Luck and Happy End-of-Winter!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quilt Square Project

Have you ever volunteered yourself for something that makes your heart race and you wonder why you offered your services since you KNOW you don't know what you're doing!

I seem to have a gift for doing that.

About 10 days ago a new friend from our homeschool co-op sent out an urgent email asking for help. She needed someone to create a square for her niece's high school graduation quilt. The square needed to be completed by the end of the month and sent off to CA to be added to the blanket.

So...I sent her an email stating that if NO ONE ELSE offers to help, then maybe I could come up with something. In the end, it was all mine.

I do not quilt.

I have never created a quilt square.

I just started embroidering at the beginning of the year.

"What have I done?" I wondered.

Lynn (the friend/Aunt) emailed me the text and sent over the muslin square and I started thinking about design of it all. Ahhh.

Because she chose a verse that talks about the heart, I decided to put the verse inside a heart. I looked through my embroidery patterns and found this:

I liked the heart from this Feb pattern, but not the birds.
It's also not the right size, so I had to enlarge it.

I made a copy of the pattern and fiddled around with the copier until I got the desired size.

Now I needed to find an alphabet to create the text within the heart.
Which meant a stop at JoAnn Fabrics for me - how sad! :)

Of course, the alphabet wasn't the correct size either, so I enlarged it on the copier and then created my template on graph paper.

Then the text was added to the heart. Now I have a completed pattern.

I then taped the muslin to the pattern, laid it on a small lightbox from Katie's Fashion Studio and traced the pattern with a water erasable pen that I found in the embroidery section at JoAnn's.

There was a lot of relief once I had the pattern on the material!

I just had to embroider it.

Because I chose two shades of pink for the heart, that left me with very little color choices for the text. I went back and forth between tans, lavenders and greens. After consulting a color wheel I chose the Granny Smith green. It's feminine, but not too childish, I hope.

Here's the square on our piano bench. It's rather large - about 13 in. squared. I'm really proud of myself for figuring out how to tackle this project. I usually need someone show me how to do something new. Even then I'm intimidated, but this time I DID IT! Whoo hoo!

I've got a few of my own ideas rattling around in my cranium.

I think I'm addicted.

Linked to Make Your Monday at Twice Remembered

DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

Get your Craft On at Today’s Creative Blog

Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Project 365: Week 7

It's been a very busy week! When I checked my camera memory I was surprised that I had a picture for each day. It must be habit to take a daily picture now! Yay! Link with us here.


Flowers from my Valentine!


Designed an embroidery project for a friend...more to come.


Amazing icicles everywhere...this is at church.


A welcome sight! Our roads were horrible, but clear now.


A mounted Lynx at the Ski Lodge at my daughter's university.


My favorite church on the long drive to visit Ashley.
You can read about it here.


Free door sparkle! I wish I had one.
(We walk in and out of it like models on Project Runway!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Library Notebook

I have a little friend I take with me to the library.

She helps me remember books I'd like to read.

or finish reading...or read again...

She remind me of good friends who share their favorite stories with me.

But best of all, she helps me to remember...
my bloggy friends and their reviews!

*Sorry for the funky shadows. It was a quick post this morning before leaving to see my daughter at college. Can't wait! Will be back with you this weekend.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Random Dozen - Olympics!

Back again for the Random Dozen courtesy of Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee.

1. If you could compete in one Olympic event (not necessarily winter sports) what would it be?

Bring Back Tug of War!

1904 Summer Olympics

2. Do remember a specific Olympic moment from the past?

Who can forget the story of Dan Jansen. In 1988 Dan Jansen skated just a few hours after his sister Jane died of leukemia. He vowed to win gold in her honor, but fell down twice. He didn't come home with a medal. He tried again in '92 and fell again. He returned a third time in '94, only to fail at winning a place on the medal stand for his specialty, the 500 meters. Finally, during his last race in '94, the 1000 meters, he sets new World & Olympic records and wins the Gold! His baby daughter, Jane, is handed to him on the ice and he takes a victory lap in his sister's honor. I can still cry just watching the videos! Love it!!

3. Have you ever known anyone who competed in the Olympics?

Yes, I had a professor in college who had won gold and 2 silver in Greco-Roman Wrestling. I used to babysit his kids and saw his medals on many occasions.

4. If everyday activities were Olympic-worthy, which activity would you have a gold medal in?

Best all-around for keeping a family of 6 up and running!

5. Do you know anything about your ethnic heritage?

Yes, and I wrote about some of my relatives who brushed shoulders with some famous folks here.

6. Do you enjoy sleeping late?

Not really.

7. Have you ever performed CPR on anyone? Do you know how? (Yes, that's two, I know. Whatevs.)

No, I have not performed CPR. I haven't taken the training, but think I could administer CPR if needed.

8. Name one country you'd like to visit and explain why.

Peru. My husband and two older children have been there on mission trips and they fell in love with the people and country. We also support a young girl there through Compassion. I would love to visit her someday. My husband says if I go, I'll never return home.

9. Have you ever fixed up a couple romantically?

We've tried by making introductions, but let them take it from there. So far, no marriages.

10. What is the last book you read?

Fiction - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Non-Fiction: Southern Living Cookies

11. Do you enjoy sleeping late? NO, YOU write the question! How's that for random??

My question: If you could be a character in a book, who would you be and why?

I wish I could be a cross between Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Melanie! I'd love to have the drive, ingenuity and fortitude of Scarlett, but love and trust others like Miss Mellie. There's never one fictional character that can embody it ALL, but I do admire these qualities about the two main women in Gone with the Wind. Could be why it's an enduring story...

BTW, if you didn't know I was a BIG FAN of Gone with the Wind, you should read the introduction of my family written as my second blogpost last year.

12. What is your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant?

I had the MOST amazing Pecan-crusted Chilean Sea bass at the Red Fox Tavern in Middleburg, VA, but the chef left and they don't serve that dish anymore. It was truly memorable! Yum!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Project 365: Week 6

If you'd like to take a peek into how other bloggers see their daily lives (for inspiration, you know!) join Sara and the rest of the Project 365 gang for our weekly update. Here's how the week went in our neck of the woods.

Project 365 button designed by


Our family had been dealing with some nasty stomach bug so a dear neighbor spent an entire afternoon making us one of her famous Mediterranean dishes so we didn't have to cook. It was divinely delicious!


Fort Building!


My son is taking a novel writing class.
First book finally ready for editing...30,000 words here we come.


We dug out from the first storm that delivered 2 feet of snow to our doorstep. The second storm started to arrive overnight Tuesday through more foot to top it off in the end!


The girls were watching tv from the sled that somehow ended up in the living room. During the commercials it looked as if they were practicing for a future bobsled team....too funny to miss.


H-Mama took a great pic of party supplies in a bag last week and I told her I was borrowing her idea this week. We've had a pirate party on the calendar for weeks; it's been snowed out twice!

We finally celebrated Katie's 8th birthday with friends after being snowed out two weekends in a row. The first week we ate the store bought cake, the second week we knew the storm was coming and didn't bake, and this week we got all "Ace of Cake-like" and made our own. She was very proud of our design!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time Lapse Snow

Someone locally shared these videos with me!
Enjoy our snowpocolypse!

Part II:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Radom Dozen LOVE

Well, I've had plenty of computer time this week while waiting for snow to melt or arrive. As I type this morning it's coming down again. We've been snowed in for 6 days and by the looks of it, we'll have, at least, a couple more days. Check out my snow tour in the previous post and come back for a recap later this week!

Hopefully, my faithful readers will enjoy today's edition of the Random Dozen hosted by Linda at 2nd cup of coffee. Thanks, Linda, for "getting me out of the house" to talk with others. Ha!

1. Are you pleasant when you're ill, or are you a grumpy, fussy patient?

2. When you find out that school is canceled (due to inclement weather) what is your gut reaction?

As a homeschool family, my first question is, "Do WE take the day off?" If it seems like it may be a one day event, then I usually let them play outside and watch movies. If the cancellations go on for 3+ days, then we get back to it before everyone else. By then they need some focused work to do. (for my sanity's sake.)

3. What is one domestic skill you wish you could improve?


4. Do you decorate your home for Valentine's Day?

Not usually, but I have done it.

5. What song is on your mind today? The Father's Song by Matt Redman

6. Do you prefer contemporary movies or classic?

I'm a TCM girl all the way!

My favorite book/movie (besides Gone with the Wind) is Random Harvest.

7. How well do you "compartmentalize" your feelings? For example, how well can you put aside a really trying moment to deal with the immediate situation which is not related to the trying moment, e.g., putting aside a tiff with your spouse in order to finish wallpapering a room.

I do not have the compartmentalizing gene! Everyone knows when something is wrong; I just can't help it. I try not to over-dramatize (well, most some of the time), but it's almost impossible for me to put a smile on my face when I'm upset. Others might read it as "quiet" (which I am not) or "tired" (which I often am) instead of upset and that's as good as it gets.

8. What is the first thing that attracted you to your spouse? (Or if you're single, to your best friend.)

He listens well. (plus, the blue eyes and mischievous smile).
Tell me, you couldn't limit yourself to just one thing, could you?

9. When was the last time your heart raced?

Can't tell you!

Actually, when thinking about Ronald Coleman - answer # 6.
Just kidding!
Maybe # 8 though. ;)

10. What are your memories of Valentine's Day at school?

I just remember the joy of exchanging cards. I would fret over just the right one to give each person and hope that the boys understood the "deeper" meaning. :) I loved decorating an old coffee can as my "box" and it would be deposited in the back of my closet for further perusal throughout the year.

11. If you were going to receive candy for Valentine's Day, which would you prefer?

Something chocolate and caramel. Yum.

12. Red or pink?

Both! I grew up in a red/pink room (Really! It was the 70's/80's, folks.) Red shag carpeting/pink pretty! :) I love to wear both colors. They're dead even for me; my two favorites.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Tour 2010, round # 1

Have you heard? More snow is on it's way to DC!

Our near-prophetic local meteorologist, Doug Hill, is predicting another 10-20 inches before tomorrow's end, although the weather service says less for our side of town. Either way, more?


Do we need it?

We could share!

Global're kidding, right!

After being holed up in the sick ward all weekend, the whole family finally made it outside yesterday. Want to see the pileup?

Here's the tour!

I thought you might not be able to comprehend the enormity of the snow without a little perspective, so on the left is an inch or two we got in 2005. The azalea bush in our front yard is about chest high on me (I'm 5'6" - inquiring minds want to know). The bush now? Obliterated.

My boys, although ill, kept getting out while the storm was raging and clearing as it fell. We have one of the few empty-ish sidewalks around. Everywhere else looks like wilderness trails.

Rhett was workin hard, thus the expression on his face that says,
"Really, Mom, another picture!"

I dare not stop the "car man" in mid-stride.

But, Katie obliged and caught my bright & sunny smile!

The snow has brought about new phenomena - like tree-bending...

snow sliding...

fort building...


and drink chillin!
Hope you enjoyed the tour!
Stayed tuned.