Monday, November 30, 2009

Log Splitting

What a beautiful day... even though it is 46 degrees here right now.

You can't tell it inside our home.  It's nice and cozy!

Remember the huge dead tree that came down in our front yard?  Well, it looks like we will be reaping the benefits from that all winter long without having to go cut wood somewhere else.

Rich borrowed a log splitter from a friend.  The afternoon that I was working on fluffing my cardinal tree, he and the kids spent that time splitting wood.  All of this came from two of those big logs:

Rich tells me I'm such a "freak" about things.  He's so silly; he doesn't realize how much he is too!  He took the bigger logs off of the rack and split them into smaller logs.  I think he was just having lots of fun with the log splitter.  I knew it was coming... and it did about 2 hours into log splitting... "Honey, I think we need to get one of these".  So my answer-- put money aside for it and watch craigslist.  Isn't that the answer for everything??

I agree that a log splitter would be nice to have to save his back and shoulders from hurting after all last season of using a maul.  Rich did have a very good idea.  How about saving a few of those big tree trunks to use as seats?  We're slowly clearing away our land to the pond and will one day have a fire pit down there.  I agree... these would make some pretty neat (and weatherproof) seats!  What do you think?

I am grateful for a husband that works around the home doing what needs to be done to take care of our family.  It's so nice to have a wood fireplace.  It heats up our family room, dining room and kitchen.  That's three rooms that don't need to be heated by natural gas.  I'm all about not giving ONG our hard earned money!  =]

Fluffing, fluffing and more fluffing

Whew!  Fluffing, fluffing and more fluffing!  I'm tired of fluffing!  This is what I've been doing most of the afternoon/evening.

First, our family Christmas tree.  This beautiful 7.5' Mixed Colorado Long Needle tree will have a prominent place in our home as it will be decked out in all the family heirloom treasures and precious handmade ornaments from the kids.

The next tree is a 7' Mini Canadian Pine tree.  This is my 3rd Christmas tree to put up this year.  It's reserved for my snowmen only!  I'm not much on Santa, so I tend to buy more "snowmen-oriented" items.

Lastly, this is something new for my home.  I've always wanted to wrap garland around my staircase, but have never found what I wanted.  Well, last year I got fortunate again at the Hobby Lobby after Christmas sale!   I bought four garlands at 80% off.  They were $24.99 each!  On top of that, I was able to use my 15% off employee discount!  So you can imagine how happy I am!  =]  But goodness sakes, what a bear it was to work with.  It didn't want to bend very easily.  I'm satisfied with the way it turned out.

I'm thinking about buying strands of battery operated lights to intertwine in the garland.  I'm not quite sure yet.  Hmmm...

Well, not much Christmas decorating was accomplished today.  Just lots and lots of fluffing.  At least that part is over with for right now.  I still have 2 little trees to put up.  My family loves to joke about all the Christmas trees in our home, but deep down I just know they love it almost as much as me!  I'm grateful they put up with me!  =]

Friday, November 27, 2009

Good finds

I don't have any Black Friday good deals being as I had to work today.  But I do have a couple of good finds that I'm pretty proud of.  So proud, that I want to share.

I have wanted a cardinal Christmas tree for a few years now.  I've been searching for just the right tree.  I'm so happy to say that I finally found it!

The tree was originally $393.00.  I got it at 80% off last year after Christmas.  On top of that, I got another 15% off because of it being an employee purchase since I work at Hobby Lobby.  It is a gorgeous 7.5 foot snowed mixed pine tree with red berries and pine cones.  How perfect for a cardinal or two!!

This is the only Christmas decoration I had in my house before Thanksgiving.  I am a very traditional kind of gal.  I wait for Thanksgiving to be over before I retire my fall decorations and bring out the Christmas.  I just couldn't wait for this tree any longer!  I love it so!

I am so excited about adding another object of affection to my ever-growing list of goodies to watch out for when I'm antiquing.  You know... that 'thrill of the hunt'.  The glass balls are in place; now to add the cardinals.

While shopping in Colorado, my sister wanted to stop at a Home Goods store.  I had never heard of it but as always, I was anxious to see what goodies I could find.  Boy, did I ever come across a couple of good finds!

This candle holder was only $3.  I was so excited about the price that I didn't even think to see if the light actually worked!  Haha!  I rubbed some black paint on it to age it a little more.  I took off the sad looking homespun and added my own homespun that has a touch of Christmas colors.  The light works!  So exciting for me!

This little crock light, that I paid $2 for, also needed homespun to make it cozy.  I stopped by Wal-mart's fabric dept. one day while grocery shopping and was so joyful when I realized they carry homespun for $2 and $2.99 a yard!!  I went a little crazy (he he!), but I have lots of fabulous homespun to add to my collection.  And this light works too!

It's cute, but lacking.  I came across this sweet little wreath made of pip berries and rusted tin stars.  I really like it now, and I like its new location better too-- right next to a couple of small crock jars that I purchased for $2 and $3 at Gordman's.  They are sitting on top of a candle box that I bought as unfinished wood about 9+ years ago.  I painted and sanded it and use it regularly.  I like my things... but I also like my things to be functional!  The adorable little sign is "the cherry on top".  =]

I am grateful for the things in my home that I call my 'treasures' and that bring simple joy to me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I have so enjoyed reading all the thankful lists that I have been seeing this month on facebook and in blogs.  Have you seen Cora's 30 days of Gratitude?  I have been following her daily thoughts all month and have been so touched and so blessed by her words and pictures.  She has become one of my newest blog sister friends!  Check out her blog, she is a sweet gal.

I've been thinking awhile now on compiling my own list of all the things I am thankful for.  My mind has been flooded with all sorts of people, places and things.  As I've matured over the years (I'm 40 now, so I can say I have matured.  Ahem...), I have come to realize what really matters and what really doesn't.  But that is insight that will have to wait until another time.

I am grateful for this holiday, Thanksgiving, which has become my very favorite holiday of the year.  Not just because it is my favorite time of year to decorate.  Not just because autumn is full of the vibrant colors that are my favorites.  I love it so because it is a time we celebrate my very favorite things... family, friends, love, laughter, time spent together.  It is a time we celebrate gratefulness.  The best part of all-- there are no gifts involved and no stress involved (unless you're like me and still have a messy house that should have already been cleaned by now because family is coming!).  Eek!

I am grateful for a mighty God that has saved me, forgives me, and loves me for who I am.  I am grateful for all things that He has blessed me with even though I am so very undeserving.  I am one fortunate gal to have a life that I truly love and enjoy!  Thank you Father for all of the people and things, both good and bad, that you have placed in my life.

May you all have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones, sweet fellowship and laughter!  Love you~

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Road Trip!

This week I found out how much I am addicted to blogs! My iphone was my only source of internet as I was on a road trip with my sister. It was a tremendous help as we were searching the Celestial Seasonings Tea Co. or hunting down Hammond's Candy Co. But to pull up blogs on such a small screen... well, it is just not the same! I missed reading daily accounts of what's going on in my friends' lives (those I know personally and those I have only recently become acquainted with online).

My sister Jodi has a son that lives in Westminster, CO. She was heading out there to take a load of personal belongings to him. So I hopped on board to tag along. And boy, did we have fun! As we were heading out Sunday morning, we were laughing our heads off before we even got off my road!! We were laughing so much, that she had to stop on the side of the road and wipe the tears from her eyes before she could continue on. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the trip. Ah, I just love sisterhood!

Jodi and I are huge fans of the Food Network and our favorite show is "Unwrapped". We just know that we are the only people that plan our trips around food stops and how different foods are made!

Our first stop on Monday was Johnstown, CO for a "World Famous Cinnamon Roll".

Their roast beef was delicious. As was the breakfasts and other foods that were ordered. When you think of truck stop food, the word delicious is usually not associated. Our tummy's were full but we came for the cinnamon roll... so we had to conquer! Well, it took me a few days to conquer mine. He he! We took them home with us because they were huge!

We enjoyed our first stop immensely and knew we were in for a fun trip! I'm not sure what was so funny, but in this picture I'm trying not to bust out laughing.

On our way...

to our next stop in Boulder, CO.

Celestial Seasonings Tea Co. factory tour, tea sampling room, gift shop and cafe.  We spent the afternoon here.  Jodi was excited about her Lemon Zinger tea sample that was our ticket for the tour.

We enjoyed the sampling room!  =]

The time we spent at Sleepytime Drive and Zinger Street made fond memories for us.

... that will not be soon forgotten.

Tuesday we went to Denver, CO to Hammond's Candy Factory for what seemed like a step back in time.

On this day they were making canes, lolli's (lollipops, not suckers!), and cinnamon & butterscotch pillows... all natural of course.  You can see the excitement and joy in my sister's expressions.  Which is why she is the perfect companion for this kind of trip.

My nephew Jason (on the left) and his buddies enjoying the free candy samples.  They had a good time at the candy factory too!

How awesome that we were able to take pictures in the actual working factory!  In the following picture, they are putting the flavoring inside the cane.  It's actually a separate piece of candy block that gets wrapped up in the color of the cane.

Then the candy is put through a machine where it comes out looking like a long rope.  In this next picture, the candy is being cut and hand twirled into a lollipop.

We also got a view of the packaging/shipping area.

Then the real fun began... Shopping for candy!

Yum!  That was a fun time!

We dropped off the boys and headed to the mountains.  In my lifetime, I've only seen the Smoky Mountains in TN.  They are beautiful, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to encounter!

On the drive up the mountain, I was being teased with beauty all around.  I was in awe at every turn.  I kept wanting to stop and take it all in.  Jodi pressed on as she kept telling me to hold on, be patient.

We drove about 4.5 miles up the mountain to Lost Gulch Overlook which is on Flagstaff Road from Boulder, CO.  The view was utterly breathtaking.  All we could do was sit in silence.  I was in AWE!

I wonder how they get to their house... if you can even see it in the picture.

Quietly I just sat and praised God, thanking Him for just a glimpse of the beauty we will one day see in Heaven.  These mountains, this incredible view is His work.  Wow!  I am just amazed at His glorious creation!!

We had to call, text and update facebook status at the top of the mountain.  Just because we could.

The people on top of the rock on the far right-- that's where we spent most of our time.

Coming down the mountain was just as beautiful.

Boulder doesn't look as big now.

Just a few more pictures coming down the mountain.  I know, I know, I get carried away.  It's so hard to choose a few good ones out of the 200+ pictures I took just in the mountains!

Crown Rock

Boulder at dusk from Panorama Point

Colorado is a beautiful state.  I'm so glad I was able to go on this trip!  Even though it was only a four day trip, we packed so much into it.  Besides the tours and drive up the mountains-- we hit some malls, lots of shopping, tried out new restuarants and even had some of Jodi's home cooking!  It was so nice to see where Jason lives, works and goes to school plus meet his friends.  He was a wonderful host.  I'm so proud of him and all he has accomplished thus far!

I'm grateful for a sister that I'm close to.  It was so nice to just visit with her and talk about everything going on in our lives.  I don't even recall a lull in our conversations, even on the long drive.  We always have catching up to do.  I'm thankful for her friendship and the time we spend together.