Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Save Handmade

Click on the bear to read about the future of handmade children's items in the U.S.

Maybe not...

For some reason, the thought of sleeping in this morning crossed my mind...right. Gone are the days of sleeping until noon on a day off! I guess I need to start going to be earlier if I want to catch some extra shut eye. So instead, we spent the morning cutting up a cardboard box for the dog to have a "cave" to sleep in...good luck with that one kids.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Does it really have to be winter?

I've finally gotten past fall and have forced myself to admit that it's finally winter...UGH! I've lived in Indiana for 16 years and still have the desert rat in me. There's nothing better than 60 degree weather in Phoenix for Christmas! Gotta love those desert holidays! I remember our last Christmas in Phoenix was cold (may 50 degrees) and our first Christmas in Evansville was colder than a well diggers bu$$ (as my dad would say). "It rarely snows in Evansville," he said. Yeah right...we missed almost a week of school and I learned how to sled by the river without getting hit by cars or arrested...

Today was my first day off for Christmas Break (I can call it that since I teach at a Christian school). We spent part of the day playing with friends and then came home to a clean house for naps/quiet time and then playing in the warm basement. Tonight I had a chance to update my personal and A. Ashley Designs blogs and my Etsy shop.

Tomorrow will be a relaxing day of play, laundry and coffee!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have much to be thankful for this year! Paul's mom came to visit and we celebrated Thanksgiving at our house with all of our favorites: turkey, Williamsburg sweet potatoes, Aunt Wilda's rolls, mom's Mexican cornbread crack mix, cranberry apple pie and dairy free pumpkin pie (tastes the same as regular!).

For as quickly as we devoured our dinner, it sure took a long time to clean up!

As I reflect upon 2008, I have a lot to be thankful for and realize how lucky we are and how we are continually blessed by friends and family. Where I fall short is figuring out how to teach my children (specifically Maddie) how to be thankful...any ideas?

Paul and I celebrated the 9th anniversary of our first date on Black Friday by our traditional visit to the Children's Museum...with children. Finn was the brave one willing to have his picture taken with Santa...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


tv shows i love to watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Brothers and Sisters
3. House
4. The Office

4 of my favorite restaurants:
1. Mama Corolla's
2. Cafe Patachou
4. The New Orlean's House (no longer established)

4 things that happened today:
1. Broke my favorite Pampered Chef stone
2. Finally put some laundry away
3. ditched all of the old food growing in the refrigerator
4. Spent $12 at CVS and got $92 in product and $17 in ECB's to spend next time

4 things i'm looking forward to:
1. going to Fogo with Doug and Carol
2. Holiday Craft show season to be over
3. Sawyer finishing up her potty training

4 things on my "wish"/hope list:
1. that Maddie's attitude issues are related to food
2. that my kids will know and love Jesus and want to share that love with others
3. that i could get on the ball when it comes to keeping my house organized and clean 4. that God will continue to provide what we need exactly when we need it.

4 people i'm tagging: 1. emily 2. abbey 3. jodie 4. misty

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Scream, You Scream, Hooray for Dairy Free Ice Cream...and it tastes good!

We have finally found a decent ice cream for Finn and Maddie that is dairy free AND tastes good! It's made by Turtle Mountain using coconut milk as a dairy substitute...YUM! Finn even went so far as being willing to share...

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's About Time!

Sad news that it's been months since I last posted! Things have been so busy with school starting and the debut of A. Ashley Designs. I've been trying to balance work, laundry (not so well), house keeping and sewing and knitting like crazy! Things have died down a bit and I have my first craft show under my belt.

Since my last post Maddie started kindergarten, turned 5, Sawyer turned 2 and I started my new job...oh, and mom sold her house and moved across the highway from us. For some reason, life can never be slow with us!

Happy 5th Birthday Maddie!

Sawyer chilling at her friend's birthday party.

Little Man loves to sleep!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Man!

The past year of my life has been overwhelming at times, full of change, lots of distance traveled, new friends made, full of joy...we made it!

Yesterday we celebrated Finn's first birthday and the 2nd anniversary of when we first learned about Sawyer. To celebrate, we had friends and family over for a cookout and water fun for the kids. It was so neat to see how our friends have changed this past year - several have had a baby, some are pregnant, some newly married, and some have moved close to us, some have moved away and some moved and have moved back again!

As I reflect on the past year of Finn's life, I see how God has had a hand in each and every day of his growth. He gave Finn two amazing sisters who love him (sometimes too much) and lots of extended family to love him here in Indiana as well as far away. Yes, our house at times is "organized chaos." I've had to learn to let go of my neat and tidy habit in exchange for tripping over toys, piles of laundry forgotten to be folded, something gross stuck to one of the light bulbs over the kitchen table, Sawyer peeing on the carpet instead of the potty...all worth the hugs, smiles, cuddles and giggles of my 3 precious gifts. God gave Finn a laid back disposition amidst a not so laid back house of women. He knew what He was doing! God gave Finn the ability to melt his mommy's heart at his the sound of his infectious giggle, silly shaking of the head or sad little lip pout when he's sad, hurt or scared. God knew that Finn would gain weight even though Finn decided that food was for the birds and nursing and being on the move was much better than any can of formula our doctor could prescribe.

God's continued faithfulness as our family grows and changes continues to astonish me as I look back and reflect upon the past year. Take some time to reflect on the past year of your life - how has God had a hand in your life? What did He know that you didn't?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Got Talent? My Cousin Does!

18 plus years ago I was changing this kid's diapers (sorry Jonny) and now he's an amazing young man and on his way to ASU next fall. He's good looking, a talented musician, highly intelligent and loves God. What more can you ask for? Check him out on YouTube as he raps to "Ice Ice Baby." Jonny is the rapper and his friends are in the background. The music is amazing isn't it? Would you believe me when I told you that he spent HOURS arranging it on his computer each instrument at a time?

The kid has talent.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Finn is famous

So, my kid is famous. He is a stud and doesn't even know it!

Paul took the kids to a 4th of July party while I was at my friend Carter's wedding rehearsal. Apparently Finn had 13 year old girls all over him and this was the result...


Monday, June 30, 2008

Mission Accomplished

I've found it difficult over the past year to take time for myself other than a shower, using the restroom by myself or grocery shopping without kiddos (does that count?). It seems as though my "free time" is always taken up with loads of laundry, bills to pay or something around the house needing to be cleaned or straightened. Trust, me when I say that I'm not complaining. Things are always moving around here and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's just nice to finally be able to take time to do something that I enjoy...knitting.

While I was in Arkansas waiting for Sawyer's adoption to be finalized I knitted and felted a purse with the intention of donating it to the St. Elizabeth/Coleman Elizabella Ball auction. Well...it's been almost 2 years and I FINALLY lined it and made the handle tonight. I think it turned out pretty well considering that it's been waiting so long to be finished. I still need some practice at making my lining fit better, but I think all in all it looks pretty good. Hopefully it will get lots of bids at the auction!

I also have started knitting wool soakers for the babies to wear over their cloth diapers. Sawyer is growing out of her diaper covers and I really don't want to buy the next size when she is showing an interest in potty training (I'm not ready yet!). I figure that I can knit soakers and shorties for the summer and then some wool longies for the winter and maybe if I get more adventurous I will try to sell some!



Thursday, April 10, 2008


Finn has his 3rd ear infection in 45 days. The little booger is terrible to administer antibiotics to, so in the past he has had an injection of antibiotics in case we don't get much of the oral ones in him. Today I went back for my "monthly" visit to our pediatrician and once again asked for a "buy one get one free" punch card since we seem to frequent the place at least once every 6 weeks. Thank goodness Meijer has free antibiotics...it doesn't sting as much then.

Reality has kicked in and I'm pretty sure that his first EI started a few weeks after I introduced dairy back into my diet, so I guess that means no more cream in my coffee...bummer. When we go to the allergist at the end of the month for Maddie's check up I'm going to ask about having him tested since I also know that peanuts in my diet make him throw up. How in the world did I get these high maintenance kids?

On a positive note, I have noticed a difference in the babies' skin since we got our water softener! Makes it work the expense.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Feeling Good

This weekend we spent a lot of time outdoors with the kids and had a chance to meet several of the people in our neighborhood. Maddie and Sawyer loved playing in the driveway and going on walks around the block and Finn found the shade under the tree in the front yard to be a great place to play. Paul spent sime time playing basketball with the boys next door which they think is pretty cool.

There is a family from our house church that lives 2 blocks away in our neighborhood and we finally were able to get Maddie and Mady together to play. We can't even call them by their first/middle names b/c they are the same! It was so nice to be able to have someone to hang out with and then walk home. Tonight, Mady's dad called for some peroxide and was on our doorstep in 2 minutes...and tomorrow night we will be having dinner together.

Spending the time this weekend with new friends was such a blessing. Paul and I stood outside in the cul-de-sac last night visiting with neighbors and playing basketball with the boys until 9:15. When I came inside I had a huge smile on my face...this weekend of new friends and hanging out was exactly what I was wanting from our new neighborhood...and hopefully there's more to come!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Humble Pie

Saturday I decided to venture out and grocery shop all by myself...I guess I needed "alone" time. I hit my usual haunts - Walmart (sorry Micah) and Aldi. In order to stick to my budget, I have to bite the bullet and avoid the temptation of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods more than once a month. I was excited to hit Walmart with a purse-load of coupons and was sure that I was going to do well bargain shopping. When I went to check out, I swiped my debit card only to find that it was DENIED...I guess I should have activated the new one sitting on my counter for the past 3 weeks! I paid with credit card and went happily on my way...until I got to the car. I realized that Aldi is a cash or debit only kind of store and I have an expired debit card and no cash. So, I headed off to the local bank for some cash to finish grocery shopping. When I got to Aldi I loaded up my card with the items from my list and 2 packages of diapers (cheap, I know but they just poop in them!). When the cashier was almost finished scanning my items I realized that I had more food then I had money for. I had to stop her from scanning and ask her to take a few things back out of my cart. I was so embarrassed that others would think that I couldn't afford what I had and was afraid that I had annoyed the cashier by having "eyes bigger than my pocketbook." I humbly paid for my items and went to the car. I immediately called Paul and told him how I was feeling - why was I so embarrassed? I knew that I could afford the groceries but didn't have enough cash to cover the whole cart...but THEY didn't know that. Why did I care so much when I didn't know any of them? I always thought of myself as a person who didn't care what others thought...until now. Somehow, I let my fear of what others may think of me get in the way of the true issue...I had more than I needed and it took an expired debit card to get my attention.

Instead of giving up caffeine (yeah, right!), chocolate or something else utterly delicious for Lent, I made a commitment to myself to give up buying things that aren't of necessity. I never realized how hard it is to pass up the dollar bin at Target until now...for some reason the kids always NEED one more pair of socks or because I have a coupon it makes sense, right? I don't think so. I'm doing well in the "stuff" department, but food is still a tough one for me. I think this week I am going to write down a meal plan for not just dinners, but also breakfasts, lunches and snacks so that I can map out what I really need to buy and stick to it. Who knows, I may even try to cook from scratch!

Trying again

So I set up this cute blog about my prince and princesses on another blog site only to find that it was a royal pain (no pun intended) to upload pictures. I also realized that I had other things to write about besides the royal kiddos...there's more to me than diapers, snot and chicken nuggets...a little more!

So, I'm hoping that this blog will be more successful than the last since it hopefully will be much easier to update!

Happy Reading!