Friday, November 30, 2007


Too cool to keep to myself! I have started the prep work. The first coat of sealer is on the shower floor tiles and in three hours I will do it again.
I hope you have a great weekend! (Mine will be full of more tile sealing, organizing and holiday fun -the girls are dancing at the Festival of Trees!)

More Blogger Goodness...

With help from ChileChews, I have located the beginning of the Community Blogger Award. This award has already brought the blogoshere community closer together. Giving thanks where we generally take for granted and spreading the love. I have added my nominations to the long list of awarded sites. Thanks to all for your love and support.

You can search other awarded sites, and add your own at RedSultana.

This picture was taken last June in Stanley, Id. It always makes me think of the bigger picture and to be grateful for all I have been blessed with.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Slate For Me...

Laying all the slate out and picking my favorite for the main focal points; the sink counter, floor and large shower wall. I know what you are thinking, "Why not just slap it up completely random?". We are combining two different orders of tile, (couple years apart too) so this was needed to see the contrast. What I have picked as my favorites will be placed random, but I wanted the most colorful in these main focal points. After putting so much energy into our remodel, I was not about to skip out on the most appealing part. Monday will find us laying tile, Yippee!!! To see more progress pictures click here and here. The bath looks completely different now, I haven't shared my texture and paint work yet...

(Shannon, you can see one of the chests (Kaziah's) my grandfather made in this picture)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pay the Good Feelings Forward, or The Community Blogger Award...

This award seeks to celebrate those people "who reach out and make the blogger community a better one”.

I was delightfully surprised when I checked into Going Crunchy today. She was tagged with the Community Blogger Award. This was really no surprise. She is an awesome writer (children books and a novel!) and I love the way she communicates her musings. She is so real, makes me think of my environmental choices with a bit more scrutiny, and always brings a smile to my face. I have also found myself worrying a tad if I haven't heard from her in a while. She is someone I would have never met if it weren't for the blogger world. So by all means, I second the notion of Shannon being awarded the "Community Blogger Award".

The fact that she put me in her top three to be awarded this "Fun Flag" is heart warming to say the least. Wow! That's all I can say. Thank you Shannon.
I always hope I make someone think about the choices they make with our big beautiful earth, or even just make someone smile. I hope by sharing my concerns I'll be shown a new route or way of thinking. I have a lot to learn in this "green" area and finding people who are equally concerned with their "footprint" size, who are really making a difference, helps with this learning process.

I started this journal as a way to stay connected with friends and family. It has grown so much from that. I think many people under-estimate the blogger world and what it can do. I am continuously inspired to be a better mom, wife, and "earthling". As Shannon put it so nicely..."I think some people question putting your life online.....but if you like to write it's kinda the equivalent of the modern day coffee and snapshots with somebody every day. Just virtual. It's a dialogue and discussion.....and I think it's the NYT for real folks. Undiluted life".

I would love to put a new name on the list of Community Bloggers. There are so many blogs I pull inspiration from, I don't know how I would choose one! Would it be so uncool of me to just point you over to my "Sites to See"?
I can tell you my first blogger trips of the day...

Going Crunchy
Hedges Happenings
Four Mugs and a Crock

I am also enjoying this "new to me" blog, ChileChews

Gosh, this doesn't even include all my other "Inspirational Sites" I check into over at Craft-Crazy.

Well, I guess I did it...These are my Pay the Good Feelings Forward, Community Blogger Awards. Check em out, you're sure to be inspired...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Geeeezzzz! and Phew.....

If you know me well (or you just look at my pictures) you'll know how much I love the ocean. On the beach is where its at for me! Imagine my grumpiness knowing Lance is there without me! Don't get me wrong, he deserves it and is having loads of fun learning about the native plants of Oregon. But Geeeezzzz! Its not fair! Now imagine me stomping my feet. Don't have too much fun without me Lance! Oh, and don't forget my jar of sand, I can at least run my fingers through it...

Also, a shout out to my Grandfather Berry. He just got out of surgery and is doing well. He should be home tomorrow. Always a load off when I get the call and he is OK. Phew...Now we can truly bring on the Holidays!

Photos from our trip to the OR coast Thanksgiving '06. My grandparents Berry and Toni, on their 50th Anniversary (taken by Bre).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Dilemmas...

A tad late, but...Happy Thanksgiving to all! I have been busy enjoying my Holiday time off, sewing to my heart's content. I even abandoned the master bath project. Those tiles awaiting sealer aren't going anywhere.

Holiday Dilemma...This upcoming Christmas season brings up many issues. First off, Christmas has turned into one huge spending fest. For a family trying to live with less, this is a problem. The after Thanksgiving spending makes me a bit nauseous. I did not buy one single thing last Friday, successfully leaving "Black Friday" far behind us.

We are talking to our kids about the reason for the season, showing love, compassion, and kindness. Things that should/are done year around. As for the materialistic part of Christmas...I am trying to do less. Making as many Christmas gifts possible. Thinking of the cookie and bread making to come, perhaps some festive holiday fabric bags to put the bread in. Items made with my hands, showing the love and kind thoughts put into each gift. This isn't possible for all, but many.

Our goal of living with less has seeped into many aspects of this holiday (and our kids). Good example of this: I have a small artificial Christmas tree I use for display in our front porch. I brought it in and let the girls have fun decorating it. Afterwords I asked what they would think of us using the small fake tree instead of buying a real tree. Kaziah was quick to answer, "Ya Mom! That would save tons of money!" (can you tell they know spending less money equals moving out to the country sooner?). I am glad she is happy with this small tree and the idea of living with less...not spending the extra money and also not cutting down a tree. BUT, this is A LOT harder for me. I love my Christmas tree! Fresh with sap and pine smell...What will I do? Will a good pine candle replace this? I am quite doubtful...

To put it simply, we are having a small Christmas this year. Perhaps keeping the little tree is best, the small gifts won't seem even smaller when placed under a large tree.....

I guess I can't put it off anymore...Here I go to ready the tile with sealer...I really want to just plop myself down behind my sewing machine and a good, festive beer...Cheers to you and yours!

Our Christmas Tree '06

Friday, November 16, 2007

Got Dirt?

Anyone need dirt? We have some to spare...Seriously.

Lance comes home this evening after a week away for work. (Yah, I did say something about Lance being home for a while, sure didn't last long) What is he coming home to? More work!

This is what we, I should say he, was doing last weekend. I love watching him work a shovel. Those of you who really know me, know just how true this is...SO, instead of getting my chores done, I spent my time watching Lance work. (Really is one of my favorite past-times, I think it started here)

There are plans for a native (wouldn't have it any other way) drought resistant landscape. Many people think using native plants would be limiting, but let me tell is not! There are so many plants to choose from. Why do people insist on having lush, green lawns when they could have native wildlife habitat in their own back yard?

Another love of mine, watching Lance lay pavers. After a layer of base, the pathway with stepping stones will become a nice walkway of pavers. Easy to shovel snow off and pretty to look at. We also have plenty of river cobble to add, although we're not sure if we will. Don't want too many textures taking hold, probably leave the river cobble in back.

I am really looking forward to the side berm area. It will be packed full of natives shrubs, grasses, and a few large rocks.

I love the picture of Lance contemplating his next move, which happens tomorrow. Fingers crossed the tractor and loader is available for our use. Need to remove more dirt and buy base. Seriously, if you are in the area and need some fill dirt, leave a comment and we'll get it together.

Plans next spring: Area that is still grass will be reseeded with a native turf and a fixed sidewalk.

Also sharing the native landscape Lance did for his parents in June of '06. The plants are rather small in these pictures. If you were to see the landscape now you would be amazed. I'll have to get some recent pictures to share. Lance is very good at this sort of thing and I love showing off his work.

If you are wondering what ever happened to our master bath remodel, know that it is still in progress. Just hit a few design speed bumps. We are back on track and will post pictures soon. Finding the perfect faucet to match the perfect glass vessel can be harder than it sounds...

In case you haven't noticed, Lance is in charge of our landscape and I am the remodel "Queen B". (let your imagination run with that!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sugar Fairy...

Remember my "Tired of Halloween" post? Well, my friend KC, Sonja and Olivia's Mama, emailed a great Halloween idea that I just have to share. Such fun!

"I wanted to share our Halloween tradition of the Sugar Fairy:
On Halloween night Olivia eats a couple pieces of candy and chooses a couple more to keep. She leaves the rest out for the sugar fairy who comes at night and replaces the candy with a small gift. We did it last year and this year and both times it was great. ( I know your girls are getting old for this, but I wanted to share it anyway cuz I think its such a great idea...)"

Carved pumpkins '07...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Meatless Meal...

Sharing one of our favorite meatless meals...super inexpensive too, always a plus. Oh, and when I say "our" I mean all of us, even my kids!

Thai Tofu with Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, and Lime. Found on a favorite, and frequently searched

Goes something like this:

2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1 12-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry,
cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound yellow and/or green zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup sliced fresh basil, divided

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer tofu to bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then zucchini and bell pepper to skillet; sauté until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Return tofu to skillet. Add ginger; stir 30 seconds. Add coconut milk, 3 tablespoons lime juice, soy sauce, and curry paste; stir to dissolve curry paste. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and more lime juice, if desired. Stir in half of basil. Sprinkle with remaining basil; serve.

Cowgirl in the Making...

Kaziah showing off her new get-up...(she is so proud) And Roxie, because she is just too cute...I love her passion for fashion...Nothing limits her.

Friday, November 9, 2007

1999, Year to Remember...

Happy 8th Birthday Kaziah!

Kaziah is still very much into horses so I surprised her with a fun horse cake. She picked out the dinner menu...homemade mac and cheese, orange chicken, and artichokes. From us she received a real pair of cowgirl boots, western shirt, and Wrangler belt. I hope her fascination with horses continues, we're going on 2 years of it now... Tomorrow we are going swimming with friends. (I am so over doing huge Bday parties)

She is such a fun, wacky little girl. Can't imagine my life without her...Hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane...

For more on the birthday cake and such, click here.

Myself, Bre (Sabrina, my sister-in-law) and my Mom (Mimi) were behind the camera in these shots...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

School Days...

The '07 school pictures are in...

Back to Basics...

A very dear and close to my heart friend, Ginger -aka- gigimegs, is due to have another baby Christmas Day. As I have stated before, we are done making babies. So, this past weekend, I plunged deep into all my baby stuff...doing my part to get ready for Baby Cooper. I found myself going through bins of baby paraphernalia and remembering moments in time. A look back at my babies, and truly acknowledging the fact that we are done with the baby stage. This was a lot harder than it sounds. Emotional speed bumps, if you will...

As I was sorting baby items, I came across the baby bottles we used with Roxie when she didn't nurse. (I did pump my milk and it was a rare thing for her to have a bottle, only Mommy and Daddy nights really...a healthy must for all parents) Anyways, I was very upset when I realized what the bottles were made of! I am ashamed that I wasn't aware of these issues long ago. I feel it was my responsibility and I failed...

The bottles above are both made of plastic. The Disney bottle is made of a #7 plastic (#7 polycarbonate, which can leach bisphenol-A, a suspected hormone disruptor). The Playtex bottle liner is made of a #4 plastic. The Playtex product is what Roxie used the most, which makes me feel slightly better. Yes, I know...wasteful liners...what was I thinking?

I purchased a nice set of Evenflo glass baby bottles for our Baby Cooper. I know that with all the others worries and concerns and choices we must make, I am helping Cooper stay healthy when Momma can't nurse. Yes, I am living through Ginger and will call Cooper my baby as much as I like, can't wait to start sewing baby items...yippie!!!

There is more info out there on safe baby products...PLEASE look into this if you or a loved one is expecting. I like The Green Guide, very informative.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Recycling In Action...

Sharing our favorite park in Meridian, ID. You see, good things happen when you recycle...(March 2006)