Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gardening...make a difference in 15 minutes!

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 We had a great weekend outdoors with family. We played and picniced then cooled in the house for a bit. After a nice rest I became restless. Ironic, I know. I need to keep moving and keep doing. Evening was coming but it was still so hot. Thankfully there was wonderfully inviting shade around front. I had already trimmed my shrubs this year but holy cow, they are growing. I decided it would be a good time to take a few minutes to clean up.
 My flowers had busted out with great glory but now they were looking heat worn, browning and tired. I love the blossoms; enjoy them while they last then clip them back to start over with fresh blooms. Yep, it was time to get some trimming done.
I grabbed my clippers and started with the shrubs. They are full and lush. I haven't gotten my power clippers yet but still manage to do a good job. Just like farming or making garden rows I eye a spot on the house and trim even with it. I actually want the shrubs a little shorter so they go just under the window but have a hard time getting them there. Trimming front to back and left to right I trimmed those shrubs nice and neat.
Then to the rose bushes. I love them but they can easily get overgrown. I am rather generous with my rose trimming. I want the bush to stay small because it will grow long branches before reblooming.
It didn't take long but has a big impact on my curb appeal for my house. I love how clean things looked when I finished. Now I feel better. A little activity and tidying up before the close of the day...just makes my heart smile.
See, what do you think? Gardening doesn't have to take all day or be sweat inducing. Just a little shade and 15 minutes. Look what you can accomplish.
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

I am Strong, Healthy & Beautiful word art freebie

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Summer has been quickly filled up with family outings, camping, and reunions. Lots of journeys and lots of time for my mind to think and ponder and evaluate. I wanted to share a journey of sorts with all of you.....

A couple of years ago I finally reached my limit. I needed to take steps to loose weight. I have a bad back from years nursing and moving patients. I needed to strengthen my core and I could feel the baby weight lingering way too long.
I worked hard on my own.
I joined Weight Watchers.
I joined the gym through work.
I got a personal trainer.
I dieted.
You name it (within healthy limits) I tried it.
Counting calories, counting carbs, organic, no artificial stuff.....
Now 2 years later I wish I could say I had reached my goal. The fact is I am only down 10 pounds. UGH! I have rode the coaster of emotions over this journey. I just wanted to get in better shape. I work hard. I eat healthy. I did what I was told to do and still could not get the scale to go down.
 I had sought help from my doctor who told me I have pulmonary hypertension. My thyroid was low end but "normal" so "you have no excuse!" He also told me to go to over-eaters anonymous. Holy cow!! I highly doubt 1500-1800 cal diet qualifies you for over eaters.I really respect this physician otherwise I would have told him to take a flying leap.
This last Memorial Day weekend we camped.We hiked. We ate fruit and vegis, We drank water. And yet I GAINED weight. WHAT?!?!
The following week I met with my trainer. The poor lady got an earful. I had a great workout physically as I worked out all my mental and emotional frustrations. I decided I didn't care anymore. I am healthy. I am becoming stronger and my sweet hubby tells me everyday I am beautiful. I actually enjoy working out. I know, crazy, but I do. It is often hard to get to the gym but I always feel better after going. I love to watch my muscles work and take shape toning and becoming stronger.
I enjoy fruits and vegis. My boys even enjoy a nice vegi tray to snack on for lunch. We grow our own garden and eat from that garden. I bake from scratch and enjoy trying new recipes. I FEEL good when I eat healthy. All the tracking and special diets took some of my joy in life away. I no longer baked. Cooking, menu planning, and grocery shopping became such a chore I dreaded it.
I realized it was not worth it. I will not be the perfect size. I will always be a bit taller and a bit bigger than the others, but that is OK!
It has been so liberating to let go of it all. I still work hard at the gym. I still eat good foods but I no longer stress over getting the scale down.
I no longer stress over how my clothes fit.
I no longer stress over counting calories.
What a relief. My new motto is becoming:
I am strong, healthy, and beautiful.....
and that is enough. That is just my size.
 I hope every woman can find her own size. The size of life that allows her to live, to love, and to experience all life has to offer. I will never be the perfect weight but I will always have the mental and emotional strength to live life to the fullest.
 Don't try to fit what isn't you. Chose health. Chose strength. Chose to shine. Chose to be happy!
You will find all that matters most will fall into place. 

Click on the link to download.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Manly cards....

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I hope youl had a great Father's Day weekend. I worked all weekend but managed to have a relaxing few hours with my sweet hubby and talk with my dear dad. 
Between us, I think my boys were glad to have dad all to themselves. They spent time playing Pokemon while mom was working. My hubby is wonderful with his boys. It helps that he is just a big boy himself but they really do love playing together. It is great for me to watch. 
I made a couple of cards for my dad and my father in law. There are 3 to 1 more boys than girls in my hubby's family so male cards are always on my radar. I was tickled to come up with these.
 I am loving Jim Holtz stuff. It is perfect for the manly card. A while back I found some on sale. I grabbed several items. These just don't go on sale that often.
 So here's what I did....
 Start with a nice brown base....
 Stick the checker print and a thin strip of the striped print on a darker brown....
 I love using a bit of jute. Wrap it around twice then tie a bow...
 I used the foam adhesives to give it a bit of pop. Then stick it to the card base.
 From here I used alphabet cards and a nice pin...
 I usually make up a couple of extra cards. If you have the supplies out for one it doesn't take much more to make a couple of extra.
Now when I need a birthday card or something else I can add a couple more embellishments or alpha cards and have a great card in seconds. It's what keeps me from drowning in last minute, "oh no, I nearly forgot" moments.
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dare to....word art freebie

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I am a Mormon and I love it. It makes sense to me. I love the emphasis on family. I love knowing that there is a purpose to my life. I love knowing the plan. I love knowing my Father in Heaven and Savior.
Tonight I was watching a video by the prophet, President Monson. He is an amazing man. He always makes me laugh when I hear him talk. Pres. Monson is a great story teller. I remember listening to his stories then reading them and feeling like I could relate. He is as big in spirit as he is in stature. 
This little clip of one of his talks was posted on facebook.
Check it out. You will love it! 
If you are not Mormon...
Check it out. You will love it!
Whatever your background.
Whatever your believe,
You will find your heart touched and a greater desire to do what is right.
I loved his closing quote so of course I made it up. 
Dare to be a Mormon
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose.
Dare to make it known.

And if you are not of my faith, that's ok! I made one just for you too. It's just too good to not get down. 
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose.
Dare to make it known.

I hope to inspire each of my boys with this. I hope they will have the strength and courage to stand for what they know is right, wherever the may be, whatever challenges they face.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Top 10 Go To Recipes....

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So I noticed a fellow blogger commenting about having no clue what to fix for dinner and asking for suggestions. It got me thinking what my "go to" recipes were. You know the ones....where you don't have to pull the recipe out....where you can make it without much thought and even less time....
Those dinners!
You know we all have them. 
The moments you go Awe Crap!
 Is it time to fix dinner already?!?
....Unless your clan is like mine and never stop eating. My kitchen seems to be an endless cycle of snack and meals. Kinda expected with 4 boys. Add in the friends (boys) that are always hanging around (and welcomed) and yeah, the kitchen never seems to close....
Anyway, here is my go to list. I hope it helps get you outa that awe crap rut....
In no particular order:
  1. Spaghetti- the boys all love it and score, it's cheap too. Easy to fix from the pantry.
  2. Fruity chicken salad- salad, grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, grapes, Parmesan cheese tossed together, topped with poppy seed dressing and you are ready to go. Yep, even the boys enjoy it.
  3. Hamburger Casserole- browned hamburger, shell pasta, green beans, corn, carrots, olives, cream of mushroom soup. Mixed together and enjoy. Great cooking from the pantry.
  4. Pinwheels- browned hamburger rolled up and baked in biscuit dough like cinnamon rolls, topped with tomatoe soup or gravy. One of my favorite meals.
  5. BBQ- anything thrown on the grill= easy, yummy summer meals
  6. Taco Salad
  7. Chicken Salad wraps
  8. Roast- or anything tossed in the crockpot
  9. Steak or chicken Fajitas- A1, Worcestershire sauce, onion, peppers, cheese, tomatoes, shells= YUMMY
  10. Breakfast for dinner- my boys LOVE pancakes. It's a pantry staple and quick to fix. Add eggs or bacon and my troop is happy.
We buy beef and pork from a rancher friend (the only way to buy you meat!) and keep it in a big chest freezer. Just add vegis and we are good to go. 

So there you are. I have a few others but these will cycle round the month to fill the last minute holes or maybe just fill the hole until I go shopping again. I love to keep recipes on hand that come straight from the pantry. Helps my preparedness skills too.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hot summer days freebie...

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It has been so very hot, windy, and dry the past couple of days. If it is this way already I fear what August will bring. On the bright side maybe it will be too hot to go out and I will get to spend some time in my craft room, in the cool basement, crafting and catching up on some of the projects I have. 
Not to mention all the Pinterest projects I have in mind to do.
Todays freebie is simple but fitting both for our weather lately and my Arches pictures. 
We have lots of plans for more camping, family activities and of course the 4th of July. We are lucky enough to be able to enjoy the Melaluca Freedom Celebration. They shoot off 100's of fireworks. All coreographed with music and inspirational thoughts with KLCE 97 radio. It is amazing. They say it is the best firework celebration this side of the Mississippi and I believe it. Idaho may not have much (we like it that way) but they know how to show their patriotism!
We also hope to pick some huckleberries. My supply has been long gone and we are missing our huckleberry pancakes. If you haven't had huckleberries you are missing out. They are cousins to blueberries but a bit more tart and I must say tastier. They are about the size of a pea so it takes a lot to fill your bucket. It also takes a bit to find a spot. They grow wild in the mountains. Good luck on getting anyone to spill the beans on their favorite spot. The mountains around us don't have them so we will be heading back home to Idaho when they start to come on. Wish us luck. Hopefully they will be producing well this year. 
Do you have fun summer plans?
Enjoy these freebies! Just click on the picture to go to the download.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Favorite things of camping freebie

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We had a great weekend. Grandma and grandpa came for a visit. The boys always enjoy grandma and grandpa's visits. Playing games, visiting the Aerospace Museum, enjoying the Scotland festival...tons of fun.
Just time spent creating memories. 
Here is a bit to add to your memories. Hope you enjoy it.
Click on the picture to go to the download.
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lovin' the Outdoors word art freebie

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Sharing a double feature today!
I have been working a lot lately so I sleep during the day. Now, I will be off for several days, I want to get our last camp trip scrap-booked. Then I can share these word arts put to use.
I hope my boys are up to having mom around again. Of course it shouldn't be too bad since grandma and grandpa are coming down this weekend. It always promises to be crazy fun when grandma comes to visit. I have yet to meet a lady who can wrap ANY little boy around her finger like my mother in law. 
You think I am kidding but NO! 
She is amazing with boys. Of course working in cub scouts for so many years we lost count certainly helps...not to mention 5 boys of her own. 
She is amazing to watch with boys. 
My own mom, well, she doesn't get boys and will be the first to admit it. She tends to be a girly girl grandma, hehehe.
Funny how that works huh?!
Either way~
Either grandma~
We love visits from Grandma and Grandpa!
Let the fun begin.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Nature word art freebie

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I hope with all of our outdoor adventures my boys are learning to appreciate nature. I love being in the fresh air. I have horrible allergies but still prefer to have the windows open and the breeze blowing through. Last summer we started hiking and we have enjoyed every minute of it. The boys are getting old enough to help and not need to be carried....except Mr. Matthew. I figure carrying him is just added bonus for mom's workout.

As we hiked around Arches this year we took our time, stopped to take pictures, watched the lizards and enjoyed the view. I wouldn't call us experienced but we are more than just beginners. My boys are great hikers too. They seldom complain of being tired. I guess the anticipation of seeing another lizard is just what a little boy needs to keep him moving. 
 A lot of times I am asked how I manage a house of boys. I have learned one important lesson over the years....If I can manage the energy and afford the groceries I am set!
Boys aren't difficult. They just have mass reserves of energy. They naturally burn it off whether indoors or out. Being outside just makes moms sanity remain intact!

Jumping, biking, hiking, swimming are all great ways to wear them out. Then when it is time to go home and mom and dad want to just relax the boys are ready to relax as well. I love it! But PLEASE SHHH! Don't tell the boys of my motives! ;-)

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Back in business and a new freebie!

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Hooray! I have my computer back. I am having to download all my fonts again but we are back in business. I am so glad. We have a summer full of activities and I am hoping to keep caught up on my scrapbooking, at least better than I have been doing.
Over Memorial Day weekend we spent time making memories as a family. Dear hubby and I have both been working so much plus all of the end of school activities, we were in sore need of a retreat. We decided to go to Arches National Park. We had not been there and wanted to go before the summer heat cranked up. It was B.E.A.Utiful! The desert was in complete bloom. Desert flowers all over. The temp was in the 70-80's with a strong breeze each day. We hiked and just enjoyed relaxin' at our camp. Most of the time I didn't have cell service which meant my work couldn't find me either. (I get called to work extra every day I am off). The best part of family trips is just being together without the interruption of daily life. We had a wonderful time. 
All week long I will be sharing some of the wordart I have made to go along with our outdoor adventures. Check back each day. I think you will like what you see.
Today enjoy a double freebie.


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