26 February 2009

Birthday Idea....Cry For Help....

I had an idea tonight. Could anybody help me? Here goes:

My daughter Rachel will be 11 on the 14th of March. She has a collection of gift cards. They are the cards you see in stores, lots of designs, and you can put money on them to give them as a gift. Her cards are empty; she only collects them for the fun of it. Whenever she has picked up cards at a store, the store employees either say nothing, or say, hey, did you see this one? There are some really unique ones out there - some have images that "move", some have spinners and moving parts, some have holiday themes, or famous people on them. She has some from WalMart, Target, Old Navy, Hobby Lobby, Sears, KMart, Tropical Smoothie, Kroger, McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic, Home Depot and Lowe's. I'll guess she has about 200 now - two binders full (she keeps them in baseball card holders in a three ring binder).

So, here's my idea - if you live "far off" and can pick her up some, I would love to reimburse you for your postage and effort! Maybe you have a store there that we don't have here - like Macy's, Ikea or Albertson's. She doesn't have any from Pier One or In N Out Burger!

What can you find? Thank You!

24 February 2009

Happy Birthday, Jay

His First Birthday. Wow. That was a fast year. Jay was born at 9 am on Friday, February 20, and by that day at noon, he had already taken his first helicopter ride to the Arkansas Children's Hospital. His lungs were underdeveloped, and he stayed in the NICU for two weeks. That ordeal seems so long ago, especially when I am now chasing this little man down the hallway because he slips away from me while I am trying to change his diaper. He is healthy and strong and almost walking. He loves to be with people and he chatters non-stop. He sleeps through any commotion we might have going on in the house and he loves to eat. What a great addition to our family of ladies - our Prince James.

James and Jay --- Jay in the NICU

Happy Birthday, Jay!

Jay Is One!!!

How To Eat A Birthday Cake:

18 February 2009

Pay It Forward

1. Be one of the first THREE bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me (yeah for handmade!).
2. If you are one of the first three to make a comment, you are a winner! And you then agree to post this challenge on your own blog, meaning that you will pay it forward, creating a handmade gift -anything!- for the first THREE bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!
3. The gift that you send to your 3 friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember it’s the spirit and the thought that count!
4. When you receive your gift, blog about it! If you are not one of the first three to comment on this post, you can still play along. Go ahead and start your own Pay It Forward chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same! It's all about paying it forward.


16 February 2009

Chug, chug, chug ...

I was rolling along the highway today, all five kids in tow. We had just been to the $1 movie theatre, which is only 50 cents if you see the first movie of the day on Mondays. Today we had no school, so to honor President's day, I spent 50 cents per ticket and took the gang to see Bolt. Cute movie; I recommend it. I digress...

We had just seen a movie and were headed home when the car starts to sputter. I knew exactly what was happening, since I saw my empty gas light go on two days ago. Since that time I played the "how much gas do I really have" game and I was winning for a while. Not today. While we are sputtering to the exit ramp, I say to the ladies - "Okay, feel that shaking from the car? That's what it feels like before you run out of gas."

So we are off the highway, at an intersection, a busy one, of course, and the car will go no further. I say to the kids - "Okay, Rae and Sam, you get out and push." I get nothing but blank stares. "Okay", I say, "you steer and I'll push." More blank stares.

Charlotte says, "Just call Dad, Mom. He'll come fix it." (So cute.)

Rachel and Samantha then catch the spirit of adventure and suddenly jump out of the van and start to push. Rachel tells me later that she didn't realize it would be so easy - she thought vans were heavier!

Next, a strange man is at my window. He says, "You just steer; we're close." Rachel and Samantha are now literally running behind the van down the street and through the intersection, while about four men are pushing me to the gas station. A few minutes later, I am pumping gas and waving furiously to the men who were just pushing me and my still wonder-struck children to safety. Such is the kindness of strangers. Thank you, thank you!

As a post script, can I just add that I love living in a small town. As I am pumping gas, a friend from church (Elizabeth B.) drives right up to me and says, "Tina, do you always make your kids run behind the van?"

The Jay In The Cupboard

Whenever I am cooking, I can stand at my stove
and look down to see this:

My shadow, my little man, my cooking buddy...

James Michael Ball, 11 months old

11 February 2009

Good Clean Fun

My friend Becca had a great idea - let's make our own laundry soap! Sounds crazy, right? So easy! She had a recipe and had seen it done once before. So, she invited a bunch of us over, told us what to bring, and we made laundry detergent! We used Borax, Washing Soda and Fels Naptha soap. It was amazingly simple to do and I can proudly say that I have washed six loads of laundry since I brought home my five-gallon bucket of Home-Made-Detergent and it is wonderful. I mean, come on, we have stains, smells and generally germy, dirty laundry. This did the trick - now we have sweet, clean smelling clothes and it was so cheap to make! Yeah! Thank you Becca!

09 February 2009

Ralph Phillips - A to Zzzzzz

I haven't felt well lately - our weather here is in the 70s one day and ice on the van the next. I have plenty to do, I just can come up with so much other stuff I would rather be doing. Kinda like Ralph here. The best cartoon ever.
Enjoy. (Turn off the music at the bottom of the page, first.)

07 February 2009

Tiny Dancer

Josephine had her first dance class this week. She has literally been waiting for this moment since the last class ended, almost 18 months ago. Our friend, Chelsie Moline, is her teacher and Josephine cannot be happier. Sometimes she gets nervous and clingy-shy. Not so when dance class is involved. I was watching Sister Moline's two youngest boys during the class, so when Sister Moline pulled up to our house, Josephine ran out to the van and hopped in. No need for Mom or home anymore - it's dance class! She just loves it. She talks about it all the time, practices at home and wears a leotard until I make her change her clothes.

Thank you Chelsie for teaching dance to little ladies. Josephine loves it and we appreciate you in giving your time and talents. Thank you to my friend Kim for taking some pictures for me! I didn't pixalate the other kids just so my daughter could be the prettiest one in class, I just wanted to keep her friends off of the internet. Dance, Josephine!

06 February 2009

That's My Girl?

Any of you who have known me for a while might believe I like to argue with authority. It's so true. There's just something about arbitrary rules that really drive me crazy. (sources like the government, school districts or indoor fast food restaurant play areas...) I have no problem when it comes to rules I understand are for my own good, and that come from a source with only my happiness at heart - in that case I usually listen, sometimes not at first, but, eventually I come around. (sources like parents, scriptures, or coaches) Enough about me...

Yesterday Rachel (10) asked if she could go roller skating with her friends. I said, Sure, I'll take you. You can go after school until about 7 pm, because on Friday nights, the teenagers will be hanging out there and I don't want you there with the "big kids". She agreed, if only on the pretense that they were always better skaters and she might be mowed over. She called her friend back to say she could go, and then I heard her on the phone saying, Oh, well, I can't do that. I'll see you at school tomorrow.

She got off the phone and I asked what happened. She said her friends weren't getting there until about 8pm. So, she couldn't go. Wow. No arguing, no whining, no begging or offering to clean the bathroom in exchange for exceptions. Just acceptance. Good girl, Rae. You must get this wonderful trait from your father. And tonight, when your friends are skating and you are home safe and sound with your family, we will play chess and make popcorn. I'm proud of you, lady.

03 February 2009

Thanks, Buddy

"The wreckage of a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza was scattered across a small area of snow-covered cornfield outside of Clear Lake, Iowa. The plane crashed into the ground suddenly, so most of the smoldering rubble was concentrated in one area. Three passengers — Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, a.k.a. “The Big Bopper” — were ejected from the plane and died on impact, as did the pilot, 21-year-old Roger Peterson.
That happened on Feb. 3, 1959, exactly 50 years ago." (Michael Ventre, on msnbc.com)

Don McLean would go on to write the song, "The Day The Music Died" to describe the tragedy of this day in history, but, we all know it didn't die, did it? It has changed significantly, for the worse and for the better, since that day 50 years ago.

My father met Buddy Holly once. To get my Dad's story straight, I'll let him tell it - from his personal history: "In the summer of my 13th year, in the month of July 1957, I was helping Robert Owens across the street wash his Chevrolet in the vacant lot next to his home. My mother came to our front door and yelled across the street for me to come to the phone. I went back to my house and picked up the phone. One the other end of the line was Bill Phillips, Jr. who was a disc jockey at one of the local radio stations in town (WICO, in Salisbury, Maryland). Bill informed me that he had a special visitor and wondered if I could come down to the studio for a few minutes to meet him. He would not tell me his name, only that he was in town for only a short time passing through to an engagement north of here and had stopped into see Bill while he was broadcasting his afternoon show. I told him that I thought I could get Robert to take me down and told him I would be there in a few minutes. Robert did take me down tot he station and when we pulled up in front I could look through the plate glass window in front of the station and see Bill inside with someone else sitting beside him. I asked Robert to wait for me while I went inside and he turned the car off and sat back in the front seat to take a nap while I was inside. I went in the front door and to the studio door where the "On Air" light was on. I waited for the light to go off and then, knowing that I would not disrupt Bill's broadcast, knocked on the door and the voice inside bid me enter. I did so and when I walked into Bill's broadcast studio the guest stood up and Bill said to me, "Wayne, I would like you to meet Buddy Holly." I couldn't believe my ears. Here he was, the man himself. Holly was dressed in jeans with a plaid sport shirt and those awful black horn rimmed glasses. He was only 20 years old. I was stunned. He extended his hand for me to shake and it took all the energy at my disposal to extend my hand to his. Earlier that year, in February, Holly and Crickets had just recorded and released "That'll Be The Day". He told me he was on his way for an interview with Dick Clark in Philadelphia when he was driving through Salisbury, he remembered Bill Phillips from an earlier acquaintance and thought he would just stop in to see him. I will never forget that day as long as I live. Holly died a little more than a year and a half (3 Feb 59) after I had the opportunity to meet him. What I have kicked myself for all these years is the fact that in all the excitement and confusion of seeing him in person, I failed to even ask him for something as simple as an autograph!" From the Personal History of Wayne Brumbley, pages 130-131

Thanks, Dad. The guy who should be really kicking himself is poor Robert Owens, napping in the Chevy out front!

01 February 2009

Is It Just Me ???

Has anyone ever noticed that when you are tuned into something - no matter what it is - you will find it? I mean if you are thinking a lot about a problem, then other things, which are seemingly unrelated, suddenly play into whatever is on your mind. Okay, an example: Say you have a friend that is sick. You might hear a song on the radio that has lyrics about being there for a friend. You might notice just how many people ask you, how are you?, in a day's time, and actually mean it. You might run across another sick person in the line at Wal-Mart and strike up a conversation - just because you are thinking about your own friend who is sick. Okay, maybe it is just me. But, I have found this to be true. When I concentrate on something and study it out for myself, I find answers all around me.
Leaf in our yard found by Charlotte and a clod of dirt
in our kitchen I found while sweeping!
I just had to capture two of these on "film". What a wonderful world we live in. Full of challenges and hardship, yes, but also full of love and possibility.