Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday 09-29-11

Happy Birthday Mya!

  • Today is Mya's birthday.  She is 4 now :)
  • We hosted our first Family Night at church last night.  BINGO!  Did I tell you that we are now in charge of planning a family night activity once a month for our congregation?  One month down, eleven to go, and then I'm nominating Jenny for this pleasure next year :)
  • I have officially started collecting lotion for Smooth Operation!  So many of you have remembered my lotion lady from Della Lamb last year and asked how you could make a difference.  Thank you!  I will be collecting donations until mid November.  My goal is 100 bottles of lotion, but I'm praying you will make a fool out of me and go way overboard with the lotion donations!
    • You can check in on our progress at any time by clicking on the picture of the lotion on the top right side of this blog.
  • Jenny has stepped up to the plate and spread the word about Smooth Operation.  Her personal goal is to collect 50 bottles of lotion to donate.  Wow.....I don't have any other words, just...Wow!
  • I found an amazing deal on lotion at Target the other night and I cleared the shelf!  It frustrates me when people buy mass quantities and clear the shelves, not leaving any for others.  As a couponer/bargain shopper I do not do this.  For the next six weeks I will be breaking this rule if I find truly amazing deals on lotion (like 67¢ each).  Please forgive me if you go shopping and all the clearance lotion is gone.
  • Speaking of couponing...Mom and I did amazing this past weekend, and I got a ton of stuff to donate to charity!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Smooth Operation Flyer

I made flyers to hang up and pass out to friends/family/coworkers!  I know it's kind of hard to read on here, but let me know if you want a copy sent to your email so you can share it.  Spread the word! 

Thank You!!!!

Click here to learn more

Monday, September 26, 2011

Smooth Operation

I have cupcake scented lotion in my desk drawer at work.  A coworker surprised me with it one morning, just because she knew I would enjoy it.  I use it every day and it reminds me of my time spent volunteering at Della Lamb last Christmas.  

I put on that lotion and I think about the lady who had the opportunity to choose from tables of gifts and went straight for a bottle of lotion.  I think about the woman who pulled out a piece of saran wrap containing a small dab of lotion and rubbed in on her dry cracked hands.  I think about the people who stood in line for hours on that snowy December morning as the cold wind harshly chapped their skin. I think about how fortunate I am to have this bottle of lotion when others are wrapping drops of lotion in saran wrap to save for later. 

There are families right here that are struggling to put food on the table, to pay their bills, to provide for their children.  Lotion does not make it into their shopping carts as often as it should.  There are many organizations that attempt to help with the day to day needs and as the holidays get closer I spend more time thinking about and looking for food and toys I can donate to charity, as I’m sure many of you do as well. Will you remember lotion as you are gathering up those items you will be donating to families in need this year?

For the next 6 weeks I am asking that every time you reach for lotion you remember the lady who turned down many wonderful gifts so that she could have a bottle of lotion to heal her dry skin.  I have bottles of lotion in every scent and level of hydration you can imagine.  I am blessed, and this winter I am going to share my good fortune with others.  Will you join me?

I promise to look for sales on lotion and stock up….not for me, but for others.  I promise to go through my cart before I check out at Walmart and find one thing to put back so that I can spend that money on another bottle of lotion.  I promise to make a difference by providing lotion, something I take for granted, to as many families as I can this winter.

Can you help?  A week before Thanksgiving I will be making a trip to Della Lamb to help with Operation Thanksgiving.  This is about the same time the weather starts to turn bitterly cold and our skin gets dry.  I would love to have the trunk of my car filled with lotion when I pull in that day.  Lotion that will be going to those same families who will once again stand in line for hours on a cold December morning to join us for Operation Santa a month later.  

Here’s how you can help:
  • Give your lotion donations directly to me.  Lotion must be new, unused bottles.
  • Donate money to the lotion fund.  You give me the money and I will do the shopping for you.
  • Clip lotion coupons out of the Sunday paper and give them to me.  This will help me get more lotion for our money.
  • Email me, or leave a message on this post with your contact info if you wish to be notified when there is a coupon or sale on lotion, making it easier for all of us to donate.  
I’m looking for everything from small bottles that can be carried around in purses to large economy sized bottles to be shared among a whole family.  Some people will need fragrance free, while others would love some of the wonderful scented lotions from Bath and Body Works.  I’m looking for lotion for every skin type.  Just remember it has to be new, unused bottles!
My goal is to donate 100 new bottles of lotion.  Will you help me?

You can check our progress by clicking on the picture of the lotion at the top right corner of this blog.

Read about my first experience with Della Lamb by clicking here. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday 09-15-11

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies should be on your baking list for fall. 
  • Earlier this week I was having a bad day.  I just wasn't feeling so great with all the ragweed floating around and I struggled to get through the day.  As I was standing in the kitchen at work, my eyes closed, silently willing my nose not to run for the three minutes it takes to make a cup of tea, a lady came in told me how much she appreciates that I am always in a good mood.  I opened one eye and peeked around the room thinking that she surely must be talking to someone else; someone who wasn't having a pity party for herself while she waited for the tea bag to turn the water brown.  I was the only person in the room.  She went on to tell me how she looks forward to passing me in the hallway because I always have a smile and a happy tone to my voice.  She thanked me for making her work day a little better.  She thanked me, but really I should have been the one thanking her.  This lady I barely know pulled me out of my bad mood and put me back in the good place I know and love. 
  • Scooters has pumpkin pie shakes and they taste just like drinking a pumpkin pie through a straw.  They have hot coffee pumpkin pie drinks, but I am in love with the shake!
  • We watched Sole Surfer the other day and we both loved it. 
  • Someone gave me a hug and thanked me for doing my job the other day.
  • A friend stopped by with pumpkin whoopie pies and listened as we rambled on and on about our Jamaican vacation.  The best friends bring food and pretend your vacation stories are super exciting.  Thanks Amanda!
  • Troy pulled the hot tub out of the garage and got it all set up for the cooler weather.  This morning it was 48 degrees outside and the hot tub felt perfect.  Thank you honey!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Don't let a shark stop you

Image Detail
Bethany Hamilton inspired the world after losing her arm in a shark attack. 

I recently watched the movie Soul Surfer.  Have you seen it?  Did you love it?  It has been on my "to see" list since I first heard about it, but if I had known what a great movie it was then I would not have waited this long to see it. 

Bethany Hamilton was only 13 years old when her faith was tested and she was called out to be a role model.  She grew up on the beach and spent her days surfing the waves.  She was amazing on that surf board and had just gotten her first sponsor as she worked towards her life's dream of becoming a professional surfer. 

Already a rock star in the surfing world and well on her way to achieving one of her life's goals, Bethany always remembered to thank God and her family every step of the way.  That single act right there - thanking God - already makes her a role model, but there is more...

On October 31, 2003 Bethany's arm was bitten off by a 15' tiger shark.  She lost 60% of her blood that day, and it's a miracle that she lived to tell her story.  She pushed through recovery with dreams of getting back on that surf board.  Eight months after that shark attack she competed in a surfing competition once again.  EIGHT MONTHS!  That's unbelievable.

Bethany Hamilton, at 13 years old, did not give up when things got rough.  Life as she knew got hard, but she worked harder.  She practiced like crazy and taught herself how to surf with just one arm.  She fell down a lot, but she always got back up.  She pushed through the physical pain and the emotional pain and she came out on top.  Today Bethany is 21 years old and she is a professional surfer.  When it seemed as though she would have to choose a new path in her life she looked to the bible and reminded herself "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Bethany's story is one of survival, strength, and perseverance, but her story is also about being a role model to others and living your life fully aware that people are looking up to you.  She knew that people were watching her, looking to her for guidance and strength, and she continues to keep those people in mind as she lives her life. 

We are all a role model to someone, and there is no way we will ever know everyone that looks to us for guidance in their own lives.  I think about people I look up to and many of them have no clue they serve as a role model for me.  People I admire and keep in my thoughts as I strive to a better person, as I push myself outside my own boundaries, as I work my way through life. 

Someone is looking at you as a role model.  That is a big responsibility, and no you can't turn down the job.  It is a job you will have for your entire life and it will often go without thanks, or even acknowledgement.  At times you will fail, but you will be given another chance and it is up to you to make up for previous losses and continue to grow.  You will succeed and you will make a positive difference in someones life. You are a role model - live your life in a way that is worth repeating.

I believe that everything happens for a reason.  If Bethany's arm had not been bitten off by that shark then most of the world still wouldn't know about this amazing girl.  Sure, she would have touched many lives through surfing and mission trips with her church, but would I (or you) have ever heard of her?  Because of a shark bite I learned about an amazing girl named Bethany, and she is one of my role models. 

Learn more about Bethany on her website.  Rent Soul Surfer at Redbox. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday 09-08-11

This garden (reading?) house relates to nothing in this post, but it makes me smile :)
  • Eeny, Meeny, Miny, and Moe...that's what we named each of our new bushes that got planted over the weekend.
  • Betty (our tree) got some flowers to keep her company.  I am thankful for beautiful flowers already in bloom to brighten up my yard.  I do not have a green thumb so I appreciate those who are able to get the flowers looking beautiful so I can replant them in my front yard. 
  • We finally made it to a food truck festival! We had subs from The Magic Meatball Tour (so good) and of course ended with 3GC for dessert!
  • Hello, beautiful weather!  Windows open, breeze coming in, looking for excuses to be is wonderful!
  • Completing projects with my husband.  I can't believe how lucky I am to have him in my life.  I've said it before and I'll keep saying it - I just can't imagine a better partner for myself. 
  • Having amazing people in my life who inspire me to do good.  Trevor, you inspired me this week! 
  • Troy turned 40!  Happy Birthday honey!
  • Impromptu ice cream socials.  What a great way to say goodbye to summer! 
    • My parents make THE BEST homemade ice cream!
  • Recognizing and being thankful for small answered prayers when there are so many things we continue to pray for each day. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day weekend projects

We got so much accomplished this weekend!  Warning, lots of pictures below, so I apologize if your computer is slow to open this post.

We started our projects on Wednesday night by bleaching the wooden posts on the front porch.  The post you see in the back left side of the picture is what they looked like before, and the front post is what they looked like after bleaching.  It's recommend that you give the wood 48 hours to dry before staining, so we started this project early and worked on it Wednesday and Thursday evenings after work.  The best part of this project was the instant gratification!  As soon as we put the bleach on the wood it changed colors.  It was so easy and such great results that I'm looking around the house for wood to bleach.  Hurry, someone take the bleach away from me!

Delta Savile Stainless 1-Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
Sorry, my sink is full of dishes, but this is what our new faucet looks like.

We have been window shopping/researching a new kitchen faucet for months.  Our old faucet was a cheap/generic chrome facet with a white sprayer on the side.  It was not attractive!  The sprayer had been broken for more than a year so it was just dangling and allowing water to get under the sink.  We were intimidated by the idea of changing a faucet by ourselves, but after watching a few instructional video's online we were ready to tackle this plumbing project.  We ended up going with the Delta Savile after reading a couple hundred reviews of many different faucets.  We played with the faucets on display at the stores many (many) times and were quite pleased with this one, but the selling points were that this one has a magnet to hold the sprayer in place when not in use and all Delta faucets are insured for life. 

When we bought this house it sat in the middle of a pie shaped piece of grass...just grass, nothing else.  Last year we built a 12' x 24' deck and closed in the back yard with a 6' privacy fence.  It provides 0% privacy from our neighbors (whose houses all sit higher than ours) but it does keep Mya trapped in.  This weekend we decided to add a little charm (?) to the front of the house.

We got up early Sunday morning and waited for the sun to come up.  With the first rays of light we went out and starting digging up the yard.  We took a break long enough to go to church, and then were right back at it.  The end result is this beautiful flower bed.  (keep reading, it looks prettier in later pictures) We planted four bushes that I think will fill in the area quite nice after they are grown.  Bonus: we already had the bricks stacked up the garage!  We chose to save some money and get smaller bushes and after I started digging the holes to put them in I was so thankful we were cheap and went with small plants!

Remember Betty?  We named this tree Betty because she is a Cleveland Pear and she will have white flowers in the spring.  Betty WHITE stars on the show Hot in CLEVELAND....ta da....out tree is named Betty :)  She is doing well, staying strong and healthy and so we decided it was time to make her a more permanent part of our yard.  This weekend she got updated with some bricks and flowers.  I think she looks mighty pretty!

I told you we built a fence last year, but we since we did not build it until late summer we did not get a chance to stain it before winter arrived.  Since you are supposed to let the wood be exposed the elements for 6 months before applying stain, so it got put off until this summer.  Does Labor Day still count as summer? 

It's still wet in this picture, and it will need another coat of stain, but this gives you an idea of what it looks like.  The color is Canyon Brown, but it sure looked like melted milk chocolate in the can!  Yum - chocolate!!! This was the project that would never end (and we have to do another coat in a couple weeks - after pay day).  Staining the fence took twice as much time as we had planned for.  But it looks awesome, and it feels good to finally have some color on all that raw wood!

We used the same stain on the wood posts we bleached earlier in the week.  It's amazing that these posts went from dark gray to white to a beautiful deep shade of brown (chocolate!) in just a few days.  I'm especially proud of this project and think that it really helps to make our front yard look more finished.

A couple planters filled with bright flowers and this weekend's projects are done! 

On our to-do list before the weather turns cold and lose all our motivation:
  • Paint the wicker chairs on the front porch white.  I think white chairs will really stand out with all the brick and chocolate poles we have going on up there. 
  • Put the hot tub back out on the deck!  We do not use the hot tub in the summer time and since it's a small portable tub we are able to put it away for the summer.  We were really wishing we had done this Friday night so we could have used it Saturday night, Sunday night,  Monday night....
  • When you walk down the stairs to exit our deck you step right into the grass, but we would prefer to have a small brick landing there.  We have all the supplies to get this job done so hopefully it will happen soon.  (I would NOT suggest holding your breath on this one, as we have already been putting it off for a full year)
  • Find the leak under the sink and then lay contact paper to keep the whole area clean.
  • We would love to plant another tree.  Maybe in the back yard this time?
 How did you spend Labor Day weekend? 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday 09-01-11


  • I had so many people wish my a happy birthday that I could barely keep up with the constant "ding" on my phone each time I got a new message!  I am blessed.
  • I had cupcakes, cupcakes, and more cupcakes to celebrate my birthday!
    • Thanks to Jenn and Maggie for bringing cupcakes to work.
    • Thanks to Troy's boss for making me special birthday cupcakes.
  • I found some awesome sales over the weekend!
  • I was treated with kindness when I wasn't sure what to expect. 
  • Brian mowed our lawn last week.  If he has ever mowed your lawn then you understand why this is such a great treat.  He makes our lawn look amazing, and he does it so fast!
  • The biggest project of the year (at work) is at the half way point. 
  • Holding hands with my hunka hunka burnin love :)
  • Seeing Troy's excitement to volunteer at church.
  • The Dutel family.  They make my heart smile :)
How was your week?