Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Meet My Offspring

Picture by (thank you Ryan!)

This is MY family...this is our ONLY family picture! We are scheduled for pics in a few weeks (FINALLY) but I wanted to share my favorite people on Earth with you all...and of course we're hanging out at sporting event...but hey, at least it's a family picture!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Family Yearbook Challenge 2009 - Week 24

If you're new to the Family Yearbook Challenge click HERE & then HERE

Well, September was full of "stuff" stuff and I neglected to keep up the FYB Challenge. So this month we're doing a full month in one week....Ready?
Homework September 7 - September 30:

1. Labor Day Weekend - How did you observe Labor Day weekend? Did you go on any final summer trips, celebrations or maybe you have some favorite traditions?

2. Sports - You may or may not LOVE football like we do, but for our family, Football gets a spot every year in our FYB. We love all football....our kids flag football, local high school, college and pro! Maybe your family loves Baseball and the excitement that October brings to the sport. Whatever it is, share your "FAN"atic side of what you love!

3. Birthdays - Don't forget birthdays. Any big parties, celebrations with family, weddings, births, deaths? Make sure you keep track of those events and memories.

4. School Events - School is now in full gear....any favorite art work or papers from your kids worth sharing? Did you go to Open House, meet the teacher, have some funny stories of your kids at school?

Now COPY and paste any photos that you have that go with these events and questions into a new folder titled June. If you'd like to rename the photos you can with ept 1, sept 2, sept 3 so on and so on. If you have any memorabilia that is NOT digital, scan and save as a jpg. minimum 300 dpi to your September folder, named and labeled. If you have a "story" you can hand write it or "type" it into a document and save in the same folder.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumn Apple Vases

I saw this picture and I just made me smile...

We've had a rough week in our family, yet again, another death has come upon us. I was breaking from all the chaos when I spotted this picture. Made me smile and feel a twinge of excitement that my favorite time of year is fast approaching.

There is something about autumn and the holidays that jolts me back into warming up the home and preparing for lots of celebration. As a wife and mother, it's a pleasure to have the responsibility of nurturing my family and providing a home of warmth where we can all feel happy and comfortable.

To get instructions on how to create this adorable autumn apple arrangement visit Home Made Simple and see all of their seasonal arrangements and this adorable apple vase idea!

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picture from Home Made Simple

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Did you know today is Constitution Day?

Today is a beautiful day. Many people don't even KNOW that today is Constitution Day. On this day in 1787, all 12 state delegations approved the Constitution. 39 delegates signed it of the 42 that were present, and the Convention formally adjourned.

As a family, we have decided that it's time to REALLY REALLY know our Constitution and the beautiful promises and blessings that will be bestowed upon this country if we uphold and honor this document and the men who made this possible.

We have promised each other the following -
1. We will each read and learn about the Constitution

2. We will educate our family and learn about Good Government
3. Show gratitude for our liberty
4. Teach others about America
I found this quote and it gave me chills...we have a lot of work to do as parents.

"A primary object...should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing...than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?"
-George Washington

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Bribery

Potty Training Bribery...

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Tradition - Handwritten Letters?

Email, text, cell phone, instant message, PM.......and the list goes on.

I've realized that my children are learning to communicate without emotion. They're falling into a trap of non-verbal communication and it's scaring me. All those things are so convenient, and I personally love them too. They're faster, easier and get the job done. But this past weekend I realized that my daughters (pre-teen and teen) haven't hand written a letter to anyone in their family in a few years.

I remember as a youth writing my grandparents, they would write me back...writing my cousins and getting cute decorated notes back in the mail. There is something to be said about the excitement that stirs when we look in the mailbox and see a letter from a family member, a friend across the country or a pen pal. (Do people still pen pal?)

I was going through some keepsake boxes and realized I had an entire shoebox filled with handwritten letters from my cousins, grandparents, and friends that were sent to me during my childhood. I stopped and read those letters for about 2 hours and realized that my children have no shoe boxes full of letters. They have email accounts that are used for quick writes, dumb jokes and few funky surveys.

Where are those emails going to be in 20 years? Not in a shoebox.

The advice and stories that I have in that shoebox is priceless. It's a treasure box full of support, love, direction, advice, congratulations.....I can't even list them all. I pulled them out and shared them with my kids and they were captivated by these letters. They loved to see "great-grandma's" beautiful handwriting and the stories and emotion that flowed onto the paper.

There is something special, something different about a handwritten letter. I've read somewhere about the positive impact personally handwriting a letter can benefit a child, a mother, a father. One of our family "traditions" that we try to do each month is write HAND WRITTEN letters to family. No texting, emailing, or pm'ing...a real handwritten letter. I hope that we can start a family tradition with all of our extended family and bring back the beauty of swapping stories and memories through the mail.

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PS. A very amazing wonderful friend of mine has started a new blog called "Incredible Women". This week she is highlighting one my heroes and one of THE most incredible women I have ever met....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Finding Hope - 9/11

This is a must see video. Finding Hope through the tragedy of 9/11, remembering not only those who were lost, but those who survived.

Shabby Apple - Modest, Beautiful, Perfect!

Fit to Flatter

I'm so excited to share Shabby Apple with you. I've always be an "Apple" stalker. If you don't know who or what Shabby Apple is....Well, then you're MISSING OUT!!!

Shabby Apple is an online dress boutique that has affordable, hip, attire perfect for work or a day to play. They are experts in modest women's dresses, little girls dresses, maternity dresses, and fashion accessories.

I've had my eye on the 90WPM dress for awhile...a little hesitant to purchase the dress because...dang, look at it! It's fitting, slightly risky for my taste, but so beautiful. It has the most beautiful Turquoise color. Well, I got the dress in the mail, but I left in the package for about a week...too scared to open it...fearing that it would "NOT LOOK GOOD ON ME"...

Well...Well...Well....Shabby Apple doesn't lie. When they say Fit To Flatter, they're not kidding. When they say "connect our customers with their designs" they mean it. Just ask my hubby...

I'm NO WHERE close to being a perfect "10", but the design and lay of this dress was, to my surprise, AMAZING! This dress has ruching at the side to flatter the hips (yes, I said FLATTER) and an adorable tie at the neck. The puff sleeves have a band that hit just above the elbow, while the length is at knee level.

The first time I wore it, I walked out of the bathroom, hair done, heals on and my hubby about fell over... oh yeah. He said, "Hello! Where did you come from? That is the most beautiful dress I have EVER seen on you...."

{Sighhhhhhh...I love that man}

(I had every intention of modeling the dress for you,but I didn't want to take this model's job away so I decided to humble myself and leave the self portraits off...)

My favorite part about Shabby Apple is the that they only design with modesty in mind. They create beautiful, flattering dresses without losing the modesty factor. The dresses are perfectly designed to fit just about every body type...making any woman feel and look great!

So you must go check out Shabby Apple and see what they're so good at. And because I'm sure you'll find something they've been gracious enough to offer my readers a 15% discount!!! Use this code at check out! publishourstories15off

  • Latest fashion line: Manhattan line, designed by Rebecca McKinney
  • New Fashion Line: Carousel Line arrives September 15
  • Internship: Shabby Apple offers an internship, directed towards business, marketing, PR, fashion, etc, to inspire the chic, stylish local business mentality
  • They partnered with Unitus—a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating access to financial services to the impoverished. Shabby Apple donates 5% of its net dress sales to support work in India helping women initiate businesses.
Here's something REALLY REALLY Cool that just started yesterday... Shabby Apple is running a "Dare to Design" contest!
  • Design a dress
  • If you Win, the dress will be featured as part of the Shabby Apple Spring collection
  • The winner will receive a 3% royalty on EVERY dress sold of his or her design!!!!
This contest if open to EVERYONE...not just professionals! Go check it out!!!



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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Tradition - Apples & Fall

With Fall just around the corner, apple picking is in high demand. Just typing the words "Fall" and "apple picking" give me a warm fuzzy! I love this time a year and and I love to go apple picking. The memories and traditions that ring in my head make me want to throw some overalls on and go run up and down rows and rows of apple trees.

As a child we had apple orchards within blocks of our house, right in the middle of our neighborhood. We'd grab laundry baskets and go fill them up as high as we could....of course we could never carry them back home. We'd have to send mom or dad with the car to pick up our laundry baskets that were heaping with apples on the sidewalks. Picking the apples were always fun, but the apple fights were probably the best. Nothing like hucking a rotten apple at the brat that lived down the street and pegging her right in the back of the head....okay, I've said too much.

Anyway, apple picking can be a positive family can become a new tradition that all families can enjoy. Many farms have live music and picnic areas and some offer wagon or hay rides. Sometimes a little petting zoo or pony ride can be found. We've even found a corn maze or two.

The fun doesn't stop at the orchards. Once you bring the apples home all the yummy fun begins. From homemade apple pies and apple sauces to caramel-dipped apples there are 100's of things that you can do with apples. Heck, my grandma would make freaky little apple dolls with hers....Don't ask!

Here is a great link to help you find apple picking in your own neighborhoods. has great ideas and resources for all picking adventures! Find a farm close by and take your family out for a great day of picking, throwing, and eating! Nothing like a real family tradition to get the Fall kicked off!

If you know of any other "picking" info sites, please pass them along.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fly an American Flag

Thought I'd share this thought I found...

On Friday, September 11th, 2009, an American Flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States . Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this eighth anniversary of one of our country's worst tragedies. We do this to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.

In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.

Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11.

Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don't, then at least make it a priority on this day.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Best Present Ever!

No better present than SLEEPING twins....

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday Tradition #45 - School Days Memories

This is an easy tradition you can involve your family in. The end result far outweighs the work you put into preserving their memories.

5 Easy Steps for Remembering and Capturing School Memories

1. Photos:Keep all photos in a file on your computer labeled Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, etc.

2. Papers and Art Work: Keep ONE small (labeled) plastic bin for favorite art work, writing samples, etc. These bins get full quick, so let your child pick their favorites each month. You can pick a few too if you really need to, but let them pick their favorites. It's their memories! Scan them as you pick the favorites so they're already stored and edited in your picture folder.

3. Stories: Start writing down the stories NOW! Don't wait. Keep a note book or a document file in your picture folder on your computer that you can write or type funny sayings, stories they tell you about school or events right when they happen. Details fade after a while. Get your kid's version of the story.

4. Ask questions. What are his favorites? Who are his friends? What is he learning? And so on and so on....these will change from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Find out the answers to these and other questions now. If you need some ideas, Cherish Bound has a great Story Starter just for kids called "My School Days". You can interview your child and write the answers right there in the book.

5. At the end of the school year you're organized! You can easily published your child's first year of school in a beautiful bound book. Compile all the photos, classwork & art, and stories in digital format. Drag and drop everything into a Cherish Bound book for publication.

I can promise you that these memories will stay alive forever if you preserve the stories, get your child involved in the process. The smile on their faces is priceless!

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