Thursday, January 31

birthday eve good mail

Carly was wondering yesterday when the birthday mail was going to start. When she got home from school today she had hit the jackpot. She had opened 2 cards before I could even get the camera out!

Here is the loot that was in the mailbox today. I tried to get her to save them to open tomorrow on her birthday but that was not happening.

  • There was a card from MamMam & Grandaddy with the customary $8.00 -she wanted to know if they would give her $50 on her 50th birthday -she's planning ahead:)
  • There was a card and Make Your Own LipBalm from Uncle Beege, Aunt Libba, and JC - only making the cupcakes won out over making lip balm right now but there will probably be some made before we go to bed!
  • A precious kitty-kat card from Great Grandmother Finn.
  • Big birthday package from Uncle Rocky and Aunt Kacey. There was a cupcake alarm clock (loves that when you push the button it says "delicious"), a really cute "c" t-shirt (can I wear tomorrow?), and birthday stationery - thank you notes will be REALLY cute.

Carly opted to do something different for her birthday rather than having a big birthday party. She has invited 2 little friends over tomorrow for a "Birthday Day" (they are out of school for teacher inservice day). So, the fun starts at 10 a.m. in the morning. Come back to the blog tomorrow for birthday updates!

Wednesday, January 30

SPT - 25th hour

Lelly's challenge this week "but what if there was a way to do it all? what if there was a twenty-fifth hour of the day, an hour all to yourself! no commitments, no distractions, no need to sleep. what would you do? "
Time just for me without the distraction in the back of my mind that I should be taking care of something else.
The list could be endless....
organizing pictures
editing and ordering pictures
writing a couple of letters
packaging some good mail
field trip with my camera
a long walk
update my ipod
surf the web
shop on ebay
research a little on Italy destinations
brush up on a few Italian words
study up on digital scrapbooking
and more
But I decided to make my 25th hour a productive one. I made a list at the beginning of January of 20 things I wanted to do in January. As of today, there was one thing left on the list, so I decided "why not?"
clean out my bathroom drawer
{does anyone else have a drawer that looks like this? Not only is is so disorganized & junky it is filthy. How does so much ick get into a drawer?}

But NOW, I have an organized, clean drawer that will make me happy when I open it in the morning to get dressed. Sometimes it amazes me what little things can make me so happy!

One extra hour = one clean bathroom drawer

Saturday, January 26


What a treat!
Look what Kenny & Carly made.

Friday, January 25

5 for Friday

This post is a combination 5 for Friday
and a response to a tag from my sister.

  • I found Carly an Easter dress which is a tough job considering she needs a size 10 and I still want her to look like a little girl. I took Carly shopping last week because she literally had NOTHING to wear to church in this crazy cold weather we are having. Mistake - she literally has the tackiest taste ever. She loved the outfit I bought but it was nothing close to what she kept pointing out. But here's the link to the ebay seller and Easter dress I bought.

  • Carly has a gift certificate from Limited Too that a friend gave her last year for her birthday. We never shop there but I figured the GC was about to have a penalty or fine since we have had it a year and haven't used it. So, I went to the mall which I NEVER do to go to Limited Too to look for possibly another sweater for her to wear with the cordoroy skirt I bought her last week. Here is a link to Limited Too Maybe you can have more luck here - I could find NOTHING!

  • After Kacey's post, I started thinking about Swoozie's. So, since I was going to go to the mall, I decided I might as well choose the mall that Swoozie's is in. SO CUTE - I bought a couple of things. A happie here, a happie there, that I can't show right now, but if you don't have a Swoozie's you can check it out here.

{for you Kacey! sorry the picture is so bad}

  • I recently ordered a much desired birthday present. One that has been talked about since before Christmas. Recently my precious child asked if she saved her money would I help her buy "Julie". Not just any American Girl Doll but specifically "Julie". But today I ordered Carly's valentine's happie. An American Girl magazine subscription from here. Does you daughter have one? I am always amazed at how something can have such a following across the country for such a long time. It is also amazing how much is on ebay. I bought a cute valentine's dress for Julie here.

  • A couple of months ago, I made a comment on Natasha's blog on this post and she sent me a Barnes and Noble gift certificate. I hadn't had a chance to use it and it just so happened that Barnes and Noble was right next to Swoozies. Yipee! I love a book store. And of course, I use the GC from Natasha and some extra funds and bought a couple of books for myself.

I also got to swing by my favorite used book store (don't be jealous Kacey). It is Book Traders in Memphis if you are in this area. What can be better than a store full of gently used books at discounted prices. I also like it because they have a little corner of kid's chapter books and a picture book section.

  • We made these last year and they turned out really cute.

  • I saw these cookie cutters at Party City the other day. This idea has cute possibilities.

Tuesday, January 22

SPT -what's in a name?

This week's challenge thrown out by Lelly
"how you came up with the name for your blog?"
Good Mail started in our house way before I heard the term from Kacey or Kristi or Jill - now we just have a name for it. My husband learned quickly that letters, cards, and even sticky notes with "I love you" on them are special to me(thanks mom & dad).
Several years ago there was a song by Collin Raye called "If You Get There Before I Do". Many people think it is a sad song about losing someone, but we saw the lyrics more of a statement of love.
"If you get there before I do
Don't give up on me
I'll meet you when my chores are through
I don't know how long I'll be
But I'm not gonna let you down
Darling wait and see
And between now and then
til I see you again...I'll be loving you,
love, me"
{surrounded my good mail from my hubby}
We frequently end notes --
"til I see you again,
I'll be loving you..Love, Me"
I saw "Between Now and Then" as the perfect blog title because our blog is full of snippets of our life between now and then.

Saturday, January 19

50 days and counting

3 years ago Kenny and I got our first passports and took off with his mom and her friend. We had a fabulous time. It is hard to put it into words. We flew into Milan, stayed in a beautiful small town-Arquata, by way of Genoa went down the coast to Santa Margarita & Portofino, saw the collosal Pisa Tower, explored Lucca, delighted in Florence, and were amazed by Rome. We ate unbelivable food and drank no bad wine. We saw sights that it is hard to grasp that they are real (not just in a text book or travel guide) and basked in the country known as Italy. I made sure to toss my coin in the Trevi Fountain because I had no doubt that we must return. And that is just what we are going to do. In 50 days, we are on our way back to the old country. This time with all new destinations. Ciao for now - I'll leave you with some of the photos I took while on our last trip....

Friday, January 18

5 for Friday

  • Made penguin cookies for Carly's class for "Penguin Day" at school today. Carly was excited about helping with the project and taking them (even though she doesn't like Oreos)

  • Went out to eat lunch with Kenny- a rare treat during the week.

  • Finished cleaning up after having Girls' Night Out at my house last night. Great night without one stinkin' picture to document. Bad, bad, bad! The camera was right on the counter - what is that about?

  • Hubby left for a hunting weekend with the guys. Carly and I started a girls' weekend. She had a friend over, got to watch Hannah Montana during dinner, we played board games, and she is now asleep in my bed. Carly thinks when daddy goes out of town that she should sleep with me. ...


  • A quiet house = a couple episodes of CSI, emailing, blogging, reading, organizing some photos, writing some overdue notes......I think I am going to go put a chick flick on :)

Tuesday, January 15

SPT - A Closer Look

when you really zoom in on that thing,
that feature, that idea,
does it take on a whole new meaning for you??


it is the first thing that grabs my attention "where's my camera?"
We have some friends who until about a year ago did not own a camera (can you imagine). Even more unimaginable is they have 3 children. I would make sure to have my camera at their children's birthdays so they would have some pictures -
it kinda horrified me!
If I have a few minutes to myself -a few minutes to be creative,
it typically involves photography in one shape or form.
taking photos, downloading, organizing, editing, ordering, scrapbooking, blogging, making gifts, sharing ....

Saturday, January 12

Good Grades = Hockey

Report cards came home on Wednesday and Carly's was exceptional (as expected). Typically Carly gets to choose somewhere for us to go out for a congratulatory family dinner out. This time she said she wanted to go to a RiverKings game. We told her that was a good choice for a family night out and we would have to check our calendars and the RiverKings' schedule. Kenny has a friend who has a box at the Civic Center, so he talked to him and got tickets for Friday. We ate a fun dinner of tacos at the house and then talked about going out for dessert. Carly was in the dark until we pulled up in the parking lot. I turned around and she had a huge grin on her face.
{Carly cheering on the RiverKings- right before she had Dippin Dots}

{Carly with RiverThing one of the mascots}

She just saw me writing this blog and said "I REALLY want to go again! Maybe we can go for my birthday (last year we did)"

Friday, January 11

better late than never

I have been thinking about "my word" for weeks.
And for the last few months I have been "lurking" around Lelly's weekly SPT challenge. So last week when I saw this challenge I was ready to jump in. But, as usual the week got away from me and here we are and it is Friday and time for the next week's challenge.
I thought about just letting it go.
But, I have my word and am excited about it.
I am excited about starting a new year and for the new things to come.
I am excited about plans that we have already made and for the unplanned. So, I decided to post about my word-for-the-year.
As they say, better late than never.

I chose.....

as in

know who I need in my life

know what I need in my life

know what/who to let go of

know what/who I am thankful for

know what is within my control & maybe more important what's not

know what choices to make to be healthy

know what choices to make to be happy

know my strengths & use them

know my weaknesses & strive to improve them


"if you don't know where you are going
every road will get you nowhere"
Henry A. Kissinger

Tuesday, January 8

Nov & Dec book list

Not only did I not have much time to read. I didn't take the time to take notes or blog about what I have read. I thought about skipping out and just starting with January, but I really like the idea of making this list (for me) because I have never kept a record of what I read. I love the idea of being able to look back. So, here are a few for posterity's sake.....
  • Little Women by Alcott

It really took me much too long to read this. I wanted to read it and I enjoyed it. I think that is a sure sign of how much quick read "junk" (as my mom called it when I was growing up) that I read. It takes my brain longer to wrap around long descriptive paragraphs. I liked the fact that it took place about the same time as Gone with the Wind which I just finished reading. And, I took with me this quote..."Our burdens are here, our road is before us, and the longing for goodness and happiness is the guide that leads us through many troubles...."

  • Cassandra Compact and Hades Project by Ludlum

Ludlum is the master of spy-type novels. There is such plot and character development. I find myself urging them on to conclusion.

  • Final Lisa Scottoline

Enjoyable murder mystery full of lawyers and law enforcement. Although it took a couple of chapters for someone to die, a typical murder mystery.

  • Mississippi Kevin Sessums

I almost left this off the list because I don't know exactly how I feel about it. A autobiography about growing up gay in Mississippi. It was kind of like a train know you just can't help but turning around and looking. I hope this guy is in therapy because his early life if MESSED UP. I did A LOT of skimming, but did finish it. Some of the most interesting parts were that he ran around in a crowd with Eudora Welty.

  • Myron Bolitar: Drop Harlan Coben

Love this series. I had read a couple of the later ones and now have gone back to the beginning. This is number 2 in the series. Great characters. Typical murder mysteries but the characters make you come back for more.

  • Everyone Worth Lauren Weisberger

I almost gave up twice but about 50-70 pages in I got into it. It was amusing and made me laugh. But definitely outside my reading "box".

  • Book of the Patricia Cornwell

Really liked it. It is like returning to a family reunion to catch up with old friends. All the same characters are back with lots of problems. It was all mixed up and kept me trying to figure it out. All kinds of stuff falls apart and leaves a little bit of you wishing for the happy ending, but I know this means there is another Dr. Scarpetta book out there in the future.

  • Playing for Pizza John Grisham

Very different than previous books. I enjoyed it because of the setting and all the talk about Italy. We went a couple of years ago and are planning a return trip in the Spring. Most of the book takes place in Parma which is the area of Italy we are going!

Saturday, January 5

family outting

We just got home from the movie. Carly has been excited about this for months since she saw a trailer for it. She loves the first one. And honestly, I like it too. We weren't disappointed, we all liked it. It was a good mixture of suspense, mystery, problem solving, action, and a happy ending. Riley, the side-kick, is our favorite character. He has such a deadpan humor. He cracks us up. Great family outing for a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon.

Friday, January 4

early morning thoughts

  • GEEZZZZ its cold! - i NEED to exercise but I am NOT going outside until the temperature gets above freezing. God put me in the South for a reason. I don't do freezing!

  • If it is going to be this cold we need some snow.

  • When Carly hopped in the backseat yesterday, I asked, how was your first day back and she said sincerely "great"! I asked what she had done. She said "learned to make a cursive a". This made me want to cry.

  • I have to billing because I don't have any money. My husband confirmed billing would be a good thing.

  • I much rather use my day by myself scrapbooking.

  • don't spend time making banana nut muffins because precious child has decided she doesn't like banana nut muffins anymore because they have thingies in them (I think that means small nut pieces?)

  • Need to make a grocery list. Out of the necessities.

  • Going to try and make gumbo for supper. Have a back up plan.

  • Left my cell phone at the clinic yesterday. Have decided it can stay there until I return to work on Monday.

  • Should have asked Santa to bring new school uniforms.

Wednesday, January 2

having fun with friends

We had a fabulous time with our friends in Heber Springs. I love our visits to the cabin and get excited about the prospect of returning. There is something about a place that it is okay if I stay in my pajamas all day! A cabin full of friends who all are content to hang out with each other, okay with lots of ribbing. The biggest decisions and all the planning goes into what we are going to eat and drink. The whole gang, outside "hiking" around the creek.
Fleece and rubber boots needed.
Carly is in the middle in blue.

Inside at the kitchen table playing dominoes. One of the things I love about our New Year's trip to the cabin is lots of games. The guys were too busy hunting or watching football or the Beverly Hillbillies Marathon. The girls at the kitchen table decorating cupcakes. There were only a couple of moments with one kid or the other. Probably a miracle if you consider how much sugar and caffeine they ingested and how little sleep they got. A rousing game of spoons.

We took an updated version of the card game "Spoons" for a Christmas happie. It was a hit with the kids. One of my favorite sounds is of kids really laughing during play- giggling, snorting, rolling around holding their sides, trying to catch their breaths. Okay, sometimes you have to get through all the "you can't do that" or "I quit" or "no fair" We spent LOTS of time in the kitchen. Typically we spend a lot of time on the deck (especially in the morning and at night) but it was too cold for me! We spent more time inside where the fire was.

Thanks Marty and Kendra!

Tuesday, January 1

Happy New Year

{Welcoming 2008 with friends in Heber Springs}