Saturday, March 31, 2012

One-stroke Painting

Mariah & I had lots of fun this morning.  We went to the library for a one-stroke painting class.  You all know that I've been doing it for a couple of years now.  This was Mariah's first time.  I was a little apprehensive. Mariah's autism/ADHD can go one of two ways - she can either be very shy & withdrawn, or VERY wound up!  Today was a combination of both.  When it was time for introductios, she got shy and wouldn't talk (understandable).  As the class continued, she began extremely exuberant and at one point got up and started bouncing and singing.  Overall though, she did very well and we're looking forward to next month!

Today's topic was Easter bunnies.  Here is Mariah's picture:

I think she did an AMAZING job, especially since she had never painted like this before!

Here's mine:

Next month is a grapevine with little birdhouses hanging from it.  I can't wait!

I had a marathon To Do List day yesterday.  I did part 2 of my practice Basic Skills Test.  This morning I did part 3.  All I have left now is the writing assignment and I can have it scored.  If I score well enough, then I can take the real one as soon as I have the $270 for it. 

I also did 4 loads of laundry, made a pot of green beans with potatoes & polish sausage & homemade mac & cheese, and helped Mariah with several pages of schoolwork.  Rich emptied out the entryway and wiped it down from top to bottom.  Then he reorganized it and got rid of a bunch of stuff.  I want to take each room one at a time and empty it, clean it, get rid of everything possible, and reorganize what's left!

In and amongst all this, I managed to get quite a bit of my Petite Christmas Angel #1 done.

Now for the rest of today I will make strawberry jam, straighten up the living room, work on my model for X's & Oh's, and watch movies with Rich & Mariah. 

And what do YOU have planned for the weekend?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Job From H*** Continues

I'm working this temp assignment.  It started out to be a 2 day, 4 hours a day assignment.  That was back in October.  Now it's 7 hours of h*** a day.  I talked to the manager yesterday, fully intending to tell her that now that she had hired someone Friday needed to be my last day.  She had already spoken to Office Team and got approved for another week for me.  Ok, I'll deal with1 more week, but I made it quite clear that that would be it!  I have my tutoring assignments to set up, lesson plans to write, my basic skills test to take, and MY classes start up again April 10! 

To show you how stressful this job is, Monday she handed me a large box of promotional flyers.  She told me that they needed to get out to all the car dealers, but that she wanted about 20 left here in the office.  They have 97 dealers and there were 90 flyers.  So, I told her I could make 20 copies and use the copies for some of the dealers.  She said that would be great.  I sat all afternoon on Monday and all morning on Tuesday handwriting envelopes, stuffing them, and licking the envelopes sealed.  I asked her for stamps and she said that they were in Princess's office and she was on a special project so she would put them on later.  I handed her the box with the 97 stuffed and sealed envelopes and went back to my desk.  I then heard her ask 'Are these the promotional flyers?'  I walked back to her doorway and said yes.  She looked at me and said 'You know, you could have emailed them.'  Are you kidding me????

However, last night made it all better.  At least temporarily.  My BFF is working as a waitress at the new Paula Deen's Kitchen in Joliet.  This week, in preparation for the grand opening in 2 weeks, they were asked to bring guests in for a meal.  We had to fill out a form listing exactly what we ate and what we thought of it.  We could have anything we wanted. When we got there, there was only the buffet, but it was definitely worth it.  There were a couple of disappointments.  The cream of chicken with wild rice soup had a strange aftertaste to it and the hoecakes were basically pancakes made with corn meal.  I've eaten hoecakes all my life and in my experience they were alway a little thicker, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  If you've never had them though, these were very good.  Everything else - mac & cheese, green beans, smashed potatoes, cheddar bacon biscuits, fried chicken, cajun pork tenderloin, rice salad, macaroni salad, chocolate chip gooey butter cake, peach cobbler, and rum cake with real whipped cream, was heavenly!!  I had a bite of everything and brought home 2 containers.  We ended the meal sharing a bowl of real, homemade banana pudding and coffee.  We laughed, ate till we couldn't take another bite, and had a wonderful evening.  Thank you, Mary for inviting me!!  Tonight she's taking her husband.  I hope they have as marvelous a time as we did.

I haven't gotten to do any stitching this week.  I crocheted a cocoon for my cousin's baby shower.  I'm working on Petite Christmas Angel, but haven't gotten enough stitches in for a progress pic. 

Well, that's it for today.  How was your week?

Friday, March 16, 2012

I've been awarded!

My good friend, Katie, who has the blog Jeremiah's Mom, has awarded me the

Thanks, Katie!!!  What does that mean you ask?  Well, it means this:

Liebster is a German word, meaning favorite, dearest or beloved, and the Liebster is awarded by bloggers to other, newer bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help the new(er)bies gain wider recognition. The award comes with four conditions that each recipient must satisfy when accepting:

1. Choose five up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to award the Liebster to.

2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.

4. Share five random facts about yourself that people don't know about you. 
Ok, the bloggers that I am giving this award to are:
1.  Vickie H from  Vickie is a teacher, a good friend, and a wonderful human being.  I was lucky enough to spend a weekend at a stitching retreat with her.  Her writings about her life with her hubby, pets, and students will keep you laughing!
2.  Carol M. Boyer-Crosby from  Carol is a great stitcher, mom, very active in Boy Scouts, and all around great person.
3.  Debra Scarborough of  Debra is not only a talented stitcher, but does some of the most beautiful beadwork I've ever seen.
4.  Although she doesn't post a lot, this is one of my favorite creative blogs.  I first found her on Pinterest where her thimble necklace was posted.  Take a look!
5.  Pam and Terri from  This is a great blog!  Whenever I need ideas for books to read I go here!
Ok, now for the hard part.  5 random facts about me that people don't know:
1.  I love watching old mysteries and monster movies.  Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, Frankenstein, all the old black and whites are my favorites!
2.  You all know that I'm working on my teaching degree and want to open a learning center for kids who fall between the cracks in public school.  But what you don't know is that on the weekends, that learning center will be a stitching retreat where my stitching buddies can come and have a lovely weekend for not so many bucks!
3.  When I was a kid, my dad programmed computers when a computer took up an entire room.  We moved all over the eastern half of the country and by the time I was in 9th grade I had been in 9 different schools!
4.  My favorite snack is sweet bbq chipotle chips from GFS.  They're only $3 for a huge bag and I just love them!
5.  I love to cook (no surprise there), but I love to incorporate veggies into dishes that no one knows about!  And after trying them, they still don't know about them!
Ok, check out all the blogs I've awarded the Lieber award to and enjoy meeting some new friends! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New cars & stuff!

It's been a great week so far.  Let's start with the cars.  My 2007 Ford Escape has been great for the last 2 1/2 years.  But, it now needed about $1000 worth of work.  Rich's truck literally fell apart so we were down to only 1 vehicle.  Since I am currently working an hour away, that's a problem.  Also, my 6 cylinder was eating gas like you wouldn't believe!  So, we went to the local Ford dealer and traded it in.  We went from this:

To this for me:

And this for Rich:

The dealer gave us enough for my Escape to cover both vehicles, plates, taxes, and we get a check for $243! 

I also got my bingo prize in the mail today for our last round of ILCS bingo.  Vicky sent me Little House Needleworks' "Ye Olde Coffee House" .  Quite appropriate!!

I got the wings almost finished on the first of my Petite Christmas Angels:

I've put it up to work on my March ornament.  Everything will get put up pretty soon since I have a model coming that needs to be stitched VERY quickly!

Now, for the best part of this week.  I've been hired by a company called Wyzant Tutoring.  I've passed all my certification tests, submitted my profile for the parents, and I'm waiting on final approval.  As of April 1, I can start accepting students for tutoring. The best part is that my fee will be $35 an hour.  I get 60% to start and will eventually go up to 80%.  My fee will also increase as I get more experience.  I CAN QUIT WORKING FOR OFFICE TEAM!!!!  Yeah!!!! 

So, that's my week so far.  How was yours?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stash box winner

And the winner is:  Marta!!!  Marta, email me your address and I'll get it out to you one day this week.

This week in our life

It's been a fun week!  Lots of work, lots of math problems, lots of stitching!

Stash Box

I will be drawing names for the next recipient of the stash box later tonight.  So far I have listed:

Vickie H
Cindy B

Anyone else who would like to be in the drawing please comment here by 6pm CST.


We received our new FunBites cutter in the mail this week for us to review.  It is awesome!  We love to make Bento box lunches and this makes it fun and easy to do.  Mariah snatched it up and used it immediately to cut her toast into small hearts.  It is safe and easy for even kids to use!  As I said, ours is the heart-shaped cutter and consists of a curved blade cutter and a matching popper to pop the pieces out.  Use it on meat & cheese stacks, fruit, grilled cheese sandwiches, or anything else you want to be bite-sized and fun to eat!  Here's the link to the website to check them out.  I'm going to be purchasing the square cutter next.  If you'd like to make a purchase, Funbites has provided a coupon code to use at checkout for free shipping: MarchMadness


We've been concentrating on time and money this week.  That's pretty much all we've been doing for schoolwork.  Mariah's been 'shopping' in the house, paying for everything she wants to use, eat, or drink.  She's gettin better at money, but we still have a very long ways to go on time!


I haven't gotten much stitching done this week.  By the time I get home from work, I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open!  Here are progress pics for this week:

Petite Christmas Angels:

Coffee Angel (the border on the right side is almost done - only 4 more squares):

February House (I got the border fixed and a bit of the house itself done):

Angel of Cross Stitch: 

St. Patrick's Day piece:

There's no picture of my shawl, I only got 1 row done this week.  I've decided the heck with the rotation and the heck with my diet.  I'm going to stitch on whatever strikes my fancy and I'm going to eat what I want.  With the amount of stress I've been under lately I've actually put on 10 lbs with having given up rice, potatoes, bread, and pasta!  So, I'm just going to be careful with what I eat and try to do more walking and exercise. 

I did get a bit of good news this week.  After figuring out our bills for the month, I discovered that we will have just under $500 a month leftover every month out of Rich & Mariah's SS checks.  That gives us that much for gas & groceries for the month without me working at all.  So, when my assignment ends (hopefully, soon), I won't be taking anymore unless they are close by and short term assignments.  Between what Rich picks up in scrap, mowing lawns, and taking furniture that he finds to the consignment store, and what I sell on Etsy & Amazon, I can stay home for a bit.  We are going to pack up the house, get rid of what we don't want, and try to get it sold by summer.  Then we're moving down around St. Louis, but on the IL side - probably somewhere around Alton.  I will try to find a job as a teacher's aide and tutor once we get down there.  Yeah!!!

Last, but not least

My sister, Janice, has just become a consultant for Thirty-One. For anyone who hasn't heard of them, they are these awesome bags, purses, organizers, etc, that are sold out of your home at parties like Tupperware.  I'm having a party on March 18, two weeks from today.  If anyone would like to order, book a party (in person or online), or just like some more info, here's the link:
Janice & I will both appreciate the business!!!

Well, I'm off to make ice cream cone cupcakes for a fundraiser in town today.  Talk to y'all later!