Friday, July 29, 2011

I'm a winner!

But still not a good blogger!  Geez!  SO...  I won a giveaway on one of my fave blogs, Welcome to Heardmont, today, and Meredith posted a link to my blog.  How embarrassing!  It's been over three months since my last post.  A LOT has happened in that time!  First of all, as I mentioned in my last post, we were preparing to move.  Well, I found out just before Easter that we are expecting baby #3 in December!  Literally the day after we moved, the morning sickness hit hard!  For a few weeks I was pretty much down and out!  I finally started to feel better, and life got crazy busy!  I have so much more to share, but for now, I'll leave you with this...  a picture of our NEW house!  :-D

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday!

It's my oldest baby's 8th birthday today.  
My oldest furbaby, that is!  :)  Mary Jane has been a part of our family for 6 1/2 years now.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures of her.

 This one is from very shortly after we got her, so she was just over 1 1/2 years old.  Notice how her fur is still dark?  She's getting so white these days!
Happy girl!  :-D
Pete & MJ

Thursday, April 21, 2011


That's right, it's finally official!  We got through negotiations, inspection, more negotiations (the buyers want our electrical updated), and the appraisal.  Moving day is only two weeks away!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Perfect GIVEAWAY for someone changing address!

All Things Thrifty is giving away a custom stamp, inks, and more!  This is a giveaway I just had to enter!  I'll be throwing away all of our return address labels, since our address is changing in a few weeks.  What an awesome replacement!  Go ahead, enter, but I'm gonna win!  :-D 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pillow Cover GIVEAWAY!

I know I haven't posted in For.Ev.Er.  Life has been up and down and all around!  But I just wanted to drop in and tell you about a giveaway over at one of my favorite blogs, Hi Sugarplum!  The giveaway is for TWO 16 x 16 pillow covers from DIYPillows.  Head on over and enter to win!  I did! :-D 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

More cleaning...

The last three weeks has included four more showings and an open house!  It's been good to have activity on the house, but frustrating to not have anything come of it.  We keep hearing that people like the house and have some interest in it, but so far no one has liked it enough.. or something.  Really, I know there is a reason why it hasn't sold yet, and it will sell to just the right person at just the right time, but that doesn't make the waiting any easier!

I have so many ideas in my head for the next house...  I just can't wait to see some of them materialize!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Responsibilities & Positive Reinforcement: UPDATE!

Well, we've been charting Eli's responsibilities for four weeks now.  We stuck with the first simple chart for three weeks, and it went really well!  His four responsibilities were:  Get dressed, Brush teeth - AM, Brush teeth - PM, and Stay dry all day.  We had a lot of success with getting dressed and brushing teeth (although he needs reminding), but NO success with staying dry.  UGH!  SO frustrating....

SO, I came up with a new chart!

I really need to work on my photography skills...  But that's not important.  Let's talk about our chart changes.  First of all, I added "Make bed" to his list of responsibilities.  This is something that I know he is capable of and makes life easier for me!  I'll be honest, my main motivation with this is that he used to constantly drag his blankets and pillows off his bed and all over the house, which drove me crazy!  Now that it's his responsibility to make his bed, he takes pride in it, and leaves it made all day!  He still charts getting dressed, because most days it still takes me telling him to do it 5 times before it actually gets done.  Rather than keeping brushing teeth split into AM & PM, I made it one task, so he only gets one reward even if he does get it done twice.  And in hopes of finally having some success with staying dry, we split that into morning and afternoon.  I am VERY happy to say, in his first week, he earned two stickers!  I know it doesn't seem like much, but trust me, this is a BIG DEAL.

At the end of each week, Eli received his nickels!  This was so exciting, for both of us!  I was never able to find any containers to buy for his three money categories, so for now we are using plastic sandwich meat containers.

Fancy, huh?!  The masking tape and blue Sharpie really make them look nice!  :-D  Okay, okay, they may not be pretty, but he loves them, especially because Daddy cut slots in the lids, so he can put the coins in like you would in a piggy bank.

He caught on right away to the idea of giving 1/10th to God, saving 1/10th till he's a grownup, and spending the rest!  I only had to explain it to him once, and each week he enjoys counting and dividing it up.  The first three weeks he chose to stick to the minimum for God and saving, but this last week he wanted to put 1/3rd of his money in each container, giving and saving more than we require of him.  I was quite proud.  :-)  We actually hadn't been to church for a few weeks for various reasons, so Eli brought his giving money with him to church yesterday, and he could NOT wait to give it to God!  It was so sweet!

So far, I think we are both really liking the chart and it's results! 


It's been a full four weeks since my last post...  OOOOOPS!  In my defense, the month of February was a bit CRAZY!

Here is a little time-line of house related events:

January 31:  Mid-morning - called a possible new Realtor
January 31:  4 pm - Possible new Realtor was at our house, FULL of ideas and excitement
February 3:  Consultant with painting lady about kitchen cupboards (we ended up NOT doing it!), and some furniture rearrangement with the help our new Realtor
February 4:  Menards run!
February 5:  Painting, hanging art, painting, fixing basement window trim, painting, moving furniture, cleaning
February 6:  11 am - Showing #1
February 7:  Signed contract with Realtor
February 9:  8 pm - Showing #2
February 13:  10:30 am - Showing #3
February 16:  4 pm - Showing #4
February 21:  11:30 am - Showing #5
February 25:  10 am - Showing #6 (a 2nd with the people from #5)
February 25:  Just after noon - An OFFER comes in.  It was very low, so we countered back that afternoon.
February 28:  Heard back that they have decided to keep looking...

So yeah, a showing every 3-5 days...  that's a LOT of cleaning.  I'm ready for March and a decent offer or two!

Hopefully I will be back sooner than a month from now with more details on our meeting with our new Realtor and everything we did to get the house ready.  I also have a couple other random decorating posts in the works....

Monday, February 14, 2011

We LOVE books!

And here are a few books we are reading before bed tonight, on Valentine's Day.

All the Ways I Love You

Love You Forever

With Lots of Love 

Guess How Much I Love You

I feel so blessed to get to spend this day with the three loves of my life! 

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Responsibilities & Positive Reinforcement

We started something new today.  I decided it was PAST time to make Eli aware that he is capable and responsible for doing some things.  Plus, there are a few areas where we are really struggling that I am hoping some positive reinforcement will have some effect.  SO, we started "Eli's Responsibility Chart" today.

We are starting out small with only three (sort of four) tasks:  getting himself dressed in the morning, brushing his teeth (AM & PM), and staying dry all day.  Over time, we will add more responsibilities and probably switch some out with others.  For each task he completes, he will get to add a sticker to the chart.   

My plan is to chart from Saturday to Friday each week, but since we started today our first chart is only 5 days.  Now the reason our charting week ends on Friday is because the plan is to also teach some money management.  You see, on Saturday, after he has completed his chart, we will review how he did with his tasks that week.  For every sticker on the chart he will receive a nickel.  I'm still searching for some sort of container(s) for his money, but hopefully I will find something that I can use to divide his money into three categories:  God, save, spend.  For every ten nickels he earns, one will go to God (or more if he so chooses), one will be saved (or more), and the rest he can spend on whatever his little four year old heart desires!

 p.s.  I totally stole this idea from a friend, who stole it from someone else... :-)

Movin' On (Hopefully!)

Part of what I'm going to write about here is the process (which has already taken quite a bit longer than we had hoped or expected) of selling our current home.  So, a quick history for those who may not know...

We decided in the fall of 2009 that it was finally time to take steps toward moving our family into a bit larger home in the next town over.  We did a few things to get the house ready and put it on the market in January of 2010.  Now here we are, a year later, still waiting.  Our contract with our original Realtor expired a couple weeks ago, and since then the house and I have been enjoying a little breather. 

But today, I'm cleaning...  for our appointment this afternoon with a possible new Realtor!  I've really enjoyed my little break, but I'm ready to get this ball rolling again.  I'll be back later to update on how it went!

p.s.  The photo above is old.  The house doesn't look too much different now, but we did replace both of the storm doors (they're both brown now).  We also replaced the outdoor light and mailbox with new, black ones, and painted the house numbers black to match.  And while we weren't buried under several feet of snow, I also made sure to pull the weeds, so the sidewalk didn't look like a jungle!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why "Pretty & Mine"?

Pretty & Mine...

It's catchier than "Decorating for Me."  Or should that read "Decorating for Myself"...?  But that's really what this is about.  I like decorating, making things pretty.  I like making things unique, doing things my own way, even if it's not the current trend.  I choose items and colors for my home because I like them, not because they're "in."  I don't want to have a cookie cutter home.  I want to express myself.  And I make the effort to have a beautiful home not because I care what anyone else thinks (okay, I sorta do), but because I enjoy it.  My home is an extension of myself.  It's mine

Hopefully soon this one will be another someone's, and I will have a new home to make mine all mine!  :-)

{In all seriousness, I know that all that I have is the Lord's, and I am so grateful for all that he has entrusted to me.  Thank you, Lord, for your provision!}

Only Three Weeks Late...

I finally bought my 2011 wall calendar!  I ordered one from Amazon, and I can't wait for it to arrive!  Hopefully before February!   Unfortunately we won't be able to enjoy the January picture for more than a few days...  Oops! 

I've been going nuts without a new calendar on the wall.  I think this is the first time that I have not had one before the new year began.  I usually buy one for myself get one for Christmas, or buy one when they are on clearance after Christmas.  But this year, I honestly didn't even go look for one until January was here, and I couldn't seem to find one that fit my qualifications.  I'm picky.  NO, the free one from the bank absolutely will NOT do!  Choosing a calendar is serious business for me.  My calendar is another piece of art on the wall, so that is exactly what I look for.  No puppies, kittens, or other adorable furry creatures.  I love modern art and I LOVE color!  Over the years my calendars have featured Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Georgia O'Keeffe.  Twenty-ten introduced me to the artist Charley Harper, and he will be returning for twenty-eleven!  I am so excited! 

Sooo, what do you look for in a calendar?  Your favorite TV show or movie?  Beautiful landscapes?  Whatever the bank is giving away?  Don't be ashamed if you're a puppy person...  they really are CUTE!  :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


My first issue of my new subscription of House Beautiful came in the mail today!  Merry Christmas to meee!  (A big THANK YOU to my wonderful hubby, who knew I wanted some sort of decorating mag, but didn't know which one.  He got it right!)  :-)  You see, I've been a little obsessed with interior decorating lately.  It's always been an interest, but with our house on the market, I've been dreaming of all the beautiful things I'll be able to do in a NEW home!  I have all sorts of ideas, but nowhere to put them.  So today, I'm going to grab hold of my excitement and be inspired!  I hope to use this blog to collect my thoughts, share my projects, and maybe even connect with others who like to make things "Pretty & Mine."

p.s.  I'm not known for being the best at blogging...  I just don't make myself DO IT!  I'm really hoping this time I can stick with it!

p.p.s.  Okay, to be perfectly honest, a huge part of why I haven't done well with my previous blogs is because I am a perfectionist, and I am super self-conscious.  I don't want to write anything unless it's super awesome!  So yeah, I'm going to try to just write this blog for ME, and not worry about what anyone else may think.  With that said, I have done nothing so far but simply create this blog and write this post.  Usually I would want to make sure that I had a cute background and header, blah blah blah, but I don't have time for that tonight.  And I don't want to lose my motivation and not get started...  One step at a time...  :)