A Thing of Beauty , An Act of Love

img_11481This is my new dining room table. She is a thing of beauty to be sure! With eight feet of length to her we can easily seat ten around her. I’m guessing we could fit more if they’re children once our bench is finished being constructed. Yes, that’s what I said. It’s a custom order. As was the table. They are our housewarming gift from Erik’s father’s hands. I love homemade gifts! This table means so much more to our family than anything we could have found on a showroom floor! Inara is a real fan of the table as well, as evidenced here:

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Oh, the meals that will be served at this table and the stories told!

What is your favorite made by hand, filled with the givers love gift you’ve received?

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A New Resource

I’ve made a new friend. It’s name is PaperBack Swap. It’s really a thing of genius. You take ten books you don’t plan on reading again (so far I’ve found 63) and post their ISBN numbers. Then you get two credits with which to choose any two books you want that other people have posted. You choose your books and they are mailed to you by their previous owners on their dime. If someone chooses a book that you’ve posted then you mail it to them (on your dime) and receive another credit to get another book. See, what did I say? Sheer genius.

It only costs about $1.50 to mail a paperback by media post. Taking into account that even if you find one of those $.01 books on Amazon postage is still a minimum of $3.99 you’re really getting a deal. What type of book are you looking for? I can pretty much guarantee they will have it or something similar. So far I’ve just picked amazing cookbooks, but I’ve also started looking at their homeschool text books. Great deals! Did I mention that if no one wants your books but you want other peoples you can buy credits as well? I know, it’s a little shady sounding, but for under $4.00 a credit, we’re still beating Amazon!

Above are the pictures of the two cookbooks I have thus far requested. I’ll let you know how I like them! Based on their reviews they should prove to be quite interesting!

If you would like to join PaperBackSwap please do so using the link to the right or mentioning my nickname: reluctantcaterpillar. It’s another way to get credits! Try it… I think you’ll like it!


Where Did the Years Go?

Today, my baby sisters turn eighteen. I’m still having a hard time excepting this one. They are seniors in high school, but both are taking two classes each at a local college. They’ve been there a week and have both decided to change their names. Hannah likes to draw on herself with permanent markers so her friends have taken to calling her “Tattoo”. Sharon has decided her name isn’t sophisticated enough and to correct that introduces herself to people as “Sharona”. I can understand her feeling that way. I probably would too had I been named after Dad’s favorite cow.

Hannah is taking an art class to further her natural talent. She’s pretty good and I’ve been lately lamenting the fact that I can’t get a tattoo or piercing as long as I’m nursing or pregnant which could easily mean none of either for the next twenty odd years. I decided to let Hannah give me one instead with her little marker stash.

Smiling through the "pain"

Smiling through the "pain"

They look like tear drops at the bottom

They look like tear drops at the bottom


My 100th Post!

In honor of my 100th post I will be following in the footsteps of my good friend Sarah and share 100 random facts about myself.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to think of 100 things but then I remembered fact number one stopped worrying.

  1. I tend to share a lot of info fast at the beginning of relationships if I really like you. Not much is considered sacred.
  2. I have five younger sisters and two younger brothers. 
  3. I have a five year old nephew named Tucker. 
  4. My husband and I shared our first kiss at the altar.
  5. I could easily eat half a watermelon every day.
  6. I saw Knight’s Tale in theaters seven times. Don’t judge!
  7. I moved 19 times before turning 20. 
  8. I gained 49 pounds during my pregnancy.
  9. I have lost 56 pounds since my pregnancy.
  10. I tend to only have two to three really good friends at a time.
  11. I think all mothers should be able to stay home with their children for the first five years paid.
  12. I love giraffes.
  13. I own over 60 cookbooks.
  14. My friend April and I once drove from Chicago to Bloomington just for Godfather’s Pizza. 
  15. I once drove from Chicago to Ames, IA in under four hours.
  16. My first boyfriend was a kid names Matt at my daycare when I was three. He was “going with” at least three little girls at the time. We would take turns sitting on his lap. Yep. Heavy stuff.
  17. My mom took me to the Return of the Jedi when I was ten days old.
  18. I have eighteen year old twin sisters who are six feet tall.
  19. I asked Jesus to be my Saviour when I was four years old. 
  20. I read approximately 900 words per minute.
  21. I still have most of the friends I made when I was five. 
  22. I have a hierarchy of relationships: my “world”, my good friends, my friends, acquaintances, people I love because God has told us to love everyone. Um, yeah. I’m a bit of a social snob.
  23. I completely and utterly adore my in-laws. They could not be better for this family if I’d hand picked them. You know why? Cause God’s hand picking is way better than my own. :) He done good.
  24. I get motion sickness on carousels.
  25. I am an introvert. Ha! I had you fooled, didn’t I? It’s true though.
  26. Erik and I dream of one day living on an acreage with a big garden, some chickens, and a goat or sheep.
  27. I tend to have a heart for sheep who are wandering from the flock. Maybe because I’ve been there.
  28. I haven’t used shampoo or conditioner in my hair since Luke and Holly’s wedding in May.  I don’t miss it.
  29. If I could meet one Hollywood celebrity it would have to be Angelina Jolie. I want to tell her how to find what’s missing in her life.
  30. My upbringing trained me to act the part of an extrovert. Thanks mom.
  31. I have a stripe of scar tissue down the center of my forehead that serves as a personal emotion barometer. It turns bright red with strong emotion lighter red with less strong emotions.
  32. I miss being a waitress. 
  33. I was in a sledding accident when I was eleven that resulted in 23 stitches on my nose and #30.
  34. I once broke two bones in my foot by dropping a plastic children’s chair on it.
  35. I was home schooled my whole life until I started college.
  36. I started college at sixteen.  
  37. I never technically finished high school.
  38. I have lived in three states.
  39. George MacDonald is one of my favorite authors.
  40. We have the names of our next daughter and first son picked out and engraved in stone (not literally). 
  41. I grew up in a Chicago suburb.
  42. I believe love is a verb.
  43. I was a flower girl four times.
  44. I’ve been a bridesmaid twice. Both times for people who didn’t really like me anymore at the time.
  45. I love raw honey. Love it.
  46. I watched every episode of Alias. Even the dumb ones (Thanks a lot Abrams).
  47. I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket since my daughter was born.
  48. I had my license suspended for too many tickets when I was nineteen.
  49. I don’t like living in college towns. At all. 
  50. Christ’s example of loving leadership in the New Testament is the example I believe leaders should live up to. I believe His example is one of loving guidance versus forceful directive as a matter of routine. This is what I strive for towards my daughter as her authority as well.  
  51. I am double jointed in my fingers.
  52. I am married to Erik.
  53. I like my husband about as much as I love him.
  54. My husband is a cute pretty-boy that my daughter is the spitting image of.
  55. The first concert that I ever went to was for Clay Cross. Yep. Old school Christian.
  56. The first secular concert I ever went to was at the House of Blues in Chicago and it was a personal sized set (about 50-75 people) for the Verve Pipe. Still like them a whole bunch.
  57. I gave up drinking bottled water. Making my dent in the landfill issue. I have been doused with water as a punishment for this.
  58. I love getting handwritten notes. Love, love, love. even like an e-mail is good. Words in writing that I can read over again at another time are what I like.
  59. I think guys can be pretty dumb when it comes to girls and relationships. Once, in high school, I had a close friend who always told me he loved me as a sister.  I believed him. Then we didn’t talk for awhile and I e-mailed him and said “hi. I’m thinking about you and praying for you. I love you, Ambre” and he responds with “um, what exactly do you mean by ‘love’? do you mean ‘love, love’ cause if you do, I’m sorry that I led you on.” He goes on to confess that he did think of me as more than a friend once, but now he’s getting engaged. What?!? How to kill an innocent friendship in 50 words or less.
  60. I like Grasshoppers and Brandy Alexanders.
  61. I think the SNL “cowbell” skit is funny.
  62. I think the SNL “get off the roof!” skit is side-splitting funny. 
  63. I believe the the movie “the Wedding Date” has some of the most amazingly awful lines of any romance movie ever. Here’s a gem, ” I would miss you even if we’d never met.” righhhht.  Or how about “I would rather fight with you than make love with anyone else.” Uh, huh. Give that man an emmy!
  64. I don’t think my roommates when I lived at Gryn realized how often my morning OJ was spiked.
  65. I use to have a gorgeous great dane named Freya. Now she lives with Erik’s parents. Lucky them!
  66. I love getting mail.
  67. I believe that chastity should be a lifelong goal and hope to impart that to my children.
  68. I play guitar. Not super well, but I enjoy it. 
  69. I have an annual Mighty Ducks Marathon with one of my girlfriends. Two words: Jonathan Jackson.
  70. I love fireplaces.
  71. I could drink hot chocolate every day and never get sick of it. 
  72. I’ve been to Canada and Mexico.
  73. If I was to go back to school I would want to be a nutritionist and a naturopath. Not the type of naturopath that communes with spirits though. They scare me.
  74. Speaking of scares, I am scared of the outdoors after dark in the fall. Blowing leaves don’t help at all. 
  75. I love fall.
  76. I wish I could eat white pasta everyday for as long as I live. Angel hair especially. Yum!
  77. I read the last installment of Harry Potter in eleven hours. My wonderful hubby picked it up at midnight so I could start reading when I got up in the morning and he tended the baby all day. He loves me. 
  78. I believe the church needs to be more concerned about loving people and less concerned with visible to the earthly eye results.
  79. My engagement ring is a beautiful pearl. I was tired of girls always comparing carats. I didn’t view it as the measure of my worth or a wise use of Erik’s income. He picked it out on the way to propose and I couldn’t love it more. Since then he’s given me earrings and a necklace to match. I’m a lucky girl.
  80. I think that families should live within 30 minutes of each other and be huge parts of each others lives. I also think families shouldn’t drive each other to the bottle. That’s not part of my utopia.
  81. I don’t like cats, but since my baby loves them, I’ll probably end up owning one in the next five years.
  82. I hate beer.
  83. I had an eating disorder in my teens.
  84. I’ve never smoked a cigarette or done any drugs. 
  85. I once lived with a family where the dad smoked pot every day.
  86. I detest folding laundry and putting folded laundry away. If it wasn’t for Erik, we’d never have clean clothes.
  87. One of my pet peeves is when someone has done something major to someone else in a relationship, but acts like nothing ever happened. Just cause the other person never brings it up, doesn’t mean it was okay.
  88. I really enjoy wearing skirts, but
  89. I hate shaving my legs.
  90. I very much am not excited about the idea of camping. Very much not.
  91. I already have a date arranged with a friend for opening night for Harry Potter.
  92. I am 1/8 Native American. That’s why I have a flat face with super wide cheek bones. 
  93. My mom wanted me to be a journalist. I think freedom of speech is turning into a joke in our country.
  94. I sleep under a down comforter all year round.
  95. I have an irrational fear (or is it?) of someone breaking into our home through open windows while we’re sleeping.
  96. I wish I had been born a Jew. I’d like to share that in common with Christ.
  97. I would love to share a huge house with another family of our choosing (you know who you are) so our kids could grow up together, we could work the land together, support each other as women, and serve God better. Unfortunately my low standards when it comes to tidiness would drive a wedge between us. Bummer.
  98. I wanted to be a missionary to an orphanage in the Ukraine when I was younger. 
  99. I eat my steaks medium-rare.
  100. I really enjoy reading peoples comments on my posts.

Pictures From Another Day

I came across this site that will age your photos over on Howaboutorange.blogspot.com. How fun! The site for picture oldifying is labs.wanokoto.jp/olds. Have fun!

The lovely couple (whose picture I used without their permission!) is Mike and Jackie Biang. Photo taken at Erik and my’s wedding.


Small Painting Project Anyone?

If you go to the following site, you will receive three free two ounce buckets of paint. You even get to choose your colors! It’s a new paint that doesn’t contain the harsh chemicals that give paint its “painty” smell.

http://www.thefreshairechoicepaint.com/contact.html

I’ve requested “Beckoning Sea”, “New Day”, and “Mountain-Forget-Me-Not”.

Can’t wait to give them a try!