Friday, November 30, 2012

Polka With The Stars

So, this weekend I'm participating in a spin off series of DWTS. Here's the description of the event: Come see local Wilber "Celebrities" compete for the coveted Mirror Tree Trophy. This event is part of the Hometown Holiday Event. Vendors, Czech Bingo and food are other features of the day! Come enjoy the Pre-Christmas festivities and special holiday drinks! Well, I suppose all I can say is: Polka With The Stars better be ready for some serious competition! I don't want to brag us up or anything but we've got a couple hidden secrets and bombs to drop tomorrow! Team QU-ELSEY is in it to win it! YEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOW!!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Toy Drive Expands

This just in! I made the news! A whole article's worth... Thanks so much for this awesome article Timothy Linscott it's well written and means so much! Now, if the community wants to jump in and help out the Mustache Crew get lots of donations feel free to contact us! Thanks again for all of the support I've received over the previous years, this community project is just amazing and I love giving back to those in need! Warms my heart!!! Here's the article in the Wilber Republican, also, here's what it says if you don't go to the actual news article.


"Kelsey Homolka of Wilber has had a strong sense of community for many years. She’s volunteered and been involved with community projects since she was a child and, as an adult, that love of helping people in need has grown.

What has also grown is her current community project: a toy drive.

Four years ago Homolka decided to do a toy drive for families in need in Wilber and collected names of people in need, put a public plea out for toys and received 100 toys. In her second year, 2010, she received 225 toys and was able to help more families. Last year, Homolka received such an outpouring of toys that she could not count the number of donations.
"We received donations even after the holidays and it was just tremendous," Homolka said, wanting to do even better than last year.
This year she has expanded the coverage area to not just Wilber but the surrounding area, including Crete, Milford, Clatonia, Plymouth and DeWitt. She explained, ‘just about anywhere in this area that has a family that needs help, I will try to help them.’
The program is straightforward: local families or organizations contact her with the names of a family in need, how many children, their ages, and what they would like for Christmas. She puts together boxes for the family out of the donations and delivers them to a local drop-off location or to the family directly.
"I think this is great that the program is growing. I wanted to do something for the Wilber area and I think it is cool we can do this for a family in need," Homolka said, adding that she does not ask about the situation the family is in, just simply taking their word that they are in need. "I go by the honor system. No questions asked."
Homolka will have a donation box at the Wilber Hometown Holidays event at Sokol Hall this weekend, December 1-2.
All local families on the list will be taken care of this holiday season and all left-over toys will be given to Epworth Village in Grand Island and York.
Homolka recently attended a community church service in Plymouth that included several different church groups and members. The director of Epworth Village was on hand and talked about the need for toys for the children at the Village.
Epworth Village is located in York and Grand Island. It is no longer an orphanage but has now created a modern state-of-the art program for make children ages 7 to 18 and their families who are dealing with severe, emotional and behavioral disorders. If you would like more information about Epworth Village you can go to their website at: www.epworthvillage.org.
The Methodist Women sponsor Epworth Village and have been active in helping Homolka with the toy drive.
To donate or contact Homolka on a family in need, call (402) 826-9245 or e-mail kelseyhomolka@hotmail.com.
There will be several drop-off locations around the local communities and include:
Wilber – City Office, Saline Elder Care, First State Bank, Farmers and Merchants Bank, Wilber Post Office, Barnas Drug, Karen’s Salon and United Methodist Church.
Clatonia – Clatonia Post Office and United Methodist Church.
Plymouth – Country Store, Plymouth Grocery, Peace United Methodist Church and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
This season’s collection ends December 15, 2012.
Toys needed especially this year include: LEGO sets, hand-held games, board games, Hot Wheels sets, radio/alarm clocks, remote control cars/trucks/vehicles, gift sets (cologne, body spray, body wash, etc.), baseball/football cards, gift cards from retailers, DVD movies rated PG or G, small MP3 players that play music only (no internet or recording capabilities), Teen/Young adult books, puzzle books (word search, crossword, Sudoku, etc.), model cars, personal sports equipment (balls, baseball gloves, etc. ). Other toys, clothes or gifts that would make a good gift will be accepted." 
-Tim Linscott 11/28/12
Here's the poster and a link to the article I posted a couple weeks ago about the toy drive. Again, Thank you everyone for the support, no matter your size of donation every little bit counts!

Thankful Thursday

I know I keep saying the weeks fly by, but it's true! With running to Lincoln for random things to craft shows to youth group meetings along with choir practice, work and homework I feel like I'm never home and I feel like I'm failing as that "perfect girlfriend" who always has a meal ready and laundry folded. The problem, life. It seems life's been getting in my way lately. Oh well, I didn't have a spotless home growing up and I turned out alright ;)

THANKFUL THURSDAY #539-554

  • A messy house because it means I have a place to rest and stay warm in the cold months
  • The advantage of being able to participate in youth group activities and hang out with some talented bright energetic kids who are following Christ while still enjoying life as a teenage :)
  • The dirty dishes awaiting to be loaded into the dishwasher, it means I have enough food to supply me
  • Free samples at Super Saver, it means I don't over-buy groceries because I feel full while I'm shopping
  • The beautiful sunrises I get to see on my way to church on Sunday's
  • Random phone conversations with my fav cousin that's 13 hours away, I really wish they lived closer, I've grown so close but yet we're soooo far away :(
  • Reaility shows for making me realize that life doesn't suck as bad as some peoples (PS, have you seen Teen Mom 2? If so, does this part of the episode make you shake your head agree that she really does need a reality check and jail time?)
  • My Tahoe for having a functioning radio, although I get angry because I miss having cd's and being able to skip ads I really do enjoy having a radio, at least I still have some noise
  • My beautiful Christmas tree for reminding me that Christmas isn't about presents or treats it's about our savior, Jesus, being born!
  • Books for giving me the knowledge and imagination that I sometimes lack, knowledge is power ;)
  • Pinterest for giving me recipes that are quick and simple
  • The refreshing look of a new haircut and color (I swear a good cut can do wonders to your ego!)
  • The choir members for helping me "jump" back into the swing of things, I'm loving connecting with my church crew again, I truly did miss my little church and all the love and support they surround me with!!
  • Finally establishing another savings account, I've been wanting (and needing) to do this for awhile. Now, I've got my main emergency account and my savings for fun/presents account with automatic withdrawals so I won't accidentally forget to pull money out. Hello growing up and preparing financial state of mind accounts :(
  • My heath, it's a major thankful on my list and shouldn't be taken for granted. We had a neighbor and friend this past weekend due to losing a battle with cancer. It breaks my heart to see people who are living life and damaging themselves when someone so special and full of life. I pray that the Lord wraps his arms around the family and comforts his young children as they suffer the loss of their father.
  • Starbucks frappuccino coffee drinks, ok, I couponed and splurged on them, so it's ok
My heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. -Psalm 30:12

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Time Is Coming

Well, it's that time of year. The tradition lives on! We usually try to set up all of our Christmas decorations on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, I usually have my country Christmas music blaring in the background until Travis decides football is more important. So begins our task of dragging down all the goodies and then putting them all up. Usually our holidays go from this --->


<--- To beginning the process of tree setting up like this... Travis always hates this part, possibly because this is when I start to get bossy. He hates the whole putting all the limbs in the stock of the tree and then having to help me string the four sets of lights just perfectly so not one part of the tree has too many of too less.

Side note, is there a certain "rule" of thumb you must follow when adding lights? Up and down or wrap them all the way around? I wanted to try the up and down way but he said no way, you HAVE TO do them around the tree, starting from the bottom.

Once you've got all the lights on and the tree pushed back into the corner. Some football scores and DVR rewind caught up on, this should be your outcome!


It's just so gorgeous! I love our little fake fat tree. Did you notice all of the presents I've already got wrapped and under there? Since I took the liberty of purchasing some earlier this year I decided it's best if I just go ahead and wrap them as they're brought into the house. That way I don't have to spend a whole day doing it later on down the road.

Oh, did you notice the little Case truck dumping out presents under the tree? Travis got that from his grandparents house, he used to play with it when he was little. It sat around for awhile before I decided to make it useful so it always dumps out presents for us. PS- A great holiday gift for me is anything Dolly, I've got a couple CD's but if I don't cave and buy the Dolly Christmas CD for myself that would be a cheap simple gift for me ;)

We've got another tree in the basement and I've decided I want to try putting one outside on our little porch that you can see from the road. I think it'd be cute to add a small touch of a lighted pretty tree outside. We'll see if I win that battle but hoping to either put the fake one out there or go to our local Christmas Tree Farm and get one. Hey, if we support their business that's great, looks like they're slowing down and possibly not going to open next year so any help would surely be appreciated.

So, is it too early to put up the tree? Looks like a bunch of others have theirs out so I don't feel too early. When do you put yours up or do you have any holiday traditions when it comes to Christmas decorating? I love seeing the beautiful tree all bright with lights on it. So, enjoy this holiday season. Don't stress over gift giving or what to wear to holiday parties. Just relax and soak in the glorious day that Jesus was born and rejoice in getting to spend time with family and friends!

Linking Up With:
 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Oreo Truffle's


Well, I made these in a quick furry last night so we had a quick treat to take with us for the Thanksgiving feasts we attended. They were a hit! And the best part, they took me less than thirty minutes to put together. SCORE! I'm just so glad I have a Pinterest board full of Truffle's I can try! I've got some pumpkin cake pop/truffles started, waiting for them to cool so I can finish them up. I'll hopefully post that recipe later this week (if they turn out)! So here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
-1 package of Oreo's
-1 package (8 oz) of softened cream cheese
- Almond Bark
- Crisco (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Directions:
In a Kitchen Aid mixer turn on low and add oreo's in small increments until well blended into crumbles. (you can also crush by hand if you don't have a mixer or blender) Once the Oreo's are blended into crumbles add the cream cheese and mix until well blended. Next roll into about one inch balls and place on tin foil. Place the trays of truffles into the freezer to set and harder as I've found it's easier to roll in chocolate if they're set up. While the truffles are in the freezer place a small pan on the stove and place the almond bark and Crisco into the pan to melt, stirring occasionally. I've found low heat and patience works best to accomplish perfect dipping chocolate. Once chilled (about ten minutes) pull out the balls two at a time and dip into chocolate. Then place on a new piece of tin foil or parchment paper. I've found that if you only pull a couple out at a time and let the rest stay cold you're not pulling chunks of oreo bits out of the melted chocolate. You may also choose to sprinkle them with oreo crumbs like I choose to. Make sure you do this while the chocolate is still hot otherwise the oreo's won't stick to the balls. Once they've all cooled place back into the fridge to keep them cold until ready to serve.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday

This week is SUPER special and I'm posting it a day early because we will all be shoveling our faces while enjoying the company of friends and family. It's so awesome to see everyone doing the thankful thing in November but I strongly encourage everyone to continue it after the holiday seasons. Ohh, and I just added more to my Book Club page, check it out!

THANKFUL THURSDAY #520-538
  • Holiday craft shows for going so awesome and bringing in shopping money
  • Friendships I've gained through craft shows, I have gotten to know other ladies I would have never met otherwise
  • My NEW B&N Nook, now let's hope I read more ;)
  • Mom for calling to check up on me, just making sure things are going great
  • The youth group kids for giving me a night out to have fun and remind me of my youthfulness I once had (don't mistake my childish ways for youthfulness)
  • Travis for cleaning the kitchen without me even asking
  • The Lord for blessing me with having Derek, Heavy D, touch my life. The reasons for taking a high school friend are still unknown to us on earth but God has placed such a special person here to teach us that tomorrow is a gift and we should cherish our loved ones as much as possible on a daily basis. 
  • My job, I've been thankful for it for over three years, but taking a step back, I truly am thankful to have an employment in such a tough economy, I know I complain a lot and I know I am selfishly ungrateful but, at least I have a job and I'm capable of bringing in an income to help support our needs
  • Facebook for allowing me to keep up with friends and family who I don't see on a daily basis
  • My blogging buddies for staying tuned in on my boring mid-western life and all the excitement I don't offer (thanks for not abandoning me yet!)
  • The fellowship of friends and family on the thanksgiving holiday weekend
  • The extra shopping money that will allow me to get my shop on during Black Friday (yup, I'm crazy but I'm doing the shopping thing again this year)
  • All of the food that will fill my belly and give me another reason to work out even harder
  • The Lord for giving me the opportunity to serve others through the holiday season with my toy drive that I started as a personal goal that has grown in four short years to what is now a community wide effort!
  • The gorgeous 50-60 degree weather we've been blessed with in November
  • Travis' undying playfulness and truly for caring for me, I felt super sick a couple days ago and on the drive back from Lincoln he called just to check on me and make sure I was making it home safe, that guy still impresses me every now and then :)
  • The grace of knowing when to keep my trap shut in a situation where I so badly want to tell someone how I really feel about their opinion
  • I'm super duper thankful I get to see and spend time with my dad, mom and lil brat sissy that I don't take enough time out of my life to see as often as I should!
  • Being almost 90% done Christmas shopping before the month of December

PS- Pllllleeease if you haven't done so yet, "follow" me! I love seeing I have buddies! I know some of you check in daily and I love you for it :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Community Toy Drive

Every year I do a toy drive and donate all of the toys collected to families in the area that are in need and the rest go to the Marine sponsored Toys for Tots program. In the past we've been fortunate enough to receive hundreds of toys and this year I hope (and pray) that we will receive enough to supply not only the families around here that have requested toys but also supply toys to those at Epworth Village. This year however, I took it upon the Youth Group that I'm in charge of to take charge and use this toy drive as a development for giving to those less fortunate than us. We have found something a little closer to home this year that we're directly donating toys to, it's located in York and it's actually a great organization that needs all the help it can receive! We're also giving toys to those in our community that are in need of the extra help. I have had a couple of families contact me already this year and I'm fully intending on supporting one of the families all by myself. I love sponsoring those who are in need and I know the reason God has blessed me with so many opportunities in my life are reasons alone to give to those less fortunate. Here's the poster we created that has more information:


If you can help in any way please feel free to! Weather you can afford to get one toy or ten any help is much appreciated. Also, gift cards work great as we do have families in our area that are needing the help and this can be used to help them get specific items their children have asked for. Thanks in advance!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Review

This weekend was mostly filled with making money! Saturday was filled with a craft show, and then a little bit of relax time. The craft show went amazing as always. Usually we're hosting shows so we never have time to actually talk with vendors and browse but this time I wasn't in charge so it was fun to just be a vendor and not worry about what others need help with! I did great sales and sold almost half of my stock so I ended up with a ton of cash in pocket in the end.


Then Sunday was filled with a craft show in Geneva which was somewhat unsuccessful. I hate to admit it but Velata isn't going as awesome as the company expected it too. I was kind of skeptical of it when they first announced it but I didn't want to give up on a company that's done so much for me so I stayed loyal and ordered my starter kit. This is my second official show I've done with Velata and this show had zero business. I had several take cards and one last minute came up to me and wanted info about hosting a party but she was from Grand Island so I'm not sure I'll ever hear back from her again. I think from now on I won't participate in paid shows with Velata but if someone offers me a spot for free I'll attend and sit through a whole day of boring-ness.

After the craft show I rushed to Wilber to pick up half our group then traveled to Plymouth to meet up with the rest of the crew for youth group. The gracious Rumbah's served us a healthy dinner of pizza, chips, cake and pop. After we had supper we played a game called "I went to church camp and I brought with me." We used to play this game when we went camping and it was so fitting that we played it yesterday evening. Basically the first person starts and they choose something that starts with an A, the next repeats the A object and finds something that starts with B. The game continues until you get all the way to Z. What did we bring to church camp you ask? Well, here was our list:
Apple
Boat
Chips
Dip
Eggnog
Fruit
Goat
Hot Sauce
I
Juice
Kangaroo
Liger
Monkey
Nile (hard to throw this in your backpack but he said he'd try)
Orange
Penguin
Quaker Oats
Rhino
Sloth
T-Rex
U-Boat (another one that'd be hard to bring)
Vet (for all those animal we brought with us)
Wal-Mart (again, hard to bring, but he insisted)
X-Ray
Y
Zebra


Oh, then we did a sweet game of hot potato except we used baby food instead. Whoever it stopped on had to take a swig of the foods. Some were yummy, some were gross. Final death round included chugging the rest of the bottles down. I felt bad as they both were on the verge of puking as one we mixed with chips and the other was watered down with pop. We also took time to discuss our plan of action for what we were all planning with our toy drive. If you have toys you'd like to donate let me know! We'd love to take more up to Epworth Village to give to those in need!

Yes, then I went home and worked on homework that was due at midnight also in case you were wondering. Lame but it was due and I was slacking on getting it done. I of course had Breaking Amish on in the background also...

This weekend was crazy busy and I had absolutely no time for me or the house. I feel bad and I'm praying that no one stops by, because they will think we live like undomesticated animals but well, that's life and that's just the way we live anymore it appears!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I love seeing everyone's thankful's for the days of November! How exciting to see that everyone else is opening their eyes to realize that our lives are truly blessed with so many wonderful gifts. Did you notice the new layout? Did ya? Did ya! Well, what do you think? Yay? Nay? Thoughts are always welcome and needed

THANKFUL THURSDAYS #502-519
  • My list of thankful's has grown to over 500! I'm so glad that in less than less than 7 months I've got so many awesome things surrounding my life that I have to be thankful for!
  • Successful Holiday Open Houses as they're not only bringing in Christmas spending money but also putting my name out there in the community! The best business is the random business ;)
  • The opportunity to meet new friends via blogging
  • My parents for teaching me that giving is more important than taking, I love Christmas because I can give to those in need
  • A new water filter system that we bought this past weekend, now let's hope I see results and the water isn't so gross. (I'm convinced it's going to affect my uterus in turn causing me to have mutilated babies someday!)
  • Warm fuzzy sweaters to hide behind during my lazy dress up days at work
  • Thankful that I have the opportunity to finish up my second degree from college. Some of my classmates are finished with one or are still working on completing one but I've got two, how special
  • Close family friends for inviting us over for a wonderful deer season opening day celebration
  • My sister for making a random week night stop at the house
  • Travie for spending more time with me, finally I've got the boy back (and I'm loving it!!)
  • Mom for her random calls
  • Dad for his reminder e-mails about how much he loves me, it's always great to get those ;)
  • Facebook for allowing me to buy other people's used junk and also for other people buying my used junk (I seriously sold water bottles on there!)
  • Whhhheeat Thins, come on, admit it, you said it like this
  • Coffee!! Oh, and hot chocolate
  • The lovely temps we've had thus far, so far no cold to complain about really!
  • Pandora's Christmas station
  • Peppermint chocolate bark candy, yummy
Ohh and PS:
Found this and 
about died laughing. 
Does anyone else besides 
me have this issue?! ;)


*This week I'm linking up the post to:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kelsey's Grocery Store

Welcome to my grocery store! Oh, what's that? You want to know where the paper towels are? Oh, ya look is Isle 1 on the top shelf for those. You're also looking for pasta sauce? Ya, try Isle 4, first shelf on the far right side.


Yes, this is a creepy look into my basement grocery store. This is where the over flow of groceries and stock of household items goes. You already know I coupon regularly but here's a little look into how much I have really built up by couponing and watching good sales. I do splurge once in awhile and buy other necessities but for the most part my rule is that it either has to be on sale or have a coupon for me to buy it.

Isle 1: This isle is dedicated to paper products, chips, boxed/dry goods, drinks and tampons er "feminine products". Paper products (tp and paper towels) I can typically find coupons for and some things you just have to spend the extra money on so we usually stock up if there's a sale or we've got coups. Dry goods, well everyone knows my love for Hamburger Helper and yes I've got on hand at any given time at least 5-10 boxes so those are never bought unless they're couponed and price matched for under $1/piece. As for other boxed dry goods we do the price comparison, sometimes store brand really is cheaper so we choose those instead if we're in need. Drinks are a specialty items and aren't bought unless they're on sale, then we stock up on them. We typically try to keep pop on hand but I hate the cost of it so unless they're on sale we try to stay away from buying it. And as for "feminine products" I always have plenty on hand in case of a flood. Right now I've got enough boxes of them to last until Armageddon!

Isle 2: We've got all sorts of randoms in this isle. Top shelf is where our storage for coolers and crockpots. It just works and it keeps them out of the kitchen as these aren't daily needed items for us. Come winter I usually drag the crockpot upstairs and it stays up there until spring rolls around. Next row includes snacks and canned goods. Typically soup is an on stock item and we've got a spin cabinet thingy (yes that's the official name) upstairs that holds most of our canned goods so this is just over flow from that. It also is the shelf to find snack foods like Pop-Tarts, granola bars, quick microwave meals and pudding/jello mixes. Since we're both busy we usually try to keep some kind of quick meal option available. That or if one of us doesn't have any leftovers to take for lunch the next day we'll grab a micro-meal and take that with us. The next shelf down is the junk shelf, everything from shampoo, deodorant, soap, lotions, shaving creams, disinfectant wipes, fabreeze, all the way down to the detailed stuff, razors, batteries, band-aids, samples from companies, aspirins. You name it, this junk spot has it. And on the floor you see we have our pop section. I really wish we didn't have this much pop in the house, but we do, and we drink it... I've found though, that by leaving it downstairs NOT in a fridge we drink less of it because it's not cold and right there in our faces. It works for us anyways.

Isle 3: Big pots and roasters go up on the top shelf, it's the least used items so they typically stay out of my way up there (and I can't reach them either). Next shelf is dedicated to my baking goodies. Chocolate chips, veggie oil, corn syrup, flour and sugar are staples to start with so we've got a shelf full of them. I don't do a ton of homemade baked goods but I was always taught you should have the essentials on hand just in case so that's what I do! Next shelf also consists of some baking supplies but mostly condiments are held here. I know I go a little overboard on the condiments section but I can't help it! There are so many good deals that sometimes you've gotta take them up on the offer! No, I'm not the psychos one that hoards 100 jars of BBQ sauce but I do typically have 2-3 for those "just in case" type of things, plus they double as steak marinades. And on the floor I have all my zip-lock baggies, tin foils, coffee filters and extra garbage bags. Along with that crate I have another one filled with household cleaners. Also, there's the spare paper plates and those goodies down there.

Isle 4: I've got our spare lantern and extra oil on the top shelf because anyone who knows Nebraska knows that in more than one situation you need to have an emergency lantern ready to go, weather it be tornado's knocking the power out or a snow storm there's bound to be the need for the light. Oh, and of course more roasters on top as you can never have enough. Grandma's roasters just can't get thrown away, they're too awesome and useful! Next shelf down is my boxed baking goods section. You never know if you'll need a spare box of  brownies or cupcakes so I try to keep at least 3-5 on hand at any given time. Just in case I find out I need to make a neighbor or co-worker cupcakes for the birthday. ;) I throw the pouches of cookies alongside the boxes and stack the frosting on top for quick reference  Makes it easy to pick them all out at once. I hope someday to find some awesome homemade recipes to make my own but until I have more time to make things from scratch I'll stick to my boxed treats. Next shelf down is all of the rest of the sauces and dips. Also included are this year's supply of canned goods. These are older pics and don't show that we made pasta sauces, spicy tomato juices and chili sauce. After that shelf the floor consists of my prideful laundry detergent. At one time I calculated it out and at any given time I usually have at least 365 loads worth of detergent. So basically, I could do one load of laundry a year for the next year without needing to buy more. I have the dryer sheets stacked to the side but I'm considering doing an overhaul of the grocery store and re-organizing all of the goodies. Not sure I exactly like the way it's set up as of now.

So, now that you've seen my grocery store. What are your thoughts? It's a little overwhelming I know, but I love it. Trav will sometimes come home and I'll giddily grab his hand and pull him downstairs to come see my new haul worth of groceries. I get so excited and love adding to my piles of goodness! I really want to invest in a spare fridge but Trav's not on board yet. We really could use the extra space, even if we'd use it just for pop and beer. We're kind of running out of space in our fridge upstairs and I contribute it to Trav thinking he needs a good 12-18 pack of beer in the fridge at any given time. (not needed) I'm hoping to get a couple other posts later down the line about how I got all of these items for free or at a super cheap price. I love couponing but lately coups have taken the back burner because I'm been super busy.


Linking This Post Up To:
UndertheTableandDreaming
The Chicken Chick

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend In Review

This weekend was so much fun! I love having a weekend to be lazy but I have to admit a weekend full of activities can be just as rewarding knowing I'm blessed to have friends and family to spend my time with.

Friday- We were lucky enough to (finally) celebrate Jenny turning 21! WooHoo!! It's hard for all of us friends from high school to get together on certain nights during the week so it was an extra special treat to all meet up and socialize together for her birthday. She's such a sweetheart and deserved the surprise party. We've really grown close over the past couple years and it's nice to have such a great friend. We of course had to take shots to help celebrate her coming of age so everyone celebrated a little harder than normal. I was nice and gave her the usual, Tequila Rose shot that I give all of my younger buddies. However, her grandpa offered to buy all of us friends a shot of straight Tequila, I graciously said thanks but no thanks and the boys were the crazy ones who agreed to do the shots instead with her grandpa.


Oh, did I mention those boys were up to no good and NEVER ask them to watch your purse if you decide to go socialize with the girls. You'll come back to a purse loaded with a six or twelve pack worth of empty beer bottles, about ten plastic shot cups hidden in your purse and your socks and mittens pulled out of your purse. Oh, you'll also later after cleaning all that crap out discover a cupcake crammed in there. Just take the cupcake and shove it into one of their faces (preferably one named Timmy).

Also, we had some hooligans try to share some cupcakes. The boys thought it'd be cute to all take a bite together from the same cupcake. Adorbs? We all laughed so hard we couldn't really get any good shots of the turds.

We had an absolute blast at the bar that evening!! Jenny's mom handed out raffle tickets to all of her friends. I was excited because of all of the raffle tickets given out I was the winner of the raffle! My "prize" was a free drink of my choice. Ok, so maybe everyone else who got a raffle ticket won too but oh well! I'm so lucky to be spoiled with such fun friends. I wish I could see them daily like I did when we were all in school but I guess growing up requires you to stop hanging out with them. Luckily, we all stay in pretty close contact and attempt to all meet up at least once a month. We're hoping to plan another fun filled Christmas party this year, featuring of course an ugly sweater party and a white elephant gift exchange. We really don't need to make it a themed party to all get together but it's so much more fun!


Saturday- What a fun filled day of cleaning and getting to finally spend a little time with Dad and all of our fun family friends! I started the day bright and early (ok so only 9 am but that's early for me on the weekends). I got a lot of house work and cleaning done, even had a little time to catch up on some DVR's that have been patiently waiting for me to view them. It was super windy on Saturday, like so windy I had to turn the tv volume up to 15 instead of the normal 10 I listen to it on! But, it was opening day of deer season so it was fun to see all of my friends' pictures and updates on their deer killing skills. We don't make a huge deal out of deer season as usually Travis is busy doing other work but it's always fun to go out if we have a nice day and sit in the deer blind together. Maybe later this week we'll have a free day and try to get out there together.

Trav came home later around 5ish and we got ready to head to the cabin to go hang out with friends and family for the first annual SCHMUCK DAYS! Ok, so before I get too far ahead of myself, I'm sure you're wondering what exactly is a schmuck? Well, according to Wikipedia a schmuck is "pejorative meaning an obnoxious, contemptible, or detestable person, or one who is stupid or foolish."


Well, you can make your judgments, but we'll wish you guys a Happy Schmuck Days anyways! We invited the Clarkson Crew down and it was a big ol jam out Bohemian Polka Party at the cabin down by the river. We also had all the boys from deer camp huddled around outside exchange tales about who got what. The food was super yummy and the company was so amazing. You can never spend enough time with family so this was by far the best part of my weekend. The Clarkson Crew is always fun and Dale was of course cracking me up the entire time, never missing a beat. Travis got the low down from Cheri and the girls about what type of sparkly Christmas present he should be shopping for this holiday season and he also got some pointers on what not to buy. It's always funny to watch him just stand there and stare blanky at them when they are explaining things to him.

I'd have to say the first annual event was a success and I know the next morning several people were thankful the night ended somewhat early. I cannot wait for Clarkson to host next year and to get to go visit them for an evening filled with polkas and partying.

Sunday- I finally got to go back to church and I loved it! I've been missing my small little church so much lately and I was so graciously surprised to be welcomed back with such loving hearts! I brought Sheri with me and she's been wanting to join a local church and she said she felt so welcomed she wants to go back again. I sand with our choir on Sunday, it was fun, I used to sing with the choir when I was in high school but then college and jobs got in the way so I kind of faded from the church scene. Luckily, I'm back and I'm jumping in with both feet. I love the youth group kids and I love being back involved in our church.

After church I had to run to Lincoln to drop off some goodies I sold and also to make a pit-stop at Menards so I could pick up some hooks to make more of these beauties. No they don't look like much, but I've had people offer me up to $30 for a set of them. Hello entrepreneurship! If people are willing to buy them I'm going to continue to make them. I originally built it for myself as we've been in need of a new coat rack and I didn't like anything I could buy so I wanted to make my own but turns out it didn't fit into the space I wanted it to go. Moral of the story, posted to a group on fbook that I wanted to sell it as it didn't fit and people were all over it like hotcakes wanting to buy it from me. So, hoping to make and sell more!! After stopping at Menards me and Trav decided to just hang out and skrew around in town for awhile. We stopped at a couple different places and just had a super relaxed Sunday spending time together. Something I've learned to cherish as we rarely get a day to ourselves. We picked up some needed items and also some un-needed but useful items. Had a delicious supper date at my fav place, Chipotles, and then headed home so this girl could finish up some "oh so exciting" insurance homework.

This weekend was filled with excitement and fellowship with people who mean the most to me. I loved it but could use a day to myself to catch up on the never ending housework and maybe even get back to projects and making supper once in awhile. I lost track of meal planning and I need to force myself to get back into the Friday night grocery shopping routine. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday



Well, everyone's still posting their "thankful's" for November and I'm still posting my weekly thankful's. The picture kind of sums up all of the things I'm thankful for but I figured I should probably post some more of my own instead too ;)

THANKFUL THURSDAYS #487-501
  • The Lord for waking me up on this sunny morning
  • Fresh raspberries for snacking on
  • Filtered safe drinking water
  • Scentsy orders for being sorted and ready to be delivered
  • The friendship that me and my sister have finally come to appreciate (we used to attempt murder almost daily upon each other)
  • My Droid phone for working even though I curse it a lot for being slow or not working to my standards
  • For being able to get back into the swing of things and going to church choir practice again
  • Selling more of my clothes that I don't wear, hello Christmas money!
  • Gift cards for racking up, I know one of these days I will cash in my Swagbucks and get some awesome Christmas presents for my friends and family members
  • Barnes & Noble Membership Card for allowing me to feed into my habbit of buying more books cheaper
  • A job to come to everyday in this tough economy
  • A co-worker for challenging me to learn more about the Bible while helping to show her the goodies the Lord has to offer all of us!
  • The opportunity to vote and let my voice be heard (ok, but seriously, enough about the polictical garbage. Here's my quote from fbook, "Whether you made a MITTstake and voted for Romney or you choose to vote for NObama isn't the major question. It's the fact that you should thank God for having the opportunity to do so. We're blessed to be in a country where people served for us to make our voices heard and we should be thankful we have the opportunity to do so!"
  • A dinner date night with Travis and the opportunity to have our seed company cater us a wonderful meal
  • My books I'm reading for giving me an escape from reality and reminding me that the Lord is my ultimate life goal

Monday, November 5, 2012

Women of Faith Conference Review

What an eye opening weekend at the Women of Faith Conference in Kansas City this year again! I seriously love going to these and I went as a teen to the Revolve Tour shows so it was just common sense to make it to the WoF ones too!! We learned so much in such a short time period. The guest speakers were so amazing and inspiring, I loved it, every single second of it! I'll give a break down of some of the speakers!

Angie Smith- By far, might have been my favorite speaker there. She has so much in common with me and she's married to a singer of the band Selah! After losing her sister at four years old, she struggled through life, having panic attacks, insisting her dad go with her to make sure the door was locked at night and the stove was off and even going as far as finding herself having stomach ulcers landing her in the hospital emergency room because she was so paranoid and working herself up or the small things. (insert my similarities here). She started her love story by finding a guy (Todd) at a church camp she went to, they fell in love, got an apartment together and planned their happily ever after. She unexpectedly found out she was pregnant, with twins, and she felt her life kind of turned upside down. (insert another similarity comment there). She wasn't prepared for this, it wasn't part of her perfect plan. She wanted to find a house first, and then start on kids, but God didn't want that for them. So, there they were, two gorgeous little girls and a tiny little apartment. She said the twins were angels, always happy never fusy, and then they had another one shortly after the girls turned two, she explained this third child as a demon child (insert similarity as I think I might have been the demon child myself). About a year or two later after hearing about being pregnant with their fourth child, they went to go do an ultrasound to check on the sex to learn that their little baby (Audrey) wouldn't make it and if they were to deliver the baby she wouldn't live for more than a couple hours. They cried and prayed that evening and the next day they told the doctors they wanted to continue the pregnancy and let God choose the path they will take with the baby. Come time for deliver they told the doctors if there was any chance that Audrey could survive to rush her away and do whatever they needed to do but if her chances of survival weren't possible to please leave them with her to be a family and celebrate her life. She said one of the hardest things to do is to give back a baby that has no life in them, I cannot imagine the grief this family went through but believed that God gave them Audrey for a small unknown reason. Throughout the whole pregnancy they never once gave up on God or their faith in him for taking their small baby and they have hope that one day they will meet their little one again. This story was so heartbreaking and real I couldn't help but shed a couple of tears for this family. I cannot wait to get her book and read more of her story. This lady is so inspiring and we're both a little OCD so I really can connect that much more with her.

Ken Davis- Hilarious! He had me laughing the entire time with his random jokes and funny facial expressions! He told us a story about how he was hiking with his four year old grand daughter and when he turned around she was missing, he can remember searching frantically and begging God to take his life instead, to spare his grand daughter and take him as he wanted nothing more than to have that little girl back safe. He never once blamed God for losing his granddaughter but instead begged him to spare himself in hopes of finding the little tot. He was also inspiring to know he lost over 80 pounds and didn't want compliments about it because he feels that's what's allowing him to live Fully Alive now. At age 65 he is now competing in triathlons and is proud to just hit the finish line and doesn't care about the timing. He made a joke, "One of my favorite Saturday morning routines is to ride my motorcycle down to the highway corner by my house and point my wife's hair dryer at traffic as it drives me." He had me almost in tears by the end of his performance!

Liz Curtis Higgs- HILARIOUS! This lady, seriously, was spine splitting laughter the entire time! She also broke down the book of Ruth into a hilarious rap. You might have to listen to it a couple of times to get the message, I still love re-watching it! Her little bit was about how we should wake up and look ourselves in the mirror and say "TADA" and remind ourselves that we're being the best "us" that we can possibly be each and every day. She told her life story about how she used to work at a radio station with Howard Stern and it all started with her sneaking an occasional cigarette and a beer. It then turned much harder and she was turning to crack and coke along with other whiskey's which turned her life into a downward spiral. She started to become promiscuous and even admits to sleeping with three different men in one night. She said she was searching for love, and at night when it was dark men didn't care what size you were and would "love" you either way. She explained how she had to hit rock bottom to realize that even God is willing to take broken people and that no one is perfect and that he in fact, created a broken person to show everyone else that the world is filled with his love. She was so inspiring to think that God even loves those who've made wrong decisions in life but have learned to love him and discovered his forgiveness for our sins.

Sheila Walsh- She's made books, hosted tv shows (700 Club), sings amazing songs and also makes time to travel with WoF. Her story was pretty cool, she talked about growing up in Scotland and about how the lambing season was her favorite season by far. She explained how the "bummer lambs" were her favorite because they were held close to their masters hearts while they were being bottle fed because the mother's wouldn't take them. She then explained how once they were old enough to go back into the herd when the master's would call they'd be the first to come running when it was time to feed them. Her story was breathtaking and I liked how she related farm animals to Christ and his love for us. It was "at my level" I suppose you could say. She also had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia and visit a child she sponsored through World Vision and explained to us the love that small boy had when he came running into her arms and embracing a warm hug. It really tugs at your heart strings to hear about her story to visit the children that her family sponsors. I would love to sponsor a child but for now I'm focusing my giving efforts on the toy drive in hopes we can make this take off for now. I've also found a cool shoe box donation drive I'm wanting to contribute to this year. I'll hopefully post about it later this week.

Pat Smith- I knew her only because I watch Dancing With The Stars and her husband Emmit Smith is competing this season. She's gorgeous and she's got a HUGE heart of gold (and a huge rock on her hand, check out her website link to see it)! Her story had to do with her struggling with the loss of her mom to breast cancer and going through a divorce but seeing God's marvelous love for her through the struggles on it all. She has always had people walk out on her and was expecting her hubby Emmit to follow suit and hurt her, but sixteen years later she's realizing that she is loved and that God is surrounding her with everyday miracles. She told us about how they decided they were done having kiddos so they did the ol snip snip on Emmit. Come to find out later on, they're pregnant with another little one. He's now two and a ball of energy.  It's fun to see this amazingly inspiring woman who works her butt off to give back to other less fortunate women.

Ann Voskamp- This lady is my ideal type of gal, farmer's wife and stay at home mom to six little kidlets. Ok, so maybe six is a little much but still, the idea of stay at home mommy to raise my own babies still is a hazy dream I'd one day love to experience. She is from Canada and tells us about her life as a stay at home mommy married to a pig farmer. Her story was amazing but what really attracted me to her is her new book One Thousand Gifts, it looks so great and it's another one I cannot wait to get my mitts on it and jump into reading it! She reminded us to slow down and look at the big things in life that really matter, giving thanks to the Lord for all that he has blessed us with. She encouraged us to write a list of 1001 things we love about ourselves and the world around us. Ironically I do this weekly with my Thankful Thursday's so I guess I'm a step ahead of the game already!


Pretty inspring to see all of the cell phones raised holding their "lights" that are lighting up the world for God. It was one of those hair standing up on the back of your neck moments. The weekend was an amazing reminder to focus me back onto the important things in life, God, my family and my relationship with my friends. I feel I try to do my best and always help other's more than I help myself but this weekend really reminded me to thank God more than anything. He has graced me with so many things and without him I honestly can't say I'd be where I am today. I've made many mistakes and I know my future is filled with many more mistakes but I know that since Jesus sacrificed himself for my sins that the Lord will accept me as the sinner I am.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Farming On The Four's

Hold the phones! Send your kids back to bed! Tell the dog to walk himself! I've got some amazing pictures to show you guys today!! Awhile back we had some fall/harvest pics done by one of our amazingly talented friends Nicole Schweitzer, we got the pictures back and here are the results. They're all so gorgeous! I love them! So, without further blabbing, here you guys go!















To the average Joe, these pics may just look like what you found when you Google'd Case IH Combine or harvest but to me, these pictures mean so much more! These pictures are what we live off of, our main source of income. These pictures really capture what we work year round for, to pull our gambled money off of the fields and send them to town to "cash in" our paychecks. I may not be a Nerud but these boys work their rears off and I'm pretty proud of them. I hope everyone else had a safe and successful harvest!!

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