Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
As a child, I wondered how I could ever leave home. As I got older and had my first apartment, I wondered if I would ever feel like my childhood home wasn't home anymore. As I visited my parents at their house (the same one I grew up in for 19 years), I finally realized over 4 days that I missed my house. I really do love being at my home. I love the same things I see every day. The things I own. The things I put in their place. It's comfortable. For this blog, I thought I'd share a few of the things I love about our home. Things. Sights. Places.
Meet Edward. I am attached to him. Not quite sure what he is. A mix between a Dodo bird and a muppet, perhaps. He's a hand carved souvenir from a free trade shop in Wisconsin.
Last but not least... I love any place our pugs cuddle up. So cute. It never gets old. When the pugs are curled up, you know it's a peaceful place.
Posted by jb.little at 7:30 AM
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Here's another of my Christmas presents. This one is as thoughtful as it is beautiful. It's a beaded clutch purse handmade by women in Hanoi. There is a company called Global Girlfriend that promotes fair trade and helps give women in poverty a way to earn an honest living.
And then we bought this. A 2005 Chevy Equinox. We only just started looking at cars that we were interested in after my little car started having some troubles. Randy and I decided that we needed something bigger... for our family now (two pugs) and whatever may come years down the road (more dogs... or a child???). So, when we went home for Christmas, we agreed that we would just look and perhaps test drive a few things.... you know, just to get a feel of what we would like. Then Randy got obsessive about looking for a good deal. One thing led to another. And we have a great car. It was a deal we couldn't pass up, and I'm absolutely in love with it. So glad it's mine.
Posted by jb.little at 3:37 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sand-filled fabric bag... wrapped in tape to prevent sand explosion disasters in the hallway
Wha la! The finished product.
House Problem #2: I'm not a jewelry person. But I've really been trying harder to accessorize my outfits to look more professional. I've been getting more earrings and long necklaces, but the space in my little jewerly box is limited.
Project Solution #2: My grandmother had old wooden shutters laying around. I figured they would be the perfect tool to keep my jewelry in a place where I'd be inspired to acutally wear them.
Untwisted paperclips help to hand the necklaces.
Posted by jb.little at 5:42 AM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
* Before I begin, anyone who does not know my mother-in-law may not understand my blog. She is a nice, God-fearing woman. She is also an obesely overweight diabetic who eats more sweets in a setting than I would in a week. She's loud and imparts her viewpoints without a hesitation. And her highlighted personality trait is that nothing.... absolutely nothing is a secret. Straight-forward and succinct, she will tell you ALL about her health problems ranging from a kidney stone caught in her urethra (yes, that made this year's Christmas card!) to her arteries like a 20 year-old due to a heart cath (that made last year's Christmas card). So, in honor of my dear mother-in-law... my Christmas card in the theme of my mother-in-law (with similiar grammatical errors, as she would have written them). Without further ado...
Greetings one and all! We hope you are well and looking forward to the holidays! It's been cold and icy here, so Randy and I usually stay home on days like this. Although, I stay home all the time because I don't have a job.
This year, I'm still in school. Seems like I've been in school forever, doesn't it? I know Randy thinks I'm worthless since I can't help our financial situation. Sometimes I don't think this degree will be worth it. I saw what I'd be making in schools down here, and $37,600 a year just doesn't seem like very much for a master's degree. As for my health, I've been doing okay. I don't have any health insurance because it's too expensive to put me on Randy's plan. And because I don't have a job, I can't afford any.
As for Randy, he quit Farmers. He hated it so much. He couldn't stand to be there one more second. So, he's a claims adjuster for an auto body shop in Missouri. He likes it, although he took a $5,000 pay cut. Randy's also been in a band. He is the MC and lead singer. They call themselves the Mississippi Mud Ducks... sounds like a country band doesn't it? It's anything but! They play all sorts of rock music. I was hoping they played Christian songs, but they play ACDC and other rock music like that. I've heard them play and they are good. I don't say that because I'm prejudice. I've heard it from other people too! Randy is thinking about going back to get his Masters in Teaching. I hope he does it, but it would put us more in debt.
Sophie and Henry are still alive and kicking. Although, Sophie's had a lot of health problems lately. She's had two ulcers in her eye which are just like cuts in her eye. We have to hold her down to put eye salve in one or two times a day. She fights us every time. She also had issues with her bowel movements. Sometimes we have to take her into the vet, so the vet can clear her anal juices. Henry is doing fine. He sits at home and lays around most of the day. The only good thing about it is he is quiet. He doesn't snore like Sophie does. And he doesn't have the medical problems like Sophie does.
All of us sincerely hope you and yours have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Joyous and Prosperous 2009.
Jenna & Randy, Sophie & Henry
Posted by jb.little at 5:33 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Christmas is creeping up on us. I can't believe it's only a few days away. And while I felt the Christmas spirit early on (more around Thanksgiving), the previous feeling has since died. I want to be in the Christmasy mood. But it's been kinda hard.
First, my car has a brake problem. For some reason, my emergency brake is sticking ever so slightly, and so my car will drive sluggishly and won't move forward or backward when my foot is off the gas or brake pedal. It's not a big deal. I'm sure it won't take much to fix it. It doesn't sound very expensive, but for some reason, it's really bumming me out. I hate having car issues when in three days, I'm driving it 4 hours north to my parents' house. Nothing worse than car troubles around the holidays.
Second, the weather here sucks. When I say this, I don't mean that it's a blizzard outside, and the roads are bad. I mean... it's December, and there's no snow on the ground, no flakes in the air, no hint of Christmas at all. It's grey. It's FREEZING. And it rains. And then freezes to become an icy abyss. But not Christmasy in the least. It's really difficult to get in the spirit when all I see is dead, brown grass. Alton must be in some weather bubble. You know it's bad when Arizona and Las Vegas get snow... and southern Illinois doesn't. So, I'm hoping when we travel up north to the Chicagoland area, I get a dose of Christmasy goodness when I see the 5 inches of snow on the ground that my parents continue to talk about. Ahh.. perhaps I will have a white Christmas... even if I have to travel 4 hours to get it.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! (sorry, I don't mean to be a downer)
Posted by jb.little at 5:52 PM
Saturday, December 20, 2008
But time is up. Randy's family is having their Christmas tomorrow, so the baking had to be done today. And you know what... now that I'm back to baking, it feels good. I think I might just whip up some fudge for Randy's co-workers. Yep. It's gonna happen. I'm back on top of my game.
Wha la! The cookies for tomorrow. Fudge is on its way.
Posted by jb.little at 10:41 AM
Friday, December 19, 2008
Crafting comes in spurts for me. There are times I get so impatient and can't stand how much time it takes to make something cute. But then, other times, like right now, I get into creativity mode and can't stop making things. Usually, it comes in the form of sewing. But today, it came in the form of paper.
Posted by jb.little at 12:49 PM
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It's not news that Randy and I aren't rich. Not even close. With only one income, we have become very creative at penny pinching (which comes more naturally to me than to some.. *ah hem ... Randy). But it's that time of year. The season of giving.
Posted by jb.little at 10:04 AM
Sunday, December 14, 2008
In my last post, I wrote about my adventures to the Quad Cities, but I failed to mention one worthwhile discovery: my forever friend's mom's homemade poppy seed salad dressing. It was sweet and delicious, and actually made me want to eat more salad (so you know it's gotta be good!). So, I asked for the recipe and have included it at the bottom.
Poppy Seed Dressing
1/3 cup honey
2 tbl. cider vinegar
1 tbl. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. salad oil (I used canola...)
2 tsp. poppy seeds
Posted by jb.little at 4:26 PM
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I'm back... as promised! With updates on the girls' weekend. Springfield to the Quad Cities to Chicago and back again was definitely a lot of driving, but I had an awesome time with my forever friend. Here are some highlights.
But don't feel badly for her. By the third game, she ended up beating me by one in an all-out battle to see who had the most pennies.
Our long day ended by 10pm. We were all cold and tired. And the whole experience just confirmed my feelings that Chicago is a great place to visit, not to live. All in all... it was a success. Thanks to my forever friend for inviting me along (and thanks to her sister for letting me go in her place). They have a great family, and it was a pleasure to be a part of it for the weekend!
Posted by jb.little at 4:22 PM
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I've never had many girlfriends. Hardly ever have a "girls night out." I've never really minded all that much. Friends are friends, and that's good enough for me. But, I must say, I'm excited for a weekend getaway with my forever friend.
She invited me on a whirlwind road trip. Our schedule includes the Quad Cities, where her parents live. From there, we'll take a charter bus (full of older church ladies... awesome!) to Chicago to do shopping... or window shopping for us poor people. Then, back to the Quad Cities for a short stay. On Sunday, we'll head back home, stopping in Peoria to meet up with my forever friend's sister. In any case, it'll be an adventure. And will probably prompt a fun blog entry upon my return.
Posted by jb.little at 6:02 PM