About Me

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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas, dear friends.
Happy birthday, Jesus!

Cherish, love, laugh...

and eat lots of pie.;)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hobbits, Pointe Shoes, and Unwrapped Rolos

We are officially on Christmas break- for 2 weeks!  Unless I decide to become and ogre and start school early.  

Perhaps I will stay my Hobbit like self- stay up late, sleep in late, enjoy 2nd breakfasts and the like.  Yep, that sounds like a plan.  Speaking of which, have you enjoyed a Hobbit meal at Denny's?  They are being served until January and they are sweeeeeeet.

Been staying up until the wee hours getting ready for Christmas.  Every year I have these big plans to start in January but then...  So, crunch time it is.  Or maybe I'll just go watch TLC and eat some Rolos instead.  Have you seen the packages of unwrapped Rolos?  You just reach in and pop them in your mouth.  That is just WAY too easy and so wrong.  At least you can claim burning a calorie or 3 when you unwrap those little love bites.  "Whew, I just broke a sweat taking off that gold layer- I deserve this!"

My posse and I have decided we're going to pass out numbers at Wal Mart one day.  Just for fun.  Then, we'll take turns calling out numbers like in a raffle.  "Number 325?"  "Who has #325?"  (Except there is no #325)

Can you tell I've been up for almost 24 hours?  Had to finish that last quilt and now that I've been awake for so long, I can't get to sleep.  

So proud of this young lady.  She played the senator in a performance the other night.  It was all about people trying to earn their way into heaven.  Voting Pro Life didn't get her in.  Giving away lots of money doesn't work, serving your country doesn't work, saving lives doesn't work.  All noble acts and wonderful, but God only asks that we ask Him into our hearts.  A simple prayer.  A request that He cleanse us of our sins.  The message was lovely and true.  

These cuties made cupcakes to share.  Then we stayed up until 3 AM because sweet pea was a bit homesick.  No problem.  I'm a hobbit and can stay up with the best of them.  Zzzzzzzzz......

Did I mention that my youngest will be performing in the Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet?  She auditioned and was selected!  Both my girls on the stage this month.  I couldn't be prouder.:)

Katie was fitted for pointe shoes today!  It was seriously thrilling watching her go up on her toes.  It's a whole new chapter and I'm cautiously optimistic.  Don't want her to damage her feet.  She's ready, though, and I'm not going to stand in her way.  Not sewing the ribbons on until the first of the year so she has a little while still to baby her toes.:)

Could these be any more FUN?!  They taste amazing, too.
(Click on the word "these" for directions.)

Wait until you put on the frosting and sprinkles.  Great for a late night hobbit snack.;)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

I love, love, love Bath and Body Works BUT I also adore a fun do it yourself recipe.:)  Want to make some, too?  They are wonderful Christmas gifts!  Go here.......  I bet you have everything in your kitchen right now!:)

Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine

My Thoughts:

The whole time I was reading Closer to the Ground I kept thinking, "I can't wait for my Dad to read this."  And then, "I can't wait for my husband to read this."  As a matter of fact, the book is so beautifully written, with humor and honesty, that I can't think of one person that wouldn't enjoy this family's adventure.  Dylan Tomine is a masterful storyteller and through his memoir shares how his family immersed themselves in nature.  They lived by the seasons, enjoying the harvest as the weather and tides dictated.  Being a self proclaimed "indoor girl" I was amazed at how much I wanted to join in their journey!  Chanterelles (ie. tres expensive mushrooms), Geoduck Clams, Prawns, and more are foods unfamiliar to my table, but after reading of the quest to discover them and the mouthwatering way they are prepared for the palate (Mr. Tomine almost had me in tears describing the bounty!) I was more than ready to join the feast.  I gained quite an education while reading Closer to the Ground.  The tides, trees, birds, the seasons, sea life, weather, conservation, friendship and family are some of the subjects presented for consideration.  You may not be ready for living independently off the land, but Closer to the Ground will inspire you to live your life more intentionally and joyfully.  This book would make a wonderful gift for the friend or family member that has everything.  Absolutely delightful!

Closer to the Ground is the deeply personal story of a father learning to share his love of nature with his children, not through the indoor lens of words or pictures, but directly, palpably, by exploring the natural world as they forage, cook and eat from the woods and sea. With illustrations by Nikki McClure.
This compelling, masterfully written tale follows Dylan Tomine and his family through four seasons as they hunt chanterelles, fish for salmon, dig clams and gather at the kitchen table, mouths watering, to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Closer to the Ground captures the beauty and surprise of the natural world—and the ways it teaches us how to live—with humor, gratitude and a nose for adventure as keen as a child’s. It is a book filled with weather, natural history and many delicious meals.

*I was given a copy of Closer to the Ground from PR by the Book in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love

My Thoughts:

Every Perfect Gift, by Dorothy Love, is the third and final book in her Hickory Ridge Romance series. I love how Dorothy Love beautifully combines endearing characters, an entertaining story line, history, and romance.  Every Perfect Gift was a lovely escape from the holiday rush and I really enjoyed reading it by the fire after everyone had gone to sleep.  Sophie Caldwell is a strong young lady with a mysterious past, unknown even to herself.  Her memories of living in an orphanage are heartbreaking but the love of a few special people carried her through.  I admired her spunk and independence even when it seemed that everything and (almost) everyone was against her.  The grand hotel, Blue Smoke, was a delight for the imagination and Ms. Love richly describes it to her readers.  Breathtaking!  Ethan Heyward is a tortured soul and the secret that he desperately guards had me turning pages quickly to discover the truth.  I was more than pleased when past characters in the series popped up for a quick "hello"!  Questions are answered, lives are changed and God is an ever part of the plan in the Hickory Ridge series.  Dorothy Love once again delivers a fabulous story that will take your breath away!

Book 3 in Dorothy Love’s Hickory Ridge Romance series.
Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.
Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl.
Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.
When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She’s equally intrigued but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance.

Dorothy Love is celebrating the new book in her Hickory Ridge Romance series, Every Perfect Gift with a "Home for the Holidays" 12 Days of Gifts contest.

Celebrate the holidays with Dorothy Love and her protagonist, Sophie Caldwell, as they count down the days to Dorothy's author chat party with 12 Days of Gifts! Dorothy will be giving away copies of Every Perfect Gift and other holiday essentials, as well as key items from the book that Sophie would have worn during or used to celebrate the holidays (a beautiful, red shawl, Victorian ornaments, stockings). It's all happening on Dorothy's Facebook page. She'll post a new giveaway each day.

So bring on the Christmas cheer with Dorothy and the "Home for the Holidays" 12 Days of Gifts. Then join Dorothy on the evening of December 13 for her author chat party! During the party, Dorothy will announce the 12 winners from the Home for the Holidays giveaway and host an author chat about Every Perfect Gift and favorite Christmas traditions. Oh, and she'll be giving away lots of fun prizes. RSVP today

*I was given a copy of Every Perfect Gift from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Christmas Homecoming by Maryann Diorio

My Thoughts:

What would you do if your child intentionally disappeared one day?  No warning and no explanation.  Just gone.  A Christmas Homecoming delves into the heavy topics of family and forgiveness.  It really made me think about my life and how harboring anger and negative feelings is like a cancer to everyone involved.  The holidays are not always a happy time but each of us has the ability to extend grace, if we are willing.  The characters in the story are very real and easy to identify with.  The despair felt by the mother had me in tears as she called out to the Lord for help and guidance.  Thankfully, I've never had a loved one disappear but I have questioned my faith and wondered why God "allows" bad things to happen to good people.   At the end of the book you are left with the message that the choices we make in life very often effect those around us- so be careful to choose wisely.  A Christmas Homecoming is precious and the theme is one of hope.  It would be a nice addition to your Christmas reading.

*Right now A Christmas Homecoming is only 99 cents for your kindle!*

{More about A Christmas Homecoming}

Seven Christmases have passed since Sonia Pettit last heard from her daughter Jody. Since Jody’s departure, Sonia’s world has been turned upside down. Her husband has died of a broken heart, and her son, bitter over his sister’s destructive actions, has become rebellious.
Her greatest desire is to have her family together at Christmas, but after what Jody has put them all through, can Sonia truly forgive her daughter?
Jody Pettit O’Dair ran away to experience a life of adventure and excitement, but since her
departure, her world has been turned upside down. She’s been abandoned by the man she met and married, lost her job, and is unable to care for her two children. With nowhere else to turn, this prodigal daughter begins the long journey home and prays she will be welcomed after walking away so long ago.
Will Jody find forgiveness in the arms of her family as easily as she received it from God?

{More About MaryAnn Diorio}

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio loves God, people, children, and dogs, in that order. She also is passionate about story and its power to transform the human heart. Dr. MaryAnn, as she is affectionately called, writes compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of life. She is Adjunct Online Professor of Fiction Writing for Regent University and coaches writers on their journey to publication. MaryAnn and her husband Dominic are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters and a fantastic son-in-law.
Find out more about MaryAnn at http://maryanndiorio.com/.

One "merry" winner will receive: 
  • A Paperwhite Kindle
  • A Christmas Homecoming by MaryAnn Diorio
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 22nd. Winner will be announced on 12/23/12 at MaryAnn's Blog

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

*I was given an ebook version of A Christmas Homecoming by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Slumber Party Under the Tree

Decorated the girls' first real tree.
Little Caesar's Pizza.

Two of us slept.
One of us read.
The other one liked her bed better.:)

It was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed it in their own way.

As I anticipated, the real tree is my favorite.
Silver, gold, and nature are magical together.

Decorating the tree is like opening packages of memories.

Below is the pin that sweet Jenny made for me.  The color is perfection and the birdie is so me!  Love it, Jenny. 

Seeing my girls grow up through pictures is bittersweet.

My heart aches at the changes but thrills for what God has in store for them.

This little birdie was broken and left on the shelf at Hobby Lobby.  I took her home, gave her a mini make-over and a second chance.  I do believe she is happier now.:)

This ornament is from my precious friend, Alicia.  Classic with a touch of bling, that's her!  She always remembers the true reason for the season.

My English sister, Lindsay, made this for me and I treasure it.  Just arrived yesterday.  The other ornament is from her trip to Disney and it's so me!  Love the berries and color.  Yep, she's my sister!  

Sweet, sweet Joy.  She created this little bird house for me and almost set her house on fire!  I LOVE it.  And I love that she really wanted to keep it for herself because she loved it, too.:)  The "ugly" green (as she calls it) is gorgeous and I can't get over the polka dots and fluffy trim!

This is my little Katie wearing the Elmo outfit I had made for her.  It was precious and people stopped us all the time to ask where they could get one.  Those days are over but I haven't forgotten.  Sweetness.

This ornament arrived in my mail this week from Sheri!  Such a fun surprise, dear friend, and it smells amazing!  Bath and Body Works on my tree!

I remember making this necklace with Mandy.  I remember the halter dress from Kelly's Kids, too.  Oh, my sweet girl, how I love you and the precious way you painted this treasure.

Katie in her Madeline overalls, Mandy with her Disney pins and memories with Auntie Amy.  My amazing sister lives in Switzerland.  Too far for us to watch the Twilight movies together.:(  Movie marathon, crafting and snacks needs to happen very, very soon.  I won't watch the last movie without you.;)

This darling ornament is from my parents.  I'm always the last person done opening presents and they embrace that.:)  Christmas and birthdays only happen once a year and I think the moments need to be savored.  Do you take your time or rip through your gifts?

This little cottage is from my English sister, Lindsay.  I have memories of her all over my home.  Reminds me so much of the movie, The Holiday.  One of my favorites, this cottage and the movie.  We're going to see cottages together one day.:)

Katie on our trip to Williamsburg, VA.  It was so hot but it curled her hair beautifully.  The hydrangeas were in full bloom.  She was wearing a Colonial dress with a pink sash.  Such a dear memory.

Mandy's birthday mystery party!  She was a movie star and it was a blast!  (The chef did it!)  Another lovely gift from Lindsay.  A stone with the Union Jack on it.  Delicate birdie made by Jes.  I have these tweeties all over my home.  Wish you still made them, Cutie.;)

This birdie stays up all your round.  LOVE her.  Elise, I think of you each and every day.:)

Another unique creation from Joy.  One of my favorites!  It's made from a cheese dome!  Birds of a feather flock together... indeed.  And I'm so blessed for that!  All year a bird's nest is the focal point but for Christmas we decided to jazz it up a bit. ;) 

Books are the ultimate decoration!  For the holidays, I'm going to venture into the classics a bit.  If I can just find a bit of time tucked into my stocking.;)  Thank you so much, Robin, for the book.  You are the best big sister and I'm so glad you found me.:)

On my mantle, year round, is the absolutely gorgeous platter from my precious friend, Heather.  It's beyond beautiful and I don't think a crumb will ever touch it!  I think of you every single day, Sweets.  If not more.;)

Our slumber party was such a success that I think it will become a new tradition.  I'll be looking forward to next years!  Perhaps you'll try it at your home, too.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Music and Twinkle Lights

I'm beyond exhausted.
Today, while I driving my girls to classes, I took a bite of my lunch and panicked.
I couldn't swallow. 

I was doing too much, too fast.
Not good.

I want to simplify.
But, I don't want to let anyone down.
I want to make the magic.
Without losing my mind in the process.

Thanks goodness, the little one (below) likes to makes treats (above).:)
Our house smells fabulous even if it isn't perfect.

This (above) is last night's magical creation.  
Daddy is awesome but the vision was all Katie.
(Psst...  I would love some in our room.)

Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Justin Bieber and Amy Grant have been serenading us.
Christmas music and twinkle lights make me feel like anything is possible.

We are putting up 3 trees this year.  The one above is our "girly" tree with dolls, sparkle and such.
The one downstairs is colorful with more of a handmade /country look.

Most of these beauties are being saved for our last tree.  A "real" one this year!  It will be silver, gold and white with white twinkle lights.  I anticipate that it will be my favorite.

I'm off to finish some gifts.  Are you crafting any gifts this year?

Monday, December 3, 2012

(Not) Full of Grace

I learned a bit about myself over Thanksgiving.

1. I'm crabby. more often than needed.
2. I'm not (often) full of grace.
3. I worry. a lot.

Thankfully, I have family members that shine brightly even when I'm unable.

Beauty and love surrounded us.
I was lifted above the peace that was just not attainable.

I've never been prouder of my girls.
My husband was a rock of support.
My parents were absolutely full of grace.

The smiles you see here are very real as most chose to rise above the situation.
Some even got silly and this lightened the mood.

We told the nuts below to "act normal".

How do you deal with conflict?
How do you handle a wrong that needs to be righted?

Please don't get me wrong, precious memories were made and the sun did shine, in more ways than one.

Where do you draw the line between slapping a smile on your face and stepping in to right a wrong?

Are you full of it?

For Thanksgiving I was most thankful for the love that surrounds me.  
Every day.

Even when I'm a Crabby Appleton.:)

When all was said and done, I truly remember the good times.
The real smiles.
The good feelings.

I have to learn to let go of moments that are out of my control.
Sometimes it's just so hard.

This holiday season is going to lovely.
We put up our trees last night.
3 this year!

Even a real one, which is a first for the girls.
I'm excited.

Moments are fleeting.
How blessed we are to be there for each and every one of them.
Good and not so good.

Sometimes things go perfectly.

Other times we have to try...

a little...


On my Christmas wish list this year I have...

1. patience
2. grace
3. peace

Santa isn't going to bring that to me but I know that God surely can.

Love you all.

Thanks for being there to support me, inspire me and pray for me.

How was your Thanksgiving?

Was it a small intimate gathering or bustling with children and activity?

I've always wished for cousins for my girls.
It's just the two of them.
Good thing their grandparents make fabulous playmates.:)

And so does their Dad.
Below, both girls have water guns.
See their Dad's chair?


Are you ready for Christmas?

I'm not even close.

And I think it's time for my nap.