* * * ChRistMas has aRRivEd* * *

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[ A most wonderful THANKS-giving ]

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We had a wonderful day and it just got better as the day went on. Dinner at Aaron & Aimee's was elegantly beautiful (Aimee has the "flair" - notice the flower arrangement she created) from the perfectly-set table to the little turkeys and thankful hands that Aimee and Brookelyn created. It was fun to be with Aimee's family too. That night Suzie and Winston arrived and then when Becky finished her nursing shift, she and Pitt came. We were all together and I was certainly full of thanks-giving.


November Beginner Basics on the Adornit Scrapbooking Blog
Debbie writes: My Beginner Basics layout for the month of November is titled “Grateful for My Girls.” When I count my blessings, I think of my two daughters and feel overwhelmed with gratitude. They are shining lights in my life. I am very proud of them; they are hard working, unselfish, happy and generous. One daughter is a teacher and the other a nurse. Each has excelled in her education and profession. I’m so proud of their integrity, earnestness, and joie de vivre (zest for life – joy of living). They also gave me two very cute sons-in-law.

I used Adornit’s 2008 Thanksgiving paper and cardstock stickers for my layouts. I love the fall colors and pretty graphics of this line. The patterned paper that I used on both layouts is called Autumn Breeze. The variety of designs on this one sheet makes it possible to cut the paper apart and use it on several coordinating layouts. Or, as you can see, you could just add a couple of photos, a title, and some journaling, and you have a cute fall layout.

I like to follow trends in scrapbooking by going to scrapbook blogs (like the Aussie Scrap Source blog) and galleries of websites like scrapbook.com. Lately I’ve noticed that “clusters” are in. These are little bunches of embellishments stacked and clustered next to photos, or in the corners of layouts. So this month I experimented with making a cluster. It’s a great way to use up little bits and pieces of stuff. You just gather a bunch of embellishments and start arranging them. It’s fun!
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* this week (what's left of it) we are in zone 3 *

I know that we're a little behind on our cleaning zones from Flylady - I was supposed to post this week's zone a few days ago. But we needed that extra time in our kitchens. I took the kitchen cleaning to heart and tried to focus on getting the job done. I got my cupboards wiped out, my oven cleaned, the front and inside edges (yuk) of my dishwasher cleaned, and all the little corners of my countertops.

I want to show you the greatest little cupboard organizer shelves - above - they are corner shelves. I like them because they efficienty use the corner space and they have two shelves so I can store stuff three-high in my cupboard. I got mine at Walmart. Below is my key to getting things cleaned quickly - little wipes that make the job easy. If I found myself on the phone I'd grab a wipe and clean while I talked. I know I know, they're not environmentally efficient nor cheap, but during this month before Christmas I just had to hustle, and they helped.

Here is FlyLady's Detailed Cleaning List - Zone 3: The Bathroom(s)
This is FlyLady's Detailed Cleaning List for Zone 3. If your home is still cluttered, you are not supposed to do detailed cleaning yet, just declutter for 15 minutes a day in this zone. Remember, it did not get dirty overnight and it is not going to get clean in a day!

Bathroom Detailed Cleaning List




4. CLEAN SHOWER STALL/ WAX (not the floor!)






Thanksgiving planning everywhere!

You can count on Family Fun Magazine (one of my favorite websites) to supply lots of ideas for lots of Thanksgiving projects. Click here to find a lists and lists of printables for place cards, kids coloring pages, games, napkin holders, recipe cards, and even how-to videos. Fun stuff.

Click here to download the one-week calendar shown above, print it out, and fill in all the info. that is specific to your Thanksgiving to-do list. My calendar is delightfully simple since we are having Thanksgiving at our son's house. And I can tell you, with Aimee at the helm, it will sparkle! I'm really really excited because we'll all be together sometime during the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Hyper Homemaker blog is full of lists and guides. If you start today, you can follow her one-week list of things to do to get ready for hosting Thanksgiving at your house.

AND FINALLY, of course, Martha Stewart. Here is a link to a Martha's Thanksgiving planner - a one-page PDF download that has everything you need to do listed on a single page.


mY 100th PoSt!

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Can't think of a better way to celebrate one hundred posts on my blog than to display a photo collage of my favorite people at my favorite time of year. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by a neat family. Aren't they just so cute!



My nephew Derek knows how to make a work day a fun day. Derek's cute wife Nikki is out of town for a girl's weekend with friends and Derek decided he'd have fun too. He came over and announced Man-a-palooza. Then he rattled off all the man-ly things that he, Scott and Mike could do. "Work first, then play," said Scott as he raked up eight huge piles of leaves. Derek vacuumed his car and mine too. Mike bagged and bagged bags of leaves. Then they went golfing.

After hamburgers and Apple Beer they headed for the TV room to watch Indiana Jones - with the volume turned way up. Then more friends came and they got out the Nintendo.

Derek loves the warm chocolate chip cookies I contributed to the event.
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* This week we are in ZONE 2 *

Maybe you thought I had forgetten about my little plan to let Flylady help me get the house clean in five short weeks. Nope, didn't forget, in fact I was pretty excited to start Zone 2...
THE KITCHEN. Remember what Flylady tell us:

"Set your timer and work for 15 minutes. That's all. It did not get junked up in one day and it won't get clean in one day either. Patience and baby steps. You can do this."

She also reminds us to first concentrate on the clutter. Then when you have the area decluttered you can start to clean. For a link to Flylady's list of specific tasks to clean the kitchen, click here. Basically, it's a list telling you to clean every single surface in the kitchen.


{ a little Christmas inspiration }

I just spent a half hour making a post for our Cut the Crazy out of Christmas blog - and I don't have time to recreate it here (gotta get a book review ready for Book Club tomorrow). But here is a little sneak peak...go to our blog (by our blog, I mean me, Aimee, Suzie and Becky) and check out this cute project by our friend Lacie Bergeson. Follow the links too, because she has about six wonderful projects on the Adornit blog. Bye.


Work Hard - Play Hard

Saturday, Nov. 8 turned warm outside in the afternoon and invitingly beautiful. Scott coaxed me into going golfing "one more time." Mike joined us to show us how it's really done! We had a good time and Scott & Mike had some excellente drives. My best drive was back to the car on the 7th hole - it was warm but not nine holes warm!

Lately our motivating theme is 'work hard play hard.' The work hard part was raking leaves in the yard. We have some awesome 'not uploaded' photos of Mike and Scott raking and jumping into big piles of leaves. Maybe tomorrow.


happy fall decor

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I was in the hospital gift shop the other day my eyes were drawn to a bright happy shelf filled with beautiful handmade pillows. They were cutest thing in the gift shop ! (and it's pretty cute as hospital gift shops go). I knew immediately that the pillows were handmade by my friend Teresa. I already had the pumpkin pillow, and was delighted to find a friend for it. Aren't they cute together. Every pillow is adorned with lots of buttons which makes them extra special. I don't know how she has the patience to sew on all those buttons. Teresa is also a computer whiz and has a cute blog. Whenever I spend time on the phone talking with Teresa, I hang up the phone with a big smile on my face.


Recruited me some help...

I'm seriously working on the step-by-step cleaning (see previous post). I even got me some great help. (He was more enthusiastic about the photos than the sweeping.)
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{ time to get back to FLYLADY }


Above is the web address of a website that has influenced me through the years. But as with all "motivators," I am hot and cold about doing what they suggest. There are times when I tune in to Flylady and really go with it and times I lose focus and forget. (FLY is an acronym for FINALLY LOVING YOURSELF.)
--BUT THIS MONTH I NEED HER! I'm trying to work on Christmas, but I also need to get my house back in order. Many things are still out of place from our basement remodel and I just can't seem to get a handle on any of it.
--I don't know whether it was serendipity, pure coincidence, or an angel nudge, but last night, for the first time in months, I went to visit my old (virtual) friend Marla Cilley aka Flylady. And there on the front page of her website was the help I need. She divides the home into five "cleaning zones" and if I stick to her zones, by Dec. 8, I'll have a clean house, just in time for the holidays. THIS WEEK WE ARE IN ZONE ONE - ENTRANCE, FRONT PORCH and DINING ROOM.
--Just what I need. I'm going to follow Flylady through the zones this month - all she asks is 15 minutes a day focusing on these parts of your house. When I was giving candy to the trick or treaters I was noticing that my front porch is covered with dead bugs. OK for a Halloween effect, but definitely gotta go now. And I'm sure my doorbell is black from dozens of sticky little hands ringing it the other night. So no more internet until I get my work done!


"You are never behind. Jump in where you are." - FlyLady

FlyLady has divided the home up into 5 different zones. Don't worry if you think you have more than 5 zones in your own home (we all do LOL), follow FlyLady's Zones. Her zones will hit on all the major living areas of your home. Each week, we work in a different zone. Each month, we repeat all the zones. In a few months, you will notice that the main parts of your home will look great. Then you will be ready to tackle some of the "other" areas of your home!
These are the zones for November - mark your calendars:
Zone 1: The Entrance, Front Porch and Dining Room (November 3 - 7)
Zone 2: The Kitchen (November 10 - 14)
Zone 3: The Bathroom and One Extra Room (November 17 - 21)
Zone 4: The Master Bedroom (November 24 - 28)Zone 5: The Living Room (November 26 - 30)

Starting Zone Work
When you first start zone work, you are encouraged to spend 15 minutes per day decluttering in the current zone. That's it! Baby steps! Set your timer for 15 minutes and clear out those things that you don't use or love. Flybabies, don't forget to keep working on your Morning and Before Bed Routines - do them everyday! (see the FLYing Lessons for more information about this). Once you have a good start on your routines, it is much easier to do the zone work.
Before you start, review the rules of zone cleaning:
Be fully dressed to shoes before you start.
Your daily cleaning chores should be finished and preferably weekly vacuuming done.
The room has to be fairly straight.
Do not pull out more than you can put back in 1 hour.
Clean one drawer or one pile at a time.
If you do not know how to declutter, go to
How to Declutter
Be consistent. Do a little every day. Don't try to accomplish this in one day. You will burn out and will hate this system. BabySteps!
Set your timer and work for 15 minutes. That's all. It did not get junked up in one day and it won't get clean in one day either. Patience and BabySteps. You can do this.


[ morning sky ]

It was a few mornings ago, but i just had to post these pictures. The sun was rising and the sky had taken on the strangest color of orange - the time was about 7:20 a.m. Our backyard is already ablaze in yellow, orange and red - but the color of the sky painted an orange haze over everything, magifying the colors and sending us for the camera. The moment was quickly gone, but we stood at the window for a little while in awe of the wonders of this beautiful place we live in. It was "otherworldly."