This blog is a record of my family, our adventures, and life as we know it. I named it after the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", because no matter what happens, good or bad, up or down, our life may not always be wonderful (or perfect), but it will always be a "Lacy Life", and that's wonderful to us!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Spring Fever!

  Greetings and Happy Spring everyone!  I thought since springs almost over  it would be a good time to make a spring post.  Remember my motto...better late than never!  :)  My calendar actually says that the official first day of summer!  Oops!  Well, in my defense, it WAS still spring back when I first started this post back on May 19.  Oh well...Happy Summer, then, and Happy (belated) Spring to all!

  Here are a few pictures of the plants/flowers that have been blooming and/or showing up around my house...
  Iris' are such a delicate looking, beautiful flower, but are plenty hardy and come back every year in full force, even with our COLD Minnesota winter weather.  :)
  Don't you just adore Gerbera Daisies?  They are one of my favorite's, and this one was a Mothers Day gift for me from my mom. I know where fireworks get their inspiration...doesn't it remind you of a firework up in the sky?
  These are one of my absolute favorite flowers, Lilly of the Valleys.  This patch is planted right next to the stairs that lead to my front door, so I smell them every time I walk up to there, while they are in bloom, of course, which is for just a short time...what a great fragrance these give off and a great Mothers Day surprise every year! 
  Ahh...Lilacs...aren't Lilacs wonderful???  Another one of my favorites, and these beauties are another wonderful Mothers Day surprise every year!  I believe these bushes were strategically placed by the previous owners of our home, so that the fragrance comes right into the house through the kitchen window.  It's always been my favorite part of washing dishes in the spring, to stand there while washing dishes and smell the lilacs when they are in bloom.  I had a better picture of this massive bush, but I believe it got deleted by my husband for a more "important" picture in a "bind".  LOL!
  This beautiful Amaryllis was given to me from a good friend at Christmastime, and it was so beautiful when it finally bloomed, and while it lasted!  :)  Thanks friend!  :)
                                                        Tulips...a classic beauty!  :)
                            Asiatic Lilly... such a delicate beauty with the stargazer effect!
  Look at my chives.  Aren't they nice looking?  I really enjoy the way they look, and they are "pretty" and "practical", because they taste great on baked potatoes, too!  Yum!  I've had to transfer them every year since I've had them, because they keep getting bigger and bigger, and they actually come back every year in a planter for me.  I've had this bunch of chives for about 3-4 years now, and this is the very first year they have ever bloomed for me.  That may be due to the "chive thieves" that I have running around here who like to "snack" on these beauties all summer long!  ("Chive thieves" = 2 of my children, I won't name names...but their "chive breath" always gives them away!  LOL!). 
  These are my Morning Glories I start from the same seeds every year.  I think I've had them for about 10 years or more, using the same flowers/seeds to start new planters every year. I have 3 of these that sit along my retaining wall in my front yard.
  Okay, so for Mothers Day, my favorite thing to do-besides the blessing of NOT having to cook all day, and besides being able to go out to a nice yummy restaurant of my choosing, and besides honoring my own mother and mother-in-law on this day- is to plant/garden on Mothers day. Because of the busyness of the day this year, I was not able to plant or garden this year on that actual day, but it's been getting done slowly but surely.  Actually, because we are trying to get our house on the market to sell, I am not planting a "big" garden in my back yard this year, and am living vicariously through my friend's garden over at my life on taffy pull (if you click her blog name, you can tour her beautiful garden).  But I still do several flower/plant planters, and vegetable planters as well, along with the children's planters that they do every year. 

  For several years now, on Mothers day, we have gone and bought all of the plants for mine and the kiddos planters, and we all try and plant them together on that day as well.  Each of the kiddos has their own planter that they choose the plants for, and they are either displayed in the front of the house or we use them to brighten up our long driveway.  Sometimes the children choose flowers, sometimes plants, and sometimes even vegetables, but I let them choose whatever they like.  They really have a good time with this.  It's been a tradition that we started several years ago, and I would love to keep it going as long as they are enjoying it.  Here are some of the pictures of us planing their planters this year, and of the plants they chose to plant as well, since you might not really be able to see them in their pots until they get a little bigger. 
Here's a close-up of these same planters:
  That's about all I have to share right now, but I will leave you with a few more pictures after I close.  I hope you are enjoying your spring/summer and taking some time to "stop and smell the Roses" (or the Lilacs, or the Lilly's, or whatever it is that you have to smell that is lovely) during this wonderful time of year.

Rejoicing in all the Glory of God's beautiful world and wonderful creation,
It's a Lacy Life
P.S.  We did actually end up clearing out the garden and planting the tomato plants back there, along with some onions, and some strawberry plants my dear friend gave me, so in the interest of full disclosure, I thought I would mention that.  I hope to plant a few faster growing things if the strawberries don't end up coming back to life-we let them sit too long out of soil, I think- but I am "babying" them to see if they will live.  Here's a picture of our garden behind our garage.

P.P.S.  I also thought I should mention that a lot of the beautiful flower pictures were taken by my daughter, Amish Girl, the budding photographer.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Celebrating the Amish...GIRL that is!

  It's birthday time again at It's a Lacy Life!  Yep, we celebrated our sweet Amish Girl turning 13 about 2 weeks ago!  It hardly seems possible that she is 13 years old...a teenager!  Let alone the fact that I now have TWO teen aged children in my house!  Lord, tell me...where does the time go???  Sigh... 

  It is with great humility and admiration for the things of God that we celebrate this child whom has recently turned 13 years old!  WOW!  I still can't wrap my mind around that fact! Long ago, when this child was growing up and getting older, I told her, with that hesitation that a mom has about her children getting older, that it's okay for her to grow up, but to just stay sweet!  Well, she reminds me of that often when she makes the comment; "Mom, remember when you said it's okay to grow up, just make sure you stay sweet", and asks the question; "Am I still sweet?"  And I always reply a confident "Yes, daughter, I remember, and yes, you are still my sweet girl!" :)

  This child is such a blessing in my life.  Of course, all of my/our children bless us, "sharpen" us, and challenge us in this way or that way, and all of my children are a blessing to me, and I have no favorite child, as I love them all with all of my heart, but in different ways for the different things they bring into our family.  But this relationship is a little different, and I will tell you why. 

  This child has such a sweet spirit, a positive outlook/attitude, and a heart of love, joy, and compassion.  Don't get me wrong, it's not all sunshine and roses, she doesn't walk around happy and smiley and joyful ALL the time (but most of the time), and we do have our "moments" as mother and daughter, but I'm talking about an overall disposition, here.  Some may call it innocence and naivete, and I'm sure there is some of that in her, too, but there is just a sweetness that could only have come from the heart of God that this child has, it's not one with a selfish ambition or a manipulative motivation.  She's sweet because that's just simply the way God made her (and I tend to think it's what I needed).  :) 

  She has the kind of sweetness about her that I NEVER thought I would WANT nor have a NEED for in my life before I became a Christian.  Truth be told, I was always a little (okay, maybe a lot) "rough around the edges" for the years of my life BC (Before Christ),  and I still can be at times.  I think that the world, life, and circumstances makes us jaded when we go through things in our lives, and therefore molds us and shapes us in many ways, some positive and some negative.  There is a "hardness", a callus, if you will, as a sort of defense mechanism, as a result of going through the things that happens to us in our lives.  In my own personal experience, I felt I had to be "strong" or "tough" so I wouldn't get hurt by people and the world.  Not only did I not see the NEED for being sweet, but I didn't see the point in it, really.  But, in the interest of not making this post about me, that is all I will say about myself.  I only mention it as a sort of comparison/contrast to myself, as an opposite, if you will, to the way this particular child is.  

  But God has a sense of humor, let me tell you, and He loves to challenge his children and change us and mold us into how HE wants us to be.  Frankly, I believe that is why God gives us our children, with all of their unique personalities and temperaments, because if we let HIM and if we let them, they will help us to SEE HIM through them!  :)  This child has helped me to see what a "sweet" spirit from the heart of God is all about, how it affects and changes the people around them, and how valuable these people are to God and our world.  This child has a heart to serve and be a servant, and has blessed me in so many ways.  I don't want to go on and on and gush over her, but I do want to express my appreciation to God for her, and mention that she is always there to lift me up when I am down, or rub a hurting child's back when they are hurt, or give you hugs and smiles when you are going through a really tough time, and on and on.

  Okay, now that I have everyone feeling all sentimental (just kidding), I will share some fun pictures, and talk about what we did for her birthday celebration!  The day started off with special breakfast treats and blueberry pancakes, per her request, with the Happy Birthday song and a candle, of course.  Okay, so she wasn't all by herself, as it may look in this picture, she was just the first one to eat, and we all gathered around her on the other side of the table to sing to her.  :)

  Then, our whole family took her to lunch, which seems to have become the tradition for the 13th birthday (a restaurant of HER choosing, of course, a family favorite), along with some of her grandparents (my mom, my dad, and my step-mom) and my aunt (my moms sister).  We promised her (cut out a picture to put it into her card) a laptop for her birthday gift, which we had to order, and should be here on Tuesday.  Here are some pictures at the restaurant and of her opening her gifts and cards.  I didn't get a picture of her food, but she had a salad, cheese ravioli with garlic bread, and Paninos fries, which are awesome!  But, I did manage to get a picture of her delicious "Mud Pie", which is fabulous!  :)

Think she's excited about her laptop?
  Another thing we did on her actual birthday, was to go shopping, as per her request, of course.  We went to the Goodwill, Target, and the Half-Priced Book store.  I found some great finds, that I will have to share another time, this IS a birthday post, after all.  :)
  The most exciting thing we did (according to her) was that she REALLY wanted to got to the concert of a Christian artist by the name of Jamie Grace.  It was scheduled for just 2 days before her birthday, and it was called "Girls Night Out", so we decided to go, and invite some girlfriends along, and make it a mother/daughter night out.  Not all of her friends we invited were able to make it, but we had a BLAST with the ones that were able to come, and we even went out for desert afterwards and celebrated a little more.  Thank you ladies SO much for coming out, and for making the day SO special, and thanks for the know who you are!  :)
  What a great time we had celebrating this special member of our family.  Thank you to all of you who went out of your way to celebrate with us, and thank God for this precious member of our family!  Much love from your mommy (and family) to you...Sugar Plum/Amish Girl!  :)

Hoping you are enjoying your family, too,
It's a Lacy Life

What a Deal #4

  This week was a bust for garage sales, mostly because it rained ALL DAY on Thursday, and after that I pretty much lost the desire to go at all.  I've had a very productive (almost) 3 days at home without going anywhere from Tuesday night about 10p.m. through Friday at about 6:30p.m., and frankly, I just didn't want to leave the house at all!  :)  BUT, never fear... I do have some things from previous weeks I didn't get to share yet, and so I do have some fun bargains to share with you in spite of not being able to go out on Thursday.

  Here is some of what I found about a month ago at 2 different garage sales.  The overall snow pants were from the same sale I found the clothes that I talked about last week, and I have a funny story about that movie.  The overalls were $3.00, and were just like new.  The movie is called Icecastles, and if you are a child of the 70's, you may remember it, too.  The funny story about that movie goes like this: That movie was one of my very favorite movies growing up, but I bought it for another reason altogether.  When I bought it, my kiddos asked me, "Mom, why did you buy that movie?", and my reply was "Cause dad said he was IN that movie, and it was my favorite movie growing up, and I want to see if we can find him in there."  To which they replied a very LOUD and in sync "WHAT?!?!?  DAD WAS IN A MOVIE?!?!?"  So the story goes... and now we have to watch it and try to find him in there.  (He was an extra in the crowd-should be interesting to try and find him.)  :)  I paid .50 cents for the movie.

  Here are some more great finds that I found during an impromptu garage sale excursion a while back.  Those candlesticks were only $3.00 for the set of 3, plus 3 really nice smelling (half-used) candles.  I love the candlesticks, and I'll try and get a little use out of the candles, but if I can't, my husband uses my old candles to make fire starters for our fireplace.  Beats buying them, right?  Then theres a basket, I must admit I am a bit of a "nut" for a nice basket, especially at just .50 cents, which is what I paid for that one.  And I usually like square or rectangle baskets to put books in in our schoolroom or our living room.  I took off the liner and washed it, and am using it without it now.  Those 2 CD's were brand new with wrappers on them still, and $1.00 each.  They are very nice instrumental Praise CD's, perfect for background music during quiet time or during school.  Underneath that stuff is a long black skirt with beads that was so cute, I just couldn't pass it up at just .50 cents, and it is a size smaller than what I currently wear (down a size from what I was wearing), so it's cheap incentive to keep loosing weight.  :)

  Here we have another basket for .50 cents, and each of those movies was just .25 cents each!  Most were VHS, but one was a DVD, and several were from the "Feature Films for Families" series, one was "The Waltons", one "Adventures in Odyssey", one "Animated Stories from the Bible", and a few OLDER Disney movies.  I can't really get with the new Disney stuff.  :) 
  In this next picture, there are 2 games, at .50 cents for each, and that Solitaire Frenzy game, which I believe was $1-2.00 (it does include about 6 complete decks of cards in different colors, which we will use a lot, if nothing else) and a few puzzles, which I already have a plan for, and were .50 cents each.  All of those CD's were either .25 or .50 cents, and will be great if we like them, and if we don't, we will find a nice home for them as all are Christian music.  Now the Lorie Line CD was a whopping dollar, but we gladly paid that for it, because I think our other Lorie Line CD's are just about worn out (not literally)!  If you don't know who she is, she is a very talented musician and pianist, who does some really wonderful adaptations of popular Christmas music (at least on the CD's we have, it's Christmas music) that are just wonderful!  One of the CD'sYay!

  Alright, that's all I have to share this time, hopefully next week I will be able to actually "go out" garage sale-ing, and will find some useful and "fun" stuff.

Blessings on your day,
It's a Lacy Life

Friday, June 8, 2012

What a deal! #3

  Would you believe me if I told you that I wrote this post like 2 weeks ago to link up with my good friend over at My Life on a Taffy Pull, and just before I went to publish it, I somehow deleted it?!?  Can you believe that?!?  I spent ALL that time on it, and then for that to happen!  UGH!  How annoying!  What a waste of my time!  I've been on somewhat of a "rebellion" from my blog, for that reason!  Oh well, I'm over in now, and I am going to try and re-create, and re-post what I had written back then, just know that this was from about 2 weeks ago.

  So, I didn't really do any garage sale-ing this week, well, okay, I didn't PLAN on going to any garage sales this week, but after my chiropractic appointment, and while waiting to meet my DH for lunch with the family, I had a little bit of time to waste, and what better thing to waste a little time in a "productive" sort-of-way, than to see what I could find for my family at some garage sales?  We ended up only finding like 4 sales, and I only bought a few things.  Here is a picture:

  I found all of these fun science experiment kits that were brand new at a garage sale where the lady was also a homeschooler, but she had the job of going into the public schools and doing science and science experiments with the children in the schools with these kits.  I got these for just .25 cents a piece.  And can you believe it, I ONLY bought one book this time, that was from a different sale, and that was .50 cents. The two 3-ringed binders are full of science curriculum that the other homeschool mom gave to me for free.  That was all I managed to find while out and about during our short time.

  So, with that in mind, I thought I could show you a few things that I found about a month ago, that I never posted about.  I found these shorts that match this shirt we already had for All Star Boy for $1.00.  What a handsome model he is!!!  :) 
  And all of these outfits below (both tops and bottoms) for Nature Girl were from another garage sale, and were either .50 or .75 cents, except for the shoes in the picture that was taken outside, which were brand new and $1.00.  Isn't she such a cute model???  :)

  At the same sale I found all of the clothes for Nature Girl at, I found this cute short dress/long shirt for Amish Girl for $2, which didn't look as if it had even ever been worn.  It's just perfect with some leggings, and those sandals she is wearing, my mom found for her at a thrift store we tried out a couple of months ago, and I believe they were $3.00.  A whole outfit, including shoes, for $10, because those leggings were bought a while back at Target for $5.00.  Again... don't you like the beautiful model?!?  :)
  This same week, we also had a used-curriculum sale that I both sold at and bought from, so I will talk about those bargains as well.  I am so excited I FINALLY found Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 for my oldest child for next year!  YAY!  Okay, so I actually paid what may seem like a lot of money, especially since I was just talking garage sale prices at fifty cents and a dollar, etc., BUT I assure you that this was a good deal, not a GREAT deal, but a good deal!  I paid $100 for this, which is the new version of this Math curriculum, and therefore it has self-correcting software built into it.  Consider the fact that it includes both CD-ROM's (there are, I think, 10 CD's in that packet), a textbook, and an answer key/teachers book in there.  Also, it is a computer based math curriculum, that the children do on the computer and it will just simply tell me their grades in their "grade book" to all their daily work as well as their tests, and I will use it for all 4 children, that's just $25 a year for a WHOLE years worth of upper-level math, now that's a good deal!  AND further more, it retails for about $185 brand new.  And this is the NEW version of this, as the older version doesn't have the built in grade book, you have to do all of that correcting yourself. 

  Also in the picture is an English book that is required for our next year's school unit study curriculum, I paid $2 for that.  The boys in the family meet with other boys/dads and 2 of those books are books we are using as a guide for our time together, so those will come in handy, they were either $1 of .50 cents each.  A couple of books for "fun" and /or enrichment at between .25 to $1 each, and then there is an Apologia Physical Science book and test booklet/teachers guide that I only paid $8 for!  That will be for 9th grade science, and I already have the interactive teaching CD-ROM for extra help and enrichment activities.  It is the older edition, but it isn't that old, and nothing has really changed about physical science.  Oh, and I can't forget, those other 2 books are gifts for my dad and my husband for Fathers Day, they were brand new, still in the book wrappers, and at just .25 cents each, what a bargain!  It's a book paralleling hunting and God, and what this hunter learned from nature and hunting about God.  Should be a good "manly" read for them!  :)

  Okay, last but not least, is my favorite "fun" purchase.  I have been eye-balling these beauties for years, and finally they were the right price at the right time.  They retail for, I think, about $50 a book normally.  These are character sketches from nature and they have wonderful stories and illustrations from nature that correlate to the bible, and illustrate biblical character through nature.  I've NEVER, ever seen these at a used-curriculum sale, I think people just keep them to refer to time and time again throughout their life, and therefore keep them forever.  What a "gem" and a great addition to our home library for bible study.  I paid $18 for the pair of books, Volumes 1 and 2.

  Okay, there you have it, I hope you've enjoyed reading about my finds, and I hope you are enjoying searching for bargains for your families as well.

God bless you!
It's a Lacy Life