Monday, October 29, 2012

What can you make with…

A broken ornament 100_0517, a bag of left over beads 100_0514, about 12” of not so health tinsel 100_0516, a mini roll of bronze wire 100_0502, a old dead mini tree100_0513, a bowl of kids beads100_0504, and the center to numerous rolls of calculator tape  100_0503?

You spend hours making this….

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I really don’t know who’s going to want this recycled wreath but I’ll try and sell it out our craft show this coming Saturday. I think it’s pretty cool and really Sally and Jim both like it. We’ll just see.

I’ve also been doing some beading….this is one of two necklace/earring sets I make and about 6 other bracelets.


I have been driving bus. Lots and lots of bus. I even worked Sunday by taking the volleyball team to Williams Arena to watch some professional players. It was an awesome trip. Today was my am/pm route plus an activity to Brainerd for bowling. Tomorrow I have daycare between am/pm route. I’m hoping to butcher some chickens Wednesday between the am/pm thing and an activity in the early afternoon. Thursday Brenda (my BFF and beading partner) is coming between runs so that we are ready for our show on Saturday. Friday is three bus runs and Saturday our show. It’s a go-go week but things will be settling down soon enough so I’m not worried and I’ll be sure to get my rest in and eat as best as I can. I am finding it super hard to get all my water in since you can’t pee in the bus or even beside it with the kids and cameras so I’m limited but I’m trying my best. I do need to eat better, this weekend was like a free for all. Jim had a great dinner for me fix and ready when I got home, he likes cheese, butter and lots of ham so I ate it and enjoyed it all. Today my parents came up to be with me between runs and activities and took me out for lunch, chicken and potato and a huge salad…not bad but it wasn’t a grilled chicken (they didn’t offer that and this was the special). So tomorrow is another day to just give it my best.

I have been worrying about Allan, Pam, Jill and Sally and anyone else on the east coast. I am praying for them all and hoping for the best. I know about flooding, we did that this summer so I sure understand what comes after the storm.

Take care my friends and have an awesome week. I’ll try and get back but I don’t know. I do stop and see many of you through-out the week when I can and I am amazed at you all. Such wonderful caring people! Blessings!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

And what can I say?


Driving in the dark with snowflakes the size of my bus was not what I call the most relaxing drive to school. However once it was day light and I was back I’d say this is beautiful. It’s not suppose to stay, it never does but it’s the beginning of “that” season. Starting a bit early if you ask me.

1025121045aHope all is well with everyone. Everything is falling into place here and calming down just a bit. I do have some nice activities coming up. Sunday I drive the volleyball team to Williams Arena in the cities so a nice full day. Monday I get to take a couple classes bowling and Wednesday some other classes to the Town Square for a Halloween get together. Along with my regular route this makes for busy and awesome kid filled days. Loving it!! 

Just wanted to stop in and say hi. Take care my friends and God Bless!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pictures and thank you!

First the thank you. You guys made me feel so good after an idiot made me feel like dirt this week. Thank you for all your kind words. I really truly feel blessed to have such wonderful friends such as yourselves. THANK YOU!!!


Mike sent me this honey from Wyoming. Darn is it good. It tastes a bit like a wildberry syrup. The kids got to try it on Friday with their waffles and you should of heard the yummies.


I got there from our local thrift show. They are so cute and made a really cute Halloween setting on the table.


I made this out of a twig, silk leaves and black card stock. It really is cute and the bats float around in the breeze all day long.

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Rachel didn’t have a costume so Mike loaned her his morph suit. It’s a test dummy and I think it would look even cooler if it was spattered with some fake blood (we didn’t though cuz afraid it would stain the white areas).





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We carved pumpkins on Friday when all my wee ones were here. We had a blast and they turned out so cool. I let them decorate them with my paint pens. Rachel left hers here for me, it’s the one eating the baby one.


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I made these with paint chip cards, stamps, glitter and all kinds of yarn and string. I’m going to sell them my craft show for 2/$1.00. We have lots of kids that want something special for mama or grandma and I think this will work for that.

I also made these from .22 shell holders, epoxy, wood bottoms I cut on the skill saw, paint, some wire and some beads. I put in a battery operated candle because I’m not to sure I’d want even a tea light in there. They are sold already for $5.00 each. Kind of cool when someone likes them as I am making them.

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And since last night I just got to relax and play on my computer I spent some time on pinterest and where ever it sent me from there and I found these and love them

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I like this one the best. It goes so well with what went on this week. This one is for Mike. He’s just doing so awesome.

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Even though I hate it when Jim says something about my period this made me laugh. I love it. And the last one, well it’s true for us all.


And last but not least I made this for my mama. It’s not dry here but it’s made with silk leaves, decoupage, glitter, jute and some beads. She loves it and it’s a perfect thing for her mantle.

As you can see this was a crafting weekend. I got lots of other stuff done too but I got to do some stuff I’ve been wanting to do. Now it’s time to work on some beading goodies for our upcoming craft show November 3rd.

So a new week has started and Jim and I worked outside most of today. It was beautiful and we are working on something that is one of the biggest surprises ever. Can’t share what it is but I can tell you when “he” gets it, there will be lots of tears and joy around.

Take care my friends. Blessings to you all.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I am suppose to be out visiting Mike…

I’m not and I am as sad as can be. I am suppose to be visiting, touching, hugging, loving and spoiling him and here I am stuck in Minnesota because Wyoming is so far away and it takes so much money to get there and I don’t have it. Not even close. I don’t get to see Mike tell Christmas, do you know that is still so very far away?

Some e-mailed me the other day, of course not being nice, and said some rude and mean things about having an empty nest and complaining about. About getting a new job but not having money. About being on a weight loss journey and still being on it. It was a rude and mean letter and it hurt my feeling really bad. Right now my feelings are really crushable and he/she/it did it just fine. I’m telling you this why? I don’t know really, I suppose cuz I share with you and I’m betting whomever it was that sent me the letter will read this and do it again however it won’t get to be, they are blocked (I know, different address it can come).

My empty nest is hard for me and I am sure it will get easier some day but it hasn’t yet. But I can quit complaining about it, I suppose. My new job, it is a great new job. I live in the sticks and where this job pays good for here, for even 100 miles south it’s $10-15 less an hour. I have Mike’s student loan payment, house payment, insurance, gas, food, electric, and a stupid credit card and just like everyone else much more and stretching our little money is hard but saving is impossible. One day maybe, just not now. My diet, well I’m trying and learning and succeeding, just not quickly like some, very slowly I am getting to a healthy weight. My life isn’t easy but it sure isn’t bad, it’s just a struggle at times but I really don’t complain, I didn’t think so anyway.

This week my sister is feeling better, YEAH!!, This week my mom’s only sister had a bad heart attack but will be okay, Boo/Yeah!! Went to the cities on Thursday, took my mama and daddy to see her, YEAH!!! This week I had daycare for a day, oh how I have missed these kids, YEAH/Sad!! This week I subbed for the driver that had cancer, read had? It’s all gone, he’s going to be driving his bus and loving his kids for a long time still, YEAH!!! My grandma is in Florida…she’s 95 and got on a plane and is visiting family there, DOUBLE YEAH!!! My diet, I lost 6 lbs this week but only 5 of them count since one is another repeat pound, YEAH!!! Got a ways to go, BOO!!! Life is most awesome with some struggles along the way, YEAH!!! God didn’t say this would be easy but doable, I’m doing, YEAH!!!

This is my life, this may be at times not exactly what I had envisioned but you know what? It’s a great and awesome life and really I wouldn’t trade it for a million other lives. I am so proud of Mike, you know something else, He aced his finals, a 100% in diesel engines. He has perfect attendance and a 93% grade point average. I can see a bunch of companies wanting my boy in their businesses doing exactly what he wants to do. Close to home?, probably not but hopefully in this state or the surrounding ones but if someone thinks he’s great enough to want him far away, I will stand here giving him my blessings and being the most proud mama in the world because I did what I was suppose to do, his daddy and I did what we were suppose to do, we raised a wonderful, awesome, brilliant, and most handsome young man to follow his dreams. I can miss him, that’s my job. I can help when I can, I can hold when possible, I can be here when he needs me and I will survive, I just don’t have to smile inside every single moment of the day because I’m the mama and I love Mike with all my heart and soul.

Okay, that’s enough for today, I’m running out of kleenex this morning. Mean people stay away, nice people are welcomed. Any and all advise is welcomed and I so love reading what you all have been up too and have to say.

Take care my friends and have a most blessed weekend. My will be busy as usual. Please keep my family in your prayers, Cindy continues to need them, my aunt Pat needs the strength to heal and I will pray for each and everyone of you. Blessings my friend!

Monday, October 15, 2012


Our motto is:  FINISHING = WINNING!   When you finish your Mary-thon – you are truly a WINNER!!!!

Do you remember Project Linus? Mike’s eagle project and more? I just received their monthly newsletter and there’s always some super cool things going on, ideas and more and this issues has the more I am interested in. If you click on any of the links I provided you’ll see a lot of background on this so you’ll understand my excitement on doing something for them and also for me.

$10.00 of the registration fee goes to Project Linus which is awesome, especially if we can get a whole bunch of you joining us.

Here’s a little information for you if you’d like to join me in this endeavor.

Meet Mary:

Hi! My name is Mary Balagna and I am the “Mary” of the Mjoving Forward Mary-thon

WHAT IS A MARY-THON?  A Mary-thon is a 26 WEEK fitness program where YOU set a fitness goal, YOU decide what type of exercise(s) you are ABLE to do, YOU commit to exercise throughout the 26 weeks and I (Mary) provide you with the inspiration, motivation and applause along the way.  

WHAT DO I GET FOR MY REGISTRATION FEE? Which is $39.50  You receive the Moving Forward Mary-thon™ Workbook, aluminum water bottle, tracking sheet, racing bib and pledge when you start, motivational e-mails, blog and Facebook updates throughout your journey, personal encouragement as needed, and a beautiful finishers medal and certificate when you finish!

WHAT EXACTLY DO I NEED TO DO? Regular exercise means 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week (for the Full Mary-thon) or 3 days per week (for the Half Mary-thon) for 26 week. Walking, running, weight lifting, elliptical, yoga, Zumba, stair stepping, swimming, etc. are just a few of the many ways you may want to try. The best part is that if you cannot exercise for 30 minutes straight, you are allowed to break up your workout into manageable increments (5-10 minutes each) as you build your endurance, energy level and strength.  You MUST report your progress to Mary along the way.

This all starts January 1st and goes for 26 weeks. It takes 66 days to form a habit. Can you imagine what you can do in 182 days?

I’m going to start next week. As you know this week isn’t exercise friendly (well at the gym anyways) but next week it is. I know I’m starting early but I’m going to pay my registration fee this week and what better time to get started then right away. And with a workbook to keep my progress in (when it comes) I can see what I’m doing.

Would you like to join me in this great cause for Project Linus and you?

Click here to read about it....Click here to register....Click here to read about Project Linus….

What do you say?

Blessings my friends!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Time….not nearly enough in a day, week….

Wow, it’s Saturday already and it has really been a busy week. Lots of driving, lots of doing and some great experiences.

First I’ll share out fire safety, fire trucks with the kindergartners. We took 4 classes students for a ride. 2-3 students get to ride up front with Jim and I, in each truck, and push the siren button and make as much noise as possible. Smokey Bear was there too so he got in one of the pictures and moved around with the kids. It was a great time and our 15th year of doing it. We are not positive we’ll do it again next year because each year the trucks are harder to get started and moving but I also can’t see us quitting either. Here check out the pictures:


First meet our fire trucks. The first one is Palisades old 1949 pumper truck. The other is McGregor's old truck, it’s a 1961.



This is the first two classes. We take them about 8 blocks to the park switch out the 2-3 riding in the truck and go another 8 blocks back to the school. They get to see what’s in the compartments, they get to feel a fireman’s suit and we give out fire chief helmets so they all become fireman/ladies for the day. The little lady by the Palisade truck is Abby. She’s one of my special daycare kids that I’ve had from 4 weeks old. They have grown up riding and now helping with the kids on the truck. This fire truck is special because her jumpa (grandpa) use to drive this when he was a fireman.

An update on my sister. She is out of the hospital and moving around. I am no expert but I sure wish a doctor would answer all the questions with real answers. I wish that an insurance company can’t rule how long a person is in the hospital. Such as Cindy was in last Saturday-Wednesday and then just 20 hours later she was back in so deathly sick they put her in ICU for 5 days and then kick her out again so now she’s home but not doing great. I expect she’ll be back in a few days unless God performs another miracles for her. Keep praying if you will, we sure are.

My bus driving has been an awesome experience. This bus load of kids are all littler ones. I’m use to mixed ones where the older kids help with the younger ones. Well they have a ways to go before they understand bus safety but I’m working on it. The prior two drivers just drove the bus, didn’t look in the mirror, didn’t interact with the students so they really don’t have a clue how to ride safely and properly. We are starting with assigned seats which they really are happy about. It’s like they needed to know exactly where they would be for the ride to and from and who they are riding with each day. The difference from one evening to the next evening with the assigned seats was like night and day. There are still some modifications I need to do on some of them but a great big plus. I have also promised treats for Halloween if everyone can at least try their best. I sat down in the mist of them and explained what I wanted, I know they are not perfect and neither am I and that I know they are kids and they have to misbehave sometimes, it’s just a given but I asked them to try their best and if, if it all works out greatly they will be rewarded.

I made it to my gym 4 times this week. 2 times for a really good work out and 2 times for an awesome walk on the trail. Next week I will be a bit lax at getting there but not because I want too, just because it won’t be possible. On Monday I have my am route and then I am taking the Tennis girls to Duluth for their state sections. On Tuesday and Wednesday I work the other school district and it’s just to far to drive between the two so will be sure I get out and walk/jog at home. Thursday and Friday is MEA and I will have daycare from 6am-8pm each day and well I know very well I won’t get there. That will leave the weekend which I am sure will be filled with stuff that didn’t get done during the week. But the following week I will be on regular hours and routes and will get my butt a moving. I didn’t lose any weight this week either, in fact gained 8 oz but for me it my TOM so expected some so hopefully I can get rid of it after next week when the darn thing goes away.

Mike, now that kid has finally found his home he is happy. It took him 6 months to get into this college thing but now, my goodness, is he happy and enjoying himself. Most of it has to do with his teachers talking to him and telling him his future looks awesome that he is one of the best students there. The rest is he finally has a job of sorts, it’s all volunteering but it’s so good for him. He’s working for the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site working as a tour guide for the Ghost Tours. If you click on the link it will take you to a news article about the tours. They also have a facebook page if you want to check it out. Today was a homecoming parade and Mike volunteered to be part of the tours float. He sent me some pictures I’ll share with you.

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Mike as an undertaker and his friend King as a “don’t be a chicken”.


Their float.

Mike went up into the mountains last weekend. As you can see they already have some snow and it’s been quite chilly there. Well the mountains are beautiful. He sent me some pictures on a flash drive so I can share them with you.

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My Guy. My most handsome, smart, wonderful, caring, wonderful son. Oh god am I proud of him!!!

So there my friends is my week. I also made up the last batch of tomatoes into 2 gallons of chili. We worked outside getting ready for winter. I need to clean out the chicken coop and butcher about a dozen chickens (which if I could just make them dead it would be so easy but I have the worlds worse time killing things). We have to get a couple loads of coal and then I think winter can really come and we’ll be ready.

I will be back next weekend if not before. I have a couple crafts I’ve been working on and want to share, however I didn’t download one yet and the other I have the materials, I just need to get to it.

Take care my friends. I wish you all the best week possible. God bless you all.