Friday, April 29, 2011

Sneaker Sam

     Do you have those people in your life that you really do not know, but you would notice if they were gone?  Is there a certain person at the coffee shop that makes the perfect latte, or the woman at the water department that doesn't seem to mind your rambunctious child as much as others?  Maybe it is a waitress or waiter at a local spot that you really hope is working when you go in. 
     I feel I have several of those folks in my life.  For instance, at my local favorite Mexican place there is one fella that is the creme de la creme of servers.  One day, just hours before having Lincoln, we went to eat there.  When we made into the restaurant, this man met us at the door and said, "your table is ready"!  We sat down to a table already set with our drinks of choice, salsa types for everybody, and extra napkins and a plate for our little boy.  It was such a treat to be "known" by someone that really doesn't know us.  To feel like another person cares means so much. 
     Lately, there is a fella that I see almost daily.  If I don't see him, I start to worry about him.  I do not know his name, and we have only spoken once very briefly.  I like to call him Sneaker Sam.  Sneaker Sam is a middle-aged looking man that began running on my street some months ago.  When he first made his trek past our home, I thought...oh I hope he doesn't have a heart attack!  He was red all over and pouring sweat.  He was over-weight and seemed to be breathing with immense difficulty.  I thought that this guy was insane for doing this to himself.  Yet everyday in the afternoon there he was --running.  The only sound was that of his sneakers hitting the sidewalk and his heavy breathing.  Weeks passed and soon months.  One particular week, I did not see him at all.  Just the week before was when we finally spoke.  He had asked about our Chocoloate Lab that was noticably missing.  I told him that she had just died and he seemed sincerely sad.  He said he always looked forward to running past our house and seeing her on the front porch.  That was about all that was said, and he continued his run.  The next week he was gone.  At the same time, I had heard that a man in town was found dead ---in front of the funeral home--- after collapsing from a run.  I just knew it was him.  I scoured the paper and the web to see if there were any pictures of the fella to find out if it was Sneaker Sam.  It wasn't.  I was relieved.  Soon enough, he made his return and has been running daily.
    The weeks and months have passed.  I have watched him shrink in size as he dedicatedly pounds the sidewalk.  I have wacthed his body transform from the look of death, to the look of a fit person.  I am proud of Sneaker Sam.  I am his silent cheerleader.  He doesn't know that he is inspiring me daily when he takes the turn past our home. 
     Sneaker Sam makes me want to be better.  He makes me want to be dedicated and commited.  I see him and the sweat on his face, and I want to find the determination that he has.  I would love to sit and chat with him...but to do so would be interrupting his run.  I hope sometime to see him in the grocery store or at the bank so that I can speak and let him know that I admire him and his efforts.  Most of all, Sneaker Sam makes me really think about the impression I leave behind.  Does anyone even notice me when I go about my daily life.  Do I do anything noticable enough to make an impact? 
     Now, I am not meaning to sound as if I want to be noticed and aplauded, for that is far from what my thoughts are.  I just hope that I have enough light in my soul that others take notice.  Am I dedicated in any of my efforts like Sneaker Sam?  Do I have an impact on anybody's life?  Do people even see me, or do I blend in with the crowd? 
    Sneaker Sam, if you are out there...thank you!  Thank you for reminding me that others are always watching.  People are always looking for something to encourage and inspire them. Thank you for making me think about my own light.  I hope when you turn the corner to pass our home, you see a little bright spot on the street.  I hope maybe that is why you choose to run our block.  I hope, Sneaker Sam, to inspire others as you have inspired me.

~ B Charmer

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where the Sidewalk Ends

I will let the pictures do the talking today...

In the beginning.

A Work in Progress

1.  Till ground
2.  Remove Dirt
3.  Level Ground
4.  Measure Walk
5.  Lay Barrier
6.  Lay Edging
7.  Fill with Rock
8.  More Rock
9.   And More Rock
10. And a Little More Rock

 * Important to Remember*
Keep Husband well supplied with Ice Water
Smile Often
Praise Loudly


 Finally....It is finished!!!




There is still much work to be done in our garden plans for the house.  I am thrilled with the walk, and cannot wait to get to the  other projects!  Bring on the weekends!!

~ B Charmer

Oh and thanks for all the suggestions with the camera on my Facebook feed! Trying some new batteries today!



Monday, April 25, 2011

I Couldn't Resist!

We pulled out a camera yesterday that we haven't used in quite some time.  We LOVE the quality of the pictures it takes, but it devours...DEVOURS batteries.  However, we wanted some good Easter pictures.  When my husband turned it on, we found pictures from 2009 that we had not downloaded.  There were some cuties...and I couldn't resist posting some of my first baby...my how he has grown!!  This post is mostly for me...because of course I could look at pictures of my fellas all day!

By the way...any battery suggestions to make this camera more usable??






~ Still to come....A post on the Sidewalk!!  My wonderful husband worked so very hard on it all day Saturday.  I absolutely love it.  I just have to snap a few more pictures!
~B Charmer

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Simple Home

     Today is a quiet rainy day here in our little town.  We are staying cozy indoors enjoying the glow of lamp light.  I feel like each time I look out the window, every green thing just gets greener.  Spring is here and it is so nice.  The trees have filled out with leaves and colors are popping up everywhere.  I am anxious to get in the yard tomorrow and accomplish much. 
     In all my projects for our home, the thought running in the background is always...moving.  We know that this house is not our forever home.  It has been an adventure conquering this ole gal of a house.  We have spent great energy on this home, but we are not emotionally attached in the smallest of ways.  We have learned that we are not "restorers" at heart---at least not in the way we have "restored" this home. 
     Sometimes, I get anxious wanting to know when the move will come.  I would pack up today if the seller would knock on the door.  Barring a miracle, I am quite positive this will not happen today.  So, we keep working and trying to get our home ready to sale--or to enjoy-- should we find ourselves having to stay put.  I feel we are in the homestretch--which has me thinking about the next home. 
     Most people would think that the next house should always be a step up.   Most think bigger house, larger yard, and more space.  I used to be one of those people---before we moved into this house.  This house is not big, at all.  It is a one level, 3 bed, 2 bath home.  The closets are laughable...really.  The "character" of the house takes away a lot of  usable space.  Each room has a fireplace taking one whole wall, and each room has several doors leading to the next rooms.  This is quite limiting when trying to make the most of a space.  However, in the five years we have lived here, I have learned the art of downsizing.  I have made my closets work and work hard.  I have learned that having "stuff" just means you have to find a place to put it!  Simplifying our life and our belongings has been a lesson in and of itself.  I find myself loving a more simplified life, and I am always looking for ways to simplify even more. 
     I long to live in a small, well-built home.  I want this home to be very easy to maintain and not be demanding of my time and money.  I want it to be comfortable, cozy, and lovely....but just big enough for our family.  I want the focus of our days to be on our family, our neighbors, and the people around us.  I want to be able to spend my time on the important things of life...not on houses and "stuff".  I want to be in a neighborhood where my boys can play outside with friends and be safe in the front yard. 
     I have picked the street, the school zone, and possibly even the house....except I am not in a position to do anything about it!  Everytime I pass this little home, I think of the little jewlry box that has the little pop-up dancing ballerina.  I am not sure why this comes to mind...but I guess I see it as a little jewel.  It represents something that seems to be "good" for our family.  Now, convincing my husband to go even smaller on a home will take some work!  But, I think he is on the same page as me in many ways.  Ahh--if only we could make it a reality. 
     So, it is off to work yet another weekend on this ole house.  Here is to hoping it all means something...that this home would find a new owner soon, and that my little "ballerina" house that has been on the market for over a year...will still hang in there and wait on our little family to claim it.  ---Or that something even better will be awaiting us when the time is right.

    
May your weekend be full of good things and the people you love!  
~B Charmer


...Friday Weigh-in

Goal 1
This week's weight loss = 2 pounds
Total lost since Lincoln was born = 20 pounds
Total to go for goal one= 15 pounds
Time remaining...2 weeks...yeah...probably wont happen!  But, I will keep on working!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ooo La La

Hello Thursday!  Let's daydream a bit...

I'm thinking...night out in the big city....(which we really don't have)

I think I'll pull this little number out!
But it needs something...let's see...how about this


Of course, strappy shoes is a must with this ensemble!

I am thinking that a trip to the theatre followed by walk through town with my husband enjoying this...
Doesn't that sound lovely?  -and yummy?

~ B Charmer



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Garden Plans

Guess who got a loaner tiller??  That can only mean one thing..I am about to get dirty!

Here are the plans~

I am finally making a sidewalk!  My front lawn is begging for one. The current plan is an edged walk filled with small gravel.  I want it to look like a lovely foot path to the picket fence and gate. This picture to the left is my sidewalk inspiration...well kind of my whole garden inspiration.  


The Fence!
I have picked out my fence and bargained with my husband for the labor. It is amazing what the purchase of a motorcycle can get a gal! He has been saving and scoping for awhile. I have been somewhat hesitant, but we made a deal...a bike for a fence...and we are both happy as could be about it! My fence is a simple straight picket.  It is white vinyl.  I went with this fence because it never needs painted, and it should last forever.  I am also putting in a little gate at the end of our new side walk leading to the city sidewalk.  I am so anxious to see it all done.  I have been wanting this fence for five years!!  
Finally, I am filling the garden with plants.  Right now, I only have plumbago, rosemary, and Mexican sage to plant.  I do have some lovely rose bushes that came with the house.  Other than that, the yard is somewhat bare.  However, today I am taking the boys and my mother on a plant field trip.  Hopefully, we will return with more goodies at good prices!   

So, this weekend...expect to find me with dirty hands and a glowing face!  I can't wait to turn my yard into a garden.  I wish you could all stop by and enjoy the roses with me! My bushes are about to burst with blooms!   I can't wait to show them off to you all...
~B Charmer



Friday, April 15, 2011

Numbers

Indulge me please on this post of numbers.  These are some numbers that have been swirling around my head these days....

3- My tiny, little fella turns 3 weeks old today!  Can someone please push pause on the time here???


3-In three months, my first baby will be 4!!  We are already looking at cake ideas for mommy to conquer.



8.5- Yep...that would be months until Christmas, yet I am already working on Christmas program ideas for the next school year.  I can never start early enough!!

2- The pairs of jeans that I can wear that are in my pre-baby clothes closet!  This thrills me beyond words...which is ridiculous, but denim is my friend!

80- The rough estimate of the number of miles I will drive today to complete all the errands on my list....ugh is the word that comes to mind.

4- The longest number of hours that I slept in a row last night...but I am not complaining because 4 is a blessing!

AND  Finally....

2- The pounds I have lost this week.  Not awesome, but it is a loss!  So here are my stats this week on the weight loss goals:

Total pounds lost since baby boy was born- 18
Total to go for goal #1-17
Weeks left- 3

With all the number thinking, I cannot help to think about the days.  In reality, time is so short.  Days pass so quickly, and then suddenly you find yourself counting years.  It is my honest heart's desire to make my days count for something.  Sometimes, it seems as if my days are nothing more than feeding, diapering, and playing with boys...but raising children is a beautiful thing.  I hope some day my boys will look back on their childhood with fondness and know that their mother tried to make those days count!

Here is a picture of ten of the cutest little toes you will ever see!


~ B Charmer~




Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Normal Pants and Donkey Cows

     Well, today was a small adventure for me and the boys.  We had some things to take care of, so we spent the day on the town just the three of us.  It was the first time I have taken them out by myself for an extended time. While the time seems to fly when I am gazing into baby's eyes, it seems to drag when I realize I have not driven my car in two weeks.  Of course today, it is rainy and windy and the task of taking a newborn out on a day like today just gets a bit more complicated...but we did it anyway!
     Our first stop today was a visit to what will probably be Jack's new preschool next year.  He had to do some testing to see if he "qualified" for their 4 year old program.  Sitting there, as his mother, watching him was so interesting.  I have spent these last three years pouring all of the knowledge I can muster into my little child, and now his job was to show what he knew.  It did my heart good to hear him count and pick out letters and colors.  He breezed through it all.  He almost went through some of it in Spanish, but he changed his mind.  The only thing that tripped him up did nothing more than crack me up.  They showed him a picture of a cow and asked him what animal was he looking at?  He thought...and said ummm....that is a donkey-horse-cow that says moo!  I couldn't help but giggle out loud.  He was a bit confused by this "cartoonish" cow, but he was sure it mooed! 
     After his test, we decided it was the perfect time for him to get his very own library card...because every 3 year old needs his own card!  He was so excited.  We walked in the library, filled out the paper work, then had  his little heart crushed.  Imagine my surprise when I was told that he had to have his birth certificate with  him to get a card!  Since I do not carry that in my diaper bag, we were not able to get his card.   Since when did such paperwork become a requirement to borrow books? I think when we return, I may bring his shot records just in case!
     In other ground-breaking news...all day, I have been wearing normal pants!  That's right...no elastic- panel- maternity- nightmare- suspender -needing-contraption pants...just normal pants!  Yes, they are snug.  Yes, the buttons are taunt...but oh the joy of a waist-band!  The world is a better place in normal pants. 
Signing off...in my normal pants...
~ B Charmer

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Weighty Issue

     So, it has been two weeks since we had little Lincoln.  To say that I am anxious to loose the poundage that comes with the package deal is an understatement!  I felt pretty good about my weight gain with this baby.  My first baby brought about 50 pounds of extra padding!  Thankfully, I was eventually able to loose all of that.  With Lincoln, I only gained 35 pounds.  That 15 pounds difference really goes along way!  I feel amazingly better than I did with Jack.  I think overall I am just in a lot better shape with this baby.  Singing and dancing with children all day is certainly a big help in this area. I laugh when I recall my spring programs just 10 days prior to Lincoln's birth.  I was one waddling, dancing lady in front of hundreds of kids!  But, even then, I knew it was good for me-despite the great discomfort!
     Now, I am ready to remove the extra baggage and get ready for summer!  So, I thought I would let B Charmer help me in the accountability area.  Since I had Lincoln on a Friday, I will check in on Fridays with my progress.  I have a couple of goals.  The first goal is to loose the baby weight.  I am hoping to do this by the six week checkup.  I know that might sound a bit over zealous, but that is what goals are about, right?  I am already well on my way.  So, I think it is doable. 
     My second goal is to loose an additional 18 pounds by Jack's summer pool party.  These lovely 18 pounds have been hanging around too long.  I put these lovely pounds on a few years ago when I was on a medicine for a short time....and they never really decided to leave me!  So, they have been around LONG ENOUGH!  I am really motivated, and hope to see some progress on these enemies of mine!

So...here are the stats for this Friday:
Week 2
Goal 1
Total weight lost  so far- 16 pounds!
Total to go for goal 1- 19 pounds
Time remaining- 4 weeks

Here's hoping next Friday will have some progress as well!!

~ B Charmer~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dream a Little Dream

It is Thursday, and it has been awhile since I posted a daydream about fashion...so without further adieu~
          Today ,let's dream about this cute outfit from Dress Barn!




And since I have been on "house arrest" for two weeks, I plan to take myself in my cute little outfit for some retail therapy...at Ikea!  And, I plan to eat a cinnamon roll at the end of my shopping trip! 

If you come along, I'll share a bite or two!

~ B Charmer

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back In the Book

     Wow...the days are whirling by! They always go too fast when you want to treasure them. I could write volumes on life with a new little one and adjusting to having two. It would be supremely interesting only to me, so I will spare you all the details. Suffice it to say, we are doing really well as a family of four. Things have been much more calm and simple than I expected and spending my days with my little fellas is highly fulfilling. One thing that I have been finding a lot of joy in is creating a "school" time for my oldest. He is missing his time at nursery school, so I have been determined to give him as much as I can at home. We have our morning chores, table time, learning games, and even recess and naptime....well, we attempt naptime. Naps and Jack have never been on friendly terms.
     The baby has been adjusting to life with us pretty well. He is still a little doll and very calm. However, he has assured me on numerous occasions that he can cry quite veraciously, if needed! Everyday, his personality comes through more and more. His name seems so fitting as the days progress. He loves to keep this intensely serious face for the greater part of his waking and sleeping hours. He seems to be keenly taking in his environment.
     In the midst of the new, we have tried to maintain some semblance of the old routine for our eldest. Last night, we were having our usual bedtime struggle of "I am not sleepy", and "oh, but you are". In between the tears and the pleas for more time out of bed, we had our Bible story. The story was on the Last Supper, and my son seemed to have a million questions that had nothing to do with what we were reading...such as does God have a beard, why did Judas turn to a bad guy, and can we fly to heaven right now? All the while, I am trying to get through the story and get him to sleep. He was holding our bookmark that we use to keep our place every night in the Bible. It is actually an old Christmas photo of his cousins. He was hiding it under his covers while I was pretending not to notice so that we could finish. Once we were through, I asked for the bookmark. At this point it was quite crumpled. He thought this was the end of the world. Amidst the tears and saying sorry, I told him it would be fine...that it would straighten out once it was back in the book. This simple statement hit me like a rock.
     How many times in my life have I found myself tired, frustrated, worried, fearful, and discouraged? Most of those times can be marked with a clear separation between me and God and my ability to allow things to get in the way of my relationship with Him. Amazingly, things seem to always straighten back out once I find myself- "back in the Book". Why do I wander away without barely noticing? These busy days and long nights have taken some of my routine. I fear I am starting to resemble the crumpled bookmark that needs to find her place safely between the pages of The Word. So, with a renewed vision...I am nestling myself in The Book. May you find yourself snugly wrapped in The Book as well...it really does work!

~B Charmer

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