Monday, August 15, 2011

A Tribute to an Indiana Summer

After having an unseasonably long, cold and snowy winter, followed by one of the hottest and the driest summer on record - I'm relishing in the perfect days we're having right now.  Temperatures in the 70s, bright blue skies, smells to delights the senses - ahhh...summer perfection.  While taking a drive through the country yesterday afternoon I told my husband, "It's days like these that make those last cold days of winter that feel like they're never going to end worth it."  These are the days that encompass everything I love about the Hoosier State.  

I notice that the days are getting shorter, fall decorations are lining the store shelves, there is a difference in the air and everyone is beginning to turn their sights to 'back to school' and hunkering down for the autumn routine.  In short, we're starting to say 'good-bye' to the carefree days of summer.  I'm not quite ready for that yet.  I'm clinging to her for everything she's worth at the moment.  So, in honor of summer in all her glory, I thought I'd share some pictures I snapped to showcase some of the things I love about this place that has so captured my heart.

Hope you relish in the last bit summer!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Recently, my parents came down for a visit.

We had something to celebrate.

This guy's 11th birthday.

It's hard to imagine that my baby is 11 years old.  It seems like these years have flown by.  He is growing into such wonderful young man.  He's so polite, helpful and funny.  He seems to have inherited a very off-the-wall sense of humor.  That's a good thing...I think. :0) I see another change taking place in him lately.  You know the changes that signal that they're maturing into a new phase and leaving a little bit more of your 'baby' behind?  Yeah, that kind.  It's really bitter-sweet. {Now I'm totally singing Whitney's version of "I Will Always Love You" in my head. Sorry...}

He had a very low-key birthday this year - just like he wanted.  His grandparents went with us to eat at his favorite Mexican restaurant.  Then we came home to open presents and have cake and ice cream.  He told me it was the best birthday he's ever had - having all of his grandparents with him.  My parents came down for his birthday a few years ago and we had a party with kids, games and the whole she-bang then.  I asked him if this year was better than that.  He said it was because - get this - it was just with the people he loves most in the world.  Sniff, sniff... For him, nothing could top an intimate birthday with those closest to him.  Sometimes he still amazes me.

I love this picture.  It's the only one of him and his grandparents. (Neither of us got to meet his other papaw before he went to heaven.  That's a reunion we still have to look forward to.)

So, here's to savoring every moment, because each phase passes way to quickly and I don't want to miss a single instant...


Thursday, August 11, 2011

This is where I was last night...

Sitting in the Hoosier Lottery Grandstands at the Indiana State Fair.

This is why...

Recognize these guys?

How 'bout this guy?

Alright then...Can you make out the name?  Let me help you.  Mercy Me.

Chris and I had a little date night and went to see Mercy Me and Third Day at the state fair.  Together.  Does it GET any better than that?  I had never seen Mercy Me in concert before, and let me just say, I was impressed.  They were awesome!  You always know when a band has got some skills because they don't sound any different live than they do on their CDs.  Y'all, Bart Millard's got some chops. Seriously.  And, FUNNY.  He kept me laughing.  Very refreshing.  Except for when he grouped me in with the old people - you know the ones who grew up in the 80's and wore parachute pants.  I liked him until that moment.  Nah, I'm just kidding.  Except for the part about the parachute pants.  I totally had a pair of those.  Sign me up for another Mercy Me concert.

By the time Third Day came on it was dark out and I couldn't get a decent picture.

This is the best photo I could get of Mac Powell.  Clearly, I won't be taking home a blue ribbon in photography for this shot.  I won't go into great length about their portion of the concert, either, except to say that they DID NOT disappoint 'cause y'all already KNOW how much I love Third Day.

The Lord was looking down on us with love last night.  Well, he always looks down us with love.  Maybe it would be more accurate to say he was looking down on us with compassion.  And a cold front.  Yes, compassion and a cold front.  You see, it's been wicked hot here for well over a month - just like most of the country, I guess.  But, having experienced temps in the upper 90's and often over 100 degrees with the 'feels like' temp - let's just say 'grateful' would be an understatement for the 78 degrees we experienced last night.  The seats were so tight that I now have first hand knowledge of what it would feel like to be a sardine.  If we didn't have that cold front come through, not only would it have been miserable hot, but people would've been stinkin' to high heavens.  And, I really don't want some body else's sweaty arm rubbing up against me - not even if it's my own.  I'm a lady and I don't like to sweat. :0)  Gah! But, thankfully, that wasn't an issue.  Not only was it very comfortable temperature wise, but there was a glorious breeze.

All in all, it was a great and memorable date night - great weather, great music and my best friend.  Life is sweet.  Very, very sweet. :0)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Free Kindle Accessories

In my last post I told y'all how I got my new Kindle for $.06.  Well, after waiting until the beginning of August when I could redeem some more of my Swagbucks, I was able to get a couple of accessories to go with it.

I normally redeem my SB for gift cards.  But, after doing a little snooping around the web I realized that I could get what I wanted more frugally if I redeemed my SB for Pay Pal gift cards and ordered off of Ebay instead.  Leave it to a stay-at-home mom to figure out how to be frugal with free! :0)

So, check out what I got.

A cover and light.

Actually, it's a genuine leather cover, not polyurethane.  Cool.

This little set-up is great at night.

Now, let's make a short story long and I'll fill you in on the details, mkay?

Here's the break-down.  A $5 gift card for costs 450 swagbucks.  With the amount of SB I had available to redeem I could have gotten $20 worth of gift cards.  Pay Pal gift cards on the other hand cost 700 SB for a $5 gift card.  I only had enough SB for $15 worth of Pal Pal credit.  You would think that the smarter road would have been to get more credit, wouldn't you?  I did too until I did some comparison shopping.

Kindle covers start at $35 on  I'm not talking skins or sleeves here, but cases that still enclose the Kindle while I'm reading like the one pictured.  That's what I wanted.  I would have had to kick in an extra $15 plus shipping.  Doable, but I like a challenge. :0)

With some savvy shopping on Ebay I was able to grab a brand spanking new genuine leather cover that completely encases the Kindle.  Some of the older models just hold the Kindle in with 4 corner elastic straps.  I'm sure that's fine, but this just seemed a little more secure to me.  I chose a top rated seller that didn't charge for shipping and handling and only had to pay $5.89.  The closest comparison I could find on amazon. com was $39.99 and it didn't have a magnetic closure (or any closure for that matter) and it had the older elastic straps.

Since I had some moolah left I snagged a book light for $6.99 - also from a top rated seller that didn't charge shipping.  The cheapest one on is $11.99.

Now, don't get me wrong - I have nothing against  I usually go that route.  It's just that in this case it payed to shop around.  If I had went with my out of pocket cost would have been $31.98 plus shipping and handling, after using my $20 credit.  By being a savvy shopper, my total cost ended being $12.88 - leaving me a credit of $2.11.  Nothing out of pocket. Plus, I got a higher quality cover in the process.

And, just to round out my shopping experience...  I ordered both of my items late Thursday night.  I received my light on Monday and my cover on Tuesday.  I was surprised at how fast they came.

I love the challenge of finding a good deal!