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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sign Language

A message from my brother Evan, the starving and yet generous artist!

Check it out kids. My mom got a call from my sister in Ohio saying that her mom (my sister and I are from the same dad) has some nasty form of Breast Cancer. My sister is asking for people to help her raise funds for her walk in "Race for a Cure". It's an annual event held all over the country by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and helps fund treatment and science in to cancer prevention and an eventual cure.

Since I can barely keep the lights on my house, I really can't give much. But I have made a run of "Sign Language" prints for sale. If you buy one of these prints, a portion of your payment will go towards my sisters donation to "Race For A Cure". Plus you get a sweet signed and numbered print of one my paintings. It's pretty much a win win situation.

Check out to see what the painting looks like.

"Sign Language"
8x10" (printed on 8.5x11" glossy stock)
$10.00 (includes your donation to the "Race For A Cure")

Thanks for helping me help out my sister! if you know anyone that might be interested please forward this to them!


Monday, September 25, 2006

Our Family's Race for the Cure

As many of you know, our family recently received news that our Mom and Grandma, Gwen Drechsler, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been given positive news by her doctors that her prognosis is good since it has been caught at an early stage. Her cancer is at stage 2 and it doesn't appear to have spread to the lyphnodes although, further surgery and testing will have to confirm that. She is currently scheduled for surgery next week and once she has recoved from the surgery she will begin radiation treatments. For now they do not feel that chemotherapy will be necessary so we consider that great news.

Our family has decided to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Cleveland, Ohio on October 14th to show our support for our "Cookie". If you would like to support our fundraising efforts please visit our family's fundraising page at:

Mom seems to be hanging in there but of course has moments of feeling anxious and sad. We are doing our best to keep her upbeat and as distracted as possible. I appreciate the notes and calls of support we have already received. Please keep Gwen in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hints and Tips

Some helpful hints I found in my inbox this AM:

Bed Sheets

After drying my\n sheets, I put both sheets and one pillowcase in the other pillow case. Fold neatly in a square. Next time you change sheets, you just take the one pillow case and all the sheets and pillow case are inside. No need to look for matches. Takes up less storage room too.

Kids Bike ID

If you purchase a new bike for your child, place their picture with name and address on the back in a small ziplok bag and put it inside the handle bar before placing the grips on. If the bike is stolen and later recovered, remove the grip and there is your proof who owns the bike.

Clean your glass shower

To clean the glass in your shower easily, apply lemon juice to the glass with a sponge. Then, take newspaper and wipe the lemon juice off the glass. It will be clean and sparkle with no scrubbing!

Reheat Pizza

Heat up leftover p! izza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy microwave pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar/calories per serving.

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper Weeds-Away

Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go, cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic, they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass

Use a dry cotton ball to pick up little broken pieces of glass - the fibers catch ones you can't see!

No More Mosquitoes

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!

To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle\n your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn\'t hurt the\n plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Easier thank you's

When you throw a bridal baby shower, buy a pack of thank you cards for the guest of honor. During the party, pass out the envelopes and have everyone put their address on one. When the bride or new mother sends the thank you's, they're all addressed!

Flexible vacuum

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- voila -- static is gone.

Measuring Cups

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Voila! It unseals easily.


Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair...

Good-bye Fruit Flies

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home," & can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, esp. if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed! Take baby powder to the beach Keep a small bottle of baby powder in your beach bag. When you're ready to leave the beach sprinkle yourself and kids with the powder and the sand will slide right off your skin.

***Any tips to add?***

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Loving the little things...

Yesterday I watched Landry (age 5) for several minutes in the morning while he was eating his breakfast. He was using a fork and knife to cut his Eggo waffles with his signature toppings: syrup and cinnamon. Usually I do the cutting for him, mainly to speed things along during busy mornings but also because his dexterity is that of a five-year-old's. This particular morning he insisted on doing it himself and was doing quite a fine, albeit painstakingly slow, job of it. I finally had to get up and grab my camera because the looks of concentration and success were priceless. Well, of course I got all these great shots only to find that my memory stick was in my computer so I can't show them to all of you. What these few tiny moments brought to my consciousness was a flood of love for the tiny things that we get to experience in the lives of our children. This was probably a one time moment as now each time he picks up a knife and fork to cut his waffles it is going to be easier and easier and one day while sitting at the table with his wife and kids he will likely do it without a crinkled nose and probably won't let out a hoop and holler over getting an actual bite to his mouth on his own. It is a little sad and a mighty triumph all at once. Now, if we can only get him to tie his shoes...

On a sad and serious note, I have to share this news with my community of friends here in blog-land. Our family just found out that my mom has
breast cancer. We are all very sad, anxious, and concerned. My mom is the literal Queen of our immediate and extended family. She is the coordinator of all fun, work, support, love, baby care, teenage tolerance and mission preparation. She is a cheerleader, honest critic, counselor, banker, root of all creativity, and lover of her family. I can't begin to think of our lives without her so I am focused on her cure. I have been regularily hounded by a group of friends to join a gang of friends walking in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in October and I'm hoping this might encourage some of you to join your local events. Find a race in your community and please feel free to share your stories with me. I plan to start a blog for my mom to update her progress for our friends and family so when I get that going I will post the info. Thank you to those of you who I have already spoken with and have sent your love.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Gifts that we want to keep for ourselves

Do you ever find yourself spending a lot of time making or finding a perfect gift for a beloved friend or family member and then wishing you were the one getting it? Well, as much as I love my friend Sommer, I have made a gift for her family that I seriously want to keep. I have made a committment to actually follow through and deliver it to her for her pure thrill and joy tomorrow but now I will have to make another one for our house. This growth chart was a solution to aproblem I have of being heartsick at moving away from a home that has a little space on the inside of a closet door where we marked precious inches and dates as our boys have grown taller. Sommer just had a new baby, Blake and she has another boy Carson that is 2 1/2 so I figured she might like to have this rather than another pack of onesies (although the value of those little items should not be discounted one bit!). I took some photos because I will need to remember the details one day when I get around to making another one.

What are some of your less than eager to give up gifts stories?

Cool New Tool

Check out this really cool tool I just learned about from Microsoft. It is a personal desktop search engine that allows you to search all of your computer's files by keyword. This is great for finding photos on the fly and for those of you who love to embroider this works like a charm if your files are stacked deep like mine are! I am so excited about using this. Here's the link to the details and free download: