Friday, March 30, 2007

Photo Hunters - Water


Here is a photo of my beautiful man watering part of our not so beautiful lawn after laying some fertilizer on it today. Hopefully it, too, will be beautiful soon thanks to his hard work! :o)

Friday Feast #8

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What are you proud of?

I'm proud of my husband. He's such a hard worker and is super smart.

What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize?

Hmm. I haven't really won much, but I won an autographed CD one time. I think the band's name was PFR.


Name something you do that is a waste of time.

I'm not sure anything I do is really a waste of time. I do things that some might think are a waste of time, but for me they serve some purpose or other.

Main Course

In what year of your life did you change the most?

Now this is an interesting question. To be honest, I'm not quite sure. I know I've changed a lot in the past six years, but I'm not sure I can pinpoint it to a certain year. I think I also changed a lot the first year after I graduated high school, which would have been when I was 17-18. Getting out of that tiny school, church, and town was one of the best things to ever happen to me!


Where is a place you consider to be very tranquil?

The beach.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #12

Thirteen TV shows I thought I'd never get into but now really like.

This is a weird topic for me since I don't watch much television anymore. Usually just a little in the evenings and on the weekends when hubby and I rent DVDs - mostly shows.

1. Lost. I used to wonder why people were fanatical about this show until we rented season 1 on DVD last year. I get it now!

2. Medium. (My mom is probably freaking out right about now.) Yeah, yeah, yeah, so she talks to dead people... but I love the family dynamics in the show and the comic relief. The middle daughter cracks me up! Did you know it's based on a real person? Yipes.

3. The Dead Zone. Oooh, creepy. I've always wondered if the theory is true about not using all of our brain power and what we could accomplish if we could tap into it. However, I'm not sure I'm willing to be in a coma for several years to test that out.

4. Monk! It's so quirky you have to love it. Plus, I'm totally him - only not quite as normal.

5. Gilmore Girls. It sounded so cheesy until I started watching it sometime after I got married. Then I got my hubby hooked. It's sort of gone downhill lately though.

6. House. I'm NOT normally a fan of doctor/hospital shows... but House I love! He's the man you love to hate and hate to love all at once. The writing on that show is so good!

7. Law & Order SVU. Such a dark subject matter, but it's a great show with great actors.

8. Everwood. I was sad to see it end, and they ended it at such a bad time.

9. Smallville. Actually, this is one of my husband's favorite shows, but I like it alright even though I'm not normally into the whole super hero thing.

10. Alias. I didn't think I was into the whole spy thing either, but this was one excellent show. I was sad to see it go as well.

11. The 4400. It's really cheesy, but for some reason I like it even though I thought it was about aliens for the longest time. lol

12. Friends. I never really watched it during its peak, but afterwards we got into it and enjoyed it. It's corny, but has some really funny moments.

13. All of those birth shows! I get mad and roll my eyes during a lot of them, but if one is on, I'll stop what I'm doing and watch it anyway. Push 'em out, push 'em out, waaaaay out!

Ok, so now that I have blogged about television shows, I feel the need to do something really intelligent. Like solve world hunger or at least the national budget deficit and health care crisis. Oooh wait... I think a birth show is on...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

In Other Words: Make Harmony, Not War

"Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before...either into a creature that is in harmony with God,...or into one that is in a state of war with God. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other." ~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Ahh, did C.S. Lewis ever write anything that wasn't just totally deep? Every time I read something from him, no matter how many times I've read it before, I'm always amazed at the insight and wisdom God gave this man. What a quote Christine picked this week! It reminds me of something my dad told me just in the past few weeks: "You are the sum total of the decisions you make on a daily basis". It is just so true. Even the smallest seemingly insignificant things I do from day to day are, in fact not only actions from my soul, but they act upon my soul as well; taking me either closer to or further from my goal (intimacy with God). It's really a sobering thought.

I'm also reminded of something else my dad said to me, though this was many years ago. He said that everything you see or do feeds you, either nourishing your carnal flesh or your spirit. Whomever you feed the most is the one that will be in control.

For a while now I've been thinking that I'm not really moving forward or backward - I'm just being still, being stagnant. But now I wonder (realize, really) that isn't true at all. I don't think I've ultimately progressed or regressed, but what I have done is taken a step forward and a couple back. Four forward and two back. Two forward and three back. So even though it may seem to me like I haven't moved at all, I've really been doing the cha-cha the whole time (you know me, I've never been a good dancer). *wink*

I need to start making sure I feed my spirit more, much more, than my carnal flesh. This keeps running through my head: "... or into one that is in a state of war with God." A state of war with God! If that doesn't put the fear of God into you, I don't know what will.

Please stop by and visit this week's host, Christine at Fruit in Season, to read her thoughts and visit other IOW participants. :o)

Marriage Monday: Be an encourager

Today, Christine wrote about being an encouragement to your spouse. I know I try to fulfill this part of my wifely roll, but don't always succeed to the best of my ability. When I asked my husband how I best encourage him, or what I do that means the most to him he mentioned a couple of things. One was that I make his lunches for him everyday. He's a very busy man and sometimes works crazy hours, so I choose to bless him by preparing his lunches at night before I go to bed. That way I help him save time and make sure he has the nutrition and energy he needs to make it through his long, tough days. The second thing he mentioned has to do with me. I have anxiety and phobic issues which translate into panic attacks and having a hard time doing some things that to most people are mundane and routine. So when I have good days and am able to get a lot accomplished without exhausting myself with anxiety, that not only makes me happy but makes him happy too.

Other things I can think of that I do to encourage (or serve) him:

* I make at least 80% of his meals with meat. See, I'm vegetarian and meat totally grosses me out. Buying it, preparing it, handling it, cooking it: ick, ick, ick. But my husband is a carnivore if there ever was one, so I do it for him.

* I try to only build him up and not tear him down in front of others. One of the things that downright makes me sick is to see or hear women bashing their husbands. It makes the hair on my neck stand up straight and I want to slap some sense into them. lol Now I do have a couple of close girlfriends that I am comfortable seeking help or counsel from if I need it, but I don't bash my husband in public or private to them or to anyone else.

* I try to remember to build him up in our own home as well. For example, I love telling him how handsome he is. ;o) I also like to compliment him in other things such as his work and personal accomplishments. He's very intelligent and wonderful and I make sure to add to that ego of his on a regular basis. *grin*

* I take care of most of the matters at home, like paying bills, balancing the checkbook, most of the shopping, cleaning, cooking, pet care-taking, appointment setting, etc. Sometimes on the weekends I'll ask him to help me or join me in a specific task and he's usually the vet-visit-taker, but usually I try to take care of most house "stuff" during his work week so we can have most of his weekend to relax. I know the last thing he wants to do on Saturday afternoon after a 60+ hr work week is clean out the garage or help me pick out a dog collar. ;o)

There are also several things I can definitely improve upon as well:

* Keeping the house cleaner. I'm NOT a good housekeeper. I never have been, but hopefully someday I will be. I mean I'm good at cleaning and I like a clean house, but I just hate starting it. I try to figure out a starting point and I get lost. I clean one room, and the next day the other room is a mess. It's a never ending cycle and is one of those things that overwhelms me! Sometimes he has to remind me that he's down to his last clean work shirt. *blush* I also let our bedroom get pretty messy before I straighten it up, and I know that is stressful. Room for improvement!

* I could be more understanding of his back injury. Don't get me wrong... I think I do a pretty good job here most of the time. When he drops something, I'll pick it up. When he needs something from the lower part of the fridge, I'll get up and get it for him. But I think I could improve some here for sure because sometimes I forget how bad it is because he doesn't always show it on his face and here I am sitting pain free most days.

This week's marriage Monday really made me think. Thanks, Christine! :o)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Busy as a Bee

Alright, I suppose I haven't really been that busy. Though the past couple weeks feel like a whirlwind. We had a little bit of a scare last week and ended up with my husband in the emergency room with chest pains. He's alright, the cardiologist he saw is pretty sure the pain episodes are linked to his chronic back problem (two herniated discs and degenerative disc disease). Thankfully the pain only lasts a few days at a time (well, the chest pain anyway... the back/leg pain is constant, unfortunately) and he is now better.

My parents have been working furiously at trying to get our website up. Our goal was the end of the month, but I don't see that happening at this point! Hopefully soon after. :o) I *need* to be busy finishing up a few jewelry orders, but I've been busy sorting out tax issues. Ugh! Don't do your own taxes the first year after you buy your very first house and also have your first business. It's not for the faint of heart! It's not difficult, really, just a little confusing until you "get it". Well, I finally "got it" and will hopefully be sending it all in soon. As far as a return... I think my husband has his eye on an XBox 360. I have my eye on a camera that costs about 3x as much as our return. ROFL I guess we'll see who wins! My guess is our savings account will. ;oP

So maybe I haven't been busy as a bee, but today I decided to work in our front yard for a little while, and while I was pulling weeds in our front flower bed, I had bees buzzing all around me! Now, I've never been stung by a bee, and I don't plan on experimenting with that anytime soon. This was the closest I have ever willingly been to a bee, but they didn't seem to mind me too much. I had visions of those killer Africanized honeybees scarily swarming around me, but alas, ours seem to be just your regular ol' honeybees. Even the sound of the weed eater didn't seem to phase them. I managed to get a couple pictures of them collecting pollen from our flowering bushes, so I thought I'd share. :o)

See? See?? I need that new camera, right? ;o)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Photo Hunters - Empty


I think the photo here speaks for itself. There's not much worse than an empty bag of what was your favorite chocolate! Have you tried these??? This was my first bag and seriously they're so good; they're my new addiction. I'm dreaming of some dark chocolate...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Feast #7

Who is your favorite news anchor/reporter? Why?
I really don't watch the news. It's way too happy.

Name 3 foods that are currently in your freezer.

Vegetarian lasagna, a huge bag of broccoli florets, and more raw boneless skinless chicken than I care to admit.

If you were to have the opportunity to name a new town or city, what would you call it?
Mouseville. It's where I would send my dog, Molly (whom we call "Mouse" more than we call "Molly") when she's been a very bad girl.

Main Course
What will most likely be the next book you read?
I'm currently reading Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone. When I'm through with that one, I plan on reading Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult. I love me some Jodi Picoult books!

What's the first thing you notice about the opposite gender?
Whether or not it is my husband.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I've been critiqued!!

And I like it. :o)

Check it out
and have yours done!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The God of Mission

“It is insufficient to proclaim that the Church of God has a mission in the world. Rather, the God of mission has a Church in the world.” ~ Tim Dearborn

I don't know about you, but when I first read this quote I wasn't automatically taken by it. Then the more I thought about it, the more I saw how profound it really is. At first glance, I just saw the word "mission" as it pertains to "missionaries". I'm not ashamed to admit that while I have a deep respect for people with a heart for work in what most people consider "the mission field", and I love to support that work, I have never felt a calling or tugging in my heart to partake in anything more than support of it. So, I struggled with whether or not I wanted to participate this week. (As always! Can you tell I'm quite indecisive?) ;o)

However, I think if I just left it there I would have missed out. I read it more carefully and seriously pondered the phrase, "the God of mission". Our God has a mission in this world. What is that mission? I believe it is proclaiming His own glory and presenting His truth to His creation (us), and then developing an intimate relationship with His creation (via salvation through Christ) to the perfecting (maturing to the result of mirroring Himself) of that creation. He then commissions his people to reach others in many ways shapes and forms. While the most widely accepted definition of "missionary" is one part of God's mission, it definitely doesn't end there and it does not show the whole of it. Each of us (us being His "church") has a different and unique calling from God on our lives to become mature in Him and further His mission. Some do it in Indonesia, some in Indiana, some in Internet land, some in their home.

In the past, I've written in this blog a little about what I think is part of my mission in life and how I'm great at running from it because it forces me to jump out of my comfort zone, and if you know anything about me at all, you know I'm a comfort-loving gal! It's sort of easy to forget lately with everything else going on in my life, so it's good for me to participate in these things and get these gentle nudges to keep it in the front of my mind. I'm always a little afraid that I'll be a little too timid for just a little too long and miss out on what God has for me. Maybe someone needs to make it their mission in life to not nudge me, but shove me. *giggle* (Did you read that, Lord? I was only kidding...) ;o)

Because it has been running through my head for most of the time I've been writing this post, I'll leave you with the words to a song I wrote a few years ago that I believe is not only the core of my mission as a Christian, but yours as well - reflecting His glory.


Silver so impure
Fashion me by your design

Wash me in your fire
That my soul may be refined

'Til all you see is your glory
A portrait of your heart; the colors of your love
A canvas for your artistry
The masterpiece you breathed life into
Make me a reflection of you

From your mighty hands
To each contour of your face

I will mirror you

Be an image of your grace

'Til all you see is your glory

A portrait of your heart; the colors of your love

A canvas for your artistry

The masterpiece you breathed life into

Make me a reflection of you

© Crystal M.H. 2007

Don't forget to visit Laurel Wreath, this week's host, and read her thoughts on the quote. :o)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Marriage Monday

Christine over at her fabulous and gorgeous blog, Fruit in Season, started a new discussion on Mondays about marriage. Of course, me and my ever forgetfulness totally forgot about it until last night. I hate that I never seem to remember to visit the best blogs! But now she's in my blog roll, so it should be all good from here on out. ;o)

Today Christine reviewed the book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I have not personally read this book nor have I heard Dr. Laura speak, but I have heard a lot of things about her and her book, both good and bad. I have a few friends who regularly recommend it to people. She also asked the following questions for participants (that would be meee, finally! lol) to answer:

* How do the media, friends, extended family and other outside influences affect your attitude in your marriage?

Honestly, most of the media makes me realize how good I have it. Not that I easily forget otherwise, but it makes me really realize it if that makes sense. My husband and I have had this discussion more times than I can count (it's a very vent worthy pet peeve of mine!) but the way the media portrays marital relationships and the dynamics between a husband and wife more often than not leaves me feeling sick. Take sit-coms, if you will. One we regularly enjoyed was Everybody Loves Raymond. The show is hilariously funny, but when you examine the marriages in it, it's not quite so funny anymore. You have one pair who have been married probably twice as long as I have been alive, who obviously wouldn't recognize the word respect if it bonked them over the head with a 2x4. Then you have the other couple who are a little better, at least that's what you might think, but in reality they really aren't. They are the classic overbearing, controlling wife and dumbed down husband who is only useful for bringing home the bacon (which, apparently, the wife can't cook well anyway), mowing the lawn, drinking beer, stinking up the joint and watching sports. You see this type of scenario over and over again in modern sit-com land. The part that bothers me the most is the dumb down husband roll. I can't think of many things I find more disrespectful than portraying a husband (whether he be yours or one you've made up) as incompetent. Yeah, it's funny, and yeah we enjoy those shows (Home Improvement is another one that comes to mind)... but it still bothers me and makes me grateful that I not only have a very intelligent husband, but that I also recognize it and stroke his ego build him up. ;o)

As for family and friends, I wouldn't say they influence my attitude, but rather they give me a glimpse into other real life relationships and help me to see what I may be doing as either right or wrong. I've learned both good and bad from watching other people's marriages, and that's ok to me. The good encourages me to do better, and the bad encourages me in what I'm already doing right.

* What are some resources of encouragement for you in your pursuit of godly wifehood?

Well, I already mentioned friends and family. They really are a big source of encouragement to me, especially a few people in particular. Other than that, early on in our marriage I read several good books that I found encouraging including The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O'Martian and a few by Ed Wheat, M.D. I tried to get into the Created to be His Helpmeet craze, but honestly, the author disturbs me. I'm normally pretty good at eating the chicken and spitting out the bones (despite being vegetarian - teehee - perhaps I should say eating the pistachios and spitting out the shells? *giggle*) but I couldn't finish that one. I think perhaps someday I will have to read Dr. Laura's book. I would probably enjoy it.

* Where would your husband say he falls in your list of priorities from day to day? Where on the list do you think he should be?

If the answers to the last 2 questions don't match up, how can you remedy that?We have a very straight forward and honest relationship so I asked him. Quote: "I'm up there". ;o) He says for the most part he's at the top, but not always. I want him to feel like he's always at the top and I think I do a decent job at that, but I am human and there is always room for improvement. I'm not exactly sure what I should do to remedy that. I guess that's a topic for tonight over dinner (which I will painstakingly and lovingly prepare just for him, by the way. *wink, wink*)

Happy Monday to everyone. :o)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Crystal Homemaker

Aprons- Y/N? Nope, but my clothes don't really get dirty when I cook anyway.

Baking- Favorite thing to bake? Brownies!

Clothesline- Y/N?
No way. Too windy.

Donuts- Ever made them?
Umm, that's what Krispy Kreme is for, hello!

Everyday- One homemaking thing you do everyday?
Straighten up the kitchen.

Freezer- Do you have a separate deep freezer?
Yes, and both it and the fridge's freezer are PACKED. lol

Garbage Disposal- Y/N?
Yes, but the only things that go down it are the bits left on our plates.

Handbook- Y/N?

Ironing- Love it or hate it?
What's ironing?

Junk Drawer- Where is it?
Where is it? Don't you mean where are they? Let's see. There is one in the kitchen, one in the TV stand, one in our master bedroom, and a couple in the office. *grin*

Kitchen- Design and decorating?
Right now the walls are green and the accents are beige-ish and lavender. We have a gorgeous stainless fridge which does not match the rest of our appliances, but that's ok. ;o) Eventually, if we stay here long enough (which is highly unlikely if the idiots of our city continue to be idiots!), all the appliances will be stainless, the countertops will be black-ish, and the walls will either stay green or be painted a warm color. Maybe red. I don't care if red and stainless are on their way "out" I love them. They match my hair. Duh.

Love- What is your favorite part of homemaking?
Does bumming around count?

Mop- Y/N?
I use a Swiffer Wet Jet and LOVE it. I confess though, I don't mop very often.

Excuse me while I stop laughing. Nylons? Really? Do people still wear those things when they're not robbing banks?

Oven- Do you use the window or open it to check?
Mine doesn't have a window.

Pizza- What do you put on yours?
Lots of cheese and black olives. Sometimes sauteed onions. Sometimes fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. YUM.

Quiet- What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
My days are almost always quiet. Lately I've been reading a lot and wasting entirely too much time online.

Recipe card box- Y/N?
I have a ton of recipes that I love to read but never follow. (I'm more of a fly by the curve of my spoon kind of girl.) They are either on my computer organized by category, or not on my computer and in complete disarray. I think I print the same ones off of the computer at least three times each.

Tablecloths and napkins-
I would only cover up my beautiful new table to protect it! We never eat on it though, so it's all good. ;o) We use generic paper towels. lol

Under the kitchen sink-
Lots of cleaning products. Not organized at all.

Vacuum- How many times a week?

Wash- How many loads do you do a week?
It varies, but I'd say on average about three.

X’s- Do you keep a list of things to do and cross them off?

Yard- Who does what?
Lately, no one. Seriously... our yard looks like crap.

ZZZ’s- What is your last homemaking task for the day?
Straightening up the kitchen and getting the hubby's lunch prepared and packed for the next day. That is the last thing I do before hitting the sack.

So now you know the whole messy truth... tag, you're it! :o)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Photo Hunters - Drink


You might be wondering what this picture has to do with the word "drink". Well, when my crazy dogs decide to tear something up (this photo shows when they killed their bear and left its innards everywhere) and make a huge mess, it makes me wish I were a drinker because I feel like I need one! ;o)

Friday Feast #6

Answers from the crazy mind of my wonderful husband:

Name two things that made you smile this week.
"The muscles around the corners of my mouth. And my brain."

Fill in the blank: Don't you hate it when ________?
Don't you hate it when "your face falls off"? ROFL!

When you can't go to sleep, what is your personal remedy to help yourself drift into Lullabyland?
"I start counting the number of times that the ceiling fan squeaks."

Main Course
What is something about which you've always wondered but have not yet found a good answer?
"Why is it when I put dull black shoe polish on a dull black boot, it becomes this shiny mirror-like image? And why does adding water help the waterproofing process?"

What is your favorite pasta dish?
"Pasta in a bowl. With a sauce on it."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

And the winners are...

Whew! It was a little hard deciding on the winners, there were so many clever entries! We had a panel of four judges (the Belles and their Beaus - err, husbands), and had to have a couple tie-breakers! It was really fun and such a hit, that I think I might make it a quarterly event! Can I get a whoop whoop?

The winner of Jewelry Contest #1 - Photo #1 "I'll get you for this" is....

Sheryl at Taking the Challenge!
"No! I am NOT pms'ing!"
Sheryl, it was almost unanimous. I found it funny that both male voters voted for that one. HMMMM! ;o)

The winner of Jewelry Contest #1 - Photo #2 "Is it Friday yet?" is....

Janice at 5 Minutes for Mom!
"She has been on the computer all day - forget blog parties - what about my needs?"
Janice, to the judges (other than myself lol), the contestants were "anonymous" and after the voting was complete and I shared who the winners were, one judge thought it was especially funny that you "dissed" your own blog party. ;o) Poor dog... I really am on the computer all day most days. Teehee.

The winner of Jewelry Contest #2 - "Lets Play Favorites" is...

Heidi at God's Grace in Practice!
Heidi, we all adored the story behind your Grandmothers Rings. The rings are absolutely beautiful, and must be a great treasure to you. Thanks for sharing!

To all three winners: please send an email to with your mailing addresses and (for Sheryl and Janice) your ring sizes!

Thanks to everyone to played! Be sure to check back in the near future for the next contest. :o)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'm not very accomplished, am I?

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins (I've helped rescue a wild, beached baby dolphin!)
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa.
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business (two, in fact!)
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured an ancient site
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played Dungeons & Dragons for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo (hopefully someday...)
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised (raising) children (child)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (doesn't almost count? I would have had I not run out of

122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
151. Finished a marathon

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Contest Deadlines!

I completely forgot to set deadlines for the contests. :o) OOOPS!

Ok, the deadline for both is Monday, March 12th. At that point, my panel of judges and I will review all the answers and pick winners! I hope to have the winners chosen and announced by Wednesday the 14th.


Good luck!

Ultimate Blog Party - Jewelry Contest #2!

Ultimate Blog Party

"Let's Play Favorites"

For our last jewelry contest of the Ultimate Blog Party your assignment is to think of your favorite piece of jewelry that has an interesting background or story to it. It can be funny, it can be sickingly sweet... but whatever it is, make it unique. It's even better if you can share a photo! (Post on your blog, or post a link to it from someplace like Leave a comment with your story (and hopefully picture) to enter! :o)

There will be one winner of this contest. If you win, you will receive a beautiful pair of brand new earrings lovingly made by Momma Belle. They are designed with golden shadow swarovski crystals and swarovski pearls, and they are set on 14k GF chain and earwires. They are about 2 1/2" long.

Time to share!

And of course, if you haven't done so already, don't forget to head on over to 5MinutesforMom to visit the host of this most awesome blog party and participate in the fun yourself!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ultimate Blog Party - Jewelry Contest #1

Ultimate Blog Party

Due to all the interest in the jewelry contest, I have decided to go with that. I'll be doing a couple of contests over the course of the next 6 days. Here is the first one.

"Name That Photo"

Since jewelry designing takes a bit of creativity, I thought I'd open the floor to your creative juices. My little dog, Trixie, the oldest of our two furbabies, was feeling a little left out of the party, so she decided to donate a couple caption-worthy photos of herself. Your task is to come up with the funniest caption you can that beats the ones my family already came up with. Guess for one, or guess for them both, but please put yourself on the honor system and refrain from reading everyone else's guesses until you have made your own. You get one guess per photo (unless yours ends up being a duplicate, then I'll grant you one more guess so you can have a unique one) and each photo will have a winner.

The winners will win 1 sterling silver ring with genuine blue/green turquoise stone, made to the best of my ability to the size you specify. These are custom made rings, made to order, and I'm new to ring making so please understand that it may take me a little while to make it and get it out to you. How long it takes will largely depend on the size you want and how many orders I have in queue. :o)

Ok, so now that you've seen the goods... here are the photos. Have fun! :o)

Funny dog photo #1:

"I'll get you for this!!"

Funny dog photo #2:

"Is it Friday yet?"

And of course, if you haven't done so already, don't forget to head on over to 5MinutesforMom to visit the host of this most awesome blog party and participate in the fun yourself!

Photo Hunters - Salty


I have two pictures today. I just could not resist! The first is obvious. A bowl of salty peanuts. Who can resist a bowl of salty goodness? I eat peanuts like they're going out of style.

The next one is one I took while visiting one of the many stretches of beautiful Texas coast land. I just so happened to see a bird and was able to take three consecutive shots of it, with the last one capturing it taking off in flight! Ahh, look at that lovely water. Can't you just taste the salt in the air?

Friday, March 02, 2007

What? Did someone say PARTY?

Ultimate Blog Party

That's right, the ultimate blog party has officially begun! Are you coming??

To kick off the celebration, I'd like to welcome to you my blog and tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Crystal, and I'm married to my wonderful husband of 6 years. We have two cute little dogs, and hope to grow our family sometime soon. We live in Texas, and I'm a work at home wife. My mom and I started up a little gig selling artisan jewelry, lovingly designed by us. :o) My mom was in a car accident a few years ago, and has a lot of free time on her hands, and making jewelry has become a way for her to relax and enjoy life. Me? I just like working from home and hope to be able to continue doing it after I have children one of these days.

Our business is named Two Belles & a Bead and we're hoping to get our official website off the ground really soon. Until then, you're more than welcome to click here and check out our photo gallery! We have a great inventory right now, and we also do custom pieces. You tell us what you're looking for, and chances are pretty good that we can make it for you and perhaps even beat our competitors' prices. :o)

Other than making jewelry and collecting beads, I enjoy watching movies with my husband, writing music, singing, and tinkering with my blog. I have a billion and one hobbies and am always looking for a new one! I've recently gotten interested in photography and photo editing and hope to someday learn website and graphic design. Who knows if I'll get there. ;o)

In honor of good times and clean fun, I'm thinking of holding a contest here on my blog, for some free jewelry made one of the Two Belles. If there's enough interest, I'll do it for sure. So if you'd like to get a chance to win some free jewelry, leave a comment here and tell me! :o)

It's party time... all week long. So grab a yummy cupcake or two:

put on your dancing shoes, and tell me a little bit about you! :o)

Don't forget to visit 5 Minutes for Mom, the host of the week long party, and join in the fun. There are a lot of great people to visit, and over 90 prizes up for grabs. Enjoy and party on!

Friday Feast #5

What does the color pink make you think of?

Two things. One, the song "Pink" by Aerosmith. Sorry, I can't help it! "Pink is my favorite crayon..." Two, that poor pink fluffy thing in my last blog entry.

Name something you thought you had lost, but later found.

After we moved, my husband and I both thought we had lost his nifty techie geek pocket knife my parents gave him for Christmas a year ago. He was really upset. BUT, just last month he found it! In his car. Hiding underneath the seat. He was thrilled. :o)

In 3 words, describe this past week.

Exhausting. Entertaining. Encouraging.

Main Course
What are you obsessed with?

Babies, getting a baby belly, and beads. Oh, and music too. And my husband. And photography and photo editing. Shall I stop now?

What kind of perfume or cologne do you like to wear?

I normally wear cheap stuff from bath & body works or other places like that. One of my favorite scents is Amber Romance from VS. I only buy it off ebay. ;o)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #11

Thirteen things I do not want to meet in a dark alley. Or anywhere, really.

1. Spider of death! Ok, so it's just a spiny orb weaver... but umm, any spider that has spikes on its bum is just SCREAMING to leave it the yahoo alone. I think I'll do just that, thank you!

2. Capybara, better known as giant rodents. I had guinea pigs growing up, and they squealed bloody murder. Can you imagine a 150 lb giant guinea pig squealing? Scary.

3. Neon Yellow Sssssslithering ssssssnake. I don't care what good pets you might think they make, pythons are not a girl's best friend. Oh look... this one looks like he just swallowed my favorite pair of Manolo Blahniks.

4. Giant amazon centipede. As if the little tiny ones that make me cry weren't enough, God saw fit to make giant ones.

5. Ugly dog. Another ugly dog. But wait, there's a bonus ugly dog! There really are no words...

6. Pink fluff. Actually, it's not the pink fluff that would creep me out so much, but rather the person who thought this was a good idea.

7. This thing that I'm guessing meows. Again, there are no words...

8. The King. *shudders*

9. The shrimploborpian*. Why? WHY would someone willingly pick that up??
*(Special kudos to my friend Erin's husband, Andrew, for the "shrimploborpain" name. No creepy crustaceans were harmed in the naming of this bizarre freak of nature.)

10. Creepy Scary Alien Fish Gang. Viper: apprehended for pushing illegal krill in the local fish schools. Currently serving a life sentence. Dragon: presently being held for attempting to steal the identity of the well known life form from another planet movie star, and conspiring to use that identity to find and tourment Sigourney Weaver until she agrees to make another Alien movie. Please, Dragon, enough already. Suspect X: the fish formerly known as Astronesthes (must be said with jazz hands). His only crime was being born with a weird name. Last but not least, our ring leader... Ever M: still at large, Ever M. is wanted on 9 counts of finned robbery, 3 counts of potential mercury poisoning incidents, and over 20 counts of causing women and children to scream, "MY WORD, WHAT IS THAT THING?" Ever M. is a violent criminal. If you see him swimming down your block, DO NOT attempt to approach him. Instead, dial your nearest Red Lobster for proper catching, filleting and serving. Rest assured fine citizen - justice will be served (and hopefully with a side of Cheddar Bay Biscuits).

11. Rolly polly of death! Seriously, if you saw a potato bug that big, wouldn't you freak out a little?!

12. Big nosed sad nasty blob thing. I think it's supposed to be a fish, but can one really know? It looks pretty slimy, and what the sam hill is hanging from its mouth??

13. Finally... the creepiest most terrifying thing God has ever put on our planet. Admit it, you know you laughed. Or fainted. Maybe even cried a little. Either way, you know I'm right.