"Just A Bit More"

"Just a bit more", that would be the phrase that January has been whispering to me all month long.

I have risen to the occasion, all is well and finished. As I sit in front of Mac, tinkering with my pics, listening to sleet hit the window on this final February eve of 2011, contentment fills me.

I pray that when life asks "just a bit more" of you that you are able to rise to the occasion and know that all will be well with His grace.

I am excited to spend the next couple of days cooped up in the house with the family, just hanging out. We have already gotten the news there is no school tomorrow. Yeah! Ainzli and I went out tonight to get fun stuff to do over the next couple of days. Crafts, painting, Netflix, Wii, boardgames, books, the list will go on and on. Oh so much fun!



Frame Perfect

Let me tell you, this feels good. I finally accomplished something, start to finish, and with better results than I had imagined.

If I haven't told you already, I love the artwork that my girls do. There are paintings, drawings, coloring pages, crafts all over our house. They maybe be taped to the wall, magnetically frozen to our frig or glued to something (even the wall, guess who, you bet, Ainzli!)

Ainzli brought home this geometric vibrant painting this week. I LOVE IT! Honestly, it must not have been one of her favorites. I found it in her bag, folded up, with no real intention of making it a point to show me. I have been eyeing this metal sectional framing at Hobby Lobby since before Christmas. Yes, you have to build your own frame, get the glass, the foamcore board, but............... you create the size!

So, I thought, I am going to do this. 'Yeah for me', the metal sectional framing was on sale! I always wait for sales at that store, I love cool stuff, but it has to be cost effective. So here is the rundown:

  • 1 pair of 18 in. frame
  • 1 pair of 12 in. frame
  • 1 16x24 foamcore board (had to cut myself on the craft table at home)
  • 1 roll of picture hanging wire
  • 1 16x20 piece of cut glass (Lowes cut this for me to the 12x18 size)

Ok, so drum roll please................. it all cost $19.90! Oh yes, you heard me, less than $20. I got the framing, foamcore and wire for 50% off.  I honestly thought I was going to hyper ventilate at Lowes when I saw how cheap the glass was. I was talking a mile a minute to the lovely gentleman helping me, and I think I freaked him out. As I was walking away he said it was nice to see someone in such great spirits. 

I put this all together in less than an hour this morning. It is hanging in the front room for all to see!

Autumn   :) 


One of Two

"Mom, I guess I'm doing better in math." says Miss Ainzli. I thought, how is that possible, you had an A on your last report card in math and that was only two weeks ago. Well, come to find out, that was a big deal because her teacher told the class that if their report cards were coming out today only two kids would have an A in math, Ainzli and her friend Luke.

That is a big deal! I mean a really big deal for Ainzli.  You see, her teacher last year informed me she is a "teacher pleaser". I was a little taken aback, is that bad? good? indifferent? So me, I over thought it and fretted over it for a month before I just asked her what she meant. She said "it's ok, that is just her personality make up," and she left it at that. Honestly, I'm still not sure what she thinks of it, but I know she loves Ainzli so it must not have been too inconvenient for her.

I read in a book a couple of years ago, sadly I can't remember the name of it, that there needs to be an area in your house for homework. So I created it. The front room in our house is the largest room and the one that gets the most amount of "work".

The homework table is wonderful. Ainzli comes home and immediately gets her S.T.A.R binder out and gets started on any work she has. No prompting. Once this table was established there was no question about what was expected on the homework front. All supplies are right there. Milk glass holds the pencils, erasers and such; old wipe carton holds crayons and markers; and the natural light flowing in the picture window make no need for artifical light, at least most of the time.

With life being so hectic, it is nice to not have to battle with homework expectations.

Thank you Homework Table.  :)



A Budding Star

I looked out the playroom window earlier this week and low and behold, a bud!!!!

I have been meaning to get out there all week to photo these fuzzy little guys, but with all the sickness we have had I just haven't really felt like it. This bud is attached to a wonderful plant called a Star Magnolia. This is an absolutely beautiful tree. (Can't wait to show you the blooms this spring, breathtaking!)

When we first moved to our house, Lillie's changing table was right under the window that looks out to this tree, it was smaller then, but the flowers were still magnificent. So each spring it is a tree I love to watch very closely, I just never realized how early it budded. How wonderful to see "signs" of new life.

So here's to sign's of spring, no matter how far away they may feel. :)



Figuring It Out

I am enjoying this blogging thing, it really is fun. I do believe it could become something that I could allow to consume more of my time than it deserves. There are so many blogs out there, holy moly! I like this one by a lady named Marisa, she is creative and honest.

The honest part is what I admire most. She did a post last week that was so in tune with the way I have been feeling this month, and I was so glad to see that their was someone else trudging down the same path. Loving our lives, but sometimes having moments of wanting a substitute for just a day......... want to hear a funny story, well if you don't "sorry".

I was in labor with Lillie (already 12 hours in with no pain meds....yet), Shannon was sitting beside me, rubbing my hand, being a good coach, and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes..........

Shannon:    Oh Autumn, don't cry
Me:    I know, it's just this really does hurt
Shannon:   I know, I mean I don't know, but I know
Me:   If I could just have a sub (like a pinch hitter) for just 
15 minutes then I would be ok
Shannon:    :)

Speechless and the look on his face was just a faint and loving smile. I know he was thinking "nurse! nurse!, my wife has completely lost it."  Come on ladies, can you feel me? (And yes, by the way, I really did say that).

A Buttoned Heart

I know my picture is a little random, but this was a craft I did yesterday afternoon. I don't know if you can even see the heart, but I sure hope you can. This is me throwing a little love your way. :)

So anyway, loving this blog and sharing with all of you the ups and downs of life at the Grismore abode. Have a wonderful hump day! :)



The Painted Hand

 The Painted Hand (the panetid hand)  adj. n. 1. Something in life that makes you smile, cry, laugh, raise your voice, ponder; depending on the mood and day.

Really? Are you kidding me? What were you thinking? Etc, etc, etc.

These are the words that are rolling around in my head when I walk into the front room and see Ainzli painting her hand. No, at the time she was not "prettying" a lima bean, she was actually just painting directly on her hand.  I did not utter any of the above phrases because I am working on my first reaction not being the one I actually verbalize. I calmly tell her "please stop painting your hand and stay focused."

I will have to confess, it is a very nice mixture of pink and red. Obviously we are working on a Valentine decoration........... that is for another time, I am getting sidetracked.

I really just wanted to walk to my room and breakdown, but that would require time that is just not there. So I must deal with it and move on. I can't believe "The Painted Hand" is what was the breaking point.  You see January is a very trying month for me; it is chalked full of business deadlines, wants and needs that can just blind me.

I am a working, stay-at-home, hybrid of a mom. My family owns and runs a transport company, Autri Transport, and a lot of the year end work falls on my shoulders. Can we say taxes, anyone?  I feel very blessed in my situation, very blessed.............. I suppose I just feel overwhelmed at times, but hey, who doesn't, right? I hope it does not sound like I am complaining, I truly don't mean for it too.  I love being busy and hopefully being a working woman that my two girls can look up too, but it can be those days that seem to never end that push me to the brink. Thank goodness I came back without whipping out some harsh words for my very artsy daughter. I would not in any way, shape, or form want to smother her love of creativity.

Honestly, if you want to know the truth, "The Painted Hand" makes me laugh today.

Now I must get back to work.

Enjoy the glory of January!:)*#-  



It's Good To Be

You see, it is good to be an animal at the Grismore abode. We have a couple of loved four legged friends and one swimming gem.

My love for animals goes back as far as I can remember. Growing up on a pig farm, with access to baby piglets to play with can tend to spoil you. No wonder I didn't like dolls, I could go get something live to dress up and pull around in the radio flyer.  We always had a dog, cats out in the barn, and the pigs.

So when I went off to college I had a cat, Chloe, to keep me company. Then when Shannon and I were dating and he had his own house I found a baby kitten outside of the journalism building. Of course, I couldn't leave a faintly crying baby out in the cold. The little yellow house on Biltmore got it's first animal, Birch. At first, Shannon wouldn't admit it but he loved that little cat.  Then came our first "child", Zoie. She was a Boston Terrier and we got her when she was just 5 weeks old. She was the cutest little "piglet" I had ever seen. I loved her so much. She was very hyper and I didn't do a very good job at taming the terrier in her, but I loved that dog.  The list of animals for us could go on and on and on.............

Let me bring you to the present. We have a four year old Boston Terrier, a one year old MainCoon (that's a cat), and one fish. We recently had two fish, but somehow, our little fish (Gracee) went missing.  Just yesterday I was cleaning out from under the laundry detergent cabinet and pulled out a dried up fish carcass. Sorry if that grosses anyone out, but it's true. It was pretty startling, but I did properly discard her and said a prayer for her little fish soul.

  • Stella Macaroni:

She is part of the family. She goes just about anywhere we can take her. You don't say B-Y-E, B-Y-E around her or she is headed toward the door.  She loves to lay on our feet in the morning when we are getting ready in the bathroom. Last fall she got beat up by a neighborhood dog, so now she barks whenever someone is out at their house. She is very protective of us and loves her bone. (the bright green, chewed up bone in her picture). She loves to eat popcorn and just about anything we will leave down at her bowl.

  • Rusty Man:
He is offspring of a cat I picked up in the parking lot of the local Mexican restaurant. He was one of three of the litter and by far the cutest little ball of fur you ever did see. He loves to lay by the fish tank and it is also his drinking fountain. He lays on my desk when I am working and sheds like crazy. He loves the little song I have made up for him and comes running. The song annoys everyone else, trust me! Rusty is a MainCoon, which means he has characteristics that are similar to a raccoon. Some people believe there is raccoon bread in, but there is no evidence that I can find. 

  • Big Guy & Gracee:
Ainzli won Gracee (R.I.P) at the elementary carnival she went to with her friend Gracee (hence the name, kids can be so original sometimes). She saved her money and bought a tank and then Gracee a friend. Big Guy has grown exponentially and he really is fun to watch. The fish tank is out in the laundry room/office. The sound of the water flowing is soothing and Big Guy swims to the top of the tank whenever you are near. When we change the water Ainzli can actually catch them bare handed! We will be adding another fish soon and maybe even a bigger tank in the future. 



Hello Kitty

It was a cool windy day, but nice. We had gone to church, Mac's and I was headed to the grocery store. Shannon and the girls headed home. Lillie had wanted to dress up for church that morning, fine with me, I love to get dressed up. We bought her this glitzy little Hello Kitty outfit ........ the outfit screamed "Ms. Blue Needs Me".  She wanted to wear her sparkly headband, great, so long as she would leave it in. She did.

I get home from my grocery store trip, with Shannon and Ainzli playing the Wii and Ms. Blue nowhere to be found. She was back in the playroom, door completely shut, with her Little People village buzzing like Time Square.................... The light was perfect, we don't have the best house for natural light. We live in a 1960 Ranch style house with large overhangs and a huge Red Oak in the front yard that shades like it is no one's business.

This particular afternoon, I asked Shannon if he could put away the groceries alone, of course he says "yes". (He totally cleaned out the frig and wiped it completely out, see why growing older with him only spoils me!). I bust out my 40D, Lillie and I shut the door behind us and had our own little photo shoot.

I took quite a few frames of her extended on the floor, she moved just slightly each time, so it was almost like I could have made an old-time movie with each frame. She is normally not so cooperative, so I had to just shoot.

I flipped one on it's side, and I do believe I like it even more vertically. What do you think?

This particular little girl above has quite the personality, it is a joy to be in her presence everyday.

Her love for her sister is strong, needy and resolute. Her love for daddy is filled with her smiles and lots of hugs. Her love for me is that she just needs to touch me. 

Her tantrums are serious, she talks very abruptly during them with her voice gradually going up with each word. 

She is bold, strong, clever and oh so loving. 

Her black eyes just dance.  

And she is my daughter. 




It was nice this year that the new year fell on a weekend. It gives us all a little extra time to gear up for what it will bring. Finishing up our running, exchanging, cleaning, putting away etc. We at the Grismore abode are ready for Monday morning. Maybe the early morning buzzing alarm clock will be slightly annoying, but we will manage.

Happy New Year and I promise this will be the last time I say it. :)