Monday, January 30, 2012

The Dollhouse Project

A couple of weeks ago, my husband brought home a dollhouse he found at a thrift store.  We have no need for a dollhouse, really, but this one was really unique.  It comes apart and fits into a wooden case--like an oversize brief case.  When you put it together, you use the lid of the case as the bottom floor.  Cool, huh?

I've never seen anything like it.  I had Barbie dolls as a girl and my dollhouses were Barbie products. My girl was never much of a 'doll girl', so no dollhouses for her.  This is a 'real' dollhouse.  The kind that you use with those tiny Fisher Price type family dolls.

The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to fix that dollhouse.  So...that's exactly what I'm doing.  And it's fun!  I have no idea what I'm going to do with it when I'm finished.  Sell it on eBay, maybe?  We will see.

In the meantime, I thought I'd just blog about the process.

Isn't it awesome?  My first step was to choose exterior colors and embellishments.  I wanted 'real' shingles.  Hubby helped with this.  We used sandpaper.

I finally chose the colors.....yellow with black shutters.  I tried many colors....

I decided wood siding would be perfect.  I'm using popsicle sticks.  I plan to paint bricks on both fireplaces.  The yellow on these siding sticks is the final color for the exterior.

I will update as I go.  See the Scrabble tiles in the top window?  I'm thinking of 'tile' floors in the kitchen!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review--Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees

I think everyone has heard of Drew Brees by now and his Cinderella comeback from a near career-ending injury to lead the Katrina-destroyed New Orleans Saints to their first Super Bowl ever.  In his book Coming Back Stronger, Drew tells the story of hitting the NFL bottom due to injury, working his way back to health, and his gut feeling that led him to choose the Saints for his comeback.

They say that New Orleans needed a hero after Katrina and that hero showed up in a Saints uniform.  However, Drew tells the story of a man who desperately needed someone to believe in him--as a player, a leader, and as a man.  It was a win-win situation.

This book is so much more than football.  It’s about struggle, adversity, pain, faith, love, hope, dedication….  I could go on and on.  It’s an amazing story.

As a football fan, I enjoyed reading about the inner workings of football.  As a Christian, I enjoyed reading about how everything in Drew’s life worked out for the good of many.  You do not have to be either to enjoy Drew's story.

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of the Tyndale Blog Network book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Where Do I Go from Here?

I have been agonizing over whether I should blog about 2011’s major events (namely, my son’s Make-A-
Wish party and trip) or if I should just go ahead with my thoughts, plans, desires, and word-of-the-year for 2012.  I can come back to 2011 later.  I mean, the end of January is already fast approaching….the agonizing cannot go on much longer!

Let’s be honest….

It has been quite some time since any real, heartfelt content has been posted here on my blog.  It is no real secret that I have been struggling for months.  Oh, I have been writing; it isn’t writer’s block.  I have written hundreds of posts over the past six months or so.  Some I have written in my head, some in notebooks, and others are sitting right here in draft mode, just waiting.  So….why can’t I just click ‘publish’ and stop agonizing, you ask?

Good question.

I don’t know.

Or, I didn’t know, but I think I have finally figured it out.


See, when I first started blogging way back in 2006, the purpose was to preserve memories.  I had just been handed a hefty dose of mortality--my son was not supposed to make it to birth and if he did, it was not going to be pretty.  I had already buried one son, so when my baby was born alive and very stable, well…  I wanted to make sure I recorded life in a way that my memories would be preserved and available.  Plus, blogging was gaining ground with my circle of homeschooling, stay-at-home moms.  

Part journal, part scrapbook, my blog was a fun way to save photos, to talk about homeschooling (and record our progress), to show off my art, crafts, and DIY projects, and to tell what it is like to have a bunch of kids and everything that goes along with parenting.  Life, really.  


One day I received an email inquiry asking if I would accept a free product in exchange for a written review on my blog.  Then another came.  And another. 

How exciting!

It was not long before my purpose for blogging shifted.  It was not so much about my life any longer.  It became a little bit about the stuff.   Soon, it was page views, followers, and wanting to be one of those bloggers who go to conventions, the ones who get front-loading washing machines and Frigidaire refrigerators to review and to give away to their readers.

There is nothing wrong with that.  Nothing at all.  The problem?  You have to *really* put yourself out there.  You have to be REAL--every day you have to post without fear or abandon.  I did that….to a tiny extent, for a short time.  Then I started questioning myself.

I could not decide if I wanted to be ‘that real’.  To post and tweet my every move, to post unplanned photos (*gasp* and YIKES….  I am NOT photogenic, and I’m always wearing this fat suit.  *sigh*) just seemed like too much.

Did I really want to deal with the controversy surrounding something I had posted?  Could I handle it if someone questioned something in which I strongly believe?  Or something that I am strongly against?  Could I handle personal attacks?

Shaken by blogger horror stories, I pulled back.  I questioned every single post.  I practically stopped tweeting altogether.  I teetered on the edge and then…

I developed full-fledged blogger anxiety.

I gathered my resolve on numerous occasions, promising to post something meaningful tomorrow.  

Always tomorrow.  

A few days ago, I received a comment from a new reader that set me back on the right path.   This new reader was searching for support.  Her baby was just diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease.   After receiving her comment, I realized (finally!) that it has not been an issue of laziness or a lack of motivation holding back my blogging.  The fact of the matter is…..

I lost my direction.

My blog is meant to tell my story.  Period.  It is not meant to bring in a paycheck (which is a particularly laughable statement at this point).  It is not about page views and unique visitors and ad clicks and LG appliances, or any other branding.  

It is about ME.  My family.  My life.

This does not mean that you will never read a new book review or see a product review and giveaway here at The Box of Rocks--(I have a NOVICA $50 GC giveaway coming next week!)  It just means that if/when it happens….great!  If my blog generates a little interest in the blogging business world….terrific!  And if it doesn’t?  No sweat.  Do I want readers and followers?  Of course!  If my life experiences can help or motivate others….wonderful!  If I can share an occasional good book or awesome product….all the better!

No more tomorrows.  Today is tomorrow.  

Now that I have found my focus, I am all set.

Thanks for reading~

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--Planet of the Apes....

Monkey Man?

You don't see THAT every day.....

(Check out the Picture of the Day at Memphis' Main Street Journal.  My boys are famous!)  :o)
Happy Wednesday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's Jumping Time Again!!

Yep.  Cade has one week to raise money for his school's Jump Rope for Heart program.  He is just as excited now as he was last year, his first year to jump.  I wrote about my feelings last year.  It's a really big deal in our home since we have been so intimately touched by 'special hearts'.

Cade is jumping for Eli again this year.  It feels great to see him get excited about honoring his little brother.  (Not to mention bringing awareness of CHD to our community.)

Eli, Green Army Man, and Cade at Hollywood Studios in June 2011

Please be patient as I bombard Twitter and Facebook for the next week.  I want Cade's efforts to be rewarded.  If you can help.....Thanks! ( You can donate via his website with a credit card. ) We really, REALLY appreciate you. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Aren't they beautiful??

My brother brought these to me this morning.  Wonder what he's done now?

Just kidding...

Scentsy Party!

Lisa's Basket Party

I know what you're thinking.


She's Ahhh-liivveeee!

It's true.  I *am* alive!  I even have several new real posts in the works.  Not just Wordless Wednesday and product reviews.  (Yawn.  < what my blog makes me and everyone else do uncontrollably.)  I know.  I know.  I've said all this before.

This time I really mean it.  I am coming back to my blog.  (Cue the wild, enthusiastic applause.)

As a little warm-up for the few (very few) readers I still have, I thought I'd post a link to my new favorite products.....  Scentsy!

The problem is, well....  I have to support my future habit, so I'm having a basket party!  If you click on the large photo above, it will take you straight to my basket party link.  Place an order and it will ship directly to you AND will be credited to my party at the same time.  (Genius.)

For the record, my favorite scents (today) are:  Weathered Leather, Pima Cotton, Twilight, and Shades of Green. 

Go on.  You know you want to.  Retail therapy is the best!  

And for you die-hard Scentsy fans.... it's time for Bring Back My Bar!  Lots of old favorites available right now! 

I earn FREE Amazon gift cards just by searching the Web! Click the banner below to sign up for your own SwagBucks account and earn FREE MONEY in 2012!

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