Tag Archives: alphabet

26 Letters- New Year Edition

5 Jan

It’s been over two years since I’ve done a blog post like this, so allow me to tell you how this works! I take a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet, and build a paragraph around it (e.g.”a” is for alphabet). Since this is the “New Year” edition, the following will mainly be about things we have done in 2017 and things to come in 2018.

First and foremost, know that the boys and I have been doing well! Logan has been doing great in first grade; Gabe’s cardiologist recently decided he needed fewer medications since his mild heart attack last NYE; and things remain pretty “no news is good news” with me. Our Christmas, for the record, also went very well. Logan says his favorite part was getting his favorite presents like the guitar that was on the top of his list, but we had a handful of really nice visits that included some really yummy food, too.

Speaking of Christmas, since I barely found any time to make Change Cards before the 25th, I wound up making some festive ones after our festivities thanks to a handful of Christmas cards we received. Hopefully I remember they exist come next December, lol. My goal for ATC the Change in 2018 is to stop fretting over weekly phrases and coordinated sets to potentially sell, and just make what I want to make when I want to make it. As much as I’d love for other people to get involved, the key to my happiness belongs in my own pocket like the ATCs below suggest. The hope is that I’ll now make and distribute more Change Cards since I’ll feel less restricted, and therefore have more to share in my monthly “Two Cents” series here.

Another series is coming to Sincerely Kate. On the 20th of this month I’ll be posting “Dear January,” and the other months will follow suit. This series will basically be a take on those “If We Were Having Coffee” posts, but in a more pen pal-friendly format. At least that’s the plan!

If you’re curious about this sporadic series, here are the links to the Ghosts of Editions past:

As for this specific edition, I’m posting it today of all days because I wanted to start posting on the fifth of every month again. Though I haven’t missed the obsessive schedule where I posted on the 5th, 10th, 15th, etc. of every month, I never wanted my blog to just be home to mandatory series. Having one day each month where I blog for the fun of it–but just one day– will hopefully help make the blog more fun to keep up again. Posts about Little Cards or Postcards from Wonderland may show up on the 5th in some of the months to come should the timing work out, but we’ll cross those bridges when we get to them.

Something Gabe has recently gotten to with the help of his dad, brother, and maternal grandfather? Putting the drywall up in the basement! Sure, there’s a bunch of mudding and sanding yet to do, but considering the boys and I have lived in our house for over five years, we’ll take any progress down there we can get! I think I’m more excited for Logan’s upcoming playroom than he is, lol. I’ve made it no secret to my pen pals how much I’d love for the upstairs to stay more presentable!

Thanks to my Hail the Snail series, by the way, it’s no secret how much happy mail I tend to when I’m not tending to the house. I’ll continue these mail calls at the same regularity, though I’m omitting numbers like 2.43 because I think that count has become absurd.

I have now talked about my blog quite a bit, but for the letter “i” I thought I’d share with you my Instagram handle: sincerelykaterz. For the most part my page is full of a lot of posts per ATC the Change, but Logan and I make several appearances as well as Bridget, my Build-a-Bear buddy. Looking forward to seeing all the additions 2018 will have to offer, and you’re more than welcome to come see them, too!

I was hoping to have a few “kodak moments” to share via Instagram already this January, but sadly my mom needed to cancel her plans with me and the Logantor. We’re a bit bummed, but my grandparents’ needs are more important than our wants right now. There will be other opportunities to go to my mom’s, especially with Logan’s birthday around the corner.

Oh, if you were hoping for a fun NYE story, you’re about to be a bit bummed, too. The boys and I didn’t even try staying up past 10, nor did Gabe and I make a point to kiss at midnight. Our celebration basically consisted of having food at Gabe’s aunts’ for dinner on the 31st, and then during the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day– thanks Marilyn and Jennifer!

Though my post about Little Cards last year didn’t drum up much interest, we did get a few new members! There are 6 of us currently participating in the Legendary theme–a bonus “L!” Any day now I should have the rest of the ATCs from December’s Clothing/Accessories theme. Not that I’m expecting anyone to notice (or mind if they do), when I start sharing the Little Cards I receive in 2018, instead of including the month in the title, I will use the theme itself now that there are no longer two swaps a month.

While you’re excited for those upcoming posts ( ūüėČ ), Logan is excited for his 7th birthday less than 3 weeks away, and the Monster Jam show we’ll be going to in about 4 weeks in honor of it! Technically this adventure is his birthday present from us, but because of how big of a deal it is, spilling the beans was a Christmas present, lol. Should you like to read about that, I’m sure it’ll come up come my “Dear February” post next month.

Around the same time I’m posting that, I’ll also be preparing for the March of Postcards soon to follow. Once upon a time this endeavor consisted of me sending daily postcards to one of my pen pals, but when I did a postcard-friendly take on NaBloPoMo this past November, I decided to mesh that challenge with the March. I still have other pieces of the puzzle to fit into place yet, like whether to answer novelty questions rather than write about day-to-day happenings, but I still have a little while to figure that out.

As cool as it might have been to sell more of my Change Cards online, ultimately I’m glad I didn’t put the time or energy into setting up an Etsy shop. If you’re reading this, I adore the crap out of you, but you’re a member of a very minute fan club. It seems like no matter how many blog posts I publish, pictures I upload to Instagram, or Facebook groups I run, my audience will remain a small one– at least it’s loyal!

But enough melancholia– let’s talk about pizza since I have 3 things to say about the stuff, lol. 1) When Logan goes back to school next week, his reading calendar from December will go with him so it can be traded in for a BookIt coupon. For every month of reading we log, he earns a free personal pizza from Pizza Hut, and he has done so twice already. 2) The school’s annual Box Top contest is also about to begin. The class who brings in the most Box Tops by the end of it wins a pizza party, so we’ve been stocking up since last year’s contest. 3) Whether Logan’s class wins or loses, they’ll still get at least one pizza party. Logan isn’t into sweets so his Papa brings pizza for his class as his birthday treat, haha.

How Gabe and I celebrated our 7th anniversary last July? We saw Queen with Adam Lambert in concert! It was easily the best concert I have ever been to. Going in I was a bit worried that it was going to feel like Adam Lambert singing Queen covers, but not only did he gel brilliantly with Brian May and Roger Taylor, they incorporated past footage of Freddie Mercury seamlessly into the show so in no way, shape, or form did Adam come across as an imitation. I’d see him perform with Queen again in a heartbeat!

Technically I have used “resolutions” for “r” before, but this is a New Year post so I think a little cheating is warranted here! As you’ve already read, I have plans for this blog as well as ATC the Change. Other goals of mine include doing a deep clean of the upstairs once the majority of Logan’s toys move into the basement; writing fiction(!)–even if it’s just a paragraph–every day I have the house to myself for a few hours; and something else I’ll elaborate on when I get to the letter “w.”

But let’s get back to that goal about fiction. For a while now I have been wanting to flex my creative muscles via writing, but because of my other hobbies, it was never very high on my list of priorities. At least it wasn’t until I got an idea for a story. I’m not ready to give too many details away just yet, but I was inspired by a cute road name we drive by from time to time, and I managed to tie the characters in with my affinity for the Seven Deadly Sins. I have a pretty solid first draft of the first chapter, and the motivation to add to it once Logan goes back to school on the 8th.

The inspiration along with the motivation for the above was definitely a highlight last year; my mom taking me to Troy, MI the weekend before my 30th birthday was another. Knowing how much I wanted to A) go to a Wonderland-themed bistro called Mad Hatter’s and B) make a celebratory stuffed animal at Build-a-Bear Workshop, she arranged for an epic overnighter full of¬† yummy food, a handful of fun stops, and even 30 presents! We enjoyed the getaway so much…

We’re going back for another Unbirthday celebration! We have yet to finalize when exactly we’re going back to Troy, but so far we know that Mad Hatter and Build-a-Bear are musts again. For the record, I don’t plan on making another stuffed animal since there’s no topping Bridget; I just want to pick out another outfit or two for her. Here are a few cute pictures of her in some of the cute outfits she has already acquired:

I was hoping to have a visit from Sarah earlier this week to write about now, but sadly she hasn’t been back since Labor Day weekend 2016. With any luck she’ll be able to make the trip in 2018, though it’s hard to stay optimistic when all of our plans in 2017–mainly the one for this past Labor Day weekend–never came remotely close to fruition. At least we have our own stuffed animal, Chester the Dino, who can travel back and forth. He is currently visiting me and so we’ve been sending Sarah pictures so she can live vicariously though him.

Pen palling and my other hobbies will have to share me soon. Months ago my oldest brother encouraged me to offer my proofreading services on Wyzant, a tutoring website. I have since signed up and aced their little quiz, but that’s the furthest I’ve gotten. Since I’ve never proofread at any official capacity, I struggled writing a sales pitch because I don’t have experience to list, or know what sets me apart in this department, if anything. My mom has offered to help me, though, and so hopefully that means I’ll be able to help others in the near future and make a little money.

Though this girl with a knack for English isn’t one to write “Xmas” instead of “Christmas,” I think the letter “x” calls for a little more rule-bending ūüėČ I have mentioned some Christmassy things already, but one thing I didn’t share is what I received. For the most part I just asked for clothes for Bridget, but she’s not the only one who got new clothes since I got some Lularoe as well as a couple Wonderland-friendly tops. And oh, the other Wonder-ful presents! I received several ornaments, a 3D Cheshire Cat puzzle, and the Splintered series by A.G. Howard to name a few new treasures.

I won’t get this treasure until my 31st birthday, but my mom has been making me a temperature afghan that she started on my 30th. Usually these projects feature a rainbow of colors, but the yarn we picked out for mine include shades of pink to represent warm weather, shades of blue for the cold, and a light shade of purple for in between. Though it’s not the best picture of the corner-to-corner WIP, here is the most recent picture I took:

Bonus: my nephew Jack is with his daddy in the background, hehe.

It’s fortunate that “z” is the last letter of the alphabet because I have zip, zilch, nada left I think I need to add to this! I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together with a little help from my mom and Nicole. I also hope 2018 will be an amazing year for you and yours. Cheers!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

26 Letters- Back to School Edition

20 Sep

Hola! The Loganator has just finished his first week of school so I thought this would be a good time to share some of our ABCs with you. How do posts like this work? I take each letter of the alphabet and come up with a word that not only starts with them, but fits my theme. My previous posts include the Original Edition, the Birthday Edition, the 100th Blog Post Edition, and the Christmas Edition.

Logan seems to have really liked going to school. Like literally. The bus ride to and from is his favorite part of the day. Logan was so excited about getting to ride the school bus, on Monday he couldn’t care less about us dropping him off, and as soon as the bus was here I barely got a “bye, mom.” Him being as independent as he is helped this be a smooth transition, though I still bawled as the bus pulled away.

I asked Logan what he likes best about his classroom, and he told me about how they have mats to lay down on and that they also sit on the carpet to listen to stories. He since has demonstrated to me and Gabe how he sits pretzel style for the latter.

The day before he was off to preschool, Gabe, his parents, and I took off with the little guy to get him some shoes (more on those later). On a whim my father-in-law grabbed some socks to put a pair on Logan as he tried things on, and when we got home I realized they were day-of-the-week socks. Logan now insists on wearing the appropriate socks on each day he goes to school, and he told me I needed to wash them this weekend so he can do the same this week. They are in the dryer as I write this.

The good news is that things like dated socks make things in the mornings easier, though the “early hour” isn’t too hard on Logan. He’d get up when Gabe gets up for work if we let him. I had to put a digital clock in his room so he knows that unless the first number is a 6 he needs to stay in bed.

As you can imagine, I asked Logan about his first day when he got home that afternoon. He told me how he got to play outside, how he got to use the Batman blanket he brought at naptime, and that for a snack he was given a football-shaped cookie. The same things were the highlights on the second day as well.

You may be wondering what I’m going to do now that Logan is napping and eating cookies elsewhere, and I don’t particularly have a goal. At some point I’m hoping to try out an online class via coursea.org¬†to see how I like it, but right now I like being available should I be needed.

Harper is not too happy when Logan leaves in the morning to the point I need to have her crated up when Logan and I go outside to wait for the bus, and she spends most of the day napping a lot. She loves that kid. I think 3:20 is her favorite time of day now that that’s when we go outside to wait for Logan. Her tether was a fantastic investment.

Gabe’s aunts– AKA my aunt in-laws— are amazing. On Monday they thought I could use some chocolate therapy, so they asked me what I would like, and an hour later double-chocolate brownies arrived fresh from the oven. It was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it.

As awesome as brownies are, this time of year is also the time when Johnson’s Pumpkin Farm opens back up and we can get their amazing cinnamon sugar donuts. Gabe and I grabbed a dozen yesterday morning, and I’m sure we’ll be back for some more next weekend, too.

If a blog post like this is any indication, I have given quite a bit of thought to this time of year. One thing I haven’t really considered though is starting a school scrapbook for Logan. Despite my love of an old-school hobby like pen palling, scrapbooking is something that now seems really outdated to me the more I can share pictures with friends and family via social media. However, Keisha, a fellow LEPeep, decided to send us some scrapbook supplies that would lend themselves nicely to such an endeavor so maybe I will try to find a use for them.

Speaking of fellow LEPeeps, I recently acquired two new pen pals from that group by the names of Lauren and Dena. Both of them also pushed their little birds out of the nest so our letters are letting us not only vent about our fears and frustrations, but compare our experiences as well.

One thing I plan to “compare” with the ladies above is the first art project that was sent home to each of us. For me, it was this picture with popsicle sticks that conveniently had magnets attached to the back. Obviously it has been on my refrigerator ever since.

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Things that are going to be on my TV in the next week– while I’m Logan-free, of course–¬†include The Big Bang Theory, Scream Queens, Heroes Reborn, How to Get Away with Murder, Once Upon a Time, and Nashville. Fall premieres is definitely one of my favorite things about this time of year!

Going to Logan’s Open House earlier this month was something I had mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I wanted to see where Logan was going to be spending his time and who he’d be spending it with, but¬†on the other hand¬†$#!% just got real.¬† His classroom seemed a bit small to me, but at the same time that seemed like a good thing because it wouldn’t overwhelm my little guy.

How could I not use “preschool” for the letter P? Despite this blog post’s blog title, I’m a bit annoyed by “Back to School” commercials, promotions, and aisles since when your child is starting preschool they’re not actually going back to school. I’m well aware that for most children it’s back to school, but it’s kids who are Logan’s age that are the most excited about going to school, so I think more commercials should be geared towards that demographic.

Since I have quite a bit of quiet time a few days a week now, I have decided to make myself a bit of a schedule. Mondays will be when I clean the kitchen, Tuesdays will be when I do laundry (minus the load with Logan’s socks ūüėČ ), Wednesdays will be random chores like cleaning the bathroom one week and organizing my crafty stuff another, and on Thursdays I’ll tidy up the living room in time for the boys and puppy¬†to destroy it again, haha.

But that’s not the only routine we’ve started here. On Sunday evenings Logan and I pick out the clothes he wants to wear throughout the week, and in the mornings we wake up only for him to watch an episode of Dinosaur Train or Handy Manny before he puts them on.

Usually after another episode and a half Logan and I head outside with the Spiderman backpack my in-laws got Logan. He loves his backpack and the fact that there’s a matching lunchbox I can hook up to it. You can’t really see the backpack in this picture, but this seems like a good place to show you the mandatory first-day-of-school photo.

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Around this time next month Logan gets to see his other grandpa– my dad is coming back to Michigan! Normally he only comes to Michigan once a year, but he’s making an exception now that he has yet another grandson to visit now. After his visit, I’ll be the one with some travel plans. The following weekend my oldest brother is getting married in Florida! Between school and fall harvest it is just going to be me that heads south in October, but in January the three of us will try to go when we all can actually enjoy the trip and spend time with the newlyweds.

As for my mother, I get to see her quite a bit now that she’s in Michigan. She is doing the “back to school” thing herself as she’s teaching a couple classes at Saginaw Valley State University. She posted this on her blog a little over a month ago, should you want to know more about what she’s up to.

As promised, I have some shoes to tell you about. Logan knew for quite some time that he wanted shoes that lit up, and for almost as long I wanted him to have something with Velcro. Fortunately we were able to find a pair of shoes that had both of these qualities, and we’re both incredibly pleased with the purchase! I attempted to get a picture of them “lighting up” but this is the only one even remotely successful, haha.

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My next post is going to share some of the “vacation” friendly things I got via this little contest, but for now I’m going to tell you about three things that were sent via a swap I arranged called “What I did on my summer vacation.” I, for starters, sent Ashley a pocket letter I made incorporating bits and bobs from the past few months like arcade tickets, movie stubs, and even one of our family pictures. Allison drew a map of the places she traveled to,¬†writing a few descriptions about each of the states she visited. Then Ashley sent me movie reviews for each of the movies she saw and included a box of Reeses Pieces and a bag of popcorn.

Xenotarsosaurus is the “X” dinosaur the train picks up when they collect each dinosaur in the following song. I’ve been no stranger to this in the mornings.

Between the mornings where Logan and I wait for the bus to pick him up, and the afternoons where Harper and I are waiting for his return, I find myself wanting something for our yard. A bench. Well, a porch swing would be even more preferable, but I’m cheap. I just think it would be nice to have a place to sit instead of standing around the driveway, and if I wasn’t worried about them falling into the ditch I’d settle for plastic lawn chairs.

Well, I think this blog post can die now… like the mosquitoes in our yard now that we finally invested in a bug zapper, haha. Hope you have a great week, but I hope Logan’s is even greater ūüėõ

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

 

 

 

26 Letters- Christmas Edition

25 Dec

Ahoy! That’s what Alexander Graham Bell said when he answered the telephone. And while we’re talking history, I’ve done three posts like this one before (1st, 2nd, 3rd) where I use each letter of the alphabet to come up with words to build a blog post around. Considering what today is obviously the following will have a festive theme going on.

The first of my Christmas get togethers was Krista’s visit, though I like to call her Bingaling. For the past 6 or 7 years I have given her a novelty edition of Monopoly, this year’s being The Big Bang Theory one. Tokens include Raj’s dog Cinnamon, Penny’s wine glass and Amy’s tiara, hehe. Krista’s not the only happy camper as I now own these awesome gnomes (as well as one that’s not pictured since he’s outside):

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One thing the boys and I do every year is watch a handful of Christmas movies like A Charlie Brown Christmas and The Polar Express. This year I introduced Logan to The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (the classic version) and he liked them enough that they may join our repertoire.

Kevin, my father-in-law, had a nasty case of the flu that landed him in the hospital a couple weeks ago, so when Logan started saying he didn’t feel well either we didn’t take it lightly. We came close to taking him to the doctor’s, but I’m happy to report that whatever bug he caught didn’t escalate to that point. He got plenty of R&R that weekend and by Monday he was himself again, thank goodness.

Last year I wanted to try something where interested pen pals would give me enough of something to give to the other interested parties so each of them would get a little something from everyone (you can read more about it here). I decided to try the exchange again this year but made some changes. For example, instead of asking who’d be up for it, I invited the four people I knew would have fun with it and I think it was more successful. Enclosed were handmade soaps and bath salts, as well as the other stuff below:

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Logan asked for quite a bit for Christmas this year. Of course he wanted trucks and tractors and he’ll be opening some games today and this weekend, but the request that threw us for a loop was a foosball table. No, we didn’t get a full-size one, but as of this morning he does have a table-top version.

As for that Gabe fellow, the main thing I wanted to get him was a new phone, and though he has it now I still wanted him to have something to open. I wound up getting him things like a couple CDs and a calendar. I would have liked to get him The Book of Life too, but that won’t be on blu-ray for a while yet.

Ever since the boys and I watched The Polar Express, hot chocolate in hand, this song has been stuck in my head:

I am no stranger to indoor Christmas lights, but as of this year I have now become acquainted with outdoor ones as well. Gabe has talked about putting them up for as long as we’ve been married so I’m glad he/we¬†got the chance. It’s far from the elaborate scene his late grandfather used to do, but it’s perfect for our humble abode.

This is probably a bit sacrilegious, but check out my awesome nativity! I love that the baby Jesus is resting on a mushroom, hehe.

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My grandma was nice enough to take me shopping for new boots earlier this month. We hit up a few thrift stores first but we  were ultimately successful at Kohls. My grandma would have preferred I picked the more stylish pair she found, but this accident prone girl will choose comfort and practicality over style any day, winter or otherwise.

Had I provided an address in the¬†League of Extraordinary Pen Pals’ database, I can only imagine how many Christmas cards I would have wound up getting, but 20¬†is still an impressive number.

Earlier I showed you a picture of the loot from the exchange, but I wanted to highlight my main contribution a bit more. One day when Gabe and I were at a toy store, we noticed this big display of Mad-Libs and I had this lightbulb moment– I could get my pen friends each one of these, and they could each get one that is up their alley! Allison, for example, is a pirate in her own right, and I could see Emily and her family having fun with the on the road one whenever they’re on the road. I hope my friends have as much fun with these as I did picking them out!

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With the end of the year approaching, I thought I would give you an update on the note card thing I’ve been doing for the majority of my letters for the past few months. You see, I have a bunch of partially used notebooks and I decided that I wanted to start using their pages¬†for letters along with note cards– the cards so I can dress the process up a bit. I am only 20 pages or so from finishing up my third notebook. I asked my pen pals if they would like me to go back to using nicer paper, but the consensus is that they don’t care what I write them on as long as I write them. As of today I have a LOT more note cards and I’m so excited to start putting them to use!

When Logan’s first Christmas was approaching, I knew right then and there I wanted to get him an ornament and I wanted to continue doing so every year. That year it was his picture with Santa, the following it was a dalmation in a firefighter boot, and last year it was Elmo. He now has a French fry ornament, haha! We also got Christian, our nephew, a firetruck ornament– the first of many for him as well.

While I had things I wanted to get for the Loganator, there was one thing I wanted for myself… a P.O. Box! I once posted something that listed off 10 reasons I wanted a P.O. Box and it’s as true as ever; I think I even have more reasons now. For those of you who want to write me/ hook me up with Alice in Wonderland– friendly postcards/ WHATEVER, you now can! ūüėÄ

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A pen pal recently told me about how her family went to Disneyland for Thanksgiving, and as she listed what they’d be doing for Christmas, I couldn’t help but think how especially quaint our holidays are– not that there’s anything wrong with that! We saw¬†Gabe’s aunts yesterday afternoon, we’ll see his parents today for food and even more presents, and on Saturday we’ll see a chunk of¬†my family.

I haven’t really made any resolutions for 2015. As always it’d be nice to save money and I may even try to lose weight, but to say I WILL do these things would be making promises I don’t necessarily intend to keep. Basically all I’m hoping to accomplish this year are things pertaining to school for me &/or the Loganator.

In addition to the exchange I also organized Secret Santa yet again for me and my interested pen pals. I’m hoping everyone likes their goodies as much as Emily, my recipient, liked hers. K√§ra, my not-so-secret Secret Santa¬†was really nice to me. In addition to sending me something in response to each thing on my wishlist, she also sent me a few odds and ends like “Patchpops”– very intriguing! Thank you, K√§ra!

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Dang nabbit– I forgot the magnet!

P to the S: This is my TWO-HUNDREDTH BLOG POST! *Throws confetti.*

My aunt-in-law is friends with the daughter of my mail carrier, so I used that connection to get a hold of Nancy’s address. It just seemed like I should send something via USPS to the person who makes sure I get all of my glorious mail. Nancy sent me this postcard in return, hehe:

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Back to the two-hundredth¬†blog post thing for a moment… In the 2+ years I’ve been blogging I’ve gotten 10,466 views! My best ever day was 141 views which may not be a lot for some of you blog stars, but considering pen palling’s not exactly a hot topic, I’ll take it!

As much as I dislike the snow and ice, the thing I dislike the most about winter is the hiatus most TV shows will go on. Once Upon a Time, for example, isn’t coming back until my birthday (March 1st). At least the writers have a knack for leaving us wanting more. Out of all the shows returning next year I’m the most anxious for How to Get Away With Murder, but Revenge is a¬†very close second considering who (and how) they killed someone off. Thank goodness I only have to wait until January for their¬†returns.

I don’t think anyone still refers to Christina Aguilera as Xtina, but I will for the sake of using that tricky letter. This is a Christmas song of hers I like hearing this time of year:

The town I grew up in has a Yule Light Night and this year I wish I would have gone. It’s not as though I missed out on anything exciting, but back when I lived there it was one of my favorite nights of the year as all the shops offered food and beverages after a tree lighting ceremony. I think Logan is now at an age where he would think it’s as cool as I used to, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind things like cookies and popcorn either.

In my last post I told you how I ordered a monster from a fellow LEP member, but what I didn’t tell you is that Meredith is so awesome she told me to pick out another one of her creations for free as she was trying to find homes for the older monsters. I picked out a zombie named Finnster with my pen friend Kyleigh in mind, and she told me he couldn’t have come at a better time which made me so incredibly happy. Us pen pal people¬†call it “Happy Mail” for a reason!

Well, I have kept you from your day, festive or otherwise, long enough so take care and Happy Holidays!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

 

 

26 Letters- 100TH Blog Post Edition

5 Feb

I can’t believe this day has finally come– my 100th entry! In honor of the occasion, I decided to do another alpha-blog like I did in October of ’12¬†and March of ’13. It works like this: each paragraph will be an update of some sort, mainly about my pen pal hobby, but to add a bit of a challenge, I’ll be using the alphabet to orchestrate these paragraphs.

imageedit_2_8225000072Quite some time ago, my pen pal¬†K√§ra¬†was telling me about Boom Boom Decks and how once you complete the intentional act of kindness on one of the cards, you A) post about it on your BBD profile and then B) send the card onto someone else. The recipient will also do what’s on the card and register the act online and they’ll send it on to the next person so the process can repeat. As this card makes its rounds, you can track its progress and see all the good it’s doing. I was hoping K√§ra¬†would send me one of hers, and she likely will if/when she gets some free time, but I got too impatient and went ahead and ordered my own family-friendly deck. If the picture is any indication, I have completed this one, and I sent that cards onto my pen pal, Allison, and I Boom Boom’d¬†a few other times, too.¬†(Another blog or two will likely come from this entire endeavor ūüôā )

When I did my 26 Letters post last March I mentioned that I got a coupon from Qdoba for my birthday but the better gift would be getting a Chipotle closer to me. It might not have happened until a few months ago, but I still got my wish. *Throws confetti*

Late last year I experienced some unnecessary drama with a couple pen pals– I no longer write either. The first occurrence was when someone told me I had an attitude when explaining things (for the third time!) to her, and the second was when someone went from writing me weekly to writing me five times in 2013 and didn’t appreciate me saying something. Maybe I did have an attitude, but I didn’t deserve to be chewed out. Or blocked by Drama Queen #2. Oh well!

The above drama aside, pen palling is still my favorite hobby and has been for the past eight and a half years. I currently have 15 pen pals, and 4 of them are international ones.

And while we’re talking numbers, I have 102¬†followers here on wordpress, hehe.

I had a dream last month where my friend Krista and I went geocaching. Normally I don’t remember my dreams, but we found a Tinkerbell stocking with a parrot ornament inside. Yeah, I have weird dreams. Anyway, I woke up really wanting to go find someone’s buried treasure (with or without Krista). I’d like to leave a package of notecards with a book of stamps in its place.

There’s a blogger here on wordpress, Haiku Andy, who not only writes haikus but sends them randomly via postcard to anyone who’s interested. Here is my haiku, courtesy of his page:

Lunch with expat friends, so many things come and gone the same ocean breeze

Lunch with expat friends, so many things come and gone the same ocean breeze

Kintal¬†nominated me for the Inventive Blogger Award! You may think this is an inconvenient place to accept this award, but I think it’s rather inventive ūüėČ

doncharisma-org-the-inventive-blogger-award

The Rules:

1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the The Inventive Blogger Award.
2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen-¬†there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‚Äėpresent‚Äô the blog(s) with their award.
3. Include in your blog post *FIVE* things that you enjoy about blogging.
4. Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badge!)
5. Come over and say hello to the originator of the ‚ÄúThe Inventive Blogger Award‚ÄĚ via this link:¬†http://DonCharisma.org/2013/12/24/christmas-awards-the-inventive-blogger-award
6. And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award, and then proudly display the award on your blog.

My Acceptance Speech:

I’m very grateful to Kintal for nominating me for this¬†award; she found me when someone nominated her for the¬†award I created¬†so she thought I was worthy of this¬†award. The three people I think¬†are¬†also worthy of this¬†award¬†are Nerd in the Brain,¬†aliceatwonderland,¬†and Hacker. Ninja. Hooker. Spy. Not only¬†are these the three blogs that I¬†always read, these blogs¬†are¬†all unique from everything else in my reader.¬†NITB encourages writing prompts¬†and other challenges (most notably the zombie survival¬†stem one) and talks¬†about other nerdy yet¬†awesome stuff, Alice does reviews of shows¬†and movies that¬†are hysterical but¬†also incredibly¬†accurate (among other things),¬†and H.H.N.S. takes¬†an extraordinary¬†approach on the ordinary concept of sharing personal experiences. If you’re not following these blogs, I suggest you do so!

By the way, the things I like about blogging are:

1. This gives me an opportunity to write more than letters, and it exposes a wider audience to me and my writing.
2. I like finding ways to talk¬†about pen palling that’s not just me showing pictures of the letters I received.
3. I have written about things I never would have even considered before; I may not post very often, but I put quite a bit of thought and preparation into the things that show up here.
4. Now that I have started Miscellaneous Mondays I get to embrace the more random aspects of my personality.
5. I have found one pen pal through wordpress, but I have made a bunch of other friends, too.

Want to know what I’m usually listening to¬†as I write letters or work on drafts? Jake¬†and the Neverland Pirates. Logan loves this show, so much so that we don’t just watch it daily but several times each day.¬†Jake¬†stuff he got between Christmas¬†and his birthday include¬†a floor puzzle, the Who Shook Hook game, Jake’s treasure chest (complete with¬†a sword, spyglass,¬†and other pirate necessities),¬†a small Jolly Roger,¬†and his light-up Tic Toc Croc.

Not long after I got my Kindle, I started playing The Sims FreePlay. Not long after I started playing that, I posted a blog about my main character, Kate Sincere. Here [were] a few pictures of her and the boys from the past several months:

retired

I found a kindred spirit¬†here on wordpress. There are a bunch of pen pal-friendly blogs out there, but Letters, Postcards & a Cup of Tea is the one that reminds me the most of mine yet is wonderfully different at the same time. Kristiina and I have bonded bunches; not only do we follow each other’s blogs, she has given me ideas for future posts and we decided to become pen pals too!

Here is¬†a list of things I’m looking forward to this month:

  • Chinese food¬†and cupcakes in honor of Valentine’s Day
  • Participating in the Month of Letters Project
  • Doing¬†another project that you’ll read¬†about come the letter P
  • Tackling more Boom Boom Cards
  • Making some gnome-friendly¬†artwork
  • Getting my next dentist¬†appointment over¬†and done with

In one of my very first posts I said that I loved notebooks but rarely used the ones in my possession. I still have a handful of notebooks that haven’t been utilized, but I like to think a few less trees have died in vain. In addition to my “OCD” book, I have three notebooks where I make lists, work on blog drafts, etc., I have another book that’s used as a log, and I also keep a journal.

I have been thinking about this post since November at least, and my idea for Miscellaneous Mondays came along after that. Why am I bringing this up? Because I’m so obsessive I had to figure out what day this entry would land on again (it was originally the 25th), hoping it would land on my regular blog days. I got lucky ūüėõ

I decided to take on¬†a bit of¬†a project for my blog on the 10th. I took¬†a break from sending postcards via postcrossing last month so I could send¬†all 11¬†at the beginning of February¬†after scanning them¬†all. The point of this endeavor is so I can share¬†why I picked each card for each postcrosser. I thought¬†about doing this¬†all month long, but between not having¬†a working scanner¬†and enduring¬†a Michigan winter, going to my¬†aunt-in-laws’ regularly wasn’t¬†a favorable option.

Mother Dearest is currently making¬†a quilt for yours truly. Here’s the latest picture:¬†p1182547

Speaking of Mother Dearest, she recently requested that I send her some dry ranch because¬†apparently they don’t have that particular dressing in Taiwan. Do you know how much it cost to send two packages of the stuff? $14.50. Here’s¬†a bonus R for you: ridiculous!

I’m pretty over this winter thing. Not only have we experienced some negtive temperatures,¬†a snow plow knocked my beloved mailbox over early January. I feel kind of bad for Gabe– he either had to go out¬†and fix it in the bitter temperatures I mentioned, or listen to his paranoid wife bitch. He didn’t get it back up right¬†away, but he did fix it sooner than I was¬†anticipating ūüėõ

Both Gabe and his aunt deserve some thank yous. Tia Jen not only takes me to the post office but lets me use her scanner and helped me acquire a library card, and all she asks for in return is that I bring that Logan fellow over once in a while.

Come¬†April there’s going to be¬†a new¬†addition to our family who will learn to call me Tia Kate, hehe. Though Gabe¬†and I¬†are technically¬†already¬†an uncle¬†and¬†an¬†aunt, this will be the first we’ll feel like it. We go pottery painting for my birthday every year¬†and I have decided that I’ll be making¬†a piggy bank for the little one ūüôā

In just¬†a little over¬†a month there is going to be¬†a Veronica Mars movie– AHH! I may not have discovered the series until it was off the¬†air, but that doesn’t make me¬†any less excited! Since Nicole is the person who introduced me to VM, I have been making her some themed postcards over the past couple months, counting down to this glorious occasion. Below is¬†a picture of her with one¬†and me with the other.

A lot of fellow bloggers have some weird search terms that bring readers to their blog,¬†and the wordpress blog you’re currently reading is no exception…

  • enticingly eccentric gnomes printable
  • halloween cows nicknacks
  • sexy responses to say to trick or treat
  • sktrivia porn
  • xxx con pride sin
  • texting pic of a deformed penis

I mentioned xeroxing¬†About Me sheets in my very first 26 Letters post,¬†and now I’m mentioning it 2x.¬†Am I cheating with this letter? Probably. Do I care? No, because I did get some¬†About Me sheets printed off¬†and I’ve been sending them to pen pals¬†as they write me this year.

I’m pretty happy¬†about getting my library card, even if the library doesn’t have¬†as many young¬†adult books¬†as I would like. I did check out Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos¬†and Through the Zombie Glass so for now I’m content. Feel free to give me your recommendations though I¬†already have several things I want to read right now.

Last summer my mom introduced me to zentangles,¬†and since then I introduced them to my pen pal Kimberly because I realized I like doing these patterned doodles with someone more than doing them on my own. I’d scan our work, but unfortunately it’s not currently in my possession. Zentanlges may still show up here sometime, but for now I think you have had enough! If you made it this far, thank you so much for putting up with me!

Here’s to¬†another 100 blog post posts! *Cheers*
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

The 26 Letters Project

5 Sep

For a while I had another blog called¬†AlphaBits¬†where I docmented my attempts at teaching Logan the alphabet bit by bit. Although I haven’t used that blog since the letter T, I have sill been working on letters with the little guy and he now knows just about all of ’em despite some of the original posts below saying otherwise. Should you go to read any of the following, the password is 26letters.

1Week 1: Down A Rabbit Hole
Week 2: Books, Baking, and Books about Baking.
Week 3: Cowabunga, Dude!
Week 4: The Toddler Decathlon
Week 5: Easter Egg-stravaganza
Week 6: Footloose and Fancy Free
Week 7: Great Expectations
Week 8: A Handful of Handsome
Week 9: Imagination Library
Week 10: Just for Kicks and Giggles
Weeks 11-13: The Past 3 Weeks
Week 14: Numbers Ahoy
Week 15: If you want to make an Omelette
Week 16: Parks and Recreation
Week 17: QUENCHED
Week 18: Reading on Rapanos Drive
Week 19: Stars and Stripes
Week 20: T is for Theater

So here’s the U for Update for the last 6 letters! Logan can say U, V, W, X, Y, and Z, though W was a bit tricky at first. As far as education disguised as recreation goes, he played with the umbrella you see above, visited his grandparents, used watercolors on a sheet we xeroxed, watched a bunch of¬†Super Why, and went to the zoo with his parents and his Uncle Erik and Aunt Mindy.

retired

Although that last sentence wasn’t nearly as fun as the activities themselves, that’s all you’re going to get! I don’t know, between the umbrella pictures taking a couple weeks to get here and me losing interest in¬†AlphaBits¬†weeks before then the blog just fell apart. Fortunately I still have this blog and I fully intend to keep it going ūüôā¬†This particular post may not be all that in depth, but it may potentially lead you to other ones that are. The password again is 26letters.

All the best, whether you like to read and write or you’re teaching your children to do the same.
Sincerely, Kate ~!~

26 Letters

10 Oct

I have now had some alphabetical fun with at least 5 pen pals. I wish I could take credit for the idea of letters revolving around the alphabet, but it was my awesome friend Nicole who inspired me to do so both in letters and here in SKРthis entry is dedicated to her.

I may not enjoy it as much as pen palling but I have been having fun with this¬†blog of mine even if it doesn’t look like it a mere 3 times a month. I’ve already been considering writing more per month, and if you have any topic ideas for me to consider for future blogs be sure to leave ’em in the comments below.

Recently a close friend of mine lost her father and I was unable to go to the funeral; Nicole suggested sending a card only to discover¬†I don’t like sending¬†cards. I don’t have a logical explanation, but between having to get to the store in a timely fashion and then pouring through cards that are either too sappy, too immature, or too expensive considering it’s just ink on¬†card-stock, I just don’t see the appeal. It’s not that I won’t send cards or don’t like getting them, but when it comes to mail I’d rather send and receive letters.

Not too long ago I found¬†Anastasia in a $5 bin at Wally World and now some of my pen pals have found me saying “Dasvidania” as I bid farewell. Why do I say this? Because it’s “goodbye” in Russian. And while I’m at it, “Konnichiwa” is “hello” in Japanese. You’re welcome ūüėČ

In my very first entry (The Birth of a Pen Pal) I implied I was rather good when it comes to¬†English and that’s why pen palling has been such a good fit for me… if only I could get paid for it! Before having my son, Logan, I was confident I wanted to be a play therapist, but that just seems too unrealistic now considering how much time and energy it requires. I already spend a lot of my time writing so I think it’s time for me to seriously consider a career in the English field.

Speaking of fields, in April the boys and I moved to¬†Fairgrove, a town that’s more farmland than anything. I thought my hometown was so small that you’d miss it if you blinked, but in comparison Reese was a metropolis. I have appreciated pen palling so much more since moving here, that’s for sure.

In my Facebook group, also known as¬†Sincerely Kate, I just introduced 3 new¬†games for my pen pals and I to play. The first game’s all about movie quotes, the second revolves around pet peeves, and in the third game it’s up to the players to decide which statement out of 2 is a lie. They haven’t really taken off so far, but I think they might after a little while ūüôā

It’s not a game in¬†SK but I do have an idea for a drinking game for my pen pals if they’re interested. I seem to use variations of the word “hope” a lot-¬†“I hope you and yours are doing well”/ “Hopefully we’ll find out sooner rather than later”/ “I’m hoping season 4 of¬†Glee isn’t a disappointment”¬†-You get the idea. ¬†The game: sit down with one of my letters and the adult beverage of your choice and anytime you see me use any version of the word “hope” take a shot. Hopefully you’ll get a buzz in no time ūüėČ

A few letters ago (alphabetically speaking) I asked if there were future blog topics you’d like to see. Well, here are some¬†ideas of my own. First of all I’ll be addressing the Halloween goodies I’ve already started sending out, and closer to Thanksgiving I’ll be letting my current pen pals know how much they’re each appreciated. I’ll be writing about my very first pen pal as well as goals for the upcoming year.

By now almost all my pen pals should have this picture from our John Deere photo shoot, taken by Katelyn Revill, a former pen pal of mine.

Me and the Boys

The holidays are right around the corner which means I’ll be sending my loyal pen pals some random knick knacks soon via Oriental Trading- muahaha! Knick knacks from packages past include stationery, stickers, syringe pens, rockstar notebooks, little toys, and a variety of candy. I even had a pen pal who I sent festive socks to every holiday before.

I recently had a lost-in-the-mail scare. I usually hear from a certain pen pal of mine within days of sending her mail, but over a week went by since when she told me (via FB) her letter was on its way… from Ohio. On a Friday I decided I’d just start fresh with a new letter for her, but that following Monday was the day her letter finally showed up, the zip code misspelled. Let this be a lesson to you: always make sure you got the address right!

For as long as I can remember pen palling, “~!~” has always followed my name in my signature. I don’t really know where the¬†mark came from, only that it was something I doodled in high school that stuck with me. When I first contemplated getting a tattoo, I thought of ~!~ but I was talked into my musical one. It may not be on my body, but it’s definitely a part of me anyway- my trademark, if you will.

*Throws confetti* We made it half way through the alphabet! Here’s what’s¬†new with me and my family: We don’t see much of Gabe these days because fall harvest is among us, but Gabe likes what he does, especially since his job takes care of us. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Logan plays with tractors and trucks for a good portion of the day, too. He has taken a liking to the Toy Story movies, Woo-y (Woody) and Buh (Buzz) being the newest additions to his vocabulary. As for me, when not taking care of the guys in my life I’m usually picking up after them, and pen palling, of course.

My dad came to visit us in September and he brought me some leftover postcards he had. Well, on his way back to the Golden State he found a handful of postcards from Kansas, Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma and sent those to me as well. Thanks, dad!

Coming soon: A blog about a new pet peeve of mine.¬†Lately I’ve had some bumps in the road when it comes to finding new pen pals that has been getting rather annoying. That’s all you get for now ūüėČ

There are some questions I like asking pen pals, both new and old, but I think my favorite one is this: If your life was a movie, what would it be called and who would you want to play you? Feel free to leave your answer in the comments below!

Here are some more pictures of me and the leading men in my life, all taken by the amazing Katelyn Revill once upon a time:

I couldn’t ask for a better family- Gabe and Logan mean the world to me. Prior to getting pregnant I never saw myself as the¬†stay-at-home-mom type, but now it’s hard seeing myself doing anything else. For those of you who are curious, my game plan is to go back to school once Logan’s going too. In the meantime I’ll keep writing blogs and letters to A) keep my skills in tact and B) give me a mommy outlet!

At the beginning of September I decided to add rounds of¬†trivia to my Facebook group. Every Wednesday and Sunday evening I leave a question for my pen pals to answer (like “What does my mom teach?”) and the first person to guess correctly will win easy-to-send goodies like stickers, postcards, and Friendship Books. I started¬†SK¬†trivia on a whim and it ended up becoming a group favorite. Heads up, pen pals! My favorite fast food restaurant is Chipotle,¬†Glee and¬†The Big Bang Theory are my favorite shows, and I have three brothers unless you count my brother-in-law. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

It’s¬†unbelievable that it’s October already; this year has just been flying by. It doesn’t seem like it’s been almost 7 months since Logan took his first steps or that we’ve been living in Fairgrove for half a year already. I’m sure next year is going to come and go just as fast…

There is one thing in 2013 I am really excited for. In March, this blog’s dedicatee is planning to¬†visit me, Gabe, and Logan for at least 4 days- *throws confetti*. Despite knowing Nicole for 5+ years we haven’t met yet so I’m psyched that I get to meet her and that she’ll be meeting the guys I’ve been writing her about for years. It’s going to be amazing, maybe even blog worthy ūüėČ

I may have a potential¬†writing project. It’s nothing but scribbles in a notebook right now, but at least I have an idea for a novel, right? Does anyone know a mortician I can use as a reference?

I have yet to decide if I’m going to do this when the new year rolls around, but I’m thinking about¬†xeroxing¬†“About Me” sheets for each of my pen pals to fill out. As much as I love my OCD book, I think it could be a cute, fun way to keep track of addresses, favorite things, significant others, and who knows what else. I suppose I have a little while to decide.

If you’re still reading this, that’s really awesome of you. You know what else would be really awesome? If¬†everyone knew the difference between¬†your & you’re. “Your” implies ownership- your rock, your paper, your scissors. “You’re” are the words “you” and are” combined as in you’re invited and you’re welcome. And if you’re still confused, here is a visual aid for you to call your own. Pass it on.¬†

I hope you liked this blog as much as I like mail, gnomes, zebra print, and my friend Nicole.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~