Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Getting Ready?

I love the holidays.  Each of them individually... Halloween... Thanksgiving... Christmas....  As much as I love the Holidays themselves.  I love preparing for them.  I love thinking about spending time with my loved ones and preparing gifts for them.

Amanda and I have started coloring Christmas Cards for her teacher and dance coaches.  I'm teaching her to think about each person as she creates their master piece.  What colors will they like?  Hope each master piece makes them smile.  
Hard at Work

Finished Master Piece
Maybe you'll be lucky enough to get one of her hand crafted Master pieces.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Author Spotlight! Sport Stories!

Author Spotlight:
Richard Torrey

Richard Torrey was born in Los Angeles, CA. where he began doodling as soon as he could hold a crayon. In third grade, Richard showed a picture of a horse he had drawn to the legendary comic strip creator, Charles Schulz. Schulz drew Snoopy on the back of the picture, inspiring Richard to follow a similar career path. 

After graduating from Allegheny College with a BA in Psychology, Torrey created the first of two successful syndicated comic strips; Hartland (King Features), followed with a sports strip, PETE and CLETE (Creators Syndicate), both of which appeared in hundreds of newspapers around the world.   

Since then, Richard has been an author, illustrator, and editorial cartoonist. His list of clients includes Highlights MagazineKidCity (a Sesame Street publication), The National, and Inside Sports. For the better part of two decades, he has been the creator of a top-selling line of greeting cards for Recycled Paper Greetings Inc. 

More recently, Richard’s interests have turned to children’s booksA Baseball StoryA Hockey Story and the popular series, A Football Story all give new-to-the-game players detailed, child's-eye view of each sport on and off the field.

The son of Hockey Hall-of-Famer, Bill Torrey, Richard lives in Long Island, New York, with his wife and two children. His preferred medium is Peanut butter and Jelly and failing that, Watercolor/Pen and ink and acrylic.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pure Elation - New Titles

This is seriously how I feel every time Usborne announces new titles.  Pure Elation!!  Serious!  I'm not kidding!  When I browse through the new titles I instantly think of You Guys!  "Oh! I know, Nolan will love this sticker book!" or "This Dinosaur book would be perfect for Camden!"  Plus I instantly make a mental list of the books I want for my own kids!!
View all the New Titles here!! 

Some of my New Favorites are:  
Build your own Spaceships Sticker Book!
Building your own Spaceships Sticker Book!
Secrets of the Apple Tree
Secrets of the Apple Tree
Sticker Dolly Dressing Ice Skaters
Sticker Dolly Dressing Ice Skaters
There are a ton of other great new titles available so be sure to check them out!!  I have already placed my order and I can't wait to get them to show you!!  

We have a ton of great new Holiday Titles.  I will be highlighting my favorites soon!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Stop the Ride...

Stop the ride... I wanna get off!!  Or maybe at least slow it down?
Stop the ride... I wanna get off!!  Or maybe at least slow it down? 
 It always amazes me when I sit back and realize a whole weekend or even month has flown by in the blink of an eye.  I'm trying to worry less about the cleaning and busy work and make memories with the kids.

Saturday night Jake and I sat and watched TV together.  It just floors me to realize how big he is now.  We were watching a real estate hunting show.  It was funny to hear his opinion on houses.  We enjoy looking at local properties online.  Especially farm sites.  I ask him what he would put in this barn or that building.  It's pretty easy to get silly.  Elephants here or there.  Once the giggling starts the answers get silly!!

Amanda is getting so big and learning so much these days.  She is her mother's child and loves crafts.  She has been making the Rainbow Loom Bracelets lately and I'm super excited because she can do them by herself.  Love that independence. Her reading is progressing each and every day.  Hope to raise a reader.

Sunday nights are always hard for me.  Back to the work week.  Back to school.  I came across this last night and it really hit home for me.  I was very frustrated with myself and what I had gotten done over the weekend.  I guess, it's really more of what I hadn't gotten done.  What I felt I should have gotten done but didn't.

It's so true!  I'm not in a competition.  I'm not trying to be better then anyone else.  I just need to get done what needs to get done and the rest can wait. It will have to wait.  I have spent entire weekends working like a complete crazy woman and gone back to work exhausted on Monday.  That is no good either.  I am at my best when I am rested and happy.  I am working to find the fine line between it all.  In the wise words of my Mother.  One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.  That's all I can do and it has to be good enough.

Hope you had a great weekend too!  Thanks for stopping to visit!

Friday, August 23, 2013

State Fair Bound

I am working until 3:00pm today and then we are headed to the Twin Cities.  Tomorrow we are going to the "Great Minnesota Get Together!!"  Yes, the Minnesota State Fair.  I am really looking forward to it.

The first place we will be headed is to the Dairy Show.  One of my favorite 4-H'ers is showing his cow.  I know Jasenko will do a great job!!

I am not looking forward to the crowds at the fair but I think it will be fun and a good learning experience for the kids.

More pictures to follow!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Time has gotten away from me this last month.  We were so busy with getting ready for a family reunion and getting ready for the fair.  Time just magically flew by.  After the fair I swear I could have slept for 3 days.  I was exhausted.  It was such a satisfied tired though. Tired after a job well done. 
I sat down Sunday night and wrote on the back of the kids ribbons.  Their names,  August 2013, the class/group and what they entered.  I was/am so proud of the kids.  I hope someday they look back at these ribbons as fondly as I look back on mine.

Speaking of ribbons… I need some opinions.  I am trying to decide how to organize their ribbons.  I have a few thoughts/options.

1.)    Hang their ribbons in their room.  This is what I did and I loved showing off my ribbons.  When I moved out though… they all got thrown into a tub and are an unorganized mess now.  They are bend and creased and in no order.

2.)    Put them in a book that stays organized and in good condition.  They can take the book with them to Show/Tell and drag them out to show their aunties.

Ok… I think I’ve made up my mind.  Option 2 is a clear winner for me.  Your opinions?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Not only am I perfect...

I have so many great things to catch you up on.  Lately I have been a Crazy Book Lady, a Crazy Painting Lady, a Crazy 4-H Leader, a Crazy IT Person... overall just crazy.

I have been up to my eyeballs getting ready for a family reunion at our house this Saturday.  I have been looking for a reason to get some projects done.  I decided to tackle our main floor half bath.  There was a border that was half falling down.  The walls were dirty and the colors were outdated.  I knew if I didn't have a reason to get it done in a timely fashion.  A deadline is always a good thing in our house.  

Two weeks ago was Bavarian Blast here in New Ulm. It is a wonderful German Festival.  A great time to get together and see your friends and family!  John and I went on Thursday night and listened to a band that was playing.  We enjoyed a few German beverages (beer) and had a great time.  On Saturday and Sunday there was a Craft Show and I had a great time participating.  I love meeting new people and showing them Usborne Books.  

We have an amazing start up special this month.  The Large Start up kit (over $400.00 value) for $69!!  
July Starter Kit - All for $69.00!!
If you have ever considered starting a home based business now is the time and Usborne is the company!!  I couldn't be more pleased with the books and Mission of this company.  Nothing like bettering the children around us.

This is one of the Wonderful People I met during the weekend.  It is so much fun to talk to people and find out where they are from.  This gentlemen stole my heart on the spot.  His shirt reads, "Not only am I Perfect, I'm German Too!!"  This shirt would have been right up my Grandpa Krohn's alley!  He would have gotten a great big belly laugh out of this.  Notice his hat too!  S.O.B. - Sweet Old Buzzard.  Yep... I'm smitten!

Lovely Ole German I met!! 
 Part of the fun of the weekend is the Parade on Sunday.  It was good fun watching it with my kids.  The weather was perfect and we had a great spot in the shade.

This is "Hermann the German" and Thusnelda, his wife.  
The kids caught a ton of Candy and had a great time.  I loved not having to worry about putting sun screen on them.  Couldn't have asked for a better day!!

Eric, Kate, Amanda and Abby watching the Parade together.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The 4-H'er in me

The 4-H'er in me is in heaven right now.  We are in full fair mode at our house.  We are getting projects ready for the County Fair!!  You might not know this but I held the "Blue Ribbon Plaque" for the most blue ribbons in one county fair for 3 consecutive years!!  That's right!  One year I had 21 blue ribbons.

Me with some of my projects

Me at Dog Training Class with Abby, my Springer Spaniel

I completely credit 4-H for helping me become the person I am today.  I learned how to speak to judges and to large groups.  I learned how to lead a meeting and how to take accurate notes.  I sent out invitations to our monthly meetings.  I learned project management skills.  Those 21 blue ribbons didn't happen by a miracle!  Although my Mom and Dad might disagree.  I remember several years when we were up until the wee-hours of the morning finishing projects on the night before entry day.

When I was 13 I stayed overnight in the dorms at the Minnesota State Fair.  I had earned a State Fair Trip with my Counted Cross Stitch.  It was an amazing learning experience.  It was the first time I was basically on my own with little supervision.  We had an 11pm curfew but before that we had free reign of the enter Minnesota State Fairgrounds.  I had an amazing time!  We sat with judges and worked on a needle point project.  I learned a lot.  Some of the things I learned I still use today. 

Now I'm creating new 4-H'ers.  Jacob and Amanda have enjoyed their time with 4-H so far.  Amanda is 5 and still considered Discovery.  She can take up to 3 projects to the fair this year.  She will be showing a Rabbit and taking two non-livestock projects. 

Jacob is in "the big group" now and can take as many projects as he wants.  We talked about how the more projects you take, the more ribbons you get.  With each project comes more work and expense though.  He decided his goal this year is 10 ribbons.  I think this is a reasonable goal and is do-able.

Jacob received a Volcano kit as a gift.  This has been a great project.  It is assembled and is ready to be painted.  

Jacob applying paper mache to his Volcano.

Jacob and John putting the finishing touches on the Volcano.
I will update you on our progress!! If you have interest in 4-H please reach out to your County Extension Office.  It truly is an amazing program!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bob the Unicorn

When I was at Convention I got to visit briefly with Michelle Nelson Schmidt.  She is the Author/Illustrator of Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster.  She came to introduce us to her new friend "Bob is a Unicorn".

Michelle Nelson Schmidt and Bob

Bob is a Unicorn is a great book for all the dreamers out there.  Here is a teaser video about the book.  I think you are really going to like it.  I do. 

Here is the story read by the amazing Author/Illustrator, Michelle Nelson Schmidt.

This book will be available soon!  I can't wait to bring it to all the kids in the area.  I know they are going to love it. It will definitely be my new book of choice for reading to the Preschools and elementary school's in the area.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Title Video - Baby's Very First Noisy Book Farm

Hello from Convention 2013!!  Here is one of our new titles!! Baby's Very First Noisy Book Farm.  Very Cute!! This book isn't available for purchase yet but will be very soon!!

Be sure to "Subscribe" to my Youtube channel so you don't miss out on any of my upcoming video's!!

Conversation from Tulsa to Home

Me: Amanda, how are you?
Amanda: Mommy!!! (much excitement! Oh Lord, I miss this child!)
Me: Are you having a good day?
Amanda: yep
Me: What did you do today?
Amanda: hum...
Me: Amanda, What did you do today?
Amanda: silence
Me: Amanda, Did you feed the Bunnies?
Amanda: What?
Me: Did you feed the Bunnies?  Give them any love?
Amanda: What Mom?
Me: Have you been feeding and watering the Rabbits?
Amanda: silence
Me: Amanda, (loudly)
Amanda: Yeah, Mom.
Me: Are you watching tv?
Amanda: yep.
Me: I'll talk to you tomorrow. Bye.  (End Call and thinking "yeah, they're fine and maybe I don't miss them quite as much as I thought. Happy to be here at Convention doing something for myself!!")

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Headed to Paradise

Yesterday I hauled my rear out of bed at 5:30 and got ready to head out the door for Tulsa.  This week is our National Convention for Usborne Books & More.  This is the fifth time I've attended the event.  Each year it gets me so excited and ready to come back and be the "Crazy Book Lady!"

When I left the house it was raining. We have gotten a ton of rain this summer.  I was excited to head towards some heat and sunshine!!  I drove over to Mankato and met up with Tracey Boraas and Becky Dean.  Both are amazing good friends and I was thrilled to drive down with them.  We left out of Mankato at 7:00 and made good time.  Would you believe we didn't turn the radio on the entire way!

We made great time through Iowa.  Although I was having a hard time letting go of work.  My boss sent me an email and told me to quit responding to emails. :)  It's hard to let go of responsibilities.  Plus look what I saw on the highway!!

Yep... We saw a couple Schugel Trucks on the way.  

We stopped in Ames to use the restroom and get something to eat.  We had lunch and stretched the legs.  The trip to Convention always reminds me how long of a state Iowa is. We made another stop at the southern border of Iowa to use the rest room again and stretch.  I feel like all I did yesterday was sit, eat, drink and pee!! :)  hehe!!

Your favorite Crazy Book Lady, Tracey and Becky!
When we left her I crawled in the back seat to take a nappy.  When I woke up when had gotten to through a chunk of Missouri and some rain.  Becky and Tracey were chatting nicely and I snoozed listening to some NPR on my iPhone.  Love my podcasts!!

Before we knew it we were in Joplin, Missouri and we stopped at a McDonalds for a snack, a soda and the bathroom.  We sat and chatted about the upcoming events of the week and were charmed by the guy behind the counter.  He welcomed us to Missouri and asked how our trip from Minnesota was.  WHAT?  How'd you know we were from Minnesota?  He said our Accents gave us away.  Ya, Ya, Es Gute!!  I know... I sound like a big, lumber jack Minnesotan.  I can't help it.  Yes I over enunciate my "O's.  It's my thing.  Don't judge!  Anyways... we had a nice chat with him.  I told him about how we were headed to Tulsa for a convention for Usborne Books and More.  I followed up by asking if he'd ever considered selling books.  (Becky, aren't you proud!!)  I gave him a business card and he said he would check into it.  He had previously done magazine sales.

Ethan, my next new recruit!!
From Joplin, MO to Tulsa is only about 2 hours.  We zipped along and made very good time.  It is very different scenery here.  No corn and bean fields.  Mostly cows and pasture land.

Well... Tracey is itching to go cause some trouble.  We are off to do some wandering and see what we can see.

Today we visited and toured the Usborne Home Office.  Video and Pictures of that to follow.   Take care and be sure to check back for info on the new titles and any announcements Randall has for us!!



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Ready, set, go!!!!!

I am packed and ready to leave for the Usborne 2013 convention!!  This is my 5th convention and I absolutely cannot wait to go!!

Going to convention puts a spark back in my business.  It ally lights a fire under my rear!!   I said to my husband yesterday "you do know I'll come back from Tulsa the Crazy Book Lady, right?!?"  His reply, "Yep. I know it always gets you recharged."

Recharged is such a great way to explain it.  I am so excited to spend time with my Ussie Buddies, see all the amazing new titles and hear all the great things.  There will be motivational speakers and leaders from Usborne there.  We will get to spend time with the home office and get to talk to Randall White, the CEO.

I will be posting lots of great pictures and video.  Be sure to check back for updates!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Outta Tears

I've started writing this post several times and finally feel ok writing it.  Although I've deleted it all twice and started over.

Two weeks ago today John got a call that a good friend of his had died in a car accident.  John was devastated.  He had known Tyson since they were in junior league bowling together in grade school.  I've known Ty since I was a senior in High School and worked with him at Godfather's Pizza in New Ulm.

John and Ty have bowled in lots and lots of tournaments together and on league together for years.  We found pictures from when they had gone to National Tournaments way back before John and I were married.

Tyson with the sign to "his Canyon Ranch" during our trip to Reno in 2001

Recent Picture of Tyson

John and I both grieve for the family left behind.  Yes, we will miss Tyson but we both feel terrible for the loved ones.  Especially when there are kids involved.  They are so young and forever is a difficult concept to understand.  Tyson was a great bowler, Son, Father, brother and Friend.  There were many tears shed at his funeral and he will definitely be missed.

John commented to me after the funeral that he didn't want to bury a friend again for a long time.  I so agree!

On top of this we lost a dear friend at work.  Our CFO, Jim Guldan, passed away after a very short battle with Cancer.  I have reported directly and indirectly to him for the last 5 years.  He was an amazing man.  Caring, compassionate, extremely hard working and very dedicated.  On top of being the CFO, a Husband, Dad and Grandpa he was an ordained Deacon in the Catholic Church.  He was a wonderful example of a strong faith.


Deacon Jim
On Tuesday I went to his funeral.  It was an amazing celebration of his life.  There were so many nice things said.   It has been a difficult week of changes at work.  Making sure that his replacement has access to all his work files, passwords, etc.  Cleaning out his office, disabling his accounts, etc.  It's so hard and everything is so final.  Jim also left behind family.  A wonderful wife, Brenda, and three daughters and a handful of Grandkids.  I am praying for them all.

We are gone to Nick's Baseball Tournament this weekend.  It feels good to sit and relax while cheering for a great team.  More updates this weekend.  Be sure to check back!!

Friday, May 31, 2013

What's making me happy this week!

I listen to a lot of podcasts.  One of them is NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour.  They have different topics that they talk about and each week each of the hosts lists what is making them happy this week.  I love this.  It can be short and sweet or sometimes they elaborate and they give details.  I have found that I look forward to this in each episode.  I kind of want to pipe in and say... "Cool, this is what's making me happy this week."

So... What's making me happy this week?  I'm so glad you asked.

Summer - It is finally here!!  Jake and Amanda finished school yesterday and Nick is done today!  Yeah!

Baby Rabbits - Yes, we had more baby rabbits.  Yes, it was planned.  Carmel had 5 baby rabbits on Wednesday, May 29th.  They are adorable!!

A new box of workbooks - I ordered a box of workbooks from School Zone for Jake and Amanda.  They are going to work hard this summer.  Jake needs to work on Multiplication and Division and his Reading.  Amanda is going to continue building the skills she learned in Kindergarten.

A Free weekend - John's nephew Brad graduates from High School this year and we have his graduation party tomorrow.  Other then that our weekend is wide open.  I have a habit of booking my calendar completely full so I'm very excited about an open weekend.

Each week I am going to share what is making me happy. I'd love to hear what is making you happy!  Please leave me a comment.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Birthday Boy

It was a very busy weekend at our house.  Jacob turned 9 last week so we had his birthday party with my Parents and our Siblings/Nieces/Nephews.  It was a great time.  I can't believe he's 9 already!  Wasn't he an infant yesterday?!?

My cute little 8 lb 13 1/2 oz infant

My 9 pound grown up little man

We ate, we visited, we watched and we sang. He had a great time and that made all the cleaning, baking, cooking, wrapping and more cleaning afterwards all worth it!!

Everyone needs a personalized License Plate!!

A Snuggly Rabbit Puppet

Blowing out all those candles!!
Happy Birthday Jacob!!  I'm so proud of the boy you have grown into.  You are so smart and caring.  I can't wait to see what the next 9 years has to hold for you.

I really enjoy watching the kids all play together.  All the running and laughing.  It all makes it worth it.  I hope they enjoy the time with their cousins like I did.  I remember all the fun at my birthday parties.  The ended up being like a big BBQ Party and were so much fun!!