Mama was Right


There, I said it.

She was right.

And on more than one occasion.

But tonight/this morning I'm talking about when I was a teenager and we had the discussion of how late I could stay out and she made the comment that there's nothing worth doing that's going on after a certain hour of the night.

Which is why, though we were never given a curfew, we were expected to be responsible and be home at a reasonable hour, and also up in the morning at a reasonable hour, too.

Well, she was right.

I'm not sure what woke me up right at 3 a.m. but it's only minutes away from 4 a.m. and there is nothing worth doing that's going on right now.

I could get up and exercise myself into an achy, tired stupor until my body had no choice but to fall asleep, but then I'd most likely wake Ty up since I can't really go anywhere to exercise with my boy asleep here in the house.

I would read but that's a double-edged sword.  I might get tired and go on to sleep if I start a book now, or I might get so into it that I finish it about the time my alarm goes off at 6:30.

And a little more sleep would be much nicer than finishing a book that I hadn't planned to start reading.

I could get on up and shower and start my day almost 3 hours earlier than I normally do (the snooze button is my friend).  But that just doesn't even come close to appealing to me.

It's dark and warm and my bed is so comfy and snuggly and lovable.

Sleep is the problem.

For some reason, I'm tired enough, I just can't seem to slow my brain from wanting to go to sleep to the actual going to sleep.

Mama was sooooo right.  There is NOTHING worth doing at this hour.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

I'm In Love


I've found a new clothing store that got added to my "If I Had a Million Dollars" clothing wishlist.

I'm in love with this site.

The vintage styles make me weak in the knees.

The dresses and their cute little names!

Such as Mary Queen of Spots


I can't help but feel like Hepcat Dress in Canary Yellow just stepped straight out of a black and white sitcom!




The New Vaudevillian Dress, how fun does this dress look!


And how Jackie O is the Lost in Grace Dress


and A Dress Named Desire?  Maybe that one's more June Cleaver, though....



I could get lost in their shoes, too.

The old-fashioned Bocce Heel.


The Don't Come Walking Boots


And the Plaid It's Raining Boots....Mama want.  I have this thing for mud boots and even though plaid is never really my thing....on these, it is!

I want these Lemon Meringue heels, too.

And the Legend Bootie in Blix...they're kinda similar to some shoes I already have, but they're still so cute!



I could shop on this site forever!  Well, if I had money.  But since I don't, I wishlist.  It's my version of window-shopping.

Maybe someday.

But for those of you who can shop now, go check out ModCloth.com and check out their selection of vintage and indie style clothes, jewelery, and shoes.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

A penny here, a penny there


So I've been looking into options to earn a little extra money from home.

Don't we all?

If we have the time on our hands, why not use it to our benefit...to our family's benefit.

All of the stuff I'm finding doesn't really pay a lot, a few pennies here, a few pennies there....maybe a dollar or two thrown into the middle.

But it's more than I had before, right?

So why not?

One program that I've already been using before is YouData.com.

All I have to do is look at an ad and then click on it and let it load in my browser window.

And I get a little bit of money for it.

Money.  Not points.  Not entries for a grand prize.  Real, actual money that is deposited into my PayPal account typically within a week of earning it.

Granted, they don't always have tons of ads for me to look at and I usually only get about 50¢ a week, but that's something more than I had before.  And the more people that sign up, the more ad companies will become aware of it and the more ads that will be available to look at.

So I'm throwing this out there for any of you who are interested in earning a little bit of extra money, it doesn't always pay a lot (I have earned around $10 in one week before, though), but it has the potential to grow and gives you a very quick and exceptionally easy way to earn a little bit of spending money, bill money, or vacation money.

If you're interested, click here and sign up.  If you don't mind, please enter "abrookshire" in the referral box so I can track how many people have signed up based on this blog!

I'm going to be checking out more options such as this one to earn a little more money to get me through those summer expenses (and to help out with a copay for a Tonsillectomy that looms in he future), so I'll post the ones that I think are good opportunities for those of you interested, and if you have any that you're using and don't mind sharing, I'd love to learn about them!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

My Not So Big Life


There's a series of home and home improvement books by Sarah Susanka that I want to read so badly.

They start with The Not So Big House and go through Creating the Not So Big HouseNot So Big RemodelingOutside the Not So Big House....it's a bunch of books on how to make the most of a not so big house.

And I feel like God's tugging on me to explore that train of thought.

Money's not getting any easier to deal with right now.

And I'm not the only one with those problems.  I know that.

But I feel like God is trying to tell me to make the most of what I have.

I don't have a big house, but I do have so much.

I've recently read about a large family that, not by choice, simplified and condensed down into a much smaller home and are making the most of their situation.

And loving it.

And it's caused me to realize that I should be doing the same.

Simplify.

Use what I have, however I'm able to.

So that's the direction that my heart and thoughts are going in right now.

I just have to see where they're going to lead.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Making it Official


Look what I finally have outside my door....


But it's not just me.

I put one outside the Sheriff's Door....


And everyone else's too.

My inspiration.
For several years I've been hoping for nameplates outside of everyone's doors so that officials, visitors, and other agencies that come through can find their way to the right office.

During this time I've been eying some ClearLook office signs that run from $24.95 to $32.95 (each), depending on what size we want.

With 13 offices that need signs we'd be looking at anywhere between $350-$450 for signs (including tax and shipping).

Figuring our budget could be more wisely spent elsewhere, I've never brought it up.

Until recently when I wondered if I couldn't make something similar to it myself.

All I'd need is some plexi-glass and some way to mount them and hold the paper in the center of the glasses.

So I piddled with sizes and decided that, if I could do it myself, 9"x4" would probably be the best size for what I wanted.  Then I called up a very good friend, Leland Gilliam, who owns Camden Glass and Overhead Door (in Camden, AR) to get a price on some 1/8" plexi cut to that size.

And the very next day his wife Lisa, who I also adore, dropped off 30 pieces cut down to size and insisted that they wanted to donate them to the Sheriff's Office.

Since then they sat on my desk, challenging me to figure out exactly what I was going to do and how I was going to do it.

The main problems were:
  1. How am I going to attach these to the wall and get the metal bolted effect without actually drilling a hole into these and risking messing up the plexiglass?
  2. The design idea was to have a 8"x3" sheet of paper centered between two 9"x4" sheets of plexiglass.  How do I get the paper to stay centered without having to unbolt or unfasten the signs whenever a name or title needs to be changed?
  3. How do I get the look of metal fasteners or bolts or whatever you want to call them without actually using them, and again, without having to drill the plexiglass.
So, I've asked around for suggestions and found myself at a dead end.

And then about a week ago I was telling Jason this brilliant idea I had for an adorable spice-rack (if I were the kind to actually cook or use spices) and I start searching Amazon for the necessary items to wishlist so that someday when I have money to spend on such things, I'll have those items already discovered and wishlisted.


While searching for a certain size of ultra-strong magnets I discovered the wrong size (right) and realized that not only would those be the perfect size for what I wanted to do, but they'd solve the entire issue of getting the metal look without drilling holes.

So I ordered 100 itty-bitty but super-mighty magnets.

After that I designed the signs.

Keeping in mind that the female population here is the absolute minority, I went with something clean and professional looking.  No frills, no 'pretty' fonts, and no feminine flourishes.

Just a standard outline, an interesting yet masculine font, and of course the Sheriff's Office logo.  Instead of printing it on standard copier paper, I got some paper from an Artist Sketch Pad (a brilliant idea I borrowed from a creative genius that I know and love) and printed it on there.

After cutting the signs down to size, I attached them to the center of one piece of plexi with Scotch Double Stick tape and then super-glued one little magnet to the four corners of that plexiglass.

To make sure that the magnets on the top sheet of the plexiglass matched the magnets on the bottom sheet (something that I almost didn't think of) and to make sure that they were lined up close enough to look like a solid bar, I set the top sheet of plexiglass directly on the bottom sheet and dropped four drops of super glue where the magnets on the bottom sheet were.  Then all I had to do was pry a magnet loose (which wasn't as easy as you'd think, the jokers are not only little but they're STRONG) and get it anywhere near the other magnet that it'd be paired with.

After that I got some Duck permanent double-sided foam mounting tape and stuck two pieces to the back of the bottom sheet of plexiglass and mounted them to the walls outside everyone's offices.

Totaling the project up, including shipping tape, ink, paper and magnets, the whole project cost less than $50, so I'm proud of how well it turned out and how much it saved the county in doing it myself!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

The Good, the Bad, the Grumpy


Otherwise accurately titled "PMS Much?"

Take your pick.

As for the post?  It's a bulleted entry.

Starting with things that irritate me today:

  • I called our phone company on April 29th to come make some changes to our phone network here.  I was under the impression they would be out that day but when Monday came and they weren't, I emailed my contact and he gave me the impression it was a matter of Days so I figured it would be resolved by that week, surely.  It's still unresolved and we're just getting the "We're busy" line.
  • I love being a mom.  I love raising my son.  I don't love raising everyone else's grown sons.
  • Pressing 1 for English.  Don't get me started.
  • Being broke.  I need to find an extra source of income for the summer when Ty's out of school and Daycare costs me $100-$125 more a month than I'm currently paying and my other bills don't seem to be getting any lower, either.
  • My messy house.  I'm so enjoying watching Ty play T-Ball (and I love that Jason and his brother will get out in the yard and help Ty), but I want my life back.  I want my time back.  I want to have time to clean my table off so we can sit down for a meal.  I want to be able to do my laundry and put it all away.  I want to be able to mow my yard and sweep off my carport and back patio.  I want to be able to sit down with a book in the back yard and watch Ty play in his little inflatable swimming pool.
  • The fact that I've had a headache 7 out of the last 9 days.  I'm at the "what gives" point.
  • The fact that my boy keeps complaining of a sore throat because his tonsils seem to be permanently stuck in Hyde form and I can't insta-fix it for him.  (Just called the Dr's office for a referral to an ENT, so hopefully that one can be taken care of at some point this summer, but it does add a little more to the whole being broke category). 
  • My satellite receiver had a brain fart and didn't record the Season Finale of Desperate Housewives last night.  And since I "make" Jason watch it with me, it's going to be a while before he and I get the chance to sit down together and watch it online.
What I'm trying to focus on instead:
  • How well my boy did yesterday while swimming from the shallow end to the ladder in the deep end without floaties.  (Seriously, it was an extremely proud moment for Mama!)
  • How great of a time Ty and I had with Jason and his brother yesterday.  And how awesome they both were in helping my boy with his T-Ball skills.
  • How excited Ty's going to be when I actually get the chance to mow the yard and put up his little inflatable swimming pool.
  • I'm most likely driving to see Jason this weekend instead of him driving here for about the 1500th week in a row.  'Most likely' because we do have a few potential hiccups that might send us elsewhere for the weekend, but I'm kinda excited about getting out of town for a day.
  • I get paid this week.  (Trying not to focus on the fact that it's all basically spent with bills that are due during the next two weeks because I need to feel like there's at least a temporary reprieve.)
  • One of my girl friends is having a baby girl on Wednesday and I'm so completely excited and up-in-the-air for her and her husband as they've been such an inspiration to me over the past several years!
  • We only have two more games of T-Ball left (possibly 3) until my time is once again my own!
  • I have some cute pictures of my boy not singing in a program that he was supposed to sing in at church yesterday.  Possibly including pictures of an almost-testosterone flare-up between him and another boy that was just too funny!  Though I am glad we didn't have to pull them off the stage!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Happy Boy's Day


My family was explaining the concept of Mother's Day to Ty this weekend, trying to help him understand that it's the one day of the year where Mama is everything and everyone else takes a back seat for at least an hour or two of the day.

In response, Ty asked us "When's Boy's Day?"

I told him simply that there's not a boy's day.

Which of course he had to know why there wasn't a boy's day.

Jason's oh-so-truer-than-true response, "Because you get every other day of the year."

Some day Ty will understand exactly how true that statement is!

Hope all you Mamas out there had a wonderful and heart-warming Mother's Day!  My family and my boy both spoiled me and I got to spend a wonderful day with my family, including my grandma who has been down visiting us this past week so I couldn't have asked for a better Mother's Day!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Zoo Day


I could tell the second that Ty woke up Friday morning.

He made a bigger ruckus getting out of the bed than he does on Christmas Morning.

He fumbled, stumbled, and all but fell out of the bed and then charged into the bathroom where I was getting ready and declared, "It's Zoo Day, Mama!"

I excitedly responded, "It is!!" and he took off in the living room excitedly shouting/singing, "It's zoo day!  Happy Birthday Zoo Day!"

Needless to say, Friday was zoo day.

Jason and I went to the Little Rock Zoo with Ty's Pre-K class (about 23 little kiddos), their parents and siblings, and his two sweet and wonderful teachers.

It was a perfect day of smiles and wonderment and beautiful weather.

And of course pictures.

Ty and Jason looking at the lorkeets.
The Gorilla.
Ty looking at the Gorilla (it came up a few minutes later and hit the glass!)
The prairie dogs.
Showing some love.
Farmer Jason and I.
Ty and Jason.
Ty made a loud noise and the porcupines were quick to show their quills.
Ty and Jason watching the porcupines.
A grizzly bear.
A giraffe.
Someone standing next to the sign said these were peacocks.....?

The zebra.
The rhinoceros.
The camel.
The Tiger was continually pacing around its enclosure.
The Lion was a lot more laid back!
The jaguar!
The elephant!
The crocodile had to come check us out!
One of the primates.
The warthog always looks so comical to me!
We discovered boxes of Cuervo and Brandy and realized that might be why the animals were all so calm and relaxed!
The monkey with the bad hair do!
A mama chimp and her cute little baby!
The orangutan finally came out to let us see it!
I knew these guys were big, but I had no idea HOW big!
Jason and Ty on the train!
Ty on the carousel.

Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.