Friday, September 28, 2007

I am alive. Which is good. And not as easy as one would think.

I am adding this little video of Esther, which will cheer us all up. Unless it doesn't work. Which it won't, because that is the kind of night it is.

BUT. If it does, it will surely make you SMILE!!!

Ummm, my house is messy because it being destroyed by to humans who thought it needed to be repainted, refloored, and redecorated.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

House Guests are coming

And you know what that means. Yep. Time to get all those nooks and crannies cleaned.

Here's a recipe for window cleaner- in case you don't already have one. Personally, my windows need to be gone after with a power hose but this will have to do for now.

Homemade window cleaner

1 cup rubbing alcohol

1 cup water

1 tablespoon vinegar

Using isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar together makes a quickly evaporating spray glass and mirror cleaner that competes with national brands. This can also be used to give a nice shine to hard tiles, chrome, and other surfaces.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Update on a Heidi...and some lunch while we're at it.

Heidi is doing well. The vet said she has dislocated her knee bone and that, though she is in pain, she will survive. She is on some meds that will hopefully take away some of the pain and let her heal up. Unfortunately, this is probably a chronic problem and we may be facing some surgery down the road a bit. But, I am no longer worried. My Heidi girl is gonna be okay!

Also, since I made myself a yummy veggie pizza, I thought I would share the great news that I am down almost 15 pounds. Eating all this delicious food is paying off. Here's my pizza in all its overdone glory. I like it good and crisy so I cook it to death. I just piled some sauce and a load of veggies onto a flatbread. Then I added soy mozzerella and seasoning. it was yummylicious and took care of my pizza craving in a big way.


She is no longer able to use her back right leg at all. She hurts. My poor sweet Heidi. The emergency clinic had no answers for us and we will get her in to see our vet asap. until then, would you mind saying a prayer for this precious creation? Truely, she is one of the best dogs ever. Her only flaw is that she loves to give slobbery kisses. My prayers have been with many in blogland who have lost their pets recently and it makes me afraid for Heidi.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Conversation with a kid

Weston: hey mom! Is it going to rain today? Cause if it rains we can play outside, and if we play outside in the rain that means it my birthday. On my birthday it is raining and we will play outside. And since we are having an airplane party WE CAN FLY THE PLANES IN THE RAIN!!!!!!! Oh please say it will rain and we can play outside and fly airplanes because then IT WILL BE MY BIRTHDAY!!!
We are upstairs having an airplane contest and it's not my birthday yet.

Me: Ummmm?

Weston: MOM! My Birthday! raining and Outside for an Airplane party

Me: That clears it up Weston.

Weston: Thanks mom! (quick hug and kiss)

Does anyone have any idea at all what that was about????

Good Morning Monday!

Happy Monday Morning to you all! Why am I chipper this morning? Because being chipper is less complicated than being grumpy- and I am on a mission to simplify my life. Wahooo! Exciting isn't it? So every Monday, I plan to share a tip on life simplification. Join me on my mission to unclutter our lives. Today is such an exciting day that I am going to give you two tips. TWO! Yay! Free tips! Wahoooo!

Tip number one: Don't answer the phone. I spent a day calculating how much time I spent running after that annoying ring. Ridiculous! I would stop everything, reading, doing dishes, laundry, helping kids with work...everytime I heard a bdddrrriinnnnnggg. Stupid me. No more. Now I am smart me. Now, if I am in the middle of something, I ignore the phone.
I have voice mail. Next time I walk by the phone, I can look and see who called. Bonus is that I don;t have to talk to anyone I don't want to. So. if you call me and I don't answer, it may be that I am home and have chosen to ignore call in an effort to de-clutter my life. haha! Just kidding. I will call you back. Promi...

Tip number Two:
Make a menu. I make a very loose menu. There are seven days in the week and I make seven dinner plans and make sure I have all the ingredients on hand. This way, when it comes to dinner time, I can look at my list and make whichever meal sounds good that day. I make sure to include several "lazy" meals to use on those days that things are nutso in my house. I post this menu on my fridge and every morning I look at it and decide what meal would fit best for today. I write that meal on my dry erase board so I don't forget it. My memory is worse than my typing. Here's a peek into this weeks menu. They are all weight watchers menus and come either from client websites or from the cookbook Flex and Core.

Apple Crusted pork with sweet potatoes
Cheesy Mushroom Burgers with steamed broccoli
Chicken picada with green peas
Summer Corn, bacon, and Potato chowder with salad
Dijon Beef Stroganoff with artichokes
Chicken Souvlaki with rice and yogurt sauce
Tex-mex turkey Meatloaf with coucous and green beans

PS, I added a sweet early morning picture to cheer you up. And freak my sister out- because freaking her out cheers ME up!!!!! happy Monday y'all!!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Special Day

Marcus is EIGHT!
Happy birthday little boy. I mean big boy. Eight years. I wish I could keep you forever, but the point of life is to both wisdom and stature. You have done both. This year saw your first basketball goal, your first fight with crazy aunt Mary, your first book- read completely on your own, your first mission project, your first swimming lesson graduation, and oh so may more firsts. My favorite first was you responding to my "I love you." For so many years I have told you that I love you. I love you around the world and back, I love you when you scream in anger, and when you pout for three hours because you have to write a spelling sentence. I love you when you tell me that you are a frutitarian and won't eat veggies or meat. For eight years I have told you that I have loved you. And for eight years you have responded with "I know." or "okay." I have always known you love me. But like every mama in the world I longed to hear it. I cursed the condition that made you write such beautiful poetry, understand such things that most seven year olds gasp in confusion at. That same condition that made you stiffen with every hug and to never respond to my loving whispers.
But this year was a milestone. I held up my fingers, in the sign for "I love you." and you responded. Your fingers formed an i, l, and y, sign language for I love you. And my heart sang for joy. No other moment this year was quite as good as that one. I love you too, my Marcus. More than you will ever know. Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just another day:

A busy busy day.
But oh so good. We had friends over for some school time and craft time. All while the lovely new carpet was being laid. We decoupaged little wooden pumpkins and they had a blast!

While I fixed lunch, Marcus read a book to his friends. He read with expression and made his mama proud. he got some of my genes afterall.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What does my fridge say about me?

After reading a post on THIS BLOG THAT YOU MUST GO VISIT BECAUSE I REALLY REALLY LOVE HER HOUSE AND WANT TO MOVE IN WITH HER!!!! I got to thinking about what my fridge might reveal about me.

It says I love simplicity.

It says I am persistent. I have been working on this for months. I used every single letter block I had, and let me tell you it was hard. I had very few vowels- and NO A's! Look closely, I used an upside down V for an A. Some would say that this reveals that I am a cheater. It say that it says I am creative.

It says I am organized and that I care about the character of my children.

Haha. This is the side. I am pretty sure that this says I am a fraud. Just a hodge podge mess of a person. The front is a front. haha. Did you catch that?

Monday, September 17, 2007

What's For Dinner?

Red Snapper Cakes with Nectarine Salad

I would give you the recipe but I am sure it is copyrighted by weight watchers. I can tell you that the fish cakes involve fish, egg, cornmeal, shallots, and jalepeno's. The nectarine salad can be easily figured out from the pics, but that is definately case you were stumped. If you would like the exact recipe, I HIGHLY reccomend the "Ultimate Flex and Core Cookbook". So far, every recipe has been a winner. This one was so yummy that I just might serve it once a week.

Oh, and the kids ate it up. No leftovers save the little pile of red onions left on the little kid plates.

A tiny Organized Paradise in the Middle of a World of Chaos

My house is so beyond repair it is unbelievable. The entire contents of the living room and dining room have spilled over into the entire first floor. The entire house is bearing the consequences of days of painting, redecorating, and no time for cleaning. Ugh. It's just ugh.
But here are two tiny oasis in the middle of the filth and destruction.
Our school table. It is simple, it is functional. It doesn't look like it should grace the cover of a magazine, but it works oh so very well. A small shelf to cubby our math manipulatives into, a holder for pencils, pens, dry erase markers, and even Marcus' glasses fit in there.
A pencil box to hold sharpened pencils, erasers (because my children eat the ones on top of their pencils), and a sharpener.
Two more stacking pencil boxes, one for crayons, one for colored pencils.
A dry erase board for spelling words.
Everything gets used everyday and put away everyday. It's simple and it makes my eyes happy.
By the way, you can use this part of my blog post for a homeschooling exercise. Have your children count the number of sentence fragments. Horrifying!

And this little spot of delight is new. As if we didn't have enough craziness on our weekend to-do list, we decided that a family control center was a MUST. I got the idea from This post from a parenting board I frequent You don't have to be a member to view the post. What a great idea! I had to implement it immediately. I bought all the supplies at Home Depot.
The entire thing cost about 50.00 and was very very worth it. I plan to use some hot glue and some ribbon to pretty it up, but I have a million other things to do first (like find my hot glue gun). Ha! Like having things to do ever stopped me from a project...
No. Seriously. I have to get this stuff done, the craziness is making me...well...crazy.

As an update on the carpet situation. We exchanged the crapet (this was misspelled on accident. I promise), and for only 160.00 more, we no longer have pink carpet. This second carpet is lighter, thicker, and definitely no pink. Dustan said I am not allowed to change my mind again and so, for my sanity I refuse to post a picture. I will show you when it's already in and too late to change. Speaking of in- WEDNESDAY! Just three days and I won't have to look at that disgusting brown carpet (or crapet), ever again!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

sneak peek

UPDATE#2: I have exchanged the carpet (see above post) and because I didn;t want to clog this post with fifty hundred carpet pictures- I removed several of them. I have no idea which ones are left. Apparently some pictures made the carpet look fine- others brought out the pink. Thank you all very very much for all the advice and for pointing out the pinkyness.
UPDATE: I was told the carpet was PINK! Pink?!?!?! Okay, so I have rushed to some better light so that my camera could take better pictures. If it still looks pink, I will make haste to Crazy Becky's Carpet Outlet and see if I can change the carpet! So look hard. See any pink?

I am making a quick post an run so I can get some familial opinions. The goal is to lighten this room, but I am nervous about the carpet being too creamy and the paint being too dull. Hopefully Mom can put my mind at ease...

Friday, September 14, 2007


It's hard work again here today with no relief in sight. Four more walls to be painted and the dining room whit walls must be redone due to cruddy paint. Don't buy Behr. If you do, don't say I didn't warn you. Three coats later and it's still blotchy.

I am tired, and verging on cranky. So I lightened the mood. The kids are convinced it's satying this way and they are BEGIING me to erase both the Emi (she is our neighbor) reference and the dog present. They have informed me that the wall looks really nice except for those two things. They are worried that Grandma might not like it, but she especially won't if it has doggie doo on it.

We will tell them sometime in about...oh...1 hour, that it's just primer.
We have the lovliest shade of grecian green going up. I can't wait. It brighter and lighter than what is up at the moment. And.

Count down to new carpet starts TODAY. Wahoo! Measuring Man (that's a new super hero, in case you were wondering) came out today.

Show and Tell Friday

I have decided to participate in Kelly's Show and Tell. Please go check out her website. Use the links listed to travel across blogland and visit other show and tells and since you are there anyway...sign up for her FREE subscription to her magazine. I got mine and I love it!

Without further ado, here is my show.

My dad made this box in 1968. He must have been all of thirteen years old. It is hard to imagine my father as a thirteen year old. It isn;t hard to imagine him doing pottery. I think he would be very content to sit in mounds of clay all day.
Some how, this passed on to me and I adore it. It's one of my most cherished possesions. It hold inside the toilet paper and stone "engagement ring" made for me at my wedding shower.

Here is daddy's little boy initials. Sometimes I just like to trace my fingers over that carving.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I am posting from a pretty place

New couch covers. Gone is the ugly jungly green. I still have some illows to make and the arm cushions to cover, but all in all- it turned out well. We had some snags along the way but once we (by we, I mean my awesome friend, Gwen) figured it out, it was smooth sailing. Ahem. well, actually...there is that one back cushion that is significantly smaller than the others. that single pillow sent me to my room in tears and kept me awake all night last night. personally, I plan to purge the memory of that pillow from my mind.

And as if my house wasn't enough of a big gigantic undone project... We have decided to paint the dining room before we lay down the new floor. As soon as we finish painting we have to move all the furniture that is now piled in the living room, into the freshly painted dining room, so that we can, then, paint the living room in preparation for its new flooring. I leave you with a picture of my hunk, and a peek at the new paint color.

Good bye for now. The rest of the day will be spent running errands, painting, and moving furniture. Tonight will be spent downing as many tylonols as legally possible. My muscles already hate me and I am no where near done.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A rug for Esther's room

I hadn't posted this yet because I thought everyone was tired of seeing Esther's room. But since Carrie kept it is. I used some heavy decorator fabric that I found on sale, backed it with that hot pink from her curtains (I still have a ton of that left as I was required to buy three full yards), and sandwiched in some heavy waffle weave knit for batting. I am one of those use what you have people and didn't want to make an extra run to the store for batting.
After calling around and getting advice on how to quilt the rug I finally decided on the easiest way: I threaded some floss, puled it through and tied it in little knots. I am sure there is some kind of technical term for this, but since I no squat about quilting I will leave it to the experts to point us to the just-right terminology.

Anyhow, It was simple to do and eventually I hope to fill the whole rug with little knotties...but I am saving that chore for one of Esther's winter sick days. I will open up her curtains, let the sun shine in and sit on her floor, quilting her rug while she lies in bed coughing and moaning. This plan may have to be implemented sooner than expected as they already have their first change-of-weather sickness. It's allergy season here.
It's no surprise though since the yard is covered in gigantic mushrooms and the mushrooms are covered in a fine green and white hairy film. I told Dustan that our fungus was growing mold and sent him to the pharmacy to gather some meds to make the kids comfy enough to sleep. Last night we were med free. We were also sleep free.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Routine seems to be a dirty word at my house. No sooner do I decide to institute one than it is destroyed by circumstance, by child, by the previous nights insomnia, and mostly by myself.
I seem to be one of the few people in the world who does not function well under a routine. I bore easily I guess.
I am also, always stressed.
And I have at least one child who NEEDS a structured routine. is my one hundred and forthieth million gazzillion effort at a (loose) routine.
Wake up.
Wake up kids.
Everyone get dressed.
Every one straighten rooms and gather up dirty laundry.
Go downstairs. Take laundry basket with me.
Take dog out.
Make and eat breakfast.
Put in a load of laundry.
Start kids on school.
Clean kitchen, blog, read email, and do Bible study while they do Independent work.

I already hate it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Love Letters

It makes my heart sing. A letter for me.
Der Mom
I Luve Yoo (the o's are hearts!)
Thanc You for

It makes your heart sing too doesn't it?
It also makes me wonder if I am raising as horrible a speller as myself.
It also makes me grateful for rice

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Day to Dream of Buttons.....and hot pink fur.

What in the name of Katie ever inspired me to handsew 30 teeny tiny buttons onto the curtains?!?!?! I was so bored during the endless button sewing that I wrote an entire blog post in my head...all about sewing buttons. Unfortunately, I promptly forgot it.
I also decided to attach the polka ribbon with a running hand stitch. Most people would scoff at my horrible stitchery, but I think it adds a folksy touch.
Tea party anyone?
Peek- a -boo Mr. Bear. We see you.
Simple ribbon curtain ties. Esther picked out the ribbon and although I used it to hem the curtains, I thought I should use them in a more obvious place. It is her room after all. Eventually I will attach some to some pretty pillows and then make some shmancier tiebacks.
Oooh, I hate this picture. It is supposed to be showing off the AWESOME bedcover I made. One side is hot pink hairy, soft as silk fabric. I had to piece the other side and it turned out so incredibly...Esther. Well, and a tiny bit me. The me part is all the places I ran the stitches off the binding. Perhaps I can talk Danielle or Carrie into re-doing it for me. But until then, Esther will have a super soft, super cool blankie to cover up with.

Miss Spunk gets a room!

Poor Spunky. She has had a mattress on the floor with some old grey sheets my brother once used. Her blue curtains came with the house and her precious things were piled here and there in misc baskets. Poor neglected child.So how do you create a room that expresses someone so sparkly...and covered in dirt at the same time? How do you make a room that belongs to princess pea in a pod who is playing in the backyard wearing a tutu, cowboy boots, swimming goggles, and digging for earth worms all at the same time? 'bout we ask her?
After an entire day of searching for rooms online, Esther found this sheet set that she "Just had to have". It fits her perfectly. Frogs, flowers, and polka dots- as well as her favorite color combo- pink and green! I declared it perfect (I was ready to declare anything perfect after a day of window shopping with this child). I let her choose lots of other little details too that will be seen later...when I actually get them done...

And remember those old presswood shelves everyone told me to leave behind? (They were free from a store that was going out of business). Well. Look at them now! I misjudged how high the bed would be and Esther will need a wee step stool to safely climb up there. A bed stool! For a three year old! How awesomely cool is that!
And my curtains turned out lovely. Not completely done. I still have some details to finish (like the hem) but have to make a store run to buy those little details. Just wait til you see what I have planned.

Stay tuned. This is just parts one and two. Part 3 is a doozy and part 4 is all those little accessories that will make our crafty decorating hearts swoon.

PS: please excuse naked miss katie up there on the bed. Katie is a bit of a nudist and in an effort to shun modern conventions, she hid all her clothes.
PS#2: This morning is rather dark and gloomy. If it brightens up a bit I will snap some better photographs- cause the ones I posted STINK!

Monday, September 03, 2007

It's labor day:

And so we labored. My entire house has become the Land of Unfinished projects.
Everything got moved into the living room because we tore the carpet out of the dining room only to find that we can not replace it because the floor is so uneven. The solution to this problem is to tear up the sub floor (two layers of it) and sand down the floor joists until they are all even. This will probably get done sometime in the next century. Meanwhile, I now have a nasty particle board floor and a living room full of dining room.
On all of our treks to a million flooring store, in an effort to find an easier solution (we didn't), I noticed that our Discount Decorating Outlet Store was closing. FABRIC! For CHEAP! This floral and denim will be perfect for that new couch and loveseat.
And these are for Esther's room. The frog/floral is actually her sheet set from Target- but it goes so well with the curtain fabric that will get made sometime in the century after next.
And here is that dining room. Since it has no floor that needs to be protected, I used it for a painting studio. Those are those presswood bookshelves I got for free at a store closeout. Everyone kept telling me I was ridiculous for wanting them. But I have grand plans I tell you...Grand plans.
Part two of grand plan. paint Barbie pink? (The color was Esther's idea).