Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Girl #2 Homework

Girl #2 is such a sweetheart.  She absolutely loved Black History month at her school.  It was one of her favorite subjects to study.  I wanted to document a piece of her homework for our scrapbook here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

34 Things

I'll let you guess how I picked the number for today's list ;).  It's my birthday and in honor of that I'd like to start documenting some things that intrigue me that I'd really like to try.

34 Things I Want to Do Someday
  1. Buy a guitar
  2. Take guitar lessons
  3. Buy a $100 walmart card and then hand it to the person behind me in line
  4. Hand out $100 bills in a parking lot somewhere
  5. Pre-pay for massages for a few stressed single-moms
  6. Call a college and randomly pay someone's semester tuition
  7. Stock my freezer with 30 dinners and not cook for a month
  8. Become certified to teach Zumba or some other dance related exercise class
  9. Get a PhD, so I could teach at a university if I wanted to work
  10. or do pre-med work and then go to Medical school
  11. or get an MBA and work in Health Care Administration again
  12. or be a stay at home mom the rest of my life
  13. clearly I am conflicted
  14. paint our whole house a neutral tan
  15. although I am happy to let my husband do it
  16. go on a beach vacation, and lay out in the sun and read
  17. or lay by a pool and have food and drinks delivered to my chair while I read
  18. It's funny how only one of my dreams involve cooking (or eliminating it as it were) yet I spend around 1/2 my day each day doing just that.
  19. But many of my dreams involve having money to give away
  20. I just know how scary it can be to be close to your last $ when you have kids to feed and clothe
  21. I thank the three years of law school while I had three little kids for that knowledge :)
  22. Have a weekend away with my husband
  23. That one could easily combine with the beach or poolside vacation
  24. I'm running out of dreams.
  25. I don't have that many besides giving money away
  26. and ways to earn that money
  27. But I can't decide which one (if any) to do.
  28. Partly because I am completely
  29. responsible for raising my children right now.
  30. And I desperately want to do a good job.
  31. I know I am cheating
  32. by writing all this stuff 
  33. instead of my list.  But
  34. now you know where my mind is at.
I've had the dreams of giving money away for a long time, but I got some specific ideas from this woman's birthday experience.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What I Needed:

A win.

Something Positive.

Something I could Do.

And do well.

That's what I needed today...this morning.  The beginning of this weekend was an explosion of me mentally hitting the wall from the stress of this year.  Why all at once?  I don't know.  It had probably been on a low simmer, slowly escalating as one thing (finding out about water damage in neighborhood we were building in), then another (getting sued by the builder), then another (Living in a too small space), and so many others (Boy #1 Tonsillectomy, 5 antibiotic necessary illnesses of my own, friendship issues for me and my children) threatened to take away our peace.

I think adrenaline alone powered me through this year.  But now that we know where life is headed and where we will live, it hit.  And hit big.  Heavenly Father in his love and mercy reached down to me today and gave me exactly what I needed.  There was a mis-communication in Relief Society ( a class at church) this morning and there was no one prepared to teach the class.  I volunteered to do so.  To most people somthing like that would add to their stress.  Public speaking is something I really love.  I love connecting with an audience.  Doing so is much easier and less stressful for me than one-on-one conversations.

As I prayed for help, I was directed with ideas of stories to share and topics for the class to discuss and I could feel a spirit of learning and cooperation in the room.  I felt so spiritually rewarded as I left that class.  If I had known it was coming I probably would have chalked it up to one more stressor on my plate.  The way it turned out, I left feeling renewed, re-strengthened and filled again with the knowledge that God, my Heavenly Father is watching every aspect of my life and stepping in to answer my prayers and help me in just the way he knows I need.

I am loved.  And I am so grateful.

Lunch Box Bin

To save a few bucks I bought big bags of chips for the girl's lunches and then set to work portioning them into snack bags.  It is much cheaper than buying the little individual bags of chips.  I didn't think it made much of a difference until I did the math.

Yes, that shirt is not flattering...No, I am not pregnant.

Then, I added the little applesauce containers I had purchased, and will add a few other things to keep in our pantry.  When making lunches I can just pull out this bin and put them together in seconds.  I saw another blogger do a post on freezing sandwiches.  That might be next.  The more I can streamline this task  the better since it always happens at times we are stressed and trying to get out the door.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Making Cookies

For Valentine's Day, I made some sugar cookies.  Girl #2 and Boy #1 helped roll out dough and cut heart shapes.  Soon, Boy #2 was no longer content to watch from the sidelines and was climbing onto the table and ripping apart the hearts we had painstakingly cut out...

Gah!  The kids and I were both frustrated.  Then I had an idea!

We put Boy #2 in his high chair along with his own dough and roller and we were able to finish the task.

I love how seriously he takes his cookie making!  I love that boy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fabric Covered Diaper Box Tutorial

Step #1:  Cut off the box lid.

Step 2:  Trace the box with a marker 
             (underside of fabric)

Step 3:  Roll the box to each side to trace
             (and add about an inch to each area when you cut it out so you can roll over so all          raw edges are covered)

Step 5:  Pull that fabric up and Start Gluing!

Finished Product:  I glued a large ribbon around it and added      a bow.

P.S.  If you had a bunch of these what would you store in them???

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fabric Covered Diaper Boxes

I saw the most adorable basket-like covered boxes on pinterest.  Here's a link to my "pinboard" I have them on (note:  my first four pins on that page are actually covered diaper boxes!).  Ladies were using their old diaper boxes in such a cool way!  I had to join in. 

Reason 1:  We go through diapers....Yeah, buddy.
Reason 2:  I have lots of fabric lying around.
Reason 3:  So it would be free!!!!!!!!

Tune in tomorrow for a tutorial so you can learn to make these, too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Building Project...

...that will beget more building projects.

He made a work table, and really likes it.  He's thinking about making another.  One thing Mr. Warmth has enjoyed the most about all our home remodels is the excuse to get fun, new tools.  They are like toys to him, and I am more than happy to see our money spent that way.  It is such a great investment, since doing these projects ourselves saves money and makes money when it is time to sell...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Park Days

This is in January!!!

These were taken at the park in our new neighborhood.
I parked there and then walked to get the girls from school
and we all walked down to the park to play for an hour
before going home.  'Twas a fun afternoon!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Green Smoothie Recipe

After reading this book about a year and a half ago....

I started drinking green smoothies about once a day.  My favorite recipe is:

1 C water
then blend in a loosely piled blender full of spinach

When that is pureed, add 1 container sweetened yogurt, 1 banana, and about 3/4 C of frozen berries.

Blend on high until smooth.

I did lose 20 pounds after eating these daily for a month or so.  I was also breastfeeding at the time, so take it for what you will :).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"I did look unto my God..."

Yesterday we gave talks in Church.  I'd like to say it was rewarding but it was one of those talks I felt like I "lost" the audience about 2/3 of the way through and felt compelled to sit down because of their boredom vibes that were oozing their way up to me on the stand :).

Regardless, writing the talk was good for me, giving me something to ponder and focus on.  Most of the talk was about my life and my choices and following the answers to prayer I had received.  A big theme was my realization that I have a problem with worrying more about what other people think (or might think) of what I do, rather than focusing on God's approval.

This scripture helped me realize why I shouldn't be doing that:

And behold, how aoft you have btransgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in thecpersuasions of men.
 For, behold, you should not have afeared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and bdespise his words—
 Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and asupported you against all the fiery bdarts of thecadversary; and he would have been with you in every time ofdtrouble.

Every time I have followed Him and what He asked me to do--this has been true.  I have been supported and helped (houses sold, kids healed, friendships restored, math problems made sense of...).  I need to continue to have Faith in Him and His answers to my prayers.  I am so thankful for the miracles he continues to bring me in my every day life.


We love that the basement is unfinished!

It is so fun to play in!

Is it weird that he is vacuuming out the
 remainders of bird's nests? 
 I seriously don't know what was up in this house before we moved in ;).

How cute is it to see a 16 month old toddler pushing his 7 year old sister around?
Awww, I love my kids!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Baker's Helpers

This guy loves to help me bake.

And this appliance has been SO nice to use:

The top is a small oven, that is perfect for one cookie sheet--
I think I use it similar to how people use their toaster ovens.  
I've only heated up the main part of the stove once or twice in 
the month we've lived here.  Most everything else can be done
in this small space.  Saves a lot of electricity!

When we looked at this foreclosure I thought it was obnoxious that
they took all the appliances out (even built-ins like dishwasher and microwave).
But in the end I'm glad!  I love my new appliances we had to buy :).

Thursday, February 16, 2012


What we are doing is not for the faint of heart.  It wasn't easy at our last place.  We renovated it while living in it, and so many times as we were doing that, I said, "This is why we are building a new house!"  I didn't ever want to deal with someone else's pets urine!  And here we are.  And the urine takes over our lives again.

Every single room has the remnants of a dog that sheds long white hairs.  I thought that was the biggest dog issue.  As I spend more time in each room, especially if my face or nose nears the floor, I get a whiff or a peek at the yellow spots everywhere.  Why???  Oh yeah.  We knew this.  We signed up for this.  Well, kind of.

I distinctly remember when we walked through the house for the first (and my last time before we closed) viewing of the house that I said I would have to have the carpet replaced before I could move in, because of the pet issues.  I retracted that later when I decided moving the kids' schooling over at Christmas break would be an easier transition for them.  And then when I realized how much gas it would cost to keep driving two hours a day to get them to school over here.

Alas, I have realized that repairs that affect your everyday life should be done first.  It's been over a month.  Life is so chaotic because stuff is everywhere and I don't feel like I can pick "permanent spots" when it will all be moved for re-carpeting.

The Big Move, part 2

There was no light fixture over the kitchen table before--the buyers had taken almost all of the fixtures when they left
 (because the house foreclosed).  
Now...there is no light fixture in the office where we took this chandelier from.

This is the point where I realize I am going to be very involved in this and it's  heavy!

I skipped Zumba class because I didn't feel well.  Instead I am holding this heavy thing?

My eyes are fixated on the TV so I don't think about how my arms hurt.

Someone appreciates our work!

And the plumbing and electrical genius made it do this!  Go Mr. Warmth!

This glow just warms my heart.  It feels like home.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Big Move

This is the formal dining room at night.  Dontcha just love this chandelier?  

Well, I do :).  I love the glow of it at night.

It turns out that we really aren't formal dining room people.  Maybe there's something about having four little children that makes us shy away from pretty breakable china and allthatjazz.  Because of that we chose to use this room as a family office.  As such, we realized this light fixture could be better utilized in another spot in the house.

Stay tuned and tomorrow we'll show you how and where we moved this beautiful beast!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Today, it got to be 7:00 pm and I still hadn't read my scriptures.  I grabbed them, headed for a quiet spot on the stairs, and shut my eyes to pray.  As I prayed, the thoughts came to mind about my husband and how he was quietly working on a wood project out in the garage.

The rest of the family (the kids) were in the family room watching TV and I, well...I already told you that I was about to read scriptures.  I hadn't thought about my husband (except to be a little annoyed that I was feeding, cleaning up after, and generally spending my Friday night alone with the kids).  When I prayed and was reminded of my husband I started thanking Heavenly Father for the things I have thanks to my husband.

And the list was getting long!

Besides the fact that he pays for it...we could never have bought a house like this (that needed so much TLC) if not for his hard work and talent at fixing things.  He enjoys it, but I am also grateful he gives of his free time to make our home comfortable and efficient to use.

Tonight he happened to be building something for his office at work, but the majority of his "time off" is working on stuff for us.  The more I prayed about this the more I realized what I needed was to be by his side.  I threw on my coat and went out and chatted for a moment while watching him stain the wood for his project.   I was quickly summoned back in by a crying child, but I'm glad prayer took me to that moment and that reminder.

People have relationships without prayer...but I don't know how.  Heavenly Father sure helps and strengthens ours.  I am so grateful for that.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wallpaper Impatience

This stuff just lifted off in pieces.  It was put on one ripped piece at a time so it came off easily.  Easily until you get to....say...the height I can no longer reach while standing on a chair.  The basic builder paint color on the wall is a beautiful light gray.  I have no idea why someone felt compelled to cover it in so many ways.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

House Pictures--Stairway

I really like this stairway.  I'm not 100% sure what it is I like about it.  I think part of it is that it curves--isn't just a straight shot down like our Village Green places were.  I have had so many babies learning to go up and down stairs in the last 10 years, I think I really like having a "landing" (literally!) half way down for when/if they take a little tumble.

So....what do you think of this paint color?  It's tan/brown which is what I usually like.  But it's just got a lot of pink to it.  And that bugs me.  There are larger problems in the world...and in this house, even :), so I'm not sure if I'll change it.  What do you think?

Friday, February 10, 2012

My reading

I'm still studying the Book of Mormon everyday...and loving it.  I'm loving the peace and power I am feeling to help solve my problems.  There is nothing like a stronger dose of the Holy Spirit to help my life along!

Yesterday and today, I employed a study technique I heard about recently that involves reading the same passage over and over.  I didn't mean to employ this technique--but I realized that I really needed to soak in the beauty and teachings of those 3 verses, so I did just that.

Sometimes I just keep reading chronologically and the Spirit whispers insights to my soul (sometimes even unrelated to the subject matter in the verses I am reading).  And sometimes, certain events or words just need studied over and over.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Breathing What?

So this looks like a normal bin of garbage right?

The only thing you might find abnormal (aside that we are not beer drinkers) is that this is what came out of our air vents here in our home.

Being terribly allergic to pet hair, we've been doing all we can to eradicate it from this home.  That is everything aside from replacing the carpet, which is what we really need to do...

But eliminating it from the vents was a necessary step, so Mr. Warmth pulled out the Shop Vac as well as the trusty super-long hose and he sucked all kinds of yucky from those pipes that feed us our breathing air.

We were not shocked to pull up a lot of dust and dog hair.  We were, however, surprised with these large goodies.

Fun fact:  the expiration date on the beer can is a good year before our house closed the first time, after construction.  That leads me to believe that can, as well as the other stuff perhaps, has been in those vents from the moment it was built.