Saturday, March 31, 2012

Family room FAN

Oh, posts like this just make me remember I am lucky, Lucky, LUCKY, to be married to this man.  When we saw this house, and saw all its problems and the things that were missing, I knew without a doubt he could handle all of them.  Because he does.  Every time.

Here he is installing the first ceiling fan of the house:

Here's to airflow and spring breezes and lower A/C bills in the summer!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bobi's Granola

This is a yummy recipe I created myself.  I wanted it to be simple, lightly sweet, and use ingredients we always had on hand.  It's our back-up breakfast cereal, if we are out.  I would prefer we eat high fiber breakfasts like this every day, but my kids don't agree.  They enjoy making it though, and especially enjoy eating it when it is warm out of the oven.

Bobi's Granola

11 C regular oatmeal (not quick cook)
1 C powdered milk

Mix together.

Then on the stove mix:

1 C brown sugar
1/2 C honey
1 t salt
3/4 C canola oil

Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Then pour this warm liquid over bowl of oats and dried milk.  Mix as thoroughly as possible.  

 Spread out onto two baking sheets.  Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

I like to top mine with nuts and milk for breakfast. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reasons We {Love} Where We Are Now

  • Our house is 3 times bigger than the one we were having built
  • But it cost less
  • It is in a neighborhood with more expensive houses (thus raising our property value)
  • We purchased it well below its value, so we have less fear if we ever need to sell
  • There is enough space we don't ever need to finish the basement, which has been a fun place for the kids to ride bikes and scooters and play basketball in the winter.
  • The schools from elementary to middle to high school are all ones that have decent reputations
  • the neighborhood is quiet and safe feeling
  • it is near the best shops and restaurants and medical care places in this city
  • It is close to Mr. Warmth's work (6 miles)
  • and close to a co-worker so they carpool and we save gas $
  • we go to church with nice people, we are slowly getting to know :)
  • we have the cutest older gentlemen home teach us, last month they came twice!
  • I'm pretty certain they don't read my blog--but if they do, I'm sorry I don't mean old, I just mean "retired"
  • our backyard is already fenced, and now our deck is done (will post pictures soon)
  • This house was completely landscaped already.  When I see all the different trees, plants, and shrubs at Lowe's for sale I am grateful we already have some in the ground!
  • And it has a built-in sprinkler system
  • there are infinite project and remodeling possibilities here because of the space and floor plan
  • Our dream up until about a year ago was always to buy a place in need of repair.  Building and having something new really sounded fun too, but we were blessed with what we would be the most blessed by.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Good about the Bad

After seeing this post show up "live" on my blog, I started thinking about why I couldn't talk much about this (at the time) traumatic part of our lives for so long and why I suddenly felt compelled to talk about it now.

I think I went through the stages of first shocked, and then VERY angry :), and sad.  I've been sad about it awhile.  But the exciting thing is that I'm getting closer to acceptance.  And that is a good place to be.  I don't know if I should or want to re-hash each conversation and event surrounding that situation, but I might wrap it up a bit for those who know me.  Shortly before moving over here a guy at church made mention of how we "bailed" on the house we were building.

I want to make it clear there is nothing further from the truth.  We wanted that dream, we held onto it, even moving into an almost uninhabitable housing situation to try to hold onto the hope that house was getting built.  We were patient with the people whose greed made the building keep getting postponed.  We drove up to see our lot almost daily and we prayed and prayed and prayed.

But prayers get answered in mysterious ways and ours was answered by the very people who tried to keep our house from being built.  The time that its construction was put off was exactly the window of time we needed to find out all the dirty secrets of the developer in the area, realize the legal situation we were now in, and have this amazing deal (the house we live in now) fall into our lap.  It was a beautiful, glorious miracle.  The timing was beyond human control.  I knew that then and I know that now.

I realize I have complained on the blog a lot lately and tried to be open about my grieving throughout this last year, but that isn't because I don't see the miracle we've been given.  Just like postpartum depression seems unimaginable when a person wants a baby so bad...good and wonderful things can stress you out and bring you to an emotional brink, just like bad things.  I hope you readers understand what I mean.

God worked miracles in my life this year.  I will be grateful forever.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Almost Ready

I am almost ready to address the pain of losing this house we were building.
For about a year it was our dream.
It was a floorplan we were designing.
It was a plot of land with trees we thought was perfect.
Near friends we thought we'd have forever.
It wasn't really what we were dreaming it was.
There was horrible problems we discovered thankfully before it was too late.
But a dream it was.
And losing it was sad.  And still involves tears.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Electronics Angst

Since we were in such a tight place this last Christmas, our children were given small tablets (electronic).  Therefore they each in some way have access to music to play, app games to play, e-books to read, the internet, etc.

In our errant thinking we concluded that having these small electronics would keep them occupied in the small space and when traveling and lower contention levels in stressful times such as those.


Color me naive, obviously.  Something is always needing charged, so someone else's is being borrowed.  Fighting ensues.  Music is blasting that I don't really want to hear.  Sometimes from more than one place at a time!  Electronic book reading gets passed up in favor of Angry Birds or Cafe Story, or Restaurant Story, or somanyotherstories.

Take me back to the days of just books and toys!

***Post Update:  I finally took the tablets away for a few days after writing this and we had a much less contentious weekend :).  Go figure....

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2 months

It has been over 2 months since we closed on this house.  I think we are starting to get more used to it.  I am praying for new carpet though.  I have spent enough time stewing over the urine smells, I finally decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and just start praying for help.  Carpet for a place this big is expensive and we don't want to get the cheapest thing possible and then regret even spending that much a few months or years later.  So I am praying we'll somehow come up with the money for good carpet.  I'd love to feel that clean feeling under my feet and not smell urine so strongly while we are home.

I don't think I'm really in a routine yet.  I feel like besides "survival" mode of food, dishes, laundry, kids to an from school, and unpacking, the only thing I've been able to focus on is dealing with the residual emotions of our whirlwind year.  I feel like I am making progress in that...but it could be a year in coming.  That's okay.  I've been through a lot and need to restore so I can keep giving for a lifetime.  5 other people need me to do that.  It's a lot of pressure to bear somedays.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I'm waiting for the day to end.  I asked my hubby to put the kids to bed so I could stay down here and watch a travel show (I had borrowed a bunch of travel DVD's from the library).  Instead I'm writing this.

Today was a "bad" day.  I accomplished what needed to be done--including the laundering of our bedding which seems to keep getting peed in when a kid crawls in to sleep with us...That always takes forever:  the king size pad is a load, then all the sheets, and finally the comforter.  Then when they are finally dry hauling it all upstairs.  Okay, really it's a couple hour chore.  But when you are trying to keep four people from touching Dad's dangerous building tools, keep them fed, just feels like SO MUCH.

I did my part of helping with the deck tonight by hammering in nails.  Nails that are already in the deck but are working their way up.  I just got to hammer them right back down.  I was a little nervous about how loud it was to the neighbors.  Which was a shame, cause hammering my frustrations might have been satisfying :).

I think it is labeled a "bad day" because of the uselessness I feel in all of the looming home projects combined with being overwhelmed with the task of parenting.  Remembering back to my career days I remember so many things that I knew I was good at.  But here's this:  Do you know any good moms?  Or any moms that consider themselves "good" at that job?  How about women whose children are grown?  Have you EVER heard one of them say they did a good job looking back?  All I ever hear about is regrets...what they didn't do enough of.

Yeah.  So that's where my thoughts are today.  Doing the job that's impossible to do well.  And trying to figure out how to be happy about that impossibility.

Paint Colors

If it was your living room which would you choose?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Feelings

I haven't had much to write about or discuss because I've been at times numb and at others completely overwhelmed with sadness and exhaustion.  A lot of it is just saved up stress from how we've spent the last year, in limbo, with sad stressful events seemingly always around the corner.

I live a very quiet, somewhat plain suburbia life now, but my traumatized-by-the-stress brain hasn't figured that out.  I'm dealing with high level anxiety, obsessiveness, and lots of crying.

Today is a good day.  That is why I am writing about it.  I love keeping a blog because I like to feel like I can connect my life with others.  I appreciate those who read every day.  I appreciate hearing from you any time I can.  Thanks to all who "chat" with me.  I'll share more posts about our house progress (that'll be keeping us busy for years to come it seems!) but I'd also like to share my feelings too.

Wishing you the best in YOUR neck of the woods!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gluten-Free Doughnuts

When we are making doughnuts or scones as a fun treat for the family, we like to make a Gluten-free equivalent for our girl #1 who has Celiac Disease.  An easy way to do this is to make the biscuit dough from the GF Bisquick and then bake it in this pan.  We then glaze or frost and sprinkle them and girl #1 just loves having fresh "doughnuts"!

We've also done Gluten Free cake doughnuts this way usingPamela's Chocolate Cake Mix.

This stuff is really yummy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I Was Proud...

of how proud HE WAS at making this salad for dinner.

Several times in the following days he brought up how good the salad was that he made.

We've been doing better about having the kids help and do chores and its rewarding to see how it makes them feel skilled and useful.

Boy #1 has a strong preference for cooking chores instead of cleaning chores.  He will wipe off the kitchen table, though, and all the kids really like doing various stages of the laundry process.  

Saturday, March 17, 2012

kind of like playing in BOXES

When we move we use these large Rubbermaid tubs.  After 11 or 12 moves (I'm losing count) they've definitely paid for themselves and most of them are still going strong.  

They are useful.  

As we unpacked the boys used them as cars, trains and other various modes of transportation.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How We Left

We spent the few months we were in our temporary townhouse this year remodeling and updating and generally just leaving it "livable" for another person.  I was too traumatized at the rotted wood and awful smell to document our move-in, when it all started.  Of course now I wish I would have.

These are the two bedrooms where our family of 6 lived.

This final picture is to show how we were kind of in the middle of a project (had just primered this orange wall to paint it something more neutral) when our knight in shining armor the person who wanted to buy this place came and said he'd buy it right now *as is*.

So he gave us the money and it was done, just like that.  No more 30 minute drives over there to fix stuff.  No more worry about how to advertise or convince someone to buy in the next 6 months.  

What a total blessing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Western Scones

Western Warmth Scones Recipe

1 1/2 C warm water
2 T yeast
1/2 C milk
1/3 C sugar
2 t Salt
3 T Butter
5 1/2 (ish) C flour (whole wheat works too!)
oil for frying

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Put milk in a glass bowl, along with sugar, salt and butter.  Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Add flour and milk mixture to water and yeast in mixer bowl.  Mix for several minutes so it all gets kneaded, as well.  Then, grease the dough and the bowl under it and allow to rise in a sink of hot water...I just put the mixer bowl into the sink and cover it with a towel.  This makes it rise quickly.  Heat the oil to about 375 degrees for frying.  Punch down risen dough and break off roll size bits, stretch them out with your hands and drop in the hot oil to fry.

These are great served as dessert with honey to dip them in, or topped with taco toppings for Navajo Tacos.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Jealousy = Goals

I got some insights from a magazine article today.

It said, "Jealousy was a shortcut to finding out what I wanted in life.  If you envy someone, ask yourself, What am I jealous of?  Your answer is your goal."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Goodbye Purple Kitchen...

I miss you! No, I don't

I've still got more than just this island to do.  And this coat is just primer.  But its one less purple wall.  

That's all.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


One Sunday evening, the girls and I went walking around the neighborhood.  As we came up the hill, it was weird to see our home all cozy and lit up.  Is it real?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Getting Life in Order Again


Dailies (do before 3, even better before 1):

  • Pray and Read Book of Mormon
  • Make dinner
  • Do something FuN! (read a book, dance to radio, go for walk, chat with a friend, etc.)
  • Dishes, clean kitchen
  • 2 loads laundry from start to put away

Weeklies (done by Saturday night):

  • Scrub bathrooms
  • vacuum
  • mop
  • Blog in advance

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Moving In

We've been here almost 2 months.  Tonight is the first night the kids are attempting to sleep in a room other than ours.  To be fair you should know that our master bedroom area is almost the size of the whole house we just moved from.  It has two closets that are the size of rooms themselves, as well as a living room size sitting area and LARGE bathroom.  So, its not entirely crazy for us all to be in there.  It's a little crazy since we had just spent 5 months wishing and hoping for a place with more than 2 bedrooms for the six of us.  And then we all stay in one bedroom :).  Ha ha.

It turns out you get used to hearing everyone breathe as they drift off to sleep at night.  In fact, if they are sick you rely on that to know they are ok.  I love my babies, and although it wasn't great for my sanity to be in that itty bitty townhome for so long, I think it did bring us all closer.  But today  Mr. Warmth and I were discussing the feeling of being home that we were just starting to have and realized it was time to utilize a few of the other bedrooms.  Life is starting.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pulling up Formal Living Room carpet

This room had the most damaged carpet of the house.  You can see a few of the many pee stains on this underside in the first picture.

We pulled it up because its not a room we need to use right away, and we wanted to know if there was damage down to the sub-floor so we could work on repairing that before we ever starting planning new carpet or anything.

The good news is that the carpet pad seemed to catch all of the damage and the sub floors appear to be in new condition.  Yay!

What would Mr. Warmth do without this darling "helper?"