Sunday, May 31, 2009

I’m gonna live where the green grass grows….

We went on a little trip last weekend to Indiana. With no children. It was everything you’d imagine- a small purse with a phone, a wallet and some sunglasses. Eating out for 4 days BUT NO chicken nuggets. Staying up really late. Sitting around all day Sunday


Props to my Mom for taking my children. She was great. Activities every day, the park 3 times, planting flowers for me and painting pots.

She knows them on a whole new level now. I was glad to hear they drove her crazy in the same ways they drive me crazy- running away at the store, asking why 20 times, stripping naked right before we leave the house. I’ve heard kids only misbehave with people they’re comfortable around. They sure love her!

Our trip to Indiana was a “house hunting” trip. It was so hard to get up at 4 am and put on camoflauge and load all that ammo before hand. Uh, I mean…..

We looked at 11 of them. And then we picked just one. Then we made an offer. And the sellers made a counter offer.

The next morning, I talked to an acquaintance in the ward there. Turns out she knows a member who lives on that street. Who is good friends with the owner. And they got 2 offers that day. Eeek!

I saw my house slipping away. I told her to tell the sellers we LOVE the house. And we have two adorable kids. And we have a good job and will definitely not back out of the offer.

Gulp. The next 12 hours, as we made negotiations back and forth, I was sure we were going to lose out to some other moneybags who could meet all their demands.

But we didn’t. We got the house! Hurray! We are so grateful. For prayer, for our realtor’s help, and for the savings we kept over the last 2 years to buy the house. And for the Mormon Mafia.

So next time you’re looking for a house. Find people in that neighborhood. If you can’t, go introduce yourself to the neighbors and chit chat and get info, and make a good impression. It just might come in handy.

What? You want to see the house? Ok! Ok!

It's in Avon, Indiana. Open play area upstairs. Big Kitchen. 3 car garage. Office Downstairs. Big Yard. Laminate throughout. I’m so excited!

Now……who wants to come visit?

Monday, May 18, 2009


So you think you're bored now, because you've got 15 minutes of free time, so you're cruising the blogs?

Sign into facebook and take my quiz then!

Then you'll have something to show for your 15 minutes of slothfulness.

Now, go be awesome and take my quiz!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to Be Awesome- Part 2

1. If you want your kids to come quickly and stop getting into trouble, go into the treats closet and get out some chocolate. Crinkle the bag loudly. Wherever they are, they will hear it, and be all up ons in seconds. Or sit down and read a book. They'll come running and be all up ons then too.

2. If you want your kids to run away and play, pull out a hair brush and try to comb their hair. Or for boys, do some spit cleaning on their face. Off they go....Or start grinding wheat. Superloud, lots of dust, kids will stay away for at least 10, maybe 15 minutes. Then you bust out the real candy...
3. If you want to reduce the calories on those yummy frosted sugar cookies, drop the cookie. The frostings the best part. I keep a spoon in my frosting, so I don't waste calories getting/washing new ones.

4. If you've lost something and it's bugging you, go buy a replacement already. The old one will show up approximately two days after you buy a new one. Guaranteed.

5. If your kids are bored while you're in the car, teach them this song: "The Addams family started when Mrs Addams farted...then they all became retarded...the Addam's Family..." One of John's faves.

6. If your kids are bored with their toys, clean out from: under the couch, under the bed, the back of their closet, behind the entertainment center. Most toys hidden there have been in hiding for 6 months. And preserved well. You might even score a vintage sippy cup.

7. If you want to teach your kids about mold growth, let them see said sippy cup. Just look, don't open. You have been warned.

Now, go be awesome!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Today is Mother's Day. And my 6 year anniversary. Whoa.

So, here comes the huge post about how amazing my husband is, how being a mother is the easiest way to refine yourself and grow, and how fulfilling it is, how I can't imagine myself anywhere else in life. I could easily write the huge list of everything I love about them.

But luckily I tell them all the time, as I'm falling asleep next to my husband or as my kids are eating their breakfast. So I don't have it welling up inside of me.

What I am pondering today is gratitude.

For the last year, I've pondered all sorts of things. Or more like, they haunted me. As I chased around a one year old, tried to keep my kids entertained endlessly, I felt stretched thin, and the conclusion for all my thoughts was- I can't do it with another kid. yet.

Then another few months pass, I've grown into mothering two children, and I felt ready.

And then I get pregnant, only to have it end before the first appointment. As hard as that sounds, it wasn't that hard. It was a hiccup in my plans, it felt like nothing more.

After almost a year of waiting for a child to come, I pondered whether I thought I was ready, but Heavenly Father didn't think so.

I pondered if I was being tested for patience.
I pondered if I was being given a break I wouldn't give myself.
I pondered if I was going to wait years instead of months for another child.
I pondered if my family was complete.

And finally I stopped planning and pondering. Like last week. Out of the blue, I realized I'd stopped pleading with the Lord in my prayers to know why. I'd stopped seeing myself as deprived, wanting an explanation.

And I'd started looking at my children as gifts to me. Not something I earned, or I decided upon, or I made happen. I started seeing them as gifts from my Heavenly Father. And I started seeing them as complete, my family as complete, with or without another child.

And that's a good place to be on Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Last night my friend Michelle and I threw a surprise baby shower for a friend. In Pink! Here's what I contributed, and a little run down on how to throw a shower without spending a truckload of cash.

First there were the decorations. From top left...

1. I made a banner using DCWV Spring Stack scrapbook paper, using this method by Maya*Made. I basically cut diamonds and triangles from the paper, then glued them over the yarn to make a banner. Let me know if you want a more in depth tutorial on how to do it with scrapbook paper and I'll do it! Cost? Let's see, the spring stack was 180 pages for $10. That's 5cents a sheet, I used 16 sheets (.80 cents) and got 18 feet of double sided garland, and 10 feet of single sided. Plus the cost of yarn or ribbon. (And let's be honest, I really wanted an excuse to buy this stack of paper...)

2. Large flower pom poms, as instructed by good ol' Martha here. These are so festive and full of visual impact, but cheap! 1 buck a piece, each uses one pkg of colored paper, as sold at wally world. White is even cheaper at Dollar Tree, 5 pom poms per dollar.

3. Small flowers were sprinkled around our table. They were made by same method of Marthas, but using 4 pieces of tissue paper, the pieces were 5 by 9 inches, and I only fluffed out half the flower, so the bottom laid flat on the table. These little ones are also great for mother's day boutineers.

Then there was the food....

1. We had brownies and mini cupcakes (which I never get tired of) with flower toothpicks. We traced and cut out 100 flowers on scrapbook paper, then I watched a movie and glued them onto toothpicks. (I watched Austen's Mansfield Park, in case you're wondering which movie). Gluing was a good task for little preschool helpers. And in case that overwhelms you, we cut out the flowers 6 at a time, and if we were cooler, we'd just have a flower punch or cricut, but alas, scissors were there for us.

The girls took some extras for playdough birthday cakes and they occupied them for at least 10 minutes longer than usual. Score!

2. We also had Fluff Dip for Fruit, as seen on allrecipes. The recipe calls for amaretto liqueor. It really added that extra punch that all us Mormon ladies loved. SIKE! I put in a little bit of coconut extract instead and put in some milk to make the consistency right. Served with mangos, strawberries and pineapple. So good.

3. Lastly, I tried out making sugar cookies that look like baby shoes. Basically you use a pumpkin cookie cutter, and the stem becomes the strap hanging over the side of the shoe. The ones I modeled them after were obviously done better and had cute flowers or buttons on the strap. My inspiration is here at Rolling pin productions.

For Games we played...
  • Purse Scavenger Hunt (this was my favorite)
  • Guess the Baby picture
  • Memorize the tray...with a twist. Everyone looks at a tray of baby goodies, but then you ask: What was the Mom to be wearing? We had some fashion editors in our midst.
  • Clothespin game with "Baby" and the baby's name as the forbidden words (One of the kids there kept saying "She said the B-word." It was hilarious.)
Last but not least we had the party favors...

Flower magnets! We cut out a truckload of flowers out of the banner scraps, and layered and hot glued with a button on top and magnet underneath.

Playdough! And because pretty much everyone loves playdough or has a husband or kid that does, I made homemade pink playdough and put a 1/4 cup in a plastic bag in each favor box. The mini pink gingham chinese take out containers were in 8 packs from dollar tree.

Some other ways to save time and money:
  • Put in for a gift card or gift together with friends.
  • Make homemade thank you cards using scrapbook paper for the shower recipient and have guests address the card to themselves as they arrive and mingling.
  • Hold the party at dessert or brunch hour to make smaller portions and lighter foods.
  • Keep those cheap couponed box mixes in your cupboard, even if no birthdays are coming up. It was great to say- Oh I can make brownies or cookies or cake...and have everything right there. And to know I only spent 30 cents on it 3 months ago.
  • Use what you have and buy just what you need, and then keep it if you can. I used a white tablecloth I had, but decorated on top of the table with flowers, instead of buying a cheap tablecloth to throw away. I also used polka dot Easter plates that were in the same color palette. And I'm using all the party decorations to decorate my girl's room.
  • If you can, use email and hand delivered cards to get the word out. I got a lot more RSVP's over this time than any other party I've thrown- and I think it was because of email. I could send an additional reminder email easily the day before, and people could instantly email me back to RSVP, instead of having to get to the phone.
Hooray for Baby Showers! Now who wants to party next?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Family Home Evening

So I thought I'd post a Family Home Evening idea...before Monday night.

Lately I've been using this for ideas:

2009 Outline for Sharing Time and the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation: My Eternal Family

also known to Primary workers as "the Sharing time ideas book."

This book outlines themes for each month, songs the kids are learning in Primary for the month, then principles for each week, along with ideas and scriptures that help teach that principle. You can find and print the pdf here.

Last week we did some of the ideas for March. I wrote down things that parents do on pieces of paper, (make dinner, read to kids, etc). Then they picked one and acted it out. Then we discussed how Mom and Dad's job is to take care of them and help them grow.

Want more ideas? Every month in The Friend, you can find more ideas on how to teach the principles. From the page linked above, look at the right hand side. There usually is a link to "Sharing times."The Friend doesn't contain the scriptures, song, principles outline though, so you need them both, really.

Good luck! This week I think we're going to draw some pictures and send them to Grandma in the mail. Or something like that.

Oh and p.s. Did you see the free cards given away by Hallmark? Check out the deals here.
In the post Money saving mom refers to a prior deal for Mother's day. Get two free! They even mail them for you.

Why I do's quite delightful...

This week has been busy in ways I didn't expect last Sunday, but I'll post about that later this week. Here are some things that have earned my admiration recently...

Did you know PBS airs their Masterpiece Theatre for 6 weeks after it airs? I watched Tess of the d'ubervilles a few months ago, but found it incredibly depressing. This whole weekend has been wrapped up in Little Dorrit by Dickens. It',s you know, only 5 and 1/2 hours my kitchen's really clean as I watch it and make food. It's available But the next one, the Old Curiosity Shop is available for longer. I would highly reccomend this movie if your library has it or it's on your local PBS. Love, secrets, social connections, family good. I just might want to read it, Dickens is usually hard for me because I'm just trying to figure out what's going on, much less see his social messages. So movies first are good. Is it wrong that I enjoy movie versions more than books lately? Especially from this time period, I love the look of the dresses, the rooms, the lighting and set contrasts....not to mention hearing the British and French accents firsthand.

Also, I've been loving this cheese lately. Always have loved it, but I finally bought some. John isn't a big fan. Natalie likes it though. Yesterday John thought Natalie might have spit up or burped because he couldn't place where that nasty smell was coming from...then we realized it was her cheese breath. Note to self: Brush your teeth after the soft ripened cheeses have terrorized your mouth freshness. Where's those disturbing orbit commercials when you need em?

And I've always been looking in awe at the cuteness found in this book:

These stacks go on sale for 9.99 often at Jo-Ann's. I've made some fun things with it this week, that I'll post next week when I get around to it. So hold on, ok?

Yesterday we went here...Gardner's Frozen Treats in Christiansburg
Their italian ice was different than Ritas, more fluffy and sorbet like, rather than slurpee like Ritas. I think it's more true to the way Italian's do it...but they're both great so I'm not complaining. It was a fun little outing.

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