Friday, July 31, 2009

Bradford pear trees suck!

They are brittle, they only live 15-ish years, they stink towards the end of their life, and although they are capable of blowing over suddenly they look healthy, beautifuly deceptively fine!

One blew over on my van today. Seriously. No punch line. No joke. No baloney. How is that for day 1 of vacation? The tire place was supposed to be balancing my tires. Instead, it was in their lot when their tree fell on it. Now- i must say this van is worth far more to me than blue book says its worth. it's paid for. It has a new engine, breaks, belts, etc etc etc. The thing is in stinking, excuse me was in, pristine condition. So much so in fac that someone asked me two weeks ago in a parkign lot if it was a newer model with only one door. I said no, older. She continued to tell me how good my older model van looked.
And now? It ahs a tree on it, windows smashed, dents all over...

did I mention we are on vacation? Shaun has been so calm cool and collected i am amazed. God is bigger than this. We are stayign with family, and they have wheels that fit my brood, so it's okay. Not convenient but okay. No one got hurt, and well, God must have thought we needed new wheels, or no wheels, or a little bit of a test. So we shall pray adn ask that this get resolved quickly, completely, correctly. And life goes on.
I WILL miss the fact that you CANNOT lose a turqiouse van in a parkign lot.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My old breadbox/veggie bin needed some punch and pizaz. It wasn't bad- jsut plain, black, with nice capucino looking knobs that went perfect with my old decor. Old beiogn the key word. Im re-doing, revamping, changing. I wish I had a before picture. Silly me i always forget! Okay, about half the time I forget. BUT- Here she is all done with a fresh new coat of polish.

I know she loves it- what girl doesn't like a makeover? I DO believe new knobs are in order- something a little fancier. Like this from anthropolige.
I think I shall check Hobby Lobby... The end.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Today I feel like a truck has run over me, backed up and run over me again. And again. I'm blowing green goo, hacking it up(just the info you needed right?) and have a staph infected bug bite thingy on my leg that got frozen and lanced last night. I haven't felt this crummy in awhile. Bren is barking like a seal, Quin is snotting goo and Jackson is running around bored. i had declared today a 'sit, lie and rest' day. Can you imagine how much sitting and layign around Ive done? yup- not much. I've started packing the kids for our trip, and myself as well. I always overpack. I mean, a girls gotta have outfit choices, right? What I wear depends on my whim for the day, the weather, the plan... You just have to be prepared I say. I've vacumed, laundried and rented the kids Scooby Doo movies. I've made breakfast and lunch and am hoping dinner makes itself. I think a 7 o'clock bedtime for all is in order.
I've gone through Quins winter clothes and realize he needs quite a bit, as does Jackson and Bren. Why did I do this? Well, I needed to pack him pants and all of his in the closet were highwaters...
As it stands we are only leaving for Baltimore if we are all healthy. Grandmas lungs are too fragile for us to bring her a cold of any sort. My sons are praying like mad that God heals us all, as am I. I know His plan may be for us to stay here, but I must admit, I don't praticularly care for that idea. I love my family, and realize the older I get how precious and limited time with them is. My sons are more interested in visitng the White House, Smithsonian museums and Aquarium that we've hyped them up about. We shall see. I'm yawning and eyes are glassing so I think I shall take a nap on the couch as my lil brood watched Scooby doo AGAIN! How I hate to use the t.v. so much on days like this but am SO GLAD it is there!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the wall

I LOVE LOVE LOVE our Salvation Army! Seriously- it is AMAZING! I mean if you know how to look for treasure amidst trash this store is like a shipwreck full of Gold Doubloons. Last night me and hubby went together. Actually- i dragged him. He kinda hates the thrifting. BUT- he likes what I do with my treasures after. I wanted some dainty frames for my hallway. Those were a bust but what i found instead! Oh what I found instead!!!!!!
This little gem was hiding on the bottom back shelf behind JUNK

I fished him out all regal and stately he is and claimed him as MINE! I've been wanting one ever since I saw this picture

in a Country Living Kitchen book. My style may not be Country but I sure gained some great ideas from that book. Too bad my kitchen floor plan isn't changeable...

Then as I decided to peruse furniture for kicks and giggles I saw a dresser with a mirror attached. I have been looking for a mirror for above my mantel. I have had my eye on a few, but none in my price range.

This one from Ballard designs for $199.00

I love the curves, the simple elegance.
This at J.C. Penney's for $400.00

I have always loved Venetian mirrors but wondered if it was TOO much for our space- I know the price sure was!
Ive been keeping my eyes peeled and nothing. Amy has even been looking at garage sales for me. WHAT A FRIEND! I refused to put up a plain rectangle mirror to take up the space- I'll wait before I spend $30-$50.00 on something I don't care very much for, thank you. And oh here she was!

In all her vintage- please clean me get- me unattached from this ugly old dresser glory- was MY mirror! I called hubby over and said THIS is what I want. He looks at it and says 'No you don't-it has some spots". WHAT!?!?! That's what makes it VINTAGE! I WANT those age spots there!(Maybe one day he will get it...) He said "Okay- how much is the mirror?"
No- you see the folks at MY Salvation Army are um, sticklers. You NEVER split up a table and chairs, or dresser and mirror. EVEN if it's ladder back chairs with a 50's retro red top table that you KNOW they set up just to get rid of the stuff. TRUST ME! I've had the discussion before and they refuse. Hubby encourages me to ask- I of all people actually say 'nah'. The clerk walks up to inform us they are closing. The managers overhears our conversation and asks what I want. I tell her. She initially says no. My heart breaks, but I notice that the wood frame around the mirror is a light oak. The dresser is a dark funky walnuty thing. OBVIOUSLY 2 separate pieces someone screwed together. I point it out. And she caves. Score one for me! Score like a million for hubby! I think she just wants us out of the store but I don't care! The catch- I have to come back for it in the morning. I mean GEEZE- who wants to stay at work 10 extra minutes to wield a screwdriver? The price? $5.00 The dresser was $30.00. The mirror has got to be worth the $30.00 and then some.
I force him up in the morning and am giddy until he gets home. I actually got my mirror for $4.00. They had overcharged me for my stuff the night before and so he walked with the mirror for no additional charge. Who says that spare change can't make a difference. My milk glass vase of quarters bought me MY
On another note- Drapes are up...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Practice makes Perfect?

In this case we are hoping for practice makes polite. Huh? Yes- practice. Sometimes we have obedience practice. Practicing following simple directions, like walk to, open and shut the door without complaining. Practicing saying yes Sir and yes ma'm, practice putting our toys away quickly... You get the idea.
My sons have had a hard time being nice to one another in the past few days. All that Brotherly love has been tossed out the window and Brotherly annoy-the-snot-out-of-one-another has moved in to take Loves place. I considered buying earplugs yesterday. I couldnt send them outside... they still can't walk on the lawn... I tried to take them swimming at the Grands place... I just wanted to hold them under water for awhile instead, er, uh, I mean I just loved how sweet they were. So sweet in fact, that we came home early.
Family devos last night were on Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger
. As we had our devos last night I was convicted myself that at times my tone only stirs up anger in my sons. I can see it bubble in their eyes, and I hate knowing I am the cause of that.
And so as they fuss and fight and talk in a rude tone I sometimes see myself spilling out. OUCH! I sat there as Hubby read and prayed and 'felt like tears'. HOw often have my harsh words, or in my case tone, caused anger in my family. Tone is everything. I remember in our pre-maritial counseling being told that 90%of how something is taken/perceived/received, is based on tone. How well I should know this! Being a woman, and an emotional one at that, I often get hurt by someones tone. My wonderful Hubby has been convicted about his tone when he has an agenda and it gets off course. It has been awesome to see God work in his heart as Shaun changes his tone of voice or immediately apologizes and says somethign along the lines of'I'm not upset, I didn't intend to sound that way," etc. I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of 'tone', and just WHERE did I think my kids got this obnoxious behaviour from anyway? Praise God His mercies are new every morning. Praise God that He has the power to change me from the inside out. Praise God he doesn't leave me as I am.
All this being said, we had a morning of kindness and politeness practice. We all took quite a time out this morning. We took turns prayign and confesing our sin to God, askign for help to be kind, loving and recited proverbs 15:1 about a bajillion times. I have been trying to make them see that you can say 'May i please have that back?"in such a way that you may as well be saying 'GIVE ME THAT NOW!!!" I play acted some silly scenarios- ya know the good old standing in front of cartoons just to annoy you trick. And although my boys asked politely for me to move I decided to up the ante and respond rudely(all acting of course) to teach them how we would respond to THAT as well. They actually were a mess of giggles as mommy stood there and acted like a royal brat-ola.
I must say I am seeign improvements thsi afternoon. I'm no longer thinking of earplugs, or shipping my kids of to military school, or selling them to the highest (or only) bidder!
My deepest desire is that the Lord changes their hearts. That my sons don't respond only with their lips, but that being gentle with one another runs deep within them. as I listened to them play NICELY I read this
Psalm 133;1
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!

I realize that the scripture is talking about believeers in Christ, but as a believing family how well this fits for my sons. I shared with them what God has shared with my heart and they agreed it was so much nicer playing together happy than fighting.
God is good, isn't He?

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Joys of Boys 2

Lysol. Lots and lots of Lysol is filling my nostrils as I type. Clean Breeze Lysol to be exact. I have been dealing with one bathroom for a wee bit(5 months?) now. It's okay. God has taught me contentment. And the difference between needs and wants. He has obviously taught my children improvisation, and to creatively deal with the issue of 2 or 3 or 5 people needing to relieve themselves at one time on 1 toilet.
I've had this smell in my home for about 3 days. I've blamed the hermit crabs, and Sam, our lil snake. My hubby got blamed too, although he's such a clean freak I should have KNOWN it wasn't him! I've gone sniffing like a police dog looking for drugs.
Tonight I walked into our almost done upstairs bath and about fell over with the smell of sewerish things. I leaned forward into the tub, and had to catch the wall to keep me from passing out. (Okay not really, but it does sound dramatic!)
I call my sons into the unfinished bathroom. And 3 little boys look at me straight in the face and admit they have been peeing in the bathtub.

"DID YOU THINK TO RINSE???????" Blank stares greet my question. "IF you were gonna be lazy enough to PEE IN THE TUB! WHYWHYWHY would you not RINSE THE TUB OUT?????"
Please sons, can you SMELL THAT? (Of course they can- the whole neighborhood can for Peter's sake!)

"Well mom, if we rinsed it out then you would hear the water turned on and KNOW we were peeing in the tub."

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Do y'all still date each other? I mean, those of you who have been married for awhile? Those of you with kids?
My hubby has always been the kind that has felt that we have too many little kids, too much to do, etc. That the time for THAT is later. Ha-ha. laugh with me now, ladies. The time for THAT is NOW before we are on separate ends of the bed each night and glaring at each other more than gazing. He has since changed his mind. Of course part of his issue has been cost- babysitters are EXPENSIVE! 3 kids, a couple hours... the cost of whatever you are doing... So now we switch kids with my dear friend once a month(you can check her out here. I love this idea- our kiddos have been womb buddies, and ADORE one another. My oldest swears he shall marry her oldest,etc. The cost is NADA, the time with our spouses Priceless (MasterCard commercial music in background)
Last Thursday was our date. Hubby said to wear a light colored shirt and sneakers. The destination was a surprise. Hmm... I wore white, with black shorts so that I could wear my way cool zebra hoop earrings. Yes- I matched my outfit to my earrings... He took me to one of his favorite golf courses.
The last time I went golfing was with my Pop-pop. I was 5ish- and all I wanted to do was use that ball cleaner! I think I went through an entire BAG of balls, that were already clean.
Seeing as I am the novice we started out at the driving range. I amazed my man at my quick to learn skills, and also nailed my shins WITH MY OWN BALL enough times that he said he was buying me knee pads for our next game. Ha-ha. We played 9 holes, best ball, and I only drove 3 balls into the lake.
I had a blast! For those of you that think golf is boring I am shocked. It took tons of concentration, lots of competitiveness, and being able to laugh at yourself. Like at how much it looks like you are trying to poo when golfing.
I thought I had a more bent over pic- but you get the idea. :-)We made out on the golf cart, and thoroughly enjoyed our day.

I saw This couple and I giggled. They were both wearing green, so old they were hobbling, yet still spending time TOGETHER.
later that night after family devos, and then our own bible study time my man said he realized how important US time was. How rejuvenated and relaxed he felt, and how needed is was. I remembered reading something about men needing to PLAY with their wives( For Women Only by Shaunti Feld-something...)and saw how true that was. My man needed to have fun with me. If I had planned the date it would have been flea marketing, after all I AM looking for a coffee table, mirror for my mantle, and kitchen table/chairs, but seriously- would he have enjoyed that? A little. But not as much as high fiving, laughing at and with his wife. Flea marketing here and there is okay- but I think I will try to play with my man more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Joys of boys!

This morning was anything but relaxing. My sons woke up on the wrong side of the bed- ALL of them! After much fussing, fighting, arguing, correcting, etc. I turned on the boob tube and decided to escape to the shower for 10 minutes. Ten seconds into my hot water relief I hear feet running- my 2 year old is half naked(still can't get his shirt off by himself) and trying to jump in with momma.

NO! Sorry dude- not this morning- momma will be done soon, go play in your room or watch Scooby-Doo! (I know, how mean of me to actually want a shower by myself?)

Two minutes go by- 2 sets of feet running, actually laughing(Maybe my day is looking up?).
"We have to pee!"

Of course you do, I'm wanting some time alone. Of course you do because the only potty we currently have is in the master bath.

Okay, deep breath.

Prayer for my day.

My thoughts are interrupted by crying, no, SCREAMING and another voice laughing. It was that evil kind of laugh that brothers give, you know the one- where something has happened to one sibling at the hand of another and you dread asking what actually happened because, well, you usually don't want to know. The shower curtain is ripped back - hello cold! If 2 cups of Folgers didn't do it I am now officially awake.

And my 2 year old is standing there SOAKING WET!


And in fact he had. On the belly, the floor, the air duct thingy...

There are big crocodile tears running down Quins face. His older brother is still cackling...

Here's where I must say praying for my day WORKS! Asking God to give me wisdom to raise these boys WORKS!

I didn't yell, scream or storm naked and dripping wet out of the shower to beat a child's rear. Instead I calmly told middle brother to go find a corner and stand while I finished( I was GOING to get MY SHOWER!)Except now it involved the peed on 2 year old. This did help to cheer him up. He loves a shower with momma.

I prayed for a creative idea to punish the little monster. And one came. My middle son doesn't like to work. He was going to scrub my bathroom today. Not just the floor. The toilet, the tub, the sink, the mirror. Oh yes- he was going to see how hard it is to clean up pee.

And so he stood while I did my hair, face and picked out his tools of servitude. We spent an hour cleaning, me showing him HOW to clean a bathroom. He mopped up pee, and my mirror now shines. He actually had a good attitude, and swears he will NEVER pee on little brother again. He will also be hanging little brothers laundry for him all week.
I felt this lesson was more lasting than a spanking, or grounding. He will be serving his brother in turn for being cruel, and he has learned the value of hard work (okay, we've lightly scratched that area, but hey- we are trying!)

I didn't bother to ask my almost 5 year old what in the world he was thinking- he wasn't. I can tell you right now this great idea of peeing on brother came as a whim, he never thought about it, just acted on it. And I have learned that harping on 'why' at this age doesn't get results. They never have a good answer. Seriously.

Ive recently been reading the book Wild things, the art of nurturing boys

I love many ideas in this book on boys. The one about work for punishment truly does work in our home- it gives my sons something physical to do, which boys need, and it also gives them time to think while they work. It gives us time to interact, and talk and reach their little hearts while they are working along side us. And let's be honest, it gets more done around here that I don't have to do!
So- how about you with boys? What joys of boys stories to you have/

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Catch it!

Tonight Daddy took us fishing as a 'thanks for all your hard work!'
I caught nothing, and we had some rather tricky, sneaky fish that kept stealing our worms. Our littlel neighbor guy, Ash, was the only one to outwit the fishes.

Work it!

Yesterday was yard work day. Or more appropriately, Dirt/Mud patch work day. Daddy and the boys went at it! So did I. I made a rock border, pulled many 'prickly weeds', wheel barrowed loads of dirt, spread loads of dirt, and got eaten alive by misquitoes and garden spiders. It must be 'cause Im so sweet! My kids even conned some of the neighbors into helping Tom Sawyer style. I made them all snowcones as a thanks, and the work got done rather quickly- amazing what 8 kids under 10 and 2 adults can do!

Tough Guy carrying sticks

jackson is one HARD worker- he works alongside the adults, and as hard as they do.
We Caught Brennan 'pulling a Brad'

Boy do we have stories of Uncle brad when he was little- always dissapearring when work was to be done! Brennan ended up with an hours worth of chores at the end of the night while his brothers had some well deserved play time! Gotta get that lazy streak outta him somehow, right?
All in all it was productive, and actually fun- I now have hay all over my yard, and many sprinklers. Here's to new grass!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Tres barnyard

My back yard is a large um, okay, that's an understatement, MASSIVE pit of dirt at this point. It's stinky dirt- smells like a pig farm. And yes, I DO know what one smells like, I used to live in farm country when I was little. Here is what my yard looked like this morning.



Our house had a pool in it's backyard once upon a time. The previous owners removed the pool, did not fill in the hole, and let it become a weed,grass, weed, weed patch. We've always wanted to grade the yard but loathed the idea of paying someone for dirt. (and it wasn't in the buddget) I mean really- PAY for dirt? Why? God made so much of it. My dear inlaws dug a large hole for their new pool and wa-lah! Free dirt. Well, minus the hours of work, etc.
My dear man has been hard at work since 7:30 AM moving, pushing, grinding and grading this massive amount of pig stench dirt. And yes, ive brewed him plenty of tea and even put it in a cup with a lid so as not to get stinky dirt in it! we have only had one casualty so far.

He and Father in law say it's fixable, the boys are a little skeptical, though.

I am pretty excited about what my yard will look like once the grass seed grows.

On another note- it's supposed to rain tonight.
Dirt+stink+rain= MUD
Boys. Mud. Subfloors.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dollar tree to the rescue!

I have been looking for new dishes for awhile. When we got married we registered for all white dishes- plain, but classy. I figured that way I could change my colors often, and not be limited by my dishes. Eight years later I have 4 plates, 2 bowls, and 3 dessert plates. Out of a set for 12! I have NO CLUE what happened to my others. I also have this
funky fun set by Bella ceramics I bought when I first moved out at 18- it was fresh, pretty, and no longer serves its purpose. Too funky for my current tastes. I have looked high and low and cannot find something I like. I DID find a set at meijer that was black with pretty embossed pattern, it also came in red, but let's get real here- you can only have so much black and red in your house before it starts to look like the Queen of hearts paid a visit. I also did not like the $79.99 tag for a 4 piece setting.
Enter DT- I went today looking for crafty stuff for the kids bin, a lil ceramic bird(total bust) and pool toys. I found THESE instead!

HAPPY DANCE! I bought 8 plates, and 8 soup bowls. They did not have desert plates, but I WILL keep checking. I love how simple they are- a pretty creamy white, with the little bit of beading. They will work with everything- and worse case scenario I can look at Christmas Tree Shoppes or Old Time Pottery for dessert plates that compliment, without looking too 'Queen of hearts threw up all over my kitcheny'.
On another note if any of you want my hand painted bug dishes, lemme know- I am going to try and Ebay them. Oh- and Dollar tree o longer carries Latex balloons, nor do they blow them up for folks, due to allergies. AWESOME!