Friday, December 24, 2010


Merry Christmas to you!

Sorry I have not drawn any Christmas cards for prizes, I have a good excuse! I haven't been feeling well. Truth be told, we are having another baby and I have had some morning sickness. Surprise! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lights and a Candle burning

This year has been weird. We started it off at our old house by leaving up our Christmas lights because they died as soon as my husband hung them. Last Christmas was so strange and sad that I am glad to have a new beginning this year in a new location. We never leave the Christmas lights up on the house - but that is just a prime example of how our life has been this year (with truly no signs of slowing in the next year and a half). We are burning the candle at both ends out of necessity. I don't like it much but it's the way it is for now. Things will have to change eventually because I don't believe that any one family can do this forever. I mean, I don't really do anything. I guess I work on the weekends and I home-school during the week and keep the house and my other things that I do -but it's not that much. I think the idea of what I do stresses me out than the actual things that I do. Does that make sense?
(That One's friend that she said goodbye to. She went
back home to Papua New Guinea)

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Christmas Card Game!

This year, our family will be having a Christmas card game!
The rules go as follows:

Each week leading up to Christmas, we will choose a random selected winner from a box. The kids will also choose purposefully selected winner on December 22nd based on the following criteria:

Most Creative
Most Beautiful

Most Animals

You have to have a family picture somewhere in the card (those are what I am drawing out of the box). It doesn't need to be a picture card -it can be a letter with a picture inside. Your card needs to be received by December 22nd to be part of the game. The winner will recieve a box of Christmas treats! If you do not live in town I can ship them to you.
You can't win if you don't play!
Happy Christmas Card-ing!

PS: if you need my new address I can email it to you.

(This was our rejected picture this year)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Yes, I let my kids play in the backyard in their pajamas...
How fun!
Soft landing!
The pups got in on the action.
Can you find my dapple?
My kids decided to play with our dress up hats and
pose for pictures the other night while daddy was gone.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

When I get to Heaven....

When I get to Heaven, I am going to ask the Lord why people have a tendency to go off the deep end. What will you ask?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Words from the "other one"

"Miss Lucy" came to evaluate him again today because 6 months has passed since he started therapy. Here are his scores:

He is 2 years 6 months by birth date

His Auditory Comprehension scored at 2 years 8 months

His Expressive Communication scored at 3 years 3 months

His Articulation scored below 2 years old (not surprised, we are the only ones who can understand him).

Now that Lucy has gotten him to speak so much more than he could before, she will be working on articulating the words he can already say. He has grown so much from only using 2 words! Her next plan is to use Auditory Bombardment (okay, I just love that title) to get him to say the sounds he is unwilling to say now. He is making such progress my friends! Rejoice with me!

A big fat mess?

According to my math husband, this is an abomination to math textbooks everywhere. I find them actually being put to good use. We are pressing the beautiful fall leaves the kids gathered yesterday or a Thanksgiving craft project. From the sight of the many, many different and beautiful shades of oranges, reds, browns and yellows - there has to be a Creator!

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Are You My Friend?

I've been working on this topic for a few weeks. I found this list online and thought I'd share it with you! Enjoy!

Things a friend does:

1. You give me time
2. You listen to me - and you listen without making me feel judged
3. You're quick to remind me that I have strengths
4. You help me heal when I'm hurting
5. You tell me the truth when it will help me; you don't tell me the truth when it won't help me
6. You show me by your demeanor, tone, and smile that it's important to you that I feel secure, comfortable, at ease
7. You show me that you're sorry when you hurt my feelings; you allow me to show you that I'm sorry when I hurt your feelings
8. You don't abuse me. EVER. You make sure that I know you seek to protect me.
9. You make small surprises for me
10. You find words that support the best that is in me
11. You let me cry when I need to
12. You encourage me to tell the truth to you and to admit when I'm afraid

Yes, you are my friend. And, I need you."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Brown be gone

First, we taped off, removed switch plates and put down a drop cloths because we are messy with paint, we've come to realize.

We filled in the grooves with Kilz primer and cut in the trim before we rolled on the large parts of the walls. Kilz is amazing.

Isn't he cute?

3 coats of primer and one coat of "lemon edge" Valspar paint and some custom stained trim by my beautiful hubby and voila!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

a mile of mullion

I washed the walls with my favorite non-bubbly detergent, Mr. Clean as per the directions from the internet. I love Mr. Clean. The yellow kind is the only kind that will do for this ole' girl. I guess I could tolerate the orange but anything else is gross. Anyway, so the walls smell fresh and clean. I started taping off the trim and the areas to be painted. After much debating and research. I decided to go with latex primer just because I did not want to deal with mineral spirits to clean up with kids around. The walls aren't too slick since they were last stained, oh about 42 years ago.

This is about how high the mullion trim will be. I am hoping the antique white paint we do above the line will add a very subtle and clean architectural interest. The nice thing about painting this room is that it is big enough to just pull the sofas away from the wall and work behind them.

Aren't we cute? We have matching scarves from Justice. Matchy, matchy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The sectional saga - part deux

So, we sold the sectional. We sold it and I made 30 bucks for my pain and suffering. I was out shopping all day for a new sofa set when I got an email from the buyer that he did not want to keep the sectional. He said they did not measure properly and they wanted me to take it back.... To my understanding, that violates all of Craigslist etiquette so I chose not to justify it with a response.
I know, it's horrible isn't it? I had promised I wouldn't damage your retina's didn't I? Sorry...

When my full day of shopping yielded nothing but a sofa I liked with no matching loveseat, I decided to just stop looking and be patient. I happened about these being sold from an estate. The house was immaculate and it spurred on some other decorating ideas. I felt sad though. Most of this lady's things were sold except for a few momentos the family was keeping. She had amassed decades of treasures, only to have her "Grandma's Blessings" photo albums and treasures boxed up to move to a storage shed some place in one of her grown children's sheds or something. It was me so very sad and moved me to tears... Life is fleeting. Pause a moment to contemplate this...

On to the lovely couches we bought from her son.
It is uncanny but they actually match a cushion on a rocking chair that I received from my grandmother years ago.

I have some sort of weird sickness that makes me ill to purchase something new unless it looks old. I actually get physically ill. Can you tell? So here is my decorating plan. I will be putting a rug back down when our puppies are grown up a bit. I will be hanging a large piece of traditional art on this back wall. I am going to have my oldest with sewing skills make some blue toile pillows to go on the couch, a fireplace cushion and make a cushion for this old wooden desk chair in the room also. Hopefully, they will match this vase below. Since I sold the leather monstrocity and bought two couches for $200 less, I can fund some further decorating in this room as shown below. WOO!

Also, for the big huge project of the season, we will be adding a chair rail to the living room and be *gasp* painting the top 2/3 of the paneling. I know, I know, I said I refused to paint it. I have come to realize that it is the only way to make the space light unless I try to rip off the paneling and drywall the top portion. I am not willing to go there, so this is our best alternative. The estate that we bought the sofas from had done it and it looked so incredibly pretty that I can't not do it now. I am excited! We already have some like it. My hope is that it looks like this in the breakfast nook (pictured below). All of the wood in this house is custom stain and it all matches. I am hoping that it will make the project look more seamless!
Can you picture this in the living room behind the couches??

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Sectional Saga

For those of you who know us well enough to keep contact with us weekly, we have a drama unfolding before us over the past 3 weeks or so. A year or two ago, we had some very generous friends who gave us a nice couch and matching love seat for our rental place. Through a random series of events, the pieces were separated for a year, then magically reunited with us again when we bought our home. We loved them where we lived before but I've gotten somewhat of a wanting-to-make-it-my-own-taste bug and so we set out to buy new ones (okay, not new, used-remember who I am after all). So I started searching Craigslist (if you know my sister, she will be hopefully be writing her Craigslist escapades some day). Seriously, you can find ANYTHING there. So, I had searched it every couple days to see if something caught my eye. It took awhile to find what I wanted. Consider me a champagne-taste-on-a-beer-budget gal. So, I find this great leather sectional. 100% leather with recliners. It was a steal so I asked my sweet husband to go look at it because there was a conference at church I had to do sitting for... I really wanted it and I didn't want anyone else to swipe it. So I sent him. He looked at it and he liked it <> It was very "man-cave-y" and I am very light-and-airy- shabby-sheik-like. Not two seconds after it was being carried in the front door, my stomach knotted up and I realized it was a horrible mistake. It has cupholders. I refused to sit on it for a couple days, choosing to sit on a hard wooden chair instead. I was embarrassed to have people over. I can't host Christmas like this (yes please eat anywhere you want to - you can even let the kids play with that Christmas candle on it...). When my sitter and our tutoring students came over I demanded they avert their eyes from it. I was sad about it. To make matters worse, some kind of horrible animal hair (don't make me guess the species) starting falling out from underneath in clumps. CLUMPS! So I told my husband that I would not really be happy until I sold it again and got something else more traditional. He was very understanding though he likes the couch still. So I reposted it on Craigslist a couple weeks ago. I had a couple people try to send me a money order and scam or trade but no real buyers. I decided it was time to post it again today. I had two people fighting over it! One lady tried to talk me down $100 so I was playing to two off each other. So, finally, there is a guy on his way now wanting to pay the full price. Now, lets see if he shows - then I can go and spend a ridiculous amount of money trying to get something I want this time. We will probably be sitting on a rocking chair and patio chairs in the mean time.

*There will be no pictures in this post to protect the innocent eyes of my readers*

So.... who wants to sell me their blue couch and love seat? Preferably leather. Thanks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A few random things in picture form

At the Fair!

Hello there Bloggies! I was informed via email that my email was a bit too...hmm, honest (not quite the word that was used..). So I decided to post a few things that happened with our family over the last month in picture form. No more bleeding heart posts for awhile, I guess!

Our Sunday School at church threw an "80's Rad Roller Skate Party" and I was priviledged to be able to help plan it. It was.... RAD!

Me and my friend Laura

Note the awesome pink legwarmers. I couldn't find a banana clip or a BeDazzler..

Rock me Amadeus
Every rose has it's thorn
We went to the Great State Fair of Texas. We each had the obligatory Fletchers Corny Dog. All except the high maintenance wanna-be-vegetarian kid. She had fries..

Elsie. :-)

So apparently, there isn't a picture of the oldest kid eating a corny dog here. Probably because she had a chicken fried steak sandwich... So it wasn't only the high-maintenance one that didn't have a corny dog.

'Till next year Big Tex!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The zoo exploded on my house!

Did you like that title? It really did.

Yesterday we had nothing to do. I spent most of the afternoon with the windows and doors open enjoying the beautiful weather. I thought "We need to be out enjoying this somewhere". The park is overrated and kinda boring for a 12 year old so, since we have passes, we went to the Dallas Zoo. We walked through the front gate and I spotted a groundskeeper viciously ripping beautiful (have you ever seen the plants there? Beautiful!) plants out of the ground and throwing them on a truck bed. I thought to myself "Surely he is moving those to another bed... They are too nice to throw out." I was too chicken to ask him.

So we went about our way. All the kids went to the butterfly area and made a "metamorphosis" model of a butterfly. We looked and petted the goats. We relaxed, though I was still thinking about those poor, innocent, beautiful plants.

We headed back for the front gate after an hour or so and that same groundskeeper guy was, yet again, ripping out poor defenseless plants. I gathered up the gumption. I asked "Hey, are you throwing those away?". He said "yeah, they are going to compost." I looked down at the entire flat trailer chock full of gorgeous plants and couldn't resist myself - if you know me well, you can predict that I asked if I could have them. I was sure to ask if he'd get into trouble. He was adamant that he wouldn't. He even gave me a huge trash bag to take them home in! These are the kind of moments in life I am thankful for a double stroller. I am sure we got lots of glares... I don't care. I am thrifty and I am proud, okay?

I came home and scrambled to find a home for each plant. This is the best I could do with these two trees. I wish I knew what they were called. I wish even more that I had grabbed three more. They look really nice in my empty front flower bed (it's empty because it has an eave over it and gets no rain water). The pink shades in the leaves look awesome with my pink glass in the front door.

This one was just a cute little plant I threw in the bag last, I have no idea what it is either but it sure is cute!
This is a Croton. Actually, it is three. I just ran out of pots to put them in so I put them together. I have a Croton that I have had for several years but it looks nowhere near as nice as this one. Mine is very spindly and green (less red and yellow - the colors come with more sunlight exposure). I try to put it outside but it has been an indoor plant for so long that it wilts outside. This one will stay in more sun, hopefully, if it lives. I really have no idea how any of them will do. They were ripped out of the ground senselessly anyway.
This one is my favorite. The guy said it is a wrinkled croton. I have always wanted one of these. I used to drool and covet these at the zoo. Now I have one of my very own. It is also 2 together in the bucket and it is the healthiest of all the plants I brought home.

I love that I had the guts to ask. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! My only regret is not grabbing more!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Puppy Chronicles

We had a dog named Trisha a few years ago. She was very sweet. She was an older girl of about 8 or 9 years old. She had sensitive skin and fleas like nobody's business and it cost a fortune to groom her. Once we brought the youngest baby home from the hospital, we realized that we didn't have time, money or the patience that sweet Trisha deserved. I hoped I made the right decision about surrendering her. The truth is she was probably put down due to her age. I cried for days. We said we were done with pets.

A few weeks ago we doggy sat for some friends. Apple and Canela the dogs fit in very well to our new yard/house/homeschooling schedule. We could probably have gone forever without having another house pet had it not been for them. We decided we wanted one of our own again. This time, however, we decided to go the puppy route instead of the older dog route for several reasons. So... without further ado...

Here's Johnny (as in Cash)!

Johnny is more Dachsund (like his father) of he and his brother. He is a true dapple dachsund which means he is the only kind of dachsund that can have blue eyes (so says Google)! He has short little legs which prevent him from going up and down stairs and it a very sensitive and sweet lap dog. I (the Mrs.) picked him. He was not our first pick of the litter though...

Here's Crosby (as in Bing)!

Crosby was the first one to catch our eye. He is the only kind in his litter like him. He resembles his mother maltese with his long hair unlike all 4 of his dachsund looking littermates. You might even say he looked switched at birth! He IS able to go up and down stairs because he has longer legs than Johnny. He is a looker and a friendly guy. He is more of an independent type and he likes to sleep beside you instead of on your lap. He does not like car rides. He is the epitome of the adorable, fluffy puppy you want to hold and play with.

These two sweet dogs are doing a marvelous job housebreaking (we still have challenges at times - I am super thankful for 100% hard surfaced living and traffic spaces) and they sleep in their crates all night. They takes lots of naps and love to play outside! I consider them a fabulous edition to our family.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet
sat on her tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
When along came a spider
who sat down beside her
and frightened Miss Muffet away

Now, I am no Miss Muffet. Spiders don't bug me (pun intended). I do not appreciate them being on me or near me but I don't mind them hanging around once in awhile (pun intended again). Last night I was watching the news. The weather man was showing a gorgeous shot of the Harvest moon with Jupiter shining brightly below it in the sky. I decided to step outside because it was a quiet moment in the house (and I had to let out the cute little doggies we are sitting). I stepped out there and - much to my chagrin - the shaggy pecan trees that tower over our house were blocking the view. I walked out further and caught a glimpse of the moon behind billowy white clouds. The air was cool and crisp. I was headed back inside because I could hear the children uprising. I started toward the door when something out of the ordinary out of the corner of my eye. The flood light illuminated a large spider web with a big gray spider perched upon it. She sat there waiting patiently for her dinner to be provided. Her web is nothing new to me. I have seen it a few times before. She sways in the moonlight until she disappears with the morning sun. I take the dogs out and I never walk through her web. My children are able to walk past it and not get tangled and caught during the day. This little spider painstakingly builds her home - her livelihood - each and every night. She works with agile movements that she has done many times before. She is beautiful. She is skilled and built her web more beautifully tonight than she did last night. I enjoy having her around. She provides me a source of comfort. I know that she waits on the Lord to provide for her just like I do. She waits hours upon hours each night for her portion. Those hours are counted the same for me. I have the same amount of seconds in a night that she does...

Matthew 6:24-34
25"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. 34"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.

It is easy to worry. I worry about our future. I worry about our plans. I worry about our marriage, children, house, cars, clothing, appliances, health, futures, furniture, money, jobs, and yes, even what food we will have on the table. Sometimes - it might be best to go outside, breathe the crisp air, refuel and thank the Lord.

This blog post may or may not have been inspired by a book I am currently reading called "Refuel" by Doug Fields
and a certain little gray friend.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Aldi challenge

Welcome to a place where quality reigns and low prices rule.
A place with no sales to sleuth. No coupons to clip. No discounts to debate.

Welcome to a place where select brand products exceed the quality of big name brands.
But cost up to 50% less.

Welcome to a place where streamlined operations all but eliminate competition.
A place where there is always a surprise in store.

Welcome to a community of smarter shoppers whose expectations for high quality
are matched only by their refusal to pay more for it.

Welcome to honest to goodness savings. Welcome to ALDI.

That's what they advertise. I have shopped there. Much to my chagrin, I did not check the website to see how to shop there before I went. Now if you've never been, it is a store that carries most every day groceries you might need (with the exception of some specific specialty items - like, I wonder if they carry soy sauce or cream or tarter?). They keep costs low by carrying no name brands. You have to insert a quarter into the shopping cart to get it and you have to put it in it's rightful place when you are finished to get your quarter back. You need to take your own grocery bags unless you want to buy theirs for 10 cents or so (or you could buy their reuse-able ones for more). I learned that one the hard way. You will have to let me tell you the story about the toddler, no cart, no bags, 2 prickly pineapples and a watermelon some time.

Here are some reasons why I don't believe this store is an option for my family:

1. That store only carries off-brands. I would like to say that I am not picky. Don't get me wrong, I do NOT feel the need to buy name brands. I do however, know how the Great Value au gratin potatoes taste and know I like them. I am afraid to cook up a box of never-before-heard-of brand au gratin potatoes and have to throw them out. This is the number one reason why I am hesitant to take the Aldi one week challenge.

2. I know I won't shop there on a regular basis. I have a very hard time getting out that way. It is probably about 15 minutes from my house in a direction that I do not go often. I live 4 minutes from Walmart. I live like, half a mile from Tom Thumb (however it has to be really bad to run there for something - "Would you like me to pay you with a limb from my body? It would be cheaper than your strawberries.")

3. I am a creature of habit. This is the woman who does not like to shop at a different Walmart because she doesn't know where the Shake & Bake is in a different location. I like knowing which cashiers will argue with me and nitpick about the advertisements that I price-match. I like my favorite cashier Margaret. Her mom, who is in her 70's is having some very difficult health problems. I like seeing her and asking how I can pray for her. My car almost is on auto-pilot here. I can drive to Walmart and shop my usual routine starting in the dairy and end with the produce. I like doing the same thing each Monday.

4. I have a family of five. My parents would shop at Sam's Club for our family of five growing up. We had to have so much food that they built another pantry. Now, since they were on a teacher pay schedule, they only shopped that way once-a-month so it is not quite the same. I do buy a lot of food though. My husband has expensive (and abundant) snacking tendencies. Apparently, he was not allowed to snack much at all growing up. He is making up for it by eating snacks every single night after the kids go to bed. It's a terrible habit but who am I to tell him not to eat? He is a tall-skinny guy. Honestly, I get tired of hearing about how it looks like he doesn't eat. Don't tell me how he doesn't eat! I see him try to clean out every snack food each night after he eats a big dinner! ... wow. Okay, that was a rant. Sorry about that. Moving on.

So, those are my reservations. Do you think I should do it?