Sunday, April 13, 2014

march madness

march absolutely has 31 full days. 
if we have more months as strawberry jam packed a this march was packed, we will actually be okay. i used to feel overwhelmed when each month would pass but i feel i should be encouraged that we can do as much as we do in a month and still feel happiness and fondness toward one another as a family. 

blythe is a total mess of catastrophic proportions. 
each day on the car ride home from school, she rummages through reagan's lunchbox and finishes off his nutella sandwich. i'll keep making them if at least one of the kids keeps eating them.

blythe finally got her cat fur trimmed up. it was epic.

she's also a constant tooth brushing...

mickey mouse loving...

torturous co-shopping...

perpetual mess maker! every picture of blythe is going to be blurry because of the speed with with she moves. 

she loves to sit in her carseat, nakey, inside the house, and will spend minutes and minutes buckling and unbuckling herself.

when she's not pulling her diaper off, she's helping herself to reagan's underwear. today at church, we had been there a full 30 minutes before i realized that she had pulled her diaper off before we left church and she had been sitting free as a bird, unbeknownst to the rest of us until she flashed the row behind us.

very occasionally she will actually sit on her potty. but not for long.

and since we let her do whatever she wants, she can con scarlett into pushing her around on scarlett's old bicycle inside the house. i fully admit that she has won and we are beaten.

scarlett is my favorite middle child. she has overwhelming shyness and social anxiety one minute, but then she will completely surprise me with her exuberance for an activity.

her ballet class had observation day and it was a highlight of MY LIFE! i was so proud. i'm smiled and teared up like a giant goober. she was so intense and serious and professional. 

and she completely surprised me with how far she has come in her flexibility. we simpson girls are not known for our ease of movement. my goal is to stretch enough to catch up to her. 

and her teacher even said she had great naturally hyper-extended legs! look at the booty! i'm just so glad she likes it and feels good about herself. i'll catch her practicing from time to time in her room and i feel like i should be plotting ways to get her on the disney channel so that her life can be destroyed in just a few short years. i'll ask billy ray cyrus how they pulled it off.
but really. 

even her teacher remarked about how seriously she takes it. i tried to wink at her and wave and she IGNORED me. true stage presence right there. i'm hard to ignore.

but not so serious are the pictures i'll find on my phone after church:

she also decided she wanted to make more things into contests between her and blythe. the latest contest is, "who is the cutest girl swinging". it's a little subjective but you can't blame a girl for trying to stack the deck in her favor. 

she also found a 4 leaf clover in the yard. this is also her smile for when she practicing for her disney channel audition. slightly painful but you can still picture it on a t-shirt.

reagan's mom finally got his cub scout shirt in gear. sort of.

reagan went to a gymnastics party and had to be dragged out of the foam pit. his concept of lost socks and germ-phobia is a little underdeveloped. ignorance is bliss. i jumped in too and poured bleach on my feet when i got home.

and thomas has mastered the art of combing long girl's hair. next up is teasing the crown in order to use a bump-it!

i went to the women's conference. i didn't really want to go because it started at 8pm eastern time zone. at that time of day i like to be in some level of dishabille. but i wore my most tent/blanket-like dress and sat in the chair closet to the door. once again, o-heidi-of-little-faith was humbled. it was wonderful. the Spirit of the Lord was strong. it spoke to my heart. i thought of so many of you, my dear sisters in Christ, and how grateful i am for your support and example and continued desire to live the gospel. we are never alone.
but the chair by the door was still awesome because i ran out and drove home in 3 minutes flat and put my sweats on and assumed my nightly position on the couch, falling asleep on thomas's shoulder while he did some work on his laptop. we are a dreamy team.

finally, the twins:

and we started a new family goal of only having dessert/junk food on sunday. no one likes it but me, but we eat garbage all the time and it needs to stop. i love to bake with the kids, but they were asking for lunch dessert and dinner dessert and dessert snacks and treats for every minor accomplishment. because i'm not the worstest mom ever, i include a couple of cookies in their lunch boxes and they can have any treat offered them for a special occasion like a party or school, but at home we stick to sunday dessert. and sunday dessert is a doozy. it always includes ice cream and some crazy concoction of brownies and sweetened condensed milk and crack cocaine. practically.
this was our 7 layer brownie:
brownies, chocolate chips, sweetened condesed milk, m&ms, nutella scoops, caramel balls and cookie dough globs.  plus, ice cream. my body went into shock after the sugar overload and i cried rivulets of sugar. 

but by the next sunday, we were ready again!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

conference thoughts 2014

i had lofty plans for this most recent lds conference weekend. i don't go for picture perfect but i still wanted it to be *just right*; full of traditions and baking and family time, a small yard project on saturday morning and of course, the actual listening to the inspired words of the prophet and other servants of the Lord. 

i got up early and had a quick but glorious run through my neighborhood. look at this light! the weather was perfect!
nature's glow! all can be right in the world!

the glorious sky beckoning me home! i was on FI-YAH!!!

 i made a cutesy little egg muffiny thing that took forever to bake.
and then i went to home depot for hostas and a new patio door and one minute i was fine and the next minute i was sssssiiiiiiicccckkkkk. just like that. 

i tried to finish my yard project but by the noon conference start time i was delirious with whatever was afflicting me. 

in the september 2011 liahona magazine, elder Utchdorf stated so wisely that "(we) are entitled to personal revelation as (we) listen to and study the inspired words spoken at general conference.
i've had a lot of heavy issues on my mind the last 6 months and decided to approach conference with extra prayer and specific needs in mind. 
unfortunately, my sudden plague was making this difficult to follow through on. simply taking acetaminophen knocks me out and having to sit still and listen in a quiet room is a death knell for me. i was doomed! 
but i had made a commitment to watch and God did not fail me! though i was wrapped in a blanket and propped up on the couch on a mountain of pillows, God still provided me the answers i needed. 
i've been worried about the direction our family should take on so many things but while watching conference i had the impression that i needed to be fearless. so, i will be 
fearless! elder utchdorf talked about gratitude and i was reminded of how much i truly have.

"I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me."C.S. Lewis

i was still in the deepest throes of illness the next day. blythe pee peed on my sweatshirt and tried to force feed me goldfish.

(doc mcstuffins and i were sick on the same day.)

blythe had the time of her life, being naked, eating goldfish on the couch and watching hour upon hour of television while i slipped in and out of consciousness.
i'm better now and i will choose be fearless.

Friday, March 21, 2014


"behold, mine is a house of order...and not a house of confusion" doctrine and covenants 132:8

well, not really. but i'm trying. 
this past winter i've really tried to rededicate myself to having some sort of functional organization system that even kids can understand and participate in.
truthfully though, it's mostly for me. i feel like everyone at our house depends on me to be able to find most anything in an instant and our previous organization "system" simply wasn't cutting it. as in, no one could find anything when it was all shoved in one drawer and that drawer couldn't even close. i guess not every drawer can be the junk drawer. 
the task is far from complete, but i've made a few key improvements so that tupperware and it's plethora of mismatched lids is not a nightmare and i can pack a lunch in less than a minute. go ahead, i'll let you time me. 
plus, i found that by putting things that spilled easily, like all my plastic untensils, on a higher shelf, they were less likely to spill! it's like rocket surgery!

it took me about 10 minutes tops to organize each drawer. i thought it would be some daunting task, but it really wasn't. i bought several organizing tubs and everything practically jumped in place, like a disney musical. i have BIG PLANS for my pantry! it may include a label maker. 

i still get excited and occasionally will open drawers just to see if they are still in good shape. more entertaining and satisfying than TV!

these used to be the junk drawers that stuff went into and nothing ever came out:
CRUMBS!!! so nasty! how does that happen?

my junk drawers are now called "le junque" drawers because they are so pretty. 

in other decorative developments, i've been trying to finish furnishing and decorating my home on an ultra small budget. i was inspired by a good friend's ultra frugality(she had just paid off her whole mortgage way ahead of schedule) and i decided to up my frugal game in my decorative quest. last fall i found a table set at goodwill for $60. it's a little old but other than that it's in good-if-you-have-rambunctious-kids condition. 

before, a classy card table:


the hardest part was finding ample cushions for a price that didn't break the bank. i paid more than twice on cushions than what i paid for the table. i wanted something really colorful, but those cushions were either crazy Golden Girls style tacky or CRAZY expensive. i decided to be happy with a neutral. perhaps in all my copious amounts of free time i will paint the table set a nice glossy grass green or ocean blue. thomas already vetoed a lacquered orange shade. every party needs a pooper.

my most recent development was recovering the chairs from my dining room set. ALL 8 CHAIRS. i found the set and china cabinet on craigslist for a STEAL. probably a fourth of the original price and she had only had it a couple of years. i think i paid the previous owner's balance on what she still owed for the set. 

the previous owner had about 54 cats and 40 kids and most everything was still in nearly perfect condition except the seat covers. 

my inspiration came from this post on little green notebook
this is me in room decor. i don't pinterest, but i did bookmark this. the only other thing i have bookmarked is my recipe for the world's best bread machine pizza dough. (and it is!) 
i love the predominant black and white color scheme with animal prints as as neutrals, the mix of metallics(so brave!), the blue and white chinoiserie delftware china, faux bamboo everywhere, greek key trim, and LUCITE! it's a bit of heaven for me.  

i'm still at the very beginning stages of this room, but recovering the chairs has really inspired me to think of more cost-saving ways to decorate this room. i spent $60 on striped fabric from, which is my favorite resource for any fabric, and i still only used about half of the fabric. i foresee scarlett and blythe both wearing several different sizes and variations in striped skirts over the next few years. 

the first morning i started on the chairs it took me about 3 hours to do three chairs and after that i needed a break. it's really hard to be precise with a baby on your lap constantly asking you to blow up balloons. 

i'm pretty thrilled. i feel like a real grown up with a mortgage and everything!

the final inexpensive update of late was this plant stand and planter. a friend gave me all her plants when she moved. 2 coats of metallic spray paint and it looked brand new and like it belonged in the room.

while i'll never consider myself crafty, i guess i am a little decoraty. 
the end. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

nine is officially the new black

my darling is 9. 
our family tradition is breakfast presents. then thomas sneaked off to ward council. all before the sun was up! thank you daylight savings!

a new puppet to add to the theatrical ensemble.

darth was a hit.

so much so, that i caught her slow dancing with him in the kitchen. darth was practically rounding second base with her. that darth is all hands. without even using his hands. the force!

our tree bloomed just for the occasion. my favorite.

reagan requested homemade pizza for his birthday dinner and this may be the most perfect pizza ever made. ever. 

side view:
i know! i made that!

 but i didn't make this. i may not make pretty cakes but i make cakes that taste good. this one from publix only looked good. reagan specifically requested a texas and missouri cake. naturally. cartography lovers unite!

 no blowout party this year. we're heading to wild adventure in valdosta instead. special request. 

but we had a few our reagan's favorite people over for mediocre cake, great ice cream and crystal light. reagan thinks crystal light is living large.

i'm pretty lucky that he's mine.

our sweet preemie.

i finally got to hold him a week after he was born. tears of joy.

blessing day, which ironically is the same weekend i started coloring my gray hair and last saturday night before his birthday i was up late coloring my grays. just lucky i guess.

booty pop in a family picture? don't mind if i do!

his gift to me was snuggling during church. a rarity.