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. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

cheaters occasionally do prosper

so you don't want to but have to build a pinewood derby car? here's a step by step tutorial on what you should do!
1. give yourself plenty of time. after that, panic and realize you have no time and no tools.
2. go to the nearest junk(5 and dime)store and buy a pre-made pinewood car for 3 times the price. this might be considered cheating. i simply consider this smart. every parent has a talent. mine is finding the best solution to my problems.
3. spray paint on your front porch on a day when you haven't showered for 48 hours and you are trying to help your kids with homework at the same time. multitasking=yelling
4. skip dinner the night of the derby and shove several large handfuls of chocolate chips in your mouth while you are rubbing racing decals on. with your third arm, google the proper way to attach the tires. 

5. promise you will pray for forgiveness for all the swearing in your head.(and your mouth.)
6. apparently you can add weights to your car to achieve weight limit. that's good to know beforehand. as is knowing there is a desired weight limit. i didn't know this beforehand. this was my first pinewood. thomas was never a boy scout either. i'm tucking all this information away for when i'm a scout leader and need to share it with my pack in case there are a few clueless parents who like getting instructions on how to do things properly.

probably my least favorite thing of all time is going to church on wednesday night. i just want to put my kids to bed. i know my limits and evening activities put me way over the top. our afternoons are always already full and i get neither overtime nor hazard pay for evenings. i apologize to any who have encountered me on a wednesday night at church. i'm grumpy. i don't enjoy my bad attitude either. i feel i should be able to plead temporary insanity the nights my kids aren't in bed on time. everyone is happier when they are following their regular schedule. it's a fact. thus sayeth me. 

my other issue is that NOTHING STARTS ON TIME. 
 we took pictures to kill time until everything started and we killed that time dead.
scarlett and the "pink road rocket". 
our pack encouraged anyone who wanted to build a car to race after all the regulation scout racing was completed. scarlett was more excited than reagan about this activity and she gave me LOADS more input on her car design. luckily, the junk store had a pinewood truck and pink decals she just had to have. and i'm a pushover in a pinch so we ran with it. (scarlett dresses herself. she never met a pink sequin she didn't like.)

reagan with "green car bear". he is not good at naming things on the fly. 

still waiting for everything to start. it took so long that thomas made it before everything got rolling(punny) and he knew he was going to be late. blythe lives because he was at this activity.

finally! in case i need to plead my case before a judge, here is evidence of how long we waited: 37 minutes is way beyond my righteous thoughts capacity.

for the record, reagan does own a scout shirt. it is in pristine condition hanging in his closet. i'm just waiting for the perfect moment to sew all those patches on. hopefully, before he gets his eagle. 

in a complete 180 from my negative attitude, reagan was the best sport! he LOVES scouts. missing cub scouts has been a great bargaining tool. this scout activity was top notch in his book. after each race, he would declare himself the winner. he actually did win one race and was equally upbeat about each loss.

scarlett told me afterwards, "a boy said he hated my car! i think it's because mine beat his car!"

the moderately fast and none too furious. (not pictured, the furious. that was me.)

some kid named regan won for best classic car design. i'll keep this award until we run into a kid named regan so i can pass it along to him.

i thought i would pose with my creations:

how i really felt:

the end! until next year! and i'm sure there's no rule about re-spray painting a previous year's car! if there is, they probably won't tell me anyway!!!)

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

fun is run

PROUD does not even begin to describe how i feel about this past weekend's festivities. scarlett ran in her first road race this weekend. this year at school, the kids joined the running club at school and by default i come and hover over them(and quiz scarlett on spelling after each lap) and blythe comes and causes problems and gets in the other kid's way. but, they practice running and it's been a great experience. the school received a discount for registration fees for one of the area's big road races and scarlett expressed interest in running in the kid's mile. we're all suckers for a free sweat-wicking t-shirt. and i got the discount for my race too!

 of course, the evening of the kid's race, my worst running nightmare came true. i showed up to the race at the wrong location. we were ten minutes away from the actual start location and the race started in 5 minutes. we jumped back in the car and encountered a BUNCH of construction and an ooooold man who decided to just stop his car in the middle of the road in the construction zone until a parking space opened up or his metamucil kicked in, whichever came first. desperation set in and scarlett and i jumped out of the car and starting running the remaining blocks to the race while thomas stayed behind to deal with traffic. by time we got to the starting line, the race had been started for 3 minutes and we were already out of breath just trying to get there. they were packing up the starting line, but we just went for it. it was a chipped race so we were still timed even though we were the only ones left on the road. we ran like our lives depended on it, the only two runners on the road and we held hands. it was wonderful, if not a little post-apocalyptic feeling. by time we got the finish line, everyone else was already finished but we ran across the line like the champions we are! i cried a lot. i was so proud. she never stopped running!
 then she went and sat on the ground. i saw that she wasn't even wearing socks, which is a big running no-no. we still have plenty to work on before our next race.

each time i took a picture, she put her medal right by her face.

medal by her face:

and medal by her face:
 and due to construction and the old man, thomas was just circling the race area the whole time we were running and picked us up. so, everything worked out great. 

next morning, i had my race which i showed up for at the right time and place. i haven't run a 10k(or done much running at all recently because of the obnoxious cold weather that won't go away) in a while but it's a great distance and i ran with someone faster than me so i felt shamed into keeping up with her pace the whole time. i got a personal best 10k time of 55:28. it was awful and cold and the final mile was straight up hill. vomiting fighting with breathing. breathing won out in the end, but it was touch and go for about 45 seconds after i crossed the finish line.

everyone needs a great workout partner who is a little faster than you. mine is my friend, holly, and she is so cheery that you can't help have a good time running with her. i'm so negative that i'm surprised she talks to me. ying to my yang.

i'm thinking of becoming a post-running spokesmodel. who wouldn't want to buy what i'm selling? hahahahahaha. 

and this man was the token oldster in shorty shorts with what looks like tennis balls shoved up the back of his pants. every race has one.