Sunday, December 29, 2013

January to June: A Whole New World

In just a few days, we'll be packing it all up and moving into an apartment about half the size of our current home.  We're in the process of working with a builder to start a house soon in a new town that we really love, but in the mean time, we're doing all sorts of NEW things.  It's going to be quite an adjustment, but worth it in the end to have it all done the way we want it.  I'm sure I will keep you all posted here on the blog as to how things happen.

Here are some of our changes in the next few months:

  • We will be living on the 2nd floor of an apartment, in what I consider to be a "big city".  Madison, Wisconsin.  
  • I will be commuting to our current home for two, intense days of teaching to carry my students into their new teacher.  Honestly, I know I'm not ready to let them go and I desperately feel like I just can't let them be without a teacher when I know that with all the teacher searching I've done has turned up one, possibly two teachers that can be here in just a few months.  I love my Suzuki families so much that I'm willing to put myself out there in a crazy way to carry them through.  People think I'm crazy...I call it dedication.  
  • We will be homeschooling the kids so they don't have to go to three different schools this year.  I'm really excited to explore Madison this way.  Madison is basically an unknown city to me too, so this will be a great way to get to know our new town. 
  • Most of our "STUFF" will be in storage. We are only packing the things we need for 6-months and that can get us through our time in the apartment.  Everything else is going into a big storage unit that is provided for us.  That means, no sewing machine!  Most of my crafty stuff--GONE!  AHHHHHH!!!  We're  really getting serious about this too.  We're only taking mattresses for the kids and for us, boxspring and mattress.  We're only taking our chair and half and the ottoman for the living room too.  It'll be sparse, but fine.  
  • I can say that we do know people, but the kids network of friends has been pretty much severed.  I'm going to register them for a few classes since we'll have some freedoms with homeschooling. 
  • New church.   I'm really nervous about this one.  We really have to chose our church quickly because the kids have CCD.  
  • ........I'm sure this list has a ton more things, but I've got to get moving.  Too many things to get done today.  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26th and I'm starting to take down the tree?

Yes, it's December 26th and I'm starting to take down the Christmas tree and decorations.  It's all a part of the awesomeness of moving.  I'm figuring out what is left in the pantry and what I need to make with it, and trying to get blankets and rugs washed before we go too.

We're having a Cookies and Cocoa party on Sunday for the neighborhood kids for us to say goodbye before things really start getting packed up too.  Hopefully it'll help get the freezer cleaned out too.

Sad to see Christmas go so soon, but next year will be epic.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Phew! Finally have a place to live!

Our house closes in about 2 weeks and today we finally got an apartment while we build a house.  Man, that's cutting it close.  Not something I'd like to do again.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Merry Holiday, Y'all.

Once the kids came back from deer hunting, all bets were off and nothing else was done with the Christmas cards.  It was a good try though.  Hopefully I'll finish them up by next Monday.  The first bunch went in the mailbox today and I'm happy that our greetings are going to brighten someone's day soon.  

This year, our card says "Happy Holidays", and it doesn't bother me, because there are so many holidays to be celebrated...Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah.  We do usually send Merry Christmas cards, but I guess it's about the spirit of the season of celebrating.  Not the gifts, but of whatever and however you celebrate the holiday that you're celebrating.  So Merry Holiday, y'all.  Do what you do and be happy and be merry.  

Pssssttt....I'm exhausted!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Anyone else ready to send out Christmas cards?

I have about half my Christmas cards addressed and I always love getting cards out.  I mean, if I have them, they're ready to go, WHY NOT?  I'm going to wait until Monday this year, but no later.  I bet by Monday I'll have almost all of them completely written out too.  Love that feeling!

Starting to get that Christmas feeling!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dear Underwear Companies

Dear Underwear Companies,

Why don't underwear sizes match pants sizes?  Why is it all confusing?  Just simplify things and make the sizes match.



We sold our house!!

We got the call in the middle of Thanksgiving Day.  The house sold in ELEVEN days!  Oh. My. GOD!  I don't know what we're going to do.  We have so much to think about now.  We may be packing it up and moving to Madison in the middle of January and I'd be driving back to teach.  We're exploring all of our options, looking for the most cost effective, easiest transitional, least crazy, and the best for all of my studio families.  It's so hard.  So much to think about and pray about.  My brain is spinning.

Disney's FROZEN is a masterpiece!

Disney's done it again!  This time set with Hans Christian Andersen's "Snow Queen" story.  Frozen is set in Norway--close to our family's heart and heritage.  So, when we had the first opportunity, we took the kids to see the movie and it was amazing!  A true masterpiece!  I can't say enough about the music and the detail in the animation.  Stunning.  Truely.  Boone bought the soundtrack last night and we've all been listening since then.  I can't wait to find some time to go again.  I highly recommend this family flick for every age.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Product Review: The Wet Brush

Gwen, my 7 year old daughter, has been growing her hair out.  I can't say she has fine hair, but it's certainly not full.  She donated her hair to Locks of Love two years ago and she wants to be a "hair farm".  Her words.

Her hair is a tangled mess all the time and she doesn't do a very good job combing or brushing through it.  So there I am, a few times a day, brushing out what we call the "Simba Mane Mess".  It's been getting so bad that she's been toying with the idea of getting it cut into the bob that she had when she donated back in 2011.  I'm all for cutting and donating to Locks of Love, but it's just not long enough quite yet.  I like it overly long so we have a little extra to play with in styling her hair afterwards.

So the search began and the amazing Wet Brush was found.  I got mine at Sally's Beauty Supply Store, but it's also available directly from Wet, and on Amazon for the same price and there are way more color choices on Amazon.  I also saw them at my hairdresser's salon too.

They just look like regular old brushes, but OMG!  They're awesome!!!!!  Like a hot knife through butter, this brush just slides through.  The bristles are soft and let the hair slide through without breakage or pulling.  With brushing, you work through the snarls.   Super easy.  Happy kid.  Happy momma!  It can be used on wet or dry hair too.

They come in all sorts of colors, patterns and even wood!  I love the Wet Brush!!!!!  It has saved Gwen's mane and our mornings are going so much quicker and happier.  Long story short:  If you or your child is struggling with a tangled mane, the Wet Brush is worth every penny!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kinda liking this clean house business

We've worked so hard to get the house in "SHOWING" shape and I have to admit...I like the way it feels.  So clean.  So tidy.  Not having all that extra stuff around is freeing.  The kids are getting used to not having all that stuff around too.  I know that they'll be happy to have a few of their precious toys back, but I wonder if they'll be willing to part with a few of them once they're back.

Having showings every couple days or almost every day certainly keeps me on my toes and I'm always looking for something to clean (the floors especially), but it's working well and now that we've been doing it for over a week now, we're becoming a well-oiled machine.  Don't get me wrong.  I'd love to leave my floors a mess for a couple of days, but I told the realtors that I only need two hours notice.  The floors take about 30 minutes to wash and then I need another 30 minutes to just tidy up and get it all set.  15 minutes to pack up the car with our valuables and then start the movie projector and leave a little extra time to get out.

We just keep on working at it, but it's paying off.  Tomorrow is our first "Second Showing".  I'm not holding my breath, but it's something, right?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Selling your house is a weird form of torture.

We listed our house for sale today and I'm experiencing a whole new form a torture.  Selling a house with young children, two dogs, and a husband.  When we sold our old house over eight years ago, I don't remember it being this stressful, but Barrett was a baby and really didn't have "STUFF".  You know.  Lego tables, board games, Infinity, desks, twin-sized beds.  All that "stuff" that we now have for TWO kids and a guest room.  

We've really cleaned out a lot of our extra "stuff" and the house is looking great.  I wish we would have thrown a lot of this junk away a long time ago, and it always looked this nice.  We haven't even had a showing and I'm exhausted.  I'm still trying to sell some of the kids' clothes and books that will fetch a few bucks on eBay and I'm still trying to keep up with the kids, the two dogs, and the husband.  I think that I will be able to pay for all of Christmas with what I've gotten on eBay!  

Oh wait, then there's work too.  

So tired!  Yes, it has been confirmed.  Selling a house is a weird form of torture.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I took a shower with someone... then I commit murder.

I hopped into the shower this morning to be greeted by a HUGE spider between the shower liner and the curtain.  Okay, to me a HUGE spider is any kind of spider, but this one was HUGE!  Bigger than a quarter and it was all wiggly.  I freaked out and I screamed all crazy like a scene out of the movie Psycho.  For real.  It was good that the kids were at school because it was all crazy in the house.  I washed my hair with my eyes open and was out of there in record time.  I kept an eye on that spider the entire time I was in the shower.  All 45 seconds.

There I was running through my house wrapped in a towel for the vacuum, because HECK NO, I'm not gonna touch that thing with a tissue.  I got the vacuum and then I didn't know how I was going to get the stupid spider from between the liner and curtain.  I bumped the curtain into the tub, just in case the spider decided to jump for it and sure enough, it did.  I screamed so loud, I'm sure my neighbors heard me.  Of course, just as the spider dropped into the tub, I had some water from my hair run down my back.  Ahhhh!!!  I grabbed that vacuum hose and, I sucked the spider up and left the vacuum running for a good five minutes, just in case that spider decided to live.  OMG.

I hate spiders.  Sorry all you spider lovers and all you folks who catch spiders and release them into the world.  My philosophy is that if you don't pay rent, you're not allowed in.  With the exception of our two dogs, Lola and Sofie.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It all better be worth it

I've worked so much and I've been still hacking with my nasty cough this weekend.  Plus, it's going to be a late night.  The upstairs it ALMOST done.  I can almost see it.  The stink of cleaning supplies is hanging in the air and all I really have left is the kitchen island and my desk.  (Not mentioning the floor which will be the last thing to get done.)

Then on to the basement.  Boone has been cleaning in the basement since yesterday.  I haven't gone down there, so really he could be playing video games and leaving it for me to have a late-night heart attack.  I'm assuming that he's been working on it.

I'm assuming it will all be worth it in the end.  The kids love their simplified rooms.  Wish we could keep it that way forever...maybe with some coaxing....a mom can dream.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I just want to throw most of my stuff away

With our impending move, I've learned that I would like to throw most of our stuff way.  Okay, not most, but a good percentage of it.   Fresh start.  Clean this junk out!  Barrett is a hoarder and has a hard time letting stuff go.  Boone likes to pretend that he doesn't want to hold on to stuff, but he really does.  Gwen likes to hold on to stuff, but not as bad as the boys.  I'm not perfect, but I find that this move has been good therapy for me.  I wish I had more time to list stuff on eBay.  If I could just breeze through a bunch of listings, I would.  I just love the feeling of packing up a sold item and sending it on it's way.  I'm not making a whole lot on my resales, but, it's a heck of a lot better than the garage sale I had this summer.  Yeah, I won't do THAT again!

I keep chipping away at the "TO DO" List and Boone did almost all of the outside stuff today.  AWESOME!  Hopefully tomorrow is nice and he can stain a small part of the fence.  We have some stuff to finish up in the house, but we're on our way.

We want the house to sell, but we don't know WHAT we'll do when it does.  Rent an apartment or a house, I guess.  Adventures!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Candy has Been Found. I repeat. The Candy has Been Found.

I hid it really good too.  I had it in a big pot, and put another pot on top.  Yeah.  I knew it as soon as I whipped that lazy susan around.  That was a really tall pot.  Bring it on, Trick-or-Treaters.  We have the good stuff!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Hid the Halloween Candy

I hid the Halloween candy and now I can't find it.  I big bag of it too.  Boone promised he didn't take it. The kids, I know wouldn't have found it.  I just don't remember where I put the darned thing.  Now I have to find the stupid bag and I don't know where I put it. If I don't find it and I have to buy more I'm gonna be miffed.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Little Tykes putting a face on their Cozy Coupe Car Makes me MAD!

It just gets my goat that Little Tykes put a face on the Cozy Coupe Car.  Seriously.  I hate it.  It needs to be the CLASSIC RED COUPE CAR from back in the day.  Not some lame face slapped on the front. It just ruins all the memories I have of sitting in the car as a kid and I wouldn't buy it for my kid now if it had those dumb looking eyeballs.  I hate it.  

I'm so thankful that my kids were still in the era of the CLASSIC COUPE.  You know....

Little Tykes, please for HEAVEN'S SAKE!!  Bring back the CLASSIC!  Rip those eyeballs and goofy smile off that car.  Classic=Better.  

Random vent over.  Thank you. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Getting the house ready

Yep, we're moving.  It's starting to sink in as I'm starting to get the house ready for sale.  I've started to pack up some of the "extra" stuff.  You know...the extra blankets, mattress pads, and those books that we just can't part with.

I've also donated two trunk loads of stuff to Easter Seals.  Great feeling of culling and cleaning out of EXTRA.  It also creates a space where things get worse before they get better too.  There are places in our house where it looks like things have exploded all over the place.  The kids rooms are starting to slowly get better as the week goes on.  The hall closet is starting to look pretty good too.  I've been listing stuff on eBay like a crazy woman, in hopes of making a few bucks too.

Today, I rented a 10X15 storage locker.  Never fun to think about a good chunk of our stuff fitting in a 10X15 storage locker, but it is what it is.  We're gonna sell this house and start new somewhere else.  We want to get the most out of this house and making this house look amazing is the goal.

I see lots of work in my near future.

Oh, did I mention that I have a big ole sinus infection and a migraine to go with it? Life is going on and I have to keep riding that crazy train.

Friday, October 18, 2013

You know what stinks?

Cleaning the oven on the automatic cleaning setting.  I even put white vinegar in a baking pan to help absorb odors on top, but PHEW!  IT STINKS!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Just let the kid be proud of something!

So we're going through a lot.  My parents are building a house.  My brother is their builder.  My dad is nutty about this house.  My mom fell and broke her elbow.  We decided on October 1st to move and I told my studio families last Friday.  The kids are not taking it well and now, I think my wonderful, sweet son is getting bullied at school on top of it all.

Today, the kids went back to school after a long weekend and they had been to a great workshop with a famous violinist.  They got to play in a group class with her and then got her autograph and a picture with her.  It was inspiring for them and really motivating.  Then there's this kid and former friend of Barrett's that is not being very nice.  He's harassing Barrett about stuff, but he's really latched on to the violin part of Barrett's identity.  Barrett took in his autographed CD and magazine to share with the class and to tell about his experience and this kid was not nice and I guess told Barrett that the violin was stupid, and lame, and sucked, and well, you get the idea.  It really cut to the core of Barrett.  With all of our moving plans, I think the violin has become his rock.  His safe place.  And for a friend to go and disrespect it so badly upset him so much.  This isn't the first time either.  We've been trying to steer Barrett to the positives.  Focusing his attention on his work.  How people change and perhaps this isn't a person you want to consider a friend.  But Barrett doesn't understand how someone who was his friend could all of a sudden, for no reason, be so cruel.

I couldn't take it any more.  I had to write the teacher a letter.  I told how for the past few weeks Barrett hasn't been sleeping and has been crying himself to sleep about how he's getting harassed by this kid. Today, I was volunteering at the school.  Barrett saw me and stopped for a quick hug.  Then, this kid, AGAIN, started in on Barrett.  Barrett got all upset, flustered, couldn't concentrate on his work and started to cry.  He left the room and came down to find me, but I was gone and he told me how the room was "all black".  (That cut me to the core.  I wish I would have been there to comfort him.)  :(   Barrett asked me if he was sobbing hard enough if he could come home from school.

Seriously?  My kid doesn't want to be in school?  My super smart, book worm?  Avoiding school?  This can't be happening?!!??!

Damned this bullying kid.  This better be dealt with.  I figure, I made contact with the teacher.  If something isn't done soon,  we're headed to the principal.  This can't happen.

Monday, October 14, 2013

If there is NO SCHOOL, why did I schedule the dentist for 8:40?

Yeah.  Sometimes I do really smart things like schedule dentist appointments early on in the day so the kids don't miss a whole lot of school.  Then there's today.  I had no idea that it was a day off of school and what do I do?  I scheduled Gwen for sealants at 8:40.  No sleeping in for this girl.  She and I are up and going and getting ready for those teeth to get all cleaned and sealed up!

Plus, it's cold.  I didn't want to get out of bed.  Brrrrrr....the thermostat said 63 degrees in the house when I got up and there was frost on the ground and I didn't cover any of my flowers either.  :(

Isn't that the life?!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Breaking My Own Heart

I just broke my own heart.  Broken.  Broke.  Broke.  I ripped it out.  Ripped it apart and then put it through a shredder and then too the shreds and stomped on them.

I just started a long, painful stop to something so wonderful.  So powerful.  Something I love so much for people that I love so much.  So great for so many.  It just kills me.  I just have been crying for weeks and today has been just heart-wrenching.

I have to pull myself together and pick up the kids from school now and I'm a wreck.  I'm trying to look to the future, but today is just to be broken.  Tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's almost Halloween...the kids better finish up their Easter Candy!

Oh man!  It's almost Halloween!  My kids better finish up their Easter candy soon!  I've been throwing a couple pieces in their lunch boxes even.  Yes, even at a Montessori, Hippy-Crunchy School, they're getting candy in their lunches.  I gotta get rid of this stuff!

Now I've got Halloween breathing down my neck?!????!  How am I gonna get rid of this stuff?

At least for my kids, it all about the getting.  They're not big candy eaters, but they love getting it.  Looking at it.  Knowing they have it and then I end up tossing it at the next "candy holiday".

I hope they get some nasty Halloween candy that they just want throw away.  I don't want it in my house.

The joy of finding a missing library book.

Besides picking Barrett up from school sick yesterday, I spent a good portion of my day just looking for a missing library book.  I spent probably FOUR hours looking for the darned book.  FOUR. HOURS.  

After giving up to get Gwen from school and then teaching one lesson, I sent Boone on the search.  I asked him to triple check my car.  Sure enough.  It was found.  Yes.  After I searched FOUR HOURS.  It was folded up in the rear seat in my car.  How it got there, I don't know, but the book has been found and we haven't even gotten a late fee on it yet!  SUCCESS.  Now I wish I had my four hours back.  Good grief!

Monday, October 7, 2013

I Love My Chiropractor

I love my Chiropractor.  Love.  When she's gone, I go to the other Chiropractors in her practice.  It's good, but not the same.  I know that everyone has an adjustment style and that everyone likes their adjustments differently.  She's my fit.  She's amazing.  Love.  Love.  Love.  Adjustment love.

The reason for this outburst of love is that she was gone for the last few weeks and today I got an adjustment from her and after I was done, I just wanted to hug her.  AMAZING.

In your car, you're surrounded by glass....please, don't pick your nose.

I'm pleading!!!!  DON'T PICK YOUR NOSE IN YOUR CAR!!!  Vehicles are surrounded by glass. People, I can see you when you pick your nose in your car, so please don't do it.  Use a tissue.  Save it for home.  Just stop going knuckle deep in your car.  It's gross.

Okay.  Vent over.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Biscoff Cookie Spread or aka Cookie Crack

OMG.  My friend Carrie told me about this stuff she called Cookie Butter, but I think it would better off called COOKIE CRACK.  It's so damned good.  Biscoff Cookie Spread.  OH. MY. GOD!  It's so damned good.  I was tempted not to tell my hubby about it and to stash it in the back of the pantry to hoard it all to myself.

With Creamy and Crunchy, they're both so good.  My favorite is Crunchy, but I'm not whining about the creamy.  

I think I'm going to get my father-in-law a few jars of this stuff for Christmas.  I can see a few of these jars becoming my anxiety go-to food.  

You can find it by the peanut butter and Nutella.  

I'm going to the store now to stock up. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pin Test: Get Rid of that Boy Bathroom (Smell Lemon and Baking Soda Paste)

It's another cleaning Pin Test!  Cleaning the bathroom (again) using a Pin I found.

The pin goes to Ask Anna.  A fantastic blog with all sorts of great cleaning and organizing ideas.  LOVE IT!

It's basically a lemon juice and baking soda paste.  You spread it around your toilet base and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  Spray with vinegar (I LOVE VINEGAR) and wipe until clean.

I did it and I'd give a grade of 7.5 out of 10.  It does smell better.  (Yeah)  It's natural.  (Awesome)  Now if it could get my son to pee into the bowl better.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Parents are Homeless...Kinda

My parents are closing on the home that spent the majority of my life growing up in today and I'm really kinda bummed out about it.  I couldn't get a chance to stop over and say goodbye to the house and the land, so I feel really no closure or anything.  Just sad.  I helped sell the house and I took the pictures, so I have that.   Memories, too.  I just wanted that one last time through.

My parents are building their "dream home" in the woods.  A beautiful log cabin with two-story picture windows looking out into the trees.  It is really pretty. isn't complete yet!  That means they're homeless for about a month now.  I think they'll be staying in an inexpensive hotel and maybe with my brother, but I'm not really sure.  We'll see.  They'll be fine and find their way.  I have to trust in that.  I know that many people have sold their homes early and have crashed at other people's homes. Heck, I'm just happy their house sold and they're on their way to the next step.  They should be able to move into their house by the end of the month.  (FINGERS CROSSED)

I'll have to share pictures of their old and new homes soon.  They're on the the other computer and Boone will have to help me move the pictures.  You all know how great I am about moving images from computer to the other.  ;)

Here's to the next month of chaos!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pin Test: Vinegar Dawn Tub Cleaner

This pin is always popping up on my popular board and I have friends that are always pinning it so I thought I'd give it a try and if it would change my life.  

First of all, I have to say this....WHO would let their tub get that dirty?!  

Second of all....I made my vinegar/Dawn cleaner with regular vinegar.  

I sprayed it on my tub and left it on for an hour and 15 minutes.  I scrubbed with a dish sponge with a scrubby (scrubbing with the scrubby side) for quite a while, and I never felt all thrown down on with this cleaner.  Perhaps I just don't let my tub get all gross?  Perhaps my love affair with my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is far too great?  

I don't think I'd do it again.  I'm sticking with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser once a week and an easy job.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Apple Coaster Tutorial: Yet another busy felt craft.

I'm at it again!  Felt crafting.  This time I made these cute little apple felt coasters from Molly's Sketchbook great tutorial from The Purl Bee.  

Made four sets of four for the kids CCD teachers for Christmas.  Yes.  I've started Christmas crafts already.  It's never too early to start.  

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Organizational Blog Share: Bowl Full of Lemons

I found a good one!  A great blog to help me get organized and you know how I love to share.

Once the kids started back to school, I started to recover my house from summer.  I just started by cleaning up the toys and clothes and general crap that was all over the place and then I started to list a bunch of outgrown clothes on eBay.  I've already brought in over $250 this month on clothes I probably would have only gotten $50 at Once Upon a Child, so I feel, even though it's more work, I get some Christmas money.  Whoop!  Maybe I'll call it my Disney-stash.  ;)

I was on a forum and all the ladies were talking about this great organization website called Bowl Full of Lemons so I popped over and took a look.  WOW!  LOVE IT!  I've been slowly going through the 14 Week Home Organization Assignments and I love it!  It seems manageable for a working mom with two active kids and a work-crazed husband.  I call that SUPER!

Now, I'm not all up-to-date on her blog, as I found it after she was well into her blog posts, but I just keep chipping away at the assignments and I'm happy with what I see.  Plus, I just love the name and I think lemons are pretty.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Homemade Vapor Shower Discs Tutorial

I found a great tutorial to make Homemade Vapor Shower Discs.  Last week I was sick and I made these great little discs to help my head congestion and gave them a go before I shared with y'all.  I give them two big thumbs up.

Follow the tutorial on Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity's blog and you too will have these great discs.  I made one set and I know that I will easily be able to make more the next time I feel a cold coming on.  

I've been storing my discs in a Ziplock baggy in the bathroom drawer and they've been great.  

Kids Closet Switch-Over Day

Oh's that day.  Closet Switch-Over Day.  The day I move the tank tops (what Barrett calls "MUSCLE SHIRTS") and shorts out and move some long-sleeved shirts into the closets.  BOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

It's nice to have new clothes in the mix, but so sad to say goodbye to summer.  This fall, I really didn't do a whole lot of shopping for Gwen besides pants and she's going to be able to wear a lot of her size 7 pants for a little bit longer.  Barrett's trying to wear his size 10's but they're most definitely high water pants.  His 12s fit much better, but they're so darned big in the waist.   I'm going to make a stash of cut-off shorts from his 10s for next summer later this week.

It's supposedly have "warmer than usual" temperatures all this week, so I'm holding onto all the short-sleeves in the closet.  I can't let go!!!

Good luck switching your closets over soon.

Pin-Crazy Felt Ornament Craft Coping

When life gets crazy, I use my "Crafty Stuff" Pinterest board to keep my mind and hands busy.

So here are some of the felt-ornament Pinterest pins that have been keeping me busy.  I haven't taken any IRL pictures of my takes on these crafts, but trust me....they're cute.  And I made plenty of (some) them to sell at a craft sale with my mom.  I switched up the ideas to make them my own, but they're all super cute!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Anna Karenina, Why did you have to go and do that now?

Extremely disappointed in Anna Karenina's ending.  I mean, really?!?!  I believe I said it outloud..."Anna!  Why did you have to go and do that now?!?!"  What a real bummer.  Not what I was expecting at all.

Such disappointment.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Herb Drying Time!

I've started have so many extra herbs in the garden and I'm starting to think fall.  Yes, that four letter word that we all hate.  F. A.L.L.  My deck garden has been growing like crazy and I've been taking from it as I need for cooking and I've dried a couple times, but tonight I really had a good whack at it and got a good bunch of oregano, rosemary, basil, and parsley.

I'm hoping that the next time I get a big bunch of basil, I'll be able to make a big batch of pesto to freeze for the winter.  YUM!

Great Children's Book Find: "Ask Me" by Antje Damm

On one of our trips to the library, Gwen picked out a book called ASK ME by Antje Damm.  I thought it look a little "babish", but oh, how wrong I was.  I love it! 

There are over 100 simple, thought-provoking questions to help start conversation between you and your child.  The teacher in me immediately thought it was a great way to build relationships with my students too.  Each page has a beautiful image, either an illustration or child's drawing or a photograph, that stimulates the conversation too.  

Questions like:  If you were king or queen, what would you change?  Have you ever picked fruit off a tree?  Do you know what your grandparents played with when they were little?  Who's in your family?  Have you ever seen animals in the sky?  

I've renewed the book twice now and I don't want to return it.  I've found myself contemplating a purchase!  After I spent some time with this book and my kids, I felt like I knew them better as people and took some time to relax, slow down, and enjoy who they are as individuals.  

What a great find!  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Disney Dog Halloween Costumes at PetSmart

Went to take Lola to get groomed at PetSmart (our favorite groomer in our town) and as we were leaving, we noticed that they had out the cutest pet Halloween costumes and toys on the PLANET!

DISNEY Dog Halloween Costumes!  For REAL!  I love it!

Woody, Buzz, Nemo, Pooh, Tigger, the list went on.  They were so cute!

At $24.99 and then 20% off, thought they were kinda pricy, but they were well made.  

Disney, you've done it again.  Super cute costumes for pets!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A special kind of tired.

We're back!  I'm so happy that we're back, but man, I'm a whole special kind of tired.

I'm feeling so much better.  Shingles are healed, but when I'm tired or stressed out, I feel prickles, but not as bad as it was before.  THANK GOD!

I've done about 8-10 loads of laundry and we've even crunched in a 4-mile walk today too.

Ready to clean and put away more stuff and then get back to blogging!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

American Suzuki Institute

I'm leaving for a couple of weeks to teach at the American Suzuki Institute.  No, it's not where people go to learn how to ride Suzuki Motorcycles.  I get to teach kids, young and old, how to play the violin using the Suzuki Philosophy and the "Mother Tongue Method".

It has become my teaching "battery recharge" for the year and I'm really looking forward to it.

Yesterday I started feeling a little better--not as many pokes and tingles, and I'm hoping that today follows the trend.

The first week I teach an hour extra so that the second week, Boone can bring the kids and I can have the two hours where they have their semi-private lessons free to come and be with them.  It has worked out really well so far and I'm really happy.  The progress my kids make in a week is fantastic and we love being with like-minded families.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Something is either crawling on my skin, poking my skin, it's on fire, the clothes I have are hurting, or my hair hurts, or it's numb (like it's falling asleep) AND it doesn't happen all the time.  It comes in weird waves and in different parts of my body.

My back.  Oh my God.  My back.  My head.  My upper legs.  My upper arms.

But, you know what?  In a couple days, I get to teach with amazing teachers and hopefully not have this awful, awful pain while teaching kids.

Pray, people.  Pray hard.

On the upside.  My "sores" aren't really sores.  They have almost completely healed.  So I don't look like what you imagine shingles to look like.  I just feel what shingles feels like.  So no problem with people.  Nothing.  Just pain for me.  Joy.  Like EVERY NERVE ON MY BODY HAS FIRED AT ONCE.  SUCKAGE.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

If this summer couldn't get much worse...I've got Shingles.

Yeah.  Lovely.  Shingles.  On my frickin' face too.  It's not a huge sore or anything, but it's there and it's painful.  It's causing these prickly, creepy, crawly painful pricks to happen on my face and body too.  It totally sucks.

The doctor says it could be brought on by stress, heat, etc.

Stress?  Me?  Ha!  This summer has totally SUCKED stress-wise and now Shingles.  For real.

That is all.  

Shingles.  Yeah.  Oh,  and Boone is still traveling, so any chance of me relaxing and resting is out of the picture, so there.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Goldfish Puffs: A New Lunch Box Option

My kids found a new favorite snack!  Goldfish Puffs.  Yummo!  They are finger-lickin' good.  I found them at THE Super Target and they were only $2.99 each.  We got Buffalo Wing and Mega Cheese.  They LOVE the Mega Cheese, so all I've been able to eat are the Buffalo Wing.  They're pretty good too.  

I can see these over-sized fishies swimming their way into my kids cold lunches next school year. Always nice to have new options. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pinterest Project: Denim Pocket Banner & Link to a Tutorial

Pinterest Inspiration:

I found this cute banner on Pinterest and a great way to use up those pants that became shorts and now are a banner!  

The tutorial that the link above has is great, so why recreate the wheel?  Click it to see how awesomely easy it is to make.

Here is my banner.  I'm giving the banner to my aunt who is becoming a first time grandma any day now.  She's making a nursery in her house for the expected grandbaby with a FARM theme.  Talk about cute!

Here is my take:

I used bandana fabric and white fabric to create my banner.  I kept the back of the pockets on, so if my aunt wants to put stuff in the pockets, she can!  

I could be put on the wall, over a window, door, closet.  Whatever.  

I thought it was a clever way to recycle pockets too.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

We've fallen in love...with Edward Tulane.

Since we've been in the car for HOURS this summer.  We've been getting audiobooks to help make our long trips, short trips, any trips go faster and easier.

We've listened to some amazing stories, but I have to tell you that we've just fallen in love with The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.  All of us.  We haven't finished the story yet, but we park in the garage and just sit for 5 minutes more for a little bit more of his adventure.   I can't wait to hear how this story will finish.

We discovered Kate DiCamillo when we listened to The Tale of Despereaux.  My kids tend to get "attached" to authors and Ms. DiCamillo's writing is enchanting and mesmerizing.  I even get caught up in the storytelling of her amazing writing and scene painting.   Since I haven't read the written word, I can't speak from experience, but I think having the story read to me, it is even more amazing.  I think this would be a fantastic story to be read to every any age too.  So many great lessons.

My kids are discussing the story and trying to figure out what will happen with the characters before it will happen.  They have fallen in love with Edward.

This book is destined to become a classic in our home.  Why can I see a china rabbit, a bit worn with love, finding a place as our "Edward"?

By the way....I've found all sorts of cool things on the website.  Reader's Theater, Videos, Teacher's Guides, and more...TALK ABOUT LOVE!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Friendship Bracelet Maker Product Review

Gwen had her 7th birthday party last week and this a real winner in my book.

My Friendship Bracelet Maker, is super easy to use and it comes with lots of different kinds of floss.  Gwen and I went online tonight and they have tons of different patterns for beginners, intermediate, and even advanced friendship bracelets.  Many of the patterns even include easy to follow videos!

My Friendship Bracelet Maker is going to buy me tons of quiet time this summer and she'll be thinking of her friends and making gifts and bracelets to share.

What a blast from the past.  WAY better than pinning it to our rolled jeans, right?

My Friendship Bracelet Maker can be found a Michael's Craft Stores for around $19.99 without a coupon.  Wait until you have a coupon and you'll be golden!

Gwen loves it and so do I.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Midol Surprise

Hey!  Y'all!!  Did you know that Midol has caffeine in it?  Well neither did I.  Especially when I took two at 11:00 PM when we got back from the fireworks.  Yeah.  I was up until 3:30 am (I took a sleep aid at 2:00 am).

On the bright side, my cramps went away, I did some editing on a photograph I took of Barrett yesterday (I'll share it later), I found a possible house to look at, and I read through three magazines.

FYI:  They make Caffeine-Free Midol.  I'll be looking for that at "THE" Target this afternoon--when I'm good and crabby and when I want to take a nap.

Making Deals with God

So when you are sitting way too long to wait for tests and test results, you start having conversations with God.  I made a deal with him.  I promised to give up soda, which I know is bad for me anyways and I know can cause cancer (probably).  I said, "Hey God.  If all is clear, I will give up soda.  I will only have the cup I have in the morning to take my morning vitamins and my 'get up and go'.  Then I'll give it up completely."

When the radiologist called, I was done.  I haven't had a soda in the middle of the day or anything since.  Have a been tempted?  Yeppers, but have a caved?  Nope.

Deal done.  God, thank you for making my test results okay.  You are good.  You are great.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Thank GOD! I don't have cancer!

I got the call around 2:00 pm today and I don't have breast cancer.  I can exhale, have a good cry, eat my body weight in pasta, then plan my diet for the seven pounds that I gained since June 13th.

God, this has been a rocky one.  I will be consulting a different clinic/hospital for how they run their women's clinic.  I haven't been happy, to say the least, with how this has gone.  It has taken WAY TOO FRICKEN LONG and I've had WAY TOO MANY people to deal with on this journey.

I need to decompress.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lovely Jackson Lake

Have to share this quick photo that I shot of Jackson Lake looking back at the Teton Mountains.  Sigh....One of my favorite places on Earth.

Lovely Jackson Lake, Wyoming. 

My lumps have made my need for control to go out of control

Okay.  I'll be the first to admit it.  My lumps are something I have NO control over.  Thus, everything else in my life I'm trying desperately to have more control over.  There are small sections of my house that haven't looked better.  My floor, for instance, hasn't looked greater.  It has been washed, every day,  since we have returned from Yellowstone.

Boone has been great about letting me boss him around and even collected the grass earlier this week, because I equate collecting grass like vacuuming the yard.  I think it looks nice and neat and clean.  See?  Crazy control issues.

We bought a new carpet cleaner today.  I can't wait for delivery, which should be in 3-5 days.

Today, my main goal is to finish my photography assignment and to clean the living room and kitchen. I find extreme joy in having control over something, considering I don't seem to have control over what happens inside my body or what may happen for my biopsy test results.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This has been a long few weeks.

So much has happened the last few weeks, I don't even know where to begin.  It's exhausting even to think back.

We went to drove to Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore,  Needles Highway, the Badlands, and the Tetons (pictures to come later) with the kids and it was lovely.  Better than I had expected, actually.  The parks were wonderful. We had okay weather too.  Two days of wind and cold, but nothing that a fleece jacket and blanket couldn't handle.

The day before we left, I did my self-breast exam.  Even though I found a lump in February and had a mammogram and ultrasound on both breasts and was given the all clear, I found a lump in my right breast.  This time, the lump is hard, like a pea.  I called right away and got on Friday afternoon, right before we were leaving for our trip.  STRESSFUL!    The NP confirmed what I felt, but the radiologist and mammogram techs were already gone for the weekend and I couldn't get anything other than an appointment for my return.  MORE STRESS.

We left on our trip with so much on my mind.  It was so hard to relax, but I tried.

Monday after we got back,  Boone dropped Barrett off at Math Camp and we went to my appointment at the hospital.  Mammogram and Ultrasound was done, but before I was always given results immediately.  This time I had to wait a full day.  STRESS.

Test came back suspicious and there are two lumps.  Great.

Biopsy is on Friday for both lumps.

If you read this, please keep me in your thoughts.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Damn you, Cool Whip Frosting--YOU'RE SO GOOD!!

Well, damn.  I've discovered Cool Whip Frosting and a gradual five pounds, that is if I keep this awesome stuff in my house.

Today is Gwen's birthday and we're making a cake for dinner.  I saw a commercial for this stuff and thought I'd give it a go.  When I was on a diet, like every moment of my life,  I'd freeze Cool Whip Free and then eat a few spoonfuls like ice cream.  It would give me a fix of frozen and dairy.  YUM.

I just had a spoonful of this stuff and O.M.G!  It's so freaking good.  I got chocolate and cheesecake, because when we were in the freezer section, we were in a hurry and Gwen wasn't sure.  The cheesecake is really good, but the chocolate is like crack (not that I know what that is like).  I'm glad Gwen wanted chocolate on her cake, because the sooner that stuff gets out of my house and in other people's bodies, the better!

Make up a reason to buy Cool Whip Frosting, people.  It's damned good!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Deco Mesh 4th of July Wreath

I made this cute 4th of July wreath using a tutorial from a found on Pinterest by the Clumsy Crafter.
Clumsy Crafter's Tutorial is great.  I got the Deco Mesh at JoAnn's.  It was $5/roll and I had 50% coupons for each one.  I had a left over wreath form from a different project.  American flags I picked up at the Dollar Store, along with the star foil trim stuff.  

Overall, cute, inexpensive wreath and easy and fun to make.  

3 Week Update on my Dahlietta Bed

My Dahlietta's are so happy.  I've already trimmed the dead heads twice and they're full of blooms all the time.  The plants are getting bigger and I'm not tempted to fill in the empty space.

Click here to see the first day of planting on May 20th.

Here they are today, just three weeks later.

Ok.  Ok.  I need to get some mulch down.  Don't judge.  

3 Week Update on my Side Planting Hanging Baskets

Well, here we are.  Three weeks after I tried my hand at side planting.  I'm really happy with how my hanging baskets are looking.  I love Million Bells flowers too.  So happy.  SO easy.  All you do is water the little buggers and that's it.  You can find my original post on May 20th.  

Here is a photo update with my baskets.

You can kinda see how the side planted flowers are growing up from the holes they were planted in right now.  I've noticed that the larger side planted plants are starting to go both up and down.  Such a cool look!  I also love that the colors are starting to mix together now.  Sigh.  Love me some flowers.  Some day, I'll have enough land to have a little green house.  Double sigh.  

Here's a bonus one with my puppy, Sofie and a few of the basket from further away.  
Sofie looks so happy.  :)  

Here are the window boxes too.  They're very happy as well.  I'm still lamenting the fact that I didn't put enough soil in the box to begin with, but that's ok.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Addiction: The Little Couple on TLC

Have you watched "The Little Couple" on TLC?  OMG.   They are just the cutest couple ever!  I started watching it when my mom was here watching "her TLC shows" and I have to admit, I love this show and I'm totally addicted.

Come on now.  Just watch a couple shows and tell me you can't get addicted to them.  Too sweet.  Too down to Earth.  These people are great.  And now they've adopted a little boy, Will and a little girl is on the way from India!  

I can't believe it's taken me so long to find this show!  LOVE THE LITTLE COUPLE!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

One of the Best Parts of Vacation: Thoughts from my 6-year old.

As we were packing for our one night away, Gwen tells me how excited she is for the clicking, clacking sound of her rolling backpack on the tile floor of the hotel.  "Mom, that is one of the best parts of vacation.  That sound.  The 'click click click click' sound that my backpack makes on the floor.  It's just so happy. "

Oh, come on now.  How could that NOT make you not want to stay in a hotel now?  JOY.

"THE" Target: My New Word Revolution.

I think I need to start a revolution.  A word revolution.  I believe when you go to Target, you should say it "Hey, I'm going to THE Target."  It is way more awesome.  It could be THE (with a long E) or it could be THE (like the tree).  It really doesn't matter, as long as you do it.  

Speaking of which, I have to get my butt into the shower and get over to THE Target and get some groceries.