Thursday, July 23, 2009


Yes. Diapers on a line speak contentment to my soul.
I accept that I am strangely peculiar. I'm okay with that.
Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I'm gearing up for a garage sale this weekend and stuck in sorting/pricing/organizing/planning insanity. =)

Friday, July 17, 2009

I have shredder, hear me squeal.

4 bags of shredded paperwork in my garage. And I haven't even opened the filing cabinet(s) yet. (Blush. I'm a paper packrat, admittedly.) But - WOO! - no more! The shredder has changed my life, tell ya what. My closet has never looked better, I'm fluttering around with the glee that always cheers me when my home is organized and in order. I know, it's a sickness!

After a week "off", I am satisfied. We spent days doing much. And days doing very little. It was all good.

The things on the list that I/we did/were better at/focused on:
  • Sew - Pillows, Reconstructed Denim Skirts for the girl.
  • Make yogurt. YUM. Granola. Double YUM.
  • Try once a month (once every two weeks?) cooking.
  • Try new recipes.
  • Read more. Frequent the library. Filled up my hold queue!
  • Spend more time with each of the kids individually every day.
  • Play WITH the kids more. Stop telling them to "go play", and GO. Play.
  • Eat healthy consistently. Plan meals. Eat out less.
  • DAILY devotions. Pray more.
  • Go to the gym consistently.

Decluttering progress: Red spaces are undone as yet...

  • Kitchen (pantry, cookware, serveware, pots and pans, fridge - everything)
  • Upstairs Bath storage
  • Chickie's Closet
  • Downstairs Bath storage
  • Bug and Monkey's Closet
  • Playroom Closet
  • Master Closet

Things I still want to work on:

  • Take the kids to the park, gymnastics center, Bouncin' Bears regularly.
  • Spend more time with each of the kids individually every day. (Yes this one is in both categories. On purpose.)
  • Do more crafts. (I loathe most kid's crafts. Bug LOVES crafts. It's a worthy sacrifice.)
  • Read to the kids more often.
  • Just hanging out with the Papa in the silence. We fill it up too much. TV, internet, movies...


We have a barbecue planned here tomorrow night. I think we've got a total of 18 adults and 10 kids coming over to grill and chill. I'm looking forward to seeing some family who just flew in from Outside, along with good friends. =)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

$72 richer.

The kids and I delivered two totes of their outgrown clothes to Kid 2 Kid this morning. A little over an hour later, we walked out 72 dollars richer, many pounds lighter, 2 closets cleaner... I'm adding that money to our "redoing the family room fund"; we eventually want to update it with a flatscreen wall-mounted TV, fresh paint, and a rocker recliner for the Papa.

I'm eating spoonfuls of granola mixed with honey-sweetened yogurt as I type. It's almost too sweet - I feel funny saying so, but I was a bit scared to taste my fresh homemade yogurt without sweetener! Next time I'll try it without any extra honey. It is thinner than store-bought yogurt and I'd like it to be a bit more creamy, so I'll probably let it set another hour next time, and if that doesn't thicken it enough, maybe I'll try adding some pectin or gelatin. It tastes very *fresh* and there's a definite difference. The Papa raved when he tried it this morning for breakfast, so I suppose I'm going to need to keep this up!

We stopped by the fabric store on our way home today and picked up some remnants for pillows and fabric for more reconstructed skirts.

I'm going to Bunco with my mom tonight, filling in for one of the regulars who can't make it. I've never played before, so it oughta be interesting!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I made a skirt. Or, rather... I reconstructed jeans into a skirt.

For Chickie. See?

My friend Emily inspired me with her own version of mama skirts made from jeans, I googled a bit, and wound up just making it up as I went, no pattern. First time doing pleats, and they're a little off kilter, but 'tis ok by me. =) It looks longer than it is in this picture, it hits around her mid-calves. She's outgrown 12-18 month jeans and pants by length, but the waists are still perfect, so I figure she'll get at least another 6 months or so of wear out of these "jeans" this way.
This fabric is a remnant of a favorite mei tai of mine, a custom freehand I carried Chickie around in most of her young life. I love getting to see it on her, especially now that she isn't enjoying being worn as much.

My granola turned out very tasty! I wanted a simple, no frills recipe that I could add to as desired... so I melted a stick of butter, added about 3/4 C. of honey, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, a sprinkle of nutmeg and a couple of shakes of cinnamon. Let it cook until it was all blended and syrupy, then stirred in 5 C rolled oats. Baked at 350 for about 20ish minutes, stirring every now and again. YUM.

This morning's yogurt has been poured into containers and set in the fridge. I'll report on that after I try it with fruit and granola (hee!) tomorrow morning.

Yogurt "cooking" in a thermos on the counter...

if this works, tastes good, and is really so simple -- well, I'm just gonna kick myself for having waited so long to try it. *Smacking forehead* It's ridiculously easy.

And considering that I added it up and discovered that we go through about $14 worth of yogurt cups every two weeks, and that's when they're on SALE... well, my grocery bill might enjoy the benefits as well as our bellies!

Next up for today - decluttering the boy's bedroom and playroom closets.
Next cooking project - granola. Also feeding the freezer some baked goods.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

14 dinners in my freezer...

$200 worth of groceries.
5 hours in the kitchen.
One sliced thumb. Not deep, but ouch.
Not having to think/plan/prep dinner for at least the next two weeks? Mmmm, happy sigh.

Prepping and putting together.

The larder. I wish it was more revealing, but they're all stacked up in my 5 cu.ft. chest freezer in the order I suppose we'll eat them. Close your eyes and picture aluminum foil lined baking dishes and bowls full of yumminess. You get the idea. Even better, imagine the relaxation of knowing you don't have to think about dinner! I am psyched about that!

I used a book I picked up a couple of years ago, thumbed through often, but never put to use: Once a Month Cooking. I used the first two-week cooking plan and followed the recipes to the letter. There were a couple of recipes I'm certain we'll really enjoy, a couple I'm not sure I'll be making again, and the rest were likely keepers, even if not family favorites... They include chicken, ham and beef dishes, burgers, casseroles, a roast, pasta, rice... The proof will definitely be in the eating, so I'll update as we eat our way through the full freezer. =)
Oh, and tomorrow? I'm making yogurt.

Friday, July 10, 2009

We played today. Played and played and played. In the circle, in the yard, in the woods, down the road...

We went for a walk in the sunshine. Bug on two wheels (!), Monkey on his four-wheeler, Chickie strolling along.

We watered and weeded the garden.

We baked and ate banana bread using up the 3 overripe bunches of bananas (sigh, we just don't eat bananas fast enough) that had been residing in the freezer for months. We put together an apple crisp for dessert. I suppose I "made" dinner, too - curried chicken over rice - but I just defrosted and heated it up, giving us that much more time to play. =)

Simple pleasures, brimming with goodness.

And now that my babies are all tucked into bed and I'm relaxed and warm after a long bath, I'm off to hang out with and sit close to the Papa.

The kids are still sleeping...

So I'm here with a quick recap of yesterday.

We spent the morning doing nothing much. I straightened and cleaned, the boys did their morning chores, the girl followed me around with her impish giggle.

I went to the dentist at noon, the Papa met us there and swapped vehicles with me. He took them out for lunch, and I had to get a filling fixed, apparently I broke a piece of tooth off eating almonds. Woops.

After that we came back home, it was time for Chickie to get a nap. Usually nap time is "my time", and I've almost always spent it turning on PBS or Noggin', or a DVD for Bug and Monkey since they no longer nap. Then I settle down with the internet and "escape" for a while. The boys asked if they could play outside, and I told them they sure could, just as soon as I had some lunch and once sissy was sleeping.

I sent them downstairs to play while I got her settled and got myself something to eat. It struck me then in the quiet that I've rarely used that little piece of time when my baby(babies) were sleeping during the day for anything other than myself.

I dug out a few of my favorite devotional books and my bible. Multi-tasking for sure, but after I finished eating, I took the boys outside with me to finish up while they played in the backyard. I started in Genesis, getting to know Eve using Women in the Bible , out of Proverbs using Your Daily Walk, and from Daily Wisdom for Mothers. Those 20 or 30 minutes of reading through a couple of devotionals and soaking up the Truth felt more relaxing and rejuvenating than I remembered it could be. It isn't a chore to check off my list. It's a joy to experience. I forget that.

After that, we went out front in the culdesac and Bug rode a two-wheeler for the first time. I was watching him *not* use his training wheels at all, so I asked if I could take one of them off to reassure him that he really could do it. He agreed, and minutes later astonished himself when he realized he COULD ride on two wheels. It was pretty sweet! What a moment, watching your child take off speeding away from you as fast as his little legs will take him. Conquering his fear and feeling free. I giggled and cheered, clapped and beamed. My kids are growing up so fast.

After about and hour outside, we came in and I offered to let them watch the movie we had rented the day before. Bug told me he would "really appreciate it" (ha!) if I would watch with them... and I had to pause. I *never* sit and watch movies with my kids. Ever. I get recommendations, I check them out, I may see a few minutes here and there, but actually sit and watch a full-length kid's movie? Nope.

I sat. I watched. We snuggled and cuddled. Ate popcorn and parmesan goldfish. The Tale of Despereaux encouraged my little boys to be gentlemen, courageous and noble. I loved it.

It was more than a great day. It was full of simple time and joy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Where's the off button?

I'm taking some time off. Away from the computer; facebook, blogs... turning it off for at least a week. I think I'll check in once a day, limiting myself to 15 minutes... but maybe not.

I don't even want to talk about how much time I generally "waste" online... I just want to change it.

Last night I made a list of the things I've neglected, wanted to try or do for a while, or just want to spend more time on. Not in any particular order, just what came to mind as I brainstormed:

  • Sew - Pillows, Reconstructed Denim Skirts for myself and the girl, Curtains... floor cushions, dresses for Chickie. Lots of projects half done, bugging me!
  • Scrapbook - Monkey and Chickie have empty scrap and baby books. Bug has three lovingly crafted full books. I have guilt.
  • Make yogurt.
  • Make bread consistently.
  • Try once a month (once every two weeks?) cooking.
  • Try new recipes.
  • Read more. Frequent the library.
  • Take the kids to the park more often. To the gymnastics center. To Bouncin' Bears.
  • Spend more time with each of the kids individually every day.
  • Do more crafts. (I loathe most kid's crafts. Bug LOVES crafts. It's a worthy sacrifice.)
  • Read to the kids more often.
  • Play WITH the kids more. Stop telling them to "go play", and GO. Play.
  • Eat healthy consistently. Plan meals. Eat out less.
  • DAILY devotions. Pray more.
  • Go to the gym consistently.
  • Turn off the TV when the kids are in bed and just hang out with the Papa in the silence. =)

So. There you have it.

I'm also going to finish my decluttering and major cleanout, in prep for a garage sale while the Papa and boys are gone to visit his mom in a couple of weeks. (The Papa can't stand the mere thought of garage sales, so I thought I'd spare him!)

I'll report back. =)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Words of Life Wednesday

Psalm 33:3
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

True Christian Motherhood.

Too good not to share.

Now how did that get there?

I'm decluttering.

Room by room, closet by cranny, old out, fresh clean space in. I'm decluttering our home, only keeping what we need and use. Sounds easy, right?

Lord help me.

If you stopped by unexpectedly, you would think I was one of those totally organized freakishly neat people. A place for everything, and everything in it's place... Yeah. My closets and crannies, the areas you wouldn't ever see? They're pitiful. Full of odds and ends, pieces of who-knows-what put here and there. I can't stand it! I was going to get all deep here and explore the meaning behind my messy hidden spaces (and maybe someday I will!), but honestly, I think I'm mostly just tired. It's hard enough to keep the high traffic areas up to my admittedly high standard, much less the stuff behind closed doors!

But it ends this week. I'm getting brutal; pitching, donating, sorting and selling.

The areas I'm working on:

  • Kitchen (pantry, cookware, serveware, pots and pans, fridge - everything) DONE
  • Upstairs Bath storage DONE
  • Chickie's Closet [CURRENTLY WORKING ON]
  • Downstairs Bath storage
  • Bug and Monkey's Closet
  • Playroom Closet
  • Master Closet [UGH. Dread.]


Organize Me

Organized Home


I'll post after pics. You can just close your eyes and imagine the befores. It's not "Clean Home" status, but it's not pretty. =)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fun Friday

This week's fun, in no particular order:

  • Spent two evenings in the sunshine at Cuddy Family Park and Rogers Park Elementary.

  • Picnic and playdate with friends in Eagle River.

  • Completed the Hidey Hole.

  • Played in the sprinkler.

  • Went to the gym 4x (this is great fun even for the kids, I promise! They love the play center and never want to leave!)

  • Watered the garden daily. (Can I just repeat what I posted on a friend's blog this week and say -- Mmmmmmm. Just thinking about my garden brings peace to my spirit. I can't believe I waited so long, and was so afraid to try my hand at it - our first real garden was planted about 5 weeks ago. It really took getting my hands dirty to understand the earthy pleasure and pure joy, the connection and awe at how a tiny seed can bring forth food. Real FOOD!? It never ceases to amaze and thrill me.

  • Noah's 6th Birthday celebration, complete with cake (yellow with chocolate frosting) for dinner, and going to Sports Authority to let him select his two main gifts; a baseball glove and binoculars. He also got a bike helmet and is going to Build a Bear with me, he just doesn't know it yet. And no, we didn't plan the alliterative birthday boy bash, but... =)

  • Saw sweet new baby moose three different days.

We were pretty excited to see this amazing double rainbow. I wish the picture did it justice. You can't tell, but we could see both "ends", one in the mountains, and the other right behind this church (ABT!) The kids were in awe. And I was blessed when Bug told his brother, "Hey, that's God promising he'll never flood the earth again!"

Thursday, July 2, 2009


The Bug is 6 today! Our firstborn son, the one who made us a mama and a papa. (Awwwww!) We're so proud of our little man. Papa took him to his traditional father/son birthday breakfast. We wake him up early and they go out to a restaurant before anyone else is awake. As you can probably tell, he's still a bit sleepy in these pictures. =)

We love you, sweet boy. Happy 6th birthday!

Noah at six is so bright and full of energy. He loves to play soccer, read, and be outside. A fierce protector of his younger brother and sister, he is strong, determined and never gives up. He has an impish grin and makes us laugh every day. He's our little director and very independent, and he'll tell you like it is. Softhearted, he is quick to giggle, gives the biggest hugs, and is a great encourager.

BB in whipped cream, for the Birthday Boy!
As they were driving, they came upon this mama moose and her two babies!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Words of Life Wednesday

Psalm 104:13-15
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate — bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.
God is good!