Here are the rules again:

~post a picture of something you've found for free, or bought at a thrift shop, garage sale or flea market

~if you've given it a makeover, post before and after pictures

~if it's clothing, post the brand and price you paid so we can oooh and aaah over the fantastic bargain you got

~link your post to mine

~go thrifting!

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Zutano Collectibles courderoy straight leg print pants, approx. retail value $36
I found them NWT for $1.99!

Tea Collection long sleeve graphic tee, approx. retail value $23
I found it NWT for $1.99!

This was a good week at my Goodwill store...
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Wordless Wednesday

~I love outtakes!~
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I’ve been tagged by Chrysanthemama for this meme. I hope I don’t find out that I’m really boring as I write this!

Here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6).
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Ok, here it goes. . .

~I’ve always wanted to be a singer. I was in choir and drama in high school, but was never gutsy enough to sing alone in front of anyone. I sing in front of my kids all the time, and occasionally my husband, but no one else. My voice just doesn’t come out right when I’m nervous! I love watching American Idol, and know that if I sang on it, the judges would instantly fall asleep because all I can sing well are lullabies!

~I HATE it when a room in our house has “corner clutter”- piles of unidentified junk tucked into the corners of the room, and under the furniture. Just because I hate it doesn’t mean I have time to do anything about it, though! Arrrgh!

~When I was about 7, my mom showed me how to thread her old Kenmore sewing machine and the first thing I made was a doll, complete with an embroidered face, yarn hair and clothes! I consider myself a self-taught seamstress, and have been sewing my whole life. I hate to use patterns, don’t love making clothes, and am constantly fascinated by the way people dress their windows. I did custom window treatments for a while, but got tired of making drapery panels that were longer than my sewing table.

~During my engagement, my soon-to-be husband and I nearly drowned. Against our better judgement, we went canoeing after a long rainstorm, assured by the canoe livery folks that the river we were heading out on was quite tame and not high. Our canoe got wedged sideways against a giant tree that had fallen across the river, and then the swift current sucked it under. We were left hanging on to the side of the log and had to be rescued by two canoes full of large men. It took them about 45 minutes to pull our capsized boat out from under the rushing water.

~When I was pregnant with Alec, I ate popcorn with Tabasco sauce on it. One of the times, I threw it back up and I’ve never wanted it since. Until now.

~My nickname from Marvin is “Strumpy” and his from me is “Pumpy”. If anyone is curious as to the origin (I promise it’s not that exciting!), you can leave a comment. We have a funny habit of singing made-up words to a song, usually an 80’s tune and our lyrics are typically extremely juvenile, but always rhyme!

I'm tagging McSarah, 4 Little Men and Girly Twins, Faith Hope Love, The Van Klan,
The Shipman Family and Just Like Camping

Have fun talking about yourselves, ladies! Who doesn't love to do that once in a while?


just because it's a cute picture and i didn't feel like waiting 'till wednesday. . .

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Stuff and Nonsense

Ok, either my Thursday's Treasures post was really lame or no one read my blog that day...
Sorry you all! Look for a delicious Zutano find in this week's post.

Here's something funny:

Note to self~ don't wear low-rise jeans on a hayride! Tee-hee!
We went on the annual Fall Fun event for Cubscouts last night. One long hayride out to an open field and bonfire, games, smores, bobbing for apples, and then one long hayride back to our car. Fun, but cold, and I don't know anyone else there except my husband and kids. I wasn't feeling very social, just enjoying the fact that my MIL came to sit with Ava at our house and that meant I didn't have to keep her from singeing her eyelashes in the fire or closely inspecting the port-a-potties!

This morning, Ava's a bit psycho, doing the baby monkey on speed routine again, so I"m quickly getting all the necessities done (like blogging! LOL!) while she's napping. . .

Laundry's calling. . .


Those of you who are new to this, here are the rules:

~post a picture of something you found for free, or purchased at a ridiculously low price from a garage sale, thrift shop, or flea market

~if you've given it a makeover, post before and after pictures

~if it's clothing, post the brand so we can oooh and aaaah over the fabulous deal you got

~link your post to mine!

~go thrifting!

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Thursday's Treasures

This white, hobnail glass and wood lamp is one of a pair from a thrift shop ($7 each), the vintage napkin underneath was free, the vintage canning jar and electrical line toppers were also free! Can't beat that. The most expensive thing in the picture was the lampshade.
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Get in the backseat, housework! My kids are riding shotgun today!

This was my prayer today at our mom's group:

"Lord, please help me to wake up each morning with the goal of teaching my kids to serve You, not with a goal of figuring out how to get my housework accomplished in record time.

Shift my focus onto my real job; the description of which reads: Raise responsible, compassionate, hardworking children that love and serve God over all else.

Teach me daily how to teach them, and how to learn from them. They are infinitely more important than having spotless bathrooms and made-up beds."

Most of the time, I spend the day trying to figure out how to distract my current toddler so that I can "finish" my housework. The funny thing is, that alone (distracting the toddler) is a full day's work, and housework NEVER gets finished; it's just a way of life. The same way you shave your legs every day or get a haircut every 4 weeks. The mess always grows back!

What a wasteful way to spend my time as the mother of young children. This all goes back to my earlier post about just "being" in the moment with my precious blessings. At the same time, though, where is the balance between this and living an orderly life? Clutter does get in the way of our hearts and minds and will suffocate us if not kept under control.

I have no easy answers. I know only this: God has called me to raise these three children, "arrows in my quiver", to spread His gospel. God has also called me to be a wife, friend, daughter, and homemaker. He has given me the gift of servant hood, hospitality, and creativity. If I daily, even hourly, turn what I falsely see as MY time over to Him, he will make a beautiful painting out of each day He has given me.

"Lord, I want to fall into You. Tear my fingers away from the death-grip I have on controlling my clutter. Unclutter my mind and heart. Show me how to unclutter my earthly space so that it's only glorifying to You, not a reflection of me."

Wordless Wednesday

See if you can spot one of Ava's favorite foods in this picture. . .
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What this little girl did today~

Oh yes, she's adorable!
Here's a snippet of what she did today:

I put her down for her nap at around 11:30. She's got a tiny cold, so she was cranky all morning. "Mommy, hold you!" was about all I heard.
At 12:15, I suddenly heard on the monitor, "Get it off! get it off!" with a lot of crying. Mildly concerned, I went upstairs to find her frantically waving her poop-covered hand out of the crib bars. After taking off her poop-covered dress and cleaning the poop off of various parts of her body where it didn't belong, I released her naked little self into the wild and began to strip her bed. In a minute, I heard a tiny voice say, "peeing!".
After wiping the pee puddle off of the wood floor, I blotted up the fresh pee puddle from the carpet that she had made while I was cleaning up the first one.
After hauling poopy laundry downstairs and bathing Ava and getting her dressed, it was 1:00 before she was in bed again.

While she slept, I geared up for the afternoon.

As I was stirring the skillet on the stove, Ava was dragging the stool across the kitchen and finding my giant chef's knife on the counter. As soon as she caught my eye, she dropped the knife and took a big bite of the freshly chopped onion beside it! As if to say, "What? I just wanted a snack!"
When I turned around from putting the stool away, she had ripped the lid off my baking powder and was stirring it vigorously with a medicine dosing spoon.
When I looked up from putting the baking powder back in the cabinet and rinsing off the spoon, she was attempting to fill a cup from the water in the door of the refrigerator. This time without the stool, and water was streaming down her arm and onto the floor.
After wiping that up, I turned to find her once again with the baking powder. This time she had somehow gotten the spatula off of the stove top that I had been using to stir the tomato sauce with and was attempting to stuff it down inside the can.

Um, I think the last half of this took place within 10 minutes or so...talk about my head spinning! I really wanted to go up and get out the pack-n-play. She'd scream, but at least I wouldn't feel like I was trying to cook with a spider monkey in my kitchen.

My darling little angel is in bed for the night now...but I can hear her on the monitor throwing her paci's out onto the floor

Oh, and her ENTIRE outfit (except her diaper) is from the Goodwill store!
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We've been carving pumpkins...

playing outside (yes, it really was that warm!)

celebrating a birthday (Happy birthday, honey! Here's to another exciting year!)

and reveling in the beautiful fall colors!

What have you been doing?
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Oh my goodness! Anyone ever tried the "self-cleaning" feature on their oven? I can't even begin to describe the horrible stench that is invading our house right now!

I'd almost rather be on my hands and knees in rubber gloves, scrubbing it myself!


Just Do It Again (again!)

Sitting here in my workout clothes again...

My holistic chiropractor recently told me that if I don't "get serious" about my health, I will develop an auto-immune disorder. I'm already showing sub-clinical signs of one, and that's what sent up a red flag for her.

I'm always very serious about my health, but most of the time mentally serious only. That is to say I'm usually thinking about what I should be doing for myself, and what I should not be doing to myself, but not necessarily physically doing it.

Now don't get me wrong. My grocery cart is 2/3 full of produce, we eat whole grains (sprouted if possible), brown rice, no dairy, no soy, lean, organic or free-range meat only, rarely red meat, no soda (except for Marvin who can't live without an occasional Coke!), etc.

My mom's parents owned a health food store and passed the business on to my uncle who is now an ND. (doctor of naturopathy). Needless to say, my childhood was not filled with trips to the pediatrician, but filled with whole, natural foods and the occasional dose of Vitamin C or some homeopathic remedies.

While I do believe that there is a place for conventional medicine, I do not subscribe to the "my doctor is god and I'll unquestionably do what he says" theory. An MD. is nothing more than your next-door neighbor with an education. Who are they to tell you to jump and you ask how high?

I believe that we are each responsible for our own health and should learn how our body works and why were are experiencing less than perfect function. The human body is a miracle. It was created to be self-healing, when provided with the proper nourishment and conditions.

One would think, having the background in alternative/natural medicine that I do, that I would be providing my body with the "proper nourishment and conditions". However, because I've been blessed with three other little bodies to provide these circumstances for, my body often goes by the wayside.

Marvin started his new job this week; he's been home more in the morning and evening and it's taken an enormous weight off of me. Time for a new page in a new chapter. This woman's taking care of herself again, look out world! Here I come (again)!

{By the way, if anyone out there reading this is curious and wants to know more on this subject, or on kids and nutrition, please feel free to email or comment and I'll reply}


It's that time again! (Sorry I'm late putting this up; I had to run out the door this morning at 8:30 and haven't been home since!)

I still haven't figured out how to use Mr. Linky, so here's my version of the rules:

~Post a picture of something you've purchased at a garage sale, thrift shop, or flea market
~If it's clothing, post the brand so we can oooh and aaah over the terrific bargain you got
~If you've given it a makeover, post before and after pictures
~Post the fabulously low price you paid!
~Link your post to mine

Go thrifting!
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today's find

These were from my local thrift shop. I haven't counted them all but I think there's most of the alphabet (all lower case). We've used them for school with Benji, and he's found many other non-school-related uses!
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Wordless Wednesday

Lil punkins
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"Just Do It, AGAIN!"

I'm sitting here in my exercise clothes. Before I put them on, I gave myself 100 reasons why I shouldn't "waste" my time on the treadmill today. I've got pictures to order, an address to look up, bread to bake, and the list goes on.

Finally I convinced myself to just at least put on my exercise stuff. As I was getting dressed, here's what popped into my head: You know that Nike slogan, "Just Do It"? Well, here's mine: "Just Do It, Again!".

See, if you're trying to form a habit or a healthy addiction, it doesn't count to only do it once. If you've done it, experienced what it was like, good for you. You've done it. But it only counts when you do it again, and again, and again, and again.

Telling myself that it's OK to skip today because I worked out yesterday is a bunch of baloney! So, I'm gonna stop blogging and hop on that treadmill, again!

Update: I did it, for 30 min.! Time to hop in the shower, whew!


God Loves Applesauce

My house smells like I'm sitting in a giant apple pie. I just finished cutting up about ten pounds of apples and they're simmering away on the stove. When they've softened, I'll mash them up into the most heavenly applesauce you've ever had. My kids will eat it for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner until it's gone.

The apples I use for the sauce are the cast-offs. The ones that are bruised on one side from falling off the tree, have brown spots, worm holes and are just not appealing to eat whole. As I was cutting them up today, I was struck by how much like a cast-off apple God wants us to be.

He wants us bruised and unappealing. He wants us to be unworthy so He can make us worthy; to mash us and squeeze us until we're soft towards Him. Until we emerge like applesauce; a sweet, nourishing presence to those around us, a testament to the power of His unconditional love. Love that accepts us no matter how imperfect we may think we are. Love that wants to nurture and mold us into fruit-bearing trees that will feed others.

I'll have a lot to think about when I serve my kids that homemade applesauce!

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Snappin' Apples

Yesterday we went apple picking. At our local orchard you can pick yourself a 20 pound bag for $16! We always have lots of fun trying not to lose our current toddler (problem fixed this year with Ava's squeaky shoes) and trying to prevent the people in the next row over from getting whacked by the apples that our kids try to throw.

Trying to get a Christmas-card-worthy family picture. Usually I just resign myself to sending out one of our plethora of outtakes- everyone can always use a good laugh at Christmas, right?

Hm mm, this one might work. . .no one needs to see Marvin and I!

Alec's view of Mommy and Ava from his 7-year old height (disclaimer: I don't necessarily love this picture of myself, I just thought it was cool to see what Alec sees every day- blogs are about being real, right? Oh, and I thought he did a pretty good job of centering my face!)
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I'm still sad today about Polly. This morning when I opened the shades in the living room, I saw a flash of movement on the porch and instinctively went open the door to put out cat food. It was the neighbor's black and white cat and for a wild moment I thought of catching it and "stealing" it to replace Polly.

I can't believe I'm this distraught about a cat! I'm crying again right now. I just looked at the Humane Society adoption page for cats and realized that I don't really want a cat, I just really loved Polly and she's not here any more.


Ok, enough.

We're going to our annual "snapping apples" adventure with friends of ours this afternoon. Right now I'm supposed to be finishing a Meeup pouch for a customer so that I can have my very petite friend model it for me at the apple orchard for a photo on my website. So, why am I blogging......?


Golden Girl

Several hours ago, I found my beloved cat Polly, dead in my neighbor's yard. I am absolutely devastated.

I had always wanted an orange, long-haired cat when I was a child. There was just something about that golden softness...

Polly wandered into our yard one summer, skinny and starving. The kids and I fell instantly in love and she was home. She would follow us around the neighborhood like a puppy and tolerated Ava's unsucessful attempts to pick her up by her head.

She mothered three silky kittens this spring and I felt priviledged to watch nature unfold on our front porch.
Sadly, the one of her kittens that we kept has disappeared. It would have been nice to see just a little reminder of sweet Polly at the front door every morning.

I already miss her, but was happily informed by Benji that "we can just go to the animal store and buy another one, Mommy!" I guess that makes it all better. . .
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Since I'm such an avid "treasure seeker" and have seemingly inspired others around me to do the same, I'm starting "Thursday's Treasures". Every Thursday, I'll be posting a find from either a garage sale, flea market, thrift shop, or a found object.

If I've given the item a make-over, I'll post before and after shots. If it's clothing, I'll post the brand and estimated cost new, along with the envy-inducing price that I paid for it!

Anyone who wants to follow along, please follow these simple rules:

*Please link your Thursday's Treasures post to mine (sorry, I don't know how to use Mister Linky, so just insert it as link in your text)
*Items must be from a garage sale, flea market, thrift shop, or free
*Let us know how much you paid for the item, what you're intending to use it for (if it's anything other than clothing), and if it's clothing, tell us the brand so we can oooh and aaaah over the fabulous deal you got!
*Have fun searching for treasures!

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today's find

$1.99 at a thrift shop the next town over. Brand new (Target, probably around $19.99), suede, for Ava this winter!
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Wordless Wednesday

Seen at our kitchen table over the weekend...
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What we didn't do last weekend

We didn't go run errands, we didn't stay home and work, we went here instead.

This is my aunt and uncle's house, located on 50 acres of peacefulness.
We were greeted by two horses belonging to the neighbors, who repeatedly escape from their fence (the horses do this, not the neighbors!) and come over to visit.
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Ava didn't run away, there was too much to look at

The boys didn't fight and whine, they were just having too much fun doing things they can't do at our house

I didn't miss any of the targets I shot at with Marvin's old BB gun
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I didn't get any perfect group shots, only many hilarious outtakes like this one
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