Random Picture Challenge

This is not my 11th picture from my Sept. folder because the 11th picture would have resulted in something much less than marital bliss!
This is close to the 11th picture, however.
Baby Ava and Mommy at a Renaissance Fair a couple of towns away from us. It was incredibly hot that day, and I had sat down here to feed her while the boys watched some sword fighting. I remember being really annoyed and wanting to go home!
Stop by 4 Little Men and Girly Twins for more...


For Momma

More of my crafty inspiration for you all...

Here is an art piece that I helped some kids do last week as a birthday gift for their momma. It's a 15x30 canvas. I selected the colors, taped off the two outside ends and let two of the three boys go to it. I gave them each plates with dollops of paint and one brush. Their instructions were to just fill the squares with color. The outside orange and blue squares were done by an almost 5 year old and a just turned 7 year old.

After the outside paint was nice and dry, I re-taped and had the 8 year old do the middle one. He got a little creative with his area and told me he was adding a "hidden heart". How sweet...

Their momma loved it and is hanging it on her wall. The key to the success of projects like this is COLOR, COLOR, COLOR. The kids can paint wild crazy stuff that makes no sense and be very messy, but as long as the colors harmonize well with each other and the intended room, it will look fabulous!


Got Real?

Brace yourselves...this is shocking isn't it? Yup, that's my kitchen sink, complete with breakfast and lunch dishes, and counter-clutter (which I despise!). Because...I overloaded my dishwasher last night, all the dishes weren't clean this morning, and I had to re-load it and run it while we used yet more dishes.

I must say, in all fairness to myself though, my sink seldom sees any dirty dishes for more than a couple minutes. Thanks to the FlyLady, I've trained myself to automatically put all used dishes in the dish washer. It actually feels strange to put dishes in the sink at all! I load the d.w. all day, turn it on at night, and viola! Clean dishes and a clean sink for first thing in the morning. Sweet!

Anyone else have real to show?


So far this week...

Home made pizza for dinner tonight; made from scratch crust. Not nutritious, but delicious!

Saw this friendly fellow on Sunday along with a variety of his counterparts. Benji and Ava were quite startled at the array of large, life-size teeth. Ava announced twice, "Let's get AWAY!"

We used almost all of our silverware today. The basket in the dishwasher is way too full. I wonder if they'll all be clean in the morning?

Benji wet his bed this week. I had to wash his comforter. Again.

The dog found and ate most of three poopy diapers. She kindly left the remains spread across most of the carpeted areas in the house. You know, so that I'd be sure to find it and clean it up for her.

We've had two Cub Scouts meetings and I've hosted our mom's group.

I made a costume that resembles Robert E. Lee for a Famous People event at school.

I'm behind on shipping three meeUp orders, but have no more orders to fill. Arrrrgh! More giveaways? More reviews? Gotta get this thing off the ground...

Ava is so darn cute. She ran up to Daddy tonight and said, "Guess what? Flairy Godmother said beautiful dress. Cindelella took a nap!" She's obsessed with Cinderella. "Mommy! Cindelella dance with pencils (the prince)!" I love that girl.


I Love It, I Love It Not

We are at a turning point. For the first time EVER in the history of Marvin and I being parents, we are having a disagreement about the path to take with one of the kids. It's major, it's about education. Where, when, by whom?

I've always loved the idea of home school. For me, I feel like it's
my responsibility to teach my own kids, not to send them off to some other person for their education. Now before all the anonymous nasty comments, let me say that that's just MY opinion for MYSELF. Not anyone else. There are wonderful teachers out there, I had some wonderful teachers when I went to school. There are also many great schools out there, public and private. Now then, let's move on!

I'm also somewhat selfish. I really, really like the quiet afternoons when I'm free to do my thing. Ava's napping, Benji's playing in his room, Alec's at school, I'm sewing or cooking or cleaning or reading or whatever suits me for an hour or so. Ahhhhh...stress lifts for a moment.

We have had some issues with Alec this year at school. Several health issues that we have pinned down to an allergen in the school building. Also, an academic conundrum, a catch 22, so to speak. One that would be completely and totally solved if we were to teach him at home.

Here's the problem: Marvin has very limited knowledge about home schooling, and has had very little exposure to families that do so. Because of that, he was quite resistant to even discussing the issue at all. We came to an agreement that he would do some research on his own, and we would talk with several homeschooling families similar to ours, asking them to share their experiences and reasons for doing so.

Meanwhile, I myself was not totally sold on it. While I like the idea of it, I waver back and forth, thinking about the fact that I'd be with
all the kids, all day, all week. Oh, but that's ultimately what I want, right? Well, yes, but IS that what I want or is it just what I SHOULD want? And what about the clutter? Have any of you ever been into a "home school house"? Have you seen the stacks of curriculum and papers leaning against the walls and invading the kitchen counters?

So last night, I sat down and wrote two lists. One titled, " Why I don't want to home school", and one titled, "Why I do want to homeschool". I wrote them very fast, and didn't stop till I was finished with both of them. I wanted my first, unedited thoughts.

My eyes were opened as I read through them. The "don't want to" one was totally and completely selfish. I wrote things like, "I don't like clutter" and "I like my alone time". The "want to" one was amazing. I filled the page with my subconscious longing to spend time doing meaningful and productive things with my children. Things that can't happen squeezed into the tiny amount of time in the day that is left empty when school lets out, homework is finished, and dinner is eaten. I wrote that I had already missed enough of Alec's childhood and I didn't want to miss anymore of it.

I wrote that I want to re-learn everything right beside them. I want to be there to see their faces light up when they learn why a whale has a blow hole or why the pyramids in Egypt are shaped like triangles. I want to be the one that watches Benji and Ava write their first sentances or listens to them recite the alphabet for the first time alone. I don't want to hear about all of it after school.

So, after meeting with three families, and another one scheduled for next week, and a plan to attend a conference in the summer, where do we stand? I'm prayerful. Marvin is silent. We are waiting. Waiting for the moment when we look at each other, the time is right, and we agree. The Lord knows the path we should take, and we're waiting on Him.



My husband has sleep apnea. I've been telling him this for years and finally he gave in to my nagging. After visiting our MD. and taking a written test, he was instructed to go do a sleep study.
I was excited that he was finally going to stop falling asleep at 8:00 every night, but soon realized that a sleep study meant that he'd be spending the night in a bed other than ours, without me.

For some this may not be an issue, but for me it means a night of sitting bolt upright in the bed, flipping channels, and watching the clock until I just pass out. I've never been able to sleep when he's not in bed, even it he's just out in the backyard camping with the boys. Fortunately, his absence from our bed is very infrequent.

Last night was the sleep study. Last night was one of the longest nights of my life. Today is one of the tiredest days of my life. I literally felt like I was going to break in half as I did the dishes.

To help kill some time, I had a friend over after her kids were in bed and we watched some episodes of "17 Kids and Counting" and felt better about our lives!
Then I watched American Idol. Then I watched a show about making lasagna on Food Network. I got really hungry (it was after all, about 8 hours since I ate dinner at 6:00!) and ate something. I don't remember what it was, but I must have finished it because I didn't choke in my sleep!

I think I passed out sometime after 2 am. The sad thing is, my husband who could lay down in the middle of a high school gym during a dodge ball match and fall asleep, hardly slept at all either! He took a picture of himself with his phone and I cracked up when I saw how many wires were coming off of his head and face.

Good news, we have a diagnosis and can do something about it. Bad, very very bad news, he has to go do it all over again, this time with a C-Pap mask on PLUS all the wires.
I'll be better prepared for the next one...I'll rent about 7 movies, buy a couple cartons of ice cream, make some coffee, and hire a sitter for the next day so I can sleep!

Wordless Thursday!


Got Real?

Here's my Real for this week:
This is the top of our closet at the bottom of the stairs. It is never clean, and what's worse, it doesn't have a door! The FlyLady says to de-clutter for 15 minutes ever day...this definitely needs to make it to the top of my list. We've had to post "Avalanche Warning" signs after various family members have been pummelled by falling rolls of toilet paper. . .

See if you can spot:

~Ava's Jump Seat Booster Chair

~a jumbo size of Method hand soap from Costco

~a box of Meijer brand tissues

~A pack of AA batteries

(that's only about 1/4 of the things that I squeeze into this tiny space!)


Last week I saw. . .

. . .a humongous, Noah's Ark-esque, fully arched, brilliant, totally amazing rainbow

. . .nothing out of my van windows as I slowly crept along on the freeway during a torrential downpour in a part of town that I had never been to alone and never want to go to again

. . .a police officer gun down a fatally injured deer on the side of the road

. . .a very beautiful old church and heard it's majestic bells clanging an ethereal tune

. . .about six inches of snow and two inches of ice melt away to slippery slush in one day

. . .my kids through different eyes as I got one step closer to figuring out how to "live in moment", realizing that all those things that I saw had nothing to do with me.

Nothing I did caused them to happen, nothing I can do will make them stop happening. Life will continue it's ebb and flow all around me. If I don't drag my anxious gaze away from the invisible future, I'll miss the very vibrant present right in front of me.

The present is a present. It's there for me to enthusiastically rip off the wrapping and wallow in the delight that it brings. Savoring everything like a decadent dessert, not wanting to blink for fear I'll miss an extraordinary moment.

Sneak Peek for Spring!

My spring collection over at meeUp is almost finished.
Hop on over and place your order; these fresh fabrics are going to sell fast!


Random Picture Challenge

Baby Ava at about 4 weeks old...

Check out all the other January, 2007 pictures over at Brittany's.
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(I'm not technically back, but

here's a teeny, tiny post, since I know you all must be on the edge of your seats wondering what we're up to!)

We had company for lunch yesterday. We typically don't share our food with our animals, but I made an exception for Horton. He was very kindly invited to share a meal with us by Ava, who cooked him up a special sandwich and beverage in her Rose Petal Cottage.

And, totally unrelated, here's a funny from miss Ava:
A couple of days ago, I asked her if she was cold and wanted a sweater. She waggled her finger at me and said, "Nope! That's only grownup problem!"

Um, she's only 26 mos. old. . .


Wow! It's been nearly a week since I've posted! That's so unlike me...

Just a little bit busy right now with life.
Hope you'll all still be here when I come back!


Random Picture Challenge

Here's my 5th from the end photo from my March, 2008 file. It's an awful picture, it totally bugs me that I don't know who that woman is in the background!

Anyways, we were at a children's museum for the day and the boys were on a Lego high!

Check out more pictures from Brittany's Random Picture Challenge at
4 Little Men and Girly Twins


Hey everyone! Go check out the giveaway on 4 Little Men and Girly Twins. It's for one of my meeUp carriers. Thanks, Brittany, for taking time to do that.

Go play along!


Lego Love

Remember that Lego table that Marvin so lovingly slaved over at Christmas time for the boys? Well that sure wasn't a short-lived infatuation. Most afternoons, Benji can be found up in his room creating all manner of Lego carnage as the good guys fight the bad guys. This was a "portable" battle scene that he brought down proudly to show me.
Not sure who was winning...


Wordless Wednesday


Handmade pt. 6

Ok, I feel a tad silly placing such a large picture of my face in a post, but I couldn't very well have my kids or husband model this FABULOUS hat and mitten combo, could I?

I simply can't get enough of the felted wool sweaters and I keep coming up with stuff to make out of them. I've made three pairs of mittens (and given them away), and this time decided to add a hat. The mittens were from the sleeves of the sweater and the hat was from the body of the sweater.

I've got ideas for a scarf next...

Oh, and by the way, this sweater cost me $1.99, which means the mittens and hat cost me $1.99! Super thrifty, that's me!


Got Real?

In an effort to debunk the widespread theory that some of us bloggie mommies are not "real", I am going to be periodically posting some on-the-spot pics of my very real, sometimes very untidy, never boring life.

Exhibit A: the end of my kitchen counter where we dump all the stuff to go out to the recycling bin. It sometimes overflows onto the stove top. Sometimes, instead of taking the stuff 10 feet to the front porch, I use the messy stove as an excuse not to cook.

How about you?
Got real to show?


Wordless Sunday

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