Monday, May 30, 2011


Lily doesn't walk;
she bops.

Which is completely irrelevant to today's post,
but true, none the less.

 I had to go buy another tube of wood filler,
'cause the girl took my job.

 I think 
I was a little under-dressed anyways,

 in my paint smeared cut off sweats
and bare feet.

I sure do love you, my little boppin' princess!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Turns out
a round table has a higher learning curve 
than rectangular surfaces.

In related news,
I've developed an exciting exercise program for flabby arms.
I call it 'Primer on; Sand off'.

I'm thinking I should've bought that spray gun...

Friday, May 27, 2011


today - floors
tomorrow - trim
and after that - we're movin' in

do we embarrass you?

some of us take our work more seriously than others

a best day

Our day didn't go quite as planned.
We left the house at 10:10,
heading to Lana's to drop off the kiddos for an hour or so
so I could take Tony to the chiropractor.
And from there, the day just sort of took on
a mind of its own
and we didn't get back home until nearly 4.

Jeremiah declared it 'the best day we've had in a long time'
and thanked me for the 'unlimited playtime'
and then clarified,
'Well, not unlimited play time, but unlimited fun!"
(we stopped to play for 10 - 15 minutes at every park we passed)

It was good to have a best day.
It has been awhile!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

a sunny spot

I foresee many risings
in this soon to finally be finished space

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

wholesome family entertainment

Marcos will be thrilled.

(for all you city folk - these here are photos of a septic tank bein' emptied)

radiant skin

I don't have what anyone would call
'beautiful skin'.

that's not entirely true:
Once, when I was seventeen
one of my customers at Shoney's,
a sweet (senile) old lady with a face like a china doll
told me I had beautiful skin.
I think she was as blind as she was senile.

Senile china dolls aside, my skin could never be classified 
as beautiful.
I have discovered the secret to
better skin.

The Oil Cleansing Method
- commonly referred to as OCM -
this little baby.

Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System

we tried the OCM, running back and forth
between the computer and the sink,
to make sure we were doing it just right.
I think the site we found
had to be the most complicated of all
explanations / methods for oil cleansing.
In a nutshell,
The OCM consists of using a mix of castor oil and another oil
(we use a mix of sunflower, almond, and olive oils)
and steam to cleanse your skin.
You simply pour a bit of your oil mixture in your hand,
rub your hands together and smooth the oil on your face.
Then you take a clean washcloth, 
run it under HOT water,
quickly wring it out,
open it
and put it on your face.
Take a few deep breaths, inhaling the moist air
while the cloth cools a bit.
After oh, say, 20 seconds or so,
use the cloth to gently wipe your face.
Rinse your washcloth,
run it under hot water,
steam, and then wipe your face one more time.
I promise ~ your skin will look better than ever.
Until you add the Olay ProX to the routine.

I wasn't sure about doing the OCM 
with the brush system, but I decided to try it.
I think it took it up a notch.
Tyler has even noticed a difference in my skin;
the other day, upon rising,
he told me my face was radiant.
Which is, I think, as close to beautiful
as this large-pored skin of mine is going to get.

My teens have also found tremendously improved skin
using the OCM*.
And what boy doesn't want to use a power tool?
(even if it is just for his face)
When there is the occasional zit that needs attention, 
a drop of straight lavender essential oil on it
a couple of times a day will take care of it in no time. 

So there you have it.
The Oil Cleansing Method
and the Olay ProX

*The boys use a 50/50 ratio of castor oil / other oils,
my more 'mature' skin needs a bit less castor oil in the mix.

Monday, May 23, 2011

continuing education

I don't think it comes as any surprise;
I like learning new things.
Technically, I like knowing things;
the learning part
has gotten much more challenging in recent years.

For the past two weeks
(has it only been 2 weeks?!)
I've been taking a crash course in furniture re-dos.
I started by buying an overpriced e-book
in the hopes that my education would be complete.
I was less than impressed with the above mentioned e-book
so I started doing what I should have done in the first place.
(In my defense, though, the silly book came recommended
by none other than thenester so my expectations were pretty high.)
Back to the Googling.
I found a whole new-to-me genre of blogs:
home decorating, with a focus on DIY
specializing in furniture makeovers.
Which is exactly what I was looking for.
I've spent hours trying to process all this new stuff.
Bloggers are a generous group of people, ya'll.
I've found so much good information.
But some of it is conflicting.
Only use Behr paint.
Never use Behr.
Valspar is junk.
Look at this table I used Valspar on.
I only buy 'oops' paint.
Never buy oops paint.
etc etc etc

It made me dizzy sometimes to sort it all out.
I think I have  a pretty good handle now
on what I need to do.
I'm just hoping everything works out in real life
like it's worked out in my head...
Tyler's not a huge fan of painted furniture
and I've got to convince him that it's fabulous.
'cause I think I might just like paintin' furniture
and I'm also thinking
I just might need a spray gun...

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Earlier this evening, I walked in the living room to see this: 

Made my heart happy.

Just about the time we figured we'd never have another girl,
God gave us one.

And then, wonder of wonders,
22 months later, He gave us another one.

Oh, sure they have little tiffs every once in awhile,
but they are an exception and not the rule.
What a gift they are to each other.
And to me.

I just love watching my girls together!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

changing of seasons

I decided to join the gypsy mama's
five minute Friday.

She posts a prompt - you write for 5 minutes.
I followed the rules
(there's always a 'but' with me, isn't there? Don't answer that...)
I did go back and the links after my timer went off.

 When Luke and Lana left the other day
there was a bit of a sigh.
It was a good visit, but it was a reminder that
they are in such a busy stage of life
where little ones are constantly demanding
- well - 
pretty much everything.
We were in those very shoes not so very long ago.
Just weeks ago, really, we were still where they are.
But the times, they are a changin’...
In the past few days
we have noticed things settling down just a little bit.
We’ve managed to go through entire meals without a spill.
not often, but compared to
having at least one spill, well – it’s noteworthy.
Lexi has gotten to the point 
where she can communicate pretty much everything she needs to.
Jeremiah and Josiah are going to bed a bit a bit easier.
The LEM is almost finished.
Soon, we may even actually have some margin.


The girls and I got an extra 2 1/2 hours with Papa last night!

All the menfolk are involved in outreach ministries
on Thursday evenings
while the girls and I stay home.
Once upon a time I was involved, too,
but we found it best for me to stay home w/ the littlest one
'til he/she wasn't such a distraction.
The 'littlest ones' kept coming,
and so I haven't done apartment ministry in many years.
I suppose Lex' is big enough now that I could,
but honestly,
I'm not ready to add anything else to my plate.

After a quick phone call
 to determine that his presence wasn't needed,
Tyler decided he was taking the night off 
to be with us girls.
I was happier than I probably should have been at the prospect.
But come on ~ 2 bonus hours with my husband?
How could I not be happy about that?!

I love you, Tyler, and I love being with you.
Thanks for taking the night off

Thursday, May 19, 2011

still alive

and kickin'

Tyler and the boys finished drywalling the LEM
(without my help)
and the first coat of mud has been applied.
I've drawn up my usual room-on-graph paper
so I could figure out furniture placement.
As is the case with every other room in the house,
- inches matter -
so I don't leave things like this to chance.
I also rarely move my stuff around.
I'm not big on change, so it works well for me.
We had the same furniture arrangement in our FSM house
living room the entire time we lived there
(once we'd purchased the furniture, that is...)
and I still liked it when we moved.
funny story on myself:
Awhile back, I bought some green snack plates.
(I've discovered I have a fondness for green glass - who knew?!)
They're the kind that has a special spot for a little punch cup
and the glass was sort of wavy on the bottom, but smooth on top.
Awesome, I tell ya!
I got  a set of 8 plates and 6 cups for six bucks at Rags.
I (wrongly) assumed I'd be able to find 2 more cups somewhere....
Fast forward a year or so
and most of the cups had broken or were badly chipped.
Knowing that replacing the cups would be next to impossible,
and using plain clear cups wouldn't be nearly as nice,
I - with a  sad little sigh - sent the lovely plates off to Abilities Unlimited.
(I tend to shop more at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop
and it's just kinda weird to see your own stuff when you shop.
Plus AU is so close, it's easy to run a load over....)
Last week,
looking for furniture for the LEM,
I ran in to the local Abilities thrift shop.
While there,
I spotted these awesome green snack plates.
I felt a little sheepish when I realized - they were mine!

edited to add:
I have better taste than I knew ;-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

the question all little girls are asking

Lily saw me measuring out some coconut oil.
"Are you making dessert?" she asked excitedly.
"Why does everyone jump to the conclusion 
I'm making dessert?" I responded.
(I was - but can't a mom surprise the fam??)
"Oh. Are you making deodorant?"

All across America,
cute little four-year olds are asking their moms
that very question.

Friday, May 13, 2011

not again

Ever since Marcos has been here,
we've been eating more beans than usual.
Partly because he really likes them
and partly because
when you add an adult eater to the family
but you didn't get a raise,
you eat more beans.
Black beans, pintos, and lentils, mostly.
Lexi truly loves beans,
but the rest of the kids - not so much.
They like them okay so long as we eat them sparingly...
One of them noticed the connection between Marcos
and the increased legume consumption and said,
"I wish Marcos didn't come here; we eat beans all the time now."
I've been laying off the beans some.
Ever since the water heater leaked
(which happened right after our main line leaked
and just before some other minor catastrophe - I forget which one)
we've had an occasional (extra) stink coming from the bathroom.
We haven't figured out a trigger,
some times it stinks
and sometimes it don't.
The girls were hopping out of the tub this evening 
when the stink started.
Lily sniffed.
"Well - smells like we're having lentils.
And maybe some other beans for dinner."

We actually had a very yummy dinner of Fajita rice.
did not

on doing it all

We hear it fairly often,
"I don't know how you get it all done."
Truth is - we don't.
Plain and simple.

It's all a juggling act;
when one 'ball' is in the air,
other balls are dropping.
we do probably have more balls than other people...
(well that didn't come out right!)

Time can only be spent once.

When we're working on, say, the LEM
the rest of the house is falling apart.
And laundry may or may not be getting done.
When I'm doing a reading lesson;
I'm not cleaning the toilets.
(and neither is anyone else...)

If you've truly ever gotten the impression
 that anyone here
has it all together; my apologies.
One look at our house would tell you differently.
Oh wait.
You can't come look at my house;
you wouldn't be able to get in the door -
the living room is full of furniture for the LEM 
in various stages of refinishing...

Monday, May 9, 2011

fashion trumps comfort

I'm just sure she's my girl,
but her decision today had me wondering briefly.

I wrangled Lex's petti-top over head
and  pulled it down over her sweet little belly.
She started grabbing at the chest,
"Too tight! It's too tight!"
I pulled it off.
She wanted it back on.
"Too tight," she wailed.

"Lexi, you can either wear it too tight,
or wear something else. There's nothing Momma can do."
Her choice?
"My wear tight."

trash or treasure?

Call me silly - but I think the one on the right is a keeper.

Not everyone in the house thinks so;
I found the McD's trash
(incidentally, skip the frozen strawberry lemonade; go to Sonic!)
in a place of honor on the windowsill
and had to go digging through 3 days of trash
to rescue the spill-proof, BPA free polycarbonate one
Does make me wonder what other treasures
may have been deemed trash.
Especially since in my brief digging,
I also found a napkin, a comb, and a peanut butter jar lid...

ooh - trash digging.
That reminds me;
today is a great day to dumpster dive at the 
cemetery :-)
which further reminds me...
here's a post from a year ago that I never actually posted:

It was drizzling when I pulled up.
A white car drove slowly past;
the driver paid me no mind .
I stepped out of the car into the mist
and moved swiftly.
From the other side of the smoke colored glass,
I could hear the children cackling.
* * * * *
Growing up in Chicago Heights,
we had a neighbor,
Leroy loved to roam the neighborhood on trash day
looking for treasures.
When he found one
he'd drag it home
and proudly declare it,
"Brand new, almost"

As we drove down the bumpy road
heading for home
Jeremiah threw back his head and laughed,
"That's the first time I ever saw you go dumpster diving!"
I'm thinking after Memorial Day we'll go again.
The kids want to help me next time.
(Tyler will be glad to go to work)

I never go junkin' that I don't remember Leroy
and when I brought these babies home
I said to no one in particular,
"Brand new. Almost."
Who knew such treasures could be found
in the dumpster
at the cemetery?

lest there be any confusion - we found the flower, not the baby :-)

You find any treasures in the trash lately??

Saturday, May 7, 2011

red eared slider

According to Mr Harris,
this here little fellow
will grow up to be quite large,
but for now,
he's the cutest turtle you ever did see.

some days are just like that

Baby Blues Cartoon for May/07/2011

not today, thankfully, but I can still relate...

Friday, May 6, 2011


"So, what are you going to tell him?" my husband asked.
And then I started feeling foolish;
I don't have any major problems,
no laundry list of complaints
and yet, here we were,
driving over an hour away
to visit a doctor, of all people.
And I hate doctors.
But I was actually rather excited to go.
I haven't been 'normal' in a really long time.
(though some would say I've never been normal...)
As I told Dr Baker,
I understand that 'normal' is going to change
with children and seasons of life.
But this me,
this person that I am now, 
and have been for a long time,
can't possibly be the normal that I should be.
Please, God, No!!
My biggest fear was that he would listen to me ramble
and then tell me there was nothing medically wrong me;
I'm just flawed.
Hopelessly, disgustedly flawed.

But thank goodness,
that's not what he said.
I'm hopeful that soon, with some supplements
and bioidentical hormones - created specifically for me
I'll be a new me;
 a perfectly normal
I'm ready!