I am a Mormon stay-at-home-mom of six. Yeah, I know, "that's a lot of kids"! Sometimes it truly is A LOT. Most of the time it's not. It's simply put...our normal. On my page you'll find spiritual thoughts, tales of trials, happy moments, recipes, funny stories, and more. Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Take care of our aging family members

I'm sitting here at the kitchen table. My new mug is beside me, filled with hot chocolate. As I sipped it's chocolaty goodness I pondered the day. Our plans originally for today were to go out to lunch and a movie...the 3 generations of us...my grandmother, my mother, my sister and me.  My grandmother has been sick for the last couple of weeks.  So when I called to check up on her to make sure she was up for the trip to lunch and movies she sounded hesitant.  She really didn't feel well.  But she was ready to go out if we were still going. My sister, who is pretty quick on her feet, made the executive decision that we would bring our grandmother lunch and play games with her at her apartment. Gramma loves to play games. So that's what we did!

We gathered the materials for our lunch and drove to her house.  We enjoyed our lunch together and then played two games of Yatzee.  That was a lot of fun.  Most of us hadn't played it in a long, long time.  It took a while to really get the hang of it.  My sister smoked us the first game.  We had some good laughs.

We finished that and Gramma asked us what game we wanted to play next. She really didn't want us to leave quite yet. We decided on playing a round of Golf.  It's a lot of fun!  My mom kicked our bumms!  

I think the best part of the day was being able to brighten my grandmother's day.  She lives alone.  She enjoys her independence.  She also really enjoys having company.  She would have had us stay for another hour or two, but we needed to get back home.  

It made me realize how much just calling her each day is important.  She still needs to feel needed.  She needs to feel loved.  She needs to know that she's not forgotten.  She needs to know that we care. It's so important to take care of our aging family members.  And not only are we taking care of her but we are creating memories and bonds that weren't there before.  We are getting blessed by our time spent with her as much as she is blessed by us being there.  

And as this is New Year's Eve I think it's a wonderful time to add this to my goals for the new year.  What's are some of your goals for the year? Post them in the comments.  


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Embrace the phase you're in

A recent comment sparked the idea for this blog post.  Each of us is in a different phase of life.  Some are single.  Some are newly weds.  Others are brand new moms, while some are seasoned parents.  Over the passing years we each go through phases.  Children go through them too.  I've heard many people say, "Oh, it's just a phase.  It'll pass."  And for some phases, it's a good thing they don't last! Haha!

There were moments when I felt like I could take on the world.  I had so much energy and drive to get things done.  It was fantastic!

With more children comes more responsibility; more laundry, more dishes, more chores, more doctor's appointments, more phone calls, and on and on and on.  When I had just 4 children I had life by the reins.  My house was always clean and organized.  I had time to clean and de-clutter as well as spend time with my good friends.  We had plenty of play dates. It was great!

I have a friend who once made a comment that still makes me chuckle.  She thought that I cleaned the house especially for her.  When she'd come over it was clean.  All the time.  And then she popped in a couple of times unannounced and realized that my house was still clean. It was just something I did. Every day. Oh how I miss those days!!!  I miss the time to clean and organize.

When baby #5 came along my desire to keep my house perfectly clean started to fade some.  Plus, I simply could not keep up with everything.

Fast forward to now.  #5 is seven years old now.  #6 is four years old.  And I have even less time.  Not only that, but with all the moving and having to live with family while we get ourselves back on our feet, we have much less space for all our things.

I thought maybe things would get easier over the years but they really haven't.  As the kids get older they get more involved with other activities and are more active in general.  There is more to clean.  More to cook.  More phone calls to make.  Teenagers to keep track of.  And still a toddler who loves to dump all the toys out all over the floor and walk away.

We are finding ways to organize in the spaces we have.  We are finding a schedule.  And we are starting to find free time once in a while.  We are finding joy in the small things.

My youngest has many food allergies and sensitivities to dyes in foods, hand lotions, clothing, soaps, play dough, and more.  There are times when I need something for her that is simply cheaper to make by myself.  The hair serum that I posted was not just for me, but also for her.  While I enjoy and prefer using things that are all natural, her little body requires it.  It's kind of a bonus for me.  I guess you could say it's a blessing in disguise.

So, what ever phase you're in, embrace it.  Enjoy it.  Stop and smell the roses once in a while.  Appreciate the new skills you may be gaining out of necessity.  They are little blessings. And remember not to compare yourself to anyone else.  I have caught myself comparing what I could do to other moms, in the past, and have realized how destructive that can be.  Allow yourself to see just how amazing you are.

Some moms have brand new babies who need them all the time.  Embrace it.  Enjoy the time to sit and hold the sweet baby.

Others have a perfectly clean home.  Enjoy every clean surface.  Stop and sit and feel the peace that can come from order.

Some of us have toddlers who are needy.  Embrace it.  Hold them.  Play with them.  Laugh with them.  Because you never know how long this phase will last.

This is what I'm going to do: embrace this phase and make it an amazing phase of my life.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hair Serum

I am plagued with dry, frizzy hair that I affectionately refer to as fuzz head.  Yeah.  It's not fun the humidity.  My hair is fine and thick and dry.  Every time I have moved to a different place I've had to adjust the products I put into my hair according to the atmosphere and hardness of the water.

Now that we're back in Maine I have to readjust again.  I've had use BioSilk for a while and then switched to Paul Mitchell's smoothing serum in Texas.  The other day I realized I'm almost out of my serum and needed to order some.  Not only do I dislike the smell of BioSilk now, so it's not an option, but I also don't want to pay the price for the Paul Mitchell.

And when I want to try something new or try to make something more cost effective I head to Google and Pinterest.  I found a couple of recipes for hair serum along with some really helpful websites on essential oils that are good for your hair.

This website was great and has a list of essential oils that work well for each hair type.  There is a lady at church who is allergic to all mint, lavender, rosemary and eucalyptus. Finding an oil that would be safe to wear at church was my goal.

Great information from Experience Essential Oils site for each hair type:

Oils for Normal Hair

Normal hair is neither greasy nor dry, has not been permed or colored, holds its style and is usually shiny.

These oils are best for normal hair:

Lavender Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oil
Geranium Essential Oil
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Thyme Essential Oil
Clary Sage Essential Oil
The best base or carrier oils to use are jojoba, almond or borage.

Oils for Dry Hair

Dry hair looks dull, tangles easily and can become easily split at the ends. Therefore, we want essential oils for hair that stimulate the sebaceous glands in the scalp to produce more oil!

Use these oils:

Lavender Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil
Sandalwood Essential Oil
Geranium Essential Oil
The top base or carrier oils to use are almond, sesame, jojoba, borage, cocoa butter or avocado.

Oils for Oily Hair

Oily hair looks greasy and these oils are are best for oily hair.

Lavender Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil
Cypress Essential Oil
The top base or carrier oils are sesame, jojoba and borage.

Other Hair Challenges? Need to Cleanse the Hair?
No problem, here are my recommendations.

Use a cleansing shampoo or cleansing oils first before you start. This will remove the buildup of chlorine, grease and chemicals in your hair and scalp.
Pick several essential oils for hair to use for shampooing and/or make a blend with the base oil. (You may have to experiment with several oils until you find what you like)
Use until you feel there is improvement.
Start to include or use oils that support healthy hair next.
I use a KidScents Natural Essential Oil Shampoo with lemon, tangerine, and MSM for gentle cleansing.

Oils for Occasional Flakiness

Essential oils may be very effective in minimizing occasional flakiness.

Here are some others:

Rosemary Essential Oil
Melaleucca alternifolia Essential Oil or Tea Tree oil.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Thyme Essential Oil

The top base or carrier oils to use are jojoba and borage.

I ordered some ingredients that should work for my hair type on Amazon.  I love Amazon.  It makes me happy!  And saves me so much money!!!  All of the ingredients have arrived! So today I made my serum.

Castor oil
10 drops Geranium Essential oil
1/2 tsp Almond oil
1/2 tsp Jojoba Oil
2 oz dark amber glass bottle

If you are able to use lavender and rosemary oils they are highly recommended for dry hair.  You can add them into this recipe.  Just add a few drops of each when you add the geranium.

Pour 1/2 tsp Almond oil, 1/2 tsp Jojoba oil, and 10 drops of Geranium oil into the bottle.  Using a funnel slowly pour castor oil into bottle until just before the neck, leaving room for the dropper to be inserted. Place dropper on the top and close bottle.  Tip bottle back and forth to incorporate.  

After a shower my hair is a tangled mess since I ran out of my good conditioner.  No worries...I have ordered a bottle and it's on its way.  Plus, this hair serum should help quite a bit too. 

Add 6 drops (if you have shorter hair than mine you'll want to decrease the amount) to your hand and rub your hands together before applying to your hair.  Less is more.  Start with less and if you need more add another drop.  

You don't want a lot because it'll make your hair look greasy.  Not exactly a desirable look.  ;) 

I am excited to have a natural hair serum that will not only smell good but help my hair to to healthier and stronger.  Plus I've eliminated the nasty chemicals and alcohol,which probably don't help the dryness of my hair.  

I'd love to hear your thoughts/comments. If you try it, I'd love to know how it worked for you.  Happy DIY ing!  


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Exercise. You CAN do it!

As a teenager and young adult I did not do much for formal exercising.  In fact, I was pretty sure I would never need it. Ever. Or maybe I just hoped I wouldn't need it. I had my first baby and bounced back fairly well.  Second baby produced similar results.  And then the third baby came.  I lost some of the weight but never got back to pre-pregnant weight.  When baby number 4 came my weight didn't get any better.  It wasn't until I hit my 30's and had my 5th baby that reality really set in.  My mom  had struggled with her weight, but I just thought it would never happen to me.  I was somehow immune right? I'm not sure why I thought that way, but I did.

6 weeks after baby number 5 arrived I realized that the weight wasn't coming off...at all.  In fact I was gaining every week.  I was breast feeding and watching my food intake.  That should fix it! Right?? Wrong!

So I  began to diet and exercise on a regular basis.  It was hard.  I had to make the time to do it.  That was really hard.  And many days the internal battle almost defeated me.  I hated to exercise, but I liked how I felt when I was finished. The battle waged on...almost daily. It was rough, but as soon as I started seeing the weight come off, I knew it was exactly what I needed to do.  I became a little bit stronger....most days.

I started out with a Leslie Sansone workout.  I loved the 2 mile walk with weights.  It was enough to give me a good workout and wasn't so hard that I couldn't finish.  I gradually worked up to the 3 mile walk.  Over time I got bored doing the same thing every day.  I could practically do it in my sleep!  I began adding more workout DVD's to my collection.  Most of them were Leslie Sansone.  I thoroughly enjoyed her easy to follow moves and I was getting results.

There came a time when my body became used to doing the same exercise moves all the time and I was barely breaking a sweat.  It's an amazing feeling to see your body improve physically. And I knew that I could continue my improvement.

That's when I added in some Cathe Friedrich and Jillian Michaels.  At first I thought I was going to die! I was breathing hard, panting like a dog, and sweating profusely. I had to pause the DVD's several times to catch my breath before continuing on.  But I pushed on.  I did a little more each day.  Then each week.

Fast forward to today.  I rarely pull out my Leslie Sansone DVD's anymore.  Once in a while I will pull out an oldie but goodie and walk along with Leslie and her crew.  Today was one of those days. Yesterday I did a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. Today my body needed a bit of a break. I chose the 30 Day Burn.  Although, instead of simply walking along, I jogged during almost all of the walking segments.  I increased the "skaters" to a higher impact movement with more jumping.  I used my arms more and really focused on tightening my abs.  That's the wonderful thing about exercising at home; you can make the workout your own.  If you don't feel like doing "kick backs" then do "knee lifts" instead.  Jog instead of walking.

Looking back over the years I can see that I have improved.  I've gotten stronger and healthier.  We each need to start where we are. Choose a level of exercise that is right for you. Start at a level that will allow you to get a good workout and raise your heart rate.  Remember to listen to your body. Everybody's body is different.  And that's okay!  Find a workout routine that you enjoy and start moving.

Something that I have learned over the years is that it's important to change things up....muscle confusion.  If you always do the same routine your muscles will get used to it and after a while you won't get the results that you want to anymore.  When I try a new workout I will do it once or twice in the same week.  On the other days I will do whatever workout I am in the mood for that day.  Kickboxing one day.  Jogging another day. HIIT the next.  I find that by switching things up my body isn't getting accustomed to the same movements every day.  I'm not getting used to my workouts and therefore they, the workouts, aren't getting too easy too quickly.

I've also realized that "muscle confusion" also causes sore muscles more regularly.  I'm usually sore at least once a week, if not more.  To me, it's a good sore. It tells me that I'm working hard and that I'm being successful in strengthening my body.

Don't know where to start?  At Collage Video they not only sell DVD's, but also allow you to watch a clip of the DVD to be sure you'll actually like it.  I have gotten too many workout DVD's that I ended up hating and giving away.  It was a waste of money.  I began going to this site and watching the clips before ordering a new DVD.  I purchased some directly from them and also from Amazon.

If you don't want to spend any money, finding free workouts is easy now too!  I use YouTube all the time!  I haven't had to buy a new workout DVD for quite a while. I've used HASfit, FitnessBlender, Jillian Michaels, and Jessica Smith TV the most.

My favorite is Jessica Smith TV right now.  She has so many different workouts and usually shows both low impact and high impact.  She has some beginner videos and some advanced ones too.

Something I love about the HASfit workouts is that they always have a motivational quote at the beginning and end.  Here are some of my favorites for your enjoyment.

And last but not least...my favorite one:

In all cases, listen to your body.  That doesn't mean you should make excuses for not exercising, though.  Be honest with yourself.  Take care of yourself.  Be patient with yourself.  You'll see results in no time!


Friday, December 18, 2015

Sick, just sick

My eyes popped open and I bolted upright in bed.  I paused for a moment and listened closely for the sound that had woken me up.  There it was again.  I sprang from my bed and raced to the room of my 7 year old daughter.  I dragged her limp, tired, partially awake, heaving body carefully to the floor and in front of the bowl.  The first few times this happened tonight, she didn't quite make it into the bowl.  I leaned my tired head on the side of the bunk bed, tried to steady my breathing from jumping out of bed, and closed my eyes while she continued to be sick.

Twice around 8:00 pm.  Once in the 9:00 hour.  Three times in the 11:00 pm hour.  The bright red numbers on the digital clock began to blend and blur.  3:00...4:00...

At 4:30, as I just began to calm my racing heart and slow my mind down again, my sweet night in shining armor entered the room, just arriving home after a 10 hour shift at work.  I asked him if he would be willing to get the boys up for early morning seminary at 4:55 am so that I could...hopefully...get some sleep in before I had to be up at 6:15.

Mommy...mommy...MOMMY!!  I jumped out of bed again and ran to her side.  She wasn't sick this time.  Thankfully. Just awake.  She asked what the noise was that she could hear from upstairs. I wanted to get mad.  But I didn't. My body was so exhausted.  I answered her question and told her go back to sleep.  I settled back into my soft comforter.

Mommy...mommy...  This time I wasn't quite asleep and jumped up before too much screaming escaped her lips.  I didn't want the 4 year old to wake up just yet.  I entered her room and all she wanted was a drink.  I got her some water and again told her to go back to sleep.  I'm not sure how my feet carried me to my room again, but they did.

I slowly crawled back into bed.  Sigh.  Only a few more minutes of sleep left.  The alarm blared and I'm pretty sure I whined, almost on the verge of tears, but moved my tired body through the house to wake up the next child for school.

Time to make breakfast. I got out the eggs and cheese.  I went to grab the bread. The loaf was gone.  I wanted to cry.  Back down the stairs I trudged to the extra fridge to get another loaf.

The next alarm went off to remind me to wake up the boy #4. Thankfully he could get himself ready on his own.  I laid down on the couch and closed my eyes.  The sick little girl walked into the room, with her bowl...just in case, and grabbed a blanket before climbing onto the other couch.

Finally, after getting all the kids out the door and putting a show on for the "sicko" to watch, I went back to my bed.  I couldn't get warm.  My feet were so cold.  My sweatshirt wasn't warm enough anymore.  I sat up and put on warm socks and laid back down.

The phone call from the doctor's office to reschedule our appointment woke me up completely.  I decided I'd just have to be awake.

In the afternoon I crashed...hard.  I sat on the couch, in between two little girls, and fell asleep.  Sort of.   In between the littlest girl touching my face, kissing my face or putting her face in front of mine and saying, "Mom!" several times, I slept a little.  The the sick child decided she felt better and got up to play.  Then all the quiet flew right out the window.

#sick, just sick

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

This morning was a little crazy.  Probably because I tried to squeeze too many things into a short amount of time.  I do that.  A lot.  It's a bad habit.  But really I think that time has just sped up.  I used to get a lot more accomplished in an allotted amount of time.  I have found that, as of late, I am unable to get as much done as I used to.  It could be the slew of kids I have.  I could be that I've just slowed down.  But, no, I don't think so.

We missed the bus, but it all worked out because I had plans to take my grandmother to the store and help her find Christmas gifts for my kids.  I dropped my 4 year old off at my mom's house and took my 7 year old to school.  Funny, because my 11 year old didn't want to wait for us he walked to the bus stop instead of riding with me.  So he got on the bus this morning.

After picking up my grandmother and heading toward the store I got a text message from my sister.  I knew it was from her because I assigned her number a specific ring tone.  I looked at it quickly and found that it was a picture.

Um yeah!  The Christmas tree fell.  So I called her to find out what happened.  It just fell.  The cats don't play with it.  And the dog was in the kennel.  Maybe the evil tree fairies knocked it down....just kidding.

I think it was about an hour later that I got a text from Todd with this picture.

Yeah the tree fell over.  Haha!  He had no idea that my sister was at home sick today....and getting woken up by a falling tree. He slept right through it.  They cleaned it up and stood it up and it tried to fall over at least 2 or 3 more times before they got it to stay.

I guess this is a good reason to have plastic or unbreakable ornaments...for that occasion when your tree falls down....for no apparent reason.  I could possibly think that it was those creepy elves on the shelf...but we don't have them.  Because they are seriously creepy and get into trouble.

Later, Todd and I were downstairs talking about Christmas and I hear a loud bang.  I thought the little girl had slammed a door or dropped something heavy onto the floor.  I ran up the stairs and just as I got up there my sister began calling to me.  The tree was on the floor again.  Seriously!?!?

What a weird tree.  I guess when you get really tall trees they tend to tip.  Haha! Note to self.  Get a smaller tree next year.

As he was standing the tree up, and I was picking up broken glass, another ornament fell off the tree and hit the hearth and shattered. Yep.  I jumped.  Holy cow.

 More ornaments got crushed and the garland is a mess.  As I vacuumed the small pieces of glass along with pine needles from the carpet, I giggled.  Little girl was SO dramatic about the tree being ruined and Christmas being ruined.  Um, yeah. She's 4.  I'm in for it.  Haha!

The tree is now propped into a corner...for now...until my dad comes to the rescue with some fishing line.  And then the tree has to be redecorated.  We could make this a new family tradition; decorate the tree multiple times a year.

Hopefully the tree will stay up until Christmas now.  That would be a Christmas miracle.  :)


Monday, December 14, 2015

Over Indulgence...

Oh my goodness.  Trying to keep my weight down and treats around the holidays simply aren't mixing well this year.  Some years I feel like a ROCK STAR and abstain from over eating.  And usually being gluten free and dairy free helps me to say NO to most foods.  But considering the fact that I have learned how to make delicious gluten free, dairy free foods...I'm in trouble.  Big trouble!

Party mix is something we keep in the house from Thanksgiving all the way through until New Year's Eve.  And last week I just HAD to make sugar cookies.  Oh my!  What is wrong with me!! And Cassie and I ate most of them ourselves.  I should have shared a LOT more.  So, Friday, we had brownies for the church Christmas party...yumm-O!  I ate too many...BUT they're SO good! Do you see my dilemma???

I have a friend who is on a Paleo diet...among other allergies...and I decided I wanted to make a treat she could eat too.  Of COURSE I had to taste test those cookies.  My self-control must have disappeared. Flew right out that big open window! And then on Sunday we celebrated our 3rd son's 14th birthday....with chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting.  My stomach is not quite right tonight.  It could possibly be the two large pieces of cake I ate...

Today I had sugar cookies with icing. Notice that's plural.  I didn't stop at just one, but I should have. I just had my kids finish them off.  Sigh!! Then I made them polish off the cake.  Phew!  THAT is way too much temptation.  It's just SO delicious!! After all that...I still ate a brownie after supper. Blah!!  The kids will have to eat those too.  Ugh.  And I made party mix today...which I snacked on this afternoon.  I wasn't really hungry at supper...but I ate a plate anyway...yikes.  Wise choices...where are thou?

I know better than this, and yet there are times where I find myself unable to restrain my hand from grabbing those treats. The best way for me to combat this is to get rid of all treats.  Sad face....

Every week day I exercise...I purposely KICK MY BUM...yes some days I actually do butt kickers...and then I follow my workout with a healthy breakfast.  Fruits, veggies, protein...

But for some reason when I hit late afternoon and supper time I lose my will power.  I need to regain my desire to be healthy.  I need to remind myself that I'm worth it.  I FEEL better when I keep the weight off. I feel better when I eat right.

I think I know what my New Year's resolution is going to be this year....

What's your New Year's resolution going to be?  


Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas is getting closer!

It's been a couple of days. Oops!  I have planned to write every weekday, but somehow life just gets so crazy and it doesn't always happen.  And today, the only reason I am at my laptop is because it's Friday and I don't have to be in bed by 9 pm to be able to get my boys up for seminary at 4:50 am.  Yay for Saturday!!

Tonight was our church Christmas party.  It was fun.  Relaxed.  The kids had a blast.  The food was good. Of course.  Where else can the kids load their plates up with mounds of food, that will never fit into their stomachs, and get away with it?  They all do it.  Unless their parents are seriously watching their every move.  One child, a friend at church, piled three large pieces of ham on his second helping along with several sweets.  I told him he better eat every piece of ham.  Haha!  The sweets were gone, but the ham was not. Eyes are MUCH bigger than stomachs!

The little ones raced up and down the hallway...over and over again.  Even after being told to walk many, many times.  After a while I just gave up.

There was some entertainment.  And close to the end, a friend and her brother were going back and forth about whether or not to sing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer".  Me, being me, said, "Yeah, you should totally do it!" What was I thinking.  The next thing you know, I'm being roped into singing with them...on this very rusty, unpracticed, song. Oh well.  It was fun!

Then we sang some Christmas hymns together and Santa came in.  I was SHOCKED when my shy little 4 year old ran right up to Santa and gave him a big hug.  So CUTE!  And then she climbed right on his lap and got a gift.  The rest of the kids gathered around watching, hoping to be next.  I organized them a little bit and helped them form more of a line so they could each have their chance to sit on Santa's knee.  Even my quiet, timid 7 year old went right up and sat on his lap.  And, of course, my ornery 11 year old sat on his lap too.  What a stinker!!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's a MOOSE!!!

Today was an absolutely crazy day.  Crazy in a...very active toddler kind of way.  Crazy in an...I'm about to pull my hair out kind of way.  Crazy in an...I'm trying desperately not to lose my temper kind of way.  

And I am finally sitting at the table and can breathe a sigh of relief.  Sigh!!! It's over! Could you hear that from your house?  Oh boy!

This morning had an altered schedule and caused me to have ALL five children getting ready for school at the same time.  Plus a 4 year old...insert big cheesie grin...at 6:30 in the morning.  So happy!

We were all ready to leave and go to the eye doctor by 8:05am, which was a complete miracle.  On our way to the eye doctor I saw the road sign that I've been wanting to take a picture of since we moved back here.  I was running early so I pulled over to the side of the road and hopped out.  I was SO happy with myself.  Haha!  It wasn't until just now...as I was uploading the pictures...that I noticed that someone had added some extra parts to the sign.  I can't believe I didn't notice that when I took the picture! Todd and I got a good chuckle out of it.  But... Um...I can't upload THAT!  Although some people might find it humorous, some may be offended.  

Thankfully...I have a few photo editing tricks up my sleeve.  

So here is the road sign...edited version of course...it makes me laugh a little every time I see one.  Why? Because it's something you only see in places like New England.  It's NOT something I ever saw in Missouri or Texas.  And it's part of home.  It makes me smile.  I love it!

Don't mind my puffy tired face.  I should have taken a picture of the kids...but that would have required getting them out of the car, posing them, and re-buckling.  That just wasn't worth it.  LOL!

The road sign I didn't have time to take was a snowmobile crossing sign.  
What is something that makes your home state unique?  Post it in the comments.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Oh! No!

Oh Holy Hannah!
Today started out as a nice day.  It was warmer outside.  The sun was shining.  And all I needed to do was fold my mountain of clean laundry while waiting for the propane company to come out and check on a possible leak.

I somehow, miraculously, convinced my 4 year old that she could let ME pick a show to watch while I folded laundry.  A Christmas miracle.  Haha!  So, there I sat, folding laundry, and watching a cheesie Christmas show on Netflix.

My husband woke up, he works nights and sleeps mornings, and we began talking.  Somewhere in all the talking my sweet 4 year old left the room.  Now, normally that wouldn't be a big deal.  She will either go find the kindle and start playing a game or watching a show OR she will go find her toys and play happily.  Either way, the quiet was wonderful.  Sigh!

All of the sudden she appears in the doorway...C...O...V...E...R...E...D... in poop.  Both Todd and I exclaimed, "OH! NO!"

Oh yeah.  Poop! All the way to her little knees. I don't think I've seen my husband jump and run that quickly in a while!

She had taken off her dirty pull-up and attempted to clean herself up.  Todd followed her to her bedroom where he found a pile of dirty wipes on the floor in front of her dresser.  EWWW!  So Gross!  The entire family room and bedroom spelled so thick and strong.  Oh yuck.  Now THAT was just Craptastic!!

It took two of us to get her...and the floor...cleaned up.  Yes, ladies and gents...I do believe we will be starting to potty train this one very soon!

I guess our day was just NOT exciting enough for her.  She had to liven it up!  Or stink it up, I guess!

And then, the propane guys came to look at our system and check for a leak that we were SURE is there.  We couldn't find it before.  And they couldn't find a leak either. Well, that's because there was NO leak.  The awful smell, that truly smelled like propane, rotten eggs, etc, was not propane at all.  Get this...It was the dead deer carcass that SOMEONE forgot to discard a few days ago.  It smelled so awful. On Saturday, when we smelled the "propane" smell... it was strong.  After we shut the propane off and opened the windows I saw the a tote that I didn't recognize in the basement.  Being the inquisitive one that I am...I opened the lid and got BLASTED with rotten meat smell.  I closed the lid as fast as I could possibly slam it down, but it didn't do any good.  The smell was out.  It it was FOUL! To think that THAT was the cause of the nasty odor the entire time.  Oh my!

We all had a good laugh about that one!


Friday, December 4, 2015

Blessings raining down

I’m sitting here with tears rolling down my face. Thankful for some pretty wonderful blessings. Things that may seem small, but are huge right now.

It’s amazing and wonderful how Heavenly father blesses us.  When we need it most He is raining down blessings upon our heads.  If we just take the time to see the blessings we will be in awe of His love and goodness.

He blesses us through the kindness of others.

He allows us to repay those acts of kindness with what little we have and then He adds too that.

It’s amazing when you can really see it.

How has He blessed your life?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Country girl livin' in the city...

I missed blogging yesterday.  I do believe I was on the phone and taking care of other essentials for several hours.  Oh the life of a mom! Plus having a lovely cold doesn't help my motivation any.  

I finally found some motivation and had a thought while driving.  I am a country girl. I grew up in a small town. I use to think I would always live in the country. That I would never leave.  

And then I left.  I moved to Kansas City, on the Missouri side.  

I didn't know that it was important to lock my doors for several months after we moved into our little apartment.  In the country you don't need to lock your doors.  One day someone mentioned to me that I should really be locking my door and so I started locking it.  Not very long after that a man tried to get into our apartment. He banged on my door. Jiggled the lock.  And eventually went away.  

That scared me enough to remember to dead bolt my doors every day...all the time.  

Then there was the day that there was a double homicide at our complex.  The man who killed his wife and brother forced his way into another woman's apartment to use the phone.  Needless to say we moved to another apartment complex about a month later.  

When you live in the city you learn rather quickly which areas are not safe.  Which areas you should avoid at night.  And where you need to go in pairs.  Sometimes you can see it. You can sense it. Feel it. 

I learned to make eye contact with people and smile as I walked by. Which is extremely hard when you're an introvert!  The only down side to making eye contact is sometimes you get unwanted attention.  Haha!  I had one guy, on hospital hill, turn around after I walked by and asked me if I had a man.  I smiled and said, "Yes I do.  But thank you!"  Now THAT is something I never had to do in a small country town.  

Now that I'm back in the country I still lock my doors.  It's a habit.  But the safety I feel has dramatically increased. I still look people in the eye.  It's a good habit.  

I loved the convenience of city living. Everything is close by.  So much at your fingertips.  But I missed the beauty of the country.  I missed the hard work that has to get done in the country.  There is SO much more that needs to get done in the country.  And I love it.  But I'm weird.  Haha!  I love keeping busy.  

I love that in the small town everyone knows each other. They know each other by name.  They are friendly with one another.  They build relationships of trust by treating one another well.  Yes, I know this happens in some places in the city too.  But it happens more often in the country.  It's a culture.  

It's amazing the things I had to get used to in the city, ways I had to adapt, that now I can let go of. But one thing is for sure.  I'm more comfortable here in the country than I've been in years.  

You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl!

#youcanttakethecountryoutofthegirl #countryliving #smalltownsarethebest #whereeverybodyknowsyourname 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


I'm sitting here, on my laptop, on Facebook.  Getting sucked into the never-ending posts and comments.  Getting lost in the funny banter,back and forth. Laughing at the memes. Realizing that this must be THE TIME to be on Facebook because there are so many of my friends commenting, posting and liking right now.  I'm usually not on the computer at this time of night.  I'm usually busy finishing up dinner.

It's hilarious, sometimes, the conversations that happen on Facebook.  For instance: A friend posted and asked a question about how many days in a row one should wear the same pair jeans.  Haha!  Several people weighed in.  I even joined them. Apparently, according to one person, you're not supposed to even wash jeans very often.  They are made to be worn multiple times without washing in between.  Um yeah.  Well, I usually wear the same pair all week long.  Unless I spill something on them.  If they look dirty or feel dirty they go in the wash.

I tell my kids to wear their jeans for more than one day in a row.  Most of them don't.  One of them does though.  To the point that I have to make him wash them.  That's when they stink.  Gross boy stink.  Haha!

It was great for a laugh.  Sometimes we need that.  Mindless silly stuff that makes us laugh.

What made you laugh most recently?  Post in the comments.

#randomness #sillyfacebookbanter #laughingisgoodforthesoul #howlongdoyouwearyourjeans

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Magic of Christmas

Children can see the magic in the world around them.  Things that we, adults, have seen a million times and now take for granted are new and wonderful for children.  They appreciate the little things.
The stars are amazing and sparkly. They cause "oooh's and aaaah's". The moon is beautiful and bright.  The trees are so big and tall.  The rocks are fun to climb on.  Falling leaves become a pile to jump into.  Animals are amazing creatures. Toys come to life in their imagination.

An empty box becomes so many different things; a time machine, a car, a space ship, a boat, a box to hide in.

Jumping on the trampoline is like flying, soaring through the air like a bird.

The tooth fairy is mysterious as it sneaks in while they sleep to leave money for lost teeth.

The Christmas tree is awesome. The smell of fir needles. The sparkling lights on the Christmas tree. The intricate ornaments adorning it's branches. Tinsel.

White fluffy snow falling from the sky is joyous.  Sledding. Snowmen. Snow forts. Ice skating.

There are so many treats to eat.  It's like living in a candy shop. Candy canes.  Christmas cookies. Popcorn balls. Party mix.  Gingerbread men. Gingerbread houses. Chocolates shaped like Santa. Hot chocolate. Ribbon Candy. Egg nog. Muddy Buddies. Pizzelle Italian cookies.

Santa slides down the chimney with a red pack stuffed full of toys. Christmas morning. Bright wrapping paper.  Excited squeals.


Christmas: a time to enjoy the abundance of magic in life.  Enjoy every moment.


It's Christmas Time!

Thanksgiving turkey sits cold in the fridge.
Gravy is congealed in the bowl.
Mashed potatoes are in a lump and the squash is all squished.
Half eaten pies clutter the counter.

Bellies are full.
Naps are in order.

Visiting and conversation abound.
An uncle is sitting on the couch with nieces and nephews surrounding.
He entertains with his voice and guitar.

The men are all happy.
Feel the buzz in the air.
Their hunting adventures a success.
Blessings are pouring down.

Christmas music is playing.
Happy and sweet.

A Christmas wreath adorns the front door.
Soon the tree will be in it's place
Covered in ornaments, tinsel and lights

Black Friday madness is avoided.
A sigh of relief!
Shopping for special gifts.
Finding the perfect one.
Merry Christmas greets young and old.

Cookie dough is rolled.
The oven is baking.
Treats for one and all.

We think of each other with love.
Family and friends gather around us.
Christmas carolers spread cheer.
Christmas spirit surrounds.

The joy of Christmas swirls, spins and envelopes
Like the swirling and swarming of snow on the wind.
Spinning and encircling each one.
Filling us all with Christlike love and kindness.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Little Blessings

One of the "foods" that we have found that our youngest little girl cannot have or eat is anything containing petroleum.  Yeah.  That's right.  It's in foods. Scary right!

Food dyes are petroleum based. Preservatives TBHQ and BHT are both petroleum based as well.  I am so thankful for a friend who forwarded a blog, a story about a mom who's child had a problem with food coloring and also preservatives.  It was fascinating to me.  And gave me an answer I had been praying for.  They were the last ingredients we had to remove from our daughter's diet.

Here is an interesting site. I can't believe the FDA still allows artificial colors in our foods.  Don't get me started!

We love Chex Mix at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.  This year I tried making it with the Crispix cereal and not only did it burn, which has never happened to me before, it tasted odd.  My sister bought some Chex cereal today and, Low and Behold, they changed their ingredients!  There is no longer BHT in the Corn Chex cereal!  I am so excited!!  They are using Vitamin E as a preservative instead.  Which is what they use to preserve the Honey Nut Cheerios too.

Someone is listening.  And for that I am Thankful!  So, just a little blessing in our lives today.  We can have Corn Chex again!!  Yay!

Happy Day!

#cornchex #glutenfreedyefreebhtfree

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The joy of childhood

We celebrated our youngest child's birthday last night with family.  Our sweet four year old requested balloons, chocolate chip cake, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream. Wish granted!  She is at a stage where she loves EVERYTHING!  She would be happy with matchbox cars.  She is so easy to please. She loves the Mylar balloons filled with helium that she can carry around the house.  She loves the cute little candles on the cake.  She loves blowing out the candles to make a wish.

When she is happy...she is so very happy!

The BEST part of the evening was that she was so excited to open each gift.  Everyone enjoyed watching her open her gifts.  It was very entertaining.  Papa, Gramma, Great Gramma, siblings and Aunt were all taken with her.  She was precious! We were all chuckling at her cuteness.

She exclaimed in her cute little girl voice, "Thank you sooooo much!" She gasped in surprise at the Care Bear in the box.  She hugged each toy.  She squealed in delight, "It's just what I always wanted!"  She was so happy that she even hugged each card. She wanted each toy opened right away, but we reminded her to wait until she opened all of her gifts.

Yeah.  It was adorable!

And then she, her sister and her Daddy played with the new toys together.  It was comical and awesome. But their Daddy is hilarious sometimes! They have the best Daddy in the entire world.  I may be just a little biased.  ;) #bestdaddyintheworld

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The gratitude challenge

Today I am taking the gratitude challenge found on Scott Moore's page and posted on facebook by my older sister, Dawn.

I love my absolutely wonderful, sweet, kind, goofy, silly, helpful and amazing husband.  There aren't enough words to describe the love that I have for this awesome man.  I love that our love has grown in a way that I could never have imagined it.  He is my best friend.  He is my confident. He is my sidekick.  He is my handyman...when he knows how to fix things.  Haha.  He is the most amazing dad.  His love for me is surprising, as he sees my faults and shortcomings.  He is forgiving and simply the perfect match for me.

I love my Dad.  I love that he took the time to cultivate a great love of nature in each of us girls.  I love that he is a jack of all trades kind of guy.  He almost always knows how to fix everything.  I love that he would do just about anything for just about anyone.  I love how he taught us to serve others.  I love that he taught us to appreciate our talents.  I love how he loves my kids.  I love that he has a love of learning and reading.

I love my Mom.  I love that she loves us kids with everything she has, and then some.  I love that she taught me how to be a good mom and to put my children first.  I love that she laughs with us.  I love that when she is tired you can get her laughing so hard she's got tears running down her face and can't stop.  I love that she is my friend.  I love that she listens to me.  I love that she has been my shoulder to cry on. I love that she is there to listen to my successes.  I love how she loves my children.

I love that I grew up in a home with only sisters and that we had to do hard work because there were no brothers to do it for us. I love the value of hard work. I love that my sisters and I can have fun together.  And even though our beliefs may be different and our lifestyles may be different we love each other.

I love my kids.  I love that each one of my 6 children is unique.  I love that each of them has their own talents.  I love that the oldest is such an amazing and talented artist like my oldest sister, Yvette.  I love that he is a good, kind, and thoughtful person.  I love that my 2nd son is so full of life and love.  I love that he can make friends with just about anyone.  I love that he smiles so much.  I love that my 3rd son has Autism, because without he wouldn't quite be the same.  I love that he is funny and makes us laugh.  I love that he is a rule follower.  I love that he loves his siblings. I love that my 4th son is so athletic and loves almost any sport that he tries. I love that he is so full of energy and loves to be out doors.  I love that he can be thoughtful, kind and helpful.  I love my oldest daughter who is my first curly girl.  I love that she loves to snuggle and loves to laugh.  I love that she loves to play pretend with her sister.  I love my youngest little girl.  I love that she is my second curly girl.  I love that she is so silly and happy and sweet.  I love that she makes everyone smile.

I love family, near and far away.  I love friends who have become family but who have no blood relation...but we've unofficially adopted them.

I love the Holidays.  I love baking. I love making goodies for people.  I love to see the smile spread across their face when they taste something yummy that I made for them.  I love the joy and magic of Christmas.  I love the spirit of Christmas that many people have.

I love snow.  I love seeing the white flakes falling from the sky for the first time each year.  It makes me smile every time.  I love making snow men, and snow forts, and snowballs, and sledding, and shoveling.  I love watching my cold breath at it turns to ice in the air.  I love laying on the snow and looking up at the stars.  I love how winter is magical.

I love having the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the guiding light in my life.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Some days are just rough

Before I ever was married or had a family I had this idea in my head of what it was going to be like to have a family.  It was magical.  It was wonderful.  And there was a lot of joy and laughter all the time.  It was a fairy tale.  And it was not very realistic.

I met my knight in shining armor and what could be better.  Nothing.  Right?  Then we had our first child.  And we were so happy.  Until that little tiny bundle started screaming all the time.  And some days I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

There have been many days over the past 17 1/2 years when I have questioned my decision to have a family.  Of course those doubts usually float away almost as quickly as they come.  I know in my heart that this is exactly what I was meant to do and where I was meant to be.  There is so much joy. Happiness. Laughter. Smiles. And love.  There are days that it really is a fairy tale.

Recently I have been really struggling with my seven year old daughter.  She is a sweet and wonderful angel at school, on the bus, and at church.  Almost as soon as she walks through the door she begins growling at everyone. Stomping her feet.  Screaming bloody murder at them when things don't go her way.  And throwing huge temper tantrums that I would expect from my 4 year old.

The mornings are unbelievably rough.  I've tried so many different things to try to get her to be more pleasant and happy.  I've played soft music.  I've rubbed her back. I've snuggled with her.  I talked calmly while she whines and gets angry at me.  This morning after 25 minutes of trying desperately to get her to get dressed, I finally yelled.

I absolutely hate when this happens.  As soon as I allow myself to give away my control, to the unseen evil one, I know I've made a mistake.  I feel awful.  And I dislike it.

This morning I ended up in tears.  I want so badly for her to make good choices. I want her to be happy.  And yet so many mornings have ended with me blowing my top and getting angry.

I've been pondering and praying daily about this.  But this morning's prayers were different.  I was desperate as I plead with my Heavenly Father for ideas. For solutions. For guidance and answers.

And when I was weighed down in my sorrow at allowing myself to make poor choices,  I picked up my sleepy four year old and she sweetly said, "I missed you mommy," as she snuggled into my shoulder and sucked her thumb, while rubbing the edge of my t-shirt.  And then I was reminded of the sweet blessings that come from having a family.

There are many blessed moments when it is like a fairy tale...for a short while.  And it's those moments I cling to when I'm struggling to remember why I chose to be a mom.  It's the good times that help us make it through the hard times.

A thought came to me after praying today.  It was this: I should try to involve my 7 year old in helping me bake or cook. So, with Thanksgiving coming this week I think it's a perfect time to allow her to spend some time helping in the kitchen.  I'm thankful for prayer and for a loving Father in Heaven who sends us guidance.

And so to start my day off with a bit of a boost I listened to Rachel Platten's Fight Song up loud while I did my planks.  It helps me remember that I CAN DO THIS!!

Have a beautiful day!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Perspective is everything

Last night I attended a wonderful Stake leadership training meeting for our church.  (A Stake=several congregations)

Many times I have been to these meetings where they split us up.  Presidents meet.  1st counselors meet.  2nd counselors meet.  And secretaries meet.  They then each gain new ideas that they can take home and use in their service in the church.  This time, though, we all stayed together and had a fantastic discussion.  The discussion was based on an article called "The Fourth Missionary" by Lawrence E. Corbridge.

This article talks about missionary work and what kind of missionary we want to be.  The Stake Relief Society presidency applied it to each of us and how we fulfill our church callings. (A "calling" is a job in the church that the Bishop or Stake President asks us to do.)

They were speaking and asking questions and I was madly scribbling down notes.  It was all about self improvement.  We all can be better people.  None of us is perfect.  We each have room to grow, learn, stretch and improve.  And I LOVED how these awesome sisters presented it. (Sisters:this is how we refer to women in the church...we are all sisters in the gospel.)

One sister  in the audience commented (I'm paraphrasing here.  I can't remember her exact words.) that when we are simply checking off our to-do list or our check list our hearts are really not in it.  We are just going through the motions.  Our check lists are huge.  We never can seem to get them done.  She said, "my checklist runneth over". Haha! I LOVED that!  It's so true! When we throw out the check list and begin to really give away our "will" to the Father and allow His will to take over we will be so very blessed.  And we get more accomplished.  And our perspective changes.

A counselor in the Stake RS Presidency asked, "Who are you going to be"? When we are standing in front of the Savior and all of the day-to-day things are no longer "defining" us....who will we be? We are not what we do: laundry, dishes, diaper changer, mom, wife,chauffeur, cook, baker, etc, etc, etc.  Who are we really?  What are our qualities?  How are we becoming more like the Savior?

I love that this really made me think about the person I am becoming.

I loved this quote that was shared:
"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." By Ezra Taft Benson

There was a time a couple of years ago that I used this phrase a lot: "It's all about perspective!" I love that this lesson changed my perspective and helped me to see some of the things that I need to change in my life so that I can become more like the Savior.  Perspective is everything!
Image by Greg Olsen

A cure for boredom

Thursday was so busy and hectic that I never did get to finish my post for the day.  I decided to go ahead and do it today.

Wednesday night, while the three older boys were at Scouts, my 11 year old son was so bored.  Boy oh boy!!  He dislikes not being old enough to participate in the fun activities that the older boys get to have at church.

It had been a very busy day.  I was hoping to sit and have some time to just rest before bed.  A thought popped into my head.  I could play a game with him.  So, I offered to play Rummikub with him.  He was very excited!

This young man is so good at games.  Even if I had really been wide awake and more coherent he still would have beat me.  He takes games very seriously.  Sometimes I tease him that I think he's cheating.  But really, he's just really competitive and good at sports and games.

Here he is concentrating very hard...He's so serious...

We played two hands and he won both times.  This is the face of victory!

Wednesday was our youngest's 4th birthday.  This awesome kid was so sweet to his little sister and let her have complete control of the the TV and Netflix in the family room because it was her birthday.  What a great kid!

And here is the birthday girl...Queen of the Pumpkin!

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Too Funny!

I have never been funny.  I am only funny by accident.  I'm actually quite serious.  I think it's the OCD and the introvert in me. If I'm going to put myself out there then I need to know that the response will be positive.  But the response depends completely on your audience.  Maybe I should simply stick to my family and close friends to try my un-clever-ness on.

Over the years I have tried to be funny. Oh boy!  THAT doesn't work well for me. I'm not quick witted.  In fact, when I try to be funny I get strange looks from people.

I have wished that I was funny.  I wanted so badly to be able to come up with something clever to say.  On a rare occasion it happens.  But don't ask me to duplicate it.  Haha!  It's almost impossible.  It's only accidental!

When someone laughs at something I say, I'm surprised.  Was that really from me?  Did they ACTUALLY find what I said to be humorous?  Weird!  haha!

I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate those who have been blessed with a quick wit. I can appreciate that it is a talent that some have been given.  And I can surround myself with people who are amusing, clever, and humorous.  In fact, I am blessed with a husband who attracted me to him using his humor.
We met at a singles conference held in Maine.  It was the first Regional Conference held near me.  My mom pushed me to go.  I resisted, but eventually decided to go.  As most introverts do, I needed a buddy to go along with me.  I dragged my sister and a friend from church and we went.  When we entered the building I spotted a girl near my age whom I had met previously and I liked.  She was standing in a circle of boys.  She was the only girl in the circle and seemed to have all eyes and attention on her.  I walked up and said hello to her and to the onlooking boys.  That evening we were learning to line dance.  One of the guys from the circle, Todd, whom I had noticed, started out the line dancing across the gym from me.  By the end of the lesson he was dancing right next to me.  I don't remember what we talked about.  I don't even remember who else was there.  But I do remember that he tripped over every chair and doorway he came near.  He had me laughing the entire time.

The next day the singles conference group spent the day exploring at the Portland Headlight.  It's a beautiful lighthouse.  On the grounds near the lighthouse are some old buildings that are really fun to explore.  I walked away from the group to see if Todd would follow.  Of course he did.  And when he would walk away from the group, I followed him.  By Sunday morning, and the end of the conference, we were together almost all the time.  About 2 1/2 weeks later we were engaged.  Yeah, I know, it was fast.  But when you know, YOU KNOW.

Not only does he keep me laughing, but our kids have learned to be funny too.  Our third son, who has Autism, is hilarious.  He definitely got that from his dad!! Since we moved back to Maine, he rides to school with my sister.  She has called me or texted me several times to tell me about something funny he has said.

One day she drove by his school and noticed that there were fire trucks outside.  After school she asked him what happened.  He replied, "Humpty Dumpty caught on fire." She said, "No seriously, what happened?" And he said, "No seriously! They were cooking eggs and POOF!  They caught on fire!"

Oh!  We had a great laugh about that one.  HE is clever.

Yesterday I took him for his well-child visit at the doctor's office.  Just before we went in I noticed that his face had black specks all over it.  I asked, "What did you do in school today?  You're covered in dirt!" He chuckled and replied, "We jumped in a pile of leaves." I handed him my phone, in selfie mode, so he could see the dirt and brush it off.  He proceeded to make silly faces at the camera...so much like his dad. He snapped a picture and said, "Hey!  It's my first selfie!" Haha!  What a great kid! Then he asked if he could have his own phone.  ;) Not likely.  But good try, buddy!

His first selfie!

So, on that note...I hope that your life has humor, laughter, and silliness.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I love it when it works!

Don't you just hate it when a favorite piece of clothing gets stuck under a wet towel and ends up with mildew on it?!?!  It makes me so sad!

My youngest daughter has the cutest black and white zebra print leggings that she wears regularly.  She spilled "warm chocolate" all down the front of them.  I rinsed them and hung them on the towel basket.  Big mistake!! They got knocked down inside the basket with a wet towel or rag against them.  When I found them I thought for sure I would have to throw them away.

I soaked them in OxyClean, which usually does the trick, but the stain didn't budge.  I bought a couple of lemons and followed a trick from Pinterest where you pour salt onto the mildew, squeeze the fresh lemon juice onto it and scrub it in.  Then I let it dry. After washing the stain was only faded a little bit. So, I tried it a second time.  No luck.

So frustrating.

Then I had a Norwex home show and my friend who was doing the amazing demonstration suggested I try making a paste out of the Norwex laundry detergent and rubbing it onto the stain.  Let it dry.  And then wash it.  I tried that and the mildew stain got lighter, but it wasn't gone.  I decided to try it again.  I made a paste and rubbed it into the stains.  It was a bright sunny day so I decided to lay it on the deck railing because I knew that sun could take out stains too.  I thought, maybe the combination of the two would get rid of the mildew enough so that I could salvage these poor leggings.

Those leggings sat outside in the sun all day...and then on the counter for about a week. Just yesterday when my husband washed clothing he threw those in with our white clothes.  I forgot to tell him to make sure and check them before drying them.  This morning I was so thrilled to find that they came out clean!  The mildew and hot chocolate stains are GONE!!!  Yay!!!

The mildew before the Norwex paste.

After Norwex laundry detergent paste was applied two times along with sitting them in the sun the second time.

The leggings look brighter and cleaner than they have in months!  Amazing!