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