Sunday, November 15, 2009

it's magic...

it truly is magic. of course, i'm speaking of the magic eraser by mr. clean.

if my arm wasn't so tired from scrubbing the cabinets & countertops that caroline decorated with permanent marker, i'd take pictures & show you how spotless they are now. but i'm typing with one arm, so there will be no pictures. (it's magic, but it doesn't scrub by itself!)

happy sunday night, everyone!


some things i'm working on:

a less critical nature.

a more joyful heart.

less laziness in the areas that really matter.

more laziness towards the things that have no eternal value.

in the spirit of the latter, i give you:


yes, my house is on the market. wonder why no one has bought it yet... a small person could survive for weeks under my couch.
i'm a work in progress... thanks for loving me, friends!

she's on a roll

not much napping happened that day... that's chalk on her wall.
why did i let her take chalk to her room?

what happened when i left the house...

what kind of marker do YOU think it was??? yup. sharpie.

at least it's just the house we're trying to sell... HA!
happy sunday, everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


getting a little snuggle time with daddy.


i love that julia can be occupied with one leaf, one flower pot, and lots of dirt for 15 minutes at a time... what a great way to spend a warm fall day.

clean blinds!

i haven't been doing completely nothing for the new house... just very little in the last 2 weeks. we are still planning to move in on the 21st, but when matt is busy with work i can't get over there to do much work. the girls can't really be there when i'm painting, obviously, and it's not really safe to let them run around right now. no outlet covers, no gates on the stairs, no childproofed toilets or doors (julia is a master at slamming her fingers in anything with a hinge)... plus, the floors are really slippery with dust & dirt. it's really one big 'no-no' for my girls right now, so we've been staying away!

i have made a little progress, though... i took down the wood blinds from 4 rooms and brought them home to clean. YUCK. keep in mind that the house had been vacant for a while before we purchased it. then remember that we have been doing work on it for 6 months. and i think the blinds might have been pretty dirty before the house was even vacated... there was some pretty funky stuff on there. YUCK is an understatement, really.

i looked online for hints about cleaning dirty blinds- ammonia, vinegar, mild dish detergent... i tried them all. that was okay, but they were still a little gray & sticky. the cords were brown. so don't get mad at me... i turned to my old love, my 'very bad for the environment & for my family' solution:

i know. hate me- but it is the ONLY thing that worked on these nasty blinds.
and hate me even more- i don't have after pictures of my clean blinds! i temporarily lost my camera (julia stole it & put it inside a bag, into a basket & covered it with stuffed animals), so i missed the best pictures of all: sparkly clean blinds hanging from rafters all around our basement! such a lovely sight. but i'll take pictures when they are hanging in our newly cleaned windows at the house!

Friday, November 6, 2009


old house...

new house...

as we plan for our move to the new house, i realized that i have an idealized picture of what our life will be like when we live there...

the girls will happily work on art projects in the family room and eat fresh veggies while seated at the breakfast bar.

i will create amazingly healthy & delicious meals in our new kitchen- mostly using vegetables & herbs from our new garden which will be grown entirely from our own compost.

we will host groups & gatherings often, and the evenings will end with everyone gathered around the piano with smiles on their faces.

matt will work from his new home office & it will inspire the beginning of his wildly successful career as author & international speaker.

our pets will lie happily in the sunshine and cease creating enormous hairballs.

it will be all i've ever wanted a home to be: warm, welcoming, comfortable... not to mention self-cleaning & generally maintenance free. and it will always smell good.

in short, this home will make my life better & make me a better person.


i know. not likely. i was given some wise words once:
"you take yourself with you wherever you go."

meaning: no physical place will change YOU- what's really, truly inside your heart.

stupid wise words. hate 'em! but i believe they are true. while our new home will provide us with some wonderful things, it won't satisfy the deepest longings of my heart. my Hope is not in my home..

so here is what i'm realistically looking forward to at our new home:
1. a TON more storage & prep space in our kitchen. no, i won't become a gourmet chef overnight, but i will be more likely to try something new if my appliances & large pans are not stored in the basement!

2. a real office space for matt. he has patiently endured his "office" in the basement at our current home- freezing in the winter, wet in the spring & fall, infested with spiders & grasshoppers at all times, smelling of kitty poo frequently. now that he is graduating from seminary and working full time for our church, i think he'll enjoy a place where he can close the door & think! plus, he can preach his sermons out loud & not worry about waking me up. : )

3. separate living room & family room. it's a small thing, but i like that our television will be in the family room and our living room will be a separate gathering place.

4. PLAYROOM! i know that toys will still be everywhere, but it's so great to have a room dedicated to FUN.

5. an actual master suite. we are blessed to have 2 baths at our current home, but i'm looking forward to our own bathroom in our room! the half bath on the main floor is small, but it's just the right size for that "we have visitors coming, clean the bathroom quickly" moment that we all have!

6. main floor laundry. no explanation necessary, i assume.

7. a little more space. i'm not a HUGE home kind of person- i want to see my family together in one place. i don't want tv and computer in every room or so much square footage that i have to have an intercom to find my kids. and i know my kids and pets will still be under my feet while i cook and fold laundry... but they will also have the option to lay out a puzzle on the floor or roll a ball down the hallway.

8. the yard is a blank slate. i will miss our current yard with it's beautiful mature trees and perennials, but i'm excited to plan and develop gardens & play areas at our new home! the budget will be small, of course, but that's part of the fun... how to get a lot for a little.

i know there are other things i will enjoy about our new home, and there are definitely things i will miss about this one. i know i will get tired of working on the new house & think of how nice it was to live in a finished home! but it's an remarkable step we're about to take... a little crazy, and really exciting!

moving day: saturday, november 21
all day...
and it's a DIY move, so all our friends are welcome to come help!
or just come by for a sneak peek & a hug- those are always welcome, too.

(some pre-AFTER pictures coming soon: after construction, after painting, but pre-furniture & 'nesting.')

i'm linking this to The Inspired Room for Beautiful Life Friday. it's a great blog- you should check it out!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

halloween 2009

i don't love halloween, but i do love how much caroline enjoys dressing up & getting candy! so starting in september, i asked her every few days what she wanted to be for halloween. sometimes it was a princess, sometimes a rhino. but it changed every time. sometimes she changed her mind more than once a day- more than 5 times a day. this alarmed me... i'm not a "sew your kids costumes" kind of mommy. maybe someday- maybe not though. how were we going to get a costume that she'd like (and we could afford) when she changed her mind every 10 minutes?!
i decided to buy a Snow White costume at Target when they were on sale... then not show it to her until October 30. i figured she'd LOVE it & be so excited to wear it for Halloween. she did love it. she wore it for 24 hours & then refused to wear it for trick or treating. go figure...

so introducing... Caroline in my dance costume from when i was 6 years old. that's an old costume! and she said she was Sleeping Beauty- see the tiara? julia was a bumblebee... because that's what we had in her size. ha! next year could be problematic if she is half as 'creative' as caroline is!

this is the best picture i have of the trick or treat crew!

hooray for candy!!

mom, what is this on my head??

and there's something on my back, too!

don't worry- i'll get it. hold still...

on our way...

Sleeping Beauty & Enthusiastic Bills Fan (daddy)

too much sugar. but cute, right?!

WAY too much sugar- a little more maniacal here...

Happy November Everyone!

Monday, November 2, 2009


caroline is one of those girls who doesn't just love to get dirty. she doesn't love playing in the dirt, she didn't like the beach because of the sand, and she doesn't want her princess clothes to get messy. have you noticed that she's wearing a tiara in all of these pictures? right. she's been wearing it SINCE MARCH. literally.
so s'mores were a hazardous venture for this little princess... but she was excited about trying it when she heard what they involved:
chocolate, marshmallow & graham crackers? and i get to stick them in the fire? awesome!

the first bite...

seems to be enjoying it- examining the interior of her treat.

hmmm- what's this?

another bite- see the delicate grasp she has on it? princess- all the way.

she notices a bit of marshmallow on her hand...
and she is not entirely pleased with this.

tries to wipe it off...

she is not happy anymore!

she whispered to me, "mommy, i'm all done."

baby wipes...

and we're happy again!