Saturday, February 28, 2009

Redneck Before's and After's

So I thought I'd revive my popular Before/After series for ya'll.

The Family Room Floor Before...


And the Family room After I shaved off T-rev's mop.


Time for a shout out to my neighbor Jewel's who gave me her old hair clippers last summer. I'm convinced that oldies are the best. They sliced through T-rev's hair like a knife through butter. All the newer one's I've ever tried, and killed the motor on, have got jammed on my boys (thicker than horse hair) locks, but these were swell. Now I'm lining up the other Shaggy-Do's in the house so I can buzz them too.

Yes, I did clean the floor when I was done.

O.K. The next before shot...

Our TEMPORARY red-neck kitchen before...


Complete with 2X4 sink stand and camp-table countertop.

Now before ya get too excited about the after results. Let me warn you it's still not pretty to look at...

In fact it' downright deplorable. But I did it on advice from my Young and Gorgeous Counselor because we both agreed that three months of me doing all the dishes for my entire hilly-billy herd was enough. I wouldn't let anyone else do them because I was afraid of slops and spills on the lovely subfloor. Couldn't have another warp-rot on my hands, now could I?

So $5 worth of (pretty as a forest floor) tablecloth vinyl , and some good old duct tape later...



A kitchen floor just waiting for kids to do their own darn dishes and a place for Hope to pretend swim on.

Better still, more time for mom = worth ever red cent.

Last but not least. I've been so crazy busy that Lea decided to do her own 'before' an 'after' pictures of one of her jobs today. Just to prove to me she did it before it got mucked up again.

Bottom of the stairs that greet any visitin' guests as they walk in the front door of our hovel. Ahhhh Before...


And now for Lea's after shot...


Thank goodness the camera was out of focus. Or otherwise I'd be embarrassed to admit that the stupid carpet needs a deep clean like never before.

Well there you have it folks. My 'before's' and 'after's'. Tune back in next week and see our next batch of redneck re-do's.

Oh and - 1 more day of being unplugged - We survived!?! Can't wait to come visit all your blogs again. That is if you can stand the company?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I love Irony

  I love irony

I have to love it.  It surrounds my every waking moment.

irony def

For example.  Being Unplugged = No electronic entertainment for the month of Feb.  Of course we said email was the exception.  Lo and behold Lea suddenly was very interested in emailing.  Now I've got to rethink the definition of unplugged.  It get's muddier every day.


The irony of Bedtime. 


It really means playtime to Hope and her sisters.

This is Princess an hour after she is supposed to be dreaming princess dreams being caught teasing her older sister.


We recently had some 'family fun time,' playing card games with the little girls.  Here's what our family fun looked like this evening.


Looks fun doesn't it.  To be honest both Prince Erik and I were bushed.   Usually we fake smile for Family fun time. 

More irony would have to be Kid's Homework.

dad book report

They should really call it parent homework because the kids can't do it without us.  If only I could get school credit for all the hours of hand-holding I've done over the years.  I'd have my PHD by now.  Here's poor Prince Erik acting the Hippie Dude News Reporter for Evo-man's video book report interview.

So because there's so much irony here we have to love it right?


Friday, February 20, 2009

A Day late and a...

Well we won't even go into the shortage of dollars discussion. 

I was reading to my girls last night as I put them to bed and I made error of reading to them while sitting in my bed.   Apparently my reading was so boring we all fell asleep.  Including me... at 8 p.m.  So I neglected to announce the winner of my insufferable contest.

Random # 12 came up which means Keri-Ann won this little necklace and earring set...


Along with a little motivational angel.


Yeah for Keri-Ann!  I have to mention that Keri-Ann is one of my motivational muses.  She had 5 kids 5 and under when I met her (twinners included).  I don't think I ever see her without a beautiful smile on her face.  My first 5 were spread out over the course of 13 years and they tuckered me out daily.  Sadly my smile was more of a grimace.  Working on it though. So today in honor of Keri-Ann's win I'm going to SMILE!  Even when my herd drives me bonkers I'm going to Smile.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When I grow up...

I want to have the cleaning energy of my Dear Mom-In-Law.  She and Pompa came to visit our family last weekend 'Just Because'.  It was wonderful.  I so dislike living so far away from all our family.  Once a year visits are not enough.  I remember going to my Grandparents every Sunday evening as a child.  Playing with their lego's and fighting my siblings over who got to sit in the child-sized chair hiding in the bathroom.

I've been kicking myself since they left Monday because I neglected to take any real pictures to commemorate their visit.  Not one picture of Pompa playing chess with my kids,  showing them magic card tricks, or teaching them how to memorize any ten things.  NOTHING!  What is wrong with me.  I'm not usually that forgetful.   I can't believe I didn't get pictures!!!

I did get a couple of Mom as she helped with the Tea Party in my red neck kitchen.


I have found some sweet memories of their visit as I stroll around the house.  For instance...


The door Grandma helped Princess clean that's probably only had a rag on it a couple of times in the dozen years we've lived here.



Clean carpet edges.  I don't have a vacuum with an edger and I've lost the attachments to the mini-vac.  That didn't stop Mom from taking a broom to the carpet edges to tidy them up.

After they were gone I found that she had refolded my entire hap-hazard linen closet.


She even tacked down the peeling kitchen floor (Major trip hazard). 

You know, I don't recall her really sitting down the entire time they were here.  I need to know where she get's her energy.  I'm tired just thinking about all the things she helped me with.  But so, so  grateful.

Well, until I find her secret bottled formula for energy I'll bask in the memories as I find her loving touch around our home, and hope that when I grow up I can be more like her.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Swap Happy

So I participated in my first ever apron swap...

kisses and hearts

Hosted by Aunt Pitty Pat and am tickled pink in more ways than one. My swap partner was Maria from Canada and I so wish she had a blog so I could see more of her work, because the package she sent me was adorable.


I'm going to have so much fun wearing this sweet apron. It sings of Spring.

Sweet Maria also sent me some wonderful craft goodies. I'm especially excited about the button's, ribbon and barrettes. I can just smell hair bows for my girls. I forgot to take a picture of the darling quilt pattern she gave me. A cute country threads 'Over the River' pattern that I must add to my 'to-do' list.


Here's part of me trying on the apron. Love it.


The apron I sent Maria I made to fit her hobby of quilting.

Now I know why I don't quilt that often. It takes a lot of patience.


Maria's favorite colors are green and brown so guess what color her apron is?

And since she's a quilter I made quilted pockets for her to keep her sewing goodies in. I also made the width of the apron skirt to be as close as I could get to measureing 1 yard. I would have sewn a measuring tape on it but I couldn't find one that matched the material.

I'm always misplacing my scissors and pins so I made some button & fabric strips attachments to hold her's.


And of course I send a few more goodies. Like little squares of left-over fabric. Maybe she could quilt a matching pin-cushion. I had to include a new find. A Fiskar's 12 in 1 sewing tool that you can take with you anywhere you go. I must get one of these for myself soon, then figure out how to attach it to myself so I don't lose it.


Anyway it was a truly wonderful swap and now I'm itching for more.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Husband - The Closet Blogger

So I got a big surprise this morning when this strange blog person left a message on my last post saying that he loved me. A bit mystified, I thought I'd better check out the guys blog before I told my husband about my secret admirer. I also worried that maybe I need to be a bit more truthful in my blogs about all the things I don't do well, as to not confuse strange guys into thinking that I'm the perfect catch. Great now some weirdo thinks he loves me.

Turns out the secret admirer was my husband. Whew! He's been blogging in secret for the past 14 days, getting ideas from many creative and marvelous ladies along the way. All leading up to today.

I was totally surprised. And I can honestly say that this has been my best Valentine's Day EVER!!! All because of the last 13 days leading up to it.

Traditionally Valentines Day has kind of stunk big time for me. All because, back in college, my best friend popped the big question to some other girl. I lucked out and she said no and long story short my best friend finally saw the light and ended up marrying me. But because of that I hated Valentines Day for years. Every year growing more disgusted with the heart shaped box of chocolates and roses. They just seemed like afterthoughts and obligatory gifts and not something truly from the heart of the admirer. My Prince of a Husband tried every year to play the dutiful husband on this day. Some years meeting with more success than others - but I couldn't help myself. I was the Grinch who stole Valentines Day.

Then this year happened and every day he gave me really meaningful little gifts. My favorite was the Nothing day when I had to do absolutely Nothing one morning and he got all the kids up, helped them dress in matching clothes (which is pretty amazing if you know his sense of style), fed them, and sent them off to school.

Some of my other favorite days were where he gave me babysitting coupons during the day, preferably around his lunch hour and with advance notice, where he would watch Miss Hope for me so I could go shopping or see my Young and Gorgeous Counselor. How cool is that. Oh, and the day he decided to do yard clean-up work. Now that was a shocker. Because he's been out in the yard maybe twice in last year. The boy was really trying hard.

My least favorite day was the day when he gave me a game to play with the kids. A game that since then, we've played nearly every day and I quite enjoy it. However my irrational mind was a bit affronted when he handed me a 'Pass the Pig' game. 'Pass the Pig', I thought, ' Was he trying to say I was a pig?' All irrational, silly thoughts on my part because I know he would never try anything ever like that.

So the build up to Valentines day this year has made me feel pampered, loved, needed, appreciated, etc. How lucky am I to have such an awesome guy???

Many thanks to everyone who gave him suggestions, ideas, and encouragement. You all totally rock!

My gift to him was very simple. I secretly took all the kids out and tried to take some decent pictures of each of them. Something that he could take to his office and see everyday. My thanks to him for the six most wonderful Valentines he's ever given me.










Princess and,



It hasn't always been easy. The pictures are the proof. Life is normally like this with these kids.


'Fine, I'll look happy for you mom, but...'


'I really hate it when you take my picture. Talk about torture.


Maybe if I pose like Spiderman, she'll leave me alone.'


'Your crazy, you know. This is not a dignified pose for a teenage boy.'


'Which way am I supposed to look?'


'No, I will not hold still. Model's constantly move around in photo shoots.'



I can't tell you what a satisfied smirk I had on my face as I walked through the local store today and saw all the other guys milling around the card and flower sections. Patting myself on the back for getting such a great guy. My grin faded away when I realized that I was there waiting for my valentine pictures to print (my gift to him), because I was a last minute kind-of gal this year.

My prince has told me not to expect this kind of wonderful treatment every year. I nearly wore him out. That's O.k., cause I know in his heart he loves me no matter what. That and I think that next year it's my turn to try pulling off the 14 days of Valentine for him.

Love you Prince Erik!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tea Party - Princess Style

Today Princess had her first Tea Party.


Or maybe I should say Punch Party. She donned her apron and we spent the morning in the kitchen making all our last minute goodies. Recipes Here.


Once the food was made we pulled out our favorite serving dishes. See what you can make with a candlestick, fluted plate and a little clear adhesive caulk.


And we pulled out all our favorite tea sets...


and linens.


Put them all together.


Princess got lucky because her Tea Party happened to fall on the same weekend that Grandma came to visit. Lucky because Grandma likes to help clean up all our food making messes.


Then she laid out treats for each of her guests.


And patiently waited for her friends to arrive.


She didn't have to wait long.


The little princess guests also brought their Mommies to keep me company.


The girls and I went all out trying to make a fun little Mommy and Me Tea Party. I don't have special occasion parties very often but I do try to make them really nice when I do. 'Just Because' parties are my favorite. Lea had a tea party when she was six too, and I'm sure that Hope will have one as well.

Now I'm brainstorming a May Day Party - Hmm, does anyone have a May Pole I could borrow?