Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Day of November

How did that happen already?  Ugh.

Kade finally talked me into hauling out the tree today.  Actually, I brought it up on my own knowing he'd be asking for it when he got home.

We pulled it out of the box and checked the lights.  It's a pre-lit tree.  Last year we had several lights that didn't work.  It's not supposed to do that but you know how things go.  I was frustrated when the two bottom sections wouldn't stay lit.  They'd come on for 10 seconds when you first plugged them in and then they were out for good.  Grr.  I was about to run out and get a new one.  I know that's a little rash but I just didn't want to deal with it.  I was in a good mood all morning and early afternoon.  I didn't want to be grouch because of a tree.  Somehow the idea came up that we could remove all the lights and put on our own, which we have plenty of.  Mickey and the reds took care of the removal for me since I seem to be allergic to the fake tree.

Unlighting the Tree

They had wire cutters and scissors cutting at the strands of lights.  The bottoms sections are now unlit.  I will tackle that tomorrow, probably.

Don't you just love the cream walls?  I'm going to paint this room in January now that I have found my color.  Can't wait.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Revamped Art

A few weeks ago I was out looking for some stuff for the house.  (I feel like I've been doing that a lot lately.  And a lot of looking doesn't mean a lot of finds.)  I walked through the clearance section at the JC Penney Home store to see what they had.  There was something that caught my eye although it was totally ugly.  It was a set of three frames with some kind of odd art in them.  The "bones" of the frame set is what caught my attention and then my mind starting making plans.  I looked at the price tag and had to laugh.  The original price was $200 and it was marked down to $18 and change.  That's more than 90% off!  I couldn't pass it up.  When can you get three nice shaped frames for around $6 a piece?  Almost never.  Here's what they looked like before.


I really don't know what Cindy Crawford was thinking when these were designed or why she'd try to sell them for $200.  Would you buy them?  The frames are PLASTIC.

Are you wondering what was going through my mind?  Spray paint. I had some black left from another project and used it on the frames after I tore them apart.  I even painted the mats, using the purple from the wall on the smaller mat.  Then came the hard part, finding the art to go inside.  After searching and searching and finding two different options that didn't work I went with scrapbook paper for now.  I can replace it when I find what I'm looking for.  Or if I take some awesome pictures in the future.  Now for the reveal.

Revamped Art II

For $20 I'm very happy with them.  They eat up a large amount of space on one wall in the dining room.  Now it doesn't look so empty in there.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catching the Christmas Spirit

Some years it takes me a while to get the Christmas Spirit.  It really irritates me that stores try to rush the season with their displays in October.  And July if you go to craft stores.  I'm just not ready.  I want to enjoy Fall and Thanksgiving.  I'm trying to ease myself into it this year.  (I'm listening to Christmas music while I blog.  That totally helps me.)  I was looking through a catalog about a week ago and saw a nativity statue I liked.  I mentioned it to Mickey, and him being the wonderful husband that he is, ordered it as a surprise for me.  It's been sitting on the kitchen table since it got here.  (Until the photo shoot, that is.)


How do you get into the Christmas Spirit?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Temple Trip

This was Meg's first Temple Trip.  We had a very small amount of youth go but we had plenty of adult support.  Mickey and I both went along with Mike (grandpa).  Thanks, Betty, for watching the reds.

Temple Trip

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pizza & Cards

The Friday after Thanksgiving is the day we get together with Mickey's family for pizza and games.  This year was low key, just his parents.  His sister and brother-in-law are off on some adventure in The Great White North, meaning a few less people wanting to play video games.  We had Papa John's and played Apples to Apples.

apples to apples

This game is hilarious and sometimes frustrating when playing with younger people who don't understand what the cards say/mean.  Even when adults play the results can look like children playing.  It all depends on your hand.  It's a lot of fun.

To end our evening we had Taffy Apple Pizza, in keeping with the theme.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Food & Family

Food & Family

I think that just about sums up our day.

We had 28 people in our house this afternoon.  Really, you would've never guessed it.  Well, until the video games got turned on and the noise volume doubled.  That seemed to be more entertaining that the football games.

After everyone left we read our scriptures for the day and said a few things that we are thankful for.  Then we popped some corn (that was dinner) and watched Ramona and Beezus.  It's probably the best and most wholesome family movie we've watched in a while.  (I don't think I missed anything.)

Happy Thanksgiving.

We're going to patiently wait for midnight and see what deals we can find online and sleep in tomorrow.  No crazy shopping for us.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bathroom Makeover

I got it done!  With a little help from those handy boys.

Here's the before.

Mn. Fl. Bath Before

Here's the after.

Mn. Fl. Bath After

I would still like to find a shelf to hang above the hand towel for extra towels and I'd love to get a medicine cabinet above the sink for storage too.  And, to please the (my) eye, a new soap dispenser.

Now that the kids are in bed.  (Thanks, Babe.)  I'm off to work on another project.  I will post about this some other time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's Calling to Me

Ready for bed

I can hear the big comfy bed calling to me.  My body wants nothing more than to climb in and sleep.  I don't spend enough time in bed.  But it will have to wait.  I still have things to do and places to go.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shopping List

At 8:35 this morning the door bell rang.  Normally I would not be happy to answer the door that early but today I was.  It was Mike, the drywall man.  He fixed our bathroom walls in less than two hours.  And he doesn't have to come back to sand!  Yippee.

After lunch I made a little list* of things I needed to finish the bathroom.

shopping list

Then I went out.  While shopping I got a few things without checking the list.  Before leaving I put my hand into my bag for the list to double check that I got everything...It wasn't there.  I left it at home.  (I seem to do that a lot.  I did, however, remember to take the paint sample, the coupons, and the raincheck.)  Because I had written things down the needed items were still pretty close to the front of my mind.  I did end up getting everything I needed.  And a few other things.

Update on the sick boys: Mickey and Kade had back to back doctor appts. today.  Mickey has crud in his head and Kade has crud in his chest.  Both are on good meds.  They should be feeling better in a few days.  At least they won't be contagious at Thanksgiving.

* I had to rewrite the list for the picture.  The original one had a Christmas gift on it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sick Boys

This is what our day was like.

Sick Boys

Lounging around being sick and watching the Colts loose.  Not a good day.

Meg was the only one to stay at church for all the meetings.  She also gave her first talk in Sacrament Meeting.  It was on Gratitude.  She did a great job.  I brought the reds home afterward.  Kade had a fever last night and I didn't want him around other kids even though he didn't this morning.  Good thing.  It came back tonight.  Guess he's home tomorrow as well.  Mickey was sent home.  He's tried to nap all day but didn't get much sleep.  I might insist he go to the doctor tomorrow.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jello Cake*

We haven't had a boring Saturday in...it seems like forever.  A few of us stayed in our jammies all day.  Three of us are sick and one is crippled (in a boot).

The bathroom make over is at a stand still.  When the wallpaper came off so did a lot of primer leaving bare drywall exposed.  I am not good at mudding and Mickey doesn't like to do it.  So we're waiting on the drywall man.  He should be here Monday morning.  If all goes well I should still have time to finish painting before Thursday.

Meg had a youth activity cleaning up a local park.  She did a lot of raking.

Mattey was bored.  She found a box of Jello in the pantry.  She begged me to make it.  I let her help.  She wanted one flavor (cherry) and Kade wanted another (blue raspberry).  We decided to layer them.

Jello Cake

The Jello cake* was our dessert.

*Jello cake is what Mattey called it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Crafter

Today was a day of missed photo ops.  First, I could have taken a picture of Mattey's homework left on the table after she was already on the bus.  Second, the raw nose on the sick little boy.  Third, the deer we saw on the way home from taking Mat her homework.  Fourth, Meg getting another xray (her third set this year) on her achy foot.  I'm sure the list could go on and on but I'll spare you.

Last night Mattey went with me to a service activity at church.  The girls aged 8-11 performed a song for the women and were invited to stay for the rest of the evening.  While there Mattey learned a new craft.  Or a twist on something she's done before.  Loom knitting.  She took to it really fast.  I had to help and then guide her a few times but then she was good to go.

Loom Knitting

She's been working on a newborn hat to donate to the hospital.  She's so excited about being able to do this.  After she finishes this hat she wants to make a hat for her baby cousin due in March.  Then she wants to learn to really knit.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Table for Five

When we got married many years ago we were given a table and 4 chairs.  I don't know how old that table was but we've used it for 17 years.  It has held up through lots of abuse.  We ended up buying new chairs a several years ago.  But when we added Kade to our family we didn't really have room for him.  Luckily he didn't know any better while he sat in his high chair.

We've been saying we need to get a bigger table for a while now.  Having Thanksgiving at our house has given me more reason to really start looking for a table.  About two weeks ago I went out and found one.  The delivery was scheduled for last Thursday.  The chairs were perfect.  The table...not so much.  The leaf was cracked and therefore broken.  Today a new and perfect one was delivered.

kitchen table

(I should have wiped it off before taking a picture.  Oh well.)

I love it.  There is a leaf hidden beneath the table.  When it's opened we can seat 8!  Now I'll be searching for some lovely placemats to protect the new table.

Added info: Here's the link for the table.  It's from JC Penney.  We did get it on sale and an extra 10% off with some coupon that's no longer valid.  With the leaf in the table is 54" square.  It also comes in a lighter finish.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hair Putty

On Sunday I saw and talked to the lady that cut everyone's hair not to long ago.  I asked her what product she used in Kade's hair.  We've been using gel but his hair is usually flat by the time he gets home from school.  She used some wax or pomade and then hair spray.  I went to the store and found something similar.  It's made for spiked hair.  We used it this morning.  It was easy to use and smelled very good, very manly.  As you can see.

Hair Putty

On the home decor front, I found a shower curtain and the wallpaper is now gone.  It was harder to get off than the dining room but I eventually figured out a good way to get it off.  I was on such a roll with the removal I went to my bathroom and took off the border.  I almost started on the last wallpapered spot but decided it could wait since I probably won't have time to paint it before next week's big dinner.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Developing Talents

That was the topic for Meg's Young Women activity tonight.  She was asked to bring in pictures of herself sharing or developing her various talents.  She mentioned needing the pictures to me on the way out of church.  That was Sunday, obviously.  Fast forward through my restful afternoon nap, through a busy Monday, and a busy Tuesday morning and afternoon to 5:30 p.m..  "Oh, I need pictures of my talents."  Is this how things go at your house?  Some times there is just too much going on.  Anyway, I volunteered to look for pictures so the Ms could eat and leave on time.

As part of the talent activity the girls made a collage with the pictures they brought.  Here's Meg's.

Meg's Collage

The talents represented are:  swimming/diving, soccer, softball, kayaking, basketball, photography, balloon twisting, crocheting, violin, and I'm guessing the cookies represent eating junk food.  I'm not sure what the snakes are all about but the dog is for her love for most things furry.  She sure does have lots of things to keep her busy.  Sounds like someone else I know.

Monday, November 15, 2010


If you've had their ice cream I don't need to say anything else.  But if you haven't...it's the best ice cream I've ever had.  We were thrilled to find out that a shop was coming to town.  It's in a new little shopping area by Notre Dame.

Tonight I combined my activity with Meg's treat and we got a trip to Kilwin's.  Pictured below is our order.


Can you guess who ordered what?  Here are the flavors:

1.  (the top left) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

2.  (the top right) Cookies and Cream

3.  (the bottom left)  Mint Chocolate Chip

4.  (the middle)  Traverse Cherry

5.  (bottom right)  Superman

The answer to who ate what.

1.  Megan

2.  Mickey

3.  Mattey

4.  Kelly

5.  Kade

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Drying Out

With the temperatures cooling off and the furnace being on we've had a lot of bloody noses already.  We need the moisture.  We are resorting to putting vaseline up our noses every night.  At least I am.  Was that too personal?

More Moisture

(Please note that the wall is dirty because it hasn't been painted yet.)

We put a small humidifier in the hall by the bedrooms but I don't know how well that'll work.  It's better than nothing.  We'll have to check the humidifier attached to the furnace.  It doesn't seem to being too much.  Good thing two brothers with heating and cooling skills will be coming over for Thanksgiving.

Speaking of that...I'm trying to decide if I really have time to tackle the main floor bathroom before turkey day.  It's not very big but it's covered in wallpaper.  My favorite.  Before I start the project though I need to find the shower curtain.  I need some inspiration for that room.  Anyone seen a great shower curtain lately?  Nothing too bold.  I'd like it to blend with the rest of the main floor.  But right now that's mostly cream.  Yuck.  Every time I look at the dining room I get all warm and fuzzy inside.  I really love it.  And then I notice how boring the foyer and kitchen are and I get depressed.  I'm sure that will encourage me to paint those places soon.  I know, a little at a time.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I find it very humorous when I announce I haven't got the potd yet and a few people jump in with suggestions.  Kade's the one with the most suggestions.  He'll come up with something silly to do just for me to take a picture.  Mattey has her share too.  Meg...doesn't speak up much, maybe because she's in her room reading, playing her ds, or twisting balloons.  Mickey, on rare occasion, has a good suggestion.

It was after 7 p.m. and I realized I had nothing.  We were getting a snack and thought that might work.

Orange Creme

If you like Dreamsicles you'll love this.  I found it last week and had to try it.  Just DON'T put it in the refrigerator like I did.  Keep it in the pantry.

After shooting the photo above Kade was making tangerine juice and said, "Hey, this should be the picture of the day."

Tangerine Juice

And I said, "Yeah, then I can say we got a new dog."

So now I need your help.  I need your vote so I can pick one picture for today.  I'll be printing this year's posts, someday, using this.  I can't wait to have it in book form.  It's going to take a lot of work to transfer everything over and I'm sure there will be some editing involved too, but it will be worth it.

So leave a comment to tell me which picture you like better.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Raising Money

It's late so this'll be quick.

B&N Fundraiser

These are the books we picked up tonight at Barnes & Noble.  The reds' school was having a fundraiser.  I really like it when we get good merchandise and can support a good cause at the same time.  The girls both wanted the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.  They worked it out and will share it.  Wow!  That gives me hope that some day they'll get along with each other.  Kade had a meltdown because he couldn't get everything he wanted, which was everything he saw.  I know the feeling and I left empty handed.  I'll have to go back sometime by myself.  As for Mickey...we'll just add the bookstore to the list of things he tolerates because he loves us.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Let There Be Light

Years ago, when I watched a lot of HGTV or TLC programming, I would wish we had a Home Depot nearby.  That's always where the designers would go to get cool things for the house they were working on.  A couple years ago I got my wish.  And I must say that Home Depot is becoming one of my favorite stores.  It's been my go-to-place for Behr paint and our recent purchase of exterior lights.  We made another trip there today.  (Mickey and I meet there for "lunch" on occasion.  And sometimes I'm lucky enough to get Chick-fil-a too.)

Since I've been working on the dining room I wanted to update the chandelier.  At first I was going to wait and look around for the right one.  And to satisfy my need to get rid of the brass I was going to spray paint it black.  Then I took another look at the shape of the chandelier and decided it was just too ugly and it would continue to be ugly after it was black.  Mickey suggested I start looking for a new one.  He also suggested that we meet for "lunch" to pick one out.  (I guess he didn't want to hear me complaining about the ugly one.)  I shopped on line to save some time and found one I really liked and the price was great too.  So great we got one for the kitchen.

After some intense work (and an almost lost temper) the chandelier got hung.


(I think this picture shows the wall color better than the one below.)

I'm guessing the kitchen one won't get hung for a while.

Anyone need an ugly brass chandelier?  I'll even throw in the light bulbs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Perfectly Purple

Other than a few touch ups I have finished the dining room.  At least the painting part.  I'm keeping my eyes open for accessories.

Here's the wall.  (I removed the first picture that wasn't very accurate with the one below.  Much closer to the actual color.)

Dining Room

The top is Ash Violet and the bottom is Fading Sunset.  If you go to Behr's website you can see color chips that are truer to what's on the wall.  I really like how it turned out.  It's way better than it was.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Creepy Crawly

The potd is Kade's request.

Creepy Crawly

Kade was tossing around his lizard and finally got it to land on his chosen target.  The fruit bowl.  The poor lizard was tossed around quite a bit before finding his resting place.

In other news:

Mickey got his game early this morning.  I woke up to him and Chris playing it.  I saw a man dressed in camo.  I had to do a double take to make sure that was really my husband.  It was.

I spent a good part of the day painting.  The dining room will be tomorrow's potd.  It's looking good but I have to do a second coat and I'll have to take the picture in the early afternoon.  It's now dark at 5:30.  (It's going to be a l-o-n-g winter.)

Meg is doing a research paper on the Milky Way.  She's doing a lot of research on the computer as well as a few books.

Mattey learned about fractions at school.  She needed a little help and I'm happy to say I remembered it.  She seemed to pick it up after a while.

Kade is learning to read new words everyday.  The words he's working on this week are see, can, like, and the.  He already knew the and a few other words.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Busy Day Off

Mickey took today off to prepare for the release of a video game at midnight.  I'm not sure how he thinks he's going to stay up that late.

He/we had a very busy day.  Mickey was nice and got the kids off to school for me.  Which let me start my workout a little earlier.  Then we got a call from a plumber.  Last week one of our hot water heaters started leaking and a few weeks ago, when we had all that rain, our basement started leaking.  Ugh.  Thank goodness for the homeowner's warrantee.  They said we needed a new heater.  They left to get one and after being installed, the new heater gushed water everywhere.  A different new one was called for.  Poor Mickey was then stuck at home to deal with all that because I had to help the neighbor, get some groceries, and work at the library.  The new, new heater did get installed and it's not leaking.  That's a very good thing.  As for the leaking basement we'll need to work with a contractor to get it fixed.

This afternoon Mickey decided to rake the leaves.  That's normally my thing but I'm trying to rehab my back, again.  The kids helped him (somewhat) with that chore.  While he did that I spray painted the light post.  We bought new exterior lights a while ago and the post needed a little revamping.  I bought a can of black spray paint and now it looks great.

Then the sprinkler guy came by to winterize the sprinklers.  He pointed out a few big things that will need to be fixed in the spring.  This really makes me wonder how thorough our inspector was.  Things not up to code and the basement leak.

After a yummy dinner we ended our busy day with family home evening.  The highlights were the treat (the 1st one) and the activity.

Here's Mickey showing off his skills.

Dance Central

I now know how he's going to go out at midnight.  He's already in bed and plans to wake up in time to leave.  Crazy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mini Me

Out of all our kids people say Mattey is the most like me.  She definitely has my grouchiness and teeth.  Now we can add curls to the list.  With her new haircut her curls are starting to show up better.  They are mostly on the sides but in a few years they may take over the rest of her head.

Mini Me

As of today Mattey's okay with being a "mini me" but I'm sure that will change.  I wish I had a little of her color.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sleep Over

It's kind of funny how now that the kids all have their own rooms they want to sleep together.  At the old house all we heard was complaining about having to share a room.  Maybe they really liked it but didn't want to say so.  Who knows.  Mattey and Kade started this a few weeks ago.  Mat made Kade a bed on the floor in her room.  He was allowed to sleep there on Friday and Saturday nights.  Tonight Meg is joining in the fun.

Sleep over

This is the story before bed.  I better go check on them and make sure the lights are getting turned off.  They think they're staying up late but really they aren't since we have to change the clocks tonight.

A side note:  Mickey took all the kids to get haircuts today.  He got one too.  They all look nice.  Love that Mat's is short again.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Snow was in the forecast for today and tomorrow.  I was really hoping it was wrong.  It wasn't.  We had a very light snow around lunchtime.  Then it started to pick up.  By the time the kids were home from school it was really coming down.  Then we had freezing rain and then it turned to snow again.  The snow ended up sticking.  I'm so not ready for winter.

November Snow

It'll be gone soon.  We're supposed to be in the 60s next week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Actually that should be "No Willpower".  It's so hard to stay away from the sweets sometimes.  I'm not having a hard time with the candy but I cannot resist these.

No Willpower

I know I've posted about these before (here & here) but they are that good that I'll have to mention them again.  They are all I want to eat.  That is the reason I don't make them very often.  Good thing I've been burning calories with my work out and scrubbing the dining room walls.  I'll have to burn a lot more in the next few days.  After they're gone I think I can get back to my healthier eating.  I'd like to stick to the healthier diet so I can make it through the rest of the sweet season.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Some Down Time

Meg stayed home sick today.  She had LOTS of down time.  She took two baths, watched hours of tv, and took a two hour nap.

Mickey actually had a little down time this afternoon.  He and Kade, with Meg's observant help, played this...

HP Lego Game

...the new Harry Potter Lego game.  We really enjoy those Lego video games here.  We also have Batman, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mattey in the Spotlight

Literally.  The 8-11 year old girls at church had a talent show tonight.  Mattey decided to show off her singing voice.  She sang "Love Story" by Taylor Swift.  She was awesome.  As soon as Mickey's home and has a few minutes I'll have him put the video on here but until then here she is singing her heart out.

love story

(This is a re-enactment since I didn't have the big lens.  She hammed it up a little more then the original performance.)


Monday, November 1, 2010

A New Month, A New Project

...because I really don't have enough to do.  Yeah, right.

I got it in my head today that I was going to start work on the dining room.  It's the next room on my list.  This is what the walls looked like before I started.

Dining Room Before

Not terrible but dated and definitely not us.  The dark blue bottom is paint.

I had an awesome helper today.  Kade was so into ripping the wallpaper off and then scrapping off the paper/glue backing.  He was even sweeping the floor for me as I worked on the high parts he couldn't reach.  We got all the facing off and have stripped the backing off one wall.  It's going a little slow but that's because the room is bigger than I thought it was.  There are lots of places I'll have to mud and prime because the cheap primer was pulled off with the wallpaper.  That's really my only complaint.  Not too bad.

Mickey did take a picture of us working together.  I finally made a potd.  It's been a while.

Ripping Wallpaper

And yay me for blogging for 10 months!  Two more to go.  I think I can do it.

Update (9:55p.m.): Thanks to my best friend the wallpaper is totally gone.  Mickey came in to help me finish.  What a great guy!  Now tomorrow I'll be washing, mudding, sanding, and if I'm lucky, priming.  Anyone want to come for a visit?