Thursday, April 25, 2013


For those that didn't hear my tale of woe, my basement had three inches of water from all the rain we received last week.

Most of my mementos were safe from the destructive waters. But we were unlucky with one box of old photos that sat in the bottom of a wet box. The majority of the photos were duplicates or ones people had given me. Not a huge deal. I sat down with the box a couple of days ago to go through it.

What is amazing is that most of the photos were fine. Very few had to be trashed. The box also contained all of my negatives from film days. There were about twenty that were stuck together and had to be thrown out.

The best part about it was the fun of looking through the pictures. It made me realize we rarely do it. The boys had a blast seeing old pictures of them and Scott and I and how different everyone looked.

I wanted to show you one of my favorite pictures of Scott and I.

This is from the era of what I refer to as the 'glory days of my hair'.

Seriously. It was perfect and never was before or has been again since then. Something happened when I got pregnant with boy #3. My hair was shiny and thick and so easy to manage. It stayed that way even after I delivered.

These pictures were done at our local Meijer. They had a special group that came in and were charging very little to get them done. So we did.

When they came back I was not happy. Most of the photos were cut horribly. Either Scott lost an ear or a kid lost a shoulder. This was the best shot we had.

Fast forward three months. I returned to our Meijer only to be approached by the same photography group again. I told them "no thank you" and preceded to tell them how terrible the pictures were when we got them. He was very apologetic and offered to redo them for no charge.

Well okay then.

The only difference- I was now pregnant with baby #4. I noticed a dramatic difference in my hair as soon as I knew I was pregnant. I fought with it daily. It wanted to be curly and frizzy and unmanageable.

Let me show you what I mean with the pictures.

Before- Luscious, shiny, easy to care for hair.

After- Curly, unruly, frizzy and dry hair.

(I really dislike me in this photo and not just because of my hair)

For a good solid three years I had great hair. Now I'm just left to reminisce.

Did you ladies have noticeable differences in your pregnancies?
Any major changes? Just wondering.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Curb Appeal

We are in desperate need for some curb appeal because right now we have none.

This is the only thing our front yard has got going for it.

Otherwise it is a lot of unknown and overgrown shrubs and rocks.

I can't wait for the warm weather next week because I want to start ripping out some of the ugly. I don't have it in the budget to replace it with anything yet, but it will be an improvement nonetheless.

I have another batch of daffodils growing out by the shed for some reason.

And we have a huge K on the front of the house that needs to come down. I won't be replacing it with a D or any other letter in case you were wondering.

Do you have any yard work plans to spruce up the front of your house? Making any huge changes and if so what?

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Canine Clownin'

Some mornings you need plain silliness. It's great to start your day with a good laugh.

Jasper the schnauzer + JJ's pajamas = many belly laughs

Funny stuff.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Green Dream

Happy Earth Day!

Today I am sharing some photos with you from my Pinterest board- Garden. They are photos of beautiful gardens that I want to replicate.

I want a beautiful garden. That is my dream. If that dream will actually come to fruition is uncertain yet.

One bonus is we have lots of extra wood laying around. This would be helpful in building a fence and some raised vegetable beds. I want lots of vegetables. I also want some fruit. My grandma has had good luck growing melons and we love to eat them so I want to try it. I'd love to plant some raspberry bushes too. My grandma always had those bordering her pool. We would jump out of the pool and run to eat some warm raspberries and jump back in. Great memories.
There is a couple pieces of actual fence back behind our house that I could use. The area by that white fence is where I would want my garden. First we need to take out that gigantic, ugly pine tree. (I don't like pine trees)

I would also love to have a cutting garden. I really like fresh flowers in the house. I want lots of hydrangeas, peonies, ranunculus, and any other beautifully layered romantic-looking flowers. How fun would that be?!

I think my perfect garden would be a wilder version of an English garden.

Here are some photos that I've pinned to my Garden board-

And what a great idea this is- store your garden utensils in a mailbox by your garden!

Hope you were able to get outside today and enjoy this gorgeous Earth we've been given!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Drying Out

We are far from dry. But at least we are no longer swimming. Just really, really soggy.

Good news- my photo books were safe and sound in a dry box.

My big Epson printer was swimming when I first discovered it but I haven't plugged it in to see if it is working yet. Our PS2 was at the bottom of a wet box but they don't really play it anymore. This was face down in a wet box.

The color is a little different but I think the canvas was coated with a protective layer. I'm happy it's in one piece and fairly unchanged.

Books took the worst hit. Clothes can recover pretty easily. Toys- no problem. But books don't deal with water very well. I'm still trying to salvage what I can. Especially my Bob Jones homeschool books.

Most of the boxes are now in our garage. Yay :/

And this is how our basement is looking.

Better. But still a long way to go.

Have a good weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blame It On the Rain

I am so completely bummed. Our basement is terribly flooded.

I had a relatively relaxing day. I did some school and then watched a movie with my littlest boys. I actually LOVE thunderstorms so I was hoping the weather would continue to be horrible all day. I knew at some point I would have to go to the basement to do my run on the treadmill. But I was in no hurry.

I never gave the rain a second thought. When we bought our house we had been told there were never any problems of water in the basement. Our house sits up on a hill and then slopes down in the backyard. There is a pond behind the house next door but it is nowhere close to our house. Our backyard doesn't even have any standing water on it.

So I did not expect it when one of my boys tried going to the basement and said it was wet. I thought he was joking at first.

But he wasn't. At least three inches of water covered every bit of my basement floor. I frantically started picking up things that would be easily affected- my big Epson printer, huge bags of fabric, my guitar, wood leaves to my dining room table.

But most of those are just unimportant material things. My life will go on without them. What I'm most worried about? Photo albums. They are in a box some where down there. I still haven't found them. I'm hoping they are in a plastic tote, but I guess I will find out tomorrow. Another item is the boys' teddy bears. For each of them I got a special bear and took a picture of them with it every month of their first year. I've only found two. Another thing was my fabric measuring chart I made for the boys. I did find that. It was laying directly on the floor and was dripping wet. I have measured them every year and have written it down with a fabric pen. Some of those markings are faded but still readable. Thank goodness. It is now hanging up to dry.

I had to put it into perspective because otherwise I would be a wreck. Most of the things down in my basement I can live without. But I am just praying extra hard tonight that the meaningful items will be kept safe until I can get to them.

I guess we should have been more urgent about getting unpacked. :/

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Here are some goals I am setting for myself from now through the upcoming month. It's more of just a glorified to-do list.

1. Start using my dslr camera more and actively seek client photo sessions.

2. Keep up with my running schedule and gain more confidence in my ability to run.

3. Allow myself to miss a blogging day if feeling overwhelmed or uninspired.

4. Get oven cabinet made and installed; less pretty, more functional. I've been day-dreaming about homemade bread.

5. Get more 'moved in' to our house. Still no dressers. :/

6. Make a monthly calendar to plan all my dinners out ahead of time so I can watch sales and help out our budget.

7. Get outside more with the boys to play games, take walks or do yard work.

8. Get the trailer sitting in our driveway that is full of our old kitchen cabinets to the dump.

9. Get to Mary Free Bed to give my dad-in-law a haircut.

10. Clean out our van so we can get it ready to sell.

11. Get my newest nephew's pictures done.

(Stole your picture Brian and Kristen :)

Can't post without a picture.

Whew! That's a lot to do! Spring feels like a great time to tackle those things that have been lurking there all winter.

Time to get motivated. What about you?

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Have you seen the show on TLC- Extreme Couponing?

Pretty crazy stuff.

I do want to do some couponing but nothing as extreme as the people on that show. I don't want it to become a part-time job and have a stock-pile that fills my garage and basement.

In my opinion, a lot of the available coupons are for things I had no intention of buying nor want to buy. (unhealthy). I want coupons for things that I actually use and things that are good for my family.

So I just signed up with a blog called It was free and relatively easy. They even offer a short video to watch after signing up that shows how to get the most from their site. You can select your state and then see the stores they have information for. It shows you the sale price and then what you can get the item for with a coupon. They even tell you where the coupon is from. (watch the video to understand best)

I won't become some nutcase about it, but will definitely check out the sites to get the most bang for my buck if possible.

What about you guys? Are you already doing coupons? Or new to it like me? What are your favorite resources?

Monday, April 15, 2013


I really dislike Mondays.

Like, really a lot.

Poor grammar. Sorry.

My couch to 5k running program has me working out Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

But I do Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday just to avoid Mondays. I don't need another reason to dislike Mondays even more.

Running has been going pretty good. I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would. It seems everyone is becoming more active in our household. Travel baseball has begun. My kids are still stuck on basketball though. They are constantly dribbling a plastic basketball in the house and shooting on an imaginary hoop. It gets a little annoying sometimes. Noah was even thinking he needed new basketball shoes because of it. Instead he went down to the basement and went shopping in our boxes of stuff. He got lucky and found an old pair that fit him. It's a good thing because he wasn't getting a new pair from me but he is just as happy as if he did. It's a good strategy to use when the boys want something. Maybe I will set up a checkout lane equipped with a cash register and everything. Sure will help our budget out!
Now he needs to go down to the basement and shop for new pants! Ha!

Happy (not so much) Monday!

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Kids

I love my kids.

I like having them around. I like to go places with them. I can't wait for summer vacation. I don't feel the need to get a break from them.

Sure. They can drive me crazy at times. But, how boring would life be without them? Very.

Have a great weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Revamped Black Pants

I was unpacking some clothes from down in our basement the other day. I came across a black pair of pants that I had got from Goodwill before we moved from our old house.

I got them with the intention of making them over. But then we sold our house in two days and never got the chance to do anything with them.

But now is the perfect time to do it. Being creative with things I already own is right up my alley right now.

I have black dress pants. But I don't have skinny black pants. So that is what I am doing with them.

Here they are before.

I turned them inside out and put them back on. Then I pinned along the outside of my leg from just above the knee all the way down. I just pinched it relatively tight and stuck in the pin. But just to warn- be very careful taking your pants back off. Ouch!

I sewed along the pins and cut off the excess after trying them on.

Here is the after.

I rolled them up a little in this photo. I've heard bare ankles are the thing for spring. I'm not trying it until spring warms up a little though.

Not bad. I'm not crazy about the fit of these pants. They are a little big on me. Maybe I've lost a little weight since our move...but doubt that's it.

Try it! Revamp an existing pair you already own or go thrifting for some cute, colored and cheap dress pants. The perfect thing for spring!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Game Time

We have been playing a lot more games in our household lately.

Scott and I made the decision to reduce screen times in our house. We all have a problem with it. It is a constant battle all day long. Social media and other things like it fight for our attention. They are fun things, for the most part. But they are distracting.

I have really felt convicted about this lately. We had a great discussion in my Sunday School class and I felt God tugging at my heart. Where should my focus be? -on God -on my family....
Not on the Internet.

My boys are playing too many video games. They are now restricted on the time they get each day. We had a limit set before but were very lenient with it. Not any more.

This is the last month we will have cable. I enjoy some of the extra channels we have but not all the extra garbage that comes along with them. This is for financial reasons too, which I will discuss at a later time.

We have Netflix. We will keep our Internet connection but limit our use. Restricted video games. We have lots of board games. We have a big yard.

I'm looking forward to the change.

Anyone else having similar feelings?

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Half Of A Kitchen

Finally! Some kitchen cabinets.

One productive thing I did accomplish during spring break was putting together my Barker cabinets that came in the mail. It went relatively quick and was pretty easy.

This is how they were packaged in the box.

Each piece was labeled and pre-drilled for easy assembly. All of the screws and cabinet hardware were included as well.
I put the corner cabinet together first. So pretty!

Next I did the cook top cabinet.
It is sticking out a little further than the corner cabinet because the electrical wires are in the way right now. I need to drill holes in the bottom of the cabinet.

I went to get my cook top from where it was being stored. Fits perfectly!

Obviously it would be a lot better with counter tops, but that won't come for awhile.
It is so nice to have cabinet storage and have it more open up above. It looks a thousand times better. But we still have a long way to go. (I was making soup in my crock-pot, otherwise that would be stored down below:)
I put together the sink cabinet but didn't move it in place because I need to unhook all the plumbing and move the utility sink. This will take some time so I haven't done it yet.
(Yes I have dirty dishes sitting in my sink) (And yes, my dishwasher return tube is rigged up with my window crank)

Now only if I could get my cook top working! There is electrical wires that need to be turned into an outlet behind the cabinet so it can get plugged in. Then I need to run a whole new gas line from the basement all the way up before I can begin to use it. :/

Anyone know someone who can do that for really, really cheap. I may get desperate enough and watch some Utube videos and try it myself!

It is nice to be almost halfway to a kitchen!