Monday, June 28, 2010

A Trip to the Beach...



Our family went to play at the beach on Friday evening. We played in the sand and in the waves. Dad and the big kids (Dallin and Aubree) did some fishing and even caught a baby shark (about 2 feet long)!


The little ones (Zoe, Cole, and Emma) and I played mostly on the shore, building castles, wading, and looking for small sea critters (hermit crabs, small clams, etc.).

We also were attacked by seagulls (or sea rats, as I call them). But don't worry. Haddocks are hardy. The kids made sure to chase and scare them away!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cute Hair!



I love to do Emma's hair, when she lets me. This is a hairstyle I did recently to hide some spots that she "trimmed" by herself. (A few short choppy chunks taken from the sides and top look a little bit funky without help.) I think I did pretty well. ;) She looks pretty stinkin cute!

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Cole Turns 5!


Yesterday was Cole's 5th Birthday. He made sure to declare himself King of the Day. Thank goodness his siblings were nice about it. At lunchtime we headed to Mc D's for some Happy Meals and friends. He had a great time playing with his buddies Alana, Ariana, Scott, Brooklyn, Stevie, and David. And, of course, his own siblings came. For dinner we had corndogs and cheese puffs (Cole's choice, Yum?!). we watched Alice in Wonderland for the first time and liked it. Although, Emma was a bit scared.

Tomorrow he will be having fun at his POOL PARTY! He is so excited to swim with his friends and eat cake with icecream. ...And open presents! I am picking up a pinata today to stuff and we are ready to go! I am so glad that he is so enthused. This will be his first official birthday party. Usually we just have fun with the family. But this is such a big birthday! He'll be starting Kindergarten in the Fall! Woohoo!
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Losing Weight...

I have been dieting and exercising for a few days now. I have been watching calories and carbs, as well as doing an exercise video that is from h***! I have lost 4 pounds, which isn't much, but its a start!

I have finally begun to feel more at ease with the diet. I started off craving something to chew on at all hours of the day. I have begun accustomed to eating out of boredom and I must stop that. The kids have started to learn my bad habits. Not good. Dallin has been exercising with me and everyone is eating better and consuming more appropriate portion sizes.

Its sad to think how bad I have become over the past decade or so with my eating habits. I am trying to reshape my thinking for the long term on how I am treating my body when I abuse it. I hate the way I look with all the weight and I hate the way I feel. I am trying to show a bit more self respect by taking better care of myself. Maybe I'll even get cute?! We'll see! wish me lots of luck. This is gonna take alot of work and whole lifetime of watching my weight.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I need a little more organization here...

I have been trying to get my home set in better order, but... 5 kids, a baby (that I watch in the day), and a mountain of laundry are not helping . I sadly slackened on the laundry pile this weekend and now its just that much bigger. AHH! So today is all about catching up on things.


Last week I made a chore chart for the kids to keep them motivated to take charge of their chores on their own. So far so good.


I need to purchase some stick-on hooks for each child. I am going to put them on the backs of their doors for their towels. They each have a towel with their names embroidered on them. Thanks, Elizabeth! Somehow these towels end up on the floor and in the laundry way too often! Like after one use. GRRR! I hope the hook idea helps.


I also plan to purchase some plastic bins (one for each room) to help with clean up in their rooms and other areas of the home. They can pack it full of items that do not belong in these rooms each day and transport them elsewhwere (where they belong). Hope it helps.

I am also going to do so some serious clothing donations this week! Those laundry piles are so huge and full of items we do not need. I have 3 large trashbags full already. The goal is to have 5 or more. But first, everything needs to be washed. And that's what I'll be doing for a few days... Jealous?

Monday, April 26, 2010

San Jacinto Battle Re-inactment, Sat. the 24th

Our Family attended the San Jacinto Battle re-inactment this Saturday as an early birthday outing for Zoe. We had lots of fun seeing the sights, like wagons...

And playing spoons while a guy played the harmonica...

Checking out how they lived then...


Admiring the monument and finding cool wares...


The kids preferred the attractions over the actual battle. Go figure! In the words of a naughty Emma, "I hate that part!". It was loud, but cool for Grammie, Mom, and Dad, though.

When the excitement was over, we headed back to the parking area. It was a long day and we had some tired kidos. They hopped aboard the wagon (loaded with a big ice chest and 4 folding chairs) and had Dad wheel them to the van. Poor Dad! We had fun overall.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Girls' Room Updates

For the Girls' Birthdays this month, I redid their room a bit. I am not finished, but I like how its turning out.

I repainted the room a medium to light pink. It had been light pink on top and pepto pink on the bottom. Yuck! We switched the beds, so the black one is in their newly designed room. I bought a new quilt ($40) and added a canopy like decoration behind the bed with tulle and decorative hangers. The tulle was free (thanks, Grammie) and the hangers were on sale at $1 each. The wire Eiffel Tower was only $4. The other items were already owned.

These last 2 pics are crafts that I made to go with the room, among may others that I am not posting.

The mirror cost me $1! I just purchased 5 sheets of cardstock. I owned the mirror, ribbin, and glue. I think it turned out well...

The 3 pictures were free. I just used craft paint and redid some wall art I once had in the kitchen. I still am not sure if I like them that much. I freehanded the letters. Is it okay, or should I do something else?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Haddock Horsewomen

Aubree (with her eyes closed, bummer!) went last, because she's such a sweetheart!

Zoe was the first one on! That girl has no fear!


Emma was enchanted! How fun!


Having Fun In Hockley, TX



Grammie took the three girls to visit a beau in Hockley yesterday. (She's gonna kill me for calling him a "beau" and not a "friend". LOL) Josh was kind enough to take the girls to visit his brother's horse and cows. The girls LOVED feeding the animals treats and riding the horse (well, they at least sat on the horse while it was walked around).
Even Grammie had to join in on the fun. Good thing she used to ride horses... he tried to buck her off! But she's a fiesty one. She dug in those knees and stayed on. I think that Josh was impressed! ;)


They even got to ride on the four-wheeler! Our little girls are ready to move to a farm now!


BTW, isn't he a nice looking man? Mom, I give you 2 thumbs up! And so do all 3 of your grandaughters! ;)

Emma, CrazyHorse

Emma is a horse freak. She has a TON of plastic horses, My Little Ponies, stuffed horsey animals, and stick horses. But REAL horses are just TOO COOL! Grammie took Emma to Hockley, TX last night and she was in "horsey heaven"! She fed the horse an apple, loved on him, and even got to ride him. Grammie says she a natural! She knows how to hold onto the "horn" (saddlehorn) and even grips with her knees pretty well. I think we have a natural horsewoman on our hands!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Easter Fun




Yet again I am snagging photos from Sharon's blog. Let's face it. I stink at taking pictures and she rocks at it!
The kids had such a fun time with their cousins! They colored eggs, the Easter Bunny came, and they did an egg hunt with cousins. Too fun!

Bluebonnet Babies
















All these photos were swiped from Aunt Sharon's blog. She took all these shots on Good Friday. We went for a short visit on Easter weekend. It was fun!

Monday, March 8, 2010

While Dad's away on a work assignment in Venezuela...

I have been missing my husband a TON! (The kids are driving me nuts!) Dan left last Tuesday night and will be back on Friday afternoon. He has been traveling alot while gone (all over Venezuela). I know he's tired.
This past week was crazy. I spent all day Wednesday and Thursday preparing for a pampered Chef party at my house Thursday evening. The baby I am watching was very fussy on Thursday. She wasn't feeling well and cried alot. I pulled everything together at the last minute for my party. I'm just glad its over with. Friday was more leisurely. But Saturday was hard. I took the kids to Armand Bayou nature Center. I thought they'd love it. They liked it for the first hour. And whined the rest of the time. Fun! Once we got home Cole was a screaming pain in the rump! He's been on my "list" all weekend! Sunday was spent at home and not at Church because Emma's has been ill all weekend.
Today is Monday. I hope the rest of the time waiting for Dad to get home is more stress-free! The kids are going to have to go easy on me...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kitchen Improvements Thus Far...


Here's what was accomplished over the weekend. We (mainly Dan) installed 3 base cabinets, new laminate countertops, a new sink, a new faucet, and a new garbage disposer. It was ALOT of work, but it looks great, even at this unfinished stage.
It is 100% functioning now, so we will just have to work on the rest a little at a time. Dan is out of town right now. He left for Venezuela for 11 days last night.
I will probably paint the cabinets the rest of the way and reinstall all the doors this week. The trim on the backsplash will need to be painted, properly trimmed, and installed when Dan gets back. Minor touch-ups in paint on the walls will be finished by myself this weekend. It all looks so nice. I am having a Pampered Chef party tomorrow night to show some friends the current changes. Yeah!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kitchen Disaster Zone!




Look at this mess! Are you jealous? We had some water damage from a leaking garbage disposal. Two base cabinets had a little damage, but all three were ripped out. The old countertops will NOT be missed (faux bamboo). A new set of base cabinets, a new countertop (laminate, granite look), a new sink and faucet, and a new garbage disposal will be SO nice. I cannot wait!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Maddi Cakes

I have been watching little Maddi for over a week now. She has a sweet and friendly disposition. Yesterday she showed me her "fiesty" side for a bit, but overall she is a very good baby. Its fun to have a cute little bundle to kiss.

I have been suprised at how well Emma is taking it. She only acts jealous occasionally (like when I try to rock the baby in the rocking chair). Otherwise, she tends to mostly ignore her. Cole loves having the baby around. He seems to be the baby's favorite daytime person. Although she LOVES Aubree and Zoe. But they only see her in the mornings.

Cole and I gave Maddi the nickname "Maddi Cakes". He thinks it is SO funny! She hasn't complained about it, so I think its a keeper. We love having her here!

Monday, February 15, 2010

"CoUpOn CrAzY Woman", that's me!

Let me just start with how pumped I am. I have been taught some good techniques on saving mega bucks at grocery and drug stores. Thanks, Marby! And I have been doing some serious hunting and gathering of coupons. If you've ever heard of the "Grocery Game", this is like that, but on STEROIDS! WOOHOO! I tried the former a few years ago and did really well, but it was alot of work and I got lazy. Now it seems there are many more tools available to beef up the savings. Have you ever noticed how many online coupons there are out there. The amount is staggering. And the "loadable" coupons are so awesome. Walgreens has even stepped up and made their rebates much easier to deal with. you no longer have to mail that crap in. How cool is that?

What am I talking about?

Visit here:
www.southernsavers.com (I REALLY like this one)

Other good sites:
www.savingwithshellie.com
www.iheartcvs.com
www.couponsavingfamily.com
www.katycouponers.blogspot.com
www.couponmom.com

To find a coupon you are looking for:

www.afullcup.com/coupons
www.coupons.com
www.smartsource.com
www.redplum.com

Services that have fees (NOT cool!)
www.grocerygame.com
www.smartcoupondeals.com

Loadable coupons (a MUST! You can use these with in-store coupons AND manufacture coupons! Do I hear angels singing?)

www.cellfire.com
www.shortcuts.com

Good tips:
* Sign up for company websites (Kraft, Unilever, pampers, Huggies, Luvs, General Mills, Kellogs, etc)
* Sign up for store websites (Walmart, CVS, Krogers, etc)
* Get the "All You" Magazine (Walmart sells them at $2-2.50 a copy, Amazon at 6mos for $10 and 12 mo for $15) There are $100s in each monthly issue!
* Start with CVS and Walgreens (Wags) for FREE stuff! Eventually you will no longer pay for items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, deoderant, bodywash, shampoo, soap, razors...
* Use Facebook for Savings! Fan the websites that let you know of deals. (Walgreens, CVS, Krogers, Southernsavers...)

I just bought a Rembrandt Teeth Whitening kit, MSRP $25.99 for $4.99 with coupons. Matching that with my Rebate Bucks from a previous purchase, it was FREE. And my Huggies diapers (normally $10.99 in the store) were $2.99 each. But, then again, I got 2 bags for FREE with Rebate Bucks. And did I mention that I have 4 boxes of Theraflu (a necessity these days) for $2 total! Basically my trips (2 in total) costed me $30, but I got $79 worth of product and $15 rebate bucks still in hand. Okay, shall I say I rock? I totally do! And that was on my first day...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Emma's "Heart Song" Dance

After watching "Happy Feet" for the thousandth time, Emma was feeling rather inspired. She got out her tutu and put on a modern/freestyle tap dance for me. She even said, "Look, Mom. My Heart Song!" . Cute girl! I thought it was hilarious, so I had her do it on video. Its shakey, but cute!
video

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Maddi Mae

Here's a picture of the cutie bug I will be watching starting next Monday. The kids are SO excited! And so am I. I cannot wait to love on a baby and get paid to do it! She's so precious!

My kids keep asking when I will have another one. I am not so sure about that. I have to honestly admit that my current obesity is a major factor. I will end up diabetic for sure if I don't do something about my weight. So I am determined to lose 50+ lbs. Maybe once that is accomplished, I can consider whether I want another baby or not.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reorganizing the chaos that is my bedroom...

I have spent a good deal of time today reorganizing our bedroom. Its the room that seems to accumulate all the leftover "crap" from every other place in the house. Our bedroom closet is so full, everything trickles it way into our bedroom.

We have several bookshelves that aren't being used properly, so I moved a small one out and 2 larger ones in. They look nicer, if nothing else. I now have 2 shelves, 2 desks, 2 computers, and 2 dressers in my room. Its time to get some stuff outta here!

I am taking the behemoth desk we have been using for the past 10 years out (it is as ugly as sin) and replacing it with one of my trash treasures (found out at the curb for FREE). It is smaller and will look TONS better once painted (same mossy green as the base cabinet in my kitchen).

One of the computers needs to be mailed out. It is a loaner from K12 from when we did home school. Those days are SO over! And that computer is SO outta here! Woohoo!

I have been narrowing down the books I plan to keep. I don't know why getting rid of home school books is so hard. I guess they cost so stinking much. But I need to regain some space. So out go about 75% of those suckas! Goodbye!

Papers, papers, papers... I now have a large trash bag full of papers. I hated going through all of that. But its done. What's that I hear? Angels singing?

Its nearly done. I am just so burned out already that I do not want to finish. But I will. And I will be pleased with the results.

Tomorrow we have guests coming over. Maddi (the cutie bug I will be watching soon) is coming over with her Mom and Dad. We are having dinner. And the house needs to look good. We have been cleaning all day (everyone) and we are all tired of it. But the house is presentable now. I'll just keep everyone out of my bedroom...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Our Anniversary

Dan and I celebrated our 12th Anniversary tonight. Its hard to believe that its been 12 years since our wedding. I scheduled a sitter a week or more ago and we still had no definite plans as we walked out the door. We ended up seeing Avatar 3-D, which we loved. Afterward, we just picked up chinese take-out. When did we get so lame? I guess that's what old, fat people do... ;)

Dan made the joke that we are getting behind. We had 5 kids by our 10th anniv., so naturally we should have 6 now, right? Haha. Funny. I am not even ready to consider whether or not I will have another. When and if the time is right, i will know. Its just not now.

Reflections Upon the Past 12 Years:

We've made some mistakes, but getting married is not one. We have struggled along with finances, schooling, callings, illnesses, and raising a family. But the important thing is that we did it together and grew in unity. I still look at my now plump husband (I'm no looker myself now) and see that hot, cute boy I fell in love with. And more. Now I see the hard worker he is, intelligent, patient, and loving. He has served with all his heart and soul in his priesthood positions and has been such a wonderful father and husband, as well. And he stills makes me giggle. He is my love. And he always will be.

To all those people that advised me against getting married to this young man: I am glad that we, as a unified team, proved you wrong! :P

To all those soliciting unwanted advice about when we should start our family, because its better to "wait and have fun first": Your advice might have cost me my eldest son, and :P on you!

I am going to bed tonight feeling very grateful for my loving husband and to my Father in Heaven for sending him my way. I am also thankful for my 5 stinkers, 2 of which are already asleep in our bed, waiting to make me into a "mommy sandwich" (they have heat-seeking mommy sensors that always find me no matter where I am). At least I never have to sleep alone. ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Shutters and Paper Free Walls

This is just an add-on from my remodeling post. I like the colors I chose. It is a drastic change from the burgandy and once white floral pattern on the wall. It is light and bright and cheerful. Go, me!

General Update on The Fam

I am no longer homeschooling. I could keep it up, but I just feel that for now that this is best for our family. Dallin is a fifth grader and doing well overall. He still has issues, mainly will the kids being generally cruel, but he is learning to cope. Poor kid. Aubree and Zoe are in third and first grades this year and loving it. Aubree is such a good student. She brought home a report card with all A+. She even had 100 on one subject. Zoe is having a hard time with reading and spelling, but she was developmentally delayed on her speech, so that's kinda normal. She works hard and LOVES her teacher. She'll catch up. Cole will begin school next Fall and cannot wait. He enjoys playing with his BF, Scott and being with Grammie. Emma is our fiesty little princess. She loves being home with Mommy and enjoys seeing Grammie regularly. Next month I will be watching a beautiful little baby girl, Maddison (Maddi). Her mommy heads back to work as a teacher and Maddi will be in my care during school hours. She will NOT like me at first, but I am excited. I'll get me baby fix. Dan has been hating work (he is so antsy when he's been somewhere awhile), but he's been working hard for his family. He still dreams of his farm. One day... I have been doing home projects and still do not seem to ever het ahead of housework, even without homeschooling. Thats about it.

New Year, New Kitchen





Yes, its been some time since I last blogged. I repent. Forgive me.

I have been working hard on home updates. My kitchen was numero uno on the list. I am half finished, but it looks so much better! I started by stripping off the worst wallpaper ever! The sad secret: it was the original builder's wallpaper, circa 1983! Puke! I have hated since stepping foot in this place and it is finally gone. Forever! It only took me nearly 5 years to get brave enough to attempt it. In 4 hours of sweat and elbow grease, my kitchen looked so much better. Its sad when bare sheetrock looks awesome!

After the stripdown, I went to work on painting. I found an awesome alternative to texturing the walls myself. I bought texturizer that mixes in with the paint and it did the job just fine. I went with a buttercreamish color on the walls, which brightens things up drastically. Love it! And I painted all trims and doors a bright white. Ah! Fresh and bright! I rock!

Costs: stripping wallpaper, free. paint, $36. Texturizer, $2 on sale. Supplies, $10. total : $48

I have a nice base cabinet that was unfinished (paid $15 at a garage sale 5 years ago). I painted it a mossy green color that matched a set of shutters that I bought from an architectural salvage yard a few years back ($7 ea). With very little fresh paint and a lot of sealant, the shutters are back up in the windowsill, looking G-O-O-D!

Costs for paint and sealant: $8

Mom and I found a nice shelf that is sitting atop the base cabinet in the trash last year (that's free, baby). With a little textured, paintable wallpaper (for the interior) and some bright white paint, the shelving unit looks gorgeous. I love the way it looks and I need it for more storage space. Have I ever told you I rock? Well, I do.

Costs: textured wallpaper, free (grandparents rock).
Next on the list: Paint the cabinets white and distress and antique them (and distress and antique the shelf, too). Then, new countertops. I am cheap (and poor) so I will be going with faux granite, laminate. New flooring is also on the list. I will do the stickable tile that looks like travertine, set on the diagonal. Its cheap, easy, and looks much better than the current flooring. We desperately need new lighting, so that is going up. Lastly, we need a new garbage disposal because the current one stinks. Literally. And it hardly works.

Projected costs: about $500 total, unless I can work more of my magic.

Next on the lists of home projects: Girls' room (total redo), Living Room (paint update), Hallways (paint update)...