Category Archives: A day in the life

Randomness From My Life

Days seems to run together lately. It is almost Thanksgiving, can you believe it?! I am so ready to decorate for Christmas but Dominic is encouraging me to wait until after Thanksgiving to do so. There are so many things that I want to remember, and laugh about from this time so the easiest way for me to do that is to share them here.

On Tuesday we had our first band concert of the year. Gabe is in 8th grade and this will be our last year of middle school concerts for a while. I love the format they have, they match two grades together, 6th and 8th, and each grade play two songs. It is a nice, short concert. Perfect for my younger kids to sit through.

The only problem with these concerts is that we need “Sunday Best” dress. Now our church is a little more casual. So Sunday best for us is nice jeans and a sweater. But we needed dress pants for the concert. My now 14 yr old boy has grown again and is tall and thin. His waist is skinny-appropriate for the boys pants, but his legs are so long he really needs men’s lengths. No store in our community carries pants in a 26/32.

I unfortunately forgot about said concert until the day before and frantically ran around town buying every pant remotely close to his size. None of them worked. I found an old pair from last year that we decided were good enough for this concert if he wore dark, long socks so his legs wouldn’t show.

Then in true, I have it together fashion, just 10 minutes before we had to leave we found his only pair of dress shoes and discovered they were a size 8. He is a strong 10 these days. There was no cramming his feet into these small shoes. So our only option was to tightly tie on a pair of dad’s old dress shoes, size 13. He flopped those babies onto the stage with ease and thankfully didn’t trip. I need to be a bit proactive about concert number two so we don’t have the same issue again!

I have somehow pinched my sciatic nerve and have been suffering with weird, shooting pains in my rear end for the last week. It is super fun and after a few days of what I thought was healing time and no pain, I did a dance workout on Monday morning and apparently irritated it again and man it is bad now. It hurts to sit and walk and lay flat. So basically everything I do is marked with some form of pain. If you see me rubbing my own backside, you know why! haha

Yesterday we found a large hunk of blonde hair on the floor by the bathroom. It appeared to be cut. So I called Karlena into the bathroom and showed it to her and asked if she cut her own hair. She emphatically explained that in no way would she cut her own hair, she would never do that! Then she went to get her blonde haired horse out to speculate if somehow its hair had been magically cut. I assure you, sir, it had not.

So I started brushing her hair and noticed in the back that there is a small part that is shorter. It isn’t hugely noticeable. I asked if she got something stuck in her hair and attempted to cut it out herself and her eyes dropped to the floor. Ahh yes, mama knows.  She is a terrible liar, she does have some incredible story-telling abilities, but I know better.

I received the nicest letter from grandma in the mail yesterday. She wanted to encourage me about my surgery. She has arthritis in her hands and I know writing a handwritten note isn’t easy for her. I will treasure those notes forever. And I could take a lesson from her. A call or text is nice, but a handwritten note can’t be beat!

My surgery is still set for December 28th. I have complete peace about it so I am grateful for that. I made my first freezer meal last night and had my mom pick up some special aluminum pans and lids from Sams so that I can make a few more. We don’t have a ton of freezer space right now, but I should be able to freeze and store at least 5 meals. That should help.

We have applied with and enrolled in new health “sharing” with Liberty Health Share. It will start in January and will replace our traditional health insurance so I can’t really speak to how it all works right now, but I will give you some of the information I do know.

For our family, this seemed the best fit. We chose the Liberty Complete Plan and the monthly share amount will be $449 per month. We will have an out of pocket “annual unshared amount” of $1500 for our family. So we are responsible for everything up to the first $1500 and then after that we can share all our expenses. This will require that we be proactive at each appointment, asking for detailed records/billing notices so that we can upload them into the Liberty Share system. But we know a few people that use this program and have had success over the past year so we are hopeful it will be ok.

A dear friend of mine works for a health care system in the South and she has told me recently about how many changes we are going to continue to see with healthcare. It is probably going to get worse before it get better unfortunately. We all need to advocate for ourselves.

She advised me to call the surgical center where I had my recent surgery after I got my bill and ask if there was a discount if I paid the bill in full. Honestly, I didn’t expect there would be a discount. I had submitted it to insurance and what was remaining was mine to pay. But they did in fact tell me that if I paid in full I would save 10%. On this bill it was over $400! That’s $400 I can use to pay my remaining radiology bill, or my surgeon’s bill. So take notes friends, don’t be afraid to call and ask!

We have conferences tonight and I am excited to hear how our kids are doing in school. I was most worried about Karlena but she really enjoys school and at least from what I can tell is doing very well.

We are hosting Thanksgiving next week and will have a nice sized group, 18 of us! Our kitchen is all put back together and I am excited to host. Now if I can just find time to dust those pesky built-in shevles…

I have purchased almost all of my Christmas gifts and will start wrapping very soon. I am taking a very special trip with Karlena to Houston on December 15th for a long weekend and basically I need to have all my gifts wrapped, my treats baked and freezer meals done before then because when we get back on the 19th we will have a couple of days before Christmas and then just a few days before my surgery. So basically I have 29 days to do a whole lot of stuff! Better get to it!!

Have a great rest of the week!

 

Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner

My Healthy Hair Journey

Ok so maybe it is strange that I am writing about my “hair journey” but about a year ago I shared a blog post about my curly girl hair routine. I have had some friends tell me that they couldn’t believe everything that went into my hair routine (trust me I can’t either!) but since that time there have been a few changes and I thought I would share them here because I am pretty excited about the results!

First of all in July I had my first ever Deva Girl cut. I had read about this type of haircut but there weren’t any stylists in or near Marshall that were trained to do these types of cuts. Basically, they cut the hair dry and shape it with the way that the curl naturally falls instead of cutting it wet and pulling it straight. Online testimonials talked about hair being transformed. I was hopeful but honestly skeptical that I would notice any real difference.

I have always had “difficult” hair. It takes a lot to style it, lots of product, lots of scrunching and curling and more product and re-curling. I would get a haircut and in a week it would feel icky on the ends, lifeless and frizzy. If I had that 2 inches of bad hair cut off, the next 2 inches would be icky. I was sure this would be the case with this new cut…but I was desperate for a change so I searched for a salon within 100 or more miles of our home.

I located a salon up in the Cities and made an appointment but ended up having to cancel. It wasn’t convenient being almost 3 hours away so I searched again and found a salon in my hometown just an hour and 45 minutes away.

An appointment was made with Mickie At Ambiance Salon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for a Saturday morning and I went in with anticipation. That morning I arrived, a freak thing happened with my car and it died in the gas station parking lot just down the street from the salon. There is a whole story there and my dad had to come and rescue me so I could make my appointment, needless to say I was worried it was a sign that things were going to go terribly wrong!

They ask that you arrive with dry hair and hair that is down. I never wear my hair down because I hate when it gets in my face…but this is how I looked on the way out of the house.

Mickie did her magic, the cut was weird initially. I haven’t ever had my hair cut dry. It seemed wrong. Haha! And I had a lot of split ends and damage in the ends of my hair that needed to go. I had wanted to keep my length but the truth was every morning I was combing out snarls of hair, the bad had to go. I was all in.

Here is how it looked after. She only added minimal product and I sat under the Deva Curl dryer for a time to dry my hair. No other curling etc. It was a little less work than I was used to, but it looked nice.

The real test would come the next day when I would have the opportunity to wash and style it my way.

I can tell you that I haven’t ever been happier with my hair. In the first 8 1/2 weeks before the next cut, I had 1 “bad” hair day. This is huge for me! One day that I actually pulled my hair back into a ponytail because it was driving me nuts and that was 3 days or so before my next haircut.

And even better I have cut out 3 different products that I don’t need to use anymore! Mickie recommended that after I wash and condition my hair that right before I get out of the shower I put a 1/2 pump of conditioner on my hair as a leave-in treatment. It adds moisture to my hair and helps detangle it when I pick through it later! Bye bye argan oil…we don’t need you anymore! I also stopped using the sea salt spray. Not needed anymore!

Another change is that I used to immediately wrap my hair in a t-shirt after my shower, once it was semi-dry, I would add in my products. Now I get out of the shower and immediately pick through my hair and add in my Deva Curl gel and mousse. (Something they do at the salon) I received a Deva Curl towel for free the last time I ordered shampoo and conditioner and then I use that to scrunch my hair and remove a majority of the wetness.

I then use some small hair clips to pull up a few sections of my hair away from my face. This helps it dry and build body in those portions of my hair. I leave those clips in for the next “steps.” Here I am this morning after I put my product in and clips in.

Next I go and sit in front of my handy space heater. I sit about an arms length away and will gently scrunch my hair on all sides so that it dries well. Here I am after about 5-7 minutes of drying time.

You can see that the drying helps add a little needed volume to my hair. And I find that it really doesn’t get frizzy with this method, it just feels softer and fuller.

Finally, I do spend a few minutes curling a few pieces to soften the look even more. The change though is that I used to have to curl so much more. And curl and re-curl to get the curl to hold. The curling part would take 20 minutes or more, now it is 5, maybe 10 minutes at most. And the curl holds. Before I used two types of hairspray. A strong hold and a lighter hold. I have been able to give up the strong hold hairspray!

My hair just feels so much more healthy. It has truly been a transformation! I typically have been getting a perm every 12-18 months.  My last one was in December of 2016. I am curious to see with this new cut, if that will be necessary anytime soon. Before my hair always felt so heavy and the curl fell quickly so the perm seemed necessary to keep the curl…now I just don’t know when it will become necessary! Maybe I will find out how much natural curl I have in there after all!!

So there you go friends, an update on my hair! Happy Tuesday to all of you!

On Grace and Why I Need it Every Day

I meant to stop and take a real life picture of my kitchen/dining room this morning but I ran out of time. Let me give you a little word picture instead. I had made a feeble attempt to dust mop the floors, but the pile of dirt, hair and leaves remained in a heap in front of our fireplace for at least two days along with the mop. The final step of actually sweeping it up alluded me.

Our dining room table is covered with papers from the kids, dried up, spilled food chunks and sticky juice glasses that hadn’t yet made it to the dishwasher. The kitchen island wasn’t any better, cluttered with books and toys and papers….it was all threatening to overtake me.

A few days ago I was voxing with my best friend about the work God had done in my life, the dramatic changes He had done in my spirit from the really awful year of 2015 into early 2016. It was ugly and if you thought things were ok then I did a good job of wearing my “I’ve got it all together mask on” well. The reality was I was holding on by a thread for months.

But God. There was some really hard heart work that took place during that time. Some letting go of the things that had held me in chains and I did find freedom because of it. But it doesn’t mean that I am perfect! By no means!

I still need grace, I am constantly learning how to give and receive grace every day.

Case in point. This week has been brutal and it is only Wednesday. We have more final delivery meetings at work this week than we normally schedule, and it has kept us at the office longer in the evenings than we would like. We are getting some new carpet in the office space that we lease next week but as an agreement to get this done, we committed to the removal of the old carpet ourselves. That is happening this weekend. Isaac is coming back home to help and since he will be home for the first time in a long time we are sneaking family pictures in there somewhere.

And it is going to snow and be cold and windy….but that is for another post.

I have been stressed. Overwhelmed really and feeling like we are just barely hanging on to keep everything in order so that we can accomplish all that we have on the calendar in the next few weeks.

I share all of that to give you some background to why I had a mini nervous breakdown a couple of times this week. Yes it IS only Wednesday. On Monday night I got home at 7:20pm. Our evening delivery went longer than we hoped and when I arrived home I discovered that the kids had not even eaten supper despite the fact that there was a crockpot full of warm soup ready and waiting for them.

Something about that set me off. I just was so mad. It was bedtime and they hadn’t eaten. Karlena had not read her book, we needed to practice spelling words and the house looked as I described above. I think at this point all sanity went out the window as I started to stomp around. I’m not kidding either. I really was throwing a fit, ask my kids, they will attest to it!

I opened up the recycling drawer and the two cans were overflowing….”I guess I will take these out myself”, I said. “And I will do all the dishes, and all the laundry…and I make dinner and you don’t eat it. And everyone leaves all their junk all over the place and no one cleans it up…”

Stomp, stomp, stomp…

It was pathetic really, the kids started to get food and Gabe hauled out the recycling. I went into the laundry room to fold something and calm down. While I do think that at times my kids struggle with a bit of selfishness and not recognizing how easy they have things…they really are great kids.

I knew that I was tired and stressed and I was taking it out on them. So I marched back into the kitchen to apologize. Moms make mistakes too. I told them how sorry I was, explained that it had been a rough day at work, but that wasn’t an excuse and I shouldn’t take it out on them.

We also set a new rule that in those times that I do have to work late, that they will all eat together at the same time, at dinner time, because I always make sure on nights like that there is something ready and easy for them to eat.

Here’s the reality though and something I need to remind myself again and again. While I can teach our kids about being responsible and taking care of their things and putting things away…they will not ever care about the tidiness of our home like I do. I never did as a child! I can place something on the stairs and expect that they carry it up…and then get angry each day that passes that they walk past it unbothered by it.

Isn’t it easier if I just say please carry that up to your rooms?! They do, it’s done and I don’t have a reason to allow a resentment to fester. Sometimes I set myself up for problems by not communicating my expectations well!!

Monday night I needed grace. I am sure that tonight and tomorrow and into this busy weekend full of furniture moving and carpet ripping…I will need grace. I need to be willing to freely give it to others and grateful when they are gracious back to me.

And when I voxed my friend on Tuesday I laughed as I recounted the horrors of the night before. How funny it was that I had talked up all the ways I had changed and then how completely downhill the evening had gone just hours later.

But the difference I am starting to see is that I am not holding on to the anger for days on end. Yes I used to do that. It was awful and miserable and thankfully I am quick to recognize when I have failed and much quicker to apologize. God has done a work in me and while I am not perfected, I am a work in progress and that is a gift.

A Curly Girl Hair Routine

Curly Girl 1

Alright friends, it once again has been a LONG time since I have updated about life here. The summer in our part of the state is still going strong and school won’t start for another 3 weeks (Lord help me those kids need to GO.BACK.TO.SCHOOL!!) Can I get an Amen?!

Anyways, I have been writing. But I can’t share what I am working on yet. It started with writing a study guide for the book Fervent and has led into a 31 day series that I am sharing in October! I am pretty excited about having over 1/3 of my posts fully written in early August. But it means that other writing has taken a back seat.

But last night at Bible study I was sharing my hair woes. I showed up with my hair in a ponytail. Which I never do unless I am having a real bad hair day. Which led to the discussion about my curly hair routine. It is pretty laughable and so I thought it would be fun to share here!

I was sent a new product to try and review that was a shampoo and conditioner. It did not get my glowing review, thus the ponytail…but I have weird, finicky hair and specific steps that I MUST take each day so that I don’t look freakish.

So a little background.

I had stick straight hair, and apparently a solid mullet as a child. Evidence below…

Kristin teenage pic

When I was 10 maybe 12 I started getting a perm at the local beauty school. It was the 80’s and what you did.

Kristin child pic

Once I started getting perms, it seemed the easiest way to do my hair. I have very fine hair but lots of it. So it can look thick, but if I try and wear it straight now it behaves terribly. The routine I will share in a minute would be 3x longer if I wanted to try and wear straight hair every day. And I have a longer face…straight, no body hair gives me a horse face. I don’t have a picture to prove it, so you are going to have to trust me on this! 😉

When I had Isaac I decided to cut all my hair off. It was SHORT. And Dominic hated it. It took me years, painfully slow years to grow it back out. Once it got long enough I permed it again to give it body. I like the big hair I guess, if it can’t be beautiful, sleek hair then it should be Texas big! ha!!

With each pregnancy my new hair seemed to grow in more and more curly. So today I think I have a mix of natural curl and perm. I get a perm about every 18 months or so. She uses these long rods which are different than the rods I traditionally had. Something like this. Only hers are more narrow and white. But you get the point.

Perm rods

The perm gives my hair nice curl, and good volume. But I think it looks pretty natural. Just a few days after my perm it doesn’t have that 80’s frizz look. Over the years I have tried EVERY shampoo, gel, mousse combination possible. I have finally found a system that my hair seems to respond well to. (I am telling you it is finicky hair) If I change it up my hair goes nuts. Every single time.

Steps

Deva Curl No-Poo shampoo is the only shampoo I like. Other shampoo makes my hair shaft expand 3 times its normal size. The product I was sent to test out made my hair a snarly ball in the shower.! It was awful. No-poo shampoo doesn’t create suds, but it still cleans your hair. I could easily comb through my hair in the shower, it keeps my hair light and non-expanded. The conditioner just adds some moisture.

A few years ago I read that curly girls shouldn’t use towels on their hair, but a t-shirt. Something about the towel sucking out the moisture too fast and causing frizz. So I have 2 t-shirts that I use each morning. One for when I get out of the shower, and another to use after all the products have been added.

So I wear t-shirt #1 while I get dressed and then I start the process of layering on my products. Layering? Seriously guys this hair of mine!! Anyways, I use Redkin snap to strengthen my ends and a small, pea-sized amount of argon oil right before I comb through my hair. Everything I do, I do with my head upside down. There is something about doing it this way that seems to comb easier, stress less, etc. It works, try it!

Once I have combed through (I use a pick) I apply my mousse. The only mousse that my hair likes is L’Oreal Everstyle Alcohol free curl enhancing mousse. It is light-weight and not sticky. I don’t know that the company is making it any more. I have probably 8 cans I bought in bulk in my closet. It is less than $6 a bottle and I will cry if I ever can’t find it anymore!!

After the mousse comes my Deva curl light defining gel. I use one-half a pump. So not much. The 32oz jug I bought 2 years ago is less than 1/2 full still. It lasts me a long time!

Steps Final

The entire time, I have my head upside down and I am scrunching my hair up. The final step {for now} is to use some Moroccan sea salt spray. This too is a light-weight product, but gives my hair extra bounce. Finally I get out t-shirt #2 and wrap up my hair to dry while I do my make-up.

If I let my hair naturally dry, it is lifeless and a little crunchy. If I use a hairdryer it gets too frizzy. So a few years ago I discovered that if I sit in front of a space heater it dries the outside layer enough so that I can curl it and gives it body, but doesn’t leave it too frizzy.

Seriously, do you know anyone who needs to use a space heater to dry their hair?! My hair has it’s own DIVA personality!

Wet with heater

So in the picture above it me with wet hair, and my trusty space heater. :):)

Scrunch and Dry

While I sit, I scrunch, always the scrunch to help enhance the curls. The picture above it me scrunching away and the after picture once it is dry. (It is not fully dry…the underneath layer is always still damp and just dries naturally.

Now I am almost done!! YAY! I am tired, aren’t you?!

I have never found a hairstyle that has allowed me to not pull my hair back a little. I can’t stand having hair in my face, and I don’t want to be constantly tucking it behind my ears…so I pull it back every day. It used to bother me but then I remembered that girls with straight hair, or short hair pretty much style their hair the same every day too…I am no different.

Before and After

My final step is to curl the very bottoms of the front of my hair and add in some soft curls around my face. My ends, even when newly cut, can have a bit of frizz to them…the curling iron softens those. I don’t have to do much else, but set it with hairspray.

At this point I have been up 4 hours and 42 minutes…ha! Kidding!! But I would say that everything, start to finish, including showering, dressing, my make-up etc takes me a full hour. I do not have wash and go hair. I can’t skip a few days and not wash in between either. My hair would be gross if I did that. Dry shampoos don’t work on my hair, so this is a routine I have mastered and accepted as my life.

Seems a bit extreme doesn’t it?! I am so jealous of those women who can just wash and go, or dry brush and go. I may never know that kind of luxury!! #curlygirlproblems

Are you a #curlygirl? What are some of the products you use that you love?! I’d love to hear!!

Shining Light in the Corners

Light

We have a vacuum with a light on the front of it. It feels all fancy-like really and my only complaint is that when I switch over to use the hose, the light goes off. There have been times I wish I still had the light on when I use the hose, but that’s not what I am here to talk to you about today.

My vacuum and I have become fast friends. It sits out in my kitchen because I use it almost every day. No I am not completely OCD, but we have this dog. Now at the risk of offending my true pet-loving friends can I just take a moment and admit that the reality of pets in my home is waaaay less appealing that the original idea of having pets.

There, I’ve said it. I am a horrible person I know, but I just am realizing that I am not a great dog owner. I am tolerating her for the sake of my husband and kids. My husband said she is a good lesson in me not giving up on something that is hard. I resent him just a bit for the truth in that statement. 😉

But this dog of ours sheds 352,000 pounds of fur approximately every other day. It doesn’t matter what we do…she sheds, it is her breed. I thought she might only shed after winter, but no she sheds every waking moment.

Thus the need for the vacuum out and available.

I can’t stand dog hair in clumps all over my kitchen, on my rugs, the sides of my couch…I am drowning in fur balls…but that really wasn’t what I came here to talk to you about today.

I was vacuuming the other day and my handy light on the front was revealing hair in places that I hadn’t seen without the light. If you came into my kitchen right now you might look at the floor and think it is fine…but with the light of the vacuum the true reality is revealed.

And I was struck by the idea that is just how sin is in my life.

I can pretty myself up just enough so that I look clean to those I come in contact with. And just like when I walk through my kitchen, I stop and deal with the visible chunks and then I think things are just fine.

But when you shine a light on the edges and the corners of the room, the reality of the “dirt” is revealed. And it isn’t pretty.

Sin that I try to hide and ignore, while it may be tucked away in the corners of my life and not completely visible to others, is still there and at some point it needs to be taken care of.

I have been a “stuffer” for the majority of my life. I get hurt, feel slighted, feel angry, whatever and instead of dealing with it, I stuff it away. I easily get resentful and then I allow those resentments to fester. Pretty soon I have made a mountain out of a mole hill…and it keeps going until I explode.

You can only stuff emotions away so long….at some point everything comes to the surface.

And so last fall I got angry and said some terrible, hurtful things to my husband. Something needed to change and it needed to start with me. It was a hard season, one that I went into kicking and screaming, if we are being honest.

I didn’t want to deal with my issues, I had gotten so good at pointing out the wrong in others I had been unable and unwilling to look inward. But with the help of a wonderful Christian counselor I started to examine my life. My responses, my feelings, my anger and what caused it.

I didn’t want to be the woman, the wife and mother that didn’t have it all together. It hurt admitting my faults. I was humiliated by who I had become.

Thankfully I had people in my life who loved me in spite of me. I joined a bible study of women that I felt compelled to be honest with. They accepted me and encouraged me. The need for perfection started to fall away as I realized that I was ok not being ok.

I can honestly say it has been an amazing work of the Holy Spirit in my life. There has been a transformation in my heart, in my mind. Things that would upset me before can be let go. I am not holding resentments but rather extending grace to others in a way it has been given to me.

There is still “dirt” in my life. It will always be a walk of progress not perfection. But I am not walking covered in shame anymore either. I have a desire to be more transparent, if anything maybe my admission will allow someone else to seek out freedom in their own life as well.

Today I am not afraid of the light shining in the corners of my life. I may not like what I find there, and I might need to do some heart work to make things clean again…but even though the work is hard, the joys that come from that kind of freedom-work are immeasurable.

Are there areas you need to address today so that you can walk in freedom? 

Photo Credit: williamnyk

Mom Confessions and Updates

Mom Confessions

I haven’t blogged any real life confessions in a few weeks! I have had things to share, but we went on a vacation 2 weeks ago and had no wifi! So even though I had things I would have shared, I couldn’t…and can I confess that having a few weeks off felt good.

I love blogging, I love sharing my heart here and working out the nitty gritty of my faith, but when I start to feel the pressure to write, to have a certain number of posts in a week…it starts to lose its appeal.

Taking a break was good for me, necessary really and while I will continue to write, I am trying to lower the expectations I have for myself here.

Things have been a blur since coming back to the “real world.” We were scheduled to be greeters at church the Sunday morning after our return. Note to self, if you are randomly scheduled to greet the day after a vacation…switch with someone.

We were up until almost 1am unpacking and when the alarm went off I groaned…and I am a morning person! Karlena was the worst…crying that she was just SOOO tired! I felt her pain. But we were there, not with bells on…but we were there. The sermon was on baptism and so good..so there was a good reason we needed to be there besides greeting! 🙂

Last week flew by. I really don’t know what we did even. Why is it that you need a vacation from life after a vacation? We had a busy work week scheduled and I think we all struggled to maintain at full speed right out of the gate! Who does our scheduling anyways? A crazy person?!

Oh wait, that is me. :/

This week is VBS week.

VBS

I LOVE LOVE VBS week. Really it is a blast. I am helping lead the singing/dancing again this year and it is the highlight of my summer! It is the one time that I can laugh and dance and be goofy and I don’t feel people are judging me. And if they are I don’t even care because VBS just rocks so much!

I just unpacked my suitcase yesterday. I am honestly surprised that I did it this soon. But it was time, and I couldn’t find a second pair of clean socks to wear to VBS so it was necessary that I search for them in my bag. Isn’t unpacking after vacation the worst?

The Fruit Truck came to town last Friday and we purchased 40lbs of bing cherries. Yes we are nuts but oh were they delicious!! We also bought this cherry pitter.

Cherry Pitter

It was $22 and a splurge but oh how worth it! We set up an assembly line and had 20lbs pitted and frozen in no time!

This weekend the kids asked if they could do an experiment. Karlena grabbed a container and just wanted to add food coloring to water. Then Elijah joined in and wanted to make “goo”…he thought the ingredients were water, Elmer’s glue and “white powder”…I could have searched for a recipe but I was too tired…so we just let them dump and pour.

The result was not what they were hoping for and it made a mess everywhere.

Experiments

Karlena dripped green slops all over the floor. I have yet to mop it. I am secretly hoping the dog does the job for me. I know, I know.

I have fed the kids fried eggs for dinner 3 nights in a row. It is late when we get home from VBS and the kids are usually starving and since it seems we NEVER have anything to eat…eggs are the easiest answer. Thank goodness they love eggs.

We spent the afternoon on Sunday with friends and came home with 2 packs of farm-fresh eggs. Karlena calls them “chicken eggs”…I am not sure what animal’s eggs she thinks we eat normally, but apparently farm-fresh = chicken eggs.

There may be more I could share, but I am tired…and out of words. 🙂 I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and hopefully I will be back sometime soon!

Mom Confessions – Smiths in Real Life – Part Ten

Mom ConfessionsIt has been fun sharing my “confessions” here each week. Like therapy, but free! 😉 And even though I would love for you all to go on believing that I have it all together, that isn’t my reality. At all. So I am joining up with my friend Anna over at Girl With Blog and sharing some of my Mom Confessions.

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I may have told Karlena that I needed 3 minutes without words the other day…I really couldn’t take all the talking.  I promptly hurt her feelings and then came the tears. Awesome. So I apologized and gave her all.the.things. Because that’s how I roll sometimes. Ok all the time.

karlena crying

I have a new guilty pleasure. I am not typically an ice cream eater. But last time we were at the grocery store I saw some waffle ice cream comes on an end cap. There was a coupon for $1.50 off ice cream too so it seemed like a great treat for the kids.  I made the mistake of trying one myself. For whatever reason I thought I should line the inside of the cone with caramel sauce. Oh my goodness it was like my very own homemade drumstick. Oh it is so good. It was my dinner on Saturday night. I have a serious problem.

ice cream 1

ice cream 2Oh and after my ice cream I are Doritos…because I needed some salty after my sweet.

Folding/pairing socks together is not something I enjoy. I had let our basket get overrun again this week and begged the kids to help. I told them they didn’t even have to do the folding of the socks, just the matching. I came home later and found this…

socks pile

It was pretty funny actually, any movement at all and that stack was going down. But I was able to whip through the pile in no time flat so I was a happy mama!

One morning this week Karlena woke up and just wanted to watch horse jumping on my computer…in her room. I obliged and found her later like this, she cracks me up!

Karlena computer

The fruit truck came to town again on Monday and this time it was blueberries and melons. We bought 24 pints. What can I say our kids love fruit and these were sooo good! One the way home Dominic and I may (or may not have) eaten an entire pint.

blueberries

I plan on freezing a bunch so that I can use them in my blueberry banana bread recipe later in the year. Does a fruit truck come to your area? Next up is bing cherries and I can’t wait!!

And finally it was our 19 year anniversary on Monday and boy did Dominic surprise me!! I am usually a card giver…but the reality is, Dominic isn’t as moved by cards as I am…so I didn’t get him anything. We typically haven’t made a big deal out of our anniversary…although we should right?! Being married this long is hard work – we should reward ourselves!

Anyways, not only did he get me a beautiful card, acknowledging my love of words…he also made mention of it at church and we were recognized AND he ordered flowers for me that Isaac delivered to the office!

This is HUGE people! And I likely won’t get flowers next year, but this year…I am totally soaking it up! 🙂

Anniversary flowers

Aren’t they beautiful?! I was just so so excited!! I am enjoying them all week!

Well that’s about all my brain can muster right now. It has been a week of long days and nights and little sleep…but rest is in sight! Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Mom Confessions – Smiths in Real Life – Part Nine

Mom Confessions

How is it I have written 9 of these posts now?! It has been fun sharing my “confessions” here each week. Like therapy, but free! 😉 And even though I would love for you all to go on believing that I have it all together, that isn’t my reality. At all. So I am joining up with my friend Anna over at Girl With Blog and sharing some of my Mom Confessions.

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A few weeks ago Dominic ran to Walmart for me with the kids and got some groceries. He brought home a couple packs for toilet paper….good man right? Yes, but then we realized that he didn’t get the “right stuff.” He said it felt much heavier than he had remembered, but didn’t know why. So we decided to open a pack and try it out.

Let me tell you this stuff was NOT GOOD. it is the cheapest toilet paper we have ever encountered. So we had opened one pack and figured we were stuck with it…but decided to take the other one back to Walmart the other day.

mom confessions toilet paper

So, as they always do, the cashier asks us if there was anything wrong with the item we were returning? ahem….well actually yes, yes indeed there was. Dominic tells her that it was the worst toilet paper ever. That it was like wiping with a thistle. 🙂 Oh we were all laughing by the time we were done. I am thinking we made that woman’s day because she laughed so hard…and I bet you anything she won’t ever buy that toilet paper!!

I don’t know if you saw my post yesterday about our Open House for Isaac? Well there were a couple of things that I didn’t share there that are fitting now.

First of all I never got around to washing my kitchen/dining room floors before the party. Yes there were sticky spots all around, but I ran out of time. And you know what?! It is a good thing I didn’t bother because after 100+ people came through our kitchen, got food and drinks…there were spills and I would have had to do it all over again.

So we decided that from now on we will clean after the party only! 🙂

Second there was a door that I was REALLLLLY embarrassed about. We had even tried about a month ago to get a new door to fix it but we couldn’t. The door is a screen door that is part of a built in insert and we can’t find a new glass storm door to replace it like we had hoped.

Here is why I wanted to fix the door.

broken door

It started when our dog would jump on the screen door to let us know she wanted back in the house…. she had that thing ripped to shreds in about 2 days.

So Dominic bought a new screen and this vinyl sheeting stuff and tried to build a barrier. One afternoon the big door was left open and from the inside she scratched at the screen and tore it again.

broken door 2

So now we have broken screen view from the inside and dirty white vinyl from the outside. It is gross and I hate not having a screen so we can let light and air in…but we are stuck right now. To replace it would mean removing siding to get to the door casing and would cost a lot of money….not happening now.

But yuck right?!

The reality is most of our guests on Saturday didn’t even go near the door and the ones that did were family and they don’t care. Why do I let things like this bother me so?! 🙂

And speaking of Isaac…this is some of the fun he has to look forward to when he starts school.

Mines beenie

Interestingly, they don’t tell the students about this when they visit the school…but we knew and apparently he will get to wear this beauty for a full semester. Kind of has a greek-initiation feel to it doesn’t it? All I can say is with my hair, that hat would NOT have happened. No sir!

And finally these….really are words even necessary?! Just that I want these and can’t stop thinking of them. They look so delicious! You are welcome!

knock yo naked bars

And so, that about wraps up our week. I am hoping to get back to some more consistent writing soon…but there are no promises. Have a blessed rest of the week!!

Mom Confessions – Smiths in Real Life – Part One

Mom Confessions

Last week’s “Lest You Think We are Normal” post was so much fun to write. While I would love for you all to go on believing that I have it all together, that isn’t my reality. At all. So I am joining up with my friend Anna over at Girl With Blog and sharing some of my Mom Confessions. Hopefully these posts will be a little lighthearted humor for your day!

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I made the mistake of showing Dominic the “Tight Pants” You Tube video a few weeks ago. You know the one with Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell? We were playing it and the kids were in the room. I know, I know. And yes there is one bad word in it. The kids weren’t aware but yes, not appropriate…anyways… Karlena has been humming that song now for everything. EVERYTHING. She makes up songs to that tune which makes me all kinds of proud. #momfail

5 of the 6 of us had dentist appointments today. This was Karlena’s first visit. Yes we should have started sooner…but she did really good and didn’t fuss or cry at all. I was so proud of her. She has a small cavity starting in her back molar, which stinks. Apparently it has deep divots in it so it wasn’t a surprise to the dentist, but somehow I feel like it a reflection on my mothering. Do you ever feel this way?

Karlena dentist

Oh and while we are talking dentists, I don’t floss. I have basically lied about it for years, because who wants to admit that they don’t floss? But I don’t. It kind of grosses me out. I have been in the car enough times with a certain someone who flosses and meat chunks fly out onto the dashboard. Makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little…so to avoid the barfing I avoid the flossing. I do use a Sonicare toothbrush…so I am counting that as close enough to the actual thing without actually having to floss. (My hygienist doesn’t buy it either) 😉

The other day Karlena came up to me and rubbed my side and asked me what that bump was….well my darling daughter that is my muffin top. Oh yes I just did! She laughed and said that her side was flat. I smirked and said just you wait my girl. After you birth babies and have a love addiction to all things sweet, it will change. It will change.

The graduation announcements that I made for Isaac came yesterday. I loved how they look until I realized that I didn’t add an RSVP….the reality is that most wouldn’t RSVP…but now they won’t for sure, because of course. So if you are coming just me a shout won’t you? Seriously how do you even begin to plan for an event like this?!

Isaac Graduation

Well that is all the fun I can share for now….but I would love to hear your Mom Confessions for the week! Jump on over to Anna’s place and join in the fun won’t you?!

Lest You Think We May Be “Normal”….

Family

One of my friends does a weekly “confessional” on FB and shares a bit of the reality of her life and asks others to join on in.

So in the spirit of that I thought I would give you a look into our little lives, and lest you think we may be “normal”…well sit back, read along and be transformed in the truth! 😉

I let Karlena eat the chocolate snack she got from dance class on the way home in the car. I know it is right before dinner but it was this tiny kit kat bar..how much trouble could it cause? Well after our 3 minute car ride she was covered in melted chocolate, even getting it on her brand new tights. That’s what I get apparently.

Today we took our dog Sydney to a “spa day” aka she needed a trim and a wash and mama ain’t got no time for that so let’s pay someone else $30 to do it for me day. She was soft and fluffy and clean, And then it rained (because of course) and someone aka Gabriel let her outside and left her outside for a long time…and she is no longer clean nor fluffy. She basically smells like wet dog. Ahh good times.

Speaking of dogs, ours is shedding at an incredible rate (lest the reason a haircut seemed appropriate). It is as though she births 15,000 small rabbits each day all across our main living space. They tuck themselves in each nook and cranny that they can find and hide there until I can vacuum. I have done so the past 2 nights and am frightened at how much I am picking up. Will this end before graduation in May, please tell me it will.

My 2 youngest children speak in a slightly British accent. I am not sure where it came from as it doesn’t always show itself. I call it Minnesota British. It is really quite unique and I can’t even begin to describe it…but if you are ever around my kids listen to them say something about “the last morning” and you will know what I am talking about.

Oh did I mention that I have a SENIOR this year and I am basically doing my best to hold it together before he ditches our family all together for life! Ok maybe that is a little extreme but when he is moving 7 hours away I am guessing that we won’t see him very often. And can I say that this whole transition phase is also not fun. He needed a copy of his medical records for college, I call and can’t get them because he is 18.

I know, I know the rules, but such a hassle, especially when he is working or in school from 7:45am to 7pm most days. We have all of his Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive/HIPPA docs prepared so that if something ever did happen we could make decisions for him…but we have to pick a date when he isn’t working and we are free and can find a Notary that isn’t one of us and get the darn things signed.

On my list of things to do. Along with painting those stupid shelves. I know kids we don’t say stupid but right now I am over those shelves and wishing they would paint themselves.

Anywho…

Oh and speaking of toy rooms, ours is incredibly clean right now which only means they are not engaging in playing with toys and likely spending too much time playing video games instead. But sometimes when I need 20 minutes to write a ridiculous blog post, I just let it slide. You understand right?!

Oh and a little behind the scenes to the picture above…Isaac looks like he was in a drug induced stupor (he was not)…and Dominic is, if I remember correctly, grabbing my “bumper” as Elijah would call it trying to make me laugh. Always a good time happening around these parts.

So there you go. A look into our wild and wacky and sometimes weird but hardly “normal” lives.

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