This was my poor husband taking a conference call. The only quiet place in the house was out in the messy garage!


On Saturday, the kids and I were hanging out in my son’s room and I asked about this little cardboard box. My son confessed to not knowing why he had it and said, “I’m a hoarder.” We all laughed really hard and decided it would be fun to make some more!

20131122-152209.jpgTwo of our friends got married. I was freezing because I’m a wimp, but it was a really sweet night. We are so happy for them.


A bunch of the youth helped with the catering. They were guarding the dessert table, but a couple of guests got through, so they took this approach.


Somebody kept distracting the servers with his ESPN app.


On Sunday, we had a memorial for our grandmother/great grandmother. My son, who does not like being in front of a group of people, agreed to do one of the Bible readings. When my husband asked him, he just said yes, like it was no big deal. Then right before the service, I asked him if he was nervous. He said, “It’s just six verses, Mom. I think I can do it.”


So, I opened an Etsy store. I wanted to find a way to raise money for all the mission organizations and world changers that I know. I made these cute headbands. After wearing them this week, I’ve learned that they need some tweaking. They hurt like heck! We’re still in product development. 🙂 I’ll keep you posted.


I’m linking up here:

life rearranged


Hand Me Down Buttons and Love


Over the past few years, my grandma-in-law has been passing her craft supplies down to me. She has been filling my craft closet with vintage treasures of lace, fabric, and lots of amazing buttons. She didn’t just buy buttons, she would painstakingly cut them off clothes that were no longer wearable. So the different collections passed down to me, were grown over decades of deciding what was valuable enough to buy, and then what was valuable enough to keep.

Two weeks ago, this sweet woman passed away and we’re are all saying goodbye in our different ways. Today, I’m sorting through sewing notions and thread– my last gift of hand me downs from Grandma. She would always tell me, “You’re the only one that does this stuff anymore. You will actually use it.”


So now I’m making the hard decisions. What can I make for the little girls, her great-grandkids, so that they will remember her? How do I use these vintage tools that I’ve never seen on Pinterest? How do I continue what she started long ago?

Because she loved so well with her sewing and crafts. Not just the family, but strangers too! She would buy teddy bears and stuffed animals at garage sales and thrift stores. Then take them home and clean them up. Give them a new smile or eyes. And tie a bow on them. Around Christmas time, Grandma and Grandpa would drive around to the roughest parts of town, passing the them out to whatever kids they could find.

I’ve learned so much from her over the last 14 yrs of having her as my grandma. I want to honor her with the tools and supplies she’s left behind. And I want to continue to pass down the lessons she taught with her life.


Here’s a recap of our week in fuzzy phone pics.

If you get up to go to the bathroom, these guys will steal your spot. You’ve been warned.20131115-081005.jpg

I spent Sunday morning trying to teach the kids how to crochet. Turns out, left handed crocheting is TOTALLY different than right handed. My poor little chica! I did not know how to teach her. We will be learning from Youtube together, later. This guy rocked it, however.20131115-081042.jpg

Finished product!20131115-081104.jpg

I made some too.20131115-081136.jpg

Then there was an epic battle.20131115-081207.jpg

I got to go a fun concert with some of my favorite twins!20131115-081230.jpg

Crowder was my favorite part! He had a full on bluegrass band and they were incredible.20131115-081338.jpg

This kid has a really hard life.20131115-081424.jpg

I’ve been working on a ton of projects that I’m hoping to share soon. This is our kitchen table getting a little white-wash action.


I’m linking up here:

life rearranged


Here’s a re-cap of our week in fuzzy phone pics.

This is what I found when I walked out to the backyard. How he got in there is a mystery, but I would put money on his siblings being involved.


I forget that this big kid was my original wild child. He’s so responsible now, but there was a time when climbing the furniture and pulling all the books off the shelf was his full time job. What is he doing here, you ask? He’s being a sloth for an animal game with his little brother. Obviously.20131108-075851.jpg

See what I mean? So responsible. The transition from homeschool to regular school was rough at first, but he’s really hit his stride.20131108-080029.jpg

I saw this writing on the wall while I was running yesterday. Isn’t that what everyone wants? I started praying that I would be a better listener and really hear others’ stories.20131108-080058.jpg

This kid has learned how to say the word, “Run.” It’s turned him into quite the trainer. One day, he pointed straight at me and told me to run and then climbed into his jog stroller. The next day, I wasn’t running fast enough for him because we lost sight of his daddy. So, he yelled, “Run! Run! Daddy!” As if keeping up with him wasn’t hard enough already.20131108-080127.jpg

That Time We Overdid Halloween

Our Halloween started in the beginning of the month at Disneyland. The kids were on fall break, so we took our family vacation. I told them I wanted one good picture with the castle and their costumes. Easier said than done. I got about 20 shots like this one.


This was the best we could do. Mickey’s Halloween Party! We highly recommend it. The kids had tons of fun!


Jon and I had a little grown up Halloween fun at a murder mystery party with our friends. It was set in the 1920’s in Chicago. Jon was a gangster and I was a lounge singer.


The kids also wore their costumes to hospice to cheer up their great grandma.


Then we had our annual carving party with our family. Of course, I only have this blurry camera pic to show you.

photo-2 copy

Then after a month of wearing our costumes out, we made it to Halloween and trick-or-treating! Our nephew has had his birthday party on Halloween night for the past couple of years. We all go over to their house and all of the aunts and uncles follow the littles around the neighborhood, while all of the Jr high kids go trick-or-treating on their own.

IMG_5671My sweet girl helped one of her little cousins through most of the night.

IMG_5666They were the cutest!

IMG_5679My little football did pretty well too. He loved this house.

IMG_5676They were showing It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in the driveway, and they had puppies to pet! He did not want to leave. We caught a few glimpses of our big kid too.


I don’t know when Halloween became such a big holiday for us, but we celebrated it all month long. Hope you had some good family fun too!

Meals Shmeals

Hi Friends! This post is mainly for my mom friends. Yesterday, we had a discussion about meal planning. We were sharing all our ideas and the different recipes we love, but it is 2013, and we need links! So, I’m posting them all here. If you don’t care about meal planning, just ignore this one. - Do they really have to eat dinner every single night?
This woman changed my life with her google calendar meal planning tutorial! I have all our dinners on my phone, people, my phone!

How to Use Google Calendar to Create a Menu

Here are a bunch of our favorite go-to salads:

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad : Easy to make spinach/chickpea salad.

Mediterranean Grain Salad : Simple bulgar salad. Could omit goat cheese to make vegan.

Amazing Quinoa Salad : This one is our favorite. We even make this for dinner guests.

Easy Avocado Lime Black Bean Salad : Similar flavors as the Amazing Quinoa, but much easier to make.

Pineapple Goat Cheese Salad with Arugula and Walnuts : Okay, this is just yummy! My cousin made this one at Thanksgiving and it has been in the mix ever since. We have walnut allergies, so we use pecans. Still yummy!

Here are some of the crock pot freezer meals, I’ve made:

Crock pot freezer meals : We can vouch for the Chicken Taco Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and the Sausage and Bean Supper.  We have tried them and liked them. I sent the Chicken Taco Soup over to my in-laws and they REALLY liked it (the secret is in the beer :)).

Some things we have liked in the breakfast realm:

Hootenanny : The taste of pancakes but you don’t have to do all that flipping. One pan.

 Rise and Shine Healthy Muffins  I bake two batches of these muffins and then freeze them. The kids pull them out and microwave them for breakfast or for an afternoon snack. I don’t know why I bother freezing them, they don’t last more than a couple of days.

Some other tips that have helped us:

Shredded Chicken: I buy a big thing of chicken breasts and put them in my crock pots with cut up carrots, celery, onion, a couple cloves of garlic and seasonings. At the end of the day, I shred the chicken and put it in freezer bags. We use this for quick dinners of nachos, chicken quesadillas, salsa verde chicken burritos. I also strain the broth and load my freezer up with a ton of chicken stock.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup : Really cost effective, crowd pleaser! It’s a guilty pleasure soup with cream cheese and bacon, but, man, is it tasty!

This Week in Fuzzy Phone Pics

It’s Friday! Which means it’s time to link up our phone pics. This is such a fun way to see all the stuff that happened this week!
We started off with a jam-packed Sunday. Two of our little friends had an awesome birthday party. These were some gifts the kids and I made. (I don’t have pics of the other present, but I will probably share the poem Roc wrote for it. It was really fun!)20130215-085647.jpg

We made these awesome jet packs at the party. This little guy wore his the whole time. The cuteness killed me. 20130215-085809.jpg

There were these super cute cupcakes!20130215-085909.jpg
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We sat at the kid table with these lovely ladies. It was surprisingly comfortable. 20130215-090115.jpg

Then we went to hang out with some student. One of them had these batman socks! They had capes!20130215-090218.jpg

This happened one day. This never happens. Normally, he is the energizer bunny baby. He just keeps going and going. 20130215-090342.jpg

Then there was Valentine’s Day.


And, someone found his jet pack again.


Now, that I see them all together. I realize that I need to get better at taking snapshots of our days, but I don’t want to become a tourist of my own life, either.

How do you capture memories while still engaging the moment? Any tips for me?

Linking up here:

life rearranged