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Showing posts from February, 2014

7 QT: Team Awesome-o FTW!

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Okay, once again linking up with the Friday Clean Up Link Up at Real Housekeeping and just generally reflecting on other miscellany from the week.  We'll start with the cleaning part!
--- 1 --- If you didn't see it on FB yesterday, I urge you to take the 3 minutes to see the "before" video of our bedroom closets, if for no other reason than to laugh at my crazy eyes, terrible half-up, half-down, all wet hairdo, and liberal use of the phrase "heart of darkness."

The horror! The horror!
--- 2 --- I have to hand it to my husband, who was so dedicated and so awesome as to stay up late, late into the night and help me clean and organize.  We ended up rearranging our whole bedroom and I think we are both happy with the results.  Here is how it all ended up:


I realize that the video was kind of dark, so here are a few stills to show the inside.


After rearranging the room, I think we were both wondering why we didn't just start out with the bed in the corner.  …

8 Ways to Spin Straw into Gold

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Linking up with Gina at Someday Saints for...

I suppose I should clarify my title a little bit.  I'm speaking of the fairy tale character's ability to turn straw into gold, not to intimidate frightened mothers into giving up their firstborn children.

You've all heard it said, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."  It's not just an empty cliche, folks, it is true and I'm going to share with you some things that we do to make some extra bling bling around here.

None of these, by themselves, could probably sustain a family of five as a full time job.  But I can tell you that doing all of them in combination have gotten us through two or three months of my husband being unemployed and me making a pretty small (about $1100 take home pay) monthly paycheck.

Some of them may not be applicable in your state; you'll have to do your homework.  And some may just make you shake your head and say, "No way I'm gonna do THAT."  Take wh…

I found my jam...

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…and its name is Jazzercise.

And I am not ashamed.


I'm on day two of doing a morning Jazzercise workout at the community center near my house.  They have childcare to the tune of a buck per child (more reasonable than hiring a babysitter for an hour) and it's all of five minutes from my house.  
I had never done it before yesterday.  In fact, I had been skeptical that it would be any fun at all.  But my desperation to get some form of exercise nearby drove me to look at the website and watch a few videos of the kinds of moves they have in their routines.  
I guessed that not only could I handle the basic assortment of moves (jazz squares, skips, kick-ball-changes, plies, etc.), I liked the fact that it was all set to music and that it was always getting changed up and there would be other people in the group I could watch and learn from.  
Yesterday morning, off I went.  And boy, did I get sweaty fast.  I don't think I've had that level of aerobic exercise in years; pro…

The Great Purse Purge of '14

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(NB: Usually Tuesdays on this blog are reserved for Tribute Tuesday, but I'm switching it up this week to take part in Kendra's Purse Dump Link-Up…because apparently having to organize my bedroom closets this week for Real Housekeeping isn't ENOUGH organization!)

I don't currently use a purse.  I have a huge black one that I got from Goodwill for job interviews and such, but I don't really like it for the mommy life, and I don't like carrying a purse separate from a diaper bag.  This, therefore, is my "purse":
That's right, an old Eddie Bauer backpack we picked up in the Bargain Basement of Next Adventure (great outdoor gear shop in Portland).  I like a backpack because when I carry a purse on one shoulder, I can only do it on my right side (it always slips off my left shoulder) and I'm such a spaz that I always knock it into something when I'm putting on or taking off an "across the body" type of messenger bag.  Hopeless.  So, b…

Our Children's Names

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Jen has asked the impossible highly challenging of herself and any others who wish to take up the challenge: 7 posts in 7 days, starting today.

I think I'll start today by writing about how we chose our children's names. It was an idea provided by Team Whitaker and I am just such a sucker for talking about and dreaming up baby names, and I always have been.

When I was about seven or eight, I received two dolls for Christmas, a boy and a girl. My parents asked what I would name them, and I puzzled over it for most of the day. Finally, I decided that I would give the dolls new names everyday, because I just couldn't settle on only two that I liked!

For me, the best part of playing dolls, Barbies, house, even Legos was coming up with the names of the characters involved.  As a child I told and then wrote many, many, MANY stories.  From my earliest times (like age two, I think) I would tell stories.  Before I could write for myself, I dictated them to my mom for her to wri…

On Community (and Chickens)

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This post will likely be a quick one, because there's all kinds of lunchtime clean up to do (note to self: feeding Cream of Wheat to the kids is an invitation to washing the floor, table, and their clothes afterwards.)

This morning a dear friend invited me out to some fellowship time with several people I didn't know, had never met, and with whom I had little in common.  The introvert in me, of course, was hesitant to go. But the prospect of spending time with my friend Kelly (not to mention treating her to an overdue birthday cup of coffee) was certainly reason enough to spend an hour with folks I didn't know.

I'm so glad I went.  It was lovely to see Kelly, but it was also so healthful and refreshing to be in community, even if it was a community that to which I had no particular affinity.

The lead pastor at Imago Dei, where I used to attend church and which was a great spiritual home for several years, once preached about how too often we choose our acquaintances a…

7 QT: The Entry Way is no longer scary, Interwebz musings, and GIFs aplenty

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I know that you've all been waiting with 'bated breath to see how the cleaning and organizing of my entry way went. Well, now you will find out! Get ready to look like this:

--- 1 --- First, you might want to refamiliarize yourself with what sad shape my entry way was in…


I realize that the trailer was a little bit "Blair Witch Project" in terms of the roaming flashlight and semi-darkness.  Here are a few still shots of the "Before":
Another thing you should know is that even this is better than what it was originally, because before we did not have that neat metal black shelfy thing from the Container Store.  Then my mom took pity on our pathetic entry way and got us one.  Thanks Mom!
--- 2 --- Well, on Thursday night, the kids went to bed early (being sick and non-napping and all).  My husband stepped out to do some shopping, and I decided to tackle the entry way.  I put on my headlamp and got to work.  I definitely armed myself with our little vacuu…