Wednesday, December 29, 2010

looking back at 2010...

I decided to take a trip down memory lane this afternoon... NOT a good thing. :) Here are the goals I set for myself to work towards in 2010... (I wanted to be able to say these things as of 12/31/10)....

1. I have lost 20 pounds
2. I have quit soda altogether
3. We FINALLY finished painting the interior of our home... (this has been an ongoing project for over 4 years.... you can stop laughing now...)
4. I tried seafood (I have a weird seafood phobia.... just typing that out has me almost "enjoying" a panic attack... it's rather bizarre...)
5. I no longer spend just because I can... I have been able to put more into savings rather than into junk we don't need.

Well... I can officially say one of them. #3... the house was FINALLY painted this summer/fall. As for the rest of them... yeah.... not happening.

Let's reflect a moment on each task...

1. I tried REALLY hard to lose the 20lbs. Was working out 4 times a week doing an hour of cardio each time. Also incorporated strength training. I never saw any sort of results... NADA, ZIP... NOTHING! But... now I sort of know why. The big "C" - cancer. Now saying this is all to blame... but thyroid cancer totally screws up your metabolism. HOPEFULLY now that the path to health has been embarked upon... but this time in 2011, I will have lost 30 lbs! :)

2. soda... i tried SEVERAL times. lame, right? not sure what it's going to take to quit drinking soda. miracle? :)

3. YEAH!!!

4. I was sincerely planning to try seafood while on our annual FL vacation this year. Had it all planned out - a grouper sandwich from Pompano Joe's. :) BUT... then the oil spill happened and I decided I'd rather wait a year. So... 2011 is my year! :)

5. I've done better with this. Not perfection by any claim... but better. Rather than boosting our savings, we've been trying to pay down debt... in a MAJOR way.

So that's the official rundown of 2010 goals. Time to start thinking about 2011... it's been a rough end to 2010... and possibly a rough start to 2011... but it can only go up, right?!

HAPPY NEW YEAR (a bit early...!)!!!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A GREAT day for a hike in the woods... :)

Let me preface this whole ditty by saying that I REALLY need a better camera to catch the kids at the "perfect" moment. As you can see with the Chud below... I would LOVE to have him not be blurry in this picture! At least you can still see how cool this place is...

A few weeks ago we packed up the kids after church and headed to Hocking Hills. It's about an hour from our house... and SO amazing! Even though we've lived here for 5 years now we had never taken the time to drive out to hike around. It's a huge gorge type area just to the west (or is it east... maybe north... or even south... yeah... I really don't know) of C-bus. AMAZING!!!! The kids had a billion places to climb into... water to toss rocks into... in their minds... perfection!

I love this picture of "miss thing" below... you can totally see that she is absolutely SICK of my taking pictures. HA! The joys of being the mom! :) It's so rare to get all three looking at the camera, almost smiling, with their eyes open. I personally thing this picture is nothing short of a MIRACLE!

What have you done this fall with YOUR family?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our annual FL vacation... August 2010

Every year (almost) we head down to Destin, FL to enjoy the sun, sand, and pool. The kids love it, we love it... it's perfect. We stay at the same place every year... which is kind of nice. I like to be able to "be" on vacation when we "go" on vacation. Not stressing about getting lost or if our condo is going to be crap :). We did stay in a different condo this year... at the same complex. LOVED IT! It was our favorite out of the 3 we've stayed in for previous visits. Can't wait to go back!! Here are some pics of our time... nothing to life changing... just fun shots... except for the first pic...

see that nasty green goop.... it's algae. We've NEVER had an issue with it before. Apparently, due to the heavy rains in the Midwest... the fertilizer farms use along the mighty Mississippi has washed into the gulf. Gross. So... with all the HOT weather the gulf has had this summer.... the fertilizer has blossomed into some lovely green goo. Usually they have an "offshore flow" (winds blow yuk stuff out), but oh no... not this year. They've had a consistent "onshore flow". Figures. Enough with our nature/weather lesson.... let's move on.....

Miss Thing was SO proud of this hole... "mom... I have water!!!". She worked HARD on this... very hard. Kind of cute to see the kids applying themselves to something as mundane as digging a sand hold. Wish it would translate to room cleaning...

Had to include Red's hole... he's such a goofball. He wanted his picture to look like he fell into a huge hole... pretty convincing, eh?

the Chud had issues with digging a hole... he never seemed to sit in one place long enough to actually get anything started. Crazy kid... where he gets his energy... I'll NEVER know! I'll be curious next year if his hole digging skills have improved... :)

This is every mother's dream... all the kids playing together without bickering, yelling, or any other negative form of anything. This was toward the end of the week (maybe even the morning we left...) so thankfully most of the nasty green goo had moved a bit farther off shore (like 10 feet... but enough to make a difference!!). They sat and did whatever they do along the shore for quite a while. WONDERFUL! This is why I LOVE taking the kids to the beach... they're finally content.

Friday, August 13, 2010

What to do... what to do?

Toward the middle of summer, I started to hear "MOM... I'M BORED!!!". Not really sure how it's possible with the GAZILLIONS of toys they have and all the fun outdoor stuff available to them... but none-the-less... I put my thinking cap on and came up with this...


Not exactly a "new" idea... but it was new to my 3 little schwadlings :)....

This is about the ONLY kind of graffiti I'd ever let the kids take part in... :) ... the kind that washes away. I (back in my rebel days... ha ha ha), along with some junior high friends decided it would be fun to use shaving cream all over a local elementary school one night at a sleepover. Yeah, the cops didn't like it so much (lame). That was my first run in with the law. I still don't think my parents know about it... my friends parents were FREAKING out! :) Anyway...

This was SEVERAL weeks ago, but I swear, he still smells like Barbasol. He loved it... he's a very touchy-feely kid... so this was great for him!

It was fun to watch once they really started to get into it. At first Miss Thing was all worried that it was going to "ruin my hair or swimsuit". Whatever. So NOT her mother's daughter in that regard. Once they figured it all out... WATCH OUT! As you can see even the little neighbor boy Dougie got into it (he would be the one in the blue shirt) - sorry Cliff and Anne! :)

I think Miss Thing decided it was revenge time on all the boys. Being the only girl sometimes she has to put up with a LOT of boy stuff. She took FULL advantage of this opportunity (you GO girl!!)...

One day, I WILL get a picture of all three of them with their eyes open! :) HA! They really did have SO much fun... you should totally try it if you have kids. It's cheap (less than $1.50 a can for the Barbasol) and cleans up easy. Must say, the clean up was the best part for me. I took the hose sprayer and told them to hold still. I LOVE spraying people... so it was perfect! BBBWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! :)....


The shutters have been done for a while... but I've been such a slacker with sharing ANYTHING on this lovely blog :). SO here is the "not" so grand reveal of this project that ended up being the thorn in my flesh for many weeks!

Painting (what felt like) millions of boards - outside - in the sun - on our black driveway... yeah... not so fun. After painting them the lovely shade of "Napolean" (aka: dark gray) I realized I probably should've primed them first. Oops. Oh well... what's done is done. We had to make 10 of these babies... felt SO good to see them done and put together!

My uber-brave husband had to literally FORCE the nasty vinyl shutters from the house. I thought he was going to fall with them a few times... he seemed to enjoy it. Maybe a little bit too much....

Here you can witness the nastiness that WAS our faded, crappy vinyl shutters. These were DARK red when we moved in 5 years ago. Now they look pink. Gross. Who wants PINK shutters??

Not the best picture... but look how much better these look!?! We also painted our front door BRIGHT RED (think 16 coats of red paint... seriously) which really helped to bring it all together. I added some new pots of flowers and PRESTO CHANGO... so much better!

We saved so much $$ doing these ourselves (one set of shutters would've cost what we paid for 5 sets had we purchased them) so all the sweat, tears, and sunburn was totally worth it. I have to give props to Miss Thrifty Decor Chick who inspired me to try this project. You totally have to check out her blog. She's got some amazing ideas and she's so darn creative (yes... I'm jealous....) - you'll probably be sucked into it all like I have :). Consider this your warning...

On to the next project... painting our master bath. STILL don't have a color... so it may NEVER get done! :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Busy... busy... dreadfully busy....

I must admit... I LOVE veggie tales. Especially when Madame Blueberry sings the "busy" song. That's how I feel lately... BUSY. It's starting to make me crazy.

I've been reading this blog - Simple Mom quite a bit lately and have been SO inspired. I so desire a simple life for myself and my family. All the running we do seems to make us grumpy and tired. All the tv we watch seems to make us bored when it's not entertaining us. Kind of lame.

My goal over the next few weeks is to finish up the MANY projects I've started. The shutters... painting the great room (those of you who REALLY know me... you can stop laughing now)... cleaning carpet... purging stuff.

Even the kids are getting in the spirit - we're having a garage sale on June 12. They've already started sorting through their STUFF - keep pile, garage sale pile, and goodwill pile. I'm so proud! :)

So please stay tuned... summer is JUST around the corner! Sounds like a great time for me to get less busy (ha ha ha) and practice being simple...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our first day at the beach for 2010!!

It's been a LONG time since my last bloggie blog entry.... but thought I'd try to start up again (sounds familiar eh?). No time like the present!! :)

This year for Easter we went North to my family in west Michigan. My parents are blessed to live uber close to Lake Michigan... perfect in the summer. Semi-perfect the rest of the year. Something about 80 degree days in April made us all ready to jump back into beach time! It was a chilly evening, but the kids had so much fun! They could spend HOURS digging in the sand... and playing in the water if it wasn't FREEZING (then again... Lake Michigan is ALWAYS freezing!). It was chilly, but "relaxing" to watch them play!

Yes, I know. This is FUZZY. I was sitting inside my parents van at this point. I was COLD COLD COLD!! Obviously little dude didn't care - he was happily carrying his FREEZING cold bucket of water back up to the rest of the group...

This is about the only moment he wasn't running off into the sunset. My sister did a fantastic job of catching him... while I sat in the nice warm van.... :)....

Miss thing - always posing for the camera. Her irritation with me constantly snapping pics doesn't even show in her face... AMAZING~~

Here's the motley crew... our Michigan cousins. What a bunch!!

We're busy working on a house project - new shutters! Rather than spending $300 per pair (OUCH!) we decided to make them for $30 a pair. Good times. I'll post pics when done! Garden is also started - just onions and lettuce so far. Can't wait to get the tomatoes, cukes, and green beans started! :) We also planted 2 more blueberry bushes - they're PINK blueberries! SO FUN! Makes them taste better.... I hope (I'm NOT a big blueberry fan... but my boys love them)...

Ta-ta for now!

Monday, February 22, 2010


So after taking a short break from blogworld, I decided that I kind of miss it. I've decided that I'm not a daily blogging kind of girl... more of a random thought blogger. It's not always going to be about the kids.. but rather the random things happening in my life. Some decor stuff, some family stuff, so random thought process stuff.

So - if this sounds good to you... please stick around! :)

I FINALLY finished the kids bathroom (minus the white cabinet that I just can't find anywhere - one that I like at least) so I'll take some pics later this week to share with everyone!

Until next time... keep smilin!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Taking a break....

So when I started... this whole blog thing sounded really fun. Well... as you can see, I never got "really" into it. I love to write... I love to share... but taking the time to upload pics, think of something to chat about... I don't know. It has kind of lost it's *shimmer* to me.

So, I'm taking a break.

I'll still be reading YOUR blogs though... maybe I'll find some inspiration... :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

So much for the BIG REVEAL....

Yeah... totally should've borrowed this book from the library...

I'm stuck on the drywall part of my job. Seriously... it looks TERRIBLE. I'm done with the painting - accessories are on their way... but this drywall spot. It's becoming the thorn in my flesh.

YEARS ago after buying our first house in Fort Wayne.... we decided we could "easily" finish the basement ourselves. We had NO experience whatsoever with drywall... but it sure did look easy. HA HA HA HA HA... I'm still laughing at that one. We did finish it... tossed some sand mixed with paint on the walls for texture (to cover the CRAPPY drywall job) and called it a day. Only problem... everytime we accidentally bumped into the wall... we tore skin off our arms. YUCK!

SO.... we hired someone to come in, sand off the sand and completely refinish the basement. Should've been lesson learned, right?

Oh no....

We had the brilliant idea to finish a room in the unfinished basement of our current house. We were smarter this time - we hung the drywall... the hired the finishing out to a drywall dude. It's still not perfect... but it's the basement.

Now for my little drywall conundrum. If I leave it the way it is (finish sanding then prime... paint) I'll know it looks HORRIBLE for the rest of my days. OR... I could find a GREAT picture to hang over the spot - but I'll still know it's horrible. OR... I could just not care.

Any suggestions? :)

Hopefully by Friday I'll have it finished. Hopefully....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Projects, projects, projects....

Well... I can mark one thing off my list - WAHOOOOOO!!! Over the last week I've completely purged our basement of all the *stuff* we had. Seriously... it was pretty ridiculous. We've been in this house for just over 4 years - and I found pictures still wrapped in newspaper from our move. Needless to say, they've been unwrapped... and repacked. *HA*! This summer when it's FINALLY warm again... I'm planning to spray paint the frames black... then start another project. Don't you just LOVE how that works??.....

Here is a sneak peak at my next project. I'm about 3/4's of the way done... so hopefully by the end of this week, I'll have it DONE and will be able to share it with you!

Bet you're just DYING to see what I'm up to now... (ha ha ha ha).....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Don't you just hate when....

The big bug of JEALOUSY settles in? Personally makes me kind of bonkers. :)

I've been dealing with this lately... not sure why... I think it might be Satan attacking. I've been trying already in this new year to focus more on my walk with Christ. To really find Him again... to get in that place where all things are amazing because of Christ. Yet... as soon as I start to get into that groove...


I get bit. Bad....

Maybe the first thing I REALLY need to work on is contentment. Contentment on where we're at - financially, in our home, with the relationships I have. For the things I feel I'm "lacking"... instead of feeling BLAH about them... use Christ to fill those voids.

Reminds me of a favorite verse... Isaiah 58:11 (NIV):
"The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail."

Time to get back into HIS word... and stop letting the things of this world control my heart.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thought I'd give this a try....

I've decided to try this out for a few weeks to see if we can do it. Our pantry and "schwadmart" (stash in the basement) have gotten a bit out of control over the last several months. Along with the half cow we split with family members.... we have enough food to feed an army in our house.

Yet.... I find myself hitting the grocery store for more EVERY week... ususally several times.


NO MORE!! I will not make useless trips to the grocery store. I will not buy just to buy. I will not buy 10 Betty Crocker mini microwave brownie things just because they're 50cents and I WANT THEM. :) They sure are good though... with just a little scoop of ice cream... mmmmm.... bliss!

Anyway -

I started this challenge out last night. We had chili (homemade... NOT from a can... stuff is too mushy!), cheese and crackers, and fresh fruit. Tonight it's fish sticks (nasty... but the kids like them), applesauce (canned this fall), and goldfish crackers. Tomorrow I need to take stock of what we have and make a plan for the rest of the month.

Any groceries I need will be coming from Aldi (have you been? The place rocks! I spent $24 today and walked out with oj, milk, eggs, guava/mango juice, snacks for kids classes - which means buying for 25 little mouths, green peppers, cauliflower, avocados, yogurt...etc... I'll spare you the rest... but seriously... the place saves so much $$ and the food is GOOD!). This should only include milk, juice, fruit, and veggies.

So we'll see. Should be an interesting challenge. We'll be eating LOTS of oatmeal, waffles, and cereal by the last week in January :)....

Wanna join the challenge?? Link up with us here.... should be fun!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

First day of the NEW YEAR... life is delicious!

After partying like a crazy woman last night (HA HA HA... went to bed at 10)... it's been the PERFECT day for some football. I LOVE college football... especially when this team plays....

If you know anything about college ball... it's that Ohio State and Michigan have a FIERCE rivalry... (well they used to... Michigan kind of rots now... but that's besides the point...). I grew up in MI and now live in OH... and have been transformed into a die hard BUCKEYE. Not only are the chocolates delicious (some know them as chocolate dipped peanut butter balls.... LAME... they're known around here as BUCKEYES).... but the team spirit around the city ROCKS on game day. It's kind of strange... but really fun.

So tonight (as in right now as I type this lovely diddy), Ohio State takes on the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl. We've been waiting all day for this game... getting revved up to watch our team play to victory (a girl can hope.... right??)! We were missing one miniscule thing...

OH YEAH BABY!! Life is great in this new year... pizza is here (the start for losing 20lbs this year will have to wait until tomorrow).... football is on (and we're ahead presently)! So... no matter how you spend this first day of this new year... remember one VERY important thing...

GO BUCKEYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)