Friday, December 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Stupid Stuff and some Cabin Fever

Remember the bow and arrows that the smiley child got for Christmas?  Well, hubby is officially obsessed.  Not only did he get a large book on archery from the library (which he read from cover to cover), he is now poking around at a wacky used stuff/consignment shop nearby to see if they have any cheap grown-up sized bows so that he and his daughters can share quality arrow shootin' time together without him feeling like Gulliver.  His mommy did send him some Christmas dinero, so who am I to deny him his newly discovered life-long dream?  I mean, you guys...they've started doing special back exercises.  TRUE STORY.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas!

You know that thing where the words are somewhere else and you can't find them?  Maybe you don't even want to find them, ya know?  So I'm gonna slap up some pictures from Christmas (which was lovely and fun and exhausting) and we'll call it a day.  Maybe tomorrow I can come back and know..."interesting".  Maybe.  Or Friday.  Let's shoot for Friday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thank God Life isn't Fair

Sometimes I just have to take a moment to thank God that life is not fair.  In fact, I don't even like the word fair very much at all.  How can we judge what's fair to the world?  To history?  To the future?  Better than 'fair' is 'good'.  Is 'loving'.  Is 'the right thing for this person at this time regardless of what anyone else wants or expects'.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Inside the Borobia Studio

This right here is a modified version of the questions at the end of Inside the Actor's Studio, courtesy of Stasha and her fun and fabulous Monday Listicles.  Who doesn't like to pretend she's fancy and interviewable every now and then?  So let's get this show on the road!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Sunday- vol. 1

Have you ever eaten breakfast while your husband (or wife.  It could work either way) was reading an article about poo-powered prisons in Rwanda?  I don't recommend it.  It was not pleasant.  It was heavy on photos, too.  Photos, my friends

Friday, December 16, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Inappropriate toddlers and my 2 seconds of fame

It's been an entire week since I last wrote.  Then I discovered that I was mentioned, for actually for real, by the lovely Jen Fulwiler on the real actual National Catholic Register, and I about peed my pants.  Fine, I actually did.  No, not really.  But almost!  And I feel, all, like, pressured and stuff to say some of those Holy Spirit inspired things.  And maybe not use the word "peed" in my very first paragraph.


Friday, December 09, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Expecting the Best, Preparing for the Worst

It finally snowed!  Okay, it had snowed already this season, then it warmed up and it rained, and all the snow melted and then it was just all brown and cold and dreary and not nearly as magical and Christmasy as it was the day we went to choose our tree.  But now it is a white winter-wonderland of post card magic again, and all is right with the world.  Hallelujah!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

New Header and the Christmas Tree

Check out my snazzy custom header by the lovely Angie of Tiny Owl Designs, founder of Catholic Mothers Online.  She even made me a matching button over on the side-bar.  Merry Christmas to me!

Speaking of Christmas, we got our tree on Saturday.  There's a sweet old German man with his own small tree farm a few streets down from us so we went back again this year and chose our tree from his adorable selection.  I love being able to walk with the kids through the snow and pick out a tree that wasn't cut down 3 weeks ago.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Sustainable Farming: apparently it's not just for wackos

When we decided to make the move to the boonies from suburban sprawl-land, we weren't all that granola.  Or crunchy.  Or whatever adjective means "likes natural stuff".  We wanted to give our kids a new perspective on how life could be lived, but I wasn't ready to spend extra money on organic apples.  Chickens?  You bet.  Actually trying to grow enough food to stock a root cellar?  Sistah, please.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A cheese-gut is cute...right?

Bad blogger checkin' in!

Man, it's going to be great/terrible when Tommy gets a job and has to leave me every day.  I honestly don't know how I'll do it.  I've been beyond useless the last few weeks.  Really, the worst it's ever been.  If I can manage to "only" throw up once or twice in a day, I consider it a huge success, even if I pass out for 2 hours on the sofa.  And then fall asleep at 8:24 p.m. for the evening.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Get your OMG face ready

I was trying to figure out a way to break this to you gently, but I just can't seem to find the right words that won't cause people to make that face at me.  Well, they would make that face at me if I was a regular folk, but since I have a track record of making people make that face, most people I know have stopped bothering to make the face at all.  Oh, you know the face....


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Insert Interesting Title Here

The good news: I'm not dead.

But, still no call from the prospective new employer with the yay or nay on Tommy getting that job.  They said they'd call every candidate, so we know we'll get some closure at some point.  I just wish that point was about three days ago, ya know?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Conspiracy Deja Vu

There is no way for me to express, without sounding like an absolute baby, the amount of wreck that I am.  So I won't try.  I'll just be completely lazy blogger instead and share this blast from the past.  Viva ElDonkeyGuy!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

The Joy of Community

There is not much we love more than having people over to our house.  My husband is amazing in the kitchen.    He is such a gracious host.  And he knows that I'm more likely to appreciate a splurge in the grocery area if it's for the purpose of feeding others (because he is clever like that).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Hate Being Pregnant

I'll only torture you with this once.  As much as I'm going to want to moan and complain for every second of every day for the next 223 days (or so.  Not that I'm counting or anything.), I know that y'all get enough whining from your toddlers and your teenagers and your co-workers and your customers and that you come here to....I don't know....hang out with the personification of your Id who says a bunch of stuff you didn't even know you were thinking or were too reasonable to actually say out loud, probably.

See?  Man, I am in bad shape.  I don't even know what I just said.  Anyway.

I. Hate. Being. Pregnant.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Burritos at 2 a.m.

My friends, I've been so busy (read: puking my face off).  You know, just doing this and that around the house (read: falling asleep in the middle of sentences and eating burritos at 2 a.m.).  But I had to take a break from all the barfing mayhem to let Cecilia make this little announcement:

Dear end of June, please get here soon.


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Saturday, November 05, 2011

How to Get Free GYMBOREE Clothes for your Kids

I just placed an order on  My credit card will be charged only $3.50, which includes tax and shipping.  Only $3.50 for $128.80 worth of clothing.  If you are even moderately clever, you can easily pay $0.00.

gmail screenshot of order confirmation
What the what!?!?!?

Friday, November 04, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Chia Obama and digging a trench

If you need someone to just go to the store and get the one thing you're looking for and come straight home, do NOT ask my husband.  If, on the other hand, you look forward to special treats found cheap at the local second-hand store, then he is your man.  Exhibit A: On a mission to Goodwill for a new tie, he came home with this:

Thursday, November 03, 2011

He is in his interview RIGHT NOW!

As I'm writing this, Tommy is in his first interview.  Or he's finished it but just hasn't called me.  Or he got the time wrong and it hasn't started yet. I DON'T KNOW WHICH AND I'M STARING AT THE PHONE WAITING FOR IT TO RING.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Woman with a Heart of Gold (history, volume 5)

(this is part 5 of an ongoing memoir series.  Read parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 first for everything to make more sense...)

Those Detroit days were golden.  The days before you can really remember all the details.  The days before the teenaged angst.  Days of learning to ride bikes and sleepovers and being in plays.

Holidays with grandma and my gaggle of cousins.

I loved talking about my grandma last week.  We need more about her.

Kathryn, before her 14 children and her 32 grandchildren and thirtysomething (and counting!) great-grandchildren.  Just Kay, on a date with her beau Tony.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

One Simple Way to help Prevent Breast Cancer

If you have breasts or you love someone who has breasts, stay here.

If you are not a lover of cancer, or are in fact, perhaps, a hater of cancer, stay here.

If you think people shouldn't make money off of doing harm to others, please stay here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

First Piano Performance at BCreative Launch

I've really dropped the ball on telling everyone about the stuff we've been doing lately.  For homeschool and just for fun (which is *****shhhhhhhhh****, don't tell anyone, also for homeschool.  I'm sneaky like that).  There's just not enough days in the week sometimes, ya know?  So even though today is Halloween, I'm gonna tell you about music.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Happy dance!  Happy dance!  I'm totally doing this dance all over my house right now!  It's super hard to type but totally worth it because......

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Detroit and the Brother I Don't Know (history, volume 4)

(this is part 4 of an ongoing memoir series. read parts 1, 2, and 3 for all of this to make sense.)

So we moved to Detroit.  That's what people do when they don't know what to do or they need to start over- they go back to where they started.

My dad started in Detroit.  He started as number nine of 14 children in a brick tudor on Lakewood.  It's for sale right now.  I hope whoever buys it loves it the way it ought to be loved.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Top 10 Tips for New Moms

Congratulations!  You are about to have/just recently had your first baby!  Knowing you, you've scoured the internet and all those message boards and read that Girlfriend's Guide AND that annoying helpful What to Expect thing.  You. Are. Ready.

Or maybe not.

'Cause there are just some things that books are afraid to tell you because if they TELL you you're gonna be all "Um, no way.  This book is insane.  I refuse to spend my precious dollars on it because clearly it was written by lunatics." And then you will not buy it and the publishers will cry.

Well guess what?  My blog is free!  So I don't mind if you call me insane and suggest that I'm a lunatic because, um, hello- we are all in agreement about those two facts already.

In light of that fact, I think it's high time for....

Top 10 Tips for New Moms

Friday, October 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: A video! And a dude with a machete!

First, the very happy, good news.  Finally, after months of paperwork and phone calls, Tommy was approved to receive his unemployment benefits after getting laid off back in May.  Hallelujah!  While it's not a whole lot, it's a whole lot more than zero, so we are pretty stinkin' stoked.  Now instead of working odd jobs and not applying to real jobs, he can apply to real jobs that have super long applications and a multitude of essay questions.

True story.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homeschool Haikus

I know today is supposed to be memoir day, but honestly y'all, I'm a little exhausted from yesterday still.  And 'cause this is my blog and I do what I want, my girls and I are going to put up some autumn haikus with a link-up at the end.  Easy peasy and can pass as learnin'.

Perfect for us lazy savvy homeschooling moms!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To My Babies in Heaven

I know you feel only joy.  You have no troubles and no pain.  Because that's what heaven is all about.

I hope you're together.  I know you're together.  And even though I know my goal in life is to get my babies to heaven, it still makes me sad that you three are there, and these four are here and they don't know you.  They won't, can't, know you until they're in heaven too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Moving Mountains

If you don't know Robin from Farewell Stranger, you should.  Her credo is "Live the Life You're Meant To" and you know that that sort of thing sets my heart aflutter.  But aside from that she is inspirational and kind and brilliant.  So when she suggested that we swap blogs today, I may or may not have squealed and then hopped up and down and then told her about how I'm a loon.  'Cause that's how I roll, yo.


She battled, and was victorious over, terrible postpartum depression and has helped countless women manage their own struggles.  And y'all...she is a real, published author OMG.   Check out the wonderful books she has contributed to: Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression and Welcome to My World.  True story, folks!

So click that little blue button to visit Robin's blog (I'm over there today telling you that you're worth more than the sad, dim version of yourself that some people would suggest is good enough.  Because you are and it's not), read her HI-larious story here, and leave her some comment love.  She is truly great!

In 1999 my husband (then boyfriend) and I packed up everything he owned, approached some strangers at a gas station, and gave them all his stuff.
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If your marriage is falling apart, please don't... (history vol. 3)

(this is part 3 of an ongoing memoir series. 
 It'll make more sense if you start with part 1 and part 2...)

I don't have this all mapped out.  What I'm gonna say and how I'm gonna say it.  The problem is that I really actually don't KNOW what happened back then, in the days before I really remember.

Something went wrong when we were in Europe.  Mom came back to the States.

And right now all I can think is "If your marriage is falling apart, please don't...."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Meet the youngest cast member of Jersey Shore

First of all, yes that is the roof of our house with a tiny 4-year old bottom on it.  Sure, that gives me pause...a little bit of pause.  But more importantly, can we just make a little comparison for a sec?

Monday, October 10, 2011

10 Steps to a Winterized Garden

It's October, and you know what that means: copious amounts of fun sized Twix bars!  If you'd like to pre-eat your Halloween candy stash without sharing any with your pesky darling family members it's best to come up with a super time-consuming task for all of them...

Winterizing the garden!

1. Make everyone go outside and start stomping on the existing plants.  No need to uproot or weed or take rocks out.  Don't even change the little ones out of their church clothes, trust me.  Just toss 'em all out there.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Friday, October 07, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: The Holy Spirit & raspberry cordial

I was about to start writing these and then I looked at the clock and I was all "11:28 a.m.?  Why do I feel like I should be doing something else?".  Oh yeah.  School.  Seriously you guys, I've totally been accidentally unschooling the last few days weeks and I go back and forth between feeling SUPER guilty and INSANELY happy about that fact.  There are people who, like, buy curricula and follow the rules, ya know?  Us?  Not so much.  Anyway, as you can see, I'm still writing and clearly not schooling ("un" or otherwise).  So if you'll excuse me for just a moment, imma go throw some math worksheets at my kids real quick.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

How to love words...and life

Last night my big girls and I finished reading Anne of Green Gables together.  We've read a chapter (or three) a night together for the last few weeks and have enjoyed every moment of it.  Even the heart-wrenching, tear-filled moments last night as we said good-bye to Matthew and sat with Anne during her first painfully sorrowful night.

My Katie ran to get a box of kleenex when she realized we were all wiping our noses on our sleeves.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Something Goes Wrong (history, volume 2)

(This is the second installment in the memoir series.  If you haven't read part 1, you can read it here)

When you found out that I was born a Hare Krishna, maybe you imagined that this would turn into a story of crazy cult practices and fear and brainwashing.  I'll tell you right now that it won't.  It didn't. It wasn't.  It did make my childhood different than yours (probably) but the reason I'm not a Hare Krishna anymore has nothing to do with 'breaking free' of something scary.  It has purely to do with philosophy and theology, and isn't that the most boring thing you've ever heard?  What I'm saying is that if you're here to see the seedy underbelly of a mysterious organization revealed, you're out of luck.

Monday, October 03, 2011

I'm too S*xy for this Painting

I was going to say something about homeschooling and what (nonexistent) curriculum we're using, but then the photo I wanted to use is on the other computer and no I have NOT backed it up on the external hard-drive yet, thankyouverymuch.  So instead, I'm going to talk about Right Said Fred.

Oh yes I am, thanks to my friend MK (she blogs at Why yes I am crazy, thank you for asking!) who was chatting with me earlier tonight about some ground-breaking subject matter and said this:
you can follow her too, ya know! @celticmama

Friday, September 30, 2011

7 quick takes- college reunion and a potential house fire

--- 1 ---

If I were a real or good blogger, I would plan these out in advance, but can I just tell you that my house looks like a hurricane is currently passing through and I'm still in my pajamas and I forced my husband to take all four children with him to drop the older two off at their fancy schmancy (free) arts classes so that I could "get something done" and what I'm doing is writing this?  So count your blessings, people!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lots of pics, not lots of words

My poor, miserable, overworked children.  Sigh.  A huge box of product from Catholic Child arrived yesterday and they have to play with the toys and read the books and tell me what they think and oh my goodness, can you imagine how hard their lives are?
Paul, the litmus test for whether or not a toy is frustrating.  This one passed!
So that means I am writing catalog copy right now and not so much with the blog copy, which means you (don't you feel lucky?) get to look at a bunch of photos.  Yippee!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I don't believe in Too Hard (history, volume 1)

Back on January 18th of this year, when I wrote my second post ever on this blog, I said this:

It's not all that overwhelming for me, apparently, to imagine moving and renovating and having four kids simultaneously, but knowing where to start with all of....this, the story-telling business, has got me in a little bit of a tizzy. I mean "I was born in Los Angeles...." might be a little too far back, but eventually I'll probably have to go there for you to fully appreciate the intricacies of my neuroses.

Well, eventually is today, my friends.  It came sooner than I thought.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Series Starts Tomorrow. And a Musk Ox.

On Thursday I wrote a post for Mama Kat's workshop and from that tiny poem came a hundred thousand requests for more of the history behind the history of la casa de dweej.  And that makes me nervous.

Part of me thinks there are a lot of good stories in there.  The other part of me knows that everyone has a story and I'm willing to bet mine isn't quite as scandalous or crazy or moving as you're imagining it to be.  And I don't want this to turn into a Me Dumping My Schtuff on You All the Time blog.  Gotta keep my eye on the moderation clock, ya know?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The day I had a Gun pointed at me

I was going to tell you about our free visit to the Kingman Museum on Saturday, but then my neighbor pulled a gun out on me on Sunday afternoon and I was all "THIS will make a MUCH better blog post!".

And just so you don't hyperventilate with worry, no, I'm not dead.  Thank God, right?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

5 Twitter Users I will Not Follow Back

It's time to take control of my virtual life.  I need to make it as enjoyable and uplifting as possible, because Lord knows I've got enough stuff to deal with in my home life that I don't need to be held hostage by my computer screen.  So, in the spirit of making my own peace, I've come up with a few guidelines for myself to ease the stress that is inherent in the strange, convoluted world known as Twitter.  The following are the five twitter users that I just cannot follow back.

5. Blue Steel Guy
Oh yeah, you know what I'm talkin' about.  And yes, I mean you, Mr. I think I'm super smolder-y but really I'm pretty much a loser because I set up my own camera on a tripod my bathroom counter and made a Zoolander face into it.  If you follow me on twitter, I will wish there was a way to unfollow people that I never even followed to begin with because yes, that expression annoys me that much.

Friday, September 23, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Log of the 5 Stink Eyes

Stream of consciousness super quick quick takes time!  My family is already giving me the stink eye, fyi.  Imagine writing all of this with five stink eyes on you, okay?

The reason I have to hurry like a zoomy fiend is that my girls are taking some flower arrangements to the community flower show today.  The youth category requires them to include vegetables in their arrangements, so they both grabbed green tomatoes off of the plant outside.  I decided not to interfere.  Incredible, right?  Me, keeping my mouth shut?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where I'm From

I am from incense, from Barbie, and raw milk in a five gallon bucket.

I am from 219 Lakewood. Grandma. A laundry chute. Before Detroit was Detroit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- building the zero dollar gate

Using the wood paneling that we removed from the west half of the kitchen, the hubby and his mini-me built us a gate to the chicken yard yesterday.

Yay!  No more impaling ourselves on the metal as we squeezed through a narrow opening covered in chicken wire!
cutting the boards to size

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Karate boots: Even more awesome than they sound.

Tommy is in super duper get stuff done mode.  He WILL find a job and the snow WILL fall and if we don't do all of this stuff while the sun is shining and the sky is clear, it just won't get done.  Plus, you know how I love deadlines.  They're my bffs, honestly.

Monday, September 19, 2011

You are not Alone

Before I really start, I have to say something.

The love and support and prayers and emails and facebook messages and smoke signals and ham radio transmissions that I...we...our family received in response to Friday's post was nothing short of overwhelming.  I shed more than my share of happy tears that day.  And every day since.  Tears of gratitude and humility.  Tears of longing to thank each of you personally.  I've said before that I'm so thankful we don't get what we deserve.  Because I don't deserve such kindness and generosity.  The love that has been heaped upon me by strangers.  Strangers no longer.  Yet there it is.  Here you are.  You.  Who said that and did that and are doing all of that.  My heart is full to bursting and I don't know how to say or show how much your prayers and love mean to us.

Friday, September 16, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Things are Hard

Usually these are funny.  I don't think this one can be funny.

It just feels like nothing is working out right now.  Hubby still hasn't gotten a job offer.  The baby won't nap.  One of the projects I was working on got cancelled, so another portion of our (super tiny) income is gone.  AND...the 'm' key on our keyboard is actually broken.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


He got up early and baked cranberry orange scones.  Homemade broth for the girl with the cough.  Bacon for the happy littles.  Eggs from our chickens.  A freshly brewed pot of coffee.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top Ten Photos from Today

Have I told you about the homeschool partnership that our school district is offering?  Dude, it's so awesome.  Fantastic.  As in, free classes taught by real professionals and field trips for any homeschooled student in the area.  You can't take unlimited classes, but you can get free private piano lessons (or theatre or clay or latin or mad science see where I'm going with this)!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Champagne Drapes on a Beer Budget: Pottery Barn Inspired Window Treatments

In light of yesterday's chat about being poor for the moment, I thought it was high-time I did another post for all the bargain lovers out there.  

When I first saw these drapes in the Pottery Barn catalog last summer, I felt inspired.  I wanted them for our brand new living room.  They were the drapes of my dreams.  And I did dream about drapes back then because our house came complete with spider-ridden, threadbare, filthy drapes from the 70's that smelled even grosser than they looked.  And they didn't even cover the windows.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Being Poor is Teaching Me

A good friend of mine, who also happens to be starting a crazy adventure of moving to a state they've never lived in with no jobs lined up (you can read her blog here), put this as her facebook status yesterday: 

Only 78 degrees today, went for a run in a little Vegas rain. I like to think that there is a lesson to be learned in every experience. Today's lesson: Don't run past a dog poop recepticle with your mouth open!

Friday, September 09, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: World's Best Recruitment video

Have you ever written some really funny, probably brilliant notes about what 7 thing you're going to share on the back of a tiny scrap of paper and then tossed the tiny scrap into your purse among all the other scraps of who-knows-what and then dug through your purse to find it so you could share them and make the world a happier place and been completely unable to find it?  Yeah, I know, right?  Stupid purses.  In light of that, kindly dial down your expectations for this post about 11 notches.

Okay, wait...this is actually important.  Remember last week when I asked you to please pray for my friend's brother who would be undergoing brain surgery?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

They're Proud of Us

Viking paper dolls wait patiently near the printer.  The boy is coloring his alphabet sheets.  Little Cecilia munches on her cereal.  The house is quiet.  The bus goes by.  The girls are still asleep.

Everything just feels...right.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

My Heart is out of my Larynx- 2 Day Redux

Where do I even start?  Right now I'm typing on my like-new laptop which, a mere two days ago, just moments after publishing my last blog post, died.  It was dead, my friends.  Okay, not dead.  Unusable, though.  The screen?  It was black.  There was a little white cursor and nothing else and my frail little heart jumped from its customary place to the very uncomfortable region of my larynx.

If you've ever had your heart in your larynx, you'll know why it has been hard for me to function the last two days.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Do you NEED a paper bag in order to hyperventilate?

Hmmmmm, lemme just take a quick gander a the calendar.  Just mosey on over and have a look-see....

So, if yesterday was-

Wait a second.

If yesterday was...


Friday, September 02, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: child labor and drinkin' on a boat

If you have never been to Michigan, come here.  Its beauty is wildly under appreciated.  And for those of you who love water the way I do, you'll be pleased to know that one is never more than 8 miles from a fresh water lake anywhere in this entire state.

Speaking of which, some friends from our parish invited us over to their house on Saturday, and this is what happened: 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Webby Wednesday: Camp Honeybelle and vintage giveaway

You know how we bought this house for $27,000 and you all said that was insane and incredible?  Well prepare to have your socks knocked off even further because today's Webby Wednesday features Nina, maven of the retro Etsy shop Camp Honeybelle, who bought her house for.....wait for it....FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. That's one, then five, then just three zeros.

Ohmygoodlord, right?????  I too almost fell out of my seat when I found out.  You are not alone.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top 10 Cheapskate Things I've Said

Being poor is a funny thing.
Well, maybe funny is the wrong word.  Maybe poor is the wrong word, too.

Let me start over.

Not having any money to spend at the moment makes you say ridiculous things.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Don't Want to be Famous

You guys, I totally don't want to be famous.  I'm not talking Michael Jackson famous or Susan Lucci famous or even Snooki famous.  I don't even wanna be Barefoot Foodie famous.  'Cause famous folks deal with a whole lotta poo and I am NOT INTERESTED IN POO.

Friday, August 26, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: the best beer on earth and Malaria advice

A dear friend (you know who you are) treated us with a gift card as a just-because present.  She claims it was a thank-you gift, but I was like "You don't thank people when you give them lots of good advice and encouragement.  THEY are supposed to thank YOU." But the damage was already done, so we had to spend it.

I present to you: The Best Beer in the World

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Will you even see this? P_OBABLY NOT!

Okay you guys, I am stressin' over here.

See, I thought I would be fancy and get my own domain name so I could be all "I'm so fancy!  I have my own domain name!".  So I checked to see of was available and then I was all "holy-macke....

Wait a second.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paul, who wasn't born in the van after all...

Tomorrow is my boy's birthday.  Four.  He's four years old.  Four.  He's practically ready for his driver's license you guys!  God save us all.

Monday, August 22, 2011

5 Reasons my Marriage comes Before my Children

NB added 8/25/11:  Sometimes when I write, I assume that the people reading already know us and our back story.  How we are homeschooling our children because we can't bear to send them away for hours on end.  How we've never hired a babysitter because doing family activities is always way more fun than doing alone activities.  But the truth is, the internet is a big place.  Apparently people I've never met are reading this and a lot of them will just read the post and not click around further, so I apologize for not originally giving more history before my list.  I do plan on doing a follow-up post soon: 5 Simple Ways to Put your Spouse First, and I hope you'll see it has nothing to do with not caring for and loving your children.  It has to do with the marriage being the FOUNDATION upon which their happiness and security is built.  

5 reasons my marriage comes before my children

1) I am not married to my children.
See, my husband and I chose each other.  We made a plan and an agreement and a promise.  Because marriage is hard work, we had to vow, in front of all our family and friends, to put up with each others foolishness and care for one another despite any challenges that might leap out to derail our happy union train.  My first and most important promise was to him and his to me.  My children are the result of that promise.

My kids can be pretty selfish sometimes.  They can take me for granted.  They can look at everything I've done for them and find the one thing that they wish was different.  Or better.  Because they're children.  They are naturally selfish and unreasonable, which is why they need parents to guide them and feed them.  And that is also why I'm not married to them.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Pinterest Experiment

I just saw something hilarious on Pinterest and I said "by golly, I'm going to try that!".  (p.s. If you are not following me on Pinterest yet, get thine virtual hiney over there this instant!  Just clicky click over on that red Pinterest button and no, they are not paying me to make you do this.  Although they should.)

For all you non-crafty types out there: have no fear.  There is nary a hot glue gun nor circuit machine in site.  Just me and my handy dandy computer.

So here's the funny thing I saw.  Feel free to click on that bad boy to go to the original source.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Semi Silent Saturday- what the heck is this?

The seed packet clearly said "cucumbers".  It even had a picture of a standard, green cucumber on it.

So what in the name of all that is holy is this fine specimen growing in our garden?  What happened????

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Friday, August 19, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: The one with the embarrassing video

This has nothing to do with anything.  It just made me laugh.
Okay, I don't really know much about sports but I'm pretty sure that there are more than 4 people on a basketball team.  Am I right?  'Cause the ludicrous foolish unsmart female employee at the store courtesy-laughed in my general direction as I stood near my surprisingly-well-behaved quartet of children on Thursday and said (through mostly clenched teeth) "Wow. You have enough to have your own basketball team!".  Not only do I only have four kids, but two of them are not even large enough to dribble a regulation sized basketball yet.  That team would certainly lose and I do. not. like. to. lose.  No losing!  Only winning!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happiness Is a Monkey Butler

This morning I read an article about how stay at home moms need help and shouldn't be ashamed to ask for it.  All I could do is nod knowingly in appreciation and share a little happy sigh of contentment.  And do you know why?  Why I was so knowing and appreciative and happy and content?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Webby Wednesday: Magnetic Catholic with promo code!

If you are a Catholic mom or know a Catholic mom or have heard of these mysterious creatures called "Catholic moms", it is you lucky-tastic day.  It is also your lucky-tastic day if you are Catholic of any age or gender or are not Catholic but are interested in history and art because seriously can you study history or art without hearing about the saints?  That's what I thought.

Hold onto your hats, folks of any age or gender of any faith, because you are about to find out about a super clever new idea and you will say "I need to order right now!" and I will say "Wait!  Here's your code for 20% off any item in the store!" and then you will leap out of your seat, take out your framed photo of me and....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not Back to School: "student" photos!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Despite the fact that I think my children are, like, all amazing and wonderful and stuff, I realized when I sat down stood up at the kitchen counter to write this that people I don't know aren't gonna wanna look at a random photo of each of my kid's sweet, smiling faces.  'Cause that is boring.  Check me out with my high level of self-awareness.

Aha!  Collage of Antics!

But because I am a neanderthal, I've never made a photo collage before today.  I know, right?!?!?  I should just get in my time machine and go back to my cave.  Those bison aren't gonna draw themselves, ya know.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Getting Medieval on You

Look at this!

A custom coat of arms designed especially for us and our craziness.

You've met her here before and she'll be back again for Webby Wednesday for her brand spakin' new 2nd store (which I will not reveal to you today, because I am crafty and spy like), but I just couldn't resist sharing this with you RIGHT NOW.  Visit Melissa on Etsy (her original store, of course).  She's so clever!

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Overcoming Fear

It's a sneaky thing, Fear is.  I talk a big game about not being afraid.  Letting your hope be bigger than your fearReveling in the peace of Christ.  And sometimes I can actually manage to do those things.  But only because I'm not afraid of the things people are usually afraid of.  I'm not afraid of natural disasters or disease or poverty.  I'm not afraid that my family will go hungry even during our times of greatest need.  Most of that is completely out of my control.  And somehow things have always worked out.

The generosity of my friends, and of men and women I've not even met, has been mind boggling.  At the very moment when I teeter on the brink of despair, a light of hope shines into our home, the Holy Spirit working through the lives and actions of so many wonderful people.  No.  I am not at all afraid of going without.

What I am afraid of is pity.  I'm afraid of not being that effervescent person I was told I should always be.  I'm afraid of failure.  To fail at what I've set out to do seems infinitely worse than not allowing myself to try at all.  I'm afraid that someday, when you're finished with my miniscule corner of the blogosphere, you'll feel less happy instead of more joyful.  That you will leave thinking of me instead of my message, our story.  And suddenly I am living in fear instead of hope.  See what I mean?  Sneaky, sneaky Fear.

Friday, August 12, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: week in photos

Exhausted.  Happy.  Totally wiped out. Absolutely giddy.  Really, really tired.

7 super quick takes involving photos, with single sentence captions.  I know I can do it!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our Schoolroom- a photo tour with sleep deprived commentary

Remember when I started painting the den and playroom with abandon a few weeks ago?  And then I reorganized the whole dang place?  The motivation for that ridiculous level of insanity was two-fold: 1) to finish in time so that our surprise guests would not feel like they were visiting a dungeon and 2) to get moving on our very first homeschool room evah (that's how fancy people spell "ever").  Done and done.

Okay fine, it's not totally done.  I still have some organizing and decorating to do, but seeing as we have almost a month before we officially start school, I'm definitely doing an unhealthy amount of self back-patting over here.  This is what we have so far...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Webby Wednesday: BettyShmetty Giveaway and Discount!

You got up this morning and looked at the calendar.  "Wednesday..." you mumbled.  Sigh.  Sigh because dweej used to do her snazzy Webby Wednesday posts.  Sigh because you like winning things and getting discounts on stuff and she has been letting you down.  "Give me my Webby Wednesday!" you demand.  Well mope no more, dear readers, because  (cue conga line music) a new Etsy store with a new giveaway is here for your Wednesday enjoyment!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Sexism in the New Millennium

Yesterday I read this post by Simcha Fisher on  It is such a beautiful reflection on the inherent holiness, the beauty, of personal relationships.  Even in its messiness and potential for heartbreak, real human interaction is, in the end, sanctifying and Good.  The kind of Good that Jesus was in this world.  We knit ourselves to His ultimate sacrifice through the simple act of loving one another.  Giving up our selves the sake of another.

I enjoyed it, I shared it on facebook.  I went on with my evening.

And then today I read this article from  All about gender selection via sperm sorting followed by artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.  Controlling.  Impersonal.  Distant.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Surprise Visit!

Have you ever planned a crazy, unexpected surprise for someone?  And then had it actually work out?  I have been mostly offline for about 24 hours now because my friend E. from Temecula and her two daughters arrived yesterday afternoon, completely and totally surprising my sweet daughters and filling them with joy and disbelief and gratitude.  We have less than 24 hours left in their visit, so I'm going to run, but not before leaving you with these:

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Homeschool Curriculum Prep: Some Awesome Ideas

Okay, if you are just not interested in hearing all about my brilliant/fun curriculum (term used very loosely) ideas for the next school year, just clicky here on this cute button...
and read all about how my hubby and I met (our entire engagement story) instead.  Rach will be putting it up as part of her weekly series.  She's such a sweet girl and lives in the fabulous Lone Star State, so please give her lots o' lovin', okey dokey?

But I should warn you, the following post is SUPREMELY ENTERTAINING AND INFORMATIVE and you will wonder what everyone is talking about if you don't read it.  Or possibly not.  Either way, you're welcome!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Den Reveal! Den Reveal! Celebrate the Den Reveal!

We're pretty much basically almost practically done painting the den!!!!!!  Yipee!
Technically this picture was taken during the winter when my girls found out school was cancelled, but seriously...imagine me just as jubilant when I walk into that formerly devilish room!

"But, dear psycho woman, what is all this "almost" chatter?  What the heck are you doing posting when it's not totally finished?"

To which I respond "Duh!  I've watched enough HGTV to know that it only has to be good enough to photograph."

Translation: There is a wall (or 3) that are still not quite done, but YOU don't need to know that in order to appreciate the awesomeness of this transformation, right? And remember, you can click on any of the photos to make them ginormous.

So let me remind you what it looked like the day we got here...

And what it looked like the day we started painting (again, I've watched enough HGTV to know that you do NOT clean up the room for the 'before' picture.  In fact, if you can find some soiled laundry and a wet dog to further disgustify the photo, all the better)...

Okay seriously....are y'all ready for this (dun dun dun dundundundun dun dun dun dundundun)?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

7 links on a sunny Saturday

Hey y'all kids, it's Latin time!
So listen to my little rhyme...

No, not really.  Back in college I wrote that special song for my future-hubby's roommate to use during a Latin project.  You're super impressed, aren't you?  I can see it in your face!  Anyway, I've been torturing my actual kids by saying that at least once an hour for the past four days.  Hoping I can pass on the earworm and save us all the agony of hearing me holler it even a single time in the future.

So.  Sorry.  Where was I?  Ah, yes....Jackie at Blueberries for Me!  She tagged me in this snazzy meme called 7 links.  Now, I'm not super sure what the heck a meme is, but basically I think I'm supposed to answer the questions with links from my blog.  I'm a detective like that.  Again, be impressed.

Anyway, my poor darling husband is ill today and the kids are running around like lunatics and so instead of writing a post about that and boring you all to tears, I'll regale you with....

Friday, July 29, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Darn It Sauce, my foot hurts

I crack my knuckles...on my fingers AND my toes.  Hah!  And you thought you wanted to know more about me!  Better not ever ask me about my shoulder trick, by the way.  

Anyway, so I'm all flustered-like because yesterday I DROPPED A DRESSER DRAWER FULL OF CLOTHES onto my right foot (I'm smooth like that) and today, every time I try to crack my toes, it feels almost just like it did that one summer when I broke four bones in the other foot.

Dude, what if I broke my foot?  That would be so lame.  Get it????  Lame???  I kill me!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Homeschool Prep 102- In which we do NO prep whatsoever

So pretty much we're homeschooling next year?  Is that right? 'Cause at the rate I'm "preparing" it seems unlikely to actually work out.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not sending them to school.  We just probably won't be ready to do any actual "school" until, say, May of 2017.  That's cool, right?  I mean, like, they could just graduate from high school when they're in their 40s can't they?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: The Best Deal in History

1 enormous table...

3 (three!) separate removable leaves...

Frugal Folk: Click Here for Awesome!

I have failed as a mother.  Or I had been until today, of course, when I realized my sins and made reparations. And I think I've been forgiven.  You see, until today, my kids had never....brace yourselves!...had never actually had the good fortune of patronizing a Goodwill store.


It's truly an atrocity.  I get a little choked up just thinking about it...

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Before and After Pics and a WINNER!

Oh, you would think it would be done.  You would think we'd be having our first dinner party in there by now.  But no.  No.  It's just....not done.  BUT, a good portion is and I think it's high-time for a little before and after action!  Presenting the south side of our den/playroom, a progression from day 1 to today....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Semi Silent Sunday- painting the den

Whose idea was it to stop all other projects and plans and reading and writing and eating and paint the den/playroom?  Didn't she stop to realize that those rooms comprise more than 25% of the entire house?  Whoever she is, she obviously failed to realize that there are four children who live here too.  Or she's a glutton for punishment.  Probably both.  Coming up on 48 hours and just barely halfway finished.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can....

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