Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I have never seen the Hoarder show but know I'd be in heaven if I did. People talk about it though and it's always a great conversation.

76 empty hangers yesterday. Does an empty closet make you sleep better at night? Yeah, it does me too. That is unless the baby decides to keep me up all night. That's OK too though, because then I can just think about the organized space.
I've been thinking through if I hold things too tightly. Why do I need to save things beyond their use anyway? Aren't there people who could use them now. If we sell them couldn't we use the money to meet needs we have today versus saving up for the future?
God providing for our needs every single day is so obvious. Last night I walked into my parents house. They had bought us a box of Overnight diapers. We had two left. We were leaving for vacation two weeks ago and a precious family gave us $100 out of the blue. It is humbling when God provides so extravagantly and unexpected. I want to give away more and keep less at home. Live within the boundaries of today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


You might as well know my favorite things to talk about in the world are food, decluttering, The Bible, and cleaning. I'm so interesting I know.

This morning I pulled out 3 trash bags. The boys closet. The never ending monster. I labeled one bag "Give AWAY". Then 2 are for consignment. One is labeled "Fall Consignment" the other "Summer Consignment." The nice, unstained things that I'm done using went into the consignment bags. The stained, slightly tattered stuff that I never put the boys in when I'm dressing them went in the give away bag. The bags are filling up. I'm so sick of the overstuffed drawers and things hanging in the closet or dropping on the floor.

Getting ready each day is so much easier when you have just a little to choose from. Laundry time is much faster too.

76. That is the number of empty hangers I had when it was all said and done.

My mission right now is simplifying. This summer we are not committed to anything. No deadlines to meet, nowhere we have to be. The days are long and wide open and it feels so good. We passed up great opportunities and it was hard. We are people magnets and thrive on a full schedule. Earlier in the summer I told Shane it felt like God was putting in my mind to spend the summer focusing on our marriage and parenting. So, that's where we are.


Spending time with each other.

Reading books.

Sitting at the dinner table together.

Getting good rest.

Drinking our fair share of Sonic shakes.

Driving around in the evenings.

Learning to ride our backs without training wheels.

Swimming in the backyard.

Trying to tack each day as it comes and enjoy it in its fullness.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Clinque Drama

A couple weeks ago I ran by the Clinique counter to grab some make-up. The Clinique Lady said they were having a complimentary eye make-over that day. I said, "Thank you, I just need a bottle of Stay Ivory please." She goes to get it, comes back and says, "Sit down." I did sit down and before I knew it she had whipped the make-up off my right eye. Dang I thought, I didn't want an eye make-over today, I'm in a hurry. Plus, we all know I watched the Smokey Eye You Tube video the last time Shane was out of town.

The Clinique Lady proceeds to put on her reading glasses and looked at me for an uncomfortable amount of time. I was like, oh heavens, what is she looking at me like that for? Then she says, "What's with the eyebrows?" The wheels are turning, I'm like, "Uh, I don't know?" I mean, I've been plucking regularly. Is she thinking they look good or bad? Then the horror. She handed me the mirror and showed me how my right brow is like a million miles shorter than my left. What tha???? Did I DO THAT (Steve Erkel Voice)????

I wear make-up every. single. day. You'd think I would've noticed the GREAT DIVIDE. This is what getting 4 people ready every day is doing to me. Don't worry though, I'm now the proud owner of an Eyebrow Pencil. Geesh.

So then she says, "You been wearing black eyeliner since the 7th grade?"

I'm like, "NO, Actually the Clinique Man just sold it to me last year."


"I'm like, I don't know his name."

"I'm really proud Michael would recommend the creme liner, but you need brown. I wear black (she was a black lady) so if I'm wearing black then it is too dark for you dear."

Drama. Pure Drama I tell you. She railed me to pieces. You need to know something though. I've been looking at everyone's brows since The Incident. I can't help it. I've tried to stop but I can't. It must be the remnants of the shock still having effect on me. Next time you see me, if you feel like I'm checking out your brows, you're going to be right. And you can sneak a peak at my fake drawn in job. I won't care.

I can't believe I've turned into a Brow Stalker.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cheap Summer Fun

Movie & Candy Night- Rent a Redbox Movie for $1 and let the kids go inside and each choose their favorite candy. Total cost for a family of 5=$6.00

Soda Run- after dinner one night yell SODA RUN! Everyone load the bus and go get cokes. We like Cracker Barrell, they have fun Stewart's drinks in glass bottles and you can sit on the porch in the rocking chairs and play the ginormous checker's games. Sonic & Gas Stations with good ice are also fun choices.

Milkshakes- Right now Sonic has shakes Buy 1 Get 1 FREE. Trust me that the Pineapple shakes are fruity, tropical and refreshing! We like to drive around town looking at houses while we enjoy our shakes. It's the time of day where the sun is going down, the streets are empty, the dishwasher at home is running because dinner is done and cleaned up and when we get home the kids will get in bed and the day will be done. This is one of my personal favorites.

Popcorn & Movie Night- Rent a Redbox. Get a 6 pack of Cream Soda from the store and have them chilled. Put the popcorn in brown paper lunch sacks for each person. Toss some M& M's in the popcorn bags! Lay a big quilt on the living room floor and give everyone their own sack of popcorn and cream soda. This one is so Martha Stewart.

If you think about fun little ways of food presentation you can turn simple ideas into extra special treats for your family.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Count Your Undies

(sung to the tune of Count Your Blessings)

Count your many undies count them one by one
Count your many undies have they come undone?

Toss your old undies
Toss them one by one

Toss all those old undies
If they've come undone

Are you ever burdened by a drawer that won't close?
Do you still have panty hose from '89?
Go to Vicky's Secret 5 for $25
And you will keep singing as the days go by...

Toss your undies toss them one by one
Toss your undies have they come undone?

Toss your undies
Toss them one by one

I've been 27 Fling Boogy-ing around here.
That's when you grab a Wal-Mart sack and head through your house tossing the first 27 things you come across.
The rule is to do it quick and don't look in the bag.
Then grab another Wal-Mart sack and find 27 things to GIVE AWAY. Same rule- be quick, don't think to much, and don't look back.
Coming back from Vacation I realize how much stuff is hidden in the nooks and crannies of my house. It feels good to throw away. Start with your bedroom. Go ahead, open that undie drawer and get to tossing. Do you still have panty hose? I do. I know, I'm going to toss them right now.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grilled Cheese

My nails are drying.

I sat down, lit my Woodwick and pulled my Bible out.

The boys are asleep.

My house is an explosion. That means I am overwhelmed.

One of my verses today is from Philippians 4.

Philippians 4 is like a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. A good go-to chapter of the Bible. I guess I was a little disappointed when I saw the verse because it's one I know by heart. I'm in the mood for something new and different today.

Before reading I whispered a quick prayer for God to show me something new in the verses. That it wouldn't be plain old Grilled Cheese but that there would be newness in it.

Last week my preacher started a series on theology. One thing he said that stuck out to me was when you read a verse, look at the verses surrounding it to get the big picture painted for you.

Here's a verse I'm going to throw out there for you today. I am sure you know it. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phil 4:13.

Did you know that the surrounding verses are talking about being content. I've got a list building of things I've been discontent about lately. Some days I feel I live in plenty and some days I feel there is so much I want. Contentment doesn't seem to come naturally does it? But it is something that can be learned. Cultivated.

The learning process happens in your thoughts I think. Choosing to ponder things you are thankful for versus things you are unhappy about.

Paul could have been complaining that only one church helped him. Not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. I love that his perspective in on the provision and not how it came.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit today.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Big Cedar Vacation

My parents took us to Big Cedar Lodge for vacation last week. It was very relaxing. We went swimming, fishing, shopping and had a lot of fun. I read Ted Dekkar's book Blink and enjoyed it. This is the boys with their Pappa the first morning we were there. They were watching excavators and back hoe's build another lodge.
This little guy ordered Crab Legs at Joe's and ate every last bite.

This is Nanna and the baby playing with a toy shark that came on our drink.

My dad took all the kids on a Skunk Hunt. He gave all the kids a flashlight and those Darth Vader glow in the dark sticks. We actually found a skunk as we were walking into our condo. He was on the stairs.

This is my fisherman husband Shane. He and my brother in law Chad did a lot of fishing.
The boys got balloon swords from Sugar the clown.

Thanks for a great week Nanny & Poppy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

French Polynesia

Have you ever heard of Bora Bora, French Polynesia? Man. Can you believe these bungalows that sit right on the crystal clear water?

Something we like to do from time to time is research places to travel which is what we found ourselves doing two nights ago after the boys went to bed. Me and my champagne taste-these bungalows rent for between $1000-$3000 a night so if we went we'd only stay for, you know, maybe 5 nights or so instead of 7. Wink Wink.

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night starving? I did, so I just finished my bowl of Cinamon Toast Crunch and as I'm sitting hear unable to sleep at 3:30 in the morning I"m thinking about places to travel and am wandering something-Where is your favorite place to travel or vacation and why? I really want to know, so please share.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dallas Unwrapped

You need to know that the women in your life are always in one of two phases regarding their hair. They are either growing it out for a myriad of reasons. Maybe for the upcoming wedding or post baby because she realizes showers are a thing of yesterday and she needs the ability to wear a pony tail. OR she just got it chopped because the wedding is over or she is pregnant.
Between 3-4 months every pregnant lady will chop her hair and get bangs which she hasn't had since 7th grade. It is some kind of effort to feel younger and springier yet only results in making her look more like a bubble. She'll do this usually on her first baby and the scars will run so deep she will re-enter the growing out phase for the next 6 years. See Exhibit A.
Exhibit A

Two years ago I went from straight hair to curly. Honest to goodness I did not know I had curly hair. Here's how I found out I had some wave. Picture it. 1999. A summer discipleship training program in Florida. I meet a boy named Shane. We stay out past curfew one night hanging out on the beach. The next morning after my shower I get a knock on the door requesting my presence in "the office." So I dutifully go, wet hair and all, to get my reprimand (which was deserved considering I was in leadership that summer, tsk tsk tsk). I go back to my room to find mostly frizzy, very slightly wavy (if you squint your eyes real good) hair.

60% of women have curl and don't even know it. If your hair frizzes in humidity then you have the ability to train your hair to release the wave. It takes 2-3 weeks of so-so, OK I'll be honest, crappy looking hair to get the wave/curl going. You will have a few crispy looking hair days as you get to know your hair products. You'll research on the Internet how to get your hair to look better and you will realize it is all about the cut. Then you'll start getting the itching to go to the big city to let a real, curl cutting expert tackle your hair. You'll choose a big city near family and off you'll go.

My sister and I chose On The Avenue in Dallas. Marc Marcel had 28 reviews on . 28. Most people only have 1-4. The building was in the heart of Dallas right next to the CBS Tower.

We just had a ball on our little road trip.

This is my sis. She has super curly blond hair and is as skinny as a toothpick. Don't hate her though, she's super sweet and crafty and a good mom.

We walked into a brightly colored salon.

This is Marc cutting Natalie's hair. You can see his curly hair. He only washes his hair once a week. His curls are perfect. The thing with curly hair is you should not wash it often at all. Shampoo is not good for your hair cuticle. It's a cultural thing that we wash every day. I talked to God about it the other day and he was saying Adam and Eve never washed their hair with Pantene. I kind of had a hunch about that one.
I have waited a week to post about my new cut because, frankly after our haircuts we went to hang out with our family and got to having fun and I forgot to take an after picture. Then I wanted to see what I thought about my hair after I fixed it. I went 4 days without washing it. Now I'm on my second day and it looks better and better. I sleep on it get up and go.

So here it is. Here is the thing about an amazing hair cut. It looks like a normal cut. The difference is that my hair falls perfect and I don't have to do anything to it. Wash it one or two times a week, sleep on it, put on a shower cap so it doesn't get wet and that's it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When I Take The Day Off

I love a relaxing day off just like the next person but as a mom with 4 boys in the house I'll show you what it looks like if I take ONE day off to relax. The photos are from yesterday. Monday we spent the day lounging around, reading, napping and playing. I tried to shut the cleaning button off in my mind and just sit. The pictures will show you why I don't have the luxury of taking days off.

That's it! Yesterday afternoon rolled around and this is what my house looked like and you know I can't handle that. My mom and I were talking at lunch today about how if your house is messy it makes you feel sleepy and unmotivated to even begin. I know exactly what to do if my house gets out of control-which can happen in the course of ONE day. Start in the bedroom. Always start with your bed. In my case, I took the sheets off and threw them in the washing machine. Next, set your timer for 15 minutes. Even if you end up resetting it 8 times it is nice to take a little break, grab a drink of water and check your progress.

I have taken a liking to having a clean laundry room. It makes me very happy. If you haven't done it yet, add a lamp to your laundry space. I promise you it makes the room warmer and happier.

There is nothing in the entire world like a dusted, vacuumed bedroom with clean perfect sheets on the bed. For my room I put the sheets in the wash, cleared the clutter from the dresser and floor, Pledged, Windexed, vacuumed. Then I hit my bathroom next.
I cleared the counters. Cleaned it quickly. Shook the rugs, swept and mopped the floor and shined my mirror and faucets. I wish you could smell how good it smells.

Kitchen time...I cleared off those cabinets and sprayed good smelling cleaner. Swept the floor and gave it a quick mop.

The living room got a quick feather dust and vacuum.

This is the fruit of about 2 hours of work. Yesterday afternoon I wanted to take a nap but instead I went and put on my lace up tennis shoes and when I was done it felt amazing. Shane walked in and said, "Oh wow! This is amazing. It smells good, looks good and feels so relaxing!"
Bless Your Nest 15 Minutes At A Time

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1

Nothing says we need a pool membership like a 90+ degree June day. So we did. We joined our very local pool. We don't even have to drive to get there and snacks are cheap there.

I've been researching pools today. The nicest option is a 30 minute drive from where we live and the pool is pristine there. We've also been tossing around the idea of getting an above ground pool. They are only $150 at Wal-Mart.