Archive for the ‘our life’ Category

Grandma Ruth

My Grandma Ruth passed away yesterday, Sunday morning in her sleep.  She was 81 years old and had been married to my grandpa Delbert for 61 years (I believe).  She had 6 children, 15 grandchildren and at least 12 great-grandchildren (with more on the way!).  Her sisters had already passed away before her (all 3 of them were exactly 70 when they passed!) as well as my father, her oldest son.

She was a great grandmother to us.  Especially since my father passed away when I was just about 8.  My mom did a great job at keeping us involved with that side of the family – for holidays, random get togethers.  They were often at our Little League games growing up.  And they still came over for our birthday celebrations or “just because” Sunday afternoon dinners.  They were super supportive when my mom started dating again after my dad died — even encouraging her to remarry her long time boyfriend, Bill.  (My mom did – but 24 years after my father died after dating Bill for 23 years!)

She was great at cards, even though Alzheimers had set in the later years.  She knew how to play!  SkipBo and Phase 10 were favorites of our family.  And she was always up for holding babies – even when they become stronger and wiggly!

She was loved well by so many and we’ll miss her.



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(See previous posts here and here.)  Life in our powder room is good!  Cause, you know:

  • The walls are all painted.
  • The vanity is all stained.
  • The vanity has been poly-urethaned.  (New word.)
  • The light fixture is back up.

Life in our powder room is NOT good.  Cause, you know:

  • The new vanity top that I bought DOES NOT FIT.

It doesn’t fit.  I measured poorly.  I assumed that the vanity needed a standard 37 inch countertop.  But no…it needs a custom 36.25 inch countertop.  Which is now on order.  I ordered practically the same thing that I had bought off the shelf, I just now got the privilege of paying $80 more for it.  And get the privilege of waiting another 30 days or so until it comes in.  Lucky us.  Til then, no sink in the powder room.

We still would’ve done the project had we’d known that we needed a custom sink; we probably just would’ve waited a couple more months AND we wouldn’t have taken out the old sink until the new one had arrived.  But that’s a life lesson for you.  Measure once.  Measure twice.  Just measure carefully, would ya Jayme?

The Walls-Are-Now-Painted-Gray-And-All-The-Stuff-Had-To-Moved-To-The-Laundry-Room-During-The-Remodel-And-Isn’t-That-Little-Boy-Cute picture:



The Vanity-Is-All-Stained-And-Hardware-Put-On-But-Apparently-I-Need-To-Wipe-Off-The-Smudges-Of-Little-Fingers:


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Keeping Pinterest Practical

How do you use pinterest?

I’ve decided that, for me, I want pinterest to be a practical tool. I used to have lots of boards and 2500 pins on pinterest. Then I kind of realized that it was overwhelming me. Probably because of the way I use it. Pinterest, to me, is a storage of things that I like enough that I want to make/do/see some day. Not really a collection of things that I like. Because what I like doesn’t always equal what I’ll do.

I mean:

  • I like to use pinterest to look up that casserole recipe that I want to make for dinner. But I don’t like to see recipes (on my boards) of recipes that, while beautiful and tasty, aren’t ever going to have a chance of making it on to my menu plan.


  • I like to use pinterest to narrow down ideas for remodeling/decorating. Maybe it’s the room I’m doing now (the powder room). Or for the room I’m doing next (the entryway maybe). Or for the room I want to do someday (the living room). But it overwhelms me to see ideas that, while beautiful, are so costly that I wouldn’t ever do them. Or that would be perfect for a different style of house. I want ideas that work for the house I’m in, not for the house I might have in 20 years.


  • I’ve been streamlining. Sure, those 10 recipes for spaghetti look good and give me lots of choices, but there’s only 1-2 that I’d actually make. Or those 5 blueberry muffins recipes are inspiring, but they’re all pretty much the same, give or take a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.

So I’ve been purging pins. I’m down to around 1700 now and it feels good! I still have lots of boards – I don’t like to see bathrooms next to casseroles next to gift ideas next to books I’ve read next to muffins. In fact, I’ve done so much purging that pinterest has “locked” my account a couple of times and forced me to change my password. I guess they suspect fraud — because who actually declutters pinterest!?  Besides me, that is.

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My husband are about 1/2 way through Dr. Dobson’s Bringing Up Boys DVD scenarios and he talks about how media always plays up men to be fools – especially in TV shows and commercials. And it’s true – men are very often portrayed as dumb, lazy or clueless. That’s sad — for men to be considered that way. But it’s also sad for boys who start to see the men in their lives that way. AND who learn to see themselves that way.

So it’s very nice to see an encouraging commercial about men. I’ll buy some Peanut Butter Cheerios just for that. And write them a letter to say “Great job!”

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Paralyzed by Choices

I shouldn’t worry about 20 years from now, right? I should do what I like now, right?

Seems like a bad plan if you’re talking about weight maintenance or budgeting. But that seems like the right approach for home decoration, right?

Here’s my dilemma:
I don’t like my house.

My new-to-me-just-last-year house.

My house that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the location of.

My house that my 2-year-old and I sit on the back deck most mornings and watch for runners and bikers on the trail behind us.

My house that’s just around the corner from my sister, which makes it incredibly easy to say “Sure, send the kids on over – we’re gonna run through the sprinklers!”.

My house that’s paid for (we’re debt free!). My house that’s in a circle, so it doesn’t get much traffic out front.

I have dreams of it burning down and then I get to re-build a ranch or a 2-story. Those should be bad dreams. I see them as a happy dream.

The problem?  My house is just so ‘brown’. Not on the outside, but the inside. I didn’t notice it until we moved in. Brown tile in the entryway, laundry room and powder room. Oak everywhere. Wood linelom floors in the kitchen. Tan carpets. Brown banisters on the staircases. Brown tile in the ‘main’ bathroom. Brown-toned floors in all bathrooms. It’s just brown. I don’t like all that brown.

Seems simple, right? Start getting rid of some of the brown! My husband is on board with me spending money – probably even lots of it by the time all is said and done. But I’m paralyzed.

I’ve had friends in the last few months – 3 or 4 of them – put their houses up for sale. Their houses are beautiful!!! They aren’t huge mansions – most have even been smaller than mine. But you know what I love about them? They aren’t brown!!! Specifically, they have white woodwork. I WANT WHITE WOODWORK!

What’s holding me back? It’s idea that in 20 years, I’m going to hate white woodwork and there’s just no going back. Once you paint it white and it want it to be true wood again, you have to either strip paint (not easy) or replace it all ($$$$).

But I shouldn’t worry about that, right? I should worry about what I love now, right? Cause I love white woodwork and have for a long time.

But I’m paralyzed.

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10 months old!

Stephen is 10 months old.

I think this is my favorite age. (Course, I’ve been saying that for a few months now.) He’s mobile. He sleeps through the night. All you have to do is look at him and he laughs. He can’t climb yet, but he knows how to safely go down steps. It’s just a lot of fun.

He’s on the verge of walking – in fact, he took a few steps last weekend, but it hasn’t progress passed that yet. Probably this month, I’m guessing!

He’s also changed up the way he crawls.  He used to crawl normally, but for the past few weeks, he won’t bend his knees.  Here’s a really fuzzy video:

His scrapbook page:


Here are some recent pictures:




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Highs and Lows

They say “bad things come in threes”, don’t they?  Or is that good things that come in threes?  Either way, these past couple of weeks have seen some highs and lows.  It’s at the point that it’s kind of comical.

(This is, by no means, an exhaustive list.)

  • I got promoted at work.
  • My nephew broke his ‘shin’ bone and is casted from his upper thigh to his toes.  He’s 7.  Just 3 days before school went back for the fall.
  • I turned 35.
  • We started potty training Phinehas.  I thought it started well.
  • It isn’t going well right now and it’s been a week and a half.  “Not going well” = lots of accidents (more than successes) and some protesting.
  • He still loves wearing his “unders” though.
  • Last Friday, I didn’t have a plan for dinner, so I took a meal out of the freezer that I had frozen.  I didn’t wrap it well cause my burritos were soggy and gross.  Even I wouldn’t eat them.
  • Then Saturday, since we didn’t have the leftover burritos to have for lunch, I made a frozen pizza.  Burned it.  Still edible, but who burns a frozen pizza?
  • Yesterday, I tried a new recipe and it wasn’t very good. Edible, but not very good.
  • Phinehas also went upstairs and made “ba bas for the baby” (bottles), which consisted of him dumping formula into a bottle that he got open. And shaking it.  I took a picture cause it was a mess!
  • Today, I was baking 4 pounds of chicken when my oven stopped working.  The new one we bought 2 months ago!  It’s all electronic and stuff and it just won’t heat.  It won’t take the temperature you try to set it to and says “Function Not Available.”  Who has ever heard of an oven where you can’t heat it!?  Arg!  Serviceman coming on Wednesday.  Pizza ordered for dinner.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been cranky lately.  Mostly ‘easily irritated’ would be a good description.  Just all kinds of doubts that I’m good at this mothering thing.  This wife thing.  This human thing.

The good news?  My car is regularly starting! And the microwave isn’t broken!  Nor is the dishwasher or the fridge!

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