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Another awesome tip from Jodi and a shopping story - Part 1


If you haven't realized it already... I seem to dwell on the brink of scatterbrained near-disaster an awful lot lately.

Why this is, I do not know (or choose to think about).

Case in point: Yesterday I decided to go grocery shopping after dinner instead of my normal payday morning run that would have happened today. I hadn't made it 3 minutes down the road though when I realized my car was starting to overheat (we have a very slow leak going on in our radiator and haven't had it fixed yet). Instead of turning around and coming back home to refill the water in the radiator like a normal person would, I decided to continue on my way and swing in to my brother and sister-in-law's house another 8 miles up the road to take care of it there because they live conveniently right on the way to town, and more importantly, I hate having to turn around.

Now this is the point where most people would shake their head at me and wonder "what were you thinking?" But guess what - I made it there just fine and my brother-in-law Tim even refilled the radiator himself, leaving me to catch a quick visit with Cara. Love my fam.

No, the real problem came later in the evening. You see, had I turned around and gone back home, I probably would have noticed MY WALLET sitting on the dining room table when I walked inside for a container of water, instead of making the discovery that it was not in my purse when I went to check out after shopping for an hour all the way up in West Linn, 30 miles from home. GRRR!

So here's my tip: if you ask your three year old to bring you something out of your purse and he brings you your wallet instead, don't just tell him to go put it back and then assume he did. CHECK TO MAKE SURE.
Little turkey!
(Or you could just go get whatever you needed yourself. That might work too.)

And what was I doing in West Linn anyway, when all the stores I normally shop at are in Clackamas? Well you'll just have to come back tomorrow to hear the rest of the story, because trust me, my evening gets even better (or actually, worse, then better, then worse again).

I'm nothing if not a living, breathing, disaster-prone, shopping drama queen :)

What I Wore Wednesday No. 50


Happy Wednesday, my friends. 

I would try to attempt a clever intro this week, but honestly, I'm too busy itching the eleven bug bites on my left calf that I woke up with this morning. 

Seriously, ELEVEN. All within centimeters of each other. WHAT THE HECK?! I have no idea what kind of bug mauled me while I slept, but I'm kinda afraid to go to bed tonight. 

(evening church service)
ruffle blouse: Goodwill, cardy: Target clearance, jeans: Old Navy, sandals: Target, necklace: Fred Meyers
Turns out, summer time means I often don't get dressed to go anywhere until the evening, when all the sunshine is gone from my living room.
No sun + no camera flash = no good.

(errands, basketball game)
yellow tunic: BCBG outlet, tee: Shade, jeans: thrifted (Levi's), sandals: Target, necklace: Van Heusen outlet
(vacation day 1 - in our very poorly lit lake house bedroom!)
tunic: Goodwill, jeans: Goodwill (Old Navy), sandals: Target, necklace: Plato's Closet
(vacation day 2 - day on the beach)
tank: Old Navy (in case you couldn't figure that out ;), shorts: borrowed from my sister-in-law, sandals: Costco (Adidas)
Before you start thinking, "Wow, she's gotten awful skinny since 2 days ago!", you should know that this mirror was miraculously slimming, and that these shorts were in fact a tad snug and I only wore them for about half an hour before finding a pair of denim bermuda shorts at a local thrift store that I felt much more comfortable in and wore for the rest of the day (and of course didn't get a picture of).

Why did I not pack any shorts of my own, you wonder? Or a swimsuit for that matter? Because I believed the faulty forecast that said the daily high would be 60 degrees all weekend. LIES!

(final day of vacation - forgot to take pic until back home again. Which is better than Sunday at least, when i forgot to take a pic altogether.)
cardy: Old Navy, cami: Diviine Modestee, jeans: Kohl's (Levi's), sandals: Payless, bracelet and necklace: Premier Designs, earrings: husband :)
belt: missing in action, which was unfortunate as my pants kept sliding down my hips all day long. Another pair of jeans for the garage sale pile though, hurrah!
(weight lost to date: 13 pounds)

(summer league games. Also, it was a no makeup day. 
Also, another grainy evening pic, FYI.)
dress: thrifted (Mossimo), tee: Shade, sandals: thrifted, necklace: Claire's, bracelet: Premier Designs, earrings: F21
That's it ladies! (And possible gent.)
I'm linking to

"The place of fun"


That's my new name for the lake house in Pacific City where we vacationed the past 4 days  with my husband's entire family.

(Or at least that's the name I came up with a few seconds ago, after I started to title this post "we had a beachy time" and then realized that's the exact same title I used last year to recap our first visit there. Looks like I'm as corny now as I was a year ago.)

The new title works just as well though because, people, did we ever have FUN! I didn't think it could get any better than our trip last year, but it did... for these main reasons:

1. We did not break down and require towing to get there. 
2. We had excellent sunny weather as opposed to last year's mist and drizzle.
3. Blake was potty trained this year - enough said!
4. The board game Apples to Apples was introduced. HUGE hit.
5. I think every trip we take is better than the one before!

Meet the Halverson clan, 2011

One great grandma (Margaret), 2 grandparents (Teri & Gary), their three children (Erik, Russ & Cara), with their spouses (Tricia, Tim, and myself), and 12 grandchildren (Ben, Mandy, Sam, Derek, Debbie, Drew, Kendall, Mark, Maddy, Cooper, Lizzy, and Blake - in order of age) makes for one lively beach house!

(And technically this is also the Grandle clan since Cara married Tim, but who cares about technicalities, right?)

And now I give you my favorite 10, I mean 11, alright, 12 pictures from the trip (out of the 100+ I took, I say that's still pretty good narrowing down skills!) And I've made them huge so hopefully you have speedy computers... 

excited for the first catch of the trip!
the kids swam in the lake multiple times a day
I love s'mores!
dinner prayer

gorgeous Cara
Maddy, Lizzy, and Kendall, with Mandy in the background busy catching tadpoles.
Tricia and Teri visiting by the lake

Three generations of Halversons
Mark and big brother Ben
On your marks, get set, GO!

At the beach!
Uncle Erik buried Blake standing fully upright!
wrestling Grandpa
What, you counted 13 pictures? Umm... I don't know what you're talking about!

Seriously though, so many wonderful memories. I can't wait till next year. 

Monday confessional


I bought this at Target last week for no other reason than the label, which caught my eye. 

While born and raised in New Zealand, I had no idea we had a National scent!

How exciting!

And  glacier carved streams? Verdant vistas? Who could resist the sound of that? 

Not I.

(Although the waterfall emerging from the sky above the much smaller mountains is not a landmark I remember, and frankly looks a little dubious to me.)



Halverson beach trip, August 2010

We're off on our first official vacation of the summer today, back to the lake house at the Coast where we stayed last summer, and THE CHILDREN ARE EXCITED!

(That is the same as saying the children are driving my crazy, except it sounds nicer. But really, the children are driving my crazy.)

We wanted to leave earlier but the majority of the packing had to be done this morning due to our chaotic evening last night that went something like this:

5 pm: drive to town with the kids to have dinner with Russ and his b-ball team at their team camp, which ended last night.

6 pm: Drive around town running last minute errands while Russ returns school van.

7 pm: go watch the varsity boys play at their team camp in a neighboring town because, as I'm sure you all know, Russell NEVER tires of basketball and is supportive of any team from our school, but especially the team coached by his good friend Doug, and that now includes our incoming freshman nephew, Ben. 

8 pm: leave the high school and stop spontaneously at my parents to pick up eggs (did you know my dad works at an egg farm? Because he does, and this means free eggs for the family every week. It's a pretty sweet perk.)

8: 25 pm: leave my parents after a quick and noisy visit and head back to town because one of Russ's player's parents mentioned that they were having a garage sale this weekend and had baseball gloves we could have for our boys, inviting us to come browse pre-sale.

I'm sure you can see where this is headed...

9:25 pm: LEAVE our friends garage sale, the proud owners of two baseball gloves and  two balls, a bike rack for our Tahoe, a bag full of clothes and shoes for Kendall, and a box FULL of barbie stuff that Kendall managed to get for free and completely swooned over the rest of the evening.

9:30 pm: arrive at our mechanic friend's to pay for and pick up our fixed riding mower that Russ planned to get up and use at 6 am this morning to mow before leaving for vacation.

(This pit stop was prearranged - in case you're wondering if we normally pay people random visits at 9:30 pm in the evening - and fully supported by me because our yard is a HOT MESS and I wanted it mowed, like, yesterday.)

But guess what? They were setting up a garage sale too. 

10:00 pm: By now we own a new toddler bed for Blake and Russ is down the street with our friend looking at fishing gear that might work for our trip while I'm back in the car with the kids wondering how the heck I ended up out and about this late on the evening I was supposed to be home packing. 

Luckily Russ came back quick when I texted him: "your children have run wild. Save me."

So it was a late night. And really it was okay because we were all "VACATION-HOY!" and didn't want to go to bed before 12:30 am anyway, which is what happened by the time I'd baked brownies for the trip and Russ had assembled the new bed, twice, because he did it wrong the first time and I was not about to let it stay that way, and we'd watched a western movie that had nothing to do with packing at all, but was quite good. 

But now we're ready and outta here! So happy weekend to you all my friends!

We'll be fishing and playing here:

lake view left
lake view right
 (And don't worry about our place, or try anything shady while we're gone, because we've got that covered. Plus, our vigilante neighbor who lives only a stones throw away and is ARMED AND DANGEROUS, has informed us many a time that he watches every single thing that goes on over here and not a single vehicle come or go without his noticing, and Russell and I can both attest to the validity of this statement. Guys a phenom.)   

Blake stole my camera


And had himself a little photo shoot. Rascal.

Among the pictures he took, like this...

And this...
his new tennis shoes on top of his dresser
And of course the prerequisite self-portrait...
Hello blurry nostrils!
I found this little series he took of his toy cars, which it appears he moved several times to snap pictures of...

Looks like the trucks may have been fighting?
And this priceless shot...
Which seriously made me laugh. out. loud. 

Somebody's been watching his mama take outfit pictures every day!

What I Wore Wednesday


Hi, Jodi here again, with another week's worth of outfit pictures that may not be that exciting, but are 100% better than the old tank tops and sweat capris I'd FOR SURE be wearing every day if I wasn't taking pictures.

Reason enough to keep going for me.  

(evening church service)
top: Forever 21
jeans: Gap (Goodwill)
sandals: Target

gray cami: Diviine Modestee
cardy & sandals: Target
skirt: Maurice's
flower pin: Sariejune

(sometimes the old tank/sweat capri combo still wins out and I embrace it, 
but just don't take a picture of it :)

(cousin's bridal shower)
dress: Target
tee: Shade
leggings, boots (it was a cold, rainy day!) & bracelet: Walmart
belt: rummage sale
necklace: Bass outlet

green top: Target (friend pass-on)
cardy: Kohl's
skirt: Goodwill
wedges: Thrifted
necklace: Romy
bracelet: Premier Designs

(dinner at friends)
tee: Shade
cardy: Ann Taylor LOFT (friend pass-on)
capri's: Plato's Closet
sandals: Payless
necklace: Bass outlet

(coffee date with girlfriends)
tank: Old Navy
capri's: Calvin Klein (Costco)
sandals: Payless
bracelet: Premier Designs

Yesterday our summer finally decided to arrive and now that it's truly warm I'm realizing that almost all of my outfits are going to be exact duplicates of last summer unless I do a little shopping. 

Luckily this is a problem that I am more than willing to take on! 

Now go check out other What I Wore posts at The Pleated Poppy...


About Father's Day


I had grand plans to blog about our Father's Day last night, until my cousin and her fiance showed up to watch Gulliver's Travel's with Kendall (because she has them wrapped around her little finger) and I was all, "Yay, visitors! I'm going to bake cookies!" and happily threw my blogging plans out the window.

Had I known that I would later be forced to watch an incredibly violent Kung Fu movie made famous for the fact that the director paid the stunt men extra to actually break their arms and/or legs for visual authenticity, a fact I found deeply disturbing, I'm not sure I would have abandoned my plans so willingly. 

Fact: I am not a fan of Kung Fu movies. Especially ones with English subtitles. Especially when they have next to no plot and are filled with people getting their limbs broken.

However, it was still fun to hang out with Mike and Linley, and the cookies were delicious.

This morning, any plans to blog were delayed by household chores, watching my nephews, and this, that and the other thing, and this afternoon I enjoyed a long and relaxing visit with a friend, until next thing I knew it was almost 5 pm and there was still no blog post.

So on to Father's Day! 

The kids woke up earlier than Russ and fixed him breakfast in bed. Kendall carried in the plate of food, Cooper carried the glass of milk, and Blake brought in the present, announcing "Happy Birfday!" over and over. (Presents = birthday parties according to Blake.)

After a great Father's Day service at church we had a family BBQ at my parents house, with Russ's parents invited as well. I loved it that they came, my dad and father-in-law are both so important to Russ and I and it was great to celebrate with them both. 

(And laugh at Gary who didn't quite put "Father's Day" and the BBQ together so thought it was really weird when Dad announced that there were ribs for everyone but the steaks were just for the men. "I would never get away with something like that at my place!" he told us he was thinking before he finally figured it out. Ha ha :)

Russ's Dad, Gary - without his glasses on...
because Teri thought he looked a little too "Stevie Wonder" with them on.
My dad, Wayne
who just got either licked or kissed on the eyeball by Russ.
*sappy moment* I would just like to state for the record that I love and respect my Dad, father-in-law, and husband so, so much. They are not only the best fathers I know, they are also the best men I know. I am beyond blessed to have all three of them in my life. *End sap*

We ended up hanging out all afternoon watching golf (the boys), assembling a jigsaw puzzle (the girls), and swimming (Kendall and Cooper), because you know, it was like 67 degrees, totally hot.

And that's how we spent Father's Day. A great day, Kung Fu movie aside ;)

Jodi's awesome tips for the day


If I were to sum up my day yesterday into one sentence, I would have to say that it was basically sheer and utter madness.


From beginning to end things did not go as planned, and if I were to try to explain it all in writing you would be dazed and confused within two paragraphs, and 100% lost by the end of what would be sure to be the longest and most complicated tale you'd ever been bored by in your life. So I won't. 

But I will share some important tips that I learned from my experience:

- If your husband's car is in the mechanic shop and he has to take your vehicle to work for the day, a day that begins at the ungodly hour of 4:20 am, you may want to tell him the night before that the gas tank is pretty much sitting on empty and needs to be filled at the closest possible station when he leaves. Otherwise, you just might be rudely awakened at 4:40 am and called upon to come to the rescue ASAP, in what could only be termed as the most hostile wake-up call you've ever received in your entire life.

- If you decide to turn off your morning alarm that was set for 6:30 am because you didn't go to bed until 1:00 am the night before and then lost almost an hour of sleep during the wee hours due to a "vehicle emergency", and instead trust your body to wake when your contractor shows up at 7:00 am on his way to work to do a quick 10 minute fix-it job in your bathroom (see, I told you it was complicated), do GET UP when you hear him arrive.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, ask your 8-year-old son (who also wakes up and comes into your bedroom to ask if he can watch cartoons) to come get you when the contractor leaves and then fall immediately back to sleep. Because this will be a FATAL MISTAKE. You could wake up an hour later, at the time you were supposed to be leaving the house for a busy morning, to find your son engrossed in the TV and oblivious to the fact that the contractor left 45 minutes earlier.

- If you have borrowed your brother-in-law's car for the day because your husband needed yours, do not put the single car key you were given into the car's cup holder for safekeeping and then send your daughter out to the car ahead of you with your water bottle in the morning. Because she will be sure to put your water bottle into the same cup holder, and may unwittingly fling the key to the nether regions of the vehicle, causing you to search for it frantically for 5 minutes that you just DO NOT HAVE TO SPARE. And you will want to pull all your hair out.

- If you have to run into town later in the day to go to the bank, do not leave at 1:10 pm when your bank is closed from 1-2 pm for lunch. This will frustrate you.

- And if you go to a friend's garage sale while waiting for your bank to open and pick out a few items to purchase, promising to return with cash as soon as you're finished at the bank, do not forget all about it by the time you actually do leave the bank, and drive straight home instead. 

- Also, do not try to cash an insurance check written out to both yourself and your husband with only your own signature on the back, because you will be denied. Apparently it's a law.

- ALSO, do not spontaneously decide that you need caffeine and pick up a 12 oz latte after quitting drinking coffee at least 3 weeks ago. Or at least, don't drink it on an empty stomach. While it may not seem to bother you at first, and in fact may feel quite helpful, you will later come to BITTERLY REGRET IT.

- If you have volunteered to make and deliver dinner to some friends who just had a baby, do not forgot to take your bacon out of the freezer when it is one of the ingredients. This way you will realize that there actually is no bacon in the freezer earlier than 3:00 in the afternoon.

- When you run back into town to pay for your garage sale purchases and pick up bacon, leaving your husband home with the kids and promising to be quick because he has to leave shortly to coach summer league basketball games, go to the store first, then the garage sale. That way you won't run into friends at the sale, chat too long, and then get a call from a friend and immediately launch into the tale of your crazy day and drive half-way back home before realizing, THE BACON!

This will also save you from an even further fall from grace with your husband who is not only still bitter about running out of gas that morning, but now late leaving the house because of you.

- If you successfully make and deliver dinner to your friends after a crazy day, consider it a triumph even though you were late getting there, and return home immediately to relax and perhaps sleep. Do not instead attempt to go grocery shopping, Father's Day shopping, and bridal shower shopping within a 3 hour period when it is plainly obvious that you have completely lost your brain. All you will do is wander aimlessly, get sucked into Ross for way too long, stare at Father's Day cards for 1/2 an hour in Target, and finally return home 4 hours later with your Father's Day and shower gifts taken care of but only three actual grocery items.


There will be much shame. And nauseousness from your earlier coffee run.

- And lastly, I will leave you with this final nugget of wisdom (well, besides DO NOT BE LIKE ME):

If you feel like you have had a terrible, awful, no-good kind of day and know that it was all your own fault because you can just never seem to get it together, or make it anywhere on time, or flat-out make better decisions, leaving you feeling like the most unreliable failure of a wife and friend there could ever be, stop that train of thought before you manage to spiral downwards into a puddle of self-loathing tears. Trust me, I know of what I speak.

Remember that you are incredibly tired and therefore, emotional.
Thank the Lord for his grace and for always being reliable, no matter how unreliable you may be.
Thank the Lord that tomorrow is a new day and that He can help you to change and to do better, and that He is more than willing to do so.
Thank the Lord for giving you a wonderful husband who has never stopped loving you a single second of your life together.
Thank the Lord for giving you amazing friends who stick with you even through your faults.
Listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit and let Him love and comfort you, because He will, HE WILL!

He is so good, and so faithful, and He made you and knows every single one of your weaknesses and still loves you always.

Then GO.TO.BED. It's a pretty sure bet that you will feel MUCH better in the morning :)

An important fish update, and other matters


- I'm sad to inform you that my fishy fears have been realized. Rhino and Buster, the goldfish, went to meet their maker last weekend, one day after the other. Yes, it was a grand tragedy in Cooper's world. Yes, there were many tears. Yes, I gave in to better judgement and promised him new fish ASAP.

But only because word on the street is that we have a local "fish lady" around these parts who raises goldfish that are apparently much hardier and healthier than what you will find at Walmart. And they're only .50 cents each. Sold.

(And by ASAP I mean in the next couple of weeks or so. Or longer if Cooper forgets all about it, which I'm crossing my fingers for.)  

- In animal-related news, the ants are still gone. Praise be to Jesus.

- On Tuesday, Blake managed to break our toilet seat and lid apart, and clean OFF of our toilet. Do things like this happen in other people's homes?

The upside of this is that instead of buying a new seat, I talked Russ into buying a new TOILET. Wooohooo! The old one was not only OLD (really old), but also the color peach, and stained around the rim like you wouldn't believe. In a word, disgusting.

(I would take a picture for proof but it's outside now and it's dark and, you know, what if there's a cougar? I'm staying put.)

But look, sitting in it's place is this shiny beauty!

With the highest non-clogging rating at Home Depot. When you have 5 people sharing one bathroom this is an extremely important factor. Forget water efficiency, give me something that can really flush! (And honestly, we live in the country and have a well so it's kind of a moot point.)

Today everyone will be learning how to properly clean and care for our new addition (twice daily Clorox wipe-downs isn't going overboard, right?) and Blake will be receiving extra lessons on toilet seat gentleness.  

- And that's the latest update on the goings on around here!

I know you are probably wondering how we stand all the excitement. It's tough, I'll admit it.

What I Wore Wednesday


The last week's outfits...
(look at me keeping it all short and sweet! Amazing, I know)

(helped in daughter's classroom, summer league bball games)
dress & jeans: Old Navy
sandals: Target
belt: thrifted

(kid's awards assembly on their last day of school)
tee: Shade
cardy: Old Navy
jeans: Target
wedges: Famous Footwear
necklace: Sariejune
bracelet: Premier Designs

(12 year anniversary date!)
dress: shopped my friend Jana's closet :) 
tee: Shade
jeans: Target
wedges: Thrifted
necklace, 2nd day in a row coz it's awesome: Sariejune
bracelet: Premier Designs

(church, family BBQ, 2 college graduation parties - looong day!)
maxi dress: thrifted (Mossimo)
sandals: Target
necklace & bracelets: Claire's

(prayer group, running kids all over God's green earth)
tee: Shade
sweater: Old Navy
jeans: Levi's (Kohl's)
sandals: Payless
necklace: Bass outlet
hat: Target

(summer league bball games, friend's baby shower)
cardy: Costco
cami: Diviine Modestee
capri's: Twenty-One (Plato's Closet)
sandals: Target
necklace: Bass outlet

And that's a wrap!

Linking to