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It's the board game of choice in our home right now.

And this is pretty much how it goes down every time we play...

1. It's boys against girls.
2. Blake gets his own stack of chips to play with on the side.
3. Blake spills all his chips on the floor, tries to stick them up his nose, stacks them up on one corner of the board, tries to inflate his empty zip-lock chip bag like a balloon, and keeps himself otherwise occupied.
4. Cooper starts off by wasting a joker to place his first chip.
5. Russell's night of exasperation with his partner begins.
6. Kendall plays well, but needs a reminder every single time it's her turn.
7. Cooper's hand is short 3 cards after his fourth turn.
8. I try my darndest to thwart Russell, who is more than capable of winning despite his handicap of a teammate (sorry Coop, I say that in love.)
9. But it's no use, the boys seem to win EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
10. So Kendall and I declare a rematch and we start all over again.

Nothing like a little family bonding time :)

(P.S. Is it just me or does Cooper's arm look like that stretchy guy's from Fantastic Four in that picture?)

Monday Confessional


It is sad to confess that once upon a time,
I thought this hair style was a good idea. 
Oh my holy awful. 
Could I have curled my layers into more perfect half-ringlets?
But I fully remember feeling very happy with my hair that day... 
the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child. 

(Shout out to all the girls who rocked Calvin Klein denim overalls in the late 90's. 
I had TWO pair.) 



InstaFriday is a fun way to link up with others to show your cell phone pics from the past week (instagram pics for iphone users - regular ol' phone pics for the not-quite-as-cool folk like me.)

So here's what's been going on in my neck of the woods...

life rearranged

Homecoming coronation at my old school - and my kids current school - during halftime of the boys varsity basketball game last Friday night. (They did the fully decorated and dressed up presentation of the court during school that day.) My niece Mandy and nephew Ben (who are cousins) were the freshman prince and princess! 
(They're the cuties on the far left.)

Picking out carpet at Home Depot - we went with Martha Stuart's Blenheim line. Then celebrated with Yogurt Shack :)

Last Saturday Russ and the other coaches took the boys and girls high school basketball teams out on a fun day that ended with dinner at Red Robin and a movie. Which I of course invited myself along to, because hello, RED ROBIN.
It just happened to be my niece's 15th birthday that day and she does NOT like attention... so naturally we had to make sure the staff knew so she could be forced to stand on a chair and wear a coffee filter for a hat - ha ha, HA. She was such a good sport and ended up laughing a lot while up there :)

And this would be at the theater afterwards, where we managed to practically fill the entire main section, much to the disappointment of all the couples who came in after our very early arrival. It was probably a good thing they didn't end up among us though because did you know that teenagers in large groups can by quite noisy and obnoxious in public settings? It's true. 

Mission Impossible 3 was very good by the way.

Kendall at her award ceremony for playing 5th/6th grade basketball. 
Now she's on the 6th grade team that's playing in the 7th/8th grade league, which is during the same season as Cooper's 3rd/4th grade basketball, because I like to complicate my life with as many commitments at the same time as possible. (Oh wait, that doesn't describe me at all.)
What does describe me? "Basketball coach's long-suffering wife." ;)

Blake decided that Miley's freshly laundered dog bed would be the perfect spot to curl up and watch a movie from. And I have to admit it does look sorta cozy... in an "only because I just bleached it" kind of way.

 Last night I drove 35 minutes to the Walmart Superstore for an evening grocery shopping trip with my mother. The moon was so pretty on the way that we took a pic out the front window, which of course does it no justice whatsoever since it looked waaay closer and prettier in person.

The trip was fun and would have gone off without a hitch if somebody, not naming any names, but NOT me,  hadn't forgot their money and not realized it till they were checking out, and if somebody else, not naming names again, but NOT my mother, hadn't left the interior lights on in her car when she came home, resulting in a dead battery the next morning.

Like I said, pretty much a perfect evening. 

The important thing is that if I hadn't gone, I would never have discovered the newest love of my life: Cinnamon sugar spreadable butter! 
Only 70 calories for a tablespoon - which is a generous amount for my whole wheat English muffin. This little tub is going straight to the secret hiding spot at the back of the fridge, a high honor I tell you!

And now that I've included food once again in my InstaFriday post, I feel complete :)

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading!

Awkward and Awesome


- Blake playing games on my phone during his big sister's basketball game one minute, and next thing you know he's switched to camera mode and is asking parents sitting in the crowd from the opposing team to pose for him as he takes 35 pictures.

- Taking the kids to Yogurt Shack and getting sucked into the silly Nickelodeon kids show on the big screen, until I glance over at the front door and notice my 3-year-old swinging from the front door handle like a monkey, with his feet up around his ears. And that's my cue to make our exit... 

- Turning the water off in the shower just in time to hear the doorbell ring and Blake answer the door, inviting the nice carpet-measuring man from Home Depot who has shown up early inside. Moment of panic, moment of panic! And then hearing my dog who, in case I haven't already mentioned it once or thrice, is in heat and wearing PINK DOGGIE PANTIES, go spastic and jump all over the newcomer in excitement. Awkwardness was just written all over this situation - including my towel-headed and very red-faced late appearance.

- Exercising again after a break so long you can't even really call it a break anymore, and realizing that you're so unfit that you're starting to sweat and huff during the 5 minute WARM-UP. Not good.

- And then the pain, OH the pain!

- Picking carpet, luxurious carpet at that, for our new bedroom! And getting to pick basically whatever kind I want... because my husband is THE BEST.

- Blake's declaration while carrying Miley's foam dog bed over his head... "Mom!" he says, "I'm strong, and brave, and handsome!" Hahaha. I don't know where the kid gets this stuff, but he makes me laugh out loud ALL the time.

- The return of the original steak fries at Red Robin. Apparently our location was the test run for a cheaper-to-make version, but the cries of protest from the public (my own included) were so overwhelming that they quickly reverted back to the old kind. Hooah!! (If only Facebook would respond to mass complaints like that...)

-, and the accompanying app on my cell phone. I'm a brand new convert (thanks to the awesome sales pitch of my friend Kourtney), and am totally loving it! Especially the little scanner on the phone app which helps me food journal by instantly adding the nutritional facts from anything with a bar code on it. Very helpful, and just plain old fun to use!

- Feeling that drive and motivation to lose weight and MEAN IT, once again. It's happening, people!

What I Wore Wednesday


This has nothing to do with the following post, but I just finished watching True Grit on Netflix with my hubby (the new version), and now feel the need to tell anyone who will listen that I loved it!

Favorite line...
Mattie Ross: Does Mr. LeBoeuf survive?
Rooster Cogburn: He does. Even a blow to the head could silence him for only a few short minutes.

(If you've seen it you'll understand the humor of that line. Made me chuckle :)

And now on with the show...

Sometime before last Wednesday
(forgot to add to my last WIWW post)
Old Navy cardy & earrings, BCBG tunic, Target skinny jeans, Nordstrom cardy Uggs
 Last Wednesday
craft bazaar hat, H&M top (Goodwill), Target jeans & wedge booties, thrifted necklace
Costco sweater, thriftged tunic top, Target jeans & wedge booties
Old Navy cardy (from a yard sale), Old Navy dress, Walmart leggings & boots, SarieJune etsy store necklace
Target cardigan, Old Navy tunic, Walmart leggings, Nordstrom cardy Uggs, old scarf.  

And that's it!
Have a wonderful Wedesday and thanks for visiting :)

Linking to 
pleated poppy

I thought he was a pirate, myself...


Kendall had a friend over the other day and this was their dress up game...
Kendall's friend was the princess, and she had a young princess daughter. 
Kendall was the servant girl, with a baby of her own to take care of as well. 
And Blake was the serving boy, who went by the self-proclaimed name of "Jim".

They entertained themselves in this imaginary world for hours.

Kids are so awesome :) 

Monday Confessional


We'll chalk this up to another one of those "well that was embarrassing" moments... those moments I seem to have way too many of...

Last week I managed to lock my keys in my car after coming home from taking taking the kids to school in the morning. (Don't ask me how, it will forever remain a mystery.) And of course I did not discover this until I went to leave to pick the kids up again that afternoon and couldn't open the door, causing me to have to place an emergency call to my sister who works in the school office to please grab my children.

(Kelly gets an emergency call from me approximately once every other week, usually of the "I'm late coming home from grocery shopping" variety, so I was relieved to at least have a valid emergency this time. And I didn't even mind that she might have laughed at me a tiny bit. Or a lot.)

My kids pick-up now arranged, I next called Russ to apprise him of the situation. He immediately asked where the extra remote was that came with the car when we bought it, assuming I'd put it somewhere safe in the house.

And here's where I invite you into my mind for a moment, to explain why I never once thought of using the remote as a back up for an accidentally locked vehicle: "I get an extra remote for my car? Cool! I'll keep it safely in a compartment IN THE CAR, in case my regular remote dies or breaks."

Yeah, Russell had trouble following that logic as well.

And then he had to get off the phone so I decided to take the initiative and call around to some towing companies to get price quotes for an emergency lockout. I was quite proud of myself for not just scheduling the first company I called, and it's a good thing I didn't because if I hadn't called a second company, I wouldn't have been asked as an afterthought, "so you don't have coverage on your insurance for this?"

And I realized that, um, "Oh yes, I do!!"

Hears a moment of silence on the other line ".... Okaaay, well you might want to give them a call first then..."

Dies a little bit inside.

But I was only embarrassed for a short moment, because, "YAY, FREE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE!"

And I won't be forgetting I have that again.

(Also, my extra remote is no longer inside my vehicle.)



Well hello and happy Friday!
I'm back with another week's worth of random phone pics, which I'm linking up to Jeannett for

life rearranged

 1. Cooper's first basketball game of the 3rd & 4th grade season. Because I don't have enough basketball in my life! (Headed to my 6th & 7th game of the week tonight.)
2. Delicious stir fry. It's what's for dinner. 

 3. Miley dreaming of the day she can go back outside unattended and unprotected. Dream big, girlfriend! (She's in heat, not incontinent... in case you were curious.)

(And if you think that's an awkward subject to explain to your three innocent children, you are absolutely right.)

4. A favorite snack: Juanita's chips (they're the best) with jalapeno greek yogurt dip. YUM. 
5. Blake playing with his moon sand set OUTSIDE - the only safe place for moon sand. 

6. Watching snow fall outside our new bedroom window - which I am IN LOVE with. 

And that's it. Nothing too exciting - which is the usual state of things around here.
(Unless you count last night when Blake got up in the middle of the night, opened his bedroom door, pulled down his pants, PEED IN THE HALLWAY, and then put himself back to bed, dead asleep the entire time. What. The. Heck. That's the kind of excitement I could definitely do without.)

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

5 pm family snapshot


A snapshot into life at our place on a Wednesday evening.

Russ is taking a quick nap before dinner because it's the middle of his basketball coaching season, and late night basketball games + a 4:20 am wake-up time for work is not exactly the healthiest combination. 

I'm reading our small town paper that is delivered once a week, while dinner is cooking on the stove. 
(Still lovin' my Christmas apron.)

Kendall is groovin' to Just Dance 3 and working up enough of a sweat to necessitate an outfit change. 

Cooper is hard at work building a small wooden helicopter, with glue and all. 

Blake is drinking a gallon of apple juice while working on fully waking up from his late afternoon nap. 
(We try not to interact with him during this delicate time... hello, Grumpypants.)

It's not long at all before he's back to his normal happy self though - working up his own sweat. 

And Miley... 

well Miley is slightly indisposed right now and doesn't want to talk about it. 
I completely understand, Sista. I get hormonal during these times too. 

What I Wore Wednesday


I hit an all time low in the "getting dressed for the day" department this past week. 
Three outfits. That's it.

There's just something about snowy weather that calls for
sweatpants and my husband's wool hunting socks. 
Quite comfy. 

Shade top, Forever 21 scarf, Target jeans & bracelet, ebayed Uggs.

Old Navy dress & cardy, Walmart leggings, yard sale belt, Nordstrom cardy Uggs.

Target sweater and jeans, Old Navy tee and necklace, ebayed Uggs.

Yes, I love Uggs, why do you ask? 

Linking up to
pleated poppy

The weekend report - snowy with a side of thankfulness


Well another three-day holiday weekend has come and gone, and if the worst thing I have to complain about is the hour and a half of my life I lost watching The Smurfs with the kids for family movie night, then I'd have to say it wasn't too shabby. (I'll never get that hour and a half back though, never!)

The highlights of the weekend:
-  It lightly snowed on and off all weekend long, not enough to really stick and cause road problems, but enough to ensure maximum kid excitement.
- Russ and I started season one of Gold Rush on Netflix and are now up to episode 9 (will they EVER make the money they need to climb out of the terrible financial hole they dug themselves into?!!)
- We watched a couple of really good movies to make up for the smurfawful one (in particular Moneyball, which we reaaally liked, and The Help, which Russ hadn't seen yet and totally loved, even though he made fun of it for the first half hour solely because he feels the need to do this any time I make him watch a period drama)
- We had our TWELFTH annual family prayer day with Russ's family.

(Sings in head: Traditionnnn, tradition! Tradition!)

The kids all went first, sharing either something they were thankful for or an answer to prayer they received during 2011, and then they shared a prayer request for 2012. (Cutest request: my eleven-year-old niece Debbie wanting better time-management skills. Preach it, sister!)

Then us adults shared our many praise reports and blessings received during the past year and our few requests we have for the new year. We write them down each year so we can look back and remember how good and faithful the Lord is to us, year after year, after year. And as my brother-in-law, Tim, pointed out; looking back at the problems we faced years ago that at the time felt so big or hard, and realizing how they worked out one way or another and are now nothing we even think about, really gives you good perspective for current problems we may face.

Bottom line: It's a wonderful annual tradition for many reasons, not the least of which is that my mother-in-law feeds us all, and her cooking is amazing.

(What is not wonderful: getting an annoying tune like "La la la-la la la, sing a happy song..." stuck in your head for hours on end. Ugghh.)

Pie chart truth


Having fun on Pinterest this morning. These made me laugh... mostly because, for me at least, they are incredibly true!

Oh ha ha ho ha. 



The weekly cell phone pics... linked up to Jeannett at 
life rearranged

What is Costco without a churro from the food court with Grandma? 

How Blake decided to ride around Costco yesterday.
He thought he was pretty cool beans. 

What's wrong with this picture? 
1. I'm a bad Auntie. An unsupervised Elijah is a disaster waiting to happen. 
2. Yes, I fed the kids dry cereal on paper towels. All my bowls were dirty, okay?
3. Could that dying poinsettia look any sadder on the table? 

The picture I sent Russ to ask if he'd like this shirt because it was 50% off. 
Proof that I do sometimes clothes shop for people other than myself. Sometimes. 

My favorite order from our local taco stand. Russ and I share these bbq pork tacos and one of their awesome chicken quesadillas. As Dora would say, Muy Delicioso!

Serious race car driving going on in the living room. 
Blake wins for best wide-legged stance, but loses for worst driving ensemble (he dressed himself, like on all other days, as if it were the middle of summer.)
And Hayden just wins period, because he has the gaming skills of a teenager. 

The pillows and wall art waiting to adorn my new master suite. I bought these at the craft bazaar I worked at last month, except I ordered the wall pieces in a larger size so they will be tall rectangles. 
And that's how I decided what my room color scheme was going to be!

Have a great weekend, everyone!