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InstaFriday from Scrap Around the Clock!


Thanks to my handy dandy laptop that continues to prove itself the best Christmas present ever, I am blogging live from the Spring Scrap Around the Clock - a two day super-awesome local scrapbooking event that I help run twice a year.

I'm too busy having fun to spend much time gabbing about it right now, but I ran around snapping a bunch of pics with my cell phone and am linking up with Jeannett's blog for InstaFriday.

life rearranged

Welcome to our awesome gymnasium turned scrap retreat!

 Greeting guests with Annie
hanging with my sister. 

 Adorable caterers Angey and Amy.


 My necessities for the weekend: coffee and cold medicine (dang persistent cough!)
One of the best inventions in scrapbooking: The CropInStyle P3 tote. It expands vertically and locks in place - love it!

SarieJune is here!!! 

And so is Paparazzi Accessories. At $5.00 a set it is quite popular!

I love checking out people's cool stuff - it's like walking around a mini scrap convention.

And now I want this... the Making Memories Slice. 

My ribbon ring... another loved item. 

And this is not from Scrap Around the Clock, but it fell in my cart while shopping for Scrap Around the Clock, so I'm going to call it related. 
I know, I can not stay away from Target. 

Now back to scrapbooking! 
Have a great weekend, everyone :)

Today I'm grateful for...



I'm in one of those deep and thoughtful moods that, I'll be honest, doesn't hit me all that often. It's not that I don't have deep thoughts (I do! Sometimes frequently!), it's just that I don't usually sit and ponder on them for very long. Most of the time I'm kind of a light and go-lucky type.

(And if you've read my blog for long you probably just rolled your eyes at my statement of the obvious.)

Today I'm pondering though.

About the choices Russ and I have made for our family, marriage, and lives.
About the way we parent.
About the way living in two countries while growing up has, in part, shaped me, and how my children won't have that.
About how glad I am that we've chosen to live differently than a lot of other Americans because of the Financial Peace University course we took for the first time back in 2005.
About how much we have. (So, so much.)
About how my emotions and feelings can get in the way of the truth sometimes, and how helpful it is to step back and be reminded of the big picture.
About my weaknesses and bad habits.
About how God has used me recently even when I've been feeling pretty pathetic about my "usefulness".
About whether I want to get off the couch and hunt down something sweet or whether I'm going to be good and just drink my water. (That one's a toughie.)

And all this pondering has made me grateful, because you know what? I LOVE my life. I'm happy with where I'm at. In my marriage, in my parenting, in my friendships and relationships, in my church, in my 3 bedroom fixer-upper house.

Do I think I'm perfect? Oh, ho ho ho! (Umm, NO.) Is there room for improvement? Tons. Could I be doing more for God, for my family, for society? Yes, for sure. Will I EVER lose the weight I want to lose? It's questionable, gosh darn it!

But without a shadow of a doubt, I am blessed. And that's what I'm pondering.  

What I Wore Wednesday


Not a whole lot of proper outfit wearing going on lately... a combination of Spring Break lazy days plus a nasty cough keeping me home.
Here's what I do have to show for the past week, along with some running commentary of what I've been up to.
(Highly entertaining stuff here. Meaning, please feel free to skip over.)

Date night to see the Hunger Games
 Old Navy cardy, necklace and flats, Target dress, Walmart leggings. 

The movie was awesome. So was the popcorn. 
We went the opening day and stood in line for 40 minutes to get good seats. There's always a sense of fun and camaraderie with your fellow movie attenders on the opening day of a highly anticipated film and by the time the actual previews rolled around we'd made best friends with our seat neighbors and could tell you all sorts of things about them. 
We had to break up once the movie started though, I am NOT a movie talker. 

Cooper's 9th birthday party
 Old Navy cardy and tunic, Shade tank top, Walmart capri leggings, Payless sandals, Romy necklace.

Believe it or not we actually had some decent weather over the weekend! I wore this to the aquatic center... where I read my kindle for almost 3 hours while my husband swam with the kids. Best. Party. Ever.)

Kids orthodontist consultations
 Target dress & jeans (both via the Goodwill), Target booties, Diviine Modestee Cami, Gifted necklace (from Hawaii), Goodwill bracelet.

Nothing says Spring Break like a trip to the orthodontist! 
Especially when you show up for 11 am appointments only to find out you weren't supposed to be there until 2 pm. Luckily this was the free preliminary visit where the try to woo your business so they fit us in anyway. And it totally worked - I was very happy with them :)

Running morning errands
Old Navy coat, Shade top, Target jeans (via Goodwill), Walmart flats, handmade neckwrap from my AWESOME friend Amy.

Aaaand we're back to cold and rainy weather.
Yes, that's a wool neck wrap AND coat. They seemed strangely fitting considering they way I felt all day (which was not too splendid.)
But thanks to a dear friend who came over and hung out and watched movies with me while Russ went to the Blazer game at the Rose Garden, it still turned out to be a great day! (Chocolate may have also been involved.)

And thanks to a more recent dear friend, Nyquil, the night wasn't so bad either.

Here's to a fresh new day! Have a great one, my friends :)

pleated poppy



Boy turned...
With his very own, easiest cake decorating job Mommy's ever done, basketball cake.

Boy got Air Jordans.
And a new hat. 
(Mommy loves boy birthdays because Daddy does the birthday present shopping!)

Boy got to go here for the first time...

And play for HOURS with these guys.
And with Daddy, who swam too.

While Mommy lounged and read her kindle.

Like I said, Mommy LOVES boy birthdays ;)

Monday Confessional - Crime Busters


Last Thursday afternoon when Russ came home from work he found me folding laundry on our bedroom floor and flopped down on the bed to chat with me. While I filled him in on the big news that Colton was finally off Survivor (I'd just watched the previous night's episode on my laptop and was rejoicing and singing hallelujah to the heavens that he was gone), Russ noticed some movement down the end of our driveway and wanted to know what it was.

Russ: "Is that a truck parked at the end of our driveway?"
Me (peeking out our window sheers): "No, it's in the neighbor's driveway."
Russ: "Is the neighbor out there with it?"
Me: "No, I see two guys... looks like they're loading stuff from a wheelbarrow into the truck."
Russ: "What stuff?"
Me: "The stuff in the wheelbarrow."
Russ (laughing): "Thank you, Captain Obvious. I mean WHAT are they loading?"
Me: "Oh. well... is that an air compressor...?"

It is at this point that I remembered an article I'd read in our local newspaper a week before about some local thefts that had happened in rural settings. The thieves had parked at the end of their victim's driveways in the middle of the night and used a wheelbarrow to haul stolen goods out of outbuildings, barns and shops.

I immediately reminded Russ of the story and exclaimed, "Babe! What if they've got up the nerve to steal in broad daylight when people aren't home! Go see what they're doing!"

So Russ limps out on his still recovering knee to investigate and save our neighbor's property while I get the brilliant idea to take pictures out the window in case they take off.

You know, evidence.

But they don't take off. They stand and visit with Russ for a while. And next thing you know, out strolls our neighbor, OF COURSE, because he's always home and I think I've mentioned before that he is Mr. Neighborhood Watch, himself. And one of the guys from the truck walks halfway down the driveway to meet him and shakes his hand. And then I see Russell laughing with the neighbor before turning and hobbling back down the driveway with a funny smile on his face.

I have no photographic evidence of any of this of course because I am hiding back behind my curtain in shame. Turns out the neighbor had set out a tiller for free at the end of the driveway and the innocent men in the truck had stopped to pick it up. (Tiller, air compressor, close enough, right?)

AND THEN I remembered that the main focus of the newspaper article I'd read was that the thieves had stupidly listed the stolen items for sale on Craigslist, had been met by undercover cops, and been busted.

Meaning, they were no longer at large.

Regular ol' Sherlock and Watson, we are.

(Make sure to give us a call if you need any super sleuthing done ;)

Awkward but mostly Awesome


- Breaking the bad news to the lady you don't know in the grocery store that she has a two foot long piece of toilet paper sticking out of the back of her pants. Trying to assure her that nobody else probably noticed. Listening to her horror as says that's unlikely, since she's been walking around the store for 45 MINUTES. These moments are just as embarrassing for me as they are for the person I have to tell - trust me.

- Teaching a class at Wednesday night church while in the midst of some sort of cold bug that has made me start to lose my voice. "Ahem, hack hack, like I was saying before, cough, the principle here..." (voice breaks and more coughing ensues). To make matters worse, my husband then starts to heckle me from the peanut gallery and tells me it's "okay to go take my smoke break". Hardy har.

- Wanting a chocolate fix and realizing, wait a second, I have a box of Crunchie bars! That's right... they have not run out yet!

- The Hunger Games movie coming out this weekend... DATE NIGHT!

- The expandable shoe winning first place in the school invention convention! Kendall, Sarah and Hannah were giddy with joy, as they each won $40.00 in prize money, while us mothers who helped make their idea come to life (read: did all the hard parts) high-fived each other and tried to talk the girls into handing over some of the winnings as payment for all our labor ;)

- Cooper winning a first place ribbon for his science project, which was his ONE AND ONLY DREAM COME TRUE. This was such an awesome moment because almost half of the score comes from the oral presentation given in front of the classroom, and after Cooper burst into tears from nerves three times in a row just practicing his presentation to Russ and I, we were more than a little nervous about how it would go. He practiced and practiced and practiced though, and overcame his stage fright. PROUD PARENT ALERT!!

- Two snow days in a row right before Spring Break starts, making vacation a week and a half long instead of a week. Woohoo for sleeping in and no schedule!

Have an awesome Thursday, guys!

What I Wore Wednesday


You guys. I am wearing something from Target this week.
Note to self: Branch out, Jodi, branch out! 

Like I always do on Wednesdays, I'm linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for
pleated poppy

Last Wednesday
Old Navy cardy (yard sale), thrifted dress, thrifted Target jeans, Target booties, gifted necklace.

(Side note: baaad hair day)

Costco cardy & boots, Target dress, Shade tee, Walmart leggings, thrifted bracelet.

Target sweater, Shade tee, Old Navy jeans, ebayed Uggs, Plato's Closet necklace.

Target sweater, jeans, & booties, Shade tee, thrifted bracelet, Walmart necklace.

Target sweater & blouse, thrifted Target jeans and flats, Van Huesen outlet necklace. 

Target dress, Walmart leggings and boots, Fred Meyers necklace. 

I am going grocery/birthday gift shopping today and this is my mantra, "I will not go to Target, I will not go to Target..."
Wish me luck ;)

The evil and ugly kings


Last week I videoed Kendall reciting the bible facts she'd memorized for a quiz at school the next day (she attends a private Christian school).

And I have just a few thoughts I'd like to share about it...

1. First of all, please ignore the dog's rear end. Miley likes to perch on top of the couch and supervise the birds in the front yard.

2. Kendall (aka Miss Theatric) asked me to say, "I don't believe you, prove it" when she told me she was done studying at the start of the clip. Just to be clear, I'm normally a much more supportive Mom than that ;)

3. While I love all the knowledge she is gaining from her bible class, I question her accuracy on the description of the kings as being both "evil and ugly". Although I'm sure some of them were.

4. So okay, it was Elijah who got depressed and wanted to die, not Elisha, but those names are so similar I say close enough, Kendall!

5. And I think she proves that the more times you recite those names in one sitting the harder it's going to be to pronounce either of them correctly by the end.

6. My daughter always gets my sarcasm. Except mostly not.

7. I agree with her though, I wish she would get 100% on her math tests too! (Unfortunately she inherited her mother's feelings towards math - which actually are evil and ugly.)

Happy Monday, my friends!

Late night InstaFriday


Well Friday is almost over but I decided to still join in and over at Jeannett's blog.
life rearranged
Catching up on my life through the cell phone camera lens.

I got a Cricut Create for Christmas but just pulled it out for the first time to work on my kids science fair projects. (aka: MY science fair projects ;)
Instant love! This baby is fun!

Last Saturday night we attended the annual benefit auction at the school my children attend. In the silent auction I bid on and won a small spa package that came with a haircut certificate and some pedicure goodies. This candle was in there too and I didn't pay much attention to it until I got home and noticed it's one of those crackling wood wick candles - fun! 
So I lit it up and enjoyed the ambient crackle... from TWO INCHES AWAY, since that's how close you need to be to actually hear the wick burn. Hmmm. 
It smells really good though!

Also purchased in the silent auction: these Vogue sunglasses that came with a matching case.
 I bought them without being able to see how they looked on me in a mirror so was relieved I liked them when I got home! $18.00 was just too good to pass up since they were new and valued at $50.00. Score! (I'm normally a $10 pair from Target kind of girl.)

Kendall made this glass plate with 3 other kids in her grade during art class and it was sold in the live auction. We tried to win it but lost out to another family, only to find it on our door step the next day when we got home from church! 
How awesome is that?!! Kendall was beyond ecstatic. God bless the family that did that for us!

Blake chillin' with his Leapster on the end of our bed.
Cute kid. 

Russell today on the couch. I laughed.  
 He's wrapped in Blake's blankies like a cocoon. In NCAA tournament heaven.

Kendall saw Avalon High on Netflix last week and deemed it the "BEST MOVIE EVER". Then she dressed herself and Blake up as characters from the movie (about a modern day reincarnated King Arthur and his court).

And THEN she decided she needed some armor and used her own money to order this off ebay. 
 It came today.
I think she's a little bit excited. 

And also ready for battle! 

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

The Convalescent


Russell's surgery went very well on Tuesday.

Beforehand Russ wasn't as nervous about the procedure itself as he was about how he would act afterwards (the part I was looking forward to for entertainment purposes), and he was so worried about it that I think it had some kind of effect on him because darn it all if he wasn't completely normal waking up from the anesthesia!

It was very disappointing.

The only difference I could tell in his behavior was that he told me how much he loved me every two minutes or so for the first hour after he woke up, and was highly irrational when it came to acting like an actual recuperating patient after we left the hospital.

Example: We left the medical center and drove across the street to Quiznos so I could buy some soup to take home for later. I left Russ laid out in the backseat with ice packs on his knee while I ran inside, and wasn't gone for two minutes before he came hobbling in on his crutches, certain that he was "just fine to be up and about".

That coming from the guy that snored with his eyes open on the drive home.

Later that evening he was up again though and happy to get a visit from one of his best buddies.

And since then he's been a very good patient, is feeling pretty good (all things considering), and is still quite sentimental from the painkillers (which is very cute).

We've decided that this week is our "fake retirement" week, and if retirement means coffee together in bed in the mornings, hanging out and watching movies and shows on Netflix, and napping whenever we want, then we're pretty awesome at it.