Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday afternoons

I love Sunday afternoons.

-naps on the couch with the little dog
-no television all day(usually)
-kids sitting around reading
-no where to go (usually)
-watching my children get creative to entertain themselves

I don't really know what they were doing, but it involved letting Nora win. A lot.

Oh, and Anne Marie thinking November is a great month for a bathing suit.

Mondays? I don't love them quite as much.


-getting up early again
-watching my kids leave and spend more time with their teachers than me
-making school lunches

'nuff said.

happy monday

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Show and Tell

When I was a kid, show and tell was a weekly occurrence. Kids brought in their sticker collections, their stuffed animals, and signed baseballs.

In the year 2011, if you are star student of the week, you get to showcase a poster about yourself, and bring in something to show and tell if you want.

You have one shot a year.

Charlie wanted to bring in his current most prized possession. Our new dog Maisy.

He was so cute and proud. He LOVES this dog. Even when it's other people's turn to have her sleep with them, he somehow ends up with her every night.

A boy and his little black half yorkie, half toy poodle. It's what great stories are made of.

Kind of. Usually they're about big dogs who save people from wells. But I'm sure Maisy would bark a lot if Charlie got trapped in a well or if someone rings the door bell.

Probably just the door bell:)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The winner

I would love to announce that Melissa over at the The Dillon 6 is our contest winner!!!

She said, "I like the adorable eyeball hat -- the one with that cute little girl in the hot pink shirt. CUTE CUTE CUTE hats!!!"

Congratulations Melissa!

Don't worry if you didn't win, you can still order your very own, awesome eyeball hat!

Just head on over to Once Upon a Hippie and order your very own!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thoughts from a church bench

Even though I was sooo tired from my crazy weekend, and all I wanted to do was to stay in bed and snuggle Jeff, I stumbled out of bed yesterday morning to get ready for church. Even with my fatigue, I took more care than normal as I picked out my clothes for church. The choir was going to perform Come Though Fount for Thanksgiving, and I wanted to look my best.

I had to be at church earlier than normal to rehearse one last time, and so I was awake and ready before everyone else. Which meant that dear Jeff would be getting all the kids ready and to church by himself. I did Nora's hair and asked Kate to help dress her so that dad would have one less munchkin to worry about.

As I headed out the door, I felt pretty cute in my dress with whimsical birds on it, eyelet under skirt, and polka dot shoes. With my cupcake breakfast in hand,  I kissed Nora goodbye, as she was awake now, gave Kate a hug, who was staying home sick, and got into the icy Blueberry and waited for the windows to defrost.

I arrived at church in time to start warming up. Our rehearsal went well, and I could see the wisdom in asking to be there early.

After the choir was through practicing, I took a seat in the fourth row, sure to put my coat and purse down the pew a ways so that I could save spots for my family when they arrived. And then I waited. It was strange to sit by myself. Strange to sing the opening hymn and listen to the opening prayer without shushing my little ones, or keeping one eye open to make sure people weren't poking each other. During the sacrament, I was able to reflect and think about things on the horizon that have me wondering about the direction our family should go. And I was able to ask fervently how to help one of my children who is having some health concerns. It was nice to have the quiet, but lonely too, and I wondered where on earth my family could be.

I finally decided, as the minutes continued to tick by, that if they weren't there by the time I was done singing, that I would go home and check on them. Our van needs a new starter and has not been starting consistently, so I figured that was probably the problem.

As I thought this, Jeff and the children all came filing in. And yes, the car wouldn't start. Jeff had bits of leaves and dirt on the back of his sweater still from where he had laid on the ground to get a good look under the car. The van had finally started, and they were at church! I brushed off the back of Jeff's sweater and gave him an affectionate squeeze. He was happy none the less, and the children for the most part, sat quietly as we listened to the talks on gratitude.

The choir number went beautifully. It was one of those moments when being part of a ward choir felt worth all the extra time put in. I came back to our row to see Jeff in a new place between Charlie and Anne Marie. Henry leaned over and said, "Mom! I tried to wave at you, but you wouldn't look at me!!!"

"Henry, " I softly said, "when you are singing in a choir, you have to look at the lady moving her arms around. I'm sorry I didn't see you."

He was a little appeased, but still sad that mommy had watched the director instead of him.

I asked Jeff how he thought the choir sounded, and he said that the parts he heard sounded good. I'm sure that in the middle of moving disruptive kids around, and trying to quietly shush everyone, that the choir sounded wonderful:)

At that moment, all the support Jeff has given me really flooded my emotions. So I just gave him my 'I love you so much' look, that he knows and understands. He reached over and rubbed my calf in a return sign of affection. But at that moment, I felt slightly horrified. In my careful efforts to get ready and look nice that morning, I had skipped shaving my legs to save time. Thinking that they weren't that bad and no one would notice. Until Jeff touched my leg that is.

So I apologized. "I'm sorry my legs are prickly." I whispered. "I didn't shave them today."

"I don't care at all." Jeff replied, giving me his best smile.

"Really? You don't care that they're all prickly?" I questioned. I always wanted my legs to be smooth when Jeff touched them. So I was still embarrassed that I had skipped that step.

"Amy. I don't care at all. I just like touching you.  I love you and I think you're beautiful." He lovingly said. His voice was like honey as the affection practically dripped from him.

I just beamed at him, feeling so lucky and blessed. Not just because he didn't care that my legs were stubbly, but because in that moment I realized that I didn't have to be perfect to be beautiful to him. His love for me is much more than constantly smooth legs, a flat pre-baby tummy, or a line free face. Those were things I could offer when I was 22. Before 6 beautiful babies, before 15 years of marriage, before the realization that love and eternity last, where as looks fade.

I sat and thought about this for a long time. Trying to listen to the last talk as I thought about what real love is. Not just between husband and wife, but the love that God shows to us, the love that we can have for each other. You could insert any physical trait into this sentence. I don't have to be ____ to be beautiful. But it's impossible to leave out the words kind, loving, honest, giving, etc. etc.

You see, it's really who we are that makes us beautiful as women. If you rated me on physical beauty compared to celebrities and super models, I wouldn't even be on the chart. But if you rate me in my husband's eyes, and include all the things he loves best about me, I win every time.

So while I may still find myself looking at magazine's in the grocery store from time to time, wishing my legs were smaller or my arms more shapely, I can guarantee that Jeff never does that. He doesn't compare me to anyone else, and he thinks I'm the most beautiful of any.

Because beauty fades, wrinkles show up no matter how hard we try to keep them at bay, things sag and bag over time.

But the twinkle in your eye? The affectionate hug and kiss every evening? The kind words spoken to someone in need? The love between a husband and wife?

Those things last forever.

Friday, November 18, 2011

2 things

1. Today is the last day to enter the giveaway. Only 11 people have entered! Do you know how good your chances are? And even if you don't win, Jen's hats are such a great price, you can just go ahead and order one anyway and get the 10 percent discount! Just enter BLOGPARTNER at check out. Contest closes at midnight tonight! Hurry! Don't wait!

And 2. Tomorrow is the Basement Boutique. I hope as many of you that can are coming. Who knows, maybe I have nothing awesome, but Amber does! Plus you can have a free cupcake! Isn't everything better with free cupcakes?

3. A couple of sneak peeks at two of the things I've made. This lovely sign that pretty much sums up my life philosophy-hugely inspired by The Nester.

And a  pillow-in case you were wondering. A RUFFLE pillow! It really looks so much better  in person. Why is that?

And don't look at how dirty my couch is. The slipcover is off getting whitened!

I guess that was more than 2 things. My brain is only half working right now. I'll be better Monday:) Hope to see you tomorrow from 10-8!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A list

Girls, who you marry is so important. There is a huge list of things he should be. Write that down, and then become that list yourself so that you can attract the guy you want. I'm not sure if I accomplished that, or if I just got lucky. Part of my list was:

1. He should be a good father.

2.Devastatingly handsome.

3.And a total goofball.

Looks to me like I won the jackpot. 

Oh, and 4.  If you're crazy busy trying to make stuff for your first ever basement boutique, he should be willing to put the kids to bed every night by himself for 2 weeks and not complain at all. 

Thanks Jeffy. I couldn't do this without you. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Life Lessons Learned Grocery Shopping

I go grocery shopping twice a month when we get paid. Instead of smaller weekly sessions, I have one huge shopping trip. I get a lot done but I come home feeling crazy.

As my little ones get older, it actually gets harder to shop with them. Anyone else notice this? A crying baby can be contented with a binkie or a bottle. But 5 and 3 year olds seem to require a little bit more when shopping and riding in the car for 4 hours.

I usually start out each trip on edge, knowing I have about 2 hours before they are tired of shopping. As they get tired and cranky, I get frustrated because I just want to get it done and go home.

But the past year or so, I have been trying to change my attitude, because honestly, they're going to pretty much keep doing what they do, so it's up to me to make the experience better.

So this is what I have learned about grocery shopping with little kids that can pretty much be applied in all areas of parenting.

1. Getting upset doesn't change anything. In fact, it makes it worse. Staying calm, even when your toddler knocks down and end cap of toilet paper, is the best tactic.

2. Give them treats. Everybody likes treats. Having a routine fruit roll up every time you visit the grocery store makes them happy, keeps them busy for a little bit, and gives them a nice memory attached to the outing.

3. Say yes as often as you can. As a new parent, I thought it was my job to say no to a lot of things in order to keep from raising spoiled brats. But that is not the case. Saying yes to what you CAN say yes to gives your  children security. How? Because they don't start feeling like they have to look after themselves for the things they want. They can trust you to meet their needs and some of their wants, and when you do have to say no, they usually handle it better.  And I'm not talking about giving them every material thing they ask for, or every cookie they see. But if you find yourself saying no, more than you say yes, maybe rethink your strategy.

4. Feed them. Whether it's a 4 hour shopping trip, or just hanging at home, little kids will often not tell you when they're hungry. They will just get grumpier and grumpier. And if you're out and about and you really do have the time, GO IN to the restaurant. It gives everyone some time to recoup and relax before hitting the next 3 grocery stores. (I go to 4 different places to get the best prices on food. If you can do one stop shopping, then yay for you!)

5. Hit the bathroom before you start anything! Then your children don't remember the frustrated sigh of their mother as she wheels the cart around to head to the bathroom. NOT that I have ever done that. Ahem. Take care of it at the beginning and you will not be annoyed later.

6. Unless you are willing to buy toys every time you go to the store, do your best to avoid the toy aisle. Bigger kids understand, but a two year old?

7. Every time you get your children out of the car, hold them and give them a hug. Henry and Nora love it, I love it, and it gives me a little reminder before we head into the next store just how much I love my kids.

And who couldn't love them, messy after snack faces and all?

And remember these curtains?

You can order your very own if you come to our Basement Boutique this Saturday.
Saturday November 19th
10 AM-8 PM
Amber's Basement
28623 239th PL SE
Maple Valley, Wa

You can order full ruffled curtains or partial ruffled (also super cute!)in white, creme or a linen color. 

And did you enter the giveaway? What? You must! It's the possibility for a Christmas gift checked off your list. Don't live in Washington? That's ok, she'll send it to you!
Go! Now! Enter!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sneaking a peek!

Just a reminder that this coming Saturday is Amy & Amber Designs' Basement Boutique! 

Please, please, pretty please come! Enjoy a cupcake, peruse, purchase if you wish, and just enjoy yourself!

Want a sneak peek at something that will be offered?

This is one of my most favorite pieces! Don't ya love my grammar? No, really. If this doesn't sell, I have a lovely little corner that it would be perfect for!

But it could be yours! 

Also, don't forget to enter yesterday's giveaway!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Are you ready for a give away?

Years ago, as a single adult, I went to church with a girl. We were friendly, but not friends, and then we both moved. Good story so far, right?

Well, shoot forward 15 some years and see me and my family camping for Nora's 1 year old birthday and who do we just happen to be camping next to? Why, that girl, that Jennifer girl! We reconnected, realized (at least from my end) that we really liked each other, we became Facebook friends and mutual followers of each other's blogs, and now I feel like I can say that we are friendly AND friends!

Well, as luck would have it, Jennifer is very creative, super talented and she is willing to share that with you all!

This wizard of crafty-ness creates one super fun, very well done, crocheted creations, and she is offering one lucky winner the hat of their choice! Just so you know, how super duper cute they are, take a gander!

Adorable right? All you have to do is head over to her etsy site Once Upon a Hippie, pick which hat is your favor-oonie and let us know in the comments! Plus, she is offering all Spoonful readers 10% off anything in her store, just use coupon BLOGPARTNER when checking out. Now isn't that easy? And wouldn't it be perfect for the little munchkins in your life? Christmas? Winter wear? Birthdays? Dressup?

I'll pick a randomly generated  winner and let you all know on Friday. Good luck!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Today is an update on the awful-turned-good events of yesterday.

Yesterday, while parking my van at the gym, I sat for a second doing something, and then when I took my foot of the brake to reach over and grab my purse, I realized I hadn't put the car into park. As the van started inching forward, I panicked and went to slam on the brakes, but instead hit the gas, and then hit the rear end of the Cadillac Escalade in front of me.

A swear word might have popped out.

I sat there for a second, shocked by my own old lady behavior, and then I headed into the gym to find the owner.

The sweet lady behind the counter came out with me, then hugged me since by that time I had started to cry. A lot.

Pretty soon a guy came out and said, "Oh, that's Martin's car. I'll go get him. " Great. I couldn't wait to see Martin and tell him I was an idiot.

When he did come out, he wore an expected expression of "what the crap just happened to my car".

He was very nice to me though, as I explained that I had never hit anything(ok, except for the rock, but who's counting), caused an accident, NOTHING! Ever. Until today.

He said that these things happen, but his friend was quick to ask if I had insurance. They looked at the damage, which just ended up being the hitch cover. (I didn't even know there was such a thing. But it seems, that if you own a nice vehicle, that you can cover your hitch when it's not in use.) While I wrote down my insurance info, barely able to see because I was crying so hard.

I handed him the paper, profusely apologized again, and then I left. I had to pull over for a second because I was starting to hyperventilate a little. You see, I am a very emotional person. While other people might be mad at themselves, or bummed out, I get all of that plus an uncontrollable tendency to cry. It's quite embarrassing and it makes me look even more stupid. But I can't help it.

So I went home, amidst Henry and Nora crying that they didn't get to go to the play place at the gym.

At home, I proceeded to do what comes natural, which was curling up on the couch while eating a bowl of cereal and staring out the window. Crying. I had called Jeff and my insurance agent. But we all agreed that it would probably be less than my deductible, but either way I was going to have some out of pocket expenses coming my way. Right before Christmas. Yeah, I was feeling pretty low.

Around 1 o'clock I got a call from Mr. Martin.

The damage was $280. My heart stopped, and I quickly began figuring out how to shave my food budget and Christmas budget in order to pay for this.

Then he said, "I'm in a really good place in my life financially, so I don't want you to worry about it."

You guessed, I started crying again. It never ends with me.

I thanked him over and over, cried some more, and he just told me to pay it forward. Man, I'm crying as I write this.

The goodness of people overwhelms me. This man had no idea I have six children, or that money is tight right now, or that we already were scaling back Christmas a ton this year. He just felt to do something for a bawling women who rammed his car. Occupy THAT protesters.

I have every intention of paying it forward. It might not be financially right now, but I will never forget this. And someday when I'm driving my BMW and some little old lady on a budget rams my car, I will let it slide and buy her lunch to calm her down and we'll cry together. Because that is what you get when you combine someone who is, and I quote, "in a good place financially" with someone who has a good heart.

Don't you feel better about the world? Less cynical? More inclined to help those in need? I know I do.

Now I think I'll go cry some more. It's what I do:)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I have this friend. I've known her longer than anyone else in my adult life. We started out as roommates my freshman year at BYU, and we quickly became besties for life!

When we were in Utah the girls and I stayed with her and her family. She is the dark haired beauty on the end, sitting by her dark haired beautiful daughter!

Well Sarah, I wish you had been with me today. Not for the first time. But when I ran into the Cadillac Escalade in the gym parking lot, ruining the guys hitch cover, you could have talked to him while I cried in a corner.

As it was, I cried the ugly, sobbing cry while I tried to write down my information.

It's funny how having another grown up with you can make it better when you aren't feeling especially grown up, you know?

I tend to have really strong women for friends. Meaning, stronger than me. I'm morally strong, I make good strong decisions. But when it comes to mini emergencies where I feel like an idiot, not so much.

The best would be to have Jeff with me 24/7, to protect me from feeling sad. But he has to work, darn him. So my sister, or a friend would have been nice today.

I hope you all have someone you can rely on, that is there when you don't feel strong, but instead want to curl up in a ball and suck your thumb, you know?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Announcing Amy and Amber Design

So over the years, I have been asked from time to time to help friends and family with a room redo, or just advice in decorating.
I am no professional by any means, but it is a favorite hobby of mine and if I do say so myself, I'm pretty good at it.
Well, I have a friend, Amber over at PinePlace who also lists decorating as a favorite hobby, and who ALSO has been asked (way more than me) to help people with their home decor needs.
Plus, we just really like each other, so, we came up with a little plan. Originally it was quite elaborate with big dreams of our own design company where we would run around helping paying customers with their room redo's and home makeovers.
But alas, her full time job, husband and 4 kids, and my crazy life plus husband and 6 kids have kept us too busy to realize this yet. But someday folks.

So for now, we came up with an alternative that will help our need to create, and combine it with other's needs to get great home decor at super prices.
And though we have very different styles in our homes, we love what the other does, and trust each other's design abilities and creative eye.
What did we come up with?
Save the Date

Saturday November 19th
10 AM-8 PM
Amber's Basement
28623 239th PL SE
Maple Valley, Wa

We're calling it our "Basement Boutique"  where you will find some of our favorite creations!
Come walk through, eat a cupcake, and find one of a kind treasures, Christmas gifts, re-purposed furniture and plenty for your home!
Bring your friends, your family, sisters, mothers, and BFF's!
And be watching for sneak peeks of what we will have available.
You're going to come right? Pretty please?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Finding the silver lining

Ok, I'm already starting to wish for days like this again. I do love the smell of fall in the air, and the crisper weather that makes wearing a sweater comfortable instead of suffocating.

But when it rains, the smell of fall changes. And around Seattle, cold and rain together, smells like winter.

Winter? I'm all ready for summer again.

But the leaves are lovely, Halloween was a blast, and I love Thanksgiving. So there are many wonderful things about this time of year, and about living in the Pacific Northwest.

1. Family-we're within and hour and a half of our families!
2. You don't have to shovel rain.
3. Even on the coldest days I still only have to turn my thermostat to 68.
4. I love the ferries and the Seattle skyline at night. Pike Place Market and the waterfront are wonderful.
5. Life is casual here. People are laid back and nice. Truly
6. There are a ton of places to hike and enjoy the outdoors.

Ok, so it's a short list. But I'm working on it. I see the good through the rain. It's a start.

Tell me, please, things you like about Seattle. Anyone?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween is over, but Anne Marie and Nora are still dressing up.

Or rather, Anne Marie is "letting" Nora pretend to be her dog.

Maybe it's to practice for the real thing? A real dog I mean.

Stay tuned.
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