Friday, April 27, 2012

30 day challenge update-why am I doing this again? oh yeah, pride:)

So....this challenge has been good for me. It has helped me to create better habits and to examine how I REALLY do things.

Things I have learned:

~If I'm really tired at night and don't tidy the kitchen and family room before bed, then the next day starts out annoying somehow.

~So when I'm really tired, I need to enlist (even more) the help of my family to accomplish this.

~When your house is clean, mostly, all the time, you can invite your brother and his family over for dinner, and not need to scramble to have everything clean. That, was AWESOME!

~You start noticing that your older children are so happy that the house is clean, that they start to help without being asked. Love that.

~When the doorbell rings, you don't panic.

~When things are starting to get messy, you think, "Darn that 30 day challenge, I have to CLEAN!"

So I wanted to let you see how my house is really doing. So I took pictures.

Lets start with the good, shall we?

This room doesn't get used much, so it stays nice without needing anything than an occasional dusting.

The dining room wasn't too bad...the kitchen needs to be wiped down from breakfast still and I see some stray blankets that find their way downstairs with my sleepy eyed children:) Oh, and a fortune teller. Remember making those?

And then we come to the photo of the post breakfast apocalyptic kitchen. Honestly, still having dishes in the sink from dinner(the dishwasher was full and running, no more room folks!) and then the aftermath of 8 breakfasts and getting lunch together and give-me-a-break-it's only 8 o'clock in the morning makes for a kitchen I'm not proud of. But by the time everyone's home? It's better, I promise.

So there you go. Reality. My reality. This house and the 8 people that live in it are a full time job. Keeping it clean-ish is a full time job. Never mind other responsibilities and things I need to chaperon-ok sideline for a second. Did you know that the correct spelling of chaperone is actually chaperon? I hate it. It seems wrong even though spell check is telling me otherwise. Frances? Any thoughts?

Aaaannny way.

Basically even with all my effort, my house is not spotless. Right now the bathrooms need their weekly cleaning, the kitchen floor needs a thorough mopping, and the tv is dusty. Which as you know, according to Martha Stewart, that's when it's time to dust.

BUT. I am honestly quite pleased with how it's going. I feel like I have my groove back, for the most part. I still hate laundry and it still piles up. But that's been true for me for the past 10 years. So I'm not going to stress.

How have you all done? Has anyone stayed with me on this? I hope so. It's awfully nice to be able to invite anyone in at anytime and know that I don't have to make excuses. Well, too many anyway.

Happy cleaning!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We love the theatre!

Kate was in a fun-tastic play last weekend called "Let's hang him and read the will!"

It was fun to see her shine and look so dang beautiful! Honestly, her grandparents and Jeff and I all gasped a little at how she looked when she walked onto the stage.

I won't even go into the plot because it was a funny murder/mystery that left you a little confused, on purpose I think.

But my favorite part was that all the parts were played by girls. And the girls who played boys? They got it down! They were taught to walk like boys, use boy-ish mannerisms. I forgot from time to time that they were, in fact, girls. They pulled it off beautifully.

It was so fun. Everyone did really well. The best part of the night though, was when Charlie, who was sitting right at the front of our table (it was dinner theatre) got distracted by the spotlight and started to put his hand up to do shadow puppets, or something.

Jeff and I were on that in a second. And you should have seen the sheepish grin he gave us. He forgot where he was momentarily and the spotlight became a huge flashlight in his mind. Silly, wonderful boy.

My kids are all super supportive of each other. Julia was so supportive that she stayed home with Henry and Nora so that Kate could have her parents at opening night. (She got to see it the next day). Charlie and Anne Marie posed with Kate, and Charlie even let Kate kiss him! But I promised not to put that on the blog:(
It's rather fantastic, and I am super lucky to have such great kids!

Bravo Kate!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Date night surprise.

A few weeks back, Jeff decided to take me on a date. But the whole thing was a surprise. ooohhhh.

I searched my brain for what he could be planning. All he told me was that I needed to wear clothes that I didn't care about.

First problem. I don't own clothes like that. Most of my clothes should probably fall into that category right now, but they can't, because, well, they're the only clothes I have. So that sent me into a tizzy.

I started guessing. Pottery? No. Glass blowing? No. Rock climbing? No.

Jeff came home early on the day of, picked me up and we were off. I tried to get him to tell me more.

All he revealed was the same thing about the clothes, and that he hoped there would be nothing inappropriate going on.

Define inappropriate?

He couldn't.

But he laughed.

When we arrived at our destination, I was preeety sure we should just keep driving. The view, combined with possible inappropriateness and the need to not care about our clothes did not inspire confidence.

However, it proved to be nothing that my imagination was leaning me towards. It was a simple, quaint little art studio. When I saw the sign on the door, I pulled Jeff back and said, "I DON'T PAINT!"

Ok, I didn't yell, but I hissed rather loudly. He told me it would be fine. My nervousness comes from the fact that while I am artistic in many ways, and even though I have in fact been an art docent at the elementary school, I only really do stick figures when it comes to actual art. Jeff is the artist, so he was in his element.

But our instructor was wonderful. His name is Mark Miller, and if you have the chance and are in Seattle, take a class from him. I was completely at ease and we had soo much fun.

We're pretending to be doing something artsy. Do you believe it?

Me neither.

I think my impression of artists was a little off, and blurry. I just imagine them so much more intelligent and refined than myself. Don't look at my ketchup squiggles drawing. Shoot, you just looked didn't you?

Jeff's was really cool. He recreated a picture of us in front of the temple on our wedding day. Love him.

This was the most fun. I don't even remember what the technique is called, but you paint onto canvas, then you accidentally squeeze the bottle of paint so hard that the top pops off and splats a huge puddle of red paint. Oh wait, just the first part. I invented the second part:)

You then poor white or black paint at the top, and then....

you squeegee the whole thing.

When you're done you have a new picture. Some of the pictures others did were waayy cool. Ours was, well, unique.

Here we are with the finished product. Our clothes are still intact, and nothing inappropriate happened.
Well, I might have said some inappropriate things, but that's nothing new, or unexpected for that matter.

It was actually really, really fun. Jeff bought a Groupon for this, but lovely, wonderful Mark Miller told him that we were so fun that we could come back any time at the Groupon price.

Yeah, we're awesome like that.

Oh, and I'm not showing you my barn picture that really looks like a lean-to with squiggles because, well, I don't want you to be intimidated by my impressive art skills.

Truly, I'm genius:) Ok, not really. But I'm fun. That counts for something, right?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

When the sun shines

The sun is shining people! Shining! And living where we only see sun 2 out of every 7 days, it makes the sunshine a miracle! (I made up that statistic, but I'm pretty sure I'm not far off)

I always say that you will never find ANYONE who appreciates the sun as much as those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest. Can I get an amen from all my Washington brothers and sisters?

So now the question, what do I do on a day like this? Where the sun is out, the skies are blue. My first thought is always to clean. Why is that? On rainy days I just want to sit on the couch and mope. But when it's nice and we can go outside, I want to clean. I'm weird, I know.

So do I maybe clean up our back yard?

hmmm, sounds boring. Even though it's obviously necessary. And the grass could use a good mowing.

Or do I take these guys to a park? Which might be problematic since it rained yesterday and so everything at the playground is soppy.

hmmmm, what to do. Or do we go and get gluten free treats from Hayley's Bakery and hope by then the sun has dried up the rain on the slides and the swings?

That sounds like a plan. But there will be a little cleaning just to keep up with my 30 day challenge. Which by the way is going AWESOME! It's so nice to know that I can open the door to anyone and everything is already clean!

It really was just a matter of deciding to not let the grayness that is Seattle overcome my normally "likes to clean" persona. That part of me disappeared for a while. I'm not from here, ok? It has taken me 5 years of living here to realize, it doesn't get any sunnier just because I'm grumpy:)

Anyhoo, I also feel like shopping on days like this. Now if I could just find a big pot of money at the end of the rainbows I'm sure I will see today.

I hope it's sunny where you are. Chances are that if you live outside of the Pacific Northwest, that will be true for you.

Jerk. I mean, yay for you!

Have a glorious day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nora's revenge and the winner!

One night, after everyone was in bed (ha) I was settling down for the night as well. Reading a much awaited book.

Nora came in, look forlorn but determined. I asked her what was up.

She replied, "Anne Marie is being REALLY mean to me!!! So.........(insert big round eyes and pouty lips here) Can you give her away?"

She said it with all the confidence in the world that I would say yes. Which tells you a little bit of the way baby goose is spoiled around here.

Instead I laughed really hard and then I explained that we don't give people away. She stomped off. It was awesome.

And now...the winner!

Thanks to, the winner is Kim from No You're Funny!

Congrats Kim. I already know your address, so be looking for them!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Challenges are, well, challenging and a GIVEAWAY

My downstairs is still clean! Yay!!!!

My mostly so. The back log of laundry has taken longer than expected to catch up on. But we will conquer today! And I'm not giving up. It will just take a little longer to reach the perfection I so desire. But I am committed!

And just because it's Spring Break for us, and just because it's Easter on Sunday, and just because the towels that I loved the most DID NOT sell at my Basement Boutique, I am having a give away today.

The towels that didn't sell? I am giving away two of them to some lucky winner! Here they are, in all of their un-sold glory.

To enter, just tell me what you are doing for Easter. Spending it with friends, family? And I will send you two loverly towels. Your pick of the six! (And if you win, I will even ship to Scotland:)

Not in your colors? Still enter, they are super absorbent and soft.

Good luck.

Winner will be announced the day after Easter.
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