Thursday, June 30, 2011


This is the ad I just listed in the online classifieds of the local newspaper. Check it out!
"My husband wanted a new tool box to be with the "in" crowd at work. They were all spending more money than they were making. Their toolboxes were new and shiny, overflowing with all the latest and greatest tools.

It would have been one thing if he wanted a Craftsman toolbox, or even a moderate SnapOn toolbox. Or if he had so many tools that they would no longer fit in the toolbox he had, but none of these things were the case. His toolbox was just fine. The only thing that was "wrong" with it was that is didn't say "SnapOn" on the front of it.

After months and months of his abhorrent begging I thought he finally got the hint that we couldn't afford it and that his job was supposed to be making us money, not costing us.

One day as I was cleaning out our car I found a stack of invoices. Had they simply been receipts I would have tossed them away without a second thought. But they were invoices, so I looked at them and to my great horror I saw that they were from SnapOn Credit. I scanned them briefly and as I had feared, they were for a toolbox. And not just a toolbox, but lots of tools and toolbox upgrades to go with it. The total bill was $7500 with a 36.29% interest rate!

I called my husband on the spot and flung more profanities at him than I even realized I knew. I fumed all day long, just waiting for him to get home from work so I could lay into him again.

Fortunately for him, by the time he got home I had calmed down from exploding volcano to seething and sizzling volcano. To make a long story a little shorter, my husband lived and we even kept the toolbox. It was a bitter compromise, but it worked for the time being.

Fast forward three years to the present day. My darling husband no longer works as a mechanic and so I get my revenge. The toolbox must go. We are keeping the tools, as they still come in handy with our own vehicles. But the toolbox in unnecessary. A smaller, less expensive one will be more than adequate.

Please call with reasonable offers. This is what is included in this sale. Thank you for your time and interest.

KRA series model 2411
It also has:

Armor Edge coated Steel top
Creeper Hanger

Serious offers only please.

p.s. I do have my husband's permission to sell this, as much as it breaks his heart.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Designing my Dream Home

My house project is getting closer to the starting line.  The repairs have been categorized and priced.  I picked my colors, planned the layout of my kitchen and bathroom and I have bids in from general contractors and sub contractors.  I am getting really excited.

The main color in the house is going to be Homestead Resort Tea Room Cream (which is a lot more yellow and less pink than on the monitor).  The kitchen is going to be Homestead Resort Olive (which is actually a green and not grey).  The bathroom is going to be Tranquil Bay (which is actually a light blue-green and also not grey).  The girls room will be Purple Hills (which is surprisingly close to actual color). The boys room will be La Fonda Sombrero (which is more orange and less pink).  The master bedroom is staying Homestead Resort Tea Room Cream for now and later I will add some artistic detailing. 

Total cost is looking like $12,000-$14,000 which is perfect!  I have a few more contractors looking at the house today and I hope that they give me some god estimates, and quick.  I am hoping to have them in to the lender by Thursday before I leave to Kansas for a week to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have some fun 4th of July fireworks!  I will also get to meet quite a few people I used to play World of Warcraft with for five years. 

I will check in with you all later. 


Monday, June 20, 2011


I apologize for the lack of posts this weekend.  When my husband is home I tend to steer clear of the computer so I can spend time with him.  Father's Day was fun and the weekend all together was great.

My husband and I put an offer on a house and we found out this morning that the offer has been accepted.  We are extremely excited and I can't wait until we officially have the house.  It has five bedrooms and two bathrooms.  It sits on a half-acre lot with an enormous willow tree in the backyard, the kind you could imagine fairies living in, creating their magic.  I have named this beautiful tree.  Her name is Sailee, which is Gaelic for "willow tree."  It is a beautiful name and fits the tree wonderfully.

This yard is perfect.  The half-acre gives me plenty of room to have the garden of my dreams.  A vegetable garden and an herb garden.  I could even have a chicken coop so I could have my own eggs, fresh everyday.  We will be closing on the house within a few days of my two eldest children's birthdays and so we are going to buy them a play set for their gifts.  The neighbor's houses and yards are all immaculate.  The home to the right even have a gazebo in the yard and the home on the left has a beautiful deck.  In fact, all of the homes in the neighborhood would make any homeowner proud.

The home we are buying, however, isn't in such great shape.  Right now, you would probably go walk through it and think we were crazy, just insane for buying this house.  It is one of those homes that when you read the description on the MLS listing it reads something like this.  "Lots of potential!  Needs some TLC.  A fixer-upper! Handy-man special!"  But the location and price are well worth putting some work into it to make it our own.  We are looking at a project about the size of this one.

We are up for the challenge!  I can't wait to get started.  I get to design my own kitchen and bathrooms.  I get to pick out the flooring, wall textures, colors, window, doors and make the house into my home.  When the project starts I will post pictures and keep you updated on the progress.


Thursday, June 16, 2011


Dealing with sick children will always be a challenge, no matter how experienced we are at it.  Every time my children get sick I find myself searching for where it originated, how did they get this ailment.  Interestingly enough I very rarely can come to a definite conclusion and most of the time I can't even figure a possibility of the source.

It is that way right now.  Both of my boys have a stomach ailment, the likes of which I have not experienced or seen before.  They have their episodes in the bedtime hours then they are cheery and healthy during the day.  After nearly two weeks of this pattern on and off, I took them into the pediatrician, hoping she would be able to shed some light on the matter.

I only take my children to the pediatrician if their sickness is something I feel like I cannot handle and overcome without the help of the physician.  However, sometimes I wonder if they really have anything to offer me that I don't already know myself.  My children's doctor told us they don't know what is wrong with my boys, their health seems just fine at the moment.  I could have told them that!  This is the reason we went to the doctors office, because they were just fine during the day, and even on some evenings, it seems to be an evening illness.  The only comfort I received from the visit was that they offered to do some lab work to find out what is wrong with my boys.

Collecting the specimen they needed for the lab wasn't easy and I hope to never have to go through that again, but it is done and in the labs hands now.  I called the pediatrician to let them know that lab had what they needed and to let me know when they have the results in.  The receptionist told me with a smile in her voice that the labs will take up to five days to culture before they will have results.  Five days! This has already gone on for over two weeks! I do not want to just wait for five more days while my children continue to be ill without any action on my part.

This is why I am going to try and fix the problem on my own.  I have done some research on herbs and have found the ones that are known to help with the digestive track.  I will purchase these oils and apply them topically to my boys with a carrier oil.  I may not know the specifics of what ails them, but I can treat the areas, just as many have done before in times before pharmaceutical companies.  That and a priesthood blessing from my wonderful husband.  I will then be able to say, "Lord I have done all that I can, it is in your hands now."


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

House Hunting

Searching for the perfect house is a huge project that takes a lot of time.  Over the past three years I have looked at close to a thousand different online house listings and walked through well over forty homes that I was extremely interested in buying.  My husband and I had decided to buy a home, then reconsidered that idea multiple times.  This time, we are ready.  We have no debt, we have three months expenses in savings and we have money for a down payment.

However, even with all these things in place, we are still looking at the low end of price range for our state.  Because of the price range we are looking at, we find ourselves pitted up against investors.  They want to buy the house cheap, fix it up and resell it for full market value.  My husband and I want to buy it cheap, fix it up and live in it.  Unfortunately, in the eyes of the seller, that doesn't make any difference.  Most of these properties are bank-owned, HUD homes, or short sales.  In the case of these distressed properties, money and the ability to produce it is the only thing that matters.  We have our pre-qualification letter from our chosen lender, but many investors are fronting cash.

Even with all of the drama and stress involved in finding a house to call home, I still enjoy the process immensely.  I have the opportunity to step into some bizarre homes and the bizarre people and stories involved.

With the first house my husband and I purchased in our second year of marriage, we bought it from a couple who needed to move south to warmer weather for the health of their young daughter.  It was an honor to alleviate them of the stress of selling a home when they already had another mortgage to pay.  Our second home was purchased in our forth year of marriage and we purchased it from my eldest sister and her husband her were looking down the difficult path of bankruptcy.  Again, it was nice to help them out while obtaining a nice home in a nice neighborhood.

Both homes we had to sell because we did not have our feet underneath us financially.  Now that we are financially fit, I have been emotionally touched by the stories behind the homes I have been walking through.  Most of these stories are sad, and I drive away, shaking my head in dismay, knowing that someone struggled in that home, struggled and lost.  Some homes were abandoned when the people felt it was easier to walk away than to try and sell the home.  Some homes have renters still occupying the residence, still paying rent to the landlords who have stopped paying the bank the mortgage.

One such home made me smile.  There wasn't anything about the home that stood out.  It was much the same as the others; carpet, paint, sheet rock repairs, landscaping etc.  But this home was a rental and the renters were home when we arrived.  My realtor spoke with the elderly Hispanic lady with some quick Spanish and she let us in.

The house was filled with a wonderful aroma of homestyle Mexican cooking.  I love Mexican food and I could almost taste the food in the air.  Three young boys sat watching the television until we stepped in.  The grandmother told them we were here to look at the house.  At least that is what I could pick up from my limited understanding of Spanish.  They got up and began pointing to anything and everything around the house.

"Look this! Look this!" the leader of the little boys would say, pointing to a pair of shoes on the floor. "Those my shoes!"  The excitement on his face was heart melting. "Look this! Look this!" he said as I walked into the bathroom. "This toolit! Where you go pee!" I smiled and acknowledge his observation.  "Look this! Look this! This sink, where wash hands!"  Everything in the house had been named and described.

All the while, grandma continued cooking in the kitchen, preparing dinner for her son and daughter-in-law who were hard at work to supply the money to pay rent on the home that would soon be sold out from underneath them because their landlord no longer made mortgage payments.

I will never forget those darling little boys, excited to show me everything.  Not understanding that they were close to loosing this home they were so fond of.  And the grandma, diligently doing her part to keep the house a home for the precious short time that remained for them.  I am not sure that I will ever know the entirety of their story.  Perhaps they are already prepared to leave.  Perhaps they have another rental property lined up for them to relocate to.  Or perhaps they don't have any place to go and are extremely stressed with the impending eviction.

My prayers go out to them.  I hope they are prepared, for preparation keeps fear at bay.  Regardless of their future accommodations, they will go through trying times and I know those little boys and their endless excitement will see their family through.  The joy of a child knows no bounds.  May we all learn from their example.

Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself." -Mahatma Ghandi


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Success for Today

I was able to get some things on my list done yesterday!  I did my laundry, cleaned my kitchen, made breakfast and dinner, took my sick boys to the pediatrician and put in an off on a house.  Even though I still feel like my house is a mess, it is better than it was, so I am making progress. 

Today my main goal is to get the kitchen floor mopped, which means everything else in the kitchen needs to be spotless first.  While I am doing that I will have my daughter work on her schoolwork and perhaps even see how good her teaching skills are and have her start on some stuff with my kindergartener.  She has been successful in teaching him to count to ten and a few other things without my prompting, so it is a possibility and I think she will enjoy it.  If it doesn't work out, that is okay too because I wouldn't mind the one on one time with my son.

There are a few things that might get in my way today.  First is that my pediatrician has order some stool sample cultures from my boys and the lab needs them "fresh," within 30 minutes.  The lab is 10 minutes away and it usually takes me 15-20 minutes to get the kids in the car, so I will probably be doing that twice today.  Additionally, I have another house I want to go look at with the realtor because the house we put an offer on has two other offers as well, so there is a large chance we wont get it. 

Anything that requires me to leave the house seems to disrupt my entire day so I need to get as much done this morning as possible.  No lounging around and watching television today.  If I want mindless entertainment I will have to listen to some audiobooks while I get my housework done. 

One other thing I want to do if I have time at the end of my day, is some research on herbs and which herbs do what for your health.  I have always been fascinated with herbs and with the stomach ailments my sons have, the allergies my husband has, as well as the myriad of problems that come up on a daily basis, it would be nice to know what natural remedies are available.  It would be nice to use essential oil to cure my headaches rather than ibuprofen.

May your days be happy and healthy


Monday, June 13, 2011

Tomorrow Is Another Day

"Life's real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up." -Unknown

So yesterday wasn't bad.  I had the kitchen cleaned in the morning, fixed my children pancakes and cleaned up the house.  I fixed lunch and dinner.  I washed, dried and put away most of the laundry.  I tended to my sick little boy and managed to keep my baby happy.  I didn't accomplish everything on my list because I was distracted by the television.  Ah well, such is life.  Tomorrow is a clean slate.

I know I will never accomplish my goals by not focusing on them.  This is a rut that I have been stuck in for quite sometime and I need to give myself a bit of understanding that it will take some time to break free from.  But I do not want that to be an excuse to let myself continue to do what I have been doing.  Because if I do that, I will continue to get what I have been getting.  And that is not what I want.

"Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it." -Unknown
This week I was able to take time to refresh and enjoy the company of a good friend, spend time with my family, and even found a house that my husband and I are putting an offer on.  Tomorrow I will conquer the challenges I have been facing as a homemaker.  I will get all of the laundry cleaned and put away, the kitchen cleaned and the floor mopped and the rest of the house vacuumed.  I will start my daughter in her second grade courses today.  I will make a list first thing in the morning of what I wish to accomplish in the day, and using the advice of my sister, the list must fit on my sticky note.  If it does not fit, it will have to be done another day because there is simply not enough time in one day to accomplish everything I wish to.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spending More Time at Home

Again I have not been able to get any housework done or any of my list done at all really.  First thing this morning, (after breakfast of course), I went to look at a house my husband and I will be placing an offer on come Monday.  Since my husband works out of town I needed to take pictures of it for him.  I wont go into details about why it took nearly two hours longer than it should have, suffice it to say that it did.  By the time I left I had to stop to get lunch at a fast food place for me and the kiddos before taking an hour drive down to my family's place for my niece's baptism.

When I spend an hour driving somewhere, I am inclined to stay as long as I am welcome.  We didn't leave until nearly nine-thirty this evening.  It is now eleven in the evening and the baby just fell asleep for the night.  I am currently uploading the video footage of the house for my husband and simultaneously naming still photos I took of the house.  I decided I am too tired to finish naming all 115 photos so it will have to wait for morning.

But, to keep myself on schedule, I needed to enter a blog post for the day.  And the morale of the lesson I have learned today is that I need to spend more time at home.  I should have left my family's place after dinner so that I would have some time to clean up my house.  I do not believe I will be able to get myself out of bed in the morning for church tomorrow, I am that beat.  But perhaps I should make an extra effort because I could really use some of the Lord's help in getting my home in order.  I am certainly falling short by myself.

Much love


Thursday, June 9, 2011


These are my aspirations, not yet prioritized.

As a Wife-
I will have to house cleaned for my husband when he comes home and to maintain its cleanliness while he is home.  I will not talk to him like one of the children that I spend all day and night with, instead I will remember to use my adult language and mannerisms.  I will cook all meals for him or with him.  I will call him at least twice a day while he is working out of town just to tell him I love and appreciate him. 

As a Mother-
I will wake up in the morning with my children and make them a healthy breakfast, not just cereal.  I will be more diligent in creating and maintaining personal hygiene routines with my children.  I will create a commissions chart for my children's chores, differentiating between chores they must do without pay because they live in this house, and chores they can be paid for because they are doing more than the minimum required.  I will read my children a book and the scriptures every night before bed.  I will be more constant in our family prayers and encourage personal prayer.  We will go to church and be on time every Sunday. Saturday evenings we will have a Family Night to teach our children of Christ and His gospel in our home.  I will strive to understand the personal needs of each of my children individually. 

As a Homemaker-
I will have the kitchen cleaned every night before retiring to my bed.  I will do at least one load of laundry each day so that it will not become piled up and difficult to deal with.  I will vacuum the house at least once a week, or as often as necessary.  I will plan out meals a week in advance to ensure I will always have the ingredients available.  I will bake more often and have healthier foods served at my table. 

As an Educator-
I will begin schoolwork studies with my children shortly after breakfast and ensure all subjects are understood.  I will pre-plan all lessons to ensure quality, creativity and fun in their learning.  I will help my children discover which extra-curricular activities they wish to pursue.  We will go on field trips whenever possible to introduce them to the application of education in the world around them.

As an Artist-
I will spend at least thirty minutes drawing every day.  I will save money to be able to purchase a tablet to begin learning to draw on the computer.

As a Seamstress-
I will sew all of my clothing and all of my girl's dresses.

As an Entrepreneur-
I will write down all business ideas that I have, but only act on the ones that I love, and let the ones that I like rest aside for now.

I am sure this list isn't totally complete, but it is a start. 

May peace fill your soul.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What I want to do when I grow up

As a child I had many aspirations.  In third grade I wanted to be an archeologist.  In seventh grade I wanted to be a genetic engineer.  But when I finally took my first art class in eighth grade I found the love I had loved from the beginning.  Unfortunately in my junior year in high school I also became infatuated with cars.  I never lost my love for art, but cars would be a more lucrative career.  So I began my first semester of college in the automotive field to begin training for my ASE (Automotive Standard Excellence) certification.  That semester was the beginning of the end for me.

I enjoyed learning about cars and in this semester's courses I would learn about their electrical systems and how electricity in general works.  Unfortunately I also learned that I was not willing to put up with the constant sexual harassment I would be subjugated to in the automotive industry.  My second semester of college I was pregnant with my first child and I felt lost about what avenue to pursue and so ended up taking a bunch of miscellaneous classes.  I only had one art related class and it was airbrushing.

When my baby arrived, I knew then that I had really found my calling.  I was to be a mom.  I still tinkered with art here and there.  I even dabbled with the idea of trying to become a portrait artist.  It was a wonderful idea, but I lacked the confidence and motivation to do anything with the idea.  So it stayed just that, an idea.

Many years and many ideas have come and gone since then.  I have wrote up business plans for restaurants, started my own vinyl sticker business, managed a pizza delivery joint, designed, sewn and sold custom boutique children's clothing on eBay, started writing a book, wrote and sang World of Warcraft parodies for YouTube, tried my hand at being a NuSkin distributor, along with a million other ideas that never made it out of my head.

It should come as no surprise however, that none of these ideas worked.  I would get bored with them, or decide they weren't worth my time.  I am still in the process of trying a few things.  I have a gamer-style recipe blog I collaborate with my wonderful sister, Rill on.  I am still trying to write my book, but utmost priority in my life is being a wife and a mother.

I want to be all that I can be (without having to join the army).  I want to be a wife, mother, artist, educator, seamstress, designer, musician, author, along with a million other things.  At this moment I feel like I am nickle and dimeing myself to death.  I am a decent wife and mother, but everything else has had so little time allotted to it's success that it is getting no where.  So my goal for the week is to write down everything I have ever really wanted to do when I grow up.  The list will be prioritized, from the things I am most passionate about, down to the things I simply have had a fascination with.  Over the next few days my list will formulate itself and I will post it here.

I will re-read my post "If I could just be a little bit more" daily, to keep my motivation up.  I will pray to God every day for the strength to remain on course and I will not falter.

May your warm days be blessed with shade and your parched mouth always have sweet water available in abundance.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

If I could just be a little bit more

I feel like I have lost control.  There are so many things in life that I want to do.  So many things in my home I want to have done on a daily basis.  And many more things I want to have time for.  I see the people around me as an inspiration for where I want to be.

If I could just be a little bit more like my sisters.  I could always have the house cleaned and a home made dinner on the table every night.  My imagination would make mundane activities into ones filled with wonder and joy.  I would still have time to devote to my education and my children's educations.  Yet at the end of the day I would still have the love and patience necessary to be the kind of mother and wife my family deserves.

If I could just be a little bit more like my best friend.  Nothing could stand in my way.  I would have an idea to do something and be able to put forth the effort to get it done.  Not just 100%, but 150%.  I would not be subjugated to procrastination or excuses.  I could be what I wanted to be and do what I wanted to do.  Effort and hard work would be my middle name and I would scoff at the idea of not being "able" to do something I wanted to.

If I could just be a little bit more like Mrs. White from my favorite blog, The Legacy of Home.  I would be peaceful and diligent in my role as a wife, mother, and homemaker.  My children would be hardworking and responsible.  I would have the energy and passion to make my home and family my priority.  Anything else that would like to be included in my life would have to be included with my family and home, not to the exclusion of them.

If I could just be a little bit more like my parents.  My faith would see me through everything.  Nothing would hold me back because the Lord would be on my side, and I on His.  The importance of putting God first would never slip my mind.  I would never lack faith because I would be able to see the glory of all He does in every thing I experience on a daily basis.  The warmth of His love would sustain me and uplift me in all my righteous pursuits. 

If I could just be a little bit more like my cousin.  I would have a passion that would be unquenchable.  My God given talents would be exercised and glorified, not abandoned.  Releasing emotions through my art would be far more important than bottling them up.  I could persevere through hardship like a rod of iron, never relenting.

If I could just be a little bit more like my eldest daughter.  I would love to learn and be diligent in all I wanted to do.  I would never say "I'm too tired now, I will do it tomorrow."  Routines would not scare me and would instead be a fast friend, keeping me on course.  I would always remember what I needed to and maybe even more than that.

If I could just be a little bit more like my eldest son.  My heart would be open to everyone.  The love of life would fill my soul until you could see it sparkling in my eyes.  There would be nothing in the world that could dowse the light of my optimism.  I would eternally seek to help those around me, wanting the best for everyone.

If I could just be a little bit more like my youngest son.  I would be tough and not let little things get me down.  The ability to bounce back would lift my heart and protect my soul.  I would still be able to cry if I was unhappy, but the sadness would not hold me prisoner and I would be able grasp the first smile that was offered to me.

If I could just be a little bit more like my youngest daughter.  I would trust my Creator with my whole being.  I would understand that there is nothing I can do without the love and support of those around me.  I am incapable of life without the love of my parents and support of my family.  I would always eat the foods that were best for me and sleep enough to be happy and smiling while I am awake.

So why can't I be all of those things?  It is not that I can't be, it is that I haven't been.  Excuses and rationalization have barred the way, not allowing me to reach my potential.  For years I have dreamed of being the perfect wife, the perfect mother and the perfect me.  I am now making that dream a goal.  The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan.  This blog will hold me accountable to my goal.  Tomorrow I will be just a little bit more of what I can be.

I will reach for my potential.  And if I don't obtain it, at least I will be reaching.