Monday, February 27, 2012

We're Staying

We've lived in our home for 10 years.  This was supposed to be our starter home, but it looks like it will just be our home.  Period.  So I guess I need to accept that and make it the best I can.  Don't get me wrong....I'm very grateful for my home and really do love it.  I just have never put a ton of effort into making it feel homey.  I'm not a decorator by any interpretation of that word.  I am clueless when it comes to room design and layouts.  And with raising kids over the past 10 years, it hasn't been a big priority.  Let's face it...if I have one picked up and clean room in the house at any given time, I'm doing GREAT!!!

Our home isn't big.  It's about 1785 sq ft.  It only has 3 bedrooms, but the living areas are sufficient for the most part.  I know that a lot of people live in a lot smalled space, so I know it's doable.  We have just accumulated WAY too much stuff over the years.  And some of it needs to go!  And what stays need to find a better way to be stored.

I am finally figuring out what organization systems (if you can call them that) work for our family and our space.  I got this piece at IKEA maybe a year ago.  It has been awesome!!!  Each kid has their own backet for shoes and stuff as well as a cubby to put their bags or other items.  It's a great way to dump (we are total dumpers) and hide.  So I will probably be getting a few more of these in various sizes for other rooms.  I like that it's not too deep and you can put almost anything in the baskets, and the space will still look neat.

We have a room in the front of our house.  I think it's supposed to be a formal dining room, but really...who uses those????  I don't have the extra space to let that area go to waste, only being used a couple times a year.  So it has been our living room, a play room, and a fish room.  We had a HUGE 175 gallon salt water aquarium in there.  While filling up the tank a year and a half ago (or so), Matt got distracted bathing the kids, and it flooded.  And of course, it was our only room downstairs that had carpet.  So we ripped up the carpet because fish water and old carpet aren't the best of friends for the nose.  The room ended up being a dumping ground (again, we are dumpers) of sorts.  It had my big upright freezer in there, my elliptical, an oversized chair and ottoman.  Not a very functioning space.  We got some carpet and laid that down a couple weekends ago.  Then this weekend I painted.  What a transformation!!!  This room has hope now!  It has potential!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color.  It goes well with the new carpet.  My vision (if you can call it that) for this room is a study space for the kids and an exercising space for me.  I'll get a desk or two for some computers for the kids from IKEA.  I still need to paint the french doors and trim, but it is coming together.  I'm excited to start using this space in a better way.

I still have a big list of projects to get my tush moving on, but I will have to pace myself.  Projects take money and time after all.  ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Calling

A couple years ago, I served in our ward (our church congregations for you non-Mormons out there), in the Young Women's program.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!  I loved working with the teens!  I loved their energy and their testimonies.  It was the best calling I had ever had.  When it was time for me to move to serve in another area, I was so sad and upset.  I really struggled to find a reason to go to my weekly meetings.  It was really hard for me.

Over the past couple years, I continued to struggle with my activity and desire to be active in church.  Not because I wasn't working with the teens anymore, but getting released kind of tipped the scales so to speak for me.  I have fought through that and have come out on top though now.  I am in a good place again.  (You can read about that journey here).

On Sunday, I got a new calling.  I am back with my wonderful young women!!!!  I will be serving as the secretary in that organization.  I couldn't be happier!!!  It won't be as time-demanding as my previous job with them was (1st counselor), but I will still get to be with the girls.  The best of both worlds.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Facebook, I'm back

I've been off Facebook for 5 months.  They've been great!  I haven't missed the price of Facebook....the emotional toll and time toll it takes on my life.  I have missed the good side of it though.  The ease of contact, having so many friends in one place, the networking and resource it is.  So today I reactivated my account.  I have no intentions of being active on it though.  I don't have any notifications getting sent to my phone or email.  I won't get sucked in.  So don't Facebook me....text me!  ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Circus!!!!

A small circus, Picadilly Circus, came to town last night.  A couple weeks ago, they offered a sweet deal on Groupon for $19 to get the whole family in to see the show.  How could I resist that????  So I purchased my groupon and we got all excited about the circus coming.  I had just finished reading Water for Elephants which is set in a traveling circus in the 1920's, so I was a little excited about experiencing that small circus feel.  I know.  I'm a dork.  It's a big reason you love me.  ;-)

The day finally came last night.  The kids were PUMPED!!!  I was excited to see their excitement.  I wonder when that changes?  When we find the joy in seeing theirs?  It doesn't matter when, but I think it's better than almost anything.  Our kids are ages 3, 5, 9 and 11, so I wasn't sure if the older two would like it all that much, it being a much smaller scale circus than Ringling Bros.  Thankfully, they did.

 The first thing we did was ride the elephant.  She (or he...I didn't dare climb under to check), was HUGE!!!!!  And smelly!  But we got to ride on an elephant!  Of course, they gouge you with all the extra costs, but we figured that it was worth it.  Matt even haggled to get me to ride for free with the baby.  ;-)

After the elephant ride, we headed over to a small petting zoo to feed the goats and llamas.  There were some nice ones and some not-so-nice ones.  K got spit on by a particularly feisty llama.  He then proceded to sneeze on Princess A's hair.  Needless to say, llama saliva, snot, whatever smells like vomit.  I'm just glad he didn't get me.  The girls were good sports though and it didn't bother them very much.

G & A rode the ponies.  Princess A was in pony heaven!  She just kept giggling in delight the whole time.  During the show, they had a pony performance with white ponies with their manes and tails dyed bright colors.  It was her favorite.  I think she thought they were live "My Little Ponies".

G-man LOVED the motorcycle sphere.  You know, the big metal ball where the motorcycles ride around inside?  He was just in awe of it.  During the "intermission" of the circus (which was pretty lame...pretty much stopped the show for 30-45 minutes so parents could pay to have their picture taken with various circus animals and stars), he got to have his picture taken (yes, this mama was a sucker and paid for my boy to have his picture taken), inside the metal sphere on the motorcycle.  At least they gave him a polaroid (I didn't even know they still had those!) to take home.  He thought it was the coolest thing EV-VA! (just how he says it)

Overall, it was a huge hit with the family.  I loved the small venue.  We didn't have to walk all over a huge area to see everything.  There wasn't a bad seat in the house.  I don't think it's worth the $30 per adult they charge on their website, even with free kid admission.  I think if you got in two adults and free kids for $30-$40, that would be worth it.

The actual show is mediocre at best.  They have a few clown with a car that "backfires" and makes a VERY loud gun-shot sounding noise....freaked my kids out.  So they were nervous of more super-loud, sudden sounds for the rest of the skit.

They had a cool performance with colorful ponies.  That was A's favorite.  They had a sheep-dog performance which all the kids loved.  They were really cute and had some fun tricks.  They had a balancing act, a cool rollerskating act and a contortionist.  I was hoping for some trapeze or acrobats, but with the smaller venue, I don't think it was feasible.  The finale was the elephants.  They had three of them and they did some neat tricks.

I think we liked the non-performance stuff most of all.  But that all cost extra of course.  But it's all for the memories, right?

Monday, February 13, 2012

A quick kid-brag

I just wanted to take a quick post and brag about my kids for a second.  First off, my oldest daughter, K, is in sixth grade this year.  She's a very bright young lady and loves learning.  This past week, she tested out of her 6th grade honors math class and moved up to the 7th grade honors math class.  This will put her a year ahead in math for the rest of her middle and high school career.  I'm so proud of her!

Princess A, my youngest daughter, is finally potty trained.  She's been my most stubborn child at potty training.  I had tried every trick in the book with no luck.  I had finally had enough and told her no more diapers!  You are wearing panties!!!!  That was 3-4 weeks ago.  She's been doing pretty well.  She will still have little leaks here and there, but at least the diapers are gone during the day.  She still has them at night, but that's not a top priority for me.

Miss B, my 9 year old is writing like crazy.  She is fantastic!  I think she has about 3-4 books in the works.  She is also loving her piano lessons and excelling at them.

G-man is great!  He is getting so big!  I can't believe he starts kindergarten next year.  I think it will be great for him.  He gets bored with me all day.  ;)

My New Show: The Big Bang Theory

My friend Melissa suggested I check out "The Big Bang Theory".  It's a CBS comedy (which for me is a typical red flag), but it was in reruns, so I thought I'd check it out.

It's about 4 geeks and a hot girl.  Recently, they have added in a couple more girls to the mix which takes the series up a notch or two in my opinion.  The characters are FABULOUS!!!!!  The writing is witty and hilarious!!!!  I seriously can't get enough!

Sheldon is my favorite.  He's a neurotic super-genius.  He's the guy on the middle on the couch in the pic.  He is clueless when it comes to acting normal.  It's a hoot!  He will let you know that he's joking by saying, "BAZINGA!"  Here's one of my favorite scenes from the show.  Sheldon has gotten stuck on a physics problem and can't figure it out.  He's gone to a child's play ball pit to try and visualize it:

In the past couple seasons, they've added Mayim Bialik (who played Blossom on TV when I was a kid) to the cast.  She plays Dr Amy Farrah Fowler, a female Sheldon equivalent.  She is my other favorite.  

The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) comes on CBS on Thursday nights at 7.  It reruns on TBS and on some Fox stations.  Give it a few episodes to get to know the characters.  It's good stuff.  I have my DVR clogged up with tons of episodes.  (You know me and my hyperfocus/obsession problems).  ;)

Friday, February 3, 2012

An Amazing Triology

For those that know me, know that when I fall in love with a book or series, I tend to be slightly obsessed.  Harry Potter and Twilight are some prime examples.  The Hunger Game trilogy by Suzanne Collins has been added to my obsessed list.

I first read the books a couple years ago.  My friend, Beka, lent me her Kindle to read them.  So I fell in love with two things.  ;-)

The premise is odd.  I wasn't sure about them when I first heard about the plot line and even as I began reading.  A contest where teens are put into an arena to kill each other off....yeah.  Totally screwed up.  I know.  But Collins creates this world where it fits.  Her characters are wonderful.  The storyline is gripping.

I recently reread the series, and it had me sucked it worse than the first time.  I think it took me about 2 1/2 days to get through all three books.  Of course, nothing else got done.  ;-)  It made me understand why my 11 year old daughter has read the series 8 times through already.  It is just good storytelling.

Now it is a bit violent, like a PG-13 violent.  There is a love story too, for people like me that are suckers for that kind of thing.  If you do decide to pick up the first book, give it some time.  They aren't terribly long books (300-400 pages).  Just keep going and I promise, you'll have to keep reading.

I could go on and on about some of the characters, but I don't want to spoil it for any one who hasn't read them.  They have made the first book into a movie.  I hope it doesn't disappoint.  The trailer looks promising though.  Here are the two official trailers.  I can't wait for the March 23rd midnight premier!!!  :)

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PS - Sorry about my scarce blogging.  I just haven't been feeling it or had much time.  ;)