"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hope all your haunting is delightful! Ah, Joy has moved from the innocent state and now wants to be something scary. Glad to know the idea of drinking blood is not appealing.

I got really lucky this year. Paul was dying to be a train, but when I told him I was going to be a ghost, he dropped the train cold and went with the ghost. Whoo Hoo!

Brigham wanted to be the FULL alphabet this year, it was adorable!
Arr, mateys!

(The I didn't realize until after the kids had all requested their pumpkins and we had them done, that each of the kids matched their pumpkins!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How far will $20 go at Rite Aid?

I love a good deal. Really, I LOVE a good deal. And, recently, I have discovered the value of coupons and knowing good store policies. I have been super excited lately to find that we have a Rite Aid and Walgreens in town, and they have some amazing programs that really allow me to stretch my dollar much farther than this inflationary economy would suggest. So, I have decided to do an experiment. I am going to see how far $20 will go at Rite Aid. There is a condition to this experiment - I am not just going to get stuff because I can get it cheap/free; it has to be stuff that I will use/gift.

Having said that, here is my starter. I went yesterday, and got 3 lip glosses, 7 lip sticks, and 10 nail polishes for a whopping total of $20, retail price $40. (I had a coupon, so that took care of the tax.)

The lip stuff was buy one, get a nail polish free, and each lip item/nail polish awarded me a +Up reward of $1, so since I purchased 20 items, I got $20 worth of +Up rewards. These rewards can be used the same as cash (mostly) for Rite Aid purchases. So, essentially, I got all of the above for free!

I have noticed that I tend to say, "for free" and apply that to this purchase, and then the next purchase where I actually use my +Up rewards. So, I guess another purpose of this experiment is to see how much I really get out of my $20. Want to know where I find out about all of these good deals? Go to Hip2Save, my newest favorite deal site! I will try to stretch these $20 as far as they go and keep you posted on the progress. The idea is to keep a running tally of total value and then at the end picture all I purchased for my $20. We will see how it goes!
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010


What's that you say? It looks like Hyrum has something in his mouth?

You are right!

Just be glad this one doesn't bite!

(or wipe his nose!)
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cute Pumpkins

So, I admit it. Lately, I have been like an ADD kid on a craft high. I have been doing way too much craft, and not enough house work. I think I am finally getting things reigned in, but I just had to show you one more thing before I do.
I know, super cute, right? I was getting ready for a mommy/daughter night with Joy on Saturday, and I had this great inspiration hit for some cute, easy pumpkins. For instructions, drop by and visit my craft blog!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I don't always have much of it. However, I want to force some on myself. I have decided that I want to grow my hair, without cutting it, for the next year. This is the longest my hair has ever been, and I want to see what it would be like to have another 6" on it. So, My commitment is that I will not cut my hair (except for trims for health) until November 2011. This is now, I will post another picture then.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My newest toy - Thanks Harry!

I finally decided that, even though I really wanted one, I couldn't justify the expense of a new power tool, let alone the two I wanted. Yes, I wanted a mitre saw and a table saw. However, good sense finally kicked in. I figured I could just settle for a hand tool. So, I went to Walmart and was checking out the muscle driven variety. While I was pondering the pros and cons of the selections, and trying to keep Brigham and Hyrum from cutting off their fingers, who should walk down the aisle than my good friend Harry. I admit, he did seem a bit surprised to see me down the tool aisle, but the surprise could have been at my lunacy in bringing the BOYS down the tool aisle. Well, after chatting after a minute and finding that I was planning on buying a mitre saw, Harry offered to give me the one he had and wasn't using. What a great guy! He even dropped it by that afternoon!

Thanks, Harry! And, no, it wasn't this dusty when he dropped it off. This baby has seen some action!
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Brigham the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Have you read this book? Well, Brigham did today. At least, he read 95% of it, BY HIMSELF! I know, hold your applause. He is a genius!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Joy's new room

Recently, I visited my sister Brya, and she had the coolest colors on her kids' bedroom walls. I was inspired, and wanted to try some color myself. I will say, my colors are MUCH brighter than hers, so don't be afraid to go in her house.

This is Joy's room. I am not sure which of these pictures best reflects the actual color of her room, so pick your favorite and go with that.
I never realized how hard it is to take pictures of a room, until I tried it. (Nor did I realize how much dust there was on top of the ceiling fan until I posted this picture!)
To get the flow of the room, imagine that you have walked in and turned back to face the door. This would be what you see. (Wall 1) Now, turn to your left. No, your other left.
Continue to turn. (Wall 2)
Turn again. I know, the light through the window really throws things off. (Wall 3)

And this is the last turn before you are back to the door. (Wall 4)
My favorite part about this room was how CHEAP it was. It only took one gallon of paint, $14 at Walmart! The words on the wall were a lucky dollar store find, $1 for an alphabet, and we got 5. The diamonds were also a dollar store find, 2 for $1. The dragonflies and flowers were vinyl cut by my sister, but only cost $4 for the vinyl. The shelves and frame came from the thrift store and just got a coat of paint. And, the curtains and sheets (which match the curtains but you can't see) were on sale at Walmart and came to $19 total! I am telling you, not only was this room fun to conceptualize and create, but it was great on the checkbook! The boys room is next on the list, and although I have actually already painted, I think it will have to wait to decorate until after Christmas when things quiet down a bit.

Brigham's word board

You may know this already, but Brigham is OBSESSED with letters. I am not exaggerating. That boy owns at least 20 alphabets if he owns one. Lately, we have been having a problem with sticky alphabets. He has gotten several of them that are stickers, and they are sticking to EVERYTHING! Walls, tables, refrigerators, his brothers, Daisy, everything. So, we came up with a solution. We went to the dollar store and picked up a piece of black foam core. Now, any letters that have a sticky back have a place to stick. It works well, and he is pleased to show off his words.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Decor

I finally finished it! This is our Halloween mantle,
Yes, those are the kids' silhouettes. And this is the bathroom.
If you want to try this, my craft blog has more detailed info on how to do it.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Recipe Holder

I don't know about you, but I have a hard time finding a good spot to put recipes when I am cooking. Some place that doesn't get in the way, but that I can still see the darn thing. A while ago, I came up with a great idea. Today, I improved it. My microwave is just over my stove top, so in the upper left corner of the microwave, I stuck a 3M strip. On top of that, I stuck a plain old clothes pin. So, recipes just get clamped in there, and I can see them without getting them covered in flour/sauce/etc. Today, I painted the clothes pin black and glued on a magnet. Now, it looks a little more sleek and can hold these adorable magnets I have been making lately. When there is no holiday in season, I can use the generic "D", and when in season, a magnet to match.
Quick note. If you try this, make sure that you leave a bit of the clothes pin sticking up above the level of the magnet. You need that room to be able to push the clothes pin open!

Giving Thanks idea

I am in the midst of decorating for Halloween. I have gotten so many new ideas this year, that the project is taking longer than I originally anticipated. And, I wish I would have gotten it done earlier so that I could have posted pictures sooner...(sigh). Well, as I was reading "Little Women" to the kids tonight, a Thanksgiving idea hit me.

I don't know about you, but Thanksgiving is always a bit of a let down for me. I LOVE Halloween, and Christmas is FABULOUS, but Thanksgiving just gets mushed in there without all of the planning that goes into other holidays. I mean, what do you do for Thanksgiving? Well, this year, we are going to make a Giving Thanks Tree. I am going to see if I can find a good branch-y branch from our obliging forest to serve as the "tree" in our tree. I will make sure there are no leaves, because these will be what we add. Prior to the first of November, I am going to cut a bunch of leaves out of some cute fall scrapbook paper. Then, each night before going to bed, each child will get to name one thing they were thankful for in the day. These will be written on the leaves and the leaves will be hung from the branches of the "tree". By Thanksgiving, we should have, instead of a bare branch, a tree full of thanks to serve as centerpiece of our Thanksgiving table. I guess I will have to find some way to preserve the leaves. If it works, it will become a yearly tradition. I'll tell you how it goes.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

We are lucky enough to live close to a large pumpkin patch, and even luckier to have had a sunny afternoon today so we could go. We went and looked at BUNCHES of pumpkins.
Can you tell how many pumpkins are in here? We added about that many again before we were satisfied!
Interesting to note is the fact that we did not buy any of the pumpkins pictured here. We had an interesting lesson on value. After trudging out the the patch (it wasn't really that far, but I was pushing Hyrum in the wheelbarrow), selecting our 12 pumpkins, hauling them all the way back, and waiting in line to make our purchase, we noticed something we hadn't seen before. We thought we had the $0.22/lb pumpkins in our wheelbarrow. But, then we saw a price we hadn't seen before - $0.35/lb for sugar pumpkins. Sure enough, all of ours were sugar pumpkins. So, without hesitation or embarrassment, we hauled them all back out to the patch, put them back, and selected two, big, obviously NOT sugar pumpkins, and hauled them back to the stand. All the while, we talked about how, even though they were smaller, the sugar pumpkins would cost more. So, we left with two big pumpkins and a promise to check the sales flyer for our local food market for when their pumpkins go on sale, so we can buy even MORE pumpkins, and get more for our money. I'll tell you what, my kids are going to grow up understanding value! And, I can get away without exercising tonight. My arms got plenty of workout with that wheelbarrow!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I had inspiration hit me a week or two ago in Walmart. This is the culmination of that inspiration. We made these Halloween hats today, and then had bunches of fun taking pictures of them. I didn't get the professional quality poses I was hoping for, but those darn kids managed to turn out cute anyway!
See this A Place for Crafts post for more info on how to make the hats.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

A day for crafting

We had big plans today. We were going over to visit the Olympic Peninsula, and we were excited. Then, Brigham had the nerve to come down with this nasty croupy garbage, and the road trip got put on the back burner. So, we decided to declare it a day of crafting. We seriously spent a good chunk of the day just puttering around making "stuff". You can look at my craft blog for more instructions and links to tutorials if you are interested.

This is take two on the cute flower pins we found at Wise Craft. 75% smaller than the pattern, and I am LOVING the cream canvas! A friend gave me a bunch of vintage buttons, and I can't wait to do some more of these babies! Joy even joined in the fun and made a Halloween one!
I have been working on getting Joy's room decorated, and I told her that we couldn't put anything on the walls until we had everything assembled. I lied. We finished her hair clip frame today and I couldn't resist putting it on the walls. Now you know what color Joy's walls are!
And last, a few thrift store tins re-purposed to Halloween decorations. They will get to serve double duty as decoration holders when they are done as decorations.
Hyrum, who woke himself up coughing and is now perched on my lap, has declared me "the coolest". I think my day is complete.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gel Paint

While perusing various blogs (I never knew there were so many out there) I found a recipe I just had to try - gel paints. This is what we ended up with. Oh yes, although the recipe is actually for scented gel paints, I did not add the scent - the thought of my kids eating cornstarch water was not appealing. Trust me, if it smelled good, they would have eaten them. (As a review of the recipe, I am not sure I will make them again. They thickened FAST, and were not really satisfying to paint with. Definitely cook them on medium, not high.)
Anyway, I figured that if I gave the kids something to do, I was more likely to be able to listen to General Conference. Who am I kidding? But, it was really cute to watch them paint. I don't know if you can see it, but Brigham's jaw is set in his I'm-really-focusing-here set. Some people stick out their tongues, Brigham sets his jaw and goes to work.
Maybe you can see it a little better here. And no, I don't usually have the boys hang around shirtless in October, but these paints stain.
Joy did not have any desire for the sensory experience of gel paint finger painting. Nice, clean, un-squishy watercolors for her, thank you very much!
Yes, I did get to listen to Conference for 10 minutes before I had to come up with another diversion.
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