Monday, June 29, 2009

Top Tip Tuesday!

Someone recently asked me how I do it? How do I keep up with everything? Do I ever sleep? Well, here's the answer: STARBUCKS VENTI LATTES, or MOCHAS- depending on the day!! No, not really- when I do drink coffee, it's always decaf, so that really wouldn't do me much good, but I do love them! Actually, the truth is that I never stop! I rarely sit down, and if I see something that needs to be done-- I do it! If I pass a window with fingerprints on it, I clean it- even if I'm in the middle of doing something else. If the laundry needs to be switched from the washer to the dryer, I do it- even if I need to pee desperately and haven't been in hours because I keep finding things that need to be done! Basically, I'm very disciplined and I always stay on task- always. So, you can imagine that, in my busy world, I love to find things which simplify my life! That was really the inspiration behind Top Tip Tuesday--I love using other people's tips to make my own life easier ;-) So, here's my Top Tip of the week:



Recently, I found something that I love, and I wanted to share this one with all you busy ladies out there! If you've seen these around, I am here to tell you that they are fabulous and SO easy to use..... It's wall art, and it's great! You can get all kinds of different quotes, or you can get the alphabet and write whatever you want. Here's what they look like when you take them out of the tube....
This one is a little difficult to see because it's white lettering, but it comes on a sheet that you tape to the wall and then peel off the backing to stick the letters to the wall. After that, you simply remove the top sheet and voila......
I now have a beautiful Psalm on the wall above my pictures, and it only took me 5 minutes! Here's a closer look....
I have this one on my back staircase, but I bought several more and can't wait to get them up!
So, unlike the Bumpits- which some of you may remember me demonstrating and I DO NOT recommend!- I love this product!! Hope you enjoy my quick and easy tip, and now it's your turn!! I want to hear all your fabulous tips, so here's what you do:

Step 1- go to your blog and type your own post with your personal Top Tip.

Step 2- grab the URL for your tip post only- not the web address of your blog. To do this, you need to right click on the title of your actual post and then click on " properties" - this will give you the URL of the post- go ahead and "copy" this URL.

Step 3- now come back to my blog and "paste" the URL into Mcklinky, along with whatever name you want to use or the category of the tip- i.e. "Decorating Tip" or "Quick Recipe" This will make it easier for others to choose the links they wish to visit.

Step 4- please "mention" my blog and add a link somewhere at the beginning of your post so that your readers will know where to find all the other Top Tips! And that's it!


Remember, your tip can be anything that you have found to simplify your daily life, from stain removal to a fabulous decorating tip to a quick and easy recipe!! We love them all!! So, join me and get tippin'.......




P.S. If you didn't catch my post from earlier today, be sure you check it out below! It's loaded with updates since I'm finally back online! And if you already read it, be sure to check out the update at the top about our friend Twitter!



Zackelbaums, "Twitter" and blue paint?!

UPDATE to the UPDATE below!! If you've already read this post, then you know all about poor Twitter- the bird. Well, I'm sad to say that poor Twitter passed on today, as I was sure he would, given the circumstances. Josh was devestated and cried for about an hour, but it did give us an opportunity to talk about death, and after I offered him some ice cream, he seemed to be feeling much better. And as for Twitter, well, he was laid to rest in the wooded area behind our fence- may he rest in peace.....
UPDATE to the post I started below: just as I was getting ready to post, the kids called me outside. They've been rather busy while I've been typing up my post- busy designing that is. And they have named their new invention- meet the Zackelbaum!! Named for the two families that helped in its design, the Zackelbaum is a clever and fun way to break you neck- Zack's Gang style!! REALLY, who NEEDS a slip-n-slide anyway?! The rider starts down the very wet slide and then hits the ground, where the slip-n-slide awaits.....
Another way to ensure death or permanent paralysis is to ride down the slide using a fun pool float of your choice.....
And watch out! The shark at the bottom is deadly!! Oh, never mind, that's just JOSH!

And while the big kids are having fun, Matthew is doing what all sweet 3yr-olds do-- he's giving the poor birdy with the broken leg, named Twitter, a ride in his bike basket....
PLEASE DO NOT CALL PETA ON ME PEOPLE!! I can not help it if my darling children rescued this poor creature from drowning in the street drain this morning and gave it a name.....
and fed it.....
and built a big fortress for it.....
and even played doctor as they wrote down all of its little birdie vitals- height, weight, pulse.... you get the idea!
No, please do not report me to animal control. I have much bigger things to worry about as you will see at the bottom of my post below. And on that note, on to my original post....


I was shocked back into reality when my phone rang a couple of hours ago- you see, our home phone is connected through our internet, so, not only have we been without internet for the last week, but we've also been without phone service! And when the phone rang, it was so unexpected that I think I actually jumped!! And now I'm jumping for joy!! I just feel like someone called and said hey Jenny, you just got your life back! Ok- that may be a little strong. Actually, it's been rather refreshing to not constantly be checking my blog, all my other favorite blogs, twitter, etc! But I must admit, I do feel as though I'm missing out on something when I'm out of touch for a few days. And I do truly enjoy following other blogs- it has not only made me a better person, but I get the best ideas and help from the blog community ;-)

But enough about all that and on with the latest- as you know, Allie and my mom left Saturday for London, and I am finally able to post some pictures from just before they left. Here they are at the house- I'm not sure which one is the teenager and which is the gramma.....
Allie & Josh- Allie looked so cute with her hair and outfit- I was so proud!
And here they are at the airport! It was harder than I expected to leave my first-born at the airport and head home, and I think I teared up just a little, but I was just so darn excited for her to experience Europe for the first time!!
Sophie went with me, so she got the final goodbye....
And look what I just happened to find in Target yesterday......
I thought these cute little prints would be so fun for Allie to have in her room seeing as how she will have visited both Paris and London! I couldn't believe it when I saw them on the shelf!
And now we move on to the re-decorating. I enlisted Sophie to help me with a project in the laundry room- spray painting a bunch of clothes pins black.....

And this is where they ended up..... they are sitting in the jar on the top shelf- just a fun little accent in my new and homier laundry room!
Zack painted the room a bright yellow over the weekend....
On the back wall I framed some old pictures of my mom and my aunt- I LOVE them!!
I tried to give the room a country-feel.....
and went with several roosters- a couple of rooster prints, a rooster plate......
Here are the clothes pins up close.... and now I have a clock to remind me that there are other things I need to attend to despite how much I LOVE doing the laundry!!
oh yeah, and a rooster lamp!
Nothing says LAUNDRY like some cute, black metal letters tied with black ribbon.....
And I added a curtain down below the shelf to cover up all the stuff I don't really care to see- ya know, like the plunger!! It still needs a pocket sewn in it, but I fixed it up for the meantime with some of those lovely black clothes pins! And it's hanging on a shower curtain rod- everybody say ahhhhhhhh!!
The sign below is a joke of course- we all know that that'll be the day...... but do notice the cute little antique apron that I picked up ages ago when I was still in college in a little antique shop in Montana.....
And another make-shift hanging job! If you look closely, you can see the black clothes pin at the top of the curtain! This too, will eventually be sewn, and it will hang from the black ball finials I screwed into the trim (shhhhh, don't tell Zack!)......
One last look at the shelf area!
And now we move onto the room that Zack spent the day painting on Sunday- for 11 hours!!! And it was not the least bit funny when he went upstairs as he was first getting started and let out a yell like I have NEVER heard from him! I raced upstairs to see what on earth had happened- expecting to find the paint dumped in a big pool on the carpet- and had to laugh when Zack held up a handful of blue painter,s tape and told me that someone who SHALL remain nameless had been busy UNTAPING all of his work!! Needless to say, Zack was not happy!
Here we are mid- job.....
But don't feel too bad for him- he did get to spend the entire time listening to various sports networks with absolutely no interruptions!!
And OH MY, OH MY, IT'S SLIGHTY BLUE IN HERE!!!!!!! WHO PICKED THIS COLOR?!?!
Uh, that is not the color I was expecting to see! It looks like we live in fairyville or something! Paging Queen Jenny....... Um, NO, this will never do- and next time you see my room..... it will NOT be blue!!!!!!

Please remember to join me tomorrow for TOP TIP TUESDAY!! I plan to get my Mcklinky up sometime tonight, so be sure to help your fellow-blogging-sisters and share your helpful hints!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Where do I begin?

I think I've simply got too much going on..... yep, that MUST be it! I can't remember the last time I was trying to juggle so many things at once (actually, it does remind me of having a newborn and a toddler at the same time!). Here are all the things that I am currently trying to manage, control, keep up with, overcome, pray about....



* we are currently (yes, Zack is doing it as I type this!) in the process of painting 4 different rooms in our house: laundry, master, Emily's room, and Allie & Sophie's room-- I don't know what got me started on this re-decorating kick, but it's sort of seems as though it's taking over my life....!



* we are planning a 2-week trip to Montana, and we leave on the 7th of July- which is 2 days after my mom and Allie get back from Europe. My mom and I are driving together, but in 2 separate cars, and will be taking not only my 7 kiddos, but also one of our sweet neighbors (Haley) who is also one of the kids' good friends! My mom will be severly jet-lagged, and we will have 20 hours of driving to look forward to.....! Can everyone say roadtrip?????



* I am currently trying to make sure that I have 5 children registered and ready for school to start on August 17th! That means not only filling out a bunch of paperwork, but also paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars in registration fees- not to mention school supplies, new clothes, lunch money, yearbooks, PTA fees, spirit-wear, etc.....! I'm planning a post about the so-called registration fees that we have to pay to go to public school- it's just a little scary.....!!! And to make matters more complicated, the shot requirements for the next school year have changed here in the state of Kansas, so I am shuffling 7 kiddos through the doctor's office, one-at-a-time so we won't overwhelm them, to update shots! And it's a new doctor- we had to change doctors because our insurance changed- so I'm having to fill out all new paperwork for each child! Ahhh- fun times!!

* I spent the better part of the last week getting Allie ready for her trip to Europe- everything had to fit into a small roll-aboard and a backpack, and we had to make sure she was ready for anything that mother nature might throw at her! And then there was the small matter of packing all of Allie's medications for the trip- we all know how particular the airlines are these days....! Allie is currently taking 5 daily meds- yes, we're pretty sure that she is dying!- so we had to make sure that everything had the correct lablels and was in the correct containers. Her newest med, and the only one that we can get to work for her migraines, is an injection, and we needed to know that my mom would be able to administer the shot should Allie need it!

* As most of you know, I still have no internet access in my house, and the only reason I'm blogging right now is because I swiped Zack's work computer which has a wireless card- shhh, don't tell him- he's too busy painting to notice....! It turns out that something having to do with our internet feed outside our house was probably hit by lightning, which is the reason for no connection. This, of course, has thrown a huge wrench into my daily life of not only blogging, but banking, email, on-line school registration, etc. You truly don't realize just how much you depend on the internet until you don't have it! I still need to make hotel reservations for our trip to Montana!

* I made not one, but two unplanned trips to the hospital last week! The first was an emergency trip to the hospital to determine once again wether or not my eldest daughter was on her death bed. She had a stabbing pain in the back of her calf, and blood clots in the leg are one of the side-effects of her hormone meds, so off to the hospital we went for a full-leg ultrasound scan!! The next trip was to an urgent care after Emily had a major accident on Josh's mini-motorcycle- well, it was mostly just a bad case of roadrash, but it was pretty major to her. And she did end up with some serious bandaging and oral antibiotics. BTW, Allie was also fine and lived to drive me up the wall another day!! (Just kidding Allie- you know I LOVE you!)

* We spent the last two weeks racing to swimming lessons at 10:30 every morning. Although it doesn't sound early, please remember- it is summer and I have teenagers!! Besides the swimming lessons, I've been taking Emily to driver's ed at 9am every day, and then picking her up at noon. And on Mondays, Emily had to be over at the school by 7am for the actual driving portion of driver's ed. Thankfully, Allie and Zack have both been able to help me out with some of the driving- it's truly been a tag-team effort, and it will be over this Tuesday when Emily graduates- yay! She will be a fully-licensed driver come her birthday this November ;-)

* All of this, and we are still trying to pretend like it's summer and are squeezing in some activities that we actually enjoy!! It's pretty sad when going to the pool is a chore! I love to take the kids over to our neighborhood pool, and I used to take them every day over the last few summers- to the point that they were complaining that we were going- but this summer, we're lucky to get over there 2 or 3 days a week, and even then I keep thinking about all the stuff I have waiting for me at home. And you would think, given all the additonal chores at hand, that I might relax my normal routine of cleaning and organizing just a bit-but alas, I'm still a perfectionist, so my house must remain neat and clean, with all the laundry just so and all the beds made, despite the current chaos!!

So, that's my daily life in a nutshell (as they say)! I just got an email from my mom, and she and Allie made it safely to London and to their hotel. They were just getting ready to meet up with their tour group and hit the town. They are in London for 4 days and then they take the chunnel over to Paris for the remainder of the tour! Wow, my baby is in Europe!!! I'm so excited for her-- some of you may remember that I lived in Europe for 4 years, so I have some very fond memories!

I tried to upload some pictures of my mom and Allie getting ready to leave yesterday, as well as some photos of the current state of our house, but I can't get them to upload on this computer- I think the connection is too slow with this wireless access card- technology, wonderful and horrible at the same time!! I did use my new navigation system to get to the airport yesterday, however, and I must admit, it was so darn cool!! It even told me when I was going more than 5 miles over the speed limit- once or twice ;-)

That's all for now- stay tuned for pictures of the re-deco!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Show us where you live Friday!!


Hey- it's Friday, and although the internet is down at my house, I am still getting my post in, on Friday I might add, for Kelly's Korner! I promised I would get it done this week on time, as opposed to the last several weeks where I've neglected to post until Saturday morning- oops! Not that anyone really cares....!! I suppose I flatter myself to think that anyone was actually waiting with bated breath to view my incredible decorating talent.......;-) Anyway, today is MASTER BEDROOMS, and we recently added a new, king-sized bed to our room to accomodate the masses of children that seem to end up in our bed sometime between the hours of midnight and 6am!! And with a new bed, of course, comes all new bedding. And with all new bedding, comes all new curtains. And with new curtains, we definitely need new paint...... you get the idea! We have yet to re-paint, but that is actually the plan for this weekend- YAY! So, be sure to check back in a couple of days as I chronicle the joys of painting not only the master bedroom, but also the laundry room, and all the girls' rooms!! Right now, everything blends in way too much, so the new color will make all the furniture and bedding POP!

We have a really great master sitting area, complete with a fireplace- I love this space and use it all the time!
We have a tray ceiling over the bed, with rope lighting above that makes for wonderful light- sort of like having lots of candlelight. My dresser is littered with pictures of The Gang- of course!

And here are 6 of the 7 kiddos- these were taken right before Jacob was born, so he's the only one missing! I plan to have all 7 done again this fall....
And I know we already did bathrooms, but I missed that week, so here's the master bath. We have a huge door-less shower that wraps around and around to get into- I really don't like having a shower without a door, but I guess it was the thing to do a couple of years ago when the house was built.

Our closet is nice and big- perfect for storing the kid's keepsakes and extra photo albums, etc....

Well, that's it for today! We should have internet back up tomorrow night, but it may be Sunday before I get back to my blog! My mom is here and leaves tomorrow along with my first born for an unbelievable trip to London and Paris! And boy, what a week it's been ALL week! I really need to update about all our unexpected trips to the hospital, not to mention all the stuff we have going on now and coming up in the next few weeks. Whatever happened to the term lazy days of summer?!!!!

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