Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Yesterday we finally received snow.  The boys were so excited.  They got all bundled up and headed out to help Thomas shovel.  (Garrison is on the left, in the garage.)
 All my cute boys posing before getting back to work.
 This is the boys and Aza hanging out on Christmas Eve morning.  They decided to bury Aza in pillows and as you can see she could have cared less.  That's why we LOVE our dog.

Friday, December 16, 2011

around our house

Here's what I've been hearing lately around my house...

Garrison had been running around the room pretending he was a car on a racetrack when I asked him to go put his pajamas on...

Garrison: "Mom, I can't."

Me: "Why not?"

Garrison: Walking up to me as if he's going to fall over from pure exhaustion... "I'm running out of gas.  Can you fill me up?"
Garrison:  "Mom, I want to say bad things because I'm a bad kid."

Wherever that came from.
Josiah had just passed a little gas.

Garrison:  "What's that smell?"
Josiah: In the happiest voice ever... "Me!!"

I died laughing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

wrapping gifts

Are you busily wrapping presents as Christmas is only 9 days away??!!  I finally finished shopping today.  I shouldn't say "finished."  My husbands side doesn't celebrate Christmas until his parents can be here in February.  So I'm done shopping for everyone I needed to shop for by December 25.

I enjoy watching a Christmas movie or listening to Christmas music while wrapping presents, but I think I might bust this song out tonight while-st I finish up my gift wrapping. (Caleb Hawley's music video)  Here comes 2012!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Homemade laundry detergent

I ran out of my store bought laundry detergent and I couldn't be happier.  (I lead a simple life.)  I ran across a homemade laundry detergent a little while ago and I've been waiting patiently for my store bought stuff to run out before I made my own detergent.

I've been trying really hard these last few months to find ways to save money.  I feel it's my responsibility to help my husbands dollars go as far as they can.  I've been clipping coupons, receiving free samples in the mail and now am starting to make my own detergent.  Next I'll try my hand out on making dishwasher soap, hand soap and fabric softener sheets.  (stay tune as I try those babies out.)

Homemade laundry detergent

5 gal. bucket
1 bar Fels Naptha soap
1/2 c. borax
1 c. Arm and Hammer washing soap

Grate and melt bar of soap in 4 c. water on stove.  Add to other ingredients in the bucket.  Fill bucket with hot water and stir.  Cover and let sit overnight. (it will turn into a thick, jello-like consistency) 

Stir and then pour your homemade soap into left over laundry detergent bottles.  Only filling 1/2 way.  Add water to fill to top.

Shake before each use.
Use a full cup with each load.

*I was able to find all the supplies at Walmart.

fels naptha soap... $0.97
borax... $2.98
arm and hammer washing soap... $3.24

The box of borax yields about 12 batches.  The box of washing soap yields 6 batches.  I'd have to buy a bar of fels naptha soap for each batch.  If I make 6 batches that's a total of $11.13.  With the detergent that I use now it costs me $7.97 for 96 loads.  The homemade recipe makes 10 gallons which is about 960 loads (if you use 1 cup.)  To get 960 loads out of the store bought detergent I'd have to buy 10 bottles which would cost $79.70.  Take the $79.70 I would have spent on the store bought minus the $11.13 I will now be spending and I save $68.57.  Sign me up!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


  "Be cheerful no matter what; 
pray all the time; 
thank God no matter what happens. 
This is the way God wants you to belong to Christ Jesus to live." 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (message)


Garrison isn't so sure how he feels when Uncle Tom comes over and this is why...  Adeline (my brother Tom's little girl) thinks it's great fun.  Or maybe she's glad it's not her upside down.
 Josiah and Garrison having great fun trying to hang on to the horse.
 Isn't Ms. Adeline cute?
 My sisters, Joanna and Jackie.
 Joanna and her husband Shane.
 All the kids wanted to be on Papa's lap.  And we're checking out the black Friday deals.
 Sweet little Josiah.
 My brother, Tom, his daughter, Adeline and the G man.
 The three sisters.
 Me getting my baby time with Maggie. 
It was so nice to have family over.  I wish they could have stayed longer, but maybe one day we'll all live by each other and can hang out all the time. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Be thankful


My heart and mind have been swirling with thankfulness.  I've been spending the last week preparing for the upcoming family gathering at my house.  The menu has been written and the turkey has been purchased.  The to-do list has been established and the get-it-done mode has been placed, but I don't want Thanksgiving to be all about how it looks or how well I prepared everything.  I want it to be about all that I have.  All that God has blessed me with.

Many times I jump too fast into seeing the negative.  Seeing the problem before the person.  The pencil markings on the wall before the little fingers that wanted to draw a picture.  The pile of dishes that I'm doing by myself before the laughter of a father and his sons in the next room.  The toothpaste all over the sink before the little boy who just wanted to be independent.  The ceiling falling apart before the kids in the bathtub having fun splashing water.  The broken fence post before the game winning kick.  The unfinished to-do list before the little boys who wanted a story read, a train track built, a board game played, a drink given, an ouchie kissed. And lately with each of these things God has been reminding me to be thankful.  Don't look at the problem He'll take care of the details.  Look at the person and be thankful they are brightening my day with their presence.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday's Saying

"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the piles and piles of laundry will disappear soon and that you will, to your surprise, miss them profoundly."  Thomas S. Monson

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today I learned 4 things...

1.  I will be doing most, if not all, my Christmas shopping online.

2.  If I have to go to the store for some Christmas items I will NOT be taking my children.

3.  I don't need a day away from my kids... I need a whole weekend!

4.  Sometimes I am so organized that I end up being unorganized.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mr. Polar Bear

We had a front row seat to the polar bears performance.  Garrison loved this (you'll hear him laughing a ton in the video).  Josiah was a little scared so he and I are standing a little bit farther back.  He wasn't as excited that the only thing keeping this gigantic polar bear from him was a huge wall of glass.  Don't blame him.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our Vacation

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Create a slideshow
Garrison has been asking a lot lately about God.  Every time he sees a cross he says, "Mom, Jesus died on that."  He then follows it by asking me why.  The other day I was explaining why Jesus died for us.  When I got to the part about our sins be taken away from us he started crying.  I asked him what happened that made him cry and he responded by saying, "I don't want my sins to go away."  I love these teachable moments!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

We had a Detroit Tigers baseball player and a Dark Knight batman at our house this Halloween.

*It wasn't until I went to post this tonight that I noticed the ultrasound picture of our third little one to the left of Josiah's head... he or she is an angel.  (if you don't know what I'm talking about click here.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

beautiful day for pictures

Here's my attempt at capturing the boys at ages 3 1/2 and 2.  I borrowed my sisters camera and tried my hand at being a photographer.  Not too shabby for my first time.

Friday, October 21, 2011


After Thomas and the boys went to the pumpkin patch they came home and played outside for awhile.

Monday, October 17, 2011

pumpkin patch


Sunday, October 16, 2011

two little helpers

This week the boys and I have been trying out a few different recipes that I found on Pinterest.  (Must say I have fallen in love with this website.  Yes, I know, I believe this site has been around for awhile, but hey with two small kids running around I'm not really hip or trendy anymore... or maybe I never was hip and trendy.)

Garrison and I took a try at making bath paints one afternoon while Josiah was taking his nap.  (Garrison is suppose to lay down or play quietly in his room at the same time that Josiah sleeps, but this week he wasn't having any of it and I was beyond frustrated so I had to get creative.)  Making bath paints is super easy and the boys had a blast the other night using it in the bath tub.  They would have spent hours in the tub playing with this stuff if I would have let them.

Garrison helping me stir the bubble bath and cornstarch together.

Bubble bath paints
1 c. of baby bubble bath or body wash (make sure it's clear or white)
4 tbsp cornstarch
a few drops of food coloring
small containers with lids

Mix baby bubble bath and cornstarch together.  Separate into the four containers.  Add food coloring.  
Let the kids have a blast with paint brushes or their fingers. 
* I had very little baby bubble bath left so I used hand soap instead.  Worked out perfect!

 Our final product.

Then I decided to tackle a cookie recipe that I knew would take up our entire afternoon and probably drive me bonkers trying to make them with two small boys.  Doesn't every mother need to try out a crazy adventure at least once while the kids are small?  Our adventure turned out really well.  We all had fun and the cookies are the BEST.  Let me tell you.  You need to make these babies.  They are knock offs of the Girl Scout cookies Caramel De-lites, which are my absolute favorite.
  Click here to get the recipe.  For real- they are so good!

The boys helping me unwrap caramels.  Garrison has one in his cheek and yes, I only allowed them to have one caramel while they unwrapped.  I know, I'm such a mean mom- only one.  Garrison is wearing the same shirt as in the picture above, but we did both of the projects in one day.