Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cheapy McCheapskate Strikes Again - Concrete Floor Staining

Concrete Floor Staining.

We finally did it. We've been talking for years about ripping out the carpet in our living room and staining the concrete. And over the past few months, it became a reality. Since I've had so many people ask me about it and so many wanting to do it in their own homes, I thought I would give a play-by-play of how it really works...then you can decide whether to DIY or hire someone.

FYI: Our home was built in 2000 as the model home in the community. We purchased it in 2001 as the builders were closing out their part of the community.

At the first of August, we took up the carpet & padding (and pulled up all the carpet tack strips) and hauled it off to the dump - $Free (of course, it cost gas to get there).

But the builders had so kindly left such a mess on the floor. Gross. So we borrowed a friend's shop vac and got busy cleaning the dirt and loose yuk off the floor. Then we discovered that the padding had been glued to the concrete in certain areas so there was glue and padding residue on the concrete in addition to the paint spills, texturing overspray, plaster piles, and whatever else they decided to drop on the concrete. In researching cleaners for this, I discovered you must be careful what you use as not to use something that will leech the lime from the concrete - this is what the acid stain will react with. We settled with a product from Behr - Concrete and Masonry Paint Stripper. I think we ended up using 4 bottles of this at $27 a bottle...yeah, I know, ouch, but I wanted to clean the concrete without stripping out anything that needed to stay in the concrete.

To clean the mess, I worked only in small sections. I would pour a generous amount of the product on the section and leave it for an hour or so. Then I would use a paint scaper tool to scrape up whatever would come up and dump in the trash whatever I scaped up. After this, I would pour a little water on my section and vigorously scrub with a stiff brush. Again, a rinse with water, clean up with old towels and voila! Section done. It was a workout to do those small sections. Musician Hubby has Radial Tunnel syndrome in his arms and wrists, so I didn't ask him to do much of this. Gotta protect those hands, you know!

There were delays with young boy going back to school and with me starting part time work at young girl's pre-school - and of course the week and a half that I had vertigo, so it took us over two months of section by section, little by little to clean, clean, clean the concrete. And then with the concrete being so pretty and clean, we decided - after 8 years of me asking - to paint the living room. Yea!! Of course, with not having an abundance of cash laying around to use, we made the trip to hit every Lowe's, Home Depot, and Walmart paint department in about a 15-20 mile radius of our house to look for "oops" paints in colors we thought would look good in our house - basically, various earthtones. We found a 5 gal unopened bucket of a nice beige color at Home Depot for $15. Walmart had cheap paint gallons in a chocolate (accent walls in living room) and carob (accent wall in master bedroom) =$20. Another trip to the Depot garnered us another gallon of pretty color for the kitchen for $5. I had some paint supplies in the garage including paint for the trim, but others were picked up on the cheap at these stores, so in all for supplies for three rooms of painting was around $30 (I use the foam/sponge brushes and rollers, plastic tray liners, and the Sure-Line Paint Edger - LOVE this tool).

All the painting was done (three large rooms done at night - finished in one week!), we decided on the upcoming long weekend to stain the floor. We went to Lowe's to purchase the Quikrete Concrete Stain in Tan and the Quikrete Premium Clear Epoxy Coating (interior use). Both of these items were about $72 each - both covering 300-400 sq ft. And we used every bit of both. We covered the walls and trim with tape and contractors paper (about $10 for both).

Before staining, the floor must be cleaned with a TSP soloution ($5 Lowe's) scrubed on with a stiff brush. The floor has to be wet, but not standing water to apply the stain. So I would run in front of Scott and water down the floor and then squeegee up the standing puddles, just making sure the floor was wet. Using a garden sprayer ($18 at Lowe's), Scott sprayed the stain on the floor. It was a little freaky in that the stain looks green when wet. But by the time we got through and to the door, we could see the brown/tan spots. Then we left for the night.

We returned the next morning and had to clean the residue from the floor using a baking soda and water solution and scrubbing with a stiff brush. This took a few rounds of cleaning to make sure all the residue came up. We would walk around and spot check the floor and if any color came up on our hands, then we would clean again.

After all the cleaning was done, it was time for the Clear Epoxy Coating. This mixed up and painted on white so you could see it and make sure to cover everything. After the coating, we backed our way out the door and left for the night again. The next afternoon we came in and started putting the living room back together again. As you can see in the picture, it looks great and we are so happy with it.

I don't know if I would do this again, but maybe. It looks great and I'm loving sitting in my nice cozy looking room.

And if you are figuring out the costs, the floor plus three rooms painted was about $375. Not too shabbby, huh?

Thanks for all the compliments and I hope your rooms turn out great, too!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Price to be Paid

We are on vacation. In Branson, MO. With our children. I know now why parents drink.

Naw, it's not that bad. We've had a great time. Our hotel offers many activities and we've gone to a couple of shows, BOTH of which Hunter was chosen from the audience to participate in the show. One was Kirby Van Burch -illusionist/magician. He chose Hunter to go on the stage and check out the props for his "walk through a plate glass mirror" illusion. Then loaded Hunter up with tons of goodies for participating. The other show was Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede and Hunter was asked to go on a "chicken chase" with a couple of other kids. Out of 1000 people, Hunter was chosen to go out onto the arena floor. Wow! That kid's got some good vacation memories.

But my memory, sigh, although with my family is a great one, no, my memory will be the trip the car gods demanded a sacrifice so our car would make it in one piece. I lost the diamond from my engagement ring. We've scoured the car and nothing yet. I still think it's in the McDonalds bathroom somewhere in Oklahoma.

Yeah, there is a price to be paid for everything.

It's still been a good trip.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Things Kids and Their Parents Say....

Hunter: "Dad, I'm full of imagination. Are you?"

Dad: "No."

Hunter: "Sure you are Dad. You're full of it. Mom, isn't Daddy full of it?"

Mom: "Yes, darlin', Daddy sure is full of it."

Dad: "Watch it."

Mom: "What? I'm just answering him."

Hunter: "See Dad, you are full of it."

Mom: "Yup. He's full of it all right."

And this goes on and on every day for the past few days. Tee hee.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cheapy McCheapskate

Yup. That's going to be my new name. Or at least if I stick to our Dave Ramsey plan it will be. But I did start today with my thrifty-ness.

We were gifted a Calloway's plant nursery gift card for winning "Yard of the Month" from our home owners association during the winter. After all the springs, summers, and falls of planting flowers, sculpting shrubs and bushes, mowing, edging, etc, and we get YotM in the winter. But I digress. Anyway, I finally used my card today to purchase a few container flowers to put on my backporch underneath my Topsy-Turvy tomatoes and jalepeno plants.

Then, since we did not want to spend money to buy a new patio furniture set, I took an old card table that was in the garage, painted the top of it with paint found in the garage and gave it a new look. But that wasn't enough for me. I cut a hole in the center of the table and placed our porch umbrella in the middle of it an Wham-O! A new patio set. With stuff I already had.

Yup. Just call me Cheapy McCheapskate.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I'm a people watcher. I go to events and I end up watching the people just as much if not more than the event. So, I tend to notice little things that might go unnoticed by the passing glance.

When I was in Jr.High/High School, I started developing knee problems from basketball injuries. My mom took me to a doctor who evaluated my walking. He pointed out that at that time, I turned my feet out to walk (toes going out). This could cause all sorts of problems with my knees, ankles, back, etc. So, rather than spring for the orthopedic shoes (thank you, mom!), we agreed to watch how I walked and work on it.

Now, I notice so often people walking that same way and I always want to stop them and ask if they have knee, ankle, back, etc. issues and let them know to change their walking stance.

But then again, I may just get punched in the nose. I'll just stick with watching for now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Confusion and Decisions

I'm so confused. And tired. You know that feeling you get when you feel like you are the only one in the world going through a particular thing, even though you know you're not, but you still feel like it? Yeah, I'm there. I've been there for a while, but I've just now begun to really break down what is going on.

I have a 7 year old home-schooled son, a 2 year old Princess daughter, and a mostly-work-from-home hubby.

If I manage to find or get invited to a play group with other 2 year olds, my 7 year old son has to tag along and even though he can have fun pretty much where ever he is, he doesn't care for 2 yr old playdates. And the parents of the younger ones don't always seem to be appreciate of his presence. So, Hadyn doesn't get much 2yr old time, Hunter doesn't get much 7yr old time, and no mommy bonding and time out for me in that aspect.

Then the home school activities that he can be around his age group require that I chase my 2 yr old around or is in the afternoon when Hadyn HAS to have naptime (makes a happy child and happy mommy), or is on a day of the week when Dad is off work and we want to spend time with him. So again, not much for Hunter, not much for Hadyn and not much for mommy.

Scott works from home a lot and battles with the guilt of wanting to spend more time with us (so he won't shut his office door) and wanting more space and quiet for his office. Obviously, with all four of us in the house all day nearly everyday, yeah, some stress will build. He wants to move to a bigger house. I don't think that is the answer because all of the above will still be in place.

So, decisions have to be made. We opted for home school due to Scott's work schedule at the time and the fact that he and Hunter never saw each other and it was showing in Hunter's attitude. That was the primary reason. That has changed now and Scott is home more in the afternoons and evenings. School time has been a beating lately with Hunter as he just doesn't want to do anything anymore. I've tried different times of the day - during the morning, but I have to battle with Hadyn needing attention, during the afternoon at her naptime, but Hunter shuts down mentally in the afternoon and just doesn't absorb anything, spreading it out, but then it's harder on all of us. Blah.

I'm just not the Birkinstock-Unschooling-Earth Mama that most of the home-school moms I'm around seem to be, so Hunter going back to public school is not an earth-shattering devastating event that it might be for others. I've also talked to a pre-school director friend about putting Hadyn in school a couple days a week.

Maybe just the space and quiet in the house will calm some things down around here...primarily me. I'd love to have the availability to be invited to do things without hearing "well, we knew you homeschooled so we didn't think you'd have time."

Time, I have. Space and quiet, I don't.

Decisions to make. Confusion over what is best and am I being selfish. Yeah, I'm tired.

Monday, April 13, 2009

That Dam Word

At dinner tonight, Hunter was talking about his NASCAR '09 video game and how instead of calling a pile up of cars a "pile-up", the video commentators will call it a "dam of cars." I could tell he was questioning the word a little bit and why it was on his game, so I re-explained what a dam is and how it works to block off a river and create a lake behind it, ergo, the front cars in the wreck would cause a dam and block off the run of other cars behind it and create a pile up.

"But," I warn, "be careful how and where you use that word, because someone else could think that you are using a 'bad' word."

To that Hunter answered, "Okay, Mom, I'll just use the good dam word."

Was it wrong for me to bust out laughing at the sound of that? I think not.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I'm Still Here.

No, I have not abandoned this blog in favor of the more fun HES2 Motorsports one. But everytime I think of something I could blog about here, I have to stop and tell myself that type of information is probably best kept to oneself or just between a friend or two - not potentially anyone with a computer.

Things are crabby around here. Hubby works at the church and one of the two "BIG" times of the year is upon us, so crab, crab, crab while preparing to lead others in worship. Yeah, I see how that works.

Anyway, that being said and the fact that I if I think about it, it is a rare occasion that I can have any time at all by myself without total chaos raining down on me once I reappear (thus not ever wanting to leave), I'll just wait until after the holiday and see how things go.

Until then, yeah, I'm still here. Breathing. Hanging on. Sigh.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Funny how our fears change and grow as we age. Yeah, I know, they grow and change because we learn more and more but we don't know enough to keep all the fears at bay. Our pastor did a sermon series on fears recently. I sat there thinking, I really don't have these fears. I don't fear the economy. I don't fear loss. I don't fear disease. Not that I'm covering myself in a bubble and pretending the problems aren't there, but I just know that I am not in control of these things and that I just have to rely on the One who is in control and let Him take care of it, right?

But it is interesting to see fears that manifest in our wee ones. Hunter asks his Daddy every night to feel his heart. Hunter is concerned that his heart will stop beating because he heard something at church about the "ticker" runs the body and if the ticker stops, so does the body. So when he can't feel a big strong heartbeat - you know, like when you are relaxed and laying in bed and it is kind of soft feeling - he has fear of his ticker stopping.

Hadyn is tough. She is strong. She is Princess Warrior. God's warrior. But even the Princess Warrior's armour can be breached if the right fear finds it's way in. Last night, fear appeared in her bath water: the dreaded....the evil.....the despised....FLOATING POOPY!!! She screamed forever and shook like she was in shock over it. It took both mom and dad to calm her down and clean everything up.

Yuk. Come to think of it, maybe I do have fears....cleaning up after my children! Arrrrghhhhhh!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This post may better belong on my HES2 Motorsports blog, but I think I'll put it here.

I am nervous. My baby boy is kart racing today. Daddy is nervous. His son is racing today. Of course, this is the first race of his life and I'm sure our nerves will be somewhat better for the races to come, but for this one, I think we are both basket cases.

But it is interesting to see how we both handle it. Last night I was busily scurrying around making lists and getting thing pre-prepared to pack and go this morning. The kids were bathed and in bed and I was ready to relax. Dad, however, seems agitated about something. He looked like he was about to puke. I looked over to see Scott putting on his shoes to go somewhere - at night - with the kids in bed. "Where are you going?" I ask curiously. "I have to get some air."

After a little while of tring to calm down, Scott finally just went to bed and was up a 4am this morning with nerves still getting him. Bless his heart. I slept like a rock. But this morning is when the nerves are hitting me. Do I have everything we'll need? Can I eat something without hurling it? Are we ready to go? Will it be therepeutic to type this all up on a blog for everyone else to see? Am I just asking too many questions?

Sigh. I am ready. But we could all sure use some prayers today!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


One of my favorite books - back in the day when I actually had the focus to sit down and read - is Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. They discuss the woman's heart, from God's point of view. Basically, women, until we know better, base our relationship with our Heavenly Father on the relationship we had/have with our earthly father. And every little girl just wants her daddy to tell her how captivating she is.

Hadyn will hang out in the bathroom with me watching me put on my makeup. Of course, she has to have everything done that mommy is doing. So, we have our little routine of putting on "mate-up". I will dust a little very light colored eyeshadow on her little bitty lids. She closes her big blue eyes and lets me "beautify" her. Of course, I am very careful to tell her that we (yes, mommy, too) are very beautiful without the makeup, but that it just brightens our beauty a little bit.

Then she will run straight out to her daddy and close her eyes so he can see her beautiful "mate-up". Scott, being a wonderful daddy, will oooh and ahhh over her and tell her how beautiful she is. I swear I see that little bitty float four inches off the ground as she runs into the next room to get back to playtime. And all it took was a "wow" from her daddy.

I pray that this relationship grows and continues with the two of them. It is so sweet to watch now.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What Kind of Boat Do You Have?

In thinking about discussions I have had with different people regarding different religious/spiritual beliefs, I had a visual metaphor pop into my head. I’d like to share.

Imagine yourself on a lake with nice smooth waters and just warm enough to really enjoy being in. Then you decide to go water-skiing. Most people would be on their skis in the water with a rope connected to a boat ready to be pulled up to their feet and go skiing. However, you are in the water with skis on, but no boat.

The people behind all sorts of boats are pulled to their feet and are being towed off into different directions…all of who seem to be willing participants in this activity. Now, some of these people could be speeding in directions that will lead them into danger, but they are going anyway. Some are willingly heading another direction toward rough waters even though they have been told repeatedly and shown evidence that is not the direction they need to go in. And then some are going into waters that are even better than what they are currently in and will enjoy skiing in the best environment they could ever imagine. Then of course there are some people who don’t believe in boats and so they just don’t even get into the water.

Yet here you are in the water. You are just sitting in the water trying to ski on your own. You have nothing to pull you up; no support. You look at all the types of boats going in different directions but are worried about which brand of boat is best for you. But instead of listening to the words and advice of other trusted people and reading the research for yourself about which boat is best for you, you just sit and try to do it on your own. And go nowhere.

So you have a choice to make, sit in the water going nowhere or picking a boat.

What kind of boat would you choose?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We Heart Household Products - My Fav Product

Gotta love Facebook. I saw a friend's profile status that offered a chance to win a Flip Video Camera and I was all over that. The link led me to a blog called [Alice] We Heart Household Products. This blog will be one on my regular reading list...not only for the giveaway, but for the topic!! Anything I can learn to make using the products in my house work more efficiently is for me.

So, the product I chose to blog about for this giveaway is my Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. I luuuvvvv my magic erasers. I leave one in my shower to clean before I get in and voila! My shower is squeaky clean. With two small children, wall marks, floor scuffs, cabinet uh-ohs, and what not are all the more reason to keep something with "magic" in it's name. I've used it to clean up paint, too.

Yup. Gotta have my Magic in my house!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

With Great Power....

"With great power comes great responsibility." These words were uttered by Peter Parker's Uncle shortly before his own demise. For those who are comic book challenged, Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

But these are true words.

I have to give them to Hunter on a regular basis. Not because he has secret super hero powers, but because he is a big brother...and big brothers might as well have super hero powers in the eyes of their little sisters. I know I certainly thought my big brother could do no wrong.

Hadyn will intently watch her brother's actions and then sure enough, mimic them. And not all of her brother's actions are worth repeating. Apparently when 7 year old boys play "kitchen/diner", there tends to be a certain amount of plastic food debauchery - stuff that 7 year old little girls may find repulsive, but a 2 year old baby sister thinks is the BOMB!! And so creates a bigger mess that does not need to happen.

When mom breaks out into song and dance, a 2 year old little girl will giggle with glee and join right in having a grand old time. However, a 7 year old boy will scream at the top of his little lungs for mom to STOP THAT and will tackle mom with a force reserved for collegiate football try-outs. Again, little eyes see and follow suit.


I don't want to squash the boy out of my boy, but I really don't want to find the girl gone from my girl, either. So, we resort to Spider-Man tactics. Be a super hero to her.

And to mom.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Opinions -Again.

Opinions. Yup, we all have them. Some you take with the proverbial grain of salt, some you let go in one ear and out the other, some you refute, and some you agree with. But everyone has one. Case in point, I have one today. Take it as you will.

At my bible study this morning at a church I visit (but is not my home church), our discussion was making all sorts of circles around our topic at hand. One woman offered up her opinion on the topic using last night's Presidential address as reference. This woman appeared to me, based on her viewpoint, to be a more conservative citizen of our country. Later on another woman again used the address as reference, but looking at it from another angle, seemed to be much less conservative, but not entirely liberal in her beliefs. So here were two different women, two different viewpoints of the same thing, but neither making remarks that would turn away someone who was seeking an answer.

Then enters woman #3. This woman offered up not a political reference to our topic, but a "religious" one. She proceeded to slam a very well known minister to which she had only seen on television and in an interview. She has never been to his church, nor obviously ever listened to him discuss how and why he was called into ministry. If so, I don't know if the slam would have been there. She did not like what she referred to as "feel-good-ministry". Even when I brought up that there is more to his ministry than what she is seeing on tv, she argued her point even deeper. My thinking was that he was called to do just what he is doing. He is leading people to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior and if the Lord wants him to do more, he will do more. If someone does not like this teaching, then there are thousands upon thousands of other ministries that will give a person what they are seeking.

Which made me wonder, why as "Christians" do we feel so comfortable slamming other "Christians" for doing what they are called to do? And how does that look to someone who is not a Christ follower? No one at our table was slamming President Obama or former President Bush. No, that was all very polite conversation.

My opinion is that is doesn't shed a very good light on us as a whole. Wonder what we could do about that?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Yeah, I'll bite on these things occasionally. So here goes:

Here are the "rules:"
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

These questions came from my friend at ohbutno:

1) What snippet of scripture rocks your world?
There are just so many that it's hard to point out just one, but I would probably fall back on Psalm 50:15. In this passage, God is having "issues" with His people not following His ways and doing evil things (sound familiar to today?) and He tells us what He wants from us: "Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you and you will give me glory." Simple and neat. Trust in Him. Let Him rescue you. Then praise Him for it!!

2) What is the difference between being a Boy Mama and being a Girl Mama?
Well, naturally, I love both of my kids so much it hurts, but the difference would be what I see in them. With Hunter, I see what Scott might have been a little like as a boy and I see my son - what I would hope he would become. He is my sunshine!! With Hadyn, I see me. I can see the beauty in her that God has put in me that I have let the world tell me I don't have. Of course she is most definitely her own person, but it is neat having that "girl" bond with her.

3) Which three small joys do you seek out regularly?
My morning cuddles with my kids is such a joy and treat. When they get up and aren't really awake yet, they come cuddle up on and beside me on the couch. This is my treat! Another would be cooking a good meal for us to sit down and enjoy together. We do this almost every night. It is rare that we don't sit down for lunch and dinner together. A new joy is going for my morning walk with Holly. As long as it isn't too cold. Or too hot.

4) What is your earliest memory?
I don't know, really. Seems like I've blotted so much of my childhood out at times. I have a vague "remembery" of putting my sister's glass contacts on my eyelids and calling them ton-tacts. And I remember writing a bunch of letters on a paper and giving it to my brother as a "letter". He read it and told me that I had actually spelled "hot" out in my letter. So at that point, I knew how to spell "hot". I remember standing up in the seat of the pickup behind my Dad's shoulder while driving. Wouldn't do that now, huh??

5) What possessed you to buy the 'splodin' frog soap, and what (Pray tell!) will you do with it when it arrives?
Eh, who knows. Except that my kids love to have colored foam in the tub, colored water tablets, and that type of thing so exploding frog soap just seemed appropriate. It's the little things in life that entertain us the most, isn't it? So, I'll spring a few $$ for some goofy things every now and then. When it arrives, I'm sure it will be bath time!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Let's Go Racing - Maybe...

So, Hunter wants to race go-karts. Okay, no problem. Except for the cost, the time, the effort, blah, blah, blah. This is a kid who is not athletic or aggressive or highly competitive. Yeah, I know, he's 7. But, seems like a lot of boys around 7 are out doing something. So for a couple of years now, Hunter has been talking about racing go-karts. Alright, let's look it up.

I found a track not too far from here that races kid karts - his age group with slower, easier karts. After watching and talking with other parents, Hunter was sold and we were interested in learning more. In asking around about a chance for Hunter to try out a kart, we met Go-Kart Dad with one for sale. We went out yesterday to meet up with him and his son and try out the kart. Christopher jumped on the kart and ran it up and down the practice lot warming the engine up. Zip, zip, zip, figure 8's around cones and zip, zip, zip some more. Then it was Hunter's turn. Hunter donned the helmet and neck brace, squeezed down into the kart and then........putt, putt, puttery-putt. Nope. No zip, zip, zip for my boy. No sir, Mr. Cautious wasn't about to apply the gas to this death machine. But he did find the brake pedal right away.

So after a few minutes of coaching from Mr. Go-Kart Dad, our current decision of "not right now" started showing signs of "well, maybe." We could hear the engine actually starting to get gas to it and watching him take the corners showed a little sign of hope. Then Go-Kart Dad told us how his son (and many others) did the same thing on the first few times. He coached us on how to teach him and described the very frustrations that I was thinking would arise should we jump into this. Hearing these shared feelings reassured me that our little boy would probably fit right in eventually.

We are still praying and discussing the pros and cons of getting into this. Given that the races are on weekends, I would be responsible for taking Hunter to the track, unloading, tweaking, and getting him ready for race time, at which Daddy might be there.

We'll see. Keep praying for us!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Learning lessons can be hard. Teaching them can be harder, sometimes.

I have started going for morning walks with a good friend. The plan is that I take Hadyn with me and when Scott has early morning meetings or something, Hunter will go with us and ride his bike. On the mornings Hunter does not go, he will stay here with Dad and do his "morning routine" which is:
  1. get dressed
  2. brush teeth/hair
  3. make up your bed (and put the pillows on it)
  4. straighten up your room
  5. do your journal
  6. and do your Spanish (on the computer)
So, this morning, he was at home with Dad and was told to do his "routine". I came home from our walk and asked him if he did everything. "Yes." "Did you do your Spanish?" knowing how he hates doing this. "Ummmmm.......yes, I did part of it." "Really?" "Ummmmmmm....yes, I did a little until Daddy said he needed me." So I just smiled and walked into Scott's office and asked him what he needed Hunter for. He, of course, was confused so I told him what was going on and we both called Hunter in to confront him with his lie.

Ouch. I really hate this. Such a simple little fib. No, he didn't do his Spanish, but he did do everything else. Good Mama should just let it go, right? Nope. Not this Mama. I hit where it hurt - I grounded him from not only any video game he may want to play, but also his computer and then the kicker - all of his toys for the day. That was the one that hurt. He can do his schoolwork and read and if he doesn't whine and scream, I will allow him to watch some TV with us today. But if the neighbor friend comes over after school to play, Hunter can't go out to play.

Wow. But we are hoping to send a very strong message - Lying is not tolerated in our home!!

So it is hard on him, but I feel so badly for him, too. Yeah, lessons are hard to learn...and teach.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Masks - UPDATE FEB 18th

*update Feb 18th at bottom
Blogs are good for keeping family and friends in touch with what's going on in your life, sharing a special skill with others in the blogging community, and sometimes to reach out for help or advice through therapeutic writing.

The latter is where I find myself today.

Do you ever find yourself in a rut, knowing what needs to be done, but no motivation to do it? For example, I know that to be healthier and to lose my inches, I need to exercise. But I seem to make excuses - good ones - for not doing it. I need to engage my children in more play activities, but I find myself getting involved in time consuming nonsense instead. I need to stay on top of our monthly bills and budget - and I do a pretty good job of that in that nothing is ever late - but I could do better in planning and budgeting. I am now doing menu planning, and I really enjoy cooking and preparing meals, so that is getting better. I have fabulous ideas in my head, but cannot seem to muster up the motivation to get them out.

Anyway, all of that and more to say I think I'm depressed. And I can say this because I recognize the pattern of it from my Mother who now, in her 70's realizes she battles depression. My sister and I look back at our lives and our Mom's behavior and it is clearly there. But it wasn't discussed back then. So she just dealt with it by wearing a mask of routine. Get up, fix breakfast, get the kids off to school, get ready, go to work, do the same thing every day, come home, fix supper, clean up, kids in bed, watch tv, go to bed. Every day. Weekends, were a little more stressful. The unpredictability of the weekend removed the weekday mask.

I love my Mom, but I don't want to live my life with this. I want to remove my mask.

Health wise, I feel good. I'm not sick. My family is rarely sick. And when someone is sick, it's not for long. We eat healthy foods. I need to remove my mask on eating too much, but it is healthy food...but too much none-the-less.

Now, before you instruct me to go pray, believe me, I DO. I have NO masks on there. And I have a faith like you wouldn't believe. I am strong and secure in my walk. Which is why I would be able to post something like this for potentially the whole world to see. Hey! Jonah and Moses both battled depression. I think they did a pretty good job of "communicating" with God, don't you?

So, it is strength and accountability that I think I need to pull this mask off for good. I need someone with which to work out (either for real or virtually) that won't flake out on me (I don't know that Scott is that good of a work out partner). I need someone to help me by just checking in on me every now and then. Let me know you are out there and care. I am horrible with feeling like a burden in other peoples lives since everyone else seems to be so busy and I'm at home...all day...with my children...the education of one in my hands...and the development of the other on my heart.

Anyone have any ideas??
thank you!

*UPDATE February 18th - My local friend Holly and I have gotten together to walk out our respective woes and get some exercise to boot! We meet every morning and walk 3 miles at a pretty good clip (between 45-48 minutes depending on hitches in our git-a-longs). Praise God and thank you to all who supported me in my transparency!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sweet Hubby

Okay, I had posted in my blog last week that I was still waiting on a present that Scott had ordered and was excited about. Well, I got it on Monday!

And before I tell you what it is, let me make it perfectly clear, I am in no way a present-grubbing-gimme-gotta have it-girl. No, I was perfectly happy spending the day with my family. And I didn't mind shopping for the apron Scott searched so hard for and couldn't find.

But he did have this gift planned out, worked on, and ordered way before my birthday. It just wasn't shipped in time to arrive on my day. But that's cool. I got to celebrate again on Monday. And what a lucky wife and mommy I am!

So, here it is:
I am the very proud recipient of an Apple iPhoto created personalized calendar for 2009!!

From January all the way through December (yeah, smartie pants, I know most calendars work that way) I get to look at my beautiful family and have important dates highlighted for me. What a great gift and what a wonderful hubby to have thought this through so much and planned this out for me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Today, I am 41. Yes, according to a friend who had this birthday in July, I am officially IN my forties. I am not just 40, I am IN my forties. Cool.

For my birthday, I requested two things of my family. One, a new battery for my watch, and two, I wanted an apron. Yes, I did request this. I cook a lot in my home and I seem to get EVERYTHING on my clothing while cooking. Oh, my children do tend to help with this mess, but yeah, I get dirty. So, to deter my laundry stress, I asked for an apron.

Scott told me last night that apparently no one in Suburban Texas cooks anymore. Well, duh. From the number of thriving food joints around, no, I don't think hardly anyone does either. Kohl's, the people who have everything, do not carry aprons "off season". Oh yeah, did you know that the only time people cook is around the holidays? Wal-Mart, the people who really have everything, don't carry them AT ALL. Grocery stores - where one would find food for people who do cook - do not carry them. And to top that, he did get a battery for my watch, but couldn't get the back off of it to put it in. So he was bummed that I wasn't going to have anything to open on my day. I suggested that he could give Hunter some cash and then he could "take" me to World Market to see if they have any.

So, today, before my trip to the pizza place/bounce house for MY birthday, Hunter, Hadyn and I ran to World Market. Yes, Virginia, there is a place in Suburbia that people still buy things in which with to cook. I found my apron!!

And Scott did get the battery put into my watch. Good day, good day.

(Scott does have another surprise coming for my via mail. He is excited for it to arrive. I'm curious to know what has HIM excited??)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Are We All REALLY That Busy?

Balance. Yeah, life is all about balance. But there can be too much that you have to balance, too. Have you ever just played with a set of balancing scales? When you put something on one side, that side goes down, then you can balance it out by putting something on the other side and all is good. But like our lives, when you keep stacking stuff on the scale plates, it may balance, but inevitably, something will spill off and then you are unbalanced. And like most good Americans, we don't say, "oh, hey, maybe I've got too much on my plate," no, we just keep re-stacking and pretending to balance our lives out with too much until it all falls off. By then, the damage has been done.

You with me?

My Dad called me lazy once (maybe more than once), and I disagreed. I will work. I will do whatever I need to and I will try to do it to the best of my ability. I will even see what needs to be done beyond my assigned task. But I see no need to take on more than I absolutely need to. Does that make me lazy?

Let me go further in explanation. I had an aunt and cousin killed in a horrible car accident several years ago. My cousin Jan was mother to three young children. Her sister would come to her house once a week to help her clean because Jan didn't keep up with it all the time. I was told that Jan would be doing something in the house and when one of her kids asked her to play, she would stop and sit down to play. So one could argue that Jan didn't balance her scale, but she did have help come in every week to balance that scale. In Jan's story, my opinion is her scale was balanced because now those children do not have their mother but they do have the memory of her spending time with them.

Close to three years ago I backed out of a lot of "things" I was involved with. My pregnancy with Hadyn was hard and then after having her, I just wanted to spend time with my kids. I didn't have the devoted time with Hunter when he was little that I have with Hadyn since I was working full time then. But now I have both kids at home and as trying as it may be at times (lots of times HA!), I wouldn't trade it for anything right now.

I clean my house, do laundry, grocery shop, cook, home-school, but I try to make time for play. Most of the time, our play is just silly fun, not organized game play, but man, we have fun. Sometimes we just sit and relax watching some tube. I realized one day that one thing I don't do is call up girlfriends and chit chat - I'd love to hear some Mommy voices regularly - but when I really thought about it, mostly it's because all I hear from other moms are how busy they are. Kids are involved in every thing possible, and the moms are rushing from one appointment to another every day and just don't have time to sit and visit.

Now my question is, are you really that busy or do you feel like you have to say that because if you're not, then you, too, must be lazy? Both things are unbalancing the scale. If you are that busy, you're scales are either so unbalanced or so overloaded that it's unhealthy. If you aren't that busy, but feel that you must say so, that's not healthy either.

So, I'm not that busy. Obviously, I have time to blog and Facebook. I play with my kids most of the day. I challenge the rest of you to stop and sit for a little while and not feel guilty about it.

Can you do it?

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Heart Faces - Week 1 Entry

So, I decided to go ahead a submit a photo to the new photography blog i heart faces.
I am by no means a good photographer, but when I have such a cute subject, it's hard to go wrong! This is from our summer vacation to New Mexico. Hadyn is giving me her "cheeeeese" smile. Gotta love it!!

Be sure and go to i heart faces and submit your faces!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Menu Planning - Go Ahead, Try It!

I'm really good at having ideas but not that great at making them come to fruition. I've had the idea for a really long time to start doing menu planning for our meals to ease up on our grocery budget, but just never had actually sat down to plan. Or when I would plan, I would come up with the same thing, over and over and over again. With the surge in online social things like Facebook and blogs, I see more and more people doing menu planning in one form or another.

So, I've been getting a weekly free menu from Menus 4 Moms for a few months. I've read through the menu, thought about it for a few seconds and then went on about my day. But I guess due to the whole new year thing, I decided to take action on this one. I downloaded the recipes and plan and also the grocery list, went off to the store and spent a stupid amount of money on groceries.

My immediate thought was there was no way this could be any better than the fly by the seat of my pants shopping and cooking I have always done. But now, I see the light. A lot of my spent money was restocking my pantry with things that will last a while. Also, some of the meals I will make will also create extra or left overs to go into the freezer for another meal on another week.

Then it hit me: ca-ching! Aha! THAT'S why people do menu planning. It really can save on the grocery budget because I won't be running to the store every other day to spend more money on a meal since I have it in my freezer already or all the ingredients already picked up for the week and in the pantry and 'fridge. Now my groceries may tend to run just a bit higher than the published grocery lists estimated costs because we buy organic and natural foods. But still...

So, to help out anyone interested in trying this, I have added a gadget to the side of my blogger page to show each week's menu along with the link to the website for the recipes and grocery list. Again, this is the free list they offer. Not a bad deal at all.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I've Got Proof!

Now I have proof!

My children DO know how to wash dishes, so when they get older and tell me they don't know how to do it, I can whip out these pictures!

Hunter has always been really good at putting his dishes in the sink and helping clear the table, and now Hadyn will put things in the sink when we ask her to.

Since he is always the last one eating at the table, I decided that he could learn how to wash his own dishes. Of course for a while, the washing will be monitored for cleanliness sake.

But I just couldn't resist snapping these pics this evening.

Yup, I've got proof!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Something to Help Your New Year's Resolutions!


It’s the New Year and most every one makes resolutions of some sort. Most of those resolutions made (and broken) tend to fall around the health category. You know, the “I’m going to lose weight,” “I’m going to eat more healthy,” or “I’m going to exercise regularly,” type of resolution.

Well, I am willing to offer some help for you to get healthy and feel better to be able to maybe do something about improving your health and well-being.

And this New Year week is the one and only time (in a few different forms for better coverage) that I am going to put this info out here for you. The reason for the one time – I don’t want anyone to “avoid” me because they might think I am “selling” something and after them to “sign up”.


Did you understand that? I am not out to SELL you something. This is NOT my "business".

I am, however, putting this out here in the wide open because for 9 months, at the recommendation of my most trusted, non-pill pushing doctor, Scott and I have been using renewal products from Univera. (www.univera.com)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you’ve just tuned out. Well, tune back in and pay attention for just a sec. Contrary to what you might think, I am not the "jump on every-passing-band wagon" type of gal. No sir, I like to do a little research on things first before I go hawking them to anyone else. I’ve tried some of the other “use this and have energy” type of things and maybe they work for a short (very short) period of time and maybe they don’t do anything for me at all. But this stuff not only caught my attention, but Scott started using it and he is now a believer. And this is a very skeptical man about any “products”.

As well as researching the products, I also experimented from time to time by stopping them and experiencing the difference in how I was feeling. What I noticed is that when I take the Ageless Xtra and the Prime product, I certainly don’t bounce off the walls, but I feel more motivated to get things done. I have clarity of thought to actually plan and think. I am not nearly as stressed out as usual and with the motivation (energy) I have to actually work out, my muscles and joints don’t ache like they had before. All of this while having previously been diagnosed as anemic. BUT when I stopped taking the products, I could most certainly tell the difference. Everything went back to “normal”. Stress, swirling thoughts, aches and pains, and no energy to do anything came back. My mother takes the products and when she is regular with them, she has the same experiences. But taking them regularly is the key.

Since we are in our 40’s and aren’t dragging around like “old people”, there must be something working in the Univera products. Also, we are not rich, weathly, well-off, or anything on that level and most of you know that. But since we are convinced of the usefulness of these products, we make it work. I signed up as an Associate to get the products at a wholesale price (I think it was like $40 to sign up or something). With my mom, sister, and mother-in-law also getting some products every month, the residual makes the products very affordable for us.

Lastly, In reading different books and articles, it seems that we have been trained to believe that all the things that go wrong in our bodies are a natural result of getting older. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the way it is. I have copied some information about the company and the Ageless Xtra product below. If after reading this, you are interested in getting some product for yourself, either contact me for more info or go to the website (http://www.univera.com) and read more. If you’d like to order some of the product to try, from the SHOP screen you can view and select products then register as a customer. You’ll need my associate number to order, so leave a comment or email me and I'll get that number to you.

If you’re not interested, not a prob, but I chose not to keep this to myself and my family. I hope that for your health and well-being you are willing to give it a try. It’s not for me, it’s for you. And again, please don't assume that I'm trying to build a business and using you as my sales quota. I'm just trying to share some good stuff with you.
Take care!!


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Xtra is a proprietary formulation of powerful ingredients that dramatically improves repair and reduces damage on your personal seesaw: on one side is repair; on the other, damage. With the stresses of everyday life compounded by aging, your body's ability to repair itself declines. When damage accelerates, it pushes up on the damage side of the seesaw. The opportunity you have with Univera products is to conversely push down on the damage side and push up on the repair side, which increases energy and tips the seesaw in your favor.

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In simple terms, renewal is the body’s ability to regenerate and replenish cells giving you the opportunity for daily improvement in how you look, feel, and perform. Univera, in conjunction with ECONET® resources, has spent decades exploring the secrets of natural products to support this process. That work has led to more than 160 patents and patents pending that have been developed in our state-of-the-art research facilities, the only such labs in the world dedicated to this specific research.