Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thanks for the reminder...

I love my kids.

Just thought I should put that out there first.

I miss my house.

The clean one.

The one where there are no marks on the walls and stuff is actually not strung out all over the floor put away.

Sometimes the disorder really gets to me.

I was upstairs today, putting away clean laundry and I was having a "moment".

You know the one?

The one where you are just so darn sick and tired of...

Picking up...puzzle pieces...bits of crayons...

Stepping on Legos (my heel still winces at the memory of that fateful night) on the floor...

Looking around and wondering...why there is paper all over the floor...where did my clean house go...why are there crayon marks on the wall...again...

Pining away time...a clean remodel finished...

And...while I was having my extended moment...

I forgot...

About the big picture...

About why I do this...

But then...

Levi handed me a small piece of paper.

It had a heart on it that he had colored.
I stopped putting away the laundry and said...

"Thank you Levi! I'm going to put it into my pocket where it will be safe."

"Mommy," he said, "there's something on the back too."

I turned it over and this is what I found...
My first thought was..."Huh?"

But as I looked closer I was able to pick out some letters so I totally guessed made an educated guess.

"It says, I love you?"

He was positively beaming as he nodded his head, so proud.

At that moment, my crayon-picking-up, lego-stepping on, clean house missing hardened heart melted a little.

I scooped him up for a big ol hug and told him how much I loved him too.

And I remembered...

Why I do this...

Day in and day out...

I'll do better...

And try not to ever forget why again...

Thanks Levi for the reminder.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Q-T Pies

Love these kids...

They are a three man destruction team.

And they are quickly slowly destroying my house...

Lucky thing for them that they are so cute.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Am I that kind of mother?

Ya know the kind?

The kind that takes pictures of her children sleeping...
Lovely, angel-like pictures...
But what about the less than attractive ones?

Like when they make little piggy noses?
Am I that kind of mother?

The one that takes pictures of her pre teen sleeping...drooling... on the couch?

And posts them on the family blog?

I am.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The family dog...take two


Maggie the mystery mutt

Adopted from the pound

Age guesstimate 1-2 years

Sweet as can be

Super soft fur

Very tolerant of the toddlers

Fitting in quite nicely

Black lab?



All three?

We will never know and I'm not really concerned to be honest.

I know what she is not.


Which means that everything should work out perfectly, no?


We are all counting on it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More ebay stuff...

I love being a mom.'s really nice to have something to think about besides diapers and dinners.

Like...a hobby.

And when a hobby makes you money...bonus!

My hobby recently has been buying and selling items, both on ebay and Craigslist.

I'll admit that I got a bit behind during soccer season.

Except I kept on buying the clothes.

I just didn't get them all listed.

I realized that there was a problem when I looked at my dining room table the other day and...


Where did my table go?

Has anyone seen the table?

Long...oval...outdated honey oak...?



It's under that mountain of clothes?



I got to work and started listing the clothes.

Because I needed my table back.

The last couple of weeks have been very busy for ebay.

Last week I shipped out over 50 items.

But the pile is getting smaller...I think.

Here are some top sellers...

I always get so excited when I see Prana items.

Because they always sell...the first week that I list them.

This super soft Prana sweater (size small) was no exception.

Bought for $2.50 and sold with multiple bids for $13.38.
Long, straight skirts always do well.

This Eddie Bauer tan corduroy skirt was purchased for $2 and sold for $13.
I have yet to meet a long straight denim skirt that I couldn't sell.

This 20W skirt was purchased for $2 and sold for $12.
My top seller was this gorgeous blood red dress by Jones New York (size small).

Purchased for $3 and sold for $29.

The blog My Dear Trash has great ebay tips. Go check them out for inspiration and advice.
I really haven't been doing much buying and selling of furniture anymore.

Our Goodwill store got a new manager a couple of months ago and the prices have gone crazy.

For example, I used to be able to pick up wood dressers for $10-15 but now they are asking $50-70.


As I left from my weekly shopping trip, I spied a solid wood entertainment center that had just been donated.

Because there was no room in the store if they would mark down the stuff to reasonable prices, they would sell stuff and actually have room in the store? and it was getting rained on.

They sold it to moi for $15.

Me likey.

I put it on CL the day before Thanksgiving and it sold the day after.

For $50.

That's more like it!
Happy Selling!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I was thinking about the holidays and realized that my twins are 15. This means that (counting this year), we only have four more holiday seasons all together.

It brought tears to my eyes.

It has gone by so fast.

I know I have my moments often when I want to pull my hair out because I just get so darn frustrated with just how hard the kids are on things but...

I really do enjoy my kids.

I enjoy the time we spend together as a family.

I'm really going to miss it when they are gone.

So, this year we decided to stay home for Thanksgiving and just enjoy our family.

The kids all requested their favorites...

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, orange salad and overnight rolls.

For dessert...peanut butter cheesecake, chocolate chiffon pie, chocolate peanut butter pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, white chocolate raspberry pie, and apple pie.

I made it all.

From scratch.

I then slept for 10 hours.

Much better.

For the first time, Corey had requested Overnight Rolls. His mom used to make them and and I have the recipe.

I asked Corey if I should double the recipe, since most of the recipes that we use need to be at least doubled to feed us all.

He thought that it was a good idea...because they are that good.

I should have thought that one through first. Corey is one of 10 kids and any recipe coming from his side of the family probably doesn't need to be doubled.

But, I didn't think it through...and I quadrupled it.

My bad.

230+ rolls later...

I'm pretty sure that eating all these rolls will give you rolls.

Like the kind that hang over the waistband.

Not funny...but super yummy!
I used every pan I had.

My 2 year old decided to taste test them...
And one of my teenagers asked to have "one".

In case you don't have the teenage conversion chart in your kitchen, I'll help you out.

One = Four
Here we all are right before digging in

Please ignore the unfinished dining room...we have yet to tackle that room in the house.
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Got books?

I love to read.

It's been that way as long as I've been reading.

That is probably one of the main reasons that I don't watch TV.

I don't have anything against TV...

I'd just rather be reading a good book.

Over the summer I read over 60 books.

Gotta love the local library.

I have kids that love to read too and they read a ton of books over the summer.

I read the books first and then they read them. Not only does that give me a chance to monitor what they are reading but we are then able to have some really great conversations about the books.

Here are some series that we thought were note able-
Thumbs Up-Alex Rider
Alex Rider

8 books in the series

Three of us read this series and we were all cheering on the teenage spy, Alex.

Thumbs Up-Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl

6 books in the series

Two of us read the series and found the child genius to be really fun and interesting.

Thumbs Up-Fablehaven

5 books in the series

Two of us read the series and loved it!  Joshua is currently reading it AGAIN.
Thumbs Up-The Candy Shop
Not a series but written by the same author as the series Fablehaven.

We enjoyed it...definitely worth a read.

Thumbs Up-Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

5 books in the series

Four of us read the whole series.  Much, much better than the movie!

Thumbs Up-Ranger's Apprentice

Ranger's Apprentice

9 books in the series

Three of us read these with a fourth working on them right now.

My favorite series this summer!

Book nine just came out...can't wait to get a copy!

Just okay-Maximum Ride
Maximum Ride

7 books in the series

I'm the only one that read all these.

Michael read a little bit and declared them "boring"

I have to agree.

Just okay-Keys to the Kingdom
Keys to the Kingdom

7 books in the series

I'm the only one that read them.

I found them a bit weird.  Course that is just my opinion and the same thing could be said about me.

Trash and Don't Even Bother-House of Night

House of Night

I have no idea how many are in the series and I don't even care.

Can I just tell you how glad that I am to have read these books before I would have passed them on to my kids?

That this crap is marketed to our young adults is disgusting. Blo.w Job.s, Se.x with a Teac.her and repeated use of the F wor.d

And all in the teen section of my local library.


The only time I remarked in person to someone (my hairdresser) that these books were filth, she told me that had purchased them for her 14 year old daughter.

Her justification?

That the kids are surrounded by it anyway.

I didn't comment in person. Because, after all, she was coloring cutting my hair and I didn't want to make her mad. I may be opinionated but I'm  not stupid.

But, in my humble opinion, just because my kids are surrounded by it does not make me feel justified in shoving more in front of their faces.

Enough said.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I misjudged...

I spent weeks searching for the perfect dog for our family.

I had a list of demands traits that we deemed desirable.

Breed...I could care less.

Temperament...most important.

We made several trips in to the pound.

Talk about heartbreaking!

We looked high and low until we found Zoey.

She had all the qualities that we were looking for.

That she had brains plus beauty...a total bonus.

That she was a big dork was just the icing. After all, that meant that she fit in perfectly.

So we all lived happily ever after, right?

Sadly...not so.

It's my fault really.

You see...I misjudged.

I misjudged the prejudice against Zoey's breed.

She's a gorgeous blue nosed pit bull.

Which is a much misunderstood breed.

Our family and friends were horrified that we would bring a pit bull into our home.

This was the cause of much concern on our behalf.

Any kind of contention causes me much anxiety.
In the end I folded.

So...Zoey went back to her former owners.

Tears have been shed and hearts broken.

One of my teenagers said...

"Our house just feels so empty without her here."

And in a house where 11 people live...

I think that says it all...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More ebay sales

I definitely had slowed down with my ebay sales mostly because soccer had taken over my life.

But now fall soccer season has come to an end and I am back in biz!

Selling on ebay is so much fun and the best part, for me, is that almost off of it can be managed from my own home.

I spend about 2 hours, once a week, in the local Goodwill store, buying clothes.

Other than that, I don't have to leave my house.

I ship everything priority mail which means that the priority envelopes and boxes are FREE (oh, I love thee...).

I order the FREE boxes and envelopes from the post office, online and they are delivered to my door...for FREE!

After my item sells, I pay for the postage online and print out the shipping label. All done here at home.

I schedule a pick up with the post office, set my packages by the front door (don't worry, we have a gated yard) and they come and pick them up for FREE!

Because my family is my primary focus, this ebay biz works out wonderfully for me. I can just nip and tuck it in when I have time.

I tried really hard to keep 100 items for sale at all times but I just couldn't keep up with it. Things just sold too fast. Corey helps me take pictures and he takes measurements which is working out much better.

Brands that I love to sell...Chicos, Ann Taylor Loft, Talbots, and Coldwater Creek. Because we have those stores in our nearby town, I seem to run across these labels a lot.

I will only buy items that are in excellent condition. We don't have a dollar day at "my" Goodwill so I just focus on those items that are coded with "the color of the week" which means that they are 1/2 off.

Always, always, always...test the zippers, look the items over with your eagle eye and be sure and do the "sniff test".

Because, as we say around here...

The nose knows...

Just today I spied the cutest little tweed blazer jacket thatyoueverdidsee and I looked it over. Dollar signs began dancing before my eyes.

Then...I gave it the "sniff test"

And almost gagged.


Any item with BO smell or cig smell gets passed on.

This was a major 10 in the BO department.

Apparently I made such a horrid face that a woman watching me several racks over laughed out loud.

Glad that I could be the source of such cheap entertainment...


Here are some of my recent top sales...

Boys size 8 Gap wool coat...bought for $3.99...sold for 24.99
Ann Taylor Loft long wool coat...bought for $5.50...sold for 19.99
Vintage long camel hair coat...bought for 5.50...sold for 24.99
Cute Gymboree spider costume...bought for 2.99...sold for 22.55
And holy about them leather items? I listed a bunch that I had set aside and they all sold in the first week.

Every item sold for 9.99 to over $20

Even the pleather, leather-wanna-be men's pants sold.

Purchased for 4.99...sold for 20.50
Dolce and Gabbana men's wool coat...bought for 5.50...sold for 39.99
Boden is a great brand so sucked it up and paid full Goodwill price for the next few items.

And I'm glad that I did!

Purchased for 5.99...sold for 29.99
Boden dress...purchased for 5.99...sold for 24.99
Boden skirt...purchased for 3.99...sold for 20.55

I think that I might be in love with ebay.

Happy selling!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pros and cons of dog ownership

Pro: The kids love the dog
Pro: She gives them spit baths so I don't have to bathe them.


I still have to give them baths?


Be that way.
Pro: She cleans the kitchen floor.

She takes the kids for walks.

You can purchase a cage for the kids and no one will question you.


The dog will go in there on her own too.

To take a break from the kids.

She's no dummy.
The cons?

She snores like a freight train.

And farts like a teenage boy.


So, she fits right in.

She's a keeper.

Welcome home Zoey!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Decor

I love me some Halloween!

But, to be honest, this year has been brutal.

Having kids in high school, playing high school sports, in student government and planning activities, etc, etc, etc...yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah...

I've whined about it all before.

I was actually thinking about not decorating for Halloween this year but people started asking...

So, we caved in to the peer pressure and decorated.

The Halloween store can thank me later.

Pretty embarrassing that they know me by name.



The slave labor kids got out the decor and surprised me by putting out the yard items while I was gone.

I say surprised because this is what I found upon arriving back home...
So, after quality control stepped in and removed Frosty from the yard, this is what we ended up with.

Come meet the rest of our family...

Donna the Dead
Count Vigor
The Countess
Witch with Talking Crystal Ball
Dancing Skeleton with moves better than Michael Jackson
Heads Up Harry
Dr. Shivers
With his table full of experiments
The Butler

Whoops...not me after all...
Crystal Ball

I love this guy!

Smooches to ya!
Neil the Meal
Huge, hairy spider

The best decor of all...

My kitty Boo
The Graveyard
Pirate Ship
Yard pix are super hard to take at night
Blow ups, lighted animatronics and ground breakers
Heart anyone?

We got close to 200 trick or treaters this year which is a record for us!

Hope you had a safe and happy Halloween!