Monday, May 31, 2010

Freebies of the Week

Before I show you the pictures of all my "finds" for the week, I just want to clarify something.

Ya know when I was talking in an earlier post about not wanting to be a collector of stuff?

I was totally talking about the kid's stuff.

Not mine.

Cuz, if I was talking about my stuff, the following pictures would confirm that I am a hypocrite.

And, who would want that.



with that being said...

Here are my freebies of the week...

All these art supplies came out of the dumpster at GW.

A lot of the little brushes were new, some still in their package.

We couldn't even reach them all but just grabbed the ones near the top.

This cute little V-tech toy was still in it's box.

It hooks up to the TV and is for toddlers.

Lily had such a fun time pushing all the buttons and watching what was happening on the TV screen.

Apparently it was a bit too much for my supercool 15 year old, Michael.

He left the room but not before remarking that he was ready to go throw himself off of the room.

Such dramatics...

Four picture frames (with GW tags still on them)

Two games (haven't checked to see if all the pieces are there yet)

One little glass globe thingie

One hardback American Tourister Suitcase.

I sure love me some suitcases.

I still haven't started finished the last suitcase project yet.

Guess I'd better get on that...

Small metal file cabinet.

Really good shape except for the circular rust stain on the top.

Corey needed somewhere to store all those old files from his business that you have to hang on to, like forever...

I scored this heavier then sin dresser for free off of Craigslist.

Corey thought that it must have its drawers full of bricks because it was so heavy.

No drawer pulls but that is easily fixed.

A free oak coffee table that just needs a sanding and new coat of paint.

I admit that I squealed out loud when Corey unloaded this free dresser.

I can't believe that someone just wanted this gone...for free.

When I sent Corey as my errand boy we went to go pick up an oak table with five chairs that I bought off of CL (for $40...score!) the people there gave Corey this patio set.

They were moving and just wanted it gone.


And last, but not least...

When Josh, Liz and I were out garage-saling this weekend we picked up this chair (with matching couch) off of the curb in front of the cutest old lady thatyoueverdidsee's house.

This set (in need of new upholstery) she had owned since before I was born and it dates back to the 30's or 40's. I lovelovelove the wooden accents.

These will look perfect in my front room...

After it gets remodeled...

And after I get the set reupholstered...

She made me promise "after" pictures.

And I promised her visitation rights.

The furniture has lived through teenagers once.

Hope it can do it again...

Suddenly my list of "to do" projects is growing.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Levi and Joshua!

Joshua and Levi's birthdays are only one day apart so they get gipped.

Cuz, I only make one cake.

But they still each get to choose their birthday dinner.

Levi chose pancakes on his birthday.

Then, the next day, Joshua requested Bean and Biscuit casserole.


Here again is the Ice Cream Brownie Mountain but without Cool Whip, because I didn't have any.

Can anyone tell me how to get Levi to make a normal "cheese" face?

Joshua loves anything electronic...

and that has batteries.

We call him "The Battery King"

A better name for him might be "Get all kinds of screwdrivers out to change batteries and then leave them laying all over the place King"

But that is kinda wordy.

So, we just call him "The Battery King."

Happy 12th birthday Joshua!

Happy 4th birthday Levi!

We love you guys!

Happy Birthday Liz

Eight of my nine kids have birthdays in the months from Feb-May.

We call it the birthday season.

Four of them have birthdays in April-May.

It is crazy keeping up with it all.

I am a little behind on birthday posts. because I have been busy dumpster diving

So, here is the first of several posts for the birthday kiddos.


Such a little lady and a wonderful, sweet personality.

Very girly.

She got a new bedding set for her "tween" room.

Zebra print with pink.

We also have her the cute white lamp with feathers that I had made for her.

She loved it and couldn't wait to dress up her new room.

She requested the Bean and Biscuit casserole, which seems to be the birthday food most requested.

I'll have to post the recipe sometime.

And, for dessert...

Ice Cream Brownie Mountain.

Almost everyone requests this too.

I'll get you that recipe as well.

Happy 10th Birthday Elizabeth!
We are so proud of you!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Making a Terrarium

My mom had a terrarium when I was just a kiddo.

For some reason, they have always fascinated me.

Doesn't take much, huh?


I was on the lookout for a lot of things a great glass container so I could have a terrarium of my very own.


Oops sorry, Lily's been rubbing off on me.

So, when I just happened by a Goodwill store and spied the largest Mason jar thatyoueverdidsee, I immediately thought of a terrarium.

Ok, honestly, my first thought was, "How the heck can you fit that in a water bath canner?"

And, then I realized that it was just for decoration.

Silly me.

Color me shocked when I saw that they wanted $46 for it.

I think I made a not so very nice face at that one.

Then, I went home and checked online.

And discovered that their asking price was not totally out of line.

Just out of my line.

Cuz I'm cheap like that.


I waited patiently until it went 1/2 off.

$23, although still high, inmyhumbleopinion, was easier to swallow.

She is 18" high and very heavy.

She was also filled with a bunch of sand, seashells and rocks which I removed.

Isn't she purdy?

Then, I gathered my supplies.

I rinsed off a bunch of rocks that I bought in a bag.

They were very dir-tay.

After putting down a thin layer of rocks, I put in a layer of activated charcoal.

This is to keep it from smelling yucky.

I found the charcoal in the aquarium supplies at Walmart.

I added a layer of green spanish moss.

Cuz, it's purdy.

But you can skip this step if you want to.

I then dumped in some potting soil and planted my plants.

I bought three little ones and they barely fit.

I still haven't decided where her permanent spot is.

I keep moving her around.

If I can make this...

Anyone can.

It was so easy that my five year old could have done this.


Friday, May 21, 2010


As you already know, we have nine kids.

It just seems like kids require a lot of stuff.

The kids have a very generous Nana and my parents are not exactly stingy with the material things either.

And, just so you don't think I'm pointing the finger of blame on them, I have bought my fair share of toys too.

We had A LOT of toys.

They were separated into different bins but even though the kids were not supposed to get out more then one bin at a time...they did anyway.

Then stuff would get all mixed up...

And strung all over...

I'd step on those stupid little lego pieces...

Or LiteBrite pieces.

I spent countless hours picking up stuff...

Sorting stuff...

One day I decided...

I did not want to be a collector of stuff...I wanted to be a collector of memories.

And when the stuff gets in the way of the making of the memories...

It's time for a change.

You may want to sit down before viewing the next couple of pictures.

I almost didn't show you these.

Cuz it makes me look bad.

And who wants that?

We have a good sized game room.

Here it is in all it's unorganized gory glory.

Told ya it was bad.

We couldn't even use the space.


I got tough.

I got mean.

I took 75% of the toys and sold them on Craigslist.

It was actually fun.

Here is how it looks now.

Speaking of Craigslist...

I bought this cute train table for $25.

But, since the kids never used it, I was going to get rid of it.

Then, I discovered that my large deluxe felt boards fit perfectly on the top.

And we put the small extra boards and felt pieces in the drawers.

Much better!

Yes, the air hockey table is upside down.

No, we are not trying to mimic Alice in Wonderland.

Corey is just fixing the legs, which cracked when the boys "Not Me" drug it clear across the room.

Just keeping things real.

My dad got us a free slate top pool table.

Apparently when it is piled up with stuff you are unable to play it.

Who knew?

These are the toys/puzzles/games/books that we kept.

The boxes sitting there are full of new speakers that are waiting, patiently, to be installed in the ceiling.

Other then that, it is all kid's stuff.

Much more manageable.

Because, after all, I want to collect more memories.

Not stuff.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More Dumpster Finds

More Dumpster Treasures...

Sometimes ok, often I have no use for the stuff that I come across in the dumpster.

But, it almost pains me to see this stuff go to the landfill.

So, if it looks decent, I have been grabbing it.

Much to my husband's dismay.

Luckily, I easily am able to donate it to a different thrift store (that does so much good) or give it away on Craigslist.

I washed up this cute little shirt, bumper pads and crib skirt.

Imagine my surprise when I found the beautiful green bumper pad with rabbits (and matching crib skirt) were from Pottery Barn.

Do you know that Pottery Barn sells their bumper pads for $99?

Which is why I've never owned one.

This one is in excellent condition.

And oh so cute.

But I don't have a use for it so I'll have to find it a new home.

This critter cage is going for free on CL today.

Because I don't do critters.


Two nice sized pieces of hardibacker board (spell checker is saying that I didn't spell that right), just like the stuff that we pay $18 a sheet for at the hardware store.


I was totally excited to get these nesting suitcases!

I knew immediately what I wanted to do with them.

I told Corey of my plans and he looked at me like I was going crazy.

Which is a valid concern, after all.

But, he still loaded them up in our rig.

Which is one of the many reasons that I love him.

This beautiful suitcase was not only in pristine condition (with the key too) but it was full of baby stuff.

Including a beautiful velvet dress with lace trim.

All this stuff came out of the dumpster on two different diving occasions.

Plus all these games and puzzles.

We still haven't put all the ones together from the last diving trip.

A little kids workbench and kitchen too.

Which I will also give away on CL today.

All kinds of dishes.

Sadly, many of them I don't even bring home. When they are tossed into the dumpster they break and chip.

My kids have had so much fun playing the games and putting the puzzles together.

Sometimes, not all the pieces are there.

So, we take them back to the burn pile move on to the next one.

At least we aren't out any $.

In this last batch were some really cute toddler toys.

All bright, clean and working.

So why were they in the dumpster?

I don't know.

I kept the V-tech ones, wiped them off with anti-bacterial wipes and Lily has been playing with them all morning.

If you look at the french doors in the background you will see Hannah's artwork.

Not cool and if she wasn't so cute she would be in serious trouble.

All this good stuff in the trash has really got me thinking.

Which isn't always a good thing.

If there is so much stuff being given away to thrift stores that they can't sell it.

Because no one wants it...

Why is more stuff being produced for sale?

Just curious...

Happy Diving!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Porch pix

Remember this poor little chest that I pulled out of the Goodwill dumpster?

It was pretty beat up was full of character.

This is pre-paint can.

And after...


I wish I cleaned up this good.

I used American Accents Heirloom white on the outside and Krylon Burgundy on the inside.

I sat it on the porch, by the front door.

It fit perfectly on top of old Smokey...all covered with snow...oops, oh great, now I'm going to have that song stuck in my head of the large chest that I picked up at a garage sale for $5.

I filled it with flowers put into $1 garage sale pots.

The white scrolley thingie came off of this patio table that someone had junked after a tree branch fell on it and broke a chunk off.

I'm having so much fun putting flowers out on my porch. It really livens up the place.

Because nine kids isn't always lively enough.


For real.

Too much liveliness. All. The. Time.

On the other side, I put my house numbers can on top of an old army locker that I bought for $10.

It smells like funk inside so we leave it closed.

I needed a small pot for the top and I grabbed the bottom part of a brass lamp that was going to be junked anyway and painted it burgundy.

More of my multi leveled pots.

I'm still not done but it is looking better.

I need to paint the porch which I'm so not looking forward to.

And I need to either paint or change out the brassiness fixtures to match the newly painted lights.

A new door mat wouldn't hurt either.

I might even repaint the front door.


Linking to these great parties.