This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Good Times?

JJ Walker would disagree, but this morning I am holed up at the only 24 hour Starbucks in Reno with my computer, free wifi, coffee, and a bacon gouda sammy. YUM. I get to just work. So, naturally I am blogging.
I already worked on some of my Pampered Chef stuff, and the rest of my time will be happily spent writing on my book or writing lesson plans for those itty bitty kindergarteners. The amount of work I have to do would never cram into this three hour window, but I am grateful for it. I am also grateful that the Charter cable providers are on their way to my house to set up interwebs and the Olympics. I realize other shows will be included, but I care not about them. I care about the Olympics.

Me and Bobby McGee just came on the musac speakers. My day is complete. Happy Tuesday people. Make it a good one. Be an accomplisher. Gone are the days of procrastination. Here are the days of mastered to-do lists. WHO'S going with me?? What have you been dragging your feet across? Turning your eyes away from? Averting glares with? Just pick it up. Do it.

Incidentally, the man at the next table is alone on his interwebs. He is very giggly. I am excited for him. He is on Craig's List. What a happy guy.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What I am doing now? A Giveaway

Today, because I heart Pampered Chef, because I want one of everything, and because I have a need for a few extra hundred bucks a month of fun(fine. Debt) money, I am at the Pampered Chef conference in Sacramento. And. I am giving you the chance to win a $10 coupon toward anything you want from Pampered Chef. Here are the rules:

Leave a comment and tell me your favorite Pampered Chef product and what you make with it or why it helps you get dinner on the table.

Follow me over there (see me pointing?) If you don't already.

No purchase necessary.

Make yourself a healthy and delicious dinner that costs two dollars a serving in under 30 minutes. Can't do it? Gimme a call. I can teach you everything you need to know!

It's that easy.

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's Friday

And my interwebs don't work in our new house. No. That isn't a joke. It's a glimpse into hell. FINE I am being dramatic, but seriously, I would be in a stupor if it weren't for my iPhone and 3G.
(Side letter, Dear Charter. Stop being lame. Just do your job. I know you can do it. Come on. Chop chop. Go go. Don't make me get hostile. I have a big mouth. My first grade report card confirms it. Just fix my internet and install my home phone. (Double side letter, Dear Verizon, your service sucks around Hubble and Vista. Please make a note of it and step to as to remedying it.))

Our house? It's so cute.
Our jobs? a little hectic on my side, but excellent for the man.
Our kids? Need routine. We are lacking routine. The bigs will be leaving Monday for a five day camp. We are thrilled. I mean sad.

I mean thrilled.

To celebrate this rare internet connection, I am linking up with this girl. Her name is NoDots. She is awesome and I love her and she is so pretty. Tell your friends.

I am linking this flashback to a post that still reflects my nights. Hairy, scary, and not enough booze.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

We came. We saw. We found a foam finger

Best mamma/daughter date ever. Layla Grace was so surprised when she found out we were going to Stanford for the big tour!! She jumped and whooped and screamed a little. But the whole weekend was great. Itinerary as follows:
-Depart Reno
-Drive to Walmart for pedicures
-Score some smokin classroom supplies for cheap while we wait
-Drive to Ikea to browse and dream an swoon
-settle on a few practical items and a couple of artificial plants
-lunch it up with salad, chicken strips, and chocolate cake. Obviously.
-Drive two hours to our hotel all the while Layla Grace asks questions about our BIG destination along the way (each question will receive a yes, no, or could be answer)
-Stop at in n out for a potty break and Layla gets her epiphany. We are going to Stanford. WOOHOO. we jump around in the bathroom a while and Layla insist on calling their bathrooms "a magical place"
-Check into our hotel, get dinner in the lobby and bring it back to our room to eat while we watch 13 Going on 30.
-debate whether to watch Just Like Heaven or something else.
-Decide to take our books and sit in the courtyard outside of our room by the fire pit. This lasts at least an hour. It was my favorite.
-Find a map of Stanford in the lobby
-Layla memorizes said map before we sleep
-wake up to a flat tire. Boo
-I put on my wonder woman costume, cape and cuffs included, and change my tire
-bahaha and by that I mean I call roadside assistance
-we head back inside for breakfast an gather our beeswax before heading up the road to Sears where most of the people who work there are awesome. Most.
-arrange for tires and tire business to be conducted later. After Stanford.
-park downtown, just outside Stanford's entrance and "happen to" run into Layla Grace's BFF from Reno.
-they run to meet each other in shock and awe and happiness.
-drive for 15 minutes looking for a parking spot on campus. Sheesh people.
-look at any and everything from the church to the mailboxes, statues to the bathrooms, ice cream counter to the gift store bursting with foam fingers.
-visit the top of the Hoover tower. Awesome.
-hug our happy goodbyes and take tons of pics
-Layla Grace promises the halls she will be back in no time
-I remain strong and do NOT buy a Stanford mom sweatshirt. I want one. But well. Maybe it's too early.
-We head back to Sears for tire repair and walk next door to the creepiest mall ever while we wait.
-realize size 0 is still too big on Layla even though she is taller than many women.
-get the car and head home
-Layla Grace leans over and says "thanks mamma. This was the best date ever."

Sunday, July 15, 2012


When I was a kid, my parents said I could be anything. I had lofty career goals. A few of them stuck, but not before making plans to be an oceanographer, a lawyer, an astronaut, and a vet. The whole vet thing was ruled way out when I observed people who actually LOVE animals. Not me so much. Nope.
I actually talked with my high school counselor about being an oceanographer, but again ruled it out because I don't like the ocean. I really don't. I mean. I LOVE the atmosphere and all, but I like the ocean on a cloudy day under a blanket with a book. Oh. And again with the animals and blood and grossness. Can't do it.
Middle school was my NASA phase. It was legit. I watched Space Camp more times than you have said "Tom Foolery" and I even did a fundraiser to send myself to space camp. In Florida. The real thing. My best friend went. I got grounded for sneaking out of the house for a boy. Sigh
The lawyer lost out to the teacher because I hate suits, I hate panty hose, and frankly I just didn't want to spend that much time at university to get my degree. Also. God told me to be a teacher. I was seven and I was standing in my room drawing on a chalk board teaching my stuffed animals.
So, when Layla Grace, my brilliant ten year old, came home from school and said she wanted to go to Stanford for college and could I please look it up to make sure it wasn't too far from home, I happily obliged. That was first grade. She has sprouted a love of knowledge and determination that can only be stirred by the Holy Spirit. She regularly asks me questions about college and what I think college will be like at Stanford.
About a year ago, I sat us both down with a cup of coffee (we are decaf drinkers) and we pulled up Stanford's website and answered any question she could possibly think of. We looked at every page. Hours later, she got up from that computer more determined than ever. She asked if her grades in elementary school matter to a university like Stanford.
For her birthday this last March, we had a friend arrange for us to purchase a hoodie, tree and all, from the gift shop on campus. THE CAMPUS. it was perfect. She hasn't taken it off much. Not even this summer.
In June, she took it upon herself to write Stanford admissions and ask them all sorts of questions about bettering her chances of getting accepted. I love this girl. How can you not love this girl???? Try it. You won't last. She's rad. The end.
Anyway. We contacted our sweatshirt buying friend a few weeks ago. She said she could get us in for a tour. So this morning. After I type this blog. My future tree and I get to load up and take a road trip. Beach. Books. Bookstores. Coffee and lots of it. And lunch and a tour of Stanford.
She may have been seven when she came up with this little plan, but she has been devoted to it since. Sometimes parents can help fan a spark that one day leads to greatness. That's my plan. Not to tell her to stop worrying because it's so far away. Not to brush her off and say she probably just heard about Stanford in a movie. Not to douse her dreams because I know that university costs $52,000 a year. I know what it's like to carry something since you are seven. God put many people in my life to fan that little spark. I am so grateful. My students are grateful.
See you on the flip side! I gotta go fan some sparks.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Two Face Tony

Sometimes I put my big fat foot in my mouth. Down there, see me pointing, I went ON AND ON about how much Pintrest overwhelms me. I thought about joining a support group. I thought about getting my drink on and putting balls to the walls till I mastered that website. (what a gross saying. I won't ever use it again. What does it mean!) anyhow.
Then. Last night. Or rather, this morning at 4am. I found that Pintrest offers an app. FOR FREE. I was on there for a smooth 20 minutes. Or an hour. Whatevers. I got the app. Happy!!?

Saturday, July 07, 2012

I figured it out

Sometimes I want to change my house around and liven the colors and be spontaneous. Usually I say, to no one in particular, "I am wanting to change my house decor. It's been the same for so long. I kind of know what I want." and that person throws out endless questions to help me put my new vision into words.
The problem I find is that most people want me to visit pinterest, only that site makes my nostrils flare and my hairs stand and my fingers coil. I love when someone shares something they learned on that site. I don't mind talking about things ON the site. But things happen when I visit and have to begin searching for things. I confuse easily, apparently. Well, I won't subject myself to that.
Instead I will do a Google search and spend no less than one hour scrolling through images until I begin to sense a theme in the pictures I have saved.

I know what I was trying to say now. My new house is gonna be decorated in the oh so my style of farmhouse chic. A little old. A little new. A little this. A little that. A lotta red. I am thrilled to put a title to it. And to be honest, I feel like this research gave me a label for my entire lifestyle.

I am not quite a Flower Patch Farm Girl. I am no PW. I wish I had the skills Organizing Made Fun throws out. And I lack the ingenuity of Mothering with Creativity. Instead I am farmhouse chic.

My Espresso leather chairs that flank my dark and tattered table will blend fantastically with the red, beat down rustic farmhouse shaker chairs. My faded leather cowgirl boots will side nicely with my grey old navy flops. My hand embroidered throw pillows get along smashingly with my dilapidated rustic garden gate hanging on my wall.
My vintage green owl necklace pairs well with my banana republic tan cardigan and designer jeans.
Yup. That's me. Art town meets hay field. Tractor meets Lucky jeans. Pot bellied stove meets Tiffany lamp. Tattoos meets vintage paridot ring set in chocolate diamonds. Farmhouse chic. Let's get to it, shall we?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

This just in

Praise the Lord!! We found a house!!! It's a beaut Clark! Thanks for all your prayers. Wanna stay for dinner? Wanna stay forever?
Surreal: that's the word I sense when I look at my life right now. A month ago I was fighting for contentment. We were brewing compost tea and looking forward to our new little girl hens offering fresh eggs. Our garden was flourishing, and I was making headway in my book. For real.
Then I read Flower Patch Farm Girl and she spent an entire post saying "Anything, God. I am up for anything. I will do anything. What's that you say God? Sure. I can do that and anything else you want. I love you more than me. I want to love them more than me. Anything". I felt inspired. But I was wimpy and trying to be honest with myself. So I whispered, "lord. I could do anything" but then I screamed "BUT DON'T MAKE IT HURT!!"
Then I picked up the phone. We aren't wanna be homesteaders anymore. We aren't contemplating that five acres we had our eye on. Mike is no longer considering cowboy boots and a riding mower.
Instead I am imagining where to put my new dressers and where I want the tv. Instead I am working on lesson plans to keep kindergarten kiddos entertained for the year. Instead I am considering which new gym to join and thinking up organization techniques that will make simple tasks of our new lives: two full time working parents and five kids in school full time.
It's not that any if this is bad. It's just that now I need to embrace a different lifestyle. We lived here for seven years, but it's as if we are starting all over. I don't want to feel down. When people ask if I am happy to be back, I want to say thrilled and mean it. But I need time to process.
I read psalms to help me. I read psalm 1- one of my total faves. I repeated the word "anything. Anything, Lord" because even through the whisper, I meant it. Even through my fears and so much unknown. I meant it. God showed me that I can be like a tree planted by streams. Fruitful. Plentiful. I felt good about myself that God was speaking to me. That I was feeling his reassurance. I even extended myself grace during this transition time. I allowed myself the opportunity to just focus on me and my house and my family. I am obviously so great. It's not like I have to jump right into life. It's summer after all. Sigh.

Then he showed me the verse that says "in EVERY season, I produce fruit." and he brought back the words I whispered. "anything, Lord". Then I spent time repenting that I am an idiot. That I could lead the parade for idiots. And I thanked him again for ever allowing me to be part of anything for his kingdom.
I am trying to be fruitful. I am willing to do anything. Sigh. Anything Lord.

We are moving in to our house tomorrow. Prayers and any abled bodies are welcome.