Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year

It is hard for me to sometimes think about all the changes that I want to make with my life because change can be difficult. There has been so much change, both difficult and wonderful, in my life in the past two years that sometimes I am amazed that I am where I am today.

I am so filled with gratitude for my life and everything that I have experienced. This is not just the "I am grateful" type of gratitude, it is the deep feeling of pure joy and bliss. I woke up this morning with the most wonderful feeling of joy. I did yoga, meditated, and enjoyed my morning coffee while watching the sun rise over the mountains from my kitchen table. It was beautiful to watch as the rays of sun hit the snow covered mountains and glistened with all the colors of the rainbow. I am rarely awake before that happens and today it was the perfect start to a perfect day.

This next year I have one goal. To live in the moment. I don't need to plan my life away, I need to enjoy every moment as it comes. I want to enjoy laughing with my kids, snuggling with my husband, and spending time in the outdoors reconnecting with myself and all of consciousness.

I hope every one of you who reads this feels peace, love and joy in your life throughout the whole next year. You are amazing. You are loved. Namaste.

Monday, November 3, 2014

New Floors!!!

All pictures are at the end of this just scroll down if you want pictures. :)

I am sooooooo excited about my new floors!!!! In my last post I told you about how I ripped the carpet out of my living room, honestly carpet grosses me out and I think it should never be in a house, but that is just my opinion but my opinion is usually right! Hahaha! Actually with 7 kids, 2 dogs and 5 cats I seriously think my house should have no carpet whatsoever. So, on to the good stuff!

I hummed and hawed over what to replace the carpet with. We have hardwood floors in the kitchen and hallway, and tile in the laundry and bathrooms. The hardwood floors we have are knotty alder...I seriously think that whoever decided to put these as flooring ought to be beat. Alder is a very SOFT wood. So soft in fact that I dropped a children cardboard book on it and it dented the floor. Seriously. It was ridiculous. I had a professional flooring guy come in to take a look at placing matching flooring in the living room and sanding and refinishing the rest of the hardwood floors. He said not only was alder a bad choice but it was hard to find because people started to realize that it was stupid to use it as flooring. Needless to say it would have been $4000 to fix my flooring problem.

So, then I remembered that I read a blog a year ago and she replaced her carpet with laminate flooring that I thought looked beautiful This is the one I am talking about. Plus it was going to be WAY cheaper than my $4000 option. So, I went down to Sam's Club to look at the Select Surfaces laminates and I fell in love with the Cocoa Walnut color. It is beautiful!!! I bought 24 boxes and brought them home.

It was after I bought them that I decided that I didn't just want them in my living room....I wanted them in the hallway, entry way, and dining room too. My husband was not thrilled with my idea. He is worried that with laminates and our kids it wouldn't be a good idea. You see, my littlest kids (5, 3, and 2) LOVE water and they are always dumping it on the floors. So after a debate we decided to put it in the living room, hallways, and entry way but not the dining room since it is really just an eat in kitchen and spills are always everywhere in there. We decided to put tile in the kitchen and dining room.

I proceeded to rip out all the hardwood floors in the hallway and entryway. It took me about 9 hours over the course of  3 days and lots of sweat and I was sore every morning.

I finished 1 of the hallways as well and then decided to put tile in the entryway too because water gets drug into the house all year long through the front door and tile won't get ruined by water. Laminates might. If all my kids were older I would just put laminates in the dining room, entryway, and the kitchen. I have 1 more strip of laminates to place in the other hallway but I got side tracked with Halloween and haven't finished yet.

I still have to rip out the flooring in the kitchen but that is a MUCH bigger job. I have to take out the counter tops and all the cabinets first and that means I will be without a kitchen for a few days to a week. Not sure I want to do that just yet. However it needs to be done and sooner rather than later.

On a side note I am probably going to put the laminates in all the bedrooms on the main floor too. We had to rip out the carpet in the master bedroom due to an unfortunate explosion of a LARGE container of activated charcoal and I almost have hubby convinced that laminates would be better than carpet in the bedrooms.

So to recap: (and sorry some of the pictures are a bit fuzzy)

This is what it looked like before: (this is actually the picture from before we moved in)

This is what it looked like during: 

Getting some math skills in by figuring out the square footage of the room.

This is what it looks like now:

I am totally in LOVE with these! Even my husband who wasn't fully on board when I bought them and started installing them has begun to like them. Also, I am completely impressed that they don't sound like laminates when we walk on them! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

More projects!

Oh man do I have a list of projects that I need to do! About a week ago I ripped the carpet out of my living room because my 2 yo dumped a gallon of milk in the carpet and despite my best efforts to clean it up and shampoo the carpet it just wasn't working. In fact the carpet and pad wouldn't even dry.  So I pulled part of it up and I found....MOLD. Not good. Bye-bye carpet. It was ripped out the next day.

That isn't even the project I am writing about today....that will be for another post.

Today I am posting about our office that I am redoing, or rather "doing" because up until 2 days ago it was a kids bedroom. You can only imagine the amount of crayon, marker and holes in the walls from it being a kids room. I unfortunately don't have any pictures of that, but I do have a picture of the room before we moved in. The walls are an oatmeal color which isn't bad, I just wanted a happier color.



This is what it looks like now! I still have to paint the doors and trim (the doors were only partially painted when we moved in, you can kind of see the yellowish parts of the door) Don't you love the pen on the closet doors? Yeah that will be covered over.


I am in LOVE with this color! It is Summer Shower by Benjamin Moore. In fact I love it so much that I am going to paint my kitchen this color once the remodel in there is done!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Being ME, Being FREE

 I have a confession. I don't EVER post pictures of myself. In fact I don't let people take pictures of me. Why? Because I am fat. Well, no not really. I HAVE fat. There is a difference. My whole life I was a skinny girl. I could eat whatever I wanted and it didn't matter. Then I got pregnant. I was young (19) and dumb. I really thought I could still eat whatever, cause you you know I was "eating for 2". I was wrong. I gained 60 pounds. Even after having the baby I was still 30 pounds heavier than I used to be. With each successive child I gained more. I tipped the scale at 200 after my 7th child. It was then that I realized my weight was out of control.

I tried diet after diet with little or no success. I exercised, I ate healthy, I REALLY tried to lose weight. It was then that I realized something very important. I was putting myself down, I was treating myself so horrible because of the extra weight that it was effecting the way I interacted with my family and friends. I wouldn't go swimming because I feared what I looked like in a swim suit, I didn't want to wear anything that was form fitting or that would show I was fat. Have you ever been clothes shopping just to realize that NOTHING hides your fat? Shopping was not fun. I hated myself more and more every time I tried on clothes. I knew it needed to stop. I realized that my daughters were watching me and I was unintentionally telling them that body size and shape matters. 

Size doesn't matter. Shape doesn't matter.  I am no where near where I want to be, but it doesn't matter. I will eventually loose all the extra weight, but I am not going to stress about it or exercise my body to death. It will come off eventually because I know it will.

Let me tell you something else. I am DONE being angry, sad, depressed and all those other roller coaster emotions that go along with feeling fat and worthless!! I am amazing! You are amazing! Everyone is amazing! There is no reason for ANY woman to feel like she is nothing! 

I am finally HAPPY about my body!! I want to point out that my clothes don't fit me quite right, I jiggle in places I shouldn't, I have stretch marks from my knees to my chest, BUT I AM HAPPY. I have so much to be grateful for! I can walk, run, jog, swim, do yoga, play with my kids and there are so many other out there that can't. 

I no longer care what I look like. It really doesn't matter because I am so much more than my weight! It took me nearly 13 years to realize that I am not "fat", I am an AMAZING person with so much to give! I want to enjoy life, not hate it, or tolerate it!  Besides, I realized that happiness is a choice and I choose happiness! How about you?

P.S. All the pictures were taken by my 11 year old daughter. She is trying to learn how to use a camera. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Schedule

Normally I wouldn't post about our schedule because, well, we never really had one. Recently, along with all me organizing my kids school work and all my projects I thought, "Hey! Self! Yeah you! You should really implement a schedule so your kids don't turn out to be lazy couch potatoes and end up living with you for the rest of their lives!" So, I decided I would see what would work for us.

Granted I have tried schedules before but we just never stuck with them... I think I am seeing a pattern in my life here with me not sticking to things.... I digress... so, I thought about WHY I have trouble with schedules and why i don't stick to things and it turns out, I am lazy! What is that you say? How in the @%$# are you  lazy? You have 7 kids and homeschool them and do all kinds of projects! Lazy isn't a possibility! Well, my friend it is. You see, I can stick to something if I enjoy it but if I get bored, meh, I stop doing whatever it is.

I realized that my kids are watching me and I was not setting the type of example that I wanted them to see. So, I stepped it up. I made a schedule. I used the idea from Managers of Their homes (never read the book)  I just Googled the images and scoured Pinterest until I found something I thought might work.

Now, we are not sticking to this strictly because, well, life happens. It is more of a general outline and so far it works. During school hours I let my kids set their own schedules. They got to pick when they did each subject and how long they thought it would take them. now, everyday is a bit different from the actual schedule but if we start to get off track I can say, "What are you supposed to be doing?" And my kids go look and follow the schedule. It is really nice to have and for the past month it has been working pretty well.

Here are some close ups of the schedule.

Hopefully this will keep working for us!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Homeschool Rewards

My kids needed some nudging and perhaps some pushing and shoving to get them to do their schoolwork. I came up with a fun way to keep them motivated  and so far they LOVE the system. We have been using it for more than 2 months and it is working!! Whoooo!!!!

These are their "ticket" jars. Every day that they complete their school work they get a ticket. When they save so many tickets they can use them to buy things. For example, 4 tickets gets them a date with mom or dad to the dollar theater. 10 tickets gets them a date with mom or dad to the full priced theater. You can use 6 for a trip to the store to spend $3.

This is what the tickets look like. I have to date them and write their names on them. That way they can't "fake" tickets.

To make this, I used some old fence boards and screwed them together. then I mounted the pipe fitting thingamajiggers to the boards with a screw. I tightened them to fit around the jars and viola! I cut slits in card stock and placed them in the lids so they could just drop their tickets in and their names were cut out with my Silhouette.

Have I mentioned I love making things?

Chore System

Oh chores, how I loathe them....ok, not all of them, I loathe having to nag and beg and plead to get my kids to DO them! After years and years of trying every most of the systems out there I finally settled on one I came up with a few years ago that worked. In fact it worked every time we used it. I don't know why I ever stopped. Oh wait, I do know. I saw all these other colorful chore systems and they looked FUN! Mine is not colorful or fun, but it works.

These are my kids chores cards. The numbers on the cards are for the days of the week. 1 = Monday, 2 = Tuesday, etc. Since we have had these chore cards for awhile some of the chores on the cards don't correspond with the number on the card and my kids know just to ignore that chore. For example, You can see that my daughter Katie has "Do laundry on Wednesday" but the number on the card is 1. She knows it's Monday not Wednesday so she doesn't have to do her laundry. Does that make sense?

These are my Extra Chore cards. I put these on the kids chore rings when I need them done. They don't get anything extra or a reward for doing them, they are just ones that I need rotated between kids and don't need done all the time.

It is simple, not fun, not colorful, but it WORKS and that is all that matters to me!