Frugal Finds

I found these cute little birthday candles at a yard sale this morning. I have been looking for chubby birthday candles for a long time! For 10 cents a box, you can't go wrong!
I got these at the same yard sale for $1/all four. I'm gonna use them to organize my sewing stuff, I think.
Several weeks ago, I bought this lovely Caslon green sweater at a yard sale for 50 cents. Today I bought...
... these buttons to replace the missing button.


Makin' Pies
Finn requested that Riley (from next door) come over and play today. They helped me make the apple pie that this group...
...helped us eat. The missionaries are from Utah and we've had them over before. The Gowans are also pictured. They moved from Utah to go to dental school too. Their cute little daughter is 3 months old.
(Yes, Finn is wearing tight red knit pants. Yes, he is crying. He's been moody all day long. 4 new teeth. Poor mom or poor kid?)
...and this is what first year dental students do when they're "studying." I like to call it "pretend studying."

Odds and Ends

Two nights ago, this was my kitchen counter leg...BEFORE (primed)
And this is it AFTER I painted over it.
This was my staircase BEFORE the priming job
And this is it AFTER. There's still some stain seeping through the primer, but hopefully it won't seep through the paint.
Last night I was up until 2 AM cleaning about my basement. It looks so much better! We had stuff everywhere. It sure feels good to get that done!



I've put off spray painting the railing for a few days and my get-this-house-done-now-conscience was nagging me. It wasn't hard really. Before I sprayed it, I sanded the old paint and rust off with some fancy drill bit that hooked onto one of Travis' drills. Interesting, huh? :)
I am dreaming of above picture. I get excited thinking about it. Only two and a half more weeks and six of them will grace our dining room table!
To the one who isn't afraid to do really high jumps on the four-wheeler,
Who is funny, energetic, has a beautiful new wife, and can quote movies like nobody else,
Who makes me laugh and encourages me to try harder and do better:


Lucy's Feeding Frenzy

"Hi. I'm about to have my first taste of rice cereal. I'm getting my tongue ready...."
"Instead of enjoying the rice cereal, I reached straight for the spoon and put it right into my mouth."
"I mean, I really liked the spoon. It felt so good to chew on something."
"Until my brother came up and pushed me and the spoon went too far back into my mouth."
By Lucy, 2 days shy of 7 months


Sunday Spread
Whitney gave me the recipe for the best tasting ribs I've ever had. So we made those, plus Ruth Wilson's rolls, fruit salad, corn on the cob and......
....THIS for dessert.
Then, as I was watching an intense game of Wii tennis, I felt a hard lump on the ottoman beneath me. I dug around and found this (see above). Finnburger (as our friend Jacob calls him) found a good nesting spot for his little matchbox car. Time for a new ottoman? We'll see if the money tree has anymore left to give me.


Golden Staircase

Here's me cutting in the corners and edges of the giant wall by the staircase.
Did I finish that wall? Yes.
Am I so glad to be done painting (mostly)? Yes again.
Am I loving the color? Yes.
Will post finished pictures when I get my furniture moved back into place and some artwork put up on the walls.

A surprise came in the mail yesterday! Finn delightfully opened what Papa and Nanna mailed. Of course he loved it so much...

He chose to tuck it in right next to him tonight at bedtime.

Kisses for McQueen and good night to Finn!

Ahhhh....I'm exhausted and am glad to say good-night too.


New Day

Yogurt, Go Lean Crunch, and blueberries + hammer = supercharged painting day
One room down, five to go. Mom, where are you when I need you?!?


"Make it Blue, No Make it Pink..."
--- the Fairies in Sleeping Beauty

Now that the bare bones are in place, it's time to paint. I couldn't get to sleep very well last night. Waking in the middle of the night brought thoughts of paint. Dreams were about paint. I decided on these (trial version up on walls):
Sherwin Williams "Gray Screen": Kitchen and bathroom
Sherwin Williams "Ramie:" Living, Dining, Hallway, Kids' Room and Office
What do you think?


Meet Jen, My Friendly Neighbor

Even though I've only known her for a few weeks, I admire Jen. She is the real deal: smart, cute, nice, business-like and stylish.

I spent some time with Jen in her cozy 1920 bungalow yesterday and asked her some questions to get to know her better. Boy, I'm glad I did!

Q. What is a perfect day for you?
A. Hanging out on the beach, going to a spa and getting a massage, facial,
pedicure and manicure, then going to dinner with my husband.

Q. What makes a house unique or special?

A. Charm---when you can walk in and say, "This is so them." It's not necessarily that the colors and furnishings are in style, but that you know it's their style.

Jen earned a Bachelors degree in Finance and worked for five years at Novell in licensing compliance and inside sales. She now works for Tenacious Integration Services as an account executive. She also hosts a Finance Club in our ward. This lady knows her stuff!

Q. How has your background in finance affected your personal finances? Do you feel you make better choices on how you spend your money?
A. Totally. I was originally going to go into architecture, but I found it was too structural. I considered business marketing, but decided on finance because it was more applicable. I knew even if I could never use it after college I could use it on my home. My business understanding has helped me as I've bought a house and invested in a 401K, for example. These things put you on the road to financial security. I would know what to look for and then research it out. It gives me a foundation.

Q. What's one topic in finance women rarely understand?

A. The whole concept of a 401K.

Q. Do you give advice very often about financial matters?

A. Seldomly. Only when they ask a specific question.

Q. What retail store to you most identify with, style-wise?

A. Pottery Barn. I love everything in Anthropologie, although practially-speaking, I'm a little too conservative for it.

Q. What's the secret to a happy, fulfilled life?

A. I'm still trying to figure it out. Being happy with where you're at and what you have.

Well said.

Thanks, Jen for enlightening me and those who read this blog! I have always been intimidated by business-savvy women, for some reason, and it's nice to chat with one so down-to-earth. Next time, I'd like to learn the secret to great, toned arms!


The Weekend in Pictures

The Shaker Ward had it's annual campout at the John Johnson Farm in Hiram, OH this weekend. We took our two man tent and headed out to the "roughies." I wouldn't exactly call bathrooms and showers roughing it, but I deserve an award for lasting a whole night sandwiched between Finn and Lucy, on a thin sleeping pad, over a rocky spot.

The Johnson Farm and the house where Joseph Smith was taken in the middle of the night and tarred and feathered by the angry mob (in the background). The Church has restored the area and the home and it's very tranquil out there.

Lucy and me, helping put up the tent.

Block Party: Saturday

Finn was all ears listening to the Cleveland Heights fireman.
He even got to sit in the seat!
The firemen raised the ladder up to a house window. Finn thought that was really neat.Lucy made friends with Diana. Don't they have similar facial features?
I took this to the street party potluck....
...and these to the cake walk. The little girls liked them.

And so did Finn.


Settling In

In weeks

One slowly goes from fumbling for a lightswitch in darkness

To perceiving its place



Become confident routes

To somewhat familiar stores.

Not wild goose chases.

Mail delivery time learned: Between 12 and 3 PM.

Neighborhood protocols: garbage to treelawn on garbage day, don't stare, general keeping to onesself (much like the unwritten rule in New York: avert eyes from anyone).

Falling into patterns- awake, eat, walk, wipe clean, get out, put away, bathe.

Developing a routine.

Undecided how I feel about newness wearing off.


Behold the Project

This was yesterday's project: prime and....
...paint heat duct grills.

Here's my other, ever-present project: Finn and Lucy.
Here's what she's thinking:
"Here's my chance to get back at him for all he's put me through the last six months!"
Tongue out, as per usual these days.
A little study break treat for Mr. Fixit Sr. a la Mrs. Fixit Chocolaticus.