Disclaimer:  I am currently working on developing a more positive attitude in my daily life.  I am not an optimistic or overly positive person by nature (this is where Christ is so needed).  My husband is a very positive person.  And he calls to my attention this character fault of mine often enough.  Furthermore, I am a bit sarcastic (JJ appreciates this part).  I apologize if you do not respond well to a dose of sarcasm.   :) 

I've never been camping before.  I'm not sure I'll ever go camping again.  No, not true... I'll probably give it one more try.
Here's why...
So in the beginning, I was really excited.  I knew it wouldn't be a cake walk, but I thought it would be a somewhat relaxing recreational time to soak in nature and chat with friends (we went with two other couples and their families from church).

It was none of those things...because:
When we were all getting ready to go swimming, we realized that we left one bag at home... JJ and I's bag... no clothes, no swimming suits. So JJ had to drive back into town 45min. away.

Elsie was especially unenjoyable.  As soon as we got there she asked when we could go home.  She hated the water... lots of tears and lots of spankings, without JJ's help (he's gone getting our junk).

At supper (which is rarely enjoyable on any occasion...our kids are picky whiny eaters), we heard thunder and watched clouds roll in.  Hail and heavy rain was expected... in 20 min. So we threw everything back into the car...except the tent... crying kids and all.

Rain, rain, rain... lots of rain.  We luckily had a cabin nearby which we all crowded into to wait out the rain.    It was way past bed time.  I was cranky. Kids were cranky.  Jeremy and I were trying hard not to fight in front of our church friends  (remember we've just moved here... we need them to like us :), and I'm having a full out panic attack.  -all in another person's little cabin which he graciously allowed us to cram all 9 sandy/muddy/wet children and 6 adults into. When the worst of it was over we headed back to our tents.

In the rain, we threw our blankets, pillows, pack n' play, and children into the tent.  I, being a naive camper, burned my arm on the lantern.  I think that was the moment that I really became quite unpleasant in my spirit.

It kept raining- hard.  Then it hailed.  Amazingly enough Sadie was asleep through all of this, when the rain stopped, she woke up.  Classic.  JJ's was out fishing, and I was not liking my youngest daughter very much. 

About 45 min. after Sadie and I FINALLY fell asleep, JJ and the other men folk, decided we should bail.  More rain was coming.  I was thinking at this point... It was definitely a good thing JJ had wasted an hour and half to go back and get our swimming suits earlier. So at something past 3 in morning we all loaded back into the car and began to drive the 45 min. home.

As we're driving, JJ clued me in that he had a migraine and might need to stop to throw up.  There was crazy wicked lighting every 5 seconds all around us, heavy rain, and a way too awake 5 year old in the back seat who wouldn't stop freaking out about it all.  These all added significantly to JJ's migraine and my unpleasant demeanor. 

As I finally crawled into my warm soft bed I felt slightly more positive.  At least it was over.

Okay, okay... on a positive note, it was a good memory, a good story.  The land that we camped on was absolutely beautiful... even in the rain.  And Alice my oldest was actually quite pleased with the experience (she was big part of why we wanted to go in the first place).  Also the whole family took a really long nap today... which never happens.

So lesson to be learned... I don't like camping, but I definitely need to keep working on my positive attitude in less than ideal circumstance.  My friend, Kerstin, who was on the trip with us demonstrated this beautifully.  She had even more things to be grumpy about... she has four kids, invested alot more in the trip (food and such), had invited us (pressure), and had a leaky tent!!!!   Yet, she never complained and tried to see the positive in everything.  I have a lot to learn.  

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corithians 12:9

Someday I will boast of the change He's made in me.  Until, then I'll keep trying... and avoid camping trips.  :)

Antique Shopping

Today we (the whole fam.) decided to head out to Guthrie to do some Antique shopping. 
Since we've only lived in OK for 3 mo., this was our first real visit to the charming little town. 
I was planning on taking a massive amount of pictures of the down town's features, but it didn't work out. 
It was very hot,
the kids were cranky and impatient,
and shopping took the priority :) 
So I'll just tease you with this one simple picture.  It's not even anything special, but it'll give you a taste of what kind of town this is.... oh, so fun.

I'll go back...soon... without my kiddos and take some really fun pics to show you.
But I will show you a few pics of those cranky, impatient kids...
And some of my shopping finds...

I absolutely adore this set of wooden doll furniture from the 1950s... and I got it for an absolute steal!! 

We finished the trip with shakes for all and now we're on to packing for our camping trip tomorrow...
First time to go with the girls...
busy, busy,
fun, fun :)

A few things....good and not so good

I designed three new note card sets... I love them.  They're all part of a new line: Retro Carnival :)  (the name makes me smile -he, he.)
Hope you like them, too! Check out the rest of the pics on etsy...

Sadie wouldn't let me take the pictures... she kept lurking.  She was cute though...

Okay, now for the NOT SO GOOD:

I just have to vent... I can not keep Sadie out of the toilet!!!!   -3 times already today!  I know, you're probably thinking: "heavens, just shut the door!!"  And I would, but my 3 yr. old is at that stage where she waits till the last second to go potty then barely makes it.  A shut door is a problem at that point  :)   So it's either hands in the toilet or pee on the floor... AWWWWRRRR!

Spring Cleaning

Some things this week prompted some cleaning:

This mom, I don't even know which blog it was...I found it randomly, did some major cleaning.  She let her kids pick two toys each to keep, and the rest she put away in the garage.  Her plan was to see how they did and then re-evaluate at the end of the month.

We had a missionary couple visiting our church this week.  As I listened to them talk at various events throughout the week, I once again was reminded of how much (too much) we have. 

I've been noticing a bad attitude in my girls lately.  Spoiled- is the simplest way of putting it.  Alice, my 5 yr. old, comes to me daily asking for extravagant activities to do.  She asks when we're getting new toys (as if she's deprived), and acts dissatisfied with ALL that she has. 

So... I started cleaning.  I didn't go extreme, I just started taking out what they don't play with.  Then I went another round, and took away more.

Here's the results so far:
The most drastic change is in the stuffed animal collection.  When we moved here I had four large tubbies full of animals, and this was after the pre-moving cleaning!!!!  (I'm embarrassed to tell you that... my girls are obsessed with animals, you see.)  When we unpacked I put two tubbies in the garage.  Well after cleaning  yesterday, it's down to maybe one tubbie.  Pretty good for us!!

Next I tackled the plastic animals.  We had two smallish tubbies of them, and I let the girls each keep a lion family and a few other favorite random animals.  ...resulting in half of one of the tubbies.

I put away a large garbage bag of baby dolls and misc. doll clothes.

I put away a med. sized box of books.  I wanted to just keep out the good ones... ones that are worth reading over and over again.

I pretty much completely emptied the "random small toys" basket and left a few bouncy balls and cars for a small drawer.

I cleaned out the toy kitchen... putting away an entire set of dishes.  Instead of having a big tub of dishes and food to dig through, now there's only what will fit in the kitchen itself and what will hang on the wall.

Anyway... I think that's about it... I got rid of some baby toys too.  But I can already tell a difference.  They play with the toys more now.  For one thing, they can actually see/find the toys they like!!  No more digging through junk they don't play with.  Also, especially with the stuffed animals, it creates a sense of attachment to "what they've got."  Alice actually played quietly on her bed with one animal for 20 min. or so... I think she started because she was bored, but ended up having a good time :)

All in all, I hope it will make them less absorbed in quantity, more imaginative, and more content.

I also have a plan for how to keep my artist daughter from using piles of paper continually.... but I'll save that for another time :)

Not what I was going for...

I thought that it would be fun to take a pic of me with my girls... I'm never in pictures!
So I thought we'd all sit in front of this old mirror.
Yeah... not so good.  You can't see anything much.  The mirror is too old.

Then I thought... We'll all go in the bath room and take a sweet girls pic.
Yeah... that didn't work either.
In fact, it turned into quite something different.
But that's okay.... it was quite humorous and I had fun :)

Sadie shifted into the sink...naturally.

Alice took the opportunity to practice her animal sounds...Sadie thoroughly appreciates this.

Then, in the midst of the playing, Sadie discovers the handle on the faucet...   
And let the fun begin!

All in all... worth the mess.


Sadie stuffing mulberries into the alligator's mouth... just cute.

All of my girls are spunky.  (for those of you who know me in person, you're chuckling and nodding your heads.)  Alice -my oldest- is so crazy, quirky, rough, and so smart.  She's like a boy with really pretty, although fuzzy hair.  Elsie is as sweet as sugar with sparkly eyes, yet has an explosive emotional side (typical girl, I guess).  Sadie is Alice and Elsie mutated into one scary yet irresistible package.  She's tiny, but packed with a mighty punch!  Sadie is so smart, so aggressive, emotionally explosive, and yet sweet and hilarious all at the same time!!  (big sigh... what's a mom to do?)  Every time I have another little girl I hope that this one will be the docile one...that this one will sit back and take the world in.  Yeah, right- Sadie blew those hopes out of the water!!   For being a household of girls, it sure is a crazy, loud, aggressive household.  For heaven sakes, they ALL growl like animals on a regular basis as a standard form of communication!  (I often catch Alice licking Sadie's head, like she's cleaning her.)  BUT no complaints here... I wouldn't trade any of it ...but you already knew I was going to say that :)


I sent Meg over at WHATEVER  a little gift the other day and she mentioned me on her blog!!  How fun!!  Meg is one of those people that I'm always looking up at... you know, one of those people that you can relate to or admire, but is in the next step ahead of you in life.  I've admired her since I was little actually... she was my sister-in-law's best friend in high school in my home town.  My niece's middle name is Megan in honor of her...  She was so pretty and was dating the star basketball player!  Now I admire her for her creativity, her vintage style, her ambitions, the fact that she has five kids, her faith, and her GORGEOUS HOME!  I think it's good to have people like that in your life... they keep you pressing forward.  So thanks, Meg... God has blessed you, thanks for blessing us with your beautiful blog!

Happy Thing...My Creative Space

I wanted to share with you my office/creative space... In our last house, the office was part of our bedroom (see Our Little Home).  And as a result, I was quite confined by space and felt the need to make the office fit the decor of the bedroom.  I hid all my stationery, supplies, inspiration, and work away in drawers and under the bed!  It's been so nice, here, to have a separate room for my office.  Half of it is reserved for toys... but still, the decor is what ever my suits my fancy.  Any colors...anything goes!  I've been able to leave out all my junk... and enjoy it.  For me it's just a room full of Happy Things!!  Now I know, as far a creative spaces go, it's nothing to brag about.  For heaven's sake... have you seen some of the work spaces out there?!  Talk about having issues with coveting!! Someday..... (big sigh.)   But for now... I'm enjoying my space... it's definitely a Happy Thing :)


The blogging world is so fun... don't  you think?  I found a fun blog the other night created by a girl who reminds me alot of myself... before kids :)  She nominated my for the Versatile Blogger award... How fun!! So thank you Bec! I'm honored :)  Check out her spunky blog here.

According to the rules of the award I have to do a few things...

1. Thank the person who gave you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic! (in no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

1. I can't whistle.  I'm kind of sensitive about this... well, I kind of can, but I look really funny when I do it.

2. I'm addicted to Sonic diet cokes... tried to kick it so many times.  Never works. 

3. I used to be in love with my husband's brother... he, he :)

4. I was born in a tiny, tiny town in the pan handle of OK... Balko.  My dad was the pastor at a church there.

5. I used to want 10 babies.  Yeah, that's a little much, huh?  I'll be very pleased to get my 4 now :)

6. My youngest daughter, Sadie, was a twin.  We lost Sophie in the second trimester of the pregnancy.  I often imagine the two of them playing together. ...I'm so thankful for my Sadie.  She's our little miracle.

7. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior... my friend, my helper, my true love.  He's the only reason I'm able to face this world each morning.

 Alright! These are some fun blogs that I've enjoyed reading lately so check em' out!

My nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award go to...

Her Royal Highness@

Nominees, copy the award to your blog... if you'd like!

Surprisingly full Saturday...


Our plans for Saturday included: sleeping-in- as much as you can with little ones, doing some cleaning, and bumming.  This was the first weekend with nothing going on in what seemed like forever. Well, my mom called before we were all really up.  I answer, then : "Amy? (she always says my name like she's surprise that's it's really me) Can we come see you?"
"Yes, of course you can!" (to be honest I had to force a positive excited tone on this one)
"Oh, good!  We're right outside of Wichita; We'll be there in an hour and a half."  They were already an hour and a half into their drive... classic :) Alrighty.

Well...they came and we ended up having a very enjoyable time together.  We decided to finished the day up at Pops.  Pops is a local (actually in Arcadia, 10 min. away) novelty restaurant/gas station.  It features a unique structure with glass walls lined with hundreds of bottles of pop.  We thought my parents would enjoy it.  The only thing is, my dad is a pastor back in KS and he has a thing about Saturday nights.  Every Saturday night, for as long as I can remember, he has gone to the church after supper to make final revisions on his sermon and practice it on stage.  He was already being quite gracious to be gone on a Saturday (it was to please my mom)... he had decided that it would be okay as long as they left right after supper (it's a 3 hr. drive from where we live back to KS).

Well, we got to Pops and it was crazy busy.  We played outside for awhile... while my dad slept in the car (that is also something he as done for as long as I can remember) and we were seated after 35 min.  Not too bad really. But then... we sat in our booth, for an HOUR!... waiting for our food.  I ordered a chili dog.  Everyone else had hamburgers... really?  an hour?   Just imagine, 3 small children stuck in a tight booth, hungry, tired, and full of uncontrollable energy.  My poor father, fidgeting, looking around, desperately scanning for what might be our food coming.  It was fun.  Not really.   I felt really bad for my dad... you could tell he was really anxious about the time.  He acted so gracious, but you knew it was really stressing him.    But our food did finally come, and it was good!  We even got a discount on our meal and coupons for free sodas next time we came.  Smart move on the manager's part.... otherwise I don't think we would have come back.  My parents headed off... I'm sure my dad sped all the way home :)  But it was actually a really good day.  Always nice to see my parents, even if we weren't planning on it.

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