Thursday, April 30, 2009

A "Crunchy" Give-Away

Calling all crunchy-esque mama's!! 

I am thrilled beyond measure to share with the blogosphere something that changed my life over seven years ago.  It not only changed my way of thinking, it changed how I felt physically every single month.  If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I love to talk about things that make people uncomfortable.  That being said, it should not surprise you that my first give-away is for a  $15 Gift Certificate from The Essence of Eve.

Stephanie is the owner of Patty Naps cloth diapers and why yes, those are Patty Naps in the photo above.  I knew I could pull you all in with those cute diapers, so I tricked you.  I'm sorry for being deceitful, but you can always go over to her cloth diaper site and order some.  Who knows, maybe she'll even let me do a cloth diaper give away one of these days.  Okay, so now that you know how tricky I can be I should also add that Stephanie is the owner of Essence of Eve , and she  just happens to be my *IRL friend who has seen me through many an issue.  God Bless her.  

*In Real Life

My Story:

I hated that time of the month.  For years I suffered with extreme cramping, heavy bleeding and major PMS.  I would curl up on the couch with a heating pad and scream at everyone who dared enter my bubble.  My cramps were the worst part and nothing seemed to help.  I also hated wearing sticky, sweaty paper pads and prefered wearing tampons.  However, I hated tampons with a passion, so that tells you how uncomfortable and grouchy I spent one week every month.  

Before Caleb was born, on October 18, 2001, I had already decided to cloth diaper this new baby.  I knew it would be very different, but I was ready for the change.  Plus, have you seen how cute cloth diapers are?  Oh wait, you have!  I tricked you with that photo above. (snort)

 I was constantly looking at new diapers online and began researching these funny, yet intriguing, little things called "Mama Pads".  I had a different friend of mine make me a couple post-partum pads that I could wear after Caleb was born.  I wasn't sure how I could handle washing my own pads though.  Caleb was born and thus began the many weeks of bleeding/spotting.  As usual, I was bleeding very heavily so the huge hospital pads and mesh panties seemed to be more secure (albeit extremely uncomfortable) during the first week.  A week later I switched to store-bought extra long, night-time pads, but soon I was sick of them sticking to my skin.  The commercial was right....I really didn't feel very fresh.  In fact, I was down right miserable. Knowing I had a week or two more to go, I pulled out the post-partum cloth pads and began wearing them.  They were made with a light blue velour top, cotton soaker, PUL back and they had wings with a snap.  I remember how they felt against my girly bits.  Like I was wearing the most comfortable pair of panties ever.  There was no discomfort at all.  I only had two, so I washed and washed and washed until I was done with this phase of my life.  I packed them away and happily nursed my baby, period free.  

When Caleb was 6 months old I began spotting again, so I pulled out my pads and called up my old friend.  She made me six more and I was happy with those.  Another friend of mine sold me her un-used Pretty Pad set and I fell in love!!  Later on, Stephanie started making them.  I was her tester and gladly gave her all my preferences and feedback.  I love Essence of Eve pads, which is why I want to share them with you.  

*Edited 5/01 to add*
I completely forgot to add how using cloth exclusively changed my periods after only several months of wearing them.  My cramps no longer caused me to curl up on the couch in pain.  Heating pads for cramps is non-existant.  In fact, the only time I ever have to use a heating pad is when I ovulate and I don't use it every month.  If you've ever experienced middlesmerch you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.  OUCH!  Anyway- my periods have also shortened by 2 days and I only have one heavy flow day instead of three.                                        

Contest Rules:

1. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me why you want to try cloth pads or what you already love about cloth pads.  

2. If you want a second entry, just post about my give-away on your blog.  Be sure to include my link:

and then leave a comment here letting me know so I can hop on over to your blog and check you out, too!!  

That's it!  

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kitchen Duty Chart

Think back to the last Parent's magazine you ever picked up.  Now recall one of the photo's where the mom and children are hunched over the kitchen table (or counter) and they are baking something.  Do you see their faces?  What emotions does that photo bring out?  

Let me be the first to admit that I have never felt that magical super-mom feeling when my kids help me in the kitchen.   Sometimes it's just easier if I do it myself.  I know that I'm supposed to teach them to measure and not cringe when they spill the flour.  I know it's fun to stick your finger in the sugar and leave a sticky mess all over the countertop.  Oh, and believe me, I know how much fun it is to crack open the eggs and dump everything in the bowl.  Including the shell. However, tired, cranky moms aren't usually up for Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals in 3 hours when cooking with kids (not to mention the clean up!).  

When the kids were younger, I would usually shoo them out of the kitchen.  Poor little things. They wanted to help me, but I just wanted to hurry and get it done so I could rest.  Hubby was the same way when he was in the kitchen.  As the kids got a little older, I would allow them to pour in pre-measured ingredients, stir and lick the bowl.  That's the best part!  Don't email me about eating raw eggs.  I'm not dead and I think I've eaten at least a dozen cake and brownie mixes by myself.  YUM!

I'm quite sure I was in survival mode in those early years.  Now that my baby is seven, I'm starting to relax a little more.  A little more.  I know I did myself, and my children, a huge disservice by not allowing them more responsibility and fun in the kitchen.   Over the past couple years, I have given each of them some time with me in the kitchen.  They love it and beg for it to be their turn.  They even argue over who helped last. Recently, I've felt a strong pull to shift even more kitchen responsibility on their well-fed shoulders,  so I came up with this.

As you can see, with seven of us, it works out PERFECTLY!  Every day the kitchen will be cleaned and every week one person gets a Kitchen Duty break.  I didn't even plan it that way, it just happened.  I should also mention that this chart is only for our major meal together, dinner.   With the kids in public school (lunch is rare at home) and them being old enough to put thier own dishes in the dishwasher, I figured this would be fine for now.  Starting slow is always good.  

I have always given my children responsibilities, just not in the kitchen unless it was cleaning. Now each of them will be assigned a day to help cook in the kitchen.  I'm pretty sure they will find helping in the kitchen enjoyable.  The cleaning part of it will not go over well, but maybe giving them the opportunity to make something (even search out recipes, menu plan and shop) will soften the blow.  

I'm excited to have one child in the kitchen at a time (for now) and maybe later (as I become less anxious) we can prepare and cook as a family. I hear some of the best conversations happen in the kitchen.  I can't wait!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dancing Up Wishes

I am so excited to tell you how amazing the Irish Dance community is!

Our school, Crawford School of Irish Dance/An Daire Academy (we are in the process of merging with An Daire), has an annual feis (competition) every year in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This year we have created a "special" in honor of Kaidan.  A special is something each dancer can sign up for, or not.  It's not required, but it is an extra cost to those participating.  

Specials are extremely fun.  The dancers are separated by age groups and usually there are so many they form a horseshoe around the stage.  One by one they step out and dance one step (right and left leg) down the line.  Unless someone isn't watching, there is no break between dancers.  As one dancer is bowing the other is dancing.  The audience claps, whistles and makes all sorts of noises to cheer them on.   The musician plays until the last dancer on all stages is finished.  The energy in the room is palpable.

This year there are several specials and one of them is a slip jig special for Kaidan.  It's called:

"Dancing Up Wishes for Kaidan" Charity Special

All proceeds from this special will go to benefit Kaidan.  Isn't that amazing?  I am so excited for this family and for Kaidan.  She has a special spot in my heart, as you all know.  She is constantly on my mind and I know she has pulled the heartstrings of many in our studio.  Even this evening, when Caleb was at dance, I was asked about Kaidan.  She has alot of people praying for her.  She's in good hands!!

Right now I can imagine her parents trying hard to catch a little bit of sleep before they have to take her in for the bone marrow test tomorrow morning.  I'm not sure how long the wait is for the results, but no matter how long, I'm sure it seems like an eternity.  

Monday, April 27, 2009

Praises & Prayers!!

First a major PRAISE!  

Stellan is going home!  He was discharged from the Boston Children's Hospital today and is spending the night in a hotel with his mama.  Tomorrow they will fly back home to a very eager family who has missed them for more than five weeks.  The road is still uncertain for Stellan, but God knows everything about this little guy.  Continue to pray for this family and the doctors back home, that they can keep Stellan out of SVT.  There's a wonderful video that was posted today on MckMama's website.  Grab your tissues because you will need them.  

Praise God!  Thank you Jesus!! Your mercies are new everyday!

Now, on to the PRAYER.....

Please continue to pray for Kaidan.  Some of her counts came back better and some were still not good.  The bone marrow test is still on for Wednesday and I am anxious to hear the results. Kaidan is not feeling good enough to go to school, but we hope she gathers some strength in the next few days.  A seven year old girl, who I'm quite certain,  wants to be with her friends, to play on the playground and paint pictures, not be laid up at home.   

Friday, April 24, 2009

Update on Kaidan

I'm very happy to report that Kaidan was released from the hospital today and they are all together.  It's been a trying time for them, so I'm glad they get this chance to rest.  Her numbers came up and some went down, which...from what little I know, is a good thing.  Lots of testing and waiting for results looms over them for the next little while, but I'm sure that God will bring them peace and Kaidan comfort.  We will miss her tomorrow at the mock feis.  I know she would have wanted to be there and this mock feis is made for new dancers just like her. We'll just have to show her the ropes before the Utah Feis this summer.  

Keep on Jiggin', Kaidan!!!  :)  

Below is an update that Mystee posted this evening to Kaidan's carepage.  

home SWEET home...

We are home tonight, together at last. It's nice. Kaidan's counts went up again. Her white blood cells are 3.0, her ANC is 700. Her hematocrit went down to 31.9 and her platelets went down to 155.
We are scheduled for a blood draw on Monday and chemo on Wednesday. We will also be doing a bone marrow biopsy on Wednesday, so Kaidan will have sedation that day. The other test they are running will take a couple of weeks because they can't just check the level of the chemo in her blood because she hasn't been taking the chemo regularly for so long, due to her constant fevers and low ANC. So they are looking at Kaidan's genetics and certain enzymes in her body, etc. I still want to do the bone marrow though, if only for our own reassurance. Also, Kaidan will not be taking anymore oral chemo until we get the results of all these tests.
Thank you to everyone who came to visit Kaidan at the hospital...she loved it. Also to everyone who kept us in their thoughts and prayers. We are truly grateful. I'll update again on Monday after I get labs back.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pray for Kaidan!!!

*Updated 4/23/09*

We went to see Kaidan this evening after dance.  She is still at PCMC, but her dad said she hasn't had a fever for a few hours, so she may be able to go home tomorrow!  We're praying for that!!  Kaidan has a couple tests that need to be done.  One will test her bone marrow to see if the leukemia has returned and the other is to see how her body is metabolizing the chemo.  You can follow Kaidan on her Caringbridge page and on her parent's blog, but without further delay I wanted to introduce you to a brave and courageous seven year old girl who loves to Irish Dance!!


I know there are a lot of prayer warriors out there.  You all are praying for Abby, Kayleigh and Stellan.  You've prayed for dozens, if not thousands, of children over the years.  These are children that you may have never met before, but the connection is so deep it's like you've held them close to your heart and felt their breath on your neck.  I know the feeling.  I feel that way every day when I pray for these children who have impacted me so deeply.  

Kaidan is a little girl who I met at a park where Crawford Irish Dance was doing a performance last Summer.  She was there with her mom and siblings and she wanted to dance!!!  I gave her mom all the enrollment information and she told me about Kaidan's fight with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  During the next registration quarter, I was excited to see little Kaidan walk through the doors.  Kaidan is one of those children who I have been blessed to get to know.  She is an amazing little girl and you should see her dance!!  I see her at Irish dance from time to time and I've always been amazed by her strength.  She's shy, sweet and a fighter!

A few weeks ago she came to class and as I was leaving I noticed her sitting in the car with her mom.  I went over to say hi and welcome her because no matter where I am, if I see her, my heart swells with emotions I don't even understand.  She was sitting in the passenger seat next to her mom.  I knew her class had already started, so I asked her if she was going to dance.  Her mom  said Kaidan's legs were hurting her and she didn't want to dance that day.  She didn't look like anything was hurting her, but I can only imagine it's because she is such a fighter.  

I remember several months ago her mother was telling me that she may have to quit dance because her bones were not strong enough.  They had hoped Irish Dancing would help strengthen those bones, but it was making matters worse for her.  I immediately started praying for her.  Pleading with God to let her dance.  Just let her dance, Lord!  She kept coming to dance and again, my heart would swell ten times bigger each time I saw her.  Thank You Jesus!!

Today I'm asking if you would please pray for 7 year old Kaidan?  I just found out that she is in the hospital with fevers and we all know that fevers and cancer are not good.   I haven't been able to get much more information than what is on her dad's blog & her caringbridge page.  

As of right now I have not been able to get ahold of her mother for permission to link to her pages or blog.  Once I do, I  will update with the links and hopefully a photo, too. 

If there is anyone that might be willing to make Kaidan a button I would appreciate it.  I don't have the proper software to do that, nor am I that talented.  Email me at if you're interested. 

Thanks so much!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Orange for Stellan!!

*UPDATED 4/22/09 @ 7:39 PM MST**

We made the cut!!!!  The photo of West Valley City, Utah Starbucks employees and myself (with one of my favorite drinks) is up.  I love being snuggled between all the other people around the world who love Stellan, too!!  Yippee!!

I cajoled the local Starbucks employees to pose for a picture with me.  I told them about Stellan and why I was wearing orange.  They happily agreed and I told them to check out My Charming Kids. to see their picture.  I ran out of the store with my Venti Caramel Frapp,  uploaded the picture from my camera to my laptop and sped off to work.  Around noon, I had a little break and decided to drive around some of the neighborhood streets in downtown Salt Lake City to   steal a little measly bit of bandwidth.  I was having a hard time finding anyone who didn't have the common sense to password protect their precious WiFi.  Finally, I found some, but I guess it was a little too late to make the cut.  So, what better place to post the photo than here.  

BTW- Stellan is out of surgery, awake and has already enjoyed his yummy MckMama Happy Meal. The last Twitter was that she was finally getting some sleep.

Good Night MckMama.  

Good Night precious baby Stellan.  

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Adventures of Feile Denver 2009

Mom, do I really have to pose for this silly picture? When can we go swimming?

Help. Me. Please!


Currently, we are driving home from our adventurous weekend trip to Castle Rock, Colorado.  Adventure is an understatement and doesn’t quite relay the white knuckle, fingernail biting, wishing we had 4-wheel drive experience to you, my blog readers.  Let’s just say, I am extremely grateful the roads are dry and the forecast is for clear skies, dry roads and possible ice over the passes.  What is normally an eight hour drive, took us over nineteen hours on Friday.  We were one of the last cars that was able to sneak by the troops preparing to shut down I-70.

By the looks of things, maybe that wasn’t the safest decision, but we’re alive and that’s all that matters.  The crack in the windshield was done by my dear husband.  It was an accident.

Travel Update @ 11:00 AM: Denver is on the horizon. Roads clear and sunshine is abundant.  Kids are tired.  Casey & Caleb keep fighting.  Chloe is nursing an ankle injury.

We were lucky enough to have caravanned with another group from our studio.  They have a SUV and that proved to be our life saver in the biggest storm Denver has seen in a century. While we were getting pounded with 4 feet of snow, they slowly led the way, hazard lights flashing, so we could follow in their tracks.  

We pulled off I-70 to have a potty break and it was a fiasco.  We were afraid if we got off they wouldn’t let us back on, but the guy directing traffic said we could still get back on.  The kids had a chance to go potty, but the line was horrendous and long.  A few minutes after the kids were done,  we were told they were shutting down the entrance to I-70 so we had to leave immediately.  We ran to the cars and were able to make it to the entrance just in time.  We did not want to be stuck there overnight.  

After we passed through Eisenhower Tunnel we met up with all the other stranded motorists.  So we sat.  And sat.  And sat some more. 

From mile marker 222- 240 it took us over three hours and we sat, not moving at all, for another four hours.  Remember, when I told you we were waiting for the bathroom and had to quickly leave?  Well, not many of us were able to use the restroom.  A funny thing happens when you are stuck in a car for many hours with no bathroom in sight.  You become very creative and resourceful.  Caleb said he wanted to make a snow toilet.  We told him it would be too cold to sit on, but it was a great idea.  I used a cup and cursed not having bought the GoGirl.  Our SUV friends opened the passenger doors and made a little stall, using blankets for extra privacy.   

Lest you think we sat in our cars complaining and yelling at each other, this photo should prove otherwise.  Us feismom's really know how to pack for an emergency.  I had packed a cooler full of food to last us the weekend and only eating out two to three times.

We met some friends on our adventure, too.  They embraced the snow and inconvienence with gusto.  I'm not sure I felt the same way, but they sure did bring lots of smiles and giggles to motorists who inched their way past this friendly guy.  

Many other stranded motorists had the same idea.  Unfortunately,  I didn’t get pictures because it was too dark, but several others made miniature snowmen all along the guard rail and one creative person built a life size human figure sitting on the guardrail facing us.  We noticed that snowman after they shuffled us off  Eastbound I-70 and onto Westbound I-70 heading east.  The kids and I thought it was so neat to drive the wrong way on the Interstate, even if it felt a little odd.  I wonder if that’s what it feels like to drive in Europe?  I sure would like to find out for myself.  haha.

Several other dancers from our school went  to a nearby Middle school to spend the night.  The Red Cross was brought in by the National Guard to feed them, but I read in the Denver Post that there were no cots provided.  It was a rough night for them I’m sure. We finally made it to our hotel around 1:00 AM and crashed.  Luckily, the organizers of Feile Denver were willing to delay the start of the feis so that more people might have a chance to make it in.  It allowed us to get much needed sleep before the big competition.  

Travel Update @ 1.36 PM.   Mile marker 279 with 66 miles to Rawlins.  Casey and Caleb are still arguing, intermittently.  Chloe is “bored” and is still nursing her ankle. Our two extra passengers are helpful and cheerful.  

That brings us to the competition results.  I know you’ve been waiting to read how my dancers did, so I’ll just get right to it.


2-Hand Reel - 2nd place

Beginner I Reel- HM


Open 2-Hand- 1st place

Open 4-Hand- 1st place

Open 6-Hand- 1st place

Prizewinner Reel- Did not place.

Novice Light Jig-1st place!!  She’s now in Prizewinner!!  

Prizewinner Slip Jig- 3rd place.

Novice Single Jig- Did Not place.

Prizewinner Treble Jig- 1st place!!!  

Prizewinner Hornpipe- 3rd place

Prizewinner Traditional Set (Blackbird)- 2nd place

Reel Special- HM


Open 2-Hand- Did not place.

Open 4-Hand- 3rd place

Open 6-Hand- 1st place

Prizewinner Reel- Did not place

Light Jig- He doesn’t have to compete it because he placed 1st at Prizewinner level. 

Slip Jig- He’s a’s a “girls” dance.  

Prizewinner Single Jig- 3rd place

Novice Treble Reel- 2nd place

Novice Hornpipe- 2nd place

Novice Traditional Set- Did not place

Reel Special- Honorable Mention

Travel Update @ 7:30 PM:  We are home!!!!  Cleaned and vacuumed out the car.  I hope it doesn't take me the whole week to unpack.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's fun, even if it is Eco.

Caleb almost 4 months old.  Don't you just want to pinch those chipmunk cheeks?  Mama's milk rocks!

For years I've made choices that were not because I wanted to "Save the Earth", but because I felt a strong conviction (breastfeeding/babywearing) or because I wanted something different (cloth diapers).  I even made the choice to go completely cloth for my own womanly needs because I prefer comfort over ease. 

One of the reasons I am blogging about this is because over the past few years I've felt lazy about doing my part.  Being bombarded by television, radio and internet awareness ads leaves little to be desired, if I do say so myself.   I would even feel comfortable saying that, at times, I rejected the whole Eco movement because I was tired of all the extremist poster-child views being shoved down my throat.  

Until last week, when I was part of an interesting conversation.  I had never stopped to think about what I was doing to help the environment.  Mostly because the choices I made were not for the enviornment to begin with.

It's ironic, to me, that one person can be so critical of your choices in food or clothing and then be so outwardly disgusted at the thought of using cloth menstural pads.  It was during this one eye-opening conversation that I started reflecting on the choices I have made in the past eight years.   
*Cloth Diapering: I miss this stage.  I loved cloth diapering and, yes, I feel jipped because I never tried it with my babies before Caleb.

*Smackerlicious (my own brand that I stopped producing for more family time)
*Prefolds w/ fleece covers
*Various other WAHM diapers
*Cloth wipes with homemade Burt's Bee's apricot oil.  Yum!!!

WARNING: Cloth diapering can be IS addicting.  

*Cloth menstural pads: These are so comfy!  If you don't think it's for you, just give it a try.  Buy one pad and use it, wash, use it, wash.  Switch back and forth between paper and cloth.  Try it during your heavy and light days and see for yourself.  Just try it.

*Breastfeeding/Extended Breastfeeding/Delayed Solids:
Choosing to breastfeed/delay solids eliminated bottles, nipples, formula cans, baby food jars and a plethera of other disposable products. I started making my own baby food for my third son (second pregnancy). By the time Chloe came along, she went straight to table food that I would mush/chop it up for her by hand.  Caleb didn't even get that..he ate straight people food by 11 months because he was ready.  No mushing, smashing, pureeing or chopping for him.  

*Cleaning products.

I've changed out about 85% of my old beloved cleaners (lemon scented anything) for more yummy smelling, and envioronment friendly, products.  

Vinegar (not so yummy smelling, but it does the trick)

The one cleaners I have not switched out are my favorite laundry detergents & softeners. 

*Trying to remember my cloth shopping bags more: I need to put a sticky note on my garage door.  

*Recycling more: I wish our pick-up was every week..we fill it up too fast now.  I guess that's a good sign.  

*Eating more whole foods: I don't buy organic unless it's on sale.  I am just trying to eat more healthy foods and provide these items to my children who already love veggies and fruits. Having a husband who is willing to prep the veggies makes it that much easier.  Plus, they don't sit in our fridge, wilting, while we eat out.  Again.

Things I want to do/accomplish:
*Build a small raised bed for a garden.
*Start a compost bin
*Build a chicken coop so we can have fresh eggs and chickens.  Whichever comes first. (I'm still working on hubby)
*Stop eating fast food
*Bake bread (no more store bought)
*No more soda

I'm not one that gets on the whole environmental bandwagon, as you may have figured out by now. Instead, there are things that I've been open to trying.  Cloth diapers lured me in because they were too cute!  It wasn't until after using them that I started to understand the benefits.  Breastfeeding was something I wanted to do since I was a little girl and saw a lady at church lovingly cradle her new baby to her breast.  When I held her afterwards, her breath smelled like peppermint.  I educated myself and gleened information that was pertinent to our lives and let the other stuff go.  I think the biggest thing I've learned over the past eight years is to just give something a try. You may like it and even be willing to incorporate it into your daily life. 

However, it could be that I'm truly SilentlyCrunchy and in serious denial.

For more Talk About Tuesday's, please visit Lara's blog:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter 2009

This adorable little Lamb was made by my Nana.  It's a tradition that she makes one each Easter.  I'm very grateful that my family has been able to celebrate so many holidays with Nana since she moved here.  Unfortunately, this lamb suffers an ill fate, but I'll talk more about that later. 

Today we let our two fifteen year old boys hide the eggs that my mom brought over for us. With our baby being seven years old, I think this was a little too easy.  Gamma did warm them against inserting plastic eggs into her tail pipe.  Maybe they were out of options by this point.

Extremely Eager Easter Egg E-uh-Hunters.

At least when it's sunny outside, my camera can take beautiful landscape photos.  I love Spring!

Nana (my maternal grandmother) and her Utah Great Grandchildren.  We enjoy having her here.  I'm extremely grateful that she is so involved in their lives.  She's very supportive and encouraging to them.  We love our Nana!!!  

The bounty.

Hopefully they'll choose the raisins over the chocolate, which by the way, nobody saved me a piece.  And to think...I carried them all and gave birth to them.  Sheesh!

Last year, Rob was given the opportunity to cut into our very first Easter Lamb cake.  This year was no different.  Of course, being the Bible scholar he is, I wasn't surprised when he explained (in detail) how the Jewish people would sacrifice a lamb.  He then proceeded to slice off the head, dab his finger into the frosting and walk to the nearest door post so he can smear the frosting on my freshly Spring cleaned door frame.  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saturday & Sunday-Full of Organizing

In a impluse attempt to be more organized, like my mom, I purchased the Joy's filing system about two years ago.  At the time, I had really good intentions of becoming paper organized as soon as it arrived in the mail.  However, I got as far as putting all the filing tabs on the hanging files and assembling the binder before stuffing it back in a box and trying to forget I even knew what paper was.   

Saturday, after dance lessons, I parked my tushie on the front room floor and surrounded myself with approximately six boxes full of files and papers that I haven't been organized enough to go through.  Box by box I would sort the papers into small piles around me.  The paper shredder was right next to me so I didn't have to move and my kids were just a hollar away when it needed to be emptied.  They're such good helpers!!!

Jill, our kids Irish Dance TCRG,  came over to give me a CD as I was in the middle of all the chaos and you should have seen the look on her face. was too funny.  Seven hours later I was 8:00 PM. Well, I had one file box left of stuff I just went through, but didn't want to spend any more time filing.  Plus, my tushie was quite sore.  Time flies when you're having fun, I guess.  I had trouble getting up and I highly doubt it was good for me to sit on the floor that long only moving my legs to stave off the annoying sensation that my foot was going to sleep.  

I didn't just happen upon these six boxes of papers, manuals and the like.  It's been a work in progress for several months.  Just check out this post I did at the beginning of this year.  There was a mental process I had to go through before I could even attempt going through the dozens of boxes we had accumulated over the 16+ years of our life together.  There was the basement storage room, the boxes in the garage and of course the one room of house where we stuffed everything that didn't have a place.  Especially when I finally cleaned out those other storage rooms.  This was my basement living room during the storage room clean out.

You do know that the reason I even wanted to tackle this much junk was because I wanted my pine tree's to be in a neatly organized and clean place, right?

Of course, all the stuff that couldn't fit into the storage room was either given to charity, shredded or put in here....

The garage was the next project we tackled and this room looked significantly worse than in this photo.  Yeah, that's been my mission in life.  To move junk from one room to the other. It's my husband's mission in life to hide it all so I don't go through these phases. 

The mental change I had to go through allowed me to finally get rid of things I didn't need.  For instance, I allowed myself one plastic tub to keep my dad's memory items in and one to keep his engineering and AAAD/MAAD books in that I just can't part with.  I even tossed a dozen of his sweat stained baseball caps that had mold growing on them.  I'm very sentimental and while it may be easy for others to have thrown that stuff out years ago, I had to hold on to it.  I couldn't let go.  This time I had to keep reminding myself that he wouldn't want me to keep his old moldy hats. I had to do this with everything I've kept.  Cards, kids papers, etc. 

Getting that organized led to Sunday being productive, too.  I even skipped church, but I'm sure God understands.

My new desk!!!  I've almost finished labeling everything and I actually feel giddy because I FINALLY have a room to be creative in.  It's not just mine though.  In order to talk hubby into splurging on the IKEA furniture, I had to sell him on the idea that this would be a place where the kids could do their homework and be creative, too.  SOLD!

*Cutting table with three drawers that hold almost all of my sewing accessories.
*Blue basket holds various IKEA containers that still need to be hung *somewhere*.
*File box-my last file box that I'll get to sometime this week/weekend.
*Plastic box holds various organizing containers for drawers, etc.
*Black magnetic strip will hold more round containers with sewing supplies. I have one over my desk that holds office supplies like paper clips, tacks, staples, etc.  

I just had to mention that I am using Lazy Organizer's Organzing bags.  I love them, love them, love them!  I would love more, but I think I'm cut off for awhile. Not by Lara, but by hubby. IKEA has seen me too much in the past couple months.  This small organizing bag contains my son's Nintendo DS, games and charger.  It still has tons more room, too. 

The closet filled with various frames and wall hangings as well as boxes of scrapbooking supplies that I so desperately want to sell.  The boxes are the loooooong ones.  They take up most of the closet.  Only problem is, I do not want to go through them and figure out what each item is worth.  I just want to sell it all and hopefully have enough to make the camera I want not look so far away.

That's it.  I've made good progress this weekend and I couldn't be more thrilled.  Knowing what lies ahead is maintenance, laundry,  Spring yard work and having more time with my kids is giving me goosebumps. 

And last, but not least...

PLEASE keep praying for Stellan.  He was doing a little better, but is now having more SVT breakthroughs.  His poor mama & family. They are looking into a second opinion.