January 23, 2009

shhh... i'm thinking.

OK. I'm nesting and I'm not pregnant. Remember-- this is my year of choosing, and I'm sick of my whole house. I'm currently CHOOSING a new room for my girls. (And I'm re-decorating the bathroom, my bedroom, living room, etc.)
Climb Mt. Fuji
Little Snail
But slowly, slowly
I'm addicted to blogs like this one-- women who make their homes look great for cheap. So, thanks to pottery barn, and Kerri's sister-in-law, and Rebecca at Harmony and Home... these are some of my inspiration pictures. I'm painting the dresser BLUE-GREENISH... I'm making those curtains, AND, the girls and I are going to experiment with some funky wall art. I'll keep you posted.
oh. the possibilities.

January 22, 2009

what's better than canned yams?

My family loves sweet potatoes. But, boy oh boy, those babies are tough. A few months ago, in a moment of weakness, I saw "canned yams" and I was intrigued. They ended up in my cart. Canned yams changed my life. Do you know how easy they are? Yeah, you just open them up and they are already PEELED and cooked and soft. Who knew?! The professor even explained that his mother-- yes, the cowboy, she uses canned yams every Thanksgiving. And, I was talking to my Italian sister-in-law on the phone from Italy and guess what? Yup. She was opening canned yams for her baby. She loves canned yams too! So, for all you unbelievers out there... I dare you. Open up a can. (My family likes em mashed with stuff on the top.) I mean, it makes me wonder what else am I missing. There may be a whole universe of canned-yam-goodness that eludes me. What are your secrets? When it comes to your favorite things I'm all ears. Or maybe I should say, I yam what I yam. (courtesy laugh... thanks) This is what we put on top... 1 stick of butter (melted) 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup pecans 1/2 cup coconut bake till crusty. good crusty not crusty crusty. What do baby sweet potatoes wear to bed? Their yammies. (duh.)

January 21, 2009

ride em cowgirl...

yes. i can ride the bull. take the cow by the horns. i last 8 seconds with the worst of em. in my 20's i learned to smile so i don't scream, to breathe so i don't boil over. i was granted patience, understanding and perspective. most days i can calm the storm... find the socks, snap the pants, fix the hair, call a time-out... mine is a life of clothing the naked, healing the sick, cleansing the dirty, forgiving the unrepentant, finding the lost, gathering the scattered, ordering the unruly and making peace of chaos. i'm a bit addicted to the adrenaline rush that i get accomplishing a task that some say can't be done... like going grocery shopping with 6 kids. when things get crazy- i cowboy up. the key to bull riding... hold on tight, keep your head up and your heals dug in, and above all-- enjoy the ride. you can do anything for 8 seconds... (and even bulls sleep.) i'm good at riding bull, but i'm a sucky cowboy... the long cow rides (yes. i know all about them from City Slickers.) surviving chaos is not the same as avoiding chaos. my mother-in-law, she's the best cowboy i know... she doesn't get saddle sore from days and nights in the seat... she's got a gentle, easy lope. my mare is ALWAYS bucking. i can last for 8 seconds... she's learned the art of riding into the sunset. my home is lovely- every third day. my laundry is washed, dried, folded and put away- maybe once a month (washed, dried, folded and put into baskets- once a week) i have magical moments. i want peaceful years. i'm tired of riding the roller coaster of life- i want to ride the train. (well, i would be happy with the log ride.) i can cook a mean dinner in under 30 minutes. i'm sick of quickies... i want dessert. so, i'm dedicating this decade to the pursuit of the trail ride. it's funny. i've been thinking of this analogy for a long time, but it wasn't until i wrote it out that i realized how much fun i'm having riding bull, and how boring a life of trail rides sounds. i'm not sure that i'll ever be vanna white. maybe i should just enjoy being ZORRO. maybe the only difference between a young bull rider and a seasoned trail rider is age. maybe i'll get there someday. maybe when i find myself riding trails, i'll be telling stories of my rodeo years with pride. till then, i guess i'll keep holding on tight, digging in my heals, and enjoying the ride. Yeee Haw!

January 20, 2009

sweet moments.

i'm a sucker for thumb suckers. sorry for the pot shot...
but, isn't she the sweetest, little big girl?
speaking of sweet.
todd was gone till 9pm last night...
[at TRAFFIC SCHOOL-- for speeding tickets]
while i was putting the girls to bed, jakob was lovin' lily.
he's a GREAT big brother.

January 19, 2009

some pics from the weekend.

taken by ellie. [actually-- this picture was taken by the Professor... 5 points if you can find Ellie.] now i know why they kept coming in my room for more pillows.
friendship is golden.
thanks ashley for sweetening up my day with GOLDEN OREOs.
todd actually went to the store on Saturday night to get me oreos and he came back with Golden Oreos with CHOCOLATE inside. It was a sweet thought, but just not the same.
on tuesday anna had a "TEXAS" program at school.
whats a sew mama to do?
yes. you guessed it. kids went to bed and mom went to the sewing machine.
the girls have been wearing this cowpoke skirt ever since.

January 17, 2009

wish my nose was running money... but it's not.

My cousin Shelley just linked to this funny video.
REALLY, it's funny.
Especially cause I live in Texas and I'm SICK...
It's a country love song.
My favorite line
"If my nose was running money, I'd blow it all on you.
If my nose was running money, but it's snot."
I did my civic duty this morning. Got dressed. Dropped my kids off at a primary activity and went shopping at Old Navy. 50% off clearance plus this coupon. I spent money I don't have, but I got some GREAT deals. now, I'm goin back to bed... i hope.

January 16, 2009


so honestly.
exercising SUCKS.
if i spend time with Jillian Michaels in the morning, i want to sleep ALL afternoon.
i GAINED weight.
and now,
I've been sleeping for two days.
no exercise.
no laundry.
(those pictures were from LAST week).
i blame it all on my ex-friend jillian...
and on dumb resolutions.
stay in bed.
let your soul delight in fatness.
abs of steel are HIGHLY over-rated.
i mean- how many kids does jillian michaels have anyway?
spend your $9 on CANDY BARS...
(have you tried the white coconut Ferrero Raffaello? mmmm.)
i need a tissue.

January 14, 2009

we LOVE clean clothes.

check out my family room.
holy mother of laundry...
please forgive my swearing
I know.
I need to modify my "Wednesday is Laundry day" routine.
i need to get cable tv to watch while i fold

January 13, 2009

what? i can't hear you? i'm EXERCISING!!

Yes. I still LOVE the Jillian Michael's DVD- Shred. Yes. I recommend that you splurge the $9 at Wal-Mart to buy it. I love even more the 30 day free trial at her web-site. She has GREAT menu ideas, shopping lists and ideas for healthy snacks and meals. I think her recipes are healthy and doable-- not way out there... and, I like that she is balanced-- Not ALL protein NO carbs... AND. I want to kiss the 300 pound butts of those biggest loosers. Seriously. I can still barely get through level ONE. I think I can do maybe 5 girl push-ups. I'm not so good, but getting better... I'm watching biggest looser and when they cry I may just cry with them... you go fat girls... work it for all of us. Seriously. Next year, when all of you are reporting your marathons in your Christmas letter, mine will say... "Jenifer has been EXERCISING this year. She has finally completed Level ONE of the biggest looser work-out and can now do 30 seconds of push-ups without cheating."

January 12, 2009

potty training leah...

Leah is potty trained.
We tried for one day in November... then had holidays and panties went in the drawer...
Last Monday I packed away the onesies and pulled out the panties and...
She did it.
With ONE accident (AT NAP TIME!!) the first day.
The morning that we started,
I took off her night time super-soaked diaper.
Put on panties.
She had ONE accident DURING her nap that day.
I only put a diaper on her at night time, but she has woken up dry every night. A couple of times she has had a few drops of wet when she says, "Mom!! Quick potty."
NONE of my other kids were this easy! (Maybe your fifth will be easy too...)
She had a bit of a hard time poopin' in the potty... but I finally convinced her, in my politically correct potty training lingo that the Mommy Poop in her bum was so sad cause she wanted to go swimming. And once we got the Mommy poop swimming she needed her baby poop and Daddy poop to join her. I know. Brilliant.
My tip to anyone who is working on it... ONLY POSITIVE. Even if they sit on the toilet and nothing comes out and they say they're done... still say "Good Job!" I don't use any kinds of rewards besides praise and an occasional Potty Dance. (It is also brilliant.) Accidents- I just say "Oh No. That is so sad. We need to go potty in the toilet." And, they help me clean it up. Very mild disappointment, but CRAZY, HAPPY praise for success.
Oh, and something else I learned.
If you put little girls on the potty with their legs together- it's easier to tinkle.
If you put them on the potty with their legs open- it's easier to push.
yeah. you try it. you'll see I'm right.
really I know,
This was a freak of nature.
And. Seriously. Leah.
she's my favorite.
this week.
i know... she could still regress and I'll be back to square one... but today, I would like to count my chickens.

January 11, 2009

a note to lily...

sweet lily...
love you.
we need to talk.
mom is REALLY good at schedules.
please cooperate.
you're NOT starving.
nights are NOT more fun than days.
don't grow teeth.
can i have just one more bite of you?
love ya.

January 10, 2009

yeah- day three

ok. day 3 and I'm STILL exercising. life is good. i'm not feeling super posty lately. maybe cause i'm too busy eating healthy. yeah. i bought tofu. and almond butter (like peanut butter but with almonds)... so yummy. i love texas. soon i'll download pics and tell you all about our first cheerleading experience. ellie got the white "Most Christlike" star on her megaphone. anna got "Best Cheers". There was a devotional at half-time. and. my favorite. there were 3 bleachers overflowing of people who came to watch. you couldn't find a seat. all around the stands it was standing room only. families, grandparents, aunts, friends, all cheering for their cheerleaders or basketball players. yeah. only in tejas...

January 08, 2009

i'm gonna be the biggest looser...

Yeah... I exercise.
Two days in a row.
I know it... abs of steel in no time.
I'm doing Jillian's SHRED dvd that I got for $9 at Wal-Mart.
It's a 20 minute circuit of strength, cardio and abs.
There are no fancy dance moves and you just use hand weights.
Basic but good.
Love it.
It has 3 levels of workout and I die doing level one.
Yeah... I NEED to exercise.
just you wait to see how sexy I look in February.

January 06, 2009


So. Seriously. Don't come to my house right now. Why? You'd probably get thrown out. or Sent to Goodwill. or Redecorated. Cause its JANUARY and I'm Crazy into 2009... and I'm Sick of my house... and I'm Taking control of my life. This is my Year of CHOOSING. I'm CHOOSING to get rid of all the STUFF. I'm CHOOSING to simplify. I'm CHOOSING what my house looks like. I'm CHOOSING how I spend the minutes of my day. I'm CHOOSING to exercise. I'm CHOOSING to do family history. I'm CHOOSING to get all caught up with my pictures/scrapbooks for each kid. I'm CHOOSING to make more thoughtful purchases... buy what I want not just what's on sale. I'm CHOOSING to study more and take more time for myself. I'm CHOOSING to spend individual time with my kids. I'm CHOOSING the things I want my kids to learn and then CHOOSING to teach them. I'm CHOOSING to have more fun. I'm CHOOSING to just enjoy every moment of baby, toddler and school age children. I'm CHOOSING to appreciate and support Todd as he dedicates himself to his dissertation. I'm CHOOSING to nurture relationships with my extended family. and some days, I'm CHOOSING to stay in my PJs and play house with my babies all day long. I'm CHOOSING to ENJOY today and HOPE for a better tomorrow. Right now I'm in CLEANITUPANDSHIPITOUT Mode (I've actually been doing this for awhile now-- like maybe 10 years... but, I'm getting better and I'm just about there... i think i can...) I'm also in the middle of my second quilt for the big girl's room. See, I'm sick of pastels and going bright. I figure it's OK for me to redecorate my house every couple of years IF I use the stuff that I already have. So... I'm making these scrappy quilts that I think are adorable... Then I want to redo my bedroom and the boys' bedroom and get Leah into a bed and Lily into the crib in Leah's room. Then I'm totally going to get back into family history. My brother and sister-in-law are leaving Italy THIS SUMMER (maybe). I just have to go their before they leave so I can see the land of my Ionno heritage... I think I can raise the money for the ticket IF I sell some more quilts... So. I gotta go. I have MOUNTAINS of laundry to fold and put away... AND I'm totally going to get rid of half of my kids' clothes when I go put their clothes away because I'm sick of the mess-- WE HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF. And, now that they're in school I have free reign... oooooooo I just love loading up big black trash bags with bags of crap from my closets.
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