Monday, January 30, 2012

Beans and apples

A friend of mine gave a phenomenal lesson in church a few months back. 
Thank you sister Jac "Awesome" Trunk. You'll never know how much that lesson impacted my life.

If you take a jar and try and fill it by putting all the beans in first, and then putting the apples in, They don't fit. However, If you take the apples in the jar first, and then pour the beans in, everything fits. 
The apples represent the big and important things. Serving others, studying the gospel, teaching your children, etc. The beans are the other little things, that yes, have to be done, but they are not as important. Dishes, laundry, running errands, things of that nature. 

You see, If you put the important things first, Everything else will fit. If you try to do it the other way around, there isn't enough room for it all. 

 A few excerpts from one of my favorite talks. The role of righteous women. Written by President Spencer W. Kimball-
"As you become more and more familiar with the truths of the scriptures, you will be more and more effective in keeping the second great commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself. Become scholars of the scriptures—not to put others down, but to lift them up! After all, who has any greater need to “treasure up” the truths of the gospel (on which they may call in their moments of need) than do women and mothers who do so much nurturing and teaching?"
 "Seek excellence in all your righteous endeavors, and in all aspects of your lives."
"We want our homes to be blessed with sister scriptorians— "

I want that to be me.
I want to be Sister Kyrsten Bomb diggity Hicks - the sister scriptorian.
{Sorry, There's a select few that that name will make sense to}

I have always wanted to know the scriptures. But I was never willing to put in the work that is required. I'd usually made time to, you know, put a check mark in the box so to speak. I'd go through the day and then as I was laying down to bed, I'd pull out my phone and read the shortest chapter I could find. I retained nothing. And you know, come Friday and Saturday I would study for my upcoming lesson. There isn't anything wrong with that, Reading the scriptures in any form is good. However, It wasn't going to get me the knowledge that I thirsted for. 

This past year I have really really tried to make studying the scriptures my priority. It hasn't been a small task. I can tell you that rarely during the span of 24 hours, do I have a second to myself. I've had to work around this. Usually I am interrupted 4 or 5 times during the course of an hour or 2 while I am trying to study. That's okay, It gives me an opportunity to teach my children what I am learning.

This year I am teaching the Book of Mormon in Sunday school and have really tried to focus my attention on it. 
 I have tried to put "everything else" {the beans} first and it has never worked out. 

Now, I have made studying the scriptures my priority, And I always have time for everything else. In fact, My life is much more organized and peaceful. I have more patience with my children, and I am more in tuned to the spirit. My home is filled with more love. If you feel like your life is missing something, This is it.
If you aren't a member of my faith, Please, read the Book of Mormon. What do you have to lose? If you read it and decide that it isn't for you, That's okay, We can still be friends! But I can promise you in the name of our Savior, that this book will bring you closer to God and strengthen your testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. It will give you a greater knowledge and testimony of the bible and it's truthfulness. Your heart will be filled with peace and you will gain a deeper desire to follow and serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your family will be strengthened and protected against the lures if the adversary. I know that because it has happened in my life. My life is more blessed because I have made a greater effort to learn from it's pages. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The long awaited coupon post...

Okay, I know this has been a long time coming. Sorry. So, I'm going to do my best to tell you how I coupon because it's not "extreme couponing." I refuse to drag 4 kids to 10 different stores all over town. I do not shop at walgreens or rite aid or participate in their rewards programs. It just is not practical for me. There are awesome deals to be had, but they aren't for me. I go to target, and Publix. That is it. I don't coupon on a majority of my food. We don't eat processed and artificial crap and while it is getting a little easier to save money on natural and whole foods, The majority of food coupons that are put out are for pre packaged stuff.
 Get a binder and get organized. This will never work if you aren't organized. get a binder and some baseball card holders.

GET DIVIDERS! Divide them up however your brain processes them best. By Isle, By category, by store, whatever.

1. Get 2 or 4 Sunday papers delivered, Even numbers so you can maximize Buy one get one sales. Ask your neighbor to save their coupons for you. My moms neighbor gives me hers if I'm over there, and My friend Gloria from the gym saves 2 inserts for me!!
2. Before you even look at the ad clip the coupons on things you use. I do not clip coupons on things that are on sale and I have a coupon on them just because they are cheap. If it isn't healthy or we don't use it on a regular basis, I don't buy it.
3. Go to the stores website and look for store coupons. You can "stack" {that means use both coupons on one item} a manufactures coupon and a stores coupon. Depending on your stores coupon policy. You can also use a target store coupon at publix if they accept or consider target as a competitor. IE...The Publix by my house does not, But the Publix by my moms house does. Most coupons you are only allowed to print two of from one computer. I print from my computer, and then I print from my moms house. There are 2 computers that I can print from there. And remember to look for peelies {The coupon that is stuck to the product itself} Depending on the store you can use all 3. But it is a manufactures coupon so some store will not let you use them together. Oh and I almost forgot. Make sure you look in the package of the things you buy. Scrubbing bubbles sometimes have coupons in their packaging and so does the shout color catchers box. Like the actual cardboard box is the coupon. You'd never notice it if you didn't know to look.
4. Okay, Then you go through your ad and do your matchups.
5. I take a separate trip for couponing. It's just easier for me to concentrate. I usually have my binder in the car just in case I find an unadvertised deal while I am regular grocery shopping.
6. Look for clearance things that you have coupons for. Thats where you can score some GREAT deals.

A look into my collection. Mind you this is after I haven't couponed for 5 months. I ran out of room and had to take a break from it when Brent was born. So it's a little low right now. 
 This is my laundry soap collection. I am not a soap snob, I just buy whats cheapest. Usually I can get these for about $1-$2 per bottle.

 Razors are always free. Target does Awesome gift card promotions when you buy two razors. So, You use your coupons for the two you buy and then get the target gift card! Toothbrush heads, and Always contact solution.

 Coupons on clearance items. This tide stain release was originally $18. Marked down to $12. I had a $3 manufacturer coupon and a $2 target coupon. So it was $7. I bought 4 of them. And haven't had to worry about buying them for quite sometime.
 Toothpaste was free, deodorant, And you know why I love Target? They have coupons on their generic brand. I got my face wash for $.85 and its every bit as good as the St Ives brand.
 This is all hair products. I have maybe spent $30 on all this. And there's probably easily $100+ worth of products in there.
 Target online usually has $1 coupons for any up and up product over $3. I ALWAYS use those on wet wipes, I buy the 3 pack.
 Cleaning supplies. Always check the box for coupons.
 Target has coupons for up and up diapers. I'm cheap. We use target diapers. I print as many coupons as I can and stock up when I can get the coupon and they are on sale.
 Look for extra incentives...This was a double bonus. These packs of razors had $10 i tunes gift cards with 2 razor purchases... Guess what? I got 6 razors for FREE. So in addition to free razors I also have $30 in Itunes.

Okay I know this is really long. But if I can do it, So can you. And as a rule of thumb I never buy anything when I need it. you'll always pay more that way. You wont have a coupon or it wont be on sale. That's why slowly building a "stockpile" is important. You never run out of things and you always get a better deal. 
 If you have questions I'd be happy to help! Or if you want help organizing a binder, Or making a cute binder carrier with the strap, I'd be glad to show you.

Friday, January 27, 2012


As soon as I get two seconds, I will sit and blog. Perhaps tomorrow...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tax TIme.

Ugh, Forgive me as I rant for a bit...
Rarely do I post things anywhere about politics and things of that nature. I don't like to argue. But for the record, I AM A VERY PASSIONATE VERY RIGHT SIDED CONSERVATIVE. 
However, I need to just vent for a second. We just turned our taxes in. Normally, this is a joyous occasion for us. And this year was good too... We will get a refund back. Considering that is our money in the first place, {insert eye roll here.} Anywho... The past few years I have never noticed what percentage of our income we actually pay in taxes. This year I was curious because our tax return was about the same as last year. However, We paid $10,000 In hospital bills, and had another kid. Now, I understand that we didn't own a house this year and perhaps that was a contributing factor. So I was a bit confused as to how we could get back about the same amount... And then it hit me... Tax bracket. Mike made a bit more money this year which is a blessing. I understand that and am very grateful that he has a job. That's not the point of this... It bumped us so that we are in a new tax bracket and we are on the lower end of the tax bracket... Awesome. Now, I don't know if you know this but the tax brackets make it so that we pay between 10% to 35%. WHAT?!?!? That is freaking ridiculous. That's a HUGE difference.
Everyone should pay the same percentage. That's the way God does it. It's absolute ludicrous to make people who make more money pay a higher percentage. HELLO? These rich nerds can take their money else where and create jobs else where if you keep taxing the crap out of them! Do not misunderstand this. I do not have an issue paying my taxes. I think that living in the greatest nation in the world is a privilege, and obviously some taxes are necessary... But why can't everyone, regardless of income, pay 10% or 15%.  Anything above that is absolutely insane. I think the founding fathers, are ROLLING in their graves to see the state of America's finances. UGHHHH, Whatever, I know that I can't do anything about it, and that that is a dream scenario, But it just really makes me sick to my stomach. I almost lost my lunch...
Okay, I feel better. I vented. Any how, looking on the bright side, We will get a refund so WOO HOO for that. Get your taxes done, and go get some of your money back!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cash budget update

This week was surprisingly easy. Here's a breakdown of what was spent...
Minus the unexpected hospital Trip....

$50 in gas. YES! I made my tank last an entire Wednesday to Wednesday!
$12 between Little Cesars and Chick Fil A.
$40 at Target on milk, cereal, protein bars and a few other groceries.
$18 at firehouse {that was our date for the week}
oh and $20 for our babysitter.
Total spent- $140.

That's it! That was the entire week! $60 under budget!!!!
I'm getting the hang of this. I was talking to a friend and telling her that I couldn't spend any money because my budget for each week is only $200. She said "per week? That's A LOT!" I quickly replied, Are you crazy? $50 of that is JUST gas. Plus formula, diapers, groceries, dates, babysitters etc. And then I asked her if she had any idea how much money she spends in a week. She had no clue. So yes, $200 per week may sound like a lot, But especially for a family of 6, it really doesn't go very far. However, I'm determined to make it work and be under budget EVERY week. I can do this for at least the next year. And then, after our goal is reached, We can loosen up a bit, But for now, The purse strings are only getting tighter! Happy budgeting! How'd you do this week?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Baby Brent is doing much much better. Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers. We're still doing our best to stay out of public places, just until we're sure his immune system is ready to fight off whatever else is out there.
On my plate this week...
This coming season is a big moment in time for the Hicks family. The time has come for us to start thinking about where we are going to live for the next bit. We are almost to the point in our lease that we are going to have inform them if we are going to extend our lease, or not, or if we do, for how long. 6 months, Or if we are going to stay here for another year, Or if we are going to buy a new house, or Build a new one, and if that is the case, Where it's going to be... BIG decisions are going to have to be made. I'm excited, and also EXTREMELY stressed about everything that has to be factored into this decision. $$$, Schooling, extra curricular activities, quality if life, safety, neighborhood, church, commutes, friends, family...


Sometimes, I don't like being a grown up. It's a lot easier to just be told what to do sometimes. But where is the growth in that?
In any case, It's going to be a matter of serious contemplation, and after we make a decision, we will take it to the Lord for his stamp of approval, Or perhaps the big fat DENIED stamp. And back to the drawing board we will go.
I don't want to mess this one up... It's a biggie.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baptist hospital needs to have a wing named after the Hicks family.

Baptist hospital needs to have a wing named after the Hicks family. Or at least our name should be on the generous contributions plaque.

 This is how my evening began. Hot date with Mr. Hicks. Which included a trip to Walgreens, and the Burger king drive thru, {I love their fries}, All while listening to some old school Coolio. In the prius... Picture it now. LOL. And hanging out with the youth group from our church at a bonfire. And some hot cocoa! Picture perfect night...

Until we got home. We were standing around chatting with Mike's mom, {Who had been watching the kids}, And all the sudden I hear Brent gasping for air trying to cough. He couldn't even get enough air to cough. So Mike and I loaded him up and rushed to the ER. Don't worry we left Mikes mom with the others.
 We get to the hospital and they take him back almost immediately, I literally sat down in the chair and they called us back. Honestly, it was so late the details are pretty foggy. But I remember 2 or 3 breathing treatments that he didn't respond to, and then the last one seemed to help a little bit. However, not much. A few minutes later he was still having chest retractions, and working way too hard to breathe. So as Brent and I were off to get x rays, Mike found out that they were going to admit him.
This was our cozy little room. {and by cozy I mean extremely small and uncomfortable. The rocking chair made my back hurt, and Mike and I slept on a, {meaning one for both of us to share,} foam padded "bed" that was smaller than a twin size mattress.} All together that night we got maybe 2 hours of interrupted sleep. Dr's coming in and asking me questions, I remember vaguely one Dr. coming in and asking me for some information and he asked me for Brent's birth date. I told him, with my eyes half closed, I can't think of it, isn't it in his paper work... I was SO exhausted I don't even think I could tell you my own name at that point. We came home last night. He's doing alright. They think it was just a virus that his little body couldn't handle and gave him the nasty croupy cough, and basically it's RSV, but its not the RSV virus. But it acted the same way. Does that make sense? I was half asleep when it was explained to me, and my brain is still going on about 5 hours of sleep.
We're still in the scary we really have to keep and eye on him stage, but hopefully the worst of it is behind us and He'll be good as new in a week or so. So, we will be quarantined so that this little guy doesn't get any more germs.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Has it ever hit you how blessed you are?
Mike and I were sitting in tithing settlement a few weeks ago, and the bishop asked how everything was going in the Hicks home. Mike said, "It's going so well, I'm kind of waiting for the bottom to fall out." Implying that the Lord had possibly been going easy on us in terms of trials, and tribulation... I piped up and said, " No. The trials are there, However, I think it's a change of attitude.
Later that night I brought the conversation up with Mike. I said, "Do you really think that things have been super easy, and trial free?" He confirmed his thoughts. I gently pointed out that in the past few years,  There was a time that I struggled so much with postpartum that I locked myself in the closet and cried on a daily basis. I reminded him that we had just made the decision to leave the home that we brought all three of our babies home to.  That we have 6 people in a tiny townhouse. The months that we didn't know if our daughter was going to be able to hear our voices. The months that we didn't know if her feet were ever going to be normal, Or if she could walk normally. That we had a few months prior, had minutes that felt like hours that we didn't know if our son was going to live with us on this earth after his birth.

I assured him that the trials were there. However, I think that through the refiners fire that the Lord has changed our outlook on the trials that we are given, and softened our hearts to graciously accept his will. I am in no way saying that I have never hardened my heart towards the Lord or taken everything that he has thrown our way with the best attitude. However, There has never been a moment in my life that I felt like the Lord had abandoned me, or given up on me, or that he didn't know my needs or didn't love me.

I can also see where Mike was coming from. We have been extremely blessed, Our children are healthy, and we have sufficient for their needs. We are happy. I know that everyone has their own trials, and nobody's life is perfect, or easy. I know that our trials are seemingly insignificant to the things that the Lord sees fit for others to experience. But I do know that when we put our trust in the Lord, and in his timing, and in his wisdom, no matter what our situations are, that the things he blesses us with will bring us closer to him, when we make the decision to be happy and live our lives by his example and teachings. Things are very good and we are very blessed. Looking back, EVERY trial we have been given, has been a blessing. We have come to know our savior better, and learned knowledge that will carry us through the things that the Lord will continue to bless us with. The gospel of Jesus Christ is real, and it is through him that happiness comes regardless of our circumstances.

An excerpt from Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-8

"Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee eexperience, and shall be for thy good.
The aSon of Man hath bdescended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cash budget update

I'm going to be honest. Last week we spent more than budget. However, That's because I was on "vacation." But I did use cash, and only whipped out the debit card twice. Not too shabby I say for being on vacay. And Targets after Christmas clearance was last week. Thats when I buy all the kids presents for next year and birthdays. Awesome deals. Like 50 to 70% off. I'd be stupid to pass those kind of deals up and pay full price when birthdays and Christmas' roll around. So, I did go over budget last week.
However, now that things have slowed down and we are pretty much back to normal,
This week is surprisingly going very well. I have groceries for the rest of the week, and all things accounted for and plenty of money still left in the jars.
I did something today that I haven't done in years... I pre paid my gas in cash. It was the weirdest thing I have to say. But man alive it hurt WAY more handing her a nice crisp $50 bill than it does just sliding my card. And it didn't even get me a full tank! AGH! That 3/4 of a tank has to last me until next Wednesday!
The debit and credit cards have been remove from our wallets, and we only grab some cash if we are planning on making a purchase. {no more impulse buying, and yes there is a bit of cash in the cars for EMERGENCIES, and no, "I'm craving a chick fil a milk shake" does not count as an emergency} 

I can do it!!!! Actually, these things aren't really my real problem...

My name is Kyrsten and I am an online shop-a-holic.

I know I have a problem, a small one, but nonetheless a problem... And I justify it because I sell things on ebay. I take that money from my paypal account and pay for things through paypal instead of depositing it into the savings or checking account. So, I guess it feels like I'm not spending the money.

Now, Don't get me wrong, I don't go crazy, I do only buy things that we need. Formula, baby rice cereal, and some clothes/or shoes. Amazon really does have some screaming deals on things I already buy... and I do deposit money into our regular accounts occasionally... But I HAVE to be better. So, from now on, ALL money I make on ebay, doesn't go back into the internet shopping world, It goes to the bank account. And I will pay for whatever I have to buy from online out of a regular account and remove cash from jars accordingly.

So, Long story short, I know I can do this. I feel like it's a game now... How little money can we live on. It's really quite amusing. Now, I know most of you have kiddos who ask for things, If you're wondering how I get around that, For starters, My children don't really ask for things in the store. Any time they had in the past, I just told them to ask santa for it, or put it on their birthday list, and I never got a tantrum from that response, and now, Instead of asking for it, out of habit they say, "I'm going to ask santa for this, or I am going to put this on my birthday list!" They look at it, and play with it for a bit, and then put it back and we move on. Now, I will say, My kids do ask if we can have chick fil a for lunch. {we pass one everyday from picking blake up from school.} I tell them that we have chicken at home, and that I will make them some when we get there. And explain to them that mommy and daddy are saving money up so that they can buy blake lala kynzi and brent a big house with a giant backyard and a trampoline and swing set. and If we spend all of our money on chick fil a we wont be able to buy those things. {They are 4 years old they have no concept of money obviously.} It's been a really great teaching opportunity to teach them that we must forgo some things in life for better things. And that they must make sacrifices to achieve the things that they really want.

Anywho, I think in a couple of months we will be able to graduate to the envelope system, and I found this cute little tutorial, and will be making this to go in my wallet. If anyone wants to join me let me know and we will pick a day!
Good luck this week on the budget and let me know how it goes!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

There's very few days that I get like this. However, Today, I lost the battle.
The morning started out not too terrible, things ran smoothly and we were on time to drop Blake off and get to the gym.
After that it all went a bit down hill.
Tried to go to attack... My knee wasnt feeling great so I took it easy. 15 minutes into class I felt like I was going to pass out, I was super dizzy and super disoriented and shaky had to leave and go get some food and after that I felt much better. {That's a whole different post}
Went to get Blake, came home and that's when it hit me. I was massively overwhelmed. I came home to an extremely messy house, That included crap everywhere from my suitcase and the kids weekend bag, Plus the regular mess of the morning and rushing everyone out of the house, plus 4 very needy hungry tired kids, plus 6 loads of laundry, plus it's bill day, Blake did NO school work the last two days in class, so I had to sit and get him through two class work packets to get him caught up, plus a few other random errands that needed to be taken care of. {Dragging 4 kids to the post office, grocery store and jeans store is not fun, or easy}
As the kids were asking me for lunch, and the baby was screaming, I sat on the floor and just cried. I couldn't comprehend how one person was supposed to be able to take care of all of that.
Well, I don't have time for that. I put my big girl panties on, collected myself, made lunch, fed the baby, put the younger two down for a nap and tried to start cleaning.
Eventually I pulled myself together, However, The entire day was still rough. I didn't even come close to getting to any laundry, and I'm still feeling like there's no way one person can stay on top of all of that. And I still feel like I will never be satisfied with what is physically possible for one person to do. Especially when I am so outnumbered. I do laundry for 5 other people, I clean up after 5 other people, I cook for 5 other people. Long story short,  1 < 5. I'm just keeping it real. This is how I feel today. Hopefully I will wake up tomorrow and it will be better. Most days it doesn't get to me, Today it did.
A friend said she just wanted to lay on the couch. It had been one of those days. I said, Yeah, Me too. Actually, No, I'm not a lay on the couch kind of girl... I want to go get some eyelash extensions, a spray tan, and go buy a new pair of shoes. I still may... I know, You're thinking "You just got back from a girls weekend" Yeah, Coming home to the aftermath is what started all of this. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The best weekend ever. The Disney 1/2 Marathon.

Sarah and I went down Thursday night to Orlando. Hung out had fun, went shopping, ate. and Ate some more. We stayed in a SUPER nice condo that we found on groupon and thought we were getting a one bedroom, only to walk in the door and find out there was not just one bedroom, not just 2, but 3!! So that started out the trip pretty nicely. Friday was great. We went to the temple in the morning, and then literally did whatever we wanted. Shopped, ate, ate, Shopped, You get the idea. And then our sweet Courtney joined us. We had a great night at the expo, and an awesome dinner at outback with some long lost friends. Kara and Theo.  Kara {Mommy of 5!!!} Ran the 1/2 and Theo is doing something called the Goofy Challenge. You run the 1/2 marathon on Saturday, and the full marathon on Sunday. Our friend Arthur from the gym also did the Goofy. Those crazy boys.

The morning of...
We got home around I'd say 10:30 or 11 Friday night. The alarms went off at 2:45 AM on Race day. Yeah, all together we got maybe 3-4 hours of sleep that night. We got dressed, Ate some oatmeal and bananas, Threw our hair in some ponies, Laced up on running shoes and out the door we went. At this hour of the morning it's hard to be excited. I don't think the excitement set in until we got to the starting gates. The countdown began, the gun sounded and the fireworks popped!! We were off... Well, kind of. This race is SO big and there are SO many people {26,500 runners participating} That you cannot get around anyone. You are crammed on that course like sardines. You are only as fast as the grandma in front of you.
The race was fun, It went by fast, It was awesomely entertaining, and is really a race to be enjoyed and not one to try and get your best time on. There are so many people on the course, its basically impossible to pass anyone. I made the choice to stop and have pictures taken along the way with the characters that were along the course. And that was time consuming. The lines to get pictures taken with them are pretty long. And take about 3-5 minutes per character. However that's way shorter than waiting 2 hours during normal park hours. And I knew I was in no danger of running my best race anyway, so I just slowed down and really enjoyed the race.

I'm not paying $35.00 per photo so heres the link that has the photos.

 Kyrstens overpriced race photos.

The 3 pictures where I look like I'm in pain... That about sums up miles 8-13. I hadn't been able to train for the 6 weeks leading up to it due to sinus infections, ear infections, flus, colds, blah blah blah, And I had sinus surgery the week before. Due to the lack of mileage the weeks prior, I got runners knee around mile 9. I was feeling FANTASTIC until then, Lungs felt great, muscles, feet, everything but the knee. So, Total time = HORRENDOUS. {for me} Like 11 minute mile. Normally I run about an 8 1/2 to 9 minute mile. However, It was a blast. It was a great run, And an awesome weekend with some super great friends. I'm thinking it needs to be an annual girls trip! Note to self though, Next time remember gloves. It was freezing!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A few random facts you may or may not have known about me...

I can change my own oil, and fix my own flat tire.

I can and will do anything in 6 inch heels... Including wrangling 4 munchkins into church on my own.

I am a MISERABLE speller... And I'm terrible at math.

I love tuna casserole. I would eat it for breakfast lunch and dinner if I could.

I SUCK at making No bake cookies, But ask me to make a 5 tier wedding cake, piece of cake.

I am a violinist. I started playing when I was 7. It was a God given talent and I take no credit for what I have accomplished. I should and should have practiced more,

I have green eyes. Contrary to what my husband told a hospital nurse 5 years after we'd been married.

I am not a morning person. Or a Night owl for that matter. I go to bed around 8 or 9 and don't get up until 7 or 8. It's always been that way. My parents didn't really have to give me a curfew or bedtime in high school because they knew I couldn't stay awake that late.

I have 2 birthmarks. One next to my belly button, And one on my bum/thigh.  {TMI?}

I don't do things I'm not good at.

I LOVE the scriptures.

I'm scared of everything. I can't even watch previews or I get nightmares. I cried in Hocus pocus because I was so scared.

I HATE CANNED GREEN BEANS. Actually any canned vegetable. I only eat fresh or frozen.

I failed the sit and reach in school EVERY YEAR, But set a school record for the fastest mile in elementary school.  A 6 min 45 sec mile in 5th grade.

I look more like my dad contrary to people saying I look identical my mom.

I hate critters. 

I have freakishly fat short hands. Mike calls them "Mageno mits" If you want to see what I'm talking about google a picture of a silver back gorillas hand and there you have it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


We are super old people and didn't stay up to ring in the new year. We never do. And it's kinda sad...It is the night we got engaged after all.
That was the night... I guess we were old people then too, We look real excited to still be awake eh?
Awww, Weren't we cute? I'll spare you the engagement story. Long story short, Mike asked me to marry him in the Larkin's storage room. Whatever, The ring was beautiful, and so I said yes... Oh yeah, and Mike is pretty much the perfect man, {Other than his proposal skills}
So, onto the resolutions right?!?
 One year I asked Mike what his new years resolutions were. He answered me and said "I don't make them, I think they are stupid. If I find something or know something that I need to change, I start working on fixing it right then, When I notice that I am not where I want to be, Why would I wait until January 1st to start changing it?"
Point taken. I think for me when I make them it's a tool of procrastination. I'll wait until January to fix it. And I'll be honest, I have never stuck to a resolution 100% perfectly for an entire year. So this year, I kind of had a hard time coming up with my list. I have started to try and work on the things that need improvement in my life, When I notice that they need improvement. And I think that I have been pretty successful. I got the baby weight off, And then some {Thanks to being sick constantly} I have been diligent about studying my scriptures. I have made a huge effort to let the laundry wait a little bit longer and played dress up and Dinosaurs instead. Rarely do I raise my voice, {That's a big one for me, I grew up in a LOUD house} And I have been mindful of the budget. 

These past few months I have really tried to make my life what I want it to be. Spending time doing what I want to do. Spending time doing things that will make me who I want to become. Things that are really important in the long run. Learning that I have responsibilities only to God and to my husband and children. That the other things that seem to take away time from those things, are not important and don't deserve my attention. I think for the first time I am happy and content with where I have laid my priorities. I think for at least the time being, That I have it right, And that the things that I have chosen to work on and improve and focus my attention on, are pleasing to my father in heaven. 
I know that there is always room for improvement, and I am not saying that I am anywhere close to perfect. But the things that I know needed improvement, I am giving 110% effort to. I think that we are all too often thinking how much further we have to go and that we don't give ourselves credit for the things that we have done that deserve merit. So this year, My resolution is to remember that I am doing the best that I can, And to remember that the Lord is well pleased with who I have chosen to become. I may not be there yet, But he knows who I want to be, and he is ever so patient and loving. My goal is to see myself as he sees me, And to be patient with myself in my shortcomings.

$10 DIY ruffle shower curtain

So last week the kids shower curtain got bleach on it...Yikes. Wouldn't have been a big deal had it not been a brown shower curtain. But the damage was pretty noticeable. Well, I searched and found the one I wanted to replace it with...

Well, Actually, I didn't love the colors, I'm too OCD to have one that isn't all the same color...And it is $118. FOR A SHOWER CURTAIN! Not gunna happen. So I thought to myself... I could make that, So I did. Here's my $10 Ruffle shower curtain. 
First, 2 King size flat sheets. These were clearance for $5 each at Target. Tan wouldn't have been my first preference for color, But that was what was on clearance, and I don't hate it...
 I cut the sheets lengthwise into 10 inch wide strips
 {The damage to the old one}... And then I just used the same hot glue ruffle technique as the tree skirt.
You know, The glue, pinch, burn technique? I did hem the bottom of each ruffle before I started gluing. I was very careful on the top row to go around the hook rings so that I could still use the 0 rings that were already in place.
So there you have it. It's a terrible picture, But it really is adorable. In the next house when the girls have their own bathroom I may just make a hot pink one!