Saturday, July 28, 2012

This was an exciting week!

 This was the prep for the foundation.

 It looks so small when its just the foundation. Mike was standing on one side of the house looking to the other, thinking to himself, "There is going to be a storage room, mud room and kitchen all right here? How is this going to fit??
 The house across the street is almost done being framed and they started it last week! It's crazy how fast they can get these things up!
 Wet cement... You have no idea how tempted I was to go stick my hand in this... {I refrained... But only because I didn't have anywhere to wash my hand}

It is really exciting to know that this is where we will raise our family. It was a sweet and spiritual experience for us to go and stand where that foundation is. It was wonderful to think that this is the literal foundation upon which our childrens testimonies will be rooted. This is the home where Michael and I have the glorious privilege to teach these precious souls the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where we get to help them gain a relationship with their Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ. The living room where we will sit every night and read scriptures as a family, and strengthen each other in the gospel. The family room where we will kneel morning and night together and thank the Lord for our blessings. The dining room table that we will sit around and make memories with friends and family. The bedrooms where sweet little prayers will be offered up from the mouths of babes to a loving and merciful Father in Heaven. 

Here we will establish our home. A house of prayer, A house of fasting, A house of faith, A house of learning, A house of glory, A house of order, A house of God.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I have a HUGE project in transforming this....

So, Mike and I have slightly different ideas on how we should furnish the new house. Mike would craigslist our whole house... I would buy Pottery Barn, Ballard, and Restoration Hardware everything. So we have to compromise a bit. I will Craigslist a bit, and he will buy me some Pottery Barn, Well, He'll let me buy some Pottery Barn. We went "furniture browsing" last week and I will not let that joker have any say in what goes in our house design wise {Not that I think he'd want a part in that}... But he will have to help me keep the budget in check. {Which he will want to be a HUGE part of.}

{P.S. Have you ever tried to type while you have a band-aid on the tip of your index finger? It's a pain in the butt and takes twice as long.}

We have come to the agreement that when we move in we want the kids rooms done, So that when they walk in for the first time they have their own little space and it feels like their "home." And we promised the kids that there will be a swing set in the back yard at the new house, and they talk about it everyday. So we can't get out of that one. Why do kids have memories like an elephant? They never forget anything! And the front room is a priority. We NEED new couches. We bought ours, Well, That's not true, My parents from Utah bought them for us. But they were preowned when we got them, and they are beat to sleep 6 years later. Those are the things that we agree on... however we do not agree on how to get there. IE, I want leather, He wants cloth.
 In our 6 years of marriage we have had maybe 3 disagreements. For the most part he lets me do what I want. He knows I'm responsible and budget conscious, But he also knows that my flesh is weak when it comes to pretty things. Now let me also remind you that I am married to one of the best car salesmen ever born. He negotiates for a living. And he is very very good at it. But I was born with a 6th sense for knowing how to get what I want. You put the two of us together, and if we are on the same side, We are unstoppable. But when we are on opposite sides, We come to a stalemate.

For example. Lets talk beds.

The kids beds. I HATE bunk beds. For several reasons, But mostly because I hate the way they look. Well, Mike laid the law down {very gently, lovingly and politely} and said this is their room and they should have what they want, not what I want. {insert eye roll here} Blah blah blah, Well, He won that one. They will have bunk beds. However, We couldn't agree on which bunk beds to get. I fell in LOVE with a set from Costco... It is only $500. They come apart, So they can be used later on down the road when they don't want bunk beds anymore... That comes to $250 per bed. AND it's a twin over a full. They are BEAUTIFUL. I told him about them, he decided he would google "bunk beds" To make sure that was a good price I suppose. And found a set for $350 and free shipping. THEY ARE AWFUL. Oh heavens they are terrible, They are SO UGLY.  He's a man, And doesn't care what they look like, all he sees is $. I see money and style. I don't think we should put ugly stuff that we {I} don't like in our house, just so we can save a buck.
So, I said, "Hey how about I'll save the difference and I'll buy the girls beds on craigslist. So I can spend a little extra on the boys bed. Well, We still haven't come to a resolution about the boys beds, But I did craigslist the girls beds... In hopes to sway him to let me buy the Costco set for the boys.
So, Now, I have a HUGE project in transforming this.... {You know, Because I have so much extra time to spend on projects like this}

Into a beautiful shabby chic masterpiece that will compliment their grey and pink bedding.

girls room!!
Hear me out... I know its ugly... Right now. But I LOVE the lines on that bunk bed. I knew I wanted an old school bed for the girls. I wanted a HEAVY quality bed that was already a little beat up, {More rustic shabby chic charm} and that had fantastic bones. I lucked out and found this beaut. We only paid $75. So I sent Mike to the other side of town, hoping that this person we were buying it from wasn't some phyco killer. Thankfully he wasn't. Actually he was a member of the church and was really nice and funny. And after we got the bed home, I fell even more in love with it. I'm planning on a new {prettier} ladder, But after that and some good ole' elbow grease, paint and glaze, It really is going to be magnificent. Now, I have done my fair share of painting, Mike jokes that we lost square footage in our old house because I painted so much. However I have never distressed or glazed or antiqued anything. So, This will be a new one for me. But I do have an expert teacher. {Thanks Viola!}
There's going to be several late nights and lots of brain cells lost thanks to paint fumes. Here's to savin' A buck & still being glamorous.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

So fresh and so clean clean.

Now, Just for the record, No, I am not crazy. Borderline for sure, But not entirely.
A few months ago I would probably look at someone who made their own hand soap, cloth diapered, didn't use paper towels, and made their own laundry detergent and think that they were some weird tree huggin' hippy that smelled gross. 
I am not going to wear clothes that are stinky and yucky just to save a buck.
Sarah and I decided that we were going to make our own laundry soap. Now, I have used a homemade powdered version for my cloth diapers, but I had never tried the homemade liquid. Don't judge until you try it. It really is awesome and I'm not kidding in the least when I say that it works BETTER than the expensive store bought stuff. Sarah and I both tried it and really put it through the ringer in our tests and both had excellent results. Pardon our "dirty laundry" but I put stinky urine soaked pajamas in the wash, and normally I'd have to wash those twice or use a ton of soap to get the stink out, But this soap did it in one shot and they smelled so fresh and so clean clean. {don't act like you didn't just sing that and pretend that you're Outcast}  
Sarah put stinky stale gym clothes AND dirty wash rags in a load and same result. So fresh and so clean clean. {I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all day, Well, at least the chorus, Because I can't understand what big boi is saying in those verses}

We are not the only ones who came to find that this stuff worked just as good as the store bought stuff. Check out this girls blog to see her results. 

{pardon our gross stinky selves, We'd just got back from the gym}
 We used the Duggars recipe. You can find it here. I love the Duggars. 

I found the fels naptha bar and the borax and washing soda at the town center Publix on the laundry detergent isle.
 Sarah grated and I stirred. Next time, I will wear one of those face masks... That fels naptha bar is no joke when you grate it. It is VERY strong smelling. Like hurt to breathe.
 Sarah scooped and dumped and I stirred... A lot.

 Then, We waited... overnight. It felt like eternity. The next day {after the gym} we filled our old laundry containers. I have never been so excited to do laundry in my life!
 We did not add essential oils. It smells great with just the fels naptha bar. And Sarah made a good point, When you wash with the free and clear, it has no smell, not clean, and not dirty. But I also don't like a really strong scent. This leaves your clothes with a nice clean not over powering fragrance! Brent has ridiculously sensitive skin, and he has not had a problem wearing his clothes that are washed in this. No rashes. Hallelujah! Because all his sensitive bath washes, diapers wipes and lotions were costing me a bazillion dollars. I'm pretty sure I've found frugal ways around all of those now!
 We did the math are you ready for this? The Clorox greenwise from Costco is $14. We refilled that container for .45 cents. Let me say that again... FORTY FIVE CENTS to refill that HUGE jug! And it uses about the same amount per load {A cap full for a top loader} 
And not so much for a front loader. {I never measure my laundry soap. I'm lazy}
The kirkland free and clear which is what I was using before, is $16. That's a BIG fat savings. I will say that when I coupon for laundry soap I can get it cheaper than that, But nowhere close to as cheap as this homemade stuff. I do not use this for the cloth diapers {I've read that it could shorten the life of the absorbancy} So I do still buy rockin' green for those. But for my regular laundry... I will NEVER buy laundry soap again.

This makes a huge 5 gallon bucket that you dilute again when you refill your smaller jugs. So really it makes ten gallons. I have a huge bucket sitting on my counter {because I don't have a lid for it yet} So if you want to try it, Come on over and I'll fill up your old laundry detergent container.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This is going to be a LONG post. And rather random. I've been absent for quite some time.
We took a 2 or 3 week break from life. Everything really. No fun stuff because Brent has been really sick. No gym, no pool, no blogging. So let the rambling begin.

I'm pretty sure I could rule the world with baking soda vinegar and dawn dish soap. Since Brent has been sick, EVERYTHING has had to be clean. But I can't use chemicals because of his respiratory issues. So those were what I had. Just google or pinterest it. No joke magic. Don't mix them all together, (Think elementary school science fair volcano)  But in different combinations they are unstoppable, No joke my windows have never been this streak free. But I do suggest adding some essential oil so your house doesn't smell like vinegar.
Pepper has found a great new home. Tracey and Kali will make that little puppy super happy! The kids are totally fine emotionally, So I don't think we scarred them too bad. Note to self, and anyone else... Make sure ALL your kids aren't allergic before you promise the other kids a puppy. Whoops a daisy. Oh well, live and learn right? We do miss her, But Brent was able to stop his breathing treatments the day after she was gone. So that was a HUGE relief. He was getting so bad I thought that we were going to end up in the hospital again. I didn't think I was attached to that little bugger, But every time I think about her not being here I get way sad. {Which is weird because if you know me at all, You know I am a cold and heartless monster when it comes to animals. Okay, not really, I don't wish them any harm or anything, But I just don't fancy them most of the time.} So, I just can't think about it.
I spent a few days filling our freezer with meals. I got 20 breakfasts done, 12 dinners, and a bunch of bread and cinnamon roll dough for the next few weeks. I was putting it off until we moved and then I was going to do a HUGE freezer week and stock the deep freezer, But then decided that with school starting and packing and moving and all that junk, we were going to need quick meals or we were going to resort to chick fil a and little ceasars. Gross. So for $75 I did all those meals and it's all organic. If anyone really wants to know what I did, let me know and I'll post about it. But I figured there's enough stuff out there on pinterest and google, That I wouldn't take the time to sit and write about it.
Next, the house. We have plumbing! They will pour the foundation by the end of this week. Then framing is next week. WOOHOO! I can't wait. Seriously. These next couple of months can't go fast enough. I only have to pay the rent two more times!!! How crazy is that?!?!

 Isn't this little girl a cutie patootie in her little cloth diaper? We are between two kinds of diapers. Fuzzibunz, and Grovia. I like them both for different reasons, and for different kids. If you have ever even slightly thought of doing cloth. DO IT! Even if you haven't thought about it, TRY IT! We are total converts and wish I had found cloth sooner. Mike said he'd never change them if we switched to cloth, But guess who changes diapers still? And Also, I wish I had found the right diaper for each kid, That makes a HUGE difference.
 Yes, he is eating a roll off the floor. He's feeling much better these days. Don't worry, I just steam mopped the floor ;)
 We have also been trying to decide on furniture... It gives me a headache, And a slight panic attack. (For budget reasons) It's a whole lot different when you are writing checks from savings and not buying with credit... BIG DIFFERENCE. I am much much more conscious of how and what the money is being spent on.
 And then somewhere in my head I thought that I should save money and make LaLa's school clothes instead of buying them. I have tons of fabric that I need to use, And even though I will have to buy a bit more, These apron dresses cost me about $7 to make with designer fabric {about $8-$12 a yard}
 And these pants cost me about $8. I whipped both these puppies out in about 4 hours tonight. So, I'm thinking it may just be possible for me to get her enough clothes done before school starts.
I did just buy the girls my favorite t shirts for them from down east basics. They were $6.99 a piece and I had a 20% off coupon code from them in my email, So I stocked up for them while they had a good selection of colors. {they are always sold out} They are GREAT quality and they are about the same price as targets t-shirts. But they are WAY cuter.
 So there you have it, That's what we have been up to. Sick babies, cleaning, And of course laundry, and lots of play time. We have built blocks, read books, played horse and farmer, watched a bazillion Disney movies, and spent a LOT of time at the doctors office. Tomorrow {hopefully} we will be back at the gym and swimming pool, and all the fun stuff! NO MORE SICK BABIES!! Or almost broken fingers...The Beast... She is my accident prone one. I can tell already. There always has to be one doesn't there?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

When did I turn into a nerd? I have never been a huge "reader" I can count on my fingers the number of books I've read voluntarily. But I have not been able to put these two books down. In fact, I read them in 2 days, and have started them again. 

Book Title Here 
 Book Title Here

There is no secret to getting rich. It takes hard work and dedication. And the bottom line is, It comes down to spending less than you earn. Living below your means. 

I could literally go on for DAYS about why I love this book and why I think you should invest some effort into reading it, But I'll keep it short and sweet. 
I really hate when people say "such and such changed my life" It's so cliche. 
But in all honestly, This book has really changed my financial life, and the way that I think. It also gives a dose of reality, but at the same time provides hope for me that on whatever income we generate, we can save enough for retirement, and live a simple beautiful life in the process.
I really want you to read the book, and so I will share just one thing that he mentioned that changed the way I think. 

I used to think that people who lived in giant houses, and drove BMW's and Range Rovers were "wealthy." Well, Some of them very well may be. But the majority of them are not. They may drive nice cars and have expensive things, But their net worth, You know, Actual money they have to their name, is seriously lacking. And they can't even think about retirement, because they are constantly trying to keep up with their high consumption lifestyle. Always buying the newest and the greatest, And trying to keep up with the Joneses. They may make 6 figures a year, But they are not wealthy. They wear or drive their money. You can't retire in your car that has depreciated. You can't pay for your kids college with a coach purse. 
Most wealthy people live very humble lives. They shop at JcPenny, They don't eat at fancy restaurants, They drive 5 year old Toyotas And guess what, The majority of them don't live in giant houses, They live in houses valued at around $300,000 and they have lived there forever! They don't "Look" Like a millionaire. This perception that we have of what wealthy people do and what they are like, Is entirely wrong.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sticks in the ground

This is pretty much a terrible picture of both of us, But it's the only one we have together in front of the beginnings of our forever house.

Michael and I had a meeting with our contractor this afternoon. It was our first time meeting the guy who was actually building our house. His name is Josh, Michael and I both really really liked him. He's easy going, and laid back, cool as a cucumber, but I am totally confident in his ability to get the job done right. He's a straight shooter. He tells us how it is... Which we both like. He will tell us if it can be done, or if it can't, It's that simple with him. He listened to me and took a genuine interest in making sure he understood what I wanted and was eager to make it turn out the way that I envisioned it. From the kitchen island to the electric outlet in the bathrooms. I think that he will make this process much much better and less stressful. He's just a cool guy. 

So, on our way to the meeting we were a few minutes early and decided to drive down our street. And low and behold we came to our site and saw sticks in the ground and thought, "this can't possibly be ours, They haven't started yet." Well, We were wrong, They did start! We were pleasantly surprised. It made this whole process begin to seem real. {At least to me, I'm sure it was real to Mike after he handed over the check.} I was a hot mess of emotions. First, Ecstatic & giddy, Then, fear and panic. "Are we really moving out here?" Away from my comfort zone? We have lived in the same ward {Our church congregation} Pretty much since we got married. I have been a part of that ward for 10 years. The entire time I have lived in Florida. We are really sad to be leaving, But also excited for a new chapter and the opportunity to meet more people. We have visited our new ward and we loved it there too. And just because we are moving doesn't mean we won't see everyone ever again... There will be LOTS of parties and get togethers at the Hicks House. I am excited to be able to have people over again. I love entertaining. We don't have the space here obviously, It'd be like stuffing a pregnant lady into spanx... Tight fit...Very tight fit... 
Sorry, I got a bit carried away on a tangent... Where was I?... Ah yes, Fear... Well, It isn't the first time that I have had that feeling concerning the house. But every time I have prayed about it, I feel the sweetest peace and assurance that the Lord is mindful of our situation and that he approves. I don't necessarily think that this is one of those times where the Lord told us where to go specifically, But I think that he approves of the choice that we made based on the knowledge that he gave us, and knows that we will be in his service wherever we are. I heard these words and thought them rather profound, And I have taken a liking to them. I have prayed and meditated on what it means to me and I hope that in whatever situation you find yourself in you can find comfort in these words that speak to my soul. 
"Peace that fights through the fear."
That peace comes only in and through our Savior Jesus Christ.