grabbing life by the horn{worm}s

Does it seem to you that time is flying by at epic speeds? Or is it just me?

I’ve been meaning to write about our trip to Florida. How the massive crowds at the theme parks made me want to stab people, but then the last few days at our favorite beach town soothed my soul {and feet}.

I was planning on writing about how awesome the kids did in school this year. They are some smart little cookies, you know.

I had intentions of writing about foster care. We are officially a licensed foster family now, since April. We waited and waited for our phone to ring, and wouldn’t you know it, as we were in Florida going through the security line for Disney World, we got a call for two little girls. It didn’t work out and they weren’t placed with us, but a few weeks ago, we finally had our first placement. She is the most adorable baby and we are enjoying loving on her!

Did I mention that I survived another year of the three-kids’-birthdays-in-five-days week? Just barely. We pulled it off, though, and I now have TWO teenagers. Lord, help me.

Our oldest is taking his driver’s road test next week. Lord, help me.

Oh, and today I discovered these beasts {tomato hornworms} mooching off my tomato plants. Okay, more like devouring them. What the hell. Don’t mess with my tomaters.



So, like I said. I’ve been meaning to share all these things with you; but, I’m kind of tired. This having five kids thing is kind of exhausting. And awesome.

something i did {you capture}

We have had some big, exciting weeks around here lately. I love summertime!


We have been playing with my chickens {I love them!}. They are amazing to watch. Really.


We bought 47 acres.


Oh, and we went to Florida. Rollercoasters and theme parks, followed by many days relaxing in the sand and chasing lizards.



Linking up to You Capture!


conversations:: lifesavers and mythological creatures


BB: I know why LifeSavers have holes in them.

Me: Really? Why?

BB: So if you start choking on one, you can still breathe.


As we are driving along to our various 1,083 evening activities, the subject turns to BigFoot and other creature-monsters.

BB: Mom, do you think the Loch Ness monster is real or mythological?

Me: I think there is a possibility it is real. There are lots of species of creatures we don’t know much about or have little contact with humans. How about you?

BB: I’m not sure. I really just wanted to say the word mythological.



instaFriday {february 3}

It’s Friday! Hooray! I am so looking forward to having a low-key, relaxing weekend!

We started off last weekend by heading to Deadwood, South Dakota for a bit of birthday fun for my husband, and to pick up his birthday present -a puppy! {no, he didn’t get his blowgun *snort*}

Wally turned 25,000 miles on the way. Sniff. My baby is getting old.

The kids expended some of their never-ending energy in the pool, while mama relaxed in the lounger with a beer in hand.

Then, we ditched the kids and went downstairs for some adult fun- drinks and gambling. Only it’s no fun when you lose. Or when you wake up the next morning with a massive hangover.

At lunch, the breeders called and said they were running earlier than expected. We scarfed our food and rushed to pick up this guy.


The kids celebrated their 100th day of school this week! The 3rd graders were supposed to dress up as though they were 100 years old. Here is Bridger, Ashton is apparently “too cool”:

Also? *insert shameless plug* I launched a new website this week –Shrinking Kitchen! Go check it out!


linking up with life rearranged

eleven things.

a clue!

I think it’s been approximately twenty years since I’ve done a meme. I have been suffering from a major case of blogvacationitis lately, so thank you Thea for giving me something to write about!

The Rules:

  • Post these rules
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself
  • Answer the questions set for you in their post
  • Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
  • Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
  • No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11 Random Things about Me:

  1. My dog {Ozzie – the shiba inu} is a runner. He is highly intelligent, but once he knows he has an ounce of freedom from say, slipping out of his collar, he is outta here. I may be saying this because the little shit took off today and hasn’t returned home yet. GRR.
  2. I don’t drive through car washes. That’s what husbands are for, right? I don’t mind doing the U-Wash though.
  3. I am not a fan of talking on the phone. I much prefer texting, emailing, or going for a good old-fashioned coffee date.
  4. When I was younger, I never wanted to be married or have kids. Now here I am, married for 12 years this month, with four kids, three cats, two dogs, and am in the process of getting licensed to be foster parents. What the heck? Who am I?
  5. I have had a mole on my collarbone. It was approximately the size of a pencil eraser. I was extremely self-conscious of that mole while growing up. I remember in 8th grade wearing a tank top with a band-aid over the mole, saying the cat had scratched me. I had it removed a few years ago. One quick slice and buh-bye. Now, I just have a small flesh-colored scar.
  6. I have these weird eyelashes that grow out of the inner corner of my eyes. I never really thought much about it, until one day when Jdogg made fun of me. Every once in awhile I will pluck them… usually, when I am plugging that one black hair that grows under my chin.
  7. I long to be organized. I’m not.
  8. I have an extra bone in the roof of my mouth. You just checked to see if you do, too, right?

9.  I hate watermelon, actually I think I hate all melons?

10.  I had light, light blonde hair until I was a freshman in high school and died my hair strawberry blonde. It turned olive green. My hair has never been the same since.

11.  I have a dream of being on Wheel of Fortune.

Questions I was tagged with:

  1. In the movie of your life, what actors play your family? Geez, Thea. This is a hard one. I would choose Rachel McAdams for myself and Ryan Reynolds for my husband, because, WHY NOT?! My children should play themselves and earn their keep.
  2. What one area of your life do you wish you could hire someone to do for you? COOKING! My husband does a great job on his days off, but what about those other two weeks?
  3. If I’m peeking through your window between the hours of 4pm to 6pm, what do I see? A mess.
  4. What television show do you put the kids to bed early for? None, since I have a DVR. BUT, I do love True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, and Hell on Wheels. Those must be watched with no kids around.
  5. When’s the last time you wrote a card to someone when it wasn’t their birthday? I personally love sending my friends cards, but I don’t do it nearly enough.
  6. What’s the deal with time zones? Really. What IS the deal? I live in Central time, however think Mountain time feels the most natural for me. Not to mention, the next time zone over is only like 50 miles away. So everytime we go visit family in Dickinson, we gain an hour and lose one coming back.
  7. Do you prefer active vacations are lazy vacations? I prefer both. Any vacation is a good vacation. Sometimes, adventure is good, and sometimes, laying at the beach is what is needed!
  8. What one song represents your life right now? Sexy and I know it. Okay. Kidding. How about. Crap. I just don’t know.
  9. Do you do laundry every day or once a week? I do laundry several times a week. And then it sits in baskets, unfolded for another week.
  10. Someone gives you $5000, no strings attached. What do you do with the money? I’m thinking I would probably get the hell out of here for a bit! Take the family somewhere awesome. Norway? Iceland? Hawaii?
  11. Are you happy? Sure am!

My Questions for you:

  1. Do you lie about your weight on your driver’s license?
  2. What is your favorite quote/saying?
  3. Where is the best place you’ve ever traveled?
  4. Do you put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher as they become dirty, or do you pile them in the sink a mile high?
  5. Name your all-time favorite blog.
  6. Are you more like your mother or your father?
  7. What time period in your life has been your favorite so far?
  8. Share one of your long-term goals.
  9. And a short-term goal.
  10. Can you shoot a gun?
  11. Do you consider yourself judgmental?

People I’m Tagging:

  1. Brooke
  2. Mary
  3. Nancy
  4. Jen
  5. Alice
  6. Steph
  7. Mindi
  8. Trish
  9. Megan
  10. Laura
  11. And YOU, the lurker.

Come back and leave me a comment with your link so I can read them! Fun!

Room Redo:: Twins

When we first bought this house almost 5 years ago, every wall was white. Or beige. No joke. I have been soooo overwhelmed at the thought of decorating, painting, or anything else. So much that I have done pretty much nothing until this year! Bit by bit, things have been coming together, walls have been getting painted, projects have been completed.

Back in 2007, I did add some vinyl decal-thingies to the twins’ walls, along with some red and blue striped vinyl. It was not bad, especially for their 4-year-old selves. But they aren’t four anymore. Time for an update.

For the past two weeks, I have been slaving away tearing decorations and posters off of the walls. We have been organizing toys, giving away boxes of stuff, and throwing away bags and bags of trash.

The colors (darker turquoise, limish-green, and orange-butterscotch trim) are totally wild, but they work GREAT together. Seriously!

Before (ignore the child-labor and jammies, please):






Not too bad for an amateur, huh? I must say the twins have NEVER played in their room this much and this nicely before. It’s well worth all the work I put into it!

hat trick

I was on the phone with my business partner this morning talking about, you know, business. The twins were upstairs going through the morning routine of showering, brushing teeth, and getting dressed. It’s always a little risky leaving them up there to accomplish these monumental tasks without supervision.

They came running down the stairs, yelling out “MOM!” excitedly and I tried to ignore and held up my finger to signal that I was involved in a highly-important conversation on the phone.

Both boys planted themselves in front of me, unable to hold still because of the anticipation. Finally, I hung up my phone. They both started talking at once.



“Ashton was peeing, and he sneezed and farted at the same time!! He was doing all three at once! Like this!”

Insert farting noises, sneezing, and pee sounds, times two.

It is obviously the highlight of their day.

And probably mine.

just be.

I sit here on my favorite corduroy chair with my warm blanket and a steaming mug of coffee, with a computer on my lap and a cat at my feet. The kids have just been whooshed outside to meet the bus at the end of the driveway, and I sit as I do every morning for a short time. This is the most peaceful time of my day. So quiet. So un-chaotic. I love the chaos {most of the time}, but sometimes it’s lovely to just be.

I think about how I arrived at this place in my life. Many, many mistakes and lots of hasty decisions. It’s so odd to think that if I had just made one different decision all those years ago, my life may have veered off on such a different path. But, all of those decisions and mistakes added up to be so right.

I am blessed with an awesome husband, who has put up with me and my quirks for over a dozen years {not to say that he doesn’t have his!}. Children who know they are loved, get it, and are able to pass this love onto so many others. Some may think our hearts and house are overflowing, but we have so much more to give. We will open our doors {and hearts} to those children that may not know this kind of nurture. My family will be the love, acceptance, and stability that they need to thrive. I’m excited {and nervous} to see what our new journey will bring.



Linking up with Just Write.


you capture: top 10 of 2011

Is it bad that I still have hundreds (or thousands) of photos from 2011 to go through and edit? I may get to it by 2018 at the rate I’m going. I loved going through my files looking for my favorites. Reminds me that there was much beauty in 2011, no matter how hard of a year it was! I couldn’t just pick ten, so bear with me.

My favorite photos of 2011:



Sending a message to Grandpa Barnhart.


Cyndee’s tribute:

Sending messages to Cyndee in heaven.


Deserted schoolhouse.


Drilling rig.



a girl's best friend.




i'll change the world someday







10,955 feet




linking up with


room for improvement {2012 goals}

this photo has nothing to do with my post. it's just funny.


I am a resolution-type of gal. I love sitting back and analyzing what is working for me, what is not, and making plans for change. I love to daydream, and love to think of all the things I want to do with myself. If only I had the follow-through. Can I resolve to try harder with my resolutions? Kidding! {sort of}

I need a place to be accountable for my goals and where I can look back and refresh my ever-forgetful memory when I start to slack off. So, in no particular order, here are my 2012 resolutions:

For my fitness and weight loss goals, visit me at Shrinking Jeans.

Eating dinner at the table as a family, at least three times per week. We have a hard time with this. A lot of times, we are on the run somewhere between dance and basketball and choir and soccer and basketball… you get the picture. When we get home and have time to eat, it usually consists of the kids eating at the table and me sitting in my chair eating and catching up on emails or something equally as ridiculous. I am going to make an effort to eat with the kids AT THE TABLE several times a week.

Cut the cussing. I cuss. I try to not let it slip out in front of the kids, but I know that I could be much better about it. Especially when angry or annoyed.

Time management. I am planning out times for working from home, and also planning on setting aside a certain amount of time before bed each night where I pick up various clutter and junk around the house.

Establish a better relationship with Kane. I think we are off to a good start so far this year.

Keep my vehicle cleaner. It’s a disaster right now. The end.

Get licensed for foster care. See this post.

Limit my Starbucks visits to just twice a month, unless we are on vacation. Ouch. This will be tough. I love my coffee lite frappacinos and skinny iced lattes.

There you have it. I hope at this time next year, I can look back at 2012 and be happy with the progress I’ve made!

Happy New Year!