Saturday, February 26, 2011

She Came, She Sawed . . .

. . . and she still has all of her fingers.

G'night. :o)

My Bookcase Gitter Done!

Welcome to another installment of Gitter Done!

While this might LOOK like a mantle vignette, it is, in actuality, a big-time Gitter Done project.  But have no fear, I won't put anything else I do with the bookcase top under Gitter Done again . . . ;o)

This is how my bookcase has looked for more than a year.  Well, the spindles were a fairly recent addition, but you get the idea.  Blech. Blah. No color to speak of. (And the yellow project bag doesn't count! lol)

So, I decided that since it was February, I should spruce things up a bit.  I hunted through the bonus room for my box of pretties that used to live on the mantle and bookcase, to see what I could find.  And boy, did I ever find. :o)  I found a lamp I love, two sweet little porcelain heirlooms from my grandmother (a little dove trinket box and a tiny flowery vase), little angels from my mother, and more.

I shopped the house to pull together some fun things to support my pink theme (pink books, a temple painting from the ledge I built, and the little statuette I gave Vern for Father's Day last year) . . . and voila! I got something else done to beautify my nest!!!

Thanks again, Marianne, for starting this.  It has made a big difference in my home . . . there are so many little projects that I won't ever post to Gitter Done, but I might blog them and send you a link someday. :o)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, February 18, 2011

What are YOU growing?

At a recent Relief Society meeting, we were sharing stories about raising children and the work we do as mothers and homemakers, when a friend shared this:

When we still had teenage boys at home, my goal in life was to have a perfect, beautiful lawn.  One day, when Johnny was about 16, he got this old junker car, and tore it apart, right in the middle of my lawn.  Parts, tools, it was a mess!

Standing inside, looking out the window, I said to my husband, "Tom, look at what he's done to my lawn!"  I'll never forget Tom's reply in his slow, rich voice:

"Nola, we're grown' boys; not grass."

(Her story, her words as best I can recall them, names changed, and a few descriptive terms added.)

I've thought about this many, many times over the last few months, as I've gone about my daily work, done my best each day to be a good mom, and meet all of the needs of my children.  (A girl can dream, right? ;o)  It just keeps coming back to me, over and over . . . what am I growing?

What do I really want?

What are my actions saying about my end goals?

At the end of the day, what will I have tended and cultivated?

Am I growing grass, or children?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gitter Done!

So, under Songbird Marianne's influence, I've jumped into the Gitter Done! pool with both feet. And, while my projects look pretty pathetic by comparison to the beauty many other bloggers wirk in their homes (living in a rental and absolutely no disposable income provide some strict boundaries), if I had taken "before" photos, you'd be shocked and amazed. But, as the prospect of before photos was just too shocking, even for me, you just get the results of my labors.

First, le closet:

This beauty has an 18" door, an actual width of about 36", and is eight feet deep. I think it was an afterthought . . . or, at best, storage came second to the supremely-ill-arranged master bath and the apparent need of the original owner to have direct access to the plumbing in the two baths that flank this closet, as witnessed by the cut & screwed drywall panels studding the walls. (The master bath shares the left wall; the hall bath, the right.) Even though this isn't beautiful by any stretch of the imagination, all of Vern's clothes now fit, along with the things I need to hang, and all of our shoes. I keep my folded things in a dresser just outside of the closet, which brings me to my next Gitter Done! endeavor, the top of said dresser:

This surface has been a blazing hot sopt for the entire time we've lived here. It's where the contents of my pockets were dumped at the end of the day, where the kids would stash random things they found, etc. You couldn't see the glass top for all of the legos, change, safety pins, bandaids, hair elastics and bobbi pins.  I still need to do something with the plate hiding behind the clock, and find a way to mount said clock on the wall (it has a silent movement, so it gets to stay in the bedroom for now), and hang the earring rack on the wall as well. For now, though, the shininess of newly-dusted glass and wood is enough for me. :o)

And next up, the stuff I took out of the closet and from the top of the dresser . . .

Sigh. There's a lot of it . . . which will make great fodder for another Gitter Done! post. ;o)

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Monday, February 7, 2011

On Days Like Today . . .

it's only a thorough and solid understanding of the state of the public schools around me that keeps me from calling the office and saying "Sign me up, baby."

Not enough rooms for all the napping kids means often naptimes are late, interrupted, or non-existent.

Not enough elbow room (and no place for the older children to keep their things out of reach) means that everyone is at everyone else's throats much of the time, on days like today.

I honestly have no idea why some days are like this, and others go pretty well.  Some days, everyone is whining, crying, grouching and snapping at each other to the point where I heartily wish I could just send them all to their rooms.  Except the boys' "room" is  one end of the bonus room, a public space.  And the girls' room is where the Bear naps.  And HJ naps wherever I think I can stash him that's the quietest for the hoped duration of his nap.  (Which NEVER works, as nobody can remember for more than about 15 seconds that there's a baby sleeping, people!

Which means I'm stuck with tired, grouchy, whining children, pretty much all the time.  And this mama just doesn't have it in her to stem that kind of tide.  Everything's a mess, nobody is happy, and no matter what I try to do, there are at least two children whining at me that I'm not doing something for them right. that. second.

Would someone please remind me why I do this, again?  I'm having trouble remembering today . . .

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

For the first time ever . . .

Every single human in this house is sick.


Influenza, baby.  And man, is it ever a ride.

Vern came down with it last night, and he has been absolutely miserable today (and such a sweet trooper about it, too).  I've managed to do something to myself that feels a lot like a spigelian hernia (combination of lots of coughing and utterly flabby/slack abdominals from ribcage to pelvic girdle), so I'm trying hard to not lift much until my abdominal brace arrives tomorrow (thank you, Amazon Prime!).

Most of the children are sleeping all around me, on couches and ottomans, but there are a couple I managed to get into bed before they crashed.  That's what I get for using the audio version of the Book of Mormon for our family scripture study tonight.  (The reader's voice is so. soothing. It's just not fair.)

The Bear has been such a one to see today.  He has those huge, tired, "I've-got-the-flu" eyes, but has still been tripping around the house singing things like "Cows are in the meadow, eating buttercups . . . Loutzenhiser, we all stand up!"* and "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ with Ladder Saints"**.  I love to hear his conscious substitutions and imprecise renditions of things he hears.

* The line should be "Thunder, lightning, we all get up!", and is the follow-up to Ring around the Rosy.  We attend church with a family by the name of Loutzenhiser, and a few months ago, he took hold of the idea to learn how to say it.  He now loves to surprise me with it by dropping it here and there . . . but I think this is my favorite use for it yet.

** I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is one of the children's Sunday School songs.

It's waaaaay late, but I just had to write at least something.  "That which you persist in doing becomes easier, not because the nature of the thing has changed, but because your ability to do has increased," as my Grandmother Campbell enticed me into memorizing as a young girl who complained regularly and loudly about practicing the piano.  I don't remember who said it (and I think I have slightly streamlined the verbiage), but a truer thing never has been said.  (How can something be truer than 100%? lol)  I want blogging with honesty to become easier--I want to live less inside myself and more genuinely to those around me, and I feel like, somehow, this is good practice.

And I want so much to make this blog the place where I fall in love with my life again . . . with being alive.  It has been a long time, and with the new year, and the return of the light, it feels like it's time.

And now, I'm off to see if I can get any sleep before mommy's-night-duty-for-the-sick-folks begins.  I do love my family . . .