Saturday, May 24, 2014


 My laundry room has evolved a lot.  I take that back.  What has evolved a lot is my ability to manage laundry.   And when you have a bunch of kids, that's what it is, right?  Managing laundry.  But I haven't always been able to manage the laundry.  I had work my way up the ranks.  Laundry used to manage me.  My laundry room used to hide under piles of it until the day would come when I would haul it all out to the family room to finally fold it all.  And then I would place a bunch of neat little stacks into my kids' drawers, and those stacks would look great just long enough for my kids to open the drawers to find something to wear.  And then no more neat little stacks.  I was bemoaning this one day when Erin presented an idea to me:  stop folding the laundry.  Why not just sort it and cram it into the drawers, since that's how it ends up five minutes after folding it anyway?  Such a good idea, right?  So I started doing just that.  And then another day, Erin suggested that I get some baskets for my laundry room so I could just sort the laundry right as it's coming out of the dryer.  So I did, and that has REALLY worked well.  And when the baskets get too full, the kids take them to their rooms and sort their clothes into their drawers.  Later I added the wire baskets to manage everyone's socks as well.  But the socks always stay in the laundry room.  I sort them and put them in their respective baskets when they come out of the dryer, too.   The other day when a lady came to look at the house, I was excited to show her my laundry room and explain the way it now functions.  She wasn't impressed.  She did only have one kid, though, so.....

Do you guys even care about this?  You don't, do you.  Well, thanks for humoring me.  Oh, and one more thing, just in case you're wondering--  Brian's and my clothes go from the dryer into that white basket you see and then into our room to be folded and hung.  I fold or hang all of Brian's clothes, and even roll his underwear together in pairs.  That's something I do to show Brian love.  I hang all of my nicer shirts and church clothes and fold my jeans, but all of my underwear, swim suits, work out clothes, etc., just get shoved into the baskets hidden inside my armoire.  And I'm totally cool with that.  I only care about outside appearances.  :)  And I fold towels and rags right out of the dryer and then put them away.

So my efficient, but ugly, laundry room remained undecorated for quite some time.  It wasn't until I finally got my tools (which I also keep in the laundry room) an appropriate home (the Original Pink Box), that I finally decided that a little spiffing up was in order.  So while this is definitely NOT one of those laundry room makeovers that you see on Pinterest or HGT--in fact, it is mainly just a bunch of new accessories---I did it entirely myself, and don't you just love my rooster?!!

Ribba frames from Ikea.  My favorite.

 I got this little box on clearance at Homegoods to contain the mismatched socks until their twins surface.

Shugee painted me this picture for Mother's Day and that little pink box contains my dryer sheets.  I got it, the clock, and the rooster from Homegoods, too.

The jars are from the dollar bins at Target.  I made the boxwood wreath from preserved boxwood I bought wholesale online.  The pink wreath and the woven tureen (is that that it's called?)  are from...Yep, Homegoods.

I never buy safety pins.  I just save the ones we get to pin our numbers on at races. :)


Ironing board cover:  Homegoods.

Roses:  Homegoods.  Original artwork by my Gain Goo.

Rooster:  Free range  Homegoods.

All of my dirt rags go into this bucket and then I was them together.  I got it on clearance at Fred Meyer.  I buy very few things (other than food and spray paint) at Fred Meyer.  I'd rather shop at Homegoods. :)

Doesn't this picture kill you?!  Thanks, John!
So there it is.    Before:  

And after:  

Thanks so much for reading, guys.  

P.S.  A special thanks to Erin....and Homegoods.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Think Pink

I have a confession to make.  Sometimes when I'm at the gym, I put my earphones in--even though I'm not really listening to anything.   I do this because sometimes when I'm at the gym, I don't feel like talking, and I feel like earphones helpfully label me as (at least somewhat) unavailable.  I do this because sometimes I want to read my book and not be interrupted.  And for whatever reason, just reading a book while on a machine at the gym does not effectively evoke the same unavailability as earphones do.  You know what I mean?  And isn't it funny how difficult it is to read when you are having to put forth an extra amount of effort while on a machine--like when the resistance jumps?  It's not like you are suddenly having to use your hands or eyes for something else.  It's just that the only thing your brain can process for those moments is the pain. So at those times, I put down my book and turn up my music.


I think the day has come.  I think Camp likes a girl.  I don't think he realizes it, but I think he likes a girl.  I won't tell you her name, because some of you surely know her, and I'm taking the first steps at being trustworthy of the secret that Camp doesn't even know he has.  :)  But it's been so funny to have him talk about her.  And it's not like he's talking about her in any kind of an admiring or adoring way.  It's just that he's talking about her at all.  He wrote her a note yesterday--a response to her apparent teasing about his soccer skills.  He wanted to tell her how well he had done in his soccer game and that he had scored one of the two goals.  He wrote the note on an index card and then asked me for an envelope.  He made sure to spell her name right.

I did tell you that Brian and I had the big talk with Camp a year or so ago, right?  I did a little self-training with a book that Sarah recommended called "How To Talk To Your Child About Sex."  Creative title, no?  It helped a lot.  I'm still reading it because it walks you through preparing your kids for the big talk and then how to continue to follow up afterwards.  So far, the part of the book that has impacted me the most is this:

 ....any parent who does whatever it takes to keep communication open with kids and who works continually at teaching and exemplifying the principle of delayed gratification in all wants, desires, and appetites will succeed, and children of such a parent will survive and thrive physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

So anyway, since the big talk (which went fine, by the way),  I have made an effort to revisit the subject of sex from time to time.  And a couple weeks ago, I had a very sweet experience.

Brian had flown to Vegas for a week to attend a shooting course and to participate in the Tough Mudder again down there.  One of the nights he was gone, I was praying with my children and in my prayer, I asked Heavenly Father to please send angels to be with Brian and give him power to avoid the temptations that would be around him.  (As a side note--I often ask Heavenly Father to round up any available angels--Scotty?  Grandad?  Terry? --for work that I need done.   Come to think of it--they're probably pretty behind in the work they get up there because I'm always pulling them to the work I've got down here...)  Anyway, after the prayer, Camp asked me what I was talking about when I prayed about those temptations and all that.  I first answered him kinda vaguely, but when he continued to press me for further explanation, I told him I would be in to his bedroom to talk to him in a few minutes.   I can't remember if I said a little additional prayer after or before I went to Camp's room, but I asked Heavenly Father to help me to say the right things and in a way that would help and benefit Camp the most.

First I told Camp how horrible and evil Las Vegas is.  Just kidding.  But I did tell him that there are some additional obvious, maybe? temptations there and that there can just be some additional temptations when you are alone.   I asked Camp if he remembered our talk about sex.  He said he did.  I asked him if he remembered what pornography is.  He said he did.  I told him that pornography is very much a temptation to most men and that Daddy is no exception.  I told him that at some point he (Camp) would start thinking about sex and that he would be tempted by pornography as well.  He seemed to disbelieve that Brian could be tempted by anything--least of all pornography.   I reassured him that Brian's being tempted by pornography is not bad.  Most men (and some women) are tempted by pornography and EVERONE is tempted by something.  What's important is what you do with the temptation.  I told Camp that Brian works hard to avoid and reject temptations.  I reminded him that sex is a good thing that God created and that it is Satan that distorts and perverts it.  I told him that God wants us to have the best relationships we can and that viewing pornography diminishes our ability to experience and enjoy relationships the way God wants us to.  (I'm just learning some of these things myself....)   But anyway,
 I felt really grateful for the way the conversation went and for the opportunity to have the conversation at all.  I was even more touched and grateful when I received the following text from Brian shorty before his returning home:

Just letting you know that I am at the airport.  It has been a fun weekend.  I want you to know also that I was very well behaved.  I made a point of listening to Christian radio while driving.  Not turning on the television  And keeping myself busy and occupied until I crashed in bed each night.  The screen saver of the kids in their Easter clothes that I saw every time I opened my phone was very helpful.  Being able to talk to you was a bigger help.  I am looking forward to seeing you and the kids.  Have a good Sunday.  

THAT, folks, is my love language.  

My prayers were answered.  My angels were hard at work.

I asked Brian if I could share his text with Camp.  He said I could.  I want him to know our prayers were answered, too.

I also asked Brian if I could share this experience here on my blog and he said I could.  I said, "It's kinda private."  He said nothing is private after the physical examination he had this morning.  Good news!  No testicular cancer!

Aaaaannnnnddd, I've been working on a mini-makeover in my laundry room (where I also happen to keep my tools).  Brian approved my getting this little beauty for myself for Mothers' Day, and it just got my decorating wheels turning like crazy......

 Here's a couple before pictures of our laundry room for you.    It's small and definitely nothing fancy, but do you see how I have the socks organized?  One basket for the kids' socks, one for mine, aaaaannnndd....TWO for Brian's.  Crazy.

As for the afters?  Well I'll just say this:  Think pink!