This Just In ...

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Friday, May 29, 2009

All You (Another Plug !!)

If you get the All You Deals and Meals Newsletter e-mails, my June entry and photo may be on there! When I opened up the e-mail, there I was! Check it out! I don't know if I am on the website or not, but you might as well check there too!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughts on Thursday ~ I've Been Tagged! (Thanks Jen!)

My bloggy friend Jen tagged me today, so here goes ...

8 Things I am Looking Forward to ~
1. Going to Kansas City this weekend
2. My 20th high school reunion in July
3. Our vacation to Yellowstone this summer
4. Selling our house and moving to a new city
5. My container garden producing veggies I can eat
6. Getting a suntan
7. Getting breast implants
8. Rick and my anniversary

8 Things I did Yesterday ~
1. Went for a walk around my neighborhood
2. Read my Bible
3. Showed our house to a potential buyer
4. Had an appointment with a plastic surgeon
5. Ate cereal for dinner
6. Got caught up on my DVR'd shows
7. Drove Dawson and his friend to the movies
8. Looked at Kyndal's yearbook

8 Things I wish I could do ~
1. Sew
2. Travel more with my husband
3. Retain more that I read
4. Take a power nap every day
5. Get my scrapbooks caught up
6. Sing good
7. Stop getting wrinkles and aging spots
8. Protect my children from making tough mistakes

8 Shows I watch ~
1. The Young and the Restless
2. So You Think You Can Dance 
3. The Amazing Race
4. Project Runway
5. America's Next Top Model
6. Without a Trace
7. The Biggest Loser
8. Lie to Me

I am tagging the following 8 people:
1. Loren
2. Steph
3. April W.
4. Georgia April
5. Tamara
6. Hayley
7. Lucy Marie
8. Alicia

If you see your name on this list, you've been tagged!!

An Oldie but a Goodie!

Oh, how I hate to do this, but I must!

I would like to wish a LOUD Happy Birthday to my dear Ozarks Pal, Linda!
Unbelievably, she is 50 years old today!

Let me just say that Linda is one of the dearest women I have ever met, and I miss her terribly (we moved away from her 8 years ago). Linda is a faithful follower of my blog. I worked with her when I first got out of law school. She kept my baby Kyndal while I was giving birth to my baby Dawson. We've cruised the Caribbean together. We've shared tons of laughs and tears!

But most of all she has been such an inspiration to me about how to be a good wife and mother. Linda doesn't have any children of her own, but has been the most amazing stepmom to her husband's, now grown, children. She loves her husband more than any woman I have ever met, and I always strived to find a man like her Simon who would love me as much as he loves her (and I succeeded, by the way!) They are each other's best friends and have such a constant consideration for each other, it's overwhelming!

So, my dear friend, thank you for being my friend and being such an inspiration and encouragement in my life.  I love you more than you will ever know, and I feel a vacation to Bermuda with you guys coming soon. We better do it soon .. man you're old!

Love you, girl!

Happy Birthday!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Camping ~ 2009 Style

Yesterday was the last day of school.

After school Dawson asked if he and his friend could camp out in the new treehouse/play structure. I said, "Sure!"  He said, "Oh my gosh, Antonio, she said YES!" Right then I knew my current goal of loosening up was a necessity.

So, they set to getting prepared.  First they took up their sleeping supplies: camping mats, blankets, pillows. Then they got busy with the real necessities: bean bag, video rocker, lamps, sodas, dvd players, dvds, handheld Nintendos, and the like. What they soon realized was that they didn't have enough power stored up on their systems. After dark I couldn't find Rick. I looked in the backyard to see the extension cord run from the garage to the treehouse. Rick was setting them up with night-long power. He said that when he went out to check on them they were in the poolhouse with their systems and pillows and blankets trying to get charged up. That's when he decided to pull out the extension cord.

Brynne and Eli really wanted to sleep up there too. Brynne came in and said, "I've got to get my rest mat, dvds and puppies." She hauled all of that, and her camping chair, up to the top. When they were told they wouldn't be able to sleep out there, they were so upset! I told them you have to be 12 years old. (They relate everything to ages now.) Brynne said, "How many is Antonio?" I said, "He's 12." She said, "He's 12 like Dawson??!! Yea! He can sleep outside too! I am 3. I can't sleep outside. Eli is 5. He can't sleep outside." And that was the end of it. I turned around a few minutes later and she was hauling all of her stuff back down to her room. I think the boys might have been relieved that they were not destined to a night of "Barbie Presents: The Princess and the Pauper" or "Toy Story II".

When I checked on the boys this morning, they were sacked out, but had been really cold (we tried to tell them!) It was also beginning to sprinkle, so they are currently bringing everything in. Rougin' it is tough these days.

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today  ~  May 27, 2009

Outside my window... It's cloudy and I can see Dawson and his friend sleeping in the top of our treehouse (with an extension cord run out so they could "rough it" with dvd players, Nintendo DSes and other must haves!)

I am thinking... about whether or not I am ready for summer break with the kids. Usually I feel more "prepared".

I am thankful for... the changes God is doing in me, and the strengthening of my marriage and family.

From the learning rooms... Schools .. out .. for .. summer!

From the kitchen... it's Wednesday which is referred to as "Fend For Yourself" day, or "FFY" on the calendar.  There won't be any organized meals today. But I am sure since the kids are home my kitchen will be a perpetual mess!

I am wearing... black workout sweats, my red Baltimore t-shirt and tennis shoes.

I am creating... a point reward system for good choices.

I am praying ... for a continual display of God's perfect will, for my friend and her family who have lost a loved one and have found out another loved one is ill, for my neighbor in her marital problems and for my MIL who is undergoing chemo for colon cancer. 

I am going... to meet with our realtor today, to go visit a friend, and to a doctor's appointment.

I am reading... 1 Samuel and the book of Psalms, Family Fun magazine.

I am hoping... some hurts can be healed for good.

I am hearing... the refrigerator hum and nothing else.  It's the first day of summer break so everybody is sleeping.

Around the house... are tiny messes that need to be picked up, and lots of little organizing projects that need to be done.

One of my favorite things... is sitting on the couch at night with Rick, after the kids have gone to bed, and watching a show we have DVR'd.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Today has already been revealed above.  Tomorrow Brynne has her last day of preschool and Rick and I are going to our niece's graduation in the evening.  On Friday we are heading to Missouri to take the older two kids on a tour of the town we are interested in moving to and to look at some more houses.  We'll be back Sunday night.  Next week starts our summer "routine".

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Rick and I have spent the past several weeks working together in the yard.  It has been so awesome spending time with him, planning and creating.  On a couple of occasions we have come across these shells.  He thought they looked like a pig snout, I immediately saw a heart.  It just reminded me of how much I love him and spending time with him.  He is truly my best friend and I am so grateful that I have had a new realization of that.

For true simple women, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Interrupt this Simple Woman's Daybook to Bring You ...

I always do my Simple Woman's Daybook on Tuesdays.  I don't know why, I just do. But instead I thought I would post pics from our Memorial Day cookout.

A short explanation about our property ~ Our house sits on a 1 acre lot, situated on the furthest north part of the acre. South of our house is a rock creek, with each rock laid personally by my sweet, hardworking hubs. We have worked crazy hard over the last several months, and especially the past couple of weeks, to finish landscaping everything north of the rock creek. It looks amazing! South of the rock creek, however, is still in its primitive stages. Rick is still working on it. He did create a rock fire pit in the middle of it. Before yesterday, we hadn't used it yet except to burn limbs.

So, last night we loaded up the Suburban with our goodies. Kyndal set out our camping chairs and Rick and Dawson lit a fire. We sat around the fire, listened to music, and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for s'mores. The little guys loved it! The rest of us just sat back and enjoyed the relaxation and good food. We had a nice time together as a family, something that seems to get increasingly harder to do with our diverse schedules!

Here are some photos. We're kindof a dirty, scroungy looking bunch. But remember that Rick and I had been working hard all day, the kids had been playing hard, and Kyndal had just gotten home from swimming. Hey, it's camping, not fine dining!

I hope you got to spend some quality time with your families this weekend. I know I enjoyed the time we spent with ours!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I finally broke down yesterday and got some antibiotics for whatever it is I have had for the past month. I must say, a good dose of drugs and sleeping until about 10:00 this morning, and I feel loads better!

Today we are planning to do some cleaning. Dawson has to clean out those lizard cages (stinky!) and Rick's currently working on the garage. We plan to do a little more yard work this afternoon, because it never ends! It's a little rainy today, but we're hoping it clears up by this evening so we can start a fire in our pit and roast hot dogs and marshmallows as a family. What do you plan to do as a family today?

We're heading back to Missouri this weekend, so we don't have a lot going on in the meal department this week.

Monday ~ Hot dogs, chips and s'mores
Tuesday ~ Chicken fajitas
Wednesday ~ Fend for Yourself
Thursday ~ Soup and grilled cheese
Friday, Saturday, Sunday ~ Missouri

Have a great remainder of your weekend

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunny With More Than a Chance of Sunburn!

Hi everybody! I hope you are enjoying your beautiful weekend! At least it's beautiful here in sunny, warm Oklahoma! The temps have been in the 80's this weekend, sunny all day, with a short thunderstorm in the evenings.

Yesterday Dawson and I got up to go to Old Navy to get $1 flip flops. We planned to get there right when the store opened. So did about 150 other women! When we pulled up the line was around the building! So, never mind. We went to some garage sales instead, which were pretty slim because of the holiday weekend. But it's one of our favorite things to do together, so we had a good time.

When we got home I decided it was time to tackle the hill behind our house.  It's a big hill! Since it would be impossible to mow, and it's too big of an area to mulch, we decided to try to make it look "decorative". The only people who can see it are our snotty neighbors, so I haven't planned to get too worked up about it. But I didn't want it to be an eye sore either. Here was my inspiration from a lawn I saw in Portland.

A couple of days ago I sprayed it down with weed killer. Then yesterday I put on my bikini and cowboy hat and set to work.  First I planted small clumps of monkey grass all around (thanks Steph!). Then Rick brought over some big rocks that we've dug up from our property and placed them all around. Then I planted ajuga around each of the rocks (thanks, Steph, again!). The goal is for the ajuga to take off and cover the hill as a ground cover, with the monkey grass sprouting into big poofs. I also spread some authentic zinnia seeds (thanks once again, Steph!) all over the hill, so I would love to see some zinnia's covering the hill as well. Let's just pray any one of the above happens. I'd like to add some perennials of some kind, but I may watch end-of-the-season sales to snag some cheap.

Here's a photo of the area from a week or so ago.

Here's a photo of what it looked like when I was done.

Now, here's something so fun! As I have stated in several previous posts, I am loving my little container garden! And I have my first cherry tomato! Actually, I have two. But here's a photo of one. I can't wait for it to ripen so I can pluck it off the bush and eat it!

Now, today I am staying indoors to do housework. Did I mention I was on the hill in my bikini (and shorts, duh!)?? Ouch, I am sunburned! My back is fried! Well, the girl at the tanning salon said it's necessary to burn to tan (yes, she seriously said that!), so I guess I'm on the way to being a bronze beauty.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend. We are going to some friends' for dinner tonight, and tomorrow we are going to have a family cookout around our fire pit with hot dogs and s'mores.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm either hormonal (yes) or feeling worse than I did yesterday (yes), but I just cried while watching a State Farm commercial. It might be a rough day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thoughts on Thursday ~ The Yard Looks Great, but Oh the Allergies!

I worked in the yard all day yesterday. Steph gave me a 5 gallon bucket of monkey grass and ajuga and other things and I planted a bunch of it. I sprayed weed killer all over the back hill of our house that we are getting ready to develop. And Rick and I created a cool feature around a tree on "Brynne's Island" that "Eli's Creek" runs through.  

But this morning, oh my itchy eyes and stuffy head! I was not aware I had spring seasonal allergies. But after not having a voice for a month after my trip to Portland, and now getting head cold symptoms every time I work in the yard, I have had to accept the fact that I must. Rick keeps asking me if I have flu like symptoms. I think he thinks I'm getting the Swine Flu. Speaking of that, I never shared this photo I took in Portland. I think it's funny!

I have mentioned in several posts how much yard work and beautification we have been doing at our house. Every comment has been, "Getting your house ready to sell, huh?" My answer to that is, "No!" We are not getting our house ready to sell. We are living in and enjoying our house for as long as we have it! We are enjoying doing what we are doing at our house! And we are having so much fun spending time together doing it! Another owner may end up receiving the benefits of it down the road, but for now it's all for us!

The one thing we are doing, more than anything else, is just living every single day to the fullest, no matter where we are residing! We have spent the last several years just getting through each day waiting for the next thing to happen. We feel like we have wasted real life. Sure, we are excited about moving and hope that it happens sooner than later. But in the meantime, we have a beautiful home to enjoy and people we love who we want to spend time with until it's our time to move on. Don't assume that anything we are doing is for anybody else but us. I know I plan to live each day to its fullest, and I am doing what I can to get the members of our family to do the same. That's what true daily happiness is all about. No wasted opportunities, no regrets.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I love Kris Allen!!!

"What We've Been Up To" Wednesday

On the grocery shopping front, I've been doing great with the every-two-weeks shopping trips. I have definitely been saving money and have kept my average weekly shopping bill down to about $75-$85 or so a week, instead of $95+ as an average.  I've also really been saving money with my homemade fabric softener and laundry detergent.  I am loving both of those!  Now if I could just find a good recipe for dishwasher detergent and learn how to make my own toilet paper (just kidding on the tp, of course).

So, what have we been up to these past couple of weeks? Mostly yard projects!  Rick has mostly completed the play structure.  Since we are planning to move, he's not going to continue with it and make the swingset portion.  The kiddos will just have to be satisfied with the slide and tower for now.

I have planted a total of 28 flower pots.  They are blooming and look amazing!  The landscaping we did last spring, the shrubs and all, have really bloomed out this year and our house looks so pretty!

I am obsessed with my little container garden.  Out of my seeds I ended up with a pretty good crop of green pepper plants, basil and oregano, and about 6 tomato plants (but they are still pretty tiny).  I broke down and bought a mature cherry tomato plant and regular tomato plant. Then yesterday I just couldn't resist buying a rosemary bush and a zucchini plant.  My one good green bean plant has now shriveled up, but I have hope in one more little sprout that has now grown it's second set of leaves since being transplanted to the bigger pot and placed outside.  I thought green bean plants were foolproof!  They underestimated the size of the fool, I guess.

Rick and I have also created some garden areas around some trees in our front yard. We always thought that would be a huge project that would be hard and take us forever. It took us no time at all to do the first one! It was so irritatingly easy (we're frustrated we didn't do it last year!) that we decided to do the trees on the other side of the driveway too. They look amazing!

The other day I got motivated and decided to put the "copper" mesh in my kitchen desk cabinet. I knew that would be an easy project, but I had been putting it off for some reason. So, I measured the opening, cut the chicken wire with wire cutters, spray painted them with copper spray paint and used a staple gun to install them.  Just call me Mrs. Bob Vila. I was impressed with myself. Now I am all hyped up to paint and put a faux finish on our master bathroom floor. I'm tackling that project this weekend!

Brynne had her end-of-the-year program at preschool yesterday. She is usually quite the show-woman. But for some reason yesterday she was in a "mood".  She insisted on taking her pup on the stage with her and then buried her head in him the whole time and never sang. Oh well, that's what true good videos are made of. She'll laugh someday. When we got to the car, I put Eli in his seat and was talking to Rick. I shut the car door and shut Eli's hand into it. He was reaching out to say, "Daddy" because he wanted to tell him something. And I mean I shut it in it. He screamed and I felt so bad! Thankfully it was okay.

This week at Eli's school they are doing some fun days. Yesterday it was carnival day and later in the week they are doing track and field day. I can't believe he'll be in kindergarten next year!

Kyndal and Dawson are having semester finals this week. They are so ready for school to be out. I have mixed emotions, of course! Kyndal will be busy babysitting for our neighbors a couple of days a week, so that will help to keep her boredom down. I'm sure Dawson's summer will be filled with neighborhood friends. 

Next weekend Rick and I, and the older kids, are heading back up to Kansas City to look at some more houses and show the kids the area we are interested in.  I'm looking forward to doing that with them.

That's what we've been up to. These last weeks of school are always busy! I'm just enjoying doing work around the house and spending time in the evenings with Rick. We've settled back into our old routine of getting the kids to bed and hitting the couch together to watch some television and wind down. It's amazing how easy it is to get out of that habit, and as soon as the kids go to bed to separate into our own things. Rick's is usually computer work or hitting golf balls in the garage. Mine is usually just going to bed or watching t.v. by myself. But I didn't realize how much I had missed spending end-of-the-day time with him. It's invaluable for us to stay connected. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today  ~  May 19, 2009

Outside my window... IT. IS. BEAUTIFUL!  This may be that one perfect day of the year!

I am thinking... about eating some peanut butter toast with honey.  I'm starving! 

I am thankful for... Rick and his love for me and our children.

From the learning rooms... Only 4 more days of school!  Dawson has semester finals today and tomorrow.  Kyndal's are later in the week.  Eli is having a fun week at school.  And today was Brynne's end-of-school program.  Can't believe it's summer break already!

From the kitchen... I happily sit with my Mac and cup of coffee.  I am thrilled to have our internet working again.  And, the "copper" mesh I installed in our kitchen cabinet looks awesome!

I am wearing... a cute Maxi dress (that I actually got on clearance at Rue 21 last fall for $5.00 before I knew Maxi's were going to be "in" this year!!), my new Vera Wang black shiny wedge flipflops, my hair in a pony with a black headband, and a little short sleeved black jacket.

I am creating... front gardens at our house (looking amazing) and a plan to do a finish on our bathroom floor this weekend.

I am praying ... that we are patient with our house selling and just trust God that His plan is what's best and to enjoy each day, wherever we are! 

I am going... to finish buying plants for our front gardens and the paint and glaze for our bathroom floor.

I am reading... 1 Samuel and the book of Psalms, Woman's Day magazine.

I am hoping... to sell our house soon, so we can transition the kids to a new town before school starts, but am more hoping that we stay on board with God's will.

I am hearing... Eli playing his xbox (he had to get a "new" used one last night because his just died) and birds chirping outside.

Around the house... we're doing all of those projects that we have been wanting to do for the past year.  But, we aren't doing them to get our house ready to sell!  We are doing them for our enjoyment while we are here!

One of my favorite things... is my reality t.v.  I missed The Bachelorette last night .. I didn't know it had started (urggghhhh!!!). The finale of American Idol is on tonight!  And my fav, So You Think You Can Dance, starts on Thursday night!

A few plans for the rest of the week... I think I've pretty much said it all, but here's a recap.  Rick and I meet with our Life Coach on Thursday night.  The kids finish up school this week.  We are doing more house projects this weekend.  We are going to enjoy this weather!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

The new baby birds that were born on our back porch this year.  They are now gone, off to live their own lives.  But they were so fun to watch!

For true simple women, visit The Simple Woman's Daybook

Clap Clap

If you're happy and you know it clap your hands.

Sing with me!

If you're happy and you know it clap your hands!!

I'm back online!  Between my voluntary hiatus from blogging a few weeks ago, and my involuntary one when our modem broke, it's been almost a month since I have blogged regularly. And let me just say how much I have missed it, and you!

But, I'm back on for good now! I'll be making my "regular" posts again. And we have lots to catch up on!

Clap, clap!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's Me in "All You"

Several months ago I answered one of those "Let us Pick Your Brain" e-mails from All You magazine.  I received an e-mail from someone there a couple of weeks later about one of my entries.  Then she asked for info about me and a picture.  I never heard another word.

From what I hear, I am now famous!  Apparently I am on the "Back Page" of the June issue of All You giving my favorite 5-minute summer dessert of banana pudding.  Actually, my mom should be the one showcased since it was really her recipe from when I was a kid.  I just have used it my whole adult life, too.

Anyway, I guess I'm there, so go check it out!  We tried to find a copy of it at our Walmart today but there weren't any. I guess they've been bought out!!  The public knows a celebrity when they see one!

We are still internet-less, so my posts will be minimal for a while longer.

We did get our house put on the market and it will officially be on MLS tomorrow.  Pray for God's will on the sale of our home.  We are excited about a new beginning somewhere else, but want God's will more than our own.  It's hard not to get impatient and excited.

Talk soon!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thoughts on Thursday ~ Moving on

After this weekend, if you happen to drive by our house, you will notice a real estate sign. Yep, we are planning to sell our "dream" home that we built just a little over a year ago.

We really feel that we are being called to leave Oklahoma and move back to Missouri to be closer to my family and to live a simpler life.  We have researched some areas where we would like to live, by Kansas City, and have looked at houses.  This is something we really want and we feel like God is laying it out for us.

Everything is a timing thing, of course, with the first step being to sell our house.  If we have heard God clearly, our house will sell.  If we were wrong, it won't.  Once that happens we can make final preparations to move.

Please be praying for us that we will continue to be still and listen to God speak to us.  We do not want to do this on our own plan but definitely want to take each step according to God's. That's hard to do when you are so excited about something. We're just trying not to jump ahead of God.

"What I Got For the Money" Wednesday

Yes, I know it's Thursday.  But, I've got 30 minutes to kill before I pick Brynne up from preschool. I am sitting in a parking lot of a church using their wi-fi.  I've caught up on all my bloggy friends, so I thought I'd post something.  (BTW .. I miss talking to you all and I hope you are doing well!!)

This week I didn't need to go grocery shopping.  We had enough left over from last week, and Rick's out of town so dinners have been "whatever."

But I did go buy the flowers for all my pots.  It's still raining every day, and on Tuesday when I bought all of these flowers it was downright gross outside.  But, here's what I bought:

I have 14 large pots and several small ones around our house. I also went ahead and bought a mature cherry tomato plant and a regular tomato plant since my little weenie ones I started as seeds may not be big enough to produce tomatoes until December.

Funny story though. The cherry tomato plant was big and beautiful!  I was tilting it to get it out of its container, to put it in a pot, and it slid out and landed upside down in the pot. The biggest branch broke right in half, but somehow I managed to save the rest of it.  Oh, my luck.

I spent about 3 1/2 hours planting all of those pots yesterday, with Brynne's help, of course! (It actually would have only taken me about 2 hours without her, but oh the joy of having her alongside!)

After all that we had a HUGE storm blow in last night after dark, with about 70 mph winds (maybe not quite that bad in our town, but definitely strong!)  I was running around in the dark pulling pots onto porches and into the garage trying to save them.  That would totally be my luck! There were two I was unable to get to, but they survived just fine.

I love fresh flowers in pots and can't wait for them all to bloom!

And here's a picture of my little container garden. Pray for it!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Down Again

Looks like I am taking another unscheduled hiatus from internet usage.  This time it may be for a while!

Out of the blue, our modem went down at home.  As it's no longer under warranty, AT&T "can't help us."  Because of some imminent changes, we don't know if it's worth it to get another modem at this time.

So, looks like all internet usage by me will be happening only when I can scam some free WI-FI from someone.

You want to know something?  This is not by accident.  God needs me to just trust Him, let Him do His plan His way, without all my information seeking and planning of my own. So, I'm not going to fight this.  I am just taking this as an answer to prayer that God is working mightily in a situation I can't control anyway.

I'll try to touch base when I can.  Just know that all is good at the Taulman residence.  Some exciting things are happening and we are thrilled!