so little weeds…

So I pulled all these little yellow nasties out of my front yard the other evening,

and I woke up the next morning to TWICE as many smiling at me…



but once again I plucked them all up tonight

and the Scotts weed killer is hard at work.

GOODBYE weeds, HELLO grass! (I hope)



I’ve been thinking…


so a while back my sister in law compared motherhood to running, which let’s be honest I don’t do much of anymore… but she said moms are like marathon runners, we go go go, and dads are like sprinters, they come home from work and spend a short but oh so necessary amount quality time with the kids. we have the long haul (particularly stay at home moms, but even moms that work tend to do quite a lot with work on top)…

so we have to pace ourselves, we can’t do too much or we don’t make it to the end. and dads wrestle and chase and jump go a bit crazy with the kids because that’s what we need them to do, use that extra energy, sprint to the line for us…

and once again it makes me think about how amazing single moms are without a sprinter to go full force for them so the can have a bit of a rest…

and then I got to thinking about a friend of mine, she has three kids but often never leaves them all home with dad. I thought she was crazy, and that he could handle it. but then think about it… their sprinters and they need the coach (wife) close by in case of an emergency and the longer we leave them with all the kids the quicker they run out of steam…

I know last time I left Darin home with these two fireballs he barely came up for air.

what’s this all mean? nothing really. just thinking. glad to be a mom, as long as I keep a good pace.

and sometimes I don’t, and then I fall asleep at 9 b/c I stopped moving and nothing seems to keep my attention.

but I’ll keep chugging along, you too.

This little monster…

(Here’s a bigger Halloween picture Marissa! the collages are cute, but can’t be enlarged!)

This little monster has developed some bad habits since we’ve been away from home. Might be the death of me! (definitely has decreased his chance of ever getting a brother!) Help me if you can…

just for you…

Mom, I added the links for the fabulous coupon queen, and european traveler.

and for those of you who were interested…


Cube cheese. Make batter. Cook in hot oil.

Batter Recipe:
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 C milk
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 C + 2-6 Tbsp flour (add a little more til its thick)

YUM! typing it makes me want to have it again tonight!

and since my computer died, and I haven’t backed up recent pictures, that’s all.

but I promise Christina, I’ll get some up soon! Natalie is just a crack up these days!

An Awesome Read…

the peacegiver

Wow. This is a great book. I loved it. If you have just a bit of time each night, you’ll finish this book in a week, yet you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. It’s all about forgiveness, giving a greater insight into the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It really touched my heart. I mean, its pretty much an eye-opening lesson but written through a captivating story, where if you are like me you want the characters to get to that happy ending and you love watching the them discover the steps they need to take, all the while it’s teaching me to do the same thing. Thanks Steph for loaning me such a good book! It’s a must read for all, and definitely a reread throughout my life! I am thankful for the greater understanding I now have of the Savior’s sacrifice and how the Atonement should work in my life. Sometimes I need a read just like this, it makes me look at everything in a new and BETTER light. He truly does give us peace and only through Him can we be forgiven.

A great DEAL day!


Well, I am happy to be back in the saddle, hunting deals! Today I got all this for $10.75 and that’s because $4.69 of it was tax, so really I go it all for $6.06!! Awesome!  I mean diapers, 2 Neutragena sunscreens, 4 body washes, hair products, paper towels, and candy (that we don’t need and will no doubt become gifts) all for just six bucks, woohoo! Thanks to CVS and RiteAid deals,, and COUPONING!

I talked with a great friend/hot momma the other night after Bunco and she is couponing her way to Italy! I love it! Since there are less people in her home, she has kept the same food budget but started couponing and ALL the savings go towards a a trip to Italy in 2012! How great is that?! I decided we are couponing to keep our school debt to a minimum… then we will be couponing to PAY OFF the school debt and maybe one day we too will coupon our way to Europe!

I love saving money and hear about others saving money and helping others save money… 🙂


This is a popular number for me right now. Not just one on its own, but ONE a day, or ONE a week, or ONE a month… it’s how I set my goals, and try to focus a little on me and improving myself. I decided to give my goals a voice, and perhaps a little motivation too.  This year I have the goals of visiting the temple ONCE a month and reading the Ensign cover to cover every month.



Thus far successfully completed, thanks to my mother and sister and in-laws for babysitting so I could could go and GO WITH MY HUSBAND !! 🙂



This one is fun because I seem to breeze through the stories and articles and love every bit of it! I love the new layout and new “sections.” However, May became a bit of a challenge because I didn’t get it before I left on vacation and it is the general conference talks (its usually the issue I didn’t get all the way through in previous years), thus I gave myself a new project one, to read ONE talk a day (I’ve been pretty good at doing so).  I’ve really enjoyed reading one talk a day to really think more about what was said at conference, and to read what I didn’t hear while taking care of the kids!

I also have a goal to do my VISITING TEACHING every month this year…


Sadly I totally missed May, I was out of town/country for 25 days, but still I could have emailed or sent a card… sorry girls, I’m recommitting myself!

After Stake Conference today, I’ve decided to add another project…



I want to study my scriptures ONCE a day, not just read or breeze through a section, but read, ponder and study. (I’m pretty sure this goal goes back on my new year’s resolutions quite frequently, so thus I resolving once again to do better!)

Now most of my projects appear to be working on improving my spirituality. I guess it’s a big focus for me this year?! However there are a few other projects on the list.



I want to have an adventure with the chicklets ONCE a week, sometimes ONCE a DAY if things seem too boring around the house. Thanks to a great price on a family zoo pass, the FREE play areas in the mall, storytime at the library, playdates with friends, my mom helping us get a family pass to the ADVENTURE SCIENCE CENTER, and our inflatable pool…I’ve been doing pretty good with this one!



I also set a goal to craft ONCE a week. This one hasn’t been so good, but I’ve been squeezing in a few projects and I got a list running in my head that I just need to start…

and my other NEW goal to add to the list–



For a little bit I was trying to do something everyday, but that petered out rather quickly. SO HERE I AM, ready to jump back on the wagon. I’m gonna do it. 20 minutes a day… I can find that kinda time right?

Well, here’s to goals and projects…

Hope this week goes well!

i think it’s time…

Darin and his buddies have been putting together a website for PT/OT students, current and future. and quite possibly for PT/OTs working too! so just go take a look at their hard work… …please. and let them know what you think… even if you aren’t going into PT/OT… at least read the great article about life as a PT student written by my fabulous husband. and if you feel so inclined, just add it as a link on your blog/site!

and can I just brag for a minute… he is 2/3 the way done, making pretty much all A’s, class president, often group leader on projects, working on this website, executive secretary at church, a huge help at home for me, a great Dad to his kids, and a wonderful participant in MANY a family outing… I love him. I am SO PROUD!

wow I can really waste time…

I just spent quite a bit of time just other friends’ blog posts about the funny things their kids do and say. when really I should take a minute to put down a few of my memories for myself! So the following is mostly just for me, but you can read too if you want. (Luke 2 1/2, Natalie 8 mo)

We are enjoying our time with family right now. Luke really likes his cousins, before we left to visit them yesterday, he said, “we go play cousins. they have lots of cars. play Rusty and Lucy (their dog is Rusty, the other cousins’ dog is Lucy). grandpa come. and grandma come. and you come. and me come. and Natalie come.” “And Daddy?” I asked. “And Daddy come. and me come.” He doesn’t want to leave anyone out.

Natalie has a tendency too climb all over me. If she is sitting on the floor playing and she sees me, she starts grunting and whining, and leapfrogs forward to get me, and cries if she can’t quite reach me.

Everything goes directly to her mouth. She loves to eat. She tries everything. Paper is especially delicious.

Luke loves to play cars. It’s cute to hear him while he is pushing the cars across the floor. “going to walgreens. see ya.” “we’re back. you comin’?” “let’s go to the playground. I shoot bas-kick-a-ball (I think that’s how it comes out).”

Luke likes to tease me and call me “mamie,” just so I will chase him and tell him not to call me that.

While Luke doesn’t like when Natalie has mommy’s attention, he sure does love his sister. He likes to take her on walks by pushing her in the stroller. He likes to make her laugh, or least smile, and he gets upset/confused when she doesn’t laugh at he is doing. He likes to feed her. He makes sure she doesn’t play with the wrong toys… “No Nat, you can’t have that. You’re too little. It’s a big toy, you’re too little.” (then he proceeds to play with it, after all he is big!) He often helps throw her diapers away, or get her pacifier for her. I think he likes being a big brother, as long as mommy still holds him too!

Luke hates swings. Verified at the park 2 days ago. Natalie loves them.

They both LOVE being buckled up in the car… NOT!

Natalie still has those long bangs in front (just enough to hold a bow) so I can’t seem to part with them…will she look back at her baby pictures and say, “Mom, why didn’t you just trim those?!”

Natalie naps twice a day. Luke maybe once, every few days.

Luke is all about sharing. When he gets into something he is not supposed to, he looks up with those big bright eyes and asks, “Want some?” If I have a treat/cookie/something yummy, he asks, “Whatcha eating Mommy? What do you got? I want some.”

Tantrums come quite often, but if I stick to it, eventually Luke realizes he has to obey Mommy. And he is much quicker at forgetting about the incident than me. I love that. He can be happy two seconds after crying those big crocodile tears.

I love his chubby feet. I love Natalie’s long slender ones.

I don’t love how she smacks me in the face quite often when I’m holding her, but I know she is just trying to see what’s going on all around her and she forgets my head might be in the way.

I love the smile on Natalie’s face when I come to get her from her nap.

I laugh when I call Natalie a nickname like Lil’ Li-li and Luke says, “No Mommy, not Li-li, NATALIE.” But he doesn’t seem to mind if I call him Nug, Nugget, and Buddy.

“Just a minute” …a horrible phrase to a two year old. “Not just a minute Mommy, now. NOW. please?!”

I can’t help but smile when he says thank you all on his own accord. Or “you’re the best.” I got that one today while sharing my sandwich with him at lunch. “you’re the best Mommy.”

“You’re the best too, Luke.” and Nat, you’re the best too. I wouldn’t leave you out for anything!

and a Happy New Year!

Let’s start the new year off right. We love you all! We have fabulous pictures from Christmas, but Darin just reminded me that we can’t post them until I get home. Sorry. But we made it to Canada. After a very eventful drive across the country, we rolled in at 9:00 pm on New Year’s Eve. What a great way to start the new year… out of the car! You won’t believe it, but it was warmer here yesterday than back home in Antioch, Tennessee! Today we have beautiful snow is just falling all around us (no wind!) and we are enjoying Grandpa and Grandma Payne! We sure LOVE family. Hope all are happy for a new year and new beginnings.