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Thursday, September 29, 2011

You are X-tra special Jenny Matlock

Last Friday morning I was driving to the gym when I saw an arrow pointing to a garage sale in on of my favorite neighborhoods.  OH, I was so excited.  The treasures I would find were sure to be good.  The gym could wait.
I drove into the neighborhood with its gorgeous homes and followed the arrows, parking in the shade under a giant tree and walked up the drive way.  I fell in love with this dollhouse bookshelf.
I walked into the garage, ready to ask the home owner the asking price.
“How much would you like for your bookshelf,” I asked the woman.
“$25.00 and it’s all yours,” she said and her smile caught my eye.  
She sparkled.  
She literally sparkled with that friendliness you find in people you’ve never met.  
She was just happy and I liked that.  
She looked at me too and our eyes met for an instant.
“Is your name Laura,” she said and she looked so familiar all of a sudden.
“It’s me, Jenny Matlock.”
And she jumped up and ran into my arms and we were both hugging and jumping and literally sparking with contagious joy.
“Jenny Matlock!” I yelled.  “I love you, Jenny Matlock.  I love your blog.  It’s my favorite.”
We talked for quite some time.  We ignored all the other people shopping and asking questions about prices and shoe sizes and if the radio that was for sell still worked.
We were in our own little world that bloggers share; where even though she’d never meet me she knew Eden and Reef and how I felt about mothering and my insecurities and she thought it was special how much I loved the counselor. 
“This is her,” she said to her husband.  “The girl I was telling you who writes about trash, who takes all her kids to the thrift stores all the time.”
I was so flattered and her husband shook his head like “Oh, so that’s her, the trash girl.
I asked Jenny about her book and her writing and told her she’s a famous writer.  
"I didn't know you lived in Arizona," I said. "I thought you lived in Hollywood or something."
I told her how much I respect her and that she’s really created something special with her blog. I meet her husband and told her what a lucky man he is, but he already knew as he put his arm around her and held her close.  I told Jenny how much she meant to me; how when she leaves a comment on my blog I feel so good inside because she’s always so sincere and deep in what she has to say.  It just went on and on like this, compliments and hugs and encouragement.
Jenny Matlock was even more beautiful in person then I would imagine.
She wasn't wearing this Quaker bonnet, so it took some getting used to.
I bought the bookshelf.
Jenny carried it to my car because I was carrying Eden and a huge yellow Yoga ball I’d bought (more like she'd given me).
Leaving was like being peeled apart from a friend I hadn't seen for so long.  It was tough.  All day long I kept thinking "Wow.  I met Jenny Matlock.  I can't believe I met Jenny Matlock."
The treasures found at garage sales indeed!
Ironically, Jenny was holding the garage sale for her neighbor who is foreclosing on her home. 
“She just needs the money so bad,” Jenny said.  “So, I’m helping her sell her stuff.”
Jenny Matlock, you are X-tra special.  Follow Jenny’s blog Off on a Tangent which features Alphabet Thursday.  
Jenny Matlock
Every week, she picks a different letter of the alphabet to write a post on.  It's really fun.  This week the letter is X, perfect for Jenny because she’s X-tra special to me.
Linking up to (you guessed it):
Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Goo Gone Passion Project

Laura and I were contacted by Goo Gone to see if we'd like to participate in their Passion Project! They agreed to send us a very cool item but the catch is that it would come with an imperfection- an imperfection that could be fixed using Goo Gone. Of course we agreed to participate and were super excited when our packages arrived. One box held a flip camera, bottle of spray gel Goo Gone, two Goo Gone towels and a letter with directions.
The other box held...
This really cute jewelry box- but what's this I see?
Price stickers and crayon colorings (if I hadn't just removed this from the Fex-Ex box I would have thought my own little darlings had gotten to this) My favorite imperfection...
I applied a little Goo Gone to the provided cloth (love this spray bottle) and the top immediately wiped clean...
Felix required an extra spray and 2 minutes of soaking (which is what the bottle recommends)
You can see from the rag that it removed the crayon and sticky from the price tag, but not the finish on the jewelry box.

Now I have myself a really cute jewelry box and a bottle of Goo Gone. Being that most items I buy from thrift stores have horrible sticker labels, I have used Goo Gone in the past- However, I didn't know that it removed crayon- Ahhhhh my toy room will be so happy! Thanks Goo Gone for letting me test drive your product and for the jewelry box. Love, Kelly.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What I learned on my Birthday

It happens all the time.
I walk into a store or restaurant and someone will comment on all my kids.
“Wow, all yours, huh!” they might say.
“Four boys!   You've got your hands full.”
Just sweet and fun comments I take as compliments from total strangers.
A few weeks ago, the counselor and I were out with all the kids when a woman with 3 little girls and 1 boy of her own passed by me and said “Four boys, huh.  I wouldn’t trade places with you for anything.”
And I smiled at first, thinking it was like the rest of the comments I get, like it was some sort of a compliment, only to realize a few seconds later that was more an insult.
What’s the big deal, I thought.  Yes, I have 4 boys in a row.
Yes, they’re rowdy and wrestly (is that a word, let’s just say it is).
Yes, they like to tease each other and poke and have fun and be obnoxious.
Yes, they’re boys! 
Yes, they eat a lot! 
Yes, they can drive me crazy if I’m really tired and have too much to do.
Honestly, having 4 boys has it challenges, but most days it’s manageable.
On my birthday, we all went out.
I wore my Eileen Fisher silk pants I found at Goodwill for $1.00.  I tried to dress up a bit, after all it was Joe's BBQ.
At first, the boys started playing tag.
Eden has to be one of the boys, trying to catch up with them.
Then, the boys turned competitive on each other.
Running, yelling, tagging “You’re it!” and the other one is crying because he didn’t win.
I’m wondering what can I do on my birthday to just keep my boys still for a little while, with not fighting.
The counselor and I don't fight.  Where did my kids learn to fight?
And the counselor says “They’re just boys and that’s what boys do.”
I’m starting to question this idea because it’s taken over my life.
Is this really what boys do? 
Because I don’t like it all the time – teasing in the car, wresting in the house, pestering each other at the restaurant.
We walked across the street to the City of Gilbert water tower.
The water kept my kids occupied for the rest of the afternoon with no fighting on their part.
Eden's not too sure about joining them this time.
There she goes, just a bit closer to watch.
It occurred to me that my boys always need to be engaged, conquering something, 
entertained by a challenge, an obstacle that empowers them, 
they want to feel strong and they want attention.
 If they don’t have an opportunity like that, they take it out on each other, find it in each other through wrestling, fighting, teasing.  Sometimes I compare them to baby wolf cubs, fighting with each other to learn how to be strong when they grow up.
That's what "Boys will be boys" means to me.
How is it I just realized this?  
Parenting has a way of teaching, humbling, keeping us on our toes.  
By the end of the afternoon, they were soaking wet but happy.
I know this understanding doesn’t fix my parenting challenge, but it is some sort of consolation prize for years of additional parenting.
Thank heavens for little boys (and one little precious girl)!
And thank you for all the birthday wishes and love.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Knock-Off Coach Purse

I was at church last Sunday enjoying a wonderful lesson on the gifts of the spirit.
Faith, love, service, writing and so many more are spiritual gifts given to us through the power of the Holy Ghost.
The instructor passed out a paper to each of us and asked us to write down what we felt were our own personal gifts.  I thought for a minute and between holding little princess and giving her a bottle, wrote down three distinct things I felt were my special gifts.  After class, I folded up my paper and put it in my purse.
This is my purse.
A knock-off Coach bag I found at a yard sale for $5.00.
At least I think it’s a fake, but I’m not really sure.
It does look real, doesn’t it?
This is my Sunday purse. 
I have another purse for other days of the week, but when I go to church I don’t want to carry my wallet or receipts or coupons.
I use this Sunday purse for one bottle, one diaper, a bag of animal crackers and binky.
It’s a small purse, but I can fit everything I need into it.
So, last night when I was working on the computer, the counselor came into the office and looked at me all funny, like he’d discovered a secret about me.
“What,” I said, trying to figure out his suspicious mood.
“Oh, nothing, just that you’re a great cookie maker, peace maker and baby maker.”
And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about, but I vaguely remembered writing it somewhere.
“Where did you read that?” I asked him.  “Did I write that on my blog?”
“I don’t think so,” he said as he walked off to bed, smiling under his breath.
I worked on the computer for a bit longer, still wondering where he'd come up with that, when I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth
That’s when I saw it. 
My list of spiritual gifts. 
My husband had taped the paper on the bathroom mirror.
And I laughed and laughed.
That’s what I wrote in Sunday school!  
Sleep deprived and spiritually high while Eden crawled all over me, I had written my spiritual gifts were
I’m a good cookie maker, peace maker and baby maker.
And it made me realize.
We never know who’s going to read our writing (or who’s going to rummage through our purse), so make it count.
Linking up to:

Jenny Matlock

Ebay is NOT Just About Clothes!

Had to share my top seller of the week on ebay. Mr. Right picked up a Canon Rebel film camera with lens at a garage sale for $10.00. We just sold the lens for $80.00We also listed the camera and it sold as a buy it now for $110.00- but then the buyer asked if they could cancel because they didn't realize it was a film camera. Looks like we'll be relisting that one- but I'm thrilled with Mr. Right's first flip with a $70.00 profit. I'd love to hear about what you're selling- leave us a comment. Love, Kelly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Craigslist Tent

Before the counselor and I had kids, we did our fair share of camping.  
Since I just keep having babies around here, I don’t do much camping anymore, but Derek loves to camp with the older boys up to the mountains.  All these years, he’s used the same tent.
The tent we used.
The tent built for two.
But now that Chandler and Payson are the height of small adults, we set out to get a new tent.
As a girl who’s never shopped tents, I had no idea how expensive they were.
Hundreds of dollars.
We hoped to find one used, but the counselor wanted a few specific things in his new tent.
Since he’s 6’5, he wanted something tall.
He wanted the tent to be divided into two rooms.
He wanted it easy to assemble.
That’s what he found on craigslist.
After weeks of searching, he found a grandpa in East Mesa with a Coleman tent, used only once, for $40.00.
My husband, with the patience of Job,

setting up his new tent while 5 kids jumping around with excitement, using the tent poles as sword, stepping on it with wet dirty feet,
rolling on it and chasing one another right over it and then losing interest all together.
Payson spying on the neighbors.
Mayer squirting the dog with the hose.
Reef playing in his toy pool.
Eden watching Reef.
Eventually, he and Chandler set it up.
Never once did he loose his cool.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dresser and Mirror Redo

I picked up this ornate mirror a few weeks ago for $5.00- knowing it would be perfect for my little girls room make-over.The trick with repainting mirrors is to make sure the mirror can be removed from the frame, otherwise you'll be able to see the original color on the back of the frame reflected in the mirror. This may only bug people that have OCD like me- but it's a tip worth pointing out. The perfect match to the mirror was this french dresser I picked up several months ago...
With a little black paint- I had the perfect set for my 2 and 7 year olds room.
Here's a closer look at the knobs...
I'll be adding a lamp and some accessories and I can't wait to show you the build Mr. Right is working on. We need to have the room all done by Sept. 29 for my 7 year old Birthday. We'll keep you posted on the progress. Love, Kelly.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A few of my favorite things

With the weather cooling, I find when I work outside on painting trash, the kids follow.
My mom rides by on her bike.
One of the perks of selling trash is the joy of working from home. I’m with my family while making money.
I was here when Mayer lost his first tooth.
A labor of love, I finally finished painting the china hutch for a client of mine.
Here’s the before
And after.
I love how it turned out.
I put a lot of hours into this piece, but it was worth it.
Redoing furniture is new to me, so it really built my confidence.
A few of my other favorite trashy things?
This enormous office hutch.

It was too big to fit into my Honda Pilot, so I looked around the thrift store parking lot.
I saw a lady who liked really nice getting out of a truck and asked if she'd delivery the office hutch to my home for $20.00.
I really don't have a problem talking to strangers.

This little Kidscraft kitchen I found at Goodwill for $30.00 has been the hit of the week.  
Eden can't get enough.
On the same visit to Goodwill, I found this adorable toy box for $20.00.
Around here, toy boxes turn into hiding places.

We have several of them.
I found this vintage end table for $15.00 and had to have it.
Another piece to practice on
and it turned out great.