Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Grandma Book

Let's go back to August 2010.

My mother in law's little nagging cough has gone from mild pneumonia to stubborn pneumonia to a mystery disease that has her bedridden to septic in a hospital bed. My husband's (big) family is assembled in an ICU waiting room. When my father in law gets every one's attention and gives us a very grave report on my mother in law's condition, I, for the first time, allow my mind to entertain the possibility that she will die. The first person I thought of was Madison.

Maybe my thoughts should have been on my father in law, about to loose his wife of 32 years. Or my husband, about to say good bye to his mother at only 28 years old. And of course I was so sad for both of them. For everyone. Each of Christine's children. Her siblings. Her mother. Our church. Each of Christine's 14 grand children. I was sad for Eden, and for Leila who would never be held by Grandma. But most of all, I was so sad for Maddie. The thought continually running through my mind was How will I tell Maddie?

Almost every day of Madison's 3 and a half years of life, she spent some time, even if just a few moments. with her Grandma. She was as close to her Grandma as one so young could possibly be.

The next day, Seth and I sat on Maddie's bed and told her that Grandma had gone to Heaven. The thing about being a young child is that you can be honest about how you feel. You have no concern of impressing people by your reactions. You can be truthful and revealing because you don't care to sound spiritual, or accepting or well adjusted or whatever. And so, Maddie did and has let us just what she thinks.

Mom, I just want my Grandma to come back to Earth.

Why did my Grandma have to die?

Oh Mom, I just miss my Grandma!

I've heard these statements every single day, often multiple times a day. Maddie tells me about dreams she's had about her Grandma. Or she'll talk about the things her and Grandma did. We can't see any animals without talking about Grandma taking her to the zoo. We can't mention a conference without talking about when Grandma watched her or Grandma came along. Certain games, certain movies... we go through the ritual often. And it's been 5 months.

I had thought that due to Maddie's young age, she would bring up her Grandma less and less, and gradually stop altogether. But I was wrong. And I'm sort of glad that I was wrong. It's very sad to think that many of these little grand kids won't remember their Grandma. They truly had a terrific grandmother but she died before most of them got to even realize it. I wonder if Maddie is afraid she will forget? I can't pretend to understand what makes her little mind tick but I do know that she misses Grandma.

I come across offers for free photo books all the time. I usually make them full of pictures of the girls to send to my step dad. Last week I was thinking about Maddie and how she feels about her Grandma's death. I was also thinking about how I would let her know that her Grandpa is planning to remarry. An idea came to my mind... a Grandma Book. I put the (few) pictures I have of the girls with their Grandma, along with other family pictures in the book. I wrote a simple poem to accompany the photos. It won't win any writing contests but that was not the purpose anyway. It was just intended to help my girls.

My Grandma was quite wonderful,
Loving and wise and so content.
To me, she was so beautiful.
I loved the time with her I spent.

We'd work and play, hug and cuddle
for a movie or book of rhyme.
It never seemed like any trouble;
For me, Grandma always had time.

I would often hear her relay
bits of truth, both big and small.
"If you don't have something nice to say,
don't say anything at all!"

Grandma wanted me to do right.
To honor the name of McCoy.
And to serve the Lord with all my might!
This would bring both Grandma and me joy.

I miss my Grandma oh so much!
But since Jesus our sins has forgiven...
one day, we'll again hug and touch
when we're together in Heaven!

The final page features an old photo of a two year old Seth, sitting on his mother's lap. The caption reads:
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. Psalm 16:6


It's the (Least) Wonderful Time of the Year!

How's THAT for a positive title?!?! ;)

And no, I am not talking about the frigid weather. Because (as you may remember) I am not permitted to complain about the weather. My husband is a very easy going man. If I never cleaned the house, he'd probably be fine with it. He's happy with whatever food I serve him. He will put up with a lot but he can not abide with complaining. And apparently, I used up all my complaint quota during my very first winter living in NY. If I had only known there was a limit, I would have rationed them better!

In actuality, the weather really doesn't bother me nearly as much as it used to. I don't pay any attention to weather reports. It's just cold and probably snowy until April. Period. As long as there's heat in my house and in my van, who cares. If it's really bad out, I will stay home with my little brood of little ones, with a hot mug of tea and a cozy blanket. What's so bad about that, right?

What I am referring to in my snarky title is the cold and flu season. I'm sick of my kids being sick. I feel terrible for them and a little helpless in preventing continual illness. Maddie, Leila and I stayed home from church last night due to both girls having colds. I'm trying to be considerate to our church family and not spread the yuckiness. Not sure if you've heard, but people seem to not want to share germs.

Any advice or ideas from fellow "Dr. Moms"?

Maddie's asthma is usually well controlled but the slightest cold gives her night of endless coughing and days of wheezing. Along with her prescription rescue medications, I've investigated natural remedies, for which there are not many mentioned for asthma. Some help a bit but she still seems so susceptible to every virus that comes her way. Sunday is the day when my kids are exposed to the most people (and therefore chances of catching something) so I had been giving my girls a pack of Emergen C on Saturday night. But (and sorry if this is TMI) Maddie always gets diarrhea when I give her extra vitamins. Even a chewable kids vitamin has that most undesirable effect.

And then there is little Leila. Only 3 months old and she has already had 2 or 3 colds. My other newborns NEVER had a cold so young. I suppose it's the fact that Leila has 2 older sisters crawling with cooties? The colds aren't too severe but they are disconcerting to me. And it tempts me to go a little faster with vaccinating Leila as opposed to a delayed schedule as I have done with Eden. I really wish these little babies came with a care tag like our clothing does so we know what we should do with each individual one. The AAP would have us vaccinate all children the same, while the opposite view wouldn't vaccinate any at all. I sort of reject a one size fits all approach either way.

Another issue with Leila is she already battles diaper rashes. Maddie did not have a diaper rash at all until she was introduced to solid food. And Eden never had even one diaper rash... ever. (Being a habitually constipated toddler probably is to thank). Leila has only been fed breast milk and so... um... this isn't supposed to happen! (Someday the people who write the baby books need to met my children and see how many things they were wrong about. ☺)

Running noses are pretty much here to stay until Spring. *sigh* Me no like.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baby Weight

That title is deceiving. I'm not actually going to talk about Leila's weight. She is a healthy 13 or 14 lbs. I'm not really sure. She perfect though, I assure you.

I am referring to the weight on me, as a result of the baby being nurtured in and by my body.

Oh yes... I'm going there.

I have somewhere between 5 to 10 pounds to loose. My scale is inaccurate, therefore I do not know my exact weight. (Is it even possible to have a well working scale with children in your home? They jump on it, they pick it up and move it all over, slamming it down, etc etc. I've given up and just accepted that it might be best not to know anyway.)

Leila is 3 months old. So I'm not going to be too hard on myself. I'm going to ignore the baffling weight loss of other moms I know... who were back to pre-pregnancy weight in a matter of 2 weeks.

What is bugging me is this: I gained the least amount of weight with Leila and it has been the most stubborn to loose. No fair! And if the 10 lbs. were perhaps better located, that would be different. But those mean little fat cells all wound up in the worst places possible.

I know... it was my 5th pregnancy. What did I expect?

I'll tell you what I expected:
1. My will power and character to be stronger than it has been. (ie. resisting cookies)
2. My elliptical to get more consistent use than it has.

But alas, time for exercise has fallen way down on the priority list. And while I have great intentions for most of the day, somewhere around 9pm, I just want a cookie (... or two ...or seven) and I vow to be better tomorrow.

And here is the scariest part of all:


Some small part of me (and yes thankfully it is still a small part) doesn't care anymore. Most of my clothes fit... not well but I can wear them. My husband will still love me and think I'm attractive if I never loose the last 10. My children don't care one way or the other. And by George, if a mom of three isn't entitle to a little gut than who is????

If you're looking for that inspirational post that makes you think I'm super terrific... this is not it.

I like cookies.

But... I also like feeling better about by myself. I like not having to tear up my closet looking for something to conceal the yucky parts once again. I like not wearing control top under garments. (ouch) I like having energy. I like looking forward to having more children in the future instead of wondering just how big am I going to get by the time our family is completed.

In case you haven't already deducted this fact, I'll tell you bluntly: I've been completely relying on my own strength instead of the Lord's help to eat right and take care of my body via exercise. And it's not been working. (duh!)

I'm nursing and so therefore, a serious reduction of calories is not a good idea. I've been intending to eat when I get hungry (I do not want my milk supply to be negatively affected in any way) but eat healthful foods only. And I must say that my meals have been meeting that standard. Where I stumble is snacking. I've been feeling so sluggish and maybe even like my blood sugar is low. So to cope and keep up with the day I grab something easy and fast... and (you guessed it) not healthy. And then there is just fact that goodies are all around me. For example, today I had oatmeal for breakfast (good). Then when my husband offered me a donette (those mini donuts) I absent mindedly accepted. And of course one little sweet thing only makes me crave another and another. (bad)

I need to follow the same rule I have for my girls:

If you want a snack, it going to be fresh fruit or veggies only.

Another issue I have been struggling with is horrible headaches every afternoon. I think I've had a bad headache every day for 6 days straight. Yuck. And OTC pain meds. aren't touching it. Maybe Excedrin Migraine would do it but I'm not going to take that while nursing. All I know is Tylenol and Motrin are not working.

As for exercise, I have signed up for a semester of Pilate's. I took two semesters in the past and really enjoyed it. The class is all women and is held at a local community college. The only down side is that it is right during the dinner hour. So I'll be making use of my crock pot. I start this week and I expect to be very very sore.

Mostly, I feel a need to get the Lord involved. Not just in eating right. But in every choice I make every day. Every word I say. Every decision about how I spend my time. Every interaction I have with my family and with others. I need His help. I too quickly speak. I too quickly decide. I too quickly mess up. I need Him to be beside me and lean on Him more. You know something: it just occurred to me that I haven't once asked the Lord to take this dreadful headache away!

It is a very good thing God has patience and mercy with us. All the time, I tell my frustrated 2 yr. old to stop whining and simply ask for help. Ha! Time to follow yet another instruction I give my children.

This post may be nominated for Most Random and Scatter Brain-ness. Guts, cookies, Pilate's headaches and the Lord. It's all connected... somehow.


Diaper Deal

Despite the stack of diaper boxes sitting in Leila's closet, I needed more of her CURRENT size. Usually, the drugstores only carry the boxes in size 3 or larger, so I bought those for future use, while hoping that next week the smaller packages (in which they carry size 1 and 2) would go on sale. Well, that didn't happen soon enough.

Yesterday, I decided to look around Amazon for a deal... you see our town had a snow emergency yesterday so going out to the stores did not sound like a fun (or safe) way to spend my evening. I have one more pack in Leila's size, so waiting for a box to be shipped was okay.

Here is what I found:

228 Size 2 Luvs Diapers

Price: 35.54

If we stopped right there, it would still be cheaper than just going to WalMart and picking up a pack.

But... Amazon has a program called Amazon Mom, which gives you free 2 day shipping and (if you sign up for auto delivery every 1 month, 2 month... up to every 6 months- you pick) you save 30%.

So that brings it down to about $27. I think (remember... math is NOT my area of expertise!) that equates to $.14 per diaper. That, my friends, is a good price.

So I ordered a box. THEN... when my husband came home, he brought in the mail. And in the mail was a BabyTalk magazine, and in the magazine was a coupon code for 20% off an Amazon diaper purchase!!!

So I ordered another box. This one cost under $20. That is like $.9 per diaper. WOW.

A few things I feel I should address:

1. I like Luvs diapers. I will buy Pampers or Huggies when I've got coupons and they are on sale but truthfully, I think Luvs are just as good. Howver, if you really are loyal to a particular brand, you'll pay a bit more than the Luvs but you can still get a good deal.

2. BabyTalk magazine is free. You can sign up for it all over the Internet. I my honest opinion, it is mostly ads and the articles it does have, I fundamentally disagree with 90% of the time. BUT... it's free and it occasionally has coupons in it. ☺

3. Amazon Mom is free, and I can cancel the auto delivery at any time. It is a good deal so I may not cancel, unless Leila's grows out of size 2 before then. And with 456 diapers in this size, it's a good chance she will!

I just wanted to pass that idea along to other moms looking for a deal on diapers, and hey, "free shipping" is one of my favorite terms.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Behold: The Stockpile

Some of you reading this post will think it is awesome. Some will think it is ridiculous. I completely agree with both views. ☺

I started being a "serious" coupon-ista about a month and a half ago. What I mean by this is that I went from casually snipping a few coupons for products I would normally purchase, thereby saving a few bucks here and there.... to clipping every single coupon out of the paper (and printing lots from online sources) even if it's a brand I normally don't buy or a product I've never tried. I still throw lots of coupons away (when they expire) but until then, I hang onto them waiting for a sale which will allow me to buy products for at least 75% off, in many cases free. It's become my hobby. Basically, I peruse the Sunday ads, keeping my eye open for items for which I have coupons. I use the Krazy Coupon Lady to help find the deals (and to learn the basics of couponing). I also like I am THAT Lady simply because she does coupon match ups for my local grocery store, which the first site does not.

It did not take long before I was in need of a shelf in my basement to contain my stockpile. Stockpiling is just part of the couponing world. Because when you find a great deal, why not get lots of it so that you NEVER buy something for full price. And also, many deals require a bigger quantity as specified by the sale and/or coupon.

Unlike many crazy stock pliers, I do not keep it all in one location. Though it's tempting to be able to display all of the beautiful merchandise I've obtained for little to no money, I really like having things closer to where I actually use them. And I'm blessed with the storage areas in our living space to do so.

So come along with me on a tour of my shopping trophies...

Firstly, the basement:
16 bottles of detergent, paid about $3 for each. Not as cheap as some I really prefer this brand.

And up above you saw lots and lots of toilet paper. I've lost count. I was going for a year's supply but it's difficult to calculate what a year's supply of TP is for our family. All I know is that those girls use more than they should! All of the rolls on the 3rd shelf and on the tables were FREE. The Scott packages on the bottom, and the paper towels, were cheap but not free. The tissues on top were free and the 10 cans of soup were .40 ea. Those 12 boxes of cereal were totally FREE.

Under my sink is several bottles of Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner that I bought for $1/ea. (only the tops are seen in the picture). What you do see is 7 boxes of dish washing detergent, bought for under a dollar each. And 17 bottles of Dawn dish washing soap which I got for FREE.
I've been snagging boxes of diapers for $13-$15. Those tubes of Huggies wipes were .75.

Behind the mound of tissue boxes (.75 for Kleenex brand) are 21 tubes Colgate Sensitive toothpaste. My husband needs sensitive toothpaste, which is pretty expensive. So when I saw the deal for these tubes for FREE, I bought a lot. I did have to pay sales tax, but for toothpaste that is normally $5, I will gladly pay just tax!
Also in this closet are almost 20 bottles of shampoo/conditioners, all costing me about $1 ea. What is not pictured are lots of pain meds., cold remedies, and Tylenol heat patches which were FREE.

So there you have it. And of course I didn't take pictures of my pantry or refrigerator. Would anyone like some yogurt? ☺ I've NEVER had a full pantry before. I feel like a squirrel storing up nuts for winter. My husband is enjoying my new hobby not just because of the fact that I am saving some real money (and therefore actually staying well within my grocery budget) but he gets a kick out of newly found appreciate for math. He's always been the one with the knack for math... he actually ENJOYS balancing the checkbook and figuring out how many miles he got out of a tank of gas, etc , Meanwhile I depend on the calculator on my phone more than I care to admit. But with all my figuring of percentages saved and breaking down the cost per unit... he just smiles at me as if he has finally converted me to a math lover.

Couponing: Saves money. Provides entertainment. Improves elementary math skills. Impresses husbands. ☺


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Whole wheat options

We have always used whole wheat bread at our house, except for the occasional loaf of homemade bread I make using this easy recipe. The majority of the time, we eat store bought 100% whole wheat bread. It's one of the good habits I picked up from my mother. Growing up, we always ate wheat bread, skim milk and never had soda in the house. I do really like Diet Pepsi, BUT it's a "treat" when I go out; never kept at home.

Anyway, I have been reluctant to go whole wheat in other areas: pasta, rice, tortillas. And I'm still sticking with my regular pasta... it's just sooo much cheaper (I bought 10 boxes last week for 50 cents each!). When my mom eats dinner with us, I use a low carb pasta -Dreamfields brand- because she is diabetic. The Dreamfields really does taste just like regular pasta... but costs about 3 times as much. In the past, however, whole grain rice and tortillas just didn't taste very good to me (or my family).

Recently, I purchased 100% whole grain brown rice (Uncle Ben's is the brand I like) and 100% whole wheat tortillas and have actually liked them so much, I'm officially making the switch! What I have discovered is that whole wheat varieties need a little something extra. So here are two ideas that work for us, and I thought may be useful to others who want the health benefit of whole wheat but don't like the flavor.

Brown Rice Pilaf

I LOVE this. So yummy. I make big batches because it makes a great lunch the next day. Add some chunks of chicken and you've got yourself a healthy, easy, one pot supper!

Are we all okay with "non-recipe" recipes? I have no exact measurements for you. BUT I did do sequence photos! Look at me, gettin' all fancy! Okay I actually just have 2 sequence pictures and one very bad finished product picture. I sorta forget to get my picture until we had eaten half of it already!

Anyway, I saute some veggies: onion, carrot, red and green pepper, minced garlic... but you do your favorites (mushrooms and broccoli would be great to me but not to Seth) in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. You can make your rice as heavy or light on the veggies as you prefer. I say the more the merrier!

When the veggies begin to get tender (just a few minutes on medium heat), add your rice. I put in 1 1/2 c. rice. As long as you have double the liquid as rice, you make as much as you want. Because brown rice needs that extra help to be yummy, I used half chicken broth and half water for my 3 cups of liquid. And then I season it liberally. Cracked pepper, salt, chili powder.... you can do whatever you like. An Italian seasoning mix works good, too.
The difference between cooking brown rice verses white rice is longer cook time. So this needs to be brought to a boil, then reduced to a simmer for 30 minutes, covered.

We love this. It's filling and healthy and cheap. Can't beat that! So give brown rice a try; just season it a whole lot!

Whole Wheat Tacos

My other adventure in whole grain was with tortillas. I'm from California. I love Mexican inspired foods. Now, I live in a an area of the country where if it ain't Italian, people don't even know what you're talking about. ☺ I say guacamole and the kids in our youth group scrunch up their noses at me. I went to a "Mexican" restaurant here and ordered horchata and they had no idea what I was saying. In a Mexican restaurant.... they didn't have a Mexican drink. They'd never even heard of it.
We're not California anymore, Toto.
Anyway, I have had to learn how to cook a few favorites. I can't seem to make chili quillas, so if anyone wants to teach me or, or better yet just make some and bring them to my house, I'd greatly appreciate it. ☺
All of that was just to say that while some people may not care a hoot about tortillas... I do. And I wanted to eat healthier wheat versions so I gave them a try. They really aren't bad all by their lonesome. Some wheat products are way different than their white flour counterparts but surprisingly, tortillas are a good thing to branch into whole wheat because they are pretty good.
I made taco cups with mine by cutting slits as so:

Lightly brush them with olive oil (or whatever oil you want) and push them into a muffin tin. On Christmas, I made mini tacos for an appetizer using a mini muffin tin and bigger tortillas cut into fourths, then slit. For the regular muffin tin, these tortillas were fajita or taco size.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. These were filled with taco seasoned chicken but you can use your favorite taco fillings.

Of course I had to go and corrupt the nice healthy whole wheat tortillas with a big glob of sour cream. I wouldn't want to be accused of being a health nut. ☺


Beginning phonics....

Today, the girls and I started structured phonic lessons. We have been doing pre-school activities in a casual way for a long time; they both love it and beg to "do school" all the time. Maddie seems to be ready to actually learn to read so.... here we go!

I basically have no idea what I am doing and am completely winging it.

Okay, well that's not entirely true. I'm using the phonic materials I used to teach the kindergartners at our Christian school. Since Maddie just turned four in October, I plan to go very slow, and not to order the math materials quite yet.

Our first day went very well. I am sure not every day will; in fact yesterday I seriously considered canceling the entire venture. Maddie was impatiently waiting for me to read her a story, while Leila needed my attention as well. At the exact same time, Eden was pouting (a habit we are working very hard at ending!) and the trash was overflowing (another habit I'd like to see an end to!). The dishes were stacked high and the beds had yet to be made. And the tea kettle whistled a shrill reminder that though I may eventually get around to making my tea, it would probably just sit neglected and cold until lunchtime, when my husband would be home to find me still in my pajamas and no warm lunch waiting for him. At times like that, despair creeps in and I truly don't know what to do first.

At which point that cute song from Sound of Music runs through my head: "Let's start at the very beginning... a very good place to start ..."

We started our lessons with the letter L.

While Maddie practiced identifying words that begin with "l" and wrote some "l"s of her own, Eden was busy coloring.

After completing today's lesson, we found items around the house that begin with "l" and labeled them:

(he he he)


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Typo Queen invites you...

Let's just get this part out of the way: there are two very ridiculous typos in this flyer. =( Typos have become my trademark. I'm pretty sure I have one in just about every blog post. Which would be nice if it didn't happen but it's not really a big deal. Not that you lovely readers aren't important. You are. But hopefully you can just laugh at my mistakes. BUT typos in materials put out by my church!?!?!?! AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I really really try not to have them. Really... I do. So... can you find the two typos? The first person who does will win! What will you win? You will be hired to be my personal proof reader. There is no pay and it's a third shift position.

Okay now that we have that out of the way....
Are you concerned about out country? I am. Things are getting down right scary. I think about the condition America will be in when my children are grown. If we are voting for the "lesser of two evils", as we commonly say every election, what in the world will my girls be voting for one day? Will they even have the right to vote? That may sound very extreme but as the socialist agenda of so many leading politicians today gains momentum, I can actually begin to wonder if elections will be held in this country for many more years.

I have no desire to turn my blog into a political debate. And our church is not heading into politics either. But we do need to be reminded of our roots: the Christian principles on which our nation was founded. So if you're able to, take in one or all of the meetings next week.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray , and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
II Chronicles 7:14


Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Dresses Photos

There is something in me that feels that matching Christmas dresses are just about a requirement for my brood of girls. These sweet little navy dresses (with matching purses!) were snagged off of a clearance rack after LAST Christmas. Sadly, Leila did not get one. And she slept through this photo sessions anyway. As for NEXT year, I have yet to find 3 matching dresses in the needed sizes! yikes. I cringe at the thought of what my poor girls will look like in the homemade ones I may have to whip up. Read this post and you'll be ready to cut eye holes out of brown paper bags for them to wear next December. I've been thinking of modifying a couple cute tree skirts...?

Anyway, they sure looked cute this year in their Christmas dresses!

And their sweet friends, Lexi and Elli looked fabulous in their hot pink ensembles. =)

Two pairs of sister ~ Four friends. These girls are right on top of each other age wise. They've been buddies since I jumped up and down (with Maddie in my belly) in happiness when Lexi's mommy told me Lexi was in the oven.


Bathroom spruce up

Would ya like to see my husband's latest project?

The ladies' room in the church basement was ready for updated decor. Firstly, let me just say that about 20 yrs. ago, when my father in law / pastor decided to finish the church basement for fellowship/Sunday School/academy use, a lady in the church put in the time and effort to decorate this bathroom and we've enjoyed it for a long time. So while I was the biggest encourager for it's re-vamping, I know that back when it was first done, it was fantastic and I'm glad that lady volunteered her time to do what she did.

Here is the before... hopefully you get the idea. Such a small room makes it hard to take photos! (At least hard for me!)

And now for the "after" pictures:

Oh Amy!!! Do you recognize these prints?

Seth painted (obviously), replacing the peach color with a warm mocha. He then wallpapered the upper half of two walls, installing a chair rail in between. I LOVE chair rails. I think it's such a great way to add more interest to a room, without costing to much or being too hard to do. Not that I do it... well, I painted them but my husband does all the cutting, measuring and installing. In fact I have pretty much been forbidden from ever attempting to measure anything for any project every again. Many many reasons (blunders) for this. I mean just for instance... in the list of "cutting, measuring and installing", I just naturally put "cutting" before "measuring". Nothing else needs to be said.

We bought 73 curtains, brought them all into the room to match up and returned 72. *sigh* And naturally, the one we both liked best was just a bit too sheer to provide the necessarily privacy. Then, I discovered a neat product that sprayed on the window like spray paint and left the glass frosted. Light still comes in (a nice thing in a basement space) but the sheerness of the curtain is no longer an issue.

We also added the pretty jars, one of which contains potpourri in a "clean" scent, another holds safety pins, and the other... is empty. Any suggestions? I considered mints but I'm almost certain the children... namely those stinker assistant pastor's kids... would eat them immediately. I guess I could go ahead and put mints in and instruct the munchkins not to eat them. Hmmm..... Anyway, I also found that soap container on clearance for under $2 and I think it matches great! One negative aspect of freshly painted walls is that now the floor looks extra extra old. Oh well. No plans to update those anytime soon!

And looking at this pictures right now, that bright blue lotion bottle has got to go! Surely I can find lotion in a white bottle...