free couch progress

Last year, shortly before Christmas, Woo was perusing the free ads on ksl.com (craigslist to you outta state folks) and found a couch. Well, he found a lot of couches actually. 

And they all looked exactly the way you would expect a free couch to look.

This one wasn't exactly a charmer either, but it was less bad, and I thought the color could possibly be ok as is. Plus, it was free, so we had nothing to lose.

Woo brought it home, and we ripped off the skirt around the bottom almost immediately.

free couch progress

And that's the way it sat for, oh, six months. Until I finally bought a roll of grey ribbon ($2.99), and glued it around the bottom.

free couch progress

Ta-da! Not super amazing, but not horrible either. (I don't think, anyway...)

free couch progress

P.S. Thanks for all the great feedback on the love seat. Welting is a great idea that I hadn't considered before, but if I can find a blend-in sort of braid or trim to buy and glue on, I'm going to go the easy route first. :)




The first part of this week (or two) was like heaven. The weather was beautiful. We spent tons of time outside. Woo went fishing and on bike rides. I started running again, and gave the kids rides around town on the low rider. Woo gave us all blessings, dedicated the house, and gave Linus his name and blessing.

The library (2 blocks down) shows a movie on Friday (with treats), has an activity day or story time on Tuesdays, and passes out prizes every week for summer reading. I also attended a book discussion there one evening where I was served a delicious dinner and met a couple of fun ladies.

The last few days have not been heaven, though. I thought the kids were beginning to be normal, but I woke up yesterday morning to find that they'd snuck our large first-aid kit up to their room, and had lotioned, iodined, and bandaged themselves up.

Herbie was attempting to cut Moses' hair with a small pair of scissors in the kit. Moses was putting up a protest, and that's what alerted me to the fact that something was going on. By some stroke of luck, I picked out the most stain resistant carpet known to man. In the couple weeks we've been here that carpet has had iodine, throw up, half a dozen eggs, mud, yogurt, mustard, lotion, blood, etc. on it (definitely more abuse than our carpet in St. Louis got over a period of years), and it has all come out. 


Woo had a long discussion with Herbie about choices, consequences, happiness, agency, repentance, etc. It seems to have helped after we remind Herbie that HE's about to make a choice that will determine what happens next.
Woo (asking all the kids before dedicating the house): What do you think we should pray for for our house, Moses?  
Moses (short pause before the light goes on): Back hoe truck! 
Woo (giving Moses a blessing): ... You will continue to be a good big brother to your brother Linus...  
Moses: O-KAY! 

Linus continues to be a happy well-mannered baby. Nothing stressful's been going on at all, as far as he's concerned. He no longer needs a feeding between his dream feed before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning, and he's eating every four hours (instead of three), so that has been nice.

Ruby has immensely enjoyed her time outside. She's been very patient about getting registered for school. I keep telling her that today is the day we'll do something about it, but then it seems like everyone at the school or who would know anything about it fled town, and we end up not being able to do anything.

Not much has happened at the house. I'm still not done painting the dining room! But, I just have touch up work, I should be able to get done this week. I'm not sure how I feel about the violet in the living room... we'll see. We finally signed a contract with the cabinet guy... he gave us a three week time table for our shelves and closets, and we still haven't heard back from anyone else about anything else.


PAST BLASTS are weekly emails I wrote to family and friends over the past 5 years. Pictures are contemporaneous with the email, but have been added later.




little boys and girls instagram

Since I've never been one to do more work than I have to, here are the kids' answers to some questions I asked them about Woo.

What is the best thing you've ever done with Dad? 
Linus: Went for my Daddy Day for hot chocolate and for going swimming.
Ruby: Nothing.. I'm joking. Daddy Day!
Herbie: Have Daddy Days!
Moses: Having my Daddy Day.
little boys and girls instagram

What does Dad do that makes you laugh? 
Linus: Tickle me. He lets me stop and going again riding my bike and my skateboard.
Ruby: Daddy Day
Herbie: Nothing
Moses: Tickle. Be funny!
What is your dad better at than any other dad?
Linus: He better at riding. At riding his skateboard to the park.
Ruby: Nothing. Daddy Days!
Herbie: Snowboarding!
Moses: Working.
little boys and girls instagramlittle boys and girls instagram

What does Dad do that you want to be able to do some day? 
Linus: He likes to go on a train. Like me sometime.
Ruby: Eat candy every day. Potato chips.
Herbie: Skateboard!
Moses: Play video games.
What could Dad be better at? 
Linus: He can be better at riding his skateboard.
Ruby: Not eating candy that much.
Herbie: Um ... Skateboarding!
Moses: Working.
little boys and girls instagram

What is your favorite thing about Dad?
Linus: He likes to ride his bike like me to the park and around the park.
Ruby: That he's my dad.
Herbie: He's nice.
Moses: He's nice to me.
What part of you looks like Dad? 
Linus: A haircut!
Ruby: My eyes.
Herbie: My whole body!
Moses: My lips.
little boys and girls instagram

How old is Dad? 
Linus: 4
Ruby: I don't know.
Herbie: 33
Moses: 33
What does Dad like to do when he's not with you? 
Linus: He likes to ride his bike to the park without me. And his skateboard too.
Ruby: Nothing.
Herbie: Work.
Moses: Work.
little boys and girls instagram

What does Dad like to wear? 
Linus: Ah, jeans.
Ruby: I don't know. Clothes.
Herbie: I don't know.
Moses: Clothes. Shorts.
little boys and girls instagram

Why did Dad marry Mom? 
Linus: Cuz.
Ruby: Because she was beautiful.
Herbie: Because Heavenly Father told him to.
Moses: Because he liked her.
How much money does Dad have? 
Linus: 4
Ruby: I don't know. 10 billion?
Herbie: I don't know. 25! ... Dollars! I mean cents!
Moses: 8. (watching me write it down) He really has eight?!
little boys and girls instagram

What was Dad like when he was your age? 
Linus: He likes his lawn mower when he was my age. Not a toy one. The one that goes.
Ruby: Little. A baby.
Herbie: Like me!
Moses: He played.
What does Dad want you to do when you grow up? 
Linus: He wants me to play.
Ruby: Barf all over the house. Get a job.
Herbie: Be like him!
Moses: Be a good boy.
little boys and girls instagram

Penelope and Archie are too young to answer the questions, but I think they like Woo too.

On days Woo works, he facetimes us from the train before the kids go to bed. The first time he did this, Penelope repeated, "Daddy! Choo-choo? Daddy! Choo-choo?" over and over again for the next half hour. And nobody can get Archie laughing like Woo can.

I hope you all had a good Fathers Day!



So far away. 

love seat before

I got all the batting on the chair, all the fabric stapled on, 

love seat before

The ricrac continued to seem like a good idea, as I glued it to the front of the chair.

love seat before

But, when I got it around the rest of the chair, it was just too ... cutesy. Like embarrassingly so. I thought maybe I could just live with it, or maybe it would grow on me, but it didn't and I can't. So I tore it all off, and I'm now in search of new trim.

love seat before

I'm actually thinking something that just blends in, because I really like the chair with no trim (other than the fact that the staples aren't covered).

What do you think?





I always forget that it takes us about a week to settle in after any trip, even if it's just for a few days. We've had tantrums thrown at embarrassing times by everyone (except maybe Woo). The kids trashed their bedroom one morning. Getting them to clean up the slightest mess has been like pulling teeth... Today was the worst day at church we've had in, I don't know, years (it didn't help that Sacrament meeting went over 30 minutes...)!  Anyway, here's to hoping that we'll will get back in the groove next week.

One morning on our way home from the pool, we walked past the entrance of the cemetery at exactly the same time as two elderly women were leaving it.

Ruby exclaimed, "Look, Mom! They're happy! They're living again!"

Yesterday we walked to the church to meet Woo coming home from Youth Conference. It was 95 degrees, high humidity, and I felt lousy to begin with. **pregnant with Linus** About half-way there I realized that walking had been a terrible mistake.

I managed to gasp out, "Mom. is. tired." and Ruby reached her hand back to cover mine, and give it a few pats.

After a while she said, "When we get to the church, you can go to sleep under the bench, Mom. It's cooler there."

I'm comforted thinking that Ruby might be the one to care for me in my old age.


Herbie is my loner (although, I've been very careful to not mentioned this to him--don't want to label him, even though I don't have anything against loners, obviously). In nursery he plays by himself. At the park he plays by himself or with Ruby, and at the pool, he sticks very close to me. I think part of that is that he's still a little nervous of the new pool we've started going to. He doesn't realize that the entire pool is shallow enough for him to stand in. Yesterday he broke out a little with his ball, so I'm hoping in the next few days, he'll be happily playing all over the pool. By himself.


I set the big pillows from my bed out in the living room for the kids to sit on while they watched their movie. Moses loves pillows, especially gigantic ones, and he kept running (Well, he can't really run. It's more of a stiff-legged speed walk.) to the pillows, belly flopping on to them, and sliding a few inches across the floor. He was having a grand ole time. I unfortunately never even thought of getting out the camera.

I'm at that unenviable point in pregnancy where I'm exhausted, if I do any work, and I feel queasy, if I lie around thinking about how bad I feel. Tragically, I feel the best while reading something entertaining. Luckily, Woo's sister has read and reviewed every YA novel known to man on her blog, so I'm set up with good reads until I'm ready to return to reality.

After two days without Woo, and a rough Sacrament meeting, I decided to offer to stay and help the nursery leader. It was very, very wild, and when I finally escaped, I was shell-shocked.

You'll have to ask Woo to show you the face I was making for hours afterwards. I believe my mouth was hanging open, accompanied by a blank stare.

Woo's really enjoying his iPhone. Mostly, the part about having the internet everywhere he goes. He's particularly pleased that he would've been able to pay the credit card bill on our bike ride to church, if he hadn't already paid it. He sent us several short movies of himself while he was gone. Most of them were while he was driving, which didn't make me feel any better about his safety :) 


PAST BLASTS are weekly emails I wrote to family and friends over the past 5 years. Pictures are contemporaneous with the email, but have been added later.




This week started to feel a lot more like summer, in that it was relaxing and the weather was lovely. Well, my week was relaxing. Woo's was not. The good news is his new job is interesting and challenging enough for him that he's gone all in. The bad news is he worked over 70 hrs this week on a 25 hr/wk contract. There's probably a lesson to be learned here somewhere.


Penelope and the potty have finally clicked. She's not completely potty trained yet (and Woo always teases me because I announced Ruby potty trained about two days in), but for us it's a process that's difficult to pinpoint exactly, and Penelope is getting herself on the potty when she needs to go most of the time, so for me, that is definite progress. 


Moses has really been looking forward to this summer, because the summer before kindergarten is when I let the kids stop taking naps, and have quiet time instead. Except that he's really been taking the transition hard. He's had to take a couple of naps the last two weeks, because he's just been too cranky, but we'll keep going a week or so more and see if he adjusts. I've heard that some kids even take naps into kindergarten, and I'd think he might be a candidate for that, but we found out this week that he has afternoon kindergarten, so that won't work out too well.


We had the ol' your-spirit-might-actually-be-older-than-our-spirit conversation with Herbie, that he was very, very pleased to consider. But, later that night, he told me that he hoped his spirit was taller than my spirit.

Me: Don't you mean older?
Herbie: No, taller. I want to be taller than you!

I can only conclude that Herbie is still trying to make sense of where the authority lies (a very important subject to him), and he seems to have decided recently that height trumps age. I think this might be because even though his teacher is older than us, her age hasn't made us back down whenever he invokes it.

P.S. If you'd like a 7 yr old boy to listen to your entire Sacrament meeting talk, just start with a story involving lawn mowers.


Archie is really, really ticklish in his armpits, and a bit on his belly and neck. It's pretty easy to get him laughing, and it's Woo's favorite thing to do right before I put Archie down for bed. He has a sweet baby laugh that sounds like half a laugh, forced out of a rubber toy. Woo calls it a fat-man laugh.


Last year Ruby had a hard week or two going through school withdrawals, but this summer she has been wonderful from day one. She runs and helps any of the other kids when they ask for something. She's burned through lots and lots of books, spent time folding paper and playing outside, doing her chores happily. Except today. She had a hard day today, but still pretty darn good.


Linus loves his little Skuut balance bike. He's still super slow, so he only gets to ride to the park and part of the way home, but he picks up his feet to glide, loves to ride off of any dip in the road, spends his whole time at the park riding his Skuut around the playground, tries to ride up the front steps, and wants me to see all his tricks, "Mom! Did you see me go super fast?!?" He really is good at skidding out in the gravel and kicking up dirt, though.


I've spent the first couple weeks of summer reviewing with the kids how to correctly clean a toilet, vacuum, empty the dishwasher, etc. I've gotten some higher quality work out of them. We've also decided to stop relying so much on cold cereal for breakfast, and I've been working with the kids on some other options they can get for themselves. So far, so good, and they actually seem to be more full during the day? Or maybe they just aren't as hungry this summer as last for some reason?

Anyway, that's all I've got for the week. Hope you had a good one!