Sunday, August 10, 2014

U is for Unique

It's been waaaay too long since I went on a Unique adventure.
I actually go about once a week, but I've been a blog slacker this summer.
I often see the same handful of treasure hunters when I go, and we've started to give each other that nod when we cross paths in the aisles that says "If we were in an elevator together, I wouldn't worry that you were going to murder me, but I wouldn't talk to you either."
You know, THAT nod, because it's totally a thing.

On Thursdays, Unique has everything 25% off if you join their club. 
They open at 10:00 am and at 9:55, the thrill seekers start to line up.

These are my people.
I mean, okay, THESE are my people- but the Uniquers are my people, too.

(Actually, none of my kin were pioneers, but sometimes I sing as I walk and walk and walk, so it counts.)

Onward to Unique, for this is the place, Yo.

The reason why Long John Silver uses a wooden leg is because his ex wife took EVERYTHING in the divorce. 

 Hey Laaaadies....
Why don't you bring home THIS bacon?

Dear Timmy, 
Look under your bed.....
Murder the Clown

It use to be enough to bring home a traced hand with tissue paper feathers. 
This school's art budget is way too high.

If you love something, set it free.
If it is too stupid to leave the cage, you're going to have to feed it forever.

In case the clown doesn't work on Timmy. 

I love Ewe.
I love Ewe more.
No, I love EWE more!
No way! I love Ewe More times infinity!!
(I know, that was baaaad.)

Missionary work in New Jersey, circa 1975

This was the only time Mr. Singer got to experience his wife nodding in agreement with him.

Theodore Q. Teddykin's disguise was nearly finished. His plan to pose as Santa and infiltrate the top secret candy cane cocaine ring was coming along nicely. 

"Girl... you are never going to find a nice RM in that get up. 
They totally won't let you wear that to the Institute dance. 
Put on a shrug, Yo."

"Grandpa's bedtime stories always put the kids to sleep within minutes, once he switched from telling the tales of his youth to reading Twilght to the kids.

"I know what you are" she said, staring into Edward's dreamy blue eyes. His hand reached out and he ran it through his perfectly tousled hair. He took a long, lusty sip from his Capri Sun and said 
"Say it..." 

An empty honey container filled with colored sand?
Yeah, your kids hate you.

So what if you are a flippin' mermaid?
The fact that she's wearing a necklace made of a bird's nest and onions justifies the strict "no Tori Amos" rule we have in this house. 

Hey Kyle and Rebekah-- how about we try this for our next game night?
With over 130,000 murder mysteries, we can enjoy the thrill of a spy adventure as we marvel at the wonders of technology!

How many wedding dresses had to die for this project?

Now I'll never get that song out of my head.

This was much more successful than the follow up book, titled: The Cat Who Hates Your Guts. Just Put the Food in the Bowl, Stupid Human.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Sometimes Only Child

 Greyson and Romy are out of town this weekend, visiting with their Eckert family.
 Parker and Zane have apparently decided to spend the last days of summer upstairs, having a Magic the Gathering Marathon. 

That has left Jane as a bit of an only child this weekend.

I'm not saying she's been getting spoiled, but.....
You be the judge. 

deep fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Dad won her a prize at the fair

henna tattoo

I always miss the kids who are not here, but I am also thoroughly enjoying the Jane time.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Crafty we did crafts while Matt took Kate to the airport.
(Boo for airports, Yay for crafts!)

I've had these metal stamp letters for years, but never really used them until today.

I picked up aluminum blanks last year and the girls and I each chose a phrase we wanted to use and made bracelets.

Jane chose a Harry Potter quote, Emma chose a Firefly quote.

Romy picked a quote from Pinterest- kind of one of those "sad teenage girl" quotes, but she's 13 and tragic quotes speak to the soul of 13 year old girls.  :)

I made one for Kate that had a line from one of the songs she will sing in her play this fall. 

We stamped the letters, bent the metal into a cuff and then colored all over the letters with a black permanent marker and let it sit until it was dry.

Once dry, we took a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol and wiped it down. Most of the ink was removed, leaving the letters to look black and a little aged.
This was a super fun activity, especially for teenage girls and it was inexpensive, too. The stamps were a little spendy, but you can use them over and over again. I think I paid 40 bucks for my set, and I'm wanting a second set with a different font. Once you have the metal stamps, you can use them on leather as well as metal. There are pendants and charms you can personalize that look very pretty and are what the cool kids are selling on Etsy these days. :)

Even though the rain kept us from the shore this weekend,  it was nice to just spend our Sunday afternoon creating something new with my daughters.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Eight Years

I know my blog posts have been scarce this summer, but it's because I am absolutely marinating in my family.
Right now, right this very minute- all seven kids are home. 
This is what it feels like. 
This is what I love most of all. 

We're doing Olson-y things and we're completely in our groove, completely comfortable and content. 
We're all together.
It's loud and it's messy, but all is right in the world right now.

We also went to see Les Miserables.
It was amazing.

As I looked at the happy faces on five of my kids (Grey and Parker didn't want to go.) I felt like Matt and I had checked off one of those things that are on our bucket list of parenting. I'd gone 2 years ago to Evita with Zane, Emma, Kate and Jane, but Romy wasn't with us and she has made sure to remind us that she had yet to see a real Broadway show.
All of the kids who care about things like that have now gone.
They each had a different favorite part and it was a wonderful day.

We got the girls t-shirts and Kate got a bag as well, since it was her birthday present we were all sharing in.
Spoiled, but happy children are great. 

Spoiled, miserable children..... not so great.
Grey had a touch of the spoiled and miserable when we went to do family pictures a few days ago.
After an hour of him pouting and being bratty, I may have lost my cool and yelled at him in the park. It didn't help, but I was fed up with his complaining that it was taking too long when he was the sole reason WHY it was taking forever.

After taking a break for lunch so Grey (and Mom) could re-set, we got the shots we needed. 

Matt wanted to be sure we got a picture on some stairs, like we did at Murray Park every couple of years. We couldn't really find anything that was exactly the same, but we got pretty close.

Matt and I also celebrated eight years of being married.
You may not know this, but Matt and I have been married before. :)
I never made it to eight.
I guess technically I did with Grey and Romy's father, but it was over and filed. I had moved to Utah and he had moved to New Jersey for a job. 
So, eight years was a milestone for me.

Our life has some big challenges, a lot of that due to those past relationships and issues that arise when two sets of very different people are raising the same kids. 
Finding that balance in parenting styles with each other was a challenge for sure. Matt is strict about a lot of things I don't care about at all. I had to learn to follow through on things and he had to learn to let some things go. Matt can handle kid noise, it barely phases him. Backtalk and eye rolling are things he never even notices. When it gets too loud, or a kid has a snotty attitude- the hairs on the back of my neck start to stand up and I short out.  Matt had to learn to be aware of the noise level and I had to learn to take breaks. We had to figure out how to run an already established household together, how to resolve conflict and how to teach our children the values & morals that we felt the needed to learn, even when another home they were in promoted the exact opposite. We've had kids who struggled with depression, seven sets of braces and endless pairs of broken glasses.
There have been seasons that were straight up hell. 
At least, they were until the end of the day would come, and there was Matt. 
Matt  makes everything okay.
I still just adore him.
I still cannot believe how lucky I am to have him for a husband and an eternal companion.
I can do anything, with Matt in my life.
I can do forever. 

I'm feeling pretty spoiled these days.
I have a wonderful husband who loves me. 
I have seven kids who love each other and love Matt and I.
I have a cute puppy who is finally starting to go potty outside.
I have a comfortable home, a car that runs and a life that makes me laugh way more than it makes me cry. 
I have a Father in Heaven that continues to love me, no matter how many times I mess up and yell at my kids in the park.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the past eight years. 
Life is so, so good.