Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This Boy. This Boy is the light of our lives. He came on a Wednesday morning. Everything changed that day. Someone once said that once you have a child, you let your heart walk around outside of your chest, and this is true. I have my heart in three little packages, living outside the protection of my chest.
this Boy is so loving and tender. He can be volatile at times, even hard to understand or know. But getting to know him is such a blessing. His hugs, his innocence, his is such a beautiful thing.
We have so much fun with him. Everything a little boy should be...he loves cars and robots and super heroes and star wars and cowboys and dogs...just perfect.
He also loves to dance and sing and can do the most hilarious little monkey dance. We use the table as a stage and he does his monkey dance and makes us laugh so hard.
He loves to be tickled. He loves to ride his bike. He loves to swim and spit water and get dirty.
I feel so blessed that this boy, this beautiful perfect boy is a part of my life.
There are lots of questions right now regarding him...but no matter what, he is always our BOY! My sweet, fun loving, interesting, lovable, cuddly, boy. Mine!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been waiting to run out of detergent for just this occasion. I am really trying to make my life a certain way, and I wanted to start focusing on simplification and budgeting.

This was simple...ONCE I HAD INGREDIENTS! Some of the products are not so simple to find in our area...but hopefully I can help you locate.

Here are the ingredients:

there are all sorts of recipes out there, and you could really omit the baking soda and the oxyclean. Omit the oxyclean and you will definitely be more "Green"...but I wanted the best possible results and likes the idea of its "whitening power".
I used equal parts:

3 bars of zote soap
3 cups baking soda
3 cups washing soda
3 cups borax
3 cups oxyclean

I also used essential tea tree oil:

Now...a quickie on where to find ingredients. I found zote soap at SavMor in Greenville. I have heard that Home Depot has it too...The cheapest online seemed to be
amazon charged too much for shipping, so unless you pay for is not really the best deal. Same goes for the washing soda. Amazon charges about $11 shipping...which is RIDICULOUS! I ordered it from which only charged $4 for shipping. I have since heard that Publix carries it.

The other ingredients can be found anywhere.

You grate the Zote soap up like cheese...see:

It smells great. (Of note: I have also seen Zote soap is a great use for catching catfish).

Then you mix all the ingredients and put a bunch of drops of essential oil of your choice and put up in a sealed container. Mine looks a little shallow...but if I had had more baking soda, I would have really gone for 8 cups of each. You only need 1 oz per load though, 2 oz for really it should last a very long time. It smells great and cleans beautifully.

This is also pretty healthy and mild and can even be used on your cloth baby diapers.

Have fun.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mushroom Makebelieve Madness

We have a little village of mushrooms in our yard.

Isn't that just the perfect place for the little woodland critter to take a nap in the shade. When I was small I would have laid down beside them and tried to look underneath and pretend I was a little mouse, or frog, or bunny...and I would dream of my little log home on the other side of the hill.....

ok, who am I kidding, I do this now. You don't have to be a child to dream of being small enough to nap in the shade of a mushroom....

If I had this guy as my dad growing up...I would have gotten my dream.

What a great movie...but anyway, I digress....

Back to our mushroom get away:

They look like little cabanas...a mushroom vacation....

I tried to get the kids to make believe with me...

before anyone judges me....we did not eat, smoke or drink these mushrooms in our tea, and the kids washed their hands (in the pool) after handling...


this is what happened next: entire village destroyed in mere minutes by two gigantic toddlers.... sad.

Good thing they are cute:

I forgive them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

DIY weekend

Last weekend was filled with DIY. DIY is the new thing, right? I have all these ideas in my head, and then kind of solidifies them. Daddy hates gives me too many ideas that involve his participation.
However, he seemed to enjoy the simple projects we put into action this weekend. It was fun and they turned out great.

First: We completed the china cabinet.
As you may recall we had not found the right handles and I needed to repair the hinge. I bought these cute handles at Hobby Lobby (50% off- always wait for the sales at Hobby Lobby). I loved the way they looked. They are strong enough for a heavy drawer but had a delicate floral feel. BUT they were a white and black iron which didn't feel right against the cabinet. I found some black textured paint and this is what happened:

This is after I wiped off some of the black paint...I have little experience with "textured paint", but my first feelings are not great. It was kind of like spray on hair. Gross! So I rubbed it right off.....The fabric in the back of the cabinet has creams and browns and black and white just clashed. So....we decided to go metallic bronze. I love the result. I am glad I kept going back to the drawing board on this...the final product is exactly what I wanted.

Next project: The Grocery List

I am a list maker. I love making lists and I love crossing off lists. I am constantly taping lists to the cabinets for quick reference and to be readily accessible.
This is my cabinets on any given day:

Daddy hates this. So...I was browsing pinterest one day and I saw this adorable idea. It is nothing but wood, 2 wooden rulers, a paper towel holder (painted with icky black textured paint), a roll of paper, twine, a permanent marker and a couple screws. It was very simple and I LOVE the end result. It adds a little something to the end of my cabinet...

Cute right?

And then the last project: Our chalkboard menu

I saw something like this on....wait for it....pinterest! The one I saw had lovely stick on letters and decals...but we could not find any of that. That meant we did this free hand. Thank goodness for all having a Dad who encouraged good handwriting (and an artistic husband).
I put this on the opposite cabinet end between the table and the kitchen. It turned out really cute.

I am really excited about how all this turned out....tune in next week. Our weekend warrior projects will include the unveiling of our Oregon/Florida driftwood sculpture and our track/marathon display.

Happy Wednesday!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Beginnings

Do you remember your first day of school?

I have always loved first days. New clothes. New shoes. New backpacks and pencils and paper. New beginnings.

I don't remember much about preschool. I lived in New Mexico and I think my preschool was in a lady's home. I think I recall a porch and making a potholder out of little red rocks and string.

I remember moving to Florida. I wore a blue button up shirt, navy blue skirt and some brown shoes with tassels. I felt so proud of those shoes.

I remember my first day of Sunday school. I got to choose which class to go to. One class had the boy I liked from school...the other class had my favorite friend. I chose my friend. That was a defining point in my life. I learned at a young age to make decisions without letting my heart get in the way. Sometimes I think it has served me well, and other times I think I should have let my heart guide me a little and not be so practical.

I remember my first day of high school. I wore jeans and a man's polo shirt with KEDS. and scrunchy socks and BIG hair...probably pulled into a scrunchy. haha

I don't remember my first day of college, or my first day of work...

It really is amazing all the firsts I don't really recall...but I am pretty sure I put the best foot forward on each of them. I have always been inspired by new beginnings and fresh chances at life.

They are scary. They are empowering. They help define you.

We took the kids to the store last weekend to stock up on the crazy amount of school supplies needed. They each got to choose a backpack and lunchbox. Bluebird chose a pink monkey backpack and the cutest red and blue owl lunchbox ever. Boy chose Darth Vader everything. He is into Darth these days. He has never actually the movie...but he likes the robot costume. Much to my dismay, the good guy Luke Skywalker doesn't have a cool costume. So instead I hear, "Mom, I like to be the bad guy, I like the black robot". Lovely.

My kids will probably not remember their first day of school this week. Bluebird won't remember that they had to literally pry her off of me kicking and screaming. Boy won't remember that he had to "pull two fish" for not following directions. Bluebird won't remember she wet her pants. Boy won't remember that he was so excited to see one of his friends again that he was so close to him I thought he might kiss him.

I was surprise by the tears that flowed down my cheeks when I left them. My babies!

I heard through the grape vine that they (Bluebird and Boy) met on the playground each day. This makes me happy.

Bluebird already had a sick day and missed school Friday. Boy was disappointed it was Saturday and can't wait to see his friends again.

It was a good week. I have my binders already brimming with their school work (for me to save all the days of my life)...
They learned new songs, new prayers, and met new friends.

I am truly happy about their new beginnings, as they move forward in life and start having their own experiences and their own life...apart from me (sob).

New beginnings are what life is about.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Natural

Remember this:

Yes, I love baseball. Always have.
(and Robert Redford too but thats another story...)

This summer our boy was finally old enough to participate in T-ball. I had waited so long to see him in cleats and saggy pants and a ball cap. I could not wait to sit in the stands with a dog and a soda and cheer for my boy.

This summer was not quite that grand. We went through the Y which meant we did not have stands, but rather a sheet in the dirt to sit on. It was 106 degrees out on a good evening. Wet. Muggy. The bathroom was a mile away and Bluebird needed to go at least twice a practice. Boy, well, lets just say he was not so competitive and really did not care one bit about the game. He liked meeting friends. He liked wearing his Braves hat. He liked having a glove and wearing a helmet. Pretty much, we spent all of our time keeping up with the girls and trying to encourage Boy to go back on the field. He was "so tired" a lot.

I was worried about the "picture day", because Boy is not always a cooperative type for these sorts of things. But when his turn came, he smiled the biggest cheesiest smile in history. But instead of snapping those pearly whites, the photographer said "try not to smile so big, try to be natural". Natural? Really?

So, Naturally, Boy pondered the word and said "Natural?", right as his photo was snapped.

The Natural (T-ball player)

Now, Natural or Not...this photo makes me swooooon! It totally made the entire hot and muggy season worth every second. I will do it again every summer!

When I am old and gray and my memory is gone, I can look at this photo and all I see is the beauty of the game!

Friday, August 12, 2011

They Matter. You Matter. Life Matters.

I work in oncology. All day long I see only a few types of people, people that are facing death, people that are fighting death, and people who have survived from something that was trying to kill them. In my line of work, death is seen far to often. When we go on vacation, we return and have to ask if certain people made it through the week. We routinely browse the obituaries to see who we may have lost. Yes, that is the life I live.
Sometimes it can get to you. I had quite an emotional day today (I think partly due to the school orientation of two of my children and the fact that I was tuned into country music on the radio), By the time I pulled into work I had to dry my tears. I decided I would need to call one of my patients on the way home.
Mr. J had called a few days earlier, and after fighting small cell lung cancer for 19 months, he had decided he would like to have hospice. I had eagerly made this referral, because I knew it was the best thing for him and his family. However, I was yet to speak to him since then.
It is easy to get attached to patients in the field of oncology. People often ask "how do you do it?" When people this, I don't really understand the question. It can be hard, yes..but it truly is a job that carries so many rewards. That is what I love about the job. I truly get to know my patients. Sometimes I may see a person 3 or more times a week, this is more than I see my parents and friends. They know you and you know them.
Mr. J...well, I know him. I don't only know about his disease and the treatments. I know about his children, marriage, brothers, grandchildren and even his dog. I know his accomplishments, I know his fears, I know his loves.
I know these things about many of my patients.
Its easy to see why people stay in the field of oncology. Its easy to understand "how people do it"...we love it. The nurses and doctors I work with, we love it. We love our patients and we love our jobs.
The emotional aspects of the job are part of that. We shed tears, yes. But that can only be done when you share love.
I left the office tonight, late. It is Friday and the day was crazy with the usual Friday admissions and craziness. I jotted down Mr. J's phone number and got in the car and called my husband. I let him know I was on my way. Then I dialed Mr. J. His wife answered, it seemed he was only expected to live a few more hours at best. I was too late, I didn't get to say goodbye. But then his sweet wife said, "I am going to hold the phone to his ear, and you can talk, I think he would like that". So I did. I told him how much he meant to us. How much we all loved him. How much I had learned from him about love and family. How much he would be missed and that we were all thinking of him and his family. Then I heard his sweet voice, he said "I love you, Ok Lisa".
What if I had decided to wait until morning to call Mr. J because I was too tired, or had too much to do? What a blessing I would have missed!!!
I don't know who is reading this, what you do, what your feelings about this are....but can I tell you that these moments, these little things like just making sure people know you care. That you love them. That they make a difference and have affected your life in some way, its important. It DOES matter. Each time that happens it changes you a little bit. It changes them a little bit. You become a part of one another.
They are the connections that make life worth living. Those moments make humanity bearable.
People...they are human. That means they are there one day, and then they are a dandelion or a sunset...they are there, they are beautiful, and you blink or look away, and they are gone. Just ask Rachel at

So make the effort. Make the connection. Take the risk. It is worth it. It truly is!

Monday, August 8, 2011

We went on our annual trip to the beach this year. It was wonderful. We went to the beautiful Amelia Island, Florida. My dad and brother came and stayed the week. My mom and grandmother came for the day. My best friend came for an evening with her girls. A work friend was also there because we went to the Mayo clinic Hematology/Oncology conference at the end of the week...nothing like a little work in a vacation...or a little vacation in your work. haha
We had so much fun collecting shells, making sand castles, enjoying the ocean and the sand. We put together 3 puzzles, stayed up late talking and watching shark week, ate delicious and fattening meals (nothing like a vacation to blow a diet), enjoying an outdoor shower (the kids loved this), we saw turtles, dolphins, ate some gator (yes, born Floridian), and countless other memories were made.
Looking forward to next year!!!