Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12 @ 12:12!

The children and I were at Home Depot purchasing firewood today at 12/12/12 @ 12:12. You see, after the Tuscaloosa tornados in 2011 we had so much firewood just from clearing trees on our property. Well, that wood finally ran out. Because I am a bit of a pyro, making fire is a huge part of my family's life. Hence, I went out with the children today and bought wood.

I have been talking to my children about how unique this day is. There are only 12 months in a year, so once we hit 2013, there will never again in our lifetime, be a repetitive moment on the calendar like this. I suppose the next one will be 01/01/01 - in the year 3001.

What were you doing today a little after 12? I sent out a text to a few friends and family, as well as a tweet and a FB message. I asked friends to snap a photo and send it to me. I wanted to capture this moment in time. I wanted one little special glimpse into the life of people around the country as the clock struck 12:12.

My husband, who is in Orlando at the Refresh conference, took a quick snapshot at lunch with our friend David, a pastor from Kansas City.

My folks were home for lunch, so they took a photo right outside their home in Oklahoma.

Creighton's mom was Christmas shopping with her sister, Aunt Tina.

My spiritual mom, Anne Baker was at home working on Christmas decorations.

Heather, Anne's daughter and my long-time bestie, reluctantly snapped a photo. She was laying in bed after a sleepless night with sick children.

Meanwhile, her husband Jonathan took the day-shift with the kids in the other room. Heather is pregnant with her 4th baby - she needs her rest!

Back here in Tuscaloosa, a couple of my homeschool mom bff's paused to click a pic. Anna was at Target, grocery shopping with her sister Holly. Teresa was finishing up morning school with the twins.

Simultaneously in Dallas, Shelley was on lunch break with here two guys after a morning of schoolwork too! And my sister Chelsea was on her way back from an ultrasound, where she just heard the heartbeat of her second baby for the first time.

My three favorite people in Kansas City paused to capture the moment: Jenny, was running errands while her boys were in school, and Michael was spending quality time on his day off with his gorgeous wife and two 4-legged babies. Deb was returning from a retreat in Branson with her hubby.

In Tusla, my friend Michelle paused during her Esther bible study to text me a photo.

Ironically, Brenda (another long-time bestie) was with Creighton at Refresh conference in Orlando. She skipped some of the conference to for a flash to the beach. The caption said, Cape Canaveral... #jealous! We will be seeing them again soon when they pop in on their way back down to Florida to take the kids to Disney!
Brenda's husband Travis, was holding down the fort back in Lubbock with their dog and 3 boys!

Madison - my favorite niece was at work. On her lunch break, she stopped time with a thumbs up and a santa hat. Love that girl.

And finally, toward the end of the day, I got a text from my sister Dana that read, "I MISSED IT!" I shot a quick text back to her saying, "Still take one! It is still a very special day in time 12/12/12! So right before bed, she, Madison, and baby DAX gathered on the couch and shot the best pic of the day:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A new way to display my Christmas cards!

About a decade ago, I bought these nifty mantle stocking holders with a built in card display.

They were great! But finally wore out after using them year after year. This year, I have scoured the internet looking for other card display options. Since I refuse to join Pinterest (I have a hard enough time keeping up with my own awesomeness, much less, yours and everyone else's), it took me a while to find just the right thing.

This is what I am going for (kind of).

And this is what I have so far!
I think I have a long way to go with it. But still tweaking! I will be better able to see a vision for it after I get some more cards!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fire Starters

As an early Christmas present, my friend Meredith Purser gave me some homemade fire starter blocks. SHE KNOWS ME WELL! Many days, she has seen me in my purist fashion, lighting, blowing, lighting, blowing, lighting, blowing my tender to get the fire going. This fun little project has made my fire starting quick and easy.

You see, I am a bit of a pyro, and almost every day this fall, the children and I have built a fire, enjoying it throughout the day. And when Creighton gets home - many evenings, we cook on it.

Well, Meredith prepared a dozen of these AMAZING starter blocks. I have gone through them in about two weeks. So now it's time that I make my own!

They are so simple, and it takes so little time. And it is super cheap!

You know those dead candles you have been storing because you are going to do something with them someday? This is that thing!

1. Gather a couple candles to melt over the range. I lined a pot with foil so not to get my pot waxy.
2. Peel apart your leftover paper egg carton into 12 sections.
3. Gather up your dryer lint and separate it into 12 parts (this is the only thing that might take you some time if you don't already save the stuff). You could also use cotton balls if you want. They make a good tender as well!
4. Fill the egg carton cubes with the lint, then pour the melted wax over the lint - just to saturate the lint and make it stick to the cardboard.
5. Set it under your logs as a starter and VOILA!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Every summer, my children beg for popsicles. Because it is hot and muggy and a good popsicle really hits the spot! But I get fussy with the cheapo artificially colored corn-syrup water that comes in a pack of 40 for like 2bucks.

Since I got my juicer, my children and I have tried to create the best recipe for homemade popsicles.

So far - our favorite combination is Orange-Pineapple-cream. Let me splain. :)

First, the kids help me juice oranges and pineapple.

Then, we add greek yogurt to the juice, mix it, and then fill the popsicle forms. DELICIOUS!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Most difficult, back-breaking DIY project to date.

You may have guessed it: SOD

Never having laid sod before, we thought, "How hard could it be?". Famous last words, right? We have been clearing brush and weeds for 18 months. Then in April, my dad came to help us do some essential heavy lifting with a backhoe.
Finally, we had the earth prepped and ready. So we ordered 40 pallets of sod.

Yes, 40 pallets.

As the pallets were being delivered, my stomach began to churn. How would we ever be able to do this project. You see, with sod, you are on a time crunch because the sod is very tender and will ruin if left on the pallets for more than 4 days, or if left in the sun.

Needless to say, this is the hardest 5 day project we have ever gotten ourselves into.

But now as I look around at my beautiful property, I have only joy and gratefulness in my heart.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Possum in the Henhouse!

Sitting contently at my computer at about 11pm, when I hear the chicken alarm going off outside. The chicken alarm is the sound the chickens make in danger, my kids call it "baGalking".
I jumped up, called the dogs and ran out to see what all the fuss was about. And there it was, a nasty evil-eyed possum, hanging as still as can be on the wall of the henhouse. Fortunately, we only had one casualty - one of our young hens.

Creighton was not home yet, so I was forced to brainstorm a solution on my own. "Do I have a shovel or rake out here to knock him down off the wall? Nope. Even if I did, what would I do then?"
So clearly, I did the next logical thing. I peeled him off the wall with my bare hands. My assumption being that if I grab the nape of his neck, he would be immobilized, like a cat. So that's what I did.

This revolting creature kept trying to reach his head around and bite me! Did you know that possum tails are scaly? And their fur is itchy and bristly. Their beady eyes are of the underworld.

I threw him in a kennel and waited for Creighton to get home.

Ok, so what do I do with the possum now? I do have a hand-gun, but can not discharge a firearm in the city limits. Do I be-head it with a machete? Not only is that messy and violent, I can only imagine that the veins of this demon run with toxic poison.

Not to belabor the story. We ended up drowning the possum in our creek. Held him down with a shovel and drowned him. Only in one moment of weakness, did a wave of compassion wash over me. Then I remembered the havoc, that this grotesque intruder was wreaking.

Here are some pics of my sweet little flock. And a word to the wise. You mess with my fluffy little feathered friends, you die.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My next goal: Rid my house of toxic products

I have been watching documentaries for months now. My kids walk into the room and crack up, "Mom, are you watching a documentary again?" My most recent doc is called "CHEMERICAL". It's on netflix. The film really inspired me to look at the contents of my kitchen/bathroom/laundry area and even hair and skin care products. Even though I have done a significant amount of purging because of the septic system (ref: my blog post - Cleaning Up), I have realized that there is still a significant amount of toxicity lurking around in my cabinets. My goal for the summer 2012 is to rid my house of all the rest of the toxic products I put on my body and in my lungs - and that of my family. I will let you know how it goes! You can check out my inspiration at their website:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

WORK WEEK at the Alexanders!

My dad came to help us on our property for a week. We re-did our septic system field lines, pushed out a new driveway, trenched for a sprinkler system and outdoor electrical. He ran the backhoe for 2 full days, then helped Creighton map out the electrical/sprinkler layout. It was an amazing week. We got so much done. AND he saved us thousands of dollars....
The 25th was his 65th birthday. My sister flew in to surprise him. We had a cookout, invited local friends, and all 16 children sang happy birthday to Papa. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Obsession de jour: Justin Robinett

"Somebody that I used to know" COVER: Justin Robinett

Cleaning up!

When we moved to Alabama, I realized that our property has a septic tank. If you don't know what that means it is simply this: An individualized waste-water disposal system. The house is 50 years old so our septic system is struggling a bit, but still working for now. Nevertheless, because a septic system relies on bacteria to break down waste, one has to be extra careful what they put down the drains. That's right. No more "anti-bacterial" cleaners for the Alexanders (shocker to me because I am crazy about bleach). This is good, because for years now I have been trying to figure out how to make the switch to organic and plant based biodegradable products. I just thought they were cost prohibitive. Now, I don't have much of a choice. For now, these are the products I have found and have been using for months. They smell great, work great, and yes - they are more expensive.
Myers, Method and Kirkland (Costco) have good solutions for dishes. Whether my kitchen sink or dishwasher - I have to be mindful of what goes down the drain!
I filled up a spray bottle of vinegar water. This is what I clean around all my drains with. For an abrasive scrub, I use baking soda on EVERYTHING! And I know I can be safe with Myers' All Purpose Cleaner.
For hands: all my bathrooms have Myers hand soap. It smells divine.
For showers: I love Dr. Bonners Castille soap. It's expensive, but transcendent. I am trying to figure out how to make my own shower gel. But that is about 5th down on the list right now. I have tried washing my hair with baking soda, and conditioning with apple cider vinegar. It was a good experience, but I have not gotten used to the feeling of no suds. :)
Laundry, I have been using ECO, a product I get at Sams. And Myers fabric softener. My friend Meredith has started making her own laundry detergent. She gave me a sample which I have been using the last couple of weeks. So far, so good. She is going to teach me how to do it. I will post about that in a few weeks.