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Some my irises in front of my pool fence. My grandmother helped me move them from their random locations throughout my back yard.
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The one purple iris (that we didn't know was purple) amonst all the yellow flowers. Apparently it was too embarrassed to open its bloom yet
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Our little outdoor kitchen that Aaron built. He has mad skills. It will be a lot nicer when we clean up the junk and old tank for spring and shovel the gigantic pile of leaves out of the sinks
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A fleeting moment of my boys jumping on the trampoline together happily, enjoying some brotherly love. Do not worry, two minutes later the blue ninja turtle kicked the red ninja turtle in the stomach just a bit too hard and all manner of come-apart broke out. There was screaming, crying, and writhing for starters. But it's ok. I got this picture first so this is how I choose to remember the afternoon.
    It's a beautiful day outside today!  Hope all of you are enjoying it.  I'm about to head out and piddle in my yard and wish I was good at flowers, or plants, or pets, or children, or anything that grows.  Just out of curiosity for any of you that actually have a green thumb....... Is it the right time or too late to plant garden type things?  We've tried a garden twice now and failed miserably both times.  Turns out, gardens actually need some time spent on them.  They need to be weeded and watered, even if it is hot outside and I don't really feel like it.  So this year I've decide I should maybe try the container garden route.  Unfortunately though, I just decided that as I am typing this post, so I'm not sure if it's too late to plop some stuff in a pot.  I love a good excuse to run to Lowes and buy stuff on a Saturday so get back with me soon please.  Thanks

Love you like Saturday,
Cassie

 
    For Mothers Day in 1986, my grandmother gave my mother a poem, handwritten in caligraphy and framed in a little frame that hung over our kitchen table for my entire youth.  I used to read it all the time as a child and never really 'got it'.  She took it down years ago, and I had not given it a second thought until a few months ago when my daddy came to visit.  He had a pile of stuff that mama had sent for me, and on top was an old brown frame with a country blue mat and a handwritten poem.  He said, "your mama said she doesn't need this any more, but you do".  And now, even though it in no way matches my new kitchen with its modern traditional flair, proudly displayed with it's country blue mat is the following:
Come In
 But don't expect to find all the dishes done
and the floors ashine.
Observe the crumpled rug, the toys galore
the smudgy finger-printed door.
The little ones we shelter here don't thrive
on a spotless atmosphere.
They're more inclined to dasarray and care-
free even messy play.
Their needs are great, their patience small
all day I'm ath their beck and call
It's "Mommie come! Mommie see!"
Wiggly worms and red-scraped knee, painted
blocks piled high, my floors unshined,
the days go by.
Some future day they'll flee the nest and I, at last,
will have my rest.
And which one really matters more?
A happy child or a polished floor?
I have no idea who the author of the poem is or where my grandmother found it, but I love it because it is totally my life as it was my mother's and grandmother's before me. Isn't it funny how things with history just mean more? 
 
    Here is a list of thoughts in my brain about spray tans

1. I love them as much as precooked bacon.

2. Having someone spray you is a lot better than getting one in a booth

3. Standing buck naked in front of your spray tan application specialist and God with your cellulite and vericose veins flailing in the wind is a first akward, but totally worth it

4. If you are "curvy" then there are parts of your body that you must 'lift' to avoid having white circles (don't ask me how I know this.  If you know me then you know that I am in in no way curvy (cough, cough) )

5. Occasionally, if you are not careful with the lotion application, you will have orange hands that you will feel shame about when the kind German man at the hotel desk hands your room key and sees the rust colored spots.

6. If you gave up the tanning bed years ago because you are now old enough to be scared of cancer and admit you were created pale by the Creator, then spray tans are perfect for those times when you are going to see a bunch of people that you want to fool into thinking you care about your appearance. 

7. Spray tans always look best on day 2.

8. I want my own gun for Christmas. (anyone reading this that knows my mother, please pass along the obvious hint)

9. Never get a spray tan in a rain storm

10. Tan fat looks better than white fat.  And let the church say "amen"


Love you like a day with no tornadoes,
Cassie



 
    So packing for Lads to Leaders is no small feat.  It seems a bit like moving in fact.  You have to take all manner of clothes, food, toys, easter goods, books, tape, camera equipment, puppets, backdrops, props, strollers, sippy cups, computer, stuffed animals, pack-and-play, blankets.  Do you get the picture?  It's a nightmare.  Basically before we ever leave the house the place is a dump from all the running around and gathering up, and whatnot.  But then when you add the mess of coming home - for.get.it.  Literally when you get home you're so exhausted from the weekend that you take all the aforementioned junk and just dump it in the floor.  To live forever.  (or it least we do that because that's just the kind of people we are)  
    So to give you just a little tast of what it is like around here, I am going to give you a tiny peek into my bedroom.  Please don't judge me for the akward furniture arrangement and mismatched dressers.  They were a phase I was going through and am now over.  thank you.  amen.
    If you are the person that can't turn your eyes from the trainwreck then continue with caution.  If you have a weak stomach at the sight of mayhem and destruction then turn around now.  NOW I TELL YOU!!!!!!!!!
    
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Dear Aaron, I wish I was a good housekeeper, but I am not. You married the wrong girl. I am so sorry.
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It is so horrible that the camera refused to focus. It just couldn't bear the carnage.
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We are talking bowels of the beast here people. The depths of the netherworld. The hadean relm.
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Why is there an old TV just sitting in the middle of my floor? And what in the name of all things hobby lobby is that urn number with feathers sticking out? When did I decide that was ok?!
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Apparently my room got so full that it vomitted into my bathroom.
    This is about to get a little too personal, so if that makes you uncomfortable then you better head back on over to facebook now, but honestly - it is really hard for a girl to want any um.....romantic thoughts in a place that looks like this.  I mean really...  Plus if it gets much worse around here I am going to see no way out and resort to arson as the only way to get rid of the mess.  So that being said, I'm going in.  If no one hears from me by tonight then send in a search party.  Or the MerriMaids.  Whichever can get here first.

Wish me luck,
Cassie
 
    I really like to blog every day.  I just have so much bla-bla-bla floating around inside of me begging to get out.  But I don't always know what time of day I'm going to have a chance to sit down and type.  So sorry I'm inconsistant, but right now I have a house that looks like it has been ransacked by home invaders who decided all our stuff was junk so they just threw it on the floor and took nothing.  So, of course, instead of dealing with it in any way I decided to sit down and spew the bla-bla.
    I had the better part of today to begin dealing with the ransackedness (I just made that up)  so, of course again, I went shopping.  My sweet sister-in-law Kacie (who has a cute blog and embroidery business that I am going to link on here as soon as I figure out how to do that) has been trying for months and months to get me to coupon.  I would always put her off and say, "it's too much work, it's not worth the hassle, etc. etc.".  So after being jealous of her great scores for long enough, I bit the bullet and started clipping.  Well here in our metropolis we don't have much to choose from, but we did this year get a CVS, so I begged her to explain the whole CVS game thing.  The basic idea is to buy whatever is on sale that you have a coupon for and earn Extra Care Bucks (which are pretty much just coupons for X amount of money to use on your next purchase).  It took me a little smidge of time to get it going, but today I had one of my best CVS days yet. Let me preface my deals with the fact that I spent a lot out of pocket money last week, $86 to be exact, but I bought a bunch of big ticket items that I needed anyway like diapers and medicine.  But I also earned $31 ECB's for that trip which I in-turn used today.  So here it is (drumrolldrumrolldrumrolldrumrolldrumrolldrumroll)  
    
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1 bar secret deoderant, 1 bar old spice deoderant, 1 bar dove deoderant, 1 tube cover girl lash blast mascara, 2 boxes cadburry eggs, 1 small box peeps, 1 bottle palmolive dish soap, 1 easter wreath, 1 box bear shaped animal crackers, 1 24-pack case of bottled water, and 1 12-pack each of Sprite, Diet Coke, Sunkist, Dr. Pepper, 7up, and A&W rootbeer
$9.18 plus $4 ecb's

Ba-Ba-Ba-Booya'

    Insert a giggle, a scream, a happy dance, and a call to Aaron here, and that would totally be me.  I was pumped. It's ok if you're jealous.  It's only normal to be.
    I have Kacie to thank.  And bc she loves me, and by proxy loves you bc I love you, she has agreed to come to the home of ransackedness on May 6th to give a tutorial to me and my peeps.  Let me know if you live local and would like to come.  It's free and all.  Just a small info session in my living room.  If I have already talked to you about this, please note that the date has been moved.  
    If you are like me for so long and refuse to coupon let me encourage you.  When you start saving money, its a really addicting phenomenon.  So go get a paper next Sunday, start clipping, and bring home all the free toothbrushes you can without affecting your conscience.  Good luck to all of you who are trying.  I wish on you more dedication than I've got. 
    Now I have to go.  I just fell asleep typing that last paragraph.  If this says anything extra weird, sorry.  I'm kinda floating in that realm between conscienceness and drool. 

Love ya' like free toothbrushes, 
Cassie
  



 
 
    Sorry I've been gone so long. (It makes me feel better to think that ya'll actually missed me)  Our family had a seriously great holiday weekend away, but we were definitely ready to come back to the crib today.  We spent our weekend in Memphis at the annual Lads to Leaders convention where many of the children from church participated in events like, speech, song leading, art, puppets, debate, and many more.  And it literally brought tears to my eyes the whole weekend (as it always does) to see those kiddos of all ages do stuff that most adults are to nervous to do.  And the Bartimaeus participants (those with special needs who lead singing or deliver speeches)....fahgetaboutit.  Waterworks.  It is literally so moving in a humbling way.  Even my own small offspring, Super G, led "I'll Fly Away" (a gold standard for him) and gave a little 15 second speech with bright orange notecards with pictures drawn on them to remind him what to say. He was totally chickening out of the speech for months until last Thursday - when I brought home the suit.  The grey pinstripe suit that makes him look just like his daddy.  One look at it and he declared, "Well I'm gonna look just like a preacher so I guess I better preach".  Love him. It was adorable, and I loved it, and I died of emotional overload.  The end.

    Anyhoo, while we were busy with the over 2,100 folks in Memphis, there were additional conventions going on in Indianappolis, Atlanta, Dallas, and the "big one" in Nashville.  In the neighborhood of 20,000 people strong.  It's such a warm, fuzzy feeling I get inside every time I think about that.  I'm just saying. 

    But no four day, action packed, people overloaded, late night going, get away with my children ever goes as smoothly as I dream it will.  There are most certainly some "issues" along the way.  And by issues I mean destruct-o-girl learning how to open the hotel room door and darting for the elevators before anyone realizes she is gone ((um....yeah. true story. twice)), the Turnanator terminating his brothers face with the bottom of his easter shoes multiple times before his father broke it up, and the aftermath which sounded a bit like a scene from the just released horror flick 'Scream 5'.  But to make our insane family feel better about ourselves, a dear, sweet, 3 year-old friend of mine decided to pull the fire alarm of the Cook Convention Center while all 2,100 people were gathered for the awards banquet.  It fo' sho' helped me forget the face stomping and subsequent beating that happened in my room 20 minutes prior (thanks Anderson!).

    I could go on forever, but I'm pretty sure you are tired of hearing about it and I am so sleepy my face could fall off. (did that even make any sense?) Prolly no, but I'm too tired to push backspace that many times and erase it.  So I am going to leave you with this, stay tuned for more stories of hijinx (sp?) fun and embarrassment from the clan as the week goes on.  Let me just say this about about an upcoming post - Spray. Tan.  

    Sorry if this whole post sounds crazy and disjointed and non-flowy (that is a word I just created).  It is 1 a.m. and I am so sleepy I could drop.  The neurons are firing at random at this point.  I just love you all so much (and my ego needs that boost it gets when I know you are reading) that I felt morally obligated to blither on.  So one more thing...MY PUPPET TEAM WON FIRST PLACE!!!!! (SQUEAL, SCREAM, JUMP, SQUEAL) and please let me know how all of your offspring did if you were at one of the other conventions.  There are a lot of you that I love that were doing it up L to L style this weekend too.  (ok that was two things - whateva')

Thanks for loving the real me,
Cas.......zzzzzzzzz
 

    

 
What is up with Max and Ruby?  Where are their parents?  Why is Ruby solely responsible for the care and upbringing of her younger brother?  And who is paying their mortgage in that fat house?  And if you actually know what I am talking about, I am sorry.

I'm pretty sure Yo Gabba Gabba is for kids who smoke weed.  Or at least the ones who sneak strange mushrooms out of the backyard.  I mean, there is no other way that show even makes good sense.

Don't you wish you went to highschool in Disney channel world where songs break out in the cafeteria, the entire school attends dances in costume and breaks out in choreography, and no 16 year old girls are dressed like half naked skanks.

Can you tell that I'm totally putting off the 10,768,432 things that I need to be doing by blogging on the couch while Turnanator flips through the tv channels?

I just want to say thank you for all of you that are reading the blog-and especially commenting.  I haven't commented back to any of you individually, but I love all the encouragement.  I apparently have some deep seeded issues about the fact that I didn't win "Wittiest" in my sixth grade class elections, so now I check my blog like 29 times a day to reassure myself that you all like me and think I'm funny.  (I mean how stupid are class elections for sixth graders?!  What do sixth graders even know about anything anyway?!)  Wait..what was I talking about?.......Oh yeah, thanks for reading and stay with me.  We have a big "thing" this weekend and I'll be busy looking cute, running around, doing how I do, but I'll be back.  With a vengance.  After a nap.  The end







 
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You see that tall guy with the handsome hind-end walking along with my babies?  That's the world's best husband (most days).  I love him dearly, and today is his birthday.  So in honor of his birthday, I am not going to spend much time on here today.  I am going to tell you all how much I love ya' and then get out of here. 
    If I know my man, and I think I do...., there is nothing he could want more for his birthday than for me to not spend a dime, to come home to a clean house, and to eat a delicious home cooked meal.  
    And since those three things have probably never happend on the same day before in the history of the earth, today is going to be hard for me.  I have a lot of work to do in a short time.  So wish me luck, say a little prayer, and be impressed.  Because today is a special day, I fully intend to shower at some point, even if it is just a Tuesday.

Love you like birthday cake
Cassie
 
    So this weekend I finally finished up a project that I've been working on for several weeks now a bit at a time.  Since the new dining room renovation (knocking out walls, ripping out floors, scraping popcorn ceilings) I have a whole, long wall that is blank.  Just sitting there.  Staring at me.  Wishing I do something about its sad nakedness.  I want something that will make a statement but will not annoy me in less than a month.  I want people to think whatever is up there is cool, not dumb.  And mostly I want to have yet more photos of my kids up because I gave birth to them and it's my house and I'll slap their cute little faces on every single surface of the place if I want.  I earned that right.  I've got the 3-time C-section scar with fat hanging over it to prove it.  Too much?  Sorry.  Try to get that visual out of your mind before supper tonight.  
    Anyways - I decided on silhouettes.  They are cool. They are old.  They are mod.  And they are of my babies.  So here is a little tutorial of the steps I went through to create my cheapo masterpieces.  (Disclaimer- I did not come up with this idea entirely on my own.  I saw it on a random website and tweaked it to my likin'.  But if you want to give me full creative genius credit, I'll let ya')
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Take a pic of the kids facing sideways against a plain background. Try to get the best angle possible for the most facial detail. Trick destruct-o-girl into sitting still for a whole 3 seconds by getting her brother to play peek-a-boo and wave cookies in the air.
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Print photo out to the size of your choice. I did these at Walmart 1 hour in a 11x14. Just make sure if you are doing more than one, that all the pictures are zoomed or cropped about the same so their actual head sizes will be close to the same. (experience talking)
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With a really sharp little pair of scissors (I totally had to just look up how to spell that word. How sad) cut around the face and head getting as much detail as possible.
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Turn the photo over and paint a thick coat of basic black acrylic paint
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While the paint is drying, run to all the junk stores in town and buy a bunch of cute, junky frames for $8 or less apiece. Then spray paint them to your desired color of awesomeness.
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Cover the cardboard backing, piece of mirror, or whatever came in the frame with the paper or fabric of your choice. I used wrapping paper. With a subtle striped pattern. If you buy an old frame and it has nothing in it to wrap paper around, cut a piece of foam board to size.
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Attach that adorable little head
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Love, love, lurve me some mod podge - glossy!!
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Apply a healthy, swirly layer of the goo over the whole thing and allow to dry for several hours (up to a day).
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Pop them in the frames, love how cute they turned out, and then lean them against the wall for two weeks until you decide exactly where and how you want them to go.
So I think my little weirdo's silhouettes turned out adorable, but in real life those guys are even cuter.  Check out this little rare gem of everyone looking kind-of at me at our church easter egg hunt yesterday.
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I could totally smooch their little faces off.
Hope this makes ya'll think I'm awesome.

Cassie
 
So I was up really, exceptionally late last night working on a project that I had put off to the last second.  And for that reason I am really too tired to think about anything today.  So I decided to just leave you all with a list of a few of my favorite things.  Some you will care about, some you won't.  Some will remind you of something you love.  One or two you may think is dumb.  I don't care.  I love them all.
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umm...duh. These are the only reason I have to get out of the bed after Christmas. The anticipation of that chocolate deliciousness is what I live for. Of course I love their large sized, cream filled older brother deeply too, but I had eaten all of those already and had none to photograph. And yes, this bag is empty. Don't judge me. You have no idea how long it took me to eat them or how long ago I bought this bag. It most certainly, definitely, without a doubt was not yesterday. Most certainly.
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this is the table my daddy built for me. I begged him to do it, thought he blew me off, then got it for Christmas this year. I adore it. It's made of wood from an old house he tore down and the old beams that used to hold up the patio on the house they live in. Every time I look at it I think of my daddy. I like that feeling
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This is my Shark steam mop. It has revolutionized my house cleaning world. It has made mopping so simple that I actually do it now.
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This is my DVR on my beautiful slate cabinet top. I love them both. Thank you DVR. I will never watch another commercial during The Office again.
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These are the handprints of my babies at varying ages. I look at them and die. Those tiny little fingers and toes. Oh, heartache.... Hey Aaron, are you sure we only need 3 kids? Really? Just one or two more? Think about it will ya'?
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This is the dying remains of a bounce dryer bar. Its almost used up and covered in lint, but I still love it. Even when I leave wet clothes in the washer just a little to long and they smell like they may or may not be a touch mildewey, everything comes out of the dryer smelling like a crisp linen, summer meadow, fresh rain (if only I really knew what any of those smelled like)
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This is the quilt my grandmother made for me when I got married. It is king size and each individual square is hand quilted. No two squares are the same on the whole quilt. She got bursitis (sp?) in her elbow from all the sewing. I have informed my children that if they ever touch my Mamaw quilt they will be be victims of a homicide. If it ever ends up on top of a tent with cheeto one it or outside in the playhouse holding gravel or at the ballpark in the grass, it is over. Good-bye. Nice knowing ya'. I love it
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This is a childrens book that my mama gave me last year. She wrote the most wonderful, motherly note inside of it and I cry every time I read it. It brings up all those maternal emotions and reflections on growing up and my babies growing up. It's gut wrenching and wonderful and beautiful causes me to miss my mommy.
    What about you?  Anything that's definitely on your "list to grab if the house is on fire" right after the kids, your purse, the box with all the paperwork stuff in it and the baby pictures?  Do tell.  I love to hear myself talk and all, but I also love to hear about you.  Thanks for making me feel important :)