Not sure which I like best about this snapshot, the smiles on the girls faces, my daughters hand in the peanut butter jar or my son sneaking yet another lick out of the bowl….

I have friends that are super awesome yard salers.  They get up at the butt crack of dawn on Saturday morning and drive all over the county finding great deals.   They truly impress me and sometimes I think I want to be them, b/c I too like getting good deals.

But, I don’t like getting up at the butt crack of dawn any day of the week, much less Saturday.  And I especially don’t like dragging 4 kids around with me all over the county at the butt crack of dawn, worse yet having the kids see stuff that other people are clearing out of their house and begging me if they can then bring it in mine and then me coming home without the outdoor patio table and chairs I’d been wanting but with a bag full of happy meal toys that are now going to clutter up our family room floor.

B/C I know that is exactly what would happen to me.  I wouldn’t come home with the cute rug for my master bedroom, I’d come home with 4 grumpy kids and nothing to show for my early bird gets the worm rising.

Enter Craigs List.


In fact, if you walk around my home, chances are 9 times out of 10 your going to come across a craigs list purchase.  With craigs list, I search FROM MY HOME, for the exact item I want, e-mail or call, and then send my wonderful hubby to go and retrieve said item. 

I’ve gotten some amazing deals, A-MAZING, on exactly what I was looking for, at a steal of a deal.  (it seems some people when moving basically give away their stuff b/c they don’t want to take it with them)

The last 2 years, I got our girls Christmas gifts off of craigs list… one year it was American Girl dolls… the year before that it was a gymnastic mat, cheese mat, and beam….

This summer, I got our outdoor patio table and chairs, my homeschool cabinet, my daughters book bag, a receiver for our stereo, a china cabinet, and a surprise for my kids which I am not putting on here lest someone tell them.  Smile  

I’ve learned a few things shopping on craigs list. 

1.  It really pays to check often.  It helps you get a feel for what things sell for generally.  Your not always going to get the item you see, often when I would call or e-mail, the item I wanted was already gone.  Be patient.  Another WILL come along.  I check a few times a day… it really doesn’t take much time to do a quick search. 

I had to wait 4 months for my patio set.  But, in that 4 months, I saw what most were going for.  I saw what they were going for new at the store, and I knew when we needed to leap for it. 

Same with the china cabinet.  I looked all summer.  I missed out on a few, saw one that just wasn’t as good in real life as it was in pictures… I knew when people were asking a lot for a piece, and I knew when we needed to drop everything and go for the hutch.  And now I can’t stop smiling at the beautiful hutch I have been waiting 9 years for the right dining room, plus the right hutch, at the right time for. 

2. Which leads me to the other thing about Craig's list shopping.  It isn’t convenient.  People want rid of the stuff they list ASAP so chances are if you see something you want, you gotta rearrange your schedule to go that day if possible and pick it up.    Here is where I give kudos to Scott b/c most of the items I purchase lately are big items which require him to do it and he has very lovingly driven all over kingdom come on days that are not convenient to pick up the deals I’ve found.   If he wasn’t willing to do this, it wouldn’t work.  Just like I’m not willing to get up at 6 am on Sat to go yard saleing.  If you don’t want to pay full price for something, chances are you gotta sacrifice somewhere, and you need to decide where your willing to make the sacrifice. 

Sometimes people have been willing to hold items for us.  Sometimes they have not.  Just be prepared. 

3.  Don’t be afraid to walk away.  Sometimes you find that thing and your sooo excited only to get there and find it has a big stain on it or something.  You gotta know when to walk away and wait.  Don’t settle. 

Truthfully for me, patience has been the biggest pay off in Craig's listing.  Waiting till you see just what you want at the price you want can take time… but man it is so worth it when you bring home that piece you’ve been wanting and you know you got it for a great price. 

I can’t believe how much money I would have saved had I known about Craig's List sooner.  I kick myself for the things we bought full price for never even thinking to check on Craig's List.  It’s been a real blessing to be able to furnish our home and provide for our children in this way. 

We’ve had stitches, numerous trips to Right Time Care and even an over night hospital stay, but so far we haven’t had any broken limbs.

Until this week.

I was upstairs when I heard the blood curdling screams and sobs of my 5 year old.  I raced downstairs to see her sobbing and holding her beloved Kit in one hand and Kit’s arm in the other.   (I had noticed the day before, that her arm seemed wobbly and something wasn’t right, so it wasn’t a total shock to me).   My 5 year old was devastated… “I just picked her up Mom and it fell off… Kit, Kit…”  I held her while she cried and then quickly googled “replacing doll off of American girl doll”  when it brought me to a form to fill out and send Kit in for a “hospital stay” I then went on face book hoping there was a quicker and cheaper answer.

But, there wasn’t.  I am told Kit will come back with her arm attached, wearing a hospital gown and even an ID bracelet.  (I didn’t tell my 5 year this part hoping she would be delightfully surprised by this when she gets her back). 

She did really well with boxing her up… we  hugged her goodbye, put her in the box, and then took her to the UPS store. 


My 5 year old bravely carried her into the store and gave her to the UPS man (who was so, super nice, asking the doll’s name, telling her they do a great job taking care of dolls and Kit would be back good as new before she knew it). 

Then we walked out of the door and she dropped to her knees.  She was biting back tears and it was so incredibly heart breaking and precious all at once.  I held her there on the sidewalk and then couldn’t resist snapping a picture of her pathetic-ness after buckling her in her car seat.  (I felt kind of guilty for taking a picture of her crying, so I told her I took it to show Kit how sad she was when she left). 

photo (16)The UPS guy said she should be at the hospital by Tuesday.  I’ve and the American Girl doll store says it can take up to 3 weeks before they ship her back.  I’ve braced her for the fact that it will be several weeks, (though I’ve had friends who got their dolls back sooner and I am hoping we too get lucky).  Tonight at dinner she prayed that Kit would come back soon from the hospital.  I’m thinking maybe next week I’ll mail her a letter, in the mailbox, from “Kit” telling her she misses her and they are taking good care of her in the hospital. 

Perhaps that will help the time pass more quickly. 

I’ve written time and time again of my hot/cold, love/hate, on again/off again relationship with the library.    Despite the fines (and my husband can attest to the fact that we have paid MANY), I keep going back again and again….and the reasons are…

reading on way home


1.  the hush that falls over the circus van on the ride home as everyone is absorbed in their books (I’ve even been known to sit in the van in the parking lot soaking in that silence)

2.  children reading in bed at night



choo choo bok4.  The fact that my 2 year old knows right where the choo choo books are at the library and so eagerly checks his own book out and the cute little way he says “choo choo book is at li-rary.”

I haven’t read aloud to them nearly enough.  So many of my “good intentions” continually fall to the way side, but I love the fact that they all love the library and love books and to me, it is worth every single penny in over due fines.

My youngest was sitting on the floor “reading” his choo-choo book to our dog Maggie when I had to grab my camera and snap a picture. 

He then looks over at me and says, “Aww man, No SMILE!”IMG_6240

I said, “Ok, no smile.” and he happily went back to his reading. IMG_6242

This week my 6 year old lost her top two teeth.  And I gotta tell you that I absolutely LOVE her toothless smile these days.  As in I can’t take enough pictures of her smile because soon her big teeth will come in and she’ll have a whole new look.IMG_6180

It turns my Momma heart into a pile of mushy sentimental gush.  She’s so grown up and little girl all at once… This gap tooth smile will be forever be emblazoned in my mind as her start of first grade smile…

Number one sign you have a 2 year old boy in the house.

Nothing is safe. 

He will drag chairs to the counter to score out of reach cookies, he’ll fill cups with ice only to dump them on the floor, he’ll drink soda, coffee, whatever he finds left sitting out with reckless abandon. 

And he’ll sunscreen my dining room furniture.  photo (7)

I had even seen the sunscreen lying out earlier and moved it to the center of the dining room table, “just incase”…. clearly I should have put it up higher.

The only reason he didn’t cause more damage was b/c he got it into his eyes and his screaming alerted us to the mischief. 

Now whenever he looks at this picture he goes, “Oh no… my eyes, my eyes.”

Someone is keeping this Momma VERY BUSY these days!