Sunday, May 7, 2017

Favorite 3...Moving and Grooving

Ah! So this week is the weeeeeeek. Lots of things going on and we are alllllmost done packing. Which is exciting. But we are down to the last few things and cleaning. Since we know we are moving a few more times in our lifetime I just wanted to put out into the universe my favorite moving/packing/cleaning tips.

Cleaning grout!
This is not my original genius. Whitney told me what to do and she got the information from Sister Wilson...who is just all genius. Even though I feel like I am pretty diligent with cleaning floors I noticed in the high traffic areas that the grout was black and it super bugged me. So the tip is to get a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner with bleach and just run it along the grout and let it sit for about 30 minutes and then wipe it up. I have a stack of rags that I used and once they were full of bleach liquid I tossed them into a pile and grabbed a fresh rag and just washed them all when I was done. It's too much work to rinse them and it destroys your skin. So don't do that. Ha. I did steam my floor twice afterwards. It also works on tile grout in the bathroom too and since theres no scrubbing involved--it's a winner!


Labelling boxes & Christmas tree bags
This tip should come with a warning if you are having your ward move you in because people think  you are organized and then you will get called as primary president. BUT it works like a charm. Each room/area in our home has it's own color of masking tape. I tape the boxes and maybe write down a few things that are in them or if it's fragile...but usually I don't. I made "a key" or signs with the tape and room area for each room that we place at the entrance when people are moving in our boxes and a sign in each room on the wall where we want the boxes placed. When we moved twice two years ago I did not have anyone ask me "Where does this go?" and we were all moved in within 30 minutes with our boxes not crazy all over the place. I still have people in our ward that comment about it and we are about to move again. haha. It made unpacking ourselves so much easier.


At Christmas time I try and collect a few tarp material christmas tree bags. There usually like 12 or 13 bucks at Target--but I get them for cheaper during Christmas clearance. I hateeeee the smell of box...especially on clean linens, pillows, bedding. So I just throw these in Christmas tree bags. AND they are huge!!! We are also packing Caroline's toys in another bag! They are some of the first things we need--making beds, showering, kitchen towels...and toys. So it's nice that they are packed in a way that they are easy to find. They are so big I just keep Caroline's toys in their bins and they surprisingly don't get very jumbled...so no mess to sort through when we unpack.

Paper and Plastic
The paper plates and bowls and plastic silverware stage has begun! Tomorrow we are saran wrapping our silverware in their organizer and calling the kitchen packed. We are leaving out a pan and calling it done! This moving stash goes into a plastic container so it's ready for when we move into our new place...whenever that might be! Right now we are interested in finding out if it's easier to buy a house in Tyler than renting in Miami. ha!

So. Those are my tips...if I can even call them that...and I just really hope I remember these for future moves!



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Picture by Picture

We have lots of random things to catch up on!


Caroline is too big for the baby swings but too small for the big kid swings. Either way she still loves to swing.



Last weekend our ward had a dinner and auction for camp. The young women did such a good job setting up and serving! There was also a talent show and it was SO AWESOME to see how talented everyone is. We have a super talented ward. Lots of singing, music, and dancing. There was one woman who had written a children's poem and it's been recorded by all sorts of people and she performed it. She had this large boa and talked about how magical it is to be a child. It was darling. I ended up helping with the auction and I was super excited to see my dessert platter go for 60 dollars! Caroline had a blast and spent some time with Baby Ray. She also played under all of the tables with Gwen. Those two girls have the best time together. The only thing she didn't like was all of the noise so she would cover up her ears.


We had a fun time taking selfies one evening. I love how expressive Caroline is. Either she hates the camera or she loves it. No inbetween!


Caroline decided to play slumber party...isn't that the best thing to play. She handed me a blanket and a pillow and said "mama, go to sleep." I've been waiting three years for her to tell me that! ha!

Yes. There is underwear in the background. Caroline picked out a new pair of sunglasses and she picked the glittery gold and hot pink pair. How random, how random. But she adores them. And I do too...even if they do look a little Willy Wonka-ish.

I didn't have ramen until I was a freshman in college and Melinda was quick to get me started on ramen and cup of noodles (hadn't had those either). I can't decide if I was missing out on something or not. BUT my child LOVES ramen and since it's one of the five things that she willingly eats (other than ice cream, chocolate, pizza, and popsicles) I guess I wasn't missing out.




Last Sunday was the rainiest day. It was screaming for ALL of us to nap...but instead we went to church :P. Caroline loved carrying the umbrellas. Bring on the rainstorms because I am ready for some fabulous Texas thunderstorms that I've  missed so much!

I love Caroline but morning Caroline is the cutest thing ever.

Words can't describe how much we are going to miss these dear friends of ours.
Mary insisted on watching Caroline last Monday and it was so hard to bring Caroline home when she was outside with her friends dressed like this. Ben had to run down to Miami to get some residency paperwork done so I dropped off Caroline and came home and packed up our entire kitchen (minus a few pots and pans). It felt so good to toss some things, find new homes for others, and getting everything in boxes. Whoo hoo! 


We took a surprise trip back up to Disney. Ben must have found a good deal because we stayed in a wonderful hotel room (the beds were ACTUALLY queen size)! It was seriously paradise. We went to Animal Kingdom to see a light show that started later than we thought so after the safari, watching Finding Nemo, and grabbing dinner we decided to quit while we were ahead and head back to walk about the resort. 

That's my disney motto. Quit while you are ahead. To stay ahead. And happy. And sane.

The next morning we went swimming before heading to Hollywood Studios. Caroline wanted to watch the Disney Junior Show and ride Toy Story so that's exactly what we did. Ben and I traded off Tower of Terror...and he actually got stuck on the ride right after it dropped them. He found out that the ride is lame with the lights on and that it isn't air conditioned ha. We ended up getting a fast pass for any ride...so a sweet apology. I'm just glad he didn't get stuck in the air! We watched Beauty and the Beast and hit the road back home. 

We listen to the entire "Richard Simmons is Missing" podcast...it was fascinating and so interesting. Then we started "In the Dark" and we have not been able to stop listening!!! We've been finding excuses to go on drives to listen to it because of the compelling story and all of the missteps investigators took. We are almost finished with the season.

After a string of girls nights Ben needed a night out. Ha! So he went with Bobby to see and movie and Caroline and I went to the pool. At first she didn't want to swim at all but the last twenty minutes we were there she was all about splashing and floating. It's felt like summer all week so we are glad to get in some pool and beach time before we leave.

Caroline has conquered the spider park. Ben and I take turn on the walking trail and Caroline just cliimbs and slides at this fabulous park. It's shaded and turf--basically our favorite kind of park.

Morning make up

Sunday's! Caroline woke up SUPER early so we were all a little delirious at church. And when Caroline is tired she gets hyper and hilarious. She didn't really make it through primary and so we left ten minutes early and she took a nap in the car. We are going to miss Sister Hansen SO MUCH. She loves Caroline and is so patient with Caroline and they just love each other. I think we are going to have to take her with us.

We had dinner with Bobby and Whitney and Andrew. Ah! We are going to miss these friends of ours so much. I haven't been able to think about it because they've made the last two years the best. They will just have to come with us too. 

Other than packing and bleaching our grout with toilet bowl cleaner...best hack ever...we have just been enjoying last-ish play dates with our friends and not going outside because it is so dang hot!



Thursday, April 27, 2017

More Morikami

Today I got a chance to pull some pictures off of my camera--that I actually still use...ha! I've been feeling like I wasn't using it that much anymore but I surprised myself with some pictures from the past few weeks. I tossed it in our bag when we went to Morikami last week and loved revisiting some of the things we saw. Still can't get over all of the good vibes from the gardens.

Caroline loved this raked rock garden. I think we were all tempted to walk across it but we loved looking at it. Caroline found some bigger rocks and built some rock towers. There are like a bajillion pictures of her building rock towers--she was so proud of them.











This curly haired girl totally has our heart.

Another rock garden that we went a looked by. Caroline enjoyed flying from bench to bench like in the Sound of Music



Just a pretty spectacular day.