Saturday, November 24, 2007

Brunch @ The Beach....I Think That's a YES!

A couple of weeks ago my good friend Monica and I finally made it happen! We were finally able to work it out and were able to go out for brunch. Not only that, but we decided that we'd drive down Crystal Cove Cafe which is right on the beach. We both only had a few hours but thought it was totally worth it. Unfortunately as soon as we got on the freeway we came to a complete stop because of a sig alert. We ended up being a total stop on the freeway for twenty minutes or so. It could have been longer so I can't complain. It didn't take us long at all to drive the coast and get to our destination. What a beautiful day it was!

We enjoyed a little stroll down to the beach cafe after parking. Once brought to our table we noticed the chairs all had cozy colourful lap blankets on them for our pleasure. The atmostphere of the cafe was very warm and friendly....delicious food too! You can't beat the view though. It doesn't matter where you go or how the food is, I think most any restaurant on the beach would be delightful. There's just something so incredible and tranquil about the beach.

Once we finished or tasty meal, we walked down the wooden steps and were immediately on the sand and only steps away from the ocean. There were even a few people swimming (even though it was in November, the temperature was in the high 80's) Monica and I walked along the shore and then found a perfect rock to sit on. Amazing blue sky, white puffy clouds but not too many, crashing waves and even a beautiful heart shaped rock placed just so, so I would notice it. The atmosphere was so soothing and calming. Definately will have to make my way there again.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Loads and Loads Part II

So again while folding loads of laundry today I was watching Oprah again and saw the second part of the "hording" episode. I thought I was blown away (read grossed out, shocked, amazed) the first time. Aha, but this time I was even more blown away but happy to see just what this couple/family was getting free from.

I thought that those huge 5 ton dumpsters were of all their stuff they had in the house. WRONG! It WAS of all the garbage they had in the house. 75 TONS of garbage! OMG!!! Okay so moving on...the professional organizer had all of the 'to sell' things in a warehouse so the family could see just how much stuff had consumed their lives. It was a 10,000sq foot warehouse FILLED with endless rectangular tables piled with stuff galore. Even underneath the heaped on tables were 1800 storage bins of, you guessed it, more stuff. They had the family come and see the warehouse filled with all this (I'll try not to say 'stuff' again) and to say they were blown away would be an understatement. The mom was almost physically sick but then became relieved once she realized she was free from all of this chaos. When told she had 5 minutes to take anything of importance to her she surprisingly declined. (now that's a step in the right direction, she wants a new start) Turned out there were over 3000 pairs of shoes, and when they had a rummage sale to get rid of it all they made $13,000. Can you believe it? Something good came from it.

Not only did they make money, but some major stores donated a new makeover to their house. This was a house they lived in for over 32 years and the last 12 were definately not lived with quality. When they got to go see the house 'clutter/pile-free' they were brought to tears of joy. The damage done from that disastrous hording problem caused mold all over the carpet, drywall, furniture etc. They had to have professionals come and sterilize what was salvagable and dump and replace the rest. Luckily there were very generous companies willing to help this family have a fresh and very stylish I might add new start. The floors were done in a beautiful hardwood, walls replaced and freshly painted. Brand new kitchen cupboards, appliances. Basically the whole inside of the house was re-done and it was absolutely beautiful. A place they can now be proud to call home, a place to be enjoyed and share with family and friends. I really am SO happy for this couple it brought me to happy tears.

Although I had a rather rough start and end to my day (for reasons unmentioned.....2 of the 4 kids) seeing this episode REALLY motivated my very tired body to do what I set out to do which was clean up and organize. I feel like God really helped me out and I got so much done (always more to do though) that it would've normally taken me a week to do. Part of that is because I was angry, and I always clean faster, maybe even better when I'm angry. Anyways it's such a wonderful feeling getting things done that you've 'been meaning to get to' for a while. Just think, when the kids are back in school on Monday.....I'll have WAY less interruptions and get even more done maybe. Hope your day is an enjoyable, productive one!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Loads and Loads of....

Today while I was taking a rest I was watching Oprah. The episode today was about this lady who had a massive problem of hording. I mean it was unbelievable! This woman was obviously trying to fill a void and was actually creating an even worse problem for her and her family. As a result this lady and her husband were prisoners in their own home. They could barely sleep, let alone walk and 'live' inside their own home. Their kids stopped coming to see them 'cause there just wasn't any place to sit and visit. I'm not quite sure how people actually live this way, but they managed to for over 12 years. They lived in a 3000 sq foot house, 3 car garage filled from floor to ceiling with .....junk. Even the trunk of the car was filled with 'stuff' that had been there for goodness knows how long. She was a shopaholic who had stuff galore.

The good news is that Oprah had a professional team of one hundred people spend two months going through the house making piles of donations, to sell, throw away, and keep. There was 75 TONS, yep that's right, TONS of stuff overall. Fifteen of those HUGE garbage bins each with a 5 ton capacity. Now I'm not wanting to sound in judgement of her or her husband for not intervening, I'm just really glad that they seem to be getting help and can hopefully start to enjoy the second half of their life now with family and friends. In watching this it motivated me to go through my 'stuff', well crap really. We are no where near being that cluttery of a family but I sat my kids down and made them watch about 5 minutes of that show so they could see what not cleaning their room leads to. They were more than enthusiastic about cleaning their rooms (we'll see how long that lasts) I taped the show in any case and just might have to resort to another viewing from time to time.

Tomorrow 3 of the kiddos have the day off of school (the younger 3) and though they are entitled to a day to play and rest and NOT have to do homework, I am for atleast part of the day going to put them to work. We will be going through dressers, closets, cupboards and drawers and purging anything we haven't used for 6-12 months, anything too small or that we simply just don't need. Usually the kids are pretty happy to fill a bag to give to the less fortunate. So, we'll see how that goes. I always tell the kids to start out with cranking the music. It always makes cleaning and sorting way more fun...or just fun period! I heard lil' Emma telling one of her friends that she couldn't play til' her room was clean and then proceeded to guide her in turning some music on first and then cleaning from there. Here's hoping to a fun, productive day tomorrow!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


It's just one of 'those' days. Everytime I get near being comfortable and relaxed I hear "MOM! ....." or the kids are fighting over something absolutely ridiculous and will NOT stop! Now this is reminding me of having a newborn who must have a sense of humour because everytime I would rock him/her to sleep and was just about to ever so carefully sit down for a moments rest...."WHAAAAAA!!!!" Almost comically. Today has been like that. Just this afternoon but in any case it's quite ridiculous. The most recent call for mom was "MOM, there's a big bug in my room!" ...oh great what am I going to find? To my relief it was prayingmantis on the screen outside the window. Phhhheeewwww! Just after I took a photo of it and sat down getting all comfy again, Emma shouts out "MOM, I think it has a headache" I ask why she would think that. She responds " because it's rubbing his hands on his forehead!" "I bet you're right Emma". Too sweet I tell ya.

101 Things To Do In 1001 Days

I was reading a blog called Simple Life At Home and it had an interesting idea of making a 'to do list' of 101 things but they should be done in 1001 days. First of all I don't even know if I have 101 things to do. Take that back.....I'm not sure how interesting my list will really be, but hey being more productive is a great thing and I am a person who enjoys lists and my favourite.....crossing things off my list. So here it goes,

#1 (by the way in NO particular order, drum-roll please..........)
*1.making my 101 list. (Did 11-10-07)
2.going to the beach for a run :D (excited about this one)
3.going to the beach by myself to read.
4.Read 'To Kill A Mockingbird' like I was supposed to in highschool.
5.Read the whole bible.
6.running a marathon
7.going away with hubby for a weekend.(did Jan5th 2008) going on a cruise.
9.get extended families personal contact info updated.(all but two)
10.write a christmas letter and actually send it.(ok, have to wait til Christmas)
11.send card to Gramma once a month.
12.write about my life.
13.get picture of biological father/health history if possible.
14.go to the spa.(did but would love to do again :D )
15.learn to crochet and prove first grade 'meanyhead teacher Mrs. Johnson' wrong!
16.take a dance class of some sort.
17.learn to play guitar. with my husband.
19.go bike riding.
20.go hiking.
21.get livingroom painted
22.decorate and furnish livingroom.
23.paint bedroom
24.paint gameroom
25.finish painting girls room
26. re-arrange Emma's room(did)
27.get yard landscaped front/back
28.look more into cosmotology schools(working on it)
29.walk 30 min. a day for a month something nice for someone once a week
31.go through my closet/dresser....LET IT GO ALREADY!(did) a girls only trip with my mom and sister
33.go to New York
34.guess i should add....get passports! yoga regularly for a month
36.paint a picture that's hangable
37.make ceramics with Hannah
38.get photos organized
39.make album for each kid
40.go to Santa Barbara already!
41.take a photography class
42.find a good obgyn(found one)
43.get gameroom closet organized
44.get camcorder tapes on dvd
45.get wedding rings re-sized and dipped
46.go skiing
47.sponsor a child in a 3rd world country Anne of Green Gables straight through Pride and Prejudice straight through
50.go kayaking
51.go see Wicked (did/loved it!)
52.wash all my windows (house)
53.try a new recipe once a month(did)
54.have the girls cook once a week healthier(am doing pretty good at this)
56.find Dr. I like
57.organize paperwork
58.organize hall closets
59.go through jewelry/organize
60.learn to french braid
61.start/go to a bible study(did) a party for adults
63.find a good red lipstick a mother/daughter study with girls with Christian on his reading(in progress)
66.take Christian on a date(did and have to do again)
67.get ceramic Christmas tree like Gramma used to make(did thanx to Donna)
68.learn to speak french again
69.find a really great pair of jeans
70.get a livingwill (I KNOW this should be #1)
71.go to British Columbia
72.take kids to the snow(
73.go to the mountains, desert and beach in the same day. (just cause I can)
74.organize my address book (LONG overdue)
75.keep car cleaned for a straight month(did)
76.drink lots of water for a week(am doing)
77.use the china more often (life's too short...why not?)
78.go ice skating with whole family (c'mon Lar)
79.get new bedspread(did thanx Donna) all my photos onto disc
81.update my ipod(did)
82.get new family photo
83.get a facial(did)
84.candlelight bath baby!(did) something new from Victorias Secret
86.go to Boomers with Lar
87.join some sort of sport team
88.go to Mexico for citizenship test
90.take a couples cooking class
91.keep up my grattitude journal more regularly out my garage/organizing it and keeping it clean for more than 2 weeks.(kinda)
93.update kids 'keepsake' boxes
94.finish my 'what I love' list(did)
95.keep my room clean for a week straight(did)
96.learn to make a really good steak
97.go to dentist :( a week fast of sugar
99.go to gym atleast 3x/week for a month to the beach from home make a new 101 list after this one is completed.

I tried posting a countdown clock but couldn't get it to work but apparently I have until August 8th of 2010 to finish this list. We'll see how it goes eh! Happy checking.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Precious and Pink

Not much to say except my son is quite secure in his boyhood and he and his sister cozied up while reading a book together. One advancing in reading while the other is trying to catch up and doing a good job I might add. Precious moments.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Well, that sure came and went fast but it was a rather festive Halloween for the Hampton family this year. The kids really enjoy dressing up, getting to wear make-up OUT of the house and of coarse the absolutely LOVE getting candy! This year they faired better than most too!

I remember being a kid coming home with pillow cases full of candy and since I've had kids they haven't got even half of what I used to. That's probably a good thing though. I still end up tossing half of theirs away anyways. This year I got smart and bought a lock and have all their candy locked up in a cupboard in the garage. They aren't even really asking me for much of it either. I think it's the out of sight out of mind thing. It also helps me and my lack of self-discipline too!

This year we had Chrish who was a punk skateboarder (cheap costume....I only had to buy tatoos and hair paint). Emmabear already had a cheerleading costume she got for her birthday or last Christmas and was more than happy to wear that. Hannah was such a perfect, gorgeous little Red Riding Hood as you'll see in her photo. Then Caley who I must say had very little options on what to wear. Not even a teenager and most of the costumes that would fit her were VERY sleazy and provocative. We found one we both liked which I think was called "the Nature Fairy" and she looked beautiful. Me? I wore a shirt with hearts all over and painted a little heart on my cheek and was calling myself a "sweetheart". I could've been 'the Queen of Hearts' but didn't really want to wear a tiara this year. Chrish said "Dad, what are you dressed up as?" Larry replied "comfortable!"

We had a fun, messy gooey time carving our pumpkins. Actually finding them was the more difficult task, but luckily we did. The kids couldn't wait to get their pumpkins all carved. I came up with this 'brilliant' idea? I thought while they were gutting their pumpkins I would be in the kitchen 'surprising' them with a festive, yummy treat. Well, my yummy idea turned out very melt in your mouth tasty but at the cost of a few pumpkins. They made way more of a mess just in those few minutes it took me to whip those muffins up. Chrish ended up cutting a way too big of hole at the top where the lid is supposed to go. We ended up turning his pumpkin into a 'mummy' pumpkin which he was pretty thrilled about.(and don't worry we most definitely did not light it) Something a little different this year. Emma insisted after I already cut the mouth that her pumpkin have red lips. Larry and I enjoyed carving a pumpkin together this year too. We went for a 'spongebob' look and I think we pulled it off quite well.

Hannah and Christian got really festive and decorated the entire front yard with webs all over and they made a giant spider out of newspaper. They decorated the mailbox and made the front yard very cute. I'm shocked how fast that came and went but we sure did enjoy it and they are already deciding on what they will be next year.