WARNING: Here We Come

The other day I needed to go by the bank and deposit a check.Harmless errand with toddler in tow, right?

Hehe (insert fake laugh here).

When I pulled into the parking lot, 420 other people had the same idea. 
So, I decided to outsmart everyone and do my banking at the ATM machine. I pulled up and reached for the deposit envelopes. There weren’t any.

In my frustration, I pulled away slowly, leaving my ATM card in the machine. 
I think a normal person at this point would have stopped their car, gotten out and retrieved said card. At least that’s what my hubby said a normal person would do.

But I backed up into the narrow ATM aisle since no one was in line behind me.
Now, I won’t go into my backing issues. But lets just say I am not a good backer-upper.

On hearing a crunching noise (and I’m pretty sure laughter), I didn’t look back. I found a place to park and wasted the next 30 minutes begging for a new card.

And that’s when I made a monumental decision.

You know, considering our reputation as THAT family. I’ve been feeling sorry for our local Emergency Room, eating establishments (add bank to the list) and the overall general population. 
I’ve decided to let people know we’re coming…It only seems fair. 
I just consider it a warning. And this is what I’ll be wearing when I go pick up my replacement ATM card this week:

I know many of you are related to me. We’re like family. And that’s why I’m sharing. You can warn people too. But my shirt is occupied. You’ll have to get your own.

And if you are bold enough to wear one, all profits go to
The Persecuted Church.

Once I got home, I noticed the fender of my car. 


Do y’all think the glue gun can handle this?

THAT Family Tree Society-Issue 11

Picture of the Week:

The Week in Review: Our sweet Russian friends showed up at our door with this cake on my hubby’s birthday. Nothing says Happy Birthday like an amazing homemade cake made from scratch from the resources of Uzbekistan refugees. I wanted to shove my brownies back into my dirty oven and hide them in shame.  

But why waste good brownies?

It’s that time again- high society time!  The newest branch of this big sprawling family tree is the Tonggu Momma. She has a lovely blog and keep reading for some very funny posts that definitely make her a part of this society!

1)Tell us a little about your blog

 Hey y’all!  I’m Tonggu Momma at Our Little Tongginator.  I began blogging because I can’t seem to write in a journal and I wanted to know what our family was doing the day our next daughter is born.  I know, I know… most of y’all are thinking, “ummm… how could you NOT know that???”  Well, we adopted our little Tongginator from China and currently wait for a China adoption referral for her mei mei (little sister).  Since most children adopted from China are between the ages of eight months and two years, I needed a way to document our lives.  And the journal — well, it wasn’t working, y’all.

2) How long have you been blogging?

I began blogging in January 2008, but Bloggy Land sucked me into the vortex quite rapidly.

3) How would you define THAT family?

THAT family seems to stand out in the crowd, for whatever reason.  We definitely do that!  With two Caucasian parents (one of whom is a total shlumpadinka) and one Chinese-American daughter (who many call spicy or a firecracker or a fru-fru drama gal), we can’t seem to blend into the background, no matter how hard I try.

4) When did you discover you were a part of THAT family?

Well, it could be during the Airplane Wedgie Incident… the Tongginator Booty Call moment definitely placed a spotlight on us… the time I got up close and personal with Elmo felt somewhat embarrassing… I still vividly remember the Chic-Fil-A temper tantrum… but I even feel we are THAT family as we simply go about our daily lives around town.

5) Where can we find your blog?

DIYP#18-My Frugal Decor Tips

I love decorating my home. 
When I’m not on home decor probation, that is.
Probation entails periods of time where I need to lay low.
My hubby calls it staying on a budget.
Over the years, I’ve drawn from my frugal past and discovered that the joy for me is in the hunt. So when I hear the word budget, I actually hear the word challenge.
Here are some of my tips:
  • Paint covers a multitude of sins. But even paint can be costly.  I shop the paint returns at Lowe’s, Home Depot and WalMart.  These are tints that weren’t a perfect match and you can buy them really cheap. Perfect for bathrooms, laundry rooms and small bedrooms. I like to make a statement with paint, while not making a statement. In other words, choose a bold neutral (in the taupe family, maybe) rather than a dark maroon or navy blue.
  • Shop the scratch and dent section.  When we were shopping for our bedroom furniture, featured in yesterday’s post, we looked everywhere!  Even after the initial sticker shock wore off, I was determined to find a deal. My hubby dragged me to Basset Furniture. I was reluctant because I knew it would be expensive, until I found the clearance room.  We bought it for 2/3 the price because there was a scratch and a missing knob (which I found in a drawer later!)
  • Don’t be afraid to shop flea markets, thrift shops and even garage sales. Some of my best treasures are from other’s hand-me downs.
  • Furniture doesn’t have to match (and I actually prefer that it doesn’t!) I like pairing a metal table next to a wooden bed or a wooden side table next to a metal bed.  Mix it up a little. The scratch and dent section only had one night stand. I found this little white side table at TJ Maxx for $34!
  • Don’t buy department store bedding.  It’s way overpriced and you can spend hundreds of dollars.  Instead, shop discount stores like Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  These stores offer high end items for very reasonable prices. I got my teal quilt and shams for $40!
  • Add bedding accessories as you go. Look at Target and even WalMart for coordinating fabric throw pillows. I like matching the same colors, but using different patterns.
  • Shop Ebay! I discovered ‘local auctions’ years ago. You can narrow your search to the amount of miles you’re willing to travel and avoid pricey shipping charges.  A few years ago, I wanted a chair for our living room. Money was very tight, but so was seating.  I had $50 bucks.  I found this gorgeous leopard-print chair on Ebay and won the bid for the local auction for $40!  My hubby picked it up about 15 minutes from our house and it’s still one of my favorite pieces.
  • Try something new. If you see an old door, make it a headboard. If you run across an old dresser, clean it up, remove the drawers and turn it into a buffet. Be creative.
  • Before you get rid of something you’re tired of, try painting it.  Lately, I’ve fallen back in love with many of my tired pieces.  
  • When you see fabric YOU LOVE on clearance or being sold in remnants, buy it!  Even if you don’t know what to do with it. Little coordinating scraps of beautiful fabrics make great pillows, coasters, place mats, bulletin boards, and so much more. 
  • Decorate with plates. They are cheap and make a statement!
  • Don’t be afraid to copy something you’ve seen.  I can’t tell you how many things in my home came from ideas I’ve seen somewhere else. I saw window wreaths in a Pottery Barn magazine.  And the price tag was ridiculous.  So, I bought large candle rings in the holiday department of Garden Ridge, hung them on $1 ribbon and leave them up all the time.  Just because I can.
  • About 85% of the stuff in my home is off the clearance/discounted aisle. My favorite place to shop is Target.  I love those little red stickers, especially after holidays.  I’ve bought things for 90% off, put it away and used it the following season.  (I also buy toys this way for birthday presents. Shhh!  don’t tell).
When we evacuated from Hurricane Ike, we stopped at a Dallas Target for a few necessities. I couldn’t pass this up: A plastic silhouette Cuckoo clock!
And yes, it bore the mark of the little red tag!  I got this clock for $11!  My hubby did raise his eyebrows when I used the word necessity. But once we got home and discovered that our beloved Target was badly damaged and will be closed for two months, he understood my sorrow.
Can we have a moment of silence for all the deals I’ll miss?
Thank you.
So, you can stay on a budget, find frugal finds and have a lovely home.
That is all.


The blog world is an enormous place.

And one of my readers, Mom Most Traveled, ask me to use my blogfluence (a mixture of my blog and influence) to share this touching story about a woman looking for her family. 
You can read it here.
I couldn’t pass up the chance to play even a small role in helping this woman find a piece of home.

A Good Place to Dream

I have always dreamed of a beautiful bedroom.  And my dreams-they are not lofty. I didn’t even dream of the finest furnishings or the most gorgeous decor, because who am I kidding?  I have three accident-prone kids, two cats who don’t like each other, and a messy hubby living with me.  
I just wanted a bedroom that spoke to me and felt like me.  And one that didn’t have padded walls and straight-jackets on hand.  I’m just saying.
I love old things.  But I didn’t want an old bed because I knew it would likely be another decade before I had money and my hubby’s consent on such a project.  
So, we shopped the scratch and dent section at a nearby furniture store and smiled pleasantly at the eye-rolling sales people when we bought mismatched bedroom
We painted the walls chocolate brown and I found that quilt for $40! (I always be king for my queen bed, so it covers more. Plus one of the people who sleeps in that bed is a cover-hog. Ahem).
Above my bed:
Our slightly scratched furniture didn’t include a dresser mirror. So, I saved the one from our old worn-out furniture (which I sold in the newspaper for $300!). I’m mixing up the colors of the wood here. But I love it!

My favorite part of the room, is the bench at the foot of the bed.  I drug my hubby through a flea market for two days until I found it.  Because I’m a thrifty bully.
I squealed when I stumbled upon that rug.  It’s the reverse print of my quilt.  I didn’t embarrass myself though because the employees at TJ Maxx know me.  (Although that embarrasses my hubby!)
Old stuff from my in-law’s farm and photos of my kids complete the top of the armoire.  
The antique (replica) laundry basket holds the pillows I throw off my bed at night.
I found this curio cabinet at a garage sale!
And this old door?  Yes, it speaks to me.
So, does the $40 leopard print chair I bought off Ebay!

Check out Kelly’s for some inspiring master bedrooms!

Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-A Velveteen Pregnancy

Welcome to Sincerely ‘Fro Me To You! I’m so glad you’re here.  It wouldn’t be as fun without you. And I mean that in all sincerity.  My week is a lot funnier when you play along…not that I laugh at you or anything.

After a couple of years of marriage, I got the itch.
You know the one.  
I wanted a baby.
We scratched that itch for about a year with no luck.  We started infertility treatments and continued down that painful road for another two years.  {Sidenote: A special thank you to my hubby for putting up with my multiple personalities during this time.  One medication in particular, caused out-of-body experiences in which I laughed at things that weren’t funny.  In public.  Fun times, I tell you! }
We were on staff at a church during that time and were bombarded with advice on conceiving, including but not limited to my very favorite: “Have you tried a coffee enema yet?”
Um, no.
Once we exhausted our insurance, we started down the road to adoption.  We proved we would be suitable parents with our HIV tests and Home study.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited, some more.
That’s when I got pregnant.
And please do not say it was because I finally relaxed! 
With every pregnancy symptom I experienced, my hubby would cheerfully say, “Aren’t you excited?”
Um, yeah, let me wipe the vomit off my chin.
Hip, Hip Hooray.
I had a great pregnancy and gained more than 50 pounds, but less than 100.  As I neared my due date, I had one outfit that fit nicely.  One.  It was green and velveteen.

I went 9 days past my December 31st due date.
I burned that horrid velveteen outfit.
And I’m pretty sure right before my hubby snapped this picture he said something like, “Aren’t you glad you’re getting huge?  That means a healthier baby!”
Hip, Hip Hooray.