THAT Family Tree Society-Issue 46

Picture of the Week:

The Week in Review: My hubby and I enjoyed a couple of days away while my kids played. We had a great time, but I’m so happy for all of us to be together again. And I’ve decided that I’m terribly in love with these two guys.

Introduction into The Society: Help me welcome From the Desk of a Princess to the family tree!

1.    Tell us a little about your blog (name/reason why you blog): 

My blog is “From The Desk of a Princess”…and no, I don’t have a strong penchant for Disney princesses (except for my Cinderella nightgown…). I am a Daughter of the King, royalty of the Highest Order; I serve a King! The original purpose of my blog was to journal my faith walk, and to write devotions with the hopes of reaching anyone who would stumble upon my blog so I could share the joy of a relationship with Christ. It has become much more personal over this first year, but He remains the central focus.

2.    How long have you blogging? 
I’m coming up on my one year anniversary and can’t imagine not blogging! I’ve met so many wonderful Christian ladies along the way. Kim of Thoughts by Kim probably being my closest connection…hopefully I will get to meet her this side of heaven! 

3.    How would you define THAT family? 
They have a way of taking life, good, bad and in between, and making a memory out of it. THAT family has lots of laughter in their home. And it seems like the wackiest shenanigans happen to them! THAT family is pretty much The Brady Bunch..I mean, helloooo! Marcia getting her nose busted by a renegade football…the Hawaiian idol that causes Greg to have a surfing accident…Peter’s volcano that spews all over the snobby girls from Marcia’s high school! What family hasn’t experienced this?!? 

4.    When did you discover you were a part of THAT family? 
Ya know, I think I only became part of THAT family when I got married last year! My husband’s parents are so much fun! There is constant laughter when we’re together and they are just a spirited group of people! My husband has brought out the “Dorky Dorkenstein” in me (and I the “Nerdy Nerdikens” in him) which usually leads to some pretty memorable and fun moments! We enjoy our life, taking the good with the bad, laughing all the way, even if it’s laughter between tears… 

5.    Where can we find your blog? 
You can find me at

Watching Grass Grow

Her shoulders are sun-kissed from the blazing sun.
Her nose bares tiny new freckles.
The sparkle in her eyes speaks of stories I’ll never hear.
The new confidence in her stride declares a change.
I spent 84.5 hours away from my oldest child. The longest separation for both of us.
I wasn’t there to help her fix her hair. I wasn’t there to monitor her decisions. I wasn’t there.
But she didn’t need me to control every choice. She didn’t need me to parent every moment.
She grew in my absence. 
And this is just the beginning. 
Parenting is a lot like gardening. We prepare the soil purposefully. We tend the plants carefully. We watch prudently. We protect from weeds actively. 
But we don’t see the daily growth.
Until we step away.

DIY Disasters & A Magnetic Wall

For every good do-it-yourself project I share with you, there is at least one untold disaster.
I’m a Mom, not a renovator/artist.  I have three kids (one that is 2, so that raises the total even more). I have a limited budget and I’m messy.
So, disaster, is but a paint spill away.
I don’t want you guys to think that my weekly projects always go as planned. Because they don’t. I just don’t usually talk about the laminate bookshelf I spray painted three different times because the paint wouldn’t adhere to the laminate.
But it did adhere to my skin. For 3 days. I was blue, just like a Smurf.
Or remember my fancy pantry door? What I didn’t tell you is that I spray painted the door inside my garage. My hubby rigged up something so it could hang and I could get even coats. What I wasn’t counting on was the paint grabbing onto every dust particle in the air and covering everything in the garage with a fine red dust. It took weeks to clean it up.
Another example is the wall in my toddler’s room. I found a can of Magnetic Spray Paint on the clearance aisle at WalMart. This stuff is not cheap, except I found it for just a couple of dollars. My big idea: paint part of a wall and let my daughter use it to hold magnets.
Brilliant, right?
Um, no. Because it was spray paint. But I didn’t want to waste money, so I did it anyway. She couldn’t sleep in her room for two days due to fumes. The overspray was horrible and the bonus? It wasn’t magnetic (I would have been much better off with the roll on magnetic paint). Of course, I didn’t learn this until after I painted the yellow Latex room paint over the gray magnetic paint.
A disaster.  
But rather than give up, I decided to be creative and flexible. Here’s how I fixed it:
Rather than buy roll-on magnetic paint that runs about $20, I found two magnetic dry erase boards for less than $20 for both. I adhered those over the non-magnetic mess I’d created. I used some bright pink paint to create a border to cover up the overspray. 
The magnetic boards didn’t cover the entire area, so I used some leftover rub-on alphabet letters.
Not exactly what I had planned, but still good, and most importantly, useful.
When your DIY turns DISASTER:
  • Don’t panic.
  • Rethink your plan and lay out all your options.
  • Google-this is a great resource for stain removal ideas.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help,
  • Buy used items to redo from garage/thrift sales so if it does get ruined, you haven’t invested a lot.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Give yourself a break. Most DIY-selfer’s are trying to save money. It takes a lot of courage to paint your kitchen cabinets or rip out carpet. So, don’t be too  hard on yourself. Not everything always goes according to plan.
  • Be realistic. If you expect perfection on every project, you will be disappointed.
Go ahead, share one of your DIY disasters. There’s comfort in numbers.

I May Have Created a Monster

Well. Who knew that a getaway was exactly what we needed?
Okay, me. 
I cannot believe how much my hubby and I crammed into our 2.75 days alone.
First off, my kids survived and thrived. We are picking up my oldest from camp first thing Thursday morning before heading back to Texas. I know she will be smitten with her own getaway, even though the camp nurse called to tell me she lost her mouth appliance.
Good thing I missed her so much.
My mother-in-law survived the toddler and called her a delight.  
(Because this is the key to another getaway….) Although, I will be the first to admit that it didn’t take our 2 year old 10 minutes to throw a humdinger of a fit. It makes me feel proud that she welcomed us home so vocally.
And my son didn’t even know we were gone. He filled his days with boy cousins and dirt.
Our getaway highlights:
My hubby and I watched THREE movies at a real-live movie theatre. We ate at very kid-unfriendly places. We shopped during nap time. I fell in love (like the rest of the world) with a bunch of vampires (I’m on book 3) and didn’t mind at all that my hubby drove around Tulsa in circles without asking for directions, while I read.  Oh, and my hubby had his first pedicure with me. 
(I’m pretty sure I’ve created a monster on that last one. He wants to know when we can go again!)
Oh, and we reignited the spark for at least another 15 years.
My suggestion for you: If a getaway is completely out of the question for you and your spouse, plan an entire day to getaway. From 9 am to 9 pm on the first day, we discovered something we’d lost along the way:  each other. Our kids demand so much of our attention and we could feel the stress melt away…Make it happen. You’ll be glad you did!
P.S. There’s a little contest going on over in my forum. Just introduce yourself and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Target gift card. Reply to others and you’ll be entered multiple times!

WFMW: Tips for Traveling with Kids

(I published this post last year, but since I’m on a road trip this week and had to refer to this list, I thought it would be helpful for your summer trips too). 

I started to call this list “The Ultimate Stress-Free Traveling (With Kids) Guide.”
But, I’m a mom of three and the words ‘stress-free and kids’, don’t exactly go together. Especially when you’re traveling.
Know what I mean?

We have a couple of small trips planned and so I created this list out of necessity.  Because frankly, driving 250 miles to Family Camp, isn’t exactly relaxing with a screaming toddler.
Here’s a list of some ideas for your next road trip. Maybe one of these or 23 of them will help!
Most of these are items to be taken on a road trip, although many will work for flying too.
  • Audio books (my library checks them out) or you can download them here
  • Ice chest w/drinks
  • DVD player, preferably with movies that haven’t been seen
  • We’ve been driving our smaller less gas-consuming car that doesn’t have a built-in TV.  So, we strap our laptop on an ice chest with a bungee, so the kids can watch a movie. (Yeah, we are THAT family).
  • Bag or backpack with coloring books and small toys for each child.  
  • This site says pack a plastic box for kids personal things and then use the lid as a tray to eat on.
  • Lap Desk for writing and drawing
  • Headphones for MP3 players and/or DVD player
  • Kid’s camera 
  • Sketch pad/pencil
  • Extra change of clothes, separate from luggage.  Because if it can happen, it probably will.
  • If you’re traveling with a toddler, leave when they are tired.  If you leave first thing in the morning, this is their active time and they don’t make the best travelers
  • A package of pipe cleaners (to bend, twist and create)
  • Pack paper towels, wipes, and a couple of blankets.  Remember, we’re talking kids.
  • Buy $5 Tape Recorder and ‘Read’ stories to your kids in your own voice
  • Put a trash box in the back seat
  • Travel Journal
  • Sing silly road trip songs
  • Travel games from the store  (Target has some great ones in the stationary section that are cheap and magnetic!)
  • Travel freebies-links to free stuff for traveling
  • Play the I spy game with license plates
  • Wipe-off white board/marker
  • Magnetic sets (paper dolls, fire trucks, found in book sections)
  • Snack bag filled with pre-portioned zip-lock bags of non-messy foods
  • Kid’s music
  • Tin foil for creations
  • Play Go Fish
  • Make string figures
  • Check out these awesome games (like Noah’s Ark, Build a Story and Fooler, Fooler) to play in the car!
  • Kids pillow and blanket
  • Treasure Jar
  • Rest Stop Box-stock with jump rope, frisbee, inflatable beach ball and Nerf ball, according to July’s issue of Parents Magazine.  
  • They also encourage travelers to ‘crank up the radio, open the doors and have an outdoor dance-a-thon).
  • Printable Car Trip Check List
  • Child-safety scissors and paper (it worked on a long flight w/my preschooler)
  • Invisible markers/Magic paper
  • Chalk Cloth Oil Mat
  • Moon sand on a tray
  • Post It Notes-draw on them, then decorate the car (Women’s Day, July Issue)
  • Spill-proof Bubbles (yes, in the car.  My toddler loves this).
  • Printable Car Bingo
  • Stickers
  • Band-aids (again a toddler-pleaser)
  • Leapster, DS Lite or hand-held game
  • Magna Doodle
  • Cookie sheet with magnetic alphabet letters
  • The following incredible ideas came from MomsMinivan:  travel tickets, surprise packages, and more (Actually EVERY idea on this site is amazing!)
  • Printable Boredom Busters
  • I spy bags/jars
  • Ear plugs for when the “how much longer questions begin”

Have a Works-For-Me Wednesday tip you’d like to share? I’d love for you to join us! Please note that the links will close at 8 pm CST tonight, in order to keep away the spammers!

Please mark your calendar for next week’s themed edition: “Best Summer Recipes!”
Links have now closed. Please join us again next week.

Works for Me Wednesday Participants

1. Susan @ Practicing Thrift (custom picture frame)
2. Raising Olives (magnetic wall)
3. Cents to Get Debt Free (A Secret!)
4. exhale. return to center. (creating breathing space)
5. Amy @ Finer Things (Avoid the Sugar High)
6. Musings of a Housewife (roasting veggies)
7. Southern Fried Mama(Staying In Touch)
8. The Shabby Chic Cottage (decorating freebie)
9. Heather @ Just Doing My Best (messy bath towel solution)
10. ilovemy5kids (Beach/Sand tip)
11. It Feels Like Chaos (parenting help)
12. FishMama @ LifeasMOM (time with a friend)
13. Jolanthe {Emergency Binder: Household Information}
14. Garibay Soup (Fun Summer Learnin’!!)
15. Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers (Strawberry Bread!)
16. GROCERY CART CHALLENGE (Easiest Weeding Tip)
17. Aunt Mommy (off da hook swimgear)
18. Donna @ WayMoreHomemade (Bread Machine Focaccia)
19. Muthering Heights
20. Tina in Thailand (learning new hymns)
21. Homemaker Barbi (Clean 1 Room)
22. Hoosier Homemade(New Coupon Organizer)
23. Homemaker Barbi (Bathroom Cleaning)
24. Many Little Blessings {Inexpensive Create Your Own Craft Kit Gift Idea}
25. The Diaper Diaries (Sleepsacks GIVEAWAY!!)
26. HomemadeMom (cell phone reminders)
27. Holly@Homebody (fun easy project w/ kids)
28. Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers (Blog Tips)
29. Kirsty@Momedy: FUN and Injury free running. Maybe a marathon?
30. ElizabethG (More energy savings)
31. Home School Dad (The Runaround Place)
32. Smockity Frocks (High Chair Helper)
33. Julie From Inmates (iPhone)
34. The Happy Housewife ~ Kids Make Their Own Beds
35. Kate @ Stolen Moments (basic pesto)
36. A Simple Walk (roadside motel)
37. Susana @ My Family My Forever
38. Saving and Giving (Leave Your Calendar Home!)
39. Diane (cleaning with friends and challenge)
40. Jo Ann @ Just As I Am (movie reviews)
41. Kat @ New England Saving (Switching Grocery Shopping Strategies)
42. Christine @ becomingp31 (No bake treats for summer)
43. Sara @ Learning the Frugal Life(First Attempt at Clothesline)
44. Summer @ Wired For Noise (teaching telling time)
45. Green Baby Guide (Beat the Heat)
46. Lisa @ Moore Minutes (Hanky Panky *for WOMEN only*)
47. Chicagoland homeschool (Discount to Legoland Schaumburg)
48. Jenny @ Another Jennifer Speaks
49. Teach and Tickle (Fighting “I’m bored”)
50. Jordan @ MamaBlogga (blog w/o breaking the law)
51. Kristin -The Goat (Swiffer wet/dry on the cheap)
52. FamilyMakesCents (Meatloaf.. fast!)
53. My Frugal Adventures: Recycle baby wipes tubs
54. Good (& Cheap) Eats (kitchen trick)
55. Michelle-WhiteTrashMom
56. (Groceries)
57. Effortless Savings (Frugal Air Travel)
58. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates (Versatile Black Dress)
59. cool mum (Really cheap “curtains”)
60. Melissa (Baby Food Storage)
61. Kitchen Stewardship (Healthy Eating Tips for Working Moms)
62. se7en (Getting Things Done with Se7en)
63. Julia @ The Frugal Find “Stay”cation
64. Amy (Second-fiddle Holiday)
65. Summer Travel Idea
66. the Animators Wife (easy summer dinner)
67. Alea @ Premeditated Leftovers (preusing juice boxes as ice blocks)
68. A Heart for Home (Safe Teething Toys & GIVEAWAY)
69. The Messy Mom (shopping at ice cream stores)
70. mamaK(beginning sew project)
71. Amber (Blogging in Comfort)
72. Angie (using up almost empty shampoo/conditioner bottles)
73. Amy Lynne
74. Tristan (Scripture Scouts CDs)
75. Beautiful Calling (Dangerous Waters)
76. Lee @ foodie plus 4 (keeping produce fresh)
77. Lori @ The Book Lady (reusable sandwich bags)
78. Girls in White Dresses (Fishful Thinking)
79. Melissa @ Frugal Creativity (blueberries)
80. Tracey @ Girls to Grow (Grocery List)
81. MC (Dealing with Anger)
82. Steady Mom (Accept Your Children & Yourself)
83. Becky (easy summertime snack)
84. chili pepper (the dot system)
85. Christine (no more tattling)
86. The Rambling Ewe – letting children help
87. Newlyweds (New Camera)
88. rachel from springpad (great smelling hair)
89. Janel @ Becoming Janel (Pressure Cookers)
90. MollyGreen(little summer treat)
91. Jackie @ Blessings Overflowing (No-Sew Cloth Diaper Liners)
92. Health Begins With Mom (5 Minutes to a Clean Shower)
93. everydayMOM (grocery shopping)
94. Bailey’s Leaf (Pampered Chef Small Scoop)
95. pennypinchinmomma(save $200)
96. Cardamoms Pod (In Touch With Daddy)
97. Mother Hen (Little Helpers)
98. Stephanie (Family Devotion Idea: A Pocketful Of Proberbs!)
99. Stephanie (Family Devotion Idea: A Pocketful Of Proverbs!)
100. The Cozy Country Home (Farm Stands)
101. Homeschool Creations {School’s Out Challenge}
102. Chic Critique (relief from foot blisters)
103. Greta (free coloring news”paper”)
104. Bake at 350 (a FREE food lover’s podcast)
105. Monica@DailyDwelling (photo editing)
106. Brilliant Moms (Microfiber Mops)
107. Suzanne @ Adventures in Teething (Potty Training Tip for Parents)
108. Tutu (make a
109. Tara @ Feels like home (another free game for kids)
110. Llama Momma (summer survival cooking)
111. songberries (sewing organization)
112. Amy @ Living Locurto (my favorite tips)
113. Cara (bulk onions)
114. Sandra @ A Lot of Savings (Waking Up Early)
115. The Nifty Newlywed (Fresher Freezer Meat)
116. Superchikk (Prevent Laundry Detergent Goop)
117. Suddenly Stay @ Home (PreCooking)
118. Carolina Mama (Little Debbie Cakes & Giveaway)
119. Pillaging With Buffie (Starbucks Cards)
120. April-Protesting Home Tax Appraisal
121. Lori (garden tip)
122. Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom (Site to simplify nutrition)
123. Shannon (turnip greens quiche)
124. Michelle (measuring on the wall)
125. Moving Forward (keeping counters clean)
126. Joyful Johnsons (The Van Can)
127. Steph @ My Country Haven (Using Up Leftovers)
128. Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet (Want Great Pics?)
129. Kelly @ Fruit of the Womb(planning vacation meals)
130. Sandy @Jesus & Dark Chocolate (ice cream treat!)
131. Muses of Megret (Summer Door Dots)
132. Becky@ Living Out Loud (pets and hot weather)
133. Holly @ A Mommy’s Blessings (zoo pass)
134. Camian Academy (Buying Meat in Bulk)
135. Beth (Homeschooling in the Summer)
136. Joys of Homeschooling(Menu Chalkboard)
137. Grannyann-Pour a can of coke
138. Mary – discipline chart and blessing chart
139. Amy @ CouponPsycho -Frugal Date Nights!
140. Paula @ Organizing Tips (Organizing for Husbands & Wives)
141. Kristi_runwatch (sign language with kids)
142. Joanna @ Grace In The Home (Soap Scum Remover)
143. The Nifty Newlywed (Fresher Freezer Meat)
144. Overwhelmed Working Mom (Quick ‘n Easy Dinner)
145. Susan (kids’ toilet seat covers)
146. Cassandra-HomeMade IceCream
147. Jennie (list making, chicken marinade)
148. Miche@CoordinatedChaos-Kid Fun for 4th of July
149. Amanda (simple healthy toddler recipe)
150. Missy @ Simply Red(frozen banana pops)
151. Milehimama (Crusty Tricks)
152. Penny Raine
153. missy @ missysthrifty (childrens chores)
154. Jen @ What’s Shakin’? {Grilled Banana Boats}
155. Steadfast At Home {Wiping Little Faces}
156. Michelle @ SAH {Wiping Little Faces}
157. Aubrey (healthy frosting)
158. Frugal Carol – Rained out pool party….
159. Angie (Creating A Mii Avator)
160. Kristen (homemade maple bars )
161. April(repair instead of replace)
162. Simply Swee
t Home (patriotic cupcakes)

163. angelina(thanks and a cool tip)
164. Michelle @ Saving Some Green (Discover where you live!)
165. All Things Cherished (clean porcelain sink)
166. The Gaines Gang( Pickle Jar Cuteness)
167. Amanda (free photo editing software)
168. Mama Said (cut stair climbing)
169. Sharinskishe (Bacon Grease)
170. Tips for getting cake out of the pan
171. Sherean
172. Liza’s Eyeview
173. Liza’s Eyeview (Prayer Cures Anxiety)
174. Sherean (Organic produce cheat sheet)
175. Niki @ Free 2 Be Frugal (50 books challenge)
176. Maria @ Very Blessed Mommy(Preschool bags & workbox actvities)
177. Better is Little {leaving house w/ children}
178. Amyswandering (Grocerywiz Customized List)
179. Kelli @ writing the waves (Secret Weapon for road trips!)
180. blue striped shirt (garage sales)
181. FabuLESSly Frugal (Cut Your Grocery Buget-FREEZER MEALS)
182. Maria @ Thrifty Ways and Ideas (Thrifty Tip for Flower Gardens)
183. Kristin@Fill My Cup (less kitchen mess in the summer)
184. Farrah from Wife and Mom of 3 (Lists)
185. Kirstin: homeschool testing
186. Liz @ Frugally Blonde (Easy Way to Save on Baby Food)
187. Aunt LoLo (Keep bread fresh!)
188. ‘Becca (colored socks)
189. Kristen ~ Pajama Mama (turn a skirt into a camera strap/purse))
190. Staci @ teaching money to kids (If you give a mouse a cookie)
191. Heather – digital reader 4 kids
192. Saving Money Ideas (organic pb)
193. Declutter Blog (Timers)
194. Rhonda in OK – Pantry Storage Jars
195. JenT (Kool-Aid dyed scarves)
196. Eden (Smoothies)
197. Peggy @ rainberryblue (bug bite relief)
198. Iowa Expat (linguini with clam sauce recipe)
199. Pam at BeyondJustMom (Mother/Daughter journaling)
200. Intentionally Katie (Quick Cleaning Tips)
201. Judy @ Frugal at Home (earning Amazon gift cards)
202. Diana @ Holes in My Shiny Veneer
203. Diana @ Holes in My Shiny Veneer (reusable produce bags)
204. Meghan @ Married to the Cows (stain removal/detergent)
205. Rhen @yestheyareallmine
206. Wani (1200 Free Photo Prints!)
207. Be Home Happy (cheap movies)
208. Mama Manifesto (easy bottle warming)
209. Prairie Cottage Rose (Spreadable Butter)
210. Fly Away Family (12 Frugal Gardening Tips)
211. Andrea@Hopefulhousewife (Easy fan cleaning!)
212. Grateful for Grace (FREE short Bible study)
213. SWAP SAVERS (FREE Summer Activities for Kids and Families)
214. Everything Moms (Helping kids when loved ones are away)
215. April @ ElCloud Homeschool (CUTE clothes pin bag)

wered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.