Wednesday, September 30, 2009


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Fortunately I am not a sufferer of incessant migraines, but occasionally I will get a headache. I hate headaches. They're crippling and painful. My world stops.

Because I am typically not a pill popper, I try to find alternative methods to treat my ailments. For headaches, MY*GRASTICK works for me!

I originally bought this pocket-size, roll-on stick as a stocking stuffer for my husband who seems to always have a headache. But, I think it accidentally ended up in my drawer when I realized how wonderfully it worked. :)

I sometimes get headaches that start in the back of the neck and then work their way up and around to the temples. The key for me is to use the MY*GRASTICK as soon as I feel something coming on no matter how insignificant it seems. The sooner I catch the headache, the better the stick works. If I wait until I have a full blown brain bomb, I usually end up taking a pill. If I use it right away, I almost never end up taking a pill.

As I write this, I realize I am out. Ugh, and I was just at Sprouts the other day. This stuff is a must in my medicine cabinet!

It's natural and made with peppermint and lavender essential oils. Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women or children under 7.

*I have even rubbed this stuff all over stiff neck and back muscles. It's quite an exhilarating and relaxing sensation. Go here to find out more.

For more great tips visit WeareTHATfamily.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sea of Indecision

Pin It Now! And it's all over a silly blog name.

Not only am I trying to decide a new layout to fit my growing bloggy needs, but I have had a hunch for a little while now that maybe my blog name should go too.

"Autumn's Attic" isn't really doin' it for me anymore, and Brandi's Basement just doesn't have that same ring to it, ya know.

A few hurdles stand in the way of all this change, though. One-- I need techy-hubby help (well, not for the name part), two-- once I make a decision, it is extremely hard for me to change (It's been Autumn's Attic for 3 years!), three--I just plain can't think of a new name...and it's driving me up the wall!!!

Why is so imperative that I think fast? So I won't think about it every stinkin', waking moment!! Do you ever get like that? When something just won't leave your mind even when you want it to, or even when it's not really that important?

But, no matter how hard I try to rid myself of these life draining thoughts, my brain remains a sea of turbulent water, tossing a myriad of clever and not so clever blog titles to and fro. None of them wash ashore to make a huge imprint in the sand saying, "This is the one!", or "Pick me!", and I am getting ever so tired. I wish a hungry shark would just come and eat 'em all up!

The fam decided to try and help over tomato soup tonight.

Mullin suggested thoughtfully, "How about Brandi's Bank of Thoughts?" (Appreciate the thought, honey.)

Lincoln chimed in, "Or just Brandi's Brainstorms." (Hmmm, not feelin' it.)

Leave it to dad to send the kids into peals of laughter at the dinner table-- "Brandi's Brainfarts." Nice.

Well, I can see we are getting nowhere here, so I will sleep on it. Literally, I hope I sleep on it. Insomnia please stay away tonight. It's just a blog name, nothing important. So, you don't have to keep me up, k? K.

It’s NOT Play-Doh

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It’s Play Foam

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The kids’ great grand parents sent it to them.  They know their mama is NOT a play-doh fan, unless it goes outside. 

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When I saw what it was, still inside the packaging, um, I got nervous.  Thousands of tiny little balls.  I imagined them all over the kitchen floor, in their hair, and being dragged all throughout the house.  Sort of like the faux Christmas tree pine needles.  Sigh.

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But, once I got up the courage to open it, I was pleasantly surprised!  It isn’t messy, just like Grandma said!  Even daddy had to get his hands into it.  He helped Shiloh make a rubber duck. He made the snowman all by himself.

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For you Pawpaw and Grandma. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sweet Sounds

Pin It Now! I am listening to the sound of die being all "shook up" in a cup. The sound streams through my baby monitor and I know exactly what's going on.

Yes, I still have one of those. For what my eyes can't see, my ears can hear!!

Rest time is supposed to be quiet and peaceful, but sometimes I don't mind listening to the sweet sounds coming from my daughter's room.

Like right now when she's playing Princess Yahtzee with her "ghost friend".

It makes me smile.

Her voice won't stay so small for very much longer and ghost friends will soon disappear, so for now I am going to sit back and enjoy these precious little girl sounds-----and try not to cry.

Her then.

Her now.

"Time flies..... God, I wish you'd clip its wings."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WFMW: Stop Runny Noses Fast!

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I always try to keep a bottle of Hyland's C-Plus Cold Tablets on hand, especially during the changing of the seasons, because for me, THEY WORK!!

At first sound of sneeze, or first sight of runny nose, I start popping these tiny, white pills into my kids' mouths. And I follow the directions exactly as they read on the bottle. Homeopathic remedies work differently than allopathic ones, and following directions is important!

A few weeks ago all 3 of my kids started sneezing, and I immediately began treating them with these pills. I did not stop giving them out until symptoms had stopped. By the next day, they were fine. Mwa, on the other hand, well... I caught the cold, didn't use the pills and suffered for 2 weeks!!!

Catching the cold at the very beginning is of utmost importance with homeopathy. Seriously, if one of my kids sneezes like 5 times in a half hour, and I know for a fact it's not b/c a cloud of dust has just risen off the top of my fridge, they get the little, white pills! They don't mind either--they taste okay and it's fun letting them dissolve under their tongues.

I have used these trusty pills for years now, and I love them. I can find them at my local Fry's grocery store but have also bought them at health food stores.

Visit We Are THAT Family for more WFMW's.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mmmmm, Blubber

Pin It Now! How do pinnipeds stand to swim in such cold water? The answer is blubber, of course!

We completed a fun but messy experiment showing how this works. Both hands are gloved. One is loaded with Crisco (could use Vaseline instead). We timed how long the boys could hold each hand in the icy water.

Wow!! The "bare" hand with just a glove was pulled out before even a minute passed. The cold water was just too much to bear. Mullin beat Lincoln by a few seconds, here.

Mullin lasted about 5 1/2 minutes in icy water with the "blubbery" hand. Lincoln had him beat this time withstanding the cold for about 6 minutes.
** When sharing the interesting and fun (I mean educational) experiment with dad at the dinner table, he had some words of wisdom to add...
1. "So the lesson learned is that Crisco is good for you."
2. "If you eat too much, you will end up looking like a seal."
Leave it to dad. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ocean Box: Pinnipeds

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Shiloh couldn’t wait to make a baby harp seal, just like the one she’d seen in a book from the library.

Of course mom had to help. I think it can pass for a harp seal, although I am leaning towards Jay Jay the Jet Plane’s friend, Puffy.

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Anyhoo, here is the baby seal resting atop an ice flow. (You can’t see the white paper on top of the box, which represents ice.)

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Mullin went with a walrus. He couldn’t wait to forge those cool tusks out of clay.

Looks like he got sat on by a bigger, fatter walrus, but other than that the walrus looks quite content lying on the rock basking in the warm sun.

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A tad difficult to make out, but Lincoln chose a sea lion. Those are a favorite around here. Ar, Ar, Ar!

Gosh, loads of clay can get pretty expensive. Thanks, mom, for providing the kids with clay for all of their ocean box projects!! There will be many more forth coming to delight all of my readers and the 3 followers I have. :)

60 Days of Happiness Guaranteed?

Pin It Now! Wow. Did I just misread the new slogan of Always?

Have a happy period. Guaranteed.

It could just be me, but I don't believe I have EVER, EVER had a happy period. Ever! And that doesn't even count the week prior, which is WORSE! And I believe I just might have a witness or two to vouch for me on that one!

Apparently though, if I use the all new, amazingly absorbent Always Infinity feminine napkins then I am all of a sudden going to have 6o days of guaranteed happiness a year.

Hey, maybe these pads are better than others, but I sho ain't fallin' for the "happy" bologna! If somebody really wants to make me happy while I am "at the back of the camp" so to speak, don't let my chocolate run out, don't say anything remotely negative, which could lead to an emotional downpour at any given and unexpected moment, and send me away all by myself with a very generous gift card to a favorite store. There, now that will surely make me happy. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cutest Hat I Have Ever Seen!

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Um, this makes me want to have another baby!!! Girl, of course. This baby is delicious, as Anne Shirley would say.

Yes, I really am kidding about the "having another baby part". But this hat, oh, it-is-so-cute!!!

I saw the picture at Rocksinmydryer, but here is the link to the store for all the mommies-to-be.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Daughter’s Prayer

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Picture 056 Tonight while tucking my sweet baby girl in bed, she prayed, “Dear God, please help us to get 2 cars and to get everything we ask for.”

She opened her eyes and asked me, “Did He hear me? I think it was loud enough.”

Because she’s just 4, that was too cute. :)

I know in her little mind she doesn’t understand this concept yet, but I am GLAD God hasn’t given me everything I’ve asked for. How about you?

Obama-wan Kenobi

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I think my oldest son is as addicted to as I am to Many grins when he saw that the president enjoys a little force-action every now and then.

He looks like quite the natural and blue suits him well, don't ya think? May he make Obi-wan proud.

I am sure any future, intelligent conversations that I have with my children about our president will now conjure up images of Obama wielding a light saber instead of him giving a savvy speech in coat and tie. Oh well, I do have boys. What else can I expect? Star Wars is on the brain 24/7!

Oh, and I am just waiting for the rumors to start about how Obama secretly believes in and actually uses The Force when making super difficult decisions regarding the future of America.

Tongue and cheek people, tongue and cheek. ;)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Harry Potter Theme Park Spring 2010!!

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Besides Middle Earth, the Harry Potter world has to be one of my favorite imaginary places of all time! To be able to go to a Harry Potter theme park, in which the real world magically disappears, would be a super-fantastic vacationing experience. (Don't you agree, dear?)
While saving money for a vacation that soon seems quite impossible at this time, I hope it is a trip our family will be able to take before we are empty-nesters and we are too old to ride rides! I don't want to just have to settle on taking it easy while sipping butterbeer in The Three Broomsticks. I want to be able to experience The Dragon Challenge without losing my lunch and ending up sprawled out on some stiff hotel bed with a splitting headache. Maybe this will be the year that we end up with that mysterious and generous check we keep looking for in the mailbox. :)

I know we have been talking about pinching pennies so we can go to Sea World as an end-of-the-school-year field trip, since the kids and I are studying aquatic creatures and all, but... I am also reading the Harry Potter books out loud to them. Sooooo, flying the fam out to Orlando could count as a "school" field trip, right? Yes, I know flying to Orlando is way more expensive than driving to California, but it was just a thought.
Anyone planning on going this spring? (And making me jealous?)

WFMW: Free Typing Lessons for Kids

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I home school and I am on a tight budget, so free is good right now! My oldest is now a big fifth grader, and I knew I wanted him to learn how to type the "right" way at an earlier age than I did.

I found a web site called and it is working great for my 10 yr. old and for me, too! There are 30 lessons, which my son completes at his own pace. He can also choose how many words he wants to be able to type in one minute. He starts out with reachable goals so he doesn't get too frustrated. Sometimes he will even re-do lessons with which he is having trouble. The site also offers typing games and even tests. I love the fact that there is no preparation on my part, and my son can do it completely by himself. He actually enjoys his typing class. :)

Any child who is still typing like a turtle can benefit, of course, not just the home schooled ones!

For more tips you can visit We Are THAT Family.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Grandparent's Day!!!!!!

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Our children are so blessed to have so many wonderful grandparents including several greats!!!
Know that we are thinking of all of you today!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

WFMW: In Honor of Autumn--All Things Pumpkin

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My 3 ragamuffins and I are so looking forward to September 22, the first day of fall, because that's the day we make PUMPKIN SMOOTHIES!!!!! It's a nice, cold autumn treat for us desert dwellers!!

Click here for recipe.

After the first day of autumn is over we start baking all kinds of other pumpkin goodness. We love pumpkin food! Even though it is still pretty warm outside in Arizona, whipping up pumpkin treats just makes us feel all autumn-ish inside. :) So, for all my fellow pumpkin lovers, here are a few more pumpkin recipes...

Click here for Pumpkin Pancakes. (so, so yummy!!!!)

Click here for Double Layer Pumpkin Pie.

Pumpkin Bread

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1TBS baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup butter
1 cup all purpose flour
*sometimes I add about 1/2 cup walnuts but NEVER raisins!

**Grease bottom and 1/2 in. up the sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine first 8 ingredients. Add pumpkin, milk, eggs and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low till blended. Beat on med/high for 2 minutes. Add the other cup of flour and beat till blended. Fold in walnuts if desired.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake in in a 350 degree oven 60-65 minutes or till wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight. (If you can wait that long!)

Please feel free to share any of your own pumpkin recipes!!

Happy Fall Y'all. :)

For more WFMW go here.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ocean Box: Cetaceans

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Today we finally arrived at the end of our Cetacean study, which has been a fascinating one. Whales are such beautiful, magnificent creatures!

Each child got to fashion out of clay one whale of their choice. Lincoln picked the humpback whale. He carefully crafted the large, scalloped fins to clearly represent that his creation was indeed a humpback! Awesome job, bud.

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Mullin started off making an orca, which I thought was really good, but he wasn’t convinced and changed his mind to the beloved dolphin. Super dorsal fin, there!

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Shiloh was busy making “pebbles” to put on her ocean floor while I figured out a way to suspend our dolphin, so it would appear to be swimming.

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We attached googly eyes and finally got the thing hung.

Tomorrow we will begin learning about pinnipeds, and when we’re through, we’ll have another ocean box day. :)

**I highly recommend Jeannie K. Fulbright’s, Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Hate What is Evil, Not Who

Pin It Now! After reading this article about a local pastor, and I use this word lightly, I am thinking the name of this church might be slightly misleading. "Faithful Word" Baptist Church just might be stretching the truth a bit. Hateful Word Baptist Cult sounds more fitting if you ask me. Seriously, is this guy reading the same Word that I am? If so, there's some serious word twisting going on to fuel his own fire and build his own army of people haters.

I do not claim to know or understand everything in the Bible, but last time I checked didn't Jesus tell his followers to "love" their enemies. Didn't he encourage us to "consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds"? I don't think love always looks like huggy-lovey-kissy-poo, in fact some love has to be "tough love", and loving others doesn't mean we have to check our beliefs or what we stand for at the door. Loving others doesn't mean we have to agree with or approve of what others do. BUT, what I do know is that love is not wishing death threats upon people, no matter who they are.

Sorry pastor Anderson, but I wish you would step off your soapbox of hate and spend more time in your closet on your knees praying for our president and not against him. I wish you would lead your congregation in love instead of stirring up so much hate and anger. Showing love doesn't mean you have to compromise the Truth. In fact, aren't we supposed to be speaking the Truth in love? The video clip that I watched of you was embarrassing and disgusting, but I refuse to stoop to your level and say vile things about you. I will say a prayer for you, though, in hopes that you will have a change of heart.

I bear the name Christian and make no apologies for it. I am not ashamed to be a follower of Jesus. What I am sorry for and ashamed of, though, is people who claim to bear the same name but so sadly misrepresent who we are all about. Jesus told us to hate what is evil not who.
I hate what is evil about me, I hate what is evil about this world, but shouldn't I love the very souls for which Jesus so willingly died?

Fellow Christians, please join me in prayer for our president and country. We could probably do a lot more good if we would spend more time on our knees than making an issue out of everything Obama says and does. I am not saying we shouldn't care, or that we should sit silently and ignorantly around watching our country slowly fall apart, but good grief I have had enough already!!! Like Bush was perfect or something?! Like having a Republican in office makes everything okay?!

Obama, if you are having a bout of insomnia or something and so happen to be perusing sappy, stay-at-home mom blogs, I just want you to know that even though I may not agree with you on everything, I surely don't hate you nor would I provoke anyone else to do so. And I am praying for you not against you. I pray that God would use you to better our country and that you would uphold the virtues and freedoms which our great country was founded upon. And may God bless you and your family and protect you from all the wackoes out there.

Feeling "Froggish" Again

Pin It Now! I had a pretty good home exercise routine going this summer. I was feeling great and my middle wasn't so frumpy looking. All that came to an end once home school started up again, then I got sick and felt icky for a couple of weeks. Ugh!!!!!!!!!!! All that work, and now I am back to feeling like this. I've got to get motivated again and try and find time to exercise in between history and spelling or something.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Airis, the Garden Fairy

Pin It Now! *This post is for you, Aaron, since you were dying to know...

Last Mother's Day, my family gave me a solar, garden fairy. I have named her Airis, and she has a very special spot in our backyard nestled between a cascading bougainvillea and a purple flowered Katie Ruellia.

Shh, please don't wake her just yet. She is a Moon Fairy, you see, and as dusk fades to night, she will awake to the soft, warm glow of her crystal orb. Sweet dreams.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Labor Meme

Pin It Now! In honor of Labor Day I am posting this meme that I found at Rocks In My Dryer. :)

How long were your labors?

Mullin-- 12 hours
Lincoln--6 hours
Shiloh-- 3 hours

How did you know you were in labor?

Mullin-- water broke around 6 am while I was still in bed. Boy, was that a strange feeling!! I even heard it pop!

Lincoln--started having contractions after I went to bed. When hubby finally came to bed pretty late, I told him that I thought we might need to go to the hospital. But I had to shower first!!! By the end of the shower, oh my, the contractions were PAINFUL!!!!!

Shiloh--water broke right after getting into bed. My mom had just come into town, too!!! Perfect timing.

Where did you deliver?

Mullin-- at home, and yes, on purpose. Pushed for 4 hours. That little stinker wouldn't move his elbow out of the way. He literally tore my insides to pieces. Rushed to the hospital for much repair and blood transfusion.

Lincoln--hospital (hubby said he was not about to watch me almost die again!) Worst fill in dr. ever!!! Glad we were at the hospital, though, since baby needed to go to NICU for a couple of hours.

Shiloh--hospital with best dr. and nurses ever! :) First delivery where both mom and baby ok. :)


Not one drop. It hurt like the dickens, and I don't think I would have the strength to ever do it again!


Nope, guess that would require drugs, right?!

Who delivered?


Lincoln--see above--worst dr. ever.

Shiloh--see above--wonderful dr. Dr. Thomas Gray in Memphis

Have a glorious Labor Day and let me know if you do this meme!

Quilt in the Making

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I saved quite a few baby clothes in hopes of one day having a giant quilt made.  My dream of having such a treasure has almost come true! 

What makes this labor of love even more special is that my sweet, slightly obsessed, Arizona friend, Staci, who would much rather be in Colorado or Montana, is making it for me.

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I couldn’t help but get teary when I laid it out on my bed for the first time.  I was supposed to be looking at it so I could get some fabric color ideas for the back and sides, but I just wanted to stare at each square relishing each memory that was fleeting by.  (Oh, how I wanted to hold on to each one as long as I could!) My babies wore these clothes and I tenderly wrapped them up in these blankets, which are now just represented by small squares of fabric. My youngest child is now hobbit-sized.  No more tiny, fresh-smelling, chubby lumps to cuddle close.  This truly is a treasure!!

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Each square holds a story that is close to my heart.  Each square brings to mind one of my children and a tale to tell—the reason each piece of fabric is so special.  I feel like the cheesiness is dripping from my every pore, but I just can’t put into words how much I adore this blanket!  The navy and white striped square that seems to jump off the quilt reminds me of Lincoln.  When I found out I was having another boy, I decided to go shopping at Baby Gap with some money I’d been saving up.  Lincoln was born in the dead of winter, completely opposite of Mullin, so he needed some new clothes anyway.  Oh, he looked so cute dressed in this striped jailer’s outfit complete with a little newborn hat. 


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All three of my kids wore the little newborn body suit and a gown of the same fabric.




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The celery green square is part of Lincoln’s newborn Carter’s receiving blanket.  He had an outfit that went with it, too. 



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This was part of Mullin’s very first Carter’s receiving blanket.  It has a few tiny holes, but I just had to have it on my quilt.  My first nursery was done in a complete Carter’s theme.  Lincoln also used the same nursery theme.


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Blue square—baby gown of Lincoln’s, and of course it’s Carter’s.  I just LOVE that sweet, baby brand!!!




Since I have taken these pictures, I have picked out the fabric for back, sides and edge of the quilt.  I can’t wait to see the final outcome!!!!  And of course there will be more pics, and “square stories” which, I am sure, will thoroughly bore everyone to tears. :)


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