Saturday, June 29, 2013

Midsummer Night's Dream Library Festival

The Saturday after our waterpark/theme park day, we had a jam packed day.

Our respite program was scheduled for that morning, so the Big Three (DeLainey, Julianne and Xander) went to that and Solomon and Isaiah stayed with us.

Brandon and I each used a Chili's coupon for a free flatbread pizza to make a cheap lunch.  We paid for the appetizer, drinks and a kid's meal for Solomon.  I liked the pizza but we are going to have to find a new Chili's.  We've given this particular one a few chances and we always leave disappointed.  It shouldn't be so hard to get refills and boxes to take your leftovers home. 

I cannot explain adequately how much this respite program has helped our family.  It gives Brandon and I a little time to unwind or take care of things without breaking the bank.  We love this program and the coordinators so much.

After Buddybreak, we went to the gym for 2 hours.  The gym is another sanity saver here.  The kids get to play in a kid appropriate space with other children and we workout and then go to the hot tub.  It's heavenly!

Next we came back home so that the boys could nap.  I went to Kroger for the cereal/movie ticket spree. 

I came home and dropped of the cereal and picked the girls up and we went to the Library Festival.  It was a Summer Reading Program kickoff.

Each of the girls were given an activity card and a goodie bag when we went in.

They were supposed to go do the activities and get their card stamped and then turn it in for a chance to spin the prize wheel. 

On the way to the first activity, we ran into this fellow.  He was a re-enactor.. but don't tell him that.  He had no idea why people would pretend to be him.

Lainey asked for a picture and he said that she could have a portrait and wanted to know where her artist was.  This tickled Lainey.  He also said that we could put the picture in the "Book of Faces."  (Facebook!) 

The first activity the girls wanted to do was bowling.  They were trying to knock over the princess being protected by the knights.   At some activities they won a prize too. 

Next up was jousting.  Julianne had never heard of jousting and this sparked her curiousity so we've looked it up quite a bit since the festival.  The goal here was to run with the pool noodle under your arm and get it in the pool floatie hanging from the tree branch. 

Then they colored and decorated a crown. 

And completed the castle maze. 


Suddenly, I heard both girls squealing at the top of their lungs.  "Our friends!" they said.  So I went to go see what the fuss is.

Apparently, this is a lovely dog named Sadie.  She is a therapy dog that visits at Buddybreak (the respite program!) and the children pet and walk her and give her snacks.

I was so shocked to see Julianne playing with Sadie.  She used to be afraid of dogs.  Terrified.  One time, she climbed on a desk to get away from a friend's dog.

It made me smile to see how comfortable she is with Sadie.  Sadie's owner was shocked when I told her how afraid Julianne used to be.  She told me that Julianne loves Sadie and always participates with her at Buddybreak

After petting Sadie and her friend, we headed over to the Animal Rescue Group to get our stamp there.  All of their animals were rescues and they are an educating group.

This owl hit a side mirror on a car and is now blind in one eye. 

 This possum is about 4 months old it was attacked by a cat and had nerve damage.

And I think this turtle was hit by a car, but I'm not 100% sure about that story.

After talking to the rescue group for a little bit, we got our stamp and headed to the prize wheel.

We had a great time and thought it was lovely for a free program.   The girls are so excited that we live so close to the library now.  We still need to get them their cards but I hadn't changed my license and don't carry around our real estate closing papers so we couldn't do it that night.  (Yes, the librarian seriously asked me if I had those papers on me.) 


Friday, June 28, 2013

Busch Gardens' Food and Wine Festival

One favorite event at DisneyWorld is Epcot's Food and Wine Festival.  So when we read that Busch Gardens was going to have their own, we were interested. It was only being held on the weekends though, so it took some creative scheduling.

After we finished at Water Country for Julianne's birthday, we were very hungry.  Waterparks do that!  So we loaded the kids up in the car and mumbled something about needing to get something to eat. 

Then we pulled into Busch Gardens.  The children were completely shocked.

We stopped in Scotland and Brandon had a Scottish Egg.  

I had Shepherd's Pie.  I didn't care for the egg but my pie was made with lamb and it was wonderful.  There was just enough gravy for the potatoes.  And a good amount of lamb for the serving. 

The next thing we did was let Julianne go on her favorite ride, ever!   Since the little boys can't ride it due to height restrictions, we do child swap.  This means that I ride with the two girls and Brandon waits with the boys and then Brandon go with the two girls while I wait with the boys.  The girls think this is very special because they get to ride twice in a row!

One thing that is very different than Disney, is that the demonstrators are out in the open and hanging out.  When we went to Food and Wine in Epcot, you had to have reservations/tickets to see the demonstrators and classes.  James Parker was just sitting in the open and spoke with everyone that came by his booth.  It was very neat. 

He is very down to earth and even did a "pound" with Julianne when he heard we were celebrating her birthday.  His birthday is in June too!

His display was beautiful.  And so detailed.  We stood there for a long time looking at the display. 

But our tummies were rumbling, so we moved along.  Scandinavia was next up.

Like Disney, all the countries had their own booth..

And menu signs...

We kept moving and stopped to see the eagles.  These birds are just beautiful. 

Unfortunately, each eagle at Busch Gardens has a sad tale about why they are no longer in the wild.

My so-wise-beyond-her-years daughter said, "Momma.. it's like adoption!  Their family couldn't take care of them, so Busch Gardens takes care of them and loves them... even if they have something special about them."

Be still my heart.  

That's my girl! 

I wanted to show this next picture just because. I have no connection or cute stories about the Lorikeets. LOL  But this park is BEAUTIFULLY landscaped and so clean.  They get awards and nominations for both and it is SO clear why when you start walking the grounds.

The next country we found was Belgium. 

Where Brandon ordered a beer flight.  This is a major difference from Disney.  The pours were generous here at Busch Gardens.  The $10 beer flight was 7 oz of four different beers. 

The mister approved! 

We thought the tray was a great idea.  It made it so easy to keep walking instead of being tied down to a table.  I sampled the flight and thought they were pretty good.  We were thankful for the sticker in the middle of the tray that numbered each spot so that we could look at the little paper that came with it and know what we were drinking.  It's the little things, folks!

Finally we found ourselves at the Trapper's Smoke House.  It was packed but the lines moved quickly. 

One thing I really appreciate at Busch Gardens is that the eating establishments are cafeteria style.  So you walk through and pick up what you'd like and check out.  To me, these seems to go so much faster than standing in line, ordering, paying and then waiting for the order to be put together.  But maybe it just feels faster.

One thing that this does though, is keep parties together so that when you get out of the line, there are tables available instead of people holding tables for the entire ordering process. 

 Diehard Disney fans say that other parks aren't themed as well.  We find that Williamsburg's Busch Gardens IS themed really well.  I took a few detail shots but I won't bore you to death.

We ordered three samplers and split them up.  We were all pleasantly full when we were done.  And it cost about the same price as going to a mediocre buffet for our family size.  

Here is a plate after I snitched some fries to make a plate and the roll is missing too.  Every time we've asked for extra plates to split meals we've been cheerfully accommodated.

We think the food was much better here than a mediocre buffet though.  We had BBQ chicken, ribs, brisket, waffle fries and rolls. 

The ribs were everyone's favorite though.

After eating dinner, we walked through a few shops and then Lainey asked to have a picture taken with the "French guy."   (And yes, she is still wearing her swim suit.. she didn't want to change.)

And then we made the hour drive home.  We had a busy weekend planned...this was just the beginning!

God, I'm so thankful for the opportunities that we've been able to share with our family.  We are thankful for your provision.  Amen. 


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, SassyRoo!

Julianne (SassyRoo) turned 7 years old on June 7th. Unfortunately, Daddy had an event at work that day and was unable to use a vacation day to stay home.

So on her actual birthday, we did some celebrating but the majority had to wait for the next week.

Julianne chose her birthday meal (spaghetti, garlic bread and salad) and didn't have any school.

It was also National Donut Day, so she chose donuts for her birthday treat.  (Xander and Solomon had  coconut milk icecream sandwiches.. stupid allergies)

The next Friday, we used our season passes for Water Country USA and Busch Gardens.

We had a ton of fun at Water Country and we were surprised at how smoothly taking five children, 10 and under to a water park went!

Only once did I panic because I thought I lost a child.  I furiously count heads anytime we are out in public.  Especially if we are without strollers.  (Water Country IS stroller friendly but we didn't know that ahead of time!)

So imagine us walking along the walk way when I suddenly only counted FOUR children.


So I recounted-- Four?

So I recounted--- YUP. FOUR!

So I went down the list.. Lainey, Julianne, Xander..Solomon.... 


Where is Solomon??!?!?

So I start saying, "Solomon!  Solomon Kincaid!  Where are you?  Solomon!?"  And when I calmed down enough to listen to what my family was telling me, I realized that I was holding Solomon's hand the whole time.

When I looked down, he looked up at me, smiled, and  waved.

I think I shaved at least a few months off of my life.

Other than that, and Julianne not really wanting to ride much (after requesting Water Country) the day at the waterpark was pretty uneventful.  It was pretty tiring though.

And,of course, we didn't stop there....

God, I'm so thankful for each one of my children.  Time is going by so fast and I wish I could slow it down.  It has been very interesting to see how each little personality has added a layer of depth and sweetness to our family.  Please continue to protect our family as we go on these adventures. We love sharing about you when people stop us and comment about how they could never do this.  We couldn't either, without You.  You get all the praise and glory.  Amen.  


Friday, June 21, 2013

Decorating the Fireplace

When I left off on the last fireplace post it looked like this:

And it definitely needed some decoration.  I had casually looked at a few items that had been marked down.

Like this:

Notice the markdown sticker!

And this:

But nothing felt right.  Things were still more than I wanted to spend and I can only imagine how many people across America have the same exact decoration hanging.  Booo mass production!

So I waited.

Then on  May 24th, I had an appointment at the oncology office (still doing periodic blood testing) and they didn't give me my results right away.  (Because they are an oncology/hematology office they have their own lab in the office.)

Stressed... I went on a shopping binge.  Brandon sent me a message that said, "Target?"  And I responded with, "I'll see your Target and raise you two Goodwills." 

And that I did!

After the first Goodwill, I sent Brandon this picture, telling him I'd found "a wall decoration."  (Forgive the sloppy picture snapping and the busted CD holder too..)

It was $3.25 and I knew it was going on a wall, just not sure where. And yes, it is upside down in this picture.

A few days later, I realized that there was already a nail above the fireplace... and there was already a hanger on the back of the "half a lantern decoration." 

So I put it up to see what it looked like.

And fell in love.

However, I didn't like the gold so much and I didn't think white paint or oil rubbed bronze spray paint would do anything for it.

But when looking through the workshop, I remembered I had bought red paint for another project.  So during morning cartoons the next day, I snuck off to the workshop and quickly painted it.

And I realized I love this decoration even more after it was painted.

I've since added the flower pots back.  I'm still brainstorming on what else to put up there.  Ever so slowly, this house is becoming OURS. 

Bonus points for it being highly unlikely that I see one of these in other people's house too! 

Yay for $3.25 projects and not breaking the bank!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Cereal-y" Insane

After yesterday's heavy post I figured I'd share something silly and maybe a little insane.

We always try to stock up on cereal at a good price.  We alternate healthy (read: Boring according to my children) cereal and "fun" cereal.

I've been buying more and more store brands trying to keep our budget in line.  So imagine my surprise when I realized that Kellogg's cereal was on sale and had a promotion making it the same price as our store brand go-to. got even better!

We realized that on certain boxes there was a Disney/Pixar promotion for Monsters University.  We've been counting down the days until we can see this movie. 

I have children that have never been in a movie theater.  They think watching movies involves Redbox (usually with a coupon code!) and coming home.

I had done some hunting around and found some cost cutting measures for going to the theater (discount tickets or waiting until it made it to the cheap seat theater when the movie had been out awhile, etc.) but everything times 6 adds up quickly.  KA-CHING!

Also, if you remember from our Busch Garden's outing, we combined the remaining entertainment budget with birthday funds, for our passes.

So the entertainment budget was gone.

But I had grocery money!  So I needed 6 codes per ticket and each box was $1.99 and I needed 6 tickets.  Pretty soon I had 36 boxes of cereal in my cart.

The cashier raised her eyebrows as she scanned my order.  She didn't say anything, but I told her about the deal just in case she wanted to see the movie too. I also used a "double your gas points" coupon found in our Kroger ad. 

I read the rules carefully and each account can redeem 30 codes. You also have until December 2013 to redeem the ticket for any Disney/Pixar movie.  I carefully opened the boxes of cereal, slid the cereal out of the box and entered the codes.  Then I slid the sealed cereal bag back into the box and closed it.  When I redeemed the codes, I instantly got an email with the codes to print the tickets.

Also, I noticed that I'm getting Kellogg's Family Rewards for each box that I'm entering.  I haven't had a chance to look at what you can redeem those for but I just thought I'd mention it.

So basically, each ticket comes out to around $12 and they are redeemable for up to $12... BUT I got 6 boxes of cereal with each ticket too and brand name cereal instead of storebrand.  And enough gas points for 10 cents off a gallon. 

Sounds like a pretty "sweet" deal to me!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Divine Appointment...

(Many times I stay up much later than my family, typing away on the keys of my laptop.  Words... I am a girl of words and I often have trouble sleeping until they all spill out across the screen.  Some days the words don't come as easily as others.  Some days I have trouble keeping up with my thoughts despite the fact that I type more than 70 wpm.  Not everything is published.  In fact, I'm embarrassed to say how many of my posts stay in draft form.  But I figured I'd start sharing some periodically....) 

I have several stories of Divine Appointments that have happened over the years. In most of them, I was the one learning the lesson. Sometimes the lesson wasn't clear at first, but over time, it's become more clear.

I've only shared this Appointment with very, very close friends. But now I feel led to share this story more openly. I pray it helps someone... and that God uses it for His glory.

Last year, when we matched with Xander we immediately went to the hospital to meet our son. Since his birthmother had been discharged, he was in the nursery and the hospital's policy stated that no one under the age of 18 was allowed in the nursery unless they were the child's parents. This policy was put in place because other babies are in and out of the nursery and they didn't want a lot of visitors in and out and exposing the babies to germs. It was heartbreaking but the girls looked at him through the window and Brandon and I had to take turns going back to spend time with Xander.

We knew Xander would be in the hospital for a bit and Brandon was flying out for work that Sunday, so the girls went to my Aunt's to visit. Without this arrangement I would be unable to hold Xander for that week since we still had no babysitter here. We wanted to get a jump start on bonding and spend that precious time with him so we were thankful that my Aunt offered to care for the girls. (And the girls didn't mind going to visit at all!)

So I was visiting Xander in the hospital and I was there most of my day. I would wait until he fell back asleep to go make phone calls, use the restroom and grab a bite to eat.

One day in particular, he dozed off and I was thankful because I really, really had to use the restroom. But when I went to lay him down, I felt that I must not leave the nursery. Unsure why, I sat down and rocked him some more.

As I rocked and thought about how some babies were born drug exposed, my heart started to harden towards their mothers. How on earth can anyone do that to their babies? I wrestled with my judgements and continued to rock. I felt anger rise up in my chest and my heart started beating fast.

Less than 5 minutes passed, and in came another mother. I smiled and scooted my rocking chair over a foot so that her rocking chair wouldn't thump the wall each time it rocked back and forth. I watched her ask the nurse if there was somewhere to put her frozen meal that she had tucked into her jacket. I saw her look at her baby and bring him to her lips and kiss him. I saw her coo to him. She asked me Xander's name and said I looked wonderful having just delivered. At that point, I explained that I was his adoptive mother. She smiled and looked down at her baby. She grabbed a baby wipe and carefully wiped spit up off of her baby's face.

The nurse came in and the mother asked about her son. The nurse looked my direction and asked if she wanted her to speak in front of me or if she wanted me to leave the room. I got up and said that I'd excuse myself to give her privacy. The mother said not to leave, to keep rocking my new baby son and gave me half a smile. I insisted and so did she. She begged me to stay.

It wasn't long before I realized that her baby was exposed to drugs while she was pregnant. And he was in the process of withdrawing too. She was visibly upset and the tears started falling.

I saw how harshly the nurse spoke to her.  I heard the terse responses.  

The nurse walked out of the room and the mother met eyes with me. I had tears falling too. In my head, I started pleading for my tears to stay in my head.. and not to bubble over. But she kept looking at me and I couldn't break my eye contact with her.

She was upset. She shook while she held him.  She was sad to see her baby in such a state. I'd go so far as to say that she was devastated.

And I felt terrible. Immediately terrible. Convicted.   How dare I judge another mother. Goodness knows, I sure hadn't been a "perfect" mother to my two girls.  I hadn't done drugs, but I fell short other ways.

My heart began to soften.  She explained without me asking, that her cousin was going to adopt her baby. She had several children at home and had gotten mixed into the drug scene and was really struggling to get out.  She loved her baby but didn't feel like she could care for him.

And my heart broke in two.  I told her I could tell that she loved her baby and that I'd be praying for her.  That I knew with God's help, she could beat addiction.  And she cried and rocked her irritable baby, telling him over and over how very sorry she was.

I'm not going to lie.  When Xander struggles sometimes I get angry with his birthmother and God has often brought the mother in the nursery into mind.  His birthmom surely had her struggles, but then don't we all?

People have asked how I have been able to keep a soft heart towards Xander's birthmom.  I regularly write her letters and send a massive amount of pictures.  That is our arrangement and I've kept up my end of it.   It hasn't been easy to keep a soft heart, but with God's help, it has happened.

Do I wish she had stayed clean during his pregnancy?  Yes.

Am I thankful that she chose to carry his pregnancy despite her status?  ABSOLUTELY! 

See.. I'm not that very different than his birthmom or the mother in the nursery.  I need God too!  I sin, and make (sometimes) really awful choices.  And He is changing me.  Just like He can help both of the birthmother's in this story.

God is sooooooo good.  He can redeem it all.  My God is a healing God.  He can restore what the locusts have eaten.  And I've prayed for each of these birthmothers and myself ever since.  Wouldn't it be something if we get to meet again in Glory?  I'd love it. 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How Many Shades of Gray?

After staring at the paint cards I had taped to the brick fireplace for a few weeks, I knew it was definitely going to end up painted.  The biggest problem was choosing a color. I kept gathering paint chips.

Eventually, I thought I liked a color called Zinc by Martha Stewart. (Top left in the picture above.)

So I trudged up to Lowes and had a sample jar color matched.

Once things settled down a bit, I tested it out.  I used the whole jar only to decide I didn't really like it.  It looked  too blue. 

I let it dry and watched it in different lighting.  Then I decided to go get a quart of a color called Seal by Martha Stewart.

Honestly, I was scared looking at the sample on the paint can.  But I came home and started on the other side of the fireplace. (Bottom right in the picture at the top of this post.)

It was love at first sight.

 (Seal on the left, Zinc on the right)

I used the entire quart during naptime and ran out of paint.  Brick really sucks up the paint.


So after naptime I headed back to Lowes (my third home, only behind Target) and had a gallon made of Seal.

I painted as high as I could and then Brandon took over and did the top for me.  Once it was done we just stared at it.  It was beautiful!



 (Sorry for the funny cropping, the wall to the right is another post.)


Monday, June 17, 2013

All The Trimmings!

Back in March, I started taping the trim in the living room.  We spend an awful lot of time in here and the brown trim was starting to work my nerves.
And then I was hospitalized.

And then hospitalized again. 

And then I had to finish taping.  Slowly, slowly I crawled across the floor with my Frog Tape. I taped the baseboards, doorways and the window panes.  Alllll 32 panes.

(Hard to see but the green frog tape is around each pane.  This wall is really hard to photograph with my oh so fancy camera.. I mean phone. ;) ) 

I was paralyzed when it came to choosing a white.  "White."  HA.  Go to the paint store and look at all the choices of "white."  It's mind boggling.

But I found a sample of Anthem White that I got free with a coupon.(FREE?  My favorite four lettered word!)  So I tested it on the trim and it looked fine to me, so I kept painting.  And then I ran out of the sample. 

We made our list, grabbed our 10% off coupon and loaded the kids up to go to Lowe's.  And on the way out of the driveway, I checked the mail.

Our giftcard rebate had arrived from our appliance purchase.  Whoop whoop.

We ended up getting everything on our list, and only having to add $6 to it.  Then a $5 rebate printed. 

Double whoop whoop. 

So we painted, and painted, and painted.  I quit counting after coat #3.  (And that was the paint with primer!) 

Brandon taped the crown and painted it for me. I'm too short!

Finally that Sunday night, we called it quits and put everything back.  I still have some work to do to finish up, but I'm SO pleased with the results.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

From the Draft Pile: A Glimpse into a Multi-Generational Legacy

(Many times I stay up much later than my family, typing away on the keys of my laptop.  Words... I am a girl of words and I often have trouble sleeping until they all spill out across the screen.  Some days the words don't come as easily as others.  Some days I have trouble keeping up with my thoughts despite the fact that I type more than 70 wpm.  Not everything is published.  In fact, I'm embarrassed to say how many of my posts stay in draft form.  But I figured I'd start sharing some periodically...) 

Today I attended a funeral. I've unfortunately attended quite a few funerals in my day, but I'd never experienced a funeral like this.

This funeral was a celebration of a woman that left a legacy. As I sat by myself at the very back of the church, I was amazed to listen to others share stories of a woman that was so very special to many. We laughed, we cried, and we smiled as we heard stories of the past.

As I looked at the front of the church, I saw a family tree unfold as my eyes wandered down the pew. Her only son and his beloved wife. Their four children, two biological and two adopted, and their spouses. I thought of their sweet grand-children. And my mind traveled back to November 2009, when I had the immense pleasure of not only meeting but sharing a meal with four generations of this family.

You see, our first Thanksgiving here in Richmond, we did not go home and we had no family come to visit us. My friend, Nikki, heard that we would be alone for the holiday and she welcomed us into her home. Our family joined her family for the day. We were welcomed with open arms (and hugs and kisses!)

That Thanksgiving was amazingly peaceful! We talked, we told stories of God's work in our lives, we watched our children play. I got beat like I stole something in a game of Wii Mario Kart. We prayed together, we shared a meal and we wondered what the Lord had in store for us in the coming year. We chatted about the expected babies.. the baby in my womb and the baby girl they were waiting to be matched with. We talked adoption.

It was unlike any other holiday I'd had in my life. You see, I'm a first generation Christian. I had a troubled childhood and I have a strained relationship with my parents, to put it mildly. Most of my family can barely tolerate each other for a simple meal, much less a full day. In the past, my faith has been ridiculed by my family and mocked. Honestly, holidays usually give me great anxiety and they typically end in disappointment and tears once I retreat to the safety of my own home.

But for a day, I got to see what it would be like to have a generational legacy. I saw the fruit of a lifetime devoted to Christ.

I have to say that while the funeral I attended today was undoubtedly sad, it was very different than any other funeral I have been to. You see, the family's strong faith in Jesus Christ made it incredibly different. Mrs. Tucker devoted her life to the eternal things while she spent her 86 years on earth. She was a Christian in her walk and her talk. She loved Jesus and shared Him with others. She was gentle, kind, patient and joyful.

During the drive home, I silently wondered to myself if I was doing all I can to create a multi-generational legacy for my family. Am I doing everything I can to teach my children the ways of the Lord? Am I doing enough? Do my children hear my talk or do they see my walk? One day, will my family be able to say the same wonderful things about me? Will there be any doubt about my eternal location when I die?

Sometimes being a first generation Christian makes me feel like I'm floundering around. But I know that God will bless my efforts and that He sees my heart. I'm positive that He's put friends like this in my life to help guide me and hold me accountable.

Have you thought about what legacy you are leaving?  


Friday, June 14, 2013

Hose Hacking

I have no shame in saying that I'm frugal. We have to be... with five little ones running around our house.

But I do love a good splurge!  I've really tried to be very good and not splurge with the new house yet.  We have some other things that need taken care of before we can get to that point.  (Medical bills, things we want to pay off, etc.)

So I'm always thrilled when I get almost exactly what I want, at a much better price!

It all started when I was trying to identify what plants were in the flower beds.  I discovered that there were plants called Foxgloves in several of our beds.  They were ugly and yellowed and I discovered they were also poisonous and can cause cardiac arrest!

Well.. I have five little ones running around our yard and I knew I'd worry about those stupid plants.

So I dug them up.  There were several in our front yard. 

As I contemplated rearranging the flowerbeds (for better spacing, etc) I decided that one spot would need left open for our hose.

But I hated how ugly the bright green hose was.  (It was FREE with a Home Depot coupon, ya'll!)

So I started looking for solutions.

I found this one on Pinterest.  It wouldn't cover the ugly green,but it would make it look neater.

Then I thought back to my childhood. Our neighbor had a hose winder thingy majiggies.  Great terminology, huh?

Like this

But those were crazy expensive.  I thought about scouring Craigslist for a used one, but kept forgetting when I got to the computer.

Then, a few weekends back we were yardsaling and I found a HUGE washtub for .75!

I bought it without a plan.  (Not so frugal, y'all!) But I just KNEW there was potential there!  And 75 cents? 
So I snatched it up.

Look how big it is!!!

Before we got home, I realized exactly what I was going to do with it.  It was going to hold our hose.

I had Brandon drill some holes through the bottom so that we wouldn't have standing rainwater.

Just a few minutes later, put the hose inside.  And it looks fabulously better!

And then I stumbled on this at Target...


and laughed at the price. $72!  As Brandon would ask, "American Dollars?"

Take that!