Monday, March 29, 2010

Project 18 of 52: Swifter duster

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I Made it Monday!
I love Swiffer dusters especially for vaulted ceilings and walls. Last week I got started on my spring cleaning. While prepping for painting I used these on my walls and ceilings. here is the before:
Then after cleaning walls and my ceilings, no counter or table tops. It's amazing what can accumulate through winter!
YUCK! This little things pick up a lot but then you have to trash them. I love them but HATE how expensive they are. So I was thrilled to find this tutorial. Today I finally got a chance to make them. I just used left over flannel from a quilt. I actually made 3 of them in about a 1/2 hour.
Simple!! Plus I will get to reuse them. We will see how they do. I think they would make good gifts too. I was thinking I could put a couple in my juice canister. So what have you made lately? Any good ideas?
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Scraping Sunday

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I usually spend Sunday evening relaxing with my family and scrapbooking. I don't get a lot done but I thought I would share each week what I finish. Grandma loves to see pictures anyway right mom? Tonight FLEW by! I thought it was 15 to 8 when in fact it was 15 to 9. The boys are out of school this week for spring break so thankfully we didn't have to worry about the late bedtime. Besides they were being good tonight. Matthew was in a great mood. He especially enjoyed teasing dad. Dad pretends to get upset but then ends up chasing Matthew till they are both giggling a storm! Crazy boys! So, here you are grandma. I am still working through Christmas pictures. I had better really get moving on them. Easter is this weekend then I will have loads more. Not to mention the ones I take nearly every day. Which reminds me I haven't updated my project 365 for a while either. ECKS! I had better get to work! *sigh* ahh, the life of motherhood. Constantly crazy, never a moments rest, and yet we wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!
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On the Menu

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I usually spend Sunday afternoon planning our menu for the coming week. I also plan activities or rather my "to do" list. It is a quiet uninterupted time that allows me to plan out my week. Planning likes this gives me a sick sense of satisfaction. I love making lists and even more, I love marking things off on my list. At the end of the week I can look back and finish anything that didn't quite get done or rejoice in all that I accomplished. It's a lovely feeling. So after planning my menu I only have 6 items on my shopping list. How great is that? I am loving my food storage. I will shop more than that when the sales come out on Wednesday but just another week that we would survive if I couldn't shop at all. So what are we eating this week?
*Chicken Rice Casserole- from my fav sis-in-law
*Hubby's Favorite Casserole- from
*Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole- from
*Beefy Bean Burritos and Black bean & Pinneapple Salsa- from
*Lemon Herb Chicken Ring- from pampered chef
*Saturday is pizza night- yumm
*Sunday we finish up left overs or BBQ (minimal work for mom!:-p)
I may make cheesy potatoes with the Chicken Cordon Bleu. It will use up the heavy whipping cream I have left from a special breakfast recipe. Lots of casseroles on the docket but the boys usually cobble them up. This weeks weather is suppose to be yucky too so BBQ will be out. So, what's for dinner?
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Movie Review

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We have made Saturday night our family pizza and movie night. We make pizza, trying new toppings and dough recipes then the boys get to purchase concessions based on their behavior during the week, then we sit down to enjoy a movie. DH usually picks out the movie because he is the one that can remember the good ones and the ones we wanted to see. We are having fun with this and the boys are working hard to earn their "concessions". I am however running into a problem of remembering movies that would hold all of our attention. What suggestions do you guys have? We are currently on a Harry Potter marathon. I know there are lots of good ones but I have to have them written down to remember. Help me out here. I don't think the boys will last through "The Time Travelors Wife". ;-)
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book Review

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We love to read around our house. The boys are just as likely to be found with their nose in a book as there are to be found on the Wii or riding their bikes. How many moms actually ground their kids from READING. Yep, happens regularly at our house. Picture the kid hiding under the covers with a flashlight trying to finish the book. More than once dad has repeatedly said, "put the book AWAY, and go to SLEEP!" Yeah, mom and dad are a bunch of nerds, I guess the boys are bound to be that way too. But hey, nerds are cool. Anyway, we have lots of books from the baby on up to mom and dad. I enjoy just about everything- just nothing scary, it has to have a good ending. DH loves sci-fi, no surprise there. The boys, typical Harry Potter, Fablehaven, Percy Jackson fans. I especially love it when an author can capture the attention of multiple ages. Harry Potter and Percy Jackson for instance have or are trickling through the whole family. The older two boys read at very advanced levels so that helps but the stories are just good. I have my share of romance (Anita Stansfield), but also historical fiction, Stephanie Meyer (of course) and Shannon Hale. I just finished "A Book of a Thousand Days" by Shannon Hale. A take on a Grimms fairy tale but a fun read. Now I am searching for the next series. I like series because of the depth of charicter development. We are excited to have gotten the newest Fablehaven for $11 (nice score Dad!)
So I am thinking I will see what all the buzz around this series is. The boys all like it and it looks interesting. I will let you know. What are you reading? Any good suggestions?
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Project 17 of 52: Pinewood Derby Time!

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In a house of boys you are destined to be involved in Cub Scouts in one way or another. Well, I have bent he Bear Den leader for almost 5 years, yeah, I know! DH was put in as the Cubmaster last summer and without an assistant I get to fill in that part by default. Well, we will be having our Pinewood Derby tomorrow night. After much struggle in getting everything set up (we ran into so many problems ugh), the cars are now weighed in, shined and polished. Graphite is in place and they are ready to go. Now for the decorations. My dear sweetheart relied on me for a big part of that. I think he had had it with all the other preparations and planning excitement. So I thought I would share what I came up with. I think it will work out rather well. DH made certificates for each boy. We will have each den racing against themselves since we have such a large pack at the moment. So here is their "trophy"...
We will have black table clothes from the Dollar store on the floor with yellow crate paper down the center, for a road. From the ceiling will hang the stop light....
Along the wall with be a these banners....

There is a banner for each boy with their name on it. These were so simple, just take large sheet of construction paper and fold in half lengthwise....
Then draw a line from corner to corner.....
I folded several together and  then cut them at the same time too. When you unfold it you have a banner....

I found the trophy cut outs at the dollar store as well. I didn't know what we would use them for but I was thinking "Piston Cup" so I grabbed them. I'm glad I did cuz the banners look great! And was race would be complete without THE Checkered flag? Yep, made a couple of them! I was going to quilt squares together (yes, I am a bit insane) then I found the checkered fabric at Walmart. I just seamed it together, flipped it right side out and did a pocket to hold the stick, then a finishing stitch around the outside. I think they turned out great. I am excited to use them tomarrow. We will be having a "Cars" themed birthday next month so it will be a great addition to that as well.
Not the best picture (DH is still learning) but it gives you the idea. What do you think? Will the boys like it? We will have refreshments set up in one corner at "Flo's V8 Cafe" and across the street will the "Quido's Pit Stop". By the way the boys cars are amazing. This is so fun even with dad's who are a bit competitive themselves ;-).  Back in February I downloaded some supplies for the "Cars" themed party but for the life of me I can't remember where. It was a scrapbook site so I will have to back track a bit. I will link it if I find it again.......

I am linking this to Fireflies and Jellybeans...

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Project 16 of 52: Humanitarian bags

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Our ward has a goal of making 400 school bags for a humanitarian project. We are also doin hygiene kits. Here are some of the bags I sewed. I have some more to make. They are very simple and quick to sew. The handles take the longest time. The next set of fabrics are upholstry fabric which are impossible to turn inside out so I will be different handles. I am not sure what the material is called. It's the mesh (sorta) handles on a lot of prefab bags??? Anyway, they will be a zip to sew on. We are a long way from our goal so I had better get to sewing. If I just didn't have so many projects on my wish list to divide my time between. NWIM?!
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Monday, March 22, 2010

All you need to know about EGGS!

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Avoid Fresh Eggs when peeling:
Did you know that fresh eggs don't peel well after boiled? You know when you grab one and part of the egg comes with the shell no matter what you do? Well you had Fresh Eggs! So if you are planning to color eggs for Easter you may want to buy them this week and let them sit in your fridge over the next couple weeks. Eggs will stay good for a surprising amount of time.

Freezing Eggs:
Did you know you can freeze eggs too? Just not in their shells. Crack 'em, wisk 'em, and pack 'em. Freeze them in  a ziplock bag. Label with the number of eggs and the date. They can be kept frozen for 1 yr. Thaw frozen eggs overnight in the fridge or under running cold water. Use yolds or whole eggs as soon as they're thawed.

How to use Frozen Eggs:
Substitue 3 Tbsp whole egg for 1 large fresh egg.
3 whole eggs=1/2 cup

Have fun with your egg -evtures in the coming weeks. We will be having our usual family hunt. We are also in charge of the 2nd annual Neighborhood Egg Hunt. It was a BIG success last year so I am really excited for this year. We spread the empty eggs. My cub scouts help to fill baggies with the donated candy. Then the kids turn in the eggs to use next year for a bag of candy. If you want to join feel free. Just don't be late. It only takes these kids a couple of minutes to clean up the entire field! So much better than wrestling with the Tauphus Park hunt! Ours will be Saturday, April 3 at 9am SHARP! Remember how antsy the kids get?!?
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Project 15 of 52: Scrapbook pages

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I spent Sunday afternoon putting some of our Chirstmas pictures together. I have always liked simple pages so there are never full of lots of embelishments. This is partly due to cost but mostly because I want to see the pictures and don't like them to get lost in the extras. I feel like I am falling behind on scrapbooking so this is even more of a neccessity. Besides the pictures usually speak for themselves. I am proud to say I got several pages done. Although this doesn't make a dent in the pictures left to catch up on it is still progress for me. Since switching to digital scrapping it is much easier to keep up. I don't know what I would have done otherwise. So without further adeu, enjoy the show, ah slide!

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Project 14 of 52: Birthday Canister WNWN challenge

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5In honor of my sis-in-law's Waste Not, Want Not Challenge I came up with this tonight....
Take one frozen juice container....
Add a little colored paper, ribbon, and a button. Maybe even a tag...
and VOILA! a nice birthday gift. One of the ladies I visit just had a birthday. I thought this would be great filled with a little chocolate and a note. For little kids there are lots of little toys that could be used. Or what kid doesn't like their own stash of goodies?
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Easter Rolls

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With Easter around the corner I thought I would share one of our favorite activities. In a house of boys food is always the center of attention. I meet "Hungry" 'round the clock. You know the "mom, I'm Hungry"! So whenever I can teach with food it is a double score for mom. Scripture reading in front of brownies and ice cream- quietest family scripture time E.V.E.R! With that in mind try the Easter story with these yummy and E.A.S.Y rolls:

Easter Rolls
1 pkg Crescent Rolls
Melted butter
8 large marshmallows

Heat oven to 350 deg. While reviewing the Easter Story build your roll.

Give each child a triangle of crescent rolls:
*** This is the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in.
Give each child a marshmallow
***This is Jesus
Have the child dip the marshmallow in melted butter
***This is the oils of embalming
Dip the buttered marshmallow in cinnamon and sugar
***This is the spices used to annoint the body.
Then wrap up the coated marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll...Bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside.
***This is the wrapping Jesus' body after his death.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
***The oven is the tomb- pretend it has been 3 days
When the rolls have cooled slightly, the children can open their rolls (cloth) and discover that Jesus is no longer there. He is risen. The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up but empty. 

This is a fun activity to do all together.
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Planting seeds: project 13 of 52

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Last week I got my seedlings started. I usually get them growing fabulously but then loose a lot of the starts in transplanting them outside. I have a couple of theories that I am going to try this year. In any case I thought I would share/journal this journey all along the way. I planned this project last year so I saved my cups from the nursery. I have several trays too. You can use just about any cup. I used the peat moss cups (which are biodegradable), cups from the nursery, and the jiffy cups (the flat discs that expand with water). Add your potting soil and spritz with water to moisten.
I have a wonderful recipe for salsa so I planted lots of tomatoes, bell peppers, and some jalepenos. The boys get to plant pumpkins to sell in the fall for Christmas money so we planted lots of those too. I have a few more supplies left. I am not sure whether to plant more tomatoes or pumpkins....hmmm, what do you think?
After planting the seeds I used wood sticks to label the cups.
Use a spray bottle to moisten the soil. Bagged soil is extra dry and will need time to SLOWLY absorb the moisture. I went over the soil several times until well moistened.
A nice south facing window provides red light and warmth. Yes, the R.E.D. vs blue light part is important. Plants need more red light. Blue light is like what your fluerescent lights emit. Plants like squash, tomatoes and peppers use more red light than blue. 
The lids or clear wrap holds in the moisture and heat for a nice greenhouse effect.
When the sprouts get a couple inches tall I will remove the lids. This is where I usually have problems keeping the soil moistened. I am determined to succeed this year. Yesterday in Lowes I got this.....
Now, I watch it grow for the next 6-8 weeks then we plant outside. And yes that will be before the magical Idaho planting date of May 25. If you protect your plants with "walls of water" covers you can get them in sooner. I am usually way behind so this is my own test run. Hmmm, with that in mind maybe I will plant more of both pumpkins and tomatoes......
What about you guys? What are you planting this year? When do you start?
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dave and Erika....

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So I am noticing your blog stalking! Hope you are all well in S.C. I would love to follow your family's adventure. Let me know how I can. ;-) TTYL
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Bountiful Baskets

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This is what we got this last weekend for $15! We have been getting Bountiful Baskets for a couple of weeks now. It is produce coop. You get quality produce at the same price charged the large grocery stores. We have been enjoying lots of great fruit and vegi's. It is nice to try new things too. I like spinach but I don't usually buy it. This last week we got a couple of bunches in our basket of spinach. I searched for spinach recipes and found a couple of great ones from We will try this one tonight...  

Strawberry, Kiwi, Spinach salad
You can get the recipe Here
Last night though we tried this one:
Summer Spinach Salad

You can get the recipe Here
We really enjoyed this salad. The onion in the dressing was too strong for us though. It was a very fresh onion. I just added the dressing on individual servings in case we didn't eat it all. I was glad I did it this was. This afternoon I made more dressing without any onion. Yep, much better. It was a great lunch for me. This would be a refreshing side to sandwiches in the summer too. Give it a try. Now I only have 1 bunch of spinach left but lots of lettuce. We are definantly eating more fresh vegis with this.
One last recipe to share was this Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake.....
Get the recipe HERE
It was YUUUMMMYYYY!!!! As quoted by Tyler. The boys would have devoured it if dad hadn't reigned them in a bit. Check out real mom kitchen. I like her style and love the recipes. It is a regularly visited site for me.....
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Project 12 of 52: Burlap CREATE

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I don't remember where I saw this idea but I loved it. I used my cricuit to make the template for the letters. The 10" rings I found mostly at D.I. for $0.75 or less. Then I used a 40% coupon for my burlap at Joanns. I love how it turned out. It really added something to my corner of the world. I wonder if I would have been better to use smaller rings but hey.... I am hoping to get my cabinets painted this week. I have been working soooo very much but things should be returning to normal for a while. No more extra shifts til the end of the month anyway. I am excited to get a few projects done. My wish list is getting rather long. I also plan to post a few pictures I have scrapped. I usually do scrapbooking on Sundays when I can just sit with the family and relax. I don't get it done too fast but it is getting there. I have done several more Project 365 pages done as well as some baptism pictures of my niece.

We have started a family theme night. Each Saturday night we have homemade pizza followed by a movie. The idea is to try different varieties of pizza and enjoy having everyone help make it. Then we will watch a movie. The boys get to "buy concessions" with reward money. I got this idea from Brown Paper Packages They will get to earn points throughout the week for extra good behavior. Stuff beyond their usual chores. Then they trade their points for various concessions like pop, popcorn, candy, etc. Each item will have a point value and they can chose what snacks to enjoy during the movie. We did  it last Saturday and it was quite nice. The boys enjoyed staying up later and mom and dad enjoyed a relaxing evening. Not to mention Yummy pizza. We love Hawiian pizza but anything goes. I have found a great from scratch recipe, Robin says it is THE Best pizza dough we have ever. It is from My Kitchen Cafe and is simple simple simple.
We make the dough and the sauce. Because the pizza only takes about 8 minutes to cook on my stone we can have it all done in about 30 minutes. Great news when it comes to hungry boys!

Fast and Easy Pizza Dough
This recipe was given to me by my Aunt who got it from a woman named Linda who I have never met - but in the event she miraculously stumbles across this blog, I'll give a big thanks, Linda!

3 cups flour, more or less
1 tablespoon honey, heaping
1 tablespoon oil, heaping
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. (If using a pizza stone, let stone heat for at least 30 minutes in the oven before baking pizza.) Mix all pizza dough ingredients together, except the flour. Add flour and knead for a bit then put into pan (or use a pizza peel and pizza stone). If baking in a sheet pan, bake for about 12 minutes (checking often) until crust is browned and cheese is golden and bubbly. If baking on the preheated pizza stone, slide pizza onto stone and bake for about 8 minutes. Makes 1 large pizza.

Homemade Pizza Sauce
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until desired consistency. I leave mine slightly chunky. On the seasonings, I just sprinkle them in to taste. If I use crushed red pepper, I only use a few flakes because my kids don't like spicy things, but it definitely adds a nice kick to the sauce to use it. I also substitute for whatever I don't have: basil leaves for oregano, garlic salt for garlic powder, etc. This recipe is open to interpretation. Use what you like and it will be delicious.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

March VT handout

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I have my March VT handout done. What do you think?
Download: HERE
I thought a bookmark would be nice. Just add a ribbon at the top if you'd like and present to your ladies with a challenge to read and STUDY the scriptures more. I know the study part is lacking for me. We have started the 100 days closer to Christ challenge as a family. I am seeing a difference. The boys are getting old enough to participate even more. I am also trying to explain things more which tests my own knowledge, thus the reason for this months message I guess. This week has been CRAZY busy. I haven't had any time to craft because of working so much. I hope to remedy that tomarrow. Also with other activities we have been going seperate directions and so we missed a couple of nights and already I am feeling the difference. We found that reading immediatly after dinner was best for us. I have tried to bribe help the little boys with desert or something special. It is a challenge in more than one way but I have felt a difference in our home the past week or so. Give it a try. Read the words of God with your family every night and you will FEEL the difference too.
I also found a couple of nice sites that have handouts, some more eleborate than others. I thought they were all good. Check them out. Now you will have several to chose from. Pick your favorite.
Latter-day Chatter
LDS Handouts
The idea door also has some but they were having problems with their site- just google it and see if it is working. Several different styles and options hope you find what will help you.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dating again

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Blog surfing is soo much fun. It is amazing what is available and the great ideas ladies have. Tonight I found this blog: The Dating Divas. I am loving it. I can't wait to get home and make plans for a date with my sweetheart. We need more couples time but it would be nice to spice things up a bit, even if it is still going to Avitar (which Robin REALLY wants to do). I am definantly going to have to copy the movie ticket idea. Anybody have a babysitter available this weekend? :-) After almost 14 years (WOW!), college, 4 boys, school, work (in other words L.I.F.E.) it is easy to get into a rut. I plan on breaking free and now I have a source for inspiration. Check it out and continue to date your Sweetheart!
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An Aversion to Cleaning

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My darling husband has been in charge of the laundry the last several weeks as I worked extra shifts. Today, I sought a more normal routine. I kicked him out to go study and took a dive head first into the laundry room. Monday is the usual laundry day around our house so it was backed up as usual. I figured I would also do a little sorting while I was at it. 1st up, the oldest boys room. Oh boy! (before going further you have to know my biggest pet peive is open drawers and cupboards, items should be in the drawer and the drawer should be able to close completely) His pants drawers were a shambles. I knelt down and started sorting, too small, not long enough, too many holes, ?baby brothers shorts?, little brothers sweats? What the heck. Ok, pants and shorts folded and placed neatly in the drawer. Bottom drawer in the process of getting glued back together AGAIN. I then turned to hang some clothes in the closet when what to my wondering eyes did I spy? THIS.....
Yep- all those CLEAN clothes piled randomly in the bottom of his closet. Is there something wrong with the hangers? No wonder he is always wearing the same thing. He can't find the other buried in his toys.

Next up. Boy #2. His wasn't as bad but after going through his drawers I realized he didn't need the 2 new pants we just bought as much as he thought he did. And he is DEVINANTLY stocked for summer in the shorts department.
Now I have an idea of what to expect in the little boys' room. After all, I am in there several time every day and obviously have to help them get dressed more. Still, I found THIS....
Apparently big brothers' lessons are better learned than moms. No frets, I got most of it taken care of, re-ironed, and re-hung. Crazy boys. I know I will be right back at it in a week or two. At least now I know where we stand on each boy's clothing supply. Plus they should have the correct sizes in their closet, for now anyway.

What do you do to get your children to keep their clothes hung up? Our closets are within reach and each has an organizer to help. Or is this one of the mysteries of motherhood that would make me a millionaire if I could find the answer?
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