blue eyed cutie-pie
Sunday, January 29, 2012

Do yourself a favor: Get your daily fix of too-cute-to-believe, and click here to admire my nephew, the world's most adorable 1 year old. (And follow my sister-in-law's blog while you're at it!)

Whenever Jonathan and I see a new picture of this guy, we go on and on and on about how stinkin' adorable he is. Sometimes the kids will hear our gushing and have to clarify, "But Dad, you thought I was a cute baby too, right?"  "Geesh Mom!  Did you think we were as cute as him?!?" And the answer of course is "Yes!" Just like my other niece and nephew are the world's cutest as well! 

God made one-year-olds in a way that just captures hearts.  He probably made them so cute because they're so much work.

Be quiet. No you be quiet. No you.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Does this you-be-quiet ongoing sibling quarrel really have to happen right outside my bathroom door? So. Annoying.


I'm not so precious that I require silence to use the bathroom. In that situation I just happen to be a trapped party who can't help but listen to the squabbling nonsense and it drives me bonkers.

The quarreling between brother(s) and sister has definitely gone up a notch around here lately. "Both of you, to your rooms" is a common phrase.

It's tiresome. I makes me tired. I tire of it. I am tired, you see!

That is all. Goodnight.

It's only 5:05. I haven't fed anyone dinner. We haven't finished homework. No one has had a bath.

So it's not really goodnight. But I wish it was.

people change.
Monday, January 23, 2012

people change.

It's inevitable.  We all change.  Hopefully in good ways but probably in some bad ones too.

Jonathan just shakes his head in silent wonder when I craft or sew or read internet tutorials on how to bring a dirty cookie sheet back to it's original shiny glory...because that is NOT the woman he married.  Indeed, 10 years ago I counted Martha Stewart as one of the most ridiculous people on the planet; now I admit to having watched a tutorial or seventy on her website.

I think those are good changes.

I have changed in ways that might be bad too.  I'm bolder, and quicker to speak my mind.  (Good and bad.) I'm more likely to hold grudges.  (Am I getting crankier as I age?  Working on that!)  I have accepted that some things about me will never change, that probably should change.  Acceptance can be good; acceptance of faults that need to change, that's maybe not so good. (My bed is currently piled halfway to the ceiling with laundry.) (We have 10 foot ceilings and I was being literal.) (I'm kinda nonchalant about the pile of laundry.)  (I'm pretty much okay with it actually. It's our normal.)

He's changed too.  For the sake of marital bliss, I'll stick with the good ways.  I can really only think of good ways:

He's slower to judge people.  He's quicker to say Thank You and I love you; to everyone, not just me.  He never says a word when he's forced to sift through the dryer for clean socks; manages to do it pleasantly in fact.  He sees some things in gray and not always in black and white; I think that's a good thing.  He speaks his mind but it's with less abruptness and more gentleness.  He's quick to offer a sincere apology.  He's an even better speaker and preacher, and he's always been my very favorite.

So people change. I think young love birds would do well to know that the person they marry will not be the person they are living with some 15 years later.  But the fun part is that you get to be a big part of shaping that change, you get to see prayers answers (just keep praying), and you get to enjoy watching a person become who they were created to be.


Cliff: Lubbock Branch
Monday, January 16, 2012

The Cliff Family.  
Lubbock, TX branch.

Fun together time - just us -  is required. We all notice when we haven't had enough. 
We laugh and squabble and laugh again within seconds.
We watch a lot of movies.  Not enough princess movies to make it fair.
We pray together but not before every single meal.
Goodnight kisses and special handshakes happen every night. Sometimes the parents rush through it.
We recognize each others strengths. We encourage.
We tease.  Sometimes too hard. So we apologize.
We love Jesus and trust God.  The kids sometimes have questions the adults can't answer. 
All five of us scramble to clean the house before guests arrive.
We have grace with each other.  And then we don't.
The kids learn from observing.  Then the kids act like the parents. Good and not good.
All of us dote on the baby Cliff.  She's six and not a baby.
Card games end in hysterical laughter and high fives.  Other times in sore-loser tears.
None of us like green vegetables that much.  The mom tries to pretend. 
We all know we have it good. Very good.
We open our home to kids who need a temporary family. We love it. It's hard and sometimes we complain. 
We love Texas, but the five of us could live anywhere. Together.

photos by Andy West

letters from flickr set

Bird Nest Necklace
Friday, January 13, 2012

How cute is this "Mama Bird" nest necklace, with three little eggs for my three little birdies?!?

And, of course, I saw the tutorial for making this precious pendant on Pinterest. (I have never made jewelry unless you count braided friendship bracelets in sixth grade, but this was a quick, easy project.)

I made a necklace for my friend Danielle too. I'm quite sure when I give it to her the first thing she'll say is, "Oh! I saw this on Pinterest!"  Pinterest, making it impossible to pretend as though you're creative all on your own without the aid of the internet!  

I adore it.  


graphic chicken carcass image ahead
Thursday, January 12, 2012

Admittedly, I am no culinary genius.  But I have recently made a startling discovery.  Did you know that you can LIFT UP the skin of a chicken, and rub the seasonings directly on the meat?!?  (Told you.  Not a culinary genius.  I'm pulling a good C average in all things culinary, aiming to increase my GPA this year.)  I was always annoyed at creating rubs out of various spices to rub on the chicken, that would then just get discarded as none of my family eats the skin. 

So, there you go.  My fact-o-the-day for anyone out there who was not previously enlightened about the lifting-of-the-chicken-skin.  If there, uh, are any of you.  

Sorry good chicken, for exposing you in this way and then photographing it.

Click here for my favorite recipe for roasting a whole chicken in the crock pot. So easy!  So good!  And then, as seen on the recipe link,  just go right ahead and make some homemade broth! You'll feel so good you did. You will feel your culinary GPA elevating with every container you fill with your homemade broth.  Or maybe that's just me. 


not just for spoons and forks
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I saw this idea for toothbrush/toothpaste/misc. storage on a friend's Pinterest page, and had to go that same day - yay, that very hour-  to buy a flatware utensil organizer.  Is this brilliant or what?!? Fits perfectly in the top drawer in the bathroom.  Ahh the joy that simple solutions bring to my home management heart.

I already keep my earrings in ice cube trays and was excited enough about that for a blog post too.  This whole concept could be becoming a thing with me.


thinking about small moments
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'd love for you to check out my post today on Prize31:  small moments and spilled syrup

Join the conversation this month as all the Prize31 authors talk about purpose!

(That always feels like a word with a lot of weight to me, like it should be typed as PURPOSE. and imagined in your head with a resounding echo. If that word makes you cringe a little because you're not sure you've even figured it out, let alone are living it out, click on over and enjoy the posts this month! You are not alone.)


it was a sneak attack!
Monday, January 9, 2012

I was doing feeding therapy with a precious 8 week old premature baby boy this week.  Mom was holding the baby, giving him a bottle, and I was leaned in close beside them on the couch.  I was deep in therapist mode, noting the strength of his lip seal, his breathing coordination, etc.  Deep in thought, mind you.  Focused completely on this baby, you see.

Out of nowhere his 2 year old big sister approaches in a sneak attack and wallops the heck out of my forehead with a plastic rain stick.    

Make no mistake.  This thing looks innocent enough, but when wielded like a baseball bat it can pack a punch.

I let out a loud, compulsory "OUCH!", and was grateful I didn't say anything more colorful. (Not that I get a whole lot more colorful, but still...I was glad I didn't teach the 2 year old a new word-o-the-day.) I grabbed my head, sure there would be major blood loss, but alas there was just a small cut and moderate size knot.  The knot was a decent size when it initially happened, but when I finally got home to try and get sympathy from anyone it had shrunk significantly.  I knew I should have taken a picture.

I have never been in a fight, nor played a contact at the age of 33 a two-year old managed to give me the hardest hit I've ever experienced to date.  That's....kinda sad.  Ha! 

Somewhere there are thousands of bobby pins.
Saturday, January 7, 2012

I buy bobby pins in packs of 100. Within a few months, I can't find a single one. Where do those suckers end up? What do I do with them?

A friend and I were discussing this phenomenon of the missing bobby pins, and we both laughed at how our Grandmothers have managed to use the same 4 bobby pins since 1958.

Our generation should be ashamed. :)

always a mixed bag
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A mixed bag of emotions, that is, when the kids go back to school after a break! My friend Tina just posted about it here, from the perspective of sending her oldest back to Kinder while her two littles are still at home.  How well I remember!

Mostly these breaks make me so grateful that my kids are blessed with a great school and loving teachers.  Each of them have said they're excited to get back, and my sweet Lauryn has been writing her teacher notes over the break, stuffing them away in her backpack to give her tomorrow when they go back to school.

Don't you love the yes/no checkboxes?  I'm glad this note is to a teacher and not some boy!

Kindergarten teachers are so fun.  For their Christmas Party, Lauryn's class had a Wacky Waffle Party with crazy, unlimited toppings.  How fun, and yet how brave!  I'm pretty good at wrangling a room full of kids...but I would hesitate to undertake that endeavor with a room of 17 five and six year olds! And it's still wild to me that Lauryn entered Kindergarten with a rudimentary knowledge of letters and the sounds they make...and after four months, learning under a teacher she adores, she's reading.  Like, really reading.  So cool.  Thank you teachers!  

Happy Birthday
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I started Lost in Laundry five years ago today!

Thanks to all my readers who have been there from the beginning.  (Hi, Mom.)

It's changed a lot since the beginning, this documenting of life.  Things that used to merit a blog post now get a quick Facebook update instead.  Pictures that used to post here, now usually go on Instagram.  It changes quick, this here technology.

As I realized the fifth anniversary was approaching, I spent a lot of time looking back thru old posts.  And I don't feel a bit bad about it.  Time well spent. After all, the whole reason for starting this blog was to help me remember the small moments that mattered enough at the time for me to write about them!  
And I do love nostalgia.

Reading back thru my old posts, I remember what a challenge it was to raise toddlers, and I'm grateful for how far we've come!  (A two year old Lauyrn once cried 25 minutes and said I wasn't her friend because I asked her to drink her milk at the table? I once tried to pay a stranger at the park for a diaper? I had blocked that stuff out until I read about it!) 

Here are a few of my favorite posts thru the years.  
I obviously expect no one except maybe my mother to click every link:

The 23rd Psalm Has Never Sounded So Cute (uh..I never had my other two never memorize it.)

It's Mo.  With an M. (a fan favorite)

's to the next five years! I expect many adventures, and know my God will be faithful through all of it. The next time I sit down to peruse the last five years of my memories, my kids will be 14, 13, and 11.  And that time will be here in a blink.

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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