Jude Landry Store

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Sweet Cloth Diapers,

What has become of us? We used to be so in love. Remember when we were gonna change the world - make it a better place? What happened?

I know I messed up with the Desitin in the very beginning, but I was young and naive. I thought you had forgiven me. Why do you keep punishing me with your stench and leakiness? Can't we just get past it?

I don't know what else to do to show you that I'm in it for the long run. I've tried, and tried, and tried. The ever changing detergents, experimental washing routines, Dawn stripping sessions for countless hours, and intense scrubbing baths have done us no good. Remember when I even tried to spice it up with calgon and vinegar, you didn't even notice.

I'm not saying we're over. I still want it to work. But you have to meet me half way - you've got to do your part. I think we should just take some time and think about things, maybe see other people for a while.

But I'm serious, if we decide to try it again, and you don't straighten up, you're gone and you can be someone else's problem. I'll talk to you next week. Don't try calling.



Friday, October 28, 2011


I don't really have a great St. Jude Feast Day sort of post because all we did was go bowling and eat pizza per the request of our very own special resident, Jude. But we all know it's almost a hopeless cause to try to break a 100 when you let your 1 and 3 year olds push a pink 8 pounder down the ramp. Even more so when you forget to ask for bumper pads...

"Momma, what's this?"
"That's a credit card."
"Aw. Is it broken?"
"No, we cut it up."
"Why did you do that?"
"Because we don't want to use it anymore to buy stuff. We want to use our real money - like from the piggy bank."
"Oh, ok... I'll take your money, then."
"Don't worry. You already do."

"Look, Charlotte! It's the light of America, the Sun!"

"Mom, when they're ready for me, I can go to high school. Is that cool?"
"Yeah, Joan. But I don't know if high school will ever really be ready for you."

"Do you know how boo-boos can come off? They come off in a few weeks."

"I said hi to the cat, but he didn't answer me because I'm in the car and cats can't talk."

"Momma, there's not gonna be any 'thank yous' today."
"What do you mean? Why not?"
"Because Charlotte's never gonna learn."

"Joan, please pick up all of these colors."
"But I can't. With all my heart, I can't."

"I'm the new queen of America. Nice to meet you, y'all."

"Oh, Joan - your toenail polish looks pretty. Papa did a good job. But he didn't paint your fingernails?"
"He did. I just licked them off."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cautiously Optimistic

That's what we are right now.

We received an offer on the house Tuesday (the 4th one we've accepted), and for a while I was thinking that we'd keep it to ourselves in the hopes of keeping our emotional roller coaster in idle, just in case things went sour.

But we realize that your care, concern, prayers, and encouragement have been such a vital part of our sanity (or lack thereof at times), and we'd like for you to keep it up in the very near future - unless of course this is all too much for you. You are free to hop off at any time... the loan, after all, is not in your name.

So yeah. This is the beginning of what could be the end. But first, we have lots of paper work, hardship letters, financial statements, and other dead trees to fill out. It could be a few months of all of this and then a big fat, NO! 

And so we remain, cautiously optimistic.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just another evening with Those Landrys.

Look familiar?

Honestly, this sort of stuff happens every night without my prompting. It's very easy to "catch" this Papa in such a moment.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Making things make life better.

Wee-Wee Wigwams for my friend who had her first baby boy after three little girls.

It makes me want to change a boy's diaper.

A tail gating dress for little Liza

I desperately wanted this comforter for the playroom and I shuffled around money in my haircutting budget to pay for it. (One of Jude's design students cut my hair for free this month.)
I found it at Dirt Cheap (a crazy weird, and messy discount store) and there was only one for a twin mattress. I cut off the sides of the original khaki bedspread and sewed it to my new one to widen it for our double bed. Voila! 

And just in time for cold, fall weather... a bright, cheerful, ruffled apron dress for Joan. I guess that's what long-sleeved undershirts and tights are for...

I had lots of issues with this dress and this little tie in the back was the best and most feasible solution. I'm calling it done, even though it's not exactly what I envisioned. 

Ruffles were meant for twirls, right?

The tutorial for the wee-wee wigwams and the inspiration for the ruffled dress were found on my go-to repurposing blog, Make It and Love It.

For just $24.95,

3.5 years worth of photo keepsaking has been restored! I just renewed our Flickr account and thankfully it saved all of the sideshows and videos I've loaded throughout the years. (And Kaitlin, this means that your videos should also be working.)

But I still think I'll be linking to a facebook album in the future - you can view those images larger and my slideshows don't let you do that and I only have to load them once.

That's it. I just thought I'd wipe my forehead and say, "Phew!" in front of everyone.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's try something new.

Some of you who have blogs and who frequent your Facebook accounts, know how difficult it can be to share photos on both. It takes forever to load, edit, tag, and give descriptions. So I'm going to condense the two and send everyone to a Facebook link where you can view all of the photos I'd normally put on here. If you're hesitant to follow yet another link on someone's blog, let me entice you...

There's more where this came from, but you have to go here.

(And a sad side note, in the attempts to find pennies in our budget, we didn't renew a Flickr pro account that we've been paying for and in doing so, I think it took all of the photos from the last 2 years off of my blog... sniff, sniff. Now I have to find a way to republish all of them again. So if you're looking for photos or videos from years back, you probably won't find them for a long while. Ugh.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another reason why we're married.

I went to Jude's car this morning to get a spare yellow notepad that he keeps in the door side. The top sheet read:

Kill two birds...
and you'll hear from PETA.

Don't count your chickens...
without a calculator.

When life hands you lemons...
hand them back. You didn't want them, remember?

Finishing well known phrases with a bit of skepticism and sarcasm? Just another game we play. Everyone should be so blessed to marry their best friend and the person they like hanging out with most - marriage is a lot of hanging out.

I'm taking suggestions for the title of this game. Suggest away and happy playing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


"Papa, who was that?"
"A man to help us sell the house."
"Why do you sell it?"
"Because we don't have enough money to keep it."
"Maybe you can buy a house with money in it."

"There's no game today, Joan. We're gonna watch MSU on the television."
"What's a television?"

Quickly crossing the parking lot towards the Wal-Mart entrance,
"Run Momma! Run your errands!"

"Mom, can I watch a movie now?"
"No. You already watched one and sometimes you watch too many. It's better for your brain to play or read. Did you know that?"
"Yeah - but my brain is not in my head anymore, so now can I watch a movie?"
Genius. Definitely still a brain in there...

"Aw, Joan - are you ok? You hurt yourself but you're not crying."
"Well, my tears are not coming out of my eyes because they can't come until next week."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Let me catch you up to speed.

Two weeks ago, we listed our house for $99,900 in the hopes of going through with a short sale. Our short sale negotiator is in contact with the lender and it seems like they're at least willing to move forward with this option fairly quickly. We have yet to get an offer, though. How does a house lose $40,000 (or more) in 4 years?

Monday, Jude and I drove to Birmingham to see FLEET FOXES live at the Historic Alabama Theatre. Yes, in our minivan. They were uh-mazing. 3-4 guys singing harmony at any given time - just beautiful. It was making me all nostalgic, reminiscing about our quick trips to Houston or Chicago to see great music and rushing back for work in the morning, minus the whole kids part... But, we sat next to a middle-aged couple (50ish) from around the area that go to concerts on almost a weekly basis - they totally gave us hope. We were running late, so we only got to eat at a quick chain restaurant (Moe's Southwest Grill, which reminded me of Bloomington...) and we drove back after the show. Big thanks to Gigi, who came for the weekend to watch the girls while we were gone!

On Thursday, I got my implant. Well, the beginnings of it, anyway. I met with the oral surgeon who sliced up my gum to put in a little screw. After this heals, and a few more appointments, the dentist will put on a replacement tooth. I've always had a missing molar on the bottom that never grew in and soon that'll be filled in. I've never been under the "laughing" gas before and I totally get why people do drugs. I do. I felt like I had just been given a massage and accidentally fell asleep on the table instead of getting dressed like the masseuse asked me to. The oral surgeon politely asked me, "Who's here with you today?"  and because I thought he was trying to check how under the influence I was, I responded with, "Just you." He laughed and asked, "Is anyone here to drive you back?" And because I'm so smooth, "No. Are you going to drive me home...?" Yeah, I liked the laughing gas.

Also on Thursday night, we went to our weekly Dave Ramsey class that our church is hosting. I know that some may be a little skeptical or hesitant of popular money saving/making strategies or philosophies out there. But I assure you, the practical, old-school view that Dave is reminding us about has already started to pay off. Literally pay off. No more student loans! Only that beautiful minivan that drives us to amazing concerts... that's it. (We're not even acknowledging the house at this point...). It makes me so thankful for our parents' examples of living frugally, giving, and saving because I know we'd be so much worse off. But the practical application of saving up for something over the course of 12 months, filling out a budget every month, and allocating extra money to areas you most need it has really been great for us. We finally feel like we're telling our money what to do instead of being surprised by expenses as they happen.

On Friday, I took the girls to a pumpkin patch with our group of friends. Hayrides, tire swings, corn kernel sandboxes, trackers, and picnic lunches. I haven't looked at the photos yet, but they'll be on their way soon.

And now you're up to speed.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Second Reading

Apparently, today's Second Reading was for me. Thanks, St. Paul.
(I bolded the text particularly striking for me)

"Brothers and sisters:
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you."

Philipians 4:6-9

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to logistically live in peace, when surrounded by junk. And St. Paul says something really obvious, but really profound for me, "... whatever is lovely... worthy of praise, think about these things." I'm so bad at focusing on the problems. Poor Jude, he knows. And since I can't count on my circumstances to ever get better - no one can - I must, by the grace of God, recognize the lovely, those worthy of praise, and I must make conscious efforts to do this daily.

This reminds me of a passage from one of my favorite texts written by Thomas Kempis, The Imitation of Christ:
"Do no think, therefore, that you have found true peace when you feel no grief, or that all is well with you when you have no adversary, or that all is perfect when everything happens as you desire, or even that you are great in God's sight or especially loved by Him because you have great fervor in devotion and great sweetness in contemplation. A true lover of virtue is not known by these things, and the true perfection of man does not stand in them."

True peace is independent of all of this. Good times or bad, peace remains. And a virtuous life, fruitful and honorable, is the road to that peace. I can't remember if it's in The Imitation of Christ or Introduction to the Devout Life, but one of the authors reflects on the importance of this inner altar or tabernacle that holds the presence of Christ within so guarded and protected that it is unaffected by outside conditions. Even favorable conditions mean nothing because the presence of Christ within is unchanging, it is Truth.

I must come back to that practice, kneeling before Christ, present in the living tabernacle of my heart, and resting in His peace, whether it's raining or shining outside.

(And it's also probably a good idea to keep running and eating better... must keep that living tabernacle pumping...)