Monday, November 30, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving

We had pilgrims...

and food...

and ice cream scoops for servers....

We had cousins.....

and pretend nose picking....

We had biting...

and train rides...

We had Thanksgiving crafts...

and imodium...

We had blond beauties...

and turkey carving Nanas....

preteen boys that were surrounded by babies...

We had a tornado go through the playroom...

and singing, musical Papas....

We had kid tables....

and pea eating baby boys.....

Thank you Lord for the abundance of blessings you have poured out...


Monday, November 23, 2009

How to beat the swine flu...

Several weeks ago, all three of my children had the flu. We were quarantined and bored and looking for ways to pass the time. I had seen Melissa's post about sprucing up her playroom and I was totally inspired! So out came the sewing machine and we set up an assembly line of cutting and sewing and stuffing. The girls loved it and learned a lot about sewing in the process. I think these lovelies may end up in my sun room, but I haven't decided yet. I will post about their final resting spot when I decide. They really are darling. Thanks Melissa!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

A room for a babe

What happens when two girls that have a baby brother help their mother clean out the pantry? They create a home with rooms using all the food and then they put their baby brother to bed in the room they designed just for him. He was amused long enough for me to run for my camera, but then quickly annoyed and wanted to be released. Then his sisters were annoyed and tried to make him stay. Then their mother's heart was full of gratefulness.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Every shoe should have a home

Who else out there has a "house file"? By this I mean a file of torn out magazine pictures of stuff that I would like to one day do to my house or have my husband build for me. I circled this picture above over three years ago, in hopes that one day I could throw away my plastic shoes racks in the bottom of my closet. I never really used them anyways, they simply were a place to throw my shoes on top of.

Please note the words scribbled on this magazine page, "Kevin could build this". I say those words often. He always delivers. Can I get an amen....


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Frame a Masterpiece

My kids love to create art. They especially love to paint. I have recently starting buying blank canvas' for them to paint on when they are on sale at Hobby Lobby, sometimes for as cheap as a couple of dollars. We have gotten some great masterpieces. I frame them and hang them and everybody is happy.

Here is another that we hung in the playroom...

In other news, the flying monkeys took down the last of the trees yesterday...

And then started busting up our walkway...


Monday, November 16, 2009

When you are done remodeling the inside, move outside.

In case you are unaware, the cute carpenter and I have been remodeling our home for the past 3 years. Three years of remodeling. By "remodeling" I do not just mean freshen up with paint remodeling, but scrape off the popcorn ceilings in every room of your house while you're living in it remodeling, and rip out your stairs while you're 7 months pregnant with your third child and you have to use a ladder to get upstairs kind of remodeling, and bust out the concrete foyer with a jack hammer (also while pregnant) kind of remodeling, and gut your family room and kitchen and live without both for 4 months kind of remodeling, and take off the front of your house in 10 degree weather with a newborn in your arms kind of remodeling....okay I will stop there, but if I am being honest, I could go on and on.

Having said all that, we are just about done. Our last room to do was the downstairs master bedroom and bath, and thank you very much it is "just about" done. I refuse to show pictures just yet because the cute carpenter broke my counter top while installing it so the bathroom is still a mess...but soon my friends, soon! What is my reason for all this background? Well, we started remodeling the outside this morning. We have issues. And it turns out that our neighbors actually do live right next door. I mean, RIGHT NEXT DOOR. Maybe we could start eating meals together or having our morning coffee with one another. Why not? They are so conveniently positioned right outside our kitchen. This will take some getting used to. I will continue to post pictures as the outside demolition continues.

PS- For all you peeps out there that may gasp at the sight of these trees coming down, they were diseased and dead and simply had to come down. We had several professionals out to confirm this before we decided to cut them down. No worries...we are planting some much healthier ones back in their place.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Now what?

I am a photographer wanna be. My point and click, click and shoot, take and point...whatever those little cameras are called broke. So then I started using my old camera (the one I had before Ella was born). That was fun. A certain 6 year old threw it in the toilet several years ago and it stopped working. It miraculously rebounded though, and hung in there for about a week. Now it too has crashed and burned.

That is when my carpenter husband told me to go buy myself my Christmas present early. He promises I will have the very box photographed above wrapped up under the tree at Christmas, even though the camera will of course no longer be in it.

I am not totally sure, but I think this is a great "mom photographer wanna be" camera. So now if I can just figure out how to turn it on...I am not joking. Any suggestions? Don't waste your breath telling me to read the owners manual. I refuse.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"You can't pull heroes off an assembly line"

Memorial in Normandy

My husband would like to have this quote etched over our mantle. It might not be a bad idea, how true it is. Is this sort of thinking lost in our generation? I know it is not all together lost, but in the day to day bustle of our very privileged lives, I think we forget. We forget that it is a privilege to get up on Sunday morning and go to church to worship. We forget that it is a privilege to wake up with the freedom to take our kids to school or the park or chick-fil-a. We forget that along the way, a lot of heroes clothed in bravery unspeakable, have died so that we back home can do these things. Thank you God for allowing us the privilege of walking along side of some of these heroes before you called them home...they were some of your best work!

If you have some time, check out this reflection post from our time in Normandy.

I am unwrapping my grateful heart today with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky.

Remembering today,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Intentionally Listening

Children on a field trip in Montemarte'

My eldest daughter made me stop and take notice of something I take for granted everyday: the words of my kids. They are priceless really, not to mention full of entertainment. Even when they are arguing there is laughter to be had if we are intentionally listening. Here is what has been making me smile and cry over the past two days as I opened my ears and took notice...

Caroline: "Mommy, I want my friend to come over and play. I really like her, but she is really tiny and has a tiny head and small feet."

Ella while playing 'CandyLand': "I know I loose a turn but it is okay, I am just gonna roll with it, I am not upset at all, I am just gonna say okay and just roll right on with it"....who is she trying to convince here?!?!

Caroline: "Mommy, what hurts when your feelings are hurt? Is it your ears?" Me: "No Caroline, it is your heart, your heart hurts if your feelings have been hurt." Caroline: "Not for me, my ears hurt."

Ella saying the blessing: "Thank you God for this food that Mommy picked up for us in the drive thru."

Caroline: "Mommy, please do not give me any of that dirty pineapple. I only want the clean, yellow ones." (She was assuming that any part of the pineapple where its outer layer wasn't perfectly cut off was dirt).

Ella: "Mommy, my friend whose Mom and Dad are dead lives with her Grandma. Who will she live with if her Grandma dies? Can she live with us? I will share my room."

What have your kids been saying to you lately that you hope you never forget?


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monogrammed Candles

I am guest posting over at Life in Grace with Edie today for her 12 days of handmade Christmas tutorials...go check out her blog, you will fall in love!

Don't you just love candles! I love them so much I light them year round. My husband comes home from work in the middle of the summer when it is 95 degrees outside, and goes around the house blowing out all my candles...and I follow right behind him relighting them all. I always buy candles that have a fragrance to match the season. Year round, I just cannot get enough of them. Well you can imagine my delight when I learned to paint and monogram candles. These lovelies make beautiful gifts: birthdays, baby showers, Christmas, weddings, etc. Here is what you are going to need:

Glass and Tile medium, black acrylic craft paint, and a tiny paint brush

A candle (my current favorite is this brand from Bed, Bath and Beyond). Candle manufactures come and go, as soon as I fall in love with one they will stop making it. Try out a few and see what works best for you. There are lots of great, affordable candles out there.

Now that you have your materials, print out a letter (or letter's' if you would like a triple monogram) off the computer in the font that you would like for your monogram. Position and center the letter on the candle. Hold the letter in place and trace the letter onto the candle with light, but firm pressure. I like to use the point of a mechanical pencil for this step because it carves a thin line onto the surface of the candle. Remember, some candles are softer than others, so take care to not press too hard which would result in large, deep lines in the candle.

Next, paint on a very thin coat of the Glass and Tile Medium over the monogram on the candle as shown below. This coat will dry slightly "milky" so be sure to use a thin coat. Allow about 15 or 20 minutes to dry.

Using your thin paint brush, paint over your carved letter with black paint. Keep your hand as steady as you can, and paint the letter to look as much like the letter you printed off the computer as possible.

Once you are satisfied, allow the paint to dry for at least 30 minutes before wrapping the candle. These candles look lovely wrapped in clear plastic cellophane wrap, tied up with festive ribbon. I keep lots of ribbon on hand, by simply changing the ribbon it becomes a great, unique gift for lots of different occasions.

Don't be afraid, you can do this! This is a simple way to create lots of affordable and personal gifts. People will love receiving them and they will enjoy many hours of the calming serenity that candlelight can bring into a home. Have fun!

Blessings to you all,