Thursday, December 31, 2009

Busy little bees

Grace and I have been exuding our creative talents for the last day and a half. We completed two projects yesterday, and I made the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls today. (That's a whole other story, seeing as how I'm terrified of yeast. We do not have a good relationship. It has just never done the job for me that it's supposed to.) Anyway, back to the crafts. This was the first project. I saw it on the farm chicks blog awhile ago. It is adorable!



It's a cute little dry erase board, much cuter than what you can buy in the store. It only took some vintagy scrapbook paper, clear contact paper, some kitschy details, and double stick tape.

Grace can't keep her hands off it. She's been drawing constantly.

The other project we finished was a Martha Stewart one. I saw this on her website a couple of weeks ago. You could upload any picture to her website, and she would change it into a paint by number, only for her glitter. Since we adore our chickens, and I have some chicken things in the kitchen already, I uploaded a picture of one of our hens.

I put the glue on , and once we mixed just the right shade of glitter, Grace would put that on. The frame was a shadow box I had, and I added the other details myself.

It goes good with my aqua kitchen. Isn't she a cute hen?

Tomorrow brings a whole new set of projects to complete. I have a cushion to make for our foyer bench, a coffee table to paint, more organizing to do, and the list goes on. There are just not enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks I have for myself.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mystery Anyone?

Today started out in a way my kids were not happy with. I had a hair appointment today, which means about 1 1/2 hours out of their playtime. Of course playtime isn't what it used to be like when we were kids. I remember disappearing outside for hours everyday with my sister. Today, my son's idea of playtime is playing his new DS game or drawing, or maybe watching a movie.

So, you can imagine the noise in the house (groaning of course) when I told them where we were going for the morning. I did promise them, however, that when we got back, we would have lunch and play their new game, Clue FX.

Now, let's go back to my childhood once again. I don't really remember how old I was when this movie came out, but I remember my parents letting my sister and I see it. It was an instant HIT!!! Maybe it stemmed from all the Nancy Drew novels I read as an elementary kid, or maybe it was just the fact that the VCR was still a new commodity, and we had "rented" another movie, but CLUE was the best mystery movie I had ever seen.

My sister and I watched it so much, we could quote lines from it. I believe Mrs. White once said, "Flames, flames, from the sides of my face, heaving, breathing...." It was great. My sister and I could crack each other up with just a line from this movie.

My kids have since watched the same movie. I mean it, if you haven't seen it, you haven't lived. It has a wonderfully funny cast of characters: Tim Curry, Martin Mull, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Lesley Ann Warren. It's the best.

Today I was Lady Lavender when we played. I don't recall her being in the movie...

Can you guess which one she is? Anyway, the whole object of the game is to find out who murdered the guest of honor, what weapon was used, and where it all happened. My kids love this game, and it's electronic, so it talks to us. I got the game at Goodwill (we'll talk about what a great store this is in another post) for $8. Not bad, considering it retails for $54 in the store.

It was a good afternoon activity until it was time to be on the move again and take Evan to a friend's house for the night. Maybe with the snow predicted for the rest of our vacation, this will come out again to play.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dressing wars

Usually most Sundays when we return home from church, it's a mad dash to each bedroom to see who can get their "comfy" clothes on first. The kids usually come down the steps in their pajamas (only right) or sweats. My husband Brent, I swear, is the fastest one to get dressed in his "windbreaker" sweats (come on, you all know what I'm talking about. You can hear him coming into a room BEFORE he's actually in the room). I am usually getting dinner ready for us, at least composing dinner, so I'm ALWAYS the last to change. Why is that?

Anyway, it's our comfy afternoon that appeals to me the most. What will I do with all that time at my disposal? Will there be a nap? Will there be scrapbooking? Will I read a book and then fall asleep? Yesterday I opted for the scrapbooking. I needed to catch up after all, so I put a movie in the portable DVD player, and away to work I went. I watched Under the Tuscan Sun, one of my all time favorites. I watched it TWICE, actually, I felt I deserved the luxury, I was working hard after all.

My husband was reading the paper/taking a nap just like he does every Sunday afternoon. The kids and I were upstairs, but separate. Evan was playing his new DS game

Grace was in her room alternately watching a rerun of "Dancing with the Stars" and playing Barbies. I didn't hear much from her until she came over to my table to display her late Sunday afternoon attire. You won't believe it folks. I'm not sure what was going through her head, but here is the ensemble. I'm not sure it would make the catwalks this season, but then again maybe it would....
New shirt from Grandma, ok, skirt from Grandma, ok, just not together....

And the softball socks? Where did those come from? I thought I securely tucked them away in summer storage. What?????!!!!!!

Ok, the necklace I understand. It's what Evan gave her, with all his brotherly love wrapped up into the package. It's cute, I have a similar one. I can understand the necklace, but Grace...

I would be a little embarrassed too. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love (husband of course) gave to me a

cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
two CRAZY kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me

three family members, two CRAZY kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

four happy hens, three family members, two crazy kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

five kids in J-A-MM-I-E-S! Four happy hens, three family members, two crazy kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

six twinkling lights, five kids in J-A-MM-I-E-S, four happy hens, three family members, two crazy kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me

seven purple Eeyores, six twinkling lights, five kids in J-A-MM-I-E-S, four happy hens, three family members, two crazy kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

eight moving train cars, seven purple Eeyores, six twinkling lights, five kids in J-A-MM-I-E-S, four happy hens, three family members, two crazy kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

nine perfect icicles, eight moving train cars, seven purple Eeyores, six twinkling lights, five kids in J-A-MM-I-E-S, four happy hens, three family members, two crazy kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

ten letters in a row, nine perfect icicles, eight moving train cars, seven purple Eeyores, six twinkling lights, five kids in J-A-MM-I-E-S, four happy hens, three family members, two crazy kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me

eleven kitchen utensils, ten letters in a row, nine perfect icicles, eight moving train cars, seven purple Eeyores, six twinkling lights, five kids in J-A-MM-I-E-S, four happy hens, three family members, two crazy kids, and a cat singing "Merry to Thee!" On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

twelve SINGERS SINGING! Eleven kitchen utensils, ten letters in a row, nine perfect icicles, eight moving train cars, seven purple Eeyores, six twinkling lights, five kids in J-A-MM-I-E-S, four happy hens, three family members, two crazy kids, and A CAT SINGING "MERRY TO THEE!"

Merry Christmas everyone! May you know the true reason for the season!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Purple Passion

Well, no amish colors this time, purple is the choice for Grace's room. And a wild purple it is.
We matched the sole of an Eeyore (Grace collects them) to get the purple for the walls.

Oh, just wait, there is even more. Can't get enough can you?

Here is the purple rug Grace purchased with her chore money yesterday. She told me it would be great for taking a nap on. Like she takes naps, and like she'd be laying on the floor. Whatever!

We even made some custom switch plates and outlet covers by covering our old plain white ones with paper. The butterflies were Grace's idea....ah, a girl after my own heart!

The effect around the windows with the flowers, came from

a pottery barn kids room we saw in a magazine. I think we need more flowers, but it took me forever to put this amount up!

I guess for a girl of 10, this is the room. The bomb! All I know is after it was finished and all the paint tape was off, and the posters were back on the walls, she never left the room. All afternoon she played with Barbies and listened to music. Is this all I had to do to get her to stay in her room? Brother. Wish I would've thought of this sooner.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Welcome to the madness

Welcome to our humble abode.

Beyond this doorway, a remodeling job is going on. Not really a construction job, but a remodel just the same. You see, I've seemed to pass onto my daughter, a sense of what is, I'd like to call it, just plain decorating ADD. For example...I cannot, and I mean cannot, have a room arranged in the same way for say, more than 3 months. It just drives me crazy. I used to do it to my sister when we shared a room as kids. She would be gone for the day, and I would totally rearrange our room, so that when she came back, it would be a shock. Sometimes she liked it, sometimes she didn't'. My husband has the same reaction now. Usually I get an "Oh Brother!" from him when he walks into the living room (the room I change the most).

So, anyway, my daughter Grace suggested to me a couple weeks ago that it was maybe time to change the color of her room. In the 4 years we've lived here, it's already been two different colors, so why not change it again, right? Also in the 4 years we've lived here, I think I've made her at least 4 different duvet covers for her bed, so when she asked about a new color, I thought, of course I'll have to make a new duvet cover to match, here we go. Here are some before shots. Note the comforter before and the color of the walls.

Also, keep in mind, as my daughter nears the 10 year mark (next month), her decorating tastes are no longer easy to work with. She's into that preteen stuff....

Since we don't have a matching bedroom set for her, this will be a challenge. I might also need to rearrange the room after I'm finished painting.....

I'll do the best I can with this room. I've already finished the duvet cover tonight, so check back tomorrow for the after pictures. Wish us luck!

Monday, December 21, 2009

To Dispell the rumor

Rumor: My husband has a truck cap in the backyard sitting over our garden. Truth: It's the house he made for all our pretty hens.

You see, this all started when we had our Sommers family Christmas this past Saturday. One of my favorite Christmas celebrations each year. There are 33 of us now, with kids, grand kids, and even great grand kids. It's a loud and funny time all together, but some of my cousins, (and you know who you are...Jordan, Austin.....etc. ) while eating with us, were wondering what exactly was in our backyard.

You see, when my husband finished his beautiful (his words, not mine) shed (above) this summer, he used the leftover metal (very resourceful) to make a hen house that we could actually stand upright in when gathering the eggs, and feeding the chickens.

So, yes, it might look a little odd. It might resemble a truck cap sitting on wheels.....but it's made to be moved around our pasture in the summer because did you know....chickens LOVE fresh grass.

See, doesn't she look happy?

Can't you hear them singing the hallelujah chorus? They LOVE their new house.

Yes, when my husband drew this little project out on paper, I'll have to admit, I couldn't even imagine what it was going to look like. It IS a little odd, but my joy in actually standing upright to gather eggs, far outweighs my frustration of how it looks. It matches our shed, that's all that matters, right JORDAN! Yeah, you know I'm talking to you!

Anyway, no hard feelings toward my cousins. They just had to make fun of something. When my garden next summer is producing the best vegetables around because of the natural fertilizer all winter, don't come begging at my door for a zucchini!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And the Excitement Begins.....

So yesterday was our last day of school before Christmas vacation (can you hear my heart singing? Just checking.) And yet, today I'm up at 6:00 am like usual because I CAN"T SLEEP IN!! Is this some kind of joke? Anyway, our day yesterday was full of some learning (wanted to make sure you were paying attention), but mostly singing and parties. Since we have half day kindergarten, we had two parties to celebrate. It's really amazing just how hopped up on sugar kids can get in such a short time!

Our school also had a mini "fund raiser" yesterday for a very good cause. One of our past teachers had a small baby die from a liver disease, so yesterday, if you wanted to wear a Santa Hat to school, you could give $1 to a fund at Riley Hospital. It was all for a good cause, and there were many varieties of Santa hats to see.

Maybe the "superman" could've been a little more happy to celebrate?????

We also had an all school Caroling in the gym to celebrate the season. Our janitor and his wife read the night before Christmas, and our Principal read the Christmas Story from the book of Luke.

We had a lot of fun, but us teachers were quickly wearing down!
I did get to see my beautiful daughter, Grace, and

my CRAZY son, Evan and his friend, Mason before the caroling.

We even had a visit from the big red man himself. The kids about went into a frenzy when he walked in the gym door.

At the end of the day, you could almost hear a huge sigh of relief when the kids ran out of the building to the buses. Of course, our crazy janitor, dressed like Santa, was on the roof of the school throwing candy canes off. Ah, traditions, what would we do without them. There was a twinkle in every staff person's eye, and I think I even saw some teachers doing a jig in the hallway once the kids were released! Now, it's time for some much needed rest on our two week vacation. It's not a paid vacation for me, but at this point in the school year, I'm READY!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Of Mice and Men... or Children, that is

Why lately have all my blog titles for the day been movie/book titles? I don't mean to, it's just what pops into my head.

OK, so we're at the time of year, that I get a little crazy. I'll admit it, I have a problem making things for Christmas, and just not quite leaving myself enough time to get it all done. For instance, for the past couple of years, we have been getting some really cute snapfish Christmas cards from all our friends. They are adorable, and every time I see one, I make a new resolution to do this for myself next year instead of making all 80 of my Christmas cards like I do every year. Then, well, it gets to be Thanksgiving weekend and here I am, out buying supplies to make my cards again. I always get a lot of compliments, and I like doing it, but 80 really must end sometime.

So, the last few weeks have included me making gifts for both my kid's teachers ( I really should start taking pictures of the gifts.....duh), making a gift for the teacher I work with (this year it was a personalized ready-to go album for all the pictures of her dogs.) (She's been talking about wanting to do this for awhile, and I finally got around to doing it for her.), making Christmas cards, Christmas cookies, and now all the gifts for the kindergartners that I help everyday. This year there are 41 of them, and here is what I did for the girls........

and the boys.

Cute huh? I need to give the credit to Martha Stewart. She made these a couple of years ago in her kid's magazine. I really need to start making these much earlier in the year. Waiting until the last minute, and then cutting out EVERY LITTLE PART, is not for the weak of heart.

Anyway, I really must prioritize. The bear in me comes out when I get stressed. I'm feeling a little like the Grinch. I really must stop!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gift Cards vs. Cash.....The Dilemma

As I was reading the flowerpatchfarmgirl the other day, I had to laugh. She said that after 10 years together, she made her husband a Christmas List of things she would like. You see, I've been married for 12 years now, and every year, with great hopes, I make my husband a list that is very easy to follow. I even number the items in the order that is most important to me. This year, I put a lot of gift card wants on my list because I know if I just get cash, it will end up not being spent on me. I'll go to the store and see something very cute for the kiddos and buy it. I know if I get an actual gift card to an actual store, it will be for something I would not normally buy for myself.

I've been asking ladies around work what their opinion is about this topic. They seem to agree with me. Women are more often than not, going to buy something for someone other than themselves if they have cold hard cash. It's just the nature of the beast. One very funny lady, however remarked, that if it was $1000 or more, cash would be divine. If it was under $1000, she would go for a gift card.

This is the one holiday that my husband and I actually get something for each other. Maybe I'm just expecting him to know the perfect gift that I want. Believe me, he hasn't figured that out. This used to be his philosophy: He would walk into a clothing store, tell the sales lady that "my wife is about your size," and then proceed to buy three things that are three different sizes. I could NEVER figure this form of shopping out, but he told me once, "I shop this way, because I know you'll have to take it back and get something you really like." Seriously!?

Are we women just really so hopeful our husband will one day just "GET IT" and figure us out? When we say, "You don't have to get me anything," but really we mean, you'd better get me something or else!?

I grew up with my parents kind of tip-toeing around this issue at Christmas. They would both tell each other "This year we will not get each other anything!" But come Christmas Day, they would each go to another room and pull out a secret gift that they had bought for the other. I think it's sweet.

I know that gifts are not the real meaning of Christmas, Christ's birth is. But it is nice to get something from the one you love. I greatly enjoy giving gifts. It's one of my love languages, and I have a hard time making my kids wait to open their presents. The unwrapping and paper throwing always goes too fast for me.

So, with great trepidation, I'm awaiting the day, the moment, the second I open my husband's gift to me. I see he already has two wrapped under the tree. Maybe this will be the year, he finally "GETS ME!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dinner and a Book

So tonight I went with my book club buddies to eat at Peterson's Steak and Seafood, and to celebrate Christmas with a book exchange. You see, us girls have been meeting for I would say a year and a half, maybe, and we read a different book every month, and then get together and discuss it. I love it, but my husband just thinks it's ridiculous! "Who would want to talk about a book after you read it?!" he says with exasperation. (This coming from the man, who thinks fine reading is the farmers exchange every Thursday when it comes in the mail).

I have read so many books that I never would have read on my own, and it's lead to even more "favorite authors" for me. You see, I'm a book junkie. I think it stems from the fact that my father loves to read just as much as I do, and he's constantly passing me books. I mean, the thought of going to Barnes and Noble for a day, could quite literally put me in a swoon. Seriously.

So, back to the book club, and tonight's supper. We decided this year, to exchange books instead of exchanging gifts like we have in the past. It was very exciting getting a book and wrapping it beautifully, like this one here. Seriously, I'm in love with this wrapping paper. Just look at the loveliness!

The anticipation of seeing what the others were opening was enthralling. Some books people opened, I have already read, and agreed that they were very good. Others, like the one I received, were new to me, and I eagerly anticipate reading this over Christmas vacation.

I had a great time tonight, and the food was good. I got a great gift from a great friend, and I'm excited to meet these girls again next month for our January 2010 book club meeting.