Tuesday, January 31, 2012

If I had...

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have 72 hours free alone time.

72 hours of not having to drive someone home from practice, or go see a game.

72 hours of not making a meal for anyone, or doing any laundry.

What might I do? 

Well, I might put on this comfy looking shirt from Old Navy.

And curl up on my couch with some of this yummy white queso dip and Chi Chi's tortilla chips.  It would be my staple for the whole 72 hours.

I would put You've Got Mail (one of my most favorite movies) in the DVD player, and put it on a loop.  (I can't get enough of the adorable Shop Around the Corner!)
 When I'm done with that, there might be more queso eating, and I'd start on the book I read about every 5 years...just because it's a classic, and I can't help but love it.

Then I would read the sequel.  (All in 72 hours of course!)

I might even surf Pinterest.com for hours and hours.

I would sleep when I want, and not worry about anything else.  Sounds like Heaven, right?

Well...maybe.  I don't think I could really do it.  I would probably go stir crazy and miss everyone.

Tell me, what would you do with 72 hours to yourself?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The fabric of our lives...

Yesterday was Grace's 12th birthday.

I can't believe the years have went this fast.

I found her in the front seat of the van yesterday morning when I went out to the garage to go to school.  You see, it's legal now for her to ride in the front seat.  She was sitting there with a grin from ear to ear.

There goes my "storage" for my purse!  (Ha)

She also decided, since 12 was such a big deal, why not have 4 other girls over for the night, and why not have Evan have a friend over too.  (SURE, WHY NOT?)

So that's what we did.  She wouldn't allow me to take any pictures.  Not even of her blowing out the candle.

I kept getting wierd faces or hands over the eyes.  (She's the one on the right)

Have we really gotten to this point?

So, here is a brief view of SOME of the things from her get-together.

She's ALL ABOUT zebra print.  So, Wal-Mart had this Waverly line of plates and cups.  Crazy, I know.  Who knew Wal-Mart carried cool things...

She enjoyed cupcakes
pizza, and chips before Brent took them all to the Boys Varsity Basketball game.  The boys and I stayed home.  They had NO desire to go.

Brent told them, at 4:30 am this morning to get to bed.  Apparently they stayed up till 5am. At least that's what we heard.  We also found remnants of food all around the house.  So, much to her dismay, she took a nap this afternoon.  She has a big volleyball tournament tomorrow.  It's not for the weak of heart.

While she was sleeping, I made some cushions for the bar stools I got when I went with my cousin to an antique store several weeks ago.

I purchased these babies for $12 and $15 (I have NO idea why they were priced differently, they are the same chair.)

I originally wanted to make a cotton duck cushion and cover for the back.  I sewed a cover for the back, but it just didn't look right, so I just made the cushion.
I had left over pillows from the couch, that have been recovered so many times I can't even remember.
I used the same material I've used for other pillows I've made for the couch, and just added some bias tape for the ties in the back.
The final result...a more "cushier" seat.  And a little boost in height for when Evan uses the chair.
I might add a painted on number to each one when I figure out how I'll go about it.  I made each cushion have an overlapping back, so I can take the pillow out and wash the cushion if needed.

It's been a tiring weekend, with only a day more to go.

Happy rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do you Anthro?

Have you ever visited Heaven on Earth?

I think I have.

Maybe you know the name...Anthropologie?

It's a store, it's a website, and until this past summer one that  I had never physically visited.  I've only drooled from afar on their website.

You see, it's not just a specific kind of store.  It's got clothes, and accessories, and home decor and writing essentials, and  the most beautiful drawer knobs/pulls, etc. in the world.

The only drawback.  Some things are mighty expensive.

Take for example this beautiful duvet cover.

It's called Georgina bedding, and it's....$368 for a queen duvet.

Then there are these very pretty hand towels that I've loved from the moment I saw them in a magazine years ago.

They are called perpetual blooms towels and they run $8-$36.
Of course, once you are into their website, or browsing their actual store, you see things like this...
which is very pretty, but is $168.

There are some things more affordable like these very cute farmer's market baskets, which look just like the baskets my strawberries come from every year at the farmer's stand, but these are made out of porcelain and cost $14.00.
They have very pretty journals for $18.00 and under...
and books that I'd like to read for $16.95.
If you've never been to a store.  It's an experience you should try.  The one I went to is in Shaumburg, IL.  I hope to go back again.  It's worth the visit.  Any store with displays like this...

should be visited and appreciated for its creativity alone.

Happy shopping.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

You are so brave!

Our kids have always been in athletics.

We've suggested, but not pushed, (or tried not to.)   We've allowed them to pick the sports they wanted to try.

So, over the years there has been gymnastics, t-ball, coach pitch softball, basketball, volleyball, fast-pitch softball, baseball, and more basketball.  Whew.

The driving to practices/games is somewhat overwhelming and exhausting...but I think we're finally getting down to the nitty gritty.

They've chosen the sports that make their hearts go pitter-patter.

This past December, Grace joined a travel volleyball league.  She plays on Sundays, which is sometimes exhausting.
Last Sunday, she played two different schools, 3 games a piece.  It was a long day for bleacher butt.

Tomorrow she will play 12 games (4 different teams.)
She's actually pretty good.  For being a 6th grader, she has the height (right now...family history is not in her favor) and she's usually a setter.  Her two best friends (who are twins) are also on the team, which, in her mind, just makes it the best thing ever.

Grace has always had the natural ability to play all the sports she's tried, but sometimes lacks the drive.  She's working on this and doing better.  Helps when we've narrowed it down to pretty much one sport that she LOVES.

Do you think it was bad of me that when she told me she wasn't going to play fast-pitch softball for her last year, I was overwhelmingly excited? 
Me neither.

For Evan, he's just going through the motions. 
As a 5th grader, he's not yet shown a true "love" for any sport.  He's played Upwards basketball, coach pitch softball, and baseball.  
A couple weeks ago, he started 5th grade basketball, not for love of the game, necessarily, but for the two coaches, and his notoriety in the school yearbook (true story...no joke.)
He plays the B team, which is fine for him, but the other night when he had his first game, he was quite on display.

Not knowing what to expect since he hadn't played basketball for 2 years, I was surprised to see he was a closet "street-fighting" basketball hustler.

He stole the ball from the other team at least 5 times, and either drove it down the court himself, or passed it off.  (His confidence with shooting is not there at all....didn't attempt it once during the game.)  However, his arms were flying, and he came out of the night with the "best defender" title from his coach.
It looked like ugly street fighting on the court.  
Sometimes it wasn't pretty.

My parents and Brent and I were laughing because we were remembering all the tales from my dad's brother's growing up on how my dad was always "overguarding" them like Evan was doing.  They used to say that my dad guarded them like "white on rice."
Gotta say, though, Evan got the job done, and the beating our team took that night wasn't as bad as the team that played before them.
While this isn't Evan's true love, he gives basketball his all, and told me he really would like to try cross country running next year as a 6th grader.  I think he'll be really good at it since he runs EVERYWHERE. 

So, while my kids are involved in sports, I don't think they are better than those who don't. But I think it teaches them something about being on a team and working with others.   

I really like what our Principal tells the kids whenever she does announcements and reveals the scores from the games.  She tells them that she is so proud of each and every one of them just for going out and being on the team.  She tells them they are brave, and whether they win or lose, it's about having fun, and doing your best.

So, wish us luck as we pack it in for the day tomorrow at a gym two towns over.  
And don't be afraid to let your kids play sports, if they don't already.  It's good for them, burns a lot of energy, and brings a smile to everyone's face.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Change of Scenery

I am a big fan of picture frames.

Just sayin'.

I'm also a big fan of displaying pictures in an extraordinary way.

I've been known to put pictures behind old windows and hang them on the wall.  Many times.  As evidenced here and in many of my other blog posts (under the windows or craft or project tabs on the side.) 

About a month ago, I posted this picture...
Since I have alot of aqua jars, and alot of pictures, this looked like a good idea to me. 
Original as a matter of fact.

Now, you could totally embellish these jars to your liking by adding a ribbon around the top, or twine, or raffia.  But I kinda like the plainness of the ones above.

I finally got around to this project this past weekend.  I know, it took me this long...but at least I finally did it.  Party because I had a whole day at home with no where to go, and partly because a couple of weeks ago I found the PERFECT pictures in our safe in the closet.  I honestly forgot I had them.

I rounded up all the aqua jars I had, and some clear ones with a square bottom because I thought they just looked cool.
I put them on top of the bookcase because for one, it's a good place to display them where everyone will see them, and two, one of the pictures was this...
my mom and her two sisters, posed of course, reading a book nonetheless.  One of my favorite pictures.  (mom is in the middle)

I put pictures of my husband as a little boy,
pictures of me as a little girl with my grandpa,
and pictures of my dad with his dad when he was little.
I think they look great.  In all honesty, I probably shoulda cleaned out the jars a little better before I displayed them.  I'll get right on it.  But I think overall, I like the look. 
They are in the perfect place.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Holdin' it together

A random comment at supper got me thinking.

How many times as a mother have I been scared out of my mind?

You see, we were talking about the little bump on Grace's forehead.  The one she's had all her life, but which we really haven't noticed till maybe the last year.  It's not a huge bump, and if she had bangs, it would totally be covered up, but it's just something a little more pronounced on one side.

Brent made the comment that maybe it was from when she fell out of her high chair when she was 9 months old.

Oh yeah, you heard me.  She scared the willies out of me.

It reminded me that there have been so many times (maybe more than there should've been) that my kids have been hurt pretty bad, and to be strong for them, I had to hold my fear in check.

When Grace was 9 months old, she had a habit of standing up in her high chair, even while strapped in.  One time, while both our heads were turned, she preceded to do it and fall out of her highchair and onto the hardwood floor of the kitchen.

I felt like the worst mother in the world, and being my first child, I thought I had ruined her.  She was undaunted, however, and did it again a couple days later.  (The standing up, NOT the falling.)

Then, when she was 3, she was playing with an exercise band which just so happened to be hanging around the door handle of the stairway door.  It had a wooden block on it, and somehow, she snapped it, and it came back and hit her square on the chin.  She was 3, Evan was 2, and she was bleeding quite a lot.  I held it together long enough to cover her chin, and call Brent to meet us in the emergency room.
Brave trouper that she was, she never cried a bit.  She got 3 stitches I think and today, you can't even see the place where it happened on her chin.

I had several years in between her and Evan's exploits.
When Evan was in kindergarten I got a call at home.  He had gotten hurt on the playground, and I should probably come in and get him, and take him to the doctor to see if he needed stitches.
First of all, this is NOT the call you want to get, ever.
I flew into school (breaking all the speed limits, I'm sure) and saw the very deep cut in his bottom lip.
Since doctors LOVE their lunch hours, and this happened over lunch hour, we had to wait about an hour to be seen.
To say he was terrified was an understatement, and I was shaking as well.  It took the nurse and I and God to hold him down long enough for the doctor to numb his lip and put in only one stitch.  We were all sweating from the exertion of the act.
We were not home even an hour before that little sucker ripped out the one stitch it took the doctor 20 minutes to put in.  I coulda creamed him.  The next day, you couldn't even tell he had a cut in his lip!

He did give me 4 years reprieve, though before he did something like that again.
Last Friday, which I later learned was the 13th (go figure), didn't turn out quite as I had hoped.  We had a 2 hour delay due to snow, which was great, and at 9:45 the kids and I headed into school.
I was delivering papers to the teachers, to be passed out before the end of the day, and I had just turned into Grace and Evan's hallway.  I was heading to Evan's classroom, when I saw him and his teacher heading toward me.  Only Evan's teacher had his hand to the back of Evan's head, and they both looked pretty serious and concerned.  As they got closer, his teacher said to me, he's had an accident.  My heart literally stopped I think.  I saw blood on the back of his shirt collar, and on Evan's hand.  I immediately forgot about the papers in my hand, and followed them down to the nurse's office.  Being the efficient nurse that she is, she took things under hand and got all of us under control.  I ran to my room and called the doctor and asked to be seen, not knowing what she would do.  We left, with his head wrapped commando-style, and headed the 5 miles to the doctor.  The 10 minute ride seemed as long as an hour.

We were seen right away and an hour later, we left with 5 stitches in the back of his head, just under his hair where no one could see.  He wanted to go back to school, so we did, and arrived just in time for him to have lunch.  He later told me the girls swarmed him and wanted to make sure he was ok.    Little stud.  :-)

I'm due for a couple years reprieve again, right.  Or maybe a lifetime would suffice.
I just can't handle the fear that goes along with wondering if your child will be ok, and trying to hold yourself in check all at the same time.  How do people who don't have God in their lives, get through it?  I don't know, and can't imagine.  He's the rock you cling to, praying the whole time for the sake of your child, or your friend, or your family member, or even yourself.
Thank heaven he's in my life.  Thank heaven he's healed my children over and over and over again.
Thank heaven he gives me strength as a mother, because believe me, I need it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I was gonna talk about...

So, I started out this morning wanting to talk about Valentine crafts...since, well, you know THAT season is coming up (thankfully that whole stressful high school time with finding who your valentine will be for that ONE day is OVER) and I got sidetracked by this little picture.
I have NO idea how this came into my search criteria.  Maybe because it's pink.  I don't know, but then the looking for Valentine crafts thing just kinda went through the window, and it was all about searching for the perfect menu planning board.

I saw this...

 which is cute and all, but maybe a little plain for me.  Don't get me wrong...I LOVE the gold.  That's my new favorite color, mustardy gold...but we're getting off the subject again.

I saw the pair of these...

 which were more my speed.  I liked the pocket for favorite meals, which by the way are laminated.  LOVE THAT!  I also liked the pop bottle top days of the week, and the header.  This might be a possibility, and then I saw this...

I loved the fav's, fast, and new meal choices.  Because sometimes that's how life is.  When I'm planning out my meals for the week (cause I honestly do every week...don't understand some people who don't...) I need some "fast" meals for the times the kids have a late practice, or church, or games.  It's not easy to work all day, and then come home and immediately start a meal.  I have to be prepared!

You see, I might boarder on the side of obsessive in many things in my life.  I don't like that word though...I like PREPARED, or ORGANIZED, or EXTREMELY FUNCTIONAL.  Those sound so much better.

Whenever I get my grocery store sale flyer in the paper (usually Sunday) I sit down and prepare, based on the sales for the week, my coupons on hand, what's in my freezer, and sometimes what's in my pantry...my menu for the week, and all in one breath, my grocery list, which, I might add is in order of how the store is laid out.  (Ok, THAT might be OVER THE TOP, but who wants to run back and forth from aisle to aisle to find things on your list.  I personally don't have that kinda time.) 

My menu plan is currently a sheet of lined paper on the fridge, and my frequent list of meals/side dishes is in my recipe binder.  Not really cute to look at.  BUT, it is effective.  My kids always know what's for supper, and I am NOT A MEAL NATZI where I never change a meal...sometimes I don't feel like fixing what is stated for the night, so I might switch with another.

Either way, it does take a lot of preparation, and planning ahead if I need to defrost something. 

I just would like it to look a little cuter in my kitchen.  So, it's going on my to-do list, which miraculously gets bigger every time I check out pinterest.com.  Hmmm...

So tell me, based on the above...which is YOUR favorite, and if you feel so inclined, tell me how you plan your week's meals.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hello Monday

Monday's aren't always the greatest...I mean, it's back to work, back to getting up early...back to well....Monday!  Lisa Leonard, however, inspired me to link up to her Hello Monday post today.

Hello chippy green toolbox/tackle box at one of the greatest antique stores I've ever been to.
Thanks to my wonderful cousin Emily for taking me along with you!
Hello row upon row of aqua mason jars.
Your dusty beach-colored beauty makes me swoon.
Hello metal, library-esque drawers that will totally hide my DVD movie collection and Wii games.  They never deserve to be out in the open.
Hello new Boden catalog that arrived in the mail today.  Your beautiful clothes call to me.

Hello wonderfully adorable bulletin board that I saw online and know I can make myself...one of these days.

And lastly, hello great big gaping hole above my stove.  Hello money down the drain for a new cabinet, new exhaust fan, and new, well, who knows what.

It's the beginning of the week, and we really can't get past it...so, well, Monday, you weren't SO bad...
I'm linking up to Lisa Leonard's Monday link up.  Pop on over and join me.