Friday, July 29, 2011


Well, I'm happy to report that our play/school room room is coming along quite nicely as you can clearly see in this picture. ha. 

I promised Handy Andy that since our "To-Do" list is a mile long, i would only paint this room if i could get it done while he was on a trip. Well, i did it! After 10 million paint chips taped to the wall i decided on "Eloquent Ivory" by Glidden, bought a gallon and used every spare moment (even if the kids ended up tunneling in the huge pile while i painted) to get it done while he was flying. And yes, ended up with paint splotches all over us, but it was worth it. Handy Andy on the other hand had to be very optimistic to see that this "progress" was worth it instead of seeing it as a huge step in the opposite direction. And to be honest, when i stepped back and saw the gigantic mess i had created, i was kinda doubtful myself. 
But anyway, thanks to Handy Andy taking the kids to the pool every afternoon this week, this huge pile no longer exists, things are finding a home, (which has frequently been the trash), and it is looking better. for the most part.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thriftty Thursday- Vintage Song Books

I found these books at the same garage sale as the wooden puzzles. The gal was selling them for .10 a piece! I couldn't believe it, but quickly snatched them all up. The colors are SO beautiful. I often just sit and flip through them- getting more color inspiration than from a style magazine. 

 They are filled with adorable songs and gorgeous pictures.

 This one is a favorite

 Good thing at least one of us in the house is musically inclined (It's the handy one, in case you're wondering.) or we'd never know what most of these sound like.

The bindings are so beautiful- Aren't the color combinations perfect? lime and burnt orange, purple and robin egg blue, navy and fun.  Anyway, now i'm trying to figure out the right way to display them.
The 1950's were so cool.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

sunglass case/ color fail?

I can't even count how many times i've finished a project only to be a little disappointed with the outcome. This project is just one example.

A sweet friend mentioned in passing one day that her sunglasses didn't fit in a standard sunglass case and how a felt one would be nice to protect them from the inside of her purse. Right away i had in my head to make her one. But...i kinda forgot about it until Sunday morning and since it happened to be her last day before moving out of state, i quickly got out my felt and tried to put it together before church. 
In my head i thought these colors would look better, but now i can't really decide if i like it or not. Of course, once i finished with it, i  realized i only had a 45 min to get myself and the kids out of our pjs and ready for church, so there wasn't any time to fiddle...but anyway, putting together colors is HARD- at least for me. :)
Either way, the rest of it turned out pretty well. Mostly due to the fact that it was easy- just four layers of felt, a small piece of elastic sewn into the middle of one side, a cute vintage button on the other side, and then sewn together around the 3 sides, leaving the edge exposed. Then i sewed on the flower and hot glued the edges so they wouldn't get crumpled inside her purse.
If my sunglasses weren't just a cheap $9 pair from Target i might be inspired to try out a new color combo and make one for myself...OR maybe handy andy would like a black, white and gold combo with a little felt airplane symbol?! It could very well be the hot new trend in the pilot world...hmmm. ;)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

motherhood is a {hard} calling

Being a mom is hard. Our kids are adorable and precious and cute and there are tons of joys and sweet moments but its still hard. really, really hard. Kids know how to push buttons, their emotions are complicated, there's always drama: the highs are so high and the lows are crazy low. They have needs and wants all.the.time, and they rarely appreciate what it takes to keep everything going, let alone to make the fun stuff happen. They sin: their bad attitudes and character flaws make me cringe. they fight, complain and whine. They don't eat, sleep or go potty on command. They require teaching, explaining, consequences, training and re-training. They make messes, have fits, try my patience and bring me to tears of frustration like i've never experienced before.

I am often guilty of living in "wishland"- just wishing i could have a quiet night, a peaceful nap time, an uninterrupted hour to craft, a day without any discipline issues..blah, blah, blah.
But the fact is, they are gifts to me. I am their mom and being their mom is not a hobby, its a calling. and it requires sacrifice. I read this article by a fellow mom tonight and it convicted me more than anything i have ever heard. Here's a quote that brings it all into perspective.

"Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work. Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone."  
{click here to read the full article}

A few weeks ago, i was especially stressed; the kids had been acting out, there was tons to do on my list, i was tired and cranky and apparently all that showed on my face without me realizing it. That is until, Sophie came up to me and with a sweetly concerned look, put her hand out to touch me and asked, "Mommy, what is wrong with your face? It is sad." I'd like to think my kids surely don't notice and aren't affected by MY sin, but i know that isn't true and that's why this article was something i SO needed to hear and hopefully remember. Anyway, i know this post is fairly random and a bit out of no where, but since i don't journal, this blog is the best place to keep record of it. :) Hopefully it will encourage and challenge you too. :)

 A simple project is coming tomorrow. OH, and this sweet picture of Baby Ben and me was taken by my lovely sister.

linking to: capturing motherhood/

Saturday, July 23, 2011

calm kids=pictures in focus

The kids were unusually still the other day while we were sitting on the front porch, so i quickly took the opportunity to try and get some pictures in focus, for once. :)

 those eyelashes....definitely not from my side

and then... the calm started to wear off :)

Thanks, kiddos!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

thrifty thursday: chalkboard

I realize everyone is on a chalkboard kick these days....but i really had no idea what i was missing out on until my mom found this one for me at a garage sale for $5. I LOVE it! I actually think i need another one, because its so nice to have our "Summer List" printed out all the time but it would also be nice to have another one to do fun things like this and this without having to erase and rewrite. Either way, chalkboards are the way to go. Thanks Mom!

And if you're interested in making a Magnetic chalkboard (i'm thinking this could be my 2nd one) my sister so kindly posted a tutorial of the one she made right here. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

school/play/craft room panic

So, i was walking in Target today and had a mini panic attack when i turned a corner towards the back of the store and realized i had just entered School Supply World.  I have always felt a twinge of anxiety when school supplies show up in all the stores towards the end of july. Even when i was little, i felt annoyed that the stores were stealing my last few weeks of summer...the same way i feel when i see Christmas decor in Hobby Lobby by August....grrrr.

 Anyway, today the anxiety was because i promised myself i wouldn't buy the fun stuff like markers, crayons, paper, glue, notebooks etc. until my school/play/craft room is ready for September- aka KINDERGARTEN! And boy, is it a LONG way from ready.  For the record, i know we could start kindergarten on our kitchen table [and that's probably where we'll end up eventually] but for me, and my mental state, its very important to have our school space official and organized before we start our first year. So, right now i'm making lists, collecting paint chips, sorting through junk, moving furniture and hoping to start making some real progress soon. In the meantime i thought i'd share some inspiration photos. The color in these just makes me happy. :)

{pioneer woman}


{land of nod}


And just to keep it really real, here's a photo taken of our school room a few months ago. I'm happy to report it hasn't looked this bad since this pic was taken. yikes. Stay in touch. i'll keep ya updated.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

wedding bells

My sweet little mom got married a week ago. It was simple yet very lovely and we're so happy for them both. Here are some pics a friend took of the evening. 

This is one of my favorite pictures. Isn't she cute!

Oh, and see the poofs in the background?? Sister i stayed up until 12am the night before the wedding making tons and tons of these because we had a vision. Not a very clear vision but we knew it would have to involve poofs and lights somehow. And thanks to Handy Andy, we didn't have "poof" bombs falling all night. (15 min. after she and i finished taping all 20+ poofs to the ceiling, they started randomly falling down one by one. So...Andy had to go back through, tie them to push pins and re-attach them to the ceiling. He's so handy. and nice.)

Here's handy Andy's wonderful younger sister, Bethany and my Madeline. We coaxed Madeline to smile for the first one with the promise that after a "serious" one we'd let her show off her "silly skills".

And here's the most pathetic picture of the night- Sophie mourning the loss of her Nana. In almost every picture of the reception- from toasts to exiting down the church steps, Sophie was at Nana's side....and then the inevitable came- she had to go. in the car. with her husband. without sophie. There were many, many, many tears. All the way home in fact. So much for being the MAMA. oh well. :)

Here's a little happier note to end on- the sweetest mom ever and the most wonderful friend, who also just happens to be my lovely Sister.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a mama and baby gift

Last night i got to go to a surprise "Pampering" shower for a dear friend who just had her 5th little boy. If any mama deserves some pampering, it is she. Anyway, since she already has the essentials it was super fun to put together this little assortment of "extras".

Her nursery theme is orange, aqua and brown so i kinda started out with those colors in mind for the little monogrammed onesie and then it was just fun to keep the color theme going. I don't know about you, but putting gifts together doesn't always come easily for me, so when they do, it feels like big deal and i thought ya'll might like to see and maybe be inspired. :)

Here's the onesie- super easy, just felt sewed on top of  a purchased onesie. (It was nice that his initial was such a simple one!)

The little man definitely needed a bow-tie (made using this tutorial)

I was so excited to find this super cute orange necklace at a little boutique (AND for 50% off!). Being the only girl in her house, i thought a little "bling" was in order. :)

And lastly, Burt's Bees can quickly pamper any girl.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

happy birthday daddy-o

I don't think my dad really reads this fun 'ole blog but either way, its his birthday today and worthy of mention. I also thought it was worthy of trying to get a picture card done but alas, sometimes kids just don't cooperate. I thought maybe the black white hid the kid's rather uninterested expressions. :)
Either way, we do love you, dad! Glad we get to celebrate tonight! :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

rainy day fun...thanks to dad

Last week i looked out the door and saw Sophie run down the sidewalk in the rain, then i saw Will following her. I ran to the door and was about to yell out, "What in TARNATION gave you the idea to splash in puddles in the rain?!!??" when at that moment Handy Andy and Madeline ran from behind the car chasing the other two. 

Apparently they have at least one fun-loving-live-in-the-moment parent who realizes that nothing is more wonderful to kids than getting all wet in a warm summer rain. Good thing he was home or they would have missed out on the experience because initially all i could see was wet clothes and wet feet and a potential mess and inconvenience. Hope they realize how blessed they are.

Once the rain stopped but the puddles remained i let Ben experience a little of the fun too. (aren't chubby baby legs just the best?!)

Oh happy rainy day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

thrifty thursday: vintage puzzle abundance

Last Friday night i got on Craigslist and looked for garage sales. There were only a few listed that were for Saturday only but two of them sounded amazing. So i did what i never do- set an alarm for 6:30am and was out the door and at the two garage sales right as they opened. I couldn't believe my eyes when i saw this whole stack of vintage wooden puzzles and for only $2 each. I greedily snatched them up hoping the owner wouldn't reconsider selling them after seeing my crazy eyes. ;)

 One evening after the girls had dumped out several of these and were unsuccessful at putting them back together i began cleaning them up and was amazed how tricky they were. I kept making observations like, "these are really tricky to put together!" " i don't even know where this piece goes." Anyway, Handy Andy began snickering and poking some jabs about them being for children and what- not. So, i  timed him on the squirrel puzzle and am quite happy to report that he hesitated not just once and i think it might have taken him nearly a minute to complete. So there, its not just me; kids back in the 60's were simply more spacial than we are.

Isn't this one just completely quirky?! Love it.