Thursday, September 30, 2010

Some Inspiration

Here it is the last day of September.  Where has the month gone?  Seriously.  Where?



Still struggling with ideas.  Maybe the new month with bring some inspiration.  Speaking of inspiration (do you like that segue way?), we finally found some art to hang above the mantle.  It has several colors we like.  It has also given me a way to start decorating the large family room & kitchen.  This has had me stumped for a while now.  There is no break in the walls and I have dark green furniture I really don't need to replace.  What do you do?  Go shopping.  Keep looking until you find something you like.  Well guess what?  The art work has a lighter shade of the green in it and other colors to help pull the room together.  Want to see it?  Sure you do.

inspiration



Sorry, it's not the best shot but it's getting late (meaning I'm tired) and the lighting is not so good.  But you get the idea.  I'm going to pull the brown, green, and blues into the room(s).  I don't think I'll actually get to work on this project for a while (it's going to be a lot of painting) but I needed to share something today.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Ideas

I think I'm running out of ideas to blog about.  I know I should find something from the everyday mundane but that can be difficult sometimes.  Yesterday I painted my studio but it needs a few more days to get settled in before I take any pictures.  Here's my not so exciting post.



My brother's wedding is quickly approaching.  We are getting things ready to attend.  Mat will be the flower girl.  She's looking forward to it.  She has her dress, shoes, tights, a shrug for the reception, and she's waiting for me to make a ribbon flower for her hair.  Tia is going to be fixing up said hair.  I wish her luck with that project.  Tonight Meg and I went out to get a few things.  I had bought her some skirts but no tops.  We found some tops.  Kade got a new pair of khakis (only because his old pair are floods).  Mickey is good.  I found a darling dress from Shabby Apple.  (It's the first dress I've had in years.  They just don't seem to fit me right.)  It's on the simple side, which I wanted, so I needed a few accessories.  I found some sparkly black jewelry and these.

New Shoes



They're a little taller than what I usually wear but I love the satin crossing over itself and the peep toes.  I don't think I've ever had a pair where my toes peek out.  Fun.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Playing Soccer

Kade had a game tonight.  Usually they're on Saturdays but this works for me.  It's not nearly as cold and the grass wasn't wet.  Mickey and Meg had Young Women's tonight so they couldn't make it.  Mat complained for a while until she found some friends her own age to play with.  That was a relief.



Kade was ready to call it quits after the first half.  I encouraged him to finish the game.  Then he could get a treat.  Treats are great bribes, aren't they?



Here's Kade running with the ball.

Playing Hard





This is just one of a few times.  Most of the time he was behind the herd.



I wanted to share this picture too.  Thought it was cool.  I'm sure I couldn't repeat the results.

Taking a break

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Master After

If you don't remember what our room looked like before click here.



Our room is quite large.  It took me a while to paint it.  It required two trips to IKEA (in Chicago).  One trip is still needed to get the chaise lounge.  I had to make a few trips to local stores to find just the right thing.



Here's the reveal of our master bedroom.

Master After



What do you think?  I LOVE it.  Now that it's pretty much done I have no desire to paint any other room.  I just want to stay in my relaxing room.  Although making that quilt last week has got my juices flowing again.  (I have a list of projects to do before Christmas.  I better get started because it'll be here before we know it.)



This is one of my favorite accessories, besides the pictures over the bed.



Purple Lamp



I found it at Target.  Loved it.  Had to get it.



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fruit

In our attempt to eat a little healthier I have a very boring white plate filled with fruit sitting on the kitchen island.  Sometimes we eat a lot so it can be pretty empty.  Sometimes the fruit sits there for a while and it doesn't look to appetizing.  This is what it looks right now.

Fruit Mountain



I have been waiting for pear season.  We all like them but when you have to buy them not even close to being ripe they never taste good.



To make the fruit even more appealing I'm on the hunt for a cute metal wire bowl or maybe a colorful Fiestaware platter.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Favored Food

Recently we have been on a kick eating waffles for breakfast.  Not the yummy fresh ones but the ones made by Eggo.  I found a box of 60 at Sam's for under $10.  That's a pretty good price.  I compared it to Meijer's sale price this week.  Pretty much the same.

Eggo Waffles



As you know you can't really eat a waffle plain, at least they don't taste as good that way.  We go through a lot of syrup too.  Sam's supplies that too.  With the kids being kids I have found way too many sticky spots in the kitchen.  My favorite one is the pantry door or maybe the spot on the floor I stepped in and cleaned up three times.



For those of you waiting for the quilt reveal, here it is.



Meandering Quilt Finished



It turned out awesome and I got it done in five days.  Yay!  I even had a few hours of down time before needing to take it to church.  The best part about handing it over was when one of our readers (who was in charge of the evening) came (almost) running over to me gushing about how beautiful the quilt is and that she was glad I got it done.  Then she said it needed to have it's own table to be shown off.  That made my day.  I hope this quilt makes someone else's day too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shoes, Shoes, & More Shoes

In our old house we didn't have a closet for coats, shoes, and other things.  In the new house...let's just say we have lots of closet space.  One of these closets is in the foyer/entry.  What do you call it?  Anyway.  This closet is very roomy.  The shelf is full of family games.  We also have the vacuum stored there along with a box of school supplies and a few folding chairs.  This is also where everyone dumps their shoes.  That is when they actually remember to not leave them laying around all over the foyer.  I'll admit I'm guilty of leaving a pair under the computer desk.  Hey, they're easy for me to find there.  Could you find a pair of shoes in this mess?  (This actually looks pretty good.)



shoes



I had to put about 10 pairs of shoes away before taking this picture.  Can't wait to see what it looks like when all the flips are put away for the winter.  I'll have to come up with a better place for wet boots.  I don't want them ruining the wood floor.



Another thing about this closet.  It smells...like FEET.  Be glad we can't share smells on line.  Someone mentioned to me that I should store my extra candles in the closet.  The fragrance might help with the odor.  Febreze only lasts so long.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Appleseed

To prelude this post you must know that last week at school Kade learned all about Johnny Appleseed.



This afternoon Kade wanted an apple for part of his snack.  There were a few weird looking spots on it so he asked to have the peel removed.  I complied.  When I handed it back to him he asked if I took out the seeds.  I told him no.  Then I explained I would have had to cut the apple open since they're on the inside.  He was good with that.  He went on to devour the apple.  A few minutes later he announced a discovery, an apple seed.  He ended up with four in the end.

appleseeds





Then he told me he was going to plant them in the yard so we could have our own apple trees.  (That would be nice.)  I asked where he was going to do this.  "Oh, by the other trees," he said.  I told him it takes a long time for a tree to grow and that it might not grow at all.  He thought about it for a while and then told me he was just going to throw them outside and see what happened.  And that's exactly what he did.



I suppose we now have our very own Johnny Appleseed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Good Cause

Our school does fund raisers using local chain restaurants.  Today was Papa John's.  Mickey and I had decided not to buy pizza tonight.  We've had enough junk in the last month to last us a while.  Well, Kade came home from school all gun ho about going to Papa John's for dinner tonight--he wanted to eat there.  He was even sporting a sticker reminding us about the fund raiser tonight.  Man, they can really brain wash those little kids.  I told Kade we probably weren't getting pizza tonight.  He immediately starting crying.  (I think he could have used a nap but he wasn't going to do that.)  To avoid being the mean parent I told him we'd wait for dad to come home and we'd talk to him about it.  I sent an e-mail to Mickey to give him a heads up.  After a discussion about dinner and some more tears Kade got his way.

Papa John's



At least I didn't have to listen to anyone complain about dinner.  That was a nice change.



I just finished the quilt top!  Love it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another Quilt

I have given myself a challenge:  to make a quilt in five days.  Can I do it?  I sure would like to.  This Saturday is the women's broadcast.  We're having a dinner before hand.  The women in charge want those who have made a humanitarian quilt to bring it in to show off.  Then they will be taken to the store house to await delivery somewhere in the world.  I found the quilt I want to make at the Moda Bake Shop.  I'm loving that site.  So inspirational.  I've had to alter the pattern a little to make it be 90" square.  Really it will be 92", close enough.



Here's a little of what I've got done so far.

Meandering Path Quilt



Mickey said he really liked the pattern and then asked if I was really giving it away.  Yes, I am.  I saw some of the quilts made back in February and let's just say some of them weren't that pretty.  I feel the need to make up for that.  I plan to do this pattern in fabrics that work in our house sometime soon.  I really love it.



I'm off to sew more.  Stay tuned to see the finished project.  Maybe Saturday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Exercise

Not too long ago Mickey and I were feeling a little frumpy/plump.  I knew I was going to start working out consistently (again) once the kids were in school.  Mickey wanted to find a way to exercise too.  He found miCoach by Adidas.

Mi Coach





He's been doing really good at getting his workout in before work.  Until last week when he somehow injured himself.  I made him take the rest of the week off after I had rubbed his sore spot and almost made him cry.  He took Meg to practice tonight and decided to get his run in at the park.  I guess the injury has healed.



I just want to add that I think it's totally unfair that Mickey, and probably men in general, can work out half as much (or maybe less) as I do and can get in shape 5 times as fast.  It takes me at least 12 weeks to even start noticing a difference.  I tell you it's unfair!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Birthday Cake

Cookies & Cream Cake



This is the cake Meg wanted for her party.  Cookies & Cream.  I made a huge one.



Recipe:





1 white cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)

1-1/4 cups water

1/3 cup oil (I used unsweetened applesauce)

3 egg whites

1-1/2 cups crushed Oreos

1 can vanilla frosting (again I prefer DH)

1/2 cup crushed Oreos

Mix first 4 ingredients until smooth; gently stir in crushed cookies.  Pour batter into greased and floured 9X13 pan.  Bake 25-35 minutes or until done.  Cool completely.



Mix frosting and crushed cookies and spread over cake.



Now I really don't care for this cake but a lot of other people did.  There's only a little bit left.  We served it with cookies & cream ice cream, of course.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

ND Football

For a few years now Mickey has really been into watching Notre Dame play.  (I haven't been a loyal fan since Lou Holtz was coach.)  He has a few shirts to show his loyalty.  He now has a really good reason to watch.  Manti Te'o goes to our church (ward).  We've all had a really long and busy day but Mickey has found some way to stay up--at least for a little while--to watch the late away game.



Kade begged to stay up and watch the game too.  This is how they're watching it.

Watching Football



Kade's asked a few questions here and there.  Like "Why did the ref (insert a noise that's supposed to sound like a whistle)?" or "Where's Manti?"  Yes, he knows who he is.  They had to give him a ride to church once.  He's so big you'd probably never forget him, especially when you're five.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sleepover

This afternoon the kids were out jumping and the neighbor girl, B., came over.  I love that they all get along.  And sometimes, okay most of the time, my kids will talk over each other to get her attention.  Back to the story.  I was telling them that I would have dinner ready in about 10 minutes and then the question came.  Can B. sleep over?  I've heard it before but couldn't say yes at the time.  There really wasn't any reason to say no so I said yes.  (I'm not too keen on having extra children over at bedtime because mine can be enough but she's 14 and very well behaved.)  After we ate and ran a few errands (B. needed to eat at home) we went over to pick her up.



We spent the evening chatting, cleaning bedrooms, watching the new Barbie movie, and eating popcorn.  The girls both wanted B. to sleep in their room.  Meg was the only one to allow her sister in her room so Meg's room it was.

Sleepover



They didn't get to stay up too late since Meg has a soccer game in the morning but I think 10:30 is good when they usually go to bed by 8.



I better check to see if the lights are out.  I hear talking.  I also have to study my Sunday School lesson on Isaiah.  Anyone want to teach for me?



Thursday, September 16, 2010

A New Violin

Violins





Did you know violins come in a large range of prices?  We found out the hard way tonight.  Meg got the go ahead from her orchestra teacher to get a full sized one.  We were happy to know that all the money we've spent on her rental can be applied to the purchase of one from the store.  We went to Quinlan & Fabish to take advantage of a sale today.  We were shown different violins and Meg tried them out.  I listened closely to make sure she got one with a good tone while Mickey kept the reds occupied.  We found one that sounded good and then the salesman dropped the bomb.  It was THIRTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!  What!?  There was no way we were spending that much for a violin for a 12 year old.  We tried out a few that were less money.  We found two decent ones that were $700.  Much better but still.  "But oh," the salesman said, "this violin can be traded in when she's in high school and the price of this one can be applied to the new one..."  Yeah, whatever.  The best part is the bow and case are EXTRA.



Mickey brought up renting for another year since all the rental fees would still be available for the new one next year.  I had to agree with that because Meg just doesn't put in a lot of practice time.  But Meg really wanted her own.  I could understand that too.  I had to leave to meet my mom for a date before the decision was made.  I came home to find out that Mickey had talked her into renting.  Now Meg has a year to show us that she's serious and will put in the practice time.  I hope she does because I think she'd be amazing if she would only practice more.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Turning 12

Meg has finally made it to her twelfth birthday.  She is so excited, as you can see.

So excited



Actually, she's really excited about the present she just opened.  Pokemon Battle Revelution.  She also scored the first season of Hannah Montana and some of her music too.  There was a new Colts shirt thrown in also.  She wanted pizza for dinner and I got a big cookie from Martin's instead of making a cake.  I'll be doing that for her party this weekend.



Happy Birthday, Meg!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Play-doh Please

One of the supplies the kindergarten teacher has asked for is play-doh.  She gave us a recipe along with the request.  I've been meaning to make some but...you know how it is.  Another note came home today.  I got right on it.  Kade wanted to help.  I handed him a full cup of flour to put in the pan but when part of it landed on the counter I freaked out and took over.  (I know, I'm no fun.)  I did let him pick and add the food coloring.

Play-doh





He also wanted it to smell.  I pulled out my oils and he chose peppermint.  Yum.  Now he can play with minty turquoise play-doh tomorrow.  With this second request I'm guessing the teacher will get lots of it tomorrow.  I wonder what other colors and scents she may get.  What would you make?  I'm thinking next time I'll do yellow with lemon oil.  Or pink with cherry.  How fun is that?  Or we could do a really weird combo like purple and lemon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

On the Floor

As a mom I am always reminding little people to clean up after themselves.  Sometimes I feel like it's all I do.  Maybe it is.  Is it so bad to want to have a clean house? I don't think so.  Kade is by far the cleanest of our kids.  But I do have to keep reminding him about something he usually leaves on the floor.

Pile of clothes



Dirty clothes in a pile.  Is this a familiar thing at your house?  The girls' piles have become small mountains.  All the reminders for them seem to go in one ear and out the other.  Does all the reminding and, dare I say, nagging work?  Or am I just wasting my breath?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Glee

Glee



This is our favorite new tv show.  (At least Mickey's and mine.)  We missed the entire first season but are watching it on Hulu with an episode or two almost every night.  We're sure to catch up just in time for the new season to start.  Then we'll have to wait a whole week to watch the next one.



The music is really good.  We've downloaded the first two soundtrack albums (one & two) and will surely get the others soon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Caught Up in the Silliness

Have you heard of silly bandz?  I have but I've been trying to avoid the darn things.  With the kids being in school there is no longer any way to avoid them.  They are everywhere!  The question I've been asked the most since school started is, "When can you buy me some silly bands?"  Why is always my response.  I just don't see the point.  Can someone explain it to me?



Mickey took Meg to get some new cleats and ended up buying a package of Colts silly bandz for the kids to share.  (He's such a softy.)  The kids were very excited to have some of their own.

Silly Bands



I'm sure this is only the beginning.  I bet they'll all have an armful soon enough.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Country Fair

Our church put on a country fair tonight.  It was similar to a 4H fair but the only ride was a hay ride.  The concept was interesting.  People could submit anything they wanted to present:  produce, preserved food, quilts, photography, etc.  It was also a pot luck dinner with a roasted hog, hot dogs, and burgers and roasted corn on the cob.  There were a lot of people that attended.  It's probably one of the best activities I've seen in a while.  (That's not saying much since I try to avoid them.)



Here's a few shots from the night.

Corn Hole



Meg playing corn hole.  (She was busy the rest of the night twisting balloons.)



Face Painting



Mat getting her face painted.



Tractor Ride



Kade and I on the hayride.  That's our neighbor behind us.  I think she had fun too.



Mickey ended up learning a macho polynesian dance with a bunch of other men.  I took pictures but it was too dark.  You'll have to use your imagination.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Noisy Neighbor

I'm sure we've all had one of these at some time.  Until recently our new neighborhood has been really quiet.  The weather has been on the cooler side so I've had the windows open a lot.  Sunday we had to close them because of our noisy neighbor.  This neighbor likes to sing and make all kinds of racket.  Mickey really has issues with him.  He has gone outside to find the neighbor with a cup of water in hand to throw on the noise maker.  It doesn't really bother me so I think this is funny.



This afternoon I was playing the piano and the neighbor invited them self onto the front porch and started singing along.  Since I knew where he was I could finally get a picture.

Singing Chipmunk



It seems that we have our own little musical chipmunk.  I'm sure Mickey will be happy once he decides it's time to hibernate.



The kids were outside while I was making dinner/cleaning the kitchen.  Meg runs in and tells me I have to come out now.   I run out thinking someone got hurt on the tramp.  She says to look and points up to the sky.  After taking a look I ran for the camera since I had never seen anything like it before.



Rainbow Clouds



Have you ever seen a rainbow on clouds?  So cool!  Meg wanted the picture to be the potd so I guess we'll have two.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Birthday Food

Mickey's birthday is today.  Since we weren't buying gifts this year I gave gifts of food.  I woke up way too early so I made Mickey breakfast before he left for work.  Fried eggs and toast.  He was full for hours.  That's a new experience for him.  Then I took him out to lunch at New China.  We got the buffet.  He couldn't think of anything he really wanted for dinner so I made a taco dip and we ate from a veggie tray leftover from a friend's funeral yesterday.  Snack food for dinner works when you want to save room for your birthday treats.



I couldn't decide which pie to make so I made both.  Mickey didn't object one bit.

Two Pies



On the left is Oreo Triple Layer Chocolate Pie and on the right is his favorite Lemon Meringue.  They were both good.



Happy Birthday, Babe.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Adventure

Today was the day I took my mom on an adventure.  Thankfully our traveling went smoothly because the shopping didn't.



I took my mom to IKEA.  I think she had fun.  We checked out just about everything.  We could have spent a few more hours there for sure but we had a deadline to be home.  My mom picked up a chair like mine.  That was her main goal and she succeeded.  I got the footstool to go with mine.  I also found some of the things I went for.  I was rather bummed to not find this (the website still says there's one in stock but I guess it's lost) or this.  I'll have to make another run in the next few weeks.  Darn it.



Besides introducing my mom to the store I also introduced her to their yummy frozen yogurt and these delicious treats.

IKEA cinn rolls



Monday, September 6, 2010

Boating

With it being Labor Day a few family members wanted to have a little get together to do some boating.  Last month Mickey won a silent auction put on by the Boy Scout office.  He won two kayaks.  He had stored them away before I could photograph them.  They'll get their spotlight today.



We took them over to Jan and Doc's house.  Mike brought his canoe and Chris and Amanda brought their kayaks, too.  We had a fun afternoon boating on the little lake.  It would have been nice to not have the strong winds but we dealt with it.



On the maiden voyage Mickey flipped over.  One minute I'm watching him get launched and then a minute later (I wasn't watching every second) I notice he's out in the middle of the lake not sitting on the kayak but laying his body over it.  (Wish I could have gotten that on video.)  I guess the kayaks require excellent balance.  Meg went out in one also and fell off a few times but seemed to get the hang of it.  I wanted to use the kayak but didn't want to get soaked since I wasn't wearing my swim suit.  I went out in Mike's canoe only to be plowed into the ground upon landing and tipped into the water by my husband.  It's a good thing I love him.  Mattey and Kade tagged along with anyone going out in the canoe or the paddle boat.

Boating



We had a fun afternoon on the lake and then enjoyed a meal together.



This was after a fun time with our friends, the Stones, this morning.  They came over to bounce on the tramp and have lunch.  We'll have to do that again when there's no school.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Legos

Legos



These are the only toys allowed in the family room all the time.  (Not counting video games.)  They have their own little bin and corner of the room.  I love that all the kids, even Mickey, can play with these together.  There are arguments sometimes about certain pieces.  I put a stop to that by removing the coveted piece(s).  Then they have a common enemy and can find a way to get along better.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sweet 16

We went to my niece's Sweet 16 party tonight.  It was supposed to be a pool party but the weather kind of took care of that.  Not sure if it even made it to the mid 70s.  That didn't stop some of the teens that showed up.  I think they're a little nuts.  We left before the black lights could really work.  I bet it was pretty cool with all the glow sticks and other brightly colored decorations.



My sister-in-law (not the niece's mother) made the cake.  She was a little concerned about making enough.  I volunteered to make cupcakes.  This is what they looked like.

Sweet 16 cupcake



I will never use these cupcake liners again.  I have never had so much trouble making cupcakes before.  Some didn't rise enough so I put more batter in the next batch only to have them overflow.  At least they tasted good.  If I need a decorative liner for cupcakes I'm going to use the regular cheap ones and tape cute scrapbook paper around them.  They could be personalized that way too.



Friday, September 3, 2010

Grandpa's Apprentice

Grandpa's Apprentice



Meg has taken some interest in her grandfather's business.  She's learning to twist balloons.  She made this parrot last night at a balloon twister meeting.  Notice how it clips on to her shirt.  Cute.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cravings

I was going to post about me starting work on Kade's curtains but that will have to be another day when I hang them or something.  This post was taken over by cravings.  Do you get cravings?  Sometimes something sounds so good you just can't be happy until you have some.



I ran out to grab a curtain rod for Kade's window so I could start the curtains.  While I was out Mickey asked me to grab some Red Vines.  I stopped at Sam's first because I knew he "needed" more fruit mentos.  I looked for Red Vines there.  Nothing.  I go next door to Walmart.  They only have black.  Yuck.  I called Mickey and he said he would be fine without them.  Well, he might be fine but now he had me craving the darn things.  I decide to stop at Target since it's on the way home.  I hit pay dirt.

Red Vines





They had 26 oz. bags on sale 2 for $4.  I grabbed two but the way they are disappearing maybe I should have bought more.  I may have to make another run tomorrow and hide them for a while.



What do you crave?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Good Read

Since it's September and it's time for reading, writing, and arithmetic I thought I'd share one of my favorite reads.

Hunger Games



I stumbled on "Hunger Games" some time early last year.  Loved it!  It does have violence but my mind can't really visualize it so it works for me.  When I finished it I was ready to read "Catching Fire".  I had to wait a w-h-i-l-e for that.  It was good too.  I read somewhere, probably on Amazon.com, that the third installment, "Mockingjay", was coming out right before my birthday.  My plan was to get it first at the library and then order the set for myself if I liked it.  Well, it didn't quiet work out that way.  I remembered too late to place a hold and when I looked there were about 56 holds already.  I looked up the books on Amazon.com and decided to just order them.  I'm skimming through the second although I just reread it a few months ago and then I'm sure I'll devour "Mockingjay".  I hope Suzanne Collins doesn't let me down.  I'll update the post after I read it and let you know if I liked it.



Added on September 2nd: I finished "Mockingjay" this afternoon.  (I was up until 3 am with heartburn.  So fun.)  Suzanne Collins came through.  The third installment was as good as the first two.  It was a bit more gory though, but that's just how it had to finish.