Thursday, March 31, 2011

Summer Fireplace

Someday it will get warmer (I'm trying to believe that) and we won't be using the fireplace anymore.  To keep it functional I got a little something--from Hobby Lobby, or course--to allow us to have that  firelight glow in the warmer months.

Summer Fireplace

I really like it.  What do you think?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


From the title you could probably guess today's post is about Mattey.  She is totally a girly girl.

Recently she's taken to doing her own nails.  (I guess Meg won't do it for her anymore.)  She's still learning to let them dry before doing anything else.  Today she got a little colorful with her polish choices.

Painted Nails

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Six Year Old

He's been waiting for a year to turn six.  The day is finally here.  Thankfully he thought it was a good birthday even though we were crazy busy and had to cram his celebration in between homework and church activities.

The day started out with me waking him up with a round of Happy Birthday.  Then I let him open one present.  It was a little something I whipped up.  A blue shirt (from Target) with an orange number 6 painted on it.  He loved it.  He even chose to wear that over the ND basketball jersey he had planned to wear.  I took a birthday snack to his class this afternoon.  Later Mickey picked him and Mattey up from school.  We got the homework done right away so we could grab an early dinner before the girls needed to be at church.  Then the three of us went to Strikes & Spares to do some go-karting.  I took pictures.  Then the boys played air hockey.  This picture was taken right before Kade beat Mickey 7-6.

Six year old

He looks so grown up already.  What happened to my baby?

We are so thankful to have Kade in our family.  He is a great helper.  He can play well with both or either sister.  He loves to learn and loves math.  He has a great sense of humor, always making us laugh.  We love you, Kade.  Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meeting Mitchell

Today I got to meet Mitchell, our new nephew.  Mickey met him Sunday and the kids have yet to meet him since he's not home yet.  Maybe later this week.

Mitchell is a big boy.  I held him for about 30 minutes and my arm was dead.  I had hoped he'd be awake but no.  He was sound asleep.  At least that helped me get a good picture of him.


He has huge cheeks, a double chin, and no neck.  I just wanted to nibble on those chubby cheeks but I'm afraid that would have been frowned upon.  Maybe when he's a little older.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


We had Kade's family party tonight for his birthday.  Half of the family couldn't be there for some reason or another.  Our friends, the Stones, came to wish Kade a happy birthday along with his grandparents and two uncles and aunt.  Maybe I should have put the info on the blog, I would have welcomed a few party crashers.  Like I said, a small turn out.  Oh well, we had fun and filled our bellies.

Here's what the invite looked like, finished.

I'm six

The pictures taken today did not look very good.  Something is either wrong with the camera or both Mickey and I are taking bad shots.  Here's one of the best.  Kade making a wish.

Making a wish

We'd also like to wish Tia, or Amanda as some of us call her, a happy birthday.  It will be one she won't forget since she's in the hospital enjoying her baby.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Value Bracelets

It's been a very busy and tiring day and I'm glad it's almost over.  This morning we finished cleaning and prepping the house for the baby shower.  The shower went well.  Throughout the day we waited for news about Amanda's progress at the hospital.  It was slow going.  Then Meg and I went to church for a Young Women broadcast.  If you'd like to watch click here.  It was good but I really wish they could keep it to an hour.  The main theme was the youth theme of the year, the 13th Article of Faith.

Before the broadcast there was a dinner for the girls and their mothers.  We could also make a value bracelet based on the YW theme.  I think they turned out nicely.  (I'm letting Mat have mine.)

Value Bracelets

While at church I got a text from Mickey saying that our nephew, Mitchell, had finally arrived via C-section.  He's in the heavy weight division weighing in at 10 lbs. 8 oz. and standing 22-1/4" tall.  What a big kid!  No wonder he got stuck.  Mom and baby are doing well.  Our kids are anxious to meet him in a few days.

I'm off to study my lesson for tomorrow and hopefully get a good sleep so we can have another busy day.  Good night.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cricut made Banner

I borrowed some cartridges from my sister-in-law (thanks Mary) to make a banner for the baby shower tomorrow.  I kind of knew what I wanted to do but once I got started I didn't like it.  So I started from scratch.  This is what I came up with.  I'm loving the pink and brown combo.  It's almost 6' so it gets two photos.



I've only dabbled with the cricut before but I really got to play around with it today.  It was so much fun.  So glad I found it on Black Friday.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring, where are you?

That ground hog was WRONG.  Not that I'm prone to believe the predictions of a furry animal that's incapable of talking but I had high hopes that Spring would be here by now.  The few nice days we've had were great but they were only followed by cold, clouds, and rain.  Or in the case of last night, more snow.

Spring, where are you?

But as you can see the sun is shining!  That was a wonderful treat today.  I've been in a funk all week and the sun shining in my face really helped the funk go away.  Most of the snow melted but I am so ready for warmer weather.

I'm noticing the deck railing is in need of a paint job.  I know the deck part needs some help too.  I guess I have a big project to take on this summer.  Anyone want to help?

Their Favorite Thing

This is a day late because I couldn't get the picture right.  I gave up and used an old one that's been edited.

When we were shopping for a refrigerator the only thing Mickey requested was a water and ice dispenser in the door.  I could live without it but if that's the only thing he wanted I suppose I could make sure we got it.

Water & Ice

The water and ice (cubed or crushed) dispenser gets used a lot by everyone but me.  I'm happy the kids are drinking more water and that they can get it by themselves, usually without making a mess.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

His First Lesson

Just recently, like the last week or so, Kade has been asking me about taking piano lessons.  I was thrilled.  I won't get my hopes up to high since the girls showed interest and then decided it wasn't for them.  Yesterday he was pestering me about it.  I told him tomorrow.  I did, after all, have to dig to find the girls' beginner books.

After school he brought it up again.  Once his homework was done and his snack mess cleaned up we sat down to the piano.  (We really need a new one.  Or at least one that plays all the important notes, like middle C.  Here's the one I want.)  We opened the book and jumped right in.  Mattey had already been quizzing him on different notes.  Which I found to be rather humorous since she didn't seem to care much about that when she was taking lessons. We counted different notes and checked out the black keys and how they're in a pattern.  Eventually we got to the part where he could play a song.

Musical Hands

He did it!  He was so happy.  Now if we can keep up the enthusiasm and interest we'll be set.  He told me he never wants to quit piano and then adds something about maybe in two years. Ha.  He told me he wants to sign up for piano at school.  I told him they don't offer it until high school, as far as I know.  I suggested that he take piano lessons while he's in elementary school and when he gets to middle school he can learn something else.  He thought that sounded good.  The drums are the next instrument on his list.  Watch out.

In his bedtime prayer Kade, all by himself, expressed gratitude for the piano lesson and asked to be blessed to play well.  How sweet is that?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Artistic Beans

Mattey came home from school with an art project needing to be finished.  It, along with all of her classmates' projects, will be photographed and displayed in a local restaurant.  Here she is working on it.

Bean Art

It is a giant bean with the sun in the corner.  Not sure what's on top of the bean.  A flower?  Mattey really seemed to enjoy this project.  She even let Kade glue a few beans.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

There's No Place Like...

Mattey update:  I did not have to find out if the eye doc has Sunday hours.  She was doing much better this morning.


I found this fun wall hanging at Hobby Lobby.  They really do have great stuff.

With all the painting and decorating I've done our house feels like our home.  I no longer feel like I'm living in someone else's house.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My oh Eye

The weather was again nice today.  Not as nice as the other day when it got past 70, but nice none the less.  The kids played outside.  They met some kids that live around the corner and down the street (or right through our rear neighbors' yard if you want a shortcut).  They played with the new friends.  Then I heard crying.  You know, that usually happens.  It's not always the same kid but I can almost plan on someone getting hurt.

This time it was Mattey.  She somehow got poked in the eye.  I still haven't heard how it happened.  I'm not sure she does either.  But the point is that she got hurt.  She wouldn't let me take a look.  It was too painful.  I figured with all the crying if there was actually something in her eye it would float out on some tears.  She was still crying (hard) about 20 minutes later.  Really?  I told her that I was taking a look.  I really had to insist and she finally let me look.  Don't you just love it when you need to look ,or put drops or contacts, in someone's eye and you can't get them to relax so you can actually open the eye?  It's amazing how strong those eye muscles are.  I finally got her to open up.  The light hurt.  I looked the best I could.  Didn't see anything but tears.

Mickey was out shopping with our doctor friend.  I asked him to bring him in when they came back so he could take a look at Mat's eye.  He did.  He didn't see anything either.  He suggested putting ice on it for a while and keeping it closed.  And if it still hurt after an hour or so to maybe put some gaze over it to help keep it closed longer so it can heal.  We did the ice.  There was still pain.  I got out the last piece of gaze, a cotton ball to go against the eye, and some medical tape and played nurse.  I can't believe she actually let me take a picture while the patch was on.

My oh eye

Doesn't she look miserable?  She still was when she went to bed.  I really hope a good night sleep and lots of time with her lid closed will help the healing process move along.  I suppose if it's still hurting tomorrow I will find out if our eye doctor has Sunday hours.  I really hope I don't have to.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Could anything be better....

...than this?

Strawberry Pie

How about two?  That's how many I made today.  It was SO good.  (Here's the recipe.)  We are down to less than 1/2 of one.  Good thing strawberries were on sale this week.

I'm counting my two pieces of pie as two servings of fruit and one dessert.  After all it's mostly strawberries.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saving Money

I'm going to brag a little bit.

Today I saved us at least $200-300 in decorating/updating costs.  Wanna know how?

I bought some spray paint, at less than $4 a can, instead of buying 65 new cabinet handles, at $4-5 a piece.

handles before

The before.  Ugly, dated brass.

handles after

The after.  Updated black.

Sadly I need one more can to finish the project.  I have lots of handles waiting to get the final touches.  I also painted 5 closet knobs.

In other news...Mickey took the day off to enjoy the lovely 66* weather and to watch some of the March madness games.  We all had a busy evening with a sports banquet and an orchestra concert to attend.  We all did our best to dress in green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Short & Sweet


Meg made the school team.  She and her friend Julie are the only 6th graders on the team.  Way to go Meg!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Isn't it Marvelous?"

This is Kade's new phrase.  The other day I reminded him that he had left his pjs on the floor.  And he said, "I know.  Isn't it marvelous?"  "Umm, no," the mother replied.

So today I'm asking you "Isn't it marvelous?" about this picture.

Isn't it marvelous?

I am finally getting around to painting the large family/breakfast/kitchen room.  I also worked on the flower thing on the right.  It's not done.  I ran out of flowers but it's looking good.  The wall color, if you can't tell, is a blue with a bit of gray thrown in.  (The official name is Silent Tide.  It's from Behr.)  I'm loving it.  To break up the enormously long walls I'm going to splash on some green here and there.  When it's finished I'll show more.  I still have lots of painting left to do.  I know where I'll be all day tomorrow.

We had a busy evening.  The girls each had fun activities at church.  Mattey's group made green food, i.e. pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, chocolates, and milk.  Meg's group tie dyed a t-shirt.  While Mickey and the girls were at church Kade and I picked up more flowers and then stopped at Chick-Fil-A for a shake.  After all the kids went home Mickey stayed to play basketball with some men.  He got a good work out.

And so did I.  I'm doing pretty good on my lent healthy lifestyle goal.  I didn't exercise on Sunday but I was sick.  Taking a nap was more important.  I'm also doing fairly well with eating better.  It's actually easier for me to only have one serving of "dessert" than it is for me to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies.  Why is that?  I've learned that one serving of Dove chocolate is 6 pieces.  This is great if I have a craving early in the day.  Then I can spread out my sweetness.

Monday, March 14, 2011


This morning I woke Kade and Mattey up.  Kade was very slow to get moving.  And once he was up he complained of a sore throat.  Great.  I got Mattey on the bus, made Kade lay back down, and I went back to bed.  I am recovering from a cold so it wasn't out of laziness.  Really.  I woke up later to Kade telling me I need to come see his room.  "Why?" I asked.  He said he just finished cleaning it.  I don't think I've ever known a little boy who stays home "sick" and voluntarily cleans his room.  This just proved to me that he could have gone to school.  Little stinker.  Tomorrow he's going no matter what.

Mickey came home from work early to keep an eye on Kade while I worked in the library.  We then ran some errands before Mat came home.  While we were out I reminded Mickey he had the treat for tonight.  He picked something out and it was good.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Megan had softball tryouts today.  They really don't let her have a break, do they?  The school team is mostly 7th and 8th graders but they can have up to 2-3 6th graders.  Meg is really hoping for one of those slots.  We'll find out tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Not Much Going On

Today was a pretty normal Sunday, except the time change made things a little challenging.  For example, Kade had a very hard time going to sleep tonight.  Well, duh, he basically went to bed an hour before normal.  I think he's finally fallen asleep.  The girls also complained about going to bed when it was still light out.  Sorry, that's how it's going to be for the rest of the summer.  Good thing they all have darkening curtains now.

I didn't have much to photograph today so I got a shot of the baseball puzzle framed.  It turned out great.  And Kade's very proud of it.

Baseball Puzzle

I also have a cold and the kids were really nice and let me sleep for a while after church.  I don't think they fought once.  That's amazing.  They watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cooking Lesson

Cooking lesson

Looking at the picture, who do you think is getting the cooking lesson?

If you said Meg you're right.

Not that Kade was actually teaching Meg but he has more experience in the kitchen then Megan.

Meg wanted a fried egg sandwich for dinner.  I had just finished my scrambled eggs and was sitting down when she announced this.  I told her she could make it herself.  She didn't seem to be thrilled with that but she did attempt it.  She was hesitant to crack the egg so I did it to avoid shell in the hot pan.  I told her when it's done on one side she needed to flip it over and she gave me a questioning look.  I told her what to look for, egg white is white and it's kind of bubbling up.  She still was unsure.  That's when the "chef's apprentice" pulled up a stool and told her he would tell her when it was done.  I had to giggle at that.  He did know when it was done.  Impressive.  Then she attempted to flip the egg over.  Again she was hesitant.  Kade was ready to take over if need be but she managed it.  He stayed the entire time to supervise.  I guess I need to let the girls help me cook as much as I let Kade.  But in my defense he is a lot more willing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Turning SIX

This month is Kade's birthday.  I have told him numerous times that he will NOT EVER turn six.  He is to stay five FOREVER.  He will not agree to that.  So I have to give up my wish of him staying little and let him age.  So on his birthday he will be 5 (and 12 months).  Ha, I win.

I took this picture of him today.

I'm six

It looks a little boring.  But Mickey showed me how to do a few things in Photoshop and I've turned this picture into his party invitation.  I'd show you the finished product but I don't want any party crashers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


It has been almost two years (Can you believe it?  Two years?) since I've really done anything with paper.  That's a long time.  (Here's the last thing I made.)  That long dry spell has come to an end.  Today I whipped up some invitations for a baby shower.  They turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.  The entire time I was making these I kept thinking about neapolitan ice cream.  Funny.


I had to remove some info to protect people's privacy but you get the idea.

I was reading Becky Higgins's blog today and I might just have to make this.  It would make a nice decoration for the shower and I could use something pretty on the mantle.

In other news, Meg had her last basketball game.  She played point guard most of the time.  The coaches are impressed with her skills and really want her to play during the summer so she'll be better for next year.  Looks like she'll be busy this summer.  And I succeeded on all three parts of my goal today.  Yay.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Good Habits

Yesterday I blogged about growth spurts and I mentioned that I won't be having any more.  Well, I got to thinking about that and I was reminded of a scene in The Return of the King when Pippin tells Faramir that he won't grow anymore "except maybe sideways".  I can totally relate to that hobbit, curly hair and expanding waistline.

We don't observe Lent but this year I'm taking the opportunity to start a new habit.  It's one that I used to have and I was pretty good at it. But for some reason I've been having a hard time making the time to do it this year.  I started this morning.  These were some of the tools I used to start my new/old good habit.

Workout Tools

I plan to exercise for at least 20 (hopefully 30) minutes everyday, not including my 20 minute stretch.  To keep Sunday holy I will do yoga in a calming, meditative way.  I'd also like to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies everyday.  That seems harder to me than exercising.  It means I'll have to be better at buying those fruits and veggies if I plan on eating them.  I'd also like to cut my sweets down to one serving a day.  That's going to be the hardest of all.

Today I succeed at the exercise but failed at the healthy eating.  Can you blame me when I had to make brownies for Meg's team and there were leftovers?  I didn't think so.  I'll do better tomorrow.  I just have to keep reminding myself that I'll look better in my Easter dress if I can do this.  39 more days to go.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Growth Spurts

Anyone with kids goes through these.  We have at least 3-5 growth spurts a year resulting in this.

Growth spurt

The kids have tells when the growing speeds up.  They'll eat more or more often.  They might need more sleep.  But one of the kids seems to eat a lot all the time so that doesn't really apply to her.  I wish I could have a growth spurt.  I'd love a few more inches in height.  I'm preparing myself to be shorter than all the kids in a few years.  I guess I'll always be the runt.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Basketball Player

We all went to Meg's game this afternoon.  It went into double overtime.  Her team ended up loosing by one point.  Meg made two baskets and played well throughout the game.  We took lots of pictures but most of them didn't turn out the way we'd hoped.  We really need to play around more with the sport mode and the camera.  Here's one of the best we got.

Playing Hard

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Fort

After the new appliances had been delivered and installed we were left with some large boxes.  What can you do with them?  I figured the kids might want to play with them so I helped Mickey take them to the basement where they've sat for over a week.

Somehow the kids found them today.  Not like the boxes were hiding but I think they actually saw them.  Mickey helped them "build" a fort.

The fort

They were working on a drawbridge type door here.  I don't know how long the fort will last but I'm sure it'll be filled with all kinds of treasures soon.  The floor was already getting decorated with chalk.  This is the type of toy I like.  They can do whatever they want to it-color on it, poke holes in it, even destroy it-and I won't care one bit.  And when it is demolished we can cut it up and put it in the recycle bin.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Baseball

I don't know that I will ever be done decorating Kade's room.  Every time I go to Hobby Lobby I find something new that would look great in his room.  I saw this last week.

Light Switch Plate

I waited until this week to buy it with a coupon but then it ended up being on sale so we got the outlet plate too.  I had to pick up a new picture too.  How can I pass it up when it's half off?  I can't.

Maybe I need to move on to another room.  Then it might be easier to open my eyes for different things.  The family room/kitchen is next, along with the foyer and the hall between the kitchen and garage.  I'm having a baby shower here at the end of the month so that's my motivation.  I really hope I get my energy back so I can get it all done.


I totally cheated and took Friday's picture today.  I know I didn't have to admit that but I feel better doing it.

Lila gets her turn to show off, well, her insides.  The exterior is a nice shiny black with a handle to hang a towel on.


I can't imagine not having a dishwasher.  Washing dishes is something I don't usually enjoy, unless it's a few things and those few things aren't difficult (you know, the baked on greasy messes, the griddle, etc.).  We use quite a few big dishes that don't fit in the dishwasher and when those are used it usually takes me days to get them washed unless something stinky was made with them.  I just hate waking up to a smelling kitchen.

What kitchen appliance can you not live without?

Friday, March 4, 2011

We're Still Here

We have not fallen off the face of the earth but I have spent the better part of three days in bed.  I don't know how to label what I had but I don't want it again.

Today I'll comment about Wednesday and Thursday.  Tomorrow I'll do today and Saturday.  I'm still low on energy.

Wednesday.  Bedtime.

Mickey and Meg were playing a game or two of ping pong while Mattey told Kade a bedtime story (in her room).  I love that she is so imaginative.  I also love that Kade didn't clean the chocolate sauce off his face when he got ready for bed.

Story telling

I could hear parts of the story.  It was about a dragon who had a family, of course, and all their adventures.  I believe there was someone bad in the story too.  You can't have a good story without a villain.


Kade stayed home from school.  He vegged on the couch in front of the tv while I vegged in my bed in front of the iPad.  I never got around to taking a picture so when Meg came home from her balloon twisting meeting I had Mickey take a picture.

Balloon maze

It's a balloon maze.  You have to move the balloon around to get the little green ball from one end of the balloon to the other.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I almost finished one more thing on my to do list, which is still HUGE, Kade's curtains.  They are hanging but still need to be hemmed.  The handy man needed to move the curtain rod for me.  I'll get to the hemming tomorrow.  I also made the pennants for his valance.  They still need some...artwork, detailing, something.  I have some ideas but I'll need to borrow some cricut cartridges from my sister-in-law.

Here's what we have so far.

Baseball Curtains

Kade chose to put the pennants in a pattern.  I'm not really loving it.  I also need to include the tan one I made.  I'll figure it out sometime.

Kade's room is really starting to have a baseball atmosphere.  Now all he needs is some peanuts, popcorn, and crackerjacks.  And maybe some stinky, sweaty uniform thrown in the corner of his room.  I keep finding a lot of cute baseball themed stuff at Hobby Lobby.  I hope I can find lots of decor for the girls' rooms when the time comes.