Jul 20, 2010


The boys were out on the boat this afternoon and the two girls took some good long naps. Which allowed me to do some projects around here. I call that pure BLISS! First some promised pictures of my mantle. I finally got some pictures framed and up there of the three kiddos. I also completed this fun project. Just because I was inspired. The wreath is pages torn out of a vintage German hymnal (I have it just for scrapping purposes). I rolled them up, glued them in a wreath shape, and then used my sizzix machine to cut out the flowers and birds and affixed some beads to the centers. I stamped "nest" on a slip of paper too. I think it's kind of a fun seasonal wreath.I am also gearing up for my youngest sister's wedding on Saturday. I picked up my dress today and "WHEW!", it fit perfect! I had to decide on a size when ordering at 9 months pregnant. I felt like I was playing the roulette wheel when I told them a size!

The kids are all wearing fancy clothes too. The wedding is in navy blue and I had some problems with both girl's dresses. The one I was going to have Tessa wear was the only dress from Ainsley that developed those yellow/brown spit up stains. They were covering the dress when I pulled it out and I was so bummed. Some research on the internet told me that the only product that would get it out was Oxyclean which kills the protein stain. It said to scrub it on and then boil it. So I did. It was try it or toss it, and it was a keepsake dress. This is no tasty soup, but it totally worked! I was so shocked! It also got the stains out of a vintage sweater that Tessa was going to wear on top of the dress. I'm giddy with my new Martha Stewart trick.Ainsley's dress was actually purchased by my Aunt in a consignment shop for my other sister's wedding. Do you recognize it from this post? Anyhow, it is light blue so it needed an adjustment so it could work again as a flower girl dress. I snipped off the front bow, and made a sash/cumberbun and flower for the front. Now it matches the color of our dresses perfectly. One more flower just like this for her hair on a clippy and she is perfect. I also made Hunter a tie in this same blue taffeta for his little suit. The whole family will so matchy matchy. Oh my!
I will be away from the computer for the next week and a half. Straight after the wedding we are going on our annual family vacation to Bass Lake. I am so excited to spend time with all the siblings (minus Krista and Thomas who will be on their honeymoon). It's a highlight of my year.

Jul 17, 2010

Hot, hot, hot!

It's been so hot outside this last week. We are easily reaching 105 degrees in the afternoon or more and we have been retreating to the house. I finished my mantle project (more on that later), and spent the morning whipping up a present for a little girl named Gretchen. We spend the afternoon at her birthday party at an indoor bounce house party place. I appreciated the air conditioning there. Not knowing what Gretchen was currently into playing with, I made these tops up for her after a quick run to Walmart. I printed off the "G" on paper (font size 600), cut it out, traced it backwards onto Heat and Bond, ironed it on to the polka dot fabric, cut it out, and fused it to the shirt. A quick zigzag stitch around the edges will keep it there. Added some buttons and that was done!These little tank tops are easy. I just made some yoyo's with funky fabric, flipped them over and sewed them down with a big "X" over them. The leaves are green fleece which doesn't fray. Again, added some buttons and Whalah! Fun flowers on a shirt. Couple of quick hair clippies to match and present done! That second shirt is purple by the way. I'm not sure why it's showing up blue....Dinner had to be easy. There was no way, no how I was turning on the oven in this heat. We had frozen shrimp in the fridge, and we had this from our garden: tomatoes, chives and basil. Hmm, a shrimp salad sounded good!I added some avocado and cilantro and made a quick dressing of lemon juice, salsa, Old Bay seasoning and a tiny bit of mayo. I mixed it up and served it over some chopped salad. I also fried some corn tortillas for homemade chips with kosher salt on top. Fresh tasting dinner super fast and easy.Also, my kitchen window faces the front yard and Tone' was out mowing. I heard the idyllic sound of the mower and watched my kids go up and down the sidewalk. Yes, Ainsley is wearing a princess crown. I snapped this photo of them through the blinds as I was chopping basil by the sink. It could have been an idyllic summer evening except for one thing...Tessa. She has turned into a tough baby recently. In the last two weeks, when she is awake she only wants to be held which doesn't work out too well for me as she has been spending a lot more time awake. All morning and all evening until about ten at night. So this is what I heard while I was making dinner. Tessa's shrieks. Her diaper was changed, she wasn't hungry, she just didn't like being ignored. Well, tough beans sometimes I say. And yes, she is laying her diaper because:
A. It's hot.
B. She spit up volumes on her cute outfit (and consequently all over me all day).
C. Her diaper leaked (and consequently all over me and my lap).
D. So the clothes had to go (and consequently I had to don a whole new outfit as well). Poor baby.
I have so many cute pics of her blissfully sleeping, but lately this has been far more realistic.
Poor Mommy.

Jul 14, 2010

Monkey in the Pantry

It was one of those mornings. You wake up and see the trail of toys starting from your bed, through all of the bedrooms and down the hallway and into the front playroom. You know there is a mound of laundry to fold waiting for you as you pass the laundry room, and when you get to the kitchen, there is still last night's dishes. You groggily open the pantry door to get some hungry children some cereal and there is George the monkey grinning at you. Even though it was cute, picture worthy, and made me smile, I knew it was going to be a long day.This one decided to be a drama queen all day and react to every little thing that Hunter "might" be doing to her.
This one decided to be "Mr. Bossy" all day because apparently he knows better than Mommy about what should be done. Then there was this one. She decided that the only way to be happy was if I was holding her all day. She was also mostly awake all day and wouldn't settle down for a long nap. The minute I set her down she would wail. I wore her in the front pack as I did chores around the house because one can't leisurely sit on a couch holding a baby and eating bon bons all day. Though I am about to chase down the perfect woman who made up the rules for being a good housewife and ask her why she didn't include that in the description...
I attempted a cleaning day. By the end of the day, by some Herculean feat, the dishes were done, all floors vaccumed and mopped, laundry washed, folded and put away, all the rooms were clean and neat, the beds were made, and the bathrooms were cleaned. And dinner was...oh, dinner didn't happen. At that point I was so frustrated by the stops and starts from the kid's interruptions that they got Top Ramen and peas plopped down in front of them. Good thing they love it. Tone got home at around three and played three hours of Guitar Hero drums while I was trying to do this. Nothing like blasting Green Day music and drums to get on ones nerves while you are dealing with fighting, crying children. It's pleasant background music. Really.

Anyhow, since I was on the couch periodically holding and trying to get a crying baby quiet, I kept reading a stack of decorating magazines I keep by my chair for such purposes. I had plenty of time to look around my living room and notice all the scratches, dings, dirt marks, and other marks from children that keep my house from looking like something straight out of one of those magazines. Nursing babies force you to take a chair every couple of hours, take a breather and observe your house. It can get inspiring...or depressing.

So two things I noticed right off the bat that I could fix today. These coasters were one. My kids took a pen to them about six months ago and yet I still offer them to guests when they come over.
A quick ten minute fix made them much better. I cute circles of bright fabric that matched my living room and glued them down. Much better. The other thing I noticed was that my coffee table looked good with the square runner (an Anthropologie clearance purchase) and the tulips, but it was also the catch-all place for the pacifiers. I chuck them on there as I find them so they don't get lost around the house. It seems we are always reaching for one for Tessa. So I corralled them in this glass bowl. Who says baby items can't go in something pretty?
Anyhow, I want to work on the mantle tomorrow. I just didn't have time today. Ok, that's the understatement of the year. But well, if I just do some little things like that each day then my house will slowly look better and stay looking good. And yes, I keep a runner from Anthropologie and a glass vase on my coffee table with many small children around. They just have learned not to touch it. Once trained, they basically ignore all my pretty things within reach, and I'm happier person surrounded by beauty in my day.

The house is clean, and I'm off to sew some shoes. Though I despaired that my house would ever get in shape today, I feel good that it did (even if some chores are still not completely done). And the monkey...well, he's still in the pantry. I left him there as a reminder to smile at the antics of my children, even on tough days.

Jul 10, 2010

Oh Blah Dee, Oh Blah Dah

Life goes on.
So this week we celebrated 4th of July, our 8th wedding anniversary, bought a new SUV (to us), and went to Disneyland. Busy week!
Tessa has decided that all of a sudden this week she was going to turn into a fussy baby every evening full of colic. So that's been super fun. Nope. I've found that laying her on her tummy works a whole lot better than any other way. She's spent her time the last few days conked out on the prayer quilt that was made for her from my in-law's church. Usually with a spit up rag under her mouth to catch all that spit up (no disrespect to the prayer quilt). The rag quickly made an appearance after this picture was shot.On the fourth, we did small fireworks and made smores in my parent's backyard. My two sisters were there along with Krista's fiance, so it was pretty fun. Ainsley got into throwing the poppers and making them bang. She didn't watch out for feet though so you had to give her a wide radius.Hunter loved the sparklers although he was a little spooked by them too.And then we roasted smores in their firepit which turned out quite messy, gooey, and tasty.I am obviously struggling. I ended up with mallow all over my chin which made for the family's amusement.My sisters and I always get silly and have too much fun together. Usually our times together degenerate into things like this. I am showing off my stellar socks I borrowed off of Krista. It was freezing and all I brought were sandals. All I could find were these hot pink socks. She offered to let me keep them. I declined for some reason.....Katie has a poker. Things could get dangerous....So the 6th was our eighth wedding anniversary and we spend it driving. Romantic for sure. We found this Ford Expedition on Craig's list and drove four and a half hours down to the middle of LA to look at it. Yes, with the kids. It was a great deal (we have been looking for one of these everywhere for over a month now) and so we bought it. Not quite the swagger wagon but it will now pull our boat better than our Jeep and it has a third row seat for the kids should we ever need to take more than just our family with us. And yes, it is jacked up in the picture below because it needed new shocks on the front (that being the only thing we could find wrong with it). And that's, according to Tone, an easy fix. And what man doesn't buy a new used car and then spend the next free day working on it to make it better? Obviously.Since we were literally only 15 minutes from Disneyland we decided to stay the night and go to Disneyland the next day. That's right a blitz trip to Disneyland with three kids. One of them a newborn. Happy Anniversary to us! Don't cringe. It was such a blast actually. The double stroller I have can actually fit all three, and with all our bags on it, it looked like the hobo wagon. The look of wonder on their faces the whole day was priceless. We hit every ride they could do in the park pretty much and the Small World ride three times because they loved it so much (the song is still ringing in my head). We left the park after the fireworks ended at 10pm. We didn't get on the road to go back home until after 11pm and so we didn't get home until 4am. Both of us had to drive since we had the new vehicle and it was a challenge to stay awake. Can you say singing at the top of my lungs? Whew! It's taken me a couple days to recover that's for sure!Why are they dressed so strange you ask? Well, I thought we might hit Disneyland since I didn't want to drive 4 hours down and 4 hours back on the same day on our anniversary with many small children (the thought brings an involuntary shudder), so I brought Ainsley's Belle costume. Not wanting to be left out, Hunter brought his Darth Vader mask and wore black because obviously one can't be Darth Vader if you are wearing, say, red. The only problem is his one set of black pants are very high water. I'm still not sure how these escaped the thrift store pile I sorted last month. But since I am very used to my children looking strange in public, this hardly phased me. Hunter picks out the darndest things to wear. Of course Hunter had to see the Star Wars show there twice.

And so what is my darling dear doing right now? Being a man. Obviously. Putting new shocks on the Expedition. It's very manly when one has black grease smeared up to the elbows and down the cheek. I know better than to bug him though during projects like this no matter how manly he might appear. I had to quietly take this shot from the side. Being a Christian man, he doesn't swear, but the tone of voice he has on projects like this make me think twice about saying a word, or forbid, a stream of chatter.
So I left him alone, and went in to write this blog post...perhaps next week won't be so busy. We'll see...we seem to live at this pace.

Jul 2, 2010

Oh Beautiful!

Oh beautiful, for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties,
Above the fruited plain,
America, America, God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood,

From sea to shining sea.

Happy 4th of July everyone! I thought I would share some of the above pictures of our lovely country from my travels this year. We live in such a beautiful land!
And of course one more lovely patriotic photo. Tessa's first pair of Sugar Plumb Tree shoes. Of course.