Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Easter!

Ever felt you have had TONS you need to do and not enough time to do what you want to do? Story of my week. We leave tonight for Michigan to celebrate Amy's gratuation and this week has been full of preparing for our trip and taking care of things around the house - so guess what gets pushed to the back burner? Yep, the blog. But I have squeaked in a few minutes here to share with you some pictures from Easter. :)
I was privileged to make the decorations for church's annual Easter Brunch. They turned out great! My inspiration was found here and here (which I found when googleing "Easter centerpieces").

  The gym all set up. :) We had 10 tables, set for 8 each. Napkins and silverware were put on the tables so people didn't have to carry them with their plate and drink from the buffet.

Here are close-ups of all the table's centerpieces. :) I was originally going to put flowers and three yarn balls on each table, but then I realized I didn't have the budget for all the jelly beans and I was going to need to buy more yarn, so I switched directions a bit. :)

 The buffet table, awaiting food, and my little helper. :) 

The decorations were a success and I had so much fun making them! 

Here are some pictures of Lulu in her pretty Easter dress (a hand-me-down from my cousin Kim).

I thought it would be fun to use her little chick (from her room) as a prop. 
Lucy fell on an Easter egg while hunting on Sunday morning at church, before I had gotten pictures (of course!), she is healing up just fine so don't worry!

 She really wasn't too sure what to think of the chick, it is made out of a "straw" type sticks and I think it was "pokey."

"My First Easter"

I hope you all had a fantastic Easter too! 

We are off to Michigan tonight after Awana (it's Award Night!!!) - we will drive to Tulsa OK, tonight and sleep for a few hours. We hope to arrive in Hastings at about 9 tomorrow (Thursday) night. We have the Grisham books uploaded to our iPhones and Wonder Pets put onto the iPad. :) I think we are ready. :) 

Oh, and before I forget - results are in and the pom pom banner won! :) I am so excited! I'll be keeping my hands busy in the car making TONS of pom poms! Yippee!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fixin' Up Friday: Painting the Dining Room

Remember last week? I left you with a cliff hanger.  

cliff·hang·er  (klfhngr)
1. A melodramatic serial in which each episode ends in suspense.
2. A suspenseful situation occurring at the end of a chapter, scene, or episode.
3. A contest so closely matched that the outcome is uncertain until the end.
(That first one is my favorite. :) ) 

My mom taught me about those when I was in about 3rd grade. Anyway... Back to the blog. Oh yes, I left you with a cliff hanger. Member I had a bit of paint left in my tray and HAD to use it up and then Brad said, "Hey, that looks good, why don't you keep painting?" So I did? Do you remember that? Maybe a picture will help refresh your memory:  

To best explain the transformation I thought I would provide you with a few before and afters. 

Before, front room looking into the dining room:

 After: front room looking into the dining room

Before, dining room from the french door:

After,  dining room from the french door:
If you can tell from this picture, I continued the top color into the kitchen above the cabinets. 

Before, dining room from the kitchen:

After, dining room from the kitchen:

(Way) Before, back corner of living room looking into dining room:

After, back corner of living room looking into dining room:

As you can see in the before pictures, the color on the bottom was very UT orange (which I LOVE! on t-shirts.) and the color on the top was pretty peach (verging on pink). I was happy to get it covered up - even if the results now are a little "sterile." No, I don't love it, but we are hoping once I get the trim painted a crisp white (it is "cream = looks dirty" now) it will help. If not, I may try painting it a little bit darker.

Hopefully this color swatch will help, Manor Stone (third from the bottom) is the color of the living room wall and the bottom of the dining room. Chowder (the top color swatch) is the color of the top of the dining room and kitchen. I am thinking (maybe) of painting the top of the dining room and kitchen Ancient Stone (second from top) to bring a little more warmth into the space. But I will paint the trim and possibly wait until we have better lighting in the kitchen and dining room (good-bye florescent!) before making the final decision. (Oh, before I forget - the colors are from Valspar)

So that is our Fixin' Up Friday post for today.  I think the after shots are definitely better than the befores, even though I am not thrilled with the final product. Thankfully paint can easily be changed. Have you ever made a bad paint color choice? Was the second, or even third try a charm?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Birthday Banner

One tradition I am excited to start with our family is to have a birthday banner for each of our kids that gets pulled out on their birthday - something classy and ageless that can be used from their 1st birthday to their 18th (and maybe beyond).  The more I think about these banners, I am thinking each child's will be different (style, colors ect.).

Lucy's birthday is less than two months away, and I have two inspiration banners that I LOVE right now:

And this: 

I love the pom poms because they are ageless - and seriously, is it possible to look at them and not smile? I think not. :) I would probably use grey/dark pink/light pink/green/white yarn - kinda the colors of her room and quilt. Lucy's colors. :) 

I love the idea of doing a paper banner - I probably wouldn't put text on the banner, but maybe numbers? 1-18? And then maybe put a picture of her on each of her birthdays on the back of each "flag?" I love the texture behind each "flag" I am thinking lace, ric-rac, and ribbon? I would probably nix the ribbons between the "flags" mostly because I dont think they would transition to the teenage years (but it is SUCH a cute touch!). 

Do you know what is coming? That's right! I need your help (again!). I would like to know which one I am going to do before we leave for Michigan in a week. BECAUSE: if you guys choose the pom pom banner - I'll be making a mess with yarn in the car, something to keep my hands busy. And also, if you choose the paper "flag" banner, I will use my Mom-in-law's Cricket to cut out designs and numbers while in Michigan. :)

So what do you think? I thought we would try a poll this time, instead of voting like we have done in the past. :) The poll is on the left hand side of the blog - at the top, under the header. :) Let me know what you think! :) 

The poll closes at 6 pm on Sunday - so vote ASAP!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

If a picture is worth a 1000 words...

...then I need not say a thing. 

(Seriously. I love these two.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

10 Months

My baby girl has turned into a little girl in this past month.  So bitter sweet.  I love the baby-stages so so much so I am sad Lulu is beyond "baby" things.  But the fact she is growing into a little girl is so exciting! She is learning new things, exploring her world and showing her personality more every day. :)

This month's accomplishments:

  • CRAWLING! Lucy never stays in the same place anymore. She is a champion crawler, moving around the house! It is so fun to see her crawling down the hall, coming from her bedroom, looking for her mama. :) 
  • Climbing up the Stair: Along with crawling, Lucy can move from the living room to the dining room conquering a step along the way. :) 
  • Pulling herself up: Along with crawling and climbing is pulling. :) Lulu pulls herself up to her feet on the hearth, bookcases, side tables, sofa, chairs and her bike. She is our little explorer. 
  • Finger foods: In an effort to help Lucy become a bit more independent in eating, we have started introducing more finger foods. Ritz Crackers, Cheerios, Kix, pizza strips, strawberries, Oreos (a treat), peas, chick peas and mushrooms. Lucy loves chicken (especially chick-fil-a!) but doesn't care for beef (unless it is taco meat). We have found, with independence, comes dislike. Luce has discovered that if she is feeding herself and doesn't want to eat something, she doesn't have to bring it to her mouth. This has brought a few struggles at the dinner table. Oh joy. 
  • Up-Down: If you say, "Up down!" to Lulu she will raise her hands up in the air and (eventually) bring them down again. :) 
  • Sitting on her Knees: The balancing act of sitting on her knees has been perfected. :) 
  • Sharing food: Lucy has begun to share food with mom and dad, offering it to us and sometimes putting it in our mouths. Sometimes she takes the food back and puts it in her own mouth. The little trickster. :) 
  • Formula from a Sippy Cup: We have cut out another nursing time and have started to feed Lucy a sippy cup of formula before her afternoon nap. She drinks it down like a champ and loves to watch Wonder Pets while having her drink. :) (The weaning process is going to happen sooner than expected. Lucy has become a biter. OUCH!)

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Oops I did it again!

    (Brad here) Well Sarah and I (mainly me) are just kinnda suckers for poor dogs that are really nice dogs but are going to be put down if not adopted. As we drove by our grocery store we saw they had a bunch of dogs with the people from the paws program. We stoped just to see the dogs, (Sarah gave me a stern we are not taking one look) Well we met the nicest, but also biggest dog they had and now well meet our new dog Baxter!!
    Baxter is named after none-other than Richard Baxter, the Puritan Pastor, who brought the Gospel and evangilized the town of Kiddermister (where our family name most likely came from!!

    Hey is just a puppy although quite a big one probaly about 8-12 months old, and is a Great Pyrenees (he will grow to be 100-160 pounds! yikes). He is the freindliest dog I have met since my childhood dog Freddy :) We hope you will all enjoy getting to know the new member of our family!!

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Fixin' Up Friday: Living Room South Wall, Pt 2

    It is high time for an update on how "the wall" is doing. :) I believe this is how we left off last time? (To catch up, click here for pt 1)
    New french doors, one sheet of dry wall up. 

    Well, the next weekend (I think - this project has taken, what seems to be, a looonnnggg time.) we finished dry walling the rest of the wall:
     From a distance it looks ready for paint, but up close....

     ... there were the expected gaps and screw holes that needed patching. 

     Enter Handsome Handy Man. :) Also enter layers and layers of mud. (Up to 6 layers in some places!)

    And to prove the point that the wall stayed patched and mudded (is that a word?) for a lllooonnnggg time here is a review of a few posts that have had pictures of the wall in them:

    Point proven? Ok, well this last weekend I became fed up with "the wall" and decided it was time to tackle it. After sweetly asking my handsome handy man to fix a few of the problem spots (that had been the excuse as to why we hadn't been working on the wall) and after he sweetly helped me. And after we choose paint (huge ordeal..... I wanted light, brad wanted dark.... we finally found something that worked) I got started painting. 

     "It looks like you are painting it white!" You might say - and I would reply, "I know, I know, it is the New-Construction-Primer that you need to put on the wall before paint when you are working with fresh dry wall." The primer seals in the dust and mud and gives the dry wall it's drink of paint (it is thirsty stuff!) so you don't waste your good paint.
     After this coat of primer, the wall looked pretty fine. We were proud of our mudding job. :) You couldn't see the seams. Yippee!!

     Looks pretty good right?

    Here is a better picture from a different angle. After waiting for the wall to dry completely I painted it "Manor Stone" by Valspar, a dark khaki color that has grey tones in it, we picked the color because it coordinates well with the brick wall. :)
     (Insert pictures of me slaving over painting the wall an actual color.)

     This picture isn't a very accurate portrayal of the color, it is more similar to the picture below (at least on my computer - it is hard when different colors show up differently on different monitors.)

     See how nicely it goes with the brick - it is a bit darker, but in the same color family, as the morter.

     The living room in action! :) 

    And just to remind you how we started.... good progress, if I do say so myself. :)

     We are in love with the nice and smooth walls...... (swoon!) All we need to do now to complete this wall is 1) put up trim on the inside of the wall. 2) finish the the french door on the outside (put in an apron and trim the new door with exterior materials).

    And guess what.... I'm a crazy.... I had a bit more paint in my tray and HAD to use it up. Details on the Dining room transformation to come. :) 

    Have you done any painting lately? What was the inspiration for the color you choose? Was it as unique as mortar? I'd love to hear all about it. :)

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    1st Time: The Pool

    We went to Wal-Mart last week as a family (as usual) and left with a small, pink swimming pool (not usual). Although it was not on our physical list we brought into the store, it had been on our mental list for awhile and since it was a warm day, we decided to splurge ($10! wow) and get Lulu a pool. :) I'm pretty sure we were more excited about it than Luce - we filled it up right when we got home with both air and water, put Lucy down for a nap and let Mr. Sun do his job (warm the water). 

    Side note: Lucy LOVES the bath tub, so we assumed that she would LOVE the pool too. 
     When Lucy got up from her nap, we changed her into her swim suit (a hand-me-down from Zoe, absolutely ahhhdorable.) and hat and showed her the pool.
     Here we go... 
    (I've been saving old containers from the kitchen for outside toys, assuming they would be fun to scoop and dump water, dirt, grass ect. That's why they are floating around in the water. In case you were wondering.) 

     She wasn't too sure what to think at first. 

     "Water? Outside? Wait.... this is cold...."

     She quickly decided she did not like it. Cue :( parents.

     Because we are cruel parents who want our kids to try something more than once to decide if they like or dislike something, we tried again. Not a big hit.
    (Notice the big elephant tear?)

     Poor baby. :(
    (The tear is streaming down her face....)

    I blame it on Mr. Sun who did not do his job of properly warming up the pool for my sweet daughter. A towel (that the Mr. Sun had properly warmed) and mama's lap helped calm down the sad baby. 
    (The tear is still there.)

    We are going to try again soon - hopefully third time will be the charm? I'll fill up the water in the morning and let it "warm up" for a longer period of time, hopefully that will help. So what about you? Has your April weather been nice enough to pull out the pool? Did your kids like the pool on the first try? Please tell me "no," so I feel better about myself. :)