our outdoor kitchen

outdoor

When I was a little girl, my Papa built my sisters and me an awesome playhouse. I mean it was really awesome. There was a trapdoor that led to the roof. There were logs for chairs and tables. We had a door with a latch. I remember playing in that playhouse for hours with my sisters and with my cousins when they came over.

We had the best backyard at that house. There was a winding creek with a “deep” part. (It was probably a foot deep, there. HAHA!) Another part of the creek had these really cool roots for climbing and exploring. Across the creek were three trees that had been cut down and went from one bank of the creek to the other. My sister could RUN across those logs, but I could only scoot along on my bottom. I remember this one log in particular, it had a branch on it still at one point that made scooting along very difficult.

We had so many adventures in that backyard. We played “little house on the praire”, got lost in blizzards, and other wind storms. We played house, mommy and daddy. My sister was always the daddy coming home from work. We had a tree swing that would go SO high. It was the absolute best backyard in the entire world.

Because of those memories I have of my childhood backyard, I try really hard to create things like that for my girls. One of the reasons I wanted this house so much is because of the creek. (We can’t get to it right now because of the overgrowth, but we will one day.) I built the girls a little playhouse perfect for them about 2 years ago. I really want to paint it. Brian will build them a better one when they get bigger. But for now, it is perfect.

Since it is so small, I have been making them an outdoor kitchen area this summer. I wanted to share it with y’all because it isn’t picture perfect like all the ones you see in internet land. The girls have so much fun with it, and to me that is what is important. (We now have a mailbox that needs a post for installation. The girls said their mailman hadn’t been delivering their mail, since they had no mailbox.)

I do have some plans to make it more pleasing to the eye. Right now though, it works. The girls are happy, so Mommy is happy.

Fancy shelving

Hilarious, really.
The dishes are mainly thrift store purchases. Some bowls are from my kitchen that I don’t use anymore. The spoons are the cheap wooden ones you buy in a pack from the dollar store. I do need to get them a few more bowls and utensils. I have it on my list.
Kids do not need fancy store bought toys. A few things here and there and their imagination completely takes over. I wish more parents realized that.
Happy mud pies!

fall craft FAIL

tree

I had in my mind that the girls and I would go on a fall treasure hunt. We would then take what we had collected and craft with it. Well, best laid plans…..

We did go on a treasure hunt. That was fun. Well, it was fun after we got out of the briars. I tried to walk in the woods which did not work at all. The woods have overgrown quite a bit. So, there were lots of briars and yucky things. We ended up just walking around the edge of the woods finding neat things.

The next day was my planned crafting day. I wanted to iron wax paper on the leaves then make a fall tree for the play room. For some reason, the wax paper did not cooperate. It did not look pretty at all.


See? The wax paper leaves are in the background. My pretty leaves are in front. Since that didn’t work, I googled it. It said not to use dry leaves. So, I sent the girls back out to get more. It still didn’t work. Oh, well.

I remembered how to take your leaf and put it under your paper, then color with a crayon on top. Getting the leaf outline. Remember doing that in elementary school? I showed the girls what to do.

So pretty! Right?


This is what they did. No cooperation with mommy at all. Scribble scribble. That is all they wanted to do. UGH! Maybe they are too young to color that way? I don’t know. So, I left them to their scribbling, found some colored card stock, and began to CUT OUT leaves. I cut out about a million. Made a tree trunk with branches out of brown paper, stuck it to the door with sticky tack. I then let the girls go to town sticking the leaves all over the tree. I was bound and determined to have my fall tree in the play room, obviously.

When we were finished, they said we needed a bird. So, I made an owl for it. After it was all said and done, I had tired fingers and back from sitting on the floor cutting out the million leaves. A messy play room, but two happy girls.

officially fall

wreath

Well, fall is officially here at our house. The scarecrow has been put up. And isn’t she pretty?!

We have also been working on quite a few other projects, hence no time for blogging. I think I want to blog, I sit down, and there are no words. Just exhaustion.

I took this $10 dresser, sanded and painted it.

Before
 
After 
I am still not quite finished with it. I bought these plain wooden knobs after seeing tons of cute knobs on etsy that had been painted with butterflies and flowers and such. But, I put them on plain because we needed knobs on there desperately. Kate keeps changing her mind what exactly she wants. So, I just need to paint something. Eventually it will be done. But, I am taking a break on this dresser. It turned out cute, I think. We bought the little plants on clearance at Lowe’s. They get the morning sun in their window, so they needed a few plants. Two of them are in shiny pink pots from breast cancer awareness month. Which makes me chuckle since I bought them for two little girls. But, that is my cheesiness coming out, I guess.

I have been making headbands and hair bows galore, as well. We now have one in every color, and then some. This is just a few of them. But we had nowhere to put them. I had an empty oatmeal canister in our craft box that I noticed was about the same size. So, we covered it in pretty paper and tada! A headband holder!

I also redid their closet. (Is redid even a word?) Well, if it wasn’t, it is now. This is what it was before. I should have taken a picture with their clothes in it, but I wasn’t thinking…

You see how high the hanger bar is? Then there is a shelf above that, with just enough room to put a diaper box. Which is what is on the shelf. Diapers ranging from newborn to size 3. I have been saving them. Anyway, I painted, added a lower hanger bar and added another shelf. I was going to take the higher hanger bar down, but it was NAILED in. I could not get those stupid nails out. So, the hanger bar stayed.

I covered the two by fours with some cool duct tape. I was so tired of painting. I had bought the duct tape for something else, but I think it brightens up the closet.

Here it is with clothes and such. I think I am going to add another shelf above the hanger bar, for more storage. We can never have enough shelves to put things on, right?

When the cooler weather finally came, I decided to go ahead and put out my fall decorations. I have been seeing these felt wreaths all over blogland. I had to make one. What do you think?

CUTE! Huh?
I also had several sweaters and jumpers that I really liked the colors of, but couldn’t wear. So, I saved them thinking they would make nice pillows. AND they did….

 Every season, I take the stuff off my wreaths, then make new ones with whatever I have on hand. These are my door wreaths this fall.
front door
side door
(Please excuse the sideways pictures.)

 

This year, Kate and Isabel made their own wreaths. It was lots of fun. They did all their own work. I only put glue on the wreath, so what you see is all their own. They are becoming quite creative.

The bottom two are Kate’s (I don’t know what is up with the feather, but that is what she wanted.) The top two are Isabel’s. Cute, huh?

 

 The woods beginning to show off their fall beauty.
The last two times we have gotten milk, this is what greets us on one of the roads. It is like the beginning of a joke. Why did the turkey, guinea, and chicken cross the road?

To amuse Kate and Isabel, of course.

Right. I know. It wasn’t that funny.

Well, happy fall, anyway!

summer recap, part 2

swim
Fourth of July was celebrated by shooting guns….

Mama and her cane while shooting = hilarious

Playing badminton….

Eating watermelon….


And spending time with family and friends.

During this month, I was asked to make a cake for my Uncle Anthony’s surprise birthday party. It turned out so pretty, I just have to share it with you.

Cute, huh? He plays the ukelele, so his daughter requested a ukelele cake. I had no idea how to do it. I used 2 sheet cakes and cut out the shapes. I used candy and thread for the top, Hawaiian looking flowers for the edge.

I canned lots and lots of pickles and tomatoes.

Kate had her first taco. And LOVED it. Now, every time I mention having tacos, she gets very excited. She likes to dip them into a salsa and sour cream mixture. We always have root beer with tacos. It makes it even yummier.

We went camping on the hottest weekend of the year. It was fun, but so hot!

Putting up our massive tent took some patience and some time.


The girls danced around the fire.

We learned to make cowboy coffee. Delicious! I suggest if anyone tent camps to try it. It is worth the wait.

~BOAT RIDE~
  ~swimming~
 ~jumping~
~walks along the lake shore~
~grilling burgers lake side~
 ~eating more watermelon~
 ~enjoying sunsets~
~enjoying full moons over our campsite~
~having strange things happen~

Kate learned how to do a flip on the swing set. She loves to show off.

 Isabel still hasn’t quite learned how to pedal her tricycle, much to her frustration.

We ate lots of blueberry pancakes. LOTS.

~popcorn and movie nights~
The back vegetable garden

The front flowers on the other side of the driveway. Next year, hopefully, I will remember that the sunflowers face AWAY from the house. They don’t look quite like I want them to, because they face that way. Oh, well.

front flower bed

another view of the front
Stay tuned for August!

summer recap, part 1

DSC_0066

Fall is here, officially by the calendar anyway. The first day of fall was last Friday. I had every intention of posting something about it, but for some reason, life keeps getting in the way of this blog.

I love this time of year. I really like the cooler sweater weather. I told Kate the other day that I was ready for sweaters, because I was tired of sweating. I had to laugh at myself. She didn’t get it, but she laughed with me. Because she is 3 and doesn’t “get” corny, yet.

In celebration of fall, I thought I would recap our summer for you. I was going to do it all at once, but I was going into picture overload. So, I will just do one month at a time…

JUNE
The beginning of June involved getting ready for Daddy’s homecoming. We painted signs, cleaned and cleaned. Did lots of yardwork. And just generally wore ourselves out. 
Daddy’s homecoming was a very special day. We got the the airport extra early.
And we waited, and waited. Surprisingly enough, Kate ran to her Daddy. Isabel was too busy eating her french fries to be bothered. But, Kate was beyond excited.

She kept giving him these precious, little hugs. Quite adorable, really.

This is Brian and me on his first Sunday back. There are several of these pictures and in several of them a head or something is cut off. This is one of the better ones. We look cute together, I think.
After Daddy came home, life took on a different pace. There was lots more laughing and lots more horsing around.
I goof off with them and play with them, but NOT like Daddy does.
We went on a plane ride to Grandma and Grandpa Armonat’s house for Father’s Day and Grandpa Armonat’s birthday. Brian celebrated his Father’s day by buying himself a present. Which was  a good thing, because in the planning and packing for the trip, I completely forgot about Father’s day.
Here Brian is posing with his present. He is probably going to shoot me for putting this picture out there. But it is hilarious. Every time it scrolls through the screensaver, I laugh.
We got new baby chicks. Mama hen sat on 14 eggs. I think 6 hatched out. Baby chicks are so much fun to watch.
I accidentally grew a cantaloupe. I used my homemade compost around my blueberry plants. A vine began to grow; I left it alone. I watered it when I remembered. Brian and the girls enjoyed it. I thought it tasted green. Still neat, anyway.
We went on several boat rides. I love this picture of the girls holding hands. Just look at the way Isabel is gazing adoringly at her sister.
We also had several breakdowns and other issues that took a little bit of fun away from lake-going.
But, we still managed to have lots of fun, anyway.

 

And capture some nice pictures.

No caption needed….sister love.
The vegetable garden in June.
The front flowers in June.

I wish I could tell you I learned lots of lessons during the month of June, but I don’t think I did. I wasn’t feeling my best a lot of those days. I had a bladder infection one week, then a stomach virus the next. So, not really the best of months to look back on in that regard. But, one thing I am learning daily is to make the best of whatever life hands you.

I hope you enjoyed this look back on our month of June.

I did.

where has the time gone?

throw
Wow. It has been so long since I have blogged. I just can’t seem to find the time to do it. We have been really busy living life this summer. The girls make life exciting. There is never a dull moment around here.

Another reason I can’t seem to find time to blog (or clean or make dinner), I have morning sickness almost all day. Yep, you read that right. We are expecting our third baby. The precious blessing will be here some time in March. We are beyond excited (when we aren’t tired).

Happy Tuesday!