laundry~the beast that slays me

Finally, this past summer I was able to paint the laundry room.  I wish I had taken a before picture.  Picture a sky blue tinged in dirty.  There was also a refrigerator in here.  Beside the hot water heater.  I still need to add all the finishing touches.  I also, was waiting until the laundry was actually caught up and everything was clean.  HA!!  It’s real life over here, not Land of the Perfect that you see in blogland.  Who knows when I will get to make it gorgeous, but I have really wanted to show y’all my “system”.

Granted, I might be the only one in all of the land to care…wait, I take that back!  My cousin, Teah, who was my helper then, helped me accomplish this.  SHE will care.  HAHA.

Anyway, back to my “system”.  On the right is the washer, obviously.  But, also on the right are the DIRTY clothes.  I purchased a 3 basket sorting thingy.  You can see it hiding behind the 2 hampers, there.  In goes colors, pinks, and whites.  (Yes, I have an entire load of pinks.  I also have an entire load of blue clothes and brown clothes.  Because those are Brian and my favorite colors to wear.  But, those stay upstairs until washing time.)  Too much?   The white hamper is for dirty towels.

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To the left is the dryer.  If there are clothes in baskets, they are clean.  Clean clothes are ALWAYS on the left.

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Do you see the closet organizer hanging there?  That was in my closet, I brought it down for organizing the girls clothes as I fold them.  Each girl gets a cube.  I am not sure what else to call it.  But, I tell them to get their clothes out of their cube and put away.  It keeps down the amount to put away each time.  (In theory, anyway.)

I just noticed the laundry coming out to the dryer, as if to attack!

Behind the curtain is the built-in shelves Brian installed.  They are organized in a messy way, I put the curtain up to hide it.  My OCD keeps wanting to rearrange it, so I am hiding it, instead.  The curtain kind of matches.  Who cares, anyway?  It is just a laundry room.  Well, I kind of care.  I spend about an hour a day in here.  I want it to be pretty.

I really like my “system” because once you know it, anyone can go in and take over laundry.  It’s not just my job.  I have a helper.  I like for us to be on the same page.  I am training my girls to do laundry.  They need order and routine.  This totally helps.

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Now that I have totally aired my dirty laundry….hahaha….as I look at this picture, I see how grody that floor is.  Something else to put on the list.  In the meantime, though, I think I will put a big rug in there.  Do y’all have any suggestions for the walls?  I want to put words in there….vinyl wall decals.  Like, “laundry, the never-ending story” OR “wash rinse repeat”, my favorite is the Johnny Cash lyrics~ “you gotta know when to fold ’em”.

What say you? What should I do?

playroom garden

playroom from hall

I have been wanting to show you all the playroom for ages now! When we first moved here 3 years ago, this is what it looked like.

playroom before

From the very beginning I envisioned a garden for the girls to play in. I just wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted it done. The washer and dryer was in a closet (without a door) in this room. So, half the time, the floor was covered with laundry. I couldn’t stand it. The room was so ugly. Hardly any sun comes through those little tiny windows. It was brown. It was drab. It was awful. After I finally got the washer and dryer moved into the laundry room (hallelujah!) I enlisted my daddy to come paint the walls for me. I chose a gorgeous sky blue color. Then it all just came together (over the next year).

flower wall

I hand painted and stenciled the flowers on the wall here. Knowing what I know now, I would cut out the flowers from vinyl and do it. It would look better, I am sure. Thankfully, with a little elbow grease, soap, and water, those flowers can wash right off. So, one day in my spare time, I might just do that.

kitchen

This is the kitchen I played with when I was little. Isn’t it adorable? It is rather small, though. I really want to make the girls a taller play kitchen for Christmas. (Crossing my fingers-that project was supposed to have been last year’s Christmas present.) The other cute things have been acquired through the years. the baby doll high chair-from Grandma Judy. The coffee maker and mixer-different birthday presents. The cute little cupcake stand I think was a birthday present. I made their cooking hats. They have aprons to match. Now Genevieve needs one, and another cute little girl I know needs one, too. Those purple totes are the “quiet time” boxes. They work great, when we use them.

baby area

This is where babies are taken care of. We used to pile them all up into the baby bed. That was annoying. The pencil shelf was used somewhere else, I brought it into the playroom for the dolls and their accessories. I like that better. The two brown spots on the wall where the blue paint has peeled off really bug me. I need to touch that up. I used to have a coat rack hanging there, it won’t stay on the wall. So, I just took it off. After I touch it up, I want to paint something cute there. A tire swing? Birds on a wire? The cardboard box has baby blankets and other baby accessories in it. We decorated a box with wash tape and card stock birds we cut out. The little white trunk was a Christmas present from Grandma Judy. It holds all their baby doll clothes. They have at ton more baby doll clothes (that were presents) but I have them put away for now. Too much stuff makes it hard to clean up.

back door view

This is the view from the back door.

reading area

This is the closet the washer and dryer were in. It is now the reading area. I call it the patio off the garden. I picked up that window/mirror at a yard sale. Perfect there. The brick looking stuff on the walls and floor is linoleum I got on clearance at Lowe’s. I thought it was perfect there. The heart garland is leftover decorations from a birthday party. If I weren’t so lazy, I would sew it, then it would hang nicely. On the wall to the right there, around the corner from the door, is a full length mirror-a present from Aunt Jada one year. They use it when they need to see their outfits. (Daily, hourly) The shopping cart is a Melissa and Doug toy. I bought that for one of them for Christmas one year. It is awesome. We take it to the store. They love it.  The two round pillow looking things I made out of corduroy one year. They are great, but they can be better. The girls like them, so that’s all that counts. The corduroy had been given to me, so all I purchased was the stuffing. They need more shape. I should have used piping. Oh, well. Live and learn. I got the pattern from Pinterest.

pallet bookshelf

Our book rack. This is the first thing I think I made from Pinterest. It is out of a pallet. A little more difficult than at first imagined. Brian made it, actually. I just found the pallet for him. HA! The purple basket has stuffed animals and soft books. It’s their reading buddies.

tree

This is our apple tree. We change out this tree according to the seasons. One year we had a fall tree with colored leaves. I am going to switch out the apples for the leaves, when I find them. At Christmas time we always put a Christmas tree there. This is the door to the laundry room.

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These are planes we have collected here and there. The blue one is made from cans, we purchased it at the Jockey Lot years ago. Kate and I painted it. The red plane is actually a book shelf I picked up at a yard sale one year. Love it. The planes are for daddy.

sun

This sun has been hanging up in a room since Kate was a baby. It is a hand-me-down from a cousin on daddy’s side. I thought it was so cute to hang that instead of painting one. Then we added the stuffed clouds. I bought that shiny white fabric at a thrift store years ago. Perfect for some clouds.

sticker tree

This is a vinyl tree I bought. Genevieve won’t stop picking the raccoon off the wall, so I stuck him in a tree.

coat rack

I am particularly proud of this thing. It is a cedar log I saved when we cut down the tree in the yard, one year. I made it into a rack for the girls to hang their dress up stuff, hats, and purses. I made a mess when I took everything off to get it’s picture.

cedar log

I sanded the bark off, then drilled holes into the log at a downward angle, then inserted dowels into the glue filled holes. I then put it on a little stand! I used power tools. So much fun to do. It lasted for about a year, then we had company who climbed the tree breaking off my piddly little dowels. So, when Daddy came home, he redid it for me with some thicker dowels.

I didn’t take a picture of the back door. It’s a metal door, have you ever heard of such a thing? I hadn’t until we moved here. Because it is metal, it is magnetic. Awesome. So, we use it to display random things. Drawings, magnetic letter words, whatever the girls want to display at that moment.

I am really pleased with our little playroom. I finally got the toys organized on a shelf in little bins which helps clean up time. We pare everything down about every couple of months. Sometimes we sell things, sometimes I just put it up and bring it back out later. I know the girls really enjoy it. Since our house is so small, I am very thankful to have a designated room for toys.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our garden.

back door view

birthday monkey cake!

We celebrated Isabel’s 3rd birthday a week early, so Daddy could join us. It was more fun getting ready to celebrate her birthday than the actual celebration. I don’t think we “do” parties well, yet. Maybe in a few years, they will have more fun. But, the cake was AWESOME! I really enjoy making spectacular cakes. So, I wanted to show you the cake and how to make it.

Here it is! Isn’t it wonderful! The reason I wanted to make her a monkey cake is first of all because I wanted the challenge, but secondly because I call Isabel, my monkey. Want to know how?

I used a 3D bear cake pan. I got it from Michael’s several years ago.

It is imperative that you follow the directions that come with this cake pan in baking your cake! Imperative. If you don’t, you will be sorry. Don’t ask me how I know that….3 separate times. ARGH. Read the directions! Follow the directions!

This is how it looks out of the pan…except the ears were on top of it’s head. I forgot to take a picture before I cut them. I cut the ears off with a bread knife. I then inserted toothpicks into the ears, then into the side of the head, like a monkey’s would be.

The icing covers up the features of the bear. You can then just frost the bear in whatever you desire. As it was about midnight when I was frosting this cake, I found I didn’t have chocolate icing. So, I googled how to make brown icing. The directions are here. It turned into a rather lovely brown. With some tweaking here and there, that is.

After you frost it manically, because it is getting later and later, and your birthday girl takes a thousand pictures of you out of excitement for her cake….

Draw the face out of a lighter color of frosting. (I just mixed up the brown with white to make a tan.) Look into your craft stash for some googly eyes, ribbon, and buttons…to make it a girly monkey.

And there you have it! A beautiful girly monkey perfect for the little monkey girl in your life!

I think she was pleased with her cake and decorations. It was all pink and girly and monkey. Just like her!

Linking up, for the first time. EVER!


the cow jumped over the moon

cow

This is what false labor looks like:

I have thought 3 separate times that we were in labor. Every single time the contractions have stopped. So, yes. I am still with child. So, yesterday, I made this fabric art wall hanging thing that I keep putting off. For some reason, I have wanted a “cow jumping over the moon” picture. I have seen a few online, but none of them really “speak” to me. (HAHA.) For Christmas Brian bought me the Silhouette Cameo. It is a cutting machine. It cuts out anything. It is the neatest thing. You hook it up to your computer, get your picture, send to machine, and tada! It cuts it out. Granted, I might have simplified it just a bit, seeming as how every time I go to use it, I get just a tad bit frustrated. But, there is a learning curve, and I am pregnant.
But, anyway, what was I saying? I used my Cameo to cut out this cow. I did the rest using printed fabric that I already had.

Isn’t it adorable? The chickens are cheering the cow on.

I used this ugly canvas thing I bought when I was pregnant with  Kate. I don’t think I have ever hung it. I never liked it after I got it home. I covered it with fabric.

Added some rolling hills.

Ironed “wonder under” onto all the other pieces, then cut them out.

Ironed them onto the canvas, where I thought they should go.

Found some googly eyes for the cow, to make me laugh, admired it, called it “art”, then hung it over the baby’s bed.

Since I had everything on hand, it was practically free. I really like it. By the way, what do you think of the big, fat chicken? Doesn’t it just make you smile?

Well, I sure hope I have this baby before I get the urge to blog again, don’t you?

cravings and other such nonsense

orange
Today is the due date. No sign of baby at all.
The one different thing about this pregnancy than the other two has been my cravings. (Hopefully, that means it is a boy.) I craved chocolate ice cream with the girls, with this one it is all things citrus. Key lime pie, mainly, but oranges and pineapples, too. The thing with the oranges, though, I could never figure out an easy way to cut and eat the things. I don’t like peeling the peels off. The skin would get under my nails. YUCK. Then you have all that white stuff, pulp-I guess, surrounding all the good, juicy part. So, I was really excited one day, when I figured out this way to cut my orange and eat it, really easy like.

Cut off the ends.

Cut in half.

Then slice it like this, long ways.

You can, then turn each slice up on it’s end to cut off the stupid white stuff, if needed. Not all slices will need it.

Once you are finished, you enjoy….

The girls and I can eat 2 whole oranges at one sitting. We like the little cutie mandarin oranges, too. But, those are easy to peel. Not stressful at all.

The other thing that I can’t seem to get enough of is Perrier with lemon. Brian introduced this to me about a month ago.

I fill up a tall glass with crushed ice, squeeze the lemon all over the ice, pour the Perrier over the ice. Stir. I can’t seem to get enough of it. Brian says it is an expensive habit. I think I am worth it.

*smirk*

The other thing I can’t stop doing is making these little baby hats out of t-shirts. Look at how cute they are.

I made two with the little knots on top, one plain, and one with cow ears. So easy and so cute! Let me know if you want me to show you how. It is super easy and fun. I made all of these in one afternoon.

Maybe next post will be a picture of my new baby? One can only hope.

baby preparations

clothes

I am finally getting around to showing you some of my baby things, I have made. I know it would probably be easier to buy these things, but I sure have enjoyed making them. I have just been sitting around enjoying false labor, sewing, trying not to be too impatient while waiting on this little munchkin to make an appearance. I don’t remember really thinking about the babies, necessarily. I remember worrying about labor. (HA!) But, this one, all I can think about it holding it. I can hardly wait. I can’t wait to find out what gender the baby is, either. I keep thinking it is a boy with curly hair OR a really fat girl. We will see soon enough, I reckon.

Okay, you didn’t come here to read my rambles, today….here are my baby things:

The blanket I made. One side is minky squares, the other is just a quilting cotton that I liked. In hindsight, I wish it was flannel, but oh well. It is still so pretty.

At least, I think so. This was the first time I have ever used satin blanket binding. I did it the “right” way, as opposed to the “cheater” way I bound the blanket I made Brian for Christmas. It turned out so nice. Granted, I had to find a you tube video showing me how, but I did it. Woo hoo!

The next thing I made was this swaddle wrap blanket. I used the teddy bear for the model. He looks happy in it, huh? This is basically just a triangle shaped piece of flannel with ties sewed to the back. I got the pattern from the book One Yard Wonders.

I learned how to use this kind of binding AND how to sew a french seam on this blanket. Brian is a big swaddler of babies. He can make the blanket perfect around that little squirmy baby. I, on the other hand, can’t get it on there good enough to stay. So, since he will be leaving and won’t be around to help me swaddle, this blanket is going to come in handy. I really like the colors, especially the orange, for some reason.

I made a bib to match the swaddle blanket. This was the first time I used piping, the buttonholer on Lucy, and the button threader on Lucy! So exciting to learn new things. The back is a soft brown minky, very luxurious.

Here are the “big sister”shirts I have been stressing about! This picture really isn’t a very flattering one of them, but the girls wanted to pose with them. I even made head bands to match. New baby has a coordinating bib, with brother or sister able to be put on with velcro once we know what it is. I will sew it on permanently later. The girls are so very excited about their new sibling. They are constantly kissing my tummy/baby.

Here is a little bit better of a picture. I used my new Sihouette Cameo that I got for Christmas to cut out the letters and flower. That is why the letters look so professional. *grin*

I covered the wipes box with fabric. Because I am silly. I just used fabric and hot glue.

Here is the baby’s corner. Since I don’t have a dresser, I am using the bottom drawer of the crib for stuff. But I also covered some boxes with coordinating fabric to put on the changing table shelves. They have the baby’s clothes in them. One box even has baby toys. Everything has turned out so very cute. I still have to hang the mobile. Well, Brian does.  I am happy with our little baby corner. Thanks to my sister for letting me use her beautiful crib.

Here I am in all my big belly glory! I cannot believe how huge my tummy is. Let us hope it is all baby and fluid….not the other that will be so hard to get rid of.

Now I am working on presents for the girls to receive when they come to meet the new baby. I am making crayon rolls and new skirts. I bought them each a puzzle, coloring book, and new set of pj’s. I also still want to make the diaper bag before the baby comes. We will see. My due date is for Monday, March 5. I am betting that I go at least another week after. Fun, fun.

pregnancy brain

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Does not work as well as non-pregnancy brain or even mommy brain for that matter.  Seriously. Sometimes I can’t even remember why I went to the bathroom. I went to the laundry room to get some chicken out of the freezer for dinner, instead I switched laundry, wiped off the washing machine, and cleaned the dryer lint. Went back into the kitchen and remembered the chicken. Headed back to the laundry room….couldn’t find any chicken in that freezer. Went back into the kitchen to get a glass of water, still not remembering to look for chicken. I think it took about an hour for me to finally look through the freezer for some chicken.
I am supposed to be doing a read-a-long with some other bloggers, but my brain isn’t working well enough to process the information. I just can’t concentrate on serious. I found a book in one of my boxes called Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde and read it instead. Way more entertaining. It is about a girl named Thursday Next who lives in 1985, but in a completely different sort of world than ours. You can jump in and out of books. It is lots of fun. So much so, that I had to get the sequel from the library, Well of Lost Plots. I was looking for it in fiction, but it was in SciFi/Fantasy, if you are interested. Lots of fun. You need to suspend your disbelief while you are reading. Lots of fiction characters come to life. I wholeheartedly suggest you read these books for some mindless fun.I routinely burn dinner or over boil a pot of water. Ugh.

We just celebrated my birthday. I turned 34. Here is a picture of the girls and me on my special day.


Brian made the best steak sandwiches for our dinner. He bought some filet mignon and had the guy shave it. He then cooked it, melted mozzarella on top of that. Cooked up some peppers and onions, then we had it all on a hoagie roll with baked potatoes. Yummy. Even the girls loved it. I made the cake, chocolatey chocolate cake. Delicious.

He got those “happy birthday” candles. Cute, but they melted really quickly. The “h” was almost gone by the time I blew it out. Kate even joined in singing the birthday song with her daddy. It was sweet. I wish I had thought to turn on the video camera. But, alas, my brain is not working.

Brian tried to move the old chicken coop when he first got home. He lifted the handles and it literally fell apart it was so rotten. So, Brian built a new chicken coop. It is very nice and much bigger. It really isn’t moveable like the other one, though. You need two people to move it. Very heavy. It looks so professional. He did a really good job. He used treated lumber for the parts that aren’t painted yet, which is why the paint isn’t finished. You have to wait like 6 weeks or something before you can paint treated lumber. Looks good, though, huh? The chickens seem happy.

I have been meaning to show y’all some of the things I made the girls for Christmas. I haven’t really gotten a picture of everything yet. But I finally got one of Isabel’s dresses. It is a t-shirt dress. Literally. It is made from strips of old t-shirts that I got at a thrift store. They were 50 cents a piece. It is topped with a shirt I got from Wal-mart.

She really likes it. It is all cotton jersey, so it is very comfortable. I think it is adorable. I didn’t hem it because I like the way the t-shirt rolls up on the bottom, making a cute hem by itself. She enjoyed posing the other day before church. Then sister Kate had to get in on the action.

Silly sisters. I love to watch them play together and love each other. It really is precious. I just love being a  mommy. I can’t wait for new baby to come. That is going to be even more fun (and tiring).

Here is a precious moment I captured a few days ago, they are playing baby and mommy.

I only have 4 weeks left to this pregnancy, if all goes according to schedule. Yeah, right. Like that ever happens.

some homemade goodness

homemade
Brian will be home tomorrow.
This year for the girls’ presents I really wanted to either buy used, really cheap, or make them. I have done a little of it all. I am going to show you a few things I have made so far. I am really excited about them. I have seen felt food tutorials all over the internet and have quite a few bookmarked. But my mom gave me a pattern that she picked up for a dollar, so I just used that.
Felt fruit:
2 bananas, an apple, and an orange. I went scavenging in the outside toys and found this tin bucket I am going to wrap it all in. Cute! My bananas might be a little wonky, but I don’t think they will notice. I really like the stem and leaf on the apple.
Brian will be home tomorrow.
Cupcakes with decorations:
I only made 4 cupcakes, because I thought the muffin pan I was going to package them in was for 4. But as you can see it is for 6. So, I need to make 2 more. In the purple envelope is a bunch of different colors of hearts, flowers and butterflies. They all have velcro on them for easy decorating. The cupcakes themselves have velcro, too. The pattern showed the decorations sewed on, but I thought the girls would have more fun decorating them the way they wanted to.
Brian will be home tomorrow.
Bow tie pasta:
I am going to take all the credit for the creativity of this one. I was given these pinking shears a few months ago. In my cutting felt for flowers, I thought how it kind of looked like bow tie pasta. So, I cut up a bunch of little rectangles then tied them all in the middle with thread. A tad bit time consuming, I will admit, but worth it. So cute! Then I made this little bag with the see through window, remembered I had the twine and tad a! Bow tie pasta. But we call it hair bow noo noos (noodles). Hair bow noo noos are the favorite noodle of choice around here.
Now I need to figure out how to make some black olives. The girls love black olives. I want to make some with out sewing….so, if anyone has any ideas please let me know!
Here are a few more things that the girls and I have done this past week.
Brian will be home tomorrow.
Homemade snow globes:
These have been a BIG hit in this house. They were a lot of fun to make. The second picture is a closeup of Mary and baby Jesus. We have an angel, carolers and a snowman. We gave the snowman away last night. I need to make a few more for presents. They are really attached to these. Now I am not exactly sure where I saw this particular idea. It may have been on pinterest or it may have been one of the thousand crafty blogs I follow. Who knows. But, if you want to know how, here is what we did.
Glued our figure to the lid of the jar. Filled the jar with hot water. Added some glitter. Added some glycerin. (We have a  huge jar left over from when we made bubbles.) Screwed the lid on. Flipped over. Some we had too much water and made a mess. Some we had too little water and had to add water. Some we had too much glitter. ETC. It was definitely a learning process. There is no formula to making these perfect. It is all trial and error. Which is how I do everything anyway.
Brian will be home tomorrow.
We finally took our fall tree down from the playroom. We needed to put up our Christmas tree. I picked up a yard of green glitter felt at Hobby Lobby. Who even knew they made such a thing? I was just going to get some green felt, but the glitter looks so sparkly, like lights. I cut a tree shape, eyeballed it, of course. Hot glued and pinned it to the door. The we cut out a bunch of felt ornaments. I just cut out what was ordered. Hearts, bells, birds, looks like we have Easter eggs, pinecones, balls, etc. I had some ribbon that looked like candy canes, so I used it to cut out candy cane shapes. At the end, Kate wanted a star, so we did that, as well. Then we hung her angel up over the tree. She made that angel in children’s church and was so very proud of it.
Then yesterday we finally got the presents under the tree. Just in time for Daddy to come home.
It turned out really cute. If I do say so myself. The garland is bead necklaces hot glued on. I think it really adds some Christmas cheer in the playroom, along with the lights we have strung around the room.
I am going to put a side note in here. I don’t consider myself one of those overachieving moms who goes out of her way to make things just so for her children. I just want to make their lives filled with fun and creativity while they learn new things. I am learning new things all the time. I want to pass that love of learning and doing on to them. I like it when they see mommy can’t do something the first time, and then I figure it out. Or I love it when I hear them playing and they say, “I have an idea!” Because I say that all the time…I am always having ideas that I jot down.
I really just want them to love life. To love living and doing. That is why I do the things that I do. I love it when they say, “My mommy made it.” Because they know that I put in that extra little bit of love to give them whatever it is they have. Instead of just going to buy it at the store. I like it when they see how things are done. For them to make a mess in the kitchen with mommy making dinner or cookies or whatever. To me that is what life being a mommy is all about. What is the point of having these little things running around with you, if you aren’t showing them how to do things? Kate got a sewing machine for her birthday. She loves to sit beside me and “sew” while I sew. It is really great fun for both of us. (Until her needle becomes unthreaded for the 50th time, then she is done. HAHA.)
Anyway, I hope you don’t mind my side note….I just don’t want anyone to think I am bragging about what I do. I just like to show you. I think some of the stuff we do is cool. I mean, half the time, I have no clue what I am doing. I am just winging it. Then when it turns out good, it is exciting. Like the playroom….I still am not completely done redecorating it. But, I have never painted a room for kids before. So, it was all new. And it turned out awesome, if I say so myself. I will show you the complete room when it is finished. I still have some finishing touches I need Brian’s help with.
Did I tell you? Brian will be home tomorrow. Brian will be home tomorrow!
Woohoo!
Happy, happy, joy, joy!

snowmen SC style

snowman
Christmas decorating has been going on full speed ahead around here in the Armonat household. Once we got our tree up and decorated, we haven’t stopped crafting and making and playing. It has been fun.
I really like snowmen. I have a few here and there, but not nearly as many as I would like to have. And of course, it isn’t like we get the kind of snow down here that you can make a real snowman. So, I have figured out how to make snowmen myself. Southern style. Thanks to the internet and Pinterest. You can follow me here on Pinterest, if you want to.
Snowmen jars!
First, get some jars and paint them white. We let them dry overnight. While we had out the white paint, we actually painted lots of things white. After they dry, add your hats, faces, and accessories. This is the best part.
Here is the final product. In order from left to right: Daddy, Kate, Isabel, Mommy. Hilarious, huh?
Snowman pumpkins!
The next snowmen project, we used our leftover pumpkins from the fall. We painted them white and left them to dry overnight.
As you can see, we really, really like to paint. After they were dry, we stacked them and added their faces and accessories.
Here they are outside in the flower garden. They look pretty happy, don’t they?
I have had this snowman doorstop for years. I usually just put it by the front door on the floor. Which is where it is. Well, the other day, Isabel said he needed flip flops. So, she gave him her flip flops and asked me to take his picture.
For some reason, she thought this was hilarious. She left them there for a few days and would laugh every time she saw him. It was funny. She is such a little clown.
Here is the snowman made out of plastic pumpkins covered in white fabric. She is in the living room this year.
Kate and Isabel read books to her.
I hope you are having a wonderful December so far. We are! We are counting down the days for daddy to come home. We are in the single digits, finally. Another cause for celebration is all my presents have been purchased! I am just finishing up a few homemade projects and I will be finished. Woohoo! Now to wrap them all and mail some. So……
Happy shopping!

farewell fall

fallshirt

I came across these two pages in a magazine and thought they summed up my feelings of fall, perfectly. I really do love this time of year. The colors of the leaves, the decorations. It always makes me a bit sad to put up my Christmas stuff. Fall is just my favorite. I find winter so dreary and cold.

Even though the first official day of winter isn’t until December 22. I always feel like December 1st is. I don’t do like some and put my tree up the day after thanksgiving. I wait until it is December.

I am excited this year to turn the calendar over to December, though. Now we can begin our countdown for Daddy’s homecoming. When he first left, I was flipping through the calendar….page after page….month after month. I didn’t think December would ever get here. But yet, here it is. Tomorrow. Where has this year gone?

I think we have made the most of our fall. Trips to the apple orchard, playing outside, planting our pansies, putting up our scarecrow. Fall treasure hunts, watching Papa blow all the leaves away. Here are some things I might not have shown you from our fall fun.

Kate’s fall tree shirt
sweet sisters
I’m a scarecrow!
Do you want my boogy?
My hummingbird
Farewell fall….parting is such sweet sorrow.
(I know. I am a dork.)

fancy birthday tea party

bdaycake

My precious little Kate turned 4! (last week) She is such a fancy, dressy, girly girl that I wanted to make her party something that she would love. So, we had a fancy tea party.

The decorations:

Those hearts and flowers in the back are princess wands. I thought those turned out especially lovely.

Here is her cake in all it’s glory. When I would ask her what kind of cake she wanted, she would reply, a pink cake with sparkles and blue, and purple, and flowers….FANCY!!! I googled fancy cake and found a picture of something similar to this and tried my best to duplicate it. The one online was 6 or so layers with fondant. Mine is more like 3 layers with butter/cream cheese frosting. Messy but tasty.

We even made sure the inside was fancy.

Here is the fancy birthday girl. Ready for her party. Notice her accessories?

We decorated crowns and made pearl necklaces. Here are the party goers showing off their princess/fancy attire.

The tea set and me….ready to serve.

Having tea. All the girls really enjoyed the tea. It was a raspberry tea. Decaffeinated, of course. The girls were so careful with the fancy tea cups and saucers. It was really cute.

Ready for presents. She got completely spoiled on dress-up clothes. Now she and Isabel have no need to fight over things. (right?)

The happy birthday girl with her fancy cake. I think the party was a success.

Happy birthday, Kate!

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!

new shoes

flipflop

My sister had given me these shoes last year. I liked them, but I really didn’t like the color. They were the pair of shoes I had in my closet that I tried on most days, but rejected because they just didn’t quite go.

See, Clemson orange, or Tennessee, or wherever that has a bright orange as their color. UGLY!

Well, one day, I thought what if I painted these shoes? If it doesn’t work out, I don’t lose anything. It’s not like it will be wasting a pair of shoes. I have seen all over blogland people paint everything. Including shoes.

So, I did. Cute, huh? Now, if you look closely you can still see some orange. But, all in all I am pleased. I have worn them many more times than I did before.

I only wish I had painted them black. I already have brown sandals. Oh, well. Maybe one day, I will paint them again.

When we were on our vacation, Kate spotted a pair of flip flops that had glittery sea shells on the straps. Oh, how she loved them and wanted them. I looked at them and at the $40 price tag. Thought to myself, I can do this. So, when we got home we scoured Target, Wal-mart AND K-mart for flip flops. Of course, it being the end of August, there was hardly any to be found. We did find boots. Lots and lots of boots. Ugh. We finally found blue ones at K-mart and pink ones at Target.

Daddy knew we were going to be making this project. So, when he was on his sea shell search (say that 5 times) he purposely picked up itty bitty tiny ones. It took a few days of drying time, but we finally got them finished.

I must tell you, the girls did the glitter all on their own. I glued the sea shells onto the straps myself. The girls can’t have all the fun.

Here is Isabel modeling her’s. If you have met Kate, you know why I don’t have a picture of her modeling her pair. They absolutely love these flip flops. We get lots of compliments whenever I let them wear them in public (which is rare….neither one can walk well in flip flops). Which leads me to the thought that I should dress up their flips or other plain play shoes more often. Make things more fun to wear.

Happy shoes!

happy birthday, Isabel!

books

Sunday, September 11, we celebrated and remembered something other than what happened in NYC.

Isabel.

She turned 2. My little monkey, who hasn’t been a baby since she was 8 months old and began walking, is officially a toddler. She is a character and a true joy in our lives. She with her hugs and kisses taught me how to be a more loving parent.

Here are a few pictures from her birthday celebration.

It was a simple celebration. Lunch with Grandma and Papa, our babysitter Heather and her husband. Then cake, ice cream and presents with them and Aunt Jada and cousins. Everyone had lots of fun.

Isabel really got bored with opening her presents which was kind of funny. But I had saved the best 2 presents for last. She wasn’t interested in either one of them. So, I unwrapped them for her. We got her a new baby doll, one just like Kate’s. For she loves Kate’s baby and is always taking it. Since giving her new baby, she hasn’t put it down.

She even sleeps with her.

The present that I was most excited about was a handmade one. Made special for her by Mommy. Some call these quiet books, some call them busy books. I call it a quiet book, because that is what my mom called the one she made for me when I was small. Which I still have by the way. The one my mom made is a lot more detailed and has a lot more pages. But I am really thrilled with how mine turned out.

Rather than show you each page individually, I made a little collage for you. The top left picture is the cover. The rest are the pages in order. A buckle, snaps, tying shoes, buttons, overall buckles, velcro, and a zipper.

Isn’t it adorable? I really like it.

But it isn’t nearly as a adorable as my little Isabel. The whole day Sunday, she sang, “happy birthday, Idabelll….!”

I leave you with some more pictures of the birthday girl.

 

The only thing missing from an otherwise perfect day was a hug from daddy.

Happy birthday, Isabel.

mother’s day

mama

My mother’s day weekend was really wonderful. I was able to participate in our Mother’s Day brunch at my church. That was a lot of fun. I helped decorate for it. I was also in the skit. Which I think was hilarious and was actually a big hit.

I wanted the girls and I to wear blue. I didn’t really have a blue dress that I thought looked nice on me. So, I made me one. It is really lovely if I say so myself.

I almost look skinny!
(Check out my cute shoes~Kmart)

Mama took some pictures of me modeling it. I did not use a pattern. I just copied another dress I had, made it more A-line, added a ruffle at the neck, and a tie at the waist.

Here is a picture of Mama and me at the luncheon.

It always surprises me at how much I look like her. Same nose, same mouth. Funny. I was glad to be able to spend both Saturday and Mother’s Day with her. Even though we only live 30 minutes from each other, we rarely get to spend time together.

It is so hard to get a good picture of me and my silly girls. Here is one from the luncheon.

Here is Mother’s Day. I really like this one. We set the camera on a table and used the timer setting on the camera.

Brian bought me a beautiful necklace and earring set. He also bought me an incredible coffee maker. It makes the coffee at 200 degrees! HOT coffee, finally! I have not really had hot coffee in several months. I bought myself a hydrangea, because I have wanted one for years. It turned out to be a nice weekend. It would have been better had Brian been here, but we can’t have it all. Can we?

Here are a few other pictures from the day.

Mother’s day gifts:

My attempt at embroidery for my mama.

Making stepping stones with hand prints for the grandmas.

Finger print flower cards for the grandmas with pipe cleaner stems.
My sister and her daughter and Kate.
My cousin, Jody and me
a scene from the skit
(that’s me choking the poor girl who is actually Mrs. Heather, our babysitter)
My sister, Jada and me
( I put it in sepia because the color was off. Really a good picture, huh?)
Becoming a mother has really been the biggest blessing of my life, besides my salvation and marriage. No other job could bring me greater joy. I am so thankful to be a mommy.