Thursday, July 30, 2009
Yes, that's it - way in the back of the play room (actually, it takes up probably 1/3 of the playroom - sorry kids!) is my new 'crafty' area. Moving in a little closer,
There you see the knock-off Pottery Barn craft desk made with the ClosetMaid cubicles. I still need to put the little plastic do-dads on all the screws, and no the bar stools don't match, but what you can't see is the nice molding Matt put around the MDF table top he made to go on the cubicles. The perfect finishing touch.
Another view of the table. William is under STRICT instructions to NOT crawl through the holes in the bookcases, or CLIMB them AT ALL. Or I will kill him. Well, maybe not kill, but he'll be in BIG BIG TROUBLE. Do you see those barstools? Those solid oak, like-new barstools? $2 on ebay. For the pair. That would be, let's see, $1 each. (What kind of nimrod sells barstools on ebay starting at $2?) They haven't been painted yet because I just don't have it in me right now, and they don't need it. But it bugs me that they don't match :) Moving on:
This is the future home of my sewing machine. The desk if from Craig's List, and it's perfect for sewing - I love the bump-out on the front with lots of room behind it, and the drawers will be awesome for all the stuff you need to keep handy; it has a laminate top which, once I thought about it, will be perfect because it won't get scratched up by needles & scissors and stuff. The wall cabinet was hand-crafted by Matt (THANK YOU!). It's huge and perfect. I was looking for old kitchen cabinets to paint, but couldn't find any & didn't want to buy new. This is exactly what I wanted and I love it. You don't really get the 'scale' of everything from the pictures, but the desk is 53" wide and the wall cabinet is 48". I can't wait to load it up with books, baskets and all the boxes of STUFF I have scattered all over the house.
This lovely, well-cared for piece
turned into this after sanding/priming/painting/poly. I paid $6 for this chair at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore. Hee hee!
I think we spent maybe $325 total for everything, and I sold the table and chairs that used to sit under that light fixture for $300 on Craig's List. Not too shabby when my whim of an idea only cost a net of $25 plus some labor on both our parts. Matt had all the construction done within a weekend, and the painting went a lot faster than I expected - maybe a week, start to finish. The worst part was the chair. I think I hate that chair. That chair is why the stools are not white yet. I had to move on and get to the other desk (as of today wearing a fresh coat of grey primer) and two chairs that are still in the garage. Matt would like to get the cars back in it by the end of the weekend :)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
He's the one who loves to throw balls & wrestle.
He hates to be still to get dressed or changed.
He's rough and tumble and reminds me of a puppy, always ready to play.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
My last cell phone was the 'free' one you get after completing your contract - because I didn't want to spend any money on it - and it was 4 years old. While it had a camera, I didn't have whatever you needed set up to be able to send pictures anywhere - and they were crappy anyway so it didn't really matter.
I know Connie (Young and Relentless) loves her iphone, and I think Jen (Tatertots and Jello) did a post recently about all their neat features - and I started to think about having one. The clincher for me was when Jason got his hands on Matt's Blackberry 2 weekends ago, and it has this feature (unknown to me or I would have grabbed it from him right away) that, even though the keypad is locked, you can make an emergency call on it. The police showed up at our driveway for a 911 call. Because these phones have GPS in them, the 911 system was able to identify EXACTLY where we were - normally a cell phone call can only be narrowed down to a 1/4 mile radius. Matt isn't quite sure he's thrilled with this feature, however I would like the emergency crews to be able to FIND ME and my 4 kids when I'm stuck in a blizzard God only knows where someday and we're eating snow to survive.
So now I have my handy new iphone that I'm going to load up with all kinds of fun stuff (did you know there is a massage application?!), I've got all my itunes loaded on it (Twilight soundtrack anyone?), and Matt has phone envy. Thanks honey! :)
Monday, July 20, 2009
It was 11:30 when we arrived in Lancaster, PA so we stopped for lunch at McDonalds (Evie had been clamoring to go there to get an Ice Age toy - what did we get? 3 identical Ty puppy dogs - I hate Happy Meals). Sarah was cute - she was having trouble holding her cheeseburger together and said 'oh no - my meal is broken!' That girl kills me.
We arrive at the park, pay our admission and start enjoying our day - along with every other family, stroller in hand, within a 200 mile radius. We did have a good time though - I was uncharacteristicly patient even though I was dying for coffee. Did I tell you about the coffee? We were leaving McDonalds & I asked Matt, do you think I should get a cup here before we leave? Or stop somewhere else (there was a Starbucks just down the street). No, he assured me, there would be coffee at the park - Grandparents go there and that's what they drink. Do you think there was a cup of coffee to be found anywhere in there? Nooooooo. What did I see just outside the door when we left? A big sign at the fudge shop next door advertising coffee and lattes. (sigh)
We had lots of fun - Sarah rode her first roller coaster, William rode a BIG roller coaster, and Evie and William had their first pony rides. There was a sky ride, a train ride (Jason LOVED the train - choo choo!), log flumes, and a carousel (Jason wasn't so crazy about the carousel).
By 5 pm Jason was spinning in circles and Sarah was just wandering every which way so we knew it was time to head out. We weren't on the road more than 15 minutes when they fell asleep - but not for long. We decided breakfast for dinner would be a good idea & we stopped at a Perkins on the way home. I had remarked to Matt before we stopped what a pleasant day it had been, and how nothing really out of the ordinary had happened. Do you think I jinxed myself?
Oh yes I did. I picked Jason up out of the high chair at Perkins after our meal & his shorts felt damp. Got him out to the car and discovered he'd had the biggest blowout I've ever seen. It was everywhere. Thank God Matt was there to help, because the first thing Jason does when you get his diaper off is stick his hand down there. Typical, no? Matt had his hands, I had one leg under my arm while I held the other & tried to clean him up. Also thank God he didn't do this AT the park. and that the package of wipes was new - I used a ton. Making memories, folks!
Long story short, we had a terrific time & look forward to going back again next summer, when things will be just a tiny bit easier & maybe we can stay a little bit longer.
Sarah and I just visted random.org and generated the winning number:
49 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Laura from Piece of Cake!
Thank you to everyone who participated, this has been so much fun. I've met so many new people in blog-land and I look forward to getting to know you all better. Have a wonderful Monday!
Friday, July 17, 2009
We planted this silver maple 6 years ago as a bare-root tree from the Arbor Day Foundation - along with 12 fruit trees that never made it. We wanted to get a tree in the ground to hopefully provide some shade once the woods behind us were cut down for phase 5 of our neighborhood. The picture on the left was taken the following spring, April 2004. The picture on the right was taken 2 weeks ago. About the only thing that hasn't changed is the woods are still there. I guess there is one positive side to the downturn in the housing market, we still have our wonderful trees and late afternoon shade, instead of neighbors sharing our fence. I cannot get over how much that little stick of a tree has grown in the five years between pictures - much like our family.
Back in 2004, William was a little spud about to turn 1, and Evie was super-precocious at almost 3. Matt had more hair, and I had a lot less grey - not that you'd know because it's always colored. Sarah was just a hope I had for the future someday, and Jason? I never pictured Jason in my thoughts of what our family would be like. Having four children just never occurred to me.
Makes me wonder, what on earth will the next five years bring? I have my own ideas, but Heaven has a way of taking your ideas and twisting them up a bit - or completely spinning you around and sending you off in another direction. Either way, I'm sure there will be lots to blog about - good, bad, amusing, and irritating - and gallons of coffee consumed to get through all those busy days. ah, coffee!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I asked Debi for a description to share with you and she replied:
"It is a gold cuff bracelet with a faux silver and gold lace finding that is stacked, with a turquoise bead stone on the top with Swarovski crystals that surround it. The picture doesn’t do it any justice. It’s really funky and vintage looking. I’m so into that!!"
If you want to enter to win this fab bracelet, click on the pic and comment/follow/blog about it! Go! Go now!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
It feels like I threw my 100th post out there and then disappeared - it's been very busy here the last few days (in addition to bills, laundry, swim team/swim lessons, grocery shopping and more I actually HAVE been doing some sanding and painting, and Matt's been hard at work constructing this for me and making a cabinet for the wall for my craft stuff - can't wait to show it all to you!), but I'm starting to work through my email and check out the blogs of all the new people who've stopped by this week. Yay!
In the meantime, I don't have anything really interesting to say today, so I'll share some pictures from yesterday morning at the playground - I took the little ones to play while Evie had swim practice & it was such a beautiful morning, not too hot but sunny - my favorite time to go the the playground.
William - I can't get over how strong he is.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Yesterday was super busy, we had swim team practice in the morning, swim lessons in the afternoon (at which I took all four of them to the pool - I know, I'm crazy) and then Matt had a meeting at 7 so he served dinner while I squeezed in a short workout (I really needed that 'me' time!) In between all that, I finally went through all our bills & got all that caught up. And I'm now consequently feeling very poor. Probably why I put off doing that as much as possible.
Anyway - keep sending friends my way for the giveaway, it ends July 19th, and let me know if you blog about it! Have a good one :)
Monday, July 13, 2009
Little did I know, when I set out to share the nitty gritty of our life, that there were TONS of you out there, most doing this so much better than I could ever hope to. Which made me question more than once why I was doing this. I decided (and I need to remind myself of this frequently) that this is for me. If other people come and read and can commiserate/laugh/whatever with me, that's a bonus. I've never been a journal writer, my attempt at keeping books for the kids lasted all of 18 months I think. But I like this format, and it gives me a place to stick some pictures and write down all the funny/annoying/frustrating/happy/fantastic moments of my family's life together. I am thrilled that you take the time to read it and maybe leave a comment.
So - to thank you, my friends, I have a little giveaway for you to celebrate my 100th post today. Just a few little things that I've run across that I love and would like to share. We have:
- a fantastic canvas tote from Tar-jay. This is identical to the one I haul my 'swim team practice entertain the kiddies stuff' in, and I love it! Now you can too!
- a pretty tin plaque to hang in your home & remind you of me :)
- The Firm's Power Yoga DVD. It's less of a yoga 'ooohhmm' type DVD and more of a fantastic 30 minute stretching/toning DVD. I did this for the first 6 months of my pregnancy with Sarah and felt FANTASTIC. If your sciatic nerve hurts, you NEED this. I love it. My sisters love it. Matt has been known to do it on occasion. It's tested and approved of. You new Moms out there will LOVE this DVD because it will help tone those muscles but it doesn't take a lot of time and you won't get all sweaty doing it. 'nuff said.
- a Starbucks gift card (did I mention I love coffee?)
- Black Forest Gummy Bears (I'd send chocolate, but was afraid it would get all 'melty')
- Real Simple and Do It Yourself magazines. I thought these looked pretty interesting, maybe you will too.
- Be a follower of my blog. Each follower gets 1 entry.
- Leave me a comment on this post. This will get you 1 entry. If you aren't a blogger and/or don't have your email account linked to your profile, make sure you tell me how to find you!
- Mention my giveaway on your blog. This will get you 2 entries ;) Please be sure to come back and tell me you did so!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Mimi from Living in France has paid me back in spades for the 6th folder/6th photo tag I hit her with last week. This one is really tricky (for me, anyway) because I couldn't tell you what any song lyrics are, and poetry's not really my thing. So I'm going to do the best I can with this. This tag goes as follows:
This is the English translation of a latin poem from Catullus somewhere around 60 B.C.
I found it in one of my very favorite books of all time, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
Matt and I have part of the latin engraved on our wedding bands.
Come and let us live my Deare,
Let us love and never feare,
What the sowrest Fathers say:
Brightest Sol that dyes to day
Lives againe as blith to morrow,
But if we darke sons of sorrow
Set, then, how long a Night
Shuts the Eyes of our short light!
Then let amorous kisses dwell
On our lips, begin and tell
A Thousand, and a Hundred, score
an Hundred, and a Thousand more,
Till another Thousand smother
That, and that wipe off another.
Thus at last when we have numbered
Many a Thousand, many a Hundred;
Wee'l confound the reckoning quite,
And lose our selves in wild delight:
While our joyes so multiply,
As shall mocke the envious eye.
RICHARD CRASHAW (1612/3 - 1649)
I've always loved this one
Maybe it's the flying carpet?
I'm not entirely sure what all this says about me, but there you go. To pass the fun along, I'm tagging the following 6 - I'd love to see what they come up with, if they feel like playing.
My next post is the big 100, so come back for my giveaway! It's pretty random, sort of like my blog ;)
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Ok, so if you're by chance here reading this you probably went WTF or something to that effect when you saw the 'changes' I've made. Hah! That's what I'm thinking myself anyway! I've been wanting a 3-column blog for a while now and so I played around with the code (thank you, Cutest Little Blog on the Block!). Well I can't figure out how to get the posts in the middle where I want them; you can't just 'drag' your gadgets from column to column, you have to remove/add them; and then the background wasn't wide enough and looked like - I don't know what. And the header was an image that didn't match the background. So now I've made a mess of it and it's time for bed and I'm meeting my neighbor at 6 tomorrow morning to run. I could copy the old code back, but I've already moved stuff around and I have NO IDEA what that would do, so here we are. Bear with me while I try to figure this out. Hopefully that will be before I do my 100th post (2 more posts! You might not be hearing from me for a while! Lol!)
Before I go, though, I wanted to let you all know that Christie at Pop Rocks for Breakfast is having an AWESOME giveaway for her 200th post - go see her and get in on it, you have 4 chances to win something fun! Go - go now!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Daily Dose of Caffeine May Cure Alzheimer's, Scientists Find - Neurology | Alzheimer's Disease | Stroke - FOXNews.com
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Evie is not quite 5 in this photo, and I took Evie and William to visit my older sister & her family and my Dad while they were on vacation. This brings back memories, I was 7 months pregnant with Sarah, and Matt and I were leaving the following Saturday for our family vacation to Duck, NC with my younger sister. Ah, to only have 2 kids! (just kidding - although it was easier!)
Anyway - Evie LOVED this dragon on the carousel. She remembered it from our trip to OC, NJ two years before and she was SO excited to ride it again! We waited in line until it was our turn and she made a mad dash over to the dragon before anyone else could claim it. She was definitely in her happy place all through that ride. Good times!
Staci at Playing House
Mimi at Living in France
Laura at Piece of Cake
Bobbi at Bobbi in La La Land
Connie at The Young and The Relentless
Monday, July 6, 2009
When can we play mini golf?
When can we play real golf?
When can I ride a rollercoaster? (William)
When can we go to 6 Flags? (Evie)
When can we go to Kings Dominion? (Evie)
When can we go to Willy's (soft serve ice cream)?
Can we go to the pool today?
When can we go to the playground?
Are we going to the library?
I finally turned around and asked, is there anywhere else you'd like to go? The moon, maybe?
(Cheesy grins from the rear of the van). I think my plan to keep them busy is backfiring.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Friday night Matt and I had tickets with the neighbor gals to see West Side Story, so we went out to dinner and made a date of it - what a good show! I was surprised to see just how many of the songs I knew from it. Dinner was 'eh'. Don't think we'll be eating at the 'Cantina de Italia' again. Not terrible, just not terribly great. If I'm paying for dinner and a babysitter, it had better be terribly great!
We started off our July 4th with a noon parade in a nearby town. Here I was thinking we'd be seeing a marching band or two. Silly me. I think every emergency vehicle within 50 miles was in that parade (showing off our tax dollars at work perhaps?) and they all proceeded to roll through town with sirens blasting. I'm not sure that was really necessary. How about some holiday-type music perhaps? The only bands of note were the two praise bands from local churches. They were pretty good, but not what I was expecting. We also saw the largest dog I've ever seen (Matt did NOT get a picture of that one), some enormous bubbles, and the following good sights:
After the parade we headed back to the house for naps & then had some friends over for a little cookout. Matt was almost on the floor laughing at my 'appetizers' of chips/salsa/guacamole, pretzels and cheese balls - but you know what? The cheese balls were the FIRST thing to disappear. I admit - usually I make more of an effort at these things, but lately it seems like I'm just doing my best to make sure laundry is clean, food is served at regular meal times, people get where they need to be, and every gets enough sleep. Menu planning is an afterthought, usually done at 8am while MM Clubhouse is on in the background and the kids are yelling over breakfast. I did, btw, manage to make a Key Lime Cheesecake for dessert (fab - let me know if you want the recipe!)
Anyway - I thought I had uploaded more pictures than these, but here's a couple shots from the evening before we headed over to the county park for fireworks. Matt always gets a box of the 'legal' stuff from Costco (and every year we only get through half of it!) so the little ones (at least the older two) had fun with sparklers & such.
Jason was sort of miserable during the fireworks display, but to his credit he was up 2 hours past bedtime and did settle down after a bit - I even heard a few 'oohs' and 'aahs'. It's a lot to ask of a 20 month old who's very used to his routine. Sarah thought the fireworks were 'so pretty' and Evie said it was her best July 4th ever. William, being William, was sad at the parade because the candy people were throwing did not land in his hands.. and then sad later because he didn't run around the playground at the park while he had time. I think sometimes he's destined for disappointment, and I wonder if I'm supposed to 'see' these things happening in advance & do my best to avert them. Or does he need to learn to be more aware of what's going on?
That was our 4th, not quite in a nutshell, and ALL THE KIDS SLEPT IN UNTIL 8AM! It's a miracle! My big girl Evie was Bible bearer for the first time at church today and she did a great job. The little ones are napping, and Matt's off picking up my $2 bar stools from Ebay. (Yes, $2. Wait until you see them!) I'm off to throw pizza dough ingredients in the bread machine so we have something to eat for dinner, and then I need to RUN off all this food - ugh. I'd have to run 10 miles to accomplish that today - not gonna happen. I hope you had a terrific holiday weekend with your family!
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