Thursday, April 28, 2011

A sweet idea I'm stealing + Sloan's favorite new word is rain + I'm a sucker for romance(or I've bought into media hype)

For Mother's Day

The May edition of Real Simple Magazine had the most darling article written by Jacquelyn Mitchard(author of Deep End of the Ocean and much more) about a tradition she has with her children.  When her first husband passed away a friend gave her an empty journal and she in turn used to help her young children heal.  She handed it to them on Mother's Day and  simply said write something, anything.  Every year after they have each(she has 9 children) recorded a message, a picture, a thought, a poem.  Sometimes it was happy, sometimes it was sad, sometimes it reflected their relationship with her at the moment and it wasn't always pretty.  It was real and it became her most cherished possession.  It is the only gift they are expected to give her-a page in the journal for her birthday, Mother's Day, and Christmas. 

 I cried and cried when I read this story.  How beautiful and how priceless.  How simple. I'm stealing this idea for two reasons.  One is that I can't think of any thing more heart warming than having books filled with thoughts, and wishes, and artwork-maybe more precious that photographs in some ways. I save everything the kids make me, but to have one little book, at my bedside table, would be an even easier way to keep those boys close to me.  And two, the idea that this is her gift from them, the only one they need to give through out the year is genius.  I despise the whole dragging out of children, to buy a gift for a parent, just to teach a lesson on giving, which does not teach a darn thing, and drives me insane at the same time.  Couldn't a picture of what they would get you accomplish the same thing, feel better on the inside, give you the memory longer, mean more to them in the future, possibly teach them how to be giving of their time which is way harder to give up then money(when you are older) and maybe someday they would be men who write their mother letters(emails) and their wives love notes.  Maybe.  I think it's worth a try.

Crazy Weather

We were hit with some NASTY weather last night.  I feel so bad for all the people hit by the umpteen tornadoes all day yesterday.  This place really knows how to have a storm.  Serious rain, serious hail, serious wind in a seriously wooded community equals seriously ugly damage.  We high tailed it downstairs a couple of times last night.  My sweet Asher was in heavy prayer on the bathroom floor, Holden was jumping around like it was the best night ever, and Sloan learned his new favorite word-rain-we'll work on the word hail in some other storm this season.

It was all very exciting.

You could say we had some hail damage.
I think there is a yard somewhere under all those leaves.  I had never officially counted the tress in our yard until this morning.  I stopped counting at 25 because that seemed to be a ridiculous amount and who would believe 30trees on an only slightly larger than normal piece of property. I feel pretty fortunate that they are all standing vertical for the moment.  Apparently with all the rain, tree's root systems give out and they could all fall at any time-awesome-I don't have enough worry about.
I hope all of you are safe, and only cleaning up a big mess if you live in the south. 

I'm Feeling Romantic

I am setting my alarm for 4:00am tonight.  Are you?  I think it's just all the chatter on TV about the Royal wedding, but I just want to see a girl actually become a Princess.  I remember my sister getting up to see Diana and Charles get hitched.  I was too young to get it, but this time around I think I want to sit in the dark, drink my coffee and take in all the tradition and beauty. 

Becca and I always giggle when people we know get married.  "Have fun with that!" we chuckle.  Let's face it, you just don't get it until you got it.  Marriage is a lot of work and sometimes, gasp, not a lot of fun.  I adore my husband, he adores me.  I always tell him I am marrying rich if he ever kicks the bucket, he says he's just going to date if I die.  "What, your never going to get married again, is it because I just can't be replaced?", I ask.  "No, that's not the reason", he answers.  We have a good laugh over that.

I hope William and Kate have a good sense of humor.  I hope they have a plan that is better than any royal before them.  I hope that a princess in 2011 can truely get her happily ever after.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Decoupage glue I love you

Two trends in blog world, and maybe the real world too has been maps and wallpapering dressers.  In a quest to make the boys room more colorful, boyish and interesting I combined the two trends and came up with what I think is a fun bookshelf.  The jury(the boys who sleep in this room) are still unsure about how they feel, but I am thinking it's just what the room needed.

 Boring Target bookcase

Map wrapping paper purchased here.

 New and improved bookshelf with the help of a sponge brush and Mod Podge.

Holden said "enough with the maps already mom!"

I couldn't resist one more shot of color, I mean, I had one more sheet of wrapping paper to work with.  I promised to be done. 

One more picture that has nothing to do with maps, but is cute none the less...for Jacky and Gina.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

spring spruce up

Our kitchen project is on hold until July so I have moved on with my to-do-list.  The countertops we were ordering from IKEA are not available until July and that has given me a chance to finish and start some other projects. 

We have cut down a lot of dead trees, torn out this and that in the yard and still have a long way to go in the landscaping of this place.  I think everything is going to look a little shabby in the yard until next year, but I felt the need to at least improve some of the outward apprearance now. 

 I fresh coat of red on the door(you can see the original color on the upper panel to the right)
Goodbye mauvey/red/orange/pink/yuck, hello chocolate brown.  I'm in charge of the lower shutters which is why they are done.  We'll see how long it takes to get the upper ones finished.  The two lights at the door will be changed hopefully to something with a copper finish and some flowers planted in my right now empty copper planter.  Oh, and two more shutters on the bay window.

 Apparently HGTV was up the street from our house working on a room in someone's house.  I was certain they would stop while I was outside painting and offer to Curb Appeal The Block-didn't happen-darn. It's possible my white trash baby scared them away ;)

I also wanted to leave you with some salad inspiration. 
Pioneer Woman had a great Greek Salad on her blog the other day. I've made it twice already.
And Pure Style Home had this salad posted a several months ago. I'm trying it this weekend.

Have a great weekend, I'll be back next week with some pictures of the boy's room.  Happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The ABC's of me

My blogging friend, and real life friend(yep, I've seen her with my own two eyes) Jenny posted the "ABC's of me" the other day and I thought it was fun-in a blogging kinda way. So, without further delay. The ABC's of me...

A. age: 37 years actual years on this planet. My brain says I'm hardly a day over 23. Country music fools me into thinking I'm 16. When I walk into Forever 21 I'm reminded that I'm nearly 40. I have pledged to never mentally hurdle 34.

B. Bed size: Queen. Completely not enough bed for snuggling ninjas, but we aren't upgrading any time soon. I may have a "too small for the crew" bed, but I have the most luxurious Tempurpedic mattress(thank goodness for a husband with back pain), which makes up for it.

C. Chore you hate: Putting the laundry away. I don't mind washing it, but the act of organizing and putting it away is just....a chore.

D. Dogs: You can't miss him. He's big, hairy, pushy, grumpy, smelly, and he's my first baby.

E. Essential start to your day. Coffee is my morning MUST. I'd fight someone for my morning coffee-I really would-like take them down if they messed with it. I'm passionate and clearly addicted to caffeine.

F. favorite color: Green

G. gold or silver: Silver

H. height: 5'4"

I. instrument you play: Totally and completely not musical. Played the violin for half a second in elementary school

J. job title: Ummm...Princess!. Although some days Dragon Tamer. Realistically just Keeper of The Inn. Trying to avoid Shrew.

{The dragons/wild indians/funky chickens-they answer to many names.  I have a re-occuring nightmere that someday it will be me they are tying to the tree}

K. kids: I like them despite the fact that I three of my own.

L. live: In a little neighborhood, on the west side of Knoxville Tennessee, in an area called Rocky Hill.

{my castle a top a very rocky hill}
{yes my shutters are two different colors at the moment}
{The baby is there with no shirt on-we like to class up the neighborhood}

M. mom's name: Olivia Victoria. Lovely

N. nicknames: My sisters still call me "Sarebear". Todd calls me "Sugar". When I was in elemantary school my mother told a friend that I was called "Fluffy Butt" when I was a toddler...I didn't live it down the whole year.

O.overnight hospital stays: Just for babies. They had to make me leave.

P. pet peeve: When people traveling the opposite direction stop for you to make an across traffic turn-when they don't have to-nor do they need to-but they insist on waving you through- nearly causing a 20 car pile up in back of them- because they are just that nice-or annoying-however you'd like to see it.

Q. quote from a movie: about from a movie star. Maybe you've heard of him, Charlie Sheen. "Duh, winning!"

R. right or left handed: Right

S. siblings: Two older sisters that I adore, never get to see enough, but would do anything for.

T.time you wake up: Alarm goes off at 6. Some days I don't hit snooze, but more times than not I do.

U. underwear: comfortable ones and if that means granny panties, as my husband so affectionately calls them, then so be it. (although for the record-they aren't granny panties-they just aren't thongs-which is just how black and white he sees the world-won't he be bummed when I'm a granny actually wearing granny panties!)

V. vegetables you dislike: Not a fan of broccoli

W. what makes you run late: My house. I kinda can't leave for the day without everything pretty tidy. I get way crabby when I walk in to unmade beds and toys on the floor.

X. x-rays you've had: Just my teeth.

Y: yummy food you make: Blackberry Coffee Cake

Z. Zoo-favorite animal: Elephants. Holden and I fell in love with them together.

Friday, April 15, 2011

my new favorite salad dressing and why I look(and behave) like a crazy person

For years I have made the same salad dressing.  I know-strange-but true.  It's my Grandmother's recipe and there is never a time that I don't think of her and my parents when I make it.  Really, even more strange.   Clearly, salad has always been a big part of family dinners.  When my mother taught me how to make it, and gave me her old wooden salad bowl it was like I had inherited family jewelery.  I feel pretty fortunate to be happy about that bowl, mainly because there are no other family heirlooms headed my way.  

Toddy has only commented like 1 million times how we only eat one salad.  I am still trying to decide why he cares because he never eats it, but I thought I might be able to change it a little for the sake of every one's taste buds.

Todd(gasp) and the boys love this dressing.  I think because it has mustard in it, and no matter how they get em...boys like condiments.

Cider-Dijon Dressing

Shake together 1/4 cup fresh apple cider, 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 finely chopped small shallot, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.

So this is Martha's fussy dressing, but I dumb it down because fussy means I will forget ingredients at the grocery store.  I don't use shallots, I think onion would work just fine and I don't even do that.  Also, if I don't have apple cider(like never), I just add more olive oil and cider vinegar than the recipe calls for. It's yummy and kid approved. Enjoy!

So, on to why I am crazy

Do you think these people cooperate with me? What about that one in the middle...what you think he's up to on most afternoons?  I'll tell you-no good.  Yep, that one in the middle gives me a hard time and I've come to understand it's his very most favorite past time and has no plans to give it up.  And to make matters worse, he won't let me hold his hand in public any more and once in a while he spits.  Like onto the ground.  For no apparent reason.  Like a man.  I swallow my spit.  I have never thought about shooting it out of my mouth and onto the ground. Never.

See the one in his pajamas.  He changes his clothes three times a day for fun.  I wondered why my laundry had gotten out of control.  He also can't keep his hands off his little brother, even when I threaten his life, it's like he knows I have no intention on killing him. He will only talk about two things.  What he wants for his birthday-the one that's a mere 5 months away and what he wants to be for Halloween.  That's it. This wouldn't be so bad if he didn't talk that much, but this child never stops moving his lips.

And that baby.  He'll be the end of me for sure.  Sometimes he wipes his boogery nose on me before I can get him a tissue, then he laughs.  The other day he threw a toy at me...from the back of the mini van while I was driving.   He is an expert ninja turtle already, he has recently found out that it's fun to bite, and he thinks I enjoy waking up three times a night to place a binky into his mouth.  He likes to hang from the hem of my shirts, thinks cookies should be served all day long, and won't even drive the grocery car long enough for me to get bread. 

In a couple weeks my worst nightmare is coming true.  Summer vacation.

  *After Holden said I could no longer hold his hand he also told me it didn't mean he doesn't love me any more.  I felt much better.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

gallery walls

Have I really not blogged in over a week. That's what happens when I make to-do-lists, I get obsessed with crossing off tasks and not blogging. Hmmmm....maybe I should put blogging on my to-do-list...or stop being so tasky and forget those dreaded lists all together.

I was able to get a little creative despite doing things like dropping boxes at Goodwill, measureing garage windows for blinds, Kindergarten roundup, and scouring the web for kitchen knobs and pulls.

Last week was gallery wall day on practically every blog I read.  I was feeling left out and wanted to join the fun, looked around my house and realized I have several gallery walls already-silly me.  But I felt inspired so I went ahead and started another.  It's possible to have too many...although with our latest move I have felt like I need more pictures of family, more memories of good times and did you know that pictures in frames look better on the wall rather than stuffed into drawers.

People get really technical when doing this stuff.  I understand drawing diagrams and taping prototypes up, but it is not my style.  Being that technical takes all the fun out of it for me, but if that is your style you can visit here and here for some pointers.



And my final collection. For the record, Todd thinks it's weird.  I kinda like the found things incoorperated with pictures.  Each to their own I guess.  While I do think that you can have too many gallery walls(four is getting there), I don't think there are any rules to how you go about them.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

for the jump of it

I'm a smidge obsessed with this song right now.  You can catch this family dancing on any given Sunday afternoon.  The family that dances together stays together right? 

Well, to this song we just jump.  It's like our own mini mosh pit until Asher and I split from the group to doe-si-doe( maybe not the freshest of dance moves but it just feels right). We clap, scream, roll around on the floor, someone always ends up crying, then they end up laughing.  It's fun.

I listen to this LOUD.  It only works LOUD.  I play the banjo, Asher's on the guitar.  Holden and Sloan are dancing on top of the coffee table. Whatever. 

Have a happy Monday!


(The video is nothing special-just listen, don't watch)

Friday, April 1, 2011

babies and memories

When I was pregnant with Holden I knew I wasn't the baby book type.  I just couldn't picture myself keeping very good records of milestones and I knew I would feel awful about myself if I left it only halfway filled out.  I used a box instead for all the pictures, cards, first booties, lockets of hair and what not that a baby collects. I may not remember every first, but I decided for me that was better than a book with just the first page filled out.

The boys love to get these boxes out.  I will admit there is considerably more in Holden's box than Asher's.  Poor Sloan may wonder if anyone noticed he was even born, but I try to get the basics in there. 

I made a memory box as a gift for an upcoming baby shower.  She might be a book person...she might think I'm crazy for being a box's her first baby so maybe I'll help her make up her mind.