Kid Craft: Painted Pumpkins

October 23, 2014

So, did you guess what we did with the sponge in this post?

If you guessed this, then you were right!

I wanted to do something Halloween-y with the kids over the weekend so we painted our pumpkins from the Boo Bash.

It was super simple:

Cut up a sponge into Halloween shapes.

Then squeezed some acrylic paint on paper plates and let the kids go to town.

Brooks did the bats and Landon did the ghosts.


After they dried, we added the eyes and mouths to the ghosts with black permanent marker.

I think the bats might need some beady red eyes or fanged teeth, so maybe we’ll add those this weekend!



Curtains finish a room

October 22, 2014

Last week, I shared the process for renovating our sons bedroom into his space. Of course, there is more décor and projects that we’ll need to tackle to really make it look polished and finished, but I’m pleased with how much more complete it looks in the past few months.

My latest DIY project has been making lined curtain panels for my kids rooms + the guest room.  This was not an easy project for me because – well, I don’t know how to sew.  But my mom does!!  And she gladly (right mom?!) came over and helped me complete the task. There were 8 loooooong panels to complete three rooms so it take a few weekends of work, but thankfully they are done.

(You may be wondering – why didn’t you just order them online?  The reason I made curtains is because we have very high window-to-floor length in our bedrooms and they required over 100″ – that length is not very common – most are 63″ or 84″ or even 96″ but over 100″ is hard to find – there aren’t many options and definitely not a ton of kids room options. Plus I wanted them lined so that it would provide some blackout capabilities for naptime. The couple options I did find were very expensive, so I decided to go the homemade route.  All in, I spent about $380 on fabric for all 8 panels – and half of those were lined, as well! It would have cost me well over $1000 just for curtains in these three rooms)

And now for the big reveal (via phone pics so amaziiiing quality!)


before curtain

and the after:


I just love them. The punch of color is fun. The simple striped design is perfect. I know that I want curtains to be a one time thing – I don’t want to be recreating them every couple of years, so I think this style is perfect, something that can grow with him for many years to come.

Other things I’d love for his room:  I’d love a bright punch of orange on his bed – maybe in the form of a fun comforter. We’ll need to get a new bed – this one is on loan from my sis while she does her renovation, but I think we’ll be ready to get L a new sleeping abode sooner rather than later.  Refinish his dresser with a light gray stain (we’re still recovering from the kitchen table refinish, so this may be a while). Move our old desk up here and refinish it gray or paint it a fun bright color for him.  Add some fun to the walls along with some strategically planned shelves.

**Don’t worry dear Husband, we don’t need to do any of these projects this year!!


Our House-iversary

October 21, 2014

We’ve officially been in our house for one year!  Yay!

There are so many great things about our place that make how we operate and our family life so much better and organized.  The fact that we aren’t cramped for storage space and that we have an extra guest room and dedicated office space has also been so wonderful!

To mark this occasion, I’ll share the three things I love most and the three things I don’t like about our house.

1. Garage space. I absolutely LOVE that we can park both of our cars in the garage.  No more scraping the windows for a little morning ice or driving with my head just below the wheel so I can peek out of a frosted winter windshield.  Plus it’s always nice and comfy to get in the car, no cold seats!!  Bonus is that we also have lots of extra garage space for storing tools, lawn stuff, bikes and more!

2. Our nook.  We have a entry way with little built-in cubbies that I just love.  It’s a great organizational area for our kids to keep their bookbags, some shoes, their school papers and more.  I know that as our kids get older, it will be used even more (sports bag, school projects, etc.). I just LOVE having this extra storage space.


3. The playroom.  In our old house, our living area was toy central.  We kept boxes of toys on the stair landing and there were always millions of plastic pieces and stuffed creatures strewn across the place.  Now we have a dedicated play area and it is amazing.  We might get a truck or two downstairs, but generally, most of the toys stay upstairs in a big ol’ room that is perfect for making huge train tracks, playing a game of indoor basketball or snuggling in the kids tent.  Such a fun space!

1. I really don’t love our sink. I know big whoop – a sink. And obviously not a reason to pass on a house, but I can’t stand double bowl sinks – which is what we have.  I really want a big one bowl sink so that I can clean my pots and cookie sheets easily without all the water runoff over the counter!  (I def think this will be a future upgrade for the kitchen!)

2. A different front door set up. Yes, I love that our front door has lots of glass panels that let light into our foyer, but when you are out there with all the windows, you can easily look inside and see our entire upstairs hallway.  Not the best when I am running down it naked to the hall closet because I forgot to get a towel before my shower.

3. Our flooring.  I love for one consistent flooring throughout the main level and we have two (used to have three but took care of that this weekend – bye bye office carpet!). Tile and a vinyl wood flooring that I don’t like. It’s a very light washed looking wood – and I’d much rather have a tan or cherry colored floor palette.  Here is the color:


(In action:  Living room – pic from before we moved in)

I also like just one type of flooring instead of the tile/wood combo that goes throughout the first floor, but the wood flooring product  is super expensive so we won’t be adding anymore than just the office.

Again, nothing really major – definitely #firstworldproblems.  There are a million things I love about the house and only a handful I don’t like.

So happy house-iversary!  It took a while but I love that our house really feels like home now!


Weekend Highlights

October 20, 2014

This weekend was jam packed.  As they usually are.  But jam-packed with a lot of great things.  Here are the highlights of our awesome fall weekend:

1. Grammy came to visit. My kids really love their Grammy-time – especially because there are always fun things to do like milkshakes at Chick-fil-a, special treats she brings, movietime and lots of playtime with trucks and dinosaurs.

I like when Grammy visits because Dean and I get a lot of us time.  Our bible study, date time, shopping – Grammy wants parent-free kid-time and we take advantage of the kid-free parent-time whenever she is here.

2. Costume prep.  I’m not going to share any pics to give away the family costume, but I will say that Landon and I did some cutting and iron gluing of fabric this weekend to get ready.

3. Boo Bash fun.  Our part of town always does a great job with family and kid activities around the holidays. This weekend we hit the Boo Bash and they had tons of bounce houses, rides, treats and pumpkins!  The kids didn’t want to leave.

4. Building my running confidence.  I did my 10-miler this weekend.  That was one of my goals to prepare myself for next month’s race and doing it definitely gave me the confidence that I’ll be able to finish on race day.  I also practiced taking a “gel” product during the run and I didn’t get any cramps – yay!

5. Office progress.  In a complete revamp of our office space, we had our flooring installed this weekend and it looks great!  I’m going to put together a post in the next week or so, but I will say that it no longer looks anything like this:
office before

6.  Art project.  We did a kids art project that involved the following sponge.  Can you guess what we did?


Did you play outside and enjoy the fall weather, too?


The best anniversary gift

October 17, 2014

This year, my husband gave/is giving me the best anniversary gift ever!  Granted, it was something specific that I asked for. But he’s following through with it.

One specific positive affirmation a day – every day – for the next year.

And you might think – oh, that’s easy, she didn’t ask for jewelry or shoes, just a positive affirmation a day. And for some husbands, this would be the easiest.

But for us, this is big.  My husband would LOVE to just buy me something and be done with it. I prefer gifts that are acts of service or words of affirmation – those are definitely my love languages.  For Dean, this is not his natural way to show love so he’s having to speak in my language… for a whole year! His love language is gifts so buying (and getting) things is his favorite!

The kicker is he has to write it down for me with the date so I can keep all the notes and relive the affirmations over and over again. In this season of life where there is a lot fighting for my focus – two attention-starved boys (it’s just that stage), a busy husband, a full-time job, a never ending project list on the house – sometimes I need reminders that I am doing a good job in the different areas of life and I appreciate the little, specific affirmations.

These aren’t just – You look nice. or You cooked a good dinner.

Some of the ones I’ve received are:
“I love the way you take time to read bible stories to the kids.”
“I’m proud of the way you have been running and training even with a cold.”
“I like the new color palette you picked for the house.”  (He originally wasn’t on board with my color choice!)
“You are doing a great job staying on top of your bible study.”

All the presents in the world can’t compare to the time and thoughtfulness that he has been putting into this. (And he’ll tell you – it takes a lot of time to do these ;) )  It’s definitely the BEST anniversary gift I’ve ever received!


Poor Puppy (alternatively titled “Brooks is Particular”)

October 16, 2014

I’ve shared before stories about my favorite second-born and his peculiar nature when it comes to certain things.  Like the way I have to sometimes “disassemble” Brooks’ casserole and separate the meat from the rice so he will eat it, or the way he always wants to share half of my pillow in bed and never wants to use the extra one just laying there.

And of course I shared his Prayer Pal story.  But that’s not the only time he’s done something like that.

During my Sunday night bible study last weekend, I was downstairs with the girls while Dean was getting the kids into bed.  When I came up later that night, Dean recapped his tuck in with Brooks:

I was tucking him in and he handed me the puppy and said “Dad, take this out of here. I don’t want it in my room, put it in your room.”  I obliged and put the puppy on the floor next to Brooks’ bed as we continued our nighttime routine.  Then I walked out and shut the door.  I realized a few minutes later that I forgot the puppy, but didn’t want to go back in as Brooks was already in bed and it was practically under his bed in a pitch dark room, so it wouldn’t matter.  I headed into our room and I hear Brooks jump off his bed and open the door. I yelled for him to get back in bed and told him he would get discipline if he got out again.

A couple minutes later I hear baby footsteps outside his door and I think to myself, “great, now I have to discipline him and get him tucked back in”.

I sit up in bed to see our bedroom door open slightly and a little voice says, “I told you to bring this in here,” as a small, fluffy puppy tumbles in through the cracked doorway.  Then, just as quickly, little footsteps scamper back into his room.


No stuffed animal is safe in this boy’s room after 8pm!



Love letters

October 14, 2014

Landon has been busy lately with his writing. I’ve really noticed over the past month or two that my favorite four-year-old’s penmanship is getting so good.  He writes letters in the shower with our bath crayons, he surprises me all the time when he does his homework and I just love that all of his letters are clearly legible.

“Mom, look, I wrote you all these 6’s” – and there they are – perfect 6’s like a row of soldiers across the page!  Even his name is written clearly on each page of his assignment.  I get a little cocky in my head – yep, he’s learning, he’s going to be an awesome Kindergartener next year!

Then there are other days where he says “Mom, here, I wrote you a love letter.”

And I get this:

love letter

We’ll call it ‘cursive’. :)


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