Monday, February 27, 2012

Two Bathrooms Down

And ONE to go!  I have to put some finishing touches on this one still, but those will happen eventually. Here are the highlights...
Gave up trying to scrape wallpaper.  Masked the cabinetry.

Primed.  Could have left it like this.

Puck is laying next to what will become the wall texture (crumpled up tissue paper).

un-crumpled tissue paper applied to a wet coat of paint.

Same swatch of wall after applying second coat of paint on top of tissue.

Just a couple of steps back.

The next day. All the masking down.. post touch-ups.

A close up of my sweet old wallpaper.

Making a pattern for my window shade. Got the idea here. Found the stencil here.
Broke some of the rules, but got the same result.
And for the record,
I didn't really WANT to paint my fabric.  I just couldn't find any exactly like this,
so had to resort to getting WAY more crafty than I wanted to.

Used stencil plastic as a template for tracing even lines.

I was going to use blue paint, but Biggest wants yellow.  I think I can live with that.
It is his bathroom.  But if I change my mind, I'm not likely to do this project again.
Not too shabby!
So the room isn't done, but it has come a LONG way. I'll add more pics once we make some more progress!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Love from Afar

I really wanted to give a hug to someone who needed it this weekend.  But I'm too far away.  So I'm mailing this one.  Put a heart in each hand, wrap the strap around your back like a belt, and squeeze as tightly as you want.  Make sure you wrap it around your BACK. Not your neck. It's not good to try to give yourself a bear hug with a strap around your neck. Wait for the real thing from me when next we meet, okay?

Psalm 73:26 is painted on the strap.  Because nothing I could say would ever be as perfect as God's word...

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Got the idea from this blog! So, thanks, Jodie! You are an inspiration! It's pinned on my pinterest board, as well. ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let's NOT go grocery shopping. Let's make stuff.

I make more when Handsome isn't around. And Handsome isn't currently around. So. I've been making.  I should go get groceries. But making things is so much more fun. And these things I make are for the boys to play with. Thanks to Pinterest, I had a couple of fun cheap ideas cross my path. The other thing I am making is another cute bathroom. But that is for another post.

Angry Birds boxes finished.
I wrapped the boxes.  The boys and I painted.
They just look a little better than random boxes littering the toy room.
Handsome brought the slingshot home from his travels abroad.
Long before we had Angry Birdbrains. 

I upgraded the boys light sabers.
Littlest is choosing his weapon.
I found the tutorial for this project here. 
To keep them away from my fresh rolls of gift wrap.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fall in February

So. Next fall is the fall we try school AT SCHOOL.  Last fall we tried it at home (and are still plugging away at it). This is a first for me.  Making school plans for the FALL.  It's only February.  I don't think about the fall until July, at the earliest.  And that's usually me wishing for fall so I can go outside without getting blotchy-hot and sticky. But when you have a pre-Kindergartener... February is when you think about what will be happening in the fall.

Littlest will be going to preschool at St. Luke's UMC in the fall. I signed him up on February 7. There were only two spots left for his 3-day-a-week class that starts in August.  No such thing as waiting until the last minute for this school!

Also, we checked out the school Biggest will attend in the fall.  The PUBLIC school!  The free, bus-takes-him-5-days-a-week, he'll-be-wearing-a-uniform-every-day-school.  And I'm over the moon.  We've come so far from a year ago when I was trying to decide if he should start last fall.  It was a hard choice to make, but I'm confident we did the right thing by waiting until he's a young 6 instead of just-turned-5 and starting him in Kindergarten. He's bigger. He's faster. He's tougher.  He's got a better sense of humor. He is almost reading, and knows that he loves math. He's still highly sensitive (prone to burst into tears), and overly perfectionistic (won't try something if he's not going to execute it perfectly--hence the hesitancy to read, I suspect). I still remember my first day of Kindergarten.  I begged my mom to take me early. I stood out in the hallway while she got permission from the teacher for me to come into the classroom.  When my Mom signaled I could enter, I burst into the room, gym shoes and art supplies in hand, ran to the first desk I could, then shoved the shoes and crayons in.  I probably only remember it because both my mom and Mrs. Heart (my teacher... isn't that a perfect name for a Kindergarten teacher?) reacted with smiles and laughter.  There's just nothing greater than the unrestrained excitement of a 5-year-old. I don't know that my Biggest ever does much without restraint. But after the visit on Friday, I could tell he was excited about starting in the fall.  It's going to be a fun year.  

There's a very tiny possibility that he'll be selected for the one year-round charter school in the county, but it's so unlikely that I almost don't want to mention it.  But I just did.  Because it's a GREAT school.  And my friend's kid goes there. And we could carpool.  But we won't find out about that for a couple of weeks.

So here are some of my fave pics from the last few weeks...

Valentine Box. 

Wrapped boxes and painted them to build Angry Birds blocks.  We throw the plush birds at plush pigs when I think they've played too much on my cell phone. Those are pillowcase smocks they're wearing.

This was before he spiked a fever. It's his favorite place to snuggle.  He'll bring me my robe if he needs some snuggles.

Just really excited about green grass in February. Southern Pines, NC.

This was our morning TV time today. He napped right after this.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Recipe: Big Germans

Here's a favorite recipe.  I made them this morning. You should make them soon. We call them Big Germans.  Some call them Dutch Babies.  I guess it depends on who you think tastes better...

What you'll need:
1 Cup Flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Cup Milk
4 eggs
3-ish Tbs. Lemon Juice
Powdered Sugar
3 Tbs. butter (I use salted)
9" x 13" baking pan

Preheat oven to 425* with the baking pan in the oven.  After the pan has preheated, Add the 3 Tbs. butter to the pan and melt it while assembling the batter.  Don't add the butter too soon, otherwise it could burn while the oven is heating up.

Whisk flour and salt together in a medium sized bowl, then add milk and eggs.  Whisk thoroughly, until all lumps of flour are gone.

By this time, your butter will be melted.  Carefully remove pan from the oven and pour the batter on top of your melted butter.

Replace pan into the oven, and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy.

Remove the Big German, and drizzle lemon juice over the top.  Then sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.

Once the pancake is cooled, it will lose the height, but none of the taste.  So so so good and easy.  My kids beg for this, and if I served it every night for a week, they'd think they had a fairy godmother as a mom.

We like to top it with fresh fruit and whipped cream, if it's handy.  Below are some pics from this morning...

Try to incorporate all the lumps!

Preheat the pan, then melt the butter.

The batter starts out thin

Ready to come out of the oven.

My littlest asking for his Big German.

It deflates a bit once its cooled. 
Anticipation and strawberries.

Fried Apples and Reddi-Whip.
When I make these, he thinks I love him more.

Full tummies make for a good morning at Chapel Next Linden Oaks!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


My lamp. I got it from my Mom's house, and I love it.
A stack of books that are currently being read.
Mr. Potato Head magnet.

Often, I set my alarm for about an hour before I expect my boys to awaken, just so I can get some quiet time in before they tackle my good intentions and sidetrack my every effort of running an efficient home. I'm distractible enough on my own, but throw in two little boys and I can get downright nothing done before dinner time.  I robe up, find my slippers, and shuffle to the big armchair in front of the fireplace. First, I read my Bible. Then I type in my prayer journal.  I'll admit, I often find myself drifting off to sleep when I do this without coffee, but I really don't want to use the grinder, for fear of waking the boys and ruining my quiet. I get enough read to stay on track with the reading plan, at least before my littlest boy will come out from his grey, quiet den, where his older brother is still in bed. At this time of year, when he comes out a little before 7, the sun is just warming up the sky behind the trees, and the light from my lamp causes him to squint, and forces him to smile, even if he doesn't feel like it.  He'll tell me it's too bright, and hand me whatever book he grabbed from the bookshelf on his way out of his bedroom.  I turn off the lamp, and we settle in to our time together, in our fleece pj's. These books I've read to him and his big brother so often, many are memorized.  So, the lamp really isn't needed.  What I do need is that half hour or so, first thing in the morning.  Sometimes I get a lot accomplished.  Sometimes I don't. But if I don't try, I miss it all day long.  And I can't make it up at the end of the day.  And whether I finish what I started before my boy comes out, he doesn't know, and he doesn't care.  He finds me on my chair almost every morning and sees me with a book on my lap. Or my computer illuminating my sleepy head. Then he sees me put them down excitedly and extend my arms out and scoop him up for our morning ritual. And I realize that I'm a model.  In my slippers and robe, with a mess of hair clumped into a stringy bun or braid, and puffy eyes and furry teeth. I'm showing him that I read every morning. I pray every morning. I call it Jesus time. And it's something that I pray will imprint on his two-year-old mind.

He comes out, first thing, with a book and a squint.  He wants to connect with me. So he climbs up onto my lap and tells me he loves me and kisses my cheek. First one, then the other. He fits on my lap, and we love on each other. I wonder if he misses this time all day long if it doesn't happen.  Then I realize that he's a model.  A little human example of how important I am to my maker.  Me going to my chair, and reading God's love letter to me. Him excitedly extending His arms and scooping me up for our morning ritual. I've heard this before.  It's not a new train of thought.  But that doesn't mean that when it dawns on me personally that it isn't profound.