Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Slow Morning For a Busy Day

I have quite obviously not figured out the best time to blog - although I have gotten so much better this time around at not over thinking what I say. Also not worrying so much about editing every picture! This morning is a slow one, hubby had to go shoot for work, we're all feeling a bit ick - though this time it's change-of-weather, allergy ick. Owen crawled in for a snuggle this morning, then stayed to watch videos on my tablet.  The start of spring cleaning isn't helping, but it's good to get a start! Yesterday I did some steam cleaning on one of our living room rugs and chair. David just bought the Hoover Max Extract 60, and I am IN LOVE. I know I will sound like a commercial, but I am just astounded at how well this thing works! My two living room rugs are braided wool rugs that I got very cheaply at Goodwill. I looked up how to clean them, but being properly careful of them yielded smelly (wet wool - ick), not very clean rugs. I rented a cleaner a while ago, and had previously just used the upholstery attachment, but that took forever, and still didn't seem great, so this time I grit my teeth and used the brushes. So much better! Long story longer, we had to replace our dryer a week ago, and needed to spend a bit more at Home Depot for the longer interest-free period. Hence my own steam cleaner. This thing works so much better than the rental did for these rugs! Even the side that was faded from leaving outdoors for too long is beautiful again. The spinning brushes lift the fuzzy bits off - the ones I dread spending time to trim, but are loose and make the rugs not very nice looking. Well, hubby is back, daughter is finishing up another bracelet - this seems to be the time of year we actually start completing some of the crafty fun stuff we think we will do in the winter, but don't do much more than make a mess getting all those projects started! I think partly because we are getting antsy, but going outside means getting wet, muddy, and cold - not so much fun. Still this year there's a lot to plan for  we're planning a garden, so hopeful for chickens, have to rebuild our porch - we're already being blessed with this one, yesterday an old friend that does this kind of thing happened to stop by for a chat and offered his help. He is the kind who will follow through. Thank you, Lord!  Time to get a move on! Lots to do, and the peacefulness of the morning is quickly leaving us - time to refocus a couple of littles!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Life This Week

Well, I've only gotten one of my wreaths made, but that is one I can check off my list, hahaha! And, even though it's a heart, I think I can and will leave this one up for a while. Fortunately love is year round, right? Right. I will always wish I was super organized and could knock out every project I wanted to when I wanted to, but that isn't likely to happen any time soon.  Projects here seem to drag on and on and on. Note the drill on the piano, below. This was for Emma's birthday party, because, yes, in this house we decorate with power tools! 

 I did knock this cake out pretty quickly, though I forgot to get the pupils on the eyes - oops. Still, it turned out pretty well, and Emma was very happy with it. This is literally the only picture of her party that I took! I just completely spaced the rest of the party. I spent too much time visiting with my cousin, whose daughter came. It was a funny party, we just had three girls over, then all four disappeared upstairs. Meanwhile, we had a bunch of guys playing xbox in the living room, including two nephews who live down the road from us, but didn't realize we were having a party that day. They showed up to play with my sons and scored game time with cake and ice cream! 

By the next weekend, we were all coming down with colds - note the pink cheeks on everyone! Also note that I did not include a pic of myself - one of the benefits of this being my blog. I don't have to post pics of myself - I don't look as cute as these poor sweeties do.

We all stayed home from church yesterday and sat around watching tv, then in the evening Emma remembered that we keep wanting to try straw curls to see if she can get some Merida hair.

Amelia had to get in on it, too. I only did a few, but was still so surprised that she sat for me and left them in for quite a while! 

This was the best picture I could get of her once the straws were out, she was getting so tired and grumpy, she kept squirming and whining, "No Picture!". 

 Emma slept in hers, so I asked one of the boys to get a chunk of fabric for me to wrap her head in. Alan originally brought out this vintage pink stuff, that was too slippery for all night, but we wrapped her up for a picture. She said she felt like an old lady who would be grumpily yelling at kids to get off her lawn! She went around scolding everyone for a while, it was so funny and cute. Goofy girl!

This is right after taking the straws out, and separating the curls a bit.

 Here's after they've had some time to relax. She's loving her hair, I need to get some product now to help it stay in even longer, as her hair is not fond of staying curly.

 Spring is in the air, (which I believe is a season in itself here in the PNW) and our evening skies have been beautiful. We get very little snow, so there isn't a long period of getting tired of snow, and wondering when it will finally be done. There is only a season consisting of several months of cold, wet, muddiness. Which leads into spring, which means warmish, wet muddiness.  Fortunately, it's a beautiful time. Unfortunately, the mud is always finding it's way into the house. We're beginning Spring Cleaning, without ever having finished the post Christmas Winter Cleaning. The cold and wet lead to things getting moldy and generally icky in our old house. We're all too tired to fully jump in, but will start small. I can't wait for things to smell good and clean! I can't wait for one full month of everybody being healthy, although I don't really mind small illnesses. I do like the days of everyone snuggled up together, but enough is enough. Time to get moving again. Snuggly days are truly more enjoyable when they are a genuine day off from a busy week, and not a "break" from a sick week!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I Actually Won Something!

Woo Hoo! I entered the Yvestown Flow Paper giveaway and WON!!! I'm so excited to win something, and from such a lovely blog! I'll be going bonkers now, waiting for my goodies to arrive! Now to start thinking about what to do with them. This will have me giddy for days!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Our Birthday

Well, yesterday this girl turned 9 on me. *Sigh* It was an odd day, and we took zero pictures, so I snapped this one this morning. We are having a party for her next Saturday, so there will be more then. Yesterday was my birthday, also. I turned 41, which feels like absolutely nothing. So weird. 40 left me feeling rather gutted, I have an idea that from now on, only the "big" ones will feel like much.  Hubby bought me a sweet ceramic owl and I ordered myself a yarn winder. I've seen  Lucy's, and it looks like something very useful, that even the kids can help with. We did have snow, though unfortunately it came the day I should have been doing our big monthly grocery shopping, so I confess to feeling more stressed out than I should have. Hubby was able to go to the store and get some things, so really, we were fine. He was even able to get Emma a couple presents that she really liked. She now has her very own Hello Kitty headphones for playing minecraft, and watching videos. One of her favorites is My Froggy Stuff. That lady is seriously awesome and creative! She makes me feel like a craft moron - though not in a feel sorry for myself way, just in an excited, "That is so simple, how have I not thought of it?" way.  Seriously good stuff.

 Getting this much snow is so cool. I absolutely envy people who get winters so snowy and winter-y that they can get really and truly tired of it. To me, that just makes spring so much sweeter when it comes. I am very grateful for the snow we have received this year. We do get made fun of, because we shut down with such a small amount of snow, but truth be told, we apparently have little, if any sanding or clearing of our roads. We have a lot of trees, keeping stretches of road very icy, and that combined with so many of us being inexperienced at driving in it, make for a rather poor combination. Fortunately, too, my five kids still at home are homeschooled, so there are no real snow days. Just snuggly, lazy mornings, waiting for the house to warm up, some lessons, cocoa, movies or Little House on the Prairie being read. The older three went out a bit this round of snow to play with a neighbor kid, but mostly this time was spent indoors. I'm still putting our house in order.

We've had the sweetest birds on our porch, picking at all the spiders and spider sacs, which makes me adore them even more! The kids are enjoying watching me try to get a good picture of them, as they (the birds) seem to take great delight in taunting me. The birds will land so close to me, but in the time it takes me to "sneakily" point the camera at them, they are gone!

 I think I've posted some pictures of this little family, I can't remember now. This momma and her two babies live in our neighborhood, regularly spending days in our yard. This picture of the babies is terrible, but they were so sweetly nuzzling each other that I had to post it, anyway. As wonderful is it is to watch them grow, we really do want to put a garden in this year, and they concern me greatly as to the success of our attempts. Hopefully we'll figure something out. They can jump so much higher than most people realize, I'm wondering if hanging buntings or something higher than the fence will dissuade them at all. I guess only trial and error will really show us!

 I have kids baking and cooking, such a wonderful thing! These were Alan's first cookies that he baked completely unassisted. Next day Emma made blueberry muffins, but by the time I remembered that I should take a picture, they had been devoured. She kept asking how they were, and Alan, trying to be an unimpressed stinker, said in a completely underwhelmed tone , "They're fine! They taste just like mom's. Therefore, he unintentionally gave Emma the best compliment he could - she very excitedly said, "THANK YOU! THAT'S A GREAT COMPLIMENT!!" And Alan then realized what he had done.

 Well, here is one project I can check off! Terrible pictures, but a step in the right direction! See the floor in the before picture? Amelia dumped a can of paint there, and I didn't know soon enough to get at it while still wet. Looks awful, fortunately, refinishing the whole living room floor is still on our to do list, and not something we now have to redo! There is a bench there, now, so it doesn't show. This buffet table was given to my by my mom. She had it for years and hated it. It had been given to her when she and my dad were young. It used to be black lacquer with giant gold knobs. I painted it the beige color, and used it to store fabric (also visible in the before picture, and waiting to be re-homed). In my kitchen/sewing room, it just was the perfect place for everyone to dump stuff on, which everyone of us did, happily and repeatedly. I thought about selling it, so I gave it some fresh paint and handles that I already had. Then I wanted to keep it - isn't that how it goes? Then I realized I did have the perfect place for it!

We just started working on our laundry room this last summer, redoing our shower. Yep, shower. In the laundry room. It doesn't strike me as weird anymore, but it still is to others. It is a fantastic place for one, though, as we have only one bathroom. Anyway, we will be removing the door behind it, so even though it looks weirdly placed now, it won't stay that way. This little room has two doors, and this one goes to the side of our yard, to nothing in particular. Our kitchen, however, has no back door. How weird. We will be putting one in. I really can't wait, though am really trying to be patient. This year our money and efforts will be focused on the front porch, which isn't a "for fun" job. It's very much a "need to do". Then fixing up the room above it for my 13 year old boy. I'm very excited about this room, hubby and I have put our heads together, and with Aidan's input, are coming up with a fun design.The room itself is tiny, but whoever gets the room, gets "their own" room, so the size is worth it to them!
Emma and I had planned on watching Little Women yesterday, and working on a pom pom wreath. I can't find the blog that has the one I really like, but I'll keep looking. It's one of the anthropologie inspired wreaths. Also, I'm making two of these wreaths, one circular, and one heart shaped. So, hopefully, I'll have those ready to share tomorrow! We'll see, I tend to be someone who plans to do something, and end up doing a million thing except for the one thing I wanted to do. I'm sure God's trying to teach me something in it, but most likely it is be keep working on becoming better organized!