Pumpkins

A bit last minute last year, but we managed to squeeze in some pumpkin decoration before October ended. While Mark worked on our chosen designs to carve, the kids got to work painting baby pumpkins.
While he continued to work, they started rolling down the hill. I mustache you if this was a cute pumpkin!

We worked on a pumpkin with a message.  The design in the back worked but I didn’t print out the words with enough gaps.  So, we had to write out the words instead of carve them.

The Find

We have a neighborhood trade page on Facebook.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing.  You know, you run across a thingamajig that can do whatsit and it’s only a buck.  So, you grab it and throw it in a cabinet never to be heard from again, or at least until you reach in, find it, and then list it on the trade page for fifty cents.

That may be the bad, but the good can go oh, so good.  For instance:

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This beautiful armoire was $25!  Yes, that’s right, TWENTY-FIVE SMACKAROOS!  I snagged it in April with the intention of painting and selling it for profit.  As it sat and I brainstormed what to do with it, I decided I couldn’t let it go.

And a plan came together…img_20160418_222311088

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And a project piece armoire became…

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A dress-up closet.

We tallied the cost and with the paint, scrapbook paper, stain and poly, we were under $100 for the whole project.  The kids love it!  I love it!  And I definitely think it went from trash to treasure.  Woo-hoo!

End of the Rainbow

Spring!  There is nothing like it as we soak in the cool days, blooming flowers and the smell of rain.  After the rain, comes the rainbow.  For some reason, the past few years have brought many beautiful rainbows to our area.  At the beginning of May, I even drove through one!  I had never seen a double rainbow until a year a few years ago.  Now, we see them at least once a year.

In March, we were heading out after a thunderstorm in the early evening and got to spot another double rainbow.  There’s so much joy and hope that we experience when we see that rainbow (double or not).
IMG_20160314_183856514 Emmie had had her surgery.  We were through that hurdle.  We were waiting.  Watching.  Healing.  And then we see the rainbow.  A reminder that God is there.  That He is in control.  Every time I see a rainbow, I am reminded of God’s everlasting love and care for us.  No matter what we go through, He is there.IMG_20160314_183915462_HDRI have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. -Genesis 9:13

 

Sweet Sixteen

In April, 20 years ago, Mark showed up at a young 18 year old’s house with a dozen purple roses and escorted her to her senior prom.  I don’t think (and still don’t) he knew what he was getting in to.

Neither of us could have ever imagined that four years and one month after that first date that he would meet that same girl at a church altar to join his life to hers.

And of course, sixteen years later, eight kids on US earthside, one on European soil and three babies in heaven…hospital adventures, family travel adventures, seeking God adventures and home school adventures.  And here we are.  Sixteen years.

I knew that 16 year old young man would have my heart forever that first night 20 years ago.  I could not have imagined the rock he would become.  The forgiveness he would extend daily for me.  The example of Christ’s love that he would be for me.  I am blessed.

Happy Anniversary, Mark!  My knight!  I would go anywhere with you!

Our life is crazy and so out-of-the-ordinary-insane but you have stuck with me through it and we’ve attacked, prayed and enjoyed it each step of the way together!  I love you.

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I can’t leave this post without saying something about this picture!  First, it was our 20th anniversary date in April.  Second, I found this dress that fit in all the right places and loved it.  It’s the first time in a long time that I have loved what I looked like in a dress.  And last, notice the photobomber in the background.  Yep.  Our life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Thanksgiving 2015

IMG_20151126_124215207_HDR IMG_20151126_131151973_HDRIt took me a good week to sleep off the jet lag which meant that when Thanksgiving came around, I was just coming out of the fog.  We managed to pull together a spread for our family.  We rotate our Thanksgiving every year.  One year we’ll hit up Grandmere and Papa’s house.  The next year is Ge and Granddaddy’s turn and then the third year is at home.  I love to cook Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s my absolute favorite meal.  This year, despite the fog, was no exception.  The only thing that could have made the day even more awesome would have been having Y home.

We made the most of it.  I even made homemade cranberry sauce which was yummy and super easy!

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Mark enjoyed the turkey leg.  Renaissance faire, anyone?!

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I made pies.  While they looked lovely, they did not taste too yummy.  Oh well, we’ll try for next year.

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We played outside with neighbors and made silly faces…IMG_20151126_172047512 IMG_20151126_172051905_HDRuntil it got dark.  Then we made a fire and roasted marshmallows!IMG_20151126_185956352

After Zoe got a couple of hours of sleep, I woke her up and we hit the sales (don’t freak out.  It was midnight).   IMG_20151127_043414069

We shopped with my friend, Tracy, until 7 in the morning!  And we missed all the crowds but still got all the deals.  Insane exhaustion ensued but we had a wonderful time!

 

Fancy Schmancy

We recently purchased the new Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and also re-vamped our supper meals.  We’re doing themes for each night.  It makes planning a bit easier and it keeps us from having tacos one night and enchiladas the next and fajitas the night after.   Flipping through the cookbook, Zoe found a recipe for crepes and then all the other kids saw it too.  That was the number one request for Breakfast Night.

Sure, I think.  I can do this.  I made crepes in high school.  And then I remembered.  I didn’t make crepes in high school.  Our French class did and there were a ton of kids who got it right.  But not our group.  Our group had some issues.

This all came to light as I went through five or more crepes that ended their miserable life in the trash.  It was so bad, a neighbor heard my pleas and attempted to help.  She too threw in the white flag.

Just when I was about to quit, I found my groove.
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And my springform pan.IMG_20151024_182249832 IMG_20151024_185312951And voila!  Success!

We’ll definitely try this again and not wait over 20 years either!

A Post about the Cat

 

 

I know.  But all our newest members deserve a post or two solely devoted to them.  Even if they are the four legged kind.

This cat, ya’ll.  Could not have been a better fit to our family.  He is the weirdest cat we have ever had.  He refuses to drink out of a water bowl but prefers to drink from the faucet.  He loves to sneak up behind Zoe and just stand there.  Only he belongs on counters.  He has decided that 5:30 is my wake up time.  Every.  single.  day.

And the kids.  He tolerates them so well.  They will scoop him up and he just goes with the flow.  None of our cats have ever done that.  They will usually wiggle, hiss, or scratch to get down if a child just grabs them up any ol’ way.

IMG_20150601_202859_376 Feet are his favorite toy.IMG_20150608_122623_516 And Josiah’s school box (appropriately covered in cat fabric) is his favorite hiding place.IMG_20150615_221137_278 Boxes work too.IMG_20150627_163902_231 And we can spend a ton of money on cat toys but he prefers pretty much anything.

IMG_20150627_163915_867He wanted to help us decorate Y’s Welcome sign.

Yeah, we love this crazy, weird cat.  He fits so well in to our crazy, weird family.

The Chair

I’m not that big of an interior designer.  Who’s kidding?  I’m not one at all.  But I love to fill my house with uniqueness and color.  Awhile ago, I put out a request for my auction-going parents to look for one of those old kitchen stools from Cosco that has the steps that fold in.  I thought it would work well in the kitchen for long prep work and all my little helpers to use.  Well, my mom followed through and actually found one in pretty good shape.  DSC_1799

Okay, it was ugly and needed some work but the bones were in great shape.

I love to add my own personal touch to things but I was stumped as to what color I should paint it.  So, I sent out a plea on Facebook for my friends to weigh in and let me know their thoughts on the color.  Forty-five comments later…I still couldn’t decide.  Off to the hardware store we went with fabric in tow.  As a side note, I think that is the most comments I have gotten on one post!  Way to go FB peeps!

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I know all my Facebook fashion friends are sitting on the edge of their seat wanting desperately to see what I chose.  Let me first say that the color was mainly chosen because it matched the closest.  That being said, it’s a flat paint and it may be updated to a different color at some point in the near future.

Here it is:

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And here’s what I did.

First, I sanded down the entire metal.  Liam helped me remove the screws and pop the tabs on the seat cushions.  That took a bit of muscle and team work.

Then it was outside to spray paint.

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With a little help.DSC_1804

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After removing the old fabric, I used spray adhesive to adhere the new fabric.   And clothespins.  Lots of them.

 

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Then it was time to fold metal tabs and put it all back together. I would love to get new rubber mats but we’ll see.

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I purchased laminated/vinyl fabric to help it last a bit longer.  There is an Etsy shop, Laminates, that has a ton to choose from.  I bought two 18X20 squares and that was just the right amount.

I love having it.  I’ll pull it up to the counter to do some recipe searches and the kids enjoy climbing on it to work.  It’s even been a discipline stool too!

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