Saturday, December 31, 2011

I'm finished with the dining room furniture!!

I'm so excited that I'm finished. Hooray!! I have finally finished re-upholstering the dining room furniture.
Kind of a before shot. I had already done the chairs but you get the idea. :)

A "before" shot from the kitchen.

After shot from the kitchen. Can you tell this is also where we do school? hehe! ;) All those European flags in the background.

After shot.
What do you think? I'm so excited that we'll finally be able to eat at the table again. There are no Christmas projects going on there and the chairs are all together. YAY!! :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Smarty Pants!!

We are starting preschool with Ryanne on Monday and she does this thing where she pretends she doesn't know stuff. It's really easy stuff too so... Paul and I have a plan. If she wants to earn a treat from the "Smarty Pants" then she has to try. She cannot pretend she doesn't know things. She's super excited about it and she's already stopped (mostly) faking not knowing things. It's awesome. Here are our "Smarty Pants".

This was before it was stuffed with "Smarties" but now the pants are puffed up full of candy. I just sewed the legs of the pants shut and then ripped out the stitches to the belt loops and then sewed them back on over the hanger. So, we're encouraging our daughter to be a "Smarty Pants". Collin will earn some too when he shows himself to be a Smarty Pants too.

I got the idea from Pinterest and here's a link to the blog. You can also print out stickers notes and the label above for it too but since it's for my own kids I didn't see any reason for that. Although, we may go with the stickers... not sure yet. I think we'll just stick with the pants for now. ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New colors in the dining room!

Our dining room table is the coolest table ever. It looks sort of like a quarter of a circle so there is a cornered side and a rounded side. So, it has a rounded bench and two chairs. I think it's the neatest table ever and we bought it for $20 early in our marriage about 9 years ago. The upholstery is a bit out-dated and frayed so we are re-upholstering it.... on piece at a time. Today, I did the two chairs.


What do you think? I've never re-upholstered anything before and, I must admit, playing with the staple gun was a lot of fun!! :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Organizing the pantry!! :)

My grandmother gave us money to buy Christmas presents with and Paul and I bought shelves for the pantry. Yay!! Up until now, it was just a door-less closet that we stuck a bookshelf in to hold the food but it was only about half of the space so there was tons of wasted space. We decided it was time for shelves. But, first, we had to have a place for the wrapping paper (I saw it on pinterest. )
This is standing in the door-less closet looking up at the ceiling.

This is from right outside of it. We tied yarn across from one wall to the other and then slid the wrapping paper up there. Isn't that awesome?
Now, on to the shelves!!
Here are the NEW empty shelves. We had room to put all our boxes of food on the floor under the bottom shelf... yay!! And... of course Ryanne had to find a way to be in the picture. LOL! :)

Here it is full of all the food in the house (even the food from the bedroom) except for the buckets and the food that makes up our bed. Yes, we're weirdos who have a box springs and mattress on a bunch of food. ;)

The book shelf is what used to be our "pantry". Now, it holds all of Collin's school stuff that previously took up space in the living room and master bedroom. Hooray!! I'm super excited!! :)
Now, what will our project be tomorrow? I love that Paul is off all week. The poor guy has a very long 'honey-do' list but I am absolutely LOVING it!!! :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas gifts put to use. :)

In Ryanne's hair stuff was a texture softener. It's a chemical and sort of like a mild relaxer. She has been wanting a relaxer but I didn't want to straighten out her beautiful curls so I thought this would be a nice compromise. Her curls pull out a little so they're more manageable but the curls are still there. This morning I was able to do her hair. She didn't even cry b/c there were only a few tangles. It was amazing and totally unlike her hair. The curls are pretty much the same to look at but touching and styling is where the difference lies. Love it!! :) Here's what I did this morning but I figured out that her hair is a bit too short for it so I had to use a few bobby pins to keep the braids in place. Remember, I'm new at styling her hair in braids and such but hope to get much better so no judging. I'm just so excited that I'm able too now!! YAY!!

Above view.

Side view. I tried to do box braids and criss crossed them into a little bun. :)
Wait! There's more. I also made the kids pillow mattresses. I cheated a little bit though. I made them out of old sheets that I bought at Goodwill for $2 each and then the pillows were $2.50 so each pillow mattress cost me a total of $12. YAY!! Apparently the kids love them! :)

They are four pillows each and they doubled them up under their head. Collin then pulled the last pillow over him to watch Fraggle Rock. ;)

They realized I was taking pictures so decided to ham it up. haha!!

A Simple Christmas

This year we decided to go with a simple Christmas. We didn't want it to be huge and crazy but simple with a focus on Christ. So.... here is what happened.

Christmas Eve we planned to visit the grandparents but Paul and Collin both complained about their stomachs hurting and after a week of the stomach bug we decided to play it safe and stay home. We watched the Christmas story videos put out by the church.They can be found here. Then, Paul and I waited for the kids to go to bed to welcome Santa. But, after Ryanne went to bad, Collin asked us the dreaded question, "Is Santa real?"
I couldn't lie to him and Paul and I had decided a long time ago that if our children asked the question then we would answer it honestly. So, I talked to him about how Santa was once real. He was a man who wanted to follow Christ's example and give to others so he gave to everyone and then he died. Now moms and dads all over the world leave gifts in the name of Santa to help bring in some of that Christmas magic. I told him he couldn't tell anyone b/c then the magic won't be fun for others anymore. That's when I gave him Ryanne's stocking stuffers and let him play Santa for her. He thought it was so fun. Paul and I have decided that when the kids know the truth then they get to be "Santa" for the other one. ;)

Okay, back to our Christmas. Christmas morning the kids were allowed to look in their stockings.

Inside the stockings were socks, coal chocolate, play-do, chocolate orange, a couple of candy canes and a Christmas orange. Then, their shared gift was 14 Word World DVDs w/ flash cards.

We had our traditional breakfast of monkey bread. My normal recipe is packed up in storage so I found a new recipe that said for me to leave it on the counter all night to rise... well, that didn't go so well...
There was a lot of rising going on that night. LOL! :) It tasted good though. =o)

Then the kids talked to Nana and Papa in Wyoming on the phone. There was no complaining of upset tummies so we went to church at 10:30 for the one hour Christmas program. Afterwards we came home to leftovers from breakfast for lunch. We were waiting for Mimi to open the gifts.

Finally, around 2pm Mimi arrived and it was time to open gifts.

Collin received a Giant Book of Cool Stuff, pajamas, a stuffed bear (from Nana and Papa), a box of science experiments (from Aunt Sylvia), a lego set, carnivorous plant kit, a couple of books - one about stars and the other about volcanoes (from Mimi), church shoes, homemade pillow mattress and a planetarium projector (from us).

Ryanne received magnetic dress up dolls, pajamas, a doll (from Nana and Papa), a weaving dress up set (from Aunt Sylvia), a first laptop, Angelina Ballerina book, a coloring kit (from Mimi), a mosaic magnetic shapes kid, hair supplies, and a homemade pillow mattress (from us).

Together they also got the game "What's in Ned's Head?" LOL! Such a funny game. A little creepy but fun.

They got a lot of gifts... more than I expected but that's okay. All the gifts are things that they'll play with and enjoy and not the type of gifts that will get pushed to the back of the closet and never seen again.

Now, for our simple Christmas dinner -- chili and cornbread. Yeap, that's it. To make it even simpler, I made it in the crockpot. I got everything read Christmas even and stuck it in a container in the fridge. Christmas morning I dumped it in the crockpot and it was ready when it was time to eat. Super simple. Loved it!! :) I think the whole family liked the simple Christmas plan. I think we'll continue with it. We also made pecan pie and the kids were in charge of the chocolate chip cookies. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Apple Pie Cookies... oh my!

These things are amazing!! The recipe is here if you want to make some and I totally recommend that you do!! :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pinterest... and my linen closet???

Okay, everyone kept saying that I had to go to pinterest b/c it's so addicting. Well, the last thing that I need is an addiction. I mean, I hardly have anytime as it is. Well, today I gave in to peer pressure and went to pinterest for less than five minutes and I see a problem. My problem isn't in the addiction part but in all the projects that I'm about to have on top of full time classes and virtual schooling Collin and my book blog and being a mom and keeping the house (not listed in any particular order). In the couple minutes I was there I have already found a project for me... ya ready?
I want to turn my linen closet from this:
Notice that I have everything from linens to toolboxes to craft stuff, lightbulbs and giftboxes in here. haha!! I guess that's what happens when one has a limisted supply of closets. Also, the door is only about 2' wide (that's being generous). So, I want to turn it into something similar to this:

Isn't that beautiful? They fit so much stuff in there. Yes, I am going to this. However, I'm not starting it until after the holidays. By then, I'll find another projects to start from pinterest probably. hehe!!

A Dalek Family!!

Okay, if you know me then you know that I'm slightly obsessed with Doctor Who.A lot of people have those little family stickers on the back of their mini vans, well, I wanted one too but slightly different.

This is on the back of my van. :) YAY!! From left to right we have Paul, me, David, Collin, and Ryanne. They also had the option to get K-9 for the dog image but they didn't have any cat images so we didn't think it fair to put Arwen on there and not Baker or Miss Callie so no little animals. But K-9 would have been cute on there!!

Wrapping Paper Fun

So, the kids wanted to play with wrapping paper so I gave them the last of some on a roll. They had quite a blast! They decorated my kitchen for me. I walked in and found this...

Then, they had an giant paper roll and I had another since I had been wrapping gifts so guess what they played with next. :)

I had to make them stop "sword" fighting long enough for me to take a picture of their decorated wrapping paper roll things.... "/

Birthday Boy!!

I'm a bit behind on the blog so there will be several posts today. ;)

First, Collin's birthday party. My son turned six. Ack!!! I can't believe it. Anyways, here are some pics from his birthday party... enjoy. :)
Collin's science themed cake. Isn't it awesome? No, I didn't make it. I'm not quite that talented. I did help mix the colors for icing... does that count for anything? hehe! :)

We made Non-Newtonian Fluid b/c Collin absolutely loves it and... as you can see, it turned into a big hit. Good thing it's just corn starch and water b/c that's a huge mess.

Cutting the cake. That's Kami under the big, red blanket. She was a bit cold.

Collin and his best friend. Luckily for us, this family has a daughter Ryanne's age and they are great friends and their mom is pretty awesome too and I love to hang out with her so they make good play-dates for the kids b/c we all have someone to hang out with. =o)