Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jake's First Day of PreK

Yesterday we dropped Jake off for his first day of preK. Greg took the morning off to go with us. I think it went well!

He started to get upset early in the morning, so he helped me pack his lunch & snack!

Then packed his bag up.

Around front for some pictures!

Time for drop off!

Hung up his bag!

Time to hit the ground running! We love you big boy!!

5 hours later... he crashed in the car... but then woke him up for his milkshake treat :)

As for Evan... well... he decided he's not going to wear diapers anymore... so he's potty training! It's been going good, no accidents! Luke is going through a grow spurt I think... waking up a lot at night. So we're a busy busy household at the moment... mama looks like she's been hit by a train!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Get thee to Lowes! Lanterns for under $2!!

Hey my friends! Run don't walk to Lowes right now. Last night Greg and I went to Lowes (woo-hoo for his parents being in town to watch the boys!) and we came home with two of these beautiful finds!

The small one (about 7-8") was $1.50 and the bigger one (about 10-12") was $1.83!! I would think it's not just a local sale, because it had actual Lowe's printed tags/signs... so it wasn't just a store thing I think. They were located in the aisle right in front when we walked in (in front of the tractors/grills at our store) on big pallets in the middle!

I don't normally just buy stuff without a good reason, plan or budget... but for that price can you pass it up??So many things you could do with them!! Don't be surprised if you see them popping up in up coming Fall/Halloween decor :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I dare say, the foyer is finished!

So this foyer has taken awhile... but I do believe I'm done. Okay, I want more little thing... but I swear, I'm done.

It even looks a lot like my original sketch in my first foyer post, no?

We've slowly added to it, like the mirror, then the bench, rug, and lastly the sign & coat rack (click on each pic to link back to its post).

The sign was from the ole Hobster Lobster, it was $17.99 for 50% that day, snag it right up. But with our walls being beige (and no, we're not painting we could get transferred anytime and these are 2 story walls we're talking about) I wanted just a smidge more color to it. Project time!

I just used Robins Egg Blue acrylic paint & a cotton ball ( I know so technical & fancy... but a step up from when I used my finger to paint the cabbage!). Then randomly smeared it on, wiping off in some places, just leaving it in others.

So it helped add a little bit more color without covering up the phrases... wonderful phrases by the way.

Feeling very "family-y" after this summer and especially today. Today was Jake's Pre-K orientation... big man was so proud, happy and excited... and so were we! Greg & I are busting at the seams for him... he introduced himself to his teacher & assistant... found his bag, seat & cubby. I have butterflies for him... just wait until next Tuesday's post :)

Anyway... point of post...BEFORE:

And... AFTER:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Easy crowd pleasing yogurt ideas

Well, if your crowd is toddlers that is... not sure about an actual adult crowd (what's that like? ha ha).

Around our house, the boys love yogurt. I quickly learned that the little individual servings that are marketed towards kids are not really that much and are way more expensive. So I started buying the big 32oz tub from Horizon or Stonyfield in vanilla.

But then I wouldn't use enough of it and half the tub would go bad... so here are some various ways I use it as treats for the boys! It's not rocket science or even ground breaking, but I know sometimes we get bored with the same old same old and need some new ideas (not that someone hasn't thought these up before!).

1. if it's getting close to the expiration date and you aren't going to use it for anything else, blend it with some fruit spread (Kroger has a great variety of store brand fruit spread - and it's the same as jellies w/o the HFCS), then freeze into ice cube trays. When frozen, pop-out, put in freezer bags... just take out the amount you need whenever you're looking for a healthy cold treat... the boys get just as excited about it as ice cream!

2. Serve plain with any cut up fruit on top (or toss fruit in blender if it's not old yet not pretty fruit)

3. Serve plain in bowl, using it as a dip with Graham Crackers (Gingerbread cookies are also yummy with a yogurt dip as discovered during our Christmas morning snack)

4. Serve plain with cookie/cereal crumbs (from the bottom of the bag - especially daddy's sugary cereal that mommy vetos alot) on top

5. Their favorite... make parfaits...

The thing that makes them cool is to see the layers... so I use plastic cups (glass would be a more green option... but Evan would break one in a heartbeat)

Blend up some fruit

Start layering (I made my layers a bit too thick during this demonstration)

 Granola on top

Serve! (Dang, I didn't notice it was blurry when I took the pic)

They think mommy is pretty cool & that this is a special treat (aka can be used as bribery!)...And it can all be done while wearing the newborn in the sling! :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Oh Summer! Ponderings & a Mantel

I can't believe it's mid-August... astounding.

Last I checked it was Memorial Weekend. Seriously.

After that holiday, we headed up north at a moments notice, the twins were born, adoption, then for 8 weeks Grant dealt with his health issues, various family relations strained & some strengthened, and then it all ended with us putting baby Grant to rest and then bringing baby Luke with his big brothers. Since being home we've been so blessed with wonderful support from our network of friends, and it leaves me humbled and so grateful. I have many talented and loving friends... one is a photographer and did a mini-fundraiser (amazing!), one put her phenomenal organization skills together and did a donation drive - my dining room table was full of diapers & formula (touching!), one is doing a Tastefully Simple party (so grateful! it's still going if anyone wants the link!), my online group of mamas got me a beautiful necklace (love), local mamas are bringing us yummy dinners, and not to mention the outpouring of thoughtful cards & messages (at a loss for words).  Talk about a rollercoaster ride of every emotion possible.

**sorry HAD to get all that out**

A friend posted on my facebook wall "you're home, now the healing can begin". How true. As much as we'd love to lay around on the couch and watch movies for months while battling our grief... we simply can't. We have three other boys that deserve their parents to be firing on all cylinders. So they've been our fast track to carving out a new normal for ourselves. I've always enjoyed blogging... so I'm going to slowly try it back on for size.I hope you're all still out there reading or at least will join me now. I'm not pretending the summer didn't happen... but I still want to grasp at what feels more "normal" to me. Being creative ALWAYS makes me feel better (well, besides love from my boys & spin class, lol!)

Funny thing, when we were home for good I looked at my mantel.. it was still decorated for Spring/Easter. I had removed the Easter type stuff but left the spring... I was just getting ready to redo it for summer.

So off to work I went... in August... on my summer mantel, cause dang it, we're going to have one before fall ;)

Greg picked a good spot on the couch to watch. He likes to watch me disassemble & come up with a new mantel design. He likes to watch the process.... is that odd? I find it kind of endearing ;) Because I'm sort of a nut, so whoever can watch my "process" (which is very haphazard and involves lots of talking to myself) and enjoy it... must really LOVE me!

As always... nothing purchased... just "shopped" the house...

Stole a starfish from our bathroom (that I always have to put up anyway due to little hands that like to play with it) and just gathered up "light & fresh" stuff. Used the vase already filled with sand & rocks from my Winter Mantle, just added shells. Even stuck in the "Art of Imperfection" book, very fitting I felt.

Didn't quite nail the look I wanted with the pitcher since I didn't have the right height candle in the exact color I wanted... but I still rather liked it. That jute sack is actually from IKEA, twine balls came in it, I added some shells to it.

Jake starts preschool on the 30th and I see fall EVERYWHERE in the stores. Even the blogosphere is preparing. For me, I'm not ready yet... I still need some summertime...

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.  ~Celia Thaxter

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

With a heavy heart...

I don't know how else to do this but to just share my grief.

Baby Grant Andrew found his forever peace while lovingly cradled in mama & daddy's arms early Friday morning.

We are heartbroken, in the words of my 4 yr old Jake "oh no, what are we gonna do?"

Never take our time here for granted. Show & accept love when you can, because you really never know.