Tuesday, May 31, 2011

John David's First Camp Out

I don't know much about it (since they're guys and don't share too much), but I know John David had a lot of fun. It was a Royal Ranger camp out (his boy's club from church) and it was at some local camping grounds. They had a fire, cooked out, slept in tents, and - apparently the best part of all according to John David - he got to do his "business" in the woods. He found out later there was actually a restroom!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rainbows and Prims Year End Ceremony

This past Sunday was award time for the three younger kids' Wednesday night classes.
Joshua and Aulora struck this pose for me while they were waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Their teacher, Ms. Judy, was handing out their final badge for the year. There are a lot of kids in their class, not just the four you see pictured. (You can only see Aulora here because Joshua never would stand in a place where I could get his picture.)

Here's Julia with her Prims teacher.

And here's Julia with her other Prims teacher and a friend. She earned all nine badges for this year so she was very excited.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

John Adams on Manners

If you've read Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson then you are familiar with this quote from John Adams, the second president of the United States. I find the truth in these words so powerful.

"From all that I had read of history of government, of human life, and manners, I [have] drawn this conclusion, that the manners of women [are] the most infallible barometer, to ascertain the degree of morality and virtue in a nation. All that I have since read and all the observation I have made in different nations, have confirmed me in this opinion. The manners of women, are the surest criterion by which to determine whether a republican government is practicable, in a nation or not. The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, the Dutch, all lost their public spirit, their Republican principles and habits, and their Republican forms of government when they lost the modesty and domestic virtues of their women...

The foundations of national morality must be laid in private families. In vain are schools, academies and universities instituted if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years. The mothers are the earliest and most important instructors of youth."

May the lasting importance of all the little things we moms do every single day weigh on us in a Godly way. Our work may go unnoticed but it is not insignificant.

Monday, May 23, 2011

You Never Know

It was a simple school project: complete an act of service for someone else.

Our plan to take some home cooked food to homeless people went wrong when the men with cardboard signs who are on a certain corner nearly every day weren't there.

The kids and I decided to make and deliver cookies to various neighbors instead.

In one house lives an elderly couple who we have waved to and said hello to for nearly two years. All I could tell you about them is that they keep an immaculate lawn.

The lady walked over today with tears in her eyes to say thank you for the cookies my son had brought to them. She figured we had done that because we knew what was going on in their house. I didn't know and of course was immediately concerned.

She began telling me how their young grandson, who lived here in town, had just taken his own life a few days ago. They have understandably been distraught.

I hugged her and told her how terribly sorry I was to hear that. I told her we would be praying for them. At that moment rain began pouring down on us so we both ran to our own houses.

And now the curtains in their sparkly clean windows are closed and there is a wrought iron door that rarely opens. We've waved and smiled plenty, but we don't even know their names. But now we do know that they are hurting.

All because of a bag of homemade cookies.

A school project gone awry.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Kids Want This BAD

We were at the mall today and they were selling "pocket pets" - aka sugar gliders. I had never heard of these things before, but my kids were fascinated! The website gives a lot of information about them and even shows videos and pictures. These little guys are marsupials and once they bond with you they like to hang out on your shoulder on in your pocket. And they can glide! I'm pretty sure that if they hadn't cost nearly $600 then we would already have a couple right now.

Flowers Make Me Happy

After enduring long, cold, snowy months here I am ridiculously happy to have pretty flowers again. This is on the front porch:

Out by the garage:

I love this one that sits by our back steps.
This old igloo was my PaPa's that he used all the time.

This next one is a gardenia plant that John's mom sent me for mother's day.
I can't wait until it blooms!

This old tool box was John's Papaw's. I took the lid off of it and put flower pots in it. It's sitting on top of the piano so it can get plenty of sunlight.

So to sum up - spring is here, I love flowers, and I am happy.
The end.

Friday, May 20, 2011

This Morning's Finds

I'm so happy garage sale season is here again. I LOVE to shop, more specifically bargain shop. It is very difficult for me to drive by garage sale signs if I don't get to stop. Today I hit up 4 sales all before the two youngest woke up.

I found this little frame for a quarter. Can you tell it has a green undertone?

These books were all $.50 each. I don't like to buy books just for the sake of having them. These are books that I will use and read - some I have been wanting anyway.

The Little Mermaid II video was $1. We have a vcr in the van and in the girls' room so I like to pick up inexpensive videos at garages sales and Goodwill.

My favorite find is this pair of black Sketchers shoes. I've been wanting these! They are my size and just like new and priced at $5. Hello!

See? The bottoms are barely marked! Score!

I'm now pondering the thought of going out in the morning with the three younger ones. John and John David will be gone on a Royal Ranger camp out (that's a post in the making I'm sure) so I can't go out alone. I'll probably hold out until next weekend.

What are some great deals you've found lately???

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meeting My Sister

Here's me and my little brother, Jeremy, when we were little. I adored him and took care of him (well, I suppose my mom helped too) and gave him whatever he wanted. I had asked for a little brother so I felt he was mine.

Now he lives far away in Austin. He's been doing the single thing for years while I've been married and having babies. Our worlds were far away.

Then came the mention of a girl he was seeing. He didn't say a lot and I didn't pry. And then came the questions - How do you know you've found the right person. How can you be so sure?

I'm so glad he realized what a treasure he had found. He made it official at Navy Pier in Chicago last Thursday night and over the weekend we got to meet Cali Mari.

She's going to be my sister.

And my babies call her Aunt Cali already. I know my brother is in love and all, but it's important to note that my kids are in love with her too.

I'm wondering if maybe, as the years go by, I might be able to recapture some of what I lost with my sister, Julie.

There's also the fun of cousins looming in the future.
(Do you know which one is me?)

It makes my heart so full to know that my baby brother is happy. And to know that this aunt/sister/daughter that's being added to our family is perfectly wonderful is no small thing either.

I love that the distance between our worlds is shrinking.

Come September, there's going to be some mighty happy feet! ;)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Julia's Plays "Wildflower Waltz"

Julia played this piece at their school concert last Friday night, but my video didn't turn out too good so we made this video after school today. The piano book is open to another song and she's actually playing from memory. I'm a little proud.

And then, when she was done, the little ones climbed up and wanted to play "Scary Scary". John David joined in too.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Official "After" Bathroom Post

Here's the pink bathroom one more time
(because I know everyone really wanted to see it again):

And here it is now:

This cabinet does need a little more painting and some knobs,
but I didn't want to put off the post any more. I had our "worker man" build this for us. We took out the medicine cabinet and this bathroom desperately needed somewhere to put stuff. I was nervous about how it would look in the small space, but I'm super happy we did it. Those baskets are from Hobby Lobby (half off baby) and they don't currently hold much other than hair bows for the girls.

I kept our old shower curtain thinking I'd shop around for a new one (I LOVE this one from Anthropologie but $148 is a little high for me! And check out this bath mat! Only $38 so maybe that will happen one day. In the meantime a bathmat towel works just fine for our poor student feet.)

I'm so excited about the fixture set I got on clearance at Home Depot for only $100. It's Delta, it's awesome, and it's normally almost $300. It feels amazing!

Loving the oil rubbed bronze! And the refinished tub is beautiful! You can not buy a bathtub like this anymore I've been told. It saved a lot of money to just refinish instead of replace too. In a picture later in the post you can see the lines of the tub's side. Lovely!

Here you can see the built in shelves. This was a very smart move, I think. It makes the bathroom feel more expensive and custom. And more storage! We lost a little room in the hall closet but it's worth it. The shelves are from the floor up to the ceiling.

We did tile all the way up to the ceiling instead of only part way up like the pink tile was.

We put some of the accent tile on the floor too. I love it! (A note on the tile - you do not have to spend big bucks on tile. You can, and if I had the money I would, but this tile tile only cost 1/4 of what we originally picked out and it looks great. I think adding a touch of accent tile goes a long way and with a bathroom this size wasn't a big cost anyway. I'm no tile snob! All of the tile was purchased at Lowe's by the way.)

One last look from the doorway. I haven't decided what, if anything, I'm doing for a window treatment. It gets a little busy since the shower curtain is right there so I'm leaning towards nothing. I still have the bamboo shade from before so we'll see. Also, the paint color is nomadic desert by Sherwin Williams (had it color matched at Lowe's with Behr paint). We started using that color for our flip house and I haven't found another I like better as far as this color family goes.

We've been in heaven with this new space. After living with the pink for so long, this is just incredible. It's still not huge, but it feels waaaay bigger. LOVE!

The End.