Sunday, July 31, 2011

More items off the "to-do" list and a splurge

So, when Nathan was one a co-worker of mine sent out this email that her friend was a "professional organizer" and had this idea on how to keep "keepsakes".  She would put together boxes and label them and then sell you the finished product.  Well, I did that for Nathan, and when it came time to find something similar for Evan, I discovered that they no longer made the boxes I got for Nathan. 

Well, after much looking around, I finally found something that worked.  While I pretty much despise most everything Ikea, it is fitting that they do have a nice selection of cheap boxes that should hold up for years.  So, I have had this on my "to do" list for almost a year and it is FINALLY crossed off.  YES! 


If you are looking for a way to organize things for the next 18 years of your children's life, I do think these boxes/designs work well.  I already have Nathan's first couple of boxes full of keepsakes for him....


Oh, and my splurge.  I purchased a copy of my mother's classic Betty Crocker cookbook.  I found a *steal* on the internet that I couldn't pass up...while I won't say I didn't spend too much (because it was a lot for a silly sentimental cookbook) I will say it was $350 less than what similar books were going for (not sure why as it was in great quality!!  the seller must have just have wanted to get rid of it or was not sure how much it actually was worth!). 

Anyways, I am slowly reading it a little before I go to bed each night...did you know that people used to serve chilled bouillon on the rocks as an appetizer beverage?  Doesn't that sound nasty?  Or tomato juice with bouillon on the rocks...I keep thinking of how that would taste and I don't even want to try making it because I just can't think it would be good. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Finally!!! The varnishing is OVER....

Assembly took place last weekend...Friday night into Saturday morning!



Supervising...
TA DA!!!!!  Five years later and our fireplace and mantel are finished.  It pays to not get everything right away and finish things as you can AFFORD them.  Feels great! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's moments like this...

where I just look up to the sky and say "Thank you Jesus!" for all the blessings surrounding me in everyday simpleness...

...like fresh, juicy tomatoes....
grown on my patio (well, almost...)
And fresh rhubarb and strawberry quickly thrown together with some crumble on top...like eating jam with brown sugary goodness...

And Daddy's that make "faces" for their three-year old son's lunches...and the happiness and giggles that follow....

The kids are spending the night at Grandma's...Nathan has been begging for about two months to have a night at Grandma Gus' house, so she said she would take them tonight...I didn't get much notice that this was happening, and I am working tomorrow, so it doesn't free up much time, but its nice to have a little break.  

But, I just went into their rooms and became overcome with sadness that I didn't have two little cheeks to kiss goodnight or to pull up the covers and tuck them in and whisper "i love you" and to have Nathan whisper back "love you" even though he is half asleep. 

However, the feeling was brief because I realized Evan's bedroom smelled and the sheet had stains all over it (apparently he had a blow out early this morning and my groggy eyes didn't recognize it at the butt-crack of dawn)!  So, I have some more work to do...

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I saw some pictures today of the famine in East Africa....i saw pictures of kids Nathan's age...laying on the ground, flies swarming their little bodies...starving.  i almost cried.  I want to get into an airplane, fly over there, and scoop as many as I can up and say, "come live with me"....I could eat PB&J sandwiches for the rest of my life and I could spend what I eat on food on them and make them healthy and happy and safe and strong.  they have nothing.  absolutely nothing.  and i have everything.  At the same moment where I want to shout "Thank you Jesus!" I also want to cry out, "Why Lord, why?!"  At the same moment I am worried about the US ecomony collapsing and wreaking havoc on our jobs and our lives, people over there have nothing.  Even if worst comes to worst, I think we in American would have food and water if the economy goes down the toilet.  I would have to think the worst feeling in the entire world would be the feeling of helplessness when it comes to your children...whether it be illness, food, or water...the feeling that you cannot provide for them the basics of life.  I know there is something I can do.  I guess I just need to pray about what that is...

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On a happier note, tomorrow is Thursday!  Huzzah!  The end of a crazy workweek for me! 


Monday, July 25, 2011

Update on projects


The hardanger is done!  A little late for a gift this year, but next year Mother's Day is all set!

This is the back...if you did a good job, it should look like the front...I think I did a pretty decent job!
Here is yet another picture of the varnishing...it looks the exact same, I know...but it was almost done here!

My varnishing superviser:

I finally also went and purchased some very boring fabric for my binding...as usual, I measured wrong and didn't have enough of the outside border or blue for binding...but, did I ever post a picture of the quilting?  My MIL did it (I am spoiled!) and it looks totally awesome.  Although all my blocks were off and un-square (it was my first quilt really ever)...anyways, I'll post a picture once the binding is done and it is all complete...it is such a happy quilt. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sweltering heat, blogs, and ceilings...

It's always around this time of year I start to wonder why on earth I was longing for summer in the middle of January...in fact, I should label this post "read this when it is 30 below windchill"!  Actually, I think I will.  ha!  No one who reads this blog from anywhere around here will be interested to know that for the past week, it pretty much didn't even pay to go outside.  You seriously stepped out the door and were drenched from head to toe in humidity and thick, dense, hot air....I am young and healthy, and at times found it hard to breathe.  Yuck.  Nathan's sport's class was cancelled, the trip to the Zoo was cancelled that I volunteered for, and Evan and his friends pretty much were stuck inside all week. 

But, my plants loved it and the garden's are in full force...we had BLT's last Sunday and I have enjoyed cucumbers now for the past few days.  There ain't nothing like a fresh Minnesota cucumber....if someone were to ask me what summer tastes like, it would be juicy tomatoes, crisp green beans, and crunchy cucumbers....

Lovin' the look despite the humidity....

Lilies so pretty right now...gotta enjoy them as the red and pinks don't last...

The purple flowers are Phlox...deer love phlox, which is why one plant has none.  I do my best....

At the bottom of my steps are my rose bushes...and our new birch tree right there is doing well too....I can't wait for all the trees on the side of our house to get bigger...it will do a lot for the late afternoon sun, not to mention, block the neighbors....
I have so much I can blog about...we really have been busy this summer...the days just fly by, and work is even worse...I get into work and then suddenly it is time to leave work...there is no possibly way right now for me to be disengaged...each week I am liking my new job more and more and in ways I didn't know was possible...it makes me think that I was truly unhappy at Deloitte for such a long time that I had no idea how bad it had become. 

Anyways, I have been trying to keep up on blogging but I like reading blogs so much more than writing them...I really find what people are doing interesting, especially if they are people I wish I still were in contact with on a regular basis and for some reason or another, we have drifted apart.  I also enjoy a few blogs of people that I never met but that inspire me...I wish my blog inspired people...but I find my blog is more or less a way of dumping out thoughts in my head about my day, so, it probably doesn't. 

Anyways, the varnishing continued on this week...here is a shot after two coats...you will find it looks pretty much the same as after one coat.  After this varnishing experience I can pretty much say I HATE IT.  I think it saved us around $200 though...and hey, that will buy us groceries for a few weeks...



Another big (HUGE) thing that has finally come to reality this month was our ceiling/sub-floor was finally completed.  The ladder got put up and as soon as that happened, I started hauling stuff up it.  Let me tell you, I think I have made about 50 trips up and down that ladder already...but it is so easy, and so AMAZING, to have so much storage space where you had none before...talk about a GREAT use of space!  Kudos to my FIL in for putting the idea into our heads! 
Ladder
Here is a shot of how things looked a few days ago (I have since added more)...I have all the baby stuff up there, the boxes of baby/maternity clothes, toddler clothes, boxes of electronic stuff Chris refuses to throw away but never uses (including these incredibly old speakers he insists he will someday put up somewhere, like the garage, which I don't get since he is not the type of man to need speakers in a garage because he doesn't work in the garage all that much...). 

Yesterday I went over to my mom's and finally started grabbing some of my more precious toys I have saved since I was little that she let me keep there after I moved out.  I am a sentimental fool, so I plan on playing with each one before I put them away, and taking pictures and reminiscing...I'll be sharing those with you...so stay tuned!

Oh, and speaking of ceilings, I have to make a comment...get your arses together and fix our debt/spending problem and stop acting like this is such a frickin' difficult thing to do. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Evan!

One year old...you little buggar!  Soon you will be able to keep up with Nathan,...I am sure he will love that!  (at least, most of the time). 

Evan is taking steps now - only a few at a time...but I think it is going to be soon and he will be walking.  Also, what a little eater he is at times -- for being the pickier one out of the two, it is suddenly as if we cannot give him enough food at dinner.  He just keeps going and going and going. 

We had his party last Friday...it was a joint party for Daddy and Evan, but I made some cupcakes for Evan...from scratch! 

Before everyone showed up, I wanted to get a family picture...we took like 100 pictures and this was the best one.  Nathan refused to smile and Evan was wiggly. 

Nathan wasn't happy untili he got to hold Evan...and then Evan wasn't happy.  kids i tell you.


Outside with Grandma...it rained the whole time so the party was basically inside.  kind of a bummer but there were some breaks where we went outside to swing and stuff. 

This is right before cake....

This is when everyone was singing to him...his expression is priceless...he is like, WTF is everyone staring and singing at me for? 

He really thought my cupcake was awesome...first he was intrigued by the whipped cream...

But eventually he realized he could just pick the whole thing up and take a big bite...Oh Evan you are priceless....

After the party were presents....Nathan got a small gift but Evan's presents were so much cooler....

And it was Daddy's birthday too..so he got a few things...like that hat...

It's hard to believe a year ago today I had Evan.  So many things have changed.  I still cannot believe that I went into labor on my own, woke up, and had to drive to the hospital with real contractions three minutes apart...I seriously thought I was going to have to be induced...plus, he was early, another thing I didn't expect!  I also didn't expect him to be such an easy-going baby....I was planning for a lot of crying and late nights and stress...while there was a little of that, compared to Nathan, it was almost non-existent. 

Evan clearly has personality now though, and while his Oh-I-Saw-Mommy-So-Now-I-Must-Whine-and-Cry phase annoys me...I know soon he will be old enough to play with Nathan, and I will become the third wheel. 

Days where I cannot take it anymore, and the kids are finally in bed, and I have some "me" time to do whatever, I find that I tend to shut the t.v. and computer off and go into their rooms and snuggle with them.  If Nathan is still awake we chat about things or play "I Spy" or "thank you Jesus"...sometimes I pick Evan up and hold him for alittle bit...he starts to fuss after a few minutes and wants to be put down...but the few minutes are all I need. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about another baby...while I would definately welcome another little, the thought of being pregnant again is almost unbearable.  Honestly, I don't like being pregnant at all...I think about another nine months of feeling sick, getting big, not being comfortable while awake, not being comfortable while asleep, anxiety over the health of the baby, doctor's visits, labor, postpartum, argh.  I wish I was one of those women who loved being pregnant, but I'm not.  But I guess it's like most things...the harder it is to get it, the more worth it has!  (I think that's why parents put up with everything that we do!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Snap purse!


did I ever post a picture of my snap purse?  i finished it like two months ago -- I actually finished two, but gave one away.  I was going to do a bunch more for my nieces for their birthdays in June (but glad I didn't because they had more than enough gifts) but didn't have time. 

Anyways, this one was my first one (thus I was testing things out) and I knew I would give it to Nathan.  He liked it and said he wanted to put his Halloween candy in it this fall.  I don't him he must only plan on getting a few pieces of candy then.  :-)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pre-Games

Instead of a second set of swimming lessons this summer (we took classes February - May), I decided to sign Nathan up for a four week sports class called "Pre-Games".  Each week they work on a different sport...well, as much as 3 - 5 year olds can work at sports. 

On the night of the very first class, I was all excited to tell Nathan he was going to go play soccer.  However, he had other plans, and decided he was going to throw a fit and cry about it.  He cried as we left school, he cried and whined about it all the way home, he cried when we got home, and he laid on the couch and covered himself completely up because he "didn't want to go". 

Oh my goodness. 

We arrive at the park and I check in and Nathan gets to pick between a red shirt or a blue shirt.  I know blue is his favorite.  He refuses to pick, however, and insists that he doesn't want ANY shirt and he wants to go home, so I choose red since that team needs more players. 

You think he would put on his red shirt?  Nope. 

So, I walked him over to the car and had a "little chat" with him...in his infinite wisdom he decided that maybe putting on the red shirt was better than having Mommy mad at him...(either that or perhaps the threat of a spanking changed his mind)...

After we got his shirt on, he refused to play...until Mommy went out there and started kicking around a soccer ball.  It didn't take Nathan to suddenly forget that he didn't want to be there...
Playing with Daddy...

Awesome form already! 
Evan thought it was all quite boring....so, he ate some snacks and threw his sippy cup around and babbled. 

Below is a picture of the craziness!...I just loved watching Nathan out there -- I think I was smiling the entire time...


When we got in the car to go home, Nathan said, "Mommy, can we do that again tomorrow?  I really loved that." 

figures. 

Yes it's true! Sometimes I watch Maury...

and sometimes i like it. 

i know it is pathetic. 

on days where I am especially down and out...there is nothing more uplifting than realizing there are people out there that like "that".   You all know what I am talking about!  Don't deny it. 

It is one of those shows you watch and think, "oh thank goodness I am not her.  or her.  or definately not HER."

seriously.  I know I shouldn't watch it, but I do somedays.  I find it very interesting...

Is it staged?  Who knows.  It makes you wonder....If people are out there like that, then clearly I am concerned for humanity, and these people really shouldn't be peopling the earth with their offspring.

But then again, I watch it, don't I? 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A fruity Saturday...

It's summer and the price is right, so I had to whip out a fruit pizza last Saturday...Nathan had a good time helping me.  Most recipes I have done before call for pre-made sugar cookie dough on the bottom, but this time I did my own thing, and I think it turned out better.  Only, I didn't grease the pan, so the sugar cookie bottom kind of stuck.  Maybe next time some slight greasing will help?


I was bummed I missed a very hilarious moment of Evan's...he pulled out the Frank's Red Hot and put the bottle top in his mouth...it just looked  hilarious!  Good thing he didn't actually get a taste, I don't think he would have been too happy. 

After I made fruit pizza, I made strawberry-rhubarb pie.  Our family believes that the best crust is the crust in which the filling has spilled over, so I pack 'er in and hope it will happen, and it definately did on this pie!  Kevin and Karen were so excited for that side (they were over for dinner).

 The only problem was I forgot to put a pan under the pie in the oven, and so it all spilled onto the oven floor.  Later when I was making some baked potatoes, a fire started in the oven...  I kind of started to panic when it wouldn't go out but then Kevin told me to get the baking soda and we dumped it on the flames and it went out.  Smart.  I was almost ready to grab the fire extinguisher! 



After the fire in the oven, we all went outside.  Nathan had gotten two new bags of sand for his sandbox, so they were all playing in it for quite a bit...

Nathan explaining something to Cory...

Daddy finally put up the teeter-totter, so we took it for a spin....

Friday, July 15, 2011

Finally some 4th of July pictures...

As I think I mentioned before, our 4th of July was surrounded by stomach flu...but, on the 3rd when my parents had a party, we were all feeling pretty good (I got it that night).  Anyways, I know I am consistently behind on posting things so I am going to try to do better! 

Chris' parents were in New Mexico visiting Chris' brother for the week, so we had Gus at our all the whole week of the 4th.  On the 3rd we dropped him off at their house for the day so he could walk around and not be in a kennel -- at our house he has to be in a kennel when we leave otherwise he gets into stuff and/or torments the cats. 

The poor cats, especially Gigi...I swear Gus thinks she is a squirrel.  And when you look at her, it's like, yup, squirrel. 

Gus and Roary don't usually get along at first, but then after awhile of being afraid, Roary is like, WTF and just goes and lays down and let's Gus sniff him for 15 minutes and then they are friends.

Anyways, then we headed to my parents house for the party.  I helped set up the pool and got the kids lunch and then relaxed while they napped. 
Relaxing before everyone came...

Still relaxing....

Once people showed up there were a lot of littles in that pool!  I think Grandma needs a bigger one for next year....

Below is a picture of our very good family friend, Glen, with Evan.  Glen is married to Dee, and Glen and Dee are two of my favorite people.  


I love this picture...Evan is playing on the grass but Nathan had to go down to the driveway because he had a "scoop" and need some rocks to work with. 


Teeter-tottering with cousin....


This is Karen and Cory and Nathan and a family friend's son swinging....Chris was pushing...

Nathan was SOOOO excited for fireworks...he waited patiently for them to start...this is before the mosquitos viciously attacked us...

This is slightly before the relentless onslaught of the mosquitos...Nathan and I were hugging to keep them away and watching the fireworks...shortly after this the mosquitos found the one stuff I didn't put bug spray on (my butt, seriously) and started biting me through my jeans!  We went in after that and watched the fireworks from the safety of the house...

Overall, other than waking up later that night at 3AM and running to the bathroom and then sleeping in the basement and being angry when I finally fell asleep and then 5 minutes later the sun rose, it was a good day.