Monday, March 31, 2014

Birds on the Brain

I've had some technical difficulties with my blog starting last year.  I thought I had done all I could to fix the problem, but it left my blog looking sad and uninspiring.  I find a lot of comfort sharing some things with my family who don't live so close, so I decided to have another go at it.  I sorta like the birds in the background. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Furniture Re-Do


This is the first dresser that Brian and I bought when we got married (almost 18 years ago).  It was unfinished and CHEAP.  We stained it on our tiny apartment balcony and were set.  When the kids got older the simple dresser moved on to their room and served them well.

This last month, the boys decided they wanted their own rooms.  That meant I got kicked out of my craft room (heavy heart) and we had a lot of furniture to move.  The boys needed separate dressers and I needed more storage for my craft stuff.  I couldn't just toss out a dresser that was still functional.

I got inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.  After chatting with a friend who owns a cool antique book business, Book Decor, she encouraged my vision and even offered to give me some old books (from the 1800's) that she couldn't sell.  They both seem to be in German - one is a poem book and the other might be a dictionary.

 My craft room has been moved to the "formal dining room", so it's out in the open. (Total pressure to keep it decent looking.)   I wanted something with a little more character.  This fits my needs completely.  I love how it turned out.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Phrase of the Year - 2013

Pinterest takes up way too much of my time.  I decided to make a cute sign (using the fun chalkboard  fonts I pinned) to encourage my kiddos ... and myself.

The goal this year is for me to step back.  My kids are old enough to know what they need to do to get good grades, reach their goals, and do what they need to do without me reminding them over and over again.  I will be available to help and support, but without the need to harp.

This will be hard to let natural consequences teach their lessons, but I've got to do it to help my kiddos grow!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home Projects

CRAZY!  Two posts in as many days. We have workers in the house renovating the kids' bathroom, so I've got to occupy my time on outdoor things. So here is my newest love.

I bought this little metal bicycle planter years ago.  I loved the rustic (rusty) look, but it was kinda invisible in my yard.  So, I got inspired by this fabulous color and decided to add some color to the yard.

After a quick spray paint

Totally in love with the bright color against a newly painted white fence.  

 We bought this house for the yard, and I'm finally taking time to make it the way we want it. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Final Band Performance

Last night was Jon's final Elementary Band Performance.  It's hard that all of his experiences are "final" ones for the entire family.  Elementary seems like it takes FOREVER to get through, but middle and high school are flying so fast. 

Jon and his best friend, Hunter.

Aubrey, Jon & Brandon with their 5th grade music teacher, Mr. Erb.  Jon has to wear his music tie to every music performance.

With Jon going to a different elementary school than the other two attended, it is nice when the two worlds connect.  Jon's band teacher is the same that taught Brandon and Aubrey in their 5th grade.  Mr. Erb is funny, and kooky, and loves the music.  He has been encouraging Jonathan BIG time on the trombone.  And Jon truly loves this instrument.  He will be continuing in middle school.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Science Olympiad

We just got home from a great vacation to DC.  I wanted to go through the pictures and post some highlights, but then realized I still have old pictures I need to share.  So, the vacation will have to wait.  :)

 The district does a great job to get kids involved in science, if they want to work at it.  They do a multi-district competition every year.  The kids get to pick which events they want to compete in.  Aubrey prepared for 3 different events.  It meant lots of extra classes each week.  She learned a ton and had to prepare carefully.   It was fun to hear her talk of the new things she learned.

How adorable does she look in her lab coat!!!  Ok, the goggles make her look a little like a minion from Despicable Me.  Ha!

 Best Coach ever.  Brian volunteered to work with these kids and prepare them for competition.  He really enjoyed it!

And the fruit of her effort was winning 2 ribbons.  So proud of her!  She's such a smartie!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The 3 C's

For the last few years I've been trying to pick a word or phrase for me to focus on for the New Year.  Sadly, I never find my inspiration right at the new year.  As is the case this time.  But, I've found my word(s):  the 3 C's.

A friend shared this idea of the 3 C's.  It's based on Dale Carnegie's teachings (check it out here.)  At first I scoffed, but it stuck in my head and wouldn't let go.  I'm really anxious to see how it will change ME.

The challenge is to NOT:  Criticize, Condemn, Complain.  Can you imagine your day not doing any of these things???  How will it affect relationships???  Can you imagine this with kids???  Or seeing your kids focus on the 3 C's challenge for themselves???  Just the negativity that will leave your thoughts and world.  The goal is to go 21 days avoiding the 3 C's.  Each time I fall, I change which arm my bracelet is on.  My friend said the person that inspired him did accomplish the 21 day goal ... it took him 10 months.  Ha!  I'll see if I can accomplish such a feat this year. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Family LOVE

When life gets too busy to document, it's nice when that busyness is due to things you love.  We took a day off of school in January for a weekend road trip to Utah.  Brian's brother moved there this last year, and we are so glad to have family closer.  Their oldest son just returned from his 2 year mission to Brazil.  He is an amazing young man.  He is open and friendly, kind and thoughtful, funny and fun loving.  He is spiritual and has a special light that not all of us have.  He also has no clue how awesome he is.  Jonathan gets it.  Jon has felt a close connection to Ben from the first time they met.  When Ben left for his mission, Jon made us PROMISE we would go where ever they were to welcome him home.  We are so glad we went.

Well ... for the most part.  Ben has always been a 49's fan.  When he realized they were playing a play off game the weekend he got back, we were all warned that football would be part of the plan.  We're not big fans of football ... until this weekend.  Now Jon is HOOKED!  He wants to watch every game and even asked if he could play next year.  We'll see how far that goes. 

This isn't a great picture, but it's the only one we got with everyone all together.  Ben is the 2nd one in the back from the left.  He had so many companions and friends come see him.  It was fun to hear all the Portuguese and feel the love of the reunion of family and friends.  His homecoming talk at church was really good.   He seemed nervous at the beginning, but then he went into "teaching mode" and bore his testimony with ease and sincerity. 

Taylor, the first boy on the left in the back row, is getting set to leave for his mission this summer.  I'm so stinkin' proud of these boys.  So grateful for the example they are giving my kids.  And excited to see what kind of men they become after serving the Lord for 2 years.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pinterest Project LOVE

It has been so long since I've gotten on the blogosphere.  I'm not even sure if many people are reading through blogs much anymore.  I love reading through old posts and remembering little times in our lives.  I enjoy reading what others are doing and keeping that connection.  So, I'll continue to post ... when there's time.

So, what takes all my time???  Well, my previous post about Primary is one thing.  In fact, I had to quit my little craft group because I couldn't deal with any more deadlines.  I still need to have moments of creativity, so I found a new love ... PINTEREST  --  (let me know if you need an invite!)    Who comes up with these brilliant things???  I find it possible to waste so much time finding all sorts of things I OUGHT to be doing.  Ha!

Here is my first Pinterest project.  The ultimate Menu Board.  I think it's going to be a big time saver.  I spend hours each week planning my meals which includes finding the recipes so I can make up a shopping list.  This is going to be AWESOME.  Each card is a dinner and on the back side is a simple list of ingredients that I need.  The yellow ones are basic "everyday" recipes, the green is for "crock pot" meals, and the pink are "Sunday" or "special" dinners.   On the night I make the meal, I can find the recipe quick.  It's cheaper and easier than before.  The family knows what's coming up, and if I'm late getting dinner going, the kids can see what is planned and they can get going on it.  The whole project only cost about $9.  It adds so much personality to my kitchen, too.  So fun!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Primary Adventures

CTR = "Choose the Right"
For most of my adult life I have been working with the Young Women in my church.  That includes girls from 12-18.  It is a very time consuming position, and so awesome.  I love the teenage phase of life.  They are so smart and open to learning new things.  I've always been impressed with the girls I've worked with.  I cried when they told me it was time to move on to a different position. 

At first I was called to work with the 8-11 year old girls in their Activity Days program.  It is a much less time consuming position, and so fun.  It's all about fun!  And I was also asked to head the Humanitarian Projects for the stake.  That one really intrigued me and was right up my alley.  I love service projects, and to work with all the ladies in the entire stake would have been AWESOME!  I say "would have been" cuz they only left me in those 2 callings for 1 1/2 months.  Without realizing my positions, the Bishop came by to ask if I would take on a new responsibility.  HUH!?

I was called to be the Primary President ... over the children's program in the church.  All children from 18 months - 11 years old.  Including the staffing of Sunday School classes, Cub Scouts, and Activity Days Girls.  I've never worked in primary.  This is COMPLETELY new and COMPLETELY unexpected. 

I'm still knee deep in learning everything that is needed to be done.  People have been so patient.  The kids are so sweet and bright.  I'm LOVING it so far.  There is a special feeling when teaching little ones the basics of the gospel.  I'm so grateful to be where I am today.