Monday, March 29, 2010

Not Me Monday.

I absolutely love where I am right now. There's no need for me to expand and progress. I am always doing things for others. Do I need some time for me? Nope not me.

I am perfectly content living here in gray, wet, northern Washington. I enjoy the sound of rain constantly beating against the windows. I don't need sunshine. Nope not me.

I don't need a clean and clutter free home. Nope I am just fine with the piles of laundry and toys scattered about in an array of shapes and colors. I don't mind stubbing my toe or bruising my foot on the kid's collection of blocks. Nope not me.

I love the feeling of air bursting from my lungs time and time again. What a joyous sound. I don't need to make an appointment to the doctor. Nope not me.

Really and truly I am not complaining. I have what I need. I have two wonderful children who love me and see me as someone great. I have a husband who loves and cherishes me, and lets me know it. Even with my being sick these past two weeks and the house is in disarray and my spirits are somewhat dim they still love me! I won't forget that ever! Nope not me!

I have learned that no matter what the challenge there could always be a bigger one. Life's trenches won't be deep for very long. At times it seems the trench stretches on for ever and that there is no hope of getting out. But little by little I am thrown a rock to stand on building my way up. Not too long and I will be out of the trench able to look back as see that the entire time I was part of the landscape.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The New Me

This morning was time for me to do something for myself. Do you get that way sometimes? I got my haircut today! I decided it was time for a change. You've probably already seen my before picture from one of my recent posts but here it is again. I will admit that I love having long hair. I can do so much with it, and I love how it looks on me. But I wanted a change. Besides it's just hair and it will should grow back right? Here's the before and after...


It is definitely going to take some getting used to. It is a shock when I look in the mirror but I love the way it feels! I feel so much lighter! Hey and maybe it will help my numbers for my weigh-in next month. Haha.

Thanks to Kim (my hairdresser) for making it possible. Love ya!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Dinner.

Did you do anything special for St. Patrick's day? I'm not big on this holiday but decided I at least needed to do something. I had no idea what to make for dinner that night and decided to try and find something that I could make green or that was already green. It wasn't a very balanced meal but at least it was festive. We had green mashed potatoes, green beans, and green milk. Kiera thought it was great fun to turn everything green and was my little helper when it came time to add the food coloring. And both kids asked for seconds and thirds of the green beans! So all in all it was a success. Hopefully tonight's meal will be a bit more substantial. Going grocery shopping is on my To Do list today.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Day Photo shoot.

Today the weather is agreeing with me. The sunshine decided to stay out for awhile and I couldn't help but drop the housework and escape outside. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get some cute spring pictures taken. I don't take many pictures of myself and I decided today was a good day to fix that. Did you know it is very difficult to take good pictures of yourself? Well for me it is, and my 2 and 3 year olds haven't quite mastered picture taking either. It took quite a few shots to get some good ones and lots of trial and error. I would set up the shot using my tripod, set the timer, and hope my face would make it into the frame. These are a few of my favorites from the session.

And what photo session is complete without a couple of the kiddos too?
Come on, get your camera out and take some pictures of yourself today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Relief Society Birthday Celebration Cakes

Earlier last week I received a phone call from a member of my previous ward (church congregation). Our stake was recently split and I ended up in another ward boundary. She said that she heard "if there was any "crafty" type of activity that they needed help with they could count me in." I said, "well that depends."  She asked if I would be willing to help out with the decorating of five 8" round cakes for a church activity happening on Thursday. They are for their ward's Relief Society Birthday Celebration.

Luckily I wasn't put in charge of baking them too. All I had to do was add the pretty stuff. I think they turned out pretty good considering I did them in an hour. I had a hard time getting the frosting the right consistency for the roses but eventually managed to get it. It was a bit of work on an already busy day but it was a good excuse to practice.

Let them eat cake.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Drum Roll...The bunk beds are D O N E!

Ta Dah! The day has finally come where I can show you the completed pictures. We now have a finished bunk bed in the kid's room. WOO HOO! They love it, and I love it! And those my friends are two wonderful feats! I am so glad to have this project done and now feel like I can move on to my next venture (which happens to be another painstaking process). Yep, you guessed it...that darn recliner. It is not going to defeat me people I AM GOING TO finish it, and it is going to be yet another fantabulous piece. But for now I get to reveal to you the beautiful bunk bed that I am so proud of. Again I got the plans for this bed off of Knock off Wood. And if you haven't checked out her blog yet you'd better get to it! It is awesome!

Here are the beds...
This is a picture I took before we put the sheet of wafer wood down so you could see the extra supports we added that were not in the original plans.

And here they are with the cute bedding the kids picked out on our "special" trip to Target. They were so proud to be able to pick out their VERY OWN bedding. I love how they both match the bed perfectly! And just you wait til I finish a little something for the bottom bunk. It is going to be sawweet!

I had someone who had a few questions on the details of building the bunkbeds and thought that it was good information to anyone else out there who might be considering this project.

This was her question: "Love the beds!! We are going to build those for my boys this month as well. We even have the same car bedding from Target! So my question to you is, what type of paint did you use, and any words of advice before we begin our project? Also what was the estimated cost?"

Well, The paint we used was first, one gallon of gray primer I used almost the entire gallon so I just tossed the can after I was done. It is waaaay easier to make a dark color cover up a gray than it is a white! Then the red is Barn Red from Martha Stewart. I got both at home depot.

We attached our bunks differently than the plans say to because we wanted the option to take them apart and use them as separate beds in the future so in the 4X4 posts we used a paddle bit and inserted a 1 inch dowel with some wood glue. If you look at the post I did right before the finished product post you can see the dowels sticking up out of the 4X4's. Then we just slid the top bunk pieces into place. While assembling the bed our saving grace were some wooden furniture clamps.  Also I highly recommend either a drill press or a drill guide when drilling the holes for the lag screws that hold the frame to the headboards. We had the unfortunate experience of having to postpone assembling it and had to redrill everything from the other side of the headboards and make our holes bigger because drilling them by hand made the lag screws go in crooked and started to crack the siderails.  YIKES! So I highly recommend that.

We also invested in an electric paint sprayer for this project and it was HEAVEN! I did hand paint the primer on because it is supposed to be thick and won't go through the sprayer but when it came time for the red my husband thinned the paint with some water and it worked great! I just followed him around with a brush to get the texture right and get rid of the orange peel texture that the sprayer made. It saved a ton of time though. We did two coats of red and one gallon was plenty. I still have some left over which is good because while assembling there were some goofs and I have some touch up to do.

Oh and one more thing. Make sure when you drill the 4X4's into the head board pieces you space your screws so that your lag screws that you'll be using to assemble the finished bed don't run into them. That too was a tough lesson learned for us. We had to do some digging for hidden screws which was NOT fun. And it made for more touch up later.

As for the cost, to be honest I lost count. My husband would be best to answer that question. I'll have to ask him and get back to you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

We've made progress! Bunkbeds are Finally here!

Ok, so they aren't completely finished. We still have to assemble the top bunk, but they are finally to this point. For awhile there I thought we'd never get here. These past couple weeks we've been puttying, sanding, re-puttying, priming, and painting the bunk beds. My original plans were to go with a light teal color but was outvoted by more than one. So we went with the second best, which actually is THE best color in my book. RED! How many things in this house are going to end up this way. Hehe. They look absolutely amazing with the bedding the kid's picked out too!

Here are a couple pictures of the process...
 Setting everything up to get ready for primer

Me working late after the kid's are asleep. We used gray primer so the red would cover more easily. This stuff was THICK and dried really fast too.

Here's it all painted and yummy colored. The weather the day we painted was FAN+TABULOUS! It was in the 60's and sunny and perfect! Couldn't have asked for better weather. We were even able to paint out on the driveway. Oh spring I'd wish you'd come to stay!

And here's where we are now...
The kids look pleased don't they? It feels so good to be halfway there. And doesn't the bedding Ethan picked out for his bunk look perfect with the red?! Kiera's is all stripes in the same color scheme. 

For a little while there we were having some trouble attaching the mattress frame to the headboards because the hole we drilled was too far off and were starting to split the wood. But a little bit on ingenuity and prayer goes a long way. I'm looking forward for it to all be done. I still have that stinkin' recliner to finish. GOT to have it done before my mom comes up to visit in April. I've just GOT TO!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I want my $7 back

Lately we have been having some problems with a creature living under our house. We can't find any way that it might have gotten down there and have not seen it. (We've only seen remains and signs that it has been there) I don't enjoy hearing scratching noises near my bedroom heating vent. Would you? I tried a simple mouse trap baited with peanut butter only to have it go off and not catch anything. So this time I wanted something bigger.

I bought a beefy RAT trap this past weekend for $7.00. This thing was pretty big and hefty too. Ya know, like the ones the pros use. I set the trap on Saturday afternoon. I Checked the trap Sunday afternoon only to find it missing. What? Missing? That is disturbing. This thing has got to be large! K mr. Rat or what ever you are. I want my $7.00 back.

The worst part is that I couldn't find the trap and I haven't heard any scratching noises since. I am worried we are going to get a smell or something in the near future. What should I do?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Handmade Gifts

There are quite a few people I know who are expecting a baby this spring me not included (just making sure I clarified that). And I decided it would be best to be prepared with gifts now ,rather than scramble at the last minute. My last gift, the baby blessing dress and the baby booties were a huge hit! And though these next couple gifts that I've put together are probably not as impressive as that, I am still happy with them.

First I made this reversible nursing cover out of just 4 fat quarters I had picked up from Joanne's during their black friday sale last year. I think they were like .50 cents a piece or something like that. I love the colors and I think my original plan was to make a quilt out of them. However I like this too.

Then I made this portable high chair that I've seen on a couple other blogs. I used this tutorial here. I don't have a baby small enough to fit one right now so just imagine your own little chubby-cheeked pumpkin in there k. It's just 3 rectangles with batting/felt in-between the layers, and then vecro on the waistband piece. Pretty simple. For this I just used some leftover scraps from a previous project and some heart fabric my mom gave me. So it was free! Not bad huh?
Sorry about the bad pictures. It is dark right now but I didn't want to wait til morning for better lighting. So my last post about turning off the flash just went out the window. Oops.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Turn Off The Flash

Today I was inspired to do a photo shoot with the kids. And it just so happens to be the beginning of a new month so what better time. I love taking pictures of my children regardless, but today was different.
I was looking at an ad from Deseret Book for a book called "A Mother's Book of Secrets: Keys to Making Motherhood Memorable, Meaningful, and Magnificent" by Linda J. Eyre and Shawni Eyre Pothier. I got curious, and after a little bit of digging I found out that one of the authors of the book had taken all the pictures for her book. She did an interview with someone and gave a couple tips on how to take good pictures. I decided to give it a go. 

Well what do you think?
Pretty good eh? I don't think I did too bad. It also didn't hurt that my children were happy and willing to play along.  The best advice was to turn off the flash and to take pictures even if they didn't look at the camera. I will be taking many more I am sure!