Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Circle Time Mats

There are six of us who are participating in a preschool coop this year for our 4 year olds.  In preparation , I was given the task to create something that the kids could sit on during circle/story time. I finally decided to use place mats which are the perfect size for little buns. I picked them up at IKEA for $1.49 and  then attached their names.   I ironed HEAT 'n BOND to the back of my fabric, peeled off the paper and then ironed them onto the placemats. Now each child has a special spot just for him or her. Don't you think these would be cute around the dinner table too?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Mean Irene was relatively nice when she visited our house.  Because we were on the left side of the hurricane we were just attacked with tons of rain and occasional gusts of very powerful wind.  The right side of the hurricane is where there is the most trouble, including tornadoes, thunderstorms, and increased flooding.  Yeah, we know a lot. We have become very well-versed in our natural disasters lately.  The rain and wind began about noon on Saturday and was completely gone by noon on Sunday.  We passed the time in the basement, where Atley was a nervous wreck and drove everyone crazy with his questions and anxiety. He kept saying, "I've never felt more alive." The next morning we found a very dirty pool and about half-a-million sticks and small limbs in our yard, but no damage.
We went for a ride to see how everyone else held up in the storm.  One of our neighbors had two large trees uprooted, one of which was lying in the road blocking one lane of the only entrance into our neighborhood.

Although we only lost power for about 30 seconds, there were many stoplights out all over town.
Of course, there was also a reporter on every corner.
We tried to make the most of our situation by burning a few of our sticks roasting wieners in the back yard.
Stay tuned next week where we expect pestilence and famine.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trash to Treasure

About two months ago at a neighborhood yard sale I bought an IKEA coffee table for $5.  It had a light wood stain and not only looked cheap but also didn't really go with the rest of my house. I wanted to do something to give it new life but couldn't decide what, so we used it anyway to eat dinner and to put our feet up. 
Then, another neighbor started remodeling.  Truth be told, when a big dumpster gets delivered to anyone in our neighborhood I get a little thrill of excitement.  I seriously might be mentally ill. Soon I noticed an interior door lying on the top of that dumpster and under the cover of night we went dumpster diving.  Scott kept asking, "Why are we doing this?" I had no answers, but I knew I wanted the door for something.  It sat in our garage for a few weeks until I had an epiphany-Use the door to prettify the coffee table.   
1.  The door was too long so I sawed off the bottom with a circular saw.
2. I painted the door blue along with the legs and sides of the IKEA table.
3. After it dried I distressed it just a little with sand paper.
4. We couldn't find the door knob in the dumpster so I went to the local hardware store and bought a crystal looking and very brassy knob. 
5. I spray painted the ugly gold with an antique rust spray and attached it along with the hinges to the door.
6.  Finally, I screwed it onto the coffee table. 
7. Total price $11.93

With the bottom of the door I had to saw off I made this Love At Home Planter, by painting it blue, adding the phrase and finally putting greenery in the hollowed out door bottom.

Scott uses miles and miles of electrical wire at work and so he always has these giant spools rolling around in the back of his truck.  I thought they would make perfect candle stands so with a little spray paint that is what they became.

Earthquake Story

Okay, we have been ridiculed and demeaned over the last two days about our OVERreaction to the earthquake.  So, before I tell our story you need to realize that when you hear a loud rumbling and the earth starts shaking in D.C. your first reaction is not earthquake.  The alternative is sometimes even more terrifying.  I also want all of you west coast earthquake experts to observe us over the next few days as we sit idly by in our homes while Hurricane Irene pummels us.  I wonder what your reaction would be in a hurricane.  I am guessing similar to our reaction to our baby earthquake.  That being said here is our somewhat hilarious story.

By chance, on the afternoon of August 23rd we ended up about 20 minutes from home at my friend Jill's house.  We were sitting in the living room watching the kids play.  All the kids except Atley who was in the bathroom taking care of business.  Suddenly, we heard a low rumble that was mildly shaking the windows.  I looked at my friend and said, "What is that sound?"  Her reply, "I think it is just a truck going by."  Afterall, they do live near a busy street.  Quickly the sound increased as did the intensity of the shaking. Jill and I looked at each other and yelled, "EARTHQUAKE!" at the same time. Instinctively we found ourselves on the floor of the living room with all the children rushing towards us.  I will never forget the look on Atley's face as he ran to us from the bathroom-white as a ghost and still trying to pull up his pants.  One of the kids yelled, "I don't want to die."  I heard Atley say, "Is this gonna be like Haiti all over again?" Harley, well, she just giggled incessantly.  Like mother birds with our babies wrapped around us in our nest, Jill said a prayer.  Impressive right? She thinks to pray while my first instinct was to profane! We heard breaking glass and things crashing throughout the house. I began pulling the cushions off the couch thinking maybe we should try to get under them. About the time I pulled off the last cushion the shaking stopped.  After we were sure it was over and that it wasn't coming back the kids went on a scouting mission to investigate the damage.  Boxes of Lego's fell off of a shelf as did a few nicknack's, books, a cup of water on a night stand and a dish of change.  Nothing major but for us first time earthquakers a little unnerving.  We tried to call the husbands who work together. Jill was able to reach her husband, but I couldn't get through to Scott for a few hours.  He had been evacuated from the museum where he was working.  He was in the basement working on a computer console when the unit started shaking.  He said he thought it was one of his guys shaking it to irritate him until he heard things falling and people running in the hall.  Although, he said he wasn't terrified,  he definitely felt the desire to get out of that basement quickly before he had the entire American History Museum on top of him.  Traffic was horrendous for several hours as the entire city made an exodus to the suburbs.  I stayed at Jill's until the rush died down and we watched the kids have an occasional earthquake drill.  They even built a panic room, full of pillows and blankets.

That is our story, more of an adventure than anything else and maybe a lesson on what to do next time.  I love this picture from a local blogger, who was soliciting help for the victims of the D.C. Earthquake of 2011.  Just look at the clean up we are left to face all while the world focuses on such minor issues as Libya and unemployment.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Beachy Keen!

Before we left for the beach I said a little prayer that we would have a memorable day, perhaps I should have rephrased my prayer.  About 40 minutes into our drive Nash threw up all over the van.  Too late to turn back!  We suffered with the smell of vomit and the nervous anticipation of more to come for two more hours before we arrived. We had a great three hours on the beach before they made us leave because of impending thunderstorms. After some time on the boardwalk, we drove home in the most horrendous rain I have ever seen.  We have to cross Bay Bridge in Annapolis to get home.  Bay Bridge is considered the 3rd scariest bridge in the world.  I am pretty sure that last night it was the scariest bridge in the world with the flashes of lightning and buckets of rain.  Needless to say it was a memorable day.
Nash felt better as soon as he caught a glimpse of the ocean and as soon as Harley got over calling the sand, "NATY," (a.k.a. nasty), she was in love with the beach.  I thought about editing away her black eye and bruises before posting but that just isn't Harley. She is a rough and tumble little girl, who will have no problem holding her own with the big brothers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Joseph Smith & The Plates of Gold

Last week for Family Home Evening we went to a special screening of a new movie about Joseph Smith.  Usually movies like this open up in Utah and then eventually trickle out to the rest of the United States, but fortunately for us, the producer decided to release this film opposite that trend.  I highly recommend it to any one of our faith and even those who are not. The actor playing Joseph was there and answered questions at the end which was also really interesting.  Even the children were well-behaved throughout the nearly 3 hour event.  Not that good behavior is surprising! Just look at those angelic faces. No mischief on their minds.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Making Goals & Reaching Some of Them!

We had three very important goals this summer: 
1. Both boys should learn to swim...

2. Nash needed to learn to ride his bike without training wheels...

Mission accomplished and yes, he even does tricks!

3.  We wanted Harley to survive the summer with little damage.  Judging from the bruises on her face sustained from a tumble down the stairs and a bike wreck with mommy, we are learning to be content with only accomplishing 2 of our 3 goals.
I am sorry baby, but remember what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.  Although I doubt you need any extra advice on being tough with Atley and Nash for brothers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Death by Berry

Today we went berry picking at Butler's Orchard in Maryland.  I am sure that we, Harley mostly, consumed her body weight in raspberries and blackberries.  But, so far her tummy seems to be holding up okay.  I can't wait to make my grandma's famous jam-that is if the berries last long enough for me to make it.  Even if you are a novice canner, this jam is so easy to make and honestly, the yummiest you will ever taste. You can search my blog for the recipe if you so desire!!

Every time I looked she was picking and shoving more in her mouth.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hair Bow Wreath

Harley is getting quite a collection of hair bows and I desperately needed someplace to put them all.  This  wreath is what I came up with to display her "PRETTY's" as we call them.
 I just bent a wire coat hangar into a circle and folded the hook over like so...
 I added some ribbon to the top of the hangar and then clipped on her bows.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We're Back...

and we had a great time in Colorado.  I took at list 7 million pictures so blogging about the trip seems a daunting task, but somehow I think I am up to the challenge.  I am going to divide into categories for organizational purposes.


(chickens, snakes, gators, skunks, fish, worms, turtles, & pigs)
 Greased pig gets captured. Thanks goodness he was too slippery for the boys. I didn't know how we would get it back on the plane.

 Colorado Gators

 Harley showing off her worm.  She swallowed it next.
Disposing of the stinky skunk.


 The Races!
 Cousin Cole & Atley lost their belt in the Three-Legged Race
 Nash & cousin Alyssa won the egg toss.
 Watching Atley on the float during the Manassa parade.