Monday, June 8, 2009

Pet for a day

In every kids meal there comes a toy. A toy that is usually crap and ends up with about 10 others in a gallon sized ziplock baggy marked $1 at our garage sales. I personally like what Chic-fil-a puts in their meals because it's on the educational side, but the kids are usually less than thrilled. So receiving a toy that we both approved of was a rarity and shockingly it came from Sonic. It's a mini bug village and today the scientist found the first resident.
Look closely at the grey bump. Believe it or not that's a lady bug. I guess it's albino or something. We've been getting a few odd colored ones lately. Some almost all black, others orange, green or a few with no spots. Anyway, if The Scientist finds one other than the average red with black spots it becomes a "man bug". So this man bug is his pet of the day.
Here he is in typical Scientist mode. Note his inquisitive look, slightly long and disheveled hair, unbuttoned shirt and lunch leftovers at the corners of his mouth. He can't take his eyes off his captive long enough to look at the camera.
And this is what I get when I tell him to act natural:
And here he is in my favorite picture of the mini shoot. He actually looks rather sweet, soft featured, and innocent, but if you look in the eyes you can read his thoughts, "Mom, this is one picture too many."
*I'd like to say no bugs were harmed in the making of this blog, but I'm pretty sure the man bug has a limp from being transported in a 5yr olds fist to his new home. I do plan on letting the little thing go as soon as I convince the scientist that he has a home to get back to. It seems easy enough, but I have to go though a long list of "Why's" like: "Why can't WE be his family?" "Why can't he have babies in here and start a family in this bug catcher?" Let's hope he can hang in there for at least a few hours....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Home Tour Challenge

The front yard
I know this isn't really a room, and nowhere near being done, but I was swayed by Mimi and her gnomes to post something outdoors. I also just bought mulch, so even though the flowers are not blooming yet, it's about as good as it gets for the year.

Here it is when we bought it:

And here it is today:

Note how tall the shrubs were. We cut them back and they are taking FOREVER to grow back in. I probably need to water them more lol
Also, the paint colors were supposed to stay the same when we repainted last year, but I made the mistake of sending my honey to get the paint and he left the paint swatches at home thinking he could wing it and came back with "flesh toned peanut butter" and "90s country baby blue". No way in hell was I living with the blue, so we used cheap white. I still want to go back to the original "grey beige" and "navy" but I have to wait a few years. I have to admit the current colors are growing on me the longer we have them though.
The grass could be better, but we had projects going on in the backyard and had to cut the sprinklers off for awhile. It will be green shortly.

What I love: I love the potential of my flowerbeds. I wish I had more talent when it came to landscaping, but the whole "yard" thing is still fairly new to me. When I look at my home, and know that when I'm older and wiser, when my tiny seeds have grown, when my careful planning and plotting, trial and errors, sweat and tears all come together, my yard will bring a smile to my face. I enjoy learning, and from a religious stand point, gardens and the journey of a seed to mature plant, is so significant and referenced a lot in the bible. I need to get out there in the dirt. I know one day I will be the kooky old lady, in a wild gardening hat, pulling weeds and smiling at my neighbors. Corny yes, but bring it on. I get a lot of satisfaction looking at the little that has been done and knowing I did that with my own hands.

What I hate: It takes soooo long to come together. Patience has never been a good virtue of mine. Plus I have limited funds so things go even slower. What I hate most is the lack of color. I want my home to be a pale backdrop for colorful accessories, plants and flowers, but so's just so colorless and that is really a poor reflection of the people inside. I also hate the lack of symmetry. It's harder for me to work with. I'm a symmetrical type person. I already have a hard time decided what to do since I know nothing of plants, but now I have to work in an asymmetrical setting? It's rough I tell ya!

What I want: A list of things I don't want would probably be shorter, but here are a few on the top of my list.
More plants! Part of the reason I haven't bought many is that I was not blessed with a green thumb so I have to read up a lot before I buy. There are so many things to consider, I get overwhelmed. Shade or not, is it indigenous to the area, what would look good with the house, size and symmetry in the bed..on and on. I don't want ugly leaves 6 months out of the year for one pretty bloom that lasts a week. Ironically my brother does this for a living yet he alludes the phone like the plague and never visits. *sigh*
I want something for the triangle area by the shrubs. Bench? Fountain? Varying sizes of potted plants? I can't decided. I feel like I will just know it when I see it and so far I haven't seen it. There are actually more of the flowers planted in the narrow bed that are on the opposite side (forget the name) but they are slowly sprouting and 3 daylilies also. Still need more pine cones. It's a work in progress.

I also want to do a mini flowerbed around the tree, but I want pretty brick edgers and they cost more than I want to pay.

What I need: New roof and gutters. A big hail storm really did a number on it. Most of our neighbors have theirs finished already. Us, well we like to wait until the last minute. Well, not really like to. Procrastinators, we shall unite tomorrow! ugh... I also need to repaint the street numbers on the curb, and get new street numbers for the house.

Something old: This stupid pine tree. Aside from its never ending supply of pine cones (which I use for more than I ever imagined) I hate it. For one thing, looking up at it makes me want to vomit. I'm not scared of looking down from high places, but looking up at tall things makes me queasy. I think this is a side effect of living in flat west Texas. I also hate it's stupid sap, stupid pine needles, and stupid placement where I just know it's going to blow over onto my house someday or drop a limb in the middle of my kitchen. But.. it's probably old. I really have no idea.

Something new: newly painted gnome. He was looking really shabby and his skin was almost a yellow white. Miss Thang had a bad dream about him once, so this time I added some rosy cheeks in hopes that he appeared a little sweeter. I think he's darling! I went on a hunt specifically for a gnome when I found out we got the house. To me, every home needs a gnome. It's just one of those things. Kind of like how a kitchen needs a chicken or a bathroom needs a shell lol Here he is..

Something unexpected: I put pine cones in the section of the flowerbed with the bushes. I figure we will eventually have enough to fill it and I'm cheap so it works well as mulch for a good price. I like the look really. I like to say I'm a naturalist, but then I went and colored my hair.

Good bargain: Mulch! To me you get a big bang for a good price. The red really made what little plants I do have pop, and for $5 a can't beat it.

Most expensive: My van! and at a close second, the soon to be new roof and gutters, but I don't know if that really counts since insurance is covering it.

Most meaningful: I am going to say the the day lilies lining the big flowerbed near the kitchen window on the right. I got them as a birthday gift this year from my in-laws. They were just bulbs when I planted them. I know they don't really look like much now, but you can separate these out when they get bigger and I can already see their potential. Quick story on the day I got them: I had hinted that these were the flowers I wanted after reading that they were easy to care for. My FIL calls me and says, "If I were standing in Sam's and looking at day lilies, which color would you want?" I thought that was the cutest thing. He and my honey are kindred souls so I have a special place in my heart for him. :)

Where is the bird: Hello!? It's outdoors. There are birds everywhere. :P I do want a little bird garden accessory someday, but I figure it would look odd in a sea of red mulch and sparse greenery. I do like these though. Look at those cute little birds!

Worth mentioning: I still drive up to my house and think "Wow, this is mine!?" It may seem quaint to a few, boring to others, or cookie cutter to some, but to me it is perfect. Actually, it's more than I ever expected and I still don't take it for granted. Yes, I always want more for it, but that is part of what I love most. It's an ongoing project. It grows with us as a family, and in these walls my life is happening. I know in the future I will look at this house and remember how The Scientist dropped pennies in the tiny hole by the front door, or how Miss Thang will park her first car in that driveway. Cutecumber will take her first steps on these very floors and my Honey wrote "love" with a stick in the concrete.

I love my home. I really do.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Honey turns 33!

My honey had only one request this year. He wanted 33 candles on his cake. Not the big 3 candles, but actually 33 individual candles on his cake. Yes, my 33yr old is a big kid at heart. (Don't all women say this? Is there a man that is NOT a giant child? lol)

Well I granted his wish, and along with it, whipped up a quick party in a fireman theme, complete with a fire extinguisher centerpiece which was all funny ha ha to the kids, but on a serious note, I've watched enough episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos to know that although I might win a cash prize and a few laughs if I caught it on tape, it won't be enough to cover a new kitchen should things go terrible wrong!

He really enjoyed it. The kids made him cards. I got him a Texas flag for his new 20ft flagpole (if they are going to see us from the moon, they are gonna know we're from Texas!). Miss Thang got him a new wallet, and the little ones got him each a fancy balloon which they reclaimed the minute he thanked them for it. Later we took him to see the new Star Trek movie and lucked out because it was a double feature at the drive in and we got to watch UP before the space bore began. UP was really good (get your tissue ready) and although I have zero interest in the ST series, Kirk is Hot with a capital H! Which Miss Thang concurred and I'm beginning to realize we are at that weird stage where the "too young" are still hot to me and the "too old" are hot to her. Not liking it. :P

Here are some pics from the day:

The fireman decor as done by miss thang and yours truly...

cake I was so proud to say I decorated in less than 10 minutes because Honey was on his way home from work sooner than expected, but now that I look at it again, I think it looks like it was done in 5 lol

All 33 of em! The front 3 are firetrucks :P

My honey on his special day. His smoker/asthmatic lungs got every candle out on the first breath. I think he was out to prove something...

Two of my rascals chowing on cake. I will more than likely devour whats left throughout the weekend. I have zero will power these days!

Have a good one, and I'll try and get another Home tour challenge post up before Monday. I might do the front yard because Mimi requested gnomes and I want to get some mulch and stuff this weekend. I repainted the little guy just for her too. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Neat niche

See that neat little niche in the wall with checkered backing? If the space between the beams is centered right, I want one in my kitchen!

Reason #1- It's freakin' cute

Reason #2- it doesn't take up space like a china cabinet would and I have a small kitchen.

Reason #3- Perfect place for my Fiesta ware collection (did I mention I got the pitcher in persimmon for Mother's day?)

Reason #4- It's freakin' cute!

Oh Honey........

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Home Tour Challenge

Room #1- The Living room

Honestly this room is not properly named. We are rarely "living" in here and when we are, it's quiet time. I refuse to put a TV in here against much begging from other members of the family, but I want a refuge away from noise and chaos. That should probably be my bedroom but somehow it became a fun hang out for the kids. I like that this room usually stays clean and looks good for unexpected guests. I can keep them here,avoid the messier rooms, and they are none the wiser. It's also a great room to pull more chairs into from the kitchen and entertain during holidays and birthday parties.

Here it is when we bought it:

And here it is today:
(view when you walk in the front door and look to your left)

(front door)

Wall that my children must chase each other around. Separates kitchen from living room. You can see the kid's bedroom doors here. The girls room (pink and orange) and the scientists room with the door shut.

What I love: I really like that the color scheme in here goes so well with Christmas. I did that intentionally. The tree goes in this room, and with the fireplace, it's really a room that makes a beautiful backdrop for holiday pictures and memories.
I also love how much we have made with our own hands. I painted the large flower picture, but copied a famous one. I just needed it to fit my free frame and I was too cheap to buy a new one. I also did the giraffe table myself on a whim. My Honey made the much needed hall tree (pictured further down). The floors, scraped ceilings (got rid of the popcorn), fireplace facing, and paint were all done by us.

What I hate: I really hate our view and window treatments. I've tried a few different things, but I just can't get it right. I don't like that there is no entrance or foyer into the room. It's just open the door and BAM, here is the living room. I got the pieces flanking the window for a dollar each at a thrift shop and like them, but they seem dwarfed on every wall I put them on. I used to have them hanging vertically, but tried this and still don't like it.
I don't like the rug either. It is too small and looks like it's just floating there. It's a small room and the fireplace makes the furniture arrangement a bit challenging. You can really see most of what I mention here in this picture: (any ideas would be appreciated!)

What I want: Better furniture is #1. I like the arrangement for the most part, but I'd really like nicer pieces, maybe even a sectional that would help create a more subtle entrance into the room. I also want an armoire type desk with closing doors to go on the wall with the giant clock. It needs something big there to balance out my oddly angled fireplace. Then I could have the desk out of my bedroom which would free up much needed space there. I also want to paint that wall as an accent but it's something that has to go well with both the kitchen and the living room and I think that leaves me with green. I can't imagine it green and liking it so for stays "wheat-grass". I also want two large vases or something symmetrical for either side of the fireplace. I have too many little things there. It looks cluttery to me.

What I need: Finished floors! The edging pieces between the tile of the kitchen and the wood of the living room are still not put on. It's another thing hidden amongst the many things on an ever-growing "honey-do" list. I may have to bite the bullet and put my princess fingers to work. I also have the fireproof paint to spray the inside of the fireplace black, I just haven't got around to doing it. Story of my life.

Something old:
I think the oldest thing in this room is the pear my mom gave me before she moved to California. She asked me if I wanted anything, and having just finished the painting with the pear, I asked for it and she gave it to me! I'm not really sure how long she had it before I got it. I'm assuming she got it secondhand herself. I really like it and this was probably where my obsession with infusing fruit into my home decor began lol

Something new: Actually I just bought this rooster at the Salvation Army yesterday while hunting for a dresser to go in the scientists room. I took the home tour pictures before I got it, so I had to take this one special. I originally wanted it to go in my kitchen, but I put it here temporarily while I unpacked things and I really like it there.

Good bargain: Thrift store items (under a dollar): all candles and holders, rooster, pieces flanking the window, the star above the hall tree, two smaller pieces in the art collage - the square wood carving and the small red square with white flower. (which is actually a piece of a handkerchief given by my brother in law from his trip to Japan, put in a thrift store frame, hanging on a thrift store cork-board covered in corduroy fabric)

Most expensive: Aside from the couch and the flooring, the ceiling fan is the most expensive and was one of the only things I did not purchase on sale. The picture doesn't do it justice either. The center part looks like it belongs on an refurbished luxury car from the 50s, which is actually how I got my honey to purchase it lol

Most meaningful: The phrase above the hall tree my honey made. We picked it out together and it really sets the tone of my entire home.
The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, and peace - Galatians 5:22
I also really like the cross hanging by the front door. It was given to us by the realtor on the day we officially became owners of our house. It was the first thing we put on the walls. :)

Unexpected: The pillows on the couch are actually outdoor fabric which has really come in handy (easy to clean). The weathervane and ducks on the mantle are also from the outdoor section at Target.

"Where is the bird?" : This room doesn't have a "sparrow" type bird which are my favorite, but I count the ducks and now the new rooster as well.

This room really has more of a country flare that I wasn't going for but just happened. Sometimes aspects of my personality surprise even me lol. When I realized which direction it was taking I was worried it would get "shabby- chic" or "old barn" type of country. I wanted a "clean" country style so I tried to keep it fresh and modern with a simple color pallet. I added a bit of personality with hand selected/ mix and match accessories and a bit of whimsy with the coffee table.
Few other mentionables about this room:
-I know I have crosses above the kids doors and next to the front door, but I would love to do a cross collage or "wall of faith" which is extremely popular in this area. I always found it kind of corny until my honey said he didn't want one and now the rebel in me REALLY wants to do it on the wall by the front door.
I have started one with mini crosses in the girls room though. You'll have to note that when we do that room. :)
-Although my room is in warm colors I went with silver accents rather than gold because I hate hate hate gold.
One room down, many more to go. I can't promise it will be one a week, but I'll try!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Quick update

I know I said I'd do the Home Tour Challenge on Friday, but Miss Thang got out of school early on Thursday and I've been living on a "summer high" having the kids home with me and My Honey took a long weekend as well. I wish it could be like this everyday. :)

Here are a few pics of her last day in the 5th grade and her first official day of SUMMER!
A pic of my youngest two before we went to pick her up. I've been on a bow making kick. I need to post some close ups of them sometime.

A pic of all three outside of her classroom and last pic of her with her long hair. (note that I do not advice the scientist to pull up his socks or pull down the waist of his shorts. That's his own sense of style and it can not be broken!)

And her cute summer haircut afterwards. The lady that did it showed me how short Miss Thang advised her to cut it and asked if that was ok. I said, "Whatever she wants" and the lady cringed as she did the first few cuts. She loves it! This is what she calls her "commercial pose" lol

I updated my Video of the Month. This time it's The Fear by Lilly Allen. Once again, the video is unavailable to be embedded so I just posted a video of the lyrics. (watch out for the *f-bomb*) You should really go check out the actual video. I absolutely love the imagery in the beginning including the teddy bear on the clothing line. :)

Speaking of awesome images, I am making a family cookbook of our family favorites and while at Target, Miss Thang pointed out THE cutest fruit inspired scrapbook paper package. I impulse bought it, and although I haven't found time to put it together yet, I look at the paper often, and don't regret the purchase at all. You know how I feel about "cute fruit"!

A funny from The Scientist-

Scientist: "Mom, today I was just sitting there and my brain thought of a cool toy idea all on its own."

Mom: "It did? Well what kind of toy is it?"

Scientist: "I can't tell you. I want to wait until I grow up to make it and get rich. I don't want you to tell someone else and they might make it before me."

Mom: "Don't you trust your own MOM!?"

Scientist: "No way."

I honestly plan on doing the first room of the Home Tour Challenge tomorrow, but no promises!
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