January 30, 2010

What We've Been Up To

I am sooooooooo ready for it to get warm again so that we can get out of the house!!!!!!! We've been trying to keep busy by watching movies, doing lots of crafts, and playing playing playing.

I found the idea for a "Letter of the week" from the blog notimeforflashcards.com and we've been doing sort of a "Letter of every 2 weeks or so." One thing she does is lots of crafts making the letters into animals or things that start with that letter. So far we've done an alligator and an astronaut for A and a bumblebee for B. Jack really likes doing them, and has learned a lot. I also get together a box full of things starting with that letter and we go through it together, and we read books about things starting with that letter. It's been lots of fun for all of us, even Ali Grace gets in on it, and it's a grrrreat time-filler on these long cold days.

This is Jack painting a garden for the bumblebee we made.

Ali Grace loves to draw! She'll say "I want draw" over and over and over until you let her and then she announces "I drawing! I drawing!" as she draws. So sweet.

Here's our B for Bumblebee craft. It came out so cute.

We started doing a couple of early Valentine's Day crafts too. Jack looooooves to glue! He pours so much glue on his paper, that it takes days to dry completely.

I made a new place to display all of our new art work on the back door in the dining room. Jack and Ali love being able to see their drawings and they really like showing them to Brian when he gets home.

Some of his projects go in his room too. You can see the alligator and the astronaut that we did for the letter A.

One day last week it finally got sunny and warm enough to go outside! I was thrilled and the kids were so excited when I told them we were going for a walk. Jack enjoyed the puddles as usual.

He had to bring his new gun. Before we got outside he excitedly said, "I can shoot up all the trees with my new gun!"

Ali Grace enjoyed the time out too. I thought about letting her walk, but decided that I'm not quite ready for that yet. She would be running around everywhere, putting rocks and sticks in her mouth, and sitting in puddles. So she stayed in the stroller, I'm not sure when I'll be ready to let her loose--maybe when she's about 10???

I've been letting Jack--and Ali a little too--help me cook lately. The other day I made this coating for oven-fried chicken and had some left over. Jack played and played and played with it, stirring and moving and feeling it! The boy can have fun with the oddest things sometimes, which I love about him.

That's about all we've been up to lately. Just trying to fill the days with something other than TV, and waiting anxiously for spring to arrive.

Ali Grace's Room

I recently realized that I have posted a ton of pictures of Jack's room, but I don't think I've ever shown any of Ali Grace's. So now since it might be changing a good bit in the future--we're still not sure how we're going to situate the kids when the new baby comes--I'm going to show it to ya'll.

My dad made this for Ali Grace's door.

Her room is also our guest room, so we have a queen size bed in here. I love this bedding, it's a matlesse' comforter that my former boss at Simply Home gave us as a wedding present. I got the three frames above it at Dillards, and painted some branch and bird silhouettes to go in them. I've wanted to do something else on this wall, but haven't figured out what yet. I want to make an upholstered headboard for the bed, so that would help. Maybe one day.

Since we didn't find our whether Ali was a girl or boy when I was expecting, we couldn't get gender-specfic bedding. So we just got a white bumper and when she was born I did a little appliquing of some bird shapes and ribbon on it in pink, green, and white. You can't see it very well anymore because she has squished it down so much, but it's really cute. The paper flowers are from Martha Stewart. My cousin, Emily had a few of them hanging in her room and she gave me the ones she didn't need anymore. Ali likes to look at them. It probably won't be too long before she can reach them, so that will be interesting.

My grandparents gave us this dresser not long after we moved to Rison. I think it's supposed to be a sideboard, but it has been great as Ali Grace's dresser, though the drawers creak and squeak reeeeally bad. I'm thinking about switching this dresser and Jack's sometime in the future--maybe when we move the beds around. The painting leaning against the wall was painted by my Mom at Easely Amused, a paint party place where my sister works. I've been meaning to hang it for a while. I think I want it on the wall it's leaning against, but I'm not sure.

These shelves I found at a garage sale for about 10 dollars. The green ones were already green, but the larger one was blue, so I just slapped some pink paint on it and it was perfect. I orinally had two decorative paper-covered boxes up here, but one refuses to stay up...so.

I have come to really like this room. We don't spend that much time in here because there's not much room to play, but it's been a great room for Ali Grace so far. There are still a few things I want to do in there, but I'm happy with it for now.

January 23, 2010

Knock off Wood and Another Quick Craft

I've been blog-surfing A LOT lately thanks to my sister who sent me a HUGE list of her favorite haunts. A blog that I ran across a couple of days ago that I'm in looooove with is knockoffwood.blogspot.com!!!! The author, Ana, gets the measurements for furniture pieces from Pottery Barn, Land of Nod, and tons of other retailers, figures out how to build them, and them makes step by step plans for anyone to use to build them FOR FREE! I have about 20 pieces that I want to build (have Brian build) right now including a bed for Jack, an activity table and chairs for the kids, and several entertainment centers--I can't pick just one. She has plans for all styles, but mostly the Pottery Barn look, which I LOVE! Hopefully we (Brian) will be able to build Jack a new bed before the new baby arrives, and we might use some of her plans, I'll keep ya'll posted either way! But I'm in LOVE with this site! She's so talented, and is even applying for HGTV's Design Star! SO check her out!

Also, another super-quick craft I did last week was this necklace hanger for myself. I have gotten tired of hunting all over my jewelry box for necklaces, only to find them in a huge tangle! So I had two shutters, and decided to use one of them. I had already painted it blue, hoping to hang it in the living room, but that fell through, so I went for it. All I did was buy a few small screw-in hooks (not the really name at all, but you get it) and after nailing a hole in the shutter, kinda like a pre-drilled hole, I just screwed them in. Then I hammered a picture hook hanger thingy on the back and hung it on the wall. I have already filled it up as you can see--but I might have to evict some of the less-pretty necklaces if I get any new ones soon. I love it!

P.S.-I tried soooo hard to do this all by myself without Brian's help--just because I wanted to--but I hammered the hanger on the back of the shutter so crookedly that he had to step in to get it to hang right. HAHA. I'm pretty scatter-brianed when it comes to getting things level, straight, plumb...whatever. Brian just shakes his head and laughs.

Recycled Cutting Board

The crafting/nesting bug has hit me again! I've been making lists and, thanks to my great in-laws, getting new craft supplies, and having a blast trying to make a few things. A few weeks ago I noticed that my largest wooden cuttingboard had a black spot in the middle of it--maybe mold or something. So I put it aside, thinking I could use it for something later. Then I saw a post at thenester.com about signs at dayspring that are sooo cute and decided to make my own.

First I painted the board with several coats of white paint.

Then I used my old ghetto laptop to find a font I liked and trace it off the screen. I've done this a few times, and though it takes a while--in this case a LONG while b/c I traced several fonts and sizes before finding the perfect one--it's a pretty easy and cheap way to do it. You can also just print out the words you want, but our printer is out of ink....although I did get Brian to print one thing out at work.

Turn your font over and color the back of the paper with pencil as dark as you can. Make sure to get the back of all of the letters covered well. Also, remember that if you used pencil on the front, to put it face-down on something you don't mind getting writing on b/c it will transfer.

Then I turned the paper back over and traced around the letters which transferred them onto the wood, and painted them in. Brian helped me a ton by drawing a straight line for me across the wood as a guide for the letters. He's really good at measuring and getting things level and straight, whereas I can't draw a straight line with a ruler.

This is the end result. After the blue paint dried I did the same stencil process with the scripture passage. I had planned to paint it dark brown, but there was no way I was going to be able to paint those thin letters--so I just went over it with pencil. I may change it later, I'm not sure. I think it needs to be darker. I was also thinking of antiquing the whole thing. I don't know.

I really like how it turned out. Right now I have it on my kitchen counter next to the stove in a plate holder. It may stay there, or it may go on the wall--we'll see. I have some other ideas taking shape that I'll try to post about in the next couple weeks, and I am ECSTATIC about my girls weekend with my Mom and sister in a few weeks!!! We're going to raid every thrift/junk store from Jackson to Hattiesburg and back and I know I'll have TONS of projects after that! Let's hear it for the nesting instict!!!!!

January 19, 2010

Growin' up

Every once in a while we measure Jack's height to see how much he's grown. We've been doing this since he was about a year-and-a-half-old. It's been so great to see how much he has grown! We just measured Ali Grace and took a couple pictures.

Brian measures and marks their height on the door trim in our dining room. We've decided that if we ever move we'll just take the trim piece with us. Hopefully there will be enough room on the trim for all of the measurements of all of our kiddos.

Our little babies are really growing up too fast.

January 15, 2010

Ali Grace Girl

Jack Man

Startin' Them Young


One day last week I decided at the last minute to take a few pictures of the kids in their MSU finery. Nevermind that they were a little hyper, needed baths, had bed-head, and didn't want to even put the MSU clothes on at first. But oh well. We got some funny and cute pictures.

January 14, 2010

Me and the Kids

Here's a belly pic that Brian took last night. I'm at about 24 weeks, I think. I keep losing track. I'm feeling really good. I haven't been sick for a while now, and I definitely have more energy, although my naps make a huge difference. In the last few days I've realized that I HAVE to monitor how much I'm eating at each meal. I'm letting myself get too hungry and then I eat way too much, and a couple hours later I feel like a beached whale plus indigestion and heartburn! FUN! So now Brian is my official food monitor. :) The baby is moving a lot now, which is so much fun to feel. I can't wait for the movements to get even bigger so that Jack and Ali Grace can feel them. I'm wondering what they'll think.

And here are me and our sweet ones reading a book before bedtime last night. We are so thankful that they both looooove to read! We read A LOT! Ali Grace is especially adamant about reading to her. She bring books to me several times a day, and if I don't read them RIGHT AWAY the drama starts! :) We're still watching too much TV at times, but I'm getting better about it. Prayers are definitely needed in this area. The book we're reading was a Christmas gift from my brother, Michael. The kids love it--especially Jack. It's about two cows driving a truck, which Jack thinks is hilarious. :)