Friday, April 29, 2011

My mom the Techie

My mom is fantastic.  She is very smart and knowledgeable.   She is also not quite in the twenty-first century when it comes to technology. 

When my dad got her a computer for Christmas one year, she wasn't very happy.  She has the hang of it now, but doesn't stray far from where she's comfortable.  I got a Facebook account so that my parents could easily see pictures of the kids, but they won't check it.  They want picutres emailed directly to them.

This visit, however, has me a little topsy turvy.  My dad and mom keep texting each other!!!  They are like teens, except when they stretch their arms out so they see the keyboard and take five minutes to say, "Hey, honey!  How are you?" 

When I asked my mom how she liked texting, she said, "I like texting.  It's fun!  It's like sending little bitty emails!"

That's my mom.  I sure do love that lady. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter with the Martins

We had a wonderful time during Easter. 

Our dear friends, the Martin's, came to visit us and share in the joy of our resurrected Lord!

It was an awesome time, with great food and fantastic fellowship.

On Easter, Jack enjoyed eating lots of cheerios and getting lots of girly attention.

The rest of us all chipped in to get dinner ready.  Well, I was working, until I saw a chance to cheese for the camera. 

On a house-love note, how awesome is it that we had six people all working comfortably in one kitchen?  I love my kitchen.

The pork loin.  Eight pounds of oinky goodness, dry-rubbed and ready to be grilled.

Our menu included:

Caprese Salad with garlic and red pepper flake infused olive oil

The finished pork loin.  Let me tell you, Handsome Hero worked magic on this meat.  It was To. Die. For.

Sauteed carrots with toasted almonds

We also had homemade cheesecake with a cherry-almond topping, but we forgot to get a picture.

Here is the table.  You'll notice that I finished the bench.  I'll show more pictures when I can tweak it.  The corners need some work.  I took the opportunity to use my grandmother's crystal glasses and the fine china.  I do love some table bling {even though there was no centerpiece.  It completely slipped my mind!}

While the dinner was cooking, Ella monopolized Jeff.  What am I talking about - the whole time Ella monopolized Jeff.  He is, like, totally her BFF.

Here are the lovely Martin girls, sans Alicia, who had to work.  We were very sad not to have her.  These girls were awesome.  I want Ella to grow up like these ladies.

After dinner, Ella went on an Easter egg hunt with eggs hidden by the Martin girls.  Apparently, she thought it was more than 45 degrees.

I had a really cute outfit for her, and an adorable basket for her to carry, but some things are just not important.  I kept telling myself that until I believed it.

After dinner, we took a walk down to the park. 

Jack loved the slide.

Check out his prowess.  What form!

Ella, again, wanted Jeff.

It was a great visit with great friends.  We plan on doing it again, many times. 

It was so sad to see the Martins go, but twenty minutes after they left, I high-tailed it to the airport to pick up my mom!  I'll tell you about that visit next week, probably.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I have been a little absent and will continue to be pretty sporadic for the next week or so due to company we are hosting. I look forward to writing again, and telling you of the wonderful visits we've had.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sometimes days

Tonight, I asked Ella to tell the story of Little Blue Riding Hoodie {you don't know it?  You're missing out).

  She said, "I don't tell you stories.  You tell me stories." 

I said, "You do tell stories sometimes."

Ella stated imperiously, "Today is not a sometimes day."

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I just came upon these pictures.  This was two years ago.

Ella picked out the rocks.

She has always loved working in the yard.

How is it that I thought she looked so big?

Then she dumped her bucket in the yard waste bin, only she wasn't quite tall enough.

Good job, Ella!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dining room chalkboard/menu sign

In the spirit of lessening the formality of the dining room, I decided to make a large chalkboard in there.  That way when people come to dinner I can post a menu.  Cute, right?  And disarming, I hope.  Originally, I wanted to paint the whole wall in the picture below {above the chair rail} in chalkboard paint, but there is a rough plaster finish on the walls that would make it impossible to wipe the chalk clean.

Remember this trip to Restore?  I also found a thin board in the right size that I could use to make a chalkboard {for $2}.  Then Handsome Hero got the idea to build a frame around it to finish the look.  So back to Restore we went, and found perfect, already stained baseboard for .10 cent a foot.  This chalkboard is costing us $3 {minus the chalkboard paint, which we already had, and shorter nail gun nails, but, you know, whatever}. 

Here's how to make a chalkboard {for those of you who are nervous to try it}.

Check your surface to make sure it's smooth.  Any bumps, while they won't show, will make drawing more difficult.  A fine grit sandpaper is usually all you need.  Sand lightly between each coat for the best finish.
If you aren't sure about how your surface will take paint, it's best to prime.  Keep in mind that a chalkboard is going to get a lot more action than a normal wall.  Here I primed in gray using a spray primer.  I chose gray because I had it on hand.

Once that was dry, I used a regular paint brush to apply the chalkboard paint.  You'll have to do several coats, because chalkboard paint is very thin and watery.  I did three coats on this project.  Also remember that once it is painted, you need to wait a minimum of three days {at least with Rustoleum} to write on it.  Just check the directions on the label.

Once it was painted, Handsome Hero made a beautiful frame for it.  Doesn't it look good?  Does anyone else see a little fairy hiding under the bench?

The chalkboard liked it's frame so much, it wrote two notes to Handsome Hero.  One in English, one in Ellese.  You don't know Ellese?  Well, very few linguistic experts have been able to decipher this lost language, but I happen to live with one of them, and she translated the sign, which said, "I love you, Daddy."

I love the thickness of the frame, but I'm not completely sold on the color.  It's has much more red in it than the rest of the furniture, and while I don't like things to be matchy-matchy, it might stick out too much.  I'm thinking of possibly doing something to darken it.  I haven't told Handsome Hero I might want to change his handiwork, and, thanks to the blog, now I don't have to. 

I like having a blog.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Buddies since birth

Recently, Ella got to talk to her bud, Lily.  They've literally known each other since birth.

Sorry about the picture.  Let's just say it's artistic.

It was hilarious to listen in, and we need to have them talk more often.  The conversation went something like this:

Lily:  Hello, Ella.  I got an owie.

Ella:  Did you put a bandaid on it?

Lily:  I hurt myself on Grandma's {blank - I couldn't catch it}.

Ella:  What did you say?

Lily:  I hurt myself on Grandma's {blank}.

Ella:  What did you say?

Lily:  I hurt myself on Grandma's {blank}.

Ella:  What did you say?

Lily:  I hurt myself on Grandma's {blank}.

{Insert mamas, trying to move the conversation along}

Ella:  Did you put a bandaid on it?

Lily:  We don't have bandaids right now.

Ella:  Are you going to get more bandaids?

Lily:  We don't have bandaids right now.

Ella:  Are you going to get more bandaids?

{enter silence that lasts until we prompt the kids to keep talking.}

Ella:  I have a picture of you in my room.  It's from when we lived in our old house and went to our old church.  You're smiling.

Lily:  Uh-huh.  Good-bye!

It has been one of the hardest things

to separate these two who have known each other since birth

and love each other.  Well, kinda love-hate, but still. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


2:00 PM - Seriously?  Come on!  It's supposed to be Spring!

2:30 PM - {pout, pout, pout}
...but my cute Easter dress...

3:00 PM - {whine, whine, whine}
...I'm stuck inside with whiny kids...
...and I KNOW it's the pot calling the kettle...

7:00 PM - {Grudgingly} Thank you, Lord, for this day. 
I don't know why You made it this way, but You had a reason.

7:30 PM - The snow is actually really pretty, even if it's coming at the end of April .

8:00 AM - For THIS is the day that the Lord has made!  Let us REJOICE and BE GLAD in it!
{Just saying it helps.  Singing helps even more!  I'll be singing a lot today!}