Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Halloween, the night when people become someone or something else.  When candy is handed out among neighbors and children are on the loose grinning with excitement and maybe a little sugar high. And neighborhoods are illuminated with the glow of jack o'lanterns.

For our jack o'lanterns, we begin at the pumpkin patch.  However, choosing the perfect pumpkins is last on the list of things to do.  There are so many activities to be had that the kids typically start in the corn pit.  Thats right, a big pit full of corn.  Who knew corn could be so fun!
Next stop, the corn maze.  There are always clues you need to find along the way.
This year we were on a mission to find a total of 9.

They also jumped on a huge inflatable "pillow", rode a train ride, climbed on a rope spider web, raced pedal cars and did some potato flinging. Then, they picked out the perfect pumpkins, which, in all the excitement I failed to take pictures of.

The next day, it was gutting and carving time.  The kids mostly gut their own pumpkins.  There was a little assistance needed with Action and Smiley.  And, I must note, this is the first year Action did not gag while gutting :)  Then, the kids draw out their desired designs on paper, transfer it to their pumpkin and hubby and I do the actual carving (Sassy did do some of her own this year).  For Smiley's pumpkin, she knew she wanted it to be a princess.  We first drew a tiara, then I drew out different options for eyes, nose and mouth and let her pick which ones she wanted.  Lucky for me she chose the easiest ones to cut out!

~ Voila ~
Masterpieces Completed

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

13 + 5

We dated 5 years before we got married.  And today have been married for 13 years.  
Nope, 18 years together hasn't always been easy or happy.  

(Halloween 2011)

We've had our share of ups and downs, but together we always make it work.  
We support each other, we laugh, and we love....lots. 

These first 13 years of marriage have flown by and have been filled with amazing memories.  
I know the next 13 will be just as extraordinary!

Monday, October 22, 2012

4, four, fourth......

Yesterday (Sunday) my "baby" turned 4.

 I swear it feels just like yesterday when I was rocking Smiley's tiny newborn body in the middle of the night savoring her every expression, cry, coo and beautiful baby scent, reminding myself that although the days and nights can seem long (especially when you are tired mommy with a new baby) the years are so very short.  And tonight, now that we have finally eaten her birthday cake and opened presents from us (we were out of town over the weekend, spending it with family ~ hunting actually ~ a few presents were opened, but no birthday cake consumed) I am sitting here thinking about my girl.  Let me tell you what she is like today ~ a day after her 4th birthday.

She is a planner.  She decided after her 3rd birthday that she wanted a classic "Barbie" cake.  She first saw it at Super Target and told me EVERY subsequent shopping trip that that was the cake she wanted.

She can be a bit obsessive. For example, she has planned that tomorrow, she will be playing with her new Play-Doh as soon as she gets home from school.  You better believe that will be a MAJOR topic of conversation until she is actually playing with it (I'm happy we are playing with it tomorrow, and not in a week.  I wouldn't hear the end of it!).

She enjoys watching TV.  She watches very little but looks forward to the treat of it.  She likes to watch  Dora and Doc. McStuffins.

She LOVES to help me cook in the kitchen, even if it is simple "cooking" such as pouring her cereal into a bowl :)

She likes to play house.  Being "Mommy"  is one of her favorite roles.

She likes to play store.  She will set up a table filled with random items, grab a toy cash register and some grocery sacks and invite me to come and shop.  Most times my shopping total adds up to either "20 bucks"  or "40 bucks"

She likes to play with dolls and princesses.

She is taller than most of her 5 year old friends. 

She is starting to color and draw for longer periods of time.  This is a new past time for her.  For now, she is more content to draw her own pictures, and she is getting pretty good at drawing trees, flowers, snowmen and people.

She is constantly making noise.  She LOVES to sing.  For example, while she is coloring, she will sing and sing and sing.....  She sings made up songs, church songs ("Glory to God" is her favorite), and current songs she has heard on the radio.

She is stubborn.

She likes to make funny faces.

But, she has a BEAUTIFUL smile.

She cries when I leave her home with Daddy.  But not when she is left home with her siblings.  I don't get it!

She moved from her toddler bed to a twin bed 2 weeks ago.  Neither of us have ever slept better (I may be exaggerating a little bit, she's always been a pretty good sleeper, but she had been getting up about once a night a few times a week.  I think she was squished.)!

She likes to give shoulder rubs to both her Daddy and I.  They feel great, all 5 seconds :)

She LOVES to dress up.  Her flower girl dress (from Sept. 2011) and last year's halloween costume are two of her favorites, but i think her new mermaid dress (from Grandpa and Grandma) will maybe push one of those into 3rd place!

She loves to dance.

She is very social and enjoys being around other people.  She is shy for about the first 5 minutes, but after that.... watch out!

She wants to be a "pom-pom" girl, and likes to practice.  Yes, hubby and I usually oblige!

She enjoys school and has become very good at writing her name.  She has a funny way of saying her letters when she is writing.  For example, she has an "A" in her name.  She knows it is called an "A", but when she is writing it down, she calls it a "down, down, over".

She is sweet, caring and we love her unconditionally!

Happy 4th Birthday beautiful girl!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

These 3

These 3
 Are such a blessing!
 Their smiles and spirits are contagious
I am proud to be their mom and my heart overflows

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are falling and the air is crisp.  At least this is the way it is where I live.  And as the season changes from summer to fall, I find myself craving warm comfort foods.  So you'll see this weeks O{pin}ions will represent this.

First up:

Italian Fusilli Zuppa

The picture is so pretty, the recipe sounded easy and what is better on a cool day then a warm bowl of homemade soup.  The two words that pop into my head when I think of the first bite I took of this yummy looking soup ~ sick and disgusting.  Needless to say, I promptly dumped the entire pot down the garbage disposal.  Obviously I will be deleting this recipe from my "Cooking" board and nope, I would not recommend it.

Since that soup was a total disaster and I was still craving soup, a few days later I attempted this one:

Chunky Vegetable Soup

So much better than the first one!  I thought the flavors were good and I love the chunky vegetables in it.  I ate leftovers for lunch for about 5 days!  Definitely will remake this soup!

Up next Breakfast:

Weekend Brunch Casserole

When I saw this one on Pinterest the description said something about crescent rolls and sausage.... fore me, that was basically hook, line and sinker :)  Anyway, I made this one Saturday morning when my in-laws were visiting.  We all agreed it was tasty.  I will definitely make this again!  Quick tip ~ instead of using separate crescent rolls and pinching the seams together, purchase the sheet of crescent roll ~ same thing but already in a 9x13" sheet (same location in the grocery store too)!

That same weekend, I also made this:

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Another delightful recipe that I will absolutely make again.  It was a perfect sweet compliment to our savory and salty sausage dish.

Well, there you have it ~ 3 out of 4 isn't too bad :)  Have you pinned anything lately and made it (food or otherwise!)  Oh, and you can find me on pinterest here, where can I find you?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tween Girls Room

As much as I don't want to admit it, Sassy is growing up.  She's no longer the girl she was when we purchased her Pottery Barn Kids Butterfly and Flower quilt when she was probably 4.  And as much as I still love it, it was time to say goodbye (well, actually it's washed and folded nicely in our basement waiting for a new home... at some point).

I showed you her new window treatment last week, but here is the entire room and the story behind it.

Sassy and I decided to work together and redo her room.  We first began looking for a new comforter or duvet.  She was drawn to dark colors, black mainly.  I wasn't so sure about that so we kept looking.  She looked online, in stores and in catalogues.  When she'd find something she liked,  I wouldn't.  When I'd find something I liked, she'd just shake her head.  It went on like that for awhile.  Then finally last November (yes, almost a year ago), I found a comforter, that we both liked.  It had just enough black for her and enough color for me.  We purchased it and began to plan her "new" room around it.

By the time we got the quilt and decided on a new paint color for her room, it was January.  Since then, we've painted and decorated.

And now you can see for yourself.

Her previous quilt (I didn't take any "before" pictures ~ what was I thinking!)

Her walls were a bright, yet pale yellow color.

Those are now a grayish, aqua color (I don't remember the actual name of the color ~ the original color was a Benjamin Moore color, but we had it color matched at Sherwin Williams)

And the window Treatments, of course.  You can see the tutorial for those here.

Here is her "new" room finally finished.  Well, mostly finished.  We need to either purchase a new night stand, or paint the current one.  The pale green just doesn't quite work in the room.  And we would like some artwork for the wall to the right of the bed.

But other than that, we are pleasantly please with how everything turned out.

Room Details:
Shine print ~ wrote about it here, purchased from Studio JRU
Mirror ~ given to Sassy from her Aunt who purchased it at Target years ago and isn't using it in her house anymore
Softball Quote ~ saw on Pinterest, but didn't have store/shop link so we recreated it.  Frame is from Hobby Lobby
Color outside the lines ~ Hobby Lobby
Comforter ~ Pottery Barn Teen (no longer sell this one, but these two are similar ideas: Lilac Boho and Hampton Lola)
Love pillow ~ Pottery Barn Teen (no longer sell it)
Valance ~ Tutorial Here
Calendar White Board ~ Home Goods
Book Shelf Configuration ~ Ikea, Billy corner configuration
Bench ~ Lowes, years ago (was in our mud room before we redid it)