Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why I Became A Mother....

Ok it's not the only reason, but it ranks up there....

I love to dress my kid in goofy outfits!

I only did it because we woke up to this...

And this afternoon, it's 40 degrees so we went out to play.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A few little things...

Not in my Job Description
When I signed up to be a pastor's wife, there was nothing in my job description about costume designing.

Yesterday nap time was spent making a Bible Story Costume. This is the second one I've made, They sell for like $80 on the internet. I've made all of them out of old sheets or even new flat sheets from Walmart for $8 and two hours of time. I've decided I might try to do a tutorial for these, might be good for Easter programs or dress up clothes. The first one I did was for Adam while he was in seminary. It was basically a robe and I bought some trim cording for him to tie it with.

This time it is for AWANA Sunday this Sunday. We couldn't find the old one in the piles of boxes and Adam thinks we might have gotten rid of it in the move. He then requested a more elaborate one than last time. Two layers. How convenient that I just bought new sheets for our bed and so could use the old one (white under layer) and decided to not make my own shower curtain from a brown flat sheet (brown robe layer), so I had everything on hand except a tie, where I found "rope" at Joann's for 1.99 a yard.

Whole costume cost = $4. That's my kind of costume.

Too excited too quickly
Yesterday I spent the evening at the new house working while Adam took care of Max and put him to bed. When I finished I was thinking of all the things that we still have left to do and am questioning whether we'll be in the house in the timeframe I was hoping for. I suppose with our rounds of visitors we have in April and hopefully evenings like last night, we'll get more done than I think, but gosh, there's still a lot. We'll see. Luckily we've been so blessed, that we don't have an absolute date we need to be out of this house.

But I've been contemplating all the important things for the house. Window coverings, wall hangings, towels, shelves. You know those things where my brain starts to run wild. I found fabric yesterday that I'm really excited to make curtains out of. I just got a sample and I'm running it by the house today. It will either be livingroom curatins or kitchen curtains. It looks great with both paint samples. It will probably be livingroom curtains though because it also looks good with the color of the couch, which is not a neutral tan, it throws colors off. Hard to explain, but oh well.

I found some display boxes yesterday at Michael's for $2.99 for Max's room and they were already painted black! Yippee! Also got brown and aqua spray paint on sale at Menards for $2 a can. Can't wait to use that stuff on some picture frames that need a revamp for the living room.

Crafty Scene
I've been knitting away, I really love the class. I have some really fun women in there and one whose a mom with three little boys. I've tried from multiple books and videos to knit but as I suspected just needed someone to tell me what I was doing wrong. Once she showed me how it was different from crochet, I just went on and on. The instructor even showed me the purl stitch which she doesn't teach until the next class, so hopefully she'll show me some extra things next week while the other students are working on that.

I think it totally made a difference being a yarn addict anyway. Since I'm not afraid of yarn and have an idea of what it can do. It also helps that I have decent control of my hands. That is where most people struggle when starting these things, they are uncomfortable with their hands. A couple of the women where complaining that they couldn't make their hands move in that way.

We were encouraged to start a project over the week (we meet in a yarn shop, so of course they want us to buy yarn!) and I had no problem complying with that. I bought a rayon/silk blend that I would never crochet with, to knit a floaty open weave summer scarf. I love it so far and I haven't forgotten how to knit either, I do a little each day but I'm already getting faster at it. I even started another project with some cheap knitting needles I already had to make sure I could remember to cast on. So that's two projects on knitting needles.

I've tempered my growing knitting obsession with some crochet too. I got some beautiful Cascade Wool that I wanted to make a big scarf/shawl out of for a friend. Well it will be late for her birthday but it's coming along nicely because the pattern is beautifully simple, I'll definintely want to use the pattern again.

I have another birthday project I'm working up- but it's all still in my head- and it will probably be late too unless I can get it done tonight or tomorrow. But since it's still in my head, I'm guessing it will be late. But I'm leaving my sewing machine our on the kitchen table until I at least attempt it (I can't sew in my craft room because it's right next to Max's room and he always wakes up at the sound of it).

I've also been itching (and have the yarn sitting here) for another baby kimono sweater. I'm resisting, but my resolve is failing.

So let's take a count.... That's two projects on needles, one on the hook, and one completed on the sewing maching, but one potentially going onto the machine, and another I'm resisting getting hooked on. And I have a house to finish, carpet to pick out, three rooms to paint, curtains to make, a desk to find, boxes to sort through, and a birthday party to plan. This week's been more relaxing than the past few. :-)

And I just said to a friend the other day. It's a good thing I'm busy because otherwise I'd get nothing done.

Just for good measure, here's a picture of dinner the other night.... Avocado and pasta primavera. Max's new thing is to stick his hand in his mouth after every bite. I think the purpose might be to make sure it stays in, but I think it has the opposite effect.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I have so much to share... let's see if I can get it all in.

Max is growing like a weed, I've gotten out his 18 month clothes this week. I can't believe suddenly how tall he is. He stands a head above the arm of the couch. He's been in love with making us laugh at him (hunh, a little like his dad?) and loves to "surprise" us by hiding and playing peek-a-boo or having us pretend to sleep. He doesn't even eat much baby food anymore and we've discovered he loves salsa and spicy things. He loves to just wander around the house playing in all the rooms he can get to, and thinks he just owns the church when we go over there. He'll let himself into the nursery to play if the doors aren't closed. He's also learned how to climb this week. He's still not walking on his own and doesn't seem to mind at all, if he can crawl and climb he's one happy fellow.

He loves carring around his Easter basket and playing with the plastic eggs

Crawling through, under, and over things is our new favorite game

He pulled himself over in his chair and crawled around like a turtle with a shell on his back

This picture is so funny I laugh out loud when I look at it. Sweetly, suggestive baby.

At our favorite Mexican restaurant Tequila's

We've ran into a time of it with the staircase ceiling and walls. It's been a bit of labor and is still being worked on. But things are moving still. I'll soon be back into the groove with painting and refinishing part of the handrail and also we're working on our bedroom in that spare time. The problem is Max can't be in the house very much right now because of all the dust from sanding the mud, so it' s a little difficult but Adam worked there all day yesterday and I'm going to probably work there Friday evening this week. It has to be ready in 9 weeks, with us moved in. So we'll see lots of changes really quick here.

Girls Only Conference
The conference was this past weekend, and I had a lot of fun. Four of our high school girls came with me. After teaching, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth for most teenagers, so this was fun for me.

We had a great time and I hope the girls all got something (anything!) out of it. I spoke on Guarding Your Heart and it was fun and exhausting to plan for the day, but I'm glad I did it and I learned a lot through the process. God is good and answered my prayers for the day.

Me with three of the girls

We stopped to look at the Mississippi River

Just in case you follow along for crafts, yesterday I went on a bender to finish Max's spring sweater. I loved this pattern because it was simple and had all the characteristics I wanted, a few buttons, a hood and it worked in a way I could add length to the body easily. The pattern was free from Ravelry and if anyone wants, I can get it for them, I just don't have it in front of my to give the name right now. I had to redo parts of it though because I wanted to customize it for Max, I made the hood bigger because we have a big headed baby, I made the sleeves longer, and the body longer and thinner, and Max grew a lot while I was finishing it so now the hood is too small already, but I guess that's how it goes. He loved wearing it though so I can't complain. I love that my little guy loves yarn as much as I do.

The reason I "had" to finish it yesterday was that I didn't want any unfinished projects to hinder me today. Tonight I start a beginners knitting class at the yarn shop in the next town. I've tried on so many occasions to knit and I just get frustrated, but I've never found anyone to sit me down and show it to me, I always try from videos or books. So we'll see tonight. I'm excited to get out and meet some new women. When I was in the shop last week the lady who was working said there were four of us signed up and she thought by this week there would be six, which is a full class.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

If you think of it...

Pray for me today, I'll be taking four girls with me to the conference I'm speaking at in Iowa. Pray that God would use me in the lives of all the girls who attend today.

I'm sure I'll have an update about it and many other things soon.

I just read Romans 8:28 and I think it says it all for me today.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Home Remodeling Part 18 and What a Beautiful Day!

The weather here is JUST GORGEOUS! It is mid 60s and sunny and not windy at all. Tomorrow the high is 73. I will be out walking in the afternoon, there is no doubt about that. Today I sat on our porch sunning my sad pale legs while finishing up some stuff for the Girls Conference this weekend with a cup of iced coffee in my hand. It was a great feeling.

This morning we worked at the house, whew man I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know there's a LOT still I'd like to do, but really it's almost livable already and I love the thought of that. Adam and John (boy he's been such a wonderful help, I need suggestions on something really nice to do for him) started repairing the ceiling and walls going up the staircase. You see, while we were taking the wallpaper off the plaster all started to come down with it, in large chunks. It looked like a disaster. It's looking MUCH better now. They cleaned it all out and even dug some extra out to help it be more stable and now they are doing a major repair job taping and mudding all the corners and mudding some of the major holes before me , The Red Devil Queen, gets to fine tune it. Red Devil spackle has become my best friend. It's basically how our house is being held together. I'm also in the process of Red Deviling the wainscoting in the diningroom around the corners and holes our unplum walls have caused, but I ran out of Red Devil this morning so I switched to starting the demo in the master bedroom by taking down some wallpaper, yes more wallpaper, and I joyfully did it because it's the last that's left in the house.

Do you wonder what Max did today while we were working? He played in his BRAND NEW ROOM! That's right, I finally got it clean enough and safe enough to give him some room to play. He also found his container of rice puffs and proceeded to eat about 5 servings of them after he dumped them all out. It kept him quiet for two hours and he also ate all his lunch when we got home.

Tonight we are going to take a look at carpet and try and decide. I think there are just too many decisions that I get overwhelmed (hunh, noticing a trend here in that, same thing happened with the kitchen, has happened with paint in almost every room, etc.). Wish me luck! :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

From this:

To this?:

Today Max was supposed to take his nap, you know "the daily two-three hours to mama's self" nap. Yeah, after 45 minutes that was over (what's with this kid, he's normally a great sleeper). But being the great mom I am, I left him in his crib for another 45 minutes while he chatted and whined to himself about his plight in life. I had work to do and it wasn't gonna do itself. So I got him up and knew that we would both need something to get us through the afternoon, if only it wasn't freezing outside we could take a walk, but I decided it was high time I got some seedlings started for spring. Originally in the fall when we bought the house, I had delusions about a grand garden in the back growing all kinds of vegetables and herbs and decking the front beds out with new flowers. Yeah, I'm getting more realistic every day and have decided I'll start with some herbs to put in pots and see where that goes. There's always next year right?

So we played with dirt on the kitchen table and I've set the boxes in the window that gets morning sun for tomorrow. I'll move it to the front window that gets afternoon sun then. I've started with some basics that we use all the time in hopes that I'll be cooking with it in no time. I've planted Lemon Basil (I love the smell), Lavender (again love the smell), and Cilantro (I use the paste I can find in the grocery for just about everything thanks to being in Texas so long). I've tried growing things before and it has always been a disaster. I'm hoping for better results this time. We'll see in two weeks or so just how well I'll be able to do.

Cannot believe it!

Today Max is 10 months old. I just cannot believe where the time has gone. I was drooling over pictures last night of our friends' 3 day old, at the same time a baby commercial came on, and boo hoo! I looked at my little guy destroying a notebook I had on the couch. Gosh it seems like just yesterday I couldn't wake him up enough to feed him. So Amber, just remember, it goes by way too fast, Ben will be a big kid in the blink of an eye. I know everyone says it, but it's so true. I get the feeling that too soon we'll be sending our boys off to college.

A la Facebook here's 25 Random Things About Max....
1. His favorite food group is: things that should be in the trash
2. He loves to play with the sock monkey we gave him for Christmas, you can say, "Where's your monkey?" and he'll crawl over to get it.
3. It's also the only thing he'll give hugs to if you ask him to.
4. He begs worse than a puppy when you have food and gets very angry when you won't let him have any. Especially ice cream and sweets.
5. He's gotten double the amount of hair in the past month and it's blonde just like his mama's was.
6. He will crawl in from another room if he hears Steve Songs on PBS.
7. He loves to dance.
8. Mama's bag is his favorite thing to discover and explore.
9. He learned how to close doors this week
10. He also learned where I hide my yarn. So he'll go into the guest room and close the door so I can't find him playing with it.
11. Today his favorite room to play in is my bedroom
12. He's figured our how to turn around to get off the couch
13. He doesn't like to hold on to our hands to walk, but loves to "do it himself" by holding on to other objects to walk
14. He LOVES older kids especially at AWANA
15. So far today he has not eaten anything he wasn't supposed to
16. He does not like to wear socks. He'll pull them right off if he can.
17. He crawls with one knee and one foot to get maximum movement
18. Sometimes his legs go faster than his hands and he face plants = HILARIOUS!
19. His favorite game is to throw the ball and then chase it
20. His other favorite toy (besides ball and yarn) is my tape measure from my sewing box
21. He weighed 24 lbs yesterday when I weighed him. I thought it was a lot less.
22. He's gotten a lot taller in the past few weeks, and has slimmed down a bit.
23. He loves to look out the window at the street and cars
24. He also loves his Daddy and gets super excited when he comes home from work.
25. He takes after his Dad and has developed a dislike for peas.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blogging Slacker

I've been a blogging slacker lately. I guess we've been a little too busy and then I've been spending the rest of the time catching up on things, like sleep. And now I'm working on a few new things. At the house, for Max's birthday, some crafty things.

Poor Max has been passed around alot lately since we've been busy with the house. He's had great people to watch himm but I've missed him and so we've spent a lot of time this week just playing on the floor. He's at such a fun age where he will respond to a few directions (no, yuck, ouch) and also needs constant supervision since he has decided everything should go into his mouth, I sweep everyday and somehow he still finds leaves, pennies, lint, dried pasta, to put into his mouth.

He has been discovering new favorite toys these days and loves to play ball. He loves to throw and throw and throw and chase and throw and throw and throw.
He also likes to go backwards on this little rider.
But we do still have our old favorites.
yarn and laundry baskets

With Mark, Roger, and Uncle Rick in town we took the opportunity go to Alexander's Steak House. Yum! I don't get to get in on all the fun (you cook your own steak on a huge grill) but I love the salad bar and the Texas toast.
Here are the guys grilling away.

I have been starting to plan out Max's first birthday. I am planning a fish themed party and have been working on the invite and some ideas.

Last night I finished a baby afghan for little Liam being born this summer. He will be Kate's little brother and will be loved so much.
I've got a plan for some aprons and also am still working on Max's spring sweater. It has been altered a couple of times to customize it for Max but I think I'm on the tale end of it now that I'm working on the body.

Home Remodeling Part 17- Dining Room, Etc.

We have quite a bit of work done at the house. New light fixtures galore and especially the new wainscoting in the dining room. Overall the process is really easy, but system at Menards and invite unsuspecting relative to spend the weekend and let him do it while you continue about your own business. Well at least that's how it worked for us.... The system we used was already pre-primed so it just needed a coat (or two) of paint and put up according to directions that come with the packages. I only got half of it painted before it was put up so I have some filling to do (becuase surpise our walls are not flat) and the rest of the painting to accomplish.

The other men completed a slew of electircial work around the house. We have a new fuse box, some added lighting in the basement, lots of new light fixtures, all new electrical outlets and light switches. There was a light switch that I couldn't figure out what it did. Well we figured that out and now have it hooked up to two outlets. This work (while extremely helpful to the process) doesn't look all the different in the house. You would notice it if it wasn't done (and I love how bright my kitchen is now) but since it's been done you don't notice it quite at much.

Before- Dining Room
Here is an inprogress picture of the dining room

After- Some different angles of the new room

There are a number of rooms you won't see again until they are finished- Bathroom, Kitchen, Dining room, Max's room, and Living room.
The rooms that are left are the Master Bedroom and the two Upstairs Bedrooms. Tomorrow I'm going to check out carpet, if I pick that out maybe we'll get motivated to deal with our room and the stairs.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Home Remodeling Part 16- Kitchen Pictures

Well I went yesterday to paint the wallpaper and it was not sticking to the wall in spots. So what to do but rip it all down and call it a wash. We don't know what we'll do in there with the "problem wall" and we're kinda just backing off of it for a while to see what comes to mind.... my thought is that we'll use the same texture on the wall that we used in the bathroom. Just throwing it out there, we'll see where it lands.

The old digital camera has been found. Here are the kitchen pictures, see Update #15 for the before pictures....

The three doorways in a row, complete with one partially blocked by a fridge. In order, bathroom, attic/playroom, dining room. Not much flow planning in these older houses...

This picture shows the movement from the kitchen to the dining room, to the living room. I love all the colors together.
This one shows the built in on the left and the back door. Oh yeah, and my pink tile back splash.

This morning I was in the bathroom getting ready for the day when I heard a slight thud. Pretty common around here, really. But I went to peek on Max in the living room and I found this sight.
He had pulled the laundry basket off the couch and on top of himself and was ok until he realized he couldn't get it off of himself. Hilarious baby cage!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Home Remodeling Part 15- General Update

I need to blog now about all that's been done in the past week because hopefully it will be overshadowed this weekend by more amazing transformations.... Transformations I will not be able to capture on film (well memory card) because this afternoon while taking pictures of the house the camera just died.... dead, nothing, zilch. I took a picture, walked across the house, and went to take another picture and it wouldn't turn on. The battery is fully charged and everything. Nothing. Maybe I'll be able to find our old camera somewhere while we figure this one out...

Dining Room
This week Adam laid wood laminate in the dining room with the help of John. It took them quite a bit of time and though it promised to just snap together it didn't really (do things ever work like they say they will?) and took them quite a bit of time. But I'm so glad they were diligent, it's really beautiful and we are waiting on the trim boards to come in.
You can see the floor here, in this picture with Max "painting" he loved to play with the roller, it entertained him for like 20 minutes.

I felt bad for our kitchen. It's the one room we decided to not "completely redo" in the house. We just can't make it fit into the budget right now. But of course it needed painted and all that regardless. I also felt bad for it because it has been the dumping ground for months. It's central to the house, it has the back door access, an entrance to the bathroom, it's off the dining room, and it has lots of counters and a sink. I finally called my mom a couple weeks ago and asked her to come help me with it. I knew there was no way I could do it alone and there'd be no better person to help me out with it, she can get anything clean and she doesn't mind painting.

Remember this lovely wallpaper? I've saved a bit of it for an art project.

I don't have very many pictures of the kitchen, but you can see the green a little by the radiator. The wallpaper is above the counter on the left. And the built in is right next to the door on the left too.

We started early in the morning cleaning out the kitchen, pulling down wallpaper (yes, we still have wallpaper in our house), priming the trim, etc. By10:30 that night we had the kitchen painted. All the walls, trim, etc. You see, in our kitchen, there are three doors and doorways, another doorway, and a built in cabinet. That's a lot of trim. Previously the kitchen had been painted green, walls and trim, so it all blended together. When we started, it didn't seem like a lot of trim, but man it took forever. Tuesday among other things (below) we touched up, replaced the trim around the ceiling, and cleaned. Three Magic Erasers later, I still have more work to do, but we put contact paper in the cabinets, scrubbed and sealed the vinyl, and it actually smells clean and I'm not afraid to put food in there now.

I wish there were after pictures to show, but when I walked into the kitchen is when the camera kaputed.

Max's Room
We'd done the majority of the painting last time Adam's parents were in town, but we still had a subfloor and that was it. I wanted to do FLOR tiles, but it was going to cost $600 to do it (ugh!) and I didn't really want carpet anyway. I was then hoping laying the laminate would be really easy, but since it wasn't I was out of luck with that too. So, I was back to linoleum. Adam thought black and white checkered would kinda go with the retro feel of the house and especially Max's bedding. Since it cost a total of $70 I couldn't not try it and I love it! It makes the room feel so much larger than it is. But of course it was time consuming. We worked on it while we were waiting for other stuff to dry and things like that on Tuesday and Mom is a whiz with the knife, so she was in charge of the trim pieces. Now there's a couple safe places for Max to play on and I feel so much better!

Max's Retro Room. The floor and can you see up along the top where the accent color is bordering the ceiling? I really like this.

Living Room
We also hung wallpaper in the living room on the last wall. It will be painted the same color as the rest of the walls and hopefully will just be a point of interest and something a little different. We learned a lesson today, read all directions, even if you think you know what you are doing. Mom and I hung the first piece and realized it wasn't sticking to the wall very well and we were both frustrated, so I dug the directions out of the trash and soon after that we were on our way. I am waiting for it to dry over night tonight before I finish triming around the archway and paint it.

The texture on the wallpaper. Also, last picture taken with my beloved camera.

So all that's left on the first floor is our bedroom, the staircase, and the carpeting. Ahhhh, that's a good feeling. I need a big nap and some advil, but like the results I'm seeing. Hopefully Friday I'll get around to a crafty and food type update and have an almost finished spring sweater for Max to show off along with an AWESOME soup recipe that I'm in love with. Oh, and if you haven't noticed I've put Musical Monday and Thankful Thursday on hold until after this wave of company is through. I promise I haven't just forgotten about them I'm just too busy to even really check email right now!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bloggy Type Update- Edited!

We've been ok around here, just busy and we had an accident with Max this week. I only mention it because everything is ok and he is perfectly fine. Once again I've been amazed with how resilient kids are. I, on the other hand, may have gotten my first bunch of gray hair. He has reached the stage where he's mobile and aware enough to be completely hazardous to his own self and those around him. I've never realized all the totally deathly things there are around our home. Open electrical sockets, the fireplace, loose change that's fallen on the floor, dust bunnies, kitchen cabinets and drawers, etc. etc. etc. I seem to chase after Max all day, saying, "no that's dangerous" over and over.

Edited: Max took a tumble. He's fine for those of you who wondered/called about it. He didn't even end up with bruises or blood or anything. The word choice was because, it was horrifying to me... that he has no fear. I promise, he's fine, obviously as you can see from the pictures. I've taken out the scary language. :)

But we even avoided a trip to the doctor for almost a week now (we were at the doctor 3 times in February) and the house has been completely disinfected, and hopefully no more sickness will enter, and we can also all stay safe at least through the spring.

I should have quite a bit to talk about this week and next with quite a few updates regarding the house. My mom is driving in tonight and staying until Wednesday to completely blitz out the kitchen and then on Friday a work group consisting of Adam's Dad, Pastor Chip, and Dad (Andi's Dad) will be here through Sunday- Hopefully we'll get the master bedroom done and all the electrical work that needs updated done as well. We have a dining room floor finished and it's beautiful! I do love it. I'll have lots of photos and explanations regarding these things in the near future.

I've started to stray from the construction phase of this to the design phase. I'm starting to envision curtains and decorative painting, picture frames and art ideas, new pillows and towels. All the stuff that makes it a home. It's getting harder and harder to stay focused, but I'll persevere and try to remain calm while I pick out carpet and linoleum.

I've also started planning Max's first birthday party. It's only two and half months away! It will also be an open house for people to see our new home, so it's a little more planning than just a cake in the shape of a bunny or something. I've got a theme (I love themes!) and a general plan down. I'm excited to be designing the invites and all the pieces. I love throwing parties. Especially when I have my own house to throw them in!

Well here's a little recap of my week.... how was yours?

Max showing off his fangs
(I finished the Twilight Series last night, so I'm all about the vampires right now)
Max's "Hulk Smash" I'm angry face.
Favorite past time of all kids everywhere, taking the paper off the roll.
"What Mom? I'm just standing here."