Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving this year was a busy but fun day. We prepped all week, so when the day arrived we'd already cleaned, made some of the dishes ahead, etc. which was nice because it meant a relaxing day instead of running around like chickens with our heads cut off. I like a plan!

I made these little "corn husks" for the kids after I saw the idea on Pinterest.

I got the cute little chalkboard tags for 6/$1 at Target.

Then we tried another Pinterest idea--turkey cupcakes. I let the kids each make one as well. Liv's was a total Pnterest Fail, but so cute. And she was so proud.

Ben's turned out better. He was proud too but mostly just wanted to eat the candy corn.

 Then it was Thanksgiving day. Mike prepped our turkeys.

And set up our frying station in the garage because it was windy and raining.

Parker and Liv ate at the kiddie table.

A few of us ate in the dining room.

And the rest ate in the kitchen.

I printed coloring pages and bought some glasses that the kids decorated. All the kids finished but Ben was still coloring away. :-)

The rest of the kids were playing Legos.

Ben and Liv had such a fun time running around with their cousins. (Don't Ben and Carson look like brothers in their jerseys and glasses?!)

By 9 p.m. our last guests left, Mike and I cleaned up, and Ben watched the Bears game on the couch. He was asleep 10 minutes later.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Around the House

A long while back Mom picked up these gems at a garage sale and then decided that they didn't work with her tables, for whatever reason. Knowing I was in need of kitchen chairs, she brought them to me. They sat in our basement for a long while until I finally got a chance to pull out a few and spruce them up.


The seat cover was really stained and dirty--gross!


I used white satin spray paint and recovered the cushions using a fabric shower curtain from World Market. I am not 100% sold on the fabric, but for now it is certainly much better. I also sprayed the cushions with a fabric protector to help with the little jam hands around here. :-)

Since I had the spray paint out, I gave our previously black PB candle holders a little love. The black was too dark against the navy wall. Much better! I used white again for these, but went with a gloss finish instead of satin.

I also found this pouf on clearance at Target! It works great with this chair. I only wish they'd had two because we have two of these chairs. Eventually I'll prob buy two matching poufs/ottomans for these chairs and move this one to go with the office chair. Meanwhile, Ben really enjoys jumping off it.

Last but not least, on a whim I decided to go ahead and make the oversized chalkboard for the dining room. I was in Home Depot for more spray paint when I saw the prefinished 2x4 chalkboard ($10!). So I picked up 2 boards and had them cut down. I liked the look of these rustic, weathered boards. I just screwed the boards to the chalkboard, and we were in business.

This is the closest to the true color.

But in this one you can see the problem--when they cut the boards, the finish chipped off on the ends. No bueno.

I hung it anyway and it was a big hit with all! Mike and Ben both drew turkeys on the board, so Liv wanted in on the fun--she just scribbled all over. (Where are her pants? Great question.)

Later that week I went to Home Depot in search of a stain to match so that I could fix the chips. It looked like a perfect match from the can, but when it went on it was much too gray. All I could do was cover all the boards in it.

Now it almost matches the wall color. Not sure if I like the minimalist, monotone look or if I need to paint it white or some such. I'm going to live with it a while and then decide.

Clearly my chalkboard lettering needs work.

That's it for now!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lots of Leaves

With Fall weather comes lots of leaves! Mike and the kids raked the front and backyard on Sunday. We ended up with 7 yard bags full, and the leaves are still falling! But the kids had a heck of a time.

Here is a quick video of the fun! Plus a video of Ben and Liv running after they got bored. :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015!

Despite another year of chilly and rainy weather, we still had a great Halloween.

We started celebrating on Friday with Ben's Kindergarten parade. Liv also wore a festive outfit. This girl loves her tutu. You can see from these pics that she was twirling. :-)

And here is Ben (SWAT guy) at his Kindergarten class parade.

Next, it was off to Creative World that afternoon to celebrate at daycare with class parties and a parade.

Liv's beloved teacher, Ms. Gloriana, dressed up as Minnie too. Liv adores her and always follows her around and wants to be her helper.

In Ben's room, things were more civilized. All the kids sat at the table nicely having a snack of apples and caramel dip and apple juice. It was an apple-themed party, since they just wrapped up a study on apples.

Meanwhile, as I hopped from room to room to hang out with both kids, Liv was still digging the water.

And Ben was being a clown, as usual.

Ms. Gloriana's last day is today and Liv will be crushed. Ms. Gloriana really favors Liv. She said other teachers have been asking her since she gave notice what she will do without Livvie? Apparently Liv is the only one to run up for a hug before she can even get her coat off, and who asks about her any time she is not at school and asks what happened when she gets back. So sweet!

Finally the parties wrapped up and it was time for the school parade. Notice which kid is walking with Ms. Gloriana and holding her hand. 

Ben's class, being school-agers, brought up the rear.

Saturday we headed out to trick-or-treat at 4 p.m. (Aurora's official hours were 4-7:30).

 Both kids really enjoyed trick-or-treating, and we hit about 20 houses despite the damp weather.

Once we got home, Ben was excited to hand out candy. Liv watched him the first few times, then decided she wanted in on that action. So Ben would give each kid a few bars, and then Liv would hold out a few bars for the kid too. Luckily, we had plenty of candy. :-)

Until next year!