Thursday, January 29, 2015


With everything going on lately and Liv's recent issues with biting at school, I pulled up these pictures from the last few weeks to remember what a sweet little thing she is. I'm hoping the biting episodes are short-lived. Because while she is high-energy, she is a sweet girl.

Here is what happens when Mom tries to sit down for a few minutes. Even Dee comes running. No rest for the weary. :-)

Here we are getting ready to head out to school one day. Ben insisted on those light up Spiderman snow boots. And Liv is obsessed with her penguin boots. So cute! She has to put them on herself; if you try to help, she holds her hand up and tells you "No, no. Mine."

See how I had that tape up to paint the walls navy? Liv took it upon herself to pull it all down one day. She was having so much fun, I didn't have the heart to stop her. She was really proud of herself for "helping."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Beauty Shop

Mom tried to tame Liv's wild hair on many occasions during their visit, but most often Liv wanted to do it herself. "I do" as she tells us. And on one occasion, Liv turned the tables and did Mom's hair. Lucky Mom!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cookie Monster

Ben is not a big fan of eating cookies, but he is really into helping make them. We whipped up several batches over the holidays.

Here is our attempt at sugar cookies. They tasted fine but spread. Later, someone told me you have to add extra flour to the dough to avoid spreading. Noted for next year!

Ben was a little heavy-handed with the sprinkles. Surprise, surprise.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What I Did On My Christmas Vacation

Remember back in grade school when we had to write those reports after summer and Christmas vacation? I couldn't help but think about that as Mom, Bill, and I worked on our mini mudroom during the holidays.

We got through Phase 1. More work to be done, but it is now a functional space. Woohoo!

Here is the "before." I'd already cleared out most of our coats and some of the junk that was living in there. But it was still god-awful.

Step 1: Paint. We went with BM's Hale Navy, which I'd also used on the fireplace wall.

My handsomest helper.

Painting done.

Phase 2: Bill installed boards for the hooks. A higher level for the adults and a lower one for the kiddos. Then Mom and I gave them a coat of Swiss Coffee that I had on hand. And Bill built a shelf for the top to add some much needed storage.

Phase 3: Install the hooks, add some baskets, and throw in a bench.

Mom donated this bench, which she wasn't using. It is too small for the space, but it works for now. We plan to build in a bench, but that is Phase 2. (Then I can repurpose the bench as a cute window seat in Liv's room; just need to make a pad for the top.)

You'll also note that I started painting the walls outside the closet in BM's Coventry Gray (leftover from Ben's room). But then Mom and I were brainstorming that I should paint the closet trim white and use the same Navy throughout the laundry/mudroom. Phase 2 as well.

Here you can see the trim that Mom picked out and Bill installed to pretty it up.

You'll also notice that I used white hooks on the side for the kids' backpacks. But the different hooks are bugging me. So those will come down and be replaced with matching hooks. I bought them out at HD, so I have to wait until they replenish their supplies.

Right now we are just kicking off our shoes on the floor, but when the bench is built out, it will have storage or baskets below for shoe storage.

It was a true team effort, and the results are awesome. It is so much more functional now (even Mike thinks so), and it certainly looks a whole lot prettier. I'll be back with Phase 2 one day...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas Wrap Up

I'm a little late to the game posting about Christmas. Mom and Bill came for a visit and helped me with a project (more on that soon). With that and the kids being home most days, we kept busy! Here is Christmas Day 2014!

Present-opening. These kids must have been good this year. ;-)


There's a glimpse of our Christmas mantel. Looking a lot better than last year. Yay!

 Christmas dinner with the Tammaros! I got everyone in the pic (even Dee!)

Opening gifts.

Dee knew there was something waiting for her in there. :-)

Denise is pregnant with the next edition to the Tammaro clan. A little boy due in April. Liv was giving her a run for her money, practicing for her own baby. With Denise's patience and natural way with kids, she will be a fabulous mom!

These two may have indulged in a little too much Scotch and food.

Merry Christmas, until next year.