Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!!

We are busy enjoying lots of good food and good company, with a [little?!] bathroom re-model project thrown in for good measure.....  :)  That would be Christmas in the L's house!!!  Love to you all!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Halloween 2012

A little peek at Halloween decorations, cause silly things like that give me great joy:
And don't forget the fro on the coat hook:
Halloween was a GORGEOUS day - super warm and sunny.  We carved pumpkins in the backyard after school.  I've decided that's the way to do it - no crazy messy and smelly kitchen, plenty of room for the kids to run around with goop up to their elbows, and best of all, NO MOPPING!! (my very very very least favorite chore.  So pointless)
 K-lady tried out the power tools.  I am filled with maternal pride.

Their pumpkins turned out really cute!  My little paper bag luminaries from a couple years ago are still going strong. :)

Joseph took the kids trick or treating and I stayed home and passed out candy.  It worked out great - his friendly-extroverted self loved getting to know some neighbors and my introverted-needing-quiet-time self reveled in the quiet of home.

I bought all the costumes this year and was so happy to not be scrambling to finish putting something together. :)  K-lady was a vampire/goth girl (her black wig just didn't work out, so she was a little lacking - oh well!), J-boy was some GI Joe Ninja Snake Eye something or other, and Girly A was a brunette Snow White-minus-the-cape-that-drove-her-crazy.  :)
 It was a lovely lovely Halloween.  It marked one year of us being in our house -- every day of October I was so grateful that I wasn't moving that month!  :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fall Miscellany

Every Fall I decide again that it's my favorite season of the year (never mind that I do the same thing w/ Spring in April).  The drastically changing seasons is one thing I love about the midwest -- Fall comes as a blessed relief to the heat and humidity of summer, and makes you appreciate it even more.  The only thing I don't appreciate so much about a Midwest Fall is the crazy wind!!!  
I took the first picture on a Tuesday, thinking I probably had another 2 weeks of gorgeous Fall tree in the backyard.  This is the view from my kitchen sink (I LOVE having a view from my kitchen sink!  I love living in my own house!  Hurray for no more itty bitty rented apartments!).  But the over the next 2 days the wind kicked in and the tree was bare by Friday!  But it gave the kids a good excuse to rake the yard and jump into piles from the swing and bury themselves and have a quintessential joys-of-childhood fall day. 
I made a little bench for our front porch.  I long for one of those gorgeous craftsman style homes with the beautiful covered porch, but I get to work w/ what I've got, right?  So I cut up some more of those old living room balusters and made a sweet little bench for free.  Yay!  I had Girly A draw faces on pumpkins as I was cleaning the car one afternoon and she autographed the concrete under the bench. :) I love her wobbly handwriting.

The beautiful oak in the front yard takes quite a bit longer to change colors and loose it's leaves - I love the progression of fall around the yard. :)

In love w/ mums and ornamental kale (Joseph: "Is that kale?!  Can I eat it??")

We lost 3 of our 4 chickens in the heat of the summer. :( Sad and lonely little Rocky was confused and in need of a flock.  Here she is wondering if she can join us dinner.

 And here she is trying to go to bed a little closer to us -- this was when I realized she was becoming quite emotionally unbalanced.  :)  No one should go to bed on top of the potting shelf on the back deck when there is a cozy coop waiting for them on the other side of the yard.  So we went for a drive one Friday afternoon and picked up a few more hens.

We watched the sun set on our way home with 4 new chickens clucking in a box in the back of the swagger wagon.  You can see forever out here.  Makes for some pretty good sunsets and sunrises.
This is Pepper II (Pepper the first succumbed to the horrors of death by heat).  She was just a little one - a few months?  Quite a ways from laying, but we just thought she was so cute we bought her anyway.  She reached an untimely end after an encounter with what must have been the neighbors' cat.  The chickens were all super freaked out one afternoon and I went to the open coop to find this poor little lady in pieces.  Literally.  Blech.  I could never be a real farmer.  Much too sad and messy.  And sad.  
Rocky had started molting when she was alone and weird, but now she's getting better.  Poor Rocky!  She's still my favorite.  The 3 surviving new birds (Ginger, Goldy and other Goldy) are all scared of me and flighty -- they're rubbing off on Rocky a little.  I'm hoping they'll mellow out.  At least we're getting a few eggs again!

One beautiful afternoon, Girly A and I chased this lovely around the back yard. :)
"Mom! I saw a butterfly!!!"
Exhibit B for why I am not farmer material:  this nasty thing was on the pepper plant in our kitchen.  So super gross.  I'd dug the gorgeous big plant out of the garden and put it in a pot to see if it could survive inside for a while.  Didn't know it had a couple hitch hikers!  The plant is not so big and beautiful anymore, but I think all these critters (tobacco worms that turn into hummingbird moths - shudder shudder shudder at the thought of hummingbird moths IN MY HOUSE!) are finally dead.  When I found this one I almost started dry heaving.  I pried it off the plant with my kitchen tongs and seriously considered just throwing the tongs away afterwards.  Joseph was fascinated and decided we should let J-boy keep it for a pet.  No, thanks.  I'm definitely not farmer material.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hall Bath - before and after

Is it weird to post pictures of my bathroom on my family blog? Yeah, it is.  Sorry.  You may already know I have a secret obsession with home decorating blogs and HGTV, so here's another little wanna-be post. :)
Before, in all it's Tuscan Glory:

 More orange.  So we went w/ my ever faithful neutral tan for starters.  It's called Galveston Dust.  Yes, I painted quite a lot of my house the color of Texas dirt.  Thank you 5 gallon bucket.
 Then I decided to replace the mirror and the light fixture.  Quick Saturday morning project, right?  Wrong - there was no junction box, just wires poking through several holes in the wall and a sewer vent pipe going straight through the center of the wall where the junction box SHOULD have been.  I cut a big square out of the drywall to the studs on either side, installed a junction box and rerouted the sewer vent pipe around it.  The sewer vent will still work, right?  I patched up the drywall, a couple coats of mud and some paint and days later I FINALLY installed the new light and mirror (mirror courtesy of bulky trash + spray paint!)  :)
 Then I decided to try out the board and batton goodness that's been everywhere the last few years.  I planned it all out and cut and painted the wood, then got scared and left it sitting in the garage for a month.  Then I finally tore out the old baseboards and forced myself to get going.  I like how it all turned out - that's a LOTTA CAULK in a little bathroom.  My fingers were raw smearing it into every nook and cranny.  A little more spray paint on all the original hardware got rid of that gold.  And a couple extra hooks instead of towel bars is way more functional for kids.

 I found that little ladder in the shed of our last rental.  I knew he'd come in handy.  :)

And last but not least a few printables copied from inspired by pinterest.

 And my sister made one like this for her bathroom, so after I finished copying pinterest I copied her.  :)  Shameless.  Now it's your turn - copy away!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mini Vacation

We scheduled a few days off in September for us to have a little family time, booked a hotel and spent some time in the big city with just us and the kids.  Usually when we get up to KC it's to spend time w/ family or run errands or go to meetings.  But this time it was just about the kids and play time.  It was a nice change up!!!  We started out w/ lunch @ Costco 'cause we're weird like that, then went to the new Lego City downtown.  
 We had the place pretty much to ourselves - just the way I like it. :)  We built race cars, little models of the Plaza, towers, houses, even cupcakes.  The kids enjoyed trying out their race cars on the tracks...
 (Do you like Girly-A's game face??)
And we had a little fun w/ the karaoke a'la Glee...

(Joseph doesn't know I'm posting this....)  K-lady LOVED the karaoke.
We'd just finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory so we watched the Johnny Depp version that night at the hotel.  Gotta love a little crazy Tim Burton.
The next morning we headed to Union Station and Science City.
Then played @ an indoor water park for the afternoon.  And finally the last day we hit up Kaleidescope @ Crown Center and a Hallmark Employee craft fair.

Oklahoma Joes (our favorite BBQ) on the way out of town made it all complete.  Oh yum.
Joseph and I took turns reading a really interesting book while driving (in case you're in need of a good read....):  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  It's a fascinating story about the history of modern science, cell research and the evolution of ethics in medicine.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

We had a great time just enjoying the city and each other - it was fun to have it all be about our little family.  These kids are a blast! :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Soccer Season

Our big kid J-boy is playing soccer this fall.  I didn't get him registered on time, so he went on a waiting list.  We managed to get him a team by bribing the rec folks with the promise of a volunteer coach:  Joseph!  :)  So Joseph is coaching this cute little bunch of 1st and 2nd graders.  J-boy's having a good time with it - it's fun to see improvement since his soccer fun last fall.
So here's a little story for you:
J-boy's first game kind of snuck up on me.  You have to pick up their shirts from a little local sporting goods store with small town hours - they close @ 5.  I forgot to get his and Joseph's - lame wife of the coach, right???  So morning of the first game I called one of the parents on the team and got the scoop on the shirt colors, ran to walmart and bought a blue shirt and red duct tape.  He got an 11 since that seemed to be the easiest number to make. :)  What do you think??  One of these days I'll get it right and stop having to pull off last minute wonders.  (I've said that for about 20 years now.  When do you think it'll stick???  Do they have rehab for people like me???)
The 'Parent Tunnel' @ the end of the game - the kids love this bit.
 snacks are usually the best part :)

 the pretty sunsets for their 2 evening games were definitely a bonus!  That's K-lady and Girly-A getting some field time after a game.
It's so nice to have a good reason to just BE OUTSIDE.  What a good place to be.
We love this goof-ball.  :)