Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Two Months of Grandma and Grandpa

My parents did a bit of snow birding this winter.  Let's see... winter in Minnesota or winter in Texas?  Which would you choose?  They lived with us, in our guest room.  They were easy and fun and all that other good stuff.  The kids especially loved it.  Being one of five isn't all happiness and flowers.  I'm know there's things they miss out on.  They don't get as much one-on-one time as they would if they only had one sibling.  They don't get to choose what restaurant they go to very often (there's only a few that we can eat at affordably when we're all together).  My parents were able to provide lots of individual attention.  They got lunches out.  They were brought on many errands and walks.  They got to cook with my mom.  They got to hang out with Grandpa on the back porch as he smoked a cigar.  The fun never stops with them.

One of the things they did was make these boxes during home school "shop."  The boxes fit into their closet shelving so they can store their important stuff away from their brothers :)

My dad taught them to make the box and my mom taught them to stain.

Staining is long process, but they did all the coats themselves.

Asher wanted to pose with his box.

My mom was the one to get Joseph to read his very first word.  He was so excited, he hugged her.

They got a night with Papa.  What a treat to have so many grandparents in one room.

They were read to (which seems to be a good time to clean out your nose).

We watched ALL three season of Downton Abbey.  All the way to the bitter (I don't want to talk about it) end.

And when they left, it was sad.  Two of those boys were crying.

And Grandma found this note in their car.  It says, "Dear joyce and rich.  I'm sad you are gowing but hope to see you love you.  love samuel"

Sweet boy.
It was a sweet visit.

Let's do it again next winter.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I brought these to my small group last week.  Chris has a couple of friends who used to request these routinely on Sundays while we watched the Cowboys.  I haven't made them in years.  I don't even know what to call them.  A kind soul brought them to me after Asher was born.  They're not to be made if you're on any kind of a diet.  They're not heart healthy.  They're not good for the sugar sensitive.  But good to bring to small group if you want to be popular.

They're even easy to make.  Melt butter, pecans and brown sugar in a pan.

Pour over graham crackers and cook until they look like this.

Then you sprinkle some chocolate chips on them.


And yum.

1 cup butter
I cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
Graham crackers
Large handful of chocolate chips

Melt butter, brown sugar and pecans in sauce pan and boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour over greased cookie sheet covered with graham crackers.
Bake at 350 for 7 minutes.
Sprinkle some chopped chocolate chips (mine weren't chopped bc I happened to have mini chocolate chips) on top and return to the oven for 1 minute.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Around the House

I've been eyeing this cute little Ikea cart for about a year.  They've been out of it every time I went (until, of course, this last time after I had already found this cart).
When I saw this at a local antique store, I knew I wanted to take it home with me, sand it down, and paint it aqua.

Now she has a home, but the school room is getting revamped so it has nothing on it yet.

I found this about a year ago at a garage sale and liked the style of it, but not the yellow flowers.  So I painted it with some of the leftover paint from our building process.

It found a home right next to the chair in our bathroom :)

I also saw this at the same antique store as the cart and texted a friend, "Is it great or is it ugly?"  I liked it, but wanted a little reassurance I was not crazy.  It was cheap enough, but not cheap enough to feel good about buying it if I changed my mind and didn't love it.  

With a little navy (thanks to all my instagram friends for helping me make that decision) spray paint, I'm loving it even more.  I need to find the perfect place to hang it.

My dad and I made a towel rack out of some old hooks I found at a store around here that sells parts from old houses.  I painted it gray from some leftover paint in the garage.  Each of the boys already had a color that was really just for school.  But those colors are creeping into other areas as well.  Emily at The Anderson Crew swears by this, and I'm loving that I know who left their towel on the floor.  If they were really smart, they would use someone's towel and leave it on the floor, but they haven't figured that out yet.  Shhhh.

Next up is the school room transformation... which very well may take months, but I'll show you what we've done so far.  We are slow around here.  I'll be the first to admit it's hard for me to get anything done.  It's hard enough just keeping up with the every day activity around here.  The boys are always home, which I LOVE, but it doesn't lend itself very often to home projects.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Uncle Jim & Aunt Holly

 My aunt and uncle came all the way from Maryland to see us.  My parents have been staying with us since the end of January, and it has been a blast having a very full house.  Jim and Holly made it even fuller, in a good way.  They came bearing gifts for the boys.  One of the gifts they brought was a game called Ticket to Ride.  It's such a great game.  Get it if you're a board game kind of family.  I think they played it five times while they were here, and it's not a short game.  We just finished reading a book about the transcontinental railroad, so I personally loved them playing a game that was based off that period of history we had just studied.

Love this pic of the boys enjoying them.  Jimmy and Maj, I think your little girl is going to have some pretty fine grandparents, you think? :)

We went to the Botanical Gardens one afternoon before lunch.  Things are just about to bloom, so it wasn't the prettiest, but the boys still loved running around, enjoying nature.

The obligatory group photo.

Thanks, Jim and Holly, for making the trip, laughing with us, loving on the boys, and for leaving us with the best present... Season 3 of Downton Abbey :)  Let's do it again soon!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Five on the 5th {Piano Edition}

The three older boys take piano and recently played at Junior Federation.  They all played well and were relieved to have it behind them in this picture.

This is the "official" five on the 5th pic.

This is them at home before we left... 
... all looking very handsome.

This is just before they went in to play.  Lots of nervous energy here.

Samuel ran to me right after he was told the score he got and gave me the biggest hug.  I savored the moment and loved that a hug for me was what he wanted to do first :)  He's getting older and I don't expect these public displays of affection to last for too much longer.

This is just after they were finished playing in the recital.  I think what they were thinking about most in this picture is lunch.  Off to Canes we went to celebrate with chicken fingers, french fries, and Dr. Pepper.

Good job, boys!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Driveways and Grass {Building Our Home}

Lots of things were happening outside too.

Lots of long, hot mornings spent at the worksite for the boys.

But at least they had entertaining things to watch.

Salt put on the wet concrete.

Pretty cool to have a cement truck in our back yard.

More handprints.  This time we did a better job.

 Next up was the landscaping, starting with grass.

One morning, huge piles of sod were lying around our lot.

It was nice to see the lot all cleared again.  

And then there was grass.

Next up is exterior paint and floor stain.