Saturday, July 31, 2010

Top reasons I adore him

I had some time to sit and think as I drove myself to Springfield today for an errand.  I was reflecting a bit on my man and how much I love and adore him.  Over these past 10 years we have had some rough patches, but everything has led us to become stronger and more in love than we were the day we got married.  Here are some of the things, that I simply adore about him and that still makes my heart go pitter patter:

1.  He is so loving towards me and the girls.
2.  I love the way he plays and interacts with the girls.
3.  I love how supportive he is of me, my goals, hopes, and dreams and how he gives everything he's got to make it all come true.
4. I love that he is willing to compromise for my happiness
5.  I love that after all these years, he still says things to make me feel beautiful.
6.  I love how much ambition and drive he has to always be the best he can be
7.  I love how personable and likeable he is around people, especially strangers
8.  I love how calm and collected he is in stressful situations
9.  Even though I haven't seen him do this in some time, watching him play drums still makes me feel that first "crush" feeling
10.  I love how patient he is with the girls
11.  I love his ability to diffuse a situation in such positive and creative ways
12.  I love how dedicated he is to keeping our yard looking nice.
13.  I love that he doesn't complain about taking the trash to the curb every Wednesday
14.  I love that he is sensitive to my needs.
15.  I love how thoughtful he decides what gifts to get me for special occasions
16.  I LOVE his sense of humor and playfulness
17.  I adore his love for living life to the fullest
18.  I love how excited he gets to experience new things taking thousands of pictures to capture the moment in time
19.  I love that he is willing to help me find things that I've lost without giving me a hard time.
20.  I love how he surprises the girls with things every now and then just because....he thinks of them constantly
21.  I love that he is so creative and very talented
22. I  love that he can accomplish whatever he puts his mind too
23.  I love how smart he is.  He's my personal calculator and more
24.  I love that he is working hard to secure a better life for us and our future.
25.  I love when he listens to me when I am hurting and holds me to make me feel better.
26.  I love how sensitive he is to the girls and entertains the girly sides of them
27.  I love how well he gets along with my side of the family and cares for them.
28.  I love his willingness to give to good causes
29.  I love the way he looks in a suit.  Sigh!
30.  I love how supportive he is of me when I just need to get away or need something to make me like a woman
31.  I love how he has a way with words.
32.  I love how good he is at golf.  
33.  I love that even though he doesn't enjoy going to church all that much, he goes because he knows it's important for us.
34.  I love that he always wants to share things that he finds exciting with me.
35. I love that we still dream together.

Let's face it folks.  I'm head over heals for my man.  He's everything I could ever need and want in a mate to spend the rest of my life with. I feel so fortunate and blessed to have him in my life.  I'm so proud of you honey and love you SOOOOO much!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Playing dress the kitchen

I have been using bathroom hand towels in the kitchen since I was in college. I was given a set of kitchen towels when I got married, but they were never absorbant, so I rarely used them.  My towels are ratty and ugly.  I decided it was time to get real kitchen towels and dress up the kitchen a little.  Of course, it had to be as low budget as possible. So....I tapped into my internet search powers and came up with this tutorial:

We do not have a towel holder in our kitchen.  Nor do we have a good place for one.  Therfore, I have been using our oven door to hang them on.   It used to look like this:
But now it looks like this.....

Much better eh?  Honestly, I would have rather had a little more contemporary looking towels, but these were only a dollar each at walmart, and they WEREN'T bath towels.  I already had the pot holders on hand.  Jeff bought me a ton of them one Christmas and they were overflowing my drawers.  That only left some cheap buttons to buy.  Really a very inexpensive fix.  After I sewed them together, I did realize a couple of the pot holders had fabric that was fraying, so at some point I'll have to get out the seam ripper and replace those, but for now they should work fine.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Ever since our anniversary, I feel I've been on overdrive.  We had a very short visit with Jeff's folks last weekend.  They had been watching our niece and nephew for a week and a half and were needing to get them back to their mother and also make an appt. in Wichita.  We aren't exactly half way, but we are closer than Garden City.  Their mother wasn't able to pick them up right away, so I've been watching them in addition to my own children and the daycare children for the last couple of days.  I've not had much time to sit down and collect myself, so there's obviously not been a lot of time to blog.

My birthday was yesterday.  It started out a little stressful, but ended very pleasant.  Some of the perks of my day were being serenaded by 5 children to a cute version of "Happy Birthday" while I scrubbed toilets.  Later that evening my niece gave me her present (a selfmade happy birthday song that mentioned I was her favorite aunt several times).  That made me smile for sure.  Jeff got me my own veggie pizza, chocolate cake, and icecream.  He also gave me the rest of my gifts which included more pyrex storage containers and a telescope (there's a meteor shower August 12th).  Last Saturday he surprised me by dropping me off at the eye glasses store to get an exam and new specs.  I've had the same pair since before Kadyn was born and they were in bad shape.  I can't wait to get my new ones.  They should be coming home today.

Last Sunday night as a sort of late anniversary gift to each other, Jeff and I went Kayaking down Table Rock lake.  We had the nice perk of having free childcare since Jeff's parents were in town, so we wanted to take advantage.  We had a great time.  It was so beautiful, and I really enjoyed looking at all the wildlife which included ducks, geese, blue herons, fish, and river otters.  There was a layer of fog that just hovered above the 48 degree waters, and the sun was setting.  It was just breath taking.  Jeff snapped a million photos, and I did most of the paddling.  Jeff is now talking of buying our own Kayak for future fun as a family.  We'll see.

Monday night I decided to treat the girls and did "girl's night."  I took my niece and Kadyn out to eat a funnel cake covered in chocolate icecream and marshmellow sauce in a dessert parlor on the strip.  It was a special time and something we may have to do everytime they come visit.  Tuesday night we took all the kids for a picnic at the landing.  We also got to feed the ducks at Taneycomo lake, play at the playground, and watch the fire and water show at the landing.

I would be lying if I said watching 6 kids was a breeze.  There were sibling squabbles galore, some establishing of house rules to do, and just complete chaos that accompanies having 6 children in a house. was nice for the girls to be able to spend time with their cousins.  Kadyn had a ball.  Brennan enjoyed being chased by her oldest cousin, Taryn.  It was fun watching them play and interact together.

Here are some pics of the past several days.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Sneak Preview

I heard there were two adorable super heroes coming to town this Halloween to make sure everyone stays safe.  They can't be revealed in their entirety for fear that the public would overwhelm them with requests to save the day (and because their costumes aren't complete....and it isn't halloween yet).  Until then, they save the day at home 24/7 flying about capturing "bad guys" and throwing them in jail.  Shew!  Never knew there were so many "bad guys" in Branson.What would I do without them?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

10 years

Jeff and I celebrated our 10th anniversary yesterday.  It's amazing that it's been that long.  We've actually been together for 14 years total, and that REALLY seems like a long time. was a good day.  I gave Jeff a card that morning and we both greeted each other with a little, "Happy Anniversary."  Then he was off to work and I was busy with daycare.  Late afternoon when he got home, he surprised me with the best gifts (even though we agreed not to buy gifts this year....stinker).  I got new glass pyrex storage containers with lids (part of my goal to go greener and try to reduce plastic use although the lids are plastic so they're not entirely green.  I LOVE them.  They are microwave safe, oven safe, and freezer safe.  They won't get tipped over in the dishwasher either That ALWAYS happens to my plastic storage containers and drives me BONKERS. 

He also made all my picnic dreams come true.  I got the BEST picnic basket to carry our food in.  It's insulated and OH SO CUTE!  He also got an oversized picnic blanket that folds up into a nice little rectangle with a handle.  It is made of the perfect material that won't stick to the ground and just the right size for our little family.  It is very girly.  I LOVE it! 

Then he got us passes to go see some tigers at a place called Turpentine Creek (a refuge for abandoned, neglected, and abused big cats) just about an hour and a half from here.  He also got a pass to go to the Promised Land Zoo in Eureka Springs.

Later that evening we all went out to eat for Mexican food and came home and finished the evening with some chocolate peanut butter chip brownies I made.  It was a good day.  Possibly the best anniversary to date. 

It's funny, we've been married longer than we've been parents and yet it seems like we've had kids forever.  The best years of our marriage really have been the last 4 when Kadyn and Brennan joined our family.  I think it dawned on Kadyn what our anniversary meant as one day she said, "If you never got married, you wouldn't have us.  Good thing you got married."  Yes indeed little one, yes indeed.  To me, it seems an anniversary is no longer the celebration of a marriage, but the celebration of becoming a family.  What a beautiful thing.

Here's a pic of my new lovelys.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Little Stressor

I am grateful for my job.  It has kept us afloat financially (an answer to prayer).  It has provided socialization for my little ones.  Best of all, it has allowed me to stay at home with my kiddos.  Most days are good.  However, if you will bear with me for a moment, I need to let off a little steam.  The one thing that stresses me out the most about my job, isn't the kids, it's the parents.  Don't get me wrong, I have great parents to work with.  I feel fortunate because I know they appreciate me and they always pay on time.  So what do you wonder if my big beef?

I am a very scheduled person.  I believe sticking to a schedule really gives kids a sense of security and often times eliminates melt downs and other battles.  I'm not to the T on my schedule, but generally we try to eat and nap around the same time each day; our craft times and story times can vary a little more.  The kids know what is coming and when it's coming, and so they don't have to fuss to get my attention and tell me what they need.  I guess a schedule is really meant to anticipate their needs before it gets to that point where it's too late, if that makes any sense.  Anyhow, both work with are in the entertainment biz.  Their hours are not your typical 9-5.

I never know when the oldest child is going to show up.  There will be times he shows up in the middle of lunch, sometimes after lunch, sometimes first thing in the morning.  He gets picked up, for the most part, at the same time everyday, but sometimes that even changes.  Mondays are a day off for his father, so sometimes he keeps him the entire day, sometimes not.  Sometimes they give me advance warning of these things, sometimes they don't, and sometimes they wait until last minute to tell me of these things.  It DRIVES ME BONKERS!  Planning meals, snacks, crafts, all of that depends on whether he is here or not.    There have been many times we have been sitting down eating and I have to get up in the middle of lunch and make another plate in a hurry.  I could go on, but I digress.

The youngest child can sometimes be dropped off at various times and picked up at various times, but for the most part, her schedule seems pretty consistent.  Days that she is here an entire day are smooth!  I have her on a schedule on those days and it works great for all of us.  However, on days her father picks her up I never know when to expect him.  He has never once picked her up when he says he's going to.  This can make it difficult for me to decide if I should move on with our normal schedule or not as I don't want him showing up in the middle of her snack.  Doesn't seem fair to sit her down, let her get all messy and into her snack and then take her out and clean her up before she's done because Dad showed up.  Today she was dropped off right after lunch (not her usual time) and she fell asleep in the car on the way over (it was nap time).  That meant she didn't get the full nap in and could really use some more sleep.  You all know where this is going Mamas.  Did she fight going down?  Absolutely.  Did it stress me out....absolutely!

Anyhow, this is an area I really need to work on.  I feel bad that I can't just go with the flow more.   I know how fortunate I am that I have these children, who really are good kids, and have good parents.  I realize that the parents don't have typical hours and they are just trying to be with their children as much as possible on their time off.  I need to just accept that there are going to be days that don't run as smoothly because somebody showed up at a difficult time or didn't get picked up on time, etc.  I need to accept that even though I make a plan, it doesn't always mean that I'm going to be able to stick to it.  I feel guilty that I let it upset me this much. I guess God's going to have to work with me on this.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Martha Stewardish

Something about making and wearing my new apron makes me feel very Martha Sterwardish.  I was surprised to find that Jeff actually liked it too.  He usually doesn't like homemade. was easier than I expected.  I had to add the top part by myself as the tutorial was only for a half apron.  I LOVE it and feel so girly in it.  So much better than my other store bought apron.  It's so nice I almost don't want to get it dirty cooking LOL. 

Here's the tutorial I used:

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Spy Bag

Saw a tutorial for one of these and HAD to try it.  What a cool time killer in the van.  I seem to be in a travel entertainment kick lately.  First the seat organizer, then the lap desks, now the ISpy bag.  Anyhoo....these were relatively easy to make, minus the one time I accidentally melted the vinyl and had replace, or when I forgot to put a few things in and had to rip it back open, or when I had to reopen again because I put too much rice in it.  Oh, and then there was the learning curve for the grommets.  I'm a little rusty on putting one of those in.  I discovered they are much easier to install if you use a concrete floor when you hammer those puppies.   Needless to say, there were quite a few bumps along the way, but I think they were worth it.  I made one for my niece for Christmas too.  If only I could find a way to make a living at sewing, I'd die a happy woman.  It's my happy, me place if you know what I mean?

The card that is attached has a picture of everything inside the bag on one side for nonreaders and a printed list on the other side for readers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lap desk

Everyone I'm sure has encountered this problem at some point during their child rearing days.  You're on a long trip and to save time you decide to eat on the go.  Give the kids their hamburgers and hope they don't make a big mess all over their seats and laps.  Oops, too late, they just did.  Laps and car seats are cleaned up as much as possible.

Lunch is done, now to find some entertainment seeing how your DVD player's batteries are dead after being on for 5 hours.  How about coloring?  "Sorry, kiddo, do the best you can.  You'll have to use your lap, we don't have a desk in the van."

Not anymore :)  I found a tutorial to make a lap desk.  Very little sewing involved. Easy, easy, easy.  They aren't as sturdy as a real desk, but they ought to get the job done.  I, of course, was trying to make these on as little of cost as possible, so I didn't use the recommended materials in the tutorial.  I just picked up two serving trays for under a dollar, polly foam I found at the thrift store, used some of my scrap fabric, cut up a cereal box, and a little hot glue and wala!  A solution to my problem.   They have a little bit of a lip so that should help crayons from rolling off.  I think they may be handy when we go camping.  The girls can sit in their lawn chairs and eat.  Brennan doesn't exactly fit on a picnic table very well yet.  Sorry, Bren was taking a nap and couldn't model hers for you, so it's just pictured here all by itself.

  Here's the link in case you want to make some for yourself.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Polly meets Paul

Polly was SOOO excited to meet her new buddy Paul.
When they met it was love at first sight.
....and they were thrilled to pieces that they had a nice sleeping bag purse to rest in and store their cloths in. 
....but most of all, the are beyond excited to meet the princess that will be carrying them around and giving them lots of love.

I Marvel

I am always marveling at the developments of my girls, especially Kadyn since she is my first, and every development she makes is new to me.  She is such an artsy, crafty girl.  I have a lot of supplies easily accessible for her to get into so it's not uncommon for her to get a whole bunch out and start doodling away all on her own.  Lately her drawings and colorings have gotten more detailed and extravagant.  It blows my mind to see such a young person be able to draw so purposefully and legibly.  I think all the crafting we have done together has paid off, inspiring her to get better and better at drawing and coloring.  Here's the proof: (Notice the stripes and polka dots on the frog.  The shapes on the pink paper is supposed to be houses with people in them.  Oh, and I just adore our family portrait with the tree. Sigh!) 

 So proud of Kadyn!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another green move

Whipped these up last night and this morning.  I've been reading a few green blogs and the writers on those blogs are quick to point out we have an overuse of plastic in this country.  I knew using reusable grocery bags was a great way to help reduce this waste, but it never even dawned on me to use reusable produce bags.  After all, you never see those for sale at the registers as you check out like you do the grocery bags.  So when I read about making your own produce bags I was all about it. I picked up some sheer fabric that had been used for curtains at the thrift store, used a few regular cotton fabric scraps, and ribbon.  I wasn't very careful about making things all nice and neat as I knew this really wasn't going to be a show piece, but more of just something to help make life more functional and less wasteful. 

Sure wish Branson had a farmers market, they'd really come in handy then.  I realized after making these little puppies that never again will I have to go to a bag dispenser only to find out it's out of bags and have to go to the next one.  I made big bags, 2 medium bags, and 1 small bag.  I think that ought to do it.   Since becoming vegetarian, it's amazing how many of those produce bags I was coming home with every week.  Glad to know I'm doing my part there.

Another July weekend

The owners of the building Jeff works in decided to throw aEdit HTML staff party for all of their employees.  They invited Jeff and our family to the party.  Mr. Akers, one of the owners, owns a houseboat.  Originally we were supposed to board the houseboat for the party, but things got changed due to logistical reasons.  Anyhoo....Mr. Akers also owned some land in Forsyth, MO and decided to hold the party there.  The land really was beautiful and it happened to have a very large creek running through the middle for the kids to swim in.  They also had canoes for people to ride and you could even bring your own fishing pools and go fishing.  Kadyn loved going for a canoe ride and swimming with the minnows.  A good time was had by all.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Babies, babies, babies

Seems everyone is having a baby.  Just found out about another dear friend who will be welcoming another little one into their family ;)  Anyhoo....I found a sewing tutorial that showed how to make the CUTEST little baby bibs ever.  I had these all done a week ago, but waited to post them until now because I took them to an embroidery place to have the names put on them.  Turns out I'm not very good at embroidery on my machine, and I didn't want to take the time or the chance of screwing it up by doing it by hand.  Now I have a new thing on my wish list, an embroidery machine.  I just love personalizing things I made five bibs total. Anyhoo...all the girl bibs look the same and all the boy bibs look the same. Too make them I used a combo of used pillow cases, receiving blankets, and an old pair of jeans I got from the thrift store.  They were SOOO fun to make.  The girl bibs I admit are my favorite ones.

And this isn't really baby related, but remember how I said I wanted to make a chocolate colored table cloth to go with my new sewing setup.  Well I found the perfect shower curtain at target to turn into a table cloth.  I had a gift card so I ended up only spending 10 dollars and I had a ton of fabric left over for more projects.  Yea!  You can't tell in the pic, but it has satin like stripes.  It did exactly what I was hoping, it makes everything POP!!!!  Now it all goes with the rest of my decor in mour living area.  I'm afraid that means, it's a permanent part of our living room, or at least until we get the basement finished or one of the girls moves out in 20 years and I get to steal one of their rooms and make it into my craft room...snicker, snicker.  Anyhoo...I just wanted to show it all put together.  It turned out exactly how I wanted.  The only thing that would make it more perfect is a tiny little plant, but then I thought, that might be a disaster if some tiny little hands knocked it over which is VERY possible.