Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!

Hope everybody had a joyous and relaxing Easter!  We had a fun filled weekend with family, which was great. On Friday, Everett had his egg hunt at school -- he looked so cute in his new t-shirt :)

We also dyed eggs - much better experience than last year -- no tears!

On Saturday, before we headed out to celebrate with BT's family, I made a quickie Easter themed breakfast (light on the pastels, of course).

The family egg hunt was at BT's cousin's house -- good to spend time with everybody west of the Colorado river for a change.

Sunday morning we were at Nana and Grandpa's. The Easter bunny brought a magic/joke themed basket for Hank

complete with hat, wand, hand buzzer, and several dollar store tricks.

Everett still holds onto his love of Elmo -- most of his basket also purchased at the dollar store, Big Lots, and Target.

The boys enjoyed another round of egg hunting without all the competition from cousins.

We spent a good portion of the day doing Hank's science experiment for school. Grandpa's house was the perfect place for this exercise -- can't wait to show you more!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Easter prep

Well, my lack of blogging the past couple of months shows -- I have not been taking pictures of all the "blog-worthy" things I normally would want to show you here. Case in point -- no pictures of the dozens of eggs I sent off this week to the boys' three schools. I tried to make them a little special -- the eggs for Hank's kindergarten class had a stretchy bunny inside, and were held closed by rainbow washi tape with his name on them. The ones for his after school class were sports themed (baseball, football, etc.), and came pre-filled with jelly beans. The ones for Everett's school were shaped like chickies - super cute. You'll just have to use your imagination. In addition to those 7 dozen eggs, I filled 4 dozen more for church, 2 dozen for Hank's baseball team, and 3 dozen for the family egg hunt this weekend. I'm about done with stuffing eggs.

We made it down to a local Easter event at Irvine Regional Park that has become a tradition for us. The boys were dressed in their "Easter Casual" outfits -- a phrase my sister-in-law and I have coined for the outfits we buy our boys when we want them to have holiday themed clothes, but not be too fancy. Hank's tie has paper airplanes on it - love!

Waiting for the Easter bunny, Hank let me know, politely, that he thought he was a little too old for things like this. I asked, politely, if he would take one more picture with the Easter bunny, since we had taken the time to get dressed up and drive down for the event. This was said stoically, though my heart was sobbing. Everett was not on board with the man-sized bunny, which is, imho, the appropriate response that kids should have, so I unexpectedly was added to the picture.

The rest of the event is a bit pricey, as each activity (cookie decorating, games, train rides, and even the bounce house) costs $5 each. That had better be one yummy cookie. Maybe it won't be so bad to give up this tradition :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


Well, that was an unexpected break! Life got busier than usual back in February when Hank started playing Little League. We have two games and a practice every week (2 weeknights and Saturdays), in addition to the swimming class he has been taking Monday nights for 6 months or so now, and various other activities that pop up nearly weekly for school. Oh - and dad is an assistant coach for the baseball team, and mom is back up for team mom and helps during games managing the team in the dugout. With the crazy baseball schedule, big projects for mom and dad at work, a never ending yard project, and helping out at Hank's school, free time is a premium around these parts! We are so looking forward to spring break next week -- no baseball (hallelujah!),  mom and dad are both relatively caught up with work, and Hank will be spending a few days with Nana and Grandpa. We could all use a break!

Hopefully I can catch up posting some of the activities we have done in the last couple of months. Since it is April Fool's Day, though, I thought I would post a few pictures of our early morning pranks. First, mama put out frozen cereal and milk. This trick did not go over well with Everett, who really wanted the cereal (we are not big cereal eaters -- this was leftover Lucky Charms from St. Patrick's Day, and there wasn't any more!)

I didn't get a picture of Hank's prank, but it was actually pretty clever. This from a kid who is typically pretty literal, and lacking what most would refer to as street smarts. Without consulting either of us, and thinking quickly about something that would impact dada's morning, he took all of the washcloths out of the bathroom, including those in the shower. Dada called out to Hank to get him a washcloth, and Hank at first played like he didn't know where they normally went, and then, after he opened the drawer, acted surprised they weren't in there. It was a prank on me as well, as my first thought was wondering if I was really that behind on the laundry. I don't know -- may not sound like a big deal to most folks, but I was really proud of how quickly he put his plan together, and that it was something subtle, but did have an impact on our morning.

Finally, mama woke up early and moved dada's truck. Since we had already had a few pranks this morning, BT caught on pretty quickly, and ended up just being frustrated that he had to walk up to the end of the block to get it. Oh -- and this picture shows you where we are at with the yard. The bare part in the main yard is intended to be this way - it is decomposed gravel. But, it itself is not finished, as it needs to have a stabilizer applied, and about 25 other steps that need to be done (or re-done) before we can put in a few low water plants. This project definitely makes me think we were not intended to be homeowners.

Well, if by chance I don't get back on the blogwagon, a post on April Fool's Day will be most appropriate :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Class Valentines

As with previous years, quite a few Valentines to make to cover Hank's two schools and Everett's day care class.

For Everett, we riffed off his love of Elmo to make "Everett's World" Valentines.

The lunch bags were found at 99 Cents Only store,

and filled with a snack sized bag of Goldfish, crayons, and an Elmo Valentine.

For his teachers, I once again purchased small boxes of Ghirardelli chocolate and put them in muslin bags found at Michaels.

For Hank's kindergarten class, we put mustache pencil toppers on Valentine's Day themed pencils. I bought the pencil toppers a year ago or so at 99 Cents Only. Tags found here.

For his teacher, her favorite candy in Valentine form and a cinnamon scented candle.

For his after school friends, Hank is giving store bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Valentines. For the two teachers, we put candy in these cute jars from Target.

Always feels good to get these done!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Finishing up Christmas

Promise you won't hear anything more from on on the subject until the appropriate time later this year.

I missed 7 work days during December due to my own illness, being home with the kids, and a couple of scheduled days off. I needed about that amount of time to catch up with work assignments that should have been done by the end of the year, and likewise for my Christmas crafts.

I had one more stocking to finish up -- for Miss Harper, little sister to Riley. An angel playing a harp was an obvious choice.

Finally, my craft for my women friends -- white and gold embellished trivets. I bought the plain cork trivets at Daiso (see -- quirky phrase on the back)

and used skinny "artist's tape" to mark the lines.

The gold paint pen Sharpie claimed it could write on anything, but didn't do great on the raw cork. For some I colored in the line left by the tape and then just outside the line for a two-tone effect.

Others I colored on top of the white spray painted part, which worked a little better. Love these gold feather tags from the Target dollar section!

My other big project is a major overhaul of our house in terms of purging unnecessary items and organizing what's left. I started in the kitchen, and am going to work my way through the whole house this year. I break down everything into small bite-sized pieces, so thus far I have not gotten overwhelmed (like I would if I felt I had to finish cleaning/organizing the whole kitchen in a weekend, or a similar unrealistic goal). I am having a lot of fun finding new storage solutions, and getting rid of things that haven't been used in some time. I hope I can keep up the momentum!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Elf hijinks and Christmas wrap up (minus two things)

Eyeball made it back to our house this year.

Being sick most of the month, I sooo wasn't in the mood to deal with the dang elf this year. But -- we made it through the month with only one day he forgot to do something funny (he has a little nook to sit in after he is discovered each day, so it's easy to say he is tired if he doesn't move into a new situation).

When Eyeball first arrived, he brought socks featuring his likeness. Other situations the boys found him in included

spelling their names using M&Ms

emerging from a ribbon chrysalis he made one day to become a beautiful butterfly the next

packing Hank a sugar laden lunch

and taking a shower.

Eyeball's month was not without mishap. He, too, found himself sick

broke his foot and received a green cast, just like poor Everett

was antagonized by Nana's Hallmark snowmen

and somehow found himself in this predicament.

See you next year, Eyeball!

Finishing up with Christmas stuff that was completed on time, here are the cookies we made (recipe here) for neighbors, BT's work, and a cookie exchange.

They were good, but a little pricey with the chocolate covered pretzel (store bought) antlers.

One more gift we gave to a few people -- a paper bag containing gifts I have been led to believe through books like Little House on the Prairie that folks would have given for Christmas in the 1800s -- popping corn (on the cob!), candy, cider, and an orange. The popcorn was something we tried to grow this year in the most pathetic garden of all time. Note to all black thumbs out there -- do NOT use "garden soil" in your container garden. Apparently garden soil is meant to be mixed in with existing soil, and on its own is like acid to plants. These cobs were purchased at a local diner.

Speaking of Little House on the Prairie, I was so tickled to see this setup during a December trip to Knott's Berry Farm

I knew exactly what he was doing, even from a distance -- making maple syrup candy in the "snow!" He was in the process of heating up more syrup when I stopped by, and it was going to be awhile until he was ready. I forgot to go back, so I missed out on trying some. Next year. Hey -- maybe somebody will try the trick with our popcorn when you add it to a cup of milk!

I had two stockings to make this year. Unfortunately only one was done before the end of the year in time for our family Christmas party. The other one will hopefully be done this month (or at least in time for next Christmas).

This is for baby Dylan -- mama requested something incorporating his middle name, Rider, and said he likes to growl

Finally for now, our 2014 keepsake ornament -- a germ. We had so much sickness this year -- can only hope for a healthier 2015!

Inspiration for design found here.
(I still have the one stocking to make, and my "mass gift" for my close women friends. Fingers crossed I can still muster some crafting mojo this month!)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Homemade for the boys

I was hoping to get a better shot of my only homemade present for the boys this year -- a doorway puppet theater.

This was how I left the puppet theater for them to find Christmas morning. They were happy with it, but yeah -- more so for the climbing through a doorway with a curtain over it versus to use for actual puppet shows. Only one of those took place on Christmas day.

Today -- the eldest son head butted the lower tension rod. On purpose. Why? I couldn't tell you. So, it is bent and non-operable. If you look for doorway puppet theaters, 1) be prepared to go down the rabbit hole -- there are some amazing ones out there! and 2) it seems people shy away from the use of tension rods. Do they have children who act like goats, too?

I was off duty this year in the homemade hat department. During our trip to Iowa, my great aunt (so the boys' great great aunt) gave them homemade hats. They loved them, and wear them quite often. Why bother making competing hats?

And for today's homemade ornament -- I really didn't see any must make ideas until this popped up. I made a California ornament to celebrate the birth place of all 4 of us. The leather was salvaged from an old business card holder, as mama received this lovely new one for Christmas. I have our annual keepsake ornament idea in mind, but otherwise may not be too many more this week between Christmas and New Year's -- we'll see.