Monday, March 30, 2009

A Rainy Weekend


We were on the receiving end of torrential downpours and thunderstorms in our corner of Alabama this weekend. Fortunately our house sits at the top of a hill so we were high & dry, but when it came time to leave the house we came to the realization that we were landlocked by flooding. Every road out of our area was roadblocked. Later in the day Mom {who just so happened to be delayed from leaving by the inclement weather} and I decided to go for a drive. This is exactly what DaddyBoy would have done too. He too loves extreme weather and anytime we had a snow storm or major thunderstorm he'd be the first one out to survey the damage. We saw a lot of this...


Earlier that morning the girls enjoyed making ciniminis with Mom.


And I enjoyed a simple sewing project that I found here.


If you have a serger it is SUPER easy.... sergers tend to do that... make sewing so much easier. I went years without one and now that I have one I often wonder how I managed to make anything! But if you don't have a serger it's still easy!! I made both girls a skirt {I used the smaller template for both}. I changed it up a tad, by:

1. for Morgan {age 4} I added 2 more panels for a total of 10 {for more "twirlability"}.
2. for both girls I added about 1 and 1/2 inches to the top of each panel to avoid adding the "quilt binding" that she used for her elastic casing} I figured their shirts would cover the top of the skirt anyway.
3. I assembled mine by serging all the panels together in a long strip... all 10 lined up. Then I hemmed it {because hemming a straight line is easier than hemming it once it's assembled}. Then I serged the back seam. Serged the top and turned it under for my elastic casing. And added a homemade tag because that helps Daddy when he dresses them.
4. It only took 25 mins start to finish. That's my kind of sewing!

Here's a picture of the inside of the skirt to give you a better idea of what I did.


When I was done, I cleaned my little nest so you can see. This is my favorite seat in the house... and where all this blogging/sewing business goes down.


Have a great Monday... I'm all smiles because Mom is still here!!!!! We love her and hope she never leaves. :) She's informed me she's going to stick around until we get some of these bathrooms finished up. I hope to come to you later this week with some before & afters.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Every Major Accomplishment Deserves a Make-Over

First, let me start by saying, I love severe weather! Not what it results in physically, but I love the idea of hunkering down, riding it out, not leaving the house, and following the doppler radar. I also love that it just so happened to hit our area this morning preventing Mom from making her treacherous voyage home. Oh darn! She must stay at least one more day. Shortly before I informed her that she wouldn't be leaving this morning I found this sweet note in our playroom.


She has been here for several weeks now, she briefly left on two occassions to visit with Erika & Chance at the beach with DaddyBoy. I can never stand the thought of her leaving. We've accomplished a few little tasks here and there but for the most part we've just been living life and when that involves 3 small children the day is done before you know it. I was so thankful and excited for one more day with her.

Speaking of excited, I cannot tell you how proud we are of Morgan. She has completely stopped sucking her thumb*. It was so much easier than I ever dreamed it would be. Justin and I have expressed to one another several times that we can't believe it. She was not only a thumb-sucker but a hair twirler, and for her, the two coincided. Every morning she would wake with a giant "dreadlock" that she had twirled all night and rubbed with her fingers... and before I could get in there and "work" on it... she would rip it out. Yes, rip it out of her head. It was not out of the ordinary to find these giant "dreadlock knots" laying on the floor around her bed. She has 1/2 as much hair on the left side of her head as she has on the right, due to the ripping out of the knots. Since the thumb-sucking and hair twirling coincided, do away with one and you've done away with both! Now that is killing two birds with one stone. The child has never allowed me to cut her hair. She has always needed it long to twirl while she sucked. No longer my love. No longer.

So here's what we did today...

Mom started the job by taking a little off the bottom.


Then I took over to shape it.

haircut me

But I failed to give Mom a quick tutorial on how to use the camera and what angle would actually show the haircut in the picture rather than the back of the barstool. And boy, I sure was moving fast... you have to when you're working on a toddler! :)

Towards the end it looked more like this. And Swiper must have been up to no good by the look on her face.


And... the results are in... she loves it. But according to her, "Mom, this isn't at my shoulders!" And me, "No honey, but it's close!"

She's a new woman, with a new 'do, and ready for a hot Alabama summer... as soon as all this rain dries up! And y'all are going to have to look closer to know if it's Morgan or Paige. I've only called her Paige 3x today.



Some of y'all asked about my grassy eggs. The grass seed came from Walmart and it's called Kwik Grass by Pennington Seed.


*for those of you with thumb suckers who might be interested in our tactics: First, as I've mentioned before I took her to ToysRUs to pick out a little incentive. We came home with a doll but she knew she couldn't have it until she stopped sucking her thumb. So I hid the doll. We wrap both thumbs in bandaids or athletic tape before naps and bedtime and we've done a lot of praying. It has been a wonderful opportunity to teach her about our need of a Savior... not only for salvation but also for little things, like the need to suck our thumb. She has prayed every night for God to help her stop... and He has answered all our prayers. Ok, so back to the reward. I printed out a calendar {a cute one I found online} and at the end of 7 days I drew a doll and that day she will get her doll. Every day she goes without sucking she can add a sticker to the calendar on that day. If I catch her sucking we move the doll back one day {which hasn't happened yet!}. If she continues to not suck and wear bandaids for 30 days we have offered a swing set. This is something the girls have wanted for a long time and something we have wanted for them. We are all hopeful to be completely broken of the habit long before 30 days but we figured a 30 day program was safe! And I keep telling myself a swing set is much less expensive than jaw surgery! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's a Canon


A Canon Rebel XSI to be exact. Just like Sister's. You see we have the tendency to do that, you know, copy each other. The decision was so easy for me because she had already made it {thankfully, with the professional assitance of Marla}. I knew just what I wanted for the body and just what I wanted for the lens. And since the yard sale was such a success I decided on another lens too, a 50mm. It's a fixed lens {that's what I call it} it doesn't zoom. I bought the wide angle lens Shelli, a very kind friend in Atlanta who just so happens to be a wonderful photographer too and just so happened to have it collecting dust on her shelf!

Marla had a last minute change of heart and almost sold me on the Nikon D90 but I'm glad she didn't because Erika and I can exchange lenses if we so desire and the Nikon D90 was a little more $$$ but did have that oh-so-tempting video mode!

I don't have Photoshop and I have no idea how to edit pictures the proper way. I've been using Microsoft Office Picture Manager and needless to say it's pretty BASIC. You'll see in some of these I selected "Auto Correct" and the results are less than par, but with time I hope to figure out the editing software that came with my camera but it's all foreign to me right now.

I have been having a lot of fun and this little camera has been glued to my eye. I know the little wrinkles on my forehead are going to get worse because I squint to close that left eye all day long! Oh, the price you pay for pictures! I'll just have to go get some Oil of Olay Regenerist night cream and lather it on all day! :)

First, let me show you my eggs. I started them about a week and half ago and they sure are fun. Not sure what I'm going to do with them but I love that they represent new life during this time of year. I also love that Morgan planted the same grass seeds in a cup at preschool and when I inquired to her teacher about where she got the seeds she gave me about a 5lb bag of leftovers! I have 6 or 8 more of these little guys and Morgan colored faces on them with permenant markers. They're still cute, in a "preschool" kind of way.


Next let me show you what it's like to be a young man in a house full of stingy women. Good thing Grandma {better known as "Mom"} is here to rescue him when he needs it. Speaking of Grandma... she was a kind model for me to test out the different camera settings today.


Isn't she cute? And she doesn't normally wear her glasses that low... I think she was pretending to be more "grandmotherly" than she is. She seriously doesn't look like a grandmother, does she? Anyway, he's crazy about her. Look what she does to him. He can be completely fine...


And she walks in and he completely melts....


Moving right along to the women in his life that don't have the same affect on him...

Ruler #1: the Raiger {who "speaks softly mumbly and carries a big popsicle stick"}


Ruler #2: Morgan {thumb-sucker extraordinaire-- who has been doing AWESOME at stopping, you can even see her bandaids in pictures below!}


Neither of these "rulers" were thrilled about sharing their yogurt popsicles with "spit-up breath" brother. He was ticked. And she was real concerned.


He reminds me a little bit of a puppy, ok, a lot of a puppy. Give him a tail and he might bark!


Finally {with a little coercing from the camera woman} they did. But it was a tad too cold on tender gums that are about to break forth with small painful teeth...


So they snatched their popsicles back and waited...


And he cried to the woman behind the camera, "Please help me!"


But I couldn't. You see, I was really enjoying my new camera and couldn't put it down over a popsicle. No one was bleeding. So I kept shooting.

And they worked it out on their own... I love it when that happens.


Then I played with the camera some more.


And some more.


And Paiger thought it was hilarious.


Then everyone came inside for much needed baths, given by the highly renowned GRANDMA.


And if this is what this camera is going to do to me {keep me up 2 nights in a row past 11pm} I may have to return it.

Tomorrow is the day that Sister will find out what she is having! Do you know how excited I am about this baby? Obviously, I love babies. And this child better watch out... his/her MommaSissy is going to love it like crazy! I already do. What an amazing blessing and gift it is. Morgan has a Willowtree statue on her nightstand of a pregnant woman {that someone gave me when I was pregnant with Morgan} and she always says "it's to help her to remember to pray for MommaSis' and the baby in her tummy". Our whole crew is so excited about this little one, thank you, Lord for the miracle of life, may it be a healthy, growing child, and please let it's legs be open tomorrow at the ultrasound! :)

Good night, friends!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Fruit of my Labor

Our across-the-street-neighbor's yard looks like this:


Ours doesn't.

I've never met them but I figured they were friendly. And since I've never been too shy, I looked up their phone number, dialed and politely asked Dr. C if he would mind if the kids and I came over to visit his yard for some photos; he kindly obliged.

I'm loving my new camera. I'll tell you all about it in the next post... for now... here are a few pics from my first try. BTW, it's really hard to get a photo of an 8 month old, 2 year old, & 4 year old... this was my only one of all 3.

See you soon. I promise.