Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Life Through the eyes of My Tazmanian

Sometimes it becomes necessary to hand our phones over to the children.
For peace.
For quiet.
For the love of Peter.

These are photos that The Taz took one morning last week.

Every time Mom asks me to put on my shoes, I'm going to junk up her phone with pictures of Elmo.
(There were exactly 16 pictures of this same shot on my phone.)

Oh look, a movie.

"Wook at my shurt, Yiyee." Said the Bear Cub to the Taz.

On my way to The Club with my fancy sparkly shoes that make me go fast.

There's that lady.
When I'm done with her phone I'm gonna tell her she parks like a sausage.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Toilet Paper Roll Art Project

It's not like I just sit around and obsess about things. But now that the whole kitchen bar stools obsession is taken care of, I have kind of moved my focus onto this huge bare wall that my desk faces. And taking the que from my little Tazmanian Artist, I decided to do my own art project last week.

About 6 months ago, my BFF pointed out this project on some blog (maybe it was Hi SugarPlum?) that was made out of empty toilet paper rolls.  The gal just cut up some toilet paper rolls, glued the pieces together to make a "flower" and then glued them onto a canvas and then spray painted the whole thing white.  I figured this was something I could actually do, so I started saving those rolls.

Since this isn't really a How-To-Craft Blog, I won't go into the step by step. And I think that if you Google Hi SugarPlum you would find the how-to details there. But, here's my finished project:

(this desk here is where the creative magic happens. cough cough)

 ( a little bit closer now)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Family Portrait

We FINALLY had our family portrait done.
Since we can't seem to sit together for more than 5 seconds to pose,
The artist did individual pictures.

I love them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tiny Dancer

I love this kid so much it hurts.

Also, I taught her everything she knows....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Kitchen Bar Stools

Sometimes I have too much time to think about things. Like when I'm waiting for Maggie to get out of the car because she takes twenty minutes to inspect the floor for any treasures she might have dropped. Or when I am scrubbing marker off the couch, or waiting for the carpet cleaner to soak in so I can "dab it with a moist sponge" (who really does that anyway?).  A lot of times I will fixate on something to take my mind off of the frustration of the current moment. Lately, (and by that I mean, for the past year) I have been kind of obsessing about kitchen bar stools.

As I'm mopping the floor where I'd like the bar stools to sit, I have this conversation with myself:

Man, it'd be nice to have some bar stools here.
Yeah, but the kids would probably ruin them.
I know. But I could get the all-wood kind so I can buff out and stain any marks.
Yeah, but this is a rental house, you probably shouldn't spend money on furniture to fit this house.
When you're right, you're right, Nikki. But I could peruse Craigslist and maybe find something cheap.
We've been talking about this for a year now. And you still haven't found anything decent there.
I know, maybe I should just buy some sturdy ones and then we can sell them on Craigslist if they don't fit our next house.
Remember Sunday's sermon about where your heart is? Maybe you shouldn't be so consumed with these bar stools.
Then, for just a few minutes longer, I allow myself to daydream about parties and dinners with people sitting at my kitchen counter, while I wear my frilly apron, before putting the bar stools out of my head for a while.

So last Saturday, we loaded up the family to head to Sea World. Two blocks from our house, we pass a really nice set of chairs and a table. There's a "Free" sign taped to one of the chairs. My Chef and I look at each other like we can't believe our eyes.  We circle back and sure enough, it doesn't appear like there is any damage. We quickly decide that we can use this table. As we are loading up the chairs, I say to My Chef "Well, now we won't need any bar stools. This can go in the kitchen."  I am smiling ear to ear about this when the owner of the house comes out.  We chat it up for a few minutes to find out she is moving into a smaller home and ended up not needing the table and didn't want to bother with selling it. Then she looked us up and down and asked if we lived in her development.

"Yes, yes" we say.
"Then you must have the same kitchen counter as I do?" she inquired.
"Uhm. Maybe. It's pretty tall." we say.
"Well, do you need some bar stools?"

I couldn't help but feel the lesson God was telling me. When I take up less space in my heart with worries about money and material things, He will show me that He will provide and pour out blessings in ways we would never imagine.

The "free" table:

Fancy new bar stools:

It might seem silly to think about chairs and a table being a blessing. But come Thanksgiving, when I have a house full of people I love, sitting around talking and laughing, I will be counting the chairs and the people sitting in them as blessings.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Adrenaline Junkies

I think the beauty of children is that they have absolutely no fear; that is, of course, until they fall off their first literal or proverbial horse. As parents, it is our job to either nurture this character trait until they soar (hopefully with a parachute or above a pile of pillows) or to nip it in the bud so as to protect our precious wee ones from ever harming one little tiny hair on their beautiful un-scathed bodies.

I fall under the "nip it in the bud" category.

I married a "nurture-er"

The kind of guy who would lead my babies up three stories of netting

While I wait at the top, with open arms, ready to console my scared little chickadees

Ready to tell them they never ever ever have to climb up that high again or swing around on tires suspended a hundred feet in the air

Yes. That's it. Run to Momma.


Wait. No, why aren't you stopping? You don't have to go up there again.
Stay with Momma.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Daylight Savings Schmavings

It doesn't feel like Daylight Savings time so much as it does the Ground Hogs Day, the movie.  I'm taxed. I'm spent. I'm tuckered out. But worst of all...I'm all out of ideas for keeping those children of ours busy. Case in point:

Tuesday, we woke up and ate breakfast. Then we made play dough "things", then cleaned up. Then we got out the crayons and colored until the Wild One started breaking them all. Cleaned that up, got out the markers and colored with those until they started coloring their fingernails. Cleaned that up, baked blueberry muffins and had a tea party. Cleaned that up, and  went upstairs to build towers. Cleaned that up and worked on some puzzles.  When I finally looked at the clock, it was only 10am.

Wednesday, we repeated what we did on Tuesday, but we threw in a trip to the park.

Thursday, we repeated what we did on Tuesday, but we threw in a trip to the YMCA.

Friday, we repeated what we did on Tuesday, but we threw in a trip to the library.

Mess, Wash, Repeat...sixty two times a day.

I'll be hiding in the laundry room pretending to fold clothes, but secretly eating what's left of the candy, if anybody needs me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Beginning of Thanks

Growing up, every year my family would travel to Des Moines, Iowa to spend Thanksgiving with my mother's side of the family. My mother is the youngest of 10 children. I am the youngest of 36 first cousins. We would rarely see each other throughout the year, but come Thanksgiving, we were thick as thieves and just as mischievous.

When I was small, our brood would take to the streets surrounding Mercede Drive and throw snowballs at oncoming cars. My biggest, most responsible cousin always scooped me up when the heat came and we had to make a run for it. Fast forward a few years and you'd see my brother and cousins rearranging those lawn ornament deer into risque positions.  It was over Thanksgiving break that I learned that you always tell a new bartender it's your birthday for a free drink. The first time I sang (so bad it was good) karaoke was with my cousin.

Now, on the rare occasion some of us get together, we rock each other's babies. We reminisce with a wink and a nod when our children run after one another.  We may not know the day to day detail of each others lives, but we share the same chin, the same laugh, the same love of good story telling.

This year, I am not waiting for stuffing and turkey to count my blessings. Today I am thankful that My Peoples recently came to visit me. I am thankful for the history we share and the comfort of just seeing their faces. Listening to them talk about about their children and grandchildren and being wrapped up in their laughter. Today I am thankful for family...and tea parties.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Fashion Plea

Dear Producers of What Not To Wear,

Today I saw a color challenge on Facebook. You can take the test here.  Apparently, Zero is the best score. The two people I saw that took the challenge got a 15 and a 16. I took the test thinking that I would ace it. I mean really, I have 20/20 vision right!

I got a 260. 

I think this may be part of my problem.

Does This Brown go with This Brown?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Four Year Old Antagonism

Tuesday's List

Mean Things The Taz Told Me This Week

1. Me: "Rylee, please come pick up these toys you threw down the stairs."
Her: "Yes Stepmother."

2. "I don't like your shoes Momma, even though they are really really cute."

3. Her: (to me and My Chef during dinner when we told her we would take her plate away if she pushed it away and called it "disgusting" one more time)

"I'm not in the mood for you!"

4. Snuggled in bed, just before falling to sleep.

Her: Momma, I love you
Me: Oh Roosker, I love you too
Her: Momma, your breaf is ahhhhful.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

It's All Saints Day.

Do you know who was born on this very day?

My Mudda

Sometimes we like to call her Ma.
Only we say it like we're from Boston.
Only we've never even been to Boston.

Some of us call her Ga-ma.

Some of us call her Gramzy.

But I will go ahead and call her
A Saint.