Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Currently 10.21.14

Currently: I am sitting at my dining room table with Sweet Lulu curled up in her bed beside me.  I have a can of Cherry Dr. Pepper on a coaster to my right and an open bag of Rold Gold Tiny Twists Honey Mustard pretzels on my right.  The windows are letting the fabulous fall air in and I am thankful for this beautiful day!  

Currently Reading: The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus.  Y'all.  It's good.  I'm through the first chapter and into the second.  It spells out that we serve a Creative God who created us to create.
Currently Thankful For: I find myself going over the last weekend - how fantastically special it was to our family - the weekend that Winston turned two.  I am thankful our sweet friends who drove down from Dallas to be here to celebrate with us.  I am thankful for the family and friends who were  a part of the celebration.  Our little guy certainly felt loved and for that, I am thankful.  I am thankful that I even have a little human to celebrate - that in itself is a huge gift.

Currently Scheming: The next phase of our Master Bedroom!  We have mighty ambitious aspirations for a cool paint scheme that could be amazeballs or be a huge disaster.  Either way - we are currently trying to decide when the optimal time would be for such an adventure.  Stay tuned!  

Currently Thinking About Next Things: To pick up little Buddy from school, grab some fro-yo and head to the grocery store.  Tonight's dinner is Trader Joe's Orange Chicken + rice and broccoli...  assuming we get to the grocery store!

Currently Obsessing Over: The next time I'll hear the ice cream truck!  I cannot get enough of the ice-cream truck and the delicious treats that come from the inside!  

Currently Going to Learn: How to make delectable delights!  I am so pumped to watch and reading The Allison Show's Cookie Party!  on how to make fabulously delicious cookies!  I totally did a pre-order and am PUMPED UP to learn her ways!  Be warned friends, family, teachers, neighbors, random people on the street - cookie craziness will be coming your way!

What are you currently doing, reading or listening to?  I'd love to know!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Meat & rice {an all time favorite!} with Baked Cauliflower and rolls.  
A meal is not a meal without rolls!

Trader Joe's Orange Peel Chicken, rice and broccoli

Tortellini, salad and rolls

Thursday - Saturday
Kitchen Closed!

Chicken fries, Mac & Cheese and Applesauce

Wishing y'all a fabulous week!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Birthday Poem

Today is the day that Winston turns two.
What a year we have all be through!
Lots of adventures and things to explore,
It's been so exciting to see him soar!

Today is the day we move into Year Three.
A little man he is growing to be.
Adore his laugh, adore his smile.
For him I'd even run a mile!
He is our pride, he is our joy.
So very thankful he is our boy!

He is funny and fabulous.  He is sensitive and sweet.
He is always saying "Hi!" to people on the street.
Not one for missing out on a hug,
He is and always will be our Little Bug!

This year has been a momentous one
And it's hard to believe that it is now done!
Celebrating all that God has given us today,
Celebrating Winston in every single way.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pert'near Close to Perfect

Y'all, this weekend has been pert'near close to perfect as you could get.  This was a weekend where we had little on the calendar.  A quiet{isn} weekend before an onslaught of planned weekends ahead. 

Saturday started off with the three of us at the table holding hands to say the blessing.  
Winston: "Dear Lord..."  
Benjamin: "Thank you so much for..."
Winston: "my mommy and daddy!"  
Heart melted.  Tears in eyes.  
Yes, today was going to be a good day!

The absolute number one thing on our agenda for Saturday was to take Winston's two year old pictures.  While we groaned a little about getting up early enough to make sure that the location would be free, we were certainly glad when we were up and att'em!  The pictures turned out better than I could have imagined and I can't wait to share them in a few days!  

Since we were in the area, we stopped at Empire Cafe for our second breakfast.  It was Winston's first time to really eat a meal of his own there and in true form, he chose a pancake.  He then proceeded to eat most of it and a ton of the strawberries from my Italian Toast.  I am thankful he is a good eater!
Then we stopped by Biscuit Home to take a gander at their Warehouse Sale and ended up coming home with a fantastic shelving piece for our bedroom!  Then we hightailed it back to Spring to do a quick change of clothes before heading out to a birthday part for two of WAC's classmates.  It was a wonderful day for an outdoor at the park party.
During nap time {and the Baylor game} I continued going through the scrapbooks my mom had made and kept for me.  It has been so neat to read letters and postcards from my Dad, see my artwork, look at old pictures and reflect on the early years of my life.  It's good for the soul to take time to appreciate the events and people who played a part in shaping and molding the person I am. 
Shortly after Winston woke up, we were playing trains when what to my wondering ears did I hear?  The ice-cream truck!!  I screamed with joy, told Benjamin to grab some cash and away I went out the front door to make sure they didn't drive away without us getting a tasty treat!  I love getting ice cream from an ice cream truck.  Love it!  It reminds me of summers when I was little and my Dad flagging down the truck so that we could share a treat.  I had been hearing the truck in the evenings but never was able to make it in time.  This day was different.  This day, we got a Batman ice-cream and a Jolly Rancher Bomb Pop!!
And let me tell you, we had the most fun that $5 worth of frozen treats can give two people!  By the end we were both sticky and full of delicious goodness!!  Just as we were going in to get cleaned up, Baylor was making a comeback and that made for a happy hubby!

The day ended with some Despicable Me, Winston to bed and relaxation time for Benjamin and I.

Sunday has been as equally great with a lovely time at church, lunch at Donald's and the continuation of decluttering that I started on Friday.  We have been in the house a year now and it's amazing how things can get ahead of you.  We are finally getting the downstairs bedroom presentable for guests and adding to our list of project ideas as we do!  

I just love weekends like these.  This one has been too good not to document it.  And although I have tons of half written posts and a list that I want to write, this seemed like the best way to jump back in.  I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend doing a least one thing that sets your heart a smiling!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pumpkin Decorating: Metal Mouth

Last year was our first year to participate in the Annual Staff Pumpkin Decorating Competition at Todd Hughes Orthodontics.  Benjamin created this fabulous Cheeseburger and came in first place!  This year we had quite a few ideas floating around in our heads but decided to create something a little more simple this year.  Basing this off of our Domo Arigato pumpkin we made years ago we created this!!  I give you, Metal Mouth!
We liked the idea of Metal Mouth as a play of the nickname that kids give other kids with braces.  We started with an orange pumpkin and Benjamin sprayed him with a coat of silver spray paint to give him the metallic appearance.

For embellishments, we used items that can be found in the aisles of all hardware stores!  We picked items that would work best for the look we were trying to accomplish.
Grab a few L-brackets, a hinge, some lag bolts, corner braces and anything else that looks cool!  Get your screw gun and go to town!
We hot glued Googlie eyes and screwed in everything else.
 Three hands may be necessary to position, stabilize, and screw the appropriate pieces into place.
And then, TADA!  Your very own Metal Mouth or Robot pumpkin!  

The cost of this project is the foam pumpkin (that you can purchase at local hobby stores for $10+) plus about $10 worth of hardware.  It is an easy project for kids to make with parent supervision...or two grown adults to make with child supervision!

Can you believe October is days away?!?!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

House a Home: Craft Room Dot Wall

In our house, we opted for the "Playroom Addition" floor plan because we knew that it would be nice to have a space where I could store supplies, wrapping paper and get crafty with the kiddos!  In searching for inspiration on how to decorate this room, I came across Oh Happy Day's Dot Wall.  I was smitten and knew that I wanted one of the walls in the room to be a happy rainbow of dots!

Oh Happy Day used potatoes and acrylic paints for their wall.  We decided to stencil circles and made a trip to the Home Depot paint aisle for ours.
We purchased sample sizes of 14 different colors and added a copper, silver and gold to the mix!  We even bought a new Filbert camelhair paintbrush for the occasion! (the Filbert style brush is helpful in keeping your sanity as you paint lots and lots of circles)  

After selecting a circle that was three inches in diameter from my stash of circular containers in the kitchen, Benjamin figured that we needed to leave three inches between each circle on the wall, giving us 11 rows of 14 dots!  That totaled 154 dots for me to paint!  

Knowing that we were going to use a chalk line to keep all of the dots straight, Benjamin measured and marked the walls so we would know where to make the lines.  Pulling and holding the chalk line straight is a job that requires two people.  Where the lines intersected, we centered the circle and traced lightly around it.   For the chalk line we used violet marking chalk and it wiped off of the wall with a damp rag.  I was so excited to get starting, I cracked open the first color and was quickly on my way!
You can kinda sorta see the grid and circles if you look really closely.
That night, I knocked out two colors and dreamt about colored dots for the remainder of the night! 
The second best thing about this project (with the first being it was going to create a wall of happiness!) was that it was the perfect activity for nap times.  It took me about twenty minutes to paint one color.  I started out doing ten dots of each color randomly across the wall knowing that I was working with about seventeen different colors.  
After each color was added to the wall I would get more and more excited with how it was turning out!  I would try to paint at least two if not three colors during a nap time.
I squealed with joy when the last dot was painted!  Winston enjoys telling me the colors as he points to them and it really gives the space the pop of color I wanted.  It truly is a happy place to be!

Supplies Needed for This Project
Circular stencil (or potato!)
Tape measure
Chalk line reel 
Dust-a-way chalk {purple}
Paint {Acrylic or semi-gloss enamel}
Paint brushes {Filbert style is best)
Drop cloth {if you're a messy painter!}
Step stool

Cost of this project:
Between $50 and $100!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Last week Benjamin was left to his own devices as far as meals go.  Winston and I dined at small town favorites such as Miller's Hoagies, The Pizzaria, and Farmer's Inn along with home cooked and camp fire cooked meals with family.  While it's good to get away, it's just as good to get home!

Balsamic Pork Chops, rice and veggies 
{Confession: This will be the first time to make this dish!}


{Because a salad makes this healthy, right?!}

Chicken fries, mac & cheese, veggies

Tacos and Queso

Saturday Dinner
Celebrating Nancy's Birthday

Sunday Dinner
Ortho Graduation Party

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Last week we tried two new recipes: Chicken, Bacon, Avocado Salad and the Pioneer Woman's Fried Round Steak.  Wins on both of them!!  The salad is a good meal for a day when you need something light and on the other side of that spectrum, the round steak will stick to your ribs and put you into a meat coma.  Like I said, wins all around!

Grilled cheese, fruit and chips

Chicken, cous cous and veggies

Wednesday - Next Wednesday
Benjamin, Winton and I are going to be in different places during this time so we are both fending for ourselves!

Have you tried any new yummy recipes yet?  If you'd like some inspiration, check out my Pinterest Board for all things yummy!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

To See the Animals!

When the summer started, Benjamin and I scheduled a visit to the Houston zoo for a Member's Morning in the month of August.  We wanted to make sure that we had a family zoo trip and I was eager to see the new bug exhibit!  I woke up bright and early at 6:00 to get ready, make sure our mini-cooler was packed, woke up Winston at 6:45 so that we could eat breakfast and talk about what animals we were going to see.  We were in the Zoo parked and in line with all of the other early risers at 8 AM ready for the gates to open!  
We got into the zoo and as people scattered here and there, it was relatively empty giving us lots of room to wheel buddy around and for us to get right up next to the animals.  We left Winston steer us around to the animals that he wanted to see.  
Our first stop was at the oversized ladybugs near the entrance.  As you can see by my own little Bug's face, he was still suffering from, "I can't believe she's asking me to smile before my second breakfast!" face.  
After a walk to the elephant house to help them wake up, we headed around the corner to see the dragon.  Winston was quite taken watching intently, pointing and saying, "Dragon!" 

Our next stop was the lions.  When we arrived, Jonathan the lion was fast asleep on his back with all four legs in the air.  We were able to see him wake up, shake his mane and greet the morning with a growl! 
The bears cubs were out in full force playing with their ice blocks, frolicking up and down their habitat.  
Winston loves the giraffes and was in awe as we saw them come out of their house into the great outdoors!  The weather was an absolutely perfect day for being outside animal watching.  It was slightly overcast with a slight breeze and the sun popping out every once in a while to say hello!
Winston's buddy Elmo was along for our adventure.  He stayed buckled in the wagon when it was moving and he was front row looking at the animals.  We hardly go anywhere without Elmo these days.  He rides in the car, goes to the grocery store, helps cook lunch, colors...does everything short of taking baths!  Elmo has become quite the companion for Buddy on this daily to and fros.    

Also, we absolutely love our Radio Flyer Wagon.  It was a fantastic purchase and has been the best thing for our zoo visits!  We got the supped up version with seat covers, a canopy and the bag on the back.  It comes with cup holders and the seats can be configured into a little table!  The bag that is attached to the back holds an incredible amount of stuff: Winston's bag, a mini-cooler, my purse and the camera.  We have also used it on walks in the neighborhood and to go to the park.  If you have little ones, its a must have!
After spending time wheeling through the chimpanzee and rhino habitats, we bee-lined it to the bug exhibit!  They had larger than life sized animatronic bugs scattered along a path.  Huge spiders, bees, scorpions, ants and dragonflies all moving their heads or wings or tails!  I love fireflies, or lightening bugs!  Capturing them in jars while visiting my grandparents growing up is one of my favorite memories.  What I did learn is that they are actually part of the beetle family!  Who knew?!  Of course I had to get a picture of the two guys who light up my life by the lightening bug!  :)
I seriously love these two.  My husband is precious and here is why: Benjamin saw what I had Winston dressed in for the day and then chose his outfit to compliment WAC's.  How adorable is that?!  They have the sweetest conversations together.  They play hard outside and in the bathtub.  Benjamin takes time to teach Winston to say thank you to me for cooking dinner and to be gentle to Lulu.  They both love Legos and to hear them whispering to each other while Benjamin rocks Winston before bedtime is good for the soul.    
My little guy is growing up...and fast!  He is already a master at giving me the "C'mon Mommy...really?!" look.  He has a true sense of humor, a great laugh and an insatiable appetite for goldfish!  He goes full on all day and crashes hard for nap time.  He is passionate, persistent and loves painting.  He is a great hugger and will give this Mama as many kisses as she can take!  He is my buddy and I can't imagine my days without him.  His little voice fills my every moment that he is awake and I am always eager to hear it again when the day is new!
Our last stop was back to the elephant habitat.  Winston was enamored by them.  His eyes were glued to their every movement.  He kept saying, "Elephant!" and making elephant noises.  Each trip to the zoo has been enjoyable, but this one was more fun because Winston picked which animals he wanted to see next and would get so excited to see them once we arrived!  It makes me look forward to the next visit!
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