Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ice, Ice, Baby

Last Thursday we were visited by a winter storm. A big one.

Wednesday evening we drove to Chicken Town because Hubs had some appointments in the area over the next few days. He didn't get to have any of those appointments. Thursday morning it hit.

However, we are so glad we came up here because we only went without power for about 2/3 of a day. A-town is still without power.

It's day four without power for the whole town.

And it doesn't look like it's gonna be back on for another day or two.


Friends and family are staying warm with wood burning fireplaces and gas heaters and stoves.

And it looks like we'll be in Chicken Town for a few more days.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Myriad Garden Crystal Bridge Fire Alarm Drama Ending. Finally.

After hanging out outside for about 15 minutes we were allowed to go back inside. Still not sure exactly what caused the alarm to go off. The fire dept. came and checked everything out. The kids loved seeing a fire truck and real firemen. Sorry the story isn't more interesting than that but not really.

Here we are back at the entrance. Have you seen Night at the Museum, Dumb-Dumb? We forgot the gum-gum. One great idea that came from the curriculum I used this year is to take clipboards on field trips and have the kids sketch things they see or experience. I only bought three clipboards at the beginning of the year so Princess usually has to wait for a brother to finish before she gets a turn.

Bear found a place to sit while he sketched.
Each kid was required to choose one plant, tree, or flower to sketch.
Bobo decided to remain standing.
Remember: you can click on the pictures to make them bigger. The Crystal Bridge has a really cool pirate ship. We know it's a pirate ship because a silhouette of Peter Pan is on the top of it. There is a ladder inside for the kids to climb to the upper deck. And, yes, I saw the the sign that says 6 years and older, and I know that Princess is only four. I'm a rule breaker, baby. Popeye. Peeking through the window. Princess decided she didn't like the upper deck. Thank goodness for big brothers. When she got down she discovered an unused clipboard and she got after it. I could eat her up right now. I love how her precious little legs dangle over the side. She looks so big and so small at the same time. And she's so proud of herself. I think the boys would have spent the night on the pirate ship if they were allowed. The loved it. Princess kept sketching. Popeye checked on her. And she kept sketching. Look at those beautiful flowers. It was a wonderful time. The kids said it was the best field trip we have been on.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Treasure Chant

The clues to find treasure are in this pirate chant:

"Ye start at Ranchard's Cove and then yer adventure would begin. Then ye sail off to Altast Grove to find a haunted inn.

Then say 'What if skulls and bones do remember tones of the voices they used to own!' Then ghosts will appear. Ye ask for directions, one ghost pulls out a map and points to a spot and says, 'It's here.'

Thanks go 'round and then ye head off away from the ground.

When ye hit shore on an island called Lafloore, ye will climb the tallest palm tree. There ye may find, bigger than a whale's eye, a coconut, well actually three.

Ye take them down, then crack them without a sound and find treasure in them. When ye have gone ye will be richer than King Lafcon."

The End

Monday, January 25, 2010

National Soup Month

January is National Soup Month.

I decided that it was only appropriate that I share a soup recipe. I would have loved to have some pictures of the soup to go along with this post but alas I do not. Life got in the way.

Taco Soup

1 small onion
2 pounds hamburger meat
2 cans corn
2 cans dark red kidney beans
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans sliced stewed tomatoes
1 can rotel original
1 package taco seasoning
1 package dry ranch dressing
2 tablespoons sugar

Dice the onion and put it in a large pot with the hamburger meat to brown. After draining the browned meat and onions pour all other ingredients into pot. Do not drain any of the cans! Then let the soup heat on the stove for 30 to 45 minutes so all the flavors can mingle and get to know one another. This soup is fabulous with corn bread, sprinkled with cheese, tortilla chips, or tortillas. (I usually eat mine with cornbread mixed in it like chili.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Princess Room Pt. 3

After sleeping in on Sunday I asked Hubs to help with my plan.

I had borrowed The Home Book by House Beautiful from the library. It is fabulous! And in it I found an inspiration room. It is actually the front foyer of the house, but the wallpaper instantly spoke to me. I decided to copy the look, while tweaking it for Princess' room. (it's on page 198, fyi)

First, I measured the wall and found the center. After marking the center at the top and middle trim of the wall I then marked 1 foot marks till I got to the corners. Luckily, the two walls I was painting in Princess' room were 10 ft long so it worked perfectly with no left over wall space or hard math. =)

Then I used some ribbon and a straightedge to draw lines from one mark on top to it's coordinating mark on the bottom. (the mark that was four over from it) and did this till I had a diamond pattern on the wall.

I will say that this is much easier when two people do it together. Thank you, Hubs!
After all my lines were drawn I then used a foam roller cover with a rounded end to stamp pink dots at all the intersections. After they were dry I used a very small artist brush to paint over the lines with brown. It took 1 1/2 hours to do one wall but I love it! And Princess is totally worth it!

I also painted the ceiling pink. It is amazing the effect a painted ceiling has on a room. A real "finisher".
I must say that Princess wasn't real excited about the changes till the pink was put on the walls. She's been sleeping in with her brothers and is really ready for things to be done. However, I couldn't finish it all in a weekend and our new mattress still hadn't arrived yet so I wasn't in a huge hurry.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Myriad Gardens (The Inside)

After receiving a wonderful and warm wlecome from the gentleman at the front desk, and paying for our tickets we took a quick bathroom break.


Then we headed into the gardens but were stopped by some delightful parrots that kept telling us 'Hello' and then 'Goodbye'. We weren't sure if we should stay or go.
The first thing we checked out was the waterfall. It was beautiful and there were stairs that walked behind it. Cool.
This is the new album cover for our family cd that is dropping sometime in May.
Kidding! But it is a cool pic.
One on the coolest things at the Crystal Bridge was the cable bridge that runs along the top. You are up in the tops of the trees and you get a great view of everything. They also had a place with some creepy crawlies. A frog, a turtle, a bullfrog, a snake, and a tarantula.
This is Princess showing me the face the turtle was making. =) Bobo did a good job of checking the flowers out and naming the parts. The gentleman at the front dest came to find us after his shift ended. He showed us the pond with the fish. The kids loved it. And then this is where things get interesting. You see, as we were going about our business the fire alarms started going off. The gentleman told us it was probably just a test even though he didn't know they had one planned. So we just hung out and kept looking at all the flowers.
After I snapped a few more pics, another worker came and asked us to please exit the building because they didn't know why the alarms where going off.
I took this pic while the alarms where going. Bobo and Bear are being my perfect children and smiling like good little boys. Popeye looks worried and Princess doesn't care about the pictures just about the very loud noise. Unfortunately for you, I don't have time to finish this post so you'll have to come back next week for the conclusion of The Myriad Garden Crystal Bridge Fire Alarm Drama.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Princess Room Pt. 2

So after the prep work on Friday, I got up Saturday morning ready to go. I first got the trim painted. It went from red to chocolate brown. Yummy.

After the second coat, I peeled off the tape and tackled the top part of the wall. The golden beige wasn't gonna work so it became 'cashmere white'. Then the lower part of the walls became 'rice paddy'. It is a very yellow green. The pictures bring out more of the yellow, but not much.
I also painted the inside of the closet 'rice paddy'. I plan on hanging curtains for doors but a girl needs a great closet, no?!

We have standing plans with friends every Saturday night so I had to stop here. I didn't mind really because I was crazy tired. But things are still a long way from done....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Myriad Gardens (The Beginning)

Last Tuesday Hubs had some work in The City so the kids and I went with him. While he was working, we took a field trip to The Myriad Gardens. We have been studying the plant kingdom this unit so it was the perfect place to go.

At the entrance we sat down and had a little snack. Didn't want hungry, cranky kids while we were trying to study all the plants, trees, and flowers.

Then Bobo read one of our library books to us to freshen our memories about what we had learned and what we were going to look for. And Popeye and Princess were much more concerned with their snacks.

Then we headed down the bunny trail toward the north side of The Crystal Bridge. (and , yes, my fingers just naturally typed The Crystal Bridget and I had to correct it)
When we got to the north side we discovered that you actually enter at the south side, so instead of turning around and heading back the way we came we continued on making a circle around everything.
We're so glad we did.

Because we got to meet these darling little ducks.
They had a concrete slab that jutted out into the pond. I asked the kids to go stand on it so I could take a picture.
They started out all sweet and innocent. Except that Princess obviously had a devious plan a- brewin'. Just look at those eyes.

And then they broke into this. Seriously, out of the blue they all started posing crazy. It's like they're related or something.

As we were taking pics the little ducks kept heading our way. They were not at all afraid of people so I figured they got fed by strangers a lot.
Thank goodness we had some Nilla Wafers left.
I quickly passed them out and the kids went to town breaking off pieces and throwing them to the ducks. Actually, they dropped them to the ducks because the ducks came right up to their feet.
Bobo made some new 'forever' friends. Or at least some 'right now' friends.
The ducks were so beautiful. Their green-blue heads were striking.

Continuing our way around we stopped to take a pic of The Crystal Bridge from outside. It is really cool.
And we finally made it to the front entrance.
But you're gonna have to come back on Thursday to find out what went down inside.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Princess Room Pt. 1

We bought a new mattress.


You see, for the past two years we have been sleeping on a mattress purchased by my MIL at a second hand furniture store. We have a memory foam topper with a feather topper on that, but it's still not great. More often than not, Hubs and I wake up achy.

So, since we are getting a new mattress (and new bed rails for it to sit on) we decided to give our full size bed to Princess. This way, when guests come to visit (mainly my sisters) they can sleep in with Princess and Princess won't have to sleep on the floor or in with Popeye in a twin sized bed.

It's brilliant, really.

I've really been wanting to redecorate Princess' bedroom and decided that moving things around for her 'new' bed would be the perfect time. (Some of you avid B6 readers are thinking "Haven't you already decorated Princess' bedroom?" the answer to that question is: yes I decorated her bedroom, but then we played musical bedrooms and now she is in what used to be her brother's bedroom and Popeye and Bear are in what used to be hers.)

Remember: this used to be a bedroom for boys. Hence the color choices.
First before. I actually remembered to take pictures before I started taking everything apart. =)
I took pics from every corner of the room so you could get a very detailed view of the hideousness that my daughter has been living in.

It is so bad that I have absolutely no motivation for cleaning it up. This was how it was looking most of the time. And, no, I don't let my daughter play with power tools. Those were for me.

Last corner pic. The red leather chair came out of the batcave. When we moved Bobo in there we didn't have room for it so Princess got it. It made finding fabric interesting because her favorite color is pink and so I had to find something with both pink and red in it.
But don't worry! I found something perfect! But you're gonna have to wait for it.

So, Friday night (actually a week ago from last Friday) I got everything off the walls, everything moved into the middle of the room, and the trim taped and prepped for painting. Then I went to bed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Popeye: The Poster Boy for Precious Princes

My sweet baby boy.

I know that some day he probably won't like me calling him that, but right now, when I tuck him in at night and kiss his nose and say, "I love you, baby boy" he still smiles and snuggles in.

Since he and Bear have been sharing a room he has started acting and talking older. He and Bear play together much more and he seems happier.

This is one of his favorite shirts. And he buttons it all the way up.

He loves Star Wars, and Bumblebee (a transformer), and doing his school work.
He loves legos, and nerf guns, and fighting his Daddy.

Even though, or maybe because, he is only two years older than Princess he takes such good care of her.
Boys beware.
And he loves his Mama so much that he draws her lots of pictures that say, "Isaac loves Mom".
He's my little 'sugar bug'.
P.S. Hubs helped with the title.