Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween Snowstorm

Wow.  The past few days have been crazy and extraordinary.  We had a snowstorm, in October!  I knew we were going to get some flakes, but I was not prepared for a full day of falling snow.  Neither were the trees because many of them still had their leaves on!  Leaves and snow do not make for a good combination and we had lots of downed limbs and trees.  Thus, we lost our power for 24 hours (we are lucky that was all it was, lots are still without power) and had to make a bit of adventure for ourselves!

*Out came the hats, mittens, winter coats and boots for some snow play.  I should mention that I had not even gotten around to moving our pool bag out of the mudroom yet!  When it was time to come in hot cocoa was served halloween style.

*Our great neighbors, who did not lose power, were gracious enough to have an impromptu dinner party and game night with us!  It was super fun.  We shouldn't wait until we have no power to do something like that.

*Saturday night was our scheduled pumpkin carving night, but we moved it to Sunday and then we moved it to my Mom's house!  Going pumpkin picking in the snow was a first for me!

 *Golly, we love roasted pumpkin seeds around here!  I use a little olive oil and kosher salt and they are delicious!

*This years scary pumpkins.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Week Menu

A few nights ago we began enjoying our dinners Halloween style.  It's become a tradition and the children love it!

Halloween Week Menu

Open face jack-o-lantern turkey burgers (faces are cut out with cheese, like this)
Black bean soup with sour cream spider webs
Baked potato bugs
Chili with mummy dogs
Chicken Pot Pie with eyeballs in the crust

*I used pizza dough from our local pizzaria, and I put pepperoni over the whole pizza but under the cheese.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Detective Invitations

It's that time again!  Harris' birthday is in two weeks and we are having a small, at home party with a detective theme.  I found the perfect invitation at Rifle Paper Co.  I stamped each envelope "top secret" and added a mustache on the back for fun (in these pictures I've blurred our city name before the detective society).  Now it's time to plan the party!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Costumes 2011

Years ago, a friend told me to prepare myself for the day that the children would ask for store bought costumes because that is what all of their friends have.  That day has never come, and I have a hard time imagining that it will.  Even when the children toss around the idea of being something that would be easier to purchase in the store (Spiderman), they assume that their Grandma will make it for them.  The costumes mean something to the children on a level that rises above one evening spent in costume.  They represent tradition to the children and having something that is handmade by someone they love is still far more important than what their friends have.  And for that I am thankful.

Harris has known he wanted to be a gnome since he received his beloved Gnomes book from the Easter Bunny.  My Mom even made a padded belly for him!

For the first time ever, Grace had a bit of a hard time deciding what she wanted to be.  However, while we were looking up ideas for Harris' costume she spotted this toadstool and knew she wanted to compliment Harris.  Isn't it darling?

 Our newest ornaments for the Halloween tree.

Friday, October 21, 2011


You know what?  Today, I'm grateful.  I'm grateful for...


the look of absolute happiness on Harris' face when I volunteered in his classroom,

a girl who love, love, loves to read,

the best book that I've read in a long time - Peace Like a River by Leif Enger,

brisk air and a blustery wind,

friends who remind me that girlfriends always have your back,

the Starbuck's pumpkin spice latte (I looked forward to having one all week!),

blogger friends and family who always leave the nicest comments and make me smile,

and the most darling Grandmom made costumes ever (I can hardly wait to share).

P.S.  What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Playhouse Details

Honestly, when I first envisioned how the playhouse would be decorated I had in my mind all of the beautiful, perfectly styled playhouses that I've seen on other blogs, pinterest and in magazines.  It quickly became apparent that my children had ideas of how they wanted the playhouse to look and to be used, and I came to the realization that this is their space, not mine and it should be a reflection of them.  Therefore, the children chose where their pictures would hang and what they wanted to be in the playhouse. I'm sure it will be ever evolving!

My friend, Sonja, suggested to Grace that no playhouse is complete without a mailbox.  Grace took it to heart and we now have a petite mailbox to collect mail, notes and tiny packages!

We also have an adorable fox doorknocker, I love it's whimsy!

We moved the play kitchen that Al built for the children out to the house.  The sunflower paintings, as well as some art Harris created, also found a new home in the playhouse. 

Grace and Harris created some house rules.

The cleaning set should help with at least one of the rules (I can't wait to see how that goes!).

Every house needs a hook to hang your superhero cape on.

The children and I made a paper mache bunny to hang on the wall!

I needn't have worried about whether the playhouse would be used.  The loft is a huge hit and the children have already spent hours in the house and in the loft (I've also taken a catnap in there!).

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Children's Playhouse

I've never posted about the playhouse because we've still been putting finishing touches on it.  However, I've realized that this little house is going to be just like our house in that it will continually be evolving and changing as the children grow.  Time will determine how it is used and how it is "decorated."

Al built the frame for the house, Bryce completed a lot of the woodwork and details and the children and I painted it.  It really was a family affair! 

The door is one from our house that was taken out during the kitchen remodel and stored in our garage.  Al cut the door in half in order to make a charming dutch door.

 Plexiglass is in each window and the windows on the side and in the loft can all be opened.  I also love the cedar shake on the roof!  Maybe we will get lucky and some moss will grow up there!

 Tomorrow I will post about the inside and the fun little details of the house!

Friday, October 14, 2011

House Paint Colors

You may remember our decision to restore the cedar shake and clapboard siding on our house.  It was really, really bad for a while, a long while, but it is now finally starting to get put back together!

One of the exciting things about it moving along is that we got to pick out new paint colors for the house.  I found the process of picking paint colors to be rather nerve wracking because I want to get it just right!  I want the house to be simple, pretty, classic, welcoming and warm.  Is that too much to ask?  We chose to go with gray for the house, white trim, black shutters and a red porch!

There are so many variations on the color gray!  I didn't want a taupe gray or a blue-gray or a green-gray but rather a warm true gray, and I think I found it in the Benjamin Moore historic house colors.  We are using two different grays for the top and bottom of the house but the difference is very subtle.  We are keeping our red porch but using a brighter, truer red.  Our shutters are already black and we are keeping with our white trim.  Of course, I couldn't seem to get a very true picture of the colors but hopefully you get the idea.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chore Charts

We've struggled a bit with chores around our house.  I feel that it is really important for the children to participate in the running of our household, but oftentimes we neglect to really enforce the chores that the children are assigned.  I believe (hope) that the children do not purposefully avoid their chores but rather they simply forget or get busy with their day.  I'm a list maker, and I do much better with getting things done if I can have the satisfaction of crossing things off of my list.  I thought the same might be true for the children so I created a daily chart of sorts for the children.

I made up the chart and then had the children decorate it.  I had them each laminated at a copy center, this way we can use a vis-a-vis marker to write on it every day and wipe it off every night.
Included on the chart are their daily must dos, any extra chores that we might assign to them and a reminder of what is going on during their day other than school.  So far this method seems to be working, and I'm hoping that the novelty won't wear off for any of us!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bathroom Cabinets and Countertops

Our bathroom cabinets and counter tops have been installed and I absolutely love them!  Bryce and I each have our own vanity/sink area and from the beginning I knew that I wanted our vanities to be the same but with a feminine/masculine feel to them.  I had in mind using some sort of onlay and was thrilled when I found one I loved in the catalog of our cabinet maker.  It features a bow, of course!

Bryce's vanity is taller than mine (kitchen cabinet height) and has no onlay.  I'm really happy with the piece of marble that we picked out, the pictures really don't do it justice!

We also had an outlet put in the back of my cabinet, behind a drawer that will hold my hair dryer and such. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting Closer...

The bathroom is getting closer and closer to being done (the porch looks exactly like it did three months ago)!  I can hardly wait to soak in the tub!
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