Saturday, March 27, 2010

Flying Kites

This afternoon was slightly breeze, so we decided to take advantage of the absence of gale-force winds and go fly kites in the park.  Being the lame-o parents that we are, we’ve never taken the kids kite-flying, although we have 2 kites.  The kids had a blast.  Paul wondered if he could go flying with the kite.  Here are our answers:

Pragmatic Mom: No, you’re too heavy. 

Engineer Dad: I wonder how big the kite would have to be to lift him off the ground….

The wind was fickle, and eventually it died down altogether, so we spent the rest of the time playing at the playground.


This is Katie’s self-chosen ensemble.  Yikes.  I asked her to do a movie star pose, and this is what I got.








A lady was walking her Bull Mastiff at the park, and Averi was in love.  I can’t believe how well she interacted with him, even though he knocked her over once because he was so big.  She just kept loving on him and was so sad to see him go.







Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Update, Finally

A few weeks ago I posted that I had a surprise that had been keeping us busy, and I never followed up on that post.  No, I am not pregnant, as some have asked!  My wonderful dad and mom came down from Utah in the middle of February to give me my Christmas present.  I didn’t need “things” for Christmas, so I asked if they would be willing to come down and help repaint my house.  I was very tired of the brown.  It just felt too dark and dreary, especially since we get very little natural light.  So they lovingly agreed and spent a long weekend working with us.  And, boy, did we work!  We painted the kitchen, the living room, the entryway, the stairwell, and the upstairs halls in ONE weekend.  My mom and Kiera took the kids while Aaron, Dad and I painted.  I’m still far from done with my redecorating (I still have chairs to upholster, a bench to repaint, curtains to find, and a mantel to dress), but here’s a brief glimpse of what we’ve done so far. 

We wound up going with a very light gray (Olympic Gray Ghost) with aqua (Olympic South Pacific) accent walls.  I love the light, beachy feel that it gave the house, especially when paired with the white sheers and bamboo roman shades.


Check out Miss Cutie making faces in the mirror lamp!  I’m looking for something more colorful to add to this table, so I think I’m going to plant some flowers.  If the real things don’t grow, I’m going to go for fake.

Here’s the shot of the living room:

Before (please pretend that the mess isn’t there):




This is still a work in progress.  I need to make cushions for the chairs (I have the fabric picked out; I just need to wait until it’s in the budget for next month!) and I’m quite stumped as to what to put over the fireplace.  The ledge is SO skinny, and the recessed arch makes hanging things difficult.  I have a few ideas, but we’ll have to see what actually happens there.

This is what our main accent wall used to look like:


It’s now gotten a facelift:



I spray painted the frames Rustoleum Heirloom White in Satin and then distressed the edges.  I also found vintage beach pictures from the Library of Congress.  This blog touches up photos from the Library of Congress’s Flickr account and has them available for free download. 

This window was the inspiration for the aqua:


I found this on Craiglist for $20.  The guy who sold it to me replaces windows for a living, and he said he pulled it out of an old pueblo home that was over 100 years old.  I did nothing to the window but clean it up.  I love the aqua paint with the green and bare wood showing. 

Here’s a shot of the kitchen:





I loved the blue still, but it just wasn’t working with everything else.  And the chairs really weren’t that orange, but after our kids, they did need a recover.  I used a shade darker for an accent wall (Olympic Silver Dollar), and since I like the bamboo blinds so much, I decided to bring that into the dining room with the rug.  One thing I’ve learned: I’m NEVER buying dark wood floors while I have children.  It may look gorgeous, but it’s a nightmare to keep clean.  I honestly sweep three times a day.  I still have the old artwork up, but I haven’t found anything yet to replace it with, so it stays for now.


It’s hard to see in the photo, but the flowers on the chairs have aqua buds.  Here’s a closeup of the fabric.  I bought it on sale at (YES!!  I just went to link to the website, and the fabric I want for our chair cushions is on sale for $6.99/yard!!!)

This is the fabric I’m getting for the wicker chairs:

So that’s my udpate.  Thanks so much, Mom and Dad, for helping me do all this!  It would have taken me years to do it on my own!!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Definitely sisters

I came across these photos, and I had to compare them side-by-side.  Aren’t my girls gorgeous?

IMG_0237 DSC_7240

(Katie in June 2007, Averi in March 2010)

Finally a decent cornbread recipe

I’m extremely picky about cornbread.  I don’t like it if it’s too dry and crumbly, but I don’t want it too soggy either.  And it has to have the right sort of flavor.  I’ve tried lots of cornbread recipes over the years, and I haven’t been in love with any of them.  Even Pioneer Woman struck out on this one.  But I finally found a decent recipe on My Kitchen Cafe, and I feel the need to share it with everyone.  I made a slight change to the original recipe—bake it in a cast iron skillet.  The edges and bottom turn nice and brown and crisp, and everything cooks very evenly.  The kids’ favorite part was the honey butter whip.  I think they would have eaten it by itself if I would have let them.

My Go-To Cornbread
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk

Add dry ingredients, make a well and add oil, butter, eggs, and milk into the center. Stir until just mixed (batter will be runny – don’t be alarmed!). Bake in an 8” square pan (or a cast iron skillet if you have one) at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. This doubles perfectly for a 9X13-inch pan.

Honey Butter:
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Whip all together with an electric mixer and serve at room temperature (can be refrigerated and softened). (I halved this butter recipe and still had leftovers.)

Katie’s Shiner

Our poor girly-girl got a great black eye this evening.  We had gone shopping at Wal-Mart (which was a disastrous shopping trip for multiple reasons), and Katie tripped and did a faceplant into a cart headed her direction.  Not only did she get a terrific bruise on her eye, but two of her fingers were run over by the cart, so they’re black and blue as well.  She’s milking it for all it’s worth, though.  She’ll be just fine, but the minute she’s asked to do something vaguely unpleasant, she starts to sniffle and “sup sup” and moan about how badly her eye and fingers hurt.  It’s hard not to laugh, although I do really feel bad for her. 

At least it didn’t happen right before Easter.  I just bought Easter outfits today (I LOVE doing that; it’s the only time of year when I feel okay buying full-priced clothing), and I want to be sure their pictures look cute.  Somehow I feel that a shiner would detract from my carefully planned ensemble.

And just for the record, this is our second black eye in the family this week.  Averi fell off our bed while the kids were playing and wound up with a few bruises around the eye as well.  Hers weren’t quite as spectacular as Katie’s, so they didn’t get a blog post or a picture. 



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Exciting News!

Guess who’s joining our family on April 9th?

His registered name is DLT Star Blazer, and he’s a 5-year-old male greyhound. The breeder has children who come and assist with the chores, so he’s quite used to kids. We have to wait for him to arrive from Tulsa, Oklahoma (a fellow Okie!), which is why we have to wait for a while. It doesn’t seem like he was much of a racer; he only ran 14 races and his best showing was 2nd place. But we won’t hold that against him! He’s a big boy, with a recorded weight of 76 lbs (I’m not sure how recent this is). I love his brindle coloring, and his white muzzle and chest are adorable. His sire’s name is TNT Star Wars, and there’s an Akbar in his family history, so I think we may have to choose a Star Wars name. Let me know if you have any great (or greyt) ideas!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

She’s 18 Months Old!

Can you believe that Averi is already 18 months old? She starts Nursery this Sunday; let’s hear a big “Hallelujah!” She’s completely adorable and we love her to death. Here are a few tidbits about her at this age:

  • She LOVES her bear, or as she calls him, “beah.” She will also sleep with her bunny from Aunt Ashley, but nothing else will do.
  • She is an ice cream fanatic. She demands a “bie” of anything that remotely resembles ice cream.
  • She is a girly girl. She loves necklaces, purses, Mommy’s shoes, and dressing up in Katie’s princess costumes.
  • She loves to sing Patty Cake. It’s what she requests when she’s upset. She lets us know by rolling her hands vigorously at us.
  • She loves “boops.” She’s frequently found lying on her stomach, flipping through a book and reading to herself.
  • She loves to take baths with her siblings. She also doesn’t necessarily wait to have her clothes taken off before she tries to jump in.
  • She’s got the locations of eyes, nose, ears, hair, tongue, and fingers down pat.
  • She’s a pro at finding Mom in hide-and-seek. She always finds me before Katie and Paul do.
  • Cows say “boo” and chicks say “chee chee.” Cheeks are also “chee chee.” Her favorite is the lion; it gives a very loud “raaaa!!”
  • She takes her shoes and socks off the moment she gets into her car seat. Hair clips follow shortly after. I think I have at least 7 socks and 2 pairs of shoes in the car at the moment.
  • She loves being outside and playing in the dirt.
  • She loves to give kisses and hugs and is extremely affectionate.
  • Her big brother and sister are her idols. She copies everything they do.

Here are a few recent pictures of Averi:
Are those lips not to die for?

After a chocolate extravaganza on Mom’s birthday.

EVERY child loves the tupperware cupboard.

The first time she ever really participated at Music Makers. This butterfly puppet is her favorite.

Blue Hitler frosting mustache.

Averi is happiest when she can have a baggie with a snack. It’s so much tastier than when it’s in a bowl.

She loves to make faces at my new mirrored lamp.

This is the face she’s usually making at the lamp.

Reading a “boop.” Look at those delicious thighs!

Our gray-eyed girl.

Being a puppy. All the kids love to crawl around pretending they’re animals. Averi likes to be one of the big kids and play too.

Behold the queen.