Monday, April 30, 2012

Tooting my not-so-handy horn

Found this cabinet type piece at a an antique/junk store years ago when I was buying some furniture for Annette's nursery. I loved it for it's oldness and the way the paint on the inside was authentically distressed.
Find more on my attraction to old junk here :)

Once Annette started pulling up on things, and discovered how to open and shut doors, I realized these glass doors posed a pretty big hazard. With her, it was a pretty easy fix. I just tied a ribbon around the handles and she left it alone when she realized she couldn't open them anymore.

Then, came Charlie. He figured out how to untie the ribbon and rather enjoyed the loud sound these doors made when he slammed them. 
Thankfully, no glass has been shattered.

I was telling my sister about the problem the other day when she was at our house. I said, "I need to get our handy man over here to just take the doors off, I guess."

She kindly suggested that it might be as easy as me unscrewing the hinges off the glass doors.
I should have thought of that myself.

She was right.
 I just used my handy dandy mini screwdriver set. Which is one of my best purchases ever.
 Originally, I bought these tiny tools when I had to replace my laptop's internal hard drive. Yes, I did that myself. And while I'm tooting my own horn, I'll mention that I've replaced my laptop's keyboard too. All with the help of YouTube videos.

Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.  That's all it took.

Stored these beauties in our shed and might screw them back on one day when glass doors aren't such a hazard. Or, one day, I might put the cabinet on top of a table or dresser as a hutch. Or I could use the doors to hang on wall as frames. The possibilities (and excuses to keep the doors;) are endless.

Another reason this was a good project was because we have a huge book storage problem at our house. I keep buying GREAT books for like 50 cents at Goodwill and Savers to add to the books I've had since I taught school.  We neeeeed lots of books.
 I mean, I am teaching two toddlers pre-reading skills multiple times each day, right?? The more books, the more vocabulary my children are hearing each day, right???  :)
However, I have already filled every bookshelf we own. 

Before I took the doors off, the shelves on this old cabinet deal were too shallow to fit many books. So basically, all the shelves were holding were small knick-knack type things. Not real purposeful. 

But now, I can store some of my.. I mean 'our'... book collection right on these shelves.

Doors off......

Less book clutter on her dresser...And Look! Now, I have an empty basket to store something else. 
The little joys:)

I moved the magnetic letter box that had made its home on top of this cabinet into the closet, since this frame is much cuter. 

And ta-da! 
I did something productive, free, and hazard and clutter reducing all while Charlie napped. 
 And without a handy man. 
Toot, toot, toot. 
I know all of you have much greater things to toot your own horns about! Ha!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Of late...

Not much new around here.

We keep spending lots of time outside. 

We play with chalk a lot. We make a little cakewalk type game. We play Pandora on my phone and walk around the circle. Randomly, I'll push pause. Then we roll the dice. If you are standing on the number the dice lands on, you get to be the music player/pauser. 
Charlie isn't real good at this job yet, but we don't mind :)
If no one is on the rolled number, Annette gets to go run and jump on it. 
It's about as 'made up' of a game as there is.

Charlie's favorite job is to roll the dice. Into the street. On purpose. 
Thankfully, our street is not busy... and filled with understanding neighbors.

We bought from the ice cream truck once, and now it's an almost daily occurrence.  Luckily, the popsicles I let mine get are only 1 or 2 dollars. When we hear the musical truck coming by, we run in the house, count some change out of our money jar, and pay the ice cream lady. They LOVE it.

Annette dances ALL the time. I thought she would like taking ballet. I would never have expected her to love it as much as she does. She wakes up every day asking if it is Wednesday yet, so she can go see Mrs. Wendy at ballet. Her recital is coming up in May. Hope she won't get nervous up on stage and just stand there for the 2 minute song. But, I bet she will. And I'll still think she's cute:)

This is her dancing with buddies after a neighborhood parade.
If you can't tell, she is rockin' a side ponytail. Thanks to my mom, that's all she asks for lately. 
And it didn't help when she saw several middle schoolers walking around with the same do.
She made sure to point it out to me that the big girls had side ponies too.
Oh my. 
I must admit though, I remember loving them, too. 

These boys are an accident waiting to happen.

More chalk at my mom's house. Lauren helped Annette spell Bubba :) Can you spot which ones are her handwriting? Not bad for a 3 year old.

We had a little drizzle on Friday. I took the kids to Target to get out of the house. I told them they could each get one thing. They both decided on umbrellas. Turns out, they really do like playing with them. Every day. Not a bad purchase after all.

On Saturday, I gave a final exam, finished class early, and met my fam at the Wonder Place for a fun Elmo themed birthday party.

This is one of the 23 student's I had the pleasure of teaching this past semester. She just moved to the US about 2 months ago to get her masters in teaching. She asked if she could take this picture to send to her family in China. Oh, how I enjoy my part time job. I get to meet so many wonderful people with such different backgrounds and talk about one of my passions... teaching children how to read. It's a blessing.

I love my guy's smile. 

After naps, we headed to another fun bday party. A carnival themed one!

Now, I'm trying to get laundry and house chores done while the kids are at Mother's Day Out. 

 Hope everyone has a good week!

On a side note, here is a verse that meant a lot to me this morning. In case anyone might need to hear a little bit of the Good Truth today ...

I Peter 1
 Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The only words out of my mouth should be praises to God


This is a bit serious.

This is to document how grateful I am for every second I have with family.

God, Thank you for saving Lauren's life. Yet again. It's so obvious you have a real purpose for my sister. Like you do for all of us.

I hate looking at these pictures, but they remind me that God is in control.

She is living in Northwest Arkansas right now, doing an internship type deal down there, working with sweet kiddos who need Physical Therapy. Aren't they lucky to have her?!?

She was stopped. Then, rear ended by someone going really fast. 

She flipped over 200 ft the police officers said.

She was wearing her seat belt. OF COURSE.

Her cell phone and every other belonging ended up in the trunk or out the windows.

Not a scratch on her.

While Lauren is in NWA, she has been staying with a friend of my sister in law. She actually stayed with her in Harrison for a different internship. Seems they get along swell:)
So grateful that she was able to come get Lauren and take care of her after this close call.
Thank you, Natalie!

How quickly this could have gone another way makes my heart stop. And look to God. 

Praise God for me.
Because it's doesn't feel like enough for it to just come from me. 

The only words out of my mouth (ever) should be praises to God. 
Eternal Perspective.

And a reminder to always, always, always, wear your seat belt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Gala

Some of our closest friends have a daughter with juvenile diabetes. She was diagnosed before she even had her first birthday. You can read about her and her amazing mom on Sugar Savvy.

We are seriously going to miss this family when they are away for a fellowship in North Carolina. But, I won't talk about that.

On to the fun stuff... :)

We've had fun dressing up and going to the gala to raise support for JDRF for the last 4 years. Such a great excuse and cause to plan a date night ; )

My sweet cousin, Mackenzie, also has type 1 diabetes and has to endure the painful pricks and all else that comes with this nuisance-of-a-disease. It seems like we hear of someone new being diagnosed all too often.
So thankful there are so many who are working towards a cure as we speak. Or as I type.

That last one had a funny flash effect when it was taken on my iPhone. 
So I retro-ed it up with my camera + app.
You can hardly tell ;)

Dear friends.
I wish we had taken more pictures of more of the group that was there to support this family.

It is heart warming to see how many people have been touched by one little girl.

It was fun, Peeps! Love yall. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oh those spring niii-hiiights!

Those summer nights are pretty great, but we have been soaking up these spring nights.

Evenings for our fam have been filled with...

Play time with neighbors,

Barefoot kiddos,




walks to kroger....

and to Brownings....

grilled corn on the cob, 

mosquito bites (already) and second rounds of Popsicles.

Thank you, Lord, for these peace filled evenings.


the Smiths

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

We have had a lot of Easter fun. A ton might be a better word.

My kids had a MDO Easter egg hunt on Thursday. 

On Friday, some friends planned a hunt at a playground.

Here are all the cuties and their buckets/baskets.

Charlie + Chocolate = LOVE + MESS

He stopped 'hunting' for eggs once he realized some of the eggs contained chocolate. I even caught him opening eggs, seeing what they had in them, and then throwing the rejects back on the ground. Stinker!!

This is Annette pouting. I can't even remember why. Oh yeah. She didn't find the 'golden' egg. 
It's a tough life.

Look at these two sweet kids. It would be nice if my children would sit next to each other and smile. 
Or even look in the same direction.

Inside for craft time and snack time.

On Saturday, Isaac took the kids to an Easter Egg Hunt in Pleasant Valley while I taught. They had cute animals to pet and everything.

When I got home from teaching, we dyed eggs.  I seriously love this tradition. I remember looking forward to the dipping and painting and hunting when I was a kid. I still do. 
I decided to let the kids experiment with the food colors to mix colors this year since I didn't think to buy a kit this year. So, no pink. Just primary and secondary colors this year. 

What a great mixing color activity!?!

The last several nights we have opened an egg which leads to a story about the Easter story. I got the idea from this blog. 
I have been happily surprised to see how much Annette has enjoyed and looked forward to hearing the stories each night.

Easter Sunday. 
I scrambled to fill buckets before Annette awoke. I put things in there that would be fun for summer. Goggles, watering cans (they fight over the one small one we already have), and a couple other small goodies. 

Annette said her favorite goodie was the Princess notebook. She seriously loves to write and draw. She has written in the thing all morning.

Charlie preferred the chocolate and the magnadoodle thing.

Love that half eaten whole grain waffle beside my toes. We are pretty crazy.

Then, we went to church and had fun celebrating with our church family. 
Especially those lovely third graders  : )

We ate lunch with Isaac's family overlooking the golf course. Nottah-bad view.

 Still can't get this girl to smile for me. 

All three of them trying to squeeze into Nonnie's lap to watch Veggie Tales on her iPad.

These two are starting to play so well together. Can't wait to watch them grow up together as cousins.

We are headed to my parent's house for dinner tonight... 
which means more fun smatterings for the Smiths : )

Happy Joyful Easter!