Saturday, March 31, 2012

Definitely Not a Lamb

So much for March coming in like a lion and out like a lamb.

This year it is in like a lion and out like a lion.

We woke up to a couple inches of snow today.  Boo snow.

We were supposed to have lacrosse practice from 10-12 this morning.  That did not happen.  Kind of hard to practice a spring sport when there is snow on the ground.

Isn't it great that I say "we" were supposed to have lacrosse.  Yeah, no "we" about it. Only D&E were to be playing.  I was definitely not going to be playing lacrosse.

Though their coach(my friend K) has threatened to put the goalie gear on me.  Good luck with that K, I may just become a runner after all!

I digress.

At least it is March.  The couple inches that had fallen overnight was completely gone by this afternoon.

Hopefully that was winters' last gasp.

It has been tough to go from the high of summer-like weather a mere 10 days ago to a wintry landscape this morning.  It also capped off an extremely windy week.

Here's hoping April brings us some nice spring weather.  But of course, there is always the saying "April showers bring May flowers"........

Time will tell.

potd #89.  Lucy prints on the deck this morning.  

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mini Eggs aka My Easter Candy Downfall

We are enjoying a family night of watching Gilligan's Island.

It really is a classic.  The girls just love it.

And we are watching episodes from the 2nd season, which is now in color.  And the Professor and Mary Ann have made it into the theme song.

The episode we are watching has Zsa Zsa Gabor in it.  The dialogue is so funny. And it is just so funny that people constantly show up on the island and leave.  All without helping them get off the island.

Let me introduce you to my Easter Candy downfall:
Cadbury Mini Eggs.  Oh how yummy you are with your crisp sugar shell and milk chocolate inside.

I have been so good this Easter candy season to not buy any to have to eat at the house.  Because once I do, I can't help myself from eating one every time I walk by the candy dish.

So, I was back at school today to help close and pack up the book fair.  As I was leaving this afternoon, I stopped into the office to sign out.

I was chatting with the secretaries(one of them is a neighbor) and noticed that my neighbor had a bowl of Cadbury Mini Eggs on her desk.


I ate one.  And then I ate a couple more.

At that point I told all of them that they were now watching my spiral down into my Easter candy addiction.

I left before I ate any more.

Isn't that interesting that there seem to be some Cadbury Mini Eggs in a candy dish at the house.


I stopped at the grocery store before picking up the girls at school.  And lo and behold, the Mini Eggs were on sale.

Whatever is a girl supposed to do?  Well, buy the Mini Eggs of course!

And don't they look pretty in my white milk glass candy dish?!?!

Hubby came home and saw them in the dish.  And he said something to the effect of, oh why did you bring those into the house!?!

Hubby has lost 18 lbs. since the beginning of January.  Cadbury Mini Eggs are his downfall too.

I am sure his willpower will be better than mine.

And D&E love them too.  Their willpower is nil.

It's a good thing I waited until a week before Easter to buy our 1st bag.  That's all I am going to say about that.

potd #88.  Ahhh, Cadbury Mini Eggs how do I love thee?  Let me count the, white, yellow, pink.  I love all of those colors.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Day at the Book Fair

I volunteered at the girls' school today and helped at the book fair.

I love the book fair.  Mainly because I just love books.

There's nothing like the promise of some new books.  The girls love the book fair too.

We stopped on Tuesday after school.  They each picked out a couple new books. And I let them get the super secret UV light pen.  It is pretty cool.  It writes in "invisible" ink and then you shine the mini UV light that is on the cover onto the writing and it "magically" appears.

They have been having a lot of fun playing "spies".  There are a lot of secret notes being written.  And I am constantly being stalked in the house.  They are very funny. They are not very good at being covert.

So, today I helped during the whole afternoon at the book fair.  

I was lucky to be volunteering with a couple other moms who I know very well.  They were great to work with and I am so glad that my friend C knew how to work the cash register.  

I attempted to use it unsuccessfully.  After watching me mess up a couple transactions, you would never believe that in my past life I worked at a bank and managed a drawer with thousands of dollars.  Oh well.  

I blame the cash register.  It couldn't be me.  Nope, definitely couldn't be me.  Ha.

We had 3 classes come to visit and have the opportunity to make purchases or even make a list to bring home to their parents.  With the hopes of being able to come back tomorrow before the book fair closes at 11:30.

The classes that came were 4th & 5th grade.  The 4th graders were pretty good.  For the most part they walked around and looked at books.  They even made lists to bring home.  When it was time, purchases were made and they went back to their classroom.

Then there were the two 5th grade classes.  They weren't horrible.  But they definitely made me wish I really could freeze D&E at 8.

The boys were show-offs.  To each other and to the girls.  They were loud.  And they didn't really look at the books.  Some did, but many did not.  

Ack.  Bleck.  I am not looking forward to 5th grade.

The girls weren't much better.  They weren't quite as showy as the boys, but there was definite attitude.  Ack. Bleck.

Yup, definitely going to work on the freezing machine for D&E.  No turning 9 for them.

If only.

The purchasing was almost comical.  Lots of piggy banks were tapped into.  And we got a lot of sweaty, rolled up $1's/5's/10's.  Most would bring up their books, etc and just hand you the money. 

Not having a clue as to how much they spent.  Most had enough, a few we had to tell they didn't have enough money.  They would decide what they weren't buying and come back to buy what they were keeping.

Then there was the end of the day when anyone could come to buy books.  I can't even tell you how many kids we just pulled out of line, saw what they were buying, took the right amount of money and then said, "quick, go before you miss the bus!"

It was a bit nerve wracking.  I did not want to be responsible for anyone missing their bus because the line was so long.

Something tells me tomorrow is going to be very busy.  Which means the book fair will make lots of money.  Which is always a good thing for out PTO.

I am heading back in the morning to help them close up the fair.  I am sure I will be buying a couple more books.  

I just can't help myself.

potd #87.  Double stuff Oreos.  A downfall.  The girls & I had them for dessert tonight.  D takes hers apart and stacks all the creams into one cookie and dunks the rest of the chocolate cookies.  E takes hers apart, dunks the chocolate cookie parts and then eats all the creams last.  Me?  I just dunk the cookies.  Yum.  How do you eat your Oreos?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Knit Wits

Every Wednesday night from 6-8:30 for the last 4 years Sissy & I have had knitting class.

We both had been wanting to learn how to knit for awhile when Sissy found a knitting shop not too far from her house.  About 5 minutes.  Perfect.

Even more perfect was that our soon to be knitting teacher is a leftie.  Sissy & I are lefties.  Even more perfect.

So, we asked her if she had a class we could take.

P gave us the once over and basically said we would probably be able to handle the Wednesday night class.  As we later learned, after giving us the once over P decided that we'd be able to hold our own with the Wednesday night group.

It was a bit overwhelming to walk into an already established knitting group/class.

When T aka The Queen walked into the shop that night(as Sissy & I were studiously trying to learn how to cast on) she looked at us and said, "Who the h-e-double hockey sticks are you?!"

T is so lucky we stayed.  And stay we did.  And we held our own and have even learned to give it.

Four years later and these women are some of the funniest, sweetest, kindest ladies I know.  We spend most of the night laughing, many times uncontrollably.

And it's really not just about the knitting.  It is the social aspect that means so much more than the knitting.  Over the years there has been sickness, a loss of spouse, kids heading off to college, kids graduating college, my kids starting school, getting back into the dating world and grandkids born.

The knitting shop itself has even moved.  Thankfully only 2 minutes farther from Sissy's house.

And we have all been known at some point or another to go to knitting and not do any knitting at all.

One of the best parts is that we all take turns bringing a snack.  I never really eat dinner on Wednesday night because snack is always delicious and fulfills dinner.

Tonight was one of those nights where we just laughed and laughed and laughed.  We are very funny.

It was a great night at knitting.  And I even got some knitting done.

I let Lucy out to take care of business this afternoon.  When I called & whistled for her, she came running and then put on the brakes as she got close to the deck.  And then she slunk up onto the deck.  And stopped.  She looked very guilty.

She didn't really want to look at me.  She cracks me up.  She was clean, so I knew she hadn't really got herself into too much trouble.  But apparently she thought different since she had slunk onto the deck.

There is nothing like looking right into your dogs' eyes.  She got lots of pets when she came in the house.  Silly Lucy.  Love that she acts guilty even when she doesn't do anything.

The girls had a 1/2 day today so we were able to head out and get their much needed cleats for lacrosse.  We now have our game schedule for the Spring.  We've had a few practices and they are really loving it.

D playing piano.  She is working on a song called "March Militaire" by Franz Schubert.  D takes great delight in telling me that he lived a "really long time ago".

She is really loving this song.  She likes that her fingers are always moving around on the keys.  No problem getting her to practice this song.

potd #86.  Semi-guilty Lucy.  Ahhh, those eyes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tickling the Ivories

Both girls take piano lessons.

I always wanted to take piano lessons when I was a kid.  We didn't have a piano. That kind of puts a damper on taking lessons.

So, I knew that my kids would take lessons when they were old enough.  No question.

D&E started lessons when they were 5.  They started with one teacher and we have since changed to another teacher.

Their 1st teacher was nice enough, but we just didn't click.

So, I got the name of the piano teacher that taught 2 teens that attend the same church as us.  They play piano beautifully, so I knew their piano teacher was a good one.

We started with the new piano teacher in the fall of 2010.  And the difference was night and day.  She is absolutely fabulous.  She is just wonderful with the girls and really knows how to get them excited about playing piano.

D is like my Hubby and can play by ear.  She is always just sitting down to play and ends up plunking out all sorts of songs.  She has figured out church songs, pop songs, and even commercials.

Playing the piano comes naturally to D.  Practicing her piano songs does not come naturally.  She would much rather just sit at the piano and play whatever she feels like as opposed to having to sit down and practice what Mrs. R has assigned for the week.

E does not play by ear.

She is always wondering why/how playing piano comes easier for D.  We spend a lot of time talking about how God gives us all different gifts.  And one of D's gifts is music.

It is hard for E to understand.  Especially when she is struggling with a song.  But, she always perseveres and works hard on the song that is troubling her.  I must remember to remind her that is one of her gifts--the gift of perseverance.

While E can't play by ear, she plays extremely well.  She works hard.  She is an excellent piano student in that she is more than happy to sit at the piano and play what has been assigned to her.

Every now and then she will try to plunk out a song or just play freestyle.

E practicing one of her songs today.  She is loving this particular song.  It is called Rockin' On.

It is definitely a song that is stretching her playing abilities.  And like she always does, she is rising to the occasion.  It is a very busy song and keeps her hands moving.

Serious E.  Concentrating on her piano playing.

Because I have never played an instrument and can't read music, it never ceases to amaze me that D&E can watch both lines of music at the same time and move their hands where they're supposed to go at the same time.  My brain hurts just thinking about having to do all that.

Sometimes E grumbles about taking piano.  Even though she really enjoys playing.  I have told her that she needs to take lessons through 6th grade.  I am hoping once she gets that far she will continue on for a bit longer.

I was so proud of her today.  Both girls are practicing songs from "The Sound of Music" for their piano recital in June.  E is playing "My Favorite Things" and D is playing "Do-Re-Mi".

E was practicing first today and all of a sudden I heard her plunking out "Do-Re-Mi". She wasn't looking at the music for that song, but had just hit a couple notes and then continued on with the notes until she had a good chunk of the "do-re-mi-fa-so" part played.

At first she didn't have it completely right, but she kept messing with the notes until she had it figured out.  That was one of the first times she's ever done that.  So proud of her.

This is E playing her song "Rockin' On".  I happened to video her on my phone last week.

potd #85.  E playing piano.  I am so proud of how hard she works at piano.  She is an excellent student and plays really well.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Old Towel Bar + New Towel Bar = Paint The Bathroom

Hubby and I bought a new towel bar on Saturday.  We also bought the matching toilet paper roll holder.

The towel bar in our main bathroom upstairs has needed to be replaced for awhile.  I can't even count how many times the bar has fallen when pulling a bath towel off of it.

It was great to finally pick out a new one.

Then Hubby went to install both the towel bar and the toilet paper holder yesterday afternoon.

But, the towel bar is longer than the one we had.  So is the toilet paper holder.

So, Hubby needed to fill  the old holes before putting up the new fixtures.  Out came the plaster.

Hubby filled the holes.  Then the holes needed to dry overnight.

Tonight the holes needed to be sanded smooth.

Now the walls need to be touched up with paint where the old holes have been covered.

So off to the basement Hubby went to see if any paint was left behind by the previous homeowners.

He found some.  He brought it upstairs.  And then he gave me an option.

I love options.

Hubby showed me the gallon can of paint and said, "This is the paint color for the bathroom.  You can either bring this to the paint store and get them to mix a quart of paint to match or you can pick a new color to paint the whole bathroom."

Hmmmmm.  Let me think.  Get a quart of boring, blah white/cream paint to touch up a couple of spots OR pick a fabulous new color that will liven up the whole bathroom??

Gosh, which should I do?

I answered pretty quickly to Hubby, because this was a no brainer, "Oh, I am definitely picking a new color!  Really?  You're ok with painting the bathroom yourself?"  Remember, Hubby is not a fan of painting.

His response was something to the effect of "yes, I will paint it.  Bathrooms are pretty easy to paint."

Of course, I am thinking that perhaps we can get a new light fixture too.  We have been talking about that for awhile as well.

And I am thinking some new knobs for the vanity might look good too.

Never mind that I may mention to Hubby that painting the vanity might help give the bathroom a whole new look.  Or maybe he will get the idea himself when he reads this blog??

And there is the project of framing our giant wall mirror that I have been talking to him about.

Little does poor hubby know that these new bathroom fixtures are turning into our very own version of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie".

Ours is more like,  if you buy new towel/toilet paper roll fixtures for the bathroom you will have to fill the holes of the old fixtures.  And after filling the holes, you'll have to paint the walls. But when you look for paint you realize it's old.  So you'll pick a new paint color for the whole bathroom.  And when you pick a new color you will need to replace the light fixture.  And after replacing the light fixture, you'll want to paint the vanity.  After painting the vanity, you will realize you need new knobs for the vanity. After buying new knobs for the vanity, you will want to add pretty moulding around the giant wall mirror.  And never mind the artwork for the walls that will be needed after all is said and done.


I can't wait to go to the paint store tomorrow.

potd #84.  Three bananas that are perfect for making banana bread.  And 3 bananas is just what my Banana Bread recipe calls for.  Perfect.  My job for tomorrow morning--baking banana bread.  Yum.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Songs

Today was Friend Day today at our church.

Of course, we can bring friends any week!  But a couple times a year we have official "Friend" days.  On those days, our pastor explains a bit more why we do certain things during our service.

And, we get to have donuts.  Yum.

This morning for Sunday School, we brought S and her brother M with us.  My friend R met us at church in time for donuts before our regular Sunday service.

The kids were all excited to come out of Sunday School class all with their own packages of Peeps.

I was shocked that D actually liked the Peeps this year.  Usually, she tries them and really wants to like them, but just doesn't.  Today she liked them.  There was no question for E & S--they love them.  M was bummed when he had one only to discover that he really doesn't like them.  S was excited because that meant she got to have his package too!

The songs that we sang today:
That's Why We Praise Him
We Fall Down
Who Am I
For All You've Done
Give Thanks
God Arise

I had a hard time picking a favorite song from today.  I really enjoy all of the songs we sang today.

I ended up choosing Who Am I?   I hope you enjoy it as well.

Dinner tonight was Pasta Fagioli.  The recipe I have is the Olive Garden recipe.

I happened to get the recipe a couple of years ago when I was volunteering at the girls' school.  I was making some copies for E's 1st grade teacher when her K teacher popped into the copy room.

She needed to make a quick copy so I let her use the copy machine.  As we were chatting about E, I saw that she was making a copy of a recipe.  I asked her what it was for and she shared with me that it was a recipe for Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli. She had found it online at CDKitchen.

I couldn't believe it.  We love Olive Garden's Pasta Fagioli.  So, she made me a copy too.

I made it for dinner the next night and could not believe how good it tasted.  Super yum.  And we all loved it.

So today was a bit cloudy, rainy, and more chilly than we have been used to over the last 2 weeks.  A perfect night for Pasta Fagioli.

E loves to help me make it.  Today she chopped the celery and then helped add in all the beans, tomatoes, and spices as they were needed.

It is one of the easiest recipes to put together.  And the result is absolutely delicious.

The copy I have from E's teacher cuts the recipe in half.  And that still makes a lot of soup.  The full recipe makes a whole lot of soup.  Which would be good to freeze.  Unfortunately, my largest pot won't hold a full recipe.

Chopped onion and slivered carrots.  Honestly, chopping the celery and the onions are the hardest parts of making this recipe.  The carrots are bought slivered.  Easy, peasy.

potd #83.  Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli.  I love that I have the recipe in Mrs. B's handwriting.  She has such great printing.  Perfect for a K teacher.  I have always said since E had her that if I ever grew up to be a teacher, I would want to be just like Mrs. B.  She is just one of those teachers.  Simply wonderful.  She will be long remembered.  And both girls love going back to visit her.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

23 Questions

Yesterday, I did some Year of the Cat cleaning.

I had a couple bags of paperwork/notebooks that needed to be looked at and yesterday was the perfect day to get it done.

Luckily, most of it could be recycled or thrown away.

I did come across some cute drawings by the girls that were saved.

I also came across a few notebooks.  I collect notebooks kind of like I collect sour cream.  If I am out and I think I need a new notebook for some reason, I buy one. Only to find out when I get home that I had a perfectly good notebook that could have been used.

I really buy notebooks because I like to make lists.

So, a couple of the notebooks had old Christmas lists written in them.  One had the plans for a girlfriends' baby shower.  Another had the descriptions I had written of many things I had sold on Ebay way long ago.

I cleaned out those notebooks--tearing out the used pages.  Then keeping what was left to use another time.  Let's just hope the next time I am out and think I need a notebook, I remember there are about 5 notebooks(at least) back at home ready to be used.

One notebook I came across had a list of questions/answers that I had asked the girls a few years ago.  I can't remember where I found the list of questions.  The answers the girls gave me are quite funny.

Here are the questions/answers as I found them written in the notebook:

1.  What is something Mom says?
D:  Be good, Be kind, Be helpful(I came up with this when the girls went to Kindergarten, saying it to them each day when they got on the bus & I still say it to them)
E:  We can't wash our bouncy balls anymore(this is funny!  they love to collect bouncy balls and loved to wash them in the bathroom sink sometimes.  Let's just say water was a problem.)

2.  What makes Mom happy?
D:  when we snuggle in the morning
E:  when we listen to you

3.  What makes Mom sad?
D:  When I lose something that's very special
E:  When we are at school and you miss us

4.  How does Mom make you laugh?
D:  when you make funny faces
E:  when you tickle me

5.  What was Mom like when she was little?
D:  you had wavy hair and a cute nose(I'd like to think my nose is still cute!)
E:  you had small green eyes

6.  How old is Mom now?
D:  35
E:  35

7.  What does Mom like?
D:  Ice cream
E:  your necklace with the baby shoes

8.  What is Mom's favorite thing to do?
D:  Snuggle with us in the morning
E:  Bake

9.  What does Mom do when you're not around?
D:  Go shopping
E:  Shop with Auntie

10.  If Mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
D:  Because you'll be rich
E:  Because you're a good teacher

11.  What is Mom really good at?
D:  Baking
E:  Baking cookies

12.  What is Mom not very good at?
D:  Playing piano
E:  Cutting pineapple(I'll have you know I am an expert pineapple cutter now)

13.  What does Mom do for a job?
D:  Take care of us
E:  Take care of us & feed us

14.  What is Moms' favorite food?
D:  Pesto pizza
E:  Pizza( I am guessing we most likely had pizza for dinner the night before we did this!)

15.  What makes you proud of Mom?
D:  You listen to God
E:  You listen to Auntie(ok, sissy, don't let this go to your head!!)

16.  If Mom was a cartoon character, which would she be?
D:  Ariel
E:  Jerry from Tom & Jerry

17.  What do you & Mom do together?
D: Snuggle(she is definitely my happy snuggle girl, since she answered it so many times!)
E:  Shop

18.  How are you & Mom the same?
D:  We have freckles on our noses
E:  We both have green eyes

19.  How are you & Mom different?
D:  I have blue eyes & you have green
E:  I have big lips & you have small lips

20.  How do you know Mom loves you?
D:  You give lots of kisses
E:  You snuggle us

21.  What does Mom like most about Dad?
D:  His spiky hair(haha!!)
E:  He's handsome

22.  Where is Moms' favorite place to go?
D:  Target or Florida
E:  Disney World

23.  How tall is Mom?
D:  15 lengths
E:  18 lengths(these both make me laugh so hard!  What is a length?!?)

I just love that I did this with them.  And I am so happy I came across that notebook.  Their answers make me laugh and smile.

I think I am going to sit down with them and ask these same questions again.

It will be very interesting to see if any of the answers are the same.  Or not.

potd #82.  This is a close-up of a hob nail milk glass bud vase I found while thrifting with Sissy this week.  It is marked "EO Brody Co" on the bottom.  The EO Brody Co. was a famous maker of milk glass.  They are out of Ohio.  From what Sissy & I are learning while thrifting, Ohio was a hotbed for milk glass and pottery(dishes, plates, etc) making.  Thank goodness for a smart phone when thrifting!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Date Night

Hubby & I had a date night tonight.

Dinner out.  It was good.

W finished in the dining room today.  It came out fabulous.  I am very happy with the colors we picked.

Now to shop for a new rug & some artwork.

potd #81.  View into the kitchen.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Taste of Summer

Grilled Pizza.  Yum.

Last summer, we started making pizza on the grill.

I found great instructions on this site.  It is a simple & easy step-by-step on how to make grilled pizza.  Go read them now and then make grilled pizza tomorrow night for dinner.  You won't regret it.

It is delicious.  Honestly, once you make it on the grill you will not want to have it any other way during the warm weather.

It is that good.

Today it was 84 degrees.  Very summer-like.

So grilled pizza was planned for dinner.

Tonight we had two different kinds.  Tomato/basil/mozzarella and mushroom/sausage.

E likes the tomato/basil and D likes the mushroom/sausage.  Hubby and I like both.

Dough all stretched and brushed with olive oil.  It is the olive oil side that you will place onto the grill.

Getting some of the ingredients ready while Hubby was grilling the sausage and mushrooms to get prepped for making the pizza.

One side of the dough grilled and ready to be topped with yummy toppings.

D&E being goofy while D is finishing her homework.  

Toppings all on the tomato/basil/mozzarella.  It is ridiculously delicious.

E presenting the pizza sauce that will be put on the mushroom/sausage pizza.  We are lucky, our local grocery store sells a great pizza sauce.  It is a nice simple sauce that doesn't overpower the rest of the pizza.  Perfect.

E posing while Hubby finishes putting together the pizzas.  Then off to the grill they go to finish cooking.

D getting in on the action.  I can tell that in just the last few days of her being out in the sun, her hair is starting to get lighter.  She gets the greatest blonde streaks during the summer.

The mushroom/sausage pizza all done.  Yum.

Tomato/basil/mozzarella all cooked.  So, so good.  

We have decided that with the weather getting nice we will do grilled pizza on every Thursday night.  

And we are going to venture into more toppings.  Both Hubby & I agree that an eggplant pizza of some kind should be next on the list to try.  Now to think of what to pair with the eggplant.  Hmmmmm.

potd #80.  Toppings all ready to make the tomato/basil/mozzarella pizza.  I just love these colors together.  And the flavors.  Yum-O!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Changing Colors

We have been very lucky to have found a wonderful painter.  It has been a great recommendation from a friend.

W is a fantastic painter.  I guess that shouldn't be a surprise.  He's been painting for 36 years.

Hubby does not enjoy painting.  At all.  Obviously, he has done it in the past.  But he usually grumbles through it.

W painted our family room about 4 years ago.  We have a cathedral ceiling, so Hubby was definitely not liking the idea of painting that room himself.

After W finished the painting the entire room(including ceiling) in 2 days, Hubby said it was the best money he's ever spent on a house project.

Of course, I think he forgot that when we painted the kitchen 2 years ago.  Because he decided to do it himself and it took forever.  And he grumbled through the entire job.

Fast forward to now.

We have decided to get some painting done in the house and Hubby is happy to get W to do it for him.

The dining room is first up.

W came today to get started.  He's being very patient with me.

It has taken me forever to pick colors.  I have been thinking about colors since the fall.  I only got really serious in the last 3 weeks knowing that W would be starting this week.

Drop cloths in place.  The girls were so funny when they came home from school. They were playing the piano through the drop cloth.  And playing well.  E cracked me up when she muttered to herself, "ok, there's middle c".

My gut has told me to try a dark brown.  Hubby has been game.  My gut has also told me that a dark brown in the whole room would be way too dark.

So, my thinking became do a dark brown on top and a lighter one on the bottom. Again, Hubby was game.

Then thoughts turned to which browns.  Let me tell you there are a lot of browns. Benjamin Moore has some great colors.  Lots of colors.

The Benjamin Moore website is fun to look at when picking colors.  I spent so much time on the website and going to my local paint store to look at paint cards, my mind was dizzy with paint color choices.

Finally, last week we decided on doing Hasbrouck Brown for the top and Jackson Tan on the bottom.  The trim and the chair rail will be Calming Cream.

Calming cream is the color we chose for the kitchen.  We used it to paint the cabinets and for all the trim and doors.  It's a really nice creamy color.

So after running some errands this morning, I stopped at the house before picking D&E up from school.

Because I was a little nervous about the Hasbrouck Brown, W told me he would do one of the walls with both colors and the trim color.  To give me an idea of what it will look like, so that I am happy with my choice before he finishes the whole room.

Thank you W.  That was a great idea.

When I walked in the house to see how it looked, my first look almost gave me a heart attack.  "What am I doing?" went through my head.

He had painted the dark up top, the trim, but had not yet painted the lighter brown on the bottom.

The paint was wet and very shiny.  Blinding shiny.  W must have seen the look on my face because he reminded me that the paint was wet.  "Don't worry about the shine.  It will go away," he reassured me.

I still gulped a few times.

Then I left.

To get the girls.  And think.  A lot of what I  thought was "Oh shoot!  If I don't like the brown, what the heck color am I going to paint the dining room!?!?"

Then I got home again.  And W had left for the day.  Hopefully I didn't scare him by looking so shocked.

Now, he had both colors painted on the wall.  And it wasn't the awful that I thought it was before.

View into the kitchen.

I think the hardest thing to get past is that it is such a change from the bright yellow/gold that we have had for the last 5 years.

I stood in the room for at least 5 minutes.  Just soaking it in.  Picturing the room finished, with artwork on the walls, and a new rug.

And I decided that I really did like it.  It's a change.  And sometimes change is hard. But, I think this change is going to be good.

The best thing is, it's just paint.  If I decide in 6-12 months that I really don't like it, then we can paint it again.  Of course, I may let W pick the color if that happens!

E(all dressed for lacrosse) posing in front of the painted wall.  Love silly E.

W should be finished by Friday with the room.  Because it was warm and a bit humid today, the paint wasn't drying as quick as he was hoping it would dry. 

I am sure he is hoping it will dry quicker tomorrow and Friday.  

I can't wait to see the finished product.  

potd #79.  Big change in the dining room.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Today is the 1st day of Spring.

Which means warmer, longer days.

But wait, we are already having the warmer days.  Let's just hope our stretch of pleasant weather continues through our Spring.

You know, when Spring actually shows up and we lose this mini-Summer we are having this week.  Because it is going to go away at some point.

But for now we will enjoy every last minute of it.

I bought some pansies today.  Pretty blue, purple, and yellow pansies.  They are very cheery and will brighten up the pots around the pool.  Perfect for chasing the last thoughts of winter away.

Plans were made to have a friend of D&E's over today after school.  As were plans made for a lemonade stand.

So, when we got home all 3 girls were focused on having a snack and getting their homework finished.  Then they made a sign while I stirred up the lemonade.

Then out they went.

While they were waiting for customers, they spent the time biking and scootering in the driveway.  They also kept watch for cars.

Every time a car would come down the street they would head to the edge of the driveway near their table that was set-up with the lemonade.  And they would wave. And jump.  And yell, "Want some lemonade??!!"  And sadly, the car would drive by.

After this happened several times they started wondering why no one was stopping. And I really couldn't give them a good answer.  What I really wanted to say was that they were cranky people who forget what it is like to be 8 and have a lemonade stand.

Then, thankfully, a friend of ours that lives in the neighborhood was driving by with her 3 kids on their way to guitar lessons.  They stopped!  And they bought 3 cups of lemonade.  The girls were thrilled!

After a little bit more of unsuccessfully trying to wave down some cars, the girls decided to go play in the backyard and give the lemonade stand another try on another day.

The girls were happy to split the $1.50.

I wandered a bit and found one lone crocus blooming.

I am really enjoying just wandering around the yard each day.  It seems like each day I am discovering something new in the yard.

After a little bit more playing it was time to take the girls' friend, D home for the evening.

As we were driving out of the driveway, our friends who had stopped earlier were on their way back home from guitar lessons.  And what do you know, they stop and J(who is also in 3rd grade and is in D's class this year and was in E's class last year) jumps out of the van and heads over to our car.

I  unroll the window and he pops his hand in and hands the girls another 3 quarters. He sweetly yells, "Here's a tip!" and then runs back to his mom's van.  As the girls pepper him with a chorus of "thank yous!!!!!"

That really made their day!

So if you are passing by a lemonade stand and have a little bit of change, stop!  You will make those little kids' day.  Seriously.  They will be talking about the nice person who stopped at their lemonade stand all day/night.

potd #78.  First lemonade stand of the year.  On an amazing 1st day of Spring.  The high for the first day of Spring?  A very summer-like 79 degrees.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

My goodness, we are being spoiled.

The weather has been just perfect.

It is, dare I say, almost summer-like.  And technically, it is still winter.

Now that's clever.  Summer-like weather in winter.

This is the 7 day forecast from the local tv station.  Do you see Thursday?  84 degrees!  Now mind you I see that 55 on Sunday, but who cares?!?!

We've got mid 70's-mid 80's to enjoy over the next 3 days!  Even if we go back to our regular temperatures soon, this is just delightful.

And the yards are coming alive.  The grass is getting a bit green.  And buds are popping out on the trees.

Since Lucy aka "the dog" got herself into trouble yesterday, I made sure to go out with her in the yard today when she was taking care of business.

And there was much to see.

Here are some buds on the weeping cherry tree just off the deck.

With this weather and if it continues to be mild, I am sure the weeping cherry will be in full bloom very, very soon.

The leaves are starting to pop out on the lilac bush.  This lilac bush has quite a story.

The original bush was planted at my great Aunt Grace's(of Aunt Grace's brownies) house years and years and years ago.  As you can tell I am not exactly how long ago, but if I had to guess it was most likely in the 1940's-early 1950's.

When my Nana & Grampa bought their house in the early 60's, Nana wanted to have some lilacs like her sister, Aunt Grace.  So, they went and dug up some of the lilacs and planted them at their new house.

And they grew. And bloomed.  And were trimmed.  Year after year after year.

Over the years many relatives dug up bits and planted the small pieces at their respective houses.

Fast forward to when Hubby & I bought our 1st house in 1996.  What do you think I wanted to have planted in the yard?

Yup, lilac bushes from Nana's house.  So we dug out some shoots and brought them home.  This was in September.  The shoots lived with their rootball in a garbage bag for the winter.

Yes, the whole winter.  Tucked up against a corner of our new house.  I was pretty convinced it was dead.    And amazingly, when spring came around leaf buds started!

So, we planted our little shoots. And it grew and grew and grew into a huge bush.  I just loved it.

Isn't it huge?  Hard to believe it started from a couple of very small shoots that were almost frozen to death in a garbage bag.  Took this picture at the old house in May 2005.

Look at all those blooms!  I can't wait for the bush I have now to have that many blooms.

Then we decided to buy a new house in very late 2005.  Luckily the timing worked out that we moved to the new house in late February 2006 and sold the old house in early April.

As soon as the ground was thawed enough to dig, I made Hubby dig up a good section of the lilac bush to transplant at the new house.

Now, that bush is growing and growing and growing.  Every year there are more and more lilacs.  I can't wait to see how many I have this year.

A lilac just about to bloom last year.

I think it's amazing that the original lilac bush at Aunt Grace's was planted ever so long ago.  A legacy those lilacs are in our family.  I think of Aunt Grace and Nana every time I look at the bush.

Daylilies in the backyard popping up amidst the dead oak leaves.  Because of the October storm, I didn't get a chance to clean up the flower beds.  Lots of work to do. This is the perfect week to get it started.

For the life of me I can't remember what this little blue flower is called.  There are a few of them in one of the beds.  The blue is just so bright against all the brown around it.  I love it!

potd #77.  My lilac with its leaves starting to pop.  Won't be long now before I see how many blooms we will have this year.