Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Month in Review

We had our traditional Saturday morning breakfast (pancakes and bacon, my favorite!) at the little table.
Olivia loving the girls new bunk beds...and her bottle. This is the longest I have let one of my children have a bottle. They are usually done with them by 18 months old, at the latest. I am getting lazy in my old age. I have 9 weeks to get her on a cup full time before the new baby comes. Wish me luck!
Matthew being artistic with his camera. I love this picture.
Aidan making faces for daddy and the camera.
We played outside a lot, when it wasn't raining.
I love this picture. Olivia is such a cheese head!
Speaking of heads, Olivia had just hit hers on the baby swing!
Parker FINALLY learned how to eat cheese without gagging/throwing up!
Olivia learned how to eat a cupcake without a fork!
This past month has been full of sickness. Poor Parker was the sickest of all of the kids. Here he is doing his breathing treatment.
Olivia enjoyed the party favors her Aunt Melanie was so nice to sent home for us! 

And Emma was around, too!! There weren't really any pictures of her for some reason. Not too much has been happening aside from the usual: school, reading club, piano lessons, gymnastics, dance class, and me growing a baby : )

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Do It Yourself

In the July issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I found this picture of a kitchen remodel. I purchased a night stand and a dresser at an estate sale, and planned on refinishing them, but was unsure what to do with the tops. Usually when you paint the top of a dresser or table, whatever you put on top tends to stick. At least in my experience. So, when I saw this I decided to paint the body of the night stand, the hardware, and leave the top the original wood.
I forgot to take a before picture of the nightstand, but it was entirely the color of the wood top, and the hardware was a brassy gold. We sanded, primed, and painted it a sage green using glossy spray paint, and also repainted the hardware. I really like how it turned out, and nothing sticks to the top : ) Next up, the dresser!
And FINALLY, the toy box Matthew started back in January is finished!! I had decided I wanted it painted blue even before it was finished (or I found out I was pregnant) and initially it was going to be in the boys room/playroom. But even though the play room is now in the girls room, I stuck with the blue, since the top half of the their walls are this color anyway. I think it turned out great and Matthew did a wonderful job!! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

My brother-in-law Benjamin and his wife Katie came home from Colorado last weekend for a visit. We went over to my in-laws for a BBQ, swimming, visiting, and unbeknown to me at the time, bow shooting.
The mighty hunter. The real reason I posted this picture is more for the background, than the foreground. Do you spy a little mischief going on behind the scenes? About two seconds after this was taken, Aidan was getting in trouble for playing with the grill. He thought because everyone was preoccupied, he'd go unnoticed. Busted.
Matthew took Aidan, Olivia, and Emma outside to watch while Parker stayed in the cool house with me. And since Matthew is always taking pictures, Katie and Preston got to babysit.
To keep the kids  safe and contained, they were put in the back of Grandpa's truck. Olivia found some dog toys to play with!
I love this picture because Olivia is actually letting someone other than Mom or Daddy hold her.
The target!
After we had some really yummy burgers, we went swimming.
Benjamin being a dutiful uncle!
Parker is not much for swimming, so after just a little while, he got out. His preferred form of enjoyment is relaxing with some graham crackers.
Since Benjamin was home, we celebrated his birthday (a week early) with some awesome Texas Sheet Cake. SO good!
Melanie and Scott and their family, as well as Celeste and Jon were there at different times, and it was really nice to get together and hang out. The next night we went back to Grammy Ann's for some homemade chocolate ice cream and to say our goodbyes. Happy Birthday Benjamin, we miss you and Katie already!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Olivia loves to play with Matthew's headphones. We often find her under Daddy's desk, with these on her head.
Isn't she adorable? Look at that chubby face and curly hair!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Oh, Fudge

You can't really tell from this picture, but Olivia is sitting on my bed, eating fudge. She managed to get a piece off of the counter all by herself. Apparently, Matthew got some out of the fridge and wouldn't give Olivia any (hence the tear on her face) so she got a chair, climbed up on the counter, and got her own! I make my own fudge since buying candy is really expensive, and really not that good for you. Instead, I make my own "candy" that has only a few ingredients, instead of so many preservatives. I cut the pieces really small to both cut down on calories and make it stretch. 
Here is the recipe if anyone is interested in trying it. It is really, really easy, and really good!

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk (I use fat free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips (or anything at all you want to adds, nuts, dried fruit, ect.)

Line an 8 or 9 inch pan with waxed paper (parchment paper works too.) Melt chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk in a heavy sauce pan over low heat, stirring frequently. Once it's all melted and blended together, remove from heat. Add vanilla, give it a quick stir, and then stir in your add ins just enough to coat them. The pour and spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. It doesn't have to look pretty, because you're going to cut it up anyway. Chill AT LEAST two hours (I chill longer) or until firm. Turn fudge onto cutting board, peel off paper and cut into desired sized squares.

I put my pieces in a Tupperware and keep them stored in the fridge. It keeps the fudge longer, and tastes better a bit cold.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kitchen Remodel Before and After

Back in March we had our kitchen counters replaced. We found a really great deal at a local granite company, and were able to replace the counters for a lot less than going through one of the big box stores. Here are some before and after pictures of the kitchen.

We found these great backsplash tiles at Home Depot on sale, and Matthew install them.

I have to say the new sink is my favorite part. It's bigger than our old sink and now I finally have a sprayer!
We also painted the kitchen a lighter shade of blue-ish grey to match the tiles in the backsplash. I am really grateful to my husband for that, because the one thing he swore he would never do to this house, was paint the kitchen. But he did, and I am really thankful! Now that the floors are finally replaced, I think we'll be able to relax a bit on the home repairs/improvements. For a little while, anyway :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Grandma Turns 80

Today we celebrated Grandma Carpenter turning 80 years young! All the grandkids drove up to Queen Creek to meet Grandma and Grandpa at the Olive Garden for dinner. We left our kids at home and made it an adults only event. Everyone was able to make it, except for Benjamin and Katie, who are in Colorado. It was really nice to see everyone and to be able to celebrate the birthday of such a wonderful and sweet woman as Grandma Carpenter! We love you Grandma, Happy Birthday!