Friday, March 23, 2012

Guess Who Came for Dinner?

The SISTER MISSIONARIES (which just so happened to include my very own sister)!!! We had a blast.  And she's awesome. And now you're all jealous. :)
Then, just minutes after this picture was taken, Peter chucked the camera across the room, rendering it completely useless.  Just two days after he ripped the dining room curtain rod off the wall....deep breaths.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Art Museum

We're off for Spring Break this week, so I thought I'd make the most of our time together by going to the Art Museum this morning. We really should go more, especially since it's free. 
Before we left, I read the kids the book "Look! Look! Look!" that I picked up at the library. I love Nancy Elizabeth Wallace books! They're a recent discovery for me. She does a fabulous job teaching many different subjects in a colorful, friendly narrative that kids enjoy reading.  
The boys really wanted to bring their notebooks so they could make sketches of what they saw. When we got there a little early, they sat outside to draw St. Louis on his horse.
 Benjamin was really studying him...
 ...and so was Peter. :)
 I was proud of them for how well behaved they were inside. Their favorite exhibit was probably the Egyptian mummies.
Here's a sampling of Peter's "sketches." 
 Benjamin mostly wanted to draw pictures of simple pottery, but he also drew this chair...
...and I was pretty impressed. 
 Nora rode in the stroller most of the time, but we got out now and then to get a closer look. She's pretty young still for this type of excursion, but I think she still enjoyed getting out of the house.
We'll definitely be going back soon!

An Easter Craft

I still don't have very many Easter decorations, even though this will be our family's eighth Easter. I guess I'm sort of picky, but mostly just cheap when it comes to seasonal things. So yesterday, I decided to try using what we had to make something fun: cheap watercolor paper, washable markers, and crayons. 
First we cut out some egg shapes using the watercolor paper, and made designs with markers. Than we dipped them in water...
They came out looking pastel-y and Easter-egg-ish. 
Then we let them dry. For some, we experimented with crayons before we dipped them in the water.
After they were dry, we just went back in with crayons for some details...

And that's it! I kind of like how they don't break, they don't take up table space, and they can be re-used year to year. Oh, and of course that they were free!

Monday, March 19, 2012

In Town

Look who came right to our hometown this past week! I would have LOVED to be there, but instead, I was watching several kids at my house so that two of my friends could do this:
 And this:
Paul also went, although he didn't have those enviable VIP tickets. See him back there in the baby blue? He looks totally excited to be there. :) 
I have mixed feelings about potentially having a Mormon for President (mainly because any publicity good or bad would be associated with our faith), but I honestly feel he has the best chance to win against Obama. So he has my support!
Also this weekend, we were lucky enough to have Elder Bednar, a living Apostle, preside over our Stake Conference. Our stake hasn't had an apostle come like that for at least 34 years, so this was a pretty rare event. I wonder if it will ever happen again in my lifetime. It was sure an incredible weekend, and one that our family will always remember!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Life in Pictures

Besides moving in to our newly finished basement, here's what we've been up to lately:
Reseeding the grass and building up turf,
 finding worms,
watering the lawn,
 watering the kids,
 going to the zoo...
 ...and being best buds,
 riding a giant beetle at the zoo,
 and of course checking out all the animals there,
 enjoying the gorgeous Spring blossoms that have been popping up everywhere,
 riding bikes and going BAREFOOT!!,
 climbing trees,
 greeting Daddy when he gets home,
getting "jiggy-back-snides,"
 breaking out the bats
 and playing a little baseball,
and staying up late (I think I prefer Spring Daylight Savings Time, but only because the kids have been waking up at 7 instead of 6.) 
Also, lately Peter has been growing like a weed. He no longer has the baby fat thigh creases (a little sad for me!), and complains that his pants, which are noticeably shorter, are falling off all the time. Good thing we've about reached shorts weather! Today and yesterday have been around 80 degrees. Heaven. 

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Basement Pictures!

The basement is finished and ready to move in!!! We have been anxiously anticipating this day for approximately three years. Here's the blank canvas, all ready for toys and chaos!  :)
Here's a view of the back of the (soon to be) movie watching area. We found this little sectional for a steal, so we're not too worried about the inevitable forts and pillow mountains that will come from it.
We also found this wool rug for a great deal at the same place where we got the couch. I made the pillows from some fabric I ordered.
 And here's my favorite part- the built-ins! That bench lifts up, and will hold a lot of the toys. I'm going to make/find cushions to go on top of this to make it a comfy sitting area. The book shelves will soon hold many of the books that have been in boxes since forever. The little arched kid nook was original to the previously finished basement, and was cute, so we preserved it. I will probably paint the little walls inside with chalkboard paint, or maybe a mural. We'll see.
And here's looking at that area from the other direction. The two mismatched windows are original to the house, and are still kind of gross. But they do add much needed light. The area behind them is the bathroom that was also part of the previously finished basement. 
I'm not sure what to use this little space next to the bathroom for yet. I'm toying with the idea of a permanent home for my sewing machine and crafts, or more hidden toy storage. 
 Coming back to the other side is this long empty expanse, with the door leading to the unfinished laundry room. I found this near-perfect couch on the side of the road a few weeks ago, and promptly shoved it into my mini van. I was shocked at how pristine the cushions were when I pulled off the covers to wash them. Paul thinks I stole it. :) We still need to install a few wall sconces on this wall, which will flank a giant world map.
Across form the plaid "stolen" couch (which will probably move around) is the other built-in. The kids wanted to start moving things down first thing after breakfast, so we started with their books. I like how this wall is now partially open, and lets a little more natural light in from upstairs.
Here's looking at it straight on with the door to the new storage closet right behind it. Perfect for easy access.
And here's the empty shelves, which line the walls inside. I think we'll be able to fit a lot in here!
 So there it is! Our new finished basement! We feel so blessed. It's still sort of surreal when I remember how there's another giant room added to our house. I'm pretty sure I'll get used to it quickly though.