Thursday, March 29, 2012

phone dump and embrace the camera

Good morning, everyone! How are ya?

I'm in the mood for a good phone dump. Phone dump posts are such fun, because the pictures upload crazy fast. So, I can get a bunch up in no time flat. I wanted to Embrace the Camera this week, but it was an extra busy week and I knew it wasn't likely I'd get out the tripod, edit the pictures, and get a post up.

Enter... the iPhone.

Quite possibly the fakest smile I've ever given the trusty phone cam.

I'm starting to really get this whole ETC thing. Like, I actually remember to do it now. I hear myself say get in the picture. Fairly often. That's fun.

A little Hipstamatic action in the church bathroom. Because, hey - it's Embrace Everywhere All The Time. And because someone (ahem, Little Baby) was being LOUD. (But, you know, I don't really like Hisptamatic. I feel like I should. Because everyone thinks it's so great. But, I don't like it. It bothers me and I am not aesthetically pleased).

I'm an Instagram girl.

A little sleepy Baby progression...

You're wondering why she isn't in the nursery, aren't you? Well, I love my church, but I only put my kids in the nursery in the winter if I am just really in the mood for the stomach flu. We have a nursing mom's room, though, and they pipe the sermon sound in there. So, I can rock her, listen to the sermon, and... she sleeps. It's pretty nice, actually.

But her nursery days are coming. Once the contagion dies down.

You all take Sunday afternoon naps, right? Baby's still little enough to nap with me. I'll be sad when she's all over the place and the bed isn't safe. But for now...

We nap.

She plays with my face.

And sings and babbles for a while.

Then she starts to get quiet.

And falls asleep.

The End.

Happy Embracing, everyone!

Oh, by the way! I got the "in progress house tour" button and the "about us" link in the sidebar all sitchutated! :) very fun.

My Instagram feed is private, but if you're interested in following me, send me an email proving you're not a stalker, and I'll give you the deets!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the lego cabinet thingy

Good morning, all! If you're reading this on Wednesday morning, it means my little scheme to reduce my computer time is working. I'm writing this on Saturday night, and scheduling it to publish itself later in the week. I'm tricksy like that.

But, I'm editing first to add - thank you! The feedback from yesterday was very helpful. I really appreciated it!

Did you notice the lego cabinet thingy in the family room tour last week? Yes. I finally got it finished. I think it only took me three months.

I mentioned that I trash picked this, didn't I? I don't generally do that, being a germophobe and all. But, it was a respectable neighborhood, and it looked pretty clean. The ring pulls were what caught my attention. The only problem with it was the Asian figures (engraved? embossed?) on the front.

Exhibit A: iPhone pic...


I took all the little drawers out, cleaned everything really well, and painted the main part of the cabinet white.

Then I set out to modge podge some thick, texture scrapbook paper to the front of each drawer.

This was the part that took me forever. I have no idea why. It's not like it was difficult. I only did 4 or 5 drawers at a time, and I guess I just got bored with it. It seemed like the drawers would never end.

See those bubbles? Annoying. After a few drawers, I started repeatedly pressing the paper down and smoothing it now and then as it dried. If I didn't do that over and over again, I got these bubbles. I put the modge podge on the drawer first, and placed and pressed the paper down. After it dried (and after I kept pressing it smooth a few times), then I sealed the top of the paper with two coats of the modge podge.

I finally got it done. And managed to get some photos with my real camera instead of just the phone.

Here it is, trying to look chic. I didn't have the heart to shatter it's delusional pride and break the news it was just for Legos...

Finishing the cabinet was only half the battle, though. There were now LEGOS to organize.

My kids amaze me. Nine time out of ten, I could hold up some random Lego and they knew exactly which set it belonged to. They worked on sorting them for a very, very long time. I was basically useless. They all looked the same to me.

I knew these drawers were going to hold a lot. And they did! Which is good, because the Legos were beginning to take over.

He was trying to educate me, but I just couldn't figure it all out.

We still have about 2-3 drawers worth of Legos to work through and organize. The wonderful, glorious news is that we still have over 6 empty drawers of space! I'm pretty pumped.

Yay for a little organization.

It does my heart good.

Monday, March 26, 2012

help a girl out

I am having some blog drama.

And I need some feedback style help.

So, two quick questions for you all.

#1 - Lately, I've been seeing my posts all seriously whacked out on my own computer. Like, the words are beside the photos and there are only about two letters per line, basically making the text run vertically. Impossible to read. And very aggravating. But, get this - it's fine on my phone! And it's fine on Sam's computer. What gives? I'm wondering, have any of you seen the posts all wonky this way? Or is it just like that on my own computer for some weird reason?

#2 - I scheduled the previous post to publish this morning without me. I know it published, but I'm wondering if it showed up in anyone's feed. Can anyone tell me if it worked out okay?

#3 - I'm throwing one more in there. I've wondered this one for a while. I try to proofread before I publish a post, really I do. But, sometimes (okay, almost ALWAYS!) something slips by me and I don't notice it until after the post is up. So, I go back and edit it and republish it. When I do that, does it go into a reader or feed twice? Because if it does, sometimes I'm putting out feed 4x for one stinkin' post. And I know that has to be aggravating to you guys!

(a lovely candlelit meal of meat and salad dressing)

#4 - Phooey! I thought of one more. Now I'm way over two questions. But, tonight, I left a comment responding to my dear mother's comment. And I had to enter those annoying code letter thingies! I didn't know blogger started making people do that to leave a comment! Do you have to enter a code to comment, and if you do, does anyone have any idea if I can turn that option off?

(yes, I let them wear swimsuits in March. It was in the mid 80s here!)

Sorry. Big times housekeeping post. Random photos thrown in just for you, though.

Now, can you help a girl out with answers to any of these questions?


SUH-WEET!!!! I'm super pumped! I think I got the word verification madness off. Those things drive me bonkers. I have to focus so hard to get the letters right! But I think it's GONE.

But what about the other questions? In case you didn't already know. I'm a bit technologically challenged. ha.

color and sunshine

On the way home from the farm the other day, we stopped at a public children's garden. We hadn't visited in a while, and we had an hour or two to spare since the baby animal thing had pretty much been a complete bust.

I was really struggling to work with my camera in the bright sunlight that day. It was glaringly bright. Very harsh light for photos. Doggonit. It was SUCH a gorgeous day, and the children's garden is so beautifully designed... even without plants.

I kept trying. You don't learn anything by giving up, right? I think I'll learn a lot more about shooting in manual in these kinds of conditions as the warm weather months continue.

I hope so anyway. Tips, anyone?

Anyway, back to the garden.

I only wound up with a handful of decent pistures. These were my favorites from the day...

A little shot of color to make your day brighter.

Have a good one!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

About Us


If you're reading this... that probably means you've just found us. And maybe you'd like to know a little more about us?

This blog started out as strictly a house blog. Over time, it's kind of morphed into a this-is-us-living-in-this-house-blog. It's very unique... this blog. I mean, a family living in a house? You don't come across something like that everyday, people.

If you've been here for a while and we know one another, you're still in luck, because I'm caffeinated. And feeling a tad slap-happy. And, I think, this post probably has something new for everyone.

Now we get to the part where I have to scour my photo archives looking for a picture, any picture, of myself that I might possibly want to represent the "About Me" post in my sidebar.

I'm not coming up with a lot here. Let's see...

Here we go. This is me. In March 2012. I'm 36 here, even though I know you were thinking I'm much younger than that. And, there beside me is my third-born, tutu-wearing child, Punkin, playing with my iPhone. More on Punkin later.

And this is my lover, Sam. He's 35 right now. That's right. A younger man... by six months. (I was rolling over before he was even born). Sam is wonderfully patient with me. And, this is going to sound gag me sweet, but he works on this house with hardly a complaint. Sure, sometimes I have to cry a little or get into a deep, dark funk to keep the projects rolling, but in general, he's right there on the same page with me regarding the house. Up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and chomping at the bit to just get at that trim.

Okay, you're right. That's not true. The part about me sometimes crying about the house is true - very true - but I stretched the truth on the rest. But, Sam is a really, really hard worker. And I am so thankful for the way he has sacrificed so much of his "free time" to make this house our home. And I'm thankful that he really talks to me, and listens to me, and loves me when I get stressed or down or overwhelmed by the exposed wires and torn up walls.

He's really an awesome guy.

Sam and I were married in February of 2000. Then we had four babies in six years. Then we bought this house because we apparently felt the need for far more caulk and paint fumes in our lives. Then we had another baby. And she's the greatest.

We have five children. Here they are...

This is SweetP. She's 11. And we're learning together how to be 36 and 11. She's extremely helpful. Responsible. Trustworthy. Smart as anything. Detail-oriented. Super sweet with little ones and not so sweet with those about, oh, 16 months younger than herself (who happen to share a room/bed with her). And she spends a long time in the bathroom. A. long. time.

This is Shug (like, short for Sugar). She's almost 10. Shug is this great combination of being tender-hearted, sensitive, and kind as well as fairly aggressive, distractable, and sometimes wildly enthusiastic. Picture a beautiful blonde girl with gorgeous blue eyes climbing a tree whilst loudly quoting a book in a British accent and brandishing a sword. And then you have Shug.

Punkin. Age 7. This girl has some serious personal style. And 'tude. She's also very creative, hilarious, uber dramatic (actually, all my kids are dramatic - except Baby - but Punkin is more dramatic), crazy helpful, mature for her age, and cuddly, cuddly, cuddly. She's been voted most-likey-to-make-us-spend-more-money-than-we-should-at-Athropologie.

And we have a boy! This is Little Dude (a.k.a. Dude or Brother). He's 5 and... what do I say about this little guy? He's five! He literally runs to me in the mornings with the hugest smile and biggest hug imagineable. He's a recovering whiner and is learning to be a big brother and not the youngest after a 4+ year reign as such. He's talkative, bright, energetic, tender, affectionate, often silly, excessively attentive to Baby, pretty obedient, and he needs to eat about 6 times a day. Or it's not good. At all. (See "recovering whiner" above).

And this? This is Baby. The child that makes me want at least 6 more. Maybe not six, but at least one. Pretty sure that's not going to happen, though. Baby's most likely our caboose. She's seven months old (but 5 months in this photo). Every child, every baby is blessing. But, this child amazes me daily. She is all sweetness and light. She gets a whole lotta love around here and just smiles sweetly as her brother bear hugs her right eye. She's all the things wonderful about having a baby in the house. I know her personality is going to "blossom" even more soon, and she might actually sometimes cry then. And, alas, she may - like the others - actually need trained at some point. But, we're just eating her up right now. She's awesome.

A few others things you should probably know.

#1 - We homeschool. But, we aren't weird or socially backward. Unless you count the good kind of weird. We might be that.

#2 - We are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we are members of a traditonal, Baptist church. You do not have to be a Christian to read this blog. That's bonkers nonsense. But, I write about my beliefs. So, if you're not cool with that, you'll probably get annoyed from time to time. I write about these things because my life is not my own, it belongs to Jesus Christ. His life, death, and resurrection took my sin away and gave me His righteousness. Because He first loved me, now I love Him. And I want to obey Him. I can't do that on my own, and I fail miserably everyday. But, with His power at work within me, I am becoming more obedient and more like Him.

#3 - we live in Ohio. But I try not to say what part of Ohio. I'll give a tiny hint. If you divide the state into four equal quadrants, we're somewhere in the bottom left. But, I'm not saying whether it's the top of the bottom left or the left of the bottom left or the bottom of the bottom left or really more toward the dead middle of the state but just slightly in the bottom left or anything like that. It's just not Cleveland. Or Toledo.

#4 - I have different "voices" I write in. This particular post was written in my kind-of-silly-and-a-little-sarcastic-my-blog-is-great-and-I'm-so-funny-so-read-and-leave-me-comments voice. But, sometimes I'm rather serious. And sometimes I'm boring. Just thought you should know that.

#5 - Lastly, I would like to have chickens. Just two of them. I already have a spot picked out in the bakyard for their super stylish coop. And a bunny. Then, maybe when Baby is around four, I'd like to get a dog. A female boxer. That's what I'm thinking right now.

Anything else you'd like to know, you are welcome to ask. I get emails telling me when someone comments, so I'll see any comment you leave anywhere on the blog. I'm all about over-sharing, so don't be shy. But, please don't ask me how much money Sam makes or what our monthly house budget is. That's tacky. But, anything else.

Have a nice day!