Friday, November 30, 2012

A Special Visitor

We've always known that we have extra creatures that have claimed our backyard their home. All kinds of birds and spiders; and we've only seen evidence that there must be bunnies in the yard. The bunnies (with assistance from Anderson) like to take down the rubber lining at the bottom of the fence. I've thought I've seen a bunny exit our yard and the dogs certainly think they trap bunnies in the Parsoni Juniper at times.

This morning, I flipped on the light on the back porch to let the dogs out and saw it. Our favorite visitor of all time. THE BUNNY!

11-30-2012
I froze! He froze! I wanted someone to see him besides me! Luckily, Mr. JCrew was coming around the corner. I was walking in circles trying to remember where my closest camera/phone was. My camera was on the desk in the kitchen. I quickly grabbed it and forgot to adjust settings. I think the picture turned out pretty good. He stayed there for five seconds and then took off in the direction of Little JCrew's house.

Now the dogs are going nuts. They caught a sniff and all they want to do is go outside and "make friends."

I don't trust our dogs. They are badger hunters. And our dachshunds growing up loved to nip at our pet bunnies. They are natural enemies.

I hope everyone has a great Friday and weekend!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Michaelangelo

I might be living on the dangerous side, but I let the boys play with paint yesterday.

Last year when we were down in Florida, Little JCrew made paintings with Olivia the chicken and also make handprints/footprints on ornaments. I bought ornaments for Baby B to make his own this year. We only got to do the feet. He wouldn't cooperate and open his hands.

I had also bought these really cool flat canvas pieces to make art with the boys. Little JCrew dove right in and loved it.


I had each color on a separate plate with a separate brush. He really liked the blue.

I handed him the orange, and he messed with it a few minutes before pushing it away.
I dipped his foot in orange and made him stand on his artwork. That was the only way he though orange was cool.

The green was a second favorite. He liked mixing the green and blue.

I really enjoyed watching him make his artwork. He made two pieces. His artwork might be making it into a Christmas present or two.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Aunt Kerry

My sister, Kerry came to visit her "little men" this past week. We got spoiled having her here.

Kerry and Little JCrew 11-2011


Kerry and Little JCrew 11-2012


She played with Little JCrew and cuddled Baby B.



Last time Aunt Kerry was here, she bought Little JCrew a fishing pole and taught him how to fish. He wasn't crawling much then, so she was excited to see him RUNNING everywhere now.



He kept Aunt Kerry busy reading books.



Kerry even shared her love of ice with the boy.


We love having our Florida family come visit us, but we don't like to say goodbye. We'll just see you real soon!





Thanks for visiting, Kerry. We love you!




Saturday, November 24, 2012

This kid loves to dance

Little JCrew is starting to dance more. I honestly thought he'd be dancing before he walked, since both Mr. JCrew and I have rhythm, and his Poppi is a drummer. But, he was late to the party.

Now when he hears songs, he starts nodding his head to the beat. And he turns any and all things into drum sticks. Give him a pot lid and he goes to town. (Looking for a cheap drumset now ;) )

When Little JCrew was little, Mr. JCrew use to beatbox rhythm and move Little JCrew's body to the beat.



The cutest thing now is when Mr. JCrew starts doing those same beats, Little JCrew starts dancing. His moves are unique!



This last time he did it, he had to move front and center in the living room.



Oh dear! He's at such a fun age now.

Thanksgiving 2012

I thought this posted on Thursday, but there was an error. So, now I can include photos from Thursday!

I hope you all are having a very happy Thanksgiving with your families and friends. My prayers are with those that are overseas and unable to be with their families (one being my cousin, Brett.) Serving our country is a duty that has no off-hours. Brett will be home in three months to see his beautiful wife and two boys. Yay!

I cannot be more thankful for my family. I am truly blessed. I have parents that love me unconditionally and provided for me growing up. They laid a solid foundation for me to stand on.



I am so thankful for my friends. There are so many people in my life that are supportive and there for me when I need a hand to hold or an ear to listen. Each one of my friends is so strong. I learn from each and every one of them.



I am in awe of my awesome husband. This man has made my world so much brighter. I cannot thank him enough for being by my side through every situation. He’s there for the good and bad. He lets me cry for no reason because he knows it is hard being a girl. :) He supports my dreams and laughs at my jokes! I hit the jackpot and thank God every day that he brought him to me.



I am thankful for my children and the joy that they give me. When I am with them, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. That’s even when they are cranky too! I love to snuggle with them and kiss their sweet cheeks. Little JCrew gives the best hugs in the world and I tell him that every day!



I am in love with my God and could never do a thing without Him. He has provided me with so much that makes me rich.

Let us continue to give thanks even in the darkest of days and every day.



- Lindsay

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful

I have so many things to be thankful for. I could write a post about a different one each day for the next year!

Today I want to take a moment to show appreciation for my parents. I don't think I could have found myself parents any better than the ones I got. They gave me such a great childhood and made so many sacrifices for each of their kids.

When they retired they packed up their things and moved in with me and Mr. JCrew. They lived with us for about 8 months and during that time Dad went into the hospital. That's when this blog was created. I was trying to keep family in touch with what was going on.

Now my parents are in their own place and I am so fortunate that they watch my babies so I can go to work. When I stop and think about it, I get overwhelmed with how grateful I am that they are here. I wouldn't be working if they weren't here. And if I wasn't working, my situation would be much different than it is.

My mom is a wonderful lady. She has given me my sense of humor. She doesn't take offense when I ask her if she packed a bottle for her errand run. Of course she did! She raised six kids! But when I ask her, she just says, "Yes."




My mom is also a very sharp lady! She has a better memory than me! She can recall a comment a friend of mine said two years ago. Then when she tells me how the situation went down those years ago, I tell her she's crazy and I don't remember that. Then I go back to that friend and they tell me exactly what my mom told me and I realize she was right! DOH! She even remembers things I told her I liked ten years ago. She is the go to person if you want to know what to get a family member for their birthday or Christmas. She logs all the details into her filing storage system brain and pulls it out when you ask. ;) I envy that kind of memory.

From now on I will not tell her she is wrong. I'm wrong!!

My mom has an eye for design. She is so creative. I love to bounce ideas off of her and get her opinion. She's an organization freak like me. Get the two of us in a cluttered room, and we take off like kids at an amusement park. When we're done, we love to sit and stare at our "creation." Hand us a Dr. Pepper and it's been a perfect day!

My dad is the sweetest man. He makes friends everywhere he goes. Yesterday, he made a friend in the parking lot while Mom was inside the store. Oh, and he has a story/joke for any situation. We call it "spinning yarn." He's been teaching Little JCrew his story telling secrets. Once Little JCrew starts talking, we're in trouble.

Thank you, Mom and Dad for everything you do. I can be rude sometimes and not show my true appreciation. I am forever grateful for you. I couldn't do a lot of things without you. I love you!


- Lindsay

Monday, November 19, 2012

Boy Update

Baby B stayed in Preemie-sized clothes for about four weeks. Now we are in Newborn-size and he is almost too long for those at 7 weeks. It’s more the length than the width he is outgrowing so fast. My kids are long!!

The last few days he has been fussy when awake. I can't complain because it is nothing like horror stories I've heard, but he just wants to snuggle all day. I can't say I mind. Any excuse to cuddle with a tiny baby is all I need!



Baby B

 I love catching Mr. JCrew taking naps with the babies. Above is his nap with Baby B. Below is the same picture with Little JCrew (12 weeks.)



Little JCrew


Little JCrew is a talkative kid; too bad I don’t know Mandarin! He has certain tones of voice he uses when he talks to the dogs or to his baby brother. I can be in another room and know what or who he is talking to by his tone. He has been saying “Daddy” pretty regularly and he loves to say “Hey.” Whenever we say the word “hair” he instantly starts rubbing his hair. He likes that word. The word “Moo” makes him giggle, so when I was trying to teach him “moon” one night, it didn’t surprise me that he started smiling and laughing at me.



When we hand Little JCrew his juice cup, he says “Thank you” or the non-English form of it. Whatever he is saying is still two words. One time I thought I heard him say “Thanks.”



Little JCrew is now starting to "cheese." I'm going to have to catch it on camera. Maybe he will start smiling on command for the camera now.  I love his big grin. He honestly is smiling at you and looks so happy. I admit I have become obnoxious in my methods to get him to smile. That smile can get anyone to smile back!
The boy loves to talk on the phone. Don’t know where he gets that from… (Mimi!) His daddy and I both keep our conversations short and sweet, but we encourage him when he tries to make everything a phone.







Baby B is such a chill baby. He lets Little JCrew smother him with kisses. Little JCrew likes to “feed” him with spoons and cups and I have to tell him the effort is appreciated but not necessary.



One day he’ll be able to share with his brother; let’s just hope when the times comes he still has the interest.


- Lindsay

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lego and Train Table

Look what I made as a Christmas gift for the boys this year!




My original idea came from my favorite blog younghouselove.com

www.younghouselove.com


They designed a train table to slide under the couch and out of the way. I shared this idea with my mom and the Pre-School teacher in her said a leg-less table top would not get the playtime a tabletop with legs would.

At the consignment sales I saw lots of train tables but none were anything I liked. I know I am picky, but I couldn’t get myself to accept one. Train tables are too small in my opinion and overpriced. There are some that limit your creativity when building the tracks. There might be a house or a road in the way where you wanted to lay your track. My mind is too Type-A to ignore the painted house on the board and lay my track over it. It just bothers me.

That’s when I went back to my idea of building a train table. This one would have legs. As I thought more about it, I wanted the table to be more than just a train table. It could be a table to build puzzles on, play board games and build Legos. The purpose for the table grew and the design ideas flowed. I wanted to glue some Lego baseplates to the table to build HUGE creations on it. Somehow we needed to build a table frame where the table top flipped so one side could be the train table and the other side could be the Lego table. When I bounced this idea off of Mr. JCrew, he loved it but I don’t think I explained my vision clearly. He asked how I was going to make the table flip and it might be too tall for the kiddoes if I accommodated the flipping part of the table top.

The table top doesn’t flip while staying hinged to the legs. You push the table top up from underneath and flip it yourself.

This is the first time I went to Lowes without knowing exactly what I needed! (sooo against my Type-A personality) I found a piece of wood that worked for the tabletop first. Once I knew the dimensions, I was able to know what lengths of wood I needed for the table frame.

I needed to build a frame that had a lip for the top to sit on and a lip that held it in place from side to side. The legs were easy. I just bought an 8-foot post for $5. It was outdoor wood, but that was okay. I cut it into four pieces (2-foot each).



Two feet seemed pretty tall. Too tall for little people to be able to play. So I cut off four inches from each post. This created some blocks that Little JCrew likes to hoist into the yard.

I used my table saw to make the other boards for the frame. I was really nervous putting it together. I had no instructions I was following and nothing written down. This was not how I operate!!



I laid the pieces out and then started putting them on the legs. I nailed them in place first and not all the way. I wanted to make sure I could take it apart if it wasn’t lining up perfect. I got lucky and it did on the first try. No adjustments needed!


The legs were not sturdy enough to drag the table so I added brackets. (You have to plan on boys dragging the table where they want it and possibly sitting on the table!)



The brackets made the table durable and able to withstand the roughness of kids.




I used the stain I had from refinishing the damaged table top to stain the frame of the table.



I then had the fun of painting the table top. I got three sample-size pant jars for $3 each at Lowes.



Why waist a pint size when you don’t need that much. The train side is green and the Lego side is blue.


I bought four 17-inch baseplates to glue down for the Lego side. I didn’t want the whole table covered up, but the majority of it to be.



When I glued the Lego plates down, I used Lego pieces to hold the plates together.


I’m so glad I did. Had I put the base plates touching, they would be too close together for a Lego piece to connect correctly. I at first used hot-glue, but it dried too quickly. (I was trying to glue all four spaces and then lay all four plates down.) I then used Gorilla glue.



Underside View

The table is tall enough that I put baskets underneath for their train pieces and Lego pieces.


All that’s left is for me to paint the scenery onto the train side of the table.

Mr. JCrew has already requested a bridge and waterfall. Whose table is this?

(Update: Here is how I painted it.)

Oh, and those neat chairs I have at the table will become a project down the road. They were one of the ones I didn't get to while on leave.



I’m so excited for the functionality of this table. Most train tables are much smaller and are not a Lego table too. I can’t wait for the boys to start using it!





- Lindsay

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Best Hubby Ever

There are so many posts (blogs and Facebook) that people are making about what they are thankful for this month.

I think it is a great reminder to look at what you appreciate. Small things always get overlooked. There is not a day that goes by I don't stop and thank God for my family. Every single one of them.

But today I will focus on the hubby. I wanted to write it here because I wouldn't be putting it in people's faces to read.

I really feel so lucky. Mr. JCrew takes two-three college classes each semester. He does this to ensure job security. He knows a college education is important and wants to set a good example for his boys (and brother.) Hopefully he'll have completed the first degree in the next two years. Then he wants to continue with another! He's driven!!

While going to school, he still is involved with church and coaches his soccer team. We make the soccer games a family event to watch. Little JCrew loves watching them play. He is already showing natural skill with the ball. Mr. JCrew wants to coach his team, if he decides to play.

I couldn't ask for a better dad for my boys. He plays with Little JCrew and cuddles with Baby B. In the middle of the night, he helps me with Baby B too. He is the opposite of selfish! He really does think of his family and makes sure we are taken care of.

Mr. JCrew is more than what I was asking God for in a husband. He has filled voids I never knew I had. I don't know what I was doing five years ago without him. And I don't want to think about ever losing him.

He accepts my flaws and makes light of situations. He listens to my ideas (even the silly ones) and acts excited when I'm bubbly. He's not afraid to get goofy with the boys and he's not afraid to hide who he really is.


So, today I am sooo thankful for my dedicated husband. There is so much I couldn't do without him.

- Lindsay

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Table Scratch


Okay, I know I’ve been behind on getting you posts on projects I’ve done, but with this one I’m reaching back to September!! Well, September was when the damage was done, and then I fixed it sometime in October.

The table in the kitchen was a table I refinished from my childhood. I painted the legs a black color and then a pretty blue color and stained the top to match the stools.



This table is where I keep my Maidenhair fern.




Somehow, I think the pot the fern is in made a scratch on the table. That’s the only explanation I can think of. It happened on two different occasions and the scratches got worse the second time.

First Incident 9-26-12

Second Set of Scratches

Close up of Second Set


I was so disappointed. The first set of scratches I could live with. Now I was having to contemplate refinishing the table top. At least it was only the tabletop.


I picked a pretty stain with a top coat already in it. One simple step for a time-constrained momma.

I borrowed my parents' electric palm sander and got the old top coat off.





I am no expert in staining. It really is something you have to practice. I loved the color so much that I was thinking of refinishing my dining room table top. It’s a little orange-y for my taste.



But I wanted to see how good I did on the smaller table first. I followed all the instructions, but it’s not perfect. It gets the job done, but I don’t think I will be touching my dining room table any time soon. The scratches were are to sand and cover up. You can still see them, but it’s nothing like if I hadn’t touched them. The table top is VERY shiny now. I had to get use to it, but I like it. I really like the stain and found two more projects to use it for. Practice makes perfect, and I’m getting better at staining each time.


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