Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break.....How I Heart Thee..........

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade." ~Charles Dickens
all the things i ......
Morning walks......

Hunting for abandoned birds nests.....

lazy afternoons, snuggled up for some tv.....

spending time in separate rooms....then deciding to be friends again.....

the non-stop giggling....

finding this tree at WalMart....I have been looking for it all my life....

what kind of tree is it?, you ask......

pajammas till noon....impromtu concerts.....

♥ to tha peeps....

hrk

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birthday.....

to my momma....the best Mom and Nanny in the world! We love you!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lovin' me some patio......

Soooo.....the patio is finito! Done. And I love it. We have spent sooo much time out there already. It makes me sick that we didn't do this 5 years ago. It's just so nice to be able to spend time outside in a comfortable place. We got the table and chairs at Wal Mart. It's brown wicker with big, thick, red cushions and I love it. It did cost more than I wanted to spend, but I think in the long run, it was better to spend a little more, rather than get something I didn't love.
We had the wicker conversation set already, but it was white. 16 cans of brown spray paint later, it looks pretty good. (ok, maybe 8 cans).
And here is the most popular area....the basketball court! The girls have played every. single. day. since we got this done.
The back doors got a fresh coat of paint.....the were disgusting. This black stuff (mildew or mold or something) was all over them....
And you gotta love the gray area down there from where the dogs have scratched the paint off.... Here they are all painted up pretty.....this literally took me about 30 minutes to do....Why did I live with it looking filthy and gross for so long?
Now, the work turns to the yard! It looks terrible. Besides the ruts left from the concrete truck, there are several other area that need to be sodded. I need a money tree to plant out there! Anybody know where I can get one?
And....it's getting close to t-ball time again...so Ella has been practicing like a mad girl! Hubs is coaching her team this year, which makes the obsession even worse.
She has been begging him to get her a bucket of 24 baseballs that she saw at Academy. He got it for her yesterday, and she hit them all afternoon and evening. She has come a long way from last year with her hitting.
I got a little video: video She fell asleep sitting up on the couch tonight. She's a true die-hard t-ball girl! I. love. it!
Evan sat out there and watched her a cheered her on...then came in and wrote a 'Sports Report' about Ella's t-ball/batting status. Then she reported the story, evening news style, for everyone about 25 times. Too cute!
hrk

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wanted: Girls Room Makeover Advice.....

Here is a desperate plea: Have I mentioned that way back before Christmas, the girls got ahold of a Pottery Barn kids catalog and decided that they "had to have" a daybed and trundle and that they would both move into Evan's room to sleep on the "fabulous" bed. Evan and Brother in the bed, Ella and Dixie on the trundle. So, obviously, the PB beds are way beyond what I want to spend on a bed for this phase they are in, sure to outgrow soon. Well, I have been searching high and low, internet and furnitures stores....and after months of searching, I lucked into a bed at a local store (Odom's) that gets trucks of furniture from damages to overstocks and whatever. Waahoo, right? Well, kinda! Here is the bed:

Not bad for $150.00!

I did have to paint it because it was a little 'scuffed' up. And it doesn't have a trundle, so I am hunting for one now. But, overall, it's a great bed and the girls love it.

The problem is: bedding! Ugh! I have searched and searched and I can find nothing. Everything looks cheap, is way to bright, or is way to expensive. We are planning to redo it all. Paint, bedding, rug, new bookshelf or desk, etc. Where, oh, where can I find cute bedding? I have looked at all the obvious places...Pottery Barn, Company Kids, Restoration Hardware Kids, Posh Tots, Target, blah, blah, blah.....

Nothing.

Right now we have the Simply Shabby Chic from Target (that is what is on the bed in the picture). She is tired of that. Evan wants pink and brown, but I'm not crazy about the idea. I would love to find a khaki or mocha color to put with pink, but not chocolate brown. She is pretty open to looking at everything....even some brighter prints (but not neon-ish bright). It's making us (me and the girls) crazy because we got all excited about finding the bed and now can't find anything to put on it.

SOOOOO, I beg of you....my peeps.....my girls.....my go-to-for-anything in blogland friends....tell me where, besides the obvious places, can I look for cute stuff?

Have you seen great stuff somewhere? Help me, please! Desperation is setting in!

If this post goes commentless......so help me, girls, I will shut this baby down! Down, I tell you!

I am counting on you!

DOWN!

DOWN!

DOWN!

When you type the word 'down' alot, it looks weird!

hrk

Guess who's lucky.....

Why, the girl who was born on St. Patty's Day, of course!
Today, at school, they awarded the prizes for the chocolate bar sales. For every $50.00 in sales, your name went into a drawing. We sold $200.00 so Evan and Ella each got their name in twice. One of the prizes was a chance to smash a pie in the principal's face! How Much Fun! And Evan got drawn!!! She got to go up and smash a pie in Ms. Penix's face. I missed it by about 5 minutes. SO SAD I didn't get to see her do it, but I'm so happy that she got drawn. Ya know, when your a kid, stuff like that just ROCKS! What a great week for her.
Thanks to everyone who bought candy bars!
hrk

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Evan's day.....

Well.....I think Ev had a great birthday! She isn't having a birthday party this year, which kind of stinks. A few months ago, we found a really fun summer camp for her to go to (for 1 week). The camp is somewhat expensive, so I told her she would have to give up some things in order for us to be able to afford it, and one of those things was a big birthday party. It was her decision....to choose between going to camp or having a big party...she chose camp. I know she will be glad. Tonight, we had my mom, stepmom, sister-in-law (karen) and my nephews over for pizza and cake. Evan had a really good time playing with her cousins. This weekend we are having Brad's family over for a cookout.....so Evan said today that it's like she's having two parties and she was all excited, which made me feel better about her not having a big party with her friends.
Ready for school...seriously, she looks older, doesn't she?

Posing with the gift that we got her......

I picked her and one of her BF's up and took them to lunch.... new Vera Bradley purse......lucky girl!
Stinks when birthdays come to an end, huh?
She's such a sweet girl. I am so proud of her. And I just want to say that she is the Best big sister to Ella. When I think back on things that have happened since I've become a mother....the proudest, most beautiful memory I have is of Evan meeting Ella for the first time. She came right over, got up in the bed with me, and just started kissing her....then she would just stare at her and touch her face...and kiss her some more. It was...by all means...a beautiful moment. And from that day on, she has exceded any expectations I had of what kind of example she would be for her baby sister. When I work at night, I don't usually get home until 7:25am. On those mornings, Evan sets her alarm, gets up, then gets Ella up. (while hubs is still in bed or in the shower) Then she makes breakfast for both of them....whatever Ella wants....cereal, oatmeal, milk, orange juice....whatever. We have never asked her to do this, she just does it on her own. During the summer, while I sleep a few hours in the morning after I've worked....Evan totally entertains and cares for Ella the whole time....plays games with her....watches movies with her....reads to her.....colors with her.....just whatever it takes to keep her happy so that I can sleep for a few hours.
It melts me to hear how gentle and nurturing she can be.
Anyway, I'm rambling, but I don't say enough how lucky I am to have a daughter like her.
hrk

Evan.....

1 day old and already hiding from the paparazzi!

age 1.....
turning 4....
age 6.....

Happy Birthday, My Sweet Evan.......

On this day, nine years ago, I was given a gift. A gift that changed everything. A gift that made me see things differently. An amazing gift. A beautiful gift. It was her.

Monday, March 16, 2009

the day before 9....

Yup, she's gonna be nine tomorrow! My sweet, sweet Evan. It's so hard to believe. And she is embarking on a new career....in soccer. Maybe this will be 'her sport'! She's so excited about it. Tonight was the first practice, she was a little intimidated. Alot of those girls have been playing for 5 years, so they are pretty good. I think she kind-of expected everyone to be on her level. She had fun, though....and even practiced her cartwheels and handstands during practice (not kidding)! Bet those coaches were loving that! I feel so bad for her because we just didn't offer her the same opportunities that we have Ella. (live and learn, ya know....poor first born children) Evan didn't really ask to play soccer or t-ball when she was 4 or 5, so we just didn't do it. Looking back, we should have put her in it and let her decide if she liked it. Starting at age 8 or 9 is a bit of a disadvantage, when all these others have years of experience by now. So....Bad mom! I know. But I am determined that she will find her 'niche'. I will sign her up for anything she wants to do...I owe her that. She is very good at playing piano, but that doesn't satisfy her need to be a part of a team, and to compete. Watching Ella play soccer and t-ball last year seems to have awakened the team player/competitor in her.
Anyway....enough rambling.....tomorrow is a big day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ode to Ra-Ool....

Well, the patio work is done, and I must say...Ra-Ool pulled it off. We were like little kids, watching the concrete truck pour the new patio. It was very interesting and with all the chatter coming from Ra-Ool and his peeps, it kinda felt like we were in Mexico. But that's beside the point!
And here is the view from the door off the laundry room. We had dye put in the concrete so it dries to a color called sandstone. I really considered staining it, and after researching, it would be pretty easy to do it ourselves....but it costs the same to just dye it and not have to do any work. The fear of screwing up this patio that we have spent so much on kept me from going with the stain.....paying someone to do it wasn't an option, because they charge a fortune. We are pretty happy with the color, it's much better than the whitish gray that concrete normally is.
Ra-Ool left me these sweet, huge ruts in my yard, (courtesy of the concrete truck-which also broke the Nuns {next door neighbors} driveway after they so graciously agreed to let the truck back up their driveway to get to our backyard) Yes-broke their driveway..you heard me right.
If any of you know Sister Judith Marie, you know how distressing this is. She is one hard-core, serious business type of lady. (Scares me!)

We still have a TON of work to do, but I have to say that already, we have enjoyed this patio more in this past week than we have the entire 5 years we've lived here. We put the basketball goal on the edge of the uncovered part and the girls have spent hours out there playing HORSE and shooting baskets. (maybe this will help with the b-ball season next year, since this year was a little rough....just sayin') We also got the tetherball up and ready, so we are making progress as far as entertainment for the girls and their peeps. The very daunting task that I am facing now is finding affordable patio furniture. My lands....that stuff is EXPENSIVE! Seriously? It sits outside! How much can your really pay for furniture that sits outside? And you can imagine how durable it's going to have to be.....with psycho dog unattended outside at times....it could be ugly. So, no expensive cushions for us!

I will post more pictures of the finished patio soon.

And, by the way, Ra-Ool did fill the ruts in with dirt and clean up all his messes. All said and done, I love me some Ra-Ool!

hrk

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Brother: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly......

I have a love/hate relationship with my sweet/terrible doggy Brother! He's great and all, he minds well, he takes turns every night sleeping with Evan on odd days, Ella on even days. He tolerates the nemesis, otherwise known as Dixie (the malti-poo). I could go on about his good qualities....but.......he also has a dark side. You see, if Brother was a human, he would be on NUMEROUS medications for anxiety and depression. Example, once Brad went out of town for a week....Brother broke out in hives and vomited the whole time! And, everytime it rains....and I mean even a fine mist, Brother starts pacing the floors and acting a fool. Now if we have a full on storm......well....(and I'm not kidding about this)....Brother has to be sedated! And if we happen to be out of his sedatives, and a storm comes at night, well, let me tell ya.......ain't nobody in this house sleeping because Brother has a complete PANIC ATTACK! Now....being a dog and all....he hasn't mastered the ability to tell the difference between a storm...and say...fireworks. Or the difference between a storm...and say...a jackhammer. Yeah! Ya see where this is going now...don't ya!
So, the other day....when sweet Ra-Ool came back with his jackhammer and I left to go check myself into a mental ward.....well, Bro flipped out!
Do you want to know what he did? Well, I'll tell ya what he did!
Hanging on the back of a chair in the dining room was a pair of jeans that I ordered Evan from Gap. Cute little faded jeans thinking they would be cute with flip flops and a tee for spring....opened the package, looked 'em over, hung them on the back of the chair.....left for mental ward....Brother got them off the back of the chair........and chewed a hole in them! A perfect square hole! What tha?
Oh...can I just tell you how mad I was? This little incident came the day after I came home to find an old leather cowboy hat (that was Brad's when he was little) shredded into a million pieces! And I won't even get into what my couch pillows look like right now....or how many blankets and sheets in this house have holes chewed in them......Seriously?
Check out the jeans:
Soooooo.....I have not been speaking to Brother since this 'incident'........but funny how things happen......today I got an email from the lady I ordered the 'Brother portait' from and she has attached a picture of the finished painting. I HEART IT!......and now I heart Brother again!
Here's the masterpiece......

Now, seriously.....it that not amazing! I love it so much! And Meatball, Angie's dog that she had painted, well..his portrait is stunning, as well. Meatball is quite the poser!

And I know that you all are dying to get something painted....and you will have your chance! Angie and I are having a party on April 17th, here at my house.....so start picking out the picture you will have painted! The prices are right!

So....I have forgiven Brother......for now! But he will strike again, no doubt!

And here's a look at the patio progress:

Pretty, huh!

Love to tha peeps!

hrk

Monday, March 2, 2009

Guess What....

(cleansing breaths)
Ra-Ool is back with the jack hammer! Isn't that special?
i'm off to check myself in to a mental ward somewhere far away from this house!
hrk

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What Up, Homeys?

Long time, no post! I have wanted to post several little things but my bleeping card reader is not working on my laptop and it is so aggrivating. Anybody know how to fix that?
So here is a random post.......
First....Anybody like choc-O-late? Because these two sweet girls........................................................

You know 'em? They are trying to earn a little money for their school AND maybe win a digital camera or a chance to throw a pie in their principal's face. "OOOOOHHH," you say......."of course I want to help out these two cuties, but How?" ............WELLLLLLLLLLL...........

How about a little Worlds Finest Chocolate! (screams, applaud, roars from the crowd)

Oh, Don't turn away! You know you want some. It's WORLD'S FINEST, for goodness sake! I've been eating this stuff since I was in a baby bed and it IS the finest! We got your milk chocolate, your caramel, your chocolate with almonds, your dark chocolate with almonds, your crisp! SOOOO, just give us a comment or a call if you are interested, and I know you are....because............Good Morning America says that, by now, most of us have fallen off of the big New Years Resolution diet we started on Jan 1. So...come on....have a candy bar!

Moving on.....

Saturday morning, I woke up to SOMEONE'S Tv blairing and I tried to ignore it and sleep in because I had to work Saturday night and I always try to sleep in super late....ya know....like, till 8:00. But, I couldn't sleep over the TV noise, so I got up and walked into a certain 6 year old's room to do a little griping.....

and this is what I saw........

So, that just melted me because I love these little sisters and you know all that stuff I've said before about needing therapy because I don't have a sister, blah, blah, blah.........So I was over that immediately! Isn't that the sweetest? Them all snuggled up in bed together on a Saturday morning, watching a little SpongeBob? I l.o.v.e. It!

And lastly........I have a little video for you, but let me set the scene, first! I worked last night, we had a very critical baby, so it was a very busy and tense night. I come home this morning...get to bed around 8:30am....dream about work, and wake up at 11:20. Lay in bed for 30 minutes or so until family discovers I'm awake and all come in my room to talk to me at once about 20 different things. I get up....eat a bunch of crap (because that is what I do when I don't get enough sleep)...(ok...that's what I do even when I do get enough sleep) sit and stare at the Matilda Jane website because I am going to order stuff this afternoon and I LOVE that stuff and would probably sell my kidneys to buy it (see....i'm obsessed).

Then, Ra-OOL (Raul?) arrives, the nice hispaniol fella who is going to bust up our hideously ugly patio and replace it with some pretty new stained concrete. This is all exciting, right? So, Ra-OOL goes to work! With a Jack Hammer. And after about 3o minutes, the jack hammer is making my brain vibrate against my skull in a very negative way. So, I have to have a cocktail at 3 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon (and this does not make me feel good about myself) because there is a jack hammer in my head now and the Motrin isn't working. So........fast forward to NOW (yes, it's 8:30pm)....'Ra-OOL' just left because hubs told him we needed to get the kids to bed (and you KNOW the neighbors are HATING us). So, for very many hours now.....I have been listening to a jack hammer....and it's right at the back door....which is right in the living room....and I have had 3 hours of sleep....and it's not exciting anymore. AT. ALL.

videoThis was taken through the window in the back door. The door is closed. Is it just me, or is that enough to make you slit your wrists? (just sayin')

And......don't ya love that patio.....all that 'lovely' terracotta tile? UGH! I'll be glad to see it go, but I'm gonna need some sleep to get through this.

Nighty-night!

hrk