Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

He or She?

During all of the time that I’ve been absent from blogging, it seems that I’ve let a little thing like being pregnant slip by without any mention. 


Currently I am at 25 weeks which means that I am on the downhill side.  Woo hoo!  About 7 weeks ago I went for an ultrasound and found out the gender of the baby.  I decided it would be fun to reveal the gender to our family with a cake cutting.

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I was more than a little nervous during the moments before the cake cutting, because I just didn’t know how long Ty and Lucy would be able to keep the secret.  (They had been with me to see the ultrasound that morning, so they had to hold their tongues all day!)  I had managed to keep them secluded all day, but once our party guests arrived, there was nothing I could do but cross my fingers.  Luckily, the monkeys held out!

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The whole “party” was thrown together in one afternoon.  After the ultrasound I made a quick run to the party supply store to pick up a few pink and blue things for the table.  I also managed to make a little something for the back door to greet our guests as they entered.  And then I had to bake the cake, since I couldn’t do that beforehand either.

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Before we cut the cake, I had everyone sign their names on either a pink or blue card as a way of guessing what the baby would be.  I thought it would be a fun little addition to the baby’s scrapbook.  Ty and I voted for boy.  Lucy and the Tool Man voted for girl.

When it came time for the big reveal, big brother and big sister got to cut the cake.

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Drumroll please….

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Ta da!  It’s a GIRL!!!

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As soon as that first piece was cut the monkeys quickly took to the task of eating it.

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Actually, Lucy’s idea of eating cake is really just eating icing.  She prefers to eat it by the spoonful.

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The only one who was a little disappointed with the outcome was big brother.  His reasoning, as he wrote on his cup, is that he is now “outnumbered.”  Poor thing!  I’m sure he’ll adjust.

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Now the fun stuff begins!  Time to get that nursery ready, haul down all of Lucy’s baby clothes from the attic, and sew a few things for the new girl.  Whew!  I better get started.  She’ll be here before we know it.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Fun with Shaving Cream

Just a few weeks into summer and the monkeys are already bored.  So I dug into my bag of tricks and came up with this incredibly messy activity – shaving cream war.

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We made a quick dollar store run and picked up a couple cans of $1 shaving cream and a cheapo, vinyl table cloth.  Ideally a large tarp would have worked much better than the table cloth, but I didn’t have one on hand.  The table cloth was way too small and wouldn’t stay flat, but the the monkeys didn’t let that spoil their fun.

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Ahhh.  Nothing better than a swim suit full of shaving cream.

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That’s one slippery little chick!

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I wish I had picked up a couple of more cans of cream to make the fun last little longer.  The monkeys had squirted every drop within 10 minutes!  But they enjoyed the clean-up just as much, if not more, than the actually war.  What kid doesn’t enjoy getting hosed down by their dad?


Friday, June 21, 2013

Snip, Snip. Lucy’s First Haircut

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I somehow got the job of cutting my family’s hair.  (Everyone’s except for mine of course.)  But a few months ago I ran across a photo of little girl with the cutest bob, and I knew it would be perfect for Lucy.  I also knew that it would be waaay too complicated for me to attempt.  So back in March, at the ripe ole age of three and a half, Lucy made her first trip to a salon for a professional haircut.

First, the wash.  I don’t know about y’all, but this is definitely my favorite part of getting a haircut.  I could fall asleep every time.  Lucy was as still as a mouse.

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Lucy didn’t seem scared at all about the haircut.  She did, however, sit perfectly still and didn’t utter one word the entire time, which is quite unlike Lucy.

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Snip, snip.  This is when I had a minor panic attack.  That’s about 4 inches of hair that got cut off in the back.  Eek!  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t second guess myself when Mrs. Kristi started cutting away.

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Here’s how Lucy looked the whole time – absolutely no expression on her face.

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Once the blow dryer came on Lucy woke up a little.  No, she wasn’t screaming.  Actually she was fake yawning.  Don’t ask why.

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As soon as her hair was dry, I knew that I had made the right decision.  I love Lucy’s new do!  It made her thin, flat mane look so much fuller and healthier.  I also love how easy it is to fix everyday.  So cute!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Big 4

It’s getting to be that time of year again…Miss Lucy’s birthday.  (More on Ty’s birthday and party later.)   After much deliberation she has decided that she wants a mermaid party – more specifically an Ariel mermaid party, but I’m not a big fan of licensed character anything, so I’m sticking with a generic mermaid decorating theme.  Even though the party is still over a month away I am in full planning mode.  My inspiration for the d├ęcor this year is Lucy’s party dress.

Mermaid Tutu Dress

To keep everything cohesive I’m going to stick with a palette of aqua blues and lime green.  Recently, I loaded up the monkeys and we made a trip down to the local Dollar Tree to hunt for decorating supplies.  And I do mean “hunt.”  You never know what usable items you might find at the dollar store.  You have to keep an open mind. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss.  Luckily, this time I hit a homerun – seashells, bright, white sand, blue candles, table cloths, fish nets, and iridescent blue and green marbles – all items which will look great on our party table.

I’ve also spent my fair share of time browsing Pinterest for some creative mermaid-y ideas.  One of my favorites was an idea I’m planning to use for party favors.  I never have liked the idea of sending kids home with plastic baggies filled with $0.25 toys. (Not that my kids don’t think these are the greatest things.)  I usually try to come up with something a little out of the box for party favors.  So here’s what I’m thinking for the mermaid party.

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Seashell hair bows.

Remember those shells I found at Dollar Tree?  After spray painting a few them silver, I glued them onto bows I crafted out of tulle and ribbon.  All of which coordinate with the aqua and lime color scheme, of course.  Isn’t it cute?  I hope the girlies love them!

Ok, if you aren’t Lucy’s grandparent, feel free to stop reading now.  Lol.  I thought I’d take the opportunity to suggest a few ideas for birthday gifts.  Yes, these are all educational, but they’re fun too.  Lucy actually loves doing school-y things.  In fact, she begs me almost everyday to do “school work.”  She’s gonna be a breeze to homeschool. Woo hoo!

First is this neat set of rhyming puzzles.  Lucy is a whiz when it comes to puzzles. They can keep her entertained for hours.  I plan to work a lot on reading with Lucy this year, and I think these would be a fun way for her to practice her sounds.

Here’s a little something that would help Lucy work on her math skills.  Counting Bears.  There are sooo many games and learning activities that you can do with these – counting, sorting, patterns, adding, etc. 

These are a set of activity cards to use with the bears.


I love Melissa & Doug products. Here’s a little twist on the ordinary puzzle.  Something like this would help Lucy with her colors, shapes, and fine motor skills. 

I’ve never heard of this next game, but it got such great reviews online, that I had to include it.  The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel game apparently covers a wide range of pre-K skills.  It looks like it would be a fun game for us to enjoy together.

Check out the Text and Learn by Leapfrog.  I like that the letters are arranged like a real cell phone.  It won’t be long before Lucy will be wanting to send real texts, so she might as well be learning where the keys are.  It looks like a fun little toy at a great price.

I could keep going for ever, but I’ll stop for now.  There are tons of fun things out there Lucy would enjoy.  Just thought I’d give a few ideas.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Girls Are Back in Town

I know. I know.  It’s been, like, forever since I last updated this blog.  I could use this time making apologies and excuses, but instead I’m just going to jump back into things by showing you our new chicken coop.

That’s right! After a year without chickens we just couldn’t take it any longer and ordered a new flock this spring.  But before the chicks could join our family, they had to have a home.  Yes, we still had our old coop, but the Tool Man and I really wanted something a little nicer and bigger this go around.

We spent some time browsing Pinterest for coop ideas and finally settled on a simple little walk-in coop with nesting boxes on one end and roosting poles on the other. We already had a nice stash of old cypress boards and some leftover metal roofing from some of the Tool Man’s previous projects.  All we had to purchase were a few 2x4’s and sheet of plywood.  The Tool Man was able to complete the project in just a couple of days.

He’s good like that.


Of course, he did have a good little helper!

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This little monkey was more interested in fishing than building chicken coops.

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These nesting boxes were inspired by something that we saw on Pinterest – just some plastic buckets from Home Depot.  They can easily be lifted out, dumped, and cleaned as needed.  We really tried to make this coop as easy to keep clean as possible.  We ended up lining the floor of the coop with construction sand which we sift every other day or so with our handy dandy homemade chicken pooper scooper.  It’s really just a giant dustpan that the Tool Man drilled a bunch of holes in.  It literally only takes a couple of minutes to clean the entire coop.

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Here are the monkeys introducing the girls to their new home.

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It was still pretty cool out when the chicks arrived, so they spent the first few weeks in a trough in the coop with a heat lamp to keep them warm and toasty.

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The monkeys were more than excited to welcome their new pets.

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We now have a total of 15 hens and one rooster…we think.  Lol.  It’s hard to tell at first.  Since these photos were taken, we have added a small window to the front of the coop and a run off the back of the coop.  Our girls love to be outside.  Once we felt that they wouldn’t run away, we started letting the chickens out into the yard every morning.  They spend the entire day foraging around in the garden and trees, and in the evening they return to the coop on their own.  I can’t wait ‘til October when we start getting some of those fresh eggs.  Yum!