Sunday, November 21, 2010

Scrapbooking the last 8 decades

We're headed out of town this week to visit family on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in Atlanta.  We'll be enjoying Thanksgiving on the Gulf Coast with my family, and then driving to Atlanta to celebrate my mother-in-law's 80th birthday.

We were trying to figure out a way to highlight things that have happened in the past 8 decades to share with my mother-in-law.  Initially, I wanted to do some kind of coffee table book, but we were running short on time (research, figure the layout, order/delivery) so I had to do it the old fashion way....scrapbooking. Although, to be honest, I'm not sure this way was much faster because it took all week, but we did avoid waiting on the delivery piece.

I used to scrapbook when the kids were's what some of that looked like.

When they got a little older and life got a little busier, it just seemed easier to pull together a digital book of our annual happenings.

And, this is how the scrapbook for my mother-in-law turned out.



And, of course, pictures through the years.

This was an interesting project.  
ALOT has happened in the last 80 years.


I'm linking to the following parties:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chaos No More!

I'm talking about my 9yo daughter's bedroom, 
so I'm sure this will be short-lived organization.  
I'll take what I can get!

Like most 9yo girls she likes STUFF, and I'm embarrassed to say she has a lot of IT!

All the plastic pastel STUFF!

All the stuffed animal STUFF!

All the "I like to play school" STUFF!

And, the "tape everything I create to my wall" STUFF 
(to be honest, I'm glad she enjoys being creative)

All the miscellaneous STUFF!

All the dress-up and perform STUFF!

And, all the clothes....she gets that from her mother, literally.
I've always enjoyed shopping for clothes for her, BUT IT HAS TO STOP!

You can see here that she has plenty of storage pieces.

My goal was to somehow better utilize these pieces to control the STUFF.

So, I went to work, while she was at school, of course.

This is what I came up with...

There's still a lot of STUFF (especially on the walls), but 
I'm learning to accept it.  I'm pretty sure, "back in the day", my 
walls were covered with taped magazine pictures of Sean Cassidy, 
Leif Garrett and Donny Osmond.  Yikes!

 These white toy chests used to store toys in our playroom.  Now, I've pushed them together to make a "reading nook" for her and they still hold STUFF out of sight.

These toy chests already had foam cushion seats that I made a long time ago.  
I put the two pieces of foam together to fit inside the new "peace" cushion cover.  
My daughter really likes the color blue now (no more pink for her), so I'm trying 
to incorporate a little blue without re-doing the entire room.

This mirror over her new jewelry table was purchased at the 
Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, $1.  I spray painted it blue.

See mirror below to the right.

(If anyone has any great ideas for a better way to display trophies
please let me know.  They are taking over my kids rooms.)

This desk area was created with a tabletop and supports from Storables.  My daughter
gets a lot of use out of this desk area, always writing and creating.  

The desk top is covered with a piece of plexi glass so 
she can add pictures and drawings underneath.

I made this slipcover (note: I don't really know how to make slipcovers) several years ago. 
 This chair was my grandmothers and used to sit in our guest room.

More storage ideas...

And, in case you're wondering, she does have a dresser with clothes.  
I tucked it here.

Believe it or not, we did get rid of a lot of clothes.

In conclusion, still a lot of stuff, just a little better organized.  

I'm linking to the following parties:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's Shoe Box Time!

Next week is National Collection Week, Nov 15-22, 
for the Operation Christmas Child Ministry.

The Ministry is run through an organization called Samaritan's Purse International Relief

The idea behind the ministry is to purchase toys, toiletries, school supplies, clothing, etc for less fortunate girls and boys all over the world.  They ask that you fill shoe boxes with these items and pray for these children.  We initially heard about the ministry through our church and have been filling shoe boxes for girls and boys for the last few years.  
These are some of the items we purchased this year.

For a girl:

 For a boy:

Wrapping the shoe boxes are optional.

You need to attach labels to the tops of the boxes saying whether 
the gift is for a boy or girl and check off the appropriate age.  They
also ask for a $7 donation for each shoe box to handle shipping.

 You can find all the instructions on their website here.  

It's a great project to do with your kids.  This year the kids are going to 
make cards to include in the boxes, along with our return address.  
We've made our donations on-line so we can track where are shoe boxes 
travel, and we're hopeful that we may even hear back from the recipient.

 We can do no great things, only small things with great love.  ~Mother Teresa


Friday, November 12, 2010

Backyard Finale!

I've posted a couple of times about having some work done to update our backyard.  

Strange time of year to be doing this, but maybe we'll get in a
couple of hot cocoas and smores' around the fire pit before winter?!

This is what one corner of the yard used to look like.  

Same corner view, just a little further back.  Note trampoline on left side.

 And this is looking the other direction.  The yard is long and narrow.

 Work begins!  

Some of our goals were to set the trampoline back behind the side of the 
house, so it wouldn't be such and eye sore, add a water feature in the corner,
remove grass and replace with more usable patio space, and update 
the old pavers with stamped concrete (see old pavers above).

The water feature is coming together.

And, WA LA!  

(think I had just pulled some leaves out of the water 
leaving a drippy mess on the patio for the photo)

I'm really enjoying the waterfall noise.  I can hear it from the kitchen window.

We found out that it IS a good time of year to buy patio furniture....40% off :)

Insert fire pit between chairs (it's on order).

Trampoline is pushed back now, which makes it a 
little harder to spy on my kids misbehaving on it.

 Sadie is testing out the pavers.....I think she misses the grass!

 This is looking the other direction.  
We didn't have anything done to the grass/landscaping on the other end of the yard.  

The bench is for a little extra seating.  I wanted some kind of back on it for comfort and to add pillows next summer, so the designer added a back/trellis.  I'm hoping that the honeysuckle re-planted behind the bench will fill in the trellis nicely.

 We used stamped concrete on this side.

Can't wait to enjoy it next summer, after we get the fence/trellis stained, 
plant some large  pots to set around, and, of course, get those pillows 
made for the bench.  The projects are never ending!  

Only 8 more months until summer hits the Northwest, 
I better get busy just as soon as the holidays are over.   


On a side note, this is a shot of the front yard.  

Can you say fall?  

Underneath all those leaves are some of our OLD 
pavers re-used to make a path up to the front door.  

And now it's time to get serious about the holidays!