Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fall is not in the air...

Halloween Decor

Our record high, triple-digit weather is officially unwanted. We've got to make it look like fall since it doesn't feel like fall!

Its not even October and we have all the Halloween decor up which is uncommon even for a Halloween lover like myself. Hallie and I had to miss out on a girls night out this weekend with her cousins. (Steve and Hunter were at the game which left me with two little boys, who were not wanted at girls night out!) In an effort to create a worthwhile consolation prize, I offered to pull out all the Halloween decor. She was beyond excited. She pulled everything out of the bins and put them in the areas of the house where they belonged. It's a process.

After everything was laid out I realized we were missing several things. I went back to the garage in search of them. Having color-coded holiday bins is genius - but not so genius when you run out of space at the end of the season and the stores no longer have orange plastic totes...as was the case last year. Which meant we had a box of Halloween decor in a green bin with a purple lid which I eventually located in the disaster we call a garage. Crisis adverted. I made a note to buy an orange bin ASAP.

The decorations are up - pumpkin scented oil is warming - candy has been purchased - all that's left to do is fill the advent calendar and let the kids fight over whose turn it is to get the candy! Let the fall games begin.
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Monday, September 28, 2015

Birthday Celebrations...

The birthday bucket was in full force this weekend - complete with his favorite cereal (Lucky Charms), pop-tarts, gum and star wars fruit snacks. Although I thought Lucky Charms would be the first thing he ate for breakfast, he held out for his dad's pancakes. Which turned out to be a one-eared Mickey Mouse pancake, smothered in peanut butter topped with fruit snacks. Only on a birthday do you get a delight of that magnitude!

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He opened presents in the afternoon - he asked for Legos, more Legos and money for Legos. But really how many Legos does any kid need? We have so many sets and pieces and although they are well loved and played with - we have more than enough. And yet every birthday/holiday he gets another set because that's really all he wants.
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But this birthday we branched out just a bit and I think he was just as excited as I was. I suggested Steve's parents give him a Vex Robotic kit (made by the same company that does the Hex Bugs). I'd never seen one in action but it seemed to build on his love for legos. And although it's great for building - the instructions are awful. They should take a lesson from Lego. He got it put together, but there were a couple steps that I sat analyzing the directions picture and had to interpret what they meant. Still a great building toy.

The other new toy we introduced to him was the Snap Circuit Discovery Kit. It has a 5 star rating of almost 2000 reviews on Amazon. That's unheard of. I bought with confidence and I can tell already it's going to spark things in that little mind of his (and on his fingertips as he's already been shocked working with it!)
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We read through all of the directions/warnings together and went through each piece and then he started going to work. There are two booklets that come with it describing how to create different projects. They aren't hard/complicated projects. The first couple included a simple switch that turns on a light or create a sound. But it helps a kid to see why something works. Why a light switch in their room turns on the light. Why does something create a sound? It's a great toy for the kids that tinker and discover and already he's had a great time playing with it.

Although it was difficult prying him away from his new toys - Steve took him to the ASU game that night with his brother and son. It would have been nice to see a win but instead they watched USC play a great game!
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He came home late and went to bed a happy birthday boy. It's just a bummer he has to wait 365 days to do it again.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Birthday boy...

We celebrated this kid this weekend. He's our favorite oldest boy! :)
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Things we love about Hunter.

He's content. He is happy to play by himself and he's typically so quiet you forget he's there.

He's an animated story teller. He can't just tell a story using words - he has to act out most of the story.

He's mechanically minded. It's why he does so well with Legos. It's why he takes things apart and puts them together. It's why he often beats his sister in games and it makes her so angry.

He's playful. He is great to play with his siblings - sometimes he skates a very thin line of playful and teasing - he has them laughing one minute, crying the next!

He loves "scratchies". From the time he was little, he could be calmed by gentle rubbing my hand up and down his back. It still works today.

He loves sports. He's not participated in a single organized sport, but you wouldn't know it. The kid is athletic and loves to throw the football, kick the soccer ball or shoot hoops.

He loves to scare people. He's the one who hides the rubber rat in the cupboard in a cereal bowl. He's the one who walks into the house first and hides only to scare the next person coming in. He's the one that creeps up behind the sofa and grabs your arm. He gets a kick out of it and then he laughs the most contagious laugh.

He's been telling people he's seven for over a month now, so I suppose its about time he's no longer lying about his age!

Happy Birthday Hunter.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Heritage gallery wall...

Most of my projects require me at some point to sit at the computer and make my plan. I use Illustrator to draw things to scale so I get a good idea of what the end product will look like. This comes in handy when I'm hanging anything on my walls. I'm not sure why, but hanging stuff is paralyzing for me. As if once it is hung it can never be removed. I'll have things stacked against the wall for months before having the courage to hang them. And I only hang them after I've measured the wall and drawn everything out. It's a process.

Even after drawing it out on the computer, I often take one more step: Trace all my elements on paper and cut them out and hang them.

You can see on my "heritage wall" below I have my computer version (white paper) taped to the stairs and then all my cutouts in their place. (as you can see this picture was taken before we made some major updates) I even marked where the hook (to hang the frame) was located on the paper so I could nail straight through the paper and get the right placement each time - without multiple wounds to my wall.
Heritage Wall - creating a gallery wall

This is a process where a little upfront effort goes a long way!
Heritage Wall - creating a gallery wall
It was an awkward space before - on a small wall - and now it houses some of my very favorite pictures of our ancestors. It's our heritage wall and it's always a conversation starter for people visiting our home. It's good to know where you come from.
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