mia’s uniform

Posted by joana 17 Mar 2012

as soon as she wakes up, she insists that we put on “purple skirt” and “brasil.”

every. day.

sometimes she’ll add the “jacket” and lately the “pink shoes” have been a must, but wow- that girl is passionate about her wardrobe choices!

project: new kitchen hutch

Posted by joana 16 Mar 2012

(i love to see before and after/step-by-step pictures of how people make things, so i thought i’d share my little project with y’all in case you’re like me.)
so i was at the thrift store last week and found the top part of a cute little hutch for 20$ and brought it home. i wasn’t sure what i was going to use for the bottom piece, but i thought i’d figure that out later. i’ve been wanting to brighten things up in my house and add more color, so i was excited to do this piece. plus, i’ve had this other baker’s rack thing for like 10 years and it was time for something new (and i needed a project to remind myself that i’m good at something other than changing diapers). i decided to strip the paint because it had a bunch of layers, and i found out that i hate stripping paint. ugh. but i knew the fun part was coming so i carried on…
the fun part- sanding and distressing! (doesn’t take much to get me excited)

i took that baby outside and hit the crap out of it with a hammer, scratched it with a knife, put nail holes in it, and hammered screws all over it. then i  used my distressing blades to make some nicks and grooves, and sanded it up. mia had fun helping.

then i painted it bright green!

so get this. i got this shelf thing a while back for ten bucks at the thrift store. it looked like it was a holder for pool cues? anyways, i got it to put in my laundry room to put shoes in, but it turned out to be the exact dimensions of the top piece! so excited. i wasn’t crazy about the pool cue look to the shelves, but i’ll worry about that later.

so i painted both pieces and tried to distress them the same as best i could  (different wood underneath the paint). it’s not a perfect match, but i don’t think anyone else can tell but me. i cut a piece of wood and attached it to the top of the bottom piece to make a sturdy surface and a slight lip, and painted that as well. i decided not to strip the paint on the doors, and now i’m kicking myself for stripping the rest because it actually looks better- as far as the look i was going for with the white underneath. oh well, next time.

i painted the back piece and attached it, except it still didn’t look right. i ripped the drawers off my other baker’s rack and painted them green and glued them on. there, that’s better. and i put some paper on the shelves to cover up the non-shelf look (i still need to finish that up, i ran out of paper) and there you have it! i got some bright pillows to tie in the red that i already have, and i’m hoping that it doesn’t look too forced- but i don’t really care if it does because i’m liking it (btw catherine if you’re out there, i used the pillow shams you made and turned them into curtain shams). it took me about a week working through nap time and neglecting my housework, but it fed my creative urge and i got a colorful new piece for my kitchen so it was worth it.

happy boy

Posted by joana 15 Mar 2012

re-using the jeep

Posted by joana 08 Mar 2012

just like mia was, jake is all over in that thing- moving his little legs like he’s some sort of pro.

i keep telling him to quit growing up, but he won’t listen.

van the tree hugger

Posted by joana 08 Mar 2012

i guess van is like most boys and loves to climb trees. i just wanted to get it documented.

petes and the gang

Posted by joana 07 Mar 2012

we got some time with uncle peter while he was here from utah on a business trip. van tried to steal him as much as he could to play super smash bros. brawl, and mia walked around saying “Pee-ew” all day. it was nice to have him stay over and eat a few dinners with us.

naturally, the “peter following” came in from austin to catch a glimpse of this guy, and we all had tons of fun.

no one can resist petes!

a few pics from our dec photo shoot

Posted by joana 04 Mar 2012

(awesome pics by julie estes)


Posted by joana 01 Mar 2012

so i’ve decided to get organized with our traditions around here. we’re always doing fun stuff, but i wanted to balance it out and have some weekly things on the calendar that the kids can look forward to. that way we’re not doing too much or too little, and hopefully creating some lasting memories.

i painted this frame and removed the glass so i could easily switch out and write on the calendar for that month. i hung it where everyone can look at it, and came up with a few traditions that i thought were fun. we started at the beginning of february and so far i’m getting a thumbs up from everyone:)

we’ve got our standard calendar events that happen every week- like family home evening on monday nights, mutual for jas on wednesday, and scouts for van every other thursday. i penciled in meetings, school events, practices, etc. so we all know what everyone’s doing.

i looked through the ads and found some coupons for quick meals and treats, added a “meatloaf monday” (we love us some meatloaf) once a month, a family service day (we helped a neighbor move in february), a date night for mom and dad, and a night where we go out to eat as a family. then the really fun stuff that the kids are loving- a “family fun friday” every other week, and a “special sunday kid” every sunday.

the first week was van’s turn to choose an activity for family fun friday, and he picked watching kung fu panda 2. we made panda brownies (which looked nothing like panda’s but they were pretty tasty), and loaded up on our favorite popcorn from the whirley pop (see below).

i found this whirley pop brand new at the thrift store last year, it makes the BEST popcorn! as you can see from the picture it’s an old-school hand cranked one that you make on the stove. we like ours with butter flavored popcorn oil, salt, and sometimes we’ll add parmesan cheese. the kids love it, except they were wanting to make it a few times a week and it was losing its flare- so we decided (ok mom and dad decided) that it would only come out on family fun friday. now it’s something they look forward to instead of an ordinary occurrence (that’s part of the balancing i was talking about).

the special sunday kid gets to pick the menu for sunday and eat their meal on “special” dinnerware while everyone gets a turn at saying nice things about the special person. here’s van eating his favorite meal of pot roast, crescent rolls, sparkling grape juice, and ice cream sandwiches.

i didn’t get a picture of jas, but she chose chicken curry and coffee cake on her day- dad chose one of the favorite dishes that his mom makes, and we had venison steak when it was my turn. i really like this one because i don’t have to come up with our sunday meal every week!

jasmine picked one of her childhood favorites “jumanji” for her family fun friday and it was a hit! van and mia were on the edge of their seats the whole time!

i’m hoping this will stick because everyone’s having so much fun.  i want the kids to remember our time as a family while they were growing up, and the important part that they each played in it. i’ve been thinking about how to incorporate some family traditions into our life for a while now, and i think this is the key.

it’s helping me be more organized too, and it’s really not any more work because we’re already doing fun things- now it’s just scheduled fun:)

of course i’m not opposed to some spontaneous good times, but i’m learning the power of having balance in our lives- and now i can point to the calendar and say “see, we just had treats on friday and ice cream on monday- i don’t think we need another treat right now.”

i think i’ve got it figured out. i’ll keep you posted.

now, how to balance the housework…


cousin time

Posted by joana 28 Feb 2012

karen had us over for a cute little valentine party for the cousins. man our kids are cute… maybe not so much after they drink sour lemonade

a good place to be

Posted by joana 27 Feb 2012

i love the young women’s program. i love it as a leader because i get to be a positive influence in the lives of these beautiful girls, and i love it as a mother because it’s such a good place for my own daughter to be. our number one goal is to help these girls realize their divine role as a daughter of God and how much He loves them, and while doing that- we always seem to have a good time.

this year we did a sports theme for new beginnings to “kick off” the new year. everyone had fun…